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Farewell to familiar faces

Jim+Fish%2C+Judy+Torgerson%2C+Fr.+Tom+Lamanna%2C+S.J.+and+Erik+Michels+will+be+leaving+at+the+end+of+the+year.+Not+pictured%3A+Kirsten+Byers%2C+Julie+Campbell%2C+Denise+Diaz+and+Frank+Lewis.+Photo+by+Jeanne+Hanigan
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Farewell to familiar faces

Jim Fish, Judy Torgerson, Fr. Tom Lamanna, S.J. and Erik Michels will be leaving at the end of the year. Not pictured: Kirsten Byers, Julie Campbell, Denise Diaz and Frank Lewis. Photo by Jeanne Hanigan

Jim Fish, Judy Torgerson, Fr. Tom Lamanna, S.J. and Erik Michels will be leaving at the end of the year. Not pictured: Kirsten Byers, Julie Campbell, Denise Diaz and Frank Lewis. Photo by Jeanne Hanigan

Jim Fish, Judy Torgerson, Fr. Tom Lamanna, S.J. and Erik Michels will be leaving at the end of the year. Not pictured: Kirsten Byers, Julie Campbell, Denise Diaz and Frank Lewis. Photo by Jeanne Hanigan

Jim Fish, Judy Torgerson, Fr. Tom Lamanna, S.J. and Erik Michels will be leaving at the end of the year. Not pictured: Kirsten Byers, Julie Campbell, Denise Diaz and Frank Lewis. Photo by Jeanne Hanigan

Cristina Shaffer

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Next month, the Bellarmine community will bid farewell to the graduating class of 2018. These students have worked for four long and hard years and have amassed tremendous achievements. However, none of the success of these graduates would be possible without the support of Bellarmine staff, teachers and administrators, some of whom we will also be saying goodbye to at the same time: Judy Torgerson, Fr. Tom Lamanna, S.J., Erik Michels, Julia Campbell, Jim Fish, Kirsten Byers, Denise Diaz and Frank Lewis. These staff members, teachers and administrators have served the Bellarmine community for as few as three years and as many as 35 years.

Judy Torgerson began her 28 years at Bellarmine in 1990, as Principal Chris Gavin’s administrative assistant. She also directed Gavin’s work study program. Following Gavin’s retirement, Torgerson was asked by new principal Cindy Davis to continue her role, and she obliged. Togerson says that Bellarmine has truly shaped her life, “I would not be the person I am today had it not been for experiencing this life on the hill at Bellarmine.” Next year Torgerson will be enjoying her retirement by playing with her grandkids, gardening, volunteering, and hiking.

Jesuit Superior Father Tom Lamanna, S.J. has busily served the Bellarmine community for 5 years, primarily as a religious leader and history teacher. He has directed numerous faculty members in the Ignatian spiritual exercises and has helped out the campus ministry department in masses, confessions, and retreat leadership. For Lamanna, serving Bellarmine as been a tremendous honor. “I love the people at Bellarmine, my colleagues, students, my CP, and my Jesuit brothers. I love this place and will miss it. I am so glad that I have been here and it is part of who I am.” Like many Bellarmine graduates, Fr. Lamanna will be heading to Gonzaga, as pastor of the St. Aloysius Parish.

Beloved math teacher Kirsten Byers will be leaving Bellarmine after four years. Byers had led the Pilgrimage crew, helped with the Women’s Encounter, and scuba dived with Marine Chemistry students. Her positive energy will be greatly missed. Every morning, she greets students with a warm smile and cheery, “Hello!” Next year, Byers will be moving to Maui to continue teaching and coaching swim team.

Additionally, treasured Spanish teacher and FBLA moderator, Denise Diaz, will be saying goodbye to Bellarmine next month. Students are incredibly sad to see her go. If you went into her classroom, her whiteboard was covered with student signatures, begging her to stay. She and her family will be moving to Texas where she will continue teaching.

Counselor Erik Michels has spent seven years at Bellarmine as a counselor and assistant tennis coach. Michels fondly recalls his time at Bellarmine, above all the relationships he has formed with his students: “Counseling is first and foremost about building relationships with students so that you can help support them through the challenges of high school. Bellarmine students will always have a special place in my heart.” This summer, Michels will be getting married this summer and will begin his new job as a counselor at O’Dea High School in the fall.

English teacher and fiddler extraordinaire Julie Campbell has been at Bellarmine for 28 years, and has also served as the coordinator of Operation Warm n Fed, sports announcer, and director of Ignatian formation. Campbell says her time at Bellarmine has been “humbling and a true honor to work with people so passionate and committed! I loved spending my days with young people and simply being with my students each day during this chapter of their lives.” Campbell will miss “the way that everyone lifts each other up, offering support and encouragement on such a regular basis.” Campbell will be getting married this summer to her fiancée Mike and will be retiring to Camano Island.

Longtime campus minister and deacon Jim Fish will be leaving Bellarmine after 35 years on the hill. Fish has served on over 100 Encounter retreats, 29 Magis retreats, coached 18 years of basketball, 17 years of tennis, played more than 1,000 liturgy songs on guitar, and touched countless lives. Fish is grateful that he was able to “share my faith in and love for Jesus with others and working with great colleagues and students in faith filled settings. I have formed life-long relationships with amazing colleagues and students.” Fish will serve as the pastoral coordinator of Holy Rosary and Visitation parishes this summer, but he says that “Bellarmine will always be with me, it has left its footprints on my heart.”

Former music director Frank Lewis will also not be returning to Bellarmine next year. From directing music at liturgies, to leadings Bellarmine’s talented musicians, he will be missed dearly.

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Cristina Shaffer, Online Editor

Cristina Shaffer, senior and editor of BellarmineLion.com, is excited for another year of Bellarmine Lion Journalism! Besides covering breaking news and...

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Farewell to familiar faces