Page 1

$400,000 A Gift From God…

Catholic education is an exceptional gift from God, and your contributions to the Annual Fund ensure the quality of virtually every aspect of school life—from the classrooms to the playing fields to the stage.


et Un ic C v o pa eil mp ge ed lex 2

Irish Ayes

Faith, Knowledge, Service

2008/09 Annual Fund Goal


Volume XXXV Winter 2008

Keeping a pulse on the world of healthcare

Help us build on the record-setting results of last year. Please prayerfully consider giving to Ryan so that today’s students can continue to experience the gift.

To make your gift, contact the Advancement Office or go online to NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE


NASHVILLE, TN Permit No. 22

770 Norwood Drive Nashville, TN 37204 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

Ryan Hosts Rachel’s Challenge pg. 4 Girls Soccer Wins State pg. 8 Gala Honorees Announced pg. 14 Page 22 15318 Irish Ayes Redesign2.indd 1

1/12/09 2:26:20 PM

Letters to the Editor

Athletic Complex................................ 2 Rachel’s Challenge.............................. 4 Freshman Orientation........................ 5 ACT/SAT Perfect Scores..................... 6 Jason Erwin Art Show........................ 7 Sports.................................................. 8 Cover Story......................................... 9 Gala Honorees.................................. 14 PowerSchool..................................... 15 5K Recap............................................ 16 Class Notes........................................ 17 Wedding/Birth Announcements...... 19 In Memoriam..................................... 20 New Website Launch........................ 21

Board of trustees Executive Committee

members serving two-year terms: David Bohan ’66, Chairman Patrick J. Nolan III ’69, Vice-Chairman Rev. Michael O. Johnston ‘63, Secretary-Treasurer David Glascoe, Finance Committee Chair Tommy Bradley ’81, Membership Committee Chair

Committee Chairs serving a one-year term:

Faith, Knowledge, Service

Table of Contents

(From left to right) Top row: Michael Petcu ‘10, Zachary Coode ‘11, Megan Arena ‘11 Bottom row: Tim Petcu ‘05, Hunter Wilson ‘07, Evan Bohn ‘10

William R. Stejskal ’79, Facilities Committee Chair Judy Komisky Orr ’75, Advancement Committee Chair

Dear Irish Ayes: Attached is a terrific photo of several FRHS students who volunteered at a camp sponsored by the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the American Diabetes Association. For the past 26 years, Camp Sugar Falls allows young children with diabetes the opportunity to be away from home without the fear of their disease not being monitored.  This year’s camp was from July 28 to July 31.  Present at the camp are nutritionists, physicians, teachers, nurses and many volunteers who plan activities and help the children learn more about their diabetes and how to manage it.  The children make new friends and share their successes and trials with diabetes. Hats off to our Father Ryan students who helped make this camp such a successful experience for young diabetics!   Yours, Julie Petcu  

Father Ryan Launches New Website

BOARD MEMBERS Antoine Agassi Rev. Mark Beckman Lori Copeland Chamberlain Judith E. Hoover Steve Janicak Rev. Patrick J. Kibby ’73 Patricia Kyger Kevin J. Marchetti ’73 Philip M. Mattingly Sr. ’69 Robert J. Mendes Stephen P. Mullins ’75 John Siedlecki James Sochovka

Dear Irish Ayes: As a former student (Class of 1962) of Mr. Corsini, I know how close many students were to him in my class and subsequent classes. It was wonderful to honor his memory in the recent Irish Ayes, a publication he read and enjoyed.  Also, I know first-hand how difficult his death was, not just for his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends, but for his devoted wife of 64 years.  I am certain the article contributed greatly in dealing with her grief and brought a smile to her face. John Batson ‘62


Please send your comments and letters to Irish Ayes to

Most Rev. David R. Choby ’65 Rev. David Perkin, V.G. James A. McIntyre Dr. Therese Williams

LIFE TRUSTEES W. Irvin Berry ’46 Thomas G. Connor Sr. ’60 John J. Cunningham Sr. William J. Dunigan William H. Farmer ’65 Edward B. Gore J. Terry Hunter Vincent T. Phillips John C. Shea ’51 William F. Smith Edward A. Stack



Winter 2008, Volume XXXV, Number 2

Irish Ayes is published by Father Ryan High School and is distributed without charge to alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends of the school. Send address changes to: Father Ryan High School, Advancement Office • 770 Norwood Drive, Nashville, TN 37204 Phone: 615-269-7926 • E-mail: Father Ryan High School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.


n November 7, Father Ryan launched its new website to the public with a brand new look plus a few extra capabilities for its users.Visitors to the site can now set the school’s calendar to send reminders of selected events or sync the school’s news and events to their news feed on Google or Yahoo! Developed with FinalSite, a web design and software company that caters to more than 700 schools across the nation, the site provides a convenient tool for the school’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. Jeff Mesch, IT Director, was instrumental in introducing the new site. “We are both excited and grateful for the improvement to our website. FinalSite has given us the means to communicate more effectively in and outside our Father Ryan community,” he says. “We look forward to expanding the site with cutting-edge capabilities that meet everyone’s needs while showcasing all there is at Father Ryan.” Since its launch, the new website has seen an over 35 percent increase in visitors. New visitors to the site have doubled, making up

44 percent of all visits. The excitement of has caught on overseas as well, with site visits from six different continents in 103 countries including Japan, Kenya and New Zealand. One new feature has helped the school keep track of its increasingly mobile community of alumni: the Alumni Information Update form. The form allows alumni to update their information and share news about themselves and other alumni to include in Irish Ayes. “With the new website has come more opportunities to share information about our school from alumni news to student accomplishments to teacher recognitions,” says Jim McIntyre. “The site is a tool that we can use to continually improve our communications and enhance the Father Ryan experience. Most importantly, it gives us the means to continue our tradition of faith, knowledge and service.” 21

15318 Irish Ayes Redesign2.indd 2

1/12/09 2:26:26 PM

MARY MARGARET AUGUSTINE - Mother of James ‘61 and Joe Augustine ‘76 and Susan Mayes.

MICHAEL V. HOLMES, SR. ‘58 - Father of Mike ‘81 and Chuck Holmes ‘84 and Michelle Bullock ‘88 and brother of Ann Donnelly.

WILLIAM PATRICK BAUER, JR.‘45 - Father of Patrick Bauer, Sr. ‘69 and Karen Sutherly.

CHARLES A. “TONY” HOSTETTLER, SR. ‘44 - Father of Tony Hostettler, Jr. ‘71 and Tina Whitley, brother of Mary Wesley and Doyle and Joe Hostettler ‘54.

CHARLES J. BEARDSWORTH, SR. - Father of Charles J. Beardsworth, Jr. ‘65 and Helen Baggett Carlisle.


RAYMOND W. BEAZLEY, SR. ‘47, - Father of Randy ‘70, Ricky ‘73, Rusty ‘77, and Rip Beazley ‘79, and Donna Drinkwine, Sheila Bush ‘75 and Laurie Wells. Brother of James Beazley, Jr. ‘45 and Grace Fessey.

TIMOTHY KEOGH ‘75 - Son of the late Bernard Keogh ‘38 and brother of Colleen Patterson, John Keogh ‘77, Molly Finney ‘78, Erin Rankin ‘79 and Kelly Keogh ‘81.

PAUL R. BEKKELA - Husband of Mary-Rose (Cullen) Bekkela ‘80.

KATHY KLEESPIES - Sister of Tom Kleespies ‘74 and Ken Kleespies ‘77.

