School Leadership

Cindy Trask
Head of School 

Cindy Trask returned to St. Catherine's in July 2021 as the School's 12th Head of School. She served as the Head of Upper School at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta (2016-2021) where she led approximately 850 Upper School students and more than 130 Upper School faculty and staff. In this role, she oversaw all aspects of the Upper School’s academic programs, student life and operations. Cindy was responsible for recruiting, motivating, hiring and supervising faculty and staff, played a leadership role in admissions, and actively participated in fundraising campaigns. 

Cindy began her career in education at St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont teaching AP Biology and Chemistry and was promoted to Science Department Chair, during which time she designed and implemented an Upper School STEM curriculum and a Middle School Forensics program. She taught Biology and Chemistry at Collegiate School (Richmond) for two years before joining St. Catherine’s in 2008. At St. Catherine’s, Cindy was the Science Department Chair, Chair of the STEM Task Force, Chair of St. Catherine’s and St. Christopher’s Joint Department Chair Committee and a Digital Task Force Member. She left St. Catherine’s to assume a dual role of Director of the Middle School and Director of Academics at Columbus (OH) School for Girls. As Director of Academics, Cindy oversaw all aspects of the PreK-12 academic curriculum. 

Her efforts have been recognized with many awards and appointments including St. Catherine’s Dillon Barnett Award, St. Catherine’s Allen W. Becker Faculty Award in recognition by her peers, Outstanding Service Award from St. Johnsbury Academy Trustees, AP consultant and workshop leader, and a board member of Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. 

She graduated with honors from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada with a B.S. in Biology and Mathematics and earned a Bachelor of Education degree in Secondary Science from St. Mary’s University in Canada and a Masters in Educational Leadership from University of Richmond.

Academic Leadership

List of 6 members.

  • Photo of Frances Doyle

    Frances Doyle 

    Chief Academic Officer
  • Photo of Pontus Hiort

    Pontus Hiort 

    Dean of Faculty; History in US
  • Photo of Lara Wulff

    Dr. Lara Wulff 

    Head of Upper School
  • Photo of Sharon Arne

    Sharon Arne 

    Head of Middle School
  • Photo of Annie Kapetanis

    Dr. Annie Kapetanis 

    Head of Lower School
    804-288-2804 x3064
  • Photo of Jennifer Vermillion

    Jennifer Vermillion 

    Director of Innovation and Educational Technology

List of 5 items.

  • School Leadership Team

    Working alongside the Head of School is a passionate group of educators and professionals who meet regularly to proactively develop operational plans, drive innovation and ensure that the students, faculty and staff have what they need to learn and grow. 
    Head of School 
    Cindy Trask

    Chief Academic Officer
    Frances Doyle

    Chief of Staff
    Anna Hatfield

    Dean of Faculty
    Pontus Hiort

    Head of Lower School and Early Childhood

    Annie Kapetanis

    Head of Middle School
    Sharon Arne

    Head of Upper School
    Lara Wulff 
    Director of Access, Equity, and Belonging
    Tish Canady

    Director of Innovative Learning

    Jennifer Vermillion 

    Director of Admissions, Enrollment, and Community Engagement
    Jennifer Cullinan

    Director of Communications
    Brian Wachur  

    Director of Development
    Deborah Andrews Dunlap '70

    Director of Athletics
    Julie Dayton 

    Director of Finance
    Lori Fuller

    Director of Technology
    Dennis Smith

    Director of Security
    Scott Meyerhoffer

    Director of Arts
    Kendall Neely
  • Board of Governors

    2022-2023 Members:

