Board - ACADEMY OF MUSIC

Board

Members of the Board of Trustees are volunteers who contribute a variety of skills and expertise toward the operation of the theater. Individuals who are interested in joining the board should contact the Academy at [email protected] for an application and additional information.

BOARD of TRUSTEES

For more than two decades, Andrew Crystal has been a civic leader. Fifteen years of that time he was the chair or a member of the city’s Planning Board and a vocal advocate that projects be well designed. As vice president of O’Connell Development Group of Holyoke, Andrew has developed and managed several notable area projects, including The Village Commons in South Hadley and the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. A city resident, Andrew’s lifelong appreciation for the performing arts drew him to the Academy. He serves on the board to ensure that generations to come will be able to enjoy the historic theater.


Minh Ly is the Associate Director for Assessment at Smith College. With expertise in evaluation, he conducts research to determine if programs work and how students learn. During his twelve years at Smith, Minh has fostered a culture of continual curricular and institutional improvement through meaningful collaboration. His research interests focus on programs that promote access and inclusion for all students in higher education. A Pioneer Valley resident for over 20 years, he holds a deep appreciation for the area and the community. Minh is a firm believer and beneficiary of arts education, and is grateful for the Academy’s important place within the region. He enjoys attending art events throughout the valley with his wife, Kathy Foley, and their two children.


Sara Smiarowski is a CPA with experience in finance and accounting roles ranging from consultant to CFO. After 15 years of experience in the corporate world, she moved into higher education where she is now a faculty member in the Finance Department of Isenberg School of Management. In her free time, you can find Sara taking advantage of the wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities that Pioneer Valley offers whether it be trail running, cycling, or skiing.


For more than 30 years Linda McInerney has worked as the Artistic Director of Eggtooth Productions, a non-profit theater company with the mission of creating, presenting, and producing high quality theater arts that engage, challenge, and entertain audiences. Linda lives in Greenfield, MA with her husband Chris.


David Mintz is an attorney with a solo general litigation and criminal defense practice who has been living in Northampton since 1986 and currently resides in Florence with his wife Shawn Farley, who is the Marketing Director at UMASS’ Fine Arts Center. One of the main attractions that drew David to Northampton was its robust arts and entertainment communities. He regards the Academy of Music as a city “treasure” and is excited to be joining the Board of Trustees as a new member. He has served as a board member for other non-profits including the Nonotuck Community School and, most recently, Soldier On (dedicated to providing services to formerly homeless veterans).


Emily Wojcik is the managing editor if The Massachusetts Review, a nonprofit literary magazine based in Amherst, MA. She received her BA from Smith College and her PhD in English literature from the University of Connecticut. Since then, Emily has taught at the college level, and worked in nonprofit publishing and the arts for more than 20 years. She currently serves on the board of the Chester Theatre Company and is a member of the Patient-Family Advisory Committee for Cooley Dickinson Hospital. She and her husband, Dr. Michael Thurston, have been supporters of arts in the Valley for nearly two decades.


Isabelina Rodriguez, Ed.D. – Dr. Rodriguez is a 35-year Bi-lingual/bi-cultural Educator with experience within Public and Charter School settings. During her professional tenure, Dr. Rodriguez held various Educational Leadership positions. Serving as Chief Academic Officer with the Connecticut Dept. of Ed., Superintendent of Schools within the communities of Northampton and Granby Massachusetts, and most recently as the Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter Schools. Dr. Rodriguez’s longest tenure of employment of 16.5 years was with the Northampton Public Schools, with her last approximately 7 years leading the public-school district as their Superintendent of Schools. She describes her time in Northampton as one of the best and feeling as if being with family. Due to Dr. Rodriguez’s commitment and passion to ensuring equity in education, high achievement and social justice, she has a record of leading systemwide school change efforts to raise the achievement levels of all students, including student with disabilities and other subgroup populations. During her years as an educator, Isabelina has promoted access to art education for all students and is excited to be a new member of the Board of Trustees.


Annie Lesko works for the City of Northampton as the Administration, Licensing, and Economic Development Coordinator. She has seven years of municipal experience and has earned a Certificate in Local Government Leadership and Management from the Massachusetts Municipal Association and Suffolk University. Annie works closely with Northampton businesses and the Northampton License Commission. She brings a wealth of knowledge about Northampton and is enthusiastic about the health and vibrancy of downtown Northampton and Florence. Annie was born and raised in Northampton until she moved to Chicopee in 2019.


Sarah Willie-LeBreton is the 12th president of Smith College. An accomplished administrator, scholar, and sociologist who studies social inequality and race and ethnicity, Willie-LeBreton is known for her commitment to the liberal arts, strengthening community, and energizing the work of equity and inclusion. She considers herself an applied sociologist, and has worked with a broad range of organizations to understand social dynamics and develop strategies to move toward organizational self-awareness, transformation, compassion, and inclusivity.


Gina-Louise Sciarra (ex-officio) is the 45th Mayor of the City of Northampton. Mayor Sciarra was elected in November 2021. Prior to serving as the city’s Chief Executive Officer, she was elected to four terms on the Northampton City Council – as Ward 4 City Councilor from 2013 to 2019 and City Councilor At-Large and City Council President from 2019 through 2021. Gina-Louise earned a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and earned a master’s of Philosophy in Sociology degree from CUNY. Gina-Louise lives with her husband and two daughters who attend Northampton Public Schools.