St. Pius X Connections Summer 2017

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summer | 2017

L e t t e r

f r o m

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P r i n c i pal







Dear Friends,







Today we celebrate the St. Pius X High School Class of 2017. These 164 students earned more than $12.7 million in college scholarship offers and have provided more than 25,000 hours of service to their community over their four years of high school. It is with great pride that we present these graduates to the wider world, ready to make an impact. We pray for their continued peace and success.

Saint Pius X High School 5301 St. Joseph’s Dr. NW Albuquerque, NM 87120-1712 (505) 831-8400 A d m i n i s t r at i o n Principal Dr. Barbara Rothweiler Assistant Principal - Academics Barbara Neff Ducaj ’79 Assistant Principal - Instruction Orlando Rodriguez Business Manager Donna Perl Chaplain Fr. Chike Uba Director of Marketing and Enrollment Jeff Turcotte Director of Activities Mike Mares ’05 Director of Athletics Jim Cook ’83

We devote this issue of Connections to Sartan success. We start with the Class of 2017 and this school year’s accomplishments in the arts, academic competition and athletics. We conclude with our successful and generous St. Pius alumni including Bonnie Arning ’01, who spent a day speaking with SPX students following the publication of her first book of poems by the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University, and Dr. Adam Battaglia ’96, who joined with other dentists to provide free dental care and procedures to the homeless in St. Louis. Sartan success equals success for all of us. As we launch graduates founded in the academic excellence and Catholic values provided by no other high school in Albuquerque, we provide our community and our world with people who will make a positive and beautiful impact. Support that success with your gift to the St. Pius X Annual Fund. Find an envelope on Page 6 to make mailing your gift simple, donate online at, or contact the Advancement Office at (505) 831-8406.


Barbara M. Rothweiler, PhD Principal

Director of Community Service Alicia Eiler ’83

Alumni Relations and Planned Giving Manager Jennifer Maldonado ’91

Advancement and Alumni .........8 SPX Sports...............................10 In Memory...............................12




The mission of St. Pius X Connections is to provide alumni and friends of SPX with news, information, and inspiration regarding the school and each other.

Sartans created success inside and outside the classroom, making 2017 a stellar year at St. Pius X High School.


St. Pius X Connections is published by the St. Pius X High School Advancement Office.



Editor Melissa W. Sais

Sartan Success .......................6


Annual Programs and Events Manager Jean Marie Skipp ’87

D e p a r t m ent S




Alumni Notes...........................13


Director Bobby Wallace




C o n t e n t s



Director of Technology Jose Samora






Archbishop John C. Wester distributes Holy Communion to St. Pius X High School graduates at the Baccalaureate Mass and Graduation Ceremony on May 23.

GRADUATION2017 Seniors Soar at SPX

St. Pius X High School honored 164 seniors at the 58th Baccalaureate

Mass and Graduation Ceremony celebrated by Archbishop John C. Wester on May 23 at Sandia Resort Amphitheater. Members of the Class of 2017 provided more than 25,000 hours of community service over their four years Gabriel Calvo and Brittany Humphrey

of high school and upon graduation were offered more than $12.7 million in college scholarships.

Gabriel Calvo is the Outstanding Graduate of the Class of 2017, the

highest honor presented each year to a graduating senior by St. Pius X High School. Applying the school motto of “Teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge,” faculty look for a student whose life embodies these traits. Also admired by classmates, Calvo along with Brittany Humphrey are recognized as the 2017 Senior Choice Award winners. Each year seniors choose a young man and a young woman to represent the “best of their class” considering the Joshua Moorhead

following qualities: intellectual integrity, respect and caring for peers, sensitivity, congeniality, and leadership.

Joshua Moorhead earns the Principal’s Leadership Award, recognized for

his exemplary leadership within the school community as a member of the Campus Ministry Team, Retreat Ministry Team, Sports Medicine and DECA.

St. Pius X High School Class of 2017 Valedictorian Catherine Collins

left her class with a quote from author Elizabeth Foley, “The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” She plans to study biology at Arizona State University. Catherine Collins

Top Ten Students

St. Pius X High School honored its Top Ten students at the graduation ceremony May 23. These students earned the best grade point averages in their class over their four years of high school. They are (left to right) Samuel Apodaca, Joseph Baca, Katherine Bruckner, Gabriel Calvo, Valedictorian Catherine Collins, Chase DeGuio, Salutatorian Morgan Lucero, Andrew Sinclair, Stephany Strahle and Marena Trujillo. St. Pius X Connections • SUMMER 2017


GRADUATION2017 The Class of 2017 Sydney Nicole Abbate

Patrick Michael Aguilar Brenden Alcala Xavior M. Allison Isaiah Alfred Anaya Andrew Estevan Apodaca Samuel Joseph Apodaca Cristopher Daniel Aragon Lauryn Faith Arvizo Ryan James Atkins Bianca Adriana Baca Joseph Christian Baca Christopher John Bachechi Emily Luz Benford Neal Lee Bitsie Joseph Benjamin Brakenhoff Katherine Wood Bruckner Mitchell Troy Buffett Rafael Calvo Carrillo Gabriel Carlos Calvo Kailynn Demetria Castillo Savannah Nicole Castillo Lidia Maria-Hugo Chacon Isaiah Nathaniel Chavez Izaiah A. Chavez Samuel Elias Chavez Sydney Nicole Chavez Madisen Sue Christoffersen Catherine Mary Collins John Christopher Corcoran Diego Tomas Cortez Joshua J. Courville

St. Pius X High School honored its senior class with a Robing Ceremony and Awards Convocation at the SPX Gym on May 22. Service Awards Recognized for their outstanding faith and service are Mikayla Torres and Anselmo Sedillo-Jojola, the Theology Department’s 2017 Primo Contreras Award recipients. The award is presented to students who have demonstrated joy in serving others outside our school community, a love of St. Pius X High School, and an exemplary character. Mikayla is an enthusiastic student who participated in class discussions with joy and sincerity. She has been an active member of campus ministry and served as a leader in her parish confirmation program. She has a dedication to Mass and she is always willing to present Christ to others through her words and actions. Anselmo is kind hearted and consistently gives his time serving St. Pius X High School and his parish community. He has a passion for his faith and tries to live the Gospel message.

