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Magazine of the Academy of Our Lady of Mercy | Lauralton Hall

spring 2014


Lauralton Hallmarks Spring 2014 Volume 41, Number 1 President Antoinette Iadarola, Ph.D. Principal Ann Pratson Academic Dean Cynthia Gallant Director of Enrollment Management Kathleen O. Shine Executive Director of Development Lisa M. Hottin Director of Finance and Administration Vincent L. Vigliotti Alumnae Relations Director Kathleen Kearns Donahue ’80 Marketing Coordinator Jessica Auscavitch


President’s Letter


In The News


Learning Through Interning

12 15

Aspiring Musical Theater Actress


Lauralton Wins State Basketball Title


Where Are Lauralton Alumnae?


Faculty & Staff News


Carriage Barn Challenge


Class Notes


Dearly Departed

Students Partner with Alumna

Contributing Writers Jessica Auscavitch Beverly Catchpole Kathleen Kearns Donahue ’80 John Powers Photography Tricia Bohan Creosote Affects Catherine Fiehn Michael Marsland Tyler Sizemore Mara Lavitt Mike Davino Publisher Acara Partners Lauralton Hallmarks is published twice a year for alumnae, parents, faculty, staff and friends of the Lauralton community. © 2014 Lauralton Hall, Academy of Our Lady of Mercy. Please send address changes to Lauralton Hall, 200 High Street Milford, Connecticut 06460, Attention: Lauralton Hallmarks. Letters to the editor can be sent to the above address or by email to Alumnae are encouraged to submit articles, information and photographs to Kathleen Donahue ’80 to the above address or by email to

find us on:


Letter from the President Dear Friends: If I was allowed one phrase to describe the dynamic experience of being educated at Lauralton Hall, it would be “learn by doing.” Our students are encouraged to think for themselves, to ask questions, to investigate and to get out into the world to experience things personally and make a difference. We all know it is a privilege for a young woman to receive a Lauralton Hall education, and to me, the most important aspect is for them to become a part of our very special community. That includes developing a bond with fellow students and alumnae that last for a lifetime. We work very hard to continually provide opportunities for current students to develop meaningful and enriching relationships with those who have already graduated and gone on to impact so many different fields. This interaction with alumnae includes everything from advice and encouragement on college selections, to providing connections to help our students with amazing shadowing, mentoring and internship opportunities.

“If I was allowed one phrase to describe the dynamic experience of being educated at Lauralton Hall, it would be “learn by doing.”

This issue of Hallmarks highlights two wonderful examples of outstanding Lauralton Hall students connecting with alumnae and securing a prestigious internship and workshop experience. Ann Marie Guzzi ’14 spent last summer working in an organic chemistry laboratory at Yale University School of Medicine, and Brenna Donahue ’14 was selected to be part of the highly competitive Goodspeed Audition Intensive three years in a row. Both are outstanding students and young women, and both are part of this very special Lauralton Hall community that has helped and encouraged them to “learn by doing”. You will want to take a few minutes and read more about Ann Marie and Brenna starting on page 9. And don’t miss the exciting article on page 19 detailing our first-ever state basketball championship! There is a rich tradition and heritage at Lauralton Hall that is hard to explain. It is a connection uniting generations who share a mutual experience of having learned, grown, explored and matured within the context of the school. I invite you to come visit, to get involved and be part of the Lauralton Hall experience. With warm regards,

Antoinette (Toni) Iadarola, Ph.D. President


In The News Trash Free Lunch Marathon The Environmental Club helped raise awareness for the month of November’s America Recycles campaign by holding its ninth annual trash free lunch marathon. Over the course of three days, students and faculty brought in lunches in reusable and permanent containers—even flatware and a cloth napkin—to eliminate the accumulation of trash. This year, club members added a new dimension by donating prizes made from recycled or repurposed materials. For each permanent, sustainable item that students carried with them, they received a raffle ticket

that could qualify for items at the “prize table” such as recycled notebooks, handmade jewelry, lip balm, organic bath soaps, reusable bags and other handmade recycled items. The school also installed water fountains that fill reusable bottles with filtered water, and LH has passed the 17,000 mark, or the number of plastic water bottles saved from land fill! “The turnout for this event was phenomenal,” commented club member Colleen Bradley ’16. “It was reassuring to see how many people were lined up all three days to help the environment.”

Seniors Celebrate  at “100 Days Dinner” The Class of 2014 celebrated at the traditional “100 Days Dinner” on February 26. Festivities began with a welcome by Senior Class President Sarah Parlato ’14. She reminded classmates that the dinner marks the beginning of the senior year-end activities, and the importance of the next few weeks for the class. Elizabeth Getts ’14 shared a special blessing before the students enjoyed dinner together. Grand Hypnotist Dan LaRosa returned to Lauralton again this year to entertain. At the end of the night, the seniors received the time capsule letters that they had written freshman year. The letters brought back lots of memories, along with some laughter and tears.


LH CARES Offers  A Taste of Diversity Students, staff and faculty were treated to an afternoon of international delicacies on February 26 at Taste of Diversity, sponsored by LH CARES (Lauralton Hall Cares and Respects Every Student). The event featured food from diverse ethnicities such as Hispanic, Italian, Polish and American. “Our school is very diverse; we can see that each of us is different, but this tasting event is a chance to talk about our different cultures,” stated Club President Lauren Fraser ’14.

“Souper Bowl”  Collection Breaks  School Record The National Honor Society sponsored the school’s annual “Souper Bowl” soup can drive for area shelters. Throughout the week leading up to the Super Bowl in early February, homerooms collected 1,653 cans of soup, a new school record! The soup was distributed to area shelters to support the ever-growing need for food donations.


In The News Soldiers Visit to Thank NHS The National Honor Society welcomed two members of the United States Military to the campus on March 6. Army Specialist (SPC) Jordan Belle and SPC Tom Cunningham, both of 344 Military Police Company stationed in Afghanistan, stopped in to meet NHS members and thank them for surprise packages sent to the Middle East at Christmas. Last December, NHS organized a donation drive to collect items for US soldiers overseas. Four large boxes containing snacks, magazines, socks, undershirts, visors, sunglasses, wrapped Christmas presents and other items were collected and sent to the troops. Belle and Cunningham talked about how much these items meant to the soldiers, stating, “the measure of how appreciated and needed the items were was evident by how quickly the boxes were emptied.”  

