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Assumption High School

Assumption High School Newsletter

July 1, 2015

Dear Assumption Community,

We enjoyed a busy and exciting spring at Assumption, starting with the announcement of plans to build a new sports complex on the St. Vincent Center property and culminating with year-end traditions such as Prom, May Crowning, Senior Honors and Awards, Baccalaureate, and ultimately Graduation.

As we turn the calendar to July, I invite you to enjoy a brief look back at the happenings around AHS from this past spring.

And to our 2015 graduates — Assumption High School is proud of your accomplishments of the past four years, and we wish you well in your future endeavors! Once a Knight, Always a Knight!

One in the Spirit,

Jordan Gizzarelli '99
Director of Alumni Relations

Assumption News

Hats Off to the Class of 2015!

The Class of 2015 took their turn walking across the graduation stage on Sunday, May 24. Assumption's 57th graduating class consisted of 109 students, including Valedictorians Riley Behan, Kelly McCabe, and Rachel Pelsang.

Prior to the graduation ceremony at Assumption, graduates participated in the annual Baccalaureate Mass at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church.

Watch the 2015 Graduation Ceremony on High School Cube here:

Sports Complex Planned for St. Vincent's Property

On March 31, Assumption and St. Ambrose University announced the completion of the sale of the St. Vincent’s property where a shared sports complex is planned. The complex will include a football stadium with a running track, softball diamond, soccer fields and parking area. Assumption plans to make the facility available to local Catholic groups.

“Assumption has been keenly interested in new and expanded facilities for some time,” Andrew Craig, president of Assumption of High School wrote in an email to parents of AHS students. “This acquisition provides the ability to enhance educational experiences while building school spirit and a stronger sense of community. It also provides an opportunity for Assumption to expand and enhance our current grounds and facilities to be on par with other area high schools.”

Read Official Announcement
Read Catholic Messenger Article
Phase 1 Announced

Alumni Q&A: John Powers '04

We recently caught up with Captain John Powers, a 2004 Assumption graduate and pilot for the United States Air Force.

Mr. Powers graciously reminisced about his experiences at Assumption and talked about his career in the USAF. Read the full text here.

Fine Arts News

Choir Enjoys Trip to Luther, Minnesota

The Assumption Choir embarked on a musical trip that took them to Luther College in Decorah and the University of Minnesota. At Luther College, students participated in a choral masterclass with Dr. Andrew Last, and a band masterclass with Dr. Joan deAlbuquerque, while also taking part in rehearsals with the Luther College Concert Band and the freshmen male choral ensemble, the Norsemen.

At the University of Minnesota, students attended a concert that featured the Wind Ensemble, many UM student musicians, and the Twin City-based professional choir, VocalEssence. The focus of the program was the 80th birthday of composer Peter Schickele (aka P.D.Q. Bach). Along with a trip to the Mall of America, students were also treated to a performance of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” by the Chameleon Theater Circle in Burnsville. The trip concluded with the choir singing for the “High” Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary (pictured above). Choirs are selected for this honor only after their audio tapes have been screened.

The choir, under the direction of Mr. Trevor Loes, recently performed their Spring Concert in Sunderbruch Auditorium. Below are links to watch the concert on YouTube. Enjoy!
O Come Ye Servants of the Lord by Christopher Tye
Lord, for Thy Tender Mercy’s Sake by Richard Farrant
Thy Will Be Done by Craig Courtney
Way Over in Beulah Lan’ by Stacey Gibbs
This Little Light of Mine arr. Mark Hayes
Credo RV 591 by Antonio Vivaldi
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross arr. Gilbert Martin

Band and Choir Excel at IHSMA Festivals

The Assumption Music Department shined at both the 2015 IHSMA District Solo-Small Ensemble Festival and the District Large Group Festival.

Assumption hosted nearly 300 students and teachers from area 3A schools for the 2015 IHSMA District Solo-Small Ensemble Festival on March 21. Several students earned Superior “1” ratings including senior Mary Kate Hines who was awarded “Best of Center” and earned a perfect score. She went on to perform her clarinet solo, von Weber’s Concertino at a state-wide showcase at Iowa State University on May 13.

