Notre Dame Alumni E-Newsletter
April 2012 
In This Issue
Join the Alumni Board
Networking Breakfasts
Dave Coulier at NDP
Golf Outing
Detroit Tigers Outing
David Zelinsky '05
The Muggs
NDHS First 20 Years
Alumni Irish Games
Summer Youth Camp
Irish Week at NDP
Jennifer O'Rourke '01
Prayers for Alumni
Calendar of Events
Quick Links
Dave Coulier
NDHS alum to perform all-ages comedy show to benefit Fr. Bryson scholarship fund at NDPMA.
Only 15 Meet & Greet tickets left! Get yours today! 

Have you made your gift to the Notre Dame Annual Fund?
Consider making a gift in support of today's Notre Dame students. Every dollar helps!
Gifts will be graciously accepted through June 30, 2012.

Dear  ,  


Over the last month, Notre Dame students celebrated their Irish pride through the long-held tradition of Irish Week, which was started in the 1980s at Notre Dame High School. It was nostalgic to experience the school spirit our students have, and the excitement on campus throughout the week - especially surrounding the beloved "Irish Games" competition. Alumni celebrated their own version of the Irish Games, proving the spirit of the Irish lives on.
Wishing you a happy and blessed Easter,


Rachel (Alexander) Miller '00 (NDP)

Director of Alumni Relations


Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy

1300 Giddings Road, Pontiac, MI  48340

Office: (248) 373-2171 Ext. 3




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Alumni Board of Directors informational session
April 16 & 18 at Red Ox Tavern, Auburn Hills
Interested in learning more about joining the Notre Dame Alumni Association Board of Directors? This group meets once monthly to plan alumni events and activities, and is looking for new members.

Join us for an informal informational session:
Monday, April 16 at 12:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 18 at 6:00 p.m.
Both sessions will be held at the Red Ox Tavern in Auburn Hills, located at 3773 East Walton Blvd. Please RSVP by April 15.


Nominations for new board members are welcomed through April 30, 2012. To nominate yourself or another alumnus to the ballot, visit: The election will take place in early May and new members will be announced at the Alumni Annual Meeting on May 8, 2012.
Alumni Business Networking Breakfast   
The next alumni business networking session is on Thursday, April 26, at 7:30 a.m., at the Stuffed Bun, located at 603 East Walton Blvd., Pontiac, MI 48340. Attendees are invited to 7:00 a.m. Mass in the chapel at NDPMA (Pontiac) beforehand. Business attire. Breakfast is purchased on a pay-your-own-way basis.
Please RSVP to Daniel Marchese '02 (NDHS), Vice President of the Alumni Board of Directors, at 


For more information, visit
Pictured from left: Daniel Marchese '02 (NDHS), Peter Halabu '04 (NDP), and Kristopher Powell '75 (NDHS) at the March networking session.
"Seekers" Retreat at Manresa Jesuit - May 4 & 5
Join young adult Catholics for a weekend of reflection


Too much going on?  Pulled in a million directions?  You're not the only one.

In the craziness of life, it doesn't hurt to pause and take a look at the big picture:

What's important in my life? What am I looking for? Where does God fit in? 


Join young adult Catholics for the Seekers' Retreat, presented by Charis Ministries. Find out how others answer these questions; learn how faith plays a role in their journeys; and take the time to reflect on your own path. Retreatants are invited to look at their lives to see where God has been, where God is present, and where God is calling them to be.


Manresa Jesuit Retreat House

1390 Quarton Road, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Friday, May 4 at 5:00 p.m. through Saturday, May 5 at 6:00 p.m.

Retreatant Age: 20s - 30s

Retreat Cost: $70 per person

Pay Online at or at the door.

Financial assistance is available. Please contact Rita Tinetti at 248-644-4933 ex. *815 for details.


Questions? Contact Gregory Hyde, S.J. (248-644-4933 or or Sister Katherine Hill, RSM (248-476-8000 or

Alumni Annual Meeting - Tuesday, May 8

All alumni are invited to attend the Alumni Annual Meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. at Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy (Pontiac) in the board room.


