While the Heads of School lead the day-to-day operations of the School, it is the Board of Trustees that is responsible for the School's long-term health. The Board's primary responsibilities include:
- approving the budget, including tuition and major capital expenditures
- selecting and retaining the Head(s)
- long-range planning for the School
The current Board of Trustees includes:
Ellen is an award-winning communications strategist, branding, and marketing expert with more than 25 years of experience working with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in the healthcare and higher education fields. In her role as assistant vice chancellor for university initiatives at Washington University, she leads internal and external communications for transformative projects such as a $250 million capital project that redeveloped 20% of the physical space on the university’s Danforth campus, and MyDay, a $100 million program that will evolve university operations, including the way the university uses data to make decisions.
At WashU, she has served as an assistant vice chancellor for public affairs, overseeing marketing communications and brand strategy for the university, and was an assistant dean at the university’s Brown School. Prior to joining WashU, Ellen was a senior vice president in the healthcare practice at FleishmanHillard, an international communications consultancy based in St. Louis.
She is the proud parent of two Crossroads students: Jake Finer (class of 2019) and Sam Finer (class of 2022).
Karen is the President and Candy Bowl Filler at 501creative, a marketing communications firm she started in 1995 to help nonprofit organizations recruit, fundraise, and educate efficiently and effectively. Originally from St. Louis, Karen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts magna cum laude from the University of Michigan and began her career in downtown Chicago. After five years in the corporate design world and a year volunteering full-time in Georgia and North Carolina with Habitat for Humanity, she founded 501creative.
Karen joined the Crossroads Board of Trustees in 2014 after serving on the marketing and gala committees. Karen is also the Co-Chair of the Carleton College Parent Advisory Council. Karen and her husband, Marc Hirshman, live in the Central West End. Their daughters Abby (class of 2016) and Emily (class of 2019) could not be more different, yet each thrived at Crossroads. In her spare time, Karen enjoys campfires, cardio tennis, swimming before dawn, home-grown tomatoes, hiking, and most candy.
Todd is a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Washington University, where he has been a faculty member since 1998. He was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, grew up in Tempe, Arizona, received his undergraduate education (BS) at University of California-San Diego. He completed his graduate work at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (receiving his PhD there in 1997), before settling down in St. Louis with his wife, colleague, and best friend Deanna Barch.
Todd’s specialization is in cognitive neuroscience, a field that integrates psychology and neuroscience in seeking to understand how higher mental processes, like attention, memory, and decision-making emerge from the organization and function of the brain. His research focus is on the brain basis of cognitive control, which relates to our ability to self-regulate our thoughts, actions, and emotions in relationship to internal goals. In addition to his research, he teaches introductory, advanced, and graduate-level courses in cognitive neuroscience, and serves as the coordinator for the undergraduate cognitive neuroscience major. He recently expanded his research and teaching interests to include a focus on mindfulness training and currently teaches a freshman seminar on this topic.
Todd and Deanna have two daughters, Rachel and Elizabeth (Lizzie). Rachel graduated from Crossroads in 2017 and is currently a student at Bard College in New York. Lizzie is currently a high schooler at Crossroads (class of 2021). The family serves as Faculty Fellows at Washington University, and together with their dog Guinness and cat Abby live on the university campus in Brookings Residence College. In the little spare time he has, Todd enjoys spending time with his family, training for triathlons, and learning as much as he can about mindfulness through practice and reading.
Since 2018, Vincent has served as Webster University’s associate vice president and chief diversity officer. During that time, he has expanded the role of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI); introduced the popular “Witnessing Whiteness” program for employees; and oversaw the expansion of the university’s annual Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Conference. In response to the murder of George Floyd, Vincent launched Webster Speaks: Dialogues on RACE, EQUITY and INCLUSION. As host of the virtual series, he sits down with thought leaders and prominent Black voices and other people of color to discuss issues surrounding systemic racism.
Vincent most recently served as the director of DEI at The College School. Prior to that leadership role, he taught middle school history and English in several independent and public schools in the St. Louis area, including Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School and Ladue Middle School. He also served as an adjunct professor at Washington University in St. Louis’ Brown School of Social Work from 2012-2018. He has provided DEI consultation to a variety of schools and organizations, including: the Kirkwood School District; the John Burroughs School; the Forsyth School; the Cochran Community Center; and FOCUS St. Louis. Vincent also has served as managing director of program for Teach For America in St. Louis.
With more than twenty years of experience weaving DEI into the culture of education in the St. Louis area, Vincent was named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s 2020 Class of Diverse Business Leaders.
Vincent holds a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis’ Brown School of Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Maryville University. He currently is a doctoral candidate in Webster University’s School of Education.
A proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, Vincent is a life-long resident of the City of St. Louis and has lived in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood for nearly 45 years.
