2024 honorees

Congratulations to our 23nd Annual Women Making A Difference Recipients

Three distinguished alumnae from Notre Dame Academy will be celebrated at the annual Women Making a Difference Recognition Award Luncheon, scheduled for Thursday, March 7, 2024. The honorees for this year’s event are Betty Baumann Verst 1951, Sandy Bayless Gleeson 1962 and Connie Noll 1985.

The Women Making A Difference award program recognizes Notre Dame Academy alumnae who have made significant contributions to their families and communities through service, professional achievements and philanthropic endeavors. It is a tribute to these women for embodying NDA’s proud legacy and their continued impact on the world. Additionally, the luncheon plays a vital role in raising funds for tuition assistance at Notre Dame Academy.

The ceremony will take place at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, commencing with registration and networking at 11:00 a.m., followed by the luncheon at 12:00 pm.m The Women Making A Difference luncheon warmly welcomes all alumnae, corporate representatives, parents and friends of Notre Dame Academy. 


Betty Baumann Verst

Betty Baumann Verst (Class of 1951) is a shining example of a dedicated and compassionate individual whose unwavering commitment to her community and the principles of Catholic education is nothing short of remarkable. It is with great pride that we honor Betty Verst with the Woman Making A Difference award from NDA.

Betty’s lifelong dedication to enhancing the spiritual and educational well-being of her local community is most evident in her philanthropic efforts. She has generously supported the construction of chapels at four local high schools: Notre Dame Academy, Covington Catholic, Bishop Brossart and Newport Central Catholic, in addition to one at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Betty’s involvement in these projects extends beyond financial contributions; it reflects her deep connection to these institutions, which have played an essential role in the lives of her late husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Betty’s visionary support has created spaces of solace and reflection, where students can partake in prayer and meditation within their schools. Her commitment to nurturing spirituality and offering students a place for personal growth demonstrates her profound understanding of the importance of faith in education.

Furthermore, Betty has continually prioritized Catholic education through her scholarships and monetary donations to schools within the diocese. Her contributions have enabled countless students to access a faith-based education that is often life-changing.

Betty Baumann Verst’s dedication to her community and her commitment to the values of Catholic education make her a truly deserving recipient of the Woman Making A Difference award. Her legacy of support and love for her local schools will continue to impact generations of students and uphold the spirit of Notre Dame Academy’s mission. Betty’s actions exemplify the values and principles we hold dear, and we are proud to recognize her for her exceptional contributions.

2024 WMAD Recipient

Sandy Bayless Gleeson

Sandy Bayless Gleeson (Class of 1962) exemplifies the qualities of selflessness, compassion and unwavering dedication to her community and faith. It is with the utmost respect and admiration that we celebrate Sandy Glee-son as a recipient of the Woman Making A Difference award from NDA.

Sandy’s journey is a testament to her lifelong commitment to the service of others. As a nurse, she has devoted her career to caring for the sick, infirmed and dying, embodying the very essence of compassion and empathy. Her dedication to her faith has been a guiding light, inspiring her to serve not only within her profession but also in various volunteer roles that have touched the lives of many. Through the knowledge she gained from working on the Psychiatric Unit as a new graduate along with 21 years in the Emergency unit at Good Samaritan Hospital gave her an invaluable knowledge base in extending heith 21 years in the Emergency unit at Good Samaritan Hospital gave her an invaluable knowledge base in extending her care to my family, friends and patients alike. For Sandy, nursing is not just her profession, it’s her life’s ministry.

Sandy’s contributions extend far beyond the confines of nursing. She has been an invaluable member of the Chil-dren’s Home Board, offering her expertise to improve the lives of children and families in need. Her work as a volunteer at the Good Samaritan Hospital Free Health Center (FHC), supporting the most vulnerable in the community, underscores her commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of those who need it most.

Sandy’s compassionate leadership shines through her involvement in the arts, where she has volunteered at Aronoff, Covedale and Incline Theatres. Her participation in the arts community adds a touch of warmth and creativity to her service efforts.

Her dedication to Catholicism and her devotion to her faith are unwavering. Sandy’s work as a parish nurse, conducting blood pressure screenings and providing support to her church community, is a reflection of her strong connection to her faith and her commitment to its principles. Sandy also serves as a lector and minister the Eucharist at the weekday and weekend liturgies at St. Agnes on a regular basis. 

Notably, Sandy extends her service to homeless families through Family Promise, offering comfort and assistance to those facing some of life’s most challenging circumstances.

Sandy Bayless Gleeson’s life is a testament to the power of compassion and selfless service. Her dedication to the sick, the needy, her faith and her community is a shining example of the values Notre Dame Academy holds dear. We are proud to recognize her as a recipient of the Woman Making A Difference award, and her legacy of kindness will continue to inspire generations to come.

2024 WMAD Recipient

Connie Noll

Connie Noll (Class of 1985) is a shining example of unwavering commitment to her faith and community. It is with great honor and admiration that we recognize Connie Noll as a deserving recipient of the Woman Making A Differ-ence award from NDA.

Connie’s life has been a testament to the principles of service and compassion. As the Chair of the Catholic Chari-ties Board’s CASSBA event, she has played a pivotal role in supporting those in need and championing the values of Catholic charity. Her dedication to the DCCH (Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home) is a testament to her devotion to the welfare and development of children and families.

A natural leader, Connie has been a guiding presence for high school retreats, offering spiritual guidance and mentorship to the next generation. She lives out Catholic and Christian values not just in her words but in her daily actions, setting an example for all who have the privilege of knowing her.

As a parish volunteer and committed parishioner, Connie actively contributes to the well-being of her faith community. Her service extends beyond her personal beliefs, as she embodies the essence of a servant leader—selflessly dedicating her time and energy to the betterment of others.

Connie Noll’s remarkable life is a testament to her unwavering commitment to Catholic and Christian values and her dedication to serving those in need. Her leadership, compassion, and commitment to her faith community make her a highly deserving recipient of the Woman Making A Difference award from NDA. Her legacy of service and kindness will continue to inspire those who have the privilege of following in her footsteps.

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

Sister Mary Paul Ann Hanneken, SND ’50
Sister Mary Rachel Nerone, SND ’54
Sister Mary Janet Stamm, SND ’58
Annie Faragher Bennett ’66
Sharon Bosch Foster ’83 

Laura Gausepohl Arlinghaus ’81
Jo Ruwe Terry ’81
Kristy Franxman Dailey ’01 

Sr. Marie Rose Messingschlager, CDP ’62
Emily Melching Michels ’88
Erin Kern Timmerding ’90

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 Dempsey ’77-2022
Mr. and Mrs. Bob and Diane Hoffer