Week 2 of Virtual Learning Coming to a Close

I was homeschooled before coming to O’Hara, so the idea of waking up later, having freedom with schoolwork, and being home most of the day isn’t new to me. However, the transition from 8-hour schooldays to virtual learning certainly took some time to get used to.

After a few missed alarms and being late to some early morning zoom meetings (sorry Mr. Brac!), I’ve been able to get into a routine of schoolwork, activity (inside of course), and family time. With week 2 of virtual learning coming to an end, life is starting to get back to normal, mostly thanks to my teachers. I’d especially like to give a shoutout to Mrs. Rowitt, who has done a great job since the beginning of communicating clearly with us and making at-home learning interesting!

One thing I’ve learned to appreciate about the new system is the flexibility I now have to learn in ways that work best for me- I can pause videos to take notes, privately zoom with teachers to discuss issues, and even arrange my homework schedule to fit my needs for the day. Another perk of being outside the classroom is that I can now FaceTime my friends if I need help with homework, or just need a fun break from working. Although it’s definitely way different from what we all expected for this school year, I’m learning to appreciate virtual learning in new ways every day… but I’m counting down the days until I get to see all my friends and teachers at O’Hara again!

Written By: Haley Garecht ’22

“Everything has been a bit crazy lately, but I encourage everyone to make the most of it!”

It is currently the second week of virtual learning! The first week went very well. I was a bit worried since I didn’t know what to expect, but in all of my classes, we continued with the lessons as if we were physically in class at O’Hara. All of the teachers did a great job of moving their lessons online in such a short time frame. They’ve given us assignments on Google Classroom, Uploaded pre-recorded lessons, and some even have their classes live on Zoom. It isn’t the same as being in a classroom where you can raise your hand, and the teacher can immediately answer your question, but the teachers have worked hard to try to get back to us.

The thing I miss the most by now just staying at home is the social aspect of being at school. I miss my friends so much, but luckily we’ve been texting and FaceTiming each other frequently. Mrs. Evert has done an amazing job with planning different activities for us to do at home, such as the March Madness Song Bracket or the Virtual Talent Contest. Since I am at home, I have the chance to be with my family more. The other day my twin brother, Chase, and I made pizzas from scratch, which came out surprisingly good. We also got to celebrate our birthday, which was on the 18th. Even though our parties are postponed, we still made the most out of it and had a little party with homemade cake. It was nice spending time with him since we are normally seen bickering in the hallways. 

Everything has been a bit crazy lately, but I encourage everyone to make the most of it! Since we have a lot more free time than usual, pick up a new hobby or binge watch some shows on Netflix that you haven’t gotten around to. Text and FaceTime your friends to see how they’re doing. Make sure you spend time with your family. Sometimes it may be hard to find the time since we all have busy schedules, but now is the perfect opportunity! Also, make sure you stay safe, stay at home, and wash your hands!

-Written By: Melanie Jackson


Virtual Learning- A Student’s Perspective

For almost two weeks now, I along with the rest of the O’Hara community have been staying inside to remain safe and healthy during this crazy time. I for one am glad that I go to a school like Cardinal O’Hara where just because we don’t all get to go to school everyday doesn’t mean we lose our school spirit.

When it comes to academics, everyone has been on the ball and getting things going in no time! I think it’s really cool how both the teachers and students adjusted so well so quickly and successfully. Through the guidance of my teachers I have been able to use all kinds of interactive learning sites such as Google Classroom, Flipgrid, and NoRedInk to continue my Cardinal O’Hara education. I have also had the opportunity to experience Zoom classes with my Vocal, Spanish, and English classes. It is scary to think that the 3rd quarter comes to a close just this Friday, but with a daily routine and a good mindset, I am finding it easy to complete all my work on time and still have fun with the whole virtual aspect of it. Also, there is more to our virtual adjustment that keeps me motivated and encouraged besides academics.

Everyday there are new things to dive into to stay connected. Social media has also been a big help in keeping me engaged with the O’Hara community like March Madness song brackets, coffee breaks, Instagram shoutouts, morning prayer, and even Lenten Reflections given by my fellow peers on the O’Hara Instagram. I am overall loving my virtual learning experience and it’s all because of the O’Hara Community not letting go of that Lion Pride!

-Written by Gavin Lewis ’21

Legacy of the Lion: Roy DeCaro ’67

Recently, Roy DeCaro ’67 was named Philadelphia’s 2018 Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers of America. This is a repeat of his 2014 designation. “Lawyer of the Year” recognition is awarded to individual attorneys with the highest overall peer feedback in their practice area.

