For the past 30 years, during the Baccalaureate Mass, Chaminade has upheld the tradition of presenting a special award to Chaminade families who have made a long-standing commitment by sending three or more children to Chaminade throughout their tenure.
In the spirit of Mary, Chaminade strives to create a community that is truly a family, consisting of students, faculty, staff, and parents. There is no greater trust on the part of parents than to place their children in the hands of our school community.
On May 27, 2022, we proudly recognized 13 families with The Family of Mary Award, marking their exceptional involvement at Chaminade. Congratulations to the 2022 Family of Mary Award recipients:
Mr. Brian and Mrs. Kristi Balleweg Montgomery ’17, Mackinnley ’19, Maguire ’22
Mr. Blake Brown ’84 and Mrs. Maryann Gallagher-Brown Brendan ’17, Daniel ’19, Blake ’22
Mr. Jason and Mrs. Jeannette Crawshaw Eric ’15, John ’22, Victor ’22
Mr. Pat Davoren and Mrs. Mary Pat Hurdle Davoren ’83 Scott ’09, Brianna ’11, Sean ’15, Katie ’16, Tim ’19, Peyton ’22
Ms. Laura Espinoza Cameron ’10, Ariana ’19, Corina ’22
Mr. Rudy and Mrs. Maria Garcia Christian ’17, Joshua ’18, Zachary ’20, Jacob ’22
Mr. Joel and Mrs. Jennifer Manlucu Patricia ’14, Paolo ’16, Pauline ’22
Dr. Ashraf Nashed and Ms. Dina Bedwani Natalie ’18, Nicole ’20, Noelle ’22
Mr. Bud and Mrs. Christina Nations Katherine ’15, Daniel ’18, Sophia ’22
Dr. Ayman Nouneh and Ms. Liana Alturk Kevin ’19, Mary ’21, Christopher ’22
Dr. Emmanuel and Dr. Melizza Pacia Aimee ’15, Francis ’21, Angelo ’22
Mr. Randall Stern and Ms. Thea Pizziano-Carlo Aidan ’22, Giovanni ’22, Ramsey ’22
Mr. Daniel and Mrs. Traci Zvonicek Emma ’18, Lola ’20, Jack ’22
After a two-year hiatus, students, faculty, and staff from both Chaminade campuses gathered at the high school to celebrate the 32nd Annual Founders Day Mass on Thursday, March 24, 2022. Rev. Mike Chiuri, S.M., school chaplain, concelebrated Mass with Rev. Ted Ley, S.M. ’58, chaplain emeritus, and Rev. Tim Kenney, S.M., assistant Marianist provincial for religious life.
Founders Day remembers Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and his charism to be formed by Mary for the mission of Christ, and honors individuals who have made significant contributions to our school.
During Mass, President Robert S. Webb honored seven new Founders of Chaminade College Preparatory, who collectively represent over 170 years of service to the school. Ron ’79 and Kathy Prechtl were recognized for their years of generously supporting and serving Chaminade. Longtime employees Bo Anderson, Bryan Cantwell, Dorothy Kane, Agapito Valderrama, and Yvette Williamson were recognized for their 25+ years of service to Chaminade in various capacity.
Ron ’79 and Kathy Prechtl
Ron Prechtl graduated from Chaminade in 1979. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Northridge before enjoying a career in the real estate industry. He has served in various volunteer capacities at Chaminade, including as Chair of the Board of Directors, and Chair of the Advancement, Physical Facilities, and Property Management Committees. Ron was involved with the development and construction of the Tutor Family Center for the Performing Arts, and the recent acquisition of the shopping center on Saticoy. In 2012, he was named Chaminade Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.
Kathy Prechtl graduated from Louisville and the University of San Francisco before becoming a registered nurse. She now helps oversee the day-to-day operations of the Prechtl family’s property management company.
In addition to Chaminade, Ron and Kathy support Catholic Charities of Ventura County and Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County. They have been married for nearly 32 years and are the parents of two Chaminade alumni (and USC alumni). Their son Andrew ’11 is a financial analyst for Simpatica, and daughter Kaitlin ’13 is attending USC Keck School of Medicine to become a physician assistant.
