UPDATE Magazine: Spring 2021

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Sharing a Tradition of Excellence with Alumnae, Parents and Friends • www.sja1890.org • SPRING 2021

Ready, Set, Motogo!

Letter from the President 3470 Rocky River Drive • Cleveland, Ohio 44111 216.251.6788 • www.sja1890.org

UPDATE is published by Saint Joseph Academy for alumnae, parents/guardians and friends. Contributors to this issue of UPDATE include: Allison Busser ’04, Kathy Flinn, Erin Grace, John Manuszak, Mickie Matheis P’22, Laura McCarty Waryk ’07, Nikki Mohar, Tammi Olle P’12 & ’23, Kathryn H. Purcell, Mackenzie Schuler, Constance S. Sipple, CFRE and Jeff Sutliff. Photography courtesy is extended to: Congregation of St. Joseph, David Cleveland Photography, Nicole Jamieson ’16, Laura McCarty Waryk ’07, Lifetouch Photography, Mount Photographic and Ripcho Studios. For more information, please contact Communications Manager Mackenzie Schuler at 216.251.6788 x217 or mschuler@sja1890.org.

MISSION Saint Joseph Academy, rooted in the spirituality of the Congregation of St. Joseph, fosters unifying relationships with God and all creation, empowers each young woman to achieve academic excellence and inspires a life of compassionate leadership and service in a global society.

Dear Alumnae, Parents and Friends of Saint Joseph Academy, Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, and this year in particular, we see and feel this happening all around us. Our beautiful campus has come alive with students in the halls and classrooms, spring sports have kicked into high gear, and faculty and staff are busily planning end-of-year ceremonies and celebrations. Since coming back to school as a full community on March 1, it has felt much more like a recognizable school year! That being said, we continue to lead with caution and know that we have to remain vigilant about keeping our community safe. As we begin to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel in the United States, we also begin to reflect on what we have learned and which innovations might remain beyond this year. Throughout the fall and winter months, Community & Connection Days and Retreat Days were modified to class-level participation so they could be enjoyed safely. These events remind us how important such connections are to our mission of fostering unifying relationships and empowering our students in their journey of faith as well as their academics. We will keep these as priorities in all we do. It is challenging to be constantly developing new ways to engage students, and we are profoundly grateful to our faculty for their ongoing efforts to do so! Within the pages of this issue of UPDATE, you will find a myriad of examples of our faculty’s creativity and endless hard work, through offering retreats, visual arts opportunities, performing arts concerts and the spring musical, hands-on learning experiences in our newly renovated Makerspace innovation lab and more! Additionally, our non-teaching faculty and staff have shown amazing resilience and creativity to meet the needs of our students and school community. Our College Counselors reimagined Junior Professional Shadowing to allow students opportunities to participate virtually or in COVID-19 safe environments in order to help them further investigate potential career interests and college majors. Our Admissions, Marketing and Advancement teams have been remarkable in the face of having to reinvent nearly everything they do, from limited in-person events to a virtual Celebrate the Academy Gala which highlighted the “Grit, Grace & Gratitude” of our community! Our facilities and maintenance staff have managed the tremendous feat of COVID-19 sanitation and spacing requirements on top of maintaining a new building with incredible grace. The perseverance of all of our faculty and staff throughout this unprecedented school year is a testament to their high standards and to their commitment to the young women of Saint Joseph Academy. We remain as committed as ever to offering an exceptional Catholic education for each and every young woman in our care. I truly could not be more grateful for your support, for each member of this dedicated community and for the spirituality of the Congregation of St. Joseph, which calls us together as one. Although this past year has sometimes felt like a long, dark winter, I hope that you are able to witness signs of renewal and growth in your own life as we greet the blossoming of spring. “It’s always springtime in the heart that loves God.” St. John Vianney. With gratitude,

On the Cover: Motogo participants rebuilt a Honda CB350 motorcycle engine, similiar to the motorcycle featured in the cover photo. • N – Nazareth alumna • T – St. Therese alumna • P – Parent of current SJA student • † – Deceased

Kathryn H. Purcell

Introduction to Engineering Class Students Learn Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Innovation Skills


hrough Science teacher Mr. Bryce Ormiston’s Introduction to Engineering class, students have been working on a number of innovative projects. Earlier this school year, students began working on a motorcycle engine through Motogo, an organization that teaches students to solve STEAM problems. In each session, students learn from their experimentation and build self-confidence through taking apart a motorcycle and putting it back together. “Motogo is a program that strives to bring shop classes back to schools. We are currently working on a Honda CB350 motorcycle engine. Over the past few weeks, we have been gradually taking it apart while learning about each part’s purpose and inner workings as we deconstruct it. After it is deconstructed, we will fully build the engine. Learning about this engine is really interesting because engines are so integral to our daily lives, but most people will never understand how they work or what they look like inside. Overall, I have become so much more comfortable working with various tools and have definitely learned how to use some new ones too. As I get ready to attend college, this experience has helped me be more confident trying new things and has given me exposure to the mechanical side of engineering,” stated Abby Collins ’21 (greatgranddaughter of Nancy Garvey Fulton ’46†) who will be attending Ohio Northern University to study engineering education. Introduction to Engineering class has also been designing themed games on Ozobots to teach St. Raphael School fifth grade students how to code. Ozobots are small round robots that can be coded to complete a series of tasks, such as zigzagging, spinning in a circle, moving forward/backward and emitting fun lights. St. Raphael School STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) Coordinator and “25 Under 35” honoree Ellen Skonce ’11

facilitated the Ozobot project, virtually meeting with the Academy’s students to discuss St. Raphael’s students’ base knowledge of coding, their different interests and then to confirm their ideas. The Ozobot also follows lines on paper and completes actions in response to certain color codes incorporated in these lines (for example, the sequence blue, black, green and red causes the Ozobot to move in a zigzag formation). “The treasure hunt-themed game my partner and I designed starts with the Ozobot generating a random color. This color then correlates with a spot on the game board where the students have to use code to navigate their Ozobot. During their navigation, participants have to avoid obstacles, such as trees (which are 3D printed), holes and a river. While we created our designs, Mr. Ormiston printed our design board prototypes, so I was able to test ours with an Ozobot. My favorite part about being involved in this project is that it will be used for educating students. There are no stepby-step instructions for completing this, so

Student-created game using the Ozobots and tools in the Makerspace innovation lab

it helped me build my creativity and critical thinking skills,” stated Jess Kowalski ’22. Ellen Skonce ’11 confirmed, “The cross-functional collaboration is beneficial to our students because they learn coding in computer class, but that they can also learn how to take their knowledge of coding to the next level by programming games that they might play at home with their friends and siblings. I also love any opportunity for our students to have role models in STREAM fields, particularly females. I want each and every one of them to know that there are countless possibilities for what they can do with their STREAM education and that the skills they are learning right now can guide them in any direction they’d like to go in high school and beyond.”

Abby Collins ’21 works on her Honda CB350 engine

Saint Joseph Academy SPRING 2021


Art Students Create Portraits to Celebrate Cleveland Clinic Caregivers


hroughout the past two months, National Art Honors Society students volunteered to create 20 portraits of Cleveland Clinic – Fairview Hospital caregivers. “National Art Honors Society (NAHS) students were stating how challenging it was to serve the dear neighbor (which is an attribute of the Academy’s mission) in light of the global pandemic. My NAHS co-moderator and Visual Arts teacher Mrs. Beth Pleban and I started thinking how we had completed an incredibly powerful portrait creation project for pediatric cancer patients through St. Baldrick’s Foundation in March 2017. Taking into account the impact that project had on our students and its recipients, it occurred to me that we could still honor those individuals who have worked tirelessly on the front lines, especially in a healthcare setting like Cleveland Clinic.

Students selected their top four employee choices to create a portrait of and were able to determine the art medium of their choice, whether that was digital, drawing or painting,” stated Visual Arts Department Chair and teacher Mrs. Tammy Sparks. Mrs. Sparks worked with the studentartists to develop each portrait based on their employee photograph provided by Cleveland Clinic. Throughout the project, the artists received in-person feedback from their peers, which allowed students to receive evaluations in a workshop style, something they have missed with COVID-19. “During a National Art Honors Society meeting, we shared that it would be great if we were able to honor essential workers for their dedication, grit, humility and patience during this challenging time. I know firsthand how important their work is—my mom is a nurse and my dad is an essential worker.

