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Alumni 2005 - 2009

[Updated 14 September 2021]

Below are the profiles of the students who graduated from St John Henry Newman Catholic High School or as it was known in this era - Cardinal Newman Catholic High School between 2005 and 2009.

Alumni are listed in alpha order, by family name, in the table below, as are their profiles which are below the index table.

​                      Alumnus ​Years at Newman
​Felix Arifin ​                                 2008 - 2009
​Victoria Altomare ​                                 2005 - 2009
​Mary Anne Barnes ​                                 2005 - 2009
​Abigail Bernandez                                   2003 - 2007
​Neville Britto                                   2005 - 2009
Eric Carteciano                                   2002 - 2006
​Lequanne Collins-Bacchus
                                  2005 - 2009
Joella Crichton                                       2003 - 2005
Ashley Da Silva                                   2005 - 2009
​Brandon Diggs                                   2004 - 2008
Ashley Docking                                   2001 - 2005
​Joyce Fu                                   2004 - 2008
​Ryan O'Reilly                                   2006 - 2007
​Michal Prywata                                   2004 - 2008
Monika Schmidt
        2004 - 2008
​Shawn Setyo                                   2004 - 2007
Victoria Shearham                                   2005 - 2009
Caddy Superville                                   2004 - 2008
​Marisa Tran                                   2002 - 2006
​Robbie Wighton                                         2001 - 2005
​Sinead Zailtach                                   2005 - 2009

Felix Arifin 2005 - 2009

Felix Arifin attended Cardinal Newman from 2005 until 2009, where he was active in both the Concert and Stage Bands. He remembers always being in the hallways socializing with the Newman community.

 Felix began his musical journey at the tender age of four, but it was not until middle school when he played the theme to DuckTales on piano for his classmates that he realized music was something crucial to his identity. Over the years, he has honed his performance and compositional skills to become the celebrated composer and pianist he is today.
Felix Arifin.JPG
As a composer, he has a knack for writing catchy, joyful melodies that capture the spirit of any given project. Some of his more notable works include the video game soundtrack to 2019 Webby Award Honoree Super Sloth, the music for the Turbo Pug  video game series and the soundtrack to the short film documentary, Black Experience Project.

He is also noteworthy as a flexible and cordial collaborative pianist, having accompanied for the MacMillan Singers at the University of Toronto, the Mississauga Children's Chorus, and the Ault Singers, among others. Currently he is accompanying church services at St. Pius X Parish.

Felix Arifin is currently based in Toronto, Ontario.
Like to hear some of Felix's compositions - go to this link at Sound Cloud.

                  Victoria Altomare 2005 - 2009

Victoria Altomare was a student at Cardinal Newman from 2005 to 2009.  She was the valedictorian at her graduation ceremony. During the past two years, Toronto native Victoria Altomare has emerged as one of the bright new lights on the beach volleyball scene, with a cluster of glowing achievements. These include gold medals in two National Championships, a first ever gold for a Canadian in the 18-under American National Championships, and an unprecedented silver medal with her partner Melissa Humana-Paredes at the 2011 FIVB Under 21 World Beach Volleyball Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia (the first Canadian women ever to stand on the podium at a FIVB event), as well as a curio’s store of sportsmanship and outstanding athlete awards.
 Altomare, Victoria.jpg
This past April, Victoria and Melissa Humana-Paredes mounted the podium again at the 2012 Ontario Sports Awards (Ontario Place), where they picked up the prestigious “Team of The Year” honours.

Although Victoria did not at this summer’s London Olympic Games, she hopes to represent Canada on the sand courts at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And while it maybe premature to earmark her as a Canadian medal hopeful for a future Olympics, judging from her meteoric rise in the world volleyball ranks, and her ongoing passion and commitment to the sport, one gets the feeling that if all goes as planned she’ll be in the medal mix.
Victoria, who trains full-time at the national training center in Toronto, is refreshingly humble and clear-eyed about her achievements and her future. She admits that without the emotional and financial support of her parents, she couldn’t have pursued the sport. It follows that when asked to name her role models she quickly mentions her father, contractor Luigi Altomare, whose family hails from Cosenza, and her mother Cheridan, an Australian native. “They’ve worked so hard to give me this opportunity _and it’s slowly paying off. But let’s face it _ beach volleyball is kind of an elitist sport. I wouldn’t have gotten this far if they weren’t there every step of the way.”

