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Celebrating Feast of St. Francis Xavier

Soccer and Wrestling are SCC Champions

Going from Doctor to Mister

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Pages 6 and 9

Inside Back Cover


a message from the eadmaster

February 2014

Dear Members of the Xavier Community,

It means “doing the little everyday things with a big heart that is open to God and to others.” Pope Francis

During the last week of January Xavier High School and approximately 1900 Catholic schools across our nation celebrated Catholic Schools Week. At the beginning of that week Brother Edward Driscoll, C.F.X., the new General Superior of the Xaverian Brothers, sent an email to the administrators of our thirteen Xaverian sponsored schools reminding us of all we have to celebrate with our faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni. In that email he included an excerpt from a talk Pope Francis gave to students from Jesuit schools who visited him last June. In his talk Pope Francis commented that “the main element in school is learning first to be magnanimous,” meaning “having a big heart, having a greatness of soul.” It means “doing the little everyday things with a big heart that is open to God and to others.” We at Xavier are blessed to see these values each day as we look around us. We can see it in the dedication of faculty and staff who go the extra mile for our students. We can see it in the hours of service our students offer others, in our “Be a Man, Bring a Can” days providing food for Amazing Grace food pantry and in our faculty and students preparing for a service trip to Guatemala. We can see it in our senior Big Falcons caring for their freshmen Little Falcons, and in our freshmen hosting over one hundred and fifty eighth graders shadowing for a day. We can see it in parents volunteering for school receptions and preparing for our March 22nd auction and our alumni spending time with our juniors on Career Night. This year as we celebrate Xavier’s 50th anniversary we can recall the big hearts of Brother Robert Sullivan and those who founded our school and those whose efforts have brought us to be the school we are today. We pray with gratitude for everyone supporting our Sustaining Excellence campaign as we prepare for our Groundbreaking on March 19th, the Feast of St. Joseph, to begin the construction of a new addition to our building housing a new music facility, art room and chemistry lab, as well as the much-needed renovation of our athletic facilities. As you read on in these pages I hope you will enjoy stories of some of those whose greatness of soul and big hearts make Xavier an institution of which we are proud. Thanks to all of you for your continued interest in Xavier and the support you always give us. Please keep Xavier in your prayers as we keep you in ours. Sincerely in Christ,

Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X. Headmaster

Xavier Today The Magazine for Xavier High School Winter 2014 John Guerin, P`91, `93 Editor, “Xavier Today” Director of Communications

Margaret Galeano

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Office of Advancement Matthew Strekel ’99 Director of Advancement

What’s Inside

Greg Brinn Assistant Director of Annual and Planned Giving

Erin Bysiewicz Assistant Director for Alumni Relations

Meredith Dresko Advancement Associate

Xavier Today,

the Xavier High School magazine, is published three times a year by Xavier High School. Editorial offices are located in:

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Xavier High School Office of Advancement 181 Randolph Road Middletown, CT 06457 (860) 347-6079

Check the Xavier calendar regularly at: Letters to the Editor:

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Send to above address or by email to: or by fax: (860) 346-6859

Board of Directors 2013-2014

Photo credits: Catherine Avalone Greg Brinn Erin Bysiewicz John Guerin Traci Iott Kathryn Lee Middletown Press New Haven Register David Sizemore `86 Snapshot Photography Br. John Sullivan Ms. Jayne Vitale Xavier Yearbooks Others as available and noted

Dr. Perry Sangalli, Chair Attorney Christopher Smith `76, Vice Chair Chief J. Edward Brymer (Ret.) Attorney Christopher Carrozzella Mr. Michael D’Aquila `83 Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X., Headmaster Mrs. Jeanne Depasse Mr. Brendan Donohue, Principal Sr. Patricia Ells, C.N.D. Mr. Peter Etzel `71 Very Rev. Gregoire Fluet Mr. Robert Guere `81 Mr. Brian Hetherington `81 Brother Raymond Hoyt, C.F.X. Mrs. Rosemary Kilpatrick Mr. Dennis LaVette Mr. David Leone `73

Mr. Neil Mitchill `93 Mr. Jeffrey Muzio `84 Brother Timothy Paul, C.F.X. Mr. Michael Picard `83 Mr. Mark Ryan `81 Dr. Edward Shine Mr. William Voelker Mr. William Wrang III `75 Mr. James Parmelee `84, Advisor Mr. Christopher Shane, Advisor

Administration Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X., Headmaster Mr. Brendan Donohue, Principal Mr. Nicholas Cerreta, Dean of Students Mr. Andrew T. Gargano, Academic Dean (Grades 10-12) Mr. David Sizemore, Academic Dean (Grade 9)

Time to Celebrate! The Feast of St Francis Xavier H XHS 50th Anniversary Juniors Commissioned for XBSS H Jubilarian Xaverian Brother H Ryken Award Winner


ecember 3rd is the Feast Day of St. Francis Xavier. The day was chosen as the perfect one to celebrate the school’s 50th Anniversary, commission a new group of juniors who would represent Xavier at an upcoming Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School (XBSS) Retreat, name this year’s Ryken Award recipient and honor a special 50th Anniversary Jubilarian. On the Feast of St. Francis Xavier the Xaverian Brothers and their colleagues throughout the world gather to prayerfully remember and celebrate our patron whose zeal for souls and dedication to spreading the Gospel was the inspiration for Theodore James Ryken, founder of the Xaverian Brothers. There are now thirteen high schools in the United States sponsored by the Xaverian Brothers serving over 12,000 students. Theodore Ryken’s vision was to found a community of Brothers who would be missionaries to the world, and today the Brothers and their colleagues serve in schools and other ministries in Kenya, the Congo, Bolivia, Haiti, South Sudan, Mexico and Lithuania. The central element in the


Xavier Today

Fr. Gary Simeone `67

Br. Brian Davis celebrating his 50th JUBILEE as a Xaverian Brother

Ryken Award recipient winner Mr. Nicholas Cerreta, Dean of Students

celebration at Xavier was the entire community gathering in the school gymnasium for Mass. Helping to accentuate the 50th Anniversary theme, alumni representing 22 graduating classes marched in the opening procession, including the principal celebrant for the service Rev. Gary Simeone, a member of Xavier’s first graduating class in 1967 and currently the pastor of St. Gregory the Great Church in Bristol, CT. During Mass, religion department chairperson Mr. James Tyrol conducted the commissioning of six juniors who have been chosen to represent Xavier at the XBSS Junior Retreat in March. This retreat brings together students from all 13 Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools. It is a vital program designed to unite

the schools and to carry on the tradition of the Xaverian Brothers. This year’s representatives from Xavier are Timothy Brough (Wethersfield), Peter Drabinski (Madison), Jeremy Isenberg (Colchester), Matthew Massaro (East Haddam), Ethan Pitney (Moodus) and Anthony Plochocki (Berlin). Senior leader Salvatore Nesci (Middletown) and the other five seniors who attended last year’s retreat: Joseph Braun (Durham), Jonah Cremin-Endes (Guilford), Ryan Gadea (Berlin), Jeff Place (South Glastonbury) and Max Tulimieri (Portland), stood behind the new representatives during the commissioning. At the conclusion of the Mass, as Headmaster Brother Brian was about the take the microphone, Director of Admissions Brother

Thomas Fahey said “Excuse me Brother, but I have a special announcement.” He then proceeded to tell everyone the following, “We would like to take a moment to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of someone else here today. We have a Brother here at Xavier who is celebrating his 50th JUBILEE as a Xaverian Brother. He came to Xavier with a strong background in Catholic secondary school leadership and instruction, including prior service as an Assistant Principal and Social Studies teacher at Xavier from 1982-1986. He has also been principal, assistant principal, faculty member, educational consultant, and board member in other Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools in Kentucky, Maryland and Massachusetts, and served as the

principal of a Catholic elementary school in Maryland. “This Brother has earned degrees from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, Wesleyan University in Middletown and Spalding University in Louisville, KY. He also has extensive experience throughout his 50 years serving as chairman and committee member of numerous accrediting teams for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has served as a consultant and board liaison for the Schools Office in the Archdiocese of Boston. He is kind, pastoral and extremely dedicated to living the Xaverian mission. This brother is our very own Headmaster — Br. Brian Davis!” Brother Brian was then presented a special token of appreciation by the Student Body Vice-President Senior Ryan Gadea. After standing there quietly surprised, Brother Brian simply said, “There’s nothing like being trapped.” Brother proceeded to thank all those who had participated in making the event so special and acknowledged the many special guests and former faculty and staff who came to be part of the celebration this morning. Brother Brian made the announcement of this year’s Ryken Award recipient saying, “Each year in Xaverian schools it has become the custom to honor one member of the faculty or staff with the Ryken Award, presented to a person chosen by his or her coworkers as an exemplary model of Christian dedication. Here at Xavier

Six juniors commissioned to represent Xavier at the XBSS Junior Retreat in March

past reward recipients include Mrs. Linda Charpentier, Brother Thomas Fahey, Mrs. Andrea Hoisl, Brother Robert Houlihan, Mr. Tony Jaskot, Mr. Richard Magner, Brother Thomas Ryan, Ms. Jayne Vitale, Brother James Boyle, Mrs. Joan Tomasiello, Mr. Andrew T. Gargano, Ms. Kathyrn Lee and last year Mr. Brendan Donohue. “When asked for award nominations, faculty and staff are asked to offer explanations for their selection. Comments offered for this year’s Ryken Award winner include: • Lives the Gospel values by word and example • Understands the concept of educating the whole person • Always goes the extra mile

• Exemplifies what it means to “Be a Man,” a man like Christ • Works to know students on a personal level • Is the face of Christ to countless numbers of students and alumni • Always tries to do what is right and to be fair It is my great pleasure to present this year’s Ryken Award to our Dean of Students Mr. Nicholas Cerreta.” Mr. Cerreta is a 2001 Xavier graduate. At his graduation, he was awarded the Loyalty and Service Award. After college, he became a member of the faculty at Xavier teaching English and in 2007 was appointed to his current position as Dean of Students.

