Notre Dame Alumni E-Newsletter
August 2017
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Dear , 

It's hard to believe that we are already into the month of August and that school starts in just one short week. The alumni office has been busy working with alums to schedule many class reunions this fall. Be sure to click on the reunion link in this email. If you do not see a reunion on the list for your class and would like to get something going, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I would love to help you!

The alumni board is seeking new members! If you are interested in joining the board, please let me know! We are hoping to add members from all of our heritage schools.

As we prepare the Fall 2017 issue of IRISH magazine, we welcome all alumni to share their updates for inclusion in Class Notes. Your classmates will enjoy hearing from you! Email any updates before August 16 to or  click  here  to update through our website.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!

Beth Campbell
Director of Alumni Relations

September 19- Alumni Board Meeting 1389 Giddings Road, Pontiac 6 p.m. ALL WELCOME! We are looking for new members! Hoping to have representation from all of our schools!

September 30- Oktoberfest, Alumni seating available. Please contact Beth Campbell if you are interested in attending

October 6-7- Homecoming 

5 p.m. Pregame tailgate at the Fr. Colin House located at 1389 Giddings Road, Pontiac
7 p.m. Football game vs. Bloomfield Hills High School at William Kozyra Alumni Field 

October 8- Homecoming Alumni 5K Fun run/walk 9 a.m. at the Lower Division 

Dan Durkin ('12) interviewed on his upcoming season as head football coach at Suttons Bay High School. At 23 years old, he is likely the youngest head coach in the state.


Gretchen Altenberger, who graduated from Notre Dame in May, has been honored with the year-long  display of her 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Gold Key drawing titled, "Drained," within the offices of the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

Altenberger was among student-artists from Notre Dame who earned 45 awards in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition for the Southeastern Michigan region.
According to Sandy LewAllen, Notre Dame's art chair, earning 45 awards tops the number of awards ever won at Notre Dame Prep.

"I am so proud of all our art students and their efforts," she said in January after learning of the awards, which included 16 Gold Keys, 16 Silver Keys and 13 Honorable Mentions.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have an impressive legacy dating back to 1923. Over the years, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have grown to become the longest-running, most prestigious program for creative teens in the U.S., and the nation's largest source of scholarships for creative young artists and writers. A noteworthy roster of past winners includes Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King and John Updike.

Altenberger, who will be attending the College for Creative Studies this year, received one of only seven full scholarships from the prestigious art school located in Detroit


Paul Housey, an alumnus of Notre Dame High School and co-founder of Troy-based ISTO Advisors, has been announced as one of three national finalists for the Catalyst Award as part of the eleventh annual Invest in Others Awards. Housey is being honored for his work with Building Bridges, which will receive a $5,000 donation from the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation. If Housey wins his category, the donation will increase to $20,000.

Nearly two decades ago, Housey, who graduated from NDHS in 1988, founded Building Bridges, a non-profit dedicated to inspiring underprivileged children in Pontiac, Mich., to believe in themselves by connecting them with adult role models and private high school scholarships. 

Since 2004, Building Bridges has partnered with Notre Dame Preparatory High School in Pontiac to sponsor dozens of high school students, connecting them with high-quality education and putting them on the path to a college education.

According to Housey, kids who haven't had a fair chance for a good education should get one. "So we get good and generous people together as donors or advocates to inspire these kids to believe in themselves, and once they believe in themselves, the sky's the limit."

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

Andrew Currier graduated from Notre Dame High School in Harper Woods, Mich., in 1999. After undergrad at Grand Valley State University where he also played baseball, Currier went on to the University of Notre Dame and earned an M.Ed. and started a career in education that has led to the top position at a prominent Catholic high school in California.

He recently checked in with the Notre Dame Alumni Association to talk about what he's been up to recently as well as his time under the tutelage of the Marist Fathers at Notre Dame. He also discussed his tenure at the University of Notre Dame where he received his master's degree.

"I came to Notre Dame High School in Harper Woods as a sophomore. My father was the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Air Station on Selfridge Air Base in Macomb County. after he was transferred from Montgomery, Ala., to the Detroit area. I had attended Montgomery Catholic Prep in Alabama for my freshman year, which also was another phenomenal, life-changing place. Montgomery Catholic was co-ed and the southern manners of my schoolmates were more refined and gentile than I was used to."

