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Photo: L- R Bishop Dunne Wrestling Coach Stephen Guerrero with Kameron Bryant, Jeremy Fleming, David Brisenio, Andy (John) Rubarth, David Rodriguez, Cain Mancillas-Garcia at the TAPPS State Wrestling Tournament February 7, 2015.

Three Bishop Dunne Falcon Wrestlers head to State

The Bishop Dunne Wrestling team had a strong showing at the TAPPS state wrestling tournament.

Held last Saturday, February 7, 2015, at Bishop Lynch High School, the Bishop Dunne Falcons placed 11th in the state. 

Junior John (Andy) Rubarth placed third in the 160 pound weight class giving him All State honors. He defeated wrestlers from St. Thomas Houston, the Emery School of Houston, and the Texas School of the Deaf to claim his third place honors.

Sophomore David Briseno competing in the 182 pound weight class and David Rodriguez wrestling in the 132 pound weight class made it to the consolation semifinals, just one match away from the third place match.

Junior David Rodriguez defeated a wrestler from Veritas and sophomore David Briseno defeated a wrestler from St. Thomas, Houston.

Coach Stephen Guerrero, who has been at Bishop Dunne for 18 years, said, “These three wrestlers now qualify for and will wrestle at the Texas Prep State wrestling tournament on February 20 and 21, 2015, at McKinney Christian, and from there, have a chance at qualifying for the National Prep wrestling tournament.”

For more information on the Bishop Dunne wrestling program see the school’s website: or or contact Coach Guerrero at

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l to r: Michelle Morgan, VP of Fundraising (Altrusa); Brandon Baker, Director of Development (Kids-U); Diana Baker, Executive Director and Co-founder (Kids-U), Lori Blair, VP Fundraising Elect (Altrusa) at a business meeting held at the City Club on the 69th floor of the Bank of America building downtown.

Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas Foundation, Inc.

Awards $70,000 Grant to Kids-U


An evening of chocolate, champagne, and a silent and live auction all held at the new "3015 at Trinity Grove" on Gulden Lane - in the shadow of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge - made for a wildly successful 2014 Dessert First event, enabling the Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas Foundation, Inc. to award a grant of $70,000 to the Dallas-based nonprofit agency, Kids-U last month at the club's business meeting.

Every year the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, awards grants to selected non-profit organizations in the Dallas area. Since 1982, the Foundation has raised and donated close to a million dollars. In addition to the monetary grants from the Foundation, the Altrusa Club members routinely provide hands-on community service to various non-profit projects in the area, with its club members having provided over 89,000 service hours. Local charities and schools benefit from the volunteer hours the successful business women - Altrusa Club members - perform, from tutoring students, to helping women returning to the work force by practicing their interviewing techniques, to delivering meals on wheels.

Kids-U was selected to be the primary beneficiary of the 2104 Dessert First event. Originally formed in 2002 as Dallas Community Lighthouse, Kids-U addresses one of the most profound problems in Dallas: children not completing their education.  To combat challenges that many Dallas children face, Kids-U provides free after school tutoring on-site in low-income apartment communities.  Students are able to “come home” to their apartment community and work with tutors to improve their abilities in the core learning subjects of math, language arts and reading.  Kids-U strives to provide pathways out of poverty for students who are most at-risk of not completing their education. For the academic year 2013-2014, 100% of Kids-U students were promoted to the next grade. More information about Kids-U may be found at

Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas, Inc. is a group of professional women who commit time, energy, and passion to educating families for a better future in the Dallas Metroplex.  The club is affiliated with Altrusa International, Inc., a service organization for civic-minded people who strive to create better communities through its more than 300 clubs worldwide.   To learn more about the club or how to apply for membership, see

The club is sponsoring an open meeting on Tuesday, February 17th for prospective members. Contact Antonia Buban for more information:

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Freshman Diamond Wilcott was a key player on last year's Championship 8th grade Falcon Basketball team and now starts on Varsity for her high school team at Bishop Dunne.


