“Give good example – teaching more by what you do than what you say.”
– St. Angela Merici
In 1975, Ursuline Academy’s Board of Trustees was formed to assume responsibility for the daily operations of the school, under the chairmanship of Taylor W. Hanavan. At that time, the Convent and school became separate corporations. The Convent corporation retained the name “Ursuline Academy, Inc.,” and the school corporation was known as “Ursuline Academy of Wilmington, Delaware, Inc.” For the first time in its history, lay principals were appointed to head the schools. A further reorganization of the school took place in 1988 when the Board of Trustees created the position of President of the Academy; Angela M. Boyle, class of 1953, was the first to hold this position. Today, Dr. Trisha Medeiros holds position of President and Maritza Poza-Grise, the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
2020/2021 Board of Trustees
Erin Allsman, APR ’95
Erin Allsman is Brownstein Group’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director. She is Brownstein Group’s first-ever Managing Director, overseeing the agency’s brand strategy, public relations, creative, client services, social media and digital practices while also leading the agency’s long-term growth and specialization strategies. In her two years in this role, Allsman spearheaded an agency re-branding and several workplace improvement and agency communications initiatives in addition to contributing to one of the firm’s highest growth margins in its 54-year history. She also led the agency to its first recognition as an Ad Age Small Agency of the Year in 2018.
Karen is a partner at Connolly Gallagher LLP, where she practices in the fields of commercial bankruptcy, and provides various types of opinions for securitized transactions that occur throughout the country. Before becoming one of the founding partners of Connolly Gallagher LLP over six years ago, Karen practiced law at Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz LLP for 15 years, where she became partner and was a member on the Management Committee.
Kathleen is currently the Lead Admission Coordinator for Penn Rehab. She has worked in the field of acute rehabilitation for the past 25 years. She specializes in trauma, helping many families in Delaware and Pennsylvania who have been affected by traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries.
Sister Kathleen Finnerty
Sister Kathleen Finnerty is currently Superior of the Ursuline Community at the Province Center in New Rochelle. She also provides new principal mentoring for Catholic elementary and high school students and is a Board member at Iona Prep in New Rochelle.
Megan Gallagher ’02
Megan Gallagher ’02 brings over 12 years of work experience in higher education and marketing and communications. She’s held roles at MIT Sloan School of Management, The Wharton School, Bryn Mawr College, Occidental College, and currently serves as the Associate Dean of Communications for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Kennealey is the fourth President of Salesianum and the first lay-leader in the school’s 115-year history. His career in education began as a volunteer teacher at Nativity Preparatory School in Boston before becoming the founding principal of a Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 2000. Mr. Kennealey then returned to Wilmington to work with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales establish Nativity Preparatory School in Wilmington. Turning his sights internationally, in 2004 he founded the Benebikira Sisters Foundation which raises awareness and funding for the Benebikira Sisters’ schools and health clinics in Rwanda. Before Salesianum, Mr. Kennealey was an Area Superintendent for the Catholic Schools Office in the Archdiocese of Boston. He also served as an adjunct professor at Boston College where he created and taught the Social Entrepreneurship course.
Andrew is charismatic and a dependable husband to his wife, Kimberly, as well as a father of two beautiful daughters. His eldest daughter, Kayla, has attended Ursuline Academy since seventh grade and attends George Washington University. Andrew’s youngest daughter, Abby, has attended Ursuline Academy since fifth grade and is a senior. Andrew has been an aid to Ursuline Athletics by coaching cross country, track, and basketball.
Dr. Leidig joined Cardiology Physicians in June of 1996. Dr. Leidig obtained a Bachelor of Science degree, Summa Cum Laude, from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His post-graduate training in Internal Medicine came during a residency at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Dr. Leidig was an attending physician at Keller Army Hospital at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Sister Marion Lynch, OSU
Ali McDonough ’08
A 2008 graduate of Ursuline Academy, Dr. Ali McDonough is thrilled to be considered to play a role in the great things happening on Pennsylvania Avenue by potentially joining the Ursuline Board of Trustees. While a junior at Ursuline Academy, Ali experienced firsthand what the Ursuline sisterhood entails when her brother Andrew, then a freshman at Salesianum School, was diagnosed with Leukemia. The Ursuline faculty, students, and families rallied around Ali and the McDonoughs and grieved with her after Andrew passed away 166 days after his diagnosis.