A. Roy DeCaro has tried more than 200 jury trials during his legal career, first as a prosecutor and now as a civil attorney. As a prosecutor, he persuaded juries to convict murderers, drug dealers, motorcycle gang members, organized crime figures, corrupt police officers and corrupt public officials. As a civil trial lawyer, Roy has represented those who have been seriously injured or killed by others’ negligence, including those injured due to medical error, unsafe products, negligent drivers and the like. He often is asked to mediate and arbitrate cases by plaintiff and defense lawyers. He has been called upon to serve on several Blue Ribbon Panels including panels to recommend institutional changes in the Philadelphia Police Department and the Philadelphia Criminal Court System. He is an adjunct Law Professor at Villanova Law School teaching Evidence.

Mr. DeCaro has consistently been named a “Super Lawyer” in Philadelphia Magazine, and has been ranked as one of the top 10 lawyers in Pennsylvania on two occasions. He was named by “Lawdragon” Magazine as one of the 500 best lawyers in the United States.

Recently, Mr. DeCaro sat down to answer some questions for our Legacy of the Lion series.

1. What elementary school did you go to?

St. Callistus in West Philadelphia. Now closed.

2. Who were your closest friends at O’Hara?

I was lucky enough to have several close friends. Jim Quigley, Mick McGinnis, Mark Simpson, Ray Van Haute, Fran Van Kirk, Ray DiGuiseppi, Ray Offenheiser, Linda Rocci, Fran Arpa, to name a few.

3. What activities were you involved in during high school (at O’Hara and outside of school–a job, volunteering, etc.)?

Varsity tennis, one year of football (broke my hand), participated in the production of “Oliver,” worked at Sears, Roebuck at 69th Street (no longer there) as a soda jerk, basically.

4. Which teacher/administrator/coach at O’Hara had the greatest impact on your life and why?

Monsignor Louis D’Addezio. He was our tennis coach and demanded that I try out for a part in the production of Oliver during my senior year. To this day, I love drama because of that. Also, his passion and sincerity is something that I believe I latched onto and which helped me throughout my life.

5. What were your favorite classes?

Fr. McBride and Mr. Grillo’s English classes.

 6. What is your greatest memory from your days at O’Hara?

Playing Bill Sikes in “Oliver.” Being the number one guy on the varsity tennis team, which won Cardinal O’Hara’s first city championship in 1967. Beating Overbrook’s number one player to win the championship for Cardinal O’Hara is still the highlight of my sports career.

7. If you could go back to your high school self and give some advice, what would it be?

I regret not being more active in preventing bullying, which I observed. If I had to do it over again, I just wouldn’t allow that to occur in my presence.

8. What advice do you have for our many students who plan to pursue a career as an attorney or in the legal field?

Take courses that will improve your writing and speaking. Think about your motives for entering into the legal field. If your motive is to help people, you’ll love it. If your motive is just to make a lot of money, you probably won’t love it.

9. Do you keep in touch with any of your O’Hara classmates or teachers? Anyone you want to send a shout out to?

I keep in touch with Monsignor D’Addezio. Jim Quigley and I remain very close.

10. You were recently named “Lawyer of the Year.” That’s a tremendous honor. What would you attribute this and your many other successes to?

I think my Catholic education at Cardinal O’Hara and Villanova set the stage for the rest of my life. Plus, my wife Mary is the wise one in our family and whenever I’m about to do something idiotic, she always steers me in the right direction.

 Photo and biography courtesy of Raynes McCarty Trial and Appellate Lawyers.

Stephanie Fratoni ’11 Receives 2017 Otho Davis Scholarship

Stephanie Fratoni ‘11 was presented with the 2017 Otho Davis Scholarship at the Annual Award Banquet held at the Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia on Tuesday November 14, 2017.

The Otho Davis Scholarship Foundation was created to provide assistance to graduate students in the disciplines of sports medicine, sports marketing, or a related field. The Board of Trustees seeks candidates who have exhibited qualities in the area of scholarship, service and dedication to their chosen field.

Stephanie Fratoni received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Lehigh University in 2015. She is attending Thomas Jefferson University perusing a Doctorate of Physical Therapy and is expected to graduate in May 2018. She was a member of the Lehigh Field Hockey Team, a 3 year Captain, named Scholar Athlete of the Year (2X), Academic All Patriot League (2x), Second Team All Patriot League (2X) and Team MVP.