Bishop Dunne Freshman Shines on the Basketball Court


Freshman Diamond Jewl Wilcott sparkles on the basketball court, thanks to her two older brothers. “They started to play basketball in a church league when I was little,” Diamond says, “I didn’t really like basketball but I wanted to do whatever they did. Still, I was kind of chubby,” she admits. But as soon as she got into the sport, she found she was a natural.
Diamond adds, “By the 5th grade I was really enjoying myself, and then Coach Earl spotted me – he trains Lasani Johnson – and I began to work with him.”
The result is obvious: Diamond is a freshman starter on the girls’ varsity basketball team, and currently has the most points per game average. Last year, as an 8th grader, she was key in the championship game that brought home a trophy for the 8th grade girls’ DPL League.
Her father played basketball in community college, and knew how to make her a better player, she says. “He had me running hills, for endurance, and taught me how to do a layup.”
Her parents met in college while attending the same church. Her mother was a track star in high school, so Diamond feels she gets her speed from her. Her father, Michael, is 6’5” and her mother, Jacqueline, is 5’5”, so she hopes to end up somewhere in the middle for her adult height. “Taller is definitely an advantage in basketball,” Diamond says.
She came to Bishop Dunne from St. Anthony’s, and was happy to be coached by Cyrous Meyers, father of Drew Myers, last year, “Because I’d already played with his daughter on an AAU team, so we already had chemistry,” she explains. She noticed that there were no middle school girls’ basketball championship banners hanging in the gym, and so her goal became to put one up there. The championship game last winter was close, with the Falcons down by a point at the half, and Diamond admits she was nervous, “But I felt in my heart we were the better team and we would win,” she says. The final score: 39 – 36, capping an impressive 20 – 5 season for the Lady Falcons. Diamond scored the most points.
Coach Myers said after that game, “The girls played with heart. All year we’ve stressed taking God with us, to be dedicated, and mentally strong. We played aggressively, and in the end, I think the team with the most endurance won.”
Becky Sivinski, Associate Director of Athletics, says, “The first day of PE when I called her name from the roll, ‘Diamond Wilcott’, she very confidently said, ‘I am Diamond.’ She was the 8th grade All Star Volleyball player from Bishop Dunne last year in the DPL All Star volleyball game.”
Diamond’s goal is to stay focused, to get the best education she can, then attend college and – hopefully – play basketball. With team practices three days a week and games on two other days, it’s often hard to get all her homework done, but she knows that’s important. Mr. Tom Perez is her favorite teacher, because, she says, “He’s funny but he teaches so clearly that I understand math!”
Her dream colleges are UCONN and Stanford, but she’d be happy to stay closer to home and attend and play for the University of Texas at Austin. “It would be awesome to play for a Division 1 school, and win a championship ring,” Diamond says. Until then, she’s happy to study hard and practice hard, sometimes jumping in on the boys’ practices. “They come into the gym right after our practice, so I hang around and do some drills with them.”
Diamond is one Falcon who already shines, like her name.

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Senior Dailen Sutton came to Bishop Dunne for the academics, and is now headed to the Air Force Academy on a full scholarship. He was one of nine scholar-athletes at Bishop Dunne to sign Letters of Intent on National Signing Day Wednesday, to attend the college of their choice and play their sport.

