Leadership and Staff


  • The Rev. Shawn Clerkin

    Fr. Shawn Clerkin began his vicar appointment at St. Stephen’s June 1, 2018. He has an MDiv in Anglican Studies from Bexley Hall Seminary, with additional studies through the Oxford (England) Summer Theology Programme. Fr. Shawn has served as a congregational leader for almost two decades in the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, first as lay/clergy leader of the Church of the Holy Spirit, Erie; assisting priest at Cathedral of St. Paul, Erie; and vicar of St. Mary’s Lawrence Park, Erie. Fr. Clerkin is also an associate professor/co-director of the School of Communication and the Arts at Gannon University, where he also serves as director of the Liberal Studies Program. Fr. Clerkin has also earned an additional degrees of MFA in Theatre/Directing from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA and BA in Theatre/Communication Arts from Gannon University. Previously, he has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University and Mercyhurst University. Fr. Clerkin has been awarded the Bruce Morton Wright Artist of the Year by Erie Arts and Culture. Fr. Clerkin has guided travel programs to England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and has facilitated service learning/volunteer outreach trips to Dade City, Florida, to work with Habitat for Humanity, and the Fr. McKenna Center for the homeless in Washington, D.C.  


    Fr. Shawn appreciates the Christ-guided commitment that the members of St. Stephen’s has made to facilitate and support the growth of young people, especially children in Fairview through its accredited nursery school, and middle and high school students through volunteer efforts for the Charter School of Excellence.


    "Once all of our past is remembered in gratitude, we are free to be sent into the world to proclaim good news to others".  

                                                                -Henri J. M. Nouwen, Here and Now


    Father Shawn can be reached at vicar@ststephens-fairview.org



  • Claire Wachter

    Claire Wachter is the Director of Ministries and Operations at St. Stephen's.  She has worked at St. Stephen's since February 2017 and is also a member of St. Stephen's. Claire is invested in seeing St. Stephen's grow and flourish.   Claire has a Physician Assistant Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and lives in Fairview with with her husband, Tim and three children, Andrew, Madeline and Kate. Claire can be reached at claire@ststephens-fairview.org


  • Kate Thiem


    Kate Thiem is the Director of Music at St. Stephen's. Prior to her appointment, she spent seven years as the music director at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Erie. She is also a choral music teacher at Westlake Middle School in the Millcreek Township School District. 

    Kate received a B.M in Vocal Performance at Mercyhurst University and a M.M. in Classical Voice from New York University.  She is an avid performer in the region, having appeared onstage at the Erie Playhouse, Dramashop, the Riverside Inn, and with the murder mystery troupe in All Seriousness. Some of her favorite shows include Beauty and the Beast, Spamalot, Forbidden Broadway, Chess: In Concert and Evita.  Kate has also appeared as a guest soloist with the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, the Erie Chamber Orchestra, the Butler Symphony, and the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. Kate is a frequent accompanist and vocal coach for choral groups and musicals.  She directs the Westlake Middle School Musical and the Honors Chorus.  In her free time, Kate works as an independent travel agent for the Vacationeer, an agency specializing in Disney vacations.  She enjoys golfing and traveling with her husband, Patrick. 


  • Heather Michel

    Heather Michel, Director of Communications, joined the staff in March of 2018.  Heather is passionate about working to make the world a better place and has a heart for serving and helping others.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science Degree in Administration of Justice from Mercyhurst University.  She is married to Scott, and has two daughters, Maelyn and Maya.  Heather and her family,  can often be found on the shores of Lake Erie searching for beach glass and driftwood. You can reach Heather at church@ststephens-fairview.org


  • Susan Schuette

    Susan Schuette is the Director of Finance for St. Stephen's Episcoapl Church and St. Stephen's Nursery School.  She has volunteered and worked at St. Stephen's since 2006.  Susan has an Accounting Degree from Mercyhurst University and is a proud parent of daughter, Emma and son, Ethan. 






  • Sheila Causgrove

    Sheila Causgrove is the Director of Operations/Head of School of St. Stephen's Nursery Schooll.  Sheila has been involved with the nursery school for over 30 years. 






BISHOP's COMMITTEE

St. Stephen's Bishop's Committee provides administrative and pastoral directions to the members (Clergy and Laity) of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. The Bishop's Committee is composed of members from the congregation, representing a diverse set of skills and gifts for leadership. The Bishop's Committee, along with the Vicar, has a responsibility for overseeing and setting the vision for the congregation, as well as care for the building, finances, and outreach opportunities. Bishop Committee Members are elected for a term of one year and hold their meetings once a month.   


Current Bishop Committee Members

Dorene Sommers - Bishop's Warden

Kathie Gregory - Treasurer

Cindy Willis - Clerk

Johnny Slate

Dave Danowski