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Spring 2013

A Magazine for the Constituents of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School

Opening Doors

Thoughts from the President



s you open the pages of this edition of OLSHighlights, we hope you will enjoy the same feeling that commonly envelopes those who enter through our open doors at OLSH: A feeling of welcome; the embrace of family; a faith-centered atmosphere; an unbridled level of enthusiasm and energy; a sense of purpose; an assurance that you matter; and a warmth that radiates within your heart.


As the end of my first full school year as president draws to a close, I recall the warm welcome that I received when I arrived at OLSH. I have come to know first-hand what I had heard – that the culture of this school and the attributes that characterize our people, programs and pursuits – distinguish OLSH from among other high schools across the nation and within our region, and form the cornerstone of our community, allowing us to flourish. We are blessed by the success that surrounds us! Ever mindful of the spirit, determination and vision of the Felician Sisters, I am honored to serve as one of the contemporary caretakers and stewards of OLSH, continuing to add layers of additional value to our core pursuits. The current school year has been marked by multiple layers of achievement, including recordbreaking enrollment, outstanding student academic and athletic accomplishment, a heightened level of exposure in the local marketplace, expansion of our donor base, and the development of new partnerships that will effect our continued progress at OLSH.

"OLSH alumni across the globe should be prouder than ever of their school’s status as a school of choice!"

DESIGNER Michael J. Cerchiaro ‘96 PHOTOGRAPHY Harry Giglio OLSH Archives OLSH Family & Friends OLSH Yearbook PRINTING Multi Print Media

We are innovating – using new technologies and approaches in our classrooms, offering expansive health, fitness, strength and conditioning opportunities to our students, and building relationships with area businesses, nonprofit organizations and foundations. And we are planning – strategically and operationally – in areas such as educational technology, curriculum, class schedule, facilities, safety and security. OLSH alumni across the globe should be prouder than ever of their school’s status as a school of choice! Thank you for the role you play in advancing and advocating for our school. Sincerely,

Terry O’Rourke Donoghue President

WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS Stefan Arch ‘13 Dena Rose Buzila Ellen DiMartini ‘13 Sr. Desire Anne Marie Findlay Emilee Gallagher ‘13 Alexandra George ‘13 Katelyn Gilroy Sr. M. Francine Horos '68 Rick Karashin Casey LaBuda ‘13 Christopher Milton ‘13 Becky Mulvay ‘90 Aidan White ‘15 Alyssa Wolf ‘13 Sophia Worrall ‘13 Fr. Michael Yaksick ‘86

OLSHChargers OLSHAlumni @OLSH_HighSchool

SPECIAL THANKS Felician Sisters OLSH School Archives OLSH Yearbook OLSHighlights is published by the Advancement Office of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School and mailed free of charge to alumni, faculty, staff, students, families, and friends of OLSH. Contributions to Alumni News & Notes and address changes may be sent to: OLSH Advancement Office 1504 Woodcrest Avenue Coraopolis, PA 15108-3054 Phone: (412) 264-4082 Fax: (412) 264-4143 E-mail:

Table of CONTENTS Spring 2013


From the Vault: 80 Years of Memories


Companies Making a Difference


Blessing of the Classrooms

10 OLSH Shines at 2013 Legacy Gala 12 Scholarship Recognizes the Power of Goodness









Bill Stickman '98: Inspired by Faith


Kris Karagory: Not Your Average Gym Teacher


Julie Polletta '86: Architect Builds on Her Foundation


The Chaplain Chimes In

14 What's Happening Around OLSH 20 OLSH News and Notes 21 Alumni News and Notes 24 In Memorium 25 Where In The World



ON THE COVER: OLSH students leaving the building through the school's main entrance, original to the 1932 construction. Pictured on the left are OLSH students in the same area in the 1950s. Photography by Harry Giglio Productions, Inc. OUR LADY OF THE SACRED HEART HIGH SCHOOL • 1





If you have been following OLSH this year, whether through Facebook, OLSHighlights, email or in person, you may have noticed a “throwback” theme. During OLSH’s 80 th year, we have opened the "vault" to explore the past and honor our roots. In fact, at this year’s Legacy Gala Amazing Journey, the 80 th anniversary display, sponsored by First Niagara Bank, did just that. Photographs, yearbooks, programs and

other mementos from 1932 to 2013 were pulled out of the archives for the OLSH community to admire and remember. Below we share a few key photos that were displayed – snippets of the moments that built the foundation on which OLSH now stands. As you reminisce, reflect on the moments you had at OLSH that brought you to where you are today.

A group of new aspirants prepare to move into the OLSH convent.

Phys Ed class in the 1950s in the original gymnasium (now the Social Commons locker area).

Students pose with the newlycrowned “Press Queen.”




Cross Country Coa Tim Plocinik check with team membe

ach ks in ers.

1960's Saying a prayer on Senior Class Day in 1960.


Sr. Melanie Marie Bajorek '67 observes a science experiment.

Sr. M. Julianne Pilewski '40 speaks to Janet Puppo’s religion class on Intergenerational Day in 2002.




Cheerleaders from 1984 show off their skills on the lawn.

These photos represent a small piece of OLSH’s history and the innumerable memories created by those who spent time here. We are always looking for stories and memories to add to our archives. If you have a story about one of these photos or your experience at OLSH, we would love to hear about it! Please share your stories and photos with us on Facebook at or come in for a visit – bring your photos and mementos for us to photograph or copy for our collection.


The Door of Faith "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”


hese words are by Helen Keller, the inspiring woman who, from an illness at the age of only nineteen months, faced the “closed doors” of being unable to see or hear. Yet, through the untiring love and efforts of her family and teacher, she was able to find the “open door” of communication and new life. Her words are an image of our life of faith, which continually asks us to trust in the God who opens the new door for us. To see the "open door", however, means seeing reality as it truly is, not only as we may want it to be. The “closed door” may appear to our understanding to be the best plan, the right choice, the most reasonable path, and so on. It can take a tremendous act of faith for us to let go of one dream, in order to embrace another one from God. We are currently celebrating a great blessing that can help us recognize more clearly the “open doors” in our lives—the Year of Faith. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, announced this Year of Faith— from October 11, 2012 through November 24, 2013—also employing the image of a door! It is taken from the Acts of

Fr. Michael Yaksick '86 the Apostles OLSH Chaplain 14:27, where Saints Paul and Barnabas relate how God had opened the “door of faith” to all people. In the letter promulgating the Year, Porta Fidei, the pontiff emeritus affirmed, “the ‘door of faith’ is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into His Church…to enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime” (no. 1). The opening of this year coincided with the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, and the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Beyond these historical commemorations, though, we are invited to see this time as an opportunity to deepen our relationship with the Risen Jesus Christ and to recommit ourselves to be joy-filled witnesses of His Gospel. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI assured us that finding the doors God opens for us on this “journey that lasts a lifetime” requires repeated acts of faith and trust, often expressed through a surrendering of our expectations. This “letting go” of visions that seemed so certain or necessary, in large and small ways, forms a “continuous crescendo” in our lives, but he encouraged us to remember—this surrender is always “into the hands of a love that seems to grow constantly because it has its origin in God.” (Porta Fidei, no. 7). As the OLSH Family, we are currently celebrating the 80th year of the opening of our School’s doors! These doors remind us that those who came before us also experienced many “closed doors” at times: Blessed Mary Angela, in founding the Felician Sisters and in her loss of hearing; the first Felicians who left Poland to embrace the challenge of establishing the Order in the nineteenth-century United States; the Sisters who discerned the location of Coraopolis and built our School; and all members of the OLSH family since 1932. With constant trust and hope, they were able to find the doors the Lord was opening, and so can we! May our 80th Birthday, as well as this Year of Faith, help us turn our eyes from what our limited sight perceives as the closed doors of endings, to the beckoning doors of the new beginnings and happiness Jesus offers us. May we remember at all times that the “door of faith is always open for us”! 



