Board of Trustees
The Mount St. Mary Catholic High School Board of Trustees is the advisory governing board of the school. They work closely with the school's co-sponsors: the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Sisters of Mercy. Furthermore, they assist MSM President/Principal Talita DeNegri by supervising school operations and guiding the accountability of the school's leadership.
Board of Trustee members are recommended and then nominated by the executive committee of the board. After nomination, they must be approved by the co-sponsors before appointment to the board. Members serve three-year terms and cannot serve more than two consecutive three-year terms.
Board meetings are held bi-monthly throughout the school year. All members serve on task forces that give reports and recommendations at each board meeting. Task forces include: Executive Committee, Building and Grounds Committee, Finance Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and the Advancement Committee. Task forces may include constituents that are not members of the Board of Trustees.
Membership on the MSM Board of Trustees is considered the highest level of volunteerism one can serve at Mount St. Mary.
The following individuals comprise the 2011-2012 Mount St. Mary Board of Trustees:
Amy Castro Braun Chairman of the Board
A 1998 graduate of Mount St. Mary, Mrs. Castro Braun was a three-sport letterman, junior and senior class president, homecoming queen, and valedictorian.
She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2002 and a Master’s Degree in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum in 2004, both from the University of Oklahoma.
From 2003-2005, Mrs. Castro Braun taught transitional kindergarten and kindergarten at Villa Teresa Catholic School. She now teaches at Northmoor Elementary. She is a member of the Moore Association of Classroom Teachers and a member (and past board member) of the Oklahoma Education Association. She also serves on the OEA C.A.R.E. Cadre as a trainer/facilitator to schools around her region. C.A.R.E. Cadre helps teachers find ways to close the achievement gap among students of diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Mrs. Castro Braun currently serves on the boards of the Oklahoma Reading Association, Epsilon Beta House Corporation and the YWCA Oklahoma City. She is also a recent graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL Young Adult Leadership. Mrs. Castro Braun was a finalist for the 2011 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.
Before her tenure on the MSM Board of Trustees, Mrs. Castro Braun served on the MSM Alumni Board and the Mount Fund Leadership Committee. Her husband Justin is also a 1998 graduate of MSM. Both her father and Justin’s father and brothers are MSM alumni.
Larry Pierce: Vice Chairman of the Board
Mr. Pierce is the executive director of CareSource which he founded in 1996, a home medical equipment and medical supplier located in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. His company serves the needs of long-term facilities, hospices and individuals.
Mr. Pierce graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising/Public Relations.
Mr. Pierce has served on the Board of Directors for Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, as board president of the Yost Lake Homeowners Association and currently serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Medical Equipment Suppliers. Mr. Pierce and his wife Kathy were the chairpersons of the initial Mount Fund Leadership Committee and continue as Mount Fund Committee members. Additionally, Mr. Pierce was Board Chairperson of the MSM Advancement Committee for two years.
Mr. and Mrs. Pierce have six children. Their three oldest children are MSM graduates: Bretton, Class of 2006; Wade, class of 2008; Leigha, Class of 2010; and Marianne, 2012. Future graduates from Mount St. Mary will include their two youngest children, Julia and John Paul. The Pierces are parishioners of St. James Catholic Church in Oklahoma City.
Mrs. DeNegri is the President/Principal of Mount St. Mary and is a 1980 MSM graduate.
In 1984 Mrs. DeNegri received a degree in English and a teaching certificate from the University of Oklahoma. She received her master's degree in administration from OU in 2003.
Mrs. DeNegri began her teaching career at The Mount in 1984. In 1996 she moved into the Oklahoma City Public Schools system, returning to Mount St. Mary in 2003 as vice-principal. She began her current position as President/Principal of MSM in 2004.
Mrs. DeNegri was the 2000-2001 State of Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. She was also inducted into the University of Oklahoma College of Education Hall of Fame Inaugural Class in 2002.
She is married to Robert DeNegri (MSM alum of ’80) and has 2 daughters Mekele (MSM ’05) and Elle (MSM ’08).
Mr. Baldischwiler is currently a managing principal and professional civil engineer at Smith Roberts Baldischwiler, LLC, an engineering, surveying and planning firm in Oklahoma City.
Mr. Baldischwiler serves on the Board of Directors of the Jim Thorpe Association; is a member of the Jim Thorpe Executive Council; serves as president of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Retired National Football League Players Association; and is a member of the St. James Catholic Church Parish Council.
