Alumni Crest 2012 


Spring 2016
In This Issue
Letter from the Assistant Director of Development
Alumni Mass & Reception
Alumna Appointed to President's Cybersecurity Committee
Alumna Named to WBCA's Thirty Under 30
Alumna Delivers Miracle Baby
McLellan '06 Playground Dedication
Alumna Founds Ark's Foundation
Alumni Inventors & Entrepreneurs
Alumna Founds Pebble Tossers
Veterans Day Assembly Features Alumnus
Alumni Roman Holiday
Alumni Committee News
Alumni Updates
Prayer Requests
Stay Informed - Stay Connected



Letter from the Assistant Director of Development

Dear IHM Alumni and Parents of Alumni,
There's no denying the call to serve others runs deep in the DNA of IHM alumni--from Parent of Alumni Bob Zimmer's devotion to ensuring the past, present and future success of IHM School, to Jen McGowan Guynn's '83 passion to "start a ripple of giving" through her non-profit to Ariel Kim '12, who likewise saw a need and created a non-profit to fill it, to U.S. Army Captain Nathan Shaffner '02, who serves our country every day to keep us safe to Annie Anton '80, who also works to make our country safer by serving on President Obama's Committee to Enhance National Cybersecurity. 
IHM alums are being recognized for teaching and caring for one another as well, like Misha Jackson '05, Emory women's basketball assistant coach, who was recently named to the WBCA's Thirty Under 30 for her exemplary behavior on and off the basketball court, and  Halleigh Amsden '04, who, instead of basking in her moment in the sun after being nominated for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's 2016 Woman of the Year, chose to shine a light on courageous classmate Katherine Million Welch '01 and raise funds in her honor.  

Our alumni are also inventing things to make the world a better place. Whether it's improving our environment by designing sustainable technology like Ryan Gillespie '07 or giving us the courage to "reach out and touch somebody's hand" by inventing a hand antiperspirant like David Spratte '09, in ways big and small, our alumni are making the world a better place each and every day. We'd like to think their time at IHM School had a little something to do with that...either way, we're proud. I hope you enjoy reading about the extraordinary IHM alumni featured in this issue. 


Thérèse Mruk Garrett
Assistant Director of Development



Zimmer Honored at Alumni Mass & Reception
Over 100 guests attended IHM School's annual Alumni Mass & Reception on March 5,
2016. Many alumni served during the Mass and then attended a reception in the lower level of the church.   
Bob Zimmer (center) with
Arnold and  Elenna D'Amico

The highlight of the evening was when Parent of Alumni Diane Bogino (right) presented fellow Parent of Alumni Bob Zimmer with the Distinguished Service Award for his decades of dedication to IHM School, especially his alumni outreach and endowment support efforts. 
Bob has been a champion of IHM School since his six children-- Rob Zimmer '79, Ed Zimmer '81, Katie Zimmer Neri '82, Dave Zimmer '84, Margie Zimmer Walsh '87, and Martha Zimmer White '90 --started attending school here in the 1970s. Martha's children,  Audrey and Maggie White '20 , are current IHM students.  
Rob Zimmer '79, Martha Zimmer White '90, Katie Zimmer Neri '82,
Martha and Bob Zimmer, Dave Zimmer '84 and Ed Zimmer '81
Eddie Patterson '85 with Martha Zimmer White '90
Mark Montello '84 and 
Dave Zimmer '84
Thanks to all who attended and made this such a special event! Mark your calendars for next year's Alumni Mass & Reception, which will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017. 
(Above) Parents of Alumni Helen Smith & Celeste Murphy reconnect. 
(Right) Librarian Sandy Wilson, Vivian Adan Lowe '90, former teacher Susan Smith & Christi Azurmendi Moon '90. 
  (Above) The Tyson & Smith families catch up. 
(Left) Three Generations of IHMers:
Rebecca Panter Duvall '63, Julie Duvall Hiland '92
and Ellie Hiland '23  



Alumna Appointed to National Cybersecurity Committee

On April 15, 2016,  Annie Antón '80 was appointed to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity by President Obama. Dr. Antón has worked as Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology since 2012. She is a member of the Georgia Tech Institute for Information Security and Privacy. She taught at North Carolina State University from 1998 to 2012, serving as Director of the Computer Science Policy and Compliance Initiative and a member of Cyber Defense Lab from 2011 to 2012, Professor of Computer Science from 2008 to 2012, Associate Professor of Computer Science from 2003 to 2008, and Assistant Professor of Software Engineering from 1998 to 2003. 
She has served on a number of advisory boards including the Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee; the National Science Foundation's Computer, Information Science & Engineering Advisory Committee; the Future of Privacy Forum Advisory Board; and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board. Dr. Antón received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the Georgia Tech. Prior to that, she was a student at St. Pius and Immaculate Heart of Mary Schools! 



