The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented by Valley Catholic School and the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Foundation to graduates who excel in their life’s work, demonstrate a high standard of personal integrity, strive for excellence, and live a valiant life. It is presented annually during the Gala and Catholic Schools Week.
This year’s theme, chosen by the Alumni Advisory Committee, is Sustainability. Nominations are open and will close on August 31.
Nominate alumni for this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award and Emerging Leader Award.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented by Valley Catholic School and the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Foundation to graduates who excel in their life’s work, demonstrate a high standard of personal integrity, strive for excellence and live a valiant life. It is presented annually during Catholic Schools Week.
Honorees (by academic year) include:
2021-2022 | Houng Pham ’88 and Julie Seminara ’95
Houng Pham ’88 and Julie Seminara ’95 were honored for their work during the COVID-19 Pandemic as frontline medical workers.
2020-2021 | Liska Yamada ’09
Liska Yamada’09 has been playing the harp since she was in elementary school and taught by Sr. John Therese. Liska has been a successful performer since, moving to Los Angeles where she has played in ensembles, performed at countless events and weddings, contributed to the soundtrack for Days of Our Lives, and taught young musicians the joys of the harp. Liska was honored for her work in the fine arts.
2019-2020 | Roberta Barsotti Weber ’62
Bobbie Barsotti Weber ’62 is an innovator in the field of early childhood development and family education. She has positively affected the lives of thousands of children and families through her scholarship and leadership on both national and regional levels. She served as the president of the National Association of Childcare Resource and Referral Organization from 1990-1995. Bobbie was one of the founders of the Childcare and Early Education Policy and Research Consortium, which functions on both the state and national levels. She served 7 years on the Oregon Governor’s Early Learning Council, whose purpose is to shape and set policies for children and families in the state of Oregon. Bobbie also helped establish the Oregon Childcare Research Partnership which is still operating after 29 years.
2018-2019 | Frank So ’97
For more than a decade, Frank So ’97 has headed up humanitarian and development projects in some of the most impoverished and war torn nations in the world. His humanitarian work includes over four years working in Sudan and Darfur with the United Nations and with USAID, leading post-earthquake reconstruction efforts in Haiti. Frank served in Honduras as USAID Advisor for Justice and Human Rights. He is on the advisory board of the Red Sweater Project, an organization dedicated to developing quality, sustainable, and accessible schools for East African children. He is also advisor for VIDES+USA a Catholic Volunteer Missioner Program.
2017-2018 | Jesyca Durchin Schnepp ’87
Jesyca Durchin Schnepp ’87 has been an entertainment professional since 1991. She worked for Mattel Media, where she produced many of the successful Barbie Software titles, before founding her own companies: Nena Media and Digital Playspace. Her clients have included Mattel Entertainment, Walt Disney Imagineering and Paramount Digital.
2016-2017 |Kelly Fox ’86
Kelly Fox ’86 graduated from the University of Portland with a degree in nursing. She received a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Washington, is an adjunct professor at the University of Portland, and will complete her doctorate in nursing practice from Yale University in 2017.
2015-2016 |Father Jeff Meeuwsen ’95
Father Jeff Meeuwsen ’95 is currently pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Aloha, Oregon. He has served at parishes across Oregon and studied at Gonzaga University, Mount Angel Seminary and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.
2014-2015 | Marlene Schmidt Duyck ’59
Marlene Schmidt Duyck ’59 was honored for spending “her entire adult life devoting herself to her family and the church.”
2013-2014 | Dr. Richard Church ’95
Dr. Richard Church ’95 was honored for his work as a physician at the University and Memorial campuses of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
2012-2013 | Pamela Martes Olberding ’62
Pamela Martes Olberding ’62 established the Mike Olberding Education Fund in memory of her husband. The fund supports the educational needs of nurses, technicians and other employees at Providence Newberg Medical Center.
2011-2012 | Valley Catholic honored the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon (SSMO) who graduated from the SSMO campus schools.
2011-2012 | Pat Roshak Joyaux ’54
Pat Roshak Joyaux ’54 is secretary and registrar at Valley Catholic. Since joining the staff in 1978, she “has helped thousands of students and parents on a daily basis…simply being a positive, helpful person who knows the answers to all the possible questions that come through her office.”
2008-2009 | Mariel Zagunis ’03
Mariel Zagunis ’03 is a two-time Olympic champion in women’s sabre.