Executive Board of Directors

Why they Joined Parent Villages, Inc.


 LaTonia Monroe Naylor, MS-Board Chair

The idea of Parent Villages was birthed in my heart after hearing startling data around student preparedness for kindergarten.  Even still, the reality that the achievement and opportunity gaps align is more evident now than it was then.  Yet the confidence that these gaps can narrow when the village is present for our children grow within me.  I am amazed by what we can do “together” and thankful for an organization led by fearless mothers who strive to be a bridge that brings the village and its resources together to benefit all of our children.  

Page Monroe, Board Clerk

 As a member of the Campaign Committee to Elect LaTonia Monroe Naylor, at one of the meetings LaTonia had informed us of the low 6% rate of students being prepared for Kindergarten. That information really touched My heart with concern, and we began to brainstorm about what more we could do to help the community after the election.  After the election, Parent Villages was born and the understanding and advocacy to promote the village mentality became fundamental to our mission and to help raise children. Our purpose is to get as much information out to Students, Parents, Teachers, Advocates, Leaders in the community, to help support All Children.

Cindy Gaynor, Board Treasurer

Why Parent Villages? I’m working with women who are Mothers first and businesswomen, second. Together and separately, we truly and genuinely believe in the value and ethics of hard work, perseverance, and success, without compromising our humility of the self and empathy of others. As parents, we understand that is our job to be our children’s biggest advocate. Parent Villages is a platform where our communities’ families can have a voice, despite their hindrances. We are an action-driven organization that encourages educational programs that could change the trajectory of our communities’ lives.

Jenary Merced, Board Officer, and Scholarship Coordinator

My passion for learning and curiosity was the result of my attendance at one of the first Lunch Meet-Up meetings at the Mason Square Library in the fall of 2018. I was immediately affected by the Mission of Parent Villages and the stories of affirmation from those in attendance, including School Committee Member, LaTonia  Monroe Naylor. After a few more meetings, I knew that I wanted to become an advocate of Parent Villages and the Mission we stood for! Now, I am a proud Board Member, and I share common values and goals with four other extraordinary Civic Leaders.


Lakisha M. Coppedge, MS-Chief Executive Officer

As I reflect on my “Why” I joined Parent Villages, Inc. what comes to mind is the first time I met each board member.  Although we met in different spaces, we were unified in our roles as mothers, entrepreneurs, women of color, and educators.  That dynamic inspired me to learn more about the work we could do together for the children and families in the community. As an established early educator, the ability to creatively strategize to bring forth an initiative focused on increasing student preparedness was and still is encouraging.  Additionally, my WHY is anchored in service.  Serving as a previous board member, and now the CEO affords me the opportunity to support, influence, and sustain the life of Parent Villages, Inc. while increasing partnerships and positively contributing to the growth and development of the children and families in the Springfield community and beyond. 

Valery Franco, Intern

During my freshman year of college, I began looking for opportunities to learn new skills, gain new experience, and expand my network through impactful work. I reached out to LaTonia Naylor who connected me to the Parent Villages team. Their commitment to our community and its children was what initially attracted me to the organization. With their support and confidence in me, I’ve been apart of several community projects that have served to give me a new sense of direction and determination. --