Members of the alumni board of directors will be in attendance and available to answer questions or hear suggestions about alumni programming and events. The final election will take place for new board members, and the election results will be announced. The meeting will be open-format.


If you would like to attend, and/or have a topic for the agenda, please email Jim Gammicchia '99 (NDP), president of the alumni board of directors, at  

DaveCoulierDave Coulier comedy show at Notre Dame  - Saturday, May 12
Get your tickets before it's too late!


Dave CoulierDon't wait to get your tickets to the Dave Coulier comedy show, taking place on Saturday, May 12, at NDPMA. This event is a special fundraiser to benefit the Fr. John Bryson, s.m., Memorial Scholarship Fund. Presented by the Notre Dame Alumni Association, the comedy show is for all ages and starts at 8:00 p.m.


All tickets are general admission seating:  

$25.00 adults

$15.00 for students and seniors (under 18 and over 65).

$50.00 premium tickets admitting you to private "meet & greet" afterglow

Meet & greet tickets are almost sold out - only 15 left!

To purchase tickets, visit


Coulier doesn't forget his roots...

Dave spent a few minutes with IRISH Magazine talking about his memories of Notre Dame High School, his career and giving back. Read the article here.   


At Right: Fr. John Bryson, s.m. with Dave Coulier '77 (NDHS). Below: NDHS graduate ('77) Dave Coulier shown with fellow alums, from left, Fr. Jim Strasz (class of '70), Fr. Joe Hindelang (class of '68), and Fr. Leon Olszamowski (class of '65).

Annual golf outing at Wyndgate's Eastwynd 
Monday, June 4  

Alumni and friends are invited to join us for Notre Dame's annual golf outing on Monday, June 4, 2012.  This year's golf outing will be held at Eastwynd, the Wyndgate Country Club's private course in Rochester, Mich.


In addition to players for the golf outing, the Parents Club is looking for help in the following areas to make the event successful: lunch, dinner or beverage cart sponsorships; hole sponsorships; and donations of items to the silent auction or raffle.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Rick Sutkiewicz at 248.207.9788.  


Detroit Tigers Outing  
Tuesday, August 7


Join the alumni association for its annual Detroit Tigers Outing at Comerica Park. All alumni and guests are welcome.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012, at 7:05 p.m.

vs. the New York Yankees.

Ticket information being finalized and will be available soon!  


NDP Alum a meteorologist for National Hurricane Center


David Zelinksy '05 (NDP) works for the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami as a Hurricane Model Diagnostician and Meteorologist. Last month, Dave was interviewed and featured as the subject of the NHC staff newsletter. In the interview, Zelinsky was asked what planted the weather bug in him and answered, "When I was four, there was a huge cottonwood tree that fell onto my house outside of Detroit during a storm. That was the defining moment for me. When I was in elementary school, I would come home and turn on The Weather Channel rather than cartoons." Read the interview here.

In 2010, Zelinsky participated in NASA's Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) project, a NASA Earth science field experiment conducted to better understand how tropical storms form and develop into major hurricanes. As a student forecaster in the experiment, he flew on the NASA DC-8 during hurricane surveillance missions into Hurricanes Earl and Karl. 



David graduated from Purdue University, and earned his masters degree from Florida State University. In his spare time, he enjoys long-distance running and playing ice hockey.
Left: David Zelinsky '05 (NDP) photographed by the Associated Press and featured on CBS News for his work on 2011's Hurricane Irene.
The Muggs to tour Europe. Tony Denardo releases solo album.


Tony DeNardo '90 (NDHS) and Danny Methric '90 (NDHS) were buddies in high school. Their friendship led to one of the Midwest's most popular blues-rock bands, The Muggs. The Muggs are going back to Spain for a third tour and, for the first time, also will be touring in France, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands promoting their third full-length release, "Born Ugly."  The tour will run May 15 through June 18, 2012.


Bass-player DeNardo has released a solo album entitled "Kid Gloves" under the artist name, DUDE. From DeNardo's biography, "Kid Gloves is an honest musical account that deals with Tony DeNardo's life, before and after his stroke. This collection of songs, some of which date back to 1996, are an autobiographical cross section of life through the eyes of a man who always had the greatest of ambitions."


