Ellen grew up in Texas and received her undergraduate degree in secondary education in 1987. She worked in Washington, D.C., at the Department of Education until 1991 when she returned to Texas to teach and begin her graduate studies. In 1993, she married John and moved to New York City, where she finished her masters degree at New York University. She started the Toddler Program at St. Hilda’s and St. Hugh’s School, and also served as their lower school head. Upon moving back to Texas, she has served as the co-founding president of Kezia’s Kids, worked at the Presbyterian School, and served on the board and building committee for the Grenada Christian Education Center in Grenada, Nicaragua. She and John have three children, Gardner, Sarah and Margaret.
Kellen Gray | Assistant Head of School
Kellen grew up in Houston attending Annunciation Orthodox School and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She then attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance. Upon graduation, she moved back to Houston and began teaching music class at St. Martin’s in 2009. After teaching for 5 years, she decided to pursue her master’s degree in Education Administration and completed her M.A. in Educational Leadership at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in 2015. Kellen also directs the Children’s and Youth Choirs at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.
Sharon Ladd | Director of Operations
Sharon Ladd has been with St. Martin’s Episcopal Preschool for twenty-five years. She began her career with the preschool as a 3 year old teacher for two years. She has worked in the business office for the past 21 years and was promoted to Director of Operations in 2008. She holds a B.S.Ed. degree from Stephen F. Austin.
Board of Trustees
Board Chair: Brett Hogan
Board Members: Sarah Brown Bailey
Church Staff: The Rev. Dr. Russell Levenson, Jr., Rector
The Rev. Martin Bastian, Vice Rector
The Rev. Alex Large, SMEP Chaplain
The Rev. Chad Martin, Associate Rector for Evangelism and Worship
Ellen Bass, Head of School
The Rev. Dr. Russell Levenson Jr., Rector
The Rev. Marty Bastian, Vice Rector
The Rev. Chad Martin
Ellen Bass, Head of School
Bruce Smith, Executive Director of Finance and Facilities
Becky Werlla, CPA, Comptroller
All teachers are required to have an up-to-date knowledge of child development and a clear understanding of how young children learn. Each teacher is expected to relate well with children and adults and shall model a Christian commitment through love. All staff is required to obtain 24 hours of professional training annually to continue education in early childhood techniques and practices in order to improve their skills and stay current with instructional trends. Toddler and two year-old teachers are trained in Brain Development, Shaken Baby Syndrome and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome annually. All staff are Infant/Child CPR and First Aid certified and are trained in the prevention of sexual abuse of children using the Episcopal Diocese of Texas “Safeguarding God’s Children” program.
Our teacher-student ratios are kept low to ensure that each child’s needs are recognized and met.
Licensing & Professional Memberships
Member of National Association of Episcopal Schools
Member of Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools
Licensed by Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services