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G R A D UAT I O N 2018



O U R M I S S I O N STAT E M E N T Founded and rooted in the Gospel values of the Catholic church and the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the Academy of Our Lady of Peace empowers young women in an innovative learning environment that honors the individual while fostering community, and develops faith-filled leaders dedicated to the “love of God and the dear neighbor without distinction.”


Dear OLP Family and Friends, Another school year has come to a close here at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, as we welcomed in our 136th birthday on May 10, and also began the traditions and celebrations ultimately leading up to commencement. As we began the month of May, the students concentrated on preparing for finals and AP exams. Over the past five years the number of AP exams taken by OLP students have increased more than 140%. This trend has had a direct impact on students’ access to merit-based scholarships and acceptance to the most prestigious colleges and universities across our nation. The excitement of the month culminated on May 25 as we sadly said goodbye to 185 graduating seniors who are taking flight out into the world. These extraordinary OLP Pilots were the singers, dancers, athletes, musicians, engineers, artists, mathematicians, scientists, writers, and programmers, who have touched our school for the past four years. Collectively, they were extended more than 900 offers of admission to colleges and universities internationally, and garnered more than $29 million in merit-based scholarships and academic grants across 74% of the graduating class. Two students who not only represent extraordinary women of excellence but also embody the CSJ woman of faith, heart and courage, are this year’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Our Salutatorian, Angela Balistrieri ’18, has certainly left her mark on OLP through her academic contributions, involvement in clubs, and being a founding member of the Women’s Health Initiative club. Over the past four years, Angela has balanced her course load at OLP with interning at a UCSD research lab. She will be attending Harvard University in the fall majoring in neurobiology. The Class of 2018 Valedictorian is Melissa Ahrens-Viquez ’18. Over the past four years, Melissa participated as a leader in Carondelet Circle Student Ambassadors, Architects of Change, Peer Tutoring and served as the President of the OLP chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. One of her most meaningful high school experiences was traveling to Costa Rica to intern at a natural reserve and hydroponic farm whose focus is to establish sustainable farming practices that promote economic justice. Melissa will attend Yale University in the fall where she plans to major in environmental engineering and eventually join Engineers Without Borders. These young women, along with the entire Class of 2018, are a testament to the power of an OLP education – a tradition that has been preparing generations of women. Each of our young women currently attending OLP are provided with an education rooted in academic, spiritual, and social experiences that prepare them for the multifaceted challenges of college and life. These are women poised to be leaders in whatever path they choose, and to have the strength of their faith to carry them. In this magazine edition you can read more about the extraordinary OLP women who are leading the way in their communities and professions and the many ways our school impacts our world. Along these lines, this past April I was privileged to spend two days on an aircraft carrier as part of the Navy Distinguished Visitors Program, where I walked in the footsteps of our officers and enlisted Navy personnel who serve our nation. You can read more about my journey and the highlights of our OLP Pilot alumnae who are dedicated military service members on page 8. As always, a lot is going on at OLP! With the Fall just around the corner, and our newest Class of 2022 preparing to join our sisterhood, I encourage all of our families and friends to look to joining us at our 5th Annual Endless Summer event on Friday, August 10 here on North Terrace. I would also like to personally encourage all of our Alumnae to consider joining us at our Alumnae Reunion Weekend August 9th – 10th. Have a blessed summer!

Lauren Lek, Ed.D. HEAD OF SCHOOL

CLASS NOTES should be sent to Jeanette Handelsman ’68 at TO UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS, please contact Shannon Morrison at



Academy Of Our Lady Of Peace Head of School Lauren Lek, Ed.D. Assistant Head of School Jessica Hooper Leadership Team George Battistel, Ph.D. Melinda Blade, Ed.D. Chris Boyer Marlena Conroy Aaron Gonzalez Jeanette (Prantil) Handelsman ’64 Jessica (Goncalves) Occhialini ’88 Emily Pippin ’06 Toni Russo Contributors Dana Adcock ’18 Donna (Fitzgerald) Allen ’85 Susan (Abawi) Antolin ’06 Alexa Camarena-Gamboa ’10 Jeanette (Prantil) Handelsman ’64 Jessica Hooper Dr. Lauren Lek Emily Pippin ’06 Michael Stringer Natalia Tiller ’18 Alejandra Torres ’19 Justin Tracey Vivian Mateos Zuniga ’18

Board of Directors Lauren Lek, Ed.D., Head of School Damian McKinney, Board Chair Alison (Priske) Adema ’82 Mike Coughlin Michael Guerrero Terry Kalfayan Clair Cunningham Kennedy ’81 Diane Koester-Byron Lisa (Manzer) Leweck ’82 Deacon Lane Litke Gayle McMahon Martha McRoskey Sister Jill Marie Napier, CSJ Dr. Mary O’Connor, DDS Coreen G. Petti Nina R. Sciuto-Morales ’76 Peg Stehly Danitza (Ramirez) O L P Villaneuva M A G A Z I N E ’98 | 3 Sister Sandra Williams, CSJ Provincial

LACROSSE MAKES HISTORY OLP athletes continue to make history! OLP’s 2018 Lacrosse team won the CIF San Diego Section Division II Lacrosse Championship against El Camino on Saturday, May 12th at San Dieguito High School Academy. Within ten seconds of the opening draw, Bailey Gehler ‘19 scored the opening goal for the Pilots. El Camino bounced back and showed why they would be a formidable opponent; they held the lead for most of the match until Bailey Gehler scored the deciding goal with a little over a minute left in the match. El Camino made one last run in an attempt to tie the game, but Jenelle Cedillo ‘20 made the most important save of her young career to date, blocking El Camino’s last shot and securing the title for the Pilots. The game was a culmination of a dominant season where OLP went undefeated in league play with an overall record of 16-3. The team’s success was in due in large part to stand-out Bailey Gehler ‘19. Bailey scored nine goals in the CIF championship game and currently ranks third in the nation in scoring. As a junior, she already committed to playing Division I Lacrosse at George Mason University. Remarkably, 2018 is only the third year in which OLP has offered lacrosse, and interest in the sport continues to grow. Coach Gus Serrano has overseen the program for all three years and has been a significant reason for its success. This year Coach Serrano was joined by Assistant Coach Stephanie Murtha. For a team where only three student-athletes had any lacrosse experience before joining OLP’s team, their success is truly incredible. This year marks only the second time in OLP history where two CIF programs earned CIF Section Championships. OLP Soccer won the Division II title earlier this year. The last time this happened was 28 years ago, when OLP Cross Country and OLP Basketball won the 1990 titles.