Science Classes Tour Unilever Labs When it comes to a career in the field of science, most students think of only a few possibilities—doctor, nurse or engineer. In early March, AP Chemistry and Advanced Biology classes learned firsthand how diverse science really is when they had the opportunity to tour the research labs at Unilever in Trumbull. Lauralton students received a personal tour of the facilities by Operations Director, Neil Randle, who showed the students the perfumery labs, the development process of Dove® products, an overview of the way market research is conducted and a tour of the pilot plant. “This trip allowed the students to see that every aspect—from idea and production, to designing the packaging, to sales and decisions—is based on science,” stated Advanced Biology teacher Dr. Susan Cavar ’88. These opportunities in science coincide with Lauralton’s commitment to excellence in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and math—careers in which women are underrepresented.


Student Run Production  of “January Thaw” The student-run production of “January Thaw” premiered Friday, February 7 in the Claven Auditorium before an enthusiastic crowd. Director Kimberly Pritchard ’14, was responsible for selecting the play, casting, props, costumes and keeping the entire cast focused during the eight hours of after-school rehearsals each week. Other students in leadership roles for this production included Assistant Director Elizabeth Martinez ’15 and Lighting and Sound Manager Aubrey Lowe ’14.

Coach Antisdale Honored as Tennis Coach of the Year Former LH head tennis coach Martin “Marty” Antisdale was recently recognized by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association as the 2012–2013 Outstanding Girls Tennis Coach of the Year. Marty coached at Lauralton in 1996 and continued as head coach through the 2013 season. During this time he also coached volleyball and freshman basketball and assisted with the cross country team. “I have enjoyed coaching at Lauralton,” stated Antisdale. “The girls are fine athletes with a determined spirit for winning. We have always combined working hard to achieve our goals with an understanding that it’s also important to have fun.” Marty retired with 236 wins under his belt, and led the team to the state tournament 17 out of his 18 coaching years. “There are no words to describe Marty. He is one of the greatest coaches I’ve had the privilege to play under,” added Meredith Peloso ’14. “He always had a way of putting a smile on everyone’s face. He made Lauralton tennis what it is today, and I could not be more grateful that I had the opportunity to meet such an incredible man.”


In The News AVE Helps Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day In an annual tradition, Lauralton’s Advanced Vocal Ensemble (AVE) performed at the Greater Bridgeport St. Patrick’s Day festivities. AVE sang “Lady of Knock” along with other pieces at the mass held in St. Augustine Cathedral. Following mass, AVE sang the national anthem and the Irish national anthem at the flag raising ceremony at City Hall that kicked off the St. Patrick’s Day parade during which the girls continued to provide musical entertainment.

Former LH Softball Coach Named to Hall of Fame Thomas McDonald, Lauralton softball coach for 18 seasons, was recently inducted into the Connecticut Scholastic and Collegiate Softball Hall of Fame. During his 18 years at the helm of LH softball, Coach McDonald compiled more than 350 wins before his retirement in 2005. He led the Crusaders to the state championship in each of his final two years. Coach McDonald was inducted into the CT Softball Hall of Fame along with seven other inductees at their 25th annual banquet on March 2.


Learning Through Ann Marie Guzzi ’14 Emerging scientist absorbs practical experience and contributes research along the way



nternships and practical experience in a career or profession help more and more high school students prepare for the college admissions process, gain valuable experience and try out fields of study they may wish to pursue. For Ann Marie Guzzi ’14, her paid internship last summer at Yale University’s School of Medicine was much more than that. 2014 HALLMARKS SPRING 9

“I really appreciate coming  to Lauralton Hall. The science  department here is really  strong, and these classes make  you think like a scientist.”  — ann marie guzzi ’14

She was selected to be part of Yale’s prestigious “Discovery to Cure Internship Program”, an opportunity to work at one of the top research universities in the world. Working in the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) lab at Yale, Ann Marie collaborated on a daily basis with a post-doctoral student, two undergrads from Boston College and UConn and another high school student from Connecticut. The program is overseen by Gil Mor, MD, Ph.D., of the Yale Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. “I honestly wasn’t nervous the first day I arrived to work in the lab,” Ann Marie commented. “It was the second day I was very nervous when I realized we would actually be conducting research and not just observing. After three or four weeks, I felt comfortable and in control of the work I was doing.” PET is a non-invasive diagnostic scanning technique that detects biochemical processes, proteins and enzymes in the body. Primarily, this technology is used for diagnosis of cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and more. It is also used to evaluate the effectiveness of drugs and follow the progress of treatment. Ann Marie’s internship in the Yale PET lab ran for six weeks, and required a full time commitment of five days a week for seven hours a day.


Cynthia Kupec Gallatin ’79 10 LAURALTON HALL

“The Discovery to the Cure program is a truly unique and rare opportunity,” added Susan Cavar ’88, Ph.D., science teacher and one of Ann Marie’s mentors. “There are very few research opportunities for high school students, let alone ones of this caliber. It is unheard of for a high school student to be given the chance to participate in actual research of this quality. Lauralton was fortunate to be invited to participate in this competitive program and we were very pleased that a candidate from our school was chosen.” One of the very special aspects of the internship was when Ann Marie and the other high school intern, a student from Haddam-Killingworth High School, were asked to present their research findings to a group of over 100 people at Yale Medical School. The title of their 10 minute presentation was “Synthesis of FEKAP, a Novel PET Tracer Targeting -opioid Receptors”, and included 13 slides filled with graphs, charts and other data associated with their research. “This was really exciting and I felt totally prepared based on the honors biology, chemistry and physics courses I had taken here at Lauralton Hall,” Ann Marie continued. When the opportunity came about for Lauralton students to apply for the Yale internships, teachers immediately thought of Ann Marie as a strong candidate.

