The November / December Alumni Connection
The Class of 2006 – 10 Years
While Vanguard graduates find success in a wide variety of fields, sometimes graduating classes tend to gravitate toward one area. For the Class of 2006, that area seems to be medicine.
One of those medical stand-outs from the 10th-anniversary class is Alexandra Jones, who is currently training as a family medicine resident in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
After graduating from Vanguard, Alex attended Trinity, where she received dual degrees in neuroscience and Spanish, then moved to Chicago where she joined Teach for America. “I taught high school chemistry for two years, earned an MAT, and then stayed in Chicago for medical school,” she said.
She attended Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and graduated with an MD/MPH. It’s not surprising that chemistry, especially “the exciting experiments in AP Chemistry,” was a favorite subject.
“Vanguard prepared me by developing a strong work ethic and drive to achieve my goals, “ Alex said. “So many of my teachers were willing to teach and, when necessary, reteach me so that I could see the benefits of perseverance and build confidence that I was truly capable.”
More than one of those teachers created a lasting impression. “One of my favorite memories was the Alice in Wonderland themed tea party that Mrs. Johns hosted for our geometry class,” she said. Alex also fondly remembers how much fun the Class of 2006 had together, with things like “stadium seating” in the senior lounge and spontaneous cookouts.
She hopes Vanguard’s current students are building their own memories while striving for success. “My advice to students,” she said, “is to not be afraid to dream big!”
Two of her Class of 2006 classmates who also dreamed big and ended up in the medical field are Maggie Ho and Jeff SoRelle.
Maggie is a pediatric oncology nurse at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the
bone marrow transplant unit. She is also working towards a doctorate in nursing practice at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Although she ended up in the science field, Maggie’s favorite teacher was in another area altogether.
“My favorite Vanguard teacher was Mr. Perdichi,” she said. “I got to experiment with so many forms of art, from welding to oil paints to pottery!”
Jeff’s favorite teacher turned out to be an inspiration for his future educational successes. “My favorite teacher was Paula Marshall, who I had for chemistry, AP Chem and physics,” he said. Jeff is currently a pathology resident at UT Southwestern, where he also completed medical school.
We salute all of our alumni from the Class of 2006 and wish them much success in their 10th anniversary year. Here are a few more who responded to our questionnaire.
Education Rice University – Law school: Baylor Law School
Favorite Vanguard Memory: There was a group project to make a short video/movie related to a reading assignment. To clarify, each group would choose a different book and later present their video to the class. My group chose Sphere by Michael Crichton
Education or career: Accounting manager for Benge General Contracting, and owner of PD Professional Services.
Family: Married to Paul Martin Donnelly, from Bellaghy, Northern Ireland. We live in Dallas.
Favorite teacher or memory: My favorite Vanguard teacher will forever be Perdichi! I love everything about my time and experience at Vanguard. My high school memories are ones I that I will always cherish!
Education or career: Graduate of TCU Nursing School, working as an O.R. nurse in Fort Worth.
Family: Married to Cory Henderson
Education or career: Graduated from SMU in 2010. Working as an associate at Crow Holdings, a real estate investment fund in Dallas.
Favorite teacher or memory: Thinking that life was stressful as a senior, when in reality we took two-hour lunches and spent most of our day watching “Lost” in the senior lounge.
Education or career: Graduated from Baylor. Working as a part-time project manager at the Baylor Alumni Network and a full-time mom.
Family: Married with a 20-month-old son and another little boy due in April.
Favorite teacher or memory: I will always miss VHS basketball and softball games.
Kelsey Dunlap Watson
Education or career: Graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in English. Working as a dental equipment sales territory manager in Marietta, Georgia.
Family: Married to Nick Watson; four children: Preslie, Meredith, Annalee and Brady.
Education or career: Graduated from Baylor University with a BBA in 2010, then graduated from Baylor again with an MBA in 2014. Living in Austin, Texas.
Education or career: Attended the University of Colorado, McLennan Community College and The University of Texas at Arlington. Working as a nurse in Waco, Texas.
Family: Recently married.
Favorite teacher or memory: Mrs. George was one of my most inspiring teachers and always believed in me. She was the supervisor for the school newspaper at the time.
Education or career: Graduated from University of Georgia. Working for LinkedIn. Lives in New York City.
Favorite teacher or memory: Mr. Perdichi was my favorite teacher. My favorite memory, by far, was senior year Corrigan.
Education or career: I was an exchange student from Georgia in the class of 2006, from Georgia. I currently live in Tbilisi, which is the capital of Georgia. After coming back from the U.S., I went to International Black Sea University and graduated with a degree in public relations.
Family: I am married and have two kids.
Favorite teacher or memory: My favorite memory is our senior trip to Orlando, which was really amazing.
Education or career: Graduated from Baylor.
Family: Married to Cole Robinson, a Vanguard alum. Mother to one son, Billy (18 months old).
Favorite teacher or memory: Senior year and art with Perdichi.
Mary Beth Sudan D’Brot
Education or career: Attended Baylor University. Currently a stay-at-home mom and textile artist.
Family: Married to Dr. Alejandro D’Brot; two kids: Sundance Marie (20 months) and Sylvan Alexander (2 months).
Favorite teacher or memory: My favorite teacher was Mr. Perdichi, and my favorite Vanguard memories are hanging out in the senior lounge wathing “Lost,” basketball games and art class.
Mary Helen Trippet
Education or career: Graduated from Baylor University, working as a social media marketing manager in Chicago, Illinois.
Favorite teacher or memory: Binging “Lost” in the senior lounge and painting our parking spots.
Education or career: Living in Coppell, Texas and working as a Realtor. Named by Top Agent Magazines as the Texas “Rising Star” agent of the year. Also recently named “Rookie of the Year” for agents in their first year at the firm. Prior to obtaining his real estate license, he worked full-time in banking while earning his psychology degree from Tarleton State University. Planning to work part-time on a Masters of Real Estate offered by the Texas Realtor Committee within the next few years.
Favorite teacher or memory: Naming my favorite teacher is tough because so many come to mind in different respects. A few I would like to mention are Mulholland, Richie, Holbert, Mann, Spain, and Flowers. They taught me so much more than what is typically taught in black and white. They taught me to read between the lines and think of the big picture. I feel like I could go on for days about how grateful I am for my teachers and what Vanguard did for me, and how that translates into my success today. I want to thank all my mentors. You truly have made me into a well-rounded and motivated individual, and I can’t thank you enough.
Artist – Brooklyn, NY
Favorite Memory -Hanging out in the art building with Mr. Perdichi and making short films in Mr. Flowers class. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without them!
The Class of 2006 will always love number 20!
Josh Risinger will always be in their hearts!