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Welcome D

ear Families,

Educational institutions in America should be safe and protected spaces for our children. They should be places where discourse, discussion and the dissemination of ideas freely takes place as our young people exercise their voices, learn who they are and, most importantly, define what they stand for. Catholic schools should go even further, standing as beacons for justice, integrity and social responsibility while developing in each student a spiritual hunger that calibrates the moral compass which will guide them through all of life’s difficult challenges. Yet today, we find ourselves in a most unusual time. Technology and social media instantly bring the best and worst of humanity into our everyday lives. Truth in our society has become relative, or inconsequential, and the power of sensational halftruths, opinions, and outright lies delivers knock-out punches that cause pain and irreparable harm. What we took for granted as bedrock supporting the institutions and ideals upon which we have depended have been revealed as sand—fluid, in constant motion and influenced

by the winds of the moment or the hour’s shifting tides. As President of Carondelet High School, I have never been more mindful of the tremendous responsibility we have in educating our young women to help them make sense of their world. With over 800 students from all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds, I am grateful that our school community makes it a priority to provide our students with a safe space. We encourage each and every student to find her voice and feel empowered to engage in civil discourse, with an emphasis on civility and respect, and to develop the tools and confidence to speak up and speak out on how we should treat others and how they want to be treated. As a school that leads with a mission founded on Catholic values and the special charism gifted to us by our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, we know that heart and compassion matter; that courage is often required to confront and address injustice and intolerance; and that different perspectives and opinions are essential to making us stronger.

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We teach this alongside our college preparatory curriculum here at Carondelet. It is fundamental to who we are and what we know to be true. We believe in the intrinsic humanity of every person and through our words, our actions, our compassion, and our faith, we find the strength and commitment to make the world a better place for all. Please continue to keep our school, our students and their families in your prayers. The world needs our Carondelet graduates now more than ever. Gratefully,

Bonnie Cotter President P.S. I invite your comments via


MISSION Carondelet High School inspires excellence by preparing young women to live with heart, faith and courage in the Catholic tradition and spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph. VISION A Carondelet graduate is empowered by her Catholic, collegepreparatory education and is known as a woman who responds to the needs of the times and makes a positive difference.

“We as women are underrepresented in politics, but we have the power to change that.”


Principal Kevin Cushing Chief Technology Officer Elizabeth Chaponot, Ph.D. Director of Athletics Caitlin Lawson ’05

Mission Integration Sister Ann Bernard O’Shea, CSJ Director of Communications Jennifer Ortega


6 A Woman Empowered

Director of Student Success Liz Paz-Rumore, JD

8 Mercy as Power

Director of Student Affairs Joseph Silveira

Advocating for Social Justice

10 Sports Med Training

CARONDELETTER TEAM Director of Communications Jennifer Ortega

11 Frosh Day of Service

Communications Manager Christina Ditzel ’97

12 Athletics Complex 8

14 “I Am …” 16 Cross Country Anniversary

SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM President Bonnie Cotter

Assistant Principal Jessica Mix ’99


4 Sr. Clare Dunn Forum

CARONDELETTER Published for the alumnae, parents and friends of Carondelet High School

Communications Assistant Natasha Davis Data & Prospect Manager Monica Simmons, MBA


18 Events & Updates | In Memoriam

Graphic Designer Marie Murphy

20 Visions of Christmas

On the cover: Sarah Finkel ‘18 (left) and Claire Farias ‘18 while in our nation’s capital to attend the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice November 12-14.

22 Courage & Hope for Kids 24 Alumnae Reunions 25 Antidote to College Stress 26 Alumnae Updates

20 Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017 | 3

Sr. Clare Dunn Forum Explores



“Sr. Clare Dunn was a model for the important role women can play in politics.”


“Women in Politics: What does it take? Why does it matter?”

rand things can begin with a

simple act.

For Sister Clare Dunn, CSJ, it was a student’s challenge to “get involved” that motivated her to run for office in the Arizona State Legislature in the 1970s. She won, and became known as “The Conscience.” Whenever legislation was brought forth, Sr. Clare would challenge Members by asking thoughtful questions: “What about housing for the poor? What about just wages? What about immigrant children?” Often Representatives would redraft their long hours of work. As one Member put it, “She had many opponents, but no enemies.” Sr. Clare Dunn was a model for the important role women can play in politics. And it was in this spirit that Carondelet held its biannual Sr. Clare Dunn Forum in October, focusing on

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The Forum is designed to address important current events or issues in a panel discussion format. This year’s panelists spoke about their experiences as women in the political sphere, as well as different ways Carondelet students can get involved. Dr. Helene Silverberg, an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at U.C. Berkeley, spoke about the disparity between the number of women in American politics and those in other countries. She presented many relevant statistics, such as the fact that the U.S. ranks 97th out of 193 countries in terms of the percentage of women who comprise federal legislatures or parliaments. Prior to the November election, the U.S. stood at 20 percent women in Congress. This puts us behind a number of Third World countries. Though we are a world power, we are behind in the fight for equal representation in government. Panelist Kristina Daniel Lawson, who is a partner at the national law firm of Manatt, Phelps &

