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am grateful to God and to Archbishop Sartain to be completing my 16th year as the school’s chaplain. I cherish the many opportunities to collaborate with our dedicated faculty and staff in serving our current student body and their families. I also relish occasions to visit with our alums at school events, reunions and weddings. For those of you planning to marry in the near future please know that I am here to help you, including celebrating your wedding in our beautiful school chapel. To all of our alums, if you still have not visited the Sammamish campus, please contact me and I will be pleased to give you a personal tour. Once a Crusader, always a Crusader! The passing of time brings inevitable changes, for each of you as well as in the life of Eastside Catholic. While being open to change, I think it is important to stay true to our founding mission—to encourage intellectual excellence, nurture relationships and inspire a life of leadership and service to others. Here at EC, the mission and identity of our school remains constant, even as we seek to apply it to new generations of students. It echoes the vision of Pope Francis when he said, “The main element in a Catholic School is learning to be magnanimous … having a big heart, a greatness of soul and grand ideals. It means doing the little, everyday things with a heart that is open to God and to others.” Our Campus Ministry Department integrates Catholic faith and identity into every aspect of school life through school liturgies, grade level retreats (turn to page 7 to learn more) and frequent opportunities to make a difference through community service. Throughout all of these opportunities, we are reminded daily “to take care of each other.” St. Francis of Assisi … pray for us! Live Jesus in our hearts … forever!

—Father William Heric Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries



n this, my last formal communication as interim president, I wish to convey to you that it has been an honor to serve the EC community during these past eighteen months. As I have stated both privately and publicly, being associated with Eastside Catholic, first as high school principal during the 2010-11 academic year, then as a member of the board of trustees from 2011 through 2013, and currently as the interim president, has allowed me the opportunity to be part of this wonderful community of students, parents and faculty here on the Sammamish Plateau. Each morning as I join Father Heric and others at the top of the stairs to greet our students, it pleases me to see how genuinely happy our students are as they climb the stairs and enter the building to begin the school day. That students feel at ease in their environment is apparent as I observe them in the hallways and during their lunch periods and breaks. When I visit classrooms, the environment takes on a more serious tone, but not a stressful one. I’m not suggesting that this is unique to

Eastside Catholic, but it is definitely unmistakable that our students love their school, respect their teachers and relish the challenges and rigor of their coursework. Eastside Catholic is indeed a special place for students to prepare for their future. During a career that has spanned over five decades, I have held administrative positions in eight different schools, both public and Catholic, as well as serving as the Interim Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Seattle. As I draw nearer to retirement, I cherish the many memories of challenges and accomplishments in each of my roles, yet my time at EC stands out—EC has been a very special place for me. I will always remember my time at Eastside Catholic and count the many blessings I received here. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this outstanding community. Blessings and Peace,

—Tom Lord Interim President



Servant Leadership


was blessed to be born in a time when children could wake up on a Saturday morning, pack a sack lunch and go explore in the woods until dinner time. We were free to discover the wonders of the natural world. Because of this, I developed a life-long interest in the environment. I have also had a life-long desire to do mission work. When I saw that the Maryknoll Missionaries were hosting an immersion trip to Haiti, I knew I had to go. Haiti has suffered terrible deforestation and a subsequent fresh water crisis, which has been exacerbated by the devastating earthquake in 2010. I don’t want to focus on the problems in Haiti, I will leave that to the journalists and newscasters. Instead, I want to share the good things I witnessed during my week-long visit. While in Haiti, I was completely “unplugged,” so I was free to experience the sights and sounds of the communities I visited without the distractions of phones and computers. One of the highlights of my visit was seeing children who treasure the chance to sit at a desk and listen to a teacher sharing a lesson despite the challenges of being there. Children are placed in grade levels based on the number of years that they have been in school, not their age. To attend school, parents must pay school fees and the children are required to wear a school uniform. Unfortunately, if these criteria are not met, children must stay home. The children I met had walked miles to school on empty stomachs—their 6

only meal would be lunch at the school—and study under street lamps if they are on in the evening. Many students will never attend school beyond this point even though they are bright, hardworking and eager to continue their education. Attending Mass at 6:30 a.m. in a packed church where everyone sang and prayed—where Mass was the focus of the day, not another thing on a to do list—was a joyful occasion. Everywhere there are signs of hope. Everywhere there are Haitians trying to improve the living conditions of their fellow citizens. I met teachers who come to class every day to take care of their students even though they have not been paid in eight months. I met artisans who encouraged me to buy one thing from them and something else from their neighbor so that each of them would earn a small amount that day. Their faith in God is stronger than anything I have witnessed. Who will heal Haiti? The Haitian people will if they can just get back on their feet. We can reach out and lend them that hand that will help them up, whether that means spending time in the country or sending much needed supplies or funding. The needs of the Haitian children are basic—food, clean water, education and opportunity. I went to Haiti without any preconceived views. I left with a great sense of peace. I have always treasured the prayer “may people come to know Jesus because you are in their lives.” I came to know Jesus because the Haitian people I met came into my life.