RICHARD L. BEVINGTON ‘42 - Father of Richard Bevington, Jr., Bill Bevington ‘72, Carol Parriott, Doris Wright ‘75 and Joan Peacock ‘76. Brother of Fr. William Bevington ‘42 and Milton Bevington. FRANCES R. WILSON - Mother-in-law of Mike Boles ‘67. EDWARD L. BRIGNOLA - Father of Perry ‘83, Stephen ‘85 and Kevin Brignola ‘86. JAMES M. BURNS - Father of John T. Burns ‘79, Judy Hollister, Susan Hafner, James Burns, Jr., and Mary Elizabeth Ozburn. Brother of Thomas L. Burns ‘48 and Mary Lucille Mitchell.

The Economic Situation and Its Impact on Father Ryan Dear Father Ryan Community, When asked what wisdom was, Socrates, a name synonymous with wisdom, explained that it is “to know what one does know and to know what one does not know.” At Father Ryan we believe that in this economic environment, for which there is no immediate paradigm, we owe our donors and supporters transparency – an honest assessment of what we know with no claims about what we cannot and do not know. This is what we know:

• Our investments are currently under the direction of Diversified Trust. Diversified Trust is an employee-owned comprehensive wealth management firm based in the southeast with over $3 billion of client assets under management.  

RICHARD H. DUNN - Father of Gini Dunn Lancaster ‘75, Lisa, Cliff and the late Ricky Dunn. DELORES MCGRADY PARMAN - Sister of Mike ‘69 and John McGrady ‘72, and Helen Buckel.

• In the spring of 2008, in advance of these crises, our partnership with Diversified James McIntyre

the fourth quarter 2007.

• Our operating monies are secure. We place all of our operational monies in

ILA MAE SAIN MOLTENI - Mother of the late Larry Molteni ‘68, Tommy ‘73 and Philip Molteni ‘77 and Ann Bridenstine.

the Catholic Community Investment and Loan, a local bank operated by an independent Board of Directors and administered by the Diocese of Nashville.

LOIS SMITH NOLAN - Mother of Daniel ‘59 and William Nolan ‘68 and Mary Jane Rose.

ALEXANDER B. CROCE - Father of Dr. Martin Croce ‘75.

FRANK PHINIZY, JR. - Father of John Phinizy ‘91.

MATTHEW B. CROCE - Son of Dr. Martin Croce ‘75.


JOSEPH A. “TONY” CURLEY, JR. - Brother of Steve Curley ‘73.

DELLA BRADLEY ROWSER ‘76 - Sister of David Bradley ‘75.

RAY DANNER - Father of Raymond Louis Danner, Jr. ‘05, Roger A. Danner, Donna Danner Wilson and Gail Danner Greil.

MARIO RALPH SETA - Father of M. Ralph Seta, Jr. ‘62. JOHN D. “JACK” SMITH - Father of John Smith ‘73.

RICHARD S. DONNELLY - Father of Jeanne Robinson and Harold Donnelly (Sunny Burdeshaw Donnelly ‘85). MARY LEE BURNS FITZGERALD - Mother of Richard Fitzgerald ‘74 and Trudy Biggs. LAURA FLEMING - Mother of Richard, Jr. (Skeet), Ben ‘99 and Kiernan Fleming.

We recognize that donors have choices in making charitable gifts. We can reaffirm for those donors that the events of the last several months have not changed our plans to move ahead with the construction of our athletic complex, pending the issuing of permits from the city of Oak Hill. We are still committed to raising the necessary funds so as not to incur any long-term debt to complete this project.

RICHARD G. “GREG” NOLAN ‘84 - Brother of Lynn Snyder ‘81.

LARRY S. CRIST - Father of Jacques Crist ‘82.

WILLIAM PAUL STACEY, SR. - Father of Paul Stacey, Jr. ‘67 and Lisa Augustine. EDWARD TAYLOR - Father of Stephen Taylor ‘88 and Ann Grace Robinson. DONALD TURK - Father of Diana Turk Barnes ‘81, Lorrie Turk Patterson ‘83 and Jeff Turk ‘85.

Trust provided us with the option to move our endowment out of Vanguard Mutual Funds into a more divested model.

• Currently our endowment is $6,508,000, compared to $7,025,000 at the end of

FRANK L. MILLER - Father of Mary Alice McWatters (faculty).

JESSICA PAIGE MULLER ‘02. BERNARD STUART BUSH ‘67 - Son of the late Thomas L. Bush ‘31 and brother of Thomas Jr. ‘64, Steve ‘66 and Pat Bush ‘76, Mary Bassel, Genie Herron and Ellen Griffin.

Faith, Knowledge, Service

In Memoriam

We firmly believe that we should continue our fundraising initiatives as one of the best methods of offsetting endowment and investment losses and providing for our planned annual operating support.

David Bohan

While forging ahead, we will do so with prudence, judgment and courage, which means acknowledging the risks and planning for adversity. We are preparing for paradigm shifts. Yet despite the markets both here and abroad, one thing will not change—our mission of being a school focused on the formation of young men and women enlightened by the Gospels. For that reason, we remain cautious, hopeful and confident as we continue to build a bright future for Father Ryan. In the end, it will take all of us – our faculty, our staff, the parent and alumni communities, the Board of Trust and financial experts – to get to a new safe economic harbor as we continue to fulfill our mission and tradition of being an experience of the living Gospels to our students today and for generations to come.

COPUS JEAN FOGARTY - Mother of Mark Fogarty ‘73. DOUG SHELTON - Son-in-law of Victor Forte ‘35 and brother of Jere Shelton, Peggy Lawrence and Trisha Selph. CHARLES E. FUSON ‘62 - Brother of Bob Fuson ‘59 and Don Fuson ‘68. ROLLO HARDERS - Father of Melvin Harders ‘72.


15318 Irish Ayes Redesign2.indd 3

NICHOLAS “NICK” VARALLO, JR. ‘59 - Father of Nick Varallo, III ‘91 and Christina Varallo. PAULINE WILSON - Mother of Jimmy ‘69, Tim ‘72, Kelly ‘73 and Steve Wilson ‘79 and Lisa Hill ‘77. THOMAS E. WOLF ‘55 - Brother of the late Charles Wolf ‘49, Casper “Vincent” Wolf ‘51, Marie Baltz, Loretto Garvie, Dorothy Solgot and Josephine Mason.


James McIntyre President

David Bohan Chair, Father Ryan Board of Trust 1

1/12/09 2:26:33 PM

Faith, Knowledge, Service

Births Kaden Christopher to Loren and Amanda (Tallent) Bailey ‘99, born on August 16, 2008. He joins 4-year old sister, Theona Grace. Loren is serving in Afghanistan with the Army so prayers are coveted. Matthew John to Jessica (Wolfe) ‘97 and John Burns ‘97, born on September 13, 2008. He joins siblings Ryan, 4, and Libby, 2. Anna Elizabeth (left) to Sharon (Hurley) ‘96 and Daniel Connor ‘95 born on July 25, 2007. Caroline Belle to Michael Dyer ‘94 and his wife, Janet, born on May 11, 2008. The Dyers live in Nashville where Michael sells real estate with Fridrich and Clark. Kolton John to Houston and Christina (Hudson) Hickey ‘94, on October 10, 2008. Kolton joins big sister Hudson Elizabeth. Memphis Lake to Lesley and Rachel (Young) Jones ‘96, born on July 31, 2008.

