Mariposa Education is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization


2024-2025 Board

(indicating Officers, Committee Chairs, and the company or organizational affiliation of board members)


The Learn Academy (a Division of Learn Behavioral) - President

Board Chair

Don Scheeler serves as the President of Learn Academy, a division within Learn Behavioral. Don has over 30 years of Finance, Human Resource, Operations, and M&A experience. In
2012, Don helped the establishment of Learn Behavioral's special needs division, which has since become one of the largest providers of autism and behavioral health services in the country.

Prior to his tenure at Learn Behavioral, he served as the General Manager at the post-secondary start-up, 2U, and dedicated 15 years to the Sylvan/Catapult education family of companies. His final role with them was as the President and CEO of Progressus Therapy LLC. Don holds two business degrees from the University of Maryland and earned his Masters from The Johns Hopkins University. He currently serves as the Chair of the University System of Maryland Foundation board.

Outside of his dedication to underserved communities in education, Don's top priority is his family. He resides in Towson with his wife, Laura, and stays actively engaged with his two children, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.


Plank DiCarlo Family Foundation - Founder


Dana DiCarlo was born in Baltimore, but raised in North-West New Jersey (Hackettstown–where they make M&Ms and the morning air smells of chocolate and roasting peanuts). Dana walked to Hackettstown public schools until she went to Smith College, where she majored in Economics, with a minor in Cognitive Science (BA 1988). Directly after college, Dana attended Cornell Law School (JD 1991).

She practiced Environmental Insurance Litigation in Washington, D.C., at Anderson Kill Olick & Oshinsky until they merged with Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky in 1996. After the birth of her daughter Eve in 1999, Dana repositioned herself as the attorney recruiter for that same firm until she retired in 2004 to be a “never-at-home mother” in Baltimore. 

The DM DiCarlo and JS Plank Family Foundation have had a deep impact on Baltimore through major financial and personal support for the Waldorf School of Baltimore, the Children’s Chorus of Maryland, the Baltimore School for the Arts, Guilford Elementary, Francis Scott Key Middle School, the Port Discovery Children’s Museum and Baltimore City Public schools, having remodeled portions of the Guilford Elementary School (2012) and The Francis Scott Key Elementary Middle School (2013).


Governor Wes Moore - Secretary of Appointments 


For 20-plus years Tisha Edwards has combined the reach of public service and agility of the private sector to ensure all families have access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed. Across government and corporate leadership roles, she has fused public policy, programmatic innovation and community engagement to remove the racial inequities that historically have prevented Black and Brown families—and youth in particular—from fulfilling their potential.

In roles spanning interim CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Baltimore, President of BridgeEdu and Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success, Edwards has grown organizations, restructured systems for maximum impact and managed multi-million-dollar budgets.

In fall 2021, she left City Hall to serve as Chief of Staff to the Maryland gubernatorial campaign of Wes Moore, who ran on a pledge to ensure an equal opportunity at success for all Maryland families. After winning the election, Governor Moore named Edwards his Secretary of Appointments and she now leads the work of making appointments to Maryland’s 600 boards and commissions—all while advancing the Moore-Miller Administration’s mandate to expand representativeness in state government and to leave no one in Maryland behind.


Mpolo Business Solutions - Founder

Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships for the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund - Vice President


Kieta Mpolo Iriarte-Amin is a passionate advocate for minorities and women in business. Kieta earned her M.A. in Nonprofit Management and Women’s Studies from Towson University. Kieta also holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University. She founded Mpolo Business Solutions in 2012 to provide technical assistance, grant and project management consultation to women entrepreneurs, educators, schools and nonprofit organizations in Baltimore. 

Through this venture, Kieta has managed and reported on over $300 million in federal and state grants and has supported about 50 nonprofits and 25 schools in Baltimore City.

Before founding Mpolo Business Solutions, Kieta worked as a grant manager at Baltimore City Public Schools for five years. She is also a co-founder of BMore Empowered, an initiative that teaches girls of color aged 10 through 16 business management and self-care.


Loyola University Maryland - Professor, Teacher Education


Joshua Smith earned his Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Methodology in 2002 at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He was Dean of the School of Education at Loyola University Maryland from 2012-2021 and is now Professor in the Educational Leadership program.

Josh recently spent two years serving as Visiting Professor at National Chengchi University in Taiwan teaching courses in international higher education and design thinking. His research examines educational transitions including the transition from middle school to high school and the transition from high school to college.

He partners with schools and community-based organizations to design, implement, and evaluate educational programs to
improve student engagement and organizational effectiveness.

He lives in Roger’s Forge with his wife Wendy Chia-Smith. They have two sons, Elvis (24) and Presley (20).


Mariposa Education - President and Chief Academic Officer


Dr. Anne Townsend, a dedicated social-emotional scientist for 25+ years, received her master's degree in counseling psycology from Towson University, and her Ph.d in Family Science from the University of Maryland. As a master's student at Towson University, Dr. Townsend focused on sports psychology, exploring how coaches impact the performance of their players. That's when she met one of her greatest mentors, Louise Guerney, Ph.D., who is a pioneer in relationship psychology. Dr. Guerney revolutionized Dr. Townsend's approach to counseling and taught her the skills that anchor Mariposa's approach today:

Instead of training children or counselors, Dr. Guerney trained parents to manage their child's behavior by creating more substantive parent-child relationships rather than relying on rewards and punishment. 

As a result, Dr. Townsend's doctoral research shifted from coaches and players to adult caregivers and their children in family and educational systems. It focused on the impact of various parenting and teaching behaviors on early childhood development and academic achievement.  Eventually, with Dr. Guerney’s support, Dr. Townsend grew the developmental program she'd established into Mariposa Education. 

Dr. Townsend resides in Roland Park with her husband Matt. She has two children, Skyler and Sophia, and two step-children, Axel and Rocco.


Mariposa Education; Roland Park Country School (RPCS) Alumnae Board


Susan Townsend, a retired psychologist for 25+ years and Mariposa Education founder, received her BS in Biology and Education from Mary Baldwin College, and after moved on to achieve her MA in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University. Dr. Townsend received her Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. 

Dr. Townsend's doctoral research examined the link between Anger, Hostility and Coronary Artery Disease. One interesting finding: spouses were able to predict levels of anger and hostility on paper and pencil questionnaires in each other significantly better than in themselves. 

Before founding Mariposa Education with Anne, Dr. Townsend worked as a psychologist in private practice, taught Biology and Algebra I & II, and ran a non-profit organization dedicated to relationship education, leading workshops in relationship enhancement. 

Dr. Townsend resides in Maryland. She served on the St. Paul's School for Girls Board of Trustees for six years, and currently serves on the Roland Park Country School Alumni Board.