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Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School Sacred Heart Alumnae Educators for the 2017-2018 School Year
Top L to R: Jennifer Mueller McNulty '90, Therese Irvin Hagemeister '85, Elizabeth Blanton '94, Bridget Collins, Houston '79, Celeste Chappuis '84, Rachel Drone Gehm '88, Mary Frances Popit, Woodlands '05.
Middle L to R: Kathy Hannegan Meyer '76, Sarah McNeely Meurer '92, Alison Webster Coulter '94, Catherine Kruse '07, Krista Zoeller Richradson '76,
Bottom L to R: Catherine Christman Swanstrom - Grand Coteau '84, Amy Holler Roman '77, Mary "Sully" Sullivan Boyce - Maryville '60, Anna Ahrens '74, Magdalena Nores Luchini '72 - Cordova-Argentina, Liliana Botero '86 - Trinidad del Monte-Columbia
Nina Kaiser, along with her sister, Molly, and mother, Dalia, traveled over the Christmas break to Cairo, Egypt. While there visiting family, Nina and Molly were finally able to see the Sacred Heart school their mother went to from Pre-K through high school graduation, College du Sacré Coeur, Ghamra. Nina and Molly were able to see the similarities that exist in all Sacred Heart Schools, like the Mater Admirabilis painting seen here with Nina.
Karissa may have just graduated from Villa back in May of 2016, but she is already making her mark at Mizzou! She has declared a Biochemistry and French major and is already preforming pregnancy checks in dairy cattle, sticking her whole arm into the rumen of a fistulated cow, trimming sheep hooves, and holding a horse’s tongue for a vet during a procedure! She is in the Pre-Vet Scholars Program and starting clinical rotations at the vet hospital in her first semester. Her service learning experience continues outside the walls of Villa as she was accepted into a service program through Mizzou and will be traveling to Fort Pierce, Florida for a week to volunteer at a chimpanzee sanctuary.
Meghan recently appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch which brought recognition to the "Villa grad is key to Georgia volleyball revival". The article, written by Steve Eighinger, states that 'Meghan Donovan is proving to be an important element of a Georgia volleyball team that is one of the most improved in the nation. Donovan ranks third in the SEC and 34th in the nation in assists per set (11.12). She was the SEC setter of the week earlier this month, has been a tournament MVP and ranks second in kills among conference setters." Go DAWGS!
Lauren joined the Truman Bulldogs volleyball team this fall as a freshman and on November 20, 2016 the Bulldogs can call themselves Great Lakes Valley Conference Champions! Playing in the libero position, Lauren was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter for the Saints here at Villa and helped us to a state title for Class 3 in 2015 and a runner-up finish in 2014. Lauren was a key player for the Bulldogs in their conference victory as she had 10 digs in the game.
As a student at Notre Dame, Erin participated as an intern in the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP), which is a nonprofit promoting poverty studies programs in undergraduate and professional schools. This summer internship allowed Erin to get involved with a community engagement opportunity in Atlanta, GA. Erin worked as a counselor, teacher, and coach at Agape Youth and Family Center. She has written a paper entitled "The Power of Empowerment: Exploring My Work with Agape Youth and Family Center". Click here
to read about Erin's experience.
2015 classmates, Riley Vonder Haar and Molly McLaughlin, are both studying abroad in Spain and it turns out they are doing it through the same program! They had no idea and were absolutely so excited to see each other in Spain, of all places!! These are some pictures of them exploring Segovia...rings and all, Villa sisters take on a new castle!
Katie has been the starting goalie for Rhodes College Lacrosse Team for the past two years. Her record in games played is 32-5 and 29-5 for games started.
Rhodes is the only undefeated team in the nation this past season, with a 19-0 record. They made it to the Sweet 16 of the Division III NCAA National Tournament, but lost in the second round to Gettysburg College, who went on to win and become national champions. This is the furthest the team has ever gone in the national playoffs. They have won the Southern Athletic Association Conference the last three years in a row, and this is their 3rd appearance in the NCAA Tournament in only 4 years as a Div 3 program. Way to go, Katie!
