- Dennis R. Maple
- Chairman and CEO
Our Executive Team helps each and every Goddard School succeed by applying decades of business, education and franchising expertise manage our growth. From financing and technology acumen to marketing and operational support, these accomplished professionals guide and shape the direction of our Goddard School system.
Dennis R. Maple is chairman and CEO at Goddard Systems, Inc. He provides leadership to the franchisor’s executive team and guides the vision for The Goddard School system.
Dennis served as president of First Student, Inc., North America’s largest K-12 school bus transportation services company. He was also president of Aramark Education, which focuses on delivering food, nutrition and facilities services to K-12 school markets. His career includes executive leadership with The Quaker Oats Company, PepsiCo, Inc., Kraft General Foods, Inc. and Coors Brewing Company.
Dennis is a longtime participant in organizations supporting primary and secondary schools and communities. He is a member of the International Franchise Association's Board of Directors, Early Care & Education Consortium Board of Directors and Descartes Systems Group Board of Directors, where he is chairman of the nominating committee and part of the compensation committee.
Dennis is a graduate of the University of Tennessee.
Jacqueline Burls is senior vice president and chief school support services officer at Goddard Systems, Inc. She provides leadership on brand development, operational excellence and customer engagement to drive long-term growth for Goddard Schools across the U.S.
Previously, Jacqueline served as chief operating officer in the Universities South division for Sodexo S.A., a global food services and facilities company. She oversaw a $700M portfolio of 160 universities across 12 states and focused on curating industry-leading services to facilitate student success.
She has held operations and franchise development leadership positions at Starbucks Coffee Company, Walmart, Inc. and 7-Eleven, Inc. She also served as a consultant within the consumer business practices department at Deloitte and as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley & Co.
Jacqueline holds a bachelor’s degree in political economy and history from Williams College and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Tim Dwyer is senior vice president and chief financial officer at Goddard Systems, Inc. He provides executive leadership and management of the franchisor’s financial functions, ensuring Goddard Systems and Goddard Schools have a sustainable, long-term and profitable business.
He previously served as chief financial officer of Wind River Holdings, a privately held investment management firm and parent company of Goddard Systems. In this role, he was responsible for all accounting, financial reporting, treasury, tax, investment, risk management and banking relationships. Tim also held board positions for Wind River’s operating businesses.
Prior leadership positions include vice president of corporate development at Global Indemnity Insurance Company, company controller at United National Insurance and vice president of investment accounting treasury services at Reliance Insurance Company.
Tim holds a bachelor’s degree from Saint Joseph’s University and received his CPA license in 1987.
Christina Estrada is senior vice president and chief human resources and learning officer at Goddard Systems, Inc. Christina leads the human capital strategy for GSI employees, GSI’s enterprise project management office and the learning/training strategy for the Goddard School system.
Christina spent nearly two decades serving in the education sector. She formerly served as executive vice president and chief human resources officer for TIAA Bank and senior vice president and head of human resources for TIAA's retirement and retail areas. Her career also includes leadership experience at Aramark, Time Warner, America Online, Disney and Citibank. At Aramark, she worked in the K-12 education division.
Christina holds a degree in business administration from the University of Arizona and a certificate in human resources strategy from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Marcel Nahm is senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Goddard Systems, Inc., where he is responsible for leading the premium early childhood education brand and overseeing all marketing and lead generation efforts, as well as corporate communications.
Prior, Marcel was senior vice president of marketing, restaurant brands for FOCUS Brands, where he directed the marketing activities for Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAllister’s Deli, Schlotzky’s and more. There, he also served as vice president and chief marketing officer for Auntie Anne’s and has held leadership roles for The Hershey Company and Mott’s.
With over 25 years of global experience, Marcel has extensive expertise in franchising, omni-channel commerce, P&L management, brand equity stewardship, breakthrough communications, portfolio innovation, digital marketing and media.
Marcel holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and an MBA from the University of South Carolina.
Cynthia Turner is senior vice president and chief legal officer at Goddard Systems, Inc. She is responsible for the legal affairs of the company including the development and implementation of legal and business strategies, risk management and mitigation, compliance, enforcement and regulatory.
Cynthia also leads the government advocacy and outreach work on behalf of Goddard Systems and The Goddard School franchise system, most notably on issues relating to the franchising industry and federal and state investments in childcare.
