Class Notes


Pamela Wright Waitinas ‘61 retired as the editor of the Kappa Gamma Pi News after 45 years of dedicated service.

Dr. Mary Kay Hemenway ‘65 was honored at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Jan. 6, 2010 at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. She was awarded the 2009 Education Prize for her leadership and dedication to astronomy education and improvement of K-20 science education, her past service as education officer of the American Astronomical Society, and her work as secretary to the board of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. In her acceptance speech, Dr. Hemenway expressed appreciation to her undergraduate advisor Sallie Watkins (formerly Sr. M. Howard).

Dr. Mary Jo Grdina ‘65 traveled to Chennai, India, in 2009 to conduct a series of workshops.Dr. Mary Jo Grdina ‘65 traveled to Chennai, India, in 2009 to conduct a series of workshops for 53 high school science teachers. The workshop introduced Indian teachers to inquiry-based instruction, the 5E model for lesson planning, backward design and higher order thinking skills.  The series was funded through IREX under the International Educator’s Program and International Leadership in Education Program. Dr. Grdina is currently an associate professor in the School of Education at Drexel University.

Carol Staiger ‘65 is celebrating her 15th year operating her own business focused on helping small business owners who want to make change happen. She decided she did not want to spend her winters in Cleveland and has established an office in Florida, from where she operates in the dreary/cold/dark/snowy months. 


Dr. Cecilia Girz ‘70 and her husband Army Armstrong had their newest video "Sowing the Seeds of Community" featured at the "Eat Here Now" exhibit in Denver in May. Organized in conjunction with Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's “Grow Local” campaign, the multi-media exhibition was a celebration of growing locally, eating seasonally and supporting organic farmers. The video documents the creation of sustainable family gardens in rural Nicaragua. A trailer can be seen at The documentaries of Armstrong and Girz were also featured at the Broomfield, Colo., Independent Film Series in April.

Sr. Kathleen Glavich ‘72 gave the keynote address and workshops at a two-day conference for catechists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She also visited Oman and spoke to catechists there.  Her latest book, “The Catholic Companion to Jesus,” was published in February.

Sr. Karen Dolovacky ‘75 has found a new position for the school year after the closing of Regina High School. She has started a math and science learning lab at Cleveland Central Catholic High School. 

Clare Cavoli Lopez ’76 was named deputy director of the U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team, which supports the Joint Services Detachment of the S.C. Military Department, National Guard. She is also a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and continues to teach classes on the Iranian intelligence and security services, Islam, Jihad, and Shariah for the Center for Counterintelligence & Security Studies. She also serves as vice president of the Intelligence Summit, a non-profit educational and networking forum.

Kathleen Crawford Pozsgai ‘77 retired after 31 years of teaching. She’s staying active in the physical education field by presenting at the Northeastern Ohio Education Association Day and the state convention in Columbus. She loves retirement because she spends more time with her grandsons.

Bernice Dondero ‘78 has become a co-director of the Associates of the Sisters of Notre Dame with Sr. Jeanette Brown ‘74 and Sr. Regina Davala ‘73.

Rosemary Grdina Gold ‘79 was appointed judge of the Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court by Gov. Ted Strickland and took the bench on April 5. She hopes to win in the November general election to finish the term for the next four years.


                              Baby Bliss

Rachel Wilson Chase ‘98 and her husband Steve are happy to announce the arrival of Maria Josephine Chase.

The Paez sisters
Tim Wydra ‘08 and his wife Mylynh are overjoyed by the birth of their little girl Caitlynh.

Judy Francetic Hitchon ‘83 was appointed business compliance officer for Shell’s upstream businesses (exploration, production, gas and power) in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela and Columbia.

Donna Rini ‘85 received the National Science Teachers Association’s Distinguished Teacher Award. Rini was the first science teacher in three years to be nationally recognized by the 60,000-plus member organization. She received the association’s highest honor during the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Philadelphia in March. 

