Alumni Achievement Awards
Join us this fall as we celebrate excellence and honor the achievements of exceptional O'Connell alumni who have distinguished themselves as leaders in career and service. This annual event will honor the extraordinary accomplishments of peer-nominated alumni. Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis and honorees are announced during the summer. Click here to make a nomination.
The Bishop O'Connell Alumni Association annually recognizes alumni for their contributions to society through the presentation of the following alumni awards:
- Distinguished Alumni Award -This award is granted to O'Connell graduates for significant accomplishments in business or professional life or for distinguished human service to their community, state, or nation.
- Young Alumni Achievement Award - This award is granted to O'Connell graduates age 40 or younger at time of nomination, for significant accomplishments in business or professional life.
- Knights Service Award - This award is granted to O'Connell graduates for specific and meritorious service to their school and/or community.
Nominate an Alum
Do you know of an O'Connell alum doing great things in the community or who has made extraordinary contributions in his/her professional field? Nominate him/her for an Alumni Achievement Award. Please review the criteria above and include as much information as possible with your nomination. Questions? Contact email@example.com or call 703-237-1446.
- 2023 Awardees
- 2022 Awardees
- 2021 Awardees
- 2020 Awardees
- 2019 Awardees
- 2018 Awardees
- 2017 Awardees
- 2016 Awardees
- 2015 Awardees
- 2014 Awardees
- 2013 Awardees
- 2012 Awardees
- 2011 Awardees
Dr. Molly Klote '84
The Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Molly McNerney Klote, MD '84. After graduating from O'Connell in 1984 as the Senior Class Secretary-Treasurer, Col. Klote attended James Madison University, where she was an active member of the Catholic Campus Ministry and the Army ROTC department. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in computer information systems. Earning a regular Army commission in the US Army Military Intelligence Corps, she was assigned to several locations, including two overseas tours in Korea and Honduras.
Having been a student athletic trainer during her years at O'Connell, she knew early on that she was called to some form of medical training and began taking primarily prerequisites for medical school. She joined the Individual Ready Reserves and was accepted into the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. She met her husband, Jim in her third year of medical school, and they married before graduation.
She trained in Internal Medicine, Allergy Immunology, and Clinical Laboratory Immunology at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center while having three children - two of whom graduated from O'Connell (Philip 2019, Andrew 2020); her daughter Meredith graduated from Oakcrest 2022. As an Army clinician, Col. Klote researched vaccines and published on immunodeficiency.
...in her own words: "learned a love of research regulatory and quickly became the Chief of the Research Department at Walter Reed. In my final Army position, I oversaw all Human Subjects Research in the Army for the Army Surgeon General. I served one tour in Iraq in 2008 and trained for another that was cancelled in 2013. After 30 years of service, I retired in 2018 and
was awarded the Legion of Merit, though I am most proud of my Parachutist Badge and the Expert Field Medical Badge. After taking off a few months to walk the Camino de Santiago, go camping on the East Coast of Greenland, and being invested into the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, I joined the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Senior Executive in charge of human
subjects protection in research. After five years with VA, I am now the Deputy Chief Research and Development Officer for Enterprise Support in the Office of Research and Development overseeing offices that focus on protection of people in research and VA intellectual property, regulatory research and ethical approval of studies, IT and data governance, and research education and training for 110 medical centers."
In her free time, she travels, performs service projects with the Order of Malta, and serves as the medical director for the Diocese of Arlington Work Camp. She works once a month at the Diocese's Mother of Mercy free clinic in Woodbridge, and when she is home, she enjoys the company of family, friends, six dogs, and nine chickens.
Madison Carter '13
The Young Alumni Award was presented to Madison Carter ’13, a celebrated news anchor and EMMY-nominated investigative journalist, undertaking her formal journalism education at Syracuse University's renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she graduated in just two and a half years.
Madison began her journalism career at WVIR-TV NBC29 in Charlottesville, Virginia. She started as a reporter before working her way up to the morning anchor desk. While in Charlottesville, she reported extensively on the aftermath of the deadly white nationalist rallies that shook the city in August 2017. She was honored with two Virginias Associated Press awards for her investigative docuseries into the criminal justice system and parole in the Commonwealth.
From there, her career took her to Buffalo, New York. She was quickly promoted from her reporter position there to anchor weekdays. She says she "sneaked" onto the I-Team after working her way over when there was no open position. As an investigative reporter in Buffalo, she focused on uncovering corruption, racism, and political accountability. Madison received
international recognition for her exclusive and extensive reporting following civil unrest that broke out after the killing of George Floyd.
She was named News Personality of the Year by The Buffalo News and recognized by the NAACP for "being a critical voice for people of color…and using her platform to push the envelope in the criminal justice system." While Madison grew up in Northern Virginia -- after spending time in her beloved City of Buffalo, she's often mistaken for a Western New York
native, a label she wears proudly. Go Bills!
At just 25 years old, Madison was hired as the lead reporter for a national investigative team based out of Atlanta. The team was called "Atticus," and its mission was to change the world through long-form investigative storytelling. Madison produced several docuseries alongside her team, including "A Different Cry". The piece explores the rising suicide rates among Black youth (5-13) in America. The story told through the eyes of two families who lost their sons to suicide, shows how school systems are ill-equipped to handle bullying complaints and how poor records and data are obscuring the true nature of the crisis in America.
She was nationally recognized with a Gracie Award in 2023. Madison recently moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where she currently works at WSOC-TV as a news anchor and investigative reporter. Madison was the youngest executive officer ever elected to serve on the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) board as secretary. She was also asked to serve on the board of directors for the North Carolina Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). While at O'Connell, Madison lost her younger sister to Type 1 Diabetes. As a type 1 Diabetic herself, that spurred her dedication to volunteering with efforts that help others afford insulin and medical supplies. Her goal is to one day launch a charitable foundation to further that mission.
Leo Alonso '69
The Knights' Service Award was presented to Leo Alonso ’69. After graduating from DJO with the class of 1969, he began his career in the grocery business as a bagger in 1970 and rapidly ascended to become the youngest store manager at 26 with MEMCO. In 1983, Leo seized the opportunity to establish his independent supermarket, Fresh Value, transforming it into the #5 chain in the Washington D.C. region with seven stores, 250 employees, and $45 million in sales. Afterward, he ventured into the Hispanic mortgage market, providing over 13,000 mortgage loans and establishing an insurance broker and tag and title company.
Leo's commitment to community service is equally impressive. In 1983, he joined the Optimist Club of Reston, catalyzing his involvement with the Special Olympics. Witnessing the profound impact of Special Olympics athletes, he has remained dedicated to their cause for over four decades. In 1992, Leo formed a Special Olympics team at Vienna Elementary, later founding a team at Thoreau Middle School in 1997.
His advocacy extended to inclusive education when he played a pivotal role in creating the PVI Options program at Paul VI Catholic High School in 1998, igniting a nationwide movement. Leo has tirelessly championed inclusive education, leading to programs in 12 elementary/middle schools and all four high schools in the Arlington Diocese. He also co-founded the LIFE
program at George Mason University in 2002, the first of its kind in the nation.
