Notre Dame Alumni E-Newsletter
January 2014 
In This Issue
Alumni Art Show
Alumni Survey Results
Alex Rink '10 (NDP)
Michael Koch '75 (NDHS)
Rose Bowl Performers
Doug Weight '89 (NDHS)
Greg Simon '89 (NDHS)
Alice and Wonderland Jr.
Killer Bees
15 reasons why....
NDPMA Hiring!
Class Reunions
Prayers for Alumni
Event Calendar
Quick Links

Dear , 



If you've already received this email from us please accept our apology.

Last Thursday, the company we use to distribute our emails, Constant Contact, had an issue which stopped our email from reaching all of our alumni. We were notified by Constant Contact that only half of our alumni received the January e-newsletter. We wanted to be sure you received this email, but had no way to determine if it was mailed to you or not.


Happy New Year to all of our alumni!


Some of you may remember me from last year, my name is Karen Novak-Guest. I am filling in again for Alumni Relations Director Rachel Miller at Notre Dame while she is out on maternity leave.


I am very happy to announce that Rachel and Tommy Miller, along with big brother James, welcomed a beautiful daughter to their family. Annemarie Claire Miller was born on December 31st. 


We have many exciting events going on at the school in the upcoming weeks. Get out of this arctic weather and come to the 5th annual alumni art show or come and see the Marist Players perform in Alice and Wonderland Jr.


We have many interesting features in this months e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it.


As always, I look forward to working with the alumni during the next few months. If you have any questions or alumni news or updates (IRISH is in production), please feel free to contact me at I would love to hear from you.




Karen Novak-Guest, filling in for Rachel (Alexander) Miller '00 (NDP)

Director of Alumni Relations


Alumni Art Show 2014
Opening night reception on Thursday, January 30, 2014
Show runs January 30 - February 6, 2014


Are you an 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 people! There is no fee to participate in the show. 


Come and see art from alumni from the Classes of '70 through '13.


Register to participate and submit artwork by January 23: 


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.


Alumni who would like to submit their art, please call (248) 373-2171, ext. 3, or email


An opening night reception will be held 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 to 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 at the reception.   

Alumni survey results are in and we have a winner 


Survey findings show that alumni, in general, are happy with the current offerings of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, its communications and events. Alumni report positive feelings toward NDPMA and toward membership in the alumni association. While alumni are generally happy to be a part of the association and to receive our news, they often have low interest in availability or opportunity to attend our events. 


Of the 405 alumni who completed the survey, 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. The purpose of the survey was to gauge overall interest and attitude toward current and future alumni programming, events and communications.


Some of the results of the survey were:


*Alumni prefer to receive news from the school and alumni association through IRISH magazine and the the monthly alumni e-newsletter.


*Favorite alumni events are homecoming, Tigers outing, Traveling Irish events and class reunions.


*When asked, "What would bring you back to Notre Dame,?" many alums said "a class reunion event" or other events where they could see their classmates.  


Each alum who completed the survey was entered into a random drawing to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Congratulations goes out to the lucky winner, Michael Slubowski '72 (NDHS). Once again, thank you to all who participated and GO IRISH! 

IB prepared U-M junior Alex Rink '11 (NDP) well for college 

Notre Dame graduate Alex Rink ('11) is in his third year at the University of Michigan, studying mechanical engineering. He's got his sights set on a career in the automotive industry, planning for an eventual manufacturing position with Ford Motor Co.


It goes without saying that engineering at U-M is a pretty intense and time-consuming major.  But for Rink, while challenging at times, his studies at Michigan would have been a lot tougher had it not been for his Notre Dame Prep education and especially NDP's International Baccalaureate program. 


It hasn't been all math, science and engineering for Rink since matriculating to Michigan. He's been a member of the U-M Men's Glee Club since his freshman year, and he again credits his high school for giving him a head start. "Some of my favorite memories from NDP are the experiences I had in the Notre Dame Prep Men's Glee Club with Mr. David Fazzini. Although I miss the tradition and camaraderie of that group, I have been able to take those experiences and expand them further with the U-M club." 