This retreat focuses on community. The day is spent at Camp Don Bosco in Carnation and is led by high school student leaders and middle school faculty. The experience allows the students to bond together as they consider the roles that community and teamwork play in their lives. Seventh graders also participate in a day-long retreat at Camp Don Bosco. With the assistance of high school student leaders and middle school faculty, the students explore the concept of ‘Who Am I?’ Students examine their own identity as an individual, as part of the EC community and as part of the Christian community. Students explore what it means to be a leader during this daylong retreat. Held at Camp Hamilton in Monroe, students participate in outdoor activities and challenges including a ropes course. Other group activities expand the students’ view of themselves as leaders in life and in faith. Agape, which means unconditional selfless love, is the focus of this retreat for freshmen. Students work to strengthen class ties and develop their spirituality in order to be more mindful in their daily lives. This day-long retreat is led by upperclassmen at Camp Don Bosco. The sophomore retreat focuses on cultivating a school community centered around the theme of REACH: respect, engagement, agape, community and honesty. The retreat is also held at Camp Don Bosco.

The Destiny retreat provides an opportunity for juniors and seniors to grow in love and respect for themselves, others and God through small group discussions, activities, reflection, prayer, and student-leader talks. Held at Fort Flagler on the Olympic Peninsula, Destiny is a student-led and planned retreat. Begun in 1983, many students have said that Destiny was one of the highlights of their school experience. The Emmaus retreat, established in 2013, builds off the Destiny experience by providing seniors the opportunity to explore the ways in which their relationship with God manifests in their relationships with others. Students reflect upon their years at school and the friendships and relationships they have developed. Held early each school year, the Senior Pilgrimage is a 15 mile hike interspersed with prayer, discussion, activities and games. On the hike, students carry the Senior Pilgrimage Cross which resides in the Chapel during the school year. The cross displays a pendant from every senior class that has completed the pilgrimage since the retreat’s inception in 1982. The retreat is intended as a way for the students to reflect upon their EC experience and to prepare themselves for their final year on campus. EC MAGAZINE SUMMER 2015


Tom Lord’s experience with Eastside Catholic began in 2010 when he was selected as the interim principal for the high school. Tom was invited to join the EC board of trustees in Fall 2012. In July 2014, the board of trustees selected Tom as interim president of Eastside Catholic School. Tom has more than 50 years of educational experience, as a teacher and counselor, and in several senior leadership roles, including interim superintendent of Catholic schools for the Seattle Archdiocese, vice principal at Mercer Junior High, principal at Nathan Hale High School and Meany Middle School, headmaster at Villa Academy and interim president of Archbishop Murphy High School. As a testament to his outstanding contributions to Catholic schools, he was honored two years ago by the Fulcrum Foundation as a recipient of the 2013 Archbishop’s Award. A product of Catholic education, Tom is a graduate of O’Dea High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in educational administration from Seattle University. As he heads into retirement, Tom said the two things he will miss most “are the daily opportunities to interact with students and faculty and the structure that working provides in a person’s life.” Tom and his wife, Mary Pat, will celebrate 55 years of marriage on June 11. They are active members of St. Mark’s parish in Shoreline and are blessed with four children and 10 grandchildren. Tom said, “We are looking forward to spending more time with each of them before they become too old for Papa and Nana.”


Polly Skinner

joined EC middle school as principal in 2010. Previously she served as a member of the EC board of trustees for two years. In 2013, when the school reorganized the administrative structure, Polly was appointed principal of grades 6-12. Polly’s extensive school administrative knowledge and experience, as well as her academic leadership skills, encompass 40 years in Catholic education at the middle school and high school grade levels. Her teaching and leadership roles include serving as the director of the middle school at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, as principal at St. Benedict School and as head of school at Villa Academy. In recognition of her contributions to academic excellence at Villa Academy, the school library is now known as the Polly Skinner Library. Polly is a graduate of Our Lady of the Elms Academy, a Dominican girls high school in Akron, Ohio. She holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies and history from The Ohio State University, and a master’s in educational leadership from Seattle University. Polly and her husband, Lloyd, look forward to “cruising the Intercoastal Waterway, hiking to the top of Mt. Dickerman, catching up on a myriad of projects around the house, taking cooking lessons, volunteering at St. James Parish, traveling and building our bucket lists.” Polly said, “I will miss the people at EC—the students are fantastic to be around, the parents are welcoming and inclusive, the faculty and staff work incredibly hard and go the extra mile for our students. It is really all about the people and the community.”

