The VASJ Hall of Fame was established to honor alumni, faculty and staff members, and others associated with the Viking community who embody the mission and values of Villa Angela Academy, St. Joseph High School and Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School.
The Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School Athletic Department is excited to announce Laura Stauffer has been named the new VASJ women’s varsity basketball head coach.
As a newly minted Student Council officer for the following school year, one of my duties was to update the block-letter sign in front of the school over the summer months. The idea was to promote summer activities — things like dances and athletic events.
Vince White-Petteruti SJ ’69 has always been called to nature. Its beauty and quiet power serves as an escape for him to regroup and reflect. When he was experiencing a challenging time in college, he recalls taking a walk through the trails to clear his mind. The self-reflection he did on that week long hike eventually led him to join the Chicago chapter of the Sierra Club. Soon, Vince was asked to lead a weekend backpacking trip in Wisconsin. It was on this excursion that Vince met the love of his life, Duck. Little did they know just how instrumental the wonders of nature would prove in unveiling a life dedicated to serving others during a time when hope, compassion and love is needed most.
Throughout 1990, Vince spent several months traveling from Chicago to Cleveland to spend time with his father who was battling heart disease. Sadly, his father passed away, and Vince found himself needing a break. In December of that year, Vince and Duck planned a trip to the picturesque snow-covered mountains of Colorado. A surprise lack of snow soon changed plans for the couple eager to enjoy the winter landscape of Breckenridge. Making the best of their trip, Vince and Duck decided to go shopping instead. On their list: many acres surrounded by a forest and a lake or river. A call to a realtor later and the couple found exactly what it was looking for: 10 beautiful, forested acres with a view of Baldy Mountain. Vince and Duck had found the perfect location to enjoy their retirement when the time was right.
In 1997, Duck’s mother became terminally ill with cancer. Together with her sisters, Duck took their mother on a much-needed respite to Vail. This trip would be their last and a moment in time that Duck and her sisters deeply cherish. Vince shares that in the final hours of his beloved mother-in-law’s life, she held the photos that were taken in Vail of her and her daughters. She passed away surrounded by family and with memories that brought her peace.
Finally, in 2001, both Vince and his wife were ready to enjoy retirement, so they headed to Breckenridge, Colorado, to begin construction on their new home. That July, Vince took a hike with his children, Nic and Sarah, only to return to find that Duck had experienced a moment of clarity. While alone, Duck spoke to God and shared with Vince she felt a calling to use their beautiful land as both their home and as a place of respite for families dealing with the harsh reality of cancer. Together, the couple contacted an architect to begin plans for their vision.
The Domus Pacis Family Respite was opened in June of 2008. The natural beauty that surrounds Breckenridge offers families the perfect setting to create memories and take in moments of peace. Yet, Vince says the location offers more than just incredible scenery. The community of Breckenridge has opened its hearts — and homes — to Domus Pacis and its mission. Vince explains that aside from his home, more than 100 other sites are available to host families for respite.
Prior to opening Domus Pacis, both Vince, a former steel industry executive, and Duck, a senior vice president in information management, had never operated a nonprofit, let alone a respite organization. Still, their respective careers had afforded them strength in business and planning that proved vital in running their organization efficiently. Vince says one of the most challenging tasks was fundraising, an aspect of business neither he nor Duck had to consider during their corporate careers.
Initially financed by themselves, Domus Pacis quickly grew, meaning fundraising was essential for hiring new staff and expanding. Support was slow at first, but Vince explains once they started building relationships and sharing their story, the community believed in their mission. Just like Vince and Duck, so many others had been touched by cancer and understood the importance of the nonprofit. Vince’s children have also played key roles in the mission and operation of Domus Pacis. His son, Nic, serves on the board, while his daughter, Sarah, was instrumental in working with referral partners as a social worker. “Seeing the kids mature and their different skill sets develop is amazing,” Vince says.
As a way to show appreciation to those who help to provide the gift of respite, Vince explains that each family who visits Domus Pacis is asked to write a thank you letter to the individuals who made their experience possible. He finds that the request is welcomed by the families, as they’re often overwhelmed with gratitude and want to share their story.
