Notre Dame Alumni E-Newsletter
February 2014 
In This Issue
Hearts Aglow Gala
NDPMA Fashion Show
Grand Anniversary Dinner
Alumni Art Show
Mark Binelli '88 (NDHS)
Tom Durkin '00 (NDP)
Mark Cendrowski '77 (NDHS)
MacKenzie Chesley '11 (NDP)
NDP Students Sign to Play
NDPMA Open Houses
Art Students Receive Awards
Class Reunions
Prayers for Alumni
Event Calendar
Quick Links

Dear , 



Greetings from your alumni office.


Aside from being very cold, February has been a busy month here at school. We had students marching for the right to life in D.C., our annual alumni art show, students signing up to play college sports and faculty and students receiving many awards. We also have many interesting features in this month's e-newsletter.


The upcoming months are even busier. Mark your calendar for the Hearts Aglow Gala on March 1, the NDPMA Fashion Show and Shopping Gala on March 24, and the Grand Anniversary Dinner Celebration on Saturday, April 12. 


The school will also host two open houses in March. So come on out and visit us. 


If you have any questions or alumni news or updates, please feel free to contact me at I would love to hear from you.  


Let's all think spring! It has to be around the corner.


Irish Blessings! 


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

Director of Alumni Relations


Hearts Aglow Gala
Sunday, March 1, 2014 


Mark your calendars for the "Hearts Aglow" 10-Year Anniversary Gala for the Catholic Community Response Team (CCRT) on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at the Notre Dame cafeteria (6:30- 9:30 p.m.). The evening will include craft beer and wine tasting, appetizers and a silent auction.

Proceeds from this event will help out many of our neighbors in Pontiac.

NDPMA parents, alumni and friends are invited to attend this fun event and help those in need while doing so. To purchase tickets ($40 each), please contact Joe Pauwels at or 248-736-1150. To get more information regarding this event click, here.
Fashion Show and Shopping Gala
Monday, March 24, 2014 


The Parents Club of 
Notre Dame Preparatory School 
and Marist Academy 
cordially invites you to attend 
our 17th Annual Fashion Show 
and Shopping Gala 
Fiesta de Flamenco! 
On Monday, March 24, 2014 
Cherry Creek Golf Club 
52000 Cherry Creek Dr. 
Shelby Twp., MI 48316 
6:00 p.m.-Cocktails & Shopping 
7:30 p.m.-Dinner 
8:30 p.m.-Fashion Show 
 For information, contact Carolann Giacomantonio at 586-207-1276. Click here for invite. 
Grand Anniversary Dinner Celebration
Saturday, April 12, 2014. Please Save the Date!   




Please join us for a fun, casual, adult evening to celebrate the Grand Anniversary of Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The San Marino Club
1685 E. Big Beaver Road in Troy

Cocktails * Dinner * Entertainment * Dancing

This will be a night of celebrating the past and looking forward to a great future!





2014 Alumni Art Show a Success  



This year's fifth annual alumni art show ran from January 30 to February 6 in the lobby of NDPMA. Twenty artists from Notre Dame Preparatory School and Notre Dame High School, ranging from the Classes of 1970 to 2013, displayed their art at the show.  


The show kicked off on Thursday night, January 30, with an art show reception. Despite the cold weather and a couple more inches of snow that evening, many people came out to view the art, visit with friends and enjoy the appetizers and beverages. A fun time was had by all!  



Share your update in the upcoming issue of  IRISH magazine  


Have news you'd like to share with your classmates? Send your personal update to the alumni office, and we'll try to get it into the "Class Notes" section of the upcoming Spring 2013 issue of IRISH magazine.  


Submit your news to Rachel (Alexander) Miller '00 (NDP) at

Author Mark Binelli '88 (NDHS) pens cover story for Rolling Stone  


Notre Dame High School graduate Mark Binelli ('88) wrote the cover story for the February issue of the Rolling Stone magazine. Binelli's feature story is titled "Pope Francis: The Times They Are A-Changin". 


