School Administrators

Great schools are distinguished by exceptional teamwork and collaboration across the organization. Our faculty and staff are led by a dynamic group of individuals known as our Leadership Team under the guidance of the Head of School.

List of 22 items.

  • Dr. Jeneen D. Graham, Head of School

    Jeneen Graham, Ed.D., became St. Margaret’s Episcopal School’s fifth Head of School on July 1, 2023. 
    Dr. Graham brings a wealth of educational leadership experience to the role, and has deep ties to St. Margaret’s dating back more than 20 years. She previously was Upper School Principal (2018-2023) and Academic Dean (2012-2018) at St. Margaret’s, in addition to serving on the Board of Trustees and teaching AP psychology. 
    In her role as Upper School Principal, Dr. Graham led a community of 475 students and more than 75 professional community members. As Academic Dean, Dr. Graham developed curriculum and alignment for the school community, oversaw professional development, database development and data analysis, and led the pursuit of promising pedagogical practices and assessments across all divisions of the school. 
    In addition, Dr. Graham has collaborated with edX, a provider of high-quality online learning opportunities governed by MIT and Harvard, to develop their first-ever high school MOOCs. She has been a frequent presenter at industry conferences including the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES), California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). She is the Co-Chair of the CAIS Think Tank for Data Based School Improvement and a Board Member for the California Teacher Development Collaborative (CATDC). She also provides advisory support for St. Margaret’s community programs, Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano and Special Camp. 
    Prior to her time at St. Margaret’s, Dr. Graham was on staff at the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine as a lecturer and a researcher. She was the Assistant Director and later the Acting Director of the Center for Research and Cognition and Learning. Before joining UCI, Dr. Graham was the Assistant Director of Admission for St. Andrews School in Boca Raton, Fla. She began her career at Carney, Sandoe and Associates, a well-known educational consulting firm in Boston. 
    Dr. Graham holds a B.A. in anthropology and a minor in Spanish from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., and an Ed. D. in educational leadership from a joint UCI/UCLA program. Dr. Graham and her husband, Andy, are the parents of two St. Margaret’s graduates—Robbie ’19 and Reid ’22. 
  • Patrick Bendzick, Assistant Head of School for Health & Well-Being

    Mr. Bendzick serves as the Assistant Head of School for Health & Well-Being, in addition to being the head coach of the cross country program and an assistant coach in the track program. He joined St. Margaret’s in 2015 as the Director of Athletics and guided the Tartans to the California Division 5 School of the Year honors in 2019.
    He currently oversees the athletic department, school nurses, and counselors. This has allowed him to take a holistic approach to the student experience that utilizes the latest in educational research, exercise science, cognitive development, and social emotional learning to maximize student potential. 
    Mr. Bendzick previously was at Canyon High School in Anaheim, where he served as the athletic director for seven years and as head coach of track and field and cross country. In 2014 he was named the Orange County Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year and in 2018 he was named the Orange County Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year. He began coaching at the college level in 2001 for the University of San Francisco, and began teaching physical education and sports medicine at the high school level that same year.
    Mr. Bendzick holds a Bachelor of Arts in kinesiology from California State University, Long Beach and a Master of Education from National University. He is a former Division I collegiate distance runner and continues to run daily with the St. Margaret’s teams. 
  • Michael Allison, Middle School Principal

  • Jennifer Blount '87, Lower School Principal

    Mrs. Jennifer Blount has been a professional member of St. Margaret’s Lower School since 2012, prior to that she spent 20 years teaching in both Central and Southern California. She has taught grades 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. She has served as assistant principal to a school of 1,200 students in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District as well as a classroom teacher, teacher on special assignment, district coordinator, peer coach and activities director.
    Mrs. Blount has received the Who's Who Among Teachers Award, Los Alisos Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2007 and 2012, as well as Saddleback Valley Unified School District's Teacher of the Year in 2012. She has been trained in positive behavior support, guided language acquisition development, and Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development (CLAD). She has served as a University of California, Irvine mentor teacher, literacy coach, secondary teacher peer coach for Saddleback Valley Unified School District, English language development district coordinator and Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) support provider.
    She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Spanish from the University of San Diego and a Master of Science in educational administration from National University in Costa Mesa, Calif. She also holds a California State Teaching Credential and Tier II Clear Educational Administrative Credential.
    Mrs. Blount is a graduate of St. Margaret's Episcopal School, Class of 1987. She and her husband, Lance, have two children, Isabella, a 2019 graduate of SMES, and Beau, who is a current St. Margaret's student.
  • Dr. Cris Lozon, Director of the Early Childhood School & Wee Tartan Center

    Early Childhood School Director, Dr. Cris Lozon, joined St. Margaret’s in the summer of 2016. Dr. Cris spent 22 years teaching at international schools in the Philippines, Japan, Italy, and South Korea and recently joined us from Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, California. Dr. Cris has taught students from 3-year-olds to university level serving as adjunct professor at Pacific Oaks College and Cal State Dominguez Hills.
    Dr. Cris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University, and a Doctorate in Instructional Leadership with a Minor in Early Childhood from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Cris recently moved to Dana Point from West Los Angeles where her parents, brothers and sisters, and 10 nieces and nephews reside.
  • Amy Roberts, Upper School Principal