 A late bloomer as an athlete, Victoria describes a radical growth spurt in grade seven that gave her a distinct advantage over her peers in volleyball. After mastering the indoor game, she turned to the beach variation during summer holidays to keep her skills sharp, and liked the game’s freedom from politics and combustible team tensions. “It’s just you and your partner,” she concludes. “You can’t run, can’t hide. So you have to be motivated.”
Of course, she relishes performing for ardent crowds and traveling the world. At her first world championship in Turkey, she recalls “receiving not so much a culture shock as feeling awed by the pure spectacle.” But even with all her medals and a strong debut on the pro circuit, she’s realistic about a career in beach volleyball. “Except for the top 10 players, most volleyball pros live paycheck to paycheck. It’s not an easy life.”


                                                             [2 January 2021]

Victoria obtained her M.A. in Child Studies and Education from the University of Toronto. She is now teaching English at Upper Canada College where she coaches volleyball, basketball and track and field.   She did her teaching internship at Branksome Hall IB World School and is a program developer and coordinator for Pakmen Volleyball Club.

Mary Anne was a student at Cardinal Newman from 2000 to 2004. She was in the Extended French program and also played several sports as a Newman Knight. Mary Anne was named athlete of the year four times for her participation with the cross-country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming, track and field, field hockey, and boys soft ball teams. 
Barnes, Mary Anne.jpg
Mary Anne attended the University of Toronto and completed her undergraduate degree in English while competing with the Varsity Women's Soccer Team. She then ventured to Brisbane, Australia where she completed her Master's in Speech Pathology Studies at the University of Queensland.
Mary Anne has since returned from down under and has been working at Sunnybrook Health Science's Centre on the acute care stroke unit for the past three years. There she specializes in the identification, assessment, and treatment of swallowing and communication disorders after stroke. Mary Anne has also expanded her practice within the University Health Network as a speech language pathologist working in the acute care setting. 

Abigail Bernandez   2003 - 2007

Abigail Bernardez was a student at Cardinal Newman from 2003 to 2007, where she was an integral part of the cheerleading team and involved in the Athletic Assocation and Student Council.  She was a member of the Extended French programm, as well.
Bernandez, Abigail.jpg
She is currently an Occupational Therapist at the William Osler Health System, where she has worked since September 2014.  As an occupational therapist, Abigail assesses acute care clients in order to create appropriate treatments plans and prepare patients for safe discharge home or in their new facility.  She educates clients on the activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and safe transfers to promote independence.  Her job involves liaison with her interprofessional team to provide continuity of care and an advanced level of communication. 

Abigail had the wonderful opportunity to do a two-month placement in Singapore in 2014 at the Hand in Hand Occupational Therapy , where she worked with children from age 2 to 12.  There she conducted treatment sessions with children and parents using various equipment in the context of sensory integration practices to educate parents in supporting their child’s sensory needs. 

In 2007, Abigail was chosen Miss Teen Toronto, where she won the Miss Congeniality award and had the chance to meet fellow Canadian Tonya Lee Williams.  She has appeared in the feature film “Charlie Bartlett” as well as the series “The Best Years”.

                    Neville Britto  2005 - 2009

Neville Britto attended Blessed Cardinal Newman from 2005 until 2009. While at Newman, he was very involved in Reach for the Top.  After high school he attended the University of Toronto, studying History and Political Science, and graduated in 2013. He specialized in Canadian/Ontario politics and Cold War history.  He is an expert in the Canada-US Auto Pact.

Neville is currently a Senior Sector Advisor (Automotive) at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade for the  Province of Ontario.  He is currently writing a book on Volvo’s Halifax Assembly Plant, the first foreign auto assembly plant in North America after World War II. He was recently featured in the National Post along with his car,  a 1968 Volvo 122 S which he spent three years restoring.
NevilleBritto weblink to car restoration article.jpg

Britto Neville.jpg

                   Eric Carteciano 2002 - 2006

Eric Carteciano was a student at Cardinal Newman from 2002 to 2006.  While at Newman he played on the hockey team and was captain in Grade 10.  Eric attended the University of Toronto where he studied Biology and Psychology.  He then pursued a teaching degree at Western, but his career was to take a different turn.  Eric had been working for 6 years at Mill Street Brewery to help with school expenses. Since the age of 17 he has handled many positions in brewing, from forklift driver all the way to Assistant Brewmaster and now Brewmaster in Edmonton.  
Carteciano, Eric.jpg
Eric discusses his passion and his achievements in this YouTube video.

