About the Foundation
The Plymouth Education Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a 100% volunteer Board of Directors. The PEF’s Board shares a vision for education excellence and supports lifelong learning in Plymouth.
The PEF solicits, manages, and distributes funds for educational purposes and activities that the Plymouth Public Schools could not otherwise afford. The distributed funds align with the Plymouth Public School’s strategic plan. Funding is supplemental and does not replace or alter use of tax-based revenues.
Founded in 2008 by a group of dedicated community volunteers, the PEF was created to support and enhance the education of all students and citizens in the Town of Plymouth.
The PEF has awarded over $200,000.00 in scholarships and educational programs.
Donations are gratefully received from individuals, corporations, grants, estates, memorials, other foundations, and fundraisers creating an endowment fund. The endowment fund allows the PEF to serve the community for years to come.
The PEF provides resources for Plymouth Public Schools and local partners, advancing education excellence and supporting lifelong learning for Plymouth’s students and citizens.
Shawn Costa, President
Shawn Costa is a Vice President and full time Realtor at COMPASS serving The South Shore and Cape Cod. His team office is located in historic downtown Plymouth. Prior to his real estate career Shawn had extensive non profit leadership experience, where he led capital campaigns for a number of local organizations.
Shawn has a B.A. in Business Administration from The George Washington University and an M.B.A. from Providence College. He is a lifelong Plymouth resident who was educated in the Plymouth Public school system. His wife Rebecca is a kindergarten teacher in the district and they have two sons Henry and William.
Daniel Gorczyca, Vice President
Daniel Gorczyca is a Vice President for the A.D. Makepeace Company, the world's largest cranberry grower and the largest private property owner in eastern Massachusetts. Mr. Gorczyca is currently responsible for the large mixed-use development project known as Redbrook, located in South Plymouth. He is responsible for managing and implementing the design, permitting, and construction of roadways, utilities, residential and commercial buildings. Dan also serves as a mentor to project staff, is a liaison to the marketing teams and builders, and is an integral part of the implementation of special events and festivals. Previously, Dan was a senior project engineer at VHB in Watertown, MA.
He is a lifelong resident of Plymouth. He is an elected Town Meeting member, serving in that capacity since 2017. Dan served on the Board of Directors of the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce from 2016 to 2019. Dan holds a BS in civil engineering technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology and was educated in the Plymouth Public School system. He still resides in Plymouth with his wife and four children, three of whom are currently enrolled in the Plymouth Public Schools; his youngest son is just three years old.
Catherine Lapsley, Treasurer
Catherine has a Bachelors of Science with a Concentration in Accounting from UMass Lowell and a Masters degree in Taxation from Northeastern University. She has over 16 years of experience guiding business owners and individuals through their accounting and tax reporting needs and helping them make good financial decisions. Prior to forming Condon & Lapsley LLC she ran her practice, M. Catherine Lapsley CPA, out of Quincy MA. Catherine is a member of the MA Society of Public Accountants and the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.
Catherine resides in Plymouth with her husband Julio and their daughter Evelyn.
Lauri Reid, Secretary
Lauri Reid is a lifelong resident of Plymouth, educated in the Plymouth Public School System. She was a three sport athlete, inducted into the Plymouth/Carver Athletic Hall of Fame. Lauri graduated from Bridgewater State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary, and Special Education. She received a Master’s Degree in Curriculum from Lesley College. Lauri’s daughter was also educated in the Plymouth Public Schools.
Lauri has taught at West Elementary School for 35 years and received a Teacher’s Award for Excellence in Inclusive Education from The Arc of Greater Plymouth. She also received an Inspiration Award from Plymouth Public Schools in recognition of her dedication and inspiration of the students and faculty. Lauri has been the Co-Director of Full Plates-Full Hearts, delivering food to Seniors in need for the past two years.
Robert C. Betters, Immediate Past President
Robert C. Betters was a conveyancing and land use attorney for more than forty (40) years, who’s now retired. Attorney Betters represented developers, businesses, and residential and commercial lenders in conveyancing, permitting, and lending matters in the Plymouth, Massachusetts area. He graduated cum laude from St. Anselm College in 1974, and earned his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in 1977. He is past President and current Director of the Plymouth Education Foundation, Inc., a past member of the Nye Scholarship Committee, a former Director of the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce, and a former Trustee of the Pilgrim Society.
Nancy A. Franks taught at Indian Brook Elementary School for thirty-two years before retiring in 2016. She wrote four resource books for educators; Math In A Bag, Flyer Away, Sold On Mathematics, and Time For A Rhyme. In 1997, Nancy traveled to Washington, DC to receive the Presidential Award For Excellence In Mathematics Teaching, the highest honor an educator may hope to achieve. She participated in a Fulbright Teacher Exchange in Brazil, and completed fellowships at the George Washington Teachers Institute, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, and the Henry Knox Museum.
Nancy is currently the K-12 Engagement Coordinator at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne. She also runs her own business, FRANKly Speaking. Nancy lives in Bourne with her husband Eben. She is the proud Nanny of four energetic granddaughters, Sienna, Emma, Juniper, and Zinnia.
Kathleen Babini taught middle school for 20 years and retired in 2017 after serving 17 years as the Social Studies Coordinator for the Plymouth Public Schools. She holds a B.A. in Sociology/Secondary Education from Stonehill College, a Master of Science in Public Affairs from the McCormick Institute at UMASS/Boston, a C.A.G.S. in Reading from Bridgewater State University and received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Northeastern University in 2013. Kathleen facilitated the Kids Voting Program and was fortunate to be a recipient of a Plymouth Educational Foundation Grant to fund that program. She was a member of the Plymouth 400th Board and developed lessons for the Class of 2020, which began when they were first graders and ended at graduation. Kathleen was also the founder of the Plymouth Public Schools Staff Back to School Food Drive on Opening Day. She was awarded the Lela Ray President’s Award for Outstanding Community Service in 2014 at the South Shore Community Action Council’s Local Heroes Award Night.
Kathleen is currently the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies and lives in Plymouth with her husband Michael. He is a life-long Plymouth resident and active in local government, in addition to, currently serving on the Board of Directors of BID-Plymouth. Their granddaughter is an elementary student and the 4th generation Babini in the Plymouth Public Schools.
Susan is a retired Plymouth Kindergarten teacher who, after retiring, continues to be involved with the Indian Brook Elementary School as a volunteer, substitute teacher, and member of the School Council. She is also a Town Meeting member and President of the Plymouth Retired Employees Association. Susan is excited to be part of the Plymouth Education Foundation and its vital mission of assisting the Plymouth Schools, its teachers, and its students in such a variety of ways.
Colleen Somich is the Head of Training America for Ruth Miskin Literacy Inc. She trains and coaches schools around the world to teach every child to read and write with Read Write Inc. Colleen began her career as a first-grade teacher in Saint Louis, MO. Teach For America recognized her teaching with a national finalist Sue Lehmann Award. She continued teaching and leading in Brooklyn, NY and London, England. From 2017-2021 Colleen was an Adjunct Professor at New York University Steinhardt Graduate School, teaching Facilitating School Literacy Reform.
Plymouth is Colleen’s hometown where she attended Plymouth Public Schools. She received her undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University in North Carolina and Masters in Elementary Education from University of Missouri – Saint Louis. In 2020, Colleen returned to Plymouth with her husband, Phil, and their dog, Lincoln. Colleen is excited to support lifelong education in Plymouth.