A Message from the Alumni Office

The Saint Joseph High School community marked the beginning of the holy season of Lent with Mass and the reception of ashes on Ash Wednesday, February 14th. May these 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving in preparation for the Sacred Triduum and the glorious feast of Easter and the Resurrection be spiritually beneficial for you and your families. I hope you will take advantage of the many opportunities for meditation, prayer, and reconciliation provided by your local parishes during this time. Please keep the faculty, staff and students at Saint Joe in your prayers; the intentions of all alumni are remembered in each Saint Joe Prayer Corner.
Elsewhere in this issue of Alumni Soundings you will find our next Alumni Faculty/Staff Spotlight, a list of currently scheduled reunions and alumni celebrations, and more news concerning alumni as well as current happenings on campus. 
Wishing you God's blessings.
Henry Chandler, '67
Alumni Coordinator
Alumni Faculty/Staff Spotlight
Mrs. Andrea Smolinski '01, a dedicated educator at Saint Joseph High School, brings a wealth of experience and passion to her role. A graduate of Christ the King Grade School, Andrea's educational journey led her to pursue a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Indiana University South Bend and complete the Transition to Teaching Program at Bethel College. With seven years of teaching experience at Holy Family under her belt, Andrea joined the Saint Joe faculty eight years ago where she has made significant contributions as an English teacher for grades 10-12, as overseer of Student Media and Yearbook, and in her current position as Program Coordinator for Learning Strategies.

Throughout her tenure, Andrea has been drawn to the strong sense of community at Saint Joe, fueled by her admiration for her colleagues and the unique stories of each student. Reflecting on her own experiences as both a student and faculty member, Andrea treasures memories of camaraderie in basketball, cheerleading, and the drama program. As a mentor, she finds fulfillment in nurturing her students' passions and celebrating their achievements, while her advice to graduating seniors emphasizes resilience, self-discovery, and embracing one's unique potential. Andrea's impact extends far beyond the classroom, embodying the spirit of encouragement and empowerment that defines her approach to education and enriches the Saint Joe community.
Dr. Joseph Leary '05 Selected for MACEP Fellowship
Congratulations to Dr. Joseph Leary '05, DO, MPH, an emergency physician at CHA Cambridge and Everett Hospitals, who has been selected to the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians (MACEP) 2024 Leadership & Advocacy Fellowship program. Dr. Leary, who joined CHA in 2020 while completing graduate studies at Harvard, is one of two fellows who will take part in this fantastic learning opportunity. The program helps develop future leaders in emergency medicine, promote emergency medicine locally and nationally, and provide opportunities to attend state legislative and regulatory meetings and hearings.
Betsie Miller-Kusz '63 Restores Iconic San Francisco Mural
Originally painted over 40 years ago, the iconic Upper Market St. mural is being restored by Betsie Miller-Kusz '63. The mural features an abstract, brilliantly colored depiction of the landforms behind the retaining wall, located on Market St. at 19th St. The site is at almost the exact geographic center of San Francisco. The restoration will be complete in Spring 2024.
Special Recognition and Congratulations
Congratulations to former Boys Tennis player Ryan Keckley '03 on recently being inducted into the IHSTeCA Hall of Fame. Keckley has been the head coach of San Diego Men’s Tennis since 2015-16.
Congratulations to Aimee Litka '05 on a winning a Sectional Championship at New Prairie High School. Litka has been the Head Girls Basketball coach since 2020. This is New Prairie's first Sectional Championship since 2000.
Congratulations to Stephanie Nunez '20 on being named Valedictorian at Holy Cross College. Commencement will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2024, on the Holy Cross College campus. 
Tickets on Sale Now: Ignite! 2024 Solid Gold
Join us Saturday, March 16 at Four Winds Casino, for our annual Ignite Gala. This year's honoree is Mr. Henry Chandler '67, recognizing his 40+ years of service to Saint Joe. 

The annual Ignite Gala is Saint Joe’s primary fundraising event and is a fantastic way to share your commitment to Saint Joseph High School while connecting with others in our community. Help us raise the resources needed to fund a world class, faith-based education for all students! 

Four Winds Casino is offering discounted room rates for attendees. The cutoff for the reduced rate is February 19. To reserve a room, call 1-866-494-6371 and mention you are part of Saint Joseph High School room block. If you have any questions, or would like to volunteer to assist in planning or the night of the Gala, please contact Patrick Lindenmeyer, Director of Annual Giving and Constituent Relations at [email protected].
Artwork designed by Lucy Noem '25
Spring Musical, February 29-March 2
The Saint Joseph High School Theatre program is currently in production of the 2024 Spring Musical: Fiddler on the Roof. Fiddler on the Roof focuses on a Jewish village in Imperial Russia in the early 20th century. It tells the story of a Jewish man and his family and their journey as, in the face of a changing society, they begin to give up their traditions and are forced to leave their home. However, throughout the change and hardship, they are still able to cling to and find solace in their faith. It’s a story that focuses on family, faith, tradition, the history and oppression of the Jewish people, but most of all, it’s a story about love. Love for family, love for spouses, and the love of God. 

