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Anaheim, CA Permit No. 1351

150 Valparaiso Avenue Atherton, California 94027-4402

Fall/Winter 2015



Honoring milestone reunion years:

2010 • 5th Reunion 2005 • 10th Reunion 2000 • 15th Reunion 1995 • 20th Reunion 1990 • 25th Reunion 1985 • 30th Reunion 1980 • 35th Reunion 1975 • 40th Reunion 1970 • 45th Reunion 1965 • 50th Reunion 1960 • 55th Reunion

Alumni Mass 4:00p.m. Oktoberfest Celebration 5:00 - 8:00p.m.


$25.00 per person (children age 12 and under are free). Includes food & beverage.

Learn more at or call 650.454.8394

Alumni Awards: Nominations Now Open Do you know any alumni, faculty or staff deserving of recognition? The Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton (SHS) Alumni Association presents the following honors:

Saint Joseph’s School Henry Schimpf Award, Spirit of Mater Award, and SHP Athletic Hall of Fame Award. Recipients are selected based on contributions to SHS and beyond. Nominations are now being accepted online.

For candidate criteria, a list of past recipients, or to submit a nomination, please visit



Fall/Winter 2015



Rising to a Network challenge, SHS has implemented a “bold and courageous” new program to attract, retain, and support students with high academic promise but limited resources. 2014 ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE AWARDS


Honoring 2014’s “best and brightest,” the awards ceremony recognized three women for their tremendous contributions to the school community. THE ABCs OF GRADING

ESTABLISHING OUR ROOTS: Preschool & Kindergarten students enjoyed their annual bulb-a-thon.


Joining a national trend in education, the Lower School is exploring new approaches in reviewing student performance, grade reporting, and parent communication. VIVE LE CONGÈ


A centuries-old Sacred Heart tradition remains a part of SHS past and present, though its form continues to change over time.

Departments • Letter from Director of Schools


• Around Atherton: Campus News & Highlights


• Arts-in-Action: Exploring the Creative Side of SHS


• Gator Sports: From Fundamentals to Championships


• Alumni News: Reunions, Oktoberfest, and Class Notes


On the cover: In honor of her Feast Day, the iconic image of Mater Admirabilis was recreated by Lower School and Prep art students, using a variety of media. To learn more, please visit p. 22.


Sacred Heart Magazine Fall/Winter 2014-15

Dear Sacred Heart Community:

Editor Dana A.S. Rakoczy

In this letter, I have both an invitation and a revelation to share with you.

Assistant Editor & Designer Diana Chamorro (SHP ’04)

First, the invitation. It is with tremendous pride that I submit to you this issue of the Sacred Heart Magazine. In these pages, you will find stories of our recent triumphs, our dynamic programs, and our continuing work to strengthen our current position as an outstanding Catholic school, delivering a top-notch education.

Features Design Karen Stein Shanley, goodgood Contributing Photographers Ciara Bedingfield Chris Chiang Deborah Farrington Padilla Julie Horvath Adriana Klas Photography Peggy O’Leary Nicole Rehberg SHS parents Printing Dual Graphics Digital Copy We encourage all comments, suggestions and questions; email Please note, submissions may appear in a future issue and may be shortened for length or clarity.

2014-15 Board of Trustees Eric Lamb, Chair Maryan Ackley Peter Bell Sandra Bergeron David Burke Ed Cluss David Crawford Barbara Dawson, RSCJ Richard A. Dioli Cathy Friedman Duane Elizabeth Dunlevie Diane Flynn Tim Haley Frederic Harman Catherine Harvey Mary Henry Kristina Homer Armstrong John Kerrigan Manny Maceda Amity Millhiser Mike Mohrman Sandra McNamara Peter Oppenheimer Clare Pratt, RSCJ Shami Ravi Mindy Rogers Steve Rudolph Chick Runkel Mary Pat Ryan, RSCJ Paul Rydberg Paul Sallaberry Sue Sutherland Jeff Wachtel Michael Wishart Trustees Emeriti Robert Glockner John Hunter 2

Rest assured, this is merely a glimpse of what goes on here every day—and has gone on since the school’s earliest years. Which brings me to my revelation. During last fall’s Alumni Oktoberfest, more than 200 Sacred Heart graduates spanning nine decades headed home to our campus. Inevitably, as I moved from event to event, I fielded a few questions about why we migrated St. Joseph’s to the Lower & Middle Schools, why the boarding program ended, and why (in heaven’s name) we ever allowed the high school to go co-ed and discard the uniforms. Completely confident in the direction we’ve taken over the last quarter-century, I was able to deliver a satisfactory response to most, if not all, of these queries. Repeatedly, though the sometimes wistful, sometimes edgy question, “Does anything remain from my time here?” was put to me. At the time, I pointed to the more overt historic line—the RSCJ, the founding mission, the iconic Main Building. But since then, I’ve thought a great deal about what my answer could have been, what it would be now. As I walked through campus and spoke with these alumni—some, like the Prodigal, returning for the first time since graduation—I learned a lot about their respective years here and heard wonderful stories of the RSCJ, teachers, and coaches who had influenced their lives and who were indelibly stamped on their memories of this school. That remains unchanged. I listened to tales from former students who willingly balanced a rigorous academic schedule with their passion for sports or the arts and their determination to serve their community and each other. That remains unchanged. I was treated to stories about deep friendships forged and kept, about pranks pulled, rewards shared, and consequences met. Believe me, that remains unchanged. And I heard about their genuine fondness for this beautiful campus, its historic place in the city, and the second home it represented to so many who came through its elegant gates. Despite our physical evolution through the years, that all remains largely unchanged. Here at Sacred Heart, we’ve managed to preserve the importance and the relevancy of our Catholic educational model nearly 120 years. And while the world may have changed around us, and while we have made some necessary alterations through the years, we have still upheld all those elements that define both who we are, and what a Sacred Heart student—no matter the era of enrollment— will experience. Today, if asked that question, “what remains,” I am now clear on what my answer will be. Everything. Sincerely,

Richard A. Dioli Director of Schools


GENERATIONS UNITE: Preschool through eighth-grade students enjoyed a fun-filled morning at Grandparents’ and Special Persons’ Day on November 25.



Global Citizens

Preschool & Kindergarten celebrates international community

Each year PSK students learn to become peacemakers, celebrating United Nations Day with a gathering in Spieker Pavilion to “Sing Peace Around the World.”

Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton (SHS) Preschool & Kindergarten (PSK) students are building a lasting foundation that will benefit them through their SHS experience and into adulthood, from lessons in language and math to learning about their role in the global community. “Peace education has always been an integral part of the Montessori curriculum,” says PSK Principal Cee Salberg. “The most basic tenet of a Montessori classroom is to treat everyone with respect. The children are taught conflict resolution skills and learn to work through their disagreements at the ‘Peace Table.’” Learning critical skills such as respecting and sharing with one another, students are also exposed to the importance of global awareness. Peace education is woven into studies of the continents, which enables each child to explore his or her ancestral roots. In learning about life internationally, the focus is the fundamental spiritual and material needs of all humans.

“This, in turn, has led to our observation of five distinct cultural holidays, which has become the basis for our all campus celebrations,” explains Salberg.

Sing Peace Around the World Light a candle for peace, Light a candle for love, Light a candle that shines, All the way around the world. Light a candle for me, Light a candle for you, That our wish for world peace, Will one day come true

Salberg, faculty, and staff across the SHS campus have come together with parent volunteers Sing Peace Around the World throughout the academic year to Sing Peace Around the World Sing Peace Around the World honor different faith and cultural Sing Peace Around the World celebrations spanning the globe. From prayer and songs to dance and traditional garb, students actively learn about the diverse global community of which they are a part.

Since 2009, Montessori schools have adopted observation of World Peace Day as part of the curriculum and annually unite to “Sing Peace Around the World.” At SHS, Salberg has opted to combine its celebration with United Nations Day, offering students tangible ways to exercise the root of the holiday. “In each classroom the children learn what it means to be a peacemaker,” Salberg says. “This can mean being kind to each other, keeping our Earth beautiful, or making ‘wise choices.’” The youngest SHS peacemakers do a class project, presenting it in a parade at Spieker Pavilion, then gather for the group song. “There are no treats or parties to go with the day; the focus is on what it means to further peace in our world. It is very gratifying to hear the children as they go about their daily work in the classroom or play on the playground [and] talk about what being a peacemaker means in their lives,” concludes Salberg.


Common Bond Unites

Prep Model UN team partners with fellow Sacred Heart Network school For SHS students there is something much deeper than the connection they hold with each other—it is the bond of being a student of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. This unique network of 24 schools across the United States and Canada, along with an expansive international consortium, provides students with the opportunity to engage, collaborate, and form life-long friendships. For the first time, Model United Nations (UN) teams from SHP and Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Omaha, Neb., joined together as one to participate in the Stanford Model UN Conference. The new team—dubbed OmahaAtherton Sacred Heart Model UN— was composed of 12 SHP students and eight from Duchesne.

For the Stanford Model UN Conference, October 17-19, members of Sacred Heart Prep and Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart joined together and became the Omaha-Atherton Model UN team.

“The SMUNC weekend, although stressful and intimidating, proved to be really fun and also very educational,” said Sofie Surraco (SHP ’16). “It was nice to spend time with our team, both from Nebraska and SHP, telling stories from all our committees, and

laughing the whole way through...Model UN is something in which you can shape the outcome, and the amount you give in is how much you get out of it. I hope to get out more and more as I become [increasingly] comfortable with the process.”

Lanfear Scholarship Established

Endowed fund to support students throughout SHS attendance Early this year, SHS announced the establishment of the Carl and Ilene Lanfear Scholarship, an endowed fund that will provide annual financial support to “one or more Sacred Heart students” throughout the duration of his/her attendance at the school. The first recipient(s) will be selected just prior to the start of the academic year 2015-16. A gift of current LMS parents Dennis and Karen Lanfear, this scholarship is named in honor of Dennis’ aunt and uncle, who provided him valuable support during his undergraduate college days by offering him steady, summer construction work through his uncle’s contractor business. “We are honored to have this scholarship named for us, and in memory of Carl,” said Mrs. Carl (Ilene) Lanfear. “Carl felt very

strongly about supporting the educational aspirations of those in need, to nurture others and provide them with life opportunities they otherwise would not have.” The Carl and Ilene Lanfear Scholarship is one of 45 named, endowed scholarships managed by Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton. With approximately $5 million distributed annually to financially assist a broad array of SHS students from preschool through grade 12, endowed funds such as this new Lanfear Scholarship have become an essential—and growing—avenue of support. If you would like to learn more about how to establish a named, endowed scholarship, please contact the Office of Advancement, 650.473.4003 or


Statewide Success

Eighth-grade government class promotes teamwork, builds confidence Teamwork, critical thinking, and self-confidence have become tangible skills SHS eighth graders acquire as part of the course Competitive Law and Government. Often referred to as just the “Government Team,” the class is a year-long elective, requiring rising eighth graders to answer prompts as part of the admissions process and to commit to only taking this one elective for the year. “One of the biggest benefits they gain is confidence and public speaking [skills],” said Middle School teacher Chris Chiang, who coteaches with colleague Nicole Rehberg. “They learn they have to back up [statements] with evidence, not just base off personal opinion.” The first semester focuses on United States The Government Team celebrates after winning the We the People: The Citizen and policy and domestic issues, providing students the Constitution state competition in San Diego on December 19. with the opportunity to showcase their research and public speaking skills. On October 16, the team argued a pending Supreme Court case, Holt v. Hobbs, at the Stanford Law School Religious Liberty Clinic in front of a law professor and two current law students. The culmination of weeks of preparation, the students not only impressed the Stanford contingency, but more importantly supported one another as they each took a stand on the case. “Team-building [and] being able to coalesce as a team is [an integral] part of this class,” explained Rehberg. “Here, they are such a unit...We want this to be like a team you have outside of school—this is a team inside this class.” The support of not only their teachers, but more importantly, their peers—their team—has paid dividends. Demonstrating a breadth of research and knowledge, SHS students impressed the distinguished panel of judges at the competition.

“It is a special setting for these 20 kids because everyone wants their teammates to shine and do well,” added Chiang. “A student may be quieter in another class, but in here they feel empowered to speak up because they know everyone wants the team to sound its best.” And the evidence that Chiang and Rehberg’s approach is the right one is mounting—notably, this year’s team took the first place against a number of California schools at the annual “We the People” competition, held last December in San Diego.

The team argues Holt v. Hobbs at its moot court session at the Stanford Law School Religious Liberty Clinic. 6

Coming off that success, the students have now shifted focus to learning about international relations and Model United Nations. They will also look forward to their second team trip, this time to New York City for a Model UN conference in late March.

Coding Interest Blossoms at Lower School Students enjoy learning computer coding basics during “Hour of Code” Computer Science Education Week sparked interest and enthusiasm from Lower School students, as first through fifth graders participated in the “Hour of Code,” an international movement to teach computer coding to students, in science teacher Mariette Bacon’s class. While the level of experience varied between grades, the momentum the class session provided was undeniable. “It was lots of fun; I love doing it and wish I could do [coding] more often,” said Bacon, who hopes to create a Lower School Coding Club to continue to help students hone their computer science skills and passion. “It is really fun,” added Parker Loew (SHS ’26), who continues to practice coding on his own. “It kind of feels like you’re just playing a video game...I learned how to move [my animations] forward and back.”

Eager to help, fifth grader Stella Parker (SHS ’22) assists first grader Sophia Neisler (SHS ’26) during a recess coding session in Mariette Bacon’s classroom.

Bacon’s goal is to have a “low commitment” club that would meet during select recesses to nurture the interest and give younger students the opportunity to continue to work on Tynker, a website dedicated to making coding accessible to kids. “I like how it teaches you can really do anything, and it is fun to play at home or at school,” Mara Crockett (SHS ’22) said about coding her own games. “At home I just play around [on Tynker] and try different things.” Through the programming tool, the students were able to play the role of programmer for different games.

“I thought that was pretty cool,” explained Aspen Schuman (SHS ’26) about learning that coding is what creates the games she plays on the iPad and computer. While Tynker provides a rudimentary coding process for students, they were able to see the actual HTML lines of code that power the elements they had their games complete. “I loved seeing the code I wrote, because it would actually show you [the HTML lines],” commented Caroline Salame (SHS ’22). “I think it is pretty cool that’s how the games are made and are processed into apps,” concluded Sophia Simpson (SHS ’22).

Four Alumni Named “30 Under 30” Forbes’ annual list features millennials shaping the future Among an elite group of 600 millenials spanning 20 different fields, four SHS alumni were selected for inclusion in this year’s “30 Under 30” list by Forbes magazine. Identifying bright, innovative, and entrepreneurial 20-somethings who are both examples of success and on a rising continuum, the Forbes list shines a national spotlight on the current, young “game-changers” across industries such as finance, science, sports, entertainment, and consumer tech. Those chosen for the annual list have to first make it through the initial nominations round, which typically exceeds 10,000 candidate submissions. From that number, approximately 25 percent are then seriously considered, before the final 30 in each category are identified.

SHS alumni recognized in the 2015 list are: VENTURE CAPITAL Topher Conway (SJS ’00, SHP ’04) Partner, SV Angel Brandon Farwell (SJS ’00) Partner, Rothenberg Ventures SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS Jonny Dorsey (SJS ’99, SHP ’03) White House fellow, Department of Education RETAIL Marco Zappacosta (SJS ’99, SHP ’03) Cofounder, Thumbtack 7

Stewards of the Greater Community

Sacred Heart students dedicate countless hours to helping local neighbors From toy drives to tutoring, sports clinics to sandwiches and more, Sacred Heart students were out in full force this fall, contributing to a string of local communities through charitable service. Among the many Bay Area organizations and institutions who benefited were Siena Youth Center, Samaritan House, Garfield Elementary, St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Francis Center, Fair Oaks Community Center, CORA (Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse), and numerous others. Select service projects with significant impact and scope included: Giving Tree, in which LMS students collected personal care and clothing items and crafted more than 300 kits for ministries serving the homeless Warm Items Collection, in which LMS families donated coats, blankets, scarves, and other high-priority winter goods for distribution to families-in-need Coastal Cleanup 2014, in which Prep students joined together with students at Stuart Hall & Convent of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco to tidy the Islais Creek area on the bay side of San Francisco Soccer Skills Clinic, in which students in fifth grade worked with Special Olympics Schools Partnership Program to host visitors from special education classes for a one-day skills clinic and soccer tournament. Sandwiches on Sundays (SOS), in which meal packages were assembled by students in second grade, along with handwritten notes to recipients Special Days: Ice Skating Fundraiser, in which students in fifth grade are devising and executing plans to increase seed funds in order to cover hosting costs for a Special Day classes outing Halloween Costume Drive, in which Middle School students collected and donated gently worn outfits to local youth programs Thanksgiving Baskets Drive, in which students, families, faculty and staff at the Prep, LMS, and PSK amassed perishables, nonperishables, and cooking utensils—enough to fill approximately six bags per recipient—for more than 70 families-in-need during the holiday season.