In April I completed the year-long Spirits on Fire CSJ Leadership & Mentoring program for lay leaders in CSJsponsored ministries throughout the US. I came away from

the experience with a keen ability to identify the CSJ charism alive in myself and in others, as well as a desire to act and lead from this charism whilst encouraging others to do the same. Spirits on Fire began and ended with a week-long session at the Carondelet Hospitality Center in Albany, NY. While together, we exercised our “listening hearts” with our two main presenters, Sister Dolores Clerico, SSJ and Sister Phyllis DiFuccia, SSJ. In addition, we enjoyed equal parts prayer, journaling, fellowship, discussions, and guest speakers, with one session led by our own Dr. Lauren Lek via Skype. In between our meetings in New York, I worked both independently and with four amazing and spirit-filled women from CSJ ministries in Boston, Baton Rouge, and Erie, PA. We studied, read, prayed, and considered resources gathered by the Spirits on Fire core team over the course of two months. We connected as a group via Zoom to discuss each of the six core values of Unifying Love central to the lived mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

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It was the modeling of the charism itself during the program which impacted me most. By the end of the program, there was a palpable bond between the 30 lay leaders in the program. This connection reminds me that the charism will remain and thrive in all the CSJ-sponsored communities due in part to the MAGAZINE work of the amazing facilitators of the Spirits on Fire program.

L-R: Katy Denning, Mandy Hoffman, Betsy Weist, Donna Allen in “the kitchen” on the final evening of Spirits on Fire.


Exactly one week after graduating from OLP, I jumped on a plane and headed to New York City to attend the Teen Vogue Summit. This past year I had the privilege of

attending the Watermark Conference in Silicon Valley with Dr. Lek, Mrs. Hooper and eight fellow OLP students. I then attended the Fair Trade National Conference in Washington, D.C. one month later. These two experiences prepared me to attend this summer’s Teen Vogue Summit. In late March I received an email from Teen Vogue inviting me to apply for a scholarship to attend the summit in New York City. The process involved answering three questions about social justice issues I cared about. It took no more than 25 minutes to complete and one month later I received an email letting me know that I was selected for an underwriting. The underwriting was provided by Teen Vogue and Step Up - a national organization that supports girls and young women through mentorship. I was selected as 1 of 50 and the underwriting covered all necessary travel and provided an all access pass to the three-day conference. The first day of the conference covered topics from democracy around the world, to organizing and activism. That day I had the privilege of meeting civil rights icon, Dolores Huerta (pictured left), who co-founded the National Farmworkers Association with Cesar Chavez. I was honored to share my story with her, especially since I learned about her in AP US History at OLP last year. I also met 11-year-old gun reform activist, Naomi Wadler (pictured at top). I heard her speak at the March for Our Lives this past March and meeting her in person was an honor. The second day of the conference revolved around environmental activism, immigration and representation in media. That day I had the pleasure of meeting supermodel Halima Aden (pictured above right), the first hijab-wearing model to walk international runways and to be signed to a major agency. All of the speakers’ stories were so touching and their perspectives so powerful. My hope for all other OLP students is that they have the courage to go for opportunities outside of their comfort zone. I was definitely a little reluctant about applying for a conference so far from home and especially about attending it alone, but it was an experience I’ll never forget. My four years at OLP taught me to be a woman of courage and excellence and this experience allowed me to put those two phrases into action.

A LIFE-CHANGING JOURNEY Aboard the USS John C. Stennis By Dr. Lauren Lek

O N APRI L 8TH AND 9T H, I WAS GRANT E D T H E O P P O RTUN ITY to participate in an extraordinary experience. At the recommendation of OLP Board Member Sister Jill Napier, CSJ, Admiral Stephen Rhodes, Sr.

Jill’s long-time friend, sponsored me for the Naval Air Forces’ Distinguished Visitor (DV) Embark Program. For two days I was part of a cohort of 18

leaders from around the world brought together to learn more about our naval community.

We departed Naval Air Station North Island on Coronado and were

transported to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) by a C-2

Greyhound carrier on board delivery aircraft, or COD. We spent the morning learning about naval aircraft, the logistics of leadership on a ship, the

challenges the United States Navy faces in 2018, and the highly specialized skills required for take-off and landing on an aircraft carrier.

As a doctoral student, I pride myself on lifelong learning; however, no

amount of learning could prepare me for the rush of landing on the aircraft carrier. I felt pure adrenaline as our airplane successfully caught the wire with the tail hook with engines full throttle and came to a stop.

The Naval Air Forces’ Distinguished Visitor (DV) Embark Program welcomes leaders from all sectors - corporate, civic, government, education,

nonprofit and service - aboard a deployed carrier. While aboard, those

embarked meet the women and men who bring these ships to life, and experience first-hand how the Navy contributes to the security of the United States, and to the stability of the global community.

While aboard the USS John C. Stennis, I had the distinct privilege to meet with Rear Admiral Michael Wettlaufer, Captain Gregory Huffman, Captain

P. Scott Miller, and other members of the command. With my background in technology and women’s leadership, I talked at length with these

officers about the challenges of protecting information, IT security, and

strategies to retain women in order to advance the Navy. I also learned a great deal about the “city” that exists on our aircraft carriers. Before my time on the Stennis, I knew little of the varied roles of naval personnel. I met writers, journalists, a radio DJ, videographer, medical doctors,

psychologist, physical therapists, social conductors, chaplains, aircraft pilots, chiefs, and so much more! 8 | OLP MAGAZINE

Our family carries a deep appreciation for the men and

We give thanks to all alumnae, alumnae parents, current parents and OLP community members who have served in the military.

women who faithfully serve in the military and recognizes the sacrifices they make for our country. Both of my

grandfathers served in the Army: one fought in World War

II and the other was a Korean War veteran. Their pride shone through as they shared stories of defending our country. During each moment on the ship, I considered the

• Tracey Lewis Ferguson ’89 - Active duty Air Force1995-2001, Reserves 2001-2016.

perspective of our alumnae currently serving in the military

as well as our current OLP Pilots considering a future in the

• Katie Barrett Roy ’06 - Active duty Army 2013-2017

military. I was amazed at the diverse career options within our Navy and the rich opportunities available for women. I was heartened by the increasing number of women

• Pauline Fletcher Magnússon ’93 Air Force Reserve 2003-2012

serving, but also saw firsthand the struggle to retain strong women in leadership to advance to the top ranks.

• Meaghan (Corliss) Balser ’94 - Air Force 2008-present • Megan Hinton ’04 - Active duty Navy 2008-present • Tonie Pangco ’99 - Army for 12 years

I will forever be grateful to Sr. Jill Napier and Ambassador Rhodes for this life-changing experience. Our nation and

• Erica Williams Kreller ’02 - Active duty Navy 2011-2018

our world are sustained by the dedication of our military.

• Allison Gutierrez ’09 - Active duty Navy 2018

To our students whose parents serve in our armed forces

to our alumnae who serve: we are so grateful. As my dear

• Jenna DiMaggio ’06 - Active duty Navy 2010-2017, Reserves 2017-present

article in CB America, “We have a saying in the Navy, ‘The

• Susanne (Winfree) Merchant ’74 - Navy 1974-1980, Reserves 1980-1994

military service members and their families in our prayers.

