As a youth at the Newton Boys & Girls Club David Sellers developed leadership skills and a management philosophy that focuses on honesty, clear expectations, teamwork, and accountability – qualities that were found in abundance in the games room and on the gym floor at 101 Dalby Street. Now in his 13th year as Executive Director, David has endeavored to improve the image and level of professionalism of this venerable organization while rebuilding its fundraising engine from the ground up. Working with a talented staff and through the support of the Club’s dedicated Board of Directors, during his tenure the Annual Fund of the Club has quadrupled, Major Giving has increased 10 fold, and a permanent endowment was established to support the Club’s programming. Many improvements were made to the Club’s physical plant which save the Club thousands of dollars annually and improve access to technology. He is proud of the high profile the Club maintains in the City of Newton when it comes to key issues effecting young people and gladly serves on the managing bodies of several key civic minded organizations including the nonprofit committee of the Charles River Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Newton. David has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
David Sellers, Jr.
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Frank Ponceano has spent the past 11 years in leadership roles with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell. During that time he created and implemented Club programming; trained staff, interns, and volunteers; and was responsible for the creation, execution, oversight, and stewardship of new and pre-existing STEAM programs. Whether in science, technology, engineering, math, and/or the arts, his expertise will well serve all our programing in particular our expanding arts and technology/media programs. His youth leadership and programming work has been recognized by the national Boys & Girls Clubs of America being twice honored with the National Service to Youth Award. And as reported locally in 2018 by The Lowell Sun, Frank was recognized by the Association of Boys & Girls Professionals Yankee Chapter for his "outstanding service to the profession and the youth the clubs serve."
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Thomas (Tom) Leavitt is knowledgeable, personable, and a strong communicator who has direct experience managing major gift, planned giving, and capital campaigns. His recent roles include Director of Development and Capital Campaign for Camp Avoda Inc., Major Contributions Management at the Alliance Theatre of the Woodruff Arts Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, Director of Development and Communications with JOIN for Justice, and Director of Development for GLAD. He has increased fundraising levels everywhere he has worked and built several development programs from the ground up. For several years he served as a Newton area teenage youth group advisor, overnight summer camp staff director, and high school mentor to those entering the workplace or college having served on the related boards of directors of Horizon for Youth, Camp Avoda, and Massachusetts College of Art. Tom graduated magna cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Honors Program in Amherst and named a Commonwealth Scholar.
Director of Development
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Dawn Proia is the Club’s longest tenured employee having devoted a little more than 15 years to helping the Club’s young people learn and grow. She started as the Club’s Art Director in 2004 and she was named Kids Corp Director in 2007. Serving in these dual roles, Dawn has brought increased structure to the Club experience of almost 200 members while continuing to foster creativity through a wide variety of artistic endeavors. In addition to drama, chorus, beadwork, and pottery programs, she started the wildly successful Proud to Be Me Program in 2008 and has served as the advisor to our Keystone Club. Dawn has a Certificate for Child Development from Newton North High School and spent 9 years working for JoAnne’s Little Wonders Preschool prior to joining the Club’s Team.
Youth Engagement Coordinator
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Girls Services Coordinator
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Kyler Hunter-Burton was born and raised in Newton. He attended the John M Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton as a kid. He played basketball, floor hockey and was a member of the Keystone Club. After graduating from Newton North in 2018, he joined the staff as Program Aide. Later, he was promoted to Social Rec Coordinator where he oversaw the games room, including foosball, pool, air hockey, and board games. Now Kyler is the Curiosity Club Program Assistant and is fully certified by EEC. He likes to give back to the Boys & Girls Club because the staff and programs had such a large impact on him growing up. When he’s not working, Kyler likes to play video games (NBA 2K20 and Call of Duty) and basketball. Oh, and the kids call him Taco!
Curiosity Club Assistant
Jordan Kithcart has 7 years of experience working for the Club. He began his journey as a consistent member his senior year of high school. That same year of 2013, he became the first member of the John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club to ever place in the top four of the Massachusetts State Youth of the Year Competition. In 2014, Jordan won the Judge Julian Yesley Young Adult Award in which “recognizes a young adult between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five who has made a significant contribution through service to or involvement with the young people of Newton”. Jordan is also a Recruiting Coordinator and Head coach for an AAU basketball program. He was able to coach his team to their first national tournament in 2019. He is part of a basketball training group called Boston Elite that has trained collegiate players from schools such as (Stanford, Princeton, Boston College, and more). Jordan received his U.S.A. Youth Development Coaching license in 2017. Jordan takes great pride in being a mentor and a positive influence to Club members.
Steven Landry grew up at the Boys & Girls Clubs along with his siblings. He is a graduate of Newton North High School who brings great energy and talent to the gamesroom area. Steven is excellent at reading situations and drawing out feelings and emotions to get to the heart of what young people most need to feel calm, safe, and secure. He is off to a great start in his career as a Youth Development Professional.
Social Recreation Coordinator
Megan Lemmon joined the Boys & Girls Club as the Curiosity Club Director in 2018 Megan has a degree in Secondary Mathematics education and has worked in Licensed School Age programs for the past 10 years. She moved to Newton with her husband and 2 year old son from Long Island, NY. Originally from the Midwest, Megan and her family have enjoyed living on the East Coast the past few years. Some of Megan’s interests include spending time with her family, logic puzzles, and organizing. Megan brings a positive attitude and boundless energy to every project and her creativity is second to none! Under her leadership the size of the Curiosity Club program has more than doubled.
Curiosity Club Director
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Kayla Novellino arrives to the Club having earned a Master of Science in Education degree from Simmons University along with a Bachelors degree in Educational Studies and Visual Arts from Wheelock College and a minor in Understanding Autism. She has been teaching since 2017 and has spent time at the Bridge Boston Charter School, the New England Center for Children and the Ivy Street School. She was also a Summer Camp Counselor at the Boys & Girls Club of Warwick. Kayla enjoys Painting, Drawing, and Photography and is also a highly decorated Girl Scout.
Learning Center Director
Having grown up in Nonantum, Brian Proia is now a student at Minuteman Regional High School pursuing a career in the trades. A member of the Club since 2009, Brian has been a model Boys & Girls Club participant. He is polite, kind and always willing to help out whenever he is asked. He is also the type of person who doesn’t wait to be asked! Say hi to Brian when you visit the Club’s lobby during drop off and pick up.
Front Desk Assistant
Jordan Van Savage is a Newton-based photographer and artist with a passion for exploring the different ways art can influence communities. While growing up in Brunswick, Maine with her family, she was always creating some type of art, whether it was photography, writing, painting, or drawing. She was greatly inspired by nature and the close-knit community that created her town. Throughout her time in Maine, she brought her interests in the arts to mentoring programs at the organization Big Brothers Big Sisters, and taught photography to children at Camp Micah in Bridgton, ME. Jordan received her BFA in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2021, and studied abroad for a semester at Studio Art College International in Florence, Italy, where she volunteered at an art studio for neurodiverse artists, helping complete projects and teaching collage once a week. In Boston Jordan taught photography at the Pablove Shutterbugs Program and ran a workshop on photography and storytelling at the Youth Enrichment Services of Boston. She looks forward to helping kids find their creative confidence, discover new interests and to bring the art of the Boys and Girls Club of Newton out to the community. Outside of the Club, you’ll find Jordan enjoying hikes and traveling, spending time with her dog, and going to concerts.
Jordan Van Savage