The St. Thomas School Board of Trustees is comprised of parents, community business leaders, the Head of School, and includes faculty representation and representation from St. Thomas Church. The Board is self-perpetuating, meaning the Board is continuously seeking members who can provide particular skill sets (education, legal, business/financial, development, construction/real estate, etc.) and who possess the necessary experience or characteristics to serve in this capacity. The Board of Trustees has one employee – the Head of School – who is hired to oversee all daily operations of the School. The Board, in its governance role, has responsibility for the School’s financial sustainability, overarching policies, and long-range strategic vision. Members serve three-year terms and there are no term limits.
Current members are:
Board of Trustee Biographies
Kevin Berry is a partner at Bristlecone Advisors, a boutique investment management firm that works with select high net worth clients and their families. Key areas of focus are investment management, financial planning, trust and estate planning and family office services. Kevin has 33 years of experience in the financial industry, and 15 years working in the private wealth management sector. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has served on a number of local boards and foundations, including St. Thomas School where he serves on the Investment Committee and is Chair of the Finance Committee.
The Rev. Alexander N. (Lex) Breckinridge IV
The Rev. Lex Breckinridge has served as Rector of St Thomas Church since September1, 2009. Before coming to St Thomas, he served as Upper School Chaplain at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas where he taught theology, ancient history, ethics, and world religions. He has also served as rector of St Alban’s Episcopal Church, Austin, and Associate Rector of St Michael’s, Austin. Lex has served as a Trustee of the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools, St Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin, and St George’s Episcopal School, New Orleans. He is a graduate of St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, The University of North Carolina (AB ’74), The Tulane University School of Law (J.D ’79), and the Seminary of the Southwest (M. Div. ’98). From 1979-95, he was a practicing maritime and commercial trial lawyer in New Orleans.
Lex has been married to his wife, Zonnie, a retired financial institutions lawyer, since 1977. Together they have three grown children: a son practicing law in Washington DC; a daughter attending graduate school in Austin; and another son who will graduate from Haverford College in 2011.
Thomas J. Cusick
Thomas J. Cusick is the founder and managing director of Tam Capital Partners, an investment firm focused on private equity and real estate. He has over twenty years of investment experience in alternative assets including venture capital, private equity and real estate. He began his career as a senior consultant for Ernst & Young, focused on emerging private companies, and later held senior corporate development positions for Accenture and Koll Real Estate Services, as well as a managing director position for CIBC Capital Partners where he was responsible for leading the firm’s west coast private equity and venture capital investments.
Tom has been actively involved as an alumni representative for Harvard Business School and has served in volunteer roles for a variety of organizations including Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Young Professionals Against Cancer. He currently sits on the Board of the Albers School of Business and the Entrepreneurship Center at Seattle University.
Tom received a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern California.
Thien-Di ("Zee") Do is Founder + Chief Optimist of StokedGroup, a creative marketing firm that focuses on the business well-being of private healthcare practices. Prior to moving from Ann Arbor, MI to Seattle, WA in December of 2005, Di worked in the automotive industry for Magna International, and in 2003, became the youngest director at Plastech Engineered Products. There, she built a brand new department for the $1billion+ organization, and designed the marketing & communications strategy after several major acquisitions including that of an equal-sized competitor.
Di is a former STS PA President and also served on the school's Marketing and Diversity Committees. She is an active member of Eastlake Community Church and has volunteered her time with several local non-profits. Di and her husband, Jim, have two children who both attend St. Thomas School.
Rita Egrari, Ph.D.
Dr. Rita Egrari has focused much of her education and career on international public health and education. After receiving her B.S. degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of British Columbia, she continued on to the School of Public Health, U.C.L.A. where she earned her M.P.H. and Ph.D. in Public Health with an emphasis on maternal and child health in developing countries.
Rita serves as a board member and director of the Northwest Office for Mona Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting grassroots educational initiatives and raising the status of women and girls in the United States and abroad. She is also a board member of Rwanda Girls Initiative. Rita firmly believes that education, particularly the education of women and girls, is a powerful tool in breaking the cycle of poverty.
Rita and her husband, Sep, have three children. Two of her daughters attend STS and her son, an alum of STS, attends University Prep.
Donald Gaines is vice president Finance and Treasurer for Washington-based Puget Energy and its utility subsidiary, Puget Sound Energy. With over 30 years of experience in utility finance, Don is responsible for cash management, managing the capital structure, capital market activities and oversees financial forecasting, taxes, energy risk control and the company’s budgeting processes.