The Jim Carell Alumni Father Ryan Unveils Plans and Model


he Jim Carell Alumni Athletic Complex took another step toward reality with the unveiling of site plans and a facility model at Homecoming this fall. Crowds of parents, alumni and students gathered around the large model, ran across the sample of the stadium turf and received news on fundraising progress. Jim McIntyre said that the fundraising is progressing well, although additional dollars need to be raised to assure the complex’s start in the coming year. He said that communications will be going out to all alumni and campus friends with information on recognition and contribution opportunities. The vision for the complex reflects Father Ryan’s mission by providing a home for celebrating the entire Catholic community. Encompassing fields and facilities for all students to express their athletic and musical talents—and planned to open in the fall of 2009—this complex will include:


15318 Irish Ayes Redesign2.indd 4

Mae Dillon to Catherine and Matt Pietsch ‘97, born on October 21, 2008. Heidi Nicole to Marc and Nicky (Hager) ‘97 Privett born on October 4, 2007. Katelyn Marie to David and Marcy (Reece) Rehse ‘88, born on September 8, 2008. Lily Mae to David and Kimberly (Davis) Smith ‘97, born on November 4, 2008. The Smiths, little brother, Davis, and grandparents Judy (Staff) and Eddie Davis ‘69 are thrilled with the new addition to their family. McKenna to Jeff and Maggie Stockton (Faculty), born on June 2, 2008. Lydia Claire (top right) to John and Jennifer (Schade) Sweazy ‘96, born on May 18, 2008. Arabella Clover (bottom right) to Ben and Erin (McCullough) Vos ‘85, born on July 11, 2008.

Alumni families and students view the new model at 2008’s Homecoming at Greer Stadium

Athletic Weddings Complex Takes Shape •

Rachael Raymer ‘00 and Michael Egger ‘00 were married on May 24, 2008 at St. Edward Church with Fr. Joseph Breen ‘54 and A visually striking new stadium with permanent seating for Fr. Philip Breen ‘57 concelebrating.

2,300 and the latest in field turf design and technology.

Rachel Mayo ‘01 and Hunter Ellen ‘96 marriedan onexceptional May 10, 2008venue and arefor living A modern track,were providing in Nashville. Rachel is a sales representative for Father Ryan’s runners and an excellent location for major Guardian Home Care, and Hunter is a Metro competitions. Nashville firefighter.

• The complete updating of the baseball field with new Kevin Ensminger ‘85 married Jenifera Lee

backstop and theHuelskamp most current field and on October 10, equipment 2008 at St.Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Andover, KS. Kevin’s technology.

children, Taylor and Mackenzie, and Jeni’s children, Leslie and Henry, were in The reorientation and comprehensive renovation of the attendance along with other family and softball field to create an enhanced setting for players and fans. friends.

Katie Tidwell ‘04 married Joseph King on June 7, 2008 at Cedarvine Manor.

community in Nashville—camps, Frances Leathers ‘05 married Yader Masses, Meza onathletic events, alumni celebrations andFrances other special events. August 29, 2008. is a Lance Corporal and her husband is a Corporal in the USMC.

Father Ryan announced in January 2008 its plans to proceed with Katherine S. Philbinon ‘97the (right) and The school received a $2 an athletic complex campus. John F. Butler were married on October million gift to help fund the complex from Nashvillian Jim Carell, 11, 2008 at Christ the King Catholic aChurch 1954 graduate of Kate Father Ryan High School, who is president of in Nashville. is the associate Achiever Development general counsel for PalomarCorporation, Pomerado chairman of CareAll Home Care CareAll Management, Inc. (See HealthServices and Johnand is a president Lieutenant of with the Naval JAG related story on Corp. page They 14.) live in San Diego, CA.

• A complete revamping of the school’s fields. R. Monica Hurleytwo ‘98 practice (left) to Bradley

“The Carells’ extraordinary commitment to supporting the Becky Bales ‘04 and Larry Savage ‘04, Father Ryan mission will give our students, alumni and friends were married June 7, 2008 at St. Joseph Kate experience (Philbin) Butlerand ‘97 a opportunities for aTN. more enhanced learning Church in Madison, with her dad, Michael J. central venue for the entire community to enjoy,” said McIntyre.

Espey on April 26, 2008 at Cathedral of Incarnation Nashville, TN. Father Ryan opens its doors the to all membersinof the community.

Kristin Tessar ‘00 and Dr. Christopher Dennis were married Juneto2008 “We have finally beeninable turnina Nashville. long-time dream into reality.

In addition to the benefits it will provide the school’s athletic and musical programs, this new complex will expand the opportunities for activities that benefit the entire Catholic

There’s nothing like having the ground under your feet be your own.”

Philbin ‘64. www.FatherRyan.org19 3

1/12/09 2:26:49 PM

Jim Carol Carell Alumni Athletic Complex Jim

Class Notes Class Notes


Andy Mize ‘93 works for Southwest Airlines. Andy has been a ramp supervisor in Nashville and Jacksonville, FL. He recently relocated to Dallas, TX, where he is an instructor for Ground Operations.


Billy Riddle ‘94 married Angie Foster on March 22, 2008 at Dearly Beloved’s Wedding Chapel in Old Hickory, TN. After a honeymoon cruise of the Virgin Islands, they are currently living in Kingston Springs and expecting their first child next June. Billy works for ADC Telecommunications, installing central office equipment for AT&T and other telecoms. Angie is a registered nurse at VUMC and is pursuing her master’s degree in nursing from Vanderbilt.


Gary Gerald ‘96 graduated in August from Miami University in Oxford, OH, with his PhD in Zoology. He will be staying on at Miami for this next year as an assistant professor.


Richard Meyer ‘97 works for Arc Machines Inc. in the Los Angeles, CA, area as a mechanical engineer. He and his wife, Valerie, were married in Los Angeles on September 22, 2007.


Matt McWatters ‘00 has returned to the Nashville area and opened McWatters Landscape Design, LLC, which specializes in landscape design and installation work.


Steve Masek ‘01 (below) is an F-16 fighter pilot for the Air Force serving in Iraq.

The Associazione Culturale Teatrio, an illustration group in Italy, invited Lauren Rolwing ‘02 to attend the Guadalajara Book Fair this past November in Guadalajara, Mexico. She will also be attending the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Bologna, Italy, next year. At these fairs, she will be showing her portfolios to publishers from all over the world. To view her portfolio, visit Music by Patrick Wimberly ‘02 is featured in an iPod commercial running through Christmas 2008. Patrick, a former member of the Irish Marching Band and Drum Line, earned a music scholarship at Colorado University, where he received a music degree. He lives in New York City, where he plays in a band.


Stephanie Elder ’04, a former trumpet player for the FRHS Marching Band, is the band director for Bradley Central High School in Cleveland, TN. She received her bachelor’s degree in music education from UT Knoxville where she was in the Pride of the Southland marching band, served as uniform manager for three years and played for the Lady Vols Pep Band and Lady Vols Volleyball Band. Laura Masek ‘04 is working toward her Occupational Therapy Assistant degree at Nashville State Community College where she has been elected class president. She is also working in the Physical and Occupational Therapy Department at Baptist Hospital and plans to pursue her master’s degree in occupational therapy in the future.


Jamie Boyd ‘05 is Vice President of the Student Government Association at Middle Tennessee State University, the largest university in the state.

The Jim Carell Alumni Allison Calhoun ‘05 is completing her senior year as an acting major in the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. In her junior year, she spent a semester studying at London’s Globe Theater. This past summer she completed an internship with the interactive, Internet based TV station of Vice Magazine, based in Brooklyn, NY. Last summer she also performed in the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. For the fall semester, Allison was selected by the faculty to tour China for a production of King Lear; she will play the part of Regan.

Father Ryan Unveils Plans and Model

Paul Schlacter ‘01 is a graphic designer with Trollback + Company in New York City and was recently named to the Young Guns 6 class by the Art Directors Club. This award is only given every other year, and identifies the brightest young professionals across a myriad of creative disciplines.