Cynthia is the Associate Vice President for Online Learning at Quinnipiac University, where she started “QU Online” in 2001. This department supports online learning for undergraduate degree completion programs, master’s programs and doctoral programs. “Lauralton Hall was one of the best experiences in my life,” stated Gallatin. “The supportive atmosphere at Lauralton provided a wonderful environment for young women to learn and gain confidence. This was a place where we were could grow intellectually and gain the confidence necessary to move to the next stage.”

“She is an intellectual that thrives on a challenge. That is why this rigorous program was a perfect fit for Ann Marie,” said science teacher Jennifer Shea. “Her confidence allowed her to walk into world renowned labs and immediately become a part of that environment. We thought of her as a candidate because of her obvious interest in the sciences and her potential for growth.” In addition to her strong aptitude in science, Ann Marie is also captain of both the lacrosse and volleyball teams, president of Youth and Government (YAG), treasurer of the Environmental Club and a member of both the National Honors Society and the French Club.


Meghan Kerrisk ’04

What does the future hold for Ann Marie after the Yale experience? She is in the process of applying to a number of top university engineering programs with the hope of studying mechanical or biomedical engineering. And like her Yale research experience, she feels prepared for the college experience ahead. “I really appreciate coming to Lauralton Hall,” she concluded. “The science department here is really strong, and these classes make you think like a scientist. The teachers really care for you and want you to succeed, and we are constantly taught how to collaborate and work together.”

Meghan is currently a Ph.D. graduate student at Yale University, studying biochemistry. After her planned graduation this May, Kerrisk will be working for Genentech in San Francisco in a postdoctoral neuroscience research program . “I can say with absolute certainty that I would not be where I am today if I had not attended Lauralton Hall. After taking the entrance exam at Lauralton, I was placed into honors math and science classes, and this was the first time anyone told me I was good at science or math,” she continued. “Lauralton is a truly special environment where my academic drive was fostered and allowed to thrive. The support and academic training I received at LH encouraged me to follow my scientific ambitions.” 2014 HALLMARKS SPRING 11

Brenna Donahue ’14

Aspiring Musical Theater Actress Finds a Home at Lauralton Hall


ery soon we all may see Brenna Donahue ’14 on Broadway, in television or film, or even as a writer or director. The senior is in the process of auditioning and applying to 18 of the top musical theater college programs in the country. It was a connection from alumna Mary Miko ’70 that helped Brenna get involved with the highly selective Goodspeed Opera House Audition Intensive in East Haddam, CT when she was only a sophomore in high school.


Michelle Reynolds Hydeck ’83 12 LAURALTON HALL

Michelle self-published her first children’s book, “Wings Up-All With A Little Help From Our Angels” in 2012, and is currently working on “Wings Down-All About Love” to help children overcome their fears and understand faith. These books are part of a series of Angel Wing themed books that will be published. “Lauralton was all about community,” Hydeck commented. “It was, and still is, all about women helping, supporting, guiding, encouraging, strengthening the faith of and empowering women. It was all about friendship, support and unity. Lauralton and its teachings still run strong through my veins.”

“I wasn’t even going to apply for Goodspeed when I was a sophomore because the program is limited to juniors and seniors,” Brenna said. “But Mary, who works at Goodspeed, knew I was very interested in theater and encouraged me to apply anyway.” “I learned of Brenna and her interest in theater through her mom, Kathleen Kearns Donahue ’80 when we met at an alumnae gathering in Clinton (Kathleen is the Director of Alumnae Relations and Special Events),” Mary said. “This is a very special school and there is a wonderful closeness between alumnae and current students.” Despite the fact that only 20 high school students from across the country are accepted from the pool of applicants for the Goodspeed program, Brenna applied and was thrilled to be selected. “I was nervous my first year attending the program because almost all of the other students were seniors preparing for their college auditions,” she noted. “When I entered the studio to register, Mary heard my name and immediately made the Lauralton connection. She came over to introduce herself and made me feel so welcome and helped ease my nerves. The students and staff were all very supportive and it was a great experience for me.” The Goodspeed Audition Intensive not only helps high school


Elise Valade Cassidy ’79

“This is such a great environment – it is so supportive and encouraging.”  brenna donahue ’14

Elise has been involved in all types of activities with her children’s schools and charity events. She credits Lauralton with giving her the foundation to be the person she is today. “Lauralton has influenced my life by giving me the confidence to make a difference in the world— it was a wonderful place to go to high school. When I think of Lauralton Hall, words come to mind like acceptance, hard work, courage, encouragement, integrity, faith, friendship, laughter, leadership and love. Still to this day, whenever I go back to Lauralton and walk through the doors, I feel like I’ve come home, and I can’t help but smile. I loved going to school there, and as I get older, I realize how lucky I was to have had that opportunity. And I am thrilled that my daughter has chosen that path as well—she’ll be a freshman in September! 2014 HALLMARKS SPRING 13

students with preparing for college musical theater auditions, they also invite the parents to come and meet with staff and attend an information session facilitated by the presenters. “We will have Brent Wagner there, who heads up the musical theater program at the University of Michigan, and parents can ask him directly what schools are looking for in applicants,” Mary added. Since that initial year, Brenna returned to the three-day program at Goodspeed during her junior and senior years. Each session is led by esteemed teaching artists, Broadway professionals and some of the top university professors in the country. Participants like Brenna received personalized coaching in acting, singing and dance to prepare them for college auditions. In addition, Brenna is involved in the musical productions at LH and in the community, and credits Margy Sargent, LH Fine Arts department chair, with helping her to grow in the field. “Mrs. Sargent is extremely helpful to all of us involved in the musicals here at Lauralton Hall,” she added. “We learn so much with each show. Often she will have professional choreographers come in and work with us, which is wonderful!” Brenna has been involved with theatre since she began her formal training in New York City at the age of nine. She is a member of Broadway Artists Alliance professional training program and is an honors student at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Program. “Singing and acting has always been my passion. I was able to pursue my music and acting in addition to my academic course load thanks to the support of my teachers at Lauralton,” Brenna explained. “This is such a great environment —it is so supportive and encouraging. In the classroom we are allowed to speak our mind, and the teachers all help us come out of our shells.”


