Congratulations to our 2020 Hall of Fame Inductees!

 
 
Congratulations to our 2020 Hall of Fame Inductees!
 
 
 
Despite not being able to celebrate together as previously planned, we are happy to highlight these extraordinary individuals who have continued to exemplify St. Thérèse's "Little Way" in their service to Little Flower.
 
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2020 Hall of Fame Inductees:
 
Sister Patricia Egan, SSJ ‘57
Doreen Halbruner ’81
Suzanne Gluch Homel ‘71(posthumously)
Vanessa Blocker Jones ‘75
William Kuhl
Joan Morano Parker ‘51
Kathryn (Mabel) Eisele Schaefer ‘55
Elizabeth (Betty) Eisele Wieslawski ‘54
Margaret (Peggy) Eisele Zemaitaitis ‘53
 
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Sister Patricia Egan ‘57
 
Sister Patricia Egan describes her education at Little Flower as an “eye-opening experience” for her, one which taught her the art of listening and communicating effectively. Sister Patricia was inspired by her teachers at Immaculate Conception School and Little Flower to follow in their footsteps as a Sister of St. Joseph.
 
She recounts that as teachers, the Sisters were excited about their subjects, prepared, and engaged with their students in a way which drew them into the complexities and richness of the subject matter. In this way, Sister Patricia entered the Sisters of St. Joseph and became a teacher herself, now passing along her joy and love of learning with her students. She taught first grade for 38 years, but she also taught students at Holmesburg Prison, the Philadelphia Youth Study Center, migrant workers in Gettysburg, and young teachers and novices at Chestnut Hill College.
 
As a student, Sister Patricia graduated with a class of 939 girls, but she maintains how accepted and welcomed she felt when attending Little Flower. She looked up to a particular teacher, Sister Philip Mary, SSJ, who acted as her confidant and offered guidance throughout her time there. Through her after-school conversations with Sister Philip Mary, Sister Patricia first heard the call from God to take up religious life. It was even Sister Philip Mary who sponsored her when she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph Order.
 
Sister Patricia was able to connect with a fellow classmate, Dottie Crowley, when she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph. The two have been friends for over 61 years now, and together they worked with homebound, hospitalized and hospice patients out of St. Bridget Parish in East Falls.
 
Sister Patricia was honored as the Distinguished Speaker at Little Flower’s 2019 Graduation Ceremony and as such she is automatically entered into the Hall of Fame. When asked what she hoped today’s students would take with them when leaving Little Flower, she stated the following:
 
“Students leaving LF today and yesterday take with them a solid foundation built on excellence in education, love and respect of others, and the ability to recognize and accept differences in other people.
I would tell the students to take with them all the knowledge they can hold- relationships with favorite teachers and relationships with friends which can last a lifetime, because they do. The values planted in my heart and mind as an LF student matured… Whether you are rich or poor or in-between, those values were planted deeply within us in classes which challenged us, in after-school activities, in Thursday adoration and in the example of teachers and administrators. They have borne fruit—and they will for today’s graduates, too.”
 
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Doreen Halbruner ‘81
 
Doreen is a proud Little Flower graduate from the Class of 1981. During her time at Little Flower she spent four years on Student Council and served two years as the President of the Community Service Corps.
 
Upon graduating, Doreen was hired directly by AIG where she began as a word processor, typing policies and correspondence. She was focused on her career, where she moved from accounts payable to Office Services Supervisors, and eventually into the role of Operations Director for the Life Division of AIG. Doreen continued on to become the Regional Administrative Director of the Domestic Brokerage and Claims Divisions before leaving AIG in 2007 to join a start-up insurance company in NYC.
 
As the Director of Facilities at Starr Companies, Doreen negotiated office leases and managed the design and construction of 18 offices throughout the US and Canada. She retired from Starr Companies in 2016 and is now self-employed as a Consultant.
 
During some of her time with AIG, Doreen was simultaneously in the Formation Program for the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia. Although she eventually withdrew from the Formation Program, Doreen valued a sense of community and Franciscan spirituality there.
 