Helen Kasper ’86 accepted a promotion with The Hartford and now works in the financial services group’s corporate headquarters in Hartford, Conn. In addition to leading the sales organization, she has the opportunity to coach and mentor the next generation of female leaders. 

Maryanne Becka Haller ’87 was awarded a full-tuition scholarship at Kent State University to pursue a master’s in library and information science. She was just one of five students to be awarded the “Laura Bush 21st Century Youth Services, Librarians and Museums – A New Vision of Learning” scholarship.

Jody A. Jurkiewicz Kocsis ‘89 celebrated her 20th anniversary at the Lubrizol Corporation in June 2009. She was appointed by the National Academy of Sciences to represent the scientists of the United States at the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) General Assembly in Glasgow, Scotland, last year. She was part of a 6-team delegation representing U.S. scientists for global scientific issues.


                Wedding Bells
Arlene Erickson Kray ‘98 and Andrew Vincent Grejda were married on Sept. 5.
Gina Verdi ‘99 married David Ellis on May 22.
Nate McKibben '06 married Kristy Stefanski '08.
Nicholas Somich ‘06 and Tessa Bluntzer ‘08 married in Galveston, Texas on June 26.
Christian Taske '07 married Tricia Scarvelli.
Rachel Ritenour '08  married Dale Bartley.
Staci Myrup '10 married Falon Dean Waisath.

Kelley McIntyre Deir '95 has had an eventful few years. The chemistry teacher at North Olmsted High School married Jehad Deir in 2007. Two years later the couple welcomed a baby girl, Grace Kelley Deir.

Angela Piscitelli Lewis ‘96 gave birth to beautiful twin babies, Isabella and Vincenzo, in May.

Carol Waitinas-Alaqua ‘97, M.A. ‘04 graduated from Liberty University with an education specialist degree in July.

Rachel Wilson Chase ‘98 and her husband Steve are happy to announce the arrival of Maria Josephine Chase. Maria was born on April 17, weighed six pounds, 15 ounces, and measured 20 inches at birth.

Arlene Erickson Kray ‘98 and Andrew Vincent Grejda were married on Sept. 5 in a private ceremony at Butterfly Hollow Farm in Gordonsville, Tenn. Arlene graduated with a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University in 2005 and is now the manager of clinical science at Novum Pharmaceutical Research Services. She’s currently finishing her Doctor of Pharmacy at Duquesne University.

Susan Previts Paez ‘98 is thrilled to announce the arrival of her daughter Savannah Anne on April 14. She was seven pounds, 10 ounces, and 19 inches long. Big sisters Isabella and Avery are ecstatic.

Jennifer Cepik Blueter ’99 and her husband Bill welcomed a baby boy, William Joseph, on Oct. 10, 2009.

Gina Verdi ‘99 married David Ellis on May 22 in a beautiful ceremony presided over by Fr. Edward Mehok in Christ the King Chapel. The bride was escorted down the aisle by her father, Notre Dame Biology Professor Dr. Anthony LaVerde, and her mother Eileen. Maria D'Amico ‘97 and Christine Kohls-Hunder ‘92 served as a bridesmaids and Emily Salamon Jones '99 served as the Marian presentation attendant.


Joanne Previts ‘00 was awarded a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Kent State University. She accepted a full-time, tenure-track, assistant professor of middle school education position at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Ga.

Elizabeth Salem ‘02, her husband Richard and daughter Clare, have welcomed Richard Thomas into their happy family. Richard was born on Aug. 3. Elizabeth is currently in the sixth year of a Ph.D. program in American history.

2008 and 2009 were very busy years for Jennifer Hornacek Guadalupe ‘03. She married Paul Guadalupe in Sept. 2008 and in 2009 gave birth to twin boys, Aaden and Logan. The happy mother is currently a research program manager at the Cleveland Clinic. 

