Veterinary Science With Dr. Claire Lender 2

We are blessed by all of our alumni who return to campus to mentor students, volunteer at a wide range of events and give back to our campus community. Check out these highlights from a few alumni visits this past school year.

Women in STEM –

Seven VCS Alumnae return to campus to inspire VCMS students
Alumni at STEM
Alumni at STEM

Valley Catholic Middle School hosted its 3rd annual Women in STEM Day earlier this spring. Seven VCS alumae were among the 40 women from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions who provided presentations and hands-on demonstrations – showcasing how the students’ STEM classes are applied to a wide range of professional careers. The VCS alumnae covered topics from veterinary science to earning a doctorate in a STEM field to solving transportation problems.

A very special thank you to our seven Valiant alumnae who took time to inspire our middle school students.

Stefanie Jacquemin (’90) “Seeking a STEM Job: Skills and Education”
Jennifer Smith (’91) “My Career Development and Various Engineering Disciplines” Kristine Connolly (’09) “Solving Transportation Problems to Improve People’s Lives”
Celia Gendron-Herndon (’09) “All About Batteries!”
Dr. Claire Lender (’10) “Veterinary Science”
Rachel Smith (’87) “Photography and STEM”
Megan Co (’14) “Pursuing a Doctorate in STEM”

Visit to learn more and view photos from this exciting annual event.

No Place Like Home –

More than 100 alumni return to campus
Dorothy OZ
Ginnie and Alumni at OZ

More than 100 alumni from nine different decades attended the alumni reception and final performance of Valley Catholic Drama Department’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

Friends and family gathered to enjoy treats in the high school cafeteria before singing and clapping along to familiar songs from the beloved musical. Some young children of alumni experienced the magic of Oz for the first time and delighted in watching the Wicked Witch of the West dissolve into a trap door before their eyes. Behind the curtain, alumni volunteered in a myriad of ways. Jack Pranger (’23) helped set up tables, while Jo Drain (’48) arranged name tags and organized the raffle display. Lisette Boss McNassar (’94) and Tania Vanderschuere Rhein (’95) (parents of the talented actors who played Glinda the Good Witch and the Wizard) checked people in and helped manage the sold-out crowd. Ashley Reverman (’06) served rainbow cupcakes with a smile. While the lobby overflowed with people trying to buy last-minute tickets, Kalani Efstathiou (’06) and Melissa McMillan (’98) encouraged guests seated in the auditorium to squeeze in to help accommodate everyone who came to see the show.

At the end of the performance, tech crew member Kaylee Arbaugh (’24) invited alumni Kristine Connolly (’09) and Ashley Reverman (’06) to present Drama Director Ginnie Paterson a gift in honor of her 40th production at VCHS. Kristine played the title role in “Cinderella” in 2009, and Ashley starred as Queen Nancy in Ginnie’s first Valley Catholic play, “Ogre Here, Ogre There” in the fall of 2005.

The cast, crew, parents and staff all appreciated the warm reception and standing ovation that celebrated their months of hard work.

Check out Behind the Curtain with VCS Drama to see how the dedicated volunteers and students worked together to produce this dynamic production.

Distinguished Alumni and Emerging Leader Awards

DA and EL winners at Gala
Congratulations to Josephine Koehnke Recht (’71) and Elliott Jackson (’11)
Our Distinguished Alumni and Emerging Leader Award recipients for 2023-24.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an SMV or VCS alumnus/a who has excelled in their life’s work, demonstrates a high standard of personal integrity, strives for excellence, and lives a valiant life. The theme for 2023-24 was Volunteerism.

Josephine Koehnke Recht (’71) was nominated by her peers and selected by the Alumni Advisory Committee for the Distinguished Alumni Award. She has a strong belief in Catholic education and helping make Catholic schools accessible to families of all means. Jo has volunteered her business and accounting skills to help Catholic schools around the state modernize their enrollment and finances.

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes one alumna/us of VCS who has graduated in the last 15 years and shows promise as a leader in their field.

Elliott Jackson (’11) received the Emerging Leader Award. Elliott is a licensed electrical engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Hydroelectric Design Center. He served for two years as Chair of the Future Leaders of Waterpower, a young professionals group within the National Hydropower Foundation that provides mentorship and networking for younger members of the industry.

The Distinguished Alumni Award theme for 2024-25 is Small Business. Join us at the VCS Gala in the fall to celebrate our next recipients.

Visit to stay up-to-date on alumni events and to keep up with your fellow SMV/VC alums.

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