09 Spring Saints Spirit - Saint Thomas Aquinas High School



09 Spring Saints Spirit - Saint Thomas Aquinas High School
Table of Contents
We celebrate our Patron Saint!
Get Smart.................................................... 3
Magazine Sale.............................................. 3
Bonnie Patrick Retires...............................4-5
Streaks Marrying Streaks.............................. 5
Saints Marrying Saints................................. 6
Alumni Profile............................................ 7
Memorial Program...................................... 8
Mass of Remembrance................................. 9
Key Club....................................................10
Mirocke Golf Classic...................................10
Letters to the Troops...................................11
Class Notes.................................................12
Saints Mass at K-State.................................13
Alumni and Alumni Parent Events.............14
Reunions................................................... 15
Community Calendar................................ 15
Feast Day Alumni Gathering . ......Back Cover
The Saints Spirit magazine is a publication of the Saint
Thomas Aquinas Advancement Office. We welcome your
comments or questions. Call or write:
Bryan Thrasher
Director of Communications
[email protected]
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School
11411 Pflumm Road
Overland Park, Kansas 66215-4816
William Ford, Ed.D.
Teresa Ahrens
Director of Special Events
Mary Bridget Kratofil
Director of Media Relations
Michon Quick
Director of Alumni & Constituent Relations
Cindy Winkler
Advancement Office Manager
The Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas was commemorated
on January 28 with an all-school Mass celebrated by
Archbishop Joseph Naumann. Having our spiritual leader
visit the school is always a joyful occasion for the students.
A reception in the school library was held immediately
following Mass with honored guests, parents and some
students in attendance.
Pictured above with Archbishop Naumann are: (1st row),
Juniors Alexis Lundy and Amanda Robison; (2nd row),
seniors Kelsey Butler and Liz Daly, junior Jason Falen,
junior Gianna Misenhelter, sophomore Anthony Shoulta,
and senior Ellen Skorija.
Sports Signings
Senior athletes who appeared on stage for the national
letter of intent signing on February 5 stood and posed to
capture the moment. Left to right, Mike Rzeszut (baseball
– Villanova), Ben Loughman (baseball - Benedictine),
PJ Greer (cross country – K-State), Ashley Dobbie (softball
– Benedictine), Katie Allin (soccer – Benedictine),
Josh Magness (soccer - DePaul), Matthew Taylor (football
– Benedictine), Kyle Brown (football – K-State), Jake Morin
(football – US Air Force Academy) and David Baska
(football – US Air Force Academy).
Production of Get Smart Fills the House
by Haley Dodd, junior
not come out the way it was meant to
be,” Peck said.
The Saint Thomas Aquinas
performing arts department staged
a production of the play Get Smart,
a parody of the 1960’s spy television
series starring Don Addams and
Barbara Feldon. Addams, as Maxwell
Smart, played a bumbling agent
known as Agent 86. The show was
brought to the masses by the comedic
writing skills of Mel Brooks and Buck
Henry. Most people are familiar with
the movie Get Smart, that premiered
last year.
The Saints version of the play
starred seniors Daniel Peck as
Maxwell Smart, the clumsy top-secret
government agent of CONTROL,
and Madeline Giesler as the beautiful
Agent 99. The plot is two-pronged
with Smart guarding Professor Dante’s
potentially dangerous invention and
preventing the loveable Princess
Ingrid from being kidnapped. Smart
and Agent 99 work together to defeat
The play’s plot differs somewhat
from the television show and movie.
“While it is not that much like the
movie,” director Kim Harrison said,
“Some things were added from the
movie into the play that the students
thought were funny.”
Having 26 speaking roles and
12 supporting cast members, an
unusually large cast, can make some
aspects of the play more difficult.
“Trying to get through rehearsals
and get everyone to be quiet and stay
organized is the hardest,” Harrison
Though it may be frustrating at
times, Harrison is impressed with the
creativity the students have put into
their characters. In his role as Smart,
it was important for Peck to stay in
character throughout the play and he
also had many lines to memorize.
Madeline said her challenge was
just the opposite: “My character is
the more neutral one in the play so
it’s hard not being funny and being
serious all the time,” Giesler said.
The talented cast worked hard to
make the play an enjoyable comedy.
“I think adults liked the play because
they remember the spoof from when
it was on television. High school
students enjoyed it too because they
are familiar with the movie,” Harrison
Daniel Peck and Madeline Giesler
“Timing my jokes was challenging
because if they aren’t done at the right
moment it can confuse people and
The Saint Thomas Aquinas
production of Get Smart ran February
19-21 to a full house with an extra
performance added on Sunday,
February 22 due to the show’s
popularity. This play turned out to
fulfill its billing – a nice break from
the winter doldrums!