  • Dr. Janice Avalone, School Counselor

    Dr. Janice Avalone serves the St. Margaret's Episcopal School community as All-School Counselor. In this role, she works with all four division principals, the Learning Center and individual teachers and advisors serving the emotional and psychological needs of students.
    Dr. Avalone has been a member of the St. Margaret's Episcopal School community for 19 years. She has filled a number of leadership positions and has continually taken on additional responsibilities, including leadership of Lower School after school clubs and extended day programs, as well as summer sports programs for the Lower and Middle Schools, teaching Christian Life Skills in the Lower School and mentoring high school peer counselors.
    She has also served as a leader on various committees within the Lower School as well as with the school’s nurses, the Upper School Counselor and the Learning Center Psychologists working in support of our students’ overall health. She is the coordinator of health and wellness on campus, initiating wellness education and programming for students, faculty and parents.
    Dr. Avalone has a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from the University of Southern California a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Pepperdine University. She also earned her Doctorate of Psychology from The Chicago School of Psychology.
  • Alanna Cajthaml, Chief Financial and Operating Officer

    Mrs. Alanna Cajthaml joined the St. Margaret’s community in August 2022 as the Chief Financial & Operating Officer. Her prior experience has been focused on higher education finance and operations, with Biola University and Azusa Pacific University. Alanna has a strong focus on fiscal responsibility, strategic priorities, and operational efficiency. 

    She holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Biola University.
  • Dr. Stephanie Capen, Director of Institutional Research

  • Victor Cota, Director of Equity and Inclusion

    Victor Cota was named Director of Equity and Inclusion at St. Margaret’s in 2018, after previously serving as director of St. Margaret’s Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano program for three years.

    A native of Orange County, Victor attended the University of Southern California and earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and religion. In 2007, he moved to Houston as a member of Teach for America. He was a middle school math teacher and then a middle school principal at YES Prep Public Schools. In 2012, Victor earned his MBA from Rice University and his principal certification through the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program. From 2015 to 2018, Victor served as the director of Breakthrough SJC. In this time, the program expanded to serve students from historically underrepresented backgrounds all the way through college graduation and launched an endowment to ensure long-term program sustainability. Through his journey as an educational leader, Victor has learned how to design school systems and environments to be inclusive and equitable, so that all students are known and loved for who they are.

    Victor and his wife Cherise are driven by their faith, are educators who believe in the power of education as a great equalizer, are audacious enough to believe that justice can be achieved in our lifetime, and have two children, Noah and Gabi, who attend St. Margaret’s.
  • The Reverend Canon Robert Edwards, Head of Chaplains

    The Reverend Canon Edwards was the first Chaplain of St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. After three years, he left to become Rector of Christ Church in Redondo Beach, Calif. He returned to St. Margaret’s in 1999 and was made Rector in 2000. In 2004, Father Edwards was made an Honorary Canon to the Cathedral by The Right Reverend J. Jon Bruno, Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
    Father Edwards regularly leads Lower School and Preschool Chapels, and teaches Upper School summer classes. He has coached girls’ varsity basketball, Middle School softball, basketball and flag football, and was a coach for the first St. Margaret’s CIF 8-man Championship football team.
    He has served on the St. Margaret’s Board of Trustees for over 15 years. He has served the Diocese of Los Angeles on the Commission on Ministry for six years and has mentored two separate classes of newly ordained deacons.
    Father Edwards earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from California State University, Chico and a Masters of Divinity from The General Seminary, New York City.
    He and his wife, Michele, have four children, all St. Margaret’s alumni--Christina (class of 2007), Josiah (2009) Davis (2011) and Jameson (2014).
  • Nikki Imai, Director of Enterprise Technology

  • Phoebe Larson, Director of Enrollment Management

    Ms. Phoebe F. Larson has more than 30 years of experience in independent school admission and financial aid. Prior to joining St. Margaret’s Episcopal School she served as Director of Financial Aid and Admission Operations at The Thacher School in Ojai, Calif. She has extensive experience in managing highly successful admissions programs, and an impressive track record of increasing admission selectivity and developing outreach programs in diverse communities. Previously she led both the admission and financial aid offices at The Webb Schools in Claremont, Calif. and Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minnesota.

    Ms. Larson has been actively involved in a wide range of admission and student support organizations including Breakthrough Collaborative, The Teak Fellowship, Daniel Murphy Scholars, A Better Chance and The Alliance for Minority Affairs. She also served as Thacher’s Director of the Olympus Scholar Program similar to the St. Margaret’s Tartan Support Program.

