Alumni Profile: Greg ’92 and Patty ’91 Preisel

Alumni Profile: Greg ’92 and  Patty ’91 Preisel

The Wave | Winter 2013-2014

Although Greg, ’92, and Patty, ’91, Preisel were only a year apart at Holy Name High School, they did not know each other.

However, when a friend of Patty’s, who also knew Greg, suggested they might be a good match, senior Patty set out to meet the junior Green Wave football, basketball and baseball player.

“I scoped him out and found out who he was,” Patty Preisel, formerly Kinney, recalls. “Then we started talking through campus ministry, which we were both involved with.”

Their first date was a Christmas concert on Dec. 8, 1990, and the rest was history.Fast-forward 23 years and the couple is now happily married.presel

“Campus ministry was an important foundation for us,” says Patty, who was involved in student council, yearbook, National Honor Society and ski club at Holy Name. “We had the same lunch period, and when we started dating, we would go to the chapel at that time every day and pray together. It is a big deal for our marriage and our relationship that our foundation is based in spirituality, and I think that’s one of the reasons we’ve remained strong since.”

The couple is still heavily involved in the school at which they met. Greg serves on both the finance committee and advisory board and Patty planned her class’ 20th reunion. Both attend sporting and alumni events such as the alumni Christmas party and annual gala auction.“We try to be involved as much as possible,” Greg says.

Both Greg and Patty come from a long line of Namers. Both of Greg’s parents attended the school, as well as his older and younger brothers. Patty’s sister also attended Holy Name.

“When it came time for me to go to high school, there was no option for me other than Holy Name,” Greg says. “I wondered if it was the right decision, but it was by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I met my life partner there, made a lot of good friends and had a lot of great experiences.”

“When it came time for me to go to high school, there was no option for me other than Holy Name,” Greg says. “I wondered if it was the right decision, but it was by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I met my life partner there, made a lot of good friends and had a lot of great experiences.”

“I think it’s funny because I’m an accountant by trade, and one of the classes I took my junior year at Holy Name was accounting,” Greg says. “The only reason I took the class is because we got one elective and my buddy was taking it. I ended up enjoying it so much that I took it my senior year as well and then majored
in it when I attended John Carroll University. It all came from that first class at Holy Name.”

Although the Preisels’ children are not yet close to high school age, both parents say they want them to attend Holy Name.“We loved Holy Name when we went there, and we still love it,” Patty says. “We feel it’s a wonderful school in so many ways. There is not only the education aspect but also spiritual development in
the form of groups like campus ministry and a community atmosphere that revolved around school spirit. We want
our kids to go there because we believe it’s the best school around.”

This article was published in HN’s – The Wave Winter 2013-2013– Alumni Magazine.

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Alumni Profile: Matt and Laura Gray ’86

Alumni Profile: Matt and Laura  Gray ’86

The Wave | Fall-Winter 13-14

When Matt and Laura Gray, both ’86, began their first day at Holy Name High School, they hadn’t met yet but knew they had a kindred spirit in each other.

Matt’s father, Robert Gray, and Laura’s mother, Ann Clifford McNamara, attended the school together and graduated in 1961. When the freshmen started at Holy Name, their parents told them to keep an eye out for one another.

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“I remember meeting her in the stands at a sporting event, and I can still remember what she was wearing,” says Matt, who wrestled and played football. “I didn’t know too many people at Holy Name, so it was neat to have somebody there to help me find my way.”

The two didn’t date until after graduation, but both say Holy Name was the foundation for their relationship and eventual marriage.

“We had a great experience at Holy Name,” says Laura, formerly McNamara, who participated in pep club and
intramurals. “We were one of those classes that got along and clicked without being cliquish. Everyone knew each other and got along well.”

“I personally look at Holy Name and think it epitomizes the kind of people I like to associate with and the kind of person I am,” Matt says. “Holy Name taught me to be humble, hardworking and highly ethical, which are all traits I use in my career today.Post-Holy Name, Matt earned a business degree at Miami University and went on to have a career in medical sales and sales management, which he has worked in for almost 25 years worked in for almost 25 years.

“And while those values don’t take a back seat to success, it’s part of the HolyName culture not to wear your success on your sleeve and talk about what a good person you are. You show the world you are a good person by the deeds that you do. That’s a real cornerstone of Holy Name, and something I still see today in Holy Name graduates.”