             Lequanne Collins-Bacchus  2005 - 2009

Lequanne attended Cardinal Newman from 2005 to 2009.  She was involved with the Treehuggers, in Concert Band, the Law Team, Day of Service and the National Society of Black Engineers. 
Collins-Bacchus, Lequanne.jpg
An intellectual peripatetic, Collins-Bacchus has studied at Carleton University philosophically and has worked in various capacities from researching machine learning at OCAD University to copy-editing for online publications to participating in a Google hackathon for equality. Founder of Ryerson-incubated technology consultancy, PAERE, she has developed community-based approaches to technology engagement through makerspace programs, building a Chrome extension, and a public augmented reality gallery to be exhibited in summer 2018.  A digital inclusion advocate, she has spoken and presented her work in Toronto and London, UK at Mars Discovery District, Mozilla Festival, Toronto Offsite Design Festival, Make Change at the Design Exchange, the United Nations, Tineye, Toronto Public Library and upcoming in 2018,  Nuit Blanche Scarborough. A top-4 shortlisted inaugural 2017 Code for Canada Fellow, Lequanne is fascinated by the intersection of community engagement, digital media, and e-service.

In 2018, Lequanne will be honing her passion for technology governance and digital transformation in her Masters of the same name at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia, the only country with a digital government. Just 26, she aims to continue growing in the field of innovation and e-governance while re-imagining how the public engages with technology.

                                                       [2 January 2021]

Lequanne is currently an advisor at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat working on files related to the D9.

Her past work in digital transformation includes being a 2019 Code for Canada fellow at the Canada Energy Regulator, advising on Ontario’s first Data Strategy at the Ontario Digital Service, and researching artificial intelligence at OCAD University.

                  Joella Chrichton  2003 - 2005

Joella Crichton attended Cardinal Newman from 2003 to 2005. She was involved in cheerleading and in her graduating year her team won the national championship. Joella is a graduate of York University’s Acting Conservatory.

She is passionate about her Caribbean heritage and is the reigning Queen of Carnival here in Toronto, a title that she has won nine times times. Some of her recent credits include, a lead role in a web series, iLove (In these Streets); Burning Rubber (Callowgrove Ent); Noogie, or, I love you (Ryerson); Cherry (45 West Films); Exegesis (Ryerson); The Housekeeper (Canadian Film Centre); Luuvie (A Squared) and a guest star role on Degrassi. Joella graduated from the 2014-2015 inaugural acting program at Factory Theatre called The Mechanicals.
Crichton, Joella.jpg
She has performed at the Toronto Fringe, in a devised piece called Nasty with Maelstrom Collective and as Lysander in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream with Shakespeare in the Ruff. In the fall she has the wonderful opportunity to play Regan in King Lear, with The Ad Hoc Collective directed by Ash Knight and will dive into a new play this winter with HERstory Counts.

Bechdel Bill was co-founded by Imogen Grace and Joella Crichton. These two Canadian filmmakers ask film professionals, producers and filmmakers to pledge that 80 per cent of their films will pass the Bechdel Test, (or rather, feature at least two named women who speak to each other about something other than men). 

During the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival over 80 people joined together at the Spoke Club to celebrate the launch of the Bechdel Bill with a panel discussion including film leaders like Mackenzie Donaldson (Orphan Black), Hannah Cheesman (Whatever, Linda), Dan Bekerman (Scythia Films), Katie Boland, Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik and more. The Bill spurs creators to ask themselves, ‘What could I do so that I could make films with more women in conversation, see more women with their own narrative arc, and more women with agency?’ This coming year The Bechdel Bill promises to continue working at transforming the film industry with panel discussions and workshops. They have been featured in such publications as the Globe and Mail, The Mary Sue, and Wired Germany. 

                                                         [3 January 2021]

Joella has most recently appeared in two made for television movies, Love by Accident (2020) and In the Dark (2019).

