Notre Dame Alumni E-Newsletter
March 2014 
In This Issue
NDPMA Fashion Show
Grand Anniversary Dinner
NDPMA Job Openings
Giving Page for Bill Skwarczewski '03 (NDP)
Bill Jennison '03 (NDHS) Fundraiser
NCAA Player Kellen McCormick '12 (NDP)
Brendan Johnson '12 (NDP)
Lake Orion Wiffle Ball Association
NDP Class of 2003 Donation
Rachel (Miller) Alexander '00 (NDP)
Lower Division Robotics
Twelfth Night NDP Players
Maureen Whidden
Class Reunions
Prayers for Alumni
Event Calendar
Quick Links

Dear , 



Greetings from your alumni office.


As the Fighting Irish, what better day then St. Patty's Day for our students to celebrate the beginning of Irish week here at the school. Our students are geared up for Irish Week and the long-held tradition of the Irish Games competition taking place all this week, and as always the seniors will be fighting hard for the championship! 


We have some great events coming up in the next several weeks. Don't forgot the NDPMA Parent's Club Fashion Show and Shopping Gala this Monday, the 24th. Come out and see the NDP Players production of "Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare" the weekend of March 28. And all alumni are invited to the Grand Anniversary Dinner on Saturday, April 12. It would be great to have you at all of these events. 


We have several job openings in the Advancement department and the school is also looking for a head football coach. So be sure to check out the job listings in this e-newsletter. 


Spring has to be around the corner because many of the spring sports have started up here at school. You will see the track team, softball, and baseball teams trying to practice outside. Let's hope all this white stuff melts and we start to see green grass in the next few weeks.


So far this year, we are celebrating strong increases in new student enrollment for the coming school year, as well as very positive growth in alumni giving to the annual fund. 


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



Irish Blessings! 


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

Director of Alumni Relations


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 join the Notre Dame community for a fun, casual, adult evening to celebrate the anniversaries of the Marist Fathers and Brothers, Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, Notre Dame High School, and Pontiac/Oakland Catholic High School.

 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!
Ticket price is: $55.00 per person 


For more information and to purchase tickets,

click here. 


Job openings at NDPMA 


We have several job openings here at NDPMA. 


Major gifts officer in the advancement department. For job description and more information, click here


Alumni relations director in the advancement department. For job description and more information, click here.


Webmaster in the advancement department. For job description and more information, click here.
Prospect research coordinator in the advancement department. For job description and more information, click here.  
If interested in major gifts officer, alumni relations director, webmaster or prospect research coordinator please submit your resumes to Kathleen McCaffrey, human resources and payroll manager, at
Head football coach. For job description, click here


Giving page set up for injured NDP alum, William Skwarczewski '03 

Bill Skwarczewski '03 (NDP) was injured in a pedestrian/automobile accident around midnight on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Macomb Township. Bill was crossing the street at 21 Mile and Garfield when he was struck by an automobile. He was admitted to Henry Ford Hospital in Macomb Township in extremely critical condition.


Bill's family is asking for your prayers.  


A group of Bill's friends have set up a giving page to help with his hospital bills. They are hoping to raise $5000.00 


To read about Bill's recovery progress or if you would like to help the family out by giving toward Bill's medical bills, click here 


2nd annual Bill Jennison '03 (NDHS) fundraiser  

Notre Dame High School alum, Bill Jennison '03 (NDHS), passed away suddenly on March 26, 2012. In his memory a fundraiser is being held on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at St. Isaac Jogues Church hall in St. Clair Shores. 


There will be 50-50 raffles, prize raffles, silent auction, live auction, music, food and good times. 


For more information on this event, click here 


If you have any questions regarding the event or would like to make a donation toward the event, please contact Lee Dyer '03 (NDHS) at


 NDP alums swim at MIAA conference championship 
Former Notre Dame Prep swimmers, from left, Marin McInerney '13 (NDP), MacKenzie Chesley '11 (NDP), Payton Hoff '13 (NDP) and Kaleigh Mullen '12 (NDP). Chesley, Hoff and Mullen participated in the recent MIAA championship swim meet held at Calvin College.

