Meet the SLLIS Board of Directors

Trudy Ingalls- Board Chair, Chair of Governance Committee

SLLIS email:

Trudy Ingalls is originally from Illinois, and is happy to be a part of the St. Louis community and SLLIS! She has over 20 years of experience in public school education and also served as a state government administrator. She still retains her teaching and administration licences in education and holds national certifications in Project Management and Public Procurement.

She holds a B.A. In English/Education, an M.A. in Communication, and an Ed.S. in Education Administration, as well as being certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP), SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) and Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO).

Trudy is married with 1 adult son and 2 granddaughters, 1 spoiled puppy, and 2 spoiled cats. She loves cooking, dancing, creating art, and continuous learning about the world.

Dr. Evans

Nicole Evans- Vice Chair, Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

SLLIS email:

Dr. Nicole Evans is an accomplished educational leader offering over 20 years of combined experience in the PreK—8 th grade setting, the Higher Educational Setting, and Leadership Development. She was the principal at City Garden Montessori Charter School and Craig Elementary School in the Parkway District. Dr. Evans is currently the Director of Partnerships and Leadership Coaching for Embracing Equity. Some of her many accomplishments include being the 2018 recipient of the 50 most intriguing women of STL, the 2017 recipient of 100 most influential African-Americans in STL. She was also featured in the 2015 St. Louis Business Journal. Nicole holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Maryville University, a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Lindenwood University, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Harris-Stowe State University.


Vince Schoemehl- Treasurer, Chair of Finance Committee

SLLIS email:

Vince Schoemehl has been an active supporter of public education for kids in St. Louis City his entire adult life. He worked on early education reform candidacies during the 1970s and he served on the St. Louis Public School Board from 2003 to 2005 and helped launch the St. Louis Language Immersion School (SLLIS) soon after leaving the SLPS Board. Vince was also involved in the very early efforts to authorize Charter Schools in Missouri during the 1990s.     

Vince Schoemehl has been involved with SLLIS since its inception having served on the ad hoc community group that organized the school, recruited its first staff and he served as the first Chair of the SLLIS Board once it was a legal entity. Vince has continued to serve for the past 12 years except for one year off the board as required by the SLLIS bylaws after a service of three, three year terms.  

Vince served on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen from 1975 until 1981 when he was elected Mayor of St. Louis.  He served three terms as Mayor, leaving office in 1993.


Christina Foster- Secretary

SLLIS email:

Christina Foster began her career in education teaching kindergarten for Jackson Madison County School District in Jackson, TN. She completed her graduate program and obtained her Master's degree in Elementary Education while continuing to be a dedicated kindergarten teacher for 5 years. Ms. Foster went on to own and operate a thriving child development center that focused on making sure every child was emotionally, developmentally, and academically prepared for kindergarten. Her center accepted children from ages 6 months to 5 years and serviced families of various types of backgrounds. After 4 years of running the successful center, Christina moved to Saint Louis, MO to be closer to family. With her background in early childhood education, Ms. Foster strives to be an integral part of the SLLIS Board of Directors.

Lori Marusic- Chair of Academic Excellence Committee

SLLIS email:

Lori Marusic is a native St. Louisian with thirty years of experience teaching French in public and independent schools. She holds a B.A. in French and Education from St. Louis University having spent her junior year studying at the Université d’Orléans in France. Additionally Lori received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University and holds a reading specialist certificate. She has taught French at the elementary school level for the majority of her career, but also has experience teaching high school and adult learners.

As a teacher in an independent school, Lori has had the opportunity to attend numerous conferences including those sponsored by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Living with her host family was one of the most defining moments of her life. Her belief that learning another language is a transformative experience led her to take students as young as 11 years old on exchange trips to France in the early 2000s. Contrary to the belief held by a majority of Americans, ALL children can acquire another language. Lori is thrilled to be a part of SLLIS’s mission to develop bilingual, biliterate global leaders.


Manuel Silva- Chair of Building & Grounds Committee

SLLIS email:

Manuel C. Silva began his career as an US Army officer serving in the Corp of Engineers following his graduation from the United States Military Academy. He then worked for the pharmaceutical industry in various capacities in engineering, manufacturing, and services. Following an assignment in London UK, Manuel and his family decided to move to St. Louis to be closer to family in 2002. In 2003 he was hired by the St. Louis Public Schools as their COO and served in that capacity providing and managing support services for the district.