               Ashley Da Silva   2005 - 2009

Ashley Da Silva was a student at Cardinal Newman from 2005 - 2009. She was enrolled in the Extended French Program and was the Cardinal Newman Ice hockey team scorekeeper throughout all four years of high school.
 Da Silva, Ashley.jpg
Ashley Da Silva is a dancer, performing artist, dance educator and magician based out of Toronto, Ontario. Having trained in classical ballet, jazz and rhythmic gymnastics from a young age, dance and performance art has always been a part of Ashley’s life.
In 2011, Ashley teamed up with her partner Neil Croswell. As a magic duo they would go on to complete tours of Asia, Africa, North America and Europe, as well as to appear on television and cruise ships worldwide.
Notable Television appearances include “La Grande Magia - the Illusionist” filmed in Rome, Italy, “Penn & Teller - Fool Us” filmed in Las Vegas and “Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde”, the largest variety television show in the world, filmed in Paris, France.
While not on an out-of-town assignment, Ashley teaches ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip hop and rhythmic dance to students of all ages.
To see some of Ashley’s performances, click on The International Illusionist video or

Or copy/paste the url below:

               Brandon Diggs   2004 - 2008

Brandon attended Cardinal Newman from 2004 to 2008, where he played rugby for two years and was very active in the weight room.  In Grade 12 he did a co-op placement at Bally Total Fitness which led to a job opportunity in personal training immediately after high school.
 Diggs, Brandon.jpg
Brandon is currently a coach at Fusion Fitlife. Being a natural athlete from a young age, his interests have always gravitated towards sports and competition.  Pursuing these interests led him to competitive amateur boxing and into the world of personal training. While boxing he picked up a wealth of knowledge crucial to his success in and out of the ring. He found himself in an extremely competitive atmosphere where he was constantly being tested and confronted with fears and doubts.  Learning how to overcome these obstacles and thrive in this environment gave him a deep sense of accomplishment and an even greater desire to share that knowledge with those who could benefit.
His training style is intense and relentless most of the time but patient when needed.  His training philosophy can be summed up in one phrase- “by any means necessary”.
To follow Brandon’s work, check out his Instagram page @digdeepwithdiggz

                                                           [3 January 2021]

Brandon has most recently formed the fitness group Synergy Complete Athletics.


                 Ashley Docking  - 2001 - 2005

Ashley Docking attended Cardinal Newman from 2001 to 2005. She played basketball and soccer while in high school. After Newman Ashley attended Seneca College from 2005 to 2009 for business and marketing. She then studied at the College of Sports Media from 2012 to 2014.  Ashley Docking  2001 to 2005.JPG

Ashley began her career as a community reporter, writer and producer with the Edmonton Oilers before taking on the role of sideline reporter for NBA TV Canada in 2015 and digital correspondent for the NBA Summer League in 2016. From there, she became the sports anchor for CHCH in Hamilton and went on to act as reporter, host and producer with the National Lacrosse League. A former college basketball and soccer athlete, Docking is also a member of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association’s (OCAA) Hall of Fame.

In February 2019 Ashley joined The Fan 590’s morning show as a co-host. “I couldn’t be happier to be joining Sportsnet’s Starting Lineup,” said Docking. “I’m particularly proud to be joining the country’s top sports talk radio station and I look forward to bringing a unique perspective to our audience. Greg and Hugh are both tremendous broadcasters and we’re all excited to get started and deliver a fun and fresh show to Toronto’s morning listeners.”

Sportsnet’s Starting Lineup with Brady, Docking and Burrill can be heard from 5:30-9 a.m. ET on Sportsnet 590 The FAN in Toronto. Ashley has considerable material on You Tube - you may wish to start with her advice on How to Get a Job on TV

You can follow Ashley on Instagram at @whatsupdOck.

                                                                [2 January 2021]

Ashley Docking is currently an NLL sideline reporter for the Toronto Rock. She is also now a professor in the School of Marketing at Seneca College as well as an instructor in television announcing at the College of Sports Media.