The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), the nation's oldest athletic conference, hosted their championship swim meet in February at Calvin College in Grand Rapids and three Notre Dame Prep alums did their high school alma mater proud.


MacKenzie Chesley, a junior at Albion (NDP '11), scored 30 points, finishing sixth in the 200 butterfly, seventh in the 400 individual medley, and 12th in the 200 IM. Kaleigh Mullen, a sophomore at Hope (NDP '12), who battled a back injury most of the season, scored nine points, finishing 12th in the 100 freestyle and 13th in the 200 free. And Payton Hoff, a freshman at Hope (NDP '13), scored 11 points, finishing 12th in the 500 free, 12th in the 200 fly, and 16th in the 100 fly.


 Kellen McCormick '12 (NDP) is in the NCAA Basketball Tournament
Kellen McCormick '12 (NDP), who was a key member of Notre Dame Prep's basketball team for four years, plays Thursday night with the Western Michigan Broncos in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Kellen McCormick '12 (NDP), who now plays basketball for the Western Michigan University men's basketball team, will be in Buffalo, NY, Thursday with the rest of his Bronco teammates to take on Syracuse in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.


McCormick was a Class B First-Team All-Stater with the Fighting Irish, averaging 18 points and nine rebounds per game during his senior season. He scored his 1,000th point in a January 2012 matchup with division rival Bishop Foley. A redshirt freshman, he made his collegiate debut and first career start with the Broncos this season against New Mexico State, adding 14 points and four rebounds. He followed that up with 14 points at Hawaii and six points and two rebounds against Alabama A&M. 


McCormick's the third NDP alum to play in the NCAA basketball tournament. Bobbie (Bieszki) Hall '00 (NDP) participated in the NCAA women's tourney with Oakland University and Dave McGlown '98 (NDP) played in the men's with Southern Illinois.


To read more of Kellen's story, click here.  


Alum Brendan Johnson '12 (NDP) chosen for virtual choir project performed at Disneyland  

Brendan Johnson '12 (NDP) was chosen by choral composer and Grammy winner Eric Whitacre to participate in Whitacre's recent virtual choir project for Disney called "Glow." Glow was written especially for the World of Color - Winter Dreams show that premiered last December at Disneyland in California.

Nearly 1500 singers, representing all 50 American states, submitted recordings to be part of the World of Color virtual choir. Each singer learned their corresponding part (tenor, alto, soprano, etc.) to Whitacre's composition and then submitted a video recording of themselves singing the song as their audition. Johnson's video was picked by Whitacre and combined with nearly 1,000 others to create the final three-minute video.

The 'virtual' final performance video then was projected onto water as part of the high-tech light show at Disney's California Adventure Park in Anaheim.


To view the YouTube video "Glow", click here


NDP alumni form Lake Orion Wiffle ball Association (LOWA) 
2013 LOWA Tournament


Back in 2001 Ryan Skalnek '02 (NDP), Rick Vanden Boom '02 (NDP) and Jim Vanden Boom '05 (NDP) got together with a group of their friends, mostly NDP alums, to play a game of wiffle ball. After graduation, the yearly wiffle ball game became a way for them to stay in touch while in college.


Little did they know, this annual wiffle ball game would form the Lake Orion Wiffle ball Association (LOWA) raising thousands of dollars to support our military veterans.  In 2007, they held their first LOWA tournament which raised $1,100 for the local Orion Veterans Memorial. Their fundraising has grown each year. In 2013, after becoming licensed as a non-profit corporation, LOWA raised $9000. LOWA has donated over $18,000 to several veteran charity organizations which include: Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Homefront and Justin Verlander's charity "Wins for Warriors". LOWA is looking to continue to grow their fundraising efforts.


