Saint Francis Announces New School Leaders

Saint Francis Announces New School Leaders

Saint Francis announces three leadership hires for the 2022-23 school year: Director of School Culture and Belonging, Director of Athletics and Associate Campus Minister for Immersions.

Natalie Lai ’06 will serve as the Director of School Culture and Belonging. She has served as a Holy Cross educator at Saint Francis since 2017 after previously working as an English teacher, Link Crew coordinator, camp counselor and advisor at Santa Teresa High School. In her work at Saint Francis, Ms. Lai has been engaged in many facets of campus life and student leadership development, and she looks forward to furthering this work in her new role. As an affinity group moderator, 9th grade SEL program lead, SF Family Club moderator, freshman student council co-moderator, HCA tutor and mentor, and anti-bias curriculum lead for the English department, she has been an integral part of our school’s efforts to build a positive, welcoming, inclusive school culture for all students. Ms. Lai looks to continue and elevate this work in partnership with students, educators and families. 

“I want to serve and expand in the ways that I contribute to the inclusivity and growth of our school community that is rooted in our Holy Cross tradition and values. Cultivating relationships with students, educators and families inside and outside of the classroom in various capacities is what I eagerly look forward to in this new role,” says Ms. Lai.

Therren Wilburn joins the Saint Francis community as the Director of Athletics. He comes to Saint Francis from Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, where he currently serves as the Assistant Director of Athletics. Previously he served as both the Director and Assistant Director of Athletics at Palo Alto High School. Through his work at both schools, Mr. Wilburn has demonstrated a commitment to cultivating authentic leadership opportunities for student-athletes, expanding athletic program offerings and developing strong partnerships within the local community. Mr. Wilburn holds a master’s degree in sports management and a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from San Jose State University. He is excited to join the Lancer athletics department and add to its legacy and traditions.

“I look forward to learning about and leading the department that has been a model of success for education-based athletics in Silicon Valley,” Mr. Wilburn says. “I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences and lessons that I've gained in my career with the hope of building upon the established Lancer culture. More than anything I am looking to be a role model to our student-athletes and the Saint Francis High School community.”

Lisa Butler ’93 will join the Campus Ministry team as the Associate Campus Minister for Immersions. For the past 22 years, she has served as a Spanish teacher, gymnastics coach and class moderator. Over the course of her career, she has also assisted Campus Ministry as a Eucharistic minister, senior retreat leader and service learning chaperone, and coordinated several student trips abroad. Before Mrs. Butler returned to her alma mater, she studied for some time in Mexico and in the Dominican Republic. 

“While I love being in the classroom, this new opportunity is a welcomed change that will allow me to work with students who I may not encounter on a regular basis and give them opportunities for leadership. I am also very excited to work with the Campus Ministry team,” says Mrs. Butler. “I want to provide students and educators with a unique opportunity to experience and appreciate other cultures. I hope these are the types of experiences that will impact their lives forever.”

Ms. Lai takes over for Mr. Camacho, who has decided to move back into the classroom full-time next year. Mr. Wilburn fills the position currently held by Mr. Pilawski, who moves to a new role as Vice Principal of Campus Life, managing all the major co-curricular programs of the school, namely Athletics, Student Activities and the Deans Office. Mrs. Butler takes over for Mr. Pompei and Ms. Mitchell who stepped in as the interim leaders of the immersion program. These shifts are the result of a new administrative structure that will allow our school to better support students and educators and increase the ability for Saint Francis to respond to changing needs.

Photo from left: Natalie Lai, Therren Wilburn, Lisa Butler