The final element in the formal part of the program was presented by Student Activities Council President Collin McLaughlin. Collin announced that planning is under way for a 50th anniversary commemorative time capsule that will be buried on school property next spring. He welcomed suggestions for items to include in the capsule. Following the Mass, a reception was held for all alumni, guests and honorees. The complete Mass and special presentations that took place in the gym were streamed LIVE via the internet and are available to be seen on demand on Xavier’s Streaming Network (XSN). See page 19 for more information on XSN. X.

Pictured are a few almuni preparing to march in the opening procession for the Feast of St. Francis Xavier. Twenty-two alumni represented each of Xavier High School’s graduating classes.


Brother Robert J. Sullivan, C.F.X., First Principal at Xavier, Dies at 85 On November 12, 2013 Headmaster Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X. announced, “Please remember in your prayers Brother Robert Sullivan, first principal of Xavier from 1963 until 1967, who died last Saturday. May he rest in peace.” A Funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at St. Richard Church in Danvers. Burial followed in the Xaverian Brothers Cemetery, on the St. John’s Prep campus in Danvers. Donations may be made to the Sullivan Family Scholarship fund at Malden Catholic High School, 99 Crystal St., Malden, MA 02148. Here is an excerpt from the obituary on the Lyons Funeral Home website.


rother Robert J. Sullivan, C.F.X., 85, a member of the Xaverian Brothers community in Melrose, MA died on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 following several years of declining health. Born in Somerville on Dec. 14, 1927, he was the son of the

late Robert W. and Clare (Rodgers) Sullivan. He graduated from Malden Catholic High School in 1945 and then entered the Congregation of the Brothers of St. Francis Xavier. After graduating from Catholic University in 1951, his teaching apostolate first brought him to Flaget High School in Louisville, KY, which was followed by a return to Catholic University where he completed graduate studies in theology and philosophy. In 1975, he received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston College. His manifold career included teaching at the Xaverian Brothers Novitiate and at Ryken High School in Leonardtown, MD. He then

Junior Ring Mass


embers of the Xavier class of 2015, family and friends gathered in the Kohs gymnasium on February 7th as The Reverend Gregory Galvin, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Norwich presided at the Mass of St. Francis Xavier and Blessing of Rings for their class. Concelebrating were Reverend Paul Boudreau and Reverend Philip Sharkey. Director of Campus Ministry Mrs. Andrea Hoisl opened the ceremony with the Call to Worship. Junior class President Matthew Daigle delivered the first reading. Father Galvin read the Gospel and delivered the homily. Headmaster Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X. provided an explanation of the symbols on each ring. Father Galvin then blessed the rings before they were distributed by Brother Brian, Principal Brendan Donohue and Junior Class Moderator Mrs. Lisa Keereweer. Principal Donohue invited everyone to St. Joseph Hall for a reception following the Ring Mass to further celebrate this truly memorable occasion in their high school career. The Ring Mass was streamed live over Xavier’s Streaming Network (XSN) and is available for viewing on demand on the website. X


Xavier Today

September 7, 1963 — Pre-dedication huddle finds Brother Robert, Governor Dempsey, Bishop Hines, and Xaverian provincial Brother Gilroy gathered on the front steps of the new school.

served as Director of Studies at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, MA from 1960-1963. He was appointed first Headmaster of Xavier High School in Middletown, CT and led the school through its first four years. Brother Robert then served for several years as Novice Master and Scholastic Director at

Newton Highlands. He also taught philosophy at Newton College of the Sacred Heart before returning to St. John’s Prep where he taught philosophy and psychology for five years and advanced placement physics for ten years. From 1986 until his retirement in 1992, he served as Headmaster of Malden Catholic High School. X

Grandparents Enjoy Their Day at Xavier


ver 130 grandparents of Xavier’s freshmen came to Xavier in December for a little Christmas cheer and to see the school their grandsons have chosen. The grandparents were offered an optional tour of the school. Xavier seniors: Collin McLaughlin, Peter Dovidaitis, Linc Gleeton, Sal Nesci, Chris Anderson, Liam Barnes, Greg Onofrio, Darin Quagliaro, Bobby Rose and Max Tulimieri conducted the tours and answered questions. Following the tours the grandparents were escorted to the Arthur M. Kohs Gymnasium where they were treated to a Christmas Concert presented by Xavier’s Fine Arts Department. The jazz and string ensembles, chorus, jazz and concert bands all presented songs of the season. This mini concert was a preview of the full Christmas concert that was to be performed for the public that evening. The final event of the afternoon took place in the St. Joseph Hall dining room where the grandparents were joined by their grandsons at the close of the school day. Freshman Robert Larese offered grace before the group partook of Christmas cookies, coffee, tea and punch. Director of Advancement Matt Strekel `99 offered his thanks to the grandparents for joining us for the day and for their involvement in their grandson’s lives. Headmaster Brother Brian Davis then shared some thoughts about Xavier and added his thanks to the grandparents for all the support they provide for their grandsons. X

String Ensemble Video On NBC Connecticut


BC Connecticut reporter Jason Hawkins and cameraman Chris Hall spent time here at Xavier in the Fall developing a story about our relatively new String Ensemble. If you didn’t have a chance to see it, we have created a link under the Academics tab on our website. In the left-hand navigation column, go to Academic Departments, and then Fine Arts and you will see the link to “2013 String Ensemble Story on NBC CT.” It’s 90 seconds that gives a good look at the string program at Xavier that is part of our music department. Thanks to Jason Hawkins and Chris Hall and NBC Connecticut for making this possible and to all the students and faculty for their hard work. X


Accolades Abound at SCC Soccer Championship


esides capturing the school’s third Southern Connecticut Conference (SCC) Championship with a 2-1 victory over a very determined Guilford team on October 30th, the Xavier Soccer Team was recognized in multiple ways for the successful season they achieved in 2013. Before the Championship game with Guilford began, players from throughout the SCC gathered for photos of the All-Division players for the year. In the Quinnipiac Division, Xavier was represented by the four young men pictured below: #7 Joseph Zacchia `16 (Southington) #16 Brendan Cutuli `15 (Guilford) #4 Thomas Gardiner `14 (Portland) #2 Kenneth Callahan `14 (Killingworth) At half-time, Brian Fitzgerald `99 (pictured in the black jacket above) was recognized as the Most Outstanding Coach in the Conference for the 2013 season during a brief ceremony. Following the game, SCC Commissioner Al Carbone presented a medal commemorating the championship to each member of the team and a trophy to Coach Fitzgerald. Next they all posed for photos with the SCC Championship banner. The Commissioner awarded Most Outstanding Player for the 2013 Tournament to junior Brendan Cutuli, Xavier midfielder (pictured at right). Quite a night! X


Xavier Today

“Winning is great, but just as important as your athletic skills, is the kind of young men you all are, being a person of integrity who can play the game with sportsmanship and politeness.” Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X.

