Wall of Fame
In its over 85-year history, Villa Joseph Marie has been blessed by the presence of countless remarkable people, who by their hard work and dedication to the Mission of Mother Maria Kaupas, helped Villa become the amazing place it is today. With the introduction of a Wall of Fame, we as a community will give special honor to individuals whose commitment and service to the students of Villa Joseph Marie was particularly extraordinary, or to Alumnae whose personal and professional lives exemplify Mother Maria’s challenge: “Always more, Always better, Always with love.”
- 2020 Inductee: Sister Margaret Petcavage, SSC '52
- 2020 Inductee: Marie Politowski
- RSVP to the Induction Ceremony
- Criteria for Nomination to the Wall of Fame
- Nomination & Selection Process
- Selection Committee
- Past Inductees
Sister Margaret Petcavage, SSC '52, former Member of Villa Joseph Marie’s Board of Directors and Former Assistant General Superior and Councilor for the Sisters of St. Casimir, is devoting her time as the Vice Postulator for Mother Maria Kaupas’ cause for Sainthood. Through her tireless efforts, Sister Margaret hopes to one day help bring Mother Maria to Sainthood. We are grateful to Sister Margaret for her dedication and commitment to this cause and are honored to induct her into Villa’s Wall of Fame for 2020.
Sr. Margaret shared her reflection, "I can easily see how blessed my life has been, for God has faithfully spoken. From the time I first held a book, I became an avid reader and so reading about the fun girls had in a boarding school, sparked my interest when my 8th grade teacher, Sister M. Celeste, spoke about Villa Joseph Marie. Ah my destiny was chosen! From the moment I entered the Villa my life was so enriched. I made lasting friendship with the girls and received a marvelous education. My days there were happy and lead to my vocation to enter the Sisters of St. Casimir. The Sisters were not only excellent teachers but fun to be with and soon I felt God’s call to be with them in bringing an education and love to the world. How doubly enriched my life became when I realized my home parish, St. Joseph in Scranton, PA was the very church in which Mother Maria, foundress, of our Congregation and of Villa, prayed within, for four years when she was her brother, Father Anthony's, housekeeper.
I loved my years as a teacher and principal and traveled extensively when I became a member of our Congregation’s Leadership Team. In that position, I was honored to be back at the Villa, for many years, as a Board Member. What a blessing to see the school grow and excel and most especially to witness how the spirit of Ven. Mother Maria had become a part of the very lives of Villa’s Leadership, Faculty, Staff and Students. Seeing the spirit of Mother Maria being so embodied in the lives of so many, helps my work as the Vice Postulator for Mother Maria’s Canonization Cause, so much easier.
Mother Maria established two high schools for girls because she knew that if women were educated in both faith and knowledge, the world would be a better place. She truly believed “Woman, how divine your mission!” ( W.R. Wallace 1865) How proud I am to be a part of the history of VJM, for the girls of Villa exemplify this statement to the fullest and bring it to life as they move on into the world, continually making it a better place."
Sr. M. Janine Golubickis, SSC
Henrietta Reiber Massina '49
It isn't every Congregation that gets to have their foundress named a holy person. We, Sisters, are truly blessed that Mother Maria left her zone of comfort in Lithuania, and founded a Congregation of religious women in Scranton, PA, the Sisters of St. Casimir. Thousands of lives have been touched through Mother's dedication to the Lord. We are pleased and grateful that Sister Margaret has pursued the Beatification/Canonization process for the past 28 years of her life. In order to increase devotion to Mother Maria, monthly Masses have been held at the Motherhouse for the past 32 years. Sister searched out different priests and Bishops for these Masses so that each priest as celebrant, had come to know of Mother's heroic virtuous life and thus passed this knowledge and devotion on to their parishioners.
Sr. Virginia Gapsis, SSC
Marie Politowski was as a teacher in Villa’s Science Department from 1990-2012 and served as Science Department Chair. Through her efforts, Villa’s science department grew and thrived thanks to events such as the Sciathlon, which Marie was instrumental in bringing to the school and continues to be a Villa tradition today. Marie regularly returns to campus and acts as a judge at Villa’s annual Science Fair. It is fitting that she is inducted into our Wall of Fame at this time in Villa’s history, as we are on the verge of a new STEAM hallway expansion, which will allow young women to continue to make advancements in the field of science, something to which Marie was dedicated during her time at Villa. We are grateful to Marie for her efforts to cultivate a love for the sciences in young women and are honored to induct her into Villa's Wall of Fame for 2020.
Marie shared, "I am happily married to my husband, Jim, and we have two grown sons. After a successful career as an analytical chemist, I earned my masters degree in education and began my journey at Villa. I was fortunate to have two mentors, Sister Elaine and Sister Pius, to guide me. With their help and guidance, I was able to institute the Science Fair program, the Sciathlon, and to start a chapter of the Science National Honor Society. I cherish my years at Villa which were made memorable by my wonderful students and colleagues."
Bernadette A. Boedewig
An induction ceremony, hosted by the Selection Committee, is held annually in the fall. Inductees and their families are invited to attend the ceremony. If you have received an invitation, please RSVP using the form below. Thank you!