Magazine Sale
Congratulations to
Brianna Putthoff, our
2009 Hawaii Trip
winner. She and a
Bishop Miege student
will join about 40
students from around the
country. Brianna poses
with Dr. Bill Ford (left)
and Dale Niehas)
You can order or renew your favorite magazine subscriptions ONLINE!
It’s simple, there’s no sales tax, AND you can order any time during the
year to support Saint Thomas Aquinas High School.
Go to www.qsp.com – Use account #42507423.
QSP returns over 40% to the school, and all proceeds are designated
for student activities at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School. Thank you
for your participation and support!
Bye – bye Bonnie
When the doors of Saint Thomas
Aquinas open next year, long-time
Guidance Counselor Bonnie Patrick’s
name will be missing from the staff
roster. Instead of heading back to
school, she plans to be a caregiver
for her new granddaughter, a job she
knows will be equally rewarding.
This year was Bonnie’s 44th in the
field of education, of which the first
four were spent in the classroom,
and the remaining as a Guidance
Counselor. Teaching and education
are intrinsic to her nature. As a child,
Bonnie Blue and her sister played
school in the basement of their farm
house in Webster City, Iowa. Two
rooms functioned as “classrooms”
where they “taught” math, reading,
graded papers and “tutored” students
who needed help. In addition, Bonnie
spent many hours on 4-H projects,
and after winning a talent contest
in 6th grade for
baton twirling,
she was invited
to join the high
school band as
a majorette for
the next seven
years! Besides her
family (Bonnie is
the youngest of
eight children),
two high school
teachers were
Bonnie Patrick helps a student during the 1973-74 school year
in her career
choice. One
was the sponsor
with the startup of a new school at
of the Future Teachers Association
114th and Pflumm – Saint Thomas
and the other was a retired principal
Aquinas. It was a daunting assignment
who taught geometry and had high
with each faculty member asked to
expectations to which his students
do at least three jobs. She would
responded with outstanding
work eight hours at school and
another eight at home coordinating
college recommendations and
Bonnie is someone whose
preparing for classes. This was called
determination, hard work
and perseverance have driven “multi-multi-tasking.”
her to succeed. As a lifelong
learner, she is always looking
forward to the next goal
or challenge with an open
mind that is eager to absorb
new information. Following
graduation from Iowa State
University with a Bachelor of
Science in home economics
education, she pursued a
Guidance Counseling degree
at Northwest Missouri State.
Her career as a counselor
In 1972, she was hired by
Bob Boland at St. Joseph
High School in Shawnee,
Kansas, to serve as both
Academic Guidance and
College Counselor, calling
on her ability to multi-task.
Bonnie Patrick displays the 2008-09 Counselor of the Year When the school closed in
1988, she was asked to help
award from Sylvan Learning Center.
After 37 years, the number of
students she has “launched” from
high school is in the thousands, and
many have popped into her office
since graduation to visit with her and
catch up. Some of her students have
become highly successful in their
careers and she is happy for them.
But the students who benefited the
most from her advice and counsel
may have been the ones who were
not at the top of the class. As an
academic counselor, she said one of
the greatest challenges is probably
more philosophical; that is, “finding
the balance of what is best for the
student in the long run and what fits
with the mission of the school. The
school strives to help students become
lifelong learners which sometimes can
be a contradiction to the student’s
immediate desire.” Because she and
her husband Doug taught swim
STREAKS MARRying streaks
lessons during the summer for 22
years, there is another group of young
adults who know her as a swimming
What all of these young people
remember about Bonnie is that she
was a caring person in their lives
during the difficult pre-adolescent
and teen years. They knew she was
someone who sincerely cared about
them and wanted them to succeed.
She has a straight-forward manner
that is friendly but firm, honest but
encouraging, knowledgeable but open
to listening. This was the formula she
used to motivate a student to discover
a talent or interest and unlock the
door to learning through education
– and it has proven to be a winning
one. On February 25 she was awarded
the “Counselor of the Year” by Sylvan
Learning for her example of excellence
in her field.
Bonnie and Doug have been
married 42 years and they are the
parents of a son, Greg. In her role
of babysitter, Bonnie said her major
pursuit will still be that of “teacher.”
Greg grew up learning from his own
grandmother so he thinks this will be
great for his daughter. Since Greg’s
wife, Aimee, is a teacher, Doug and
Bonnie will have time to travel and
enjoy other activities in the summer
such as taking classes at JCCC and
participating in Elderhostel programs
that provide educational opportunities
all over the world.
While she will miss the students
and faculty, she will not miss arriving
at 6:50 in the morning. She leaves
Saint Thomas Aquinas with the hope
that she has passed along her love
of learning and gives the following
“Students give you about what
you expect – so set the standard high.
