Welcome Freshmen Class of 2027!

Welcome Mr. Tim Magee!

Shepherds Staff Announcements

Cougar Camp Fun with our Freshmen

Seniors Complete College Essay Writing Workshop

Upcoming Events

Fundraising & Development

Calendar of Events

Save the Date: Shepherds 25th Anniversary Gala

Dear Shepherds Community,

Despite the great news you’ve been reading about lately, this is NOT my Sound of Music ("So Long, Farewell") Executive Director newsletter. That may come but I don’t think you want to hear me sing it, or any other song.

This is our WELCOME to the New School Year Newsletter, celebrating the beginning of Shepherds’ 25th year of “Changing lives…. One student at a Time.”

First and foremost, let’s welcome our Class of 2027 Kolbe Cathedral Shepherds Students, 11 bright, gregarious, ambitious young people who are so appreciative of being part of the Shepherds – Kolbe Cathedral family. I anticipate you’ll be seeing and hearing from them quite often in the years ahead.

I am also pleased to welcome seven new Shepherds mentors for this Class of 2027 in addition to the four Class of 2024 mentors who generously re-enlisted. They will be introduced to their students and over the course of the month of September.


Next, in case you haven’t noticed, the entire Shepherds organization welcomes, Tim Magee, as Shepherds incoming Executive Director. Tim, I and the team have been working closely for the past couple of weeks acclimating Tim to the people, processes, and partners that make Shepherds what it is. He was an active participant in Class of 2027 Cougar Camp to the benefit of the students and Shepherds and KCHS staff.  As he meets more students, school partners, mentors, and learns our processes and finances, I am fully confident Tim will be highly successful inheriting a role I have been privileged to hold and enjoyed immensely.


Next, we welcome Joe Elbertson to our team as our Shepherds KCHS Faculty Advisor. Coupled with Joe’s addition is the promotion of Cecilia Hatton to the role of Shepherds KCHS Liaison. I am personally excited and enthusiastic as this new team brings their experience, ideas, and skills to the three of the most valuable parts of the Shepherds program: assuring academic success, providing exposure to new academic and career opportunities, and supporting student-mentor relationships.

All of this is built upon the generous support of Shepherds Board of Directors and the energy of Shepherds staff that brings you Shepherds each day. Thank you to the mentors, sponsors, parents/guardians and school partners for your continued and generous commitment to Shepherds,

We look forward to seeing at our many fall events and invite all to join us to celebrate our 25th Anniversary which really is the kick-off event for our next 25 years!

Shepherds is proud and excited to introduce the incoming Freshmen Shepherds Class of 2027!


Please join us in welcoming incoming Executive Director, Tim Magee!

A few months back, it was announced that a search had begun for a candidate to succeed Dan McAuliffe in the role of Executive Director for Shepherds. 

After a comprehensive search process led by board member Carrie Sindelar, the board has enthusiastically engaged Tim Magee to step into this role later this fall. Tim started on August 14th and has been working closely with Dan and the team as he prepares to take the reins.

Tim is a college educator and administrator with, among other things, extensive experience in the administration and design of programs that prepare students for academic success beyond high school. He was most recently the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at one of our state’s community colleges as well as the Director of the Bridge to College Programs at that school. The Board is excited to welcome Tim to the Shepherds family, and we look forward to collaborating with him to continue the work that Dan and the entire Shepherds team have built over the last ten years. Tim's email is: tmagee@shepherdsmentors.org.

As Tim will be working closely with Dan over the next few months, you will have the opportunity to meet him at one of the various upcoming "back to school" events. Please give Tim a warm welcome when you meet him.

-Lisette Currier-Martinez, Chair, Shepherds


Greetings Shepherds Friends and Families,

It is an honor and privilege to serve the Shepherds community as the next Executive Director. The arc of my personal and professional journey has brought me to Shepherds at a profound and pivotal moment, the celebration of 25 years of service.

I look forward to meeting and engaging with all Shepherds’ constituents to reflect upon the first 25 years and begin the planning for the next 25 years. With a solid organizational and financial foundation, experienced and dedicated staff, a committed Board of Directors and mentoring from the outgoing Executive Director, Dan McAuliffe, there is so much to build upon to create even more impact for our students and families.



As we begin the new academic year and 25th year of Shepherds’ mission, I am pleased to make two Shepherds staff announcements to the KCHS Community.

Stepping Up: Cecilia Hatton, Shepherds Kolbe Cathedral Liaison

Cecilia Hatton, Shepherds Programs Manager for the past year, will be stepping into the role as our Shepherds Kolbe Cathedral Liaison, a role critical to Shepherds mission of “Changing Lives…One Student at a Time.”

