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Letter from the
Summer 2012
6600 Little Falls Road
Arlington, VA 22213
Kathleen Ryan Prebble
Joseph E. Vorbach III, PhD ’83
Rev. Phillip M. Cozzi ’94
Sr. Catherine Hill, I.H.M. ’66
Dean of Academics
Erin O’Malley
Dean of Faculty and Counseling
Meghan Lonergan
Dean of Students
Kim Aubry
Major Gifts
[email protected]
Cindy Krech
Annual Fund
[email protected]
Kat Ogdoc ’06
Database Manager and
Advancement Support
[email protected]
Dear Parents, Alumni and Friends,
Those of you who attended the commencement exercises at the Shrine of the
Immaculate Conception will most assuredly agree that it was a joyous and
wonderful event. Our students were privileged to be addressed by someone
who once sat where they did—the immediate past chairman of the Board of
Governors, Kevin Fay, class of 1973. You also witnessed one of O’Connell’s
most treasured and endearing traditions unfold—the presentation of diplomas
by alumni parents to their children. It is a tradition that is a reminder that
O’Connell has a rich history and, more importantly, that it has a bright future
anchored by our faith in God and love of family and community.
As we begin the next academic year, our students and community will share in a
highly visible manifestation of O’Connell’s commitment to that future, the new
athletic facility. As a result of the tireless and commendable efforts of many and
led by Kevin Fay, Katy Prebble and Mark Goetzman, class of 1977, O’Connell has
presented the Catholic community of the Arlington Diocese more concrete (and
turf ) evidence of its burning desire to move ever forward and to provide the best
for our students. It is yet another example of O’Connell’s quest to further our
mission to provide students an education rooted in the life of Christ and to foster
the pursuit of excellence in the whole person.
Just as you helped build it, you can continue to promote the future of
O’Connell by inviting friends, family members and fellow parishioners to
events at this facility. And while you enjoy their company, perhaps on a fall
football Saturday, take the time to remind them of our academic opportunities,
college counseling program, and dedication to the promotion of the fine arts.
Continue to consider not only how far we have come, but also how far we can
and will go.
Respectfully and enthusiastically yours,
Kevin Di Gregory
Chair, Board of Governors
Mary Jane Spurlock
Director of Communications
[email protected]
Message from the
Table of Contents
The Time is Now 4
School News 6
Dear Parents, Alumni and Friends,
I recently received a note from a parent of a graduating senior, that included the following:
I am grateful to all at Bishop O’Connell. It is obvious that the school has a vested
interest in each of their students as they guide them to become aware of who they are,
the talents and skills God has given them, to help determine how they will make the
world a better place one person, one act, in the Catholic faith and its traditions, at a
time. Through each graduate, Bishop O’Connell pursuance of excellence in the Catholic
tradition will be reflected for many years after graduation.
This one note reminds us that our families do not come to O’Connell because of an
accident of geography but because they identify with our mission, beliefs and dedication
to excellence in Catholic education. We congratulate the 276 members of the class of
2012 and are grateful for their contributions over the past four years. Our graduation
speaker, Kevin Fay ’73 eloquently reminded the class of 2012 to know that the school has
loved them and continues to change and grow stronger because they were here. We are
confident that our newest alumni will make a difference in the world wherever they go.
It has been a busy and productive summer. Portions of O’Connell are “hard hat” areas
this summer as the athletic fields and two science labs undergo major renovations. By the
opening of school, O’Connell students will be able to conduct labs with new equipment
in state of the art chemistry laboratories. Science Department Chair, Mrs. Doreen Curtin,
shares the excitement of the science faculty:
Graduation 2012
Annual Giving 14
Connolly Memorial
Golf Classic 15
Why We Give 16
Superdance 2012 18
All-Alumni Reunion
Weekend 20
Legacy Brunch and
Grandparents’ Matinee
Alumni Spotlight
Alumni Roll Call 24
Upcoming Events
and Class Reunions
Our new, state-of-the-art chemistry laboratories will enhance our ability to provide
students with more frequent, engaging, and advanced experimental learning
opportunities. As renovation plans for all our labs move forward, the Bishop
O’Connell tradition of providing students with a solid foundation in scientific
principles will continue, creating endless opportunities for our students to pursue
possible careers in science, technology, engineering, or medicine.
The new turf rectangular field and six-lane track will swing into full use by the end of
August. The reorientation of the baseball field will be completed shortly after. Also,
through the generosity of a friend of the school, new auditorium seats for the center
section of the lower level of the theater will be installed in late August. The remaining
seats in the wings and the balcony section will be replaced as funds become available.
This has been an exciting year exploring all the possibilities for improving O’Connell’s
facilities. We are exceedingly grateful to the many alumni, parents and friends of the
school who have committed over $5.2 million to The Time is Now Initiative.
Please join us for the grand opening of our new field on Friday, August 31 at 2:30 p.m.
when the varsity football team takes on Bishop Ireton.
Our mission is to provide
students an education rooted
in the life of Christ and to
foster the pursuit of excellence
Kathleen Ryan Prebble
in the whole person.
The Time
Is Now
Over the past few months, a great deal has been accomplished at O’Connell through our
strategic initiative, The Time Is Now.
Reoriented and Newly Turfed Field
Most visible is the construction on our rectangular field, which is now completed and
already in use over the summer. There is a brand new brick entrance that leads you to this
remarkable turf field, which includes a six-lane track and new field event areas, along with
new stands, press box, goal posts and scoreboard. Come out and experience the excitement
of the new field for yourself at our home opener games listed on page 28.
Technology Upgrades
The school has successfully completed the installation of a campus-wide wireless network
and piloted a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program. In the fall, students will be able to use
personal smart phones, tablets, netbooks or laptops as directed by their teachers. In addition,
O’Connell has mobile iPad labs for teachers to use in the classroom. Each lab includes 25
Apple iPads, a mobil cart, charging station and educational apps.
Thank You
to Our
In Memory of
Sydney E.
June 5, 2012
The O’Connell community
mourns the passing this summer
of Sydney Albrittain, a quietly
generous supporter of the school
for more than 40 years. Albrittain,
a successful real estate executive
and president of Dittmar Co., sent
six children and two grandchildren
to Bishop O’Connell between 1970
and 2011. Over the years, he and
his wife, Gloria, made significant
donations that allowed the school to upgrade facilities and enhance
important student programs.
“Syd Albrittain has often been referred to as our guardian angel,” said
President Katy Prebble. “He expressed to us his personal desire to ensure
that this school would serve future generations of students in the same
way it was able to serve his family.”
Alumni children and grandchildren of Albrittain include Clare ’74,
Matthew ’75, Mary Beth ’78, Michael ’80, Syd ’83, Kerry ’86,
Madeline ’11 and Lauren ’11.
As of July 25, 2012, the
following individuals have
graciously pledged their
leadership support, or made
an outright gift, to the Time Is
Now strategic initiative:
Elizabeth Abood
Richard L. Abood ’74
Michael Albrittain ’80 and
Kristine Albrittain
Sydney and Gloria Albrittain
W. Sydney Albrittain ’83 and
Whitney Albrittain
Peter F. Allgeier
Kathleen M. Almy ’70
Alumni Class of 1989
Mark and Valerie Andreotta
William and Joanne Armor
William A. Bagot ’70
Thomas and Andrea Bender
Ted and Lisa Bennett
E. Peter Bergmann ’76
Bishop O’Connell PTO
Suzanne Sniscak Blevins ’70
Arthur and Wendy Bonair
George Boras ’83 and Susan Boras
Julianne Rish Bourne ’83 and
James Bourne
Albert Bracht ’70
Marc A. Brammer ’70
Theodore A. Breiner ’72 and
Maureen Daunt Breiner ’71
John Brough ’82 and Karin Brough
Andrew and Denise Brown
Richard W. Brown/
Bethesda Blues LLC
Sylvia Totten Carlson ’70
William Carpenter ’76 and
Deborah Carpenter
Suzanne and Richard Carroll
W. Rance Cleaveland
Thomas and Pamela Cline
Thomas H. Conaty ’64
Timothy M. Corbett ’70 and
Kathryn Giebel Corbett ’70
Luis Felipe and Ana Maria Cordoba
David and Susan Courtney
Cristi Pola Craigmile ’83 and
Jeffrey Craigmile
Peyton and Leslie Cross
Joseph and Cheri Cusumano
Rodney and Teresa Dade
Eva Herbst Davis ’83
John Depenbrock ’61 and
Anne Depenbrock
John and Kathleen Dickman
Tina Marrocco Dodge ’84
Steven J. Donovan ’86
Mike Doughty
Pat Driscoll
Bill Duryee ’61 and Patricia Duryee
Dennis E. Dwyer ’61
Thomas J. Fadoul ’70
Renovated Chemistry Labs
Inside our school progress is evident in the complete renovation of two science
labs, which will be used by all levels of chemistry classes in the fall. These updated
classrooms are outfitted with all new fixtures and furniture, and are supported
by an advanced technology backbone that include wireless chemical probes,
netbooks, software and interactive SMART boards, in an ergonomically efficient
space for both lectures and lab work. In addition, the chemical prep room has been
completely overhauled with an explosion-proof refrigerator, drying ovens, and icemaker, all critical to supporting the advanced chemistry laboratory work which is a
part of the curriculum.
