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Commencement 2017

The Visitor


About the Publication Visitation Academy is an independent, Catholic school offering a coeducational early childhood program and all-girls environment in grades 1-12. The Lower School educates Toddler through Kindergarten-aged boys and girls in the Montessori method while also providing the area’s only all-girls program in grades 1-5. A welcoming environment, small class sizes, and a technology-supported curriculum provide a strong educational foundation.




The Middle School builds a bridge from childhood to young adulthood. The Middle School curriculum is centered on the developmental readiness, needs, and interests of girls in grades 6-8. The Upper School offers a rigorous, four-year college preparatory curriculum for young women in grades 9-12. A vibrant fine arts program, numerous service opportunities, and more than 32 clubs and organizations complement the Academy’s commitment to academic excellence.





For information regarding admission to Visitation Academy, please contact Sharon Conley Spellman ‘89 Director of Admission, at 314-625-9102. The Visitor is published by Visitation Academy’s Advancement Office and is sent to alumnae, parents, and friends of the school.





3020 N. Ballas Rd. St. Louis, MO 63131 314.625.9100

MIDDLE SCHOOL NEWS Copyright © 2018 Visitation Academy All rights reserved. Dan Hildebrand Interim Head of School



Jenny Lucas Director of Advancement


Ellen Cooper Marketing Coordinator






ALUMNA LINKEDIN GROUP: Visitation Academy Alumnae

From the Chair of the Board of Trustees Dear Visitation Community, As I approach my third year as Chair of the Board of Trustees, I am very excited about the future of Visitation Academy. It is an exciting time to be a part of this wonderful community! After much collaborative work within our community in the form of task force meetings, focus group conversations, and online surveys, the Board adopted a strategic plan in early 2017 setting forth initiatives for the next two to four years. Under the umbrella of our Catholic faith and Salesian values, we focused on what takes place in our classrooms on a daily basis. Continually improving teaching for the benefit of our students and moving toward a model of instruction that emphasizes skills - creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration – in addition to content knowledge are important components of the plan. If you haven’t done so already, please take a few minutes to view the strategic plan at to get a good picture of the course we are setting for the future. We are very grateful to the Sisters for giving the school substantial space in the former Monastery. Because of their generosity, we were able to launch campus master planning last fall in conjunction with Mackey Mitchell Architects. After gaining input from students, parents, faculty and staff, the Sisters, alumnae, and others through focus groups, surveys, and even graffiti boards placed around the school, we arrived at a campus master plan in February that sets us on path to transform the school in a multiphase, multi-year process. Stay tuned for exciting developments in this area. We welcome David Colón as Head of School on July 1! David has made a number of visits to Viz over the last few months getting to know the students, faculty and

staff, and our community. David and Dan Hildebrand have worked together over the past year to ensure this transition is seamless. I am confident that David will hit the ground running and continue to build on the great progress we have made over the last few years. I would like to thank Dan Hildebrand for his outstanding leadership as Interim Head of School. He has successfully completed the objectives set out for him by the Board and situated Visitation for continued growth. It has been an honor and a true pleasure to work with Dan over these past two years. Our prayers and gratitude are with Dan as he assumes his new role as Head of Forsyth School. This issue of The Visitor is dedicated to the Class of 2017. Having been surrounded by Viz graduates my entire life, I know what special young women you are. We look forward to watching you soar and succeed in whatever your chosen path. Please know you will always be in our prayers. To our community: I am so grateful for your commitment to Viz and all that you do to make it such a wonderful place. I look forward to continuing to serve Visitation as we move ahead during this exciting time. Please keep us in your prayers, and know you will always be in mine. May God go with you always,

Joe McKee Chair, Board of Trustees

OUP: mnae

The Visitor


Head of School Appointment On July 12, 2017, the Board announced the hiring of David ColÓn as the new Head of School, effective July 1, 2018. Please find David's letter to the Viz Community below: Dear Members of the Visitation Community, I am both honored and humbled to have been selected to be Visitation Academy’s new head of school starting July 1, 2018. To put it mildly, my family and I are thrilled to be joining your community. As I’ve been processing this amazing new opportunity, I’m counting the blessings of joining Viz. First and foremost, Visitation’s Catholic and Salesian identity make it a match for my own values and those of my family. St. Francis’ dictum: “Be who you are and be that well to give glory to the Divine Artist whose handiwork you are” speaks to me. Finding a community that embraces such a vision is something special and rare and appeals to me as a professional educator, as a father, as a husband and as a believer. Meeting with Viz students during my interview, I noted immediately their pride in the school. Every student, from those who had recently arrived to newly graduated alums, expressed her gratitude to the school for giving her a platform to be her best self. Also important to me is Visitation’s sense of place. There is a sense of permanence – both temporal and spiritual. Viz has been around for a very long time and the school values and respects its identity. The proud alumnae I encountered throughout my visit gave me a clear sense of their commitment to Visitation Academy’s success. Parents talking about their own experience and their daughters’ time speaks volumes about loyalty and commitment. The continued presence of the Sisters also provides Visitation with a rootedness in its identity. Their stewardship of the school’s Salesian identity impressed me; the opportunity to learn from them is a truly unique opportunity. But here’s the thing that appeals to me beyond the school’s identity: Visitation is going places. Within a sense of connectedness, Visitation Academy has a wonderful commitment to progress and improvement to make sure our students are prepared to bring Salesian values into a world that needs them so much. As I read through the school’s strategic plan, I saw a community that is dedicated to staying rooted in its history, traditions and values without losing a plan for the future. Our plan sets forth a course that focuses on student engagement, educational innovation, and preparing young women for a constantly changing world. I could write an exhaustive treatise on my decision to come to Visitation Academy. There are lots of reasons why I want to be a part of the community. But I keep coming back to one overwhelming thing: during all of my interactions, and I mean all of them, I felt a sense of home. Sister Marie Therese asked me why I was interested in Viz and I said, “I’m looking for a home.” Visitation’s values and vision match my own in a way that I’ve never before experienced during my twenty plus years in the profession. I truly feel I am coming home; I am honored and excited to be a part of this grand adventure. Yours in Christ,

David Colón


Thank you, Dan Hildebrand for two years of service as Interim Head of School!

Thank you for creating such a welcoming environment for our community. It has been an exciting two years and you have made our future brighter. Our prayers are with you as you begin your tenure as Head of School at Forsyth School!

The Visitor


Although I met a great number of my classmates on this stage during the chaos of 6th grade locker set-up, my first memories of Viz go further back. All the way back, in fact, to my Montessori days, days of classmates with questionable bowl cuts and days of absolutely futile attempts to teach French to toddlers who could barely be trusted to use the bathroom on their own. Back then, these days also included a Montessori birthday ritual in which the teacher brought out a globe and you walked around it once for each year you’ve been alive, symbolizing the passage of time.

Valedictorian Lauren Elizabeth Sullivan

I bring this up now, over a decade later but in the same school, because as my days at Viz became numbered, I found myself wanting to circle not a plastic globe, but my entire world at Viz. On this journey, I’d pass the classroom where Mrs. Rednam worked miracles and taught us the magic of a “beautiful problem.” Walking by the labs, I would feel the nervous excitement of biology dissections performed and chemistry reports halfwritten (but at least “80 percent is mastery, girls”). Downstairs, music and the rhythm of perfected steps would pour out from the theatre. Soon passing the old geography room, I’d wish a special thanks—as would Mrs. Hunt—to the "ladies in the back" who have figuratively, and at times quite literally, held this school together. Down the hall, the echoes of the latest and greatest “rockumentary” would spill from Mr. Russell’s room to be soon followed by the sage advice “don’t be a statistic!” (all the more relevant as we head off to college). Wandering through the cafeteria, I’d feel the warmth of Viz cookies and hear the laughter of my favorite lunch table pals. I would pass the gym and hear the deafening roar of the crowd at homecoming just after the seniors and cheer squad perform. Just outside, the fields would recall memories of soccer’s road to state, accomplishments second only to the far more impressive time our class broke the tug-of-war rope on Field Day. Eventually, I’d make it to the more tucked away places at Viz: the Slounge where we wisely spent hours curled up on dubiously clean couches watching Disney movies with friends instead of writing college essays; Jane’s Place where the coffee machine single-handedly saved our class from the total ruin of senioritis; the Monastery where we snuck to “ghost hunt” after midnight


