Meet Our New Middle School Principal - Tiffany Drees!
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St. Mary’s Academy is excited to announce that we have concluded our national search for our next Middle School Principal. With the support of Educational Directions, a nationally recognized leader in the field of executive searches for independent schools, our Search Committee met numerous candidates from around the country. Ultimately, we invited four finalists to campus for a full day of conversation with constituents representing the entire school community. As a result of that process, we are thrilled to welcome Tiffany Drees to the SMA family.

Tiffany earned her B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and her M.A. in Global Humanities and Languages from the University of Denver. She has worked in education for nineteen years in a variety of teaching, leadership, and administrative roles in public, charter, and independent schools. Since 2009 Tiffany has worked at St. Anne’s Episcopal School, where she served as an English, Spanish and Learning Enrichment teacher, the Middle School English Department Chair, World Language Department Chair, advisor, and soccer & track coach - among other duties. In addition to the experience outlined above, Tiffany is well respected for her work in developing innovative, student-centered, and research-based curriculum in all content areas. She has a depth of experience and love for work in diversity, equity, and inclusivity; conflict resolution and social justice programs, and is a tireless advocate for students and faculty.

In our conversations with Tiffany, it was clear that she is a talented, passionate educator and leader who is mission focused and child centered. Her connection to our Loretto School Values was clearly evident during the many hours we spent with her, and her engaging personality, warmth, and sense of humor resonated with all those she interacted with. We are confident that Tiffany is the right leader to help us continue to build on our

outstanding Middle School program, and we are thrilled to have her join us on July 1st. Please join us in welcoming Tiffany, her son, Bear, who will be joining our PK program in the fall, and Tiffany's husband, David, as they join our SMA community.

President Bill Barrett would also like to thank the members of the Search Committee, who devoted their time, experience, and passion for SMA throughout the selection process. Many thanks to:

Karen Smith – Lower School Principal

Iswari Natarajan – High School Principal

Seely Greenberg – Director of Admissions

Art Keown – Chief Financial Officer

Peter Estacio – Director of Technology

Charlie Arbogast – Director of Advancement

Laura Waldron – Middle School Program Liaison

Joe Riehl – Middle School Social Studies

Christina Garcia – Middle School Spanish/Dean of Community Engagement

Terrye Easton – Middle School Social Studies

SMA Announces New Director of Advancement, Natalie Mesko


St. Mary's Academy is thrilled to announce that we have concluded our national search for a Director of Advancement to succeed Charlie Arbogast, who will retire on July 31 after 23 years of exemplary service.  On behalf of the School, we’d like to welcome Natalie Mesko to the SMA family.  

Natalie earned her B.A. in Public Relations from Loyola University New Orleans.  Upon graduating, she began her career working for her alma mater in the Office of Admissions, eventually serving as Director of Admissions and earning a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration.  

Natalie ultimately made her way to fundraising work, where she served for fifteen years as Vice President of CCS Fundraising, a comprehensive and widely recommended fundraising consulting and management firm. Natalie also served for three years as Executive Director of Seeds of Hope Charitable Trust. 

During her tenure with CCS, Natalie provided nonprofit institutions, including many schools, with comprehensive strategy and leadership in all facets of fundraising.  Natalie is recognized for her ability to thoughtfully lead teams, build relationships, and apply a donor-centered approach to advancing a school’s mission and fundraising goals.  In the many conversations she had during her visits to campus, Natalie’s energy, expertise, and connection to our mission, vision, and values was evident, and we are excited to have Natalie help our school achieve even greater success. 

Natalie will begin working with us on March 1, mostly remotely, until Charlie’s departure at the end of July.  We feel strongly that the overlap between her and Charlie will allow Natalie to have time to meet just about everyone in our community and gain a clearer understanding of our advancement office process and strategic initiatives so that she can hit the ground running this summer.

Please join us in welcoming Natalie in the coming weeks and months.






Middle School Students Embark on Peru Trip
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  • Middle School News

Fifteen Middle School students along with Ms. Garcia and Ms. Fernandez, left on Wednesday for a two week trip to Peru.  There they will share meals with local families, engage in service-learning, and engage with the community in a number of different ways.  Follow their journey through this Peru Blog!  We wish them well.

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Hannah Schuett Named 2019 KidSpirit Award Winner
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Hannah Schuett, 9th grade, was recently named a 2019 KidSpirit Award winner. KidSpirit is a nonprofit online magazine and community by and for youth to engage each other about life’s big questions in an open and inclusive spirit. Its mission is to promote mutual understanding among 11- to 17-year-olds of diverse backgrounds and support their development into world citizens with strong inner grounding.

Hannah’s article, “The Tree of Change” won in the Interfaith Connections department.  Hannah and her family attended the awards ceremony on Monday, November 4 at Capitale in New York City.  Hannah was also able to attend KidSpirit’s first annual Global Summit for more than 30 editors and award winners.  There she had the opportunity to connect with other award winners and guest speakers.  They discussed "big questions" generated by each of them, led by a Ph.D. neuroscientist from England who studies consciousness.  

During the gala, she had the opportunity to meet business leaders and educators, including the founder of the Tribeca film festival, a theater critic, Broadway actor currently starring in "To Kill a Mockingbird", and a human rights activist working with women in Afghanistan.  These leaders were very engaged in learning about what the kids thought, and what their dreams were and discussed important topics with each other and adult guest speakers.

Congratulations, Hannah!  Your efforts are in perfect alignment with the vision of St. Mary’s Academy to help students become global citizens who work for justice and act in peace.

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