Pastors & Program Staff
Bill has been with Westminster since 2002. He served pastorates in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Midland, Texas, prior to his arrival at Westminster. Bill is also currently serving as the Moderator of Mission Presbytery. He graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion and Philosophy. Bill holds a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. Bill and his wife Jill have three children: Chris, Annie, and Sam. He is grateful to lead a caring and mission-minded congregation at Westminster. Bill enjoys watching his youngest play baseball; reading history, biographies, and good fiction; watching movies; and traveling.Email Bill Clark
Associate Pastor of Youth and Discipleship
Ellen is a recent graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, where she earned her Master of Divinity after working in campus ministry for three years at her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. She plays the French horn and piano, sings, and loves music of all kinds. She also loves the smell of old books – after college and during seminary she put her English major to good use working in rare book and manuscript libraries. Ellen is excited to serve alongside the people of Westminster, and, as a lifelong East-Coaster, to work on her “y’all.”Email Ellen Williams
Judy Hext Skaggs
Judy grew up in Eldorado, Texas. She attended North Texas State University majoring in music, and graduated from University of Houston with a BS of Ed. She then graduated from Austin Seminary with an MDiv. Judy has four grown children and six grandchildren who, fortunately for Judy, all live in the Austin area. Judy’s first call was to First Presbyterian Church of Smithville, where she was ordained on August 28, 1994. She also served Poiema, a Presbyterian Community as pastor from 1995-1998. Judy retired on September 1, 2011, after serving University Presbyterian Church in Austin as Associate Pastor for 13 years. Judy enjoys playing the piano and taking cello lessons, and also sewing, knitting, and cooking. During retirement, Judy hopes to do lots of grandmothering! She serves as Parish Associate at WPC, as chair of General Council for Mission Presbytery in 2012, and as a member of the planning team for the Mo Ranch Worship and Music Conference for 2013. And, all the while, is trying to discover what “Act 3” will be in its fullness!Email Judy Hext Skaggs
Lana joined the Westminster staff in 2016 and is so grateful to be serving alongside such a warm and faithful congregation. She graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees in 2003 and 2004. Prior to joining our staff, Lana served as Associate Pastor of Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and most recently was on staff at Austin Theological Seminary where she now serves on the Board of Trustees. She is a frequent West Coast flier where the Berry family lives – her daughter Emily, son-in-law Brian and granddaughters Eliza and Josephine. Her eastbound travels take her all the way across Mo Pac to Bryker Woods where son Russell, daughter-in-law Tawney, and grandchildren Hudson and Jackson Booth reside. She walks the trail, listens to podcasts, and enjoys a host of life-long friendships here and around the country.Email Lana Russell
Director of Children and Family Ministries
Westminster Presbyterian Day School Director
Julie became associated with Westminster Day School as a parent in 1996 when her oldest child started in the Toddler II class. After being a WPDS parent for 10 years with her three children, Julie started working at the day school when her youngest child started kindergarten. Julie holds a B.S. in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to having children, Julie taught lower elementary for 9 years. She has T.E.A. certifications in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle School Math and English as a Second Language (ESL), as well as a director’s certificate from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Julie enjoys traveling, hiking in National Parks and culinary endeavors. Julie is married to Eric Pastor, an environmental engineer with whom she has three children: Katie, Sam and Noah, all graduates of WPDS. The Pastors belong to St. Theresa Catholic Church and live in Central Austin.Email Julie Pastor
Director of Music
Rick has been Westminster’s music program director since 1989. During the previous 19 years, he was cantor and bass section leader for the choir at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin, also serving as that church’s interim music director. A native of Lubbock, Texas, Rick sang in the youth choir of that city’s First Methodist Church and was first tuba in the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Tech in music education and then headed to Austin to pursue a doctorate in musical arts. After one year as the principal tuba for the Austin Symphony Orchestra, he concluded that choral music was his calling. He met his wife Catherine, now Westminster’s associate music coordinator, on a choral tour in 1978. Catherine already had two children who readily accepted Rick into their family. In addition to music, Rick’s favorite hobby is photography.
Associate Music Coordinator
Catherine attended The University of Texas, majored in English, and earned a teaching certificate in English and social studies. The Baytown native sang in several college choral groups and worked with noted UT music professor Morris Beachy. For eight years, she was a paid soloist at St. David’s Episcopal Church and spent two years as a soloist at All Saints Episcopal Church as well. She followed husband Rick Colvin to Westminster, where she has been largely responsible for selecting the hymns sung each week at the 8:30 a.m. church service. A retired English teacher, Catherine’s hobbies include “listening to books on tape” and cooking.
Dr. Byron Almen
A pianist since the age of three, Byron began taking organ lessons at age 13 at a different Westminster Presbyterian Church – in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He continued to study organ at St. Olaf College in Minnesota and at Indiana University, and has been an organist at one church or another since 1988, his sophomore year of college. Byron came to our church in a rather circuitous way, having arrived in 1998 as a temporary replacement for the previous organist. Eventually, he became our own full-time organist. Byron enjoys reading, swimming, barbecuing, long car trips, and finding a good restaurant. He and wife Sarah have been married since 1999.
Dr. Shaunna Shandro
Director of Music for Youth and Children
Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Shaunna earned degrees in Theatre (BA) and Vocal Performance (BMus), and was an Apprentice Artist with The Edmonton Opera before moving Austin in 2001 to attend the graduate program at The University of Texas at Austin. From UT, she earned a Master of Music degree in Opera Performance and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Voice Performance and Pedagogy. Additional training includes The Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria after winning The Johann Strauss Scholarship for Advanced Studies in Austria for two consecutive years. Shaunna currently teaches Applied Voice at St. Edward’s University, is a faculty member of BOCYAP (Butler a opera Center Young Artist Program) where she teaches Applied Voice and Musical Theatre, and serves as Director of Music for Children and Youth here at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Michelle joined the WPC staff in October 2017. Michelle is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and has spent fourteen years working in public and private accounting in Austin. Most recently she was an adjunct professor of accounting at St. Edward’s University. Michelle and her husband, Troy, have been married since 2007. They have two children, Hayden and Leah. Michelle enjoys reading, gardening, and watching her kids in sports.Email Michelle Elley
Ray Chairez has been our sexton since 2004. We count on Ray to look after our physical property, prepare areas for special events, and all janitorial matters. Ray thoroughly enjoys baseball, golf, and basketball.
Jessica joined the WPC staff in February 2017 and moved to Austin the year before with her husband. She was born in Pittsburgh, PA and obtained her undergrad degrees from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Professionally, Jessica has worked in the non-profit realm for over 10 years and enjoys serving others. In her spare time, she likes to cook, travel, watch sports, catch live music and spend time outdoors with her dog. Jessica and her husband welcomed their first child in June 2017 (a son named Sawyer) and are excited for the adventure that awaits them!Email Jessica Green