Board of Trustees

Overview

Board of Trustees

St. Francis Catholic High School, with Bishop Soto’s approval, adopted Policy Governance®, an integrated board leadership paradigm created by Dr. John Carver. In the words of Dr. Carver, “This is a groundbreaking model of governance designed to empower boards to fulfill their obligation of accountability for the organizations they govern. The model enables the board to focus on the larger issues, to delegate with clarity, to control management’s job without meddling, to rigorously evaluate the accomplishment of the organization; to truly lead its organization.”  We are pleased that our Board of Trustees has embraced this new model and our members are looking forward to advancing the mission of St. Francis Catholic High School.

Profile

Mary Ellingson ‘67
Board Chair

I am a fourth generation Sacramento and I’m number six of the seven children in my family. We all attended the Catholic schools K-12. I graduated from St. Francis with the class of 1967 and I’ve been active on the reunion committee since graduation. I have stayed involved with the school both as a class contact and as the mother of two daughters who attended(Amy, ’94’ and Sarah ’97’). While the girls were attending I chaired the Father-Daughter dance for 2-3 years and was the  Parent Club president. 

Profile

Dr. Caron Houston
Board Member

Dr. Caron Houston is a concierge physician whose practice provides in home care for frail elders in the Sacramento community. She loves being a doctor and caring for people in need. Her career highlights are working for the Indian Health Service, teaming up to open premier senior health clinics in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and directing a community health Center in New York City. Since moving to Sacramento, she has been on staff at Sutter since 2007.

Profile

Melissa Svetich DeNigris ‘00
Board Member

Melissa Svetich DeNigris

Melissa is a St. Francis graduate of the class of 2000 and earned a B.S. in Business Administration (Financial Services) and a minor in Public Administration from San Diego State University in 2006. She also has a Construction Management Certificate from Auburn University.  Melissa has worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) since 2008 in both the Baltimore and Sacramento offices. She works in procurement supporting local levee infrastructure projects on the Sacramento and American Rivers as well as Military bases from California to Utah.

Profile

Diane Henderson
Board Member

Diane Kindermann Henderson

Diane Kindermann Henderson is the mother of St. Francis twin alumnae Lillian and Vivienne Henderson (2021). As a Troubie parent, Diane was able to experience the unparalleled faith-driven, stellar education provided to young women at St. Francis.

Profile

Jennifer O’Brien Cooley ‘89
Board Member

Jennifer O’Brien Cooley, a St. Francis graduate of the class of 1989, joined the Board of Trustees in 2019 with a desire to give back to her community and support an organization that creates strong, independent, intelligent women. Her vision includes planning to help St. Francis grow into a fiscally, educationally, faithfully, and emotionally strong high school to serve all young women in the Sacramento area.

Profile

Rena DeNigris Zellars ’95
Board Member

Rena is a St. Francis graduate of the class of 1995 and earned a B.S. in Economics from Saint Mary’s College in 1999. She has spent the majority of her career in management and is now owner of The (A)Lyst Group — a boutique talent acquisition firm specializing in helping founders of early stage venture backed companies and hyper growth companies retain talent and manage existing talent and human resources. Rena joined the Board of Trustees in 2020 with a desire to help guide and support those responsible for carrying out the mission of St.

Profile

Trish Ziegler
Board Member

Trish Ziegler, parent to alumna Helen ’08, has been a liturgical salesperson for the past twelve years with F.C. Ziegler Co., visiting Catholic Churches all over the Sacramento diocese and beyond. She earned a B.S. in Plant Science from Washington State University and a master’s degree in Plant Pathology from Iowa State University.

Post

Bishop’s Representatives on the Board

The Very Rev. Christopher R. Frazer 
Vicar General of the Diocese of Sacramento

Noel Hesser 
Regional Director of Catholic Schools

Katie Perata
Executive Director of Catholic Schools