Notre Dame Alumni E-Newsletter
May 2013
In This Issue
Golf Outing
Tigers Outing
Traveling Irish
Mark Binelli '88
Ashleigh Iserman '04
Jackie Joy '98
Kirby Smith
ND Record Hops
D'Assault Systemes
Killer Bees
Digital Technology
Summer Camps
Class Reunions
Prayers for Alumni
Event Calendar
Quick Links

Dear  ,


May is a special month for our alumni, as it is the month dedicated to Our Lady, Notre Dame. For nearly sixty years in metro-Detroit, students and alumni of Notre Dame have called upon the help of Mary in their studies, sports, work and lives. Throughout this month, we recognize with gratitude Mary's continued guidance in our school, our alumni association and our Marist mission.
Our 189 seniors will graduate later this month and become members of our Notre Dame Alumni Association. We wish them well in their future endeavors and pray they will continue to be guided down good paths.

Irish Blessings,  


Rachel (Alexander) Miller '00 (NDP)

Director of Alumni Relations

Notre Dame Golf Outing at Wyndgate

Monday, June 3  


Alumni and friends are invited to join us for Notre Dame's annual golf outing on Monday, June 3, 2013, 1:00 p.m. start. This year's golf outing will be held at the Wyndgate Country Club's private course in Rochester Hills, 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.

Alumni Tigers Outing!  

Tuesday, July 30:  Detroit Tigers vs. Washington Nationals  


Join the alumni association for its annual Detroit Tigers Outing at Comerica Park! See the Tigers take on the Washington Nationals. Tuesday, July 30, 2013, at 7:05 p.m. All alumni and guests welcome!


$18 tickets (discounted from $26).

Purchase your tickets today!


Ticket includes a seat in section 211 and access to Comerica Park's exclusive, indoor Tiger Club, which offers luxurious amenities, gourmet cuisine and a full service bar--with a spectacular view of the game! Special thanks to John McCabe '63 (NDHS). 

Alumni gather for Traveling Irish events  
More than 40 ND alums and guests turned out for Traveling Irish pizza dinners on April 13 at The Brown Jug in Ann Arbor and Harper's Restaurant in East Lansing. A great time was had by all!

Special thanks to Keaton Curran '10 (NDP) and the planning committee for yet another enjoyable Traveling Irish event. To view more photos, visit our Facebook page.

ND alum author visits Harper Woods library for book talk
Mark Binelli '88 (NDHS) 


Notre Dame High School alumnus and author Mark Binelli regaled attendees of his book talk on May 1 with stories and anecdotes about the research leading up to his latest offering, Detroit City is the Place To Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis. The book signing event was held at the Harper Woods Public Library.


Binelli talked about the months he spent living in Detroit near Eastern Market as he worked on his book, now in its seventh printing. He also read excerpts from the book, including part of a chapter where he sneaked onto the set of a movie being filmed at Notre Dame. Full Story.
"Light the Lakes" 5K Run/Walk in memory of NDP alumna
Saturday, June 8, 2013


One day before her own high school graduation party, Ashleigh Iserman's '04 (NDP) life was tragically cut short while operating a personal watercraft on Long Lake (Oakland County, Michigan) at a friend's graduation party. While looking back at a tube she was pulling, Ashleigh collided with a boat and was killed instantly. She did not have a boating safety certificate, which is required by Michigan law, and was given the keys to this vessel by its owner without question as to her certification or experience. A deadly mistake.


In Ashleigh's memory, the Iserman family established The Ashleigh Iserman Boating Safety Foundation to help promote boating safety education in order to keep families safe while riding in boats, jet skis or other vessels on Michigan waterways.


The fourth-annual "Light the Lakes" 5K walk/run will be held on Saturday, June 8, at Thelma Spencer Park in Rochester Hills from 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. Proceeds benefit Ashleigh's foundation and all alumni and friends are invited to attend. Registration Information

Alumna to appear on AMC's new reality show,"Showville"   

Jackie Joy '98 (NDP) and her entertainment company, Knotty Bits, will be featured on the premier episode AMC's new show, "Showville," airing May 23, 2013, at 9 p.m. EDT.


Press release - Source: AMC

This new unscripted series is a celebration of performing and a fond, funny look at the lives, workplaces and families of local talent acts and what happens to them when Hollywood comes to town. Auditions in Holland, MI were held at Holland's Park Theater drawing all kinds of talent, including singers, dancers, comedians and more.


