Last summer, alumni Jessica Ryan from the Class of 2011 taught English abroad in Romania with Learning Enterprises. Learning Enterprises connects volunteer teachers and host communities around the world in order to foster cross-cultural exchange and empower young leaders. She is now the Program Director for the country in which she taught and is running a non-profit organization abroad. Jessica spent over two months teaching in Transylvania, in the villages of Odorheiu Secuiesc and Targu Secuiesc. Shemanaged her own classroom and saw up to forty students a day, ranging from four to seventeen years old. After her time in Romania, she continued traveling throughout Europe and ended her summer in Gothenburg, Sweden, where she spent observing Swedish elementary classrooms. Today, Jessica is the Program Director of the Learning Enterprises Romania Program. She will spend this coming year organizing the program in terms of hiring a team of volunteers, matching volunteers with host families, determining the details of the program and then taking her volunteers abroad. She is very excited to continue working with Learning Enterprises and looks forward to spending her second summer in a place she now considers to be a second home. Jessica is a teaching…
Just yesterday, five Class of 2014 alumni who are graduating from Mater Dei High School next month were awarded stoles for achieving the highest honors possible for graduates. Alex Josten (not pictured), Bailey Burden (committed to play lacrosse at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University), Presley Curley, Nolan Clapp (committed to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), and Joshua Mock. This recognition is only rewarded to students who have achieved a GPA of 4.0 or higher in all four years of high school.
Class of 2014 graduate Leena Carvalho is in her senior year of high school, graduating from Rosary Academy in less than a month’s time. At her young age, Leena’s list of accomplishments is already so long and full of impressive achievements! Leena was recently accepted to the United States Naval Academy. On average, only nine percent of freshman applicants are accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy each year. Leena will be joining fellow St. Angela Merici Cougar Stephan Shatynski, Class of 2012, at the Naval Academy. Leena also holds a leadership position at Rosary Academy as the Clubs/Activities Cabinet Officer and plays on their soccer team. Just last week she was announced to be Rosary Academy’s Valedictorian.
Shannon Sweeney, of the Class of 2010, is currently living and studying abroad in Sydney, Australia! In 2016, Shannon traveled from her university in California, Chapman University, to the University of Sydney to continue her studies in film and history. When Chapman’s study abroad program ended, Shannon chose to continue living in Sydney. In the two years Shannon has lived abroad, she has worked as a photo blogger for the International Studies Abroad, a marketing assistant for the Sydney Film Festival, Officeworks, and hosts a radio show titled “Original Soundtrack”.
Alumni Angelica Izquierdo is the newest principal of local Catholic elementary school, St. Lucy School located in Long Beach. Izquierdo is nearly complete with her first year at St. Lucy’s after spending a year at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in East Los Angeles as Onward Leader Resident Principal. At Our Lady of Guadalupe, Izquierdo’s duties included analyzing STAR data to increase student growth school-wide, collaborating with Onward Leaders cohort, and guiding faculty Catechist Certification among many others. Prior to that position, Izquierdo was a teacher and Vice Principal at St. John Chrysostom School; she designed and implemented a school-wide behavior program, coordinated a STEP Program, redesigned their Summer School program and so much more. Her career in education began as a fourth grade teacher at St. Thomas the Apostle School. Izquierdo’s educational resume includes two Masters of Arts degrees, one in special education and teaching and the other in Catholic school leadership and administration from Loyola Marymount University. She received a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teaching from the University of San Diego.
