Joe Rusiewicz is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Pottstown Education. Joe began his duties with the Foundation on December 12, 2016 after serving more than 35 years with various YMCAs in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Joe is a native of Natrona Heights in western Pennsylvania. He attended Springfield College earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Community Education with a Business Administration minor. After college, Joe entered the YMCA as a career serving as Senior Program Director, Associate Executive Director and Executive Director. In 1999, Joe became the Executive Director of the Pottstown Family YMCA serving in this role until 2004. He then worked for the Upper Main Line YMCA, which merged with the YMCA of the Brandywine Valley. Here he served as an Associate Executive Director for the Lionville Community YMCA and Association Director of the Member Engagement Center. Joe is also Faculty for the YMCA of the USA and has lead trainings throughout the northeastern United States.
Joe was recognized by the Association of YMCA Professionals with the Bill Cameron Award of Excellence in 2012 for his leadership to the Association and the dedication to the mission of the YMCA on a local, regional and national level.
Joe and his wife Linda have five sons, three granddaughters and one grandson. They have lived in Douglassville for 16 years. He has been active in community organizations such as the Amity Township Parks and Recreation Committee, a graduate of the Leadership TriCounty through the Chamber of Commerce, former President of the Daniel Boone Education Foundation and the Daniel Boone Sports Boosters serving as the Treasurer for four years.
He is looking forward to working with the Foundation Board, School District and community at large to promote opportunities for children in the Pottstown area.
Tracey L. Brown, Ph.D. is an editor specializing in academic manuscripts. Previously, she was a Senior Lecturer of Psychology at Montgomery County Community College (Pottstown, PA), a consultant for the O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service (Reading, PA) on the topic of community revitalization, and as a therapist at St. Gabriel’s Hall (Audubon, PA).
Dr. Brown is a co-author of the book, Nature Centered Leadership: An Aspirational Narrative, which was nominated for "Leadership Book of the Year" by the International Leadership Association in 2014. She is a recipient of a prestigious P.E.O. Scholar Award, an international merit-based award given to women pursuing a doctoral degree. Of the scholarship winners for 2013-2014, she was selected as the Presidential Scholar in honor of P.E.O. President Maria Baseggio. She is also a recipient of a 2013 On Sustainability Graduate Scholar Award and an inaugural recipient of a Graduate Leadership Fellowship from the O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service.
Dr. Brown has her Doctorate of Philosophy in Leadership Studies with a specialization in Educational Leadership from Alvernia University (Reading, PA). She received both her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and her Master of Arts in counseling psychology from Rosemont College (Rosemont, PA) in 2003 where she won the Alumni Association Scholastic Excellence Award (valedictorian).
Georgette Howell is College Professor and Registered Dietitian with 21 years of professional experience; 17 of those years teaching in the health and nutrition field. Her specific expertise is in curriculum development and review, utilizing technology in the classroom, group facilitation, competency-based education teaching to a diverse student population. Georgette is the Associate Professor and Co-Coordinator for Exercise Science and Wellness at the Montgomery County Community College West Campus. Georgette received her Bachelor’s degree in History from SUNY Stony Brook. She completed her Masters or Science degree in Nutrition/Education from Columbia University. She also completed her Teacher in Higher Education program from Temple University, Health Coach Training from Hilton-Johnson and has 32 credits toward her PhD in Health/Human Services. She has also been the Adjunct Professor for Allied Health at the Community College of Philadelphia, Assistant Director, Dietetic Internship, College of Graduate Studies at Immaculata College, Assistant Professor/Coordinator, and Dietetic Technology Program at SUNY Rockland Community College.
Scott is a consultant with Maillie LLP and has 39 years of experience working with closely held businesses and not for profit organizations as a CPA. Scott had specific industry experience in the automotive, real estate and manufacturing areas along with the not for profit areas.
After graduating from Lehigh University, Scott joined Maillie in 1977, after three years in practice with Coopers and Lybrand. He earned his CPA in 1978 and was named partner in 1984.
Scott is a Certified Public Accountant in Pennsylvania and is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA).
Melissa is the Communications and Administrative Director for the TriCounty Area Chamber where she had been employed since 2012.
She is a graduate of Delaware Valley University where she majored in Equine Science and Management. During her time at Delaware Valley, she studied abroad at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, UK.
