Board of Members
Prime Sponsors of the Academy who are responsible for appointing the directors and ensuring the Academy’s overall Catholic Identity:
Rev. Msgr. Steven Aguggia, Chancellor – Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens
Rev. Msgr. David Cassato, Vicar for Education – Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens
Rev. Fr. David Dettmer – Pastor, St. Anastasia Parish
Rev. Fr. Gabriel Lee – Pastor, St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Bayside
Thomas Chadzutko, Ed D – Superintendent of Schools, Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn
Board of Directors
Governing Body of the Academy
The Directors of the Academy are committed to achieving the Mission of the Academy and to making Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy the model for Catholic elementary school education in Northeast Queens. We thank everyone in the Academy community as well as the communities of St. Anastasia, St. Robert Bellarmine, American Martyrs and St. Paul Ha-Sang Parishes for their support, and are grateful for the opportunity to serve students and their families throughout northeast Queens.
Robert Schirling – Chairperson
Bob assumed the role of Chairperson in 2019, after having served as Academy Treasurer since its formation in 2009. Bob and his wife Rovena are residents of Little Neck and have been parishioners of St. Anastasia Parish since 1996. Bob’s children all attended the Academy’s predecessor parish school at St. Anastasia. He is a strong believer in the value Catholic education brings to our students, families, Parish, and broader communities, and is focused on ensuring Catholic education thrives in the modern world. Bob is a partner at a large public accounting firm, and is a certified public accountant licensed in New York and New Jersey. He has served on the Boards of other non-profits, including the Queens Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.
Peter Ermish – Vice Chairperson
Peter is a native New Yorker currently living in Southlake, Texas with his wife Julia and six children. They are parishioners of Good Shepherd Catholic Community. He and his five siblings are all graduates of St. Anastasia School where his belief in Catholic elementary education took root. He has been a member of the Divine Wisdom Board since the creation of the Academy in 2009. He views his commitment to Divine Wisdom and the Academy model as a lifelong one. His particular focus is on the modernization of the school facility and its teaching infrastructure. He is the owner of an electronics engineering and manufacturing firm based in St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Patricia Zaccone – Treasurer
Patricia joined the board in September 2018 and was nominated Treasurer in 2019. She is a member of
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Bayside for thirty-three years and serves on the Parish
Pastoral and Finance Councils. Her work for the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Bridgeport has primarily
focused on “Preserving the Vision” for Catholic education for future generations. She is a product of
Catholic education and a strong believer in the value of a Catholic education.
Kathleen Furlong – Secretary
Kathy and her husband Bob reside in Douglaston and have been members of the St. Anastasia Parish for over 25 years. Kathy is a CPA and spent 30 years working in the financial services industry holding management positions in accounting, treasury, operations, risk management, and human resources prior to her retirement. Her entire family is a product of Catholic education having attended Catholic elementary and high schools in addition to benefiting from Catholic education at the University level. Both of her children are alumni of St. Anastasia School, the Academy’s predecessor parish school in Douglaston. She believes strongly in “Preserving the Vision” of Catholic education for generations to come and is honored to have the opportunity to serve the Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy community.
Sherise Elmore – Director
Sherise joined the board in 2019. Sherise and her husband Ira are the proud parents of one
child who is a graduate of Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy and is continuing her education in
Catholic high school. After retiring from the New York City Police Department, she has devoted
her time to serving as a parent volunteer at the Academy and well as the Youth Ministry in her
home parish the Greater Allen Cathedral of New York. Sherise strongly believes in the power
and promise of a faith based education and the belief that every child can live up to their God-
given potential if given the tools and opportunity to succeed. She is committed to the
Academy’s goal of Sparking Minds, Enriching Souls and Inspiring Futures.
Suzanne Karl – Director
Suzanne joined the board in September 2009. Her family were long term residents of Douglaston and the St. Anastasia Parish Community, and both of her sons are alumni of St. Anastasia Parish School, the Academy’s predecessor school in Douglaston. Suzanne is also a product of Catholic Education having attended Catholic schools from Kindergarten through the University level. In addition to her responsibilities as the Board Chairperson, Suzanne is a member of the Diocese’s Preserving the Vision Education Commission and Academy Governance Advisory Committee. She formerly worked for the Diocese as a board mentor. She is also a member of the Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Board of Trustees. As a marketer and business professional, Suzanne believes that innovation and listening to the needs of your clients ensures success. She is a strong believer in the value of Catholic education and is proud to be a part of its future.
Carolyn Meenan – Director
Carolyn has been on the Academy board since 2012. Carolyn and her husband have been parishioners for the past 41 years. Both of their children also attended St. Anastasia School and spent the next four years in Catholic High Schools. Carolyn’s involvement in the parish is widespread. She is a Eucharistic Minister, as well as a CCD teacher, and has successfully run many fundraising events for the Parish. Carolyn’s involvement is also throughout the community. She is former president of the Little Neck/Douglaston Lions Club as well as an active member in St. Kevin’s prayer group in Flushing. Carolyn is currently an Associate Real Estate Broker at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s in Flushing.
James Peveraro – Director
Jim comes to the Board of Directors with long term experience in commercial insurance, having worked for a Fortune 100 company. He has been a member of the Board since 2009, and he has been a long time member of St. Anastasia Parish. All five of his children attended St. Anastasia School, the predecessor of Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy in Douglaston. He is a strong believer that Catholic schools will provide the leaders of tomorrow by providing strong academic skills while developing character and integrity.