Blue Ribbon

Women Making a Difference

                                      2020 Women Making A Difference Luncheon Inspires Attendees

Notre Dame Academy women continue to make a difference to their families, their communities, and the world in which they live. This fact was clearly brought to light once again as Annie Faragher Bennett '66, Sharon Bosch Foster '83, Sister Mary Janet Stamm, SND '58 and Sister Mary Paul Ann Hanneken, SND '50 and Sister Mary Rachel Nerone, SND '54. are to be honored at the twentieth annual Women Making a Difference luncheon on June 3, 2021. 

2021 Women Making a Difference Recipients


Annie Faragher Bennett, class of 1966, is a person of eternal good spirit. As a wife, mother of three, and grandmother, Annie fought through a challenging battle with alcohol addiction. Armed with courage, fortitude, and a deep faith in God, Annie emerged with a determination to help others fight their own battles. She realized that other women were fighting the same challenges, and in 1993 founded The First Step Home. This became the first facility of its kind which allowed recovering women to bring their children with them during their recovery period. From its humble beginnings, First Step Home now owns six-seven housing beds and sixteen residential treatment beds within twelve buildings. Now retired, Annie continues her involvement by chairing the Advisory Board of the First Step Home, thus assuring it remains true to its mission to assist women in finding treatment and give needed support to ensure that their guests can achieve their goals of wellness. Annie has also lent her time and talents to the Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, Cheer Program Committee, as well as serving on the board of Shelterhouse. Annie is truly a woman making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. 


Sharon Bosch Foster, class of 1983, has made a difference in the lives of others for generations. While living in Louisiana with her young family, she experienced the tragic loss of her seven year old son, Nate, from a brain tumor. She and her husband subsequently founded a karate school in his honor, with afterschool and weekend programs for children. Since then, Sharon and her family moved to Cincinnati and her world opened up to her. As an employee of 5/3 Bank, what began as a part-time job, soon became a vocation for Sharon. The time she spent with her clients allowed her to realize that there was a great need for someone to become an advocate for seniors and persons with disabilities who simply couldn’t handle their own finances. This led her to found SMS, Support Management Solutions. From the beginning, Sharon has been  personally invested in the lives of her clients. Whether they be widowed senior citizens, clients with addictions, nursing home residents, or those suffering with disabilities which prohibit their ability to manage their own affairs, Sharon treats each individual with the care and respect they deserve. For the dedication and service she shows to the marginalized and impaired, she is truly making a difference. 


Sister Mary Janet Stamm SND,  class of 1958, has spent her life making a difference to the local community and beyond as an educator, minister, and servant leader.  In the early 1990’s, Sister Janet answered the challenging call to spread God’s message to people in need.  She traveled thousands of miles to the continent of Africa to begin a school in a very impoverished area of the world. She assisted in overseeing the building of a convent for the Sisters, while at the same time, helped to build a complex that now has a school building and dormitories. This was all done without running water and electricity. After twenty-five years and many challenging times, St. Julie School is now the best in Uganda. Their students are returning to the school as teachers, with some becoming Sisters of Notre Dame to carry on the work that Sister Janet helped begin there. Sister Janet continues to serve as she lives the Gospel in her local northern Kentucky community. She can now be found tutoring working with ESL families at El Centro de la Divina, tutoring at the NDA Urban Education Center, doing hospital ministry at St. Elizabeth Hospital, and working with the NDA associate program. Sister continues to spread God’s goodness and make a difference in the lives of those she encounters.  


Sister Mary Paul Ann Hanneken SND, class of 1950, has led an exemplary life of service and dedication to others. As the fourth of five children, she entered the order of the Sisters of Notre Dame during her senior year in high school. Her father’s words of advice served as a mantra throughout her life, “Be a good Sister of Notre Dame, or be none at all.” She took those words to heart. Sister Paul Ann has served in various roles throughout her life.  As a second year novice Sister began her teaching career. She has ministered as an elementary teacher at St. Joseph, Cold Spring, St. Stephen, Newport, St. Aloysius Orphanage, Cincinnati, and St. Columban in Loveland. She has also served at St. Joseph Heights as Postulant Directress, Novice Directress and Local Coordinator of the Sisters of Notre Dame. She then transitioned to the role of the NDA Director of Admissions and currently serves with Sister Mary Rachel as director of the well-established work study program. As a cancer survivor, she continues to serve as an inspiration to the entire Notre Dame community because of her strength and determination. As she has said, “God loves all of us, so why shouldn’t we love one another.” For her spirit-filled life of love and service,  Sister Mary Paul Ann is truly making a difference.

Our Distinguished Past Honorees:

Mary Lee Stegman Aldemeyer '35
Ann McCabe Buenger '44
Trinette Foote '72
Judy Webster Gerding '58
Lisa Cooney Henderson '82
Judy Fisk Schneider '63

Fran Harden Carlisle '58
Virginia “Tep” Witemyre McCafferty '48
Denise Gehring Schickling '65


Sister Mary Laurence Budde, SND '47
Sally McGinnis Monahan '75
Patricia M. Summe '71

Deborah Ann Borchers '75
Patricia Rust Kovacs '71
Jean Schmidt Longshore '50

Mary Theis Bunning '50
Sister Jean Marie Hoffman '65
Jean Ann Glenn VonHandorf '44

Catherine (Kay) Laske '34
Amy McGrath-Henderson '93
Elizabeth Riche Read '39

Janet Annear Chambers '77
Michelle Dixon Eckerle '94
Carol Schmidt Mullen '53

Ruth Appel Averdick '69
Sister Georgia Marie Messingschlager 56
Mary Kay Woodruff Sommerkamp '81

Amy Quinn '90
Lynn Dietz Schworer '74
Carol Steltenkamp '79

Sister Ann Rene McConn '56
Amy Brake Thomas '92
Marilyn Willenbrink '60

Cathy Toebbe Ficke '69
Sr. Sebastien Schmidt, SND '45
Deb Moore Shaner '79

Kara Middendorf '96
Janet Von Handorf Schmidt '81
Kathy Talbert Thamann '69

Marcia Adick Klaene '61
Joan Kluemper, DMD '69
Mary Ann Blewett Robinson '55
Gabrielle Summe, Esq. '84

Julia B. Meister '87
Meghan Scherder Olson '91
Wendy Vonderhaar '86

Lisa Davis Louden '97
Sister Mary Ethel Parrott, SND '64

Gina Tuemler Wulfeck '76

Linda Scully Bricking ‘65
Katrina Wagner Brown ‘86
Penelope Bayless Rogers ‘60

Barb Fritz '68
Jan Steffen Hanser '76
Amy Wurtenberger Beck '78
Martha Wurtenberger Barnes '78

Rosa Hollis-Bird '62
Julie Prewitt Schneider '84
Karen Bieger Finan '77
Julie Mullen Bruns '87

Connie Kaelin Roenker -68
Peggy Murphy Barker '84
Holly Graziani Danneman '92

Sr. Mary Reina Arlinghaus Award Recipients

Mr. Robert Stevens - 2010 

Mr. and Mrs. Richard and Jeanne-Marie Tapke - 2013

Mr. and Mrs. William and Sue Butler - 2016

Sr. Mary Rita Geoppinger, SND - 2017

Mrs. Mary Brown - 2018

Mr. and Mrs. Mike and Beth Schuh '77 Dempsey