Leo's commitment to disability advocacy led him to serve as Grand Commander of The International Order of Alhambra Porto 104, supporting individuals with disabilities in the Diocese. He now presides as President of Porto Charities, which raises funds for inclusive education programs. Under his leadership, Porto Charities has organized annual inclusion awards ceremonies and raised substantial funds for the cause.
Among his many accolades, Leo has received the Special Olympics Coach of the Year award, the NCEA Seton Award for Porto Charities' contributions to Catholic education, and the American Immigration Law Foundation Immigrant Achievement Award. Additionally, he continues to coach six GMU teams with 78 athletes in soccer, basketball, and track, consistently bringing home gold medals from state games. Leo Alonso's enduring commitment to business success and commitment and advocacy for inclusive education stands as a testament to his remarkable journey.
Christine Gollayan '93
The Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Cristine Gollayan ’93, a senior manager with Sony’s Global Cybersecurity Department, and board member of Women in Technology. Cristine earned a Bachelor's degree in International Business, Computer Information Systems, and Spanish from James Madison University, a Master's degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University and attended the University of Salamanca and Oxford University for International Studies. She currently serves on the "STEM for Her" board and has been featured in Washington Life Magazine's Top Tech Innovators and Disruptors. Her motto is to "Inspire Girls. Empower Women,” and she continues to live by this model every day in nurturing the next generation of leaders.
Paul J. Abraham '02
The Young Alumni Award was presented to Paul J. Abraham ’02, founder and CEO of PJI Law, a Northern Virginia law firm with specialties in Wills, Trusts & Estates, as well as business law and civil litigation. The firm has been named as one of the fastest growing law firms in the United States by Law Firm 500, and has earned the 2022 Great Place to Work Certification based on 100% positive employee feedback. Paul is a graduate of Cornell University and of the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. He has appeared on a number of radio and television shows, and his written work has been published in newspapers from coast to coast. He has been quoted in forums ranging from the nation's leading talk radio shows, to the pages of work appearing on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Paul has been named as Rising Star by Super Lawyers (2016-2022), Top Attorney by Arlington Magazine (2019-2022), Top 10 Wills, Trusts, Estates and Probate Law by the National Advocates (2017-2022), and Top 40 Under 40 in Virginia by both the National Trial Lawyers (2014-2022) and the National Advocates (2017-2022), in addition to other accolades. Paul is a founder and President Emeritus of the Thomas More Guild for Catholic Legal Professionals, and speaks regularly on estate planning issues to Catholic and other public audiences.
The Knights' Service Award was presented to Robert “Boomer” Buckreis ’86. Boomer completed his undergraduate degree at Mount St. Mary's University, before returning to O'Connell in 1990 as Religion teacher. He taught more than one generation of Knights before transitioning to staff positions, first as Activities Director and more recently as Facilities Director. Over his 32 years at the school, Boomer also held official or unofficial titles including (but not limited to): SCA Executive Board Moderator, Campus Ministry Director, Retreat Leader, Alumni Liaison, and Construction Liaison, while he also served on several board committees. Outside any job description he had, Boomer was instrumental in getting the building ready for Christmas each year and making sure every event had all the logistics in place. He was often the first person there and the last to leave. Off campus, Boomer serves behind the scenes for a number of local projects, including the planning and production work he does for the long-running "Catholic Life" public access show. He retired last spring, but continues to stay connected to his alma mater in a variety of ways.
David Meredith '89
Distinguished Alumni Award
David Meredith serves as Chief Executive Officer & Board Director of Everbridge (NASDAQ: EVBG), the global leader in Critical Event Management (CEM) software (SaaS) solutions that automate and accelerate operational response to critical events in order to Keep People Safe and Organizations Running™.
As a result of rapid growth in company revenue, cash flow and market cap, Everbridge moved up into the large-cap Russell 1000® Index in 2020.
With offices across 25+ cities globally, Everbridge software helps protect over one billion people spanning several country-wide deployments across all major regions of the world, many federal agencies, most U.S. states, and thousands of first responders. With almost 6,000 enterprise and healthcare customers, Everbridge serves 8 of the 10 largest U.S. cities, 9 of the 10 largest U.S.-based investment banks, 47 of the 50 busiest North American airports, 9 of the 10 largest global consulting firms, 8 of the 10 largest global automakers, 9 of the 10 largest U.S.-based health care providers, and 7 of the 10 largest technology companies in the world.
Reflecting Everbridge’s mission-driven culture, as well as the company’s category leadership in Critical Event Management, Everbridge won several recent awards. Everbridge received certification as a 2020 and 2021 Great Place to Work® by the Global Authority on Workplace Culture, as well as being listed on the 2020 Best Company Culture - Top 50 rankings. Everbridge won Growth Company of the Year from the Technology Leadership Council and received the Department of Defense’s prestigious Above and Beyond Award for supporting the U.S. National Guard and Reserve as well as the 2021 Service to the CitizenTM Award for contributions “protecting the health and safety of the public” during the pandemic.
Prior to Everbridge, David amassed over 25 years of senior executive leadership and board director roles across both multi-billion-dollar public companies as well as PE-backed technology-focused firms. His previous employers include Rackspace, CenturyLink (now Lumen Technologies), VeriSign, CGI (formerly AMS), and Capital One Financial Corporation.
As an industry thought leader, numerous media outlets and industry organizations have hosted, recognized, and quoted David from CNBC’s Mad Money with Jim Cramer, NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly, PBS’s Nightly Business Report, CNBC’s Squawk Alley, UK-Based Sky News Live to Nasdaq Trade Talk and NPR’s Morning Edition, among others.
David helped Everbridge develop and launch the impactful Global Executive Leadership Summit series that engaged 40,000 senior executives, government, and health officials from 150 countries. Notable leaders interviewed by David include President George W. Bush, Anthony Fauci, MD, U.S. General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, William Shatner, and others.
David ranked Top 50 in the largest company category by Comparably for Best CEO (2020) and Best CEO for Diversity (2021) while earning a CEO rating of A+, measured across 60,000+ companies. In 2016, The Uptime Institute recognized David’s contributions to the Industry by presenting him with their Change Leader Award. Georgia Trend Magazine named him a “Top 40 under 40 – Best and Brightest Leader” in 2008.
David serves as Chairman of the Compensation Committee and Board Director for SADA, a hyper-growth leader in cloud-based digital transformation.
Throughout his career, David has supported a variety of community causes such as serving on the Board of Directors for the Tobin Center for the Arts in Texas and the Savannah Music Festival, as well as being the Executive Sponsor for the annual Fill-a-Box Feed-a-Family Thanksgiving Food Drive during his time in San Antonio. As an active alumnus of the University of Virginia graduate school, David previously served as Chairperson for the Management of Information Technology Board and continues to serve on an Advisory Board at UVA. Currently, David and Everbridge actively support the CDC Foundation in its global efforts to protect the health of people around the world.
David earned his master’s degree from the University of Virginia. He graduated with honors from James Madison University (JMU) with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Corporate Finance.
