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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

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.

Dr. Gabriel Bikah

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 word 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, than it already is. I can use my network within my company the local community, to promote the benefits of a GMA education.

Mr. Francis "Bud" Carroll

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.

Sister Patricia Carroll, RSM

Ms. Anne Casavecchia

Mr. Mark Chesnik

Mrs. Maureen Dougherty

Sister Georgia Greene, RSM

Mrs. Bridget Keeley

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.

Mrs. Dawn Kownacki, Esq.

I have a deep appreciation for the spiritual and educational mission of GMA. My love of education causes me to admire the commitment GMA has to academic excellence. I personally benefited from a Catholic education from grades K-12. I am grateful for my own personal Catholic educational experiences that shaped my development in a most meaningful way, as well as those of my children and grandchildren. So, my desire was to give back to a community that advocates for excellence in education nourishing the mind, body, and soul of our future leaders.

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.

Ms. Kathy Moran-Gannon

I am a graduate of Gwynedd Mercy University and my son is a graduate of GMA's sister school, Waldron Mercy Academy, where he enjoyed eight wonderful years of growth, education and community. The Spirit of Mercy shapes our beliefs and has a profound impact of who we are. I was honored when asked to be a member of GMA's Board of Trustees. I see it as an opportunity to give a small gift to the Sisters of Mercy who have contributed so much to our lives.

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.

Ms. Mary Jo Pierantozzi

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.

Mrs. Colleen Stratton

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.

Sister Susan Walsh, RSM

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.