during Lock-in; and last, the attic classroom where I experienced the closest thing to a Dead Poet’s Society I’ll ever get with the help of Mrs. B and the Oversoul. Tomorrow morning, as a class we’ll make another kind of walk, this time around the Maypole (if our prayers for sunshine ever get answered). If you can spare a few thoughts between concentrating on counting or on not tripping over your own skirt, think about it as another symbol of time passing. Once awkward grade school students and underclassmen, now we’re women confidently walking the walk. We’ve made it. Although I know it’s easy to bask in memories forever, today is really about the future. So let’s go out and forge a new path. As we enter college, our circles will inevitably grow. Be it through backpacking across Europe or simply navigating campus to find that elusive lecture hall, we’ll find ourselves drawn to new places, new ideas, and new people. We will find new comfortable pockets in the world. But when a worthwhile risk appears or failure stubbornly plants itself in our journey’s way, let us not shy from it. We will push past it. Embrace it. Dig deeper. Breathe. Take a scenic detour. Return to it. Face it. Whatever we do, our circles will always grow. In the words of author Neil Gaiman, let’s “go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for [our] being here." As alumnae, take comfort in knowing that no matter how far we may wander, Viz will always be a home to circle back to when we get lost. Finally, as old and accomplished as we feel in this moment, holding our diplomas and with the crescents’ weight around our necks, take a moment to thank your parents—your family— and recognize that odds are, our parents are still struggling to reconcile the image of us on stage right now with the children who ran into their arms after the first day of preschool. I know my parents still see that same toddler they watched walk around that plastic globe all those years ago in Montessori. But now, our parents can watch us make a different journey, a journey around the real globe. Congratulations, Class of 2017! As new graduates of Visitation Academy, let’s take one last victory lap before we go. Thank you.

The Visitor


Andrea: Good evening Sisters, Board of Trustees, Administrators, Faculty, Staff, family and friends of the class of 2017. We are honored to welcome you to Visitation Academy’s 184th commencement ceremony.

Salutatorian Address Andrea Marie Buschkoetter with Elizabeth Leigh Heger

When looking back at our high school experiences, as we were writing this speech, we found that we have many great memories at Visitation Academy. These experiences allowed us to grow and build upon our childhood talents. When I was still in elementary school, my brother, Craig, and I had quite the engineering minds and we decided to make a hammock out of my old toddler bed. We strung string between the headboard and footboard of this toddler bed so many times that my brother and I could both lie on top of this makeshift hammock. I could make anything out of string. I think that string is actually an accurate representation of the senior class of 2017. While each ball of yarn that I owned had different thicknesses and colors, by using all of them, my brother and I created something strong. This is just like our senior class. Each one of us has strengths and weaknesses. We are all different. Together though, our class achieved a strong sense of unity. We may have small groups of friends, but we support each other. I don’t know of other Visitation classes that have made GroupMes in almost every subject for homework help or funny things related to class. Each one of these girls is willing to help the others. We want to see each other succeed. Elizabeth: This support extends beyond academics. In our sophomore year, the soccer team lost to Webster Groves in the Sectional Championship. As the team walked off the field in tears, our whole class felt the pain. The following year, when we once again played Webster, an enormous crowd came out to cheer on the team. We all shared in their victory. This isn’t the only time our class has joined together. This year, we successfully planned a spontaneous pajama day and seniors gone fishing day, during which we camped in the library. This unity was the main reason I chose Viz. When I shadowed at Viz as a fifth grader, the teachers and faculty's genuine care for the students amazed me. Six years later, I personally experienced this. After my junior year Youth in Government Convention when I lost my election for governor, I watched as our entire delegation, along with our teacher moderators, cried with me on the bus ride back to St. Louis. Visitation Academy is a special community. It is a community of different threads, woven together for strength and support.


Andrea: Just like the random pieces of string I find around the house, tied onto objects in my room or strung around a post in my basement remind me of my childhood experiments, various threads of strength and support weave together my memories at Viz. Memories shown in drawers of Viz t-shirts, memories in our junior rings, and new memories when we receive our diplomas and of course the golden crescent. However, the crescent is much more than a souvenir. It symbolizes our victory. Saint Francis de Sales adopted the crescent after Pierre De Sales received one as an award for winning a battle against the Turks in the thirteenth century. On this graduation day, we too are successful in winning a battle, the fight to finish high school. We have read countless summer reading books, sat through Mr. Russell’s endless documentaries, tried to understand limitless math lessons with Mrs. Rednam and Mr. Cogan, and paid attention to too many significant figures with Dr. Logusch and of course, Mrs. Shriver. We have rejoiced when every once in awhile we heard Schoolreach announcing a snow day, only to realize that we still have Moodle school. We even managed when an anonymous squirrel deleted the google doc of exam study guides. Elizabeth: Throughout all of these battles though, we have succeeded in making great memories. In the classroom, who could forget when Mrs. Hunt’s Smartboard fell and Erin Schultz attempted to hold it, when we made s’mores with the Bunsen burners in chemistry, or when we danced in Spanish class. Even outside the classroom, we will remember Mei Fields pirouetting in the center of dance circles, our whole class dancing to “I Spy” at prom and “All I want for Christmas Is You” at Viz Priory, staying at Parish Hall, or as we remember it as Parish Hell, during the freshman year service trip to Mississippi, and screaming at the top of our lungs to cheer on our closest friends at their sports events.

Andrea: Whether creating memories or battling academics, as a class, we have changed a lot from the time that I started at Viz to now. I was once a shy girl who played with yarn. Now I am a confident woman, armed with an amazing education. If I wanted, I could even calculate the force needed to make a hammock of yarn, like that of my toddler years, but this one would hold our entire class. I can safely say the same is true for every young woman you are looking at this evening. We have all matured from our freshman year selves. Nervous to make new friends, we started wearing long skirts. Since then, our skirts have been hemmed, rolled, stapled, and we are notorious among our teachers for being too chatty. But our time at Viz, has prepared us to conquer the world’s challenges: “[We are] not led, [we will] lead.” Elizabeth: On behalf of the Class of 2017, I would like to thank our

parents, teachers, and the administration for supporting us and allowing us the opportunity to attend Visitation. Andrea: Tomorrow, we will quite literally weave together our experiences of Viz at maypole. Each ribbon, each yarn, each string stands for a story, a memory, a battle, that cannot be forgotten. Elizabeth: Although this is the end of our time at Visitation Academy, it is the beginning of an exciting mission. We may leave the academy, but our ties to it cannot be severed, for they are woven into us. We forever will be armed with our learning, but more importantly with the relationships and friendships we formed here. “An attack on one is an attack on all.” No matter where life takes us, we can always retreat to our army of friends and to the support and comfort they provide, much like that yarn hammock.

The Visitor



81 Graduates


Percent of graduates who earned scholarships totaling $20.4 million four-year value


Percentage of students who scored 31 or higher on the ACT


National Merit Commended Scholars


National Merit Finalist

10,994 Hours of service completed to the community.