Thalia Sanchez is the Marcita Marek Award winner, honored for embodying the qualities of athletic leadership and service that physical education teacher Marcita Marek valued. The award was established by her family to recognize Marcita’s interest in promoting peer education and involvement in the athletic program of St. Pius.

The SPX Native American Leadership Award recipients are Ethan Darwin, Sileah Sandoval, Keanna Lucero, Xavior Allison and Neal Bitsie. The award goes to Native American students who are active participants in the SPX Native American Club demonstrating leadership in both school and community.

Class of 2017 College Acceptances

Jennifer M. Cox Nicole M. Cox Emilio E. Crespin Jessica M. Critelli Richard V. Dang Ethan Colin Darwin Chase Frances DeGuio Mel C. DeHerrera Enrico Nicola Del Frate Dylan James DeRaad Dylan David DiLorenzo Jordyn Brooke DiLorenzo Thomas D. DiLorenzo Caroline Dunn Nicolas George Eichwald Melanie Rose Esquibel Noah Bruce Fudge Brendan Robert Gallegos Felicia Justine Gallegos Leslie Celine Garcia Samantha Marie Garni Dominique Jeantae Giannini Lauren Elizabeth Giannini 2

St. Pius X Connections • SUMMER 2017

Angelo State University Arizona State University Baylor University Beloit College Benedictine College Brandeis University California College of Arts Central New Mexico Community College Coe College Colorado State University Cornell College Crown College Dakota College of Bottineau Davis & Elkins College Daytona State University Eastern Carolina University Eastern New Mexico University Eckerd College Florida Institute of Technology Fordham University Fort Lewis College Full Sail University George Washington University Gonzaga University

Grand Canyon University Hawaii Pacific University Holy Names University Long Island University Post Loyola Marymount University Loyola New Orleans Loyola University Chicago Manhattan College Marquette University Mercy College Metropolitan State University Denver Michigan State University Montana State University Montana State University Billings New Mexico Highlands New Mexico State University New Mexico Tech Northern Arizona University Olivet Nazarene Oregon State University Pace University Portland State University Presentation College Quincy University

Regis University Ringling College of Art and Design Saint Louis University Saint Mary’s of Notre Dame San Diego State University Santa Clara University Savannah College of Art and Design Seattle University Silver Lake College Soka University Southwestern College San Diego St. Edward’s University St. Mary’s College of California Stonehill College Texas State University Texas Tech University The College of William and Mary Trinity University United States Air Force Academy United State Air Force Academy Preparatory School University of Arizona University of California Berkeley University of California Los Angeles University of California Santa Cruz

University of Colorado Boulder University of Colorado Colorado Springs University of Dallas University of Denver University of Hawaii @ Manoa University of Mary-Hardin Baylor University of Mississippi University of Missouri University of Montana University of Nevada University of New Mexico University of North Carolina @ Greensboro University of Notre Dame University of Rochester University of San Diego University of San Francisco University of Southern California University of the Pacific University of Tulsa Villanova Wellesley University William Penn University Wayland Baptist University

The Class of 2017 Jessica Elizabeth Givens Destenie D. Gonzales Elizabeth Claire Gonzales Zahrah S. Gonzales Harold Albert Gridley Kayla Rebekah Griego Marina Renae Guzman Alicia Marie Harris Daliana Cristina Henao

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute honors Gabriel Calvo, Skyler Valdez, Joshua Moorhead and Ethan Darwin for their leadership, drive, integrity and citizenship skills emblematic of our nation’s 40th President.

Brooke Lynn Hernandez

Gabriel Calvo and Katherine Bruckner receive the Excellence in Social Studies Award from St. Pius X High School for excelling in the social studies program, exhibiting a passion for social studies, and participating in social studies electives.

Academic Awards

For excelling in multiple areas of the visual and performing arts, Sarah McHarney and Xavier Robinson receive the Renaissance Award, the highest honor bestowed by the St. Pius X High School Fine Arts department.

Amanda Christine Herrera Bridget Eileen Hillsey Jack Charles Howard Brittany Mary Humphrey Samantha Joylyn Jackson Josue Alfredo Jaramillo

Samuel Apodaca and Harold Gridley are National Merit Scholarship Program Finalists. Each year more than 1 million students take the PSAT examination to compete for this prestigious national honor. The National Hispanic Recognition Program of the College Board names as National Hispanic Scholars Samuel Apodaca, Gabriel Calvo, Catherine Collins, Madisen Christoffersen, Morgan Lucero, Jacob Lynch, Marena Trujillo and Skyler Valdez. Every year the NHRP recognizes about 5,000 of the 250,000 Hispanic students who take the PSAT their junior year.

Michael Antonio Hernandez

Brenna Patricia Jennings Trenton Lee Jennings Hannah Claire Grover Kaye Juliet M. Kelly George Gold Kennedy Jewel Yoko Kentilitisca Alexandra Terese Lackner Evan Alexander Lavin Raven Gabrielle Lente

Jennifer Cox and Nicole Cox each receive the four-year Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Scholarships. The highly competitive national award is worth an average of $180,000 toward tuition and other financial benefits at leading colleges and universities. The two will both use their awards to attend the University of Rochester. Tatiana Limon receives an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School. She is one of only 240 out of 9,000 highly-qualified students to receive the offer equivalent to a full one-year scholarship and monthly pay of about $950. Upon successful completion of the Preparatory School, she will have an opportunity to be appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy to earn a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.

