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Mary Ellen BAVARO

Founder, Head Tutor, and Consultant at College Connections

Plymouth, MA


Highly skilled communicator and manager with 22 years of experience in education reform and public policy and functional expertise in communications, public relations, marketing, events, and fundraising. Exceptionally skilled at: strategic planning and positioning of organizations for maximum visibility and results; developing and maintaining strong relationships with boards of directors, funders, partner organizations, volunteers, constituents, and the media; writing, editing, and public speaking; and public relations. Seeking a position in which I can apply my experience as a communications director in the non-profit sector working on education reform issues and in having designed, operated, and marketed my own educational small business on the South Shore of Massachusetts.

Work Experience

Founder, Head Tutor, and Consultant

College Connections
Plymouth, MA

2003 to Present

Designed, market and implement independent business providing tutoring to students in grades 3-12, with a focus on math, study skills, and SAT preparation. Assist students with all aspects of the private high school and college application processes, including conducting background research on schools and creating students' lists of schools to which they apply, helping students write essays and complete applications, creating students' "bragsheets" or first resumes to accompany and strengthen their applications, and assisting parents with applying for financial aid and appealing their awards so as to maximize the amount of grants and scholarships received. Plan and facilitate study groups to improve students' study skills and Math skills. Assist adults with resume preparation and revision, career planning, and graduate school applications. 
Results to date: Have increased the scores of almost every client (by as much as 540 points); have helped clients gain acceptance to a range of private high schools and colleges; have helped clients maximize their financial aid awards substantially; have improved the math grades of several failing or at-risk-of-failing students; and have secured the majority of my clients through client referrals, word-of-mouth advertising, and small business networking.

Office of the President

University of Massachusetts
Boston, MA

2001 to 2001

Associate Director of Corporate Relations 
Worked with the Director of Corporate Relations to define and develop the corporate relations function on behalf of the President's Office and the five-campus University of Massachusetts system. Served as both account manager of existing corporate clients in Massachusetts, including the Natick Soldier Center and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, and production manager/editor of the "Economic Development In Brief" newsletter of the UMass President's Office and the marketing material for the corporate relations unit. Served as representative of the UMass President's Office with campus corporate relations staff and organizations in the Commonwealth's private, public, and non-profit sectors.

Executive Director

Digital Clubhouse Network
New York, NY

January 2000 to June 2000

Worked to "re-boot" this start-up, non-profit organization, located on Wall Street and headquartered in Silicon Valley, California that served as a community computer learning center with a mission of building community through technology so as to help all people cross the "digital divide."

Director of Communications

Jobs for the Future
Boston, MA

September 1989 to June 1999

Designed, implemented, and managed the communications function of this national, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the country's education and workforce development systems to ensure positive organizational image and positioning. In 1997, expanded the communications function to include the National Leadership Forum, the organization's annual conference for over 1,000 educators and practitioners from government, business, and the non-profit sector implementing school-to-career transition/work and learning programs, and served as Conference Director. As Conference Director, not only designed, managed, fundraised, and oversaw all aspects of the conference, but also worked to secure the participation of The White House in 1998 and helped write the videotape address made by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. 
Managed $1.6M of the organization's $6M budget, supervised six employees, and oversaw several PR firms, consultants, subcontracts, and the following functions: • organizational communications, marketing, and public relations; 
• information dissemination; 
• product development, sales, and marketing; 
• conference design and management; 
• marketing and public engagement campaigns; 
• fundraising; and 
• market research.

Community Relations Specialist

GE Capital Corporation
Stamford, CT

1999 to 1999

Managed the company's involvement in the field of education and the production of related communications materials, including the company's employee newsletters and Intranet site, which aimed to increase employee and customer engagement in the community relations function. Served as primary manager of and contact for the Kids To College Community Collaboration, a public-private partnership involving over 15 organizations in Stamford, CT and London, England which was funded by the GE Fund.

Communications Manager


1994 to 1994

Produced and disseminated policy reports and other information on school-to-work transition, including a video, which were designed to influence the development, passage, and signing of the federal School To Work Opportunities Act of 1994. Developed messages and organizational PR strategies on school-to-work for the national and education trade media, federal and state policymakers, and state and local practitioners. Secured coverage of JFF on NBC's "The Today Show" and National Public Radio, and in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, and several key trade publications.

Project Manager


1992 to 1994

Assistant to the President/Project Coordinator


1989 to 1992


Master of Education in Administration

Harvard University Graduate School of Education -
Cambridge, MA


Bachelor of Arts in Government

Cornell University -
Ithaca, NY