Bishop Dunne Senior Dailen Sutton: Scholar Athlete Ready to Soar


With a 4.12 GPA and three interceptions in a playoff game against Midland Christian, senior Dailen Sutton had a lot of college football programs looking at him last semester. “I always wanted to play football like my dad but was tragically undersized,” he remembers. “And then after my sophomore year, I began to grow.” Now 6’1” and 175 pounds, he’s the “total package.”
Harvard, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania all offered Dailen scholarships, but he’s decided to play for the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. “I went to visit there the second week of January and just knew it was the place for me,” he explains. His paternal grandfather was in the military and his father, Bobby, played football at Tarleton State, so he’s got both in his blood. “My dad went with me on the trip and was really excited for me,” Dailen says. The Air Force team is losing three of four defensive backs to graduation, so Dailen feels he’ll be ready to play. “I’ll be competing for the boundary corners, and hopefully after a year of play, the free safety position,” he says.
His parents met in college where his father, a wide receiver for the football team, got hurt and met his mother, Natalie, an athletic trainer. “They became friends, and then later, something more,” he explains.
He attributes his high grade point average to his parents and two older sisters, 20 year old Hailey, playing soccer for Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and 23 year old Paige, a graduate of Southwestern University where she also played soccer, and is now at UT law school. “My mother is a science teacher and my sisters worked hard for their grades,” Dailen said. He remembers his classmates at his former school being happy to get a “C” on a test, “and I’d get an 87 and know my mother wouldn’t be happy about that,” he says with a smile. “She’d fuss at me until I studied harder to bring my grades up," adding: "She’s happy now.”
She taught him that academics come first. Dailen realized he wasn’t getting the education he needed a year ago, and felt he needed a change. “My father and I came to visit Bishop Dunne last January, and I shadowed with Micah Simon. He was laid-back and funny and I felt right at home, like everybody here is one big family.” Dailen didn’t wait to transfer. “I came here to school the very next week.”
He knew immediately he’d made the right decision. His favorite class was also his hardest class, junior English with Mrs. Shreve. “She was great. I never learned so much, so quickly, in my former public school,” he said. He began to work out with the football team, and went on the overnight junior retreat, and event he described as “amazing,” and “something a public school would never do.”
Born and raised in Texas, Dailen grew up in Red Oak and is looking forward to the opportunity to travel in his future, both with his Air Force football team, and in his career beyond graduation. “I’d love to be a pilot, but will concentrate on getting my core courses out of the way before I declare a major,” he says. Stoneybrook College in New York, Columbia, and Holy Cross all offered him a scholarship and a chance to go to college in another state, but Dailen feels he’s made the right choice.
In the meantime, he plans to enjoy his final semester of high school, and finish well, with happy memories of a football State Championship and the knowledge that his graduation with his classmates – his Falcon family - will lead to a brighter future.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

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Bishop Dunne's Swim Team

Bishop Dunne Falcons Finish Well in Regional Swim Meet


The Bishop Dunne Falcon boys’ swim team qualified in the regional swim meet held at Mansfield Natatorium on Friday, January 30, 2015, to go on to compete at the State meet in San Antonio.
Only sixteen competitors can qualify from all three regions to go on to the State competition.
Robbie Zeske, head swim coach for the 8th year at Bishop Dunne, was thrilled with the results. “I’ve never had this many students who’ve come in under the qualifying times. We have a real contender for a State Champion in Elijas Recinos. He’s been swimming competitively since he was ten,” she says.
Zeske was also impressed by the boys’ free relay team, “They cut off a good five seconds from their best time,” she said, “I told them they needed to, and they did it. They rose to the occasion.” She also noted that Tre’jzon Blair, a senior, swam the 50 freestyle in 28 seconds, explaining, “A decent time is under 30, and he beat that.”
Miles Barksdale cut off nine seconds on his 100 breaststroke, beating out his teammate Kyle Sivinski for a place in the men’s A-medley relay. Sivinski will be competing in the pre-relay, and so will travel to State with the team.
“We had so many personal records,” Zeske added. “That’s our goal. They’ve been working hard.” Freshman Thomas Lincoln surprised her by placing 8th in the 50 freestyle.
The team celebrated with an annual team dinner at the Olive Garden Friday after the meet, then returned to Dallas.