Adrian Marcus Leon Tatiana Faith Limon Keanna Renee Lucero Morgan Isabella Lucero Jacob Connor Lynch Connor Quinn MacKenzie Maximilliano Jon Madrid MariaElena Alicia Maestas Michael Anthony Maestas Kristy Ann Marcelli Alexis Rae Martinez Brianna Brooke Martinez Carlos Gilbert Martinez Jr. Jacqueline Jean Martinez Gabriella Nicole Maxson Lillian Dawn McCarty Sarah Helene Hampton McHarney Matthew Stephen Moleres Andrea M. Mondragon Christina Jenae Montoya Victoria Mia Lovato Montoya Vincent Montoya Joshua Jason Moorhead Victoria Deneve Moreno Celina-Marie Josefina Moya Brennan Arlington Myers Miranda Faith Niski Alicia Anna Ortiz St. Pius X Connections • SUMMER 2017


GRADUATION2017 The Class of 2017

Athletic Awards

Andrew R. Ortiz

Joseph Baca, a Sartan swimmer and water polo player, and Morgan Lucero, co-captain of the Dorados Dance Team, are the St. Pius X Scholar Athletes of 2017. The award is given to students who excel equally in academics and athletics, being honor students and athletes of exceptional leadership and performance.

Destiny Rey Ortiz Isaiah Carlo Ortiz Alexander S. Pagan Alessia Pellegrino Danielle Christine Perea Mark J. Perea Alec Paul Perry May Louise Peters Aaron James Plant Kimberly Elizabeth Rael Alondra Reyes Amanda C. Rivera Ryan Joseph Rivera Xavier Julian Robinson Diego Enrique Rodriguez Jessica Natalia Rueda Makayla Rosa Saenz Thomas Anthony Salas Dustin Henry Salls Thalia M. Sanchez Victoria Linda Sanchez Madison Eve Sandoval Sileah Marie Sandoval Karina Isabel Scheller Karl Nikolaus Schneller Angelique L. Sedillo Anselmo Larry Sedillo-Jojola Dominic Salvador Sena Austin James Shull Kevin Cesar Sierra-Moran Randi Michelle Silva Andrew Takeshi Sinclair Annaliese Nicole Smith Evan Douglas Smith Stephany Kiana Lee Strahle Benjamin F. Telles Andres J. Torres Edward William Torres IV Mikayla Jae Torres Samuel Alexander Torres

Recognized for their highest skills, leadership, teamwork, coachability and work ethic, the 2016-2017 St. Pius X High School Athletes of the Year are football’s Andrew Ortiz and girls soccer’s Tatiana Limon. Read about their accomplishments on Page 11.

The Outstanding Sports Medicine Students of the Year are Joshua Moorhead and Victoria Trujillo (pictured above) for their work with the sports medicine program. Andrew Apodaca is the Danny McKay Memorial Manager of the Year for his efforts as a sports manager.

Community Service Two seniors are recognized for Exemplary Community Service: Morgan Lucero, who provided 590 hours of community service over four years of high school, and Ethan Darwin, who provided 595 hours of service in four years.

Senior Class President Yoko Kentilitisca presents the Class of 2017’s Connect 17 contribution of $3,858 to support tuition assistance for future generations of Sartans. Members of the class made contributions of $20.17 in honor of their graduation year.

Timothy Hy-Hien Tran Anthony Lee Trujillo BryAnna Monique Trujillo Marena Sevilla Trujillo VictoriaRae N. Trujillo Miranda Sol Urrea Gabriella Jessica Valdez Odysseus Ernesto Valdez Skyler Alexis Valdez Amber K. Vigil Jared Dylan Vigil Kaela Maree Villegas Helene Charlotte Elizabeth Walker Julianna C. Zamora 4

St. Pius X Connections • SUMMER 2017

St. Pius X High School Alumni from 1960 to 2016 represented the 60-year history of our Catholic college-prep education at the Class of 2017’s graduation ceremony May 23. A member of each graduating class donned gold caps and gowns and represented their graduation year on stage. The Sartan alumni’s names and graduation year were announced before the ceremony began. The event marked the end of the year-long celebration of 60 years of St. Pius X High School. Thank you to all our alumni for their continuous love and support.

FOUNDATION2017 Special thanks to the dedicated members of our community who have committed to serve on the St. Pius X High School Foundation Board. With just two sources of income – tuition and private contributions – St. Pius relies on the professional skills and insights of its foundation board members to assist in meeting the current and future financial needs of our school.

2017 Foundation Board Eddie Castoria ’64, President

Tony G. Pino ’74

Joseph DeBlasssie, President Elect

Jerry Sais

Shannon Kawane, Secretary

Frank Schubert ’78

Darren Beckett

Chris Skipp ’86

Wayne Glass PhD ’63

David Sullivan Jr. ’02, ex-officio member, Alumni Council President

Ron Hensley

To make your own impact on the lives of St. Pius students, make your online donation at under the “Support” tab or mail your donation using the envelope on Page 6. Your support will make a difference!

Lonny Hurley ’77 Kara Kupper-Dannenberg ’88 Michael S. Martinez ’82 Joe Menicucci ’98

Bobby Wallace, ex-officio member, Director of Advancement Dr. Barbara Rothweiler, ex-officio member, Principal Donna Pearl, ex-officio member, Business Manager

Robinson Earns Golden Apple St. Pius X High School history teacher Mark Robinson received the 2017 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in teaching. The Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico recognized Robinson and six other New Mexico high school teachers for the profound impact they have on their students and their communities. Robinson calls his freshman world history course a big questions class about human experience in the context of history. “We ask, how can society be just?” Robinson says. “If it’s not just, what is acceptable to change it? Can you use violence? We develop these ideas in class and learn that we don’t have to come to agreement. We can be scholars of good will and not agree, but we find that having dialog and committing to listen to each other is powerful thing.” Robinson completed a lengthy application and observation process demonstrating the quality of his teaching and was selected from 130 nominations from across the state. A teacher for 25 years with 19 of those at St. Pius, Robinson calls St. Pius a powerful community and notes the school administration’s support of the social studies department’s effort that began four years ago to take a creative approach to teaching materials, replacing the world history textbook with source documents. ““I did not earn this award in isolation,” Robinson says. “Many people made it possible for me to be successful, including students

who embraced a different kind of history class, a different kind of thinking, and a willingness to ask questions, have opinions and stand up for them.” St. Pius X Connections • SUMMER 2017


SARTANSuccess SPX Students Charge Against Hunger Making A Difference Against Hunger, a Lenten service project organized by students of St. Pius X High School, worked to package 200,000 meals for hungry New Mexicans on April 12. Hundreds of students from St. Pius with the help of Catholic elementary and middle school students from Albuquerque and Grants parochial schools gathered in SPX gyms to help feed the hungry. About 1,200 total students participated in the day-long food packaging event. All of the food packaged this year will stay in New Mexico. Over the last five years, 80 percent of the food packaged has stayed in New Mexico, while some has gone to areas of the world in need including Haiti, Oklahoma, and the Philippines. This year’s effort will raise the total of meals packaged over the last nine years to almost 1.8 million meals. More than $200,000 has been raised by students since 2009 to purchase the ingredients packaged each year.

