Who We Are

Who We

Our Pathway to Change

The Foundation supports lasting change in OKCPS that improves the quality of education for every student. Our three areas of strategic focus are how we seek to achieve our goals.

Board of Directors

  • Chair

    Claudia San Pedro
    SONIC, America’s Drive-In
  • Chair Elect

    R. Brent Hensley
  • Vice Chair

    Cristina F. McQuistion
    OGE Energy Corp.
  • Treasurer

    Bryan Coleman
    PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Past CHAIR

    Percy Kirk
    Cox Communications
  • Secretary, PRESIDENT & CEO

    Mary Mélon
  • EX-officio
  • Foundation
  • Christine Berney

    OKC Thunder
  • Stephen Butler

    Oklahoma City University School of Law
  • Tana K. Cashion

    Devon Energy
  • Jason Constable

  • Wayland Cubit

    Oklahoma City Police Department
  • Rafael Garcia

    American Fidelity
  • Kevin Gordon

    Crowe and Dunlevy
  • AJ Griffin

  • Charles K. Holland

  • Tim L. McLaughlin

    Fields and Futures; Square Deal Capital
  • Cathy O’Connor

    Alliance for Economic Development
  • Todd Pauley

  • Sarah J. Roberts

    Inasmuch Foundation
  • Glenna G. Tanenbaum

    Community Volunteer
  • Valerie R. Thompson

    Urban League
  • C. Miles Tolbert

    First Oklahoma Corporation
  • Jeremiah Buettner

    McAfee Taft
  • Mark Burson

    MassMutual Oklahoma – General Agent
  • Valerie K. Couch

    Oklahoma City University School of Law
  • Frank Franzese

    Frank Franzese & Company
  • Nathaniel Harding

    Cortado Ventures
  • Christina Hoehn

  • Marlon James

    Tinker Air Force Base
  • James Johnson

  • David Kimmel

    OGE Energy Corp.
  • Joy S. LaBar

    Community Volunteer
  • Rusty N. LaForge

    Stride Bank
  • Justin Lawrence

    Oklahoma Shirt Company
  • Jenny Love Meyer

    Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores
  • Megan Muir

    EDGE Productions
  • A. Xavier Neira

    Logatoré LLC
  • Josh Roche

    Edward Jones
  • Tony N. Shinn

    Bank of America
  • Nathan Shirley

  • Samuel Kent Sparks

    PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Tommy Thompson

    4 Feathers Consulting Inc.
  • Brooke Townsend

    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
  • Jeff Trachtenberg

    Jacmor Inc.
  • Gary E. Tredway

    American Fidelity
  • Subha Varahan

    The Oklahoma Heart Hospital
  • Richard Walford

    TFCU Prime Business Solutions
  • Johnny Whitfield Jr.

    OGE Energy Corp.
  • Drew Dugan

    Oklahoma City Chamber
  • Mayor David F. Holt

    City of OKC Mayor; Hall Capital Investments
  • Paula Lewis

    Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education
  • Sean McDaniel

    Oklahoma City Public Schools
  • Mary Mélon

    President & CEO
  • Newt Brown

    Director of Finance & Operations
  • Abbie Vaughan

    Director of Community Outreach
  • Dawn Darbon

    Manager of Teacher Pipeline Programs & Administrative Support
  • Alison Taylor

    ReadOKC On the Go! Project Coordinator

Meet Our Team

  • Mary Mélon

    Mary Mélon


    Mary Mélon was named president and CEO of the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation in Sept. 2014 after a 20+ year career leading a business publication, with local and national responsibilities. She, along with board members, district leaders and partners, spearheaded the development and implementation of the Teacher Pipeline Programs. Under her leadership, both the Bilingual and Diversity Teacher Pipeline programs have also joined New America’s national Grow Your Own Network which looks at ways to support community development efforts to improve and diversify the educator workforce. She received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and serves on the board of directors of the National Schools Foundation and received their Certified Leader designation. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for Oklahoma City/County Health Department where she serves as vice-chair, and the Regional Transit Authority where she serves as secretary and chair of the Outreach Committee. 

  • Newt Brown

    Newt Brown


    Newt Brown currently serves as the Director of Finance & Operations for the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation and has been with The Foundation since 2011 when he was hired as Accounting Manager.  In this role at The Foundation Newt performs, coordinates or oversees all duties related to HR, payroll, accounting and IT.  Newt is a native of Norman, OK where he graduated from Norman High School and attended the University of Oklahoma obtaining a B.M.E in Vocal Music Education, magna cum laude.

    He began his career in the private sector working in restaurant management, customer service, accounting & HR and after approximately 10 years transitioned to the non-profit sector in 2010.  When not at The Foundation, Newt enjoys singing, travel, cooking/entertaining and spending time with family and friends.  He shares his home with two ornery cats, Erwin & Cody, which adopted him and mostly keep him out of trouble. 

  • Abbie Vaughan

    Abbie Vaughan


    Abbie Vaughan serves on the team at the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation as the Director of Community Outreach. In this role, she coordinates efforts to plan all Foundation events, manages the ReadOKC initiative, and works to foster new and existing community partnerships to support OKCPS. Abbie is a native Oklahoman and a product of Oklahoma City Public Schools, a graduate of the International Baccalaureate program at Classen School of Advanced Studies.

    She has worked in the non-profit sector since graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2014. She graduated from UCO with dual degrees in Outdoor and Community Recreation and Exercise/Fitness Management. Outside of work, you’ll find her cooking and hosting parties for friends and family, practicing yoga, and spending time with her husband Clay and their Bernese Mountain Dog, Norah.

  • Dawn Darbon
    Manager of Teacher Pipeline Programs & Administrative Support

    Dawn Darbon

    Manager of Teacher Pipeline Programs & Administrative Support

    Dawn Darbon is the manager of Teacher Pipeline Programs and Administrative Support for the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation. In this role, she coordinates all functions of the Teacher Pipeline, handles board communications and provides support to the executive director. Dawn is originally from New Orleans, LA and relocated to Oklahoma City after Hurricane Katrina.

    After 20 years in print media, she followed her passion for nonprofit work and joined the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time with family and attending her children’s sporting events.

  • Alison Taylor
    ReadOKC On the Go! Program Coordinator

    Alison Taylor

    ReadOKC On the Go! Program Coordinator

    Alison serves as the Program Manager for ReadOKC On the Go! – Our rolling library is an ADA compliant school bus and carries over 3,000 books for students ages Pre-K to High School. Following a 40 year career in the financial services industry, Alison retired and became the first volunteer for the ReadOKC program helping it grow from a vision to a reality! Her initial involvement in ReadOKC was driven by her passion for literacy and her desire to bring the wonder and excitement of books to every child. In 2020, the opportunity to develop and manage the ReadOKC On the Go! Book Bus program was the natural next step. This role includes overseeing the bus retrofitting, grant writing, management of the book center, and effective teaming with the OKCPS schools. Her past leadership positions in both her professional career and the Oklahoma City non-profit sector were critical. A past recipient of the Journal Record Woman of the Year, Alison has previously served on the boards of Integris Baptist Medical Center, Allied Arts,  Leadership Oklahoma City (Class V), Westminster Presbyterian Church Foundation, and as president of the Center for Non-Profits. Her fall calendar is dedicated to following her alma mater – OU football – home and away! The rest of year she enjoys travel, three book clubs, and sharing time with her two grandchildren.

Join Us

Be a part of creating success
in OKCPS by giving to the Foundation today.