What an amazing experience and opportunity for Mary Catherine! As a student at the College of St. Benedict, Mary Catherine was a Political Science Development Intern at The Obama Foundation in Washington D.C. this past summer. This non-profit fund raising experience will help Mary Catherine in her feature endeavors.
Congratulations to Elias who was named National Merit Semifinalist as a senior at St. Louis Priory! Along with his hard work, is Oak Hill education must have given Elias a great foundation to achieve and do great things in his future.
Congratulations to Jennifer as she showed her talents, intelligence, and pose at the 2017 Miss America pageant. Jennifer was the First Runner-up! Jennifer is a published author of a children’s book titled, “Diversity Matters.” She promotes her platform throughout the state of Missouri speaking to students of all ages about the importance of embracing diversity. Jennifer also plans to extend her education by attending graduate school with the hopes of pursuing her dream of becoming a Pediatric Oncology Physician’s Assistant.
Christina graduated from Villa as the valedictorian and set a course for scientific greatness! From working on the Mars ROVER project to being a fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to now being a graduate student of astrophysical science at Princeton University!
Just this past summer, Christina was selected to participate in the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting for Physics. She was selected from a pool of young scientists from 80 countries. She participated in intense, week-long, scientific programs in which she learned from and interacted with Nobel Laureates. She was honored and excited to be advised by such amazing individuals.
Standing ovation for Grace! The New Jewish Theater just wrapped up its 20th season with a run of the play 4000 Miles, in which Grace played Amanda. Our very own Brian Welch saw the play and said it was a great production. Congratulations, Grace!
Dr. Brittany Hofman has joined the staff at New Melle Animal Hospital. Brittany earned her D.V.M. degree from the University of Missouri in May 2016. While attending Mizzou, Brittany was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority and the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity where she served as the chapter’s Vice President of Service. As a vet, her areas of special interest include dentistry, surgery, and wound healing. She will also be offering chiropractic services for your pet.
Introducing...Dr. Katelyn Poelker! Katelyn recently defended her PhD dissertation at St. Louis University. She is in the Developmental Psychology concentration of the Experimental Psychology doctoral program at Saint Louis University and conducted her dissertation on Guatemalan adolescents' experiences with gratitude, titled "Practicing Gratitude: Implications for the Well-Being of Guatemalan Adolescents." In general, her research has focused on adolescents' social and emotional development and how their cultural context influences their development. In August 2017, she will begin her job as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Psychology at Hope College in Holland, MI.
Author, author! Congratulations to Jack, whose award-winning play Naming the Dog was chosen to be highlighted in the Tennessee Williams Festival, an annual theater festival in St. Louis. As the winner of the NYU Goldberg New Playwright Award, Jack, was recognized as a student of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts that wrote the best play of the year.
As a St. Louis attorney, Mary, was selected to Super Lawyers’ 2016 Missouri/Kansas Rising Stars list. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The result is a credible, comprehensive, and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. Way to go, Mary!
Congratulations to acclaimed stage actress Annie Purcell '98 on being named Best performance in a play by drama critic for the Wall Street Journal, Terry Teachout. Teachout hails Annie as a "fiercely intense...Isabella in Davis McCallum ’s Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival production of Measure for Measure.” Well done, Annie!
As a doctor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, Nadia was key in helping a man speak again. After one of her patient's had been bit by a horse, Nadia had to reconstruct his throat. Nadia told a local reporter, "He appeared, even though he was on the breathing machine, that he was going to have some long term issues related to both speech and swallowing." After the surgery, Nadia said she was shocked at how quickly he recovered. What an amazing testimony to Nadia's talents!
As the Creative Director in Olin's Marketing and Communications department at Washington University, Katie was named a Gold Winner in the 2017 Hermes Creative Awards competition. This competition is for creative professionals and recognizes outstanding work in the industry. Her design for the poster promoting the Shakespeare at Olin
event really shows her amazing talent as an illustrator. Congratulations, Katie!
