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Enc re Encore Winter 2017 Volume II, Issue 5

Notre Dame School of Manhattan

s u o N z e h C


Chez Nous

Winter 2017

CONTENTS 1 A Message from the President 2 A Message from the Principal 3 News Around School 8 Student News: Explorations 12 Retreat Program 13 Chez Nous Benefit 14 Chez Nous’ New Leading Voice 18 Spring Break: London, Paris 20 Preparing for Success 24 Alumnae Reunion 26 Alumnae News 28 2016 Graduation 31 Scholarship Stories 34 Class Notes 39 In Memoriam 40 Back Story: Sr. Mary Dolan, S.U.

CLASS oF 2017 SeNioR TRip

j A M e S Tow N, VA

Notre Dame School of Manhattan Dr. Virginia O’Brien, SU President Jaclyn Brilliant Principal Karina Vargas Vice Principal Elizabeth Bixenman Director of Alumnae Relations Anthony Burke Director of Development Robert Grote Director of Admissions Submissions for Encore Chez Nous should be sent to: Notre Dame School Attn: Elizabeth Bixenman 327 West 13th St. New York, NY 10014 212-620-5575 ext. 317 Design The Blank Page New York, NY ON THE COVERS

FRONT: Sarah Delaney '19 BACK: Members of the Class of 1966

wednesday, october 19 to Friday, october 21, 2016

dAY 1 – The Class of 2017 departed Chez Nous at 9:00 a.m. and headed south to enjoy the southern air of jamestown, Virginia. Along the way, they made time to visit the College of william & Mary before continuing on to their final destination of Colonial williamsburg, Virginia. There, they traveled back in time to experience the historic district and its residents as they acted out an age of great change and uncertainty, while exploring the government buildings, shops, homes and gardens. in the evening, they took a guided ghost tour and learned of the spirits that still call Colonial williamsburg home!

dAY 2 – The seniors awoke bright and early to visit the jamestown Settlement, where a group of about 100 members of a joint venture called the Virginia Company founded the first permanent english settlement in North America on the banks of the james River on May 14, 1607. After a great deal of exploring the grounds and museum, they ventured back to Colonial williamsburg for dinner at Shields Tavern.

dAY 3 – The trip was not complete without an outing at Busch Gardens Theme park! The students enjoyed a day of adventure; riding roller coasters, visiting the park’s animal ambassadors and devouring cotton candy amidst a backdrop of charming european villages. The exhausted group arrived back at Chez Nous safe and sound late Friday night thanks to the leadership of Ms. jaclyn Brilliant, Ms. ioana donose, Ms. eileen Frawley, Ms. erin Null, Mr. Glenn Stordeur, Ms. Brittany Vella and Ms. patrice Young.

A Message from the President

January 2017 Dear Notre Dame Alumnae, Families and Friends, As a country, the United States is in the midst of a transition of power from one president and political party to another. We hope and pray that all goes well during the next administration, and that every voice within our community is acknowledged, protected and well-supported.

“Here, at Notre Dame on West 13th Street, the school community strives to make God’s Kingdom come on a daily basis through service.”

Often, during the election season and beyond, I have been thinking of St. Ignatius’ meditation on the Call of the King in which he invites us to pray over in the Spiritual Exercises. The meditation is an invitation to each of us to join with Jesus to bring forth God’s Kingdom where all are welcome, no one is excluded, and the weakest and the most vulnerable are cared for. When we are prone to self-reflection, it may be an opportunity to ask ourselves what we think of such an invitation and how do we feel about it? Are we interested in collaborating with God’s grace to bring forth God’s eternal kingdom described in the Eucharistic Prayer of the feast of Christ the King as “a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace”? Are we moved to do what we can to make our world mirror the Kingdom of God? Here, at Notre Dame on West 13th Street, the school community strives to make God’s Kingdom come on a daily basis through service. Teachers and students collaborate so classes are engaging and each student can excel. Our parents and alumnae support the school by donating to the Annual Fund, volunteering their time for our Chez Nous Benefit as well as coaching and cheering on our championship soccer and volleyball teams. Our guests, especially all 443 prospective 9th graders who arrived at Open House, find Chez Nous to be a place where they can experience some of the blessings of the Kingdom of God: humility, kindness and gratitude. I hope you enjoy your read of Encore Chez Nous. May you find a variety of ways where God’s Kingdom comes Chez Nous and is carried forth in the tradition of Anne de Xainctonge. Please continue your support of our noble aspiration to build the Kingdom of God by forming young women with open minds and generous hearts willing to respond generously to God’s call to be with and for others. Warm regards,

Dr. Virginia O’Brien, S.U. President


A Message from the Principal

January 2017 Dear Notre Dame Alumnae, Family, and Friends,

“We want our students to know we cherish and respect each one’s unique voice, an essential element of a diverse community like ours.”

When I walk through the halls of our lovely school building on West 13th Street, I am greeted by the sounds of a bustling, productive, and joyful community. I hear the voices of our students speaking affectionately to their Chez Nous sisters. I hear the voices of their teachers leading their lessons with kindness and creativity, and consulting with one another with respect and collegiality. In our rooms, there are sounds of laughter and excitement, inquiry and discussion. A unique sound this year is that of voices lifted in song, coming from one of our newly offered Choral Music classes. We are thrilled to welcome a full-time music and drama teacher to our staff this year, Ms. Sarah Lindvall, who has already engaged our community in so many ways, including by collaborating with our student leaders on the creation of a new Notre Dame alma mater. Students sang the alma mater at this year’s orientation, where they also learned about our school’s theme for the year: Voices. We want our students to know we cherish and respect each one’s unique voice, an essential element of a diverse community like ours. We also want our students to gain practice listening to the voices of others. Finally, we want to guide our students so that they might use their voices to advocate for those rendered voiceless by poverty, oppression, or discrimination. As a beloved alumna or friend of Notre Dame, you, too, are a vital voice of our school. Your interests, encouragement, and support of all we do Chez Nous make all the difference. Thank you for lending your voice to our current efforts and to our school’s legacy. As the words of our new alma mater put it, “Forever more, Notre Dame, Chez Nous!” Gratefully,

Jaclyn Brilliant Principal


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ChAMpioNShip SeASoNS

Fighting dragons win Again!

Varsity Soccer The Varsity Soccer team completed another outstanding season by winning the “A” Catholic High Schools Athletic Association’s (GCHSAA) New York City Championship last fall. They finished their undefeated season with a 12-0-2 record in a season of many accomplishments, they defeated not just one but nearly all of their rivals! The team overtook Saint Vincent Ferrer High School with a 3-1 win. They then continued on to demonstrate their dominance over The Varsity Volleyball team rounded out their season with a phenomenal ending. The team was led by cocaptains Hannah Nicholson ’18 and Emma Simel ’18 and they remained undefeated the entire season with a record of 13-0! More notably, they played a challenging season without giving up a single set in any match, including when they went on to win sectionals in early November. Notre Dame School’s Varsity Volleyball team beat Saint Vincent Ferrer High School in three straight sets to win the match, a first in many years! On Saturday, November 12th, the team competed in the NY City Championship at

the higher ranked “AA” Cardinal Spellman High School in a 1-0 game, and most notably, their 3-1 victory against St. John Villa Academy led them to become the overall winners of the NY Archdiocese Championship. Then, on November 2nd, the team defeated Fontbonne Hall Academy 3-2 in a very hard fought and tense match against their well-known Brooklyn rival for the “A” New York City Championship. The team was led by its outstanding central midfielder,

Corrin Motyka ‘19, along with leading goal scorer (17 goals), Jane Ferris ’18, and the team’s captain and central defender, Julia Graziano ’17. The season was particularly special thanks to the contributions of the outstanding ninth grade players. The Varsity Soccer team had six ninth grade starters, led by the talented goal keeper, Rhea Theodore ’20, who allowed only 10 goals in 14 matches.

Varsity Volleyball Cardinal Spellman High School and defeated Saint Saviour High School to win the Catholic High Schools Athletic Association’s (GCHSAA) New York City

Championship. Congratulations to the entire team on a season well played and a title well earned!


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experiencing Literature The Pearl Theater has maintained its relationship with our Chez Nous girls through The Pearl Theater’s Classics in the Classroom program. The theater is located on West 42nd Street and our seniors are invited as a class to attend four plays a year for free. Each performance is immediately followed by a forum for questions and answers by the cast members and directors. In the fall, the Pearl Theater performed “A Taste of Honey” by Shelagh Delaney and “Public Enemy,” adapted from Ibsen by David Harrower. They will finish in the spring with their production of “Vanity Fair” adapted from Thackeray by Kate Hamil and “Rhinoceros” by Eugene Ionesco. Our students thoroughly enjoy this partnership and the ability to experience literature in a different way, entirely outside the classroom.

Chills and Thrills It was a brisk, fall afternoon when the entire school gathered in Jackson Square Park for its annual Halloween Festival! On October 26, 2016, students competed in the homeroom pumpkin decorating contest, the Chez Nous Steppers performed a short routine and many participated in the costume competition. In the end, it was Ms. Ioana Donose’s senior homeroom that came in first and took home the Baked by Melissa cupcakes with their very creative and well executed ice cream cone…pumpkin!


Lessons in Security On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, the first Anne’s Values Assembly of the school year was held in honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Our guest

speaker was one of our very own, Ms. Justine Killion ’91, who is an alumna of the school and a detective of Cyber Crimes for the FBI and NYPD.

The power of Coding Girls Who Code is a national organization dedicated to teaching and supporting young girls in coding and computer science. The organization aims to close the gender gap in technology and inspire girls to pursue more STEAM related careers. Notre Dame School now offers this program as an after school club that is open to all students and no coding experience is required! Each week, the students are taught a short lesson from a Girls Who Code volunteer and then they are asked to work on both individual and group projects. Our volunteer, Ms. Justine Giardina, has been teaching the girls HTML and the students have been able to develop the foundations to build a website! This year, they will travel to several different companies to better understand the role coding plays in a corporate setting as well. Overall, Girls Who Code has been a wonderful experience for our Chez Nous girls and we hope the excitement and interest in coding and computer science continues to grow.

Accredited by NYSAiS Notre Dame School was formally approved as an accredited member of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) by the NYSAIS Board of Trustees at their meeting held on January 21, 2016. In order to receive this well-deserved honor and prestigious standing, Chez Nous participated in an intensive, three-year self-study that included an examination of the school as a whole: mission and culture, governance, educational programs, student services, financial stature, school operations and physical

NYSAIS Visiting Committee

plant, community relations, and communications. Notre Dame School now joins the ranks of an impressive, elite list of independent schools, and we are one of fourteen all-girls schools who have received this distinction in the State of New York. 5

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A historical partnership Notre Dame School’s relationship with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (“Gilder Lehrman”) continues to grow and our students are happy to reap the benefits! On October 7, 2016, the Advanced Placement U.S. History class visited the New York Historical Society on the Upper West Side to glance at the organization’s private collection, which included a map from 1730. On October 24, 2016, the nonprofit devoted to the improvement of history education welcomed Kelly Infante ’17, Victoria Barrett ’17, Eileen Woods ’17, Deztynee' Rivera ’17, Frantzca Pascal ’17 and Mr. Glenn Stordeur, Notre Dame School’s History Department Chair, to the Yale Club for their annual Gilder Lehrman National History Teacher of the Year award ceremony as well.

