Board Member | Co-Treasurer
I was a Financial Advisor for over 15 years and working on a new entrepreneurial venture, former Treasurer for Rotary Club of Chelsea, and former Budget & Allocation Committee Chair for Chelsea United Way
I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Certification 2013 and have an M.S.W., The University of Michigan, 2003 and a B.A., Miami University, 1995
My passions include: learning, community, the environment and beekeeping. I have been on the Board for a year and a half and have participated in the Scholarship Committee both in 2018 and 2019.
I enjoy reading the essays and selecting scholarship recipients along with the other Committee members. I hope to become involved in the Grants Committee this coming year to learn more about the grant side of how CEF supports our community. Being on the CEF Board has given me the opportunity to work with some amazing people in our community, people who have a passion for making Chelsea a great community in which to live, learn and grow and to provide optimal support and resources for our teachers and youth.
For the past four years, I have served as the director of the Chelsea District (CDL). At CDL, I have led a team of innovative, dedicated staff to execute the library’s mission to engage, inspire, and equip through evolving services and resources. Under my guidance, the library has worked with the community to create and implement a three-year strategic plan focusing on outreach; equitable access to information, materials, and resources; and inclusion. I see the library as the hub of the community – a place where people are educated, enlightened, and entertained.
Before coming to Chelsea, I spent 18 plus years in various roles at the Ypsilanti District Library. I received a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan. Before working in public libraries, I worked for several years at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C, as an assistant in the Office of Cultural Diversity and the Children’s Theatre Lab and as a school media specialist in Fairfax County, Virginia.
My passions include my family, music, and surprise --- books! I am still learning the ropes at CEF, but I do love sharing and being part of such gifted, creative, and dedicated fellow board members. I love being part of an organization that does so much good. CEF brings such value to the community in tangible, sometimes immediate ways.
Board Member | President
I managed book inventory and external mail order for Bookcrafters/Sheridan Books. I designed computer manuals for Peoplesoft systems, managed contracts, services and billing for international book sales. I informed local community organizations about the original Library Bond and Millage and have managed successful grant funding for a variety of Chelsea area organizations.
I have a BA: Psychology and Behavioral Science; Social Sciences and Elementary Education, and an MA: Early Childhood Education and have experience in Grant Writing
I have a passion for education and access to information for everyone, giving people a hand up in order to better the community. I love making the resources we have at CEF grow to provide the best educational experiences for the students in the Chelsea School District. I love the passion of the current Board - committed to expanding the organization, its funding resources and its future in the community.
I am Principal at North Creek Elementary, Chelsea, and have been an elementary educator, Region 2 Treasurer for Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principal’s Association and Speech-Language Pathologist
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Speech-Language Pathology, Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology, Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Specialty Endorsement: Leadership Matters Program
My passions include being an advocate for students, teachers and families. Early childhood and early literacy have been the focus of most of my career. Being part of CEF has helped me develop relationships with community members outside the school who collaborate with us to support our students and staff on a regular basis.
One of the things I love about CEF is that it exemplifies one of the many ways the Chelsea community shows their support for our students, teachers and schools. It is a group of dedicated volunteers who are committed to our vision and mission to support our students socially, emotionally and academically. One of my favorite things about CEF is that they are a forward thinking group who truly care about our kids.
Our staff and students are truly grateful for the support of the Chelsea Education Foundation.
Julie D. Helber, Ed.D.
Board Member | Nonvoting member representing the school
I have been the Chelsea High School Superintendent since 2016. I was a Lecturer at the University of Michigan’s School of Education Masters Program. I was Region 8 President of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, I am currently a Board member of the Chelsea Area of Chamber of Commerce and an active member of Chelsea Rotary
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with a Graduate Teaching Certificate, Master’s Degree in K-12 Curriculum Development, Education Specialist in Education Leadership and a Doctorate in Education Leadership
I am passionate about providing quality academic, social, and emotional opportunities for our youth. I love the collaborative relationship with CEF, they are an integral member of the Chelsea School District Team.
Joe Piasecki, late Chelsea School District superintendent founded CEF. I am proud to be involved in maintaining the relationship he developed so long ago with CEF and to support the vision he had for this foundation.