To see Alex's complete story featured in the recent Blarney Stone, click here.   

Rink '11 performing with U-M's Men's Glee Club
Michael Koch '75 (NDHS) inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame 


Recently in 2013, Michael Koch '75 (NDHS) received one of the highest honors that an individual in the confectionery industry can receive, as he was inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame. Koch is co-owner of the Morley Candy Makers and Sanders Candy based in Clinton Township, Micighan.  
Koch's career started in 1973 with Morley Candy Makers in then East Detroit when he applied for a part-time job as a post-production cleaner. He attended Gannon University and in 1980 completed the Retail Confectioners International Gus Pulakos International Candy school program. Koch became Morley's head candy maker and kept that position for fifteen years. Over the years he also held the following positions at Morley: maintenance supervisor, quality control director, warehouse manager, director of research and development, and vice president of manufacturing. In 2008, Koch became part owner of the company.

Koch feels that it's important for people to get involved. "We strengthen the industry when we work together for its betterment," he said. In fact, he serves on the Boards of Directors of the RCI (Retail Confectioners International) and the NCA (National Confectioners Association), is a past president of the RCI (Retail Confectioners International), a member of the AACT (American Association of Candy Technologist) and has been a frequent speaker at RCI and AACT conferences.

To see Koch's complete story and press release from the National Confectionery Sales Association Candy Hall of Fame, click here.
Three NDP alum smell the roses 


For Whitney Lorenz '12 (NDP), Cara Stewart '12 (NDP) and Christopher George '10 (NDP) not only did they get to go to this year's Rose Bowl game on New Years Day to cheer on MSU, they got to perform in the halftime show with the Michigan State University marching band! 
Lorenz, who carries a Big 10 flag, and Stewart are on MSU's flag team and George plays trumpet in the band. What an awesome and exciting experience for them to perform in the halftime show of our Big Ten Champs!  
Go Spartans!
Doug Weight '89 (NDHS) inducted into the U. S. Hockey Hall of Fame 


In early December, Doug Weight '89 (NDHS) was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Before turning pro, Weight played for Junior A Compuware and Lake Superior State.
During his nineteen-year National Hockey League career, he played for the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues and New York Islanders. In total, he had 278 goals and 755 assists. He finished his career with the Islanders, wearing the captain's "C" on his chest. 

Gregory Simon, long-time NDPMA faculty member and NDHS alum, named to advancement team


With more than 19 years as a teacher, coach, moderator and administrator at NDPMA, Gregory Simon is looking forward to challenging alumni and friends of Notre Dame in his new role as Notre Dame annual fund director. When asked "why fundraising?" the reply from Simon was simple: "From tuition assistance to the arts, faculty development to technology, our future here at Notre Dame depends on healthy fundraising. I'm tremendously proud of our school, but we have so much more we can accomplish for students."


To contribute to the Notre Dame Annual Fund,  

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

 Four NDP band students make the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association 2014 All-District Honors Band


(L to R) Senior Danielle Mullis, oboe, junior Joe Greene, bassoon, sophmore Roger Valade, tenor sax and junior Kyle Weaver, trombone

NDP students Danielle Mullis, Joe Greene, Roger Valade and Kyle Weaver made the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association 2014 All-District Honors band, which performed Saturday, January 11, at Clarkston High School. They were under the direction of guest conductor, Daniel Tembras from Indiana University-Purdue University of Fort Wayne and many other fine band directors from District 4. 

Notre Dame Marist Players present Disney's "Alice in Wonderland Jr.
January 24 through 26


Ever wonder 'what's the right thing to say to a talking rabbit?' Find out later this weekend when the Notre Dame Marist Players present Disney's "Alice in Wonderland Jr.," which begins January 24.

Dates and show times: Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24 and 25, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. All performances will be in the NDPMA cafeterium at 1300 Giddings, Rd., Pontiac.

