Countdown to Graduation

As we prepare for Graduation 2018, we will take a look back at past Valedictorians and Salutatorians leading up to our 2018 recipients. “Oh The Places They’ve Gone” will highlight past recipients and their accomplishments. Enjoy and congratulations to Mater Dei Class of 2018!
Day Seventeen 
Jaqui Angula (Salutatorian, Class of 2015)

After graduating, Jaqui went on to attend New York University. She is currently a junior majoring in Anthropology (on the honors track) with a double minor in Spanish and Disability Studies. Jaqui is currently studying abroad in Madrid, taking advanced Spanish classes as well as interning at a residential center for people with disabilities. Back in New York, Jaqui is the Artistic Director for a competitive urban dance team called The Neighbors. 

Day Sixteen

Edward Deeb (Salutatorian, Class of 2013)

Edward graduated from Mater Dei in 2013 and went on to study at Southern Methodist University where he received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting in 2017. Edward graduate this year (May 11th) from USC with a Master’s in Accounting and will start work this summer in Los Angeles at Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP in their tax line of service. This past New Year’s Eve Edward married my wife Amy (Wallace) Deeb from Oklahoma City. Tyler and Amy dated long distance through my his two years at Mater Dei; she was his senior prom date now turned forever date. Amy graduated with her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Speech Pathology from Oklahoma State University and works as a Speech Language Pathologist for Providence Speech and Hearing in both Orange and Fountain Valley. They live in Fullerton. Congratulations to the class of 2018!


Day Fifteen 

Tyler Kiehnle (Valedictorian, Class of 2012)

After Mater Dei, Tyler attended Boston College where he double majored in economics and political science and competed on the men's rowing team. During Tyler's junior year, he had the opportunity to study abroad at the London School of Economics for the entire academic year, where he concentrated in applied economic theory and travelled throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. After graduating, Tyler moved to New York City where he currently works for Credit Suisse as a government guaranteed mortgage backed securities trader.

Day Fourteen

Matthew Bernard (Valedictorian, Class of 2010)

After graduating from Mater Dei, Matt went on to Cornell University and earned a degree in Hotel Administration. From there, he started his career with White Lodging, a hotel ownership, development, and management company. He spent three years in Indiana in both Front Desk and Housekeeping management roles at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. Last May, Matt returned to the California sunshine when he accepted a position as a Guest Experience Manager at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. Within just the last week, Matt accepted an offer to become the General Manager of the Sideways Inn in Buellton, CA, and he will begin this new adventure next month. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, with a focus in strategy and innovation, through the University of Denver.”

Day Thirteen
Paula Verkuylen (Salutatorian, Class of 2010)
After graduating from Mater Dei in 2010, Paula Verkuylen went on to graduate from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing and a minor in film and media studies. Paula is now an account executive with the FleishmanHillard Southern California team where she supports clients in the consumer and technology sectors. She initially joined the FleishmanHillard team as an intern in October 2015 and since then she has provided support on a number of accounts, including Samsung Global and Visual Display, Seagate Technology, Weber Metals and Ultrium LTO. Her role has ranged from daily and special events media monitoring, secondary research and marketing support, event planning and staffing, awards writing, and national and regional media relations. 
Day Twelve 
Jacqueline Parker (Valedictorian, Class of 2009)

Leaving Mater Dei, Jacquie attended Columbia University where she was not only in New York City, but got to spend time living in Africa and in Argentina. Upon graduating, she worked at the World Trade Center in international business. Jacquie was awarded a fellowship at Yale’s School of Business in Global Leadership, and spent a summer in their Pre-MBA program. Gaining perspective on where she wanted to make a lasting change, she shifted to pursue her passion in education. Her time heading an intervention program for at-risk students in Orange Unified School District gave her perspective on how technology can change the classroom. While working in the educational technology field, Jacquie completed her Masters degree in Computer Science at UCI. She is now working for an Australian company as a Solutions Engineer with a focus on user experience and human-computer interaction. She travels “down under” to design products for every student to have a voice in their learning. 

Day Eleven  
Genevieve Flati (Salutatorian, Class of 2009)

-2011-2014 toured the country with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus as a clown and a writer.

-2014-2017 puppeteer for Disney Junior Live on stage at Disneyland

-2016 created a nonprofit production company called (Wo)men Rule Broadway that does live and recorded musical theater performances aimed at fighting gender and racial stereotyping in Hollywood and Broadway.

-2017 co-wrote/ co-directed/co-starred in a puppet parody called "Les Miz and Friends!" that sold out every performance of its 6 week run, and will be running in New York soon.

-Every Friday night Genevieve performs in Improv Shmimprov at the Maverick theater in Fullerton

-She has done voice overs for some video games and shows as well. She puppeteers for some movies, webseries, and other shows. Genevieve occasionally acts as a guest comedian on some twitch channels too.