The Visitor





Mirdhula Ananthamurugan University of Missouri Kansas City Gabrielle Aronson Benedictine College Nicole Basham University of California, Berkeley Ferguson Beardsley Georgia Institute of Technology Hannah Bethmann Miami University, Oxford Alexandria Brennan University of Southern Indiana Katherine Brnjac Elon University Andrea Buschkoetter Saint Louis University Grace Cantwell Texas Christian University Anna Choflet Bradley University Meredith Cole University of Mississippi Shelby Cooke The University of Tampa Jennifer Corrigan University of Missouri Columbia Claire Disch University of Colorado at Boulder Karen Dolan Creighton University Shannon Doyle Villanova University Halle Durand Adelphi University Karina Encarnaciรณn Columbia University Anne Farrell Barnard College Meilin Fields Boston College Sydney Fuller Western Washington University Erin Gallagher University of Kansas

Piper Ginn Marquette University Jessica Goggio University of Missouri Columbia Allison Hamill Rhodes College Alison Hanlon Saint Louis University Allison Hanlon Purdue University Hannah Hart University of Missouri Columbia Elizabeth Heger University of Missouri Columbia Emily Hinshaw Saint Louis University Hannah Hogan Tulane University Anna Holdosh Syracuse University Abigail Holland Saint Louis University

Adina Loomis Washington University in St. Louis Veronica Loomis University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Megan Lucas Rhodes College

Clare Reiker Saint Louis University Maria Richart Saint Louis University Erin Schultz United States Coast Guard Academy

Lauren Luechtefeld University of Dayton

Jennifer Schunk Missouri University of Science and Technology

Clare Lumetta Marquette University

Elizabeth Schwartz Washington University in St. Louis

Sheila Lynn University of South Carolina Natalie Mackin Indiana University at Bloomington

Camryn Sprague Truman State University Kayleigh Stahlschmidt Northwestern University

Aarti Madhu University of Miami

Caitlin Stebelman Pennsylvania State University

Kathleen Mannino University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Lauren Sullivan University of Notre Dame

Natalie Manoogian Rhodes College

Marinne Swift University of Arkansas Claire Taiclet Marquette University

Emmaline Huels Texas Christian University

Tessa McGartland University of Missouri Columbia

Emily Jazbani Saint Louis University

Kristin Meyer University of Kentucky

Catherine Kaliszewski California Baptist University

Allison Miller University of Colorado at Boulder

Lydia Keipp Saint Louis University

Mary Murphy Miami University, Oxford

Elizabeth Young Colorado State University

Hannah Kirisits University of Missouri Columbia

Theresa Noonan University of Notre Dame

Katherine Zaber Saint Louis University

Kailey Knopf Denison University

Abigale Vandeven Tulane University Emily Wilson Texas Christian University

Catherine O'Leary Saint Louis University

Kate Krummenacher Boston College

Maria Olivos Washington University in St. Louis

Julia Lam The Ohio State University

Sarah Peiffer Washington University in St. Louis

Meghan Lawlor University of Missouri Columbia

Ayana Torrey University of Kentucky

Mary Phelan University of Dayton

Madison Leopold University of Missouri Columbia

Brynne Polivka University of Missouri Columbia

Irene Levinson University of Arkansas

Sophia Prosser Texas Christian University

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Valedictorian Lauren Elizabeth Sullivan Missouri Scholars 100 Lauren Elizabeth Sullivan

Salutatorian Andrea Marie Buschkoetter

Principal's Award Anne Kathryn Farrell Chosen by the Principal and Assistant Principal in collaboration with the faculty, this young woman demonstrates a consistent dedication to the Visitation community and serves as a role model to all in a quiet, gentle and humble manner.

St. Jane de Chantal Service Award Anne Kathryn Farrell Nominated by her classmates, the recipient of the St. Jane de Chantal Service Award honors a young woman who exhibits true apostolic service both within the Visitation community and in her wider community.

Alumnae Award Anne Kathryn Farrell Nominated by her classmates, the recipient of the Alumnae Award is a young woman who best exemplifies the spirit of Our Lady of the Visitation.

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Mev Puleo Service Award Sarah Ann Peiffer Given in remembrance of a graduate of the Visitation class of 1981, this award recognizes a senior who embraces life as Mev did. Suggested by the faculty, the recipient demonstrates journeying with the poor while recognizing the face of God in all, and working toward the realization of justice and peace in the kingdom of God.


Archbishop May Service Award Aarti Madhu

Susannah A. Kilmer Zest For Life Award Natalie Elizabeth Manoogian

Although Christian service is an integral part of every Catholic high school experience, recipients of this award go beyond the norm and devote countless hours to serving others. Only one senior from each of the 28 high schools in the St. Louis Archdiocese is recognized.

Given in remembrance of a graduate of the Visitation Class of 1994, this award recognizes a senior who embraces life as Susannah did. Nominated by her classmates and voted upon by the faculty, the recipient demonstrates strong academic achievement, loyalty and devotion to friends and the ability to meet life's challenges.

Martin Luther King Model of Justice Award Ferguson Joyce Beardsley

St. Francis de Sales Virtue Award Alexandria Keefe Brennan

The Martin Luther King Jr. Model of Justice Award is an annual award presented to students of the Archdiocese of St. Louis who have demonstrated, through their attitude and their work, a commitment to serving humanity in the broader community. The students have made justice a central part of their lives and have committed themselves "to the noble struggle for equal rights."

Nominated by her classmates, the recipient of the St. Francis de Sales Virtue Award is a young woman who best lives out the Salesian virtue of the year. The focus of the 2016-2017 school year was courtesy.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Scholar-Athlete Kayleigh Ann Stahlschmidt

St. Louis County Outstanding Student Leader Shannon Marie Doyle

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Sister Mary Aimée Dilschneider Alumnae Essay Award Allison Ann Hanlon This award is presented in honor of Sister Mary Aimée Dilschneider, VHM '35 for her years of dedication and service to the Alumnae Association. The recipient best describes what Visitation Academy means to her and how her experiences as a Viz student will enrich her future.

I started at Viz as a freshman, after attending the same parish grade school from kindergarten through eighth grade. I had been in classes with the same people, in the same building, and with the same routine every day for nine years. Although I loved my grade school and had a great experience there, I never felt a strong connection between my education and my everyday life. I liked my classes, but never felt enthusiasm or excitement in them. I also never “broke out of my shell” or took on leadership roles in my school community. However, when I came to Viz, I soon realized that I was in a much different environment. I was now in a school community that placed a strong emphasis on academics, leadership, service, and involvement. My freshman year, I didn’t know how to get involved because it seemed like there were an infinite number clubs and activities I could join. However, a friend convinced me to join Youth in Government, also known as “YIG.” I was reluctant to join because I didn’t know much about the program, but I agreed nonetheless. At the first meeting, the two of us found ourselves surrounded by juniors and seniors, as we were the only two underclassmen who joined the club. I was terrified, to say the least. I didn’t know any of the older girls, not to mention the fact that I had no experience in a mock trial program! One junior must have noticed how unsure and nervous we looked, because at the second meeting, she introduced herself and offered to meet with us to teach us about the program. She became not only a mentor to me, but also a close friend. Thanks to her, I gradually learned how to argue a case, question a witness, and work in a trial team. I improved so much, that my sophomore year, my trial team won the “Moot Trial” Competition at the Missouri YIG Convention. Now, as an upperclassman, I try to emulate the same welcoming, friendly demeanor that the juniors and seniors showed me a few years ago. They gave me someone to wave to in the hallway, and someone to text if I had a question. I had never experienced such a strong sense of community


and friendship at school before. These girls were nothing like the “scary” high school seniors I had heard about as a middle school student. They were welcoming and friendly and made Viz feel like home. Over the past four years, I have found that the friendliness and the community of Viz is not limited to its students. Since my freshman year, I have experienced learning in an entirely new way, thanks to my incredible teachers. Without my teachers at Viz, I probably would not be pursuing a degree in a STEM field. Being in small classes with other incredibly intelligent and motivated girls, and taught by enthusiastic teachers has inspired me to work harder. Seeing my classmates and teachers get excited about school has encouraged me to “go the extra mile” on homework assignments and projects. I can see how my schoolwork applies to my everyday life, and how it will help me in my future. Particularly in Calculus, Physics, and English, I have had small, supportive classes that have helped me not only to fully learn the material, but enjoy it as well. Finally, one of the most important things that I have experienced at Viz is my Catholic faith. Through retreats, theology classes, and interaction with the Sisters, I have gained new perspectives on Catholicism. As an eighth grader, I would have never seen myself leading my class on a Kairos retreat or being so involved in Campus Ministry. Over the past four years, Campus Ministry has shown me how faith and service are connected, and has encouraged me to take advantage of the service opportunities available to me. For example, I still go back to Crisis Nursery, my Junior Apostolic site, whenever I can. I plan to continue volunteering throughout college and be involved in my university’s Catholic Campus Ministry. The Visitation Community provided me with the scholarship, spirituality, leadership and service opportunities that helped me grow into the person I am. Now it’s my turn to go out into the community, share my gifts, and hopefully make a positive difference.

