The Bridge Way School was founded by The Greater Philadelphia Association of Recovery Education (GPARE) a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing recovery education to secondary and post-secondary students in the Philadelphia area. GPARE and Bridge Way share the Board of Directors.
Rosalie Spelman, MAT, JD, Chair, is an attorney in private practice in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Before law school at Georgetown in Washington DC, Rosalie earned a Master of Arts in Teaching at Northwestern in Evanston Illinois. She taught high shool in the Chicago area to a broad range of high school students. Among other things, Rosalie now works with individuals and non-profits in designing planned giving. Like other members of the GPARE board, Rosalie strongly believes in supporting adolescents in the critical time of recovery from addiction.
Sharon Weinman, J.D., Vice President, is a founding board member and current Vice President of the Board of Directors of GPARE. Sharon lives in Philadelphia and is currently the Director of Organizational Development & Training at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey. Sharon earned her undergraduate degree from Blackburn College and her law degree from the University of Cincinnati School of Law.
Jan Ambrose, Ph.D, Treasurer, is Chair and Associate Professor of the Finance Department and Risk Management and Insurance Program at La Salle University in Philadelphia. Jan earned her doctorate at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and has enjoyed a rewarding career in academia for over 15 years. She strongly believes in the importance of building and contributing to community and lends her expertise on insurance, finance and leadership issues. She is a past board member of the Swarthmore Food Co-op, a community-owned food market in Delaware County.
Rebecca Bonner, M.Ed., MUPP is a founding board member of GPARE as well as its acting Executive Director. She has worked with non-profits for over 20 years in secondary and post-secondary education as well as small business development and currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Office of Addiction Services for the city of Philadelphia. She earned her Master of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Master of Education from Temple University. For seven years, she worked as a middle school division leader and faculty coordinator for an independent Friends school in Philadelphia where she handled day-to-day operations concerning budget, staffing, student discipline and curriculum development. Rebecca and her husband live in Swarthmore and have three daughters.
Beth Fitzsimons is Clinical Affairs Director at Kerathin, a medical device firm located in Chester, PA. Beth is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Caron Foundation, a nationally-renowned treatment facility for substance addiction in Wernersville, PA. She is the Chair of the Human Resource Committee at Caron, and serves on the Compensation Committee as well. Beth is a past Chair of the Association of Recovery Schools, a national organization for the advocacy of recovery education in secondary and post-secondary schools.
Jake Neff, MSS, LSW, is a graduate of The Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, is an addictions counselor in private practice in Philadelphia, where he specializes in the treatment of adolescents and young adults with dual diagnoses. Before changing his career to become a social worker, Jake worked for six years in the professional sports industry. As part of the management team for the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, Jake had the opportunity to work with young professional athletes. His unusual professional background, his clinical training in the treatment of addiction and his own personal journey afford him a multi-faceted lens and a deeply empathic perspective in relation to recovery from adolescent addiction. He also currently sits on the board of The Bridge Foundation, which is dedicated to the freedom and positive choices for our children. Jake and his wife Jessica live in Chestnut Hill.
Caroline New is Associate Director of Donor Communications at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she leads initiatives in fundraising, grant writing, and strategic communications. She has worked at the museum since 2009. Previously, Caroline worked at the National Gallery, London, while earning a master’s degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art. She graduated cum laude in 2008 from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in art history. Caroline has been active in the recovery community since 2004, serving in leadership roles focused on conference planning and service projects across Pennsylvania. Originally from Northern California, she now lives in Philadelphia’s Passyunk Square neighborhood. Caroline brings her passion for service to her local civic association, having chaired the Home Tour for two consecutive years, organizing the civic’s most successful annual fundraiser.