News from AEHS Alumni

#24-May 6, 2013

An AEHS Legend to Retire
Mr. Joseph Monte

Mr. Joseph Monte, who has worked at Einstein and served the AEHS community in many, many ways since the school opened in 1962, will retire at the end of the current school year. He has touched thousands of Einstein students' lives during his fifty years at AEHS. Here are a few of their stories.

Don Henderson: The primary memory I have of Mr. Monte was how he handled and talked to me about the colleges I planned to apply to.

            I applied to just two schools. One an Ivy League school that shall remain nameless, and the other the University of Maryland in College Park. In hindsight I recognize that he was preparing me for the expected Ivy League rejection. He told me that both were good choices but added that while I had the grades, the SAT scores and the extracurricular activites for the Ivy League school, he wanted me to know that connections were just an important, if not more important. And so if I got rejected, that would be the reason (I did not have the right kind of connections). At the same time he pointed out that for what I then planned to major in, that the University of Maryland was a great choice. And when I got the rejection, he was very consoling and pointed out a number of things that I should consider looking into at Maryland, one of them being the honors program. I ended up enrolling in the honors program there and got my BS and then while working I went to school part-time to get my MS degree. So thank you Mr. Monte!

            Don Henderson '71 is a mathematical statistician and the owner and principal of Henderson Consulting Services in Olney, Maryland.



Jessica Lombardi: I was probably a B to B- student but had horrific SAT scores. I was on Drill Team, made Girls Chorus, and was Co-Captain of Drill Team in my senior year. I had lots of fun with lots of friends and would probably say I didn't work too, too hard although I was a conscientious student.

            I would be the first in my entire family to ever think about college, let alone go, but I remember stepping into Mr. Monte's office discovering one of the most important facts about me that I didn't know----that Mr. Monte thought I did not have a chance to get into any schools and that I ought to consider Montgomery Junior College. So that is where I applied! The good news is that it was probably the best advice because I was responsible for paying the tuition and my single mother would not have even known how to negotiate the grant / loan process. I would also be required to work during college.

            Looking back, it probably was the way it was supposed to be but I guess I will never know how it might have been to have the experience of being away for college. I am glad that our sons all had that chance! In college, I might have reached for the moon but only captured the tops of a tree!!! But oh, what a tree that would have been. Or, reached for the moon, reached again and again and ended back at MJC! In the end, I graduated from University of Maryland plus grad school, met the love of my life, helped to raise three sons and am blessed to have a nice job as a Director of Development for Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia. I also worked at Georgetown Prep School for 10 years until 2005 when we moved south. On August 21, 2013, Larry and I will be married 39 years. We have 3 grandchildren and are hoping for more!

            Would I really have changed what we have today? Not a chance in hell! The silver lining is wishing for one thing, receiving another and being blessed by the initial disappointment! Thanks Mr. Monte!

            Jessica Lombardi '69 is Director of Development for Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


Tom Ruttkay: I must confess, when I attended Einstein as a transfer from Gonzaga High School for my junior and senior years (1968 - 1970), I never knew Joe Monte. He was a college counselor and "college" was a vague concept to me. College would happen in the form of Montgomery College, if it was going to happen at all. But, of course, I knew the name Joe Monte as an Einstein icon, especially more recently with the inception of the Athletic Hall of Fame.

               Fast forward 42 years and I sat down next to Joe at my first staff meeting for Einstein's 2012 school year. I was joining the staff as a first year art teacher. We started talking about Gonzaga for some reason and we made an instant connection. Joe's career in education had begun at Gonzaga and inspired author Pat Conroy, who recognized him in Conroy's biographic "My Losing Season." Those connections along with a shared knowledge of so many of Einstein's students and staff over the years gave us a lot to talk about.

              At times I seem to bump into Mr. Monte on a daily basis; sometimes I don't see him all week. It's a very busy place. I have been in parent/teacher conferences with him, strategized on struggling students with him and enjoyed dinner with him and his wonderful wife, Mary Katherine. Joe's dedication, influence and unflagging positive outlook on the future is going to be sorely missed in those hallways. I will always be grateful to have been able to experience his insight and friendship during my first two years of teaching. My only wish is that his transition to retirement had been more gradual, because I just do not see a "slow-down" mode on Mr. Monte. Godspeed, Joe!   

              Tom Ruttkay '70 teaches art at Einstein. He designed the logo used for AEHS' 50th anniversary celebration in 2012. 




Marlene Stein: During our respective senior years, both my sister, Beverly Wright (1970), and I worked in Mr. Monte's office as office aides during one class period every day. I remember stocking the shelves with college catalogs and learning key life lessons from both Mr. Monte and the administrative secretary, Mrs. Jeanette Leventhal.

            I remember Mr. Monte would meet with students any time they would walk in to get advice to help narrow down potential choices.... it was always about application deadlines and SAT scores. FAFSA application forms to apply for financial aid did not exist at that time. There were lots of conversations about how to apply for grants, loans and scholarships. He would advise you to keep trying, keep applying, don't give up.