David graduated from Bishop Dennis J. O’Connell (DJO) in 1989 where he lettered in varsity wrestling and was a semi-finalist in the Virginia State (VISAA) Wrestling Championships. David started as center fielder for the Founders Cup® World Kickball Championship® team, Thick Femur, which earned the title of “World Champions of Adult Kickball” in 2000. A former O’Connell Knight, he now plays chess on an international team called the Knights of the Crystal Castle. David enjoys spending time with his family and exploring the Greater Boston Area.
Vi Duong '09
Young Alumni Award
Vi Duong graduated from Bishop O’ Connell in 2009, where she was President of National Honor Society and a National Merit Semifinalist. Beyond academics, Vi attributes her time at Bishop O’Connell as vital to her path in interweaving her two greatest passions, art and science. From small group discussions in Mrs. Cerniglia’s AP Literature class to conducting laboratory experiments in Sr. Catherine’s AP Chemistry class, Vi has taken the lessons and foundations she learned of humility, generosity, listening, and critical thinking to her profession and daily life.
Born and raised in Annandale, Vi enjoyed growing up around a large extended family, including her aunts, uncles, and 20+ cousins. Although Vi knew from an early age she wanted to be a doctor, she also found a passion for art from the mere age of three years and spent countless hours in a local art studio painting and drawing on the weekends. She was recognized in several local and national art competitions winning monetary prizes as well as scholarships. By her high school graduation, Vi had compiled enough pieces to support a professional art portfolio. Her desire to pursue a career in medicine won over her desire to pursue a career in art (much to the dismay of her art instructor, but relief to her parents).
Vi attended the University of Virginia for her undergraduate education as an Echols Scholar where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology in 2013. She continued to dabble in art courses and enjoyed drawing the landscape and architecture around the beautiful grounds of the University. While attending UVA, she was introduced to women’s health working as a research coordinator for a randomized controlled trial about prenatal education in the outpatient clinic.
She then went on to attend medical school at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Initially, Vi was undecided on what field of medicine she planned to pursue. Ob/Gyn was her first clinical rotation, where her interest in women’s health was rekindled and her decision to pursue a career in Ob/Gyn was solidified. In her last year of medical school, Vi completed a sub-internship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery and took an early interest in the subspecialty with its diversity in clinic and surgical management of pelvic floor disorders: an opportunity to make an impact on a women’s quality of life. She was fortunate to stay in Washington, DC, for a four year residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology at MedStar Washington Hospital Center/Georgetown University Hospital with the support of mentors, close friends, and family in the area.
Beyond Residency, Dr. Duong is currently pursuing a three-year Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard’s first and largest teaching hospital in Boston.
Reflecting on her professional journey that led her to become who she is as a medical professional and artist, Vi is thankful for the constant support of her parents, without whom she would have never made it to this point. Furthermore, she would like to thank all of her teachers and mentors, especially Dr. Stabile, Sr. Catherine, Mr. Crivella, and Mrs. Cerniglia for their endless support and encouragement.
Candie Cruz Daniels '97
Knights Service Award
Candie was born and raised in the Northern Virginia area. A graduate of St. Agnes Catholic School and Bishop O’Connell High School. She received a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Services from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University. Her long family history of nursing: grandparents, mother, many aunts, and cousins, made her certain of her vocation in healthcare. However, she entered college intending to study Physical Therapy. During her third year at St. Joseph’s University she shadowed a hospice nurse in Philadelphia, and that experience demonstrated to her how clinical knowledge is just as important as the simple gesture of holding a patient’s hand. This sparked her interest in nursing and changed her career path; motivated to provide both compassionate and informed care for a patient. She could no longer ignore the fact that nursing was in her blood, and nursing has continued to inspire and motivate her after all these years.
Candie joined MedStar Georgetown Hospital in 2004 as a new to practice nurse in the Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit. She quickly developed excellent clinical and leadership skills. Her nursing knowledge and abilities were recognized by all members of the interdisciplinary team and she was asked to assist with opening a new Neuroscience Intermediate Care Unit. In 2011, she was selected as the Clinical Manager for the Neuroscience IMC Unit. Candie’s passion for critical care led her back to the Neurosciences ICU where she has remained for the last ten years. As a clinical nurse on the Neuro ICU, she has been a respected charge nurse, stroke responder nurse, preceptor for new to practice and new to critical care nurses, and an active member and leader for their clinical Practice Council.
In January 2020, Candie accepted the position of Clinical Educator for the Neuroscience ICU. Shortly after taking on that position, she played an integral role in standing up the first COVID unit at MedStar Georgetown, which was an intensive care unit. She volunteered to return to the bedside and care for COVID patients while maintaining her responsibilities as a nurse educator. From the inception of the COVID pandemic, she worked tirelessly to improve and streamline processes, support the education needs of staff, ensure safe clinical practices, and improve outcomes for patients. She was essential in the success of the critical care nursing teams at MedStar Georgetown and collaborated with other clinicians and leaders. She was instrumental in developing various protocols and nursing standards, many of which were implemented throughout the MedStar Health system. Candie’s hard work, leadership and clinical skills were recognized by her peers with the 2020 Clinical Nurse of the year for the Neuroscience ICU and the Clinical Educator of the Year Award in 2021. Additionally, she was nominated and selected as a 2021 Star Nurse in the DMV area by the American Nurses Association and the Washington Post.
Candie is a board-certified Critical Care Registered Nurse. She lives in Annandale, VA with her husband Mike, and two children, Jay and Kaia.
Robert P. Wilder, MD, FACSM '80, Distinguished Alumni
Known as “Bob,” Dr. Robert P. Wilder, MD, FACSM, is the Department Chair and the Harrison Distinguished Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Virginia where he serves as medical director of the Runner’s Clinic at UVa. He is recognized as a national leader in the clinical care of running athletes.
He graduated from DJO in 1980 where he was selected as Student-Athlete of the Year. He attended the University of Dayton where he was a University Scholar and captain of the Flyers Cross Country Team. Following medical school at the University of Virginia and residency training in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, he completed a Fellowship in Primary Care Sportsmedicine at the Nirschl Clinic for Orthopaedics & Sportsmedicine.
Dr. Wilder has served as Team Physician for numerous clubs and schools including FC Dallas of Major League Soccer, The University of Virginia, James Madison University, The University of Texas-Arlington and numerous high schools in Dallas and Charlottesville. He is team physician for the Reebok Elite Racing Team and the Ragged Mountain Racing Team. He serves as medical director for numerous races and endurance events throughout Central Virginia. He is a tournament physician for the US Tennis Association.
Dr. Wilder's academic sportsmedicine practice incorporates teaching of medical students, residents and fellows. He has been recognized with induction into the Academy of Distinguished Educators. He is Director of “Running Medicine”, the nation's longest running annual course devoted specifically to the clinical care of runners and co-editor of The Textbook of Running Medicine.
Dr. Wilder is listed in Best Doctors in America, America's Top Physicians, US News & World Report's Top Physicians, and Best Doctors in Virginia. He is a fellow of the American College of Sportsmedicine. He has been recognized by the American Academy of PM&R with the Legacy Award for excellence in clinical and academic sports medicine. He was chosen by Blue Ridge Outdoor Magazine as the Top Sportsmedicine Doctor in the Blue Ridge. He is a recipient of the UVa Dean's Award for Clinical Excellence, The Jim Beazell Award for Clinical Excellence, the Charlottesville Track Club's Lifetime Service Award, The Beverly McCoid Award for Volunteer Service and Albemarle Family Magazine's Fitness Ambassador Award. In 2018 he was inducted into the Central Virginia Running Hall of Fame.