After graduating from the University of Illinois ChampaignUrbana, Sesean Bridges ‘02 found success as a model, which led to acting roles. Most recently, Sesean was seen on Planet Green’s show, Battleground Earth, starring Ludacris (Sesean’s cousin) and Tommy Lee. During this show he spent two months on the road as a teammate of Ludacris promoting the green movement and trying to outdo Tommy Lee’s team. He is living in L.A. where he continues his modeling and acting career.


15318 Irish Ayes Redesign2.indd 5

United States Air Force Academy Cadet 1st Class Ryan Mudry ‘05 was on a team that completed a research mission with Purdue University to Thule Airhe Base to studyAthletic the effects of solar activity on the step JimGreenland Carell Alumni Complex took another decay constants (and half-lives) of radioactive isotopes. The USAFA team toward reality with the unveiling of site plans and a facility was put together to design instrumentation and take data to help correlate model at Homecoming this fall. Crowds of parents, alumni and information on the mechanism of this newly observed phenomenon. students gathered large contributing model, ran across the sample Ryan is a physics major around and will the continue to the project by of the stadium turf and received news on fundraising progress. Jim analyzing all the data collected.


McIntyre said that the fundraising is progressing well, although UT Martin’s Martin a 2-under-par 70 tostart in additional dollars Jonathan need to be raised‘07 to shot assure the complex’s captureyear. the first his collegiate career at the the coming Hewin saidofthat communications willSkyhawk be going out to Invitational. Martin Skyhawk at 6-under-par 210, all alumni and finished campusthe friends withClassic information on recognition and one stroke ahead of two Central Arkansas Bears. The 54-hole stroke play contribution opportunities. tournament, hosted at Paris Landing Golf Course in Buchanan, TN,


had a 90 player field made up of 16 teams from 15 universities and 10 The vision for theascomplex reflects Father Ryan’s mission by participants competing individuals.

providing a home for celebrating the entire Catholic community. Freshman fields forwardand Andrew Chamberlain ‘08 scored the first Encompassing facilities for all students to express their goal of musical the seasontalents—and for the Lipscomb University Bisons soccer athletic and planned to open in the fall of team. The Bisonscomplex finished 10-8-3 for the season. 2009—this will include:


Alumni families and students view the new model at 2008’s Homecoming at Greer Stadium

Athletic Complex Takes Shape •

A visually striking new stadium with permanent seating for 2,300 and the latest in field turf design and technology.

• A modern track, providing an exceptional venue for Father Ryan’s runners and an excellent location for major competitions.

• The complete updating of the baseball field with a new backstop and the most current field and equipment technology.

• The reorientation and comprehensive renovation of the softball field to create an enhanced setting for players and fans.

• A complete revamping of the school’s two practice fields. Father Ryan opens its doors to all members of the community. In addition to the benefits it will provide the school’s athletic and musical programs, this new complex will expand the opportunities for activities that benefit the entire Catholic

community in Nashville—camps, Masses, athletic events, alumni celebrations and other special events. Father Ryan announced in January 2008 its plans to proceed with an athletic complex on the campus. The school received a $2 million gift to help fund the complex from Nashvillian Jim Carell, a 1954 graduate of Father Ryan High School, who is president of Achiever Development Corporation, chairman of CareAll Home Care Services and president of CareAll Management, Inc. (See related story on page 14.) “The Carells’ extraordinary commitment to supporting the Father Ryan mission will give our students, alumni and friends opportunities for a more enhanced learning experience and a central venue for the entire community to enjoy,” said McIntyre. “We have finally been able to turn a long-time dream into reality. There’s nothing like having the ground under your feet be your own.” 3

1/12/09 2:27:05 PM

Class Notes

Class Notes Class Notes


Richard “Red” Barr ‘43 and his wife, Jan, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on January 24, 2008. They have three sons, nine grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. Dick and Jan have lived in Coldwater, OH, since 1949.


Rachel’ s Challenge Returns for a Second Year F

ather Ryan High School hosted a presentation October 9, 2008 from Rachel’s Challenge, a nationally recognized program encouraging kindness and compassion that was created by the father of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine shootings. This is the second year Rachel’s Challenge has presented its program at Father Ryan, the first school in the southeastern United States to host the Rachel Scott program. This year, Rachel’s Challenge expanded at Ryan with a new program, Rachel’s Legacy, for the students who participated last year. The program was led by Joseph Manning, a neighbor of the Scott family who had known Rachel all her life. He joined the program’s leaders to closely develop and expand the program with Darrell Scott, Rachel’s father. Rachel was the young girl who lost her life in the shootings and whose life and diaries proclaimed a message of acceptance and kindness.

Rachel’s Challenge is now three programs presented to different age groups. Rachel’s Challenge is the first step, typically presented to first-year students, delivering Rachel’s story and message. Rachel’s Legacy, the second step, is presented to those who have

15318 Irish Ayes Redesign2.indd 6

Jim McIntyre said that the message from this program is an important one for every student and parent to hear. “This program was born out of the tragedy of Columbine and provides a wonderful example of kindness and compassion. Our dean of students, Carolyn Evans, has researched programs that seek to encourage the formation of Christian values in our young people, and Rachel’s Challenge is a nationally recognized program that encourages such values through goals such as helping adolescents improve communication, showing compassion to others, and decreasing interpersonal conflict. I am delighted that Ryan is hosting this important national organization for the second year in a row and proud that our school was selected by the organization as their first southeastern presentation.”

This year, Rachel’s Challenge expands at Ryan with a new program…

This presentation is a national campaign designed to help school staff, parents and students create safer and more productive places to learn and achieve. The goal is to motivate and equip students to embrace values of kindness and compassion so that no child is left behind because of fear and violence in their school. The program includes a morning session with all the students during school and an evening program for parents and guests.


already participated in Rachel’s Challenge, building upon the story and encouraging students to recognize their own potential. The third step, still under development, is Rachel’s Hands. This program will concentrate on implementing the message.

Dr. John Burns ‘50 recently attended his 50-year anniversary party from Saint Louis University Medical School. He and his wife, Idania, moved to Florida in 1995 at the time of his retirement from Honeywell, where he served as Vice President, Health Management.


Jan and Jim Carell ‘54 were named the 2008 Philanthropists of the Year by the Nashville Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Fellow classmate, Fr. Joseph Breen ‘54, presented the award to the Carells at a luncheon in November.


Leroy Drake ‘58 is living in Seattle, WA where he is the Chancellor’s Executive Assistant Partnership for the Seattle Community College District.


Art Spond ‘71 is living in Salem, OR, with his wife of 26 years, Patti, and their two boys, Brett and Eric. Art is an inspector for the State of Oregon Fire Marshall. Patti works at Regency Blue Cross. Brett is a junior at Oregon State University majoring in Merchandise Management. Eric attends Mendocino College in Ukiah, CA, and plays football. Eric attended South Salem High School where he was an All Valley Conference guard in both 2006 and 2007 and was recruited by six colleges. Art and Patti love to travel the Northwest and to garden. Art and Eric have been Civil War re-enactors for ten years and belong to the Oregon Confederate color guard.

Shawn Davie ‘83 (above left) and Chris Burns ‘83 are pilots for Delta Air Lines based in New York at JFK, flying the Boeing 757 and 767 aircrafts. Chris retired from the U.S. Air Force last year and Shawn started with Delta in 2000. In September, they flew together on a trip to Lyon, France, and had a great time catching up with each other.


Kim Densmore ‘88 lives in Dallas, TX with her 4-year old daughter, Darlie Annmarie.


Gary Ensminger ‘77 has been selected as the Command Chief Warrant Officer for the Tennessee Army National Guard. The Command Chief Warrant Officer is the primary advisor to the Adjutant General on Warrant Officer issues and technical systems. He is responsible for the oversight of Warrant Officer strength management, career development, Warrant Officer positions, position vacancy and personnel management. Chief Ensminger and his wife of 24 years, Melanie, live in Kingston Springs, TN.

