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PRESIDENT’S LETTER DR. DAN RYAN Dear Friends, As we enter Dowling Catholic’s 100th year we have much to celebrate and to be thankful for. Our students continue to uphold Dowling Catholic’s long tradition of excellence in academics, the arts and athletics. We had outstanding representation at the All-State Music Festival in November, topping off an incredible season for all of our band and choir students. The Performing Arts Department performed exceptionally in the fall and winter play productions. Our fall sports teams also competed at the highest levels, with the boys and girls cross country teams, the volleyball team and the girls swim and dive team qualifying for state. The football team also won an unprecedented fifth state championship title. I am continually impressed with the level of excellence achieved by our students in the classroom and in all of their activities. We have also come together as a community of faith in dealing with the loss of one our students, Trevor Schwager, who died in a car accident in early December. We appreciate the continued thoughts and prayers for the Schwager family and the outpouring of support for the entire Dowling Catholic community. I would also like to thank Mrs. Joyce Stasi, a long-time art instructor at Dowling Catholic, for her dedication and commitment to Catholic education. Mrs. Stasi will be retiring at the end of the semester after teaching for 43 years at Dowling Catholic High School. A strong foundation has been laid at Dowling Catholic over the past 100 years, particularly by Dr. Deegan over the past 17 years. Dowling Catholic’s facilities are first class, new academic initiatives in various fields are underway, and our students continue to perform at the highest levels in all areas. We cannot, however, afford to rest on our laurels or to be satisfied. In our 2020 Vision strategic plan, goals for access for all who seek a Catholic high school education have been identified. Dowling Catholic provides substantial assistance to our families already, but to continue this support and to meet current unmet need we must to take action in this area. To develop “pillars” for a personalized faith and academic experience, additional work must be completed. Whether this is replication of our very successful engineering program in other fields or adding additional faith experiences, we know there is always a need for Dowling Catholic to grow.   I have enjoyed becoming acquainted with the Dowling Catholic family and pray for God’s continued blessing on our students, families and staff during this special year.  I wish you and your family a blessed and Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year. Sincerely,

Dr. Dan Ryan



CONTENTS Focus magazine is published for Dowling Catholic parents,


alumni and donors.



DCHS is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, marking a century of Christ-centered excellence. This milestone anniversary would not be possible without the legacies of our founding schools. In this issue we celebrate the history of St. Joseph Academy


and Dowling High School.

CONTACT Dowling Catholic High School 1400 Buffalo Rd. West Des Moines, IA 50265










Check out the latest school happenings.


| ACTIVITIES SPOTLIGHT The DCHS band has a season of great accomplishments.

Submit class notes, including your full name and class year, to

TRUE MAROON Featuring the past presidents of Dowling Catholic.



Success in the classroom and on the field.


CALENDAR Find out about upcoming Dowling events.

How to help every student, every day.



CLASS NOTES/ IN MEMORIAM Be in the know about alumni and friends of Dowling.



THE PULSE Celebrating the success of DCHS football past and present. F O CU S





TEN WAYS TO GIVE At Dowling Catholic High School, donors have a significant impact, providing opportunities for students to become Leaders for Life, Centered on Christ. Gifts to Dowling Catholic provide support to programs and resources that truly benefit all students. This support also makes it possible for students to serve others, a hallmark of the Dowling Catholic experience.

EVERY STUDENT, EVERY DAY ANNUAL APPEAL This is our most important annual fundraiser. Every aspect of Dowling Catholic - including a portion of financial assistance, student activities, academic programing and the arts - is supported by the Annual Appeal. Financial support from the Annual Appeal and other revenues pay 20 percent of the total per pupil cost. That fills the “gap” between the full cost of education and what tuition and parish support cover.

MATCHING GIFTS Maximize your gift! A matching gift is provided via a participating company based on the contribution to Dowling Catholic High School by the company’s employees and spouses.

EMPLOYER/COMMUNITY SUPPORT CAMPAIGNS Contributions made through your employer can be designated to support Pathways for Success or the Every Student, Every Day Annual Appeal. 4


PATHWAYS FOR SUCCESS The Pathways for Success program was developed to help provide additional resources to those students who may be at risk or of promise.

and, in return, receive a sports pass for home athletic games, a Campus Store discount, a member recognition card and a window decal.

REUNION GIVING Individual or class gifts are a great way to celebrate your reunion!

IN-KIND GIFTS Gifts in kind, or non-cash gifts, are gratefully received in support of the many needs of Dowling Catholic High School. ENDOWMENT FUND Build a legacy at Dowling Catholic by creating an endowment to honor or memorialize a friend, mentor or family member. We will coordinate with you regarding your family’s wishes in naming the fund and the criteria.

MEMORIALS The memorial fund is set up specifically for donors who would like to give their gift in memory of a loved one.

DOWLING CATHOLIC ATHLETIC CLUB Dowling Catholic Athletic Club is a way to support Dowling Catholic Athletics

MAROON VOLUNTEER PARENTS (MVP) MVP (formerly the Parents’ Guild) hosts two annual events to raise funds in support of DCHS teachers and students: the Pancake Breakfast (fall) and the Bash (spring).

PANCAKE BREAKFAST Pancake Breakfast, one of Dowling Catholic’s

recruited Dennis to help, first in assisting,

longest-standing community events, took

then serving as co-chairs before eventually

place on October 29, 2017, at the Iowa State

becoming hosts, a position they’ve served in

Fairgrounds. This DCHS tradition continues

almost every year since.

to stand the test of time as this year marked the 56th and more than 3,100 were in atten-

“We have such a fun time,” said Mary. “It’s


a big social event and such a generational thing. We really enjoy seeing people we

Chairing this year’s event were Bill and Lisa

know who are now parents and grandparents,

Northup and Jim and Marta Bruno. The event

and getting to see their children and grand-

is coordinated by the Maroon Volunteer

children. Where else are you going to see

Parents with Advancement team member

that many people you know in one morning?

Holly Ackermann at the helm. More than 300

We just love it.”

volunteers enlisted to help, as well many local businesses.