This year's Draft Night charity dinner will be held on Friday July 11, 2014. The wiffle ball tournament with be held on Saturday, July 12. Most of the guys who play in the tournament are NDP alums who come in for the weekend, some from as far as Alaska, Florida, Massachusetts and Colorado. 


Anyone interested in sponsoring or donating, can contact LOWA at or go to


2013 champs (from left to right): Mike Klieman '09 (NDP), Chris Sweeney, Nate Johanson '02 (NDP), Tim Hollis '02 (NDP) and Chad Elliott '02 (NDP)

NDP class of  2003 donates generous gift of money to deceased classmate's children


In November 2013, the NDP class of 2003 hosted their 10-year reunion. With some left over money in addition to a collection taken at the reunion, the class was able to donate $650 to the children's education fund of deceased classmate, Joseph Mitchell '03 (NDP).


Joseph passed away on June 4, 2013, and is survived by three children. 


What a generous gift from the Notre Dame Prep class of 2003!


Two former NDP alums battle it out in hockey game 


Two former captains and teammates of the Notre Dame Prep varsity hockey team, D.J Pagnucco '12 (NDP) on left and P.J. Barron '10 (NDP), played against each other in the first ever hockey game between the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame club hockey teams. Both teams play in the American Collegiate Hockey Association at the Division II level.


A big "thank  you" to Rachel (Alexander) Miller '00 (NDP),  NDP alumni relations director 


NDPMA is sure going to miss Rachel Miller '00 (NDP), our alumni relations director. Rachel announced this month that she will be relocating to Traverse City with her husband, Tommy and their two children, James and Annemarie, as her husband pursues a new job opportunity. 


Rachel was our alumni director for the past two and half years and did an awesome job. Along with all of her Alumni Relation duties, Rachel was the one who worked with Constant Contact to produce this wonderful monthly e-newsletter that goes out to 5000 of our alumni.


Let's all thank Rachel for her hard work here at NDPMA, and wish her good luck and many blessings in her big move. 


Competitive cheer  wins state championship 



On March 1, 2014, the Fighting Irish cheer team won the MHSAA Division 3 Competitive Cheer finals in Grand Rapids. The team's score of 764.04 defeated Comstock Park, which scored 759.68. Last year, the Irish were runners up to Richmond High School. It's the fifth time Notre Dame Prep earned a spot in the state championship round.

Beth Campbell, who is in her second year as head coach, did a great job with this team that itself did a great job representing Notre Dame Prep throughout the season. Finishing their last year as winners were seniors Alyssa Chojnacki, Lauren Chojnacki, Maggie Crowe, Alyssa George, Kayla Piskorowski and Lauren Sadowski.




Two NDP singers-musicians impress on YouTube  
NDP juniors Sarah Ringwood, left, and Emma Watson sing Maroon 5's big hit "Payphone".
Notre Dame Prep juniors Sarah Ringwood and Anna Watson posted a couple of YouTube videos showing them covering popular songs by Maroon 5 and Imagine Dragons. The videos have enjoyed relatively strong viewership and one member of Notre Dame's faculty is especially impressed.
To see their YouTube video performances, click here.
Notre Dame's lower division robotics team attains 'excellence' 

The Notre Dame lower division VEX IQ robotics team received the "Excellence Award" at the state championship February 15 at Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

The  Excellence Award is the highest honor in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition and its given to the team with the most well-rounded VEX IQ robotics program.

The Notre Dame team consists of Charlotte Milback (grade 5), John Milback (grade 3) and Aaron Palardy (grade 3). The team's adult mentors are Jerry Palardy and Andrew Palardy '12 (NDP).

