St. Joseph School Alumni Newsletter
Issue #31    
Winter 2015
In This Issue
A Message from Patrick Fennessy
Evening with Alumni
Expansion Tour
School News/Events
Salmon Reutrn
Writing Coach Program
Alum Outreach
Alumni in the News
Alumni Reunion
Distinguished Alumni
Endowment Golf Tournament
About Reconnections
Quick Links

A Message from Patrick Fennessy     



Winter greetings, St. Joe's alumni! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday and are well on your way to honoring your new year's resolutions.


You'll see some photos in this issue of a great event we had last week. As a way to get alumni together and show our new addition to the school, we hosted a little happy hour in the new foyer. It was well attended and served as a great opportunity for a wide range of alumni to mingle, reconnect and see the school. I think our most elder alumnus in attendance was Frank Buono ('53), who now has grandkids here at the school. Frank regaled us of his recent birthday when he was allowed to be an altar server at Mass...for the first time! Apparently the sisters would never let Frank serve when he was a student because he couldn't pronounce the Latin words well! Our current Jesuit priests are now happy to have Frank at the altar any Sunday.

Frank Buono ('53) served Mass on his 75th birthday.

What struck me most about our event was the fact that most alumni didn't really focus too much on the shiny new addition. Rather, they were more interested in wandering the halls, peeking into their old classrooms and reminiscing about their days at St. Joe's. I loved hearing their stories and learning more about our school's rich history and tradition.


We'd like to offer more events like this, and I'm sure we will. Even more, we'd like to see more of you! So, come visit us, send us an email or pick up the phone. Any and all stories are welcome.




Patrick Fennessy



Evening with Alumni

On the evening of January 8, the school's new lobby was filled with familiar faces. Staff members were reunited with past students over wine, food, and soft music. The Evening with Alumni event was hosted by St. Joseph's new alumni coordinator, Max Andrews ('01). "The idea was was to invite past students to explore our new space," Max explained. "We want to make sure they don't feel like they are just alums of St. Joseph, but friends. Some people look back on all the changes we've undergone in the past five years and feel distant. Our responsibility is to remind them that St. Joseph is, and always will be, the same place it always has been."


This seemed particularly true at the event. The room was a warm blend of current staff, past students, and friends of the St. Joseph community. Graduates ranged from Ben Woletz ('08) and Melissa Verrilli ('03) to Frank Buono ('53), all coming together on common ground. Current 7th and 8th grade students volunteered their evening to give tours of the new section of the building, but found themselves giving joyrides down memory lane all over campus. Every time a tour returned to the party there was a new hum of memories and forgotten stories. 


One word that was floating around the room was "wow." Guests were shocked and impressed by the new space created between the two buildings they knew so well. "It seemed as though all the hard work and stress of the past year finally can be celebrated tonight," said Jordan Howell, St. Joseph facilities director and class of 2000.  


Though the construction is over, St. Joseph is still in the process of building its list of alumni contacts. Alums are encouraged to send their contact information to

Andrew Lincicome ('95), David Sepulveda ('01), Amy Sepulveda ('95), Meghan Finney ('95) and Camden Finney ('98)


Alums mingled in the spacious new foyer.


Lauren Verrilli ('00) points out vintage photos to Katherine Remarke ('00) and Conrad Herberholt ('99).
Current students toured alums around the school.


Frank Buono ('53) entertains Dane Hofbauer ('98) and
Annie Delucchi ('78).


Expansion Tour

New Main Office
Main Entrance Foyer
One of several new LRC spaces on the second floor
LRC Director Ellen Flies and Superintendent Patrick Haggerty tour the new building.
Fr. Whitney blesses the new building.
Thumbs-up from 5C on their new main floor (!) classroom.

School News/Events


Kindergarten through sixth grade, along with the Exploratory Band, performed at the annual Christmas program this year.



Miss Marion brought back an old tradition of caroling through the halls.
Fifth graders directed by Betsy Giri taped a choral segment for KOMO 4 TV's Miracle Season Fundraising Special to benefit Seattle Children's.

Preparing the kindergarten Thanksgiving feast!


You may remember this Halloween visitor.


Seahawks Spirit prevailed heading into the playoffs.


Students, parents and teachers got a taste of computer programming in December in Hour of Code sessions hosted by specialist Jamie Read.



Salmon Return



For many years St. Joseph third graders and kindergarteners have learned firsthand about the salmon life cycle. Third grade teacher Donna Larsen coordinates this program through the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. Many alums will remember the excitement of watching the salmon in the hallway fish tank. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife issues permits to 500 schools participating in the "Salmon in the Schools" program established in 1991 that allow them to receive salmon eggs from local hatcheries.



