Notre Dame Alumni E-Newsletter
April 2015
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Dear , 

What an amazing amount of love and support for our first-ever Irish Week Challenge! Over $6,800 was raised with more than 75 alumni making a gift. We were thrilled at the level of participation and cannot thank you all enough for your continued support of Notre Dame! We have set a goal of 500 gifts from alumni to The Notre Dame Fund for this year and currently we are just over 300. I know we can hit this goal by June. For more information about The Notre Dame Fund or to give, click here.


Graduation is upon us and the Alumni Association will be hosting a BBQ for our graduating seniors as well as sponsoring refreshments at graduation. We are excited to welcome the class of 2015 into the association.  

Homecoming plans are already in the works. Mark your calendar for the Homecoming football game on October 9th and the 2nd Annual 5k the morning of October 10th. It is going to be a wonderful weekend on campus.

Continue to update us on the many wonderful things happening in your life. We love hearing from you!


Beth Campbell

Director of Alumni Relations 

Alumni Board Meeting - Tuesday,  May 12, at 6 p.m. 


Join the Alumni Association Board of Directors!
The Notre Dame Alumni Association Board of Directors is looking for new members. All graduates of Notre Dame Prep, Notre Dame High School, Pontiac Catholic, Oakland Catholic, St. Michael and St. Frederick are eligible. Join us at 1389 Giddings Road.

If you would like to attend, and/or have a topic for the agenda, please email Beth Campbell at


Creative Notre Dame Alum Credits His High School for Career Success


It's a familiar refrain we hear from Notre Dame graduates. "I would not be where I am today without my Notre Dame education." "Notre Dame taught me the value of hard work." "The high academics at Notre Dame made college so much easier for me." And on and on we hear virtually the same thing from nearly every grad.


Add 2000 Notre Dame Prep alum and film/video producer Bill Holland to that list.


"As much as the workload at Notre Dame often seemed overwhelming, it totally prepared me for tackling the seemingly impossible tasks I was faced with in college," said Holland. "I found that as a college student, Prep had prepared me well for the reading workload and extensive projects every class would demand. There were times, as a high school student, the amount of reading almost seemed impossible to tackle, but when I got to college the reason became clear."


Holland is owner and president of Middlebranch Productions, Inc., a Chicago-based video production, direction, post-production and motion graphics company he formed in 2002. Since then, the company has grown and expanded to handle a range of projects from commercials to event and music videos. He has recently worked on projects for Wheat Thins, Subway, Wrigley, Sears, Hilton Hotels, and Nascar while working at several different Chicago-based agencies.

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

It's a Small Notre Dame World

Notre Dame High School meets Notre Dame Prep in Vail, Colorado, as Bill Parish, a 1966 graduate of NDHS in Harper Woods, finds out the person who is attending to his ski injury at a medical clinic is a 2008 graduate of NDP.


Let's let Parish explain:


"The young lady in the pictures I am sending you is Chase Rogowski. She is an athletic trainer and medical assistant working at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado (where skier Lindsay Vonn gets put back together from time to time).


"I live about 30 miles down valley from Aspen and while skiing in December, I fell and severed a thumb ligament. A few weeks after surgery, Chase was taking out the stitches and I asked her where she was originally from (ski-area populations are very transient) and it came up that she graduated from ND Prep in 2008. What a small world!" 

To read more, click here.

Alum Loves Being in the Pit

Alum and musician is touring with professional theatre troupe. With more than 100 musicals behind him, Matthew Croft currently is traveling the country with 'Guys and Dolls.'
Notre Dame alum Matthew Croft ('06) currently is on the road with a national tour of "Guys and Dolls," originally one of Broadway's most enduring musicals. The tour, which is being staged by Big League Productions out of New York City, began in December in Florida and finishes up at the end of May in New London, Connecticut. In between there are more than 50 performances of the Tony Award-winning play with Croft as assistant conductor and keyboardist in the pit orchestra. 

