Ralph Ackerman, President
Ralph Ackerman has been a Delaware resident since 1976 and has lived primarily in Claymont. Mr. Ackerman has four daughters, all of whom are graduates of the District. He served previously on the Brandywine Board of Education from 1993 to 2003, serving as both President and Vice President. He served as spokesperson for Coalition for Better Education In Brandywine, was a member of the Strategic Planning committee in 1992, was a Citizens Advisory Committee representative for Maple Lane Elementary, and chaired the Claymont Community Coalition education committee. Mr. Ackerman received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Delaware and completed the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation from the American Institute in 1991. He currently works for Chase as a project manager. In addition, he is in his second year as President of the Delaware School Boards Association. Mr. Ackerman represents Nominating District C on the School Board; his term expires in June of 2023. He serves on the DSBA Executive Committee and WMPH Advisory Committee.
John Skrobot III, Vice President
John Skrobot III is a lifelong Delaware resident and a graduate of Brandywine High School. He and his wife, Katie, are the proud parents of two current BSD students. John holds a Bachelor of Science in Business & Economics from the University of Delaware and is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). He currently works for Fannie Mae. Mr. Skrobot has been involved in various community organizations over the years such as Creative Mentoring and Habitat for Humanity, and has coached teams for Concord Soccer and Brandywine Little League. He is also a past Vice President of the Ballymeade Maintenance Corporation. Mr. Skrobot represents Nominating District D on the School Board; his term expires in June of 2022. He serves on the Maintenance Advisory Committee and District Finance Committee.
Ms. Karen Gordon is a graduate of Millersville State University and Wilmington University with degrees in Elementary Education, Library Science, and School Counseling. She was a librarian in the Brandywine School District for 27 years until her retirement in 2013. Karen was a member of a number of District and State committees and was appointed to the Professional Standards Board during the ten years prior to her retirement. She was honored to be chosen as the Delaware State School Library Media Specialist of the Year in 1996 and was a Fulbright Teacher to Japan in 1998. Karen has been a resident of the District for more than 20 years and is actively involved in many community programs. She represents Nominating District E on the School Board; her term expires in June of 2020. She serves on the DSBA Legislative Committee, Parent & Citizen Advisory Committee, and Parent Advisory Committee for Children with Special Needs.
Jason Heller became involved with BSD during the 2016 referendum campaign. He is the owner of Tint World Automotive Styling Center in Wilmington with a professional background in emergency services administration and regional retail operations and training. Mr. Heller has served as Treasurer, Vice President, and President of the Springer Middle School Family Association (formerly PTA). He has coached the robotics team at Springer since the 2017-2018 inaugural season. Through his non-profit, DejaVu Safety Solutions, he and his wife are piloting an in-school emergency response team of staff and students at Springer prepared to address critical life threats such as cardiac arrest or major bleeding, in conjunction with non-profit partner Heart in the Game. He also has been involved with the Mariano Rivera Foundation since 2016, volunteering as a consultant on operations and technology. Mr. Heller has two children in BSD, at Springer and Brandywine. He represents Nominating District G on the School Board; his term expires June 30, 2024.
Reverend Shanika Perry was elected in May 2018 to a full term after being appointed to fill the seat the prior year. She currently serves in the dual role of Executive Minister and Youth Pastor at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, where she has been involved with youth mentoring and tutoring initiatives. She also has served on a Department of Education committee related to the Christina School District and joined the United Way in its My Very Own Library program to help students start their home libraries. Reverend Perry represents Nominating District A on the School Board; her term expires in June of 2023. She serves on the Communication Advisory Work Group and Maintenance Advisory Committee.
Ms. Kristin Pidgeon is a lifelong resident of Brandywine Hundred and a 1992 graduate of Brandywine High School. Her husband Tom is a Social Studies teacher at Springer Middle School, and they have four children, all of whom attend schools in the Brandywine School District. Ms. Pidgeon graduated with a Bachelors degree from the University of Delaware in the Family Studies Program and earned a Masters degree from Wilmington University in Public Administration. She is a Realtor with Long and Foster Real Estate in Greenville, Delaware. Through her work as a real estate agent, she spends time in every neighborhood in our community listening to families discuss their ideas and needs for our schools. As a parent of a child with Down Syndrome, she has a unique understanding of how a positive educational environment can make the difference between success and failure for students with special needs. Ms. Pidgeon represents Nominating District B on the School Board; her term expires in June of 2020. She serves on the Parent Committee for Children with Special Needs and Communication Advisory Work Group.
Dr. Debbi Zarek has lived in the community since 2003 and was involved with planning and fundraising for the Mount Pleasant Elementary School walking path. She also served as co-president of the MPE PTA and was involved with fundraising events at Claymont Elementary. In addition, she is very active at First Unitarian Church and has served as chair of Children and Youth Religious Education and co-chair of the Human Rights Task Force. Two of her children currently attend Brandywine High School. Dr. Zarek represents Nominating District F on the School Board; her term expires on June 30, 2021.