Domus Pacis means “House of Peace,” a name that Duck holds close to her heart. At her mother’s funeral, Duck sang a hymn with a verse asking the Lord to grant peace. Upon reflection, she realized their mission was to create a place of peace for families — a house of peace. Vince says anyone of any age or stage of cancer, including end of life, is welcome for a week-long respite. He explains that a seven-day stay allows families to take time settling in before beginning to make memories. Vince notes that family includes friends who have been part of the cancer journey as well.
The process is initiated when a referral partner, like an oncology nurse, recommends a family for a stay. A lead family member must write a letter sharing his or her cancer journey and discuss his or her needs and wishes for the visit. Learning more about a family helps the Domus Pacis team to choose the right home for the stay and ensure the respite is specific for each family. Vince and Duck work with a community of businesses that help to make each respite special. Common requests include photography, massage therapy, horseback riding and fly fishing. Volunteers bring home-cooked meals to guests. Counseling is not provided; rather, Duck believes in allowing the breathtaking landscape and Spirit to guide conversations.
The experience of helping families escape the haze of cancer has opened Vince’s heart to the goodness that exists even amid uncertainty. The “quiet love that isn’t yelled or shouted” is what’s most moving for Vince to witness between the bond of family and friends. Throughout his years operating Domus Pacis, Vince has learned some remarkable lessons. “What you learn is so much more than what you give,” he says. “I am not afraid to die, and I wish for my family to surround me the way these families do.” He’s also come to know that God had a plan for him and his wife.
The Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School Athletic Department is excited to announce Ashen Ward ’08 has been named the new VASJ men’s varsity basketball head coach.
In recognizing the challenges many small businesses are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more important than ever for us to lend our support. Many alumni and Viking families own and operate local businesses that are open and ready to serve their community. Some will need support as they reopen in the coming weeks.
Eight Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School students were named winners in the LifeWorks Ohio “Respect Life” Art, Essay and Poetry Contest.
Congratulations to three Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School bowlers who were recently recognized by The News-Herald!
Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School, in cooperation with the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, is closely monitoring updates on COVID-19.
The VASJ Academic Decathlon Team competed in the state finals the weekend of March 6 and finished second in the Small School Division. The team accumulated 34 medals: 12 gold, 12 silver and 10 bronze. The medal count included two in speech, two in interview, two in literature, two in science, three in essay, three in art, four in music, four in social science, five in economics and seven in mathematics.
Eight students at Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School competed in the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition on Saturday, March 7.
Twenty-four VASJ students were inducted into the National Honor Society on Wednesday, March 4. These students were recognized for their commitment to the values of scholarship, service, leadership and character.
VASJ coach Bob Mullin called it the most successful fundraiser the wrestling program has ever had.
Tuesday, March 24
Thursday, March 26
Saturday, March 21
More than 200 students were awarded over $350,000 in scholarship money during Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School’s Scholarship Day on Friday, Jan. 31. Each of the scholarships was created to recognize the accomplishments of current VASJ students.
