they could walk to parks, stores and restaurants. And soon after Rachel started working nearby, they discovered that West Chester is just that. This fall will mark their 10th a nniversary living in the borough, and Galey has embraced his adopted hometown fully. A Mercersburg native, he's a partner at the law firm of Fisher & Phillips LLP, a labor and employment defense firm with 34 offices across the country. He was named in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars list from 2013 through 2017, and in 2019, was chosen as a “Client Service All-Star” by the BTI Consulting Group, a designation honoring attorneys who “demonstrate an unrelenting pursuit to find what best fulfills clients’ needs. Legal decision makers say these attorneys have an unquenchable thirst to understand their clients better than all other attorneys.” Galey took his dedication further, currently serving as Vice President of Borough Council representing the Third Ward. Prior to his election to council, he was a member of the Zoning Hearing Board and Planning Commission. He and his wife are also supporters of the West Chester Public Library, and their home was on the Library’s Holiday Home Tour last year. Michael's goals include continuing to work on environmental initiatives in the borough and continuing to develop the thriving downtown he has grown to love. Indeed, he says he cannot imagine living anywhere else.
THE DANCING QUEEN
CAITLIN HOPPLE, 32 Director of Harrison Dance Studios Caitlin Hopple grew up at her family’s Harrison Dance studio, literally. She lived above it, starting dance lessons at age three and joining the company at nine. At 18, she traveled to New York three times a week for classes at Steps on Broadway and began auditioning. Starting her professional career at 19, she has performed in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Florida, and New York, and has appeared on America’s Got Talent. Cait has also traveled to nearly every state in the union in her capacity as head judge in a national talent competition. Now full circle, she returned to West Chester four years ago to run that fami-
ly-owned studio, which was started by her grandmother in the 1950s and later run by her mother and aunt. “Miss Cait” as she’s known, now bridges a generational gap, teaching the children of former students. Striving to keep traditional classes in place while implementing current and relevant dance training, Cait now teaches those very ballet, jazz and tap classes she took, instructing about 40 students on a daily basis, roughly 20 classes a week, substituting in other classes regularly to keep tabs on the progress of other students. Cait believes dance is not just about learning steps. It teaches young people how to listen, take direction, self motivate, and work as a team, while instilling an appreciation of beauty, culture, hard work, discipline, and success with humility, the value of which is highlighted by Cait receiving more nominations for this feature than any other person.
Cait’s goal is to continue not only molding young Chester County women into talented dancers, but into kind and compassionate women who become strong mothers, business owners, and engaged community members. And she’s doing just that, one plié at a time.
MICHAEL STEFANO, 37 Music Teacher/Council Member/Bartender Michael Stefano is one of those many people who moved to the borough to attend West Chester University and never left. When he graduated with a music performance degree in 2004, he stayed put, and presently lives on South Franklin Street with his wife Alex, son Luca, and dog Zoe. If you think you're busy, check out Michael's schedule: His "real job" is as middle-school teacher at Tredyffrin-East-
JULY 2019 THEWCPRESS.COM
Voice of the Borough