More Improvements to Come
Work has also begun on the reorientation of the baseball field, which will provide
a much improved player and spectator experience, and, finally, a regulation
center field. In addition, the remaining six science labs are slated for renovation
over the next two summers.
Subsequent plans will focus on infrastructure improvements throughout the school
(windows, HVAC, auditorium seats, etc.). We will continue to move forward on all
improvements as funds allow.
The school is extremely grateful to the many individuals and families who have
partnered with us through The Time Is Now strategic initiative, and who can
already take great pride in our accomplishments.
If you would like to know how you can help us continue these important efforts,
please contact Katy Prebble at [email protected] or call 703-237-1450.
Teresa Langen Fahlgren ’83
Kathleen Barry Farrell ’80 and
Timothy P. Farrell
Michael A. Farrell ’70
Kevin Fay ’73 and Nancy Fay
Stephan E. Fay ’71 and
Ann Marie Morris Fay ’71
Robert and Karen Fornaro
Rosemary T. Fox
Eric Fracasso
Kirk and Maria Galiani
Joseph and Jerry Gargiulo Jr.
Renee Walsh Garnett ’83
Ronald J. Gilbert ’65 and
Sue Boyles Gilbert ’65
Dan and Michelle Gillick
Mark Goetzman ’77 and
Martha Holroyd Goetzman ’80
Lily Fernandez Griffin ’83 and
Thomas Griffin
Patricia Pettit Griffin ’70
Bruce Gudenberg
Constance Culosi Gulley ’83 and
Steven Gulley
Dalton and Nan Gustafson
Edward and Anne Hall
Abdel-Rahman Hamed
Joseph Harrington ’67
Parker Harrington ’75 and
Rosemarie Harrington
Paul Hartmann ’70 and
Barbara Hartman
James and Judith Hathaway
James W. Hathaway ’93
Michael J. Hayden ’74 and
Julie Naylor Hayden ’74
Caitlin Healy
Kevin and Sally Healy
Kevin J. Healy
Mary Jane Healy ’83
Mark A. Henry
Jane Hayes Hohmann ’70
Karen O’Malley Holland ’70
Ralph E. Horvath and Cathleen Campbell
John K. Hughes ’70
Alexander Inglese ’72 and
Karen Carter Inglese
Michael A. Ingrao ’72
William J. Jacaruso
Ms. Claudia S. Jadrijevic ’86 and
Mr. Bruce DeBlois
Robert D. Jentgens
Paul Johnson and Judy Dunn
Mark D. Jones ’83
Maggi Hanlon Keating ’85
William and Dawn Kerr
Joseph H. Kimmitt ’68
Mark T. Kimmitt ’72
Robert M. Kimmitt ’65
Richard Kingman ’70 and
Ann Reilly Kingman ’71
Donald and Marie Klawiter
Joseph Koons ’64 and
Nancy Hayhurst Koons ’65
Chip Kunde
Robert Kurtzke ’77 and Leala Kurtzke
Tara Laposa ’93
Gretchen Laundon
Eric W. Leonard
Susan C. Leous
Mary Flaherty Lewis ’70
Donald P. Libera ’70
Richard M. Loughery ’70 and
Phyllis Mayo Loughery ’70
Michael D. Lubeley ’65
Donald T. Lynch and Kimberly Burnett
John and Peggy Maddox
Elizabeth Von Drehle Madeira ’83
Marymount University
James and Dawn McDonald
Terrance McGovern and
Margaret Hogan-McGovern
Michael J. McGuire ’00
Anne Pida Mellen ’70
James W. Mercer
Gus Meruvia ’77 and Staci Meruvia
Katherine P. Muth
Robert and Mary Ann Nirschl
Kathleen Boylan O’Keefe ’83
Kelly Olszewski-Hertel
Fr. John P. Peterson ’81
Helen Wilkinson Petrakes ’80
Thomas R. Poos ’70
Kathleen Prebble
Todd J. Preti ’83
Jim Puglisi Sr. ’74 and Betsie Puglisi
Tim Puglisi ’74
Marie Quinn
Daniel and Mary Kay Reilly
Kevin Reilly ’77 and Sharon Reilly
Edward G. Rodrigues
Rui Rodrigues
Robert and Jeanne Rucks
Michelle Lalle Rush ’70
Eduardo and Megan Salas
Anne E. Schaffner
Kevin S. Scully ’70
Ronald and Kathleen Scully
Jeannie Jreige Semaan ’86 and
Marcel Semaan
Reilly M. Shaughnessy ’76
Paul Sheridan ’89 and Rachel Sheridan
Neil Soloman
Amber South
Christopher and Jodi St. George
Samuel and Marian Starr
Thomas Stevens ’68 and Lindy Stevens
David and Karen Stuver
William and Jamie Tanis
Dennis L. Telzrow ’63
Thomas E. Tiernan ’72
Melissa Tierney
Rev. Stephen J. Tisinger ’70
Karen M. Tracey
Lisa Mercer Underwood ’74 and
Michael J. Underwood
JoEllen Urban ’82
Joshua Vance ’88 and
Amy Every Vance ’89
Stavros and Berit Veletsis
Joseph E. Vorbach ’83 and
Colleen Vorbach
Patricia DeIuliius Walker ’70
Martin Walsh ’62 and Nan Walsh
Patrick Walsh ’62 and Margaret Walsh
Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley, Emrich, P.C.
Jean Winslow Whitesell ’73
Gregory and Donna Wilson
Jeffrey Winslow ’70 and
Janet Greenwald Winslow ’71
Kevin P. Wuest
Raymond Zdancewicz ’74 and
Sandra Zdancewicz
Donald and Catherine Ziegler
Global Issues Network Conference
Randy Beardsworth
Guest Speakers Enhance
Science Curriculum
The science department hosted a series of
guest speakers in their classrooms as part of
an in-house program to encourage careers in
science, technology, engineering, math and
medicine. Dr. Margaret McCoy, a National
Research Council Fellow at Walter Reed
Army Institute of Research gave a presentation on her work with vaccines, immunology
and global health issues. Dr. Lynn Durel, a
behavior medicine consultant, discussed
her unusual journey to a career in science,
and Dr. John Moore of NOBLIS spoke to
students on technology’s role in enhancing
medical collaboration.
Global Studies
Four students from the Global Studies
program presented their work with the
Medical Missionaries Club at the 2012
Global Issues Network Conference held at
George Washington University on March
16. More than 120 high school students
from the Washington area participated
in this one-day event, which is part of an
international global network of students
Students Engage in Climate Discussion
At a special assembly this year, students at Bishop O’Connell had the opportunity to
engage in a discussion on climate change with Dr. Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth
System Science Center at Penn State University. In 2007, he and hundreds of climate
scientists from all over the world won a Nobel Prize for their work as part of a United
Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Dr. Mann was introduced by Principal Joseph Vorbach who set the stage by referring to
the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences and their interests in international research
efforts in the area of long-term climate changes. “Of particular note to the Vatican,” Dr.
Vorbach remarked, “are the socio-economic effects that could impact the poorest and
most vulnerable in the world.”
Dr. Michael E. Mann
“We were thrilled that our students
could participate in this discussion
today,” said President Katy Prebble.
“Our hope is that these opportunities
help them get their arms around the
importance of being stewards of God’s
creation and begin thinking about
their personal role in their generation’s future.”
in dialogue about the most pressing
issues facing the world. Participants from
Bishop O’Connell included juniors Alexa
Dantzler, Victoria Nguyen, Christina Porto
and Greg Reyes.
Students enrolled in the Global Studies
program also had numerous opportunities to engage in the “global discussion” at
school and through field trips this spring:
Beardsworth, President and CEO
of Catalyst Maritime, met with a group of
Global Studies students at his offices in
Dupont Circle.
Wooster, Acting Deputy Assistant
Secretary for Iran,
stopped by Bishop
O’Connell to share
his experiences in the
Foreign Service.
Henry Wooster
group from the Global Studies program
toured the diplomatic reception rooms at
U.S. Department of State.
To read more about Global Studies
opportunities, visit
Julia V. Taylor
Facilitates Discussions
on Healthy Self Image
Bishop O’Connell hosted Julia V. Taylor,
author of Salvaging Sisterhood; G.I.R.L.S:
Group Counseling Activities for Enhancing
Social and Emotional Development and a
children’s book, Perfectly You. Taylor serves
as the Professional Interest Network Bullying Specialist for the American School
Counselor Association (ASCA), and she frequently presents her research and experiences with educators, parents, and students
at the national level.
Taylor began her day
at O’Connell with a
parent coffee, where
she introduced the
topic of body image in
the media and showed
examples of product
advertising that made it
seem necessary for girls
Teacher Feature
Meet Mary Lou Wentzel
State Department Tour
to be thin and boys to be very muscular. At
a student assembly, Taylor discussed with
students how to be a healthy consumer of
media. Along with counselor Tara Brown,
Taylor also visited girls’ P.E. and Health
classes, where discussions ensued about a
variety of topics ranging from female images in the media, to the school uniform, to
how young woman speak about themselves,
and to one another. She wrapped up the day
with an after-school workshop with faculty
and staff, beginning with a question and answer period from the morning’s assembly.