Xavier 2013 Fall Sports Awards


irector of Athletics Mr. Tony Jaskot `69 welcomed players, family and friends to the Fall Sports Awards program in the Kohs Gymnasium on January 9th. He introduced Headmaster Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X. for welcoming remarks. In his remarks, Brother Brian stated, “I am most proud of all our teams for how you represented yourselves and Xavier as you competed in your sports. Winning is great, but just as important as your athletic skills, is the kind of young men you all are, being a person of integrity who can play the game with sportsmanship and politeness.” Football Head Football Coach Sean Marinan `80 and his assistant coaches recognized the young men who received special awards for the 2013 season. • Kevin Holder Unsung Hero Award: Colin Cunningham `14 (East Berlin) • Custom Carpet Spirit, Hustle & Desire Award: William Garrity `14 (Middletown) • Tony Jaskot Champion of the Year Award: Robert Rose `14 (Clinton)

• Offensive Most Valuable Player Award: Andrew Meoli `14 (Guilford) • Defensive Most Valuable Player Award: Nathan Gonzalez `14 (Durham) • Larry McHugh Senior Leadership Award: Joseph Carbone `14 (Wethersfield) Cross country Cross Country Head Coach Chris Stonier presented his Cross Country Special Awards • Most Improved Runner: Trevor Anderson `16 (Hamden) • Freshman of the Year Award: Dan Hettrick `17 (Wallingford) • Coaches Award: Ethan Rodrigues `15 (Middletown) • Most Valuable Runner: Zachary Williams `14 (North Branford) • Senior Award: Dan Stouffer `14 (Middletown) Socccer Head Coach Brian Fitzgerald `99 then presented his special Soccer awards for the 2013 season: • Rookie of The Year Award: Cesar Rivera `16 (East Hartford) • Offensive MVP Award: Joe Zacchia `16 (Southington)

• Defensive MVP Award: Kenneth Callahan `14 (Killingworth) & Tom Gardiner `14 (Portland) • Coaches Award: Zach Kelly `14 (Meriden) • Senior Award: Joseph McCormack `14 (Cheshire) & Brendan Butler `14 (Berlin) Concluding the general portion of the evening, Principal Brendan Donohue asked the student athletes to reflect on their past season and to thank their coaches, teammates and families for all that they have done to help make each athlete’s accomplishments possible and helped them grow as men. Following the combined awards ceremony, the football team remained in the Gym to celebrate their season and to receive team letters and certificates from the coaching staff. The Cross Country and Soccer teams proceeded to separate dining areas in St. Joseph Hall where they, their families and friends socialized and enjoyed a meal. The coaches presented the end-of-season letters and certificates following dinner. X


Christ’s Faithful Step Up to Serve Communion


ive seniors were installed as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist at the Feast of All Saints Liturgy on November 1st. Pictured above: Benjamin Baumgaertner (Northford), Jonah CreminEndes (Guilford), Thomas “Linc” Gleeton (Cheshire), Connor Milone (Portland) and Nicholas Rampone (Branford). These young men were called before the assembly of the entire

Senior Signings

school and commissioned by Father Greg Galvin, Vocation Director for the Diocese of Norwich, who presided at the liturgy. Several of the students’ family members were also in attendance. The students will have the responsibility of distributing communion during school liturgies. All are active in Xavier’s campus ministry program. X

Our February 5th the NLI signing event was postponed due to weather and rescheduled. Information on that event and the athletes who were honored will be in our next issue of “Xavier Today.”

Laurence Hill Signs with Fairfield University

Greg Onofri Signs with Sacred Heart University

ovember 13, 2013 Larry and Melissa Hill came to Xavier to join their son Laurence, his baseball coach and members of the administration to complete the paperwork necessary for Laurence to officially submit his National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Fairfield University next year. The Hills reside in Durham. It was the first day of the early signing period for baseball and a number of other sports. Pictured with Laurence above are (l-r) Xavier Director of Athletics Tony Jaskot `69, Head Baseball Coach and Director of Guidance Richard Magner `69, Melissa and Larry Hill and Headmaster Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X. Coach Magner told us that Laurence “Started as a sophomore at second base. Last season, as a junior, he played left field. He had four multiple hit games last year as a lead-off batter. He scored 19 runs and had seven stolen bases. This coming spring Laurence will be counted on to lead the team offensively and his leadership will be very important as we will have many younger players on the team.”

On November 18th the Onofri family came to Xavier from their Hebron home to join Xavier senior Greg as he officially submitted his National Letter of Intent to play lacrosse at Sacred Heart University next year. Pictured with Greg are (l-r) Headmaster Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X., Head Lacrosse Coach Scott Basile, Robert Onofri, Lisa Onofri, Faith Onofri (Mercy, `17), Principal Brendan Donohue, Assistant Director of Athletics Dan DeConti `01. Greg is 6-foot-1, 175-pound longstick midfielder who provides athleticism and aggressiveness from the position as well as strong ability in the faceoff X. At Xavier, Greg also played football and was a diver on the swim team. He enjoys snow skiing as well as long boarding and dirt biking. Summers, he has played lacrosse for the Progression Hurricanes coached by Daryl Delia. X



Xavier Today

Photo Credit – Maureen Cunningham

Wrestlers #1 in SCC Tourney


avier dominates in win at SCC Tourney” was the headline on CT Wrestling Online. Our wrestlers did very well on February 15th winning with 224 points, well ahead of 2nd place Daniel Hand High School with 103.5 and third place Foran at 85. Eleven wrestlers made it to the finals with seven champions: Patrick Moynihan, Will Chowanek, Quinn Marino, Brendan Butler, Colin Cunningham, Noah Cruz, and Chidi Broderick. They also won the regular season SCC championship. Ranked No. 3 in the State Coaches Poll, Xavier won “The SCC Tournament championship with the most dominant performance in

tournament history. The Falcons put eleven wrestlers into the finals, had seven individual champions and won the tournament by a record 120½ points. Xavier had 224 points with second place Hand earning 103½ points.” SCC Commissioner Al Carbone tweeted “Congrats to the 2014 SCC Wrestling Champions - Xavier - 3rd title for Falcons (2012 and 2003). Actually this is the 4th SCC Championship for our falcons (2003, 2011, 2012 and 2014). It’s the 3rd straight, as last years’ was cancelled due to weather. X

AP Seniors Accepted to Medical Lecture Series


cience Department Chairperson Mrs. Linda Charpentier informed us that five Xavier AP Biology students have been accepted to the University of Connecticut Health Center’s 2014 Mini Medical/Dental School Program. Pictured in their biology classroom are: Jonah Cremin-Endes `14 (Guilford), Mike Epright `14 (Killingworth), Joseph Grzegorski `14 (Ivoryton), Connor Milone `14 (Portland) and Maxwell Tulimieri `14 (Portland). Mrs. Charpentier went on to explain that “Acceptance to this annual program is a competitive process open to those exemplary students who have an interest in medicine, dental medicine or the biomedical sciences, and who have been nominated by their guidance counselors and science teachers. The UCHC lecture series includes presentations from the faculty and deans of the School of Medicine. This year’s itinerary, running from February to May, features lectures on cancer, the immune system, neurology,

cardiology, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, and ‘the surgeon scientist.’ Attendees will also receive information on UConn’s BA/BS-MD and BA/BS-DMD programs.” X


Empower Leadership Club Presents Awards December leaders of the Month: Joseph McCormack and Ethan Pitney December’s Leader of the Month was a tie between two nominees— Joseph McCormack and Ethan Pitney. Due to the leadership qualities of both these individuals, Junior Empower Leaders Jake Woodworth (East Haddam) and Matt Daigle (Southington) are proud to give them each the December Leader of the Month Award.

Benjamin Baumgaertner (left) and Joseph Kane

January Leader of the Month: Benjamin Baumgaertner `14

Joe McCormack (left) and Matt Daigle

“Joseph McCormack `14 (Cheshire) was nominated for his leadership qualities on the soccer field. His influence shined during an SCC playoff game where an altercation was brewing between the two teams. Joe was able to calmly control his players and diffuse the situation before things got out of control. Taking authority in a situation where emotions are running high is an outstanding leadership skill. It demonstrates the respect Joe has from teammates — another tremendous leadership quality.”

The January Leader of the Month goes to Benjamin Baumgaertner `14 (Northford), a senior member of the Crew team. “Ben was chosen for his ability to show true character as a teammate. He interrrupted his workouts early to help the newer members of the team with their form. Ben not only looked out for the team by improving their skills, but was able to create better relationships among the newer teammates by making them aware that they were welcome and valued members. Ben demonstrates how a true committed teammate should act by putting others first and by encouraging the team to become closer as a unit.” A certificate and leadership pin signifying the award were presented to Ben by Junior Empower Leader Joseph M. Kane `15 (Meriden).

Junior Leadership Club Member Greg Pollard (Middletown, on left) presents Sam with his certificate and pin.

February Leader of the Month: Sam Soundararajan `14 Ethan Pitney (left) and Jake Woodworth

“Ethan Pitney `15 (Moodus) was nominated for his proactive movement in the National Honor Society Tutoring Lab. Ms. Vitale was appealing for volunteers to assist in the tutoring lab. There was no one for about a month until Ethan Pitney took the initiative. Remarkably, Ethan had been tutoring on his own before the Lab was even open— demonstrating his active role as a National Honor Society member, and his reliability. Ethan was chosen for his dynamic and effective work ethic, and the 110% effort he gives towards everything.”