In her role with the TCACC, Melissa is responsible for creating all communication materials related to events, program and services, organize and maintain the membership data base and updating the website. Melissa is also a graduate of the Leadership TriCounty Program, Class of 2017.
Stephen Rodriguez is the Superintendent of Schools for the Pottstown School District. He earned his Associate’s degree from Reading Area Community College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from Millersville University. He continued his studies at Penn State University where he attained a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, and completed the Principal certification program. He continued his graduate work at St. Joseph’s University, earning a “Letter of Eligibility” for the Superintendency.
Stephen began his professional career as a substitute teacher in the Reading school district working in Reading High School for three years. He then secured a Special Education position at Governor Mifflin High School, and taught at the middle school level. Teaching Learning Support, Emotional Support, and pioneering in regular education Co-Teaching, he honed his skills as an educator.
In 2003, Stephen became the Associate Principal at Governor Mifflin High School, and soon moved on to Hamburg Area High School as the Assistant and then Acting Principal. In August 2005, he became Principal of Pottstown High School. During his tenure there, the district watched math and reading scores rise significantly, saw the graduation rate rise from 75% to 89%, and utilized the restorative practices concepts to shape a positive school culture.
In 2013, Stephen accepted a new position as the Pottstown School District’s Director of Human Resources. His focus became recruiting and hiring the best employees for all departments, while also supporting students in a variety of ways, including: policy management, student and professional discipline, and personnel/human resources management.
In 2016, the board of directors appointed Stephen the Acting Superintendent to serve in the role for one year.
In 2017, Stephen was named the Superintendent of Schools. After a rigorous interview process, he is honored and humbled to be selected to serve the school district and looks forward to continuing the District mission. He is dedicated to moving the district forward and he states it has been his great pleasure to be a part of the Pottstown Team!
Stephen oversees the real estate department for the Chester County office and focuses his practice primarily in the areas of transactional real estate, zoning and land use, municipal law, general corporate/business law and education law.
Stephen's experience includes:
Stephen currently serves as solicitor for:
In addition to his practice, Stephen also serves on the firm’s Partnership Advancement Committee.
Before Fox Rothschild, Steven served in the trials division as an Assistant District Attorney for Montgomery County, Stephen joined and later became a partner in the law firm of Binder, Kalis & Proctor, P.C. located in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
Stephen is an active member of the Montgomery County Bar Association. He is the former chairman and current member of the Municipal Law and Finance Committee and the Bench Bar Committee. Stephen also recently completed a four year term on the Judiciary Committee, where his responsibilities included offering recommendations regarding the qualifications of all candidates seeking appointment, election or retention as a Judge for the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, PA.
In addition to his involvement with the Bar Association, Stephen also serves on the board of directors of the Association for the Colonial Theatre, a community organization responsible for the acquisition, renovation and management of an historic downtown movie theatre identified by several area community foundations as being the catalyst for economic redevelopment/revitalization efforts currently underway in the Borough of Phoenixville, PA.
John Armato is a graduate of East Stroudsburg State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Oral Communications. He has been a member of the Pottstown School District for 44 years, the last three as a full time volunteer. As a classroom educator, he taught classes in oral communications, debate, group dynamics, mass media, science fiction, sports literature, print media, English, and Problems in American Democracy.
John served as a class and National Honor Society sponsor. He became Athletic Director, responsible for interscholastic athletics grades 7-12 and served in that position for 20 years. Presently he is the Director of Community Relations responsible for developing strong ties between the school district and the community. He serves as the school district's spokesperson and primary media contact. John is also involved in a number of school district committees and serves on community oriented organizations.
Howard Brown is a Program Officer at Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation (PAHWF) where he manages grants and initiatives related to school wellness and community development. Prior to PAHWF, Brown worked as a professional basketball player for over 13 years, playing for organizations based in 19 different cities and in six different countries. As a professional, he won two Spanish league championships and two league scoring titles and finished his career as a top 10 scorer in the history of Spanish LEB Gold. His amateur accolades include 1998 First Team Philadelphia All Big 5, a 1996 Big East Championship (Villanova University), 1995 Pennsylvania State Player of the Year, and in 1993 he led the Trojans to their first PIAA State Basketball Championship.
Howard’s passion for giving back is found in his philanthropic and other endeavors. In 2000, he established the Howard Brown Athletic Scholarship Fund to provide financial and other support for PHS graduating seniors who are on their way to college. Today, he serves on a number of non-profit boards and oversees the operations of iBall United, a sports marketing, management, and consulting agency for basketball players and coaches across the globe.
