Community Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange

Achieve Foundation Appoints Eileen Neri as Interim Executive Director

From The Achieve Foundation:

Eileen Neri

The Board of Trustees of the Achieve Foundation of South Orange & Maplewood has selected Eileen Collins Neri as interim executive director for the period July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019. Eileen’s appointment will allow the Achieve Board to conduct a thorough search for its next leader over the course of the next school year, while continuing to manage and advance Achieve’s mission to promote exemplary public education for all students and educators in the South Orange-Maplewood School District.

In addition to her current role as donations manager, Eileen has dedicated countless hours to Achieve over the years as a volunteer and trustee. She served as co-chair of Night of 100 Dinners, recording secretary, social media chair, and played  an integral role in Achieve’s “Take a Seat” campaign that raised more than $450,000 for the Columbia High School Auditorium restoration.

After many years in Maplewood, Eileen and her husband Tom moved to South Orange in 2016. They have two daughters who currently attend South Orange Middle and Columbia High School, and their oldest graduated from CHS in 2015. Eileen is also a product of the Maplewood-South Orange school system, having attended Seth Boyden, Jefferson, and Maplewood Junior High before graduating from Columbia in 1983.

Robin Peacock, President of Achieve’s Board of Trustees, said, “Eileen is the perfect fit for this role. Having been our donations manager for four years, as well as a long-time trustee and volunteer, she is already familiar with our signature programs and has built and sustained relationships with our supporters. That, coupled with her professional experience and personal connection to the community, will help Achieve continue to thrive. We are thrilled to have Eileen leading the organization as we enter this new chapter.”

Achieve Volunteer Tutor Program 20th Anniversary Celebration

Achieve founder and current executive director, Deborah Prinz, will retire from active leadership of the organization on June 30, 2018. Deborah created the Achieve Volunteer Tutor Program in 1997 and revitalized the former South Orange-Maplewood Education Foundation (now the Achieve Foundation) in 1999. Under her leadership, Achieve implemented many familiar programs to support equal access to education for all students in the district, including Night of 100 Dinners, the Newstead 5K Race, the Riecke Teaching Fellowship, Beyond the Bell and Maker Madness. Deborah also led the Take-a-Seat campaign and other initiatives that raised $3,700,000 for the schools. . She plans to remain active as a volunteer with Achieve after her retirement.  

The Achieve Foundation will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Achieve Volunteer Tutor Program on June 5, 2018, and honor Deborah Prinz for her vision, leadership, and career-long commitment to improving educational opportunities for the children in our community.

The celebration will take place on June 5, 2018 at Orange Lawn Tennis Club. For more information please go to

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