Meet Our Board of Trustees

Emily Cowles

 Emily H. Cowles


Chair; Executive Committee; Governance-Trusteeship Committee

Term: 2017-2021

Education: Emily graduated from the University of Kentucky, B.A. in 2000, and from The Capital Law School, J.D., in 2003.

Employer: Emily is a partner with the law firm, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, and specializes in the areas of banking, real estate, corporate and business transactions, and equine.  She is an avid volunteer in the local community and for Sayre School.

Parent: Emily is married to Joe Ruel Cowles '95 and has two boys at Sayre, Walt '24 and Charlie '29.

Morgan Fister

 Morgan Fister


Vice Chair, Executive Committee; Finance Committee; Investment Committee; Retirement Committee

Term: 2015-2019, 2019-2023

Education:  Morgan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Accounting.

Employer: Morgan is the Managing Director for Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley.

Alumni and parent: Morgan and his wife Taylor are past parents to McMillan'18 and Sims '20.

Jacquelin Whitaker Murphy '88

 Jacquelin Whitaker Murphy '88


Secretary, Executive Committee; Chair, Governance & Trusteeship Committee; Past Alumni Association Liaison

Term: 2014-2018, 2018-2022

Education: Jacquelin graduated from Transylvania University with a B.S. in Economics.

Employer: Jacquelin is the Vice President of The Whitaker Foundation. She has a previous career in banking. Jacquelin continues to be an invaluable Sayre parent volunteer and one in the broader Lexington community as well.

Alumni and parent: Jacquelin is married to Joe '87, and they have three children Joseph '16, Jack '22, and Mary Grace '22.

Rod Shockley

 Rod Shockley


Treasurer, Executive Committee; Chair, Finance Committee; Investment Committee; Retirement Plan Committee

Term: 2014-2018, 2018-2022

Education: Rod graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.B.A. in Finance and a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law

Employer: Rod is the General Counsel of the Forcht Group of Kentucky and serves on the boards of its affiliated companies. He began his career as a litigator in Atlanta where he practiced law for 19 years.

Parent: Rod and his wife Laurie have three sons John '12, Eric '14, and Craig '16.

  

Amy Allen

 Amy Allen


Trusteeship Committee; Chair, Marketing and Enrollment Committee

Term: 2015-2019, 2019-2023

Education: Amy received a B.A. in Speech Communications and Business from Eastern Kentucky University in 1989.

Employer: After a career in corporate finance and investments, Amy currently manages their family farm, Six Winters Farm, which is a seasonal home to many professional sport horse riders and teams. Amy is an invaluable Sayre parent volunteer.

Parent: Amy and her husband Michael are parents to Ashley '15 and Alexander '20.

Dr. Azhar Aslam 

 Azhar Aslam 


Enrollment and Marketing Committee

Term: 2018-2022

Employer:  Azhar is a Cardiologist with Lexington Cardiology at Baptist Health Lexington. He is a board member of Baptist Health Medical Group.

Parent: Azhar and his wife Uzma are parents to Sana '16 and Nabeel '20.

John Backer '83 

 John Backer '83


Finance Committee

Term: 2014-2018, 2018-2022

Education: John is a graduate of Transylvania University, B.A. in Accounting.

Employer: John is a Certified Public Account with nine years’ experience in Public Accounting before serving twenty three years as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for J A Interests, Inc. The Company manages oil and gas, real estate, and Thoroughbred Horse investments.

Parent: John and wife Ashley are the parents to Ann Frances '14, Katherine '17 and Jack '24.

 

  Anthany Beatty, Jr.


Term: 2021-2025
  
Education: Anthany graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Management and Business Administration in 2003. He earned a Master of Business Administration(MBA) from University of Phoenix in 2006. 
  
Employer: Anthany is the recruiting coordinator for the Lexington Police Department. He’s also President of ABJR, LLC, a partner with two molecular & genetic medical testing laboratories based in Houston, TX and Alpharetta, GA.