This award qualifies the team for the 2014 VEX Robotics World Championship in Anaheim, Calif. in April.
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare brought to you by the Notre Dame Prep Players on March 28
Shakespeare and poodle skirts? Danny Zuko meets Orsino as the Notre Dame Prep Players invite you to see their updated version of Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (set in the 1950/60s). Performances will be on Friday and Saturday, March 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 30 at 4 p.m. Tickets available at the door and are $10 for adults and $8 for students. 
To view the poster, click here.  
Notre Dame assistant athletic director Maureen Whidden believes that teaching life lessons is a big part of athletics 
Notre Dame's assistant athletic director Maureen Whidden says that among other things, playing sports builds character. In fact, she says that building character and helping to teach life's lessons are some of the main things on which the school's athletics department focuses.
"When we make decisions as a department, we always keep those things at the forefront," she says. "In addition, it is important to me to provide excellent customer service not only to our student-athletes but to our parents as well. 
Whidden came to Notre Dame in the summer of 2013 from Houghton Lake High School in Houghton Lake, Mich., where she served as athletic director for the 600-student school.
As an assistant AD, Whidden's specific responsibilities include promoting student-athlete scholarship and leadership opportunities and providing support during the application process. "I also conduct the pre-season parent and coach meetings, publish and distribute weekly athletic and coaching newsletters, compile and publish the athletic end-of-year report, communicate eligibility of student-athletes to the MHSAA (Michigan High School Athletic Association) and CHSL (Catholic High School League), and manage the summer-camp registration process." 
To read Maureen's complete story, click here. 
NDP students get real-world lessons in financial literacy 
Notre Dame accounting 2 students traveled to Detroit's Quicken Loans Junior Achievement Finance Park on February 24.

38 students from Notre Dame's accounting 2 class spent part of their day at the Quicken Loans Junior Achievement Finance Park in Detroit learning about the budgeting and finance skills they eventually will need to become financially responsible adults.

"Our students did a simulation of a budget at the site," NDP teacher Katrina Palushaj said. "Our kids have been studying how to live within and manage a budget, and this trip was very useful for them. While downtown on Tuesday, we also had an opportunity to tour GM's OnStar command center."

The Quicken Loans JA Finance Park is a Junior Achievement program that teaches financial literacy concepts and career exploration opportunities. 


Notre Dame 7th grader is a state swimming champion 
Courtney Connolly, a 7th grader in Notre Dame's middle division, earned six out of six first-place finishes the weekend of March 8th in the 2014 12 & Under Short Course Championships sponsored by Michigan Swimming Inc., and was crowned state champion. The meet was held at Oakland University's Aquatic Center in Rochester Hills.
Connolly swam to first place in all six individual events for 11- and 12-year-old girls: 100 individual medley, 100 backstroke, 50 butterfly, 50 back, 200 IM and the 400 IM. She was the only swimmer (girls and boys) to win all six events, which earned her the 2014 12 & Under Girls High Point Award. 
To see more pictures and the rest of Courtney's story, click here.  
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 Fall 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 on Saturday May 17, 2014 at Park Bar in downtown Detroit. If you haven't received an invitation yet please contact Gregory Simon directly at


NDP Class of 2009, 5-year

5-year reunion will be planned for 2014. Date and location will be determined by end of April. Class captain contacts are: Alayna Lekosiotis,; Victoria Thompson, and Sarah Yahrmatter, 


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

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 Foley, '58 (NDHS). 2-24-14

David Ayrault, former NDHS development director, husband of Merrie Gay Ayrault, retired NDHS English teacher. 3-13-14 
We pray for the sick:    


William Skwarczewski '03 (NDP) pray for Bill as he recovers from multiple injuries that he sustained in a pedestrian automobile related accident on March 4, 2014 in Macomb, Michigan.


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 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, 13-year-old son of Joe Caretti '84 (NDHS) and Lisa Caretti (Regina HS). The family asks for your prayers so that Joey continues to feel better each day and remains cancer-free. 


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

28 - NDP Players Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Production



 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  


2 - 18th Annual Golf Outing at Wyndgate County Club in Rochester Hills