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The Voice and Vision of St. Agnes Academy since 1906

Academy Women Have Something to Say Spring 2014

in this issue//spring 2014 Features

05 | 06 | 17 | 23 |

The Journey Within History and future of visual arts

Snippets and Frames Academy women talk art

Springtime Soirée Another sold-out Legacy Gala

One Year Out Mary Baronitis on her first year of college

Sr. Carol Mayes, O.P. ’56, Prioress Sr. Antoinette (Kitty) Carter, O.P. ’57, Vicaress Sr. Pat Casey, O.P. ’61, Councilor Sr. Julie Marie Greig, O.P., Councilor

St. Agnes Academy 2013 – 2014 Board of Directors Maureen Graf, Chair Cathy Beathard Robert Bobo, Jr. John Brennan, III Robin Burks, Ph.D. Mimi Butler Sr. Pat Casey, O.P. ’61 Dan Castaneda Robert Clay Sr. Adrian Dover, O.P. Philip Fraher Suzanne Smith Grant ’79 Susan Greteman Kelly Hackett ’00 Greg Hardin

Stephen Harding Michelle Lyn, M.D., FAAP Marsha Mallon Kevin J. Matocha Bob McLamb Sr. Jane Meyer, O.P., Mary Raia ’77 Ed Ramon Kathy Rose Julie Plessala Samson ’80 Greg Schockling John Steffes Jim Ulm, II Sean Wheeler

St. Agnes AcAdemy Foundation Trustees


10 | 14| 19 | 28 | 30 |

Dominican Trustees

Academy News Tigers’ Den

Ana Maria Gonzalez Wood ’82, President Rosalie Montalbano Brandino ’64 Sharon Copper José Enriquez Jennifer Granchi Chris Matlock Sr. Carol Mayes. O.P. ’56

Sr. Jane Meyer, O.P., Ex-officio Frank Panebianco Richard L. (Rick) Ray Steve Schwarzbach Pat H. Swanson Diane Thornton Shelley Savarino Ulm ’84 Jeff Weiner

St. Agnes Academy EXECUtive Team

Alumnae Connections

Sr. Jane Meyer, O.P. - Head of School Deborah Whalen - Principal Bridget Hennessey ’90 - Head of Advancement

In Memoriam

H. Leon Howard - Head of Finance and Facilities

Office of Advancement

Faculty Focus

Stay connected

Bridget Hennessey ’90, Head of Advancement 713.219.5481 Barbara Bellomy, Director of Communications 713.219.5404 Nanette Bledel, Database Administrator 713.219.5420

Lisa Chmiola, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving 713.219.5466 st-agnes-academy

Stephanie Crowl, Director of Annual Giving 713.219.5406 st-agnes-academy

St. Agnes by Italian painter Domenichino c. 1620

on the cover: Eleanor Jarlsjo ’14 in front of her painting that hangs in the Jean and Mike Phillips Rotunda of fellow senior Mary Katherine Hart. Read her artist statement on page 6.

Allonna James, Advancement Associate 713.219.5402 Lori Sebastian Pinter ’88, Director of Alumnae Relations 713.219.5493

For change of address or other questions, contact the Office of Communications at 713.219.5404 or

St. Agnes Academy 9000 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036-4683 P: 713.219.5400 | F: 713.219.5499

From the Head of School

Sr. Jane Meyer, O.P.

There is no more liberating, no more exhilarating experience than to determine one’s position, state it bravely and then act boldly. Action creates its own courage; and courage is as contagious as fear. —Eleanor Roosevelt Here at St. Agnes Academy we captured Eleanor Roosevelt’s sentiment with more than a year of selfreflection, articulating a new vision statement, and the adoption of our new Strategic Plan: Voicing Our Vision, 2014 – 2020. Our plan is bold, brave, exciting, and with insight and foresight we have the courage to advance our Dominican values and prepare our young women for a lifetime of self-formation and selfless commitment to others. Our founding mothers had this same bold and brave vision 108 years ago. There were no strategic plans or Board of Directors back then; the sisters were the “keepers of the keys” to the school. They did everything - taught, administered the school, set tuition, collected tuition and made all the decisions necessary to run a first-class school. Few lay teachers were employed, and only sisters, priests or brothers could teach religion. The sisters did not receive salaries, only stipends, which kept tuition low. There were no “annual fund” drives and philanthropy was minimal. Because religious communities were large, we thought that day would never end. Then, in 1962, when Pope John XXIII ushered in Vatican II, opening some windows, letting fresh air in, and restoring the Church’s energies for the apostolate. Suddenly, we heard that by virtue of our baptism, we are all called to serve the church. The landscape of the Catholic schools and religious communities as many of us knew them, changed. As sisters, priests and brothers moved out of the schools, more and more lay teachers moved in. School Boards were formed to help take financial responsibility for the school, set policy, create strategic plans, put strong philanthropy programs in place and look to the future.

Today, St. Agnes is almost entirely staffed by impassioned, supportive lay teachers, coaches, staff and leadership. They are grounded in the enduring Dominican values of community, study, preaching and prayer, and inspire students and parents to live these values. St. Agnes has not lost a beat! In order to keep our Dominican identity, the Dominican Sisters started a formation program five years ago called the Dominican Family. It now consists of more than 100 members, at least 35 of whom are faculty, staff and Board members of St. Agnes. We will continue to translate the ideals of the Dominican pillars and sustain a culture where they are lived daily by all constituents. Voicing our Vision has determined our position for the next six years. It has been a liberating, exhilarating experience and we are committed to be a powerful voice, with bold ideas and courageous actions where we continue to teach our young women how to think and learn and why Catholic Dominican values matter. Thanks for being with us on our journey and look for more details about our new strategic plan later this year.

P.S. I think you will particularly enjoy this issue of Veritas and discover how some of our students determine their own positions and state them bravely with their art. You will see their boldness in the paintings they create, the words they write, the music they sing, the dances they dance, the robots they build, and the sports they play. Enjoy!

Mission Statement Rooted in the Dominican tradition, St. Agnes Academy provides a Catholic college preparatory education that encourages young women to develop intellectual curiosity, to work for social justice, and to act with integrity and compassion.

From the Principal

Deborah Whalen

On March 3rd we celebrated our 10th annual Veritas Vacation Day at St. Agnes Academy. We made the announcement at the conclusion of a morning assembly where students attended panel discussions with alumnae about different careers. For the first time we had a lot of “witnesses” to the very unique and sacred tradition of cancelling classes at St. Agnes in order to have a day of fun. I am not sure who I enjoyed watching more – our exuberant, ecstatic students who were shrieking with enthusiasm, or the alumnae presenters for Career Day who were literally dumbfounded as they watched the sheer joy erupt on campus. If you do not know what Veritas Vacation Day is like, allow me to share a bit of history about how this wonderful community-building tradition began. During the 2003-2004 school year we decided to scrap our annual Field Day (where students often skipped school in order to stay home to sleep and/or catch up on homework rather than play with classmates in organized Field Day events) and to try something a little more fun and creative. We planned a top-secret day of festivities so that our students could let down their hair and just be crazy kids for a few hours. Boys were banned from campus. Inflatables were set up on the back field. Popcorn and snow cone machines were rented. Movies, karaoke, board games, crafts and other activities were planned so that students could enjoy themselves in a non-competitive, spirit-filled environment. We surprised the student body with our plan right after an improvisation comedy group had entertained everyone with a morning assembly that allowed us the time to get everything set up. The girls went wild and a tradition was born. We have surprised our students with Veritas Vacation Day on Halloween Day, Valentine’s Day, and Founder’s Day. We have planned our day of fun to coincide with stressful and exhausting times like the day after our annual Open House for Prospective Families or at the end of a particularly grueling


quarter. The idea is to embrace one another in a spirit of zest and optimism, and to let off a little steam. And in the process, we are able to create some fun high school memories for everyone. In recent years, social media sites like Facebook have blown up with postings and messages from our alumnae who re-live the tradition with us and lament the lack of a Veritas Vacation Day at their college or place of work. Photos of face-painted Academy women with ponytails in disarray and smiles a mile wide, generate hundreds of “likes.” This year was especially tricky. We had two unanticipated ice days which forced us to re-schedule at the last minute. Our trusty super-secret planning committee was up to the challenge and this year’s event did not disappoint. Keeping the event a surprise is the key and no one suspected Career Day would morph into Veritas Vacation Day! We had photo booths to commemorate the occasion; we showed the movie “Frozen” and chuckled as the girls sang every song together out loud; we had a rock wall and a mechanical bull for the daring adventurists; and of course we couldn’t forget the nap room for those who needed to catch up on their sleep. As soon as the event was over, we already began our plotting for next year. It is a challenge to stay one step ahead of an Academy woman, you know!

