Category Archives: Alumni

Graduates of Bishop McNamara and LaReine

Making the Connection: McNamara parent helps start alumni mentoring program

By Jalen Wright
Staff Writer

About 16 years ago Kathy Jones met a high school student that was looking to become the first in her family to go to college.

That student is now 32 with a loving family, a job where she makes six figures and a strong and long lasting relationship with her mentor.

“The mentor program can have an invaluable and positive impact on both the mentee and mentor’s lives,” said Kathy Jones, parent of Chris Jones ’17.

She played a significant role in bringing an alumni mentoring program to McNamara this fall, in which roughly 20 alumni will be paired with students in order to expose them to different professions.

Last winter, Kathy Jones approached then-Director of Alumni Relations Michael Jones(no relation) with her idea. He loved the idea of an alumni mentoring program, because he thought that it would be “a good way to get alumni back and engaged in our school community.”

Kathy Jones and Robert Nolte, current Director of Alumni Relations, will conclude alumni interviews next week. They expect the alumni to be paired with the students in late October.

Director of Student Activities Brian Brower said mentees will include seniors and juniors.

“Next year if there is a higher number of interested alumni then we can possibly expand the program to the entire school,” Brower said.

Jorden White ’17, who will be paired with a mentor, said the program will allow guidance for students to excel and thrive.

“I feel the alumni mentoring program will be beneficial to all the students attending McNamara…,” she said.

Nolte spent the majority of this summer gathering alumni interested in being a mentor.

“We have amazing alumni that have every interest in the world to provide their experience and their story,” Nolte said.

Kathy and her team are really anxious to get this process started. She has high expectations for the program this fall.

“(The goal of the program is to) enhance and enrich the lives of our Bishop McNamara students and allow them the ability to gain experiences that they might not usually have.”





From Bad Seed to the Big Apple

Local Artist, Reesa Renee, Makes Her Loud Return to McNamara

Taylor Parker ‘12 | Style & Culture Editor

Photo by Taylor Parker '12/STAMPEDE

I was doing my homework while the news was on in the background. Although I was focusing intensely on my math homework, my ears perked up when I heard one of the news anchors say something about a former Bishop McNamara student. I grabbed the remote and hit the rewind button and on my screen appeared a woman with a bright smile and funky Afro. It was Reesa Renee.

Reesa Renee, 24, whose real name is Theresa Beale, graduated from McNamara in 2005. Her return to McNamara brought back many memories for Theresa herself. She performed at the 2012 Black Culture Alliance assembly and many of the faculty and staff were amazed to see her again. “I was blown away. I had no idea she could sing and it was absolutely fabulous,” said Joanann Walther, attendance coordinator.

During her performance she paused the music to discuss her times at McNamara. She began with telling the school that she was not the easiest student to handle. She went in further detail and explained that she caused a lot of problems for herself, her teachers and the administration. “She reached out to the crowd more with her story of how she was at McNamara and the students were able to relate to her,” said Vina Concepcion ‘13, a student present during her performance.

After her momentary pause she signaled the band to continue and their music filled the gym getting many students and some teachers up out of their seats. What many may not know is that her older brother, Tom, was actually the keyboard player in the band and was also the one who convinced Theresa to begin her music career.

When I sat down and interviewed the two, they were the typical brother and sister, rolling their eyes and making funny faces at each other. They both told the story of how they came to the decision of starting the band and Theresa started with how writing became her outlet. She said, “I was not a singer. I played basketball and was really into sports.” She explained that she knew she had issues and she decided to use writing as a more creative means to express herself.

Her brother, who was already into music, had a band put together that was not associated with Theresa. One day they were all at the studio and Theresa decided to sing one of her songs over top of a beat her brother had produced. “Everybody liked it and it was kind of an unsaid thing, so we decided to pursue this band idea,” said Theresa.

Since then music has been Theresa’s way of telling the world her story. One of her biggest inspirations is Jill Scott. You could put Reesa Renee’s music in the category with Chrisette Michele, India Arie and Jill Scott. Many may also recognize Theresa from her appearance on Apollo in New York on October 5, 2011 where she won first place. Her voice filled the room and filled people’s hearts and she really took her singing career to another level. Reesa Renee also performs at concerts and coffee houses in and outside of the metropolitan area and her music is seen as very uplifting. She ended the interview on an emotional note saying that she is honored that Mr. Clark asked her to come back and that the best place she could ever perform is right here at McNamara.

