Jean grew up in South Jersey and has been involved in education throughout her career. From 2001-2006 she was the Director of Special Education for the Hanover Township Public School District. Jean is retired and currently volunteers her time as a guardian ad litem for children in the court system. She and her husband Roger have raised five children.
Kathryn Markovchick, President
Kathryn grew up in South Jersey. She was a trusted advisor of Dr. Acton and talked to him many times about his vision of supporting students from Salem who showed academic promise but were not as able to access rich educational experiences. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Buffalo with a concentration in Inner City Education and Learning and Behavior Disorders. She’s worked as a special education teacher, administrator, faculty member and president of the non-profit Syntiro.
Helen H. Reinhart, Secretary
Helen grew up in South Jersey and has lived there continuously as an active and engaged member of the community, raising her children, serving on her local school board, running a small business and running a small nonprofit devoted to providing college scholarships for students from her hometown of Greenwich. Helen is a registered nurse and currently uses her nursing skills as a volunteer emergency medical technician with the Greenwich Fire Department.
J. Herbert Fithian, Emeritus
Herbert was a close and trusted friend of Dr. Acton for all his life, was born and raised in South Jersey. Before his passing, Dr. Acton named him executor of his estate and trustee of the foundation. Herbert graduated with a civil engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and was the plant engineer for the Owens-Illinois Glass Plant. He and his wife Katsy raised their three children (Kathryn, Megan, and Herb) in the area. They have lived in the Bridgeton area for over 90 years.
Darrell Edmonds began his professional career with S.O.D.A.T. (Services to Overcome Drug Abuse Among Teens) of New Jersey, Inc. shortly after graduating from The University of Delaware with a BA in History. At S.O.D.A.T., Darrell was the Program Manager of the TLC Teen Center where he developed programming for teens including anger management, goal setting, and documentary film making.
In 2003 he returned to the Atlantic City area to work for AtlantiCare Behavioral Health with the Atlantic City Family Centers. At the family centers he quickly rose to the position of lead case manager and later, program coordinator for the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program. In 2006 he received his Masters of Science in Non-Profit Management from Eastern University. In the same year, Darrell was promoted to the position of Director of the Oakcrest Teen Center. In 2009 he was recognized by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce as one of the Top 40 young professionals under the age of 40 (Top 40 under 40). In 2011 he was named Man of the Year by Phi Delta Kappa Sorority. In the same year, he was named Omega Man of the Year by the Upsilon Alpha chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. In 2013 Darrell was part of the planning committee for the first ever New Jersey Celebration of Fatherhood event, as well as a partner with President Obama’s Fatherhood Buzz initiative.
In 2013 Darrell founded the non profit organization Friday Is Tie Day, Inc., so called because it encourages young men to wear ties to school on Fridays. The mission of the organization is to build men through male youth mentoring and responsible fatherhood. Friday Is Tie Day is responsible for starting the area’s first chapter of the All Pro Dad dad’s day breakfast, a national program endorsed by Tony Dungy, former coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Super Bowl-winning Indianapolis Colts, and also well-known author. Over the first year the group grew from eight teens at one high school to over 50 teens at five high schools. They meet monthly for lessons on goal setting, college awareness and leadership development. The group has made college visits to West Chester University, Temple University, Rutgers University, and the University of Delaware. The teens have participated in projects for Hope For Liberia and a suit drive for their 2014 MLK Day Community Service Project.
In June 2014, Darrell was awarded the prestigious Starting Bloc Fellowship for social innovation. Starting Bloc brings together entrepreneurs, activists, educators, and innovators working to create change. In August of 2014, Darrell was selected to attend the International Young Leaders Assembly at the UN with change makers from around the globe.
JaKela has a passion for helping others. She has volunteered with various nonprofits, many with a focus on serving youth. She has served as a volunteer tutor and ESL teacher for children and adults. She is the treasurer of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) Board of Trustees, a volunteer with the National Conference for Community & Justice as a member of its ANYTOWNKC: Marketing & Fundraising Committee, and a members of the Wings for Success Workshop Committee. She graduated cum laude from Howard University, and loves to read, travel and spend time with friends and family.
Najwa Tatum was one of our first Forman Scholars and she's the second scholar to serve on our Board of Trustees. Najwa grew up in Wildwood, NJ, and moved to Salem City in middle school, where she excelled in both academics and sports. She graduated from Stockton University in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. She serves a vital role to our board by providing us with firsthand insight from her recent experience attending school in Salem and completing college.
Laurence R. Van Meter
Larry was raised in South Jersey. His mother, Margaret Minch Van Meter, was a graduate of Salem High School Class of 1934. He has worked in education as a teacher and administrator for 29 years, and since 2001 he has served as the Head of School at Moorestown Friends School in Burlington County, NJ. He is a graduate of Hamilton College (BA), Rochester Institute of Technology (AAS) and Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School of Business Administration (MBA). He and his wife, Margaret, have a home in nearby Hopewell Township, Cumberland County, NJ.
Forman S. Acton was born in Salem and went on to change the world. Learn about his life.