James A Spitz Jr. - President, PHS '68
Resident, CEO and Partner, Harris Beach
Mr. James Spitz is CEO of Harris Beach and a member of the firm. He serves on the Educational Institutions Industry Team and practices in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America and listed in New York Super Lawyers, he focuses his practice on all areas of employee relations, including employment discrimination, collective bargaining, arbitration, improper practice/unfair labor practice proceedings, representation matters, employee discipline/termination, wage and hour issues, compliance with federal and state labor laws and other laws affecting the employer-employee relationship, counseling on employment policies and procedures, and contract administration.
A substantial portion of his practice involves representation of school districts on the previously mentioned labor and employment issues, as well as on general education, civil service and general municipal law matters. Mr. Spitz also advises school districts on open meeting laws and freedom of information law issues. He has extensive experience representing school districts for union and employment matters and matters before the Public Employment Relations Board, Commissioner of Education and state and federal courts.
Mr. Spitz is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and a member of the New York Association of Management Advocates for School Labor Affairs.
He earned his Bachelor's degree from Middlebury College, and his Master's in Business Administration from Syracuse University. Mr. Spitz earned his law degree at Syracuse University College of Law.
Mr. Spitz is currently President of the Keeping Education Extraordinary in Pittsford (KEEP) Foundation Board of Directors and has served as a member of the board since 1992. He is a 1968 graduate of Pittsford High School.
He is a member of the board of directors for the Business Council of New York State. He served as a member of the board of directors for Monroe Golf Club from 1991 to 1997 and was president in 1996 and 1997. Mr. Spitz also served as a member of the board of directors of the Rochester Friendly Home from 1983 to 1992. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Hunt Hollow Ski Club from 1988 to 1993 and president from 1990 to 1993.
James A Spitz Jr. - President, PHS '68
Resident, Financial Consultant, Sagemark Consulting
Mr. Andrew Comins is a financial consultant at Sagemark Consulting, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors. He joined Lincoln Financial Advisors in 1979 after a successful career in the accounting field.
He has served on the KEEP Board as Treasurer for the past 10 years. With his knowledge of the Pittsford Central School District's programs and strategic initiatives through his membership on the District Planning Team, Comins helps inform the board of directors on grant-making decisions.
Comins has previously served as the president of the Rochester Chapter of the Society of Financial Services Professionals. Comins is also a member of the Rochester Estate Planning Council.
He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Ithaca College and a Master of Science in Financial Services from the American College. He resides in Pittsford, NY with his wife Ricki and two children, Stefanie and Tamara.
Kristen is a Special Education Teacher at Barker Road Middle School, where she serves as co-teacher and consultant teacher for 6th grade ELA, math, social studies and science, as well as teaches 6th grade special class core support. In addition, she is a Summer Enrichment Educator and a Mentor Teacher. She is also a PDTA Building Union Representative and sits of the Instructional Leadership Team as a union representative.
Ms. Dolan received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped from the State University of New York at Fredonia, and her Master’s degree in Special Education from Nazareth College.
PCSD Resident, Parent, Educator
Karen is an English as a New Language teacher with Rochester City School District. In addition, she teaches citizenship courses for refugees in the area.
Ms. Ferrara received her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, her Master’s degree in Education from Nazareth College, and her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from St. John Fisher College.
She became interested in The KEEP Foundation while completing an internship with PCSD. As a Pittsford parent and area educator, she appreciates the excellence of PCSD and hopes to grow the Honor an Educator program within the district.
Andrew has a bachelor’s degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has worked with CurAegis Technologies since its inception as Torvec, and has been immersed in company operations since July 2004. Andrew brings first-hand knowledge of CurAegis’s products to the mobile equipment and fatigue management marketplaces, along with sales and marketing presence. He is the Steering Committee Chairman for RIT’s Center for Statesmanship, Law and Liberty and is part of Habitat for Humanity Leaders Build Committee. He is an alumnus of the Pittsford Central School District, graduating from Pittsford Mendon HS in 2000
Andy is an audit manager on the healthcare/tax-exempt team at The Bonadio Group. He serves a client base consisting of community colleges, private universities, mental health services providers, low-income housing tax credit projects, and a variety of other non-profit organizations.
