Voice of the Notre Dame Prep Saints

The Seraphim

2016 NDP year in review

Sam Hertle and Cassidy Mannier, Staff Writers

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What big events have gone down in 2016 at NDP? This year has seen the graduation of a beloved class, fish-related musicals and pranks, sports victories, sports controversies, new faculty and much more.

The year 2016 has been significant for NDP athletics, academics and overall student activities, definitely one for the books.


The girls crowd around trophy after winning the championship.

10. February: Girls’ Soccer wins state

On Feb. 13, a significant event in relation to NDP’s athletics occurred: the second consecutive state victory for the girl’s soccer team. For the second time, dog pound charged across the white painted lines surrounding the Sal Pointe field, wildly cheering for the girls.

Current senior (and team member)  Payton Shipley described the experience as “unbelievable” and an “amazing feeling.” (Current) Junior Hannah Osland scored the one and only goal of the game, leading the Saints to a 1-0 victory.

“Most people just dream about winning a state title one time, but I’ve had the opportunity to bring home two! It was great to have all of our hard work pay off!” said Shipley.“What sets our team apart, I believe, is the chemistry that everyone shares off the field cause everyone is so close off the field. It allowed us to really connect on the field.”


Drama performs number during “Big Fish” musical.

2. March: Big Fish/awards

2016 also saw the spectacular performance of “Big Fish” by the NDP drama department. The musical beautifully depicted the exciting life story of Edward bloom, taking the audience on a journey of awe, laughter, and even tears. Alum Hale Stewart’s portrayal of Edward Bloom was wonderfully executed.

Current senior Gracie Doan, who played Josephine Bloom, said, “I thought the show was definitely a success, we got a few big awards from “Big Fish”.” The show required an entire preparation process of around 2 months. Doan said the hardest obstacles to overcome were simply “balancing school work, social life and rehearsal for sure.”

However, the hard work paid off, as the musical won both “best female vocalist in a lead” and “overall best production”.


Students dance under New York themed decor.

3. April: Prom

On April 9th, 2016, the upperclassmen girls spent all day perfecting long curled hair, glammed up makeup, and beautiful flowy dresses, while the boys suited up in their black tuxes. One of the most anticipated events of the year, Prom 2016: Empire State of Mind, had arrived and students were ready to dance the night away. Prom was held at the Marriott hotel this year, which had been decorated with New York themed lanterns, cloths, etc. Current senior and last year’s prom coordinator, Jenna Glovsky, said, “The entire process took a full year, I actually went to the 2015 prom to begin planning.”


Seniors rush to water fight in craze.

4. May: Senior Prank Week

One of the most memorable weeks of the 2016 school year would most certainly be senior prank week. Each day the student body patiently waited, anticipating the next shocking prank to be pulled by the class of 2016. On Monday, the seniors all rode or “scooted” to school on some form of alternate wheels, such as skateboards, scooters, and even roller blades.

Day 2 followed with the each member of the 2016 class parking in random directions in the senior lot, taking up as many spaces as possible. In addition, students soon discovered the “fish pond”(by far the most talked about prank of the week) which had been created by filling the amphitheater in the senior commons with water. On Day 3 the students arrived to school with various forms of suitcases in replacement of backpacks and proceeded to have a water balloon fight across campus.

Day 4 was marked as a rest day, whether this is actually true, or if the seniors just couldn’t pull anything together this day still remains unknown. On the final day, the seniors went crazy for the freshman math award at the award assembly, upping up to pop confetti, slam chairs, and blow air horns.


Senior Sydney Bettis gives speech at graduation ceremony

5. May: Graduation

On May 14 of this year, tears streamed down the faces of an entire crowd of parents as nearly 200 purple caps flew into the air in the West World hall. 195 students, to be exact, graduated this spring in the NDP class of 2016.Thirty-four of these individuals graduated summa, and five graduated Honors.

Of the entire graduating class, ninety-eight percent immediately attended a college or university in the fall of 2016, including various prestigious institutes such as USC, UCLA, Baylor, and Duke. Sixty percent of these students ended up attending in-state schools, while forty percent ended up attending out-of-state.


