Campus News

SA Announces Board Leadership and Three New Board Members

Sewickley Academy is pleased to announce the results of yesterday’s elections for the executive committee of the Board of Trustees. Three new members were also added to the Board as of July 1, 2022.
The executive committee election was held at the monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees, on Monday, September 19, 2022. All current board members were available for voting, resulting in the election of the following officers:
  • Chair: Kate (Poppenberg ‘82) Pigman
  • Vice-Chair: Rachel Allen
  • Secretary: Divya Thadani
  • Treasurer: Dennis Zeitler
  • Officer-at-Large: Brad Busatto ‘88
This newly appointed executive committee will serve a one-year term. This is Kate Pigman’s sixth year as chair. She is the international human capital managing director in Global PwC Tech, Network Security and Chief Data Office at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. She is a 1982 alumnae of Sewickley Academy, and her daughter graduated in 2019. A Trustee since 2015, Kate has held several leadership positions on the Board, as an Academy parent, and with the Alumni Council. 

“I am personally delighted to move forward with this strong executive committee,” said Dr. Ashley Birtwell, Head of School.. “I have worked with each of these individuals over the past year, and recognize the value and experience each offers to the Academy. Their leadership and guidance is essential to our efforts to expand access to and grow the Academy as the premier independent school in our region.”

The role of the executive committee is to facilitate decision-making and ensure that the Board’s actions align with the values, mission, bylaws, and goals for the Academy. 

Sewickley Academy’s Board of Trustees currently includes 16 members. Three Trustees were newly welcomed in July, and their terms officially began this academic year:
  • Robert James graduated from Sewickley Academy in 1985, and is an attorney currently serving as Vice President for Allegheny Health Network/Highmark Health as well as the organization’s DEI corporate strategist. He has an extensive background of leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion including PA Governor Wolf’s Advisory Council for Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities and received the Top 30 Champion of Diversity Award from DiversityPlus Magazine.
  • Rodney Smith is CEO of Advanced Environmental Monitoring (AEM). He is a Sewickley resident with a son in his senior year at Sewickley Academy and a daughter who graduated in 2020. He brings IT, telecommunications, and global leadership experience to the Board of Trustees. He also currently serves as Chair of the Building and Grounds Committee of the Board.
  • Joseph Zaluski has a background as an educator and was a Sewickley Academy administrator from 1988 to 2005 serving as Head of Lower School, Assistant Head of School, and Interim Head of School. During that time, he was part of the strategic plan that led to significant expansion and renovation to the Academy’s campus. Both of his children graduated from the Academy. Prior to his retirement in 2019, he had been Head of School at the Gulf Stream School in Florida since 2005. 

“These individuals are wonderful additions to our Board,” said Kate Pigman (title). “They have impressive professional experience as well as a fondness and commitment to Sewickley Academy. The Academy will surely benefit from their guidance and expertise.”