Board of Education Members

Back Row L to R:  Amy Crites, Don Romain, Sarah Wohlford, Dean Bolton
Front Row L to R:  Vincent Lyon-Callo, Melanie Lynn,
Tonya Rodriguez

Email: Board of Education
U.S. Mail: Okemos Public Schools, 4406 N. Okemos Road, Okemos, MI 48864

Dean Bolton, CBA  ( Email Mr. Bolton )
Dean Bolton moved to Michigan in 1999 and chose to live in Okemos solely based on the outstanding reputation of its public schools. He has volunteered in Okemos schools for 16 years, and from 2008 - 2014, Dean led the Okemos Education Foundation as its chair. Dean’s district-wide service also includes working to develop and pass two bonds and a millage to support our schools: the Steering Committee of the 2007 Technology and Transportation Bond campaign; and Co-Chair of both the 2011 Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage and the 2013 Technology, Security, and Transportation Bond campaigns. In addition, Dean has served as Vice President of the Central Elementary PTO (3 years), President of the Chippewa Parent Group (2 years), and as an Okemos Parent Council Representative (3 years).

Before being a stay-at-home dad, the best job he has ever had, Dean, a native of Houston, Texas, graduated from Northwestern University. With a degree in the arts, he worked for 12 years in Chicago, Illinois as a lighting technician and an Actors Equity Association stage manager, primarily at The Goodman Theatre and Northlight Theatre. Prior to moving to Michigan, Dean owned and operated a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise in suburban Chicago for 7 years.
Dean has two sons, both of whom attended Okemos Public Schools beginning in Kindergarten. Lowell (OHS ’13) attends Whitman College in Washington State and Miles is a senior at Okemos High School. Dean’s wife, Helen Taylor, is The Nature Conservancy’s Michigan State Director. His Term of office will expire December 31, 2018.

Amy Crites, CBA  ( Email Mrs. Crites )
Amy married Okemos native, Dan Crites, in 1989, and they chose to stay in Okemos to raise their family. Two of their three children currently attend the Okemos schools. Their eldest graduated in 2009.

Amy graduated from the University of Michigan in 1984 with a B.A. in Communications. She worked in the Investment and Banking industries for the next 11 years, gaining experience with client relations and with retirement and employee benefit plan law and investments. Amy earned both the Series 7 license and the Certified Financial Planner designation. When her second child turned one in 1995, it became clear that her time and energy were needed at home.

A big part of Amy's life is her commitment to the community. Joining the Junior League of Lansing in 1990, she actively served that organization for 10 years. Since her oldest child reached Kindergarten, she has served as parent volunteer in each of her children's classrooms and continues her hands-on dedication to their education through a variety of channels. Amy joined Central Elementary School's PTO and took on the jobs of Treasurer and President, serving 2 and 3 years respectively in those positions. She also acted as Central's representative on the District-wide Parent Council for three years.

Amy had the unique opportunity to be one of the representatives on the Superintendent Search trips both in 2004 and 2007 where she was able to gain first-hand knowledge about the search process, the candidates' leadership styles and the internal workings of other school districts. Also in 2004-2005, Amy served as the Deputy Superintendent's co-chair for the K-5 Reconfiguration Committee and as Chippewa's parent representative on the school district's Strategic Planning Committee. She also volunteers for the Music Patrons, Art Patrons and Okemos Athletic Boosters. Amy was elected to the school board in May 2006, and currently serves as Vice President. She has earned the certified board member designation from the Michigan Association of School Boards. Amy formerly served as Parliamentarian and Treasurer, as the board's representative to the Okemos Education Foundation and as the Okemos School Board representative for the Ingham Intermediate School District’s Consolidation and Collaboration committee. She currently serves as Treasurer. Her term of office expires December 31, 2018.

Melanie C. Lynn  ( Email Mrs. Lynn )
Melanie C. Lynn and her husband, Wayne, are the proud parents of three (3) Okemos Public School graduates. They have resided in the Okemos community for nine (9) years.
Melanie received her BS in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University (Clemson, South Carolina) and her MBA/Operations Management from the University of South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina). She is employed with the Board of Water and Light as an Electrical Engineer/Project Manager.
Melanie has been an active school volunteer. She enjoyed participating as a member of the Hiawatha Elementary School Parent Group, “Popcorn Mom”, and Classroom Mom. During her children’s academic progression, the family has resided in several states. She has served as the President of the Parent Group for Saint John Preschool in Columbia, SC and the Membership Chairperson for the Spring Brook Elementary School Parent Teacher Association in Naperville, IL.
Melanie is proud of the service that she renders on behalf of children. She completed tenure as the Regional Director for the Mid-Western Region of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, a national organization that promotes leadership development, community service and civic engagement for children ages two (2) years old to nineteen (19) years old. In addition to her leadership in the local Greater Lansing Chapter (Lansing, MI), Melanie has served the organization in various leadership capacities managing teams that coordinate enrichment programs for children in the nine (9) states of the region.
Melanie was appointed to the Okemos Board of Education on October 28, 2010 and she was subsequently elected to serve in 2011.  She currently serves as President of the Board of Education.  Her term of office expires December 31, 2016.

