Notable Knights

Notable Knights is a periodic profile that highlights an SSPP graduate

and his/her achievements since graduation 

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Do you know of an alumni whose education, work, achievements, etc. ought to be recognized?  Email

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Trevor Tumiel

SSPP Class of 2009


Trevor credits SSPP teacher, Mrs. Rae (who taught him science in 6th grade and math in grades 6-8) for stimulating his interest in STEM subjects. 

Our latest Notable Knight profile features Trevor Tumiel, from the Ss. Peter and Paul Class of 2009. Trevor is currently a second year graduate student in the doctoral program in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Rochester.  Trevor recently received a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry for his proposal, “Exploiting Defects in Carbon Nanotubes for Photo-generated Charge Transport.”  Only 16% of applicants receive awards and of the 2,051 awards given this cycle, Trevor was among only 154 chemistry majors to be a recipient of this prestigious and competitive award.

Trevor had this to say about his current career path, “Going to graduate school with the goal of receiving a PhD was not yet on my radar as a student at Ss. Peter and Paul. I can say, however, that SSPP definitely gave me the tools to excel in any subject when coupled with hard work and determination.”

Trevor, when asked to reflect on a teacher or teachers that had in impact on him while at SSPP, had this to say,

“Mrs. Nichols helped build a foundation upon which I could grow as a person and a student. Mrs. Rae was, in many ways, responsible for getting me hooked on math and science. Ms. Amato continues to influence the way I teach and interact with students. I also want to say: a student’s education depends on far more than three teachers; it’s really a team effort. So, thank you to all the teachers I had at SSPP!”

Trevor’s advice for our 8th graders is certainly applicable to us all, he said, “I would say that it’s extremely important to maintain balance. This is something that people struggle with throughout their entire lives, so it would be great to start practicing balance at a young age. I think people are at their best – and their happiest – when an equilibrium exists between the many factors that define day-to-day life. This balance is very delicate, though, and can easily be tilted such that things are thrown out-of-whack. Practicing balance is going to make life that much better and more enjoyable, and it will definitely help as you move through high school and college.”

Using three words only, our Notable Knights are asked to describe Ss. Peter and Paul School in just three words and Trevor summed it up beautifully when he said, “a second home.”  The SSPP Alumni Foundation could not agree more.

Congratulations Trevor on your Fellowship in Chemistry and best of luck as you work to complete your PhD!

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Katy Jacobi Gagliardi

SSPP Class of 2001


Katy is a graduate of Saints Peter and Paul, Class of 2001 and still incredibly involved in our SSPP Faith Community as a Cantor

The Saints Peter and Paul Alumni Foundation at SSPP is very excited to profile, Katy Jacobi Gagliardi as our latest Notable Knight.

Katy currently works at KeyBank as a customer service representative and she is also a freelance singer.   Her time at Ss. Peter and Paul inspired her love of singing. She started singing in the children’s choir in 4th grade, then sang with the youth choir through high school before moving up to the adult choir when she came home from college. Katy said, “My experience singing at SSPP has also opened up opportunities for me to sing at other churches on the weekend. I also Cantor at St. Andrews Church in Sloan.”

Katy’s favorite teacher while at SSPP was Sister Patricia Griffin.  Katy said that Sister Patricia could be strict, but she could help students thrive both in school and as a Christian.  Katy’s lasting impression of Ss. Peter and Paul is this, “The school and church helped me grow in my faith and I love this community so much, that I’ve continued going there for over 20 years. I love having such a good relationship with everyone in the parish and the school” and when asked to describe SSPP in three words, she chose, “supportive, transformative, and encouraging.”

Her advice to current SSPP students would be, “Don’t be afraid to be yourself. It sounds cheesy but don’t let the people who try to pull you down get to you. You all have your unique light inside of you and there will always be people out there who want to see it shine.”  What great advice from an exceptional SSPP alum!

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Ashley Hartman

SSPP Class of 2006


Ashley at Disney World with none other than Mickey Mouse

This week our Notable Knight feature is highlighting SSPP Alum, Ashley Hartman.  Ashley attended Saints Peter and Paul School from Pre-K all the way through 8th grade.  Ashley said that she is grateful to her parents for choosing SSPP. After leaving SSPP, Ashley continued her education and immediately upon graduation from the University at Buffalo, accepted a position at Disney World.  Ashley remains at Disney and loves the career and life she has built in Florida.  Ashley describes Saints Peter and Paul as, “welcoming, learning, and religious.”  Ashley’s advice to current students would be, “Never give up on your dreams. You never know where it might take you. Find something that you are passionate about because that’s what makes for the best type of education and future job experiences. Education is very important so enjoy it.” It looks like Ashley has followed her own advice; she turned her SSPP education and experiences into an exciting career at the most magical place on Earth, Disney!