    Anne Kenny-Urban ‘83, Chair
    Lane Sanderson ‘91 Vice-Chair
    Lisa Bondurant ‘76
    Jason Butler
    Brian Carney
    Marjorie Webb Childress
    Macon Clarkson ‘96
    Sheila Corcoran
    Tammy DeRosier
    Peter Durette
    Trishana Glover-Hassell, M.D.
    Allen Goolsby
    Carol Harris
    Hillary Hawkins
    Anna King
    Michael Lacy
    Charles Macfarlane
    Virginia (Ginny) Reynolds Parker '76
    Taylor Reveley, III
    Tanya J. Ross
    Sherrie Scott ‘84
    William (Will) Stanley 
    Ashley Taylor
    Chrystal Telfian
    Elizabeth Valentine ‘94
    Margaret Wade
    Anne Whitfield Kenny ’51
    Theodore (Ted) W. Price
    Wesley Wright, Jr.
    Ex Officio Members:
    St. Catherine’s School Foundation President
    F. Claiborne Johnston, III
    Parents’ Association President
    Mollie Mitchell 

    Alumnae Association President
    Amy de Venoge '87
    President of Church Schools in the Diocese of Virginia
    Henry Broaddus

    Head of St. Catherine’s School
    Cindy Trask
  • Foundation Board

    Members 2022-2023

    F. Claiborne Johnston III, President
    Julie Betts Ebert ’94, Secretary
    Peter N. Pastore, Jr., Treasurer
    Ann Holden Gurkin ’85
    Eric R.  Harper 
    Kee T. Rabb
    Tyler Brown
    Cody Tafel
  • National Alumnae Board

    Mission Statement
    The purpose of the Ellett-St. Catherine’s Alumnae Association Board shall be to maintain and advance the interests of the Virginia Randolph Ellett School and its successor, St. Catherine’s School, to strengthen relations between St. Catherine’s and the alumnae, and promote the spirit of service and fellowship among members through various volunteer activities and committee work.

    Amy Bice de Venoge ’87, Richmond, VA

    Vice President/President-Elect
    Bev Talbott ’72, San Francisco, CA

    Tiffany Jones '06, Washington, D.C.

    Lynn Broos ’83, Jackson, WY
    Lanier Coles ’92, San Francisco, CA
    Mary Mason Williams Foukal ’01, Richmond, VA
    Leona Harris ’91, Columbia, MD
    Emmett Boney Haywood ’73, Raleigh, NC
    Elizabeth Irwin ’00, New York, NY
    Monique Cheng Joe ’90, Los Angeles, CA
    MIkyung Lee ’78, Vienna, VA
    Jody Farley McGrew ’78, Atlanta, GA
    Virginia Wellford Taylor Miracle ’94, Austin, TX
    Anne Redford Schleusner ’89, Charlotte, NC
    Katie Harris Storer ’06, New York, NY
    Jackie Parker Taylor ’94, Alpharetta, GA
    Caroline Harmon Werner ’02, New York, NY
    Jameka Whitten ’95, Charlotte, NC
    Kirstine Wilson ’95, Richmond, VA
    Ex Officio
    Past President: Katherine Dameron McCormick ’75, Miami Beach, FL
    President, Richmond Chapter: Anne Garland Schiffman '09, Richmond, VA

  • Richmond Alumnae Board

    Richmond Board of the Ellett-St. Catherine's Alumnae Association
    The purpose of the Richmond Chapter is to promote interest in and understanding of St. Catherine's School and its educational value to the community through active alumnae participation, to strengthen relations between the school and the alumnae, to promote a spirit of service and fellowship among members, and to render assistance, as needed and as our resources allow, to the Alumnae and Development Office and other offices of the School. The Richmond Chapter is an active and vital volunteer organization in terms of fundraising and other volunteer efforts.

    Anne Garland Schiffman ’09

    Vice President/President-Elect
    Eliza Blackwell Conrad ’07

    Hunter Blair Harrell ’08

    Katie Carleton Gallalee ’07
    Brooke Ford Barnard ’98 
    Grace Davis Barrett ’06 
    Preston Wright Buxton ’06                                        
    Katherine Safelle Corey ’10 
    Anne Crenshaw ’12 
    Marshall Beale Deane ’09
    Campbell Bryan Gentil ’02 
    Meg Szumski Grymes ’08 
    Eliza Brooke Hester ’07 
    Lang Robertson Liebman ʼ98
    Sloan Howell Loving ’03 
    Anne Peyton Leitch Maloney ’11 
    Eliza McGehee ’09 
    Liza Mickens ’15 
    Carter Southworth Padgett ’03 
    Kate Maxwell Rennolds ’06
    Molly Newcomb Tharp ’06 
    Megan Gross White ’00 
    Catie Blair Wilton ’00 
    Past President
    Britt Childs Staley ’01
    Sustainer (10+ years of service)
    Ibbie Hedrick Britton ’00 
    Amy Bice de Venoge ’87                            
    Christy Amrhein Feiler ’88 
    Rendall Harris ’96 
    Carrie Featherstone Hoge ’93 
    Katie Burnett Peple ʼ99

