Notre Dame Alumni E-Newsletter
December 2013
In This Issue
Annual Fund
Alumni Art Show
Class of 2003
Class of 2008
Turkey Trot
Nick Hafner '10
Emily Giacona '01
Notre Dame News
Christmas Trees
NDPMA Hiring!
Class Reunions
Prayers for Alumni
Event Calendar
Quick Links

Dear , 


On behalf of the administration, faculty and staff at Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, and together with the Notre Dame Alumni Association Board of Directors, I wish you a merry and blessed Christmas and a healthy and joyous new year!


We celebrate this Christmas season remembering our alumni family. We thank you for your continued interest in and support of our school and its students. 


2013 has been a fruitful year at Notre Dame. Without a doubt, we have been guided by Our Lady in our school's mission of, with God, forming good Christian persons, upright citizens and academic scholars. 


With every good wish for God's blessings upon you and your family throughout this Christmas season and the new year, 


Rachel (Alexander) Miller '00 (NDP)

Director of Alumni Relations




The Notre Dame Annual Fund
Alumni can show their support by making an end-of-year gift 


The Notre Dame Annual Fund is up and running. We ask all alumni to please consider supporting the school with a tax-deductible gift this Holiday season. To date, we are at about 40% of our $500,000 goal for the 2013/2014 school year. 


The annual fund supports many aspects of the school, including financial aid for families that want a Catholic education for their children but cannot afford full tuition. If you felt that you benefited from a ND education and would like to help out another student or family, we ask that you consider a gift to the annual fund.  


Make your gift online today. Just click the "Donate Now" button. All gifts are appreciated at every level. 

Alumni Art Show 2014
Opening Night Reception on Thursday, January 30, 2014
Show runs January 30 - February 6, 2014


Are you an alumni artist, either amateur or professional? Do you paint, illustrate, sculpt or create pottery? Are you a photographer or designer? Display and/or sell your work in the 2014 Alumni Art Show, running January 30 through February 6 (weekdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.) in the main lobby of Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy. While on display, your artwork will be seen by more than 1,000! There is no fee to participate in the show. 


Register to participate and submit artwork by January 17: 


1) Download and complete the 2014 Art Submission Form


2) Send in or drop off artwork and Art Submission Form(s) to the Notre Dame Advancement Office: Fr. Colin House, 1389 Giddings Road, Pontiac, MI 48340.


**Alums away at college or out-of-towners, bring your artwork home with you over the Christmas holiday and drop it off at the school. The advancement office will be on holiday hours from December 23 through January 3, so please call (248) 373-2171 ext. 3 or email to schedule an appointment. 


An opening night reception will be held on Thursday, January 30

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. in the main lobby. Appetizers and beverages will be available. Cost is free. RSVP by January 27, email  alumni@ndpma.orgPlease indicate your name, class year, and number of guests. All are invited and all ages welcome. More than 150 expected to be in attendance.   

NDP Class of 2003 celebrates 10-year reunion


On Friday, November 29, Notre Dame Prep's Class of 2003 celebrated its 10-year reunion at the Emagine Theatre in Royal Oak, MI. With nearly 70 in attendance, classmates and their guests enjoyed delicious food and bar, bowling, billiards, music and great conversation. Special thanks to the reunion planning committee, pictured below from left: Aaron Bozicevich, Nick Giacona, Dan Hollenkamp, John Putnam, Cyndi (Kraus) Morrill, Erin (O'Brien) Garcia, Bridget Maher. Not pictured is Kristi Lewandowski. More photos from the event are available at our Facebook page.    


NDP Class of 2008 celebrates 5-year reunion


On Friday, November 29, Notre Dame Prep's Class of 2008 celebrated its 5-year reunion at the Rochester Mills Beer Company in downtown Rochester, MI. More than 50 classmates and guests enjoyed catching up over the holiday weekend. Special thanks to the reunion planning chairpersons, Shannon Bartlett and Katie Berlin. View more photos at our Facebook page.  


170 Notre Dame alums and students run in Detroit's Turkey Trot


More than 170 Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy students, alumni, faculty and friends supported The Parade Company by running in the Thanksgiving Day 10K Turkey Trot, 5K Stuffing Strut, 15K Drumstick Double or Mashed Potato Mile. View the list of participants.  


