Leadership and Governance

Head of School

Alexandra S. Thurstone G'80, '84

Alexandra S. Thurstone G’80, ’84

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 St. Francis alumni having attended since Kindergarten.

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.

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. In 2007, she received the Great Minds Award from Youth Alive!, a former Louisville organization that served disadvantaged youth, for her dedication to ensuring that deserving kids, regardless of their financial means, be able to attend St. Francis.

Today, with her guidance and vision, St. Francis School is growing and strong. Enrollment is up on the two main campuses, 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 40% 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 Theatre space and Lobby Entrance to the Goshen Campus, 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


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.

2017-18 Board of Trustees List

  • Ken Edwards, AP, Chair
  • Ginny Frazier, CP, Vice-Chair
  • Wes Johnson, CP/AP, Treasurer
  • Jennifer Mackin, CP/AP, Secretary
  • Lee Middendorf, CP, Past Chair
  • P.R. Lancaster, CP/AP, Executive Committee
  • Heather McHold, CP/AP, Executive Committee
  • Amanda Schriber, CP, Executive Committee
  • Emily Yao, CP, Executive Committee
  • Shellie Benovitz, GP
  • Joel Beres, AP
  • Bonita Black, CP
  • John Borders, CP/AP
  • Dace Polk Brown G’86, ’90, CP/AP
  • Jack Conway, CP
  • Kim Diamond, CP
  • Jenni Elliott, CP
  • James Mason G’82, ’86
  • James Melhuish, CP
  • Oliver Rutherford, CP
  • Bill Scarfe, CP
  • Olivia Sleadd, CP

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

Ex-OfficioLisa Fleming, AP – General Counsel/Executive Committee; Leslye Arnett, CP – High School Parent Association Representative; Tamara Reif, CP – Goshen Parent Association Representative; Jennifer Griffith, CP – JK-8 Faculty Representative; Renee Hennessy, AP – Preschool Representative; Brian Ray – High School Faculty Representative; Alexandra S. Thurstone G’80, ’84, AP – Head of School

Staff AttendeesGreg Borders, CP– Business Manager; Síofra Rucker, G’84, CP/AP – Director of Advancement; Kim Hales, CP – Director of Development; Suzanne Gorman, CP – Head of Downtown Campus; Reed Gabhart – Head of Goshen Campus

(A = Alumni, CP = Current Parent, AP = Alumni Parent, F = Friend)

St. Francis School ISACS Progress Report St. Francis School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and is accredited by the Midwest affiliate, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). ISACS is particularly known for two things: the first is its professional development offerings, which are outstanding, the second, is its accreditation process. The ISACS accreditation process is viewed as the gold standard in the Independent School world. The process involves a seven-year accreditation cycle. Currently, we are in Year 6 of the cycle, the Progress Report, which we just submitted at the end of April. The Progress Report requires some statistical reporting, a copy of the audit, and a cover letter from the Head of School. In our case, the cover letter provides a comprehensive recap of the remarkable accomplishments that we have made since we merged nearly two years ago. Given the importance of what we have accomplished, the Board and Administration agreed that we would like to share this document with you. Therefore, we are posting on our website the section of my cover letter that discusses the changes in the last few years for all in our community to peruse at your leisure. Click here to get the report. Please take a moment to check this out and share in our pride about what we have been able to do together these last two years. It has truly been a remarkable time in our history and we have come a long way. I look forward to your comments and input on the report. Alexandra Thurstone G’80, ’84 Head of School