Thanks to the support of those who attend and the many volunteers, Pancake Breakfast

Two of those volunteers, Dennis ‘65 and

continues to impact DCHS students and

Mary Bell ‘65, are familiar to many as they’ve

teachers alike in providing important funding.

been involved in some capacity almost every

To learn more about volunteer opportunities

year since they were students. Mary became

and upcoming events at DCHS, please visit

involved with the Parents’ Guild when their

oldest son began at Dowling in 1992. She

TENNIS COURTS The Cownie Tennis Complex was updated over the summer with the installation of six new courts, replacing the previous courts which were more than 30 years old. The new complex also includes extended viewing areas on all sides as well as a new walkway. The renovation of the tennis complex would not have been possible without the generous support of Jim ‘62 and Patty Cownie ‘62, parents to nine children who are all DCHS graduates. “We recognize that a big part of the high school experience is establishing friendships,” said Jim, who continues to serve at Dowling Catholic as an honorary board member. “A great way to do that is through athletics. Patty and I are pleased to help in that respect in the development of the tennis complex.” We are thankful for the support from both Jim and Patty who have had a tremendous impact on the students of Dowling Catholic.





Decades before Dowling High School first

students were taught by the BVM sisters with

ing designated St. Joseph Academy as the

opened its doors, St. Joseph Academy was

course offerings in the fine arts, science, reli-

Central Catholic High School for girls. In 1912,

established by the Sisters of Charity of the

gion and business.

an alumni association formed which would

Blessed Virgin Mary as an all-girls boarding

donate many gifts to the academy through-

school in Des Moines. As Dowling Catho-

As enrollment grew, so did the physical

out the years, including a pipe organ for the

lic celebrates its 100th anniversary, we also

structure. In 1896, an addition was completed,


celebrate the legacy of SJA and its significant

housing a library, art studio, chapel and class-

role in Dowling’s history as one of its founding

rooms. The turn of the century brought many

The students were aware of the history unfold-


changes to the school, including the name.

ing outside of the school, with yearbooks tell-

Grandview Place was renamed Villa Maria

ing stories of thousands crowding the shores

The 88-year history of St. Joseph Academy

when the old Victorian building was moved to

in search of the American Dream, the Wright

began in 1884 in a building known to Des

the back of the property in 1906 to accommo-

Brothers proving man need not have wings to

Moines residents as Grandview Place. Few

date a new main entrance and bell tower.

fly, and the arrival of the first gas-powered car.

school’s location west of downtown and limit-

As the city grew and moved closer to the

The next decade brought Women’s Lib and

ed public transportation. First-year enrollment

academy, day enrollment increased. In

the birth of Hollywood, but also the anguish

was 16, with a graduating class of one. The

1909, with enrollment at 62, Bishop Dowl-

of World War I. The basketball and tennis

students were able to attend because of the



courts on campus were popular, and traditions

remains one of the largest, school-wide service

Villa Maria was torn down, ending its 72-year

such as the annual play began during this

projects at Dowling Catholic.

history with SJA.

opportunity to participate in student govern-

Following the Great Depression, World War

In 1963, a $1.2 million addition was completed

ment became available. The curriculum also

II swept the nation. The students sold stamps

with 28 classrooms, two science laboratories, a

began to diversify, with new course offerings

and bonds to raise money to purchase jeeps,

library and a cafeteria. Enrollment was at 825,

including typing, bookkeeping, stenography,

an operating table and gas masks to send to

and the Academy and Dowling continued to

commercial law and geography.

troops overseas. By the end of the war, day

share in an increasing number of activities.

time. Numerous clubs, committees and the

students significantly outnumbered boardThe 1920s brought the Golden Era, with

ers, and privileges increased as cars became

The next decade continued to bring change

students quoting Dickens in the yearbook,

and would close the chapter on the 88-year

describing the years as “the best of times

history of St. Joseph Academy. In 1970, the

and the worst of times.” They wrote about

BVM Sisters notified Bishop Dingman that they

the nation recovering from World War I, the

would be willing to sell the SJA property to

excitement surrounding Henry Ford’s Model A,

share in the development of a new facility after

and women earning the right to vote.

a study indicated that a co-educational high school was desired by the people. The Col-

In 1921, tragedy struck when two students

lege of Osteopathic Medicine, known today as

were killed in a car accident. Sister Mary

Des Moines University, purchased the acad-

Patrice Lacey had a grotto built in their memo-

emy facilities, and Dowling High School/St.

ry, and alumni donated the Statue of Our Lady

Joseph Educational Center opened in 1972.

Grace in tribute. The grotto became a place of retreat for both faculty and students. Today,

Today, Dowling Catholic continues to honor

the statue stands in the courtyard at Dowling

the history of St. Joseph Academy. Many


traditions carried over from the school remain intact. Several pieces of the academy’s history

The decade would close with the stock market

can also be found on campus, including the

crash and the start of the Great Depression.

statue in the courtyard and a stained-glass

Enrollment decreased, but students made the

window in the east lobby, a gift from the Des

best of difficult times. Classic movies such as

Moines University Osteopathic Medical Center

Gone with the Wind and the Wizard of Oz

and the SJA Class of 1951. Another window

emerged from Hollywood. Radio and games

from the Academy hangs in the Media Center.

such as bridge and bunco provided entertainment. The Academy and Dowling also began to share in social activities during this time. The girls often attended Dowling’s football and basketball games. The Dowling boys were invited to attend the senior class dance at the Academy, and the girls began attending Dowling’s prom. Students from the Academy also did their part to help those in need. The SJA Social Service Club established the tradition of Christmas Baskets during this time, bringing food, clothing and toys to those in need. Today, this

prevalent on campus. The first annual senior class trip took place in 1950, the same year boarding at the school was terminated, ending the academy’s longest-standing tradition. Singing, dancing and a movie were added to Campus Day, one of the biggest social events of the year which began in the 1930s as a picnic. Students also enjoyed an annual dinner by candlelight at Christmas, a tradition which has continued at Dowling Catholic with the Candlelighting ceremony. In 1956, the

The Coppola Family St. Joseph Chapel, the culminating piece of the We Believe capital campaign, was named in honor of St. Joseph Academy, recognizing the school’s legacy and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The narthex which connects the chapel and school also holds the cornerstone from the St. Joseph Academy building. This beacon of faith stands as a focal point on campus, symbolic of the historic legacy of St. Joseph Academy and its tremendous impact on the students of today and tomorrow.





