BIOGRAPHY BOARD MEMBERS
Darren Glass, President
Darren Glass is the Alumni Professor of Mathematics at Gettysburg College, where he is also the Director of the First-Year Seminar Program. He received his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 and his BA from Rice University in 1997, and has been a member of the Gettysburg community for 13 years. Before joining the board, he served on the Vida Finance Committee for several years, helped evaluate Mathematics curricula, and has been a Vida parent for five years. He also has a certificate from the Meson Sacristia Cooking School in Puebla Mexico, and loves to show off these skills.
Gregory Murry is an Associate Professor of History and Director of the Core Curriculum at Mount Saint Mary’s University. He received his Ph.D. in history from Pennsylvania State University in 2009. Next fall, he will have four children at Vida. He is a fervent supporter of bilingual education and hopes to see Vida thrive for many years to come.
Melissa Rosenbergerand her family joined the Vida Charter School community in 2011. Her family lives on a small farm in Gardners. She graduated from Trinity High School in Camp Hill and the University of Pittsburgh where she studied Sociology and Hispanic Studies. Over the years, she has provided Vida with school wide programs focused on anti-bullying and body rights. She has facilitated and assisted in the coordination of two grant funded evidenced-based programs at Vida, The Incredible Years Program / Dinosaur School and Strengthening Families. Last year, she organized a series of friendship circles for the 5th and 6th graders. Melissa serves on the Wellness Committee at Vida and has assisted in the revisions of the Bullying Policy. In the Adams County community, Melissa assists families in planning for healthy and positive futures!
Sally Bussey Powell started her teaching career over twenty years ago at a small middle school in rural Virginia, where she worked as a science and social studies teacher before moving on to teach science in rural and suburban school districts outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She moved to Gettysburg in 2008 and for the past ten years she has taught English language learners in Carroll County, Maryland. This experience, in particular, has sharpened her awareness of the learning challenges faced by students who are not native English speakers and has reinforced the idea that small, caring, and cohesive learning environments provide essential support not only to students who may not feel welcome in school and who may struggle to communicate with there teachers and connect with their peers, but to every child and even to teachers as well. She believes very strongly that the culture of a school matters as much as the curriculum does, which is why she and her husband have chosen to enroll two of their children, Cabell and Annabelle, at Vida. She sees in Vida an opportunity to create a school that truly meets the needs of all students by making their world bigger through cross-cultural communication, mutual understanding, a challenging academic program, and a shared sense of purpose.
Sally earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science at the University of Virginia and an Master of Arts in Teaching at Mary Baldwin College. She also holds an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree granted by the University of Georgia. She lives in Gettysburg with her husband, Dave, her four children (Jackson, Caroline, Cabell, and Annabelle), a dog named Dewey and a cat named Conway.
Yeimi K Gagliardi
Yeimi K Gagliardi, works as a Latino health educator in Adams County for Wellspan Health. She also serves as chairperson for the Latino Services Task Force and the Tobacco Prevention Task Force of Healthy Adams County where she leads and collaborates, with other community based organization, in the development, implementation and evaluation of initiatives to reach under served communities in Adams County. Some of the initiatives that she had overseen include:
- Early childhood education program for Spanish speaking childcare providers
- Health literacy programs for Hispanics
- Tobacco cessation programs in Spanish
- Underage drinking prevention campaign for Latino families
- Access to healthcare services fo uninsured and underinsured
- Language and interpretation services for individuals with limited English proficiency
- Reproductive health services for minority women
- Spanish for the healthcare worker program at Wellspan Health
- Diabetes outreach program for Hispanic patients
Mrs. Gagliardi graduated from Sergio Arboleda university in Bogota, Columbia with a Bachelors of Sciences Degree in Finance and Foreign Trade, and holds a Masters degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies from American University in Washington DC. Mrs. Gagliardi has more than 15 years of experience working with Latino communities in the United States. Her work in Adams County includes hosting and organizing regional forums to raise awareness about the needs of Latinos. In her role as a chair for the Latino Services Task Force she assists local community based organizations with developing and implementing programs that provide trustworthy information on healthcare, education services, social services among others. Her most recent work includes participating in a community partnership to develop a Raid Response Team to address the fear and anxiety of Latino community members in Adam County are experiencing due to the recent immigration rhetoric and policies.