Bob and his family live in Afton, Va with animals too numerous to list. He is an avid runner and cyclist and enjoys just about any activity that can be done outdoors. He cherishes the annual UVa football weekends shared with fellow DJO and UVa Alums, Bryce Weaver, Mark Quindlen and Kevin Mullen.
Maha-Rebekah Abejuela '99 , Young Alumni Award
Maha-Rebekah Abejuela grew up in Northern Virginia with her parents and two brothers, both of whom are also Bishop O’Connell graduates. She graduated from Bishop O’Connell in 1999 where she was a member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, the Keyettes, and served as Secretary/Treasurer of her Senior Class. After graduating from Bishop O'Connell, Maha attended the University of Virginia and graduated in 2003 with a double major in Government and Philosophy.
While at UVA, she held leadership roles in numerous organizations including serving as President of the Asian Student Union, as an Executive Board Member of the Peer Advising and Family Network Organization, and as a Fourth Year Trustee. She then went on to attend Villanova University’s School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctorate in 2007.
Maha started her law career at the Potomac Legal Aid Society (which later merged with the Legal Services of Northern Virginia), where her practice was focused on family law and foreclosure assistance. In 2011, she transitioned to working as a prosecutor at the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney in Fairfax County where she prosecuted numerous misdemeanor and felony cases, with the majority of her cases focused on domestic violence.
In 2016, Maha went to work as an Assistant County Attorney with Fairfax County where she handled abuse and neglect cases involving children and incapacitated adults. She is currently serving as a Judge in the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, and she is the first ever Asian woman appointed to be a judge in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The Carroll Sisters - Knights Service Award
Gina '95, Tina '95 (d.), Ashly '03, Courtny '09 and Kimberly
Five sisters with strong connections to O’Connell made the national news for their dedicated service to nursing. The story of the Carroll sisters was featured in the Catholic Herald and soon spread across various social media platforms and eventually landed on the CBS morning news. Their story of an inherited (and inherent) dedication to service is detailed below.
Many families at Bishop O'Connell know Mrs. Cathy Carroll, who has served in the academics office for 28 years, and who has lovingly transported hundreds of children over those years in her yellow school bus from her neighborhoods in Southern Maryland to Bishop O'Connell. Only some of the O'Connell families also know her as the mother of five daughter, four of them are Bishop O'Connell alumni.
All five Carroll daughters are registered nurses. Together they have given 67 years to this profession.
Christina (Tina) and Regina (Gina), both graduated from O'Connell in 1995 and pursued degrees in nursing from Marymount University. Gina now has BSN, RN and CPEN behind her name. She has been a nurse for nearly 21 years and currently leads an emergency room team in a Southern Maryland hospital. "What I love most about being a nurse is the satisfaction of helping others through their worst moments," Gina said.
Gina's twin, Tina, served as a pediatric nurse before she passed away in 2008. "I know she would have been one of the first to stand up in these times right now and say, 'I am here and I am NOT afraid,'" her sister, Kimberly added.
Like her older sisters, Ashly (BSN, RN, and O'Connell class of 2003) also studied nursing at Marymount. She currently coordinates and provides care for those in the community in need of complex spinal surgeries. "I became a nurse because I have always been passionate about the betterment of human life," Ashly said.
The youngest sister, Courtny (BSN, RN, and O'Connell class of 2009) is another Marymount nursing graduate. She lives in California where she works as a traveling ICU nurse. Courtny is finishing up her Nurse Practitioner studies in May and will be first in the family to add AGACNP-BC to her title. "Nursing is not just a career to me; it is my passion—the love of helping people, and the challenge of not knowing what I will face each day," Courtny said. "This is a trying time for every nurse, but I cannot imagine being anywhere else but in a hospital helping others. I am thankful I have a job, blessed to have my health, and extremely proud to be a nurse."
Kimberly is the oldest Carroll daughter. She attended La Reine High School in Maryland, an all-girls Catholic high school which merged with McNamara in the 1990s. She has been a nurse for 25 years in the service of all facets of women's and children's healthcare including labor and delivery, neonatal intensive care, mother and infant care, and pediatrics. Kimberly's ties to O'Connell go beyond her sisters or her mom. Her daughter, Skylar, is a 2018 O'Connell graduate who is following the family career path and currently pursuing a nursing degree at James Madison University.
"I can say this about each of my sisters without reservation: They show up to work every scheduled shift, roll up their sleeves and fight; fight for those who cannot," Kimberly said.
"Despite our different nursing backgrounds, we have each stared this virus in the face—the faces of men, women and children," Kimberly added. "This virus does not discriminate, but instead it is a grand equalizer hurling us to our knees, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. We fight because it is our calling; we fight because some of you cannot. We fight for ALL of humanity, because it is OUR passion. However, at the end of the day, we risk no more than our parents; our father who served for 27 years in the United States Army and our mother who has worked for Bishop O'Connell for the last 28 year, as she served her family 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
Needless to say, Mrs. Carroll and her husband, Michael, are extremely proud of their children. "As all five daughters were starting their careers, we were regaled with stories of how our children were helping others—babies, children, mothers and adults," Mrs. Carroll said. "During these difficult times today, we have had our apprehension, but we stick by our belief that God has a plan for all. We have raised our children and watched them become strong women who give their lives every day to serve others in need."
John J. Brough II, ’82, Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
A lifelong resident of McLean, Arlington and Washington, D.C., Mr. Brough has over 20 years of experience serving the banking needs of individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations. He is the founding President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Chain Bridge Bank, N.A. Prior to Chain Bridge Bank, Mr. Brough held senior level positions at both a large regional bank and a smaller community bank. He has an extensive background in bank management, financial accounting, asset and liability management, banking operations, and other regulatory matters. Mr. Brough is active in community, charitable and professional organizations. He currently serves on the board of trustees of the Virginia Banker’s Association, School of Bank Management; the board of directors of the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce; and the board of trustees of Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School. Mr. Brough is a Certified Public Accountant and received his MBA and bachelor’s degrees from Georgetown University. He resides in McLean with his wife and three children.
During his time as a member of the Board of Governors at Bishop O’Connell, particularly during the three years (2015-1018) that he chaired the board, John helped guide the launch of a capital campaign that exceeded it’s $4M initial goal by 25% and is now enabling the most ambitious renovation project in the school’s history, a $20M effort that includes new learning space, a beautiful chapel, and a variety of functional, environmental and safety improvements to the school. Over the last decade, John and his wife Karin have been extraordinarily committed to the school, particularly in the generous giving of their time to support the success of the annual gala.
Lauren Maestranzi Liess ’00, Young Alumni Award
Lauren Liess is a decorator and author known for her natural, relaxed and collected style. Lauren writes the blog Pure Style Home where she has been sharing bits of her life as a mother of five, work projects, and laid-back approach to design and living for the past ten years. She has several product lines launching this fall including textile, furniture, upholstery, plumbing, cabinetry and tile collections.