ON CAMPUS SAINT JOHN PAUL II RELIC Sisters from the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a religious institute in the Archdiocese of Miami, visited Dowling Catholic on September 8, 2017, with the relic of Saint John Paul II. This visit came nearly 38 years after Pope John Paul last visited Iowa to celebrate Mass at Living History Farms. Dowling Catholic community members, students, faculty and staff, as well as middle school students from St. Pius and St. Theresa, had the opportunity to venerate the relic and to learn about Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005 and was declared a saint in 2014. The relic traveling with the Sisters is a first-class relic, which is typically a small piece of a saint’s remains. In this case, the relic is a vial of Saint John Paul II’s blood. This relic is one of only five related to John Paul, and the only one that travels the world. Dowling Catholic was just one stop on the tour of Iowa, as the Sisters also visited St. Patrick Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids; St. Anthony Catholic Church in Des Moines; Church of the Land at Living History Farms in Urbandale; Our Lady of Americas in Des Moines; and St. Patrick’s Parish in Cumming. Prior to their first stop in Cedar Rapids, the sisters had already journeyed around the world, stopping in Ecuador just the night before. After Des Moines, the next stop for the relic was Indiana. “We were thrilled and honored to have the presence of the first-class relic of Saint John Paul visit Dowling Catholic,” said Father Zach Kautzy, DCHS Chaplain. “Saint John Paul was canonized two days before we broke ground on the St. Joseph Chapel. He first visited Des Moines in 1979 during the apostolic visit to the U.S. and continues to inspire and challenge our students with his Theology of the Body. For me personally, it was very special to have his visit because of the important role in my vocation to the priesthood. I saw him at his hospital window in March 2005 in Rome, and attended his funeral and canonization Masses in 2005 and 2014, respectively. I was particularly moved by the respect shown by our students. He is truly a hero of the faith for our times!”



graduation. She holds a bachelor’s degree

reunions filled with laughter and surprises.”

in fine arts and a master’s in education. She has served as an adjunct professor for Drake

Many of Mrs. Stasi’s very first students are

University in education and Upper Iowa

getting ready to retire as well, following

University in photography.  

successful careers in a variety of fields. She remains awestruck that she had the

Mrs. Stasi’s impact goes well beyond the

opportunity to play a small role in her

classroom at DCHS. She has always been

students’ lives.  

heavily involved in student activities, serving as student council moderator, junior

“When you receive that note, a visit or an

and senior class moderator, helping with

email that says ‘you believed in me, you

Christmas Baskets, and serving for several

made me feel special and you cared,’ you

years as co-director of student activities with

have no doubt that you chose the right

Jeff Ferguson.

profession, the right place and the right people to work with,” said Stasi. “The three

As Mrs. Stasi reflects on her career, she

women I teach with inspire me with their

believes students haven’t changed much

talents, their love and their dedication.

over the years, but are more involved and

Teri Breck, Brenda Kane and Lindsay

service oriented than ever before.

Cooper truly make each day a comfortable, challenging and fun filled adventure.”


“I am overwhelmed with the impact they make on the community and beyond,” said

On behalf of the many students, faculty

Mrs. Joyce Stasi, who has served as an art

Stasi. “There is never a time when I ask for

and staff members whose lives have been

instructor at DCHS for her entire 43-year

help that they aren’t willing. Our parents

touched by Mrs. Stasi, we express our

career, will retire at the end of December.

are also amazing advocates. In many cases

gratitude and wish her all the best in her

Mrs. Stasi completed her student teaching

I have taught entire families. Conferences,

next adventure.  

at Dowling in 1974 and was hired following

Mini School Night and Open House are

CHRISTMAS BASKETS Dowling Catholic honors the rich history of its founding schools by maintaining many time-honored traditions. One such tradition is Christmas Baskets, brought to Dowling by the BVM sisters from St. Joseph Academy when the two schools merged in 1972. Today Christmas Baskets remains one of the largest, school-wide service projects, providing assistance to local families during the holiday season. The project is led by the senior class, but faculty, staff and students in all grade levels have the opportunity to participate. The project concludes with Candlelighting, a moving ceremony which includes prayer and a lighted candle for each student. Thanks to the support of the DCHS community, students were able to make Christmas merrier for more than 100 families during this holiday season.












ALL-STATE CHOIR All Dowling Catholic choir students have the opportunity to share their talents on stage during several concerts which take place throughout the school year. The Dowling Choirs presented their annual Fall Concert on Monday, October 9, 2017, at Sheslow Auditorium. The program featured performances by the Jazz Choir, Dowling Catholic Singers, the Concert Choir, A Cappella Choir and the eighth grade Diocesan Festival Choir. This was the first time the Dowling Catholic choirs have had the opportunity to perform with the eighth grade diocesan choir. “We were really excited to feature the first eighth grade Diocesan Festival Choir at our Fall Concert,” said Quinn Tipping, Director of Dowling Catholic students Cecelia Bartemes, Ryan Besser, Gabby

Choral Music at DCHS. “Our hope is that this new experience had

Borromeo, Grace Graham, Wyatt Grubb, Caleb Moore, Niall Moore,

a positive impact on these students, and inspired them to continue

Andrew Slater and Lauren Townsend were selected for All-State

their musical pursuits during their high school years. We’re firm

Choir following auditions which took place in October. Those

believers here in the power of music to excite, uplift and improve

selected for the choir, band and orchestra had the opportunity to

quality of life for our students and audiences. Music offers us a

participate in the Iowa All-State Music Festival at Hilton Coliseum in

beautiful way to pray. It was certainly a thrill to see and hear over

Ames in November.

200 students praying through song!”