Doreen credits the success of her career to the values and work ethic learned from her parents and the fine education she received at Little Flower. She is happy to serve on the LF Board of Directors as Chair of the Facilities Committee. 
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Suzanne Homel ‘71
 
For more than 25 years, Suzanne was a valued member of the Association of the Legal Administrators, whose mission it is to improve the quality of management in law firms and other legal service organizations. She served both on a national level and with her beloved Philadelphia Chapter.
 
In 2004, Suzanne served on the National Annual Conference Planning Committee as the conference was held in Philadelphia. She provided great insight and recommendations to the entire Committee in the selection of the conference venue and on “what to see” while in Philadelphia. 
 
On a local level, with the Philadelphia Chapter between 2015-2018, Suzanne acted as an Ambassador to new members. More importantly, even prior to serving as an official “Ambassador,” Suzanne was always the first to reach out to the Chapter’s new members. She was always willing to go out to lunch or to have a simple phone call with new members – she wanted to be of service in any way possible. She was a true mentor in every sense of the word to many of the Chapter’s current members, some of whom worked with Suzanne at Fox Rothschild.
 
Suzanne’s enthusiasm for the Philadelphia Chapter of the ALA didn’t stop with new members, she was always looking to bring on new business partners in an effort to provide invaluable service to its members. Many of the Chapter’s current business partners are due to Suzanne’s hard work, and many considered Suzanne a friend.
 
Suzanne was a member of the Little Flower Board from its inception, and was an active alumna for over twenty years. She served on the committees for the 70th and 75th Anniversary celebrations, as well as planning many Annual Alumnae Masses. Sadly, Suzanne passed away March 7, 2019. Her dedication and love for Little Flower will continue to live on through her legacy.
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Vanessa Jones ‘75
 
Evangelist Vanessa Jones is a Little Flower graduate from the Class of 1975, and the proud mother of two additional Little Flower graduates, Shiranda Jones ’93 and Michelle Jones-Cook ’95. Michelle passed away on July 22, 2013 after a courageous fight against breast cancer. In the memory of her legacy, the “Pink Eagles” and the Michelle Jones-Cook Scholarship were established. Along with her daughter Shiranda, Evangelist Jones has raised over $69,000 for the American Cancer Society through their Pink Eagles Organization.
 
In 2016, Evangelist Jones decided she wanted to do more for the community in which her daughters grew up and the Michelle Jones-Cook Scholarship was established. This scholarship is awarded to a young lady graduating from Saint Veronica School who will continue their high school education at Little Flower. The Michelle Jones-Cook Scholarship has awarded a total of $7,500 to four separate Little Flower students since 2016. Funds for the scholarship come from Evangelist Jones and various fundraisers that are held from February-May.
 
In April of 2018, Evangelist Jones retired from the IRS after over 27 years of service. Later that year she began volunteering at Fox Chase Cancer Center twice a week. At Fox Chase she is an Ambassador and Friend’s Cart Advisor. She witnesses, encourages, and listens to the stories of the cancer patients and their caregivers. Evangelist Jones always says “No one fights alone,” and she continues to live by this mantra. When she is not volunteering at Fox Chase, you can find her attending events where she speaks to women on the importance of mammograms, being your own advocate, and being a support system for other women fighting with breast cancer. She sends cards and calls survivors on a regular basis. Last year, during the Pink Eagles’ Water Ice and Pretzel Fundraiser, all cancer survivors in attendance were recognized and received a special gift.
 
Evangelist Jones has been asked to speak at several Breast Cancer Walks, and she is a part of the Making Strides Committee. She runs several fundraisers throughout the year including a Water Ice and Pretzel Fundraiser, a Calendar Fundraiser, and Painting with a Purpose. Her commitment and dedication to her cause is undeniable, and she has used the pain of losing her daughter, Michelle to find her purpose. Evangelist Jones lives to honor the saying “To whom much is given, much is required”, and she will take any opportunity to spread awareness to others. 
 
 
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William Kuhl
 
Bill Kuhl served Little Flower as a beloved English and Social Studies teacher for over 36 years. With his hiring in 1976, Bill became the first full time male faculty member at Little Flower. Throughout his tenure at the school, Bill oversaw many distinct clubs, sports, and activities there. These included moderating the Little Flower Forensics Club, coaching Track and Field (for which he received the National High School Coaching Bronze Award in 1989) and JV Soccer, and moderator of the Television Arts/Sciences Club.
 