Ms. Jackie Moucheron at her desk in the Center of Mission and Ministry.

6. August: 14 new teachers

Following the loss of 19 faculty and staff at the end of the 2015-2016 school year, including longtime teachers Dr. Warren Laffey and Ms. Siiri Julian, NDP had a staff deficiency and looked to hire this summer. When the new school year rolled in around August 2016, the school was happy to welcome 14 new teachers and counselors to the staff. The Counseling Department is almost entirely new, with only two returning: Megan Erdely, new director who replaces longtime counselor Kristin Sullivan, and Deanne Deurmit, who joined the department last spring. The list includes educators from the science labs to the dance studio. They are assimilating well and hopefully are here to stay. Principal Zander added, “They have been a blessing to our community.”

Mr. Zander said, “I have been very impressed with our new teachers this year.  They have all become a part of our community very quickly.” He added, “Many have participated in Kairos and other retreats as well as coaching and supporting sports and clubs.” 



NDP grads throw their caps in the air at the end of the graduation ceremony.

7. August: Changes in the calendar

Upon filling the details of the calendar in their planners, students were ecstatic to see that the 2016-2017 school schedule has both a Christmas break and a week-long winter break. With this senior class as the last to ever experience a “GH or HG” scheduled day, the block days are becoming a custom among teachers and students alike. Although she has “a bit of concern with schedule planning,” economics and World Geography teacher who experienced both types of scheduling, Ms. Martinez, loves block schedule days because they “open opportunity to have larger projects or tests.” Another change in the calendar, seniors anticipate graduation as it is on a Wednesday this year, May 17.


The Tiger Tails team has small group talk at the end of Freshman Connection.

8. August: Freshman Connection

Held on August 20, the second annual eight hour Freshmen Connection was a combination of past years Frosh Night Out and Day of Reflection. Student activities director Ms. Beers said that 90 seniors and 259 freshmen gathered in the gym for Ship-to-Shore, charisms, and a great start to a new year.

In years past, the freshmen had two separate days: the Day of Reflection and Frosh Night Out. But, for the second year now, the events were combined into one day of welcome and reflection for the students. The time is used as a gradual introduction to life at NDP, including Charisms, friendships, reflection, and fun.


Junior Cole Fisher makes a great play.

Photo: Milke Harvey/Peak Image

9. September: The football thing

Sadly, 2016 has be documented as a time where NDP made a mistake that will surely never be made again. Although beginning the season with a promising record, the football team was ruled against by the AIA for having football practices with pads over the summer, and thus was not permitted to go to playoffs during the fall. Although this event was surrounded by a lot of negativity, it will be important to the development of the football program for the Saints.


Seniors do an intimidating Pumpkin themed dance at the PowderPuff game.

10. October: Homecoming

Homecoming week 2016 was very memorable, according to seniors Sam Barrett and Sam Tabor. The week’s theme was Haunted Homecoming week, and featured spooky dress up days and lunch activities. The annual PowderPuff and pep rally was held on Thursday night of the week, before the school pep rally Friday.

Described as the “best Homecoming yet” by senior Sam Tabor, the Haunted Mansion Ball was 2016’s haunted Homecoming theme. Senior Sam Barrett noticed that “everyone worked hard putting it together.”

It was held on the 29th of October, and craftily decorated with a dark, eerie chandelier and spooky pictures of teachers and faculty. It was NDP’s 12th homecoming dance. It was a nice transition back from the Winter Formal dance that was held in December of 2015.

11. December: Mr. Gmelich resigns

A major change occurred in December as president Jim Gmelich resigned as president of the school after 3.5 years at the helm. Superintendent MaryBeth Mueller made the announcement to the faculty and staff after school on Dec. 15. She read the following statement:

“Earlier this week, I accepted the resignation of Mr. Jim Gmelich, President of Notre Dame Preparatory.  I expressed to Jim our gratitude for his service to the Diocese of Phoenix and Notre Dame Preparatory and assured him that he and his family would be in our prayers.  As principal, Mr. Jerry Zander will take the main leadership role in the school.  Please keep the students, parents, faculty and staff in prayer during this time of transition.”

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Voice of the Notre Dame Prep Saints
2016 NDP year in review