Carol Dahse

Terry Suprean

Laura Broussard Costa ’78

The Journey Within

By Laura Broussard Costa ’78

Art Chair, Art History, Beginning Drawing, and Advanced Painting Teacher

The enduring reputation of the St. Agnes Academy art department was established long before I entered its doors as a student in 1974, but my memories of art at SAA begin then. Sr. Ambrose ruled the art department at that time, even renaming the art department “The Fra Angelico Studio” after the beloved Italian Renaissance Dominican priest and artist. She instilled us with the sensitivity and patience to see detail, shade subtleties of value and transcribe calligraphic text in the tradition of medieval clergy. We could choose from one of two tracks within Sr. Ambrose’s art department: drawing or calligraphy with advanced levels in both realms. Her classroom was pristine, quiet and productive with each assignment extending our mastery and confidence. We might spend hours drawing a cactus, human features or a plaster statue of Hawata. Sr. Ambrose had a sweet, calm voice as she prompted us to see details and subtleties. Winning small praise from her became a treasured memory that spurred greater effort and achievement. Today, Sr. Ambrose would be pleased to know that her influence continues in the training of young artists. Some of her same lessons are used in today’s Beginning and Advanced Drawing classes. Still, much has changed in the St. Agnes Art Department: There are now three full-time art teachers, Terry Suprean, Carol Dahse, and me, teaching 12 different art course offerings. In these courses, students are encouraged to create art that they feel driven to create, rather

than trying to fulfill the expectations of a particular teacher or curriculum. And St. Agnes students have a lot on their minds and much to express in their art! A walk down the SAA art hall is a visual journey arrayed with our students’ abstract prints, sensitive portraits, expressive photos, urban reality, surreal metamorphoses, idyllic scenes of calm, paintings of beloved pets, and so much more. Our art department is a retreat for many students seeking refuge from academic brain strain and those who need to create like others need to breathe. But the art department also bustles with the chaos of multiple art competitions, art shows, and college portfolio preparation. Student art acquisitions are proudly displayed permanently throughout the campus as a living legacy of artistic creativity that happens most powerfully in these magical four years of self-empowerment and personal expression.

I, Laura Costa, have invested three decades of my life growing the art department at St. Agnes! I have great students who care, supportive colleagues, administrators with a shared vision, and excellent facilities and resources. What we have made here over the years is good, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to dedicate my energy and heart to such a worthy endeavor.


Snippets and Frames For me, art is my rock. No matter how I am feeling or what I am going through, art is there for me. Through art I have the freedom to explore a world of possibilities that are not necessarily accessible in real life. I can take a blank sheet of paper and transform it into whatever reality I choose. Having the freedom to create according to my own tastes and desires makes art a therapeutic activity for me. After a long week of school, being able to take an hour to sit down with a stick of charcoal and a piece of manilla paper and sketch is one of the world's simplest and finest pleasures for me. In my art, I not only attempt to create something beautiful, but I satisfy one of my most basic desires and needs and often am fulfilled. (See cover photo)

Eleanor Jarlsjo ’14

As a 9th grader, I didn’t really know what to expect from an art history class. I thought it was going to be extremely hard, but I was pleasantly surprised. All the information we studied was very interesting, and Ms. Costa made the lessons easy to understand. Also, taking the class helped me with other classes such as theology and English because we were studying the same time periods as in art history. Ms. Costa made the class fun and easy to absorb, especially while we were studying the Mediterranean and made hummus. One of the most interesting things I learned from Ms. Costa was that most ancient cultures started off as matriarchies. Art history is definitely one of my favorite classes, and it taught me to appreciate art and ancient cultures in a whole new way.

Reynolds Sands ’17

*Clara Moore is the recipient of a National Scholastic Art & Writing Award, Silver Medal with Distinction, for her senior photography portfolio. She was one of 1,600 selected from among 250,000 submissions.


I’m an odd person. I am severely reserved, but I am also unapologetically willing to spill my guts to anyone who listens. Art, specifically photography, allows me to communicate my strange personality in a way that is detached, while also being immensely intimate. Art, to me, maintains the vital balance I need to function in the world. I can remain an introvert, but exclaim my ideas and feelings without having to explain myself. All of my art seems to revolve around the human condition, whether it be the insecurities of others, my own insecurities, or the failures and successes of humanity. I try my best to create visual metaphors that can be understood by everyone. I like to put enough of my original meaning into my art, while leaving room for individual interpretation. If anything, I think art is a theoretical GPS; it helps navigate through unknown territory.

Clara Moore ’14*

Right now, I am working on a love story, Each frame has a monster figure, representing the doomed failure of relationships. As a video production student my favorite films include anything Disney, as well as those from fellow Houstonian Wes Anderson. I characterize my work as saying a lot with very little, minimal, not overblown, or visually shocking, something small that pulls the viewer in. I want to tell a story through film that makes you think you are watching it as it happens. I will continue to work in advanced video production with Mr. Terry Suprean, filming three hours to get a minute of usable content. I am thinking of film school at The University of Texas-Austin, because my parents prefer I study in-state. I realize that if I am going to be serious about a career in film, I will most likely end up on the West Coast.

The goal of life is to be "cool." From engineers to artists, everyone has a personal disposition concerning what is fascinating and awesome to that one person, rooted in the very core of his or her being. Every individual uses her lifetime to execute what is great to that specific person. As a senior, I enjoy watching my fellow classmates choose their majors and embrace what they love. I have my own fascinations that I surround my life with and personally consider the epitome of "cool." My interests are apparent in the art I create. Since I can remember, my passion for both art and fashion have consistently dominated my life. Yet, at times I have been too timid to fully embrace the art world. My teachers have helped me cultivate a confidence that has given me the strength to pursue what I love, and I am so thankful!

Melissa Metyko ’15

Melanie McCarthy ’14

Often, it is difficult for words to explain my feelings, which is why painting has become the means through which I can truly express myself. As clichéd as this might seem, it has helped me overcome many obstacles in my life, becoming my safety net. When I entered the Academy, I knew that I enjoyed drawing but had no idea where it would lead. Now, I have enrolled in every art class that St. Agnes has to offer. What strikes me about art is how it never gets old. Although it may deteriorate physically, the idea that was formed by the person who created it is eternally present…hers forever. Art changes over time, parallel with the world around it. My role as an artist in today’s society is ultimately to share my view of the world through the colors that I see in people, in cities, in the air, and let that image continue to grow. The secret of art’s meaning will always lie beneath the artist’s oil-painted, turpentine-stained hands.

Montana Hermes ’14 |7

There’s a Club for That By Olivia Hasse ’14

An Annual Affair Art Expo 2013

New club Film Fatale* comprises people who love all aspects of filmmaking or simply love seeing films. The club meets two times each month to discuss film ideas and volunteer for any commission projects at St. Agnes. What’s great about this is that it gives each member a chance to work on ideas while having a supportive group of artists to help make it happen. For example, Clara Moore ’14 and Elaine Adams ’15 shot footage and compiled a video of Alums on the Lawn in 2013. Natalia Perez-Flores ’15, Isabel Lohr ’16, and I filmed the Tiger Girls 2013 Christmas dance recital. Film Fatale is our chance for hands-on and behind-thescenes experience for those of us considering film as a major in college and career. *Note: based on the French “femme fatale,” an archetype with the ability to entrance and hypnotize, achieving her purpose through beauty, charm and allure.

8 | Academy NEWs

Art Exhibitions represent the gathering of art objects into a space for a temporary event. Exhibitions are hubs of interaction within the art world, places where the newest art comes before the public. One of the most significant art shows in history was called Salon des Refuses. This exhibition was held in Paris in 1863 and was the first art show organized and curated by the artists themselves. St. Agnes Academy joined this long tradition of artist-organized exhibitions with its first Student Art Expo in 2006. This innovative show was the vision of Mr. Terry Suprean, an artist and art instructor at St. Agnes. The student art show was held at The Foundry, an off-campus art space in Houston. This first art exhibition created a forum for St. Agnes art students to display the results of their hard work and their dedication to the creative process. In 2009, the Art Expo was moved to the newly designed Art Department wing at St. Agnes Academy. In 2012, the original format was expanded to include performance art from the theater, music, and dance departments at the Academy. Over the last nine years, the St. Agnes Student Art Expo has proven to be as diverse and changing as the body of students who make it happen. Each spring, artists, musicians, and thespians work together to create an event that has become a St. Agnes tradition, an evening showcasing the creative spirit of the Academy’s emerging artists. The energy is palpable and the enthusiasm to express is contagious. Accomplished artists touch the hearts of those who attend and inspire younger artists to dream, create and surpass their accomplished predecessors. This one evening reveals to all who attend the broad scope of creative expression within the walls of St. Agnes.

—Carol Dahse

Advanced Drawing, Beginning Painting, Advanced Studio, and Fundamentals of Art Teacher

Covered in Eyes

The Cutting Edge By Terry Suprean

Graphic Arts, Digital Photo, Video Production, and Advanced Photo & Video Teacher Over the last eight years, the art department has been blessed with both the resources and gracious support of our administration. Generous donors have allowed us to build a fully-equipped digital studio and offer a full range of courses in digital photography, graphic art, and video production, rivaling resources found in universities.