Visitation Student Leadership Award

Salesian Leadership Award

Veronica Mary Loomis Emmaline Victoria Huels Hannah Frances Hogan

Lydia Grace Keipp Maria Catherine Richart Alison Nora Hanlon

National Merit Finalist Abigale Marie Vandeven

National Merit Commended Students Andrea Marie Buschkoetter Theresa Grace Noonan Lauren Elizabeth Sullivan Elizabeth Leigh Heger

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All-School News Viz Hackers Win Big!

Congratulations to Theresa Fister, Caroline Gaughan, and Isabella Moak, three of the five members of Smart Cookies, the only all-girls team in GlobalHack VI. The challenge at GlobalHack VI was to design an innovative piece of software to be used to alleviate homelessness. Smart Cookies placed first in the youth division to capture $50,000, as well as scoring second overall out of 156 teams from all divisions (youth, collegiate and professional).

Read about our students in the St. Louis Review


MORE STEM NEWS The lower level of Viz received a facelift this summer, creating a bright corridor for creativity and a center for true hands-on learning. The hall includes the 7th Grade STEM class, the Middle and Upper School Makerspace, the Engineering Lab, a new Food Science Kitchen, and the video production studio. Students use these spaces to problem solve, test and redesign, collaborate, explore, and enhance their classroom learning. Classes across the curriculum ─ religion, music, social studies, and more ─ use these creative spaces to tap into students’ individual interests and make learning fun. (Below): Eighth grade students used orthographic drawings to create birdhouses in their earth science class. The birdhouses were constructed of only three materials and students were challenged to make it using only 36 inches of adhesive tape.

(Above) Middle School history students learn about the Battle of Bunker Hill by creating a reenactment. (Right): Students create their own musical instruments in the Makerspace.


Above: Congratulations to The Pixelated Pelicans, a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team! These 5th and 6th grade students won the "Champion's Award - 1st Place" and therefore will advance to the Eastern Missouri Championship in January! In addition, they won the "Global Innovation Award" for their WorldWater App prototype, an App that allows users to report water fountain problems anywhere in the world!

Right: The RoboRebels robotics team designs, programs, and builds a robot to showcase at upcoming events and competitions. The RoboRebels team is comprised of both Viz and Priory students – 24 of which are Viz girls! The team leads have been training the new and returning members in their specific divisions. Molly Frei (11) is the team lead for Mechanical Fabrication, Claire Fanning (12) is the team lead for Electrical Controls, and Zoe Martin (11) is the lead for the More Than Robots Organization and Outreach division. Bernie Bergman (10) is our team safety captain. We are very proud of our girls and their accomplishments! The Visitor


Originally published in the St. Louis Review By: Dave Luecking,

ECLIPSE GIVES VIZ STUDENTS INSIGHT INTO WOMEN AND THE SCIENCES FORMER NASA SCIENTIST USES RARE EVENT TO EMPHASIZE OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE NOW At the initial moment of totality Aug. 21, excitement quickly spread among Visitation Academy students gathered on Ritter Field as they observed the rare solar eclipse. They whooped and hollered for the duration of the one-minute, seven-second celestial light show … well, the non-light show. Only the sun’s corona was visible as the moon blotted out the rest, a black ball inside a pulsating circle of light. “That was so cool; I have goose bumps,” senior Stevie Bisch said moments after totality, as the sun took on a crescent shape, only partially obscured. “My life is changed, literally changed.” Perhaps it was. A few hours prior, former NASA scientist Peter Hildebrand gave the students at the all-girls school examples of women doing cuttingedge work on the very eclipse they’d be watching that afternoon. And as the students whooped it up on the Viz athletic field, Jenna Samra and Vanessa Martinez flew 600 mph at 45,000 feet in a Gulfstream jet outfitted to study the seldom-seen corona, which is usually overwhelmed by the sun’s brightness. Samra, an applied physics doctoral candidate at Harvard, is a lead researcher on the project to study the corona’s colors, which are indicative of chemical reactions. Martinez, a mechanical engineer, helped design the hardware that connected Samra’s devices to the plane. The jet gave them four minutes to do their experiments; Visitation students had just over a minute of totality. The timing wasn’t lost on the Viz students. “We’re actually seeing the eclipse and women are actually studying it the whole time we’re looking at it,” senior Mary Hilton said. Hildebrand not only told the girls about the women’s impact, but he had photo evidence as well. His presentation featured a picture of Samra and Martinez standing next to the research plane. “Visually it points out that we can do whatever we want,” senior Elizabeth Pittenger said, simply.


Hildebrand recently retired as director of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He also happens to be the brother of Dan Hildebrand, the head of the school at Visitation, which educates girls in grades one through 12. The moon and the sun aligned to bring his brother here from his home in the Washington, D.C. area. The presentation “happened so organically,” said Hildebrand, whose wife, Nancy, is a St. Louis native and wanted to see the eclipse. Then — “almost the same day,” he said — he read a newspaper story about the experiment and the women’s vital roles. “I said, ‘I have to tell this to the girls at Visitation,’” said Hildebrand, whose brother quickly welcomed the visit. “I wanted to use this to tell the girls that science and technology are great careers, great opportunities.” The photo of Samra and Martinez provided tangible evidence that opportunities for women in the sciences are more than just an optimistic vision of the future. The future is now, at 45,000 feet on Eclipse Day 2017. “To get an example of a woman scientist who’s doing all these cool things, it’s not like them just telling us; there’s actually a lot woman who are doing it,” senior Maria Rivero said.

WELCOME DANIELLE HARRISON '83 We welcomed Mrs. Danielle Harrison ‘83 as Director of Mission Integration effective July 1, 2017. Danielle is a spirit-filled, mission-driven, dynamic individual; she brings much knowledge, experience, energy, and warmth to this newly-created position designed to ensure the Catholic and Salesian identity of the school. Danielle comes to us from St. Louis University High School where she has taught theology since 2011. Prior to SLUH, she was a theology teacher at Incarnate Word Academy beginning in 2007. In addition, Danielle has been a Catholic Campus Minister and Adjunct Theology and Leadership Professor at McKendree University since 2006. Additional experience includes the Director of the Center for Spiritual, Leadership and Community Development for the Covenant Health System in Texas; Assistant Director at the Loyola Institute for Spirituality in California; and Assistant to the Provincial for Social Ministries at the Missouri Province, Society of Jesus, in St. Louis. Danielle holds a Master in Arts, Theology-Biblical Studies, from Aquinas Institute of Theology. Her master’s thesis, “Living Jesus … To the Greater Glory of God: The Historical Influences on the Similarities between Ignatian and Salesian Spiritualties,” incorporated her love of both charisms. Danielle also holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts, English-American Literature, from Dartmouth College. Danielle entered Visitation Academy in 1st grade and graduated with the Class of 1983. She is a member of the Visitation Associates Community and from time to time assists the Sisters at Mass with music and singing. Danielle previously served on the Visitation Board of Directors in the mid-1990’s. We are happy to have you back at Viz, Danielle!


Pictured left to right: Back row - Stephanie Dolan (5 years), Cady Villmer (5 years), Kathleen Mahon (15 years), Kelly Skubic (5 years), Caroline Koetting (5 years), Joe Morrow (5 years), Kaitlin Westfall (5 years); Front row - Anita Dunn (25 years), Sister Mary Grace McCormack (50 years), Lisa Studnicki (20 years) Not pictured: Milia Haidar (5 years), Alice O'Donnell (10 years), Merlyn O'Brien (10 years), Ellen Isom (10 years), Tracey Allen (20 years), Sister Veronica Haronik (25 years), Sister Margaret Mary Gibson (60 years) Thank you for your dedicated service to Viz!

The Visitor


With Loving Gratitude

The Visitation Community enjoyed a wonderful evening of gratitude and love for our Visitation Sisters in November 2016. Please find Sister Marie Therese Ruthmann's remarks to the guests below.