Mary Lou Wentzel has been a part of the English faculty
at O’Connell for the past 19 years. She has been teaching
Freshman English and Public Speaking to more than a generation of students who have passed through our school.
But she’s been associated with O’Connell for even longer
than that, first as an active parent and active PTO member,
beginning in 1981.
But this wasn’t the beginning of her Catholic school experience. Mrs. Wentzel grew up attending Catholic schools in
Ohio. After studying Education at Kent State University, she
received her Masters of Arts in Public Speaking and Education. She followed her husband Jim
to Denver, Colorado, where he attended the University of Denver Law School and she taught
English at St. Francis and West High School.
The Wentzels eventally made their way to the Washington D.C. area, when Jim took a position
with the U.S. Justice Department. At the same time, they were raising three children: Julia,
followed by twins, Jim and Cathy. Mrs. Wentzel found herself volunteering as a room mom
and girl scout leader at St. Michael School in Annandale and substitute teaching there and in
Fairfax County.
Before she knew it, her youngest children were enrolled at Bishop O’Connell High School and
she was teaching English in the humanities program at Thomas Jefferson High School for
Science and Technology. She continued to stay involved in her children’s school and became
an active parent at DJO. Among other things, she had her hand in the establishment of the PTO
sponsored faculty and staff Christmas breakfast—a well-loved tradition still going strong today.
College Panel Caps
Senior Mentoring
The counseling department invited recent
graduates back to the school in May to
participate in a special panel discussion
for the senior class. The general topic for
the morning assembly was transitioning
from high school to college. Eleven alumni
from the classes of 2008 through 2011 engaged in a discussion on important issues
such as time management, money matters,
friendships, health and safety.
It wasn’t long before Mrs. Wentzel took a full-time teaching position at Bishop O’Connell, and
a few years later helped expand the curriculum to include a public speaking class. During her
tenure, Mrs. Wentzel has supported the freshman study skills program, and served on several
faculty committees, including the Principal’s advisory, Athletic Hall of Fame, and hospitality
Mrs. Wentzel has mentored countless students in all grades who have entered speech and
essay contests at our school, in our community and even at the state and national levels. In the
last three years, more than forty students have won first place in a local competition, earning
the honor of competing at the state or national level. Of these students, three took top honors
in the country.
“One of my greatest joys is to see our students come back as teachers,” said Mrs. Wentzel.
“Bishop O’Connell is my extended family, and I’m thrilled to welcome each year into my classroom children of students who I taught in the past.”
Mrs. Wentzel isn’t “all books all the time,” though. She is blessed
to have all three of her children residing with their families in Virginia. She tries to find time throughout the year to spend time with
all of them. She and her husband love the water, and when she’s not
reading a good book, she is out on a jet ski with her grandchildren.
Earlier senior mentoring sessions included:
Living and Life in a Residential Hall featuring representatives from
Marymount University
77Healthy Decisions and the Consequences
of Substance Abuse by Adam Lu
Basics and Financial Literacy
with Ryan Reed
Integrity by Brenda Quaye,
Director of the Academic Integrity Office
at George Mason University
of College Placement Process
by Dr. Dan Stabile.
West Point Leadership
Five O’Connell students participated in
the 5th annual West Point Leadership and
Ethics Conference held in early March at
George Mason University in Fairfax. Senior
Daniel Bryne, and juniors Sarah Anderson,
Taylor Chamness, Ron Singel and Madison
Carter were selected to participate in this
two-day seminar. They were accompanied
Student Spotlight
Helen Evans ‘13
Bishop O’Connell’s Global Studies
program was established in the
spring of 2011 and is open to students of all backgrounds who have
an interest in learning experiences focused on themes of world
importance in our time. Helen
Evans was a sophomore at the
time the program was first rolling
out and was one of the first to
sign up. She is now one of more than 50 students who
participate in group seminars, engage in conversations
with diplomats and corporate leaders and ponder the
global reach of their future career interests.
“I love how we are asked to ‘engage’,” she says of her
Global Studies activities over the past year. “The speakers pull us into their conversations, and we feel more
Evans is hoping to one day play a part in the global
health arena, either in the area of hematology (the
study of blood) or pathology (the study of tissue).
She works during the school year and in the summer
at a math and reading tutoring center. There she
learned how great it feels to help a child. “The looks
on their faces when they see their own improvement
is priceless,” she said. “I hope to do the same in health
care one day.”
Evans family is from Michigan and she spends several
weeks each summer with her family in the northern
peninsula. For the past several years, she has
participated in special career exploration programs
at Michigan Tech. She also was one of several Bishop
O’Connell students participating last spring in the
local Girls in Technology Mentor-Protégé Program.
“I was paired with a mentor who encouraged me
to push forward in exploring science and technology careers,” Evans said about the Mentor-Protégé
program. “We made great connections with our peers
and with successful women in technology and health
care fields.”
At Bishop O’Connell, Evans credits Deacon Paul
Ochenkowski with her love of writing and global
perspectives. “I was hooked on the first day in his AP
European History class.” She is grateful also to Mr.
Tom Glynn’s approach to the Anatomy & Physiology
class, where she learned not just about the structure
and function of the human body, but also delved into
diseases and specific case studies.
In her spare time, Evans is involved in the Model UN
Club where she will serve as General Secretary during
the upcoming school year. “Model UN emphasizes
teamwork,” she said. “We’ve discovered as a group,
that you can only be successful if you learn how to
work with everyone and to communicate well.”
Evans is looking forward to her senior year and
enrolling in the Principles of Engineering course at
O’Connell to help her prepare for her next steps in
life. College decisions are just around the corner, and
right now she is focused on science and technology
programs in Virginia and in Michigan.
by school counselor, Tom Giska. The
purpose of the conference is to educate,
train and inspire students in order for
them to become ethical leaders in their
schools and their communities. This
year’s conference included a keynote address by General Lloyd J. Austin II, 33rd
Vice Chief of Staff of the Army.
Biology Classes
Witness OpenHeart Surgery
Students in Honors Biology classes were
able to witness an open-heart surgery
firsthand at INOVA’s Heart and Vascular Institute in Fairfax. In early March,
nearly 100 students from six different
classes were able to take advantage of
the Institute’s “Dome Experience.” The
Dome Experience is a unique educational
offering that invites community members
to witness open-heart surgeries through
a special viewing platform above the
operating room. The dome offers direct
views of procedures. A cardiac nurse
educator introduces participants to the
surgical process, narrates the surgery
and uses realistic props to bring to life an
educational lecture on healthy living.
First Place at State
Science Fair
Bishop O’Connell junior Sofia DiBenigno
was awarded first place in the Behavioral
Science category at the 2012 Virginia State
Science and Engineering Fair held in April
at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
Her project,
Effect of
on Survey
for the state
by placing
first in the
same category at the Northern Virginia
Regional Science Fair held at Wakefield
High School in Arlington earlier this year.
At that time, DiBenigno also received
recognition from several organizations,
including the Office of Naval Research, the
American Psychological Association, and
the CIA.
Senior Awarded
Technology Honor
Senior Allison Grasmeder was honored with an Award for Aspirations in
Computing at the Mar. 31 Virginia-DC
Affiliate Awards Celebration of the National Center for Women & Information
Technology (NCWIT). Grasmeder is a
member of the National Honor Society
at Bishop O’Connell High School and
a starter on the varsity softball team.
She is a three-time participant in the
Botball Global Conference on Educational Robotics, where she also mentors
other students interested in robotics.
Grasmeder is planning to study biomedical engineering at Drexel University next fall, hoping to someday play a
role in building prosthetics and medical
Students Shine
in State Catholic
Daughters Contest
Three Bishop O’Connell students were
recognized in May by the Virginia
State Court of the Catholic Daughters
of America for their creative expressions on the theme of “Planting Seeds
of Faith.” Freshman Francesca Pastore
won first place for her poetry submission. Fellow freshman Sarah Cahill won
second place for her essay on the same
theme. Senior Sujin Kim was awarded
third place for her oil pastels and pencil
drawing. All three students won earlier
at the local level, through the Court
Queen of Peace No. 1872. Their entries
were then forwarded to the state level
for consideration. Read about our many
essay and oratorical contest winners at
The Health Services Club is led by
seniors Molly Zinzi, Dina Hamami and
Lauren Sese. Members of the club helped
organize, advertise, schedule and run this
event from beginning to end.
The Matchmaker
Bishop O’Connell’s theater program
presented Thornton Wilder’s classic farce,
The Matchmaker during the weekend of
April 20-22. The show featured seniors
Rosemarie O’Connor as Dolly Levi and
David Gillick as Horace Vandergelder.
They were accompanied by a strong
supporting cast, which included seniors
Allison Roaquin as Minnie and Lisa Young
as Miss Malloy, and juniors Tyler Fritz as
Cornelius Hackl and Michael Bonini as
Barnaby Tucker. For photos and more,
Soccer Team Keeps
on Giving
along with a $300 award. His name has
been sent on the Tenth District for consideration at the next level.
Spring Blood
Drive Success
Bishop O’Connell High School students
once again came forward in record numbers to donate blood at school through
INOVA Blood Donor Services. The
student-run Health Service Club worked
in conjunction with INOVA personnel to
host this event which netted more than 85
units of blood by day’s end.