A week later, the 2015 IHSMA District Large Group Festival was held at Central DeWitt, and both the band and choir earned Superior “1” ratings again. The choir also earned a perfect score from one of their three judges.

Music Department Presents Awards to Seniors

The band, under the direction of Mrs. Erin Mahr, held its final concert of the year on April 26 and awards were presented to three seniors. The John Philip Sousa Award was presented to Mary Kate Hines, while the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award was given to Alix Gradin, and the Semper Fidelis Award went to Matt Underwood.

The choir held its final concert on May 18 at Sacred Heart Cathedral featuring pieces learned throughout the year, as well as new works including Vivaldi’s “Credo” performed with guest string musicians and vocal soloists. Awards were also presented to two seniors: Anna Corsiglia took home both the U.S. Navy Choral Award and the Iowa Choral Directors Association Award, and Kate Lemons was awarded the National Choral Award, in addition to being chosen as the choir’s nominee for Assumption’s Fine Arts Wall of Fame.

Athletic News

Girls Track and Field Latest to 3-Peat!

The Assumption Girls Track & Field program became the latest team to accomplish a 3-Peat when they hoisted gold for a third straight year at the 2015 Iowa Class 3A State Girls Track Meet. Among the many highlights, was sophomore Joy Ripslinger's new 3A state record winning time of 2:10.38 in the 800 M Run, and a championship performance from freshman Julia Schumacher in the 3,000 M Run (10:10.11). Under the direction of Head Coach Tim O'Neill '96, the Knights outscored runner-up Decorah 79-67.

The 2015 Drake Relays saw the Lady Knights claim yet another coveted white flag, as Ripslinger and Schumacher teamed with senior Christine Rohlf and junior Mallory King to win the 3,200 Relay in a new school-record time of 9:20.99.

On the Boys' side, junior Will Ontiveros claimed Assumption's first individual state title since 2004 with a winning time of :48.82 in the 400 M Dash. Ontiveros, along with fellow juniors Sean Lansing and Patrick Schwartzhoff, and freshman Jayce Levy, also qualified for State in the 4 x 100 M Relay.

Spring Sports Recap

The spring season brought more success for the Knights as senior Sean Baldwin and junior Thomas Resnick teamed up to win the District doubles title and take Runner-up honors at the 2015 Iowa Class 1A Boys Tennis State Meet. Seniors Daniel Rohlf and Matt Tjaden finished Runner-up to Baldwin and Resnick at the District Meet, and advanced to the State Meet as well.

Senior Alyssa Sikkema shot a two-round total of 168 (85-83) to finish 4th at the 2015 Iowa Class 4A State Golf Meet held at the American Legion Golf Course in Marshalltown. For Sikkema, it was her third straight trip to the State Meet.

The Girls Soccer team advanced to the State Tournament for the fifth straight year before falling in overtime of their quarterfinal game. Also noteworthy, longtime Boys Soccer Head Coach Greg Zeller recorded his 200th career win as coach of the Knights in a 6-0 season-opening win over Bellevue Marquette on April 4.

Fitzpatrick, Rogalski Join Coaching Ranks

Alumni Matt Fitzpatrick '99 and Natalie Rogalski '11 were recently hired to lead the Boys Basketball and Knight Kompany Dance programs, respectively.

Fitzpatrick was named Head Boys Basketball Coach on April 8, 2015. A former two-time All-State point guard for the Knights, he spent the 2014-15 season as an Assistant Coach with the women’s basketball program at NCAA Division I Samford.

Rogalski was named the new Knight Kompany Dance Director on April 9, 2015. She was a four-year member of KKD while at Assumption, and recently graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Dance.

The Assumption community is happy to welcome back coaches Fitzpatrick and Rogalski and wishes them both the very best of luck!