Loving Gratitude - By Sister Marie Therese Ruthmann, VHM ‘50 In his Letter to the Hebrews St. Paul recites a long list of the heroes and heroines of the Old Testament and tells the early Christians that they are surrounded by that cloud of witnesses. These were men and women who lived their lives by faith, by hope in what they could not see. This evening we are surrounded by just such a cloud of witnesses who have founded and nurtured our Visitation Convent and Academy. You may see the names of the Sisters on the necrology charts from our foundation in 1833. I looked long and lovingly at this list when I realized that I had actually lived with 71 of these women on Ballas Road alone, not to mention the ones in the community on Cabanne Avenue. Each one, in her own unique human way, lived her relationship of love with God in community through the apostolate of sharing that love with young women and little girls and boys in this Academy. And from the very beginning, when the first eight Sisters arrived in Kaskaskia from Georgetown, the parents of the children they would educate for this world and the next, were their greatest benefactors. Colonel Pierre Menard and Captain William Morrison and their wives were the founding parents and initial benefactors who make this school possible. We could list a similar cloud of witnesses of parents who have followed in the 28

sites in St. Louis, particularly at Cass Avenue, Cabanne, and Ballas. Just as we Sisters represent all the Sisters before us, you who celebrate with us today represent all the parents, including our own, who have been the Sisters' and the school's benefactors in so many ways to make this legacy of love and life-long learning possible. In particular, we thank Tom and Ginny Cooke whose idea it was to have a celebration in loving gratitude for the Sisters. Ginny is an alumna, and their daughter Shelby has been a student here for 15 years. This family represents you all. And we thank all the members of the Fathers' and Mothers' club, Advancement Staff, ACF members, each of you for making this happy night possible.

I am enveloped in thanksgiving as I look out at you all and visualize all the ripples of influence the young women we Sisters and our lay colleagues have educated are bringing to St. Louis and the world. "Our girls" make us so proud in all they are doing as Christian women who live Jesus and spread the Kingdom of God by their presence and actions. Since 1833 Visitation Sisters have extended a heart-to-heart relationship to generations of students and their families. Daily we are living the fact that motherhood is a process of detachment. Two years ago we moved our living space to Geyer Road. By this transition we have opened our monastery to the school, and with our Board of Trustees envision other parts of the campus for the creation of the Visitation Heart and Mind Center (VHM). This space will support programs of spiritual formation, prayer, service, and community and will house the Archives of this monastery and school. Now to do all this, we will need you, our dear friends, to continue to support us with your gifts of time, wisdom,

and resources. You will hear more of this in the future. In a special way we are grateful to the group of alumnae and parents who have taken on the responsibility of sponsoring our school with us Sisters in our Association of the Christian Faithful. We are grateful to Joe McKee and our Board of Trustees for embracing our mission and charism and making it their first priority going into the future. We are grateful to our administration, faculty and staff who are on the front lines of carrying out our mission and living the so-called "Little Virtues" that characterize our Salesian school. We are working to be truly one Viz ─ Sisters, ACF, Board of Trustees, and Faculty and Staff ─ in carrying out the vision of the cloud of witnesses who are palpably present with us in love in this room. Tonight we say to you and future generations, "Live+ Jesus" and welcome to our home." God bless each and every one of you!

The Visitor


In Memoriam:

Sr. Mary Elizabeth Godefroy, VHM '44

Eulogy by Sister Marie Therese Ruthmann, VHM '50 Thank you for honoring our Sr. Mary Elizabeth with your presence today to celebrate her life and pray for her with us. In the last few years at Catherine’s Residence, Sister continually longed to go home to Ballas. Here she is, at home, but in faith gone before us to the better home of God’s infinite love, reunited with her beloved Sister Anne Madeleine. What better day to leave us than the feast of the Assumption, August 15, with its Gospel of Mary and Elizabeth at the Visitation! Mary Elizabeth Godefroy was born on May 5, 1926 in Mexico City, Mexico, the oldest child of Adolf Frederick Godefroy and Anita Barkley Godefroy. Her siblings Alexander, Patricia, and Anne Josephine (Sr. Anne Madeleine Godefroy VHM) all preceded her in death. Because of the persecution of Catholics in Mexico during the first quarter of the twentieth century, a time when religious sisters were expelled and priests executed, the Godefroy children received their religious education in secret. They went to a hidden place in a private home for catechism instruction and First Holy Communion. After his wife died, Mr. Godefroy investigated Visitation Academy in St. Louis as a place to educate his girls. Late in the summer of 1940, Mary Elizabeth boarded The Missouri Pacific Pullman with other pupils on route to St. Louis from Mexico. That Christmas Mr. Godefroy drove the rest of the family 2000 miles from Mexico City to St. Louis to spend the holidays with his brother and his family. Anne Josephine, later Sr. Anne Madeleine, stayed and became an eighth grader at Visitation.


Mary Elizabeth was very happy at Viz, and in her junior and senior years gradually discerned that she had a religious vocation. After graduating from Visitation Academy, Mary Elizabeth entered the Sisters of the Visitation in St. Louis on June 24, 1944. She was received into the community on January 18, 1945 and allowed to keep her own baptismal name. Sr. Mary Elizabeth pronounced her temporary vows on January 19, 1946 and her final vows on January 19, 1949, in the midst of a beautiful snowfall that turned the Cabanne Convent grounds into a sparkling wonderland. I remember that day well because I was a junior in high school and awed by a world of loveliness inside and out of the Visitation Chapel.

Sr. Mary Elizabeth attended Fontbonne College on Saturdays and in the summer and received her BA in French in 1958. She went on to earn her MA in French from St. Louis University. She told the story of beginning her teaching career early in 1947 with only fifteen minutes’ notice. Sr. Jane Marie had been suddenly taken to the hospital. The principal thought the novice mistress had informed Sister that she would take Sr. Jane Marie’s place, and the novice mistress thought the principal had. As a result, at 8: 45 Sister Mary Elizabeth was dusting the Students’ Infirmary, and at 9:00 she was standing in front of the second grade. She recalled that the day was a disaster! Later, with considerably more success, Sister taught religion in the eighth grade for many years and was a one-woman French department at Ballas Road for ten. In her later years, she served as librarian of the grade school where she enjoyed fostering the little girls’ reading and making friendships with parents, faculty, and other librarians. Sister Mary Elizabeth was a woman of refinement and culture. Because she grew up speaking both French and Spanish, she became a linguist. She even prayed with a Bible written in French. In her retirement she proved that she was a life-long learner by joining a Visitation Spanish class to refurbish her skills. In her last days at Catherine’s Residence, she would often answer the aids in Spanish or French to their bewilderment. She loved to

read, and working in the library was her delight. Most of all, she was a woman of prayer and contemplation who found God in beauty, nature, and poetry, especially that of the Carmelite Jessica Powers. She was deeply devoted to our Blessed Mother Mary. For many years and even in failing health, she served the Ladies’ Sodality as their moderator. For the past five years Sr. Mary Elizabeth became increasingly frail. We did not know if she would survive our move from our Ballas monastery to Catherine’s Residence three years ago this September 11. But she did survive and quietly bloomed where she was planted until the very end, sitting in a geriatric chair with closed eyes in the midst of the café. We Visitation Sisters are so grateful to all our Mercy Sisters for their kind companionship in community with Sister at meals and other happy gatherings. For the last three weeks of her life, Sister gently diminished as she prepared for the coming of her Lord Jesus Christ. The last week, particularly, she could not swallow and had difficulty breathing. Hospice Nurses and Catherine’s Residence nurses and nurses’ assistants cared for her lovingly day and night. We Sisters came and went to pray and watch with her at all hours. Then in God’s time, on the perfect day as I have said, God came for her at 5:25 a.m. on the feast of our Blessed Mother’s Assumption into Heaven. Four hours later she was prayerfully remembered at the first all school Mass of the year, here at her beloved Academy. We will miss her quiet presence very much, but in faith we rejoice in her happiness. Perhaps she is smiling down and whispering to us in the words of Thomas Merton: Make ready for the Christ Whose smile, like lightning, Sets free the song of everlasting glory That now sleeps in our paper flesh Like dynamite.