Both before and after his eventual retirement from Little Flower, Bill found himself being honored several times over the years. He was Little Flower’s Distinguished Catholic Educator for 1991/1992, inducted in the Tri-M Music Society in 2004, and elected Honorary Life Member of Alumnae Association of Little Flower in 2014.
 
Bill’s service and commitment to excellence in education at Little Flower served as an inspiration to others who knew him, and he has touched the lives of thousands of students over the course of his career.
 
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Joan Parker ‘51
 
Joan is a Little Flower graduate from the class of 1951. She began working her first job at Sharp and Dohme (now Merck Sharp and Dohme) and continued there for several years. It was then that she and her husband decided to start her family. Joan is a proud mother of 6, grandmother of 13, and great-grandmother of 5.
 
She was the Membership Chair of the Cape May County Alumnae Chapter, and was an integral part of the Chapter’s growth and development throughout the years. 
 
 
 
 
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Kathryn (Mabel) Eisele Schaefer ‘55
 
When Mabel graduated Little Flower in 1955, her life seemed to be on the fast track. Her graduation day was June 12th, her working papers were obtained June 13th, and by June 14th she was hired to begin working at Bell Telephone Company. Little Flower graduates were considered good hires for their training program, and during her career at Bell of Pennsylvania Mabel was able to climb the workplace ladder all without having attended college.
 
In 1956 Mabel joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve where she was afforded an opportunity to travel all over the country throughout her 11½ years of service. She married in 1967 (and can now proudly boast of 6 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren) and left Bell Telephone in 1988.
 
In 2005 she moved to Cape May Court House and got involved in the Cape May County Alumnae Chapter, where she took over as Treasurer. Mabel helped to run many of the Chapter’s fundraisers, and they were able to send over $106,000 to Little Flower for tuition assistance. Despite turning the Chapter over to new alums, Mabel continues to support and assist wherever possible. 
 
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Elizabeth (Betty) Eisele Wieslawski ‘54
 
Betty was a graduate of Little Flower from the Class of 1954. After her graduation she worked for a short time for Burpee Seed Co. before moving on to work with the City of Philadelphia. She spent 36 years in the Revenue Department processing business and individual tax returns and leaving as a clerical supervisor.
 
In 1956, Betty and her sisters (Peggy and Mabel, both Hall of Fame inductees) joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Although she left after a year and a half, Betty completed basic training and joined the Marine Corps League where she continues to be a member. In 2003 she was named “Marine of the Year” for her detachment.
 
When Betty eventually retired from work with the City in 1991, she moved with her sister to Cape May Court House. There she was talked into applying for a part-time job at the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities in Cape May by her sister. She was hired as a ticket seller and Lighthouse Keeper. While working Betty became intrigued by the tour trolley and she studied in order to obtain her CDL. She drove the tour trolley for 22 years, enjoying it immensely. Despite her retirement in 2015 Betty continued to volunteer, and she was aptly named “Volunteer of the Year” for her efforts.
 
In 1993 the Cape May County Alumnae Chapter was formed, and Betty volunteered to take over as president in 2012. The Chapter assisted in various fundraising on behalf of Little Flower and tuition assistance for its students. 
 
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Margaret (Peggy) Eisele Zemaitaitis ‘53
 
During Peggy’s junior year at Little Flower, the school assisted her in finding a job as a receptionist and typist at Wilen Wine Co. She worked there for 2 years before she was offered a job at the Redevelopment Authority in Philadelphia. During her time there, many buildings were demolished in order to expand the campuses of University of Pennsylvania, Drexel, and Temple. Many other projects such as Society Hill and Eastwick were also started and completed during her 30 years there.
 
In 1956, along with her sisters, Peggy joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves where she served until discharged in 1962. Peggy married in 1962 and moved to Cape May Court House in 1989, after she was offered early retirement from the Redevelopment Authority.
 
Once there, Peggy got a part-time job as a tour guide at the Emlen Physick Estate Home of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. She also hosted many trolley tours until she retired in 2018, after 28 years. Peggy was an active member of the Cape May County Alumnae Chapter since its inception, including serving as the Recording Secretary for many years. She recalls doing everything in their power to assist Little Flower when it was in danger of closing and reiterates how fortunate they were to get so many women interested in keeping the school open.