Alumni Health Care Careers Scholarship
Alumni of the school who are involved in healthcare-related careers founded the Alumni Health Care Careers Scholarship. Dr. Holzheimer presented $750 scholarships to students who are interested in a career in the healthcare field, have above average skills in science, maintain a good conduct record and are actively involved in the school. The recipients of the $750 scholarships are:
The Barbara A. Blaser Scholarship
The Barbara A. Blaser Scholarship is given to young women who excel in technology classes and have an interest in a business career. The recipients of a $500 scholarship are:
Thomas J. Brazaitis Scholarship
The Thomas J. Brazaitis Scholarship is awarded to juniors with an interest in journalism, communication or English. The students maintain a good conduct record, are above average students and represent the true values of VASJ. This award is named after the late Tom Brazaitis, an author, Plain Dealer Washington Bureau columnist and VASJ Hall of Famer. The recipients of a $500 scholarship are:
William Breslin Scholarship
The William Breslin Scholarship is a $500 award given to students who maintain a GPA in the upper 25% of their class and are athletes who are models of quiet humility. The recipients of a $500 scholarship are:
The Centa Family Scholarship
The Centa Family Scholarship has been established by St. Joseph Class of 1970 alum William J. Centa to recognize students with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA who are involved in two or more extracurricular or club activities. The recipients of $1,000 scholarships are:
Clark Blaine Clark Award
The Clark Blaine Clark award was established as a memorial scholarship for three members of the St. Joseph Class of 1990: Steven Clark, Frederick Blaine and Thomas Clark. The award was established to recognize a football player who shows spirit, camaraderie and commitment to the Viking community. Steve, Fred and Tom were members of the State Division II Championship football team. Tom was a student council president and one of three seniors selected to speak at graduation. Steve also wrestled at 189 pounds on the State Division I Championship wrestling team. All three were to attend college on football scholarships. The recipient of this $500 award is:
Dailey Family Scholarship
The Dailey Family Scholarship has been established by Don and Mary Jo Dailey. Don is a St. Joseph Class of 1970 alum. The scholarship recognizes students who have shown leadership and dedication to the Viking community. The recipients of a $750 scholarship are:
Daniel Flannery Scholarship
The Daniel Flannery Scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate a strong work ethic effort, strive to improve academically, are positive role models in the Viking community, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and are active and always willing to support fellow classmates. The recipients of $750 scholarships are:
The Davis-Kerscher Scholarship is awarded to hard-working students who demonstrate a true appreciation of a strong Catholic education and maintain a 3.25 GPA. The recipients of $1,500 scholarships are:
DeBartolo Fund Scholarship
The DeBartolo Fund Scholarship is given to a daughter of a Villa Angela alumnae who excels in donating time and talent through service to others. The recipient of this year’s $2,000 award is:
Umberto and Mary Ellen Fedeli Family Scholarship
The Umberto and Mary Ellen Fedeli Family Scholarship recognizes students who are examples of living the Gospel values, exhibit a strong work ethic, give service to their community and school and are excellent role models. The recipients of $750 scholarships are:
Tom L. Fink Memorial Scholarship
The Tom L. Fink Memorial Scholarship has been designated by the Fink family to go to a member of the VASJ football team who has demonstrated outstanding zeal, enthusiasm and commitment to student life as well as passion and commitment to study, work and sports. The recipient of a $500 scholarship is:
Thomas J. Gentile Memorial Scholarship
The Thomas J. Gentile Memorial Scholarship has been created by the Gentile Family in memory of Thomas J. Gentile, a St. Joseph High School graduate of the Class of 1971. Tom was a successful businessman and long-time baseball fan and coach. Recipients are students who participate in baseball or fast pitch, maintain a GPA of at least 3.0, have a good conduct record, and are interested in a career in business or becoming an entrepreneur. The students who received a $1,000 scholarship are:
H.J. Jack Getler Memorial Scholarship
The H.J. Jack Getler Memorial Scholarship goes to an outstanding student who has made the greatest contribution to the professionalism of the school’s literary magazine, Ventures. Candidates maintain a 2.6 GPA and represent the characteristics of a true Villa Angela-St Joseph student. The recipients who received $1,000 each are:
Robert Gliha Memorial Award
The Robert Gliha Memorial Award has been designated by the Gliha family in memory of Robert Gliha, a St. Joseph High School graduate of the class of 1970. Robert was the deputy director of economic development for the City of Euclid, where he dedicated a 37-year career to the development of the city and its local businesses. The recipient is a student who excels academically in the area of science, technology, engineering and math, has demonstrated leadership and is actively involved in service to VASJ as well as the community. Selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship is:
Brian Kasunic Memorial Scholarship
The Brian Kasunic Memorial Scholarship is awarded to seniors who display generosity toward others and exhibit leadership, character and Viking spirit. The recipients of $500 scholarships are:
Joy Kwasniak Swanson “Live For Joy” Memorial Scholarship
The Joy Kwasniak Swanson “Live For Joy” Memorial Scholarship was inaugurated in 2008 by the family of 1991 VASJ graduate Joy who succumbed to cancer in 2006. This scholarship is designated for students who exhibit the characteristics of a stout leader and an overachiever. The recipients of $2,500 awards each are:
Kathryn Kerver Scholarship
The Kathryn Kerver Scholarship is awarded to a current Catholic student who shows school spirit, maintains good conduct and attendance, and is willing to be of service to others. The recipient demonstrates dedication, determination and maintains at least a 2.5 GPA. The recipient of a $500 scholarship is:
Lieb Family Scholarships
The Lieb Family Scholarship has been established by the Lieb brothers to recognize students who have completed their sophomore year, maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, demonstrate Christian values, and are involved in two or more extracurricular or club activities. The recipients of $1,000 scholarships are:
Pat Lyons Memorial Scholarship
As an All-American scholar athlete and a St. Joseph High School graduate, Pat Lyons reached out to help students succeed and graduate from VASJ. The Pat Lyons Memorial Scholarships, for $1,000 each, recognize four athletes who exhibit good character and citizenship. This year’s student athlete selections are:
Gloria “Mrs. M” Melaragno Scholarship
The Gloria “Mrs. M” Melaragno Scholarship is named in honor of Mrs. Melaragno who was affectionately known as “Mrs. M” by legions of St. Joseph High School students beginning in the 1960s. The scholarship awards students who are academically and spiritually solid and display the traits Mrs. M exemplified: selflessness, humor, kindness, hospitality, friendship and sensitivity to others. The recipients of $750 scholarships are:
Tim Misny “Make Them Pay” Scholarship
The Tim Misny “Make Them Pay” Scholarship was established in 2019 by St. Joseph High School graduate of the Class of 1973 and well-known attorney Tim Misny. The scholarship recognizes classroom improvement and increased effort by students over the previous school year. The recipient of $750 scholarships are:
Sophomore Morgan Parker
Junior Kayla Franks
and a $1,000 award goes to:
Senior Jareion Washington
Eugene Oberst Memorial Scholarship
The Eugene Oberst Memorial Scholarship awards mathematics students who have shown great effort, try hard, or have made significant progress in their study of mathematics. The students who received awards of $500 each are:
Fred & Diana Prince Science Scholarship
The Fred & Diana Prince Science Scholarship is awarded to a junior who demonstrates excellence in science and plans to major in a science or technical field in college. The recipient also demonstrates leadership abilities in scientific activities at VASJ, has a social consciousness regarding the use of science, hopes to have a career in a science field and is a person of strong moral character. The recipients receiving $1,000 awards each are:
Joseph A. Radican Scholarship
The Joseph A. Radican Scholarship is named for long-time history and social studies teacher, speech and debate moderator, and former principal Joseph Radican, a member of the St. Joseph Class of 1956 and an inductee into the VASJ Hall of Fame. Mr. Radican, who retired in 2004, passed away in May 2011. The scholarship in his name honors an exemplary social studies student who is actively involved in school life. The recipient of a $500 award is:
Timothy W. Robertson Memorial Scholarship
The Timothy W. Robertson Memorial Scholarship recognizes students who are outstanding academic performers and models of school spirit. The basketball court here at VASJ is named for Mr. Robertson, not just because of his devotion to the sport as a long-time statistician, photographer and most enthusiastic fan of the basketball team but for his steadfast loyalty to all things Viking. The highly respected math teacher and member of the St. Joseph Class of 1962 was a friend to all at VASJ. The recipients of a $1,000 award are:
Amy Sambula Memorial Spirit Scholarship
The Amy Sambula Memorial Spirit Scholarship recognizes a female student who has spirit, drive, enthusiasm and a love for VASJ. She is a leader and inspires moral leadership in others. The recipients of a $500 scholarship are:
Joseph M. Scaminace Scholarship
The Joseph M. Scaminace Scholarship is named for St. Joseph Class of 1971 graduate Joseph Scaminace. This scholarship awards students who are academically ambitious and display a strong sense of ethics, tenaciousness and personal responsibility. The recipients of a $750 award are:
The Scheidel Scholarship was established to assist students who have high aspirations, strong academic performance and financial need. A cumulative minimum GPA of 3.25 is required. The recipients of $2,000 scholarships are:
St. Joseph Class of 1958 Scholarship
The St. Joseph Class of 1958 Scholarship honors young men who are Catholic, reside in Euclid or Cleveland, have demonstrated scholarship and a love of learning, and are in at least the 10th grade. The St. Joe’s Class of ’58 Scholarship winners of $1,000 each are:
Judy and Roger Sustar Scholarship
The Judy and Roger Sustar Scholarship was established by Judy Sustar, Villa Angela Class of 1961 alumna, and her husband, Roger Sustar, St. Joseph Class of 1961 alumnus. The scholarship recognizes students with a minimum of a 2.5 GPA who come to school every day, work hard, put forth effort, stay out of trouble and are involved in extracurricular activities. The recipients of a $1,000 award are:
William Sopko Music Award
William Sopko, a 1967 graduate of St. Joseph High School, established the William Sopko Music Award to recognize a student who has shown improvement or dedication to his/her music education. The recipient of this year’s $500 award is:
Evelyn A. Svete Memorial Scholarship
The Evelyn A. Svete Memorial Scholarship was established by Sandra Turner, a Villa Angela Class of 1966 alumna, and her husband, Jeff, to honor Mrs. Turner’s late aunt, Evie Svete, a 1941 graduate of Villa Angela Academy. A successful businessperson, Evie Svete supported those who worked hard and demonstrated the traits of kindness, generosity, determination and integrity. The recipients of $1,000 scholarship are:
Jeff and Sandra Turner Scholarship
Jeff and Sandra established the Jeff and Sandra Turner Scholarship to recognize students who reflect the characteristics of the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland, the order’s foundress, St. Angela Merici, academic excellence, and social consciousness rooted in contemplation, justice and compassion. The recipients of a $1,000 award are:
Nicholas Valentino Memorial Scholarship
The Nicholas Valentino Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of the 1964 graduate of St. Joseph High School by long-time friend Mark Haskell. For 26 years, Mr. Valentino was an accountant and a member of the Ohio Bar Association as well as the president of Advisory Services Inc. in Cleveland. Nominated by VASJ faculty and chosen by Mr. Valentino’s family, recipients are students who maintain a minimum G.P.A of 3.0, are in good standing with the school, display a strong work ethic and moral character. The recipients of $1,000 awards are:
Joseph P. Veasey Scholarship
Inaugurated in 2008 in memory of Joseph Veasey, a 2003 VASJ graduate who passed away after battling leukemia for 16 months, the Joseph P. Veasey Scholarship is designated to a junior or senior who excels in mathematics and displays strong academic curiosity. The recipients show interest in art, architecture or engineering and model Marianist family spirit by cultivating meaningful interpersonal relationships and developing a strong sense of community among their peers. The recipients of $1,000 awards each are:
Viking Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each recognize one student per class as model VASJ students who demonstrate strong moral character, scholarship and leadership. The recipients of the 2020 Viking Scholarship are:
Freshman Johnathan Pitts
Sophomore Zac Tizzano
Junior Willo Singleton
Senior Ian Sterrick
Peter C. & Eileen R. Welsh Scholarship
The Peter C. & Eileen R. Welsh Scholarship is given to a student who’s active in the Viking community and demonstrates the true spirit of the Viking family. The student should be involved in extracurricular activities and be a positive influence in the Viking community The student should also maintain a 2.5 GPA. Receiving scholarships of $1,500 each are:
Kay & Vince White-Petteruti Family Scholarship
The Kay & Vince White-Petteruti Family Scholarships are given to students who display kindness toward other students and demonstrate a true understanding of what it means to be a member of the Viking family. Students must also appreciate the benefits of a strong Catholic education and acknowledge the sacrifices their family is making to send them to VASJ. Receiving scholarships of $1,500 each are:
Zlatoper Family Scholarship
In memory of Joseph M. Zlatoper, the Zlatoper Family Scholarship is offered to students who excel in math or science courses by a better than average grade and have demonstrated an interest in math or science as a career. The students also demonstrate the Viking character and spirit that’s a VASJ tradition. Receiving scholarships of $750 each are:
St. Joseph Class of 1969 Scholarship
The St. Joseph Class of 1969 Scholarship was established by the Class of ’69 on the occasion of its 50th reunion celebration. This scholarship is given in gratitude for the blessings of the Marianist culture and education these alumni experienced in the Viking Village both inside and outside the classroom. Proudly called “The Class with Heart,” the Class of ’69 awards this scholarship to VASJ students who embody the Viking traditions of school spirit, hard work, friendship and concern for others. This year's recipients of $1,500 awards are:
Donald D. Lynch Family Foundation Scholarship
The Donald D. Lynch Family Foundation has awarded Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School a $10,000 renewable grant for the purpose of providing scholarships for students who are goal-oriented, focused on education, work to their potential and have demonstrated behavior that’s consistent with the school’s code of conduct. Most importantly, the student must be actively living his/her Catholic faith by following the example of Jesus and living the Gospel of the Lord in all that he/she does.