For more information, visit  

CD's are available at: 


A look at the first 20 years of Notre Dame High School 


In an excerpt from "Mantle of Blue - History of the Northeast Province Society of Mary 1924-1974" by Rev. Lionel F. Beaudoin, s.m., published in 1974, and used by permission of the Marist Fathers & Brothers of the United States, Boston, the following is a detailed account of what went on behind the scenes before Notre Dame High School in Harper Woods was built and the roughly 20 years after. Full Story.

On October 4, 1953, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Henry E. Donnelly, head of the Eastern Deanery of the Detroit Archdiocese, breaks ground in Harper Woods to officially begin the construction of Notre Dame High School.

3rd annual Alumni Irish Games  held at NDPMA


The Notre Dame Alumni Association hosted the third-annual Alumni Irish Games event on Saturday, March 10, at Notre Dame Prep's Pontiac campus. Twenty-five alumni and guests were in attendance, along with Notre Dame faculty and staff including Fr. Joe Hindelang, s.m. '68 (NDHS), Gregory Simon '89 (NDHS) and Catherine Bembas.
Alumni enjoyed an evening competition of games and physical challenges, a pizza dinner and music entertainment provided by alumnus Keaton Curran '10 (NDP). The Alumni Irish Games keep alive the fun and excitement that many of us experienced as Notre Dame students.

Special thanks to event chairperson, Gina (Coppola) Cereska '00 (NDP), and other members of the Notre Dame Alumni Association Board of Directors who hosted this event: Victoria Sidor '01 (NDP), Jim Gammicchia '99 (NDP), Daniel Marchese '02 (NDHS), Trent Thiry '00 (NDP), and
Keaton Curran '10 (NDP). 
At left: Faculty members Gregory Simon '89 (NDHS) and Catherine Bembas took part in the Irish Games fun.
The 2012 youth summer camp lineup is released
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy youth summer camps provide safe, fun and skill-focused experiences for kids entering grades Kindergarten through 12 at any school, public or private. NDPMA's summer program offers athletic camps in volleyball, soccer, baseball, football, basketball, tennis and lacrosse. Academic camps include sessions in art, creative writing, math and debate. Summer camps range from two to five-and-one-half hours per day and offer instruction for all skill levels, from introductory to advanced. All camps are run by NDP faculty members or varsity coaches.
NDPMA has been providing quality and fun-filled summer-camp experiences for more than 10 years and maintains a proven safety track record. Under the expert care of our camp coaches, kids not only learn individual, sport-oriented or creative skills, but also develop personally and socially, learning teamwork and building life skills through interaction with fellow campers.

Click here for 2012 NDPMA Summer Camps brochure. 

Click here for registration form.

Irish Week at Notre Dame. Seniors take the trophy!
On Friday, March 16, Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy finished up "Irish Week," the school's week-long celebration of its heritage and nickname. The week culminated with the Irish Games, which pit class against class. The senior class earned the highest score of the high school games, followed by the juniors, sophomores and freshmen, respectively.

The Irish Week tradition began years ago at Notre Dame High School in Harper Woods. The week includes special activities, liturgies, hall decorations and concludes with Thursday and Friday athletic and skills competitions called the "Irish Games." The students really get into Irish Week - in fact many alumni look back fondly on the fun they had during Irish Week.  
Junior scores a perfect ACT - fourth NDP student in four years

Joe Soisson, a junior at Notre Dame Preparatory School, scored a perfect 36 on his ACT - the highest score available. This is the fourth year in a row a student from ND Prep has achieved such perfection. It was the first time Soisson had taken the test. According to test administrator ACT, Inc., less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all test takers earn the top score. In 2011, only 704 students of more than 1.6 million test-takers earned a 36. Last year, 2011 graduate Matt Siatczynski scored a 36. In 2010, Jon Sheperd scored a 36, and Ryan McIntosh, who graduated from NDP in 2009, also achieved a 36 on his ACT.

Soisson's extracurricular activities include robotics, cross country, track, NDP fall musicals, choir, retreat commission, liturgy commission, National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. He also plays the piano and is active in his parish, St. Mary of the Hills. Soisson said he is unsure at this point where he will attend college - he is considering Notre Dame, Purdue, U of M and MSU - but he plans to study engineering. He said he hopes to pursue a career in mechanical engineering after graduation from college.

