Student at Groton Dunstable Regional High School
Ben is a junior at Groton Dunstable Regional High School. He is an accomplished athlete in baseball and as the goalie for the varsity hockey team. Ben was selected as Unsung Hero for his role as Best Buddy in Massachusetts to Freddie Yuasa. The Best Buddies is a volunteer program dedicated to creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated activities and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Psychologist and educational consultant
Christopher Willard, Psy. D. is a psychologist and educational consultant based in Boston specializing in mindfulness. He has been practicing mindfulness for over 15 years, and leads workshops internationally on the topic of mindfulness with young people. He currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and the Mindfulness in Education Network. His thoughts on mental health have been featured in The New York Times, cnn.com, and elsewhere. Dr. Willard is the author of Child’s Mind (2010) Growing Up Mindful (2016) and three other books. He teaches at Harvard Medical School. When not working, he enjoys time with family, travel, cooking, eating, reading, writing, hiking and any combination of these he can manage.
Retired English Teacher
Deborah B. Shapiro has been a high school English teacher for the past 20 years, known for using kindness and creativity to engage and inspire her students. She introduced positive psychology to students, notably through her Principles of Positive Psychology in Literature course for high school seniors, and continues to teach workshops on positive psychology to teachers and school counselors. Most recently, Deborah has begun writing on the subject of surrender as a path for better living. Deborah holds a M.Ed. in English Language Arts Education from Rutgers University and a Certificate in Positive Psychology from the Wholebeing Institute, co-founded by Tal Ben-Shahar. As a lifelong learner with three daughters, she is continually inspired to learn and grow.
Jacob is a junior at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School and is a member of the cross country and track and field teams. Outside of school, Jacob enjoys hiking, fishing, and photography. Over the past couple years, he has gained a passion for addressing the problem of environmental sustainability. In 2015, he attended the Global Student Leaders Summit in Costa Rica, and is an active member in his school’s Environmental Club. Jacob is currently working with his fellow club members to refine the recycling system at his school and reduce waste.
Associate Professor in Computer Science
Jay McCarthy is an associate professor at UMass Lowell and was an
assistant professor at Brigham Young University, both in Computer
Science departments. He is a member of the PLT research group and
works on the Racket programming language. He completed a PhD at Brown
University in the Computer Science Department under Shriram
Krishnamurthi as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. He did his BS at
UMass Lowell studying Mathematics, Computer Science, and a minor in
Economics. He is passionate about computer science education &
diversity, formal verification, programming language expressiveness,
and his three adorable kids. He is a Dunstable native and GDRHS alum.
Designer and business owner
Navneet Magon Anand is a researcher, designer, artist and founder of Design Veritas, a design advocacy for global social and sustainable betterment. The foundation of her work is to empower people though education, awareness, design & creativity. She has an architecture and LEED background and holds an MBA in Green Building & Sustainability. She is currently working on bringing positive impact into disadvantaged and low income neighborhoods, bringing CSR, Sustainability & Wellness into organizations and creating programs of empowerment & creativity through her Conscious Philosophy and Global Standard of Design. She is also an artist and author with a book titled 'Conscious Art, Design & Inspiration...Creating Change. Her Art Collection 'The Art of Conscious Living' is about celebrating the ordinary into the extraordinary - being mindful of everyday things & experiences.