Vincent Lyon-Callo ( Email Mr. Lyon-Callo )
Vincent and his family moved to Okemos in 2002 primarily because of the excellent schools. He and his wife, Sarah, have two children. Their son is in 5th grade at Kinawa and their daughter is a 2nd grader at Bennett Woods. Sara is a chronic disease epidemiologist for the Michigan Department of Community Health. Vincent is a Full Professor of Anthropology at Western Michigan University, an active volunteer in the schools and community, a committed teacher, and a supporter of the Okemos Education Foundation.

His teaching and research focuses on poverty, homelessness and other inequalities as well as the complexity of globalization and political economic restructurings. Vincent spent over a decade working in homeless shelters in Connecticut and Massachusetts and as an activist member of several community based movements aimed at transforming responses to homelessness. He continues that work today in Kalamazoo. His recent research explores the impacts on communities and middle class Americans from recent political-economic and cultural restructurings within the US.

Vincent enjoys coaching youth sports and is currently coaching 5th grade boys and 2nd grade girls soccer teams. He consistently volunteers at his children's schools and in their classrooms working with small reading groups, cooking at the annual Field Day BBQ, chaperoning field trips, reading to classes, and presenting in classes on social studies. He has been a consistent participant in community forums and board meetings in order to contribute to, and learn from, the process of maintaining a quality educational system. He currently serves as Secretary. His term of office expires December 31, 2018.

Tonya Rodriguez ( Email Ms. Rodriguez )
Tonya Rodriguez was raised in Okemos and graduated from Okemos High School. She returned to Okemos in 2012 to be closer to family and to give her daughter the benefit of the excellent educational opportunities available at Okemos Public Schools.

Ms. Rodriguez earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Michigan State University. After earning her undergraduate degree, Ms. Rodriguez served as a Community Health Educator for the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. Ms. Rodriguez then earned a Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude, from Michigan State University College of Law. While in law school, she worked at Legal Services of South Central Michigan (LSSCM) providing legal assistance to the economically disadvantaged. Ms. Rodriguez practiced law in Southern California for several years before returning to Okemos. Ms. Rodriguez is currently serving as in-house counsel for Auto-Owners Insurance Company.

Ms. Rodriguez was elected to the board in November 2012 to fill a partial-term position vacated by former Board Member, Ron Styka. She is involved in the Policy Committee and currently serves as Vice President.  She has previously served as Parliamentarian and as representative to the Okemos Education Foundation.  Her term of office expires December 31, 2016.

Don Romain ( Email Mr. Romain )
Don Romain and his wife, Amy, are 10-year residents of the school district. They have 3 children, 2 of whom currently attend OHS. Their eldest graduated in 2014 and currently attends the University of Michigan.

Don has an undergraduate degree in business and a master's degree in administration, both from Central Michigan University. Don worked in the healthcare industry for many years, serving as CEO of the Sparrow Specialty Hospital and later as CEO of the Spectrum Health Special Care Hospital in Grand Rapids. He is currently the Corporate Director of Admissions for the Douglas J Institutes, a multi-state career school company.

With children active in the Arts and sports, Don has enjoyed volunteering and serving in the classroom and on the sidelines. He has spent many rewarding hours in volunteer support of the Okemos arts programs. Don considers community involvement a privilege, honor and civic duty. He has served on the Celebrate Downtown Okemos committee for Meridian Township. He has also served on the Executive Board of the Sixty-Plus Legal Clinic, with Cooley Law School, and as the Endowment Committee Treasurer for Bethlehem Lutheran Church. On a broader community scale, Don has served as a Committee member on the Long Term Care Collaborative of Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton Counties, and as a Workgroup Member on the Governors Long-Term Care Taskforce on Medicaid Financing. Additionally, Don is a past Executive Board Member for the National Association of Long-Term Hospitals. He also enjoys volunteering and participating in local charitable programs in the community, such as JDRF and FAAN. His term of office expires December 31, 2016.

Sarah Wohlford   ( Email Ms. Wohlford )
Sarah Wohlford and her husband, Justus Nieland, a professor at Michigan State University, moved to Michigan in 2002 and to Okemos in 2006.  They have two children in the Okemos Public Schools.

Ms. Wohlford has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Grinnell College, a Master of Arts in English Literature from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan.  Prior to attending law school, she worked for the Indiana University Center for Innovation in Assessment as a Social Studies Content Specialist, and as a Marketing Assistant for Indiana University Press.  After spending four years as an associate at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, LLP, she joined the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services in 2011 and is currently a Senior Staff Attorney there.

Ms. Wohlford enjoys volunteer service, and is a current member of the MSU Community Music School Choral Program Advisory Council.  She has served on the Okemos Public Schools World Languages Committee, and as past president of the Montessori Radmoor School Parent Guardian Association.  Professionally, she was a member of the State Bar of Michigan Insurance and Indemnity Law Section Council and past president of the Mid-Michigan Region of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan. Her term expires December 31, 2016.