• Alexandra Smith Winkler ’93 - Active duty Air Force for 10 years, Reserves 1997-2018

friend Chaplain Jonathan Stephens recently said in an

whole family serves!’” As an OLP family, we hold all of our My heart is filled with gratitude for their dedication to our

• Lara Shean Geronime ’93 - Active duty Navy 4 years

country, its citizens, and our world.

• Kymberly Murphy Holder ’02 - Active duty Navy 2011-present • Nicola Rathbun ’07 - Active duty Army 2011-2016, Reserves 2016-present

FERNA NDA GONZALEZ ´1 6 is going

into her 3rd year (Junior) at the US Air Force

• Bianca Mireya Souffrain’00 - Active duty Army 2009-2016

Academy. She is spending part of her summer

• Mary Megan Coughlin ’08 - Active duty Navy 2016-present

overseas, in Spain, and will return to the US to be part of the Cadet Leadership who will be

• Maria Vessels ’08 - Active duty Army 2012-2016

welcoming the incoming cadets. After that, she

• Holly Aguigam ’06 - Active Duty Navy 2014-present

will be spending the month of August in Tyndall

Air Force Base in Florida. She is a member of the

• Fernanda Gonzalez ´16 - US Air Force Academy

Sarah Flint Stender ’02


Meaghan (Corliss) Balser ’94

• Sarah Flint Stender ’02 - Army 2006-2010



USAFA Class of 2020.

Holly Aguigam ’06 (middle) p ic tured w ith her f a m ily OLP MAGAZINE



Fou nd e rs ’ Council

OLP is proud to present its new executive

student leadership model known as

Founders’ Council— a model that will

continue to actively foster servant leadership.

The Founders’ Council model, which consists

of three juniors and three seniors, emulates

the leadership structure of our founders.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet trace their roots to Le Puy, France, where, in 1650, six extraordinary women joined forces under the patronage of St. Joseph

Meet the new executive student leadership team:

FOUNDERS’ COUNCIL: 1. Gabby Dixon ‘19 2. Bailey Morales ‘19 3. Amy Hickman ‘20 4. Alex Pacheco ‘20 5. Kaylen Patalano ‘20 6. President-Designate - Molly Schroeder ‘19

in order to “practice all the spiritual and corporal works of mercy of which woman is capable and which will most benefit the dear neighbor.” The Founders’ Council will work in conjunction with four appointed commissioners— the Diversity Commissioner, the Mission and Ministry Commissioner, the Athletics Commissioner, and the Student and Staff Relations Commissioner— to create a positive

APPOINTED COMMISSIONERS: 1. Commissioner of Mission and Ministry - Ivana Letayf ‘19 2. Commissioner of Athletics - Chloe Faucher ‘19 3. Commissioner of Diversity - Kyla Osborne ‘20 4. Commissioner of Student and Staff Relations- Alejandra Torres ‘19

experience for the OLP community through all student life and service activities during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Serving the Dear Neighbor I N P E R U In keeping with our dedication to serving the dear neighbor and providing service immersion opportunities for our students, a group of OLP students traveled to Peru this summer. In preparation for their trip, the 17 students raised more than $500 to send ahead to Canto Chico, where the funds will be directly applied to CSJ ministries, including the after-school tutoring program that serves children and youth from very poor families. Visiting the CSJ sisters in Canto Chico was the first stop on the trip. Sister Eleanor Ortega, CSJ, who serves as the CSJ Assistant Mission Coordinator, shared that the location of the after-school program is at the base of hills where many families live in caves. Despite the rampant poverty, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and their partners in ministry bring hope and joy to the community. Thank you to the CSJ Sisters for welcoming us and sharing a bit of this joy with us on our trip. 10 | O L P M A G A Z I N E


the Pursuit of Learning BY J ES S I CA H O O P E R , AS S I STA N T H EA D O F S C H O O L

OLP faculty members are committed to the pursuit of knowledge. This pursuit is not limited to their subject area expertise, it also includes

professional development aimed at advancing their pedagogy and breadth of knowledge related to how students learn and what strategies engage them best in their learning experience.

As part of this commitment, in the 2017 - 2018 academic year OLP faculty participated in the following professional development opportunities as school wide initiatives (more on the next page):

G R OWT H M I NDSET Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford University, identifies two core mindsets, or beliefs, about one’s own traits that shape how people approach challenges: fixed mindset, the belief that one’s abilities were carved in stone and predetermined at birth, and growth mindset, the belief that one’s skills and qualities could be cultivated through effort and perseverance. This past year the OLP faculty and staff participated in a school-wide book study of Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. The immediate effects were noticed through the OLP faculty’s intentional use of language, visuals and overall encouragement among students to embrace a growth mindset. This is very much a work in progress and one in which students have responded to positively. As one faculty member shared, “When growth mindset messages are communicated well, educators can transform a student’s experience of learning from disengaged to engaged and excited.”




I M PL I CI T B I AS In an effort to consciously support equitable and positive learning conditions at OLP, faculty spent an afternoon with Elizabeth Pappas, UCSD lecturer, to explore implicit bias and its impact in education. Implicit bias refers to the attitudes and stereotypes that unconsciously affect people’s perceptions, actions, and decisions (Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity). According to Professor John A. Powell of the University of California at Berkeley, only two percent of our emotional cognition is conscious; the remainder lives in our unconscious networks, where implicit racial and other biases reside (Shane Safir). With this research we recognize the responsibility to engage in educational practices that enhance our conscience interactions with students. Through a professional development session, the OLP faculty affirmed strategies they can use to be cognizant of bias and its propensity to affect the learning environment for students. They also embraced a commitment to use data and various teaching methodologies to ensure equal practices among all students. In a school where all girls are welcome, the OLP faculty are committed to a conscientious practice of teaching. R E S O U R C E S:

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^ Dr. Lek participating in the Shadow a Student Challenge

A C O M M I T M E N T T O the Pursuit of Learning cont’d


As a model for re-framing methods

S AV E T H E DAT E S: One School, One Book Committed to the social and emotional development of students alongside their academic growth, as a school community we look forward to hosting two, New York Times Best Selling authors in the year ahead! Both Jessica Lahey and Rachel Simmons will visit OLP in the coming year. Within each visit Ms. Lahey and Ms. Simmons will present to the OLP student body, lead a professional development for OLP faculty and staff, and speak at a Parent Education Evening Program on the OLP campus. Be sure to pick up the following books and save the dates for each speaker!

and outcomes, design thinking reconnects educators to their creativity and aspirations for helping students develop as deep thinkers and doers. The following four steps are the

S AV E T H E DAT E S & M E E T T H E AU T H O R S: All are Welcome Parent Education Programs:

cornerstones of the design thinking process: 1Empathy: A mindset of empathy challenges participants to take on the problem at hand as if it were their own. From this first step, problem solving is approached with a sense of compassion. 2Challenge Assumptions: Introduce the “language of possibility” and approach the problem at hand with questions such as, “What if..?” Removing the status quo and acknowledging the potential of a solution are key to innovation and are what allow us the permission to see opportunity. 3Experiment: Try and try again! Ask for feedback and then iterate. The Stanford’s d. School’s motto is said to be, “Don’t talk -- do. And when you do, then you observe, reflect, and try again to get it right.” Students are encouraged to learn from their failed attempts and then iterate to create success. 4Share the Process: Commit to sharing the process, the

Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, 6:30 pm OLP’s Holy Family Event Center Jessica Lahey You are invited to join the OLP Faculty and Staff in their reading of The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed

good, the bad and the ugly so that others may learn from the process. In an effort to embrace the Design Thinking philosophy of empathy, the OLP administrators and Department Chairs participated in the Shadow A Student Challenge. This effort increased empathy for the daily experience of OLP students and inspired changes related to homework philosophies, classroom engagement activities, bathroom policies and access to food….just to name a few! Visit to learn more about this movement out of Standford’s d.School.