Laura studied education at the University of Toledo and taught at St. Leo’s for five years. When the Grays decided to start a family, she chose to stay home with their children.

“Holy Name always felt like a family and taught me to place a priority on family,” she says. Both Grays also have siblings who attended the school. “I enjoy being home and placing my emphasis on that.”

The Grays have two children, a freshman and a senior, at Holy Name, and their fourth-grader says she also wants to attend the school.

“We wanted our children to have the same experience we had, and it’s been such a positive experience for them,” Laura says. “We’re still part of the family 30 years later; we still feel connected. And we hope
they feel that also.”

Matt says he and Laura are still friends with many of their classmates from Holy Name and are now sending their children to school together as their parents once did. He says he is happy to see that the school’s values have not changed.

“It’s great to go back and see teachers like Mr. Ehrbar and Mr. Moderick, who still remember us by name and are a part of the fabric of Holy Name,” he says. “To me, the school seems to be timeless. We know we’ll always have friends and support through thick and thin, and, hopefully, that’s something our children take away as well.”

 

This article was published in HN’s – The Wave Winter 2013-2013– Alumni Magazine.

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Shelbrey Blanc Announced as new Principal

Shelbrey Blanc Announced as new Principal

Holy Name High School | March 10, 2014

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is pleased to announce that we have successfully completed our search for a new Principal of Holy Name High School. Effective July 1, 2014 Shelbrey Blanc ’95 will become the new principal of Holy Name. Mrs. Blanc is currently the Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Teacher Supervision at Holy Name, a position she has held since 2009. She will become the first female lay principal in Holy Name’s history.
During her high school years at Holy Name she was freshman and sophomore class president, a 4 year participant on the track team, president of French club, and a member of the National Honor Society.

Upon graduation from Holy Name, Mrs. Blanc attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Language in French in 1999. She was then named a teaching fellow at Boston College where she taught Elementary and Intermediate French classes to undergraduates and also earned her Master’s degree there in 2001.

Prior to returning to Holy Name as a French teacher and Foreign Language Department Chairperson, Mrs. Blanc worked as an English instructor to adolescents and adults in Lyon, France for two years.

“I am thrilled to accept the position of Principal of my alma mater and I look forward to working with the alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and students of Holy Name by leading the continued development of the oldest co-educational Catholic high school in the Diocese of Cleveland,” Mrs. Blanc expressed.

With this appointment Holy Name joins other diocesan high schools in adopting the successful model of separating the offices of principals and presidents. Current President/Principal Ben Farmer will continue as President of Holy Name.

“We are delighted that Shelbrey’s love for the Holy Name community is translating into a new role as principal. We welcome a new energy as this model of administration is initiated,” stated Ms. Margaret Lyons, Secretary for Catechetical Formation and Education and Superintendent of Schools.
Please join us in congratulating Shelbrey Blanc and welcoming her into her new role at Holy Name.

Thank you,
The Administration of Holy Name High School.

Alumni Profile: John and Mary Banaszak Class of ’68

Alumni Profile: John and Mary Banaszak Class of ’68

THE WAVE | Winter 2013

John and Mary Banaszak, both of the Class of 1968, understand choices made at Holy Name High School can affect graduates’ lives and careers for years to come.banazak

John, who played football and basketball and ran track at Holy Name, went on to enjoy phenomenal success with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University he was signed by Pittsburgh as a free agent in 1975 and played for the team until 1981, winning three Super Bowl Championships. He later played for the Michigan Panthers in the United States Football League, winning the league championship in 1983. He currently serves as assistant football coach at Robert Morris University.

“At Holy Name, I was a pretty good football player on a really good football team that finished 8-1. I was a tall, skinny kid coming out of Holy Name at 17 years old, and the school definitely affected my career. We were always the underdogs — the Little Davids against Goliath. I remember a lot of games against teams that were much bigger, faster and stronger than we were, but we found a way to win, and that’s how my entire career was.” In 1976 John was inducted into the Holy Name Hall of Fame with a Special Recognition Award, given to individuals “who have impacted Holy Name in some positive way or have achieved outstanding success in their fields.”

Mary Banaszak, formerly Redig, also discovered her career, nursing, through Holy Name. A member of the National Honor Society she joined Future Nurses of America to participate in an extracurricular but soon found she had a passion for the field. She attended the now-closed St. Alexis Hospital School of Nursing and still maintains an active license. Today she is the CEO of Greenbriar Treatment Center, a drug and alcohol treatment system that she’s helped grow from one site to a network of 11 facilities.

