About Us - Board and Volunteers
Board of Directors(all volunteer, unpaid positions)
President: Janissa Balcomb
Janissa was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho from 1977-80. She helped found Laptops to Lesotho. Janissa handles fundraising, project development, and assists with training. She is Sarah Gardner's aunt and Vicki Panhuise's cousin.
Treasurer: Vicki Panhuise
Vicki retired in 2014 after 35 years working in the Aerospace and Defense industry. She now is President and Owner of VePoint Consulting Group, LLC. Vicki and her husband have established a Family Foundation that is focused on education. Vicki joined Laptops to Lesotho to help with financial and communication efforts.
Secretary: Sarah Gardner
Sarah graduated from the University of Evansville with a BS in elementary education. She teaches 2nd grade in Bloomington, IN. Currently, Sarah is creating lesson plans that incorporate XO laptops directly into Lesotho curriculum. She manages the website and blog for Laptops to Lesotho.
Director: Sherrie Howey
Sherrie got involved with L2L through her work for FIPE (The Foundation for International Professional Exchange), where she is currently president. She is very passionate about our work and joined the L2L Board of Directors in 2011. Sherrie participated in the January 2013 L2L trip to Lesotho.
Director: Kathy Plath
Kathy is a very experienced I.T. teacher. She is familiar with Lesotho, having lived there in the early 1980s. She got involved with L2L when she shared her home with Matlabe during his trip to the U.S. in 2011. She traveled to Lesotho in January 2013 and March 2014 and helped with training at Nohana Primary and Kokobe Primary.
Matlabe is the principal at Nohana Primary School in Ketane. He has been a teacher for 31 years and principal for 22 years. He is the project's lead for all local community contacts and organization. He also serves as our Project Treasurer.
Craig is Janissa Balcomb's brother and father to Sarah Gardner. He has an MA in Education. Craig assisted with the initial laptop delivery to Ketane in November 2010. In 2010 and 2013 Craig has helped to train the Nohana Primary School teachers and students how to use XO laptops.
Tony is a retired programmer who has extensive experience with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) projects in Nepal and Rwanda. He worked tirelessly during our January 2013 training setting up servers, customizing and debugging the learning system, designing lessons, and teaching a few classes.
Mary is a retired primary school teacher currently serving as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Ketane. During our January 2013 training, she hiked to Nohana almost every day, in all kinds of weather, just to help us. Among other things, she charged and prepped laptops and assisted with lessons.
Mamatsepe is from Maseru and got involved with L2L after a chance meeting with Janissa there in 2011. She started out assisting with XO laptop lessons at the January 2013 training and progressed to teaching on her own. She speaks fluent English and Sesotho and provided translations for L2L.
Mama Lolo Mabitsela
Mama Lolo is a retired teacher who now runs a B&B in Soweto. She came to Lesotho to learn about our project so she could start a similar project in her home town in South Africa. Besides attending XO laptop training with the teachers, she contributed during L2L discussions and served as a translator.
For several years, Jennifer has organized pen pal letter exchanges between U.S. and Nohana Primary students. Her two daughters raised money to pay for a Nohana student to continue her education beyond 7th grade. Jennifer traveled with Sherrie Howey, her mother, on the January 2013 L2L trip.
Fortunate is a PhD candidate at Rhodes University working in the field of education. She assists with logistics for the project and teacher training. She is also arranging a research study to evaluate the effects of our project.
Mochochoko teaches grade 7 at Nohana Primary School. With Andrew's help, he taught himself how to use the XO laptop. He helps other teachers at Nohana and Kokobe use the XO laptops.