Orange County Catholic recently reached out to St. Angela’s, interested in featuring a story about our daily Broadcasts. St. Angela Merici Parish School’s Broadcasts have long been the inspiration and model for other Catholic elementary and high schools in the area to create their own. Back in 2013, the OC Register wrote an article about Broadcasts; though the daily segments may seem like the norm for us at St. Angela’s, at the time they were a rarity. Orange County Catholic published the following article on their website about our student-led Broadcasts. You can see it on their website at this link. St. Angela Merici Parish School strives to offer its students opportunities and activities that will cultivate leadership and self-confidence, attributes found to be some of the most important in creating integrated and well-rounded individuals. Online broadcasts at St. Angela Merici Parish School were created to do just that. The Broadcast Team is comprised of 17 elected students in 7th and 8th grade who share news and important information with the entire student body every morning and afternoon via televisions in each classroom. Together with student council, the Broadcast Team airs announcement segments that are produced entirely…
Stephanie J. Block, a St. Angela’s graduate from the mid-eighties, is an accomplished actress and singer who has had roles on Broadway, regional theaters, television and film. Her professional career began with regional theater roles in musicals such as Bells Are Ringing, Crazy for You, Funny Girl and James Joyce’s The Dead. Her career on Broadway began as an understudy for Idina Menzel’s role of Elphaba in Wicked, but she quickly accepted a lead role in the Broadway musical The Boy from Oz, based on the life of Peter Allen. Stephanie played the role of Liza Minnelli and the musical was a hit, receiving many Tony Award nominations. After The Boy from Oz concluded, she toured with Wicked around the country as Elphaba and was awarded the Helen Hayes Award and Carbonell Award for Best Acress in a Non-Resident Production. Most recently, Stephanie played Trina in the Broadway revival of Falsettos and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Her performances earned rave reviews and many critics agree that this was Stephanie’s best performance yet. In the world of television, Stephanie has been on many talk shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The View, Entertainment…
Steven McConnell, Class of 2003 graduate, is currently working with a team on designing a heart valve to create a better quality of life for the elderly at Edwards Lifesciences in Irvine. After graduating from Servite High School in 2007, Steven attended the University of Southern California. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2011 and a master’s degree in 2013 in the subject area of Mechanical Engineering with a Design Emphasis. During his time at USC, he was an environmental test lab intern at SoCal Testing where he assisted in designing and constructing fabricated test equipment. From there he interned at Beckman Coulter and assisted in the design of high voltage probe attachment for capillary electrophoresis unit field testing, and was also a research assistant at the USC Combustion and Fuels Lab. Steven has worked for Edwards Lifesciences since May of 2011, where he began as a critical care contract mechanical engineer and then as an advanced technology contract mechanical engineer. Today his official title is engineer II; he is currently designing a cardiovascular medical device for elderly patients to improve their quality of life.
Class of 1989 alumni Megan DeSales Colarassi is the newest FOX 11’s Good Day LA anchor! We are so excited to see her bright face everyday on the morning news! Check out this article announcing her newest title. Megan is a seasoned reporter and her list of accomplishments is incredible. Her official biography reads: “Megan DeSales Colarossi, aka “Momma Meg”, is a co-panelist on NBC’s nationally syndicated talk show The Meredith Vieira Show. She was born and raised in Southern California, but has proudly called New York City home for almost 17 years. Before finding herself on the East Coast, she was first drawn South to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee where she received her B.A. in Human and Organizational Development and Communications. In 1997, Colarossi signed on with CNN where she worked behind the camera at the cable networks Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta bureaus. Quickly rising from associate producer to senior producer, Megan produced various live and long format programs including CNN Newsstand: Entertainment Weekly, CNNfn Entrepreneurs Only, and Headline News Primetime Live. After five years at CNN and hundreds of breaking news events later, she followed her passion for music and headed to MTV News. As the assistant…
Class of 2007 graduate William Chakar has graduated from the University of Southern California this past year with a Master of Science in Global Medicine degree. His education has given him the opportunity to participate in class projects in broadening HIV Prophylaxis, assessing global responses to non-communicable disease and hospital service optimization. Before pursuing his Masters, William was a research assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry.
Class of 2011 graduate Alyssa Rifilato is currently playing her third year of collegiate volleyball at Point Loma Nazarene University, a Division II private university located in Point Loma, San Diego. Rifilato is a junior at PLNU where she is majoring in biochemistry, with the hopes of continuing on to dental school after she graduates. Rifilato’s past two years at PLNU as a Sea Lion, in addition to her four years of volleyball at Brea Olinda High School, have been nothing short of impressive. At BOHS, Rifilato lettered in volleyball for her entire high school career and was First Team All-League selection, Second Team All-League Honors and All CIF selection. Here are her stats at PLNU: Freshman: PacWest All-Academic selection, played 14 matches, had three ‘kills’, had an assist and six digs Sophomore: PacWest All-Academic selection, played all 29 matches, started in 10 matches, had 159 ‘kills’, 97 digs and 19 blocks. Rifilato is currently playing in her third season and we look forward to seeing her success when the season concludes early next month.
Just recently, Class of 2012 alumni Joshua Kotani, who is currently attending Whittier College, and his team earned 3rd Place overall in the Trick or Tri triathlon event. Trick or Tri is comprised of biking, swimming and running events, and Kotani completed the bicycling portion of the event. Kotani and his two teammates completed the Olympic Event, arguably one of the more rigorous and challenging courses of Trick or Tri. The Olympic Event includes a 0.93 mile swim, 6.2 miles run and a 24.53 mile bike ride, which Kotani completed in one hour and thirteen minutes.
