RALEIGH, NC - FEBRUARY 22, 2021 - Saint Mary’s School is proud to announce several new campus hires and promotions as it continues on-campus, in-person learning this spring at the iconic downtown Raleigh campus.
“As Head of School for Saint Mary’s, it is my privilege and duty to ensure our students can see themselves in those around them,” said Brendan O’Shea. “Today, we welcome four women into various leadership roles, across departments and divisions, who will together help further our mission. As a college preparatory high school for girls, having female leadership is an important component to modeling real-world experiences for our students. As role models, these strategic leaders will work with our students, alumnae, parents, and faculty and staff in support of our mission and vision for the future.”
LAUREN E. GERBER has been named Director of Marketing and Communications and will transition from her current role as Director of Annual Fund and Major Gifts where she has overseen the growth of the school’s annual fund, its major gifts program, and marketing and communications for the Office of Development and Alumnae Relations since 2016.
Gerber brings an impressive background and expertise that will guide school-wide marketing and communications strategies, aiming to help Saint Mary’s realize additional growth and success in recruitment, fundraising, and brand awareness. With a wealth of independent school, higher education, and corporate experience, Gerber previously worked in business development, marketing, and communications for several organizations, including William Peace University (formerly Peace College), the Bobby Dodd Institute of Atlanta, and LDA Life and Learning Services and MRA Architecture, P.C., both of Rochester, New York.
“Naming Lauren to lead the Marketing and Communications Office at Saint Mary’s was the next natural step in tapping her talents to truly enrich a school-wide approach to the work we do,” said O’Shea. “She has already been an asset, and her commitment to collaboration will encourage the totality of advancement growth at Saint Mary’s and lead our marketing plans to further bolster admissions and development in ways we have yet to imagine.”
In her new role, Gerber will work closely with the admissions and advancement teams at Saint Mary’s, while serving the areas of athletics, student life, the arts, and other areas of the school as part of a strategic marketing and communications plan to build brand name recognition for the historic institution that was founded in 1842.
“One of the amazing aspects of Saint Mary’s is that your experience stays with you forever,” says Gerber. “From the moment a prospective student steps on campus, to their first classes or chapel service; they have a connection to this place. The same goes for faculty, staff, and members of our community, so I’m excited to connect with all who cherish our school to propel our mission forward. Marketing and communications for independent schools, and education in general, is evolving. That means there are always new and innovative tools and strategies to implement and guide our decisions to ensure Saint Mary’s is here forever, and I am excited to be a part of what’s happening here and to help our institution continue to graduate women leaders of tomorrow.”
An innovative and award-winning advancement, communications, and marketing professional, Gerber has been recognized for her achievements by the Council of Advancement in Support of Education (CASE) District III where has received 15 awards between 2013 and 2021, an Apex Award (2014), and a N.C. Emerging Women Award (2016). Since 2014, she has been a member of CASE District III’s awards judging panels for multiple fundraising, communications, and marketing award competitions, including best practices in advancement, fundraising publications, magazines, and illustrations, and she was a judge for the State Education Editors “Best Magazine” as part of the N.C. Educators Association Awards competition (2014). She also represents her family on the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction committee, an annual $5,000 author prize established by her grandfather in 1982.
Gerber received a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Brockport, an Associate of Science degree from Alfred State College, and an Alternate-B Certification in Special Education (K-8) from Roberts Wesleyan College through the State of New York.
Gerber begins her new role on March 15, 2021.
JEANNINE EASON BROWN ’94HS ’96C, a graduate of Saint Mary’s high school class of 1994 and junior college class of 1996, has been named Director of Alumnae Engagement in the Office of Development and Alumnae Relations. Having served Saint Mary’s as a member of the school’s Alumnae Council and Saint Mary’s Forever Campaign committee, Ms. Brown was selected after a comprehensive search by alumnae representatives, student ambassadors, and administrative personnel.