Congratulations to these two most deserving inductees! Send your memories or well wishes for our newest Wall of Fame members by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will share them at The Wall of Fame induction ceremony.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
RSVP by Monday, August 31, 2020
- Nominee must be a Sister of St. Casimir; a lay member of the Villa Joseph Marie Faculty, Staff, Administration, or Board; or an Alumna of Villa Joseph Marie.
- Nominee may not be a current student or employee of Villa Joseph Marie.
- Nominees from the Faculty, Staff, or Administration must be retired, no longer working at Villa Joseph Marie, or deceased.
- Nominees from the Faculty, Staff, or Administration must have worked at Villa Joseph Marie for a minimum of five (5) years.
- Alumnae nominees must have graduated in good standing from Villa Joseph Marie a minimum of five (5) years prior to nomination.
- Self-nominations will not be accepted.
- Nominee must model high standards of excellence in his/her personal and professional conduct that exemplify the Mission of Villa Joseph Marie.
- Nominees from the Faculty, Staff, Administration, or Board must have made significant contributions to the growth and development of Villa Joseph Marie.
- Alumnae nominees must have made noteworthy contributions in their chosen field or in any appropriate areas of endeavor, including religion, education, public service, medicine, law, research, business/entrepreneurial, finance, media, arts/entertainment, philanthropy/volunteerism, military service, athletics, etc.
- Any member of the Villa Joseph Marie community—current and former students, staff, parents, and friends—may nominate a candidate for the Wall of Fame.
- A Nomination Form will be posted online and included in the Winter edition of The Profiler. Only nominations submitted via these forms will be accepted.
- Nominations are due by May 1 in any given year. Forms should be forwarded to: VJM Wall of Fame, Villa Joseph Marie High School, 1180 Holland Road, Holland, PA 18966
- Up to three (3) Wall of Fame Members will be chosen by the Selection Committee from the pool of nominations submitted each year, with the exception of the inaugural year (2014), in which 10 members will be named.
- All nominations will be considered by the Selection Committee and judged according to the criteria outlined above. The Selection Committee reserves the right to name more than three (3) Wall of Fame inductees in a given year or to name no inductees in a given year, based on the quality of the nominations.
- If a nominee is not elected to the Wall of Fame for a particular year, that nominee may be resubmitted in following years.
- The nominations and nominee identities shall be held in confidence by the Selection Committee.
- The Selection Committee will announce its selection(s) in The Profiler, on the Villa Joseph Marie website, and on social media.
- The decision of the Selection Committee is final.
The Wall of Fame Selection Committee is comprised of eight members and all previous Wall of Fame inductees, who are charged with the administration of the program, the review of nominations, the selection of inductees, and the recognition of inductees. Members are:
- Wall of Fame Committee Chair
- 3 current Villa Faculty/Staff members (employed by Villa for at least 5 years)
- 3 Villa Alumnae
- Past Villa Wall of Fame inductees
Inductees are invited to attend future Wall of Fame ceremonies and other Villa events. Inductees’ photos and name plates are added to a Wall of Fame display at Villa Joseph Marie.
- Sr. Johanna Marie Shainauskas, SSC, Spanish & Music Teacher 1977-1988
- Maureen Cleary, Admissions Director & Director of Institutional Advancement, 2000-2015
- Mary T. Michel, First President of Villa Joseph Marie, 1993-2015
- Lizanne McBride '74, Government/Public Policy
- Rev. Casimir P. Sirvaitis, Ph.D., Chaplain/Theology Department Chair, 1959-1972
- Aileen Kevane Alexander '94, Government/Public Policy
- Sr. Agnesine Dering, SSC, Ph.D., Principal, 1955-1961
- Sr. M. Elaine Kuizinas, SSC, Principal, 1982-2001
- Marie Leonard, Latin Teacher, 1991-2009
- Sr. Margaret Zalot, SSC '67, Board of Directors; Former President, Maria High School (Chicago, Ill.)
- Dr. Amy Reed, M.D., Ph.D. '91, Physician
- Sr. Reginald Tamulevich, SSC, Music Teacher, 1964-1970
- Lois Tyburski, Science Teacher & Department Chair, 1994-2014
- Venerable Mother Maria Kaupas, SSC, Foundress of the Sisters of St. Casimir and Villa Joseph Marie
- Sr. Mary Balkus, SSC, Principal, 1967-1976
- Sr. Madeleine Bunevicius, SSC '45, Art Teacher & Department Chair, 1968-1994
- Sr. Bernadette Marie Janus, SSC '52, Board of Directors; Former Principal, St. Bede the Venerable School (Holland, Pa.)
- Lucy Carroll, Registrar/Typing Teacher, 1962-1977
- Nancy Coyle, Basketball Coach/Physical Education & Health Teacher, 1969-1978
- Norma McCauley, Science Teacher, 1973-1989
- Edward O’Connor, Theology Teacher, 2001-2010
- Margaret “Peg” O’Neil Schenk '60, Journalist/Villa Joseph Marie Historian
- Dr. Lucy E. Carroll '64, D.M.A., Musician, Music Instructor & Author