2019 Distinguished Alumni Ceremony & Awards - Saint Patrick Catholic School

We presented awards to our 3rd – 7th grade students and celebrate our 2019 Distinguished Alum— Therese Ann (Treleven) Koelmeyer on May 23, 2019. We were honored to be joined by Judge Thomas Larkin ’62, our 2012 Distinguished Alumn recipient.  Matt Smith our CYO Athletics Director was also honored as the 2019 Basketball Coach of the Year by the Archdiocese of Seattle.

Highlights from the Ceremony

Lily C. lead the assembly in the opening prayer after Joey L. welcomed our guests and school community to the ceremony. Our National Anthem Choir sang, — they also sang the National Anthem at the Tacoma Rainiers baseball game later that eveinng. Academic Awards honored students in grades 3, 4, 5 and middle school.  Archdiocese Awards were also presented to students in the 7th grade. Kiera S. introduced our 2019 Distinguished Alumna and key note speaker Therese Koelmeyer who shared that she is an ordinary person, empowered by God, making a difference wherever she goes and challenged our students to do the same. Principal Chris Gavin presented the Presentation Alumni Award.  The recognition of 2019 Basketball Coach of the Year was awarded to CYO athletic Director Matt Smith after which Father David Mulholland, provided a final blessing for Mrs. Koelmeyer and her husband Roger. 

Distinguished Alum 2019: Therese Ann (Treleven) Koelmeyer

About Our Distinguished Alum

Therese Ann & Roger Koelmeyer

Therese Ann (Treleven) Koelmeyer grew up on G Street in a family of 9 kids who all attended Saint Patrick Catholic School as did their father who was in the class of  1932. She graduated Saint Patrick Catholic School in 1978 and continued her education at Bellarmine Prep (’82),  graduating from Western Washington University (’86), then moving to Sri Lanka after completing the first part of her Masters in Missions at Fuller Theological Seminary in October 1986.

As important is it is, it is not where Mrs. Koelmeyer came from, that we honor her today, but where she decided to live her life, and whom she lives for.

Therese joined a Community Concern at local Sri Lankan non-government organization working with the poorest of the poor and living along a coastline slum of the Sri Lanka commercial capital city—Colombo.

In 1989, Therese along with her husband Roger opened Lotus Buds Children’s Home— a home for orphaned, abandoned, abused and at risk kids. She and her husband Roger parented 25 children: 21 life-long foster children, 3 biological and 1 adopted. Mrs Koelmeyer is a Tacoma girl, a Treleven by birth, but she loves the people of her adopted country.  

In 2007, they began Community Concern KidzNet—a national network of children’s homes whereby they enable the highest standards for children that require residential care. Currently, they work with 45 children’s homes spanning 7 provinces in Sri Lanka.

Therese has served in many roles at Community Concern including Treasurer of the Board, Director of Heavena—a shelter for battered, abused, trafficked women and children and Director of KidzNet.

She is currently operating breakfast and lunch program for 150+ children, sponsorship for 750+ children, nursery school and daycare for single moms, non-traditional school for dropouts and children who never attended school, a drug rehabilitation center, a shelter for battered, abused and trafficked women and children, an elderly activity club and baby wellness clinics for the unborn and postnatal care.

Ten years after she graduated St. pats, she made a decision where she would spend the rest of her life and for whom she lives for. She lives with the needy, the too often forgotten, the vulnerable of Colombo. As a couple they live for the Good News of Jesus as pastor and a pastor’s wife in Colombo’s Gospel Tabernacle and the overseeing pastor of both the Mother Church and 49 churches Island wide. Some of their children reside in the Seattle-area so they are often back in the Pacific Northwest— while others live all over the world.

Distinguished Alum Honor Roll

2019 – Therese (Treleven) Koelmeyer ’78
2018 – Sarah Sawatzki ’06
2017 – Bruce Titus ’71
2016 – Michael Hamilton ’59
2015 – Fr. Peter Henriot, SJ ’50
2014 – Dr. William Cammarano ’76
2013 -Margaret (Lane) Brown ’79
2012 – Judge Thomas Larkin ’62
2011 – Georgeann (Bilsborrow) Cukjati ’52
2010 – Fr. John Fuchs, SJ ’56
2009 – Dr. Christopher Staeheli ’71
2008 – Lawrence McNerthney ’53

Basketball Coach of th Year & CYO Althletic Director 2019: Matt Smith

Saint Patrick Catholic School CYO Athletic Director Matt Smith was honored with two awards by the Archdiocese of Seattle— the CYO “Play Like A Champion Today” Basketball Coach of the year 2018-2019 and he was named the 2018-2019 Athletic Director of the Year.  Matt will be formally presented these honors at the 8th Annual Champions of Faith Celebration Mass with Archbishop Sartain at St. James Cathedral followed by Dinner & Recognition at the Chancery.

The Athletic Director of the Year Award recognizes one individual, who goes above and beyond to lead by example, communicate and enforce CYO Philosophy and Policy, recruit and train coaches, and ensure compliance for coaches trainings.