Buder GYM Modernization Buder Gym recently underwent renovations resulting in a safe, highperformance facility that reflects the spirit and pride of the Visitation community. Renovations included a new floor, new bleachers, and a ceiling makeover with enhanced lighting. Thank you to our generous donors who helped raise over $89,000.00, to fund the new bleachers! The Visitor


Under a Crescent Moon Safari Dinner and Auction Safari is Back on Campus!

Julia Masetti, 2016 Auction Chair

After many years off campus, Visitation’s annual auction moved back to Marion Gym with the overwhelming support of our community. Many thanks to the Viz community for making Safari such a tremendous success! We are so grateful for our community's support of Fund-A-Need for tuition assistance. A special thank you to our auction chairs, Julia Masetti, mother of Emma ’22, and Christina Cole, mother of Meredith ’17, for their enthusiasm, leadership, and for helping to create these wonderful nights for Viz! Thank you to the many volunteers who helped make Safari so successful! Safari 2018 was a huge success! The evening raised over $500,000, including $230,000 for Fund- A- Need! Look for highlights and photographs of Safari 2018 in our next publication!


Christina Cole, 2017 Auction Chair

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Visitation Academy The 10th annual Golf Tournament took place at Missouri Bluffs Golf Club on September 30, 2016. Proceeds of over $22,000 helped the Athletic Department make enhancements, including a new fence for the lower field, team benches, spectator benches for the tennis courts, new field hockey goals, refurbished scoreboard, remodeled team rooms and much more! Thank you to chair Bret Sinak for all his efforts in making the tournament a success! A special thank you to our major sponsors! VIP:



US Cyber Vault Endeavor Wealth Management Footwear Unlimited Neurosurgical Specialists of West County

Contest: BioTAB Healthcare Visitation Academy Fathers’ Club



(Clockwise from top left): Bret Sinak, Dan Hildebrand; Jim Ott, Jennifer Ott, Cassandra Sanford, and Keith Sanford; Dr. Tom Forget, Josh Kramer, Seamus Concagh, and Matt Casey; Mike Rosson, Jeff Stassi, Tim Weisner, and Tim Renz.

Golf Tournament A beautiful fall day greeted over 70 golfers at Persimmon Woods Golf Club for the 11th annual Golf Tournament on October 23, 2017. This tournament marked Bret Sinak’s last year as chair. With Bret’s help over the past 6 years, over $100,000 has been raised for Visitation Academy. Proceeds from this year's tournament benefited the Athletic Department. New signage has been placed on the Lower Field and tennis courts, and new Lower School athletic uniforms were purchased. Thank you Bret! We will miss you! And a special thank you to our major sponsors! VIP:



Endeavor Wealth Management

Neurosurgical Specialists of West County


Contest: Visitation Academy Fathers’ Club

Top right: Steve Strauss, Bettina Strauss, Beth Trover, and Joe Trover Middle right: Dr. Sam Marquez, Dr. Thao Marquez, Heather Bartlett, and Bruce Bartlett Bottom right: Seamus Concagh, Josh Kramer, Dr. Tom Forget, and Dr. Brian Porshinsky Below: Wes Patterson, World Long Drive SemiFinalist, and Bret Sinak

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New Spaces at Viz

Visitation has added flexible furniture to classrooms to encourage more collaboration and creativity. At Viz, we are constantly taking into consideration what would foster the best learning environment for our students to maximize their success. Developing life skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity are key to preparing our students for life beyond Viz. In the spirit of the “Four C’s,� we have recently been replacing the stationary desks and chairs of the


Upper School classrooms with flexible furniture. The flexible furniture allows for a more active learning space, encourages the girls to take more control in defining their best learning styles, promotes more collaborative work with their classmates, and puts less of an emphasis on lectures and more of an emphasis on interactive learning. We are already finding success in this new classroom model, and the girls seem to love it!


Critical Thinking



Jane's Place

Jane’s Place, the first phase of the Visitation Heart and Mind Center, is established for the purpose of promoting social and personal interaction within the Viz community, in the spirit of Saint Jane and Saint Francis. The Sisters opened this room, renovated to have a coffeehouse feel and atmosphere, to the Visitation community so as to bring the different constituent groups that make up the Viz community together, encouraging interaction between students (seniors at this time), faculty/staff, alumnae, parents, ACF members, and the Sisters. The Sisters encourage positive interaction and communication, reminding all to enter and use Jane’s Place in the gentle, humble, and joyful spirit in which it is offered.

Sister Isabel's Grotto and Trails Sister Isabel's grotto and trails received a much-needed facelift. Volunteers cleared the trails and spread mulch to better define the trails and prevent future overgrowth. This quiet corner of campus has been a gathering place for students of all ages and the wider Viz community. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this beautiful area accessible once again.

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Lower School News

Toddler - Grade 5

(Clockwise from top left): The Lower School loves the new library mural painted by our very own Dr. Albert, especially the 5th graders pictured here! Students began their fraction unit by learning how to use fraction strips. They also learned how fractions can be used in the real world by working as architects to design a one-room schoolhouse similar to the one in the story, Secret School. Last year's fifth grade learned about explorers and the art of navigation. Following research and discussions about planning an expedition (funding, supplies, and people), the girls took up the challenge to build a canoe for coastal exploration once they arrived in the New World. There were two camps of canoe builders: cardboard/duct tape versus wood. A lot of learning and laughter filled the Innovation Space!


Welcome Dr. Albert

Dr. Marlise Albert was appointed Lower School Principal this past July. Marlise brings a wealth of experience to this position; she is an innovative, dynamic, and forward-thinking individual. She has been warmly embraced by the Viz community!

Dr. Albert was Principal of Christ, Prince of Peace School in Manchester since 2010. From 2006-2010, she was Principal of Saint Mary Magdalen School in Brentwood. Marlise holds both a Doctoral Degree and a Master’s Degree in educational studies, curriculum, and instruction from St. Louis University. We are so happy to have Dr. Albert at Viz!

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Middle School News

Grades 6 - 8

Indoor Herb Garden

The 6th grade students began working on a cross-curricular project this past December.

Teachers in all academic

disciplines (science, math, foreign language, language arts, tech foundations, social studies, and theology) worked with the girls to design an indoor herb garden. The foreign language teachers utilized the new food science kitchen to create recipes written in another language that incorporated the herbs. Students used math skills in learning how to draw to scale so the girls could design with precise dimensions. Students researched the herbs, learned about the design/engineering process, and created graphic organizers to begin the garden design. During semester assessments, the girls built prototypes of their designs and "pitched" their designs to a panel of teachers (picture a milder version of "Shark Tank"). Once final designs were selected, the "build" began and planting took place.

Middle School Robotics Team Visitation's Middle School robotics team participated in their first FLL competition of the year at SLUH on November 12th. Congratulations to the team for winning the prestigious Core Values Award at the meet! Core Values is one of the most difficult challenges the girls must do in the competition -- there is no way to prepare for it. The judges give the team an activity to complete in five minutes. A team is not typically scored by the completion of the activity, but on the way the team members work together to solve the problem. We are so proud of our MS Robotics Team! Thank you to moderators Kristen Shanahan and Sarah Spaunhorst and senior to Claire Fanning who serves as a mentor for the team.


(Clockwise from top left): Visitation's 6th and 7th grade students had the fortune to meet with registered dietician and Visitation graduate Mrs. Kathryn Helling Riner '01 several times this semester to learn more about healthy eating. In a recent class, 6th graders analyzed nutrition facts, measured sugar added to beverages, and discussed mindfulness practices for eating. We welcomed nine students from Taiwan to participate in our curriculum, the St. Louis community, and Viz customs. Exchange students from Taiwan visited Mrs. Bryant's art class to teach calligraphy to our 8th graders. What fun it was to have these students on campus! 8th grade science students used their best deductive reasoning skills to test a "crime scene" for clues! Sister Marie Therese spoke with the 6th graders about the Visitation of Holy Mary order. This year was the first time the 6th grade students participated in the Incarnate Word Foundation's essay contest about religious women in St. Louis.