Thursday, February, 29 at 7:00 p.m
Friday, March 1 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 2 at 2:00 p.m.
Happenings Around Saint Joe
Please join us in congratulating junior Sean Spoonhower, who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout! The rank of Eagle is the highest achievement and rank attainable in Boy Scouts. His Eagle project was to build an elevated observation deck that overlooks a wetland at Prairie Winds Nature Farm.
Students in Mr. McCarthy’s Geography and History of the World class recently celebrated National Lego Day by learning about the history of the Lego brand, viewing the official Lego documentary, and building their own sets. This lesson is part of a unit where students research the unique cultural contributions of each of the 45 countries in Europe.
In celebration of Catholic Schools Week, students were treated to a delightful surprise – cupcakes! These delicious treats served as a reminder of the warmth and community spirit that thrive within our school.
On Sunday, February 4 we honored our National Honor Society inductees. Congratulations to these students and to the officers who led the ceremony.
Mrs. Kloser and Mrs. Brenner had the pleasure of hosting Katherine Higgs-Coulthard, professor in the Educational Department at Saint Mary's College and author of the young adult novel, Junkyard Dogs. During her visit with the 9th grade English Honors classes, Kat shared insights into the world of writing, emphasizing the power of editing and revision. She shared her experiences working with editors and offered a glimpse into her creative process, showcasing snippets from her own notebook pages.
Saint Joe Athletics celebrated National Girls & Women in Sports Day Wednesday evening. Special thanks to Head Volleyball Coach Lexi Logan and numerous Saint Joe coaches and student-athletes representing Softball, Volleyball, Basketball, Cheer and Lacrosse. Our 82 visiting athletes had a great time and were able to participate in all five sports while interacting and learning from our coaches and student-athletes.
Professor Scott Jackson visited the senior AP English classes this week. Jackson is the Artistic Director of Shakespeare at Notre Dame. He provided a workshop on acting for Mr. DePauw's students - who are currently rehearsing Shakespearean plays in preparation to perform them in class. Jackson shared his expertise on how to work as an ensemble and how to dig deeper into character performance.
Ten Saint Joe students participated in the Indiana State School Music Association Solo and Ensemble Festivals. Students prepared solos and small ensemble pieces, receiving a total of two Silver and ten Gold medals. Many will be performing at the ISSMA State Festival in Indianapolis on February 24. Way to go, Saint Joe music students!
Students of the Spring Musical production of Fiddler on the Roof recently participated in a morning field trip to Sinai Synagogue with a chat featuring Rabbi Friedland. This was a great educational and cultural experience ahead of opening the show at the end of this month. 
School spirit was at an all-time high at our Homecoming Pep Rally! We recognized our winter athletic teams and clubs and the 2024 Winter Homecoming Court. The faculty and staff won big over the Homecoming Court in the basketball game!
Presenting your 2024 Winter Homecoming Court! Congratulations to King and Queen, Micah Stover and Ashi Amalnathan.
Upcoming Reunions

Classmates interested in organizing a class reunion may contact the Alumni Office at (574) 234-2904, ext. 5, or email Alumni Coordinator Henry Chandler at [email protected]​​​​​​​ to get started.

Class of 1967
75 Year Birthday Celebration – August 3, 2024 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. Taphouse on the Edge 1803 South Bend Ave - Contact: Becky Havens 574-386-1043 [email protected] and Robbie Dunn 574-250-3976 [email protected]

Class of 1969
55 Year Double Nickel Reunion – September 12, 2024 4:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Chickory Event Center Mishawaka. Contact: Deb Buczynski Leath [email protected] put Reunion 55 in subject line or [email protected] or 574-210-1706 (leave message with name, email, refer to 55 Reunion; Deb will get back to you.) One mailing will be sent soon.

Class of 1974
50 Year Reunion – July 26 & 27, 2024.

Class of 1984
40 Year Reunion – August 3, 2024 Jay's Lounge, Niles, Michigan. Contact: Colleen O'Brien McNamara [email protected]

Class of 1989
35 Year Reunion Saturday, July 20, 2024 at Four Winds Casino, South Bend Facebook page St. Joe Class of 1989 Reunion Contacts: Myra Klawinski Sweeney [email protected] Dave Custer [email protected]

Class of 2004
20 Year Reunion Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22, 2024 RSVP by May 21, 2024 at [email protected]

Class of 2014
10 Year Reunion Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10, 2024. More information to follow.
Saint Joseph High School
Athletics Update
2024 Summer Sports Camp Registration Now Open!
2024 Summer Sports Camp registration is now open!
Hockey has continued their strong performance finishing January with a 9-2 overall record pushing them to a season record of 23-12-2. They finished in first place of the MHSHL League earning the Founder's Trophy for the 19th time in program history. This also earned them the #1 seed in the City Tournament Bracket which gave them a first round bye. In the second round of the tournament, they beat Penn 3-2 to advance to the semi-finals. They also earned the #5 seed in the 4A State Tournament which will be held in South Bend, February 23-25.
Boys Basketball is closing in on the last week of the season and the team has really started to find their groove. They have continued to improve all season and found a rhythm playing fearless and selfless basketball. Coach Gaff stated, "We are currently on a good stretch and look to continue that over our last five games of the season. As I tell my guys, February is to get prepared for March. We are definitely preparing well." The team plays at Washington High School tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Girls Swimming and Diving competed at the IHSAA Riley High School Sectional on Saturday where sophomore Claire Dobrydney qualified for the State Tournament to be held at the IUPUI Natatorium on February 9 & 10. Dobrydney advanced as a result of her 2nd place finish in the 200 Freestyle with a time of 1:53:39 and her 1st place finish in the 500 Freestyle with a time of 5:08.96.
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