Music Students Shine

St. Pius Senior Leads Shoe Drive St. Pius X High School senior Victoria Montoya spent the final months of her senior year focused on shoes. More specifically, she collected new and gently-used shoes for the children and families served by Barrett House Shelter and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico. “My goal is to overwhelm them with shoes so that they have a surplus,” Montoya said of the project she named “Kicks for a Cause.” Montoya has worked for the City of Albuquerque as a recreation leader since her junior year, serving at recreation programs at three different schools in the city. “I saw that many kids really needed shoes,” she said, prompting her to launch the community service project. Montoya collected shoes at St. Pius throughout the season of Lent and at area Catholic elementary and middle schools through the end of the school year. Her goal was to exceed the 400 pairs of shoes she collected during a similar project she operated during Victoria Montoya, second from left, and classmates her eighth grade year Holy Ghost Catholic School. collect shoes. Montoya said she has been inspired in community service by many teachers at St. Pius, including Jennifer Gonzales and Greg Hakeem, and community service coordinator Alicia Elier. “They are very selfless people, always encouraging us to help others around us,” Montoya says. 6

St. Pius X Connections • SUMMER 2017

SPX Orchestra competes in California.

The St. Pius X High School Band, Choir and Orchestra traveled to California to compete in the Heritage Festival Western Regional at Fullerton College in the spring and each received second place in their respective categories against groups from many states. The Choir received a Gold Second at the festival, which is a huge honor. Both the Girl’s Chorus and Mixed Choir received superior ratings at the District VII (Albuquerque) Music Performance Assessment, which is the highest rating available. The Band received Superior ratings at the Band Music Performance Assessment and the Orchestra received an Excellent in their Music Performance Assessment festival. The music department also presented packed-house concerts in October, December and March and performed at the Spring Arts Festival at SPX over four days in April, featuring Broadway tunes and more than 20 soloists performing favorite show tunes.

Engineering Creates

RobotiX Club competed at the VEX State Championships in Las Cruces in March, putting STEM concepts to the test and growing in teamwork, leadership and communication skills. Members of the RobotiX Club are, left to right, Morgan Willie, Arianna Matthews, Ely Teran, Tristin Duff, Tristian Ruiz, and Mark Perea.

AcaDec Ranks 6th Nationally The St. Pius X High School Academic Decathlon Team earned a sixth place national finish and multiple individual medals at the Academic Decathlon National Finals held April 19-22 in Madison, Wis. The team won the New Mexico State Championship in March to earn their entry to national competition. The team includes seniors Sam Torres and Tim Tran; juniors Margaret Carpenter, Jasmine Day, Bryan Martinez and Caitlin Vigil; and sophomores Dominic DeBlassie and Kayla Moehn. About 600 total students from 35 U.S. States, Great Britain, China, and Canada competed. Team members brought home three national medals: Moehn and Day both won the Gold Medal in Interview in their respective divisions. Martinez took the Silver Medal in Science and was a scholarship winner for overall score. Day was the scholarship winner for Team MVP. The competition prepares students in 10 subject areas including art, music, literature, history, economics, math, science, essay writing, speech, and personal interview. Teams may be composed of up to nine total students, two each from high, medium, and lower GPA categories. This year’s topic of focus was World War II. The Saint Pius X Academic Teams have won 16 State Championships over the last 20 years of competition, and have ranked as high as fourth in the nation.

Seniors Marena Trujillo, Karina Scheller and Ethan Darwin put a face on the new engineering lab at St. Pius X High School by designing and fabricating a stainless steel sign for the lab. The team used the lab’s plasma cutter, grinding wheels, band saw and mig welder to manufacture their design. The hands-on work used no computer-controlled tools. In the lab’s successful first year, students used Solidworks design software and the St. Pius X Engineering Design Process while learning to work with acrylic, foam, wood, steel and aluminum and equipment including a 3D printer, laser cutter and mini lathes. Next year’s Engineering II class will emphasize electrical engineering and more sophisticated projects that build on Engineering I skills.

Theater Lights

The St. Pius X High School Theater Department received rave reviews for its presentation of “Antigone” in March. Cast members included, left to right, Sarah McHarney (Antigone), Brock Sandoval (Chorus), Xavier Robinson (Creon), Garrett Gonzales (The Page), Jasmine Day (Ismene), Nathan Setter (Haemon), Dominique Gomez (The Nurse), Briana Enriquez (Eurydice) and Sam Valenzuela (The Messenger). Theater students also presented “The Nerd” in November.

Will you make a difference? St. Pius X High School student and faculty efforts during the 2016-2017 school year made an impact. You can make an impact too! Add your support with a gift to the St. Pius X Annual Fund. With your help St. Pius provides daily Catholic formation and a rich experience in academics, arts and athletics, vital keys to Sartan Success. Use the envelope on Page 6 to mail your donation or visit and its “Support” page to donate today. St. Pius X Connections • SUMMER 2017


ate D e h 018 ve t


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Gala Celebrates and Inspires

Alec Houser, Tessa Turcotte ‘09, Natalie Herrera and A.J. Herrera ‘99

Thank you to our 2017 Annual Gala Sponsors Premier Sponsor Gateway Financial Advisors Inc.