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

When legendary high school football coach Walt Bazylewicz was filling out his application for the position of director of the Catholic High School League in 1972 and he came to the part that asked for references, he allegedly wrote, "Ask anybody."

That's because by that time, "Bazy" had established himself as one of the most successful football coaches by not only CHSL standards, but by Michigan High School Athletic Association standards. (A member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, his record was 146-42-9 when he gave up coaching to take over the Catholic League.) 

Everybody in Michigan high school sports knew Bazy in 1972 and he went on to become one of the best directors in league history before passing away in 1999 at the age of 77. 

Enter Bob Lantzy, a 1964 Notre Dame alum, who is about to embark on his second season as head football coach at Stoney Creek High School. 

But Lantzy's not a sophomore coach by any measure. In fact, he's set to begin his 43rd season as a coach, having spent the first 41 seasons leading Utica Eisenhower to a 304-115-1 record until the year 2011, when he first retired from coaching.

Like with Bazy, you'd be hard-pressed to find anybody in football in the state of Michigan who doesn't know about Lantzy. Yet that isn't the only thing the two coaches have in common.

The Notre Dame connection

According to Lantzy, his coaching career was informed big-time by Bazylewicz, who was his football coach in high school at Notre Dame in Harper Woods. 

"Bazy taught us all that to win you had to love the game and be willing to sacrifice your time to excel," said Lantzy after a recent tour of the Notre Dame campus in Pontiac. "His practices were at game speed - not long - but organized to cover all the situations that could come up in the game. Bazy also did not play favorites. The best players played in the games and if you wanted to play, you had to earn it."

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


Mike Locricchio, a 1970 graduate of Notre Dame High School, co-owns Metzler Locricchio Serra & Company, P.C., a CPA firm that specializes in closely held entities and their owners. It will celebrate 34 years in business in November. But if you told Locricchio 47 years ago at his graduation from Notre Dame that he would one day make a good living in accounting and finance, he likely would have said you were bonkers. 

Yes, he always was good with numbers - math was a favorite subject in high school - but his career goals skewed toward engineering. 

First of all, as Locricchio pointed out during a recent interview with the Notre Dame Alumni Association, despite an excellent education at Notre Dame, he considered himself to be "young, dumb and naïve" when he finished high school. But he also thinks that if he wasn't young, dumb and naïve for nearly half his life, he wouldn't be where he is now.

"And I wouldn't have made as many of those crazy twists and turns," he said.

Nuclear neophyte

After graduation from Notre Dame, Locricchio entered Western Michigan University and got into its pre-engineering program. He eventually transferred to the University of Michigan after two years at WMU.

"I still wasn't sure which engineering program to get into even after two years of college," he said. "At U-M, I was going to room with my NDHS classmate Paul Fessler for the next two years, and I remember him saying to me that he was in the nuclear engineering program and that I should give it a try. So I did. Remember, I was young, dumb and naïve."

It may seem like a stretch to call someone like Locricchio, who finished near the top of his class at NDHS, "dumb" by any measure. He himself acknowledges that Notre Dame did provide him with an extraordinary education that prepped him very well for his post-secondary education as well as a career afterward.

"Many of the teachers I had at ND I still remember well," he said. "They most certainly prepared me for college: Mr. Raymond, Mr. Cackowski, Mr. Schram, my algebra teacher, Roy Johnson. However, Jim Berch pushed me the most. I had him for calculus I and II and computer programing and I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I vividly remember Mr. Berch approaching Fessler and me to get involved with some kind of special project."

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

Notre Dame alum has been pacing the links of Michigan for more than 50 years. And he's not done yet.

Last year, Frank Guastella won the "Lyle Leeke Distinguished Service Award," which is handed out annually to an individual who has "displayed distinguished service to both the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association and the golf industry" in general. Guastella, a 1970 alum of Notre Dame, also is a member of the Michigan section of the PGA of America as a longtime golf pro.

How he got to be such a multi-hyphenated and esteemed member of the state's golf community, while full of twists and turns, really is no surprise after examining his past. You see, Guastella was a golf "junkie" even before he started high school when he began to caddy at the storied Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.