CoNTiNuiNG To SeRVe In Chez Nous tradition, we held our annual blanketmaking service project last fall thanks to the unwavering benevolence of Board member Ms. Virginia (“Cookie”) Dolan (bottom left photo) and her wonderful friends. Together they worked hand-in-hand with our current students to create colorful, warm fleece blankets, which were later donated to several deserving individuals and charities during the Christmas season. 6

The ART oF FRieNdShip Each day, it seems as though Chez Nous has a new neighbor! In fact, just around the corner from our school building lies the newly built Whitney Museum of American Art, which opened on May 1, 2015. The museum is dedicated to showcasing a full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. As a member of the Meatpacking Business Improvement District, the institution is also committed to giving back to its community. This academic year, Notre Dame School joined the Whitney’s Neighborhood Friends Initiative program, which has allowed our students and faculty to build a lasting and rewarding relationship that includes professional development opportunities, free guided visits, and various teen program opportunities.

helping hands

Going the distance On Saturday, October 15, 2016, members of Notre Dame School’s Running Club took part in the Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research in New York City’s Central Park. The event was a huge success with more than 3,000 participants, beautiful weather, and all funds generated were in support of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The event was founded in 1994 in honor of Terry Fox, who at age 18, having lost a leg to cancer, launched a run across Canada to raise awareness and money towards cancer research.

Notre Dame School students volunteered their time at the start of the academic year on multiple occasions to help with the Jackson Square Alliance annual fall clean up. With the supervision of Ms. Victoria Abad, Science Department Chair, students worked together to pick up and remove garbage from the park, as well as the surrounding areas of Jackson Square Park. Together, they removed over a hundred pounds of trash!


STudeNT NewS: e x p L o R A T i o N S Arielle McKeever ’18 spent her summer dancing and traveling through Europe Dancers are the athletes of God – Albert Einstein While much of the world was focused on the Olympic athletes last summer, Arielle McKeever’s experience was closer to Einstein’s observation. In June, Arielle performed in several productions with the American Ballet Theatre: Le Corsaire, Romeo & Juliet, and Sleeping Beauty. Performing with the world’s most prestigious ballet dancers was a dream come true. Each night, she would be reminded why she spent so many hours after school in the studio, practicing. Next, Arielle was off to Copenhagen, where she was accepted into the Royal Danish Ballet’s Summer Elite Program. Arielle was among the youngest dancers and trained hard for three weeks in the world’s third oldest company, known for its Bournonville technique. Dancing variations from Napoli and La Sylphide in beautiful Denmark made her spirit soar. Her spiritual experience began in Poland as a pilgrim delegate to World Youth Day. She spent the first week living with a host family in Warsaw. It was wonderful! Together, they attended daily Mass and various other activities. Each night, they would discuss faith, their interests, and the world until midnight! Arielle learned that she and the other participants had more in common than she initially thought, which she found especially meaningful since she has celebrated many Polish holiday traditions that have been passed down from her great-great grandmother. But now, she has her own connection to Poland. Week two was World Youth Day in Krakow, a global youth gathering of millions of fellow Catholics, and nearly impossible to describe in words! She attended catechesis seminars, Mass, prayer services and concerts each day, which deepened her faith. She particularly found the Papal services to be amazing and inspiring. Thousands of people from around the world gathered for Friday Stations of the Cross, carrying flags or banners. Millions attended the Saturday overnight vigil and concluding Mass on Sunday. Arielle was amazed to meet Catholics from the Middle East, India and Africa, but truly honored to witness the Universal Church in this Year of Mercy. Arielle now realizes that her entire summer was a pilgrimage—from the international experience of ballet to that of World Youth Day. She now continues on as “God’s Athlete” in her junior year.


Angelika Adwalpalker ’19 visited Yellowstone National Park Over the summer, Angelika and her family visited Yellowstone National Park. She was in awe when she stood on top of a volcano with hot boiling magma at its center a mere three miles below. The supervolcano last erupted 635,000 years ago and geologists around the world believe it is long overdue for an eruption. The park has thousands of hot boiling geysers as well. She was fortunate to have a beautiful view of Old Faithful and the mile of geysers from her hotel room, and later visited the Grand Prismatic Spring, the Morning Glory Pool, and the Norris Geyser Basin. Angelika was no stranger to the outdoors and her excursions included kayaking on the Yellowstone Lake, horse-back riding through the wilderness and animal watching. She saw bison (thousands of them), bears, elk, moose and red foxes. She was astonished to see such a variety of wildlife during her quick trip to Yellowstone National Park—10 days!

Aliyana Francis Bonilla ’20 vacationed to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico This past summer, Aliyana had a very exciting vacation to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. The vacation was spent with her godmother, godfather, three cousins, along with her mom and dad. It was her first time visiting the Yucatán Peninsula and she was excited to see Chichén Itzá, a world-famous complex of Mayan ruins. In fact, her favorite part of the trip was when they were in the ancient city of Chichén Itzá and saw El Castillo, a massive step pyramid that has been standing for centuries. She also witnessed a cenote, a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes the groundwater underneath. She found the cenote wonderful because it was located in a cave where the water was pure blue and 140 feet deep. Even though the water was freezing cold, she enjoyed snorkeling and seeing the many fish in the water. She loved everything about Mexico. It was an amazing adventure that she will never forget.

Sarah Delaney ’19 lived with her grandmother for a month in Ireland Sarah has gone to Ireland every year since she was born to visit her family since her parents were both born in a small town in County Mayo. However, this year she had the amazing opportunity of being able to go there on her own for a month. During her visit, she stayed with her grandmother and they went on day trips to popular nearby towns and cities, one day as far as Dublin City in the East, and even a weekend in London! It was nerve-racking to be so far away from home for so long, but she thankfully faced her fears. Her favorite part about her trip was experiencing the beautiful scenery and green rolling hills, as well as spending time with her family, learning more about her culture and roots. The worst part of the trip was the cold, rainy climate, especially since she missed out on experiencing the typical hot weather and beloved beach days back in the U.S. Now, Ireland and England are both significant in World History so Sarah has found learning about them in history class at ND to be fascinating and her travel experiences have heightened her desire to learn even more about the world we all live in. During her stay in Europe, Sarah was able to visit several historic sights and museums and became more educated about her origins.

Julia Granger ’19 interned at the Children’s Museum of Arts Julia loves art—and after finishing her freshman year art class with Ms. Walters, she wanted to learn to teach art to children. Last May, she applied for a summer internship at the Children’s Museum of Arts (“CMA”) in Soho, New York. CMA is a hands-on art-making museum for children and their families. The internship application required detailed written responses, including her experiences with children, what she hoped to gain from her internship experience, and the role that art has played in her life. A letter of recommendation and an interview were also required. In June, CMA notified Julia that she was accepted! She worked with the CMA kids twice a week throughout the summer on comic-making, graphic novel design, and claymation. The CMA kids were creative and enthusiastic! Julia learned a lot from CMA’s outstanding teaching artists. They clearly love art too! 9

STudeNT NewS: e x p L o R A T i o N S Maria Hayakawa ’18 participated in the “Sol Abroad” program Maria traveled abroad and lived in Spain for six weeks over the summer. She studied at the University of Granada, which is in the Andalusian region, the southern part of Spain. She was participating in a study abroad program through “Sol Abroad,” an organization that places high school students in Spanish immersion programs located in Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico and Spain. Maria applied for the program because she wanted to expand her knowledge of Spanish culture, immerse herself into a diverse community and practice her Spanish! She found the classes challenging, but they did improve her language skills and motivated her to start independently studying Spanish more. By the end of her stay, the thing she loved most about the program was being able to meet people from around the world. She notes that the education she received at ND taught her that everyone has a unique cultural background with their own set of beliefs and that it is important to be open to differing world views. She also learned that she matured while participating in this program, and highly recommends it to anyone who wants to study abroad.

Irene Madrigal ’20 visited family in Spain and France Last summer, Irene traveled to Spain for the month of August with her dad. Every year they go to Spain because it is where her dad’s side of the family is from originally. Her extended family currently lives in Madrid but her grandmother is from Seville, which is in southern Spain. She and her dad always stay at her grandmother’s country house in a small village called Los Linos. In addition to going to Spain, they also ventured to southern France for one week, where they stayed with Irene’s aunt and uncle who rented a house in a village called Angresse. Irene and her dad traveled to the French border by train and then drove from the border to visit her aunt and uncle. Her favorite part about the trip to France was when they went to the beach and swam in the ocean. Although Irene just started her Chez Nous journey, she has learned to appreciate everything, and in the future, her international experiences will shape how she views the world.

Anna Mattioli ’19 cruised around the Bahamas Anna’s first cruise and first visit to the Bahamas was exhilarating and challenging at the same time. She made many great memories alongside those which took her out of her comfort zone, from trying new foods to seeing what life was like in the islands. Her family spent a day at Coco Cay where they rented a private cabana that sat on soft, white sand and had the perfect view of the clear blue ocean. Lunch was a buffet of delicious dishes. Possibly her favorite part of the whole trip was their day trip to Nassau. Her family was toured around by a very kind man who had extensive knowledge of the island as he grew up there and still lives in the area with his family. They visited a historic landmark called the Queen’s Staircase in Fort Fincastle. Named after Queen Victoria, the 66 steps were built by slaves out of solid limestone rock from 1793 – 1794. Her trip to the Bahamas was an absolutely amazing experience, and she hopes that she will learn as much, if not more, in her future travels to other places. 10

Kelly Parker ’19 worked as a translator in China Kelly worked as a teacher’s assistant on an educational trip to China for young students last summer. Prior to joining the Notre Dame School community, she attended a dual language Mandarin-English elementary school, so she was well prepared for this international trip since she speaks Mandarin fluently. The group she traveled with consisted of children ranging in age from seven to thirteen, along with parents, and a few teachers. Together, they visited many cities that were once Chinese capitals. Her responsibilities were to assist the children with lessons, to encourage them to speak as much Chinese as possible, and to lead by example. A large part of her job was to help with translation between English and Chinese speaking teachers and parents due to the language barrier. During her trip, she also learned about China’s history, and was immersed in a culture that she has been learning about since she was four years old. Kelly thoroughly enjoyed being able to try new foods and communicate with locals.

Lyra Ross ’17 attended the Saints and Scholars Summer Program Coming from the “concrete jungle” that is New York City, Lyra Ross never expected seven days of volunteer work in the undisturbed town of South Bend, Indiana to change her life forever. Lyra was one of 80 high school students to attend the Saints and Scholars Summer Program at Holy Cross College. The “Lord of Creation: Theology and Sustainability” track focused on Pope Francis’ call for the care of all God’s creation. At the Catholic Worker House, they spent a total of twelve hours getting in touch with the earth and learning how they can remain close to the environment. The students acknowledged that their responsibility as humans is to care for, protect, oversee, and preserve God’s earth and to recognize that other living beings have value of their own in God’s eyes.

Isobel Stanger ’20 competed in various equestrian competitions Isobel began riding horses at the young age of six. Over the years, she has continued to ride and with eight years of experience under her belt she still absolutely loves it! Each week, she spends about 8-10 hours at the barn depending on her schedule. Last fall, she competed in a big horse show called the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals. Isobel participated and showed her horse, Secret, in the Pre-Children’s horse event. She competed in a class called the Bit O’ Straw, which is a hunter class where they judge the horse. She also competed in another class called The Medal, which is an equitation class where they judge the position of the rider. She placed seventh overall out of fifty-eight people. A huge congrats to Isobel on her accomplishments!

