ING CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
A PUBLICATION FOR THE DOWL-
F O CU S
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
D O WLIN G CATH OLIC H IGH SC HOOL
CONTENTS Focus magazine is published for Dowling Catholic parents,
alumni and donors.
ON THE COVER
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
16 IN EVERY ISSUE 4
| ADVANCEMENT UPDATE
| ON CAMPUS
Check out the latest school happenings.
| WELL DONE
| ACTIVITIES SPOTLIGHT The DCHS band has a season of great accomplishments.
Submit class notes, including your full name and class year, to email@example.com
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
D O WLIN G CATH OLIC H IGH SC HOOL
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.
F O CU S
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
D O WLIN G CATH OLIC H IGH SC HOOL
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.
F O CU S
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!”
D O WLIN G CATH OLIC H IGH SC HOOL
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
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
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.”
THE ART OF TEACHING
“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,
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.
F O CU S
D O WLIN G CATH OLIC H IGH SC HOOL
F O CU S
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.
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
D O WLIN G CATH OLIC H IGH SC HOOL
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
GOONEY BIRD GREENE
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!”
D O WLIN G CATH OLIC H IGH SC HOOL
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 www.dowlingcatholic.org
F O CU S
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 Noahâ€™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 Dowlingâ€™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
D O WLIN G CATH OLIC H IGH SC HOOL
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
recognition of all that he has done for the school, the circle
drive around Dowling Catholic
Mulvihill was the next
was named Deegan Drive in
president, succeeded in
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
D O WLIN G CATH OLIC H IGH SC HOOL
ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME
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:
BEN BOESEN ‘11
AMARA DARBOH `12
ZACH DILLON ‘01
Track, Football, Basketball,
Football, Basketball Track
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.
DEBORAH CONNOR KENNEDY ‘91
SPENCER NAVIN ‘10
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.
F O CU S
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
School in Beaverdale.
place on November 7, 2017, in Des Moines.
nomination criteria. Due Jan. 15, 2018.
D O WLIN G CATH OLIC H IGH SC HOOL
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
F O CU S
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
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
D O WLIN G CATH OLIC H IGH SC HOOL
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
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
PRESIDENT: Dr. Dan Ryan DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT: Staci Burr EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Tara Nelson ART DIRECTOR: Holly Baumgartel CONTRIBUTING WRITER & COPY EDITOR: Carly Triplett CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Holly Baumgartel Colin Gargano Earl Hulst Fritz Nordengren
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.
F O CU S
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$18 Women’s University Tee Champion
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D O WLIN G CATH OLIC H IGH SC HOOL
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Focus magazine is published for Dowling Catholic parents, alumni and donors.