David Charles is a graduate of Pottstown Senior High School located in Southeastern, PA. Growing up as the middle child in a subsidized housing development, David has first-hand experience with the obstacles that many youth face on a daily bases in many situations. He grew up knowing what it was like for the adults in his life to work to make ends meet and not have enough time in the day for family engagement.
David has also traveled to areas such as California, Florida, New York, Atlanta, and Germany and met many lost children in his travels. While he pursued his music career, he worked to help many youth musicians who crossed his path in subtle ways. He understands the plight of the young man who has a hard time believing that making better choices equates to a better life. The understanding and dream David had then and stays steadfast to today is the motivation behind the creation of S.T.R.I.V.E. Initiative (STRIVE - Strengthening Tomorrow Requires Initiative & Vision Everyday).
Currently, David is the Executive Director for STRIVE Initiative. STRIVE is a 501(c)(3) certified nonprofit organization. The goal of STRIVE is simple – to assist underserved youth in realizing their full potential. STRIVE operates as an organization with a purpose to enlighten, aid and enhance the lives of youth in under-resourced areas through character-building programs including arts, recreation, physical activities, education and civic activities. STRIVE is currently working with local school districts to conduct educational programs for at-risk students undecided about their future that may choose an unhealthy way of progression in their lives.
David’s personal mission continues to be sparked by his sincere commitment to help area youth develop lifelong changes to improve their life and the lives of others. The long-term commitment of STRIVE, under the direction of David, work to support community revitalization through personal development of our precious youth. The younger generation has the potential to be leaders, so it is crucial that they have proper resources and motivation.
David has also assisted the psychiatrist at a private nonprofit for more than eight years; empowering participants to find a pathway back to a lifetime of recovery. www.spiritofgheel.org
David is also featured on media sites; broadcasting to over 50,000 schools nation wide with physical fitness content. www.gonoodle.com
After retiring from full time employment, sitting around cleaning closets and drawers was not in the cards, so Judy took a position as Academic Advisor for various programs at Montgomery County Community College. A position she thoroughly enjoys and continues today.
Judy is retired from the position for Director of the TRiO Upward Bound Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to that position she was the Director of TRiO upward Bound at Harcum College. Judy worked in TRiO for 12 years as both a director and academic coordinator. Judy has served as treasurer of the Mid-Eastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MEAEOPP) and also served as President of the Pennsylvania Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (PAEOPP). She also served as Finance Committee Chair for MEAEOPP and for PAEOPP revising and writing Fiscal Management Policies for both organizations.
Personally, Judy’s interest lies in quality education for all students and supported this interest by lobbying for increased funding for Educational Opportunity Programs in both Washington, DC and Harrisburg, PA. She also served on the Strategic Planning Committee for Pottstown School District many years ago. She served as President of the Board several times, on the Finance and Personnel Committees and also co-chaired the 100th Anniversary Committee for the YWCA Tri-County Area. She is currently serving on the Governance Committee at the YW.
Judy and her husband Art enjoy gourmet cooking, going to the movies, dining out, and spending time with their children, grandsons and many friends.
Georgette Howell is College Professor and Registered Dietitian with 21 years of professional experience; 17 of those years teaching in the health and nutrition field. Her specific expertise is in curriculum development and review, utilizing technology in the classroom, group facilitation, competency-based education teaching to a diverse student population.
Georgette is the Associate Professor and Co-Coordinator for Exercise Science and Wellness at the Montgomery County Community College West Campus. Georgette received her Bachelor’s degree in History from SUNY Stony Brook. She completed her Masters or Science degree in Nutrition/Education from Columbia University. She also completed her Teacher in Higher Education program from Temple University, Health Coach Training from Hilton-Johnson and has 32 credits toward her PhD in Health/Human Services.
She has also been the Adjunct Professor for Allied Health at the Community College of Philadelphia, Assistant Director, Dietetic Internship, College of Graduate Studies at Immaculata College, Assistant Professor/Coordinator, and Dietetic Technology Program at SUNY Rockland Community College.
Matt is originally from Williamsport, PA. He attended Williamsport High School and Pennsylvania College of Technology where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Web Development. He moved to the area to live with his grandfather Al Kutz and start his business.