"Southeast Michigan and the City of Detroit has a wonderful running community and the Turkey Trot is one of the premier races in the region," said ND vice president Andy Guest, who is also the school's assistant cross country coach. "We thought the race would be a great way for our students to experience the City of Detroit while doing something healthy, fun and positive on Thanksgiving morning."


Guest said that despite the snow and 19-degree temperature, more than 170 members of the Notre Dame community, including alums from Notre Dame High School and Notre Dame Prep, showed up downtown to run. "Our first ND Turkey Trot meet-up was a huge success," he said. Thirty of the school's "trotters" took one of its buses from the Pontiac campus and met up with other members of the community at 7 a.m. for a large, group photo near the statue of Joe Louis in the lobby of Cobo Center. The first 100 participants received a commemorative Notre Dame "Go Irish" Turkey Trot button. View more photos at our Facebook page.  
Nick Hafner '10 earns position in USAF Pilot Training Program 

Notre Dame Prep alum Nick Hafner ('10) just received his assignment from the United States Air Force to attend pilot training after graduating from the US Air Force Academy. He currently is a senior at the academy.


A physics major at the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based academy, Hafner's concentration is in laser dynamics with a minor in Russian. During his three-plus years at the USAF Academy, he's traveled to Russia for language study and spent time at an Air Force base in South Dakota where he flew in a Blackhawk helicopter and taxied a B-1 bomber. In addition, he is an instructor pilot for gliders and has flown over 250 training sorties.


Hafner and fellow Air Force cadet Ruairi McGreevy '12 (NDP) visited the Notre Dame campus in November and spoke with current students about careers in the Air Force.

Above right, US Air Force cadet Nick Hafner ('10) poses with the glider he uses to train other future pilots. Hafner received an assignment to a highly coveted position in pilot-training school, which he will start after his senior year at the academy.
Alumna leads ND's Student Ambassador Program

Emily Giacona '01 (NDP), associate dean of admissions, administers Notre Dame's Student Ambassador Program. The program includes 38 sophomores, juniors and seniors who have been nominated by teachers and administrators, and ultimately chosen by the admissions department, to help bring the message and mission of NDPMA to prospective students and families. They are "responsible for projecting and fostering a warm and welcoming atmosphere for anyone interested in Notre Dame, which could be both on or off campus," according to the program application.

Giacona says these students are chosen through a highly competitive selection process and have a hugely important job in assisting with recruiting efforts. "We look for students who are friendly, articulate, outgoing and have a good grasp of what our school is about." she says. "They love Notre Dame, embrace the mission and live it!"

The ambassadors, informally known as the
"A-Team," are critical to the work her
department does. "Especially in the fall, when we are doing lots of school tours as well as many events and visits at the various elementary and parochial schools in the area, these kids provide a much-needed hand with just about everything. There are scholar banquets, freshmen icebreakers, the corn roast, open house and we visit about 30 schools in the area, mostly in the fall. It's really a crazy time for us."  
More than 400 participate in Alumni Constituent Survey


On November 21, Notre Dame distributed via email an invitation to 4,151 alumni (those with valid email addresses on file) to participate in a 22-question constituent survey. The survey was developed by the Notre Dame Alumni Association Board of Directors in partnership with the Advancement Office, and was administered by Survey Monkey. Its purpose was to gauge overall interest and attitude toward current and potential future alumni programming, events and communications.


We are pleased to report that 405 alumni completed the survey by the deadline of December 15. Of this number, 56% were graduates of Notre Dame High School, 36% were graduates of Notre Dame Prep, 6% were graduates of Pontiac Catholic, and the remaining 2% were graduates of St. Frederick, St. Michael and Oakland Catholic. Results will be analyzed and reviewed by the school and at the board level. Thank you to all who participated. 

NDP to collaborate with Harvard on astrophysics program  


Notre Dame Prep has been selected to participate in an astrophysics program through Harvard University that will enable students to access sophisticated telescopes and software for the study of planets and stars outside our own solar system.

In a field test for the "Laboratory for the Study of Exoplanets: Fostering Data Literacy" program, students in science teacher Sue McGinnis' astronomy class will participate in a two-week program sponsored by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in the spring of 2014. The program will allow NDP juniors and seniors to access telescopes remotely online and use image-processing software and interactive models to detect and describe other worlds' orbiting planets beyond the Earth's own planetary system, typically called exoplanets. Full Story 
NDPMA debater places among top three in the state 


Sarah Huttenlocher, a senior at Notre Dame Preparatory School, earned a place as one of the state's top three Lincoln-Douglas debaters at the Detroit Catholic Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas qualifier at Birmingham's Roeper School on December 4.


