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January 2021 - Erin Stomski

January 22, 2021
By Erin Stomski

Full Name: Erin Stomski

Former High School: Holy Name Central Catholic High School

Graduation Year: 2008

Job Title: Dance Teacher and Personal Trainer

Briefly describe what you do for work:
During the day I work with clients in group exercise classes and one-on-one personal training, helping them obtain their health needs in a fun, yet knowledgeable way. My main focus is form and mind to muscle connection through both strength and conditioning exercises. At night, I teach all genres of dance to ages 5-18. I’ve been teaching for over 10 years and I see myself teaching for a few more decades! My career has allowed me to travel the US to share my knowledge and creativity with others. Dance has always been my passion and I love kids! Win-win!

Who influenced you the most during your time at Holy Name?
Mr. Burke! He saw the potential in me freshman year and taught me so much, with a lot of patience too.

Favorite memory?
Hands down, Founders Day! The best day of the whole year!

What do you value most from your time at Holy Name?
The discipline of working hard and obeying the rules.

Describe Holy Name in three words?
Academics, Arts, and Athletics

What advice would you give current high school students either pursuing a similar career path to your own?
Don’t let ANYONE discourage you. Not everyone will understand your passion but you have to keep trying. I was told endless times I couldn’t live off being a dance teacher. If you work hard at your craft, you'll be recognized for your efforts. Also, have more confidence. Fear stopped me from doing a lot of things when I could have had more opportunities to grow and learn.

How did your education at Holy Name prepare you for what you did in college and are doing today?
College didn’t seem as hard as everyone played it out to be. I was used to balancing the work load given in high school, so I was able to carry that work ethic with me into college. Holy Name was definitely a huge stepping stone for everything I do now. It’s important to pay attention in every class because who knows what career path you’ll follow and/or change along the way.

What activities or sports were you involved in at Holy Name?
Chorus, theatre, band, yearbook, and SADD

What advice do you have for current Saint Paul students to make the most of their experience at Saint Paul?
Be kind to everyone! It makes high school a much better experience.

January 2021 - John Joseph Roughan, Jr.

January 08, 2021
By John Joseph Roughan, Jr.

Full Name: John Joseph Roughan, Jr.

Former High School: St. Peter’s Central Catholic High School

Graduation Year: 1969

Job Title: Retired Municipal Manager

Briefly describe what you do for work:
I was responsible for administration of all departments of the municipality such as Police, Emergency, Fire Services, Sewer and Water, Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Finance, Building, Zoning and Development.

Who influenced you the most during your time at St. Peter’s?
The Sister’s of St. Joseph. They provided structure.

Favorite memory of St. Peter’s?
Being part of the Senior Musical “Mame”. Auditions, learning the role, and watching talented classmates. Denis Leary, although younger, was a part of the play, and you could see his talent at an early age.

Describe St. Peter’s in three words?
Reading, Faith, Structure

What advice would you give current high school students either pursuing a similar career path to your own?
Begin to coalesce around a career and future early in your high school career. And read! If interested in local government, use resources like International City Management Association (ICMA). You can contact me through this channel.

How did your education at St. Peter’s prepare you for what you did in college and are doing today?
Reading Skills. I was 30 years old when I enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh. Because of my love of reading and comprehension skills learned at St. Peter’s, I was able to complete my undergraduate and graduate degrees in 3.5 years while working full-time.

What activities or sports were you involved in at St. Peter’s?
Senior Musical “Mame” and Yearbook Editor

What advice do you have for current Saint Paul students to make the most of their experience at Saint Paul?
Read. Gather knowledge from a variety of sources. If you have mechanical aptitudes then nurture them. If possible, find a mentor, listen and be appreciative.

What is something people may not know about you?
I am an avid hot pepper aficionado. I grow all different varieties in Myrtle Beach. I dry, pickle, slice and eat ‘em. It doesn’t get any better or hotter than that!

Are you a legacy child?
I am a proud legacy alumni. My father graduated in 1941 and my brother Michael in 1970.

Have you stayed connected with your former high school?
I am in contact with alumni I met the first day of school in 1966.

December 2020 - Jennifer Lynn (Gannutz) Anderson

December 18, 2020
By Jennifer Lynn (Gannutz) Anderson

Full Name: Jennifer Lynn (Gannutz) Anderson

Former High School: Holy Name Central Catholic High School

Graduation Year: 1985

Briefly describe what you do for work:
I am a full-time, professional fine artist

Who influenced you the most during your time at Holy Name? Why?
Mary Riordan was like a parent to me. I had her for Freshman Year Biology — she had a way of connecting to students that made us feel safe and loved. I often tell people that Holy Name saved me ‘from my teenage years’, and that Mary Riordan was probably the biggest reason I emerged from the teenage world relatively unscathed. She was a constant mentor throughout high school and became a lifelong friend after graduation.

Favorite memory?
Too many to name — but the musicals were probably where I found the most community and like-minded souls. I was a key player in creating and painting the sets/scenery for Carousel and Guys and Dolls. The friendships and camaraderie with my fellow artists (Joanne O’Brien, Nicki Boulanger, Lynne Sweet, Mike Hayes among many others) was rich!