Phillips, LLP, the former Mayor of Walnut Creek, and who currently serves on the Medical Board of California, spoke about her experience as both a mother and an elected official. She gave us all an important reminder: we don’t have to do everything at once. Mrs. Lawson said it is possible for us as women to capitalize on opportunities, and make time to be great mothers. “It is important for girls to have strong role models that are involved, engaged and making a difference,” said the mother of three. Carondelet Alumna Jalina Porter ‘04 also presented at the Forum. Currently working as press secretary at the Truman National Security Project, a “think tank” in Washington, D.C., Ms. Porter served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, and she has staffed the press offices of U.S. Congressmen Jerry McNerney and John Garamendi. Ms. Porter encouraged all students to look at challenges as opportunities to build character and grow.

she said, “Capitol Hill is so competitive. This shows me that women need to bond together more, build each other up and develop networks.” The Forum was an enriching and exciting experience for all students. In the words of Annie Raines ‘18, “This discussion opened my eyes to the subtle reality of gender inequality in politics. Women have great potential to input ideas and solutions, and it is important that we take part in local politics. There is work to be done, and we are able to help. It was a rewarding experience to discuss these issues with such strong, confident women who are making a difference in society.” All the wonderful panelists touched on the same central point: we as women are underrepresented in politics, but we have the power to change that. By getting involved, speaking up and fighting for what we believe in, we can not only shape politics, but change the way women are perceived. Sr. Clare Dunn would have been proud.

Highlighting the importance of supporting our fellow women in competitive environments, Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017 | 5

A Woman Empowered:




“When we support and uplift each other, we not only uphold the values of the Sisters of St. Joseph, we also aid in the progress of women in our country and around the world.”


n early October, I had the honor of returning to Carondelet for the first time in 13 years to participate in the Sister Clare Dunn “Women in Politics” Forum. My homecoming was nothing short of amazing. The love, support and camaraderie shared with my younger Carondelet sisters and the staff were indeed palpable. It was through this panel and the rest of the day spent at the school that I shared my passion for public service and how Carondelet equipped me with the tools to be a leader in the field. By the time I entered Carondelet as an inquisitive and ambitious 14-yearold girl, I was very eager to learn about the world around me and just what I needed to do to make the most meaningful impact in it. Little did I know then that my desire to serve would be amplified to a global level years later when I became a Peace Corps volunteer, serving two years in the Kingdom of Cambodia. My Peace Corps experience was a salient one due to the volunteer opportunities I embarked on at Carondelet, and even before then as a Girl Scout, all of which ultimately led me on my path to politics. My experience as a staffer at the U.S. Congress showed me firsthand how much more work we have ahead of us—as women of superior educational resources armed with God’s conviction and teachings—to be equally represented and paid, and fairly treated.

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Read the full text of Jalina’s reflection at:

Carondelet gave me ample opportunities through academics, student leadership activities, community service, and athletics to grow interpersonally as a young woman. Carondelet taught me the value of relationships, showed me how to be adaptable and responsible at a young age, and reaffirmed what I always knew about myself, to paraphrase the poet Marianne Williamson: I am powerful beyond measure! Though my experience was not without its trials, just as in politics, my relationship with God and my family proved to be the bedrock that got me through the storms. Proverbs 16:3 tells us, “Commit your work to the Lord, and He will establish your plans,” and by doing just that, I have lived a life centered around service. Often times, people outside of politics view the idea as synonymous with power in a way that holds them back from learning about our democracy and how best we can serve it. During my time at Carondelet, I learned a lot about this idea of power, but namely as a tool of empowerment to advance myself and serve my greater community. My Carondelet years taught me to be fearless, to be my sister’s keeper, and to hold my faith close as a compass to guide my personal and professional life. I also embraced the notion of being an outlier during my time at Carondelet and well beyond by always daring to be bold and taking the road less traveled. Whatever systemic odds were seemingly against me, I used that as my catalyst to defy those very odds by not being able to be defined by a single box, or even multiple boxes. Being a part of this sisterhood is something that I will always cherish. It is up to us, Cougars past and present, to shape the landscape of our world as we know it, be that in politics or any other career path. When we support and uplift each other, we not only uphold the values of the Sisters of St. Joseph, but we also aid in the progress of women in our country and around the world. That, to me, is what being a Carondelet Cougar is all about: A Woman Empowered.

