Administrative Staff Contact Information: 

Ellen Jockusch:  

Tanya Baston:  

Sheri Leonard: 

Sarah Kapostasy: 

Claire Meade: 

Most pictures are courtesy Hazeled Photography:  

All rights reserved. 

Administrative Staff: 

Ellen Jockusch, Head of School  

Ms. Ellen brings 25 years of experience in directing programs and raising funds in educational settings.  Prior to coming to SJES, she served as director of three master's degree programs at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest.  Ellen is a graduate of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School and Stanford University, where she graduated with distinction and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  She is an active member of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin where she serves on the Stewardship Committee.   Her two sons, Will and David, along with the wonderful children she sees each day at SJES, are the lights of her life.  Ellen enjoys working at St. James' because "we are committed to the development of the whole child." 

Tanya Baston, Assistant Head of School 

Ms. Tanya has been at St. James' Episcopal School since 2010 and has been in child care her entire career. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Behavioral Science from Missouri Baptist College and an Associate's Degree in early childhood education from Lassen Community College in California. Ms. Tanya is also an advisor for the Child Care Development Associate's Certificate and a trainer of various child development curricula. In addition to overseeing the SJES teaching staff, she is the administrator of the SJES food program and oversees tuition accounts. Ms. Tanya enjoys watching a child's eyes light up when he or she successfully completes a project or understand something new. She has two children and in her spare time likes to read, garden, and spend time with her family. 

Sheri Leonard, Program Supervisor

 Ms. Sheri has been working in the field of childcare for 14 years. She earned her B.S. in Child and Family Development at Texas State University, and is currently adjunct faculty at Austin Community College,  Child Development Associate Program. As the Program Supervisor, Sheri works closely with our teachers on all aspects of classroom quality, including lesson planning and social-emotional development. Sheri enjoys working with children because "I love to watch them get excited about their accomplishments." In her spare time, Sheri enjoys spending quality time with her daughter, Abbie, who is going to be in 2nd grade this year.  

Sarah Kapostasy, Communications and Enrollment Coordinator

Ms. Sarah brings a variety of professional skills to her role at SJES. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Indiana University, she joined the Teach for America program and taught high school English in rural South Louisiana. After briefly teaching in Austin, she transitioned to adult training with a public health nonprofit, where she served as Program Director. Currently, she is pursuing her Master's degree in Counseling from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest. Amazed that she gets to have a part-time job working with amazing incoming families and promoting educational equality for young children, Ms. Sarah is very glad Ms. Ellen decided to email her back in 2010 about the incredible opportunity to work at SJES!

Claire Meade, Adminstrative Assistant   

Ms. Claire has 5 years of experience in education and was a teacher at SJES from 2008 - 2012. Beginning in the summer of 2012, Ms. Claire has provided much needed adminstrative support in the SJES front office, and also helps out as needed with the children in the classroom. Ms. Claire works at SJES part-time and volunteers at the Texas Pie Kitchen, which was founded by SJES parent Jen Biddle. Ms. Claire does it all! She holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University, and is certified in first aid and food management. She enjoys working with children because of their "sweet outlook on life, their belief that anything is possible, and their compassion for each other."


Active Learning Program Staff (Green Building): 

Ashley Fay, Lead Teacher  

Ms. Ashley had three years of experience in childcare when she joined the St. James' Episcopal School staff in 2010 as a Montessori Assistant. She loves her role as Lead Teacher in our Active Learning Program for children 18 months - 2 1/2 years. She is certified in infant and child CPR and first aid. Ashley completed her Child Care Development Associate's Certificate at Austin Community College in the summer of 2012. A native of Austin, Ashley enjoys reading, swimming, and taking care of her dog. Her radiant smile brightens the day of many parents, students, and staff at St. James'.   

Andrea Rainero, Assistant Teacher

Working previously with children at a Pediatric Rehabilition Center, Ms. Andrea brings unique experience to the Active Learning Classroom. As a teacher, she enjoys the satisfaction of seeing the children listening and learning. She is certified in CPR and first aid and in her spare time enjoys cooking, reading, and running. She says that SJES is a place where parents can trust the staff to provide the best care for their children.


Jennifer Crespo, Assistant Teacher

Ms. Jennifer joins our staff after serving as a preschool tutor in the Americorps program this past year.  She is CPR certified and has extensive experience working with children, including her son Derek, who attends St. James’ Episcopal School.  Ms. Jennifer is also bilingual in English and Spanish, which will be a huge asset in our Active Learning Program.  Ms. Jennifer says she enjoys working with children because they are intelligent, sweet, and friendly.

Discovery Program Staff (Red Building):

Staci Ellison, Lead Teacher 

 Ms. Staci began working at St. James' in 2012, bringing three years experience in childcare. She has a BA in Biology from Southwestern University and has been a biology tutor. When asked what she likes best about working with children, she cited "the incredible amount of love and energy they have. Also, watching them explore and gain an understanding of the world."


Jessica Dorsey, Assistant Teacher 

Ms. Jessica brings several years of experience in child care and education to her role as our Discovery Assistant at SJES. She is currently attending Austin Community College and studying early childhood development. When asked what she likes best about working with children, she said "I love being able to teach and introduce them to new things and watch how they learn." She also says, "SJES is a great learning environment for children of any age."

Discovery Program Staff (Orange Building)

Marquita Lambirth, Lead Teacher 

Ms. Marquita has six years of experience in early childhood education, and recently earned her Child Development Associate certification. She is currently pursuing her B.A. in Child Development at Austin Community College. In addition, she has completed over 365 hours of community service working with children. When asked what she likes best about working with children, Ms. Marquita says "knowing that I am molding the little minds of the future. Orginally from California, in her spare time Ms. Marquita likes to swim, watch movies, and paint. 

