Tag Archives: SJB Unsung Heroes

SJB Unsung Heroes: Ms. Amy Krisch

by Kyle Moats

Ms. Amy Krisch is one of St. John Bosco’s hidden gems.

While Ms. Krisch is a well-known face in the staff and administration, she may not be as well-known to many parents and students. This is ironic in that the students at St. John Bosco are the primary beneficiaries of her many efforts and the results her events provide.  

I had the privilege of being able to sit and really get to know who “Miss Amy” – as she is affectionately known – is and how important her position is to us at St. John Bosco.

Ms. Krisch’s road to St. John Bosco has been equally lengthy and interesting. She was born one of three daughters, in a town outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and spent most of her early childhood there. As she grew up however, her family moved frequently due to her father’s job in the Aerospace industry, moving them from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, then to Livermore, California and back to Pennsylvania for her senior year of high school.

Ms. Krisch attended California State University, Monterey Bay where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Communication with an emphasis in Practical and Professional Ethics in 2007. While there, she was a player on the Women’s Golf Team and worked for Pacific Grove Golf Links.

Unfortunately, during a round in her sophomore year, she hit a tree root and tore tendons in her wrist and her role of player transitioned to that of coach and mentor. Ms. Krisch also volunteered with the PGA and LPGA Tour and The First Tee of Monterey County, an early indication of leadership potential.

“I love golf and I got that love from my dad, my forever coach. It became our thing and still is today,” said Krisch. 

After graduating from CSUMB, she worked at the Portola Hotel and Spa, looking to build a career in the hospitality industry.  She capitalized on an opportunity to organize Portola’s employee golf tournament and realized she wasn’t ready to give up golf completely.

She made the decision to further her education in Arizona where she attended the Golf Academy of America, Phoenix, earning an Associate Degree in Business focusing on Golf Complex Operations and Management in April of 2009. As is common with many graduates, jobs after college are often difficult to find, especially for a female trying to break into the male-dominated golf industry.  

With limited jobs available, Krisch started working for the Arizona Humane Society (AHS) as an information ambassador, and six months later moved over to the Spay/Neuter Clinic as a surgery scheduler and – on occasion – veterinary assistant.

We almost, unknowingly, lost Ms. Krisch before we had her to a career as a veterinary technician. She thought she had found her calling in veterinary work but a job opportunity within the AHS Development Department became available.

Her time in the Spay/Neuter Clinic was cut short when she accepted the position of development coordinator, responsible for grant writing and overseeing tribute and memorial gifts. Eventually, Ms. Krisch began helping with AHS’ Signature Event, Compassion with Fashion, managing one of the event’s critical fundraising components – the silent auction – thus starting her career in event management.

She quickly took both her educational assets and practical experience on the road and went to work for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Orange. Her responsibilities there developed in many areas but the majority of her time was spent as the Events and Logistics Campaign Manager for the Light the Night Walks at Angel Stadium and Cal Baptist University in Riverside.

Fast forward to March 2014, where Ms. Krisch entered the unique world and community of St. John Bosco High School. She was hired as a consultant for the Braves Gala and was offered a full-time position as the Special Events Manager for all of Bosco’s events including the SJB Golf Classic, the Alumni Memorial Mass and SJB-hosted tailgates before home football games.

Currently, she is the Director of Alumni Development and Special Events. The title just scratches the surface of her diverse and varied responsibilities. Essentially, there are two major areas where she focuses her efforts. As the Director of Special Events, her primary focus is to find creative ways to help programs raise money for current and future needs.

Some examples of this include sport-specific events, such as the Bosco Football Golf Classic (formally the SJB Golf Classic) which is a cornerstone for the football program, Texas Hold’em and Casino Night for Bosco Baseball and Aquatics and Bosco Baseball’s St. Patty’s Day 5K Run.

She also spends much of her time producing SJB’s signature fundraising event – the annual Braves Gala. The event hosts anywhere from 350-400 attendees and proceeds are critical to St. John Bosco, providing both merit and need-based aid for students, pathways, and other programs. She also works on “pop up” events designed to help Bosco continue to grow and increase exposure by getting people to come to campus.  

As the Director of Alumni Development, Krisch works to find different ways to keep our current alumni active and engaged with their alma mater and essentially cultivate more alumni to return home to their Bosco days.

Ms. Krisch feels that the connection is mutually beneficial as SJB Alumni are the business leaders we need in our community whose assistance and guidance ensure a strong future for the students of St. John Bosco. It links them with fellow Bosco brothers, providing benefits and opportunities to their businesses and interests as well. Her job challenges her to keep, build, and expand those bonds.

Ms. Krisch celebrated five years at St. John Bosco in March of 2019. Even with her family in another state (finally settling in Denver, Colorado) she was determined to settle down from her travels and promised herself she would invest her time and talent to see what she could develop.  

With much of her first year at Bosco spent working with the Margheritas Guild and the Parent Association, the immense outpouring of welcome for her personally, as well as the volunteers who consistently came alongside her to help create successful events that benefited the students, solidified her feeling that she was in the right place. She has stayed, frankly, because she believes in St. John Bosco High School. She believes that this is a unique place with great accomplishments and continued potential.

I feel the best way to describe Ms. Krisch is as a “One Woman Army.” No matter how busy she is, and she is always busy no doubt, she takes the time to handle one more thing, assist a coach, welcome a student, and more. Currently, she is juggling the Braves Gala, Graduation, and the Bosco Football Golf Classic – just to name a few of her many responsibilities!

Even though her job is hectic, it is satisfying. Miss Amy, at this time, cannot imagine being anywhere else. We cannot imagine Bosco without her and thank her for being the true epitome of a Bosco unsung hero.

