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PSPA Executive Board

Lois Fitton

President

Mom to James Draper '26

Lois, her husband Chris Draper, and son James joined the Pingry community nine years ago when James started kindergarten at the Short Hills campus.  

Lois will serve as the PSPA’s President during the 2022-23 academic year. She has been active in a number of Pingry volunteer activities, volunteering in the Lower School library for six years, co-chairing several committees, helping launch the cohort program, and serving on the PSPA in several different capacities. Volunteering at Pingry has been a highlight as it provides opportunities to meet people from different backgrounds with wide ranging interests and experiences.  

Lois is a New Jersey native, an avid reader, a science buff, and looking forward to traveling again. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She worked at Pfizer in new product development and marketing, leading worldwide teams in the development, launch, and marketing of neuroscience products. She was the VP of marketing at Bristol Myers Squibb for the Oncology business. She and her family live in Tewksbury Township with Dash, their Barbet dog, and two cats, Coco and Orion.
 

Melissa Bartoli

First VIce President

Mom to Alexis '24, Dylan '26, and Andrew

Melissa is looking forward to serving her second year on the PSPA Board as First Vice President. She lives in Chatham along with her husband Jeff and three children. As a Pingry parent, Melissa served on the 2021-2022 PSPA Executive Board as Vice President of Parent Socials, and has served as a Pingry Fund Ambassador, All Parent Party/Pop Up Planning Chair and Admission volunteer.

She previously served two years on The Peck School Parents Association Executive Board as Vice President 2018-2019 then President 2019-2020 and Member of The Peck School Board of Trustees 2019-2020. In addition, at Peck, Melissa served as 2022 Parents Association Nomination Chair and 2022 Fundraiser Chair, and has previously served as Class Parent, Auction Chair, Community Service, Peck Fund and Admissions volunteer. 

In addition to her dedication to both of her children's schools, Melissa has been an active volunteer at Preschool Advantage in Morristown. Before becoming a full-time mom and volunteer, Melissa attended Fordham University and worked in real estate marketing at W&M Properties in New York. 

Melissa looks forward to continuing to help the PSPA strengthen community ties and broaden parent engagement efforts at Pingry.

Hillary Irwin

Vice President of Parent Socials

Mom to Oscar '27 and Lola '29

Hillary and her husband Greg joined the Pingry community in the Fall of 2018.  Hillary is excited to be joining the PSPA Executive Board this year. 

She grew up in Upstate New York before attending Cornell University, where she earned a BS in Nutritional Sciences. She subsequently attended graduate school at Boston University, receiving an MS in Applied Anatomy and Physiology. Hillary is a registered dietitian and a 500 RYT yoga instructor and currently resides in Westfield with her husband, two children, and two adorable dogs. 

Hillary has been active in several Pingry volunteer activities including: class parent, parent pop-up events, and cohort leader. She looks forward to helping the PSPA continue to strengthen community ties and broaden parent engagement efforts at Pingry. 

In her free time, Hillary enjoys cooking, yoga, and traveling with her family.
 

Jennifer Thomas

Vice President of Communications

Mom to James ’23 and Kirsten ‘25

Jennifer and her husband, David, joined the Pingry community in the fall of 2019. She is looking forward to giving back to the community through her volunteer work on the PSPA board.
 
Jennifer graduated from Binghamton University with a B.A. in Psychology and worked at Bear Stearns before moving to New Jersey to raise her family. She is involved in community service, volunteer work, and has served in various PA roles at her children’s schools. Within her local community, she serves as a board member for Blue Streak Aquatic Club and Common Ground Speaks.
 
The Thomas family lives in Chatham with their dog, Rylee. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys Pilates, gardening, and traveling with her family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debbie Nungester

Treasurer

Mom to Allie de Asla '22 and Aiden de Asla '24

Debbie is looking forward to her second year as Treasurer on the PSPA Board. Debbie and her husband, Michael de Asla, joined the Pingry community in the fall of 2015. Since that time, she has been active in a variety of PSPA roles, including co-chair of the Middle and Upper School Admissions Volunteer committee, Bear Pause volunteer, Lower School Library volunteer and class parent.