Cameron Villaruel ’17 participated in the first American Youth Meeting Cameron and her classmate Katie Wilson ’17 teamed up with an alumna, Kathy Velasco ’10, to participate in the first American Youth Meeting. As part of the Youth for Peace, a movement of young persons linked to the Community of Sant’Egidio, they reflected on how today’s youth can change the world for the better by refusing violence and encouraging peaceful resolutions. Cameron and her peers also prepared a variety of hot and cold meals before meeting with those living on the streets of Washington, D.C. They then shared 10-15 minute conversations with individuals who were deemed homeless, and found the experiences to be quite memorable and rewarding. The group concluded their trip with a visit to the national monuments to reflect on how violence has negatively impacted the world.



Lighting the Way

2016 Fall Sophomore Retreat

Anne de Xainctonge was a 17th Century pioneer in women’s education who founded the Sisters of St. Ursula. She advocated for an excellent Christian education for young women characterized by individualized attention provided in a family-like atmosphere in order to prepare young women for lives of service in the spirit of the Gospel and leadership for the good of others. Over the last three years, Notre Dame School has been on a mission to expand our beloved retreat program, making it even more robust, studentdriven and Ignatian in character.


hroughout her life, Anne de Xainctonge (“Anne”) was inspired by and shared the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, with the Sisters of St. Ursula. As we come to know more about Anne’s connection to the Jesuits through the research of Sr. Mary Dolan, S.U., Facilitator for Mission and Board Development, the retreat program at Notre Dame School is making a return to what was at the foundation of the Sisters—Ignatian Spirituality. Retreats have always been a highlight for our Chez Nous girls, thus it has been with great care that over the last three years the retreat program has undergone a robust revamp. While being careful not to lose the essential elements that make our retreats so special, we have instituted a movement from adult-led retreats to student-led retreats, where the student leaders are hand selected after proper training. With this transition, the end result has been well received and quite encouraging as this small change still manages to foster the Chez Nous spirit of community and service that has always been at the heart of our school’s mission. The decision to evolve our retreat program was first highlighted during our NYSAIS selfstudy, and has since evolved to become a


key initiative for the school’s newly formed strategic plan. As part of the strategic plan, we have already instituted a retreat day for the faculty, educated our Board of Trustees on Ignatian Spirituality, created a parental prayer guide to go along with the junior retreat, and researched additional external opportunities for our community members, such as participation in the annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C. In the next five years, Notre Dame School seeks to establish a more vibrant presence at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C., produce overnight retreats that are financially viable for all students (currently, only the junior retreat is overnight), and offer spiritually guided sessions made available to other members of our community such as our alumnae, parents and friends. Generally speaking, this is a very exciting time for the retreat program at Notre Dame School. Bolstered by the unquestionable support and steadfast enthusiasm from our students, faculty and administration, it is evident that we are moving forward with innovative ideas that will only strengthen the mission of Anne de Xainctonge and heighten the presence of Ignatian Spirituality in our Chez Nous halls and beyond!


Paying it Forward


Ms. Jeanine Bogdanos P ’13, ’14 & ’16 was ur annual Chez Nous Benefit honored not only for her continued continues to change lives! On enthusiasm and dedication towards Saturday, March 12, 2016, our Chez Nous Benefit but also her members of Notre Dame School’s comgeneral love and support for all things munity—alumnae, students, parents, Chez Nous. In addition to wrapping Board members, and friends—gathered baskets, soliciting companies and Jeanine Bogdanos with her husband, Deno, recruiting new Core Committee together at Pier Sixty to raise money in and daughters Hera ’16, Isabella ’14 and Athena ’13 members for our Chez Nous Benefit, support of the school’s financial aid and Jeanine loved to help out with scholarship programs. The event was atNotre Dame School’s Open House, tended by over 400 individuals and all cheer on the volleyball team or were welcomed by familiar faces, excited participate in student run events. to compete over coveted auction items She is a loving mother and wife, and and delighted to enjoy the premium has truly become a part of the Chez open bar and scrumptious cuisine proNous family. And when she is not vided by award-winning caterer Abigail helping our Notre Dame School Kirsch. Due to the unwavering support community, she works as an IT Patricia Valonis with her husband, Ron, and daughter, Kathleen ’16, and son, John Paul. of our most generous benefactors and Project Manager at MetLife. the work of our incredibly devoted Core Ms. Patricia Valonis P ’16 was also honored at the event for her Committee, comprised of current parents, the event generparticipation and leadership on Notre Dame School’s Core ated funds through the sale of over 150 silent auction packCommittee and her undeniable commitment to Chez Nous ages, 50 pick-a-prize items, 12 live auction items, and our for over four years. She has a renowned love of relentlessly paddle raising initiative—Fund the Scholarship. Notre Dame soliciting companies, and as a result managed to singleSchool is truly grateful for those who contributed towards handedly secure over fifty in-kind donations for our 2016 the success of our 59th Annual Chez Nous Benefit as every ef- Chez Nous Benefit! And, she is so generous that she has fort, both big and small, helped to secure the future of our signed on to help out for another year even though she is students and Chez Nous by raising nearly $150,000! now an alumna parent. When she is not volunteering her time or fulfilling her motherly responsibilities to her two chilnual dren and adoring husband, she is working as the Senior DiSee you at our 60th An Buy your tickets now: on fit ne rector in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Be us No ez Ch 17 20 , Medicine at Mount Sinai West. 25 ch ar M , rday






1. Francis and Mayumi Hayakawa with daughter, Maria ’18 2. Board members, Virginia Dolan, Sr. Mary Dolan S.U. and Ann Lopez 3. Morgan Fields ’17, Mya Powell ’17, Haja Sankoh ’17 and Mia Santana ’17 4. Craig Thomashauer, Brooke McDevitt, and Jerry Dellova 5. Gianna La Greca ’16 and Nicole La Greca ’16 6. Patty Knapp, Val Gabela, Joanne Fetky, Esther Stein and Kerry Greaney





Chez Nous’ New Leading Voice

B Notre Dame School’s newly transformed Music Department is led by the jubilant and refreshing voice of Ms. Sarah Lindvall. Learn how she is channeling her former Disney character and “BarberBrat” skills to educate our Chez Nous women!


eing a sweet and southern, home grown Georgia Peach, Ms. Sarah Lindvall never imagined herself living in the Big Apple, but when the opportunity presented itself in early 2011 to pursue a graduate degree from a school she had only dreamed of attending, she packed everything she owned, sold her car, kissed her family goodbye, and headed to the city of bright lights and dreams. For the next two years, she would be immersed in intensive acting, singing, and performance training at New York University studying Musical Theatre, and she was determined to be on a stage and make a living as a performer after graduation. Little did she know, God had bigger and better plans. Like many musicians, Sarah grew up in a musical family. Her musical experience, however, is unique. Sarah is a third generation Barbershop Harmony Singer, or as some would call it—a “Barber-Brat.” It’s exactly what you are thinking, four people singing four-part harmony, a cappella, only in this day in age, they usually do without the straw hats and striped vests, and perform on a stage instead of in an actual barbershop. Both sets of Sarah’s grandparents and parents sang this art form and her father is an International Quartet Champion.

Sarah spent many of her summer vacations singing barbershop with friends her age and quickly fell in love with it. This led her to get involved with other genres of singing, including choirs at school and church, musicals, and any solo performance opportunity where she could audition. She had been bitten by the performance bug, and by the end of high school, she was nominated by her classmates in the yearbook as “Miss New York, New York”—most likely to make it in the Big Apple. What an interesting twist of fate that nomination would be. Sarah went on to study at Georgia Southern University a year later. Although she loved to perform, she was assured by many that it was certainly not a wise career choice and thus, chose her second favorite major, biology. She planned to become a midwife. Her parents were proud and pleased. During her first semester, Sarah’s world was unexpectedly opened to new and exciting experiences. Even though she truly enjoyed her biology classes, she found they weren’t nearly as exciting as the incredible performance opportunities offered by the school. She joined the elite campus chamber choir, enrolled in voice lessons, and auditioned and was cast in a

community production of “Grease!” the musical. She became so immersed in the arts that she decided she wanted to change her major to music, but she knew she would need to consult her parents. On her first trip home during Christmas break, she brought up the idea. She was intimidated by what they might think or what they might say. To her surprise, they were extremely supportive of her decision under one condition, that she obtain a Music Education degree to ensure she would have something “to fall back on.” Sarah was elated! She auditioned for the Georgia Southern music department the very next week, was accepted, and began her journey— majoring in Choral Music Education and Vocal Performance. The next four years included some of the hardest and most rewarding work Sarah has ever encountered. She learned to play and teach every instrument in the orchestra, she gave solo voice recitals, performed in various operas and musicals, prepared and taught numerous music classes for a variety of age groups, conducted an assortment of choirs and ensembles, and when she was not practicing, had many a sleepless night learning and memorizing elements of music history, music theory, vocal pedagogy, educational methods, and so much more. Sarah loved the classroom and her field experience, but she had it in her mind that she was meant to perform. Sarah was so set on performing, that she turned

down a teaching position that was offered to her right out of college to instead take a performance opportunity at the happiest place on earth—The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. She performed daily for thousands of guests and truly enjoyed her time working for her boss, “the big cheese”, Mickey Mouse, but after being there for a year, she longed for more. It was at that crossroads in her life that a mentor at Disney recommended Sarah apply for the graduate program for Music Theatre at New York University (“NYU”). Unsure, Sarah listened, and was one of only fourteen accepted into the program. Everything fell into place for New York, and within two months the young, southern belle was navigating the big city. The transition to NYC was not an easy one. People were rude, the weather was harsh, and the rent was high. NYU was also a shock. It was the first time Sarah had ever been truly introduced to the entertainment business, and it was anything but sweet. She very quickly had to learn to adapt, and like any strong southern woman, adapt she did. She came away with the best of the best skills for acting, singing, and performing, she met many amazing people within the business, and also learned a lot about herself. While attending NYU, Sarah founded and began directing a women’s barbershop chorus in Manhattan known as Sirens of Gotham, and found herself excited to


spend her time focusing on, educating, and conducting those women. She also happened to meet a southern gentleman who later became her husband through Sirens of Gotham’s brother chorus, Voices of Gotham. As she grew closer to obtaining her degree, she began to feel less drawn to the performance life. Her heart was in education and choral music, but she wasn’t quite ready to admit that to anyone or herself, most especially after having pursued performance for so many years. Sarah’s Graduate Showcase, a final graduate performance for high profile casting directors, happened to fall on the exact same weekend as her chorus’ very first choral competition. She knew her life had been leading to this big debut, so she was sure it would be everything she had ever dreamed. Instead, it was exactly the opposite. In that moment, on stage singing for an entire theatre of casting directors, she knew for sure that she was not meant to pursue a life as a performer. She was meant to make music with others through education and choral music so that she could experience the incredible connection she shared on the stage with her chorus. It was the very same weekend that her dreams did come true while she directed in her first choral competition, and she knew immediately that she was exactly where she was meant to be. 16

From that moment on, Sarah began searching for music education opportunities in the city. She took her first opportunity as an early childhood music teacher at a music studio on the Upper East Side known as TLB Music. From there, she went on to teach elementary music as P.S. 172 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Sarah enjoyed her work teaching general music, but she longed to be able to share her passion for choral music in her daily work. Finally, one dreary Friday night, Sarah came across a job listing on the New York State Association of Independent Schools’ site that seemed tailored just for her. She fit all of the qualifications: Choral experience, Drama experience, and even liturgical music experience within the Catholic Church! She couldn’t believe her eyes. She canceled her Friday night plans, spent her entire evening working on her submission, and gave the rest to God. Sarah was hired in September of Fall 2016, and could not be more grateful or excited to be a part of the Chez Nous faculty. In fact, she wasted no time and demonstrated great initiative within the first few days of school by working with our Anne’s Leaders to establish the meaningful lyrics to Chez Nous’ newly revised and distinctive alma mater! The song was introduced at the start of the year during 2016 Orientation, and has since become a

Performing Arts Course Descriptions Dramatic Arts

10th Grade Elective

Dramatic Arts is a course designed to introduce theater as a performing art through the examination and exploration of dramatic structure and style, various acting techniques, scene study and character analysis, directing, theater terminology and stage etiquette, and theater design. The course provides an experiential learning environment to inspire students’ imaginations, creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. This course culminates in a class performance of scene studies.