For the second year in a row, the Bishop
O’Connell boys soccer teams participated in a holiday service project through
Wreaths Across America, raising money
to lay Christmas wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. The team raised enough
money to lay 554 wreaths and donate
$3,000 to four disabled veterans through
the Wounded Warriors Project. In late
April, members of the soccer team met
with one of the recipients, Army Private
First Class Derek McConnell, a New Jersey native who lost his legs due to injuries
from an improvised explosive device
(IED) while serving in Afghanistan.
Music Program Travels
to Philadelphia
O’Connell music ensembles traveled to Philadelphia this spring where they performed
in a national music festival. The Knights
fared extremely well, competing against
musical ensembles from all over the United
States. The orchestra was awarded a second
place trophy, the O’Connell Singers received
third place honors, and the Concert Choir
and Jazz Ensemble took home fourth place
awards. While in Philadelphia the students
also enjoyed some of the sights and flavors
of the City of Brotherly Love. Highlights of
the visit included touring the city by Duck
boats and a trip to the Franklin Institute.
This was the second trip to the Philadelphia
are for the school’s jazz ensemble, who participated in the 51st Villanova Jazz Festival
earlier in the year. The group competed
against some of the best jazz ensembles
on the East Coast and placed fourth. The
O’Connell trumpet section was honored as
the “Best Trumpet Section.” On that trip,
the jazz ensemble was able to arrange for
a special appearance at Camilla Hall for a
special St. Patrick’s Day performance and
sing-along with retired I.H.M. Sister.
Eagle Scout of the Year
Senior Matthew Anderson was named by
the John Lyon VFW Post 3150 as Eagle
Scout of the Year. During a ceremony this
spring, Anderson received a certificate
Crew Team
Dedicates New
Shell and Honors
Al Burch
Earlier this year, members of the
Bishop O’Connell crew team,
coaches and parents gathered on
the banks of the Potomac River for a special naming ceremony for their new Vespoli
eight-person shell. The shiny royal blue shell was a highly-anticipated and welcome addition to the team’s fleet, and it was about to be named after former principal Al Burch.
Coach Alex DelSordo welcomed members of Burch family, including his widow Donna,
his three children—Kenny, Karen and Kristy—and five of his grandchildren. Together
they carefully lined up the right letters to add a very special decal to the shell—the new
boat’s name: “Al Burch.” Kenny Burch then had the honor of drenching the front of the
shell with a fresh bottle of champagne, before the eight-member boys varsity rowing
team hoisted the vessel over their heads and placed it into the river for a row up the
river as the sun set over the Key Bridge.
“It is fitting to be able to honor Al Burch in this way,” said Principal Joseph Vorbach
at the naming ceremony. “He was principal at O’Connell when the rowing program
was founded, and he personally advocated for the team’s establishment to the school’s
Board of Governors.”
Football Foundations Honors Player and Former Coach
Senior Quincy Smith was recognized at the Washington-area National Football Foundation (NFF) Scholar-Athlete
Banquet held recently at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington. Smith was one of 29 area seniors honored for their
academic achievements, contributions to the community, and football abilities. He carries a 3.84 GPA, has countless
hours of volunteer work, including involvement with Special Olympics programs, and was a solid contributor on the
football team during his four years at Bishop O’Connell. Smith’s name will forever be enshrined as an award recipient at
the College Football Hall of Fame, currently located in South Bend, Ind.
In addition to Smith’s award, the NFF recognized the late Bishop O’Connell head football coach, Steve Trimble, for his
contributions to the organization over the last six years. Quincy Smith presented a special award to Coach Trimble’s
wife, Gretchen, on behalf of the organization.
Athletes Recognized
by Arlington Betters
Sports Club Awards
The Better Sports Club of Arlington
annually recognizes student athletes for
conduct, dedication and character on and
off the playing field. At this year’s 56th
annual awards banquet, four O’Connell
seniors, representing all three sports
seasons, were awarded trophies for their
particular sports:
Nicole Carty – High School Girls
Basketball Sportswoman of the Year
Courtney Cross – High School Girls
Lacrosse Sportswoman of the Year
Regan Houston – High School Girls
Soccer Sportswoman of the Year
Anthony Olivette – High School Ice
Hockey Sportsman of the Year
Two Softball Players
Named All-American
Late last spring, O’Connell juniors, Tori
Finucane (pitcher) and Jillian Ferraro
(catcher) were named 1st Team All-Americans by the National Fastpitch Coaches
Association (NFCA). This outstanding duo
helped lead the Bishop O’Connell team
(27-1) to its ninth straight Washington
Catholic Athletic Conference championship and yet another Virginia Independent
Schools Division I state title, the Lady
Knights’ 17th state crown in 19 years participating in the VISSA State Tournament. the Team Drill Down Award, receiving the
highest team average in ribbon accumulation from daily camp drills.
Earlier this year, three sophomore members
of the team, Carina Falcon, Daisa Harris and
Tori Cullo, auditioned and were accepted
into the highly selective Joffrey Ballet
School’s Summer Intensive Program.
Finucane has committed to the University
of Missouri, and Ferraro has verbally committed to the University of North Carolina.
Royalette Dance
Team News
The 2012-2013 Royalette Dance Team
returned from this summer’s Universal
Dance Association Camp at the University of
Maryland–Baltimore County with trophies,
ribbons and valuable team experiences. This
O’Connell squad received blue ribbon recognition for their home routine, finishing in
second place and qualifying for the National
Dance Team Championship in February in
Orlando, Fla., which is televised by ESPN.
The team also received a Superior trophy
as one of the top averaging teams based on
individual team member evaluations, and
Catholic Business
Network Honors Teacher,
Student and Volunteer
Theology Department Chair Michael Mothes
was honored as one of two Distinguished
High School Teachers of the Year at the 2012
awards banquet of the Catholic Business
Network of Northern Virginia (CBN-NV).
This award recognizes diocesan teachers who consistently and in extraordinary ways evidence
exemplary teaching, a Christian and caring attitude and dedication to their school communities.
In addition, O’Connell freshman Katherine Guillen was awarded an Educational Scholarship by
CBN-NV. Her essay on this year’s topic: “How Can I Practice Catholic Values Outside of School
and the Church” was published in the gala program.
Bishop O’Connell also honored alumnus Doug Gehley ’72, who has served as the lead architect
for the school’s athletic field and science classroom renovation projects. “Doug and his SHW
Group team are working creatively to build an inspired future for our 50-year old facilities,” said
President Katy Prebble.
Summer Missions
Trips to the Dominican
O’Connell students organized two different
mission trips to Hispaniola over the summer. In late June, members of the Medical
Missionaries Club traveled to St. Thomassique, Haiti to help out at St. Joseph’s
Clinic, the only medical facility in the local
area. The students supported the day-today operations of the clinic by organizing
the clinic’s three pharmacy and emergency
supply stock rooms, assisting clinicians
in the one-room emergency room, and
instructing children and adults on general
hygiene and first aid techniques. They also
lent a hand at bringing patient record information up to date in the clinic’s database. In
addition, the students worked with a local
Haitian youth group, whose 45 members
volunteer in the clinic on a regular basis.
In July, a group of ten Bishop O’Connell
High School students traveled to the
Dominican Republic, accompanied by
Chaplain Phillip Cozzi and English teacher
Colleen Fitzpatrick. This group spent their
week working at the Diocese of Arlington
mission parish in the town of Banica, located near the Haitian border. The students
worked to improve the local chapel of St.
Francis of Assisi and a school in the outlying town or campo of Los Memisos.
O’Connell Staff Retirements
The school community is grateful for the service of the following individuals. Our prayers go out to them as they enjoy their retirement.
Deacon Paul Ochenkowski
After 15 years at Bishop O’Connell, Deacon
Ochenkowski is retiring to devote himself
more completely to his duties as Deacon at
his Parish, Saint Veronica’s in Chantilly. For
the past six years, he has served as chair of
the social studies department. Since his ordination in 2011, Deacon Ochenkowski has
continued in the service of our students,
augmenting his normal contributions by
serving with Father Hudgins and Father
Cozzi at school Masses and periodically offering the homily. The school is very grateful to Deacon “O” (formerly Mr. “O”) for
bringing his bright mind, commitment to
Catholic education, and wealth of experience as a career naval officer to our school.
ment. Mr. Breuel graduated from the U.S.
Military Academy in 1959 and served on
active duty in the Army for 14 years. During that time, he earned a Master of Science degree from Purdue University and
served our country in Vietnam, earning the
Bronze Star and the Defense Meritorious
Service Medal. After work in the private
sector as well as the federal government in
both the Justice and Energy Departments,
he joined the faculty at Bishop O’Connell
in 1993.