Evans commented, “Rachel’s Challenge is not coming to Ryan because of violence, but because of our school’s mission—to be an example of the living Gospel for our students. We believe that the development of the whole student is central to creating a foundation of maturity as our students transition from adolescence to young adulthood. This program is an important one that furthers that mission.” In an essay Rachel Scott wrote not long before her death, she said, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same.” From that belief emerged Rachel’s Challenge. Created by her father, Darrell, shortly after the tragedy, the program has been seen by over 1 million students across the country, has received a Friend of Education Award from the state of New York, and was instrumental in the prevention of three school shootings.



Keith Alberstadt ‘91 (above left) and Major Aaron Adams ‘91 met for a tour of the White House recently. Keith was in D.C. for his comedy shows, and Aaron is flying Marine One for the President. Katherine Breuss ‘91 moved to London in 2000 to work for Goldman Sachs International. There she met and married her husband, Nick, who is originally from Australia. They moved to Singapore in May 2004 as Nick is an oil trader/banker. Katherine started a consulting business, Breuss Consulting. She works with global organizations as an executive coach and trainer, traveling all around Asia and the Pacific. They have a son, Zachary, who is one, and are expecting their second child soon.


Joe Huffaker ‘82 (above) is a partner at the law firm of Lewis, King, Krieg and Waldrop. His wife, Margaret (Langdon) ‘88, works at Frontier Airlines at the Nashville International Airport.Their oldest son, Payton, is a freshman at Ryan, and their two other sons Jack, 12, and Wyatt, 7, attend school at Harpeth Valley and Bellevue Middle. Papa (Pat) Langdon ‘58 is so proud to have one of his grandsons at Ryan.

Laura Reinert ‘91 graduated with her M.S. from Vanderbilt University in 2006. She continues to work at Vanderbilt as a research scientist in a microbiology and immunology laboratory that studies how fungal pathogens affect amphibian populations. She recently traveled to the country of Panama to do field research and gather data for this project. 17

1/12/09 2:27:11 PM

Young Alumni Return for Freshman Orientation


raditional with the beginning of each new school year, freshmen and new students participated in a day of orientation, introducing them to all things Father Ryan. Orientation allows the students to familiarize themselves with the school—find classrooms, practice locker combinations and meet faculty, staff and fellow classmates. One new aspect of orientation this year was the alumni panel.

Senior Carolyn Caire recently received a scholarship to play tennis at the University of Evansville in Indiana. She signed her National Letter of Intent at Father Ryan surrounded by her parents, two sisters and tennis coaches. Caire is a parishioner of the Cathedral of the Incarnation.

The panel exposed the members of the class of 2012, (one of the largest in years) to Father Ryan traditions and what they can expect from their tenure at Ryan. Alumni Matt Conway, Suzanne Dunning, Whitt Dunning, Allison Jarrett, Mary Byrne Pigott, John Rogers and Blake Shelide were among the alums who participated in the panel during orientation.

Connolly To Play Basketball at Princeton Brendan Connolly has committed to playing basketball for Princeton University next fall. The 6’ 9” center has been a top performer on the Father Ryan basketball team throughout his four seasons. Also a member of the football team, Connolly has amassed a reputation as a formidable opponent, one that has been recognized by recruiters around the country. He is an Overbrook alumnus and Cathedral parishioner. He is also the sixth publicly announced basketball member of Princeton’s 2009 recruiting class.


Irish Pride 5K Recap

Suzanne Dunning ‘06 is currently a junior at UT Knoxville.

Father James Black 1946 - 1984

Shelide ‘02 works for Gresham, Smith & Partners in Nashville.

Father Ryan Students On a Mission

Timothy O’Leary was the overall male winner, running the best time of 17:34. Madison Spencer was the overall female winner for completing the course in 22:10. Scott Glover won the male masters title after clocking in at 20:09 and Suzanne Young received the female masters title for her 22:48. Congratulations and thank you to all those who participated in this year’s event.

If you are interested in other ways to help sustain the mission of Father Ryan High School, consider planned giving. The Father James Black Society recognizes those who have remembered the school through a bequest, life insurance policy or other planned giving device.

Pigott ‘01 is a graphic designer and swimming coach for Ensworth School in Nashville. Rogers ‘01 is in his first year of law school at UT Knoxville.

Whitt Dunning ‘05 is a senior at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY, where he is captain of the wrestling team.

he 7th Annual Irish Pride 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run was a great success this year in helping raise $4,000 for the tuition assistance program. Nearly 200 people showed up in the early morning of November 8th to run, jog or walk the 5K route around the campus and Oak Hill neighborhood. The event is sponsored by the Alumni Association.

Join the Father James Black Society

Matt Conway, John Rogers, Mary Byrne Pigott, Blake Shelide, Allison Jarett, Suzanne Dunning and Whitt Dunning during Freshman Orientation

Jarrett ‘02 works in public affairs for the Corps of Engineers.

Conway ‘01 works for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling headquartered in Nashville. Runners take off from the starting line at the 2008 Irish Pride 5K.

Faith, Knowledge, Service

Carolyn Caire Receives Scholarship to Play Tennis

Seniors Ann Goodrich and Adrienne Todd, junior Rachel Van Meter and Thomas Ritter ‘08 visit Tijuana, Mexico during their summer mission trip.

A number of Father Ryan students attended mission trips abroad this summer, applying their faith to help the suffering in other areas of the world. Seniors Adrienne Todd and Ann Goodrich and junior Rachelle VanMeter, along with Thomas Ritter ‘08, answered the call to serve with the Diocese of Nashville in Tijuana, Mexico. Junior Nani Heo attended a foreign mission trip to Mexico with her church. Juniors Margaret Molteni and Julie Brennan served with an organization called Mission Honduras in the Comuyagua Valley in central Honduras.

The 2008 Homecoming Court The 2008 Homecoming Court poses at Greer Stadium after the game against Knoxville Webb. Senior Shae Keane (6th from left) was crowned this year’s Homecoming Queen.

To learn more about becoming a member of the Father Black Society, contact the Advancement Office today at 615-269-7926, or visit the planned giving page at


15318 Irish Ayes Redesign2.indd 7 5

1/12/09 2:27:23 PM

Student Art Gallery

Freshman Enrollment Climbs

en Father Ryan students have earned a perfect score on their ACT or SAT subtests this year. Nine seniors and one junior received a perfect score in at least one of the categories of the ACT or SAT. Seniors Kathryn Golab, Laura Wigger, Shelby Davis, Alex Roushdi and Emily Phillips, a junior, received perfect scores on the Reading portion of the ACT. Kerry Durso, Sarah Lambert and Rachel Hunkler received perfect scores on the English section of the ACT. Shannon Cain received a perfect score on the Science section of the ACT. Stephen Bailey also received a perfect score in Science on the ACT as well as in Math on the SAT.

“Each of these successes is a reflection of the hard work and commitment of the Father Ryan community to advance the school’s mission,” said Sara Hayes, Academic Dean. “We are grateful to the students, their families and their teachers who have demonstrated tremendous dedication to academic excellence.”

2009 Class Reunions

Make plans to join your Father Ryan classmates for Reunion Weekend June 5-7, 2009. Look for details this spring about your class reunion. Interested in helping plan your reunion? Contact Angela Mills, Director of Alumni at 615-269-7926 or


15318 Irish Ayes Redesign2.indd 8


ather Ryan’s introduction of the PowerSchool software to its technological system last March has given parents, students, teachers and administrators online access to information on student performance. They are able to access secure, up-tothe minute information on grades, homework and attendance. Father Ryan’s PowerSchool is also providing powerful benefits to diocesan elementary schools.

Olivia Morris ‘09 designed this year’s Father Ryan Christmas Card.

For more details, contact the Advancement Office at 615-269-7926 or

Since launching the program, Father Ryan has reached out to diocesan schools to provide access to the Ryan server and its IT staff to make PowerSchool part of the elementary schools’ operations. Each school sets up its own license, but by using the Ryan server and set-up they are able to use the remote, web-based component. The arrangement enables teachers to handle grade books and lesson planning from home or from any locale. Ryan handles all maintenance for each of the schools. Last spring, St. Matthew, St. Ann and Holy Rosary jumped on board, with more expected to join this year. Jeff Mesch, Father Ryan’s IT Director, said the capacity is in place to serve over 3,000 students in its current configuration. “The system can easily be expanded to handle 10,000 students, and our goal is to extend this throughout the diocese. The benefits for teachers in simply being able to do their grade work and updating from their own homes have already proven valuable for our faculty.”

Ryan Connections The FRHS Alumni Association invites all parents, alumni and friends to join our quarterly Ryan Connections meetings to connect with other business leaders from the Father Ryan family. After the meet-and-greet, a keynote speaker addresses a business issue facing our community. Breakfast is provided. FRHS Center for the Arts 7:30 – 8:45 AM January 15, 2009 Speaker: Drew Berg, VP of Diversified Trust April 16, 2009 July 16, 2009 (Evening Mixer)  

PowerSchool Benefits Teachers and Parents Father Ryan Extends PowerSchool Service to Diocesan Schools


The students’ achievements are among many successes Father Ryan has experienced so far this year. This fall, the school enrolled 243 students in the Class of 2012, making it one of its largest freshman classes in recent years. And as more applications roll in for the Class of 2013, the number of inquiries about school admissions has multiplied. The number of 8th grade students who have taken the admissions test has also increased this year, according to Kate Goetzinger, Director of Admissions.

Faith, Knowledge, Service

Ten Students Earn Perfect Scores on ACT & SAT Sub-Tests

Paul Davis‘81, principal, shows Connie Steinmetz, chief financial officer, how to use PowerSchool. Both are also parents of students at Father Ryan.

The software was made possible through an $82,000 grant the school received last fall to replace outdated software. “PowerSchool is a powerful, accessible tool for our faculty, administration, parents and students,” Principal Paul Davis ‘81 said, “and it is providing immediate benefits in efficiency and access. But we are truly excited to see it expand to the wider diocesan educational community. Jeff has done an outstanding job in setting up PowerSchool for Ryan and has taken on the goal of making it workable for every school in the diocese. We look forward to extending these capabilities to each of the parochial schools and working to help them become more successful with this program.” So far, the system has about four years of information stored and on tap for users, including about 50,000 grades. Assignments for each semester are also accessible on a class-by-class basis, as well as attendance records, disciplinary records and ACT test scores.

Michael Wasyliw ‘09 won Best of Show at the Urban Housing Solution’s art show and auction for his see-through mailbox entitled “Letters of Hope.”

Honoring Jim ‘54 and Jan Carell Saturday, April 4, 2009 Franklin Marriott - Cool Springs

Contact the Advancement Office at 615-269-7926 to reserve your seat and discuss sponsorship opportunities. 15

1/12/09 2:27:48 PM

Faith, Knowledge, Service

Teacher Jason Erwin Featured at St. Matthew Art Show Edited and reprinted with permission by Barbara Dodd, Tennessee Register


Photo courtesy of Mike Gomez ‘85

ather Ryan art teacher, Jason Erwin, was the featured artist at St. Matthew Church’s third annual “Art for Inspiration” show this past November. He is an established artist in Nashville, with art displayed in several popular venues across the city.

Jim and Jan Carell Named as 2009 Gala Honorees


ather Ryan has announced that Jim ‘54 and Jan Carell will be the honorees for the school’s 30th annual Legacy Gala in April. The Legacy Gala, established in 1979, honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional support for the school’s mission and the advancement of Catholic education. Jim McIntyre said that the 30th Legacy Gala in 2009 salutes two individuals whose commitment to the school is making a major impact both on the campus and in the community. In January, the Carells made a $2 million gift to the school for the first-ever athletics complex on campus. The gift includes a challenge requiring Father Ryan’s alumni and friends to contribute an additional $2 million in funds by the end of 2008, which McIntyre said has progressed well. “The Carells’ extraordinary commitment to supporting the Father Ryan mission will give our students, alumni


15318 Irish Ayes Redesign2.indd 9

and friends opportunities for a more enhanced learning experience and a central venue for the entire community to enjoy. The Carells’ gift has turned a long-time dream into reality, and we would like to express our gratitude by honoring them at our Gala,” he said. Jim Carell is a 1954 graduate of Father Ryan High School and is president of Achiever Development Corporation, chairman of CareAll Home Care Services and president of CareAll Management, Inc. Mr. Carell has been in the home healthcare business since 1985 and today, his company provides specialized healthcare in homes across Tennessee. The Legacy Gala is Father Ryan’s largest fundraising event and will include dinner, dancing and both live and silent auctions. Last year, the event raised over $100,000 towards school programs. The event will be held April 4, 2009 at the Franklin Marriott - Cool Springs.

(Top) Jason Erwin ‘87 paints with his son, Eli. Erwin’s paintings displayed at the art show are portraits of country music singer Johnny Cash and baseball immortal Ted Williams. Photos courtesy of Jason Erwin ‘87

Erwin, a 1987 alumnus, has been teaching art at Father Ryan for ten years. During his high school years at Ryan, he took all the art classes he could; he also went to Watkins College of Art Design and Film after school to take art classes. He then went to Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro for his bachelor’s degree and finished with his master’s degree from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.

contacted Erwin to commission art work for their restaurants. “The Crow’s Nest just opened up in Green Hills, and I did all the art work for that,” Erwin said. He does Art-Venture workshops with people who have never painted before. A person starts off with a blank canvas and ends up with a finished picture that can be taken home. A percentage of all the pieces sold during the show went to St. Matthew to benefit the parish’s Art and Environment Committee, which is in charge of all the liturgical celebrations in the parish from flowers on the altar at Mass to the landscaping outside the church building, said Mary Ann Claxton, publicity chairman for the show. Nearly 30 artists from parishes throughout the Diocese of Nashville were there, according to Claxton.

“Since I was a little kid I have always been drawing,” Erwin said.

St. Matthew does a great art show, said Erwin. He showed very large scale works to very small. “I think that right now I have a great selection.”

The inspiration for Erwin’s art comes from everywhere, from past art to contemporary art “to just everyday things that I see walking around on the street. Style-wise I like to really incorporate as much variety as possible,” he said.

Erwin and his wife, Katy (Lynch) ‘89, have two sons, Eli, 9, and Miles, 3, and are parishioners at St. Henry Church in Nashville. Erwin said he is grateful for all of the support he receives from his wife and sons.

He paints abstract, landscapes, music figures from jazz to rock and roll to country music as well as past and present sports figures. His work can be seen in many restaurants around town. Restaurant owners in Nashville like Jeremy Palmer ‘88, Jeff Rippy and Doug Crow ‘88,

Erwin likes to achieve extraordinary things with ordinary objects and situations. “It is amazing and hard to describe and that, to me, is the magic of art, that dialogue of me and the canvas and then the canvas to the viewer and then me to the viewer. That drives me every day, plus I want to make my boys proud.” 7

1/12/09 2:27:49 PM


2008 was a great year for Father Ryan soccer. As if to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the dual soccer championships in 1998, the boys and girls soccer teams did it again! Following upon the boys title last spring, the Lady Irish beat Briarcrest 1 - 0 to win the Division II-AA state title in November. Sophomore Katherine Montesi headed in a pass from senior Rachel Mayes to score the only goal of the game. Senior Emily Hubbuch made six saves to fend off Briarcrest. The team had been labeled an underdog but soon shed the image after beating Baylor, ranked 4th in the nation in one poll, in the semi-finals. Many people may have been surprised after their slow start in the season, but not the team. They say they never had any doubt. Their determination and teamwork made the state championship trophy a reality. Coach Robin Dieterich ‘74 could not be prouder.

The Father Ryan football team ended the season on a high note this year with its first win over Brentwood Academy since 1997. The game was nothing short of exciting, as Father Ryan kept pace with BA to lead 10-7 at halftime. After three consecutive scores by BA in the third quarter, the Irish rebounded and defeated the Eagles 27-23. The moment was sweet for the seniors, who won their final game on Senior Night.

Volleyball Team Finishes Second In State


15318 Irish Ayes Redesign2.indd 10

Phyllis Adgent is a veteran of sorts—a 35year teaching veteran at Father Ryan. She has been a humble leader among the science department but more importantly, an advocate for her students.

her time at Ryan. She has seen Father Ryan’s transformation over the years from the Elliston Campus to the current Norwood Campus, an improvement, she says, that expanded the facilities to include both lecture and lab areas for the students. She describes Father Ryan, like science, as “ever-evolving,” but is grateful for one consistent element: the tremendous support from faculty and administration.

“If you can help one kid, then it’s all been worth it.”

She is a firm believer in preparing students not only for college, but for their careers. Perhaps that is why she started Science Academy, a student organization for upper-level students with an interest in careers in science. She also teaches courses in biology and anatomy.

This win heightens excitement for next year as the coaches, team and supporters prepare for the new Jim Carell Alumni Athletic Complex.

But at the state tournament, after the Irish dominated much of the competition, they lost a close five-set match to defending champions GPS in the finals to finish State Runners-Up for 2008. While the loss was a disappointment, it continues an impressive state record—they have been in the finals of the Tennessee State

Teacher Prepares Students for Careers and life

Phyllis grew up in Chattanooga, raised with a love for nature, a love for problem-solving and naturally, a love for biology. Almost immediately out of college, with master’s degrees in science and education, she began working at Father Ryan.

Football Team Ends Season with a Win Against BA

The Lady Irish volleyball team completed a successful season this year, capturing two major tournament championships at the Mid-South Tournament and Father Ryan Invitational.They completed the regular season undefeated and won the Mid-East Region Tournament at GPS in Chattanooga for the second year in a row.

Cover Story

The Lady Irish Soccer Team Wins State Championship

Volleyball Tournament for 12 out of the last 18 years, winning four State Championships. Many team members were selected to the All-Region Squad including senior outside hitter and captain Deanna Wycheck, senior outside hitter Carolyn Caire and junior setterdefensive specialist Ellen Mullins. At the region tournament, senior defensive specialist Elizabeth Davis and middle blocker Shannon Carr were named to the All-Tournament squad; junior Ellen Mullins received the honor of Most Valuable Player.

Recently, her anatomy class kept a record of their diet for a week and analyzed it against the food pyramid. This emphasis on health, particularly healthcare prevention, is a contemporary issue she feels is important to share with her students. Each year, she tailors her curriculum to accommodate her students’ interests while cultivating their curiosity. “I like to relate what we cover in class to everyday life,” she says. “At the beginning of each year, I ask my students what they want to learn and then I create projects geared towards their interests.” If her students want to incorporate everyday life into their syllabi, they may get their wish—in the form of a TV show. Ask Phyllis what subject she would add to the science curriculum, and she’ll respond, “A class in forensics, like CSI.” You can only imagine the amount of straight A’s if you’re one of the millions who watch the show each week. Let’s just hope they won’t need any donations from the morgue. Although the school hasn’t added any Electrostatic Dust Print Lifters to its equipment, Phyllis has witnessed change throughout

With that support, her students have volunteered at Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, participated in Heart Week and interned in labs at local hospitals. Many of them have continued to pursue careers in science. Be sure to thank Phyllis Adgent for the brilliant minds in healthcare; she has taught many of them.

So what does she see in the future for healthcare? More scientists, of course! “We are at a critical point for more scientists and research funding. We need to inform the public about healthcare research, grant requests and really, the need for their support,” she states. Her 35 years are a testament to her dedication to teaching and her love for Father Ryan. Just ask her about her students and her eyes light up. As she thinks back on her teaching career, she reminisces about the surprising impact she has made and a particular encounter with a former student. “A former student of mine came up to me one day and said, ‘I majored in Biology and it’s all because of you,’ and I was astounded because I had never noticed that student’s interest.” It is no wonder that her tenure at Ryan has brought about remarkable change and produced top-notch students. Her humility and devotion to her students are evidence of a teaching vocation she describes as “worthwhile.” “If you can help one kid, then it’s all been worth it.” 13

1/12/09 2:27:58 PM

Cover Story


Doctor & Mother Speaks for Public Service Health

Dr. Christina Cain-Swope is a 1986 graduate of Father Ryan, a fact she is proud of as she shows off her diploma mounted on the pink wall of her office. Like

graduate of St. Edward, where her children also attend. While at Ryan, she was influenced by a number of people, some of whom are still teaching. She ran cross country under the guidance of Mr. Kent and participated in Model UN, moderated by Mr. Chambers.

many others in the medical field, she did not immediately aspire to be a doctor. Rather, her interests lay in diplomacy and language. Those interests still serve her well. She speaks Spanish fluently, a skill she picked up while at Ryan, and is now using to transition to more public service health. She helps communicate with Spanish-speaking patients, particularly the uninsured at Nashville’s St. Thomas Hospital.

“We need to think about the ramifications of what we do everyday.”

Her biggest influence, she recalls, was Father Jim Black. “He was a huge influence,” she says. “He taught me Scripture and all of his students would hang out with him whenever we could.” His influence has continued on into her professional life where she must tackle moral and ethical questions on a daily basis.

If you ever want to meet a superhero, visit the 6th floor of St. Thomas. Her credentials are just as impressive as her superhuman powers, at least to us non-MDs. She completed her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt, attended medical school at Georgetown and returned to Vanderbilt for her OB/GYN residency, where she received the Housestaff Clinical Teaching Award.

With the 2008 election complete, she hopes that the government will concentrate on providing more access to healthcare. Throughout her career, she has witnessed families losing their homes and filing for bankruptcy as a result of outrageous medical bills. “This is a question about morality,” she says. “We need to think about the ramifications of what we do every day.”

Currently, she works at St. Thomas as an OB/GYN, and up until recently, she has been delivering babies regularly. She has decided to focus more on gynecology now at her clinic at St. Thomas—more of a spa, it seems, than a doctor’s office. She also performs surgery once a week at Baptist Hospital. Did we mention she’s also a mother of three? Superhuman, indeed.

Prevention is also high on her list of hurdles. “Prevention is just as important as healthcare access because it can lower the costs,” she states. And it becomes a reality check, she points out, when you consider that the U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country.

This Nashville native is no stranger to challenges. Her job is not one for the lighthearted but it is one that she finds rewarding and never boring. Without hesitation, she recalls her first calling towards the medical profession. “I witnessed a birth and it was fascinating,” she says nonchalantly. That kind of “fascinating” experience would cause many of us to be turned off, terrified or generally repulsed, but not Dr. Cain-Swope. That’s her job. She also reflects on her positive experience in the Catholic community. She is a product of the parochial school system as a


15318 Irish Ayes Redesign2.indd 11

She remains an enthusiastic advocate for healthcare access and credits her Catholic upbringing and education for the courage to make the difficult choices in her daily life. But, she warns, it requires a lot of work. She advises those students who like science and people to consider pursuing a medical career, just don’t do it for the money. If it’s any indication by the shelves of family photos in her office or the genuine way in which she greets you with a smile, Dr. CainSwope chose a medical career for the people.

Keeping a Pulse On The World Of Healthcare I s it too obvious to present a healthcare story in Irish Ayes? After all, Nashville is the healthcare capital of the world in many respects and there are numerous well-known physicians and healthcare professionals who trace their connection to Father Ryan. What else can be said that hasn’t been said? Ryan has accomplished physicians like Monica Wehby-Grant ‘80 and Bob Campbell ‘69. Optical specialists like Tommy Ducklo ‘65. Business leaders

like Jim Carell ‘54. But in addition to these accomplished alums, we came across several others whose activities, leadership and approaches are paving new ground or are providing significant change in the healthcare landscape, locally, regionally and nationally. Irish Ayes casts its eyes on three such alums. We also take a look at a science teacher whose presence and educational approach are parts of the DNA these Father Ryan medical professionals share.

Father Ryan and healthcare (clockwise from top): Dr. Howington in the operating theater; Ms. Phyllis Adgent instructing;Tony Disser enjoying nursing; Dr. Cain-Swope with a patient. 9

1/12/09 2:28:22 PM

A Nurse on th e Bu s i n es s Sid e o f C ar i ng

You want to make Tony Disser ‘70 proud? Call him a nurse. That’s right, tell the senior vice president of Kindred Healthcare in Louisville, Kentucky, owner of 84 hospitals, a publicly-traded company with $4.3 billion

giving. We spend less on research for afflictions that cause the most suffering. That has to change.” Talking about these national issues may seem like heady ground for any of us, but Tony maintains that it began with the basic editorial meetings of the Moina staff at Father Ryan and with the simple, basic tenet of healthcare—caring for another person.

in annual revenues, 600 facilities in 38 states and over 50,000 employees nationwide that he is a nurse. Then watch him smile. For Tony maintains that nursing is the foundation of healthcare, and recognizing this is critical to our nation’s healthcare future. In fact, among his business work as the senior vice president of clinical operations for Kindred Healthcare, he still makes time to practice nursing at a local hospice.

“I’m honored to make a living at the forefront of how to care for others.”

“I’m honored to make a living at the forefront of caring for others. It is important to care for the sickest of the sick, an honor to do the great work of human caring in a direct way, in a profession that’s hallmark is caring for others,” Disser said. Talking about our nation’s healthcare isn’t idle conversation for Tony, a past member of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Division of Nursing and the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Professional Practice Committee. His accomplishments in the healthcare world have not only taken him to a leading position in the industry, they also brought him into contact with a senator from Illinois who is about to become the nation’s 44th president. His experience and his counsel may be cause for Tony to spend more time in D.C. in the near future. The most important healthcare issue we face? Healthcare reform, according to Tony. That includes changing how we care for those most in need and addressing those needs in the most effective manner. “The first thing we have to tackle is the uninsured in the country—it’s just not right that there are 47-49 million uninsured. Our next issue has to be cost. We spend more time and money dealing with sexual dysfunction than basic maladies and care


15318 Irish Ayes Redesign2.indd 12

The gatherings remain important and vivid. A group of interested individuals meeting to discuss the world’s issues. Politics, education, health. Just sitting, talking, musing on possibilities and dreaming about change. The gatherings were the staple of regular Moina meetings when he was the editor of Father Ryan’s newspaper. It included classmates like Mike Nolan and teachers like Mr. Corsini. The result was not only a very good paper, but also an approach to thinking that he continues to draw on today. Change the participants in the meeting to HHS and the AHA and President Obama and some healthcare executives and the subject may be different, but the process, the quality of the discussion and the passion for thought remain the same as any of those gatherings in the old Annex Building on the Elliston Place campus. His motivation came from home. His dad was on the Tennessee Healing Arts Board after military retirement. His mom was a nurse. After earning his degree in liberal arts and nursing as well as graduate work and a fellowship, all built on the great foundation of Father Ryan High School, Tony wanted to do something practical. “Nursing is vocational—art with hands,” he says. Tony has spent a lifetime breaking through stereotypes and confronting challenges that most of us wouldn’t assume. He is a testament to ambition and the determination required to pursue lifelong goals—ones that have taken him all over the country. As for nursing and care-giving, he will always find time for that. And he’ll have company. His youngest son, Andy, is also a nurse. Can’t you see Tony smiling from here?


D oc tor G i v e s mor e T i me to L u ng Cancer P ati ents

Count them. Twenty-two letters. Unimaginable points on a Scrabble board. An arrangement of vowels and consonants that produces a word difficult to pronounce— thoracoscopic lobectomy. A long and ironic name for a procedure that helps lung cancer patients by— interestingly enough— shortening the surgery process, and it’s this long-named procedure, designed to shorten everything related to lung cancer surgery, that has broadened the reach, reputation and impact of Father Ryan alumnus John Howington ‘81.

“Ryan gave me a foundation of education but also of service…”

The common surgical procedure for lung cancer patients used to involve cutting open the chest, a major operation that presented all sorts of complications, including infection. The surgery, because of its scope, also prolonged recovery times and delayed the initiation of chemotherapy treatment designed to improve survival rates. Thoracoscopic lobectomy has changed that. Now with a shortened, minimally invasive procedure, everything moves more quickly. And if you know someone who is doing that procedure somewhere in the U.S., there’s a very good chance the surgeon learned the technique from Dr. Howington.

Today, in addition to his role as Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the NorthShore HealthSystem in Chicago, Dr. Howington travels regularly to teach the procedure to surgeons around the country. While he is quick to say that he didn’t create the process, it’s clear that he has become its champion, and thousands of cancer patients are receiving the benefits. “I wish I could say that this is going to reduce the incidence of lung cancer or provide a cure, but I can’t,” he says. “But it does hasten the process of treating the cancer, and in early stage lung cancer, that’s an enormous benefit.” The youngest of eight children in a long Father Ryan lineage, Dr. Howington was the first to go to college. Medicine was an interest of his as a grade-schooler at Christ the King, although “I

Cover Story


didn’t really understand what being a doctor meant. It was at Ryan that I began to discover it and realize that college afforded me an opportunity to pursue it. I got a solid science background in classes like those of Ms. Nancy Patton. I was encouraged by Father Ron Dickman. But most importantly, I received a greater sense of values, integrity and faith there. My family, my education in Nashville, particularly at Ryan, gave me a foundation of education but also of service, and I draw on that in my job, with my children and with myself everyday.”

He graduated from Father Ryan in 1981 and received his undergraduate degree from Tennessee Tech. He then enrolled in UT Medical School in Memphis. He completed his residency in cardiothoracic surgery at Vanderbilt and his general surgery residency at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. Since completing his thoracic surgical residency in 1997, he has focused on new techniques and improved treatment outcomes at universities across the country. His honors are many, including recognition by Castle Connolly Medical LTD in “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer” in 2008. He is currently Chair of National University Hospital’s Department of Surgery Quality Committee. Ultimately, his broad expanse of activities brings him back home and reconnects him to his Father Ryan family. He remains close to a circle of Ryan classmates who have been together since high school, some even since days on the playgrounds at Christ the King. “These are guys who traveled to Kansas City to be a part of my wedding, who encouraged and supported me throughout my long schooling and with whom I gather every time I’m in Nashville.” It’s a long name for a surgical procedure, but its roots are in the experiences of a group of classmates on Elliston Place almost 30 years ago. The connection to that time is always a short trip for Dr. Howington. 11

1/12/09 2:28:32 PM

Irish Ayes winter 2008  

Irish Ayes winter 2008

Irish Ayes winter 2008  

Irish Ayes winter 2008