Alumni Notes

Alumni Notes

Check here often to keep up with your fellow SMV/VC alums and send us a note to let others know what you are up to these days.

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Dr. Alison Balbag, Ph.D., DMA (’02) is a featured expert on TV’s Dr. Phil, discussing the power of music for our mind and health. Dr. Alison Balbag has two doctorates in separate fields. She is also a musician, health gerontologist, and educator.


Kristina Passadore (‘02) was named a 2023 Amazing Educator by Pamplin Media Group. Kristina is in her fifth year as the technology teacher at Banks High School. She was recognized for bringing a professional touch to school curriculum while putting the students’ experience first. Check out Pamplin Media’s article about her

Photo courteousy of Pamplin Media


Holden Richards (‘11) graduated from the Oregon Health and Science University Medical School. This past March, he matched in a 3-year pediatric residency program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio. Holden married his long-time partner in April and is residing in Ohio.


Nick Gates (’03) is an investment advisor for Fisher Investments in Camas Wash. He and his family live in Vancouver Washington.

Nick and his wife, Angela, have three kids: Olivia (8), Lilian (6), and Elliot (3). Nick says most of their time is spent doing kid-related and school-related activities. Angela is a stay at home mom and she’s very involved with PTO at the girl’s school, Emerald Elementary.


Brendan Kimball (’08) lives in Michigan with his wife Katie, daughter Lucille (4), and son Roslyn (10 mos.). They are enjoying the small town lifestyle and the beautiful four seasons. 


Diane VanderZanden (‘57) recently retired from 24 years of writing a monthly newsletter for the Pan Am Association (former employees of Pan American World Airways). Diane worked as a stewardess and onboard purser for 42 years with Pan Am and United. 

Nowadays, Diane enjoys volunteering for her parish’s thrift shop in Honolulu. In the future, she hopes to return to the Tualatin Valley near Banks. 


Barbara Senko Beaulieu (‘52) is 89 years old and stays active with her five sons and their families. She is blessed to have five daughters-in-law, ten grandchildren and one great granddaughter. 

Barbara has been a long time member and officer of her parish, St. Vincent de Paul Conference. She enjoys helping people in her community who need help with rent, food and other needs.  She has also stayed involved with the Kappa Gamma Pi National Honor Society. Barbara says she is grateful for her ten years of piano lessons with the Sisters. She often remembers her wonderful high school years, her friends, the faculty, and the Sisters . 


Lady Mary Helen Mack Last (‘10) married Lord Alexander Richard Last in August of 2021. On their one year anniversary Lord Last was baptized in the Catholic Church. Lord and Lady Last were united in the sacrament of Matrimony during a concelebrated Mass in the Old Cathedral in Bend, Ore. Lady Last’s bridal party was made up of life-long friends and former students of St. Mary of the Valley and Valley Catholic: Georgie Murphy and Aaron Van Horn attended St. Mary of the Valley, Karo Lungerich attended VCHS as an exchange student from Germany, and Chloe Dartique attended VCHS as an exchange student from France. 

Lord and Lady Last live in Oxford, England where Lady Last is pursuing an MSc in Library and Information Science.


Kay Herb (’57) recently took a special trip with her daughter Debora Herb-Sepich (’77). They visited Kay’salumni grandchildren and great grandchild, Cory Sepich (‘00) in Omaha, Neb. and Jena Sepich Schultz (‘09) in Flower Mound, Texas. During the visit Cory’s daughter made her first communion.


Mary Vinyard Sample (‘52) is 88 and lives in an adult community in Sun Lakes, Ariz. Recently, a Priest blessed her relationship with her partner Tony. The happy couple’s daughters live nearby and they all enjoy their wonderful friends and being involved in their local parish. 


Lindsay Gates (‘04) will be the new CYO Athletic Director at Valley Catholic for the 2023-24 school year. She has served as a toddler teacher at VCELS for seven years and Head Coach for JV2 girls basketball for VCHS for five years.


Hilary Whitmore (‘98) attended the Grammys and a U.S. concert tour with composer Freya Cellista. Hilary said, “No nomination this round (there was some fierce competition) but it was an amazing experience. Valley Catholic gave me the music foundation that I needed to pursue a career in Opera. I’m forever grateful.”


Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg (‘02) was re-elected to the Beaverton City Council this past November. She started her new 4-year term in January. 

Michaela Hansen Shanks (‘10) and Andrew Shanks welcomed Rosalind Louise into their lives on June 20, 2022. Michaela loves being a mom and is currently employed at Taulia as Head of Sales Enablement.

Dasom Kim (‘08) attended a University in South Korea after graduating. Today, she lives in Sweden with her husband.


