Kicker Ryon Sayeri Honored as a 2024 All-American as Part of All-American Bowl’s Road to the Dome Tour

Ryon Sayeri Welcomed to 2024 All-American Bowl with Virtual Jersey Presentation

STAMFORD, Conn. – November 1, 2023 – Kicker Ryon Sayeri (West Hills, California/ Chaminade College Preparatory), was officially honored today as a 2024 All-American during a virtual jersey presentation as part of the first week of the Road to the Dome digital series.

Having been selected to play in the twenty-fourth edition of the All-American Bowl, Sayeri will play in the annual East vs. West matchup inside the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The 2024 All-American Bowl on January 6, 2024, from inside the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, will be presented live on NBC and Peacock.

The Road to the Dome tour will continue to honor all 100 All-Americans with virtual jersey presentations during an 8-week series that is released through various digital and social platforms across NBC Sports. Sayeri was selected by the All-American Bowl Selection Committee, consisting of the All-American Bowl, 247Sports, and NexGen founder Brent Williams. All-Americans are eligible for the All-American Bowl Player of the Year Award, the Anthony Muñoz Lineman of the Year Award, the Defensive Player of the Year Award, the All-American Bowl Man of the Year, and the All-American Bowl MVP Award. Only 100 football players receive the honor of putting on the All-American Bowl jersey each year. Each player selected to participate will culminate their high school careers at the All-American Bowl.

About the All-American Bowl
As an NBC Sports-owned property, the All-American Bowl is part of a marquee lineup of elite events that includes the Olympics, the Premier League, and the number one primetime show since 2011: Sunday Night Football. The All-American Bowl is annually the most-watched, most-talked-about, and most-prestigious high school all-star event, with more than 4,100,000 unique television viewers and over 20,000 in attendance. The history and tradition of the All-American Bowl is unparalleled: 562 draft picks; 97 Super Bowl champions; 217 Pro Bowl selections; 17 Heisman finalists including, but not limited to: Bryce Young, Christian McCaffrey, Tim Tebow, Derrick Henry, DeVonta Smith, and Trevor Lawrence. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@AABonNBC).

Chris Bullard ’05: Using Music to Break the Stigma Around Mental Health

The United Nations annually observes World Mental Health Day on October 10. Today, we highlight alumnus Chris Bullard ’05, executive director and founder of Sound Mind, which brings together musicians, music lovers, and forward-thinking organizations to build community and open dialogue around mental health, leveraging the power of music to catalyze social change. 

Chris began touring as an artist with acts such as Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. It was during this time that he struggled with his mental health. Chris’s research has revealed that over 70% of musicians are living with symptoms of anxiety or depression. His vision is to bring together other artists struggling with mental health to elevate the conversation and build a community and culture that breaks today’s stigma around Mental Health.

Sound Mind offers podcasts, resources, video series, digital and social media, live concerts, sound sanctuaries, and an annual music festival in New York. Chris has developed an Artist Ambassador program that works with more than 80 artists and bands to help them elevate their voices on mental health and a Road to Recovery program that partners with groups on tour and mental health organizations to provide support and resources to fans nationwide.  

Chris says he is excited to reconnect with his roots at Chaminade and spread the word about Sound Music to the Eagle alumni community. Check out more at

Starting the New School Year Strong

By Marsha Anderson

After the lazy days of summer, parents and students are beginning to prepare for those first days of school. How can parents help make the transition for their child go more smoothly? Gentle encouragement and a lot of listening seems to work best, according to Chaminade staff.  

“It’s important for parents to encourage their child to be open and take advantage of opportunities early on to make social connections and engage in school life,” says Chaminade Middle School Admissions Director Mary Guerra.

Also, she says, “Be hands-on in the beginning, with frequent check-ins to make sure your student is acclimating and adjusting to their new school. If they are not, lean into whatever school support systems are in place to help with this transition.”

Suggest to your child that they study the school website to identify a few clubs, activities, or sports they might want to participate in once school starts. Clubs and teams build a quick sense of belonging and help with new class jitters.  

Students who become active in something outside of class build their sense of connection with the school and make new friends. Whether it’s a particular club or a sport, the main thing is to encourage your student to become involved.