As treasurer, Don has raised approximately $8.5 billion of capital for PSE and Puget Energy. Don also serves as chairman of PSE’s qualified plans committee, the group that oversees approximately $1 billion in qualified retirement and investment plan assets. He also is member of the company’s energy management committee, which approves and reviews power and gas hedging strategies. In his role as trustee and treasurer of the Puget Sound Energy Foundation, he oversees approximately $20 million of investments for the foundation.
Don joined the company in 1981. He was named to his current position in 2002.
An avid hiker, Don is a member of the board of trustees of the Washington’s National Park Fund, a non-profit organization that raises funds to support Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park and Olympic National Park.
Don earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in business administration from the University of Puget Sound and a Master of Business Administration degree with honors from Pacific Lutheran University.
Jayasri Ghosh, Ph.D.
Dr. Jayasri Ghosh currently serves as STS’ Middle School consultant. Former Head of Annie Wright in Tacoma and Seattle Country Day School, Jayasri is currently President of her own educational consulting firm, Offsite/Insights. She is an adjunct faculty member of Antioch University and has previously served as Acting Director of Education for Islandwood Learning Center. She has served on numerous boards including: Annie Wright School, Charles Wright Academy, PNAIS (where she also served as President), NAIS, among others. Jayasri holds a counseling certificate from the University of Puget Sound, a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Gifted Education, and a M. Ed. in Gifted Education from the University of Georgia. Being involved in the lives of her three children and three grandsons happily compliments her commitment to schools and supporting diversity in education.
Kevin Hughes was raised in Medina and attended St. Thomas School from 1977-1981. After graduating from St. Thomas, Kevin attended The Overlake School and went on to graduate from the University of Denver. After returning from Denver, Kevin moved to Clyde Hill and took a job selling commercial Real Estate. Several years later he (along with a few partners) began investing in multi-family projects, which he continues to do to this day.
Kevin and his wife Krista have two children, a son (who currently attends St. Thomas) and a younger daughter.
Kevin is also enjoying his second term as a Hunts Point Councilman.
Campbell Mathewson is the Executive Vice President and Designated Broker of CenturyPacific, a real estate investment, development and brokerage firm based in Seattle. He is also involved in related companies including CP Management, a commercial property management firm; CPH Consultants, a land planning and civil engineering company; and CP Land, a land holding company. Campbell began his career as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Slade Gorton in Washington, D.C. He received a BA in Political Science from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Washington. Campbell currently serves as President of the Board of Trustees at St. Thomas School. His hobbies include skiing, boating, traveling and coaching his kids’ sports teams. Campbell and his wife Melissa live in Kirkland with their two children, both of whom attend St. Thomas School.
Linda Myhrvold graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in English literature with a writing emphasis. She spent 4 years with Microsoft in the Redmond and Paris offices where she was in event management for the systems and developer divisions. Linda is an emeritus trustee for the guild board of Seattle Children’s Hospital and a current trustee for the Foundation Board. She is the founder and an active member of the Phil Smart Sr. Guild for Seattle Children’s. She also serves on the board of the Rwanda Girls Initiative. She is the mother of three daughters.
Glyn Nordstrom and her husband Jim have four children, all of whom have attended St. Thomas. She has supported the school in a variety of capacities and believes strongly in the school’s values and mission. She graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara with degrees in Religious Studies and European Studies after which she pursued a career in commercial real estate specializing in senior housing.
Phil Schlaepfer is a Senior Vice President and has been an investment manager with Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group since 1984. Phil has been recognized by Merrill Lynch for his work in the high net worth sector since 1990 and currently serves on the HNW Advisory Council for Merrill Lynch.
Phil is a graduate of the US Naval Academy with a degree in International Relations and General Engineering. He completed flight school in 1978 and was assigned to the A-6 Squadron VA-165 based out of Whidbey Island, Washington. He completed two successful deployments to the Indian Ocean aboard the aircraft carrier, the USS Constellation, from 1979 to 1982. From 1982 to 1984 he served as Flag Aide to Admiral Zerbel.
Phil is active in the community supporting such organizations as the Boy Scouts, Youth Soccer, and Children’s Hospital. He is married to Lesli and they have three children.
John F. Sherwood, Jr.
