Dragon Parents Kick-off Party Draws a Crowd


More than 100 parents turned out for the annual Dragon Parents Kick-off Party on the CES patio on the evening of September 13. A show of hands proved all classes were well represented and everyone was treated to pizza, refreshments, and some informative presentations.

The newly formed Jazz Band played a few numbers and the new Dragon Parents Board was casually introduced to parents. Several Dragon Parents programs were discussed, including new grade-level communications and the Amazon Associates fundraising campaign.

Special thanks to coach Jamal Cooks, Fine & Performing Arts teacher Fred Randolph and Catherine Harris and Malik McCord from O’Dowd’s Academic Support department for their participation.

Campus Art Evokes Conversation and Contemplation

Looking for a way “to wake our campus up a bit,” as Associate Principal Jase Turner puts it, the school partnered with Dragon Parents Arts Chair Andrew Danish to bring two engaging sculptures to the patio areas of the CES building.


art sculpture 2






Created by San Francisco artist Mark Baugh-Sasaki, the steel-and-wood fabrications explore the interaction between natural and human-made environments. While attending art school in Pittsburgh, Baugh-Sasaki became engrossed with the post-industrial aspects of the surrounding geography — a theme which informs his installations.

“Hopefully these works start a dialogue which challenges our students intellectually,” Danish says. “We wanted to present these installations as approachable and in alignment with the school’s sustainability initiatives” he explains.

Danish and Turner also championed the whimsical (and functional!) chairs which graced the quad last year. Those were by local artist Karen Cusolito.

Watch for more exciting artwork on campus in the near future.

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).

Below are the class letters for October.  If you ever have questions or suggestions about these communications, please contact us at


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.

Tuesday, October 3
Seniors and Parents Mass

Tuesday, October 10
“Screenagers” Movie Showing

Thrusday, October 19
Freshman Parents Social at the 21st Amendment brewpub in San Leandro. Contact Peggy Desler @

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 or visit the iVolunteer website.

  • 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

Dragon Parents Board

board photo

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 Parents Laura Post & Alex Murphy
Freshman Class Representative Peggy Desler
Sophomore Class Representative Abby Franklin
Junior Class Representative Tere Hanson
Senior Class Representative Lisa Thompson
Tech Support Sunny Lal
Fundraising Coordinator Michelle Flynn



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 Minutes)
September 5 (Minutes)
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.

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!  Learn more about the Amazon Associates program »

Shop now »


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
Attention Lucky and Save Mart Shoppers
Turn every shopping trip into cash for O’Dowd.  Simply register your phone number or Rewards card number with eScrip.  Not a Rewards member? Register for Lucky You Rewards and Save Mart Rewards.

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.