7 | Carondeletter Carondeletter| |Carondelet CarondeletHigh HighSchool School| |December Winter 2017 2016 |7

Mercy as Power


“I can make a difference by starting with myself and the people around me [and] eventually there will be a difference in the world.” – JESSICA PADILLA-NAVARRO ‘18

8 | Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017


s young women, we sometimes face the misconception that we are powerless to make an impact in our local and global communities. Thanks to a recent immersion experience, I now have a fresh perspective about the power we possess. This fall, I traveled to Washington, D.C., with 13 other students and three Carondelet administrators to attend the 19th Annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. The event brings together over 2,000 young people from North America who learn, pray, connect, and take action for justice as a community bonded by our Catholic faith. As I got to know my fellow Carondelet sisters better, I discovered that we are strongly bonded together by our firm belief that every human being is worthy of dignity and respect. As part of our Ven a Ver (“Come to See”) immersion trip, we underwent intense training in preparation for the topics that would be discussed at the conference. Since Pope Francis declared 2016 the Year of Mercy, this year’s conference theme was “Mercy in Action.” Through our advocacy training, we were “transformed to be agents of mercy, seeking to protect, defend and uphold the dignity of all people,” to quote keynote speaker Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ. At the Teach-In, we had the opportunity to expand our knowledge on social issues that are prevalent in today’s society: racism, world hunger, LGBTQ+ discrimination, sexism, immigration, war, mass incarceration, human trafficking, climate change,

mental illness, Islamophobia, and more. We engaged in conversations about how we as Catholics can make a positive impact in our communities, and show love and respect for the human dignity of our dear neighbors. Not only did this experience encourage us as individuals to defend what we believe to be right and just, it also instilled confidence in us as young women to not be afraid to use our voices and to unlock our potential to be powerful women of heart, faith and courage—a sentiment not fully accepted by society. Personally, I was most inspired by the tenacious drive that the female speakers and attendees possessed—a drive and dedication to break these stereotypes and put mercy into action. In addition to the conference, all participants had the opportunity to meet with their elected officials on Capitol Hill. My group met with representatives from the offices of Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier to share what we learned and to advocate for policy changes. Through this experience we learned that mercy is power, and we are empowered through our acts of compassion. As Pope Francis said, “To be merciful means to grow in a love which is courageous, generous and real.” At Carondelet, we practice this solidarity every day on our journey to becoming women filled with love, compassion and courage.

“What I wish everyone knew is that we are not powerless until we stop using our voices.” – MEGAN NIXON ‘18 Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017 | 9

Sports Med Students


Through these internships, our students have: • Developed a rehabilitation program for youth athletes

• Helped design and equip the new athletic training facility in the

“Fieldhouse,” owned by faculty member Janis Allocco and family • Spoken with doctors about the benefits and risks of stem cell injections, and studied the process for the procedure

• Casted fellow interns for a broken arm

• Fitted patients for a brace • Learned to set up and use the Alter-G anti-gravity rehabilitation treadmill


n the spring of 2016, Michelle (Gee) McGallian ‘97 reached out to Carondelet’s Kinesiology Department to express interest in providing an opportunity for students to get their hands dirty in the sports medicine world. This growing industry combines disciplines such as psychology, physiology, biomechanics, and pathology associated with exercise and sports. While some people may think sports medicine refers only to care for athletes, professionals in this field work to improve the health and well-being of a range of patients, including those who require physical rehabilitation due to a broken bone or surgery. Michelle, a certified athletic trainer for Muir Orthopedic Specialists in the Park Shadelands area of Walnut Creek, offered to invite our students to spend two to four hours per week shadowing professionals in the field. We launched this semester-long program in the fall with six Carondelet and four De La Salle students. Students worked directly with Michelle and the strength and conditioning coaches to help develop and maintain a strength and rehabilitation program for local youth sports programs. Participants also had the opportunity to observe physical therapists and athletic trainers in action, and to speak to doctors about prevalent issues in the medical field.

“This wonderful hands-on experience allows us to grow in our interest and passion for sports medicine.” – HANNA COLOMA ‘17

“Carondelet’s Sports Med 3 program is an amazing opportunity to do everything from shadowing physical therapists to getting on the ground with the athletes to help them with their rehab,” said Hanna Coloma ’17. “This wonderful hands-on experience allows us to grow in our interest and passion for sports medicine.” We look forward to building this partnership and expanding for our students in the future. 10 | Carondeletter | Carondelet High School opportunities | Winter 2017 Pictured: Hanna Coloma ’17 and Michelle (Gee) McGallian ’97.

Class of 2020



his fall Carondelet’s freshman class and our senior peer counselors loaded onto buses and went out into different communities for our second annual Frosh Day of Service. Nearly 200 of us went to 10 locations in four different cities in three counties, including the Brazil Quarry Park; Shelter, Inc.; Pleasant Hill Post-Acute Care Center; Rodgers Ranch Heritage Center; White Pony Express; the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano; Monument Crisis Center; St. Martin de Porres Catholic School; and Carlton Senior Center. We all participated in many jobs to help the community, such as picking up trash in a dry creek bed, packaging food into boxes, or just having a conversation with a senior citizen. Our work, though it may seem small, makes a big impact. From putting a smile on someone’s face to making the environment more sustainable, the freshman class is making a difference in people’s lives.