e are very pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. John T. Kennedy to the office of President for Eastside Catholic School as he officially joins our Crusader community this July. Mr. Kennedy currently serves as Assistant Headmaster at Wakefield School, an independent, co-ed, college preparatory school located 45 miles west of Washington, D.C. “With over 25 years of school administrative experience and a deep Catholic faith, we believe Mr. Kennedy is the right person to guide and strengthen the Mission and Touchstones of Eastside Catholic School,” said Board of Trustee Co-Chairs Jim Alling and Kurt Reasoner. “The opportunity to represent Eastside Catholic’s distinguishing characteristics of academic excellence, relationships and servant leadership is an honor. To be able to address topics with a global perspective and a commitment to providing educational opportunities for students of varied cultural, religious, educational and economic backgrounds is exciting. Very few schools can match the quality of faculty, staff and students as well as community support and involvement that are clearly evident at EC.” Mr. Kennedy has benefited from a Catholic education starting in grade school, through high school and college/university work. He earned a Master in Education Leadership from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from Niagara University, New York with additional course work at Manhattan College, Georgia Southern University and Vanderbilt University. On September 9, please join us on campus for the Presidential Installation Ceremony at the Mass of the Holy Spirit presided over by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain.



EACH SPRING, the sixth grade class travels to the Olympic National Park to explore nature and science through a unique hands-on experience. Since the 2008 opening of the middle school, each sixth grade class has experienced this special three-day trip which promotes learning and the building of relationships outside of the classroom. This rite of passage serves as a memorable trip that is often a highlight of the year for students and teachers alike. A typical day is composed of canoeing, team challenges and field studies of plant and animal species. Meanwhile, students strengthen bonds with classmates and teachers within the beautiful setting of the Olympic National Park. This tradition has become an essential part of the Eastside Catholic middle school experience and will continue to impact students in the future.


AS A SENIOR at Eastside Catholic, this was my third year competing in DECA—an international business club designed to teach students key leadership skills including consensus building and project management. Eastside Catholic has participated in DECA events since 2010 beginning with a team of 22 students. Now, five years later, the EC DECA club, which is part of the marketing and accounting classes, has grown to include 86 students. As a club member, I’ve had the opportunity to showcase my knowledge through local DECA competitions. Students can participate through one of two paths in a competition: an interactive component (or role play) or a written component. The interactive component involves completing a 100-question multiple choice test on a chosen topic (e.g., sports marketing, hospitality and tourism or automotive industries, to name a few) and then participating in one of 20 role-play activities. For role play, students are given 10-20 minutes to prepare a 5-10 minute presentation based on their given topic and a team of judges scores the students’ ability to address pre-defined performance indicators. For the past two years my DECA partner Jake Stewart Steele and I competed in the Entrepreneurship category through the written component. For this competition, we were required to develop an innovative new product or service and write a 30-page manual outlining management, operation, promotion, financials and all the other elements that any real world business has to

worry about when they are starting up. Manuals are graded by DECA judges and must score at least 45 out of 60 points to compete at the state competition. Jake and I were able to present at the state level both years. At this year’s state competition, we presented a 10 minute business proposal and answered five minutes of questions. The top competitors in each category were awarded a spot in the international competition which was held this year in Orlando, Florida. Although we scored well on our entry, we did not make the cut to move on. Five members of our DECA team did advance to the international competition where they competed against more than 11,000 students. Jack Morgan and Drew Charters advanced to the top 20 finalists and Drew went on to earn international recognition for scoring in the top 10 in his category. In the DECA world, he won! Regardless of where we and others finished in the competition, DECA is a great platform to get a head start on business. The competitions sharpen your creativity skills by forcing you to develop interesting ideas to wow the judges. During competitions, judges typically don’t provide feedback or give any sort of hint of emotion to indicate how you are doing, so you must learn to carry on with the confidence that your idea is the best. This confidence and the ability to speak in front of people and be composed under pressure are some of the best things I gained from the club. Overall, DECA was terrific learning experience for me and I know the skills I’ve gained will help me in college and beyond.



I have been in education for 25 years as a classroom teacher, a mentor teacher, a professional development facilitator and a National Science Foundation grant project coordinator. I have been the EC Middle School Mathematics Department Chair for seven years. Prior to education, I worked for almost ten years in a chemistry laboratory at Teledyne Wah Chang in Albany, Oregon.

Yes, Barbara Jean Williams, an English and creative writing teacher I had during my early college years, was a large influence.