 

SJB Unsung Heroes: Ms. Margie Woods

by Elliston Ospina and Jake Newman

“Through my husband, I was able to see the eyes of Bosco.”

Ms. Woods is one of the most beloved members of our school’s faculty. She represents the light and kindness of Don Bosco in her everyday routine.

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The legend herself – Ms. Margie Woods – has a very dynamic role at Bosco. She is responsible for attendance control and messages, absences and notes, an everyday, all-day type of task.

This is what makes Ms. Woods a hero at St. John Bosco High School. She cares about the students at Bosco and who they are. She goes out of her way to make sure we are doing well and carrying our weight academically and in the community.

Not to mention, she is known to make the best cookies on the planet.

Ms. Woods explained her motivation to be such a light on our campus and why she gives so much back to the students. It lies in a traumatic event in her past.

On October 19th, 2011, she lost her husband. He was a freshman math teacher at Bosco who was regarded with high remarks. All latter math teachers would always tell Ms. Woods of how great of a teacher he was and how much he cared for his students. 

When he passed away, she received a ton of love and support from her students and from the faculty and staff at Bosco. They were there for her at one of her most difficult times.

“Through my husband, I was able to see the eyes of Bosco,” said Ms. Woods.

She is referring to Bosco being more than just a place for academic growth, but a place for spiritual and individual growth as well. However, if she could have one recommendation for our faculty, it would be for Bosco to return to its core values of being more purposeful and engaging in what we do. 

She is an extreme advocate of the ‘Pay It Forward’ mentality. This is why she does what she does: the cookies, the long talks, the cup o’ noodles. She makes little to no profit off of it, but spends every night preparing these things for her students the next day. It’s all meant to cater to the students.

Ms. Woods represents something we all need to embrace: a selfless train of thought. We need to look after those in our community just as we look after ourselves.

IMG_1106This is the very thing that attracted her to come to St. John Bosco. She was attracted to how much of a family the community tends to be. Since her husband was already a teacher, her getting job here wasn’t a shock. 

“My husband and son graduated here, and I went to Savio in seventh and eighth grade. So this school has been apart of my life for along time,” said Ms. Woods.

After her 15 years of being on the staff here at Bosco, Ms. Woods is still embracing every little moment she has and is enjoying it very much. The kids is what keeps her here at Bosco.

“The students is my favorite thing about this job. I enjoy the students and understanding where they are coming from,” said Ms. Woods.

However long she decides to stays here, one thing is for certain, the student and the rest of the staff will continue to love and embrace her and she will do the same to everybody else.

SJB Unsung Heroes: Bobby Bernado

by Jacob Jornadal and Jake Bailey

In any well-functioning community, there are always certain individuals that keep everything running smoothly, like the oil that keeps the engine running in an automobile.

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Within the St. John Bosco High School community, there are many stars – academic and athletic – that shine very bright in all aspects of life, but without the unsung heroes doing the blue-collar work that they do, those “stars” at Bosco would struggle to succeed as much as they do.

Bobby Bernardo is Bosco’s “Mr Everything.” From maintenance to organizing sporting events, Bobby does just about anything he is asked to do and more with a smile on his face at all times.

It’s humbling to see the impact one person can have on someone or something when that person consistently does his job the right way.

“I have helped organize many events like flag football tournaments, volleyball events, and I also work the snack bar for such events as well,” said Bobby Bernado.

Bobby’s main responsibility around school is to manage the locker room as well as work the concession stand at sporting events. Even with these main and major responsibilities, Bobby is extremely flexible and does much more that usually goes unheard and unseen.

If Bobby wasn’t already loved by everyone in the Bosco community, his story about how he arrived at our school will surely compel everyone to jump on the Bobby bandwagon. His background and journey to SJB shows that through hard work, dedication, and consistency, anything is possible.

“I was born and raised in the Philippines, and graduated from Don Bosco Tech in the Philippines. When I moved here with my family, my son attended Bosco and while there, I got involved in many activities around the school,” said Bobby.

Bobby continued to speak about how he began by helping with sporting tournaments, as well as Catholic youth organizations, and now is an area representative for local youth programs.

Bobby has what seems to be a deeper love for St. John Bosco than most, as a result of the family ties that he has with the school.

“My son graduated from Bosco and absolutely loved his time spent here. My brother in-law as well as many of my cousins have graduated from here too, so I am very familiar with the environment and culture here,” said Bobby Bernado.

Bobby has not worked at any other school and does not plan to anytime soon. His love for Bosco and the people within is a massive part of who he is. SJB has helped Bobby mold into the person he is and has offered him comfort and structure for which he is forever grateful.

“My favorite part about SJB has to be the brotherhood. It is unlike anything I have ever seen and it truly is special,” said Bobby.

“Outside of the brotherhood, I love attending the sporting events here, especially football and volleyball games. The energy and excitement is a feeling one can only experience in person, at the game itself, and it is really indescribable. Bosco has a special place in my heart forever,” he continued.

Many schools have important and resourceful people at their school but unlike others, Bobby continues to keep a close relationship with the entire community, helping out anyone in need.

Bobby is an essential key factor in keeping Bosco in top-notch condition, making it one of the best overall high schools in California. It really would be impossible for SJB to thrive in the fashion that it does without Bobby.

Everyone around campus adores and appreciates Bobby, but now more than ever, students, faculty, and staff should give an extra thanks to Bobby when they see him, making sure he knows just how much he is appreciated.

Thank you Bobby, on behalf of all the St. John Bosco faculty and students, for everything you do!