Education is like a brown paper bag
– you get out of it what you put into
it. Always take the high road, as high
as you can go, then you are giving
Bonnie Blue as a drum majorette in high school.
yourself more opportunities later. You
can eat an elephant, IF you eat him
one bite at a time. So give students
information in segments they can
Van Nieuwenhuyse - Miller
Marjorie Van Nieuwenhuyse, ‘56, and
Bernard Miller, ‘54, were married on
March 2, 1957, at St. Joseph Church
in Shawnee, Kansas, with Father Frank
Bodner presiding. The bride, groom and
all attendants are St. Joseph graduates, left
to right: Judy Yocum Kramps, ‘56, Carole
Miller Burns, ‘58, Carol Winn Elser, ‘57,
Marjorie Van Nieuwenhuyse Miller, ‘56,
Bernard Miller, ‘54, John Lynch, ‘54, Bill
Van Nieuwenhuyse, ‘60, and John “J.J.”
Miller, ‘52.
Margie and Buddy live in Shawnee
and have two Blue-Streak daughters,
Theresa “Terri” Miller, ‘75, and Susan
“Susie” Miller Meyers, ‘76. Their two
granddaughters graduated from Saint
Thomas Aquinas High School: Caitlyn
Meyers, ‘03, and Brianna Meyers, ‘07.
Their son-in-law, Jeff Meyers, is the current
mayor of Shawnee.
Nelson - Ellsworth
Mila Nelson, ‘97, married Danny
Ellsworth, ‘97, on May 20, 2006, at Blessed
Sacrament Church in Kansas City, Kansas,
with Father Tom Danaher – Mila’s uncle –
presiding. The Ellsworths reside in Kansas
City, Missouri; their daughter, Keyle, is 18
months old and they are expecting their
second child in June 2009.
Pictured left to right at Shadow Glen,
where Danny proposed to Mila, are:
Front Row: Sarah Horton Saenz, ‘97,
Michelle Lyman, Katie Lents Emig, ‘97,
Julie Ellsworth Ryser, ‘95, Kelly Ellsworth
Elder, ‘00, Danny Ellsworth, ‘97, Mila
Nelson Ellsworth, ‘97, Terry Nelson
Brooks, ‘98, Marci Dancy, Carol Bahr,
Gretchen Lammle.
Back Row: Justin Nelson, Brad Joiner,
Tim Collins, ‘97, Tyson Lang, ‘97,
Jonny Richardson, Eric Ryser, Robby
Schweller, Brian Darby, Matt Wier, ‘97,
Dan Marchant, Danny Cooper, ‘97, Gabe
Nelson, Jeremy Brooks.
Sizemore - Schneller
Kristin Sizemore, ‘00, married Stephen
Schneller, ‘00, on November 8, 2008, at the
St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center in
Lawrence, Kansas, with Father Brian Schieber
Steve works in Lansing, Kansas, as the
marketing director and office manager
for Focus Hearing. Kristin is an earlyintervention pediatric speech pathologist in
Left to right, 1st row: Mark Morlam, Kyle
Lippold, ‘00, Zack Schneller, Kristin Sizemore
Schneller, ‘00, Stephen Schneller, ‘00, Dan
Fournier, ‘00, Brian Blazek, ‘00, Mike
2nd row: Ryan Conlan, ‘00, Jaime Settle,
Merritt Sizemore, ‘08, Tegan Thornberry, ‘00,
Rebecca Sullivan, ‘08, Betsy Madl, Ashley
Sullivan, Whitney Sizemore, ‘04
Saints’ Alumnus Russell on the
Television Commentary Circuit
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School
alumnus Brian Russell, ‘90, finds it
difficult to define his “occupation”
these days. That’s because it is so
multi-faceted. One thing is certain – it
is never boring.
After graduating from STA in 1990,
Brian received his Bachelor of Arts
in 1994 from Rockhurst College,
his MBA and law degrees from the
University of Kansas in 1998, and
a Ph.D. from KU in 2005. With
such impressive credentials, it is not
surprising that he was tapped as an
expert for media commentary.
He first appeared on CNN’s Court
TV in 2006, followed by CNN’s
Nancy Grace and The O’Reilly Factor
on Fox News. He has also appeared
on the Dan Abrams’ Show on MSNBC
and two CNN shows, Prime News and
Issues with Jane-Velez Mitchell.
Brian’s schedule is full and diverse.
His exceptional ability to synthesize
information and provide fluid
commentary has attracted the media’s
attention. He has become an expert
witness and “go to” person in court
cases that involve mental issues.
He also works on cases as a lawyer
if they are high profile or involve
psychology/psychiatry malpractice or
psychiatric drug liability. He appears
on television several days a week,
lectures and writes columns that
are published on WorldNetdaily in
addition to working on a book.