Inspired by Faith By Jessica Cerchiaro


e can learn and be inspired by the past and those who came before us, and it is often our teachers who help us to “get to know” those inspirational figures. In the late 1990s Janet Puppo tasked her senior religion class with writing a term paper highlighting the life of a saint who mirrored their interests or personality. Sr. M. Fidelia Chimel, a retired Sister who helped out around the school, met with each student individually to help guide them in their choice of subject for their papers. After reflecting on their conversations, Sr. Fidelia would provide each student with a “short list” of saints to review. When Sr. Fidelia presented then senior Bill Stickman '98 with his “short list”, there was only one name on it – St. Thomas More. As Stickman researched, he instantly felt connected with More. Many of his attributes paralleled More’s, a lay Catholic, interested in the Classics, law and politics, and possessing a very strong faith – time would demonstrate that many other traits matched him perfectly (except for the martyrdom, of course!). Stickman’s interest in law and political process, and his strong faith were clear to Sr. Fidelia, and these interests would continue to shape his future path. One of Stickman’s favorite classes at OLSH was Latin. His small class of six students learned more than just the language; teacher Pat Finnegan gave the class a solid overview of philosophical concepts o f We s t e r n c u l t u r e . T h i s l o v e f o r language and literature led Stickman to study Classics at Duquesne University, where he was president of the Mortar Board Honor Society. After graduating as valedictorian of his class, Stickman enrolled in Duquesne University’s School of Law. “Law, as a philosophy, touches everyone’s lives,” said Stickman. “It orders our lives and society as a whole. We need decent people involved in the law to ensure it’s done right and serves justice.” Stickman attributes his

appreciation for “justice for all” to his experiences at OLSH. “OLSH nurtured the importance of goodness,” he said. Without a doubt, Stickman is one of those “decent people” he mentions. Stickman takes his profession very seriously and the influence of his faith allows him to focus on the pursuit of justice for all people. His drive is not simply success, but also to defend what is just and right. It is through this pursuit that he has ultimately found great success. Reflecting his strong personal work ethic and standard, Stickman has argued over fifteen cases before state and federal appellate courts and was named a partner at Del Sole Cavanaugh Stroyd LLC and a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer Rising Star three times, all before the age of 35. In 2011, he was nominated to serve a three year term on the Pennsylvania Civil Procedural Rules Committee by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He has also been an adjunct lecturer of the Classics at Duquesne University, and he will be teaching a course in ancient law this fall. With all of that, Stickman also participates in American Inns of Court, an organization of law professionals and students, who focus on the improvement of skills, professionalism, and ethics in law. In addition to the time he dedicates to his career, Stickman, a father of three, values family time and enjoys sharing his faith with his daughter and two sons. He also makes time for his high school alma mater, serving as a member of the OLSH Board of Directors. His law expertise and strong Catholic values earned him the invitation to join OLSH’s board in 2008. He considers two main purposes for serving on the board: to keep OLSH affordable for others to be able to receive the transformative education he received, and to ensure that what makes OLSH unique remains. “The school is in a much stronger and better place than when I was a student,”

Bill Stickman ’98 with the Thomas More painting in his office at Del Sole Cavanaugh Stroyd LLC.

remarked Stickman, “and that is thanks to the board and the whole OLSH community – faculty, staff, parents, and students – who have a vested interest in making OLSH the best Catholic school in the area.” Stickman’s dedication to his alma mater and his concern for preserving the Felician values is obvious. The formative experience he had at OLSH, during those key transitional teenage years, truly impacted the way he has chosen to live his life. While he may not have been sure of his future path at the time, Sr. Fidelia’s request for Stickman to present his paper to the Pittsburgh St. Thomas More Society (a group of Catholic lawyers and law students) during his senior year foreshadowed that path. His introduction to More opened a door of possibilities for a young man who liked Latin, politics, and law. As a reminder of this influence, a picture of St. Thomas More hangs in Stickman’s office today. 


Companies Making a Difference By Dena Rose Buzila

Jack Hinds and Rohrich Automotive lead a list of several executives and companies who are partnering with the state of PA to make a difference for many OLSH students.


onsider this chain of events: A finance executive from a profitable business files taxes, looks at the line item that indicates the total PA State Tax Due, and then signs a check payable to the state for only 10% of the total owed. The remaining 90% is funded by a tax credit issued by the state of PA in return for a life-changing gift the business made to OLSH – making an OLSH education possible for a student who could not otherwise afford it. One decision, one form and a couple of signatures – results in the transformation of many lives. Each year, more than 40,000 students in Pennsylvania are given a chance at a better future thanks to the state of Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC). The program provides an incentive for businesses to directly support education in lieu of sending tax payments to Harrisburg. Making a contribution to the OLSH Scholarship Organization through EITC allows you to receive a state tax credit up to 90% of your contribution. At OLSH, more than 40% of students – 151, in fact, in the current school year – receive tuition assistance. According to Cheryl Karashin, Vice President of Advancement, in order to ensure that an OLSH education is affordable to every family at the school, $400,000 is distributed on an annual basis. The EITC program provides OLSH with an ideal opportunity through which this annual financial aid commitment can be funded. “Companies that participate in the EITC program gain tax advantages while allowing us to stay true to our mission by giving every student the opportunity to be transformed by all our school has to offer. Funds directed to OLSH through EITC are essential; each dollar makes a difference and keeps a student enrolled. These businesspeople are true angels for so many families.” she said.


Jack Hinds is Vice President and Treasurer at Rohrich Automotive Group, one of several companies whose participation in the EITC Fund directly benefits OLSH students. He is so passionate about the opportunity EITC offers that he is helping OLSH lead an informational campaign designed to educate anyone who will listen. “When Rohrich executives were first introduced to the EITC program by our accountants, Schneider Downs, we all did a double-take. It took only five minutes to understand the positive impact this could have on our customers, families in our community and our bottom line,” said Hinds. Mr. Hinds, an alumni parent and former board member, remains involved as a strong supporter of OLSH. He admits that for him, this is not just a business decision, it’s very personal. “I cannot put into dollars the value OLSH brought to my own children and I would never want to see any child deprived of an education here. The world is a tough place, but I know a better Place exists. Sending my children to OLSH was putting them on the right path to that better Place,” he said. And Hinds' company continues to make a difference, providing that chance for many local families. Rohrich Automotive has contributed $140,000 to OLSH tuition assistance thru EITC since 2006. OLSH’s 2013-2014 goal is to enroll more companies in the EITC program and to secure more than $250,000 in tuition assistance for OLSH students. “This is as easy as a five-minute conversation and an online form.” said Hinds. “When do you get a real chance to improve a life, a future and the community while helping your business, your employer, or your friends save big money? Just tell someone about EITC. If every OLSH family tells four people, imagine the impact.” Now reconsider the original chain of events scenario: A finance executive from a profitable business files the firm’s taxes, looks at the line item that indicates the total PA State Tax Due then signs a check for the full amount owed. It just cost the business 90% more money and cost a student (or several students) the chance of a lifetime. Support OLSH’s efforts with EITC by sharing this article with a business owner or executive you know, or by getting your own company involved.  For more information, please contact Cheryl Karashin, VP of Advancement, at or download more information at


Not Your Average Gym Teacher By Katelyn Gilroy


hat comes to mind when you hear the words “gym class”? Perhaps climbing a rope, or running a mile? Here at OLSH, those two words conjure up something a little more interesting. Thanks to Kris Karagory, the newest addition to the Physical Education & Health Department, words like foam roller, flexibility, and core strength are just a few ways in which Karagory is transforming students’ and faculty members’ lives through his courses and the OLSH Sports Performance Program. Building on recently added course offerings in Phys Ed, Karagory introduces a variety of workout techniques into his teaching. Regular Phys Ed courses incorporate stretching and build flexibility through a yoga unit.