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Dr. Richard Rogenthien

SSPP Class of 1954, Neumann High School Class of 1960

Dr. Rogenthien during his time as a student and student-athlete on the baseball team & Dr. Rogenthien today as he looks over at his beloved SSPP from The Original Pancake House

Dr. Richard Rogenthien is a retired Doctor of Optometry who got his start across the street from his alma mater with Dr. Krop at Williamsville Optical.  He never saw himself as a doctor, in fact, Dr. Rogenthien wanted to play center field for the NY Yankees- his love of baseball evident in the photo above. Dr. Rogenthien has been married to his wife, Christine, for 47 years and together they have two sons, Steven and Todd.

Dr. Rogenthien recalls countless fond memories of his time as a student at both SSPP and Neumann High School.  His favorite teacher during his time at SSPP was Sister Mary Ancilla, who he describes as a “gentle, kind, Christian educator.”  He credits the Sisters of St. Francis and the parish priests at SSPP with giving him the discipline and regimentation to continue on throughout his life, “The Sisters got me through high school, my years at Canisius College, and my time in the service.”  When asked to describe SSPP in three words, Dr. Rogenthien shared, “loving, fulfilling, and memories.”  Dr. Rogenthien has a passion for SSPP founder, St. John Neumann.  He plans to share the history of our church/ school founder in a narrative skit with current SSPP students this spring.

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Anna Luisi

SSPP Class of 2016

An example of the beautiful work Anna creates through her business Zen Bflo


Anna with her brother, Joseph, who is currently in 4th grade at Saints Peter and Paul


Anna Luisi, a junior at Nardin Academy, went from student to small business owner during her time at Saints Peter and Paul.  Anna came to SSPP in 6th grade and by the time she graduated two years later, she was the owner of a small business called Zen Bflo.  Anna creates Buffalo inspired Zentangle pen and ink drawings which she then sells at local art and craft shows.  Anna feels that all of the teachers at SSPP prepared her for the academic challenges of high school. However, Mrs. McIntyre, her art teacher, introduced the idea of a small business and was her mentor in all aspects of creating Zen Bflo, both creative and practical.  When asked to describe SSPP in three words, Anna had this to say, “welcoming, community, supportive.”

To see more of Anna’s work we invite you to take a look at our Notable Knights bookcase in the main foyer of SSPP School or search Zen Bflo on Facebook


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John Henninger

SSPP Class of 1995


John and wife Mariana with dogs Bia and Luna

John on the basketball team @ SSPP

John Henninger brings the best of Buffalo food to NYC as owner of a chicken wing company, Dan and John’s Wings.  “Never in a million years” was John’s response to being asked if he ever envisioned himself as owner of a chicken wing company while a student at Saints Peter and Paul.   Although John left after 7th grade, his time as a student as SSPP, has had a profound impact on his life.  His description of the school in three words would impress, although not surprise, anyone who knows our beloved school well, “faith, community, and strength.”   There is a tie between Mrs. Jan Vogel and Mrs. Sandy Whistle for John’s favorite teachers.  He credits them both with teaching him kindness and acceptance at an early age.  John would offer to all current students this piece of advice, “family and friends are more important than screen time and television. Go outside, explore nature and pray whenever you can, God hears you. One day you’ll look back and understand there was a plan for you!”   And while John certainly did not expect to own a chicken wing company as part of God’s plan for him, it sounds to have worked out wonderfully.


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Fraser McIntyre

SSPP Class of 1998

As a student at SSPP, Fraser McIntyre enjoyed participating in school plays, little did he know he would eventually be featured on the world stage as part of the 2018 Winter Olympics.  Fraser set a goal for himself after many years refereeing men’s hockey across the country, he wanted to referee the Olympics.   His goal was achieved this past winter when as travelled to Pyeongchang, South Korea as a Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Linesman.

As a student as SSPP, Fraser’s favorite teacher was Sister Pat.  He admired her ability to engage all of her students.  He also loved her commitment to the school as a volleyball coach and her enthusiasm for playing sports at school picnics.

Fraser resides in Amherst with his wife and two children.  He works at Stalka Insurance Agency down the street from SSPP, but his true passions include spending time with family and time spent on the ice!


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Donna Quagliana Purkey

SSPP Class of 1989

Donna Quagliana Purkey is a Navy wife (for more than ten years) and mother of two young children. She is also an author, educator, and motivational speaker. She wrote Miss You to Pieces in an effort to share her family’s unique and fun puzzle project idea and to provide comfort and encouragement to her readers whose parents are deployed.  She has traveled to 42 of the 50 states, as well as to Mexico, Spain, France, England, Morocco, and Gibraltar.  She lives in southeastern VA with her family.

You can purchase her book on Amazon:


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Matthew Foster

SSPP Class of 2012

SSPP alum, Matthew Foster is entering his junior year at Elon University where he majors in engineering and minors in physics and starts as the tight end on the football team.

This past summer Matt stayed on campus to build an Optical Coherence Tomography Laser System which will be used for imaging and possibly treating skin and breast cancer.

Matt explained, “The benefits of this type of imaging is that you are able to see much smaller areas in much higher detail: 10 to 100 times better than an MRI scan.” In the future, Matt will be working to attach a therapeutic laser to the system for the minimal invasive treatment of cancerous cells.

For his inspiring work in the classroom and on the field, Matt has been nominated for an Academic All American Award.