    She is a graduate of the Pomfret School in Connecticut and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. She and her husband, Marc, have two children, Gordon and Audrey, who are both proud St. Margaret’s alums graduating in 2018 and 2020.
  • Angela Mackenzie, Director Educational Technology and Library

    Angela Mackenzie was named Director of Educational Technology and Library in 2020.
    She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from Northern Arizona University, and her Master's in Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology from University of Southern California. After starting her career as an elementary school teacher, Angela later became a technology instructor at an independent school in Pacific Palisades. There she helped to design a makerspace and launch the school’s STEAM and Innovation program. After coming to St. Margaret’s in 2016, Angela has risen from Imagine, Create, Engineer Lab Manager to Director of Library role and now Director of Educational Technology and Library.
    Angela is passionate about supporting a learning ecosystem that includes digital literacy, STEAM, design thinking, innovation and creativity. She is currently the Computer Science department chair as well as the coach for the school’s robotics team. Her goal is to empower students and teachers to embrace flexible thinking and incorporate problem-based learning opportunities that interconnect STEAM subjects and embrace emerging technologies.
    Angela has three children, all of whom attend St. Margaret’s.
  • Daniel O'Shea, Director of Athletics

  • Dan Pacheco, Director of Performing Arts

    Mr. Dan Pacheco is the Director of Performing Arts at St. Margaret’s. He joined the Tartan community in 2018 as a Middle School and Upper School Theatre teacher and director. Some of his past professional acting credits include playing Boq in the Broadway musical, Wicked and playing Aladdin in Disney's Aladdin for many years. He has toured internationally, and his experience in the entertainment industry spans theatre, film, TV, radio and print. 
    Dan is passionate about arts education and the role that the Arts play in educating hearts and minds. Before coming to St. Margaret’s, he worked in the educational theater department for Kaiser Permanente. In this role, he developed programming for at-risk students to use drama and music as tools for social-emotional learning. As an adjunct educator at NYU, he specialized in integrating arts into public school curriculum. He also developed arts programming for The Dalton School and LeAp (Learning through Expanded Arts Programs) and served as Director of Creative Arts and Athletics, a summer program at the Convent of the Sacred Heart. His recent work with Dramatic Results, an arts education agency in Los Angeles, was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education which would provide visual and performing arts education to 9,000 students by combining the efforts of underutilized community organizations to provide a scaffolded STEAM program for at-risk gifted and talented students from Title I schools in Long Beach, California.
    He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and a Master of Business Administration from California State University, Monterey Bay. He oversees all aspects of performing arts—theater, choral music, band, orchestra, dance, and cinematic arts. He also teaches Upper School theater classes and directs Upper School plays and musicals.
  • Emma Perry, R. N., Lead School Nurse

  • Jerrell Rogers, Director of Human Resources

  • Jonathan Tufo, Executive Director of Advancement

    Mr. Jonathan Tufo joined the St. Margaret’s community in June 2014 as the Executive Director of Advancement. He has more than 20 years of advancement and fundraising experience with private schools including Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana) and Chadwick School (Palos Verdes).

    He holds a Master of Business Administration and Master of Project Management from the Keller Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University, Fullerton.

    In addition to his roles in advancement, Jonathan has taught high school English, coached basketball and served as an upper school advisor.
  • Ryan Wood, Director of Communications & Marketing

    Ryan Wood joined St. Margaret’s in 2016, and became the school’s Director of Communications and Marketing in 2023.
    In his role, Ryan oversees all aspects of communications, marketing and content at St. Margaret’s. A storyteller with more than 20 years of experience, Ryan started his career in media with stops at newspapers, magazines and online publications. He worked as St. Margaret’s communications manager for seven years, managing day-to-day school content and serving as managing editor of the Highlander Magazine, among other duties.
    He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Kansas.
  • Lindsay Eres, Executive Director of Special Camp

    Mrs. Lindsay Stump Eres is the Executive Director of Special Camp, and also serves the school community in a number of roles. Mrs. Eres is an 11th and 12th  grade Dean and an Advisor for students in grade 11. Additionally, Lindsay coached track and field for seven years and girls basketball for 10 years at St. Margaret's.
    Previously, she worked for Best Buddies International as the Program Supervisor for Los Angeles County and Orange County where she directly managed Best Buddies chapters at two private high schools.
    She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Southern California. Lindsay was President of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority as well as New Member Educator. She was a member of Order of Omega, an honor society encouraging student leadership and a member of Lambda Pi Eta, a Communication honor society.
    Lindsay is a graduate of St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, Class of 2000. She and her husband, Rob, have two daughters who attend St. Margaret's.
  • Elizabeth Eusebio, Director of Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano

    Elizabeth Eusebio was named Director of Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano in August of 2021.  

    Born and raised in Orange County, Elizabeth earned a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Fullerton in child and human development and a master’s degree from Chapman University in special education. Elizabeth brings both personal and professional experiences that will lead to an immediate impact on the Breakthrough SJC community. Elizabeth joins Breakthrough with over a decade of experience in education as a teacher, advocate, administrator, and most importantly, a mentor who thrives on equity and inclusion. As a first-generation graduate, Elizabeth, understands the importance of working with a diverse group of students and families of different social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds. She is passionate about bridging the educational gap and helping underrepresented students and families to obtain resources that met their individuals needs while facilitating equitable access to services within the community.    

    Elizabeth and her husband recently became first-time parents and are enjoying the life of parenthood. 
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St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.