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.”

Chaminade Honors 19 Families with Family of Mary Award

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

Alumni share their Eagle love stories

In honor of Valentine’s Day, alumni couples share their Eagle love stories:

Katherine Schryver-Stahly ’92 and Paul Stahly ’93

Katherine and Paul met in biology class in 1991. They attended Homecoming and Prom together and stayed together through college, even though they attended schools in different cities. The two married in April 2003 and have been together for 27 years. This year they are celebrating 16 years of marriage and two children, aged 5 and 7.

Christine and Wesley Lovold ’98

Wesley first saw Christine just before sitting down at Mass during freshman year. Christine and a friend were seated in the second to last row and Wesley sat behind her so he would get to meet her when Fr. Allen invited the congregation to extend the sign of peace. During sophomore year the two became friends, taking several classes together but lost touch when Christine left Chaminade. A year later, Wesley returned from a late shift one Friday night to find a note from his mom that a girl named Chrissy had called and left her number. He called the next day and the two made plans for their first date. After a couple of dates, Wesley asked her to homecoming with a bouquet of sunflowers, and shortly afterward, the two were officially boyfriend and girlfriend. Several years later, Wesley surprised Christine with a trip to New York. He proposed on their fifth anniversary during a horse drawn carriage ride through Central Park. One year later they became husband and wife. Christine and Wesley have been together for 22 years and have four children, three daughters and one son.

Kate and Scott Beskid ’00

Kate and Scott spent three years together in high school, but truly never spoke more than a few words to one another. The two reconnected their senior year of college through a mutual friend, Grant Zitkvoich ’00. Their shared Chaminade experience was the foundation of their friendship and their love blossomed as they spent more and more time together. Kate began her vocation as a Chaminade educator and Scott started his career as a chef. They supported one another in their new adventures and each day their love grew. Kate and Scott married on September 22, 2012 at St. John Eudes Parish in Chatsworth. The entire wedding was Chaminade – the bridal party, guests, choir, and even the middle school cheerleaders attended. They have enjoyed supporting Chaminade throughout the years: attending their reunion together, homecoming football games, and various alumni events. The Beskids recently welcomed their first child, Elizabeth Francis on March 1, 2018 – they cannot wait to send Elizabeth to Chaminade as a member of the Class of 2038!

Lyndsay and Jeff Rosen ’07

Lyndsay and Jeff met at a Bar Mitzvah for Max Piner ’07 before Jeff attended Chaminade. Lyndsay remembered seeing him on a campus visit a few months after the party and thinking he was super cute. On the first day of 8th grade at Chaminade Jeff approached Lyndsay, to say “hi” and they have been inseparable ever since. Lyndsay recalls that they constantly passed notes in class and chatted online. She never expected to meet her future husband at 12 years old. Lyndsay and Jeff have been married for just over two years and have a beautiful 7 month old daughter named Greer. 

If you’d like to share your Eagle Love Story, contact the Alumni Office at or (818) 444-1750.

Homecoming Victory for the Eagles


photo by: Christopher Mora

After a bye week, the Chaminade Eagles hosted the Loyola Cubs at Booster Stadium for Homecoming. On its first offensive possession of the game, the Eagles scored a touchdown with eight minutes remaining in the first quarter. At halftime, the score was 35-0, Eagles.

Chaminade improved to 4-2 with its 42-0 Mission League win over Loyola. Next up for the Eagles is an away game against the Alemany Warriors. Kick off at 7:00 p.m.

In addition to the victory, festivities included spirit activities and rallies for students at both campuses throughout the week. Theses events culminated in the crowning of a Homecoming King and Queen, Lawrence Hwang ’17 and Catherine Dauw ’17.img_9876

Homecoming was also Reunion Weekend for Chaminade alumni from the Classes of 1966, 1976, 1986, 1991, and 1996 (the Classes of 1956 and 2006 celebrated their reunions earlier this year). Class parties were held on Saturday evening, but Reunion Weekend started with the football game on Friday night. Before the game began, Golden Eagles (alumni who graduated from Chaminade 50 or more years ago) stood on the Deep Blue C and were introduced to the crowd. Alumni from all years gathered in the end zone to cheer on their football team and catch-up.

Golden Eagles

Golden Eagles

Kevin Pillar ’07 Nominated for Clemente Award


Kevin Pillar ’07 in a March 2016 game (photo: Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Ever wonder if Apostolic Works stays with you once you graduate from Chaminade? The short answer is, “Yes!”

Alumni often reflect back on cherished Chaminade experiences when they meet President Rob Webb, and these stories more often than not include service projects and their impact. As Mr. Webb pointed out in the spring/summer issue of Chaminade Now, “Many alumni say they continue to seek out service opportunities well after they leave Chaminade because helping others continues to profoundly touch their lives.”

Kevin Pillar ’07 is one of those alumni. The Toronto Blue Jays’ center fielder was recently nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes the  Major League Baseball (MLB) player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Pillar and his wife, Amanda are active with charitable organizations in Toronto. In addition, Pillar has set-up an MLB Action Team at Chaminade, which will help high school students to “plan and organize volunteer events in and around their schools.”

Read more about Pillar and his nomination on the Toronto Sun website.