Mr. Baldischwiler is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. During his time at OU, he was a starting offensive lineman and played on the National Championship squads in 1974 and 1975. He went on to the National Football League and played for the Baltimore Colts and the Detroit Lions.
Mr. Baldischwiler has two children, Matt and Liz. Liz is a 2005 MSM graduate.
A 1986 graduate of Mount St. Mary, Mr. Durbin currently serves as the new executive director of the Oklahoma Health Care Workforce Center (OHCWC). In his capacity as executive director, he is responsible for all aspects of the organization particularly administration, finance, marketing and fundraising.
Mr. Durbin comes to the OHCWC after more than three years as the executive director of the INTEGRIS Rural Health Foundation where he provided oversight of the fundraising activities at nine hospitals within INTEGRIS Rural Health.
Mr. Durbin served as advancement director at Mount St. Mary Catholic High School from 2002-2006. During his tenure The Mount raised six million dollars for the school’s endowment.
Mr. Durbin's other experience includes two years as a grant writer for Feed the Children and ten years at World Neighbors where he served in various capacities. He has also been an adjunct grant writing consultant for the Oklahoma CENTER for Nonprofits.
Mr. Durbin has a B.A. in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.A. in Geography from the University of Oklahoma.
Mr. Durbin and his wife Shannon, a 1987 MSM graduate, have three children: daughters Miley, MSM Class of 2014 and Anna, and son Harrison. They have been parishioners at St. James for over ten years.
Sister Judith Marie Keith, RSM:
Sister Judith Marie Keith, RSM, is a graduate of Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas. She has a B.S.N. from St. Louis University and a M.B.A. from Xavier University in Cincinnati.
From 1970 - 1997, Sister Judith Marie served as the President/CEO of St. Edward Mercy Health Network in Arkansas. From 1997 - 2010 she served at the Executive Director for the Trinity Educational Trust which was in charge of development and strategic planning for Trinity Catholic Junior High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas. She is currently working in the R.S.M. Community Outreach program. Sister Judith Marie serves the community in a variety of positions including: Member, City of Fort Smith Civil Service Commission; Chairman, 2011-2012 United Way Annual Campaign for Fort Smith; President, Project Compassion (volunteer outreach to 34 Fort Smith area nursing homes); Member, St. Edward Mercy Health Network - Regional Board of Trustees; Member, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Parish Council; Member, Sisters of Mercy (Institute) Mercy Association Leadership Network; Member, Sisters of Mercy - Mercy Association Advisory Committee (South Central); and Member, Subiaco Developmental Study Advisory Committee.
Sister Judith Marie has served as the President of the Arkansas Hospital Association. She was named as one of the "Top 10 Most Influential Persons in Fort Smith." Other awards include: "Top 100 Women in Arkansas Award," "Arkansas Professional Woman of Distinction Award," Mount Magazine Girl Scout Council's "Woman of Distinction Award," and the 2010 "Jack White Community Leadership Award."
William K. Nash:
Mr. Nash is the owner of Nash Construction Company in Oklahoma City, a paving and construction company. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Municipal Contractors Association and the Oklahoma Asphalt Producers Association.
Mr. Nash has been a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church since 1981, a Parish Council member and an assistant scoutmaster.
Mr. Nash and his wife Dee have four children: daughters Ashley Weathers, Megan - a 2011 MSM graduate, and Claire. Their son Brennan is member of the MSM Class of 2013.
Mrs. Payton is Vice President of Human Resources for Mercy Health System of Oklahoma, Sisters of Mercy. She joined Mercy in March of 2008 and is responsible for all aspects of human resources strategy for her 5,000 co-workers who are employed by the Mercy Health System in Oklahoma. Prior to coming to Mercy, Mrs. Payton was Vice President of Human Resources for Johnson Controls, Unitary Products Group, and a Fortune-500 company headquartered in Norman, Oklahoma.
Mrs. Payton is a graduate of East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, where she has taught as an adjunct professor in the Human Resources Department. She received her Professional in Human Resources Certification in 1994 and often speaks to groups on leadership and organizational development.
Mrs. Payton is past-president of United Way of Norman and has served on many civic boards including Kiwanis and the Norman Chamber of Commerce. While in Norman, she received the “Athena” Award, which is given each year to honor a woman for mentoring and helping other women.