Xavier Today

The February Leader of the Month was presented to Xavier senior Sam Soundararajan (Southington) “who is an exemplary man of dedication to service and clubs. Sam, as a new inductee this year to Xavier’s National Honor Society, is always checking in week after week to see how he can help and to research information on upcoming events. Sam also is a founding member of the Ambassador club. He is great at speaking with prospective families about Xavier and at interacting with soon-to-be students at the various events held throughout the year. Sam is a peer minister and Secretary General of the Model UN, which is essentially the president of the club.” X

An Evening of Peace and Joy


n the evening of December 12th the Senior Peer Ministry Team offered an early Christmas present to Faculty and Staff with children. They said, “You can shop, go to dinner or do nothing at all while the Peer Ministers entertain your children!” There was pizza, juice and snacks along with adult supervision by the Community Life Council. A variety of activities were organized for all ages. Santa visited, posed for pictures and read “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The event was a well-received gift to a number of Xavier families who appreciated the sentiment offered in the spirit of the season. By all accounts it was a fun evening for everyone! X


Remembering the Reason for the Season


n a cold snowcovered morning the day before midterm exams began, the Xavier community left their classes and gathered in the gymnasium for an Advent Prayer Service. The peer ministry team acted out a story written by senior Nick Romanelli. The story of Peter, a high school boy who starts out thinking that Christmas is all about presents, was intended to remind all of us of the things we should care about yearlong— love, friendship, kindness, hope, compassion and family. The complete prayer service lasts just about 18 minutes and is available for viewing on Xavier’s Streaming Network. XSN is now available as a regular item on our website under News & Events and the Students tabs where on demand items and future scheduled school and falcon athletic events are listed. At the conclusion of the prayer service, Headmaster Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X. said... Thank you for reminding us of what our season of Advent and preparation for Christmas is all about. This is really where it all starts. The Incarnation, God’s Son given to us as one of us. We are so magnificent in God’s eyes that he chose to become human with us. This is the gift we celebrate at Christmas. And as we rush around in our frenzy of preparing for Christmas day, shopping, preparing for family gatherings and dinners, perhaps we can pause for a minute and remember that what we are busy doing is being done as a gift to others as God has gifted us. As God gave Himself to us we in turn are called to give ourselves to others, to care for others. May the gift of Christmas be all around you, gift of God, gift of others, gift of ourselves to others. May your New Year be filled with God’s blessings, and may you always be grateful for all you have been given. Merry Christmas everyone! X


Xavier Today

A Stylish Makeover on Bow Tie Day


ne of the highlights of Catholic Schools Week (January 26 through February 1) was Xavier’s Bow Tie Day. The Chorus Class (pictured above) declared themselves the unofficial winners since more than half of the class donned bow ties for the occasion. X

Donation to Lung Cancer Alliance


n December Headmaster Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X. presented a check for $814.58 to Nicholas Sowa `14. The money was raised during November as part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Nick and his brother Ryan `13 from Middletown initiated the idea last year. Nick explained that, “During, the month of November the students wore white shirts, ties, and could wear white socks for a dollar. Every dollar donated can help save a life!” Nick went on to say, “The reason I chose to raise money for Lung Cancer Alliance was to help provide information, support and advocacy for people living with lung cancer and those at risk for the disease. In 2011 I started to race a Legend Car which had lung cancer awareness decals and an “I race for my mom” bumper sticker on the back of the car. A competitor saw those stickers, approached my mom and offered to make a donation to lung cancer. At the time I wasn’t part of any lung cancer organization. My mom, a non-smoker, contacted Lung Cancer Alliance and my partnership was formed.” X

Christmas Concert Thrills Audiences Across the Country


ecember’s Christmas Concert presented by Xavier’s Fine Arts Department, featured the jazz and string ensembles, chorus, jazz and concert bands all performing songs of the season. The event brought smiles not only to the audience in the Kohs gymnasium but with our new “Live Streaming” capability was broadcast via the internet to viewers all over the globe. Some of the comments we received... “Business travel is sometimes unavoidable so enabling me to virtually be there is the next best thing.” “I forwarded this link to grandparents and an aunt who live in Florida and Arizona respectively. They texted me during the concert giving live feedback. So cool, I can see and hear the boys clearly.” “Whoever is taping is doing a wonderful job.” “What a great idea! Thanks so much.” “Just wanted to let you know what a fantastic idea... grandparents in NJ were able to “attend” one of the concerts for the first

Captured from the live stream

time ever. They were thrilled. While there were a couple of bugs to work out on the audio end, the live stream was wonderful.” “Just wanted to provide you feedback on what a great thing this is!” “This was wonderful!! Got to watch the concert from Las Vegas!”

The Christmas Concert was recorded and is available on demand for anyone who didn’t have the opportunity to see and hear the concert live. Just go to our website and links to Xavier’s Streaming Network (XSN) are found under the Athletic, News & Events, Parents and Students tabs. X

Big Falcon/Little Falcon Christmas Social


he Big Falcon/Little Falcon Social took place on December 19th at the conclusion of the day’s round of midyear exams. It has already been over three months since the Class of 2017 was welcomed officially to Xavier at “Falcon Blast.” This day our senior (class of 2014) big falcons joined together with the freshmen little falcons for a Christmas Social in the Dining Hall. After an opening prayer by senior Sal Nesci (Middletown), they spent the opening minutes enjoying a lunch prepared by Navin Brothers Food Service (pizza, beverages, chips and

cookies) before heading to the gym for three rounds of “Ice-Breaker BINGO” designed to have some spirited interaction among the groupings of students. The freshmen were then asked to spend a little time talking to their big falcons and reflecting on how they have become an active member of the Xavier community. Finally, they were asked to disperse throughout the gym to create a Christmas card of their own design before being dismissed and encouraged to go and study for their final midyear exams on Friday. X


St. Thomas the Apostle Second Graders Visit Xavier


busload of enthusiastic second graders (30 students) from St. Thomas the Apostle Elementary School in West Hartford arrived at our front door at 9 a.m. on February 11th. Director of Faculty Formation Mr. Peter Lyons told us, “They asked to come to Xavier to have a prayer service in the chapel and to learn to make rosary bracelets. When they entered the front foyer, they were greeted by the Xavier Chorus who sang for them. They then went to the chapel for the prayer service, which the second grade classes had prepared in advance, and for rosary bracelet making led by Mr. Lyons. After the chapel they were welcomed in the gym by Mr. Cunningham’s physical education class where they played a spirited game of kickball. Their final stop was the music room where Mr. Elligers had his Jazz Ensemble play a few numbers that was the back drop for some dancing. By 11 o’clock the whirlwind visit was over and the students boarded their bus and headed back to school. The smiles on their faces and those of our faculty, students and staff were testimony to a very pleasant visit. X

Mercy and Xavier Drama Club Performances


he Mercy and Xavier Drama Club took audiences back in time on November 6 & 7 with their performances of “Meet Me In St. Louis,” a comedy based on the book by Sally Benson and adapted by Christopher Sergel. The following students worked diligently to make this a special evening. CAST: Bobby DellaCamera, Emily Brewer, Jaye Santoro, Cristina Shea, Jamie Wyman, Betty Smith, Regis O’Neill, Nick Maturo, Deirdre Arcand, Jenasia Jaymae, Katie Russo, Ian Pekar, Eric Lyons, Julia Marcin, Lorenzo Genovese, James Labella


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Ensemble: Kassandra Bayles, Kathryn Lauria, Kelly Richards, Liza Bartolotta, Meghan Barnett, Allison Cassella, Nicole D’Amico, Shanya Wyatt, Samantha Brown, Alyssa Elmey, Alexandra Porczak, Olivia Porriello, Caitlyn Rebeschi, Luke Kessler, Graham Stillman, Lucas Voghell, Tyler Litevich

Back Stage: Mitchell Cooper, Chris Carta, Nick Rampone, Chris Mishler, Kevin Lewis, Nate Kinsman, DJ Campi, Bradley Donovan On February 28, March 1 & 2 our thespians performed “Les Misérables” as their Annual Mercy/ Xavier Musical. We look forward to covering that on our website and to bringing you photos in our next issue of “Xavier Today.” X


Full Metal Falcons’ Robot To Battle in State Competitions


n January the FIRST Robotics Competition kicked off the new competition for this year, “Aerial Assist.” The competition includes two alliances made up of three teams each who compete against each other by throwing balls into targets that are located at opposite ends of the field. The team tells us, “During the competition our robot will be put to the test by having to do multiple things. We are designing our robot to pick the ball up off the ground, pass the ball to other teammates, throw it into targets, and move the robot either physically or through remote control in order to score points. Three challenges that our team has to face this year are that the robot has to be under five feet tall, the total perimeter of the robot cannot exceed 112 inches, and the robot has to weigh less than 150 pounds. We will be competing on March 8-9 in the Groton District Event and March 29-30 in the Hartford District Event.” During the first few weeks of build season the team designed the robot and started building and creating the programming controls.