Parent: Anthany and his wife Stephanie are current parents to Kennedy ‘22 and Peyton ‘27. They also have a daughter named Brandy and a 2 year old grandson, Nolan.
  

DeShana Collett

 DeShana Collett


Governance Committee; Chair, Sayre COVID Advisory Taskforce

Term: 2019-2023

Education: DeShana graduated from the University of Kentucky, with a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education, Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, a Master’s in Science in Physician Assistant Studies, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology.

Employer: DeShana is the Associate Professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Kentucky. She also continues to practice clinically in Family Medicine.

Parent: DeShana and her husband Shawn are current parents to Zander '22 and Braeden '25. They also have a daughter named DeStinie.

John Farris

 John Farris


Investment Committee; Finance Committee

Term: 2020–2024

Education: John received a fellowship to study economics and finance at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, where he was awarded a Masters Degree. Before attending Princeton, John studied economics and philosophy at Centre College from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. 

Employer: John is the Founder and President of LandFund Partners. He is also the Founder and Managing Partner of Commonwealth Economics.  John also currently acts as Senior Investment Advisor to the Centre College Endowment.

Parent: John and his wife Rebecca are current parents to Natalie '27 and Addie '23.

Jennie Garlington

 Jennie Garlington


Enrollment and Marketing Committee

Term: 2017-2021

Education: Jennie graduated for Georgia State University with a Bachelors Degree.

Employer:  As an accomplished television producer, Jennie parlayed her passion for the environment into her career. From 1994 to 2001, she served as an associate producer at CNN Environment Unit's EARTH MATTERS. Currently, she is the Executive Producer and Host of Eco Sense for Living, a television show she created to showcase cutting-edge environmental issues like 'nature-deficit disorder' and a wide range of subjects from energy-efficient lifestyles to green jobs.

Parent: Jennie and her husband Peek are parents to Anna '19, Hope '22, Peek, Sara '26, McCoy '29, and Jane '31.

Hannah Goodman Goodlett '05 

 Hannah Goodman Goodlett '05


Advancement Committee

Term: 2020-2024

Education: Hannah graduated from Transylvania University in 2010.

Employer: Hannah joined Transylvania’s Board of Regents in 2017. She has served on the Mt. Brilliant Family Foundation Board and HGG and Children LLC Board since 2010. 

Alumni and parent: Hannah graduated from Sayre in 2005. She is married to Will Goodlett and their son, James Robert Goodlett, will be joining the class of 2036 next fall.

Brian Graves '92 

 Brian Graves '92


Advancement Committee

Term: 2019-2023

Education: Brian graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelors Degree in Finance and Marketing.

Employer: Brian is the General Manager of Gainesway Farm, where he previously worked for 22 years in sales.

Alumni and Parent: Brian is a Sayre lifer, graduating in the class of 1992.  Brian and his wife Leslie are current parents to Will '20, Cat '22, and Carson '26.

Kelly Healy 

 Kelly Healy


Finance Committee

Term: 2017-2021

Education: Kelly graduated from Bellarmine University in 1985.

Employer: Kelly is President and CEO of The Healy Family McDonalds.

Parent: Kelly and his wife Claudia are parents to Jack '18 and Catherine.

Kathryn R. Hill 

 Kathryn R. Hill 


Enrollment and Marketing Committee
  
Term: 2018-2022
  

Education: Kathryn graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1998.

Employer: Kathryn is a sales representative with Abbvie Inc.  She is an active participant with the Sayre Parents Association.

Parent: Kathryn is married to Jamie Hill, and they have one child Sally Rose '28.

Cheryl Johnston

 Cheryl Johnston


Advance Committee; Board liaison, Sayre Parents Association; Building Excellence Shaping Generations Lower School Capital Campaign

Term: 2016-2020, 2020-2024

Education:  Cheryl is a graduate of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree. 

Employer: Cheryl is the President and Founder of CMI Properties. She has maintained a Kentucky Real Estate License for over three decades. 

