Three Employees Honored with William Joseph Chaminade Award

During Catholic Schools Week, three Chaminade College Preparatory employees were given the William Joseph Chaminade Award:

  • Kaylee Bryden
  • Michael Lehrmann
  • Michael Ochs

Each were nominated by their peers for demonstrating and/or supporting all five Characteristics of Marianist Education (integral, quality education; family spirit; adaptation and change; formation in faith; and service, justice and peace) in all he or she does, and is an outward example of the Marianist charism, “To be formed by Mary for the Mission of Christ.”

Kaylee Bryden teaches health at Chaminade’s West Hills campus, and is one of the few high school teachers who teaches every single student (except post-freshman year transfers). Her nominator says, “She knows the students well and cares about their emotional, physical, and acadmeic development.” She also shares her singing voice during school liturgies.

Michael Lehrmann works as a payroll administrator; while his office is on the Chatsworth campus, he serves both school communities. While he does not work directly with students,  Michael actively participates in school events and supports Dig Pink and the annual middle school Justice Fair. His nominators call him kind, gentle and competent. Another nominator said, “I’d also like to add the words, ‘quiet’ and ‘unassuming.’ When I think of our recipient, I’m reminded of St. Joseph. St. Joseph, the Patron Saint of Workers, a humble, very ethical man who took care of others, most notably, Mary and Jesus.”

Michael Ochs chairs Chaminade’s high school social studies department. While a history teacher, he is also a life-long learner; Michael recently completed his masters degree in history. He has also served as an assistant moderator of Link, shares his free times to act n student films, directs Kairos, and chaperones student trips. Michael’s nominator reflects, “He is a phenomenal teacher who expects greatness from his students and challenges himself by collaborating with his colleagues for the benefit of all the students.”

Five Eagles Sign National Letters of Intent

On National Signing Day, five Chaminade College Preparatory student athletes signed a National Letter of Intent. Four of the seniors play football, and one plays soccer.

  • Kyle Bilchik – University of San Diego
  • Jackson Parks – San Jose State University
  • Jahlil Pinkett – Northern Arizona University
  • Isaiah Richardson – San Diego State University
  • Lily Nabet – Duke University

Chaminade Celebrates Catholic Schools Week

13-14_CSW_Logo_Circle_RGBChaminade kicks off Marianist Heritage/Catholic Schools Week on Sunday, January 29, with a schoolwide Family Mass and dinner on the Chatsworth campus. Catholic Schools Week is a national celebration of Catholic education with the theme: “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Throughout the week of January 29 through February 3, students, faculty, and staff will honor our Catholic Marianist heritage and celebrate our 200 year anniversary of the foundation of the Society of Mary. Each campus will celebrate with faith-filled activities that highlight the five characteristics of a Marianist education: Adaptation and Change; Service, Justice, and Peace; Formation in Faith; Integral, Quality Education; and Family Spirit.

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

Chaminade Honors Four New Founders

Chaminade College Preparatory’s West Hills campus was a little more crowded than usual this morning. Instead of the usual 1,200 high school students, there were 2,021 middle and high school students, gathered together to celebrate the school’s annual Founders Day Mass.

Main celebrant, Fr. Martin Solma, S.M., led the Mass and was joined by concelebrants, Fr. John-Paul Gonzalez ’97 of Christ the King (Hollywood), Fr. Jim Mueller, S.M. of Central Catholic High School (San Antonio, Texas), and Fr. Ted Ley, S.M. ’58. Together, the Chaminade family remembered Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and recognized four individuals for the contributions they have made to the school.

This year, Chaminade honored Nancy (Valtin) Leone ’86, Cynthia Snyder, David Poms, and Sandra Poms as founders. Nancy and Cynthia are both 25-year employees of the school, while David and Sandra are longtime benefactors and volunteers. Chaminade President, Rob Webb presented each founder with a medal at the end of Mass.