Zeske notes that the team has grown since she took over the swim program eight years ago. “The year before I started coaching, there were three swimmers on the team,” she said, “We’ve been consistently adding about five new team members every year. And each year the caliber of the swimmers seems to be higher – but we also accept beginners,” she added. Zeske took 14 swimmers to the Regionals and six will be competing at the state level in the Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio.
The middle school team also did very well this season in the Middle School Championship Meet on Saturday, January 23, 2015, held in The Colony. “Angelo Bianco, an 8th grader, placed first in two events, and he placed in the top four in the other two. Madeline Palmer, a 7th grader, placed second in one race and placed fourth in another. The list of students who’ve applied for admission to Bishop Dunne includes 32 potential swimmers. “We’re looking good for next year,” Coach Zeske announced.
The following high school swimmers met the qualifying times for State meet in one or both of their events:
Women's 200 Medley Relay placed 8th and their 200 Freestyle Relay placed 8th.
Men's A 200 Medley Relay placed 6th and their 200 Freestyle Relay placed 6th.
Sophomore Elijah Recinos placed first in the 100 Butterfly and 5th in the 100 Freestyle.
Freshman Thomas Lincoln placed eighth in the 50 Freestyle and 15th in the 100 Breaststroke.
Junior Miles Barksdale placed 28 overall in the 50 Freestyle and 12 in the 100 Breaststroke.
Senior Tre’jzon Blair placed fifteenth overall in the 50 Freestyle and 24th in the 100 Freestyle.
Junior Kyle Sivinski place twenty-second overall in the 50 Freestyle.
The following qualified to compete at the State level:
Sophomore Elijah Recinos who is ranked first in the State for 100 Butterfly.
Men's A 200 Medley Relay and the men's 200 Free Relay.
The following swimmers’ will comprise these two teams:
Miles Barksdale
Tre’jzon Blair
Thomas Lincoln
Elijah Recinos
Kyle Sivinski
Fernando Becerra
Ricardo Monroy
Arvin Orquindo
Jake Robb
Swimming well and placing but not meeting state times were:
Freshman Cat Day placed thirteenth in the 200 Freestyle and 15th in the 100 Butterfly.
Junior Ekaterina Boucher placed sixteenth overall in the 50 Freestyle and 21 in the 100 Breaststroke.
Freshman Emma Barclay placed twenty-fourth in the 50 Freestyle and 12th in the 100 Breaststroke.
Junior Arvin Oquindo placed twenty-fifth in the 100 Freestyle and 18th in the 100 Backstroke.
Junior Jake Robb placed twenty-sixth in the 100 Freestyle.

Freshman Fernando Becerra placed seventeenth in the 100 Backstroke.
Freshman Lindy Litzenberger placed twenty-third in the 100 Breaststroke.
Olympian Sheila Taorima, the only Olympic athlete to compete in three different sports in three different Olympiads, will be working with the swim team and appearing as a guest speaker at the school on February 17, 2015.
For more information on the Bishop Dunne Swim program, please visit the school’s website: or sports website or contact Robbie Zeske:

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Bishop Dunne’s National Signing Day Scholar-Athletes L-R: Jared Alex, Colorado School of the Mines (football); Micah Simon, Brigham Young University (football); Darrion Daniels, Oklahoma State University (football) ; Erika Aviles, Lubbock Christian University (soccer); Adrian Miller, Oklahoma University (football); Dailen Sutton, The Air Force Academy (football); Lasani Johnson, Stephen F. Austin College (Basketball); Tre’jzon Blair, Tarleton State (football); Travis Cook, Texas Lutheran University (football).



Nine Bishop Dunne Falcons Honored on National Signing Day


Nine scholar athletes of the class of 2015 signed letters of intent to play their sport at the next level on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, National Signing Day.


Senior Erika Aviles is headed to Lubbock Christian University to play soccer. Lasani Johnson, Honorable Mention in The Dallas Morning News SportsDay roster last month for averaging 28.5 points per game, is signing with Stephen F. Austin College in Sherman to play basketball.


