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Our Distinguished Graduates

Melissa (Pieper) Arnold

2020 Distinguished Graduate, Class of 1982

St. Martin of Tours School recently celebrated National Catholic Schools Week (CSW). This special week was established in 1974, to recognize Catholic Education as a great gift to the Church and the nation and to celebrate Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service. Each year, during CSW, we honor one of our alumni. This year, Melissa (Pieper) Arnold was named our 2020 Distinguished Graduate. Missy is the first and only woman to serve as Captain of Cincinnati Fire Department.

She is currently assigned as the Commander of the Training Bureau.  Melissa graduated from SMOT in 1982, and then attended Mother of Mercy High School.  She received her Master of Education at the University of Cincinnati and previously worked as a Registered Dietician.  Melissa is married to Chris Arnold (SMOT Class of 1979) and they have three children.  They are currently members of St. Jude Parish.  Thank you, Melissa, for your service to our community as a firefighter and for paving the way for young women everywhere as an example for all! 

Mary Jo Martin

2018 Distinguished Graduate, Class of 1957

This year, Mary Jo Martin was named our 2018 Distinguished Graduate. Mary Jo has been associated with St. Martin of Tours since an early age. Mary Jo was baptized here at St. Martin and graduated from our grade school in 1957. At the age of 19, Mary Jo began her teaching career here at St. Martin School and continued to do so for the next 40 years becoming one of our most beloved faculty members.

Currently, Mary Jo remains active in our St. Martin community. Every now and then, you can see Mary Jo helping out in our school cafeteria during lunch time. She can be seen doing such envious jobs as crowd control and opening ketchup packets and milk cartons. Mary Jo also works at SMOT Bingo on a regular basis. Mary Jo can be seen selling “instants,” counting money, selling Bingo sheets, or keeping the other volunteers in line. In yet another capacity, Mary Jo considers it a great honor to serve on our St. Martin of Tours Bereavement Committee, helping families who are grieving the loss of a loved one with funeral arrangements during a difficult time. Finally, and not to be forgotten, Mary Jo has helped bring new Catholics into the Church by being an RCIA sponsor on four separate occasions.

As you can see, St. Martin of Tours Parish and School are indebted to Mary Jo Martin for all of the time and effort she has given to our parish community. Thank you, Mary Jo, for your lifetime of dedication to St. Martin of Tours School and Parish! Mary Jo is truly a wonderful example of our Catholic teachings and we are blessed to have her here at St. Martin.

Mary Jo (Enginger) Hornsby

2017 Distinguished Graduate, Class of 1971

St. Martin School recently celebrated National Catholic Schools Week (CSW). This special week was established in 1974, to recognize Catholic Education as a great gift to the Church and the nation and to celebrate Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service. Each year, during CSW, we honor one of our alumni. This year Mary Jo (Enginger) Hornsby was named our Distinguished Graduate for 2017. 

Mary Jo and her five siblings were all baptized and received their sacraments here at St. Martin of Tours. After graduating from St. Martin School in 1971, Mary Jo went on to Mother of Mercy High School and then Cincinnati State. Mary Jo worked as a Realtor for Coldwell Banker in the early 1990s. Mary Jo and her husband, Mike, have six children, all of whom attended Catholic schools.

Mary Jo and her family started a family foundation to give back to Catholic schools and Right to Life agencies in thanks for the many blessings that God has given them. Mary Jo and Mike started a computer business in 1988, supporting mainframe computers worldwide. So, naturally when Mary Jo saw that her alma mater was needing funds for technology, she immediately stepped forward. Not only did her family foundation donate the monies needed to outfit our school with 30 Mac computers, they also helped with the installation of these new computers! 

Mary Jo and her family are truly a wonderful example of our Catholic teachings. They are a family of faith, sharing not only their generosity, but also their knowledge and service. For these reasons, SMOT School chose to recognize and thank this distinguished graduate and her family.

Tara Calahan King

2016 Distinguished Graduate, Class of 1987

This year Tara Calahan King was honored as our Distinguished Graduate for 2016. After graduating from St. Martin School in 1987, Tara went on to Mother of Mercy High School and then received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Tara is a professional freelance artist; a commercial and residential muralist, an illustrator (for children’s books, greeting cards, brochures, magazines, etc.), a public sculpture designer; she provides literacy and arts programs in schools and libraries across the country, and she also helps create theater sets for the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

Tara has been able to work with children all over the country, providing art and literacy programs for 20 years. She was commended a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor, Steve Beshear, for these programs. Tara has received awards for her illustrations in her children’s books, and her book entitled Enemy Pie, was chosen to help promote and save the children’s television program, Reading Rainbow, raising over a million dollars in one day. This book was also chosen by Reading Rainbow, and narrated by the Emmy Award winning actor Ed Harris, to address bullying among children.

Tara has created artwork for the Dragonfly foundation at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, for sick children and their families. She has designed and painted over 7,000 square feet of murals and interactive sculptures for children in two public libraries. She also has the blessing of nurturing, teaching, and loving her two beautiful children. Tara said her Catholic education helped develop and strengthen her foundation in life. She will continue to use her talents and to share her creativity and enthusiasm for art and literature, and her artistic experiences with the world around her.

Lois (Borgemenke) Sundrup

2015 Distinguished Graduate, Class of 1966

St. Martin School celebrated National Catholic Schools Week in grand style. This special week was established in 1974 to recognize Catholic Education as a great gift to the Church and the nation. Our theme this year was, “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Faith, Knowledge and Service are evident in our SMOT Faculty and Staff.

This year Lois (Borgemenke) Sundrup, our parish Business Manager, was honored as our Distinguished Graduate for 2015. After graduating from St. Martin School in 1966, Lois went on to Mother of Mercy High School. She married Don Sundrup (St. Martin Class of 1964) and together they raised four wonderful children. Everything Lois has achieved in her life has been through her hard work and determination. 

Lois became the first Business Manager for St. Martin of Tours in 1995. Anyone who knows Lois knows that she is dedicated to her job and our parish community. Lois puts in countless hours in the office and at late night parish related meetings. Plus, she works every Wednesday at our parish Bingo. Lois balances all of this with her family life, maintaining close relationships with not only her own children and grandchildren, but also her beloved siblings. 

Her Catholic Faith can be seen in all she does. Lois believes that her work here at St. Martin of Tours is a Ministry of her faith. Faith, Knowledge and Service is certainly the theme to Lois Sundrup’s life. Congratulations to Lois on this well deserved award!

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