We’re so lucky at NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley to have a Board of Directors comprised of hardworking, committed team-players who work tirelessly at our mission of building affordable housing and enriching community life.
In this series, you’ll get to know the people behind the NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley Board.
Let’s get to know current board member, Michael Skeldon.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Michael Skeldon and I am a father, husband, and Superintendent of Beacon Charter Schools in Woonsocket. My family has lived in Burrillville since 2001 and I have worked in Woonsocket for the vast majority of my professional career.
My first professional position was at the Woonsocket Shelter Community Action Program (WSCAP) from 1994-1997. It was in that role that had my first experience with WNDC through our summer youth employment program. From 1995-1997, I served as Director of Employment and Training Programs for WSCAP/Family Resources Community Action (FRCA). I left RI to pursue a Master’s Degree in California. It was there that I met my wife Sonia. By 2001, we were married and ready to return home. I returned to FRCA (and continued strong ties to WNDC) and stayed there for three years. In 2004, I made the move to Beacon as a social studies teacher. That same year, our only child was born. I was promoted to Principal in 2011 and I earned my Doctorate in Education from Johnson & Wales in 2012. Beacon expanded to include a middle school, Founders Academy, in 2015. I am currently working on the development of the Beacon Charter Center for the Arts at the former First United Methodist Church in downtown Woonsocket.
How long have you served on the board?
I have served on the board since 2010. My seat was for a person from Burrillville, but I feel my role at Beacon is also important for my role on the board as the school is a key educational facility in Woonsocket where NWBRV’s Main Offices are located.
What inspired you to serve on the NWBRV board?
In my time at Beacon, our board members have often shared how rewarding they felt being on the board was. Anticipating that I would soon be taking on the leadership role at Beacon, I knew I needed to get more comfortable with working with a board. I felt that doing so as a board member in another organization would provide me some great context. Joe reached out to me, looking for a Burrillville resident to fill a vacant seat. I had a strong belief in the organization’s mission, so it was a no-brainer for me.
What would you like your friends and family to know about NWBRV?
NWBRV changes lives. I think sometimes folks get caught up on the impact that our projects have on communities. While that is important, I feel that the most powerful work that we do is in providing high quality, affordable housing options for families across the Blackstone Valley.
Can you share something that NWBRV has accomplished during your time on the board that you’re particularly proud of?
For almost thirty years, I have seen the impact NWBRV has had across the city of Woonsocket. I am truly proud and excited that this transformative work has expanded into rural areas, such as my hometown of Burrillville. These projects have revitalized neighborhoods or created them where none existed. The work shows that a) there is a need for such efforts and b) that these projects can fit within the character of the more rural areas.