Choral Music

10th Grade Elective

Choral Music is a course that explores group singing and choral arts with a wide variety of cultures, time periods, and genres through study and performance. The core curriculum emphasizes the basics of vocal technique, sight-reading, music theory, and music history. Students in Choral Music are expected to perform their work in a concert at the end of the course.

World Music notable way to close out any school presentation or event. Sarah teaches Choral Music and Dramatic Arts to 10th grade students, and World Music to all 9th grade students. She also teaches two senior seminar classes: “This Is Your Brain On Music” and “Modern Miss Manners: The Modern Girl’s Guide to Life, Manners, and Etiquette.” After school, she leads the Glee Club, the Drama Club, and an advanced ensemble known as the Notre Dame Singers. She also leads the music for all of the Liturgies, and directed this year’s Christmas production. She is honored to add to the vibrant Arts Department here at Notre Dame School, and is eager to help the music program bloom. This Georgia Peach loves her life in the Big Apple and couldn’t imagine it any other way. Even though the path turned out to be very different from what she had planned, she is thankful to have been led to her new home, Chez Nous.

9th Grade Course

World Music explores the ways that music is both shaped by and gives shape to the cultural settings in which it is composed and performed, through studying selected musical traditions from around the world. A variety of composers, famous musical works, historical events, and genres will be examined closely through listening, analysis, and hands-on instruction.

At the start of this academic year, through the wonderful guidance of Dr. Virginia O’Brien S.U., President, and Ms. Karina Vargas, Vice Principal, members of Anne’s Leaders worked arduously in preparation for 2016 Orientation. Together the students focused on this year’s theme—VoiCeS—to create a captivating and bonding experience. With the help of Ms. Sarah Lindvall, they also created a newly restored alma mater to express life on West 13th Street, and what it is to be Chez Nous!

Alma Mater On West 13th where Chez Nous stands, We join together, hand in hand, We grasp much knowledge with heads held high at Notre Dame. As sisters one we bond with love, With heart and strength we rise above, And Anne’s values will guide us on our way. We lead with honor and loyalty, And celebrate diversity, Forevermore, Notre Dame, Chez Nous.






ver Easter break last year, a group of Chez Nous students led by Ms. Karina Vargas, Vice Principal, Ms. Patrice Young, science teacher, Ms. Ioana Donose, science teacher, and Ms. Elise Trudel, English teacher, traveled overseas to Europe. Together, they spent a week in beautiful London and Paris where the students and faculty alike were able to experience different cultures, cuisines, historical settings as well as the modernism each country had to offer. On the first day, they arrived in London early so they were able to enjoy a full day filled with excursions, and quite a bit of time walking around the city. Their explorations included a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral, a ride on the London Eye, an obligatory sighting of Big Ben, and an unplanned partaking in the opening ceremony at the Tower of London. Following three days in London, the faculty and students made their way to Paris by taking the Eurostar, a high-speed railway service connecting London with Avignon, Brussels, Lille, Lyon, Marseille and Paris. They wasted no time and set out to explore the city upon arrival. By lodging right around the corner from the Arc de Triomphe, they were well positioned to experience most of what the city had to offer. Trekking to the top of the Eiffel Tower to witness the breathtaking view, touring the Louvre Museum and exploring the gardens and grounds at The Palace of Versailles, the girls had an exceptional time in Paris. They even learned how to cook French food in a private cooking class! The week-long trip to London and Paris passed quickly, but the memories and friendships formed will last forever.



Prospective students and parents are not drawn to Notre Dame School solely because we are located in the ever changing and incredibly interesting Meatpacking District home to fashion and graphic designers, architects, artists, restauranteurs, world-renowned stylists and corporate headquarters. Neither are they drawn because we are committed to maintaining intimate and effective class sizes with diverse dynamics, although, these unique features may



sweeten the pot! Rather, families come to Chez Nous because we are wholeheartedly committed to providing an academic experience that is challenging, yet beneficial to our most deserving students. As an all-girls, Catholic institution,

we are devoted to preserving the mission of Anne de Xainctonge and ensuring that each and every one of our students is prepared well, academically, emotionally and financially, for the college or university of their choice. Through the efforts of our esteemed Counseling Department, who work with and advise our students all four years, it is no surprise that 100% of our graduates are accepted to four-year undergraduate programs, and over 90% of our students are awarded substantial academic scholarships. With each incoming class, the school’s three counselors are each paired with about 30 students to mentor, guide and advise throughout their entire high school careers. This is a unique approach when compared to other independent schools, but, without question, the individualized attention and guidance greatly benefits our students. To learn more about each counselor be sure to read their short bios, and then check out what they have to say about the college application process. 20

college prepFAQs General Questions

n when should i start my college prep? Students need

to make academics their top priority beginning day one of ninth grade. They should begin researching colleges during the summers prior to their sophomore and junior years. n how do i find a college or university that is best

for me? Using the tools made available through Notre Dame School’s software, Naviance* (junior students receive access in the spring) and Big Future, students can research what colleges best fit their interests, geographical preferences and major requirements. Students will meet with their counselors to discuss college preferences, options and the application process during the spring of their junior year as well. n do you have college handbooks or other guides

that i can browse or borrow? Students are welcome to use the resources and books located in the counseling office and/or may peruse the college materials provided by specific college representatives. n what activities can i do at home and over the

summer to get ready for college? Research colleges online, explore volunteer opportunities and visit a college campus close to you! And even though it may seem daunting, it is a good idea to do a little SAT/ACT preparation. Khan Academy is a free online resource

Deadlines and Exams

n do i need to take the SAT or ACT? Colleges and

universities accept both exams equally! The Counseling Department encourages Notre Dame School students to take each exam during the spring of their junior year. Based on the results, students will take either the SAT or ACT again during the fall of their senior year. n do i need SAT Subject Tests and Ap exams? This

depends on where one is applying to school. The colleges and universities that are ranked high will require subject tests. Therefore, students must research on their own prior to making a decision on whether or not to take a particular subject test. And if a student is enrolled in an Advanced Placement (AP) course they must take the AP exam but are not required to send their scores.

for anyone to use. And, Notre Dame School students have access to Shmoop online. This program provides SAT/ACT preparation as well as Regents help. n Are there any college fairs at Notre dame School,

or nearby? All juniors will attend the MetroJet College fair and the SUNY/CUNY assembly held at Notre Dame School. During the fall, over forty college admission representatives visit Chez Nous to answer questions, interview students and promote their college/university. n what are the requirements or standards for National

honor Society? Members must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 90%. Yet, grade point average alone does not secure membership in NHS. Administration and faculty on the NHS Selection Committee use the following as criteria for acceptance into NHS: Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Character. n Can you put me in touch with recent alumnae

who are going to the colleges on my wish list? Our Director of Alumnae Relations does her very best to track alumnae information so upon request and based on what data is available this may be possible. Each January young alumnae come back to Notre Dame School to attend the College Panel and mingle with current juniors as well.

n when is the pSAT/NMSQT going to be given?

Notre Dame School hosts the PSAT exam each October for all freshmen, sophomores and juniors. It is mandatory for these students. n how should i study for the SAT/ACT, and is it given

at this high school or do i need to go somewhere nearby? Notre Dame School students should take an online practice test and/or sign up for an SAT/ACT preparation course. When a student registers to take the SAT/ACT online they will be asked to select their test taking location. Notre Dame School does not host the SAT/ACT exam. * Naviance is a system that helps students research colleges and careers. Seniors let counselors know where they are applying to college and request transcripts and letters of recommendation via Naviance. All seniors meet with their school Counselors in the fall of senior year. 21

college prepFAQs Application Requirements

n what do admissions officers look for in an

application essay? An admissions officer reviews each essay carefully to make sure the student answered the question(s) appropriately and sufficiently. For those applying to college, each applicant should brainstorm and think strategically about a topic that will engage the reader and simultaneously present a personable anecdote about oneself. Notre Dame School students will write the first draft of their college essay in 11th grade English class. n how do admission officers view extracurricular

activities within an application? This varies by school, but extracurricular activities help admission officers learn more beyond an applicant’s academic abilities. n will applying early decision or early Action give

me a leg up? It is different for each college/university. Early Decision is a binding agreement and students should only apply when they are 100% certain they want to attend that school and can afford to attend without depending entirely on financial aid.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

n how does the financial aid application process

differ from the admission process? Financial Aid is a separate process. Notre Dame School hosts an informational financial aid night in the fall and spring to help parents understand the steps involved. Parents may visit starting in October of their daughter’s senior year to begin the process. n Can you help me find appropriate scholarship

opportunities? The Counselor Newsletter lists all of the scholarship opportunities by grade level. n do i qualify for fee waivers for my college

applications? If you think you are eligible, please speak to your counselor for more information.


n what should i do when i visit campuses? Students

should take a campus tour, talk to students on campus, and sit in on a class that pertains to their prospective major and/or is an area of interest. Students need to demonstrate their interests in colleges/universities. n what should i expect in a college interview?

Students will be expected to discuss their high school experiences and why they should be accepted to a particular college/university. It is important for students to highlight how their personal, academic and/or athletic strengths and general presence will be a benefit to the school. n who should i ask to write my letters of recommendation?

how can i help that person know me better, so that it is more personal? when should i request letters of recommendation? Students should ask a teacher who knows them well as a student. They may submit their resume to help a teacher write their recommendation as well. All students will request a letter of recommendation from two teachers in the spring of their junior year. Additional information will be discussed in the junior year college class.

n do you offer help with FAFSA and Financial

Aid forms? Notre Dame School’s counselors are not experts in this process, but they can provide resources to families in need of assistance. n when will i receive my financial aid award

letter? This will be sent after a student has been accepted to the college/university during the spring of their senior year.

Elizabeth Babinecz

Amy McGinniss

Lauren Maisto

graduated with a B.A. in Social Science from Providence College. She then attended Hunter College, CUNY where she earned her MS Ed. in School Counseling and became a member of the American School Counselor Association.

graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from Sacred Heart University. Upon graduation, Amy attended the University of Pennsylvania where she passed the National Board of Certified Counselors Exam in a dual program that granted her an MS Ed. in School Counseling and Mental Health Services as well as an M. Phil. Ed in Professional Counseling. Amy is also member of the American School Counselor Association.

graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Bridgeport. She then earned an MS Ed. in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in School Counseling from Fordham University. She is certified as School Counselor in New York and New Jersey. Lauren is also a member of the American School Counselor Association.