Jamie Brinker ’21 creates her portrait to present to a Fairview Hospital-Cleveland Clinic employee

Dilyn Stancak ’21 makes her portrait, designed as a National Art Honor Society project

L-R: Fairview Hospital President Dr. Neil Smith is presented his portrait created by Morgan Jeffries ’21


Saint Joseph Academy UPDATE

At Saint Joseph Academy, we are fortunate enough to have wonderful connections to Cleveland Clinic – Fairview Hospital. Each department selected an individual department to be honored. I was excited to have the opportunity to make a portrait of Fairview Hospital’s President Neil Smith, DO, as he has been very supportive of Saint Joseph Academy over the years through the Health Sciences Honors Program. He is the only individual who did not know he would be recognized for this project, so it was a great surprise to honor him for his leadership in the past year. We are incredibly grateful to all of those who made sure vital systems continued to work, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Morgan Jeffries ’21.

Women’s Leadership Symposium Empowers Students to Pursue Passions In February, students gathered for a day filled with inspiring stories and personalized guidance during Saint Joseph Academy’s 14th annual Women’s Leadership Symposium. New this year, the speakers presented virtually and focused on four distinct pathways: Engineering & Design, Health Sciences, Global Studies and Business & Entrepreneurship. Speakers represented organizations including PNC, Gojo, Michael Baker International, Ave Maria Press, R.M. Environmental, Inc., Furahi: A Taste of Home, LLC, Ferro, Eaton, University of Cincinnati, WCPO-TV, Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, Sherwin-Williams, Cleveland Clinic Foundation and University Hospitals. Speakers included eight alumnae: Lisa Abraham Hoekenga ’00, Brianna Dombo ’13, Dr. Deborah Ghazoul-Mills ’79, Suzanne Huber Ferrara ’87, Caroline Kelly Kessler ’00, Esther Ngemba ’18, Sarah Roman ’10 and Megan Seaman ’11. We are so grateful to our alumnae for taking time out of their schedules to impart their wisdom, expertise and share encouragement with our students!

Esther Ngemba ’18 shares her professional experience with students

Students hear from a panelist during Women’s Leadership Symposium

PRINCIPAL’S CORNER: The past few months have been challenging, but the Saint Joseph Academy community has felt the constant presence of the Holy Spirit. At our recent faculty and staff retreat, we paused to look back on the experiences of the past year and consider possibilities for the future. The focus of the retreat was cultural humility, a lifelong commitment to a process of introspection, self-evaluation and self-critique in pursuit of more inclusive and loving relationships with all of creation. Maxim 3 of the Little Institute of the Sisters of St. Joseph reminds us, “Humility is truth. Let your sincere love flow from it.” This has been a year filled with struggle, loss, frustration and disappointment, but it has also been a year of enduring love as we humbly embraced each challenge as an opportunity for grace. The pages of this magazine highlight the creativity, resilience and collaboration of our school community demonstrated over the past several months. We didn’t have a

roadmap for navigating a global pandemic. We found peace and stability by focusing on our mission, core values and the spiritual practices of the Congregation of St. Joseph. While our founding Sisters huddled around the fireplace in a small kitchen in seventeenth century France, we gathered in Zoom rooms and socially distanced classrooms and meeting spaces to share the State of our Heart and the Order of the House. In response to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the community, we entered into a period of remote learning in November that continued through Christmas break. The first days of the students’ return to campus in early January were reminiscent of the first days in August and September when our happiness to be back on campus was tempered by our worries about the virus. The classrooms and hallways felt somewhat odd and awkward until grade-level retreats brought renewed energy and hope. By the time secondsemester courses began later in January, we had positive momentum that continued with an in-person National Honor Society Induction and an Upperclass Induction and Junior Ring Ceremony. These were the first events of this

kind since before the arrival of the pandemic. As attendance on campus gradually increased with the return of many students who had been full-time remote students during the first semester, the familiar, welcoming feeling of the Academy returned. In February, as we mourned the loss of Emilie Izzo ’24, we gathered as a school community in celebration of the Eucharist. To come together around the Eucharistic table was transformative. In the words of CORE Ministry department chair Ms. Alison Barberic ’01, “The Mass unites all people - living and deceased - and reminds us of a truth that we can hold onto even in the most sorrowful times; that Jesus sees us, loves us, and continues to be with us. We are never alone.” As we gradually welcomed all students back to campus, we continued to look to the future. In a reflection of the Paschal Mystery, we find ourselves renewed by the hope and blessing of rebirth. – Jeff Sutliff, Principal

Saint Joseph Academy SPRING 2021


21 Student Submissions Receive Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

The award-winning piece entitled Detained by Alyssa Olivera-Cerpa ’21

14 Art and English students were recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. This program celebrates student work demonstrating technical skill, personal voice or vision and originality. These 14 students received 21 awards in total, with some students submitting more than one piece of art or writing. Alyssa Olivera-Cerpa ’21 received the prestigious National Silver Medal award for her piece Detained and Emilee York ’21 was honored with the ‘Best in Show’ category for Mixed Media in the Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards with her piece The Faithful. Congratulations, to the student-artists listed below, on a job well done! Gold Key: Sarah Handke ’23, Isabella Issa ’21, Mercedes Lewandowski ’22, Alyssa Olivera-Cerpa ’21, Dilyn Stancak ’21 (two pieces) and Emilee York ’21 Silver Key: Grace Bilak ’21, Isabella Issa ’21, Kayleigh Kmiecik ’21 (great granddaughter of Elizabeth Schmitz Kmiecik ’47†) and Susie McGowan ’23 Honorable Mention: N’sreen Abbas ’21 (sister of Nimati ’13 and Nuhr Abbas ’19), Isabella Issa ’21, Mary Kate Kahl ’21 (granddaughter of Marilyn Westfall Aerni ’50 † and Margaret Lynch Kahl ’58, daughter of JoAnn Aerni Kahl ’82 and sister of Michelle and Brooke Kahl ’14, two pieces), Mercedes Lewandowski ’22 (two pieces), Elana Maraldo ’22, Kyleigh Streeter ’21 and Mia Stutzman ’22 (two pieces) 4

Saint Joseph Academy UPDATE

Virtual Border Immersion Experience Provides Valuable Insights 13 students participated in a weeklong Virtual Border Immersion experience with BorderLinks, an organization based out of Tucson, Arizona that Saint Joseph Academy previously worked with in 2019. The nonprofit offers experiential learning opportunities that explore the difficulties of migration and life on the U.S./Mexico border. During the immersion experience, students participated in educational workshops and discussions, attended Zoom meetings with various organizations and individuals involved with life at the U.S./Mexico border, went on a virtual desert walk and met with individuals whose lives and stories have been impacted by U.S. immigration policy. “The highlight of the experience was learning about all of the border policies and economics not as a political discussion, but a human rights one. This is a really difficult topic that we have never really had the ability to dissect in a classroom setting. Our BorderLinks delegate, CORE Ministry teachers Mrs. Kristen Busa and Mrs. Theresa Avila-John, were so willing to listen to us, support us and challenge our thinking. It wasn’t just reading facts and figures, but discussing the humanity, or lack thereof, of the border issue. I have this strong call to continue my education and advocacy. Because we aren’t living next to the border, it is easy for us to ignore it and live in our own bubble. In reality, there is a lot we can do from where we are to help and enact change. In my own community, I want to work more with correcting the

Students participate in a weeklong virtual border immersion experience with BorderLinks

language used. Sometimes, usually out of ignorance, the language we use when discussing those who are crossing the border can be very damaging and harmful. I want to continue to educate those around me on how to have these difficult conversations in a way that is impactful and respectful,” stated Grace Davis ’21. “The biggest takeaway I learned was something the Borderlinks representative said to me when I expressed interest in a social justice-related career. I confessed that I didn’t exactly know what route I wanted to pursue career-wise. He reminded me that it’s alright if I can’t express my passion for social justice through a career. The important steps I need to remember to take are continuing to hold myself accountable, further educating myself on immigration issues after this experience, and providing an open ear to those whose stories still need to be heard,” shared Maura Bradesca ’21 (granddaughter of Mary Lou Kelly Kraven ’51†).

Katelyn Blouch ’21 Named National Merit Finalist We are thrilled to announce that Katelyn Blouch ’21 has been named a Finalist in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) Program. Katelyn has met the requirements to advance to the finals of the National Merit Scholarship Program competition, which includes maintaining an outstanding academic record throughout high school, an endorsement by Principal Mr. Jeff Sutliff and an SAT score which confirmed an earlier performance on the qualifying test. The National Merit Finalists will be considered for the National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2021 and the scholarship awards will be announced in March. She is undecided on where she will be attending college but plans to pursue a degree in engineering. Congratulations, Katelyn!