What do you value most from your time at Holy Name?
Holy Name cultivated a sense of community — and the Class of 1985 was very close-knit and familial. Yes, there were expected cliques, but we also bridged our differences in many ways — through sports, musicals, retreats (all the good stuff).

Most important thing you learned at Holy Name?
I went to Holy Name with very little experience with the church and religion. The religious component at HN opened my eyes and heart to what it meant to have faith. As an adult, I reflect back on this frequently and am thankful. I’m not sure I actually fully understood Mass at the time, but in reflection, I remember most the sense of peace I felt.

Describe Holy Name in three words?
Community, Family, Faith

What advice would you give current high school students either pursuing a similar career path to your own?
Don’t stop creating and pushing yourself to do better! Draw as much as you can, draw from life, make it a practice. You’ll be amazed how quickly you improve. Don’t let the critiques get you down, you can always walk away with some snippet of advice that you can apply to the next painting or drawing.

How did your education at Holy Name prepare you for what you did in college and are doing today?
A few standout memories/reflections: My art teacher at Holy Name, Mr. Shilale, emphasized a lot of focus on drawing and developing a portfolio. I studied art in college, so I felt prepared and excited for my freshman year courses. I was committed to becoming an artist in high school and that commitment is still a part of me today.  Sister Ellen Christine was my freshman year lit teacher — and her outlining assignments were onerous beyond words. But I learned how to be a very organized student. And Mr. Olson was my freshman year Algebra teacher. Upon entering Holy Name, academics came very easily to me. But my first test in Algebra proved that I actually needed to study and prepare. I remember Mr. Olson handing me my (poorly) graded test and quietly saying “I know you can do better”. It may sound odd, but those words have stuck with me throughout my life… and have inspired me to always try harder, I ‘can do better’. This helps me push myself with my artwork — keep at it, out the effort in.

What activities or sports were you involved in at Holy Name?
Well, not sure I want this publicized, but freshman year I was a cheerleader for the Freshmen football team. And then sophomore year I attempted Field Hockey, but was pretty much laughed off the JV team. And, so I found my best place was in the arts (which I had been heavily involved in since Freshman year) — but from mid-sophomore year to graduation, that is where I put all my energy. Musicals, set design, posters — anything that required art, I was there.

What advice do you have for current Saint Paul students to make the most of their experience at Saint Paul?
Get involved! Don’t hesitate to try a lot of different activities — you will find friends in unexpected places and mentors ready to help you when you need it most.

What is something people may not know about you?
I was in a New York Times article about home-brewing beer (back in 1990!) LOL. Yep — my husband and I made home-brew back in the day and even made kegs for our wedding and Meade for the champagne toast.

Have you stayed connected with your former high school?
Social media has made it easy to be in touch with former Napoleons.

December 2020 - Amanda (Kristoff) Weissman

December 04, 2020
By Amanda (Kristoff) Weissman

Full Name: Amanda (Kristoff) Weissman

Former High School: St. Peter-Marian

Graduation Year: 2004

Organization: Lockheed Martin          Job Title: Lead Systems Engineer

Briefly describe what you do for work:
I lead a team of 30 engineers designing the Aegis Combat System, a naval weapon system and Ballistic Missile Defense System used by multiple countries.

Who influenced you the most during your time at SPM? Why?
Mr. Forhan, my computer science teacher. He encouraged me to explore engineering and continued to challenge me in my computer science classes. I don’t think I would have majored in engineering without his encouragement.

Favorite memory?
I loved the time before homeroom when I spent time with friends.

What do you value most from your time at St. Peter-Marian?
There are many things I learned in classes that I still use today or remember and then spend more time learning about. These little things help me continue to grow and learn. Things like reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or learning about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Most important thing you learned at SPM?
The most important thing I learned at SPM was being part of a community and volunteering or contributing to charity to make our communities better.

Describe SPM in three words?
A Strong Community

What advice would you give current high school students either pursuing a similar career path to your own?
I would recommend participating in STEM clubs or activities to learn about the many options in STEM careers and practice problem solving skills. Don’t fear failure. You will learn a lot from challenges and failures that will help you be successful in the long run.

How did your education at St. Peter-Marian prepare you for what you did in college and are doing today?
SPM gave me a foundation in many different areas and taught me to continually learn. I also learned about being part of a community which helped me build relationships and be part of a team.

What activities or sports were you involved in at SPM?
I was part of the Guardian Globe school newspaper, played tennis and golf.

What advice do you have for current Saint Paul students to make the most of their experience at Saint Paul?
Experience new things! Try out new clubs, activities, sports, etc. This is a great opportunity to find out what you like when all of these are available to you and you will gain valuable experiences in all of them.

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Recent Posts

1/22/21 - By Erin Stomski
1/8/21 - By John Joseph Roughan, Jr.
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12/4/20 - By Amanda (Kristoff) Weissman
11/20/20 - By David Ginisi