Class of 2006: Yvette BRYANT Gonzalez, Andreina DELGADO Romero, Carina PABÓN, Breana LaFORTUNE, Suela NASUFI Fletcher and Tiffany CRUZ

N O T R E D A M E ’ S A LU M N A E R E U N I O N

Cherishing Chez Nous


hez Nous has moved three times, survived unforeseen setbacks, and overcome financial struggles while maintaining its meaningful traditions and fulfilling its mission to serve deserving young women. The Notre Dame School of today continues to form women of great intellect, poise and purpose with the help of its loyal, kind-hearted, and most generous supporters. Founded in 1912, Notre Dame School is a beloved institution that continues to grow and flourish due to its steadfast and generous community members. And while many of these individuals are family, friends and board members of Chez Nous, it is important to highlight our most meaningful contributors, our alumnae. To show our gratitude and to celebrate our alumnae, Notre Dame School hosted its annual Alumnae Reunion on Friday, May 13, 2016 in the Sr. Mary Dolan,


S.U. Arts and Athletics Center. Over 100 alumnae, friends, faculty and staff attended the event to reconnect and reminisce with classmates from the anniversary years ending in “1” and “6”. Whether they graduated in 1956 or 2006, they all came together and shared stories, roamed the halls of West 13th Street, and even signed one another’s yearbooks! The event also featured tours of the school led by students, scrumptious hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and an abundance of laughter and smiles. All in attendance were delighted to learn about the future of Chez Nous from Dr. Virginia O’Brien, S.U., President, and Ms. Jaclyn Brilliant, Principal, as well. Over the last few years, Notre Dame School has witnessed a resurgence of alumnae participation and giving, which is a blessing to the Chez Nous community. To highlight this delightful trend,

we chose to acknowledge at last year’s Alumnae Reunion two alumnae who have had longstanding histories of giving back to Notre Dame School. Ms. Edith DALTON Marinucci ’56 and Ms. Mary Frances SHERIDAN Delaney ’56 were both honored for their unwavering support and continued benevolence that has spanned numerous decades. The Class of 1966 was also applauded as they worked tirelessly to raise over $10,000! This initiative was led by Ms. Carol GOSE DeVine ’66 who wrote letters, made calls and sent emails to her classmates in the months leading up to the Class of 1966’s 50th Anniversary! Notre Dame School sends its heartfelt gratitude to these alumnae and the many others who made the event so successful! We look forward to growing our alumnae network and events, so be sure to keep your information current to learn more!

Jaclyn Brilliant, Principal, Ivanna KEROD Reed ’66 and Carol GOSE DeVine ’66

Dr. Marie


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Lisa DUNLEAVY Gately ’91 and

Tara SIMONS Ris ’91

Dennis Delahunty, Ma

ry Susan KING Delah unty ’61 and Leigh

COMBES Phillips ’60

Department Chair, Anne Crosson, Foreign Language MADISON ’01 n Susa and Crystal ALSTON ’01

Johanna VESPE Aulisa ’01, Caitlin DOH ERTY ’01 and Crystal ALFANO Gallegos '01 ., President,

rien, S.U laney, Dr. Virginia O'B Frances SHERIDAN De ry Ma ly, Kel . N yre GA Int NA FLA NDE Mc Class of 1956: Margaret Edith DALTON Marinucci and Frances DELLU

Alumnae Reunion: Friday, May 12, 2017ding

s en honoring the class year vited! in in “2” and “7.” All are

To learn more visit:

If you would like to participate and/or learn more about any one of these events or the responsibilities of becoming a Class Chair, please contact our Director of Alumnae Relations & Special Projects, Elizabeth Bixenman, at

Sr. Patricia

Bruck, S.U

. and Marg

aret BROLL Y-Lefebvr e ’91


A L u M N A e

N e w S


pASSioN is KeY Each year, our alumnae are excited to participate in Career Day because it gives them a chance to visit the school, catch up with friends and faculty members, and share their academic and professional explorations and achievements with current students. On Friday, February 26, 2016, it was no different and the entire student body gathered in the Sr. Mary Dolan, S.U. Arts and Athletics Center to hear six distinguished alumnae speak about life after Chez Nous. While all of the panelists discussed specific challenges they have faced, they also all had the same advice to share—do what you love! They remarked that when you work towards something that gives you a sense of purpose and meaning, you will be better equipped and willing to complete a demanding project, work extra hours, and/or do more than what is asked—all key elements in succeeding professionally. The panelists concluded by encouraging the students to apply to internship opportunities, network with friends and family, and never hesitate to ask questions in order to get a jump start on trying to figure out what inspires them! Notre Dame School’s next Career Day will be held on Friday, March 3, 2017.

Dr. Elvira Marie VILLAFUERTE ’92

Deirdre GOULD ’99


Susan GARGIULO ’79 Director of Preschool Games, Nickelodeon Robin NEWMAN ’85 Children’s Book Author Dr. Elvira Marie VILLAFUERTE ’92 Attending Physician in Emergency Department, NY Presbyterian Hospital Lower Manhattan Campus

Deirdre GOULD ’99 Associate Marketing Director, HLW International Talisa TORRES ’06 Project Coordinator, ADP RPO On-Site at Goldman Sachs Kerry Rose HARRIS ’10 Retention Specialist, Center for Employment Opportunities


Taking Control of the process

(Top: L-R) Ms. Karina Vargas, Vice Principal, Caitlin SEGER ’15, Sherrell MIKE ’12, Michelle YIP ’15, Shantal TAVERAS '14, Margaret WOODS ’14, Brianna BOSQUE ’15, Ashley NALLY-NAGEL ’15 and Ms. Jaclyn Brilliant, Principal; (Bottom: L-R) Kauribel JAVIER ’15, Irene DIMATULAC ’12, Alyssa FIORE ’14 and Magdalena DUNMAR ’15

On Thursday, January 7, 2016, the Class of 2017 gathered in the Sr. Mary Dolan, S.U. Arts and Athletics Center with complete attentiveness as they listened to their Chez Nous sisters speak about the college application process. The panelists were patient and considerate of the questions asked and assured the students that the Notre Dame School 26

Counseling Department would prepare them well for the road ahead. However, the alumnae also remarked that it is up to each individual student to be proactive and organized during the process. And, they reminded the Class of 2017 that colleges and universities track every time an applicant visits their campus, sits in on a class and/or goes

the extra step to show their level of interest.The Notre Dame School would like to thank its panelists for participating in this event. It is always a delight to have our treasured alumnae back in our Chez Nous halls! Notre Dame School’s next College Panel will be held on Thursday, January 5, 2017.

A L u M N A e

Spiking up Some Competition

Making Connections

N e w S On Friday, June 17, 2016, Notre Dame School hosted its 1st Annual Alumnae Volleyball Game! Chez Nous alumnae were welcomed back to participate and/or cheer on their sisters while raising money in support of the school’s Athletics Department. To the surprise of many, the alumnae team ended up defeating their opponents— members of the Chez Nous varsity team—after playing the best of three full sets. All in attendance enjoyed the friendly competition, while bonding over their love of Notre Dame School. A tremendous amount of thanks goes out to Camila PODOLAK ’12 who created, organized and executed the entire event, and her Chez Nous sisters— Jessica KING ’16, Tara VILLARUEL ’14, Jordan VILLARUEL ’14 and Elizabeth O’MALLEY ’14—who made the evening truly special. We would be remiss if we did not thank Notre Dame School’s current volleyball coach, Mr. Robert Vecchio PP ’18, who managed to gather the varsity players and encouraged them to participate in this Friday evening game; and not to mention, his continued support for all things Chez Nous as well.


wA N T e d We are looking for alumnae from each graduating class to act as liaisons between their classmates and the school. Some of the responsibilities include: Soliciting Class Notes for ND’s annual Encore Chez Nous magazine Notre Dame School hosted a young alumnae event at Public House on Thursday, October 13, 2016 for its Chez Nous graduates. In an effort to increase the number of alumnae events made available to our graduates, Notre Dame School partnered with Xavier High School and Dominican Academy to host this event. Graduates of 2000 through 2011 were invited to attend, and encouraged to celebrate their alma mater and reconnect with friends! All in attendance had a wonderful time, and were delighted to reminisce about their days Chez Nous.

Obtaining current class contact information Promoting alumnae events and reunions Supporting the Annual Fund


2016 Graduation

Warm Hearts with Bright Futures “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K. Rowling



Peyton Abrams, Maria Rosa Sciancalepore, Jessica King, Blake Lackmann, Gianna La Greca, Gabriela Calero, Miranda Inzerelli and Samantha Moura

n Thursday, June 9, 2016, the historic Great Hall at Cooper Union quickly filled with family, friends, faculty and staff who were all eager to celebrate the accomplishments of the distinguished and deserving members of the graduating Class of 2016. The students had long awaited their moment to sit on the stage, as done by so many Chez Nous women, looking out at those they love with a true sense of satisfaction and delight. They rightly earned this honor after completing four challenging, yet rewarding academic years at Notre Dame School. It is important to note, that the 73 graduates did not just excel academically, they also succeeded in becoming well-rounded individuals demonstrating great strengths in the arts and athletics, as well as in their commitment to service. The 100th Commencement was an evening made particularly special due to a few influential guests who were in attendance to commemorate the monumental day. Dr. Virginia O’Brien, S.U., President of Notre Dame School, eloquently gave the opening remarks at graduation in which she paid special tribute to the Sisters of Sr. Ursula. The sisters in attendance included Sr. Barbara Marie Cady, S.U., Sr. Patricia Bruck, S.U., Sr. Mary Dolan, S.U., and Sr. Marylin Gramas, S.U., who were all warmly acknowledged for their many decades of service and years of teaching Chez Nous. A special note was also made to Sr. Sarah Ryan, P.B.V.M. who was unable to attend the event. The evening continued with remarks from the ever familiar Chez Nous voice of Sr. Mary Dolan, S.U., Notre Dame School’s first President, and current Board member and Facilitator for Mission and Board Development, who reminded us all about the challenges and changes endured by Chez Nous over the years, and the school’s inability to be slowed down. Angela Perez, Class Valedictorian, spoke candidly to her classmates as she reminded them of a fitting J.K. Rowling quote, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.” To her fellow Chez Nous women, she highlighted the importance of living life unafraid of making mistakes. Angela spoke confidently that the members of the Class of

Nicole La Greca and Nneka Nwaokorie


Madison Marino

2016 would grow and change, cultivating passions along the way and noted that she is hopeful that they will not “simply settle into a life of comfort and ease, but rather, that [they will] work at what [they] love.” Angela concluded that her four years at Notre Dame School came and went too fast but that she knows the best is still yet to come, and as she and her classmates become accomplished lawyers, doctors, journalists and designers they will never forget their days Chez Nous. Peyton Abrams, President of The Student Council, addressed her classmates with great candor as she expressed how grateful she was to be a member of the Class of 2016! Together, they experienced their formative years—stressing over physics quizzes, spending time in the academic center, attending dances, chatting in Starbucks and working on college applications—and developed lifelong friendships in the process. Peyton went on to acknowledge how “Notre Dame School has provided a nurturing environment that has fostered a feeling of belonging and has taught [its students] to seek out the best for others.” As new graduates, she remarked that the Class of 2016 will continue to serve others as they move forward to fulfill their goals, with every intention of making the world a better place. More importantly, the memories and friendships made by the Class of 2016 will always remain in each one of their hearts, no matter where life leads them. As with tradition, graduation would not have been complete without the recognition of its most deserving students. Ms. Elizabeth Babinecz, school counselor, began the celebrations by distributing the Honors Awards, which was then followed by the announcement that one hundred percent of the graduates were accepted to four-year colleges and universities. Moreover, 93% of the graduates received academic scholarships towards an undergraduate degree totaling over $20,000,000! Congratulations to the Class of 2016, and to their families, teachers, counselors, and administrators. Notre Dame School’s 100th Commencement Ceremony was one we were all proud to celebrate together. We are Chez Nous! 30

Mercy De La Cruz, Kenya Arias, Kymberly Pryce, Genesis Vasquez, Amalia Robles, Sophia Cardona, Colleen De Bernardis and Natalie Aguilar

Ms. Brittany Vella, Katherine Caracappa, Ms. Roisin Clarke, Cameryn Verderame and Ms. Salimat Ayinde

The following prayer, led by Principal Jaclyn Brilliant, was offered for the graduates at the conclusion of the ceremony:

May you remember your school, Your teachers, your sisters, As you journey forth. May the light of Anne’s lamp Be your own special star Guiding your way. May you remember to shine Your light on all people As you encounter the universe Until you reach your final home And God holds you in her arms.