Carmen Hinckley (’04) accepted a position as the Adult Adoptee Community Outreach Coordinator at Holt International Children’s Services in Eugene, Ore. 


Mary Oehler (‘17) received her Master’s of Science with Distinction in Archaeological Science from Regents Park College at the University of Oxford. Mary studied the diets of Early Neolithic people in Wales through isotopic analysis of teeth. Since graduating from VC in 2017, Mary has excavated in Ireland, Israel and England. She hopes to return to academia to pursue a doctorate degree and continue her research in early human diet and disease. Mary was first inspired to go into archaeology in Mr. Hegwood’s 6th grade class. She is thankful to VC for equipping her with the skills necessary to achieve her dreams of exploring humanity’s past.

Gabriel (Gabe) W. Taylor (‘14) passed the Oregon State Bar Exam last October and has opened his own law practice in Wilsonville specializing in estate planning, probate administration, and small business formation.


Frank So (‘97) was selected as the Executive Director of Ecumenical Ministries for Oregon. As a child of immigrants, working with refugee and immigrant populations has been a lifelong passion for Frank. 

Having previously worked in the Obama Administration, Frank is reminded by the former President that we cannot forget where we come from and that more must be done locally. Frank says, “I’m excited to lead EMO with the same values I’ve carried my entire career. I look forward to working with the Oregon faith community towards a more just and sustainable place for us all.” 


Sister Mary Juanita (Teresa) Villarreal (‘62) will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee (60 years) with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon this July 30.


Sister Janet Slingerland (‘53) will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee (70 years) with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon this July 30.


Sister Catherine Hertel (‘58) was selected by The Tabitha Moffatt Brown – David Hill Chapter, NSDAR (the Aloha, Ore. chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution) for their 2023 Women in History Award. Sister Catherine was chosen for her innovative educational leadership that helped more than 1,000 people learn English as second language and more than 50 people earn U.S. citizenship in Washington County. 

Visit read the full story.


AnnaMaria Sitenga (‘19) married John Bernards (‘16) on Dec. 18, 2021 at the Christ the Teacher Chapel at University of Portland. The wedding party included Beth Bernards (‘09)AJ Bernards (‘12)Mikaela Bernards (‘14), and Quinlan Sitenga. 

AnnaMaria is in the optometry program at Pacific University, and John is an IT specialist for the SSMO Ministries Corporation.


Nate Alsdorf (‘10) and Jennifer Picken (‘10) were married on Sept. 24, 2022 at Stoller Family Estate Vineyard and Winery. Valley Catholic Alumni in the wedding party included: Samantha Picken (‘08)Chelsea Alsdorf (‘13)Robert Brempelis (‘10)Kevin Bellinger (‘10) and Connor Picken (‘12).

Jen is a Registered Nurse Case Manager at Hillsboro Medical Center and Nate works as an Insurance Adjuster Trainer for Allstate. Their free-time is spent following Portland-area professional sports teams, camping with their two dogs and enjoying the Oregon Coast.


Connor Garcia (‘12) and Jasmine Garcia-Bush (‘12) were married on Oct. 1, 2022 at St. Pius X. VCS Alumni in wedding party: Kyle Garcia (‘16)Andy Holstrom (‘12)Alex Vennes (‘12)Kaylynn Bush (‘15)Katie Ford (‘12) and Dylan LeMay (‘12).

Jasmine works at Central Catholic High School as Director of the Presidential Character and Leadership Academy. Connor is Technical Director for CYO.

In Memoriam


Carolyn Kennish Williams May 31, 2023
St. Mary of the Valley class of 1955

Carolee Sinfield Truesdale May 13, 2023
St. Mary of the Valley class of 1957

Margaret Alsup Dec. 29, 2022
St. Mary of the Valley class of 1949

Virginia A. Bingenheimer Jan. 12, 2023
St. Mary of the Valley class of 1969 

Sister Ruth Etzel March 15, 2023
St. Mary of the Valley class of 1949

Sister Mary A. Hathaway July 3, 2022
St. Mary of the Valley class of 1948

Margaret A. Heineck Oct. 21, 2022
St. Mary of the Valley class of 1946

Margaret Livermore Jan. 20, 2023
St. Mary of the Valley class of 1954

Daniel J. Morantte Jan. 7, 2023
Valley Catholic School class of 2008

Lorraine M. Schneider April 12, 2023
St. Mary of the Valley class of 1941

Janice M. Spath Nov. 29, 2022
St. Mary of the Valley class of 1954

Alice J. Weaver Sept. 25, 2022
St. Mary of the Valley class of 1965