The festival takes place annually and features the top choral and

The Dowling Choirs also presented their annual Christmas Concert

instrumental high school musicians in Iowa. Each year the students

at St. Ambrose Cathedral on December 4, 2017, sharing their

perform an All-State Festival Concert which is broadcast by Iowa

talents and celebrating the season with members of the Dowling

Public Television on Thanksgiving night.

Catholic community.

FALL SPORTS RECAP This year’s fall sports season at Dowling Catholic was one for the record book. The boys cross country team finished third at state, marking the seventh podium finish in the last eight seasons, and Matthew Carmody earned runner-up. The girls cross country team also finished strong, earning 12th at state. The volleyball team made it to the state tournament but fell to Valley, concluding a great season. The girls swim and dive teams earned runner-up spots at the state meet, while the coaches were named Coaching Staff of the Year. Berit Quass won two individual state titles and Clare Culver earned one. The dance team had a strong showing at the ISDTA solo competition, with all dancers receiving a superior rating and two placing in the top 10. The boys golf team finished the season fifth in the state while the football team brought home an unprecedented fifth consecutive state title. 12


FALL PLAY Dowling Catholic’s 100th anniversary is about celebrating both enduring traditions and unique characteristics. It’s fitting that this year’s fall play, Pericles, was both classic as a Shakespearean epic, but unusual in that it was lesser known and had a peculiar plot. Director Tim Sheaff said he couldn’t resist a play in which a girl narrowly avoids death because she gets abducted by pirates, and a woman who is wrongly presumed dead gets thrown overboard by her own husband. “It’s severely odd,” said Sheaff, who hopes the experience will prepare his students to stand out in future auditions. “I want their resume to be the most interesting resume that anybody shows up



The Performing Arts Department presented Gooney Bird Greene

Senior Aaron Coffey, who played the titular role, says he feels

and Her True Life Adventures in early December, including a spe-

well prepared for college after working on seven productions at

cial performance for parochial school fourth graders. One of three


productions that take place annually at DCHS, the winter play is unique in that it is produced by students in Acting +, a class taught

“Since I want to continue in theatre, it’s awesome to have Shake-

by Mr. Alex Baranosky ‘08, in collaboration with the Art Club, which

speare under your belt,” said Coffey.

creates the props, costumes and set under the direction of Mrs. Brenda Kane.

Sheaff and Coffey agree that the biggest challenge was learning how to read and deliver the dialogue. After much preparation,

Previous productions have included Snow White, James and Giant

Coffey can flawlessly recite his character’s best line: “‘Heaven

Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Lion, the Witch

forbid that kings should let their ears hear their faults hid!’ He’s

and the Wardrobe, all of which stem from the fantasy world. This

basically saying that people shouldn’t be so naive and closed off,

particular play was selected because it offered something differ-

especially those in power, and they should

ent, providing the perfect balance between reality and the fantasy

listen to other people.”

world with an outlandish sense of fun. According to Sheaff, the legacy of Pericles will The story truly came to life through the set, starting out in the

be how the students balanced the serious

world of black and white at a school where the students are listless

dialogue and the comedic storyline.

and bored. Gooney shows up in all of her quirky glory and begins to bring color to everyone’s lives. As her story unfolds, the set and

“It’s the strangeness of the story and the kids

characters become more and more colorful.

embracing the attempt at humor,” said Sheaff. “Even though it’s not

“Each year I am amazed at the talent of the students,” said Bara-

meant to be a comedy, we definitely

nosky. “The winter play is the culmination of Dowling’s acting cur-

tried to play some things for laughs. The

riculum, and is a huge undertaking with lots of moving parts. The

choices the students made and really

students are able to come together and share their God-given gifts

dedicated themselves to were really good.”

and talents to produce, create and perform. What a blessing!” F O CU S





DOWLING CATHOLIC BAND A semester filled with great accomplish-

Parton’s Nine to Five, Mountain Music by

ternate on baritone sax. The All-State Band

ments by the Dowling Catholic Band will

Alabama, and Forever Country, a tribute to

and Choir presented a Festival Concert on

culminate with an appearance on national

our country’s military branches.

November 18 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames

television on New Year’s Day. Select bands

The television appearance will close out a

which was televised by Iowa Publish Televi-

from around the country were chosen to per-

successful season for the band. In Septem-

sion on Thanksgiving night.

form during half-time of the Outback Bowl

ber the Vanguard took second place and the

in Tampa, FL, based on video submissions.

Drumline won Best Percussion at the annual

Members of the band who were selected to

This year’s show will include more than 1,000

Five Seasons Marching Band Invite in Cedar

the Downtown Swing Project also had the

students from around the country, including

Rapids. In October the Vanguard took first

opportunity to participate in various commu-

approximately 100 from DCHS.

place at the Waukee Invitational, sweeping

nity events throughout the season, including

the competition with Best Color Guard, Best

the World Food Prize Opening Ceremonies,

Drum Major and Best Drumline.

President’s Council Dinner and Pancake

The Dowling Catholic students will have the opportunity to visit Universal Studios where


they will participate in a sound session, per-

The band also had strong representation at

forming a piece that will be synched to an

the All-State Music Festival. David Breese

“Mr. Hoover and I are delighted with the

animated feature by a professional director.

was selected for All-State Orchestra on

talent, work ethic and accomplishments of

On New Year’s Eve, the bands will partici-

Trumpet and was named top trumpeter

this year’s band,” said Mr. Steve Holland,

pate in a competition, marching in a parade

out of the 59 who auditioned. Selected for

Director of Bands at DCHS. “The support

followed by a celebration and awards cere-

All-State Band were Max Frost on bassoon,

from parents, administration and the Dowl-

mony at Busch Gardens. On New Year’s Day,

Alex Schwarte on trombone, Rachael Byrum

ing Catholic Community is unsurpassed. We

the nationally televised half-time show will

on horn, Josh Nguyen and Michael Lu on

look forward to many more great musical

feature a collaborative performance of Dolly

clarinet, and Marcus Castellano as first-al-

milestones both now and into the future!”