Nicole Benson ’04


“This is a very special school and  there is a wonderful closeness between alums and current students” mary miko ’70

Nicole is the Choices Team Lead and Nutrition Educator for the Corporate Communications and Community Programs department with the Community Health Network of CT, Inc. They are the administrative service organization (ASO) for the HUSKY health program. “Lauralton Hall meant so much to me – it was a place where I could grow academically and spiritually,” Benson commented. “I am eternally grateful for LH for helping to form these bonds. Often times, my colleagues will point out my attentiveness to detail, organizational skills, and creativity, and when I really stop to think about it, it all comes back to that drive; that drive which was nurtured as a young lady at LH.”

Students Partner with Alumna to “School the World�


groups ver the last two winters, n Hall of students from Lauralto shed have traveled to impoveri help build villages in Guatemala to pact. Not schools and make an im udents surprisingly, returning st imity and faculty report in unan uch more that they received back m than they gave.


“The trip to Guatemala changed my view on life and how I treat others around me,” stated Jamie Rush ’14. “I did not realize how much of an impact it would make on my own life. What’s ironic is that we went there to change their lives, and came back with them having changed ours.” The Guatemala service learning trips began in the winter of 2013 and work through the non-profit School the World, started in late 2009 by Kate Curran ’81. This organization strives to improve the quality of education in the developing world–building schools, training teachers, engaging parents and stocking libraries. School the World is currently working with 29 schools in Guatemala and Honduras. Lauralton is the first high school group to travel to Central America and work with School the World schools. In 2012, Curran had been a speaker at LH’s Career Day, and made a point to speak with Campus Minister Chris Ring about getting the school involved with this mission.


Barbara Leen ’96


“As an alumna of Lauralton, it was natural for me to start there to recruit high school groups to come to Guatemala and start schools,” Curran mentioned. “Lauralton now has three partner schools here that they have funded and supported, and they have created opportunities for other schools to get involved. We now have many high school groups from the Boston area that also help. The Lauralton involvement has had a great influence on other high schools who consider joining this mission. These trips always have an enormous impact on the students.” Spanish teacher Pat Doerr was asked to lead the first group in February of 2013, taking 13 students on the initial mission

Barbara is counsel to the director at the Executive Office for Immigration Review in the United States Department of Justice, and she primarily works on immigration policy issues. She cites her Lauralton education as where she learned how to communicate, how to treat other people and how to think critically about problems faced in life. “I learned some very valuable lessons at Lauralton Hall, including how to express my thoughts in a respectful but assertive manner, which has helped me advance in my career,” Leen added. “I also learned the value of public service and the responsibility that we have to improving our communities, which has influenced my career choices. Teachers at Lauralton saw me as a whole person and were committed to my success, not just as a student, but as a young woman.”

trip. She was well prepared for this opportunity. Doerr had gone on a similar mission trip to Mexico when in college, adopted a child from Paraguay and also traveled to Africa in 2011 with a Catholic Relief Service sponsored group of educators through Lauralton. “All of the students thought they were going to help and change things, when in fact they were each changed,” Doerr commented. “They interacted daily with very poor families who were not sad, but who were happy and enjoyed very close family units. This had a huge impact on the students and many said they tried to spend more time with their own family after they came back home.” After they returned with stories of life-changing experiences, the 2014 trip was capped at 25 students and had a waiting list. “We had five repeat students this year who went with us last year,” added Doerr. “Our students were so happy to see that the school they worked on last year was being maintained, and teachers and students remembered our names.” Social Studies teacher Christine Miller made her first trip to Guatemala in February and witnessed a powerful impact on students.


Merrill Pond ’89

“What’s ironic is that  we went there to  change their lives,  and came back  with them having  changed ours.” jamie rush ’14

Merrill works as senior vice president at the Partnership for New York City, leading the research and policy team. The Partnership for New York City is an organization made up of the leaders of New York City’s top corporate, investment and entrepreneurial firms, with a mission to maintain the city’s position as a global center of commerce and innovation. She is also the president and co-founder of the Brooklyn Children’s Holiday Fund (BCHF), a grassroots, all-volunteer charity that is committed to helping every child, regardless of income, have a happy holiday season. “My time at Lauralton certainly influences my volunteer work in that I am always looking for ways to give back to those less fortunate than I have been in my lifetime,” Pond said. “This was the main reason I co-founded the Brooklyn Children’s Holiday Fund and volunteer at other organizations throughout the year.” 2014 HALLMARKS SPRING 17

“Students have learned a greater global awareness of current issues, things that we as teachers and adults try to impress on our students in classroom lessons,” Miller said. “What they learned was more valuable than any story or image they have seen on the web or in a book. School the World did an amazing job educating our students on these issues, leading discussions and reflections on their experiences and helping them make sense of it all.” Seeing the school the LH group helped launch in 2013 also deeply impacted one of the returning students. “It was wonderful to see the school we started last year,” commented Remi Smith ’15. “It was filled with posters, tables and decorations on the wall, and the kids did dances for us and we played some games. I find it so incredible that they care so much about their school and us.” School the World has a team of people working in Guatemala who help plan and facilitate the LH mission trips, including arranging hotels, food and medical facilities. A typical day for the LH team begins with breakfast at the hotel; travel for 45 minutes to the community worksites in vans; work at the sites including painting, concrete work, some electrical projects, making signs and more; travel to an excursion or back to the hotel; and “high-low” sessions each night. “These high-low sessions, where each student is asked to describe the highs and lows of their day, were always very powerful,” added Doerr. “Most days students couldn’t even


Jenn Nolte ’99


come up with a low moment, and much of the time was spent talking about the positive interactions and bonds formed with the people of the communities during the day. It was very emotional.” “It has been an incredible journey to witness these schools going up, to watch a child holding a book for the very first time and to hear from a teacher that she now has a passion for reading in her school. You can see how transformative this is going to be,” concluded Curran.

“The returning students  were so happy to  see that the school they  worked on last year  was being maintained,  and teachers and  students remembered  our names.” pat doerr, spanish teacher

Jenn is on staff with the Yale University Library IT department, and also works part-time at Gateway Community College Library in New Haven. She volunteers at the New Haven Free Public Library, Lesbian Herstory Archive in Brooklyn and is currently training with the Girl Scouts of America in their mentoring program. “At Lauralton, I met wonderful, smart and loyal friends, some of whom I am still in contact with to this day,” Nolte commented. “Being in an all female environment really allowed me to develop confidence and find my own voice. I definitely credit Lauralton for piquing my interest in sisterhood, feminism and women’s rights.”