A C O M M I T M E N T T O the Pursuit of Learning cont’d

Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, 6:30 pm OLP’s Holy Family Event Center Rachel Simmons


to life

Mr. Stringer’s Ceramics II class recently completed their Realistic Animal Project. All of the animals are made of stoneware and were created using basic hand-building techniques such as pinch-pot, coil, and slab. They were then fired to almost 2000 degrees in our kiln. Students had the option of using either glaze (liquid glass) or acrylic paint as the finish on their animals. One student created a killer whale painted with glaze and then fired again in the kiln. Many of the other animals are painted with acrylic paint to create a more realistic look, such as the jackrabbit and the sloth. Major criteria for the project included correct proportionality (size relationship from one part to another) for the various animals and some type of texture or pattern on the animal. The students proudly displayed their work in the front hall of Aquinas for all to see.


Kira is seen here in her role of Mary Poppins.


OLP’s chapter of the National Art Honor Society partners with The Memory Project each year to create beautiful portraits of children who have faced numerous hardships, such as war, extreme poverty, neglect, natural disasters, and orphanhood. OLP students receive pictures of the kids and teens along with their name, age, and favorite color. Using this information, OLP’s student-artists compose portraits over the course of about three months. The artists are given total artistic license for the background but are asked to make the portraits as realistic as possible using any medium of their choice. Once the portraits are completed, they are shipped back to the children and a delivery video is made by the Memory Project staff. Seeing the children’s faces and reactions during the delivery videos makes all the long hours and hard work completely worth it. To date, OLP students have created close to 300 portraits of youth from Haiti, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Vietnam, El Salvador, Colombia, the Philippines, Thailand, India, Paraguay, Ghana, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Bolivia, and most recently Syria, Mexico, and Poland. Some of these countries were actively at war during the time the portraits were delivered, making it impossible to know for sure if the portraits would even get to the children. As a whole, the Memory Project organization has created close to 100,000 portraits for children from 43 countries all over the world.

The goal of the project is to provide children in difficult situations with a material possession they can call their own and to instill them with a sense of self worth, all while promoting global awareness and compassion.

We are thrilled to announce that Kira Lukasik ‘19 was accepted into the esteemed four-week-long California State Summer School of the Arts (CSSSA) at the California Institute of the Arts (Cal-Arts). The focus of the program is twofold. First, it is about training, with an emphasis on the development of the actor’s physical instrument. Kira will take classes in Tai Chi Ch’uan, movement, physical comedy, contact improvisation, stage combat, dance, voice, musical theatre, Shakespeare, mask work, and more. Classes are held Mondays through Saturdays throughout the four-week session. Second, CSSSA is about the life of an actor, and features performances, lectures, and seminars with visiting actors, casting agents, and companies to expand each student’s vision of the art form, and to provide a practical, realistic picture of the various choices within the profession. We are so excited for Kira! OLP MAGAZINE



Graduation 2018 16 | O L P M A G A Z I N E


T WA S A D A Y O F E X C I T E M E N T F O R T H E G R A D U AT I N G C L A S S O F 2 0 1 8 A S T H E Y celebrated Commencement on May 25. Head of School Dr. Lauren Lek addressed our seniors and their families before valedictorian Melissa Ahrens-Viquez ’18 and salutatorian Angela Balistrieri ’18 gave their

remarks. Also in attendance was the Class of 1968, which celebrated their 50th reunion on campus earlier that day. The Class of 1968 was the only graduating class in OLP’s history that didn’t get to experience graduation on North Terrace because of rain the day of their graduation. As a special tribute to them, each alumna was surprised with a graduation cap and invited to “graduate” on North Terrace with the Class of 2018—a truly special moment for them!

THE SENIOR CLASS OF 2018 R EC E I V E D A TOTA L O F 916 OFFERS OF ADMISSION TO 2 0 0 D I F F E R E N T 4 -Y E A R UNIVERSITIES ACROSS THE UNITED S TAT E S A N D T H E WO R L D. These acceptances include Ivy League Institutions, top tier public research institutions, highly selective private schools, and a military academy. Additionally, 2018 OLP seniors were admitted to all of the UC campuses.











G R A D UAT I O N 2 0 1 8



MEL ISSA AHRENS -V I QU EZ Melissa Ahrens-Viquez served as valedictorian for the Class of 2018. She will be attending Yale University where she received a full ride scholarship and will be studying Environmental Engineering. Melissa received more than $967,000 in scholarships to 12 colleges and universities. She also received the 2018 Public Works/ ACEC Scholarship. While at OLP she participated in Spring Sing for three years, was a member of Liturgical Ministry, served as the President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Club, Co-President of the Women of Science Club, was a leadership team member for the Architects of Change Club, member of the California Scholarship Federation (CSF) and National Honor Society (NHS), and participated in the STEM Certificate Program. She also received a Top Ten Senior Award from OLP.

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AN G EL A BA L I ST R I ER I Angela Balistrieri served as salutatorian for the Class of 2018. She will be attending Harvard University in the Fall and studying Neurobiology. Angela was also accepted to additional Ivy League Schools including Columbia University and Yale University as well as seven other colleges and universities. She received a Top Ten Senior Award, Science Department Award and was a National Merit Commended Scholar. During her time at OLP she served as a member of the California Scholarship Federation (CSF), National Honor Society (NHS), Freshman Class President, Sophomore Class Vice President, Junior Section President, Women’s Health Initiative Founder/President and participated in the STEM Certificate Program.

A L L ISON GRYGAR Allison Grygar will be attending UC Davis where she received a $7,500 Regents Scholarship. She was also offered more than $101,000 in merit-based scholarships to four additional colleges and universities where she was accepted. While at OLP Allison was a Carondelet Circle Student Ambassador, Freshman Representative and a member of NHS and CSF. She received a Top Ten Senior Award from OLP was the only OLP student to be selected as a National Merit Finalist, a prestigious honor.