“I knew from my sophomore year at Holy Name that I wanted to be a nurse,” Mary says. “I felt well-prepared for the field. I took classes geared toward science and Latin, which was a requirement for nursing school. My exposure at Holy Name definitely grew my interest in nursing.”

The Banaszaks’ choice to attend a Sadie Hawkins dance together also changed their lives. Mary asked John to the dance, and although it was cancelled, the couple went on a date anyway. They have now been married for 42 years.

John and Mary come from a family of Namers; Mary’s father and two brothers attended the school, as well as John’s sister. They also made many friends at Holy Name and still keep in touch with several of them.

“I do believe lifelong relationships are more indicative of a Catholic school than a public school,” Mary says. “We met several people we’ve kept in touch with. Two summers ago, we rented a place near Cedar Point, and I had two good friends from Holy Name come spend the day with me. It was so much fun. They brought pictures and we talked about our time at the school. I can’t put a price on it; those were some of the best years of my life.”

John, too, created lifelong relationships. He joined the Marine Corps after graduation with a friend from Holy Name, and many Namers came to watch him play in the NFL. Through his recruiting activities as a coach, he’s also gotten to visit a lot of past Holy Name connections aa area high schools.

“I go to St. Ignatius and run into the coach there, Chuck Kyle, who played against us at Holy Name,” he says,. “And the trainer, Henry Gaughan, used to tape my ankles. I talk to a lot of coaches in the Cleveland area who remember me and my days at Holy Name. It’s great to run into them and be welcomed to meet their student athletes.

 

This article was published in HN’s – The Wave Winter 2013 Alumni Magazine.

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Alumni Profile: William & Christine Mahnic ’75

Alumni Profile: William & Christine  Mahnic ’75

Holy Name High School gave them a sense of family and camaraderie

The Wave, Winter 2013 | Story By Danielle Toth | Photos by Dave Fisher ‘04, Fisher Photography

What William and Christine Mahnic, both ’75, remember most about their time at Holy Name High School is the sense of family and camaraderie.

Class of 1975 - Bill & Christine Mahnic

Class of 1975 – Bill & Christine Mahnic

“The thing you don’t realize is just how many people you know when you go to Holy Name,” says Bill, who grew up across the street from former Holy Name High School principal Eugene Krakowiak and says he considers Krakowiak’s children Andrew, Mark and Mary Beth to be cousins. “With the alumni connection, there are generations upon generations —once you meet one person from a family, you know all of them.”
Recently, the Mahnics witnessed a testament to that warm fellowship with the welcoming treatment of their great-niece, a sixth-grader who has attended the high school’s cheerleading and volleyball camps.

“We brought her with us to a football game and a dress rehearsal for Legally Blonde, and the older girls remembered her and greeted her,” Christine recalls. “They asked her about her plans for high school and if she would like to shadow at Holy Name. It really meant a lot to me to see a senior doing that for a sixth-grader. It brought tears to my eyes because it was genuine. That’s what Bill and I have always loved about the school and what keeps bringing us back. By the way she now tells everyone that she bleeds green!”

PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER

Christine’s father, Clarence Cieplowski ’53, graduated from Holy Name, as well as his aunt, her great aunt Irene ’31, his sister, her aunt Joanne ’51, and her brother, Christopher ’77. Her youngest brother Casey attended until the move from Broadway to Parma. A cousin Anissa Smolen ’86 is also a fellow Namer. “I grew up in Garfield Heights, and upon graduating from Sts. Peter & Paul there was no doubt I was going to a Catholic High School.” Christine says. “My choices were Marymount, Central Catholic or Holy Name. I made the decision to attend Holy Name, mainly because of my family history.”

Bill had a similar experience, although he says because of his family tradition, he had little choice of where he would attend high school. Bill’s brother Frank attended the school, as well as his sister, Honey and his younger brother Jim graduated in 1976. His cousin, MaryAnn Kuznik ’70 Adamczak,whose husband is Jim Adamczak ’73, and cousins Bob Kuznik ’72 and Nancy Kuznik ’75 Novak are also HN grads. His great-nephew, Darryl Smigelski is a 2002 graduate as well (with a 1 ½ year old future Namer daughter). Bill attended Holy Name Elementary School beginning in kindergarten.