St. Pius X Sponsor Fast Park & Relax

Sartan Sponsors Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish

Pius Pride Sponsors Abrazo Homes Bank of America Berger Briggs Real Estate and Insurance Inc. Terry Gomez DDS ’90 HB Construction Raylee Homes Rocky Mountain Stone Tinnin Hunt Club Rebecca Roberton Weh ’64 and Allen Weh

“Celebrating Our Past, Inspiring Our Future,” the St. Pius X High School Annual Gala, gathered alumni, current parents and friends on Feb. 25, 2017, to celebrate St. Pius and conclude the celebration of the school’s first 60 years. The event raised $65,000 to support the St. Pius X High School Foundation and its constant work to raise funds that provide for tuition assistance, faculty professional development, athletics and fine arts. During the gala, St. Pius honored Joyce Cuneo Barkocy ’62 and Ed Barkocy with the Vincioni Award for their lifelong philanthropy and support of Catholic education. For more than 15 years, Joyce volunteered Monsignor Francis X. Eggert and Coach Ron Tybor with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, fulfilling over 100 wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. During that time, she was instrumental in bringing the Make-A-Wish program to St. Pius. Ed and Joyce are proud to be the start of a three-generation legacy of successful Sartan graduates. Honored with the Outstanding Alumnus Award were William Tierney ’97 and Stefanie Fila Tierney ’97 for their support of St. Pius. In 2014 the Albuquerque couple started the Eddie Vasquez Memorial Endowment to help deserving students attend St. Pius and Celebrating an auction win. receive a Catholic college-prep education. The Principal’s Award was presented to Manuel Chavez ’65 and Cynthia Chavez for their long-time support of St. Pius and their active involvement in serving and supporting Catholic educational organizations and initiatives. Manuel serves as a company partner with Chavez Properties based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thank you to our Gala Committee and especially Dianne DeHerrera who served as the operations chairperson for the Mardi Gras/Gala for six years. We sincerely thank her for her dedication and commitment to the event and to our school. With the conclusion of the 60th anniversary celebration year, the annual gala returns to its traditional Mardi Gras theme for 2018. Mark your calendars today for Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. Archbishop John C. Wester

Black and Gold Sponsors Cathy Cspregi Cavanaugh ’95 and Dr. Brendan Cavanaugh Gateway Financial Advisors Inc. Pinon Perinatal Radio ABQ FM SPX Alumni Council Vigil and Associates Manuel Chavez ‘65 and Cynthia Chavez 8

St. Pius X Connections • SUMMER 2017

Edward Barkocy and Joyce Barkocy ‘62

Joe McGuire ‘64 and Mary McGuire

2017 Homecoming Monday, Sept. 25 Homecoming Mass, 8 a.m., SPX Gym Wednesday, Sept. 27 Bonfire, 6-9 p.m., SPX Campus Thursday, Sept. 28 Homecoming Game, 6 p.m., Wilson Stadium

Sartan Open

Supports Catholic Education The 2017 Sartan Open raised more than $28,000 in support of Catholic education at St. Pius X High School. The tournament drew more than 100 golfers to Los Altos Golf Course on May 5, 2017, to benefit the SPX Alumni Council, the SPX Athletic Booster Club and the SPX Foundation. Heartfelt thanks to Chris Moya, SPX Girls Golf coach and golf professional at Los Altos, for his assistance in making the tournament a huge success and to the golfers who supported the tournament.

2017Reunions For detailed information on all 2016 SPX reunions, visit

Class of 1967 50th Reunion - Sept. 22-24 Contact: Gemma Menicucci Morris at Website: Brian Garrett, Terry Gomez, Joshua Chavez and Gardner Kroeter

40th Reunion - Aug. 4-5 Contact: Barbara Hernandez Studerus at or Barb Cordova Hurley at

Class of 1987 30th Reunion - July 28-29

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors:

Karen Lackner, Loretta Garrett, Kassadii Depuy and Jeannine DeLorenzo

Polo Sponsor Evergreen Electric

Hole in One Sponsor Quality Buick GMC by DiLorenzo

Umbrella Sponsors Tremco Dr. John and Mrs. Karen Lackner

Lion Sponsors Pino Periodontics Morgan Stanley Elevate PHW

Banner Sponsor San Bar Construction Cap Sponsors Garcia CPA Accounting Firm, P.C. Terry Gomez DDS ’90

See you May 4, 2018

Class of 1977

Contact: Bonnie Mullane Smith, 505.350.6901 or Tickets: Search “St. Pius Class of ’87 Reunion” at

Class of 1997 20th Reunion - July 14-16 Contact: Katy Mulbery at

Photography Sponsor Moji Studios

Class of 2007

Awards Sponsor Turf Specialties LLC

10-Year Reunion - Aug. 25-27

for the 17th Annual Sartan Open

Contact: Stephen Bergin or Shelby Ann Chavez at

Save the Date: Alumni Soccer & Volleyball August 12, 2017 St. Pius X Connections • SUMMER 2017


SPXSPORTS Sartans: Football 5A State Champs, Golf and Dance Runners-Up The St. Pius X High School Football Team beat Artesia 34-24 win the 2016 5A State Championship. It is the team’s first state championship since 1999 and its third overall. USA Today named Coach San Juan Mendoza its 2016 New Mexico Football Coach of the Year. St. Pius quarterback Drew Ortiz was named to the USA Today 2016 All-USA New Mexico Football First Team and was named Male High School Athlete of the Year by the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame. Senior offensive lineman John Corcoran earned USA Today second team honors. Mendoza retired from coaching after the championship win, completing 25 years coaching the Sartans, 21 of those as head coach. He finished 2016 with a 12-1 season and a 160-82 career. SPX special teams coordinator Dave Montoya ’98 takes over as head coach. Montoya played at St. Pius from 1991 to 1994 and has been an assistant coach since 1998. St. Pius senior forward Tatiana Limon was named to the 2016 National Soccer Coaches Association of America High School All-American team. Limon, who will graduate as St. Pius Girls Soccer’s all-team leading goal scorer and point earner, had 32 goals this season for the Sartans and helped them into the Class 5A state championship game.

