Who's Who on the GMA Board?
We are privileged to have many dedicated, accomplished and experienced individuals on our Board of Trustees. Their gift of time and talents are much appreciated by the Gwynedd-Mercy Academy community.
- Mr. Al Chiaradonna, Board Chairperson
- Dr. Gabriel Bikah
- Mr. Francis "Bud" Carroll
- Sister Patricia Carroll, RSM
- Ms. Anne Casavecchia
- Mr. Mark Chesnik
- Mrs. Maureen Dougherty
- Mrs. Theresa Fasano
- Sister Georgia Greene, RSM
- Mrs. Bridget Keeley
- Mrs. Dawn Kownacki, Esq.
- Ms. Kathy Moran-Gannon
- Ms. Mary Jo Pierantozzi
- Mrs. Colleen Stratton
- Mrs. Suzanne Swartley
- Sister Susan Walsh, RSM
Education has made a tremendous difference in my life. My mother and father never had the opportunity to attend college, but constantly preached to me about the importance of education. I lost my mother when I was 11 and my father just before I graduated from college. My education and the support of my family propelled me forward. My wife and I have been able to share the gift of education with our three children, Michael (GMA '13), Anna and Ellie. All of our children attended Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary at one point during their educational journey. Being part of Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary helped them grow in mind, body and spirit. Being a Trustee allows me to give back to an institution and community that has given so much to me and my family.
I am an adjunct professor at Villanova and have been for the past 18 years. I sit on several educational boards. As a result, I have a firsthand view of education and the changes taking place at the grade school, high school and college levels. Additionally, I am a business executive at SEI and have a strong understanding of the needs for financial stability and the responsibility of the stewardship of institutions.
My son (GMA Class of '15) attended GMA from K through 8 and received a great education from an excellent school. I decided to serve on the Board because I wanted to provide whatever input I could into ensuring that GMA had a great future and continues to provide children with a great education for generations to come.
I went to Catholic Schools all my life (except college) and I think I understand the culture and the values that a catholic education provides. I come from the pharmaceutical industry where we make products that save lives, not very different from education where the objective is to build up lives by providing knowledge and guidance. I think I can bring the rigor of the corporate world and the can-do attitude of a very competitive industry, to the GMA board and help the school become even more competitive compared to similar institutions. I can use my network within my company and the local community to promote the benefits of a GMA education.
As a parent of two daughters who attended GMA from kindergarten through eighth grade, I saw the impact that the school had on their educational and spiritual development. I am honored to be able to participate in some small way in the ongoing mission of providing the highest quality of Mercy education to other children. I retired from law enforcement in 2015 after serving for 39 years in various capacities, with the last 15 years as a Chief of Police. In that role, I was responsible for the effective and efficient administration of an organization with regard to financial management, personnel management, and policy development and implementation.
When I was invited to consider joining the Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary Board of Trustees, I reflected on some words of the school’s Mission: built on Mercy, rooted in Gospel values, committed to excellence. My own educational experience (grades 1-12) was built on Mercy and supported by my parents’ rootedness in Gospel values. I was excited to become part of a team committed to developing excellence of mind, body and spirit with a new generation of students.
I bring to the Board over 40 years’ experience in education and administration both at the elementary and high school levels. In addition, my experience on other education and health care Boards has enriched my understanding of sponsorship and my dedication to mission.
My interest in becoming a member of the Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary Board or Trustees is twofold. First, my four children, Patrick ’09, Megan ’13, Michael ’13, and Thomas ’14, graduated from GMAE. They each found themselves fully prepared for the academic challenges of high school based upon the education they received from GMAE. While my children were attending Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary I enjoyed volunteering at the school as Homeroom Parent, Homecoming Director, Teacher Appreciation Luncheons, and Parent Organization member. It was very rewarding to interact with the students, staff, and parents. Second, whenever I was at a Mass or gathering at the school and heard the students singing the Mercy Suscipe, it truly touched my heart with the innocence and belief of their commitment to God and the Circle of Mercy. I have tried to live my life with the same commitment to God and to helping others.
Throughout my experiences in the business world and as a volunteer, I have had responsibilities of setting and tracking schedules, keeping track of budgets involving costs and income, scheduling and running various events, and worked in large and small groups including colleagues and management, and with students, faculty and staff, and parents.
