Notre Notes Summer 2022 Edition

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Valedictory Speaker Kristine Petrov Pashin

Celebrating ND's 171st Graduating Class

Celebrating Our ThirtyOne Women & Village Scholarship Donors

Meet Our 2022 Women of Impact Honorees

ND' s 171 st G raduating C lass On Saturday, June 4th, the Notre Dame community came together to celebrate the Class of 2022 Orange and Light Blue Raptors.

Valedictory Speaker Kristine Petrov Pashin '22

Julie Billiart Award Recipient Tiana Quon '22

Among the 179 graduates were 53 who earned Highest Academic Honors. Kristine Pashin represented them and delivered the valedictory address. “Great achievements arise from courage, knowledge and passion — characteristics we have in multitude. Though we may part ways today, it is only the end of one chapter of our lives and the beginning of another. As we become agents of change in our respective fields, the roots of our Notre Dame community will always connect us. May the diplomas we receive today serve as a physical artifact of our time at Notre Dame: remind us of the fun times we have had, the classmates we have grown alongside, and the dreams we head towards. Class of 2022, we are ready to be the future.” Kristine will head to Stanford to study symbolic systems (neuroscience) and public policy in the fall. 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, service, respect and love of her community. This year’s recipient, Tia Quon, will head to Barnard College in the fall to study political ecology. In her address, Tia said, “Class of 2022, we make so many proud today, those who are here with us and those who join us from afar. To Saint Julie, we thank you for establishing a precedent of bold and daring compassion. To dear friends, family, teachers and staff, and more — thank you for being such integral parts of our legacy and our ongoing stories. Raptors, we have been equipped with what we need to know for life — let this celebration carry forward our legacy here and beyond.” Mayra Flores '99, who serves as communications director for Santa Clara County Board of Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, delivered the address to the graduates, encouraging them to bring others along as they climbed the ladder to success. “Don’t do it alone. Look around you. These are your peers. These are your colleagues. And if you hold each other up, support one another, open doors and bring each other in — these will be your lifelong allies on your journey."

Graduation Speaker: Mayra Flores '99

Head of School's Message Dear Notre Dame Community, Sitting in Pardini Park with our 179 graduates and their families and friends on a truly lovely June morning, I breathed with gratitude and relief at having accomplished a full year of school that brought us to this culminating moment celebrating the Class of 2022. Every class has its mark, its four years of weaving personal experience with Notre Dame legacy and regional and national history. For the Class of 2022, their's was to lead us back to campus after a year of remote learning caused by a global pandemic. Bridging the gulf between the isolation of their disrupted sophomore and junior years, they stepped into their senior year with strength of person. They embraced their diverse identities, owned the challenge of addressing racial and gender discrimination and, assuming leadership roles, they challenged Notre Dame to come back with a commitment to always do better. Their individual and collective voices were strong for their fellow students and for us, their faculty and staff. They also generously shared their spirit and revived Notre Dame traditions and fun class moments that bond friendships and shape memories. They showed the classes behind them what ND is made of, from the year's opening assembly to their final walk from Julie Billiart Hall in their caps and gowns. We are all indebted to them. I hope that you have a sense of the Class of 2022’s spirit and personality as you read this edition of Notre Notes and that you share our pride and gratitude. Ora et labora,

Mary Beth Riley, Head of School

Welcome to Notre Dame! Welcome to Notre Dame’s new executive director of advancement, Amy Pizzaro! Amy comes to Notre Dame from the Happy Hollow Foundation where she served as executive director. With a strong background in fund development, media and community relations and advancement, Amy will lead the advancement team and serve on Notre Dame’s leadership team.

Congratulations Class of 2022

179 Students in the

CLASS of 2021 were offered more than




in scholarships


students in the class are First Generation Scholars

Most popular majors Chemistry/Biology/ BioChem Engineering (mechanical, computer, aerospace, biomedical, environmental) Psychology/ Neuroscience Business/Economics Arts English Environmental Science



of seniors who applied to colleges and universities were accepted

Where they're going 56% Private 25% UC/CSU 9% Out-of-State Public 7% Community College 2% International <1% Gap Year

Orange & Light Blue Raptors



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





college within California


out-of-state colleges

"Graduating" with the Class of 2022

Three beloved faculty and staff also "graduated" from Notre Dame after many years of service to Notre Dame students. We wish them well on their retirement and the next chapter of their lives!

Dr. Victoria Harrison taught English for 13 years.

Elizabeth Milanovich taught Mathematics for 19 years.


Emilia Bobst served as receptionist for 24 years.