(Top) Eighth graders collected and delivered all the trimmings for a Thanksgiving feast to local families-in-need. (Right) In time for Christmas, Prep students donated over two dozen bikes to the Bulldogs for Mountain Bike Club, for children at the Siena Youth Center in Redwood City. 8

Prep Students to Sponsor a Campus Kitchen The Prep will join universities and a select number of high schools across the country as a member of the national initiative “Campus Kitchen.” Guided by Tia Dalupan Wong (SHP ’15), Stephanie Demo (SHP ’16), Maddie Leupp (SHP ’16), and Caroline Sprague (SHP ’16), the Prep will collect and use leftover food from the cafeteria and Sacred Heart Farm & Garden to provide healthy meals to local individualsin-need through Haven House in Menlo Park. The students worked on setting up SHP’s Campus Kitchen over the last two academic years, and formally launched in February 2015. They hope to feed five-to-10 families once a week with the assistance of 30 student volunteers.

Campus Kitchen coordinators (l to r): Maddie Leupp, Caroline Sprague, and Stephanie Demo hope to grow the program and ultimately feed up to 40 families a week.

Impelled to Action

SHS raises more than $31,000 for ALS and Lymphoma research

Director of Schools Richard A. Dioli and members of the administrative team participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on August 27 at the Dunlevie Aquatics Center.

When senior Moi Lee (SHP ’15) addressed the Sacred Heart Prep (SHP) community in an Espacio on September 16 about her battle with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, faculty and students immediately jumped into action. While there was no relieving her five-month battle with the disease— which was declared in remission on October 1—the community could do something to help those battling lymphoma on a greater scale. Guided by Goal III: A social awareness which impels to action, Prep drama teacher Paul Sawyer and students established the “No Hair/ We Care” campaign to raise money for the Lymphoma Research Foundation. Adding incentive to donate across campus, various faculty and staff members committed to shave or cut their hair or facial hair for each $1,000-milestone reached. After a three-week period, SHP raised more than $26,000 and ultimately donated in excess of $30,000 to the foundation. Prior to that incredible display of community, Director of Schools Richard Dioli and the SHS administrative team were issued—and met—the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by neighboring Menlo School. SHP students also participated in the challenge and helped raise $1,100 for the global phenomenon fundraiser, which to date has brought in over $100 million.

(Left) Moi Lee (SHP ’15) addresses the student body at a Prep Espacio. (Top): Social science and gardening teacher Stewart Slafter, Principal James Everitt, and Spanish teacher Jesús Ramos in the barber’s chair. (Bottom) Jake Moffat, chair of the English department, holds his freshly cut hair, which was donated to Locks of Love. 9

Heart-to-Heart: Clare Pratt, RSCJ A lifelong devotee of educating children of the Sacred Heart Nestled in the center of the SHS campus, the Oakwood Retirement Community for the Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) bridges students from the Preschool & Kindergarten to the Prep with the living mission of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat to educate the whole child. These loving women can often be seen across campus, taking part in everything from guiding liturgical celebrations, to sharing their stories with students, to doting on the animals at the SHS Farm. Among them is Clare Pratt, RSCJ, who currently serves as Oakwood’s community life director. Sr. Pratt has been a part of the Sacred Heart community for nearly all of her life, enrolling at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Md. in the seventh grade, due to the influence of her grandmothers. “My Episcopal grandmother wanted me to go to the best Catholic school in the city,” she explains. Her paternal grandmother, however, had been roommates with a future RSCJ, and knew of the quality education available for young women. Once at Stone Ridge, she recalls the influence of the nuns— or mothers, as they were referred to—was immediate. “I knew in the eighth grade I wanted to join the Religious of the Sacred Heart. I had toyed with being a missionary like Maryknoll, but what drew me was the love that I saw between our Sisters—the way they treated us, and the way they were with each other,” she says. This love was a guiding force for Sr. Pratt, but she did not enter the Society until the end of her sophomore year at Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart. That February on a class retreat, she felt disconnected from the topic of discussion. “I cut out of the retreat and never went back. I took this little red book, called The Society of the Sacred Heart, that Janet (Erskine) Stuart had written. I don’t know where I got it; I went out to the woods and read the entire thing—I just devoured it. Then I was not only sure of my vocation, I [was convinced that] two more years of college was not going to give me any more life experience,” Sr. Pratt adds. With the support of her father, a judge and former Marine, and mother, who converted to Catholicism during her high school years, Sr. Pratt joined the Society just before her 20th birthday, commencing a career that has taken her across the United States and abroad as a teacher, minister, and leader. As a novice Sr. Pratt finished her bachelor’s degree in English at Newton College of the Sacred Heart and assumed her first teaching and administrative job at Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Philadelphia (now located in Bryn Mawr, Pa.).


Clare Pratt, RSCJ currently serves as Oakwood’s community life director and on the SHS Board of Trustees.

While working in the Philadelphia region, she also earned her master’s degree in religious education from La Salle University, before making final vows in Rome in 1967. Upon her return to the United States, Sr. Pratt worked in Philadelphia, Princeton, and Boston at Sacred Heart, parochial, and public schools before being asked to be the provincial of the Washington Province, overseeing Sacred Heart schools in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. “In that day we didn’t have [trustee] boards at [our] schools,” she explains. “I was the chair of the board of four schools, and the provincial team, the two people who worked with me, we were the board.” During the first year of her four-year tenure, Sr. Pratt and her fellow four regional provincials made the decision to reorganize and to become one United States province. After three years of planning, it came to fruition, and in 1982 the United States Province was established with its center in St. Louis. Over the course of the next decade, Sr. Pratt would serve as principal for a school in Texas, as a member of the new provincial team in St. Louis, and as a faciliator in Rome for one of the RSCJ’s five-month preparation sessions for women taking their final vows to join the Order. Little did she know, her work overseas was not finished. In Aylmer, Quebec for the 1994 Society General Chapter meeting of delegates from around the world, she was then asked to serve the international Society. Two days before the end of the two-month meeting, incoming Superior General Patricia García de Quevedo asked Sr. Pratt to come to Rome to serve as secretary general.

“I had never used a computer before. I took a crash course, 12 hours in Word and 12 hours in Excel, and somebody taught me Windows,” she remembers about entering her new position. “I went, and I loved it. I did that for six years...and it connected me with the Society of the Sacred Heart around the world.” Desiring a pastoral ministry component to accompany her office job with the Society, she volunteered for five years at a local prison near the Vatican, utilizing her accordion-playing skills to coordinate the Sunday liturgies. At the conclusion of Sister García de Quevedo’s term, the RSCJ once again gathered in General Chapter, which happened to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Society, at the first school Saint Madeleine Sophie established in Amiens, France. The historic celebration was punctuated with the election of Sr. Pratt as superior general—the first RSCJ from the United States.

Upon the conclusion of her term, she took a year off and returned home to Washington, D.C., in preparation for her next calling. In 2010, Sr. Pratt became the Oakwood community life director, and in February, celebrated her five-year anniversary in Atherton. “This has been a wonderful place for me. I said to somebody the other day ‘it’s a blast.’ The thing I love about it is the unpredictability, because from day-to-day the status of one of our Sisters can change, somebody comes to visit, the interaction with the school—this is an ideal place to have a retirement community,” she concluded. For the past five decades Clare Pratt, RSCJ has made a lasting impact on both the lives of children of the Sacred Heart and the global community. Whether as an educator or an administrator, she has been a selfless trailblazer dedicated to following Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat’s mission of faith, intellect, justice, community, and growth.

Sr. Pratt served in Rome as superior general from 2000-08. “Getting to know our Sisters in their own countries was a high priority. About five months of each year, the five of us on the General Council were ‘on the road,’” she said.

Heart-to-Heart will become a monthly online feature highlighting the RSCJ residing at Oakwood:

Celebrating a Sacred Heart Pioneer Network comes together for Janet Erskine Stuart centennial As part of the Janet Erskine Stuart centennial celebration, 10 SHS faculty and staff traveled to England in summer of 2014 for the Seeking Spirit Conference. Hosted by the England Province, the three-day conference united more than 100 Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) and educators at Sacred Heart schools worldwide to reflect on the life and spirituality of Mother Stuart. The group spent time in Cottesmore and at Digby Stuart College, her hometown and college, respectively. While there, the Sisters in attendance, including active RSCJ from the SHS community Kathy Dolan and Fran Tobin, celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart and renewed their vows. “It just adds to the fullness and the depth in connecting to the mission of the founding mothers and the people who shaped the future of Sacred Heart,” said Stacey Ardelean, Educators of the Sacred Heart (ESCJ) co-coordinator and Lower School fine arts teacher, about experiencing a piece of Mother Stuart’s life and joining RSCJ from around the world. The SHS stepping stone was designed and crafted by Lower School second and third graders.

The RSCJ and educators respresenting the Network of Sacred Heart Schools United States - Canada pose for a photo at the Seeking Spirit Conference celebrating Janet Erskine Stuart.

On October 21, the entire student body, faculty, and staff of the 24 campuses comprising the Network of the Sacred Heart Schools United States - Canada gathered via webstream to witness and be part of the closing ceremony for Mother Stuart’s centennial. To create a lasting memorial in her honor, each Network school was also tasked with the design and crafting of a stepping stone representing its institution, an artwork which was then sent to Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton for a permanent display on its campus.


SHS Inducts “Keepers of the Flame”

In early January, 14 members of the SHS faculty and staff were inducted as “Keepers of the Flame” in a brief ceremony presided over by Kathy Dolan, RSCJ and Martha Roughan, RSCJ, who together oversee the SHS Formation to Mission. Selected for their demonstrated commitment to live out the values of a Sacred Heart education and to integrate them into the fabric of personal and school life, these “Keepers” will have responsibility to help maintain our ideals in practice “in order to foster transmission to the next generation.” Serving alongside others in the Network similarly charged, members will represent Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton at future Network activities and meetings. Those inducted are: Stacy Ardelean, Brian Bell, Dan Brady (SHP ’04), Amy Conte, James Everitt, Deborah Farrington Padilla, Jesús Ramos, Toni Jacobs, Kyle Kalmbach, Anna MacDonald, Maureen Farris, Lisa Galaviz, Pat Roberts, and Ruth Cady.

SHS Under Yearlong Goals Review As part of an ongoing cycle initiated by the Sacred Heart Commission on Goals (SHCOG), every five years the Society of the Sacred Heart and Network of Sacred Heart Schools mandate every member campus to participate in a review of individual and institutional adherence to the governing Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart Education. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that each Sacred Heart school maintains—and continues to enact—a deep connection with the principles of the RSCJ and the mission outlined by founder St. Madeleine Sophie Barat. Through moderated dialogue and personal meditation, each school is directed to assess current practices, identify areas of success and for improvement, and overall renew its commitment to living the Goals—as a school, as a community, and as individuals. In fall of 2014, SHS began this yearlong process. To date, evaluative work completed has included surveys, focus groups, facilitated conversation, and other exercises among each constituency group: students, faculty and staff, current and past parents, alumni, and trustees. Over spring and summer, an SHS committee, comprising a cross-section of representation, will synthesize the material collected, craft recommendations, and draft the required comprehensive status report for a fall 2015 submission to SHCOG. Following, a SHCOG team will visit campus to review findings and make further recommendations.

Parents perform a traditional Indian blessing during Sacred Heart’s celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, in the Lane Family Chapel on October 23. Students had the opportunity to try on traditional outfits, create candle holders, and enjoy customary henna artwork.


Throughout 2014-15, SHS is hosting five themed all-school Family Masses—Back-to-School (Sept. 21), Thanksgiving Food Drive (Nov. 23), St. Vincent de Paul Collection (Jan. 25), Lenten Mass & Bingo with Mr. Dioli (Mar. 1), and Mother’s Day (May 10)—gathering the community in celebration and prayer.

Building Community a Success

Sacred Heart, Town of Atherton unite for fun-filled fall day Under bright blue skies and a warmer-than-usual October day, SHS welcomed generations of school alumni, current families and friends, and a host of residents and dignitaries from the Town of Atherton for a marathon of events designed to celebrate, expand, and deepen connections among the Sacred Heart and Atherton communities. More than 200 PALs and alumni from classes spanning nine decades took part in milestone reunion gatherings, a “Golden Diploma” ceremony for the Class of 1964, Alumni Mass, and the inagural Alumni Oktoberfest, featuring Gordon Biersch brews, courtesy of past parents Dan and Melissa Gordon. Capping the event, a special awards presentation honored two outstanding members of the SHS community. On the Lower & Middle Schools’ side of campus, the all-community barbecue drew a significant number of local Atherton families, neighbors, and city representatives, providing an afternoon of camaraderie, high spirits, and traditional games of skill for the younger guests. Concluding the day, all campus guests and families headed for Palatella Field, to be part of the historic football game played “Under the Lights.”

(Top) SHS Director of Schools Richard A. Dioli (center) poses with members of the Atherton Town Council. (Left) It’s all smiles for Lower Schoolers getting a truck tour and talk by a Menlo Park firefighter.

For more photos from Alumni Oktoberfest, please visit p. 74.

Lower School students accompany their recreation of the Virgin Mary for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Lane Family Chapel on December 8. First graders made and placed candle holders around the life-sized paper sculpture, which was painted by third-grade students.

Students and families alike enjoyed a Native American Powwow in the Ravi Assembly Hall on November 18. The celebration included traditional dances, food, and crafts. Sacred Heart missionary Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne was known for her dedication, faithfulness to prayer, and bringing the gospel to Native Americans.


Annual Fund Reaches 100% Participation…Again! For the third consecutive year, the SHS Annual Fund reached 100 percent pledged participation from Sacred Heart families across all grades, as well as faculty and staff. The success of our campaign rests squarely on the shoulders of our 140 parent volunteers who worked tirelessly to help us reach our ambitious goal in less than two months. This overwhelming support for our school represents more than an acknowledgement of the education we deliver here, but also indicates a resounding endorsement of our institutional direction. Thanks to this generous support and the strong volunteer corps who work on our behalf, our school is well positioned for the future. Thank you for helping us strengthen our legacy and ensure this wonderful education is preserved for the next generation.

Holiday Merriment Following the second annual Christmas tree lighting on Conway (Palm) Court, the SHS community enjoyed the Prep’s Holiday Treat. Students across all fine arts disciplines showcased talent, from the artful paintings displayed throughout the Main Building corridor to a captivating choir recital in the chapel, an entertaining dance performance recreating the film “Elf” at the Campbell Center for Performing Arts, and delightful music from the strings students in the Piano Parlor.

A longstanding tradition, each year the Main Building first floor transforms into a whimsical and festive Holiday Boutique, showcasing the Christmas spirit with ornate decorations, beautiful topiaries, one-of-a-kind goods, and an artisan food market.


A Collective Bravo for ‘Blue Moon’ Class of 2015, parents mount a successful show

Demonstrating tremendous poise, enviable posture, and excellent audience interplay throughout, the 140 student models showcased an array of fashion from 13 local retailers, as well as sample works from two up-and-coming designers, Avery Humphries (SHP ’14) and senior Michael Schuur. Opening the show with the musical number “Defying Gravity,” seniors Evan Bigley and Isabella Custino set the tone for the evening with soaring notes, while student choreographers from the Dance Team led fellow classmates in brief numbers that transitioned various fashion segments.

Prep seniors—and their parents—take the catwalk at the 2015 fashion show, “Once in a Blue Moon.”

Emerging one-by-one from a stunning backdrop that included an enormous harvest moon and cobalt blue spotlights, the SHP Class of 2015 commanded the catwalk at the 26th Annual Senior Fashion Show—one of the most anticipated events of the year and the launch to all senior activity.

Always a highlight to the evening, each senior escorted his or her parent down the narrow catwalk, and to the delight of the crowd present, struck a creative and memorable pose that reflected the spirit and fun of the evening—and in many cases, palpable pride and familial love. Ensuring every detail in place from pre-show reception to closing dance, event co-chairs Robbie Bigley, Lyn Galliani, and Flavia Katawan ably managed the entire production, which took approximately nine months from planning to execution and included an elaborate and well-paced choreography of staged dance, runway segments, excellent fare, and above all, an atmosphere that was both elegant and electric.

Barat College Access Fund Continues to Grow Fund receives generous support at Fashion Show In a spirited show of support, attendees at the Class of 2015 Fashion Show answered a call of need, providing more than $125,000 in pledges for the Barat College Access Fund (BCAF). The Fund, a critical financial resource for select graduates of Sacred Heart Prep, is designed to help enrolled students meet the financial obligations of college tuition, addressing any outstanding balance not met by traditional financial aid programs and providing additional monies-as-needed for living expenses, course fees, and textbooks, among others. Begun in 2005, the Fund has assisted approximately 27 SHP graduates in their pursuit of a college education. During the fashion show, a brief video highlighted the success of one former BCAF awardee, and included a request for support from both SHP Principal James Everitt and former Board Chair and current parent and trustee Mindy Rogers. “For the sake of one child means exactly that,” said Rogers. “We do what we can to help each and every one of our students lead a productive and successful life, and in today’s world, that means getting a college education. “Our incredible community and the commitment we make to our families is something that sets Sacred Heart apart from other schools.