9 to 5 The Musical

Empowers Women in the Workplace


Cast of 9 to 5 The Musical

n April, members of the drama program performed 9 to 5 The Musical, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick, based on the seminal 1980 hit movie. Set in the late 1970s, this hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era is outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic. Pushed to the boiling point, three female coworkers concoct a plan to get even with the “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” they call their boss. In a hilarious turn of events, Violet, Judy and Doralee live out their wildest fantasy – giving their boss the boot! While Hart remains “otherwise engaged,” the women give their workplace a dream makeover, taking control of the company that had always kept them down. Cast and crew included Maggie Glanc ’21, Eve Jursinski ’21, Sophie O’Leary ’23, Brandon Conroy ’21 (Holy Name High School), Lily Hynes ’22, Nathan Krugman ’22 (Saint Ignatius High School), Christina Logvynyuk ’21, Amaya Moore ’24, Ella Hanley ’23, Bella Congelio ’22, Veronica Conroy ’22, Ava Anselmo ’22, Moira Schlueter ’24 (sister of Gretta Schlueter ’20), Alaysia Martin ’22, Kelly Feke ’21 (daughter of Maribeth Bill Feke N’79), McKenna Hoefsmit ’21 (sister of Kiara Hoefsmit ’18), Katelyn Blouch ’21, Abby Traska ’21, Vanessa Martin ’22 (sister of Veronica Martin ’16), Emily Frindt ’22 (granddaughter of Patricia Bringman Frindt ’65), Lili Fuehrer ’22, Faith Kmiecik ’22 (granddaughter of Betty Lou Schmitz Kmiecik ’47†), Morgan Leary ’22, Ursula Saadeh ’21, Zoe Schmidt ’24 (daughter of Andrea Isabella Schmidt ’84), Vanessa Moore ’21, Maddie Sollazzo ’22, Maggie Natt ’21, Abby Traska ’21, Abigail Neate ’24, Melania Tymosch ’23 (sister of Olenka Tymosch ’19), Megan O’Brien ’24, Julia Olle ’23 (sister of Jessica Olle Francis ’12), Emily Pavlick ’24 and Madeline Roback ’23. Bravo, students, on a job well done!

CORE Ministry Reimagines Retreats With hard work and a deep commitment to ensuring faith formation and spiritual development continue, the CORE Ministry Department took on the challenges posed by COVID-19. Instead of the usual retreat programming, Theology 9, 10, 11 and 12 teachers hosted retreats for each grade over the course of four days. The retreats were constructed to provide new and COVID-19 safe experiences for students. With smaller groups of students, appropriate spacing enabled more creative use of the Academy’s campus while allowing students and retreat leaders to have a deeper connection on their faith experiences. Ninth grade retreat attendees were broken out into small groups, where they learned more about the “Character of a Saint Joseph Academy Graduate,” attending sessions on the philosophy’s attributes: Empathetic Justice, Service to the Dear Neighbor, Personal

Integrity and Emerging Wisdom. “This is a big undertaking, but we believe it’s important for all students to have these retreat experiences, and having them on campus was the best way to bring each class together in a socially distant manner,”

stated CORE Ministry Department Chair and teacher Ms. Alison Barberic ’01. We are incredibly grateful to our academic departments for their willingness to support meaningful experiences that enable our students to build important relationships!

Students make blankets as a service project during their retreat

Saint Joseph Academy SPRING 2021



Provides Insights for Career Opportunities


ach spring, Eleventh graders experiences the real world of prospective careers, thanks to our Junior Professional Shadowing Program. During the three-day experience, coordinated by College Counselors Ms. Susan Emmerich and Ms. Maria Mueller, the Class of 2022 spent time with a sponsor in a potential career of interest. This year proved to be unprecedented as 169 members of the Class of 2022 set up their Junior Professional Shadowing experience in the midst of COVID-19. While many completed their experiences virtually, others shadowed a variety of professionals, including an architect, an interior designer, an optometrist, an electrical engineer, a member of the United States House of Representatives, a member of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the owner of a logging company and a gastroenterologist. Students keep journals detailing their experiences and thoughts on the professionals they observed. This career exploration helps students decide vocations of interest or hone in on their post-secondary education selections as they narrow their college search process. Thank you to all the alumnae who served as hosts, including Kristin Nolan Cassidy ’94, Amanda Durk Frye ’05, Mary Kate Healey ’13, Julie Jensen ’10, Deirdre Sheehan Konopka ’89, Campbell McNeeley ’09, Colleen Wagner Moennich ’99, Asma Saleh ’14, Nancy Zavoda Schwind ’83 and Bride Sweeney ’10.


Saint Joseph Academy UPDATE

Belle Brody Belle Brody ’22 shadowed a gastroenterologist at North Ohio Gastroenterology. COVID-19 has changed the risk of exposure, cleaning guidelines and personal protective equipment. Gastroenterologists have adopted technology and delayed care that would otherwise have been performed. “My sponsor, Dr. Blades says the most rewarding aspects of gastroenterology are gratification on a daily basis from helping people feel better and weathering illnesses. Before shadowing I wasn’t very familiar with gastroenterology. However, I have always been interested in a career within the medical field so I was very excited to learn more about a gastroenterologist. After shadowing, I found that gastroenterology is a very interesting career that never has a dull moment. The doctor is always checking in on patients before and after the procedure and documents how each procedure went. Because of this experience, I learned about the types of procedures a gastroenterologist performs and what they look for during each patient’s procedure. I am currently contemplating pre-med versus nursing and was very happy to see both roles. Although I am more interested in pediatrics, I am grateful that I had this shadowing experience in the medical field.”

Jess Kowalski Jess Kowalski ’22 completed her Junior Professional Shadowing experience with the Education Coordinator at Old Woman Creek (OWC) National Estuarine Research Reserve and State Nature Preserve in Huron. Because it is a member of both national and state-level organizations, Old Woman Creek is managed by the Office of Coastal Management, and the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). “During my day at OWC, I met with the OWC Director, an environmental specialist and the coastal management training program coordinator. The director and I discussed the many opportunities that are available with education, research, internships and volunteering. She also states the importance of being comfortable changing majors towards the

Jillian Wilde

Erin Dickens

Jillian Wilde ’22 shadowed three electrical engineers at Eaton Electrical Experience Center in Pittsburgh. Eaton Electrical focuses on marketing and technology in order to design, create, and sell safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable electrical equipment. “The title ‘Electrical Engineer’ gives you the ability to flow through jobs in different positions and work in multiple environments. Rather than just one task, they plan, construct, test and repair electrical equipment. They also have to understand their work enough to teach it to others and sell to buyers. During my shadowing experience, I learned that you need to have a great work ethic, strong personality, persistence and the ability to quickly learn new things. It is so important to choose a career that not only supports you financially but is also enjoyable. One of the most rewarding aspects is being able to solve problems that most people do not even realize exist. By making people’s lives more efficient, you allow them to do more of what they love because so much of society is reliant on technology and the electrical engineers that make it work. Before my shadowing experience, I knew that I wanted to be an engineer, but was not sure which kind. There are many similarities between electrical and mechanical engineering, so I used this experience to help determine the differences. After shadowing, I am nearly certain that I want to be an electrical engineer. It is such an interesting career and I would love to help prove that women are just as capable of being successful in STEAM fields. I thought that electrical engineering was just connecting the wires but it is so much more; its complexities are jaw-dropping. While I was listening to my sponsor present on the equipment created and used by electrical engineers, I could not help but hope that I would be able to speak in detail about the same topics one day. I have never been so excited to learn more about anything than I was during my shadowing experience.”