As Admissions and Enrollment Management Director for the high school Greg Klee P’19, P‘20, explains, “Chaminade is like a big academic amusement park – Disneyland is only the ‘happiest place on Earth’ if you get off the bench on Main Street and ride the rides! That is the only way to find out what you love and what you want to ride again.”

Encourage your student to assess their strengths and interests for both classes and the more than 56 teams and activities Chaminade offers.

Apart from sports and clubs, Chaminade’s robust year-round retreat program will also be a time for growth for your child, where they will have multiple opportunities to reflect on their faith and relationships with others and the world.

High School therapist Kathryn Howard reflects that kids are older now, and they are getting back to the routine of school. Parents can focus on things that will help their child reduce stress.

So where do they start?

“First and foremost, have a conversation with your child about what they want for the new school year. Suggest that they think about what went well (and what didn’t) about the past school year,” she says.

“It’s most important to have healthy communication. As kids get older, parents need to step back from advice-giving and start to provide guidance, support, and validation. Remind them that they have both personal and school resources and strengths to manage the changes presented by the new school year. Let them know that you believe in them.”

By focusing on listening and having a conversation with their child, parents will be helping to build independent learners, and that’s the overarching goal for this age group.  

To a positive and successful new school year!

Marianists Visit from Rome

Left to right: Fr. André Joseph Fétis, S.M., Jackson Shubb ’24, Aleen Koujakian ’24, and Bro. Mike McAward, S.M.

On February 16 and 17, Fr. André Joseph Fétis, S.M., and Bro. Mike McAward, S.M., general administration of the Society of Mary in Rome, visited our middle and high school campuses. They met with students from our various leadership groups, took campus tours, and had the opportunity to experience our middle school Justice Fair and celebrate 100 days to graduation with our seniors.

Fr. André Joseph Fétis, S.M. is Blessed William Joseph Chaminade’s current successor, making him the fifteenth Superior General of the Society of MaryHe governs the Society of Mary worldwide. Fr. André is a classically trained musician and singer. He not only shares his birth country of France with Blessed Chaminade, but they were both born in Périgueux in Southwest France.

Bro. Mike McAward, S.M. serves as the General Assistant for Temporalities. He is responsible for the financial supervision of the several hundred “Marianist works” worldwide, including schools, retreat houses, parishes, and publishing houses. Bro. McAward attended Chaminade High School, Mineola, on Long Island. He also previously served as its principal. 

Chaminade Inducts New Members into the Alumni Hall of Fame

Chaminade College Preparatory inducted four alumni into the Alumni Hall of Fame: Andrew Ellis ’07, Melissa Lewis ’02, Michael Rubino ’94, and Abigail Villena ’89. Family, friends, and alumni gathered to celebrate their achievements at The Tutor Family Center for the Performing Arts on the West Hills campus on Saturday, February 4. Over the years, Chaminade has recognized nearly 130 alumni for their professional achievements, dedication to the school, and service to the community.

Andrew Ellis graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory in 2007. While at Chaminade, he was involved in the Film program and was a Link leader. Andrew credits Chaminade with providing a spiritual and moral foundation for his work. In particular, Paula LaBrot was “the mother and mentor that instilled a sense of purpose and wonder in me,” Andrew says.

After graduation, Andrew attended NYU’s film school and graduated in 2011. Since then, he has traveled the world making films that insightfully capture the struggles and accomplishments of his varied subjects. He has spent the last 12 years creating documentaries for nongovernmental organizations and non-profits in Africa, the Middle East, and India. These included films on such subjects as Syrian refugee camps, slavery in Ghana, exploitive labor practices in India’s textile industry, and the experiences of American soldiers with PTSD. Andrew’s films have been featured at Sundance, SXSW, CNN, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and TIME Magazine. In 2016, while working as the Director of Photography at MediaStorm, he was named “Multimedia Photographer of the Year” by Pictures of the Year International.

Next to filmmaking, his biggest passion is teaching. You can find Andrew behind the scenes mentoring young filmmakers in most productions worldwide. He has also taught workshops at NYU, Vassar, and Columbia.

Andrew’s advice for current and future students: “Looking back on my time in high school, I am deeply aware that there are many things worth listening to. Even if you don’t always appreciate them, the religious teachings you receive at Chaminade can create a unique moral framework in our world. Give it some time, and you will appreciate it.”