KA R A BAT TY Kara Batty will be attending Johns Hopkins University where she received a $262,000 Hopkins Grant. She was also accepted and offered more than $1.2 million in scholarships to nine additional colleges and universities including Boston University, Fordham University, Georgetown University and Loyola University Chicago. During her time at OLP Kara served as a Carondelet Circle Student Ambassador, Freshman Representative, Junior Ambassador and a member of CSF and NHS. She also participated in Gymnastics. OLP MAGAZINE



G R A D UAT I O N 2 0 1 8

S E N I O R Spotlight MA D EL I NE BECK ER Madeline Becker will be attending Fordham University in the fall where she received a $20,000 scholarship. Madeline was also accepted to New York University, University of Portland, University of San Diego and St. John’s University. During her time at OLP she participated in Spring Sing all four years, served as a Peer Tutor and was a member of NHS, NAHS, National Hispanic Honor Society, National Speech and Debate Honor Society, Liturgical Ministry, Speech & Debate Team and the Thespians/Drama Club. Madeline also won the OLP World Languages Department Award.

DAN A ADCOC K Dana Adcock will be attending Duke University in the Fall. She was offered more than $341,000 in scholarships from the additional schools she was accepted to. Dana also received a $3,000 Raoul Teilhet Scholarship, $2,000 CCE/AFT Scholarship and a Cox Charities Foundation Scholarship. During her time at OLP, Dana participated in Amnesty International, Choral Club, was the Founder and President of the Shakespeare Society, Choral Club Director, Thespian Club Treasurer, and Thespian Club Publicity Manager. Dana received a Top 10 Senior Award from OLP and was recognized as an International Honor Thespian Scholar and member of CSF.

CL A I R E VON BER G E Claire von Berge will be attending Boston University in the Fall. She was also accepted and received more than $246,000 in scholarships to University of Arizona, University of Colorado Boulder, Northeastern University and Pennsylvania State University. While at OLP, Claire participated in the BeYOUtiful Club, Gymnastics, and served as a Junior Ambassador. 20 | O L P M A G A Z I N E

H A NNA H PI NG O L Hannah Pingol will be attending Stanford University in the Fall. She was awarded more than $660,000 in scholarships from the 12 other schools she was accepted to including Fordham University (where she was offered a full ride Presidential Scholarship), The George Washington University, Northeastern University, Villanova and UC Irvine. Hannah received a Top 10 Senior Award from OLP and was also a member of NHS, CSF, the National Honor Society for Dance Arts and an International Honor Thespian Scholar. During her time at OLP, she was a Spring Sing Music Director for four years, the founder of the Asian-Pacific Islander Club, President of the French Club, Peer Tutor Captain and Thespian Club Webmaster.

CA R OLINA BORBON Carolina Borbon will be taking a gap year to participate in an international immersion opportunity in Europe. She was accepted to Stanford University where she was offered a full ride scholarship. She was also awarded more than $85,000 in scholarships to the other schools she was accepted to including UC Berkeley, UCLA, American University and Boston College. She was awarded a Top 10 Senior Award from OLP. During her time as a student, she was a Peer Tutor, participated in Spring Sing for two years, served as Freshman Section President, was a member of CSF and NHS and played Lacrosse.

BR EEZ E H A F ENST EI N Breeze Hafenstein will be attending College of Charleston where she received a $50,000 scholarship. She also received more than $546,000 in scholarships to the other 13 colleges and universities she was accepted to. During her time at OLP she participated in Link Crew, Liturgical Ministry, Red Cross School Club, was a Senior Mentor and Freshman Retreat Leader. She also played Volleyball and Sand Volleyball.





Martin Luther King Scholars Program

22 | O L P M A G A Z I N E

We are honored to announce our very own Natalia Tiller

As a whole, the environment at OLP has taught me how to

’18 has been awarded a scholarship as part of the Martin

be confident in myself. The classes I took helped shape my

Luther King Scholars Program and a full ride to New York

moral views and further polish my ability to express my own

University (NYU)! Natalia was one of only 20 students

opinions. The MLK Scholars program requires weekly seminars

chosen to receive this honor out of 75,000 who applied. The

on pressing current events, and because of these classes and

Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars Program brings together

my experiences at OLP I know that I am confident enough to

students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds who have demonstrated a commitment to further the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through excellence in academic achievement and distinguished leadership and community service. The understanding of the legacy that informs the Scholars Program is the beloved community defined by the themes of excellence, social equality and economic justice. Dr. King’s beloved community is inclusive and just, where

share my beliefs. NYU has been my dream school since freshman year and I absolutely cannot wait to move to New York City. Since I am planning on majoring in Applied Psychology and French, I know that the city has infinite opportunities for me to take advantage of. New York City is such a vibrant place to go to college, and I know that I will flourish there. I would advise incoming students to focus their energy on what they are passionate about and what really drives them.

individuals can grow and thrive. Natalia shares her

Colleges are looking for genuine people with a moldable

experience at OLP and how it helped her achieve one of her

wisdom that can grow and develop in their institution. I would

goals: attending her dream school, NYU!

say, don’t be afraid of doing something new to find your

My favorite OLP memories are my junior and senior year retreats at Whispering Winds. These retreats brought me so much closer to my classmates and helped me understand who I am as a person. Never have I felt so loved and appreciated

identity! During my freshman year, I auditioned for the musical at Saints alone. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but it was the best decision of my life and now I’m president of OLP’s Thespian Society. Always be true to yourself. Be active in your community and have boundless amounts of empathy. In high school, I volunteered in hospitals in Barranquilla, Colombia and in the Pacific House of Relations as a Colombian

than during those trips. I will miss the sisterhood: the pep

folkloric dancer, which showed colleges that I cared about my

rallies, being able to openly scream and cry with your friends,


the support we all have for one another, and the sense of community each class slowly builds with each other.

NYU handpicks 20 people out of a pool of about 75,500, with only three people from California. I believe that I was

I love how OLP encourages us to go beyond our limits of

chosen because I was able to hone in on my passions for

who we think we are. In social justice or peace studies,

activism and community service. If I could give my freshman

we are encouraged to talk about very tough topics that

self some advice, it would be that things will work out in

otherwise would have been skipped or been sugar-

your favor and blessings are everywhere. You will encounter

coated. Even within our own friend groups, we push each

moments of uncertainty and you are still trying to figure out

other to be the best person we can be. My friends have

who you are, but always know that if you enjoy a certain class

encouraged me to take challenging classes and apply for

or extracurricular, keep doing it! Revel in your uniqueness and

programs like the Junior Ambassador program. And just

in what makes you you. Don’t join clubs or take classes just

last year a group of friends and I founded OLP’s African

because they ‘look good’ on your resume; do it because you

American Alliance Club and Unity and Action Club.

want to. If you follow your passions, colleges will see that and they will reward you for it. And last but not least, always be true to yourself no matter what.




Congratulations to our Class of 2018 STEM Certificate Program participants In 2015, the Academy of Our Lady of Peace created the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Certificate Program to acknowledge students for their achievements and involvement in STEM-related activities. Students completing the requirements to earn a STEM Certificate receive special recognition at their commencement ceremony, as well as a seal of completion on their graduation diploma. In addition, STEM certificate completion will be noted on their transcript.