The Class of 2016 received academic scholarships totaling over $20,000,000. Read more to learn how six of these students received full scholarships to the university of their choice!

Angela perez ’16

Annie Afranie ’16

I am grateful that I received so many opportunities, found lasting friendships, and learned priceless life lessons while at Notre Dame. I arrived as a shy and awkward freshman, and grew over the years, graduating and feeling confident for the future. My growth and success was attributed to my stellar support system—my mother’s unconditional love, as well as the utmost care and guidance given to me by my dear teachers and counselors. At ND, I became well-rounded in my educational pursuits, always finding excitement and inspiration in my studies. I cannot stress enough how influential my teachers and counselors were in helping me learn and grow. Through Ms. Harrington’s patience and kindness, I now have a grasp of the Spanish language, and I am proud that I can use this skill even to help Spanish speaking strangers on the street. I hope to continue to hone my language skills in college. With Ms. Frawley and Mr. Stordeur, my love and interest in government, history and politics has only grown. They not only taught me about wars and civilizations, but they also taught me priceless life lessons. Ms. Frawley has inspired me to live a life of travel and adventure, and Mr. Stordeur has taught me to do what I love, whatever that may be. Ms. Vella always took the time to make sure I understood certain concepts in AP Calculus, and believed in our class to the end when we took the challenging AP exam in May. Her passion for the subject has prompted me to consider a career in computer science. Finally, with Ms. Maisto’s guidance and encouragement throughout the college process, and despite unexpected bumps in the road, I always felt in good hands. I will never forget the memories I made with lifelong friends at this wonderful school, and I will surely take the lessons I learned, both in and out of the classroom, with me. As I close the chapter on my time at Notre Dame, I am proud and excited to start a new one at Georgetown University, having been awarded a full scholarship! This scholarship will undoubtedly alleviate my financial burden, allowing me to rightfully focus on my studies, just as I was allowed to do while at Notre Dame.

When I arrived at Notre Dame my first year, I was extremely nervous. The feeling of unfamiliarity sunk in because I had previously gone to school with the same people for eight consecutive years and now, for the first time, I did not know anyone. But during my first week at Notre Dame, I would never have imagined how much I would grow. Looking back at my four years, I can’t help but realize how many gifts the school gave me. Because of Notre Dame, I was introduced to a diverse community and to amazing colleges, which ultimately led to my final college decision. During my junior year, the school took the entire Junior Class on a college trip. We visited four different colleges that were completely new to me, including Wesleyan University. When I first stepped foot on campus, I immediately fell in love with the university because I could feel how similar the school was to Notre Dame. Wesleyan is a small school that enables the teachers to form strong bonds with their students and to help them in their ventures. Even though I really liked Wesleyan, I was hesitant in applying because I thought my grades were not exceptional enough. Thankfully, my counselor encouraged me to apply, because if she had not, I don’t think I would be as thrilled as I am now. I am also grateful to the two teachers who wrote my recommendations: Ms. Abad and Ms. Vella. I am incredibly grateful because even though I informed them about the recommendation a couple of days before the due date, they still did it for me even with their busy schedules. Without Notre Dame, I wouldn’t have been able to continue the next four years of my life at my dream school. I am happy to say that going to Notre Dame was one of the best decisions I ever made. I received an excellent education and made amazing friends who pushed me to be my best for the last four years. The teachers worked tirelessly to provide each and every one of us with the best education, so thank you. And now, I am excited to continue my academic career on a full scholarship at Wesleyan University!


SCHOLARSHIP Stories Gabriella phillip ’16

Kimberly Cruz ’16

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I first arrived at Notre Dame. Little did I know that I would make such amazing friends, be taught and encouraged by well-educated teachers, in such a warm, friendly, and nurturing environment like ND, for my four years. The first three years of my high school experience were definitely ones to remember. I took classes that challenged me to think outside of the box and made memories that I’ll never forget. Most important, my experiences throughout these years are what prepared me for the notorious college process. With the help of my school counselor, various college visits/tours, and words of wisdom from previous ND graduates, I managed to formulate my final college list. All in all, the college process was anything but easy. My first semester of senior year basically consisted of frequent visits to Ms. Brilliant to edit my personal statement, college talks with my school counselor, whirlwinds of supplemental essays, college tours, college interviews, and standardized tests. Even though I spent so much time and energy working on my application during my first semester of senior year, it was all worth it. I was accepted into my two top schools, Barnard College and New York University, each with a full scholarship. Today, I am ecstatic to say that I am officially a member of the Class of 2020 at Barnard College of Columbia. And, the fact that I’ll be graduating college debt free is definitely a dream come true. Honestly, I have yet to come up with the words to describe how happy and how truly grateful I am to the teachers and my friends at Notre Dame for an amazing four years. Above all, I’d like to thank my family for always believing in me even when I didn’t believe in myself and for always pushing me to strive to do my utmost best in every aspect of my life. Thank you ND for such a unique high school experience, and for teaching me that if one is willing to put in the work, one can achieve the seemingly impossible. This lesson, and so many others that I have learned throughout my four years will stay with me, forever.

Notre Dame became my home, Chez Nous, in more ways than I had ever expected. To give a little background, ND has always been a part of my life due to the fact that my aunt and mom both attended ND. But, the Chez Nous bond we share goes beyond just simply being alumnae. ND for them was their home, their starting off point, which led them to accomplish their life goals. Going into ND I had heard a lot about the power it had to transform young girls into humble, genuine and well-rounded young adults. But to experience it first hand, is an experience much greater and more magnificent than ever discussed. I can say this because ND has shaped me into the person I am today. ND opened me up to experiencing the best four years of my life. I am ever grateful because Notre Dame accepted a student who initially felt average, who felt that she wasn’t going far because she couldn’t push herself to be smart enough. But, I can tell you right now that that mindset quickly transformed during my years at ND. During my four years, I learned to pull through the struggle and to strive to be my very best self, while also remembering to be the very best in God’s image. I learned through the help of the academic center and the willingness of the teachers, that I could push myself to give my best efforts and be rewarded in return. And that I could get a full scholarship if I worked hard enough. Let me just tell you, ND was right. I was accepted to attend Fordham University on a full scholarship! Had it not been for the support from the staff and administrators at ND I would not be able to attend college entirely free. I learned firsthand that ND is magical because it transformed a naive young girl into an empowering, humble and confident young woman who is willing to take chances and not let anything bring her down.


Maria elena Bilello ’16

Thalia Nunez ’16

After enduring the stress of junior year, I had thought the hardest part of my high school career was over; then senior year happened. Everything I had done in high school for the past three years was just leading up to senior year, the grand finale. Years of studying, paper-writing, and extracurriculars all matter. Each class taken is also factored into an application. Luckily, Notre Dame provided me with an array of challenging classes to boost my resume, including many AP and Honors classes. Test scores also weigh heavily on a college application; SAT preparation was necessary. On top of regular schoolwork, I had to take SAT classes as well as buy testing books to practice on my own. Without the help of my wonderful teachers and all the resources ND provided me with throughout my four years, I would never have been able to get through senior year, let alone the college application process. Unlike students at other schools, I was well prepared to face every aspect of a college application process by the end of junior year. College classes and weekly meetings with my counselor allowed me to have a thorough knowledge of everything college-related; so when senior year rolled around, I was ready to face its difficulties and jump over every hurdle. Thanks to Notre Dame, I had a revised version of my personal essay done before senior year even started. In addition, I had a list of colleges suited to my interests provided to me by my counselor in junior year as well, allowing me to visit every school I wished to ahead of time. Notre Dame and the advisement it provided gave me the ability to get a large portion of the college process out of the way before senior year even began. Without my time at ND, I would be a different person. The school offered me so many experiences and opportunities, all of which make me the person I am today. Thanks to ND, I was accepted to every college I applied to, including

As I reminisce upon the last four years, I am overcome with feelings of satisfaction and sorrow. I took a huge leap of faith at such a young age by attending Notre Dame. I decided to go to a school that none of my friends that I had grown up with were attending. Little did I know that taking this chance would make me feel like I could reach for the stars. Therefore, during my time at ND I pushed myself to the furthest extent possible so as to achieve preset goals that I never thought were attainable. One of my goals was to get into the university of my dreams on a scholarship. Notre Dame gave me the ability to flourish and become the independent woman I am today. I will take the perseverance, compassion, and resilience my teachers and friends taught me to college and beyond. Notre Dame proved itself to be more than just an ordinary school. As a result of its nurturing environment, it is my second home. Notre Dame was a place where laughs and secrets were shared, smiles were exchanged, bonds were created, and happiness originated. Most importantly, Notre Dame was the starting place of love, hope, and dreams. I am forever grateful for the guidance I received at Notre Dame. It is with this support and encouragement that I experienced both the intellectual and personal growth throughout my high school career. Chez Nous provided me with the confidence needed to be successful while also helping others in need. Being able to attend Emory University on a full scholarship has been a dream ever since I visited it. The teachers and counselors at Notre Dame gave me the opportunity to achieve this goal by challenging me every day and pushing me to be my best self. I was given the ability to receive an extensive education, share ideas, assume leadership roles, help others, and so much more at my second home. Notre Dame has left an everlasting impact on me and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I discovered myself in the past four years and I owe that entirely to Notre Dame. I am proud to say I am a Chez Nous sister.

Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Baruch. Now, I don’t have to worry about student debt as I received a full scholarship, a free laptop, and a $7,500 scholarship to study abroad.


Class Notes 1942 Patricia HUGHES Villacorta is enjoying good health, as well as the activities of nine grandchildren and her first great grandchild who was born in November 2016. She continues to serve as a lector at her church and finds the time to participate in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) programs at the University of Miami. She notes that 2016 has been a special year in her life due to the canonization of Mother Teresa. In Miami, where she lives, the Missionaries of Charity opened a shelter in 1981 and she and two of her friends had volunteered there on Saturdays for over ten years. During that time they had the opportunity to meet, talk with and work alongside of Mother Teresa on three of her visits to the shelter, and on her final visit they accepted her invitation to attend a special mass that the Bishop celebrated at their convent along with Mother Teresa’s sisters. 1956 Amalia GARCIA Samoylenko-Russian traveled to Cuba in February 2016. She was accompanied by her daughter Marina, and grandchildren Christopher, Alex and Molly. She wanted them to see the city of Matanzas, Cuba where her grandparents were baptized. Her grandparents later left Cuba during the Spanish-American War. She also wanted to do research on her great-great-grandparents who immigrated to Cuba (early 1800’s) from Barcelona and the Basque country. In late June 2016, she traveled with her granddaughter, Molly, to Spain and they ended their trip in Barcelona where Amalia’s daughter, Marina met them both for a long weekend.