Juan Sandovol (SHP ’09) (right) pictured with Dr. James Everitt, principal for Sacred Heart Preparatory.

Helping deserving students with something so vitally important as college validates and reinforces our deep sense of community.” “This grant changed my life,” said Juan Sandovol (SHP ’09), a BCAF awardee, who earned his bachelor’s degree from UCLA and is currently employed with Apple in Silicon Valley. To learn more about the BCAF and read about other awardees, please see “Cultivating Sophie’s Scholars” on p. 40. 15

Stevens Library Earns Unprecedented Accolade LMS facility first in country to earn “Net Zero” status Built in 2012, the Lower & Middle Schools’ Stevens Library is now the first library in the country and first school building in the state to be recognized as a “Net Zero Energy Building” by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). Operating entirely as an energy efficient facility, the 6,800 square-foot library has been lauded for its independence from fossil fuels, active commitment to resource reduction, and dedication to sustaining a healthy environment. Maximizing natural sources of energy including water and solar, increasing interior flexibility for a variety of usage, and ensuring The Stevens Library combines a serene learning environment for students with a strucsite material conservation and reuse, the library was designed to meet rigorous standards ture that is is independent from fossil fuels and has reduced the campus’ resource usage. indeed did not exceed its annual net productivity. Earning this outlined in ILFI’s Living Building Challenge, status now stamps the Stevens Library as a model and modern with a goal to “operate as cleanly, beautifully, and efficiently facility, and further marks it as a pioneer in California’s 2008 as nature’s architecture.” Though constructed two years ago, Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan requiring all new the library only became eligible for ILFI certification in 2014, construction to be “Zero Net Energy” by 2030. following verifiable proof that its required energy consumption

Five Questions with Jessica Patti Getting to know the Prep’s new Dean of Students What attracted you to Sacred Heart Prep (SHP)?: Jessica Patti (JP): The Goals and Criteria were a significant reason why I chose Sacred Heart. Being a dean of students, I really like that idea of educating in an “atmosphere of wise freedom.” We are creating a culture and identity on our campus that allows for that exploration of personal accountability, and being able to make choices within the structure of an environment— that illustrates a student is maturing. Where were you working prior to joining SHP? JP: The John Cooper School, which is a pre-kindergarten through high school with 1,200 students; so very similar in size to [Sacred Heart]. It is in The Woodlands, Texas, just north of Houston. Why do you enjoy working as a dean of students?: JP: One of the reasons is my passion around student accountability, not the reactionary and disciplinary side of things, but really in creating a culture. [I enjoy] partnering with faculty and families with students on what it means to be personally accountable. In other words, “How do I as a student begin to take ownership for my own life?” Now in your second semester at Sacred Heart, what would you say has been a highlight of your time here? JP: Really talking with students and getting to know them, and also supporting them in the pursuit of their passions. 16

Dean of Students Jessica Patti took on an added role second semester teaching a section of U.S. History.

How does SHP differ from other schools in which you’ve worked? JP: This is my third tenure on a campus as dean of students. As a Catholic myself, and graduate of an all-girls Catholic school, I really want to look at disciplinary standards [related to] the ethical and moral compass we are attempting to develop in our students—to bring a Catholic lens to that particular [aspect of student oversight].

SHS Moves to Web-based Admissions System Sacred Heart among small Bay Area consortium using Ravenna platform The experience of applying to a private school is often lengthy, cumbersome, and stressful, especially at competitive and selective institutions like SHS. In an effort to ameliorate this situation, admissions offices all over the country, from elementary schools to universities, are unilaterally transitioning to user-friendly, web-based systems. Joining the trend, this past fall, SHS became one of 21 private and independent Bay Area schools in a consortium utilizing a web-based platform that promises to modernize the elementary and secondary school admissions process. “We know that families applying to more than one school are submitting the same pieces of information multiple times, and struggling to keep track of their applications. So last spring, when SHS was presented with an opportunity to help launch the Ravenna Solutions platform locally, we decided to jump on board with peer schools including Castilleja, Crystal Springs Uplands, Nueva, and Woodside Priory and really try to improve the admissions experience for our prospective families,” says Director of Admission & Financial Aid Wendy Quattlebaum (SHP ’93).

Lower & Middle Schools Admissions Director Sarah Kane Coogan (left) and Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Wendy Quattlebaum discuss the new Ravenna Solutions platform.

Within the Ravenna Solutions system, an applicant’s entire file “One of our priorities in the admissions process is for all applicants and portfolio of documents is electronically housed and managed. and prospective families to experience firsthand the warm and Prospective families create an account, register for admissions welcoming nature of our Sacred Heart Schools’ community through events and appointments, complete forms online, and electronically direct and meaningful interactions with our admissions team. request necessary supporting documents like transcripts and teacher Using an online application system that eliminates countless evaluations. Ravenna allows applicants to use a number of common hours of paperwork, affords us the chance to come to know each forms that are shared with participating schools through the portal, applicant and prospective family on a personal level,” says Sarah eliminating the need for families to manage copious documents and Coogan, admissions director for the Lower & Middle Schools. make multiple requests of teachers and school registrars. And most importantly, families are able to closely track the application process, “By leaving the more tedious aspects of the admissions process to seeing precisely when schools receive their documents and when Ravenna, we’re now able to spend more time with our applicants their applications are complete. They can also retrieve admission instead of with their files.” decisions directly from the portal, ending the anxiety-inducing experience of waiting for letters to arrive in the mail.

Going Global (Academy) Beginning in fall 2015, Sacred Heart Prep will become part of an international group of leading independent schools delivering an impactful and innovative online learning program. Started in 2011 and now with member institutions across four continents, the Global Online Academy (GOA) offers students the opportunity to engage with others in a synchronous and asynchronous web-based setting, guided by seasoned faculty, and exploring current topics in a highly interactive and rigorous learning environment. GOA’s catalog combines traditional disicplines and contemporary themes, offering courses in Health & Medicine, Mathematics & Technology, Intercultural Studies, and Art, Media, and Design, among others.

Working with classmates from around the globe, SHS students taking a GOA course will learn and practice modern techniques of communication and collaboration, acquire cultural competencies by working with others across the globe, and build international peer networks. Currently SHS-GOA Program Director Deborah Farrington Padilla is spearheading the registration process for interested students at the Prep, with GOA course sign-ups for the fall semester beginning on April 1, 2015. For more information on the program, please visit




Lower & Middle Schools students accompany the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet on September 24. 19


Productions in Full Swing

Students from the Lower & Middle Schools through the Prep are showcasing their talents From a West Coast premiere to a 70s cult classic, a 40s farce to a contemporary Broadway musical, the SHS theatrical season thus far has been ablaze with rising talent. Launching the 2014-15 season, in October Prep thespians had a rare opportunity to mount a production by Pulitzer Prize finalist and contemporary playwright Stephen Karam. The musical, a new twist on the classic Jane Austen novel Emma, explored broad themes of manners, moires, and the timeless quest for love—set on a college campus and through a modern-day lens. With a cast of 19, the lead roles were played with panache by senior Samantha Baugh (Emma) and junior Ted Caitlin (Professor Knight). In November, LMS students staged a musical revival of the 70s movie classic Bugsy Malone, Jr. With a story centered around Prohibition, speakeasies, and the 1920s “gangster” culture, young actors had the opportunity to study and replicate song styles, dress, colloquialisms, even dance moves of the period. The lively 24-member cast kept the audience rolling and the pace fast, while performing the tongue-in-cheek homage script. Lead roles were performed by 7th graders Luke Higgins (Bugsy) and Ava Schumacher (Blousey Brown), and 6th graders Andrew Plaschke (Dapper Dan) and Connor Fitzpatrick (Fat Sam).


Closing out the fall lineup, the Prep Actors’ Showcase tackled the 1944 murder-comedy, Ramshackle Inn. Featuring ghosts and mysterious trunks, bad weather, and suspicious circumstances, the production required students to master the rapid-fire dialogue, wordplay, and physical comedy that characterizes works of this highly stylized genre. Heading the cast were seniors Rhys Lewis (Belinda Pryde) and Nick York (Patton). Heading into the spring semester, the highly anticipated all-school musical Big Fish enthralled near-sellout crowds with big song-anddance numbers, big vocal talent, and one really big puppet. Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace, the story chronicles traveling salesman Edward Bloom and his epic stories from the road, and Edward’s adult son Will, who is determined to learn the truth behind his father’s tall tales. Featuring a cast of 70 actors from the PSK through Prep, the show’s lead roles were performed by SHP freshman Roddy Cardamone (Edward), seniors Evan Bigley (Will), Grace Barada (Sandra), and sophomore Cami Steppe (Josephine), and LMS third grader Kelsey Fitzgerald (Young Will).

The biannually produced allschool musical draws talent from nearly every grade at SHS. Of those participating in this year’s show, Big Fish, close to 50 percent of the cast were students in K - 5.

(Left) A longstanding tradition in the theatrical world, the “Gypsy Robe” recognizes a show’s most valuable player—an actor who embodies the energy and spirit of the theater, who leads by example, and is well known as the most supportive and inclusive among a cast. Nominated and voted on by the entire cast, those selected for the award at SHS win the right to add a symbolic item to the robe, representing the related show. The most recent actors to earn the coveted Gypsy Robe were LMS seventh grader Alan Kagiri and SHP freshman Cassie Vaden—in ”a first-ever tied vote,” according to Big Fish director Stacey Ardelean.

(Right) The ensemble cast of Ramshackle Inn in the Black Box Theater in the Campbell Center for Performing Arts. First performed in 1944 at the Royale Theater in New York City, this murder mystery farce follows a spinster librarian who uses her life savings to purchase a “dilapidated hotel near the ocean, which turns out to be haunted by benevolent spirits” (Playbill Vault).

(Left) A tongue-in-cheek tribute to films featuring 1920s gangsters, the Middle School musical Bugsy Malone, Jr. combined an entertaining storyline with charming dance renditions and captivating songs. With just nine weeks between auditions to performance week, the Bugsy cast—under the direction of Rachel Prouty—faced a challenging rehearsal schedule, as the show features more than 10 staged musical numbers and songs.

(Right) The 2014-15 performance season opened at the Prep with the West Coast premier of musical comedy Emma, loosely based on the Jane Austen novel of the same title. “When I found this fresh script, I was amazed at how the author was able to set the musical in contemporary Connecticut, but still keep all the wit and humor of the novel alive. Being only the third group ever to produce this show makes this process special,” said director John Loschmann.


Art Students Recreate Iconic Mater Image Lower School and Prep art classes exhibit collaborative talent In honor of the Feast of Mater Admirabilis, SHS students at the Lower School and Prep recreated the iconic image of Mater Admirabilis, housed at Sacred Heart schools worldwide. At the Lower School, fifth graders worked on velum and textured watercolor paper to create two images of Mater. Students employed watercolor pens, crayons, and paints to construct the image on specific panels. Once all panels were completed, the students then collaborated to piece the image together. The finished results mimicked a mosaic, as the colorful pieces complemented each other to create the beautiful Mater Admirabilis. Similarly at the Prep, students in Art I and Advanced Art classes were assigned a panel to recreate a portion of the image. On 16-by16 inch squares, they used pastels to illustrate their designs, and then joined them together to form the large composite of Mater.

The Prep’s recreation of Mater is housed in the Koenig Family Dining Hall in the Michael J. Homer Science & Student Life Building, on permanent display for the entire community to enjoy.

(Above and right) The fifth graders in art teacher Lisa Pinelli’s classes excelled at using different media to create their replications, presented at the Lower & Middle Schools’ Feast of Mater Admirabilis Mass on October 20.


(Right) Megan Sweeney (SHS ’24) poses with her finished calavera (skull) pot for the Lower & Middle Schools Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration on November 5. Students in grades first through eighth were immersed in the Mexican custom in their art, music, drama, and world language classes. Prior to the celebration, Lower School students were visited by prolific Bay Area artist Victor Mario Zaballa, who spoke about and gave a demonstration in papel picado—a Mexican folk art in which paper is cut into elaborate designs .

(Left) Employing art as a means to convey a lesson in social science, PSK teachers and parent volunteers led students in making “peace sign” necklaces out of yarn and colorful beads, as part of the school’s United Nations/World Peace Day activities. To read more about the PSK UN Day celebration, please see the article on p. 4.

(Right) Getting in on the fun, parents join their children in a primary color painting project as part of the first grade’s annual “Art Informance” on February 11. Parents spent the afternoon discovering what their students have learned and produced in their fine arts sections: drama, music, and visual.

(Left) SHP AP Photography and AP Studio Art students enjoyed a field trip to the de Young Museum for the “Keith Haring: The Political Line” exhibit on January 28. (Pictured) Sarah Spreng (SHP ’16) and her classmates responded to Haring’s bold and vivid graphics by recreating their own in journals while at the museum. The de Young visit was one of two excursions taken by the advanced art students this year, the other a trip to Stanford University’s Cantor Art Center to see the “Robert Frank in America” exhibit.


Visualizing the Arts: Advanced Placement classes turn out eye-catching works








5 (Left page) Still Above Ground, Works by Rachael Mellows (SHP ’15) Putting together a remarkable A.P. portfolio last year, Rachael explored the idea that youth is not immune to isolation and darkness. The work depicts both pain and the loss of childhood innocence with an ongoing visual trope of the erasure of both physical and personal identity. In the images, shadows, skin, props, and the subject’s body become emblems of the cycle of life and death, says art teacher Vanessa Woods. (Right page) Found Letters, works by students in A.P. art: juniors Sarah Spreng and Tara Ritchey, seniors Nicola Wheeler and Justin McWilliams. For the project “Found Letters,” A.P. students were each given an original, handwritten letter, dating between the 1920s and 1970s. They researched the letters’ era and context, then photographed a roll of film based on the visual and emotional material gleaned from the author’s words. Next, they scanned their film and combined it with stock images found on the Internet, to create a digital collage using Photoshop. As a final step, the digital collage was then printed, and transferred back onto the original letter. ARTISTS (clockwise): Images 1 – 3: Rachael Mellows. Images 4 – 7: Sarah Spreng (4), Tara Ritchey (5), Nicola Wheeler (6), Justin McWilliams (7). 25

Choir Trip Connects to Sacred Heart History The Prep choir trip to Italy in July 2014 combined performance and reflection The summer of 2014 provided a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the SHP Advanced Chorus, as they traveled to Italy in July to immerse themselves in the culture and history, perform at world-renowned venues, and further connect with their Sacred Heart roots. The party totalling 47, which included recent alumni from the Class of 2014, current SHP students, and parent chaperones, traveled to Rome and Tuscany for the eight-day excursion. “This was the first international trip we have taken, and I chose Italy because of the Catholic connection,” said Will Skaff, director of vocal music at the Prep. “It was an amazing experience,” said Cami Steppe (SHP ’17). “It was my first time in Italy and I loved seeing all the history, as well as performing in beautiful, historic churches.”

The SHP choir takes in the historic sights of Rome, stopping for a group photo outside of Saint Peter’s Basilica.

The first stop was in Rome, where their time was mixed with rehearsals, sightseeing tours, and enjoying delicious cuisines. At Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, the choir performed along with others on tour, while experiencing the Society of the Sacred Heart at its foundation. “Most people go there to see the paintings, and maybe sit for Mass, but who can say they actually sang for Mass at the Vatican?” added Steppe about the excitement of performing in the revered church. The group also visited the Society of Sacred Heart’s Mother House, Villa Lante, and saw the

original painting of “Mater Admirabilis” at the Trinità dei Monti, a monastery at the top of the Spanish Steps. Sacred Heart schools world wide have a copy or recreation of the symbolic painting. “It really connected me to being a child of the Sacred Heart and, as a parent, it was special to share with my daughter,” said chaperone Mary (Pang) Hinson (SJS ’72, CSH ’76), whose daughter Allyson (SHP ’15) is a current choir student. Memorable hospitality marked the choir’s visit to the small town Cerreto Guidi in the Province of Florence, as they performed for the entire community in church. “The whole village, everybody, came out and filled the church. They were really supportive, sweet, and showered us with praise and gifts—it was very heartwarming,” reflected Skaff. “This experience was unbelievable and unlike any other. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to go,” concluded Steppe.

(Left) Five members of the SHP Advanced Chorus program have been named to the California Coastal Regional Honor Choir of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). (Above) The entire town of Cerreto Guidi filled the church to welcome and hear the SHP choir perform.


The students auditioned in September and were selected based on their respective scores in tone production, sight singing, and ear training. The 200-voice Honor Choir performed locally in November under the direction of Dr. Shawna Cross of Biola University.

(Left) Pausing between its winter and spring concert performances, the Lower & Middle Schools’ Symphonic Band strikes a now-iconic pose on the knoll between music department headquarters in Johnson Performing Arts Building and the Stevens Library. More than 150 student musicians will perform at the inaugural “Picnic on the Hill,” the LMS Band & Strings Spring Concert, on April 30 at 5:30 p.m.