Lauralton Takes First State Basketball Title!


auralton Hall won its first Connecticut state basketball championship with a resounding 68-53 victory over South Windsor in the Class LL final at Mohegan Sun Arena on March 22.



Lauralton Basketball Joins Past State Champions

SOFTBALL 2004, 2005, 2008


SWIMMING 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2012

With the victory, the second-seeded Crusaders finished the season with a 29-1 record, and avenged a last-second loss in the state championship game last year to Mercy High School. During that game, Lauralton had thought they had won their first title when it was determined that a timeout had been called and there was still time left on the clock. Mercy took advantage and won the championship on a last-second shot. Coach Amanda Forcucci knew how important this game was to her players


after last year’s heartbreaking loss. “I could not be happier for this group of players,” Forcucci commented. “After last year, playing again at Mohegan Sun Arena, we knew we wanted to leave here as champions.” “Last year did not sit well with us,” Lauralton Hall guard Carly Fabbri ’14 stated. “It was our goal this season to get back to Mohegan Sun and this time win the championship. And that is what we were able to do.”

ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME Taking their cue from the 2012 Crusader’s Swim team who won the State Championship, the Lauralton Hall Basketball team sure got it right and won both the SWC Conference Championship (for the 3rd time in a row) and the CIAC Class LL State Championship. To continue the celebration of successful female athletes at Lauralton Hall, we are pleased to announce the 2014 Lauralton Hall Athletic Hall of Fame inductees:

Amy Lindblom Andre ’95

Colleen Lynch Furlow ’03

Jennifer Kelly Greene ’79

Chris Farren Healey ’67

Jacqueline Catanese Klahold ’96

Alyce E. Merwin ’43 Eight days earlier, the Crusaders had defeated Mercy, 52–43, in the semifinals. Against the fourth-seeded South Windsor team, Emma McCarthy ’14 led Lauralton Hall with a dominant performance including 26 points and 17 rebounds. Fabbri added 15 points and 10 rebounds to the winning effort. After a poor shooting first half (28 percent from the field), LH led 26 –23 at halftime with the help of 15 rebounds. Lauralton ended up outrebounding South Windsor 45 to 25 for the game,

and were 29 of 41 from the free throw line (compared to 8 of 13 for the Bobcats). The game was actually much closer than the score indicated, with South Windsor leading up until there were about two minutes left in the first half. Lauralton was leading 49 –46 with just under 5 minutes left in the game, and the Crusaders then went on to close the game by outscoring South Windsor 19–7 for the final score of 68–53.

We believe sports play an important role in providing the girls at Lauralton Hall with a well-rounded education. Learning to work both individually and as a team is an important quality that will continue to be of good use in the future. Our passionate coaches provide the tools necessary to allow both junior varsity and varsity athletes to excel in their chosen sport and reach their goals. Identifying alumnae athletes as role models, our Crusaders are able to receive the guidance and inspiration they need to become the best athletes they can be and in turn, become role models for new generations of Lauralton athletes. Lauralton Hall school spirit and pride is clearly displayed at every sporting event through support of peers in the stands and is something our girls value very much. We look forward to what the future holds for graduating athletes and are extremely proud of all of their success. Go Crusaders! 2014 HALLMARKS SPRING 21

Global Vision & Responsibilty

Lauralton Alumnae

One can find Lauralton Hall alumnae all over the United States and in fact in many corners of the world!

. . . . . .

UNITED STATES 0-20 2 0-50 5 0-100 1 00-200 2 00-500 3 ,000




Bermuda Brazil Canada Ecuador England France Ireland Italy Japan Netherlands Scotland Spain Switzerland

Puerto Rico


Faculty & Staff

Lauralton Teachers Present at NCGS and CCSU Conferences Science Department Chair Theresa Napolitano (far right) and Science Teacher Jennifer Shea presented a workshop at the National Conference on Girls Education on February 8 in Philadelphia. The conference was sponsored by the National Coalition of Girls Schools (NCGS). Their presentation titled “A Blended Approach to Collaborative Research in Physics and Forensics,” focused on teaching practices to develop 21st century skills—communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and community blend—through varied technologies and learning styles in STEM curriculum. Their workshop was based on their work with the Online School for Girls, in which teachers further investigate the implementation of STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—into current curriculum activities. “We are taking the old style of the typical

textbook learning, which involves reading “Students are given real world problems and answering questions, to a new to be studied from various angles, three-dimensional experience including those outside the field of where students can create virtual and science, such as an economic angle when physical models to study and analyze,” they create proposals, and a digital level stated Napolitano. “This brings to take advantage of modern technology, real life scenarios to the classroom.” as opposed to answering problems from a textbook,” said Shea. “We are able to Students in Forensics and AP Physics empower the students to build strengths learn to apply science to real cases. to use in the world around them.”

Another Lauralton teacher, Miao Hwang, recently presented at the Eighth Annual Central Connecticut State University Conference for Language Teachers. Her presentation, “Vocabulary and TPRS in Chinese Classroom,” provided information on introducing

vocabulary with flash cards, voice thread technique and “Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS).” Hwang discussed her experiences utilizing these methodologies teaching Chinese language in the classroom.


Carriage Barn Challenge Off and Running!


