John Ritzo, Associate Head Of Advancement

John Ritzo

Associate Head Of Advancement

John Ritzo was raised in Massachusetts and attended the University of New Hampshire where he earned a degree in liberal arts and a teaching certificate. He later pursued his master’s degree in education at Harvard University. Prior to joining the Thornton Academy administration in 2011, Mr. Ritzo devoted over three decades to the academic environment, 25 of which were spent serving as the Headmaster of Carrabassett Valley Academy. His dedication to academic and athletic development made it possible for CVA to add to its reputation and facilities, as well as double in population size. Mr. Ritzo looks forward to utilizing his previous experiences to further advance the prospects and opportunities that Thornton Academy has on the horizon for continued success in the academic world. In his spare time, Mr. Ritzo enjoys skiing, hiking, boating and spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Haley Thompson, Director of Development

Haley Thompson

Director of Development

Haley Thompson was raised in Buxton, Maine and is a graduate of Bonny Eagle High School. She went on to pursue a bachelor's degree in International Business from Bentley University and received a master's degree in International Relations and Economics from the University of Oklahoma. Haley has been working in higher education development in various capacities for over 14 years. As an Air Force spouse, Haley has lived in Germany, Washington, Oklahoma and Illinois. Her and her husband, along with their two boys, have recently returned home to Maine and are happy to be putting roots down in Saco.

Giselle Tardiff, Development Associate

Giselle Tardiff

Development Associate

Giselle grew up in Dayton and graduated from Thornton Academy
in 1990. She graduated in 1993 with an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from USM. She then lived in a few different places around the country but in 2000, moved back to Maine & Dayton. Before coming to TA in January of 2018, she has worked primarily in customer relations and marketing. Her time here at TA has been a fulfilling time of reconnecting with classmates & other alumni & helping in all capacities of alumni relations.

Claudia Shiyun Zhao, International Development Associate

Claudia Shiyun Zhao

International Development Associate

Born and raised in Beijing, China, Claudia Shiyun Zhao worked as a book editor for six years after graduating from college with a degree in engineering in Beijing. Afterwards, she moved to Sydney, Australia and lived there for 10 years. In 2011 Ms. Zhao moved to the States and she joined Thornton Academy in 2015. She works in the Development office and engages with TA’s international community.


Thornton Academy
438 Main Street
Saco, Maine 04072
(207) 282-3361
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