Every school begins with a thought that someone wants more for students. The PALCS Founders spent hours and hours completing paperwork to apply for the charter to open PA Leadership Charter School. The founders consisted of 5 members, all of whom wanted to make a difference.

Dr. James Hanak is a founder and the first CEO of Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School.

Meet Our Founders

Dr. James Hanak

  • BS – Biology

  • Masters – Communications and Theology

  • Doctorate – Management and Communications

  • Married with two daughters

  • Founded and directed non-profit organizations since 1971.

  • Directed Doctor of Ministry Degree Program for Pastors – Leadership Training Center, Philadelphia.

  • CEO of a Pennsylvania cyber charter school in 2002.

  • Former Chief Executive Officer of PA Leadership Charter School, 2004 – 2022.

  • Speechwriter and presenter on dozens of topics to various churches and civic and political groups.  Developed weekly TV talk show “Viewpoint, LSP,” produced in several Philadelphia area studios and on location; charged with hosting this dynamic counter-discussion group.

  • Served on the High Flight Foundation’s advisory board – Founder and Chairman Col. James Irwin, Moon Astronaut.

  • Contributing columnist to the Philadelphia Inquirer and the National Educator.  Published nationally over 500 times in 51 newspapers and periodicals. Placed first in the Montgomery Newspapers Freedom Edition Essay Contest for essay on “U.S. Constitution Founded on Timeless Principles” – July 1987.

Robert Cypcar

  • Quantitative programmer

  • Data analysis including Econometrics, Monte Carlo simulation, Time series and longitudinal analysis, risk analysis, factor analysis, multivariate techniques and stochastic processes

  • Client interaction, teaching and consulting

Work Experience
  • 1986 to Present: Senior Systems Consultant with BAE Systems, an aerospace, engineering and software services firm. Provide consulting services to clients concerning software development and quantitative analysis.

  • 1983 to 1986: Senior Associate with CACI Inc., a market research, software services and management consulting firm. Participated in financial system design, testing and implementation. Participated in financial system and supply chain training.

  • 1979 to 1980: Adjunct Professor, Pennsylvania State University. Taught quantitative methods in operations research and operations management.

  • 1974 to 1983: Systems/Operations Research Analyst and project manager at Navy Ships Parts Control Center, a federal supply chain agency.

Louisa Gaughen

Political Experience
  • Charter Member National Council of Women Advisors to the US Congress

  • Pennsylvania Delegate to Women Leaders Summit, Wash., DC.

  • Member of Pennsylvania Delegation to Republican National Convention, 2000

  • Goodling for Congress Cumberland County Reelection Chairman, 1998

  • Gekas for Congress Finance Chairman, 2002

  • Pennsylvania Council of Republican Women, State Chairman-Literacy Committee

  • Elected to Pennsylvania Republican State Committee, 2000-2004

  • Served actively on numerous local, state and national campaign committees

  • Vice Chairman, Cumberland County Republican Committee

Community Affiliations
  • International Dyslexia Association – Registered Literacy Advocate, Advisory Committee for Pennsylvania Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities

  • Appointed to Pennsylvania System of School Assessment for setting Performance Levels in Reading, Writing and Mathematics

  • National Dyslexia Research Institutes

  • National Association for Gifted and Talented Children

  • Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education

  • Rotary International

  • Nominated to Delegation on Education as Citizen Ambassador for People to People International to Russia

  • West Shore YMCA Board Director

  • River School, Pride of the Susquehanna – Education Committee

  • Married with four children

  • Self-employed

  • Bilingual – Spanish / English

Paul Selby

  • Married with six children

  • Children’s basketball teams – assistant coach

Work Experience
  • Current position – PALCS IT Support Specialist

  • Past position – Hardware Engineer with UNISYS, providing high level engineering hardware and software support for ES7000 Intel based mainframe family

  • Patents related to work include Data Compression / Decompression apparatus, built-in load board design for performing high-resolution quiescent current measurements and circuit for measuring quiescent current

  • Founded a start-up Regional ISP called Saferefuge.com, providing dial-up ISP services and Website hosting to personal and business accounts, as well as small business and home networking and PC repair services

Janice Yanofsky

  • Hunter College NY, NY School of Physical Therapy; graduated 8/78; Bachelor of Science/Certificate of Physical Therapy

  • Additional certificates obtained in field-related clinical courses i.e. balance disorders, pediatric PT, geriatric PT

  • Married with three children

Work Experience
  • 1990- present: Contract PT services to Harrisburg and surrounding nursing facilities

  • Prior to 1990: Manor Care, Beverly, Jewish Nursing Home, Nova Care, Genesis Eldercare, Health South/Mech Experience in rehab, arthritis and pediatrics

Community Affiliations
  • Dauphin County Medical Society Auxiliary, Pennsylvania

  • Medical Auxiliary, Point Ridge Farm Civic Association, Religious Sisterhood

  • Parent Advisor for Senior Citizen Computer Literacy Program

  • Susquehanna Sewing Guild