Students learn about the salmon life cycle as they raise the salmon in a controlled environment until they are fry and then release them into the wild. The salmon eggs are transportable from the hatchery once they have "eyes," and need lots of care once they are in their temporary (fish tank) home including tests for pH, temperature, careful observation, and feeding when they become fry. Each year the kindergarten and third grade classes gather to welcome the salmon with a prayer for them, act out the salmon life cycle, and get an up-close look at the eggs. As the salmon develop, St. Joseph students observe, draw the life cycle stages, and write about the salmon as part of the curriculum until the salmon are released into a local stream after about 12 weeks. This year the school has a brand new tank to welcome the salmon. Click here to learn more about the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.




Writing Coach Program 

The Writing Coach Program began in 2011 at St. Joseph School in the 8th grade Language Arts class utilizing St. Joseph staff members. The staff members ranged from administration to LRC specialists. During the first year of the program, the coaches came into the classroom one time per semester and met with students at least twice during a writing project. While this was a great start, more coaches were needed in order to meet the needs of the classroom teacher and the students. Writing Coach Program director Gwen Geivett began to research other programs across the country that used community members as their coaching base. 


This year Ms. Geivett began to implement changes in the program aiming for a broader impact. In the 8th grade the program utilizes staff members and Google Drive to provide feedback to students throughout specific projects. In 7th grade 20 trained community volunteers come in every other Tuesday to meet with students and provide feedback on whatever writing they are doing. Efforts began to recruit another 20-25 coaches with a goal to implement the program in 6th grade by the end of the year. This new approach of using trained, community volunteers on a consistent basis ensures that every student at every level receives feedback on his or her writing.


Volunteer coaches are people from all walks of life who have a desire to work with middle school students as they strive to become confident, competent writers. If you are interested in the Writing Coach Program, feel free to contact
Gwen Geivett for more information.
We want to invite SJS alums to consider this fun way to come back to St. Joe's!


Taking outreach to heart

Dylan Patterson ('05) has been living and volunteering in the eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo since July 2014.  He is working with the United Nations Association of Democratic Republic of Congo in various capacities, including teaching English at the Dag Hammarskjold Primary School in Baraka. The school's mission and purpose is to provide a safe learning environment for the most at-risk youth in this part of Democratic Republic of Congo. 

He is assisting with the training of youth in reconciliation skills through the game of futbol (soccer), and has helped with the conducting of a mock UN convention north of the city of Goma. In addition, he has updated websites for organizations in DR Congo and Uganda. In the last five months his work has also taken him into Rwanda and Burundi, researching sustainable small business ventures.

Alumni in the News    


Matt Smith ('67) has re-created his childhood on Capitol Hill in his film based on his stage monologue, My Last Year with the Nuns. The setting is 1966 when Smith was in eighth grade at St. Joe's. The film's run has been extended through January 19 at Northwest Film Forum.

Alumni Reunions

St. Joe's Alums!

Interested in throwing your class a reunion party?

Do you have a proposal for an alumni get-together?
To submit your contact information, or to discuss reunion opportunities, contact Max Andrews, SJS Alumni Coordinator,


St. Joseph School  

Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the St. Joseph School Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award to be announced in September 2015. Please visit the Alumni page on the school's website to find a description of the award and list of previous years' recipients. If you would like to submit a nomination, please contact Maureen Cartano at or 206-329-3260 ext. 201.






Golf Tournament and Dinner Banquet
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Newcastle Golf Club 

St. Joseph families, friends and alumni are invited to attend the annual Endowment Golf Tournament and Dinner Banquet. Registration begins March 25, 2015. For more information on individual and corporate sponsorship opportunities please visit

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities (event logistics, day-
of-registration, or banquet assistance) please contact Kara Connally or 206-329-3260 ext. 229.


About Reconnections


Reconnections is an e-mail newsletter from St. Joseph School sent to our alumni, their parents and grandparents, parents whose students attended St. Joseph School but withdrew prior to graduation, and former staff.
If your contact information is incorrect, please help us update your information by responding via e-mail or Click Here to update your contact information. Please feel free to forward the newsletter to your family members for whom we do not have an e-mail address. They can add their names to the mailing list.

If you do not wish to receive Reconnections, simply use the

"unsubscribe" feature, and your e-mail address will be removed.  

If you would like to us to spread the word about your class reunion, please send us the information, and we will include it in the next issue.


Comments, story suggestions and inquiries can be sent to  

Maureen Cartano by responding to this e-mail.

Thank you,

Maureen Cartano 


St Joseph School 
700 18th Avenue East 
Seattle, WA 98112 
Principal:  Patrick Fennessy 
Middle School Director:  Mary Helen Bever
Primary School Director:  Lillian Zadra
Pastor:  John D. Whitney, S.J.