Challenge Grant from Edward E. Ford Foundation will complete exterior restoration

he Edward E. Ford Foundation announced its support of Lauralton Hall’s new Center for the Visual and Performing Arts with a challenge grant of $50,000. The funding will help to complete the exterior restoration of the historic 1864 carriage barn, creating the school’s new Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. The initial phase of restoration was funded through a grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Historic Restoration Fund and a gift from Jim and Mildred Pinto Mooney ’50, P ’73, GP ’11. The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation has also provided funding through their Barn Grant and the Historic Preservation Technical Assistance Grant programs. The first phase of construction consisted of the restoration of the barn’s slate roof, cupola and weathervane. The work also included installation of copper gutters, flashing and reframing of the second story dormers. The Ford Challenge Grant and matching funds will complete Phase I construction and will include the masonry, repointing, replacement of windows and doors, gutters and downspouts. The Ford Challenge requires a 3 to one match, so Lauralton Hall will need to raise at least $150,000 from private donations. “There is a great deal of interest in restoring this structure on our campus,” said President Antoinette Iadarola. “We look at

Help Raise the Barn! The Carriage Barn Challenge ends July 1, 2014

this restoration project as an outgrowth of our school’s environmental sustainability efforts. Our students are very focused on being green and this is just one way of reusing materials and resources. The adaptive reuse of historic structures not only enhances our campus, but also provides an additional contemporary learning space for our students and improves the quality of arts education at Lauralton. It’s a win-win.” This year the City of Milford celebrates its 375th anniversary and Lauralton Hall will mark the Sesquicentennial of its historic campus. The 1864 original Victorian Gothic style carriage barn is a visible reminder of the school’s historic legacy in the community. The campus is listed on both the State and National Historic Registers. “We are confident that we will meet the Ford Challenge,” said Lisa Hottin, Executive Director of Development for the school. “We need to raise $3 for every $1 Ford is contributing. We have received some very generous gifts already and the proceeds from our popular Irish Night event in March was directed to the Challenge match. Our deadline is July 1 and we’ll have a real ‘barn raising’ celebration after that!” To check the progess on the Challenge and for more information go to , or contact Lisa Hottin at 203.877.2786 x129.

july 2014

$115,000 april 2014 january 2014 october 2013 july 2013










Carol Guzzi is proud to report that her granddaughter, Kyle Rehm, daughter of Lisa Rehm Sorrentino ’76, has relocated her business, Fresh Salon, to 49 River Street, Milford.


Michelle Reynolds Hydeck has published a book, Wings Up-All With A Little Help From Our Angels. Wings Up, Two simple words, that when whispered together, help children take the “spiritual flight” toward prayer, overcome their fears and find faith and light in the dark hours of the night... All With A Little Help From Their Angels. Michelle decided to share her first children’s book, Wings Up with the world, because she genuinely Mary Etta Higgins, RSM, Life and Ministry wants her daughter, Emma and Administrator at Connecticut Sisters of Mercy, celebrated 50 children everywhere to begin their years of religious life with mass and a reception on September spiritual journey early, without fear 22, the day the Sisters also celebrated Mercy Day, in honor or hesitation. She also hopes her of the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley. efforts to write and follow her lifelong dream to finally fly will ’58 Kathleen Spencer Sargent, 1993 Claven recipient and teach Emma, early on, to do the member of the Alumnae Executive Board, is thrilled that same. Michelle Hydeck is a lifelong her granddaughter Caroline Sargent ’18, will join her sister resident of Milford, where she lives Elizabeth Sargent ’15, as a Lauralton student in the fall. with her daughter, Emma. Kathleen joined the girls, along with their mother Margy Sargent, Lauralton’s Music Director, at the annual Legacy Reception for incoming students. Along with the Sargent Kara Krysynski Justo, member of the Alumnae girls, their cousin and Kathleen’s grandniece, Julia Rose  Executive Board and 1989 Reunion Team, recently enjoyed the Rachel ’18, granddaughter of Sheila Reidy Sargent ’59, Legacy Reception for incoming students with her daughters, will also be attending. All of the girls are very excited about Alexandria ’18 and Amelia Justo ’15. Kara was excited joining the Lauralton community in the fall and continuing that classmate and fellow Alumnae Executive Board member their family legacy. Marie Argentino Price ’89, will also have a daughter in the Class of 2018, Marina Price.



LH friends gather at the Legacy Reception. left to right: Kara Justo ’89 with Alexandra ’18 & Amelia ’15, Wanda Clark Picagli ’88 with Riana ’18, Marie Argentino Price ’89 with Marina ’18 and Christine Matthews Paine ’88 with Katie ’18.

Left to right: Elizabeth, Kathleen and Caroline 2014 HALLMARKS SPRING 25

’89 Kelly Shand writes that she has left Yale and moved away from CT. She decided to study for another Master’s degree. This time it’s in Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland where she will remain for a year while she completes the degree. By next fall she’ll have an M.Litt. and “hopefully a cool job”. Kelly is seen here at Hogmanay in Edinburgh (AKA New Year’s Eve). She comments, that this was the early part of the evening on Princes Street and was by far the best New Year’s Eve celebration she has ever attended!


Bronwen Baumgardner, daughter of Colleen Reidy Baumgardner ’63, wed David Sanders in Princeton, New Jersey, February 22, 2014.


Kara Valentine Wiegand was listed as a Threads Sales Consultant in our last issue of Hallmarks instead of the owner/founder of the company. Threads Worldwide is a company leveraging the power of community and commerce to provide women, both domestically and abroad, the opportunity to earn a consistent income by creating and selling their line of fair trade jewelry and accessories. Their vision is a world where every person has the opportunity to provide for their families and contribute to our global community. Kara remarked that owning a successful social enterprise that supports women living in poverty is something that she is very proud of and something that she believes will inspire and engage the Lauralton community. For further information on Kara’s work, please visit .


Erin Kinney Bodnovich and husband John welcomed daughter, Lenore Dorothy, on December 2, 2013. Lenore weighed in at 8 pounds 9 ounces; and was 21 and 1/2 inches long. Proud grandmother is Cynthia Smith Kinney ’66, Lauralton Board of Trustee member.



Shannon O’Neill Pierce and husband Mike are happy to share the news of their second daughter’s birth. Nora Kathryn Pierce arrived on November 8, 2013. Big sister Claire (2) is enjoying her new baby sister!


Rachel Reese received the prestigious honor of being named to Connecticut Magazine/February 2014 issue/40 Under 40: Class of 2014. Rachel is the Executive Director of Volunteer Square, a nonprofit organization that matches those looking to do volunteer work with more than 100 local charitable organizations. In addition to sitting on the boards of Family Centers in Greenwich, the Family & Children’s Agency in Norwalk and the Peter Wojtecki Veteran Housing Foundation in New Canaan, she also volunteers at both Family Centers and Family & Children’s Agency as well as Person-to-Person in Darien. She also blogs regularly for the Darien Patch, sharing her insights on volunteering.


