Board of Trustees

“What magic is this?” I thought as I sat in my first class at Thomas Jefferson School during my visit as a prospective parent back in 2011. As an educator myself, I have attended many large lecture courses where students sit passively while the instructor lectures. The TJ classroom was entirely different: it felt both vibrant and intimate. Students had read the material in advance, and class time was spent actively discussing and analyzing the material. Hands were raised energetically, and thoughtful, cogent responses were offered. I was hooked, and when my son Alex (TJ ’17) and I shared our impressions at the end of the visit, he was hooked too. Recently, I visited the TJ classrooms again. The discussion in the seniors’ AP English Language and Composition was as lively and thought-provoking as ever. It was a joy to observe the magic again.

TJ is a place built to help bright, motivated young people thrive. It is both academically challenging and personally nurturing. In addition to taking AP courses in foundational subjects and sitting for national language exams in Greek, Latin, French, and Italian, students build essential skills in time management, organization, leadership, and communication. In addition, TJ offers an encouraging space for students to try new activities, including the arts and sports. My son enjoyed a diversity of experiences that stretched his imagination of what he was capable of doing—soccer, basketball, tap dancing, robotics, theater, and improv.

With a 6:1 student/teacher ratio, the faculty really know and understand each student. At report card time, parents don’t just receive a list of letter grades, but a grade letter that comprehensively describes the accomplishments and challenges for each student. Over time, these grade letters become rich material for the college admissions process. Likewise, letters of recommendation are exquisitely personal and illustrate the achievements, talents, and capabilities of each student. The impact of these letters can be observed each year as students are accepted into the colleges and universities of their choice, often with generous merit scholarships. A current parent recently told me that her husband was reading aloud their daughter’s grade letter. She was moved to tears by how well the teachers understood her child and how much they celebrated who she is as a person. This is TJ magic.

After graduating from TJ, students join a diverse and thriving international community of alumni with successful careers in an impressive range of fields—from law to journalism, medicine to art, education to engineering. As a board member, I have had the privilege to work with and get acquainted with many TJ graduates. Whether they graduated in the 1960s or the 2020s, they all share an excitement about learning and an ability to think critically. 

I am honored to serve as Board President and to help ensure the school’s sustainability for generations of bright, motivated young people. We will work hard to ensure the TJ magic continues. 

Laurie Shornick, Ph.D.
President, Board of Trustees


List of 8 items.

  • Henry Agbo '05

    After graduating from TJ, Henry went to Harvard, where he earned a degree in anthropology in 2009. He followed that with a year-long fellowship at the American University in Cairo in the Office of Communications and Marketing. Henry worked as a Global Sourcing Business Analyst at Target Corporation and currently works in London as the Inclusion & Diversity Community Advisor for Apple. Henry serves on the Board Governance Committee.
  • Tom Ellis '83

    Tom graduated from TJ in 1983. He has worked for Nolan Law Group in Chicago for over 30 years. As the firm’s primary investigator of the causes and liability arising from aviation accidents and other disasters, his work provides critical support to attorneys and is integral to preparation for trial. His work has taken him all over the globe including various countries in Europe, South America, Asia, and the African continent. 
  • David German '04

    David graduated from TJ in 2004. During his five years, he co-founded the all-school play and operated an unreliable dial-up ISP from the second floor of Main Building. His JV basketball career was almost as glorious as it was long.

    He earned a BA in Computer Science and BS in Engineering from Swarthmore College, which led to a series of software engineering jobs in Cambridge MA; he currently works on Google Search. Thanks to his TJ education, he uses all four sentence structures when writing his annual performance review.  

    He lives in the Boston suburbs with his wife and daughter, who tolerate spontaneous fragments of memory work.
  • Mary Karr P'06

    Mary was with the St. Louis Federal Reserve for over 25 years as the most senior general counsel in the entire Fed system. She led a team of six lawyers who supported 40 departments and 1,400 employees, advised the bank executives, and provided day-to-day legal counsel on bank regulations and economic policy and service as the fiscal agent of the U.S. Treasury. Her daughter Anne graduated from TJ in 2006. Mary chairs the Finance and Head Support Committees, and serves as the Treasurer for the Board.
  • Chino Kim '85

    Chino grew up in a small mining town in southeast Missouri. He came to TJ in the eighth grade and as a five-day boarder, the experience of which made going off to college a breeze.  Chino started the School's newspaper, The Declaration, which still makes him smile every time a new edition is printed.  Chino went to Bowdoin College (BA History '89) and Boston University (MBA '93).  His professional experience is in Treasury Management and Shared Services.  He has been fortunate to work for pioneering global companies like Manufacturers Hanover Bank, Reuters, Limited Brands, and Peabody Energy, where he is currently Vice President of Business Services at its St. Louis headquarters.  Chino is Vice President of the Board and serves on the Finance and Head Support committees.
  • Lucinda Santiago P'22

    A native of Seattle, Lucinda moved to St Louis with her husband almost 20 years ago. They have two sons, Ciaran (TJ 2022) and Josiah (Whitfield 2023). A former public relations, public affairs, and marketing director for the Downtown Seattle Association, Lucinda has also worked in the non-profit sector, serving in development, advancement, and Board structure. Lucinda’s husband Paul is a physician at Washington University, and Lucinda has stayed home the last several years to manage the home fires and provide volunteer assistance to the kids’ schools (New City School, Churchill, TJ, and Whitfield) and their interests (St Louis Rowing Club). She has also been very involved with fundraising and events at The College Church. Lucinda chairs the Board Advancement Committee.
  • Laurie Shornick, Ph.D. P'17

    Dr. Laurie Shornick is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology at Saint Louis University, where she teaches Principles of Virology and Foundations of Immunobiology. Her research focuses on the role of epithelial tissues in the immune response. Her laboratory studies the immune response during respiratory viral infection and diabetic wound healing. Laurie serves as President of the Board.
  • Irving Williamson '61

    Irv served as Chairman of the United States International Trade Commission from 2006 until 2014 and has more than 40 years of experience in the international and trade policy fields. Prior to his appointment, he was for seven years President of Williamson International Trade Strategies, Ind., a New York-based consulting firm that advised clients on legal, policy, and regulatory issues affecting international trade and business. Irv holds a BA in history from Brown University, an MA in international relations with an emphasis on African studies and international economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a JD from the George Washington University Law School. He is married to Cheryl A. Parham, has two children, Patrick and Elizabeth, and resides in Washington D.C.

Start Your TJ Journey

The best way to get to know TJ is by spending time on campus, meeting our students and experiencing our classes. See our community for yourself at one of our open houses, shadow days, or let us create the perfect visit just for you.

Thomas Jefferson School

4100 S. Lindbergh Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63127
P. (314) 843-4151
F. (314) 843-3527