CALENDAR Dowling Catholic Performing Arts Depart-

at 7:30 p.m. at historic Sheslow Auditorium

ment. Performances will take place April 26-

for their annual Spring Concert. The concert

27 at 7:30 p.m. and April 28 at 2 and 7:30

will feature performances by the Jazz Choir,

p.m. in the Dowling Catholic Auditorium.

Chamber Choir, Mixed Chorus and A Cappella Choir, and will conclude with a special

> APR 26

> FEB 3 Bash on Buffalo Dowling Catholic High School 1400 Buffalo Road, West Des Moines

recognition of senior choir members.

MVP Night of Style Sacred Heart Parish Center 1601 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines Enjoy an evening of great food, friends and fashion! Students, faculty and staff will hit the runway with the latest styles during this

The 34th annual Dowling Catholic Auction – The Bash on Buffalo – will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018, in the school gym. Please join us for an evening of wonderful

fun night to benefit post-prom. Groups may purchase a table and decorate with a theme of choice. Some themes are elaborate, some humorous, and some just a lot of FUN!

> MAY 24 Baccalaureate Mass St. Francis of Assisi, 7075 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines

food, music and community for a great The class of 2018 will have the opportunity

cause – our teachers and students!

to celebrate the Sacred Mass together one last time and to be sent forth from Dowling

> APR 19 Scholastic Achievement Assembly/ Distinguished Alumni Awards Dowling Catholic High School 1400 Buffalo Road, West Des Moines Dowling Catholic High School proudly bestows alumni of both St. Joseph Academy and Dowling Catholic High School with the Distinguished Alumni Awards. Nominees will be honored at the Scholastic Achievement Assembly on Apr. 15, 2018. Nominations will be accepted through January 15, 2017. Please contact Brooke Pulliam at 515.222.1048 or bpulliam@dowlingcatholic. org with questions.

Catholic to love and serve the Lord. Bishop Pates and Fr. Kautzky will preside over the

> APR 29 Spring Band Concert Dowling Catholic High School 1400 Buffalo Road, West Des Moines The concert will take place at 4 p.m. in the Dowling Catholic Auditorium and will

7:30 p.m. celebration with the graduates and their parents.

> MAY 25 Graduation Ceremony Drake Knapp Center 2525 Forest Avenue, Des Moines

feature performances by the Concert Band, Symphony Band and Outstanding Performer

Dowling Catholic’s commencement cere-

award winners from the State Solo Contest.

mony for the class of 2018 will take place at

In addition to musical performances, the

7:30 p.m. at the Knapp Center on the Drake

Band Awards presentation will also take



> APR 26-28 Spring Musical Dowling Catholic High School 1400 Buffalo Road, West Des Moines

> MAY 10

The Spring Musical is presented by the

Please join the choirs of Dowling Catholic

Spring Choral Concert Sheslow, Auditorium, Drake University 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines

> For the most up-to-date calendar information visit






owling Catholic High School is celebrating

its 100th anniversary, marking a century of Christ-centered excellence that can be traced back to when the school was first established in 1918. The school opened with an enrollment of 90 students on an eight-acre site purchased by Bishop Austin Dowling from the Des Moines College Corporation. The school was known as Des Moines Catholic College until 1935 when it was renamed for its late founder. The first graduating class included 14 students, two of whom became priests, while the others went into law, dentistry, banking, medicine, engineering and farming. Enrollment increased rapidly, reaching 374 by 1938. To accommodate the growth, the old gymnasium known as Noah’s Ark was razed in 1941 and replaced by Kendall Hall. Enrollment reached 545 by 1955, the same year a survey indicated that number could double within 10 years. Flavin Hall was torn down to make room for a new two-story building, which opened in 1957 and included a chapel, six classrooms, four science laboratories and a library. Dowling faculty and staff totaled 63 members, including 17 priests, three Sisters of Humility, 21 laymen and six lay women. In 1963, Bishop Edward C. Daly authorized the first study into Dowling’s future needs and potential new sites. Bishop George J. Biskup announced in 1966 that 55 acres of land had been purchased by Dowling at the intersection of I-235 and Eighth Street in West Des Moines. In 1969, the Diocesan School Board decided to build a new school at the site. The following year, the BVM Sisters from St. Joseph Academy agreed to share in 16


the development of the new facility after a

demics, athletics, service and activities.

community study indicated that a co-educa-

Decades later, as the two schools prepared

tional high school was desired by the people.

to merge, students paid tribute to the new

Dowling High School/St. Joseph Educational

era about to begin in the final 1972 Dowling

Center opened on Buffalo Road in the fall of

yearbook, which closed with the caption:


“But with the end comes a joyful beginning.”

Yearbooks and newspapers tell stories of student life at Dowling High School before the two schools merged, with the tradition of excellence dating back to the earliest years.

When the new co-ed school opened, students quickly found a rhythm in the start of a shared history. Some traditions were carried over to the new school, such as Christmas Baskets from St. Joseph Academy and Pancake Breakfast from Dowling, while other new traditions began. Dowling continued to experience growth throughout the next three decades, which would necessitate a plan for the future. In 2002, a visioning process began under the leadership of Dr. Jerry Deegan which would result in a strategic plan. A new vision was

Yearbooks and newspapers tell stories of

established – to be the best at preparing

student life at Dowling High School before

Leaders for Life, Centered on Christ – and

the two schools merged, with the tradition of

Catholic was added to the name, strength-

excellence dating back to the earliest years.

ening the school’s identity. The We Believe

The first edition of the school newspaper, The

capital campaign was launched, resulting in

Aquin, was published in 1928. Early stories

more than $30 million in campus renovations,

document the success of the athletic teams,

including the addition of the Coppola Family

the debate team and many student activity

St. Joseph Chapel.

groups. Students enjoyed class trips, homecoming and other social activities. Serving

As Dowling Catholic prepares for the next

others was also a part of the mission from the

100 years, the legacy first established by

earliest days, as well as student leadership

Bishop Dowling remains strong. The school

with the first student council organized in

continues to be guided by a history rooted in


the Catholic Faith, the legacies of its founding schools and the vision of its late founder.

