119 Cross Point Road, Edgecomb, Maine 04556
(207) 882-9706

Board of Directors

The Center for Teaching and Learning is a non-profit, independent school governed by a Board of Directors.

Maureen Barbieri, Co-President   
Maureen was a middle school teacher whose work was dramatically influenced by Nancie Atwell’s first book In the Middle and by Nancie’s subsequent articles, books, and presentations. Nancie invited her to CTL in its early days, and many times over the years, so she developed a deep appreciation for the pedagogy, school culture, and commitment to excellence the whole school community embodies. A faculty member at NYU and UNH for many years, she is now at Stenhouse Publishers, editing books by and for teachers. She lives in Kittery, ME and is grateful to be a part of the CTL family.


Pia Neilson, Co-President
Originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, Pia moved in 1983 to the US and in 2000 to Arrowsic, Maine, where she lives with her husband Will. She is a retired entrepreneur and also a Commissioner of the Bath Housing Authority.  Her youngest, Amelia, graduated from CTL in 2009 after nine wonderful years. Coming back to CTL after a decade away, Pia is impressed and gratified to see the same joyful engagement on the part of today’s students, faculty, and parents that she experienced twenty years prior, and she is delighted to help sustain that experience for generations of children and parents to come. 


Sarah S. Matel, Treasurer
Sarah returned to her childhood village of Round Pond, Maine with her husband Jim in 2006 to raise their family. She continued her banking career, which includes more than 30 years in commercial lending and credit management. Sarah is currently Vice President, Commercial Credit & Collections for Bath Savings Institution. She also spent three years working with Coastal Enterprises, a Maine Community Development Finance Institution, and several years on the Board of Directors of the Rising Tide Community Coop in Damariscotta. Both Sarah’s boys attended CTL; her youngest, Teddy, graduated in 2014. She sees the values and learning gleaned from so many years at CTL demonstrated in the way both her sons engage with others and the world around them.


Anne Atwell Merkel, Clerk
Anne has been CTL’s teacher of grades 7-8 writing, reading, and history since 2013 and is a member of the Class of 2000. With her mother, Nancie Atwell, she is a co-author of The Reading Zone, Second Edition: How to Help Kids Become Skilled, Passionate, Habitual, Critical Readers, based on their work with readers at CTL. One of Anne’s earliest memories is standing with her mom, at sunset, on the land on Cross Point Road that would become home to, so far, thirty years’ worth of writers, readers, mathematicians, historians, scientists, and artists. She has considered it her own second home ever since. 


Joshua Manahan
Josh is parent to Kelly, who began his CTL career as a kindergartener in 2016. Josh has lived in Alna with his wife Abby since 2004. Although spending much of his time building and selling painting supports as well as cutting boards for midcoast artists through The nEAT Kitchen, the practice of reading and writing remains an important outlet for him. Josh regularly regrets being too embarrassed to ask for help with math when he was a student. He is honored to be able to share his perspective as CTL strives to honor and learn from its past, while charting an exciting future.


Robert Russell
Rob is parent to Aelia ’20 and Sawyer ’23. He lives in East Boothbay with his wife Elizabeth Kaser. Rob works as a marine biologist for the Maine Department of Marine Resources and chairs the CTL Facilities Committee.






Lizbeth (Liz) Allen Hall 
Liz moved to Maine from California after her parents retired to Boothbay in 1994. She worked at St. Andrews Hospital as part of the team to develop St. Andrews Village Retirement Community. After Emma was born, she joined her husband Mike at Hall Funeral Homes where they are privileged to serve their community at their most difficult moments in life. Liz has served on the board of the American Red Cross, on the strategic planning committee of Mobius, and also works to support Karl’s Kids, an organization her husband founded. Liz and Mike are proud parents of CTL graduate, Emma ’16. Liz’s favorite CTL tradition was attending morning meeting, a highlight of her day! She and Mike fondly remember waking up at 4am to watch Nancie Atwell win the Global Teacher Prize. a well-deserved honor.

Katy Papagiannis
Katy’s children, Gigi, class of 2023 and Ryo, class of 2026, have attended CTL since kindergarten and she feels grateful every day for the opportunity to share the joy that both children have found at CTL: Gigi’s dedication to reading, writing, art, and math and Ryo’s adventures with all his school subjects and recess. Katy is a graphic designer in the marketing department of the MIT Press, working remotely from Maine since 2008. She hopes to bring her experience with visual and marketing communications to help share CTL”s mission with the local and broader community.

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