Bro. Jack Appointed to San Fernando Regional Pastoral Council

IMG_7415Most Reverend Gerald Wilkerson, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, San Fernando Pastoral Region, appointed Bro. John P. Dempsey, SM, Director of the West Hills Marianist Community, to a three-year term to represent Religious Brothers on the San Fernando Regional Pastoral Council. “Bro. Jack” lives with three other Marianists adjacent to Chaminade College Preparatory high school campus where he assists in guidance and alumni relations activities and coordinates an annual Career Night featuring alumni career representatives. The Marianist Provincial Council, St. Louis, re- appointed him to a second three-year term as community director effective August 15.  Previously, he was community director in Pittsburgh, six years, and Cleveland, eight years.

After graduating from the old Cathedral Latin School in Cleveland, Ohio, Bro. Jack entered the Society of Mary as a Marianist Novitiate in Marcy, New York. He professed first vows in 1962 and perpetual vows in 1967. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton, in English and Theology, and a master’s degree in counselor education from Western Michigan University in 1971. From 1966-2010, he served in Marianist high schools in Cleveland, Hollywood, Florida, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, primarily in counseling and guidance services. In 2000, Bro. Dempsey was a Diocese of Pittsburgh Golden Apple Awardee and received a Certificate of Achievement which was “in recognition for outstanding teaching and service to the Church and community.” Summer activities took him to Marianist St. Laurence College in Dublin, Ireland to teach English as a Second Language to visiting Marianist high school Spanish students. He also served at the Marianist sponsored St. John’s Boys Home, Rockaway Park, Queens, New York where he direct the old Neighborhood Youth Corps. In the summer of 2006, he wrote a history honoring the Marianists’ educational legacy of service for 150 years in the Diocese of Cleveland.

Bro. Jack, who previously participated in the work of the Pittsburgh Diocesan Pastoral Council under the leadership of Bishop Donald W. Wuerl, said he appreciated the conversation he had with Bishop Wilkerson learning how inclusive the pastoral council seems to work in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Eagles Win Season Opener

In their first football game of the season, Chaminade traveled to Ventura College to face the St. Bonaventura Seraphs. The Eagles went into halftime with a 13-10 lead, and came away with a 32-30 victory.

Next, the Eagles take on Redlands East Valley for their home opener on Friday, September 4. The game kicks off at 7:00 p.m. PDT at Booster Stadium.

Thank you Bro. LeRoy

By Elizabeth Gluvna ’04

This past Saturday, August 22, more than 100 friends of Bro. LeRoy Viera S.M. gathered to wish him a fond farewell as he moves to the Marianist Community in Cupertino, California. Alumni, board members, current and former faculty and staff, and Marianists, came to thank Bro. LeRoy for his many years of selfless service to the school.

A Chaminade fixture since 1992, Bro. LeRoy worked in the physical plant department keeping the high school campus beautiful and in working order. Armed with innumerable skills, Bro. LeRoy built cabinets, fixed locks, and repaired drywall, among other functional needs. He also demonstrated great artistic talent through the creation of the ceramic Blessed Virgin Mary statues, found in all middle school and high school classrooms and offices.

Bro. LeRoy has many dear friends in alumni and parents of alumni associated with the Chaminade Players. With former Drama Director Paula LaBrot, Bro. LeRoy taught students how to wield power tools with confidence, helping them construct sets for all high school theater productions. At his farewell party, many alumni thanked Bro. LeRoy for teaching them these skills, while demonstrating patience and understanding.

In 2013, Bro. LeRoy celebrated his 60 Year Jubilee as a Marianist. In conjunction with this milestone, he was honored at the annual Founders Day Mass, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to Chaminade.