The Honorable Vivian L. Medinilla ’84
The Honorable Vivian L. Medinilla received her appointment to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware by former Governor Jack A. Markell and began serving on February 5, 2013.
Maritza Poza-Grise, Board Chair
Maritza, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, is in her third year on the Board serving the past two years on the Executive Committee. Prior to her retirement in 2015, Maritza was Global Vice-President for DuPont Human Resources. A native of Havana, Cuba and raised in Miami, Florida Maritza lives in Landenberg, Pennsylvania with her husband Steve. They have two sons and a daughter, Myriam, Class of 2012.
Abigail Rodgers ’94
Abigail Rodgers Layton serves as the Director of the Family Division at the Delaware Office of the Attorney General. Prior to this role, she served as the Commander of the Child Predator Task Force, a statewide Task Force designed to combat technologically facilitated crimes against children. She has served as a Deputy Attorney General with the Delaware Department of Justice for 10 years.
Charles Ryan, AIA
Chuck is a registered architect and the Managing Principal of Homsey Architects in Wilmington. His career in architecture has included projects for many of our region’s institutions including Longwood Gardens, Winterthur Museum & Gardens, Hagley Museum & Library, The Grand Opera House, MBNA America/Bank of America, and Wilmington University, to name a few.
Penny Tsaganos Saridakis ’85
Penny’s career includes completion of a Management Development Program at the Chase Manhattan Bank, followed by positions in the Credit Card Division and Private Banking International. After earning her MBA, Penny worked at MasterCard International as a Vice President in the Global Debit business and at Citibank as Vice President, Global Debit Products.
Sister Patricia Schifini, OSU
Sister Patricia Schifini, OSU was born in the Bronx and attended St. Philip Neri School, the Academy of Mt. St. Ursula and the College of New Rochelle, all institutions staffed by the Ursuline Sisters, thus she is steeped in the Ursuline tradition of education. Sr. Patricia has been involved with Ursuline education for over 35 years and has served on many Boards. At the Academy of Mt. St. Ursula, she served as Religion teacher, Athletic Director, and in other capacities. She has been a member of the faculty at Ursuline School in New Rochelle for 25 years as Religion teacher, Campus Minister, Faculty Council member, and Director of the Peer Ministry program, which prepared retreats for students. Currently, Sr. Patricia serves on the leadership team for the Eastern Province of the Ursuline Sisters. She lives in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Kathleen Killen Veteri ’89
Kathleen is a graduate of Ursuline Academy, Class of 1989. She began as a student at Ursuline in the Montessori program at the age of 2 and spent the next 16 years at Ursuline. Kathleen played on the varsity field hockey and tennis teams, and also served as co-valedictorian for her graduating class. Kathleen’s sister, Mary Killen Munoz, is a 1987 Ursuline graduate and her father, William Killen attended Ursuline until the 6th grade. Kathleen, Mary and her father were all lucky enough to be taught by the late Sister Catherine Donohue.
Joseph “Joe” Vieira is a Managing Director at JP Morgan Chase. He is the Chief Architect for Chase Operations which supports call centers and back office operations for Chase Consumer and Community Banking. Joe has been in the technology field for 32 years including positions at IBM, Andersen Consulting and Chase. He has been with Chase in Wilmington, DE for the last 24 years.
Jessie Woolley-Wilson ’81
Throughout her life, Jessie has been driven by a singular belief that all children need and deserve high-quality learning opportunities, regardless of who they are or where they live. After 20 years of working in education technology, Jessie joined DreamBox Learning® in 2010 as Chair, President, and CEO.