Maine Ocean School Foundation Board of Directors

James Gillway

School Founder, State Representative

james GillwayJames Gillway has dedicated his life to public service. He has maintained his law enforcement credentials for over thirty-two years. He served as an active law enforcement officer for twenty years including Chief of Police for sixteen years. He took on the position of Town Manager for Searsport in 2005 and was elected to the Maine Legislature in 2010. For the past eight years, he served as a representative and town manager. In his capacity as a legislator, he introduced legislation establishing the Maine School for Marine Science, Transportation, Technology and Engineering, which is now known as the Maine Ocean School. Maine State Statute prohibits legislators from being appointed to state boards,  keeping James from serving on the school’s board of trustees. He assists the board of trustees with the development of the school and volunteers to work with the Maine Ocean School Foundation where he currently serves as chair. In 2018, he helped put together and ran the school’s first weeklong overnight summer camp.

In addition to working with the Maine Ocean School, James has worked with the youth of Searsport for many years. James established a DARE, drug prevention program and worked with the schools for 11 years teaching it. He helped the local Boy Scout troop for 25 years with the majority of that time as the Scoutmaster. He has now established a Sea Scout unit in town and continues to work with scouting. He could always be called upon to coach for the town’s recreation program during soccer and baseball seasons. He is a 25-year member of the Searsport Lions and a member of the Winterport Howard Lodge of Masons.

James and his wife of over thirty years Bobbie-Jo raised their three sons in Searsport and are now enjoying camping, boating and hiking with their three grandchildren.

Doris Cowell

Retired Facility Interior Design Coordinator

Doris CowellDoris’s experience comes from a long career as a Facility Interior Design Coordinator with the New York State Office of Mental Health. She has worked with architects, designers, and construction firms during the renovation and modernization of NYS facilities. As a consultant to a NYS Office of Mental Health Childrens’ division, Doris managed a project of relocating both a middle and high school into 2 year temporary spaces while their facilities were being renovated.

Doris moved to Maine in May of 2017 and is having a home built in Swanville, Maine. After reading about the vision of the Maine Ocean School, Doris knew she wanted to be a part of the project. For her the “school is an opportunity to open up new worlds to young people.”

Captain Monet Brazier

Licensed Mariner, Real Estate Auctioneer, Assistant Harbormaster

Capt. Monet BrazierMonet was raised in western Maine and graduated from Hebron Academy, and onto Maine Maritime Academy in 2006. She graduated in 2010/11 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (i.e. small vessel operations, now known as vessel operations and technology) and earned a United States Coast Guard 1600 Ton Mate License. After sailing aboard tall ships, private yachts, and oil spill response vessels worldwide she became a licensed real estate agent and a year later became a licensed real estate auctioneer. She is a member of the board of directors of the Maine Harbor Masters Association is is the assistant Harbor Master for the Town of Stockton Springs. You’ll find her driving across the state showing waterfront properties, skiing at Sunday River, canoeing, fly fishing, or sailing in Penobscot Bay.

She is an original member of the Maine Ocean School Foundation’s Board of Directors, and the Maine Ocean School’s Social Media Coordinator.

William Shideleff

Certified Public Accountant

William ShideleffBill is a native of Philadelphia with a home in Camden, Maine. He is a graduate of Temple University Philadelphia. He served as controller of medium size and small corporations, as well as accounting and financial management positions with the private and public sectors and consultant to Fortune 500 companies on a professional basis. In addition, he has practiced accounting as William P.  Shideleff Certified Public Accountant in five states for 25 years.

Bill joined the Foundation Board in 2016 as a director and prepared the successful Internal Revenue Service 501 (c)(3) application for nonprofit status. He loves to sail and enjoys the annual chandlery chores that keep five sailboats fit for a day on the water. Bill is committed to making this program work for the many students it will help in Maine.

Dr. Veronica Garvey Magnan

Lifelong Educator

Veronica Garvey MagnanLifelong Educator: Veronica received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History, Languages, and Social Studies, followed by a Master of Education. Veronica then attended Boston University where she earned her Doctor of Education in Policy, Planning, and Administration. Her work over the years included teaching in elementary schools, serving as an elementary school principal, Superintendent of Schools, School Board Director of MSAD 56, Federal Program Coordinator, and college adjunct professor of Marketing and Management. Presently Veronica is an educational consultant and grant writer.

Community Service: Veronica  served as a State Representative in the 124th Legislature  and as President of Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County.
In addition to her current position as a member of the board of Directors and chair of the Governance committee of the Maine Ocean School Foundation, Veronica is also on the Board of Trustees for the Sandy Point Community Club and is Chairperson of the Church Committee of the Sandy Point Congregational Church .

Veronica believes strongly in the philosophy driving the development of the Maine Ocean School. She and her husband Roland live on the Penobscot River. Their family spends Maine summers on fresh and salt waters in various watercrafts. More information can be found at

Captain Mike Flanagan

Merchant Marine since 1980

Mike FlanaganCaptain Mike Flanagan was born in Rockland, Maine and is a member of a coastal Maine family that settled in Rockland in 1846. He enlisted in the United States Navy as a navigation Quartermaster in 1976 specifically to gain the training necessary for pursuit of a career in the United States Merchant Marine. In 1980, one month after discharge from the USN, he joined Military Sealift Command as an Able Seaman. He then went on to receive his Bachelor of Science at the University of Colorado after majoring in political science. Captain Mike worked himself through the ranks to Master and Captained his first ship in 2002. Since 1990, he has recruited for the merchant marine in Maine and knows that this state puts out remarkable hard working men and women (he knows this because he has been working with them on his ships for many years).

His membership on the board of directors for the Maine Ocean School is directly related to his desire to publicize and educate the youth so they are ready to enter the sea going work force; a force that he believes will need many thousands of workers in the next 10 years.

Mary Elizabeth Greenier

Maine Maritime Academy Student


Captain Michael J. Ames

Retired Merchant Marine Shipmaster

Mike AmesMichael graduated from Maine Central Institute in 1973. He then enrolled at the Maine Maritime Academy where he graduated in 1977. Michael was employed as a Merchant Mariner upon graduation and remained so until retiring in 2016 as a successful Shipmaster with ConocoPhillips/Polar Tankers.

He became involved with Maine Ocean School as a volunteer in hopes to bring full circle his technical and leadership experiences to the front end of the education process, such that each generation is better prepared for the challenges they will face, regardless of their pursuits with all things and passions, ocean related.