Cardinal Mooney High School and its Alumni Relations Committee celebrated Feb. 1 the achievements of four alumni as the school presented the Distinguished Alumni Awards and prayer service.
In honor of this prestigious award's 20th anniversary, four alumni - two women and two men - were honored.
This year's honorees were chosen as the highest examples of those who demonstrate concern and dedication to others by embracing Cardinal Mooney's pillars of "Sanctity, Scholarship and Discipline."
The 2017 honorees are:
Sister Margaret Scheetz - Class of 1963
Scheetz earned a bachelor's degree in education from Youngstown State University and master's degrees from both Purdue and Kent State universities. She entered the Ursuline Community in 1964 and took her final vows in 1971. She taught school for 12 years, eight of those years at Cardinal Mooney, where she went on to be the school's assistant principal.
Scheetz is well known in the Youngstown community for establishing the Beatitude House in 1988, and for her commitment as a public servant, an educator and a lifelong learner. The State of Ohio recognized Beatitude House as a program that strengthens the fabric of the community. To date, Beatitude House has provided life-altering support to more than 3,000 homeless women and children in our area.
For her Beatitude House work, Scheetz was presented with an outstanding achievement award by the Austintown Women's League and with the YWCA's Woman of the Year Award in 1988 and 1995, respectively. In 2000, she was nominated for the Athena Award.
Scheetz died in 2001, but her legacy lives on in spirit.
Patricia Cipriano Prelock - Class of 1972
Patricia Prelock, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-CL, is dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders and professor of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She earned her bachelor's (1976) and master's degrees (1977) from Kent State University and her doctoral degree (1983) from the University of Pittsburgh.
Prelock coordinates parent training programs designed for caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders. She has been awarded more than 11 million dollars in university, state and federal funding to develop innovations in interdisciplinary training, supporting children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. She has more than 155 publications and 500 peer-reviewed and invited presentations in the areas of autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities, collaboration, language assessment and intervention, and language learning disabilities.
In 2015, Prelock was named a Distinguished Alumna at the University of Pittsburgh and in 2016, she was awarded the Honors of the Association, the highest honor given by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.
She was the 2014 President of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, an organization of more than 185,000 speech-language pathologists and audiologists. She is currently a member of the ASHA Foundation Board.
Michael C. Kilanowski Jr. - Class of 1966
Mike Mike Kilanowski was a four-year member of the CMHS football team and was named one of the team captains his senior year. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a major in economics, from Kent State University in 1970.
He studied at the University of Akron School of Law, earning his Juris Doctor in 1975. He continued his education at Ohio University and earned his Master of Business Administration in the school's first Executive MBA Program in 1979.
Kilanowski had a challenging and rewarding corporate legal career with publicly-traded companies. He began in 1973 as a contract reviewer in a division of Babcock & Wilcox in Barberton and in 2000, retired as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary in a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan in New Orleans, La. He also taught business law in the College of Business Administration at Kent State University beginning in 1979 until he moved to Louisiana in 1981.
Kilanowski has been a member of the Board of Directors for Louisiana nonprofit companies since 2000. His philanthropic interests include religious, educational and community service organizations.
In support of a proud Mooney tradition, Kilanowski and his wife, Mary Ellen, have endowed a CMHS scholarship for deserving students.
John Zajac - Class of 1974
Zajac graduated from the St. Elizabeth Hospital School of Nursing in 1977. He then earned his nurse anesthetist degree from St. Elizabeth Hospital School for Nurse Anesthetists in 1982.
He also is a graduate of Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., where he earned a BA in health care and management in 1988.
Zajac is a certified registered nurse anesthetist for Bel Park Anesthesia Associates at The Orthopedic Surgery Center in Boardman.
He established and then coached the seventh- and eighth-grade feeder school cross country program for 12 years. He also founded the K-6 grade Parochial Cross Country Racing Series and hosted the Mooney seventh- and eighth-grade track invitational.
Zajac also enjoys volunteering in the community and has been involved with the Dorothy Day House as well as the Marian Living Center in North Lima.