While at Lehigh, Stephanie participated in Lehigh Athletics Leadership Academy, P.R.I.D.E. ( Personal Responsibility in Determining Excellence), the Community Outreach by Athletes Who Care About Helping program (C.O.A.C.H.) She raised money to purchase Christmas presents for underprivileged children as well as read weekly with elementary school children with the intention of boosting reading scores. Stephanie was the IMPACT leader that organized events for an adopted teammate, Alyson, to participate in with the field hockey team. As part of the program Stephanie played volleyball with her special needs team one day a week when she did not have field hockey. She is carrying forth this altruism by volunteering at Jefferson University’s student-run Hands of Hope a pro-bono clinic and serving as the Fundraising Director for the physical therapy society to raise money for various charitable organizations including the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Stephanie continues to give back to the sport that gave her so much by coaching at the high school level despite the grueling demands of the doctorate program.


O’Hara Cappies Critics’ Reviews Selected for Publication

The Critics’ Award Program (CAPPIES) is a nationwide organization dedicated to supporting the performing arts. Faculty mentors select the best reviews submitted for publication, and student critics vote on the top performances for the CAPPIES Gala in May. Cardinal O’Hara is the only diocesan high school member of the 38 school Greater Philadelphia CAPPIES. Student critics vie to be published in local media outlets by attending productions at other schools and writing critical reviews.

O’Hara’s six-member Cappies team is off to a roaring start! The team has attended two local theater performances (at Episcopal Academy and Upper Merion High School) and reviews submitted for each of the performances have been selected from among the dozens submitted for publication. This is a tremendous honor for the students, for O’Hara and for Cappies moderator, Mr. David Kelly.

Junior and lead CAPPIES critic Kristin Ciampitti had her review of the Episcopal Academy production of Inherit the Wind selected for publication. Freshman Katie Tuberosa had her review for the Upper Merion production of The 39 Steps selected for publication.

Both students’ reviews are posted below. Congratulations and God bless, Kristin, Katie and our Cappies team!

INHERIT THE WIND at Episcopal Academy
Review by Kristin Ciampitti

Episcopal Academy brings us back to a pivotal time in U.S. history with the play Inherit the Wind. The talented actors and actresses take you right into the courthouse gallery to witness firsthand the evolution of the famous Scopes “Monkey” Trial.

Kristin Ciampitti ’19

Set in Tennessee in 1925, Inherit the Wind is a fictional dramatization of the trial of Bertram Cates, a small-town high school teacher who chose not to teach creationism to his students, but rather Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, which was illegal at the time. In the play, Cates is being defended by Henry Drummond, a renowned lawyer and known atheist. They are going up against Matthew Harrison Brady, who is a talented public speaker and presidential candidate.

Jacob Viscusi, who played Henry Drummond, delivered his lines with a seriousness and eloquence that gave his character depth. With the same intensity in his performance was Arnav Shiva, who portrayed Tom Davenport, the lawyer for Brady. The clash of these titans electrified every court scene.

Adelynn Anderson, the sarcastic reporter, E.K. Hornbeck, brought a bit of comic relief to the serious play. Mckee Bond, who was Matthew Harrison Brady, completely sold the slightly egotistical, religious, southern politician with his accent and mannerisms throughout the play.

Not only were the actors who had the lead roles passionate, but the townspeople were as well. In any scene involving a crowd of people, those with minor roles provided an enthusiastic response. One of the more notable scenes that this passion was evident in was the prayer meeting. They were yelling and getting on their knees as some of the more zealous religious people may do during these kinds of speeches. Everyone had their lines memorized and recited their complicated speeches without stuttering.

Not only was the acting amazing but the sets were too. The sets were well crafted and designed to utilize their resources wisely. In one scene, they pushed two tables together to create a platform for the prayer meeting. The lighting was another aspect that brought the play together. The lighting was well done and did not have any noticeable mistakes. They incorporated a few tricks as well, such as camera flashes that helped make scenes more immersive.

Overall the cast and crew of Episcopal Academy pulled off a beautiful rendition of Inherit the Wind.

THE 39 STEPS at Upper Merion High School
by: Katie Tuberosa

The 39 Steps is a spellbinding show that requires full attention or the audience might

Katie Tuberosa ’21

miss a key event in the story. With the constant costume and character changes, it could be easy for the message of the show to be lost but Upper Merion Area High School’s production of The 39 Steps was executed to near perfection.

The 39 Steps is an action-adventure story adapted from the book. Richard Hanney was wrongly accused of the murder of Annabella Schmidt, a spy on a mission to stop the malevolent Professor Jordan. Annabella leaves Richard with the task of stopping The 39 Steps (a group of spies) from stealing British Military Secrets. Richard meets some comical characters, almost gets killed, and falls in love. All of these elements combine to create a humorous, nonstop action show.

