Deacon Frank J. Mercardante, Chairman of the Board
Deacon Frank was appointed SJA Chairman of the Board in 2015. Frank Mercardante is serving the Church as a deacon at Saint Mark’s parish in San Marcos, CA. He was ordained in 1987 by Bishop Leo T. Maher. He previously served at Holy Trinity parish in Springfield, MO and Saint Francis of Assisi parish in Vista, CA.
Deacon Mercardante brings a wealth of experience having worked 45 years in the banking and financial services industry. During his career he started, managed and sold financial institutions of all sizes, including a $2.6 billion bank in Sacramento, CA. and a $6.5 billion thrift in the Midwest. He has engineered the turnaround of a number of troubled financial institutions, saving shareholders and tax payers millions of dollars. He has also started, managed and or sold numerous mortgage, escrow, title, trust, insurance and computer servicing businesses.
Deacon Mercardante has served on numerous Boards including Tri-City Hospital Foundation, Catholic Charities of San Diego, Casa de Amparo, Poinsettia Theatre for the Performing Arts, Western Independent Bankers Association, and John Paul the Great Catholic University. In addition to Saint Joseph Academy, he also serves as Spiritual Director for Covenantal Family Ministries, a director of New Haven Youth and Family Services, and Culture of Life Family Services.
Deacon Mercardante joined the SJA Board of Directors in 2013 and resides in Temecula, Ca. with his wife of 41 years. He has two children and four grandchildren.
Ned has served as a Board member for many years and has been involved with the school since 1997. He served on both the building and fundraising committees for the permanent campus and was heavily involved in the design, financing and construction of the existing campus. Currently, he is heading up the building committee for the second phase of construction which will include a new gymnasium, chapel and additional classrooms.
Ned and his wife, Kathy, have four children, Kaitlyn, Madeline, Abigail and Max. Currently, two are SJA students (Abigail and Max) and two graduates: Kaitlyn who recently graduated from Northern Arizona University and Madeline who is a Sophomore at Belmont University.
Ned’s “day job” is to serve as the President and CEO of N.N. Jaeschke, Inc., a San Diego area management company of condominiums and homeowner associations.
Jon Wester is a Contracts Branch Head at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego. He began his career in Defense Procurement in 1991 at the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, Virginia as a Navy Acquisition Intern. During his career, Jon has served two overseas rotational assignments: first as Contracting Officer at the Naval Regional Contracting Center in Naples, Italy, where he handled base operations support contracts for U.S. Navy Ashore Facilities in the Mediterranean, and then later as the Director of Afloat Contracting in Yokosuka, Japan where he led a multi-national contracting team handling U.S. Navy ship repair and aircraft maintenance procurements. Jon holds an M.BA. with a concentration in Contracts Management from the Florida Institute if Technology and a B.A. in Linguistics (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of California, San Diego.
Jon met his wife Pia while in high school exchange student in Santiago, Chile. They have seven children, all who have attended SJA. The oldest, Christopher graduated in 2006 and the youngest, Ana, belongs to the the SJA Class of 2019. Jon has been an SJA parent since 1997. He was active for many years on the annual SJA Spring Gala committee and assisted with fundraising for the permanent campus. Jon joined the board in 2015.
Barbara De La Torre
Barbara De La Torre was one of the two original founders of St. Joseph Academy (previously Sierra Madre Academy) in 1995. She served as Chairman of the Board until 2013.
Barbara received her R.N., B.S.N. from California State University, Long Beach and worked (part time) as a nurse until 1997. She served on several committees in the city of Oceanside to affect change in policy related to moral issues during this time.
Barbara continues to be active at St. Joseph Academy in marketing and program/curriculum development. She serves as adviser for the SJA High School "Crusaders for Life" club and co-adviser for the "The Great Outdoors" club.
Barbara and her husband, David, are blessed with eight children: Vince, Joe, Tony, Julie, Mary, Johnny, Clare and Sara. Their three eldest have graduated from the University of Dallas, their fourth is working, fifth is a Sophomore at the University of Dallas and their last three are currently students at St. Joseph Academy.
Jerry is a new board member in 2015 but certainly not new to Saint Joseph’s Academy. He and his wife Heidi are original family members of Sierra Madre Academy in 1995. Jerry was actively involved in the maintenance of the former campus, coordinating the construction of the sports field and playground. He enjoyed giving talks about plants and trees to the younger kids. He was also involved in the first WASC accreditation of the school. His wife Heidi taught Health classes in the early years.
Jerry and his wife Heidi have two children ages 27 and 24. Both attended SJA with the younger daughter graduating in 2010. Son J.T. is a graduate of Cal State San Marcos and works at the University and daughter Kari is a graduate of the University of Portland currently working in the I.T. field in the Sorrento Valley and an aspiring writer.
In the working world Jerry is the Operations Manager for the City of Mission Viejo tasked with maintaining the city’s infrastructure and assets. Jerry has enjoyed a 35 year career in public service working for various agencies.
Jerry also serves as an elected official on the Vista Fire Protection District Board of Directors, currently serving as president. He and his wife Heidi are Eucharistic Minister Coordinators for Saint Marks Catholic Church and also serve the Catholic Diocese of San Diego as facilitators for marriage preparation classes - Evenings for the Engaged - for over 17 years.