Holy Spirit High School, Absecon, held its second annual “Salute to the Spartans” on Saturday, Oct. 16, at Bally’s Atlantic City, inducting three individuals into the school’s Hall of Fame.
Sister Grace Nolan, RSM; Donald A. Marrandino ’54; and Ryan Ojeda ’98 were all 2010 Hall of Fame inductees for their contributions to Holy Spirit High School and the surrounding community.
Sister Grace Nolan, currently coordinator for the Atlantic County branch of Catholic Charities, was born in Trenton and joined the Sisters of Mercy of New Jersey in 1946. She studied education at Georgian Court College, Lakewood, earning her bachelor’s degree in 1957, and pursuing post-baccalaureate work at Villanova University.
Sister Grace then went on to serve as principal at both St. John School, Collingswood, and Holy Spirit Elementary School, Atlantic City. In 1970, she opened the Atlantic County office for Catholic Charities, where she, her staff and volunteers continue to provide emergency assistance to those in need, including refugees. The community center operates a food pantry and thrift shop, and gives assistance to individuals to help pay rent and utilities.
Her many awards include being named an Honoree of the Atlantic County Women’s Hall of Fame; the Proclaimer of Life Award and the St. Vincent DePaul Award from the Diocese of Camden; Outstanding Man of the Year by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, (the only woman to ever receive the award); and the degree of Doctor of Ministry, honoris causa, from Georgian Court University.
In 2004, Sister Grace had the honor of having an award named after her, the Sister Grace Nolan Award for Social Ministry, which is given annually by Catholic Charities to an individual committed to serving others. She was the first recipient of the award.
Donald A. Marrandino, a 1954 graduate of Holy Spirit High School, is a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, and an adjunct staff member at Rowan University, Glassboro, Jersey City College, and Rutgers University, Camden.
As principal of Brigantine Elementary School for 42 years, he led his school to receive the No. 1 Best Practice in USA (Boyer Award) for Character Education, a Governor’s School of Excellence Award, a NJ Star School designation, five NJ Best Practice awards, and the Kindest School in NJ designation.
Marrandino was also recognized as the Brigantine Volunteer of the Year, and the Sons of Italy selected him as Man of the Year. He has been a NJ Football Official for 35 years, served on the Brigantine Clean Community Council, Juvenile Conference Committee, and Recreation Committee.
As a member of the St. Padre Pio Parish in Landisville, he is a Eucharistic Minister and member of the regional Pre-Cana team.
Ryan Ojeda, a graduate of the Holy Spirit class of 1998, went on to graduate from Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y., and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).
As founder and owner of Ojeda Sports Performance, LLC, Ojeda consistently promotes youth fitness and well-being in the local area.
Currently a strength and conditioning coach for both the baseball and football programs at Holy Spirit, he was previously a language arts teacher at the school and has served as assistant varsity football coach.