The program has grown to include 59 students. The Class of 2018 is the first graduating class to have students complete the STEM Certificate Program, with 18 students having completed the program. Isabella Agpaoa

Jessica Dharmawan

Melissa Ahrens-Viquez

Megan Gronstad

Isabella Amigable

Sophia Lujan

Angela Balistrieri

Angelina Manasan

Gabriella Belsito

Vanessa Ortega

Hailie Burton

Anne Parnell

Crystal Butcher

Eileen Reh

Sophia Crennan

Camila Tirado

Catherine de Frates

Stephany Webb

P O S T- G R A D

Redefined FO R O L P ST U D E N TS BY ALE X A CAM AREN A ‘ 10

We are so proud of our Pilots and wish you the best, Emilia and Carolina!

When one graduates high school, the traditional pathway is attending college the following semester. A new trend is arising for high school students: taking a gap year. Even though some students at OLP are taking the gap year route, that does not mean they won’t still be learning. Two OLP students, Emilia Perez-Rocha ’18 and Carolina Borbon ’18, have decided taking a gap year is what makes most sense for them.

Emilia was accepted to prestigious universities but says she chose to take a gap year because she needed more time to discern what she truly wants to do. “If you think about it, we are pretty young to decide what we want to do for the rest of our lives and it is very natural for us to want and need to take some time to first get to know ourselves and then what our purpose in life is,” Emilia said. She will be going back to Montpellier, France, to take intensive courses in French, do community service, and travel around Europe. She will be attending the Alliance Francaise in Montpellier in the hopes of becoming fluent in French and trilingual (she is already fluent in English and Spanish). Even though Emilia will be in France for a year, she already committed and asked for a deferral at San Diego State University to save her spot for when she comes back. Emilia reflects on her journey at OLP and says OLP gave her the confidence to pursue these cultural immersion experiences instead of following the 24 | O L P M A G A Z I N E


traditional pathway of enrolling in a university right away. She says, “OLP took me outside of my box and even me challenges that I now know how to defeat. Because of this, I know and have the confidence that I will be okay in the future.”

Another student, Carolina Borbon ‘18, has also chosen to take a gap year. She will be participating in a cultural exchange program through Rotary International called Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) and traveling to Verona, Italy. RYE is a program designed for fifteen through eighteen year-old high school students around the world so they can travel to a new country, learn a different language, and immerse in a culture other than their own. Carolina will attend school in Verona and her focus is to master the language and become trilingual. She chose to take some time before enrolling in college when she finished filing her applications in December. She says, “I realized that if I did not take advantage of this opportunity now, I never would. I have plans of going into law school after college, and it just seems like if I didn’t take this pause, I would be going straight from undergraduate studies to postgraduate school to a job.” As Carolina reflects on her journey at OLP and how OLP influenced her decision of taking a gap year, she says, “At my time at OLP I learned that if we seclude ourselves by only being surrounded with like-minded individuals, never challenging our own perspective, our personal growth can be impaired.” She values the opportunity she had to meet people with different experiences and opinions while at OLP and knows she will do just that while abroad.

BEYOUTIFUL AT O L P D I D YO U K N OW T H AT T H E B E YO U T I FU L P R O J ECT G OT I TS STA RT AS A C L AS S P R O J ECT ? In January 2014, students in Mrs. Flannery’s American Literature class read The Scarlet Letter and watched the thought-provoking film Miss Representation, which shows how females are portrayed, used, and misrepresented in our society. Students discussed the societal ideal of the perfect woman and agreed that this “perfect woman” is unrealistic and unattainable. In today’s world, young women are bombarded with these expectations and unrealistic images, especially with the growing influence of social media.

This conversation within the walls of Mrs. Flannery’s classroom inspired the girls to do something about these misrepresentations and societal pressures. They created a way to support their middle-school peers and empower them to rise to their full potential, and The BeYOUtiful Project was born. As part of the annual conference, fifth, sixth, and seventh graders spend the day with OLP’s BeYOUtiful leaders, with eighth graders serving as leadersin-training. Since its inaugural event in 2015, the day has grown from 60 to more than 340 participants. The BeYOUtiful Project focuses on EMPOWERING young women through love, confidence, and self-awareness, educating girls on both the negative and positive ways women are portrayed in media. Through workshops and mentoring, BeYOUtiful leaders focus on boosting the self-esteem of middle school girls, encouraging them to take charge of their own image and to develop their own personality and style. Student leaders share this message of empowerment with younger girls in middle school, a formative time for body image and self-confidence. Equipped with this message of empowerment, BeYOUtiful participants go out into their community and live confidently through their own kind of beYOUty.

Mark your calendars for next year’s conference:

SATU RDAY, A P RIL 13, 2 019. How do you share your beYOUtiful self with the world?

a DAY i n the LIFE

We said goodbye to the Class of 2018 at the Senior Farewell Ceremony. They enjoyed a skit by all the classes reflecting on their journey at OLP, listened to a mashup with some of their favorite songs, witnessed an amazing performance by our very own Lemonade Mouth, and watched the traditional senior farewell video composed of videos and photos of their time at OLP!

Congratulations to our amazing OLP Varsity Lacrosse team on winning CIF SDS DII Championship! Go Pilots!

Happy 136th birthday, OLP! We’re honored to be the oldest and only all-girls’ high school in San Diego, and we owe it all to our founding CSJ Sisters! We celebrated this wonderful day with some delicious donuts!

Congratulations to Megan Gronstad ’18 and Isabella Agpaoa ’18! Megan & Isabella were honored recently by the High School Sports Association of San Diego for being OLP’s Scholar Athletes of the Year.

We held a beautiful celebration for the Crowning of Mary, the Queen of May, in the Chapel & Chapel Garden.

We hosted the 4th Annual Diocesan Catholic Educators Banquet. Congratulations to all our educators who were honored. 26 | O L P M A G A Z I N E

We celebrated the incredible effort and dedication our athletes give to their teams of Lacrosse, Softball, Cheer, Swim & Dive, Track & Field, Sand Volleyball and Archery at the Spring Sports Assembly!

So proud of our Pilots, all girls’ FIRST All Star Rookie Robotics team competed at the FIRST World Championships in Houston! They were the only all girls’ team from San Diego. Go Pilots!

Our spring production of The Addams Family was a huge success! Congratulations to the cast and crew and thank you to all who attended!

Our ancestors from The Addams Family ready for the show!

We welcomed the Class of 2022 on campus! Our incoming Frosh gathered in Lower Plaza and played ice breakers, heard from current students, and took their first Class of 2022 picture!

The OLP community had a wonderful time in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. Special thanks to the support of current parents Ana Luisa Fimbres and Melania Magoni for this amazing experience!

We had so much fun at Community Day! We started off with Mass on the Grass, followed by fun activities such as hungry hungry hippo, and much more!

The BeYOUtiful Conference was amazing! We hosted more than 250 girls from around San Diego County for a day of girl empowerment!