Board Member | Co-Treasurer
I joined the CEF board in 2018 and am on the scholarship committee. I was a Treasurer (2 Years) for the Panther Cubs PTO in Stockbridge, MI
I have a B.S.B.A. Business Administration (Finance Major, Economics Minor) from the University of Florida
I worked for Borders Books as a Senior Financial Analyst for 8 years where I worked in the International Inventory Control department, which covered stores in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.
My passions include my son (a 4th grader in South Meadows Elementary), Taekwondo: I am a 1st-degree black belt and a 1st level instructor for the ATA; horseback riding and Music. I love being a part of the scholarship committee helping to decide which deserving CHS students and graduates can get financial assistance with scholarship money.
I love being able to work with the passionate, outstanding CEF board members.
We all have a common purpose to improve things and provide opportunities for the students in the Chelsea School District.
Board Member | Secretary
I served on the Strategic Planning Committee for Purdue Musical Organizations. While in college I was the chair for the Purdue Cancer Benefit and worked in Dauch Alumni Center’s development office. Other work experience includes Wedding planning, budgeting, food service management, human resources, and fifteen years of experience in the hospitality industry prior to becoming a Stay-at-
Home-Mom. I have three fun-loving and enthusiastic children. Currently, I work part-time as a Group Exercise instructor for Power Wellness at the Chelsea, Dexter, and Stockbridge Wellness Centers. I serve on the Chelsea Soccer Club Board and the Heritage Pointe of Chelsea Board.
I graduated with Highest Honors from Purdue University, with a Major in Hospitality and Tourism Management and Minors in Food Service and Spanish. I am a Certified Spinning® Instructor and NETA Instructor
I am passionate about Children, Education, Cycling, Strength Training, Reading, Sewing, Knitting, Grilling, Baking, and Music
I joined CEF this summer and am currently Secretary. I anticipate that I will love planning the Gala and fundraising! I’m really excited to work with our board in my role to support teachers and students. I attended the Gala last year as a guest. I love this swanky experience for our donors!
I have been a part of the Chelsea Education Foundation Board since 2018 and am a member of the Marketing Committee. I am the Pastor at Main Street Church in Chelsea and have been in that role since 2015. I bring my skills in public speaking, marketing, team building and familiarity with organizational structure and practices of running a non-profit to my role at CEF. My community involvement includes volunteering a team from Main Street church to support the Sounds & Sights Festival volunteers’ dinner, SRSLY, District Improvement Team member, and “Lights Out” at the HomeTown Holiday Event.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree from Grace College with a major in communications and minors in business and student ministries; I have a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University.
My passions include my family, the Main Street Church, engaging in community events, Kayaking, and cooking. At CEF I love communicating the impactful story that we have and will make in the lives of individuals in the school district. We provide the school system with an extra boost by enabling students to learn from the trips they take in middle school.
I am Principal of the Chelsea High School and have been on the Chelsea United Way Board Trustee since 2015 and President 2016-2018. I am skilled and experienced in Professional Development planning & facilitation and community outreach.
I have a B.A. in History & Political Science, and a B.A. in English, Language & Literature from Eastern Michigan University. I have an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Wayne State University.
I have always enjoyed being civically involved both in my profession as well as with outside groups such as the Chelsea United Way (and now) CEF. As this will be my first year officially being a part of CEF, I am most looking forward to working with the other members of the team to help support our fundraising initiatives so in turn, we can continue our strong tradition of supporting students, teachers and the Chelsea School District.
My favorite things about CEF are the annual Gala which is a great fundraising activity and as the principal of the high school, I have been able to witness the benefits of the fundraising in the form of grants for my staff and scholarships for my students.
I have served on the Chelsea Education Board for one year and am a member of the Grants Committee. I work for RICOH as a Director of Service Programs. My responsibilities include leading a national team to drive business development, technology and growth.
During my (5) years in Chelsea I have been active in Scouting and have held several leadership roles, including Den Leader, Committee Chair and Cubmaster. I am a proud member of the Monitor Base Ball Club of Chelsea, MI (vintage baseball)
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in History, an MBA with a focus in Entrepreneurial Management and am a Veteran, U.S. Army Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps.