Strategic Plan

The Four Pillars

For more than 125 years, St. Catherine’s has prepared girls for a lifetime of learning, leadership and service. As we look to the future, we know that we must continue to act. With this in mind, every facet of our community contributed to a powerful School vision known as “Unwavering Purpose: The Strategic Plan for St. Catherine’s School.” Many initiatives have launched and our efforts continue in this important work. 

Guided by our Episcopal identity, our strategic priorities are:
  • Girl -Centered
  • Remarkable Intellect
  • Life of Meaning
  • Tradition of Strength

Unwavering Purpose: The Strategic Plan for St. Catherine’s School

Previous Heads of School

List of 11 items.

  • Virginia Randolph Ellett

    Founder and First Headmistress
    Virginia Randolph Ellett, or Miss Jennie as she was affectionately known, was the founder and first headmistress of St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia. For nearly four decades, from 1890-1939, she was the heart and soul of the little school that started in the dining room of a boarding house and grew to become one of the leading independent girls schools in the nation.

    Today she is considered to be not only a pioneer in the field of education but also a key figure in the history of women’s education in the South. Her spirit, her hopes for women, and her educational standards still guide and inspire the school which she created and nurtured.
  • Emily Hamilton Welch

    In spite of Miss Jennie’s blunt warning in May of 1917 that there was no guaranteed salary, Emily Welch left her post at the Charlton School in New York City for the thrill of “the challenge.” She became principal of the country day school newly located on the Westhampton campus and effectively managed despite all the inherent disadvantages of starting up a school in what was then considered “the middle of nowhere.”

    Miss Jennie assumed the title of founder, and headmistress of the Upper School, and the two worked in harmony. Miss Welch braced the school through World War I shortages and financial crises, as well as the hardship of the notoriously bleak and bitter cold winter of 1918-1919. It was then that she exhibited yet one more awe-inspiring talent: she pitched in as a makeshift plumber when the water pipes froze in the new and unheated bungalows.

    Miss Welch was instrumental in starting several organizations in the fledgling school, including a student government; a modest yearbook, the Tid Bit, which was in keeping with the need for wartime economy; and a campus Red Cross chapter. Her early retirement was influenced by the precarious state of the School’s finances as well as the increased family responsibilities which she faced following the death of her sister.
  • Rosalie Haxall Noland

    Rosalie Haxall Noland, a native of Richmond, came to St. Catherine’s from the new Foxcroft School for girls which was founded by her older sister. She guided the school through its transition in 1920 from the Virginia Randolph Ellett School for Girls to St. Catherine’s School under the auspices of the Episcopal Church in Virginia.

    The School’s boarding program, wholeheartedly endorsed by Miss Jennie, began during Miss Noland’s administration and Ellett Hall was built in 1922 to provide dormitory space. An accomplished horsewoman and foxhunter, she instituted a riding program at the school. Long after Miss Noland knew “in her heart” that she wanted to leave the School to pursue other interests, she nobly stayed to see through the projects she had begun for Miss Jennie.

    In January 1924, with the full blessing of Miss Jennie and the bishop, she left St. Catherine's to marry James M. Ball, Jr. Miss Noland was remembered with affection for her interest in Richmond and her active involvement in all aspects of community life.
  • Louisa deBerniere Bacot Brackett

    Miss Bacot came to St. Catherine’s in 1924 and remained at the school following her marriage in 1935 to Mr. Jeffrey Brackett. An able teacher, she was hand chosen by Miss Jennie to carry out the goals for the School. They worked together, hand in glove, often having tea together in the late afternoon to discuss the day’s events.