"I was attracted to the beauty of a golf course even back then and was fascinated by the skill and technique that it took just to hit a golf ball," said Guastella, who later graduated from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., with a degree in marketing. "I thought to myself then that a golf course was a cool place to work because of the opportunity to be outdoors and the fact that you met interesting and influential people all the time."

To listen to Guastella's performance, click here.

For the second time in three years, Notre Dame Preparatory School was named the top Catholic high school in the state of Michigan, according to Niche, a national organization that annually ranks colleges and K-12 schools across the country. Niche also rated Notre Dame Prep the 6th best private high school, religious or non-religious, in the state and 65th best Catholic high school in the entire country.

In 2016, NDP also was named the #1 Catholic high school in Michigan by Niche.
For this latest round of rankings, Niche named Notre Dame Prep #5 of the best college prep high schools in Michigan (public or private).

For K-12 private schools in Michigan, Niche rated NDPMA 3rd best, with Cranbrook and Country Day ranked one and two, respectively, on the list.

According to Niche, the 2018 Best Catholic High Schools ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of the overall experience at a Catholic high school. This grade takes into account key factors such as the strength of academics, school culture and diversity, as well as student and parent reviews, in an attempt to measure the overall excellence of the school.

"Not only is Notre Dame the #1 best Catholic high school in Michigan, but it's within the top 100 in America (out of over 1,100)," said Jessica Hair, Niche's marketing outreach coordinator. "Our rankings really strive to capture the entire experience of attending a school, so Notre Dame's great ranking represents excellence among all aspects of the student experience - from great test scores and high college enrollment rates to student and parent satisfaction with the quality of education.

Four Notre Dame students who just graduated last month are leaving behind many friends and teachers; they also are leaving behind a legacy of athletic success never matched at the school.

Caroline Hauck, Grace Mackey, Jenny Redoutey and Anne Seyferth are heading to college in the fall - Hauck and Seyferth to the University of Michigan, Mackey and Redoutey to MSU. Besides an education in academics from one of the state's top high schools, the four also are taking to college an education in hard work, teamwork and perseverance - qualities that ultimately led them as team members to participate in an unprecedented four straight state championships in cheer for NDP.

"Being part of the group that has earned four state championships in a row is pretty indescribable," said Seyferth, who is leaning toward a biology major at U-M. "Every year was a harder and harder battle, but having people who were there from the beginning made the journey a little easier."
The fourth in Grand Rapids
Notre Dame Prep came into the 2017 state finals as the three-time defending champion in D-3 with Richmond finishing second the last two years. Last season, the Irish scored 775.48 points to Richmond's 765.86. In 2014, Notre Dame defeated Comstock Park to win the state title. Richmond was state champion in 2012 and 2013 and finished second to Comstock Park in 2011.

To read more on the Quad Squad, click here.

The Notre Dame athletic department announced that Nimrod (Nim) Shapira Bar-Or, a two-time participant in the Summer Olympics, has been hired to coach girls swimming and diving at the school's upper division.

A member of the 2008 and 2012 Israeli Olympic swim team, Shapira Bar-Or currently heads the AQUA Swim Club based in southeast Michigan, named one of the top 200 swim clubs in the U.S. He has been a member of the national team of Israel since the age of 15 and has competed at all international levels including the Maccabiah Games, European Championships, World Championships as well as the Olympics.
"We are excited to welcome Nim to our coaching staff," said Betty Wroubel, Notre Dame's athletic director. "Nim brings a variety of experiences with him that I believe will translate well to our program. He is the total package: He embraces the mission of the school, supports multi-sport athletes and has an overall astounding passion for swimming. I think Nim will quickly connect with our community and fit nicely into our girls swim program." 

For Shapira Bar-Or, he said he's honored to have the trust of the Notre Dame athletic department in leading the girls swim team.
"Swimming is my life passion," he said. "And my philosophy is to build a supportive swim community for all swimmers at all levels. Very excited for fun and fast swimming at NDP!"

To read more on Shapira Bar-Or, click here.  

In an excerpt of a video interview conducted just prior to the launch of the public phase of Notre Dame's current "March On To Victory" capital campaign, Fr. Leon Olszamowski, s.m., who is corporate president of NDPMA, talks about why he sees a need for new campus facilities dedicated to science, art and technology. The planet Mars and the U.S. space program also get shoutouts from Father Leon.