In 2019, Ron and Kathy purchased an avocado farm in Carpinteria. They also enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Bo Anderson was born in Philadelphia. She moved with her family to California, where she graduated from El Camino and Cal State Northridge.
She started at Chaminade in 1996 after her friend Betty Paravato, who worked in the Business Office, encouraged her to apply for an open position. Interested in working at a Catholic organization, Bo accepted the offer and has been serving Chaminade ever since. She says the school’s sense of community and her supportive colleagues make it a wonderful place to work!
As it grew over the years, Bo came to solely manage the financial aid program. The Director of Financial Aid, Bo loves being able to assist families in their desire to provide a Catholic education for their children.
Bo and her close-knit family are active members of St. Bernardine’s Parish. Her husband Kevin is an LAUSD teacher, and her daughter Kylie is a freshman at Chaminade. She also has two stepdaughters, Rachel and Leah. Bo enjoys spending time with her family and likes sports, especially baseball and softball. She and her husband have been to 28 of the 30 Major League Baseball stadiums.
Bryan Cantwell grew up in San Diego and came to Chaminade after graduating from Cal Lutheran in 1994. He started his career as a middle school PE teacher and high school boys’ basketball coach before creating the summer basketball camp program.
In 2000, Bryan moved to the high school campus, eventually becoming Dean of Students in 2007. Bryan also served as the middle school site director of the Center for Excellence. Since 2017, he has served as the high school Associate Athletic Director.
Bryan has coached various middle school sports, including volleyball, golf, football, and basketball. At the high school, he coached boys’ golf for many years, and currently is the varsity boys’ basketball coach. During his tenure at Chaminade, Bryan has coached 4 CIF championship teams – boys’ basketball in 1998, 1999, and 2021, and boys’ golf in 2010.
Bryan received his master’s degree in Catholic School Administration from Loyola Marymount in 2009. He is married to Beth Cantwell, who also teaches at Chaminade, and they have three sons: Kieran ’19, Caden ’22, and Kahlil ’26.
Dorothy Kane was born and raised in New York. She moved to California with her family when she was a senior in high school, but still considers herself an East Coaster.
Dorothy has been teaching for 38 years, from 4th graders to juniors in high school. She has served on the middle school faculty at Chaminade since her arrival in 1995, and is currently the Vice Principal for Academics and Parent and Faculty Concerns. For most of her career, Dorothy has taught middle school history. In 2006, her peers honored her with the Blessed William Joseph Chaminade Award.
In her free time, Dorothy likes to cook (not bake!), watch Masterpiece Theatre, and read mystery books. She also enjoys visiting lighthouses and antique stores with her husband of 32 years, Kevin, who is a teacher in the Las Virgenes Unified School District. Dorothy and Kevin have one son, Richard, who works in Chaminade’s middle school library.
Agapito Valderrama was born in Mexico and moved to California in 1985. He held various agricultural and horticultural positions, even working with Cesar Chavez, before coming to Chaminade in 1995. Agapito was encouraged to apply for a position in the Grounds Department by a family friend, Antonio Jauregui, who was honored at Chaminade’s Founders Day in 2016.
Agapito originally worked on the high school campus before moving to the middle school in 1998, where he was promoted to Grounds Supervisor. He says working at Chaminade is like being part of a family, and he enjoys the variety of each day.
Agapito and his wife Rosario have a son named David. In addition to keeping Chaminade’s middle school campus beautiful, Agapito is the owner of Rancho Nuevo Nursery in Moorpark, California.
Yvette Williamson grew up in Oakhurst, California and earned degrees from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Grand Canyon University. She came to Chaminade in 1997 to teach World History and Economics at the high school. Yvette and her husband Andy, also a teacher at Chaminade, have three children: Kylee ’26, Cooper ’28, and future Eagle, Quinn.
