At St. Andrew's-Sewanee, students are being challenged in every aspect of their lives and are answering those challenges because they thirst for knowledge of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. This is an extraordinary school that turns out confident young men and women who are turned on to learning.Karl J. Sjolund, Head of School
M.A., Columbia University
Karl Sjolund's passion for the boarding school model of education began with his own experience as a boarding student at Virginia Episcopal School (VES). When his tenure at SAS began in 2016, he brought a lifetime of experience of living and working in boarding schools.
Mr. Sjolund formerly led Salem Academy, a boarding and day school, like SAS, with both an essential church affiliation and a reciprocal relationship with its neighboring college. He spent 20 years at VES where he served in a wide range of administrative positions, taught, and coached. An active leader in the field of education, he is former treasurer of the board of North Carolina Association of Independent Schools and former advisory board member of World View at UNC Chapel Hill. Mr. Sjolund earned an M.A. in Private School Leadership through Columbia University's prestigious Klingenstein Fellows program. He received his B.A. in Economics at Virginia Military Institute, which he attended on a Division-I baseball scholarship.
Mr. Sjolund is a man of great faith, confirmed in the Episcopal Church, and committed to the Episcopal educational model that values diversity in culture and thought. His faith, honesty, and thoughtfulness are in keeping with the best leadership that SAS has enjoyed. He and his wife, Susan, reside on the SAS campus with their Golden Retriever, Daisy.
M.S. Biology, University of Texas
A woman of many talents, Dean Black has taught biology, English, history, and math, and assisted in the Technology Department. In 2010, she established the Academic Support Program at SAS. Prior to coming to SAS, she taught and coached at TMI - The Episcopal School of Texas, and at Oak Hill School and Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville. A member of the University of the South's Athletic Hall of Fame, Coach Black was a three-time member of the All-SCAC tennis and took 4th place in the 1990 NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Championships in the team competition. In 2008, she coached the SAS girls' team to the State Championship and was named TSSAA Girls' Tennis Coach of the Year. Dean Black chairs the Internal Administrative Team and the Staffing Committee and is vice-chair of the Administrative Team and Retention Committee.
Lesley Cole joined SAS as Director of Advancement in 2018. She has an extensive background in the non-profit and corporate sectors. As Director of Development for Oglethorpe University, she helped to set the strategic direction for the Development and Alumni Relations department. During her tenure, Oglethorpe successfully concluded major campaigns of $50 million and $20 million. In her previous position as Director of the Annual Fund at Oglethorpe, Lesley managed multiple record-setting Annual Funds. Before joining Oglethorpe, she served as Lakeview Academy's Director of Development and managed domestic and international projects for National Data Corporation. She enjoys travel and hiking and is currently working on her first novel.
B.A., Public Relations, Otterbein College
Jennifer Dillon is a class of '82 graduate of Sewanee Academy. She is a seasoned accounting and operations executive with a passion for small business and educational not-for-profit organizations. She is strategic-minded and has a proven track record of establishing necessary policies and procedures to enhance compliance and productivity. Dillon was previously CFOO at the Highlands School in Birmingham, Ala. Prior to that, she was Director of Finance and Operations of the Congressional School in Falls Church, Va., and Powhatan School in Boyce, Va. and worked in private industry as a CPA, controller, and accountant. She is also licensed as a CPA in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
B.A., Teaching Social Science, Brigham Young University
Cameron Helvey joined SAS in 2022. He was previously Associate Director of Resident Life and Dean of Residential Students at the Hun School in Princeton, New Jersey where he oversaw all aspects of day-to-day life for 180 boarding students in grades 9-12, with specific responsibility for student social and emotional learning, academic progress, and discipline. He was also the boys' basketball coach, student government advisor, and a member of the History & Global Studies faculty. He was previously Assistant Director of Summer Programs at Oakwood School in Morgan Hill, California, and a visiting faculty member at Clifford International School in Guangzhou, China. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he studied Teaching Social Science. He received his MA in Teaching of Social Studies from Columbia University's Teachers College and completed graduate course work through Georgetown University's James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation. He is currently enrolled as a doctoral candidate in K-12 Education Leadership at Vanderbilt University. Cameron did his missionary work with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil and is fluent in Portuguese. As a high school student, he was Senior Class President, captain of the varsity basketball team, editor-in-chief of the yearbook, and earned his Eagle Scout status.
M.S., Sport Studies, Miami University
Derek Perkins was formerly Director of Admission at Darlington School in Roma, Ga. and Associate Director of Admission at Culver Academies in Culver, Ind. where he also coached ice hockey. Prior to that, he was Director of Enrollment Systems, Admissions Counselor, and Assistant Director of Admissions at Marian University in Indianapolis.
Jasmine Render ’14 returned to SAS in 2020 as an Admission Counselor and took on the role of DEB Coordinator in 2021. She is a graduate of University of West Georgia with a major in Mass Communications and a concentration in Digital Media and Telecommunications. As a student at UWG, Jasmine was a social media intern for the university and created a communications plan for the school’s most successful student-run music events. She was Promotions Director and an on-air personality for the university’s radio station and received several awards for her work. After graduation, Jazz ran her own freelance photography, graphic design, special events, and custom apparel business. In 2022, Jazz took over the role as the Director of Marketing and Communications.
M.Div., Duke Divinity School
D.A.S., The School of Theology, The University of the South
In addition to her role as Chaplain, Mother Short teaches Introduction to Religious Studies. She was formerly Lead House Parent in Warner House and served as SAS's liaison to regional Episcopal churches. She and her family live on campus.
M.S. Sports Administration, Georgia State University