List of upcoming reunions in the planning stage:


If your graduation year ends in a 2 or 7, you should be thinking of planning a reunion in 2012. The alumni office can help you organize your special event. Call (248) 373-2171 ext. 3 or email for details.


NDHS Class of 1962, 50-year 

August 16, 2012, at Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy

Contacts: Jerry Lesperance,; Jerry Alderman,; Tom Lueck,


St. Michael Class of 1962, 50-year

Saturday, May 5, 2012, at Canterbury Village's King's Court Castle, Lake Orion.

A reunion information e-mail "Hot Line" has been established at Contact: Dick Stevens,  


NDHS Class of 1963, 50-year

Date TBA, September 2013. Tentative plans for a reunion weekend include a Tigers game, dinner at a Detroit casino, and a Sunday morning Mass downtown.

Contacts: John McCabe, (586) 822-5153; Don Herman, (586) 781-0220. 


NDHS Class of 1965, 50-year

Contacts: Dennis Berger,, (909) 223-4483; Fr. Leon Olszamowski, 


NDHS Class of 1972, 40-year

Saturday, September 1, 2012, at Gino's Surf in Harrison Twp, Mich. Other reunion weekend activities are being planned, including a Friday golf outing and a Sunday picnic. The reunion committee asks that classmates please update their contact information by emailing

Contact: John Berra, (949) 357-3926,; Terry Cirocco, (313) 378-5368,; Michael Montpetit, (734) 433-2399,


Pontiac Catholic Class of 1972, 40-year

August 3 & 4, 2012, at Kennedy's (Waterford) and White Lake Park

Contacts: Maureen Horton-Phillips, (231) 233-6113,; Joanne Walters-Malito, (773) 520-7454.   


Pontiac Catholic Class of 1977, 35-year

August 11, 2012, at Santia Hall in Keego Harbor. Reunion Committee: Paula, Frank, Bridget, Chuck, Liz and Mary are making contact with classmates via Facebook.   


NDHS Class of 1987, 25-year

Contacts: John Childs, or, (248) 787-0616; John Vermiglio,, (586) 212-4763. 


NDP Class of 2002, 10-year

Contacts: Steve Skok,; Bill Higgins,; Teresa Elliott,; Jane Dika,

NDP Class of 2006, 6-year

June 9, 2012, at Rochester Mills Beer Co., in Rochester, Mich.
Contact: Maria Carnago,    


NDP Class of 2007, 5-year

June 16, 2012, at Rochester Mills Beer Co., in Rochester, Mich. 

Contact: Marie Tashjian, or Steve Cox        


For a complete list of reunions and event details, visit



Correction: First NDP alum to score 1,000 pts. in basketball careeer

Jennifer (O'Rourke) Bennett '01 (NDP)


In the February 2012 alumni e-newsletter it was incorrectly reported that Notre Dame Prep senior Kellen McCormick reached the 1,000-point milestone in the Irish's 2012 basketball season, the first time a basketball player from NDP - boy or girl - has reached 1,000 points in a high school career. 


The alumni office regrets that we did not accurately report that Jennifer (O'Rourke) Bennett '01 (NDP) had first reached 1,000 points in her high school basketball career, during her senior year at an away game vs. Oakland Christian.   


Upon graduation from Notre Dame Prep, Jennifer continued her education at Oakland University, where she earned her B.S. in elementary education. Jennifer is married to Anthony Bennett (who attended NDP in 1996 - 2001) and they have 3 children: Nikolas who is 8 years old, Jacob who is 4 years old and Emily who is 3 months old. The family resides in Shelby Twp., Mich.

We pray for the sick:

Doreen Vermiglio, long-time staff member at Notre Dame High School. During 1972 - 2005, Doreen served as secretary to NDHS principal, Bill Raymond, and to NDHS athletic director, Joe Spada.  She also ran the school bookstore. Doreen is the mother of Ken Vermiglio '71 (NDHS) and John Vermiglio '87 (NDHS), and the mother-in-law of Joseph Connolly '71 (NDHS). Doreen is recovering from some medical issues and appreciates your prayers.