Weight Training and Personal Fitness students perform circuits. Using an iPad app, Karagory tracks the form of students who are lifting weights. Starting with the softball team, the OLSH Sports Performance Program was designed to help student athletes improve upon their flexibility, strength, power output, and body composition. Students whose sports were not in season came to Karagory looking to continue to work on their physical fitness. From there, the program grew to include other teams, students, nonathletes, and even faculty members. Along with a redesign of the weight room to increase functionality, the program aims to improve mobility and flexibility, strength, aerobic capacity, speed, and muscle size. Proper running technique is also emphasized. Mobility

Karagory coaches Jay Pflugh '14 as he conditions for football season.

is improved through the use of bands and the mobility-foam roller. The foam rollers break up scar tissue, allow the muscles to relax, and increase flexibility. Karagory said, “I am creating programs for people’s personal or athletic needs, including those with injuries.” And the results of this program have been outstanding. Almost every athlete or student who is making this program part of their daily or weekly routine has improved. Karagory is proud of these outcomes. “Whether it’s their flexibility or body composition; people who have been doing this consistently are reshaping their bodies.” This program is reshaping their ideas about who they are as well. Karagory constantly sees an improvement in the self-esteem of many students he trains. “When people start to get stronger, they’re just naturally more confident. This program is about overcoming fears. And it’s also about discipline.” Teaching students and faculty to better understand how to work out and train is just one way in which Karagory is opening the doors to wellness at OLSH. With new-found confidence, those who are participating in this workout program are not only building on their character, but they are also establishing a strong foundation for a lifelong commitment to better health. 

A weight-training and personal fitness course works with the kettlebells.



Architect Builds on Her Foundation By Becky Mulvay '91


hen Julie Polletta ’86 thinks about doors, she doesn’t just think about opening them. As a principal of the Pittsburgh architectural firm of Radelet McCarthy Polletta, she thinks about everything around them – the walls, the floors, the roof, what holds them up, and how it all fits together. She also thinks about reusing and recycling them, as her firm undertakes and completes more and more “green” projects. “A lot of clients are asking for that now,” she said. “Even if projects don’t become LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), in general clients are being more conscious and careful. Many are renovating their facilities and incorporating sustainable and efficiency-improving features.” With a client list that includes PNC Bank, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Duquesne University and the Community College of Allegheny County, Radelet McCarthy Polletta is doing its part to help local businesses

and institutions with their commitments to sustainability. Polletta was not surprised that OLSH was at the forefront of the green design movement. The 2001 campus renovation was awarded a LEED Gold Certification in recognition of efforts to incorporate the principles of green design, which include lowering operating costs and increasing asset value, reducing water sent to landfills, conserving energy and water, becoming healthier and safer for occupants, and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. “That approach seemed consistent with Felician values,” Polletta said. She followed the renovation as it was chronicled in local magazines and other publications, watching the transformation of the once-familiar campus. The Tisch Family Library is another feature added since her days as an OLSH student that impressed Polletta, both because of its design, and even more so, because of the door it opens among generations. Fostering everyday interaction between the students, faculty, staff, and the Felician Sisters who reside in the convent, benefits everyone, especially the students, she feels. “This ‘cross-pollination’ is really important for students. I have interacted with students and they often aren’t comfortable talking to people outside their peer group, so it’s good to provide an opportunity right on campus to interact with different people.” Recalling her own days at OLSH, Polletta mentioned that one of the most unique aspects of the school was exactly that type of interaction with new people. Entering as a freshman with a group of classmates from St. Titus Elementary School in Aliquippa, she was

Julie Polletta '86 Architect, Radelet McCarthy Polletta

impressed that “kids from all over came to OLSH. Participating in sports and intramurals was really interesting. There was a variety and range of attitudes and personalities,” she said. Interacting with the diverse community OLSH offers helped open the door and smooth Polletta’s transition into the collegiate lifestyle. “It was easier to mix and mingle with people who had different backgrounds,” she said. Polletta also credits the OLSH faculty with teaching her ways to think comprehensively. In her four years of Spanish class with Susan Fahey, she realized that learning a language requires a separate thought process to develop the ability to express yourself in a foreign culture. “Once you got over the hump of how difficult it was, you realized how much you were stretching your mind.” She also credits Sr. M. Francine Horos '68 and Jack Mihaloew with “demystifying” math and science for her. “They really made an impression that these subjects weren’t intimidating,” she said. Polletta even still has a geometry notebook from Sr. Francine’s class that she keeps as a memento. After graduation, Polletta felt wellprepared to attend the University of Notre Dame as an engineering major. By the end of her freshman year, she realized her true passion and switched her major to architecture. Taking that step to build on the foundation that was formed at OLSH led Polletta to all of the successes she is experiencing today. 

Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers, Hillman Cancer Center A patient lounge, located at the entrance to the treatment suite, provides direct access to the roof garden. Denmarsh Photography, Inc



any OLSH visitors wonder about the numbers and letters written in chalk above each classroom and office door in the school. The 20 + C + M + B + 13 is part of the traditional Epiphany blessing, with the initials CMB representing the names of the three Magi, and the numbers 2013 for the current year. Each January, all of the classrooms are blessed by our chaplain, who utilizes the blessing that appears below.

Epiphany Blessing of the Classrooms Sacred are the thresholds of our school and holy are its doors. They are the meeting place of friend, neighbor, and stranger. May they be a bridge for our comings and goings. Whenever we stand in their sacred circles, may our eyes be granted new vision, so that we can see in friend or stranger the God of ten thousand disguises. May our thresholds be a sacred space where we come to celebrate the sacrament of hospitality. May the spirits of evil never cross these thresholds, and may the Name of the All-Holy-One protect our school from harm. May God’s angels stand guard at the right and the left of our doors to grace our comings and goings. May we who dwell in this school guard the sacredness of these doorways. May our hearts always be alert to the danger of falseness and pretense as we greet those who come to our doors. Let our affection be graced with honesty and reverence, and may the oil of truth burn in the lamp of our eyes. Help us to remember that our ancestors were strangers and exiles in Egypt, that Joseph and Mary came knocking at a door like these, weary and in search of kindness. May we receive all at these doors as Godly guests. From the East came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures, they offered costly gifts: gold to the great King, incense to the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial. Alleluia. 20 + C + M + B + 13 May the Blessing of God and the peace and grace of the All-Holy-One surround this threshold and rest upon all who shall pass across it.


300 Guests + 40 Sisters + 61 Alumni + 33 Sponsors + 188 Donors + 2

OLSH Shines at 2013 Legacy Gala By Dena Rose Buzila, Gala Coordinator


ur tribute to all things OLSH, the annual Legacy Gala has grown t o b e c o m e t h e s c h o o l ’s m o s t anticipated yearly fundraising event. This year’s milestone celebration of the 80th anniversary of our school and our beloved founders, The Felician Sisters, counts as one of the most spectacular yet, with record breaking attendance, donations and participation.

by Sr. M. Francine Horos '68 and OLSH students, was an appropriate crescendo to the awards ceremony. The Hyatt’s executive chef showed off his culinary talent with a delicious dinner menu, and, the much anticipated Sisters’ Heavenly Cookie trays, homemade by cookie sponsor Aladdin Foods, were delightful in both taste and presentation.