To celebrate her 25 years at Chaminade, Yvette wanted her biography to focus on the impact Chaminade and its Family Spirit has had on her life. When Yvette came to Chaminade, she was excited to work alongside her sister, Denise Gunter. Seven years later, she met the love of her life in the Bob Hope Center, and was married to Andy Williamson by Chaminade chaplain, Fr. Edward Johnson, in a ceremony attended by over 30 colleagues.
Yvette is thankful for her colleagues, who act as family. Yvette had her three children while working at Chaminade, and two of her colleagues are their godparents. She has vacationed with her colleagues and been roommates with some of them. Several have become neighbors. She considers herself fortunate to have colleagues as part of the village helping her and Andy raise their children.
Yvette’s students also contribute to her sense of Family Spirit at Chaminade. She has taught more than 4,000 students, many of whom have become cherished colleagues, with some even coaching and teaching her own children. Hundreds have returned to share with her their accomplishments or introduce their families. Her students have taught her patience and empathy, and about integrity and strength. Yvette says her students have influenced the person she has become, and have made her a better teacher and parent. Blessed to have spent half her life at Chaminade, Yvette thanks our community for showing her the meaning of Family Spirit.
Chaminade College Preparatory announces the retirement of high school head football coach Ed Croson.
Coach Croson first began his career at Chaminade in 1989 after coaching at Southern Utah State University, Los Angeles Pierce College, Notre Dame High School, and St. Genevieve High School. He served as Chaminade’s athletic director from 1993-1998 and became head football coach in 1998. Coach Croson left Chaminade in 2000 to coach at Birmingham High School. In 2009, he returned to Chaminade, taking over a program that had only won two games the previous year.
In the 13 years since Coach Croson’s return, the Eagles have earned the MaxPreps designation of All-Decade 2009-2019 and California State Top 20 (ranked #17). They played in the CIF-SS quarterfinals in 2009 (7-5-0) and the semifinals in 2010 (11-3-0) and 2011 (10-3-0). Chaminade won the Mission League title and reached the CIF-SS finals in 2012 (12-2-0). In 2013, the program won the CIF-SS and California State title (14-2-0). Recently, the Eagles qualified for the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs in 2015, 2017, 2018, the Division 1 quarterfinals in 2016, and the Division 2 finals in 2019. They also won Mission League titles in 2017 and 2020.
Every year since 2010, Chaminade has finished in the California State Top 50 (out of 1,100 competing high schools). Los Angeles Daily News has ranked the Eagles in the Top 10 every week since September 2009, including #1 in 2012 and 2013, and #2 in 2016 and 2020. Cal-Hi Sports named Coach Croson the 2013 California State High School Coach of the Year, and on October 1, 2021, he netted his 200th career win with Chaminade against Cathedral High School.
Mindful of Chaminade’s Catholic, Marianist mission, Coach Croson implemented a team Mass and meal before every game. He is proud to have sent 83 Eagles to play for Division 1, 2, 3 schools, as well as Ivy League colleges. “Chaminade is immensely thankful to Coach Croson for his shepherding of hundreds of young players over the years, and indebted to him for putting Eagle football on the map,” said Chaminade high school Principal Luis R. Guerra.
David Machuca, current associate head coach, will take over for Coach Croson. Coach Machuca has enjoyed two stints at Chaminade: between 2009-2011, when he helped the Eagles to back-to-back semifinal appearances; and since 2017, during which the Eagles were CIF-SS Division 2 finalists (2019) and won the Mission League title (2020). Coach Machuca and his wife Kristen have two young sons, Shane and Dylan, and a newborn daughter, Reagan. Mr. Guerra expressed that, “Chaminade is excited and blessed to welcome Coach Machuca into his new role as head coach. His passion for Chaminade football, and desire to build upon Coach Croson’s legacy of developing young players for lives of service, will tremendously benefit our program. With his strong understanding of Chaminade’s mission and culture, and reputation as a relationship-builder, Coach Machuca will work in partnership with his players and their families to advance the tradition of Eagle excellence.”
