Immaculate Conception High School’s alumnae are the reflection of its past, representation of its present and a link to its future. When you graduate from Immaculate Conception High School, the possibilities are limitless. Our curriculum is designed to help students gain the skills necessary to have a rewarding career and a fulfilling life. At ICHS, you can define your goals, dream big — and find your own path to success.
ICHS is proud to share the outcomes of our alumnae who made the most of their ICHS education and are making a difference in the world. Below are some testimonials from our wonderful alumnae.
Cynthia Waller Vallario '67
I graduated from ICHS in 1967. While it is difficult to pinpoint one fondest memory, the total experience of spending four years learning and maturing with very smart and talented classmates, is high on my list. I did enjoy working on the school newspaper and being Editor-in -Chief during my Senior year. The rigorous academic environment and grounding in Catholic principles had a significant and lasting Impact on me.
What makes my alma mater different from other schools is why I would recommend it to prospective students— you will be in a small, all girls’ school that will nurture and prepare you for the future and life’s challenges
Joan Hanzl Sommer '68
Sisterhood is the word that resonates when I look back at my ICHS years 1964-68. There was a sisterhood among my classmates that informed all aspects of our school lives. We formed bonds in our homerooms, in our daily classes, in our clubs and activities, and in our traditions.
Whether it was. . .
- gathering around the foyer Christmas tree
- saying “Pax et Bonum” during Franciscan Heritage ceremonies
- decorating our homerooms with a theme during School Colors Week
- learning about DNA for the first time in Sister Rosalma’s biology class
- worshipping together at weekly Friday Mass in the auditorium
- cheering the basketball team during pep rallies
- receiving our rings on Ring Day; wearing our berets during Senior year
- devoting our time and effort to extracurricular activities like the school paper, the IC High Echoes,
we were a Band of Sisters. We supported and encouraged each other during our accomplishments and disappointments.
My life choices echo that theme. Early in my career, I responded to this ad for a teaching job: “Seeking a self-directed teacher for a middle school position.” I immediately answered the ad which resulted in a job that lasted 28 years until my retirement. ICHS had instilled in me a sense of self-confidence and independence because I was a part of a supportive community with shared experiences and traditions.
The ICHS of today continues to foster sisterhood among this generation of girls. The curriculum transcends the core standards through the school’s mission: to celebrate the individual who can realize her value as a member of a larger, interdependent, and vibrant community. She will graduate from ICHS as a self-directed young woman as I did in 1968.
Joan Hanzl Sommer
Class of 1968
In Memory of Bettyanne Plummer '68
Bettyanne was very grateful of the support she and her friends from the class of 1968 received, while they were students at ICHS. She said, “Looking back on my four years at ICHS, we were very lucky in the friendships we formed, the activities that nurtured us, and the relationships with the Felician Sisters who supported us.”
Sue Diverio '81
Dana Regan '88
Denise Poulos-King '89
Not only am I a proud graduate of ICHS’s Class of ’89, but I am also blessed to be an IC Mom to Renee ’18 and Denise ’21. In the Spring of ’85, I attended my first Open House at Immaculate Conception High School. As soon as I stepped into the foyer, something just “clicked” right away! I felt very safe and secure and instantly felt like I belonged here. Over the next four years, under the guidance of the Felician Sisters and a very dedicated staff, I would grow from a quiet, shy girl into a confident young woman. So much of who I am today and what I have accomplished in life, I owe to ICHS.
Returning to an IC Open House as the mom of a prospective student, I didn’t know what to expect. Society had changed so much since I was eighteen years old. I wondered to myself “How did the school hold up?” Of course, there were changes! Academics were still strong but schedules had been modified to accommodate more college classes at Felician University than had ever been offered before. There was a strong Sports Program, more clubs, and an incredible Performing Arts Department. One thing remained the same though. Even in our ever-changing and challenging world, the school still provided a safe haven where girls were encouraged to be themselves, yet be EXTRAORDINARY at the same time! The current administration of ICHS has not only maintained the high standards that I was accustomed to, but raised the bar even higher!
