John R. Connolly is the Co-Founder and Executive Director at 1647. John is responsible for implementing 1647’s strategic vision. His work includes recruiting school and community partners, managing external relations, and fundraising.
Prior to co-founding 1647, John served as a Boston City Councilor At-Large from 2008-2014. As a city councilor, John spent four years as Chair of the Committee on Education and oversaw the annual review of the Boston Public Schools’ budget. As Chair, John focused his work on empowering family and parent voice to impact decision-making at the Boston Public Schools. John held first-of-its-kind hearings to get parent and family testimony on school quality. He conducted forty multi-lingual listening sessions with families from every neighborhood in Boston and led efforts to extend Boston’s school day, increase programming for English language learning students, and fully staff social and emotional support services in Boston schools. In 2010, John exposed the serving of expired food to Boston school children, which led to reform of the Boston Public Schools’ food services department.
From 1995-1998, John was a middle school teacher at the Nativity Mission School, which served low income Latino boys living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and then at the Boston Renaissance Charter School, where he also coached the school’s first girls' basketball team. From 2001 - 2007, John worked as an attorney at Ropes & Gray LLP and Hanify & King P.C.
John and Meg Kassakian Connolly live in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston where they are raising their three children, two of whom attend the Trotter School, a Boston Public School located in Roxbury, MA.
John serves on the boards of FUEL Education, a Boston based non-profit focused on helping families in poverty save for college, and the National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington D.C.-based think tank focused on research and advocacy related to teacher quality and teacher effectiveness.
Ann M. Walsh is the Co- Founder and Chief of Family Engagement at 1647, responsible for establishing and overseeing school partnerships. Before the launch of 1647, Ann was Chief of Staff to former Boston City Councilor John Connolly during his time as Chair of the Education Committee. She served as a liaison for families in Boston, organizing community gatherings and City Council hearings to address their concerns that included student assignment and transportation, ELL and Special Education services, and Social-Emotional and Mental Health services.
Before her time at City Hall, Ann had twenty years of experience in education and youth development at various organizations on the East Coast. She worked with children ages 7-17 and their families and teachers through classroom-based and enrichment programs. These included LEAP in New Haven, the West End House Boys & Girls Club and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship in Boston, and the Close Up Foundation and the Student Conservation Association in Washington, DC. She has also provided independent consulting to various education organizations in Boston, including Countdown to Kindergarten, the Mayor’s Office, the Boston Teacher Residency, and district and charter schools engaged in projects with the Boston Compact initiative.
Ann earned an undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from Quinnipiac University and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ann is the chair of the governing board of the Lee Academy Pilot School, a Boston Public School in Dorchester, where she lives with her husband, Jonathan Ablett, their two daughters, and Scout the dog.
Elizabeth Canada is 1647’s Director of Coaching. Elizabeth is responsible for coaching and supporting school leaders and teachers in their family engagement practices.
Prior to working at 1647, Elizabeth worked for the Denver Scholarship Foundation as a College Advisor and the Assistant Director of College Access. She collaborated on projects for the annual FAFSA Workshops, Financial Aid Taskforce, and Denver Public Schools’ Summer Melt program, all while managing her own Future Center at North High School. Elizabeth has also taught English and literature at the high school, community college, and four-year private university levels.
This summer, Elizabeth was part of the Denver Urban Leaders Fellowship, working on the Criminal Justice Policy team for State Senator Mike Johnston. During her time in graduate school, she also worked as a Research Associate for the Harvard Kennedy School’s SLATE Initiative, as well as the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University.
Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Science in Education in Secondary Education English from Bloomsburg University, her Master of Arts in English at Seton Hall University, and her Master of Education in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She’s always looking for the opportunity to learn, though recognizes that her friends and family will not tolerate her pursuing any more Master’s degrees.
Glennys Sanchez is 1647’s Director of Research. Glennys is responsible for leading 1647’s research initiatives and overseeing the organization’s internal evaluation processes. Her work includes participating in the National Family Engagement Fellowship convened by the Flamboyan Foundation in D.C., implementing landscape assessments with partner schools, and tracking the impact of home visiting and other family engagement practices at our partner schools.
Glennys has devoted her professional career and personal journey to integrating the voices and participation of historically marginalized communities in different spaces ranging from nonprofit leadership, access to higher education, to community engagement research. In her adopted home of Lawrence, Massachusetts, Sánchez has infused her roles with a commitment to justice and empowerment. Prior to working at 1647, Glennys worked at Northern Essex Community College (NECC) worked as a Job Coach/Advisor to International Students at the Student Success Center. At NECC, Glennys also served as an advisor to the Hispanic Club “Tertulias.” As a publicly engaged scholar, Glennys’ research focuses on health disparities, educational inequalities, food injustice, and social justice issues affecting the Dominican immigrant community in Greater Boston. She currently serves as a Scholar for the Mass Humanities funded Photos de Nosotros initiative, a youth-led creative writing and photography community development project that seeks to highlight Lawrencians through photography and creative writing.
Glennys received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a Master of Education in Community Engagement from Merrimack College. Glennys serves as the president of the Bread and Roses Heritage Committee, a labor & social justice festival in Lawrence, MA. She also serves on the advisory board of Groundwork Lawrence and the Lawrence International Book Fair. She is an Adjunct Lecturer at Merrimack College in the Social Justice Program. Glennys lives in Lawrence with her husband and three children.
1647 provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. In addition to federal law requirements, 1647 complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.