Brian has carved out a busy career
in which his educational background
and charismatic personality are
perfect complements for fast-paced
banter on television. Could it have
been his involvement with the early
morning Saint Thomas Aquinas
“Breakfast Club” that nurtured a
fondness for intellectual opinion
sparring? Brian recalls that the
group would come up with “a
word of the day” at breakfast,
and then when he delivered the
morning announcements over
the intercom, he would try to
work the word in as much as he
could. He said his high school
education was an excellent
foundation for college, law
school and graduate school.
Brian is single and lives in
Lawrence, Kansas. For fun he
likes to travel, ride horses and
collect fine wine. He enjoys
teaching college students so
much that it fills in as a hobby
of sorts.
“I enjoy it, it’s a different
kind of challenge,” explains
Brian, “and it allows me to
interact with an audience more than I
get to on TV.”
Brian is reluctant to state with
certainty what or where he will be ten
or twenty years from now. He would
like to continue contributing to news
TV and writing columns, but he
would also like to delve into projects
that give him more opportunity to
talk to people about the things he is
interested in.
“I’d like to get a book out in the
next year or so and follow that up with
a second one if it’s successful.
Brian Russell ‘90
especially to kids. So at least in the
most egregious cases I’d like to stay
available to represent people who’ve
been harmed that way. It’s tough to
know what will work out in the media
and what other opportunities will
come up, but somewhere down the
road, I think I’d like to switch careers
to public service – at least for a while.”
Brian is the brother of Sean Russell,
‘94, and twins Erin Russell, ‘97, and
Cameron Russell, ‘97.
I am also working with a production
company to develop a cable
series on forensic psychology,
which I hope works out,”
muses Brian. “As a practicing
lawyer and psychologist,
I’m very concerned about
psychiatric drugs being
prescribed more and more,
logo courtesy of cnn.com
Memorial Program
Book of Remembrance
The Book of Remembrance at Saint Thomas Aquinas gives
families the opportunity to permanently memorialize their
deceased loved ones.
Entries may be submitted online at
www.aquinascommunity.com/remembrance or in person by
contacting the STA Office of Advancement at 913.319.2425.
Memorial Mass
The Mass of Remembrance will be held annually in February
around Valentine’s Day, to memorialize deceased loved ones
from the preceding calendar year.
Please contact the STA Office of Advancement at 913.319.2425
to report or update records for the deceased.
Mass Intentions Throughout the Year
Names of the deceased that have been submitted for the
Book of Remembrance before or at the annual Mass of
Remembrance will be included in the next academic year’s AllSchool Mass intentions.
Saints Memorial Fund
There are several ways to memorialize those dear to you. Gifts
may be contributed to Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in
memory of deceased persons, to honor living persons, or to
commemorate anniversaries or other special events. All gifts
are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Gifts in Lieu of Flowers
It may be appropriate to remember a loved one by requesting
that “in lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions
be made to Saint Thomas Aquinas High School.”
Memorial Plaque Gifts
At any time, a gift or series of gifts can be contributed to Saint
Thomas Aquinas High School for the name of the deceased to
be added to the Memorial Wall located in the hall outside the
Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Thomas Aquinas
High School.
To have a memorial plaque made and installed, gifts in memory
of a loved one should collectively total $250 or more.
Contributions earmarked for named gifts and endowed
memorial scholarships will also initiate the addition of a plaque
to the Memorial Wall.
Named Memorial Gifts
From time to time, specific projects and permanent
items located at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School may
be earmarked for Named Gift opportunities. For more
information, please contact Michon Quick in the Office of
Advancement at
Named Endowed Memorial Scholarships
A named memorial scholarship may be set up at Saint Thomas
Aquinas High School through the establishment of a named
endowment fund.
All endowed funds are held by the Catholic Foundation of
Northeast Kansas for Saint Thomas Aquinas High School.
The principal balance of each endowed memorial scholarship
will be held in perpetuity and spent in accordance with
guidelines set up by the donor and approved by the Saint
Thomas Aquinas Board of Trustees.
Funds expended will equal interest proceeds as allocated by
the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas.
The minimum gift amount to establish an endowed memorial
scholarship is currently $10,000.
The principal may be added to at any time, increasing the
annual expenditure on the account.
A memorial scholarship fund may also be set up as a
“pending-endowed” fund, with an initial gift of $2,500 and
the pledge to fully endow the scholarship over a period of five
years. In this instance, the principal balance remains intact and
all interest earned on the fund is reinvested back into the fund
until the minimum total contribution is reached and the fund
becomes fully endowed.
For more information about setting up an endowed memorial
scholarship, please contact Michon Quick in the Office of
Advancement at 913.319.2437.
