The Seven Hills School Board of Trustees is the governing body of our school. Its role is to hold the school, its mission, and its future “in trust.” However, the Board does not attempt to direct the day-to-day operation and management of the School, which is handled by the Head of School and the school’s administration and faculty. The Board of Trustees’ goal is not only governing the School today, but also developing it to serve future generations of students and families. It makes sure that all major decisions are consistent with the School’s mission, philosophy, and strategic plan in order to promote the long-term growth and prosperity of Seven Hills.
Our Board is welcoming new members for the 2023-24 School Year! Below you will find a group shot and member bios.
From left to right: (back row) Joi Lenczowski, Bakari Ruggiero, Thomas Scott, Fred Orelove, Mary Katherine McGetrick, (front row) Nathan Hughes, Aliya Farooq, Qasarah Bey Spencer, Candance Samuels, and Hunter Leemon. Not pictured: Thomas Eaves and Wortie Ferrell.
Joi was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, spending most of her formative years there. She attended Tulane University, where she earned a degree in biomedical engineering. She later pursued her medical studies at Duke University School of Medicine, earning her medical degree in 1996. She completed her training in dermatology and dermatologic science at the National Institutes of Health and Emory University Hospital system. After that, she worked as a clinical dermatologist in various locations, including Charleston, SC, New York City, NY, and Richmond, VA. She retired from clinical medicine in 2021.
Joi is a certified Culinary Medicine Specialist with a strong passion for giving back to the community. She volunteers for medical missions in Honduras, regularly participates in Meals on Wheels, and actively contributes to her boys' high school PTAs. When she's not busy actively volunteering, she enjoys traveling, gardening, and exercising. Joi is also a proud mother of three Seven Hills graduates from the classes of 2018, 2021, and 2023 and is committed to ensuring the school’s continued success.
Bakari is a graduate of the very first class of Seven Hills School as well as a Richmond Community High School graduate. He attended ODU with a passion for helping kids, particularly those facing cultural and societal challenges. Bakari has coached soccer, worked as a mentor and a truancy officer for RPS, but now owns the best frozen treat shops in Richmond. He is ecstatic for the opportunity to help steer Seven Hills and its kids into an even more promising future.
Thomas Scott was among the first faculty members at Seven Hills School when it was still housed at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Additionally, he taught high school and college level English. Now he’s a marketing copywriter with a middle school son of his own. Seven Hills’ mission is as important to him today as it was when he taught there. He aims to help make it the best school it can be, and to help its graduates foster real, useful change in the world.
We are pleased to welcome Fred back this year as he served as the founding Board President of Seven Hills School. His son, Sam, was a member of the first graduation class. Fred is also a Professor Emeritus of Special Education and Disability Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was Executive Director of the Partnership for People with Disabilities. Besides 7HS, Fred has served on the boards of several organizations including SPARC, Planned Parenthood, Cadence Theater Company, and St. Joseph's Villa. Fred has volunteered with Greater Richmond SCAN and reads to his third-graders at Lois Harrison-Jones Elementary School. He is a longtime Northside resident, where he lives with his wife, Irene. In addition to Sam, Fred has a daughter named Emma. In his retirement, Fred enjoys travel, reading, gardening, word puzzles, yoga, and pickleball.
Mary Katherine McGetrick
Bio to come.
Nathan Hughes, a native of Richmond, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from VCU. His career as a full-time business broker and commercial REALTOR® has spanned since 2005. During that time, he has earned the Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation from the International Business Brokers Association and the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation.
In 2015, Nathan took a pivotal step in his career by founding Sperity Real Estate Ventures, where he currently serves as the principal broker. His professional approach places a strong emphasis on teamwork and delivering exceptional customer service. Over the years, he has cultivated a niche in the Richmond restaurant market and has become a trusted advisor to small business owners.
Nathan's true passion lies in connecting people with opportunities. Drawing on his background as a small business owner, insights gained from the development community, and extensive experience in the real estate, restaurant, and financial industries, he is committed to identifying innovative solutions that empower Richmond businesses with the tools necessary to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.
Giving back to the industry and being involved in the community is important to Nathan. He currently serves on the Board of the Economic Development Authority for the City of Richmond, and in mid-2017 wrapped up a term on the Commission of Architectural Review for the City of Richmond. Nathan has been and continues to be very involved with the REALTOR® associations, most recently serving 6 years as a Director on the Board for the Virginia Realtors and 3 years as a Director on the Board for the National Association of Realtors, as well as a variety of committee work on the local, state, and national levels. For several years, Nathan was involved with Special Olympics of Virginia, and helped each year with the planning of their fundraising event, Over the Edge.
Nathan also has a son attending Seven Hills in the Seventh Grade program this year.
Aliya Farooq was born in Washington, DC and raised in Maryland. She moved to Virginia in 1997, when her husband began his medical practice in Hopewell. She has appreciated raising her four children in the greater Richmond area. Aliya has a degree in Business Administration from Ball State University. She enjoys traveling, community service, and spending time with her family. She has served on the Board of Directors at Iqra Academy of Virginia. She currently serves as the Board Chairperson for Virginia Interfaith Power & Light and Seven Hills School.
Aliya is a board member for Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and has been appointed by the Governor as a member of the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice. She also serves as Chairperson of the Refugee Committee at the Islamic Center of Virginia and is the co-leader of the local chapter of Salaam Shalom. Aliya was recently accepted into the Leadership Quest program at Leadership Metro Richmond. Through this work, Aliya maintains that dialogue is the key to a thriving community, mutual understanding, and harmony. She also believes that women are the backbone of all societies and have the power to create change within communities.
Qasarah Bey Spencer
As a macro-focused social work practitioner, Qasarah has served in the areas of asset-based community development, community education, and program evaluation. Her previous experience in education includes administration and teaching in private elementary and middle school contexts, in faith communities, and as founding dean and faculty of Koinonia School of Race and Justice at Richmond Hill. Qasarah currently serves as assistant professor in teaching at the VCU School of Social Work. She is also a former Seven Hills parent and faculty/staff person.
Bio to come.
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