The Lincoln-Douglas debate format is a style of debate used in many high school competitions and occasionally the political arena. Most center on moral or ethical issues and the debate style is named for the famous American senatorial race debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas.


According to NDP debate coach LeAnne Schmidt, Huttenlocher, who is captain of the debate team, will be representing NDP and the Archdiocese of Detroit at the National Catholic Forensic League's Grand National Tournament in Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend. 
NDPMA participates in National Hour of Code 


On December 9, students at Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy joined millions of students around the country in a nationwide campaign which called on every K-12 student in America to join an "Hour of Code." The initiative, sponsored by, a non-profit dedicated to promoting computer science education, asked schools, teachers and parents across the country to help introduce more than 10 million students of all ages to computer programming during Computer Science Education Week, December 9-15, 2013. The organization also announced the support of multiple organizations and individuals, including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Reid Hoffman and Jack Dorsey.  

Full Story    

8th grader earns spot in Meadow Brook's 'A Christmas Carol' 

 Isabella Ignagni is an eighth-grade student at Notre Dame's middle division. She currently is part of Meadow Brook Theatre's production of

Isabella Ignagni, an eighth grader at Notre Dame Marist Academy, has been a regular in this season's production of Meadow Brook Theatre's "A Christmas Carol," which is running through December 22.

Acting and singing as a "Fan" and "Londoner" in the holiday classic, now in its 32nd year at Meadow Brook, Ignagni says she is very excited to be part of the show after what she described as a pretty extensive audition process. She has performed in the past for the Peanut Gallery Players in "Comic Book Artists," "McQuadles" and "The Music Man." Information on Meadow Brook Theatre is here.

Art Department chair illustrates newly published children's book 
Sandra LewAllen illustrated Nancy Carabio Belanger's new book "The Gate."


Notre Dame upper-school art department chair Sandra LewAllen's artwork is featured prominently on a new book released by Harvey House Publishing called "The Gate." The book is the third written by children's book author Nancy Carabio Belanger, all of which have been illustrated by LewAllen.


"The Gate" has been called a novel "that radiates the dignity of the priesthood and the discovery of God's calling for each of us." Cheryl Dickow, president of Bazalel Books, says Belanger's new book "knocks it out of the park!" LewAllen also illustrated Belanger's "Olivia and the Little Way" and "Olivia's Gift."  

Notre Dame sixth graders go to school with students in Australia


Sixth graders in Ginny Pauwels' Notre Dame Marist Academy class recently shared class time via Skype with sixth-grade students in Australia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. According to Pauwels, the hardest part was organizing the sessions. "But it was a great experience for the students," she said.
"For the last session, Pennsylvania, I had to borrow a class because the only time other class available was my prep period. So, Eric Taylor brought his choir class down to my classroom."

After discussing a novel with the students in the Pennsylvania session, ND students sang one of their Christmas songs for the Pennsylvania sixth graders. "Then, they wanted to sing a song for us," Pauwels said. "So they started in on a song by One Direction. Of course, our kids all knew the song, so they joined in. How cool to hear both classes singing together!

Above right: Notre Dame middle school students communicate via Skype with students in Australia. NDPMA is aggressively using the latest technology to enhance the "world school" experience for all students.
Addison Oaks Christmas Tree Farm - Frank Rimi '71 (NDHS)

It's that time of the year when we will be putting up our Christmas trees! Here's a chance to support Notre Dame and a Notre Dame High School alumni business. 


For each tree sold, Addison Oaks Christmas Tree Farm will donate $5 back to Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy. The tree farm is owned and operated by Frank Rimi '71 (NDHS), his wife Cathy Rimi and their three sons. The 20-acre site was first planted as a tree farm in 1988 and features rolling, scenic topography. The farm is nestled between two parks in northern Oakland Townshop. Visit for a map and information.


Be sure to print out the Donation Coupon and present it at the time of purchase. 


Hours: Sat. & Sun. 9 - 5, weekdays noon -5. Special hours on holidays. 


