The Governing Board of the National Association of Episcopal Schools is pleased to announce the election of the Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal, D.Phil., Doreen S. Oleson, Ed.D., and the Rev. Michael E. Spencer to three-year terms on the Governing Board beginning July 1, 2009. They join current Governing Board members Laurie B. Hogen, head of school at Resurrection Episcopal Day School, New York City, and Karan A. Merry, head of school at St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Oakland, California, who have been re-elected to the Governing Board, as members of the class of 2012.
The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal, D. Phil. is bishop of The Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Southern Ohio in Cincinnati. Prior to his election as bishop in 2006, he was the dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel at Princeton University for five years. Ordained to the priesthood in 1982, he brings a strong intellectual and academic background to his ministry.
Before moving to Princeton, Bishop Breidenthal served for nearly a decade as the John Henry Hobart Professor of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology at the General Theological Seminary (GTS) in New York City. He was senior chaplain at Harvard School (now Harvard-Westlake School) in North Hollywood, California from 1986-1988 and was an Episcopal Church Foundation Fellow in Oxford, England. He also has served in two parishes in Oregon and assisted at a congregation in New York City.
Bishop Breidenthal received his B.A. from Portland State University in 1974, his M.A. from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 1977, his M.Div. from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California in 1981, and his D.Phil. in 1991 from Oxford University, England.
Bishop Breidenthal has a passion for civic involvement, strong lay leadership and ministry, and Biblical preaching. A noted author, his books include Sacred Unions: A New Guide to Life-Long Commitment, published in 2006, and Christian Households: The Sanctification of Nearness, published in 1997.
In the wider church, Bishop Breidenthal is a member of ARCUSA (Anglican-Roman Catholic Consultation in the USA) and serves on the board of governors for the Anglican Centre in Rome. He has served on the General Board of Examining Chaplains of the Episcopal Church (1997-2001) and as director for the Center for Jewish-Christian Studies and Relations at GTS (1994-1997). He also was a member of the planning and facilitation team for the 1996 Conference on Third World Debt Relief sponsored by the Office of the Anglican Communion Observer at the United Nations.
He is married to Margaret Ann Garner Breidenthal, and they have two daughters, Magdalene and Lucy, both college students.
Doreen S. Oleson, Ed.D., is in her 19th year of headship at Saint Mark’s Episcopal School, an Episcopal parish day school, serving 350 P–6 students in Altadena, California. Dr. Oleson is a member of the Commission on Schools of the Diocese of Los Angeles, and was its chair from 2004-2009. She was a co-chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the NAES Biennial Conference 2006 in Hollywood, California.
Dr. Oleson is a board member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), chair of its Governance Committee, and a member of its Equity and Justice Committee and its Global Task Force. She serves on the Advisory Think Tank for the NAIS 2010 Annual Conference. She has recently concluded her tenure on the NAIS Commission on Accreditation.
Dr. Oleson is currently an Executive Board member of the Elementary School Heads Association and is the chair of that organization’s 2010 Annual Conference. She also serves as a student advisor for the Klingenstein Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City. From 2000-2006, she was a board member of the California Association of Independent Schools, serving as its treasurer and president. She has been involved with the Country Day School Headmasters’ Association of the United States, and National Association of Private Schools for Girls.
Dr. Oleson received her B.S. in 1970 from Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin, and her M.S. (1986) and Ed.D. (1990) from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California, where she also served as an assistant vice president. Earlier in her career she was a public school teacher.
A member of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, Altadena, California, Doreen is married to Donald Oleson, an engineer at Boeing North America. She is a mom of four, grandmother of five, and is an avid collector of antique Japanese kimonos.
The Rev. Michael E. Spencer is dean of chapel and spiritual life at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, a coeducational boarding school serving 525 students in grades 9–12. Prior to his appointment at St. Paul’s School in 2007, he was the chaplain and dean of spiritual life at The Taft School, Watertown, Connecticut for ten years. He began his career as a teaching intern at the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program, and then worked at Tabor Academy, Marion, Massachusetts.
Fr. Spencer is the co-founder of the Northeastern Independent School Spiritual Council (NISSC), author of published articles, sermons, and poetry, a monthly article for the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education (CSEE), and is the author of a widely used curriculum in Applied Ethics. A former delegate to the Parliament for World Religions, he currently serves as a member of the Graduate Society Council of Berkeley Divinity School, Yale, and on the Board of Directors for Forward Movement Publications.
Fr. Spencer received his B.A., magna cum laude, from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1993. After completing coursework in Yale’s Teacher Education Program, he received his M.Div., summa cum laude, from Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut in 1998. He subsequently earned a Certificate in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2005.
Fr. Spencer is priest-in-charge at St. John’s Episcopal Church, a summer chapel on Fishers Island, New York. Michael and his wife Amy have two children and a golden retriever. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors, canoeing, fishing, hiking, and cooking.
Please join us in welcoming Bishop Breidenthal, Dr. Oleson, and Fr. Spencer to the Governing Board, beginning July 1, 2009.