On August 13, 2016 Josie's event planning service company, Cosmopolitan Events, won the ILEA (International Live Events Association) Best Social Event of 2016 for the Lemon Lime Party Time reception. Prior to this international award, it also won Best Event Produced for a Private Individual at the 2016 Louie Awards, and was featured in Martha Stewart’s Real Weddings magazine in the April 2016 issue. Click here to see photos of this amazing event.
Congratulations to Emily as President Donald Trump has named her to be the administrator of the General Services Administration. She is currently a senior advisor at the GSA, which is an
agency responsible for procuring workspace, supplies, technology and other services for the federal government. After graduating a year early from Villa in 1991, Emily received her undergraduate degree at Smith College and her law degree from the University of Virginia. She then went on to work in both the private and public sectors as counsel for a variety of law firms and government agencies.
After receiving her marketing/business degree from Georgetown University and her industrial design degree from Rhode Island School of Design, Sonjie founded Hatch Things. As a mom of three boys, she's designing products for parents based on her own experience. After countless trips toting newborns and toddlers through her Brooklyn neighborhood to school, playdates, and assorted appointments, Coldsnap™ and Sureshop™ emerged and now her next design, Hold Please! PockeTeez, is lighting things up on Kickstarter. People that purchase one of her PockeTeez shirts will also be helping Hatch Things give back. They are partnering with CAMBA, a non-profit that runs 3 family homeless shelters in NYC. People can choose to order a shirt for their kids or send a shirt to a child in need. Through Sonjie's creativity, entrepreneurship, and social awareness, she is making a difference.
Whatever happened to the St. Louis area's Merit Scholars from the Class of '86? The St. Louis Post-Dispatch decided to get the answer to this question and proved that our own Villa alumnae, Laura, earned that award and went onto a successful career. She is the Chief of musculoskeletal imaging, radiology residency program director, Florida Hospital Orlando; professor of radiology, Florida State University College of Medicine; department chair of radiology and professor, University of Central Florida College of Medicine! Click here
to read more about Laura and other St. Louis Merit Scholars from 1986.
Frances was part of a production team that created a video called "Janessa's Story - Aid For Women" that won a 2015-2016 Chicago/Midwest Regional Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for Human Interest Programming. Frances is the Assistant Director of Aid for Women which was founded in 1978 on the faith and teachings of the Catholic Church. Aid for Women helps thousands of women each year in the Chicago metropolitan area who find themselves facing unexpected and difficult pregnancies. Each woman is provided with the emotional, practical, and spiritual support she needs to choose life for her unborn baby and to provide a better future for her and her children. These life-affirming services are offered to clients free-of-charge.
Click below to view the award winning video.
Margot competed in the Tot Dret, which is the first new race associated with the hardest and most fascinating trail race in the world: the Tor des Géants. The race covers 130 kilometers with 12 thousand meters of ascent starting from Gressoney and ending in Courmayeur, both in Italy. The competitors have a maximum time of 38 hours to finish the race and Margot was just hoping to finish, but actually finished 17th women overall! Margot lives with her husband, Tim, and 5 children in Victor, ID.
Katherine, Principal, financial advisor talent acquisition at Edward Jones was named one of Investment News
magazine's top 20 Women to Watch for 2016! Not only has she been successful in developing and growing the Financial Advisor Talent Acquisition division at Edawrd Jones, in 2012 Katherine founded the Women's Financial Advisor Network in St. Louis. In addition, she shows regular support of some of the internal programs at Edward Jones, such as Women Helping Other Women and the Women's Recognition Conference. Click here
to read more about Katherine in the Investment News article.
This new book was written by Polly in the fall of 2016 and dedicated in honor of St. Philippine Duchesne and in celebration of the 200th-year anniversary of her arrival to America.
It is about the Mothers' Rosary prayer group at Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School which began more than 20 years ago and continues to meet every Wednesday at 8 am in the chapel. It is illustrated in color with photos from the beautiful Villa chapel and contains meditations for all the mysteries of the rosary, the stations of the cross, and the seven sorrows of Mary.
While it is Polly's hope that the Sacred Heart community will enjoy this book, it is also her hope that the beauty of the Sacred Heart is revealed through this book to all mothers as a guide and aid in helping them pray for their children, whether in a group in their place of worship, their workplace, or in the privacy of their homes.