ThirtyOne Women: 10 Years of Changing Women's Lives Donors and guests came together this spring to celebrate ten years of this impactful program. Together, donors in ThirtyOne Women circles have raised more than $1.4 million dollars and made it possible for seventeen outstanding students from Our Lady of Grace Nativity School to obtain an exemplary Catholic, college preparatory education at Notre Dame High School. Founded by Mary Quilici '75 Aumack and Maria Bellafronto, the ThirtyOne Women concept is simple — a group of 30 women committed to giving a fixed amount each month for four years. The outcome - four years of a Notre Dame Catholic education for one young woman and an extradordinary experience for her 30 supporters. Michelle Ramirez Martinez '16, who was the recipient of the first ThirtyOne Women scholarship, served as mistress of ceremonies for the reception. "The ThirtyOne Women program is special to me because it opened the most important door in my educational journey," shared Michelle. "Over the course of the past ten years, this scholarship has become a key to opportunity for young women who look like me, have big dreams, and want to succeed and take charge of our lives. Being the thirty-first woman in a circle teaches you that you too can one day be strong and create impact just like our wonderful circles of women do every day." Michelle graduated from Scripps College and currently serves as community specialist with the Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative.


students from Our Lady of Grace have received full scholarships

Mary Beth Riley, Head of School & Michelle Ramirez Martinez '16


of alum scholarship recipients have gone on to attend college


women have joined ThirtyOne Women circles and given more than


Berenice Leon Canseco '22, Fatima Ramirez '25, Michelle Ramirez Martinez '16, Maria Bellafronto, Celeste Cortez '23 Alma Martinez '22

Village Scholarship The inaugural Village Scholarship reception invited donors to come together to celebrate the second year of scholarship award! Donors to the scholarship program support African ancestry diversity at Notre Dame and have funded two full scholarships. They were welcomed by ND alum Shelene Huey-Booker '99, CEO of YUPP (Youth Utilizing Power & Praise) who shared a reflection on Juneteenth and sang the Black National Anthem. While at Notre Dame, Shelene founded a gospel choir of close to 100 students and served as vice president of ASB. "When students graduate from Notre Dame, they take with them the tools they will need to become women of impact," shared Elizabeth Wells Aguilar, parent of alum Rachel Aguilar '21 and co-founder of the Village Scholarship. "They are life-long learners and advocates for justice who will ultimately become community leaders. The opportunity to be part of this transformative educational environment should not be limited to girls whose families can afford a private, college prep tuition. We all know the saying 'it takes a village to raise a child.' It was this entire village, coming together and pledging financial support to make the vision of providing a scholarship a reality.”


given to fund two full scholarships for students of Black, African descent



individuals & couples have made four-year commitments

individuals & couples have made one-time gifts Elizabeth Wells Aguilar (Rachel '21)

Shelene Huey-Booker '99

Krystal Carter (Ruby '23 & Nona '26), Machelnil Cormier, Selena Garrison (Alana '23, ND Board of Directors),Tracey Crooks (Dylan '25)



16th Annual ND Reads Notre Dame's ND Reads program brings our community of students, faculty, staff, parents, alums and friends together to examine and discuss important issues facing our global community. We invite you to join us in reading our 16th annual selection, The Color of Air, by New York Times best-selling author Gail Tsukiyama. "We are excited to welcome Gail Tsukiyama back to our campus," shared Susana Garcia, assistant head of school. "In addition to sharing her perspectives as the author of this year's ND Reads book, her work as the executive director of a nonprofit organization that provides books and access to water in developing countries as well as her own life experiences as a woman of color, will inspire and inform our students as they discern their own vocations." Critics have described The Color of Air as "a gorgeous and evocative historical novel about a Japanese-American family set against the backdrop of Hawai’i's sugar plantations." Alternating between past and present — from the day of the volcano eruption in 1935 to decades prior — The Color of Air interweaves the stories of Daniel, Koji, and Mariko to create a rich, vibrant, bittersweet chorus that celebrates their lifelong bond to one other and to their immigrant community. As Mauna Loa threatens their lives and livelihoods, it also unearths long held secrets simmering below the surface that meld past and present, revealing a path forward for them all. Join us in reading The Color of Air and we'll see you on campus in November!

SAVE THE DATE We will welcome Gail Tsukiyama to our campus on November 16, 2022 for an author talk. The event is open to the public and free of charge. Please visit our website below for more information and to register.

