We are pleased to announce that Frank Edelblut will be our keynote speaker at this year's Liberty Dinner! Frank was sworn in as Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education on February 16, 2017. The commissioner is responsible for the organizational goals of the department and represents the public interest in the administration of the functions of the department of education. The commissioner is responsible to the governor, the general court, and the public for such administration.
Frank is an American businessman who formerly served as a Republican member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. During his term in the House, he served on the Finance Committee, Special Committee on Pensions and the Child and Family Law Committee.
He started as a Certified Public Accountant with a large international accounting firm many years ago and briefly worked as a Chief Financial Officer for a public company. In 1990 he started his own company that was sold to a French firm in 2009. Since then he has been creating jobs as an active investor in early stage companies across a range of industries including technology, med-tech, and even a wine company
He attended the University of Rhode Island where he earned a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration – Accounting in 1983. He also holds a Masters of Theological Studies from the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, 2015.
Frank has been married for 30 years and has seven children. Three are college graduates, two are currently in college, and two are still at home. He also has two grandchildren.
Master of Ceremonies
Mark Edge has hosted the nationally syndicated, pro-liberty radio program, Free Talk Live for nearly 15 years. Mark and his family moved to New Hampshire for more liberty in 2006. He lives in the western portion of the state on a small farm with pigs with funny names.
Frank Edelbut's talk will be preceded by a panel discussion on Educational Choice, featuring experts in the field.
Jody Underwood, Ph.D., is a founder and owner of Bardo Project and is one of the faces of Bardo Farm. She lives off the grid on a large property in Croydon with a varying number of people, depending on the season and the year, all learning back-to-basics skills. She moved to NH for the FSP in 2007 and was on the FSP board of directors from 2009-2016. She has been on the Croydon School Board since 2010, currently serving as Vice Chair and School Choice Liaison, and also focuses on K-12 education professionally. Jody was key in instituting school choice in Croydon, which included private schools as part of the program, and which led her through the NH legal and legislative system to defend this ages-old New England practice. Her goal is to figure out ways to revolutionize education. Jody’s work history includes artificial intelligence research at NASA, Carnegie Mellon University, Rutgers University, and Princeton University, and education research and development at Vanderbilt University, the Math Forum, and Educational Testing Service. She earned her doctorate at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. She currently works for a small for-profit company in Maryland (telecommuting from NH half the time and working in the MD office half the time) doing research and development of digital games and simulations for learning and assessment. Her bio would be incomplete without mentioning that two of her favorite things are dancing and teaching dance.
Michelle Levell has been active in state-level public policy, particularly education issues, since moving to New Hampshire in 2005. She is the Director of School Choice for New Hampshire and a founder of Granite State Home Educators, a statewide homeschool support organization. She has written nearly 300 blog entries on educational issues in the state. She has served on several diverse boards including the Educational Choices Foundation, Liberty Harbor Academy, the New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition, the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance (NHLA), and the Pelham-Windham Razorbacks youth football and cheer organization. She continues to represent the NHLA through policy and legislative analysis as well as providing testimony in Concord, and earned their 2014 Activist of the Year award. Michelle is the outreach and social media volunteer for the Children's Scholarship Fund - New Hampshire, a nonprofit scholarship organization that helps needy families across the Granite State. She is also the Chair of the Women's Defense League of NH, a Second Amendment advocacy and education organization.
Kate Baker is the Executive Director of Children’s Scholarship Fund New Hampshire (CSF) and was the Executive Director of the Network for Educational Opportunity, the first organization to implement the New Hampshire Education Tax Credit Scholarships still managed by Kate at CSF. In five years, the NH Education Tax Credit Scholarship Program, under Kate’s leadership, has grown to be a nationally recognized scholarship program that has awarded more than $750,000 in private school and homeschool scholarships to New Hampshire families. She is passionate about gifted education, homeschooling, innovative teaching and learning, and education choice. Kate is a founder of The Greater Manchester Alliance for the Gifted, the Scholars’ Academy, and the Polaris Charter School Education Foundation, the Academy for Science and Design Educational Foundation and she served as Chairman of the Polaris Charter School Board of Trustees. Kate was honored to be recognized by the New Hampshire Union Leader and the NH Business and Industry Association as a “40 Under Forty, the state's brightest young achievers ″ in 2013.