    She was patient and devoted to the students, and believed firmly that the school had a responsibility to find and develop what was best in each girl. She is well remembered for her emphasis on integrity. With ingenuity and Spartan economy she saw the school through the Depression and shortages of World War II, often supplanting faculty wages with food, board and children’s tuition.

    Under Mrs. Brackett's guidance, enrollment increased, the boarding department expanded and the campus grew “from a muddy crossroads to a green and pleasant campus ringed with sturdy brick buildings.” Attributed to her are many of the school’s traditions and student organizations: The League, Golds and Whites, a more structured form of student government, and the Candlelight and Ring Services. 

    Mrs. Brackett was especially concerned with the spiritual life of the school. Her most personal creation was the underground chapel, which she had fashioned out of the pipe cellar beneath the classroom arcade and her most enduring legacy is our School Motto: “What we keep, we lose; only what we give remains our own.”
  • Susanna Pleasants Turner

    Susanna Turner is remembered for her wise guidance to students and faculty, her unwavering religious faith, and particularly for her personal courage, integrity and determination as she led the School and the Board of Governors through integration in the mid-1960s.

    Miss Turner was a graduate of Hollins College, which was founded by her great grandfather, Charles Lewis Cocke. During World War II she was a lieutenant colonel in the Women’s Army Corps, and received the Bronze Star Medal for her work as an assistant personnel officer in Germany.

    At St. Catherine’s, she maintained the highest academic standards while also emphasizing the need to enable each student to develop a broad range of interests and talents for a lifetime of learning and involvement. After her retirement from St. Catherine’s, she became a teacher and administrator at a mission school in Liberia, West Africa, then moved to Roanoke, Va. where she served as headmistress and director of the Community School of the Roanoke Valley.
  • Robert William Trusdell

    To Robert Trusdell came the distinction of being the first male Head of School. Although there must have been days when he considered this a dubious honor at best, Mr. Trusdell rose to the challenge and led the school through a period of tremendous growth and reevaluation.

    He sought to attract a more diverse pool of applicants and initiated an extensive marketing campaign as well as a major fundraising program to create scholarships and grants for students who needed them. Under his guidance the boarding program was revitalized and the athletic program was enriched. He realized the need to increase faculty salaries and to recruit more male faculty members. A thorough review of the curriculum led to its major revision as well as the bright new concept of the Minimester.

    Turner Hall, Blair Hall and a new gym were built during his administration. The school’s first chaplain, Philip H. Whitehead, was appointed. The late 1960s and early 1970s called for review and modernization of the code for student conduct and attention to prevailing social issues. A new prefect system offered greater opportunity for student leadership and participation in the day-to-day operations of the School.
  • Michael Steele Bright Churchman

    Michael Churchman came to St. Catherine’s after a decade as headmaster of the Kent School in Englewood, Colo. It was his aim to renew the confidence in the school’s mission and strengthen its sense of community.

    During his tenure, the academic program continued to be reviewed and updated and collaboration with St. Christopher’s reached an all-time high, to the benefit of both institutions. Boarding recruitment remained a priority and the Minimester program blossomed. St. Catherine’s was granted the honored permission to organize a chapter in the national Cum Laude Society, which recognizes distinguished academic achievement by students in independent school.

    The entire physical plant of the school was evaluated for renovation and modernization; the result was a well-groomed campus, much appreciated by all. Mr. Churchman oversaw the development of a faculty salary scale, expansion of guidance and counseling programs, and the institution of drug and alcohol awareness programs in the Middle School. He encouraged renewed alumnae interest in the affairs of the School, and enthusiastically supported the advent of Daisy Days, an annual event uniting the school community, boosting school spirit, promoting goodwill, and raising money for the school. He was committed to strengthening the fine arts and performing arts programs, believing that they were one of the special strengths of an independent school.
  • Allen Wilkins Becker

    Allen Becker came to St. Catherine’s following five years as headmaster at St. Andrew’s School in Jackson, Miss. The “future” had arrived, and Dr. Becker greeted the challenge with a strategic plan to attract and hold excellent faculty, to strengthen the mathematics and science programs, to develop a computer literacy program and to provide new programs in economic education in all grades.

