School Advisory Council

The Advisory Council advises and supports the president, principals, and pastor in carrying out the mission and strategic plan of the school, and fulfilling our commitment to the families of our parish.

There are currently nine committees within the Advisory Council, including Executive, Budget, Communications, Development, Nominations, Policy, Facilities, Strategic Planning, and Technology. Ad hoc committees are formed, depending on need.

The Advisory Council meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month, from August through May, with special sessions called when needed. The general meetings are open to the public and guests are welcome to attend.

For more information, contact the Advisory Council Chair, Kyle Harvey.

School Advisory Council Elections

Below are the School Advisory Council nominees for the three year term beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. If you are over 18 years old and a registered St. Thomas Aquinas parishioner or a parent of a student at STA, take a moment to read each candidate's bio under the ballot and cast your vote for the open spots available for next school year. Each parishioner/parent is entitled to a single ballot with up to two candidates. Deadline to vote is Friday, May 10.

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Online Ballot

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Candidate Bios

Jeremy Anderson

As a trial lawyer, I specialize in preparation and presentation to gain support for sometimes unpopular positions. Often advocating for the underdog really sharpens one's skills of persuasion. I am also outside general counsel and serve on the advisory board for a bank in West Texas. In that role, I often advise on business and financial matters related to the private banking and mortgage industries. Serving as an advocate and advisor has strengthened my communication and problem-solving skills. I have excelled in rapid responses and (often) creative plans and uses regarding budgetary, regulatory and compliance concerns, as well as upper-level dispute resolution. On the advisory board, I would provide specialized skills in researching and planning to attack problems that the school may face. I excel at presenting ideas, furthering open discussions, and illustrating multiple sides of the issue (aka playing devil's advocate). I'm also very good at getting my wife and 3 kids (the 4th is only 5 months old) to agree with me, so that has to mean something.

I never miss an event, but my wife is the one who is involved on a day to day basis. Getting involved by appointment to the advisory board would be a great application of my skill sets.

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Jeff Gruber

While I am not technically a practicing attorney, I have a law degree from SMU Dedman School of Law and am licensed to practice law by the state of Texas.  My relevant work experience is relating to contract review and negotiations, strategic planning, and project management.  Further, one of my primary roles is the management and administration of the advisory councils for our restaurant franchise, so I am very familiar with the dynamic.

I have volunteered for Carnival set-up, Auction set-up, recess supervision, and Safe Environment candidate interviews.

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Carol Holmes

As an independent contractor/working mother and a Methodist, I bring three different perspectives to the Advisory Council.  I am from Atlanta, GA, attended the Westminster Schools of Atlanta, and the University of Georgia, so I bring the experience of attending a nationally top-rated school in my younger years, which allowed me to enter college prepared and not overwhelmed.  Further to this, in the past twenty years of living in Dallas, I have been involved in many philanthropic opportunities, specifically ten years in Cattle Baron's Ball ranging all roles outside of chairing the Ball, so I will also bring a fund raising aspect to my position if elected to the Advisory Council.

As a non-Catholic and a new parent to STA in 2016, it has definitely been a bit harder to get involved in the school activities.  Therefore, I have only participated in helping Ms. Schnurr in the library, buying auction items, participating in classroom drives; and I co-chaired the 2019 7th - 8th grade Winter Dance.

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Steve Hulsey

I have been a practicing architect, designing education facilities for over 30 years in Dallas, I am the President of my firm Corgan, located in downtown Dallas and most importantly I was building commission chairman in St. Francis of Assisi in Frisco for over 15 years and lead that parish committee thru multiple building programs including their new church and chapel project. I am hopeful I have valuable experience that St. Thomas can learn from my experiences for your facilities.

We were members at St Francis since 1998. Over that time is served as Usher for 15 years, on the Building Commission for 18 years, Chairman of the Building Commission for 15 years, Parish Council for three years, Knights of Columbus Member. I was able to find the committees and activities at St Francis where I could contribute. We moved to Dallas last summer and have now fully transitioned to St. Thomas, and I am now hoping and looking for ways that my expertise and skills can help my new parish.

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John Marrs

I am an attorney employed at an energy company, handling contractual matters, transactions, and disputes/litigation. My wife and I moved our family back to Dallas last year from Houston and have become active in the parish and the school, where our oldest child is in kindergarten.  I'm an alumnus of a Catholic high school, and my family has maintained close ties with the religious order that runs my alma mater, which has given me some insight into the service and dedication required to operate a Catholic school.  I believe I have experience useful to the STA Advisory Council and an appreciation of the mission and vocation of St. Thomas Aquinas parish and school. 

I served for 5 years on our Houston parish’s pastoral council, during which time there were three consecutive pastors in charge of the parish. Aside from the everyday work of the council itself, the turnover of three pastors provided its own learning experience for the pastoral council and parish alike.  Since moving back to Dallas about 9 months ago, my wife and I have volunteered at the Lower School in a variety of capacities, and I am a member of Fathers of STA. We recently welcomed our 3rd child and are looking forward to her baptism in May.

