Kelly Lichter, President
Mrs. Lichter is a Naples resident who is committed to improving the quality of public education, locally and nationally. She is a Doctoral student at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and is scheduled to complete her coursework in Instructional Leadership with a minor in Charter School Leadership by 2013. Mrs. Lichter graduated from Culver Academy in Culver, Indiana and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Baldwin Wallace College. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Studies Education from NSU in 2008.
Mrs. Lichter moved to Naples, Florida in 2006 to teach in the Social Studies department in Collier County. She is the driving force behind Mason Classical Academy’s educational philosophy and has established a valuable partnership with Hillsdale College and the Director of the Hillsdale Barney Charter School Initiative, Phil Kilgore. She sits on the Board of Directors at Mason Corporation and CAM Consulting Services, serves as a recruitment volunteer for Baldwin Wallace College, and serves in her church’s youth ministry. She is the daughter of the late Donald Mason (the school’s namesake), a wife, stay at home mother of two small children and avid triathlete.
Byron Donalds, Vice President
Mr. Donalds is a former Republican candidate for Florida’s 19th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is currently a sought-after speaker on the Constitution and conservative principles. In addition, Donalds has been a political commentator for media, campaigns, grassroots organizations, and nonprofits.
Mr. Donalds is originally from Brooklyn, New York and is the product of a single parent household. He is a graduate of Florida State University with degrees in Finance and Marketing. His career has been in banking and finance, specifically commercial credit and risk management.
As community activist, Mr. Donalds sits on the Naples Tea Party Leadership Counsel, serves as a youth leader in his church and on various non-profit boards and committees in Southwest Florida. He is Chairman of the Board for CEF of Collier County and also mentors couples and families in the areas of finances and budgets.
As a U.S. House candidate, Mr. Donalds amassed a grassroots movement of over 400 active volunteers and won every straw poll conducted by forum audiences throughout the campaign. Despite beginning with no name recognition or Party support, and being outspent 6:1 by five well-known opponents, Mr. Donalds won the majority vote in Collier County – one of the two represented in the 19th District. Mr. Donalds and his wife, Erika, have three sons and live in Naples, Florida.
Jason Lane, Treasurer
Mr. Lane is a former professional golfer who owns and operates the Lane Insurance Group in Estero, Florida. He started Lane Insurance Group in 2008 and has been a Naples resident since 1995. Mr. Lane attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia on a golf scholarship and graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in political science with a minor in criminal justice. He is an American patriot who is committed to restoring public education and has devoted his time, expertise and resources towards fulfilling the Academy’s mission statement. He and his wife Amy have two daughters.
Shelley Connors, Secretary
Mrs. Connors graduated from Temple University’s School of Media and Communications in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania while on full athletic scholarship for Rowing. Originally from the Main Line of Philadelphia and Bucks County, she grew up only steps from Valley Forge and Washington Crossing which sparked an insatiable passion and respect for America’s history and founding.
In her professional life in New York City, Mrs. Connors lead various international public relations, marketing and product research teams and built brands from initial concept to store-shelf for numerous Fortune 500 companies like Unilever/Calvin Klein, LVMH and Avon Inc. Now the most exciting brand she plans to promote is Mason Classical Academy.
Education became a passion for Mrs. Connors after learning about Dr. Deborah Kenny, founder of the highly acclaimed Harlem Village Academy. HVA was a public charter school offering a private school curriculum while following a business plan of limited bureaucracy and increased leadership accountability. She questioned, “Why is the U.S. spending more on public education and getting less than any other industrialized nation?”
To channel her passion, Mrs. Connors joined her church’s ministry to help Collier County’s most economically challenged school in the district. Although she saw small improvements, she knew she wanted to help more students in a big way. To her, Mason Classical Academy is the answer. Mrs. Connors lives in Naples with her commercial pilot husband, Tim and her son, Griffin.
William McDonough, Director
Mr. McDonough is an attorney and moved to Naples, Florida in 2006. He owns The McDonough Law Office, P.L. and holds a law degree from Stetson University, College of Law, a masters of business administration from Stetson University and a legal masters in real estate development and finance law from the University of Miami, School of Law. Mr. McDonough serves Mason Classical Academy in the capacity of both board member and attorney. He and his wife, Beth, have two children and enjoy taking part in building our community.