The Frosh Day of Service is an opportunity to demonstrate that girls can do anything we put our minds to. “All of us working together make a big difference, whether we see the impact firsthand or not,” said Concord Events Program Coordinator Shannon Griffin, who helped with the work at the Brazil Quarry Park in Concord. Freshman Marie O’Sullivan, who assisted at the Food Bank, described the work as “eyeopening.” She added that this experience showed her “how there are more ways to serve others than you might think.” Students walked away knowing that they did some good and perhaps even accomplished something they always wanted to do, but didn’t know where to start. Community service continues to be a huge part of Carondelet student life. It is made even more meaningful because we are encouraged to push our limits and do something out of the goodness of our own hearts, not because it is required or because someone told us that we had to do it. Frosh Day of Service turned out to be more than just a job—it became a rewarding experience for everyone. Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017 | 11

Equity for Young Women: New Athletics Complex



n a resounding victory for our Cougars (and past Conquistadors), Carondelet earned a hardfought, but in the end, unanimous approval from the Walnut Creek City Council in December, and is now moving forward with its plan to create a stateof-the art Athletics Complex and student center on a more than six-acre site just two miles from its main campus. Construction will begin early in 2017 with an anticipated opening date of August 2017. Finally, after 50 years of going without, our girls will have sports fields and facilities to call their own. “This project is special,” said Carondelet President Bonnie Cotter. “It brings life to our mission as it helps us educate and empower our own young women. At the same time, we are able to share these wonderful new resources with our broader community to help meet their needs.” Once completed, our girls will practice and compete on six tennis courts; on top-of-the-line, environmentally friendly, synthetic turf soccer, lacrosse and softball fields; and in a state-of-the art pool that will feature our diving, swimming and water polo programs. In addition, a 5,000-square-foot student center will house strength and conditioning facilities, as well as inviting spaces for students to gather, study, grab healthy snacks and find spiritual space. On weekends, during the summer and during the school day, while our students are in academic classes, the complex will be made available to select Walnut Creek clubs and organizations that are compatible with our mission and who so desperately need access to athletics facilities. “This project is a winwin program–for Carondelet, our current and future students, and the greater community,” Cotter added. Our Athletics Complex project has enjoyed vocal and widespread support both from our own Carondelet 12 | Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017

“This project brings life to our mission as it helps us educate and empower our own young women.” – BONNIE COTTER


community and from hundreds of Walnut Creek residents and key organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, Valley Vista Racquet Club, Barracudas Swim Team, Walnut Creek Aquanuts, Walnut Creek Warriors Lacrosse Team, and the many organizations who benefit from our school’s community and service outreach, including the Alzheimer’s Association of the East Bay Area and Atria Walnut Creek.

The voices of our supporters added strength to our message that girls deserve equity, that our school is a vital part of the community, that our impact is far-reaching, and that together we are responsible for building a strong future. Please stay tuned for more details about our groundbreaking event and how you can help celebrate this momentous accomplishment for our school and our young women.

New Complex Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017 | 13


“I AM power.” – NAOMI CRAIG ‘18

“I AM perseverant.” – ISABELLA BRAULIK ‘19

“I AM powerful.” – VANESSA BOONE ‘17

“I AM balanced.” – ANNA KATE LOPEZ ‘17

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The Kinesiology Department’s collaborative project focuses on the power of what young women do and say after they utter the words “I am.” The yoga students who participated in this project chose poses that they felt embodied their positive personal statement.

“I AM powerful.” – ERIN BUTLER ‘17

“I AM radiant.”

“I AM hopeful.”


“I AM independent.” – ERICA MILLER ‘19

Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017 | 15

Cross Country Anniversary


“Running cross country in high school challenged me in ways I never expected, both physically and mentally.”


unning cross country at Carondelet was one of the “greatest experiences” of Kristen Gordon’s life. “As I grow older, I realize how much it shaped me as a person,” said Gordon ‘97. “I can only hope that my three boys get to experience a team and community like Carondelet someday.”