In Girls Golf, Ashlee Garrett is the 2017 State Champion and the team is 5A State Runner-Up with a record of nine wins and three runners-up titles in 12 tournaments. Cindy Herrera placed fifth in the state tournament. She and Garrett were both selected to the All-State Team. The SPX team is the Shootout in the Desert Champion, Metro Champion and District Champion. Selected as All-District players are Garrett, Herrera, Shamyra Sanchez, Jordan Martindale and Kori Tellez. Garrett was also named District Player of the Year and Coach Chris Moya is District Coach of the Year.

Four St. Pius Track & Field athletes earned state champion honors in six events at the 2017 5A State Championships: George Kennedy in the 400m, Jacqueline Pinon in the 3200m and the 1600m, Haley Rizek in the 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles, and Arianna Martinez in the high jump. Rizek also was the 5A High Point State Athlete. The Girls team took third place at the state championship and won its 11th straight district title. Boys placed 10th at state and third in District. The St. Pius Girls Water Polo Team finished second at the State Championships. The Boys Water Polo Team finished 5th at State Championships. SPX Coach Daryl Wells was named New Mexico High School Water Polo League Coach of the Year. The Boys Rugby team finished in second place in the 10’s division this year, losing in the state championship match to Los Alamos. Under the leadership of team captain senior Karl Schneller, the team’s overall record was 5-7, district record 3-2.

Fourteen Sartans signed their letters of intent to continue their athletic pursuits at the next level at a school assembly in May. They are, standing from left, Austin Shull, football (Orange Coast College); Jessica Givens, volleyball (Stonehill College); Mitchell Buffett, baseball (New Mexico State University); Victoria Sanchez, soccer (Adams State University); John Corcoran, football (Buena Vista University); Julianna Zamora, volleyball (Adams State University); Mel DeHerrera, football (Adams State University); Morgan Lucero, dance (University of New Mexico); Ryan Rivera, basketball (Wayland Baptist University); Dominique Giannini, soccer (St. Edwards University); and kneeling from left, Makayla Saenz, soccer (Southwestern College San Diego); Alexandra Lackner, volleyball (Long Island University Post); Jordyn DiLorenzo, cross country/track & field; (Hawaii Pacific University); and Tatiana Limon, soccer (New Mexico State University). 10

St. Pius X Connections • SUMMER 2017

In Boys Golf, Aidan Thomas took third place (three strokes out of first) at the State 5A Golf Tournament and was named to the All-State Team. He also shot qualifying scores in 10 out of 10 tournaments and was named District Co-Player of the Year. Thomas and Ryan Schwaner were named to the All-District team and the Boys Golf team earned a District Runner-Up title. St. Pius Wrestling earned individual state and district success this season. Diego Pavia took second at the state championship, first in district, second in the APS tournament and third in the Joe Vivian Tournament; Steven Sanchez earned second in district, third in the APS tournament and fourth in the Joe Vivian Tournament; Mathew Sanchez took second in district; and Estevan Bazan, Teddy Coyle and Christian Solis each earned third place in district. The team earned third place at the Del Valle Winter Duals in El Paso and its overall dual meet record was 10-17.

St. Pius X High School

By The Numbers In the individual State Tennis Tournament, the St. Pius Girls Tennis team of Karina Scheller and Maddie Hoff placed third in the Girls Doubles. In Boys Tennis, Patrick Aguilar and Zach Kolkmeyer qualified for the state tournament in doubles. In the State Tennis Tournament team competition, SPX Boys Tennis lost their opening match to Roswell 7-2, while the Girls won their Quarterfinal match against Santa Teresa 9-0. In the Semifinal, the Girls were defeated by Los Alamos 5-0-1. St. Pius Baseball, which ranked as high as No. 2 in the state, advanced to the semifinal game of the State 5A Baseball Tournament, where they suffered a loss to Goddard 5-3. The District 5-5A Champions finished the season 19-10. Ryan McGaha was named District 5-5A Player of The Year and First Team All-District. Also named First Team All-District were Mitch Buffett, Matthew Moleres, Dylan DiLorenzo, Grant Smith, CJ Bachechi and Hayden Walker. Named Second Team All-District were Isaiah Chavez, Trenton Jennings, Trevor Garcia, Mason Walker and Josh Lackner. Jacob McCoy and Nate Sanchez earned District Honorable Mention honors. SPX Girls Basketball won the Moriarty Invite, were runners-up in the Sandia Prep Invite and posted a record of 19-10 for the season. The team entered the state tournament as a 6-seed, but lost in the first round to Gallup 54-44. Sophomore guard Maya Trujillo was named Second Team All-State, First Team All-District, and Second Team All-Metro. Junior post Arianna Martinez earned Second Team All-District honors and junior post Taylor Reed earned Second Team All-District and Honorable Mention All-Metro awards. SPX Boys Basketball entered the state tournament a 10-seed. A first round 60-50 loss to Alamogordo ended the season for the 14-13 Sartans. The SPX Dorados Dance Team added a red State Runner-Up trophy to the SPX trophy case, earning second place honors among 5A schools at the 2017 NMAA State Spirit Competition for Cheer and Dance in March. The Dorados also traveled in February to compete at the National Dance Team Championships in Orlando, Fla., earning a score placing them among the top 15 competitive dance teams in the nation.



of faculty members hold advanced degrees

34 teachers

with more than 10 years of experience at SPX


of SPX graduates attend college

Recent acceptances include: Student-Teacher ratio



Community Service Hours Performed Over 4 Years by the Class of



Students recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program and the National Hispanic Recognition Program over the past five years

16 AP classes offered

2 3

out of Students are Athletes


Athletic Teams including the 2016-2017 Volleyball and Football State Champions

Arizona State University Benedictine College Carnegie Mellon University Cornell University Fordham University George Washington University Gonzaga University Marquette University Princeton University St. Mary’s College of California Stanford University Texas A&M U.S. Air Force Academy University of Notre Dame University of San Diego Vanderbilt University Yale University


of students receive financial aid

41 Catholic

parishes represented

$12.7 Million

Scholarships Awarded to the Class of 2017

2 out of 3 Students participate in Fine Arts including music, drama and art programs