Alena Mazotas, was recently profiled in Providence College’s alumni newsletter. After graduating from Providence College as a Computer Science Major in 2005, Alena helped with her family’s online store, including building a website. She then worked for the Connecticut chapter of the Make-AWish Foundation. In 2009 she enrolled in the MBA program at American International College, studying in London (where she also studied during her junior year at PC) and interning in the IT department of M&G Investments. She is currently working for Save the Children as the resident Pinja, growing the organization’s following on Pinterest. She also works on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+. She stated, “I love what I do and I work for a great company with a worthwhile mission. It is funny to think that this job never existed while I was in college. I think Facebook only came to PC my senior year. I never could have guessed that this would be my career path. I love being on the edge of new technology, it is an exciting place to be. I also really enjoy working for a cause. I think my time at PC really helped me figure out my love of technology and helped me pair it with a sense of service to devote my time to give back to others.”


Eileen Flaherty married William C. Moore, Jr., on September 28, 2013 and was thrilled to have several Lauralton alums attend the nuptials. Eileen and William reside in Quincy, MA.

’03 Meaghan Catherine Keane, graduated from Providence College with a degree in English and a minor in Business from PC’s Honors Program. She eventually realized that her calling was nursing, and she graduated from Fairfield U’s Accelerated Nursing program while working at Yale. She is currently working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and is chronicling her experiences in the following blog: http://


Meghan Kerrisk is engaged to Tom Campbell. Meghan is a Ph.D. candidate at Yale working in biophysics and biochemistry. ’04 Alexandra Filanowski is engaged to Stephen Sullivan and is planning a wedding in the Lauralton Chapel. Alexandra is currently working in New York City for G-III Apparel Group and is a Sales Executive for Ellen Tracy Dresses.


Heather Collucci, a school teacher, is engaged to Matthew Brown and is planning on celebrating her nuptials in the Lauralton Chapel.

Lauralton alums in the picture are Jessica Henesy ’03 (all the way on the left), Kathleen Flaherty ’07 (fifth from right), and Mary Patrikios Dobson ’03 (second from the right).

’06 Ashley Gray, a graduate of Salve Regina University with a degree in Finance, is employed in Stamford at Elira LLC, a financial advisory services company. Ashley recently volunteered at Lauralton’s Vines and Steins event and enjoyed the recent Fairfield alumnae networking event. ’06 Kiersten Morsanutto is engaged to wed Conor Halstead next year at Lauralton. ’06 Nicole Seawright, a graduate of the Quinnipiac School of Law, has passed the CT State Bar Exam and will now be clerking for the Stamford Superior Court. Nicole, and several classmates, enjoyed the Recent Alumnae Gathering held in Fairfield.


Carly Lind moved to Los Angeles about a year ago as an independent electronic pop singer who had a blueprint of how she wanted her music to sound. Now, one year later, she has a collection of songs that are ready to be heard. Visit to hear her latest release, Haunted House - Nyxx (prod. Akoustik) and to view her other work. Carly is planning to complete an EP (extended play album) paired with visuals from favorite tracks off the EP.



’10 Sarah Macone is a senior at Southern Connecticut State University, studying exercise science with a certification to teach physical education and health. In November, she was chosen by her professors as one of two students from SCSU to receive the Outstanding Future Professional Award, for her academic and professional achievements, presented at the CTAHPERD conference (Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance). There were six outstanding future professionals chosen from three universities in Connecticut for CTAHPERD. After the CTAHPERD event, she was chosen from the six to represent the state at the Eastern District Association Convention. While at the EDA convention in Newport, Rhode Island, Sarah ran into Lauralton’s PE/ Health Department Chair, Mrs. Peg McGowan, who is also a member of CTAHPERD. Sarah also received the Gibson Laemel Scholarship.

Asia Pulse graduated from the University of Bridgeport in May with a double major in Psychology and Human Services. She has returned to UB for her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, after which she will start her hours for licensure. Over the summer, she traveled to Europe and spent time in Rome to experience the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. She also spent time at the Coliseum and the Trevi Fountain. Asia remarked, “The artwork and architecture of the Vatican and St. Peter’s was unlike Maria Palacios is studying at the College of the Holy anything I’ve ever seen! Pictures simply cannot do it justice. Cross and has been elected co-chair of the Latin American There was an unexplainable peace and serenity when Student Organization. walking through the Sistine Chapel.”



Adalynn Geer, a senior at Bentley College, just accepted a job as a software developer with Fidelity Investments. ’10 Jessica Kline, a senior at Bryant University, is thrilled to report that she accepted a job offer with the fastest growing tech company, EMC 2, and will be working with the Marketing Development Programs following her graduation. ’10 April-Ann Marshall, granddaughter of Norma Quatrella Marshall ’49, a senior at Loyola University Maryland, is excited to announce that she was accepted to Teach for America in Baltimore. ’10 Kate Steele, a student at Boston College, is spending her spring break leading a service trip to Appalachia. Kate was also able to experience the study abroad program in Bath, England.


’11 Sofia Tavares Zlock is studying Business with a concentration in Marketing at Boston University’s School of Management.


Micaela Kwochka, daughter of Nora Morrell Kwochka ’81 and granddaughter of Norreen Earle Morrell ’54 has continued her sisterhood by joining Alpha Sorority at Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. ’12 Megan McDevitt recently stopped in to Lauralton for a visit. She is currently studying at Housatonic Community College working on her teaching certificate for early childhood education. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is looking forward to working in a pre-school.


Julia Elia has been enjoying her time at Brown University. Her main concentration of study has been psychology and music. She has kept active by joining a Social Psychology Lab and working at a Providence radio station. Julia has been involved with Chikumbuso Women and Orphans Project. Chikumbuso, which means remembrance, is a grassroots project in Ng’ombe, Zambia, which provides an alternative lifestyle to the most vulnerable women and children in the township. Chikumbuso provides free schooling for the children, as well as adult training and capacity building, income generation activities and community building programs. ’13 Emma Soviero is a film major at Quinnipiac University and is a member of the Quinnipiac Radio production team. ’13 Deirdre Wells is a student at Keene State University in the Occupational Health and Safety Program.