                     Joyce Fu    2004 - 2008

Joyce Fu was a student at Cardinal Newman from 2004 to 2008. She was part of various extracurriculars including Concert band (04-06), Dragonboat Team (06-08), Destination Imagination (07-08). She was also part of One Community where she contributed in the Hawaiian Dance (07-08).
 Joyce Fu.JPG
Joyce is currently a 4th year intern at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic Centre and has been an active member of VYbE Dance Company since 2010. It started as a hobby for Joyce, but through years of training in dance, she came to realize that she could develop her passion into a vocation. With a B.Sc from the University of Toronto, she got the opportunity to work abroad in Macau, China as a performing artist with Galaxy Entertainment. Since returning to Toronto, she has been training in the hip hop scene to perfect her craft and has worked alongside Footnotes Elite (directed by Andrew "Pyro" Chung and Mariano "Glizzi" Abarco), The Girl's Club (directed by Tamina Pollack-Paris), The Cast: Heels and The Cast: Apprentice (directed by Angela Mahoney), and VYbE'sprofessional team, VYbE FAM (directed by Jasmin Yeung).

Joyce also trained in Movement Lifestyle’sworkshop (LA: theTOUR 2013) learning form choreographers including Kyle Hanagami, Parris Goebel, Vinh Nguyen and has trained at Millennium Dance Complex (Los Angeles) and Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio (Los Angeles). She competed in Beatdown 2013(2nd runner up) & 2014 (1st runner up) and won the title of “Sunshine Girl” in Sunshine Generation 2012.When she is not in school, she teaches weekly open classes at VYbE Dance Company and various workshops across the city. Upon graduation, Joyce is excited to introduce chiropractic into her dance community and to help dancers to do what they love!
                                                            [2 January 2021]

Joyce is now a practicing chiropractor whose services include Diversified and Thompson techniques, acupuncture, yoga therapy and kinesiotaping. 

Ryan O’Reilly  2006 – 2007
Ryan O’Reilly attended Cardinal Newman High School from 2006 to 2007 while he was playing hockey for the Junior Canadians. He found his time at Newman a very positive experience, which he spoke about at the June 2018 school Athletic B
With his work ethic and mental agility combined with clear raw talent it was no surprise that after playing a season with the Toronto Jr. Canadians, Ryan O’Reilly was drafted 1st overall into the Erie Otters in 2007. He was the recipient of the Jack Ferguson award as the first overall selection in the 2007 Ontario Hockey League draft. In Ryan O’Reilly’s rookie year as an Otter, he was voted as the Otter’s Rookie of the Year and the Most Sportsmanlike Player. He also earned a nomination for the Bobby Smith Trophy, which is given to the OHL player who best combines scholastic achievement with excellent play. In his second year with the Erie Otters, Ryan was named the Western Conference Best Penalty Killer.
Ryan O’Reilly was team Captain when Ontario took Gold in the 2008 World U-17 Hockey Challenge. Then at still only seventeen years of age Ryan was asked to join Team Canada in the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia. He was an important factor in Canada’s win over the Russians to claim Gold for the fourth time in four years, and was named the game MVP in the final game. In the 2009 IIHF World U-18 Championships Ryan O’Reilly was named Captain of the young Canadian Team. In 2012 Ryan once again made the Team Canada roster and played in the IIHF World Championships.
In the 2009 NHL Draft, Ryan O’Reilly went 33rd overall of the 2nd round by the Avs. He impressively is the youngest Avs player ever to make the roster. It is a testament that Ryan’s hard work and discipline are recognized on the ice. One reporter reported that, “Ryan O’Reilly plays tough defensively and is an extremely smart player” They went on to say, “The Avs obtained bottled lightning getting O’Reilly”. His fans heartily agree and could not wait to see Ryan back out on the ice. He loves Colorado and the fans of the Avalanche. He calls them “amazing” and “beautiful”

 Ryan OReilly.jpg

In the 2009 NHL Draft, Ryan O’Reilly went 33rd overall of the 2nd round by the Avs. He impressively is the youngest Avs player ever to make the roster. It is a testament that Ryan’s hard work and discipline are recognized on the ice. One reporter reported that, “Ryan O’Reilly plays tough defensively and is an extremely smart player” They went on to say, “The Avs obtained bottled lightning getting O’Reilly”. His fans heartily agree and could not wait to see Ryan back out on the ice. He loves Colorado and the fans of the Avalanche. He calls them “amazing” and “beautiful

Ryan played for the Buffalo Sabres.
Ryan is also involved in charity work. He actively supports Big Brothers and Sisters, and the Can fund, which is a Canadian charity that is devoted to raising funds and awareness for Canadian athletes. And as an example of his love for Colorado and his fans, Ryan also supports Foster Sports, an organization that attempts to improve the lives of displaced children in Colorado through athletics.