Parent: Cheryl and her husband Ron have two children, Thomas '29 and Jack '25.

Joe Palumbo '94

 Joe Palumbo '94


Advancement Committee; President of Sayre Alumni Association

Term: 2020-2024

Education: Joe is a graduate of the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business.

Employer:  Joe is President of Palumbo Properties, lumber and land development company. 

Alumni and parent: Joe graduated from Sayre in 1994. Joe and his wife Jennifer have two children, Anna '23 and John '25.

Anne Pittman

 Anne Pittman


Enrollment and Marketing Committee

Term: 2020-2024

Education:  Anne holds a M.B.A From Washington University

Employer: Anne is an Allergist who completed training in Internal Medicine and Allergy-Immunology at Washington University.  She was a member of UK Medical faculty for 18 years in HC administration, in addition to a busy allergy practice. Anne is an avid volunteer of Sayre.

Parent: Anne and Tom Pittman are the parents of Brigid Pittman '16.

Griggs Powell 

 Griggs Powell


Advancement Committee

Term: 2018-2022

Education: Griggs graduated with a B.A. in Communication from Auburn University and a Master in Sports Management from the University of Kentucky.

Employer:  Griggs is a partner at Promotional Products Plus, LLC and Madd Merch LTD.

Parent: Griggs attended Sayre from 1986-88.  He and his wife Molly have three children, Maddie '23, Eli, and Gus.

Betty Simms Receski 

 Betty Simms Receski 


Enrollment and Marketing Committee

Term: 2015-2019, 2019-2023

Education: Betty has a B.S. in Dietetics from the University of Kentucky and a MAEd in Public Health from Eastern Kentucky University.

Employer: Betty currently works as an Oncology Dietitian at Baptist Health Lexington.

Parent: Betty is a past parent to Whitney '05 and Hunter '03 Simms.  She is married to Ed Receski.

Langdon Shoop

 Langdon Shoop '93


Former President of Sayre Alumni Association 2014-2019

Term: 2017-2021

Education: Langdon received a B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1997.

Employer: Langdon is the Chief Strategy Officer at Citizen’s Guaranty Bank.

Alumni: Langdon graduated from Sayre in 1993. He is married to Jaclyn St. Clair Shoop '08.

Tom Stephens '94 

  Tom Stephens '94


Term: 2021-2025
  
Education: Tom is a graduate of Sayre School, Class of 1994.  He graduated from Tulane University in 1998 and Loyola School of Law in 2002.
  
Employer: He is the Executive Director of the Kentucky Association of Health Plans.
  
Parent: Tom is married to Leigh Powers, and they have a daughter Lizzie '27.

Sue Strup

 Sue Strup


Enrollment and Marketing Committee; previously served as Chair, Advancement Committee 

Term: 2015-2019, 2019-2023

Education: Sue has three degrees from Indiana University; a Master’s in Higher Education, a Master’s in Nursing and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.

Employer: Sue has more than 27 years of experience directing career centers at UK Healthcare, University of Kentucky, Drexel University and Thomas Jefferson University. She is currently the Senior Career Consultant for UK Healthcare where in 2011 she opened the first-ever UK Healthcare Career Center. Prior to her work in career services, Sue was a cardiac intensive care nurse at Indiana University Medical Center and a nursing research assistant at the IU School of Nursing. She has taught hundreds of career planning workshops and seminars, led numerous presentations, and authored many career-related articles and publications.

Parent: Sue and her husband Stephen are past parents of Spencer '11 and Sydney '17.

Michael Thornberry

 Michael Thornberry


Enrollment and Marketing Committee

Term: 2020-2024

Education: Michael graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science

Employer: Michael is the Vice President of Powell Valley Millwork, a volume manufacturer of interior trim products. He worked for several years in Washington, D.C. before returning home to join his family in business. 

Parent: Michael and his wife Abbie have three children, James ’34, Ellie ’36, and Cate ’38.

 

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