Erin Bayer ‘04 married Justin Tisdale ‘05 on July 11, 2009, in Christ the King Chapel. Fr. Edward Mehok performed the ceremony. Charles Jackson ‘06, Jerome Pierce ‘08, William Bambrick ‘08 and current student Sean Welsh served as groomsmen.

Niles Wadley ‘04 married Meleika Mohamoud ‘03 this summer. Niles graduated in May with his M.B.A. from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.  Meleika is a school-based social worker for the city of Euclid and owns Making A Difference Consulting, Inc. which provides small group counseling and programming for nonprofits, hospitals, schools and other agencies in the community. 

Maggie Steadley ‘05 has been hired by St. Joseph Academy as the head girls’ basketball coach.

Scott Archer M.Ed. ‘06 and his wife Robin welcomed their first child on June 19. Colin James Archer weighed seven pounds, 14 ounces. 

Nate McKibben ‘06 and Kristy Stefanski ‘08 married on June 12 in the bride’s hometown of Monroe, Mich. Bridesmaids included maid of honor and sister Patty Stefanski ‘08, Jessica Baron ‘07, Carmella LoCascio ‘07 and Holli Reyna ‘09. Groomsmen included best man Dan O’Keefe ‘06, Steve Destefano ‘06, Matt Stoltz ‘06, Mike O’Shea ‘05 and Danny Davis ‘05.

Alesia Salberg ‘06 graduated from the University of Akron with a Ph.D. in chemistry. She works at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, and is busy teaching chemistry to nursing students at Stark State College. 

Nicholas Somich ‘06 and Tessa Bluntzer ‘08 married in Galveston, Texas on June 26. Many alumni were in attendance, including Jessica Baron ‘07, Lucie McGinnis ‘06, Nicole Cicconetti-Smith ‘05, Nichole Gatlin ‘08, and Tendai Mukeredzi ’06. Nicholas is entering his fifth year teaching language arts at Mayfield High School, where he is also the senior class advisor. Tessa graduated with her B.S.N. from Cleveland State in May and is now working as a registered nurse with cardiac patients at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland.  

On June 27, 2009, Notre Dame College Editor and Writer Christian Taske ‘07 married the love of his life Tricia Scarvelli at St. Gregory the Great Church in South Euclid, Ohio. Christian credits the Sisters of Notre Dame for bringing the happy couple together. He met Tricia in 2001 when she visited his hometown in Germany during an exchange program organized by the Sisters through Regina High School. The two have been inseparable since and Tricia was also the one who suggested Christian attend NDC.

Brian Bruce II ‘08 is now teaching at Memorial Junior High School in South Euclid.

Edie Buchanan ‘08 is continuing her education by pursuing a master’s in literature at Arizona State University. She is currently working at the Arizona State University polytechnic campus as a writing tutor in the Academic Success Center.

Cynthia Linn ’08  is currently enrolled in a master's program with the American Military University for American History. She is also the first vice president and PR chairwoman for the Geauga Historical Society.

Rachel Ritenour ‘08 graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a Master's of Science in Social Administration in May. On July 24, she married Dale Bartley at Carillon Historical Park in Dayton, Ohio.

Tim Wydra ‘08 and his wife Mylynh are overjoyed by the birth of their little girl Caitlynh. She was born at six pounds, 14 ounces, and was 18.5 inches long. 

Erin Morley‘09 married David Curry on June 12 at St. Anne’s Church in Pittsburgh, Pa. She is currently employed by the federal government in Cleveland.

Staci Myrup ‘10 married Falon Dean Waisath in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple in South Jordan, Utah, on June 4. The couple resides in Midvale, Utah. Staci is currently working as an office manager but is interviewing for jobs in the fields of juvenile probation, ordinance enforcement, and victims' advocacy.

Submit your class note online at or mail them to NDC Alumni Relations Office, 4545 College Road, South Euclid, Ohio 44121.

E.g., 06/24/19
E.g., 06/24/19