Margaret Lane
For the past twenty years, Dr. Garvert has
been part of the Bishop O’Connell community—15 years as a full-time teacher and
five in part-time status. For five years she
also served as chair of the science department. For a number of years she has taught
our AP Biology course and helped hundreds
of students to success in what is widely
acknowledged, in terms of both breadth and
depth, as a very challenging curriculum. Margaret Lane first joined the faculty at
Bishop O’Connell in August of 1990. During her first decade on the faculty, she
taught Theology to seniors and sophomores. Over the past twelve years, she
taught both Theology and Health/Physical
Education, sharing her passion for both
subjects with hundreds of students. She
was instrumental in the formation of a
student service club that raised $31,000 in
less than four years to help pay for the tuition of 130 children at the Good Samaritan
Orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. The work of
this club developed after Mrs. Lane’s trip
to the orphanage in 2004. Al Breuel
Carol Renaghan
Dr. Frances Garvert
Al Breuel is retiring this year after 19 years
teaching physics in our science depart-
Carol Renaghan joined the faculty at Bishop
O’Connell as a computers and technol-
ogy teacher in the mid-1990s after serving
for eight years as the Computer Center
Coordinator at Saint Michael School in
Annandale. For 25 years she has worked to
help students in the Diocese of Arlington
to understand and maximize the utility of
computers in the classroom and beyond. Marisela Zack
Marisela Zack has been teaching Spanish to students at Bishop O’Connell High
School for more than 15 years. She studied
Spanish language and literature, as well
education, in her native Panama and she
came to Bishop O’Connell from the island
of Guam where she taught Spanish in two
different high schools in the early 1990s. Trina Sensenig
Trina Sensenig was the first service coordinator in the school’s history and the school
community is indebted to her for both her
diligence in bringing a new program online
and her efforts to connect students with
service opportunities. Laura (Bunny) Baird
Bunny Baird served for many years in the
school cafeteria before moving to the library in the middle of the last decade. Her
cheerful, selfless service to Bishop
O’Connell set a wonderful example for
students and staff members alike.
Sister Rose Marie DeCarlo, I.H.M.
The faculty lounge at Bishop O’Connell had standing room only recently as current and past faculty and staff members gathered for an informal potluck lunch
to give Sister Rose Marie DeCarlo, I.H.M. their best wishes as she moves to
Camilla Hall at Immaculata University.
Sister Rose has been a part of the O’Connell community for more than 45 years,
serving our students as a teacher and club moderator during three “tours of
duty” totaling 17 years. She first came to Bishop O’Connell in 1967, returned in
1983 and again in 2006.
In her own words:
“I have watched students mature, becoming learners and scholars. I have witnessed students taking responsibility and developing into leaders. I have rejoiced to
observe many becoming faithful believers vital in their service to the Church. I have
thanked God for calling forth priests, deacons, brothers and religious sisters from
the student body and from the faculty. I have marveled at a school community that
could weather storms and yet prevail, becoming stronger and more fruitful for good.
Sister Rose, seated (left) with former faculty member,
Carole Boland, and circled by Science Department
Chair Doreen Curtin, former staff member and alumnus
Tommy Gaddell ’74, and Studies Office staff member
Evelyn Penn.
“I look back on my years at Bishop O’Connell with thanksgiving to God for the joy
of the journey. God planted good seeds here, tended by devoted growers which yielded a great harvest of good fruit. May God continue to
provide the seeds and the growers so that His Kingdom may flourish here at Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School.”
Bishop O’Connell High School held its
52nd commencement exercise on Thursday, May 31 at the Basilica of the National
Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in
Washington, D.C. Bishop Paul S. Loverde
presented diplomas to the 276 members of
the 2012 graduating class.
President Kathleen Prebble welcomed the
students, honored guests and family members to this celebration. She took a moment to recognized members of the class
of 1962 who were attendance to mark the
50th anniversary of their graduation from
Bishop O’Connell. Then she addressed
the class of 2012, reminding them of the
many ways they have already worked to
make their community a better place. She
encouraged them to continue to make a
difference in the world. Quoting Immaculée Ilibagiza, she said, “God will plant our
feet on the path that’s best for us…but it’s
up to us to do the walking.”
Peter St. George ’12
Peter St. George, the class salutatorian,
figuratively saluted the class of 2012 and
their many accomplishments over the past
four years. He highlighted the 30,000 cans
of soup collected for Christ House and
Kevin J. Fay ’73
the $500,000 raised to help fight Cystic
Fibrosis during their tenure.
Stephanie Gulley, the class valedictorian,
encouraged the class to embrace the
changes that lie ahead. With the resources
gained from their O’Connell experiences—
that is, intellect, Faith and the support
of family and friends—she assured them
that they were well prepared for this next
Kevin J. Fay, president of Alcalde and Fay
and member of the class of 1973, provided
the commencement address. Fay urged the
students to look for opportunities in their
own lives to ask tough questions, and to
become that agent of change.
After the presentation of the diplomas,
Principal Joseph Vorbach expressed his
gratitude to the students for their class gift
intended to provide a fitting memorial to
Coach Steve Trimble. He recalled welcoming this class on their first day of school in
2008, and expressed his anticipation for
what lies ahead.
Bishop Loverde closed the celebration
with the benediction, assuring the class
of 2012 that they will always be in his
Stephanie Gulley ’12
2012 Legacy Graduates
The following students are sons and daughters of Bishop O’Connell alumni and will receive their diplomas from their parents:
Rachel Anne Azcarate
Eddy Azcarate ’84
Charles Joseph DiGiulian, Jr.
Mary Dufault DiGiulian ’79
John Francis Hurley, II
John K. Hurley ’77
Troy Matthew Potts
Terri Miller Potts ’81
Catherine Maureen Bean
Bridget O’Donnell Bean ’81
John Bean ’79
Amanda Katherine
David Engebritson ’78
Kevin Thursun Zaman Keens
Therese Keens ’94
Kelsey Rose Saunders
Kristina Kadeli Saunders ’82
John Thomas Beaver, III
John Thomas Beaver Jr. ’82
Erin Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Michael P. Fitzgerald ’84
Olga Katherine Kilian
David F. Kilian ’71
Chloe Regina Seagrave
Elizabeth Kotapish Seagrave ’81
Morgaine Jolie CastilloAmore
Maria Denise Castillo ’81
Alanna Marie Furey
Peter Furey ’76
Marjorie Catherine Lillis
William B. Lillis ’76
Gina Lauren Singel
Jeanette Morin ’82
Thomas Jackson Marlowe
Mary Drain Marlowe ’80
Joseph Alan Shirey
Lee Mary McCausland Shirey ’73
Patrick Craig McLaren
Cynthia Craigue McLaren ’82
Michelle Elizabeth Tansey
Patricia Luby Tansey ’78
Kelsey Marie Mix
Diana Jimenez Mix ’83
Kathryn Alexis Tuason
Juan Tuason ’88
James Stephen Mulville
Bethann Davis-Mulville ’86
John Patrick Mulville ’85
Grace Elizabeth Wald
Anne Stevens ’86
Maria Cristina Cervantes
Maria Bueno Minnick ’82
Carlos Cervantes Sr. ’79
Julia Catherine Connole
Daniel Connole ’85
Marie Helen Connole
Daniel Connole ’85
John Aidan Conroy
Nancy Knowlan ’74
John Conroy ’74
Rebecca Erin Culhane
Patrick Culhane ’70
Emma Ruth Goetzman
Martha Holroyd Goetzman ’80
Mark Goetzman ’77
Michael Anthony Graf
James Graf ’86
Emily Ana Griffin
Lily Fernandez Griffin ’83
Stephanie Alexis Gulley
Constance Culosi Gulley ’83
Shannon Leigh Nasca
David Nasca ’72
Ana-Maria Hecton
Julia M. Jarquin ’84
Joseph Cassidy Pearring
Stephen Pearring ’81
Daniel Antonio Hughes
Maria E. Cortina Hughes ’73
Michael Thomas Pipan
Joseph G. Pipan Sr. ’80
Mary Katherine Watson
Maura Burns Watson ’87
Lisa Michelle Young
Karen Stephan Young ’73
Molly Elizabeth Zinzi
Louis Zinzi ’62
Thank YOU
for supporting
Bishop O’Connell
Bishop O’Connell High School extends a sincere
thank you to all our parents, alumni, parents of
alumni, friends and faculty who make annual gifts to
support the school’s mission. These donations help
Bishop O’Connell’s critical fiscal needs: meeting our
operating costs, funding capital and special projects,
and establishing long-term financial health.
Parent Partnership
Bishop O’Connell High School is committed to
keeping our Catholic education affordable for all of
our families without sacrificing the high-quality academic and co-curricular programs our students require. Tuition alone does not cover the full amount of
the actual cost to educate a child in our school. The
tuition-real cost “gap” O’Connell faces per student
this year is over $4,100, a gap that we can only bridge
with support and genuine partnership. We ask parents to partner with the school in “closing” as much
of that gap as appropriate through the parent annual
giving program—the Parent Partnership. Funds from
the Parent Partnership help support faculty salaries,
fund “value-added” programs, equipment and materials, and technology upgrades.
The Annual Fund
Through the Annual Fund, alumni and friends of the
school also help close the tuition gap, and supports
school programs. In addition, revenue from the
Annual Fund supports the school’s growing tuition
assistance needs, allowing all qualified students the
opportunity for our high-quality Catholic education.
Make your annual gift to Bishop O’Connell by returning the enclosed envelope or by giving online at www.
Contact Cindy Krech at 703-237-1446 or
[email protected] for more information.
Mark your Calendar
for Friday, May 3, 2013
and join us for the
25th Annual Connolly Classic!
For more information, visit
President Katy Prebble presents the Alumni Cup to this year’s winners.