In Memory Albert (Al) Arrigoni, age 90 of Albuquerque, died Jan. 27, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Rena Menicucci; and two daughters, Regina ’73 and Annette. Jimmy T. Chavez ’98 (Jimmie T. Martinez Jr.) age 36 of Albuquerque, died Dec. 30, 2016. Chavez attended UNM and went on to work as an air traffic controller. He was President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. He is survived by his father Jimmie Martinez and step-mother Anna. Manuel Contreras, age 82 of Albuquerque, died Sept. 15, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Marleen; son Joseph ’74; and grandchildren Matthew ’05 and Rachel ’10. Margaret Anne Doberneck, age 81 of Albuquerque, died Nov. 5, 2016. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Dr. Raymond C. Doberneck; children, Susan ’77, Betsy ’79, Michael, Molly ’83, Megan ’86 and Sarah; and seven grandchildren. Desiderio D. Garcia, a St. Pius student in the late 1990s, age 35 of Albuquerque, died Feb. 12, 2017. He is survived by his mother, Yvonne Garcia and Lonnie Cordova; father, Desi Garcia and Christine Gabaldon; children, Miguel Graston, Desi Garcia III, and Azlyn Garcia; sister, Jacqueline Garcia; and brother, Justin Garcia. Joan Lorraine Gogan, age 89 of Albuquerque, died March 29, 2017. She is survived by her children Mary Jo Davee ’71 (John ’71), Eileen Martinez ’73 (Marty ’73), Susan Folkner ’75 (husband Mark ’75), Pamela Harada ’76; eight grandchildren including Nathan Martinez ’04, Sarah Martinez ’07, Erin Folkner Conner ’01, Jacqueline Folkner Vigliano ’04 and Jessica Folkner ’06; and four great-grandchildren. Josefina L. Grado, age 94 of Albuquerque, died Nov. 9, 2016. She is survived by her children, Rudy Grado (Janet ’72), Irma L. Grado and Patty Grado; four grandchildren including Ian Grado ’97, Matthew Grado ’79 and Sarah Tuico ’02; and six great-grandchildren. Melissa “Missy” Dugas Gutierrez ’89, age 46 of Albuquerque, died March 23, 2017. She was a dental assistant and hygienist. She and her husband founded the ABQ Volleyball Club for young girls. She is survived by her husband Joe; son Michael Timm ’07; daughter Kate Timm ’13; one granddaughter; parents Jay and Jean Dugas; and sister Janine Burford ’86.

Capt. (Ret) Walter T. Jackson, age 78 of Albuquerque, died Dec. 12, 2016. He is survived by his sister, Evalyn; daughters, Shari ’81, Kimberly ’83, Teri ’84, and Stephanie ’84; son, Walter ’87; 22 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Elizabeth (Betty) Catherine Kodis, age 94 of White Rock, died March 10, 2017. She is survived by her six children, John Kodis ’65, Susan Duval, Betsy Brohl, Ruth Wojciak, Mary Kodis and Theresa Kodis; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Paul John Matteucci, age 79 of Albuquerque, died March 13, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Judy; children, David ’88 (Kendra ’89), Brian ’87 (Mary ’87) and Paula ’89; and eight grandchildren including Kayla ’14, Seth ’19 and Tiffany ’10. Jane Rodgers Mechenbier, age 90 of Albuquerque, died Feb. 5, 2017. She is survived by her children, Kathy Williams ’69, Mike ’71 (Kathy ’74), John ’74, Mark ’77, and Jeff ’79; 15 grandchildren including Jessica ’99, Abby ’01, Katie ’03, Emily ’06, Richelle ’08; and 14 great-grandchildren. Louise G. Messina, age 90 of Albuquerque, died April 2, 2017. She is survived by her children Joseph F. Messina ’81, Mary Anne Messina ’82, and Frank C. Messina; and one grandchild. Elizabeth (Betty) Moorhead ’62, age 72 of Albuquerque, died Sept. 11, 2016. Elizabeth founded the New Mexico Basset Hound rescue. She retired from the USDA Veterinarian Service in 1990 after 30 years of service. Bertha Olguin, age 93 of Albuquerque, died Mar. 15, 2017. She is survived by three daughters, Charlene Valenzuela, Corrine Campos and Doris Ann Bradley; three sons, Bobby, Reggie and wife SPX Liturgical Director Evelyn, and Carlos, Jr.; 14 grandchildren including Jeremy Olguin ’93 (Karla ’96) Dominic (Theresa ’02); 34 great-grandchildren including Jordan Olguin ’14 and seven great-great-grandchildren. Diana G. Quintana, age 87 of Albuquerque, died Feb. 7, 2017. She is survived by her son, Roland Quintana ’87; and daughters, Marla Tiers, Karen Barreras, and Kim Samson; and four grandchildren.

We Have You in Our Prayers The students, faculty and staff at St. Pius very much enjoyed hosting the Decade Celebration Masses for our alumni, starting with the Decade of the ’60s Mass last September. Each Mass was a warm and inspirational “St. Pius Family” experience. Our alumni helped our students with the scripture readings, the responsorial psalms and the prayers of the faithful. They also helped taking up the gifts and served as Eucharistic ministers. The feedback from our students on this alumni-student interaction was very positive. At each of these Masses we acknowledged our prayer 12

St. Pius X Connections • SUMMER 2017

book which contains the names of deceased St. Pius alumni. The preparation of this prayer book was a project of alumni Kathy Neff ’64 and Chuck Reynolds ’64. This prayer book is an ongoing project and we hope to keep it as complete and current as possible as the St. Pius Advancement and Alumni Office interacts with our various alumni reunion committees. We need our alumni classes to keep us accurately informed of loved ones lost from your classes. Please know that our school continues to offer our heartfelt prayers for our alumni and all our St. Pius family.