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Mitch Paradise

I have 20 years of experience in commercial real estate.  I have a background in architecture and have worked in the educational facilities realm in the past.  Currently, I own and manage office buildings. I also act as 3rd party Project Manager for office construction and interiors projects and interface with the City of Dallas Permitting Department.

Parishioner since 1998.  Frequent volunteer for the parish and school activities.  Original member for the launch of FOSTA Dad's organization.

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Hal Penchan

Through my professional career, I have experience in both commercial real estate and technology services. This knowledge base can prove useful in a number of ways, from evaluating facility needs to input on voice, data, and overall technology needs for the School. I have been a part of large sales organizations to leading small micro-focused teams that execute a single task. This diverse experience can be useful as an Advisory Council member as well as within particular sub-committees. My daughter is finishing up her first year at STA, and I can already see the positive impact it has had on her. I would love the opportunity to contribute, not only to sustaining that excellence but improving where we can.

2018 - STA Carnival volunteer and PK 4 Christmas party volunteer, 2013-2016 - Jesuit Ice Hockey Coach - Varsity/Assistant, JV/Head Coach.

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Stephen Richard

For the last ten years I have worked in the nonprofit sector of healthcare supporting clients as a licensed attorney in many disciplines.  I am familiar with vendor contracting, Real Estate, privacy law and academic affiliations.  I believe I would bring an analytical mind to the issues at hand and provide a balanced approach in identifying solutions to operational issues of the school.

My family has been parishioners for several years and our oldest daughter started 1st grade at STA this year.  I have volunteered at the school, the carnival and look forward to continued involvement in the community that my wife and I are trying to build for our family.

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Trey Schroeder

Being a father to four wonderful STA children, husband to the most loving wife, successful entrepreneur/owner of multiple businesses, Eagle Scout, MBA, FOSTA Member, Texas Tech Alumni Volunteer, Backyard Coach and all around (self-proclaimed) good dude, I have learned to lead, follow or get out of the way.  These character traits, along with my moral compass, were instilled in me early on by my parents.  Life has helped me hone these skills and, as a leader, these skills are not mine to keep, but mine to pass along.

As mentioned above, Amy and I are blessed to have four, wonderfully active and highly independent children.  Our job as parents and parishioners is to follow the rules and standards set by the church and school, which includes setting the example of volunteerism and sacrifice.  I volunteer with Carnival, FOSTA, Member of STA Booster Club, help with concessions, Vacation Bible School and chauffeur of student-athletes.

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Josh Smith

I am involved in the development and construction of university facilities which includes student housing, academic buildings, recreation centers, etc.  I'm able to bring high-level construction expertise as well as a network of connections that could assist STA should a position with the facilities council be needed.

Completed RCIA in 2010 and was married at STA that same year.  Our oldest is in Kinder began in PK-3 so just starting to get involved in the school but was previously part of Knights of Columbus and am currently a member of FOSTA.  I've volunteered for recess, science classes, and the carnival as well as Fish Fry in years past.  Have also assisted my wife with the STA Pageant the last two years.

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James Terhune

I work for a data analytics and visualization company. One of our company goals is to make the world a better place through the use of Data.  Many of the good things going on with our software are outlined here:  https://www.tableau.com/foundation Tableau offers free software for many not for profit organizations.  I do not know one organization that is not trying to make better use of current data assets. Thus my thought to see if I can lend a hand.  I have access to people and materials that can help STA take existing data to the next level.

RCIA 2012 (I think),plenty of carnival cleanup and setup over the past 8 years, manage our 3rd Grade Wildcats Lacrosse Team, assistant coach for our 1st and 2nd grade baseball teams, and FOSTA.

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Jyothi Titus

I want to leverage my more than 25 years of technology experience to help STA make informed technology decisions. Currently, I work for Southwest Airlines working on issues such as security, mobile device management, and application management. I’d like to use my experience to build on the mobile offerings STA has for our students. In addition to my technology experience, I am the mother of two children. Being a parent for the last 19 years has taught me to be a passionate advocate for what my children need and kept me humble about what changes I can influence. It is my children and their great experience at STA that makes me want to work toward improving STA even further.

Since 2003, I have been involved in the parish and school in various capacities, including STAMA, Preschool Sunday School, VBS, CRHP Team 8, material moms and dads, carnival, auction, many class parties, teacher breakfasts, field trips and in the library, room parent, and a buddy family. For the past 7 years, I have spent more time volunteering with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop and am a camp mom, as well as a 6th Grade Home Room Mom.

Key dates:

April 12th at 5:00 PM – School Advisory Council application deadline

April 26th – May 10th - candidate biographies posted on STA School website and voting

May 31st – election results announced in the Week at a Glance

If you have questions, please contact Sean Murphy, Chairman of the Nominations Committee, or visit the school website.