Mr. Sherwood is a partner with Peterson Russell Kelly and practices in the areas of real estate transactions, business planning, tax law, estate planning, probate, and trust. He is admitted to practice in Washington and before the US Tax Court. In addition to St. Thomas School, John serves on the Board of Trustees for the Ronald McDonald Charities of Western Washington and Alaska and serves on the Seattle Foundation Professional Advisors Council. John grew up on Yarrow Point and attended St. Thomas School before moving onto University Prep. He graduated from Arizona State University in 1994, earned his law degree at Gonzaga University Law School in 1997, and an L.L.M. (Tax) from the University of Washington in 1998.
John lives in Kirkland and enjoys golfing, boating and other outdoor pursuits.
Kelly Taylor is Vice President & Senior Marketing Manager for Bank of Montreal US subsidiary Harris Private Bank. In this role, she is responsible for strategic planning and project management for a range of integrated marketing communications initiatives, including brand management, messaging, executive programs and sales interface, as well as helping to lead a team of 12 professional marketers. Previously, Kelly served for five years as Director of Marketing and Admissions for Holy Names Academy, an independent private high school for girls in Seattle. Kelly graduated magna cum laude from Carroll College in Helena, MT with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Public Relations. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the Cystic Fibrosis Care Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Kelly lives in Newcastle with her husband Christopher and two sons, Luke (1st grade STS) and Landon (3-day STS).
Madeleine Valdman and her husband Bert reside in Medina with their three children. A son who attended St. Thomas School and is now at Lakeside School; a daughter, an elementary student at St. Thomas School; and younger son who attends St. Thomas School’s early learning center program.
Prior to moving to the Seattle area in 2004, Madeleine was a Managing Director at J.P. Morgan, where she worked for seventeen years in the investment banking and investment management areas in the firm’s New York and Paris offices. From 1993-2003, Madeleine co-founded and managed J.P. Morgan’s alternative investment business for private clients globally.
Madeleine is the Board Vice President and serves on St. Thomas School’s finance and leadership committees. She formerly served on the Seattle Children’s Theatre Board and enjoyed her involvement with the New York City Public Schools tutoring program.
Madeleine has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Stanford University.
Kirk Wheeler, Ph.D.
Dr. Kirk Wheeler has been the Head of St. Thomas School since July 2005 and has been in education for over twenty-five years. Previously, he served as the Preschool – 12 Curriculum Coordinator and Lower School Principal at the American School of Rio de Janeiro, a classroom teacher at Vail Mountain School, and supervisor for the summer mountain program for the Town of Vail. His teaching experience includes physical education, Spanish, middle school language arts, and first through fourth grades. His leadership philosophy is embodied in the phrase, “Educational Leadership through Partnership.”
Kirk currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools and on the Board of Directors for the Rubicon Educational Foundation. Dr. Wheeler holds a Doctorate in Education, with an emphasis in Policy and Administration, Master of Arts, with an emphasis in international education, and Bachelor of Arts, with an emphasis in Elementary Education.
He is married to Robin, also an educator, and has two children, a son in college and a daughter in high school. Dr. Wheeler’s personal interests include climbing, skiing, running, and international travel.
Tony Williams is a founding partner of Washington 2 Advocates (W2A), a Bellevue-based consulting firm that helps clients achieve their policy goals in the public realm. W2A helps over two dozen Northwest corporations, organizations and local governments manage their public affairs, communications and political initiatives here in the Northwest and in Washington, D.C.
A native of Oregon, Tony is also active in several non-profit organizations and serves on the boards of the Oregon State University Foundation, Northwest Center, and the Jennifer Dunn Leadership Institute. He enjoys coaching youth soccer and baseball in the local area. Tony and his wife, Cindi, have two sons.
David H. Wright and his wife Sally reside in the Hunts Point area. They have two children, including a son who attends St. Thomas School.
David has been involved in Seattle’s Real Estate Community Development for 20 years. He is managing partner in his family’s real estate ventures and operates his own development company, Wright Devco, Inc. His focus has been in-city opportunities ranging from multi-family condo conversions to office and warehouse repositioning.
David contributes to the community at-large by sitting on the Association Board of the Seattle YMCA for the past 10 years.
When not focusing on family and business, David truly enjoys a game of golf. He is also active in the waters of Puget Sound as an avid boat owner and cruises the many beautiful surroundings that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.