She is a visual artist, and also a writer, and has just been awarded a National Scholastic Silver Medal for poetry. Read Kate Moger’s artist statement and you’ll see why she has the admiration of both her art and English teachers. Argus Panoptes, a mythological figure born covered in eyes, was able to observe a constant panoramic view. I empathize with him for I too am covered in eyes. Rather than forming a secondary skin, my eyes line the inside of my rib cage, constantly gazing inward. Compelling me to closely analyze myself, these inner eyes allow me to abstract concepts that inform my art. I have found that my childhood has greatly influenced who I am today, both as a person and an artist. One of my earliest memories is of a school field trip to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. I remember being dragged along, having spent too long gazing up at the marble statues of mythical gods and tragic heroes. Upon returning to the museum last month, I felt intense déjà vu. Nothing about the place had changed; the very same statues stood unmoved by time or men, as if in anticipation of reanimation by some higher power. These idols were not simply fossils of a former civilization, their marble flesh seemed to have reached a level of aesthetic beauty appropriate only for the very gods they portrayed. Thus began a quest for ultimate aesthetic beauty that has since integrated itself into my artistic practice. My work explores themes of memory, American culture, coming of age, and loss – simultaneously valuing the aforementioned aesthetic properties as tantamount to the concept itself. Perhaps naïve, and appropriately so, (I am but 17), I believe that art has the ability to wrap itself around our neural synapses. Art seems to flow through our veins becoming part of our flesh, proving itself to be a human invention born out of a desire to relate.

— Kate Moger ’14

Students experience the cutting edge of creative technologies through the use of a dedicated all-Mac computer lab, large format printers, professional level video and audio equipment, and, new this year, 3D printing and imaging technology. Our fine art classes place a priority on critical thinking skills rooted in art history and theory as a means of nurturing students who are thinking makers and users of technology. What they learn is to truly balance the glittering lure of technology with age-old art-making traditions that prize individual creativity and vision.

For me drawing is nothing but fun and lets me create anything I could possibly dream of. —Claire Scott ’17, Winner of Regional Scholastic Gold Key for Drawing Academy NEWs

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Taking Top Honors Mary Angela Ricotta ’16 has qualified for the National Speech and Debate Association's National Tournament. She will represent St. Agnes Academy at the tournament held in Kansas City in June. She qualified by placing in the top four and beating out 60 students from 30 schools. Above L-R: Kelsey Siegler ’14, Caroline Sage ’14, Maggie McGuffee ’15, Sully Garnett ’14, Hartini Margot ’14

Learning to Lead H

artini Margot ’14 was only one of about 30 juniors and seniors from St. Agnes who traveled to Boston in February to attend Harvard Model Congress, the largest government simulation conference in the world. Run entirely by Harvard students, the nonprofit organization is dedicated to teaching and inspiring the leaders of tomorrow. Just how did she get there? She wrote a briefing on the role of media coverage in the George Zimmerman trial. Each year, HMC hosts up to 1,400 students who get to participate and role play as members of Congress, candidates in elections, and as members of the media.

Standing L-R: Dominic Baula (Strake Teacher), William Smith, Ana Baleva, Hunter Werlla, Sam Erickson, Ryan Ogilvie, Justin McAuliffe, Yan Yao, Allen Gregory (SAA Teacher), Matthew Skolaut, Jamie Smith, Meron Wonderad, Chase Hildebrandt, Cody Yao, Mary Jo Maciejewski Front Row L-R: Jacob Cherek, Sara Baltz, Tiffany Au, Mary Nguyen, David Culbreth, Sara Colburn, Samsara DavalosReyes

Through my preconference assignment, I learned the extreme affect the national media has on how we perceive current events. The event I chose to write on, the George Zimmerman trial, emphasized how public opinion can be swayed by news reports. I loved trying to mirror the real media by incorporating subtle biases into the articles I wrote as a member of HMC Media. This was especially fun because I got to see both parties’ sides of many controversial issues. For half the conference I wrote for a conservative newspaper and the other half I wrote for a liberal newspaper. —Hartini Margot ’14

TPSMEA All-State Choir: Front row (l-r) Shannon Lewis ’16, Andrea Miranda ’15, Han Nguyen ’14 and Maddy Delgado ’16 Back row (l-r) Madeline Garvis ’14 and Erin Miller ’14

Classnotes Project Clean Up

Little Women

Ah, the The-a-tah! A joyful recap of our year in the theater by Felicia Miller There is never a dull moment in the SAA Performing Arts Department’s school year, and this year was no exception. The first production of the season was the Fall Musical, directed by SAA Music Department’s Jeremy M. Wood. Performed black-box style staging, (up close to the audience) was the drama Band Geeks, featuring a peek inside the life of a high school kid. The Fall Play was the sentimental favorite, Little Women, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott. Each of the girls was able to pull from her own personal experiences to enhance the depth of her performance. Throughout the rehearsal process, we enjoyed stopping to analyze the motivation behind an argument or catfight between characters. We had endless chats about the close relationships between each sister and how they genuinely felt about each other. Many identifiable emotions emerged: jealousy, envy, love, admiration, competition, unconditional love, and a dedication to the family unit. It was magical to see this group of young ladies morph into the March family and fully grasp their personalities. Three of our Little Women cast members were simultaneously preparing for the Shakespeare Competition held at the Texas Renaissance Festival in early November. These die-hard thespians competed against more than 180 high school students, spouting Shakespearean lines with ease and grace that would make the Bard himself proud. Christmas came and went. The spring semester began with Mame dominating our lives on and off the stage. No one was immune to the sheer magnitude of this show. The music and story took us on another adventure, as seen through the eyes of Mame Dennis

and her nephew Patrick as they journey through the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and America’s recovery. Some great performances came from this show, thanks to the combined efforts of the music, theatre, and dance departments. We make one terrific team. (photos on page 12-13) In April, the 10th Annual Student One Act Plays (fondly referred to as “SOAPs.”) gave seasoned theatre students (upperclassmen) a taste of life as a director! Students choose a script (with my authorization), audition for it, rehearse it, design it, and get the full meaning of what it’s like on the other side of the stage, directing actors. An annual tradition has become our “Project Clean Up” at the end of May, after final exams. This is when the backstage area gets completely cleaned out, painted and reorganized after a very full lineup of meetings, Masses, assemblies, plays, musicals, acting classes, and much more. Amazingly enough, students who have graduated in years past come back to SAA to pitch in and help out. Come June, it’s unrecognizable and ready for another funfilled year! Above: At the Shakespeare Competition

Academy NEWs

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Songbirds on Tour The St. Agnes/Strake Jesuit Mixed Chorus takes a trip each spring in an exchange program with choirs of other schools. They have visited Los Angeles, Toronto, Boston, New Orleans, St. Louis and next year, New York. These 120 songbirds are accompanied by 35 parent chaperones when they travel and perform on high school and college campuses. Their repertoire includes everything from Classical to Jazz. What else do they do on this annual adventure? Sightsee, of course; take in at least one musical play; and the last night of the tour is always capped off with a dinner dance cruise.

Photos at right, top to bottom: 1. At the aquarium 2. Riding a street car 3. At Sacred Heart Academy 4. On Alcatraz Island (glad they let them go!)

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Re-mixing It Up The Tiger Girls and Remix Dance Team must have the happiest feet in the dance world! After an impressive school year of perfoming for the Houston Texans, Strake Jesuit football, winning first place in Jazz and Team Performance at the Lone Star Classic, earning six first place trophies at the Hill Country Regional Dance Championship in February, and securing the coveted Super Sweepstakes Award at the Crowd Pleasers West Houston Showcase...wait, I’m out of breath... they traveled to Orlando, Florida, for the 2014 NDA National Championship where they proudly danced to rank in the top 20 in the country. To end the season Tiger Girls Colonel Kaitlin Karcher helped choreograph the spring musical Mame, which was nominated for a Tommy Tune Award for Best Choreography. Check out their moves below.