Twenty years ago, she led the Cougars at state, running the 5,000-meter race at Woodward Park in Fresno, Calif., in a time of 17:17 for top individual honors. She qualified for nationals, where she once again stood at the top of the podium, finishing the 5,000-meters in a time of 17:34.7, to become the 1996 high school national individual champion. The 1996 Carondelet cross country team was better than the rest, winning the school’s first state championship, the CIF Division III title. “We were lucky to have an incredible coach and mentor in Helen Lehman-Winters, who gave us the confidence to aim for goals that may have seemed outrageous at the start of the season,” added Kelly (Piatanesi) Clasen ’98. “Being part of the 1996 Cross Country State Championship team was one of those goals she led us to achieve, and it was an incredible experience I’ll never forget.” Ten years later, Carondelet’s cross country team brought home more regional and state honors. In 2006, a strong season was elevated when the team, led by head coach Mary Ann Grubb ‘90 (an assistant coach for Carondelet in 1996), captured the North Coast Section title. “My then-coaches and teammates, and now lifelong friends, made every morning practice, missed school dance, workout, and sub40-degree aqua jogging session worthwhile,” said Sara Aliotti ‘09. One week after sectionals, the team earned the school’s second cross country state title when the Cougars won the CIF Division II State Championship and qualified for the Nike Team Nationals. 16 | Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017

Laura McFarland ‘17, who ran in the 2016 CIF cross country state championship, was the first Carondelet student to compete at state in seven years.


“Winning state was truly a group effort and getting there was a road paved with sacrifice, diligence, and some of the strongest friendships I’ve ever had,” stated Erin Mulligan ‘08. In 2016, Carondelet was again represented at the state level, as Laura McFarland ’17 qualified for the event. McFarland finished the race in 89th place, with a time of 19:38 at Woodward Park. After their Carondelet days, many cross country team members have gone on to have outstanding success. Helen Lehman-Winters is now the head cross country coach at the University of San Francisco. Ashley Chavez ’08, a member of the 2006 state championship team, is currently the head varsity cross country coach at Carondelet. Kristen Gordon, the most decorated Cougar cross country runner, went on to run collegiately at Georgetown University, competed in Olympic trials, and won the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon—the first time she ever entered the grueling 26.2-mile race. “As athletes, we push ourselves to the edge of physical and mental limits, because we want to compete at the highest level we can,” said Clasen. “As women, leaders, workers, wives, mothers, you name it—we push ourselves the same way. Handling pressure, pushing boundaries, and taking risks as a high school athlete gave me the confidence to continue to do so in all aspects of my life.”

Kristen Hart ‘98 Kerri Bock-Willmes ‘97 Cristyn Enea ‘99 Kristen Gordon ‘97 Ginaea Carrillo ‘97 Kelly Piatanesi ‘98 Megan Andrade ‘99 Head Coach: Helen Lehman-Winters Assistant Coach: Mary Ann Grubb ‘90

1996 CARONDELET STATE RESULTS Runner (Place) Kristen Gordon (1) Kerri Bock-Willmes (18) Kelly Piatanesi (21) Cristyn Enea (29) Meghan Andrade (47) Ginaea Carrillo (59) Kristen Hart (65)

Time 17:17 19:24 19:29 19:37 20:05 20:26 20:35

2006 2006 VARSITY 7 STATE ROSTER Ashley Chavez ‘08 Sara Aliotti ‘09 Heather Cerney ‘10 Nicole Hood ‘10 Kellie Houser ‘09 Erin Mulligan ‘08 Nicole Rumore ‘09 Head Coach: Mary Ann Grubb ‘90 Assistant Coach: Katy Himsl ‘04

2006 CARONDELET STATE RESULTS Runner (Place) Nicole Hood (4) Heather Cerney (20) Sara Aliotti (35) Kelli Houser (45) Erin Mulligan (65) Ashley Chavez (81) Nicole Rumore (169)

Time 18:16 18:34 18:51 19:04 19:33 19:42 21:30

Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017 | 17


UN EVENTS AROUND CAMPUS In the first semester of the 2016-2017 school year we celebrated some of our favorite events of the year. We kicked things off with the Welcome Back BBQ to bring our community back together and get to know our Frosh and their families. Then came Homecoming Week! The juniors and seniors were cheered on by their fellow Cougars and Spartans, and the seniors came out victorious with a 12-8 Power Puff win. At our annual St. Marty’s Party, which was chockfull of fun with a vibrant Willie Wonka theme, our little guests enjoyed a pizza party, trick-or-treating and carnival games. In November, we welcomed hundreds of future Cougars to our campus for Open House, which gave prospective families the chance to meet the students, teachers and staff who make the Carondelet community shine.


D PRINTER AND LASER ENGRAVER Carondelet took another leap into the future by investing in a new uPrint SE PLUS® 3D printer and a CO2 laser for cutting and engraving. The printer allows students to make threedimensional models of objects that look exactly like the real thing, but are made of plastic. These two new pieces of cuttingedge STEM equipment were made possible by proceeds from Carondelet’s 2016 ”Swing for Science“ golf tournament. Thank you, golfers!