From the queue of contestant hopefuls, "Showville" mentors - actor/director Alec Mapa and choreographer Lisette Bustamante - selected four finalists: Jackie Joy and Michael O'Hair of Knotty Bits, Doug Peterson, Maciek Biezunski and husband and wife team Darlene and Randy Schaap. The acts then had two days of intense coaching before getting up on stage in front of friends, neighbors, family and coworkers to show off their skills and earn the audience's vote. Tune in to find out who was crowned the big winner and awarded a $10,000 prize and a loving cup signifying their achievement as the town's favorite act. Photo credit to David Burgess.

Retired Notre Dame art instructor in retrospective show   

Kirby Smith, retired NDHS and NDP art faculty member, will present a lifetime of his personal artwork in an exhibit titled, "Kirby Smith 45 YR Retrospective."


Ceramics, paintings and photography, which Smith created over a 45-year career, will be on display June 5-29 at Studio 1219, located at 1219 Military Street, Port Huron, Mich. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. An opening night reception will be Friday, June 7, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.  


Smith invites his former students and colleagues to come out and share in this special celebration! For more information, please contact the alumni office at 248.373.2171, ext. 3, or Studio:

Groundbreaking ceremony held for new lower division building


Officials from Oakland County and the City of Pontiac were on hand on Monday, May 6, as Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy celebrated and blessed the ongoing construction of its new lower division school building. School president Fr. Leon Olszamowski, s.m. '65 (NDHS), welcomed Sam Scott, community relations specialist from the Pontiac mayoral office, Joe Sobota '95 (NDHS), director, Pontiac Department of Community Development and Captain Timothy Atkins, representing Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, among others to the ceremony held on the grounds of the new building.


During the blessing of the new construction, Olszamowski also thanked a number of benefactors and friends of the school, including former board chair Bill Kozyra, current board member Pat D'Agostini and current board chair Daron Gifford for their extraordinary generosity of time, talent and treasure toward the school project, which is estimated to cost nearly $3.5 million.


The school building is expected to open for junior-kindergarten through fifth-grade classes in time for the new school year in late August. Full Story


IB student researches Motown connection to Notre Dame


NDP junior Gwen Keller is conducting a historical investigation paper as part of her International Baccalaureate history class. Her research includes analyzing the effects that Motown music had on breaking down racial barriers culturally. Keller currently is looking at archived papers related to Harper Woods Notre Dame's popular Friday night dances from the 1960s, which featured many Motown acts.


NDPMA's media center has archived much of the history of Harper Woods Notre Dame, which opened in 1954 and closed in 2005. Fr. John Bryson, a Marist who spent a great majority of his
50 years of ministry at HWND, managed the dances at the school and brought in performers such as Marvin Gaye, Deon Jackson, the Temptations, Dionne Warwick, Leslie Gore and Mitch Ryder among others. Full Story
Junior places among university students in technology competition


Notre Dame Prep junior Zachary Goldasich earned a third-place finish in a technology competition meant for university engineering students from around the world. The Academic Poster Sessions competition was held at the COE 2013 Annual PLM Conference & TechniFair in Orlando last month.

Goldasich's submission in the competition featured his design for a more efficient underwater propulsion system that combines electro-chemical technology with a conventional water ramjet thruster to better propel underwater vehicles without any increase in engine size. "In other words," Goldasich says, "more power without making the thruster any bigger, which is important, especially for small manned and unmanned submarines."


The COE conference and competition was sponsored by Dassault Systèmes, a Paris, France-based company devoted to computer-aided design and 3D design software with clients that include Honda, BMW and Boeing. Notre Dame Prep was the first high school in the world to adopt Dassault's 3D Experience software platform and Goldasich has worked with the software from the very beginning. Full Story
Killer Bees End Season With One of Best Finishes in School History


Notre Dame's robotics team, the Killer Bees (#33), finished the season flying high at the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship in St. Louis over the weekend of April 27. Team 33 was crowned Archimedes Division champs and second overall in the entire tournament. This is the Bees' third divisional championship in 18 years of competition at the world championship and their best finish ever. Full story.



School moves to digital technology

In the next few years, beginning with the fall 2013 semester, NDPMA will undergo dramatic technology changes, including the way students access textbooks.


According to Joanne Widmaier, NDPMA's registrar and academic technology coordinator, access to tablets will be available to all ND lower division teachers and students by the time school opens in August. "The current plan is to have two carts of thirty Apple iPads available division-wide with two Apple MacBooks, one for each of the carts," she said. "The MacBooks will be used to configure iPads and create iBooks." She said each student will receive a digital pen and ear 

buds for their personal use.

