About Saint Mary Academy

Saint Mary Academy School Board

The Saint Mary Academy School Board is a consultative board. The board's responsibilities are in policy matters. The board is not responsible for administration or the details of administration. Administration is the responsibility of the administrative team (pastor and principal).

If you wish to address the board, you must submit items for the agenda to the executive committee (School Board chairperson, pastor, and principal) at least seven days prior to the meeting for their consideration prior to placement on the agenda.

A Letter From Fr. Jeff

As the Pastor of St. Bernadette Catholic Church it is a joy to be partnering with you in the raising of the little souls God has entrusted to you. I am grateful for those of you who have stepped up to serve on our SMA School Board. The SMA School Board is a key leadership body that assists both Mrs. Kelly and myself in providing the best possible environment and programming for your families’ advancement in knowledge and grace. I am also grateful for Mr. Aaron Miller who has accepted the position of Chair for our School Board. Aaron brings many talents and great vision to our Board’s efforts, and I very much look forward to this year’s growth and development. Together let’s make 2017-2018 a wonderful SMA year!

Peace, Fr. Jeff

A Word From Our SMA School Board Chair:

It is an honor to be the chairperson of the SMA School Board for the 2017-2018 year. For those of you unfamiliar with the board, we are a group of nine parents who advise Father Jeff Nicolas and Principal Lisa Kelly in the governance of our incredible school. Along with the PTO President and a faculty member from SMA, we fulfill two primary roles: planning (mission, vision, goals, future plans) and policy development. The board meets monthly throughout the year, and the board members are listed in this email. Hopefully you already know one or more of us. If not, we would love to meet you, so feel free to say "hi" the next time you see one of us out and about. If you ever have questions or comments for us, please reach out.

The School Board shares a passion for our school and our faith, and as it says in the SMA handbook, we want Saint Mary Academy to continue to be a place where all children are challenged to grow spiritually, academically, emotionally, physically and socially in an environment where all members of our school family are valued, respected and loved.

It is a privilege to serve in this role, and I look forward to the year ahead.

Aaron Miller

  • Aaron Miller

    School Board Chair

    Aaron Miller is huge advocate for Catholic education, having graduated from Ascension elementary school, St. Xavier High School, and the University of Dayton. He works as Director of Programs for the Leadership Louisville Center, a nonprofit located on Main Street in downtown Louisville. He runs the civic programs for the Center, which includes Leadership Louisville, Bingham Fellows, Ignite Louisville, Focus Louisville, and Encore Louisville. He has been with the Leadership Louisville Center since 2011, and spent the previous 17 years in broadcasting, working as a radio morning show host and promotions/marketing director. He is a former city council member for the city of Lyndon and has worked as a writer/blogger for Gannett/The Courier-Journal. Aaron also sits on the Alumni Association Board of Directors for St. Xavier High School, and on the Community Advisory Board for the Junior League of Louisville.

    Aaron's wife Susan works in marketing with Humana, and he has two children at SMA: Maggie, in sixth grade, and Charlie, in third. His daughter started at SMA in preschool in 2009. Aaron believes strongly in catholic education and is thrilled with the quality of teachers and staff at SMA. He is excited to serve as Chairperson for the SMA School Board.

  • Pulac O'Kuma


    Pulac O’Kuma is a Louisville native who attended the University of Louisville and received a liberal arts degree with a concentration in French, business, and political science. She and her husband, Chris have three children who all attend Saint Mary Academy. Pulac worked in pharmaceutical sales for over 10 years and she currently stays home. She and her husband are both active volunteers at SMA and they are grateful for the community of the school and parish at St. Mary Academy/St. Bernadette.

  • Todd Bobzien

    Parent Representative

    Todd grew up in Louisville and attended Catholic grade school and high school here. Todd is active in various school activities and enjoys coaching soccer. His wife Amanda hails from Missouri, and they have five children.

  • Kathryn Crow

    Faculty Representative

    Ms. Crow has been working at Saint Mary Academy for two years. Ms. Crow grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and is a graduate of Saint Margaret Mary and Sacred Heart Academy. Ms. Crow earned her BS in Elementary Education from the University of Louisville.

    Ms. Crow enjoys spending time with her family and her two puppies. Ms. Crow is a big University of Louisville fan and loves attending any UL game. She also loves spending time outside or reading a good book.

    Fun Fact: Ms. Crow is the oldest of 5 children.

  • Lucila de la Vega

    Parent Representative

    Lucila de la Vega came from Colombia 8 years ago, because husband came to work as CFO in a Louisville Engineering Company "Messier and Associates". After working in International Trade and Vocational Training for the Colombian Government, and being trained in Finance and International Trade, I am now a Realtor with 4 years experience in Residential Real Estate. Mother of Sofia, Kindergarten and Valeria "Val" in Preschool, we love St. Mary for the warm, family treatment, catholic education and core values.

  • Nicole Cooper

    Parent Representative

    Nicole joined the Saint Mary Academy School Board in the fall of 2019. She has two daughters attending SMA and has been an active member of the PTO and school volunteer community since 2013. With a degree in Marketing from the University of Kentucky, she works as a Marketing Consultant for Humana with a focus on creative development in television advertising. She is dedicated to serving the Louisville community through volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, Dare to Care, and The Healing Place.

    Nicole, along with her husband, Billy, love the community at SMA and appreciate feeling surrounded by parents that take such a vested interest in the school’s success. She is excited to serve on the School Board and support the wonderful teachers and staff of SMA.

  • Bill Ralston

    Parent Representative

    I have been married to Christy Ralston for 17 wonderful years. Our daughter, Elaina is SMA class of 2019 and our son Kellen is SMA class of 2023. In my day job, I am a financial advisor with Kentucky Planning Partners. I am a graduate of Bellarmine University and Trinity High School. I also serve on Assumption High School’s Investment Committee. I have coached Volleyball and Track for SMA.

    I am honored to serve SMA on the School Board. Our kids are receiving a great education not only because of the great faculty and staff, but because of the continued involvement of so many parents. I am excited to whatever I can to help make SMA an even better educational experience for all students and families.

  • Julie Smith

    Parent Representative

    Julie is a native of Louisville and grew up in the Archdiocese of Louisville at Mother of Good Counsel Parish. She attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and then went on to complete medical school and residency at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. She is board certified in adult, child, and adolescent psychiatry and currently also serves as the President of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Alumni Association. She has three children attending Saint Mary Academy.

    She loves the faith community at the school and parish and is impressed how Saint Mary Academy uses evidence based best practices in the classrooms.