A St. Mark’s parishioner for more than 20 years, Dick DePatie assumed the duties of Parish Administrator in May 1998, following a successful 40-year career in the insurance industry, where he served in sales and sales management at CIGNA and Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Prior to becoming Parish Administrator, Dick served on the vestry for three years and as Senior Warden of St. Mark’s for five years. He has been involved at St. Mark’s in a wide variety of activities, including the Search Committee, Outreach Commission, stewardship, long range planning and the Finance Committee. He is currently Chairman of Planned Giving. A graduate of Brown University, Mr. DePatie served with the United States Air Force as a pilot. His quiet demeanor belies a wit and wisdom that enriches us all. He lives with his wife Molly, also an indefatigably active parishioner, here in New Canaan.
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Organist and Choirmaster
Brian-Paul Thomas, affectionately known to us as B-P, began his ministry at St. Mark’s in September 1998. As Choirmaster and Organist, his responsibilities include conducting the six parish choirs, playing for services, administering the St. Mark’s Concert Series and bringing special musical events to our parish. He is also Instructor of Choral Music at Norwalk Community Technical College. A certificate holder of the Royal School of Church Music, B-P holds the Professional Studies Diploma from Manhattan School of Music in New York City where he was a student of Alec Wyton. A consummate professional musician beloved by the young, old and in-betweens who are privileged to study with him at St. Mark’s.
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Director of Communications
Megan Ferrell is an award-winning creative director with over 25 years of experience in the commercial art world. She is a graduate of the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York. Megan specializes in advertising, marketing/brand development, photography, collateral/print design and digital strategy. Megan held various positions in the corporate world in New York City, including group creative director for a division of CMP Media, and as a creative services director for AIG. She decided to strike out on her own and ran an award-winning design business for 16 years before joining the St. Mark's staff. In 2009 Megan launched an online/retail candy business on the side called Suckerborne. It has gained national attention with an appearance on The Today Show, NBC News CT, and The Huffington Post. Megan's photography has been exhibited in many local galleries, as well as at the Sheila Aronson Gallery in NYC. She was also asked to be part of an exhibit at Art Basel in 2011.
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Prisca Spitz has worked in administrative and teaching capacities with preschool, elementary, and middle school students for twenty three years. At The Mead School in Stamford, she was the Center Director, a role which combined teaching and administrative responsibilities. Her duties there included teaching with a focus on the students’ social and emotional development, developing curriculum, managing teachers, acting as the parent liaison, and participating in admissions decisions. She was also an enthusiastic participant in community outreach and established a volunteering component for Mead’s curriculum. Prisca’s educational philosophy aligns fully with the warm, nurturing, play-based environment at SMP, where we raise up the whole child–mind, body, and soul. She believes that children thrive in an environment with trusting and caring relationships between school and home. Gentle boundaries, thoughtful routines, and caring adults all create a nurturing program for young learners. She believes in a play- and experience-based approach to learning in early childhood. When visiting our school, Prisca was so impressed with our excellent teaching staff, our beautiful classrooms, the quality of our curriculum, and the spiritual elements of our life together. Prisca graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in General Studies from the University of Connecticut. In addition, she has an Associate of Arts degree from Bard College at Simons Rock and holds both a Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership and a Master of Science degree in Business Leadership from Manhattanville College. Prisca is married to Stuart Spitz, a teacher in a New York Charter School based in Harlem. They have two grown daughters and reside in Stamford.
Executive Assistant to the Rector
Beth Ralston has more than 25 years of experience in areas of administration, operations, and event planning. She joins us after 13 years at St. Bartholomew’s (St. Bart’s) Church in midtown Manhattan, where she served first as Executive Administrator, and then as Director of Operations. Her greatest talent lies in systems evaluation, negotiation and creative problem solving. Beth has a very “roll up your sleeves” approach to life and work, and looks at challenges as opportunities to grow and strengthen relationships with one another. A graduate of the University of Arizona and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Beth resides in Rye, NY.
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Michael (Mike) J. Loprieno brings 25 years of corporate controllership experience to St. Mark’s. Mike has been a Controller for local Westchester based companies across various industries such as energy, data warehousing, architectural services, and hardware, in both retail and wholesale environments. He was also recently involved in financial consulting for several regional organizations. Mike graduated from Pace University Lubin School of Business with a BBA in Public Accounting. He employs all facets of his experience in day-to-day financial management, budgeting, forecasting, analytics and financial reporting in his Controller’s position here at St. Mark’s. Mike is an avid cyclist, and a certified spinning instructor with NYSC. Mike lives in Mahopac, N.Y. with his wife of 30 years, Donna. They have 3 sons, one granddaughter, and are expecting a second granddaughter.
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Ed Hill joined the St. Mark’s staff as sexton in late August, 2010. Prior to becoming full time for us, Ed worked part-time for St. Mark’s on Sundays for several years. Ed was born and raised in Puerto Rico. At age nine, he came to the U.S. He has worked for a variety of local companies, ranging from a convalescent center to a lumber company. Ed has a number of strengths—hard worker, enjoys being around young people, and is bi-lingual (fluent in both English and Spanish). His language skills have been a real help at times for staff members. Ed has two sons ; Justin who is employed at a restaurant in Norwalk, and Mark who is entering his sophomore year at the University of Minnesota/Duluth (a music major). Mark inherited his music skills from his father who is a terrific drummer. Ed commutes daily from his home in Danbury. His infectious smile is welcoming to all who come in contact with him.
Interim Director of Youth Ministry
John Kennedy grew up in New Canaan and his first memories of church are at St. Mark’s—mainly scenes from Sunday School and filling out visitor cards in the balcony with made up names when he was bored during the services. After working in the music business for two years in New York City and briefly considering medical school, he has discerned a call to ministry and (God willing!) will to go to seminary next fall (2016). John graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston with a degree in Contemporary Writing & Production, and music continues to be one of his great passions.
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