Juan Carlos Romero ’08, age 26 of Albuquerque, died Feb. 7, 2017. Romero earned two bachelor’s degrees in economics, philosophy and fine arts from the University of New Mexico in 2014. He planned to enter a graduate degree program in philosophy with the hope of becoming a professor. He is survived by his parents, Patricia and Carlos Romero; and sister, Victoria Sype ’05. John Sisneros, age 84 of Albuquerque, died Dec. 27, 2016. He is survived by nine children, John ’72, Joseph ’74, Phillip ’75, Lisa Brow ’77, Andrew ’79, Margaret ’82, Paul, James ’85, and Christine ’87; and nine grandchildren. Eric A. Sanchez ’84, age 50 of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, died Feb 6, 2017. Sanchez, an award winning local home designer, established Sanchez Design Group. He is survived by his wife, Deby Sanchez; his mother, Terri Sanchez; and brothers, Franklin ’81, Paul ’86, and Earl (Ronnie). Bruce Harl Strotz, age 70 of Albuquerque, died Dec. 20, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Cheryl Strotz; children, Sondra Carpenter ’90, Karla Pinckes ’91; and four grandchildren. John M. Sugg, age 69 of Albuquerque, died Feb. 25, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Patti (P.J.) Sugg; children Shannon Schneider, John (J.P.) Sugg ’00 (Stephanie ’00); siblings Christina (Tina) Fleming and Stephen Sugg ’88; and eight grandchildren. Donald Frederick Vonderhaar, age 77 of Albuquerque, died March 9, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Rosalie Vonderhaar; children, Randy and Ronald ’83; and five grandchildren. Sister Carolyn Ann Wheat, SL, age 95 of Nerinx, Ky., died December 30, 2016. She was a ninth grade math tutor at St. Pius X High School from 2010-2013. She entered the Sisters of Loretto in 1939 and received her final vows Aug. 15, 1945. She earned her Master’s degree in Education from Saint Louis University in 1966. Her assignments were located in Texas, California, Colorado, Missouri and New Mexico. She retired to the Loretto Motherhouse in 2016. Send your “In Memory” contributions to

AlumniNotes Jorja Armijo-Brasher ’64 was appointed to the New Mexico Supreme Court’s 16-member commission to study the system in which guardians and conservators are appointed to handle the affairs of incapacitated adults, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Armijo-Brasher is director of the city of Albuquerque’s Department of Senior Affairs.

Fr. Samuel Philip Hakeem, O.P.,’05 a member of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), was ordained a Catholic priest on May 20 in St. Louis, Mo., by Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis. Hakeem celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at his home parish, Prince of Peace Catholic Church, in Albuquerque on June 4. The son of Jaynie and Bob Hakeem, he earned a bachelor’s degree in space physics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., in 2009. He then studied optics at the University of New Mexico for one year before leaving the program to enter the Dominicans. This year he graduated from the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis with a dual Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology degree with honors. Fr. Hakeem’s first assignment will be at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison, Wis.

Photo: Jean Fogelberg

New York Times bestselling author Anne Hillerman ’67 celebrated the publication of “Song of the Lion” by Harper Hardcover in April, her third crime novel featuring the Navajo characters created by her father, Tony Hillerman. “Song of the Lion” follows Officer Bernadette Manuelito, her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, and retired lieutenant Joe Leaphorn on the trail of a long-simmering plan of revenge. Hillerman is an award-winning reporter and the author of several nonfiction books and the novels “Spider Woman’s Daughter” and “Rock with Wings.” New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller ’96 is running to become the next mayor of Albuquerque. Keller, a former state senator from Albuquerque’s International District will run as a publicly financed candidate, which requires a candidate to submit $5 contributions from 3,802 registered city voters. He will receive $1 per registered city voter, roughly $380,000 in city funds, minus the money he raised, to run his campaign, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The election is in October. Dr. Adam Battaglia ’96 joined with other dentists in two days of service providing free dental care to the homeless in St. Louis, Mo. Battaglia, who practices with Water Tower Dental Group and Orthodontics in Arnold, Mo., provided same-day crowns from a mobile dental clinic RV.

Rev. Graham Golden, O. Praem. ’04 has been named winner of the 2016 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award, sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). CCHD is the anti-poverty program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The award honors a Catholic between the age of 18 and 40 who demonstrates leadership in fighting poverty and injustice in the United States through community-based solutions. Father Golden is a member of the Norbertine Community of Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey in Albuquerque. He currently serves as the coordinator of program development, evaluation and research for the Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe where he guides the evolution of grassroots, parish-based anti-poverty initiatives in rural communities. He is also the director of the Office of Christian Discipleship and Religious Vocation, a young adult spiritual formation outreach of the abbey. Additionally, he serves in a pastoral capacity as the parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community in Albuquerque. Monique Ashley (Martinez) Cordova ’08 graduated from New Mexico Highlands University in May with a master’s degree in business administration concentration in marketing. Send your Alumni Notes to the editor at

Poet Returns to SPX with Book in Hand Poet Bonnie Arning ’01 sought to create a collection that would be both art and accessible to anyone who picked it up. “Escape Velocity,” her accessible art and first book-length publication, hit the shelves in February 2017. Part of the Mountain West Poetry Series published by the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University, “Escape Velocity” is a novel in poems that tells the story of Arning’s marriage and its end. The work explores difficult truths of domestic violence and victimhood. “I wanted to shine a light on the idea of victimhood and how it feels,” Arning says. “That question of, ‘Am I worthy of protection or worthy to speak out?’” Arning returned to St. Pius X High School in March to give readings from her new book, answer students’ questions and address creative writing classes. Arning took creative writing three times – as many times as the school would let her – with English teacher Julia Huchmala. “She was really generous and always let me write poems as an alternate assignment,” Arning says. “There was an expectation at Pius of ‘we’re all in this together’ and everyone knew it,” Arning adds. “I was so lucky to be able to learn in that environment.” Arning went on to the University of New Mexico to earn a bachelor’s degree in literature and writing, and a master of fine arts degree in poetry. She now lives in Corvallis, Ore., where she teaches English. “Leaving Albuquerque has made me miss and appreciate it,” she says. “I didn’t realize what a diverse and accepting community I lived in. I want to find a way to put that into poetry.” St. Pius X Connections • SUMMER 2017


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