 Dianna Morris, Assistant Teacher 

Ms. Dianna has been a teacher at St. James' since 2006. A native of Austin and graduate of Crockett High School, Ms. Dianna is currently certified in CPR and first aid and is working towards her Child Care Development Associate's Certificate at Austin Community College, where she hopes to earn her degree in Child Development. Ms. Dianna has three children (with a fourth on the way!) and her daughter, Samaya, currently attends SJES. Ms. Dianna says she likes working at St. James' because of the close relationships shared by our staff, the children and their families. When asked what she likes best about working with children, Ms. Dianna says, "I love their unique personalities and curiosity."

Stephen Bollich, Assistant Teacher 

We are excited to welcome Mr. Stephen, who has been a substitute, as a permanent member of our staff. He has been a substiute teacher for over a year working with children of a variety of ages. Mr. Stephen has a BA in History and a Master's Degree in Journalism from the University of North Texas. In his spare time, he likes to cook and write limericks. When asked what he likes best about working at St. James', he says "there is definitely a sense of community and cooperation that makes this a fun, comfortable place to be." 


Discovery Program Staff (Blue Building): 

Anna Kago, Lead Teacher 

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Ms. Anna graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor's degree in Arts and Design. Since moving to the United States, Ms. Anna has devoted her career to early childhood education. She received her Child Care Development Associate's Certificate at Austin Community College and her Montessori Diploma from the Montessori Institute of North Texas. She has been a teacher at SJES since 2004. Ms. Anna says, "it is wonderful to see children bloom during their time here--it is an explosion of awareness." She adds that what she likes best about SJES is "the diversity of students here mirrors the world as it is. It is very satisfying to teach about God and the wonder of creation." Ms. Anna has three daughters and her husband, Peter, is an Episcopal priest.   

LaToyia Sterns, Assistant Teacher

Ms. LaToyia has been a valued teacher at SJES since 2007. After her years providing quality education during our enrichment program, she is enjoying her role as assistant teacher in the Discovery classroom. Ms. LaToyia is certified in childhood CPR. A native Austinite, she has two children and often has a full house with her neices and nephews. Her sunny disposition is an asset to our community.


Juliet Coppinger, Assistant Teacher

Ms. Juliet joined the SJES staff as an intern in 2010, and quickly proved herself to be a natural in working with children. Previous to SJES, she spent two years at Hendrix College and worked at a camp for children with special needs. She enjoys working at SJES because "it's a great school with a lot of personality and compassion. No matter who a child is, they will find a friend at St. James.'" In her spare time, Ms. Juliet likes cooking and art, as well as chasing after her beagle, Oliver.

Montessori Program Staff: 

Veronica Rodriguez, Lead Montessori Guide

Ms. Veronica had a wealth of experience in education and childcare as a nanny, Spanish teacher, and Junior Gardening teacher.  Before coming to SJES in 2010, Ms. Veronica taught at a Montessori school in Dallas.  Ms. Veronica holds the American Montessori Society's Primary (ages 3 - 6 years) and Lower Elementary (grades 1st - 4th) certifications, and has been a member of the American Montessori Society since 2009. She feels at SJES "our sensitive and imaginative teachers inspire learning of lasting depth and complexity, a love of learning  itself, in students with all kinds of interests and abilities." Ms. Veronica also believes that "together we can build a fair and more peaceful planet, one child, one group at a time." Ms. Veronica's also instills these values in her daughter Lourdes, who attends SJES.  

Anita Miranda, Assistant Teacher

Ms. Anita has been a teacher at St. James' Episcopal School since 2010. She is working towards her Child Care Development Associate's Certificate at Austin Community College, and she may continue to pursue her education in chid care. Ms. Anita is the oldest of three children, and in her spare time she enjoys reading, listening to music, and watching movies at the Alamo Drafthouse here in Austin. When asked what she likes best about working with children, Ms. Anita says, "they are so funny. Listening to them talk amongst themselves can be so entertaining." She also enjoys getting to know and meet all the children on campus. 

Sharon Richesin, Afternoon Teacher

As a student in the process of obtaining her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education, Ms. Sharon is eager to put her education to work here at St. James’ in the Montessori classroom.  In her free time, Sharon likes spending time with her son Mitchell, who also attends SJES. When asked what she likes best about working with children, Ms. Sharon says “I am in constant awe of the way that children are so absorbed and delighted by the simplest things. I am constantly refreshed by my interactions with them. Children are so full of unlimited potential for positive growth and development.”

All Programs:

Connie Harden, Permanent Substitute

Ms. Connie has been in childcare for 28 years, and has a variety of experience with organizations such as Child, Inc. and various Montessori programs. Ms. Connie was a substitute intermittently for St. James' for two years through the service Substitute Switchboard, but began as the permanent substitute assistant in the afternoon Montessori Program in January 2012. When asked what she likes about working with children, Ms. Connie said "I like to sing, read, and listen to them. They make me happy because they are so honest and smart; they bring the sunshine out even when it is cloudy."

Asiya Shereen, Assistant Teacher

Ms. Asiya has been a teacher at SJES since 2010. She holds a masters degree in political science and enjoys working with children because they are "innocent and gentle" and appreciates St. James' because of the "loving environment" and "excellent adminstration." In her free time, Ms. Asiya enjoys reading books and cooking.


Food Program: 

Tina Washington, Food Program Coordinator 

 Ms. Tina has joined our staff as the food program coordinator, preparing breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack daily. Ms. Tina has previously prepared meals in both nursing home and child care settings.  She is one of seven children, and has two children of her own and one grandson, who she enjoys playing with in her free time.  When asked what she likes best about working with children, Ms. Tina says she enjoys the smiles and hugs, and how the children do funny things that make her laugh.