Wakefield Schools Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization. 

With the ability to use funding for a variety of purposes such as providing teachers and enrichment programs from literacy specialists and language teachers to art programs and teaching assistants, school foundations enable communities to raise funds and direct them to the schools for specific needs and innovative projects that are not otherwise funded through state and local funding.


Wakefield Schools Foundation (WSF) understands the importance of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) integration which allows choices for all students.  After consulting with the principals to understand which programs could benefit the most from support, the initial goal for the WSF is to strengthen the music program across the Wakefield campus.  

Because music starts with a strong foundation in WSF is excited to work towards the initial goal of a rising 6th grade band camp, a recorder band at the elementary school as well as offering new instruments for the middle and high school.  All of this is dependent on the fundraising goals being reached and is just the tip of the iceberg of potential programing and impact the WSF can have on our schools and our community.  WSF's ultimate goal is to enhance every aspect of the STEAM programing and with your help, we can make this possible!

Meet The Board Of Directors

John Kinneer


John is a Triangle Area  Senior Business Development Officer with Fidelity Bank, headquartered in NC.  John is a high performing business banker that creates lasting relationships for small to medium  sized businesses and their owners through a variety of simple to complex financial products and services including:  financing solutions (commercial real estate, equipment, working capital) and deposit account solutions (operating accounts with Treasury Services).  John resides in Raleigh with his wife Whitney, son Holden and two Golden Retrievers:  Annie and Brigs.  He is a parishioner at St. Catherine of Sienna in Wake Forest.  In his spare time, he enjoys boating on Falls Lake and riding his motorcycle.

Candice Taylor Arrick, DDS 


Dr. Arrick was raised in Raleigh and graduated from Sanderson High School. She completed her BS in Biology at Hampton University, and received her dental degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry. She has owned a thriving dental practice in Raleigh since 2009.  She has been a member of the Wakefield Community for over 2 years and she has three children who attend Wakefield Schools. Giving back to the community is important to Dr. Arrick, and she has volunteered with the Missions of Mercy, Wake Smiles, and at the Dental Clinic at the NC State Fair. Dr. Arrick has three lovely children, Caleb, Cara and Cameron. 

Darryl Banks 


Darryl and his family moved to North Raleigh 22 years ago, and it's here that they put down their roots. Their children attended local schools for their primary education and thrived in the UNC system for their secondary education. Darryl and his wife were very involved with the schools during the time their daughters were in the Wake County Public School System and worked to improve the learning experience for every child through academics and extracurricular activities in the schools. Even though their children are no longer a part of the WCPSS, they understand and support improving the quality of our schools and the learning experience for all children. As a business owner in the Wakefield community, Darryl believes that our schools are the heart of a strong and vibrant community, and is committed to the success of the Wakefield Foundation.  He also commits his time to community projects through the Wakefield Business Alliance at Wakefield High School and the local Rotary club.

Helen O’Shaughnessy 

Director of Fundraising

Helen has lived in Raleigh for more than twenty-five years, with the last eight years in the Wakefield area.  Helen is a partner at Wake Family Law Group in Raleigh.  Helen’s daughter attends Wakefield schools.  Helen has been involved with the PTA at her daughter’s former elementary school, having served on various board positions, including President.  Presently, Helen serves on the PTSA at Wakefield Middle School as the VP of Fundraising.  Helen is also actively involved in Girl Scouts as a co-leader.  Helen believes that through the Wakefield Schools Foundation we can provide additional arts and STEAM opportunities for all Wakefield children that otherwise would not be possible and that strong school communities lead to stronger communities generally.

Michelle Tomlinson 

Director of Community & Schools Outreach

Michelle and her husband have lived in the Wakefield area for 16 years.  They have three children, two of which have attended the Wakefield schools since kindergarten and one who looks forward to starting kindergarten as a Wakefield Eagle in a few years!  Michelle has been active in the school community serving in various positions on the PTA boards as well as serving on the WCPSS Board Advisory Committee.  She is committed and passionate about community and neighborhood involvement in our public school system and looks forward to the opportunities that a wonderful community like Wakefield, partnered with a foundation committed to academic excellence, can bring to the Wakefield schools. In her spare time Michelle and her family enjoy spending time at lake Gaston where Michelle also works as a real estate broker.

Naomi Weir

 Chair of Communications

Naomi, her husband, 3 children and French Bulldog, Floyd have lived in Wakefield since 2022.  Moving here from Toronto, Canada and her children entered into the Wakefield schools soon after they arrived in Raleigh.  A believer in public education, Naomi has been involved in Parent Councils and the PTA at her children's schools in some capacity for the last 9 years.  Herself and her family believe in giving back to the community and enjoy all the opportunities that the Wakefield area has to offer.


Teacher Liaison 

Chris Merrin is pleased to serve as School Liaison for the Wakefield Schools Foundation.  She is passionate about strengthening school programs that incorporate STEAM, since her son participated in many of these programs when he was a Wakefield student.  Chris currently teaches second grade at Wakefield Elementary and serves as the chairperson of the Wakefield Strong committee.  She has been a member of the Wakefield community since 2007.