Erin Dickens ’22 (sister of Bridget ’16 and Nora Dickens ’20 and granddaughter of Bernadette Daly McCrone ’64) completed her shadowing with the City of Westlake’s Department of Community Services, which includes, but is not limited to, senior services and youth services. Since the department had to close to the public and cancel in-person activities due to COVID-19, they were able to quickly figure out health and safety protocols to make sure important activities

end of college if it means being able to do something you are more passionate about. She also encouraged me to get involved in any related research, even if it is not in my specific field because the skills of research will carry over. The environmental specialist explained the field research he helps conduct, including water quality, weather, habitat and coastal research. Finally, I conversed with the coastal management training program coordinator. She works with policy leaders, restaurants, farmers, and construction companies to provide them with training, information, and guidance about the best practices for the environment and their businesses. She

also organizes the wildlife phenological program, a citizen science-based program that collects data on the populations of different species in the OWC area. I was able to participate in a four-mile employee hike around the perimeter of OWC. Since the creek was frozen, we were able to walk on it and see the tracks of animals that had been on it recently. I saw several birds including the red-headed woodpecker, American Coot, merganser, bald eagles, great blue herons, as well as passed muskrat and beaver dens. I could see myself working there or with a similar organization in the future. I intend to visit again in the summer so that I can experience fieldwork at OWC.”

were still able to continue. “Since May 2020, the department has been doing virtual classes via Zoom for seniors and have dropped off gift bags to them to show their love and appreciation. Due to the fact that the global pandemic has been very isolating, some assisted living centers in Westlake have even joined in the Zoom calls. In 2020, the department was able to continue its food pantry in a modified manner and Westlake residents responded to the need by increasing their food donations. Being able to make a positive impact in people’s lives in the community makes the job very rewarding. After shadowing, I now understand that there are many aspects that go into running the city of Westlake. I was able to experience some of the things it takes for a city to run smoothly by talking to a variety of people who work in the Department of Community Services, sitting in on a meeting with the mayor, helping with the department’s bounty day and touring the fire station. I thoroughly enjoyed my shadowing experience as it has opened my eyes to an entirely different range of careers that I could possibly have in the future. It made me want to explore the option of working in government work.” Saint Joseph Academy SPRING 2021


Winter Sports Basketball Posts 14 Wins In a winter season that for most schools was full of interruptions, the basketball program achieved a successful and full season. The Varsity Jaguars were able to play all 22 regular season games and two tournament games, finishing with a record of 14-10. The Jaguars were the #6 seed in the District tournament and advanced to the District semifinal round where they fell 45-42 to #3 seed Medina’s Highland High School. Led by first-year Head Coach Mrs. Karen Swanson Haan, the Jaguars had some impressive wins in the season including a 47-31 win over Magnificat High School in December. The team also had quality wins over Wadsworth, Strongsville, Louisville, Massillon Perry High Schools and Toledo’s St. Ursula Academy. The season’s team had four Senior members: Charlotte Adler, Bridget Chambers (sister of Mary Kate ’12 and Molly Chambers ’19), Julia Roth (granddaughter of Marie Henke Roth ’54) and Tori Siggers. Those four young ladies played a big role in the success of the program in 2020-21 and for years to come. The Jaguars will return a strong core of players for the upcoming season as well.

Ella Neitzel ’22

Indoor Track & Field Sends 13 to State Meet Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the indoor track & field team had a successful winter season. The Jaguars were creative in how they practiced and where they could compete but overall it was a beneficial experience for the team. Most of the athletes set personal bests on the season, including thrower Catherine Dial ’21 who set a new school record in the weight throw (42’1”). The team advanced 13 athletes to the OATCCC Indoor State


Saint Joseph Academy UPDATE

Track & Field meet held at Spire Institute. The Jaguars finished in 40th place in the Division I meet. Leading the way for the Jaguars was Catherine Dial ’21 (granddaughter of Rosina McGarrity Dial ’56 and daughter of Anne Faulhammer Dial ’86) who finished in sixth place in the State meet in the weight throw at 41′-09.” She was also 16th in the shot put (31-04.25). Other entries at the State meet included: Cailynn Cho ’24, 21st in the shot put (30-04.25); Moira Hough ’21 (daughter of Moira Hough ’86) 17th in the weight throw (28-11); 4×200 Relay: 24th in a time of 1:57.30 (Clare Jordan ’22 (sister of Maura Jordan ’20), Kate Boland ’23 (granddaughter of Mary Alice Hageman Boland ’47† and sister of Mary Boland ’17), Ali Blouch ’23 and Colette Conway ’21 (sister of Mary Therese Conway ’20)); 4×400 Relay: 15th in a time of 4:20.65 (Lizzie McGuire ’21 (granddaughter of Jeanne Price McGuire ’66), Clare McCarthy ’23, Anna Duesenberg ’22 and Bridget Boland ’21 (granddaughter of Mary Alice Hageman Boland ’47† and sister of Mary Boland ’17)); 4×800 Relay: 14th in a time of 10:10.96 (Lizzie McGuire ’21, Emma Fox ’24 (daughter of Elizabeth Peters Fox ’97), Erin Hvizdos ’24 (daughter of Keli Rook Hvizdos ’91 and sister of Abigail Hvizdos ’20) and Anna Duesenberg ’22).

Six Swimmers, Four Divers Advance to District Meet The swimming & diving team featured 20 student-athletes this year and were led by Maddie Jarosz ’21, Gwen Pierce ’21 and first-year Head Coach Mr. John Collis. Despite not competing at normal invitational meets in 2020-21, the Jaguars found good competition and success in a number of dual meets throughout the season. They posted a win against Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin and Villa Angela St. Joseph High Schools in a meet in January and came close to a victory over Magnificat High School in January. At the OHSAA Sectional meet, the Jaguars advanced six swimmers to the District round. In addition, all four divers competed at the District diving meet. The team set personal bests regularly throughout the season, including the postseason meets. Congratulations to Maddie and Gwen and thanks to their leadership during this unique season.

Bowling Perseveres to Reach Sectional Tournament The Jaguars fourth bowling season was certainly unlike any other. This season, the team had new bowlers, many matches against teams who could not bowl due to COVID-19 and many other challenges. Through it all, the bowling team was able to grow and show promise for the future. The Jaguars first five matches were uncontested. The lack of competition was a challenge as competing head-to-head helps prepare the team for the challenging

Emma Claire Lambert-Shemo ’22

Gymnastics Competes as Full Team; Sends Two to District Meet The gymnastics team was composed of eight athletes this year. This is the third consecutive year that the Jaguars were able to compete as a full team. The team opened its season with its inaugural first place finish at a meet hosted by Solon High School. The Jaguars season also included a first-place finish over Magnificat High School (133.3 - 132.55). The team concluded its regular season with a second place finish at the annual All Catholic Cup hosted by Magnificat High School. During the postseason, the gymnastics team competed in the Sectional meet, placing sixth overall where 24 different schools were represented. Although the Jaguars fell short of advancing to the District meet as a team, Allison Petrasek ’23 (sister of Amanda Petrasek ’17) and Abby Synk ’22 represented the Lauren Weisenseel ’23 Academy, competing as individuals on bars. Abby Synk ’22 had a 22nd place finish on bars while Allison Petrasek ’23 finished 38th at the District meet. The young team does not graduate any Twelfth graders this year and will be back again with the same squad in addition to a few others next winter.

Nora McCarthy ’21

State tournament at the end of the season. Fortunately, the team was able to bowl in seven matches and two tournaments to prepare for sectionals. A highlight of the regular season is Abby Kovacic ’22 (sister of Emily Kovacic ’19) making the All-Second team for the GCIBL. The Sectional Tournament was indeed a challenge as some very talented teams claimed the qualifying spots to advance to Districts. The Jaguars finished sixth at the Sectional tournament to complete their season. The team was led by Nora McCarthy ’21 (granddaughter of Kay Mullaly Leonard ’57†) and HJ Stasiuk ’21.

Saint Joseph Academy SPRING 2021


GratitudeCforE Making theEAcademy” L E B R“Celebrate AT E T H A C A Da ERoaring M Y Success!


e would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the friends and supporters of Saint Joseph Academy’s “Celebrate the Academy” for making our virtual gala weekend a success! The event – with more than 300 benefactors of the Academy – is a crucial fundraiser for scholarships and academic initiatives. More than $237,000 net was raised, thanks to the generosity of our wonderful Saint Joseph Academy community. In addition, Distinguished Alumna Awardee Rebecca Dessoffy Bennett ’91 (see story on the following page) and Medaille Shield recipient Michael F. Biehl (husband of Eileen Baugh Biehl ’75 and father of Margaret Biehl ’14) were honored for truly embodying the Saint Joseph Academy spirit and mission. As a finance executive, Michael considers a Saint Joseph Academy education to be an excellent investment, especially when it comes to the formation of strong, self-assured, faith-filled women prepared to succeed in a global society. He spent eight years on the Academy’s Board of Directors, including the final three as its Chairperson. Prior to that, he served as Finance Committee Chair, helping provide financial guidance to the Academy. Michael’s last key

Medaille Shield honoree Michael F. Biehl P’14


Saint Joseph Academy UPDATE

L-R: Bill and Joyce Litzler GP’21, Board of Directors member and “Celebrate the Academy” Chair Julia Mayer P’21 and Catherine Mayer ’21