They have been busy doing outreach, creating competition designs for flags and t-shirts, preparing award submissions and so much more! Members this year include Daniel Colavecchio ’14 (Colchester), Zach Radel ’15 (Middletown) – Safety Officer, Liam Iorio ’15 (East Hampton), Jameson Kief ’16 (Plantsville), Kevin Iott ’16 (North Haven), Sean Morrissey ’16 (Southington), Connor LoPresti ’16 (Middletown), Abhishek Gupta ’16 (Rocky Hill), Ruban Hussein ’14 (Higganum), Nicholas Indorf ’15 (Wallingford), Kevin O’Brien ’15 (Guilford), Anthony Plochocki ’15 (Berlin), Jordan Theodore ’15 (Middletown), Fred Augur ’16 (Northford), Garrett Baker ’16 (Southington), Jeffery Champagne ’16 (Portland), Nicholas Cumello ’16 (Durham), Alex Demeo ’16 (Guilford), John Frechette ’16 (Branford), Jon Galati ’16 (Berlin), Sam Guerra ’16 (Guilford), Alec Guzauckas ’16 (Kensington), Dan Herlihy ’16 (Wallingford), Tim Hoang ’16 (Newington), Riley Lyke ’16 (Higganum), Philip Kuzawa ’16 (New Britain), Lucas Voghell ’16 (Guilford), Nick Zoner ’16 (Clinton) and Luc Milam ’17 (Higganum). X

Chief William McKenna `88 Shares an Insider’s Perspective


n January, Middletown’s Chief of Police, William McKenna `88, spoke to Mr. Montini and Mr Oravetz Law Enforcement & Basic Forensics class. Chief McKenna shared his personal journey from Xavier and college on to a career in law enforcement with a group of Xavier seniors in a classroom setting. He gave them a synopsis of the role of a police officer along with the responsibilities and expectations. He offered honest insight into what it truly takes to be a professional in law enforcement. Chief McKenna explained the role of the Middletown Police Department in terms of its mission statement, “To proudly serve in partnership with the community through a commitment to excellence, professionalism and integrity.” He stressed how the expectations he has for himself and for those under his command originate from his years at Xavier. Our motto “Be A Man” still influences him today. X


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A hearty Thank You to all the presenters listed below and to the volunteers for making the evening a success. Accounting/Finance Steven DeMartino `87 President and CFO TransAct Technologies Inc. Chef Luke Murphy Senior Vice President Navin Bros. Food Service, Inc.

(L-r): Presenters Michael Hassett `88, Michael Perruccio `92, Richard Siena

Career Night

Information and Opportunities


embers of the Junior Class returned to school the evening of January 30th to gather information on career requirements and opportunities at our Annual Career Night. As in past years, Juniors are required to attend. But this year we also invited any Seniors and Sophomores who might be interested. We also invite our younger alumni — graduates of the last decade — in order to encourage additional networking among our alumni. Each student was asked to visit at least five of the career presentations. Many visited more during the course of the evening. While Career Night was in full swing the Junior Parents gathered in St. Joseph Hall where our guidance department presented information on the college search process, the SAT’s, and concluded with an overview on

Chemistry Brian O’Neill, PhD. `74 Research Fellow – Neuroscience Medicinal Chemistry Pfizer, Inc. Engineering George Keithan `81 President Consulting Engineering Services Darren Taillie `07 Aerospace/Flight Test Engineer Safe Flight Instrument Corporation Christopher Monnes `00 Military Engines Marketing Specialist Pratt & Whitney Entrepreneurship Joseph D’Ambrose `04 Owner Palm Tree Creative, LLC Web Design

Presenter Michael D’Aquila `83

financing college. Student volunteers assisted members of the Office of Advancement in welcoming presenters and helping them get settled in their varous presentation rooms. The volunteers also helped register students. X

Firefighter Robert J. Ross `80 Fire Chief Middletown South District Fire Department Fitness & Sports Management Paul Bruni `82 Owner Bilancio Luxury Fitness Management Insurance Melissa O’Hara, P`15 2VP Enterprise Leadership and Organizational Development Travelers Property Casualty Law Brian Farrell `86 Attorney Brian Farrell Law Marketing Michael D’Aquila `83 Senior Territory Manager Moen Inc. Military Scott Sienkiewicz `09 US Navy US Merchant Marine SUNY Maritime College Musician Matthew Campisi `07 Musician

The Hartt School, Goodspeed Opera House, St. Colman Church Private Piano & Voice Teacher Pharmacist John Gadea, P`14 Director, State Drug Control State of Connecticut Scott Stoppa `78 Drug Control Agent State of Connecticut Tara Ogle Pharmacy Manager/ Pharmacist Walgreens Pharmacy Physical Therapy Kathleen Kane, P`16 Director, MA, PT, ATC Pro Physical Therapy Physician Miklos Fogarasi, P`12, `13 Oncologist Connecticut Oncology Group Police Officer Michael Hassett `88 Master Sergeant Executive Officer Troop F – Westbrook State Trooper Michael Perruccio `92 Detective Sergeant Town of West Hartford Private Investigator Richard Siena Owner Investigative Partners LLC Sales Dennis Tulimieri, P`14, `15 President Tulimieri Associates David Gilbert `80 Manager New England Direct Sales Software Architech Joseph Guerra `84 SVP, CTO and Chief Architect Datalytics Technologies LLC Social Worker Jeffrey Marino `79 Licensed Clinical Social Worker – Adolescent and Family Therapy State of Connecticut – Department of Children and Families Teacher James Royce `99 Teacher, Social Studies Xavier High School Veterinarian Neil Marrinan, P`13 Veterinarian Old Lyme Veterinary Hospital


8th Grade Honors Night

High Achievers of the Class of 2018 Are Welcomed


he welcome mat was out on January 23rd as Xavier welcomed members of the Class of 2018 who have been accepted into the Br. James Kelly Honors Program. A large number of these 8th graders and their parents gathered with faculty, staff and administrators to celebrate their accomplishment. They were welcomed by Principal Mr. Brendan Donohue and member of the Admission team: Director of Admissions Brother Thomas Fahey, C.F.X., Academic Dean for Freshmen Mr. David Sizemore `86 and Admissions Asssistant Mrs. Lisa Keereweer. All then dined on a meal prepared by the Navin Brothers Food Service. Following dinner, Principal Mr. Brendan Donohue gave an explanation of the Br. James Kelly Honors Program saying, “The Honors Program has been around for many years at Xavier High School and we are extremely proud of the accomplishments of our honors students. Students coming out of this program are being accepted into the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. They are going on to receive advanced degrees. They are entering exciting and rewarding fields and making a difference in their communities and in the world.” Principal Donohue introduced Xavier junior Greg Pollard. Greg told them, “My experience as an honors student is one full of challenges that give me a chance to surprise myself with my capabilities — just like you will find yourself doing here soon.


Xavier Today

As a freshman, I actually started out in Accelerated and found that I could handle more. I talked to my guidance counselor and my parents and we decided to move me up to Honors for my sophomore year.” Greg continued, “Xavier High School is an allaround great school for academics. From the teachers that are always available to the courses offered, the opportunities are seemingly endless.”

Greg Pollard `15

In a final note to parents, he said, “You can trust that your sons will be well prepared for all that will be thrown at them during their high school career and beyond. As long as they apply themselves, they will not only surprise you with their academic achievements but surprise themselves with the amazing talents that they have.” Patrick Lenehan, Class of 2011 Valedictorian, also spoke. He is studying at UConn and has a 4.0 grade-point average as a molecular and cell biology major. He’s also part of a combined program in medicine where, if he maintains a high GPA and gets a good enough

score on his MCAT exam, he’s guaranteed admission into UConn’s medical school. Patrick was senior captain of both our basketball and baseball teams. At UConn he continues to balance athletics and academics as a walk-on member of UConn’s men’s basketball team. Honors Certificates were distributed by Mr. Donohue and Academic Dean for upperclassmen Mr. Andrew T. Gargano to all of the students in attendance. Students who had earned academic scholarships as part of the new Ryken Scholars Program were announced. Any student who scored 95 or higher on the Entrance Exam is offered a scholarship to attend Xavier. This group of students are known as the Ryken Scholars. Only students who take the initial Entrance Exam in November are eligible to receive these scholarships. Pictured above are students who were present and received a certificate acknowledging their achievement. The complete list of Ryken Scholars is posted at right. X

Ryken Scholars Alumni Honors Memorial Scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship given to students who score 95%: Peter Bencivengo and Daniel Morin. Brother David Eddy, C.F.X. Honors Memorial Scholarship, a $1,500 scholarship given to students who score 96%: Brendan Aube, Frank Dworak, Matthew Lyons, John Marcin, Brendan O’Reilly, Vincent Salabarria, Jacob Tristine and Nickolas Violissi. Thomas Aiello Honors Memorial Scholarship, a $2,000 scholarship given to students who score 97%: Brendan Boyle, Vincent Cannamela, Maxwell Carmichael, Gian Civitello, Will Levis and Amir Suhail. Pierce Honors Memorial Scholarship, a $2,500 scholarship given to students who score 98%: Gabriel Bartolotta, Kyle Cook and Scott Elliott. Bishop Vincent Hines Honors Memorial Scholarship, a $5,000 scholarship given to students who score 99%: William Crawford, Christopher Gould, Mark Lavrentyev, Kevin Ryff and Christopher Sacchi. Brother Robert C.F.X. Honors Scholarship, a full tuition scholarship given to the top Entrance Exam test taker Ryan Curry.

Patrick Lenehan `11


Remodeling School to Parent Communcations

LIVE! on Xavier’s Website


ur website continues to expand the ways it brings information to Xavier students, parents, alumni and friends.

Sustaining Excellence

Live Streaming Video Live Streaming Video has begun with certain Xavier events and games through PlayOn! Sports. The members of the Falcon Talk Club began by streaming Xavier’s football game against Shelton live on November 8th. That game and other events are available on this same webpage for people to view on demand. Read comments about Xavier’s Streaming Network (XSN) in the “Christmas Concert Thrills Audiences Across the Country” article on page 13.