1958 Dawn TENNANT Calabia continues to serve as an honorary advisor to Refugees International, a Washington based advocacy organization that works to increase respect for the rights of refugees and displaced persons and to improve the conditions under which they live. In 2015, she traveled to Ukraine and assessed the conditions facing the over one million Ukrainians displaced by the conflict between the government and Russian backed separatists. She has urged the U.S. to increase humanitarian and early recovery aid to Ukraine to improve housing and livelihood opportunities for the war effected populations and to work through and support the efforts of the local, international and United Nation organizations. Pope Francis’ outspoken support for the conflict victims in Ukraine is much appreciated. In early 2016, Dawn and her husband traveled to Taiwan to visit their son, a Foreign Service Officer, and his family stationed in Taipei, a city surrounded by mountains and the sea. In February, she traveled to Qatar with the Women’s Foreign Policy Group as a guest of the Foreign Ministry. 1959 Antoinette LeQUIRE-Schott and her husband, Newt, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 27, 2016! They left their vacation home in Chautauqua, New York a few days early to enjoy an evening in the city and dined at One If By Land, Two If By Sea, a historic restaurant on Barrow Street and a favorite of theirs in the Village. Over the summer, they had a few health glitches but were lucky that both their son, Keith, who lives in San Diego, and daughter, April, and her family were able to visit in Chautauqua. Their granddaughter, Lilly (6 years), is a joyous and capable first grader who is growing up too fast!

1960 Maria RIVERA-Trudeau and her husband, Paul, retired to Port St. Lucie, FL this year. They are enjoying their new lifestyle. Their eldest grandson started college and youngest started second grade! Janet SWIFT Balbach and her husband, George, celebrated their 50th anniversary in October 2016. It is difficult for them to believe how quickly time has passed but they are ever grateful for their three grandsons who attend The Buckley School in NYC and one granddaughter, who attends “play school” in Raleigh, NC. Patricia COOK Hult has worked at the Convent of the Sacred Heart on 91st Street for 39 years—eight years as a 4th grade teacher in the lower school, three years as an English teacher in the middle school, seven years as the Head of Middle School, one year as Interim Head of School and 20 years as Head of the Lower School. She was first attracted to the Convent of the Sacred Heart due to the community and love for the children, which reminded her of her early years at Notre Dame on 79th Street. In particular, she recalls the many wonderful examples of religious life—Mother Genevieve Marie, Mother William, Mother Teresa, Mother Eleanor, Mother Daniel, Mother Jerome, Mother Catherine Mary, Mother Winifred, Mother Michael, and especially Mother Myriam—who taught so many Chez Nous women French and sewing in the very early grades. With that said, she has had a very fulfilling and happy career, and is ready to welcome the next phase— retirement—which she will begin this June. She is excited to spend more time with family and friends, and hopes to join a few of her Chez Nous sisters in various activities and trips.

Catherine McDONOUGH Corcoran is enjoying the time she spends with her nine grandchildren (7 girls and 2 boys) in Richmond, Virginia. She and her husband, Jay, retired to Richmond to be near the family and to help with the, then four, grandkids in 2005, and who now range from one to 18 years of age. They feel they are very blessed and say every day, “Grandchildren are a dream come true!” 1961 Maria PINTO Carland works with the US State Department and USAID on fellowship programs designed to encourage historically underrepresented groups to choose careers in Foreign Service. She also volunteers with the Posse Foundation, to recruit and prepare leaders from diverse backgrounds for top colleges and universities. Her work has been inspired in large part by her year as a fifth grader at Notre Dame. Following the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, Sr. Catherine Keating, S.U. and Sr. Eleanor S.U. admitted girls from underrepresented groups, and she grew up looking up to them, and those who benefited, as role models. Louise POCIECHA Toth lives in San Diego, California where the weather is spectacular all year! She also lives on a golf course—the number of balls that fly over her two-story home is remarkable—and spends her free time playing tennis, practicing yoga, and taking Zumba classes. She and her husband, Steve, have taken multiple vacations out west, including to Yellowstone National Park, Sequoia National Park, Yosemite National Park, Crater Lake National Park, and Park City to see the Olympic Village (pictured above). She attended the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California where she helped to decorate the floats with her niece, and described it as an experience she will never forget.

1966 Thelma MILLIKEN Negley participated in The Havana Dancesport Classic in Havana, Cuba from January 2nd through 6th, 2016, which was the very first ballroom dance competition to ever take place in the country. She also won First Place Bronze, First Place Silver, First Place Overall, two Multi Dance Challenges, First Place in one Scholarship Challenge, and Second Place in two Scholarship Challenges. It was the most important competition she has ever participated in, so she is very proud that she won this historic event. Most recently, she won First Place Outstanding Silver and First Place Top Competitor at a competition in New Orleans. Hsiao Ping KATZ attended her 50th Chez Nous Reunion last spring, where she reconnected, but also learned that two of her classmates live near her in Michigan! And so, Hsiao Ping organized a mini reunion at her home in Michigan last summer with classmates, Lucille FALLON Wang, Christa MEIGHAN Schwartz, and Thelma MILLIKEN Negley who was visiting. Christa brought all her Chez Thelma MILLIKEN Negley, Nous Yearbooks Christa MEIGHAN Schwartz, and they had a Hsiao Ping KATZ lovely time reminiscing. They are now planning another mini reunion in Florida for this spring, since fifty years is a lot to catch up on! Carol GOSE DeVine reconnected with many of her classmates at her 50th Chez Nous Reunion last spring, and the event sparked many subsequent mini reunions as well! The Class of 1966 is currently planning to gather together in Florida this spring. Carol is now retired but invests so much of her time volunteering that she feels like she has a full time job…an unpaid full time job! She spends most of her time devoted

to the Vermont Symphony Orchestra’s development committee for which she chairs the special gifts committee. She was recognized as their Volunteer of the Year in 2015. She and her husband, Fra, have three children, Anne (33 years), who lives in D.C., Patrick (33 years), who lives in Brooklyn, and Monique (35 years), who also lives in Brooklyn. Carol is delighted to announce that Anne is engaged and will be getting married this May to a wonderful young woman, who is a veterinarian in D.C. Kathleen WALSH D’Arcy, Co-chair of the all-inclusive St. Pat’s for All parade in Queens, who led the charge to ensure LGBT inclusion in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade, was named by the Irish government as a recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad. She traveled to Ireland to be recognized at an awards ceremony hosted by President Michael D. Higgins at Aras an Uachtarain, the presidential residence, last December. 1970 Loreta DiRUSSO Emanuel traveled to Fiji in April of 2016, along with her husband, Anthony. She explored one of its many islands that was inhabited by 1,000 residents and comprised of nine separate villages. She managed to visit two villages and three schools while there, and was in awe of how the natives navigated the lands without any roads, cars or even bicycles, only footpaths. 1972 Judith LENTI McCormack and her husband, Tom, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last fall. And, she is looking forward to celebrating another milestone anniversary with her Chez Nous sisters this spring! 35

Class Notes Mary O’SULLIVAN Conlon has retired after teaching for 30 years and now plans to travel with her husband, Jim, and her grandchildren, Alexis (13 years) and Matthew (8 years). She and her husband recently visited The Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, and she is excited for the many more adventures to come! Daria AMATO teaches nursing at Northern Virginia Community College in the northern Virginia area outside of Washington, DC, and has been for over 17 years. In May 2016, she assumed the position of Associate Dean for the Division of Nursing at NVCC, affectionately called NOVA, and her work primarily focuses on division administration. 1973

Christine PIDHORODECKYJ Hillenbrand took a trip with her husband, Franz, to Florida for two weeks from September 13th through September 28th last year. They traveled from Orlando to Key West with stops in Ft. Pierce and Ft. Lauderdale. They saw two friends, which is always a highlight, and had a very enjoyable trip. They also traveled to Poland and took a ten day trip to the Baltic Coast and a city trip to Gdansk in June 2016. They visited Christine’s cousin who she has not seen in over ten years. Their daughter Nadine attends Heidelberg University, and her goal is to receive a Masters in Geography. Christine still works at the University Hospital in Tübingen and has been living in Germany for 28 years. She wishes the Class of 1973 and all those at ND the very best.


1975 Rosana GONZALEZ Agostini became a grandmother in 2016. She is pictured with her grandson, Sebastian, in Switzerland where he lives. 1978 Delia CABE’s book, “Storied Bars of New York: Where Literary Luminaries Go to Drink”, is coming out June 2017! For well-read drinkers and boozy bookworms everywhere her book is a photographic and historical celebration of the best literary pubs, cocktail bars, and taverns in New York City. Chez Nous alumnae can purchase it at their favorite indie bookstore in June or pre-order it now on Amazon. And they should, the introduction of the book has a special shout out to Notre Dame School! 1984 Lilian MIGLIORINI-Evans celebrated her 50th birthday alongside her Chez Nous sisters! Featured in the picture, Debra GUIFFRE Cunningham, Christina SOLARINO Leddy, Lilian MIGLIORINI Evans and Suzanne AUGRESANI Katz gathered at the Italian Club Tiro A Segno in Greenwich Village in NYC where they danced the night away to all of their favorite 80s songs.

Debra GUIFFRE Cunningham, Christina SOLARINO Leddy, Lilian MIGLIORINI -Evans and Suzanne AUGRESANI Katz

1990 Melanie AURE Duford and her husband, Darrin Duford, are proud to announce the birth of their son, Ryker Pollux Duford, on June 12, 2016.

1991 Dr. Lila WOLFE married Johan Kugelberg, an archivist, author and antiquarian book dealer, in May 2016. For their honeymoon, they traveled west to live in a camper van and surfed the coast from California to Oregon. Lila is still living in Chinatown and has relocated her busy Chiropractic practice to 160 Broadway, a block from the World Trade Buildings. 1992 Dr. Marie Elvira VILLAFUERTE started her son at a new school, Friends Seminary, in New York City. To her surprise, her son’s teacher is a Chez Nous sister! 1993 Jean CODY McCall traveled to Grand Teton National Park with her husband, Shawn, daughters, Sarah (11 years) and Emily (9 years), and son, Colin (4 years). The family resides in Hudson, Ohio.

1996 Carla GOMILLA married John Arzadon on June 11, 2016 in Montclair, NJ. Carla is the Senior Manager of Data Systems for Operations at The Leadership Program (TLP). TLP builds leaders from classrooms to board rooms within New York City and nationwide (Indiana, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Wyoming, and more.) Her husband works in Comparative Medicine for Pfizer.

2003 Vanessa Marie CASTRO was recently selected to participate on the advisory board for the Energy Management and Controls Technology Program at Valencia College in Florida. She will be the youngest member on this board. And while Vanessa was attending a conference in Philadelphia, she had the opportunity to meet up with her Chez Nous sister, Caitlin DEVLIN Haas ’03 and they picked up right where they left off all those years ago!

2007 Kristin NEZOLOSKY was accepted into the NYC Teaching Collaborative and is teaching 10th and 11th grade English in a public school. Through this program Kristin is committed to carrying out the NYCTC’s mission: to recruit and prepare talented, committed individuals to become effective teachers who dedicate themselves to raising student achievement and effecting change in New York City’s highest-need schools.

Samantha ALCALA, a graduate of Trinity College with a double major in Educational Studies and Psychology, was selected to receive the first Teachers College full-tuition master’s degree fellowship as a Posse Foundation alumna! She began the master’s degree program in Sociology and Education in the fall of 2016.

2008 Taisha RODRIGUEZ got married to Joel Clemmer in Puerto Rico last July. They currently live in Maryland, where Taisha works as a high school counselor.