L-R: Jamie Sanchez-Anderson ’00 and committee member Tiffany Safran P’23

L-R: Board of Directors member Lori Petti and her husband, Mike Petti

initiative as Board Chair was as meaningful as it was monumental: helping secure Fitzmaurice Hall to expand the Academy’s beautiful campus. He worked closely with the Congregation of St. Joseph to facilitate the agreement for the Academy’s use of the property. Michael also was involved in the structural studies and financial analyses of the building to ensure renovation was a viable goal. Once the decision to move forward was approved, Michael, along with members of the Board of Directors and many others

began the current capital campaign, With Lifted Hearts, to fund the project. Thank you, Michael for, sharing your gifts with Saint Joseph Academy. We would like to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of the following parents who served as the Event Committee and helped make our virtual “Celebrate the Academy” gala a success: Denise Caruso P’23, Julie Szy-Krankowski ’91, P’21 & ’23, Michelle Lopez P’22, Sarah Lorek P’20 & ’22, Julia Mayer P’21, Mary Molnar

P’23, Mary Kay Mullen P’23, Sherri Robertson P’22, Tiffany Safran P’23, Nicole Salerno P’24, Maureen Schlueter P’20 & ’24, Galen Schuerlein P’23, Christine Takacs P’22, Jen Turco P’23 and Maureen and Joe Wagner P’22, ’23, ’23 & ’23. We are grateful for their willingness to make this event unforgettable. A special thank you to our “Celebrate the Academy” Chair Julia Mayer P’21 for her leadership, time, creativity and overall love of Saint Joseph Academy.

Distinguished Alumna 2021

Rebecca Dessoffy Bennett ’91

Rebecca has enjoyed a long relationship with Saint Joseph Academy. In fact, her post-graduation involvement with her alma mater has been three times as long as her actual high school experience. She has served on the Academy’s Board of Directors for the past 12 years, including one term as Chairperson and Co-Chair for the current capital campaign, With Lifted Hearts. When selected to serve on the Board of Directors, she remembers thinking, “This is probably the most important thing I’ll ever be asked to do.” Rebecca was only in her mid-30s at the time and worked hard to educate herself about what she needed to do to be the right person for that job. Looking back, her proudest accomplishments include being part of the successful capital campaign for the Academy building’s infrastructure, Dining Hall, Scholars Porch and Howley Terrace, contributing to the framework for the Character of a Saint Joseph Academy Graduate and championing the Vibrancy

Plan initiatives that have guided the Academy’s strategy. “It’s inspiring to be involved with Saint Joseph Academy as an adult,” she reflects. All of the lessons that took root during high school really crystallized with the passage of time, giving her the perspective, tools and connections needed to advance the Academy's mission. For example, the Congregation of St. Joseph’s practice of discernment is something she learned from her time on the Academy’s Board and continues to apply in her daily life. “We are all works in progress,” she says. This belief fuels her efforts to routinely become a better version of herself, thereby improving her ability to deliver value in her work with the Academy, in her job as an attorney and in her volunteerism. The CSJs, their mission and Catholicism, along with their progressive thinking, were a tremendous influence on Rebecca. “They lived and breathed inclusivity before the term was mainstream,” she notes. The Sisters’ dedication to social justice issues and serving the dear neighbor particularly inspire her. “There’s a humility and generosity in the way they live because of their belief that ‘all may be one,’” she voices. “They serve because it’s the right thing to do, and they are always searching for what is next.” Another aspect of the CSJ charism that resonates strongly with Rebecca is Empathetic Justice. In her work as an attorney, she regularly draws on those lessons of fighting fairly with dignity and respect. She chose to go to law school because she loved to write and advocate. Endlessly

curious by nature, she recognized that a career in employment law would introduce her to new industries, diverse jobs and opportunities to resolve conflicts. She knew herself well enough to realize that continuously learning and doing different things would energize her. After graduating summa cum laude from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Rebecca went on to earn her law degree in 1998, magna cum laude, from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She currently practices law and is a shareholder at Ogletree Deakins, a global law firm specializing in labor and employment law, litigation and compliance. She has been regularly recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Ohio Super Lawyers, including being named one of the top 50 women attorneys in Ohio and top 25 in Cleveland. Rebecca is deeply committed to causes that empower girls and women and broaden diversity and inclusion in the workplace, business community and legal profession. In addition to her work on Saint Joseph Academy’s Board of Directors, she volunteers for the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cleveland. She is the past President of the Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter and past Chair of the Women in the Law Section of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. She is also co-founder and owner of the Kelleys Island Soap Company, whose mission is to promote clean water through sales of small-batch craft soap. Congratulations, Rebecca, on being named Saint Joseph Academy’s 2021 Distinguished Alumna!

Saint Joseph Academy SPRING 2021



Tax Incentives Available for Supporting Saint Joseph Academy CARES Act Incentives Extended – With a Small Boost

A couple of key provisions of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act were extended into the new year (and, in one case, increased). Here’s what the new stimulus package means for you in 2021: 1. An expansion of the universal charitable deduction for cash gifts The universal charitable deduction has not only been extended but given a well-deserved upgrade. The new deduction is $300 for single filers and $600 for married couples filing jointly. This is only available to taxpayers who take the standard deduction. 2. An extension of the cap on deductions for cash contributions Contributions to Saint Joseph Academy are generally limited to a percentage of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI). The CARES Act lifted the cap on annual contributions for those who itemize, increasing it from 60% to 100% of AGI for 2020 and now for 2021. Any excess contributions available can be carried over to the next five years.

70 ½ Years Old? QCDs are Tax Effective to Make Charitable Gifts We learned from our recent end-of-year giving, a significant number of donors relied on their Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). QCDs are one of the most tax-effective ways for donors aged 70.5 and older to make charitable gifts. Those 70 ½ and older can use a QCD to donate up to $100,000 annually directly from a traditional IRA to Saint Joseph Academy without counting that amount as taxable income. Instead, it could count toward your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) and reduce the taxable amount of your mandatory withdrawal. Another reminder, the SECURE Act law passed in 2019 pushed back the age of RMDs for IRA owners to 72. IRA owners are still able to make QCDs at 70.5 but they do not have to take the RMD until the year they turn 72. If you wish to make a QCD to Saint Joseph Academy for the Annual Fund or With Lifted Hearts Campaign, visit plannedgiving.sja1890.org/give-from-your-ira. Use the easy “Take Action! Give From Your IRA” tool to select your IRA plan name and how you would like to give. Contact Vice President of Institutional Advancement Constance S. Sipple, CFRE directly at csipple@sja1890.org or 216.671.0166 to learn more.


Saint Joseph Academy UPDATE

Annual Fund: Our Students Need Your Help Saint Joseph Academy continues to educate young women despite the challenges of the global pandemic. We are keenly aware that COVID-19 has impacted the livelihood of many of our families. Some have found themselves in need of financial assistance for the first time while others need additional tuition assistance. Although we do our best to support each of our families, we are unable to meet their full financial needs. It is through the generosity of our donors that we are able to provide that much needed assistance. At our “Celebrate the Academy” gala in February, we spotlighted Isabela Bobé ’22 who is one of the 73% of students receiving tuition assistance this year. By being a top seller in the Jaguar Jackpot for the past three years, and participating in the Academy’s work study program, Isabela gives back for the financial assistance she receives in scholarships. Isabela is a member of the Executive Board of Academy Ambassadors and Student Council. She has gained lifelong friends, and her life has been impacted by her experience as a student here. She believes that she needs to learn from her opportunities at Saint Joseph Academy to work hard and give back to her community. We realize that we are all facing challenges, but we humbly ask that you consider a gift to the Annual Fund today – a gift of any amount makes a difference in the lives of all our students. Please visit www.sja1890.org/ donate, scan the QR code or mail the enclosed remittance envelope by Wednesday, June 30. Thank you for your generosity that helps every student, every day. Scan QR code with your smart phone

Sponsor a Senior by Donating to the “Walk of the Roses” You can recognize a special Senior by supporting her ceremonial “Walk of the Roses” on Tuesday, June 1 through a donation to cover the cost of her dozen roses. Although this beloved graduation tradition will look a little different this year, each Senior will still carry a beautiful bouquet of red roses down Rocky River Drive from Our Lady of Angels Church to Saint Joseph Academy. Your gift of $60 will purchase a bouquet of roses and give you the opportunity to leave a dedicated message to a specific Senior or note of encouragement to one of the 2021 graduates. To donate to the “Walk of the Roses” visit www.sja1890.org/walkofroses or mail your gift prior to Monday, May 24 to the Advancement Department, 3470 Rocky River Drive, Cleveland, OH 44111, with the notation “Roses.”