As history unfolded, Dowling persevered

Bishop Dowling shared his aspirations for the

through times of triumph and hardship,

future in a letter dated September 13, 1918,

including the Great Depression and other his-

writing that “in the years to come, I hope the

toric events. Countless Dowling alumni and

Catholics of the diocese will have a reason

students went on to serve during World War

to be proud and will discover it has been

II, with many paying the ultimate sacrifice.

a worthwhile investment.” The investment

The Aquin published an “Honor Roll” rec-

has certainly proven to be worthwhile as the

ognizing the many military service members

mission and foundation of Dowling Catholic

from Dowling. As the country recovered,

remain strong for future generations.

student life continued on with a focus on acaF O CU S





PAST PRESIDENTS Nearly one hundred years ago, Bishop Austin

him the longest-serving president in Dowling

to become principal at St. Thomas Aquinas

Dowling opened the doors of the Des Moines

history. Amongst many significant accom-

High School but returned in 2001, making

Catholic Academy for Boys, the school that

plishments, Father Hess created the school’s

Dowling history as the first lay president. His

would become his namesake and the Dow-

Foundation Board, establishing a tradition

work with a visioning committee resulted in

ling Catholic of today. As the first bishop of

of governance that remains intact today. He

a strategic plan which continues to drive the

Des Moines, he was committed to expand-

received Dowling Catholic’s CIVITAS Award,

school’s mission to this day. A new vision was

ing Catholic education opportunities, and

which is the school’s highest honor bestowed,

established – to be the best at preparing

early letters indicate that faith, tradition and

and the south wing was named the Father N.

Leaders for Life, Centered on Christ - and

academic excellence were guiding principles

Hess Convocation Center in his honor.

Catholic was added to the name, strengthening the school’s identity. The We Believe

from the very start. Monsignor George Toher was selected as the president who would

“As I look at Dowling Catholic today, I am

capital campaign was launched under his

lead the school through its first two years,

amazed,” said Father Hess. “From a simple

leadership, resulting in more than $30 million

beginning a succession of

in campus renovations and

strong leaders who would

the addition of the Coppola

guide the school for the

Family St. Joseph Chapel. In

next century.

recognition of all that he has done for the school, the circle

Monsignor Daniel

drive around Dowling Catholic

Mulvihill was the next

was named Deegan Drive in

president, succeeded in

his honor.

1923 by Monsignor John Boylan who would serve

“The Des Moines area is bless-

for the next two decades.

ed to have Dowling Catholic

During that time enroll-

High School as a strong pillar

ment increased substan-

of its Catholic faith communi-

tially, the campus was ex-

ty,” said Dr. Deegan. “As it has

panded and the school’s

for thousands of other families,

name was changed to

Dowling Catholic has played a

Dowling in honor of its

significant role in my faith life and the education and faith life

late founder. Monsignor

beginning in the early 1900s until today,

Thomas Costin served as president from

Dowling is an incredible school. It is similar to

of my family. I am truly grateful to all those

1943 to1959, followed by Monsignor Michael

one of the amazing mosaics in St. Peter’s in

whose shoulders we stood upon for the past

Schwarte, Father Frank Nugent and Father

Rome, a beautiful picture made up of hun-

100 years and could not be more excited

Richard Wagner, who would lead Dowling

dreds of small pieces. When all the pieces

about the next 100.”

through the merger with St. Joseph Academy

are fit together, you have an amazing result.

and the new school opening in 1972.

That is Dowling Catholic for me.”

Today, Dowling Catholic continues to draw on a century of strong leadership, with Dr. Dan

Father Michael Hess ‘63, a Dowling alumnus,

Dr. Jerry Deegan joined the Dowling faculty

Ryan assuming the role of president in July of

joined the faculty in 1972. He went on to

in 1972, serving as an English teacher, coun-


serve as president from1976 to 2000, making

selor and assistant principal. He left in 1996




At Homecoming on Friday, Sept. 22, six alumni were inducted into the Dowling Catholic/St. Joseph Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. The 2017 inductees are:




Track, Football, Basketball,

Football, Basketball Track

Baseball, Football


Amara was born in Sierra

Zach was a two-time, first-

Ben received 10 athletic letters

Leone during the Civil War.

team elite all-state athlete;

at DCHS, but is most proud

With assistance from a

three-time, first team all-dis-

of the variety of sports he participated in

religious charity, he and his family immigrated

trict; and captain of state champion football

and his contributions as part of a team. As a

to the U.S. Amara became friends with Max

and baseball teams. He played baseball at

football captain, Ben helped lead the team to

Schaefer through Little League, eventual-

Baylor and was Big 12 Player of the Year,

an undefeated season, a state title, and was

ly moving in with his family and attending

two-time ABCA All-Region all-star, and

named first-team all-state. Ben was captain

DCHS. He has many fond memories, but is

named to two NCAA All-Regional teams.

of a state-qualifying basketball team, and ran

especially grateful for Coach Wilson who

He was named All-Big 12 twice and was a

at state track every year as well as the Drake

saw something in him that he didn’t see in

Johnny Bench semifinalist. He was a four-

Relays. Ben also received the Dr. Breedlove

himself, and for his continued friendship with

time academic all-conference selection,

and Nick Niedert awards, was named Dow-

Wilson and Coach O’Connor. Amara attend-

ESPN Magazine Academic All-American,

ling Male Athlete, and still holds state track

ed the University of Michigan on scholarship.

and named 10 times to the Big 12 Confer-

records today. Ben went on to play football

He was granted U.S. Citizenship in 2015,

ence Commissioner’s Honor Roll. He played

at Iowa State and currently works for Weitz as

graduated in 2016 and currently lives in

for the Baltimore Orioles, and the Frederick

a Project Engineer in Des Moines.

Newcastle, WA, where he is a wide receiver

Keys, and earned a spring training invite.

for the Seattle Seahawks.

Zach currently serves as director of the Katy Twelve Baseball Program in Texas.