Elayna RODRIGUEZ is engaged to her boyfriend of over seven years, Karl Schuff. She was completely surprised by the proposal, which took place in a photobooth in October 2015! Her fiancé also arranged to have all of their closest friends nearby to celebrate after she said “Yes!” Karl is from Queens, NY and he owns a web design company in New Jersey. The couple will be married on Long Island this fall and they are extremely excited to embark on this next journey together. Michelle ABRAHAM graduated from the New York City Police Academy at Madison Square Garden on July 1st, 2016, along with over 1,200 other men and women. After six long months of sacrifice, determination, blood, sweat and the occasional tears, she finally accomplished a lifelong dream. She is thrilled to start her career as a new guardian and protector of the city she loves!

2009 Pamela PUBLIK is a fourth year special education teacher at The IDEAL School of Manhattan. She will graduate with a master’s in Special Education with a focus on learning disabilities in May 2017. Last summer, she traveled around the U.S. and spent some time in Austin, TX, the eastern shore of Virginia, and San Francisco. Her photo captures her visit to the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

2011 Stephanie GARACE was accepted into the 2016 cohort of the NYC Teaching Fellows program and is currently a special education teacher at the High School for Arts, Imagination, and Inquiry on the Upper West Side in NYC. She is also completing her master’s degree in Adolescent Special Education at Hunter College. 2012 Christine PUBLIK graduated cum laude with a major in English and minor in writing from the Honors Program at Stony Brook University last spring. She wrote her honor’s thesis on “This Side of Paradise” and Fitzgerald’s poetry, similar to the final paper she wrote for Ms. Brilliant in AP English her senior year at ND! She is currently participating in the NYC Teaching Fellows program where she is teaching ELA and Social Studies at Liberty Avenue Middle School, while receiving a master’s in teaching.


Class Notes Mia Angela KATAISTO, a 2016 graduate of the University of Michigan, was awarded acceptance into the Fulbright U.S. Scholars Program, as well as Teachers for Vietnam. Currently with Teachers for Vietnam, she is spending the year teaching English at a university in Southern Vietnam. Nicole RodRiGueZ graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Adelphi University. She is currently working as a teacher’s assistant at Bright Horizons Family Solutions in Brooklyn and pursuing a master’s degree in social work. 2013 Elizabeth GARACE is completing her fourth year of a 5-year undergraduate program at Northeastern University and pursuing a degree in nursing. She is currently on “co-op”—a program at Northeastern in which students work for sixth months in their chosen profession to gain work experience prior to graduating. Elizabeth is spending the time as a nursing assistant on a cardiac stepdown unit at New York-Presbyterian Hospital at their Cornell Campus, and will return to classes in the spring.

2014 Margaret WOODS traveled to Italy with the Sacred Heart University (SHU) Choir in March 2016. They sang at St. Peter’s Basilica, toured Rome and the Vatican, Sorrento and Naples. Margaret’s favorite stop on the trip was visiting Pompeii. They toured the ancient ruins and a great deal of what she learned in Latin class with Ms. Clark at Notre Dame was familiar.

Standing in the middle of the forum at Pompeii with the snow-covered Mount Vesuvius

Margaret, Sr. Margaret and Eileen

Margaret’s sister Eileen WOODS ’17 and Sr. Margaret McEntee visited her at SHU in October 2016 where they attended a SHU performance of “Doubt”. Sr. Margaret was John Patrick Shanley's 1st grade teacher, and the character of Sr. James in “Doubt” is modeled after Sr. Margaret. Sr. Margaret talked to the cast after their performance and shared her experiences as a technical adviser on the set of the film version of “Doubt”.

Elizabeth ILDEFONSO attended Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) for a year and a half and then transferred to NYU to complete her undergraduate degree in just three years. In May 2016, she graduated with honors and received a B.A. in politics. She is now a first year student at Brooklyn Law School! Sr. Margaret surrounded by the cast 38

2015 Ashley ARNOLD worked as the New York Intern for Heart & Soul PR, Inc., where she gained experience in public relations, marketing and business last summer. She also interned at the Center for Communication as an Events intern last fall. She is now a sophomore at NYU, and currently serves as a student leader at NYU’s Liberal Studies School, and Vice President of Administration for the Class of 2019 on the Class Activities Board. Caty SEGER interned with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation last summer and worked on developing their Computer Resource Center’s youth programming curriculum, which is something she is currently implementing city-wide. She also partook in a summer poetry workshop hosted by Winter Tangerine literary magazine, where she received a partial scholarship! She is now a residence life staff member at Smith College and will double major in Sociology and Education. 2016

Niamh HOBAN was recently published in the Irish Times for a piece she wrote two years ago for Conversatio, Notre Dame’s Literary and Art magazine. It was an artistic piece about an experience she had while traveling through her grandmother’s homeland of Falcarragh, County Donegal, Ireland. Niamh currently lives in Manhattan with her parents, Fiona and Gerard Hoban, and brothers, Sean and Conor.

In Memoriam We extend our deepest sympathy to the graduates, Sisters of St. Ursula, families and friends of Chez Nous who have experienced a recent loss. In particular, the individuals listed below will be greatly missed by the Notre Dame School community. Delores Alcid, grandmother of Victoria ABAD-Winiecki ’99 Elizabeth BERGSTROM Gieseke ’66 Natalie Biagi, mother of Rev. Vincent Biagi, S.J., ND Board member

What’s New?

Marie Alice Bourdeu, mother of Natasha MAJOR ’04 Laura Josephine Carazzini, grandmother of Gianna GEMELLI ’17 Jeanne CARETTO Wilson ’51 Agnes Virginia Dillon, mother of Denise DILLON Fite ’71, Winifred DILLON ’73, Clare DILLON Palma ’74, Virginia DILLON ’76, Christina DILLON Lenehan ’78 and Shelagh DILLON Kerrisk ’82 Doris Theresa Halloran, mother-in-law of Catherine Halloran, ND Board member Mary Patricia HANIGAN Peterson ’40

Keep your classmates updated by sending us your latest news! Photos are encouraged! Please send all updates and photos to our Director of Alumnae Relations, Elizabeth Bixenman, at

Pierre Houde, husband of Sheila LEWIS Houde ’54 Bill Hunter, father of Fiona Coen HUNTER ’05 Garrett John Kelley, nephew of Catherine Halloran, ND Board member Arthur R. Koppisch, father-in-law of Maureen Sullivan, parent of Julia KOPPISCH ’17 Katherine McGRATH Sumner ’60, sister of Rosemarie McGrath ’59 Beatrice McGuckin, mother of Catherine McGUCKIN Grogan ’74, Elizabeth McGUCKIN ’80, Sheila McGUCKIN ’81, Sharon McGUCKIN Leger ’85 and Anne McGUCKIN Nelson ’87 Rosemary McNamara, mother of Elizabeth McNAMARA Melcher ’76 and Sr. Rosemary McNAMARA, S.U. ’77 Grace Meyer, mother-in-law of James Hillman, ND staff member Beato Novas, father of Tracy NOVAS ’19 Eileen O’BRIEN Kennedy ’65 Wence Reyes, father of Wandy REYES Ortiz ’86 Wilfredo Rodriguez, father of Nicole RODRIGUEZ ’12 Bruce Ulrich, father of Melissa Meserve, ND Board member

Regarding photos, remember to send the highest quality image available and identify all individuals in each photo.

I am the resurrection and the life; those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. john 11: 25-26

Anne de Xainctonge desired to educate girls in the Christian faith. 39

Sr. Mary Dolan, S.U.

Back Story

T “It’s life Chez Nous, every minute of every day, that tells me that Anne de Xainctonge and the Notre Dame mission are alive and well on West 13th Street.”


here are plenty of references to returning to the familiar place called home. “You can’t go home again” is one; “home is where the heart is”; “home cooking”; “I’ll be home for Christmas”; “make yourself at home”; “Welcome Home”; “there’s no place like home”; and if you went to Notre Dame School, “Chez Nous.” After a seven year absence (more or less), I’m home again Chez Nous and very happy to be here! For a long time, I imagined that I had the shortest resumé on record because I had been at Notre Dame for almost 30 years as a teacher, vice-principal, principal and president. When I became the Regional Superior of the Sisters of St. Ursula I thought my resumé would be at least one line longer. Now I am back at Notre Dame but wearing a brand new hat. Last September, I reentered the Chez Nous halls as the Facilitator for Mission and Board Development, which was a newly created position. I was initially drawn to the position because a key word in the title, “Facilitator,” best described how I always saw myself and what I hoped to accomplish with my return. And besides, this is Chez Nous, so I was delighted to have found a way to continue to share the mission and to help ensure the future of the school. The former may also prove easier as there has never been a shortage of commitment to the mission within the Notre Dame community, so I am fortunate that this new role is anything but a “start from scratch job!” Mission is a very critical component for every school—it is like the foundation of a building. If there are cracks or gaps, the structure might collapse so it’s important to keep an eye on it, even though it might not be what you notice first, and keep it in good repair. Mission holds up the whole school so everyone needs to be a part of it and it needs to be a part of everyone. Hopefully, I can contribute to a deepening appreciation for Notre Dame’s mission and a vibrant living out of it each and every day. Mission involves everyone connected with Notre Dame: board, faculty, staff, students, parents and alumnae. Our long range goal is to develop programs that will appeal to those groups to strengthen mission identity for each one. An important part of the mission of Notre

Dame is our spirituality and we are examining some aspects of Ignatian spirituality, the spiritual path which Anne de Xainctonge adapted for the Society of St. Ursula, which she founded soon after Ignatius Loyola founded the Jesuits. This is not just background information to Anne de Xainctonge’s spiritual life, but a very practical way to find God in all things and know and love the Trinity in an ever-deepening relationship. Another aspect of my new position involves working more with our Board of Trustees. Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees is so committed to the well-being of every Notre Dame student and faculty and staff member that they want to continue to grow as a Board and as good Trustees. Our recent NYSAIS self-study led to some good recommendations and aspirations on the part of the Trustees to recommit themselves to staying au courant with best practices for private school Boards. I’ll be working with our Board to implement some of those and to identify future members of our Board as well. You can often find me in the Development Office where I am the new member of that team and I am learning a lot from Anthony Burke, Director of Development and Beth Bixenman, Director of Alumnae Relations and Special Projects. Sr. Virginia O’Brien, S.U. and Penny Grote, are bringing me up to speed on different areas of growth at Notre Dame since my “retirement” seven years ago! It is easy to understand how enrollment at ND has increased given the strategic work Bob Grote, Director of Admissions, is doing in his office and all of the exciting new courses and programs Jackie Brilliant and Karina Vargas ’02 have developed. I am so impressed by the faculty—they are a great group and the students are so fortunate to have such talented and vivacious teachers and counselors. I found out that you can go home again, if the home is Chez Nous. All those many times I told graduating seniors, “you will always have a home Chez Nous,” is true for me as well. It’s life Chez Nous, every minute of every day, that tells me that Anne de Xainctonge and the Notre Dame mission are alive and well on West 13th Street. I am delighted to be part of it again.

You CAN go home again!

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Saturday, March 25, 2017 Noon to 4 p.m. Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers • New York City

Thank you to the Class of 1966 who raised more than $10,000 for last year’s Alumnae Reunion. We celebrated the class years ending in 1 & 6. Check out pages 24-27 to learn more.

Notre dame School • Annual Fund Join our team of alumnae, parents and friends who support our students, faculty and programs through the Annual Fund. Make Notre Dame School a philanthropic priority to ensure the future of Chez Nous!

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Encore Chez Nous  

Notre Dame's annual Alumnae Magazine

Encore Chez Nous  

Notre Dame's annual Alumnae Magazine