    He sought to develop the dimensions of each student by expanding athletics and extra-curricular activities, building up the community service program and developing current events programs. Dr. Becker emphasized the necessity of intense recruitment and increasing financial aid in order to attract a bright and increasingly diversified student body.

    It was his mission, as well, to maintain and enhance the beauty of the campus. Under the leadership of Dr. Becker, endowed chairs were established in English, French, mathematics and economics, demonstrating the School’s commitment to its outstanding faculty.
  • Auguste Johns Bannard

    Auguste Johns Bannard, known to all as “Gussie,” was the first alumna to serve as head of the school. Mrs. Bannard's most notable accomplishments include doubling the diversity of the student body, leading a focus on multiculturalism, and raising more than $100 million dollars in annual giving, capital campaigns and endowment.

    Enrollment grew from 700 to 833 with the addition of junior kindergarten and a third section to each grade level. The number of endowed master teaching chairs rose from four to ten, and Mrs. Bannard led the effort to build an extraordinary professional development program that includes endowed sabbatical leave for senior teachers.

    As enrollment and fundraising efforts increased, the size of the Lower School building doubled, the chapel was renovated, and Turner Hall was redesigned and rewired with the Wright Library becoming the print and electronic brain of the campus. The new 70,000 square foot Anne Whitfield Kenny Sports and Fitness Center was added as well as a 145-acre tract in Goochland County, home to some of the region's best athletic fields.
  • Laura J. Fuller

    2007 – 2011
    Laura Fuller's impact as Head of School will endure for decades to come. During her tenure as the 10th leader at St. Catherine's, she guided a host of changes both in and out of the classroom -- championing innovation while preserving and honoring the longstanding traditions of the School.

    With her background in science, Mrs. Fuller raised the profile of science and mathematics at St. Catherine's -- aligning with national emphasis on these disciplines -- while maintaining the strong history of excellence in the humanities. She introduced STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) program in the Upper School, Physics First in eighth grade and enhanced science and math courses in the Lower School.

    Mrs. Fuller also helped oversee the renovations of the School's historical buildings (Ellett, Bacot and Washington) into state-of-the-art classrooms, labs and meeting spaces and spearheaded the expansion of the Dining Hall and the addition of Cafe 2010.
  • Dr. Terrie Hale Scheckelhoff

    Dr. Terrie Hale Scheckelhoff

    Dr. Scheckelhoff is passionate about the education of girls and young women. She has dedicated 36 years of her career, including extensive research and first-hand experience, to this endeavor. Dr. Scheckelhoff has held nearly every position at a girls’ school – beginning as a classroom teacher before moving to admissions and financial aid, then into administration at Columbus School for Girls and finally as Head of School at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Va.
    Dr. Scheckelhoff is the 11th Head of School at St. Catherine’s, founded in 1890 with a current day enrollment of 958 girls in junior kindergarten through grade 12. She manages a $23 million budget, leads more than 200 faculty and staff, supports the Board of Governors and Foundation Board members and oversaw the completion of a $40.4 million capital and endowment campaign. She led the effort for a new Strategic Plan for the School in 2014 and was integral in St. Catherine’s serving as the host site for the National Coalition of Girls School conference. Dr. Scheckelhoff is an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond, teaching a graduate level course in leadership in education.
    A sought after conference presenter and panelist, Dr. Scheckelhoff has presented at 22 different national, regional and state conferences over the past decade. She has published notable works on relevant topics such as women in leadership, girls and technology and independent school finances. Dr. Scheckelhoff has a long history of active involvement in organizations that advocate for girls and young women, including serving as a board member for the National Coalition of Girls Schools,  working with the Online School for Girls and unique partnerships with colleges, universities and government agencies.
    Dr. Scheckelhoff holds a Ph.D. in Education Studies: Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska, earned a B.S. in Elementary Education at Miami University of Ohio and earned an M.A. in Education Administration and an M.B.A. from Ohio State University.
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