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placeholder Berkeley parishioners mull response

O’Dowd names scholarship in honor of former principal

Four new principals take their places

Holy Names offers admission to ninth-graders

PacWest welcomes HNU

Fellow priests maintain friendship across continents

Cathedral Sunday collection Aug. 27-28

Event Center specializes in memorable events

30,000 from U.S. expected at World Youth Day Aug. 16

JustFaith founder to offer sessions on social justice

Jubilarians celebrate years of service

   • 75 & 70 YEARS

   • 60 YEARS

   • 50 YEARS

   • 40 & 25 YEARS

Deacon Hector Victoria

placeholder August 8, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 14   •   Oakland, CA
Opening days
for schools in the
Oakland Diocese

High schools
Aug. 12
: Moreau Catholic. Aug. 16: Holy Names. Aug. 17: Carondelet, De La Salle. Aug. 19: Bishop O’ Dowd. Aug. 22: St. Elizabeth, St. Joseph Notre Dame. Aug. 23, Salesian, Saint Mary’s College High.

Elementary schools
Aug. 3: St. Anthony. Aug. 17: Our Lady of the Rosary; St. Catherine of Siena. Aug. 18: Holy Rosary; St. Leo; St. Peter Martyr. Aug. 20: Queen of All Saints. Aug. 22: All Saints; Assumption; St. Bede; St. Cornelius; St. Elizabeth; St. Felicitas; St. Isidore; St. Jarlath; St. Joachim; St. John, San Lorenzo; St. Joseph, Alameda; St. Joseph, Fremont; St. Joseph, Pinole; St. Lawrence O’Toole; St. Leander; St. Mary; St. Patrick; St. Paul; St. Perpetua; St. Raymond. Aug. 23: Christ the King; Corpus Christi; Holy Spirit; St. Clement; St. David; St. Jerome; St. Philip Neri; St. Teresa. Aug. 24: St. Edward; Our Lady of Guadalupe; St. Francis of Assisi; St. John the Baptist, El Cerrito; St. Martin de Porres; St. Michael; St. Agnes. Aug. 29: School of the Madeleine. Aug. 30: Our Lady of Grace.
Four new principals
take up their places

Meghan Jorgensen

Last assignment
: First-grade teacher, St. Joachim School, Hayward

Next assignment
: Principal, St. Felicitas School, San Leandro

Meghan Jorgensen has known for most of her life she would be working with children. “I was chomping at the bit” at 12, she recalled, to take the class that would qualify her for babysitting.

Her undergraduate program at Boston College put her in classrooms in her sophomore year. Over the last three years of college, her course of study put her in a variety of classrooms. “It gets you reflecting on all kinds of teachers, and the different grades,” she recalled. She graduated with both a degree and a teaching credential — and a desire to return to California.

“I was very cold for four years,” she said.

Jorgensen’s first job was at St. Joachim School in Hayward. In her eight years there, she taught first grade for the past three, and second grade for the first five years. She has served as primary grades coordinator.

“I’ve grown a lot there,” she said. “I taught every child but one class.”

In addition to her duties at St. Joachim School, she has spent the last four years getting her master’s degree in Catholic School Leadership and her administrative credential at the University of San Francisco.

Becoming a principal was in Jorgensen’s plans, she said, “five to 10 years down the road,” but that journey accelerated when principal Rodney Pierre-Antoine announced he would be leaving St. Felicitas to become principal at St. Jarlath School in Oakland.

On starting her new role, the graduate of St. Raymond School in Dublin and Carondelet High School in Concord said, “I couldn’t be more excited.”

Her educational philosophy is: “It’s always about the children and our Catholic identity. What are we doing for the children? What are we doing to serve our mission?”

She has been getting to know the St. Felicitas community as she is taking on another new role in life: She is a July bride.

Greg Fonzeno

Last assignment
: Director of studies, St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Alameda

Next assignment
: Principal, St. Edward School, Newark

Greg Fonzeno made history on his first day at St. Edward School: He is the first person who is not a Dominican Sister of Mission San Jose to lead the 280-student campus.

He spent 30 years — as a history teacher, an assistant principal and director of studies — at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, and served as principal at St. Philip Neri in Alameda from 1995 to 1998.

Principal Simon Chiu noted at the 2011 Commencement that Fonzeno has been an important part of St. Joseph Notre Dame for the past three decades, recognizing his dedication, professionalism and commitment to education. “We will miss him,” Chiu said.

“St. Edward is losing the long, long long service of the Dominican sisters,” said Fonzeno, adding that he is “stepping into rather large shoes.” The school’s 10 previous principals were Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. The last, Sister Diana Aruda, has become president of San Francisco’s Immaculate Conception Academy, an all-girls Cristo Rey school in the Dominican tradition.

Fonzeno was educated by the Dominicans, at St. Benedict School and Bishop O’Dowd High School, both in Oakland. He is a graduate of Holy Names University.

Students can expect to see their new principal walking around the campus. If they see his office they will find some “Star Trek” memorabilia — he’s been a fan since the original TV show. He is a member of the Lincoln Forum, a national organization devoted to enhancing the understanding and preserving the memory of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

Alyssia Schwartz

Last assignment:
Vice principal, St. John School, San Lorenzo

Next assignment:
Interim principal, St. John School, San Lorenzo

When Liz Guneratne, principal of St. John School became interim assistant superintendent for next year, Father Michael Lacey, pastor of San Lorenzo parish, selected Alyssia Schwartz, the vice principal, as interim principal.

“Liz has been a great mentor, coached me along the way,” said Schwartz. “I’ve learned so much from her.”

Schwartz is a six-year veteran of St. John School; the last two as vice principal with some eighth-grade classroom duties. For the past year, she has concentrated on vice principal duties, in addition to being the eighth-grade homeroom teacher and religion teacher.

“I already know everyone in the community,” she said.

Before coming to St. John, she taught at St. Barnabas School in Alameda. That school closed in 2008.

She began her teaching career at St. Barnabas School, where she put her kinesiology degree from Cal State Hayward to work as a physical education teacher. “I loved it so much,” she said, “I thought, ‘Why don’t I go back and get my teaching credential?’ ” She got it from USF.

Her first teaching job came from Sister Marie Myers, who had been her principal when Schwartz was a student at St. Joachim School in Hayward. She is also a graduate of Moreau Catholic High School.

Alison Wilkie

Last assignment:
Director of Academic Success, Salesian High School

Next assignment
: Principal, St. Jerome School, El Cerrito

Alison Wilkie has had the opportunity to see young graduates of St. Jerome School make the successful transition to high school. For the past year and a half, she was director of academic success at Salesian High School in Richmond.

In that role at Salesian, she worked primarily with students who had learning differences and students who needed a little extra support to be successful in the classroom.

She said she found that the incoming Salesian students had come with a good support system at St. Jerome.

In her new role as principal at St. Jerome, she said it will be “wonderful to keep the connection going.”

At St. Jerome, Marla Korte retired after 27 years as principal.

Wilkie has known “forever” that she has wanted to be a teacher. “It was what I always wanted to do,” she said.

She taught at St. Theresa School, where her own eighth-grade teacher, Madeleine de la Fontaine, hired her for her first teaching position.

Her education began at St. Philip Neri School in Alameda, and when her family moved to Salt Lake City, it continued at St. Anne School there. When the family returned to Alameda, she attended St. Barnabas School, where de la Fontaine was her eighth-grade teacher. Wilkie was graduated from Alameda High School, and California State University-East Bay. Her teaching credential is from Patten University in Oakland, and her master’s degree in Catholic School Leadership from the University of San Francisco.

—Michele Jurich

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