She is currently a board member at the Family Health Council of Central Pennsylvania, the Hispanic American Center in Manos Unidas and is an advocate for the research on cures for pediatric brain cancer.
Brenda Reyes-Lúa, currently oversees services for the Pennsylvania’s Migrant Education Program in Adams County. She has been a resident of Adams County since her arrival in August of 1993 from Michoacán, Mexico. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University awarded in August 2010, with a major in sociology. She is both bilingual and bi-cultural and has worked with the migrant/immigrant population in Adams County since 2006 providing educational and advocacy services to hundreds of families.
Ashley Andyshak Hayes
Ashley Andyshak Hayes was born and raised in western Pennsylvania, and moved to Gettysburg in 2005 to take a job as a staff writer for the Gettysburg Times. She worked as a reporter for four years, at the Times and later at the Frederick News-Post in Frederick, Md. In 2009, she stepped into the nonprofit world full-time as the director of advocacy and public relations for the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County. There she had the opportunity to work with members of our local community from many cultural backgrounds, including our Spanish-speaking community, on programs and events that fulfilled the YWCA's mission of promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
During the 14 years she has called Gettysburg home, Ashley has volunteered with a number of other local nonprofit organizations as well, serving on the boards of several including the Adams County Children's Advocacy Center, Manos Unidas Hispanic American Center, and the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania. She also volunteers with her parish, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, and is an active member of the Rotary Club of Gettysburg, where she chairs the scholarship committee.
Ashley currently works as a media relations specialist for Geisinger Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill. She holds a B.A. in communication from Messiah College and is working toward an M.A. in writing at Johns Hopkins University. She is also a contributing writer to the Gettysburg Times and the Gettysburg Companion magazine. She lives in Lake Heritage with her husband, Alex, and their two dogs.
Leighton has a life-long passion for learning and serving. After graduating from Gettysburg High School in 2002, he headed to Haverford College where he earned a B.A. in the study of religion in 2006. After college he lived briefly in California before returning to work for a branch of his family’s business, R & L Orchard Company. There he developed his innate passion for horticulture which he carried with him in 2009 to Lincoln University in New Zealand where he studied viticulture and oenology (winemaking). In 2014 Leighton shifted his focus to the storage and packing operations at Rice Fruit Company and accepted a position there as Quality Assurance Manager. He is very happy and engaged in his career in the local fruit industry. Leighton has two children at Vida and professes to enjoy the challenges and rewards of parenthood. Outside of work, Leighton pokes around in the yard and samples craft beer. He is often heard singing songs to himself.
Niamate Bouhelal Leeper
Niamate was born in Rabat, Morocco. She studied at the Lycee Moulay Yousef in Rabat where she excelled in mathematics and language. Her first language is Arabic and she is fluent in both French and English. She also attended Hassan Ben Chakroun Institute and studied business administration.
Niamate worked for the Agricultural Affairs Department of the United States Embassy in Rabat before moving the United States in 1990. To sharpen her business skills, she completed her Associate Degree at Harrisburg Area Community College where she was employed as a financial aid Advisor Assistant. In 2005, she accepted her current position as Coordinator of Employment and HR Diversity Initiatives at Gettysburg College. In addition to her duties in that position, the College has employed her as an Arabic language tutor. She played a key role in the development of the College’s Arabic Language program. In 2017, she officially formed the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and became the MSA Advisor. In addition to her work at the college, she has raised three wonderful children. Niamate is a lifelong learner, people person, outgoing, open-minded, compassionate, and perseverant. Niamate moved the Gettysburg in summer 2018 and is looking forward to finding opportunities to serve her new community.