Baseball, Football, Basketball


Deb was a four-time confer-

Spencer is grateful to his

Athletic Office Assistant

ence doubles champion with

parents for sending him to

Mary first volunteered at

DCHS, and for great coaches,

DCHS when her sons Matt

Molly Brick and three-time singles champion. Deb and Molly qualified for state each year

teammates and friends. Spencer made the

’98 and Josh ’01 were stu-

and won twice. Deb was a two-time Prince

all-district baseball team, and was selected

dents. She was Guild President and Guild

Tennis All American, NHS member and Fe-

for all-conference, all-state and the All-Iowa

Coordinator before she joined the athletic

male Scholar Athlete. Her record was 50-0 in

Super Team. He was football team captain,

department. Mary worked with three Athletic

singles and 73-3 in doubles. She played for

selected to first-team all-conference and sec-

Directors before she was fortunate to begin

a month in Europe before attending Purdue

ond-team all-state. He was also team captain

working with Tom Wilson and Mike O’Con-

where she was a tennis letter winner. She

in basketball, a student ambassador and

nor. Mary’s positive attitude, work ethic and

has worked as an engineer at Frito Lay and

NHS member. He received the Vonnie Hess

willingness to help have made her invaluable

in various leadership positions in Chicago

and Male Athlete of the Year awards. He

at DCHS. She continues to love her job and

with Kraft, Kellogg’s, and PepsiCo where she

received a scholarship to Vanderbilt where

those she works with. Mary and her husband

currently serves as Supply Chain Director.

he played baseball before joining

Ron recently became proud grandparents to

​the ​Dodgers and then the Rockies.

Eliza, daughter of Josh and Nicole.





CLASS NOTES Jake Ketzner ’04 has been appointed as

Megan Junius ‘95 was honored with the

chief of staff for Governor Kim Reynolds.

2017 Entrepreneur of the Year award through

Ketzner most recently worked in the pri-

the Donald McNeely Center at the College

vate sector but previously served as a top

of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.

campaign aide for Branstad/Reynolds in the

Megan graduated from St. Benedict in 1999

2010 election. He managed their successful

and currently serves as owner/president/cre-

re-election bid in 2014. He also managed

ative director of Peter Hill Design in Minne-

U.S. Rep. Steve King’s re-election campaign


in 2012 and has served as a policy advisor and legislative liaison.

Jennie Lillis Baranczyk ’00, head coach of the Drake women’s basketball team, has been named a 2017 Women of Influence honoree by the Des Moines Business Record. This award celebrates the work of women who have made a difference. Baranczyk was one of seven recognized during the Business Record’s annual Women of Influence event which took place on August 10, 2017. Read more about Lillis and her accomplishments in the Des Moines Business Record: http://bit. ly/2xj47MZ.

Judge John Leonardo ‘65 has been appointed an international observer in Albania. He is currently stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana where he provides assistance in support of the Albanian organizations charged with vetting judges and prosecutors. He will hold the diplomatic rank of Attaché for the duration of his time at the embassy. Leonardo

David Leto ’95 was promoted to president

previously served for 19 years as a Superior

of Palmer Group effective October 1, 2017.

Court Judge in Tucson, AZ, and recently

Leto has been with Palmer Group since

retired as the United States Attorney for the

2004, serving in multiple leadership roles.

District of Arizona.

Prior to joining Palmer Group, Leto lived in Chicago, working in the healthcare staffing and placement business. Leto is active in

Sages Over 70: Jim Cownie ‘62, developer

various philanthropic roles throughout the

and philanthropist, and Jody Reynolds ‘58,

community, including JDRF, the Greater Des

philanthropist and charitable fundraiser, have

DCHS proudly honors alumni of SJA and

Moines Partnership and the West Des Moines

been named honorees of dsm Magazine’s

DCHS as Distinguished Alumni/Young

Leadership Advisory Board. He also serves as

Sages over 70 for their significant contribu-

Alumni. Recipients will be recognized at

vice president of the Des Moines Reciprocity

tions to the community. The honorees were

the Scholastic Achievement Assembly on

Club and volunteers in a variety of leadership

recognized in the November/December issue

April 19, 2018. Please visit www.dowl-

capacities at Holy Trinity Catholic Church and

of dsm Magazine and at an event which took for

School in Beaverdale.

place on November 7, 2017, in Des Moines.

nomination criteria. Due Jan. 15, 2018.



IN MEMORIAM Dowling Catholic extends its sympathy to the families of the following alumni who passed away:

ART CLUB OFRENDA The Art Department’s 14th annual Day of the Dead celebration took place on October 28, 2017. The evening included Mass, dinner and the ofrenda unveiling, dedicated to Reubin Alcoy, a member of the Class of 2017 who passed away in January after a courageous battle with brain cancer.     Work on the project began in September with just eight students and Mrs. Brenda Kane, art teacher and Art Club moderator at DCHS. By the time the project was completed, more than 100 students had contributed. The ofrenda included a three-dimensional portal for prayer intentions, written memories and messages to Reubin, a video and many of his favorite foods, activities and treasured possessions, recreated through art.   “Reubin is missed by so many,” said Mrs. Kane. “The Holy Spirit worked through this project like I have never seen before.”  Reubin played the trumpet, and was a member of the choir and National Honor Society. He is remembered by his classmates for his kindness and sense of humor.

IN MEMORIAM The Dowling Catholic community mourns the loss of Trevor Schwager who passed away in a car accident on December 4, 2017. Trevor was born on October 5, 1999, to Marty and Jolea Schwager. He attended St. Theresa and was a senior at Dowling Catholic. Trevor was a member of the varsity wrestling team and involved with FFA and 4H. He loved the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing, and was known for his positive spirit and leadership. Trevor is survived by his parents, brothers Zachary and Keaton, grandmother Rosemary Schwager, grandfather Joe Walles, and many aunts, uncles and cousins. Contributions may be given to the family in Trevor’s name for a memorial fund to be determined.