He loves what he's doing-he's got more than 100 musicals on his resume-and says sitting with the nine-piece orchestra and 23-person traveling company is something he thinks he was always meant to do . . . well, at least since high school.
"I realized pretty early on that I wanted to go into music for a career-something that my music teachers at NDP and college as well as my private teachers encouraged me to do," Croft said in an interview last month from Santa Barbara, California. "I originally wanted to study film music, but I discovered Broadway music and pit orchestras, and I immediately knew that's where I should be." 
To read more of Matt's story, click here. 

Hard-working Alum and Former Police Officer Now Enforces the Law from the Bench 

Richard Caretti '71 (NDHS) graduated from Wayne State University in 1975. Since then, he's been traveling a very robust legal-career road: first stop was as a Detroit cop while pursuing a law degree. His road-trip now includes a current stint that sees him presiding over the civil and criminal division of the Macomb County Circuit Court in Mt. Clemens, Mich.

His other stops along the way include 23 years of private law practice with firms Dickinson-Wright and then with his own firm, Strobl, Cunningham, Caretti and Sharp. He also once served as chief judge of the Macomb County 16th Circuit Court, part of a truly stellar judicial journey.
But he reserves a special shoutout for one of his first stops in life. . . the one on 20254 Kelly Road in Harper Woods-Notre Dame High School.

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

2012 Graduate Nick Watson Recognizes the Many Values of a Notre Dame Education


Nick Watson, who graduated from Notre Dame in 2012 and is now a junior at the University of Chicago, said the value NDP placed on real "learning" has been tremendously beneficial for him in college.

He says that while his degree is an important goal and he looks forward to receiving it, the driving factor for him at Chicago is to learn as much as possible. And he credits his high school for much of that mentality.

"I think the mindset of placing an intrinsic value on learning itself is something that comes with growing up," Watson said. "But I also feel that I started to develop this attitude toward the end of my time at NDP. It's so easy to get caught up in focusing on the end product, whether it be getting an A in a class, or a degree, or a job. I've found that being able to learn something and think about how it applies to your life and how it can make you a better person is much more fulfilling than being driven by an external reward and going through the motions."

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

Ninety-Nine Grad Helps Students in Under-Served Communities 



You wouldn't think that something so basic as shoes would inspire a philanthropic movement. Yet, when 1999 Notre Dame Prep grad CheKeita Jones, who at the time was a teacher in the Pontiac school district, noticed that many of her elementary-school students wore ill-fitting, worn out shoes, boots and hand-me-downs, she thought there must be something she could do about it.

She knew a lot of "sneaker heads" and people with the wherewithal to help get these kids out of unfit footwear and into new shoes. So she launched a program called the "Kicks 4 Kids Foundation," with a goal of raising enough money to get these students sneakers they were proud to wear.

"Thus, Kicks 4 Kids was born," she said.

As Jones and the Kicks 4 Kids mission statement states, "The mission of Kicks 4 Kids is to alleviate one of the most burdensome social pressures for inner-city youth, which often leads to bullying. With support from our community stakeholders, we will be able to boost self confidence while providing one of the most basic needs."

For Jones, who now teaches in Detroit, being an educator was always on the horizon for her, even if at first she didn't see it.

"I graduated from MSU with a degree in supply-chain management in December of 2003," she said. "I then enrolled at Marygrove College to earn a master's degree in education." She said her family is full of educators and something must have told her that her true calling was in fact teaching, not supply-chain management.

To read more on Kicks for Kids and CheKeita, click here.
Irish Week Challenge Boosts The Notre Dame Fund, Honors Brother Louis

Notre Dame's advancement department announced that its Irish Week challenge, a one-week special alumni appeal for donations to the school's annual fund, exceeded expectations and raised more than $6,800 for the school's numerous student programs. The challenge honored Notre Dame's beloved Marist, Brother Louis Plourde, s.m., who recently celebrated his 70th birthday.

According to The Notre Dame Fund director, Gregory Simon, the goal for the "Brother Louis 70-for-70 Challenge" was to receive at least 70 gifts from alumni by the end of the day on Friday, March 20, when the school's annual Irish Week celebration wrapped up.