Born in a grape-growing area of Antioch, California, Bro. LeRoy developed construction skills related to carpentry, plumbing, and utilities. After a stint in the Coast Guard where he sailed through submarine-infested waters along the Aleutian Islands, Bro. LeRoy worked as a carpenter at a paper mill. After one of his friends was killed on the job, Bro. LeRoy considered his own future and, at age 26, joined the Marianists in Santa Cruz. Prior to Chaminade, he served in Honolulu, Rome, Walla Walla, and Gardena. With his capable hands and friendly demeanor, Bro. LeRoy is certain to be a big help in Cupertino – the Chaminade family wishes him well!

Meet Our New High School Principal, Dr. Colón

IMG_7618 Dr. Cynthia Colón joined Chaminade College Preparatory on July 1, 2015 as the school’s new high school principal. Prior to joining the Chaminade family, Dr. Colón served as principal at St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey, California. She has also worked at Marymount High School in Los Angeles, and Vassar College in New York.

We sat down with her to ask a few questions and got to know our new principal.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Bellflower, California, and attended Bellflower High School (BHS). At the time, the school went from 7th through 12th grade, and we were all on one campus. BHS was where I found confidence and learned what kind of leader I would become. I had a supportive father who supported my dream of becoming ASB President. I will never forget the day I was called to the podium to give my speech. I was dwarfed by the intimidating podium so I walked up, removed the microphone from its container, and stood in front of 2,000 students recounting the stories of why they should elect me. It worked and I won.

What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy running, dancing, and singing in my car. I am also trying to do more in the city of Los Angeles. I have lived here most of my life and there are still so many things I have not done or seen. I just went to the Greek Theatre for the first time. What an incredible city we live in.

Do you have any pets?
Elvis is my little love. He is a malti-poo, as I am actually allergic to dogs. Just one week after completing my doctorate, I was “bored.” I didn’t know what to do with all the time on my hands. Elvis was 11 weeks old, and I fell in love. He is sure to make a showing on campus sometime this year!

What is your favorite color?
Red has always been my favorite color, and then I went to USC, so it was fitting. I am getting used to wearing blue and orange. Perhaps a new favorite color is on the horizon.

What’s your favorite food?
I love Chinese food. Honestly, it reminds me of home. Most Friday nights we’d get Chinese food and watch Dallas. As a grown up, I must admit I try to eat healthy foods. I don’t leave the house before making my chocolate protein shake with frozen blueberries.

What are your favorite books?
As a leader, one of my favorite books is Jim Collins’ Good to Great. I also love historical fiction, and Lady in the Tower is one of my favorites. In the voice of Anne Boleyn, it gives an account of the days leading up to her beheading. When I can, I like to read adult fiction. I’m currently re-reading The Luxe series.

What are your favorite movies?
My all-time favorite movie is L.A. Confidential, a close second is Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. I also love Pride and Prejudice.

What are you looking forward to this year?
I am so interested in learning about everything at Chaminade. This is an incredibly busy place with so many opportunities for students, and I simply want to know what we do and why we do it. I plan on trying to learn the student names, and yet I keep thinking that there are over 1,300 students. It may take me all year, and then I’ll have to learn 350 new names.

Blended Learning

By Ashley Benning


For centuries, education in the western world has looked something like this:

  • A teacher standing in the front of a room.
  • Students in rows facing the teacher.
  • Primers or textbooks open to the same page on every desk.
  • All students working on the same assignments in class,
    the same homework in the evening.
  • Courses starting and stopping according to a bell or alarm,
    with students spending the same number of minutes in every
    subject over the course of a year.

This factory model follows the Pirate Code: Whoever falls behind, is left behind. For those students who can keep up, who can jump through the hoops, who learn best from lecture and reading, this model works.

The factory model of education is ideal in a society in which the following are true:

  • all students are at the same learning level and share the same preferred learning modality
  • financial restrictions do not allow for additional sections or courses
  • teachers are in short supply.

Luckily for Chaminade, none of the above are true.

Read more about blended learning in the spring/summer issue of Chaminade Now hitting mailboxes this week.