Mass of Remembrance -- a
celebration of love
The first Saint Thomas Aquinas
High School “Mass of Remembrance”
on February 11 brought together
about 140 alumni, faculty, staff,
current and alumni-parents from
St. Joseph, Aquinas and Saint Thomas
Aquinas High Schools who shared a
connection stemming from the heart
-- they had come to honor the memory
of a loved one through the Saints
enhanced the liturgy
with beautiful music
while the congregation,
filling the chapel,
sang in full voice. A
reception followed Mass
in the library, giving
everyone time to express
sympathy with a hug,
a smile or gesture that
said, “I understand.”
Prior to Mass, guests lined up
outside the door of the Chapel of the
Immaculate Conception to sign the
Book of Remembrance. Then as each
person or family entered the Chapel,
they carried a lighted candle for their
loved one and placed it on the altar.
The school’s Chaplain, Father Rich
Warsnak, celebrated the Mass. Mary
Jo Rooney, alumni/current parent
and member of the STA Board of
Trustees, helped plan the event and
Michon Quick,
Director of Alumni and
Constituent Relations,
commented, “We’re
so pleased with the
number of people
who responded to our
invitation by joining
us for the Mass or
submitting names
online for the memorial
book. It’s been very
moving, and we plan to
continue this for many
years to come, each
February near the feast
of St. Valentine’s Day.”
Saint Thomas Aquinas alumni
parents, Sheila Berry and Gail Kelly,
along with Principal for Academic
Services Rebecca Heidlage were
readers. The Book of Remembrance
was presented on the altar at the
Offertory by current parents, Ron
and Marie Adrian and their daughter,
Amanda. Current/alumni parent,
Jean Hinman, and Social Studies
teacher, Elizabeth Vrabac, were
ministers of the Eucharist.
Music teacher, Joe Heidesch,
accompanist/parent Connie Maltby,
and student vocalists Mallory Keating,
Anthony Fortino and Katie Martin
Dr. Bill Ford, Saint
Thomas Aquinas
president, remarked at
the conclusion of Mass,
“This is really a night of
hope for those of us left
behind. Prayer is what
sustains us in the loss of
someone we love until
we are reunited with
them, so this is a fitting
way to gather -- as a
community in prayerful
Social Studies teacher, Elizabeth Vrabac, enters the names of
her parents (Michael and Rose Vrabac who both passed away in
2008) in the Book of Remembrance.
Standing room only for the first annual Mass of Remembrance.
If you would like to add a name
to the Book of Remembrance,
go to the link below to add the
name and we will write it in the
book for you.
Key Club / Mirocke Golf
Saints Key Club -- Keeping Busy
Helping Others
The Saint Thomas Aquinas Key
Club, an organization committed
to helping others in need since
its establishment in 2005 at Saint
Thomas Aquinas, has been especially
busy fulfilling its mission during this
time of economic uncertainty.
For the past two years, Key Club
members have volunteered as helpers
at Operation Breakthrough, a
childcare program for children who
live in poverty. Senior Marissa Wuller
developed a service project called
Grooming for G.I.s and the club
collected and bagged hygiene items for
over 300 American soldiers fighting
overseas. Last September, about 30
club members participated in the
annual “Scavenger Hunt” to collect
food and other items for Johnson
County Human Services and Aging.
The 4th annual OxFam Hunger
Banquet in November was the club’s
most successful event in its four-year
history with 90 people in attendance.
Through its efforts at the banquet and
during the days leading up to it, Key
Club collected 90 pounds of canned
goods and an additional $300 for
Thanksgiving turkeys for the Johnson
County Food Pantry.
Also in November, the Key Club
sponsored a pancake breakfast for all
those who participated in the ICAN
Club’s 1,000 Mile Relay, which raises
contributions for the Touching Tiny
Lives orphanage in Lesotho, Africa.
Key Club members also raked yards
for the elderly through the Jewish
Community Center’s “Extreme Yard
Rakeover.” In December, several
members helped distribute books
at the Johnson County Christmas
Bureau, and for the second year in
a row, Key Club members rang bells
for the Salvation Army over three
consecutive Saturdays during the
Future plans include preparing
meals at Ronald McDonald House
this spring and participating in
Kansas City’s “Great Potato Drop,”
volunteering at Grace Center for
Global Youth Service Day, and
participating in the Mothers’ Day
Baby-Item Drive with all the Kiwanis
Clubs in the Kansas City area.
For more information, contact
Key Club president and STA senior
Madeline Giesler at [email protected]
stasaints.net, or faculty moderators
Kathleen Halling, [email protected]
stasaints.net, or Susan Dillingham,
[email protected]
Morning and Afternoon Flights
Monday, June 1, 2009
Milburn Golf and Country Club
If you would like information
about sponsorship, please contact
Michon Quick in the Saint
Thomas Aquinas Advancement
Office, 913-319-2437.
Early reservation information will
be mailed in the next few weeks.