Cynthia previously served as assistant general counsel for a sales performance management software and consulting company, as well as a senior litigation associate for one of Philadelphia’s premier law firms.
Cynthia holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctorate from William & Mary Law School.
Dr. Lauren Starnes is senior vice president and chief academic officer at Goddard Systems, Inc. She is responsible for leading the development of The Goddard School’s proprietary education program, driving research-based innovation and implementing new accreditation standards across the franchise system.
Prior, Lauren served as vice president of early childhood education at Primrose Schools Franchising Company, where she oversaw the continued evaluation, development and implementation of Primrose’s early childhood curriculum and research models.
Lauren has more than 20 years of experience in education, including curriculum development, evaluation and implementation, as well as teaching and consulting in the fields of preschool, special needs and elementary education.
A widely published author and lecturer, Lauren holds a doctorate in educational leadership, as well as a master’s degree and doctorate in child development.
Our Educational Advisory Board (EAB) is a diversely skilled panel of educators, researchers and experts who ensure The Goddard School’s individualized learning program is consistently at the forefront of early childhood development. Their work enables franchisees to face life and grow with confidence.
Dr. Craig Bach is an associate research professor at Drexel University in the School of Education and director of evaluation for the Freddie Reisman Center for Translational Research in Creativity and Motivation and the Education Passport.
Prior, Craig was Goddard Systems Inc.’s vice president of education, where he led the educational programming for Goddard Schools. He also served as Drexel University’s vice provost for institutional research, assessment and effectiveness, and as vice president of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Kaplan Higher Education.
Craig is an expert in learning assessment and analytics, accreditation, program evaluation and instructional technologies.
He holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in mathematics and philosophy, as well as a master’s degree in mathematics and a doctorate in logic and the methodology of science, both from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Helen Hadani is a fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she leads Playful Learning Landscapes—an initiative combining the fields of developmental science and placemaking with the goal of improving child and community outcomes. She is also a curriculum advisor for Sesame Workshop.
An expert in early childhood and creativity development, Helen conducts research on the benefits of playful learning in both formal and informal contexts. Prior to joining Brookings, Helen served as the director of research at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, where she guided program development with a focus on experiential and active learning. She has worked with toy, media and technology companies such as Disney, Apple, LEGO, Fisher-Price and Mattel.
Helen holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and a doctorate in psychology from Stanford University.
Dr. Jennifer Jipson is department chair and professor of psychology and child development at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo with expertise in how children construct understandings about science, health and technology through everyday activities. She draws on scientific research to develop learning opportunities for young children.
She received funding from the National Science Foundation to design early science learning materials and serves as a consultant for children’s museums, toy companies and digital and traditional media platforms. Her published work includes scholarly research articles, book chapters and an edited volume on learning in museum settings.
Dr. Kyle Pruett is a clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. Through his child psychiatry work, Kyle has become an international expert and forensic consultant on child, parental and family development; paternal involvement; children’s mental health and creativity; and the effects of trauma, media and divorce on young children.
Kyle is the founder of the Yale Conference on Fatherhood and the Harris Professional Development Network for Training in Early Intervention and Research. He has authored award-winning books, including Me, Myself, and I, Fatherneed and Partnership Parenting, and contributes to such publications as The Washington Post, USA Today, Parents, ABC News and Psychology Today.
Kyle received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and a medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine.
Lee Scott is an education consultant with more than 25 years of early childhood education program development experience. She serves as the chairperson of The Goddard School’s Educational Advisory Board and supported the development of The Goddard School’s summer, after-school, Life Lesson Library and kindergarten programs.
Lee has launched strategic partnerships on various family-oriented and educational projects with National Head Start Association, Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute, National Geographic Society, The Discovery Channel, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Amazon Kids. She is the author of the national Partnership for 21st Century Learning Early Learning Framework (P21-ELF) and is an expert collaborator on the Mattel Fisher-Price Play Lab.
Dr. Jack Maypole is a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine and department vice chair and director of the Comprehensive Care Program at Boston Medical Center.
As a pediatrician, Jack treats children with complex and chronic illnesses such as neurodevelopment problems and complications of premature infancy. Jack is active in local, state and national efforts for healthcare advocacy, especially for children with special healthcare needs. He has also written widely on child health matters in print and online.
Jack is a graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine.