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westnotes Official Magazine of the West Catholic Community A Publication for Alumnae, Alumni and Friends of West Catholic Summer 2013

Admissions I have been a teacher here at West for the last six years, but when I started my new job as Director of Admissions this past July, I knew it was going to be an extremely difficult challenge. I was given one of the highest goals for freshmen admissions here at West in years, recruiting almost three times the amount of freshmen that are currently in the building. Rashana Miller ‘98, formerly Rashana Barnes, was hired as my Admissions Associate, and together, with the help of volunteers, we put together a plan to get out to as many schools as possible and speak to as many students as possible. To date, we have visited over 85 schools all around the city and surrounding suburbs. Many of these schools we have visited numerous times, and although a majority of next year’s incoming freshmen still come from

our traditional Catholic schools, we were able to make significant inroads and recruit a good number of students from Charter schools, Public schools, and other schools outside of our traditional area. We have now exceeded our original enrollment goal, and we continue to identify transfer students and eighth graders that have not yet chosen a school for next year. By September, we will have a full freshmen class and be well into our work on the Class of 2018! Remember, West is Best! John Jenkins III Director of Admissions On Sunday, July 7th alumni and friends of West Catholic will gather for the 26th annual Burrs at the Beach. We will again return to Westy’s Irish pub in North Wildwood, NJ. With the addition last year of Westy’s new deck, we were able to eliminate the large tent, which makes for a more comfortable environment. We will have numerous food courts both inside and out. There will be plenty of bars to provide great beverage service. DJ Jerry Smith will return to spin music for all decades. Tickets are $20 prepaid and $25 at the door. Committee members will be selling 50-50 tickets during the event. Please join us to celebrate and to support tuition assistance at West Catholic High School. For tickets or more information, please contact George Light at West Catholic by phone 215-386-2244 or by email

westnotes Dear Alums and Friends,


of today’s students and their success post-West Catholic. Our school colors and school song all remain the same. “Come

The 2012-2013 Academic Year has been one of new beginnings.

and sing a tribute to (your) our West Catholic High.”

For our returning students and staff it was one of adjusting to a “resurrection” and a new way of looking at our future. I attribute

This year, West resurrected several new sports programs with the

much of this year’s success to our student body who embraced this

hope of growing these programs as our enrollment grows and

new way of looking at West. The Class of 2013 showed only positive

new talents become part of the “Family.” In addition, our RCIA

leadership during the year and will be remembered as setting a

program prepared nine students for their Baptism and Sacraments

tone for our success. Congratulations to each member of this Class

of Initiation during the year. You can celebrate the fact that over

as they set sail from the shores and safety of West Catholic. I salute

60 students have graduated from this program and are practicing

these 46 seniors all of whom have made college/university selec-

Roman Catholics today.

tions and will take with them $5 Million in Scholarships and Grants. In conclusion, I need to be realistic about our future. Next year we A new and engaging Board of Trustees assumed responsibly for

will grow by 100+ new students and have set for ourselves this

our charting new waters. Together with the Office of Catholic

same goal for the following year. West needs your positive

Education and the Faith in the Future Foundation, West now

chatter and support if all our goals are to be met. You will recall

celebrates success in enrollment, advancement and greater

in an earlier note that I encouraged some still

fiscal responsibility.

on the sidelines to “put their toe” in the water. Your engagement and support only guarantee

Through survey and personal contact with Alums, West has

our success.

explored this year the possibility of a new naming opportunity. Reactions have been most positive on the condition that West

I look forward to seeing many of you at this

Catholic stays in the title. So shortly, you will see a roll out of our

year’s Burrs at the Beach.

new name and tagline with the opening of the coming Fall term. We will now proudly bear the name – West Catholic Preparatory High School – located in University City. This title is recognition of

Brother Richard Kestler, FSC

the academic successes of our past grads and the accomplishments


Looking back through the months since last July only produces a great, shining blur. We have worked at warp speed to get West Catholic out of the critical care unit, and we have been successful!

The PlayOnPhilly! Orchestra from St. Francis de Sales will be

I want to speak a bit about the busy summer that we have planned

Last but not least, Mrs. Patty Morgan is running a digital

here at 45th and Chestnut Streets. First, we expect to have ap-

photography workshop for a small group of 10 to 15 students,

proximately 100 incoming freshmen for a four-week enrichment

also during July!

program. Students will be working on improving math and reading skills and taking time to discover their own learning styles and picking up good ideas to strengthen their organization and study habits. One day a week is set aside for a field trip to some interesting places such as the Franklin Institute, the Constitution Center, and the zoo. Also working in the building will be our own students who will be doing credit recovery. The credit recovery courses are offered online and our “summer principal,” Ms. Mary DeMasi will be supervising their progress during the month of July. In another part of the building, an SAT course will run for three weeks, three hours a day! Rising seniors have been invited to participate in this special program. This begins our drive to raise our SAT scores to a more competitive level. Also, a semester course focused on SAT is planned this coming academic year for our juniors.

holding their summer music camp here as well during the month of July. Over fifty elementary students will be practicing and playing in many corners of the building each morning.

This summer will be light years away from our past, and the future looks even brighter! As our student body grows and our staff is increased, the opportunities for summer action will grow accordingly! I wish to give special thanks to all of you for your confidence and support for West Catholic High School. West changes lives! Sister Mary Bur, IHM Principal


Strategic Plan 2013-2017

A Commitment to Mission Some have proposed that resurrection is more painful than

With strong leadership and commitment throughout the

death. Whatever the case, West Catholic has certainly faced both.

organization from all of its constituencies, West Catholic aspires

Following an announcement of closure, West Catholic learned in the spring of 2012 that the school would remain open. Ever since this decision, tremendous events have occurred. A new vision at

to be a premier urban center for excellence in academics, social and religious formation, and athletics. May this strategic plan, Commitment to Mission, serve as an introduction to our vision for 2017 and beyond!

Board of Trustee and local leadership levels have allowed West Catholic to look at itself differently and set a new direction. Today, West Catholic is more goal-oriented and able to think


outside the box. This strategic plan, A Commitment to Mission, developed in late

Mr. Alfonse Gabriele Brother Richard Kestler, FSC Chairman, Board of Trustees President

2012 and early 2013 and inclusive of all constituents, is meant to position West Catholic for the next five years as a school with purpose and a clear path to excellence. The plan has ten goal areas with specific objectives, action plans, and metrics in which to ensure success. This document is meant to give you a glimpse into those goal areas and objectives and expand your vision of what West Catholic intends to become.

Financial Management

> Ensure the short-term financial viability of the school

in five years.

> Provide financial transparency to ensure confidence

among stakeholders > Be financially self-sustaining beyond 2014-2015

Curriculum > Improve overall academic achievement rates and increase

the graduation rate

Governance > Clarify the roles/responsibilities of the Board, OCE,


> Implement a comprehensive building retro-fit strategy

> Offer a curriculum of diverse content, levels, and deliveries

to a progressively talented and larger student body

and FIFF in relation to West Catholic > Effectively manage the school

> Align curriculum and technology goals

> Improve staff performance


Institutional Advancement

> Improve the ability of the guidance department to meet the

career and personal counseling needs of students

> Reposition image as an academic center of excellence > Reengage alumni

> Determine if it is appropriate to incorporate Burr Academy

principles into the school-wide culture

> Maximize unrestricted giving for the life of the strategic plan > Optimize the staffing needs of the Advancement Office

to achieve its goals > Ensure the short-term viability of the school > Establish an endowment


> Improve outreach to elementary schools, community leaders,

parents, and alumni > Achieve near-term and long-term enrollment goals

Catholic Identity

> Provide a faith formation based on Gospel values rooted

in the Roman Catholic tradition.

Technology > Improve academic performance through effective leveraging

of technology

Student Life > Enhance the student activities/athletics program to meet

student needs



Sadiyah Malcolm ’13

Paul Rieser hired as Girls

West Catholics 8th Gates

Basketball Coach

Millennium Scholar

Paul Rieser will assume the position

Sadiyah Malcom ’13 has been award-

of Head Girls Basketball Coach of

ed the 2013 Gates Millennium Schol-

West Catholic High School. A 1984

arship. The Gates Millennium Scholars

graduate of North Catholic High

(GMS) Program selects 1,000 talent-

School, Coach Rieser has most re-

ed students each year to receive a good-through-graduation (B.A., M.A., and PhD.) scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. Gates Each year, over 60,000 applications are received, and 1,000 are chosen. This is West Catholic High School’s 8th GMS

cently led the Prep Charter program from 2005-2012. At Prep Charter, Rieser’s teams have advanced to the PIAA State Tournament 7 times and reached the Final Four twice, won the City Championship 4 times, and the Philadelphia Public League crown twice.

since the program’s inception in 1999, more than any school

5th Annual Gerald A.

in Pennsylvania.

Renner Literary Awards On Friday, April 12th, the

On why she attended West Catholic, Sadiyah said: “Lots of

5th annual Gerald A. Renner

family members graduated from here. My Mom graduated

Literary Awards Assembly was

from a catholic high school in Jamaica, and passed along

held at West Catholic. Mr. Ren-

the values of a catholic education.”

ner was a 1950 graduate from West Catholic High School for

Sadiyah has been admitted to and plans to attend the

Boys. His career after graduation

Robert E. Cooke Honors College at IUP (Indiana University

took him into the field of

of Pennsylvania) and pursue a degree in Sociology and a

journalism where he was a

minor in Pan-African studies, and looks forward to studying abroad in South Africa or Egypt. Jazz Williams returns to West to lead Boys Basketball Team Jasmine “Jazz” Williams has been hired as the 25th Head Boys Basketball coach at West Catholic High School. Jazz, a class of 1997 graduate from West Catholic, was a four-year

newspaper reporter for the Reading Eagle, Communications Director for the American Conference of Catholic Bishops, and religion editor for the Hartford Courant. The class of 1950 is honoring Mr. Renner’s accomplishments in the field of journalism by encouraging West Catholic students to sharpen their writing skills. Students were instructed to analyze an experience or an individual who has offered inspiration and encouragement in daily living.

letterman and three-year varsity starter at West Catholic. Jazz earned All-Catholic Second Team and All-City Honorable Mention during his senior season.After West Catholic, Jazz went on to play two seasons for Manor college, and then went on to be a two year starter at Millersville University. On what brought Jazz back to West Catholic,; “Ever since I decided I wanted to coach basketball, this has always been a place I wanted to be. I feel like I’ve come full circle, first as a player here and now as a coach at West Catholic. I couldn’t be happier than I am now.”

Congratulations to the 21 students selected as winners!




West Catholic’s Class of 2013 has been awarded over $5 million dollars in scholarships and grants from Colleges and Universities! That works out to an average of over $108,000 awarded to each student.Congratulations to the Class of 2013 on their accomplishments, and we look forward to many more in the future. Listed below is a presentation which includes where each student has been accepted and where they will be attending.

Class of 2013 Quick Facts • 94% of the Senior class will go on to higher education • The students have been accepted to 55 Colleges/ Universities and will attend 28 different Colleges/Universities. • 1 Senior will enlist in the Air Force • 1 Senior will attend the US Naval Academy • 1 Senior has been awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship • Drexel will be the most attended school with 4 Seniors enrolled • St. Joe’s will be the second most attended with 3 Seniors

Cardinal O’Connor Golf Outing Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at Bala Golf Club Lunch: 12:00 pm Golf: 1:30 pm Cocktails: 6:00 pm Awards Dinner: 7:00 pm 2013 Outing Chairman: Bob Devine ‘54 New for 2013! At this year’s Awards Dinner,

$2,500 Title Sponsor 4 golf packages, *10 President’s Reception invites, Premium Course Signage, Exclusive Title Sponsor Ad on all Invite Materials (will mail to 25,000) including Year-Round on Website, Logo will appear in Dinner Program $1,500 Cart Sponsor 4 golf packages, *8 President’s Reception invites, Exclusive Signage on All Golf Carts, Logo will appear in Dinner Program and Website $1,000 Corporate Sponsor 4 golf packages, *8 President’s Reception invites, Logo will appear in Dinner Program and Website

we will Honor our 1st Annual Cardinal O’Connor Service

$250 Individual Golfer 1 golf package

Award Winner. Service Award Winner AND All Sponsors

$175 Young Alum Rate (all classes 1993-2009)

invited to President’s Reception at Aronomink!