2012 Connolly
Golf Classic
The threat of rain did little to dampen the spirits of the soldout field of players at the 24th Annual Joseph W. Connolly
Memorial Golf Classic this spring. More than 130 alumni,
parents and friends of O’Connell came out to Laurel Hill Golf
Club in Lorton to help raise money to support needs-based
tuition assistance at the school. The team from Asymmetric Solutions (pictured at left) led
by O’Connell parent Mike Daly ended up on top this year.
Jack Snyder, Terry McKnight and Chuck Zingler rounded out
this winning team. Special recognition also goes to this year’s
Aumni Cup winners—Chris Melnick, Don Bredice, Steve
Finnegan and Jim Bergan, all from the class of 1984.
2012 overall winning team led by Mike Daly.
Thank You!
Bishop O’Connell High School is grateful for the support and generosity of our 2012 Connolly
Classic sponsors:
Dinner Sponsor
Battlefield Ford
Supporting Sponsor
The Dade Family
Lunch Sponsor
Syd Albrittain ’83
Beverage Cart Sponsor
Jim Koons Automotive Companies
Sustaining Partners
Alcalde & Fay
Walsh Colucci Lubeley
Emrich & Walsh PC
Hole Sponsors
Asymmetric Solutions, LLC
Bergmann’s Cleaning
Christian Wealth Management
Double Eagle Title
Gale/SHW Group
Homefirst Mortgage Co.
Matthews, Carter and Boyce
Panacea, Inc.
Golf Ball Sponsor
Flynn and O’Hara
Car Sponsor
Sheehy Automotive
Friends of the
Connolly Classic
Flik Independent Schools
Tom Smith ’91, Chris Smith ’91,
Chris Williams ’93, Ray Williams ’91
Faculty Sponsors
Flik Independent Schools
Paul Melnick ’80
Why We Give
Bill Crenshaw ’71
and Cecelia
Stephen ’71
Alumni and past parents
In 1970, O’Connell began the transition to
fully integrated coed classes. This transition led to the first coed senior retreat, a
progressive concept to say the least for a
Catholic high school, but one that turned
out to be extremely fortuitous for us. Although we were in several classes together
our senior year, we didn’t really know each
other (Crenshaw and Stephens sat on opposites sides of the room alphabetically).
The retreat, however, afforded opportunities for talk, reflection, fun, and renewal.
It gave us a chance to chat and get to
know each other as we sat across the table
sharing pizza. In fact, we talked through
the night and into the next morning. The
tenor of the retreat molded our relationship for the next forty years.
O’Connell was the launching point for our
life together. Through college, marriage,
law school, graduate school, moving to
Florida, jobs, and three children, we’ve
kept in touch with the people and the
place. Whenever a reunion came up, we
didn’t hesitate to make plans to attend.
We didn’t want to miss the opportunity
to reconnect with friends and teachers
who were an important part of our lives.
Donating to O’Connell is an affirmation of
the life we share, a life that started at, and
was shaped by, DJO.
Moving back to Northern Virginia after
fifteen years in Miami set the wheels in
motion for greater involvement in our
reunions and opportunities to support the
school. When our daughter Tera decided
to go to O’Connell, the circle was complete.
Bill, Cecelia, Steve, Dan and Tera Crenshaw
We’ll never forget her reason for choosing
to spend her high school years at DJO: “I
want to go someplace where they are serious about academics.” She had goals and
O’Connell helped her reach those goals.
Supporting O’Connell throughout the
years is our way of saying thank you to an
institution that gave us the foundation for
lasting and loving relationships. It gave us
an academic background that supported
us in our professional goals. It gave our
daughter the same things. We are happy
that we have the means and the opportunity to give back to a school that has given
our family so much.
Don Lynch and
Kim Burnett
Board member and
past parents
We sent three children to O’Connell and
found the strong academics and rich traditions nourished their minds and spirits.
O’Connell prepared my graduates very well
for college (at Xavier and Villanova) and,
more important, helped them become life
learners. From school to sports to Superdance, O’Connell provided an incredible
array of opportunities. And these opportunities are offered in a supportive environment that is second to none.
It is that support that we will remember
most. Last year our daughter, a junior, was
Montavon ’69
Alumnus and
past parent
Why do we give to O’Connell? O’Connell
has been very helpful to me and my family,
and we need to assist O’Connell to continue to help others!
My parents believed strongly in Catholic
education, and they were among those
families who helped create O’Connell. As
parishioners at St. Charles in the 1950s,
my parents and many others worked with
Monsignor Koster and the other founding parish pastors towards O’Connell’s
creation. My sister, Rosemary, was in the
first graduating class at O’Connell, and
my other siblings Claire, Frank, Jeanne
and Richard all graduated from O’Connell
thereafter (my oldest sisters Marie and
Marilyn attended Catholic high school in
Washington before O’Connell was built—
and that’s one of the reasons why families
like the ours desired to have a Catholic
high school in Virginia).
While at O’Connell, I was devoted to my
studies, and captain of the football team.
My O’Connell education enabled me to
succeed in college and beyond. When it
came time for our own daughter, Margaret, there was never any that it would be
Margaret continued the family tradition,
graduating from O’Connell with honors
in 2009. While here, she was active in
student government, as well as the theater. She pursued theater at Marymount
Manhattan College in New York City, from
which she graduated Magna Cum Laude
after three years, thanks to the AP credits
she accumulated at O’Connell.
She is now pursuing her theatrical dreams
in New York. (You can follow her on
On behalf of my family, we feel a large debt
of gratitude to O’Connell. DJO prepared
us not only for college, but also for life and
more. I am more than happy to help “pay
it forward” so that O’Connell can continue
its historic and continuing mission of preparing students for college and beyond.
Michael Montevon ’69 congratulates
Margaret ’09 on her college graduation.
sick and faced tremendous challenges as
a result of long absences from school. Her
teachers, Dr. Stabile and Sister Catherine
worked tirelessly with her to help her
through. I have witnessed the same energy
and dedication by the O’Connell faculty
with star students and with struggling students. These people are my heroes.
Giving to O’Connell matters. Catholic
schools will not survive unless the
people who care about Catholic education donate generously. Tuition alone
cannot cover what it costs to provide an
O’Connell education. O’Connell needs the
support of the entire community to carry
on its fine work.
Bishop O’Connell High School matters to
our family and we are happy to pledge our
L to R: Madeline Lynch ‘12, Don Lynch, Conner Lynch ‘05, Kim Burnett and Maggie Lynch ’07 celebrate a
family wedding in Scotland.
For 12 hours this spring, O’Connell students rocked to the
sounds of ten bands and 12 DJs, accompanied by a professional
light show in the gym, all to raise money to find a cure for Cystic
Fibrosis (CF). Musical numbers included a combination of
student acts, outside talent and student-led games. Highlights
included performances by Struan Shields and Crash Boom Bang.
DJ Bradley Breezy Hunt, a member of O’Connell’s class of 2011,
was also a crowd favorite.
37th Annual
“I didn’t really understand what CF was before I came to
O’Connell,” said freshman Diandra Saravia. “Not only did I learn
much more about this disease, but I was able to help this important cause by dancing at this year’s Superdance.”
In attendance at this year’s Superdance were two surviving sisters of the O’Donnell family in whose honor the very first dance
marathon was held. Megan O’Donnell Jorns ’79 and Bridget
O’Donnell Bean ’81 danced with
the students and mingled with
alumni both at the school and at
an alumni event in Clarendon. It
was a special Superdance for the
O’Donnell family, as Bridget’s
daughter Catherine is a senior
and a member of this year’s
organizing committee.
Alumni Pitch In
O’Connell alumni come back to the school to support Superdance every year, and to take a trip
down memory lane. The students set up a special room and welcomed them back.
Just a few miles down the road, a group of 2003 graduates organized an off-site alumni
gathering as another way for graduates to support Superdance and the CFF. For the fifth
year in a row, they advertised through alumni e-mails, Facebook and word-of-mouth. In the
end, more than 250 young alumni and friends crowded into Arlington Rooftop in Clarendon
for this event.
Pat Bessette, mother of Danny Bessette, made a special appearance and helped out at the
welcome desk. Her son is a 2002 graduate of O’Connell who has been fighting CF his whole
life. Danny would usually be an important attendee at the alumni gathering, but he had been
hospitalized the week before, dealing with CF complications. This turn of events made the
alumni gathering all the more meaningful for Danny’s classmates and friends.
In the end, the O’Connell
For the first time this year, there was an extra connection between the O’Connell students
dancing in the school gym and the alumni event. A live video feed from the gym was set up
to run on the overhead TVs at Arlington Rooftop. Alumni could watch the bands and the
kids dancing and remember what it was like for them when they were students.
Fibrosis Foundation,
Another alumni gathering was held a few weeks later at Kilroy’s Restaurant in Springfield.
This event featured the band “Soul Purpose” from the class of 1980 and brought together
alumni and friends for a festive evening to honor the Superdance efforts.
“Even though it’s been several years since I was a student at O’Connell, I always feel so
proud saying I graduated from O’Connell,” said alumna Libby Muldoon ’03. “People immediately know about Superdance.”
community was able
to donate more than
$140,000 to the Cystic
bringing the school’s
37-year total to nearly
$3.5 million.
