Homecoming Hall of Fame
Our Homecoming Hall of Fame recognizes members of the Bishop Watterson community who have made significant contributions to the school through sharing of their talents, extensive volunteer work or as staff whose work has made an impact on the students and BWHS family.
Sister Mary Hope Sieron
It was especially fitting to honor Sister Mary Hope Sieron as the newest inductee in the Bishop Watterson Homecoming Hall of Fame as Homecoming has always been her favorite BWHS tradition.
Sister Mary Hope believes Homecoming is wonderful because it is led by the students and is an integral way that the Watterson community stays connected. Former, current, and future Bishop Watterson students embrace and strengthen our sense of community through this important tradition.
Sister spent 35 years as a member of the Bishop Watterson community. In that time, she taught all four levels of English, as well as chairing the English department, directing plays, working in the school bookstore, and leading the cheerleading squad and the school newspaper. She represents all those Dominican Sisters who were so instrumental in the establishment of Bishop Watterson as a Catholic high school devoted to excellence.
Sister Mary Hope has been immersed in Catholic education all of her life. Even at a young age, she was able to recognize the sacrifices that her parents made to send her, and her three sisters, to Catholic schools. This influenced Sister tremendously and explains why her parents have been her biggest motivators in life.
Sister advanced her education by earning her bachelor’s degree from St. Mary of the Springs, which later became Ohio Dominican University, and then her master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. She did not take her educational opportunities lightly. She hopes that all Watterson students will take the time to recognize what an advantage we are given in life by having a Catholic education background. Sister appreciates that the basics of Catholic education have remained fundamentally unchanged over the years at Bishop Watterson. The school has preserved the four pillars of the Dominican order: prayer, study, community, and ministry. However, she believes some important changes have taken place; such as an increased emphasis on different learning styles, more technology in the classroom, and stronger efforts to prepare students for an ever changing world. Nonetheless, she believes the four pillars are still very much alive at Bishop Watterson, especially when students put the concepts they have learned in the classroom into action in our community through service.
When looking back at her time at Bishop Watterson, Sister Mary Hope cherishes her special relationships with all of the faculty, especially her A lunch crew. Some of the moments that stick with her the most are the way the Watterson community responds to adversity. When an unfortunate event occurs affecting either a student or a faculty member, the Watterson family answers the call. She believes that helping each other through these difficult situations shows that the Bishop Watterson community is truly a family. It is these situations that reinforce our beliefs and reveal some of Bishop Watterson’s best traits.
Overall, Bishop Watterson has enabled Sister to feel a sense of fulfillment by being able to grow closer to God and to teach others. She wishes the best for all current and future Bishop Watterson students and hopes that we all realize what a special place Bishop Watterson is and how much parents and teachers sacrifice so that we can receive this holistic education. In addition, she hopes that all of us, especially the senior class, can graduate and remember what Bishop Watterson has taught us: that is, above all, we are called to restore all things in Christ.
Patricia Huhn ’61 Niekamp
Patricia Huhn ’61 Niekamp, who wrote our beloved Alma Mater, was inducted into our Homecoming Hall of Fame at an assembly last fall. Mrs. Niekamp was only a freshman at BWHS when she wrote the cherished lyrics to our Alma Mater. She was also honored at half-time of the football game that evening when the Eagles defeated Cleveland Benedictine 10-7.
Left to right –Alumni Director Scott Manahan, Student Council President Francisco Cortes-Fontcuberta, Mrs. Niekamp, Student Council Vice President J’Niah Johnston-Reynolds, Principal Chris Campbell.
Bishop Watterson Alma Mater
Let us praise our Alma Mater
Proudly we behold,
Sing and honor her forever
Garb’d in red and gold.
We her loyal sons and daughters
‘Round her colors come.
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater,
Hail to Watterson!
From her standards we have gathered
Faith and courage strong;
Pressing on to greater ages
Holding to one throng.
Through her halls our echoes raising
Bursting forth in song –
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater,
Hail to Watterson!
Ginny O’Connor’s first year of teaching in Chillocothe 44 years ago didn’t go all that well, she told students at the Homecoming Assembly. In fact, she quit and went home. But then she got a call from Bishop Watterson Principal Msgr. Grimes who needed a math teacher. He asked her if she would help him out by teaching for a year and since she had learned from her parents at an early age that you help when asked, she agreed. Forty-three years later she retired from Bishop Watterson after serving in numerous capacities: Dean of Girls, Assistant Principal, Head Softball Coach, Girls Athletic Director, Assistant Basketball Coach and Head Coach for the girls volleyball program, which she started. This dedication led to Ms. O’Connor being inducted to the Homecoming Hall of Fame for 2015.
“Because of my different jobs, each day was so different, I never knew what to expect. It might be a teacher who needed a test run off, or a student who needed math help, or a discipline problem. I always felt that my job here was to be of service to others,” Ms. O’Connor told the students.
“When I walked in to school and saw ‘Christ is the reason for this school,’ I felt at home and I thanked God that I could teach here. I have been so blessed and so are you for being a student here.”