Send us your news, photos and updates! Keep the Lauralton family up to date with your latest news—whether it’s a new job, promotion, special honors or achievements, marriage, births, adoptions, travels or even just a message to your class. We’d love to publish it in the next issue of Hallmarks magazine. Keep us up-to-date on your address, email and phone changes.

Dearly Departed Alumnae

’50 Mildred Mooney Davey, 1982 Claven Recipient, March 4, 2014. ’61 Kathleen McEllroy Pechkis, January 30, 2014. ’64 Lenore Serritella Daninhirsch, sister of Mary Lou Serritella Sewell ’62, and aunt of Katherine Sewell Wetmore ’96, January 2, 2014. ’64 Sara O’Neil Maslin, November 17, 2013. ’73 Mary Elizabeth McDonnell Plyler, December 30, 2012. ’74 Susan Shola, sister of Micheline Shola ’76, January 20, 2014. ’77 Debra Ann Bier Oldack, April 22, 2013.

Friends and Family

Kathy DeBernardis, mother of Caroline DeBernardis ’17, November 15, 2013. Charlotte Bruney, former Lauralton faculty, January 2014. Barbara Whitcher, mother of Marianne Whitcher Dill ’82, February 7, 2014. Dorothy Halas, mother of Mary Halas Scott ’68, Barbara Joan Halas ’77, and Elizabeth Halas Lenz ’81, December 9, 2013. William J. Thibodeau, husband of Bonnie Bergin Thibodeau ’62, father of Sr. Megan Mary Thibodeau, SOLT, ’91 and Susan Thibodeau Young ’94, November 20, 2013. Stanley G. Bernaski, husband of Virginia Hein Bernaski ’45, father of Lauralton faculty member Susan Bernaski Cavar, Ph.D. ’88, October 31, 2013. Mary Donovan Fedor, grandmother of Madison Kustom ’15, February 22, 2014. Dr. Charles F. O’Donnell, Sr., father of Lauralton’s Technology Coordinator, Charles O’Donnell, Jr., January 23, 2014. Catherine Phelan, mother of the late Catherine Phelan ’73, Jane Phelan Hill ’74, Theresa Phelan Pauloski ’77, Jacqueline Phelan Wydra ’82 and Tracey Phelan Williams ’86, January 21, 2014. Patricia Weiss Porter, mother of Tricia Porter Sullivan ’83, January 17, 2014. Sheila Murray Russo, mother of Dawn Russo Crotty ’70 and Robin Russo Valle ’74, January 15, 2014. Ruth Sturman, sister of Dorothy Synkewecz, RSM, Lauralton’s Outreach Coordinator, August 1, 2013. Mary Salce, mother of Mary Ann Salce Brunetto ’59, December 22, 2013.


New York City Reception wednesday, may 7, at 6:00 pm rubin museum of art, 150 west 17 street new york city

All alumnae are invited to attend this special alumnae gathering at the Rubin Museum of Art located in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City on 17th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. Join us for Himalayan Happy Hour— an artful after-work gathering at Café Serai with live music. Unwind over a glass of wine or pot of tea while enjoying savories and sweets. A great time to meet with area alumnae for networking opportunities and to catch up on all that has been happening at Lauralton Hall.

There is a cash bar available and hors d’oeuvres will be provided or you can order off the menu on your own. Lauralton alums and their guests will have the opportunity for the optional after-hours private tour of the museum for $15 (tickets can be purchased at the museum). Please register on-line at

Cookie Project: “A Taste of Lauralton”

With the overwhelming success of our Recent Alumnae Gathering and Luncheon, as well as our “On the Road Receptions”, we have found that our alums really do miss Lauralton Hall and they also miss their Lauralton Dining Hall favorites! Parents of our college-age alums were given the opportunity to send a little comfort from home with “A Taste of Lauralton”, a care package sent from the school, filled with two dozen of the student favorite dining hall cookies, chocolate chip and sugar, LH Euro sticker and a special message from the sender. Lucky alumnae recipients were thrilled to receive their surprise gift and social media lit up with excitement over this new project. Be on the lookout for more opportunities to send “A Taste of Lauralton” to alumnae soon.


Save the Dates! september 19–21, 2014

Homecoming & Reunions Reconnect and Share the Future

All Alumnae Welcome

203.877.2786 x114



A Summer Lauralton Program

For Boys & Girls Ages 6–14

2014 Summer Programs

For more information 203.877.2786 ext 175

Art Beginner to Advanced Baseball Basketball Cooking Dance Creative & Hip Hop Creative Writing Cheerleading Field Hockey Robotics Sports & Games and more!

Academy of Our Lady of Mercy | Lauralton Hall 200 High Street Milford, CT 06460


Our Heritage


he Academy of Our Lady of Mercy is the first Catholic college preparatory high school for girls in Connecticut, and among the first established in the United States. Our mission and our philosophy are as unique as our founding, well over a century ago. A Lauralton Hall education empowers a young woman to excel in any endeavor, to find her own voice and to be a bearer of Mercy to those in need. We offer students not only a rigorous academic experience that develops the skills necessary for success in college and career, but also a supportive, caring and fun-filled environment that nurtures a young woman’s understanding of herself and others. Our dedicated faculty and staff are wise role models who help each of our girls become the person that God created her to be—


spiritually, intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically. It is virtually impossible to project an organization into the future without first examining its past, its roots and its birth. The heritage of the Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall, is rich in history, tradition and the charism of Mercy. Truly, the present caliber and strength of Lauralton Hall began in its most genuine, albeit humble, beginnings. c  ore values of a mercy education Compassion and Service Educational Excellence Concern for Women and Women’s Issues Global Vision and Responsibility Spiritual Growth and Development Collaboration

“God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.”–Corinthians 9:7


Growing the future of Lauralton Hall Support of the Lauralton Fund gives us the tools to empower women for life.

Make your gift today at



Academy of Our Lady of Mercy | Lauralton Hall 200 High Street Milford, CT 06460

non-profit org.

u.s. postage


permit no. 1090

new haven, ct

Lauralton Hallmarks Spring 2014  
Lauralton Hallmarks Spring 2014  

High School Publication