About Us

What We Do

Helping Students with a Dream to Face the Challenge and Achieve Success


The R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation offers financial and developmental support to assist in educating high school students in STEM & Performing Arts.

The R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation

Foundation Information

The R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation is a 501c3 organization created to support STEM & Performing Arts students. Until the R.E.A.A.D.Y. STEM & Performing Arts Charter School’s operations commence, the R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation anticipates offering scholarships for educational experiences outside of the classroom to help further students’ educational and artistic ability.    


Once the R.E.A.A.D.Y. STEM & Performing Arts Charter School opens its doors, the R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation will support students at the school. The R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation will offer scholarships to students who otherwise would be unable to afford the specialized R.E.A.A.D.Y. program. In addition, the Foundation will provide support for master teachers, master classes, various on and offsite workshops, materials and testing items, transportation to and from performances, and any additional school-related support for R.E.A.A.D.Y. students’ development and day-to-day education.   


The R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation and the R.E.A.A.D.Y. STEM & Performing Arts Charter School share the following beliefs: we must give back to the community through community outreach programs, we must encourage our students to initiate positive change in their neighborhoods, and we must foster within our students the desire to carry this this positive sense of purpose with them throughout their lives.   


In collaboration with the R.E.A.A.D.Y. STEM & Performing Arts Charter School, the R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation will assist students with every opportunity they have to prepare themselves for successful lifelong careers. Working together, the R.E.A.A.D.Y. Foundation and STEM & Performing Arts Charter School will bring forth an unprecedented educational opportunity that will open the doors of higher education to many students who otherwise would be unable to afford it. This joint endeavor will positively impact young people and the future of our region.

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Board of Directors

Kenneth Nickel, Co-Chairman

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Ken is a former Principal Dancer with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Ballet West, and the Dallas Ballet Company. He was the Artistic Director of Performing Arts for La Roche College, where he established a B.A. Degree for Performing Arts In Dance and developed a public-school Arts dance program. Mr. Nickel joined California University of Pennsylvania where he designed and worked with their Bachelor of Arts Degree in dance. Ken created and developed in conjunction with the Community College of Beaver County a program where junior and senior students can earn an Associate of Arts degree in Dance during High School. He served as Artistic Director of the program for the Community College of Beaver County. Ken has also served on the Spina Bifida Board of Directors for the past three years.

Judith O'Connor, Co-Chairwoman

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Judy O’Connor is the wife of former Mayor Bob O’Connor and has lived in Pittsburgh all her life. She is currently employed at the Highmark Caring Foundation (Caring Place) and also serves on the Bob O'Connor Foundation Board of Directors, the SIDS board, and the CAB board at WQED. Judy is involved in the community and delivers meals on wheels and volunteers at the Mario Lemieux Children’s Home. She has three children, Heidy, Father Terry and Corey and three granddaughters.

Heidy Garth, Co-Chairwoman

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Heidy O’Connor Garth graduated from Slippery Rock University with a B.S. degree in management and marketing and worked for Pappan’s Enterprises for 16 years. Heidy has worked for C. Truxell Research as a marketing manager for the last 20 years. Heidy is also on the Bob O'Connor Foundation Board of Directors. She was involved in the Girl Scouts as a leader for 9 years, PTO President in the Woodland Hills School District for 9 years, and was involved in the OLWEUS Anti-Bullying Program.

Susan Gondringer, Director of Operations

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Susan has over twenty years of Marketing, Operations, and fund-raising experience including Operations Management, Account Services, Client Service Management, Production Management, Strategy Development, and Purchasing. Currently, Sue is Operations Manager for a full-service direct marketing agency committed to nonprofit fundraising where she was responsible for creating, maintaining and company-wide training of all processes and procedures. She works to promote team-oriented thinking and to build consensus across organizations. Sue is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

Robin Walsh, Treasurer

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Robin obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a Major of Business Teacher Education from Robert Morris College, which she completed after she completed her student teaching internship at Bethel Park High School. In addition to her coursework, she also worked for one semester as a Financial Aid Office Assistant and for two years as the Box Office Assistant at the RMC Colonial Theater. She passed all the PA required tests to obtain her Teaching Certificate for Secondary Business Courses.

Jack Hunt, Board Member

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John "Jack" Hunt Jr. is probably best known as Johnny Angel of Johnny Angel and the Halos. Jack and his group have been performing for more than 30 years now. Jack has been involved in music for as long as he can remember, from the church choir, to drummer, to lead singer.  He also owns and runs Johnny Angel’s Ginchy Stuff, a memorabilia shop on Pittsburgh’s North Side. With his love of the culinary arts, Jack is also a partner in a company that owns seven local restaurants.  But Jack’s main focus in his life is still his family and his wife, children, and grandchildren.