Moments into the show, the audience was given a glimpse at Trinity Pike (Mr. Memory) who perfectly portrayed the man who can recall anything. Mr. Memory is a brief, yet prominent role that ties together the show together. The way Trinity delivered her lines with ease showed her dedication to embody this memorable role.

Anna Bobok (Annabella Schmidt/Heavy #1) and Ema Isajiw (Pilot #1/Heavy #2) proved to the audience that they can be in featured roles as part of a hilarious dynamic duo. They played off each other and their energy was contagious. If not for the playbill listing the multiple roles played by the actors, it would be quite difficult to realize that they already played more than one role for they added unique assets to each character they portrayed. Anna’s German accent was authentic, while her Heavy #1’s voice was deep and masculine. As Pilot #1 and Heavy #2, Ema exuded confidence in every move she made. These character actresses brought the comic relief to this performance.

Neil Patel’s (Richard Hanney) stage presence was truly second-to-none. His body language and how he reacted to every single twist and turn helped the audience make sense of this show. Neil is truly the backbone of Upper Merion’s production for the characters played off his confidence and energy.

The singular set piece was cleverly used in several ways. Ayana Devaull’s (the prop master) props were well done and a sight to be seen. The stage crew and their leader, Taylor Mengel, made the scene changes quick and seamless. Overall, the technical aspect of this show was top-notch.

The 39 Steps was a memorable production that left the audience wanting more and demonstrated how Upper Merion’s theater program is a force to be reckoned with.





September “Lions of the Month” Roar!

Each month O’Hara students are selected by the faculty as “Lions of the Month.” Faculty and staff vote for students who make a difference here at O’Hara. The inaugural group of students to receive this distinguished honor are featured below. We are proud of our lions and congratulate them, as well as their families and elementary schools. God bless each of you!

Martin Meenan ’19
St Francis of Assisi (St Francis of Assisi)

Activities: Student Council, NHS, Operation Santa Claus, Soccer, Tennis, Basketball Manager, Link Crew, CSC, Mock Trial, Math Club, Special Olympics, Big Buddy

Leadership Positions: CSC Class Officer

Volunteer/Employment: CCC Stage Crew, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Basketball

Favorite Thing About O’Hara: My favorite thing about O’Hara is the amount of sports and clubs we offer.

Izabella Cipresso ’20
Strath Haven Middle School (St. Johns)

Activities: Softball and Development Thon Committee

Volunteer/Employment: I run an Anti-Bully Walk.

Favorite Thing About O’Hara: Football games and fundraisers

Yaneana Leedie ’21
Saint Francis Xavier School (Acts of The Apostles )

Activities: Band, Lion Ambassador

Volunteer/Employment: Dance, Work

Favorite Thing About O’Hara: The people and how willing everyone is to talk to you or give you advice.

Jennifer Eburuoh ’19
Blessed Virgin Mary School (St. Anastasia)

Activities: Community Service Corps, Lion Ambassadors, Hi-Q, Link Crew, World Affairs, Golden Touch, Rosary Club, Soccer, NHS, Softball, Operation Santa Clause, Debate Club, Pro-Life Club, Dance Marathon Technology Committee

Leadership Positions: Officer for CSC, Officer for Lion Ambassadors, Captain for Dance Marathon Technology Committee

Volunteer/Employment: Divine Providence Village Volunteer, Tutor

Favorite Thing About O’Hara: My favorite thing about O’Hara is the character of the students. I love seeing my classmates support each other whether it is on the football field, on stage, or in the classroom.

Gavin Lewis ’21
Our Lady of Angels Regional Catholic School (Our Lady of Fatima )

Activities: Community Service Corps, Theatre Program, Choir, Robotics Club, Sandwich Club, and Lion Ambassadors.

Volunteer/Employment: Youth Group & Catholic Community Choir

Favorite Thing About O’Hara: My favorite thing at O’Hara is by far the Theatre program. The songs are so intense and great that it is a whole new experience! The dancing is great too! I have already met so many new friends and had so many cool and funny experiences that I will remember all my life. I am definitely going to be a part of the theatre program all four years of high school.