He joined Bonadio in 2013, after completing a five-year master’s degree program at Binghamton University. Andy is also a founding member of, and currently serves as Treasurer for, a small non-profit organization which provides housing for Binghamton University students.
Andy is a NYS Certified Public Accountant and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
He is an alumni of the Pittsford Central School District, graduating from Pittsford Mendon HS in 2008.
Harold F. McAulliffe
Retired PCSD Educator, Conductor, University of Rochester
Mr. Harold McAulliffe currently teaches at the University of Rochester as conductor of the Men’s Glee Club. He has been a leader in the Rochester music community for most of his career. He continues to travel the country, adjudicating choral festivals and appearing as a guest soloist.
He retired from the Pittsford Central School District in 2007 after 40 years. During his time in the PCSD, he served as a teacher, District Instructional Leader for Music, as well as Director of the Pittsford Summer Enrichment Institute.
He is also the co-founder of Pittsford Musicals Inc., serving for many years as the musical director. Mr. McAuliffe has received the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's Vocal Music Educator of the Year Award.
Equally successful as a tenor soloist, Mr. McAulliffe has appeared with major symphonies and choral societies around the United States and performed as a soloist in a number of European countries. Mr. McAulliffe also appeared in a series of concerts across the United States promoting the Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
He has been involved with the board of directors for the Young Audiences of Rochester, the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Rotary Club of Pittsford.
Harold F. McAulliffe
Resident, User Experience Architect, Microsoft
Ryan Mott is a User Experience Architect with Microsoft. As a designer, Ryan views his work as more than solving problems. It’s his belief that the best designers are the greatest storytellers. They are people who can excite you with their vision and understand the larger context surrounding a problem. Ryan has been fortunate to produce work for companies and organizations like: Target, Intel, NFL, NASCAR, Toyota, NYPD, PGA, Volkswagen, Boeing, Dupont, GE, Merck, and HP. When he's not traveling the globe designing apps and websites, he's working one of his endless side-projects, watching an 80's movie, chasing after his little girl, or taking a stroll along the canal with his wife.
Ryan earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona and his Master's degree in Computer Graphics Design from The Rochester Institute of Technology.
He's excited to be a part of the KEEP Foundation and looks forward to helping contribute to a bright future for his daughter and others like her in our wonderful hometown.
Sean M. Phelan
Resident, Business Development Manager, HUNT
Sean M. Phelan is HUNT’s Rochester-based Business Development Manager. He brings twenty five years of research, writing, and project management/advisory experience in public policy, economics, business development, and politics to the board.
Sean joined HUNT in 2012 after twelve years with the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (RDDC) where he rose from Project Manager to Vice President in 2010.
Mr. Phelan is the Director of Communications for the American Institute of Architects Rochester Chapter, and also serves on the advisory committees of the WellVentures Retail Initiative, the GardenAerial/Greentopia Initiative, and Arts Charter School.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Binghamton University. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Public Programs/Communications from Arizona State University.Sean Phelan
Resident, Retired PCSD Educator
Jeanne Strazzabosco retired from PCSD in 2015. She began her career teaching French at Sutherland HS and retired from Barker Road Middle School. Jeanne has a passion for helping children from all our neighborhoods access experiences that will open doors to new opportunities and extend their reach into the world.
In 2015, Jeanne facilitated a partnership with Pittsford Schools, The Urban-Suburban Program and YMCA Camp Cory which culminated into an annual KICKS for Campers Kickball Tournament & Scholarship Fundraiser, which allows students to experience the benefits and beauty of overnight camp.
In the summer of 2018, two former campers will participate in the Counselor in Training Leadership Program at Camp Cory. Jeanne serves on the Camp Cory board of management where she is the chair of the Annual Campaign.
Jeanne continues to offer professional development seminars, such as The Inclusive Classroom through the Pittsford Teacher Center.
Jeanne is an active member of the Pittsford Rotary Club where she chairs the Taste of Pittsford Silent Auction, Election Night Pasta Supper and takes part in many service projects.
She is also an active member of The KEEP Foundation where she promotes the Honor An Educator Program.
For leisure, Jeanne loves quiet dinners and rich conversations with her husband, John.