Contact Us

Constance Sipple, CFRE

To explore the many ways you can make a lasting Vice President impact on Saint Joseph Academy, please contact 216.671.0166 csipple@sja1890.org a member of our Institutional Advancement Department for a confidential conversation:

Nicole Mohar Development Director 216.251.6788 x232 nmohar@sja1890.org

Erin Grace Director of Major and Planned Giving 216.619.1938 egrace@sja1890.org

Allison Busser ’04 Alumnae Director 216.619.1653 abusser@sja1890.org

Saint Joseph Academy SPRING 2021



Eternal rest grant unto them O, Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.

Joan Barrett Walsh ’44 on the death of her sister and Mary Anne Gardner ’66 on the death of her mother, Mary Elizabeth Barrett Mertzlufft ’40. Carol Kowalski Benik ’48 on the death of her husband, Bela “Paul” Benik. Shirley Frindt Chambers ’49 on the death of her brother, Robert Frindt. Sr. Mary Allan Kenzig, CSA ’50 and Rita Kenzig Grogan ’54 on the death of their brother, and Terese Kenzig Kilbane ’75 on the death of her father, Don Kenzig. Kathleen Koch Niehaus ’51 on the death of her sister, Ethel Sirkot. Roberta Schirhart Dacek-Croll ’52 on the death of her brother, Bruce Schirhart. Rita Mackert, CSJ ’52 and Janet Mackert Ravotti ’54 on the death of their sister, Distinguished Alumna Pearl Mackert Olearick T’45. Carol Ames Schludecker ’52 on the death of her sister, and Barbara Smith Closen ’73, Bonnie Smith Kaput ’74, Carol Smith Gatta ’76, Margaret Smith Roudebush ’79, Maureen Smith Powers ’83 and Therese Smith Reinhard ’86 on the death of their mother, Margaret Ames Smith ’49. Alice Boyert Sonnier ’53 on the death of her sister, Marie Kathyrn Boyert Mueller ’54. Mary Lou Durkin ’54 on the death of her sister, Patricia Dorenkott. Janice Kennelly Goetz ’54 on the death of her husband, John Goetz. Eileen Joecken Honn ’54 on the death of her sister, Mary Jo Joecken Kraus ’47. Margaret Fowler Fitzgerald ’55 on the death of her sister, Ann Marie Fowler Burke ’54. Rita Cregan Joyce ’55 on the death of her husband, Catherine Joyce Lardie ’59 on the death of her brother, and Jean Joyce Norman ’83, Margaret Joyce Flynn ’86, Kathleen Joyce Reilly ’93, Colleen Joyce Moore ’95 and Eileen Joyce Mazur ’96 on the death of their father, Patrick Joyce.


Carol Vyhnalek Tomsic ’55 on the death of her mother, Eleanor Vyhnalek. Carole McDonnell Burke ’56 on the death of her husband and Kathleen Burke Lavelle ’78 on the death of her father, Robert Burke. Carole McDonnell Burke ’56 on the death of her brother, Thomas McDonnell. Patricia McHale, CSJ ’56 and Marcia McHale Nock ’59 on the death of their brother, James McHale. Mary Dowd Turella ’56 on the death of her brother, James Dowd. Betty Jane Hannon McGreal ’57 on the death of her husband, Patrick McGreal. Nancy Noelker Mercer ’57 on the death of her husband and Kathleen Mercer Walsh ’66 on the death of her brother, David Mercer. Virginia Delgaudio Reynolds ’58 on the death of her brother, Virgil “Bud” Delgaudio. Maureen McGreal Donalds ’60 and Therese McGreal N’67 on the death of their brother, Joseph McGreal. Isabelle Daly Hill ’60, Bernadette Daly McCrone ’64 and Wilma Daly Gneuhs ’65 on the death of their sister, Monica Daly Cirino ’58. Christine Mihalek, CSJ N’61, MaryJo Mihalek Liptak N’68 and Anita Mihalek Earl N’69 on the death of their brother, Ralph Mihalek. Dianne DeTrow Harkin ’62 on the death of her husband, James Harkin. Dorothy “Dot” Buerman Masterson N’62 on the death of her husband, Thomas Masterson. Ann Campbell McCauley ’62 on the death of her brother, Joseph Campbell. Kathleen Bednarik-Curtis ’63 on the death of her husband, Joseph Curtis. Joann Jecker Stenger ’63 on the death of her daughter, Annemarie Stenger.

Saint Joseph Academy UPDATE

Christine Ulicny Hogan N’64 and Mary Jane Ulicny Shepard N’72 on the death of their mother, Edith Ulicny.

Nancy Lockwood Fisher N’70 and Debra Lockwood Spencer N’71 on the death of their mother, Jane Lockwood.

Rosemary Mulcahy Wood ’64 on the death of her husband, Dennis Wood.

Cheryl Ashton Miller N’70 on the death of her father, Chester Ashton Jr.

Beverly Buzek Birch ’66, Rita Buzek Garrett ’68, Dorothy Buzek Layner ’73 and Ruth Buzek Cordy ’83 on the death of their sister, Michelle Buzek-Smith ’85.

Mary Gilmore Barrett ’71 on the death of her sister, Jacqueline Gilmore Napaver ’66.

Carol Cunningham Malone ’66 and Joani Cunningham Smith ’78 on the death of their mother, Betty McNeeley Cunningham ’41. Rosemary Litteria Nelson ’66 on the death of her brother, Michael Litteria. Nancy Cestaro Whiteamire ’66 on the death of her mother, Marie Cestaro. Joanne Zebris Getz N’67 on the death of her brother, Joseph Zebris. Kathleen Wilson Madis N’67 and Theresa Wilson Andrews N’79 on the death of their brother, Ray Wilson and mother, Kathleen Wilson. Marie (Bertha) Moreau Newman N’68, Carole Moreau Chew N’70 and Janine Moreau N’74 on the death of their mother, Therese Moreau. Debbie Shannon ’68 and Patricia Shannon McLaughlin ’70 on the death of their mother, Patricia McConaughy Shannon. Kathy Kleinhenz Blough ’69 on the death of her father, Henry Kleinhenz. Dianne Demeter Sampas N’69 on the death of her mother, Arline Ruth Demeter. Sharon Stelmack Szymanski N’69 on the death of her sister, Susan Stelmack Shockey N’74. Barbara Ackerman ’70 and Mary Jo Ackerman Simmerly ’72 on the death of their mother, Rita Ackerman. Carol Lusnia Barberic N’70 on the death of her husband, and CORE Ministry Department Chair and teacher Alison Barberic ’01 on the death of her father, David Barberic.

Mary Kay George ’71, Grace George Dash ’73, Ruth George Lokenbauer ’75 and Rita George Kelley ’81 on the death of their mother, Patricia George. Mary Valenta Bertrand N’72, Kathleen Valenta N’77, Annette Valenta Pacelli N’78 and Jackie Valenta Mazzola N’80 on the death of their father, Frank Valenta. Patricia Wichmann Hauberg ’72 on the death of her husband and Kristen Hauberg Cantrell ’03 on the death of her father, Roland Hauberg. Megan Hurley O’Donnell N’72, Mary Jo Hurley McGann N’74 and Colleen Hurley Vondra N’76 on the death of their mother, Bede Hurley. Mary Louise Konfala Petro N’72 on the death of her mother, Lucille Konfala. Maureen Moran ’72, Susan Moran Gipper ’75, Kathleen Moran ’77 and Peggy Moran-Huryn ’79 on the death of their sister, Mary Bernadette “Bernie” Moran-Zarefoss ’71. Margaret Mordarski Wagner N’72 on the death of her brother James Mordarski and sister, Mary Ann Mordarski McNea. Carmela Cernanec Freeman N’73 and Melody Cernanec Maryanski N’74 on the death of their mother, Ruth Cernanec. Marie Sullivan Harlan ’73 on the death of her husband, Robert Harlan. Sue Neff N’73 on the death of her husband, Milan Pokorny. Sharon Nestor Wilczewski N’73 and Laura Nestor Andrews N’79 on the death of their mother, Audrey Nestor. Gretchen Eberle Woodford N’73 on the death of her mother, Mary Eberle.