To see Mark's complete cover story, click here.


 Tom Durkin '00  (NDP) Auto Engineer making waves in the Industry


Tom Durkin '00 (NDP), third from left, is with fellow GM employees after the Chevrolet Volt earned Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year award in 2011.

The 2014 North American International Auto Show just wrapped up the end of January. The gate on the show's last day was 102,153, which brought the total ticketed attendance of the 2014 show to 803,451. 

With that as a backdrop, we thought we'd reconnect with a Notre Dame Prep alum who already has had a major impact on the auto industry even though he's still relatively a rookie within the business. Tom Durkin graduated from Notre Dame Prep in 2000. He was featured in the spring 2010 edition of IRISH magazine, Notre Dame's main alumni publication. In the article, he talked about the time he-as an engineer for General Motors-had put in during the development of Chevrolet's innovative electric hybrid vehicle, the Volt. To read Tom's complete story, click here

Mark Cendrowski '77 (NDHS) talks about the long road to Hollywood 


Mark Cendrowski '77 (NDHS) directs the big hit TV comedy The Big Bang Theory. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and each year he gets back to Ann Arbor from L.A. to conduct various workshops for students in U-M's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. 
In addition to the Big Bang Theory, Cendrowski has worked on a number of other series, including episodes of Yes Dear, Still Standing, According to Jim, and Rules of Engagement.


During one of his Ann Arbor visits, Cendrowski talks about his time in high school and college, and the long road he traveled to get to his dream job in Hollywood. To view the short video, click here
MacKenzie Chesley '11 (NDP) breaking records on the swim team at Albion College


Story from


There were moments when former Pontiac Notre Dame Prep swimmer and Rochester native MacKenzie Chesley wasn't sure she wanted to continue competing in a sport she has been involved with since childhood.


Although swimming had brought her a lot of enjoyment, Chesley didn't know if she wanted to attempt balancing college with competitive swimming. After giving it some thought, she realized that she didn't want to give it up.


To see MacKenzie's full story, click here.  

Three NDP student athletes sign to play at college level
     Jermaih Johnson (left), Taylor Timko (center), and Brenden Newvine

On what is traditionally the annual national signing day for high schoolers heading to college to play football, Notre Dame Prep did indeed host a signing ceremony on campus for three of its student-athletes. Three seniors from NDP signed to play college athletics.

Jermaih Johnson has committed to play football next year at Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, Michigan; Brenden Newvine has signed to play football at Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio; and Taylor Timko, who also was a key member of NDP's football team, will be playing soccer for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Congratulations, Jermaih, Brenden and Taylor! Go Cardinals, Yellow Jackets and Wolverines!


 More than 40 students from Notre Dame March for Life in D.C. 


NDP students in Washington D.C., for March for Life. They are on the steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

More than 40 students from Notre Dame's upper division were in Washington, D.C., again this year to participate in the 41st annual March for Life, which was held at the National Mall in the nation's capitol. They joined hundreds of other young people in the "Champions for Life" from many Catholic high schools in the Detroit area as well as a number of public schools and homeschooling groups. 


The March for Life in Washington, D.C., began as a small demonstration and rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world. This year will mark the 41st March for Life in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of thousands of people participated in the march in 2013, and crowds are expected to keep growing as young people from around the country participate.

School  day open house  
March 4 (lower and middle divisions) and March 11 (upper division) 


Notre Dame will be host two school day open house events in March.


School day open house for Notre Dame's lower and middle divisions takes place on Tuesday, March 4, and for the upper division takes place a week later on Tuesday, March 11.    


Both open houses will allow prospective parents an opportunity to sit in classrooms and watch Notre Dame students and teachers in action. 


Six NDP artists get scholastic Art Awards   

"Emergence" by Brennan Eagle
Six student artists at Notre Dame Prep earned awards from the Southeastern Michigan Region of the Scholastic Art competition. Over 5,000 pieces of art were entered in this year's competition and NDP earned three Gold Keys, the highest category of the annual art awards, which were initiated in 1923 by New York City-based Scholastic Corporation. The Southeastern Michigan Region is sponsored by Detroit's College for Creative Studies.