OLSH students entertained during dinner, and the live auction, as always, led the The March 2 Legacy Gala, an Amazing exciting post-dinner bidding. The four Journey, was an evening filled with love, silent auction tables were sponsored by fun and fellowship - and a few surprises Diamond Sponsors Clearview Federal as guests gathered to honor the Felician Credit Union, Felician Services, Inc., Sisters and raise money “Words cannot describe, and Robert Morris University for OLSH students. and Tudi Mechanical I don’t think I could find The school’s parents, Systems. Bidding teachers, administrators, enough adjectives to express guests had a great time board of directors, competing for a variety how fantastic, majestic, sponsors, alumni and, of of wonderful prizes, heartwarming, sincere, course, the Sisters were generously donated by included in the crowd of so many merchants, beautiful, eloquent and over 300 attendees. restaurants and sports, touching the 2013 Gala, cultural and educational The Inaugural Gala organizations. The silent 'Amazing Journey' was." “Host Committee,” Terry auction tables had Sr. M DeLourdes Macurak ‘57, O’Rourke Donoghue, something for everyone OLSH faculty 1978-1982 Paul and Nancy with winning bids Collier, Jim Rosenwald ‘84 and Regina ranging from $40 to $1,200. Rossi, Clay and Heather Saftner, Tom and Patty Schauble, and Christian and Guests enjoyed dancing to the music of Noleen Zernich welcomed attendees to DJ Bryan and the drawing of the Grand the cocktail reception. Guests enjoyed the Gala $10,000 raffle ticket, opening of music of Mike Gallagher as they strolled the Treasure Chest and drawing of the through the fabulous Chinese Auction Blanketed Blessings winner. Many firstand took in the OLSH Amazing Journey time Gala guests including freshman 80th Anniversary Exhibit, sponsored by parents and OLSH alumni expressed First Niagara Bank. The surprise guest, their amazement at the level of support Bishop David Zubik, a former student of demonstrated by families, donors and the Felician Sisters, arrived just in time to friends. mingle with the cocktail hour crowd before initiating the awards program with an The OLSH community went “all out” this emotional tribute to the Sisters and OLSH. year, providing support to enable us to OLSH President Terry O’Rourke Donoghue continue our Amazing Journey. The 2013 and VP of Advancement Cheryl Karashin Legacy Gala was a great success, grossing led an uplifting program featuring Sisters, more than $130,000 for OLSH students. It students and alumni. There were video extended a very appropriate “Thank you” to tributes from Cardinal Donald Wuerl and the Felician Sisters, and a featured grand Sr. M. Christopher Moore '63 and a lovely celebration of OLSH’S past, present and rendition of the OLSH alma mater, led future. 


2,172 Cookies + 121 Prizes + $130,000 = ONE AMAZING EVENING!

Gala Guests Help Fund the Vision A Technology Initiative was launched earlier this year to fulfill the vision of adding more resources for OLSH students through selective technology enhancements. This phase of the plan includes updating the televisions in every classroom to SmartTVs. Legacy Gala attendees jumped in to raise needed dollars to help replace outdated classroom televisions. The night of the Gala, $9,170 in commitments were received, and a donor agreed to match the total amount. Representatives from the classes of 1999 and 1996 encouraged classmates to support the initiative on Facebook. This social media campaign resulted in a $10,000 gift from an alumnus, funding the remainder of the first goal of the campaign. Thank you to all who supported this phase of our Technology Initiative.

Scholarship Recognizes the Power of Goodness By Jessica Cerchiaro


ur parents often share little tidbits of wisdom, sayings that often go in one ear and out the other of children. The phrase “if you give it away, it comes back two-fold” is something that Nancy (Poleski) Collier remembers hearing from her mother, but it was the example of her parents, Joseph and Claire Poleski, that helped those words truly sink in. Joseph and Claire Poleski raised their family of four daughters in the Arlington Heights area of Pittsburgh’s South Side. Devout Catholics, the Poleskis made sure their daughters received a Catholic school education and attended Mass regularly. They worked hard to instill in their daughters the importance of sacrifice, respect, and service to others. A plasterer by trade, Joseph worked hard to provide for his daughters and wife. In the winter, when regular work was slow, Joseph would do odd jobs around the neighborhood to help make ends meet. Collier recalls that her father often gave people a break if they couldn’t afford his help, performing repairs free of charge, even though his own family could have used the money. He made sure his family

had the necessities, and that was good enough. Claire, who stayed home to raise her girls, had a difficult life when she was younger, losing her father and a sibling at a young age. Despite these hardships, Joseph and Claire never projected their struggles onto their children. Collier remembers her mother always reflecting on her past in a positive light, telling fun stories. Claire volunteered at her daughters’ school and often encouraged her children to give to others what they were able. Collier recalls only having a few coins to put in her church envelope one Sunday, and her mother helped her to understand that that was okay; Collier was giving what she had and could, and that little bit would still make a difference. As an adult, Collier has come to realize the sacrifices her parents made to give her and her sisters a good life growing up. She now recognizes the outstanding example Joseph and Claire provided their daughters, by just living their life as good people. “Back then, this notion of giving to others wasn’t popular like it is today,” commented Collier. “Today, there are psychological studies showing that giving to others makes you feel good. My parents just chose to be good people and they

passed that along to us.” The Poleski’s example endured as Collier followed the career path of nursing. “What I liked about nursing is that even a simple thing, like giving a patient a bath, could make someone feel better.” As a mother herself, Collier hoped to instill this idea of “being good” and putting others first in her own children. Although it’s not something she made a conscious effort to do as children Annie ’10 and Luke ’11 were growing up, it was something Collier and her husband Paul tried to show their children by example. When the children were young, the family held an annual Easter egg hunt at their home, inviting everyone they knew to enjoy time together. Their party made the local paper one year and a woman called to ask if her granddaughter could attend. The child had just lost her father, and needed something fun to do. The Colliers welcomed this and other new families to their event, always

hoping to do something nice for others and wanting to make people happy. Collier’s philosophy and personality is clearly “others-centered” – it is obvious in just about everything she does. “If you can help and you don’t, shame on you. You are here to lift up as many people as you can. If everyone did that, this world would be so much better,” she says. When the opportunity to fund a scholarship at OLSH became known to the Colliers at the 2008 OLSH Legacy Gala, they committed right away. After the Gala, and a conversation with VP of Advancement Cheryl Karashin, the Colliers agreed to create a named e n d o w e d scholarship, honoring Collier’s parents and her s i s t e r, J a n i c e , who had recently lost her life in a tragic accident. This scholarship helped Collier do two very important things – help others and honor h e r f a m i l y. A named endowed scholarship allowed the Colliers to r e m e m b e r Nancy’s family in a new way, “I want people to know what a good guy my dad was; to let them know what a special man he was.” Now came the hard part – deciding how to select the recipient of this scholarship. In determining the requirements for the Poleski Family Scholarship, Nancy and Paul considered the qualities of Joseph and Claire and Janice that were so inspirational and meaningful – their goodness and concern for others first. In early conversations, the Colliers joked

about setting up a situation to test how student applicants would react, like having someone trip and drop a pile of books. Would they really stop to help? Fortunately for applicants, they settled on an essay answering the prompt “Describe a time when you performed a ‘random act of kindness’.” The Colliers have been impressed with how students have been able to articulate in their essays their experiences carrying out random acts of kindness. In fact, the selection process turned out to be much more difficult than they had imagined! In the first year, the Colliers decided to award “second place” scholarships, as it was so difficult to narrow down to just one c h o i c e . Collier joked, when receiving the pile of essays and applicant information this year, “I already told Paul to be ready for me to not be able to make a decision!” Recalling the sacrifice her parents made for Collier and her sisters to attend Catholic school, Paul and Nancy also stipulated that applicants for the scholarship demonstrate financial need. The Colliers recognize the importance of a Catholic education and believe in OLSH. Their resources allowed them more options than some when it came to their children’s education, but they wanted more than just an academic education for their children; they wanted a school that taught its students to be good, kind people first. “OLSH aligned with our values. It teaches community and kindness to others by example,” shared Collier. “Helping students experience an OLSH education is the simple purpose of the Poleski Family Scholarship,” commented Karashin, “Recognizing people who are good and do good things and have the potential to continue doing good

things is the true foundation of this scholarship.” In today’s society, role models offered to children via the media are often not the best Christian examples. By sharing their story, Collier hopes to help make the Poleskis - “two amazing people who just lived a good life as good people” - an example for others, better role models for young people to exemplify. “If you give it away, it will come back two-fold.” That simple phrase has become a way of life for Collier. She is on the lookout for ways to brighten the lives of others, from the simple holiday decorations on her car, to sharing resources with those in need – even considering a new project related to her background in health care at the table while discussing this article! Nancy (Poleski) Collier learned the ultimate lesson from her parents, a lesson that many readers will find familiar. Simple acts of kindness, putting others first, and giving what you can to help others are all reminders of how we should be living our lives. Sometimes hearing a story like that of the Poleskis and their daughter Nancy is all we need to get us back on that path of making the world a better place, too. 




n December, OLSH learned that it was awarded $25,000 in grant funding from Felician Services Incorporated’s St. Francis Fund program to equip the school’s Reading and Basic Algebra classrooms with iPads. Through their use of the iPads, students in these courses are now able to gain immediate access to online resources designed to support learning through visual and kinesthetic activities. As a result, the courses have become more focused on applying classroom lessons to real-life problems, thus allowing students to center on their learning style strengths. Faculty members Barbara Desman and Courtney Melgares, who are piloting the iPads in their classrooms, have been amazed not only by the possibilities created by the iPads but also by the ease of incorporating the tool in their classrooms. As the good news about the innovation and success taking place in these two classrooms spread throughout the school, a level of excitement for new technology opportunities began to mount. A friend of OLSH recently provided funding to equip each teacher at OLSH with an iPad, allowing the OLSH faculty to begin to explore the educational possibilities associated with the iPad technology and the academic disciplines they teach. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to experience this technology and use it in my English classroom!” said Theresa Long '86.

