Catholic Schools Week Comes to an End; Three Employees are Honored

Middle school students making blankets at SHINE Faith Sharing Lunch. Photo by Instagram @campusminnadems

Another successful Catholic Schools/Marianist Heritage Week has concluded at Chaminade College Preparatory. Students on both campuses enjoyed fun-filled, mission-driven activities. Middle schoolers enjoyed Dr. Seuss-themed special dress days and celebrated the week with an NJHS Bake Sale, Mix It Up Lunch, Faith Sharing, house picnic, and energetic Faith Rally.

High school students on a service trip with Habitat for Humanity. Photo by Instagram @nadeactivities

High school students commemorated the week with Random Acts of Kindness Lunch, an Instagram contest, the annual Fr. Chaminade Contest, a service trip with Habitat for Humanity, and an exciting Formation in Faith Rally.

Marianist Educators honored three fellow employees with the Blessed William Joseph Chaminade Award: Kelly Benning and Paul Sauter from West Hills, and Oscar Perez from Chatsworth. Each recipient was nominated by his or her peers for demonstrating one or more of the Characteristics of Marianist Education: integral, quality education; family spirit; adaptation and change; formation in faith; and service, justice, and peace.

Pictured left to right: Luis Guerra, Kelly Benning, Paul Sauter, and Bro. Adam Becerra, fsp. Photo by Pam Liceralde

Kelly Benning is the librarian at the West Hills campus. She makes the library an innovative learning space for discernment, reflection, and academic research. Under her leadership, the library is a gathering place where students are challenged to consider how they can contribute to society with their gifts and talents. 

Paul Sauter, biology teacher and science department chair on the West Hills campus, demonstrates compassion, humor, and love in all he does. Paul serves through the Kairos retreat every year and has coached in the past. He is always willing to give of himself to serve his students.

Pictured left to right: Nikki Russ, Oscar Perez, and Fr. Josephraj Rymond, S.M. Photo by Tommy Smeltzer

Oscar Perez is on the facilities staff at the Chatsworth campus. With a positive attitude, Oscar imparts warmth, understanding, and generosity in all he does, from setting up for Masses and rallies, to finding solutions to complicated campus problems. His work is precise, accurate, and done with a smile. Dedicated to helping students, faculty, and staff, Oscar has a hand in everything on the Chatsworth campus.

Chaminade Kicks off Catholic Schools Week

On Sunday, January 27, Chaminade kicked off Marianist Heritage/Catholic Schools Week with a Family Mass and lunch, held on its West Hills campus. Students, parents, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate the gift of a Catholic Marianist education and to give honor to Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and his charism to be formed by Mary for the mission of Christ. Catholic Schools Week is an annual celebration held across the nation and focuses on the value Catholic education provides to young people, as well as its contributions to churches, communities, and the country.

Chaminade’s West Hills and Chatsworth campuses are celebrating Catholic Schools Week with faith-filled events that highlight the five characteristics of a Marianist education and celebrate the school’s Marianist heritage.

Click here for a schedule of events on the Chatsworth campus.
Click here for a schedule of events on the West Hills campus.

Four Alumni to be Inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame

On Saturday, February 2, 2019, President Rob Webb and Chaminade College Preparatory will honor four alumni at the third annual Alumni Hall of Fame.

Mary McDonough ’79 Mary is an actor, activist, and author. She is most well -known for her role as Erin Walton on The Waltons. She has written three books, one memoir, and two novels. She is an advocate for women’s body issues and plastic surgery education and safety regulations. Mary also offers life coaching and workshops to provide tools for body image management to those in the entertainment industry.

Brittany Solis ’13 Brittany was a multi-sport athlete at Chaminade, playing varsity volleyball, soccer and softball. She continued her softball career at the University of Central Florida where she played all four years, starting every game and helping her team to win the American Athletic Conference Championships two times. Brittany is passionate about community service and hopes to work for the Dodgers. 

NetflixScott Stuber ’87 Scott is a film producer and currently heads Netflix’s original film department. He has produced over 30 films and 7 television series throughout his career. Scott was the vice chairman of worldwide production for Universal Pictures, producing films like Couples Retreat, The Fast and Furious Series and Role Models. Netflix expects to roll out 55 original films per year under Scott’s guidance and has already seen great success with Bird Box and Roma

Mathew Troupe ’11 Mathew was an all-around player on the varsity baseball team at Chaminade and later emerged as a talented pitcher. He played baseball for the University of Arizona where he pitched the final innings of the 2012 National Championship clinching the win against South Carolina as a freshman. He continued his career at CSUN as a player/coach. In 2017, Mathew was hired as the pitching coach at Emory University and he is currently the Director of Baseball Operations at the University of San Diego. 

Tickets are available online for this event at

Beloved Bro. LeRoy Viera, S.M. Dies at 92

Chaminade College Preparatory is deeply saddened to announce Bro. LeRoy Viera, S.M. died at the age of 92 on January 20, 2019, in Cupertino, California.

Born in a farming, grape growing area of Antioch, California, Bro. LeRoy Viera developed mechanical skills in construction related to utilities, carpentry, and plumbing.  After a stint in the Coast Guard, Bro. LeRoy worked at a chemical company by day and learned carpentry by night, which helped him get a carpenter’s job at a paper mill. At age 26, he joined the Marianist order in Santa Cruz and served in Honolulu, Rome, Walla Walla, and Gardena.  He was a fixture at Chaminade, West Hills, from 1992 until his retirement in 2015.

While at Chaminade, Bro. LeRoy worked in the physical plant department keeping the high school campus beautiful and in working order. He 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 was also heavily involved with the Chaminade Players in helping them construct sets for all high school theater productions and teaching students how to wield power tools with confidence. He was known to say “YES” to any request and always displayed a warm and friendly demeanor.

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.

A vigil and funeral Mass will take place next week in Cupertino at 22683 Alcalde Road, Cupertino, California 95014. The vigil is on Sunday, January 27 at 4:30 p.m., and the funeral Mass is on Monday, January 28 at 10:00 a.m. with the burial and a luncheon to follow.

Plans are in the works for a local memorial service, details to come.

Debate Team Co-Champions

The Chaminade Debate team participated in the Peninsula Invitational over the weekend of January 12 at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. The Peninsula Invitational is one of the fastest growing tournaments on the West Coast, with 87 schools, 669 individuals, and five states represented.

This year, two teams from Chaminade competed in the varsity policy debate division, widely considered to be the tournament’s most competitive. Two Chaminade teams consisting of Dhruv Ahuja ’21 and Dylan Barsoumian ’21 (Chaminade AB) and Azadeh Hormozdiari ’21 and Ellya Kim ’22 (Chaminade HK) finished the tournament as co-champions. Such an accomplishment has not been achieved by Chaminade Debate in any division at any tournament since 2011.

The judges awarded all four Chaminade students “best speaker awards” for excellence in debating and research: Azadeh (2nd), Dhruv (7th), Ellya (12th), and Dylan (18th).

This year the team has been researching the merits of United States immigration policy. They have been debating the topic, “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United States.” 

Next, the team heads to the UNLV Golden Desert Debate Tournament, February 2-4, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.