Space is limited, so reserve
Letters to the Troops
Senior Service Project – Letters to
the Troops
Despite a day off for Parent/Teacher
conferences, over 100 seniors showed
up at school on Monday morning,
March 9, to participate in a service
project organized by theology teacher
Phil Farnan. The students were each
challenged to write a minimum of
10 letters to men and women in all
branches of the armed forces. The
notes, mostly to soldiers who receive
few if any letters from home, consisted
of simple gratitude for the protection
of U.S. citizens; however some were
more personal and detailed. The
students reached their collective goal
of writing 1,500 letters in just a few
hours. Mr. Farnan, extremely pleased
with the turnout, said, “For these
seniors to take their day off to express
love and support for others…I am
Do you know of any alumni
serving in the military? Please send
us their name and address and we’ll
start sending them the Saints Spirit
alumni newsletter! Call Michon
Quick, Director of Alumni and
Constituent Relations, 913-319-2437
or contact by email [email protected]
Alumni Bonding In Kuwait
Four Saint Thomas Aquinas alumni are serving
together in the U.S. Army Reserves in Kuwait.
Missions take them throughout Iraq. This photo
was taken before they deployed in spring 2008.
They will be coming home in May or June 2009.
Our prayers are with them and all of our alumni
serving in the Armed Forces.
Pictured left to right are SPC Daniel Ney, ‘04,
1st SGT. John Newman, ‘02, SGT. Gabriel Ney,
‘01, Kyle SPC Sadewhite, ‘05.
John Lichtenauer and his wife Janet live
in Melvern, Kansas, where John works for
Lybarger Oil, Inc. They have five children
ranging from age 31 to 45: Kelli Jo, Mike,
Jason, Michelle and John Jr.
PHD in Chemistry from the University of
North Carolina in 2005 after earning his
undergraduate degree in the same field
from the University of Kansas.
In Memoriam
Caroline Minnie Huhman, of Sedalia,
Missouri, passed away on February 14, 2009.
She is the mother of longtime Saint Thomas
Aquinas High School staff member Patty (Wes)
Jordan of Prairie Village, and the grandmother
of Joanna Jordan, ‘04, and Alli Jordan, ‘07.
Elmer Massey, ‘67, of Merriam, Kansas,
passed away on December 3, 2008. He is
survived by his wife, Mickey Ruder Massey,
his daughters, Jennifer Mendez and Robin
Berthold, and five grandchildren.
Ann Nash Neal is a pre-surgery nurse
at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. She
and her husband Frank live in Shawnee,
Kansas, with their sixteen-year old
daughter Maggie.
Michael Magerl and his wife Beth live
in Prairie Village, Kansas, with their son,
Ethan, age 10. Mike is President of Trabon
Printing Company, a commercial printer
in the Kansas City area.
Anne Garbee Smith lives in Elk River,
Minnesota, with her husband Aaron
and their three children: Abbey, age 6,
Amelia, age 3, and Archer, age 1. Anne
and Aaron own a creative design company
in the Twin Cities area called “Smitty’s
Workshop.” They specialize in web
site design, email marketing, logo and
brand system design, motion graphics,
photography and video production,
publication and other printed collateral
design, environmental and point of sale
design, and print and web advertising.
Shane McKinley and his wife Leann
live in Albequerque, New Mexico, with
their children Athansasius, age 2, and
Christiana, age 1. Shane is an electrician
with EnerNOC, an Energy Management
James Cianciaruso is Director of
Refugee and Migrant Services for Catholic
Charities of Northeast Kansas. He resides
in Kansas City, Missouri.
Jacob Ketter lives in Doylestown,
Pennsylvania near Philadelphia, where
he is an instrumentation chemist for
Gamry Instruments. Jacob earned his
Angus Patrick Gartland
Melissa Roehl Gartland and her
husband, Patrick, of Denver, Colorado,
welcomed their new son Angus Patrick
Gartland on December 15, 2008. He
arrived almost six weeks early, joining his
two-year-old brother Max.
Matthew Beaven and his wife Rebecca
live in Shawnee, Kansas, with their
children Jonathan, age 4, Genevieve, age
2, and Cyprian, age 1. They are expecting
their fourth child in July 2009. Matt is a
risk management/financial services agent
with Farm Bureau.
Michael Nesbihal lives in Casper,
Wyoming, where he is a construction field
engineer for Kiewit Power Constructors.
Caleb George married Ashleigh Surbur
on September 29, 2007, at Queen of the
Holy Rosary in Overland Park. They live
in Overland Park, Kansas.
Tim Herre, a dentist residing in
Leawood, Kansas, was featured in the
February issue of 435 South, the magazine
of south Johnson County as one of the
area’s eight “Most Eligible Bachelors.”
The magazine hosted the third annual
‘Most Eligible Bachelors Auction’ at the
Sheraton Overland Park on February 12.