1 golf package

Golf packages include lunch, greens fees, golf cart rental, hospitality stations, locker room and shower facilities, gift,

$100 Cocktail Hour and Awards Dinner Only

cocktails, And Awards Dinner.

* All Sponsor and President’s Reception Only Packages are invited to attend a special President’s Reception on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm at Aronomink Golf Club.

Women are encouraged to participate in this event!

$150 President’s Reception Only

All Event Proceeds to Benefit the Students of West Catholic.



Why I give to West Catholic “After West Catholic I received my Bachelor’s degree

“I went to Penn State University for 2 1/2 years where

from Temple University and served in the Marine Corp.

I studied Psychology. I worked with mentally and physically

Reserves. I presently work as an entrepreneur in

disabled individuals before joining the US Postal Service

the Pharmaceutical industry.”

as a Letter Carrier in 1990. After 5 years as a carrier

“I give to West Catholic because I am proud to be a

I switched over to the US Postal Inspection Service”

graduate of West and believe in its mission to help

“I give to West Catholic because I know there are students

students become productive members of society.”

that are in need of assistance and every donation that is

Len Mazur ‘63

offered is that much less due by someone that cannot afford it. By being involved I hope to provide others with the same if not better opportunity that I had as a student of West Catholic.” Bill Dixon ‘85

INVESTINWEST $400,000 To-date

Last Chance to Support the 2013-14 Invest in West Fund – Fiscal Year to close June 30, 2013 Make your gift online today at or mail your gift to West Catholic High School.

$550,000 Goal


Requiescant In Pace Audrey McGinley Schultz William Zintl, ‘31 Lawrence LeBon, ‘32 John Flanigan, ‘34 Daniel Haley, ‘34 Edwin Mawhinney, ‘37 Margaret Chambers Hickey, ‘38 David Light, ‘38 Jane Vogelsong Mason, ‘38 Rita France Oestrich, ‘38 Ernest Russom, ‘38 Marguerite Kelly Volz, ‘38 Msgr. Henry Degnan, ‘39 Honora G. Teal McKee, ‘39 Mary T. O’Neill, ‘40 Doris Kane Ferguson, ‘41 Philip “Knute” Bonner, ‘43 Anna Marie Browne Giannotti, ‘43 Gloria Miller Hartmaier, ‘43 Jeanne Smythe Helms, ‘43 Joseph A. Hamilton, ‘44 Catherine McGowan, ‘44 James McGuire, ‘44 Jean Hackett, ‘45

Kathryn McMahon Hughes, ‘45 John F. O’Neill, ‘45 Elizabeth Reynolds Vaughn, ‘45 Thomas Gorman, ‘46 Sr. Theresa (Catherine Laboure) O’Donnell, SHCJ, ‘46 Jane Summers Raymond, ‘46 Mary Haigh Conlan, ‘47 Antoinette Quintliana DiFonzo, ‘47 James E. Downey, ‘47 John Garland, ‘47 Susan Haley, ‘47 Patricia Mungan Horace, ‘47 Patricia Casey Krulish, ‘47 Rosemary Lebano Masterson, ‘47 Loretta McCrohan O’Rourke, ‘47 Joseph Rogers, ‘47 Marguerite DeVaux Shallet, ‘47 Claire Schwartz Tamney, ‘47 Timothy Gooney, ‘48 Dorothy Legner Murtaugh, ‘48 Charles Weigand, ‘48 Nancy Donohue Collins, ‘49 Cornelius Gillespie, ‘49

James McCarry, ‘51 James McKenna, ‘51 Joan Boyle Francis, ‘52 Elizabeth Halyburton Mirra, ‘52 Marie Brady Wilhoite, ‘52 Ronald DeGregorio, ‘53 Mary Ferry, ‘53 Jacqueline Walker Shaughnessy, ‘53 Helen O’Donnell Cunningham, ‘54 Edward Lott, ‘54 Louis Pinto, ‘54 Rev. William Joseph, ‘56 Mary Agnes Woods Lindholm, ‘56 John Merrigan, ‘56 Joseph Carroll, ‘57 Sally Johnston Gable, ‘57 Dennis O’Leary, ‘57 Margaret Kelly Clark, ‘58 Helen McGinley Durning, ‘58 Robert McIntyre, ‘58 Dorothy Garten Concordia, ‘59 Florence Sprague Woelfling, ‘59 Richard Burke, ‘60 Patrick J. Callahan, ‘60

