Meet the Team
Director of Development
As an alumna of Thayer, Melissa rejoined Thayer in the summer of 2014. Following Thayer she attended the University of Vermont where she earned a BA in Psychology. She came to Thayer with more than 15 years of experience in non-profit development. Her previous roles include Director of Development for Partners Continuing Care and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Director of Major Gifts for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Director of Major Gifts for Horizons for Homeless Children and Director of Major Gifts for Walker. In that time Melissa worked on capital campaigns that resulted in the building of the state-of-the-art new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, a new headquarters for Horizons for Homeless Children in Roxbury and a campus expansion at Walker. Prior to working in development, Melissa worked as a counselor for homeless and runaway teens at Bridge Over Troubled Waters and also sold residential real estate in Boston. Melissa currently serves on the Board of Trustees for AccesSportAmerica, an adaptive sports program for people living with challenges and disabilities. The youngest of four sisters who all graduated from Thayer – Whitney Presutti ’85, Kelley Tuthill ’88 and Tracey Buckeridge ’90 – Melissa often says she grew up here. She spent many of the afternoons of her youth on the fields or in the gymnasiums watching her sisters compete in sports until she was able to enter as a sixth grader. Happy to be back, Melissa currently resides in Hingham with her husband and three children.
Director of Special Events, Stewardship & Parent Programming
Chrissy joined Thayer’s Development team in 2015. Prior to arriving at Thayer, Chrissy worked in Donor Relations at Boston Children’s Hospital Trust, and served on the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s Events & Stewardship team for more than ten years. She received her BA in Art History from Fairfield University. Chrissy lives in Milton with her husband and two sons.
Director of Parent Giving
Stefanie joined the Thayer Development Office in August 2018. She has over 15 years of experience working in non-profit development. Most recently, Stefanie was at Harvard Business School for over 12 years where she served in a variety of roles including frontline fundraising, development operations and administration, and donor relations. Prior to HBS, Stefanie worked on the west coast at Teach For America – Los Angeles and was responsible for growing their “Sponsor A Teacher” program. She also spent time in the development office at the Italian Home for Children in Jamaica Plain supporting fundraising efforts through special events. Stefanie is a graduate of Clark University in Worcester and lives in Walpole with her family.
Donor Systems Coordinator
A 1993 Thayer alum, Lesley joined the Development Office in the fall of 2017 as a part-time Administrative Assistant. Lesley graduated from Union College where she received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Prior to returning to Thayer, Lesley worked as a travel manager at a Boston based investment management firm. Lesley and her husband, Josh (also a 1993 grad), and their three boys live in Norwell, including Jack '23 and Drew '25 who are currently students at Thayer.
Associate Director of Development
Rachael joined Thayer's Development Office in 1998. Since then she has held almost every position including Development Associate, Director of Annual Giving, and is currently the Associate Director of Development. In this role, Rachael helped lead the office to the successful completion of the $30 million Building on the Mission Campaign which included significant capital improvements, adding considerably to the Academy's endowment, and increased support for our annual operating budget through the growth of the General's Council.Prior to arriving back at her alma mater, Rachael was the Director of Training and a Regional Operations Manager for a multi –store retail organization. After both she and her husband, Michael '79, graduated from Thayer, Rachael attended Bates College and graduated with a B.S. in Geology. Rachael is currently an Easton resident and is very proud of her three children Kristen '07, Michael '11, and Angela '12.Rachael is passionate about all things Thayer and loves supporting strategic efforts to grow academic, athletic and arts programs at Thayer.