In November, the Dominican Debs celebrated their fiftieth anniversary of sisterhood, dance and tradition.
“The Debs are so much more than just an extracurricular or a dance team. The Debs represent hard work, dedication and faithfulness,” said Mrs. Carolyn Favre (’70), principal of St. Mary’s Dominican High School.
The tradition that started fifty years ago by Dominican P.E. teacher Mrs. Carmen Gaudet continues today under the leadership of Mrs. Fran Gandolfi Moran (’87). “Mrs. Gaudet was a pioneer in the dance team world. Everyone had so much respect for her,” said Mrs. Moran. A Deb alumna herself, Mrs. Moran has coached the Debs for the past seven years.
As part of their fiftieth anniversary celebration, the Deb alumnae performed with the current Debs at the Brother Martin High School football game on Nov. 1 in Tad Gormley Stadium. The women traveled back to their time on the team by dancing in the stands with shakers and pom poms.
Through the years, hundreds of women have been part of the sisterhood that is the Debs. On the day of the celebration, Dominican hosted more than 50 women – alums from the class of 1970 to the class of 2019.
“Saints’ and sages’ names enrolled” – After adding their names to those in the Veritas Tower, Deb alums gather for a group selfie. Capturing the joy of the Debs 50th anniversary are Mrs. Lorraine Melito Hess (’86), Mrs. Becky Gandolfi Gottsegen (’86), Mrs. Fran Gandolfi Moran (’87), Mrs. Jaimie Gandolfi Majoria (’83), and Mrs. Laura Gandolfi Berrigan (’79).
Celebrating with other Deb alumnae brought back great memories for Mrs. Jill Curry Cabes (’87), vice president, Dominican Catholic Identity. “Being on the team gave me the opportunity to become friends with so many more people than just the girls in my grade. The best part? We are still friends today,” said Mrs. Cabes.
Mrs. Amy Elmer Calongne (‘08) agrees with Mrs. Cabes. “Being a Deb allowed me to bond with other girls through dancing, competing and representing my school,” said Mrs. Calongne.
The Deb alumnae had such a great time at the celebration that they want to do it again. According to Mrs. Moran and Deb Moderator Mrs. Sina Raymond Baldwin (’84), there will be a special game dedicated to Deb alumnae every football season.
Dominican recognizes the time and talent of Deb alums. With their legacy, Mrs. Moran has high expectations for the incoming classes. She said talent coming in is very strong.
“The Debs are a highlight of Dominican High School,” said Mrs. Favre “Without them, Dominican would have a void.”
- Morgan Muscarello