NDPMA seeking substitute teachers  

Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is looking for substitute teachers to work periodically throughout the school year. Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree. If you are interested, please contact vice principal Shari Derico at

List of  upcoming class reunions:


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 1959, 55-year

55-Year Reunion Planning Committee in formation for a 2014 reunion event. Volunteers needed to join the committee. Please contact Ron Kolito at  


NDHS Class of 1964, 50-year

50-year reunion planning committee in formation - volunteers needed! Please contact Paul Perse at if you are interested in helping.


NDHS Class of 1965, 50-year

50-Year Reunion being planned for 2015. Details TBA. The committee is looking to update e-mail addresses and contact information. Reunion Committee: Dennis Berger,, (909) 223-4483; Fr. Leon Olszamowski,


NDHS Class of 1984, 30-year

Reunion to be held in 2014 is in the early planning stages. Reunion committee contacts: Todd Grzelewski, tsg663@aol.comPaul Gaynor,; and Andy Guest,  


NDHS Class of 1986, 30-year

Will be planning a 30-year reunion for 2016. Reunion Committee: John Kaminski jkaminski1700@yahoo.comH: (612) 822-4759 C: (952) 261-5546; Dan O'Brien (248) 840-8391; Paul Arnone; Stephen Schultz; Jonathan Zaidan


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

NDP Class of 2009, 5-year

5-year reunion will be planned for 2014. If you are interested in helping, please contact one of your class captains or the advancement office. Class Captain contacts: Alayna Lekosiotis,; Victoria Thompson,


St. Michael, 25th Annual All School Reunion 

Sunday, September 21, 2014. Details TBA.

2014 Reunions -  Seeking class volunteers to plan the following reunions: 

NDP Class of 1999, 15-year

NDP Class of 2004, 10-year

NDP Class of 2009, 5-year

NDHS Class of 1959, 55-year

NDHS Class of 1964, 50-year

NDHS Class of 1969, 45-year

NDHS Class of 1974, 40-year

NDHS Class of 1979, 35-year

NDHS Class of 1994, 20-year

NDHS Class of 1999, 15-year

NDHS Class of 2004, 10-year

PC/OC all class years ending in 4 and 9. 

Contact the alumni office at


For a complete list of reunions and event details, visit

We pray for those who have died:    
Michael Zalewski '92 (NDHS), brother of David Zalewski '87 (NDHS). 11-22-13
Tim McEvoy '64 (NDHS), brother of Thomas McEvoy '59 (NDHS) and Charles McEvoy '62 (NDHS). 11-10-13

Norbert E. Nowicki '59 (NDHS), brother of Robert Nowicki '67 (NDHS). Brother-in-law of Ronald Steffens '60 (NDHS). Uncle of Ronald Stephens '95 (NDHS). 10-14-13


We pray for the sick:    


Christopher Havrilla '97 (NDHS), earlier this year underwent an emergency donor cornea transplant for a work-related accident in the Coast Guard. Christopher's donor cornea was rejected and he will be undergoing another surgery after the holidays. The Havrilla family appreciates your continued prayers for Chris to regain sight in his right eye. 
Kelly Smith, wife of Jeffery Smith '78 (PC), who was diagnosed earlier this year with stage 4 cancer. Kelly is faithful and believes that God will bring healing to her body. Please keep her in your prayers. 
Lawrence Potwardowski '74 (NDHS), brother of Jim Potwardowski '76 (NDHS), who underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery on October 28. 
Barbara Boiteau, sister of Frank Roche '67 (NDHS).

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

Lisa Denardo,
wife of Frank Denardo '89 (NDHS) who is battling cancer. Lisa is the sister-in-law of Tony Denardo '90 (NDHS) and Joe Denardo '96 (NDHS).

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), who is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for stage 3 ovarian cancer.

Joey Caretti,
the 13-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.

Marne Housey, wife of Michael Housey '84 (NDHS). The family wishes to thank everyone for their prayers, and asks that you continue to pray that Marne remains cancer-free.  

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. at Fr. Colin House

27 - All School Liturgy, 9 am in gymnasium

30 - Alumni Art Show Opening Night Reception, 7 pm - 9 pm



1 through 6 - Alumni Art Show at NDPMA, weekdays 8 am - 3 pm

11 - All School Liturgy, 9 am in gymnasium

11- Alumni Association Board of Directors Meeting, 6:00 p.m. at Fr. Colin House