(Right) For the third consecutive year the SHP Symphonic Band performed in the San Francisco Bay Area Catholic Schools Concert. Hosted at Riordan High School in San Francisco on February 6, the concert attracted more than 400 students from eight different schools across the region.

(Left) The world renowned Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet of St. Petersburg, Russia captivated LMS fourth and fifth graders on September 24. The group performed for the students, fielded questions, and accompanied LMS strings students in a performance of “Silhouettes” by American composer Alan Lee Silva. That evening, the quartet put on a dazzling performance in front of a packed Campbell Center for the Performing Arts. Returning March 16-27 for a spring concert and residency at Sacred Heart, the quartet will work with students from the LMS through the Prep.

(Right) For the first time in school history, the SHP Jazz Band, under the direction of Emilio Lacayo-Valle, performed at the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) “Jazz West” festival on January 30 and 31 at Aragon High School. As part of their required program, the band performed both rehearsed compositions, as well as sight-read works. The band’s strong debut—described by Lacayo-Valle as “poised and precise”—earned unanimous “excellent” ratings from the distiguished panel of three adjudicators.


HeArt Exchange Continues to Build Momentum Prep students and faculty share expertise with youth The HeArt Exchange is a blossoming weekly after-school program, sponsored by SHP faculty and students, for children at Siena Youth Center in Redwood City. What started as a visual arts-based curriculum in collaboration with the Service Learning Department, has expanded to include various educational opportunities across the Prep’s many disciplines, including instrumental music and chorus, robotics, and science. “We want to take advantage of everything we have here,” notes founder and Fine Arts Department Chair Peggy O’Leary, whose goal was to utilize SHP’s premier facilities that sit empty once the school day ends and to provide positive enrichment experiences for underresourced youth in the area. Initially the program focused on visual arts, including photography and ceramics. Later, the program grew to integrate music and dance, with Siena youth performing alongside SHP students in their Spring Dance Concert.

Through the HeArt Exchange, SHP students are able to share their academic passions with children from the Siena Youth Center. Pictured: Matt Dillabough (SHP ’17) runs a session on photo editing techniques in Photoshop.

“We wanted them to have an opportunity to explore as many fine arts as possible,” O’Leary explains about the HeArt Exchange’s inception. “I then started to ask the Siena youth what they wanted to do when they came to SHP, and they also wanted to do science!” Prep science faculty Marisol Ornelas immediately responded and incorporated the program into her AP Physics curriculum. Her students now create and design after-school labs for the children in the program as part of their final assessment.

“It is not about [the faculty] teaching, it is about our students being the teachers, and sharing their passions and expertise. Every day of the week could have a different discipline where Siena youth would take after-school classes, share in our resources, which include SHP students as leaders, and thereby experience a truly reciprocal relationship,” she adds.

Currently the HeArt Exchange meets weekly, but O’Leary’s goal is to expand it to a daily program under the tutelage of student leaders, who would facilitate different programs based on their interests.

(Left) In the Robotics Lab, students solder electrical components on a circuit board to make a robot pendant with blinking lights for eyes. (Above) Director of Service Learning Reid Particelli (left) and music teacher Emilio Lacayo-Valle guide a session on instrumental music in the band room. 28

In Step with the SHP Dance Team What was once a small club forged on common interest, the SHP Dance Team is now a force to be reckoned with. A staple at Gator football and basketball halftime, the 34-member troupe is consistently producing and performing a series of explosive routines that thrall the crowds of spectators—Gators and rivals, alike. Dressed in what can be described as traditional “cheer gear,” including new team sweaters courtesy of the Fine Arts Boosters, the Dance Team has become known more for its precision moves, pop music selections, and smattering of gymnastic feats. Led by three co-captains—seniors Moi Lee (SHP ’15) and Natalie Katwan (SHP ’15), and junior Marggi de Lusignan (SHP ’16)—the dedicated team convenes up to 10 hours per week in practice, often in demanding sessions that require a baseline of strong athleticism and endurance. For each scheduled performance, the captains will devise the routines, music, and placement with the assistance of professional choreographer and team advisor Corie Tyson, giving the entire troupe approximately three weeks to learn, drill, and perfect their performance before a live show. “Originally, this was a club that met during school hours,” says Tyson. “But under the current student leadership, the team has become increasingly serious about performance

quality.” As a result, she notes, the “club” now operates more like an after-school sport.

BEAUTIFICATION: SHP Art 1 students enjoy a sunny August afternoon by creating colorful chalk portraits on the walkways of campus.




Prep varsity football season culminates with historic CCS Open Division championship on December 5. 31


Gators Finding Success Across Divisions

Integration of athletic programs benefiting all aspects of Sacred Heart experience From learning the fundamentals of teamwork, commitment, and perseverance to capturing championships, students at SHS are not just succeeding in athletics, but building lifelong skills. Under the direction of All-Schools Athletic Director Bret Simon, who is in his first full academic year, the further integration of sport programs from the Lower & Middle Schools through the Prep has been a primary focus. “The biggest thing we are working on is integration, so a program director at the Prep would be involved in a number of areas across campuses,” said Simon. “For some, they serve as the [varsity] head coach of the sport, in charge of the lower level team...and also they are involved at the LMS, from teaching the P.E. section of their sport, developing curriculum for the P.E. teachers that are already there, or [running] coaching clinics for the coaches.” By providing resources and opportunities for coaches to collaborate across divisions, SHS is seeing the improvement of the overall experience for student-athletes. This model can be seen best with lacrosse, a sport that is now flourishing on the West Coast. Under the direction of sport directors Chris Rotelli and Kate Hourigan, they have been able to hone their expertise to build successful programs at the Prep, while also working to integrate lacrosse into the athletic program at the LMS. For Rotelli, he has been teaching the lacrosse P.E. section for the boys at the LMS and Hourigan established the curriculum for the girls in 2014-15. This integration allows the youngest student-athletes to learn the fundamentals of the sport in a comfortable environment


with experienced coaches, develop an interest, and for SHS to expand its sponsored sports to meet the growing excitement. Everyone Plays at the Lower & Middle Schools While the outcome of a game may be memorable, Lower & Middle Schools student-athletes are creating memories that will extend well past a thrilling victory. The LMS athletics department offers 11 different sports over four seasons, sponsoring a sport for every interest from the pool to the field to the court. But even more, there is a team for every student and 95 percent participate in at least one over the course of the year. This no-cut format encourages students of all levels of experience to partake and enjoy the bond of being on a team with classmates. Similarly, they are able learn valuable lessons from their coaches, all of whom are SHS faculty and staff, beyond the classroom in furthering Sacred Heart’s goal of educating the whole child. Prep Continues to Reach New Heights As the competition level increases when students transition from the Middle School to the Prep, the development of the sports programs have also continued to reach new heights. The fall proved to be a memorable and historic one with numerous league and Central Coast Section (CCS) championships; however the success on the field is not to be overshadowed by the overall mission of the athletics department. “We want to make sure students leave the Sacred Heart sports experience with lifelong friends and learning character building traits that will help them the rest of their lives. [The athletics staff and coaches] have to help them find that mix and balance,” said Simon.

Lower & Middle Schools in Review

Coed 4th/5th Grade Girls 6th Grade Boys 6th Grade Coed 7th/8th Grade

Cross Country

JVB 1 - 5th Grade JVB 2 - 5th Grade JVA Gold - 6th Grade JVA Silver - 6th Grade Varsity B - 7th/8th Grade

Girls Soccer

Amariah Davidson (SHS ’21) races towards the finish line at the Crystal Springs relay meet on September 10, helping the sixth-grade girls’ cross country team capture the WBAL championship this fall. With winning teams spanning fourth through eighth grade, the Gators captured four league titles over the fall.

Boys Middle School Girls Middle School


5 4 4 2

JVB - 5th Grade JVA - 6th Grade Silver Division JVA - 6th Grade Gold Division Varsity B - 8th Grade

Flag Football

Among the youngest student-athletes at SHS, the fourth grade boys’ basketball team huddles to discuss its game plan with head coach and Middle School teacher Jessica Hoag.

WBAL League Championships

(Above) Finn O’Kelly (SHS ’20) of the Varsity B flag football team rushes down the field versus Menlo School on September 17. (Right) Claire Van Dyke (SHS ’19), of the Varsity B girls’ soccer team, dashes away with the ball in a December 3 meeting with Menlo School. 33

Prep in Review At the Prep, Gator Nation enjoyed a remarkable year of success across numerous sports and levels. Accompanying record-breaking seasons, regional, and statewide recognition, fans were also able to follow the Gators from afar. From a football game on Comcast Hometown Network, to multiple sports being live-streamed on numerous websites, to KSHS and SHPTV, SHP’s radio and television stations, respectively collaborating to broadcast a football game.

and for the first time in school history, competed in the CIF Division IV State Championship meet where they finished 13th.

The entire Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton community shared a milestone, coming together for the football team’s first-ever night game. The aptly named “Under the Lights” (pictured) game on October 4, saw the Gators post a dominating 42-0 win over Woodside High School.

Girls’ Golf: The girls’ golf team went 9-3-1 overall and 7-2-1 in league, posting another winning record. The Gators defeated both league co-champions during the season and missed a being a co-champion, too, by a single stroke due to a late season tie.


Volleyball: The varsity volleyball team proved resilient through 2014, overcoming back-to-back seasons of injuries to key players during the year. The Gators went 18-14 overall and for the second consecutive year, advanced to the CCS Division IV quarterfinal match.

San Jose Mercury News Selections

All-CSS Honorees

Media Players of the Year

Palo Alto Daily Selections

39 22 12 10 9 All-League Honorees

Fall Prep Sports By-the-Numbers

Another Look Boys’ Cross Country: The boys’ cross country team earned three first-place finishes in all three WBAL league meets and earned the program’s second league title in its history. The Gators were Central Coast Section (CCS) Division IV finalists

Girls’ Cross Country: The girls’ cross country team was an extremely tight knit group who shared in each others successes the entire season. Excellent senior leadership was key to the development of the squad and leaves the program poised for success in 2015.


San Jose Mercury News Coach of the Year

League Coach of the Year

Lower Level League Champions

Varsity League Champions

League Players of the Year

4 4 3 1 1 1


Football Proves Unstoppable in 2014 CCS Open Division title caps off undefeated season for Gators

Prep Curia members (l to r:) Andrew Daschbach (SHP ’16), Thomas Rogers (SHP ’15), Cole March (SHP ’15), Ben Burr-Kirven (SHP ’15), J.R. Hardy (SHP ’15), and Andrew Robinson (SHP ’15) are presented the CCS Open Division championship trophy on December 5.

A year after an unprecedented season playing in the California Division III State Championship game, the Sacred Heart Prep varsity football team continued to elevate its play in 2014. Despite missing All-American and San Jose Mercury News Player of the Year Ben Burr-Kirven (SHP ’15) for the early portion of the year, the Gators proved to be equal parts united, resilient, and unyielding. Whether it was consecutive one-possession wins in September, posting a shutout victory, or earning the program’s firstever win over Terra Nova High School, 49-28, on October 17, SHP never let that immediate success become its primary focus. Rather the Gators continued to push towards their ultimate goal—a berth into the Central Coast Section (CCS) Open Division playoffs—all while protecting their undefeated record. Sacred Heart went 10-0 in the regular season en route to winning the PAL Bay Division outright title and earning the No. 1 seed in the CCS Open Division playoffs. It was the first time in SHP’s 15-year football history the program earned a berth into the Open Division, let alone entering as the top-seeded team versus a field of long-standing programs. SHP breezed by Oak Grove, 37-13, in the quarterfinals on November 22, before topping Los Gatos in a nail-biter, 28-21, in the semifinals to advance to the title game on November 29.


Staunch first half defense from both sides kept the game scoreless entering halftime of the championship game versus perennial power Bellarmine on December 5. Once again, it was Burr-Kirven with a pair of second-half touchdowns to lift the Gators to a 14-0 win and the CCS Open Division title. While SHP’s historic season on the field has elevated it to newfound success, it only encapsulates part of the overall strides the program has made from the freshman through varsity teams. A Day in the Swamp True to its motto Men Built for Others, the entire Sacred Heart football program hosted its inaugural “A Day in the Swamp” for athletes with Down’s Syndrome. The idea rooted from varsity head coach Pete Lavorato over the offseason and came to fruition by replacing a practice session mid-season. Along with bonding with the SHP student-athletes, and participating in various drills and a flag football game, the SHP Dance Team also joined in with a halftime performance for all in attendance. Following a barbecue lunch, the SHP players and coaches hosted a closing ceremony honoring the visiting athletes.

Choy Joins Elite Company

Girls’ tennis freshman Sara Choy captures the 2014 CCS single’s title A better script could not have been written for Sacred Heart Prep freshman Sara Choy (SHP ’18), who not only was an immediate contributor on the girls’ varsity tennis team, but etched her name into the program’s history books. Choy and the Gators went 16-7, 7-3 WBAL on the year to finish second in the league and earn an at-large berth into the Central Coast Section (CCS) playoffs. SHP opened with unseeded Milpitas High School on November 11, earning a 5-2 victory in the first round, before falling to No. 3 Saint Francis High School, 6-1, the next day. While the team’s season concluded, Choy was not ready for her rookie campaign to come to a close.

Top-seeded Sara Choy (SHS ’18) defeated No. 3 Mariko Iinuma of Hillsdale High School to win her the CCS individual’s title.

Like David versus a field of experienced giants, the 4-foot10 Choy entered the singles tournament with her own merits—boasting an undefeated record, the WBAL individual’s title, and the No. 1 seed.

“I’ve played in a lot of tournaments. I play girls who are older and bigger than me. The bigger they are, the more power they have,” she explained. Both her record and seed ranking would remain intact by the end of the tournament, as Choy only lost one set over her four matches on her way to going 31-0 on the season. She became SHP’s third CCS individual champion ever and first freshman on November 26.

Choy joins Jean Hepner (CSH ’77) and Sam Rosekrans (SHP ’07), who won individual section titles in 1975 and 2005, respectively. Rosekrans and Haley Hemm (SHP ’08) won SHP’s only other title as doubles in 2006. The 2014 San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo Daily News and WBAL Foothill Division Player of the Year has a lot to look forward to as her Sacred Heart career continues the next three seasons. Choy, who currently is ranked No. 21 in the nation and No. 6 in California for freshmen, will continue to look to make SHP and CCS history, but before next fall approaches she has a lot to look forward to, like finishing her freshman year.

In Action: Winter & Spring Sports Lower & Middle Schools


Winter Boys Basketball Girls Basketball Girls Soccer Boys Soccer

Winter Boys Basketball Girls Basketball Boys Soccer Girls Soccer

Spring Baseball Coed Middle School Tennis Coed Track & Field Volleyball Coed Middle School Water Polo

Spring Baseball Boys Golf Boys Lacrosse Girls Lacrosse Boys Swimming Girls Swimming Boys Tennis Boys Track & Field Girls Track & Field Boys Volleyball

For more information about Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton athletics, please visit and follow SHP on


Four-Peat for Boys’ Water Polo

Gators make history winning their fourth consecutive CCS championship When the final whistle blew and the entire team, including head coach Brian Kreutzamp, leapt into the pool on November 22 in elation, the SHP boys’ water polo team was not just celebrating its Central Coast Section (CCS) Division II championship, but winning its fourth consecutive. In the process, the Gators made CCS history as the first team to win four straight titles—a feat the squad nearly accomplished four years prior. On a fall day in 2010, Menlo School put an end to SHP’s three-title streak with an 11-5 win.

The varsity boys’ water polo team celebrates after winning the team’s fourth straight CCS Division II championship on November 22 versus Menlo School, 10-6, at Independence High School in San Jose.

Fastforward four seasons, it again was Sacred Heart versus Menlo in the same pool, Independence High School in San Jose.

The Gators, who finished 25-4 on the season, also put together another four-peat in the process. After topping Saint Francis High School, 10-8, on Novemeber 8, Sacred Heart won its fourth consecutive WCAL league championship. SHP has won eight league titles, from 2006-11, and reigniting the streak in 2012 to present.

This time with different players, but the same spirit, the Gators avenged their loss and topped the Knights with a 10-6 victory. San Jose Mercury News and CCS Player of the Year Michael Swart (SHP ’15) paced the offense with four goals, while goalie J.C. Marco (SHP ’17) amassed 10 saves. In 11 appearances in the section title game, SHP earned the program’s eighth championship overall and has gone undefeated versus CCS opponents between 2011-14.