Teachers in the lower division also have been preparing for the digital change. A number of them recently attended a MACUL (Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning) conference on using technology in the classroom, and one of them will be attending the "iPad in the Elementary School" workshop this summer at Harvard University. Widmaier says the other teachers have been receiving regular updates from these conferences and workshops and will continue to do so. Full Story.

"Lifers" celebrate 10 years at Notre Dame

Following NDPMA's last all-school mass for the 2012-2013 school year, Notre Dame Prep seniors who attended Marist Academy gathered to take the annual "Lifers" photos. This year's senior class includes sixty lifers, who attended NDPMA from sixth through twelfth grade, as well as thirteen gold-level lifers, who attended Marist Academy's lower division. Five seniors are platinum-level lifers, who attended Marist's lower division since the school opened in 2003. 

ND Summer Camps for kids K-12


ND's camps program provides safe, fun, and skill-focused experiences for kids entering grades kindergarten through 12. This year's lineup includes a wider variety of both athletic and academic camps. The program includes athletic camps in volleyball, soccer, baseball, football, basketball, tennis and lacrosse. Academic camps include sessions in art, college essay writing, math, debate and choir. Camps range from two to five-and-a-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.


Notre Dame 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. 

More information and registration page.

Network with other alumni on LinkedIn


You can network for your career with other members of the alumni association on LinkedIn. All alumni are encouraged to use this networking group to your advantage. You can connect with others in your industry, or post questions, jobs, internships and 


Visit and search "Notre Dame Alumni 

Association (Pontiac, MI)." 

Notre Dame Alumni Association on Facebook, Twitter


"Like" the Notre Dame Alumni Association Facebook page to receive news and updates. Follow us on Twitter too! 


All alumni are encouraged to join the conversation and post your own memorable photos and videos from your time at Notre Dame or one of our predecessor schools. Or you can post recent status updates and photos to let other alumni know what you're up to!  

List of  upcoming class reunions:


If your graduation year ends in a 3 or 8, your class should be celebrating a reunion in 2013.


Considering planning a reunion for your class?  The alumni office can help you get started. Call (248) 373-2171 ext. 3 or email for details.

NDHS Class of 1963, 50-year

September 14 and 15, 2013. Dinner on Sept. 14 at Sterling Inn, Sterling Heights, Mich.  On Sept. 15, 10 a.m. Mass at Old St. Mary in Greektown, Detroit, followed by a Detroit Tigers game. 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 1973, 40-year

Friday June 21 - afternoon golf scramble and 19th hole meet and greet.

Contacts: Scott Spicuzzi -; Frank Coppola at (586) 295-9375 or


Pontiac Catholic Class of 1973, 40-year

Reunion will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013, at The Shark Club, located at 6665 Highland Rd., Waterford, MI. 7:00 p.m. Details coming via mail or email in May. The reunion committee is still working to locate some classmates. Please send your information, including email address to 

Reunion contact is Nancy Mazza at


NDHS Class of 1978, 35-year 

Will be planning a 35-year reunion for 2013. Class volunteers needed to help on the planning committee. If you are willing to help, please contact Ron Yanik at


NDHS Class of 1989, 25-year 

Reunion is in the early planning stages for a TBA date in 2014. Reunion committee in formation. If you would like to help, contact Gregory Simon at, or Frank Castronova at
NDP Class of 1998, 15-year  
Classmates are discussing plans for a reunion gathering via Facebook. If you would like to volunteer to help plan the reunion, please contact the alumni office at or Scott Lockhart at

NDP Class of 2003, 10-year

Reunion being planned for Thanksgiving weekend 2013. Reunion contacts: John Putnam,; Bridget Maher,; Aaron Bozicevich,; Erin O'Brien,; Cindy Kraus,; Kristi Lewandowski,; and Nick Giacona,

NDP Class of 2008, 5-year

Reunion is in the early planning stages. Reunion contacts: Shannon Bartlett,; Katie Berlin,

St. Frederick All Class Reunion 2013

33rd annual All Class Reunion will be held on Sunday, September 8, 2013. St. Frederick school building open for touring at 9:30 a.m. Mass at 11:00 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul, Pontiac. Luncheon at 1:00 p.m. at Santia Hall, Keego Harbor. Tickets available at Kennedy's Irish Pub, Waterford. For more information, contact

