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Clergy & Staff

BURKARDT, The Rev'd Leslie; Rector.jpg
MERRITT, Mrs. Kathleen; Office Manager.jpg

The Very Rev. Leslie Burkardt, Rector

Leslie’s family moved to the Rochester area in late August of 2015 from Corpus Christi, Texas. Jay, her husband, is the Assistant at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on East Avenue. They have a teenage daughter, Norah, who is fabulous, and two dogs, Bear, & Eleanor who are an important part of their family.

Leslie’s professional experience is both broad and deep. She served as an associate in parishes in Corpus Christi, TX and Greensboro, NC, and served as Rector in North Carolina and Interim Rector in Texas. She has formal training in: Interim Leadership, Meditation and Reconciliation in Family Systems, Appreciative Inquiry and Stewardship Formation. She is passionate about Preaching, Teaching, Spiritual Formation and imaging creative ways people of faith gather, grow and serve the world.

Spiritual practices such as yoga and running are key to her health and life with God. She enjoys writing, spending time with her family, volunteering in their daughter’s classroom when possible and spending time outside.

Leslie is excited to be here at St. Thomas’. She looks forward to getting to know you throughout the next year.

Phone 585-442-3544 ext. 103

Email Amma Leslie:

Deacon Andrea Stridiron, Deacon
Andrea is retired from teaching with the Rochester City School District. She is a 1976 graduate of West Chester State University, West Chester, PA with a B.S in Elementary Education. Her M.Ed in Elementary Education/Reading was obtained in 1998 from SUNY Brockport. Andrea has been a member of St. Thomas’ for 40 years. In May 2009, Andrea was ordained to the Diaconate after participating in the Rochester Deacon Formation Program.

Email Andrea:

Kathleen Merritt, Office Manager
Kathleen joined the staff at St. Thomas’ in October 2003 as the Office Manager.  She previously worked at Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in the town of Greece, NY, as the Parish Secretary/Bookkeeper. Kathleen graduated from St. John Fisher College in 1981 with a B.S. degree in Business Management.  She and her husband, Ralph, have a daughter and a son, and two granddaughters.

Phone: 585-442-3544 ext. 101

Email Kathleen:

Paula Gitlin, Children & Youth Coordinator

Paula is a long-time member of St. Thomas’ and a recently retired High School teacher. She loves God, St. Thomas’ and desires that our children and youth grow up surrounded by the love of our parish family.

Phone: 585-442-3544 ext. 104
Email Paula:

David Grantham, Property Manager

David comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience. He is a brother Episcopalian as well. David joined the staff in February 2021. 

Phone: 585-442-3544 ext. 107
Email David:

Rhonda Wright, Organist & Choir Director

Rhonda joined the ministry team as Organist and Choir Director in 2023.  She brings to the position an expansive history of choral and handbell conducting, church Director of Music experience, and organ and piano performance.  She graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance and moved to New York for her graduate studies at The Eastman School of Music.  While there, she completed her doctoral coursework, and a Masters degree in Music Theory.  She has also immersed herself in Biblical studies at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.  Rhonda finds joy in the ministry of music, both within the walls of a church sanctuary and through the engagement of community ensembles with the wider community. 
Phone: 585-442-3544 ext. 108
Email Rhonda:

Patty Corvaia, Director of Communications

After earning a bachelor’s degree in Communication/Journalism from St. John Fisher
College, Patrizia "Patty" Corvaia worked as a news producer at television stations in 
Rochester and Springfield, Massachusetts. She transitioned to a career in public relations in 2003 and has worked in Rochester's healthcare industry, as well as national, regional, and local non-profits. She is an accredited member of the
Public Relations Society of America and a board member of the organization's 
Rochester Chapter. In 2023, she received the Chapter's highest honor, the
Sharleen M. Bruse Award.
Email Patty:

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