Gillingham Charter School Board Bios

Marsha Chwastiak, Board President
Marsha Chwastiak is an attorney with expertise in domestic relations, bankruptcy, housing and consumer law at MidPenn Legal Services, a non-profit, public-interest law firm that helps low-income residents and survivors of domestic violence in Central Pennsylvania. She previously served as a Berks County assistant public defender. Ms. Chwastiak holds a B.A. in Political Science and Russian from Dickinson College and a J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law.

Sharon Klinger, Board Vice President
With over 15 years of experience in the mental health field in Schuylkill County, Sharon Klinger has had the privilege to work with most public and private schools in the county. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University, her Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education teaching from East Stroudsburg University, and her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and Secondary School Counseling from Kutztown University. Concerned for children who are struggling, especially those with special needs, Ms. Klinger brings to Gillingham Charter School’s board a true passion for helping these youngsters find their way. In fact, she joined the efforts with the founding members immediately upon learning the new charter school was starting up in her area.

Lisa Halteman, Board Secretary
A creative, award-winning business leader, Lisa Halteman is an IT Director at Johnson & Johnson where she oversees the global delivery of Application Services Sales Capabilities. Ms. Halteman holds a B.S. in Computer Science & Business Administration from Oral Roberts University, an M.S. in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Behavioral Science and Wharton Schools, and certificates in World Class Managing and Executive Business Coaching from Duke University. She is currently working towards a certificate in Positive Psychology with Harvard’s Tal Ben Shahar. Ms. Halteman was recognized by the CEO and chairmen of Johnson & Johnson for 20 years of community service with the Brendan Borek Foundation, which offers caring assistance to children and young adults with cancer in Cape May County, New Jersey.

Melinda Heppe, Board Member
Melinda Heppe is the pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Shenandoah, PA. For over a decade, she also served as an editor of In Trust Magazine. Rev. Heppe has been an adjunct faculty member at the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary in Klaipeda, Lithuania and a tutor in theology at St. Patrick’s Pontifical University in Maynooth, Ireland, where she earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology. She holds a B.A. in Social Science from Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Massachusetts and Master of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.

Daniel Kurtz, Board Member
Daniel Kurtz is Principal of General Philip Kearny School in Philadelphia. Prior to that he was Principal of Franklin Towne Charter High School and served in leadership positions with Mastery Charter Schools and Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter High School. Mr. Kurtz has also worked as a consultant at Synergy Educational Consultants in Holland, PA since 2005. He earned a B.A. in Technology of Artistic and Historic Objects and B.A. in Art History from the University of Delaware, an M.A. and Certificate of Advanced Study in Art Conservation from Buffalo State College, a Master of Education—Reading Specialist from Arcadia University, and Principal’s Certification from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Mr. Kurtz holds the position of Education Board Member & Curriculum Developer with the Center City Opera Theater and has been the head coach of international Judo teams.

Annette Stoudt, Board Member
Annette Stoudt is the Office Manager at John Yurconic Agency in Pottsville, which specializes in insurance. Ms. Stoudt is also a commissioned Notary Public. She graduated from Pine Grove Area High School and earned a Certificate in Office Information Systems from Schuylkill Training & Technology Center in Frackville.