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Board of Trustees

Experienced, committed and passionate individuals who care about FASRI now and into the future!

FASRI’s Board of Trustees is a dedicated group of volunteers comprised of FASRI parents and leaders from the local community.

  • We serve as the governing body of the school, we do not oversee day-to-day operations of the school.
  • The Head of School reports directly to us.

The Board has a number of responsibilities, but our primary role is to serve as fiduciaries of the school.

In this capacity, we are committed to:

  • establishing FASRI’s mission
  • advancing that mission by setting strategy
  • ensuring the school’s long-term financial health
  • selecting, evaluating, & supporting the Head of School.
  • using best practices developed by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
  • conducting annual assessments to continuously improve our ability to serve the school.

Ultimately, we see our role as partnering with the Head of School to ensure that FASRI delivers the best education and experience for our students. The current strategic plan, including FASRI’s mission, vision, values and strategic goals, can be found here.

Board of Trustees 2018/19

DOMINIQUE GREGOIRE

BOARD OF TRUSTEES, CHAIR 
President, Alliance Française de Providence
Board Member since: 2017

More About Dominique Gregoire

About: Dominique Gregoire was born in France and educated in the French school system. After his studies at Lycee Montesquieu in Le Mans, he graduated from Sciences Po Paris and the Law Faculty of Paris Assas in June of 1970. Upon completing 12 months of military service, he served for 13 years as City Manager in Le Grand Quevilly a new city being built near Rouen, Normandy’s capital. He then worked 2 years for Bouygues, an international construction company as Regional Manager in Normandy.

In 1984, with his wife and 2 daughters, his family relocated to the United States. Dominique integrated the Governor’s Office as Director of Housing in 1987 for 5 years and served for 2 years on the Land Use Commission. Later he was Director of Community Lending for the Providence Plan Housing Corporation leaving in 1997. Until 2013, when he retired, Dominique worked for Mortgage Master Corp. as a mortgage broker. Meanwhile, from 1998 to 2016 Dominique was President of the Alliance Francaise of Providence. In October of 2016 he became its part-time Executive Director. During his tenure the Alliance grew from a small $20,000.00 operation to a $200,000.00 organization with 250 members and 100 students per session learning French and other languages. In 2010, after a successful capital campaign the Alliance purchased its own Headquarters at 928 Smith Street in the Elmhurst section of the City.

“In 2017 I accepted to join the Board at FASRI and I take this assignment very seriously. It is an honor for me to serve such a unique organization with a dedicated faculty, staff and Board of Trustees. Being French and American I do feel a strong attachment to the mission of the School, its programs, its educators and its families. Taking the best of the two cultures and opening our students to understand and accept that there are different languages, different customs, different ways of thinking is critical in a more and more integrated world.”

ETHAN SLUTER

BOARD OF TRUSTEES, TREASURER 
Director of Finance, New England Construction Co., Inc.
Board Member since: 2014
FASRI Parent: 1 child, student since Maternelle

PATRICIA M. LAWLOR

BOARD OF TRUSTEES, SECRETARY
Professor, Providence College
Board Member since: 2008

More About Patricia M. Lawlor

About: Patricia is committed to bilingual education in general and to FASRI's mission in particular. Patricia earned an MA in French at the Sorbonne in Paris and PhD in French Studies from Boston University. She has been a Professor of French at Providence College for more than twenty years.

History with the BOT: Patricia helped establish with the founder of FASRI a formal collaborative relationship between Providence College and FASRI. She served on the Head of School Support Committee from 2014-2018, the HOS Search Committee 2016-2017, and has served as Board of Trustees Secretary since 2013.

Outside FASRI: At Providence College, Patricia has served on departmental and college-wide hiring, assessment and curriculum development committees, as Vice-president of the Faculty Senate, and two terms as Chair of the Department of Foreign Language Studies. She was awarded the Chevalier des Palmes Académiques by the French government for outstanding contributions to the promotion of French culture, language and literature in the US. She has published a book on 19th century French poetry and multiple scholarly articles on French literature and culture, and recorded a critical analysis of Manet's Le repos for RISD's "Contacts" project.

"Providing a bilingual education to a child is a once-in-a lifetime gift due to the nature of brain development and language acquisition. It is also a gift that lasts for a lifetime, because the intercultural perspective inherent in a bilingual education has an enduring positive impact on the growing child's sense of self, capacity for empathy and interaction with others, and overall life experience. Having witnessed this countless times over the course of my career as a professor of French, I am honored to be affiliated with FASRI where parents and teachers offer this priceless gift with such dedication and joy."

