John Driscoll was an original investor in and advisor to School Family Media in 1999, and joined the firm full-time in 2001. He brings more than 25 years of sales and business development experience to his role managing corporate programs that benefit schools and school parent groups. He led the development and growth of SFM’s award-winning School Family Nights® program, and has developed custom content and sampling programs connecting companies such as Proctor & Gamble, American Express, Target, Disney, and Kellogg’s to parents and families with school-age children.
John currently leads SFM’s TeacherLists efforts including working with schools and Ed Tech partners to further cement its’ industry leading position as the only end to end digital solution for school supply lists, as well as helping key back to school brands and retailers such as BIC, Expo, Mead Five Star, Target and Staples to leverage the more than 1MM fully digitized class supply lists on the TL platform.
Vice President & Publisher, PTO Today
Bret Thomas joins School Family Media with more than 25 years of experience in magazine and book publishing in both the PreK-12 and Catholic school markets. A biology and algebra teacher at the start of his career, Bret has kept the well-being of children and families as the central focus of his publishing experience. He has successfully led sales teams in creating strong revenue streams that have positioned his companies as leaders in their respective segments—allowing the companies to support their mission, goals, and objectives. As publisher of PTO Today magazine, Bret brings to the company his successful history as builder of senior management teams, strategic partnerships, and brand leadership in book, magazine, and supplemental education resources and data services.
He has also served in industry leadership positions as president of the Board of Directors of the Association of Catholic Publishers, the Association of Educational Publishers, and the School of Education and Allied Professions at the University of Dayton. With Bachelor of Science Education and Master of Science Education degrees from the University of Dayton and the University of Pittsburgh respectively, Bret has a firm grounding in education strategies that still inform and inspire his work today.
Vice President, Operations
Brian Donovan has 20 years of general management, finance and operations experience in the hospitality, media, and education markets. Brian oversees operations, finance, human resources and several key business units at School Family Media. Before joining the company, Brian was the Senior Director of Membership Finance and Administration with WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston. Brian has a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University. He lives in Medway, MA.
Vice President, Content & Marketing
Kathryn Lagden re-joined School Family Media in 2014 to lead digital initiatives and help integrate digital strategy across the company. Kathryn has more than 15 years of experience managing online operations, digital marketing, and social media for various clients and companies. She previously worked for SFM in marketing and web operations in a variety of full-time and contractor roles over ten years.
Kathryn is currently co-chair of the Women in Tech peer-to-peer group for Silicon Halton. A graduate of McMaster University, Kathryn lives in Burlington, Ontario, with her husband and two sons and is an active member of her school’s parent council.
Vice President, Web Development
John Kirby joined School Family Media in 2005 as Director of Web Development, overseeing all aspects of the company’s digital growth. As the chief architect of technology projects, he manages a team of skillful developers and is still an active coder. John has played an integral role in building and enhancing SFM’s stable of parent- and school-focused websites. Most recently, he has been the lead developer on the company’s ground-breaking TeacherLists.com.
John’s web development career spans more than 20 years with dozens of clients and companies, including a senior development role at Monster.com. John is a graduate of Boston University and lives in Milton, Mass.
Senior Director, School Side Services
Paula Mullen joined School Family Media in 2004, bringing with her more than a decade of experience in customer service support for various companies, including Talbots. She began her career as an elementary school teacher and has remained actively involved in education. She has been a parent volunteer in local schools, served as PTO president, and is a long-time member and chairperson of the Franklin, Mass., school board.
Paula’s experience gives her a deep understanding of the challenges facing schools, PTOs and PTAs, and parents. Her leader support team focuses on helping parent-teacher group leaders meet those challenges, and giving them the information they need to take advantage of the unique resources offered by SFM.
A graduate of Emmanuel College, Paula lives in Franklin, Mass with her three children.