Our seniors announced where they are going to college by drawing their college’s logo on North Terrace’s sidewalk as part of our Senior Chalk Project! Congratulations to all our seniors! OLP MAGAZINE




“Learn about the education system in other countries. You might find that doing university abroad is what you always wanted but were too afraid to do. You don’t have to stay in the U.S.”

“Talk to your parents. Inquire about the world, life, and family history. Listen. Truly listen. You have a lot to learn from their successes and challenges. More importantly, the relationship that you build will be your support for the rest of your life, and you will cherish this time forever.”



“Sweet girl, stop being stubborn wanting to learn all of life’s lessons on your own. You do not have the lifespan to learn from making mistakes all on your own. Be still at times, listen and watch others so that you learn from their mistakes as well.”

YV ET T E AG UAYO ’ 89 “If you get a chance to travel DO IT!! Be adventurous, take chances. There’s never a ‘perfect time’ and before you know it, your career is booming, the family is growing and life gets in the way of what you really want to do.”

“Never take your OLP education for granted. They prepared you to think smart, empathetic, and fierce. Trust in that. It’s what will set you apart from others.” GA B BY IGEL ’0 9

“Don’t wish for time to fly in high school in order to get to college. Treasure moments with your high school friends and appreciate the OLP experience. When you go off to college and begin your career you realize what a unique and special experience OLP truly was in your life, but it is too late to go back and breathe it all in. Don’t rush through it. Stop and appreciate the specialness of it all!”




“Don’t let fear or peer pressure determine your path. You’re stronger than you believe. Own yourself.” MARICELA PEREZ ’05

“Never be afraid to ask questions! Please use the summer between graduating high school and going to college to learn all the basic adult necessities: how to change oil on your car, how often to get your car tires rotated, how to sew a button onto your clothing, the best way to get various stains out of your clothes. Learn how to cook! Talk to your parents about car insurance. Learn all about your money management and banking, how to pay bills, balancing your account. Teach yourself to be ready for life as an independent adult,”


“Trust your gut, travel solo, keep learning, love fully, and jump into a career that brings out the best of you.” 28 | O L P M A G A Z I N E


“You know what you’re doing.” KELS EY LO P EZ ’10

CAR R I E B EAR ’ 8 6

“Find your sense of humor and always keep it in your back pocket. It will get you through some tough times. And see the world. Not just the fun, pretty places, but the real world where people struggle to get through a day. It will nourish your soul in a way nothing else can. Give back to someone who can never repay you. When you make mistakes, own them and apologize. Be good to people. Be good to you.”

“Don’t take no for an answer.”

“Leave California. Try the seasons. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone.” KIM EKLU ND ’1 2

Reconnect at OLP’s 3rd Annual ALUMNAE REUNION WEEKEND AUGUST 9-10, 2018

THURSDAY , AUGUST 9 WEEKEND DETAILS All classes and alumnae are welcome to attend the festivities. Special classes celebrating reunions are: 1943–75th 1948–70th 1953–65th 1958–60th 1963–55th 1968–50th 1973–45th 1978–40th 1983–35th 1988–30th 1993–25th 1998–20th 2003–15th 2008–10th 2013–5th

Purchase tickets and find information at

Happy Hour Reception: OLP-Here for the Journey $10 | 5:30 pm-7:00 pm | » Join us for an alumnae only happy hour event! Connect with other alums and enjoy our vendors who will provide resources to help you through every stage of life » Enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres

FRIDAY , AUGUST 10 Alumnae Remembrance Mass & Blessing of Restored Chapel FREE! RSVP Requested | 11:00 am » Special recognition for donors who supported chapel restoration fund

Hosted Reception FREE! RSVP Requested | 12:00 pm » Open to all Chapel donors, alumnae and their families

Alumna of the Year Award Honoring Mary Caratan Sloper ’58 FREE! RSVP Requested | 12:30 pm » Alumna of the Year Award Recognition » Open to alumnae, current students and their families

Campus Tours by Carondelet Circle Students FREE! RSVP Requested | 2:00 pm Join with the OLP community at the 4th Annual Endless Summer Event $35/$50/$450/$750 Tickets | 6:00 pm | North Terrace » Music, Craft Beer and Wine Bar, and Delicious Food! » 21+ Only

Individual class-specific celebrations taking place off campus on Saturday, August 11





TA K E F L I G H T Su m m e r


will serve on the OLP Alumnae Association Executive Council as an At-Large member for 2018-2019. Kathy came to OLP as a junior when her family returned to San Diego from Alaska. She is forever grateful to her parents for the opportunity to attend OLP. She is a graduate of the San Diego College for Women (now incorporated as part of USD) and is a retired teacher. Kathy lives in Coronado and is the Program Chair of the Soroptimist International of Coronado. In 2018 she was named the Soroptimist of the Year for her Chapter. She is also President of the San Diego Chapter, Society of Sponsors of the U.S. Navy. She and her husband Ray, have been married for 51 years and have 3 sons and 8 grandchildren. For the 39 years that her husband was a military officer, she was “blessed with motherhood, teaching, and supporting my husband in all the activities related to his career.” She hopes to become an informed alumna, to further the mission of OLP, and to use her background and experience to promote OLP. We are excited to see her impact on our Executive Council.


Madonna will serve on the OLP Alumnae Association Executive Council as the Chair for Class Agents and as the Reunion Liaison for 2018-2019. Madonna graduated from the University of San Diego in 2002 and earned her MBA in 2006. She currently serves as the Human Resources Director for Genalyte, Inc. and is the current board president for the San Diego Life Science HR Network. Madonna shares: “As a second generation alumna, I am extremely grateful for the experience and education that going to OLP gave me. Over the years I’ve tried to find ways to give back to the school that was so instrumental in my own development.” The greatest gifts that she received, along with a “superb education” are the lifelong friends who, 20 years after graduation, she still speaks to almost weekly. “I consider them my sisters-- we have been present at every major milestone in each other’s lives since we met at OLP.”


Angelica owns her own business Angelica B Beauty, a skin care studio and clean beauty boutique in North Park. She is passionate about women’s issues -- it is as she shares, “at the core of my business.” She takes pride in passing along skincare tips as young girls move into young adulthood to becoming mature young women. She even advises her clients with makeup tips as they go to college or job interviews. At OLP she learned about women’s empowerment and she wants to make a difference as she watches her young daughter grow up into the world of her time.