DOUGLAS GRAY

BOARD OF TRUSTEES, Chair of Governance Committee
Partner, Locke Lord Edwards LLP
Board Member since: 2012
FASRI Parent: 2 children, students since Maternelle

More About Douglas Gray

About: Douglas is the Co-Chair of Locke Lord's Life Science Practice Group focusing on medical device, pharmaceutical and healthcare related companies, technologies and products. Douglas' work in acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and other transactions involves representation of individual investors, management teams, corporate buyers and sellers, venture capitalists and private equity firms. This varied representation provides him with a unique understanding of the likely concerns of each party in a sophisticated transaction so that he is well-suited to assist clients in planning and implementing their strategies as well as crafting creative, but cost-effective, solutions to their concerns. Douglas is listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and has been since 2007, he was named a Super Lawyersince 2011 and has been listed in the Corporate Law section of The Best Lawyers in America for 2010 through 2019 including the 2014-15 Providence Corporate Law "Lawyer of the Year." Douglas is the Co-Chair of Locke Lord’s Pro Bono Committee and was the Pro Bono Partner for 2013 for the Providence office. In addition, Douglas has received Martindale Hubbell's highest rating of AV. He has worked with the Biohaven team since 2014 prior to its incorporation and serves as the Corporate Secretary for Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd., a NYSE public company.

Outside FASRI: Douglas has been involved as a Board member for Community Preparatory School, Blithewold, Habitat for Humanity East Bay, the Urban Collaborative and The Haitian Project which operates a co-educational Catholic school outside Port au Prince, Haiti.

Valerie MCCAIN

BOARD OF TRUSTEES, Co-Chair Community Engagement and Communications Committee
National Sales Manager, WJAR TV
Board Member since: 2015
FASRI Parent: 1 child, student since Petite Section

More About Valerie McCain

Outside FASRI: Valerie has previously served on the Advisory Board for The Salvation Army in Providence for over 20 years where she had various roles as secretary as well as Chairing their annual fundraiser. She continues to Chair a food drive and telethon with The Salvation Army, Shaw’s grocery store and NBC10 to feed over 3,000 families for Thanksgiving as well as stock up the TSA’s food pantry for the Christmas season. In addition, Valerie currently serves as an Incorporator for the Providence Foundation board which focuses on Providence economic development and improving downtown public spaces.

"After reading an article in the NY Times about the benefits of an immersion program on a young brain with mental flexibility, pattern recognition and problem solving skills, I had my sights on FASRI. My son began at three years old. We have been so impressed hearing him speak French with such an incredible accent. Meeting many families from different parts of the world has opened his mind and brought their cultures into our home. We have made some amazing friends because of this school. FASRI is a gem and has such potential. Volunteering for the board, I hope to help it grow and make it the best for our children and the future generations."

LOUISE OLSON

BOARD OF TRUSTEES 
Board Member since: 2013
FASRI Parent: 1 child, student since Petite Section

More About Louise Olson

History with the BOT:
Chair, Development Committee, 2015-2016
Co-Chair, Head of School Search Committee, 2016-2017

"The French American School of Rhode Island was the first choice for our son eight years ago. We were searching for a diverse bilingual community that proved a meaningful environment for our son to grow, excel and reach his full potential. FASRI attracts students, parents and gifted teachers from around the world. I continue to volunteer as a Board of Trustee member to ensure the School’s mission is honored and achieved."

JENNIFER TOMASIK, SM, FACHE

BOARD OF TRUSTEES, Immediate Past Chair 
Vice President and Principal, CFAR, Inc.
(http://www.cfar.com/)
Board Member since: 2011
FASRI Parent: 2 Children, both students since Petite Section

More About Jennifer Tomasik

About: Jennifer is a partner in a boutique consulting firm, CFAR, where she leads the healthcare practice and partners with organizations on issues of strategy, organizational and cultural change and governance. She is also member of the firm’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

History with the BOT: Jennifer was originally invited to serve as the Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, given her role as a strategy consultant to mission-driven organizations. Since that time, Jennifer has served as the Chair of the Search Committee and then for two terms as the Chair of the Board. She recently stepped into the role of Immediate-Past Chair and is a member of the Executive Committee.

