Elgin Academy Board of Trustees
The National Association of Independent Schools issues “best practices” guiding the role of trustees, which include:
- serving as the guardian of the school’s mission. It is the Trustees’ responsibility to ensure that the mission is relevant and vital to the community it serves and to monitor the success of Elgin Academy in fulfilling that mission.
- executing multi-faceted responsibilities. The governing Board of Trustees has a fiduciary responsibility to Elgin Academy for sound financial management. Trustees participate in the development of a strategic plan and are actively involved in providing financial support through annual and capital giving campaigns. Each Trustee has the responsibility to support the school and its head while advocating for EA within the community.
- actively supporting and promoting Elgin Academy’s mission, vision, strategic goals, and policy positions, sharing Elgin Academy’s commitment to equity and justice and representing the school appropriately and accurately within the community. The Board’s role is to set policy and to focus on long-range, strategic issues. Individual Trustees do not become involved directly in specific management, personnel, or curricular issues. They take care to separate the interests of the school from the specific needs of a particular child or constituency.
- actively weighing a multitude of issues concerning the governance of the school, while accepting and supporting any final decisions and refraining from responding to any situation individually. With authority vested in the Board as a whole, once a decision is made, the Board speaks as one voice, keeping all deliberations confidential.
Alan is the parent of two Elgin Academy "lifers" who are now attending Stanford University (Valerie '16) and the University of Colorado, Boulder (Renee '18). He is grateful that his family was able to find Elgin Academy as a path for his daughters to accelerate their academic careers. Alan is the Operating Partner in a 160-suite assisted living community, managing 100 team members and has also served as a construction manager in over two billion dollars in building projects, skyscrapers, food factories and housing. Alan is serving his 12th year as a Trustee. He currently sits as a member of the Finance & Facilities Committee, the Audit Committee, the Development Committee, and the Trustee Committee. He was also a past Chair of the Trustee Committee.
Of all the boards I have had the honor to serve on, Elgin Academy is the hardest working, most thoughtful board I have known. One might say the group is truly inspired as most have experienced the school's great benefits through the experience of their own families.
- Alan Scimeca
Mike and his wife, Laurel, have been married for 28 years and are the parents of EA graduate Derek '19 and current EA student Lindsey '21. Mike and Laurel are faithful volunteers in the EA Athletic Booster Club organization and huge EA sports fans. Mike is the product of U-46 Schools, Elgin Community College, and in his words, "the school of hard knocks." He is a past Elgin City Councilperson (2009-11), current Board Chair of Food for Greater Elgin, and past Chair of the Elgin Chamber of Commerce, Elgin Breakfast Rotary, and Well Child Center. Mike works for Rieke Office Interiors as well as managing the family business, Brittain's Car Wash. Mike has been a Trustee for 6 years. He is currently a member of the Admission and Marketing, Development, and Trustee Committees, and he has also served as a past Chair of the Trustee Committee.
I enjoy community service and being involved in our kids' education. I have a unique network that allows me to make many wonderful connections to a wide variety of resources, and I love to help people and organizations.
- Mike Warren
Bill is the parent of Will '23, and Quinn '25. Bill is himself an independent school graduate of The Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Missouri. He went on to receive a B.A. in Computer Science from Trinity College. Bill is currently the Executive Vice-President of Strategic Consulting for Evora IT Solutions, Inc. Bill is currently the Treasurer of the Board as well as the current Chair of the Finance and Facilities Committee and a member of the Audit Committee. He has also served as a past Secretary of the Board of Trustees.
An education is one of the most valuable contributions a person can make to a child's life. Serving on the board of EA is important to me to help the Academy provide the best educational experiences possible to all of our students now and in the future.
- Bill Padula
Rhonda and her husband, Richard, are the parents of two children – one EA alum, Rachel '17 and one current student, Reagan '25. The Dwyer family lives in Elgin. Rhonda holds a B.S. in Business Administration and an MBA, both from the University of Alabama, and works for American Express in Sales Enablement. Rhonda has been an active volunteer for EAPA over the years and this year serves as a Middle School Vice-President. She is currently serving her third year as a Trustee on the EA Board and has been a member of both the Finance and Facilities Committee and the Audit Committee for the duration of her tenure on the Board.
We feel privileged to be part of the Elgin Academy Community for over eight years. Over that time, we have received great support from the school and have forged friendships with many EA families. I feel honored to be a member of the Board, able to support the school’s future direction, and “give back” to this school that has done so much for our children and for our family! It’s especially great to see new families experience this same sense of community.
