Mary Manges, Fort Ligonier’s longtime Director of Education was named Director in May 2020 and Executive Director in February 2022. Ms. Manges leads operations, assists with fundraising and the development of new educational opportunities to broaden Fort Ligonier’s audience. Ms. Manges is passionate about improving the lives of children through history education. Her nine years spent developing imaginative educational programs instilled an appreciation and love of 18th-century history to thousands of students who have visited the Fort, which led to rapid growth and success for Fort Ligonier’s Education Department. She has received high marks from educators and parents alike for the positive impact her learning experiences have had on their children.
Ms. Manges, a certified K-12 principal, spent eighteen years in the classroom, and has an extensive background in curriculum development and literacy programs.
Ms. Manges holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master’s Degree in Education with Literacy as her specialty. She is most proud to be a nationally certified coach with the Literacy Design Collaborative.
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Julie Donovan has served as Fort Ligonier’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations since 2016. A graduate of Seton Hill University, Ms. Donovan has dedicated her career to promoting the area’s signature attractions and enhancing tourism for her hometown and the region.
Prior to joining the Fort’s team, Ms. Donovan served as the Vice President of Communications for the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Laurel Mountain Ski Resort, and the Executive Director of the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Ms. Donovan is thrilled to lead the Fort’s marketing and public relations strategies and to work with the Fort team on hosting both private and Fort events and programs.
Director of Education
Matt Gault was named Director of Education in May 2020 after serving as the Assistant Director of Education for more than six years. Mr. Gault’s career began at Fort Ligonier as a college intern while enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Upon graduation, he was selected to join Fort Ligonier’s Education Department.
During his time at the Fort, Mr. Gault has received several prestigious recognitions including the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau’s 2017 Tourism Employee of the Year Award and the PA Museums Carol Wickkiser Award presented to an outstanding young museum professional.
Mr. Gault leads the development and production of Fort Ligonier’s educational initiatives including the new, exciting virtual events and field trips that have reached students as far away as Hawaii, California, and Utah and visitors from across the globe.
Assistant Director of Education
Fort Ligonier is thrilled to welcome Dave Swank as the new Assistant Director of Education!
Dave’s love for Fort Ligonier began with an internship while enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 2018. During his college years, Dave continued to work at the Fort part-time and was an essential member of the education department. Upon graduation, Dave accepted a classroom teaching position before returning to the Fort full-time in April 2022.
Director of Preservation and Restoration
Executive Assistant/Museum Store Supervisor
Visitor Services Supervisor