Joseph Hornig, ‘60 Jeannette McDaid Johnson, ‘60 Cecilia Faso White, ‘60 Anne Lilly Cullinan, ‘62 Patricia Gillespie Gibson, ‘62 Regina McGowan, ‘62 Margaret Meehan Pearce, ‘62 Francis X. Tinney, ‘62 John P. Convery, ‘63 Letitia Grimaldi, ‘63 Margaret Berkery Burns, ‘65 Carol Shepard Gibbs, ‘65 Elizabeth O’Neill McCullough, ‘65 Barbara Ann Hilyard Ravas, ‘65 Robert Davis, ‘66 Elizabeth Callazzo Fox, ‘66 Thomas Jordan, ‘66 Lawrence Lerario, ‘66 Kathleen Tucker Fox, ‘68 Eileen Hoban Creelman, ‘81 John J. Newman, ‘87 Raymond Hill, Jr., ‘03

Class Reunions and Events Girls Class of 1953 60th Reunion

Boys Class of 1958 55th Reunion

Girls Class of 1963 50th Reunion

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013, 12-4 pm

(celebrated at Communion Breakfast)

Clarion Airport Hotel

Springfield Country Club

Drexelbrook Inn

Essington, Pa

Luncheon $45 (cash bar)

Contact: Helen Concannon

Contact: Frank Adolph: 610-344-0716

400 W. Sproul Rd.

610-789-2783, Peg Riley 484-888-0997

Boys Class of 1953 60th Reunion

Girls Class of 1958 55th Reunion Sunday, May 19, 2013, 1-5 pm

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Springfield Country Club

Bala Golf Club

Contact: Felicia Lynch

Golf at 12:00 pm, Reception from 5-7 pm

Dinner at 7:00 pm Contact: Charlie Lamb

Boys Class of 1963 50th Reunion Friday, April 19, 2013

Girls Class of 1959 55th Reunion

Clarion Airport Hotel

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Contact: Larry Lonergan 610-353-3861

Essington, Pa

Springfield, PA 19064 Contact: Margie McFadden Quinlan 609-464-1987, 609-263-0861 or

Girls Class of 1969 45th Reunion Saturday, April 12, 2014 More Details TBA Contact: Hannah Dougherty Campbell 610-446-6488

All Class of 1988 25th Reunion

Springfield Country Club

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Contact: Mary Ann Dowd Kusner

Edgemont Country Club


Contact: Jo-Ann Engels or




Permit No. 138



Mission Statement West Philadelphia Catholic High School is a Catholic community of academic excellence in an urban environment that is open to an interdenominational population. The school’s rigorous spiritual, academic, technological, and extracurricular programs develop our ethnically and religiously diverse student body into young men and women of strong moral and ethical character. West Catholic prepares each student to face the challenges of everyday life, embrace leadership positions in society, and value service in an ever-changing global society.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2013-2014 Burrs at the Beach

Sunday July 7, 2013

Cardinal O’Connor Golf

Wednesday October 2, 2013

Major Donor Luncheon


Alumnae Communion Breakfast School Hall of Fame Tuesday Sports Hall of Fame Saturday Alumni Communion Breakfast

Sunday October 27, 2013


Over 95% of our student body

The State of Pennsylvania

failing public school districts.

offers a program that

Therefore, your State tax dollars

allows businesses to send their State taxes

could go directly towards taking young men and women out of these failing schools and giving

to West Catholic as

them a chance to excel here at

opposed to Harrisburg.

West Catholic. The process is as

This program, called the

December 3, 2013

here at West are from these

Opportunity Scholarship

simple as filling out a one page form, and West Catholic can handle the rest of the process.

Tax Credit (OSTC) provides

March 22, 2014

scholarships and financial aid for students who live

TBA 2014

in underachieving school districts.

Any questions, comments or suggestions regarding West Notes, please contact George Light at the school 215-386-2244 ext. 260 or email

If you have an interest in the OSTC program or have questions about the program call Andrew Brady at West Catholic at 215-386-2244 or email at

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West Notes Magazine

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West Notes Magazine