Alumna of the Month
April “Alumna of the Month”
Patti Henry, Class of 1978
Patti Henry is a native of Philadelphia, born May 2 to Helen and Bill Henry. She attended Visitation BVM and St. Anne grade schools. She graduated from Hallahan in 1978. After graduation she began working for Local Union 1823, Floor Layers Union. She has been there for 38 years! Patti cherished every moment of her years at Hallahan. Although she graduated, her spirit and love for her Alma Mater have remained. She is truly building a beautiful legacy for the girls who follow behind her with the Patti Henry ’78 Scholarship, established in 2010, with the generous support of her boss John McGrath. Patti says she was in work one day when her boss John asked what she would do if she hit the powerball. Without skipping a beat she said she would give money to Hallahan because Hallahan meant so much to her. One day during the Christmas holiday, John took her to lunch in Fairmount. He went into his jacket and pulled out an envelope from Hallahan and gave it to Patti. It was a letter informing her a scholarship had been set up in her name called the Patti Henry ’78 Scholarship which is awarded to incoming freshmen who reside in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia (19125 or 19134 zip codes).
Patti has paved the way for many young women to receive a Catholic Education that may not have been possible without her support. She is very connected to the Patti Henry ’78 scholarship recipients and strives to make their high school years memorable in every way possible. Patti was honored and inducted into the Hallahan Hall of Fame in May of 2016 for her unwavering commitment to her Alma Mater. Patti’s words of encouragement, “to all of the girls that have received the scholarship or will in the future, I owe this to John for doing one of the nicest things that has ever happened to me. Let the Blue and White shine forever.” Patti married Lemo Briscella in 1984. They have two children, Kevin and Adam and one granddaughter Braelynn.
March “Alumna of the Month”
Sister Ida Marie Nicklas, OSF Class of 1945
Sister Ida Marie Nicklas graduated from Hallahan in 1945 and worked for one year in a brokerage firm in Philadelphia, and then in August of 1946, she professed into Religious Life, joining the Sisters of St. Francis. She continued her education at Villanova University followed by Marywood University. Sister Ida’s next sixteen years were spent in elementary education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. At St. Francis in Lenni, PA, Sister Ida and a number of students were on live television in a story telling feature on Channel 6. In 1968, Sister Ida was assigned to Allentown Central Catholic High School to teach business. After two years there, Sister was asked to coach the girls’ basketball team (in addition to teaching a full roster) and being a fan of the sport, Sister agreed. Sister led the team to the first ever PIAA State Wide Championship in 1973. Sister was honored with an Induction into the Allentown Central Catholic Hall of Fame and a scholarship was named in her honor for a basketball student who excels in academics and as a team player. In 1978, Sister Ida was assigned to teach business at Hallahan so she returned home to her beloved alma mater. In 1999, she retired from active teaching and stayed on to work in the Advancement Office for two years. She then moved onto manage the school store and run the Community Service Corps for Hallahan. In 2014, Sr. Ida was inducted into the Hallahan Hall of Fame. In 2016 an athletic award was created in honor of Sr. Ida. The “Unsung Hero Award” was dedicated to Sr. Ida and presented to a senior student athlete. In 2017 the school store was dedicated to Sr. Ida in honor of her 90th birthday! Sr. Ida is a blessing to Hallahan and we are so thankful for her many years of dedication!
January “Alumna of the Month”
Denise Ryan Murphy, Class of 1975
In Denise’s words….
When I entered Hallahan in September of 1971, I did not know one person. My family had moved into St. Bridget’s Parish in East Falls and Hallahan was the designated High School for the girls of the parish. Needless to say, by the end of my first week, I had met my Best Friend Forever on the A Local and was sleeping over a classmate’s house in Fairmount! What I treasure most about Hallahan is the excellent education, the all-girl environment, the diversity, and the location. In my current position as Executive Assistant to the Regional Vice President and the Operations Vice President of Henkels & McCoy, Inc., I still benefit from the great teaching efforts of the IHM and SSJ Sisters in the Business Department. The skills, work ethic, awareness of others, and the confidence I received in my four years at Hallahan have all contributed to successes along my career path.