Online Ad Directory Xavier’s Online Ad Directory is in full operation after another very successful Students Helping Students Ad Drive. The directory features hundreds of ads promoting the goods and services of Xavier supporters. Ads can be searched by location or category and many advertisers have links to their websites for more detailed information.

The first “Sustaining Excellence Campaign Newsletter” is now available on our website in an easy-to-read magazine format with more issues to come. Two new videos are also on our website. The Kestrel “The Kestrel,” the student newspaper which has been a fixture (founded in 1965) at Xavier since its opening years, has gone green and is available to all via the internet. The student newspaper features News, Arts & Entertainment, Student Life, Sports and more. We have links to “The Kestrel” under our News & Events and Student tabs of the website. Be sure to bookmark it as a favorite so you can go directly to it quickly. Take a look today! X


n our effort to improve communication between parents and the school, Xavier High School has implemented a telephone broadcast system that enables school personnel to notify all households and parents by phone, text and email about events such as early dismissals, school cancellations or delayed openings. The service may also be used occasionally to communicate general announcements or reminders. This service is provided by SchoolReach, a company specializing in school-to-parent communications.

Parent App for Mobile devices There is also a Message Retrieval Line that can be used to check past messages or a message that may have been missed. Dial 855-955-8500 to hear up to 30 days of past message history. Note: Your call must originate from the phone number that the original message was sent to. There is also a parent app to listen to any voice mail or read any text message received in the last 30 days, view current contact info, opt in and out of texts or voice calls, and send updates for Android devices and iPhones. Xavier will still continue to report early dismissals, school cancellations or delayed openings due to weather on our website and on local radio and TV stations. X


Dear friends, I am not only a Xavier alum but a current teacher within the school. When one’s daily activities revolve around the school year schedule, it is easy to fall into a pattern in which fall becomes a time of new possibilities, spring becomes a reminder that the end is in sight and summer becomes a time to relax and prepare for a new year. With that said, winter can tend to drag on! A visit over winter break with a good friend from my days as a Xavier student reminded me that, no matter what the season, the Xavier community is a part of our lives no matter where we are in the school year cycle, or in our own journey through life. As the winter months drag on and spring seems increasingly elusive, I ask you to take the time to consider the role that the Xavier community plays in your life today and, moreover, what role you would like it to. For alums looking to reconnect with the school community on a more intimate level, I encourage you to contact me or our Office of Advancement about helping to wish the graduating class of 2014 well by becoming involved in our upcoming annual senior breakfast. Keep an eye out for the return of the Alumni Association’s traditional spring raffle and information about our annual golf tournament to be held this June. The winter may be long but spring is in sight and we would love to have you on board to help us celebrate it! Best wishes, James Royce `99


Xavier Today

Exploring Middle Earth on the set of The Hobbit in the Waikato. I am in the middle, on the left is my wife Maureen and on the right is my daughter Elizabeth (Mercy class of 1997). Those are real sheep on the hill.

Going from Doctor to Mister body parts after surgical removal, which many Maori prefer. It is important to them that all parts of the body be buried together. The Kiwi’s are a warm and encouraging people. My wife Maureen and I have felt embraced by the community since we arrived. It has been an opportunity of a lifetime to be able to live and work in New Zealand. I have been asked to stay on in my position as consultant general surgeon and would love to do it but there is a very powerful magnet drawing us back to Middletown. His name is William “Billy” Matthew Longo (Xavier class of 2032) born to my son Will (class of 1996) and his wife Mandy in Oct 2013. Oh, yes, regarding the “Mister.” The New Zealand health system is roughly modeled on the British system. As a result some of the British customs have been passed down, such as referring to consultant surgeons as Mister instead of Doctor. This is to distinguish between physicians

(Continued from the inside back cover)

This photo is from the theatre (operating room) break room at Whakatane Hospital. I am on the left. In the center is Mr. Desmond Collins consultant general surgeon and on the right is Dr. Saman Maheepala junior surgeon.

This is a picture of me and my daughter Audry (Mercy class of 2001) on White Island. This is an active volcano about 50 km off shore. We can see this volcano from our apartment.

and surgeons. The distinction of Mister is reserved only for surgeons. Whether I am called Doctor or Mister or Bill, the title

is irrelevant to me. I have never considered being a surgeon an occupation but have been blessed to call it my vocation. X

A Message from the Director of Advancement Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends of Xavier, On March 19, we will break ground for the renovations and enhancements to Xavier’s arts, academic and athletic facilities. This day is special in Xavier’s history. Not only is it the Feast of St. Joseph but it has also served as the historical date for the two previous groundbreaking ceremonies. It will be exciting to share the day with donors, volunteers, parents, students, faculty, staff and other supporters of Xavier! The “Sustaining Excellence” campaign continues to exceed expectations and participation goals. Thanks to the support of many in the community, we are closing in on $4 million in gifts and pledges to the campaign – almost to the half way mark! The work is not over, however, and we will be successful with your help. In order to meet the $8.5 million goal and see ALL the projects completed in time, I hope that you will choose to support our campaign. NOW is the time. The students, and future generations of Xavier men, deserve these new facilities. The reality is that, without your support, certain projects may be held until a later date. Lights for the turf field and the team room building can only happen if we meet our campaign goals by June 30,

2017. I know that many of you will answer the call when asked to support our projects, and I thank you in advance. Every single student will benefit from the campaign as of September when the athletic complex will be completed. We need to raise another $1 million before that time to see the field, track, and lights to completion. If you have not yet had a chance to view the videos of the “Sustaining Excellence” campaign, I would encourage you to do so. They are moving and inspiring, and remind us all why we choose to be philanthropic toward our beloved Xavier. Please call or email when you are ready to participate, in whatever way that means for you and your family, in the “Sustaining Excellence” campaign. Everyone is capable of some level of support, whether that is $100 per year or $10,000 per year. We need you, all of you, to support our alma mater. Have a wonderful spring!

Matthew L. Strekel `99 Director of Advancement

Guatemala Service Trip


hile we were digging out of yet another snow storm at the beginning of the school’s winter break, Xavier faculty member Matt Haywood `04 sent his first report about the Campus Ministry Service Trip to Guatemala. “We made it safely to the hotel, no glitches. Today (February 17th) we start our work building two houses in Antigua, Guatemala.” In his weekly letter to parents on the Friday before, Principal Donohue had asked them to, “Please keep these students in your prayers as they set off for a service trip this coming week to Guatemala: Tyler Beaulieu `16, CJ Caprio `14, Sean Carroll `14, Joshua Cohun `16, Jacob Corrone `15, Liam Coughlin `16, William Egan `17, Nick Favale `16, Connor Flynn `16, Joseph Murphy `16, Matthew Naarden, `15, Max Prete `14,

Benjamin Renna `14, Weston Soobitsky `17, Max Staab, `14, William Strom `15, Alex Veronneau `16 and Jon Zoccoli `16. Joining them on the trip are Mr. Matthew Haywood ’04, Mr. David Applegate, `98 and Br. John Sullivan, C.F.X.” This trip was organized through Mission Discovery. On their website they say, “Guatemala is a beautiful country in Central America. Behind the walls and in many small cities lie unbelievable poverty and families living in desperate conditions. With Mission Discovery, and in partnership with local ministries, you can take your senior high team to serve the poor. There short term mission teams will serve the poor by repairing homes. Teams could also minister spiritually through Children’s Bible School and delivering food to the needy families.” X


Vinny Cervoni `86 has been appointed to the position of Chair on the Wallingford Town Council.

1990s Andrew Luna `91 is a pilot with NetJets, a leader in private aviation, and lives in Middletown, CT. He received his degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Class of 1973 Reconnects at 40th Reunion Class of `73 celebrated their 40th year since graduation at the Inn at Middletown.

More Alumni News… 1960s Matthew M. McLaughlin `69 extended his best wishes to all for the New Year in a recent communication. Matt is a Global Talent Partner – Sales with IBM Human Resources.

1970s Peter LaVigne ’71 is a partner at the law firm of Goodwin Procter, where he advises investment banks and other securities broker-dealers. He lives with his wife, Meg Dooley, in the Jumel Mansion Historic District in Washington Heights in Manhattan. His daughter, Katie, is a third-year resident at NYU Medical Center and his son Michael is a law student at the University of Colorado Law School. Meg is an actress, most recently appearing as a lead in a production of Neil Simon’s play, “Broadway Bound.”

Boston Baseball,” and “The Red Sox Before the Babe.” He lives in Boston.

1980s Steven T. Anderson R.Ph. `85 says “I have been a pharmacist for almost 25 years. How time flies by. I am currently working at West River Pharmacy in Marlboro MA.” Steven is living in Massachusetts with his wife Katy and two daughters: six year old, Isabella and three year-old, Charlotte.