Five other scholar athletes from the State Championship football team will continue playing their sport at the collegiate level. Signing on Wednesday were:


1 Jared Alex - Colorado School of Mines (Football)

2 Erika Aviles - Lubbock Christian University (Soccer)

3 Tre’jzon Blair – Tarleton State (Football)

4 Travis Cook - Texas Lutheran University (Football)

5 Darrion Daniels - Oklahoma State University (Football)

6 Lasani Johnson - Stephen F. Austin University (Basketball)

7 Adrian A.D. Miller – University of Oklahoma (Football)

8 Micah Simon - Brigham Young University (Football)

9 Dailen Sutton - Air Force Academy (Football)


Assistant Athletic Director Coach Delone Williams noted there may be a later addition to the signing day, as college representatives have been in touch with a number of other Falcon athletes on campus. Harvard, Yale and Notre Dame coaches have been seen in the halls of Bishop Dunne in the past month, along with representatives from UT, OU, OSU, Alabama, and Pittsburgh.


Bishop Dunne’s football team had a 12 – 1 record this year and beat Prestonwood Baptist in the TAPPS Class 5A Division 1 State Championship 41 – 10  in December.

Bishop Dunne was established in 1961 by the Brothers of Sacred Heart and the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur. The school is known for its strong academic and technology successes. Last month the school acquired a seismograph to begin tracking earthquakes. The school’s annual GeoTech Lecture Series continues this month with Emmy-award winning photographer James Balog speaking on February 26, 2015.

For more information on the school, see: or the school’s sports website

Judith E. Porter, M.T.S. M.B.A. 

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Seven students from Bishop Dunne traveled on a 26 hour bus trip to attend the National March for Life in Washington D.C. on January 22nd.

Bishop Dunne Students Attend National March for Life

Seven Falcon students headed north last week to Washington D.C. to walk in the March for Life. The annual pro-life march, from the Capitol, down the National Mall, and on to the Supreme Court, attracts hundreds of thousands of supporters. This year’s event included an impressive line-up of speakers:
·         Rev. Joseph Kurtz, President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
·         Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, M.D.
·         Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus
·         Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
·         Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
·         Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
·         Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
·         Kathleen Wilson of Mary’s Shelter
·         Julia Johnson, Senior at Shanley High School
·         Nancy Kreuzer, Silent No More
·         Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life
·         Rev. Sammy Rodriguez, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
The March for Life in Washington, D.C., began as a small demonstration on January 22, 1974, the first anniversary of the now-infamous Supreme Court decisions in Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton and rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world. The peaceful demonstration has occurred on this somber anniversary every year since, and is a witness to the truth concerning the greatest human rights violation of our time, legalized abortion on demand.
Sophomore Julia Santos, President of the Respect for Life Club at Bishop Dunne, was joined by seniors Amanda Monsalve and Naomi Hayes, juniors America Molina and Krystal Garcia, and freshmen Lindy Litzenberg and Katie Picha.
Katie said of the trip, “Dr. Seuss is famous for saying, ‘A person is a person, no matter how small.’ I came on the trip to help stand up for a cause I care about strongly. We get the chance to speak for those who do not have voices. The trip is a also great experience to share with others and make new friends along the way.”
Her classmate Lindy agreed, saying, “The reason I went on the March for Life trip was so that I can speak up for those who have no voice yet. The fact that people think that slaughtering another innocent human being for their own self solace is horrifying – and I think not defending the innocent is even worse.”
The group travelled with the youth of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Duncanville, along with eight adult chaperones including Rachel Cromwell, coordinator of this trip for the last ten years, and Campus Minister Nicholas Brandt from Bishop Dunne. The 26-hour bus ride to the march took the group through about seven states and over the Appalachian Mountains to the city, where they stayed in a large house in Gaithersburg as guests of St. John Newman parish.
News agencies estimated some 700,000 people were in attendance from all parts of the nation, breaking the previous attendance record by more than 200,000. The day after the march students toured the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and various Smithsonian museums.