“In the more than 20 years since I graduated, Saint Mary’s has become a powerhouse for shaping the minds of young girls and sending them into the world as confident and courageous women,” says Brown. “Staying connected as an alumna and watching as the school has evolved has been inspiring. It will be a privilege to cultivate relationships with current alumnae while helping prepare younger generations to join us in supporting our alma mater. I am also humbled to carry the spirit of Saint Mary’s forward that retiring Alumnae Director Margaret McGlohon ’81C helped cultivate and grow, and I will strive to represent the past, present, and future of this great school.”
In her new role, Brown will be the primary advocate for Saint Mary’s Alumnae Association, preside over the Alumnae Council, represent the Alumnae Council at commencement, convocations, inaugurations, and other special alumnae-related events. She will also work with members of the board of trustees, school administration, and several student-led organizations and clubs.
“Our mission at Saint Mary’s is to educate the whole girl for college and life. We grow and develop young women to become leaders in their communities, careers, and families,” says Dee Williamson Marley ’77HS, chair of the board of trustees. “Jeannine represents for all of us the importance and influence Saint Mary’s has – and will continue to have – on girls, and I am thrilled to welcome Jeannine today alongside other alumnae leaders.”
“Jeannine understands the importance of a strong alumnae network and the impact of a Saint Mary’s education,” said Merritt Atkins ’99, Alumnae Council co-president. “The gift of Saint Mary’s is one we hold dear and carry with us with pride. Here, we make lifelong friendships, learn who we want to become, discover our voices and our independence, and make cherished memories. If we’re lucky to serve the school in a volunteer, leadership, or philanthropic capacity, it strengthens our alumnae legacy. And, to serve as an alumna as a faculty or staff member is a special experience.”
Brown replaces retiring alumnae director, Margaret McGlohon ’81C, who served the school for 26 years in several capacities during her tenure, including spearheading alumnae engagement.
“It has been an honor to serve as alumnae director for the last 11 years. Getting to know our amazing alumnae and working side by side with them to ensure our alma mater remains vibrant for many years to come has been a gift,” says McGlohon. “I also believe change is exciting and important, and I have all the confidence in the world that Jeannine has what it takes to move our Alumnae Association forward. I am confident our alumnae will step up and support Jeannine as she brings exciting new programming, ideas, and energy to this role. Jeannine loves our alma mater and will work diligently to get to know our alumnae near and far, and I look forward to sharing what I have learned with her during this transition, all the while giving her space to take the reins and lead our alma mater’s alumnae association.”
Brown graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, earned an Elementary Education Certification from North Carolina Central University and a TESOL Certification from North Carolina State University, and is a graduate student at Drexel University working towards a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management. She has been an educator for Carolina Friends School, Durham Technical Community College, Duke School, and Durham Public Schools. She has been a presenter for the NAIS People of Color Conference and at the NCAIS Diversity and Inclusion Conference and has served on the Board of Directors for the Exchange Family Center since 2020.
Brown begins her new role on Feb. 22, 2021.
EILEEN NEDOMA has been named Director of Annual Fund and Major Gifts for the Development and Alumnae Relations Office, replacing former director Lauren E. Gerber who has moved into the role of Director of Marketing and Communications. Nedoma will be part of the senior fundraising team at Saint Mary’s, in charge of raising $1.55 million for the school’s annual fund.
“We were fortunate to have many community members involved in our interview process for this key position for Saint Mary’s,” says Julie Ricciardi, CFRE, Director of Development at Saint Mary’s. “That excitement is bubbling over with our advancement team, as well, and we are all pleased to welcome Eileen and look forward to seeing her lead the strategic growth for Saint Mary’s Annual Fund. With her experience in higher education fundraising, nonprofit philanthropy, and community partnerships, I am incredibly grateful to have her expertise, as she carries forward the efforts begun by Lauren Gerber and continues to impact the growth of our institution.”
Nedoma’s fundraising career began as a development intern for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), where she managed a portfolio of constituents and increased recruitment efforts for Bike MS New Bern, the largest annual fundraising vehicle for NMSS of the Greater Carolinas. Later promoted to a development coordinator at NMSS, Nedoma developed annual operating and fundraising plans, raising $50,000 through leveraging corporate partnerships.