ANS Last year, Carondelet’s Christmas wish was for transportation. Thanks to the generous support of our 2015 Visions of Christmas guests, our wish came true and we now have two beautiful Ford Transit seven-passenger vans. These vans will be used to transport students and supplies to a multitude of activities and events including: field trips, club activities, community service events, student government activities, retreats, and more! 18 | Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017

Events &

Updates S

TRENGTH AND CONDITIONING AREA This fall, we converted the tennis courts above the parking structure on campus into a 1,300-square-foot strength and conditioning workout area. It includes four lifting platforms, dumbbells, one dozen spin bikes, plyometric workout equipment, and plenty of room for agility drills. Many of our athletic teams have already started using the facility and as this program evolves, more equipment will be added.


ATIO FURNITURE Mr. Cushing has always said that the empty balconies on Carondelet’s academic building were prime real estate for student collaboration and quiet study time. At his suggestion, and thanks to a generous donation from the Parent Association’s Crab Feed proceeds, we purchased six eight-piece wicker seating sets with comfy cushions. The verdict? Our students love it—especially on warm days— and they even have a great view of Mt. Diablo.


AR CHARGING STATION In response to Carondelet’s commitment to sustainability, College Counselor Mrs. Neville Susich donated an Evr-Green® 400 Electric Vehicle Charging Station to our campus. Mrs. Susich and her husband, Bob, both drive plug-in vehicles, so donating this charger was a natural step. Her generous contribution lets students and families recharge their electric vehicles before the last bell rings.

In Memoriam Joseph Aliotti, grandfather of Kristen Aliotti ‘02 Peter Brothers, grandfather of Erin Ospeck ’17, Natalie Ospeck ’18 and Elizabeth Ospeck ‘20 Paul A. Devlin, father of Mary Devlin Kerfs ‘80 and grandfather of Michelle Kerfs ‘17 Marie Ann Enea, grandmother of Talia D’Ambrosio ‘00 Yvonne Enea, mother of Joan Enea-Lopez ’70, Susan Bruno ’75, and Marylynn O’Regan ’77, grandmother of Krysten O’Regan ‘10 Brenda Francis Leon ‘81 Marie Heinritz, mother of faculty member Sr. Joann Heinritz, CSJ Larry Jeter, husband of staff member Donna Akridge, father of Sarah ’03 and Megan ‘07 Teri Lois Bredbenner Lloyd ‘77 Michael Mann, father of Tamara Mann Gomez ‘97 Kaitlyn & Hailey Markus, granddaughters of Elizabeth Gallagher ‘71 Kathleen Agnes Mullane, mother of Kelly ‘85 and Jennifer Mullane Cooke ‘87 Gino Martinucci, father of former Principal Teri Hurlbut, grandfather of Marisa Hurlbut Canoles ‘00, and uncle of staff member Jeanine McDermott John T. Nejedly, husband of Katie Gibbons Nejedly ’83, father of Kathleen ‘10 and Kristina ‘12 Michael Schmidt, brother of staff member Margaret Valdez, and uncle of Rachel ‘09 Anne Schuler Hughes, mother of Linda Mazzetti Schuler ’73, grandmother of Christina Schuler Henricksen ’99, Erica Schuler ’07, Stephanie Schuler ’02 and Laura Davidson ’07 Barbara Teutschel, mother of Char Teutschel ‘79 Ellie Zuliani, mother of Michelle Zuliani Jess ’84 Richard Zocchi, friend of the school

Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017 | 19


arondelet’s 27th Annual Visions of Christmas was the place to be to kick off the holidays in style. With more than 2,200 guests attending seven events in six days, our festive occasions offered something for everyone. Our annual fashion show brought glitz and glamour to Winton Drive, and added just a bit more sparkle to the already-decked-out Garaventa Center, which featured five gorgeous raffle trees, each trimmed with thousands of dollars of elegant prizes.

Our guests gathered with family and friends to enjoy Christmas tea, shop the holiday boutique 20 | Carondeletter | Carondelet School |–Winter and bid on silent auctionHigh treasures all to2017

support Carondelet students. Alumnae had an opportunity to reconnect at the teas and the community open house, where they picked up their 2016 “Women of Heart” ornament. On Sunday, Santa arrived early to enjoy breakfast with dozens of eager youngsters, including future Cougars! Visions of Christmas, which consistently raises approximately $250,000 annually for our school, would not have been possible without the support of our generous tree donors, sponsors and hundreds of volunteers. We extend our heartfelt thanks for making this tradition possible.

27th Annual


CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR RAFFLE TREE WINNERS: Christmas in the Kitchen - Peggy Whalen Howell Mountain Holiday - Kathy Renner (Lauren Renner ‘17) Nothing but the Holidays - Vicky Benavente #TinselAndTech - Carol Monti (Francesca Monti ‘18) White Elephant Christmas Party - Laurie Dickson Williams ‘90 (Gabriella Williams ‘20) Shelby Bryant ’19 and faculty member Stephanie Cline modeled gorgeous holiday attire from Gesinee’s Bridal and Francesca’s for the annual fashion show.


Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017 | 21

Kids Find Courage and Hope at Summer Camp


“I truly felt the magic of the universe.”


lumna Kaitlin Burnash ’14 spent several weeks as a counselor at Double H Ranch in New York last summer, working with children who have life-threatening illnesses and experiencing the power of the human spirit. Below is an excerpt from her reflection on this life-changing journey.

I got to show them that they are loved and cherished as unique individuals with so many gifts to share with each other and the world. And that they deserve to be celebrated for the incredible spark within each of them that has so much more power to overcome illness then it does to be vanquished by it.

On the first day of every session, 126 beautiful, unique children pour through the gates, and each carries the scars of their diagnosis upon them in some way. Whether it was the power chairs they needed to get around, the buckets of medications they needed to make it through a day, the Pods they needed to communicate, or the frailness of their bodies from hundreds of chemotherapy treatments, each has been given a greater share of the weight of the world than they should. This weight comes from a multitude of illnesses like cerebral palsy, sickle cell anemia, spina bifida, mitochondrial disease, hemophilia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, cancer, diabetes, juvenile dermatomyositis, eosinophilic esophagitis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

I had so many moments this summer in which I truly felt the magic of the universe. I felt all of the potential love that fills this world in one moment. I felt the kind of fulfillment that people search for their entire lives. In these times I realized that my happiest moments were when I was giving them to someone else.

But the moment the children pass through the gates, they are no longer cared for because of their fragile nature, but because of the unique, beautiful light that fills them up. I got to give each of them a gift: the opportunity to forget about the diagnosis that consumes every aspect of their lives outside of Double H.

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One of the biggest highlights was a string of 15 minutes in which I helped one of our nine-yearold campers who had mitochondrial disease, climb up the cargo net so that he could zip line down the other side. To most people, climbing up a cargo net is a modest accomplishment that might leave you a little sweaty and tired. To my camper however, it was something that he didn’t believe was possible. Mitochondrial disease is an illness in which the mitochondria in cells malfunction, leading to a lack of energy to power the cells and causing lack of muscle coordination, weakness, pain, and vision loss. Together, we began climbing up the cargo net. It was difficult at times, but he kept climbing until he made it to the top and soared down the zip line on the other end with the biggest smile on his face.

DOUBLE H CORE VALUES CAMP COMPASS Double H believes that everything we do is about kids and camp. BE A KID Double H operates with the intent of putting our campers and families first. We are proudly honest and transparent with every decision made. SAFE FUN Safety is a major factor in childhood; it’s no different at camp. Our staff and volunteers are trained with the tools required to provide the utmost quality of care for our campers and families. CELEBRATE COMMUNITY Every set of hands makes the work lighter and the applause louder. We place a high value on volunteerism and community partnerships. Our pursuit of the greatest, safest camper experience will always include recruitment and retention of caring and qualified volunteers.

“When [the campers] climb to the top and overcome, they are reminded that there really is hope.” And it was in that magical moment that I truly realized what camp was all about. To many kids, the cargo net symbolizes their diagnosis; every moment they’ve had to fight for things other kids take for granted; every time someone has told them “no” because of their illness; and every moment they’ve been sidelined, isolated and separated from kids their own age. But when they climb to the top and overcome, they are reminded that there really is hope, and that there is a magical world awaiting them if they have the courage to reach out and grasp it. The future is calling their name, too, wanting them to be a part of it and experience all of its joys and beauty.

BELIEVE IN GIVING Double H is in the business of giving kids and their families’ unforgettable experiences. We strive to offer something similar with our donors, from camper sponsorships to planned giving, the legacy of each gift and the person or company who shares it, lives on in spoken, printed, and beloved recognition. The art of giving back is an essential key to our success. Find Kaitlin’s full essay at: alumnae

MAKE IT POSSIBLE Children are our greatest example of inclusivity, inviting friends to join them and creating more opportunities for shared accomplishments and experiences. We approach our work at Double H in the same way. Diligently working to create ways for every member of a family, to not only participate, but to find ways to achieve individual success and a new sense of empowerment.

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College Kick-Start



ith the goal of reducing stress in the college application process, the Carondelet college counselors hosted two College Kick-Start summer camps for rising seniors. The week-long June session and the three-day August session were positively received by students and led to a more relaxed fall. The purpose of the camps was to offer students an opportunity to take ownership of the application process, start applications and begin writing essays and personal statements for their college applications.

© Illustration by Debbie DeLue




of our student body enrolled in AP & Honors Courses

go on to college

14 Honors Courses Offered Our girls SCORE ABOVE the National Average on both the ACT & SAT

The Kick-Start camps covered everything about how to complete applications for California and other state schools, U.C.s and private colleges. Both of the camps included lots of time for writing and feedback, as well as creating a resume. Two college test prep gurus gave tips for an upcoming ACT test, and college admission representatives from five colleges from across the country reviewed essays and offered individual feedback to students. To top it off, Kick-Start was FUN and included lots of time for help, collaboration, a pizza party, raffles and prizes.

