This month’s Alumni Spotlight features Annalee Miner '18, a current student at Kent Denver. This year, she joined a local chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) to participate in the “Students of the Year” challenge. This challenge is a national student-led campaign that has raised over $40 million for cancer research since 2017. LLS guides motivated high school leaders to foster professional skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing, and project management as they seek to raise funds for LLS. The title “Student of the Year” is awarded to the candidate or co-candidate team in each community that raises the most funds during a 7-week competition. Annalee partnered with another Kent student to raise $50,000 as part of this philanthropic competition. She and her teammate have solicited local companies, corporations, schools, and community members and are about 45% towards their ultimate goal. We applaud Annalee’s initiative and drive with this effort! For more information on her campaign, visit

I have been asked to speak about Mother Irene and the wonderful example she set for all of us, specifically about her life of service and her humility. Irene and the other sisters of St. Anne’s took up the challenge of caring for children who were afflicted with polio, a disease that ravaged the bodies of young children, often crippling their limbs. In the old black and white pictures, you will notice that many of the children wore braces on their legs so that they could stand. Others had to be pushed in wheelchairs. Sometimes it paralyzed the muscles in their chests, making it impossible for them to breathe on their own. Imagine for a minute what that must have been like. Imagine the fear that these children felt. Mother Irene and and her fellow sisters knew how hard their mission would be, but they were a very determined band of sisters. They rolled up their sleeves and applied themselves to the task, doing whatever they could to help these children regain their strength...

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Our next Alumni Spotlight features Jessica Gibson Covella ’99. As a student at St. Anne’s, Jessica found an interest in Spanish early on. When she got to middle school, Spanish teacher (now Director of Admissions) Lori Frank helped her cultivate that passion and her love for children, impacting the rest of her life. Jessica went on to major in Spanish Literature in college and for the past ten years, Jessica has been working in Denver Public Schools. She is currently at Sabin World Elementary as a bilingual administrator as well as a teacher, coach, and mentor. After partnering with Sabin teachers who carve out time every morning to teach students social and emotional development skills, Jessica was inspired to write a children’s book about emotional intelligence, which she published this past fall. Shine, published in both Spanish and English, is a story for any age that teaches an important lesson about being true to yourself and surrounding yourself with people who lift you up rather than bring you down. Writing this book was “one of the best things I’ve ever done,” she says. Visit to learn more.
This month's Alumni Spotlight features Will Grant '93. In December 2016, Outside magazine contracted Will to ride 350 miles of the Pony Express Trail across Wyoming. After completing that journey with the help of a 16-year old cowboy prodigy and nine horses, Will felt as though he'd only just warmed up to life on the trail. And so began a new adventure to ride the entire 2,000-mile route of the Pony Express all the way from Missouri to California. Even 157 years later, much of the trail is still rideable, though few attempt it. Will used the narratives of Horace Greeley, the African explorer Sir Richard Burton, and Mark Twain to provide background information and context on westward travel during the Pony's tenure, which, when launched in 1860, was the most impressive mail service in the world. Will cataloged his adventure through his blog, The Last Ride of the Pony Express. To read his story, visit,
This month's Alumni Spotlight features Chase Robinson '99 for his involvement with the nonprofit, Young Guns, an organization that endeavors to educate through Western Art and fund scholarships for students committed to agriculture, ranch management, or rural human/veterinary medicine. From Chase: "while everyone in their own way is a pioneer, I think we in the American West embody the traits of trailblazers best. Through an awareness of St. Anne’s past, I feel pride in being part of something bigger than me and comforted knowing this something will always persist without me. When we know the history of a place and our small but not insignificant role in it, our relationship with that place gains depth and perspective. As the Chair of Young Guns of the Coors Western Art Show, I’m committed to preserving the history and traditions of the American West. I think by remembering our past, both as Colorado natives and transplants, we achieve more through a shared sense of community and continue to attract other pioneers from near and far." To learn more about Young Guns, click HERE

Our Alumni Spotlight this month features Dr. Jeffrey Lackner ‘74, Professor and Chief of the Behavioral Medicine Division at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine. In December 2018, he was selected as the winner of the Buffalo Translational Consortium (BTC) 2018 Clinical Research Achievement Award. The work for which he received the award was based on the recently published findings of a landmark NIH-funded clinical trial showing that behavioral self-management treatment developed by his research team was highly effective in reducing gastrointestinal symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. For more information, click HERE.

If you or a classmate wants to be featured in our next Alumni Spotlight, reach out to Julia Brown.

Welcome to the Alumni Spotlight! Each month, the St. Anne’s Alumni Association will be highlighting a SAES alum doing amazing work – whether that be starting their own company, building a brand, giving back to their community in a unique way, or just doing something really cool. If you fit that criteria, we want to hear about it! Send us a pic and tell us more.

Our first spotlight features 1998 alum Catherine Yrisarri, founder of See Why Projects & LUCA Media Collective. As a journalist and storyteller, Catherine has worked with some of the top visionaries, organizations, and companies around the world. Passionate about environmental issues around water scarcity, deforestation, and climate change, Catherine won a 2018 Emmy for best documentary film and the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for her documentary on the declining coral reefs around the world. Most recently, she worked with Participant Media and Al Gore to develop and produce the first immersive Virtual Reality series that chronicles climate change; it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Please join us in celebrating Catherine for her commitment to the environment and advocating courageously for others. Visit to learn more.

Alumni News - Summer 2019

September 4, 2019

Check out the latest edition of our Alumni News publication, outlining how St. Anne's students and alumni are "Reaching Beyond," in and out of the classroom.