Kathleen Murray ’74, Mary Jo Murray ’76 and Patricia Murray Falcone ’81 on the death of their father, John Murray. Martha Droba Jamieson ’74 and Marysia Droba ’81 on the death of their sister, Monica Droba Kaye ’83. Deborah Mondak Robertson N’74 on the death of her husband, Martin Robertson. Kathleen Hassing Sweeny N’74 and Mary Hassing Scalisi N’77 on the death of their father, Edward Hassing. Marilyn Hauck VanHorn ’74 and Patty Hauck Care ’77 on the death of their sister, Theresa Hauck Fedor ’75. Anne Gavin Burkett ’75 on the death of her brothers, Paul Gavin and Terrence Gavin. Kathleen Demas Hanigosky ’75 and Eileen Demas ’80 on the death of their brother, James Demas. Linda Kane ’75 on the death of her father, Robert Kane Sr. Diane Wagner Nodzon N’75 on the death of her father, Edward Wagner. ​

Bridget Leonard Newman ’78, Colleen Leonard Kubek ’80 and Megan Leonard Kostura ’82 on the death of their father, James, and on the death of their mother, Kay Mullaly Leonard ’57. Jeannine Chokan Pudwill ’78 and Cynthia Chokan Kaczmarczyk ’80 on the death of their mother, Jean Chokan. Laura Gannon Flemming ’79 and Christy Gannon Lemanowiz ’84 on the death of their brother, Shawn Gannon. Susan Strojin Lyons ’79, Lynne Strojin Hufford ’82 and Diane Strojin ’83 on the death of their father, Kenneth Strojin. Jane Mackall N’79 and Judy Mackall N’79 on the death of their father, Richard Mackall. Kathleen Pratt Printy N’79 on the death of her father, Gordon Pratt. Rosetta Geraci Rowbottom N’79 on the death of her father, Samuel Geraci.

Colleen Cusack Prebish N’75 on the death of her father, James Prebish.

Kathleen Cannon Burns ’80 on the death of her mother, Mary Ann Mulloy Cannon ’59.

Claire Kilbane Johnston ’76 and Patricia Kilbane Miller ’85 on the death of their mother, Lois Kilbane.

Kathryn Gavin N’80 on the death of her mother, Mary Ann Landino Gavin ’54.

Ria Heibili Juris ’76 on the death of her sister, Thea Heibili Garrity.

Evelyn Lowell Wool ’82 on the death of her father, Carl Lowell.

Kathleen O’Leary Odorizzi N’76 on the death of her mother, Beverly O’Leary.

Ruthann Maxwell Kostadinov ’83 and Sarah Maxwell Szalay ’86 on the death of their mother, Antonia LaValle Maxwell ’56.

Polly Novak Balzer ’77 on the death of her father, Leonard Paul Novak. Julia Campbell ’77, Catherine Campbell ’81, Melissa Campbell Watts ’82 and Rosemary Campbell ’86 on the death of their sister, Eileen Campbell ’84. Nancy Wendt Ehrman N’77 on the death of her sister, Marilyn Wendt Beitl. Inez Scolaro Holnapy N’77 and Jennifer Scolaro N’80 on the death of their mother, Rose Scolaro. Teresa McNulty Jecker N’78 on the death of her mother, Mary Lou McNulty Asmus.

Colleen Jones Porter ’84 on the death of her husband, Michael Porter. Christine Cratty Sapita ’84 on the death of her sister, Diane Cratty. Elizabeth Cullen ’85 on the death of her mother, Judith Cullen. Sara Geiger Miller ’87 on the death of her brother, Timothy Geiger. Sheila Loftus Ferguson ’90 on the death of her brother, William Loftus. Elizabeth Monahan McGinley ’90 on the death of her mother, Mary Alice Monahan. Amy Terwilliger Goyda ’95 on the death of her father James Terwilliger. Stacey Cifranic Fehn ’96 and Kristy Cifranic ’98 on the death of their mother, Michele Cifranic. Katherine Filigenzi ’99 on the death of her father, John Filigenzi. Denise Rapacz ’02 on the death of her brother, Ryan Rapacz. Shayla Gavin ’03 and Teresa Kelly ’16 on the death of their mother, Tara Gavin Kelly. Bridget Ginley ’05 on the death of her father, Michael Ginley. Meghan Hennessey Shimmin ’06 and Stacey Hennessey ’07 on the death of their brother, Jamie Hennessey. Heather Eberhardt Ekechukwu ’07 on the death of her father, Erwin Charles Eberhardt. Emily Rodgers Simmerly ’07 on the death of her father, Fred Rodgers.

Linda Strah Malinkey ’83 on the death of her mother, Rita Strah.

Jessica Musgrave Henrich ’12 on the death of her mother, Linda Bubar.

Carmen Bizek Matz ’83, Annmarie Bizek Martin ’87, Kathleen Bizek Kilpatrick ’96 and Erin Bizek Kobie ’07 on the death of their father, Eugene Bizek.

Lauren Osadczuk ’17 on the death of her father, Dan Osadczuk.

Lisa Adkins Lonsway ’84 and Lori Adkins Dever ’87 on the death of their father, Roger Adkins. Michelle Mino Martens ’84 on the death of her brother, Andrew Mino. Kathleen McCarthy ’84 and Kristy MacCarthy Shawen ’00 on the death of their father, Denis MacCarthy.

Losses from the adult community since October 2020 through March 2021: We extend our sympathy to Director of Information Technology Laura DeFabio on the death of her mother, Beverly LaBant and Attendance Secretary Deborah Ross on the loss of her father, Jerry Ginty. *Please note that this list was finalized on March 25, 2021.

Please remember in your prayers the following deceased alumnae: Virginia Wiedt Soden ’38 Mary Elizabeth Barrett Mertzlufft ’40 Betty McNeeley Cunningham ’41 Margaret Ann Joecken Hirz ’45 Pearl Mackert Olearcik T’45 Grace Boesken Budinger T’46 Mary Jo Joecken Kraus ’47 Mary Carroll Tomek T’47 Theresa Guglielmino Del Vecchio ’49 Anita Dixon Eppley T’49 Patricia Richline Schabel ’49 Margaret Ames Smith ’49 Helen Conway English ’50 Barbara Kahoun ’53 Kathleen Kilduff ’53 Ann Marie Fowler Burke ’54 Marie Kathryn Boyert Mueller ’54 Carol George Nachtsheim ’54 The Honorable Judy Kilbane-Koch ’56 Antonia LaValle Maxwell ’56 Marjorie Gannon Throne ’56 Doris Wexler ’56 Kay Mullaly Leonard ’57 Marie Dzuban McKenna ’57 Mary Catherine Boyle Rechnitzer ’57 Monica Daly Cirino ’58 Adele Schmotzer Hippley ’58 Lauretta Sinkosky ’58 Mary Ann Mulloy Cannon ’59 Annette Kmieck Holland ’59 Mary Ellen Moltz Reymann ’60 Grace Marie Metro ’63 Rosemary Metzler ’63 Ann O’Toole Fletcher N’64 K-Lyn Walsh ’64 Marguerite Celizic O’Connor ’63 Jacqueline Gilmore Napaver ’66 Ruth Woyansky Williams ’66 Mae Elizabeth “Maebeth” Pearson Kruse N’68 Margaret Semple Pochedley N’68 Kathy Gray Kiscoe ’71 Patricia Seetch ’71 Mary Bernadette “Bernie” Moran-Zarefoss ’71 Susan Stelmack Shockey N’74 Theresa Hauck Fedor ’75 Mary Ellen Foley Scott ’76 Monica Droba Kaye ’83 Eileen P. Campbell ’84 Michelle Buzek Smith ’85

Saint Joseph Academy SPRING 2021



Judith Cauley, CSJ

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of three individuals who were part of the Saint Joseph Academy community:

Judith Cauley, CSJ

Emilie Izzo ’24

Judith Cauley (Sr. Mary Brian), CSJ was Principal of Saint Joseph Academy from 1979-1991 and was the last member of the Congregation of St. Joseph to serve in that role. She also held the position of co-principal at Nazareth Academy and subsequently served as a Superintendent of Schools in the Archdioceses of Denver and Chicago. Sr. Judy remained engaged in the development of innovative programming as a Board Member of River’s Edge, until her diagnosis with esophageal cancer. Her life’s journey ended on November 26, 2020.

In February, the Saint Joseph Academy community lost one of its sisters, Emilie Izzo ’24. She was particularly fond of poetry and known among her classmates as always wearing interesting and creative earrings. Students created beautiful posters of poetry to hang in the Chapel and wore special earrings to honor Emilie’s love of them. Emilie’s death has been difficult for our heartbroken students, faculty, staff and coaches. Resources were offered to help them process their feelings and to provide comfort and support. The School Crisis Team, school counselors and Cornerstone of Hope counselors were available for teachers and students. We are so blessed to be a part of a faith-filled, caring, supportive and loving community, especially at times like this. We ask you to keep our community and the family and friends of Emilie in your thoughts and prayers. May she now rest in God’s eternal, loving peace.

