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Class of 2016 Empowered & Ready to Lead

Snigdha Banda ’16 Recognized as Coca Cola Scholar

Crustacean Feast Raises Money for CoCurricular Programs

Alumnae News - Class of 1946 Celebrates 70th Reunion

E mp ow e r e d & R eady



Notre Dame High School celebrated a Baccalaureate Mass in honor of the Class of 2016, our 165th graduating class, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph in the heart of our downtown San Jose neighborhood on June 2. The service included reflections by several students including Claire Mondry and Michelle Ramirez. Claire (center left) received the Curricular Program Medal for Religious Studies. In the fall, she will be attending Fordham University where she will major in humanitarian affairs. “Thanks to the example of other women and the emphasis on women’s leadership at Notre Dame, I am empowered to lead. At Notre Dame, I witnessed strong, confident leaders - specifically, female ones who were unapologetic and fearless in their crusade to lead and serve others. In my classes, I learned about historical leading ladies - Miriam, Deborah, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton - and their fellow contemporaries - Sister Simone, Malala, and Sheryl Sandberg. In the hallways, I was surrounded by everyday, but extraordinary, leaders - wise teachers full of useful advice and classmates who stepped up to lead both at school and in their communities.” Michelle Ramirez, along with Yasmen Lopez (bottom left), became the first graduates of the ThirtyOne Women scholarship program, a circle of thirty women committed to giving $55 per month for four years. The outcome - four years of a Notre Dame education for one young woman who then becomes the ‘center’ of the circle and the ‘thirty-first’ woman. “You might not always see how deeply a life is being transformed, but believe me when I say that having the opportunity to be at Notre Dame is a huge blessing,” said Michelle recently in thanking her circle of women. “Coming from a community where many teenagers our age are pregnant, in gangs, or drop out of high school, being in an environment where everyone is hungry for learning and pushing each other to be better is simply amazing. I definitely have been academically challenged and pushed while at Notre Dame. Being here has inspired me to grow spiritually and academically in ways unexplainable. I have learned how to be a better student, and how to be a young lady that can stand her ground, speak her mind, and make an impact in our society.” Michelle will be attending Scripps College in the fall and hopes to be a lawyer and eventually be part of another giving circle of ThirtyOne Women. Yasmen will be attending San Jose State University and majoring in computer engineering.

Principal’s Message by Mary Beth Riley This school year has been filled with grace and blessings that have filled our days and hearts. We are happy to share a glimpse of our year’s bounty with you in this edition of Notre Notes. From the impressive and joyful graduation of the Class of 2016 to partying with you in crab hats and sequined masks, our days, weeks and months were brimming with goodness. The Class of 2016 joins the ranks of Notre Dame alumnae as they spill out into colleges and universities across the United States and beyond (Switzerland!). They leave with a strong imprint of their ND education. Salutatorian Bettina Francisco reminded classmates of that imprint. In spoken word at the California Theater on June 4th, she extolled the outcomes of their ND experience while fingers snapped along: When we do service, I become a receiver. When we have faith, I become a believer. When we teach lessons, I become a learner. When we know God, I become a seeker. Valedictory speaker Anupriya Nag ruminated on the class’ future as ND alumnae: “Throughout my four years at Notre Dame, I have often found myself gazing at the pictures of past classes that are hung along the walls of campus and wondering who

exactly the people in the images were. It’s incredible to think that we are now to be one of those classes hanging alongside the graduates who have come before. As Notre Dame graduates, we are now tied to every single woman who has come through our school - we are all women of impact who live by the hallmarks of a Notre Dame learning community.” The Notre Dame bastion of women of impact has increased its ranks with the 165th graduating class! Ora et labora,

CLASS OF 2016.... Notre Dame’s 165th class of graduates earned accolades and were rewarded for their four years of hard work, academically, co-curricularly and in the community.


of students are matriculating to colleges and universities listed in Princeton Review’s List of Best Colleges

149 $20 Million 5,747 offered more than

students of the Class of 2016 served

in scholarships to colleges and universities around the world

hours of community service during the year

You can view a scrapbook of photos of the Class of 2016 Baccalaureate Mass and graduation, as well as videos of their events online at SUMMER 2016