While at Hallahan, I played varsity volleyball for four years and was a Roman Catholic Cheerleader (bring them back!) sophomore through senior year. All wonderful experiences along the way. My best friends to date are my classmates from the Class of 1975, we are truly sisters. I have served on the Alumnae Board for many years, helping with fundraising efforts to award much needed scholarships to incoming freshmen, our future Hallahan sisters. My favorite event being “The Day at the Bay” where we join forces with Roman Catholic High School and attract graduates from all classes. I have also helped with my class reunions, what a great, fun experience. I recently had to take a step down from the Board but hope to resume my position in the next school year. Both of my daughters are graduates, Kristy Murphy Moore, Class of 2002 and Kelly Murphy, Class of 2003. My mom was a proud graduate of the Class of 1944 and my sister, Class of 1980. I love this school!
October “Alumna of the Month”
Kimberly (Kim) Kadelski, Class of 1990
Kimberly (Kim) Kadelski is a proud member of the Class of 1990. Kim is thankful for her life time of friends and memories walking through the Hallahan halls. Kim made special friendships with the faculty (Sr. Ida Marie). She says “not only was she my teacher, my friend, she started my drive for community service CSC and March of Dimes. She taught me that giving to others is the best reward.” Kim, a passionate Flyers fan said she also connected with Sr. Ida because she has the same love for the Flyers!
Having all those wonderful experiences, like Hallahan Day and Sophomore Spirit day, Kim is passionate about continuing those same traditions that bonded her to her class. Kim is active as a volunteer for many community organizations such as the March of Dimes, the Alzheimers Association and the Heart Walk. She is an active member of the Alumnae Board, assisting with class reunions, Day at the Bay and the Hallahan Spring Fling committee. Her efforts on the Hallahan Spring Fling committee have provided thousands of dollars in scholarships to incoming Hallahan freshmen.
Kim is a true role model for the girls of Hallahan. Her spirit and passion are a blessing to us. Thank you Kim for all that you do for our Hallahan community!
Meet our newest Board Member and our September “Alumna of the month”
Catherine (Cass) Breslin Egan, Class of 1972
Catherine (Cass) Egan graduated from Hallahan in 1972. Cass has fond memories of her time at Hallahan, “the Sisters of IHM (or the “Macs” as they were known then), who taught me math, instilled determination in me – to never quit on myself. I spent more time with it and challenged myself and I excelled in trigonometry because of it.”
Cass went on to receive her B.S. in Health Information Management from Temple University in Philadelphia and her MHA in Healthcare Administration from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She is a member of the Board of Managers for the Holy Redeemer Ambulatory Surgery Center, LLC. She serves as a member of the American Heart Association, Executive Leadership Team for the Philadelphia Heart Walk. Cass is also a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Cass currently serves as Executive Vice President for Holy Redeemer with Chief Administrative responsibility for its Meadowbrook Campus which includes Holy Redeemer Hospital, and St. Joseph Manor, a Senior Living Facility. With 40 years of healthcare related management experience, she has worked for Holy Redeemer Hospital since 1978 in various management roles, and has assumed positions with increasing responsibility throughout her employment. Prior to joining Holy Redeemer, she worked at Temple University Hospital as the Director of Health Information Management.
Cass has a very successful career at Holy Redeemer Health System. We are excited to have her back at Hallahan serving on our Board of Trustees.
Alumna of the Month
The Alumna of the Month is a new feature that will showcase 10 outstanding alumnae per year. The program is designed to recognize alumnae who are doing interesting and exciting things, or who have made exceptional contributions to their chosen field of profession. Visit us soon to read about our first featured alumnae of the month!
Do you know someone who should be an Alumna of the Month?
Nominations may be based on the following:
- *Alumna doing something particularly interesting or different
- *Alumna making outstanding achievements in her profession
- *Alumna setting a positive example, either by philanthropy, balancing work and life, or showing a loyal commitment to Hallahan and the community
If so, please send an e-mail to Aleonard@jwhallahan.com and include:
Brief paragraph describing why you believe the person should be recognized
Please be sure to also include your name, class year and phone number