She is married to Russell Payton, a retired school administrator and currently a small business owner. Together they have five grown children and three grandchildren.
Mrs. Peery, a 1969 graduate of Mount St. Mary is the current CEO of the YWCA of Oklahoma City. During her tenure, she established the YWCA SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) program for Oklahoma County along with several other domestic violence support programs. She helped established the agency’s dating violence She is also a founding member of the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition which works to bring about legislative change to impact the status of women and girls in Oklahoma.
Mrs. Peery is a Rotary member, Chamber of Commerce member and has served in leadership roles for several boards, coalitions and committees. Most recently she has served as a member of the Homeless Alliance Board. She is currently the President of the YWCA Southwest Delta Region.
Mrs. Peery has received many honors including the "Every Women Award," "50 Making a Difference" Honoree and she was recognized by the Oklahoma Secretary of State with "Jan Peery Day."
Mrs. Peery is a graduate of Oklahoma City University and is a certified Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Professional.
She is married to Greg Peery (MSM Class of 1968). Together they have two sons (Mark, MSM Class of 1993 and Chad, MSM Class of 1995) two daughters and eight beautiful grandchildren.
Father Bill Pruett:
Father Pruett serves as the pastor of St. James the Greater Catholic Church in Oklahoma City.
Prior to serving at St. James the Greater, Father Pruett was pastor at St. Eugene’s Catholic Church in Oklahoma City, St. Thomas More University Parish in Norman, and St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Guymon.
In 1979 Father Pruett was ordained at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Oklahoma City. He has law degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. and serves as a Canon Lawyer.
Father Robert Wood:
Father Wood is the pastor of Saint Mary Catholic Church in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Prior to his appointment at Saint Mary's in June of 2010, he has served as associate pastor of Our Lady’s Cathedral, then as pastor of St. Patrick in Walters, St. Joseph in Ada, St. Philip Neri in Midwest City, Holy Family in Lawton, and for ten years at St. James The Greater Catholic Church in Oklahoma City.
Father Wood’s hometown is Kingfisher, Oklahoma. After high school, he attended St. Gregory’s in Shawnee. He finished undergraduate studies at Conception Seminary College and completed his seminary formation at St. Meinrad Seminary in 1985. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Salatka in 1987.
For almost 20 years, Father Wood has served as the Archdiocesan Master of Ceremonies. He is currently the Moderator for the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women and is a member of the Archdiocesan Building Committee.
Mr. Slavonic is the Principal Leader, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), a Washington DC-based defense contractor.
He is a 34-year US Navy/Navy Reserve veteran with service in three wars (Vietnam, Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom) and his last two assignments were Deputy Chief of Information, US Navy (Pentagon) and Director of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs for Multinational Force – Iraq (Baghdad). He retired at the rank of Rear Admiral.
Mr. Slavonic has a B.S. in Journalism & Broadcasting from Oklahoma State University and a M.S. in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). He was named “Distinguished Alumni” at UCO in 2005.
Mr. Slavonic recently published a book titled, Leadership in Action . The book is a collection of highly successful real-world military leaders detailing their own sound fundamental principles on how to lead, what to do as a leader and how not to lose sight of the mission.
Mr. Slavonic and his wife Molly are Bishop McGuinness graduates as are their three grown children. In 2008 he received the McGuinness “Distinguished Alumni Award”. They have three grandchildren and have been parishioners at Christ the King for over twenty years.
Fr. Roberto Quant:
Father Quant is the pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oklahoma City. Prior to his appointment to Sacred Heart in 2010, he was the pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Hennessey from 2004-2010. From 1996-2004, he served as the pastor of Holy Angels Catholic Church in Oklahoma City. After his ordination on June 1, 1991, Father Quant was assigned to St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Guymon.
Born and raised in Nicaragua, Father Quant attended a Franciscan elementary school and a Jesuit high school. In 1997 Fr. Quant moved to the United States. He attended Northwestern State University and graduated with a B.S. degree in 1984 and then completed his formation at the seminary.
From 1994-1996, Fr. Quant attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and received a J.C.L. (Juris Canonici Licentiatus) Degree –which is an advanced degree in Canon Law. While he was pastor of Holy Angels Catholic Church, he also served as the Judicial Vicar for the Province of Oklahoma City.
Other information on Father Roberto Quant:
He is the 2nd of 6 children. He was 17 years old when he came to the US in 1977.
Sr. Jonella Rhoda, RSM