Now a resident of Pottstown, Matt is Owner and Web Developer of Kutz Technology Services. He brings a marketing and web design background to the Foundation. He is the chairman of the Foundation's Marketing Committee and also a member of the Rotary Club of Pottstown and the Coventry Lion’s Club.
The Foundation for Pottstown Education elected Lisa Lightcap to their Board of Directors. She is coming back to the Foundation Board after a two year break.
Lisa has spent most of her career in the banking industry working for several local banks and currently is a Commercial Banking Relationship Manager at the Pottstown Office of Tompkins VIST Bank. She has also served as the Director of Administration for the Boyertown Corp of the Salvation Army.
Lisa and her husband, Bob live in Pottstown. Beside the Foundation for Pottstown Education, Lisa’s community service experiences include Home Health Care Management, the Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce and is a graduate of the Leadership Tri-County, Morning Star Fellowship, the Boyertown United Way, the Berks-Mont Business Associate, and the March of Dimes Walk America.
Danielle is a lifelong resident of Pottstown having begun her education at Lincoln Elementary School. Following graduation from Pottstown High School, Danielle received a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Total Information Systems and Design. Danielle spent several years in the banking industry where she worked as a retail bank manager before returning to school to become a teacher. Receiving the College of Education Teacher Education Graduate in Career and Technical Education Award and a Master of Education Degree in Curriculum Instruction and Technology Education from Temple University was followed by a rewarding career as a teacher at Pottstown High School. For six years she was the Director of Career and Technical Education at the high school where she oversaw 10 programs. While the director she created three new programs: Entrepreneurship, Management Information Systems and Engineering Technologies. With the national focus on STEAM careers, Mrs. McCoy is excited to provide students with this head start on careers in engineering and information management.
In July, 2015 Danielle accepted the position of principal for Pottstown High School. As the principal she enjoys working with the staff and students as tomorrow’s leaders are prepared for success at the next level. What she is most proud of is the fact that she does not just talk the talk, she walks the walk. The choice to educate her own children in the Pottstown School District is one that has served them well. Each of them graduated with honors from their respective colleges. They are all leading successful lives as valuable members of their communities and of the workforce. They not only make her proud as a parent, they make Danielle proud as a Pottstown School District educator.
Alan Mitchell is Director of Materials Management for Pottstown Hospital. He is coming to the Board with 30+ years of experience in his field. His day to day responsibilities at the hospital include purchasing and management of the storeroom, receiving and mailroom departments. He has worked in a similar capacity at several other hospitals including most recently, the Medical College of Philadelphia and Mercy Health System in Conshohocken.
Alan is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. He resides with Rita, his wife of 32 years in Deptford, New Jersey. They have two daughters, Lauren, 28 and Sarah 25.
Sue moved to Chester County over 45 years ago to work as a teacher at Devereux Schools in West Chester. After spending eight years at Devereux, where she met her husband, she moved to North Coventry in 1971 where she currently lives.
After her children Christopher and Kimberly began school, Sue started a new career working for a building services company from New Jersey working her way up to regional manager covering New Jersey, Northern Delaware, and Eastern PA. After working for them for ten years she decided it was time for a new career.
Sue began her new career at Girl Scouts of Freedom Valley Council working in their Fund Development Department as their secretary. After a year or two, she decided this was a field that interested her, so she went to Villanova University where she earned a Certificate in Fund Development. Eventually Sue became the Director of Development for the Council, retiring after 18 years when the three local councils merged.
Deciding that retirement was not for her, Sue began working for the Pottstown School District as a grant writer and Project Director for their state funded 21st Century Community Learning Center after school and summer programs. She retired in September 2017 and recommends it for everyone! Sue loves to travel and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and granddogs.
Sue enjoys spending time with her five grandchildren, arranging family get-togethers, traveling and relaxing at home.
Vaughn Zimmerman is an account executive for Tompkins Insurance (a top 100 U.S. commercial insurance agencies) owned by Ithaca N.Y. based Tompkins Financial Corporation. Vaughn is based in Tompkins Pottstown branch and focuses on group employee benefit and commercial insurance programs. Having grown up in Pottstown, he is a Pottstown Sr. High School alumnus and graduated from West Chester University with a degree in business administration. Along with his wife he lives in Boyertown and has 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Vaughn enjoys making community and business connections. He also serves on the board of directors for Building A Better Boyertown.