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Ally Podsednik

Michelle Nwokedi

Alex Gonzales

Emma Kelly

St. Agnes athletics has had a terrific school year in 2013-2014. With 59% of the student body participating in 12 sports, and seven college signings, the Tiger roar was heard across the state. This year’s signings include two volleyball players, one basketball player, one gymnast, one cross country runner, one soccer player and one field hockey player. They will be as far north as Pennsylvania and as close to home as Austin, Texas. The University of Oklahoma signed Libero, Emma Kelly in volleyball. Emma was selected for All District and All State throughout her high school career. Her field of study will be petroleum engineering. Sakile Simmons signed with Hurricane volleyball at The University of Miami. She completed her high school career with AllState and All-District recognition. She will be following the pre-med track. The University of Pennsylvania signed two Academy women. Ally Podsednik trains at Cypress Academy and

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Seniors Who Signed

sakile simmons

Monica Bueso

alexis moreleon

began competing at a level 10 in 2010. She will join the Quaker gymnastic team next fall and begin her studies in the medical field. The Quakers also signed Michelle Nwokedi to play basketball. Michelle finished her career with All District, All State honors, along with scoring more than 2,000 points. Michelle is considering a major in business. Alex Gonzales is continuing her distance running at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Alex has received All State and Academic All State honors. She will be studying biomedical engineering. Closer to home, Alexis Moreleon will be playing soccer at St. Edwards. She was named to the All District team during her tenure here. Alexis will study public relations or tv/radio broadcasting. Sewanee, University of the South claimed field hockey player, Monica Bueso. Monica was a part of the debut team when the sport was added. She will pursue studies in either biology or psychology with an interest in the neurosciences. —Alice Melendez, Associate Athletic Director Sports Information Director


State Swimming and Diving Champions The St. Agnes Swimming and Diving team completed the 2013-2014 season as undefeated State Champions. St. Agnes won its 24th State title in 2009. This year, we brought back the 25th. It was an entire team effort, which boasted contributions from 16 athletes representing all grade levels. Six athletes received accolades for Academic All-State, and 20 earned All-State awards. Our 200 freestyle relay (Kate Olson ’15, Maggie McGuffee ’15, Anastasia Kontrimas ’17, and Angel Hoang ’14) broke the school and TAPPS State record, previously held by St. Agnes (and older siblings of current relay members Kontrimas and Hoang) in 2009. It was an incredible season with an incredible team and we couldn’t be more proud to bring back the State title to St. Agnes, where it belongs. —Coach Kaitlin Kelley

The team celebrates “bringing it back” with a parade in the hallway.

Academy NEWs

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Finding Your Moment of Passion By Jana Sicola ’96

Coach, Health & P.E. Teacher


s each season ends, coaches begin planning for the next. They reflect on returning athletes, which underclassmen will fill the shoes of those seniors who left, what worked, what did not, and build a list of goals from which all future practices will be planned. For Coach Jeff Hollinger, this task circulates throughout the year. He never stops planning, he never stops thinking about how to create new and unique learning tools for his athletes. He has adopted the mantra, “Find Your Moment of Passion,” and while watching his varsity team compete, it is apparent that his team follows his lead. Two years ago, the 2011-2012 Tiger Basketball team finished 18-19 on the season. After graduating only two seniors, the returning team members began crafting a plan for the next year, determined NEVER to have a losing season like that again. And, they succeeded, finishing first in TAPPS 5A, District 3 in 2012-2013, and beating Bishop Lynch of Dallas, a State Championship program for more than 20 years. In the TAPPS Regional Finals, the team made it to the Final Four for the first time in four seasons. Hollinger and his Tigers rode that wave of success into the 2013-2014 season, all the while, maintaining focus on the perpetual goal, a state championship.

Hollinger said, “This team was internally driven. With five new faces playing on the varsity team, our eight seniors continually found new ways to motivate their teammates to try to match the success of last year’s team.”

“This game was so intense, so loud, and so emotional that it did not appear to be a ‘fun game’ in which to participate. It was hard fought,” Hollinger said. “Even with poor shooting (the Tigers shot only 12 of 45 from the field), we were only down three with 30 seconds to go, in part, due to our aggressive defense throughout the game. Two seconds later, we were down seven.” At the buzzer, the Tigers lost by 10, and just like that, the season ended abruptly for the 26-7 team. Hearing the team talk in the locker room after the loss, Hollinger realized a lot about this special team.

“I knew they would not define this season based on the outcome of this one loss. Their hard work in every single practice, both off- and in-season, set the stage for an incredible year. I am proud of the chemistry and maturity that these young ladies have displayed all season long. The team never let their emotions dictate their actions. This group of Tigers has taught many of With early season wins against state-ranked teams us that their work ethic and their camaraderie will set Clear Creek, Westside, and Kinkaid, the Tigers felt the stage for future successes in life.” confident of their rise to the top. They won 26 out of 33 games, placed in the top three of both tournaments Coach Hollinger looks ahead to next year by reflecting in which they participated, and were in the state’s top on the end of this one, “As the season is over, the legacy five longer than any other Tiger Basketball team. With that this group of young ladies has left is not just about rival Concordia Lutheran taking the district title, the winning, but also about work ethic and putting the Tigers placed second and were then slated to play greater good of the team before any individual desire. the 2013 defending State Champions, Plano John Paul I truly hope our younger players, who have watched this team, take that to heart.” from the Dallas district, in the first round of playoffs.

16 | Academy NEWs

Springtime Soirée M

ore than 500 guests and volunteers were caught up in the throes of spring fever at this year’s Legacy Gala. Springtime Soirée proved to be a beautiful combination of delightful dining, dizzying dance, and the dazzling drama of our live auction. The event was a sell-out for the second year in a row and raised more than $650,000 of support for the Academy. Gala co-chairs Emily Clay and Lisa Mason commandeered a crew of more than 100 volunteers who completed the daunting tasks of soliciting donations, setting up the auction signs and displays, working check-in and check-out, decorating, hauling, writing, assembling, liaising,, selling raffle tickets and dress passes, and making sure that everyone had a great time. This year’s Dominican Spirit Award honorees were George and Annette DeWalch Strake ’55, recognized for their faith, support of Catholic education, and service to the St. Agnes community. The Strakes are a multi-generational friend of St. Agnes, from George’s mother Susan Kehoe Strake in 1917 to great-niece Garland Parsley in 2009, with a dozen other alumnae in between.

Standing: Mike Crowley and Deborah Whalen, Principal, St. Agnes Academy Seated: John Graf and Maureen Graf, Board Chair, St. Agnes Academy

Dominican Spirit Award Honorees George and Annette DeWalch Strake ‘55 and family

Academy NEWs

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As Seen on Gala Avenue

Top: Gala chairs Emily Clay and Lisa Mason Middle: Remix Dance Team performs Bottom: Parents enjoying Springtime SoirĂŠe

18 | Academy NEWs


1-2-3 Ways Academy Women Have Something to Say Alums on the Lawn - Family Field Day Due to rainy weather, the “lawn” became the gym, but the weather couldn’t dampen the festivities. About 100 alumnae and their families attended and enjoyed an afternoon playing on an inflatable obstacle course with rock wall and slide; winning prizes in bean bag toss, duck pond, and Bingo; and creating masterpieces for the refrigerator at the coloring station. Alumnae enjoyed James Coney Island for lunch. Special thanks to Director of Athletics Amy Mattes, the coaching staff, the Alumnae and SAYPO boards, and event chairs Christina Luna Finley ’89 and Raquel Fuquen Janoe ’94.

Alumnae Service Day Alumnae and their families gathered to make arts and craft kits for the children of MHMRA of Harris County's ABA SkIP program for children with autism spectrum disorders. The program is designed for children ages three to eight, teaching detailed academics to decrease behavioral problems, improve daily living skills (toilet training, hand washing, dressing), and communication and language development. Amanda Sitomer ’03, M.S., BCBA of MHMRA and her staff lead the project, now in its second year at St. Agnes.

Career Day Close to 900 students attended two career panels each in job areas that included accounting and finance, business, the arts, technology, engineering, health care, law, marketing and communications, and nonprofit. There were 35 alumnae representing class years 1964 to 2010 who volunteered as panelists or moderators and shared with current students advice about career selection. Organized by SAYPO (St. Agnes Young Professionals Organization), Career Day is one way that alumnae choose to pay it forward. Photo L-R: Cassie Biscanin Menn ’96, Patti Kilday Hart ’73, Anne Marie Hollonds ’10, Taylor Grobelny

Alumnae Connections

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AlumnaeConnections 1

The Class of 1963 held a cocktail party in April 2013 at the home of Pat “Trish” Benedix Cato, followed by a luncheon at Braeburn Country Club the next day. They attended Mass together. It was a wonderful weekend filled with many hugs and lasting memories of days gone by so quickly! Top


The Class of 1975 celebrated their 2012-2013 Class Challenge win with a dinner on campus and a class paver commemorating their victory. The Class of 1975 won with 73.58% of their class supporting the school. Thank you Class Agents Ardis Bartle, Sydney Free, and Cindy Stowell for making it happen! Middle


The Class of 1961 gathered in October to celebrate the newly named Dona Boudreaux Clay ’61 Center for the Sciences and Student Services. In attendance were Sharon Ennis Axton, Lolly Tamborello Baker, Dianna Rumore Barbato, Sr. Pat Casey, O.P., Dona Boudreaux Clay, Liz Murphy Coerver, Grace Angelo Givens, Joan Shanahan Grigsby, Renee Broussard Jongebloed, Beverly Farrell LeBlanc, Ann Lucia, Dyann Rainey Nasso Perez, Gail Guinn Pinto, Murray Aguillard Schiller and Brenda Beust Smith. Bottom

Submit news to alumnae@ st-agnes. org by August 8, 2014, for the fall edition. 20 | Alumnae Connections

R eunions !


