Metro Catholic Alumni

We are proud of our Metro Catholic Alum. 

How do you sum up “30 Years of Empowering Dreams”?

Sr. Mary Jean Strathern was charged with designing a bulletin board display that would “celebrate the families and the kids” of Metro Catholic School. So she dug through newsletters, an alumni page on the web, Facebook and Google to track down the best of the best post-grad success stories. With 1,900 graduates, there were plenty of candidates for this wall of fame.

“Kids leave here with such a good feeling about their education,” she said. “We help them develop their whole selves — spiritually, intellectually, and socially.“

Please enjoy the slideshow of our Amazing Alum and their Success stories!

Here are a few samples of what Sr. Mary Jean found:

Sarah Jawhari, class of 2003
Sarah is a resident physician at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York.  She received her DMD from Case Western Reserve Dental School. Sarah, a native of Lebanon, spoke Arabic when she arrived in Cleveland and benefitted from Metro Catholic’s ESL program.

Khoi Vo, class of 2004
Khoi is a PhD student in cognition and cognitive neuroscience at Duke University. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jieming Tang, class of 2012
Jieming came to Metro Catholic from the Anhui Province in China. Today, he attends the Juilliard School. His favorite musical experience was touring China as part of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

Ariell and Luis Mullins, class of 2003
The Mullins, who graduated from Metro Catholic, both work at the Cleveland Clinic. Ariell is a surgical nurse and Luis is a medical technician. They have two children.

Maria Cecilia Buniel, class of 1992
Maria received a Bachelor of Science degree from Kent State University and Master of Science from Northwestern University. She earned her medical degree from Case Lerner School of Medicine.  Today, Maria is an ENT doctor in Billings, Montana.

Stop in St. Stephen School and see who else is on on the bulletin board display of outstanding graduates.

With some of our graduates now in their 40s, we know that are many more success stories out there.

Send a photo and a summary of how Metro Catholic empowered your dreams to:
Metro Catholic School, Advancement Office
3555 West 54th Street
Cleveland OH 44102

Allison Dykes - Class of 2009

Allison graduated from Miami University in 2017 with a degree in Art Management. She also studied Art & Architectural History & Classical Humanities.

Allison has a Pop-Up Gallery featuring five new artists. It will be set up at the Great Northern Mall September 23-29. Her dream is to someday own her own gallery where she can feature others’ art.

She has always loved art and from a young age took out library books on “How to Draw.” She wanted to work in a Museum. Now Allison is working as a Circulation Assistant at the Rocky River Library.

Andy Orta - Class of 2001

As a member of the graduating class of 2001 from Metro Catholic Parish School, I attribute much of my success and character attributes to the times spent in grade school. From a young age, I was taught to push myself academically all the while embracing the message from the Church of treating others fairly and helps those in need. Metro Catholic paved the way for me to attend nearby St. Ignatius High School, where my faith and love for higher education allowed me to flourish not only academically but spiritually. Upon completion of high school, I attended John Carroll University where I studied Biology and Spanish. My continued passion to help others while wanting to further my education lead me to enroll at the Kent State College of Podiatric Medicine. From there I matched at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation/Mercy Regional Medical Center residency program where I specialized in podiatric medicine and reconstructive forefoot and rearfoot surgery. I was most recently hired by a private practice here in Northeast Ohio located in Mentor and Chardon, Ohio. 

There were many road blocks along the way leading me to where I am now as a young professional. Metro Catholic and the lessons I learned while roaming the halls there truly prepared me for the next chapter in my life and for that I will be forever grateful. I currently keep in contact with many of my classmates from Metro Catholic who have all thrived in various professions. I pray for continued success those who matriculate through the same halls I did so many years ago.



 Pendeza Wadesisi - Class of 2010

Pendeza was born in the Congo and came to the USA entering Metro when she was in the 6th grade.  Despite speaking only Swahili, Pendeza quickly applied herself to learning English and her other studies.  Pendez is pursuing a nursing degree at Notre Dame College.

 Katie Lewis - Class of 2000

Her friends know her as "Katie" but her students call her "Mrs. Dekker".  Katie is beginning her 14th year teaching at her alma mater!  She has taught 2nd & 4th grades and is presently teaching 3rd.  When she was a very young student, she informed Sr. Anne that she would teach at Metro "when I grow up".  You may know Katie's mom, Judy Lewis, the former Boniface building Secretary who know helps keep Metro's Advancement Office running.  Her sister, Jennifer (Class of 1998) has three children that attended our school, Lilly, Paige and Ayden.  Katie also works in Guests Services for the Cleveland Indians, and has been with them for 17 years.