Addison Puma, the young daughter of Vince Puma '92 (NDHS) - underwent radiation treatments at St. Jude Children's Research Center in Memphis, Tenn., for an inoperable brain stem tumor. Addison is now home and continues to remain stable. She looks forward to her family's annual camping trip this summer. Continued prayers are needed for Addison's restored health.


Norman Kotarski, a beloved long-time educator at Notre Dame. Norm appreciates your continued thoughts and prayers as he undergoes treatment for cancer.  


Joey Caretti, the twelve-year-old son of Joe Caretti '84 (NDHS) and Lisa (Verkest) Caretti (Regina '84). Joey continues to recover from a cord blood transplant as part of his treatment for leukemia.  Please pray that Joey's pain subsides, that his numbers and tests continue to improve and that he returns to being a healthy, happy 12-year-old boy. 


Marne Housey, wife of Michael Housey '84 (NDHS).  Marne was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in June of 2011.  The tumor was successfully removed and Marne is undergoing chemotherapy to ensure that the tumor does not return.         


John Kassak, friend of Michael Krupa '72 (PC).     


We pray for those who have died:   


Helen M. Ciemerych, mother of Matt Ciemerych '73 (NDHS), Stan Cimerych '78 (NDHS), and the late Richard Ciemerych '79 (NDHS). Grandmother of Marc Samelak '04 (NDHS) and Mike Samelak '07 (NDP). 3-29-2012


William "Wild Bill" Jennison '03 (NDHS), brother of Laurence Jennison '96 (NDHS). 3-26-2012


Dennis J. Paluzzi, father of Nick Paluzzi '97 (NDHS). 3-22-2012

Edward J. DeSantis, attended NDHS from 1960 - 1963. 3-19-2012


Sandra Leon, grandmother of Brian Leon '95 (NDP), Bradford Leon '98 (NDP), and Allison (Leon) Poole '99 (NDP). 3-19-2012   


Joseph Castelvetere, grandfather of Brendan Castelvetere '00 (NDP), Jeffray Castelvetere '04 (NDP), and Kristin Castelvetere '06 (NDP). 3-19-2012   


Jessie Gerula, mother of Robert Gerula '74 (NDHS). 3-15-2012


Rita Sobczynski, grandmother of Justin Sobczynski '02 (NDHS). 3-13-2012


Lawrence Schimeck, father of the late Lawrence Schimeck '60 (NDHS). 3-13-2012


Marion Tyler, mother of Timothy Tyler '65 (NDHS) and the late Kenneth Tyler '62 (NDHS). 3-11-2012


June R. Albrecht, mother of Richard Albrecht '66 (NDHS) and grandmother of Mike Albrecht '84 (NDHS). 3-8-2012


John Balok, father of Joseph Balok '65 (NDHS) and grandfather of Andrew Balok '07 (NDP). 3-8-2012


Harvey J. Cowan, father of Dennis Cowan '74 (NDHS) and John Cowan '79 (NDHS). 2-28-2012


Michael Simek '67 (NDHS). 2-27-2012


Michael Ryan '67 (NDHS), brother of Patrick Ryan '63 (NDHS). 2-26-2012

To view all prayers,


Email your prayers and petitions to


You are invited!



10 - Alumni Board of Directors Meeting, 6:00 p.m.

25 - Admissions coffee at Notre Dame Prep (upper division, Pontiac)
26 - Alumni Professionals Networking Breakfast
27 - Liturgy, 9:00 a.m. at the Pontiac campus. Feast of St. Peter Chanel. 

30 - Last day to nominate yourself to the Alumni Board of Directors ballot   



2- Admissions coffee at Notre Dame Marist Academy (lower division, Waterford) 

8- Alumni Annual Meeting, 6:00 p.m. 

12 - Dave Coulier "LIVE" at Notre Dame, 8:00 p.m. 

16 - Admissions coffee at Notre Dame Marist Academy (middle division, Pontiac)
23 - Liturgy, 9:00 a.m. at the Pontiac campus

31 - Alumni Professionals Networking Breakfast