            Mr. Monte saw possibilities in students when they often could not see this potential in themselves. He is the ultimate mentor. He certainly made a big impression upon me and I am grateful for having had the chance to work in his office at that time.

            While Einstein and its students will continue to be successful, it will never be the same again without Mr. Monte.

            Congratulations and enjoy your retirement!

            Marlene Stein '72 is President of the Montgomery County Chapter of the Delaware-Maryland-D.C. Division of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.




Michele McMichael Gordon: Mr. Monte was okay with whatever you were choosing at that time in your life. How freeing is that when a significant adult in your life says it is okay to be whatever you choose to be. Lol, I was the surprise of my family and became a teacher!

           Michele McMichael Gordon '70 is a retired teacher and a certified Svaroopa Yoga teacher in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.




David Gates: I never knew Mr. Monte personally as a student there in the late 1960s through 1971 ... since the guidance and counseling office wasn't exactly geared to getting kids that played in youthful rock 'n roll bands steered towards success or a career in that musical genre, other than trying to get them to go to college where they'd teach you to play in an orchestra or even teach music as did Mr. Heier with the stage band ... I kinda avoided that office and administrative area although my younger brothers John (the football and wrestling hero) and Ricky (the often seen and seated student in the office for 'wayward' students) were well acquainted with that area of administrative offices for 'guidance'.

            But I have gotten to know Mr. Monte since I had to come back east here from Los Angeles, where I'd lived for the last 26 years, due to my mom and dad's age and health issues. I have to say - I SHOULD have gotten to know him better as a student in that school. And can say I'm rather glad and proud to have known him in this latter stage of his life and career.

            All the best Mr. M - I know that whatever you do in your 'so called retirement', you'll still be giving helpful advice and even guidance to anyone who asks.


           David Gates '71 is a singer and songwriter.


Sharon Cohany: Mr. Monte, you respected students to a remarkable degree and worked tirelessly on our behalf. You truly made a difference in many lives. In my case, you believed I could get into Penn, my first choice, and you were right. Since my high school days, you've been an inspiration for dedication and commitment and lifelong learning. I look forward to our paths crossing many more times, whether at AEHS events, Camden Yards, or the Tea Room on Howard Avenue. Best wishes to you and your family for a long and enjoyable new adventure!

             Sharon Cohany '70 has retired after her career as an economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Charlie Morden: Just read your 45th anniversary article on the AEHS site after I received an invite to your party. 50 years in MCPS and at one school must be a Ripley's record. Makes me feel young again to know that you are still there.

            My mom Jean Morden was part of the group Mr. Conlon brought from Sligo Junior High. I can remember picnics at his house on the river. My mom went on to Paint Branch where she started the first Japanese program in the U.S. beyond Hawaii. She then spent several years at Whitman before moving on to the university level teaching Japanese. She died here in Oregon, her birthplace, in 2010 at 86.

            I went on to Stanford, the first from Einstein I think. I've been in Oregon since 1985 in the resort biz, with a 5-year stint as a newspaper columnist. I currently own and operate the Historic Union Hotel in eastern Oregon. A wonderful place to visit once you retire. I did have a brief stint in education as principal of a Chinese/English charter school in DC while waiting for my mom to retire back to Oregon. It was a fascinating experience.

            Congratulations on your incredible achievement!!
           Charlie Morden '69 is a journalist and the owner and operator of the Historic Union Hotel in Union, Oregon.


Eric Schwartz: I was a student of yours in Latin 3 and Latin 4. I think there might have been only a half-dozen, or so, students in the latter, very intimate class. I was also a member of the Latin Club at the school--the few, the proud, and the brave, as the Marines say. Our strength was, however, not in numbers, but in your presence and engagement.

            I have very fond memories of you and our Latin class. You have been an important contributor to my love and understanding of language. What I learned in your classes helped me with English and other languages, as well as providing me an excellent foundation for college, law school, and life.

            Even more so than my knowledge of Latin, I remember vividly your sense of energy, humor, and warmth that you brought to the classroom every day.

            I am not surprised that you continue to be working with, and inspiring, students. I would have expected no less.

            Best wishes on your well-deserved retirement.
         Eric Schwartz '64 is Chief Operating Officer of OPI Products, Inc., in North Hollywood, California.


Gamliel Sassoon: I'm the confused Orthodox Jewish kid you helped on the first day I came to Einstein when I was confused and overwhelmed. I have so much to thank you for. You not only helped me immensely with academics but also with life issues without hesitation. I want to say that I appreciate how good of a person you are. The fact that you could have retired earlier and spent time with your family and kids shows how good of a heart you have. You want others to succeed. I recall hours upon hours you spent one on one with me, truly interested in my future. I also know that you cared dearly about each and every student you spent time with.

            Now I just finished my junior year at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), and I couldn't be more grateful to you for believing in me. I want you to know that much of the reason I succeeded is because of you.