Day Ten 
Britanny Winckler (Valedictorian, Class of 2005)

Britanny completed her undergraduate degree at UCLA in molecular biology prior to moving to Washington, D.C. There, she did research in Immunology at the National Institutes of Health before returning to California and medical school at UCI. She graduated with honors in 2016 with a dual MD/MBA degree. Britanny is now completing her Pediatrics residency in Houston, TX working at Texas Children's Hospital and plans to specialize in pediatric hospital medicine and administration. Throughout her moves across the country, she has pursued her musical hobby by participating in various community orchestras.

Day Nine
Mike Gallagher (Valedictorian, Class of 2002)
 First elected in 2016, Congressman Mike Gallagher represents Wisconsin’s 8th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mike is a 7th generation Wisconsin native, born and raised in Green Bay.

Mike joined the United States Marine Corps the day he graduated from college and served for seven years on active duty as a Counterintelligence/Human Intelligence Officer and Regional Affairs Officer for the Middle East/North Africa, eventually earning the rank of Captain. He deployed twice to Al Anbar Province, Iraq as a commander of intelligence teams, served on General Petraeus’s Central Command Assessment Team in the Middle East, and worked for three years in the intelligence community, including tours at the National Counterterrorism Center and the Drug Enforcement Agency. Mike also served as the lead Republican staffer for Middle East, North Africa and Counterterrorism on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Prior to taking office, Mike worked in the private sector at a global energy and supply chain management company in Green Bay.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, Mike went on to earn a master’s degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University, a second in Strategic Intelligence from National Intelligence University, and his PhD in International Relations from Georgetown.

Mike currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where he is a member of the Seapower and Projection Forces, as well as the Readiness Subcommittees. He also serves on the Homeland Security Committee, where he is a member of the Counterterrorism and Intelligence (CTI) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Subcommittees. 

Day Eight  
Lindsay (Pavlik) Lawrence (Valedictorian, Class of 2000)

Lindsay Lawrence currently serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer at First Foundation Bank where she is responsible for overseeing deposit banking activities as well as designing and implementing policies and operational structures for the company.  Prior to her time at First Foundation, Lindsay served as the Senior Vice President, Commercial Deposits Executive at Umpqua Bank, formerly Sterling Savings Bank, and Executive Vice President, Chief Banking Officer at Opus Bank.

Lindsay earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Northwestern University with honors while playing volleyball on a full athletic scholarship and earning Big Ten All-Academic Honors.  She completed her Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine graduating in the top 10% of her class.  Lindsay, a previous OC Metro “40 Under 40” and Independent Banker “Rising Star” has been married to Christopher Lawrence (CFO of American First Credit Union) for 11 years and resides in Corona del Mar with their two children, Addison (6yrs) who is a kindergartner at Our Lady Queen of Angels and Grayson (4yrs).

Day Seven 
Alyssa Lafosse (Salutatorian, Class of 1995)
Today’s edition of “Oh The Places They’ve Gone” features Alyssa Lafosse (Salutatorian, Class of 1995). After graduating from Mater Dei, Alyssa went to UCLA and earned a B.A. in Psychology. She spent the next two years working as a research assistant at UCLA, and then moved to the bay area for a Masters in Public Health from Berkeley. Afterwards, Alyssa dared to move to New York City, where she has been living ever since. She is working her dream job as a health educator at the New York University Student Health Center, and she is married with an 8-year old daughter. She loves NYC, although she misses the warm Southern California weather in the winter!
Day Six
Dr. Grainne (McEvoy) Mulholland (Valedictorian, Class of 1989)

Today’s edition of “Oh The Places They’ve Gone” features Dr. Grainne McEvoy Mulholland (Valedictorian, Class of 1989). Since being co-valedictorian of the Class of ‘89, Grainne’s gone... not too far from the corner of Bristol and Edinger. She double-majored in English and History at UCLA, earned her M.A. in English at UCLA, and then, instead of finishing her Ph.D., did the logical thing with a humanities degree and went to medical school. Grainne graduated from UC Irvine School of Medicine, where she put her English major to use and founded Plexus, a journal of arts and letters for the UCI medical community, which is still going strong almost twenty years later.

Grainne has spent her career caring for the medically under-served—probably no surprise to anyone who knew her in high school. Grainne takes care of patients at St. Jude Hospital’s community clinic. It’s hard work, and mostly in her second language, but the St. Joe’s/ St. Jude’s community puts a genuine emphasis on care for the poor, and it’s challenging and fulfilling work.

Grainne still winds up spending plenty of time around Mater Dei—for starters, her husband, Mark Mulholland, has been teaching there for 17 years. Grainne is also a Mater Dei parent— her two older kids are in 12th and 10th grade at MD. They’re both involved in band and theater, and their eldest, Aidan, is in Chamber Singers while his younger sister Fiona is in Improv. If you happened to see Mater Dei’s most recent production, Seussical: The (Senior) Musical, for example, then you saw Aidan playing the Grinch. They also have two future Monarchs, Brendan in 6th grade and Owen in preschool, so they will be Mater Dei parents for a long time!