Mary Ellen Foley Scott ’76 Mary Ellen Foley Scott ’76 was a dedicated Saint Joseph Academy faculty member from 20122019, sharing her love and passion for learning with students and colleagues alike. She was a consummate educator, an avid reader and an individual whose stories and commentary always brought laughter, joy and awe to those who were blessed enough to know her. Her colleagues remember Mary Ellen as constantly pursuing better ways to reach all of her Mary Ellen Foley Scott '76 teaching students students, both personally and in the classroom. Mary Ellen helped Engineering students prove their caliber through participation in competitive and prestigious competitions, including the “Tire of Tomorrow” competition sponsored by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (where students swept every category), VEX Robotics Competition and the Lexus Eco Challenge, a national educational STEM contest that inspires and empowers students to learn about the environment and take action to improve it. From 2014-2018, Team Enerjagers placed as a finalist three out of four years for the national Lexus Eco Challenge contest, earning more than $60,000 in scholarships. In 2018, the Enerjagers were selected as the Grand Prize Winner for their project “Second Chance Candles.” Mary Ellen was honored as a finalist for the 2015 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, the highest honor bestowed upon teachers by the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics and/or computer science teaching. She was instrumental in piloting the idea of combining Engineering and service as a way to engage students in project design in the Makerspace innovation lab while participating in service to the dear neighbor. Beginning with projects for RePlay for Kids (a nonprofit organization that repairs and adapts toys and assistive devices for children with disabilities), and expanding it to class projects where students have created educational games for other schools and puzzles for residents in an assisted living facility are all projects that Saint Joseph Academy continues to pursue thanks to Mary Ellen’s guidance and expertise. Her leadership has left an indelible mark on our students, faculty, staff and the greater Cleveland community. To honor her memory, the Mary Ellen Foley Scott ’76, Endowed Memorial Scholarship for music has been established for her love of Saint Joseph Academy.


Saint Joseph Academy UPDATE

Students created a memorial in honor of Emilie Izzo ’24 in the Holy Family Chapel

Eternal rest grant unto them, O God, and may your perpetual light shine upon these individuals. May they and all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

ClassNotes Alumnae

CubClub Laura Grabiec Conyngham ’95 & Alexander Conyngham, a son, Henry John, born November 27, 2019. Nicole Mayer Cadiou ’03 & Jonathan Cadiou, a daughter, Molly Elizabeth, born November 14, 2020. Caitlin Smith ’05 & Daniel Mantas, a son, Miguel Paulo, born February 19, 2021. Heather Seedhouse Preston ’06 & Gordon Preston, a daughter, Lucy Lane, born October 8, 2020 Amanda Leigh Tabar ’06 & Andrew Tabar, a daughter, Ella Shirley, born October 8, 2020. Angela Chomoa-Kohler ’07 & Brandon Kohler, a son, Mason Allen, born December 23, 2020. Shannon Tomek Pastorello ’08 & Jeff Pastorello, a son, Ian James, born December 15, 2020. Alyssa Deis Biggar ’10 & Nicholas Biggar, a daughter, Sophie, born November 8, 2020. Amanda Waltos Hieger ’10 & Robert Hieger, a son, Vincent Gregory, born September 10, 2020. Morgan Draves Vogel ’12 & Jim Vogel, a son, Henry Francis, born November 13, 2020.


A small committee of alumnae worked hard to acknowledge the passing of Distinguished Alumna Vivian Habrat N’64† in January 2020. Following Vivians graduation from Nazareth Academy, she went on to teach at Nazareth Academy and Holy Name High School. A Drama Scholarship has been established in the name of Vivian and her good friend and colleague, Karen Powers, which will be awarded each spring to a Holy Name student.


Mary Ellen Lanning Rogers ’77 was recognized with the Jane Addams Award by Social Work Services. Among the many reasons for her recognition was her “undying dedication and commitment as an agent of change.” She was also described as “ethical, a mentor, approachable, extraordinary leader, responsive and inspirational.”


Described as “a light to the community, showing awareness, empathy and love to those Malachi House serves,” Judith Ghazoul Hilow ’81 was recognized with the Smart Business Pillar Award for Community Service as the Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year.


Laura A, Starkey ’94, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, has become the Heart Failure Clinical Coordinator/Nurse Practitioner at Southwest General Health Center. She reports directly to Cheryl Hagan O’Malley ’77, DNP, NEA-BC. Laura is also studying to earn her Doctorate of Nursing Practice through Ursuline College. Dr. Mary Kovach ’96 wrote a cookbook with her cousins, Don’t Cut the Basil: Five Generations of Authentic Italian Recipes! During its December digital launch on Amazon, it reached #1 Best Seller status in four countries for a total of 34 Best Seller categories and earned twelve #1 placements.

Lauraann Moore Vaughn ’99 married Rafiq Vaughn on July 11, 2020 in Shaker Heights, Ohio.


Nora Kelly Bartolotta ’01 married Matthew Bartolotta on August 30, 2020. Caroline Kelly Kessler ’00 was her Matron of Honor. Dr. Meghan Crute, MD, FAAD, ’02 has opened Spectrum Dermatology, LLC in Rocky River as the first direct care dermatology practice in the Cleveland and surrounding area. Learn more about her practice at www.spectrumdermohio.com. Jackie Kurtz Erwin ’03 married Ryan Erwin on December 5, 2020 in Northfield, Ohio. Laura Jakupca Carmack ’03 was a bridesmaid and Laura Simna ’03 played violin during the ceremony. Sarah Flood Gough ’05 married Bruce Gough on November 8, 2019 in Chesterland, Ohio. Brynn Guest Elterman ’05 was in the wedding party. “25 Under 35” honoree Jazmin Bailey ’07 returned to Cleveland as part of the FOX 8 team. She is anchoring weekend mornings and provides special reports on the 4, 5 and 6 p.m. weekday news.

2010s Sarah Menser Heffner ’12 married Tony Heffner on October 10, 2020 in Avon, Ohio. Maid of Honor was Diana Menser ’18, bridesmaid was Alannah Kennedy ’12 and Colleen Chambers ’12 was cantor.

Sarah Menser Heffner ’12 (right) with her husband, Tony Heffner

Saint Joseph Academy SPRING 2021


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Saint Joseph Academy 3470 Rocky River Drive Cleveland, Ohio 44111 www.sja1890.org Dated Material

PARENTS OF ALUMNAE: If this publication is addressed to your daughter who no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify the Alumnae Office at 216.251.6788 x221 or email alumnae@sja1890.org. In an effort to be good stewards of both the environment and your generous contributions, we are now sending only one magazine per household.

LOOKINGAHEAD Summer Programs: June 7-August 6

27th Golf Classic: Monday, September 20, 2021

Girls entering grades 3-9 are invited to join us this summer to discover, lead and innovate! An exciting array of in-person summer programs, led by our faculty, coaches and students, are designed to provide hands-on learning and creative problemsolving. Programs include M*A*S*H (Medical Applications of Science and Health), Girls Who Create + Code, Makerspace Academy, sports, visual arts and so much more! Register at www.sja1890.org/summer.

Enjoy the game you love while helping Saint Joseph Academy students. Our annual golf outing at Sweetbriar Golf Club in Avon Lake will be on Monday, September 20. This event includes 18-holes on the Legacy Course, a boxed lunch and raffle prizes. Shotgun start at 9 a.m. Contact Alumnae Coordinator Tammi Olle P’12 & ’23 at tolle@sja1890.org for registration and sponsorship information.

Grand Reunion: Saturday, October 9, 2021

Alumnae Celebration Mass: Sunday, June 13, 2021 All alumnae from St. Therese, Nazareth and Saint Joseph Academy are invited to join us for an Alumnae Celebration Mass on Sunday, June 13, 10 a.m. Fr. Raymond Guiao, S.J., President of Saint Ignatius High School, will preside. Campus tours will be available following Mass. Space will be limited and reservations will be required. To register, please visit www.sja1890.org/alumnae.

Saint Joseph Academy alumnae with years ending in 0, 1, 5 and 6 are invited to a reunion celebration at Saint Joseph Academy. Details will be sent via email and postal mail. Please be sure we have your current email and mailing address. You can update this information at www.sja1890.org/alumnae-contactinformation or call 216.251.6788 x245.

Additional events are being planned. To stay up to date regarding Saint Joseph Academy’s events, follow us on social media or contact the Admission or Alumnae Departments to request to be added to our mailing list.




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