Just a year later, Nedoma was again promoted and became a development specialist for Bike MS. In this role, she oversaw a total fundraising campaign that achieved $850,000 through a combination of corporate sponsorships, matching gifts, grants and foundations, peer-to-peer solicitations, and general appeals. There, she also actively managed a portfolio of 500-700 annual private and corporate prospects and served as the market lead and key community liaison for Bike MS.
In 2019, Nedoma was named to Wake Forest University’s advancement team where she served as a development officer serving the West Coast. There, she managed a portfolio of 200 major gift prospects throughout the west coast region, across 17 states, and conducted 200+ visits annually to secure major gifts of $25,000 and greater.
“With the conclusion of Wake Forest University's $1 billion campaign and my move back to the Raleigh area, I was interested in pursuing meaningful opportunities to reconnect with my community, both personally and professionally,” Nedoma says. “When I first learned of the opening with Saint Mary's I was naturally curious given my great appreciation of the School's incredible history, vibrant traditions, and distinguished reputation as a renowned establishment for young women. In my new role, I am excited to share my professional experience and great passion for education. I am also honored to have the opportunity to help foster and advance Saint Mary’s mission, to be a part of the School's history, and to help secure Saint Mary’s future for generations of women.”
Nedoma graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in public health from East Carolina University with a concentration in community health and a minor in child development and family relations. She is also a graduate of The Crumley Roberts Non-Profit Leadership Program at The Roberts Center for Leadership, Education, Advancement and Development and is a 2016 recipient of the Spirit of the Chapter Award from the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National MS Society.
Nedoma begins her new role on Feb. 22, 2021.
JOHNRIA “JAYE” DEBERRY ’02 has been named Administrative Assistant to the Academic Department at Saint Mary’s after serving as a development associate for the Durham Nativity School.
“As a Saint Mary’s alumna, I am so excited to be back working with our current girls and to be able to support them in the ways faculty and staff supported me while I was a student,” said Deberry.
A graduate of Saint Mary’s School (2002), Deberry enrolled and then graduated from North Carolina Central University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Corrections. Professionally, she has served as a master program specialist with Durham Parks and Recreation, an educator at Mount Zion Christian Academy, and a DCDC Life Skills, GED, and Job Readiness Program Coordinator at the Durham Literacy Center, and as a Diversity Coordinator for Davis Technical Staffing and Consulting.
Today Deberry is an author, public speaker, mentor, and grant writer with over 10 years of experience working in the non-profit sector. As a development associate, she has worked to secure funding and grant monies to support the mission of Durham Nativity School. Over the years, she has worn many hats, including serving as an educator and special needs program specialist. Deberry also founded a local nonprofit consulting firm in Durham, N.C., and strongly believes in the importance of and impact of middle and high school mentorship programs for girls.
“I am thrilled Jaye is joining the Saint Mary's team,” says Leslie Owen, Dean of Teaching and Learning. “What impresses me the most about her is the empathy and understanding she has for young adults. Further, her background in education will be an asset in working with the academic department.”
Deberry began her new role on Feb. 16, 2021.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Lauren E. Gerber
Saint Mary’s School
About Saint Mary’s School: Saint Mary's School in Raleigh, North Carolina, is an independent, Episcopal, college-preparatory, boarding and day school dedicated to academic excellence and personal achievement for girls in grades 9-12. Founded in 1842, the historic, residential 23-acre campus is located in the heart of North Carolina's capital city of Raleigh. With a mission to prepare girls for college and life, Saint Mary’s immerses girls in a dynamic learning environment offering both hands-on classroom learning and opportunities for real-world experiences. Graduates leave Saint Mary’s prepared to flourish in college, continue a path of servant leadership, take on future challenges, and lead with purpose. Saint Mary's School inspires girls to step outside their comfort zones, engage their minds, amplify their voices, and discover who they are and who they want to become. For more information, visit www.sms.edu.