"The current students at Notre Dame had a typically spirited week of Irish games, including balloon stomp, plunger relay and tug-of-war," said Simon. "While fundraising isn't quite a tug-of-war, many of our alumni carried the spirit of the week into our first-ever Irish Week challenge in support of The Notre Dame Fund."

Simon said that the $6,800-plus that came in last week from alumni, faculty and staff as well as other members of the Notre Dame community will be applied to the fund's overall goal of $500,000. More than 21 different graduating classes were represented in the challenge, he said, with alumni from the Class of 1964 all the way up to the Class of 2014 making contributions during the week.

"We had a total of 78 gifts, ranging from $5 to $1,000, and we can't thank our supporters enough," he said. "And a really big thank you goes to Brother Louis, who not only blessed this effort and loaned us his name but made a gift himself. He truly is a special man!"

For more information about the Irish Week Challenge and The Notre Dame Fund, contact Gregory Simon '89 (NDHS) at or 248-373-2171, ext. 5.

Notre Dame Wins Second Consecutive State Cheer Title

When the competitive cheer team arrived in Grand Rapids on Friday, March 6, one day ahead of their state championship title defense in Division 3, the mood was one of excitement, for sure, but more importantly, one of quiet confidence.

Confidence that last year's state title was not just a fluke, but a springboard into the culmination of another championship season - with more to come.

And sure enough, the Irish proved on March 7 at the DeltaPlex Center that that confidence was not misplaced as they earned their second D-3 championship in convincing fashion, leading from wire to wire. In fact, the closest any other team came to Notre Dame was 1.4 points in round one (Richmond).

In a news article posted by The Oakland Press, Irish coach Beth Campbell, who also serves as the school's alumni director, said she thinks there are more good things in the future for her team.

"Our seniors have trained up the juniors all season and now they are ready to be the seniors," Campbell said to the reporter. "They are already talking about 'strive for three,' so they are already making plans for next year."

Notre Dame's seven senior team members are Aly Gonzales, Morgan Gales, Margaret Michel, Kennedy Quirk, Olivia Riley, Emily Schiavi and Angela Serra.

Notre Dame Senior Wins National Art Award, the First from the School

Notre Dame Prep senior Reagan Kazyak learned that she has earned the national Gold Key Award in the 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition. It's the first time a Notre Dame Prep student has won this award.

"A Vintage Dream," by Reagan Kazyak earned the National Gold Key Award from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards organization.Kazyak will pick up her Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Medal among other medalists from around the U.S. in a ceremony held in early June at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Kazyak's winning piece, which is called "A Vintage Dream," is a dress constructed entirely out of pages taken from an actual storybook.

When she first heard of the national award today, Kazyak was very happy and excited, according to Sandy LewAllen, chair of the upper school's art department. "She did cartwheels in class," LewAllen said.

"It is amazing," Kazyak said. "I just went around and hugged all my friends when I found out!"

Kazyak's artwork was one of nearly 300,000 entries submitted nationwide.

Earlier this year, Kazyak and other NDP student-artists earned a total of 17 regional awards from Scholastic this year. Her regional Gold Key award was then submitted for national adjudication by luminaries in the visual and literary arts, some of whom are past award recipients.

  To read more about Reagan, click here.
For more Notre Dame news,  click here.
6th Annual Ashleigh Iserman '04 (NDP) Light the Lakes Walk

The Ashleigh Iserman Boating Safety Foundation was established to honor Ashleigh's life and memory by promoting boating safety education and awareness. With hope, this will help keep our families safe on our waterways.

Sunday, May 17 at 8 a.m. at Thelma G. Spencer Park in Rochester Hills. Check in begins at 7:30am. Race starts promptly at 8 a.m.

Early Registration 3/1/2015 - 4/15/2015

For more information please contact:

Jan Willhite-Iserman
Phone: 248-652-1439
Drive a Car. Benefit the Fighting Irish! All Alumni Welcome!
Support Irish athletics: Please join the Notre Dame Prep Booster Club for a fundraiser
sponsored by Skalnek Ford of Lake Orion. Ford Drive One 4 UR School will take place this Saturday, April 25, in the Pontiac campus parking lot from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Test drive a new 2015 Ford vehicle and Skalnek Ford will donate $20 to the school. All proceeds will go toward updating the athletic recognition walls throughout the school. 