November 16, 2022 7:00pm Don't miss this opportunity to hear the inside story behind the book and meet the author.


l a u n n 14 A th

The Women of Impact event will be in-person at the Hotel Signa by Hilton on October 14, 2022 where we will honor community member Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi and alum Lori Castillo '92 Martinez.

Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi


r. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi is an academic and thought leader on race, leadership, and faithinformed social justice with almost three decades of higher education experience. She is also the author of Twice as Good: Leadership & Power for Women of Color and the inaugural vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and full professor of communication at University of the Pacific. She served as dean of students and vice provost of diversity and community engagement at University of San Francisco (USF) and is also an affiliate faculty member at the Race and Equity Center at University of Southern California. She serves on the executive board of the Ignatian Solidarity Network.

Lori Castillo '92 Martinez


rowing up in San Jose, Lori Castillo '92 Martinez watched the rise of Silicon Valley right in front of her eyes, and was fortunate to attend a diverse girls school - Notre Dame. These two things set her on a path to a career in technology from an early age. "I was at an all-girls high school, and it starts in places like that. For me, technology wasn't something to shy away from, it was something to lean into," shared Lori. "I joined the workforce thinking women ruled the world." What followed was a global career with some of the biggest names in technology including Intel, McKesson, Verisign and VMware. Currently, she serves as executive vice president and chief equality officer at Salesforce where she leads global equality efforts, including equality strategy and programs. Previously, Lori served as the head of global employee relations and equality at Salesforce — a role uniquely designed as a way to accelerate and integrate people and equality initiatives at Salesforce.




CLASS NOTES Michelle Costere '64 McClendon donated to the Village Scholarship and is proud and happy to be part of this effort for an under-represented group.

Janette Valderrama '74 Perla (1) has assembled a group of friends and former ND classmates to form the U-Kool-Ladies Ukulele Band. The group includes Janette, Carmella Perinet, Stephanie Defiesta, Patty Stuart and Geralynn Patellaro, all from the Class of 1974, along with Monica Hojda from the Class of 1969 as well as other talented friends. The U-KoolLadies play for birthday parties, retirement parties,

senior centers and were recently on stage at the NorCal Ukulele Festival in Union City.

Mary Libby '76 McShea worked for State Compensation Insurance Fund for 37 years and retired eight years ago. Her new “job” has been providing daycare, and now after school care, to her niece’s twins. She’s been married to her husband for 39 years and still in the same house for 38 years. She enjoys traveling and went on her first cruise in April, with a second one scheduled for October.

Teresa Rodgers '85 Tabb (2) retired after 30 years as a special education teacher

for middle school. She will continue to offer special education services in home-school settings while building her doTERRA essential oil business.

Marci Van Horn '01 (3) graduated in 2021 with a doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Mary's College of California with her best friend Kathie Hutchings '01 and her daughter by her side. She has been working in education as a teacher, administrator and school counselor for 17 years.

Rochelle Ann Reyes '04 Alcid (4) welcomed a baby girl on February 27.

Marian Varda '06 & Mariam Fazel '06 (5), members of the Class of 2006 Phoenixes, are both in internal medicine residency programs and will be chief residents this upcoming academic year (Cedars Sinai Medical Center

and St. Mary’s Medical Center in Long Beach). They recently attended a medical conference for chief residents.

Rosemary Hua '10 (6) and Christopher Castillo were married on September 25, 2021 by Bishop Patrick McGrath. A few months later they visited the Vatican for the sposi novelli blessing, where Pope Francis blesses recently married couples.

Maggie Kane '11 (7) graduated from Stanford University in June with a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering.

Carly Grace Vaughn '17 (8) graduated with a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from Loma Linda University.

Regional Alum Network - Santa Cruz Luncheon (9) Alums from classes 1951, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1989, 1990 and

1999 attended the Santa Cruz Regional Lunch in June for the first time since the pandemic. They joined together in prayer and celebration and reminisced about their time at Notre Dame. We are thankful for our strong network of alums who have built the foundation for our ND connection!

Save the Date! Notre Dame's AllAlum Weekend will be held on October 14-16, 2022. Events will include the Women of Impact event, reunion activities and a mass. Learn more and register online at












NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION 596 S. 2nd Street San Jose, CA 95112 Address service requested


All-Alum Weekend OCTOBER 14-16, 2022

Notre Dame invites alums from all years to join us as we kick off All-Alum Weekend with ND's signature event, celebrations and Mass.


Reunions FRIDAY

October 14, 2022




October 15, 2022

October 16, 2022

@ Notre Dame

@ Notre Dame

Learn more and register online at If you would like to join the planning committee and help us bring your class together, please email Alum Relations: