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Executive Director

David Sellers, Jr.

As a youth at the Newton Boys & Girls Club David Sellers developed leadership skills and a management philosophy that focuses on honesty, clear expectations, teamwork, and accountability – qualities that were found in abundance in the gamesroom and on the gym floor at 101 Dalby Street. After being named Executive Director in 2008, David set about improving the image and level of professionalism of this venerable organization while rebuilding its fundraising engine from the ground up. Working with a talented staff and through the support of the Club’s dedicated Board of Directors, during his tenure the Annual Fund of the Club has more than doubled, Major Giving has increased 10 fold, and a permanent endowment was established to support the Club’s programming. David has embraced the use of technology through the establishment of a strong social media presence, implementation of online registration and outcomes measurement data collection systems, and through improvements made to the Club’s physical plant which save the Club thousands of dollars annually. He is proud of the high profile the Club maintains in the City of Newton when it comes to key issues effecting young people and gladly serves on the managing bodies of several key civic minded organizations including The Newton Partnership and Rotary Club of Newton. David has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Director of Development
Thomas Leavitt

Thomas (Tom) Leavitt is knowledgeable, personable, and a strong communicator who has direct experience managing major gift, planned giving, and capital campaigns. His recent roles include Director of Development and Capital Campaign for Camp Avoda Inc., Major Contributions Management at the Alliance Theatre of the Woodruff Arts Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, Director of Development and Communications with JOIN for Justice, and Director of Development for GLAD. He has increased fundraising levels everywhere he has worked and built several development programs from the ground up. Tom graduated magna cum laude from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where he was named a Commonwealth Scholar.



Director of Operations
Michael Finnegan

Michael began his career in childcare as a teacher and assistant director for Plowshares After-School Program based at Lincoln Eliot School in Nonantum.  He later became an out-of-school time specialist for licensed afterschool programs run by the Greater Boston YMCA , working out of their Roxbury location.  Last spring he served as the Club's chief consultant for the EEC licensing process of our newly launched Curiosity Club Program.  He most recently served as an Area Director for the Metrowest YMCA where he was in charge of multiple centers, ensuring that quality standards were met when it comes to needs assessments, the design of learning environments, instructor training, and evaluation.  Michael has a BA in Graphic Design from Notre Dame and an MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley University.  He has taught painting and enjoys creating digital and physical art.

Administrative Assistant

Dawn Proia is the Club’s longest tenured employee having devoted a little more than 10 years to helping the Club’s young people learn and grow.   She started as the Club’s Art Director in 2004 and she was named Kids Corp Director in 2007.  Serving in these dual roles, Dawn has brought increased structure to the Club experience of almost 200 members while continuing to foster creativity through a wide variety of artistic endeavors.  In addition to drama, chorus, beadwork, and pottery programs, she started the wildly successful Proud to Be Me Program in 2008 and currently serves as Volunteer Advisor to our Keystone Club.  Dawn has a Certificate for Child Development from Newton North High School and spent 9 years working for JoAnne’s Little Wonders Preschool prior to joining the Club’s Team.


Teen Director

Jarrad Carter

Jarrad Carter is a graduate of Newton North High School and Boys & Girls Club of Newton alum.  An outstanding athlete, Jarrad was well known for his exploits on the baseball diamond and the football field.  He went on to play baseball for the Boston Park League and to coach at Garden City Baseball Camps.  Prior to his current assignment, Jarrad served as a Pre-School Teacher and K-1 to Coordinator for Newton Community Service Centers for six years.




School Age Childcare Director

Dacia Samuels


Dacia has served most recently as a Summer Camp Director and School Age Site Director for the West Roxbury YMCA. She helped start their program at the George Conley Elementary School. She has 13 years of experience working with kids of all ages. Her philosophy for childcare is that all kids are capable of learning and of achieving success. A former track star with experience as a personal trainer, Dacia was a national NCAA qualifier in track and field in 2003 and the team MVP for Augustana College. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Physical Education while there and is working towards a masters degree in kinesiology from the University of Central Missouri.



Athletic Director


Carl Sjoberg has a BS in Science from the New England Conservatory of Music School and a BS in Business Management form Johnson and Wales University. Carl is currently completing his MS in Sports Management from Gonzaga University.




Social Recreation Director & Athletic Assistant

Jordan Kithcart

In 2013 Jordan Kithcart was the first member of the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club to ever place in the top three of the Massachusetts State Youth of the Year Competition.   Jordan studies at Mass Bay Community College and takes great pride in being a mentor and a positive influence to Club members




Program Aide

Ashley Proia







Girls Service Coordinator

Ayla Cook
Ayla Cook graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a BA in Women and Gender studies. She's previously worked as a Domestic Violence Advocate (DVA) in Nebraska and became a certified DVA in the state of Massachustetts in 2016. With her experience as Program Coordinator for a women's congregate and children services she plans to create a culture of empowerment, encouragement and excitement for the girls at BGC Newton.





Director of Education

Sam Watson
Sam has led a colorful career as an educator and education researcher in both traditional and non-traditional contexts. Beginning as a kayaking instructor at sixteen, he moved on to teaching climbing and camping skills, martial arts, social skills development for at-risk youth, leadership and social dynamics, and short form improv. In more traditional formats, he taught English Literature at an American High School before flying out to the Japanese countryside to teach ESL to all grades. His recent years have been devoted to researching social dynamics in learning environments, where he has led and co-led numerous studies across five countries. His mission: to close the gap between research data and what actually happens in learning environments, and have fun along the way. He likes to fill his free time with Very Nerdy board games, game design, movies, and wandering the woods. Sam has a B.S. in English Education, an M.S. in Educational Psychology, and is a doctoral candidate in Educational Psychology.