Lieutenant Colonel Melissa Lewis graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory in 2002. While at Chaminade, she was a leader on Ambassadors, Link, and Student Council. In her senior year, Melissa was the Associated Student Body President.

The prominent faculty who impacted Melissa were Debbie (Berko) Jeffreys, Jennifer Poole, Ben LaBrot, and Bob Di Conti.

After Chaminade, Melissa attended the University of Puget Sound on an ROTC scholarship and was commissioned as a Military Police Second Lieutenant after graduation (2006). She later attended Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy, graduating with a master’s in 2016.

Melissa has deployed twice to Iraq and has completed missions in Turkey, Israel, Poland, Kosovo, and Bulgaria. During her time in Germany, she was awarded the MacArthur award for leadership. This award is given to individuals who demonstrate the ideals of “Duty, Honor, Country” and have proven a record of extraordinary performance, leadership, and achievement.

Currently, Lieutenant Colonel Lewis is assigned to the Pentagon. She works on the Joint Staff in Strategy, Plans, and Policy, focusing on how the Department of Defense can direct efforts and resources to humanitarian issues facing Ukraine. Her second responsibility is leading the Joint Staff’s Women, Peace, and Security team.

Melissa encourages current and future students to open themselves to new experiences and people. “Find a new buddy to work on a class project together, try a new club or activity, engage with others who think differently, and find the beauty in the diversity of others.”

Michael Rubino graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory in 1994. While at Chaminade, he was involved in band, choir, and drama. His best memories are from the times he spent with friends after school at rehearsals or performing. Faculty that significantly influenced him were Greg Klee, Paula LaBrot, Susanna Newkirk, Terry Cano, and John Fennell.

After Chaminade, Michael went to UCLA and majored in music composition. He also studied privately with industry greats. After college, Michael started his career as a music editor for FOX Family Channel. He later became active in writing music for film and TV.

You can hear his music in film trailers for movies such as “Frozen” and “Planes: Fire and Rescue,” television shows like “Survivor” and “Days of our Lives,” commercials for Toyota and Panasonic, or video games such as “Sports Champions” for PlayStation.

Michael’s most recent work was composing the score for Nickelodeon’s hit series “It’s Pony.” He is currently working on music for Disneyland’s newly remodeled Toon Town. He loves doing his take on classic Disney tunes and writing new music to create the Disney experience.

Michael’s advice for current and future Chaminade students is, “Whatever field you decide to study later on, everything you learn at Chaminade will be useful. Even though I am in music, I use what I learned in math, literature, history, and other classes regularly. Without the rounded learning I received, I couldn’t do my job to the best of my ability.”

Abigail Villena graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory in 1989. During her time at Chaminade, she led the women’s tennis team to a CIF Championship in her senior year. Abigail was the number one singles player. She received All-Mission League, and All-CIF honors all four years while playing at Chaminade. She won the San Fernando Valley League’s MVP in 1988.She credits Father Allen DeLong, Brother Ed, and her tennis coach, Sue Lynn, for inspiring her in high school.

After graduation, Abigail received scholarships from Ohio State and UNLV. She chose to attend Ohio State and played all four years. She was All-Big 10 in her junior and senior years. She also received All-American Scholar-Athlete awards and Big 10 Academic Honors. Playing #1 singles and #1 doubles, Abigail earned a berth in the NCAA Championship in 1992. This accomplishment was a first in Buckeye history. After college, Abigail competed on the professional tour for three years before relocating to Southern California to become a tennis instructor.

Abigail’s philanthropic achievements include heading up H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Everywhere) for the kid’s tennis program. This program allows underprivileged kids to earn a college education through tennis scholarships. She helps young teens focus on academics while teaching them the athletic skills they need to succeed in tennis.
Abigail is a professional tennis instructor and head pro at the Billie Jean Tennis Center in Long Beach. She has been on the Wilson advisory staff for 25 years and is on the Tecnifibre Select Team.

She coaches a USTA women’s team, conducts various clinics for adults, and enjoys teaching young athletes to improve their game.

Abigail’s advice for current and future Chaminade students: “Make the most of your time at Chaminade, leaving it a better place than when you arrived. Inspire teammates, thank your teachers, and always do your best.”