Ariell (Broa) & Luis Mullins - Class of 2003

Ariell & Luis are pictured here with their children Luis and Leira.  Both grads are employed at the Cleveland Clinic.  Ariell is a surgical nurse and Luis is a medical technician who matches recipients with donors for implants.  You know Ariell's mom, Betty Broa, who keeps us safe on the street and playground and helps keep our school running smoothly.


Keny Medina - Class of 2004

Keny is pictured here with his wife, Shaleika.  He graduated from Kent State with a degree in architecture and a minor in anthropology.  He is a designer and creator hoping to leave "a monument in society that outlives me."

Charles Vaughn - Class of 2002

Charles is pictured here with his students in the Japanese International Teaching Program.  He credits Metro Catholic with inspiring is goal to teach abroad.  The diverse student body at Metro was a direct influence in changing his major from communications to East Asian Studies.  Charles taught English in Japan for three years before returning stateside.  Presently Charles works with people and computers at the Cleveland Public Library on Lorain.

2014 Alum Win Lexus Eco Challenge

Congratulations to Joslyn Muniz, Jadalise Pacheco, Alicia Valladares and Esther Ngemba, Metro Catholic Class of 2014, for being part of Team Enerjagers that won the National Grand Prize in the Lexus Eco Challenge 2017 - 2018.  (A national STEM competition)  The team worked for years to help the country's carbon footprint through the reuse of materials normally thrown away or have energy spent on recycling them.  They created "Second Chance Candles".  The candles use clear bread bags, made up of plastic #4, a material that is no longer recycled.
May 23, 2018
From Metro Catholic & St. Joseph websites



Ingrid Cheung - Class of 2014

Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced that senior Saint Joseph Academy Ingrid Cheung is named a National Merit Commended Student.  Ingrid is among the top 5% of the 1.6 million students who entered the 2018 competition by taking the PSAT/NMSQT.  Ingrid's academinc and extracurricular activity achievements are a testament to her determination.  In addition to her hard work in the classroom, Ingrid exemplifies the "Character of a Saint Joseph Graduate" as she strives to "serve the dear neighbor" through her countless hours of community service.  Her career interests are Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry.

Freddy Meyers - Class of 2007

Freddy has always loved working outside. Joining his father’s business after graduating John Marshall was a “no brainer”.  After his dad retired, Freddy took over Al’s Lawncare Service where he continues his landscaping work.  Freddy also loves gardening. He and his family have a 20’ X 20’ plot in the Cleveland Garden on Franklin & 54th Street. Potatoes, corn, fava beans, tomatoes, carrots and green peppers are surrounded by lush raspberry bushes.

Tamara Thomas - Class of 2014

Congratulations to Metro Catholic Class of 2014 alum Tamara Thomas! Tamara, a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland, has been named as the Youth of the Year for the state of Ohio. Tamara now moves on to Chicago this summer where she will have a chance to compete for a spot at the national level.

After her graduation in June, 2018 from Washington Park Environmental Studies Academy, she will persue her dream of earning a law degree at Xavier University.

Jieming Tang - Class of 2012

Jieming Tang Jieming Tang, born in 1997 in Hefei, China, started his violin studies with Tian Feng at age three. When he was eight, he began to study violin with Zhao Wei at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and entered the Conservatory’s pre-college division the next year In April 2010, Jieming came to the United States to join the Junior Young Artist Program of the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying violin with Paul Kantor, and chamber music with Annie Fullard and Joel Smirnoff. He was also a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

After coming to the U.S., Jieming has actively performed in churches, retirement communities, schools and other venues. Jieming attended St. Ignatius High School, and currently attends The Juilliard School.

Khoi Vo - Class of 2004

Khoi is a PhD student in the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience program in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He is interested in utilizing interdisciplinary approaches to study the processes and mechanisms underlying human decision making. Specifically, Khoi is interested in understanding the interplay of reward and attention and their influence on choices and behavior. Khoi is proficient with various research methodologies, including self-reports, eye tracking, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), eye tracking, biometrics (skin conductance, heart rate variability), and electroencephalography (EEG).

Prior to joining the Huettel Lab, Khoi was a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Neural Decision Making at Fox School of Business and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. In his free time, Khoi likes to explore the local food scene for delicious and cheap eats.