In 2005 he moved back to the private sector as CEO and owner of a local construction company and continues in that role today. Manuel was a previous member of the SLLIS Board from 2009 through 2015. He also served as a past board member of Community School in Ladue and is presently a member of the building and grounds committee at City Academy. Manuel is excited to return to the Board and support SLLIS.

Judith Fisher- Board Member

SLLIS email:

Judith Gaston Fisher is an award-winning, motivational and inspirational leader. She has been in education for over thirty years as a principal (synonymous with Head of School), Division Director and Curriculum Designer. She has taught first through eighth grade, college and graduate school in both independent and public schools.

As a speaker, workshop facilitator, and writer, Judy has worked with teachers and administrators to develop a world-class education keeping “kids first” at the heart of every decision. Judy has been published in Educational Leadership and Independent School. Her writings have also been included as chapters in NAIS publications Issues Current in Social Studies as well as inclusion in The Principals’ Center newsletter at Harvard University. Judy is currently on the board of the St. Louis Immersion Schools and is working as a consultant to both public and independent schools.

Shelita Gray- Board Member

SLLIS email:

Shelita Gray is the Controller for City Academy School. She has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years.  She's a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She has served on the SLLIS board since 2018. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, volunteering, and spending time with her daughter, Bailey.

Dr. Arun Varadhachary- Board Member

SLLIS email:

Arun Varadhachary is a professor of neurology at Washington University and is an attending physician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He is involved with neuromuscular clinical trials research, medical student and resident teaching and direct patient care. His educational outreach work targets both medical and lay audiences.

He brings a love of the St Louis community, and direct parental-experience with the enriched-learning opportunities at SLLIS to the Board of Directors. He has been a member of the SLLIS Board of Directors since 2018.

David Roodman- Board Member

SLLIS email:

David Roodman is a Partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, and has been practicing law for over 30 years.  His areas of expertise include intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets) litigation, transactions, and counseling, as well as other types of commercial litigation and counseling.  Mr. Roodman is a highly seasoned advocate and counselor who has led trial teams in both federal and state courts on behalf of some of the largest public and private companies throughout the world.  He has been recognized by, among others, Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers, for his legal skills.   Mr. Roodman received his law degree, Juris Doctor, and a degree in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Missouri – Columbia.

Along with his legal career, Mr. Roodman is devoted to community service and is particularly interested in Saint Louis Language Immersion School’s dedication to providing a diverse, socially-conscious, education to St. Louis City children.  Mr. Roodman is married and has two children.

Edward O'Neal- Board Member

SLLIS email:

Ed is a Senior Vice President with Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. In that capacity, Ed is responsible for working with the firm’s advisors and clients on a range of financial and retirement planning topics, with specific focus on business development strategies and technical/compliance requirements regarding employer sponsored retirement plans. Prior to joining Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., Ed held leadership roles at Wells Fargo Advisors and Edward Jones.

Ed has always had a passion for education, as his mother was a teacher and school administrator for more than 30 years, and has been actively involved with SLLIS since its beginning. Ed is a graduate of Drake University with a BA in Finance & Actuarial Science, and earned his MBA from Webster University. Additionally, Ed completed the Securities Industry Institute at the Wharton School of Business (1997) and holds his Series 7, 66, and 24 licenses.

Sarah Sandvoss- Board Member

SLLIS email:

Sarah Sandvoss has been a part of the SLLIS community for the past few years using her expertise in social and video media to help publicize SLLIS. Sarah has a BFA and BBA from Maryville University and over 9 years experience in Marketing and Communications. She is an expert in marketing strategy, driving demand and building successful, profitable practices. Her current work is focused on optimizing marketing and business development strategies to drive growth in new markets and accelerate revenue. She has received many recognitions and awards for her work including a “Best in Show” design competition and the designation as one of the “Tops 20 People to Know in STL.”

Board of Directors Meetings & Minutes

All SLLIS board meetings are open to the public. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, board meetings are currently held via Zoom and streamed live on Facebook. Any public comments can be sent to before meeting start times.

You can read our updated policy manual here:

SLLIS Board agendas, minutes, and supporting materials can be found on