(Left) It was a WCAL sweep for boys’ water polo, as the junior varsity team also claimed the 2014 league title. (Top) Capping off their Sacred Heart careers on a winning note, the Class of 2015 celebrates with the CCS championship trophy. 38

A Decade of Dominance

Girls’ water polo wins eighth straight CCS title Success has been synonymous with the Sacred Heart Prep girls water polo program for a better part of the last decade. Since 2007, the past eight seasons have ended the same way—the Gators hoisting the Central Coast Section (CCS) Division II championship trophy—displaying an unmatched run of dominance. 2014’s edition saw top-seeded SHP dismantle No. 2 seed Soquel High School, 15-4, including closing out the game with an 11-0 run for the title on November 22. The squad finished the year 23-6 overall, 6-0 WCAL, proThe Sacred Heart varsity girls’ water polo team extended its run of dominance in CCS play, capturing the pelling the Gators to win their program’s eighth consecutive Division II championship over Soquel, 15-4, on November 22. first league title since 2011 and ninth overall. SHP also 2015 displayed. Seamlessly, the seniors proved to be role models finished the year as the top team in all CCS divisions and ranked in all aspects of the program. No. 5 in Northern California. “They did a really good job of teaching younger girls what we While the season concluded on a strong note, the Gators entered do, how we prepare for games, [and] the tactical components, as 2014 with one of their youngest rosters in recent history. After well,” said Burke. “They brought the younger girls along, while losing 10 seniors, including five of seven starters, due to graduaalso creating opportunities for themselves as impact players.” tion last season, Sacred Heart had to look to its entire lineup for contributions. Behind strong leadership and cohesion, the team saw a breakout year from San Jose Mercury News and CCS Player of the Year “We had a very committed group of girls who knew what it Malaika Koshy (SHP ’16), who transitioned from a primarily would take to repeat as CCS champions,” explained head coach defensive role to pacing the offense with 88 goals. Jon Burke about the team’s dedication to offseason workouts in preparation for the year. With her senior season ahead, Koshy will be As the team unified to work towards one of six letter-winners, its common goal, one they had seen including four starters, their predecessors reach year after returning in 2015 looking year, they also had to call on each to maintain the champiother to step up. onship team culture and extending the CCS “We only returned two starters, so we title streak. were bringing in a group that hasn’t had experience playing as impactful The varsity girls’ water minutes in [big] games,” said Burke. polo team celebrates “Given what we were facing, to win the after beating Saint WCAL title as well as the CCS, is a Francis, 10-7, on November 8 to huge credit to these girls.” Part of that success was the cohesion of the team and the leadership the Class of

win the WCAL championship.




Without question, we are blessed as a Sacred Heart community. Across two centuries of history, expansion, and change, the legacy of this school has never diverted or drifted from its core mission to educate the whole child toward a life of leadership, service, and love of God. And though the number of Sacred Heart schools have grown exponentially and internationally, and the RSCJ continued to develop and modernize as an Order, the essential elements of a Sacred Heart education have remained unchanged.




n recent years, however, SHS has grappled with its ability to meet some of the aspirations and aims of our earliest founders—specifically, to deliver a truly inclusive school environment that represents a broad spectrum of diverse voices and experience. In founder St. Madeleine Sophie Barat’s day, this, too, was a challenge as wide-scale integration of social classes and gender was prohibited in formal education; her counter-move was to make it priority to also establish “free schools” for local children, with curricula geared toward their “age and circumstance.”

As is the case with most elementary and secondary institutions today, SHS student demographics have largely reflected those of our immediate community, not always proportionate, but largely in tune with the cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic majority. While successfully achieving a balanced and diverse student body in the independent school arena is somewhat an elusive exercise, for a school like Sacred Heart it is both ingrained and integral to the educational mission, and therefore remains among the institution’s highest priorities. “Be courageous and bold” is the directive from the Society of Sacred Heart to its Network with regard to how we are to confront challenges such as this. Tackling this issue head-on over the last two decades and throughout a significant evolution as a school and community, therefore, SHS has made substantial investment and tested a number of strategies to accomplish its objective. Operating each year under growing constraints of an imposed enrollment cap, disproportionate demand versus limited student openings, and available financial aid, the school continues to develop practices to attract and secure a strong, heterogeneous student population across all grade levels.

A STRATEGIC RESPONSE IN TWO PARTS A critical outcropping of this ongoing work has been the establishment of the Sophie’s Scholars Program (SSP), an initiative composed of two main parts: to both build a broad student population that will deepen the educational experience within the classroom and community, and to ensure and support student access and success through high school and beyond. The first, the Middle School Sophie’s Scholars Program, is devoted to the development of a pipeline to the high school, maximizing existing resources to effect the most significant transformation possible for both student and school. The second, the Barat College Access Fund, focuses on providing support to promising Sacred Heart high school graduates seeking a post-secondary education—and who may be the first in their families to do so—but for whom the overall financial commitment is likely prohibitive. In the Middle School Sophie’s Scholars Program, the goal is to identify and foster students from targeted elementary campuses and community programs, who represent a wide variety of backgrounds and perspective; who are already academically strong and likely to excel within the SHP curriculum; and who will likely make a successful transition into the Sacred Heart campus culture. Currently drawing from three, principal, feeder elementary schools—St. Elizabeth Seton, Holy Family, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel—Sophie’s Scholars


is designed as a multi-year program, giving selected students supplemental and targeted instruction and resources during sixth through eighth grades, ultimately with the goal of enrollment at Sacred Heart Preparatory. As part of the program commitment, SSP students attend Saturday morning courses at SHS throughout the academic year, then convene for a six-week intensive during summer. The benefit to these students is myriad; in addition to being both academically challenged and supported, the group becomes well-oriented to the Sacred Heart experience, the values practiced and expectations placed on each SHS student, and the underlying moral and ethical structure that defines and drives the SHS Catholic community, as articulated in the Goals & Criteria. In fall of 2014 the very first cohort of Middle School Sophie’s Scholars entered their freshman year at the Prep—students who have been preparing for and anticipating this opportunity since 2011. “What truly distinguishes this program,” says SSP Director Roselva Lozano, “is that it’s an academic and socio-cultural enrichment program, specifically designed to prepare students for SHP and beyond. Other enrichment programs may prepare students for a high school or college experience—and we are doing that, too—but where we differ is our approach. Early on, we are instilling a sense of what Sacred Heart is, what our goals and values are. These elements are found throughout our SSP curriculum, as well as in the activities Sophie’s Scholars will take part in. In essence, we are familiarizing these students with our community and how it operates, so that when they do start at the Prep, they’ll feel like they’ve already been here all along—that it’s not a ‘new’ experience or a culture shock.”

Be courageous and bold. — S O C I E T Y O F S AC R E D H E A RT


CHANGING LIVES, BEFORE AND AFTER HIGH SCHOOL Created as a distinct effort, but now fittingly connected with the Sophie’s Scholars Program, the Barat College Access Fund (BCAF) has been helping financially and academically eligible Preparatory graduates attain post-secondary schooling for more than a decade. Award consideration is limited to only those students who have demonstrated high academic achievement while at the Prep, but who may lack sufficient resources to continue on to college. Fund recipients are then given financial assistance to supplement traditional aid programs, in order to meet tuition and other related college costs and significantly limit—or eliminate— the burden of student and family loans. BCAF awardees may receive support each year they are enrolled as full-time students and remain in good academic standing at the college or university of their choosing. BCAF eligibility is limited to graduating seniors of SHP, who meet specific academic and financial thresholds, and who are recommended by both an SHP faculty member and college counselor, among other criteria. The number of new BCAF recipients is determined each year, based on the available funding remaining once current BCAF scholarships have been disbursed. To date, 27 BCAF scholarships have been awarded, and of that number, nearly all recipients completed, or are in the process of completing, an undergraduate degree program at competitive institutions such as USC, UCLA, Georgetown University, Santa Clara University, and many others with strong academic programs. Last year, a formal BCAF application process was implemented, Lozano says, and an integral part of that process questions how the applicant views the practice of a Sacred Heart education beyond high school. Students are asked to expound on their service to the community and to the campus, and articulate their long-term goals. “These are things we want to be clear about in considering an award,” she explains, “that this is not an incentive program, but rather we’re looking for students who are serious about continuing their education, who will be good ambassadors for what we teach here, and who are thinking about how the academic and ethical foundation they developed here can be applied in college and ultimately, in their professional lives.”

Frequently chatting with program alumni, Lozano notes most will freely say that Sacred Heart did a lot to help them recognize his or her individual gifts and talents. But she also says it is evident that each one in their own way learned a valuable tool of self-advocacy. “I don’t think any ever took ‘no’ for an answer. I think they all were extremely resourceful and figured out a path so they could be successful. I credit their families and respective communities that helped shaped their sense of resiliency—life skills reinforced here at Sacred Heart and which have helped them adapt and advance. “Definitely tapping into all the resources we have here— that’s part of the reason they’ve been so successful both at the Prep and in college,” she continues. “Each student used the opportunity they were given to make more opportunities for themselves. And in many cases, with many recipients, they have remained committed to giving back to the program because they know first-hand how transformative a Sacred Heart experience can be, and how special this program is. Each year, a number of program alumni return to attend SSP events, to support or mentor current Sophie’s Scholars, or to talk with parents of prospective Scholars. “I think all of our program alumni recognize how hard they’ve had to work, how hard their families have had to work to make this educational opportunity happen. And I think that’s why they all want to make it easier in some shape or form for the next group that’s coming behind them,” she adds. As one recent BCAF recipient sums up, “Being part of the Sophie’s Scholars Program definitely increased my motivation to achieve my goals. I like to think that those behind the award are making an investment in my future, so I must deliver results.

I have yet to hear of another school that has a similar program, a similar community so willing to support its students and caring enough to want them to succeed beyond [elementary and secondary schooling]. And people are always mind-blown when they hear me talk about it. — B A R AT C O L L E G E AC C E S S F U N D R E C I P I E N T

“I have yet to hear of another school that has a similar program, a similar community so willing to support its students and caring enough to want them to succeed beyond [elementary and secondary schooling]. And people are always mind-blown when they hear me talk about it. But the best part about this experience, really, is the connection I get to keep with the school. No matter how long it’s been since my graduation, it still feels like I’m under Sacred Heart’s care and guidance, which is incredibly reassuring. “The gift of a Sacred Heart education is never-ending; it’s truly a blessing to be part of a community that lives up to its core values. We come from a special place, and that is something I will never forget, nor take for granted.”


SSP ENDORSED BY DONOR GIFTS In support of the Sophie’s Scholars Program, two significant and very generous gifts were made to SHS in the latter half of 2014 that will have lasting impact on this important program and its ability to recruit, foster, and benefit an even greater number of students and families. The first was a leadership gift toward the Barat College Access Fund, which will not only contribute to the support of current students relying on the fund for college tuition aid, but it will enable growth in the number of awards that can be given in subsequent years. The second was to endow the critical position of program director, which will ensure continuity in SSP operations and administration, as well as accountability for its strategic advancement. “We are immensely grateful to these and all our generous donors, who recognize the impact and importance of investing in programs such as these,” says Director of Schools Richard Dioli. “The Sophie’s Scholars Program is an excellent example of how SHS is actively seeking to embody our founder’s mission and goals, and we will continue to build and steward programs like this because we know without a doubt how transformative they can be for the students, their families, and the school itself.”



As the Middle School Sophie’s Scholars complete their first year as students at Sacred Heart Preparatory, WE INVITE YOU TO MEET A FEW OF OUR BARAT COLLEGE ACCESS FUND RECIPIENTS—Prep graduates who clearly represent the inherent promise of our Sacred Heart education and the success to which our youngest Sophie’s Scholars can aspire—and achieve.

JEFFREY AVILA (SHP ‘ 10) CURRENT POSITION: Business Analyst, Oracle Corp. DEGREE: B.S. Finance, minors in International

Business & Spanish, Santa Clara University

MARIANA OROCIO (SHP ‘ 14) CURRENT POSITION: First-year student, University

of California, Santa Cruz

Currently in her first year at UC Santa Cruz, Mariana has not yet declared her major but is considering integrating her commitment to issues of social justice with her love of fashion design and style. While at SHP, Mariana served as a Sophie’s Scholars Community Ambassador, mentoring and tutoring students in the program at their home institutions. “Receiving this award enabled me to select a college knowing that I would have the guaranteed financial support that would help [with the cost of continuing] my has alleviated some of the financial struggles that would have burdened my family and me, [and likely] prevent me from attaining an undergraduate education. And, although I am still unsure of my career path, the BCAF resources and support enable me to explore my options and find my passion as I navigate this first year of college and first work internship this summer. “My advice to future Sophie’s Scholars/BCAF recipients is this: Take a moment to truly appreciate what we have been blessed with, because there are many students out there who are not as fortunate to have access to such resources and generous community.”



According to Jeffrey, his dream college had always been Santa Clara University, due to its top-ranked business school. But he knew to go there meant large student loans and a demanding schedule with school and multiple part-time jobs. Because of the BCAF support, he was not only able to enroll in his first-choice college, he was able to take advantage of “eye-opening experiences” that added critical dimension to his professional résumé—from studying and interning abroad in Barcelona to completing a local internship with Apple. “The crucial financial safety net that the BCAF provides is immeasurable; if there was a last-minute textbook or bill that I needed help with, the program moderators did not hesitate to help. But beyond the financial support, the people involved really do care about my well-being and how my life is going. Even now, I still take advantage of the resources available. The staff has been a tremendous help throughout my college career, especially during my senior year, as I was thinking about my post-college life. They gave me great advice about my future plans, and also helped me build my network, which has been extremely helpful in finding new career opportunities. “[Now beyond college and on my way in a career,] I try to find as many ways possible to give back to the program that helped me. Currently, I mentor students in the Sophie’s Scholars Program, and I do talk with parents whose students are enrolled or considering the SSP about my Sacred Heart experience, as well as my time in college and after. I am so thankful that this program exists to help students like me. My life could have been completely different without it.”




CURRENT POSITION: First-year student,

CURRENT POSITION: Development Associate, The

Bennington College

Girls’ Middle School; M.Ed. candidate, University of San Francisco

Immersed in her first year at Vermont’s Bennington College, Jeanelle is acclimating to the chilly temperatures and exploring an abundance of programs and opportunities that the campus has to offer related to her interests— similar to her sister Alinne—in film and social justice. Part of a student-led, campus effort to promote healthcare, human rights, and education for migrant workers in the state’s dairy industry, Jeanelle is currently combining her academic goals and personal passions, interning and working as a documentary film production assistant as she completes her second semester. “The people connected with the program have been such an important resource for me, and great mentors who continue to support me and [act as a sounding board]. In particular, whenever something comes up, I usually tend to go to both Dr. Everitt and Ms. Lozano for advice and support. “I was a teaching assistant for two summers with the Middle School Sophie’s Scholars Program, and I loved working and being part of this effort; spending all summer with these brilliant children is the highlight of the past two years for me. It is my hope that though I’m far away at college, I can stay involved and support the program as a mentor and tutor for the students going through the summer program.”


DEGREE: B.A., Film & Social Justice, Mount St. Mary’s University, cum laude

A first-generation college student and cum laude graduate of Mount St. Mary’s in Los Angeles, Alinne had a distinguished undergraduate career. While in L.A., she was involved in a number of student organizations and efforts facing topical social issues, and completed two professional internships with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles. Her work experience, combined with her desire to mentor and support young people to reach their own educational aspirations, led her to her current position in education management. This year, she will complete a master’s degree through the International & Multicultural Education Program at the University of San Francisco. “Because of the BCAF award, I was able to attend my dream school; I didn’t have to settle for anything less. But the most important thing it did was to help me set expectations and academic goals for myself. I felt that Dr. Everitt and others placed such faith in me—in what I could achieve—that doing my best academically was a critical way to acknowledge their support. “Throughout, Dr. Everitt has been a close friend and mentor, and has been very supportive of my changing career tracks, and solidifying my desire to continue my education and pursue a doctorate. “What I would say to the families who are considering this opportunity—and to other SHP students who are thinking of applying for a BCAF—is this: Help is there, but you have to do your part to seek it out. And it requires you to put in your best effort.”







ith an audience filled with the prestigious acknowledgement for their family and friends, faculty tremendous impact on the institution, and staff, past award recipients, longtime dedication to its students, and and a number of the Religious of the unwavering service to its mission. Sacred Heart of Jesus (RSCJ), the Sacred “The St. Madeleine Sophie Award is among Heart Schools, Atherton community the highest honors a member of this came together early in the fall semester community can receive,” said Director to celebrate three of its most beloved of Schools Richard Dioli in his opening members at the 15th Annual St. Madeleine remarks. “Recipients demonstrate a Sophie Awards presentation. commitment to our educational philosophy Now part of a small coterie of honorands, and are chosen by their peers. Tonight, these three new recipients—Sr. Martha we have the honor to acknowledge three Roughan (SH-Newton College ’66), director extraordinary Sacred Heart educators who of Formation to Mission; Carol DeZutti, together have given a combined 85 years of kindergarten teacher; and Elaine Berra Barry service to Sacred Heart students and to the (SHP ’87), high school teacher and director mission of the Schools. for the Center for Student Success—earned


2014 award recipients Carol DeZutti, Martha Roughan, RSCJ, and Elaine Berra Barry.

and eagerness to herself keep learning, and her ability “This special recognition is a testimony to the vibrant to build community. Salberg also shared observations tradition of educational excellence and spiritual formation that characterizes a Sacred Heart education,” he continued. and praise submitted by DeZutti’s fellow teachers and “These three individuals have contributed to our community parents of her current students. with the unwavering spirit of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, “Carol is an outstanding colleague,” wrote fellow the courageous determination of St. Philippine Rose teacher Nancy Blears. “I admire her integrity and Duschene, and the faithful presence of the Society of the willingness to approach each lesson, year after year, Sacred Heart of Jesus in the 21st century. with a fresh perspective and a desire to improve what we teach, and how we teach it.” “These women continue to inspire us and serve as a powerful reminder that Sacred Heart is about educating to Added retired teacher and friend Connie Solari, a deep respect and faith in God.” “I cannot think of anyone who better combines those gifts of intellect, compassion, generosity, creativity, First of all, having one’s name mentioned in the same sentence and positive delight in children. She always puts as St. Madeleine Sophie is not to be taken lightly. And then others first, and has a heart as large as I imagine receiving an award named after her is most definitely an honor. [St. Madeleine] Sophie’s to have been.”

