The School of Practical Philosophy, a not-for-profit educational corporation chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, enjoys tax-exempt status as a Section 501(c)3 organization pursuant to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Among the purposes listed in the School’s corporate charter are:
• To study the great philosophical and religious teachings of the past and present
• To teach and demonstrate how these principles can be put to practical and effective use
• To promote the observation of the natural laws governing relationships among members of society
• To examine the principles, ideals, customs and traditions upon which the United States was established
• To sponsor a series of lectures on philosophy, economics and related subjects by distinguished guests
In practical terms, the School has two aspects: the educational side, concerned with the courses, studies and activities that are offered to the general public, students, and members of the School; and the organizational side, concerned with the provision of instructors, legal and regulatory compliance, administration and day-to-day operations.
All educational aspects are led by the senior tutor, who decides the direction and content of course material and studies, deals with the appointment of instructors or “tutors” as they are called and other related matters. The current Senior Tutor is Barry Steingard, who has held that position since 1996. The Senior Tutor appoints a Principal of the School who assists in the various activities and operations of the School. The current Principal is Russell Bosworth.
On the organizational side, the School is governed by a Board of Trustees that is elected from the Membership at the annual meeting of Members. There are currently a total of nine members of the Board of Trustees, each of whom serve for a term of three years. Three are elected at each annual meeting, making for a three-year rotating cycle, with the terms of three members ending each year and three seats open to election to the Board. From among the members of the Board, the Trustees elect for a two-year term a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary.
From time to time, the Board of Trustees adds to the School’s Membership by selecting from those individuals who are attending the School’s classes those students in good standing who have progressed satisfactorily in the courses of instruction offered by the School, who have implemented them in practice, and who have acted in furtherance of the goals and activities of the School.
There are presently 74 Members in the School.
HOWARD SCHOTT, President and Chairman of the Board, has recently retired as a teacher of chemistry, physics and philosophy in New York City schools for forty-six years. He was the headmaster of the Abraham Lincoln School from 1994 through 2004. Howard has been a member of the School since 1973. He was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1991 and he has served as its President since that time.
ALLAN MOLLER, Vice President, joined the School in 1968 and has served on its Board since 1973. He is an attorney in private practice who has extensive experience in both the public and private sector. He has acted as Counsel to the Board and School since 1973.
MARY BOSWORTH has been a member of the School of Practical Philosophy since 1992. She joined the Board of Trustees in 2015 and currently serves as Treasurer. Mary’s background is in Business and Education. She has an M.B.A. in Marketing from Fordham University and a Master’s Degree in History from Hunter College. Mary currently teaches in a New York City Independent School.
EARL MILLER, Secretary, was elected as a trustee in February 2009. He has been a member of the School since 1974. Mr. Miller recently retired as President of NIP Management Services, LLC, a financial and insurance services company, based in Woodbridge, NJ. He continues to consult on a part time basis, while expanding his role in the oversight of the School’s Hudson Valley Branch.
ROBERT BLEJER has been a student of the School of Practical Philosophy since 1971. He has been a trustee since 1995 and a former Principal of the School.
RUSSELL BOSWORTH is founder and president of Bosworth Financial Services, a firm that provides financial planning and investment management services. He has been a member of the School since 1981. He is head of the Plato Studies program, and for the past seven years, as Principal of the School, he has been responsible for managing the School’s administrative functions.
DEVANG GAMBHIRWALA has been a student of the School of Practical Philosophy since 1996, and was elected to the board in 2017. Devang’s background is in investment management. He is currently a Principal and Portfolio Manager for QMA, a quantitative equity and multi-asset class investment manager owned by Prudential Financial, Inc. As a board member, Devang helps oversee investments for the school.
KATHY KIGEL has been a member of the School since 1973. She was elected to the board in 2015. She was a nursery school teacher for 18 years and then served as a Director for 20 years. Kathy has also taught Mathematics K-7th grade part time.
DONALD WIEGMANN is founder and president of Trinity Woodworking Company, a position he has held for more than twenty years. He has been a member of the School of Practical Philosophy since 1977. During this time he has overseen the School’s branch in the Hudson Valley, managed the School’s Wallkill property and served as a Trustee on the Board of Directors.