The Voices of ND’s165th Class On Saturday, June 4, the Notre Dame community came together as the Class of 2016 Blue and Green Wolves accepted their diplomas at another downtown San Jose landmark, the California Theater. Among the 149 graduates were an unprecedented 33 who earned Highest Academic Honors, having maintained a minimum 4.45 GPA and taken a minimum of 7 Honors and Advanced Placement classes over their four years of high school. Among those, Anupriya Nag was chosen to deliver the valedictory address. “Our wolf pack is a family of 149 graduates, but we are more than that. We are global leaders, and thus, our family of wolves is not limited to the confines of our grade. We are the front-runners of the struggle for justice and equality. We are the advocates for our distinct sense of what is right and good. We are enthusiastic learners, thinkers, and intellectuals. We are questioners of age old

societal systems. Our four years of Notre Dame have created the very essence of our class character, and we must always remember our class identity for it will take us far in our future endeavors. We have been educated for life.” In the fall, Anupriya will be attending Pomona College where she will study politics and sociology. The Julie Billiart Award is the most prestigious non-academic award given at Notre Dame High School. The recipient is chosen by her classmates for her compassion, caring, service, respect and love of her community. This year’s recipient, Bettina Francisco, who will be attending the University of San Francisco in the fall, delivered the salutatory address at the graduation ceremony, earning a standing ovation for her ‘spoken word.’ You can view videos of the Class of 2016 speakers on our website at

Special Awards The Principal’s Leadership Award is presented to a student who has committed herself to leadership from her first day on campus. Her devotion to her classmates and school is unwavering: she is compassionate, strong, supportive and so much fun. This year’s recipient, Megan Aguilar, held leadership positions throughout her high school years including serving as ASB president her senior year. She will be attending Stanford University in the fall where she will study economics. “Choosing to attend Notre Dame was by far one of the best decisions I have made. I would not be the young woman I am today if not for Notre Dame. I am incredibly grateful for the many opportunities Notre Dame has provided me to develop as a student, a leader, and a social justice advocate.” Two athletic awards were also presented. Danica Crowley, who will be attending Notre Dame University to study finance, was given the Scholar Athlete Award. “The inclusive environment that NDSJ fosters is one in a million. The amazing teachers, coaches, mentors and friends I have made along the way have shaped me into the person I am today and ND Has prepared me for the next steps in my life.” Ingrid Spielbauer received the Most Valuable Athlete Award. She will be attending UCLA in the fall.

Snigdha Banda ’16 Earns Coca Cola Scholarship At Notre Dame, where hard work and academic diligence are common, Snigdha Banda has always stood out as especially dedicated. Fueled by a dream to become a doctor, she has worked tirelessly, both inside and outside the classroom, to accomplish her dream of attending medical school and has already begun to change the face of healthcare. For her senior service learning project, Snigdha worked to establish a medical mobile unit to provide diagnostic care and primary treatment to the homeless population of San Diego. Coupled with her academic achievements, her service to others was a deciding component in earning her the distinction of Coca Cola Scholar. She was one of only 150 students chosen nationwide to receive the Coca Cola Scholars Award, which includes a $20,000 scholarship. Snigdha traveled to Atlanta for four days of networking and education events as well as a reception and awards banquet in conjunction with her award. In the fall Snigdha will attend Rice University as one of only six Rice/ Baylor Medical Scholars. “I believe knowledge is the weapon that can shatter glass ceilings, and the knowledge Notre Dame instilled in each of us is a powerful force. As an aspiring physician, life-long learning will serve me in medical school and beyond. I plan to use the knowledge that I’ve gained to eliminate health inequities.”

San Jose Downtown Doors The artistic talent of Frances Maurer ’16 and Radiante Liu ’18 is being recognized by the San Jose Downtown Foundation, who chose their artwork for their Downtown Doors project. Created in 2003, the Downtown Doors program aims to make the downtown environment lively and animated, while promoting community participation and cultural awareness. Through this program, youth artwork is chosen to decorate usually ignored utility and service doors. This year, the artwork selected for the prestigious program included Frances Maurer’s “Lost at Sea” (pictured top right with photography teacher Chris Johnson), and Radiante Liu’s “Portrait of a Princess.” The varying dialogue and exchange of ideas surrounding diversity and different cultural experiences among ND students helped encourage the thinking that went into each student’s art. Notre Dame is proud to have such a talented student body. Congratulations to the students whose artwork was selected! SUMMER 2016