Maria Cecilia Buniel  - 1992 Alum

Maria was in one of the first graduating classes from the merged Metro Catholic.

She completed high school at St. Joseph Academy in 1996 and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Kent State.   Maria’s next step was a Master of Science degree from Northwestern University.   Continuing her pursuit of medicine, Maria graduated with a medical degree from Case Lerner School of Medicine in 2010.   Her residency in ENT (ear, nose, throat) was in Portland Oregon.

Maria is currently a practicing ENT doctor in Billings, Montana.


Mailynh Vu

The Metro Catholic Advisory Board is proud to have, Mailynh Vu, the first-ever Metro Catholic Alum as a new boardmember. Mailynh graduated from Metro Catholic in 1995 and then attended St. Joseph Academy and Olmsted Falls High School. She earned a degree in business marketing at Baldwin Wallace College and worked for manufacturing and consulting companies in Ohio and Washington DC.

Mailynh is a proud employee of the Cleveland Indians front office. She is assistant director of talent acquisition. Her responsibilities include recruitment and human relations for the business side of Tribe operations.

Mailynh married her long-time friend Thien Nguyen in August 2016 at St. Stephen Church.

Brooke Hamilton

Brooke graduated from Metro Catholic in 2005, and was in St. Joseph Academy's class of '09.

Brooke graduated from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, receiving her Juris Doctorate with summa cum laude honors,  has passed Ohio bar exam and is now an officially licensed attorney in Ohio.

Brooke is an Associate Attorney at the firm Gallagher Sharp in Cleveland, OH.  



Krista Freeman

Krista was in the class of '03.   She graduated from St. Joseph Academy in 2007. 

Krista received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Cleveland State University and is the first award recipient from the CSU Honors College.  Krista was also one of Saint Josph Academy's 2015 "25 Under 35" honorees.

Sarah Jawhari

Sarah attended Metro Catholic in the late 90's and has fond memories of Sr. Ann Michael, art class and Mr. Fink. She also remembers being part of the ESL program. 

Sarah graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2013, Magna Cum Laude, with a BA degree in Chemistry and a BA in English.  She is currently in her second year of dental school at the Case School of Dental Medicine, and will graduate with her DMD in 2017.



Samantha Stypa

Samantha Stypa was in the Class of 2010, and graduated from Cleveland Central Catholic High School in June, 2014.  Samantha maintained at 4.0 grade point average and participated in volleyball, Student Ambassadors, Student Senate and National Honor Society.  With encouragement from her teachers, Samantha gained confidence and embraced leadership opportunities while at Central Catholic. 

Samantha considered pursuing a degree in forensics, but after participating in a blood drive at CCC, she changed course.  Currently, she is putting her math skills to great use by studying computer science at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio.


Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith was in the Class of 1998, graduated from Magnificat High School, and attended both Marquette and John Carroll University with a degree in sociology, concentrating in human services and criminology.  Kelly now is a current member of the Cleveland Police Department.

Kelly completed CPD training and graduated as top female in her Police Academy Class of 2011.  There she met her husband, Andrew, who is also with the Cleveland Police Department.  Kelly and Andrew have two daughters.

Kelly has fond memories of student council, art classes with Ms. Andrews and field days at Michael Zone Recreation Center.  Kelly's grandmother, Rose Cummings, still volunteers every week in the Boniface Building Library.




 Stephanie Mentz Bruce

Stephanie was a St. Boniface student in third grade when the Metro Catholic merge was announced.  She recalls the excitement of visiting the main campus for the first time to meet new friends from St. Michael's and St. Stephen's.  Stephanie still stays in touch with Metro Catholic teachers and recalls that the teachers always took personal interest in their students. 

Stephanie's favorite Metro Catholic memories include participation in winning sports teams ~ the inspiration for her current career at Assistant Women's Basketball Coach at Notre Dame College. 


Megan Creter

Megan Creter graduated from Metro Catholic in 2008 and from Cleveland Central Catholic in 2012.  She is now well on her way to a degree in education with an emphasis in special education at Notre Dame College. 

Reflecting on Metro Catholic, Megan has fond memories of basketball, the Robotics Club and the Handbell Ensemble. She always felt like she had a second family at Metro Catholic and still keeps in touch with some of her teachers.  Megan says, "My teachers at Metro Catholic motivated me to overcome a learning disability.  That experience helps me to be successful now."

