St. Joseph High School names 2019 ‘Spirit of Saint Joseph Award’ recipients |
Valley News Dispatch

St. Joseph High School names 2019 ‘Spirit of Saint Joseph Award’ recipients

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Exterior of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament School and St. Joseph High School in Harrison.
Courtesy of St. Joseph High School
The Rev. Paul G. Henne
Courtesy of St. Joseph High School
Jane Thimons
Courtesy of St. Joseph High School
John W. Regoli Jr.
Courtesy of St. Joseph High School
Thomas Octave
Courtesy of St. Joseph High School
Eileen, Rosaleen and Jeanne Scott

St. Joseph High School is honoring seven people this year with its Spirit of St. Joseph Award.

Those being recognized are the Rev. Paul G. Henne; Thomas Octave; John W. Regoli Jr; Jane Thimons; and the Scott sisters, Eileen, Jeanne and Rosaleen.

Three of the seven — Henne, Regoli and Eileen Scott — are being recognized posthumously.

The awards will be presented at a dinner and ceremony on Saturday, March 23 at the Oakmont Country Club ballroom. The event is open to all with an advance reservation. Tickets cost $150 per person.

The school established the award recognizing alumni and friends during its centennial celebration in the 2015-16 school year.

“These are the people who quietly bring St. Joseph High School’s mission of preparing students for college, life and heaven to life through their humble, selfless service and support — role models for us all,” Principal Beverly Kaniecki said. “They celebrate their unique, God-given talents every day in the spirit of St. Joseph.”

The honorees:

Rev. Paul G. Henne: Henne was pastor of St. Joseph Parish for more than two decades, beginning in 1971. A Pittsburgh native, he was ordained as a priest in 1956 after graduating from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Mass. He started his career as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Grace in Scott, and also served in that capacity at St. John Capistran in Upper St. Clair and St. Pius V in McKeesport before becoming chaplain at South Side Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital. After St. Joseph, he was appointed pastor at St. Agatha in Ellwood City and as senior priest at Word of God Parish in Swissvale before moving to the Felician convent as part-time chaplain. He died in 2005.

Thomas Octave: Octave, a musician, began teaching a music appreciation course in partnership with Saint Vincent College as part of the College in High School program during the 2015-16 school year. He is an associate professor of music at Saint Vincent College, chair of the music department and director of the St. Vincent Concert Series. He conducts the St. Vincent Singers and teachers voice and a variety of music courses. Octave earned degrees from Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne universities. He is also the music director of the Westmoreland Choral Society and Bodiography Contemporary Ballet and is the director of sacred music and diocesan choir director for the Diocese of Greensburg.

John W. Regoli, Jr.: Regoli, a popular student-athlete at Valley High School, transferred to St. Joseph High School as a junior in 1980 when his brother, David, began as a freshman. He was active on the basketball and baseball teams and student council. The brothers led a fundraising effort for Children’s Hospital in memory of student Jimmy Dzugan, who they did not know and died from cancer the year before they came to the school. A graduate of Arizona State University, John Regoli Jr. worked in the front office of the Pittsburgh Pirates and later the in the pharmaceutical industry. He was elected to New Kensington City Council in 2000. He died in January 2018.

The Scott Sisters: Eileen, Jeanne and Rosaleen attended St. Joseph elementary and high schools. Each of them entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph within weeks of graduating from the high school. They each pursued ministries in education and served Catholic schools throughout the Altoona-Johnstown, Columbus, Greensburg and Pittsburgh dioceses; Eileen became a nurse and served nearly three decades in health care.

Jane Thimons: A 1970 graduate of St. Joseph High School, Thimons’ family has an extensive history at the school — her mother, two older sisters, husband and two children also all graduated from the school. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Slippery Rock University and a master’s in teaching from the University of Pittsburgh. She started her 30-year career in education as a second-grade teacher and intern at Colfax Elementary School, then Heights Elementary School, and was a volunteer and private tutor before becoming a first-grade teacher in 1988 at Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament. She has been involved with the Alle-Kiski Valley Swim Club League since the early 1970s. Since the early 1990s, she has been a swim coach at the Allegheny Valley YMCA, a Sylvan Pool swim technique instructor and the Sylvan Pool swimming championship coordinator. The Jane Thimons Excellence in Swimming Award was established in 2006.

Reservations for the dinner can be made by contacting Christie Benton, development director, at 724-226-8043 or by email at [email protected]

Nominations for the 2020 Spirit of St. Joseph Awards are being accepted until March 23. Letters should be sent to the attention of the Spirit of St. Joseph Award Committee at St. Joseph High School, 800 Montana Ave., Natrona Heights, 15065.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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