Senior Administrator Biographies
HEAD OF SCHOOL
Peter Reinke serves as Head of School at St. James', a role he has held since July of 2018. Mr. Reinke has worked in the field of education for over twenty-five years. He began his career as an aide to a U.S. Senator on education policy and later played a major educational policy role for the Schwarzenegger administration. Mr. Reinke spent several years as a teacher and administrator at Head-Royce School, the oldest K-12 school in the western United States; he also served as Assistant Head of School at Buckley before coming to St James'. Buckley is the oldest K-12 co-educational school in Los Angeles. Mr. Reinke serves on the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles' Commission on Schools; he spent several years on the Board of Standards of the California Association of Independent Schools, the accrediting body for independent schools throughout the state.
Mr. Reinke co-founded the Vincent Academy, a K-5 charter school in the heart of West Oakland. He was also a founding trustee of the Friends School of San Francisco, the only Quaker independent school in California. With the late U.S. Senators Ted Kennedy, Jim Jeffords and several Congressional and Senatorial staffers, he worked to create Everybody Wins, a Washington, D.C. literacy project; the project was featured at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
A Fifth Generation Episcopalian, Mr. Reinke is a past senior warden and vestry clerk. Additionally, he was a trustee for the Episcopal Diocese of California’s School for Deacons and of U.C. Berkeley's Canterbury Foundation, which sponsors Episcopal programs for Cal students. Mr. Reinke was board chair of Clausen House, an Episcopal agency which provides essential services for almost 200 developmentally disabled adults. He is very proud of his brother Steven, a longtime resident of Clausen. At St. James' Episcopal Parish, Mr. Reinke is an active member of the Men's Fellowship and volunteers as a lector. Both he and his partner Dr. Claudia Nau are also enthusiastic advocates for the food ministries at the parish, which they believe are among the most vital programs of St. James'. Mr. Reinke is also a lifetime member of the Union of Black Episcopalians.
Mr. Reinke graduated from Brown University with department honors in U.S. History and earned his MA in Educational Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University. Mr. Reinke is an active volunteer for Brown, he is a member of the Brown Corporation's ad-hoc committee on government relations and previously served as a class marshal and on the Brown Corporation's advisory council on relations with Tougaloo College.
ASSISTANT HEAD OF SCHOOL
Elizabeth has a long history of working in independent schools in Southern California. She was the assistant head of school at the Westerly School in Long Beach, as well as its founding middle school head. Additionally, she taught middle school English, humanities, and pre-algebra. She also served as the assistant administrator and 3rd-grade teacher at the Village School in Pacific Palisades. Elizabeth is honored and excited to be a part of the St. James’ family.
INTERIM DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS, DEAN OF STUDENTS
Emmy has been part of the St. James' staffulty since 2015; she has co-led the sixth-grade program, served as our Associate Director of Admission to support middle school matriculation, and designed our multi-year program to work with third through fifth grade families to review and analyze standardized test scores and plan for academic success. She has also served as our faculty moderator, co-chair of our remote learning task force and is overseeing the launch of a digital portfolio program this year. She will also continue in her role as advisor to our venerable school newspaper, The Husky Howl. Emmy earned her BA in English from University of Southern California, an MA in Education from University of California at Los Angeles, and an MA in the Science of K-12 Leadership from Pepperdine University.
Pat Joseph Thomas, Ph.D.
DIRECTOR OF PRESCHOOL & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Pat joined the St. James’ Episcopal School administrative team in July 2016 with over 30 years experience in early childhood education. As a classroom teacher, Pat facilitated children and their families in developing meaningful relationships which support/enhance positive school engagements. A tenure in independent schools, as a teacher and supervisor, have enhanced Pat’s knowledge of and respect for diverse learning communities. As a life-long learner, Pat’s education spans over the course of her teaching career with a BA in human development from Pacific Oaks College, MS in child/family counseling from Springfield College, and PhD in child/family studies from CGI/Branston University.
Most recently, Pat has worked as a consultant, helping parents navigate their search for educational programs and learning environments. As a child development specialist, she has been a resource for families in understanding the complexities in finding the “right fit” and comfortable balance between home, school, and community.
I am delighted to be a part of the Saint James’ community and eager to share my knowledge of creative programs, which enhance curiosity, encourage explorations, embrace differences, and engage in joyful learning experiences for all ages.
The Rev. Canon Aidan Koh
Father Aidan Koh has been working at St. James’ Episcopal School since September 1991 after his deacon’s ordination that June by the Rt. Rev. Frederick H. Borsch, Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles. Prior to arriving at St. James’, Aidan was fortunate to have attended seminaries in Claremont, California, and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. He attended both of these seminaries after having graduated from Hankook Theological Seminary, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. Born in Korea to a family deeply rooted in the Anglican faith, Aidan started his ministry during his early high school years, teaching Sunday school children and leading youth groups. Teaching at a high school and working as a member of the administrative team at a university in Korea added to his experiences in academia.
DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT
Brooke joined the St. James' community following 30+ years in New York City where she served as an advancement professional in several independent schools. Brooke's most recent position was at Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart where she led a successful fundraising program, increasing annual giving over 60% while simultaneously increasing participation in the number of donors. Brooke also led a successful major gifts campaign, created a strong alumni program and oversaw fundraising events, friend-raising events, managed volunteers and engaged in numerous school-related activities. Brooke is motivated by a desire to be part of a close-knit community that lends itself to a culture of philanthropy. Brooke is thrilled to be at St. James' and looks forward to meeting all members of the community.
Brooke earned her CFRE, Certified Fundraising Professional, certificate in 2015. CFRE certification is awarded to fundraising professionals who have achieved a level of fundraising success conducted in a professional, ethical manner.
CO-DIRECTOR PRESCHOOL/KRP TEACHER
Rocheleen (Rochelle) Rosel has been part of the St. James’ community since 2016 when hired to teach in the Butterfly classroom. She has more than ten years of experience in the early childhood field and enjoys volunteering with adolescents during her free time. She has obtained her BA in Child and Adolescent Development and her MA in Human Development specializing in Leadership in Education and Social Service.
Rochelle has volunteered in organizations such as Project Bridge which is a program from Pacific Century (Los Angeles) and the Korean Society (New York). Within that program Rochelle was a youth leader and was able to empower high school juniors and seniors in taking leadership roles in their school and in their community by helping the students have a deeper understanding in racial relations, introducing leadership skills, and social etiquette.
In 2019 Rochelle was able to be a speaker in the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Her presentation was centered around everyday curriculum and how to mold theory into application to foster success for the individual child.
Before becoming the co-director of the preschool, she was the associate director for curriculum and planning for the preschool as well as one of the Kindergarten Readiness Teachers. Rochelle earned her Associates degree in Child Development from Los Angeles Valley Community College, her Bachelor's degree in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University at Northridge and her Master in Human Development with specialization in Leadership in Education and Social Service from Pacific Oaks College.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Amy Schlecter is thrilled to have joined St James' as Chief Financial Officer in Spring 2019. Amy brings a deep background in Finance, Accounting and Operations Management to St James' with her extensive experience working both with schools and private industry. Amy received her MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and studied both Political Science and Chinese Language and Literature at UC Berkeley as an undergraduate. Amy spent the first decade of her career helping to lead the financial operations of a large distribution center for an e-commerce retailer. After starting a family, Amy decided to pursue her passion for supporting high-quality education and shifted her professional focus to working with great schools. Amy loves traveling both within the US and internationally, and particularly enjoys traveling by train.