The students are:
Junior Thomas Aiello: Photography (Gold Key), Photography (Honorable Mention) 
Senior Erika Cryderman: Drawing (Gold Key) 
Junior Brennan Eagle: Sculpture (Gold Key) 
Senior Gwendolen Keller: Photography (Silver Key) 
Senior Mary Taormino: Drawing (Silver Key) 
Senior Ziyuan Zhang: Photography (Silver Key)

To see the complete story and art work of each artist click here.
NDPMA Teacher Named one of 200 nationwide for fellowship 

Notre Dame Marist Academy middle division science teacher Katherine Thomas has been selected for the 2013-2014 fellowship program in the prestigious National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) New Science Teacher Academy. She is one of only 200 in the United States chosen by NSTA, the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning.

Selected from more than a thousand applications nationwide, Thomas and 199 other Fellows will participate in a host of science-related activities and professional learning opportunities designed to help promote quality science teaching, enhance teacher confidence and classroom excellence and improve teacher content knowledge. To read Katherine's story click here.   



Marists set up two new missions 
The Marists (Society of Mary), who operate Notre Dame in Pontiac and have ministries around the world, have opened up two new mission locations in Papua New Guinea, near Australia in the North Solomon Islands. Bishop Bernard Unabali of Bougainville, which is an island in Papua New Guinea with an 80% Catholic population, writes about the openings:

"Today there are 18 local diocesan priests with three deacons to be ordained later this year for a total of 22 priests, including myself. In addition, there are 11 Marist priests born and raised on Bougainville. Six of those Marist priests work on Bougainville today. Also, there are two Marist bishops from Bougainville working in the South Pacific. One is the bishop of Wanawatu [Vanuatu] Islands and the other is the auxiliary bishop in the South Solomon Islands. The first two priests were ordained on Bougainville in 1953, only five years before I went to Bougainville. God has blessed the Church on Bougainville. Today the bishop and priests are all native Bougainvillians."
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 tentatively planned for Mary 17, 2014 at Park Bar in downtown Detroit. Details to follow soon. For more information or 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. Frederick All School Reunion - New Date!

Sunday, September 14, 2014. Memorial Mass will be on Sunday at 11 am at St. Vincent dePaul Catholic Church. Luncheon will be at 1:00 pm at the Santia Banquet Center, 1985 Cass Lake Road, Keego Harbor, MI. More details will follow in the upcoming months. 


St. Michael, 25th Annual All School Reunion 

Sunday, September 21, 2014. Mass and reception will be held at Notre Dame Preparatory and Marist Academy. 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:     
David Lehrman, '59 (NDHS).  7-6-13 
Lindsay Kachel, '78 (NDHS), brother of Allan Kachel '72 (NDHS) and David Kachel '75 (NDHS). 12-23-13 
Daniel Pruente, '55 (SM),  brother of Ernie Pruente '51 (SM), Thomas Pruente '54 (SM), Sister Mary Catherine Pruente '58 (SM), Paul Pruente '60 (SM) and the late Frank Pruente '48 (SM). 2-3-14

Matthew Strickler, '83 (PC). 2-3-14
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. 

Dave Ayrault, former NDHS development director and husband of Merrie Gay former NDHS teacher, is undergoing cancer treatment. The family appreciates your continued prayers.
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!      



 1 -  Hearts Aglow Gala at ND cafeteria 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

 4 -  School Day Open House Lower and Middle Divisions   

11 - School Day Open House Upper Division

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

17 - All School Liturgy, 9 am in gymnasium 

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




 8  - Alumni Association Board of Directors Meeting, 6:00 p.m. at Fr. Colin House
12 - Grand Anniversary Dinner at San Marino Club
28 - All School Liturgy, 9 am in gymnasium - St. Peter Chanel Feast Day  



16 - Big Band Dinner Dance at LaFayette Grand, Pontiac., MI