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Paths Leading Back to O’Dowd

For many, the four years spent at O’Dowd inspires the personal and professional paths they take in their lives. For some, that inspiration leads them back to O’Dowd – as faculty or staff. This year, we celebrate the 22 alumni who returned to O’Dowd and help strengthen our school every day. Some have been with us for years, and some are back for the first time this semester. “It’s exciting to see the return of so many faces as they rejoin the O’Dowd community in a new way,” remarked Fran Warmerdam, Director of Counseling, who has been with O’Dowd since 1985. “I knew many of them as students. It’s a delight to know them as educators, administrators and support staff today.”

Alums who are O'Dowd Faculty or Staff in 2021

Alumni gathered for a group photo during the faculty and staff retreat before the start of school. Back row, left to right: Jonathan Angeles ’08, Brian Cushing ’84, Starr Gray ’98, Jen Colgan ’92, Meghan Wallingford ’89, Lou Richie ’89, Laurie Billups ’93, Betty Uribe ’11, Gerald Bennett, Jr. ’93, Patrice Wakeley ’01 Front row, left to right: Stephanie Nielson ’95, Shannon Donahue ’95, Maurita Toler ’07, Erin Lunde ’04, Jay Beito ’92, Sarah Firestone ’13; Not Pictured: Sharon Correia ’83, Brian Payawal ’92, Juliet Arechiga ’93, Khari Stockey ’94, Lawrence Sterling ’95, Charles Peoples III ’08

Here is a round-up of our alumni faculty and staff

(click images for their directory page)

Sharon Correia ’83 Joined O’dowd n 1984 and has held a variety of titles over the years, including Cheerleading Moderator and US History Teacher.

Brian Cushing ’84 Has been with the O’Dowd staff since 1992. He teaches AP US History, American Government, and Economics.

Coach Lou Richie ’89 Started coaching the Men’s Basketball team at O’Dowd in 2001 and is also a physical education teacher. He currently serves as the Head Coach of the Men’s Varsity team.

Meghan Wallingford ’89 Returned to O’Dowd in 2014 as a member of the Counseling Department, and serves as the Career Counselor.

Jay Beito ’92 Came back to O’Dowd in 2010 and serves as the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator in the Athletics Department.

Jen Colgan ’92 An Oakland native, Jennifer returns to O’Dowd after many years as a small business owner and involvement in parent leadership at her children’s elementary school. She just joined the Admissions Team this year as the Admissions Assistant.

Brian Payawal ’92 Became staff on the O’Dowd IT Department in 2008 and currently serves as the Senior IT Manager.

Juliet Arechiga ’93 Joined the Counseling Department in 2014, after triple majoring at Duke University and earning her masters at Trinity College.

Laurie Billups ’93 Returned to O’Dowd in 1999 to teach Physical Education, after earning a Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences at UC Davis and a Masters of Arts in Teaching at USF.

Gerald Bennett Jr. ’93 Came back to O’Dowd in 2009 and is currently the Director of Logistics.

Khari Stockey ’94 Joined the Security Department in 2016.

Shannon Donahue ’95 Returned to O’Dowd in 2006 to coach the Women’s Basketball team. Since 2012 she has served as Dean of Students. She continues to support the Women’s Basketball program including the 2012 and 2013 state championship seasons.

Stephanie Nielson ’95 Has been on staff with O’Dowd’s Math Department since 2019. She currently teaches Finite Math and Algebra 2/Trigonometry.

Lawrence Sterling ’95 Returned to O’Dowd in 2001 and serves as the Assistant Security Coordinator.

Starr Gray ’98 Joined the O’Dowd faculty in 2007 and is the Director of Student Activities, as well as the Digital Music Studio Teacher.

Patrice Wakeley ’01 Returned to O’Dowd in 2014 and has held various positions in the Counseling and Administration departments. She now serves as the Director of Equity and Belonging.

Erin Lunde ’04 Came back to O’Dowd this year as the Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, after 10 years of teaching and working in various communication roles.

Maurita Toler ’07 Recently joined O’Dowd as the Director of Alumni Engagement, after serving as the Alumni Relations Coordinator for Cal Athletics for six years.

Jonathan Angeles ’08 Has been on staff with O’Dowd since 2015. He received his BFA at the Academy of Art University and is now the Director of Theatre Tech in the Drama Department.

Charles Peoples III ’08 Joined O’Dowd as the Choreographer in the Drama Department in 2020.

Betty Uribe ’11 Returned to O’Dowd’s Counseling Department in 2020, after earning her Bachelor of Science from Santa Clara University and her Masters from University of San Francisco.

Sarah Firestone ’13 Joined O’Dowd in 2019, after receiving her Bachelors in Math at UC Santa Cruz and Masters in Education at UC Berkeley. She is currently teaching AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, and Honors PreCalculus.


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