Maryann Reese was recently installed as President and CEO of Saint Francis Healthcare System. Her Holy Mass of Installation was held September 20, 2017, at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, MO. The principal celebrant was Bishop Edward M. Rice of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. Congratulations, Maryann!
On May 17, 2017 this wonderful group of alumnae joined Director of Advancement, Debbie Schlattman, and Head of School, Michael Baber, for the Archbishop's Gospel of Life 8th Annual Prayer Breakfast. The Archdiocese of St. Louis, along with Archbishop Carlson and Bishop Rice, led a prayerful morning of faith and fellowship.
Deby has authored a beautifully spiritual book that is rich with message. Deby explains that "it is not by happenstance that you’ve come upon this book. It is written with you in mind; for every woman that was, is, and will be. This work is about you and the magnificence of God’s Splendor that lives within you. It’s your companion for the journey, a guide, and a reminder of the treasure that is rightfully yours…"
Deby shares her strong principles and spirit through her faith-based podcast and radio program, The Splendor of You®. Throughout her career Deby has had the opportunity to learn and explore living through Christ in our modern world.
Volunteerism is alive and well with so many of our alumni! Joyce Williams Walsh '63 is no exception. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish has been celebrating its centennial over the past two years and ten events, with Joyce as the Chair of the Celebration. The festivities ended on Saturday, November 12, 2016 with a Centennial Mass and Gala. Keeping the history and traditions alive was a key component to these celebrations, including the fascinating unveiling of the time capsule placed in the cornerstone of the church in 1917! Click here to read more about it.
The 2017 Maypole brought back a tradition of having the 2nd grade girls participate wearing their First Communion dresses. Lila Lowery's dress (left) was also worn by her mother, CC Fox Lowery OH '83 and her grandmother, Carlyn Sciuto Fox CH '61. Gertie Habel's dress (right) was also worn by her mother, Maria DeFabio Habel '90, and her grandmother, Nancy Dolan DeFabio CH '65. These dresses, along with others, were hand sewn by a group of ladies at City House...what a great legacy!
In September of 2016 the Villa Duchesne-City House Alumnae Association hosted the Southern Regional AASH Conference. With over 50 alumnae from around the southern region attending, they celebrated the theme of Remembrance & Renewal in the Land of Philippine. Over the weekend-long conference, an amazing panel of Sacred Heart alumnae came to share how their triumphs and accomplishments relate to our Sacred Heart education and beliefs. They each shared their story of personal and/or professional renewal…in the spirit of Philippine.
(as pictured left to right)
Patty Reardon Arnold – City House through 5th grade/Villa ‘75
Ursula Neaf Shaner – City House ’65
Katie Hoehn Maguire – Villa ‘96
Trudy Busch Valentine – City House through 4th grade/Villa ‘76
Pat Rives, RSCJ - Rosary ’42/Grand Coteau College ’46
As a Sacred Heart alumnae/i, the experiences you had were tied to the same mission that our current students live. You continue to bring that same mission to life for each one of our students—whether they are in our classrooms or chapel, on our playing fields or stage, in our art studios or at service learning. We could not do any of this without your generosity.
Make your Annual Giving alum gift today! To learn more about Annual Giving, please visit www.vdoh.org/annualgiving or contact Debbie Schlattman, Director of Advancement, at email@example.com or 314-810-3589.
We have a searchable alumni directory available to all former students of Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School, City House, and Barat Hall.
In order to access the Online Directory, you will need your log-in information. If you need your log-in information or a password reset link, please contact Rachel Drone Gehm '88, Manager of Alumnae/i Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have fun staying in touch!
Fill the halls with the days of yesteryear
We have recently scanned all Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School yearbooks. They are available to view by clicking here. Help us keep history alive by looking through your attic for your memorabilia. Contact Rachel Drone Gehm '88, Manager of Alumnae/i Relations, at email@example.com or 314.810.3420 to schedule a drop-off time.
If you have questions, contact Manager of Alumnae/i Relations Rachel Drone Gehm '88 at 314.810.3420 or firstname.lastname@example.org.