She and her husband/business partner, David, host the HGTV show Best House on the Block, which features the design and renovation of DC-area homes by the couple. They recently opened up a real estate brokerage with fellow DJO alum Maura (Rushe) DeRaedt and her husband, Daan, based in Great Falls called Property Collective, where they flip homes together.
Lauren’s first book Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating, was published in Fall of 2015 and was chosen as an NPR “Book of the Year” and was an Amazon bestseller. Her newest book, Down To Earth, will be released in October. Lauren and her projects have been featured in numerous national publications including Southern Living, House Beautiful, Luxe, Better Homes and Gardens, Elle Decor and Country Living.
Michael Garcia ’76, Knights Service Award
I am your State Farm Insurance Agent for the Arlington, VA area. I have been a State Farm Agent since 1987 and a lifelong Arlington, VA resident, Bishop O’Connell Alum! I am a member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Director 2014-2019. I am a leadership Arlington Ambassador, class of 2014, I am chair of A-SPAN 2018-2020 and Director for Columbia Pike Revitalization Org 2014-2017. My agency has qualified for awards over the years including State Farm Crystal Excellence.
T. Michael Harrington, MD '68
Distinguished Alumni Award
As a 1968 graduate of Bishop O’Connell High School, T. Michael Harrington, MD (Mike) celebrates his 50th high school reunion this year. His memories of O'Connell include participation in intramural, JV and varsity athletics, Inner City mentoring, NHS, Officials Club and Student Council, as well as good friends and sound academics.
Entering as a named “Notre Dame Scholar,” Mike went on to pursue a degree in pre-professional studies at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to participating in an annual charity boxing tournament, the Bengal Bouts (benefiting the Holy Cross Bangladesh Missions), Mike played intramural sports, the highlight of which was his Dillon Hall football team being campus champions his junior and senior years. There Mike also met his future wife, Kathleen Fleege (St. Mary’s College), and has continued an active relationship with the University through the Alumni Association on local, regional and national levels. He was elected to the National Notre Dame Alumni Association Board in 1988 and NDAA President in 1991-92, when he also served on the Notre Dame Board of Trustees. For his continuing tradition of service, he received the Notre Dame Exemplar Award in 1997.
Mike’s medical training began at the University of Virginia School of Medicine on a Navy scholarship where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He chose to continue training in Family Medicine, a relatively new specialty back in 1976 building on the long tradition of general practice. Internship and residency followed at the Naval Aerospace and Regional Medical Center in Pensacola, Florida where he was elected Chief Resident. Mike served a total of eight years active duty in the United States Navy, with tours in Pensacola and Bremerton, Wash.
Upon discharge from the Navy in 1984, he was recruited to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Family and Community Medicine as Medical Director. He was named Chairman of the Department in 1991, a position he filled for 25 years. Concerned about the lack of access to primary medical care in a state that still has a county without a physician, Mike engaged in organized medicine on local and state levels and was elected to leadership positions, including President of several organizations: Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Jefferson County Medical Society, and Medical Association of the State of Alabama. During his career, Mike was very active teaching medical students and residents, doing clinical care, and advocating for primary care services for all citizens of Alabama, especially in underserved areas. For many consecutive years, including this past year, Dr. Harrington’s peers selected him as one of the state’s best doctors. He retired in 2017 and was named a Professor Emeritus by University Trustees.
Mike celebrates his 45th wedding anniversary with Kathy this October. They a have two grown children, Michael and Kirsten, and three young grandchildren. He now spends his time traveling, visiting family and friends, and sailing on the Gulf of Mexico.
Kevin R. Harrington, MD '68
Distinguished Alumni Award
Kevin Kerrigan graduated from Bishop O'Connell High School in 1968. He received the Student-Athlete Award that year. Thirty years later, he was honored by with induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame for his prowess in wrestling.
Kevin matriculated at the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated in 1972. There he continued his pursuit of excellence, attaining the Dean’s List and winning his weight class in the Bengal Bouts boxing tournament three years in a row. Upon graduation from Notre Dame, Kevin was accepted for medical studies at the University of South Florida. During an elective in Tropical Medicine in Ecuador, Kevin met Leslie, the love of his life and marriage partner for the past 43 years. Kevin and Leslie documented the remarkable events of their courtship in their jointly authored book, Searching Heart, Testing Mind.
Kevin received his postgraduate education in surgery at Emory University and San Diego Naval Regional Medical Center and then entered active duty in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps as Ship’s Surgeon, USS Ranger (CV-61). Upon completion of his active duty obligation, Kevin began his missionary medical career as the only surgeon at a remote hospital in the Amazon Rain Forest. During six years of service, Kevin published more than half a dozen articles in peer-reviewed journals on various subjects having to do with venomous snakebites and other surgical complications of tropical diseases.
In the early 1990s, Kevin and his wife and their five children moved from Ecuador to the Great Rift Valley of Kenya where Kevin continued his experience of surgical care in developing nations. Throughout the 1990’s and the 2000’s the Kerrigans facilitated a half dozen trips back to Ecuador and Kenya in the company of medical students and other individuals with an interest in ministering to indigent people groups. The majority of these trips involved further education of doctors at various levels of training.
Following two years of serving at the Kijabe Medical Centre, Kevin re-entered active duty in the Navy Medical Corps and served for 12 of the next 14 years at the Charleston Naval Hospital. In 1997, Kevin obtained the rank of Captain in the U. S. Navy and in the same year was awarded the American Medical Association’s Doctor Nathan Davis Award for “the promotion of the art and science of medicine and the betterment of the public health” for his outstanding service in Ecuador and Kenya.
Upon retirement from the U. S. Navy Medical Corps, the Kerrigans resumed their missionary medical service. Over the ensuing 10 years, they served on multiple occasions in Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zambia and Iraq. In addition to providing surgical coverage, Kevin and Leslie were often involved in the further education of national co-workers.
Joe Schwartz, MD '98
Young Alumni Award
Joe Schwartz graduated from O’Connell in 1998, played football for Doc Crotty and Darryl Snyder, and was one of the founding members of the crew team under Al Burch. A handful of his favorite teachers include Mrs. Cerniglia, Mr. Cools, Col. Clark, Dr. Galvert, Mr. Connolly, Sister Maureen Christopher, and Fr. Luis to name a few. Of course Mr. Iacobucci made PE entertaining. He is proud to be a local Eagle Scout with St. Agnes’ Troop 111.
He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, VCU’s School of Public Health, New York Medical College, and served seven years as a Navy Flight Surgeon, including a memorable assignment as the flight surgeon for the Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron. He and his wife Susan, a Rehoboth native, are raising three sons in Front Royal where Susan is a marketing executive and Joe is in training in Family Medicine, as well as carrying out his duties as a Reserve Flight Surgeon. Faith and family are their priorities.
Melissa Ortiz-Munoz '94
Knights Service Award
Melissa Ortiz-Munoz is a senior vice president and business control manager for Bank of America’s consumer and small business anti-money laundering efforts. She earned the 2018 President’s Volunteer Service Award which acknowledges Bank of America employees who volunteered, recorded and confirmed more than 200 volunteer hours in their community.