McNamara Graduates Have Big Weekend on Gridiron

Division One athletes come up big for their schools on the football field.
Andrew Feather ‘13
Staff Writer

Though Bishop McNamara’s game last Friday was postponed, people could still watch plenty of Mustang football as many McNamara alumni had successful games for their colleges and universities on opening weekend.

In their first games playing for their respective schools, both Nico Law ‘11 and Brandon Coleman ‘10 had big plays. Law, who is a true freshman at the University of Iowa, came in late during the Hawkeyes’ 34-7 rout of Tennessee Tech and burst into the backfield on a play and brought down the runner for a two yard loss.

On the other side of the ball, Coleman, a red-shirt freshman at Rutgers University, had a 44 yard touchdown reception on the first catch of his collegiate career in the Scarlett Knights 48-0 beat-down of North Carolina Central University.

In addition to both Nico and Brandon representing McNamara during their games, University of Maryland senior cornerback Cameron Chism ‘08 came up big when it mattered most and was one of the stars of the Terrapins nationally televised Labor Day game.

In Maryland’s win over the University of Miami Hurricanes he forced a fumble and grabbed a pick six en-route to winning ACC defensive back of the week. The fumble, which he knocked out just seconds before halftime, was returned for a touchdown that gave his team a 20-14 lead heading into the break.

When the teams came out after halftime Chism continued his strong play, and over the remainder of the game he racked up a few more few tackles, bringing his game total to six.  Before long, there was about a minute left in the game, a 26-24 Terps’ lead, and the Hurricanes marching down the field. With just over 30 seconds left and Miami facing a 4th down and 4 to-go situation quarterback Stephen Morris dropped back and fired the ball. Out of nowhere, Chism jumped in front of the pass, intercepted it, and dashed into the end zone for a score that pretty much sealed up the game. A minute later the final whistles blew and the Terrapins walked away victorious 32-26 in a Monday night thriller, partly in thanks to McNamara alum Cameron Chism.

Marco Clark Chosen as New President

Principal Marco Clark, President Heather Gossart and Board Chair Daniel Curtin together after the announcement that Marco Clark will be the new president of Bishop McNamara High School. (Thomas Ingle / The Stampede)

By A.C. Brown ’10 and Brandi Bottalico ’10
News Editors

Principal Marco Clark ’85 was announced as the next president of Bishop McNamara High School, in a faculty meeting Monday morning called by the Board of Directors, and then later in an announcement made to students during homeroom.

According to board chair Daniel Curtin, of the final three candidates Mr. Clark was the only one from inside the McNamara community. He was chosen because of his thirteen-year experience as principal and his commitment to the Holy Cross tradition. The candidates were from a total of nine states, but as Mr. Curtin put it, “We found out we have him right here in our backyard.” Mr. Curtin believes Mr. Clark is the best for the job and will bring the school “from strong to stronger.”

President Heather Gossart said, “There is no one you could find that would love or serve the school better than Mr. Clark.” Mrs. Gossart admits that although it’s hard to walk away from something she loves, she is comforted by knowing the school is in good hands.

“You just don’t replace a Mrs. Heather Gossart,” said Mr. Clark, although he was happy to be selected. Mr. Clark said his love for the school pulled him towards applying for the presidency. Among his many hopes for his upcoming presidency, one is to make alumni more visible within the school community through the use of scholarships, reunions and an alumni association.

During his acceptance speech Mr. Clark called on teachers and staff to follow his example and said, “Let each one of us be an architect for the future.” His tenure as president will begin July 1, 2010. The first question that needs to be answered is who will become the new Principal of Bishop McNamara High School. As the new president Mr. Clark will begin searching for his replacement as principal immediately.

Another journey for McNamara’s future has begun, the search for a principal; yet the search for our new president has come to a close. Mrs. Gossart said it best, “The gift that I asked the committee for is that they would bring in someone that would love the school and students the way I do, and I believe today I got that gift.”

Slideshow: Senior Return Day – Class of 2009

Pictures from Senior Return Day, January 2010

by Jacqueline Wills ’10 Photo Editor

Bishop McNamara’s 2009 graduates spoke with current students for the annual Graduate Return Day on January 6, 2010. Below are pictures from throughout the day.

Former WMAC members Austin Benbow and Dominique Young return to do the morning announcements.
Recent graduates gather in the theatre to speak to the class of 2010 about their experience in college so far.
Julia Weaver '09 and Steven Barroga '09 remain friends despite attending separate colleges (The University of Maryland, College Park and Towson University).