Alumni Nikki Cuerdo has been made the Co-Captain of the University of Notre Dame’s pom squad. Nikki is currently in her senior year of college at Notre Dame, where she is majoring in Marketing and Economics. She was of the top 30% of students within the college of her major, earning her the Dean’s List honors award. At UND, she is a Marketing Research Assistant, where she studies the performance of eco-friendly marketing strategies on brands. Nikki additionally was an account management intern at FCB Chicago, a worldwide digital marketing and creative intern for Sony Pictures Entertainment, and a marketing intern for Canvas Memoirs.
Earlier this year, class of 2016 alumni Colby Canales verbally committed to play baseball at Loyola Marymount University. This opportunity came to him in only his freshman year of high school. Freshman typically are not yet thinking about college, but despite his young age, Canales knew LMU was the right choice. Canales is currently a sophomore at Servite High School, where he plays for their varsity baseball team as shortstop. In an article written by Servite High School, Canales’s baseball coach, Coach Gilbert, calls him a “talented young player with a tremendous upside”, who is “advanced at the plate for his age”. Gilbert also adds, “Not only is he talented athletically but is also a very good student that takes care of things in the classroom as well. We are very pleased with the progress he has made in the short time he has been here and look forward to the player he can become. He will only get better with his work ethic and his will to be the best player he can be. We are blessed to be a part of his development over the next 4 years and expect good things in the future.” To read more on…
Class of 2013 alumni Zach Ryan is currently pitching for Santa Ana College, whose baseball program ranks 17th in the state of California. During his senior year of high school, Ryan was selected to be on the First Team All League in the North Hills League. He attended Brea Olinda High School and obtained an impressive record as a southpaw pitcher, centerfielder and batter. One of his senior year highlights includes a no hitter game.
Class of 2012 alumni Jeffrey Zordani was named to Second Team All-Orange Empire Conference baseball team after being chosen by the conference’s head coaches. He ended his freshman baseball season at Golden West College last spring with 39 hits, 11 doubles, 3 home runs, 23 runs batted in (RBI’s) and 22 runs scored, with a batting averaged of .281 in one of California’s most competitive baseball conferences.
Stephan Shatynski, a Class of 2012 alumni, has successfully completed Plebe Summer, a summer training program required of incoming freshman, and begun his first academic year the prestigious United States Naval Academy. The Academy was recently ranked by Forbes Magazine as the top public college in the nation, and is additionally a very difficult university to be accepted to. It requires years of planning and work in advance; some students begin preparing as early as their freshman year of high school. Midshipmen, or students at the Academy, are subjected to four years of very rigorous and demanding academic, military, leadership and athletic training before graduation and commissioning as an officer in the Navy or Marine Corps.
Garret Guillemette, a Class of 2016 graduate and current sophomore at Servite High School, verbally committed to play baseball at the University of Oregon this past summer. This achievement comes quite early in his career, but this alumni was Servite’s starting Varsity catcher in only his first year of high school, thus placing him in the spotlight for many scouts to see. Many other schools expressed interest in the young player, including UC Berkley, Long Beach State, and Fresno State among others, but he ultimately chose the University of Oregon, as it was his dream school. Guillemette plans to study sports management or business.
Marissa Vaccher, Class of 2011 graduate, was named one of Fullerton College’s Students of Distinction, a title given to only sixty out of the twenty three thousand students enrolled. She wasrewarded for her athletic achievements on Fullerton’s water polo team, and was a Student of Distinction in the category of Competitive Achievement. She was given a small scholarship and attended a banquet where each Student of Distinction was honored. This prestigious award was given to her in her final year at Fullerton College, and she has since transferred to the California State University of Fullerton to pursue a bachelors degree. Marissa is pictured in the bottom row, fourth from the left, with the other Students of Distinction and Fullerton College’s President Greg Schulz.
Three of our 8th graders were recently invited to spend the day at Chapman University after submitting entries into the University’s Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest. Grace, Jenna and Lauren were able to learn about the Holocaust in a very unique way, meeting survivors of the Holocaust and learning about their personal stories. It was truly a phenomenal opportunity! A special adulation is due to 8th grader Grace, as her essay was a top three finalist in this year’s contest. The following is Grace’s essay: Elie Wisel once said, “For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” What did he mean by this? The Holocaust was among the most horrific and disgraceful periods in our world history. Why would we want to remember it? The answer is simple: We must guard against I t ever happening again. To honor those whose lives were senselessly taken and for those who endured and survived the trauma, each of us has the responsibility to listen to and learn from those who can tell us what happened. I listened to Hana Gruna’s story, and what I heard made my heart hurt. No human being should ever have been treated…