“When you walk through the doors, you know you’re a part of something,” the Doc Scullen Award winner for outstanding male alumnus says. “It’s both tradition and spirituality; you are a part of something much bigger than you are, and I like that.”

While the Mahnics graduated from the old school at Harvard and Broadway Avenues, their experience at the new school has been the same.

“When I walked through the halls of the new school, I felt the same old feelings come back,” Christine says. “The students are fabulous, and as you walk through, you have this warm, fuzzy feeling, a real sense of belonging.”

NATURAL CHEMISTRY

The Mahnics met in their junior year of high school when Christine, then Cieplowski, tutored Bill in algebra (“I must have done an excellent job,” Christine jokes, “because he went on to become an investment banker with National City Bank.”). The intramural basketball and volleyball team member and clarinet player in marching and concert band was one of the first members of the school’s drill team. When she needed a date for the homecoming dance, she prompted Bill, a cross-country runner, to ask her.

“We had a natural chemistry,” Bill recalls. “We spent a lot of time together, and she became my best friend.”
The two dated throughout college — Bill attended John Carroll University and Christine headed to Notre Dame College for one year. They married the day before Bill graduated from the university with a bachelor’s of science in business administration in 1980. He then went on to graduate with a master’s degree in business administration from Case Western Reserve University in 1990 as a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the highest recognition a business student can receive in a program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

A LITTLE BIT OF HOLY NAME

Following graduation from John Carroll, Bill worked in Republic Steel’s treasury department for four years before beginning a 22-year career with National City Bank. He started in the management training program and was hand-picked to start the investment banking program. He spent more than eight years in mergers and acquisitions working with businesses that wanted to sell their companies and investors looking to buy them. He also helped value companies. In his last 10 years with National City, he worked in the interest rate derivative products group helping large companies manage their interest rate risk.

Bill was then approached to teach a class at Case Western Reserve for the MBA program. He taught one class every semester and found he enjoyed it.
“As I got older, I planned to retire early from the bank and have a second career as a college professor,” Bill says. “The stars aligned, and I moved to Case as a full-time professor in 2007.”

Bill was named Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management Teacher of the Year earlier this year. He also helped establish a stock investment club and undergraduate major and minor in finance at Case and a master’s of finance degree program in Shanghai, China.

After her year at Notre Dame College, Christine entered the workforce, working in medical billing and coding at physician’s offices. Her last position was at the Cleveland Clinic as a reimbursement specialist, although she retired about 15 years ago to spend more time with her family and become more involved in her community and church.

Chris has served on the Board of Brecksville Center for the Arts and chaired several committees including one for its biggest event, Heartfelt Holidays, and has served on the Brecksville Historical Association Board. She also became involved in many activities at the Mahnics’ parish, St. Basil the Great in Brecksville. Both Mahnics have assisted with Pre-Cana classes there and at St. Martin of Tours parish in Maple Heights. They also hosted a parish school of religion program for high school students in their home.

The Mahnics also enjoy golf. Bill has been part of one of the area’s oldest traveling leagues for over 30 years and Chris was vice president of her league for several years. They spend about two months in Arizona each year chasing little white balls.

Although he grew up on the southeast side of Cleveland, Bill says Holy Name exposed him to a wide variety of people as he went to school with students from the east side, west side, suburbs, etc.

“As we become a more global society, Holy Name helped prepare me to meet different people and be open to different personalities and beliefs,” he says. “Every day in my life, when I achieve a success, have a pleasant moment, learn something or see something I never saw before, there is a little bit of Holy Name in it. I’m a big believer that I would have been a different person without Holy Name. It’s helped me enjoy life a bit more and made it more pleasurable.”

SUPPORT YOUR PAST IF YOU WANT IT TO BE THERE IN THE FUTURE

The Mahnics have remained involved in their alma mater — Bill has been on the board of advisors for about 12 years, while Christine has served on the auction committee and co-chaired one of the galas. She currently serves on the institutional advancement committee. The couple also attends the annual Eugene T. Krakowiak Golf Outing.

“As we became more involved at Holy Name, it was great to see that many of the teachers we had were still there, like Mr. Gale, Mr. Moderick, Ms. Sorace-Thomas, Mr. Ream, Mr. Gizzi, Mr. Ramicone, Mr. Donovan, Mr. Wilks and of course Mr. K.,” Christine says. “And Joe Langa, who graduated with us, just recently retired as a teacher at HN and has returned as an aide to a visually impaired student. The teachers stay with the school, and that, in and of itself, says something.”