Ed Haydon `75 tells us that his nephew Nick Fragola (son of Chrissy – Mercy `81) is a member of the Keene State College Owls basketball team in Keene, NH. Donald Hubbard `77 has co-authored “Then Russell Said to Bird...: The Greatest Celtics Stories Ever Told” with former Celtic Dave Cowens. Don is a practicing attorney in Boston, where he published a weekly newspaper column for 10 years. He is the author of a number of other books including “100 Things Celtics Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die,” “100 Things Patriots Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die,” “Forgotten Four: Notre Dame’s Greatest Backfield and the Undefeated 1953 Season,” “The Heavenly Twins of


Xavier Today

2 year-old Joshua, son of John Luna ’89 is perusing a recent copy of Xavier Today “in the hope of one day attending XHS” says John’s mother Paula. She shared that John lives in Knoxville, TN with his wife Jennifer, daughter Alexis and son Joshua. John is the Executive Chef/Manager with Sodexo at Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Knoxville and earned his AOS in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University.

Chris Rouleau `97 is a Connecticut Military OneSource Joint Family Support Assistance Program Consultant. Chris works in conjunction with the State Military Program Office as a member of the Joint Family Support Assistance program. Tom Laffin `98 has been appointed as the Vice Chairman of the Wallingford Town Council.)

2000s Matthew Ciardiello `00 recently had “A busy few weeks! We adopted an infant son Alexander Christopher Ciardiello and then by coincidence we closed on buying our house on the same day... so needless to say I’ve had my hands full. I am now a very proud father and homeowner!” John Palazzo `00 graduated from UConn in `04 with a B.A. in History and Political Science and received his M.S. in Education at the University of New Haven in `08. John currently lives in Wethersfield with his wife Maria (Mercy `01) and one-year-old daughter Gianna. He teaches Grade 7 World Cultures. John says “As a middle school teacher in a town not far from Xavier, sometimes students who found out I graduated from Xavier and may be thinking about taking the entrance exam end up at my classroom to ask me questions about my experience there as a student and an athlete. I often tell them that Xavier had a tremendously positive impact on me. I was always challenged, whether it was on the field or in the classroom, and learned to persevere through adversity, with no excuses. The reason that I am a teacher today is because of the welcoming community, great coaches, and loving teachers that inspired me as a student and taught me what it meant to ‘Be a Man.’”

Matthew J. Pugliese `00 (pictured above with his family) is the Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s (CRT) new Interim Managing Director. Matt will oversee the management functions of Connecticut Repertory Theatre, the professional arm of UConn’s Department of Dramatic Arts, for the remainder of the 2013/2014 Subscription Series and the 2014 Nutmeg Summer Series. Matt told us “I’m very excited to have this opportunity to work with talented professionals and students side by side. It’s a big challenge, especially because currently the position is only Interim, but that offers me a great opportunity – and I draw on my ability to focus and compete under pressure – that I honed for four years on the cross country and track teams (at Xavier).” Christopher E. Baker `01 and Stephen M. Shea `01 co-authored the book “Basketball Analytics” which was recently published and available on Chris received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and is a software developer. Stephen is an associate professor of mathematics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Wesleyan University in Middletown. The two were also recently published in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports for their work entitled “Calculating Wins Over Replacement Player (WORP) for NHL Goaltenders.” PGA Golf Pro Justin Sheehan `03 is featured on as one of the Best Young Teachers with an article and video “Wanna Get A Club Longer?” Tom Charpentier `06, a 2010 graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, has taken on the role of government advocacy specialist for the Experimental

What’s new? Email your news to or use the online form Visit our Alumni Class Contacts page on the website under Advancement & Alumni if you would like to be a Class Contact for your graduating class or email to your Class Contact as listed there.

Aircraft Association headquartered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. “It is truly a dream job that has afforded me many opportunities I might not otherwise have at this stage of my career.” Tom helps represent the needs of recreational pilots, amateur aircraft builders and other aviation enthusiasts to federal, state, and local government in an effort to make aviation accessible, safe and affordable. Chris Clancy `07 has qualified for a wildcard spot in the second round of the 2014 season of the World Series competition of the Red Bull Crashed Ice downhill race held in Saint Paul, Minnesota on February 22nd. Chris played both hockey and lacrosse here at Xavier. He graduated from Southern New Hampshire University in 2011 with a B.A. in Business and a concentration in Sports Management.

2010s David Borges of the “New Haven Register” has posted an article about 2011 Xavier grad Pat Lenehan “Cheshire’s Lenehan superstar in classroom for UConn” in both the “Register” and the “Middletown Press.” (Pat returned to Xavier to welcome the Class of 2018, see the story on page 18.) Steven Romanelli `12, a sophomore pre-med student at Fordham University, stopped by Mrs. Charpentier’s AP Biology class during his winter semester break to give a talk on his research in bionanotechnology. His research involves investigating the growth of new bone for orthopedic medicine by regenerating tissue from bone marrow stem cells, using nano techniques. Steven stressed to his attentive audience that any high school students thinking about pre-med, biomedical sciences or related fields ought to take AP Chemistry and AP Biology as solid preparation for the rigors of this particular career path. Max Schumann `13 was awarded the Offensive Rookie of the Year by the University of Chicago football team (Offensive Line, freshman). Max played in six games at offensive tackle. At UChicago Max was involved in their Student Leadership Institute as a participant in the Institute of Politics. James Sullivan `13 was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Week in November. James is an Emmanuel College freshman and swingman for the Saints.

Alumni Athletes Reunite For Games


ver the Thanksgiving weekend, we were happy to see a group of our alumni return to Xavier to rekindle their athletic spirit. For several years now, Hockey, Soccer and Cross Country alums have been making these gatherings an annual event. For the hockey alumni, it was an afternoon to get back out on the ice at Wesleyan. Assistant Director for Annual and Planned Giving Greg Brinn slid out on the ice to get his photo above. Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Erin Bysiewicz captured the photo at right of alums preparing for soccer on Ryken Field. Erin told us that the Cross Country alums were already off running in the woods so regretably we misssed taking their photo. Head wrestling Coach Mike Cunningham extended an invitation to Xavier’s alumni wrestlers to attend the December 23rd home opener of this year’s wrestling

season. After the game, the alums joined the coach for pizza in the school dining hall. Thanks to all those who participated! Looks like everyone had an enjoyable day. Hope to see you all and many more next year!

The Classes of 1988 from Xavier and Mercy Combine for 25th Reunion Celebration The Class of `88 got together with the `88 graduates of Mercy High to celebrate their 25th at the Gelston House in East Haddam.


In Memoriam Please remember these deceased members of the Xavier High School community. We recognize here alumni, faculty and staff, and members of their immediate families (including grandparents). Please send us an email with news of any current deaths that you do not see listed here.  Please include the date of death and where the obituary or announcement was published (newspaper or funeral home). Madelyn (Sullivan) Batchelder, 82, of Moodus, formerly of Middletown, died February 1, 2014 at Chestelm Health and Rehabilitation Center. She was the mother of Clem Batchelder `71 and the grandmother of Sean Batchelder `08 and Ryan Batchelder `11. Alphonse Battipaglia, 86, of Hamden passed away peacefully on January 7, 2014 at the Connecticut Hospice, Branford. He was the grandfather of Connor Milone `14. Elizabeth (Chappell) Bongo passed away peacefully on December 22, 2012, one day before her 77th birthday, at the Port Saint Lucie Nursing & Restorative Care Center. Elizabeth, most commonly known as Betty, was the grandmother of Christopher Bongo `11 and Jonathan Bongo `16.

Robert “Bob” Ciarleglio, Sr., 79, died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on May 1, 2013 after a long illness. He was the grandfather of Nicholas Maturo `14. Memorial donations can be made in Robert’s name to the Xavier Fine Arts Facility Upgrade, Xavier High School, 181 Randolph Road, Middletown, CT 06457. Angelina Emanuele, 88, passed away peacefully on January 19, 2014 surrounded by her loving family at Middlesex Health Care Center. She was the mother of Sal Emanuele Sr `73; grandmother of Dr. Sebastian Milardo `85, Nate Williams ‘88, Sal Emanuele Jr `97 and greatgrandmother of Nicolas Favale `16 and Joshua Favale `18. Ho Quey Eng, 94, grandmother of English teacher Mr. Timothy Eng, passed away on December 13, 2013.

Kathleen (Foster) Brede, 82, of Portland died November 14, 2013 at Middlesex Hospital surrounded by her loving family. Kathleen was the mother of David F. Brede `78. She was also the grandmother of David F. Brede, Jr. `04 and Michael B. Brede `07.

Marion (Frazier) Feitel, 94 passed away on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at Middlesex Health Care Center. She was the mother of Past Director of Alumni Devlopment and history teacher Richard Feitel and Gregg Feitel `81. Marion was also the grandmother of Bryan Feitel `86.

Pauline B. (Bourque) Breton, 78, of Durham passed away on January 6, 2014 at Wadsworth Glen Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Middletown, CT surrounded by her loving family after a long and brave battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Pauline was the mother of Leo Breton `85.