Day Five
Amy (Griffin) Thompson (Valedictorian, Class of 1994)

After graduating from MD in '94, Amy attended CSULB and graduated with her BS in Physical Therapy. Amy has been a Physical Therapist for the past 18 years specializing in geriatric rehab. She has been married 17 years and is the proud mom of twin girls (13 years old).  Their family enjoys traveling and trips to Disneyland. Go Monarchs!

Day Four
Ellie (Acalin) Judy (Valedictorian, Class of 1993)

Ellie Judy is a Vice President and Senior Manager at The Capital Group Companies, Inc.  She joined Capital in 1997 and recently celebrated 20 years at the organization.  Ellie manages a global team of research associates who support equity and fixed income research.  She holds a bachelor's degree in Communications with a minor in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego and an MBA from Loyola Marymount University.  

Currently, Ellie lives in Oakland California with her husband Rick Judy and 3 children; Sierra who is 11 years old, Nathan who is 10 years old and Sophia who is 8 years old.  The family is busy with school, activities, travel and spending time in Tahoe.  

Day Three
Melissa (Nex) Adams (Salutatorian, Class of 1992)

After Mater Dei, Melissa became a Longhorn and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Nursing.  She has worked in various areas of nursing since then including ICU in a trauma hospital, Neonatal ICU, and Post Anesthesia Care Unit in outpatient surgery centers.  

Melissa's greatest accomplishment is her family. She got married right out of college to Jerad Adams (21 years ago) and they have five amazing daughters together. Their oldest, Hannah, is now a sophomore in college at Concordia University Austin and is studying nursing as well. Their second, Hope, is graduating from high school next week and will be attending Texas Tech University in the fall to become a Special Education teacher. Their third daughter, Hadley, will start high school next fall. Melissa and Jerad also have 12 year old twins, HelenRose & Hilary, who will be in 7th grade next year and keep them busy.  

Melissa and her family have enjoyed living in different parts of the U.S. over the last 20 years. They have lived in Austin, San Antonio, Kansas City, and our now back in Austin where both of their families live.

Melissa also has been blessed to have an amazing best friend for the last 36 years that went through St. Cecelia and Mater Dei with her, Claire McMahon Jenkins.  She lives in Texas as well so they get to see each other quite often.   

Day Two 
Juan Zarate (Valedictorian, Class of 1989)

Juan Zarate is the Chairman and Co-Founder of the Financial Integrity Network, the Chairman of the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF), and the Senior National Security Analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.  He has been a Visiting Lecturer on Law at the Harvard Law School for the last eight years. Mr. Zarate sits on several boards, including for the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and the Vatican's Financial Information Authority.


Mr. Zarate served as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism from 2005 to 2009, and was responsible for developing and implementing the U.S. Government’s counterterrorism strategy and policies related to transnational security threats. Mr. Zarate was the first ever Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes where he led domestic and international efforts to attack terrorist financing, the innovative use of Treasury’s national security-related powers, and the global hunt for Saddam Hussein’s assets.  Mr. Zarate is a former federal prosecutor who served on terrorism prosecution teams prior to 9/11, including the investigation of the USS Cole attack. 


Mr. Zarate is the author of Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial WarfareForging Democracy: A Comparative Study of the Effects of U.S. Foreign Policy on Central American Democratization, and a variety of articles. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School.

Day One
Brian Ault (Valedictorian, Class of 1983) 
Our first feature in “Oh The Places They’ve Gone” is Brian Ault (Valedictorian, Class of 1983). Brian graduated from MD in 1983, and went on to study Engineering at UC Irvine, receiving his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering in 1987 and 1989, respectively. Later on, he spent four years in the San Francisco Bay area attending Stanford University, receiving a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Electrical Engineering. After his first year at Stanford, Brian married his wife, Maureen (Stevens) Ault, whom he first met in Orange County. They now have two daughters. Upon graduating from Stanford, they moved back down to Southern California where Brian took a job at AlliedSignal Aerospace, working on projects for the International Space Station Alpha as well as the Russian space station Mir. Brian has worked at Parker Aerospace in Irvine for the past 22 years, where Brian manages a Research and Development team that has developed and commercialized fuel tank inerting technology that helps improve the safety of commercial air travel and is now deployed on well over 10,000 commercial aircraft worldwide. The girls are now grown - Heather graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Political Science and has recently completed internships in Washington, D.C, and London, while Amber graduated from Mater Dei (Class of 2016) and is currently a sophomore majoring in Business at the University of Notre Dame. Maureen and Brian still reside in Irvine today!