Outside FASRI: Jennifer has served on the Board of the American College of Healthcare Executives of Rhode Island for more than a decade, and she was recently elected to represent Rhode Island as the Regent for the state.

"We chose FASRI for our daughters when they were each three years old. At the time, we wanted them to be bilingual. Our experience at FASRI has evolved to become so much more! The exposure to different perspectives and new ways of thinking, a global awareness, and a diversity of people, thought and opinion has truly opened their minds. I’m confident that they are being prepared for an exciting future, and I’m proud to serve on the Board to support this wonderfully unique school."

MARTIN SMICK

BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Board Member since: 2019
FASRI Parent: 1 child, student since Maternelle

More About Martin Smick

About: Martin Smick is an artist and adjunct professor. He has been a Critic in Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design since 2013. H earned a bachelors degree from Washington University in St Louis and an MFA in painting from RISD. In 2000, he was selected as a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. Martin has exhibited his work locally and nationally, and most recently was co-recipient of a Mellon Foundation Grant to conduct research at Brown University's Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. He brings with him a lifelong love of French language and culture, having attended an independent school with a French focus, where his father was the Head of School and his mother chaired the French department. Martin spent a year living in Aix en Provence as a child and returned to France as a college student to study at La Sorbonne. His daughter Luna is entering her third year at FASRI.

Chris Valencius

BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Board Member since: 2019                                                                                                  FASRI Parent: 1 child, student since Maternelle

More About Chris Valencius

About: Chris Valencius is an Executive Creative Director for an advertising firm in Boston, where he oversees the marketing strategy and advertising creative for several global brands. The work he’s created  for clients including Volkswagen, Jack Daniel’s, the NBA, Budweiser, and the American Legacy Anti-Smoking Foundation has been Emmy and Cannes Lion awarded, recognized by institutions including the London International Design Awards, and published in a number of graphic design, illustration, and advertising annuals . Having earned a bachelors degree in design from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, he went on to live and work in Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Iowa City before settling with his family in Providence, RI – a city he’s always loved for its’ thriving music and arts culture. His daughter, Bernadette, is currently in her third year at FASRI.

FAQ about the FASRI Board of Trustees

How is the school governed?

FASRI is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of parents, community leaders, and the Head of School. The trustees bring a wide variety of skills and experience in organizational leadership, education, strategy, cultural change, law, business, facilities development, real estate and governance. All Trustees volunteer their time to support the strategic objectives of the school. We are a working board that guides our efforts using best practices developed by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and conduct annual assessments to continuously improve our ability to serve the school.

What is the Board responsible for?

  • Nurturing and preserving the School's mission and objectives—now and into the future   
  • Establishing policies and strategies to advance the mission of the school
  • Ensuring a viable and healthy financial view, which includes setting tuition for the school
  • Hiring, evaluating and supporting the Head of School, who is solely responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the school.

How often does the Board meet?

  • The Board meets as a group on a monthly basis.
  • The Chair of the Board and the Head of School meet much more frequently, often on a weekly or sometimes daily basis.
  • Much of the Board’s work is conducted through a set of standing committees that are chaired by a member of the board and include board members, other members of the FASRI community and management, as well as, ad hoc committees or task force groups that address specific projects.
  • Trustees also attend an annual leadership development retreat to review and renew strategic goals and objectives.

How are trustees elected?

The Governance Committee conducts an annual review of the skills and experience that we have on the board relative to what gaps we may need to fill with respect to future needs. Throughout the year, the committee identifies and vets individuals to determine interest and fit. They present the candidates in the Spring, and the board votes at our annual meeting in June. Trustees are elected for their experience and expertise for a three-year term, which may repeat. Trustees also elect the officers at the annual meeting.


Our Mission


FASRI develops globally connected, responsible and adaptable citizens through an exceptional multi-language program that empowers students to realize their full potential.


Our Values


Partnership — engaging in collaborative relationships in the classroom, within our school, in our community, and with the network of French Schools around the globe to help us provide the best possible experience and opportunities for our students


Respect — exhibiting respectful behavior in all that we do


Strength —instilling a global awareness that keeps our minds open and adaptable, promotes excellence, and makes a positive difference in the lives of our students, faculty, staff and the state of Rhode Island, which is our home


Diversity — embracing diversity and multi-culturalism that results in an appreciation of different perspectives and points of view


Curiosity — encouraging critical thinking, innovation, and a love of learning


Joy — pursuing our work, studies, and relationships with a joyful spirit and optimistic attitude