Mount St. Mary Academy will hold its annual Alumnae Weekend celebrations on September 11 and 12, 2021 at the school.
Alumnae Weekend 2021 will consist of a fun-filled Saturday afternoon consisting of Chiavetta’s chicken BBQ and outside activities for all ages! Following the chicken BBQ, Sports Hall of Fame Inductions on Saturday evening, honoring Marissa Dauria ’05 and Olivia Macdonald ’15.
Alumnae Weekend continues on Sunday with a Mass in the morning honoring our Alumnae Award Winners. A brunch will be held after Mass in the MSM gymnasium; it will be a prefect time to connect with your sister alumnae!
For more information, please contact Coordinator of Development and Special Events, Alexis Arth at email@example.com.
2021 Alumnae Honorees
Alumnae of the Year
Eve Pedini Wells ’84 and Jennifer Englert DeRose ’89 served Mount St. Mary Academy as Chrysalis co-chairs along with their husbands Paul and Jeffery during a tumultuous year for the world. Eve and Jenn dedicated their year to the success of an historic Chrysalis – the 25th annual, silver anniversary event, held off site for the first time – and then dedicated another several unexpected months to an even more historic pivot to a virtual event. Chrysalis 2020 ended up being the most financially rewarding to date at the time after all was said and done. MSM could not possibly have made the annual dinner auction such a marvelous time without these two alumnae who volunteered countless hours and effort, extraordinary creativity, friendship and connections without blinking an eye.
Eve has dedicated herself to 30+ years working in physical therapy at Kenmore Mercy Hospital. She has given much of her time and service to the Mount over the past four years through alumnae and parent events and efforts at the school. She has also helped to plan her class’ most recent reunion celebrations.
After a successful career in community and urban planning in Buffalo’s nonprofit space, City Hall and beyond, Jenn dedicated herself to service. Jenn has served for the past 7 years on the MSM Alumnae Board and also served for 7 years on the St. Stephen School Advancement Board, where she led as Chair for 5 of those years. She has also been serving the local Girl Scouts community for 10 years and the Junior League of Buffalo for 20.
Sophia Award Recipients
Davina Moss-King, PhD ’86 serves Western New York as the Founder and President of Positive Direction and Associates, Inc., which works to “provide hope, healing and empowerment to pregnant women affected by substance use disorders, giving them comprehensive knowledge, treatment and support to ensure a healthy and successful pregnancy.”
Davina has dedicated her career to caring for the mental health of our WNY neighbors, vulnerable women in particular. In addition to producing several acclaimed publications, Davina’s career has led her to BryLin, the New York State Education Department and her own private practice for years before she decided to form Positive Direction. On top of the work she accomplishes through her company, she also teaches courses for Canisius College, New York University, and NetCE. Davina’s passion for championing and equipping those struggling with addiction has been steadfast throughout her life, sparked by the foundational tenets she took to heart while studying at the Mount.
In addition to all that, Davina is a Mount St. Mary Trustee and has been dedicated to furthering the mission of Mount St. Mary Academy.
Jennifer George Walsh, MD ’90 is an Associate Medical Director at Independent Health who, since the start of the pandemic, has returned to take on hospital shifts on weekends and as needed. She also serves as Vice President of The Remember Ryan Foundation, founded in honor of her nephew to support arts programs for students.
Prior to her career at Independent Health, Jen worked for 18 years at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and for a couple years ran a small metabolic health clinic. She has also been part of an unofficial team of passionate, local healthcare workers who have been working to connect people with Covid-19 vaccine appointments that work for them. By connecting with these folks through social media and word of mouth, this group of women – including a handful of other MSM alumnae! – has helped to secure thousands of vaccine appointments.
Not only does Jen care for our community at-large, she also serves on Mount St. Mary Academy’s medical team, formed to lead the school in navigating the Covid-19 pandemic. Her love of science and interest in medicine sparked during her time as a student at MSM have guided her to a career that greatly impacts her community for the better.
Anne Clancy taught biology and religion, and served as a guidance counselor at Mount St. Mary Academy from 1965 to 1971. In those days, Anne was known to her students as Sr. Mary Celestine McDonough, a kind and devoted teacher and a Sister of Saint Mary of Namur.
Anne joined the Sisters in 1951 after graduating from high school. She taught at a number of schools run by the Sisters throughout Western New York while earning her bachelor’s degree in biology from Catholic University of America – and eventually her master’s degree from Notre Dame – on Saturdays and during the summers.
Anne was a guidance counselor at the Mount at a time when those roles were relatively new, but she and the Sisters saw the great importance of this support for their pupils as the students prepared for college and careers. Though Anne found herself in the teaching profession as a happy result of joining the Sisters, biology became a great love for Anne and still is today. She continued teaching and inspiring young minds after stepping away from the order. For Anne, “education is very important for the success and growth of students, for the pragmatic purpose of being able to take care of themselves and more importantly for the growth of the mind, both spiritually and intellectually.”
Tim O’Shei has been involved at the Mount for the past 18 years, bringing real-life experiences as well as personal and professional connections to his students’ learning. Tim began volunteering his time to MSM in 2004, co-teaching MSM’s Communications classes. He began an official teaching position in 2008 and has been guiding students through Journalism, Communications, and Academy Scholars courses ever since.
The Academy Scholars program focuses a great deal on entrepreneurship and community projects which the students create and run themselves. Students have competed in Virtual Enterprises International and Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE). Several teams have ranked nationally and internationally, bringing them to places like New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Toronto, Ukraine, South Korea, and the Philippines.
When not at the Mount, Tim is a full-time journalist for The Buffalo News and contributor to the New York Times. He is 25+ years into his journalism career thus far.
Sports Hall of Fame
Marissa Dauria ’05 will be inducted for her contributions to the school as a student athlete and as a coach. Marissa served as the Head Coach of the Thunder soccer program from 2011 to 2018 and won a Monsignor Martin League title and playoff title in 2015. Marissa also served as the Varsity Lacrosse coach from 2008 to 2014, where she won league titles in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Olivia Macdonald ’15 was named Frst Team All-Catholic for Cross Country in 2015 and also was part of the 2012 and 2013 All-Catholic championship teams. In lacrosse, Olivia was named First Team All-Catholic in 2013 and 2014 and also named league MVP in 2015. She was also named First Team All WNY in 2015 and claimed league titles all 4 years of high school. Olivia ended her Mount career with 125 goals and 49 assists and played Division 1 Lacrosse at St. Bonaventure University where she started every game for 4 years.