Alumni Notes


• The St. Ambrose Dance Team, under the direction of Danelle Stanger ’00 Langeneckert won the 2015 NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance National Invitational Championship. Molly Loftus ‘11 was a senior member of the Queen Bees’ championship squad.

• Hailey Schneden '13, a sophomore women’s basketball player at the University of Iowa, was named to the 2015 Big Ten Winter Academic All-Conference team.

• Brody Grothus '11, a junior wrestler at the University of Iowa, was named to the 2015 Big Ten Winter Academic All-Conference team.

• Thomas Reyhons ’11, a senior wrestler at Augustana College (IL), was named a National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-American for the second straight year.

• Danielle Moore ’13, a sophomore midfielder for the Iowa State Women’s Soccer team, was named a 2014-15 Iowa State Scholar-Athlete.

• Mike Wehr ’99 was appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Raining Rose Inc. in Cedar Rapids.

• Brendan Gould ’14, a freshman wrestler at Augustana College (IL), was named the team’s Most Improved Wrestler.

• J.T. Vonderhaar '11, a senior forward for the Coe College Men’s Basketball team, was named to the All-Iowa Conference Second Team.

• Mark Jansen ’90 was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and is now the Commanding Officer at the Navy Operational Support Center, in Reno, NV.

• John Rohlf ’10 was named Head Men’s Tennis Coach at St. Ambrose University.

• Andy Fox ’00 was named Director of Men's Basketball Operations at Louisiana Tech University.

• Duffy Conroy '95 was named Assistant Men's Basketball Coach at Louisiana Tech University.

• Abbey Strajack ’11, a senior second baseman at Central College in Pella, was named a 2015 National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Division III Softball All-American and the 2015 Iowa Conference Softball Position player of the year after finishing her career as the Dutch’s all-time leader in batting average (.410), hits (221) and runs (151). She became Central’s all-time leader in hits in a doubleheader vs. Coe College on April 21, and was named the Iowa Conference softball position player of the week for her accomplishment. She was also named to the All-Tournament Team at the NCAA Division III Regional hosted and won by the Dutch.

Marriages & Engagements

• Katie Arp ‘08 and Tony Gripp ‘07 were married May 2 at Christ the King Chapel.

• Stephanie Ann Quinn ’09 married Grant De Roo on June 6, 2015 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.

• Kyle O’Day ’12 is engaged to Katie Smeltzer. The couple will wed in August.

• Elizabeth Phinney '07 is engaged to Andrew Villarreal. The couple will be married on October 17, 2015 at Cornerstone Gardens, Sonoma, CA.

• Drew Phinney ’07 is engaged to Jenna Hlavacek. A summer 2016 wedding is being planned.

• Gabriella Binion '08 is engaged to Jose Emanuel Saenz. The couple will be married June 27, 2015 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.

In Memory

• James B. Schott ’65 passed away February 20, 2015.

• James D. “Jim” Peisch ’61 passed away March 21, 2015.

• Faynelle L. Haehn ’36 passed away on April 7, 2015.

• Jeremiah Verre ’99 passed away on April 18, 2015.

• Patrick M. O’Brien ‘65 passed away on May 7, 2015.

• Scott Karwath ’67 passed away on May 9, 2015.

• Sheila McGivern ’61 Engel passed away on June 13, 2015.

• Richard H. “Red” Haiston ’52 Engel passed away on June 23, 2015.

If there is news that you would like to see appear in the next newsletter, please email us at:

Upcoming 2015 Reunions

Class of 1985: TBA
Contact: Thomas Mason

Class of 1980: TBA
Contact: Meg Molyneaux Courter

Class of 1975: August 21-22
Contact: Tim Berchtold
                 1975 Reunion Flyer

Class of 1965: October 1-3
Contact: Mary Fran (Myatt) Payson

If you are interested in planning your class reunion, or know of someone who might be, please contact Jordan Gizzarelli at 563-326-5313 x 242 for more information.

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Assumption High School · 1020 W Central Park Ave · Davenport, IA 52804 · USA