New! Introducing Our Grade-Level Reps

The Dragon Parents have recruited four wonderful volunteers to help us build a sense of community and spirit at each grade level.  They will plan social events for parents and provide ongoing communications specific to each class.  They are Peggy Desler (Freshman), Abby Franklin (Sophomores), Tere Hanson (Juniors), and Lisa Thompson (Seniors).  Watch for an email later this month including contact information and news about upcoming events at school.

Year in Review: Dragon Parents Board Built a New Foundation

Working together throughout the past school year, the Dragon Parents Board literally reinvented itself to strengthen the connection between O’Dowd program needs and the talents of the parent community, and to create a meaningful sense of community and commitment.

Besides sponsoring a lineup of wonderful hospitality and educational events throughout the school year and launching the Amazon fundraising program, the Dragon Parents Board undertook a strategic realignment of its mission and structure to ensure sustainable outcomes.

Following the success of popular events like TeacherTalks and the Distracted Driving seminar, the Board saw the opportunity to improve its coordination with the school’s Parent Education program. This led to the creation of a dedicated Parent Education Chair who will work closely with O’Dowd parent education program director, Mark Lederer.

Likewise, the Board identified other needs and created additional new Board roles. For example, now individual class-year representatives will focus on the unique needs of freshman, sophomore, junior and senior families. The Board also added a coordinator to promote its merchandising partnership with the school related to sales of parent O’Dowd spirit-gear and making those and other logo gear available at events.

“I am appreciative of the attention to alignment with our school in terms of volunteer actions and advocacy,” said O’Dowd Principal James (J.D.) Childs. “This is such important work on behalf of our school.”

Outgoing Board President Lora Johnson, who served two years during which the Dragon Parents evolved into a well-coordinated and efficient auxiliary in support of the school’s mission, also expressed gratitude and appreciation to fellow board members.

“The service ethic and commitment of the Dragon Parents Board has been truly inspiring to me,” Lora says. “We are now better aligned with the school’s programs and goals, and we’ve identified new talent in the parent body to help us move forward in the coming years.”


We support and/or sponsor a number of special events throughout the year to enhance the sense of community among parents, students and faculty.  Mark your calendar for these happenings and watch this space and email for updates and additional details.

Friday, September 1
Dragon Spirit Wear @ JV and Varsity Football Games

Tuesday, September 12
College Fair

Dragon Parents Kick-Off Social
Wednesday, September 13 (6:30–8:30pm)

Parents from all grade levels are invited to join the Dragon Parents Board for a fun, casual and informative evening on the patio of the Center of Environmental Studies (CES) building.  Enjoy wood-fired pizza and other refreshments while you learn more about meaningful ways to get involved at school for the benefit of our students.

Tuesday, October 3
Seniors and Parents Mass

Tuesday, October 10
“Screenagers” Movie Showing

Friday, October 20
Spirit Wear Sales at Homecoming Game

Thursday, October 26
Driving Safety Event with Impact Teen Drivers

Wednesday, November 8
Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Tuesday, November 21
Teacher Appreciation Holiday Desserts

What Do the Dragon Parents Do?

Our children’s academic, spiritual, emotional and social growth during their time at O’Dowd is supported by a dedicated team of people: faculty, administrators, coaches, and of course — us, the parents!  The Dragon Parents believe this special combination of people, talent, and commitment is what makes our school community so strong and vibrant.

Our primary focus is engaging the parent community to support and increase O’Dowd’s capacity to deliver the exceptional programs and events which are so valuable to our students. Many important school initiatives are boosted by “volunteer power.”

Specific programs initiated by Dragon Parents include: freshman mentor parent newsletters, teacher appreciation events, parent mixers, TeacherTalks@O’Dowd and much more.

We’ve seen that every parent has something unique to contribute and that your participation enhances the educational experience of every student.  Of course, we always welcome your ideas about our programs and goals. Please send these to

Get Involved
There are many ways to help our students, faculty and school by volunteering your time and talents.  When you registered your student(s), you indicated your volunteer interests.  The Dragon Parents volunteer coordinator will notify you when appropriate opportunities arise. If you’re eager to get started, email

  • Help to plan or volunteer at the Crab & Pasta Feed
  • Bake brownies for prospective families
  • Chaperone a college trip with the Career Partnership Program
  • Spend a day at a homeless shelter with the sophomores
  • Be a team parent for a sports team
  • Serve as a freshman mentor parent
  • Cook a pot of soup for the teachers
  • Help with visual art, drama and music happenings
  • Share career advice at an Evening with the Professionals
  • Help with tutoring, counseling, mailings, or administrative tasks
  • Take photos at events

2017-18/2018-19 Dragon Parents Board* Announced

Thanks and congratulations to the dedicated parents listed below who have been confirmed as Dragon Parents Board members for 2017-18/2018-19. Questions? Contact

Molly Natsues**
Vice President Kim Hoglund
Secretary Christine Marke
Treasurer Courtney Shepler
Communications Chair
Skip Fogarty**
Development Chair Chris Bunn**
Parent Education Chair Almetria Vaba
Volunteer Chair Kasia Ekstrand**
Hospitality Co-Chairs Nicole Paez**& Mary Schirmer**
Kairos Reception Coordinator
Anna Raphael**
Retail Coordinator Sheron Campbell
Arts Representative Andrew Danish**
Freshman Mentor Parent Laura Post** & Alex Murphy
Program Coordinator
Freshman Class Representative Peggy Desler
Sophomore Class Representative Abby Franklin
Junior Class Representative Tere Hanson**
Senior Class Representative Lisa Thompson
Tech Support Sunny Lal**


*Executive and Chair roles are elected roles with term limits; Coordinator and Representative roles do not have term limits.
**Continuing board members; some in new roles

Dragon Parents Board Meetings

Dragon Parents Board meetings are open to all interested parents and are normally conducted on the first Tuesday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  (This year, the April meeting was pushed back one week due to spring break.) Join us in the Tutoring Center adjacent to the Library, using the entrance facing the Quad. Here’s the full schedule for 2017-18.  Links to meeting agendas and minutes will be posted here as they become available.

August 1 (Meeting Agenda)
September 5
October 3
November 7
December 5
January 2
February 6
March 6
April 10
May 1

If you have a specific topic you’d like to discuss with the Board, please send an email to

Programs Sponsored by Dragon Parents

Freshman Parent Mentor Program
All freshman parents at O’Dowd are assigned to a volunteer parent “mentor” who knows the ropes at our school. They provide monthly email updates about what’s going on for your kids at school, and everything you need to know to make sure they’re prepared. Download the latest letter for December 2016 »

O’Dowd is excited about its new partnership with Carpool-to-School, the online carpool service that’s fast, easy, secure, and exclusive to the O’ Dowd community. This partnership comes after a school-wide transportation survey, co-sponsored by the Dragon Parents Group, uncovered an opportunity to increase the number of daily carpoolers (from 32% to at least 50%). Let’s make it happen! Make a positive impact on the environment by registering today»


 O’Dowd receives a generous percentage of your purchase amounts when you access the Amazon marketplace through this Dragon Parents webpage. Please bookmark this page, share it with friends and family, and remember to start your Amazon shopping here on the school website. It turns shopping into an act of giving!

Shop now »

Learn more about the Amazon Associates program


When you shop, online or locally, merchants give back to O’Dowd.
To register:

  • Go to »
  • Search “Bishop O’Dowd High School” or ID #139840033
  • Click “Sign Up”
  • Register

Contact Us

The best way to reach the Dragon Parents is at Our Communications Chair will route your idea or question to the appropriate board member.