For all that Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary has given to my children and myself, I want to give back to the school, so that future families will be able to have the same wonderful experience my family enjoyed at GMAE.
I have spent over 40 years in the ministry of Catholic education. Those years and experiences have only solidified for me the urgency of providing the type of education offered to our students at Gwynedd-Mercy Academy. It is essential that this generation and generations to come are steeped in the gospel of Jesus, are imbibed with the charism of Mercy, and are provided education for leadership and service. Our
ministry as a Board of Trustees ensures that these students will have access to this education and will go forward to make a significant difference in our world. I am honored to be part of this exceptional institution.
Almost all of my years in ministry have been spent in Catholic Education. Most of those years were as a principal. I spent six years as principal of GMAE from 1974-80. Because of those years, I have a special place in my heart for the school and its continued growth. During my eighteen years at the St. Charles Mission School, located on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona, my responsibilities included fundraising and grant writing to keep the school financially viable. Presently I serve on the Board of Trustees Institutional Advancement Committee and I lend those many years of experience to GMAE.
It is a great honor to be granted a position with the Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary Board of Trustees. I am an active community member with a background in marketing and a passion for children and the power of education. I would love the chance to give back by lending my advisory skills to an establishment as prestigious and honorable as GMAE. A global marketer by profession, I have extensive experience in all forms of strategic marketing including: positioning/branding, PR, thought leadership, integrated digital marketing, communication, events and measurement/metrics. But, my greatest passion and most important job, is being a mom to 3 amazing kids (9, 7 and 2). As a parent, I have been fortunate to be very engaged in their schooling, educational programs and various extracurricular activities. While I feel my personal and professional talents and advisory skills could benefit the school, I whole-heartedly believe such an opportunity will bring even greater value and purpose to me and I'm truly honored to be part of the GMAE community.
Previously, I served on an education board for my local community high school. I currently am an adjunct at a local College where catholic spiritual values are built into the learning environment. I am a licensed attorney in PA and have over twenty years of experience in Human Resources.
As the director of marketing at Jefferson's (formerly Philadelphia University's) School of Continuing and Professional Studies, I market to, recruit and admit adult learners seeking bachelors degrees. I believe education affords many opportunities to individuals of all ages. I hope the knowledge and experience I've acquired during the sixteen years in my position will benefit the talented staff that promotes GMA and its strong mission, curriculum and community values.
I had been a board member from 2007-2016 and it was a great experience. When I was nominated to rejoin in 2017, I was pleased and honored to return to the board.
I have been an educator for over 50 years. In my "classroom" teaching days, I worked with the Sisters of Mercy. I am a graduate of Gwynedd Mercy University (then College) and have been a full time faculty member in Education at the University since 2002. I feel that I bring the educational and instructional perspectives to the board.
As a proud member of the Mercy community and parent of two GMA Elementary grads ('15 and '17), I am very grateful for the exceptional education our girls received. We are now watching them excel at the High School. I would like to see the education continue to create exceptional future leaders.
As a strong supporter of STEM careers for both men and women, a leader in diversity and inclusion and an executive at SEI, I believe I can bring a unique business and human resources perspective to the board. As a Senior Leader, I view the Mercy Catholic Foundation as even more relevant today.
Education has always been very important to me, and as a mother to three young children, I am constantly reminded how important it is to have a well-rounded, whole education. I cherish the experiences I've had through learning, and look forward to helping Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary students fulfill their potential.
I bring many years of finance experience to the board. I began my career in asset management at Morgan Stanley, and have spent the last ten years in corporate finance at Comcast Corporation, where I partner with business owners in financial planning, analysis and operations. I am a CFA Charterholder and have a passion for diversity and inclusion in education and the workplace.
It is an honor to join the GMAE board - I am excited for the opportunity to help!
At the time I joined the Advisory Board, I was teaching at GMAHS. I thought it was important as a Sister of Mercy to assist the elementary school and share my experience and expertise. That was 20 years ago. I remain happy to help this wonderful school.
I have over 40 years in education as a teacher and Administrator, including elementary education. I am familiar with school policies and finances. In addition, I believe in the Mission of Mercy and of GMA.