Martha “Twink” Haxthausen Wayburn ’61 recently visited Houston and, classmates from 1961 welcomed her back with lunch at Seasons 52. Pictured are Martha “Twink” Haxthausen, Beverly Farrell LeBlanc, Anne Sauer Kadlecek, Sr. Pat Casey, O.P., Renee Broussard Jongebloed, Grace Angelo Givens, Liz Murphy Coerver, Sharon Ennis Axton, Gail Guinn Pinto and Lolly Tamborello Baker. Top


The Class of 1973 held their 40-year reunion at Escalante’s in October. Class agent Suzan Puhl Murphy organized the event, which was described as an incredible night with amazing women. As a group, the class donated to St. Agnes in memory of Deborah Wall Mateker ’75, sister of Caroline Wall Binick ’73. Middle


The Class of 1969 met for lunch in January at the Brookwood Café in Brookshire. Ladies came from all around Texas and one from Florida. Lunch began with a toast in memory of classmates who have gone before. They hope to have many classmates join in for the October 4, 2014, reunion at the St. Agnes campus, to celebrate 45 years! Bottom

Alumnae Connections

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Yearbook Signing and Ice Cream Social

Students from the Class of 2013 return for their yearbooks, a scoop of ice cream, and to reconnect with friends.

classagentlist 1952





Barbara Heiser Alban

Julie Linehan

Elizabeth Fusilier Hynes

Julie Sacco

Margeaux LaFleur Gorman

Marion Bormans McCann

Emily Picheloup



Emily Aguilar Capps

Becky Barbour


Amanda Sitomer




Peggy Wilkening Walker

Carol Laflin Ahles

Mary Raia


Sherry Butschek Cornwell

Agnes Bobbit Sullivan Ann Dulin Little

1979 Suzanne Smith Grant


Judy Trabulsi


Carolyn Fitzgerald Matlock

Lannie Earthman Bluethmann Mary Leona Miles Williams

1957 Carolyn Carbajal McCairns Mary Ann Chambers

1967 Norma Azios Johnson

1969 Mary Boudreaux Graham

1987 Diane Driscoll Kristin Kautz




Carol Caspersen Moffett

Lori Sebastian Pinter Keri Cook Carter


Kay Stindt Kelly

Diane Knebel Watler



Minnette Passante Carrabba

Suzan Puhl Murphy



Sue Ann Baranski Allen

Ardis Bartle

Frankie Casey Schiel

Sydney Free

1964 Theresa Pizzitola Cindy Stowell 2004

1995 Tina Boutrous Kirby Susan Ryder

1996 Suzanne Conwell Pickett


Carol Celman Schottie

Andrea Montgomery Stewart

Lauren Dornak Grosskreuz Celina Guerrero Lindsay Lehmann

2005 Brittany Taggart


Mackenzie Burns

Louisa Hamlin

Melinda Montalbano Yaklin



Adela Garcia Armendariz Christina Luna Finley

Lauren Chapman

Carol Prokop Poston


Heather Ives Hernandez


1990 Susan Chipperfield Giddens


Laura Hamlin Oates

Shannon Beirne Wisedeppe

2009 Julia Conlon

2006 Amanda Adam Isabel Longoria

Lynn Fahey

Soha Nassef

If your class is not listed, then we need YOU to be the alumnae contact for your class! Please contact Lori Sebastian Pinter ’88, director of alumnae relations at or 713.219.5493 to learn more.

22 | Alumnae Connections

One Year Out By Mary Baronitis ’13 Recipient of the 2013 St. Agnes Award and full-time summer employee in the CAVE As I walked onto campus on the morning of Move-In Day, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was truly ready for college. Santa Clara University is a challenging school, and I wondered where I’d fit it in. After a few moments of thinking this, I snapped out of this mindset and realized that St. Agnes prepared me for whatever life after graduation threw at me. It seems a bit strange to think that I graduated just this past May. So much has happened in the time being. I received the St. Agnes Award, was hired as staff in the CAVE right after graduation, moved to California, and now I’m already two-thirds of the way through my first year of college. Needless to say, time sure has been flying by. In terms of my classes, I could not have asked for a better education to start with! I’m majoring in computer science, so I have a pretty heavy workload. Last quarter, I started my calculus and analytical geometry series, and I have been easily excelling in those classes thanks to the St. Agnes math department. I am also taking two writing courses and two classic literature classes this year, and my professors agree that I have a sturdy background. In fact, my classics professor has been trying to convince me to either double major or minor because of how well I work in that class, and I keep recalling Ms. Lusby telling me that I’ll one day become a college English professor. From observing my other classmates, I can see how much St. Agnes prepared me, both with academics as well as study habits.

2014-2015 Calendar of Events Jun. 13

Fannin Street Luncheon

Jun. 30

Class Challenge ends

Aug. 26

Generations Breakfast

Sep. 17

Gifts of Learning Breakfast

Oct. 4


Nov. 1

All Saints’ Mass

Nov. 22

Alums on the Lawn

Jan. 6

Young Alum Yearbook Signing

Mar. 29

31st Annual Legacy Gala

Although there are all these good things, I still miss home, especially my parents, friends, and my own bathroom. It’s very strange not being able to go home whenever I want, and I’m jealous of the pictures of everyone at the Rodeo. By the way, it’s pretty strange to have to explain to my peers what exactly a rodeo is. I also have to explain Tex-Mex, which is a completely foreign concept to Californians. I got used to four years of my St. Agnes and Texas family, and I’m still working to get such a large, close community out here. Everyone is really nice, but I miss being able to recognize everyone in my class – nothing can prepare you for the sheer enormity of college. For all those who are still in school, your college experience is what you decide to make of it. Whether it is happy and free and completely social, hard and hectic and full of schoolwork, or a mix of both, college is what you choose - it doesn't define you. For those already done with college, I can’t speak from experience, but I can only imagine how closely you hold the memories of both St. Agnes and your college years. We simply need to remember this: St. Agnes has prepared us for all that lies ahead.

Alumnae Connections

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alumnaeupdates 1960s Louise Hughes Booth ’69 lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and recently welcomed her third grandchild! Louise invites classmates passing through Lexington to give her a call. Johnelle Collura ’69 is selling her Houston home and plans to spend her retirement years at her lake house in Palacios. Donia Caspersen Crouch ’69 recently released her third book, Reaching for Harmony: Stories of Hope and Humor, a collection of essays on life and her experience as number six in a family of 14 siblings. Donia and husband, Jimmy, live in Austin where Donia loves to ride her mountain bike. Deborah Mustachia Festner ’69 is happily employed by a local school district and says her dream retirement job will include extensive travel. Michele Anderson Gregory ’69 ran the Aramco Houston Marathon in January. Classmates tracked Michele’s progress along the route. Congrats on a successful run and inspiring your classmates. Laurie Buser Henberg ’69 lives in Idaho and hopes to get back to Houston for a class reunion. Rosalind Cash Pipes ’69 and husband, Lee, celebrated 40 years of marriage in December. They have three daughters, three grandchildren, spend summers in Colorado, and have a passion for growing fruits and vegetables. Cindy Carter Robey ’69 lives in Chicago and would love to meet up with classmates or those visiting the area. Rose Carlisi Schwartzel ’69 and husband, Boone, celebrated their 34 years of marriage and have two children; daughter Sally Schwartzel ’01, a behavior Interventionist

24 | Alumnae Connections

with Katy ISD, and son Charlie, who recently married Ana. When not volunteering, Rose loves to needlepoint and spend time at their lake house with Boone. Pat Price Walker ’69 lives in Sugar Land with husband, Scott. Retired in 2012, Pat spends time with her three grandchildren, joined the choir at St. Laurence and recently decided to re-learn the piano.

1970s Richard R. Hinkley, son of Richard and Silvia Fernandez Hinkley ’74 was ordained a Roman Catholic diocesan priest at the Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral in June. Richard graduated from Strake Jesuit in 2002, and University of Notre Dame in 2006. Ginger Teas Caron ’78 and her husband, Steve, have lived in Dallas for the past 28 years. They raised two daughters, Haley and Greer, who both attended Ursuline Academy in Dallas. In the spring of 2006 their oldest daughter Haley, was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, a rare bone marrow failure disease. The family was blessed when she recovered following months of treatment. Inspired by the bravery of those fighting these diseases, Ginger serves as the chair of Hospitality for Hope, Steps & a Cure 5K Walk & Run that raises awareness and funds for the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation. (www. SAA is well represented with three alums working together in the Pulmonary Medicine and Asthma Center of Texas Children’s Hospital: Allison Ruppert Brownlee LCSW ’99 , Ann Mommessin Bogran BSN, CPN ’76 and Carrie Drone George MS, RD, LD ’97. (Photo at right)

1980s Lauri Vallone Mazzini ’89 and husband Remo, welcomed Marco Giuseppe in September, weighing 6 lbs 2 oz and 20 in.