Bart and his wife Tanya love Crossroads and try to support its mission as much as possible. Bart currently serves on the Finance Committee and helps the Co-Heads of School with various small projects, while Tanya serves on the Development Committee and has co-hosted two of Crossroads’ auctions. The Frenchs personally have seen the enormous benefits of a six-year education at Crossroads, as their youngest daughter Georgia (class of 2023) graduated this past spring and is now enjoying life as a freshman at Scripps College in Claremont, California. No school better combines rigorous academics with an environment that encourages creativity, experimentation, and fun collaboration with other students, teachers and advisors than Crossroads.
Professionally, Bart is an attorney and a founding member of MRHFM, a firm dedicated to representing clients with mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused and invariably fatal cancer. Compassion and a strong work ethic are needed to represent these sick people well, and these core values are instilled in students fortunate enough to receive a Crossroads education.
Bart has taken a reduced role at his law firm and has the ability to devote more time to non-attorney activities such as serving on the Crossroads Board. When not working, Bart enjoys cycling and spends some time in Colorado cycling, skiing, hiking, and fly fishing with family and friends.
Cheryl is the Senior Program and Outreach Consultant for the Day School Leadership Training Institute, a fellowship that supports new Jewish school leaders around the globe. Cheryl served as head of Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School, a K-8 independent school in St. Louis for 14 years, leading the school through the merger of Reform Jewish Academy and Solomon Schechter Day School.
Cheryl is delighted that her family members - her son Ari '18 and her nieces and nephews - and other Mirowitz alumni attended Crossroads, where social responsibility is an integral part of the school experience. She is honored to be part of the Crossroads board. In her spare time she can be found throwing pottery or riding her bike with her husband Jon.
Jamila Owens-Todd is a Naturopathic Doctor and the owner of Golden Grocer Natural Foods. She has had her own Naturopathic practice since 2007, offering patients integrative and preventative care options. As a healthcare practitioner, she is versed in upholding the integrity of others while maintaining prudence and discretion. As a grocery store owner in the city of St. Louis, she understands the requirements of a diverse community while addressing the needs of many. Jamila has been committed to supporting her community not only as a business owner, but as a volunteer. She has volunteered for a number of St. Louis city schools and community centers, teaching coding and computer basics. She has worked as a volunteer for Faith House and Magdalene House and with numerous other institutions that uplift the underserved and those who identify as women, in the fight of equal rights, against sex-trafficking and in support of healthcare for sex workers.
Jamila has been a long-time proponent of quality education in the city of St. Louis and has worked alongside institutions in support of increased opportunities for young people. With this advocacy, Jamila has been a champion for independent, alternative, and charter schools in the St. Louis region. This advocacy has been most pronounced in her own child’s education. After years of supporting teachers at City Garden Montessori School, she was voted president of the Parent Action Committee (PAC). She served two terms in this position. After supporting the parent body, teachers and administration through many transitions, she was selected to serve on the school board. This position was full of challenges, instruction and victories. Jamila gained a deep respect for the inner workings of an institution. While on the board, Jamila served on the governance committee and was introduced to the intricacies of creating a strategic plan, upholding the school’s mission, all while working collectively to explore areas of potential growth. Jamila walked away from that position with humility and a continued yearning to offer support.
LaKecia Veal is a communications and administrative professional whose “Zone of Genius" is managing multiple projects, details, processes, and logistics, and staying two steps ahead to help businesses and individuals bring their vision to life and achieve their goals. Her passions lie within corporate and nonprofit event planning, including conferences, charity events, community events, and other corporate meetings.
LaKecia (class of 2008) holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership, both from Webster University in St. Louis. She lives in St. Louis with her dog Pixie. When she isn’t working, she enjoys reading, writing, drinking wine, and soaking up the sun.
Lisa M. Wood is a member of the Office of the Vice Chancellor & General Counsel at Washington University where she serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor, Associate General Counsel & Litigation Team Leader. Lisa’s responsibilities include the oversight and management of complex business litigation, as well as guiding the University through complex business disputes. Prior to joining Washington University in 2012, Lisa practiced law with Armstrong Teasdale LLP — first as an associate and then as an equity partner. Lisa’s practice primarily encompassed a broad range of complex commercial business counseling and litigation matters. Prior to entering law school, Lisa was Executive Vice President of Classic Executive Interiors, Ltd., a custom furniture manufacturer based in St. Louis. Lisa received her AB in History and JD from Saint Louis University.
Prior board experience includes service as Vice Chair and Member at Large of the St. Louis Regional Asthma Consortium, as well as membership on the Boards of Directors of the American Lung Association of the Central States, American Lung Association of Missouri, and American Lung Association of Eastern Missouri. Lisa served as Vice President of the American Lung Association of Missouri and was awarded the Volunteer Excellence Award while serving in that role. Lisa has also served as a member of the Recruitment and Development Committees at New City School.
Lisa lives in Belleville, Illinois and is the parents of two Crossroads alums. Her son, Ben, graduated from Crossroads in 2014. After graduating from Crossroads, Ben attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2018 and is currently employed as an Engineer at Robert Bosch LLC in Plymouth, Michigan. Lisa’s daughter, Blaire, graduated from Crossroads in 2019 and currently attends The College of William & Mary.