Everything you
wanted to know about
Superdance can be
found at
Alumni Achievement Awards
The weekend of June 8-10 brought Bishop O’Connell alumni from all decades back to the
school to honor the achievements of their classmates and to celebrate together. This year’s
Alumni Achievement Awards included:
L to R: Peter Fay ’07, Joe DeVylder,
Lindsey Fay DeVylder ’01, Nancy Fay and
Kevin Fay ’73.
Distinguished Alumni Award
Kevin J. Fay ’73
Kevin Fay is an alumnus, a past parent and
a tireless advocate and volunteer for Bishop
O’Connell, having served as chairman of
the Board of Governors from 2006 through
2011. He is the President of Alcalde & Fay,
and is an internationally recognized specialist on environmental and energy issues
with particular emphasis on governmental
policies involving the atmosphere and
climate. In his spare time, he has devoted
countless hours to promoting and fundraising important community efforts, from the
McLean Little League to the Leukemia &
Lymphoma Society, where he was honored
earlier this year with the James L. Eichberg
Lifetime Achievement Award.
Young Alumni Award
Amanda Renaghan
Taylor ’94
Amanda Taylor ’94 (center) is joined
by fellow 1994 graduates, Melissa
Ortiz and Maiyen Tran Hawkins.
Amanda Taylor started out as an inner-city
teacher, who quickly recognized some
inequities in the public school system. While
building a career in school administration,
she has been working with a team of doctoral candidates at Harvard University to bring
light to the productive work of community
organizers in improving at-risk schools, and
addressing achievement gaps based on race
in schools around the country.
L to R: Bob Pizzano ’81, Paola Egge Pizzano ’81,
Carmen Egge and George Egge.
Knights Spirit Award
Bob and Paola
(Egge) Pizzano ’81
In addition to running a contracting business, Bob and Paola Pizzano have raised
a wonderful family and dedicated themselves to making a difference in the lives of
children with developmental challenges.
Through the Joey Pizzano Memorial Fund
(JPMF) and in conjunction with the Fairfax
County Park Foundation and the Virginia
Board of People with Disabilities, the Pizzanos spearheaded the opening of Our Special
Harbor, a 7,000-square-foot, zero-waterdepth “sprayground” in Franconia. In
addition, their foundation provides funding
and classes for water safety education for
families of children with disabilities.
The weekend wrapped up with an alumni Mass and Brunch, celebrated by the school Chaplain and fellow alumnus, Rev. Phillip Cozzi ’94.
Class of 1967 Returns
2012 Athletic Hall
of Fame Ceremony
The class of 1967 celebrated their 45-year reunion in style over the weekend of
June 22-23. The fun started with a golf outing on Friday at Twin Lakes in Fairfax
where low gross was scored by the Buzz Burek, Danny Rown, Bill McCafferty
and Bob Littel team. The festivities continued on Saturday evening in the Bishop
O’Connell courtyard. Sixty-five grads were in attendance, enjoying great company, fantastic food prepared by FLIK, Bishop O’Connell’s in-house caterer, and
tunes from the 1960s played by a local DJ. There was lots of talk going around
about a big blowout for the 50-year reunion!
Coaches, teachers, family and friends of
former O’Connell student-athletes returned
to the school gym spring to recognize the
achievements of a special group of outstanding graduates. The Bishop O’Connell
Athletic Hall of Fame inducted the following individuals this year:
John Friede ’67
Ted Breiner ’72
Football, Wrestling
Mike Storm ’77
Modern Pentathlon
Eileen O’Brien Prophett ’88
Kathy O’Brien Krug ’88
Soccer, Basketball
Moira White Smith ’91
Delaunta Cameron ’94
Football, Basketball
Terrence Wilkins ’94
Read more about these athletes and
previous inductees at
John Friede entertained the crowd as he modeled
a special gift sent by his teammates to honor this
special occasion—a vintage vinyl sweat suit!
Patricia O’Herlihy (seated) is the grandmother of Rosemarie O’Conner ’12, who played the lead in
The Matchmaker. She is pictured here with parent and alumna Cynthia Craigue McLaren ’82 and
President Katy Prebble.
Bishop O’Connell welcomed grandparents and
guests for a special matinee performance of the
spring drama production, “The Matchmaker” this
past April. The morning started with an informal
coffee in the I.H.M. convent hosted by President
Katy Prebble.
Patricia Luby Tansey ’78 poses with Elizabeth Luby, great aunt to Michelle ’12 and Paul ’14 Tansey.
Legacy Brunch
O’Connell hosted the 7th Annual Legacy Mass and
Brunch on Apr. 22. This yearly event honors those
alumni who continue the O’Connell tradition by
enrolling their children as O’Connell students. Over
40 people joined us for Mass in the O’Connell chapel followed by a brunch in the cafeteria.
Robert “Boomer” Buckreis ’86 was the keynote
speaker, sharing his perspectives first as a student
and then as a faculty member, teaching some of
the children of his classmates. For the first time
next year, Buckreis and his wife, Beth Gallagher
Buckreis ’86, will also be O’Connell parents this fall,
as his oldest son, Joseph, is enrolling with the class
of 2016.
L to R: Robert Buckreis ’86, Ben Buckreis, Father Phillip Cozzi ’94, Joseph Buckreis ’16,
and Beth Gallagher Buckreis ’86.
Alumni Spotlight
Chris Goldbranson ’80 and Donna Dooley Goldbranson ’80
High school sweethearts Donna Dooley
Goldbranson and Chris Goldbranson, both
from the class of 1980, have a unique and
inspiring story to tell. Chris and Donna
married after graduation and have one
daughter, Kristen. Kristen was born three
months premature and is disabled. She is
a quadriplegic and is both physically and
mentally disabled. After moving around
to various places as Chris was a U.S. Army
Black Hawk pilot, the Goldbransons found
themselves back in the Virginia area.
Making a home for Kristen in Fairfax
County, they quickly discovered that after
high school, programs for young adults
with disabilities outside of institutionalization were scarce and often had waiting
lists with thousands of names.
Unwilling to subject Kristen to a holding pattern in Fairfax County, Donna and
Chris established SPARC (Specially Adapted Resource Clubs) in November 2006.
They started as a club with four members
in a community center,
setting it up as a mock
college which focused
on each individual’s
abilities rather than
The Reston Club
House of SPARC meet
three days a week at
the Southgate Community Center with
the goal of offering
dynamic, enduring
learning opportuniKristen Goldbranson (seated front center) is surrounded by her parents,
ties for adults with
Chris Goldbranson ’80 (left) and Donna Dooley Goldbranson ’80 (right) as
she celebrates her 21st birthday with family and friends.
lifelong disabilities in
a natural community
setting .The SPARC organization recently
plans to expand to multiple locations over
celebrated their fifth anniversary, and
the next two years.
opened the McLean Club which meets
You can find out more about SPARC and
at the Old Firehouse Teen Center. Donna
their upcoming event on September 21st
serves as the Executive Director of this
and the Dulles Westin, by visiting their
501(c)3 organization which now serves
web site at
24 individuals in Northern Virginia, with
Molly McNearney Klote ’84
Dr./Lieutenant Colonel Molly McNerney
Klote ’84 has been quite busy since we
reported her deployment to Iraq in our
Spring 2009 issue. Upon her return to the
U.S., she resumed her role as Chief of Clinical Research Department at Walter Reed
Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. A year later, she was asked to serve as the
chief of the Clinical Investigation Regulatory Office which oversees all the research
departments at Army medical centers
around the globe. In 2010, she returned
to Walter Reed which had merged with
the Bethesda Naval Medical Center and
became the Water Reed National Military
Medical Center. She now heads the Department of Research Programs for this larger
organization, managing the administrative
and regulatory oversight for more than one
thousand projects. In addition to her daily
research management duties, Molly continues to earmark a half-day each week to see
patients as a board-certified allergist.
As an O’Connell student, Molly was a part
of the school’s athletic training program
run by Don Tilson. She became the first
junior to be named head student trainer. It
was at DJO that she first found her passion
for working with people in this capacity.
Molly received her bachelor’s of Business
Administration from James Madison University as part of the ROTC program, and
upon graduation she was commissioned
in the U.S. Army and trained to serve as a
military intelligence officer.
After five years of active duty she listened
to heart and embarked on a new path for
her life—initially taking prerequisite classes
that would allow her to apply for medical school. She had completed her ROTC
payback and left the service in 1993. She
worked as an office manager for an orthopedic surgeon and earned her Emergency
Medical Technician certificate before being
accepted into medical school at both the
University of Vermont and the Uniformed
Services University.
Molly chose to return to active duty in the
Army and finished medical school through
the Uniform Services University of the
Health Sciences in 1999. She knew she
would owe the Army an additional six years
of service after she completed her intern-
ship and residency training however, she
continues her service to date.
“The structure of the Army and its leadership training are incomparable,” said Molly.
“The Army has allowed me to pursue my
vocation and has given me the tools and opportunities to be successful. Serving our
country and the men and women of the
armed forces and their families is deeply
Molly lives in Great Falls, with her husband, Jim, and their three children, ages 11,
10 and 8.
Mark Gaffney
’66 has published his 5th
book Black 9/11.
and Technology.