Melissa serves as the co-chair for the Greater Washington DC Hispanic Organization for Leadership Advancement (HOLA) at Bank of America, is a member of Women in Technology & Operations (WIT&O) and is a member of the Washington Area Alumni Business Alliance (WAABA) for the College of William and Mary. She lives in Springfield, Va. and also gives tirelessly to the Holy Spirit Catholic Church’s PTO, formerly as their vice president for membership, and currently as the PTO president. Additionally, she is actively involved as service hour coordinator for American Heritage Girls Troop 0683.
Melissa earned her MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her BBA in marketing from the College of William and Mary. She is an inventor for “Secure Connection between a Data Repository and an Intelligence Application,” granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2016.
Robert Murphy '67
Distinguished Alumni Award
Robert Murphy was named Vice President of Administration of ABC News in September, 2007. He played key roles in the re-launch of Nightline and in organizing the 2008 political coverage. Recently, Mr. Murphy has helped lead the effort to transform ABC News into an efficient fully digital multiplatform organization strategically positioned to adjust and grow through the evolution and changes in the way news and information is consumed. He reports directly to the President of ABC News.
Bob was named senior vice president, multimedia in March, 2000. He was responsible for transforming ABC News from a traditional broadcast news organization to a high-quality, digital newsgathering organization, producing news program content on a variety of platforms, including broadcast, cable, internet, broadband and wireless. Additionally he oversaw ABCNEWS.com, ABC News Radio and ABC NewsOne, the affiliate news service of ABC News.
A 41-year veteran of ABC News, Bob was senior vice president for Hard News for ABC News since January, 1993. He had editorial, operational and budget responsibilities for Hard News operations of the division. In this capacity Mr. Murphy was responsible for all news coverage, ABC News bureaus, “World News Tonight,” “World News Now,” “World News This Morning,” weekend news, NewsOne, radio news, special events and political coverage. He joined ABC News in April, 1976, on the Washington bureau's assignment desk, becoming its manager in March, 1978. He was named deputy Washington bureau chief in January, 1980, and served in that capacity through April, 1981, when he moved to New York as director of television news coverage. He served as vice president of television news coverage from 1984 until his appointment to senior vice president.
Prior to joining ABC News, Mr. Murphy was a staff assistant to Congressman Peter Rodino for the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment inquiry of President Richard Nixon from October, 1973, to October, 1974. He was assistant superintendent of the House of Representatives' Radio and TV gallery from October, 1974, to April, 1976.
Mr. Murphy is a 1971 graduate of Fairfield University on whose Board of Trustees he currently sits. He holds a Master's degree in business administration from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Michael Hayden '74
Knights Service Award
Mike Hayden is being honored with a Knights Service Awards for his long standing service to the O’Connell community and his parish St. Philip/St. Anthony.
Throughout his storied volunteer career, Mike has served in at all levels and in nearly all aspects of parish life. In addition to coaching soccer from the kindergarten to second grade level, Mike served on the St. Philip Parish Council and as the St. Philip PTO President. He was the St. Philip/St. Anthony School Reorganization Committee co-chair and co-authored the organizational documents including the mission statement and bylaws during the formation of Corpus Christi School.
He served as the first Chairman of the School Board for Corpus Christi School and also served on the Bishop O’Connell School Board. He worked closely with the administration to craft the first O’Connell Strategic Plan and Vision statements.
In his professional life, Mike is currently the Senior Director, IS&T Food & Retail Systems for Sodexo USA and has worked in various capacities at Dynamic Analytics and Test, Pristine InfoTech, and IS&T Food & Retail Systems for Giant Food.
While at O’Connell, Mike lettered in football, wrestling and track. He is married to fellow O’Connell alum, Julie Naylor Hayden, and together they have four children, Melissa, Jeremy, Benjamin and Vincent.
Christine Salvador '95
Knights Service Award
Christine (Chrissy) Salvador was born in Washington, DC and raised in Northern Virginia. Growing up in Herndon, she attended St. Joseph School and was a graduate of the Bishop O'Connell Class of 1995.
During her time at O'Connell, Chrissy participated in several extra-curricular activities. She was most proud of being a four-year member of the Royalette Dance Team, a two-year officer and holding the position of captain her senior year.
She became the Assistant Coach of the Royalettes in 1999 and then the Head Coach in December 2000. In 2009, Chrissy was selected for the Exceptional Coaches Award at the Universal Dance Association camp the dance team attended that summer. O'Connell named her the 2014-2015 Coach of the Year, and appointed her the Director of Spirit Teams overseeing the dance team and cheerleading programs later that year.
In addition to coaching, Chrissy is one of O'Connell's Alumni Advocates. She is a proud 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Chrissy interned and continued her career with the Hyatt Hotel Corporation for six years as a manager in the food and beverage department at multiple properties. After Hyatt, she worked for O'Connell's Advancement Office as the Director of Constituent Relations for two years. She continued serving on the Gala & Auction committee, and chaired the event in 2010 for its 10th Anniversary.
Since 2008, Chrissy has worked for the Greater Washington Board of Trade. She was their Director of Meetings & Events for eight years overseeing the organization's 150+ events and is currently their Director of Marketing & Sponsorship. Chrissy currently lives in Arlington, Va. Her parents, brother and sister, Leah Salvador ’97 and their families are all still local. She is a proud aunt of four and an honored godmother to seven.
Dante Schiavo, MD '01
Young Alumni Award
Dr. Dante Schiavo is a 2001 graduate of O’Connell High School, where he was a National Honor Society student and semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarship. He was a third-line winger for the inaugural varsity ice hockey team in 1998 and collected the first two penalty minutes in school history in a win over Paul VI. He would go on to earn three varsity letters and, with his twin brother Matt, was a member of the 2000 squad that beat DeMatha for the first time in school history.
He attended the College of William & Mary and graduated in 2005 with a bachelor of science in biology with an emphasis on zoology. While at William and Mary, he was a Dean’s List student and helped start Student Activism in the Fight Against AIDS, a student-run organization to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and raise philanthropic funds to support local AIDS clinics.
Dante attended The Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University on a Dean’s Merit Scholarship from 2005-2009. He was elected to the Honor Council, medical-school Admissions Committee, and was the student coordinator of Crossover Clinic, a free clinic providing medical care to indigent patients in Richmond, VA. At graduation, he was awarded the Dr. James N. Cooper Award for Excellence in Internal Medicine by VCU School of Medicine and the Inova Fairfax Hospital Department of Medicine.
Dante went on to complete graduate medical education at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, finishing residency in 2012 and fellowship in 2015. Since then, he has been on faculty in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical-Care Medicine at Mayo Clinic, the US News and World Reports #1-ranked department in the country. There, he has both research and clinical duties and cares for patients with lung cancer, asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis and other lung diseases, as well as critically-ill patients in the intensive-care unit.
As faculty at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Schiavo received 2017 “Teacher of the Year” and “Clinician of the Year” in pulmonary and critical-care medicine, as voted by Mayo Clinic residents and fellows.