OLSH will continue to meet with technology experts and explore new technology options to enhance and enliven its curriculum and classrooms, and empower and motivate its students. These efforts are in line with Standard 12 of the recently released National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective

Barbara Desman’s Reading class utilizing the new ipads.

Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, which addresses the need for a “living” school technology plan. Ultimately the goal is to transform OLSH classrooms into more interactive learning spaces that allow students and faculty members to work collaboratively with each other, as well as with students and teachers around the world. 

NHS INDUCTION OLSH’s chapter of the National Honor Society inducted 20 new members on April 21. The ceremony, held after the celebration of Mass, recognized the NHS pillars of scholarship, leadership, service and character. Senior members were also recognized at the ceremony, receiving stoles to wear at graduation.




in Dong Chen is participating in a foreign exchange student program for this school year and is living with the family of freshman Zach Ottaviani. Although technically a freshman at OLSH, Chen is taking a variety of upper level courses, including Calculus, his favorite class here. Chen was nervous about attending OLSH, at first worrying about being able to understand teachers in class and also about having to do public speaking. He managed to fit right in at

OLSH, however, becoming a member of the freshman boys basketball and the boys volleyball teams. He enjoys talking with his friends about his life in China and commented that a lot of students ask him the Chinese words for things. The OLSH community will miss Chen when he heads back to China this summer, but we may run into him some day in the future, as he hopes to attend college in the US. 

ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PLAY Over 60 students participated in OLSH’s annual Christmas Play directed by Bob Brasko, assistant directed by Mike Leon '05 and choreographed by Elizabeth Greggs '09. This year’s show, “A Muppet Family Christmas” was full of colorful costumes and entertaining performances by a talented cast.




On Sunday, February 10, a group of OLSH students and faculty joined the Felician Sisters in the annual worship and service experience, carrying food and other donations to the East End Cooperative Ministry.

The Class of 2014 participated in the annual OLSH tradition of Ring Day in midNovember. After Mass, juniors and their families enjoyed dinner at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott.

OLSH students participated in an overnight retreat in conjunction with the annual March for Life in January. The group joined thousands of other young Catholics from around the US in this new experience.




etter than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher. --Japanese proverb. OLSH students are blessed to have many great teachers and the opportunity to spend one hundred and eighty days with them, rather than just one. This year, for part of the second semester, OLSH extended a hand to welcome two great teachers in the making: Mrs. Lauren Hall and Mr. Tyler Rodgers. Both are pursuing careers in the teaching field and have been enjoying the opportunity to learn from two of OLSH’s great veteran teachers.


auren Hall is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Education from Marymount University with a focus on Social Studies. She is a mother of two children and spent ten years working as a defense contractor in Washington D.C. She had the opportunity to substitute teach in Fairfax County, decided she wanted to pursue teaching further, and applied to graduate school. History was always something she loved, so it seemed natural to focus in that area. Hall was assigned Bob Brasko as a mentor teacher, which was a great match since Brasko entered the teaching field at a similar point in his life. She has learned a lot about lesson planning and teaching, saying “I like OLSH because of the small family setting. I have a much better understanding of how schools operate and how to deal with situations that are not in the textbook.” OLSH is certainly glad to have Hall as part of its family. “When explaining lessons, Mrs. Hall knows how to connect things to experiences in life so we can better understand and relate,” shared senior Rachel Petro '13. Hall tells her students to enjoy their youth and appreciate what they have now. For students wishing to become teachers she advises, “Get your undergraduate degree in a specific field and pursue a Master’s degree in education right after.” Hall will graduate in May and hopes to stay in Pittsburgh to work.


yler Rodgers is a native of Reading, Pennsylvania and is currently attending Duquesne University. Rodgers became interested in teaching English because he has always loved literature and storytelling. When he was young, he wanted to be an author. He was influenced by his English teachers in tenth and eleventh grade who inspired him to pursue a career in teaching. Rodgers says he learned “how teaching is give and take. I learned as much from the students as I hope they learned from me.” Through working with Barbara Desman he says, “I learned many things, ranging from the importance of planning, to classroom management and the effect of discipline in the classroom.” His students have also certainly learned a lot from him. “He makes literature easy to understand, especially when he relates it to super heroes,” says Andrea Frank '13, a senior in World Literature. Rodgers enjoyed getting to know OLSH’s students and faculty. He likes its family vibe. After finishing his student teaching, Mr. Rodgers must participate in a portfolio showcase, presenting the results of his time at OLSH to a panel of professors. After this, he hopes to work somewhere on the East Coast and his goal is to one day write for a TV show. Rodgers tells his students thinking about being teachers, “Don’t give up on your dream. Remember that being a teacher isn’t about you; it’s about the students.”

The OLSH community wishes its student teachers the best of luck with their future endeavors. The lessons they learned at OLSH, from teachers who are the best of the best, will certainly aid them in their own classrooms. 



NEWS! OLSH NAMED PIHL HOCKEY HOST SCHOOL! Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, OLSH will serve as the host school for a PIHL open hockey team in which students from OLSH, Quigley Catholic, South Side Beaver, Avonworth and Cornell High Schools will participate.

GIRLS BASKETBALL Nicole Phelps '13, Andrea Laffey '13, and Emilee Gallagher '13 led OLSH girls basketball through a successful and challenging season with a 19-3 overall record. The team made it through the second round of WPIAL playoffs and a highlight of the season was beating powerhouse Avonworth at home and away. With the loss of three seniors, next year’s team is young, but features a skilled group of girls ready to win.

GYMNASTICS OLSH gymnast, Alyssa Wolf '13, had a very gratifying season. For the 4th year in a row, Wolf competed in both WPIAL and States. At WPIAL, she placed 1st in floor exercise, 3rd in all-around and 4th in uneven bars. She also did well at States, placing 2nd in floor exercise, 5th in vault and 8th in all-around.

This year’s hockey co-op with Ambridge had four OLSH team members. After winning the Open Cup last year and losing nine players, this was a rebuilding year. The team made playoffs with its 9-10-1 record, but was defeated in the first round. Six OLSH students are committed as players for next year’s team.

BOYS BASKETBALL Team captains Stefan Arch '13, Cameron Johnson '14 and Kendall Page '14 brought the Boys Basketball team through a successful rebuilding year. With four returning starters, Chargers Basketball had huge support from the OLSH student body. The team beat rival school Cornell twice and competed in WPIAL Quarterfinals. This season ended with a 19-5 winning record.

BOWLING SWIMMING The Cornell-OLSH swimming co-op was led by captains Logan White '13 and Stefanie Boburka '13. The small team worked hard, with most individuals making it to WPIAL Championships. A highlight of the season was Casey LaBuda '13 beating a rival Montour swimmer in the 100M backstroke.

Johnny Jumba '13 led the 2013 OLSH boys bowling team as captain. Overall, they had an exciting but challenging year. The season ended with a 4-6 record. The girls bowling team started their season off strong, beating their strong rival, Montour, in a pre-season scrimmage. The team bowled 910, coming within 8 pins of breaking the school’s record. Captain Megan Sobolosky '13 led the Lady Chargers through Championships and Team Regionals to a 10-0 undefeated season. Sobolosky, Rachel Rattay '13 and Sophia Worrall '13 all qualified for Individual Regionals.


WHAT'S HAPPENING AROUND OLSH HABEMUS PAPAM! and, while you could hear little clusters of excited applause and screams (from the Argentineans, I assume), everyone around me was saying ‘Chi?’ (who?). It was then announced that the he had taken the name Francesco (Francis) and again, the piazza was ecstatic. It was clear immediately that the new pope had already earned a point with the Italians by choosing this name.”

When the puff of white smoke appeared on March 13, Principal Tim Plocinik went straight to the intercom to inform the school of the news. You could feel the excitement in the air and hear the cheers down the hallways as OLSH celebrated with Catholics around the world.

Sally and others in Rome tried to use their phones to learn more about the new leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, while the faculty and staff at OLSH throughout the building began “googling” the name of the man before them on TV. Sally said, “I heard the people around musing that this pope must be a ‘reformer’...he had chosen Francesco and it was St. Franceso who had rebuilt the church. I heard them say that he would be strong, because Francesco is a strong name, that he

When the school day ended, classroom 2005 became the spontaneous meeting room for several of the OLSH faculty, staff and students who waited to see the face of the new Pope. They sat together, huddled around three laptops, happy to experience history as a community. Religion teacher Nancy Jarocki’s phone rang and the group gathered in room 2005 was able to hear a large crowd on the other side of the phone. Sally Jarocki '00 was calling from Rome on her way to witness the announcement in person, “I knew my mom would be the most excited for me to be there, and I hoped that somehow I could convey the energy of that moment through the phone.” While the energy was a bit quieter at OLSH, knowing a member of our community was in the midst of the action heightened the experience. Together, watching the live feed streaming on their computers, they heard the name “Pope Francis I” announced and watched as he emerged onto the balcony for the first time in his new Office. Sally recalled that particular moment from her vantage point in St. Peter’s Square, “If I had to say that there was an anticlimactic moment during the whole evening, it, oddly, would have been the announcement of the identity of the new pope. We heard Giorgio Bergoglio


must have a mind of his own because he would be the first Pope Francesco and that he must be humble because St. Francesco had renounced his wealth.” The OLSH community also felt an instant connection with the Pope due the Felician Sisters’ Franciscan roots. The whole world paused on that March day as a new chapter for the Catholic Church began. Every corner of the world was watching, and every corner of OLSH gathered together to focus on one thing – the Church. Erin Stuvek '07, OLSH religion teacher/campus minister said, “We got to experience our Catholic identity together and it was a blessing to see the students involved in and excited about that identity as well.”  To read Sally’s entire reflection, please visit

Sr. Melanie Marie Bajorek '67, former OLSH teacher and current English secretary in the Vatican Secretariat of State, had the opportunity to witness firsthand the resignation of Pope Benedict, the conclave, and the announcement of Pope Francis. As an employee of the Secretariat of State, Sr. Melanie was fortunate to sit in a reserved section for Pope Francis’ inaugural Mass.

“I was more than delighted to know that the new leader of the Church is a champion for the poor and lives a simple life.  It brought to mind my Franciscan training, beginning with my parents who were members of the Secular Franciscan Order for over 25 years, and continuing with my experience as a student at OLSH and as a member of the Felician Congregation.”

His Holiness Pope Francis giving his homily.

Sr. Melanie in front of the altar for the inaugural Mass.

Photo from


illions of people watched the announcement of the Catholic Church’s new leader, Pope Francis I, unfold from their televisions, computers, cell phones and tablets, while a massive crowd witnessed the announcement from St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in Rome. The extended OLSH family was watching along with the rest of the world both near and far.



or most of the students involved, the spring musical is a memorable experience. From the nervewracking anticipation of auditions to final bows taken with tear-blinded eyes, friendships are formed, lessons are learned, and memories are made. For some, the OLSH musical experience does not end with the final bow of one’s senior year. The door is always open for alumni to lend their skills to the program that had such Ida (Rachel Cahalan ’14) and meaning for Maureen (Merritt Donoghue ’13) them during sing of the “Joy of Motherhood.” their high school days.

The sinister Cat (Brian Hammel ’14) invites Ugly (Zane Travis ’14) to ‘lunch.’

The Bullfrog (Vincent Michael ’13) leads the cast in “Warts and All.”

The 2013 spring musical, Honk!, saw an unprecedented level of alumni involvement. For many, the experience is appreciated from two new vantage points. Alumni switch from student to staff, and from on stage to behind the scenes. One such alum was ready and waiting when musical season rolled around. Responsible for transforming the stage into a vibrant,

verdigris duck yard was OLSH art teacher Mallory Praskovich '07, a veteran performer of the OLSH stage and two-time Gene Kelly Award winner. Praskovich was named Best Actress for her role as Gertrude McFuzz, a plucky young bird, in OLSH’s 2006 production of Seussical, so creating barnyard scenes and a nest was not much of a reach for her. Sam Focer '07 returned to assist with the show’s choreography. Focer has traveled to many far-flung locales, including Japan, to work with young actors and dancers since graduating from OLSH, but he made time to lend his talents to mentor the current crop of OLSH student actors as well. Amy Lynn Greek '06, currently a stage manager at Gemini Children’s Theater, assisted during rehearsals and served as house manager during the show’s run. “There’s an energy and excitement you get with student actors that you don’t find anywhere else,” said Greek. “I love being a part of it and helping the students to achieve their best performances.” Taking on backstage duties during the run was Alexis Jabour '09, devoting her third consecutive spring break to stage managing. Jabour said, “Every show I have been involved with was exciting and rewarding, whether I was opening the curtain for the actors or waiting for it to open on me. No matter my role, onstage or off, I just wanted to be part of the show.” Jabour is vice-president of the Duquesne University theatre group, the Red Masquers, and designs sound and acts for the group. Joining her backstage was recent alumnus Peter Wojtechko '11, whose brothers Matthew '16 and John '14 were involved in the show. Peter is currently a student at St. Vincent College.

The cast of Honk! welcomes the audience to the farm.

assistance from Alyssa Gilberti '07) and also loaned his talents as a light and sound engineer when an unexpected need arose in those departments, selflessly working at all hours in the weeks before and during the show. Farren currently works as a video freelancer and consultant. Also going above and beyond was Adrianna Bencivenga '06, who came all the way from Florida for opening weekend to assist with hair and makeup design for the third year in a row. Musical Director Dolores Manuel spoke fondly of her experience with many years of enthusiastic OLSH theatre students. “The years directing at this wonderful school, watching as each flock matures and leaves the nest, have been precious,” she wrote in her director’s note. “We have been thrilled to have a number of our ‘children’ return to help with and watch this year’s show. I would like to thank each one of them for their time in the OLSH Theatre Department, and for allowing me to share in a small part of their lives.”  Honk! entertained audiences with its upbeat music, colorful costumes, and timeless story. Telling the story of The Ugly Duckling, the characters took the audience through a range of emotions as Ugly tries to find himself, Ida conveys the unconditional love of a mother, the Cat attempts to have himself a tasty meal, and Drake serves as loyal husband and father, watching the nest of ducklings while mother is away.  Check our website later in May to see the announcement of Gene Kelly nominations and awards.

John Farren '06 returned once again as the musical’s videographer (with



Katie Bartus, Director of Technology, started a regular volunteer position at Children’s Hospital, working in activity centers, like Austin’s Playroom, doing age appropriate lessons and activities with the children who are patients at the hospital. Latin teacher Adam Griffith served as a judge at Westminster College’s inaugural Winter Analyst Program for the Department of Business and Economics. The Program is an experiential learning event designed to replicate an internship on Wall Street. Cheryl Karashin, VP of Advancement, presented at the National Catholic Educators Association (NCEA) Conference in Houston, TX in April on the topic of Communicating Your Mission through Websites, Magazines, and Annual Reports, providing attendees with practical and creative strategies for schools to deliver their message in a variety of ways. History teacher Dave Parks is pleased to announce his engagement to Melissa Porter. The couple is planning a Fall 2014 wedding.

Math teachers Sr. M. Francine Horos ’68 and Courtney Melgares attended the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) conference in Denver, CO. This year’s conference topics focused on the Common Core standards, technology, STEM, and other current math topics.


Greg Suehr '13 and Grace Quigley '13 were named National Merit Finalists. They will continue in the competition in the hopes of being selected for the National Merit scholarship. English teacher Maureen Steuernagel continues to volunteer at The Caring Place, a service for grieving children, adolescents, and their families sponsored by Highmark.


Holly Lisco '14 qualified as a 2013 Recognized Carson Scholar for her continued academic and humanitarian achievements. Rachel Rattay ’13 was a runner-up in our region for the 2013 National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing.

Jacob Dickey ’16 placed second in poetry interpretation at the Pennsylvania High School Speech League state tournament. Ellen DiMartini ’13 placed in the top 25 as a quarter-finalist in impromptu speaking.

Phoebe Kristek '13, Becky Rodgers '13, Evalynn Farkas '14, Alexa Janikowski '16, & Rachael Sarnowski '16 had artwork displayed at The Congressional Art Competition, a national high school arts competition sponsored by the US House of Representatives. Grace Quigley '13 was one of two high school flutists selected to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony at the HJ Heinz Company Audience of the Future and EQT Student Side by Side concert on Tuesday, April 30. Three OLSH seniors signed athletic letters of intent to play sports in college: Preston Falascino '13 will play baseball at Slippery Rock University, Isiah Neely '13 will play football for Slippery Rock University, and Mikayla Neville '13 will play soccer for Malone University.

Cora Saftner ’15 was honored with the Spirit of Faith Award for her sportsmanship and values while playing and coaching Diocesan CYM basketball.


Mercedes Rogers and her husband Bill celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in November 2012.


Virginia Maria Grilli was recently elected Chairman of the City of Salem Design Review Board (for historic structures), Trustee of the Salem Preservation Society, Trustee of the Salem Area Amateur Radio Association, and Vice Chair of Catholic Charities Regional Agency.


Mary Clare (Marshall) McNamee was published on March 25, 2013 on nurse. com. Her piece, Patience with Patients spoke about patient choices in the prison system. In July 2012, Mary Clare was published in her church prayer book, Seasons of the Church, in which she wrote about Holy Week and Easter.


Christine Lamark Papapietro is enjoying Southern California life with her husband Tony and children Nathan, Jacob, and Sarah, while managing a frozen yogurt shop.


SAVE THE DATE - 25th REUNION: The class of 1988 will hold its 25th High School Reunion on the Gateway Clipper Dinner-Dance Cruise on Saturday, August 3, 2013. There will be a fireworks display that evening. We hope to see all ’88 grads there!


Mary P. Murray was elected President of the Allegheny County Special Court Judges Association and was appointed Chair of the Minor Court Rules Committee. Michelle (DiCicco) Sullivan, Marketing Director at Privia, was named a finalist in the 9th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business. The ‘Stevies,” hailed the world’s premiere business awards, honor women executives, entrepreneurs and the businesses they run. Michelle won the Bronze Award at the event in New York City.


In the fall of 2013, Lara Kenney will be starting a new career as a teacher at the Beaver Valley Montessori School in Beaver, PA.


Angela (Magliacane) Burgess married John Burgess in July 2009, and the couple became small business owners in July 2012 of A&M Wine Supplies in Washington, PA.


Michael Walter married Joanna Malukiewicz on March 6, 2013


Jill Ammon is now working for Continuum Managed Services as an Account Executive and recently got a new puppy named Jaxson.


Bryce Walat works in Highmark’s Marketing Communications department as a Senior Digital Writer.


Jeanette (Pash) Dunhem’s family grew in June 2012 with the birth of their second daughter, Emma.


Lisa (Arduini) Erdner is enjoying life in Pittsburgh with her family, including her two children: Kyle (4) and Sophie (2). Marisa (Romano) Greco is the Online Academic Supervisor for Waterfront Learning at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit located in Homestead, which currently serves over 900 students across the state of Pennsylvania providing online courses and educational support.

1996 1979

The Class of ‘79’s “Reunion Committee” – Rose Marie (Geisler) Popovich, Donna Willcock, Deidre (Cronin) Matire, Sue (Nickles) Snyder, Carrie Maggi, Kathleen (Wagner) Canella, Norma (Bullock) Rosner – pose for a photo during one of their monthly get-togethers.

Michael Cerchiaro currently works for the Pittsburgh CLO as Education Programs Manager. Michael manages seven education programs including the Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater and the Gene Kelly Awards. He is also a freelance graphic designer. Michael resides in Crafton, PA with his wife Jessica and their two dogs.


ALUMNI NEWS AND NOTES Brandi (Wynkoop) Coyle married William Coyle in 2011. She is currently a 1st grade teacher in the Trinity Area School District and welcomed daughter Aubree, born on January 25, 2013.


Chelsea Fike recently added English as a Second Language (ESL) to her teaching certification.

2004 1992

Members of the Class of ’92 celebrated their 20th Reunion in November at the Pine Restaurant & Bar in Kennedy Township. Meleesa Wohleber is currently working for the University of Pittsburgh Neuromuscular Research Lab. She is part of the research team at the UPitt Warrior Human Performance Research Lab at Air Force Special Operations Command for an injury prevention and human performance optimization initiative. Meleesa is now living just outside Pensacola, FL.


Francesca DeNardis graduated in December, 2011 with her Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh and has been working as an inpatient licensed social worker at UPMC Shadyside since January 2012, specializing on the oncology and neurosurgery units.


From 2006-2011, Brendan Gallagher served as the senior communications sergeant on ODA7211 in 7th Special Forces Group. He served two deployments to Afghanistan and one rotation to Nicaragua. He was awarded the Special Forces Tab (2008), Ranger Tab (2009), 2 Bronze Star Medals (2010, 2011), and an ARCOM with a “V” device for valorious actions (2010). In 2011 he became a Financial Advisor and in 2012, earned his own office in Bridgeville, PA.

Things have changed since 1932! Send your news to or visit the alumni section of the OLSH website to submit online.


Stephanie (Bozym) Weyand and husband Bill are approaching their ninth wedding anniversary. She enjoys a successful career with UPMC Health Plan in the Sales & Marketing department, working downtown in the USX Steel Tower.


Emily (Brocks) Boardman and Brian Boardman were married on July 29, 2012. They had an intimate event of 20 close family and friends at the Hyeholde. The Boardmans are living in Alexandria, VA where Emily is a first grade teacher and her husband is an aviation analyst. Kim (Burns) Polishchuk and her husband, Alexei, welcomed their first child, Nadia Patricia Polishchuk on May 27, 2012. Kim earned a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Temple University in May 2012.


Jordan Hinds was a speaker at the Epilepsy Foundation’s 19th Annual Mardi Gras Gala black tie event at the Westin Convention Center on February 12, 2013. Jordan shared his story, telling of his experiences dealing with frequent seizures, brain surgeries and difficult medical treatments, and how a positive attitude and determination helped him continue to do great things.

Andrew Grab married Allison Obenour on December 22, 2012 at St. Basil’s Church. The reception was held at Duquesne University’s Power Center Ballroom. Kristen (Skarada) McCabe and husband Pete welcomed their first baby, Lydia Anne McCabe on April 3, 2013. Theresa (Valenty) Buettner is loving her vocation of motherhood, as she is married with twin daughters, Leah and Hannah, and expecting her third child this summer. Stephanie (Wolbert) Valentine and her husband, Tyler, are proud to announce the birth of their daughter. Isabella (Ella) Rose Valentine joined her parents and big brother, Santino, on March 22, 2013. Ella was born at 8lbs 10oz. and 19.5” long.