Being back “home” at ICHS as a mom, I have to say that my husband and I could not be happier with the quality of education our daughters have received, as well as the dedication of the faculty and staff. In 2018, our older daughter, Renee, graduated as Salutatorian of her class with 15 college credits from Felician University, all of which transferred directly to her major. She currently attends St. John’s University on an academic scholarship. Our younger daughter, Denise, entered ICHS during Renee’s Senior year. Although Denise did very well academically, she had different interests than her sister and became involved in the Performing Arts Department. Denise was never looked at by her teachers as “Renee’s little sister”, but they took the time to get to know HER as her own unique and special person. The entire faculty and staff are truly committed to the success and well-being of ALL of the girls and takes the time to get to know each one of them as unique individuals and challenges them academically, while encouraging them and supporting personal growth on an individual basis.
We love how you will see the principal, faculty and staff in attendance at sporting events, social engagements, performing arts productions, fundraisers, awards ceremonies and more. Many even attend events outside of school to support the girls in their extracurricular activities. It is truly touching to see just how much they care about the students and take the time out of their lives to “show up” to cheer the girls on, often times, bringing their family members along too! When the COVID 19 crisis hit our school, the entire ICHS faculty and staff got together over one weekend and miraculously created a virtual online learning environment for the students. Aside from the academic standpoint, every effort was made to try to foster a sense of belonging and keep a personal connection amongst the staff, faculty, students, and families. While there could be no replacement for face to face involvement or activities, it was reassuring to know that the school was doing everything they could to try to make things special for the girls.
In closing, as a proud Alumnae AND an IC mom, Immaculate Conception High School always has and always will hold a special place in my heart, not just for what it has done for me over the years, but for what it has done for my daughters…for all of our daughters! Thank you to the Felician Sisters for creating the wonderful foundation of the incredible legacy of ICHS and thank you to Mr. Azzolino and the current staff and faculty for your dedication and commitment to making Immaculate Conception High School a place that we as Alumnae, students, and parents are so proud to call “our” school!
Josepha Roloff '91
Pansela Schaetzle '12
Samantha Marella '13
When Samantha Marella `13, was a student at Immaculate Conception High School (ICHS), she served on the Student Council Executive Board, was a member of the National Honor Society, and participated in athletics, as well as, many
Samantha believes ICHS helped transform her to becoming the strong, determined woman she is today and taught her the value of supporting, and helping others. She is forever grateful for the connections she made, the daily practice of morals and ethics, and most importantly, the genuine feeling of support from friends that became family. ICHS was the foundation of Samantha understanding the value of supporting and helping others. Samantha shares “ICHS taught me to look for opportunities to help others be a part of something much bigger than myself. If I continue to live my life with conviction and purpose, I will succeed and achieve more than I ever dreamed of. Thank you ICHS for making me who I am today!”
Kathleen Zdanowicz '14
Kathleen Zdanowicz graduated ICHS in 2014. During her years at IC, Kathleen was actively involved in Student Council, athletics and many extracurricular activities. Upon graduation she attended Marist College where she studied Fashion Merchandising and Public Relations. She graduated in 2018 Cum Laud and received the Silver Needle Runway Award for her program’s top marketing project. Currently, she is an Account Manager for an international e-commerce image processing company for luxury brands.
Kathleen attributes ICHS for guiding her towards her career. Kathleen graciously accepted an invitation to be the guest speaker at Immaculate Conception High School’s 2019-2020 Student Council Induction Ceremony where she spoke of her personal experience at IC to the students, faculty and staff. She shared, “I really can’t stress enough the confidence I gained learning in an all-girl environment, specifically one where I was so supported by faculty and staff who always encouraged my curiosity and need to think outside the box. This support, coupled with the knowledge and skills I gained in the classrooms and halls of IC, have been the foundation of success in my life. I learned to step up and be a leader and most importantly, to take on new challenges head on. I’m very grateful to be an alumna of what I believe is the best environment for young girls to grow!”
Annemarie Emmert '14
Annemarie Emmert graduated from ICHS in 2014. During her time at IC she was a varsity cheerleader and soccer player. Upon graduation from IC, she decided to continue her education at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, NC. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2018 with two Bachelor of Art degrees in both Elementary and Special Education. She is currently the lead second grade teacher at a Title I elementary school just outside of Charlotte, NC.
IC laid the foundation for her career as an educator. "IC was the place I learned the true value of the impact a teacher can have. The relationships I had with my teachers helped me set the foundation for my own career as an educator. Because of the teachers I formed relationships with, like Ms. Mineo and Mrs. Cutrona, I realized I could have that same impact on the lives of my own students. The amazing teachers, coaches, administration, and staff members at IC truly makes it a remarkable place. I am so thankful for the memories and friends I have made because of IC!"