NCEA Promotions Reflect Hard Work and New Initiatives

Director of Marketing Communications, Director of Formation and Digital Engagement and Program Manager are roles to support a robust strategic plan for NCEA.

Arlington, VA – The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) announced three promotions to coincide with the beginning of the new fiscal year. Gabrielle Gallagher, Andrea Chavez-Kopp, M.Ed. and Thomas Pigg were promoted to director of marketing communications, director of formation and digital engagement and program manager, respectively, beginning July 1.

The announcement of the promotions was made during the July 1 and July 2 staff meetings in which NCEA officially welcomed Kathy Mears as the chief program officer and Kevin Baxter as chief innovation officer.

"NCEA has a dynamic new strategic plan in place to build on our accomplishments and to take on new initiatives in service to Catholic schools to help support our schools in professional development, leadership and governance at the local and national levels," said NCEA President/CEO Dr. Thomas Burnford." The association is blessed to have considerable talent such as Gaby, Andrea and Thomas within our organization to help us achieve these goals for our members."

As the director of marketing communications, Ms. Gallagher will lead the efforts to adhere to NCEA’s mission to proclaim the good news and value of Catholic school education and to support member Catholic schools in their marketing efforts. In addition, she will be responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive marketing communications strategy that includes overseeing a team focused on public relations marketing, website, member publications, brand and design.

She has been the assistant director of marketing communications since 2015. She joined NCEA in 2014 as editor of content strategy and production of NCEA’s award-winning quarterly magazine, Momentum, and manages NCEATalk blog and eNewsletter. Ms. Gallagher has a B.A. in corporate communications from Lycoming College in Lycoming, PA and a M.S. in public relations from Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She is the co-author of Gather Us In: Admissions, Enrollment and Retention for Catholic Schools and Best Practices for National Blue Ribbon Schools, and three editions of the Marketing Kit for Catholic Schools. In 2018, she was named Advertising/Business/Marketing Professional of the Year by Catholic Press Association.

Ms. Chavez-Kopp, as director of formation and digital engagement, will provide leadership and oversight for the development and implementation of formation programs and explore and develop innovative delivery of formation and professional development through digital engagement for members. She will act as the lead in digital learning opportunities and the IFG:ACRE Assessment program. Ms. Chavez-Kopp will continue to create and oversee educational programs with strategic partners, affiliate organizations and partners in ministry, which bring great value to NCEA members.

Ms. Chavez-Kopp began her career at NCEA in 2015 as the manager of educational resources, also managing the NCEA Webinars and became assistant director for educational and formation programs in 2017. She began her career in Catholic schools as a teacher, department chair and student government advisor, later transitioning to youth ministry. She received a B.A. in history and secondary education from St. Leo University, St. Leo, FL, and a Master in Education from St. Leo University. She co-authored the book Monarch Rescue: An Educator’s Guide to Using Butterfly Gardens to Implement STREAM.

Thomas Pigg has been promoted to program manager where he will coordinate and oversee all leadership and professional development projects, programs and events. His responsibilities also will include being the lead support for the growing executive consulting and mentoring services provided to membership schools. Mr. Pigg will collaborate with marketing and communications to ensure development and production of all collateral materials for awards events, conferences, meetings, as well as the annual NCEA Convention & Expo.

Mr. Pigg joined NCEA in 2014 as an administrative assistant for the boards and councils department and later that same year became the administrative assistant for the leadership team. In 2017, Mr. Pigg was promoted to project coordinator, working with both the leadership and professional development teams on projects and events. He received a B.A. in political science from Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL.


In service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, NCEA strengthens Catholic school communities by providing professional development, formation, leadership and advocacy.