You’ll have to ask Tim how that turned
Marilyn Louise Stambaugh Peterson,
‘63, of Olathe, Kansas, passed away on
January 17, 2009. Many will remember Mrs.
Peterson as their music teacher at St. Paul’s
and Prince of Peace Grade Schools. She was
also organist, liturgist and choir director at
St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Olathe for over
35 years. She is survived by her husband of
33 years, Ernie, her children Celina (Craig)
Gerling of Olathe, Elise Peterson of Hays,
KS, Mary Peterson of Edgerton, KS, Joseph
Peterson, ‘98, of Olathe, Andrew (Mary Beth)
Peterson, ‘00, of Mount Vernon, MO, and
eight grandchildren. She is also survived by
her siblings Phillip (Beverly) Stambaugh, ‘62,
Patricia Stambaugh (John) Ward, ‘68, Paula
Stambaugh McLaughlin, ‘72, Becky Stambaugh
(Stan) Lloyd, ‘75, Anita Stambaugh (Bud)
Wheeler, and James (Dara) Stambaugh.
Kathy McGrew Strohm, ‘68, of Overland
Park, Kansas passed away peacefully in her
sleep on Sunday, September 7, 2008, after
battling breast cancer. Also a victim of a violent
crime in 1979, Kathy was paralyzed from the
chest down and lived wheelchair-bound in
her own home for more than 25 years. She is
survived by siblings, Charlene McGrew (Alan)
Broxterman, ‘70, Overland Park, Dorothy
(Bernard) McGrew Pope, ‘72, Shawnee, Patricia
McGrew (Brian) McKiernan, ‘74, Kansas City,
KS, John McGrew, Kansas City, KS, and Jim
(Mary Beth) McGrew, Shawnee, and also by
eleven nieces and nephews.
Martha Stumpff, of Shawnee, Kansas,
passed away on April 19, 2008, after a long
battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Martha was a
longtime leader for Bluebirds and Campfire
Girls at St. Joseph Grade School. She is
preceded in death by her husband, Ralph,
and survived by children Ralph Stumpff of
San Antonio, TX, Nancy Stumpff Miceli,
‘57, of Colorado Springs, CO, Margie
Stumpff Reynolds, ‘67, of Niwot, CO, ten
grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren.
Saints Mass
Saints Mass
at K-State
On Sunday, February 8, 2009, Saint
Thomas Aquinas High School hosted
the first annual Saints Mass at KSU.
Students who indicated at their high
school graduation that they would
be attending Kansas State University
were invited to attend the afternoon
Mass at St. Isidore’s Catholic Student
Center, followed by a pizza dinner
in the center’s Newman Hall. About
45 students and 20 parents attended
the function. Parents donated
homemade desserts and also monetary
contributions to help with dinner
Each year, graduates from Saint
Thomas Aquinas High School make
up between five and nine percent of
Catholic students attending Kansas
State University and the University
of Kansas. The annual Saints Mass at
KU’s St. Lawrence Catholic Campus
Center and KSU’s St. Isidore’s
Catholic Student Center gives STA
alumni an opportunity to reconnect
with old friends and also share the
common bond of their faith while
they attend a public institution.
Watch for next year’s annual Saints
Mass – both at KU and KSU – in
upcoming issues of Saints Spirit!
Above: Front row: Sean Peters, ’08, Brittany
Boddicker, ‘07; Back row: Natalie Ireland,
‘08, Jason Geller, ’08.
Front row: Dalton Cummings, ‘08, Carl Specht, ‘08; Back row: Blake Moroney, ‘08, Bud
Pflumm, ‘08, Bridget Brown, ‘08, Luke Young, ‘08, and Kaitlyn Hill, ‘08.
Above: ’07 Saints with their dads: Barry and Brian Sullivan, Alex and Gerardo Lopez.
Below: Front row: Meghan
Butler, ‘05, Sarah Kuhlmann,
‘06, Kevin Goebel, ‘06, and
Colin Cummings, ’06; Back row:
Jan Goebel, Dave Goebel.
Above: Class of
‘06 classmates
Anthony Halling,
Jennifer Kinkade,
John Tompkins and
Charlie Loughman.
Streaks & Saints
It’s is not too late to contribute to the 2008-09 Alumni Annual
Fund! All contributors will be listed by class in the Annual Report,
published next winter.
4����������Prom at Starlight Theater
7����������Mothers’ Club Bunko Night
12 �������Easter Sunday
16���������Easter All-School Mass
17���������Spring Olympics
18���������Archdiocesan “Gospel of Life”
25��������Saints Walk for Life
25-26���Dinner Theater
30 �������Instrumental Spring Concert
You may earmark your gift for:
• Alumni Scholarship Fund
• Faculty Recognition
• Blue & Gold, i.e. specific student activities, sports or clubs.