Alice in Wonderland Jr. is a stage adaption of the 1951 film "Alice in Wonderland" and it was created specifically for school and community theater productions. To find out more information regarding the play click here.

Big bulky backpacks will soon be disappearing at NDPMA. 


Notre Dame is in the midst of dramatically upgrading classroom hardware and software to ensure students have access to some of the best learning technology in the world.


Notre Dame's own aggressive push into digital technology took its own big step forward last month as administration officials signed the dotted line on an agreement to access tablets for a pilot program scheduled to begin early this semester in the school's middle and upper divisions.


Joanne Widmaier, Notre Dame's registrar and academic technology coordinator, said everything is on track for full one-to-one digital access by August. All students in Notre Dame's second through fifth grades already are using tablets-Apple iPads-which are fully integrated into the daily curriculum, Widmaier noted, and she says the first graders in particular are well engaged, especially with the mathematics apps. 


A parents meeting to discuss the cost and the schedule for rollout of all of the middle and upper division tablets is planned for this semester. The school also plans to schedule "boot camp" training sessions during the next summer break. To see the complete feature article, click here 

Notre Dame robotics team gets grant from Chrysler Foundation


ND's Killer Bees were one of 30 teams in Michigan to receive a grant from the foundation, which has supported school robotics for more than 15 years.
The Chrysler Foundation, the primary source by which Chrysler LLC supports hundreds of charitable organizations with an emphasis on community and education, has given a grant of $5,000 to the robotics team of Notre Dame Prep. According to the Bees, the grant will be used to help the team fund participation in regional, state and national events. 
To see the full story and watch a video produced in 2013 by The Chrysler Foundation, in which the Bees have one of the starring roles, click here.
15 reasons why we all love Notre Dame !


We are into a new year, and we are seeing many "Top 10" or "Top 20," etc., lists, including 2013's best movies, books, albums, and on and on. What better way to start the new year by adding to the chatter, we at Notre Dame proudly offer in no particular order our own list of the "Top 15" reasons we think NDPMA is clearly the best school in Michigan. 


* Experienced, talented and caring faculty, staff and administration


* A beautiful campus - now including all three divisions

* Only school in Michigan with International Baccalaureate for students in

   jr. kindergarten through high school

* An aggressive technology plan in place for students and faculty


* Notre Dame students and teachers, who regularly put their Catholic faith into

   action in the community

* A lower-school program that focuses on the "whole child" as an inquirer, both in

   the classroom and in the world

* A middle-school curriculum that encourages students to embrace the

   connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical

   and reflective thinkers


* More than 50 music, theatre and visual-arts opportunities

* One of the largest non-university athletic programs in the state


* Affiliation with the Society of Mary, which through the Marist Fathers and

   Brothers provides the spiritual foundation for our school

* A world-class alumni association

* The Notre Dame Prep Class of 2013 (189 students):
    - earned more than 500 college scholarships, totaling nearly $17 million, 

      averaging $88,000+ per graduate
    - included 30 valedictorians, all with GPAs of 4.35 or higher
    - averaged 27.00 on the ACT, 38 of whom scored 30+
    - accepted to 128 colleges and universities

* All Notre Dame students, who this year have performed Christian service for

   more than 300 non-profit organizations

* Outstanding athletic facilities, including three gymnasiums


* More than 200 athletic championships to date, including a state title in volleyball

   this year!


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 1974, 40-year

40-Year Reunion Planning Committee in formation for a 2014 reunion event. Volunteers needed to join the committee. Reunion to be held possibly at Notre Dame Prep. Please contact Carlo Vitale at  

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:     
Robert Orrico, '74 (NDHS), brother of Frank Orrico '76 (NDHS) and Michael Orrico '81 (NDHS). 12-16-13  
Dr. Charles Marinelli '68 (NDHS). 12-12-13
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), Ron Potwardowski '78 (NDHS) and Michael Potwardowski '82 (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).

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!      



24 - 26 Marist Players Alice and Wonderland Jr. 

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



24 - NDPMA Parents Club Annual Fashion Show at Cherry Creek Golf Club