Founders Day also included a renewal of vows for the Marianist brothers and priests. Between them, Bro. Jack Dempsey, S.M.; Bro. David Betz, S.M.; Fr. Martin Solma, S.M.; Fr. Jim Mueller, S.M.; and Fr. Ted Ley, S.M. have 297 years of religious profession!

Chaminade to Hold its First Alumni Hall of Fame

On February 4, 2017, Chaminade College Preparatory will host its first Alumni Hall of Fame and celebrate the achievements of Kate (Lospalluto) Beskid ’00; Meghan Hawthorne ’10; Conor McCullough ’09; Kevin Pillar ’07; and Captain Duncan Smith, USN ’76. Previously, alumni athletes and distinguished alumni were honored during two separate ceremonies. The new tradition combines both events and recognizes graduates for their professional achievements, dedication to the school, and service to the community.

kateAfter graduating from the University of Arizona in 2004, Kate Beskid ’00 returned to her alma mater as a 7th-grade religion teacher. For the last 13 years, she has served the Chaminade community in many ways—teaching, coaching cheer, working with Student Council, and much more. In 2009, Kate, along with Annette (Dietel) Damien ’01, founded the middle school’s SHINE program. She was the chair of the religion department for eight years and is currently Chatsworth’s director of campus ministry. Kate is part of the Marianist National Program and served as their regional coordinator for the Pacific for three years and works with the national LIFE program as well.

meghanMeghan Hawthorne ’10 was a record-breaking swimmer for Chaminade. She won titles in the 100 butterfly (2010), 500-yard freestyle (2008), broke the CIF-SS D1 record for the 200 individual medley (2010), and was named L.A. Daily News Swimmer of the Year in 2008 and 2010. She was a two-time All-American Swimmer at the University of Southern California, and reached the Pac-12 Championships finals seven times. As a member of the USA Swimming National Team, she reached the final of the 400 IM during the 2012 Olympic Trials and earned a silver medal in the same event for the United States at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia. Meghan is retired from swimming and is in her second season as assistant swimming and diving coach for Boise State University.

conor_olympic-trials-medal-picBy the time Conor McCullough graduated from Chaminade in 2009, he held five national hammer throwing records and a 2008 World Junior Championships silver medal. He continued his athletic career first at Princeton University, then at the University of Southern California. In 2010, he won the USATF Junior National competition and secured his first international gold medal at the World Junior Championships. While at USC, Conor won the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championship. He made his Team USA debut in 2015 and finished second at the USATF National Championship and earned a bronze medal in the hammer throw at the Pan-American Games. Conor represented Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was the highest ranking Team USA athlete for the hammer throw.

pillarKevin Pillar ’07 was played football, basketball, and baseball for Chaminade, and earned first-team All-CIF honors in each sport. He continued his baseball career at California State Dominguez Hills as an All-American center fielder. As a freshman, he had a .379 batting average and set the NCAA Division II record with a 54-game hitting streak in 2010. During the 2011 Major League Baseball draft, the Toronto Blue Jays selected Kevin, and he made his debut on August 14, 2013, against the Boston Red Sox. He was named the 2015 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year and was a Golden Glove finalist. In 2016, Kevin was again a Golden Glove finalist, received the Fielding Bible Award, and was nominated for the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award.

d-smithCaptain Duncan Smith, USN ’76 is a Navy SEAL and American hero. An involved student at Chaminade, he ran cross-country and track, played on the tennis team, took photos for the yearbook, competed in Speech and Debate, and served as senior class president. He graduated from the University of Southern California, and after a year of working and cycling in New Zealand, he worked as a stockbroker. Duncan later joined the Navy and became a Navy SEAL in 1986 with BUD/S Class 137. He served as an officer in Special Operations platoons at SEAL Teams One and Five before transitioning to the Navy Reserve while attending the Anderson School at UCLA. In September 2001, Duncan returned to active duty in Naval Special Warfare where he has served with distinction the last 16 years. Captain Smith’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Combat Action ribbon, and both the Iraq and Afghanistan campaign medals.

To attend Chaminade’s inaugural Alumni Hall of Fame event, please purchase tickets online.