For the past 29 years during the Baccalaureate Mass, the Family of Mary Award has been presented to families who have sent at least three children through Chaminade, with their final son or daughter graduating from the high school. On May 29, 2021, this tradition continued as Mrs. Jill Stewart, faculty member and a 2021 Family of Mary Award recipient, recognized the following families on behalf of Mr. Robert S. Webb, president of Chaminade College Preparatory. Many thanks for their long-standing commitment to Chaminade!
Paul and Cathy Barkes Andrew ’15, Emily ’21, and Jack ’21
Gregg and Jody Bruno Benjamin ’19, Madeline ’21, and Samantha ’21
Paul and Julaine Chilopoulos Paul ’15, Jonas ’19, and Joseph ’21
Ben and Jeannette DeSantis Ella ’16, Camillo ’17, and Leonardo ’21
Gregg and Nicole Dunn Taylor ’13, Jordan ’16, and Ella ’21
Gina MacAller Jacobellis ’82 Alphonse ’07, Joseph ’10, Vincent ’14, and Camille ’21
Sean and Pam Jenkins Madison ’17, Garrett ’19, and Molly ’21
Frank ’84 and Kathy Macias Jack ’13, Luke ’18, and Elena ’21
Issam and Helene Najm Gabriella ’14, Christina ’17, and Sophie ’21
Sean Parsa and Liz Gaier Jack ’16, Luke ’18, and Grace ’21
William and Jacqueline Popok Henry Rivas Anica ’19, Gemma ’21, and Nola ’21
Rodger and Shannon Rutter Alexis ’12, Madison ’15, and Hayden ’21
Michael and Heidi Smith Alexander ’13, Nathan ’15, and Sydney ’21
Brian and Marci Stark Jacob ’14, Jared ’18, and Griffin ’21
Walt and Jill Stewart Nicholas ’17, Matthew ’19, and Jessica ’21
Asim and Huma Syed Shehroz ’16, Shanzey ’18, and Rayan ’21
Michael and Merly Uyanga Michelle ’17, Jennifer ’19, and Jeremiah ’21
David and Nikki Williams Parker ’16, Carter ’18, and Windsor ’21
Wesley and Amanda Wong Jacob ’16, Abigail ’18, and Ethan ’21
It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly one year since athletic competitions were available for high school students. Excitement filled the air on Saturday, February 13, as Chaminade hosted its first sporting event since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020. The Eagles welcomed St. Francis’ Boys Cross Country team for a dual meet, officially kicking off the high school’s sports season.
“It’s the first step toward getting back to normal,” says Chaminade’s high school Athletic Director Todd Borowski. “We are excited for the kids and excited for the schools.”
Cross country is one of the few sports cleared for inter-team competition in the purple tier. Only dual meets are allowed at this time rather than the usual “cluster” meets consisting of multiple teams.
The meet was held on the grounds of Chaminade’s 19-acre West Hill campus. Athletes ran three loops to complete a total distance of 2.6 miles.
“We are thrilled to see our high school cross country team competing again.” says high school Principal Luis Guerra. “This is a big moment for us. It’s great to see kids doing what they love and just being kids again.”
Chaminade received clearance from the State of California, LA County Dept. of Public Health, LA Archdiocese, Mission League, and the CIF to host the event. “We have taken every precaution, following all guidelines and protocols, to ensure the safety of all in attendance,” said Luis Guerra. Only athletes, coaches, and a few school employees serving as volunteers were permitted on campus. No spectators, including parents, were allowed to attend.
“For a while, we thought we weren’t going to have a season. It’s great we had this opportunity to use what we have been training for,” said Chaminade’s team captain Brandon LaRue ’21. “This set up was a great cross country style course with hills, and we are honored to be here.”
All athletes were required to bring their own water, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, a towel, personal items, and a mask, which they are allowed to remove during the race. There were no team tent setups, water refill stations, or food stations.
St. Francis coach Patrick Donovan said, “It’s absolutely fantastic to be out here. It’s been a long time coming. All the ups and downs and the difficult times we have gone through, it’s wonderful to watch the boys competing in their jerseys representing their schools.”