To watch a fly through video of the new wing, click here.
For more Notre Dame news,  click here.

A long time ago, Kyle Lilek gave up on a career as a Power Ranger. Now a teacher in Notre Dame's upper division, he's impressed with how the entire NDPMA teaching community embraces its mission. He also says he's never had a bad day at Notre Dame "that I didn't cause myself."

When Notre Dame upper division English and IB-Theory of Knowledge teacher Kyle Lilek first got on campus as a substitute teacher in 2012, one of the first of many things that impressed him about the school was how the other teachers embraced the institution's mission. He also was more than a little nervous initially.

"My sister, Clare, graduated from NDP, but I did not," said Lilek, who grew up in Naperville, Illinois, and attended a Catholic high school in Minnesota. 

"As a result, when I first started working at NDP, the discipline instilled in me by my Catholic education warred with the anxiety of starting my career, and for a while I awkwardly referred to all staff by their titles, i.e., 'mister,' 'missus,' etc. However, I knew that I wanted to teach full time at Notre Dame very early on. I totally fell in love with the  mission of the school and how the staff seemed to effortlessly instill it in everything they did."

Just woke up one day and wanted to be a teacher

What impressed me the most back then about Notre Dame and still does to this day is how naturally the mission is implemented into the school through a living theology and faith, ethics through action, and education through mutual respect. It makes me really proud to be part of this community."

Lilek's journey to becoming part of the Notre Dame community - and in fact becoming a teacher at all - began after he graduated from Michigan State University in 2008 with a degree in English and a minor in film studies. Many teachers will tell you that they are either inspired by one of their own teachers or love their subject and want to share it with others. But for Lilek. . .?

"I'm neither. Call it divine inspiration or grogginess, but I pretty much just woke up one day and thought I could teach," he said.

To read more on Lilek's story, click here.
In May of this year, when Brandon Jezdimir was named interim principal for Notre Dame's middle division for the 2017-18 school year, he said he thought gaining such an opportunity was most certainly a "special grace." Duly inspired by Society of Mary/Marist founder Fr. Jean Claude Colin, Jezdimir recalled learning that Colin once had called "a short-term opportunity that one embraces with joy and clarity" a "special grace."

"I see this interim principal position as 'a special grace,' but with long-term applications, not short," he said. "Working at the Notre Dame Marist Academy middle division for 11 years truly has been a gift from God. The school's mission, 'To work with God to form Christian people, upright citizens and academic scholars' is a mission that the Notre Dame middle division faculty and I accept and are constantly eager to implement."

Jezdimir, who most recently served as vice principal for Jill Mistretta, replaces Mistretta, who has decided to return to her true passion - the classroom at Notre Dame - after more than 20 years of administrative and teaching experience at the school. In addition, Kelly Patterson, a 7th grade language teacher and alumnae of Notre Dame Prep, has been named interim vice principal, beginning with the new school year.

Man of faith

For Jezdimir, a true man of faith, he said even though it's still summer break, it's already been a whirlwind of activity at the Marist-sponsored school.
"It's hard to believe summer is winding down and another school year is quickly approaching," he said. "But I am filled with excitement and anticipation for this upcoming school year and as I begin this new position, I have been reflecting on what I believe it means to be a Marist educator."

To read more on Jezdimir's story, click here.

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:

Virginia (Gini) Kelly - Mother of Mike '73 (NDHS) and Brian '77 (NDHS); former staff member at NDHS and wife of Tom Kelly, NDHS faculty member, coach and A.D. 7-20-17

Joe Kosik, Sr.- 
Grandfather of Alexandra '08 (NDP) and Killian '15 (NDP) 6-12-17

John J O'Rourke- Grandfather of Jennifer Bennett '01 (NDP) 6-10-17

Pierre Nasrallah Daher- Father of Andre Daher '89 (NDHS) 6-6-17

Robert Grady-'47 (SF) 5-26-17

Patricia Sheridan Blust- '43 (SF) 5-25-17

Maria Serra Mauro- '46 (SF) 5-24-17

Maxine Perkins-Bryson '43 (SF) 5-21-17

Thomas Ranger - Father of Curtis '70 (NDHS) and Steven '80 (NDHS) 8-12-17

Pauline Mangone - Mother of Fiore Mangone, NDHS '79

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.