School Governance

Board of Directors

A Montessori School for Children ages 6 wks – 12 yrs

Penn-Mont Academy is a private, non-profit, non-sectarian school governed by a Board of Directors.

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Jennifer Hall, Esquire – President

Jenn Habel Hall is an attorney at BMZ Law, P.C., a local law firm with offices throughout Central Pennsylvania. Jenn is an Ohio native who found her way to the area while playing volleyball at Juniata College. Jenn attended Widener University School of Law for her Juris Doctorate. Jenn is married to Brian Hall and they live in Hollidaysburg with their two children, MJ and Grant, and their dog. Both MJ and Grant are enrolled at Penn-Mont. Jenn serves as solicitor for several nonprofit originations.

We ended up at Penn-Mont by accident and immediately fell in love. The education and real life experience our children are receiving is second to none. Most importantly, our two very different children are each reaching their maximum ability through the individualized Montessori approach.

Jordan Settle – Vice President

Jordan Settle was elected to the Board of Directors of Penn-Mont Academy in January 2016. He is a member of the school’s Finance and Scholarship Committee, responsible for the policies and activities relating to financial operations and scholarships of the school. These activities include working with the School Administrator on an annual budget, grants, employee compensation, tuition, and scholarship recommendations to the Board of Directors.

A native of central Pennsylvania, Jordan graduated from Altoona Area High School and continued his education at California University of Pennsylvania. Upon college graduation, he was commissioned an officer in the United States Army and assigned to active duty. During his time in the military, Jordan deployed three times; once to the Republic of Korea and twice in support of combat operations in Afghanistan during Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) VII and IX. He transitioned from active duty in 2010 at the rank of Captain. His military awards include the Bronze Star as well as a commendation from the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Jordan is the Vice President of Operations of Defenshield, Inc., a company specializing in the design and manufacturing of bullet, blast, and fragmentation protection systems. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the Jaffa Shrine in Altoona, PA and Sweat For Vets, a fundraising effort aimed at supporting local Veterans in central Pennsylvania.

Jordan and his family currently reside in Altoona. His daughters, Hayden, now a Penn-Mont alumni, and Logan in upper elementary, both began at Penn-Mont when they were three years old.

Jordan Settle
Mark Ritchey

Mark Ritchey – Treasurer

Mark is a Principal Partner in the ownership of Curry Supply Holdings and the President of Curry Rail Services and Curry Switching Services located in Hollidaysburg, PA.

Curry Supply Holdings was awarded the Alexander A. Notopoulus Award by the Altoona Blair County Development Corp. in 2015. The award is given to an outstanding business in Blair County. In 2014, the company received the Governor’s ImPACT award for consistent job growth.
Mark serves on the board for Altoona Blair County Development (ABCD). He also serves on the board for Penn-Mont Academy and is currently the Treasurer. Mark serves on the Advisory Philanthropic Council for Penn State-Altoona and is an active member in the Blair County Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Locomotive Maintenance Officers Association (LMOA) and the Manhattan Discussion Group (MDG).

Mark holds a degree in Business Finance and Business Management from the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown. He is a proud graduate of the Pennsylvania State Police Academy and has completed training at the Air Force College of War.

Penn-Mont Academy has been a very rewarding experience, not only for our two daughters, but also for me as a parent. The level of independence demonstrated by my daughters just weeks into the Toddler program surpassed any and all expectations. With my older daughter in the upper elementary program, I am continually impressed with the academic advances she is making as well as the material being introduced in class. Overall, the level of commitment and care demonstrated daily by the staff ensures that all students excel amaze me year after year. Sending our children to Penn-Mont was not only the easiest but one of the best decisions my wife Allison and I have made as parents.

Sheela Kerstetter, MD – Secretary

Sheela Kerstetter works as a dermatologist in Altoona, PA. Sheela grew up in New Jersey and moved to Boston to go to undergraduate and medical school at Boston University. She completed her dermatology training at the Harvard Combined Dermatology residency program. She and her husband moved from the bustle of city life to central Pennsylvania where they have found the ideal balance between family time and careers. They live with their two children and dog in Hollidaysburg, PA. Both children have gone to Penn-Mont Academy since they were 18 months old. When the family is together they love to be out in the fresh air and collect pieces of nature.

I am impressed by the exceptional Montessori education that my children are receiving. From a very young age my children have learned the importance of personal responsibility, compassion for others and caring for the environment. With the Montessori method every level of their learning has been tailored to their stage of development. I have loved watching them progress from making bubbles and push pin pictures in “practical life” to performing long division and writing poetry in the lower elementary program. Penn-Mont Academy has created the ultimate house of learning for my children. We are all fortunate to have this outstanding educational resource nestled in our community.

Sheela Kerstetter
Board of Directors

Michelle Beers

About Michelle

Penn-Mont Academy has been instrumental in the lives of our two children since they first started in the toddler program several years ago. The level of independence they both displayed while taking on various tasks was remarkable. The learning environment at Penn-Mont has caused our children to follow their natural curiosities while expanding on subject matter that is exciting to them. The decision to send our children to Penn-Mont Academy is proving to be one of our best decisions for our entire family.

Sean Burke

Since joining Penn-Mont Academy’s Board of Directors in 2023, Sean Burke serves on the Board’s Governance, Development, and Human Resource Committees. Sean has four children. Three currently attend Penn-Mont, and one graduated from the school in 2023.

Sean works as an attorney for McQuaide Blasko, Inc. He has a general practice with an emphasis on transactional law. He is the firm’s president and managing director.

Sean also serves as Councilman for the Fourth Ward of Hollidaysburg Borough. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Hollidaysburg Area Summer Baseball League.