There is nothing to buy and nothing to lose but a few minutes of time. 


Please reach out to family members and friends to support this only take 15 minutes of time and it's for a great cause!

Congrats to NDP alum and U-Minn. student Victoria Bayliss ('14) 
 Victoria was named student athlete of the week
Victoria Bayliss is off to a great start to her freshman season with the Golden Eagles. Bayliss hit .525 overall during the team's Spring Break trip to Tucson, Ariz. Bayliss had seven runs scored and eight RBI's. In addition, she posted a .675 slugging percentage and a .537 on-base percentage.

Bayliss also had one stolen base, four doubles and one triple. As a fielder, Bayliss had nine putouts and one assist. She finished the Spring trip hitting .368 over the last five games with four runs scored and two RBI's. The freshman is hitting .369 with nine runs scored and eight RBI's on the 2015 season.
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 the predecessor schools. Or you can post recent status updates and photos to let other alumni know what you're up to!  

Don't forget to utilize the alumni business directory


Be sure to check out our alumni business directory. If you would like to add your business to our list please contact Beth Campbell at

For a 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. 

We pray for those who have died:

David Shield- '74 (NDHS) Father of Christina '02 (NDP), brother of James '79 (NDHS) and William '77 (NDHS) 4-5-15


Genevieve "Jean" Lipinski- Mother of Matthew '70 (NDHS) 4-3-15


Helen Yanik - Mother of Robert '72 (NDHS), James '75 (NDHS), Ronald '78 (NDHS); grandmother of Ryan, '10 (NDP), Tyler '12 (NDP) and Mary Kathryn '18 (NDP); aunt of Gregory '75 (NDHS) 3-29-15


Agnes Schulte- Mother of George '58 (NDHS) 3-27-15


Suzanne Lembke- Mother of Bryan '80 (PC) 3-26-15


Robert Dean- '63 (SF) 3-20-15


Edward McAllister- Father of Karen'80 (PC) 3-19-15


Carole Teasdale- '53 (SF) 3-17-15


Judith Charrette- Mother of Frank DeNardo '89 (NDHS), Tony DeNardo '90 (NDHS) and Joe DeNardo '95 (NDHS) 3-15-15


Pearl Huhta- Mother of Thomas '65 (NDHS) 3-15-15


William Peter Ternes- '67 (NDHS) brother of James '83 (NDHS) 3-12-15


Mary "Mickey" Balog- '62 (SM) 3-12-15


Marguerite Smoke- Mother of John'77 (NDHS) 3-11-15


William Gill- Father of Jay '67 (NDHS) 3-11-15


Bernard Cetlinski- Father of Chuck '80 (NDHS) 3-8-15


Sharon Tasti- Mother of Mark '84 (NDHS) 3-4-15


Amerigo Miotto- Father of John '77 (NDHS) and Michael '79 (NDHS) 2-28-15


Maxine Boucher- '42 (SF) 2-25-15


Eleanor Swita- Mother of Richard '66 (NDHS), Michael '79 (NDHS), and grandmother of Ryan '96 (NDHS) and Matthew '98 (NDHS) 2-25-15


Rachel Nacianceno- '98 (NDP) 2-21-15


Eileen Shovlin- Mother of Gary '68 (NDHS) 2-20-15


Joseph Godell - Father of Joe '76 (NDHS) and Jeff '86 (NDHS) 2-5-15


Robert McQuater- Grandfather of Cassandra '05 (NDP) 2-5-15

ames Steiner- '63 (NDHS) 2-3-15

James Patterson- Father of Sean '83 (NDHS) and Joe '87 (NDHS) 2-3-15


Rodney Nackerman-Son of Grace '25 (SF) 2-1-15

Harry Szalach- Father of Stanley '75 (NDHS)


William Ayotte-Husband of Michele (Horton) Ayotte '73 (PC) 12-16-14

Robert Antonuk- '59 (NDHS) 11-23-14


Prayer list: click here


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.