Jack Tuberosa ’19
St. Pius X School (St. Pius)

Activities: Community Service Corps, National Honor Society, WCOH, Lion Ambassadors, Link Crew, Broadcast Club, Soccer, Dance Marathon Tech Committee, Operation Santa Claus

Leadership Positions: Junior officer for Lion Ambassadors; Co-President of Broadcast Club

Volunteer/Employment: St. Pius summer camp counselor; sacristant for St. Pius Parish; KYW Newstudies Internship

Favorite Thing About O’Hara: The friends that I have made throughout my time here.

Emma Dunham ’18
Holy Saviour (k-6) Holy Family Regional Catholic School (7-8) (St. John Fisher)

Activities: Peer Leadership, Yearbook, Link Crew, National Honors Society (NHS), Dance Marathon, CSC (Don Guanella, Sandwich Club, Golden Touch, Special Olympics at Villanova, Philabundance, and Operation Santa Claus).

Leadership Positions: I am a leader in CSC and a leader in Peer Leadership which works to make other students, especially seniors become more aware of the harmful effects of alcohol and substance abuse.

Volunteer/Employment: During summer of 2017, I dedicated my time to helping serve St. Katherine Drexel’s Cupboard.

Favorite Thing About O’Hara: Without a doubt, my favorite thing is being a member of CSC. This club has sincerely shown me the true meaning of service. I am always recruiting more people, especially freshmen, to join CSC.

Kevin Osayi ’20
Sharon Hill Elementary (Saint George)

Activities: Regina Chesterton, Pro-Life, Big Buddy

Leadership Positions: Pro-Life

Volunteer/Employment: Tutoring younger kids from my grade school.

Favorite Thing About O’Hara: The stable and supportive learning environment.


O’Hara Theater Students Hone Their Craft in the Summer

Upper Darby Summer Stage is a Delaware County institution! Their list of notable alumni is extensive and the opportunities they offer students to hone their craft is priceless!

Their first 2017 production, “Annie,” will open on July 5th. And the O’Hara theater students have taken this local community theater program by storm.We are proud to say that three of the leads are O’Hara students: Katie Till ’20 (“Annie”), Dylan Rooney ’19 (“Daddy Warbucks”) and Tina Goldhorn ’20 (“Ms. Hannigan.”) Additionally, other O’Hara students play other roles and are in the ensemble.

“We are so proud of all of the O’Hara students who are participating in community theater this summer! We are excited to witness many of these students perform in ‘Annie’. The arts are a vital part of the O’Hara experience and we are blessed to have a world of opportunities for our students to gain valuable experience this summer,” reflected Jeff Braconnier, O’Hara choral and theater director.

Harry Dietzler, Artistic and Executive Director of Upper Darby Summer Stage, echoes those sentiments, “We have been blessed with having many of the talented Cardinal O’Hara High School students join us over the years and perform on our stage. It is our goal to not only provide training in theater arts, but more importantly, teach Summer Stage students the skills to be a great citizens: empathy, collaborative skills, and respect for others. We think these values align closely with O’Hara’s goals so it’s a win-win for all involved!”

Upper Darby Summer Stage is offering a great ticket package to celebrate our O’Hara students in this show with “O’Hara Morning at Summer Stage” for the show on Wednesday, July 5 at 10:30 am. Visit https://udpac.secure.force.com/ticket/ to get your tickets. Use ohara as a code to get $2 off every ticket purchased for that performance.


Leaving a Legacy…

Meet the Tumolos: Matt, Diane (Duffin ’82) and Olivia ’17. Alexandra and Caroline ’13 are also members of the Tumolo family, our extended O’Hara family. Recently, Diane and Matt were discussing ways to give back to O’Hara, a second home to their family for years, and they had a great idea to involve members of the Class of 2017 in giving back.

On Tuesday, June 6th, Matt and Diane spoke to the seniors the day before these students officially became alumni. They spoke of the importance of giving back to O’Hara, the home of those 253 students for years. At the end of their remarks, Diane told the class that the Tumolo family was donating $5 for each senior to ‘give’ back to The O’Hara Fund and begin their life as supporters of their alma mater. The Class of 2017 erupted into applause and eagerly signed up to be part of this ground-breaking initiative.

Thanks to the Tumolos, we are proud to say that the Class of 2017 has 100% participation in The O’Hara Fund! What a tremendous blessing for O’Hara! The O’Hara Fund is vital to supporting all of the programs and services for our school. With the support of families, friends, corporations and our more than 30,000 alumni, we are able to provide many programs and services to enhance the education of our students. Donations to The O’Hara Fund may be made online at http://www.cohs.com/donate or checks may be mailed to Office of Advancement, 1701 S. Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064.

Thank you, Tumolo family! And thank you, Class of 2017!