Alumna Named to WBCA's Thirty Under 30
Misha Jackson '05, Emory women's basketball assistant coach, has been selected as a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) inaugural Thirty
Under 30 honorees. The WBCA Thirty Under 30 special recognition program was created to honor 30 up-and-coming women's basketball coaches age 30 and under at all levels of the game. 
Each recipient has an exemplary record of community service, mentoring and impacting others, and professional conduct and attitude. 

From day one as an assistant at Emory, Misha has shown a passion, knowledge and maturity that players, coaches, parents and administrators have felt in awe of," said Emory head coach Christy Thomaskutty. "Misha is so deserving of this award and I am blessed to work with her on a daily basis." 

After wrapping up a three-year playing career at Emory that saw her finish among the program's top 10 all-time performers in 11 different categories, Jackson joined the Emory coaching staff as a volunteer assistant for the 2013-14 season. She then was promoted to a full-time post prior to the start of the 2014-15 season.  



Alumna Delivers Miracle Baby 

Alumna  Katherine Million Welch '01  delivered a healthy baby boy, Michael Edward Welch, on New Year's Day. Despite his mother being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) when she was 22 weeks pregnant, "Miracle Baby" Michael was born perfectly healthy. Katherine is also the daughter of former longtime IHM teacher Tricia Million
For more about Katherine's story, click here related story below:


Alumni Team Honors Million Welch through Fundraising 

Halleigh Amsden '04 has been nominated as a candidate for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's (LLS) 2016 Man and Woman of the Year Campaign. This 10-week fundraising event runs through June 11 and Amsden's team, which boasts many IHM Alumni, is working to raise $100,000 for LLS.
A message from Halleigh: 
We are participating in honor of all those who are fighting/have fought against the variety of blood cancers that exist today, but more specifically for our close friend and IHM graduate, Katherine Million Welch, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) while 22 weeks pregnant with her first child.
We are so lucky to have such a strong community through Immaculate Heart of Mary. Please consider having a role in this campaign, whether it be a monetary donation or simply sharing this post/information with your own family and friends.
Thank you for your generous support!

Halleigh Amsden '04  with Elisa Graciaa Suri '04 & Jenny Amsden Quick '01
#MWOY #fightingforMEWandME
You can visit Amsden's candidate page for additional information and ways to donate by clicking  here.



   Playground Built in Memory of Christine McLellan '06


In November, IHM School erected a new play structure on the backfield and dedicated it to the memory of Christine McLellan '06. Built with funds donated by Christine's family, friends, and the larger IHM community, the new structure provides students with slides, monkey bars, a tower climber, flex tread, and other apparatuses that challenge students and allow them to use their imaginations through play.

Donations for the second phase of the playground, which includes expanding the structure and adding a half-basketball court, are still welcome and appreciated. Please click here and select "Other" to make a gift on the donation form. Construction will take place this summer and fall.
Deacon Bob Hauert leads the blessing of IHM's new playground structure. Students, faculty and guests hold up their fingers tied
with yellow ribbons in remembrance of Christine McLellan '06.



Ariel Kim '12 Founds Ark's Foundation  
Ariel's story in her own words: 

"In the summer of 2013, I spent a month in Ghana with VISIONS Service Adventures. Our main project was to finish construction on housing, but we also volunteered in the children's ward of a hospital and at Ark's Place, which is a home for children with disabilities. It was there that I met Mr. Ark, a man who lost his right arm in a car accident over 25 years ago. The stigma surrounding disabilities is so prevalent in Ghana that he was shunned by all of society, by his friends and even his family. But instead of letting the stigma tear him down, he traveled to the tiny town of Maase, where he began Ark's Place, a home for children with physical and mental disabilities 
who had been shunned like him. Thrown away (quite literally in some cases), tossed aside, or locked away by the people who were supposed to love them, these children instead grow up on the plot of land that Mr. Ark owns.

"Mr. Ark's dream is to have a handicap-accessible school on site. Moved by his story and the children who we met during our month-long stay, two of my friends from the trip, Ivan Boyers and Andrew Goodrum, and I created Ark's Foundation, a non-profit organization whose goal is to raise awareness of these children's plight and to raise the money that will build a school for them. Our mission statement is 'to further the acceptance of disabled children in Ghana by promoting their education.' 