Resident, Sr. Vice President, Excellus BCBS
Mr. Barry Thornton is senior vice president of operational excellence at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. His direct responsibilities include Claims, Customer Care (Service), National Programs Operations (BCBSA, FEP), Quality Office, Claims Audit & Recovery, eService’s/EDI & Health Exchange Business Implementation. He is also responsible for achieving Excellus Health Plan Operational Excellence goals/targets. Mr. Thornton is chair of the Internal Health Plan Operations Review Committee.
He joined Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in September 2005 after eight years with UnitedHealth Group in various capacities based in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Most of Mr. Thornton’s experience at UnitedHealth was in the Government Programs sector.
Mr. Thornton earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Sciences from SUNY Cortland. He also holds a Master of Science in Health Care Policy and Management from the University at Albany. He residents in Pittsford, NY with his wife and two children, who attend PCSD.
He is a member of the board of directors for the SUNY Cortland College Foundation, Bivona Child Advocacy Center and Frontier Communications. Additionally, Mr. Thornton has been an Excellus Team Leader for the American Heart Association Heart Walk, a coach for Pittsford YMCA Flag Football and a coach for Pittsford Panther Youth Football.
Resident, Retired Research and Development Manager, Kodak
Dr. Richard Wien is a retired Eastman Kodak research and development manager. He worked at Eastman Kodak for more than 30 years, specializing in product development. Wien currently serves on the board of KEEP and was a member of the Pittsford Central School District Board of Education from 1983 to 1990.
The American Chemical Society recognized him as a Hero of Chemistry, and he is also the recipient of the NASA Public Service Medal. This honor is the most prestigious award for non-government individuals who have personally impacted NASA’s enrichment of U.S. interests.
Dr. Wien received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Purdue University. After completing his undergraduate studies, he earned his Ph.D in physical chemistry from Stanford University. He is currently mentoring a team of students from various majors at Purdue University working on projects to help improve communities, such as designing an inexpensive electricity system in Haiti. He also mentors undergraduate students at the University of Canterbury for an engineering project required for graduation that entails about 200 hours of work.
In addition to his position on the KEEP Board of Directors, Dr. Wien also serves on the boards for Quad A for Kids, Pittsford Food Cupboard, Brighton Food Depot, Fairport Baptist Homes Foundation, the First Baptist Church of Rochester and two medical device startup companies.
Superintendent of Schools, Pittsford Central School District
Mr. Michael Pero is the superintendent of the Pittsford Central School District. He joined the District in 1994 as a health educator at Pittsford Middle School and then became assistant principal of the school in 2002.
From 2005-2011, Mr. Pero served as principal of Barker Road Middle School. During his tenure at Barker Road Middle School, the school was recognized as a National School to Watch from 2005-2009 and as a New York State High Performing/Gap Closing School from 2005-2010. He was recognized as the Middle School Administrator of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State for the 2010-2011 academic year. In his final year as principal, he learned BRMS earned the status of a Blue Ribbon School.
Following his administrator position at Barker Road Middle School, Mr. Pero served as assistant superintendent for human resources. In 2013, he became superintendent of schools.
He is a June 2011 graduate of Leadership Rochester. From July 2009-June 2011, he participated in the Future Superintendents Academy, a comprehensive, rigorous and competitive program that prepares high-level administrators to become successful superintendents.
He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from SUNY Cortland and his Master of Science in Business Management from Roberts Wesleyan College. Mr. Pero earned his School District Administration Certification in Educational Administration from SUNY Brockport.
Jeff Cimmerer, Ed.D.
Chief Information Officer, Pittsford Central School District
Dr. Jeff Cimmerer is Chief Information Officer for the Pittsford Central School District. As CIO, he is responsible for the management and analysis of data to help inform instruction, develop blended/online learning opportunities and to continue the work of dashboard reporting and student success summaries. He has also served as the director of technology for the District, overseeing all administrative and instructional technology needs.
Dr. Cimmerer received his doctorate degree from the University of Rochester Warner School of Education. Focusing on School Leadership, Dr. Cimmerer’s dissertation focused on alternative learning opportunities and identified alternative courses of action to meet the educational needs of students to prepare them for college and careers.
He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies Education from SUNY Buffalo. Dr. Cimmerer received a Master's Degree in Information Studies from SUNY Buffalo and a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Administration from SUNY Brockport.
Keep Foundation: P.O. Box 243 Pittsford, N.Y. 14534-0243 (585) 267-3587
The KEEP Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.