1990s In October, Elizabeth Egan Riepe ’92 graciously organized an alumnae event in Chicago while Sr. Jane and Anne Doyle were visiting the area. Natalie Foerster Gonzalez ’93 and husband, Daniel, welcomed Madelyn Elizabeth October 23, 2013. Mary Ivers Wersebe ’93 and husband, David, welcomed Adler Joseph Wersebe on September 13, 2013, weighing 8 lbs, 6 oz and 21.5 in. Hanan Alattar ’94 was a panelist with Houston Public Media Channel 8’s preview screening of NPR’s Arab American Stories, a 13-partseries, hosted by Neda Ulaby. Each episode features three short, character-driven documentaries that profile Arab Americans who are making an impact in their community, their profession, their family or the world at large. Veronica Rey Cogwin ’94 moved from Ohio to Austin with husband, Jack, and their four children. While in Columbus, Veronica cofounded a walking group called Mamas Movin’ With Mary (www. with a mission to strengthen your body, strengthen your soul.

alumnaeupdates Rita Abdallah Joubran ’94 was diagnosed with MS about five years ago and recently rode in the MS-150 for a third time. She and husband, Nabil, are fundraising to raise awareness and help make a difference in the lives of all those diagnosed with MS. Laura Davidson Fowell ’96 and husband, Jason, welcomed Grace Leigh Fowell on November 8, 2013, weighing 7 lbs 7 oz and 19.5 in. Holly Vinklarek Lewis ’96 and husband, Paul (STH ’94) welcomed Laura Elizabeth Lewis on June 15, 2013. Laura Beth joins big brothers George (8) and Henry (1). Dawsey Dorr Romero ’96 and husband, Roland, welcomed twins Lily and Piper. Gabrielle Sitomer Kay ’96 and husband, Jason Koy, welcomed son Callan Reid Koy, on July 12, 2013. Callan joins big sister, Ashlyn Rose (5) and big brother Landon James (3). In March, Gabrielle moved from Vinson & Elkins to BP and is now the HSSE Counsel for BP’s North America Gas business. In October, she competed at the Arabian Horse Association U.S. National Horse Show where she and her horse, Cey Hey, were named National Champion in the Arabian Country Pleasure Maturity Amateur Owner class. (1 & 2) Lisa Martinez-Chapa ’98 and husband, Jesus, welcomed Joseph Mario on March 16, 2013, weighing 6 lbs.

Kathlyn Coulter Curtis ’99 is still serving tax law clients, but is now primarily selling residential real estate with Beth Wolff, and loving it. Nati Lentino McWilliams ’99 and husband, John, welcomed Emmeline Ann McWilliams on December 17, 2013, weighing 7 lbs 4 oz and 20 in. (3) Christina Garcia Moreno ’99 married Johnny Moreno June 22, 2013, in the San Francisco Bay Area.


2000s Kristin Corporron Carlson ’00 and husband, Craig, welcomed baby girl Annie Rynd on August 22, 2013. Annie was named in honor of grandmother, Betty Rynd Wichmann, who was SAA Class of 1948.


Maya Valerie Diep ’00 and husband, Hung, welcomed Myles William on June 6, 2013, weighing 7 lbs 4 oz and 19 in. Maya’s sister, Kizmet Valerie Charles ’92, is his godmother. (4) Hayley Wilson-Webb Green ’00 and her husband, Aaron (SJ ’00), welcomed daughter Beatrix Dale Green on September 19, 2013, weighing 8 lbs 8 oz and 21.5 in.

3 4

Jessica Brady Russell ’00 and husband, Steven, welcomed Alaina Ann Russell born January 22, 2014. (below)

Natalie Lodato Schmitt ’98 and husband, Dane, welcomed Henry Alan Schmitt on January 21, 2014, weighing 10 lbs. Christie Suhor Booth ’99 and husband, Ryan, welcomed Julia Megan Booth on July 22, 2013. Weighing 7 lbs 4 oz and 19 in, Julia joins big sister, Katie. Alumnae Connections

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4 Jean Clare Daly Swanson ’00 and husband, Tyler, welcomed Nancy Dove Daly Swanson on July 19th, 2013, weighing 7 lbs 12 oz and 20 in. The family is happily settled in Brooklyn, NY. (1) Kay Dee Hinkle Calloway ’01 and husband, Dale, welcomed daughter Collins Lane Calloway on August 21, 2013, weighing 6 lbs.

26 | Alumnae Connections

Margeaux LaFleur Gorman ’01 and husband, Ted (SJ ‘93) welcomed John Basil Gorman on January 16, 2014, weighing 8 lbs 15 oz and 21.5 in. John Basil joins big sister Meara (3.5) and big brother Teddy (22 mo), and loving aunts Jennifer Gorman Germani ’85, Allison Gorman Botard ’88, Ann Marie Martone Gorman ’89, Tracy Gorman Galloway ’95 and great aunts Eileen Gorman Musgrove ’57 and Ruth Gorman Fischer ’67. Margeaux enjoys working and caring for her family as a stay-athome wife and mother. She has served as the Class of 2001’s class agent since graduation and is in search of her replacement. If you are interested in learning more, please contact her. (2)

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas. Following a honeymoon in Turks and Caicos, Rachel and John Luke will reside in Greenwich, Connecticut. Leah Schmidt ’06 left Troy Construction and is starting nursing school at the UT Health and Science Center. Victoria Sequeira ’06 married Joseph Mastrangelo. Bess Howard ’07 and husband Duncan Hughey welcomed Shelby Gray Hughey.

Catherine Flores Stanton ’07 enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserve in February 2013, and graduated from Air Force Basic Military Training in July Amy Zdobylak Potts ’01 and at the rank of Airman 1st Class husband Doug (SJ ’01) welcomed and was a basic training honor Amaryllis Brynlee Potts on October graduate. Catherine graduated 16, 2013, weighing 7 lbs 13 oz and with academic achievement from 20.25 in. (3) technical training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, for the Emergency Karen Kelleher O’Grady ’03 Management career field, and married Brian O’Grady on reported back to the 916th Air August 19, 2013, at Our Lady of Refueling Wing, Seymour-Johnson Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Air Force Base, North Carolina. Glenview, Illinois. Matron of honor Catherine’s husband, Zachary, Jaclyn Moynihan Mersereau ’03, celebrated a promotion to 1st bridesmaid Allison Bassett Ratto Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force in July ’03, greeters Tara Snell McDonald and is currently assigned to the 4th ’03 and Dipali Pathak ’03 were Fighter Wing, Seymour-Johnson irreplaceable parts of Karen’s Air Force Base, North Carolina. wedding ceremony. Karen and Brian O’Grady are both attorneys Hannah Bailey ’09 received the living in Glenview, Illinois. (4) award for Most Outstanding Katherine Dilger Bibler ’05 married Luke Bibler on June 15, 2013. Christine Achico ’06 is an actress and has performed in the Hollywood show, Tonya & Nancy the Rock Opera. Eliza DeAyala ’06 is engaged to her college sweetheart, Drew Reinking. Rachel Thompson McConn ’06 married John Luke McConn IV on Saturday, February 22, 2014, at

Painting Student from SCAD graduation and received a $2,000 scholarship. Hannah has moved to Marfa, Texas, and is working as an apprentice to artist David Garza, making furniture.

St. Agnes taught me to be resourceful, resilient, and to see the big picture, to always look forward. I can’t think of a parent or potential employer who wouldn’t want to see those exact characteristics in a young woman. —Alumna



3 Olivia Collado ’09 was one of 30 women nominated for the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Olivia was selected for her abilities in soccer at St. Edward’s University. Lexi Schmidt ’09 worked in Miami for Avionica this past summer, and began interning with Walt Disney this fall as an engineering project manager in the Disney Animal Kingdom. She graduates in May with a degree in mechanical engineering. Christine Bartram Torrance ’09 married David Torrance. David is Scottish and they met at Cambridge during their undergrad through a homeless outreach program. He’s getting a PhD in

2 Theology and she is pursuing hers in Psychology. (1 & 2)

2010s Amanda Couch ’10 was awarded an Astronaut Foundation Scholarship of $10,000 in October. The scholarships are the largest monetary awards available in the U.S. to science, technology, engineering, and math students based solely on merit, with only 28 granted nationwide per year.