Class of 2018: Don’t miss this opportunity – mark your calendars for June!

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Carondelet Alumnae



JEANETTE PIEPHO NORMAN ‘75 I graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in Industrial Psychology, and for the past 12 years, I have worked in San Francisco as a controller. On the weekends, I judge parades and serve as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Parade Judging Association. I am also active at Christ the King where I minister as a Lector, Eucharistic Minister and a Minister to the Sick. I have a son who graduated from De La Salle in 2000 and is a professional opera singer who performs around the United States. I was also blessed with a granddaughter in 2015. DANIELLE O’CONNOR MACDONELL ‘03 Last year my husband and I got married on March 19 (on St. Joseph’s day no less!) We began our honeymoon in Rome where we had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis. We attended the audience with hundreds of people and sat in a group of 38 other newlywed couples. Afterward, we were able to speak with him one-on-one. He offered us a blessing and held our hands. His presence was truly calming and inspiring. It is an experience we will never forget! JULIA BOOKER QUINLAN ‘04 My husband Kevin and I are over the moon to announce the adoption of our baby boy on 10/21/16. Daniel came to us in February, at five months old. Now one year old, he is a

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joyful, handsome, curious, social, silly little boy. The first day we met him, he gave us a huge smile, and we knew then that God had made this child for us. We are so happy to finally be parents. Our journey has just begun. GRACE LAYUGAN ‘04 I am a Hospital Corpsman Third Class in the Navy on board the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) currently stationed in San Diego. Everyone on board knows me as “the singing doc.”  I began my Naval career in 2012 at Naval Medical Center San Diego where I worked for two years in the Internal Medicine ward and Emergency Room. From there, I joined the ship in February 2015, in time for an eight-andone-half-month deployment around the world in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. We began in Norfolk, VA, and stopped in exotic ports such as London, Bahrain, Dubai, Singapore, and Hawaii. While on deployment, I competed in the ship’s very own singing competition on board called “TR Idol,” in which I placed seventh out of 200 sailors who auditioned. In April 2016, I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to sing the National Anthem for a San Diego Padres game, and I reenlisted for another four years.  It’s safe to say I have certainly come a long way since singing for Ms. Saulnier’s concert choir! I love my job providing medical care to


patients – my fellow sailors on board. I continue to live out the Carondelet mission by singing for Catholic mass services on board the ship while we are underway. It gives me great joy to know I can enrich someone’s faith through the power of song, especially during a trying time of deployment.  JAYNE APPEL-MARINELLI ‘06 After six seasons in the WNBA, Jayne announced her retirement in September 2016. She played all six seasons with the San Antonio Stars in 218 games. In 2010, she was a WNBA All-Star and she was the fifth overall selection in the 2010 WNBA Draft. Prior to her WNBA career, she was a two-time All-American at Stanford University. She ended her collegiate career as the Pac-10’s all-time leading rebounder, finishing with 1,263 boards.


RACHEL AZUMBRADO ‘09 I attended St. George’s University for medical school on the Caribbean island of Grenada. After passing my STEP1 boards, I began my clinical rotations in Chicago! I went from sunshine to snow, and from desk work to real, live patients. In one year I will be applying for a pediatrics residency. I feel so blessed that medicine has allowed me to build a rewarding career while exploring different parts of the world. I have wanted to be a pediatrician since my senior year of Carondelet, and it’s crazy that I’ve almost made it! JULIA BOOKER QUINLAN ‘04 Carondeletter | Carondelet High School | Winter 2017 | 27



1133 Winton Drive Concord, California 94518-3598



ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED Additional copies available in the school’s main office Please email any address corrections to:

upcoming events February 13 | “Carondelet Rising” V-Day Community Event • 6:30 p.m. February 26 | Mother-Daughter Retreat 9:15 a.m. • Garaventa Center March 4 | Crab Feed 5:30 p.m. • Garaventa Center March 16 | Dance Showcase 7:00 p.m. • Gym March 24 | Nothing but Net 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. • Artie’s Lounge March 30 – April 8 | Macbeth Production Various Times • DLS Theatre

April 24 | Swing for Science Golf Tournament Blackhawk Country Club April 28 | Spring Concert 7:00 p.m. • DLS Hofmann Center April 28 - May 5 | Winton Arts Festival Carondelet Inner Court May 21 | Graduation 12:30 p.m. • Gym Summer 2017 | Reunions Classes of 1977, 1987, 1997, 2007 November 25 | Reunion Class Of 2012

Carondeletter Winter 2017  

In this issue: Our annual Sr. Clare Dunn Forum focuses on Women in Politics; Ven a Ver takes Washington, D.C. to advocate for social justice...