This is Mark’s
second book on
Mark Gaffney
Mickey Freece ’80 has accepted a position as an assistant coach of the girls basketball team. Mickey recently retired from
Fairfax County where he was as a teacher
and coach.
Roll Call
Jim Boone ’85 is the national director of
7-on-7U, a summer football program for high
school teams that culminates in a national
championship in the Washington area.
Pat McGee ’91 and his Pat McGee Band bring
their brand of feel-good rock to the Concert Hall of
the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda,
Md. on Friday, Sept. 28. Members of DJO music
ensembles will be a part of this show, too. Find out
more at
James E. Zumwalt with Rep. Frank Wolf.
James E. Zumwalt ’00 was awarded the
Bronze Star at a ceremony in Washington
on June 18. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) presented former Navy Lt. Zumwalt with the
medal, noting his “exceptionally meritorious service” in Iraq in 2010 with a Navy
explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team.
Zumwalt is the fourth generation in his family to receive this honor. Photo courtesy of
Rep. Frank Wolf.
Malia Butler ’04 will marry Jeff Collins
on September 15 at Saint Leo the Great
Catholic Church in Fairfax. Malia’s sister,
Christine (Butler) Clark ’90, will be
her Matron of Honor. Bridesmaids and
groomsmen include fellow 2004 graduates
Katie Antalics, Laura Cutrona, and
Malia’s brothers, Mac Butler ’95 and
Gabe Butler ’96.
Malia Butler and Jeff Collins
Jon Dwyer ’93 has been awarded a
scholarship by his company, the Corporate
Executive Board (CEB) to earn an Executive Master’s in Leadership at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.
Jon began work on the masters program in
March. Jon is an eight-year CEB employee and holds the position of Director in the
IT Project Management Office. 24
DJO Represented
at 2012 Olympics
Nataly Arias '04 played for the
Columbian national soccer team.
Kate Ziegler '06 represented
the United States in the women’s
800m freestyle swimming event.
This was her second Olympic
Joe Schaffner and Alexa McGonigal
Alexa McGonigal ’04 and Joe Schaffner
’04 will be married on Dec. 29 in Charlottesville. The two met in Mrs. Wentzel’s freshman English class, graduating
together from O’Connell and enrolling in
the University of Virginia. They are both
attending the University of Virginia School
of Law and plan to graduate next year.
In Memoriam
Charles Guida ’67
May 14, 2012 Robert W. Long ’69
Apr. 14, 2012 Matthew Klopfer ’03
June 13, 2012
John J. Gutter
Administrator and coach, 1983-2011
July 29, 2012
Mr. & Mrs. Jeremy Trimble
Jeremy Trimble ’04 married Jennifer
Hamby on May 11, 2012. The wedding
party consisted of fellow ’04 grads Noah
Rogers and Bush Hamdan as well as
Jeremy’s brothers, Jordan ’07, Justin ’09
and Joshua ’11.
one of Clemson University’s graduation
ceremonies this spring.
Robert Chrissy ’10 spent the summer
perfecting his Spanish through a teaching
internship in Nicoya, in the province of
Guanacaste in Costa Rica.
Michael Flach ’09 competed
in the U.S. Olympic swimming
trials in Omaha earlier this
summer, where he qualified
for the final round in the 200m
butterfly by finishing second in
the semi-final heat right behind
Michael Phelps. Flach, is an
All-American swimmer at the
University of South Carolina.
Kristen Bowers ’10 won the
Tiger Speak Out essay contest
at Clemson University. She was
asked to present her oration at
In Memory of
John J. Gutter
July 29, 2012
The Bishop O’Connell community mourns the loss of former administrator and
coach, John Gutter. “Colonel Gutter” faithfully served the O’Connell community
for 28 years, most recently as the Assistant Principal of Student Life.
A Vietnam veteran who was wounded in combat coming to the aid of a fallen
comrade, Gutter retired from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel in
1983 and began his career at Bishop O’Connell. Although he lent his project
management experience to many major building projects undertaken at the
school during the past three decades, he will be remembered most fondly for the
important contributions he made to the personal development of thousands of
Bishop O’Connell students through his role as a coach and director of student life.
Robert Chrissy
Photo courtesy of the Phoenix Suns organization.
Kendall Marshall ’10 was selected in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns.
Ashley Fidler
’10 was
selected as
the sole Class
of 1940 Scholar for William
and Mary’s
class of 2014.
It’s awarded
based on
Ashley Fidler
and community involvement. Ashley is currently at
Carnegie-Mellon for a summer internship
working with DNA studies.
Natalie Eichner ’11 was awarded a
$10,000 scholarship by the Lido Civic
Club of Washington, DC in conjunction with the National Italian American
Foundation. She will be a sophomore at
University of Virginia majoring in Biology.
Michael Katz ’11 was named to the
Freshman All-American team as chosen by
the National Collegiate Baseball Writers
Association. Katz hit .316 with 10 homers,
10 doubles and 58 RBI and is a student at
William and Mary.
Marc Saucer and Joe Polchek
Marc Saucer ’12 and Joe Polchek ’12
are part of the band, Bad Mooka, which
has played at Superdance already for two
years in a row. The group has recently
been raking in awards, winning Battle of
the Bands at Lake Braddock High School
and at the Empire Club in Springfield.
Marc does vocals and guitar, and Joe plays
the bass. You can find their band on Facebook and YouTube, and can expect a Jimi
Hendrix or Nirvana influence.
Michael Katz
Keep in Touch
Keep us informed of births, weddings, graduations and other
celebrations! Send your news to [email protected]
Class Reunions
Class of 1962— 50-year reunion
Sept. 28–30, 2012 at the Marriott in Fair Oaks
Contact Margaret McGarry at
[email protected] for more
information. Class of 1963—50-year reunion
Oct 11–13, 2013 (next year)
It’s never too early to start planning for this
special reunion! Contact Steve Habeger
[email protected] or Dave Krauss at [email protected] Class of 1972—40-year reunion
Oct.20, 2012
Activities will include a gathering at the alumni
tent at the DJO homecoming football game (on
the new field!) and a formal outing on Saturday
evening. Contact Ed Blackadar at [email protected]
Class of 1977—35-year reunion
Nov. 30–Dec. 1, 2012
Reunion weekend begins with a casual get together
at Ireland’s Four Provinces in Falls Church on
Friday evening, followed by a special reunion
section at the 2nd Annual Knight Party in the
school gym on Saturday night. Contact Suzanna
Nirschl Brown at [email protected] or
Peter Warren at [email protected] for more
information. Class of 1982—30-year reunion
Oct. 19–21, 2012
Contact the reunion committee at
[email protected] or visit our website at
Class of 1987—25-year reunion
Oct. 19–21, 2012
Events include: Friday, Oct. 19—happy hour/
alumni reception at the Tysons Corner Marriott;
Saturday, Oct. 20—Homecoming football game
vs. McNamara on the new DJO football field
and evening semi-formal dinner & dance at the
Tysons Corner Marriott; Sunday, Oct. 21—Mass
and reception at DJO. Contact Brad Felling
at [email protected]
Class of 2002—10-year reunion
Date TBD
Contact Jennifer Booze ([email protected]) or
Kelly Flannigan ([email protected]) if
you would like to help with the planning!
Alumni Events
Homecoming 2012—
Saturday, Oct. 20
Alumni Tailgate Tent opens at 1 p.m.
Football game vs. Bishop McNamara
kicks off at 2 p.m.
Join us for our
first Homecoming
celebration on
our beautiful
new turf field!
Admission to the tent is $7 for adults
and $5 for children 5-12. Lunch and soft drinks are
provided at the tent. Entry into the football game is $5 per person.
Please RSVP by Oct. 12 to [email protected]
Knight Party – Saturday, Dec. 1
All alumni and friends of O’Connell are
invited to jump on the Knight Train
for the second annual Knight Party!
Last year’s event was a huge
success, with over 400 alumni
and friends attending from all
five decades Coach Jim Hayes,
along with party planners Joe
Yohe ’76, Peter Warren ’77, Tom
Gadell ’74, Suzanne Nirschl
Brown ’77, and Brion Sumser
’74, organized this fun event.
You won’t want to miss out this
year. Join us on Saturday, Dec. 1
for live music provided by The
Fabulous Dialtones (includes
alumnus Peter Warren), and delicious food catered by Tom Gadell ’74. Come to O’Connell with family and friends and enjoy a wonderful
evening of great food, spirits, and dancing. Mark your calendar and save
the date! Reservation information and more is available at
PERMIT #6479
6600 Little Falls Road, Arlington, Virginia 22213 • 703-237-1400
Oct. 20, 2012
to a New Era in Knights Athletics!
Open House
Nov. 11, 2012
Fall Musical—Meet Me in St. Louis
Nov. 16–18, 2012
Knight Party
Dec. 1, 2012
Christmas Music Program
Dec. 16, 2012
Gala & Auction
Feb. 9, 2013
FRIDAY, AUG. 31 Varsity Football vs. Bishop Ireton at 3 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 5 Girls Soccer vs. Archbishop Spalding at 4 p.m.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 8 Boys Soccer vs. Saint Mark’s (Delaware) at 1 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 12 Field Hockey vs. Pope John Paul the Great at 5 p.m.
Connolly Golf Classic
May 3, 2013

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