                                                   [6 May 2021]

Ryan is currently captain of the St Louis Blues.

Click below on to follow a human interest story involving Ryan's Mom
Ryan O'Reilly's mom story.jpeg



Michal Prywata  2004 - 2008
Michal Prywata (below right) was a student at Cardinal Newman from 2004 until 2008, where he studied Extended French and participated in our One Community celebrations with his Polish dance troupe.  He is the co-founder of a start-up company, Bionik Labs, with his friend Thiago Caires.

Michal Prywata and Thiago Caires.jpg

Teamed up as students, Michal & Thiago won accolades and cash prizes for various inventions, which led them to start their company in 2009. Bionik Laboratories  was created to reinvent the standards of biomechatronics using creativity and uniquely advanced healthcare solutions for persons with restricted physical mobility.
Michal and Thiago won the Ontario Engineering Competition, placed second in the Canada Engineering Competition and in the top ten of the Innovati
on Showcase. 

Nichal Prywata 1.jpg

The company has grown quickly since their first product, which was an artificial arm controlled by human thought patterns. Media and industry response to the duo’s artificial arm only sparked further innovation leading to Bionik Laboratories’ first market ready product, the much-anticipated Exolegs™. The vision, technology and drive to develop the most advanced and powerful technology is evident in the rapid progress of the Exolegs™ and will continue to be the guiding factor propelling Bionik Laboratories to the forefront of biomedical innovation.
Bionik Labs develops a variety of medical technologies. Michal  and his business partner identify gaps in existing technologies and fill them with original, innovative solutions. Their prize-winning mechanical arm is one such invention: It uses a radical new way to move mechanical parts that Michal and Thiago have named “air muscle”. A traditional prosthetic (replacement) arm is controlled remotely by muscle of nerve signals that the patient must learn to exert physically. Michal and Thiago’s air muscle arm is the first to be controlled by a device worn on the head that monitors brain activity and translates one’s thoughts into arm movements.

Michal 2.jpg

Next, they plan to develop a solution for total lung replacement, which could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Working in a start-up company is energy and time consuming, but rewarding. “Even if you work 16 hours a day you’re still having a good time,” Thiago says. That’s in part because Bionik Laboratories is located at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), a thriving community of young tech entrepreneurs who often help each other on projects.

Michal and Thiago often go on the road to demonstrate their products at industry events and medical innovation contests. They’ve even been featured on The Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet!  Michal says, “If you have a crazy idea, just start with the basics and work on it. That’s what we did, and we eventually replaced an entire surgery with something we started from scratch"

Michał Prywata is the co-founder of Phantom Space based out of Tucson Arizona. Phantom Space is developing the next generation of space technology to lower the barriers to entry for space commerce.

Below is a recent photo of Michal with Richard Branson on Branson's private Caribbean island
Michael Prywata with Richard Branson.jpg

                Monika Schmidt  2004 - 2008

Monika Schmidt attended Cardinal Newman from 2004 until 2008, where she participated in One Community, the fashion show, Newman theatre and the concert band. She was in the Extended French Programme and did both Advanced Placement English and French. 

Outside of Newman Monika did classical and jazz piano training, German classes and Tae Kwon Do training. She also did extensive volunteering at numerous locations/events and was awarded the 2008 Lieutenant Governor's Award for Community Volunteer Service.

Monika is now a research scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children studying repeat-associated neurological and neuromuscular disorders. After graduating from Newman, Monika took a gap year to travel to India, where she spent four months volunteering in hospitals in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, and living with a local family, after which time she travelled the entirety of the country solo before returning home to Toronto.

Monika completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Guelph (2013), and after a brief stint as a research assistant, pursued her PhD at the University of Toronto, which she will be defending in the fall of 2021.  Monika's research focuses upon fragile X syndrome (FXS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), specifically studying how DNA is packaged at the mutated genes in these diseases. Monika's research was awarded with a three-year funding term (Doctoral Research Award) by ALS Canada in 2016, as well as receiving provincial and federal funding awards.