I was truly surprised to even be considered for this award.

— M A RT H A RO U G H A N, R S C J

As each awardee was individually recognized, the audience was treated to heartfelt stories, quotes from longtime colleagues, and biographical information that articulated the wealth of talent and depth of contributions each woman has made to support and further the school over the years. Introducing Carol DeZutti, SHS Preschool & Kindergarten Principal Cee Salberg commended her commitment to the Schools, her passion to develop the minds of young students, her loving and patient approach to teaching

Fellow RSCJ Kathleen Dolan and Paula Toner presented the award to their friend and colleague, Sr. Martha Roughan, and spoke about her wisdom and wealth of skills, fierce loyalty and generosity, her devotion to the Sacred Heart mission, and her service to no less than eight Sacred Heart schools—as teacher, dean of students, headmistress, principal, campus minister, and director of community service. “One of her early mentors wrote, Martha never met a child she didn’t like. Children, in return, respond to her kindness and interest in them. They come to know Madeleine Sophie through her because she lives Sophie’s words…Always with a great intuition about


Inspiring a campus with their leadership and a community with their deep faith and service, the 50 St. Madeleine Sophie Awardees are indeed, walking in our founder’s footsteps. At the 2014 event, 21 current and past recipients convened for a historic picture with Director of Schools Richard Dioli.

kids (much to their dismay sometimes!), she looks for integrity in students—which often translates into tough love. Strong kindness is her trademark,” said Sr. Toner. As a few of her SHS colleagues noted: “Martha opened up an ‘insider’s view’ to living out the Goals & Criteria in a way that I hadn’t seen before...It is by her ‘life lived’ that we know this RSCJ is authentic. She has taught be example, and never asked anyone to do more than she herself would be willing to do.”

As an alumna, a teacher, and a current parent, I hold the mission of Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton in the highest regard. I identify with the powerful yet nurturing nature of Sts. Madeleine Sophie and Rose Phillipine Duchense and understand how lucky and privileged I am to be part of the Sacred Heart family. It is really difficult to express my gratitude to Sacred Heart Schools for supporting me as I grew as dedicated educator, not to mention a St. Madeleine Sophie awardee.

— E L A I N E B E R R A B A R RY ( S H P ‘ 8 7 ), s h p t e ac h e r a n d d i r e c to r f o r the center for student success

“Martha has the heart of an educator,” said Sr. Dolan, “and a deep desire to impart to student and adults, not only new learnings, but also the ‘how-to’ when it comes to living their lives and making choices—to try to see from the perspective of ‘what would Jesus do?’ and ‘what would St. Madeleine Sophie do?’ This implies reflection and deep, humble spirit of gratitude, acknowledging how loved and blessed we are. That passion, to bring love and goodness into the lives of others, flows from this grateful heart.”


With a good dose of humor and heartfelt admiration, Sacred Heart Preparatory Principal James Everitt delivered remarks about the final awardee, Elaine Berra Barry (SHP ’87), a faculty member with the school for two decades and recent director for the Prep’s Center for Student Success. Citing her generosity of spirit as a teacher and advisor, her personal and professional drive to help students succeed, and her initiative in taking on additional roles to expand student opportunity, Everitt lauded her as “a Sacred Heart educator to the core.” “A Sacred Heart educator is most clearly identifiable by her commitment to an education rooted in faith and love—expressed in overflowing generosity. Elaine’s commitment to this kind of education, and her seemingly endless well of generosity are revealed most clearly by the testimony of those who have been impacted by her directly,” Everitt said. “Elaine is proof that our mission is alive...helping students understand who they are and how the learn is her single-minded obsession,” wrote one colleague, “she epitomizes the concept of keeping the child at the center of the conversation, while another shared: “Elaine’s ability to challenge us to be better teachers and better people inspires me on a daily basis.” “Always assuming good will, a meeting, casual conversation, or intense professional debate with Elaine is always funny, it is always respectful, and it is always rooted in the belief that young people are to be respected and to be cared for as human beings—not just as students,” continued Everitt. “Her professional integrity is impeccable, and companioned by a healthy sense of self that makes being her colleague one of the great joys of my life.”

PAST WINNERS Created in 2000, the St. Madeleine Sophie Award is one of the most prestigious honors given within the Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton community. Those receiving the award are chosen for their exemplary service and commitment to living the ideals of school founder St. Madeleine Sophie. Past honorees include members of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (RSCJ)— the founder’s Order—as well as alumni, faculty, and staff of the school, past and current parents, and others whose leadership, loyalty, and genuine spirit embody the Sacred Heart mission in all they do.

2000 Mae-Jeanne McGanney Isabel Peterson Sally Peterson Margaret Robinson, RSCJ (SHP ’30) 2001 Donna Gilboa Lorraine Horn (SHP ’39) Nancy Morris, RSCJ Joseph Zucca 2002 Marilyn Luotto Joan McKenna, RSCJ (SH Broadway) Zenaida Melgoza 2003 Helen Costello, RSCJ (SHP ’35) Robert Glockner Ann McGowan, RSCJ Janet Whitchurch 2004 Shirley Connolly Joan Eagleson William Neidig Sheila Peterson (SHP ’59)

Nominate for the 2015 St. Madeleine Sophie Awards. Criteria and submission form are found at

2005 Lori Pickett Sherlene Pjesky Vinette Ramsay 2006 Lauren Koenig (SJSH ’73, SHP ’77) Constance Solari

2007 Daniel Greenleaf Genevieve Varga 2008 Marritje Greene Michael Murphy Mary Ann Robbiano Ken Thompson 2009 Joan Burdick (SHP ’49) Jesús Gonzalez Cee Salberg 2010 Jeffrey Chambers Emily Corpos Patrick Roberts Janet Wildey (SJSH ’65, SHP ’69) 2011 John Hunter Janice Reeves J. Peter Walker 2012 Julie Ball Sandra Dubinsky Jeff Reynolds Mindy Rogers 2013 Christine Dyer (SJSH ’63, SHP ’67) Kevin Morris (SHP ’90) Laura Daschbach Pitchford (SJSH ’65, SHP ’77)

I am very honored to have received the St. Madeleine Sophie Award. I am grateful to Sacred Heart Schools for nurturing my teaching for the past 30 years and for encouraging me to share my talents through extracurricular activities. I value the honest, caring, and respectful relationships I have developed here with both peers and administrators. These relationships have motivated me to do my best teaching and have fostered my growth as a person.

— C A RO L D E Z U T T I , P S K T E AC H E R 49



GRADING Sacred Heart’s Lower School Changes Model, Joins National Trend


JOINING A RISING TREND IN EARLY ELEMENTARY EDUCATION, this fall Sacred Heart’s Lower School eliminated the practice of issuing letter grades for students in grades fourth and fifth grades. The impetus? To ensure these young children experience an invaluable, yet fundamental lesson: that the educational process should first and foremost be motivated by a love of learning, rather than the drive to “get an A.” Notoriously, the business of grading is tricky. Following established guidelines and known best practices, a teacher will typically develop a baseline grading model for the curriculum at hand. Inevitably, though, as each student and each class differs in learning styles and speeds, that teacher may necessarily modify grading standards along the way. As a result, score averaging, bell curves, and other subjective practices often fail to deliver a clear, accurate, and timely evaluation of an individual student’s progress. Especially at the fourth- and fifth-grade levels, intermittently distributed report cards and like traditional measurement systems, simply do not and cannot deliver a reliable portrait of student learning, says Principal Francesca Brake. Instead, she argues, individual development should be regularly monitored and evaluated by a system that provides both students and parents more depth and breadth. A system that more closely aligns with Sacred Heart’s mission to educate the whole child. “Among our primary goals throughout the elementary school years, is to engage students in such a way that they naturally develop a love of learning,” she says. “And in fact, at Sacred Heart, that is something clearly articulated in our Goals & Criteria to ‘foster lifelong learning.’” Here, the kindergarten through third-grade programs focus on the acquisition and practice of foundational elements: social, emotional, cognitive, language, and physical development; creative learning; and school-related skills. Once in Middle School, that

Concluding her first year as head of the Lower & Middle Schools, Principal Francesca Brake is working with faculty on a number of strategic modifications to LMS operations.

focus refines and begins to narrow, academic expectations increase parallel to workload, and there is a greater emphasis on comprehensive depth of a particular subject matter. “In fourth and fifth grade, however, this is such a perfect time in a child’s educational journey,” Brake explains. “Students in these grades are eager learners, and want to soak up as much as they can. To keep that group fertile, you have to take out of the equation the drive to just ‘get an A.’ Developmentally, you need to hold this off to Middle School, if possible. “And that’s what we’ve committed to do.”


As they walk through our doors, these kids should be inspired to learn, hungry to learn. And teachers should be equally inspired to give this to their classes, to dispense instruction with enthusiasm.”

NEGOTIATING THE GRADING WILDERNESS: JOURNEY TRUMPS DESTINATION The primary challenge is that the traditional letter grades are limiting, and don’t fully capture all that goes into individual learning and assessment. Yes, it’s about knowledge content, says Brake, but also about effort and participation, and monitoring a host of other conceptual and skills development taking place in tandem with academics. And in a school like Sacred Heart, where the root equation is “scholarship and values,” shouldn’t this also be part of the evaluative process and formal reporting? One way to look at it is this, she suggests: a report card can resemble a spending report issued by a bank—it offers quantifiable data, given periodically. The bare facts. But it completely overlooks crucial qualitative information that can help you consider, modify, or improve your spending habits.


Looking at national trends, current research, and considering what was feasible to effectively and quickly implement on the Atherton campus, Brake and her team determined that a “standards-based grading system,” which expands how teachers consider, communicate, and track individual student progress, is more closely aligned with how and what is taught through a Sacred Heart education. Ultimately, both teachers and parents need to know more specifics about the knowledge students are acquiring. It makes sense, therefore, that any meaningful assessment should explore and explain who the child is as a learner and how she or he functions in a classroom setting. The primary differentiator in standards-based grading versus traditional letter grading is that it assesses proficiency across an array of learning objectives rather than giving a summative score. As an assignment is reviewed, each objective is individually evaluated, with comments provided. In the end, this kind of multi-faceted approach enables much more specific feedback and guidance on areas for improvement than would a single, composite score.

And not just in terms of academics, either. Integral to the Sacred Heart mission to educate the whole child, the curriculum and goals for this age set also emphasize adherence to the “Code of the Heart,” behavioral and ethical standards based on the four tenets of “Ready, Respectful, Responsible, and Caring.” Tracking a student’s mastery of this character education becomes part of the ongoing communication process, and parents are able to support their student’s development as a “child of the Sacred Heart.”



For example, if a majority of students seem to be struggling with a particular learning objective, then it’s likely that the instruction or approach is unclear. The teacher can use the assessment data to flag the lesson plan, adjust accordingly, and then gauge any improvement in the class.

Intrinsic to this new strategy, Lower School teachers now deliver a constant, informal stream of evaluative information to parents, so they can better understand and track their child’s development and identify strategies to support strengths and weaknesses throughout the entire academic year. “Rather than an ‘A,’ the highest level of achievement now recorded is ‘exceeding expectations,’” says Brake. “But students need to understand this is not—nor should be—something immediately attainable Day 1. Rather it is something to aspire to over the course of the year, under the guidance and mentorship of their teacher. “In this way, they can begin to see that growth and progress are less sprint, more marathon.”

Without question, there’s been a moderate learning curve for the teachers involved—they’ve each had to rethink their rubric to appraise individual student performance, as well as class performance as a whole. But collectively, Brake says the faculty supports the new system as “the right thing to do and a good direction for the school,” and many are finding it useful as a way to analyze, modify, or validate their own lesson planning and approach to material.

Because reporting plays an essential part in the new protocol, the clarity, frequency, and level of communication between teachers and parents is vastly improved. “Teachers want parents to know who their child is in class, their level of engagement and interest with subject matter, how she or he learns and interacts with the material, and other facets that characterize and contribute to a student’s academic growth. Parents overall seem pleased with the more detailed reporting and more regular window into their student’s progress.


“The added benefit is that because of timeliness, availability, and consistency in information, there really should be no surprises in a student’s final assessment at the conclusion of the academic year—which in turn is helping to reduce anxiety among students, teachers, and parents alike.”

INCENTIVE TO SUCCEED Granted, there are those who hold fast to the idea that traditional letter grades as reward or punishment are key to motivating a student to prepare and perform well. That without the threat of an “F” hanging over their heads, students won’t try as hard to succeed. As mounting evidence shows, however, letter grades at this age actually short-change both parents and students. They don’t provide particular proof of a student’s curricular aspirations or abilities. They don’t offer parents insight into the depth of what goes into that one mark. They don’t predict or determine the educational path that student will eventually take. And yet, that still seems to be the going assumption.


“I think some will still argue that the desire to ‘get an A’ can be incentivizing, a good motivator to elicit solid performance and consistency. And that may indeed be true for some. But it can also very easily backfire, and increase anxiety to the point where students, who might otherwise do well, fail—or worse, perceive failure when an ‘A’ remains out of reach, despite demonstrated improvement,” counters Brake. And this misguided focus is precisely what must be mitigated at the fourth- and fifth-grade level, she says, so that when they move up to Middle School, these students have confidence in their own academic abilities, and are eager to challenge themselves further. “A good example of what I’m talking about is this: At a recent retreat for newly admitted Middle Schoolers, Admission Director Sarah Coogan led an exercise in which students were encouraged to write down what they were most excited about and most worried about as they enter Sacred Heart. Following, the responses were anonymously posted on a board so that all could see the collective results. Hands down, the overwhelming majority of responses related to “most worried about” centered on failing to get good grades. What’s really concerning is that the average age of these participants was just 11.

“At this critical point in a child’s development, it is imperative to minimize stress and encourage and preserve love of learning. The emphasis must be on mastering the process, rather than just achieving a letter outcome, and the motivation, the reward, should be the intrinsic value of learning.”

Tracking a student’s mastery of this character education becomes part of the ongoing communication process, and parents are able to support their student’s development as a “child of the Sacred Heart.”

A SYSTEM THAT INSPIRES “Ultimately and I can’t underscore this enough,” says Brake, “our most crucial objective as educators is to instill, sustain, and nurture a child’s desire to learn. And my goal as principal is to ensure our curriculum at both the Lower School and Middle School remains robust, and that this continues to be a place where kids are engaged. As they walk through our doors, these kids should be inspired to learn, hungry to learn. And teachers should be equally inspired to give this to their classes, to dispense instruction with enthusiasm.” Pausing for a moment, Brake then adds one final comment. “I also like to think that this one change we’ve made at school has maybe led to more meaningful conversation at home. That parents are inspired to apply what they learn about their child as a student, and then challenge

that student’s critical thinking. That the old-school dinner table question has moved from ‘What grade did you get on that test?’ to ‘What do you think your teacher meant by this lesson?’ or ‘What did you take away from this discussion on the Middle East?’ or ‘What do you think was the author’s intent in this book?’” And as the academic year concludes, and the teachers convene with Brake to offer their own feedback as to how the new system worked, she may very well learn the answer. “As we have lived through this, it has certainly been a year of learning and growing. And we are not afraid to keep growing, to modify our course based on what we discover, in order to arrive at a system that both works and is right for our Lower School students.”



PICTURE YOURSELF BACK IN SCHOOL. You’re sitting among your classmates at an unexpected assembly the principal has called, presumably to discuss a grave situation that involves the whole school. She begins to address the crowd, brow furrowed, tone serious. You anxiously wonder, “What is going on?”


Suddenly, streaming out from behind the principal are a group of students, smiles on their faces, with laughter in their voices. As one, joined by the principal, they yell out a strange but familiar French word. And in response, the assembled body erupts into cheers. And you are immediately transported. You know that your day just changed from one of books, exams, and lectures to one of games, fun, and teamwork. That for the next few hours, you will happily immerse yourself in one of the oldest and most anticipated traditions unique to the Sacred Heart Schools worldwide, congé.

A HISTORIC HOLIDAY Tracing its roots back to the earliest schools in Paris established by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, congé has been part of institutional history for more than 200 years, though its exact origins and date of adoption as a regular event are somewhat unclear. Most likely the practice evolved as a reward and in response to the rigorous schedule in place for those students attending the boarding schools, whose academic classes would typically carry on six days a week with minimal interruption.