Another Crab Fest Success! Notre Dame’s 13th annual Crab Fest was crustacean heaven. Attracting over 450 diners – the highest turnout in history – the event sold out three weeks in advance and raised more than $50,000 for co-curricular programs. This year the Crab Fest Committee launched the VIP cocktail pre-party where 75 guests enjoyed exclusive access to raffle baskets, martinis and appetizers before dinner. Served by more than 100 student and parent volunteers, dinner included 1,500 pounds of crab, platters of antipasto, bowls of pasta with sausage and home-made tomato sauce, green salad and mounds of buttery garlic bread. Several spectacular homemade sweets were offered in a silent auction, raising $1,550. The event featured theme baskets of goodies as well as special raffles for items including a 50” HD flat screen TV or a trip to Las Vegas. In one of the event’s many highlights, ten live auction items brought in over $13,600. We are thankful to many individuals for the success of this event, starting with committee chairs Pat and Andrea Caldwell (Kelsey ’12), an entire committee of dedicated parents and alumnae and Bob Altendorf (Maddie ’07), who once again took charge in the kitchen. We also thank the many parents and students who helped on the day of the event.

Notre Dame’s Party of the Year! The Masquerade Benefit & Auction, held at the iconic City Hall Rotunda in Downtown San Jose, marked Notre Dame’s third sold out fundraising event of the year – a new feat! More than 250 guests enjoyed bidding on silent and live auction items, adorned masquerade masks for the photo booth, tossed rings to win bottles of wine and danced the night away with the Beat Street. This event raised a record-breaking $198,500 for academic programs and tuition assistance. In the 2015-16 school year, 23% of Notre Dame’s students (144 students) received tuition assistance with an average award of $7,791. One hundred percent of the 40 students who received tuition assistance in the Class of 2016 will be attending college in the fall, with 98% enrolling in a four-year college. Thank you to the many individuals who made this event a success, including committee chair Lisa Jackson (Holly ’18), the auction committee of dedicated parents and alumnae parents, and the many parents, faculty, staff, and student volunteers the day of the event. Save the date and join us for the next Party of the Year - May 6, 2017!

$198,500 raised for academic programs and tuition assistance new courses for 2016/17 AP Computer Science Principles

Mandarin I & II Biotechnology Introduction to Robotics


of students receive financial assistance SUMMER 2016



CLASS NOTES Notre Dame’s Class of 1966 (1) held its 50-year reunion at Mariani’s Inn and Restaurant on April 23rd. The event, attended by 27 members of the class of Black and Orange Hornets, was a wonderful success. The hornets are looking forward to this November’s Homecoming celebration. Congratulations to ND’s latest class of Golden Girls!

Eleanor Palacios (2), a proud Warrior from the Class of 1967, was recently honored by her friends, who donated funds to the Chicana Latina Foundation to establish a scholarship in Eleanor’s name. This scholarship recognizes her “unwavering commitment to the empowerment of all Latinas, her lifelong commitment to social justice,

and her overall awesomeness.” Over the years, Eleanor has demonstrated her dedication to the advancement of Latinas and to social justice by working with such non-profit organizations as the Chicana Latina Foundation, Puente de la Costa Sur, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Karen Jackson ’69 (3) has spent

the last decade devoting her career to the nonprofit industry as a highly motivated, resourceful, and energetic development professional. Two years ago, she started Envision This! Productions, an event management company focusing in the non-profit arena and she loves it!

Elizabeth Fuller ’95 Trujillo a

long-time advocate of women’s health education recently earned her Gold Belt in martial arts.

Le Trinh ’96 is

currently working as a senior product manager at Cisco where she will be launching a 1.0 product and hosting strategy workshops in the next fiscal year.

Shiaw-Ling Lai ’00 (4), is working

at Telltale Games as a senior product manager, premium features. She’s also started a gaming convention in China and is developing an independent adventure game. As the marketing director for Super Bowl 50, Michelle

Villanueva ’01 (5) was responsible

for the Super Bowl 50 host committee’s marketing initiatives, advertising for the NFL and its sponsors, and the tour of the Lombardi trophies. Drawing upon past professional experience in the music industry working on tours, she also oversaw the booking of talent and took on the role of celebrity handler on-site for events leading up to the Super Bowl and on game day.

Kathryn Hallihan Jen Kirkland ’10 ’03 graduated from graduated in June the University of San Francisco with a master’s degree in counseling. She is currently working at Star Vista as an early childhood mental health consultant.

Annie Mugnolo ’04 Ward and Angeles Oviedo ’09 are enjoying

ND sisterhood at Shutterfly, where they both work in marketing, Annie as a marketing manager and Angeles as an associate marketing manager.

