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St. James’ Announces New Preschool Director and Tigers Teacher

To My Dear St. James’ Family,

I'm writing to you all this morning with two bits of exciting news to share about St. James’ Preschool.

Joseph_Thomas_Patricia_300w.jpgFirst, I am very pleased to announce that the next Director of Preschool for St. James’ will be Dr. Patricia A. Joseph Thomas. Pat is a living legend in the world of early childhood education. Her credentials are top-notch: she holds a bachelor’s in human development from Pacific Oaks College; a master’s in psychology with a focus in child and family studies and community counseling from Springfield College; and a Ph.D. in psychology with a focus in child and family studies from Branston University. On top of that, Pat has been committed to professional development thoughout her career – not only to continuing her own development but to elevating the work of others by mentoring colleagues and peers nationally and internationally, as well, presenting at conferences on topics that include “Playing to Learn: Scientific Reflections for Educators” and “Theoretical Foundations of Early Childhood.”

Pat spent nearly 30 years at the Center for Early Education here in Los Angeles as their lead early childhood program teacher, during which time she proved to be an amazing teacher and an effective administrator. Her colleagues know her as a great listener and an innovative educator with a warm, loving, and nurturing soul; her students adore her, even into adulthood. (Just ask one of her soon-to-be colleagues at St. James’, Christina Campbell, whom Pat taught in her toddler class!) The parents she has worked with through the years have benefited from her wisdom, her expertise, and her abundance of heart, and she has made parent education a centerpiece of her consulting work since 2013.

Pat lives in Los Angeles with her husband Patrick Thomas, a classic car and sports enthusiast, and two rescue dogs. They have adult children; enjoy gardening, grandchildren, and a good movie; are active members of our mid-city community; and, when time permits, enjoy traveling to exotic locales.

I am so thrilled that Pat will be joining us officially on July 5, but I want to make sure that everyone has the chance to meet her before then, so please join us in welcoming her at a reception on Tuesday, June 14, from 4:30–6:30 p.m. at the Preschool campus.

Rosel_Rocheleen_300w.jpgAs if a new member of the St. James’ family weren’t reason enough to celebrate, though, I am also excited to welcome back to the family Ms. Rocheleen Rosel, who will return to St. James’ to join Lynese Williams at the helm of the Tigers classroom. Rocheleen has spent the last two years as the interim director of the Child Educational Center at the California Institute of Technology, during which time she also earned her master’s in human development from Pacific Oaks College, specializing in leadership in education and social service. She is remembered as knowledgeable, courageous, affectionate, and ​highly respected by colleagues and parents alike. She is creative, caring, responsible, and among the finest preschool teachers we have ever had at St. James’. Children she taught still remember her and talk about her – the greatest tribute a preschool teacher can have! Welcome back, Rocheleen!

Warmly and most sincerely,


Deborah David
Head of School