Translated, congé essentially means “leave taking,” or in the vernacular, “taking a holiday.” And this is exactly what occurs throughout Sacred Heart campuses when this tradition is enacted—students are relieved from their studies for several hours, exchanging intellectual pursuits for celebratory and spirited community-building and fun. Through the first century of this tradition, the religious who oversaw the schools would have charge of planning the day, which would reliably entail games— in particular, cache-cache (a form of hide-and-seek)— and conclude with a goûter (another Sacred Heart tradition). As a matter of course, activities would be tailored for students of all ages, allow for a breadth of participation, and encourage a unity between students and their teachers, bridging an otherwise formal chasm. Creative games, special stories, and other unusual activities might be part of the planned fare; famously, American author Kate Chopin, who recounts her own Sacred Heart experience in the 1867 poem “The Congé,” describes the “magic lantern” picture show that concluded the day.





By Kate Chopin (SH-St. Louis, 1868) American author The Congé is past and the frolic and fun Was over, before it seemed scarcely begun; For with playing and romping and teasing away, The quick fleeting hours soon filled up the day. …But all these howe’er beautiful sink into nought, In considering the fun which the afternoon brought; For through cellar and basement and garret so high, We tumbled and tossed in the game of “I spy.” Now into the barnyard—the loft or the stable, Hiding in every place—any place that we were able; And thrown into ecstasies of foolish delight At not being found or at seeking aright. …But at length Sister M. with mysterious air, Comes whispering that the girls must prepare To enter a room, shut out from all light, To see a strange thing—a most wonderful sight; …’Twas a strange magic lantern which displayed a queer sight Of devils in every conceivable plight. Of hills and volcanoes; St. Peter’s at Rome; Of Pantheons at Paris—or a neat cottage home. Of monkies and tigers and elephants rare— All displayed with precision and mentioned with care…


Essential to all schemes and plans for a successful event, however, was the element of surprise. While students may anticipate that a congé would be called at some point during the year, they were never to know when until the very moment arrived. Student response, therefore, was always one of infectious delight and excitement at the welcome interruption. Above all, and at the direction of Madeleine Sophie and the religious who served her schools, the point of congé was to enflame the spirit of this community—to break from usual expectations and engage in lighthearted and trivial play before returning to the more serious business of study. “Education must be concerned not only with studies, but also with whatever may be required for the right ordering of life and requirements of cultivated society,” she said. “What is the good of teaching various subjects, of wasting time in learning them, if at the same time we cannot teach children the words of life and touch their hearts and their consciences?”

CONTEMPORIZING TRADITION Ask Sacred Heart alumnae through the years about their memories of congé, and more often than not, the surprise factor and the hay rides around campus feature large, as does goûter, and always some form of the traditional congé game of cache-cache. Recalls Maria Litfin Eschen (CSH ’63): “[I remember] the nuns playing on our cache-cache teams—Mother Seiben athletically running us to such special hiding places: around the Baker’s House, through the vegetable gardens, dodging the Italian sisters, behind a rocky grotto with a statue, and, best of all, into the laundry area among the drying lines where all manner of secret nun garments hung like exotic plants in a jungle. Ah, the thrill of the chase! Nothing topped cache-cache in my book.” “One year we climbed out a second story dormitory window onto the top of the porte cochère,” adds Susan (Nerney) Schumann (SHE ’50, CSH ’54). “In the early 50s, we thought this was very daring at our all-girls school (and we couldn’t wear jeans or slacks even on a play day). Those of us who were day students loved

getting goûter with the boarders, and a big highlight of the day was the hayride (there were work horses on the campus then). Life was so much simpler in those faraway days.” “Definitely the best part was the hay rides (being driven by Irving, the only maintenance fellow on staff). Covent of the Sacred Heart Broadway in San Francisco would always come down to enjoy congé with us. I remember playing lots of games—kickball, tether ball—on the field between Morey and Sigall, and treats like cotton candy and snow cones,” says Teri McKelvy (SJS ’72, CSH ’76). “When we played cache-cache, it was like team hide & seek [throughout Main Building and other parts of campus],” recalls Lauren (Gray) Koenig (SJS ’73, CSH ’77). “To win, we had to [collectively] get to the bell and ring it. It was an awesome game.” For more recent graduates, however, the SHS congé now has a somewhat different flavor. “Our class had done the math, and we knew congé had to happen at some point that year, it was just a matter of when,” says Adriana Zuno (SHP ’12). “So news about jump houses being set up on the field one morning spread through the school very quickly. [We were told that morning classes would take place], but once we sat down in class, we were all dismissed. There was so much food and so many games! The weather was perfect, and it was so nice to see all the classes come together as a community to enjoy a Sacred Heart tradition.” Today, on nearly every Sacred Heart campus across the globe, congé continues to take place in some form or fashion—as a nod to this revered past and as another step toward fulfillment of the Goals & Criteria of a Sacred Heart Education. And though modern-day logistics may noticeably (and necessarily) alter how a congé may occur or appear, the essence of this tradition, its objective to foster community and its inherent value, remain. 59

For example, many schools now mount an annual congé for students, though due to more rigid academic calendars and course hour requirements, the “surprise” element may be eliminated in favor of an identified date and time, or tied to a specific feast day or other school event. For those that do uphold the surprise, there is always an elaborate scheme devised to deliver the news to the campus. Under the watchful eye of faculty advisors, students in the older classes may play an important role in planning and execution, the scale of such an event offering an opportunity to exercise leadership skills, to learn about managing budgets, and to explore creativity as they design activities for a spectrum of ages. Themed congés are not unusual, borrowing from pop culture or school lore, and further ratcheting up both the challenge to the planners and the delight of the beneficiaries. Congé activities have decidedly changed and expanded over time, often reflective of the era and current interests of the students. Where simple games like cache-cache were once the staple, more modern iterations—at least in the U.S.—have featured “bounce houses,” obstacle courses, and carnival-style games of skill or chance. Faculty skits, student team improvisation, lip synching, and other talent performances might also be part of the schedule, as well as more participatory sports-themed events, trivia contests, and mock game shows. Aligned with a more historic version of congé, some schools will divide students into “color teams,” which then have a variety of quirky and engaging tasks to complete together, underscoring the communitybuilding aspect of the day. And many do still involve a special goûter or lunch as a way to conclude the day.

“ Education must be concerned not only with studies, but also with whatever may be required for the right ordering of life and requirements of cultivated society…”


— S T. M A D E L E I N E S O P H I E B A R AT

A LEGACY PRESERVED, BUT DIFFERENT, IS STILL VALUED “I do worry the simplicity of congé has been lost along the way ,” says Sr. Martha Roughan, most recently principal for the LMS and who has, herself, been part of the administration at a number of U.S. Sacred Heart schools. “When I think back over my own experiences working with students to plan a congé, what strikes me most—what has surprised me most—is the creativity they showed. In some schools, there was little or no budget to work with, and still, the students pulled off some wonderful congés that were inclusive, well done—and just plain fun. “Activities had to be designed in such a way that every child—from youngest to oldest—could participate. At Duchesne the senior class planned it for the whole school (K-12). We used to do ‘skit in a bag,’ and the bag might have a feather, a tennis ball, a scarf, a pencil, a shoe—just a random assortment of items. But it had enough items for every child in the group to play a role and take part. This filled the intent, which was building community. But this way of doing things is only really possible when you are dealing with smaller schools, fewer students. In Houston, for example, we were planning congés for less than 350 students (versus the nearly 1,200 here on this campus).” “Regardless [of current iterations], I think it’s very much a deeply inbred tradition in all our schools—and it’s such a spirit-building day,” agrees Kathy Dolan, RSCJ, who continues to educate LMS students about Sacred Heart’s history and traditions. “When we talk about it to the young children here, we go to look at the Centennial Quilt in Main Building, and the word ‘Congé’ is inscribed there.” “How important are these traditions to preserving our Sacred Heart education? I think this is one of the things that sets us apart—it’s a way of connecting students,” Sr. Roughan adds. “These traditions are part of their stories—the Sacred Heart family story, larger than just a few campuses. And we never want to lose that.”

CONGÉ TODAY, THE SHS WAY Under the leadership of Derek Waarich, recent dean of operations at the LMS, and Brian Bell, assistant principal for student life at the Prep, the 2015 version of congé at Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton, is a little bit of old and new, but always approached with a goal of strengthening community. At the LMS, congé is now a planned day—the final Friday in May—and married together with Field Day, another longstanding tradition at the elementary school. Students from kindergarten through eighth grade are treated to a variety of “midway” style carnival games, face painting, inflatable houses and slides, and other active fare, and usually punctuated by a special goûter. Coordinating the event over the last three consecutive years, Waarich had been slowly working elements of the original tradition back into the execution, so that this year the eighth graders (the senior-most students involved) are not only part of the planning process, they are also charged with designing and running some invented games— the challenge, of course, to craft something that will appeal to and include all ages. In recent decades at the Prep, the congé tradition has moved to a three-year cycle, which according to Bell, ensures each grade will have the experience at least once in their SHP careers. “The current academic schedules are pretty rigorous,” he says, “and really don’t lend themselves to an ‘unplanned’ event like congé. Too, there are a lot of time and resources needed to do it right. “In past years, though, we’ve been really successful with a small handful of students and faculty, who work together on the planning. In my 15 years here, we’ve pretty much been able to pull off the ‘surprise’ element each time, though I admit, it can be challenging to keep an event like this completely secret in this community.”



Celebrating this longstanding and beloved tradition, Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton has selected as its auction 2015 theme, “Congé—Carnival du Coeur!” Taking place on Saturday, March 28, 2015, the annual school benefit will bring together the entire Sacred Heart family for an evening of dining, dancing, and camaraderie—and a few surprises along the way! According to auction chairs Kathy Avery, Marilee Bell, and Lauren Koenig, “Congé—Carnival du Coeur! is set for unprecedented entertainment, games, and community-building, as we come together to support our school and to ourselves take part in a centuries-old, Sacred Heart tradition.” “To quote founder Madeleine Sophie Barat, ‘Your example, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world.’ Taking this to heart, we encourage everyone to be actively engaged in our community, and to take the opportunity to be part of this wonderful event—as a volunteer, as a sponsor, but most


importantly, as a guest!”

Learn more at, and join us on Instagram @SHSAuction, #Conge2015




Sampling uniforms from their Sacred Heart days, alumnae return to campus for milestone reunions. 65


From the Alumni Association President Fellow Sacred Heart Alumni, It is a pleasure and honor to be your new Alumni Association President. Being part of the Sacred Heart family has been a tremendous gift in my life, and I feel fortunate to be able to give back more by serving the SHS alumni community. Since August, the Alumni Association has hosted a variety of stellar events aimed at engaging alumni from multiple generations, from “Drinks on Dioli” in San Francisco, to community service at the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, to our inaugural Alumni Oktoberfest—a grand event that drew over 300 alumni back to our beautiful campus. In addition, we’ve held our regular SHS Alumni Board meetings and continued to grow the Alumni Internship Program for collegiate alumni. With strong board leadership and a membership of 38, we look forward to serving Sacred Heart alumni in additional ways. In particular, our board will be focusing on development of the following initiatives to inform, involve, and invest in our alumni community by: • Welcoming you to participate in intellectual, spiritual, social events, athletic, and fine arts events to ensure you know Sacred Heart is your community for life and that you belong; • Bringing our past present by sharing alumni, current and past faculty and staff news, stories, and experiences post-Sacred Heart; and • Creating professional networking channels to benefit and connect our greater alumni body, and ensure a wealth of opportunities for past, as well as future, Sacred Heart graduates. For up-to-date information about upcoming events and activities, please be sure to check out our webpage ( and stay connected on Facebook with Madeleine Sophie. I also encourage you to reach out to me or to other board members, reconnect and stay connected, and take advantage of the wonderful network and opportunities offered to SHS alumni. In your service, Christine O’Neal (SJS ’94, SHP ’98)

Awards Honor Oustanding Contributions to SHS An anchor program within this year’s inaugural Alumni Oktoberfest, the Spirit of Mater and the St. Joseph’s School Henry Schimpf Award presentation recognized two outstanding women who have served—and continue to serve—as role models for our Sacred Heart community.

Beloved, longtime SHS educator Joan Eagleson earned the 2014 SJS Henry Schimpf Award.

The first woman and third-ever recipient of the St. Joseph’s School Henry Schimpf Award, the beloved Joan Eagleson was lauded for her more than 25 years of dedication and service, first as an educator with the former St. Joseph’s School, then as its librarian, and now overseeing the LMS campus ministry. Citing a 2004 decree issued by CA-Rep. Anna Eshoo (SJS ’83, SHP ’87), her nominator praised Eagleson’s focus and clarity of purpose as an SHS educator. Given only to “those who radiate Mater’s spark of divine spirit and who employ life in a manner representative of the Goals & Criteria of a Sacred Heart Education,” entrepreneur and alumna Jen O’Neal (SJS ’93, SHP ’97) ably met the criteria for the Spirit of Mater Award. Co-founder and CEO of, a fast-rising, online vacation rental aggregate, O’Neal now shares her extensive marketing experience and background in start-ups with young, aspiring entrepreneurs, serving as mentor with the renowned Thiel Fellowship program, and actively participating in the development of the Alumni College Internship program at SHS. 66

Jen O’Neal (SJS ’93, SHP ’97) was presented the Spirit of Mater Award for her entrepreneurial stewardship.

SHP Grad Shares Career-Changing Experience Katherine Eger (SHP ’12) reflects on working in rural Rwanda A junior economics major at Claremont McKenna College (CMC) in Los Angeles, Katherine Eger (SHP ’12) is on her way to positively impact the world. Building on an interest in developing nations—specifically Rwanda—that germinated in a Prep course taught by Donna Gilboa, last summer Eger seized an opportunity to spend two months working in rural Rwanda, on a project to spark social entrepreneurship. For the fall 2014 semester, Eger traveled to Tanzania, interning with a microfinance organization to support women of the Maasai tribe who were starting or expanding their own businesses. Prior to her U.S. departure, she spoke to the SHP Women’s Group about her experiences in Rwanda, her passion to enact change, and the inspiration she draws from those she encounters. An excerpt of her remarks follows; to read the full text, visit [As an economics major at CMC]—a school that strongly encourages practicality in its education—there is a pretty clearly defined track: finance courses, econometrics, corporate finance, Katherine Eger (SHP ’12) spoke at a SHP Women’s Group meeting in the Otto Library accounting; shortly thereafter, an internship at a over the fall about her experience in Rwanda. bank, tech startup, or consulting firm. I understood the path laid out, and was pretty good at it. But in my sopho10 were rejected, and then the [approved] men decided they no more year, when I received a mass email about [an opportunity to longer had the time or interest. We scrambled, entrusted a woman work] in rural Rwanda, I knew how I’d be spending my summer. with whom I had grown close to choose five dedicated friends. So, our initial plan of a strong male team focusing on agriculture The program, ThinkImpact, places university students from all over quickly turned into a group of 12, sassy women who wanted to the country in locations within Africa and South America, puts raise goats... them through training and lessons, and then provides the means to establish a small business venture. My partner and I were assigned It only took me about two weeks in Rwanda to understand that to Bwana, which happens to be in the poorest of the Rwandan microfinance is where I want to [pursue a career]...I chose to provinces—no electricity, no running water, basic medicine become an economics major, not only because it came naturally to incredibly challenging to acquire. However, at no point did I really me and I found macroeconomics fascinating, but because I felt it feel that I was living in poverty...and we quickly adapted to the gave me a better understanding of the world around us. Economics situation we were given. In fact, wherever I went I felt at home, teaches us theories on how the world can work, and compares it greeted with smiles, love and warmth. (Within the first week I got to how it does work. The courses I have taken have provided me incredibly bad food poisoning, and my host mother sat with me all with critical thinking skills, as well as strengthened my calculatornight, rubbing my back and telling me she loved me—a phrase she pressing fingers. They have given me a lens through which to had learned from one of the translators that day.) understand historical events. I am beyond grateful [that I pursued this] major, because without that blend of technical and theoretical [Our first days in] Bwana were spent fully immersing in the life skills, I wouldn’t be qualified to do what I have been passionate of the village; in order to improve on any challenges, [it was about since I was 16 years old. important] to have a strong understanding of the social and cultural experiences in the lives of every day residents. Putting together our And I’m grateful that Sacred Heart provided me with the courage team [who would be part of our business venture,] we looked for and thirst to pursue my interests and have a lasting impact those we thought would be most committed, those who had already wherever I go. established businesses and shops. Due to the social tensions left over from the genocide, our list of people—about 10 men and four women—had to be approved by the village leaders. Of our 14, 67

Paying it Forward

SHS Alumni Board members volunteer at Stanford’s Ronald McDonald House Carrying out the mission of the Alumni Association borne out of the Goals & Criteria, members of the SHS Alumni Board contributed an evening of service to the nearby Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. The facility, celebrating its 40th year of operation, is currently at capacity housing families whose young children are in treatment for serious illnesses at nearby Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. The alumni volunteers, joined by SHS alumni relations manager Shannon Melinauskas, hosted an ice cream social for the nearly 50 families in residence, chatting with parents and children and creating a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere. “This was the board’s second year of taking part in organizing and executing a community service event,” said Ellen Gallagher Parsons (SH Newton), who currently serves as the board’s vice president for Formation to Mission.