For more information on Bishop Dunne see the school's website at: For more information on the March for Life and other campus ministry events contact Nicholas Brandt at 

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Bishop Dunne Senior Catherine Sellers was on the school's Homecoming Court in October 2014. She attributes her interest in volunteering to her mother, Jill.

Bishop Dunne Cheerleading Captain also a Leader in Student Government 

Catherine Anne Scott-Sellers definitely breaks the stereotype of a dumb blonde, and admits, “Nobody knows that I was born with a big head of black hair! Then as I grew up, it became lighter and lighter.”
A huge fan of the game of football, her goal is to spend her professional career on the sidelines as a color commentator - she’s already spent the past seven years on the sidelines.
“I thought cheerleading sounded fun, so tried out when I came here as part of the first 6th grade at Bishop Dunne, and made the squad,” she explains. She cheered on the middle school squad, becoming the captain in the 7th grade and again in the 8th grade, then captain of the freshman squad in 9th grade. She made the varsity squad her sophomore year and was co-captain of the varsity her junior year, and now is captain of the varsity squad in this, her senior year.
She’s applied to five colleges with some pretty impressive football programs: Baylor, TCU, OU, Texas A&M, and SMU. She has been accepted by the first three and is waiting to hear from the last two. Last year she travelled with the squad to perform in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl, getting a taste of University life. “It was a great experience!” Catherine says.
A graduate of the Merrywood School, she followed her big sister Alexandra, class of 2012 Valedictorian, to Bishop Dunne, and, like her sister, has been taking AP and Pre-AP classes every semester she’s been here.
Born on April 2nd, she’s happy her mother didn’t have her a day earlier, because she’d be spending her life explaining that she’s no joke. A bubbly blonde cheerleader with brains, her personality has landed her in some key student government positions: freshman class President, sophomore class President, Executive Council Treasurer her junior year, and Executive Vice President this year, working alongside President Marcos Acosta. She says, “It’s great working with him because we are really good friends.”
 Her favorite class last semester was government with Mark Clifford, and this semester she’s enjoying anatomy with Ms. Bové. For senior service, she tutored at Mark Twain Elementary helping second graders to learn to read, and that almost changed her mind about her career. “I loved it! I used to want to be a teacher,” she says. “But now I really want to be in Broadcast Journalism.”
The football State Championship sealed the deal for her. “It was so incredibly exciting. I grew up with many of the guys on the team, and to see them come together as a team and win that final game – it was just amazing!” she exclaims. Her friend, Dailen Sutton, her date for the homecoming dance, has just committed to play for the Air Force Academy, and Catherine couldn’t be happier for him.
Until then, she looks forward to helping lead the senior retreat at the end of this month, and tutoring students on Saturday mornings at St. Cecelia’s with the National Honor Society. When she’s not cheering, working or studying, she’s reading a good book. She just finished “Emma,” by Jane Austen.
Emma is also the name of her rescue cat, adopted from Bishop Dunne in her 6th grade year. “Mr. Ratliff found it,” she explains, “and it’s grown up with me.”
So what is the secret of Catherine’s success? Her mother, Jill, is a volunteer at school and Catherine admits, “She’s my little super hero. She’s very involved.” Like mother, like daughter.
Catherine is a perfect example of a Falcon ready to soar.
“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” - Ecclesiastes 3:12

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Deacon Paul Wood (left) blesses the Father Timothy Gollob (right) Garden in April of 2012. Bishop Dunne boasts a number of beautiful gardens and an outdoor classroom for the science classes so students can learn using hands-on lessons. The seismograph machine will be located on the sprawling Oak Cliff campus.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/23/15                                  for more information: 214-533-8374

Bishop Dunne Sets up Seismograph on Campus to Track Earthquakes

A seismograph, or seismometer, is an instrument used to detect and record earthquakes. Generally, it consists of a mass attached to a fixed base. Al Hrubetz, a long-time supporter of Bishop Dunne and a retired geologist, has donated one of the two he owns to the science department to begin tracking earthquakes in our area.