Over the years of working with Matt, I’ve always appreciated his willingness to see the big picture of CYO Athletics in Pierce County, not just focusing on the experience of the players at St. Patrick, but understanding the program as a whole and encouraging all schools to put their best foot forward to provide quality, Catholic Youth Sports in Tacoma. It will be a joy to recognize Matt in this way on June 5th, after so many years of leading as the Athletic Director at Saint Patrick Catholic School. — Scott Bailey, CYO Athletics Director, Archdiocese of Seattle

Athletes Reflect on Coach Matt’s Leadership

Read two inspiring reflections shared by athletes at the awards ceremony on May 23, 2019 at Saint Patrick Catholic School regarding Matt’s leadership:

It is our honor to represent our 8th grade basketball team in honoring our coach who has been named the CYO Basketball Coach of the Year for the Archdiocese of Seattle which covers all of Western Washington.  Coach Smith has been our head coach when we won the CYO championship as 7th graders and led us to the championship again this year. He is the first coach in Saint Patrick Catholic School history to win back to back CYO championships in any sport.

All of us who he has coached are grateful for his competitiveness; his thoughtful instruction; his constant reminder about sportsmanship; and we are most grateful for how he built us to play and act as a team.  Whether we won or lost, he always expected us to respect ourselves, our competitors, and our teammates.

My Dad who was the assistant coach couldn’t be here today but wanted me to share his thoughts about Coach Matt.  “It has been an honor to coach with Matt these last two years. Matt is deserving of this award. These are my memories of why he is so deserving: always kept things in perspective, we began every practice with a prayer.  Coach Matt coached the person and not just the athlete. He focused on bringing out the best of every individual. Finally, he had a way of getting each athlete to believe in themselves, smiling at their accomplishments, doing the their best. My Dad sends his thanks and congratulations. — Sam I.

To be honest, this award goes to a great man whom we all should be grateful.  He coached our team but he cared for all of us here. Mr. Smith was our Athletic Director for 12 years where he was responsible for all of our sports-Cross-Country from Kindergarten through 8th; Basketball for both boys and girls; and Co-ed Volleyball.  There was not one part of athletics here at Saint Patrick Catholic School that Mr. Smith didn’t have a role in.

Matt has coached his own kids here including Matteo who will be graduating in a few weeks.  This is Mr. Smith’s last year as Athletic Director and coach. He made playing fun and we will miss him. — Kellen O.

About Matt Smith

Matt Smith has served as the CYO Athletic Director for the Saint Patrick Catholic School for ove 12 year. He is retiring at the end of the 2019 school year. His children, Mia, Maggie and Matteo, have participated in Catholic Youth Organization since 2006. His son is graduating from 8th grade next month and Matt and his wife  are looking forward to more time together as they continue to support their children.

Matt says the following about his time at Saint Patrick Catholic School:

It has been my pleasure working with the student athletes of our community. They have presented challenges and tremendous successes to us over the years. The student athletes are the main reason I wanted to do this job. I wanted them to be able to participate in activities where they are allowed to win and lose. Where they are measured not by just their intelligence and passion, but also by their heart, determination, and grit. They learned how to be good people in good times and bad times. Their lessons have been my lessons. Their tears, their hopes, their dreams, buts mostly their joy I have shared with them. It has been tremendously fun to be part of this great community.
The parents, volunteers and coaches have also made my time as athletic director incredibly meaningful. Some of my greatest friendships in this community have come from my connections with parents and coaches. Saint Patrick Catholic School is a thriving, loving community and this warmth and love spill over into so many areas. I will miss the leadership and kindness that Mr. Gavin has always afforded me. His guidance and vision for our school have made my job easier and more fulfilling. I will miss the faculty, who were always willing to help us get the word out to kids about the teams. Many have come to support their students at games and meets. Their dedication to this school is tremendous.

David Goodsell is the New CYO Athletic Director

David Goodsell will assume the role of CYO Athletic Director at Saint Patrick Catholic School starting with the 2019 – 2020 school  year. He is thoughtful and reflective and has great vision and ideas. David Goodsell has been a member of our Saint Patrick Catholic Church community for 20 years, and an involved parent at our school for the past 7 years. With the support of his wife Kelly, and their four boys (Hunter 5th, William 3rd, Henry K, and Benjamin Pre-K fall ’19), David is excited to take on the role of Athletic Director. He has coached sports for the past 16 years at both the high school level (Bellarmine football) and youth sport levels. As a former college athlete and youth coach, David understands the positive influence of athletics and its unique role in teaching life-long skills. As a product of Frosty Westering’s coaching, David adheres to the same coaching and training techniques with his own players and coaches. He looks forward to leading and serving our community in this new capacity. He is excited to partner closely with our school’s coaches and parents as we develop young men/women who value teamwork and the joy of sport.

Phil Phletcher Announced as CYO Cross Country Coach

We are excited that Phil Phletcher has volunteered to serve as the head coach of CYO Cross Country. Phil has volunteered as coach for several years and is excited about the opportunity to continue working with our  vibrant community of runners.