Go to www.aquinascommunity.com/AlumniAnnualFund
Deferred Giving
Please remember Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in your will.
Deferred gifts will help sustain the faith-filled environment, excellent
academic programs and exceptional student activities that make us a
Community of Saints. For questions or more information, contact the
Office of Advancement at 913-319-2425.
Enhance Your Gift with Your Employer’s
You may be able to double or even triple your charitable gift to
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School through your company’s
matching gift program.
2����������Father Daughter Dance
3����������Fashion and Dance Show
4����������Senior Day
12���������Baccalaureate Mass
1����������Mirocke Golf Classic
All you need to do is obtain a matching-gift form at your workplace
and submit it to the Saint Thomas Aquinas High School Office of
Advancement. We’ll do the rest! Contact the Office of Advancement
at 913-319-2425 with questions or for more information. You may also
visit www.matchinggifts.com to check if a specific company will match
your charitable gift.
For more information and to check
times, please go to our website:
www.stasaints.net – Calendar.
Mark Your Calendar!
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School  11411 Pflumm Road  Overland Park, Kansas  www.stasaints.net
Homecoming Tailgate
and 2nd Annual All-Years
Alumni Reunion
Friday, September 25, 2009!
Reunions in
Class of 1979
Melissa Brown Nachbar
[email protected]
2009 is the year for “fours” and “nines” to have your reunions! (That is all
class-years ending in “4” or “9.”) Saint Thomas Aquinas High School would
like to help you with your plans!
Sometimes the senior class president or STUCO president for your
graduating class initiates the planning process. Other times, anyone with
interest might gather a committee to get started.
The first three steps in the reunion-planning process are:
a. Find a location.
b. Secure a date.
Class of 1984
Dan Cahill
[email protected]
Class of 1989
Anne Garbee Smith
[email protected]
Jim Hart
[email protected], or
Joelle Bichelmeyer Peterson
[email protected]
c. Locate “lost” alumni – STA will provide you with a list of classmates
and addresses from our database, including those alumni whose
addresses are unmailable (returned by the post office).
2009 will mark the 2nd annual All-Years Alumni Reunion on
Homecoming weekend, September 25-26, 2009. This will include a mixer
after the football game in the Commons at STA (8-11:30 p.m.). One low-cost
solution for a reunion class might be to gather on this weekend, attending
the function on Friday night at Saint Thomas Aquinas and then organizing
your class gathering at someone’s home or a restaurant/bar for Saturday
For a five-year reunion, another good time to host your event is
Thanksgiving weekend as many young alumni with new jobs will return home
for the holiday.
Note that for summer 2009, the Commons will be unavailable until at
least August 8th for demolition/construction of the new Commons floor.
Accommodations may be arranged with ample notice to use the Auxiliary
Gym until construction is complete.
Please contact Michon Quick, Director of Alumni & Constituent
Relations, at [email protected] or 913-319-2437 for more information.
Regularly visit
for Class Reunion updates
Feast of St. Joseph
Almuni Gathering
Photos from the Feast of St. Joseph
Alumni Gathering on Thursday,
March 19, 2009, at Shorthorn’s
Restaurant & Bar in Lenexa, KS, will
appear in the next issue of
Saints Spirit.
Gold Medal Club
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School announces the initiation of the Gold
Medal Club, an annual reunion gathering for all members of the 50-Year
Reunion Class and older, i.e. all alumni from St. Joseph High School who
graduated between1934-1959.
This event will be held on Friday evening, September 25, 2009, prior to/
during the Saints football game in the STA Library.
If you would like to help plan this new, exciting event, please contact
Michon Quick, Director of Alumni & Constituent Relations, at
[email protected] or 913-319-2437!
Don’t forget to let us know when you move!!!
Log onto
You no longer need a special code to log in!
Feast Day
On Wednesday, January 28,
2009, several alumni, past parents
and friends gathered at Saints
Pub & Patio in Overland Park,
Kansas, to celebrate the Feast of
St. Thomas Aquinas!
Above: Ashley Quick, ‘03, Kristin Brand,
‘03, and Nick Osbern, ‘03
Above: Amy Bender, Brady Pyle, ‘03,
Diane Pyle - alumni parent, Chris
Jagoda, ‘03
The evening consisted of
mingling, food and drink specials
and door prizes such as hats, shirts
and $25 gift certificates to Saints
Pub & Patio.
Below: Marc Dierking, ‘03, Brady
Pyle, ‘03, and Stuart Hemmer
Above: Andrew O’Hara, ‘96,
and Dan Werkowitch, ‘96
Left: Kellie Pyle, ‘01, and
Teresa Ahrens – alumni parent
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School
11411 Pflumm Road
Overland Park, Kansas 66215-4816
Non-Profit Organization

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