The scholarship was presented at Texas A&M by the Director of the Kennedy Space Center. Emily Flynn ’11 served as a Duchess in the Royal Court of King Frivolous XCIX at the Mardi Gras Coronation Ball for the The Knights of Momus, the grandest and oldest krewe in Galveston, Texas. The seven 2011 SAA alums left to right are Elizabeth Spence, Elizabeth Aigner, Marielle Pichon, Emily Flynn, Claire Groff, Elizabeth Edel, and Lauren Couvillon. (3) Caroline Fenelon ’13 took a year off before attending Georgetown, and traveled to Central America. She is keeping an amazing blog:

In January, St. Agnes Athletics hosted alumnae events for soccer and basketball! A good time was had by all. To keep up to date on alumnae events, be sure and check the Events & Reunions section of the St. Agnes website frequently, and check your spam folder to make sure you are receiving our monthly e-newsletter, Academy Connections. Alumnae Connections

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Sincere Sympathy is Extended Leonel J. Castillo; father to Avalyn Castillo Langemeier ’82; grandfather to Kathryn Langemeier ’16 Santo “Sam” Joseph Ciatto; husband to Margi Lynam Ciatto ’63 John Ray “JR” Collins; father to Tracy Collins Weinmann ’87, Mary Collins Ihfe ’89 and Patty Collins Adams ’91 James “Bubba” Louis Abell; husband to Mary Lyons Abell ’63; father to Lisa Abell Thompson ’88; brother to SAA past faculty members Barbara Abell ’58 and Sr. Jane Marie Abell, O.P. Margaret Cecile Edmundson Alcorn ’53; mother to Margaret Ellen Alcorn Breedlove ’82; aunt to Ashleigh Edmundson ’95 James Robert Benbrook, Sr.; husband to Linda McAdams Benbrook ’77 Katherine T. Berno; mother to Mary Berno Montgomery ’73, Barbara Berno Brackman ’78, Patti Berno McGinnis ’79 and SAA Dads’ Club President Joe Berno; grandmother to Emma Berno ’13, Margaret Berno ’15 and Sarah Berno ’17 Louis A. Biles, Jr.; husband to Patti Keirnan Biles ’57 (dec); father to Patti Biles Michalek ’80, Chrissy Biles Hignett ’81, Sarah Biles McMeans ’82, Mary Biles Wong ’86; father-in-law to Brett Bales Biles ’90; grandfather to Molly Michalek Englert ’01, Anna Michalek ’07 and Maggie McMeans ’13 Susan Gorup Biscanin; wife to SAA former Board member David Biscanin; mother to Cassandra Biscanin ’96 and Elizabeth Biscanin Allcorn ’01 Esther Jamail Bofysil; sister to Annette Jamail Schwab ’52; grandmother to Gigi Graugnard ’03; aunt to Marian Jamail Myers ’82 Elizabeth “Joyce” Montgomery Bott ’40 Patricia Joplin Boy ’44; sister to Carol Joplin Williamson ’47 (dec); aunt to Mary Elizabeth Joplin ’88 Kathleen Brennan ’76; daughter to Suzanne Atchison Brennan ’48; niece to Dianne Atchison Tubbs ’53 (dec) and Sue Armer Atchison ’55; cousin to Vicki Atchison Wheeler ’78 and Cindy Atchison Williams ’82

George Marion Colvill; grandfather to Kayla Colvill ’09 and Claire Colvill ’11

David Abbott Fowler; son to Patsy Corbett Fowler ’53; brother to Mary Fowler Harp ’80 (dec) and Patricia Fowler Kneten ’82 Herbert J. Forsyth, Sr.; grandfather to SAA faculty member Christine Hernandez Frank Harold Fox, Jr.; father to Kelly Fox Steinberg ’94

George Eugene Conner, Sr.; father to Carol Conner Wilson ’66 and Jane Conner Huckaby ’69

Gregory James Gallagher; father to Katrina Gallagher Cooper ’66 and Margy Gallagher Price ’70

Ronnie Byron Conwell; father to Suzanne Conwell Pickett ’96

John Sullivan Garnett; grandfather to Sully Garnett ’14 and Taylor Garnett ’17

Brandon Cox; son to SAA former staff member Judi Cox

Maria Dolores Garcia Curtis ’48

Brenda McKeon Gehan; mother to Laura Gehan Welsh ’82, Carole Gehan Counts ’84, Diane Gehan Carpenter ’85 and Margery Gehan ’88; grandmother to Audrey Welsh ’17; former SAA Board Member

Matthew Joseph “Coach Cooz” Cusimano, Sr.; father to Emily Cusimano ’06

Robert “Bobby” E. George, Jr.; brother to Celeste A. George Wheatley ’67 and Cynthia George Forgas ’72

Lillian Elizabeth Reeves Cook; grandmother to Lauren Cook ’13 and Madeline Cook ’15

Frank Gregg; father to Martha Gregg ’78 and Deirdre Gregg ’79

Margaret Ann Culmer ’45; sister to Evelyn Culmer Wilkerson ’47

James M. Daniel, III; father to Meme Daniel Horton ’80; grandfather to Katie Sias ’04 and Ellen Horton ’11 Alonzo Lewis DeCell; father to Susan DeCell Shifflett ’90 Steven Edward DeCell; brother to Susan DeCell Shifflett ’90 Lou DeGeorge; mother to Katherine DeGeorge Macey ’92 and Kristina DeGeorge Drone ’96 Valentine Diehl; father to Mary Jo Diehl Watts-Moffett ’65 and Valerie Diehl Dowling ’66 Novelle Barry Doherty; grandmother to Amanda Parker who attended SAA from 2006 to 2008 Penney Watters Dossman; mother to Corrie Marie Dossman ’90

Josephine Orlando Grizzaffi; grandmother to Licia J. Grizzaffi ’97 Manouchehr Guilanshah; father-in-law to Lorena Rey Guilanshah ’86 Frankie Tannie Gusemano; grandfather to Kalie Gusemano Sanders ’04 William Martin “Marty” Hager; father to Jennifer Hager Wagner ’85 Catherine Dolores Shaub Hajovsky ’42; mother to Dolores Hajovsky Kelly ’81 and Judy Hajovsky Koch ’84; sister-in-law to Jane Hajovsky Newman ’42 (dec) and Vessie Hajovsky Peters ’54 Gretta P. Hall; mother to Lisa Hall Herring ’84 Jane Ruth Nagle Harrington; mother to Kathleen Harrington Gurley ’77 and Kerry Harrington ’85

Sr. M. Justin Farinella, O.P.

Garvis Haseltine; grandmother to SAA staff member Stephanie Crowl

Teckla Giglio Burkman, mother to SAA staff member Geri Burkman ’78

Donald Joseph Fernbach; grandfather to Camille Boudreaux ’11 and Mia Simon ’16

Mary Gerin Hines; mother-in-law to Danielle Boudreau Hines ’90

John Lawrence Buvens; father to Beth Buvens Armstrong ’64, Patricia Buvens Somers ’67 (dec), Shirley Buvens Berg ’69 and Chris Buvens Koshenina ’71

Sr. Jo Rita Fertitta, O.P.

Catherine Gaudin Holt ’56; sister to Carol Ann Gaudin Smart ’61

Holly Diane Broussard ’86; sister to Sarah Broussard Brunton ’97

Daniel D. Castaneda; grandfather to Sarah Castaneda ’15 and Katherine Castaneda ’17; father to SAA Board member and current parents Dan Castaneda and David Castaneda.

28 | In Memoriam

Kathryn “Kappy” Traverse Florance ’51; sister to Jo Florance Finn ’55; grandmother to Marjorie Clifton ’96, Kathryn Clifton who attended SAA from 1996 to 1998 and SAA faculty member Eleanor Todd ’07

Robert Lee Holt; husband to Pat Carmena Holt ’48’ brother-in-law to Joycelyn Carmena Wallace ’51 (dec) Karen McCreight Hornberger; mother to Claire Hornberger ’08

to the Loved Ones of: Barbara Ann Wright Howard; grandmother to Jordan Howard ’17 Hazel Elizabeth “Betty” Hudson; mother to Ann Hudson Thomas ’77 Robert B. Ingenthron; father-in-law to Rosalyn Greco Ingenthorn ’84 Gabriella Agus Joplin; sister-in-law to Pat Joplin Boy ’44 (dec) and Carol Joplin Williamson ’47 (dec) John F. Joplin; brother to Patricia Joplin Boy ’44 (dec) and Carol Joplin Williamson ’47 (dec)

Charles Dawson McMurrey, Sr.; grandfather to Le’Ann McMurrey Whitley ’99 and Melissa McMurrey Patronella ’05

Beth Sauer Blanchard ’80, Mary Sauer Willrodt ’82, Margaret Sauer ’87, Susan Sauer Welch ’88 and Sharon Sauer ’90

Roger Mendez; grandfather to Sara Van Tuerenhout ’17

Margaret Zawacki Schooley ’50; sister to Dorothy Zawacki Jordan ’54 (dec) and Sr. Stephen Anne Zawacki, O.P. ’59

Elizabeth “Betty” Armand Meydrich ’51; cousin to Carol Armand Dobecka ’53 (dec) and Mary Virginia Armand Wilson ’54 Mary Catherine Michalec ’51 Maria das Montanhas Siquiera Monteiro; grandmother to Luisa Silva ’15

Florentina Andres Julian; grandmother to Rachel Sugrue ’12

Mary Beth Murphy ’42; sister to Rita Murphy Rougagnac ’42; aunt to Rita Rougagnac Fisher ’66

William T. Kelley; grandfather to Audrey Kelley ’15; father-in-law to Eileen Scroggins Kelley ’81

Michael Bernard Mustachia; brother to Rosanne Mustachia Berry ’65 and Deborah Mustachia Festner ’69

Eugene Neil Ketner; grandfather to Bridget McGettigan ’15 and Grace McGettigan ’17

