The Office of Institutional Advancement is part of the NA Administration and is responsible for:
- Academy Communications, Marketing & Social Media
- Alumni Relations
Like all independent schools, Newark Academy relies on philanthropic donations from parents, alumni, alumni parents, faculty and staff, foundations and friends in three major areas:
- Annual operating support – tuition revenue covers approximately 82 percent of the actual operating budget for NA each year. The remainder of the budget is made through auxiliary revenue (i.e. summer programming, facility rentals) and philanthropic support of the Newark Academy Annual Fund. The portion that must be made through annual philanthropic support calculates to approximately $1,700 per student, per year. Annual Fund gifts are used to support every area of the operating budget, including academic, athletic and arts programs, financial aid, and faculty development. Gifts to the Annual Fund have an immediate impact and are spent within the fiscal year they are given.
- Capital Improvements – undertaken periodically throughout the history of the Academy, major capital improvements (such as the Upper School Academic Center) are funded through philanthropic donations. Typically, NA will launch a special fundraising campaign for these efforts. Currently, NA is in the midst of such an effort, which is titled Rise & Flourish: The Campaign for Newark Academy. Gifts for this campaign and the capital improvements it is funding are personally requested and paid over a five year period.
- Gifts to the Endowment – Newark Academy’s endowment is composed of gifts designated for long-term financial support. All gifts to the endowment are invested, generating annual investment income to support financial aid, faculty housing and long-term financial needs. The endowment is overseen by the Investment Committee of the Newark Academy Board of Trustees. Additional gifts to the endowment are being personally requested as part of Rise & Flourish: The Campaign for Newark Academy.
Donors may choose which of the philanthropic areas they wish to support and are encouraged to begin their support of Newark Academy through a gift to the Annual Fund.
Director of Institutional Advancement
In her sixth year of service at Newark Academy, Lisa Grider oversees NA’s communications and marketing, alumni relations and fundraising. Her 25-year career is anchored in service to educational organizations, including Texas Christian University, Baylor University Medical Center and Seton Hall University. Immediately prior to joining Newark Academy, Lisa served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Graham Pelton Consulting, Inc., a full-service fundraising and nonprofit management firm. Lisa represents Newark Academy on the District II Board of Directors for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She is also a member of the Advancement Steering Committee for the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Western Kentucky University and a Master of Liberal Arts from Texas Christian University.
Director of Advancement Services
Jennifer Rusek joined the advancement staff in 2005. Jennifer is a graduate of Rutgers University where she achieved a BA in History. She currently attends Rutgers University - School of Public Administration & Affairs for her Master’s in Public Administration with a focus in Non-Profit Management. Some of her primary responsibilities at Newark Academy include overseeing the administration of the database; processing all donations, acknowledgements and updates to constituent records as well as the social media for NA alumni. Jennifer is also responsible for managing prospect research and data for the Rise & Flourish Campaign, select endowment scholarship funds, and produces all annual donor recognition reports.
Director of Alumni Relations
Matt Gertler ’90, returned to Newark Academy as a faculty member in 2007. He began his teaching career in the San Francisco, California public schools. He also spent several years teaching middle school math and history at San Francisco-based Stuart Hall for Boys before returning to NJ to teach at Far Hills Country Day School. Always an active alum, Matt joined the NAPA Board of Governors in 2008. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and a master’s degree in Teaching from the University of San Francisco.
Director of Annual Giving and Parent Relations
Lisa joined the Advancement Office in 2008 as an Administrative Assistant. In this position she is responsible for scheduling management of the department’s staff, maintaining the budget, creating reports and entering data. She is an energetic coach for the girls Varsity and JV basketball teams. Before joining Newark Academy, Lisa worked as a vice president in the banking industry for more than 10 years.
Director of Communications
Deb joined the advancement staff in 2000 as director of communications. Prior to that she spent 10 years in healthcare fund development and community relations. Currently she oversees Newark Academy publications, supervises the design and content for the website, manages the production of video and photography, serves as editor of the alumni magazine and supervises media relations.
Marci joined Newark Academy in 2012. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester and a master’s degree in education from New York University. She has worked in Communications for nearly ten years, and came to NA after working in the healthcare and technology sectors. Marci assists with Newark Academy publications and manages content for the NA website and social media channels. She began her career teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in elementary and high schools in New York City.