"Every summer we work on fundraising and spreading the word. We've reached lots of different communities and countries, especially since a documentary on Ark's Place was aired in the UK. In the summer of 2015, we finally started wiring money over to Mr. Ark, and he has started construction. He has sent pictures of their progress, and it's fantastic. To date, we have raised around $66,000 out of our $100,000 goal. This is due in large part to a generous donor who offered to match whatever we raised up to $25,000.

"We're so close to our goal! Ivan, Andrew and I have been working on this for over two years now, and we never expected to be this far along this fast. Our plans are to keep fundraising and spreading the word, especially now that we have the 501(c)3 certification from the IRS. We'll continue to wire money, and once we've raised our $100,000 goal, we hope to fly back over to Ghana and take part in the construction ourselves.

"Registering as a non-profit corporation, building our website, filing for 501(c)3 status with the IRS, managing emails and potential donors, setting up a bank account and a PayPal account, fundraising across social media and via word of mouth, wiring the money and setting up methods of accountability, creating wristbands to distribute...every piece of the puzzle that got us this far today, we had to think of and do and learn ourselves. I can't say that I know everything or that I'm any sort of expert, but creating Ark's Foundation and keeping it going is a unique experience that I couldn't have found anywhere else. I guess I can say that I'm a little more real-world savvy than I was two years ago. But most importantly, I am incredibly happy to say that one day soon, the kids in Ghana at Ark's Place will have a school to go to in the morning just like they deserve."

For more specific information, as well as photos of recent construction, visit Ark's Foundation website. Or check out the foundation on Facebook. 

Editor's Note: In June, Kim will graduate from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and will attend Harvard University in the fall. 



Spotlight on Alumni Inventors & Entrepreneurs

Ryan Gillespie '07

A senior Sustainable Technology major at Appalachian State University,  Ryan Gillespie '07 
describes himself as "passionate about responsible transportation." He  is currently working to revolutionize the way Boone, NC, citizens commute by starting a local electric bike rental service. Ryan used funds awarded from four grants to build an e-bike. His next step is to conduct a feasibility study to test the e-bike market in Boone. To learn more about Ryan's endeavor, click here.

David Spratte '09

David Spratte '09, CEO and Co-Founder of Clutch, Inc., has created a proprietary (patent pending) antiperspirant hand lotion called "Carpe" that keeps hands fresh, clean, and sweat-free all day long. Click here for more information about Carpe.  After IHM, David attended St. Pius, where he was valedictorian of the class of 2013. He currently holds dual enrollment at Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to Clutch,  Spratte is also currently working as a Principle Investigator in health care and as a UNC Genetic Medicine Research Fellow.



Jen McGowan Guynn '83 Founds Pebble Tossers
By Thérèse Mruk Garrett 
Jeni Stephens (left) & 
Jen McGowan Guynn '83
Service has been a part of Jen McGowan Guynn's '83 life since childhood when she filled "the poor baby box" in her home with outgrown clothes to donate to St. Vicent de Paul. Volunteer opportunities during her time at IHM and St. Pius schools nurtured her passion to serve. When returning to work after staying home while her children were young, Guynn almost accepted an offer from the corporate world, but a friend approached her with another idea.
The two Atlanta moms, who share a passion for volunteerism and community involvement, were often disappointed when they searched for age-appropriate service projects for young families. They met a lot of roadblocks when trying to volunteer with their kids. Many organizations view child volunteers as a liability or a hassle. Frustrated by the lack of youth service opportunities, Guynn and her friend, Jeni Stephens, decided to do something about it. 
They came up with an idea for an online resource that would make it easy and fun for busy families to get involved with their communities. In 2009, Guynn and Stephens launched Pebble Tossers Inc., a non-profit youth development organization and family service website.  

Pebble Tossers strives to make volunteering fun and meaningful by matching children's interests and abilities with the needs of their community. The non-profit does all the leg-work for volunteers, helping them find, act, record and reflect on volunteer projects with local pre-screened organizations in need of assistance. 
Last year, Pebble Tossers hosted 80 projects. This year's goal is 100. "Hosting" a project means Pebble Tossers coordinates and oversees the entire project and provides a service leader on-site during the project. 
Currently, over 16,000 members from all across metro Atlanta find ways to serve their communities through Pebble Tossers.  "We've donated over $2 million in volunteer value, which is tremendous when you're talking about a bunch of kids," shares Guynn.  
"We want kids to know that they can make an impact. We give them the responsibility of choosing the project. It gives them ownership and makes it more interesting for them. All kids are different. I want them to know that it's OK to be different," she says. "We've got 12 different cause areas ranging from the arts and the elderly to animals and the military, homelessness, hunger issues, families in crisis, fragile kids, education and literacy. You pick a subject, and I bet I can find a project for you.