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Upper School News

Grades 9 - 12

Spring Break Trip to China Fourteen students and three chaperones traveled to China over spring break. Some of the memorable sites included the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Terracotta Warriors. The girls also listed fighting crickets and the amazing meals as favorite moments, along with the crowd they attracted during their “Slap� card game and the fact that they were treated as celebrities everywhere they went. They all agreed that their travels so far from home brought them closer together.

Let There Be Peace on Earth! The World Peace Game presents political situations to students and gives them an opportunity to be handson when exploring the global community. The goal of the game is to protect each country from circumstances such as economic, social, and environmental crises or the threat of war while achieving prosperity -- using as little military intervention as possible. Sophomores participate in the World Peace Game, working collaboratively over a three-day period to create world peace. The girls face numerous crises in the game. The real-world scenarios are a fantastic experience for the girls.


(Clockwise from top left): AP Biology students spent the day at the Litzsinger Center exploring prairie, woodland, and creek. The students collected data to explore the diversity of each of the environments. Viz's environmental science group, The Palm Frees, is a winner of the Lexus Eco-Challenge: Land & Water Competition. They are one of eight high school teams in this category invited to participate in the Final Challenge Spring 2018. They focused on raising awareness about the palm oil industry and the devastation associated with harmful palm oil farming and production. Spanish II students visited with the 5th grade students who were working on writing and illustrating stories in Spanish. How wonderful that our students collaborate with each other! Visitation students participated in the student-run Diversity Leadership Conference. The theme was "Allies in Action: Uniting our Community."

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Alumnae News Alumna Spotlight - Kate Wagner ‘10 I received a B.S. in biology from Maryville, and I am now teaching biology there as a professor. I got my Doctorate of Chiropractic from Logan University and completed my clinical internship at the Scott Air Force Base clinic. I immediately opened my own practice after graduation, which is in O’Fallon, MO. I focus on all-ages musculoskeletal care, and my goal is to reduce pain and return patients to full functionality as quickly and efficiently as possible. Viz instilled self-confidence in my knowledge and skills. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to start my own practice straight out of school without Viz. Patients are surprised when they find I am only months into practice. At 25, starting a small business required strength and determination, and the foundation for these values was built at Viz. Confidence is particularly necessary as a woman with her own chiropractic practice, as it is a predominately male-dominated field. On the clinical side, diagnoses in medicine aren’t always clear cut, but doctors need to be confident in what they know to provide the best care. When I explain a diagnosis to a patient, I know I am giving the patient the most accurate diagnosis possible based on my examination. In addition, Viz taught me critical thinking naturally over my 6 years. Some chiropractors rely on outdated and unscientific methods to analyze and treat patients, but critical thinking allows me to provide care using the most current scientific evidence and using my clinical experience. For this reason, I enjoy working with medical doctors to provide integrative patient care - which I believe is key to improving the healthcare system. In college and in your career, your resolve and confidence will be challenged. These traits developed at Viz will carry you through your doubts. Don’t listen to doubt from others - you are solely responsible for your success, and you are well-trained.


International Crescent Day 2018 On January 24, alumnae across the globe wore their crescents for the seventh annual International Crescent Day, celebrated on the Feast Day of St. Francis de Sales. International Crescent Day began in 2012 and is celebrated by Vivettes all over the world on St. Francis de Sales’ Feast Day during Founders Week.

Join us at

Alumnae Reunion 2018 October 13 We love having our wonderful alumnae come back home to visit!

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Alumnae Give Back Day of Service at St. Patrick Center For the past few years, alumnae served lunch at St. Patrick Center for the Alumnae Day of Service. Look for more service opportunities soon.

Breakfast with Santa 2017 Alumnae once again hosted a fabulous Breakfast with Santa event on December 2nd that also gave back to the community. Guests were encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to benefit the St. Patrick Center. Thank you to our wonderful event chair, Amy Fienup Kramer '94, for making this a fun and festive experience for all!

Alumnae Social Hour at Hacienda This event is always a favorite for our alumnae! We hope to see you at the next one on June 6, 2018!



Betty Wyers Metzger ’49

became a widow April 16, 2007 when her husband Paul James (Jim) Metzger died. They have 13 children, 37 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. Betty volunteers at Respect Life one day each week and has been singing in her church choir for fourteen years. She is a retired Nutritionist and enjoys swimming and visiting her children.


Maureen Mohan Didion ‘56

returned to college, after a 42-year absence, at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. In 2010 she received her Associates Degree in General Studies, in 2011 she received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Marketing, and in 2017 she declared a double major - Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing! From January 2006 to the present, Maureen has worked at the We Care Foundation providing year round non-medical support, education, referral programs, and crisis intervention for families whose child has cancer or a related bloodforming disease.

Mary Robson '58 and husband Leo celebrated their 50th. They have been blessed with good health, happiness, and the ability to volunteer and travel. She volunteers at Birthright and has helped many girls throughout their pregnancies to the birth of their child, which she says is very satisfying. Mary is also active at Church as a Eucharistic Minister and serves on the picnic committee.


Marianne Muellerleile ‘67

recently starred in the McDonald’s commercial series touting their chicken tenders.


Bo Vatterott Mehan ‘70 was

inducted into the Saint Louis University Law School Order of the Fleur de Lis Hall of Fame in 2016.

Nancy Mogab ‘74 received

the 14th Annual St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Distinguished Lawyer Award in 2016.


Barbara Funsch Martin '80 earned her MBA from Bellevue University, Bellevue NE.


Amy Kennedy ‘90 received the

Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award for 2016. The award is presented to an individual child life specialist who has demonstrated exemplary child life care and a high level of clinical skill. Amy is a lead child life specialist providing clinical services to patients in Radiation Oncology at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

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Ann Boyle Saladin ‘92 and

husband Steve are thrilled to announce the birth of Brigid Ann on September 1, 2017. Brigid joins Nora (2019), Stephen, Jack, Mary Catherine, and Colleen.

Darcy Snodgrass McKeown ‘95 and husband Kevin announce the

birth of their third child Maeve Kathryn on December 13, 2015. Maeve joins Eileen and Desmond.


Amber Pennington Jordan ‘02 and husband James welcomed

their daughter Adelaide “Addie” June in January 2016.

Chelsea Hunkler Linvill ‘07

and husband welcomed their first child, Luke Gareth, on April 14, 2016. and their second child, Paul Samuel, on September 8, 2017.

Megan Goodman Kerber ‘03 had a baby girl, Addie, in April 2017. Her 3-year-old son, Louie, loves being a big brother and wants to show her everything!

Jacquelyn Means ‘04 recently

graduated from her OB/GYN residency at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas. She joined a private practice, Plano Women’s Healthcare, in Plano, Texas in August 2016 and also recently purchased a new home in Dallas.

Morgan Dower Elder ‘06 got Andrea Marino Powers ‘95 is

the new Vice President of Sales at Cissé Cocoa Company.

Jenny Sturm Stadelman ‘96 and husband Bryan are excited to

announce the birth of their son John “Jack” Charles on November 27, 2015. Big sister Annie was in love at first sight.

Emily Smith ‘99 received her

MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in May 2017. She is the Director of Transaction Services Group with CBRE, Inc. in Washington, DC and lectures at University of Maryland, where she teaches a course on commercial leasing.


married on November 12, 2016 in St. Louis to Case Elder from Zionsville, Indiana. The ceremony was in Annunziata Catholic Church followed by a reception at the Missouri Athletic Club Downtown. Case and Morgan met in Santorini, Greece while studying abroad in college at Indiana University Bloomington. In 2015, they got engaged on a trip to Dubai. Since college, they have called Chicago home but have recently moved back to St. Louis. Fun fact: Morgan had 5 Viz girls in her wedding, including her sister, Megan (‘09)!

Emily Charnowski '08 is

currently working at Boston College and oversees the Club Sports Program and a youth summer camp.


Alexandra Schenk ‘10 started

working at Capes Sokol as their Marketing Manager. Alex will work with the law firm to execute and develop marketing communication plans to support the firm’s business development strategies in addition to enhancing client engagement.

Mallory Mitchell Alexander ‘11 graduated from Missouri S&T in May 2015 and began working at Boeing as an engineer. Mallory and her husband, Chance, were married in February 2016 in St. Louis.