St. Michael All Class Reunion 2013

24th Annual All-School Reunion will be held on Sunday, September 15, 2013. For more information, contact John Martin '51 (SM) at     


For a complete list of reunions and event details, visit

We pray for those who have died:    
Ioan Hammond, great-grandmother of Jonathon Rusch '11 (NDP). 5-7-13

Michael Boren '80 (NDHS). 5-5-13

John "Jay" Verlinden, brother of Loren Verlinden '65 (NDHS) and Michael Verlinden '66 (NDHS). Uncle of Michael Verlinden '92 (NDHS). 5-4-13

Catherine (Wroblewski) Giroux '71 (PC), sister of Karen (Wroblewski) Russell '72 (PC). 5-3-13 

Melissa Schmidt, sister-in-law of former NDP English teacher and current debate coach LeAnne Schmidt. 4-28-13

Norman Durfee, former NDHS maintenance staff member. 4-28-13

Anthony Kaiser '72 (NDHS). 4-24-13

Henry White, father of James White '75 (NDHS) and Charles White '76 (NDHS). 4-23-13 

Audrey Springer, mother of David Springer '78 (NDHS). 4-23-13 

Alfred Nutlouis, grandfather of Dakota Nutlouis '11 (NDP). 4-21-13 

David Young, grandfather of Kaitlin Young '07 (NDP). 4-21-13 

Muriel Onei, mother of the late George Onei '67 (NDHS). 4-20-13 
Donald McCracken '43 (SF), husband of the late Sara (Palopoli) McCracken '43 (SF). Brother of the late James McCracken '37 (SF). 4-19-13  

Michael Sobczak '60 (NDHS). 4-19-13

Joseph Lambertz '63 (NDHS). 4-14-13

Litizia Valentine, mother of Thomas Valentine '81 (NDHS). Grandmother of Kristina Valentine '04 (NDP) and Kori Valentine '08 (NDP). 4-12-13 

Richard Robar '47 (SM). 4-10-13

Betty (Beckwith) Mooney '42 (SM), sister of Fred Beckwith '54 (SM) and the late Glenn Beckwith '62 (SM). Sister-in-law of Jane (Thornberry) Beckwith '54 (SM). 4-9-13 
Violet Carnagie, mother of James Carnagie '67 (NDHS). 4-8-13

Joann Hurley, mother of David Hurley '83 (NDHS). 4-6-13

William Schroeder, husband of Rita (Blazny) Schroeder '47 (SM). 4-4-13

Betty Weiss, mother of Robert Weiss '63 (NDHS). 4-2-13

Connie Gola, mother of Thomas Gola '73 (NDHS). 4-1-13 

Flodene Kesek, grandmother of Emily (Kesek) Hindelang '00 (NDP) and grandmother-in-law of Matthew Hindelang '99 (NDHS). 3-31-13
We pray for the sick:    


Jim Mandl '66 (NDHS) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the week before Christmas. Please continue to pray for Jim and his family.

Dorothy Hier,
mother of Ronald Hier '66 (NDHS).

Lisa Denardo,
wife of Frank Denardo '89 (NDHS) and sister-in-law of Tony Denardo '90 (NDHS), who is battling cancer.

Carol Stencel,
grandmother of Katrina Stencel '11 (NDP) and Kayla Stencel (current student) who is undergoing a stem cell transplant for lymphoma.

Philip Simon,
father of Gregory Simon '89 (NDHS) and Richard Simon '85 (NDHS), who is experiencing health challenges.


Nicholas Ureel, 16-year-old grandson of John Ureel '58 (NDHS) and Joan Ureel, who is undergoing treatment and surgery for cancer.


Elaine Just, wife of Ed Just '66 (NDHS), was recently diagnosed with stage-three ovarian cancer. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Joey Caretti,
the 12-year-old son of Joe Caretti '84 (NDHS) and Lisa Caretti (Regina HS). The family asks for prayers as he continues to recuperate from various side effects related to his cancer treatment and bone marrow transplant.


Email your prayers and petitions to


NDP = Notre Dame Prep; NDHS = Notre Dame High School; OC = Oakland Catholic; PC = Pontiac Catholic; SM = St. Michael; SF = St. Frederick.   


You are invited!      


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



3- Golf Outing

8 - Light the Lakes 5K Run/Walk in memory of Ashleigh Iserman '04 (NDP)

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



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

30- Alumni Tigers Outing