Darlyne Askew Myrick; mother-in-law to Donna Kennedy Myrick ’69

Stephanie Kirkpatrick ’03

Johnny Paul O’Neal; grandfather to Sydney O’Neal ’15

Dorothy Vitek Klecka; mother to Darlene Klecka Bowles ’71; mother-in-law to Peggy Cater Klecka ’68 Marlene T. Kroon; mother-in-law to Lee Ann Heisler Kroon ’80 Margaret Rita McQuade Leibowitz; grandmother to Michelle Leibowitz ’08, Jennifer Saladino ’13 and Hillary Healey ’13 Christopher Earl Ullrich Linzza; husband to Kris Farley Linzza ’87

Mary Margaret “Gil” Ott; grandmother to Christina Ott ’06, Michelle Ott ’08 and Angela Ott ’14 Gerard William Pavlu; brother to Joyce Pavlu Heiss ’57, cousin to Joan Pavlu Kennerty ’57 Elizabeth “Betty Jo” Josephine McKinney Pfisterer ’44 Norma Gladys Morgan Reddick ’50

Freda Belle Lyday-Dimpel; grandmother to Mason Stevens ’15

Virginia A. Baker Reed; mother to Sharron P. Reed ’72

William James “Billy” Madden; brother to Lucy Madden Burns ’51, Mary Edna Madden Weber ’52, Ann Madden Landmesser ‘53, Edna Madden Berres ’54 and Bertha Madden Hutcheson ’55; uncle to Renee Madden Kight ’82, Ann Marie Madden Wood ’85, Janna Madden Moore ’89 and Jennifer Madden Abernathy ’92

Ann Decker Reistle ’56

Sebastian “Mike” Manis; husband to Catherine Gullo Manis ’47; brother to Lula Manis Logan ’40 (dec); brother-in-law to Sadie Gullo Clay ’36 (dec) and Lena Gullo Muchaw ’48

Anthony Samuel Russo; brother-in-law to Sophie Saragusa Russo ’58

James D. Manning, Jr.; grandfather to Peyton Manning ’15 Elroy Edward Marti, Jr.; father to Sara Marti ’04 Aline Marie Segrato Mattalino; mother to Antoinette Mattalino Dichiara ’57 and Joan Mattalino Sciantarelli ’67 Mary Cornelia Magna Mazur ’39; sister to Margaret Magna Wetuski ’42 and Evalyn Magna Hardey ’48 (dec) Katherine Anne Halick McGary ’65

Frank Fisher Reynolds, Jr.; husband to Suzanne Linbeck Reynolds ’55; brother-inlaw to Poppy Linbeck Doyle ’57 Marina Guillermina Rodriguez Reynolds; grandmother to Mina Cernoch ’09; mother to SAA staff member Marina Cernoch;

Catherine Johnson Sharp ’40; aunt to Helen Johnson Cockburn ’71, Elizabeth Johnson O’Neal ’73 and Laura Johnson Cureton ’76 Josie Marie Sicola Silvey; grandmother to SAA faculty member Jana Rose Sicola ’96 and Toni Elizabeth Sicola ’00; sister-in-law to Mary Ann Triola Carrabba ’55; aunt to Nita Carrabba Chesney ’78 Gilda Maria Teixeira; mother to Jilia Tremont Teixeira ’17 Raul Rodolfo Tellez; grandfather to Ana Tellez ’16 Ramesh Thadani; father to Jada Thadani Garrison ’87 Robert Joseph Tiemann; father to Amy Tiemann Martin ’86 Marie Anne Todaro ’78 Robert Earl Trefny; father to Susan Trefny Clark ’75, Kerry Trefny Drabek ’78 and Kristy Trefny Beins ’83 Manuel Treviño, Jr.; father to Kimberly Treviño Hinojosa ’92 Virginia “Virgie” Lamar Treviño; mother to Glori Treviño O’Donnel ’76 and Cynthia Treviño Miller ’75 Andrew Stanley Urban; father to Marsha Urban Sargent ’72; father-in-law to Arlette Brister Urban ’78 Henry Joseph “Hank” Usher; father to Natalie Usher Cizik ’72; grandfather to Brooke Usher Bullard ’03; uncle to Susan Miranda Casell ’63; cousin to Velma Salinas Flores ’50; brother-in-law to Dolores Macey Martin ’46, Sr. Theresa Macey, O.P. ’52, and Antoinette Macey Roll ’55; Susan Anne Stone Van Norman ’77

Annie Mae Samperi; mother to Tena Jo Samperi Lawrence ’58 (dec) and Rose Ann Samperi Adamo ’60 (dec); grandmother to Gina Montalbano Adamo ’82

Joseph Thomas Vaughn; father to former SAA Board member Tom Vaughn; grandfather to Rachel Vaughn ’13; brother to Barbara Vaughn Coleman ’53

John “J.B.” Samperi, Jr.; brother to Tena Jo Samperi Lawrence ’58 (dec) and Rose Ann Samperi Adamo ’60 (dec)

Richard F. Wehman; grandfather to Katie Truax ’02 and Meredith Truax ’07

Randolph “Randy” I. Sanvik; father to Debra Sanvik Moreland ’69 Natalie Butera Saragusa ’55; mother-in-law to Patty Kegg Saragusa ’77 Elizabeth Anne Sauer; daughter of Katherine Hanrahan Sauer ’30; sisterin-law to Marjo Green Sauer ’58; aunt to

Miles Howland Woodward; grandfather to Megan Rodriguez ’16 Pershing “P.I.” Youngkin; husband to Betty Jane Morrissey Youngkin ’41 Helen Rodgers Zaruba ’47

In Memoriam

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Faculty Focus

Herman Sutter Librarian, Creative Writing Teacher M.A. English, National University, San Diego, CA M.S. Library Science, University of North Texas B.A. Liberal Arts, University of St. Thomas Latest publications: “Guilty Knowledge, Guilty Pleasure,” Library Journal, 3/1/2014 “Introduction to Literary Context: The American Short Story,” School Library Journal, February 2014 “Gorgeous Nothings: the Envelope Poems of Emily Dickinson,” Library Journal, 12/1/2013 “The Life and Poetry of Ted Kooser,” Library Journal, 10/15/2013 “On Poetry,” Library Journal, 9/15/2013

Prelude: Early morning after the rain Wild stalk of life the heron stands motionless in standing water contemplating the quiet dawn wings unfold magnificent petals of the sun gathering empty air in delicate embrace --released--clinging earth rising--bursting emptiness; water rushing back--hush wild stiff weeds bending–rippling, gone Published October 2013, St. Anthony Messenger

TRASH TO TREASURE Thanks to the generous gift of the daughters and granddaughters of the late Kathleen Braden Eichelberger ’37, three of the metal letters from the Fannin Street building are now a treasured part of the archives. Kathleen received the letters from her brother, Dr. David Braden in 1972, when the building was being demolished. David was driving by the site and noticed all the letters from the front of the building had been removed and were ready to be trashed. Knowing how much SAA meant to her, he rescued these three for her. The daughter, daughters-in-law, granddaughters, and niece of Kathleen Braden Eichelberger ’37 who are SAA alumnae include Dr. Margaret Braden Childers ’70, Caroline Wall Binick ’73, Mary Ann Eichelberger ’75, Elaine Henderson Eichelberger ’79, Elizabeth P. Eichelberger ’05, Caroline Duble ’10, Katherine Eichelberger ’12, Elizabeth Duble ’16.


From the

Archives By Susan Wolfe, Archivist Photo by Dan Westerman

Supporting a tradition of excellence at St. Agnes — now and for future generations of Academy women I have so many wonderful memories from this school. St. Agnes was my home away from home. High school can be a rough time for anyone. St. Agnes gave me the ability to be comfortable and confident with who I am. I had the drive to study what I loved, and be confident that no matter what happens, I will be successful. Eleanor Todd ’07 Theology Teacher 1906 Society Member

Join today at In 1906, St. Agnes Academy opened its doors on Fannin Street, and the Dominican Sisters began a tradition of encouraging Academy women to develop intellectual curiosity, work for social justice, and act with integrity and compassion. Today, this legacy continues with an enrollment of approximately 900 and more than 8,500 alumnae. Want to help ensure this legacy will continue for the next 100 years and beyond? Join the 1906 Society — membership is extended to alumnae, parents and friends who have informed the school in writing that St. Agnes Academy is included in his or her estate plans. Whether you are just beginning to plan your estate or are updating your plans, we would like to thank you for confirming your commitment to the mission of the Academy.

Contact Lisa Chmiola, CFRE at 713.219.5466 or to learn more about the 1906 Society or to advise if you have already included St. Agnes in your plans.



9000 Bellaire Boulevard | Houston, TX 77036-4683 | 713.219.5400 |

2014 Fannin Street Luncheon Friday, June 13 - 11 a.m.

Save the date and watch your mailbox for your invitation.

Junior League of Houston

50 for 50 class challenge Runs through June 30, 2014

Participate in this friendly competition between Academy alumnae for the most participation in overall giving and the highest giving to the Academy Fund.

st. agnes academy reunion Saturday, October 4, 2014 4 - 6 p.m.

As classes ending in ’4 and ’9 celebrate milestones, we invite all alumnae to be our guests for a reception with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres, campus tours, and visiting with friends.

Veritas Magazine - Spring 2014