            I hope you enjoy spending time with your family and have the most wonderful years ahead. I will in turn try to take a lesson from you and impact other people's lives as positively as you did mine. I felt like you were one adult who understood and accepted anybody regardless of their personal beliefs or traits. That is a wonderful quality. I just want you to know that you made a great impact on my life. Thank You.
          Gamliel Sassoon '10 is a senior at Penn State University
AEHS Alumni Association Being Organized


Linda Behrns Browne '66 and Carol Chelemer '66 have initiated efforts to organize the AEHS Alumni Association! They write as follows: "Whether you graduated in the 1960s or the 2000s, whether you live in the DC metro area or in faraway lands, whether you attended AEHS for one year or four, we share a connection reflected in our participation in last fall's 50th anniversary celebration. It has inspired two girlhood friends (and alumnae) to see about launching an AEHS Alumni Association. We have received support from the AEHS Hall of Fame and AEHS.


            To become a reality, the AEHS Alumni Association needs help from you.


            We envision the Alumni Association connecting AEHS alumni to each other and to AEHS, disseminating information re: alumni-related events (and even sponsoring a few), and contributing financial resources and expertise to AEHS programs and students.


            We need your ideas and skills to realize this vision. Help especially needed in the areas of: (1) locating alumni, (2) using social networking sites, (3) organizing events, (4) communications, and (5) fundraising. Any and all contributions of time and talent are appreciated.


            Please contact Linda and Carol at with your ideas and comments!! Let's all help them get this important and worthwhile project going!


AEHS Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Weekend-Save the Date


The annual AEHS Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place October 4-5.

This year, former AEHS cheerleaders will also be recognized!! Details can be found at the Hall of Fame website at and will be provided in later newsletters as they become available. 


New Books Published


AEHS alumni with recently published books include:

Nancy Day Sakaduski '70, whose children's book A Rehoboth ABC has been published by Cat and Mouse Press.

Don Henderson '71 is the author of SAS Server Pages: Generating Dynamic Content, an e-book published by SAS Press.

Fred Shelley '70 is the author of Nation Shapes: The Story Behind the World's Borders, published by ABC-CLIO/Greenwood. 
In Memoriam


We regret to announce the passing of Joe LePire, Jr. and Patricia Sazama-Petrov and on behalf of the AEHS community extend condolences to their families and friends.

Joseph Patrick LePire, Jr. (Class of 1974)

 June 30, 1946 - May 28, 2013


Joseph Patrick LePire, Jr., who was known to many as Pat or Joe, Jr., passed away on March 28, 2013 in Henderson, Nevada. As a longtime member of Black Mountain Country Club, he passed out while playing golf on the 13th hole and never revived. Joe was a member of the varsity golf team at Einstein and worked at Lakewood Country Club in Maryland until joining the Air Force and finishing his duty at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada.

            Joe was a lifetime member of the Professional Golfers Association and the head professional at Winterwood Golf Course in Las Vegas. He served the Southern Nevada golfing community for many years. He was involved in the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association and a longtime member of the University of Nevada--Las Vegas Golf Foundation. Joe was a well-known businessman in Las Vegas and Henderson and was appreciated for his volunteer work with tournaments and junior golf.

            Joe was predeceased by his mother, one grandson and two brothers-in-law. He is survived by his life companion Chrys Cooley, his son David, his daughter-in-law Nettie, three grandchildren, one great-grandson, his father Joe Sr., his stepmother Mary, his siblings, and many nieces, nephews, and friends. Joe's siblings are Mary C. (Academy of Holy Names '66), Ernie (AEHS '69), Anne (AEHS '70), Ed (AEHS '73), Marty (AEHS '76),and Judy of Chaparral High School in Las Vegas.



Patricia Sazama-Petrov (Class of 1978)

September 23, 1960 - April 19, 2013


             Patricia Sazama-Petrov passed away on April 19, 2013 in Ocean View, Delaware. After graduating from Einstein in 1978, she attended Montgomery College where she studied art, theater, and marketing. She then opened several salons and launched Aveda brand cosmetic marketing in the Washington area. She was also a successful massage therapist. After Patty and her husband Vladimir Petrov (who is also a member of the class of 1978) were married in 1999, she moved to Hollywood to join her husband. She became an events planner, working the red carpet at the Oscars and planning events like "Women of Hollywood" for Premier magazine. She had a passion for people, laughter, dancing, music, art, photography, horses, Jeopardy, and the beach.
            Patty is survived by her husband Vladimir Petrov, her mother Audrey Sazama, her sisters Cynthia Richardson and Sharyn Sazama-Moreau, her mother-in-law Jean Anne Petrov, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. 
Do You Have An Idea for the Next Issue?


As always, we welcome contributions from everyone! As they used to say in show biz, keep those cards and letters (in this the 21st century, e-mails and Facebook messages) coming in!!

Send your ideas to Fred Shelley by clicking HERE