Father Joseph G. Finnerty, 80, died surrounded by his loving family on January 28, 2014. Father Finnerty was Xavier’s first chaplain. From 1963 to 1975, he served as chaplain to the Xaverian Brothers and chaplain Fr. Joseph G. Finnerty and guidance counselor to the Yearbook photo students at Xavier High School. Father Finnerty was born in Roxbury, Mass. and entered Our Lady of Mercy Seminary in Lenox, Mass., in 1950. He received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and in speech and drama (1956) and a bachelor’s of sacred theology (1961) from Catholic University in Washington D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood at St. Patrick Cathedral in Norwich, on May 11, 1961, by the Most Rev. Vincent J. Hines, D.D. Father Finnerty was assigned to St. Mary Church in New London, and then in September 1961, he became associate pastor of St. Joseph Church in Chester. While at Xavier, he became an elected member of the Clergy Council in 1966. Father Finnerty received a master of arts degree in guidance and counseling from Boston College in 1967. In 1975, he was appointed Pastor of St. Catherine of Sienna Church, Preston, and served there for 11 years. From 1985 to 1986, he studied at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Wash., and received a degree in spiritual studies. From 1986 to 2009, Father Finnerty was spiritual director at Emmaus Spiritual Life Center in Uncasville. During this time, he conducted over 350 parish missions and numerous priests’ retreats both in the U.S. and in the United Kingdom. Additional duties included secretary of the first Priests’ Senate, associate director of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, and director of Continuing Education and Formation Commission for the Clergy. After retiring in 2009, he continued to celebrate Masses at parishes throughout the Norwich Diocese. Memorial contributions may be made to a favorite charity that holds personal significance.

Timothy F. Brewer III, M.D., 82, of Tucson, AZ, formerly of Old Saybrook, CT, passed away peacefully on January 31, 2014. He was the father of Timothy Brewer IV `77, Kevin Brewer `78, and William Brewer `82. Edmund “Ned” Burke `85, age 47, of Fairfield, passed away January 30, 2014 after an 8 year battle with brain cancer. Ned was born in Hartford and raised in Wethersfield. He graduated from Xavier High School in 1985, Fairfield University in 1989 and Ned Burke `85 received his MBA from Fordham in Yearbook photo 1999. Ned had a fifteen year career in Corporate Communications/ Investor Relations with AIG in New York City. Ned had a love of sports, especially golf and the Boston Red Sox and found great joy in bringing friends together. He will always be remembered for his devotion to his wife, Michele (Carpentier) Burke, and children. Besides his wife and parents, Ned is survived by his children, Michael and Mia Burke. Donations in Ned’s memory may be made to The Jimmy Fund, C/O DanaFarber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168 or to Xavier High School, Attn: Advancement Office, 181 Randolph Rd., Middletown, CT 06457. Anna (Spada) Carta, 85, of Middletown, Connecticut passed away on January 10, 2014, surrounded by her loving family at the Middlesex Health Care Center in Middletown, Connecticut. Anna was the mother of Carl Carta `70 and Robert Carta `71. She was also the grandmother of Michael Carta `13. Memorial contributions in Anna’s name may be made to Xavier High School, 181 Randolph Road, Middletown, Connecticut, 06457. Helen Mary Morariu Catalano, 85, of Middletown, CT passed away on December 31, 2013 after a brief illness with family by her side. Helen was the mother of Jude Catalano `75 and grandmother of Marcellus Catalano `89.


Xavier Today

Leonard J. Fredericks, Sr., 79, of Middlefield went peacefully to his eternal reward on January 2, 2014. He was the father of Leonard J. Fredericks, Jr. `70 and grandfather of Trevor Fredericks `05, Aaron Fredericks, Esq. `06 and Alexander Fredericks `10.

Robert D. Johnson Jr. `87, age 45, passed away Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, due to complications from pneumonia coupled with FSH Muscular Dystrophy at the Hospital of Central CT at New Britain General. Robert was Robert D. Johnson Jr. `87 born in Meriden and had been a Yearbook photo Wallingford and Meriden resident. Rob was a 1987 graduate of Xavier High School and a 1992 graduate of Hartford State Technical College with an associate’s degree in architectural drafting. He had been employed by the Wallingford Stop and Shop until his retirement a year ago. He is survived by his wife Kathleen Taylor Johnson. Rob was an avid Boston Red Sox fan and a lighthouse enthusiast. He enjoyed traveling with Kate to various lighthouse locations, having visited most of the New England lighthouses and several in the Mid-Atlantic and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Anthony La Bella , 88, of Marlborough, formerly of both Portland and Middletown passed away peacefully on December 27, 2013 at Middlesex Hospital after a short illness. He was the father of Joseph La Bella `79 and the grandfather of James La Bella `16 and Michael La Bella `16. Robert L. LaBissoniere `68, age 63 of Coventry, Ct., passed away peacefully November 9, 2013 with family by his side. Born in Meriden, Ct., he was a graduate of Xavier High School and the Charter Oak State ColRobert LaBissoniere `68 lege where he received a B.S. Yearbook photo in Health Studies. Bob served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War where he was a Combat Medic (Corpsman). He received his LPN license upon discharge. Bob worked at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Newington, CT as an Orthopedic Technologist. Bob enjoyed the outdoors, playing pool with his buddies, motorcycles, and rooting for his New York Giants. He especially loved his four-legged boys, Zak, Harley, Trooper, Coal, Banff, and Sam. As a senior at Xavier, Bob was a member of the bowling team. Bernadette (McPherson) (Etzel) LaPlace, 89, passed away at Southington Care Center on January 18, 2014. She was the mother of Peter Etzel `71. Alice M. (Behenna) McRae, age 93 of Hingham, MA, formerly of Jupiter, FL, Hull and Stoneham, died peacefully November 24, 2013, at the Bridges by Epoch in Hingham, surrounded by her loving family. Alice was the sister of Brother Eugene Behenna, C.F.X., former faculty member who is in residence at Xavier. Martin John Moore, 51, of Meriden, passed into eternal life on December 2, 2013, at his home, surrounded by his loving family. Martin was the father of Brennan Moore `13. John R Pryor Jr., 42, of Clinton since 1976, passed away unexpectedly on January 8, 2013. John attended Xavier High School until February 1988 and graduated from Morgan High School in 1989. Brother Robert J. Sullivan, C.F.X., 85, Xavier’s first principal. (See story on page 4.) Annette B. Ward, 73, of Middletown, CT, departed this life December 28, 2013. Mrs. Ward was the grandmother of Derrick Ward `15. Memorial contributions may be made to “The Derrick Ward Education Fund”, c/o Liberty Bank, 315 Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457. Giuseppe Zacchia, 74, of Southington passed away January 21, 2014, at MidState Medical Center after courageously battling heart disease for 36 years. He was the grandfather of Joseph Zacchia `16.

Going from Doctor to Mister American surgeon adapts to the Kiwi health system By Dr. William A. Longo `69

In this edition of Xavier Today we are featuring Xavier Class of 1969 alumnus Dr. William A. Longo using his own words.

My wife Maureen and I on the Coromandel Peninsula overlooking the Firth of Thames


fter 35 years of being called doctor I am still adapting to being called Mister by my colleagues and patients. I retired from the Middletown Surgical Group at the end of 2012 after 30 years of practice. During that time I had been a managing partner for 25 years; I had also served as Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Middlesex Hospital for nine years. Contemplating retirement, I wanted to do more than to stop work and play golf. The desire to scale back from a 70-80 hour work week while continuing to work as a surgeon, combined with the wish to travel, presented a unique challenge within the American health system. A chance encounter with international recruiters at an American College of Surgeons meeting led me to consider a locum tenens posting after retirement. Locum tenens, Latin for “place holders” is the term used in the medical profession for temporary workers. Locum doctors bridge the gap in areas where there are too few doctors to care for the population. Contracts vary in duration from a single night’s coverage to a year or more. In March 2013 I joined the staff of Whakatane Hospital in New Zealand as a

consultant general surgeon. In scaling back to a 40 hour work week, I am enjoying a healthier work-life balance. Caring for patients is the same the world over. As a surgeon, diagnosing the problem and performing surgery are the same, but the means to the end are different. In New Zealand, access to equipment that we take for granted in the United States is limited and it is not unusual for patients to travel 2-3 hours for medical care. Knowing this, I have adjusted my approach in treating patients while maintaining a high standard of care. One thing that is consistent among my patients here and in the United States is their appreciation for my care of their surgical problems. This is true despite the longer wait time for elective surgery in New Zealand. My work day begins with ward rounds during which I am accompanied by a junior surgeon, a house officer (intern), a physical therapist, and a social worker. After making rounds, I see patients in the clinic or perform surgery in the theatre (operating room). Every fortnight I travel 50 kilometers to Opotiki to conduct a clinic at a five-bed hospital. It is a spectacular drive along the coast of the

Maureen and I after finishing the biking competition of the Ohope Beach Ironman Challenge.

Bay of Plenty to a rural area that is heavily populated by Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. As part of my orientation, the Maori staff members of Whakatane Hospital welcomed me in a powhiri, which is a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony. It culminates with hongi, the touching of one’s nose and forehead to another’s with an exchange of breath. Once this has happened you are recognized as a friend not foe. In order to respect their culture, I have had to adjust to different protocols; for example, the patients are entitled to keep their Continued on page 20

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4 xt winter2014  

Xavier Today Magazine Winter 2014 Edition featuring articles about the Alumni, Students, faculty and staff, as well as activities, and relat...

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