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Rachel Drone Gehm

Rachel Drone Gehm '88
Manager of Alumnae/i Relations
314.810.3420 rgehm@vdoh.org

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AASH Southern Regional Alumnae Panelists

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

Nina Kaiser '16

Nina Kaiser in SH GhambraSH seal in Ghambra
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 Simon '16

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.

Lauren Wacker '16

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.

Christina Kreisch '11

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.



Katelyn Poelker '08

Katelyn Poelker
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.

Mary Walsh Giles '98

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!

Annie Purcell '98

Annie Purcell
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!

Josie Gonzalez Littlepage '91

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.

Sonjie Feliciano Solomon '88

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.

Laura Wasylenko Bancroft '86

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 Lacson Jimenez '85

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.

Janessa's Story

Katherine Gerritzen Mauzy '80

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.

Polly Sell Capps '78

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.

Joyce Williams Walsh '63

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.

How Can I Support the Students and Sacred Heart Mission?

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 dschlattman@vdoh.org or 314-810-3589.

Exciting Online Directory!

Stay Connected

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 alumni@vdoh.org.

Have fun staying in touch!

Got Memorabilia?

Fill the halls with the days of yesteryearvintage photo of diplomas
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 rgehm@vdoh.org 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 alumni@vdoh.org.

AASH Southern Regional Conference 2016

Spirituality Series

Fruit & Flower Sale

Gingerbread Houses

Trivia Night

Reunion Weekend

Alumnae Internships

We are inviting alums to apply for a Stubblefield Alumnae Internship. The internship program is open to any Sacred Heart alum with at least 30 hours of college credit or who is a recent college graduate. This unpaid internship is an opportunity for alums to grow personally and professionally in their chosen fields while supporting Sacred Heart education at Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School. Click here to learn more and apply online.

  • Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School
  • 801 South Spoede Road
  • Saint Louis, MO 63131-2699
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