Dr. Schiavo is an avid hiker, golfer, and sports fan and has endured many highs and lows over the past 20 years of rooting for the Redskins, Orioles, and Nationals.
H. Joel Schmidt, M.D. '76
Distinguished Alumni Award
Dr. Schmidt spent most of his medical career in the Army where he remained for 26 years with assignments as a general pediatrician, a community hospital deputy commander, a member of a medical center command staff, a member of the Army surgeon general's staff, and culminating as the chief of pediatric pulmonology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and director of the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Center at Bethesda Naval Medical Center. As the director of an Affiliate CF Center he was elected by his peers to the national CF Foundation Center Committee, the governing body of all CF Centers in the U.S. He is a member of the CF Foundation's Data Safety Monitoring Board to help ensure safety for CF research studies. Dr. Schmidt retired from the Army as a Colonel in 2006 to join the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at CHoR. From 2009 through 2013, he was the interim chief of the division and the director of the CF Center. He is now the CF Care Center's Pediatric Program Director. In 2014, Dr. Schmidt was elected to serve on the the MCV Physicians Board of Directors. He is one of three full-time faculty selected for membership and will serve a three year term. He is on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Chapter of the CF Foundation. He is a fellow in the American College of Chest Physicians. He was named as one of Richmond's "Top Docs" in pediatric pulmonology by Richmond Magazine from 2012-2014 and was named "top vote-getter" in pediatric pulmonology from 2012-2013. He was selected to be included in the "Best Doctors in America" 2013 and 2014 database. He is married to Daphne Schmidt and has three adult children. He is a 1980 graduate of Virginia Tech and received his medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Sister Catherine Hill, I.H.M. '66
Knights Service Award
Sister Catherine Hill is a lifelong member of St. Agnes Parish in Arlington where she attended kindergarten through eighth grade. A graduate of Bishop O’Connell High School in 1966, Sister Catherine was the Valedictorian of her class and served on the Student Council Executive Board. Sister Catherine played on the girls’ varsity basketball team, which predated Title IX, and games occurred in cafeteria style rooms as often as they did in actual gyms. Sister Catherine attended Carnegie Melon University shortly after the science school began accepting women. She left after one year to enter religious life with the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After First Profession, she began teaching middle school in parishes in South Philadelphia and Willow Grove. She began her high school teaching career as a chemistry teacher at Cardinal Brennan in Fountain Springs, PA. During her many years in the Harrisburg Diocese, Sister taught and served as an administrator at Bishop McDevitt High School as well as served as president of the Sisters’ Council for the Diocese of Harrisburg. She returned to O’Connell in 2005 and loves working at her alma mater and able to be of service to students, families and faculty. She is looking forward to celebrating O’Connell’s 60th anniversary as a chance to hear all the different stories from all the different decades of O’Connell graduates.
Erin Blakely '00, Catherine Blakely '02 and Allie Blakely (The Pie Sisters)
Young Alumni Award
Successful entrepreneurs, Erin, Catherine and Allie Blakely created the Pie Sisters of Georgetown bakery in the fall of 2010. After living in different cities and pursuing separate careers, a bit of soul searching brought them back to the DC area and doing what they love most, baking. Each of the sisters lends her own distinctive talent and touch making their product and store truly unique and each sister is an integral part of the business operations. The Pie Sisters of Georgetown has been featured in Modern Luxury Magazine and the Washington Post and they have been interviewed on CNN, ABC7, NBC Washington and CNN.
Catherine M. Keating '80
Distinguished Alumni Award
Catherine Keating joined Commonfund in 2015 as President and CEO, after nearly two decades at J.P. Morgan, where she was most recently the Head of Investment Management Americas. She is a frequent author and speaker on investment topics, and has been featured in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, The Financial Times, and Institutional Investor, among others, and appeared on CNBC, Fox and Bloomberg TV. She has been named one of the Most Powerful Women in Banking by US Banker and one of the Most Powerful Women in Finance by American Banker. Catherine is a member of the boards of the Santander Holdings USA, Inc., the Girl Scouts of Greater New York and the Inner-City Scholarship Fund. She is also the immediate past chair of the board of Villanova University. She earned a J.D. from the University of Virginia School Of Law and a B.A. from Villanova University.
Catherine provided the commencement address for Bishop O'Connell's class of 2014, where she encouraged graduates to "be known as kind, be known to serve others, and stand up for what is right.” While a student at O’Connell, Catherine was on the staff of the Visor, a member of the Keyettes and NHS and, perhaps foreshadowing her career as a banker, served as her senior class treasurer. She and her husband, Jim and their two children reside in New York.
Frank Fumich ’86
Knights Service Award
Frank Fumich is an endurance athlete who has completed over 70 marathons, numerous full and half IronMan races, and competed in various ultra-marathons, self-supported races and climbing expeditions across the globe. Frank received numerous nominations for the Knights Service award for his efforts fundraising for charities such as Wounded Warriors and he recently undertook the 12 day Race Across America to raise over $100,000 for Ryan Diviney, a young man in a vegetative state who requires around-the-clock care. Additionally, Frank raised over $80,000 for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing by racing between DC and Boston. He recently completed a Triple IM and also a Quintuple IM. During his time at O’Connell, Fumich was on the football team and served in the SCA. He now resides in Arlington, Va. with his family.
Denise Turner-Roth '92
Young Alumni Achievement Award
Denise Turner-Roth is the Administrator for the U.S. General Services Administration. Roth arrived at GSA in March 2014, when she assumed the role of Deputy Administrator. In this role, she provided overall organization management that helped improve performance throughout the agency. She worked with individuals at every level of GSA to support the mission and goals of the agency through the use of strategic and performance planning, measurement and analysis and regular assessment of progress and performance data to improve GSA's results. Her 18 year career in public service has also included legislative support for elected officials and she served as the City Manager of Greensboro, N.C. where she was challenged to improve efficiency and service delivery. During her time at Bishop O’Connell, Roth served as SCA president and was a member of the dance team. She and her family live in the D.C. area.
Kevin Callaghan '79
Distinguished Alumni Award
Kevin Callaghan '79 is a Managing Director at Berkshire Partners LLC, the Boston-based private equity firm he joined in 1987. In addition to several corporate directorships, Kevin is active in a number of community and philanthropic efforts in the Boston area, serving as treasurer and trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and as vice president and trustee of The Meadowbrook School. He served for 12 years on the board of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, and has chaired the Stanford GSBTrust, which manages the business school endowment.
Kevin graduated with honors from Princeton University with an engineering degree in 1983 and attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received his MBA in 1987. He the oldest of six Callaghan children; his siblings are Brian '80, Shaun, Sheila '82, Maura '84 and Gary '86.
Ray Zdancewicz '74
Knights Service Award
Ray Zdancewicz '74 has been an active member of the Bishop O’Connell community for many years. While a student at O’Connell, he was a standout baseball and football player and was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. Ray shared his love of baseball with his sons, Kevin '04, Matthew '05 and Danny '11, who also played baseball at O’Connell. Ray has coached many teams and leagues in the Northern Virginia, and served as the treasurer for the Northern Virginia Junior Catholic Youth Organization (NVJCYO) for over 30 years.