- Rhonda Dwyer
Laura is a long-term resident of Elgin. She is a widow and the mother of two Elgin Academy graduates Nathan ’98 and Katy ’00 as well two stepchildren, Terry and Tommy. She has owned her landscaping business, Gardens by Design, for over 30 years and has been instrumental in making Elgin Academy's campus bloom with lovely flowers and greenery. Laura has served on the Elgin Academy Board of Trustees for 29 years and as a volunteer for 34+ years in several capacities throughout the school. She was the guiding force behind EA's Extravaganza for 25 years, dedicating 3 months each year to overseeing the auction for EA's largest fundraising event. Laura was the chair of the Development Committee for 10 years during the Capital Campaign for the Rider Center and currently serves on the Admission and Marketing, and Trustee Committees.
We've come a LONG WAY in the last 35 years. It has taken a LOT of dedicated and hard-working volunteers and an excellent administration and faculty to get Elgin Academy to be the best independent school that it is today. I have enjoyed volunteering all these years and being a part of the process.
- Laura Anderson
David and Diana has a daughter Lily’27 who is a student at Elgin Academy since kindergarten. The Huangs reside in Elgin, Illinois. David himself went to Valporaiso University and got B.A from their business school. David is the president and CEO of World Richman Manufacturing Corporation, which he established over 30 years ago.
I realized education was very important since I was a kid. When my daughter came to the age, I wanted to find a good school for her. EA has been great since the beginning. I want to help to keep this wonderful school grow and flourish. I believe in EA and everything it represents.
- David Huang
Praveen C. Medikundam, Esq. and his wife Haripriya Medikundam, Esq. have two children who are attending Elgin Academy. Praveen is a founding partner of the law firm International Legal and Business Services Group, LLP. He is an alumnus of Temple Law School in Philadelphia earning his Master of Laws. Praveen is licensed to practice law in New York and in U.S. Federal Law. With extensive knowledge in U.S Immigration laws, corporate transactions and international litigation, Praveen represents clients all around the world in U.S Immigration laws, complex corporate restructuring, mergers, and acquisitions. With experience in Federal and New York Corporate Law, a license to practice in the United States, and corporate law admissions in the United Kingdom and India, Praveen assists clients in all forms of immigration and corporate strategies.
We believe that good education is the best gift we can give to our children. I feel honored to be the member of the board and work towards the school's mission.
- Praveen Medikundam
Dani Smiley is mom to Emma '21 and Olivia '23 who both began their Elgin Academy education in preschool. Dani was fortunate enough to have time to volunteer in many different roles early in her daughters' time at EA. She has been a stalwart volunteer in the EAPA organization serving as its President for one term. She has also been an event chair for Extravaganza and volunteers tirelessly to help with the Development Office’s running of the auction. Dani and her family live in Elgin, and she currently works in the financial department of Gail Borden Library here in Elgin. Elgin Academy has become such an important part of her family’s life, and she cherishes the relationships formed with other families, faculty, and staff. Dani has served on the Board for seven years. She is currently the Chair of the Development Committee and a member, as well as past Chair of the Education Committee.
It is an honor to give back to EA for all that it has done for Emma and Olivia. They truly have been inspired to be creative, courageous and compassionate leaders.
- Dani Smiley
Jay Wittmeyer is the executive director of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, which focuses on leadership development, peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Before joining LMPC, Wittmeyer served as the Head of Mission with the Church of the Brethren, headquartered in Elgin, IL, where he oversaw ministries related to volunteer service, hunger, international development, education, health and peace for the denomination. Wittmeyer has lived and traveled extensively throughout the developing world with a special focus on South Asia, Haiti and Nigeria. Wittmeyer holds a M.A. in Conflict Transformation, an M.A. in English as a Second Language, and a B.A. in English Education; he is a certified teacher in Illinois. Jay currently serves on the board of Heifer Project International and has served on the boards of Growing Hope Globally, Churches for Middle-East Peace and National Farm Workers Ministry. Jay and his wife Sarah live in Elgin. They are the parents of two Elgin Academy graduates, Alysson (‘15) and Elliott (‘17) as well as two current EA students Amity (‘23) and Annie (‘21).
Obsolescence, not Adolescence, is the key word in education--everything is changing very rapidly. As we help children become courageous, creative, and compassionate, we prepare them to be flexible problem-solvers in a tumultuous world.
- Jay Wittmeyer
Rachel and her husband, Rick, are parents to EA Alum Reece ‘21 (currently attending Earlham College) and Ryan ‘24. They reside in Geneva. Rachel and Rick are avid supporters of Boys and Girls Club Elgin, with Rick serving on the Board of Governors and Reece having served as a Clubhouse Leader. Rachel and Rick are enthusiastic EA athletics fans and have enjoyed experiencing many athletic success - including the EA Baseball team and their multiple IHSA Regional Championships.
I enjoy volunteering for the Elgin Academy Parent Association it has been a great way to meet parents across all divisions.
- Rachel Zonts