For the past year, Cecilia Hatton, has worked closely with Lisa Matson, our recently retired Shepherds KCHS Liaison. In her prior role, Cecilia organized many successful events for students and mentors. She has developed her own rapport with mentors and students and has been diligent in assuring Shepherds’ students and their families get the most out of their Shepherds’ experience.

Cecilia will retain primary responsibility for programs working in conjunction with Shepherds Notre Dame Liaison, Dennis Yacono. To fulfill these expanded responsibilities, Cecilia will work three days a week beginning in September. She can be contacted at chatton@shepherdsmentors.org, mobile (203) 858-1559.

Welcoming KCHS Faculty Member, Joe Elbertson to the Shepherds’ Team

To assist Shepherds and Cecilia, we are also pleased to welcome KCHS faculty member Joe Elbertson, as Shepherds KCHS Faculty Advisor. Joe will be starting his 12th year as a Kolbe Cathedral Music teacher, choir director, and Music Club Supervisor. In addition to Joe’s familiarity with KCHS students, he brings a wealth of experience including as an instructor of a social and emotional learning curriculum, social work, and serving our country for five years as a US Marine. 


In this part-time role and while maintaining his full faculty responsibilities, Joe will provide a critical connection between Shepherds staff and the students and faculty of KCHS. The role will support Shepherds KCHS Liaison in the academic, disciplinary, and supplemental programming activities that Shepherds provides.


During the week of August 14-18, our incoming Shepherds Freshmen Class of 2027 attended another successful, educational and FUN Cougar Camp. Shepherds Freshmen met and bonded over a weeklong series of activities, presentations and assignments to become familiar with each other, the school and the culture at Kolbe Cathedral High School. Such activities included a scavenger hunt, parent/student Safe Environment training, the "RULER" presentation*, a math refresher exercise and making ice cream!

A special thank you to KCHS School Liaison, Cecilia Hatton, Faculty Advisor, Joe Elbertson for providing a successful program and a thank you to Seniors, Dannylo C. and Ali C. and Shepherds Sophomores, Tristan R. and Stefania F. for helping out and advising and guiding our incoming students.

*RULER is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER supports school communities in understanding the value of emotions, building the skills of emotional intelligence and creating and maintaining positive school climates.



Seniors Get their College Essays Done!

Shepherds Class of 2024 had the opportunity and benefit to complete their college essays...before school even started! During the week of August 14-18, our Seniors worked with Liz Matthews, College Essay Specialist with Carnegie Prep.

After a brief introduction of the basics of a college essay (questions, length, and purpose), the students completed a number of different brainstorming activities. After breaking down different common app questions and sharing examples of each, Ms. Matthews met with each student one-on-one every day to continue their brainstorming, further developed each individual's essay and began the revising/editing process. By the end of the week, students had completed a compelling, well-structured essay about a unique, personal topic of their own ready to send to the colleges of their choice.




25th Anniversary Gala - Great Sponsorship Opportunities Available

The Board of Directors and the Educate & Empower Gala Committee are actively soliciting sponsors for Shepherds 25th Anniversary Gala, being held October 19th at The Inn at Longshore in Westport.

Gala Sponsorships and advertising from $250 to $50,000 provide great visibility for commercial and professional organizations at this event with over 250 high net-worth attendees supporting Shepherds plus on-line visibility for up to six months. Each sponsorship dollar assures more funds flow to

support more Shepherds students in the years ahead. Please visit our gala website at: shepherds.givesmart.com for more information.

If you know of any business or individual who might be interested in sponsorship, please contact Jane MacDonald at jmacdonald@shepherdsmentors.org.



8/30 First Day of School for FRESHMEN


9/6 First Day of School - ALL STUDENTS

9/6 Class of 2027 New Mentor Reception 5:30-7:00pm at the home of Mentor, Libby Tritschler (271 Westway Rd, Southport, CT)

9/16 Class of 2027 New Mentor Training I (in person) at The Westport Library, 9:15am-12pm

9/21 Shepherds/Kolbe Cathedral School Year Kickoff Celebration 5:15pm-8pm

9/27 Class of 2027 New Mentor Training II (via Zoom) 7:00-8:15pm


All members of the Shepherds community - past and present - are invited to mark their calendars for the Shepherds 25th Anniversary Gala being held on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at The Inn at Longshore in Westport.

Shepherds only holds a major event like this every five years! It’s critical to building the financial resources to support more students over the years between events. 25th Gala Event Information

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