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PA PSERS Board Re-Appoints Montgomery County Educator as Board Chair

Board also approves two investment deals

01/20/2023

​For more Information Contact

Steve Esack
Press Secretary
Public School Employees' Retirement System
Phone: 717-720-4770
e-mail:  stesack@pa.gov


HARRISBURG – The Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System elected board officers at its annual organization meeting on Friday.

Trustee Chris Santa Maria, an active certified member representative, was re-elected to the post of board chair, a position he has held since 2020. Mr. Santa Maria, a 38-year educator, teaches AP U.S. Government & Politics and Economics in the Lower Merion School District in Montgomery County.

Trustee Sue Lemmo was elected Interim Vice Chair. Ms. Lemmo, the retired member representative, will hold the interim title until a permanent vice chair is named following several new trustees joining the Board.

"I 'd like to thank the Board in their confidence in me to lead the board," Mr. Santa Maria said. "This is my last year on the board; I will be retiring from teaching in June. I do promise to put my full energy in this job for one more year."

In other Business, the Board approved two private markets investments:

  • $250 million private credit commitment to Sixth Street lending Partners L.P.
  • $100 million private equity commitment to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund XII

About Mr. Santa Maria

Chris Santa Maria has been a social studies teacher since 1985, and for most of his career has been employed by the Lower Merion School District teaching social studies. He holds a bachelor's of arts degree in History from Washington College and a master's in education degree from Cabrini University. Mr. Santa Maria was the Social Studies Department Chair at Harriton High School from 1999 to 2011, and currently teaches AP U.S. Government & Politics and Economics.

He served as President of the Lower Merion Education Association from 2007 to 2018. In that capacity, Mr. Santa Maria was chief negotiator for the employment contract for the 1450 Lower Merion School District employees. He was elected to the PSERS Board in 2017, and was voted Board Chair in 2020. He a member of the National Council on Teacher Retirement, has taught macro- and microeconomics, and is familiar with institutional investing, investment strategies, portfolio allocations, health plans, and annuities. He lives in Wallingford, Delaware County, and is married with two daughters.

About Ms. Lemmo

Susan C. Lemmo retired from the Curwensville Area School District after 31 years. She holds a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in Fine Arts from Penn State University. 

Mrs. Lemmo has represented active certified PSERS members since 2014.  She earned the Certified Public Pension Trustee accreditation from the Pennsylvania Association of Public Employees Retirement Systems (PAPERS) and has served as Treasurer of CCEJC Central Labor Council since 2005.  She was active in PSEA as local and region president, serving on the PSEA Board of Directors and the PSEA PACE Board.  She also owns several small businesses. Mrs. Lemmo resides in Clearfield with her husband, Randy. 

About the Board of Trustees

The 15-member Board of Trustees is an independent administrative board of the Commonwealth. The Board stands in a fiduciary relationship to the members of PSERS regarding investment decisions and disbursements of the System's funds. The Board also performs other functions outlined in the Public School Employees' Retirement Code, such as certifying contribution rates, authorizing the actuarial valuation and independent audit of the System, and publishing an annual financial statement of the condition of the Retirement Fund. In addition, the Board oversees the operational activities performed by the System's Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer.

About the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System

PSERS, founded in 1917, began operations in 1919 to oversee a statewide defined benefit pension plan for public school employees. PSERS' role expanded upon the passage of Act 5 of 2017 to include oversight of two new benefit options consisting of defined benefit and defined contribution (DC) components and a stand-alone DC plan. As of March 31, 2022, PSERS had total net assets of $75.9 billion and a membership of about 248,000 active, 243,000 retired school employees and 26,000 vested inactive members.

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