2015 from Oregon State with a degree in computer science and minors in business and Chinese language. She was hired by Mu Sigma, an internationally recognized decision science and analytics firm. She spent six months working with them in India and traveling around Southeast Asia before relocating to Chicago. After studying communication and advertising at University of Southern California,

Emily Harrington Maddie Kirkland ’10 (6) moved to ’12 graduated in Guatemala where she is volunteering at a non-profit school called Esperanza Juvenil, located in Guatemala City. Emily participates in a variety of activities at the school, from grant searching, to mentoring high school students, to teaching life skills classes in Spanish to the younger grades. She plans to stay in Guatemala until the school year ends in December.

December. She traveled in Southeast Asia for six weeks and currently works at Goodby Silverstein & Partners on the Frito Lay team. As part of the Oregon State track and field team,

Juliana Mount ’15 (7) ran in four

meets in 2016. She clocked the school’s second best all-time record in the 800 meter (2:15.25) and fourth best all-time record in the mile (4:52.31). She placed thirteenth overall in the mile.











REUNION NOTES The Class of 1946 held its 70th class reunion on the Notre Dame campus in early June. During their high school years, this group of women witnessed the end of WWII, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The year of their graduation also saw the release of what would be two classics, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life and Dr. Benjamin Spock’s The Common Sense Book of Baby & Child Care.

The Class of 1956, the Purple and Gold ‘Casper the Tigers’ also held a reunion this year, welcoming more than 30 alumnae to the San Jose Country Club.

A Confluence of Legacies by Marylou Schoone Two very different circumstances found Emily Lippolis ’51 Corral and Notre Dame San Jose appreciating the convergence of legacies: the enrollment of Emily’s granddaughter, Josie Corral ’19, at Notre Dame, and Emily’s personal enrollment in the 1851 Legacy Society. When Emily was recovering from cancer surgery this past year, and working her way through its subsequent chemotherapy sessions, she found herself reflecting on all that is and has been important to her. She had been planning to include Notre Dame in her will, but hadn’t done it yet. “But then something happens and you realize ‘now’s the time.’ Joining the 1851 legacy committee made me realize how important it is for alumnae, and others, to make a planned gift. People don’t realize that it is not the size of the gift that matters. Not everyone can leave a large gift, but small contributions add to the endowment too.” And so it is that Emily’s legacy will now live on in perpetuity through a planned gift. Emily’s legacy of love and commitment to Notre Dame will live on through her granddaughter as well. Although Emily had long hoped Josie would apply to Notre Dame, she did not try to directly influence or persuade her but secretly “carried the torch” for her beloved alma mater. After attending Eighth Grade Day, Josie announced that NDSJ was where she wanted to go, and when her acceptance letter came, they were both ecstatic! Smiling as she thinks of her granddaughter at Notre Dame, Emily shares her thoughts on Notre Dame today. “Notre Dame is such a wonderful school. Students graduate as outstanding young women with so many opportunities. They are encouraged to press forward with their ideals and are supported as they do so.” Emily has remained in touch with many of the women in her class, and continues to serve as their own “LinkedIN” connector. When asked what she would say to encourage her sister alumnae to consider including Notre Dame in their will/trust: “I would first ask them to recall the great education they received at Notre Dame. Then I would help them to understand that a legacy gift of any size increases the endowment and fosters the sustainability of the future of Notre Dame High School.” Emily Corral, the quintessential Notre Dame ambassador! Become a lifelong Notre Dame 1851 Legacy Society member by including Notre Dame in your estate plan. To learn more, contact Leah Schnoor, executive director of advancement at 408-294-1113, ext. 2125 or by email at SUMMER 2016


NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION 596 S. Second St. San Jose, CA 95112 Address service requested


SAVE THE DATE! 8th Annual Women of Impact Luncheon Friday, October 14, 2016 11:30am to 1:30am Tickets for this event will be available online at on August 15th.


Introducing the 2016 Women of Impact LaDoris Hazzard Cordell Social Leader, Superior Court Judge, Artist A Stanford graduate, LaDoris Cordell has practiced law in East Palo Alto, served as a municipal and superior court judge for 19 years and held a position on the Palo Alto City Council. She has also been an on-camera legal analyst and guest commentator for CBS and Court TV and served as the independent police auditor for the City of San Jose.

Rose Pierro ’63 Simmons Non-Profit Leader, Innovator, Advocate

Notre Dame High School and San Jose State graduate Rose Simmons spent 35 years with the American Cancer Society, spearheading new programs and rising through the ranks to the position of chief operating officer for the California division. She has also worked for the Stanford University Medical Center and provided leadership and management training for several organizations.



Profile for Notre Dame San Jose

Notre Notes Summer 2016 Issue  

Notre Notes Summer 2016 Issue