Debbie received her B.S. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She previously worked in the Fixed Income division at Morgan Stanley where she traded mortgage-backed securities.  

After leaving the finance industry to raise her family in Basking Ridge, Debbie became involved in the community. She currently serves on the Board of the Greater Somerset County YMCA and as a member of the Bernards Township Recreation, Parks and Pathways Advisory Committee. Recently, Debbie has re-entered the workforce as controller for J. Rocker Development in addition to juggling family and volunteer roles.
 

Amy Cuiffo

Secretary

Mom to Mia ’25, Sophie ’27 and Olivia ’29

Amy is excited to return to the PSPA Board as Secretary after previously serving as a Lower School Representative. Amy and her family joined the Pingry community in the fall of 2012 when Mia started kindergarten. Since that time, Amy has been active in a variety of volunteer roles, including class parent, library volunteer, lunchroom volunteer coordinator, and book fair co-chair.

Amy received her bachelor of architecture degree from Virginia Tech and M.S. in Urban Planning from Columbia University. Amy previously worked as an architect and real estate consultant. After staying home to raise her young daughters, she is currently the president and owner of Wood Hills Properties, a residential real estate investment company.

Yanping ‘Samantha’ Fang

Volunteer Coordinator

Mom to Ryan Hao '27 and Charlotte Hao '28

Samantha and her husband, Jack, joined the Pingry community in the fall of 2014. They have a son and a daughter, Ryan and Charlotte, both of whom  entered Pingry in Kindergarten and are lifers. 

Samantha has an undergraduate degree from the Jiao Tong University Shanghai China and an MBA from University of Illinois at Chicago. She and her husband have been working hard and building a successful, growing family business in the automotive industry. As a full-time working mom, she tries hard to balance work and family and does her best to get involved with school events and after-school activities whenever she can.

Samantha has served in multiple volunteer roles in the lower school and on the PSPA Executive Board (including Lower School rep, Nominating Committee, Class Parents, and Moving Up Day Committee). In her free time, Samantha enjoys traveling, reading, Zumba, and family time. 

Amanda Fisher

Grades K-1 Representative

Mom to Bennett ‘32, Bellamy ‘34, and Amelia

Amanda is thrilled to be joining the PSPA Executive Board as K-1 Representative this school year after serving in many volunteer roles since joining the Pingry parent community in 2018. She has three children, Bennett, in third grade, Bellamy, in first, and Amelia, two years old.

Originally from Maryland, Amanda moved to New Jersey eight years ago and has since volunteered extensively in various roles while her children were enrolled in a local Montessori school, and most recently at Morristown Medical Center’s Goryeb Children’s Hospital and Project Sweet Peas. Prior to becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom and volunteer, Amanda worked in many marketing roles at PBS, Chico’s HQ, and Under Armour HQ. Amanda has a B.S. in Advertising from WVU where she met her husband, Brandyn, who is in his sixth year teaching AP Psychology at Pingry.

Namrata Shah

Grades 2-3 Representative

Mom to Aanya '24, Samaya '27 and Yuvika '33

The Shah family joined the Pingry community in the fall of 2014 and since that time, Namrata has enjoyed getting involved. She has volunteered at the Book Fair, teachers appreciation lunch and also served as a class parent to Samaya’s class in 2nd grade.

Before becoming a full time mom, Namrata worked in finance and strategy management. She has recently served on the board of Young Entrepreneur’s Organization as a Spouse Forum Officer. In her free time, she likes to stay active, bake and travel. Her greatest joy comes from spending time with her family.

Namrata holds a B.S. in Information Technology from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Namrata is excited to take on her new role as a grade representative and to continue working with an amazing group of volunteers.

Iyndia Jackson

Grades 4-5 Representative

Mom to Kennedy '28 and Peyton '31

Iyndia and her husband Wayne joined the Pingry community in the Fall of 2015. Iyndia is the Global Tax and North America Controllers Audit Director at Citigroup where she leads a global internal audit team across multiple tax and controllership disciplines. Prior to joining Citi she spent over 10 years in public accounting at PwC in the financial services tax practice and held a senior leadership role to advance diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

A native of Pittsburgh, Iyndia completed a B.S. in Accounting from The University of Pittsburgh, Master of Taxation (MST) from Pace University and is a licensed CPA in New York and Pennsylvania. 

