Sewickley Academy administrator Claudia Gallant remembered

| Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A reception to celebrate the life of the late Sewickley Academy administrator Claudia Gallant will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday in the Hansen Library.

Gallant died April 21 surrounded by her family after a battle with lung cancer.

A short program in honor of the school official will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday with remarks and music.

In addition, the academy has established the Claudia Gallant Global Studies Fund, an endowed fund providing financial aid for students engaged in travel, study and service, to honor her.

School officials list the crowning achievement of Gallant's tenure as the design and implementation of the school's Global Studies program, which now boasts four Global Studies Certificate graduates and 25 current participants.

It features formal exchange agreements with schools in five foreign countries and study and travel opportunties in at least four others.

Gallant arrived at Sewickley Academy in July 2006 to take the newly created position of director of academic affairs. Her title later was changed to assistant head of school for academic affairs.

As chief academic officer of the school, Gallant led curriculum development and was responsible for the ongoing professional development of academy faculty.

Ken Goleski, dean of students in the senior school, said he always will remember how much Gallant loved a good conversation with colleagues about a current trend or idea. He said she taught him about patience, perseverance and working through a struggle.

“Claudia's greatest strength (and her greatest gift to her friends) was her ability to listen and then help you process through any problem,” he said.

“Furthermore, completely free of prejudice and judgment, she was a remarkably comforting and calming person.”

She also oversaw the transformation of the school's Teachers as Partners program for the new employee mentoring program, which received national recognition as a model for supporting new employees.

Prior to her arrival at Sewickley Academy, Gallant served as executive director of The Global Connections Foundation and also had served for five years as vice president for professional development with the National Association of Independent Schools.

She began her career teaching English at Chatham Hall in Virginia and Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.

She later served as the director of professional development programs for Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts.

She earned her bachelor's degree in English at Emmanuel College in Boston and went on to earn her master's degree in English at the University of Michigan, where she also competed the coursework for a doctorate in English.

A lover of dogs, she established a program at Misty Pines in Franklin Park to support the rehabilitation and training of abused dogs.

Also a music lover, she took up playing the piano after many years and often could be heard practicing a favorite Mozart piece.

Despite numerous setbacks since being diagnosed with stage-four cancer in October 2012, she continued to remain active with her friends, family and the academy.

In lieu of flowers, academy officials said Gallant expressed a wish that gifts be made to financial aid for the academy.

— Staff report

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