Tiffany attended Mount Holyoke College and graduated Cum Laude with a BA in English in 1997. She also received a Diploma in English and American Literature from the University of Kent in Canterbury England in 1996 and an MFA in Acting from the Actors Studio Drama School the The New School in 2001. She spent seven years as a professional actor in New York and presently serves as the Associate Director of Intrepid Theater in San Diego. Intrepid’s MainStage productions have been awarded the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Dramatic Production and Outstanding Direction for three years, over larger houses such as The Old Globe and La Jolla Playhouse. The community outreach of Intrepid Theater includes Exiled Voices: The Refugee Art Experience, pairing refugee students with artists for months of conversation resulting in the creation of a piece of art inspired by the stories of the student. Exiled Voices resulted in a free community event and performance in March 2017 and a presentation at the 2017 Refugee Summit. Tiffany and her collaborators are currently in discussion with the California Department of Social Services Refugee Bureau to present in Sacramento. Tiffany also published her first book, Creepy Little Death Poems in 2014 and has contributed to the San Diego Union Tribune Arts Section. Tiffany shares about her time at OLP: “Growing up in a community with support for the person I was becoming, that saw all 30 the | O Llight P M Athat G A Zshone I N E within me helped me to acknowledge it for myself and take it into the world.”


Samantha graduated from San Diego State University in 2008 with a degree in Business Marketing. She is owner/operator of The Frame Maker, a family business founded by her father, Steve Atlas. The Frame Maker has done custom picture framing since 1976 and Samantha took on the role of Operations Manager in 2016. She is an active member of the ASID, the American Society of Interior Designers and in her spare time volunteers for the Center for Community Solutions. She co-chaired the Center’s annual “Tea and Tonic” event this past April. Samantha shares: “OLP taught me the power of women and about community and giving back.”


Anna Lee graduated from San Diego State University in 2013 with an English Single Subject major and an Italian Studies minor and completed her Teaching Credential in 2016. She is currently working on 2 different careers -- she is a teacher of middle school English Language Arts and elementary Music at St. Patrick’s School in North Park. Outside of school hours she is a songwriter and the manager and producer for the San Diego band, Finnegan Blue, a band that was founded in 2015 with her father Bill Fleming, her brother Willie Fleming (Saint Augustine High School graduate) and a percussionist and electric bass player. Her inspiration for Finnegan Blue came from her memories of watching her parents perform all over San Diego and in their hometown, New York. Finnegan Blue captures the essence of Americana by performing high energy original songs written, sung, and played by sibling duo Anna Lee and Willie. They also entertain their listeners with Irish and Bluegrass-influenced crowd favorites as well as songs from the Grateful Dead, The Pogues, Flogging Molly, Stevie Wonder and Amy Winehouse. They have performed at St. Patrick’s Day weekend festivities, the North Park Festival of the Arts and the Adams Avenue Street Fair. They hope to tour Northern California and beyond with the release of their first album this May. Anna Lee recalls that her Speech Class with Dr. Sheehan was, in her words, “a gamechanger” and it ignited in her the spark that she has for performing. While a student at OLP, Anna Lee formed an all girl band, Hazardous Waste, which performed at school-wide assemblies. Another favorite memory at OLP was performing an original song with Mr. John Galvan when she was a senior. She thanks OLP for the gift of the many friendships she made while a student -- she stays in touch with those friends and they often come when Finnegan Blue performs to show their support.


Caitlin graduated from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania in 2011 with a double major in Spanish and Entrepreneurship. In her junior year at Juniata she applied to enter the Juniata Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, was admitted and awarded a student loan to start her own business, Something Sunny, a line of painted picture frames, art prints and decals. Caitlin landed a job at Rokenbok Toy Company in 2011 and was promoted to Marketing Director, overseeing all the marketing and communications for the company. In January of 2018, she left Rokenbok to found Housable, a company which helps homeowners build granny flats on their properties. The idea for Housable began when she was doing her own research on building a granny flat and found no single definitive source of information. When legislation regarding granny flats changed in January 2017, granny flat development in Los Angeles grew by 206.5% Caitlin shares: “Deciding to leave my job felt like walking off a cliff, but it’s the best decision I could have ever made. I feel so satisfied and excited every day. I’m growing exponentially. Often I feel like I’m drinking from a fire hose!” In the 5 months since Caitlin left Rokenbok, she’s been offered two full time jobs, both of which she “politely declined.” She credits her time at OLP with the confidence which allows young women to make mistakes and learn in a very encouraging environment. When she begins to feel self-doubt she is able to recognize it and tell herself: “It’s OK. I’ve got this!”


Pilar attended the University of California, Berkeley and graduated with a degree in Anthropology. During her college years, she was a member of Trenza, a Latina women’s group at UC Berkeley. After a time as a Health Educator for the Contra Costa County Department of Public Health and the Director of Education for Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, she is currently the owner and lead designer at Gorgeous and Green, an online eco-friendly floral design boutique and event design firm. After 4 years of Cross Country and Track at OLP, Pilar continues to run 10K’s. She shares about her time at OLP: “I learned to value my life as a woman and female in our society. I left with so many realizations about who I was becoming and my abilities to meet challenges in life. I left OLP without doubts, but rather an open range of opportunities as I knew I could achieve my heart’s desire.” When asked her favorite memories from OLP, Pilar declared a 3-way tie between Cross Country practices and races, Spring Sing and Anatomy with Mr. Rauch -- and the giant cats we dissected and then had funeral services for!


Tess is currently a full-time clinical psychology doctoral student with the Wright Institute and is a psychological trainee at Holy Names University as an undergraduate and graduate student counselor. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from St. Mary’s College of California in 2011 with a B.S. in Child Developmental Psychology and was a nominee for her class valedictorian. While a student at St. Mary’s, Tess was a member of CILSA (Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Action), an organization which works toward “the collaboration of all people to enact social justice, inclusion and sustainability in every aspect of life.” As a member of this group, Tess, worked with disadvantaged populations in the Tenderloin District of downtown San Francisco. Tess shares: “I tell people ALL the time that I am the woman I am today BECAUSE of my time at OLP. I learned how to be a strong confident, competent KIND human being with OLP’s guidance. I pray that my daughter will share the same love I have for OLP some day!” And without a doubt, Tess’s favorite OLP memory is her participation in Spring Sing -- who will ever forget the many characters that Tess played for her class’s production!


Hope was recently profiled in the Spokane Journal of Business in Spokane, Washington. She is the CEO of WildRide Inc., a new Spokane venture which provides a free smartphone app that will send users to a mystery restaurant or bar, a twist on culinary adventures! The app was launched by Hope and 6 other Gonzaga University graduates and since her 2018 graduation from Gonzaga, Hope has been working full-time on this new venture. Hope shares that WildRide will use a business model similar to Open Table, a reservation website and O L Papp. MAGAZINE | 31


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Endless Summer F R I DAY, A U G U S T 1 0 , 2 0 1 8 | 6 : 0 0 P M

Let’s start the school year with a party! Join OLP for the 5th Annual Endless Summer event featuring local craft beer, delectable wines, dinner and music. Mix and mingle with OLP parents, alumnae, faculty and friends as you celebrate the end of summer with the majestic view from North Terrace. 2 1 + O N LY. I DS W I L L B E C H E C K E D AT T H E D O O R.

Purchase Tickets:




Save the Date!


maderas Golf Club thursday, october 4, 2018

Profile for Academy of Our Lady of Peace

July 2018 OLP Magazine  

July 2018 OLP Magazine