Leadership and Administrative Team
We are pleased to announce that St. Joseph’s Academy Interim President Marcia Niedringhaus will become our next President, effective immediately. The rigorous search process showed us that Marcia is the best person to lead us into an exciting and dynamic future for our students and our institution. She has done an exceptional job guiding us through the interim months and feels called to continue building on SJA’s mission as she moves us forward. Marcia served as Interim President of the Academy for the 2015-2016 school year and from June to December 2021. She has immersed herself in the SJA mission as a member of our Board of Directors from 2013 – 2020 and as Board Chair, and is currently Vice-Chair of the newly organized St. Joseph Educational Ministries (SJEM), a ministerial public juridic person charged with retaining the Catholic identity and CSJ spirituality in perpetuity at the five institutions founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, including St. Joseph’s Academy. Marcia and her husband, Duke, are parents of two SJA graduates, Ashley ’05 and Megan ’09, and are long-time members of Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church. Marcia graduated from two Catholic institutions, Incarnate Word Academy and Marquette University, before earning her law degree at Washington University.
Marcia was a partner at the law firm of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale and participated in firm management as its hiring partner. In 2004, she became Executive Vice President and General Counsel for CWE Hospitality Services, LLC, where she oversaw the $150 million renovation of the Chase Park Plaza Hotel and developed The Private Residences at The Chase Park Plaza. Marcia also served as President and Board Member for Commercial Real Estate Women of St. Louis (CREW), chaired the City of Creve Coeur Planning and Zoning Commission, and served on numerous boards including Marian Middle School. She has received numerous awards, including the St. Louis Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” and “Most Influential Business Women” and the YWCA’s “Leader of Distinction.”
Marcia’s business accomplishments and civic experience, coupled with her strong dedication to the Academy and previous service as our Interim President, make her well-suited to lead us as the next president of St. Joseph's Academy.
Leading our academic team are Principal of Academic Affairs Jennifer (Feise) Sudekum ‘93 and Principal of Student Affairs Karen Davis. Dr. Sudekum oversees SJA’s curriculum, the admissions program, and day-to-day school operations, while Ms. Davis focuses on student relations and activities, academic special events, and oversight of physical facilities.
Principal of academic
Since joining the SJA faculty in 2003, Dr. Jennifer (Feise) Sudekum ’93 has taught in and chaired the Fine Arts Department. She has co-chaired the AdvancEd accreditation process, acted as moderator of the school’s literary magazine, served as webmaster for the Academy website, and been a member of several committees, including STEM. Her passion for Catholic education and strong interest in educational leadership led her to earn a second masters’ degree, in Catholic School Leadership, from Saint Louis University in 2014. She completed leadership internships at St. Peter’s Parish School in Kirkwood and SJA and holds certification in Missouri as a principal.
“Mrs. Sudekum integrates both a creative approach and systematic approach. She acts with deliberation and equanimity,” says Dr. Karen Tichy, former associate superintendent for instruction in the St. Louis Archdiocese and SLU Professor in Catholic Educational Leadership. “She is committed and faithful to both the professional and vocational dimensions of Catholic education and leadership. St. Joseph’s Academy will be blessed and strengthened by her leadership.”
Principal of STudent Affairs
Karen Davis has been a member of the SJA faculty since 1984, beginning her career in the Physical Education and Athletic Departments. In her capacity as Physical Education Department Chair, she played a key role in developing the Academy’s wellness education program in conjunction with the Guidance, Theology, and Science Departments. In 2001, Ms. Davis became the Academy’s first lay Assistant Principal after earning her masters’ degree in education administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1998.
She is among the longest-serving administrators in the school’s history. She also holds a leadership role of North Central Accreditation committee chair. Several times named Missouri Volleyball Coach of the Year, Ms. Davis has led the Angels to eight State Championship titles and sixteen final fours in her twenty-one years heading the program. Dozens of her players earned Division I scholarships, encouraged by her to play hard, do their best and have fun. Ms. Davis also coached the track team for several years.
Assistant Principal of Mission
Maggie Sullivan '93 joined the faculty and staff at St. Joe in 2022. An educator for almost twenty-five years in public and independent schools, she comes most recently from Kent Denver School in Denver, Colorado. Ms. Sullivan is a teacher at heart who has been an adjunct professor as well as a high school and middle school teacher of history and English. She has been a member or student of: Stanford Challenge Success, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Independent School Experiential Education Network (ISEEN), Midwest Experiential Education Exchange, and the Coalition of Essential Schools. Ms. Sullivan majored in history and English at the University of Florida and received a certificate in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She holds a Master of Arts in American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership program at Vanderbilt University. The 1993 recipient of the Rosemary Ward Wellington Athlete of the Year award, Ms. Sullivan discovered her spiritual calling to teach in her 11th grade theology class because of the profound impact that SJA faculty had on her high school experience.
Our administrative leadership team provides SJA with strong business acumen and demonstrated commitment to Catholic education. Working with the principals and assistant principal, this team has Mission alignment, financial stewardship, resource development, and SJA community relations as their focus.
Chief Financial Officer
Lisa Zobel joined SJA in the summer of 2020, after serving as the CFO for eighteen years at Ursuline Academy and most recently as the Vice President for Finance and Administration at Fontbonne University. Prior to her time in Catholic Education, she was employed by Trammell Crow Company, a commercial real estate company, where she served as the Controller. Originally from Jefferson City, Missouri, Ms. Zobel received her BSBA from Rockhurst College in Kansas City. Ms. Zobel has been an active parishioner at St. Richard Parish in Creve Coeur for the last 32 years, serving on various committees, including currently on the Finance Committee.
Director of Institutional Advancement
Linda (Holland) Decker '83 returned to her alma mater to lead development activities in early 2014, after more than twenty years in development and marketing communications for both the private and institutional sectors. Her SJA role recently expanded to include all aspects of institutional advancement, including planning, organizing, and directing engagement and development activities and events, alumnae relations, and marketing/public relations. Mrs. Decker previously held a number of marketing leadership positions with the May Department Stores Co. and Macy’s, where she was the divisional vice president of public relations, events, and cause-related marketing. In 2009, she joined St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau as executive director of their foundation. Mrs. Decker has been active in board service for many community organizations, among them Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, for which she attended the Mission to Service and Leadership program at the University of Notre Dame in 2013.
Director of Enrollment Management
Dianne Dunning-Gill ’88 has returned to SJA as the Director of Enrollment Management. Enrollment Management is the work of identifying, engaging, enrolling and retaining students. Dianne previously worked at Chaminade College Preparatory School as the Director of Enrollment Management for six years, and as the Admissions Associate for three years. Prior to her work in Catholic education, Dianne worked for 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry before retiring to raise her family. Dianne is married to Brian Gill, and their sons are Jack and Michael, who attend Chaminade. Dianne is a graduate of the University of Tulsa, a proud alum and former St. Louis Chapter President.
Director of Campus Ministry
Anna Hotop joined St. Joseph’s Academy in 2013 and currently serves as the Director of Campus Ministry. Ms. Hotop is a graduate of Fontbonne University where she earned degrees in religious studies and psychology. Fontbonne, founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, was where Ms. Hotop was first introduced to the CSJ charism of “serving the Dear Neighbor without distinction.” St. Joe was a natural fit for her and she considers it a second home. In addition to her career at SJA, Ms. Hotop is currently in the process of completing her master’s degree in Catholic Educational Leadership at St. Louis University.