Earthquakes generate seismic waves which can be detected with this sensitive instrument. The earliest seismograph was invented in China by a man named Choko in the year 136 A.D. Advances in seismograph technology have increased our understanding of both earthquakes and the Earth itself.
During an earthquake, the base of a seismograph moves and the mass does not. The motion of the base with respect to the mass is commonly transformed into an electrical voltage. The electrical voltage is recorded on paper, magnetic tape, or another recording medium. This record is proportional to the motion of the seismometer mass relative to the earth, but it can be mathematically converted to a record of the absolute motion of the ground. “Seismograph” generally refers to the seismometer and its recording device as a single unit.
This donation comes at a time when Dallas and Irving experienced an unprecedented number of recent small quakes. Just to our north, in Oklahoma, the state is experiencing several earthquakes a week, including six on January 15, 2015,  53 in the first week of January, 155 in the past month, and 1,511 earthquakes last year.
Mr. Hrubitz says that, once set up, Bishop Dunne will be the only facility with a working seismograph in the area.

For more information, see the school's website:


Judith E. Porter, M.T.S., M.B.A.

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Roger and Anita Palmer met in 1998, when they attended a two-week GIS Institute sponsored by Esri and the National Geographic Society. The Palmers coordinate speakers from all over the world for Bishop Dunne's annual GeoTech series.

Bishop Dunne’s Roger Palmer Ready for GeoTech

Roger Palmer’s interest in geography brought him from North Dakota to San Marcos, Texas, in 1998, when he attended a two-week GIS Institute sponsored by Esri and the National Geographic Society, an organization at the forefront of geospatial technology. Kate Dailey, a teacher consultant with the National Geographic Society and a member of the faculty of Texas State University at the time, was there, and invited Roger to be a presenter at the 1999 GeoTech conference in Dallas.


A graduate of The University of North Dakota with a master’s degree in chemistry, Palmer had a fascination with the original TI’83 graphing calculator, which sent his career in science down a new path. “That calculator can collect data and store information, and you can hook probes up to it to do all sorts of graphing,” he explains. “I wanted to learn more about using it, and pretty soon I was doing workshops for others, and getting more supplies, learning new techniques.”


He was elected president of the Science Trade Association in North Dakota and became the District Science Committee leader for five years, and a member of the Math/Science Alliance.


Grant money from the National Science Foundation kept him busy teaching others about GIS, Geographical Information Systems, and his workshop at GeoTech was well received. “I think it was called, ’Turtle River Tells Tales,’ about how to use technology out in the field,” Palmer says. Hired on to teach science at Bishop Dunne, he moved to Dallas and was one of the first residents in the newly renovated Sears building downtown, now called the Southside on Lamar.


As the Science Department chair, Palmer can step into any science classroom and teach a comprehensive lesson, but he is best known for his outdoor classes. Last month he and two visiting professors took a group of Bishop Dunne students to the Trinity Audubon to use a drone to count wild boars out in the rugged terrain. “Urban wild hogs are a real threat to the area,” Palmer explains, “They dig up the native grass and eat the roots, causing serious erosion – they even drain ponds. Some can weigh over 400 pounds – if you hit that hog on the road, it can really wreck your car! A typical deer weighs less than half that.”


Palmer is looking forward to the 2015 GeoTech and says, “The Ice Man Cometh,” referring to keynote speaker photographer James Balog, who will be talking about his work photographing the melting polar ice caps and his 2014 Emmy Award winning film, Chasing Ice.


Palmer is glad he traveled to San Marcos nearly two decades ago, because he left with a new job and even a new partner. “I met a nice geography and GIS teacher there from Nevada,” he says with a smile, “and we became friends and business partners.” After a year away working in missions in the Czech Republic, he was offered another year to further the programming he was leading. “I turned it down,” Palmer says. He returned to America and married that teacher. Anita and Roger Palmer are celebrating their 13th anniversary this year.