The following three scholarships were awarded:
The recipient of The Donna Lynch Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $5,000 is Micah Dunn.
The recipient of The John & Margaret Lynch Family Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 is Charles Mullin.
The recipient of The Fr. David McBriar, OFM Scholarship, in the amount of $2,500 is Aneea Holman.
Howley Family Scholarship
The following students were selected for the Howley Family Scholarship as incoming freshmen. These students demonstrated high academic achievement in grade school and placed in the top third of the VASJ Placement Test. These students have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA while at VASJ, participate significantly in at least one extracurricular activity, maintain good standing with the school, and submit semi-annually an outline of their progress and academic accomplishments to the Howley Family Foundation. Combined, they’ve been awarded $121,600.
Entrance Exam Scholarship
The following students were awarded a scholarship based on their Entrance Exam Scores. Each of these students scored in the top 10% of his/her given year’s entrance exam and has maintained certain levels of honors to renew his/her monetary award. Their combined awards total over $123,750.
Andrew (AJ) Fabo
Ayden Stuble Martin
VASJ wrapped up the regular season with a 109-62 loss to Division I power St. Edward Feb. 22 at the Viking Village.
Join Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School for its biggest fundraising event of the year, the Continue the Dream gala, on Saturday, May 16 in the VASJ Gym. The gala supports the school’s effort in providing quality, Catholic education in the traditions of Ursuline and Marianist values. This year will also recognize the 30th anniversary of VASJ and its ongoing legacy present and thriving today.
Show off your school spirit at the ballpark and come support our Cleveland Indians during VASJ Night at Progressive Field on Friday, May 29! The game starts at 7:10 p.m. against the Kansas City Royals.
You could feel the love at Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School on Valentine’s Day when the Broadmoor Bobcats traveled to the school to take on the VASJ Vikings basketball team.
Every January, the Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School community joins together to celebrate the traditions of the school’s founders: Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Society of Mary (Marianists), and St. Angela Merici, founder of the Ursuline Sisters. The Mass celebrates VASJ’s combined core values and unique identity.
Misrach Ewunetie ’20 has received a full four-year scholarship to Princeton University through the QuestBridge National College Match program.
Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School hosted a breakfast the morning of Thursday, Dec. 5 in recognition of the school’s legacy families. About 80 people attended the Legacy Breakfast, including current VASJ students and their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School exceeded its goal of raising $10,000 during #WeGiveCatholic on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School welcomed 82 local first-grade students on Tuesday, Dec. 10 for the school’s annual Christmas on Campus event.
The VASJ community observed All Saints’ Day with an all-school Mass the morning of Nov. 1. Fr. Patrick Schultz from Communion of Saints Parish presided at the Mass.
The Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School Athletic Department is excited to announce the appointment of Liz (Guard) Sellers ’02 as the new head women’s volleyball coach.
Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School has been a participating school in the Educational Choice Scholarship (EdChoice) Program for many years. Thanks to recent rule changes made by the state, VASJ has been able to offer vouchers to even more local students who are eligible.