In Memoriam Alumnae

Dolores Quinlan Hacker ‘40

Frances Clark ’41, sister of Sister Mary Virginia Clark ’43, Sister Isabel Clark ’46, and Katy Clark ’54 †

Visitation’s First Lay Head of School Isabelle Lenhardt

Ann Harding ’44 Jane Jennings Corbett ’53, daughter of Mary Alice Grant Jennings ’23 †, sister of Genevieve Jennings Moeller ’58 and Mary Alice Jennings James ’60, aunt of Mary James Sly ’84, Julie James Keeley ’87, Laura James Wilhelm ’88, and Jennifer James Walbart ‘91 Sue Maginn McCabe ’54, mother of Georgeanne McCabe Carleton ’78 and Mimi McCabe Robillard ‘79 Madonna Preiss Morley ‘54 Regina Redd Wilcox ‘64 Ann Christian Goodhue ‘79 Lori Spillane ‘84 Gretchen Stahlschmidt ’91, sister of Mary Jo Stahlschmidt ‘90 Mary Frances Byrne ’59, mother of Elizabeth Byrne Hogan ’86 and grandmother of Hannah Hogan ’17 Josephine Jurczyk Schaefering ‘49 Lynn Fallon Boedeker ‘76 Carroll Brady Waldner ‘45

Isabelle returned home to our Heavenly Father on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Isabelle will always hold a very special place in our Visitation history as the first lay Head of School, serving in that capacity from 1986 to 1997, after first working as a registered nurse and a grade school teacher. In addition to being a Crescent Mom to Trish Walther ’71, Isabelle’s granddaughters, AimeéMarie Oyenard and Sarah Bauer, are members of the Class of 1998 and 2003. Isabelle will be greatly missed by all of the Visitation community. We give thanks for Isabelle’s leadership of and service to Visitation.

Patrice Cash Rawlings ‘46 Catherine Gunn Kleinschmidt '74 sister of Betsy Gunn Carlsen '77 Carolyn Cowan Hendry '58 mother of Eileen Hendry Valaitis '82 Kathleen O'Leary George '60 Grace Burghoff Reynolds '47 grandmother of Mary Reynolds '19

“What difference does it make if they get all A’s and fail life? After all, learning is not just for school, but for life.” - Isabelle Lenhardt

Helen Whitaker Meyer '38 The Visitor


In Memoriam - Relatives Stella Behr, grandmother of Maria Behr ‘02 and Annmarie Behr Knipfer ‘07

Patty Heim, mother of Jessica Heim ’14 and Allison Heim '21; aunt of Amelia Chivetta ’08 and Mary Chivetta ‘10

Judith Borst, grandmother of Claire Borst ‘14 and Katie Borst '20

Richard Jotte, father of Cindy Jotte Szewczyk ’76, Kathleen Jotte Judd ’80, Christine Jotte Martin ’81, Diane Jotte Lohmann ’82, and Carie Jotte Forrester ‘87

Matt Buckley, son of Zoe Lindeman Buckley ‘52 Thomas Byrne, father of Helga-Ann Byrne ’86 and Heidemarie Byrne Quirk ‘90 Carmen Cervantes, mother of Judith Cervantes King ‘61; grandmother of Kimberly King Blackford ‘90 and Kelly King Douglas ‘92 Catherine Dillon, mother of Bobette Dillon Roybal ‘70 Patricia Dowd, mother of Casey Dowd Doverspike ’76 †, Amy Dowd Helling ‘78, and Carolyn Dowd Judd ’84; motherin-law of Cathleen Hilboldt Ahearn ’73; grandmother of Kathryn Helling Riner ’01, Erin Helling ’04, and Molly Judd ’11 Francis Einig Jr, father of Catherine Einig Fox ‘83 Richard Fallon, father of Lynn Fallon Boedeker ‘76 Esther Figueroa, mother of Elyra Figueroa España ’89, Ellen Figueroa Buckley ’96, and Emily Figueroa Roland ’05; grandmother of Isabella España '24 and Madeline España '27 Shirley Howe, mother of Lisa Chassaing ‘72 John Gamache, father of Suzanne Gamache Kern ‘82 Genevieve Gantner, mother of Christine Gantner Janney ’72 and Jeanne Gantner Fontana ‘74; mother-in-law of Anne Wagner Gantner ’74; sister-in-law of Dottie Gantner Brennan ’51; aunt of Ann Brennan Buss ’87; great-aunt of Alexandria Brennan '17 and Victoria Brennan '24 Martha Gatz, mother of Marian Gatz Ahlering ’78, Theresa Gatz Meiners ’79, and Patricia Gatz Andrews ‘83 Frank Guyol Jr, father of Patricia Guyol Erker ’77; brotherin-law of Mary Grace Lawton Guyol ’44; uncle of Mary Ellen McShane Havard ’60, Catherine McShane Garnier ’61, Rita McShane Dorsch ’69, Mary Grace Sundy ’67, Nancy Guyol ’69, and Katherine Peer ’71; great-uncle of Elizabeth Garnier ’91, Catherine Garnier ’92, Amanda Garnier Kingsbury ’96, Elizabeth Guyol ’13, and Caroline Guyol ’15 James Hackett, father of Carrie Hackett Woolsey ’79 and Elizabeth Hackett Walsh ’84; grandfather of Abby Walsh ‘12 Michael Shields, father of Maura Shields Powers '73 and Bridgid Shields '96. Charles M. Giraud, brother of Suzanne Giraud Grow '64 and Mary Giraud Granneman '67 Adelyn Cline, mother of Marilyn Cline Wallace '78 Virginia Leightner, grandmother of Virginia Leightner '14 Carrol Lauer, mother of Julia Osborne '76 and Janice Palozola '77


William King, father of Kimberly King Blackford ’90 and Kelly King Douglas ‘92 Joseph Lawton, husband of Mary Latta Clarkson Lawton ’49 †; brother of Mary Grace Guyol ’44; brother-in-law of Betty Clarkson Green ’44; uncle of Mary Grace Sundy ’67, Nancy Guyol ’69, and Katherine Peer ’71; great-uncle of Ellie Guyol ’13 and Caroline Guyol ’15 Robert Leshé, father of Linda Leshé Clark ‘74 and Katherine Leshé Carmody ‘75 Elaine Mackelden, grandmother of Maritt Nowak ‘14 James Maguire, grandfather of Polly Maguire Barrow ‘91and Kristina Maguire Bealke ‘98 Mary Ann Miller, grandmother of Christina Miller ’13 † and Samantha Miller ‘13 Mary Murch, mother of Melissa Murch Kriegshauser ‘73 Dick Ohlsen, husband of Peggy Flotte Ohlsen ’52; brotherin-law of Mary Flotte Kroupa ’51, uncle of Margy Kroupa Travers ’80 and Kathy Kroupa ’82; great-uncle of Libby Travers ‘14 Nicholas Piccione, father of Lisa Piccione ‘77 John Schoemehl, father of Lynne Schoemehl Grimson ’98; father-in-law of Christina Quatmann Schoemehl ‘89 Nancy Schulz, mother of Ann Schulz ’72 and Catherine Schulz Milton ’76; grandmother of Jordan Schulz ‘12 Tom Spalding, father of Suzanne Spalding-Hurwitz ‘85 Ann Tramelli, daughter of Ellen Rita Lawlor Tramelli ’47 †; sister of Mary Tramelli Guyol ’76, Joan Tramelli Guyol ’79, Susan Tramelli Bischoff ’86, and Lisa Tramelli ’89; niece of Kathleen Lawlor Gunn ’54; aunt of Rita Tramelli ‘16 Vlasta Troup, grandmother of Katrina Ludwig ‘14 Jim Voigt, grandfather of Christina Blanchard ’12, Mary Blanchard ’14, and Annie Blanchard ‘16 Ralph Vossen, father of Michele Vossen ‘80 Suzanne DeBlaze, mother of Nina Weissert '84 and Maria DeBlaze '85

3020 North Ballas Road St. Louis, MO 63131



The Visitor: Commencement 2017  
The Visitor: Commencement 2017