In terms of philanthropy, the Mahnics were lead donors for the New Gymnasium, sponsored a math classroom with a Smart Board and most recently supported the new Ferrante Library & Media Center on the Holy Name High School campus, which includes not only a library and technology center but also a television production studio and control room, instructional classroom with Smart Board and wireless Internet.

The Mahnics also started the Mahnic Family Music Fund to honor Christine’s time in band and Bill’s father’s career as a professional polka musician. The fund is for students with financial needs and/or a passion for music.

“When I left Holy Name, I thought I was done with it and moved on,” Christine says. “But years later, we went back and walked the halls and people like Colleen Corrigan-Day ’88 and Bill Hartman ’67 really took us under their wing and made us feel a part of the school. It felt good to be involved again — you’ve got to support your past if you want it to be there in the future.

“You hear people say, ‘let someone else do it’, I’ve said it myself. But as you grow older you come to realize that YOU are now that ‘someone else’. If we (Bill, I & fellow Namers) don’t step up and be that ‘someone else’, where will Holy Name be 50 years from now? We will be celebrating our 100th anniversary in 2014 and the reason is because those ‘someone elses’ before us gave and supported the school in any way they could. It’s our obligation to do that for the future and support the generations that follow us.”

 

This article was published in HN’s – The Wave Winter 2013 Alumni Magazine.

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The Wave: Alumni Profile – Lindsey Frick ’03

The Wave: Alumni Profile – Lindsey Frick ’03

The Wave | Spring-Summer 2013

If you ask Lindsey Frick what she does in her spare time, her answer is, “What spare time?”

The 2003 Holy Name High School graduate works several contract and part-time jobs and also volunteers for a nonprofit organization. A woman making her successful future not waiting for it, Lindsey is a trailblazer and does not shy away from challenges.

Frick owns her own business, Product Tree, a product development, marketing strategy, and licensing company. Since 2007, she has designed more than 20 products and brand strategies. Her work includes the design of ShockStrip, exterior strips on football helmets that soften the impact of helmet-to-helmet contact, renderings of GumChucks, a flossing tool for children, and a successful children’s product license deal with a Fortune 500 company.

Frick’s interest in marketing began at Holy Name during her marketing class with one of her favorite teachers, Mr. Kunikis.frick

“I remember doing a project in class in which we had to create a marketing plan for a pizza place,” the former Green Wave volleyball player recalls. “Our presentation went well, and it made me feel confident in my skills. It was a great class and a great project, and it really helped drive my desire to get into marketing.”

Frick is also the Marketing Director for Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) International.  MESA International is a global not-for-profit industry association dedicated to improving outcomes for businesses and their people through the use of manufacturing information. MESA is comprised of manufacturers, solution providers, and industry thought leaders collaborating to formulate practical strategies to turn plant-floor data into valuable knowledge for enterprise success.

Following graduation from Holy Name, Frick attended Cleveland State University and earned a mechanical engineering degree. She has combined her engineering knowledge and love of marketing at both Product Tree and MESA International.

“It’s the best of both worlds.” Frick explains. “It fuels my passion to grasp a technology, understand its audience, and create plans to excite the marketplace.”

Frick also works for her family business, Frickaccio’s Fresh Italian Foods, which has operated a stand at the West Side Market since 2005 and a store in Fairview Park since early 2012. The family bakes and sells Italian foods and pizza-making supplies like dough balls and crusts to restaurants and grocers. She designs the business’ graphics and assists with marketing.

Frick has brought her skills back to Holy Name, aiding in the school’s graphics and rebranding for its 2013-2014 admissions year. You might have recently seen HN marketing pieces she designed in movie theatres, malls, and on buses.

In addition, Frick writes part-time for “Machine Design Magazine,” a publication for design engineers, and volunteers with STEMout, a Cleveland-based nonprofit organization that works to inspire students to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) career paths.

“Parents ask me to speak to their kids about STEM careers, not because they want their kids to become engineers, but because they know a technical degree can lead to extensive career opportunities,” she says, “I firmly believe degrees in STEM give people the tools they need to create their own future.”

Frick wants to inspire children as she was inspired at Holy Name, she says.“I was encouraged to be as versatile as possible, learn both soft and hard skills and keep exploring different career possibilities,” she says. “Holy Name gave me the foundation and inspiration for where I am today, what I can accomplish in the future, and who I can motivate along the way. I’m grateful for that.”

 

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