Iyndia has been active in various Pingry volunteer opportunities, including class parent, admissions volunteer, and served in a host of other volunteer capacities. She is excited to join the PSPA Board to continue the legacy of building a strong community for all Pingry students and families while getting to know other parents on the Board and the larger community.

In her free time, Iyndia enjoys exercising, baking, spending time with her family, and watching Pittsburgh Steelers football.

Shefali Kakar

Middle School Representative

Mom to Rahil ’24, Sahana ’28, and Anaya

Shefali will serve as the PSPA’s middle school representative during the 2022-23 academic year.   She and her husband, Puneet Kakar, have been part of the Pingry community since 2015.  They live in Westfield with their three kids Rahil, Sahana and Anaya.

Shefali was born in Massachusetts, but spent most of her childhood in India. She received her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College and a PhD in Clinical Pharmacology from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is currently the VP & Global Head of PK Sciences at Novartis. In her spare time, Shefali enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking and poetry.

Although this is her first role on the PSPA board or committee, she has actively volunteered in various Pingry events and initiatives. She has been a strong advocate for engaging working parents into Pingry events and community. She is thrilled to join the PSPA and be part of this dedicated community of students, parents and educators.

Melissa Travers

Form III/IV Representative

Mom to Ryan '23 and Paige '25

Melissa and her husband, Pat, joined the Pingry community in the Fall of 2010. She has two daughters, Ryan, who entered in kindergarten, and Paige, who entered in second grade. She lives in Warren, loves running, playing tennis, skiing, cooking, and spending summers down the shore. She has a BA from Rutgers University, and a Masters of Education from NYU.

Melissa has been a very active PSPA volunteer during her time at Pingry. Previously held PSPA positions include: PSPA Form III/ IV Representative, 8th Grade Moving Up Day Chair,Teacher Appreciation Brunch Chair, 5th Grade Moving Up Chair, Grade Parent, 5th Grade Moving Up Committee, and Spring Soiree Wine Pull and Auction Committee 

Melissa was a kindergarten teacher PS 116 in NY and was employed at Human Resources at Citigroup working in the 401(k) Department and then the Relocation Department. 
 

Chris Watson

Form V/VI Representative

Dad to Jada '24, Preeya '30, and Sophia '30

Christopher A. Watson, M.Sc., Ph.D. (c) is an urban planner, neighborhood advocate, urban gardener, and serves as The City Planning Officer for the City of Newark, NJ. Currently, he’s leading Newark’s future physical growth through the master planning process, Newark360; shaping our city together. He is a decade and a half old Newark resident of the city’s West Ward.  

Chris was born in Guyana, South America and received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Guyana. He gained his Master's degree in Urban Affairs and Planning, with honors, from Hunter College, City University of New York. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the joint Urban Systems program at the Hiller College of Architecture and Design, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University’s Graduate Center. His research interests coalesce around some of the most enduring themes of urban scholarship: the intersections of poverty, race, and class; and the physical and socio-political impacts and consequences of gentrification in American cities.  

He is the 2018 recipient of the President’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching from Queens College, CUNY where he was an adjunct professor in the Urban Studies department, teaching courses on Urban Poverty and Affluence, Graduate Research Methods, Researching New York City, and Urban Planning and City Government. Chris served as Vice President of the board of directors for United Vailsburg Service Organization for five years. Chris is the 2021 American Planning Association, New Jersey Chapter’s recipient of the prestigious Stuart Merk Distinguished Service Award, for forwarding planning in the City of Newark that is inclusive of the community’s voice.

He’s a patron of the arts, an avid reader embarked upon a year’s long quest to read the one hundred best novels ever written- from Aristotle to Zadie Smith. Chris spends his Sundays hiking the many trails of New Jersey with his three daughters and their Springer Spaniel, Ziggy. 

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