Mary Ellen Christy and James A. Freeman, Ph.D., Elected to NAES Governing Board

New York—The NAES Governing Board is pleased to announce the election of Mrs. Mary Ellen Christy and James A. Freeman, Ph.D., to three-year terms on the Governing Board beginning July 1, 2008 and ending June 30, 2011. The election took place at the Governing Board’s April 2008 meeting in Tampa, Florida.

"We are thrilled to welcome Episcopal school leaders of such excellence and dedication to the Association’s Governing Board. They are sure to bring a wonderful new perspective to the Board’s work and deliberations," said David Charlton, NAES Governing Board President. The Rev. Daniel R. Heischman, NAES Executive Director, said, "I am eagerly looking forward to working with Mary Ellen and Jim and to the widening geographic representation their election represents."

Upon learning of her election, Mrs. Christy said, "It will be my great pleasure to serve the wider community of Episcopal schools and I am looking forward to doing so." Said Dr. Freeman,

"I never realized the powerful resources available through NAES until I became a headmaster in 1999. Once thrust into the arena of making decisions that affect the lives of an entire school community, I knew I did not want to go there alone. The sage counsel, the moral inspiration, the practical advice, as well as the warm and abiding friendships I received from the good people of NAES gave me the courage to step up to the responsibilities of leadership. For whatever success I have enjoyed, I owe a great debt to NAES, one I am eager and willing to repay by serving on the Governing Board. It is a responsibility I will execute with the utmost enthusiasm."

Mary Ellen Christy
Mary Ellen Christy is founding headmistress of St. Chrysostom’s Day School in Chicago, Illinois, an Episcopal Early Childhood program serving the needs of over 200 children and their families on the Near North Side of Chicago.

Mrs. Christy is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a B.S. in education. She also holds a graduate degree in French language and literature from the Sorbonne in Paris. She began her teaching career at the secondary level, teaching French, History of Art and Humanities. In 1974 she founded St. Chrysostom’s Day School. In addition, she is a Founding Trustee of the Chicago City Day School, an independent pre-K through 8 program with an enrollment of 330 children. She is currently serving as the Board Chairman of the school.

Mary Ellen is an active member of St. Chrysostom’s Church, serving on the founding committee of the “Neighbors in Need” program. She is also a Lay Eucharistic Minister and a member of the Altar Guild. She resides in the Near North Side of Chicago, where she has raised three children. She enjoys gardening and sailing at her Wisconsin summer home.

James A. Freeman, Ph.D.
James A. Freeman, Ph.D., is headmaster of TMI—The Episcopal School of Texas in San Antonio, Texas, the oldest Episcopal school in the southwest, beginning his tenure in 2005. He began his Episcopal school career at St. Thomas’ Episcopal School in Houston, Texas, in 1980 as chairman of the department of Latin and Greek, and was appointed headmaster there in 1999. He was first a faculty at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, from 1976 through 1978. Currently chairman of the Schools Commission of the Diocese of West Texas, he was, during his tenure as headmaster at St. Thomas’, a member of the Schools Commission of the Diocese of Texas.

Dr. Freeman was born in 1952 and grew up in Dallas, Texas. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Classical Greek at The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee in 1975, he obtained an M.A. in Classics from the University of Texas in 1977. Dr. Freeman earned his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Rice University. His 1990 doctoral dissertation won the prestigious John W. Gardner award for best dissertation in the Social Sciences and Humanities at Rice University. While residing in Houston, Dr. Freeman was a guest lecturer at several churches on various Biblical topics and has led several tours to Greece.

Jim and his wife Judy have two grown children and enjoy a love for the Big Bend area of Texas. In his spare time he enjoys making pottery, woodworking and reading philosophy.

The National Association of Episcopal Schools is an independently incorporated, voluntary membership organization that supports, serves and advocates for the vital work and ministry of those who serve over 1,000 Episcopal schools, Early Childhood education programs and school establishment efforts throughout the Episcopal Church. Chartered in 1965, with historic roots dating to the 1930s, NAES is the only pre-collegiate educational association that is both national in scope and Episcopal in character. The Association offers a variety of services, publications, resources and conferences consonant with the Association’s mission and focused principally on Episcopal school identity, leadership and governance and the spiritual and professional development of school leaders.