Doreen DiNello graduated from LaRoche College in December 2010 and in June 2012 started a new job at UPMC, working in the insurance division for UPMC Health Plan as a Health Care Concierge. Sara Thimons graduated Summa Cum Laude from Franciscan University with a degree in Theology in 2009. She spent 18 months on an Indian Reservation in

North Dakota working with a Catholic missionary group and is currently employed by Vincentian Home, and teaches piano on the side.


Kelly (Pifko) Long and Joseph Long wed on November 17, 2012. Kelly is a Preschool Teacher at Carol Childcare Inc. She and her husband are living in Pittsburgh. Amy (Thimons) Spontak and husband Chad welcomed their first child, Luke Francis, on Easter Sunday morning.


Mathew Kapela is living in Louisiana, working in supply chain management with BP and traveling monthly to Houston. Bob Waruszewski married Caitlyn Gantzer of Westerville, OH, on October 20, 2012. The happy couple currently resides in Bellevue, PA.


Alexandra Froats graduated from Duquesne University in the Spring of 2012 and is currently the high school English teacher at Bloomfield-Mespo Local Schools in North Bloomfield, Ohio.


Emilee Renk will be graduating from Duquesne University in May with a BS in chemistry and a minor in mathematics. She will be attending Duke University in the fall to pursue her doctorate in chemistry. Renk recently brought a group of fellow chemistry majors for a special presentation in Miss Karen Runtich’s Advanced Chemistry course. Alexis (Stevens) Gruver married Joshua Gruver at Saint James Church in Sewickley, PA on November 3, 2012. Rebecca Strong is graduating from Penn State on May 5, 2013 with a degree in Elementary Education. Jacqueline Weaver just completed her student teaching experience at Central Catholic High School and will be graduating from Duquesne University in May.


Sapata Pessiki was accepted into the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Architecture. She plans on earning her certificate in Civil Engineering, which is offered especially for Architecture majors. Michael Thimons is currently in the Priestly Discernment Program and Head of Altar Servers at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Along with his two brothers, Dan and Tom (‘03), he started a growing Catholic blog, www.


Meagan Daily, freshman at Penn State Behrend, qualified for the All-Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Women’s Swimming Team. She was a first-team choice for three relay wins and the 200 butterfly.


For the past three years, Caitlin O’Connor has been actively involved with the Hattie Larlham Foundation for People with Developmental Disabilities, and will be completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Kent State University this May. She will be pursuing a Master of Science in Special Education at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, beginning this July. Devin McGrath is in her senior year at Saint Vincent College. She was recently selected to play on the 2013 All-Great Lakes Region Team. A record high 729 students were nominated nationwide to join the team. Alyson Nolte is graduating Summa Cum Laude from Duquesne University with a B.A. in Corporate Communication and Spanish in May.

When Coach Mac calls, you answer… especially if you were a member of one of his teams! On March 11, alumni players came from near and far to give the team a run for their money and have a little fun, too! After a hotly contested match, varsity upset the alumni 3 games to 1. Pictured: (back row) Ryan Ott '09, Nate Fetchin '10, Dave Kaczmarek '01, Jon Lach '11, Sean Feeley '11, Will Miley '09, Matt Burfurd '00; (middle row) Greg Wolbert '09, Louie Trapizona '08, Sean Jones '08, Frank King '01, Patrick King '00, Tony King '04; (kneeling) Joe Cahalan '06, Greg Richert '99. Not Pictured: Tom Stewart '12, Matt Martin '00



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OLSH ALUMNI CHALLENGE PM 4/29/2013 10:25:09

OLSH Fund Alumni



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To learn more abo OLSH Fund Alumni

Alumni form the foundation of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School’s 80 year legacy. With you, we can continue the tradition of faith & service, and excellence in academics, arts & athletics. Alumni gifts of all sizes help to advance the excellence that continues to define the OLSH experience and strengthens the foundation on which the Charger tradition is built.

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The class with the highest participation (number of classmates making a donation of any size) in The 2013 OLSH Fund will be publicly recognized, including a reception for class members, next fall. Join together with your class to make an impact!


Visit to learn more and to see how your class is doing in the Challenge!

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/alumni 4/3/2013 9:12:41 PM

I N M U L A H S L O SURVEY to Visit www.ols survey! complete the

Ronald Bartus April 19, 2013 Father of Katie Bartus, OLSH Director of Technology Ari Beedle December 15, 2012 Father of Elise Beedle ‘16 Edward Buczynski December 13, 2012 Father of Merrie (Buczynski) Samways ‘86 Fr. Richard Conboy March 25, 2013 Chaplain, Felician Sisters Convent Sr. Mary William Dugan ‘60 March 24, 2013


ALUMNI SURVEY The OLSH Alumni Council is planning fun and exciting opportunities for alumni engagement. Please complete a short survey to help the Alumni Council best meet OLSH alumni interests! Visit to access the short online survey and update your email address to be sure to receive alumni news.

In Memorium Helen Fijewski January 9, 2013 Mother of Ed Fijewski ‘78 Sr. Mary Dulcia Flis ‘43 January 5, 2013 William Garrett January 6, 2013 Brother of Barbara Desman, OLSH English Teacher Susan (Brocco) Haley ‘60 February 15, 2013 Mary Krofchek March 23, 2013 Mother of Donna (Krofchek) Ward ’64 and Mary Ann (Krofchek) Roberts ‘66 Dorothy (Nocentte) Puglielli November 17, 2012 Mother of Karen (Puglielli) Watts and Phyllis Puglielli


All Alumni Family Reunion at OLSH! Bring your family to OLSH for food, friendship & fun! Stay tuned for more information about new activities added this year!

Antonio Sciulli December 2, 2012 Father of Danielle (Sciulli) Kacsur ’07, Sabrina ’10, Teodora ’14 and Antonio ’16 Sciulli Sr. Mary Ursula Summers ‘45 January 8, 2013 Aunt of Patrick ’83, Bradley ’08 and Great Aunt of Rebecca ’11 Bosetti Ida Youngworth November 5, 2012 Mother of Cindy (Youngworth) Linsenmayer ’63 and Diane (Youngworth) Puglielli ‘61 Lucinda “Cindy” (Crago) Zilner March 27, 2013 Mother of Braylon ’15 and Paige ’16 Zilner


Where in the World

LSHighlights magazine traveled across the globe from Arizona to Vietnam. The question is: where in the world can you take OLSHighlights? Our readers live and travel across the country and around the world. Now it’s your chance to show us the places you live, work, and visit. Send a photo of yourself holding your OLSHighlights and a description of the location and why you are there to We can’t wait to see all the places you’ve been! 

OLSH School & Convent Maintenance Team members, Dave Lee, Jeff Thomas, & Mike Thomas in Breezy Point, NY after the Neville Island VFD donated a fire truck, box truck and supplies to the town after hurricane Sandy.

Spiderman has been appearing on the campus of Duquesne University. At the last spotting, he was seen enjoying the fall issue of OLSHighlights.

Frank DeChellis '10 at the Great Wall of China

Sylvia (Prugar) Fitzhenry '55 at the Grand Canyon

Jacqueline O'Toole '14 visits the Taj Mahal in India.

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Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School 1504 Woodcrest Avenue Coraopolis, PA 15108-3054

Upcoming Events* MAY 2013 21 24 26 29

Honors Convocation Seniors Last Day/Blessing Service Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Feast Day Kennywood School Picnic reservations due (contact OLSH Main Office for tickets)

JUNE 2013 2 Class of 2013 Baccalaureate Mass & Commencement 3-5 Underclassman Finals 7 Kennywood School Picnic AUGUST 2013 3 Class of 1988 Reunion 4 All Alumni Family Reunion at OLSH TBA Class of 2017 Overnight Retreat TBA Class of 2017 Matriculation Ceremony, Mass & Welcome Picnic 30 Fall Sports first play date *Dates are tentative

Recycle this magazine Give your copy to a neighbor who is in grade school and help spread the word about OLSH.

For more information on these, or other upcoming events, visit

Spring 2013