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New members of the Newton Education Foundation Board

Foundation board poised to expand work to diverse constituencies

COVINGTON, GA (March 26, 2024) — Newton Education Foundation (NEF) is pleased to announce that six new members will join the Board of Directors in May as part of efforts to broaden the reach and representation of foundation leadership.  The expansion of the Board of Directors reflects the Foundation’s interest in building on its initial success in raising $80,000 during its inaugural All in for Kids Campaign after its relaunch in November 2023.

Executive Director Gail Rothman shared, “we are so excited by this cohort of board members which represents the amazing diversity of Newton County.  Our goal in the coming year is to ensure that NEF is working to lift up students in every part of the county through our partnership with Newton County Schools under the strong leadership of Superintendent Dr. Duke Bradley.”

The following newly approved members will join the Newton Education Foundation Board in May:

Dory Berry is a graduate of the Newton County School System who currently serves as a fiscal policy analyst in the education division with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. 

Jill Morehouse Lum has taught in public, private and international schools, directed service-learning programs, and served as a school chaplain. She is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and her family has had roots in Newton County for generations.

Shamus Mulvihill is a lifelong resident of Newton County and 2002 graduate of the Newton County School System.   He earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and has worked at SRG Global for the past 17 years in a variety of capacities.

Wendy Rodriguez grew up in Newton County and is a 2013 graduate of the Newton County School System.  She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University and a Master of Science in Law from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in 2021.

Gabriel Stovall is an award-winning journalist, pastor and business owner who has impacted the Covington/Newton County area with his work for close to 10 years. He serves as senior pastor of James Paschal Baptist Church.

Judge Tami Wells Thomas has called Newton County home since 2006 and currently serves as Curriculum Chair for the Criminal Justice Department at Georgia State University Perimeter College, Newton.  She has served as an Associate Judge for the Newton County Magistrate Court since 2019.

Three long-time board members will wrap up their service to the Foundation in May, leaving a strong legacy of engagement and impact.  They are: Laura Gafnea, Director of Community Relations for Oxford College, Andrea Lane, Director of Community Relations at Piedmont Newton Hospital and Debbie Harper, CEO of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce.  These three will join a new NEF Partners Board to ensure that the strong relationships between NEF and their organizations continue.

Loucy Hay, one of the founders of NEF, said, “It is exciting to welcome a new cohort of board members who are strong believers in the power of public education. Their relationships and enthusiasm will help the foundation continue to build community partnerships to benefit our students and teachers.”

Founded in 2009 and based in Covington, Ga., The Newton Education Foundation is an independent non-profit that puts community resources to work for children so they can achieve academic and personal success by removing obstacles, providing opportunities that deepen learning, supporting teachers and strengthening community initiatives.

The “All in for Kids” Campaign is still seeking donations to support the Foundation’s work.  To make a donation or learn more about NEF, visit

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