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I believe that Montessori education gives our children the best possible educational foundation. My children have learned to work independently and set goals while acquiring a concrete understanding of math, science, and language. Penn-Mont provides a well-rounded educational experience by incorporating practical life work, music, art, and foreign language into the curriculum for even the youngest students. One of my favorite things about Montessori education is its focus on creating good citizens who value peace and respect themselves, others, and the world around them.

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Brad Houseknecht

Brad and his wife, Jenna, have three children at Penn-Mont: Holland in Children’s House, Charleston in Toddler, and Blake in the Infant Program. Brad moved to Jenna’s hometown of Roaring Spring a few years after graduating from Lycoming College, the place they met. Brad began his career as a Commercial Lines Underwriter for Selective Insurance and is now part of the Government Business Development team at NPC, Inc. in Claysburg.

Dropping off your 6-week-old at childcare can be nerve-wracking, but we had zero reservations after getting to know the educators through our two other children’s experiences at PennMont. The Infant, Toddler, and Children’s House programs are so much more than childcare, and we have been blessed to watch our children flourish under the Montessori model.

Matthew Moyer, PharmD

Matthew joined the Penn-Mont Board of Directors in 2021.  He has an interest in fundraising and development.  In college, Matthew ran the largest on-campus fundraiser for a national charity, as well as other charitable endeavors.

Graduating from Altoona Area High School, Matthew went on to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Duquesne University School of Pharmacy.  He currently practices in Altoona, PA with a focus on behavioral health.

Matthew resides in Hollidaysburg with his wife Rachael and their four daughters.  Kate, Carly, Caroline, and Claire currently attend Penn-Mont.  Matthew and Rachael are both Penn-Mont alumni.

I have been fortunate enough to experience Penn-Mont as both a student and a parent.  There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your children thriving in an environment tailored to each child’s different needs.  Our girls are becoming confident, independent learners as a result of the Montessori curriculum offered at Penn-Mont.

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Tara Saltzburg

Tara is the founder of Care Compass, a Duncansville-based independent insurance agency that specializes in helping seniors navigate the complexities of Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplements, Prescription Drug Plans, Hospital Indemnity plans, and other Ancillary Senior Products.

Tara is originally from southern NJ, but attended Penn State (Main-University Park) where she was a member of the Women’s Varsity Soccer Team from 2006 until 2010. Upon graduation, she moved to Blair County to pursue her career and has resided here ever since. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Mark, and together they have an eight year old son named Trey. In her free time, you will find her coaching Trey’s soccer team or attending one of his many other activities. Tara is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches at Simply Power Yoga in Altoona. She and her family live in Hollidaysburg with their two dogs, Forrest and Togo. 

I am so happy that we made the decision to send our son to Penn-Mont. It’s amazing to see how much he’s grown into a confident, independent child. He is absolutely thriving in the Montessori environment and most importantly, he is happy and excited to go to school every morning.

Jeffrey Starkey

About Jeffrey

Board of Directors
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Tiffany Stuckey

Tiffany is former teacher who resides in Hollidaysburg, PA.  Tiffany obtained a degree in Elementary Education from Messiah University and graduated from St. Francis with a Master’s of Education.  Tiffany spent ten years teaching in the public school system before having kids.  Tiffany and her husband Matt have two children currently enrolled at PennMont Academy.  As a family, they love to be outdoors, especially on the ski hill!

Tiffany joined the Penn-Mont Board of Directors in 2021.  She is the chair of the Education Committee and a member of the Development committee.  Tiffany’s past and current board experience includes the Hollidaysburg Area Community Partnership, the Altoona Collegiate Outreach Board and Young Life Committee.  Tiffany is the current Pack committee chair for Cub Scout Pack 3332 as well as a co-chair of the Penn-Mont P.A.C.K.  Tiffany spent three years as co-chair of the Penn-Mont Gala and served on that committee as well as the education committee as an active member in the past.

The Montessori approach at Penn-Mont Academy has been magical for my kids.  It has truly fostered their love of learning.  From the emphasis on hands-on independent learning and enhanced social interactions to the focus on independence and time management skills, I couldn’t be more thrilled with my children’s education.

Samantha Watters

Sam Watters joined the Board of Directors at Penn-Mont Academy in 2023. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing and Management from Penn State University and went on to hold several positions at nonprofits throughout the area, such as Human Resource Generalist and Executive Director. Currently, Sam is responsible for the Donor Relations Program at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, where she is also obtaining her MBA. Her two-year old daughter, Charlotte has been a student at Penn-Mont since she was 8 weeks old. Sam resides in Hollidaysburg with her husband Matthew, stepson, daughter, and two dogs.

We are so happy to have found a school that challenges Charlotte to be better each and every day. Her development of motor skills and independence is impressive, and we’re excited to watch her thrive in such a great environment.

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Brandi Zajac

Brandi holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from Lock Haven University and a Montessori Early Childhood Credential from CMTE/New York. She was the lead teacher in both a private Montessori school in Sewickley, PA and the Pittsburgh Public Montessori School. Brandi and her husband Brian were born and raised in Altoona, and after 11 years away returned home to raise their three children. Elliot and Isaac currently attend Penn-Mont, and Sophia is excited to join her big brothers next year.

Brandi joined the Penn-Mont Board of Directors in 2021. She is also a member of the Education Committee and the Penn-Mont P.A.C.K..

I’m thrilled to be able to send my children to Penn-Mont Academy: the place of my first internship that ignited my passion for Montessori education many years ago. I love that my children are encouraged to follow their interests and are learning in a way that truly respects who they are as individuals. I know Penn-Mont will help them become independent, life-long learners as well as kind, contributing members of our community.

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