Beyond the confines of the lab, Monika was a member of the Career Development Committee (formerly Training and Development Committee) at the American Society of Human Genetics, Chairing the Committee in 2017.
Monika Schmidt 2994 - 2008.jpg

She has taken on organizational roles for international scientific workshops and conferences, such as the Unstable Microsatellites and Human Disease conferences (2015, Costa Rica and 2018, Capri, Italy). Monika continues to be involved in community initiatives including Chairing the SickKids Research Institute Staff Engagement committee from 2015-2019, in which she continues to participate, amongst volunteering with numerous other organizations in Toronto.

Monika lives in Toronto with her spouse, two young children, and three "bonus" sons (step-kids). She still uses her French and has enrolled her children in full French daycare. When not completing home improvement projects, Monika and her hubby can be found traveling, camping, or fixing up their Haliburton Highlands cottage. 

Here is a link to a post she wrote for ASHG.

link to article for Monika Schmidt.jpg

Shawn Setyo   2004 - 2007
Shawn attended Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School from 2004-2007. While enrolled at the school, Shawn was an active and engaging member of the student body. He ultimately found his place on the track & field team, where he was a member throughout his time at Newman. Some of his fondest memories of high school occurred on the back field, where he practiced with the other track athletes. To this day, his closest friends remain the ones he made on that very field. 

Shawn Setyo 2004 to 2007.gif

After graduating from Newman, Shawn went on to attend the University of Saskatchewan. He continued to be an active track & field athlete, however, he did find other avenues of interest, one being The Campus Greens Club. The club was a place where students concerned with global warming could meet and discuss how one could reduce their carbon footprint. This club eventually led Shawn to the Saskatchewan Green Party. He volunteered for the party on a number of campaign and eventually ended up running as a candidate in the Saskatchewan provincial election. Throughout his time at the university, Shawn worked closely with the Provincial and Federal Green parties. 

Today, Shawn is now the newly elected leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party. He hopes to push the ideals of sustainable development and social justice throughout the province of Saskatchewan.
Shawn may live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, but he will never forget his upbringing in Scarborough, or his time at Newman.

                                                      [2 January 2021]

Shawn has worked for the past few years in business development, including solar solutions, and is currently the co-owner of Beyond the Garden Living Soil in Saskatchewan.

                                Victoria Shearham 2005 - 2009

Victoria Shearham attended Blessed Cardinal Newman High School from 2005 to 2009. She graduated with top academic honours and went on to York University. At university, Victoria studied history and English, graduating summa cum laude, before completing her master’s degree in Education. Currently, Victoria is an elementary teacher with TCDSB, as well as a children’s book author and illustrator.

Ever since she was little, Victoria loved to write books and draw. Over the years, she developed her own style and focussed on creating children’s books, combining her passion for art with her passion for children’s literature. Through her stories, Victoria hopes to capture a world of creativity and make-believe, where zoo animals take over a child’s house and a child asks for a pet dinosaur. Inspired by life, she is always keeping her eyes open for ideas and opportunities
to write and draw.Victoria Shearham 2005 to 2009.png

While completing her master’s degree, Victoria met Professor Esther Fine who invited her to illustrate her coauthored book Playing the Bully. Playing the Bully is a heartwarming story about a little girl navigating school, friendships, and trying to come to terms with the new class bully. The experience allowed Victoria to expand on her skills as an illustrator and children’s book designer.

As a teacher, Victoria uses her stories and art to inspire her students. She loves to share her knowledge and skills with others, hoping to encourage the next generation of future authors.
Playing the Bully cover page.jpg

Always excited for new projects, Victoria is currently working on publishing more children’s books in the near future.

                 Caddy Superville 2004 - 2009

Caddy Superville attended Cardinal Newman from 2004 to 2008.  At Newman she was a performer for the One Community celebrations as well as dancing on Newman’s stage on numerous other occasions.
Caddy is currently a dancer, instructor and choreographer.  Her teaching is primarily at the Underground Dance Centre in Toronto.  Her training consists of hip-hop, whacking and house dance in Toronto and in New York City. At 13 Caddy began training at the Toronto Dance Industry and soon after received a scholarship to attend the O.I.P.  summer programme with professional training from Luther Brown, Neekz and Mariano.  
Caddy Superville    2004 - 2008.jpg

Caddy was on York University’s hip-hop team while studying for her degree in social work. Since then she has trained and performed with such companies as Nexx Level, DLM, Dark, BOSS and DEuCEnDIP dance crew.