"You never know what potential kids have until they're in these situations. I'm all for pushing boundaries with my own kids because they need to see it, they need to know it's out there, that they can actually make a difference based on doing something as simple as saying someone's name. Some of these folks never hear their name. Little things like that make a difference," she continues.  

"I want all kids to have an experience as a young child that changes them so that they know that service can be a part of who they are--it can be part of everyday life. It doesn't have to be something big. It can be opening the door for somebody. It can be bringing in a trash can for your neighbor, but there's something that will resonate with every person. That is my goal for each kid I work with." 

To start your own ripple of giving , check out the Pebble Tossers website by clicking  here.  The  "Get Involved"  section features a list of all upcoming projects. "We're also on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. If you click 'Like' on our Facebook page, you'll get posts about our upcoming projects. You can also join our email newsletter list on Facebook or our website," adds Guynn.  
Editor's Note: Guynn was recently appointed to the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism by Gov. Nathan Deal. On news of the appointment, she said, "We're excited to join in the state-wide discussions on service and include our youth and family expertise."  



Veterans Day Assembly Features Alumnus
This past Veterans Day, IHM School honored our veterans with a school-wide assembly. Our featured guest speaker was U.S. Army Captain Nathan Shaffner '02, an alumnus of IHM. Nathan is shown at right with his wife and son and below with the current teachers and staff who were here when he was a student.

After the assembly, the veterans were treated to a reception hosted by our Home and School Board and a program featuring patriotic songs by our second-grade students.  



Members of the Class of '78 Share a Roman Holiday
By Karoline Rumps Brennan '78
Many longtime friendships have been born out of IHM School. In February 2016, five classmates from the graduating class of 1978 traveled to Rome, Italy. The trip, led by Father Patrick Kingery, included Anne Reimer Craig, Lisa Bird Frooman, Charles Gernazian and Karoline Rumps Brennan. The friendship, which continued through St. Pius X and into adulthood, has been a blessing for each of them. 

IHM Class of '78 Best Friends Forever: 
Charles Gernazian, Karoline Rumps Brennan, Anne Reimer Craig, 
Fr. Patrick Kingery, 
and Lisa Bird Frooman
Father Patrick's extensive travels to Rome made him the ultimate tour guide as the life-long friends made the pilgrimage during the Year of Jubilee. Visiting the four major basilicas, St. Peters, St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major were top of the wish list items included in the week-long excursion. The highlight of the trip was a private Mass celebrated by Father Patrick at the Basilica of St. John Lateran which was offered up for all the deceased members of their families. The friends enjoyed fabulous food, rekindled friendships and vowed to return to Rome together in the future! 



Alumni Committee Welcomes Auer Sisters 
The IHM Alumni Committee is pleased to announce Julie Auer Brandon '83 and Sarah Auer Kaliner '92, joined the committee earlier this school year. Julie's son, Sawyer, is in first grade at IHM, and her younger son, Cooper, will start kindergarten here in the fall. Sarah's daughter, Sophie, is in our current kindegarten class and her younger daughter, Claire, will start kindergarten at IHM in the fall. Welcome Auer sisters! We're so grateful to have your help on the Alumni Committee.
The Alumni Committee is always looking for new members! If you're an alum or parent of an alum looking for a volunteer opportunity at IHM School, please consider joining us. The committee meets just a couple of times per school year. We need help publicizing events and keeping alumni connected through social media and the newsletter, as well as with hosting alumni functions such as the Alumni Mass & Reception in March and the Senior Assembly & Reception in May. Help keep the spirit of IHM alive in the hearts of our alumni!  Please contact Jennifer Sedlack   if interested in serving.



Alumni Updates

Mark Buis '13 achieved the Boy Scout's highest honor of Eagle Scout . Mark's father, Kevin Buis, and mother, Fran McLellan Buis '79, were present at the ceremony. 

McKenna Rodgers

McKenna Rodgers '11 and Daniel Walton '11, both freshmen at Georgia Southern University, were recently inducted into the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and the National Honor Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS).   

