2013 Spirit of Mater Award Recipient:
Kathy Keogh Berra (CSH `63)
Center photo above
2012 Spirit of Mater Award
Presenters and Recipients
L to R: Congresswoman Ann Eshoo,
Caremen Arellano Lee (CSH '54),
Director of Schools Richard A. Dioli,
Nancy Sullivan Stretch (CSH '57)
and Sister Nancy Morris
Spirit of Mater Recipients 2010/2011:
Ashley Pritchard (SHP ’05),
Sister Nancy Morris, Mr. Rich Dioli,
Director of Schools, and
Sara Merryman (SHE ’57, Convent ’61)
Yvonne Pometti, RSCJ, Rob Van Alstyne
Spirit of Mater Recipients 2009/2010
Irene Cullen, Melissa Pritchard,
Spirit of Mater Recipients 2007/2008
Kathy Keogh Berra (CHS ’63), MSN, ANP, FANP, FAAN is Clinical Director of the Stanford Heart Network at Stanford University School of Medicine, and prevention specialist at Cardiovascular Medicine and Coronary Interventions in Redwood City, California. Kathy graduated from Stanford University and received her master's degree in nursing and adult nurse practitioner degree from the University of San Francisco. Ms. Berra specializes in cardiovascular nursing with an emphasis on cardiovascular disease prevention and the rehabilitation. She helped to develop a community-based program for cardiac rehabilitation, which has become a model for similar programs nationwide. As a clinical trial director at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, she served as clinical trial director for the HERS Study (Heart and Estrogen-progestin Replacement Study). The trial was one of the first to focus on hormone replacement in women with heart disease. She is active in the American Heart Association (AHA) and received the “Clinician of the Year” Award in 2009. She is past president of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and received their highest recognition, "The Award of Excellence," and a distinguished service award. She served as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, and is a founder and past president of the Preventative Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA), a national professional organization of nurses dedicated to the advancement of primary and secondary prevention. She was awarded a fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing and received the "Wenger Award" for clinical contributions to women's health by WomenHeart, where she serves on the scientific advisory committee. Ms. Berra co-authored Heart Attack: Advice for Patients by Patients, which was honored by Yale University Press as one of the top ten books on heart disease for 2002.
Nominations Are Open for Next Year's Spirit of Mater Award
Please read the criteria below and click here to submit your nomination.
The Spirit of Mater recognizes alumni who radiate Mater's spark of divine spirit and who employ life in a manner representative of the Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton Goals and Criteria. Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to:
- A personal and active faith in God.
- A deep respect for intellectual values.
- A social awareness which impels to action.
- The building of community as a Christian value.
- Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.
- NOMINATION CRITERIA #1 Eligible nominees must have attended one of Sacred Heart Preparatory, St. Joseph's School, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Sacred Heart Menlo, College at Menlo, or Sacred Heart Elementary.
- NOMINATION CRITERIA #2 - Anyone is eligible to nominate a candidate or themself for the Spirit of Mater. Nominees are reviewed by the Alumni Association Board and the final award recipients are approved by the Director of Schools.
- NOMINATION CRITERIA #3 - Persons who have contributed significantly to their: alma mater, profession, or community. These individuals will exemplify a quality of character worthy of being role models for present, past and future Sacred Heart students.
2012 Recipients: Carmen Arellano Lee (CSH `54) and Nancy Sullivan Stretch (CSH `57). Carmen Arellano Lee (CHS ’54) founded the Peninsula Network of Mental Health Clients, an organization composed of clients in public mental health and serves as their advocates. In 1990 Carmen secured funding and began the Stamp Out Stigma (SOS) program to put a human face on mental health issues and dispel the myths and stereotypes surrounding it. Since 1990 SOS has delivered over 2,000 public presentations. Carmen was recognized by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo in her "Representing the Best in America." Carmen is a committee member for the California State Mental Health Planning Council, People in Recovery (PIR) for the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA) and the Federal Government’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention in Washington, D.C.
Nancy Sullivan Stretch (CHS ’57) has spent her life working toward fulfilling the goals and criteria of a Sacred Heart Education. She served as President of the Board (for 8 years) of Creativity Explored, an organization in San Francisco committed to supporting people with developmental disabilities in their quest to become working artists. Nancy also serves her parish as a Eucharistic Minister where she founded an organization called "The Peanut Butter Brigade," which prepares hundreds of brown bag lunches and distributes them to the homeless in San Francisco. Her volunteers include small children, teens, adults and seniors. Nancy also served her community as Assistant District Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco. She and her husband, Joe have five sons.
2011 Recipients: Ashley Pritchard (SHP ’05) is deeply committed to improving the lives of the homeless and marginalized through international development and human rights policies. She is currently employed at the United Nations, World Headquarters in New York in the Department of Public Information. Ashley is the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship Award Recipient, 2011-2012, Thailand where she will pursue a Masters of Arts in International Development (MAIDS) Program at Chulalongkorn University. She will represent Rotary International as an outstanding ambassador of goodwill to the people of Thailand.
Sara Merryman (SHE ’57, Convent ’61) has reunited her class many times over years for the past 50 years. She has worked for the Department of the Interior (DOI) in Washington, D.C. creating and running the Intern Program for the Minerals Management Service. Sara still works with the DOI in the newly-formed Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and at the same time has recaptured her creative talents and is working as a writer developing a mystery series. Sacred Heart has been a Merryman family affair, as both Sara’s sister Jane, brother William, and son Brett have all attended St. Joseph’s or Sacred Heart!
2009/2010 Recipients: Left: Yvonne Pometti, RSCJ (Sacred Heart Menlo '37) at 92 lives near Oakwood and works daily with the retired sisters.
Right: Rob Van Alstyne (SHP '04) has worked with the Office of Restorative Justice in the Los Angeles Archdiocese and took his first vows in August 2010.
2007/2008 Recipients: Left to right: Irene Cullen, RSCJ (SHP '57) was recognized for her strong commitment to Sacred Heart Schools in Uganda/Kenya Africa. Melissa Pritchard (SHP '66) was recognized for her work in Kolkata, India of rescuing marginalized adolescents and teaching them to read and write, which made a tremendous impact on so many lives. Jonny Dorsey (SJSH '99, SHP '03) was recognized for his work as one of the founding members of FACE AIDS, an organization that helps more than 25 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.