Ray is vice president for corporate services at Abacus Technology, a government consulting firm. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Virginia in systems engineering. He is a parishioner at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Vienna, where he served on the Pastoral Council for many years. In December of 2011, he received the St. Thomas More Award for Youth Ministry from the Diocese of Arlington.
Kristin Hughes '00
Young Alumni Award
Kristin Hughes ’00 is a senior manager for the Global Community Health Programs at Special Olympics. Through the Global Health Initiative, Special Olympics partners with international organizations such as Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to bring needed education and services to disadvantaged athletes worldwide. Kristin has also served in various government positions focusing on public health policy including at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator and at the White House Office of Policy focusing on disabilities and AIDS. In her spare time, Kristin teaches Sunday school and coaches a 5th grade girls basketball team.
Kristin received her B.A. in International Relations from Bucknell University and earned an MBA in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business.
Scott Wilson ‘87
Distinguished Alumni Award
Scott Wilson is the founder and principal designer of Chicago-based MINIMAL. His creative work in industrial design was recognized last year through the prestigious National Design Award by Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, which honors excellence, innovation and lasting achievement in American design. Wilson is a former design leader at Nike, Thomson Consumer Electronics, IDEO, Fortune Brands, and Motorola, and has created some of the world’s most recognized consumer design icons. With creative projects that span industries from technology, consumer products, fashion, furniture and much more, he has been described as "equal parts visionary designer and serial entrepreneur."
Wilson’s work has been recognized with more than sixty international design awards and has been exhibited at Cooper-Hewitt, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. He has been featured in publications such as ID Magazine’s Top 40, TIME Magazine’s Style+Design100, WIRED Magazine and Fast Company’s Masters of Design, where he was named one of their 50 Most Influential Designers in America.
Julia Wentzel Wharton ‘85
Knights Service Award
In 2003, when the only Catholic elementary school in Blacksburg, Va. closed its doors due to financial issues. Julia Wentzel Wharton—a mother of four young girls—rallied the community and established a new Catholic school for the New River Valley area. Renting a space in a vacant public school building, Wharton used her ties with schools in the Diocese of Arlington to solicit contributions of furniture, materials, supplies, donations and prayers. She took no salary as director for the first five years to help the school get on its feet. Today, St. John Neumann Academy has 107 students in kindergarten through eighth grade and 10 teachers. It has outgrown its rental space, and Wharton dreams of building a larger facility on their own piece of land and someday adding a high school.
James Zumwalt ‘00
Young Alumni Achievement Award
James Zumwalt, was awarded the Bronze Star at a ceremony in Washington last summer. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) presented former Navy Lt. Zumwalt with the medal, noting his “exceptionally meritorious service” in Iraq in 2010 with a Navy explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team. Zumwalt served two tours in Iraq with EOD teams, who were often vulnerable to explosives and sniper fire. He now works for a government contractor in the Washington area
Kevin J. Fay ’73
Distinguished Alumni Award
Kevin Fay is an alumnus, a past parent and a tireless advocate and volunteer for Bishop O’Connell, having served as chairman of the Board of Governors from 2006 through 2011. He is the President of Alcalde & Fay, and is an internationally recognized specialist on environmental and energy issues with particular emphasis on governmental policies involving the atmosphere and climate. In his spare time, he has devoted countless hours to promoting and fundraising important community efforts, from the McLean Little League to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, where he is being honored this year with the James L. Eichberg Lifetime Achievment Award.
Bob and Paola (Egge) Pizzano ’81
Knights Service Award
In addition to running a contracting business, Bob and Paola Pizzano have raised a wonderful family and dedicated themselves to making a difference in the lives of children with developmental challenges. Through the Joey Pizzano Memorial Fund (JPMF) and in conjunction with the Fairfax County Park Foundation and the Virginia Board of People with Disabilities, the Pizzanos spearheaded the opening of Our Special Harbor, a 7,000-square-foot, zero-water-depth “sprayground” in Franconia. In addition, their foundation provides funding and classes for water safety education for families of children with disabilities.
Amanda Renaghan Taylor ’94
Young Alumni Award
Amanda Taylor started out as an inner-city teacher, who quickly recognized some inequities in the public school system. While building a career in school administration, she has been working with a team of doctoral candidates at Harvard University to bring light to the productive work of community organizers in improving at-risk schools, and addressing achievement gaps based on race in schools around the country.
Joe and Nancy Koons ('64 and '65)
Distinguished Alumni Award
The name Koons and Bishop O’Connell just go hand-in-hand. There have been members of the Koons family filling these halls since the school opened in 1957. With 18 grandchildren, there is no doubt that there will be more Koons to come! Joe and Nancy Koons have been showing off their Knights’ spirit ever since their first days here as students. Of course Joe and Nancy have been great financial supporters to O’Connell but their love of DJO goes beyond the dollar amount. You cannot keep them away from O’Connell nor would you ever want to. There is a certain joy that comes across from Joe and Nancy when they are in the midst of anything O’Connell. It can’t be duplicated or imitated but once you see it, you wish you had some of it yourself!
Laura Tartaro- McGowan '75
Knights Service Award
Laura Tartaro-McGowan has been bleeding blue since she started at O'Connell in the early 1970s. A 1975 graduate of DJO, Laura didn't stray too far, sending both her children to her alma mater. Laura herself became more involved in her school once again, serving as PTO board member from 2007-2010. During this time, she also served as a parent moderator for Earth Day and the Going Green Campaign. In 2009, she was elected PTO president and while in that position she started the mini-grants program for the DJO faculty. Outside of her contributions to the O'Connell community, Laura has been an RN in the INOVA Health System for 30 years, serving both as the Director of Same Day Surgery at Alexandiria Hospital and the INOVA Home Health Care Manager, a position she currently holds.
Jason Cage '95
Knights Service Award
Jason loves DJO and DJO loves him right back. Jason has been battling Cystic Fibrosis for over 33 years. His appearances at Superdance assemblies are too numerous to count, and each time he inspires the students assembled with his motivation and perseverance. Since 2008, Jason has been living with only one lung, which has been deteriorating slowly. He somehow managed to continue with his job as a paramedic and he continued to take the time to come back to O'Connell each year. In 2011, Jason underwent a complicated surgery and he received a new lung at Duke Medical Center.
Grace Abi Najm Shea '93
Young Alumni Achievement Award
Grace Abi-Najm Shea is truly inspiring. Somehow, she helps run the six Lebanese Taverna Restaurants and four Lebanese Taverna Cafes that her family started in 1979, while balancing her own life filled with kids and philanthropy to various organizations, including Bishop O'Connell. Her parents are Lebanese refugees who came to the area in the late 1970s and eventually opened up Lebanese Taverna--now one of the best-known Lebanese restaurants in the Washington area. All of their children have been active in the business and one trip to their web site will show you what an amazing family they are. Grace manages their public relations and has been a generous supporter of the DJO community over the years, contributing to our galas, golf tournaments and the annual fund. Last spring, Grace donated her hair as part of O'Connell's Be Brave and Shave cancer awareness event. Grace is a graduate of the class of 1993.
Athletic Hall of Fame
Looking for more information about our distinguished alumni athletes?