Daniel Walton
Daniel is also a member of 
Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) 
fraternity at Georgia Southern. 

Erin Osment '07  aimed high when she participated in her first-ever marathon  this past February--the Olympic Marathon Trials! (She qualified after a half-marathon in January.) She went in ranked at 192nd and finished in 18th place! One of the youngest in the competition, Osment finished the race in 2:40. Sadly, there are only three spots on the Olympic team. Look for Erin in the 2020 Olympics! 
In the meantime, Erin will start teaching sixth-grade social studies at Holy Trinity Middle School in Charlotte, NC, this fall. It must run in the family; Erin's mom is Barb Osment, our middle school social studies teacher. Erin graduated from Davidson College in 2015. 

Elisa Graciaa '04  married Caleb Suri on December 19, 2015 at IHM Church.  Msgr.
Ava, Daniel and Sarah Graciaa, Caleb Suri, Elisa Graciaa Suri, Carmen and Flavio Graciaa

Albert Jowdy was the celebrant. The reception was held at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. The wedding party included the bride's brother Daniel Graciaa, MD '01, and cousins Diana Guyton '06, Alicia Guyton '09, and Sabrina Guyton '13, and friend Catherine Seanor '04. Elisa is also the daughter of IHM's Director of Faith Formation Carmen Graciaa. Elisa works in Public Relations for Trevellino Keller in Atlanta. Caleb is an independent sales representative. The newlyweds live in Smyrna.  
Elisa with her bridesmaids, including IHM alum cousins 
Sabrina, Alicia and Diana Guyton (second, third and fourth from left) and classmate Catherine Seanor (fourth from right)

Sarah Auer Kaliner '92 and Frank Kaliner welcomed a baby boy, Sean Joseph
Kaliner, on October 13, 2015. Arriving at 
8 lbs.  12 oz. and 20" long, Sean joins big sisters,  Sophie, an IHM kindergartner and Claire, who will start school here in the fall.     



Sydney Leimbach '11 (left) and
 Alexandra Howard '11 (right)

In the Fall 2015 Alumni News, Alexandra Howard '11 was incorrectly identified as Connelly Doize '11. So sorry, ladies! We apologize for the error. Here is the photo with the correct caption. 





Nancy Edwards Auclair, who taught at IHM in the '90s, passed away December 1, 2015. After leaving IHM, Mrs. Auclair moved to the Savannah area. She is survived by her husband and quadruplet sons. To read her obituary, click here.
Sheila McNamara Collins, mother of Kathleen Collins '80, Sheila Collins Ferguson '82, Ed Collins Jr. '86, and Maureen Collins '93 pa ssed away February 13, 2016 in Atlanta. To read her obituary, click here.

Owen Kelly, 16-year-old grandson of Dennis Kelly '67, was killed in a tragic accident in Sleepy Hollow, NY, this past January.  Click here  to read Owen's obituary. Dennis served as co-chair of IHM School's 50th anniversary celebration and is Director of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. 

Chris O'Reilly '80 passed away suddenly on January 21, 2016. To read more about Chris, click here.  

Former IHM student Father Joseph Peek passed away March 14, 2016 after a long battle with leukemia. Click here to read his obituary featured in The Georgia Bulletin and here to read the obituary that appeared in the AJC

Paul Upton, father of Matthew Upton '10, passed away October 23, 2015. To read his obituary, click here.

Eternal Rest
Grant unto Them, O Lord
and Let Perpetual Light
Shine Upon Them 



Prayer Requests  

Please keep the following members of the IHM community in your prayers: 
Cristina Garcia-Carreras Zakis '84 continues to battle breast cancer. Click t o follow her blog at:

Alyeda Reticker, mother of Anesia Reticker '06 and Jordan Reticker '10, had neck surgery after falling from a bunk bed while out of town. The surgery was successful; there was no paralysis. She is back home in Atlanta recovering now. 

Bob Bellingrath, father of Sarah Bellingrath '89 and Bob Bellingrath '93, and husband of Alumni Committee member Eileen Bellingrath, is being treated for throat cancer. 

Do you have a particular pastoral need? Visit the church's website at . Would you like to be added to the School Prayer List? Send your request to Lourdes Di Pietro at praying eagles if you would like to place someone on our prayer list.   



Stay Informed - Stay Connected 

Stay connected with former classmates by "Liking" us on Facebook at Like us on Facebook.

Keep up with current school news at  IHM School Facebook and

We love to get news from our graduates.  If you have news to share, contact
Jennifer Sedlack at