I am passionate about driving both grants and scholarships, working with teachers to develop new and creative learning opportunities for our students. I see the amount of time and effort our teachers and parents dedicate to new learning opportunities for our students. I am so impressed with my fellow board members! This is such a highly skilled and dedicated team of parents, educators, community supporters and leaders.
I have been on the CEF board and marketing chair since 2017, Gala Chair and Gala Committee, coordinator for the 2019 South Meadows fundraiser. Increasing CEF’s fundraising levels has been extraordinarily rewarding.
I have a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from Central Michigan University, a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio and have a Certificate of Clinical Competence – Speech-Language Pathology and am a Certified Brain Injury Specialist
My passions include my family, running, baking, cooking, reading, sports, parties, neurology and learning. At CEF I love developing and promoting the brand – exciting to see how it has grown over the past two years. I love planning events and interfacing with the community. I also appreciate working with a great set of working volunteers who are committed to developing the foundation for years to come. It is exciting to see how the monies raised directly benefit the schools and programs in the schools, providing an ability to expand opportunities for students in the district and experiences that foster learning and spark interests
Megan Smith, PhD
Board Member| Vice President
I have served on the Chelsea Education Board for 2 years. I have chaired the Scholarship Committee both years and organized the auction items for the Gala Committee.
After receiving a Doctorate in Physics, I taught General Physics and the Physics of Music and Sound at the University of Toledo. I have also worked as a clinical Medical Physicist at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in the Radiation Oncology Department. I worked as a researcher at Henry Ford hospital as well. My undergraduate degree is in Communication. I interned in Dundee, Scotland for Claverhouse Group in the marketing division. I later returned to the US and worked for Owens Corning in Toledo, Ohio on the Cross Border Team.
My passions are my family! I made the very difficult decision to leave my professional career to raise our four kids and love spending time with them. I love to travel and briefly lived in France and am fluent in French. I hiked through Italy and have even gone on safari in Tanzania. I love discovery and learning, I like to figure out how things work, or how they are made. I believe being curious makes life interesting. There’s a lot of beauty in our world.
At CEF, I love that we can help the school district realize innovative new ideas by supporting our teachers through grants. I love that we can help our students become innovators by supporting them with scholarships! What we do matters on an individual level. Each student has value. A previous scholarship recipient came to the Gala in March and made a significant contribution. I was touched to know what an impact that scholarship made on that individual.
Professionally I am a retired social work educator, author, and researcher and the lead author of a child welfare textbook. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea, West Africa, where I taught English as a foreign language from 1963-65. I was an editor, researcher, and program evaluator at the Regional Research Institute for Human Services, Portland State University, from 1975 to1980; and on the faculty of the School of Social Work at Wayne State University in Detroit from 1984 to 2002 as Associate Dean and also Chair of the Concentration for Children and Families.
My education includes a B.A English Literature at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon; M.A. English Literature, University of Oregon; M.S.W. Washington University in St. Louis; and a Ph.D. Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis
My passion is creating environments in which children can flourish and develop their potentialities. My hobbies include reading (I love hanging out at our library), needlework, memoir writing, travel, exercise programs such as pilates and gyrotonics, and playing the piano (sort of).
I have been chair of the Grants Committee for the past two years. It is a joy to read the plans and proposals of our talented teachers, who are inspired to bring additional learning opportunities into the classroom or take their students on field trips to experience museums and other educational venues. I am grateful to the community and our talented fundraisers on the Board who make possible the funding of these grant proposals.
I was born in Portland, Oregon during the early years of World War II, and spent the 1950s growing up in a diverse neighborhood in Portland and enjoying the outdoor recreational opportunities of the Pacific Northwest. My career as an adult took me to St. Louis and Detroit, and now, in retirement, to Chelsea. I have two children, Shelley Brenner and Guy Downs, and four grandchildren, all of whom live in the area. I am married to Dr. Larry Ledebur, a retired Emeritus Professor of Urban Economics, who is currently Chair of the Chelsea Planning Commission. We love the rich community environment that Chelsea offers to our family members of all ages.