Americo “AJ” Loffredo ‘29 Sr. Carolyn Weibler ‘33 Sr. Rosalita Dullard ‘34 Sr. Genevieve Kordick ‘38 Barbara Leglum ‘40 Patricia (Rice) Boesen ‘41 Juliette Laurent ‘42 Robert Boyt ‘43 Clare (Irwin) Davis ‘43 Mary ‘Duffy’ Versackas ‘45 Miriam (McGrane) Martin ‘45 Rosemary (Murphy) Griffin ‘45 Marilyn (Cunningham) Immel ‘46 Theresa Marie Renzo ‘47 Louis Juliano ‘47 Jerome Hetherington ‘47 Doloris (McMichael) Potthoff ’47 William Hummel ‘48 Sr. Honora Wilson ‘48 John Tapscott ‘48 Catherine “Kay” (Watts) Johnson ‘49 Mary Ann (Scavo) Catrone ‘49 Martha Binkerd Gass ‘50 William “Bill” Smith ‘51 Carla (Murphy) Faber ‘54 Janice ‘Hummel’ Bartusek ‘54 Edward Binkerd ‘56 Mary Frances Marasco ‘57 William Todd ‘58 Marjorie ‘Waldorf’ Squire ‘59 Joe Fatino ‘60 William McCarthy ‘61 Marion ‘M.J.’ Genovese ‘65 Dianne Melton ‘65 Diane (Murphy) Hensel ‘66 Deborah (Fontanini) Morlan ‘67 Frank Carroll ‘68 Robert Brandsfield ‘68 Mark Harlow ‘68 Kathleen ‘Horton’ Gorsland ‘69 Colleen (Folsom) Christiansen ‘69 John McClavy ‘69 Mark Nieters ‘70 Denise (Boal) Hudson ‘71 Stanley Seuferer Jr. ‘72 Edward Vuper ‘72 Ray Reel ‘73 Richard Turner ‘74 Michael Naughton ‘75 Robyn Osterberg ‘79 Paul Beaudry ‘79 Steven Senn ‘82 Brenda Schramm ‘82 Brian Feeley ‘83 Peter Brafford ‘86 Joe DePhillips ‘95 Robert Spellman 2000 Trevor Schwager 2018





Coach Williams and the 1967 team were welcomed back to

where they were recognized following the first quarter of the Homecoming game.  

Dowling Catholic High School during Homecoming to celebrate their

As we reflect upon the many accomplishments that have taken place during the last

50th anniversary and to

century, Dowling Catholic’s tradition of

be recognized for their

football excellence can be traced back to

tremendous accomplish-

this team of 50 years ago. Today Coach

ments. On Friday, October

Williams continues to have an impact

22, 2017, members of the team attended the

on Dowling Catholic football. Although he

Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony at

left Dowling in 1975 to coach at Iowa State

history by completing the school’s first unde-

DCHS. Mike Fontanini ‘68 represented the

and then Simpson College in Indianola, he

feated season, going 9-0 under Coach Jim

team, speaking about his personal expe-

returned in 2005 to join Coach Tom Wilson’s

Williams. The Dowling defense allowed op-

riences and those of his teammates, and

team. Coach Williams continues to serve as

ponents just 43 total points, an average of

how meaningful his Dowling education has

an offensive line coach at DCHS twelve years

less than one touchdown per game during

been. The team joined the student body

later and also conducts football camps at the

a season that included four shutouts. The

at the Homecoming Pep Assembly before

school during the summer.  

offense averaged more than 31 points and

attending Mass in the St. Joseph Chapel with

407 yards per game. Seven players were

the current football team and coaches. That

named to the all-city team, and three made

evening, Coach Williams and the team hud-

the all-state team.  

dled after taking the field at Valley Stadium

In 1967 the Maroons made Dowling football



Fifty years after the 1967 football team first made Dowling history, the Maroons have done it again, winning an unprecedented fifth straight state championship title. The Dowling Catholic football team has completed two of the last four seasons undefeated, but finished this year’s regular season12-1, losing to Ankeny Centennial. The Maroons earned a rematch in the semifinals, coming out on top before heading back to the Dome for the Class 4A championship game against previously undefeated, number one ranked Iowa City West for the second consecutive year. While the players and coaching staff have

“It’s just surreal,” said senior John Waggoner in a postgame interview with WHO Channel 13 news. “There’s no better feeling in the world.”

much to be proud of, head coach and athletic director Tom Wilson recognizes that what

The enthusiasm and continued support from

exists at Dowling Catholic is a tradition of

the Dowling Catholic community also remains

excellence that goes beyond the scoreboard

as strong as ever, with students, parents and

or number of state championship trophies.

fans packing the stands at the Dome and then the DCHS gym for a spirited welcome

“One of the best things about Dowling Cath-

back celebration, despite the late hour and

olic is the history behind the school,” said

foggy trip home.

Wilson. “Being able to help recognize one of our all-time great teams in the 1967 group

“As the athletic director and head football

this fall was something very special. We

coach, I continue to be humbled by just

constantly emphasize to our players about

being a part of the rich history of our school,”

appreciating and representing those that

said Wilson. “I would like to thank everyone

have come before them. The 1967 group is a

for the tremendous

prime example of our history. Our recent ac-

support, not just

complishments are a reflection of the present,

for our football

but certainly have a lot to do with the past.

team, but every

The community pride on display each Friday

team, group

night, especially at our games in the UNI-

and our school

Dome, is second to none.”

as a whole.”

Even though this is the fifth consecutive title


for the Dowling Catholic football program, it remains just as significant as it’s the first title earned together by the players on this particular team. The excitement and sense of accomplishment remains just as high, even for those players who have been part of other championship teams.








Stop by the Dowling Catholic Campus Store, located in the cafeteria, to purchase apparel and gift items!

$18 Women’s University Tee Champion

$22 Alumni Shirt Long Sleeve Port & Company

$45 Men’s Waffle Tee Under Armour

Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (When school is in session.) 24/7/365 online! 24


$12 Dowling Catholic Pop-Socket $25 Coffee Tumbler

Focus VII: 100 Year Edition  

Focus magazine is published for Dowling Catholic parents, alumni and donors.

Focus VII: 100 Year Edition  

Focus magazine is published for Dowling Catholic parents, alumni and donors.