SHS Alumni Board members hosted an ice cream sandwich social for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford on November 19.

“The group really wanted to do something special for these families who are going through very difficult period, and this social provided us an opportunity to share some of the Sacred Heart spirit with others, as well as strengthen our own ties as an active and representative alumni group.”

In early December more than 200 past parents and alumni of Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton—families of St. Joseph’s and the Prep—gathered to enjoy the annual Christmas cocktail party in the Main Building, hosted by Director of Schools Richard Dioli. Reconnecting with the school, old friends, and sharing special memories of their time on the campus, these past parents enjoyed an evening of fine fare, good cheer, and the always-popular Holiday Boutique shopping and raffle for Gator gear. Taking place for the last three consecutive years, this highly anticipated PALs event has become a tradition at the school and honors the role past parents and alumni continue to play within the Sacred Heart family.


The SHS Alumni Board, under current President Christine O’Neal (SJS ’94, SHP ’98), plans to coordinate additional service activities in the coming months, with a goal to grow alumni participation and reach. For more information or to get involved, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or connect with us on Facebook (search for “Madeleine Sophie”).

(Left) The Budelli Family: Tana, Mike (SHP ’87) and Bob. (Below) The Davison Family and guest: Matt (SHP ’09), Sue, and Melissa (SHP ’07)

Spotlight: Sacred Heart Traditions

“Journey of the Lambs” still central to Advent observance The beloved “Journey of the Lambs,” a Sacred Heart tradition begun by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, continues to be a central part of the Advent season at the LMS. Harkening back to the celebration of the nine-day Christmas novena, and reflecting the spiritual journey of the individual preparing for Christ’s birth, each student was represented by a “Christmas lamb” figurine as part of a traditional nativity scene marked by graded steps upward to the crèche. At the start of the season, the lambs began at the base of the stairs, each student’s lamb advancing upward only as reward for a kind or thoughtful act toward another. Later, as the school grew significantly in size, the number of lamb figurines increased accordingly and provided students with a daily opportunity to view the nativity tableau, move his or her lamb up one step, and reflect on how to grow ever-closer to Christ. Today, as the number of SHS students exceeds 1,000, the tradition continues on the LMS campus, each student in grades first through eighth still represented by a lamb bearing his or her name at the crèche on display in Stevens Library. At close of each day in the novena, the lambs are advanced en masse to the next step, surrounding the manger on the ninth and final day. And even though the mechanics of this tradition have altered somewhat over the years, according to Joan Eagleson, who oversees the LMS Campus Ministry, its spirit remains the same. “The journey of the lambs symbolizes the loving, kind, and generous acts done for one another and the greater community during our Advent and Christmas preparation,” says Eagleson. “In our history, and in our present day, it provides a visual reminder reflecting the love of Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas giving.”

Willing to share your memories about a particular Sacred Heart tradition? Curious as to whether or not your favorite tradition remains in practice today? Contact, and we’ll see if we can find an answer for you! Suggestions and submissions welcomed, and may be used in a future issue.

Closing out the summer of 2014, about 25 Gator alumni from the Classes of 1963 through 2014 headed to the famous MoMo’s in San Francisco, across from AT&T Park. The draw? The now annual alumni event, “Drinks on Dioli,” a hosted cocktail hour which featured not only Director of Schools Dioli, himself, but SHP Principal James Everitt. A good time—and plenty of it—was had by all.


Reflections on Goal V

Prep teacher Dan Brady (SHP ’04) shares his thoughts on “wise freedom” Throughout the 2014-15 academic year, the Sacred Heart community is engaged in a yearlong reflection on the significance of Goal V of our Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart Education. Distilled to its essence, the Goal emphasizes “personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.” In preparation for the beginning of the school year last fall, Prep teacher Dan Brady (SHP ’04) was asked to share his perspective on the Goal during the biannual Director’s Day for faculty and staff. Brady, a 2009 graduate of Bowdoin College, spent time in-country studying the religion of Sri Lanka and Burma and the ongoing civil war there, then later took a position through Teach for America working for an inner-city charter school in Brooklyn. He joined the SHP faculty in 2012 and currently serves as director for the Prep’s creative design and production lab. Following is an excerpt of his remarks; the full text can be found online at As a student, I loved to speak of Goal V in conversation with teachers and administrators, seeking permission (or forgiveness) for things I wanted to do. In these conversations, I focused on the “freedom” part of the goal, that wonderful, wise freedom. As I explained again and again, this meant I was free to make my own wise decisions, without adult interference. I remember my shock at having my interpretation rejected by an adult member of the mouth hanging open in disbelief as he said, “That’s not what Goal V is! Goal V is doing your homework! You can choose whether or not to do it, but you’re going to feel the consequences if you make the wrong choice!” Clearly, we had different constructs. [In retrospect, though,] I don’t think either of us quite had it. At its core, Goal V isn’t really about liberty or meeting obligations. It’s about the self. If you look at the criteria, you find phrases like “self-discipline,” “self-knowledge,” “self-confidence.” We ask every member of this community to “show respect, acceptance, and concern” for themselves and others. We’re asked to celebrate each other’s unique gifts, and each person is called to take care of his/her personal balance, health, and well-being. The funny thing is that in my relatively short time as an educator, Goal V has found its way to the core of my approach to teaching, but almost unintentionally. Only now do I realize that this place— this campus—this school engraved its spirit onto my heart. ...We learn a lot in school. We learn about literature and science and language and mathematics. But more than those things, we learn who we are...As educators, we can’t tell a child who he is. We can’t assume we know who he is. Ultimately, a child needs to find that out for himself. He needs to choose for himself. And so we can’t explain it or teach it in a curriculum. The only way to do it lies in the heart of Goal V: we need to give our kids the space— we need to create the atmosphere—so kids can learn this lesson for themselves... At Sacred Heart, we educate to personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom. The goal I think, more than the others, includes 70

From former editor to current advisor, Dan Brady (SHP ’04) discusses the layout of the latest edition of the Heart Beat.

a means as much as an end. We don’t educate to personal growth by hosting self-help seminars. We do so by giving students the room to struggle, to sometimes fail, to face their weakness when it slaps them in the face. We need to let them explore, even when the inner-voice leads them off the beaten path. ...It’s a tall order, I think...When we know a kid is doing something wrong, we want to stop them...but oftentimes, our job is precisely the opposite. We need to create opportunities for them to fall, and then help them up when they do. We should also arrange some hidden safety nets, so they don’t fall too hard. I joke with Jake Moffat, who was the moderator for the Heart Beat newspaper when I was student editor, that I thought he didn’t do anything. I thought I did all the work. Now, as moderator myself, I know the hardest thing to do is holding my tongue—the hardest thing is creating a situation where students feel the weight of that responsibility squarely on their shoulders without allowing it to crush them. It’s building and constantly moving the guardrails so they never really see them. I struggle with it, but I know it’s worth it. [From my days as a Sacred Heart student,] I know what that experience of wise freedom allows a child to do. He gets to discover that when you fall, you can get back up. He learns that complete safety is an anathema to real growth. And most importantly, he comes to craft that deep spiritual reward that comes with crossing through the fire and coming out a better version of himself on the other end. I was shaped, profoundly so, by the educators here who taught to the spirit of Goal V. I can testify to its immeasurable benefit. You don’t stop pushing or growing when you leave this beautiful campus. You live your life in an atmosphere of wise freedom you create for yourself. This place, the people here, did that for me. So, in what will not be the first—or the last—time, I will say: Thank you.

RECONNECTED: Nancy Morris, RSCJ (left) and Heidi McHugh Pendleton (CSH ’64) celebrate the Class of 1964’s 50th reunion at the Golden Diploma Ceremony.


Milestone Reunions at Oktoberfest Alumni gather to celebrate their Sacred Heart bond



Alumni Class Notes

Convent of the Sacred Heart • Sacred Heart Elementary • St. Joseph’s • Sacred Heart Prep Promoted? Moving? Married? New baby? New job? Please share your news with us for a future issue of the Sacred Heart Magazine at All submissions may be edited for length and clarity, and digital photographs are welcome, too! Note: Alumni entries are categorized by the highest year of attendance. If an alumnus/a is a graduate of multiple campuses, a notation will appear next to the name, prior to the submitted news. ST. JOSEPH’S SCHOOL (SJS) SJS Class of 1991 Sanaz Hariri, MD writes: “I decided in grade school to become an orthopedic surgeon. While at St. Joseph’s, I connected with Dr. Michael Dillingham, who had kids at the school and who was/is my hero. He somehow made time in his crazy life to generously mentor me. I went to Harvard and was a history major, returned for medical school at Stanford, back to Boston for an orthopedic residency at Harvard, then a knee replacement fellowship at Harvard/MGH, and finally, back home for a sports/arthroscopy fellowship at Stanford. Currently, I am in private practice in Los Gatos, specializing in shoulder and knee pain. My husband, Matt Eichner, is a director at Google, and we have identical twin boys, Nate and Jack, who hopefully will be starting preschool at Sacred Heart soon. We are building a house in Menlo Park, walking distance from my parents’ home. I am so grateful for the nurturing and amazingly solid academic background that St. Joseph’s provided me, and I intend to be more and more involved in the SHS community.” CONVENT OF THE SACRED HEART (CSH) CSH Class of 1975 Cathy Baldacci Jensen serves as director of resident services and lifestyle for The Terraces at Los Altos, a continuing care retirement community. She has three daughters: Kristen (29) is married and living in Chicago; Kelly (27) teaches at 74

Menlo School; and Kate (24) is in grad school in Chicago. She writes: “I attended my very first Giants World Series game this year!” CSH Class of 1976 Mary Pang Hinson (also SJS ’72) is the director of development for SportsHouse, an indoor, multi-sport recreation facility in Redwood City. Her daughter Ally is a senior at SHP and son Nick, currently a sophomore at Mid-Pen, is an alumnus of the SHS Lower & Middle Schools. She writes: “I chaperoned the first ever SHP Choir trip to Italy last summer where 34 students (including my two kids) led by Will Skaff sang Vivaldi’s Gloria, the very same choral music I sang as a freshman at Sacred Heart under Mr. McKinnon. In addition, while we were in Rome we visited Villa Lante, RSCJ worldwide headquarters, where Sr. Margaret Phelan, our former teacher at St. Joseph’s, gave us a private tour!”

Married in 2011 to Scott McDonald, the couple has one daughter, Laurel (2), and a baby due in May 2015. She writes: “I played volleyball at the University of Wyoming, completed my MBA at UC Davis, love discovering fun places to visit in the Sacramento region (where we live) and finding ways to get my daughter to enjoy eating healthy food.” SHP Class of 1999 Logan Allin is CFO & VP of business development at ONEHOPE, a Southern California-based social enterprise that integrates support of a variety of causes with products and services. He is engaged to be married, plans to move back to Bay Area in March of 2015, and currently serves on the Sacred Heart Alumni Board.

SACRED HEART PREPARATORY (SHP) SHP Class of 1997 Denise Sheldon (also SJS ’93 and 2012 SHP Athletics Hall of Fame inductee) reports: “During summer, I served as Team Leader for the 2014 Women’s Junior National Volleyball Team that won a gold medal in Guatemala at the 2014 NORCECA U20 Continental Championship. I worked alongside a Sacred Heart Cathedral alumnus, Nathaniel (Nate) Ngo. Following, I was asked by our head coach and legendary volleyball player, Karch Kiraly, to serve as Team Leader for the U.S. Women’s National Team for the 2014 FIVB World Championship—which went on to win the entire thing! The USA has never won a gold medal at a World Championship (nor either of the other two international majors, the World Cup and the Olympic Games), so this was historic and hopefully a big stepping stone on the way to Olympic gold in Rio.” SHP Class of 1998 Rachel Lau McDonald works in business management within the IT industry.

Denise Sheldon (SJS ’93, SHP ’97)

SHP Class of 2002 Tony Lahlouh (also SJS ’98), the eldest of seven family members to attend SHS, is recently married and currently vice president at Lahlouh, Inc.—a “printing, packaging, and promotions company” based in the Bay Area and serving a number of top global brands. “Favorite SHP memories include being part of the first SHP football team and playing under the lights at Kezar Stadium.”

SHP Class of 2004 Dan Brady teaches at Sacred Heart Prep, and serves as director of the SHP Design and Production Lab. A 2008 graduate of Bowdoin College, he notes: “I lived for a year in Sri Lanka and Burma, and after three years in New York with Teach for America, I moved back to California to teach at Sacred Heart.” He is engaged to be married, with a wedding planned for June 2015.

also recognized the non-profit I work with, Bridges to Prosperity, in their New Faces campaign. My connection with the organization started while I was at Sacred Heart, and I received generous support from the students and faculty through a fundraiser for an El Salvadorian orphanage—which led me to discover a critical need for footbridge infrastructure in the developing world (the focus of my current research and work).”

Diana Chamorro joined the Sacred Heart Office of Institutional Advancement as the digital communications & media relations manager in April 2014, after spending the last six years working in college athletics. Prior to returning to SHS, she worked at Princeton University for two-and-a-half years. James Oberhausen is currently traveling abroad in South America. A highlight of his adventures was watching the San Francisco Giants win the World Series in October in Buenos Aires, Argentina. SHP Class of 2006 Chad Gibbs received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and materials science from Duke University in May 2014, and now works as a consultant for McKinsey & Company, based in Washington, DC. Andrew Moudry left Clorox after four years as a brand manager to pursue the world of startups. After running content marketing for dating app CoffeeMeetsBagel, he became head of marketing for Butterfleye—the world’s smartest monitoring camera. The company was recently named a No. 1 startup on AngelList. He also actively writes at SHP Class of 2008 Maria Gibbs, S.M.ASCE, is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Notre Dame and a recipient of a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. In December, she was recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the “2015 New Faces of Civil Engineering” and was named to the Board of Directors for non-profit Bridges to Prosperity (B2P). She writes: “ASCE

Maria Gibbs (SHP ’08)

championship in 2013, she emerged as the No. 3 draft pick for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and was selected by the Western New York Flash. SHP Class of 2012 A.J. Chamorro is a third-year construction management major at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. In his first year, he discovered an interest in the field of mechanical construction, and got involved in several organizations. He became a member of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) Student Chapter, the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Mechanical Team, and the ASHRAE Student Chapter— all organizations on campus at Cal Poly which represent the plumbing and HVAC industries. For his dedication to the groups, he was elected president of the Cal Poly MCAA Student Chapter and captain of the ASC mechanical team as a freshman, the youngest person to be in these positions. He is currently busy leading the MCAA and ASC competition teams in national competitions from the industry, including winning first place at the Associated Schools of Construction Open Mechanical Competition in February, and trying to promote careers in mechanical contracting at Cal Poly.

SHP Class of 2011 Geena Graumann (also SJS ’07) will graduate this May from USC with a degree in business administration, with a marketing emphasis. Studying abroad her junior year in Melbourne, Australia, she was able to travel to New Zealand, Bali, Vietnam, and Cambodia to experience different lifestyles and cultures. She is a Bay Area fan at heart and follows the SF Giants whenever she is in town, and is an avid skier and snowboarder. While finishing her senior year of college, she is an advertising sales intern with Hearst Magazines, as well as a personal public relations intern at Slate PR. “After graduation, I’d like to travel a bit before joining the workforce in marketing, in some fabulous city—perhaps the city of my dreams, London, England—where I would like to live and work for a few years.”

A.J. Chamorro (SHP ’12)

SHP Class of 2011

SHP Class of 2014

Abby Dahlkemper graduated in fall of 2014 from UCLA with a degree in sociology. Leading the Bruins women’s soccer team to its first-ever NCAA

Kelly Moran is currently in her freshman year at UCLA and a goalkeeper for the Bruins’ women’s water polo team.





Honoring milestone reunion years:

2010 • 5th Reunion 2005 • 10th Reunion 2000 • 15th Reunion 1995 • 20th Reunion 1990 • 25th Reunion 1985 • 30th Reunion 1980 • 35th Reunion 1975 • 40th Reunion 1970 • 45th Reunion 1965 • 50th Reunion 1960 • 55th Reunion

Alumni Mass 4:00p.m. Oktoberfest Celebration 5:00 - 8:00p.m.


$25.00 per person (children age 12 and under are free). Includes food & beverage.

Learn more at or call 650.454.8394

Alumni Awards: Nominations Now Open Do you know any alumni, faculty or staff deserving of recognition? The Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton (SHS) Alumni Association presents the following honors:

Saint Joseph’s School Henry Schimpf Award, Spirit of Mater Award, and SHP Athletic Hall of Fame Award. Recipients are selected based on contributions to SHS and beyond. Nominations are now being accepted online.

For candidate criteria, a list of past recipients, or to submit a nomination, please visit





Anaheim, CA Permit No. 1351

150 Valparaiso Avenue Atherton, California 94027-4402

Fall/Winter 2015

Sacred Heart Magazine, Fall/Winter 2015  

Published for Family, Friends and Alumni of Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton

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