Director of Operations
Jill Sautkulis came to St. Mark’s in 1996 with her husband Michael, shortly after the birth of their first child. As Director of Operations, Jill is responsible for overseeing staff operations, facilities management, and finances. Before joining the staff in February 2017, Jill served as Sr. Warden, Jr. Warden, Vestry person, Search Committee member, Church School teacher, Stewardship and Capital Campaign worker, and miscellaneous volunteer. Jill’s professional experience includes recruiting, human resources administration, and hospitality operations. She holds a BA in English from Cornell University. Jill and Michael live in West Norwalk, sometimes with their two children (when they are home from college). Jill sees St. Mark’s as a holy home with unbounded potential to spread the much-needed good news of the Gospel in our community and beyond. Together with our talented and devoted staff, she is dedicated to supporting St. Mark’s Mission and Vision through effective, efficient, and faithful operations.
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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Cyra Borsy has been working alongside youth for over 20 years. She first started working with teens at risk for substance abuse and pregnancy in the 1990’s. A decade later she co-lead a youth group at Christ the King located in Frankfurt, Germany while living with her family overseas. She has been a member of St. Mark’s, along with her family, since the fall of 2008. A year later, Cyra was a volunteer with the youth of St. Mark’s, and has remained one ever since. Cyra enjoys spending time with the young people of the parish and has been fortunate enough to chaperone a number of mission trips. She has a Masters in Public Health from the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University. Cyra and her husband Steve have been married for 25 years and are parents to Natalie (20) and Ryan (16), and Cookie the wonder dog (8).
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Director of Children's Ministry
Janet Maynes has been a St. Mark’s member for 20 years, and a Church School teacher for 15 of those years. Prior to moving to New Canaan, she was a Church School director and pre-school board chairperson at Christ’s Church, Rye. At St. Mark’s, Jan has been involved in a range of activities, including Search Committee, Flower Guild, weekday classes and pastoral care. A graduate of the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, she was Communications Manager at an international bank before retiring to raise a family. Jan and her husband Richard have two grown children, both confirmed at St. Mark’s. A testament to the lasting value of children’s and youth ministry, one is a choir member at this parish, the other a Godly Play teacher at an Episcopal Church in Manhattan.
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Director of Stewardship and Development
Laura has been a member of St. Mark’s parish since 2004. She assumed the position of Director of Stewardship and Development in August 2016. Laura’s previous and current St. Mark’s involvement includes teaching Sunday School, as a member of the Alter Guild, and service on the Vestry and as Clerk. Laura has a B.A. in history from Williams College, and she spent over 10 years as a corporate banker in New York at what is now JP Morgan. Laura lives with her husband Dave and dog Georgia in their recently empty nest in New Canaan. She is excited to join the dedicated and talented staff working on stewardship and development efforts to enhance our community, and is eternally grateful to our parishioners for their amazing and selfless generosity in supporting the parish.
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Rob Schwartz brings a mixture of experience in administration and the creative arts to St. Mark’s. After receiving his BFA in Film and Television from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Rob worked on projects with the Weinstein Company and ESPN. His passion for team building and coordinating projects led him to the field of Facilities Management where he spent 5 years in charge of teams at Middlesex Hospital and a bustling law firm in Hartford. Rob has spent most of his life volunteering at his church in Milford which led him to answer God’s call to the ministry. His desire to work in a church environment is what immediately drew him to St. Mark’s. When he’s not hard at work here, Rob is busy studying online for his Master of Divinity at Lexington Theological Seminary. His goal is to become a pastor and continue doing God’s work however possible.
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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.
Internationally renowned choral conductor Arthur Sjögren is best known for excellence in choral performances of innovative and captivating programs drawing from sixteenth century to contemporary and commissioned works. He is also internationally recognized as a music editor and as a teacher of voice and choral conducting.Sjögren started his professional career as a singer in New York City in 1964. For three seasons he was a Vocal Arts Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center of the Boston Symphony Orchestra where he studied with Phyllis Curtin and was soloist with Eric Linsdorf in the American premiere of Schoenberg’s opera “Die Glu?ckliche Hand.“ At the Clevelend Orchestra’s Blossom Festival he studied with Richard Miller and sang under choral conductor Robert Shaw who selected Sjögren to be soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Sjögren received a B.M.E. from North Park College, a M.M. from Westminster Choir College, and was a doctoral candidate at the Peabody Conservatory, Indiana University and at the Vienna Academy, Austria, where he studied conducting with Eric Erickson of the Royal College of Music, Stockholm, and the Swedish Radio Choir. He also studied conducting with Julius Herford, Robert Shaw, Fiora Contino, Volker Hemfpling, Marcel Courand and Michael Schech.
Virginia Leeman began her piano studies at age 5 and organ studies at age 12 and continued both through college. At age 14 she became organist for a small Methodist church in Indiana. After moving to Ridgefield 30 years ago, she resumed her organ studies with Alec Wyton and was organist at churches in Danbury, Katonah, and Darien. Now retired, she most recently served 5 years as Parish Organist for St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ridgefield and Interim Organist for First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan. Virginia has a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan and dual degrees in math and music from Butler University. She spent 30 years as a software developer, primarily with PepsiCo, retiring last year. She and her late husband, George, have a son and daughter and 3 grandchildren.