Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of The Schoerke Foundation is an all-volunteer, unpaid board who are all dedicated to the mission of the Foundation.
Caroline Copp is a graduate of M.I.T. She has worked in various management and planning positions with Xerox and 2175 Easton Holdings, Inc. (formerly known as The South Canaan Telepone Company), rising to the position of Chairman and President. In that position, she led corporate planning, strategy development, financial and operational analysis, contract negotiations and business process evaluation. Carolyn’s management philosophy embodies the idea of servant leadership. Carolyn is a licensed pilot and enjoys figure skating, classical music and jazz, and textile arts. She is a volunteer in both the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), Philadelphia Chapter, and the Maryland Defense Force, where she holds the rank of Major and serves as Deputy Chief, Planning. She is married to a military chaplain, has one grown child and resides in West Chester, PA.
Laura Craig, Secretary
Laura Craig received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Birmingham-Southern College and her Masters of Education from the University of Texas, specializing in Pervasive Developmental Disorders and Autism. She has worked as a special educator in both public and private settings, and is currently a Learning Specialist at The Crefeld School in Philadelphia, PA. Her teaching experience also includes a position at the English Speaking School of Lubumbashi in Zaire, where she was a volunteer through the Global Ministries program of the United Methodist Church. She served as a board member of The Big Backyard Preschool as Fundraising Chair and Secretary for two years. She is currently faculty liaison to The Crefeld School’s board during its strategic planning process. She is a member of the Specialists of Schools for the Delaware Valley, and The Council for Exceptional Children. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband and two children.
Linda Grant DaSilva is a registered nurse and graduate of Kent State University with 30 years of experience in community settings. She currently works at the Franklin & Marshall University Student Wellness Center. She has made three trips to Ghana to volunteer at Heritage Academy working on projects related to hygiene and wellness. She helped establish Wellness Center for the students and staff, coordinated installation of tippy taps for hand washing, screened children for their growth and vision, improved the kitchen facilities and has implemented a menstrual education project for girls providing education and supplies so that they can attend school.
Sue Gold, a graduate of Oberlin College and Duke University, has taught in North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Colorado before moving to Pennsylvania, where she taught for 9 years at Media-Providence Friends School. Sue has been at Westtown School since 1997, working in the Advancement Office, teaching 6th grade history (where her students corresponded with the first students at Heritage Academy), and currently, serving as Director of Communications. Sue clerked Westtown's Multicultural Board for the first three years of its existence.
Daniel Kester received a BA in Physics from Grinnell College and an MS and Ph.D. in Materials Science from Penn State University. He worked for many years doing research in ultra-hard thin film coatings and later worked in consulting. Daniel travels extensively, and has spent much time in Africa. He first visited Ghana in1980, which included a visit to Bremen Essiam, future site of the Heritage Academy. He and his wife, Gunilla, live in Buffalo, NY and are long time supporters of the Schoerke Foundation. Daniel is currently also a member of the boards of the Buffalo Holocaust Research Center and of Congregation Shir Shalom.
John Koenig is a teacher of US History and Philosophy at Conestoga High School in Berwyn, PA. He has taught in a number of educational settings including special education schools, a rural public high school, and in a private, New England Preparatory school. He holds a Master's degree in American History from the University of East Anglia and is currently working on a Master of Education from Cabrini College. John has taught Philosophy, History, and Creativity and Problem Solving to Heritage Academy students and conducted Teacher Conferences in three summer trips to Ghana.
Kwesi Koomson, Ghanaian Liaison
Kwesi Koomosn holds a BA from Franklin & Marshall College and an MA in Mathematics from Villanova University. Kwesi has worked in schools in the United States and Ghana since 1997; and having been the beneficiary of various scholarships as a student, Kwesi returned to Ghana in 2004 with his wife, Melissa, to start two Heritage Academy schools.
Melissa Koomson, Founder
Melissa Koomson holds a degree in Spanish from Chestnut Hill College. She has taught Spanish to middle and high school students in the United States, English to middle school students in Ghana, and worked as a PreK teacher at Plymouth Meeting Friends School. Melissa has done volunteer work in the United States, Latin America, and Africa. She founded Schoerke Foundation based on her commitment to education especially in Ghana.
Ellis Manning, Finance Director
Ellis is a CPA who holds an MBA in Finance & Economics, a BS in Accounting, and a BA in Philosophy and History. He served as the Agency Administrator and Controller of a home health organization in Denver, Colorado before joining Voya Financial where he serves as a Lead Financial Analyst, Ellis also provides small business accounting services for a West Chester art gallery. He was born and raised in Washington, DC. He and his wife, Mary, have lived in Westtown since 2002.
Erin McCabe graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Sociology in and Master’s in xxxx from University of Pennsylvania. She worked for the University newspaper at UVa.as head of the Advertising Department while in school, and continued with a career in marketing and advertising sales after graduation. She is particularly interested in international human rights work. Erin first volunteered with the Schoerke Foundation as a teacher during the Summer Session of 2011, and again in Summer 2012. Erin lives in New York.
Micahel Minnig holds a masters degree in education from Lesley University where he studied conflict resolution and how to build peaceable schools. Over the last sixteen years Michael has worked in summer camp programs for Quaker organizations and children with severe medical problems, coached basket ball, taught English and Social Studies, been a dorm head and the director of service learning, and clerked various committees including the diversity committee at Atlanta Friends School where he helped create the middleschool program. Michael has been the clerk of the Martin Luther King Day Committee and the Kasemeyer Leadership Award Committee at Westtown School where he is currently the director of outdoor education. He is married to and has two children.
Roy Ortman, Chairperson
Roy Ortman is a 1969 graduate of American University. He has spent the majority of his working career in the financial services industry primarily in the investment business in New York City. He is a founding partner of The Hampton Group, a strategy consulting firm, and joined Accenture, a large management consulting and technology firm, in 1995 when The Hampton Group was acquired. Roy retired in 2002 and took five years to read, travel and volunteer. He is currently the Strategic Plan Coordinator at Delaware Valley University. He and his husband of 44 years live in Doylestown, PA.
Jennifer Pioch, Interim Executive Director
Jennifer Pioch holds a BA in economics and psychology and an MBA in finance from Indiana University, and an MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from West Chester University. Jennifer has been involved in the field of international community development for the past ten years. She was with Geneva Global, a firm specializing in international philanthropic investing, and with the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, serving as the International Projects Director. Her responsibilities included advising the Board of Trustees on the investment of funds into viable, locally implemented, sustainable projects in all areas of the Global South, and evaluating the impact and results. In addition to the Schoerke Foundation, Jennifer is currently involved in P.E.O., a philanthropic educational organization dedicated to supporting qualified women in higher education. Jennifer lives in Malvern PA with her husband and has two children.