Our Lady of Perpetual Help-Scottsdale, Class of 1990

Xavier College Prep, Class of 1994

I come from a good ol’ Irish Catholic family (maiden name was McConnell) and was born and raised in Scottsdale, AZ. My parents were also born in Arizona, and both were the middle child of five. I am the second oldest of five kids. We have tons of family in town which makes for large gatherings at all holidays and special events. Family is a big part of my life.

At both Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) and Xavier, I was involved in many school activities. I have good memories of cheerleading, volleyball and softball, tennis and student government. I took honors and AP classes and did well in academics. To this day, my best friends are from grade school and high school. Thanks in part to a great education, today I am a Regional Assistant Controller for Meritage Homes, the 7th largest publicly traded home builder in the US.

In September my husband Jonathan and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage. We have three amazing children, all OLPH legacy students. Our oldest is a freshman at Notre Dame Prep where he is an A student in the St. Thomas Aquinas Scholar Program and a two-sport athlete. We also have an 8th grader, who we hope he will attend Notre Dame Prep as well. He enjoys football, basketball and baseball and hopes to letter in all three sports in high school, fingers crossed! Our baby is in Kindergarten. He loves sports and playing with his buddies and is looking forward to his first tooth falling out soon!

What impact did Catholic schools have on you?

OLPH and Xavier had a significant impact on my life. OLPH gave me a sense of safety and stability with God. I always feel at peace and at home at OLPH. So much so that I send my own children there now, wanting the same for them. Growing up and having theology class daily, attending mass weekly, and maintaining a Christ-centered life gave me such a good foundation to set me up for success in life. At Xavier, I became a Eucharistic Minister and lector at mass. There I deepened my understanding of Catholicism, while getting a top-notch education. Xavier instilled a sense of community in me which I hold dear as I seek that for my kids, especially in this day and age, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s so hard to build a community virtually, but we are doing it with everyone’s help!

Looking back on my childhood, I don’t know how my parents managed 5 kids, let alone afforded Xavier and Brophy. But as a parent now, I am so grateful they chose a Catholic education for me and am forever indebted to them for their sacrifice. I hope my kids will thank me later one day and realize all of this is for a reason, a purpose, and on purpose. I often hear that song from Carrie Underwood “Jesus Take the Wheel” and quotes like “Let go and let God” or “God laughs when you make plans.” But all of it is true!

As you can see from the age gap in my kids, we were not exactly ready for our third son in 2015. Those first few months threw me for a loop, and I prayed a lot. Caleb was born in February via a scheduled c-section where I spent 5 days in the hospital healing. Little did I know the next few months would be very challenging. In May, I was admitted to the hospital for an appendectomy. Two days later I got an infection and was back in the hospital for five more days. In June, my middle son Noah was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, where we spent 3 more days in the hospital. I was not sure I could take it all and questioned God many times; why me, why Noah, why now, what’s next? With the help of my community, my church, my friends, and my family, I was able to survive the challenges of that summer.

That year my husband decided to become Catholic. I am not sure if any of those events inspired him or not, however everyone asked how I talked him into it. I did not! Fifteen years prior we went through the Catholic Encounter for Engaged couples and he was not ready then to fully commit. I didn’t pressure him, but my mom sure did every chance she got! We were married inside Brophy Chapel on September 15th, 2001, four days after September 11th. I thought for sure he would convert then, but he waited. He went through RCIA the same year Noah received his first communion and confirmation.

If you ask him why he chose to convert then, he would say it was because he wanted to be part of the OLPH community, he wanted to be closer to God and he wants for our kids what I had growing up. Jonathan grew up in a military family and moved every 2-3 years. He did not have the stability, the safety, the religion, the community or the friendships. I can say wholeheartedly that is the biggest compliment of my life.

Accomplishments:

  • Married for 20 years – marriage is hard, and not all marriages make it.
  • My three sons.
  • Successfully navigating COVID-19 while working and having 3 kids at home.
  • Treasurer for Boys Team Charity Cactus League – 2018-present
  • OLPH Finance Council – 2014-present
  • 20+ year career in Accounting

Future plans:

I am not looking too far ahead. I learned this past year to take things one step at a time. I am hoping the kids will go back to school in January and life can start to normalize soon. In the coming year, I am looking forward to my second son entering high school, hopefully at Notre Dame Prep, to a vacation, and to time with friends.