Leadership and Governance

Head of School

Alexandra S. Thurstone G’80, ’84

After attending St. Francis, Alexandra earned a BA in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University and then worked for a law firm in San Francisco and Japan. In 1990, she returned to graduate school, receiving an MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Upon graduating from business school, she spent four years in Client Service at the Leo Burnett Company in Chicago. In 1996, she returned to Louisville with her family and joined Doe-Anderson Inc. as a VP/Account Supervisor. She remained at Doe-Anderson, managing the agency’s largest account, until moving to St. Francis. A 1984 graduate of St. Francis School, and a K-12 lifer herself, Alexandra began her second tenure with the school at the High School in 2001 as Associate Head of School and became the Head of School in 2003, succeeding founding Head of School Tom Pike. When St. Francis School and St. Francis High School merged in July 2012, Alexandra became the Head of the new St. Francis School. Alexandra is married to husband Andy, and their two sons Gray and Andrew are both St. Francis alumni having attended since Kindergarten.

Alexandra is also very involved in the community with education being her main focus. She is currently Vice-Chair of the Harvard Club of Louisville, Treasurer of the Kentucky Non-Public Schools Commission, and Treasurer of the Independent Schools Committee of the Central States, the Midwest Independent Schools accrediting body.

Today, with her guidance and vision, St. Francis School is growing and strong. Enrollment is up, with the High School’s enrollment being the highest in its history, and the Goshen Campus being the highest since 2008. In addition, St. Francis continues to be one of the most diverse Independent Schools in the country with over 28% of students being minority or foreign-born. The School has completed a Master Campus Plan that includes an interim parking lot for the Downtown Campus that was completed in the summer of 2013, a Gymnasium for the Goshen Campus which was completed in the summer of 2014, renovated spaces on the Goshen Campus to house our Preschool completed in the summer of 2014, a new entrance and expanded student commons space completed at the High School in 2016, a renovation of the Main Amp, Theater, & Lobby on the Goshen Campus is currently under construction and opening in summer 2019, a new Gymnasium for the High School, as well as an endowment to sustain the School’s new facilities and ambitious scholarship program.

Leadership Team

Jennifer Griffith

Lower School Director/Lower School Math

M.Ed. Washington University
B.A. Washington University

Suzanne Gorman

Associate Head of School -- Downtown Campus

M.A. University of Michigan
B.A. Loyola University Chicago

Shelly Jones

Associate Head of School -- Goshen Campus, Teaching and Learning/Lower School Math

M.A. Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College
B.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Greg Borders

Associate Head of School -- Finance and Operations

B.S. University of Louisville

Renee Hennessy

Preschool Director

B.S. University of Louisville

Zak Cohen

Middle School Director/Middle School Baseball/Assistant Middle School Soccer

M.Ed. Lesley University
B.A. Hamilton College

Bethany Heckel

Director of Advancement

B.A. University of Kentucky

Ralph Marshall

Dean of Faculty - Downtown Campus/High School History

Ph.D. Temple University
M.A. Temple University
B.A. Dickinson College

Carolyn Hannan ’99

Marketing and Communications Director

B.S. The New School

The St. Francis Board of Trustees

St. Francis, like all Independent Schools, is governed by a self-sustaining, volunteer Board of Trustees. The Board is made up of current parents, alumni, alumni parents, and friends of the School. In addition, the Board includes several staff members as ex-officio representatives, several Emeritus Trustees, as well as an ex-officio General Counsel. The Board has a single employee, the Head of School, who manages the day-to-day running of the School; whereas the Board focuses on the future. The Board’s role is to set the Mission and Vision for the School, to conduct long-range strategic planning, and to plan for the school’s future in terms of ensuring that adequate resources exist to meet the Mission, Vision, and strategic plan. The Board operates with several committees including the Executive Committee, the Governance Committee, the Finance Committee, the Development Committee, the Marketing and Relationship Building Committee, and the Facilities Committee, all of which meet approximately monthly. The full Board meets five times per year, plus a retreat and an opening social gathering/meeting.

James Melhuish, CP, Chair
John Shumate G’96, ’00, Vice-Chair
Wes Johnson, AP, Treasurer
Rob Penta ’99, Secretary
Ginny Frazier, CP, Past Chair
Chad Carlton, AP, Executive Committee
Kelley Cox, CP/AP, Executive Committee
Kelly Wright Henrion ’92, Executive Committee
Paula Caffer, CP, Executive Committee
Stewart Lussky, CP, Executive Committee
Anna Bass-Wilson G’01, ’05
Sherry Cornell, CP
Ken Edwards, AP
Rafa Garibay, CP
Jerron Jones, CP
Emily Kirchdorfer, CP
Suzy Lancaster, AP
Kapauner Lewis, CP/AP
Laura Linkous, AP
James Mason G’82 ’86
Heather McHold, AP
Lee Middendorf, CP/AP
Deena Neimat, CP
Wake Norris, CP
Vicki Oczarzak, CP
Amanda Schriber, CP/AP
Deron Simmons, G’02, ’06
Jason Snyder, CP/AP
LaToya Whitlock, F

Emeritus: Scott Gregor, AP, Ben Holt, AP, Ellen Rosenbloom, AP

Ex-Officio: Renee Hennessy, AP, Preschool Representative; Jennifer Griffith, CP, Lower School Faculty Representative; Zak Cohen, Middle School Faculty Representative; Ralph Marshall, CP, High School Faculty Representative; Alexandra Thurstone G’80, ’84, AP, Head of School

Staff Attendees: Greg Borders, AP, Associate Head of School — Business and Operations; Bethany Heckel, Director of Advancement; Suzanne Gorman, CP/AP, Associate Head of School — Downtown Campus; Shelly Jones, CP, Associate Head of School — Goshen Campus, Teaching and Learning

Members of the Board serve on a volunteer basis, no compensation is received.
(CP – Current Parent, AP – Alumni Parent, F – Friend, G – Grandparent)