Raaziq Eiland

Raaziq Eiland was in the Class of 2008, and graduated from Kent-Roosevelt High School in 2012.  Currently, he is a senior at Kent State with a major in Accounting.  Raaziq has done two internships with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and is looking foward to another next summer.   He has studied abroad, traveling to many countries over the past couple of years; England, France, Antigua, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, and St. Lucia.  In May 2014, Raaziq went to Israel, the subject being Comparative Religious Thoughts, especially regarding Christianity, Judaism and Islam.


Melanie Mitchell & Amanda Giddens

In February of 2013, alumni Amanda Giddens and Melanie Mitchell visited Metro Catholic to share their fond memories.  They were delighted to find many staff members they remember still working at Metro Catholic.  Both women were with us from Preschool through graduation in 1999.  Amanda then went on to Padua Franciscan High School and Melanie to St. Augustine High School.  Much to their surprise they met up again later as students at Cleveland State.  They became daily study partners and both graduated with a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree in 2011. 

Currently Amanda is working in out-patient sports re-hab for University Hospitals and Melanie is employed by the Life Care Center of Elyria that specializes in short-term re-hab.  Both have goals of additional physical therapy certifications. 

In addition to academic training, both women believe the Metro Catholic nurtured interactive personal skills and team work.  They recall that their teachers really believed in them and treated everyone with empathy and compassion.   Congratulations to Amanda and Melanie.  We are proud of you!



Francisco Santiago (2009 Alum) was named

by the Plain Dealer as Northeast Lakes

District Player of the year in Division I.

Francisco plays for Ignatius High School.

Congratulations to Francisco.


Tatiana Perez

Her friends call her "Tatiana" while her preschool
students call her "Mrs. Mayo".  Tatiana attended
preschool through 8th grade at Metro.  After
graduating from St. Joseph Academy, she attended
Walsh College for a year before returning home to
assist her family.   When our preschool was in need
of an aide a few years back, Tatiana agreed to
return to the Boniface building to help our little
children get a great start!

Saja Abid,  a Metro Catholic graduate of 2009 and currently a student at John Hay School of Science and Medicine, was awarded a $10,000 college scholarship. Saja was honored at the Cleveland Browns game of December 16th. Congratulations to Saja, her family and all her teachers past and present!

Class of 2012: 77 proud graduates, their parents, teachers and friends celebrated their past and present successes and achievements on June 6. We wish them congratulations and blessings now and in the future.

Families celebrate the graduation of sons, Ricky, Jose, Carlos, Chris and Javi (2012) with a special evening of prayer, dinner, special presentations and dancing. "Our sons have graduated from Metro Catholic School and they have made unforgettable memories. Today we celebrate their success as they begin their next chapter in their educational journey. May the Lord guide their path with good decision making to always strive to make their lives a success!"

Charles Vaughn (2002) graduated from John Carroll this month. He plans to teach language either in Japan or Brazil.

Congratulations to Victor Torres (1999) for his research paper, A Closer Look at the Racial Disparity Rates in Michigan Schools published in McNair Scholars Research Journal, Vol. 4, Fall 2011. Victor is a McNair Scholar at Eastern Michigan University.

Regina Alvarado (2009) has just been inducted into the National Honor Society at Holy Name High School. Regina received this honor because of her leadership, service, character & scholarship. Congratulations Regina!

Kyle Deforrest (2005) remembers, “I always loved music and art classes and really appreciated the music in our prayer celebrations.”  Kyle first performed at Metro Catholic as a fourth grader, appearing as Tevye, singing,  "If I Were a Rich Man."

Kyle’s nervousness about performing in front of audiences is now a thing of the past, as he is a professional songwriter and singer. His dream is to take his music to the biggest stage possible, but in the meantime, “I enjoy playing on small stages where I can see my audience and interact with them.”

Two experiences — seeing a film about Woodstock, and his acquaintance with many diverse friends at Metro Catholic, have created in Kyle a love of all kinds of music: folk, rock, Latin rock, rap, country and blues.  He is proficient in classical guitar.

Kyle advises students at Metro Catholic to stay open, “Dreams can change.  It is important to try many different things; don’t give up.”

Kyle recently spent a day with our Friday music classes & shared with them
his experiences as a student, singer, composer and entertainer.


Jason Bindel (1992) is founder and owner of
Bindel Farm in Spencer, Ohio. Jason's "green"
dream began in 2005 when he bought the farm.
It is not a traditional farm, but has an organic
approach. Jason says, "All our animals are grass-fed
and hormone free." His animals now include chickens,
turkeys and pigs. With the recent purchase of two
calves, Jason will soon offer fresh beef.