Some of her major credits include opening for Chris Brown in 2006, back up dancing for PSY and Kiesza at the MMVA’s and performing and instructing the WE DAY dance at the Air Canada Centre in 2014. 
You can follow Caddy's career through her You Tube videos here.
or copy/paste this link  

                      Marisa Tran  2002 - 2006

Marisa Tran attended Cardinal Newman from 2002 until 2006. She participated in softball, stage band and concert band while at Newman.
 Marissa Tran 2002 to 2006.jpg

Marisa is a local business owner
co-owning Hollandaise Diner on Danforth near Woodbine.
Hollandaise Diner opened its doors in 2015 to the Danforth East community and is a small brunch spot known for their epic eggs benedict variations and pancakes.  It was recently acclaimed as one of the top 25 diners in the city by Blog
As a Human Resources professional entering the food industry, her focus has been to change the expectations for employees and to provide a safe space for marginalized groups while offering an exceptional home-perfected brunch.  One can find Marisa at Hollandaise Diner trying to think of a good brunch pun, but as eggshausting as puns may be,  most of the time she’s cracking egg-cellent yolks (get it?!)
Beyond the diner life, Marisa backpacks around the work and recently achieved her 30 countries by 30 (Marisa’s 30X30).  She continues to actively work towards an equitable world advocating for best practices and human rights issues internationally. Marisa lives  in Scarborough not too far from Newman and is a very proud East Ender.  

                  Robbie Wighton 2001 - 2005

Robbie Wighton attended Cardinal Newman from 2001 to 2005, where he participated in six sports teams ( hockey, volleyball, cross country, track, golf and soccer).   He was named Athlete of the Year in 2002 and 2003.  

At Newman Robbie was also a Talent Night performer with music and sketch comedy and an assembly MC. He received an Outstanding Canadian Award in 2005 from the Province of Ontario.  He was also chosen Valedictorian for his graduating class. 

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After high school Robbie attended the University of Toronto, graduating in 2010 with a specialist in History.

Robbie, 33, lives in Pickering, ON with his wife Kathleen. He has worked at Bauer Hockey for almost nine years in the marketing department, specializing in the growth of youth hockey in North America. After working his day job, Robbie continues to pursue his passion of music. Performing solo and with his music partner, Matthew Winkler (also Newman alumnae 2006), he has been entertaining crowds across Canada for nearly 16 years. Robbie and Kathleen are expecting the birth of their first child in Spring 2021, joining his/her brother, Harry.

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Check out his Instagram @robbiewightonmusic and @robbieandmatthew

His website is

Sinead Zailtach  2005 - 2009

Sinead Zailtach was a student at Cardinal Newman from 2005 until 2009.  She participated in We Day during that time.  Sinead lives with Parkes Weber Syndrome which is an extremely rare condition that impacts her vascular, skeletal, muscular and lymphatic systems on a daily basis.  She is very proud of the fact that she graduated from Newman on time, a huge achievement considering she spent much of high school in and out of the hospital and had to overcome sepsis.
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Sinead is a board member of Citizens with Disabilities Ontario, an organization that actively promotes the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of persons with disabilities through community development, social action and member support and referral.  Its primary activity is public education and awareness about the social and physical barriers that prevent the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in Ontario. As a board member Sinead attended the independent AODA review with David Onley as well as participating in meetings and providing input to MPs about Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act.

Sinead has been a member of the Holland Bloorview Youth Advisory council since 2012 and is its past co-chair.  Sinead has had numerous meetings with the accessibility critic at Queen’s Park to discuss how to implement proper Service Dog policy across all school boards in Ontario.  She is also working with the City of Toronto regarding service dog awareness and the Toronto Police-Community Police Liaison Committee to create a service dog awareness project which will help educate businesses about service dog access laws as well as their rights as a business.  Sinead has visited schools to educate students about service dogs and hopes to start her own business  as a service dog policy advisor.   She is featured in her photo here with her own service dog Paddington.
Sinead was introduced to Canadian clothing designer Hilary MacMillan by Jessica Mulroney.  In March she will be collaborating with Hilary to design appropriate pants for those who live with Parkes Weber syndrome.  Sinead was never able to comfortably wear Newman’s uniform pants, so she hopes to find more success working with Hilary! Sinead is a wonderful advocate for persons with disabilities.