Barbara Jean taught and modeled for me what it means to be open, honest and fearless in seeking understanding of myself and our world. Learning is more than an academic process; it is about making meaning of our experiences and our world. When I plan units and teach lessons, I am always focused on the “so what.� If I cannot articulate why what I am teaching is relevant and important to our world and the lives of my students, then I do not teach it.

Three things stand out for me: 1) I get to be present during the process when students figure out amazing things about

their world, themselves, and the academic disciplines. It is like seeing time lapse photography of a flower blooming. 2) I create and design learning environments and experiences. Nothing beats the act of creating something meaningful, beautiful and at times magical. 3) I have the opportunity to learn new things. Every day I figure out something I did not know before through students’ insight and questions, through my research into content and instructional strategies and through insights my colleagues share.

What benefits do you see in students who have participated in Middle School Robotics? Robotics provides a tangible experience for students to see the impact of their scientific, technological and mathematical

knowledge and skills. For example, when they use their understanding of coding, unit rates and gears to attempt a complex task, they receive immediate feedback on their understanding by the way the robot performs. This supports refinement of their ideas and skills. They also gain a different perspective on the importance of the content they are learning.

1) I let my passion for mathematics show and I try to communicate why I feel joy in mathematics. Real passion is infectious. 2) I support students in connecting mathematics to things they care about or to things they know are important in our world. 3) For every major concept and skill, I facilitate the development and use

of models that students can analyze and use to make sense of the mathematics we are studying. Models allow students to see these kinds of details so they can create explanations for why things work the way they do. 4) I allow students to do real work through developing strategies and arguments and by producing technical reports to real audiences. Academic maturity develops when students are given responsibility. This is true about personal character as well.

Great joy and progress in anything comes from digging in and working hard. Develop the habit of being really present in your learning experiences so that you can hear your own ideas and

questions and the ideas and questions of those around you. Focus on taking the next small step and celebrate the cool stuff you and others accomplish and figure out. My family always goes out to our favorite restaurant and orders pie for dessert.

Yes, by Galileo (1623): “That vast book which stands forever open before our eyes, the universe, cannot be read until we have learned the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, without which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word.�




ONE OF THE THINGS that the Eastside Catholic community does well is celebrate. This continues to be true, even after 30 years of joining together to raise funds to support students and school programs at the STARS Gala Auction. This milestone year was memorable, for all the right reasons— reconnecting with old friends, making new friends and enjoying an entertaining evening with 500 guests. For the first time in recent years, the

raise the paddle moment was dedicated to expand professional development opportunities for our teachers. Recognizing that our students’ academic achievements and educational experiences benefit directly from our teachers’ continuing professional development, the EC community generously supported the initiative. Bringing back a tradition, this year auction guests enjoyed music and dancing after the auction thanks to the generosity of

the EC Boosters. And in the spirit of creating traditions, a reception exclusive to alumni was held prior to the auction, thanks to the generous support of Jeff Clark and Marie Boding. Be sure to receive your exclusive alumni reception invitation next year—see Class Notes to update your information.



Photo courtesy of Connor Johnson

ALTHOUGH RYAN SULLIVAN ’12 grew up playing with disposable and small point-and-shoot cameras, his interest in photography sparked watching his older brother Danny ’08, photograph and produce images. While in high school, Ryan was enrolled in a digital photography class that left a lasting impact. Ryan recalled, “[EC Art Teacher] Ms. McDermott held me to a high standard, very aware of my passion for photography. She inspired me to push the level of my work.” Ryan enjoyed the tight-knit community at EC and the friendships he made, “I still stay in touch with my close friends from high school and I know some of those friendships will last forever.” Now a junior at Gonzaga University, Ryan’s photography has been featured in various Gonzaga publications including the school newspaper and magazine, and impressively one of

his photographs will be showcased as a permanent mural next year in a new student center at Gonzaga currently under construction. Ryan is the photo editor this year for student publications, managing a staff of photographers and planning yearbook layouts. He also works as a freelance photographer for the university’s marketing and communications department and other clients. In March, he had the amazing opportunity to travel with the Gonzaga men’s basketball team to photograph their NCAA tournament games. Ryan’s future plans include completing his bachelor’s degree in business administration with concentrations in finance and marketing. He also has career aspirations relating to photography and marketing. “I don’t want to set my sights on just one job or company once I graduate, but instead want to explore where my education and experiences can best be used.”

Check out Ryan’s work at EC MAGAZINE SUMMER 2015



IN MEMORIAM To the following members of our EC community who have died, but whose spirits live on always in our hearts.

Frank Cline, Alumni Parent Rick Galanti ’96 Jennie Pearson ’02 Elizabeth Thybulle, Parent EC MAGAZINE SUMMER 2015


Eastside Catholic School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship, tuition assistance and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

EC Magazine Summer 2015  
EC Magazine Summer 2015