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Athletic Hall of Fame Spotlight: Sr. Lenore Pochelski, IHM Looks Back on Legacy Ahead of Her Induction

The 2024 Marian Athletic Club (MAC) Hall of Fame celebration on Sunday, March 24, 2024 will mark the third consecutive year that deserving individuals and teams will be inducted to the Marian Athletics Hall of Fame. Ahead of the celebration, Marian interviewed former Head of School Sr. Lenore Pochelski, IHM, slated for induction March 24:  

Sr. Lenore, congratulations on your induction into the Marian Athletics Hall of Fame! Throughout your remarkable 31-year tenure at Marian High School, you played a pivotal role in shaping the athletic program and fostering a culture of excellence. What inspired you to dedicate yourself to the growth and development of Marian's athletics? 

LP: When I joined Marian 32 years ago, I found purpose in advancing Marian's mission of empowering young women. The school's foundation emphasized a well-rounded education, and our mission to nurture the whole person resonated deeply with me. My passion stemmed from this purpose, as I witnessed how athletics and the vast co-curricular offerings of Marian contributed to team building, learning from failure, and fostering cooperative skills essential for personal growth. 

As the Head of School at Marian, you spearheaded advancements and improvements to the athletic facilities, including the construction of a state-of-the-art gymnasium. How do you believe this has enhanced the overall experience of student-athletes at Marian? 

LP: Updating our facilities was vital for accommodating the diverse interests of our students.  Access to quality facilities not only supports athletic development but also enhances the overall student experience, attracting students from various backgrounds who seek both academic and athletic excellence. The building of the gym as it now stands was part of Marian’s Tradition & Vision campaign started in the last 90s with the goal of enhancing Marian’s facilities to provide space for academics, athletics, and performing arts to not just coexist, but excel. Marian needed facilities to support the excellent programs it already had. For Marian’s mission to be successful, we needed the best facilities possible for our young women to excel in their chosen areas of focus.  Access to high-quality facilities not only supports athletic development but also enhances the overall student experience, attracting students who seek a well-rounded education that encompasses both academic and athletic excellence. 

Over your tenure, you witnessed numerous achievements and memorable moments in Marian's athletics. What standout moments or accomplishments resonate with you the most? 

LP: While championships and victories are certainly celebrated, what truly stands out to me is the provision of top-notch facilities that align with our students' aspirations. Creating an environment where athletes and performers alike can thrive without compromise epitomizes Marian's commitment to holistic education. Witnessing Marian’s students utilize these resources serves as a highlight of my tenure. 

Beyond the accolades and championships, how do you believe participation in athletics aligns with Marian High School's mission of empowering young women to live responsible lives of leadership and action based on gospel values? 

LP: Participation in athletics aligns seamlessly with Marian's mission by instilling values such as teamwork, resilience, and humility—essential qualities for responsible leadership. Athletics provides a platform where students learn to navigate both success and setbacks, preparing them to lead with compassion and integrity. By fostering an environment where every individual can embrace challenges and contribute meaningfully to their communities, athletics empower young women to live out Marian's gospel values in their daily lives. 

As you reflect on your remarkable career at Marian, what legacy do you hope to leave behind in the hearts and minds of students, athletes, and the Marian community? 

LP: My aspiration is for my legacy at Marian to reflect a commitment to providing equal opportunities for all students to thrive academically, athletically, and artistically. The construction of the gymnasium, theater, and commons symbolizes Marian’s dedication to fostering an inclusive environment where every individual can pursue their passions without limitation. Ultimately, I hope to have left behind a legacy that inspires future generations of Marian students to confidently proclaim: "young women can." 

Thank you, Sr. Lenore!

Joining Sr. Lenore in this year’s Hall of Fame Class are All-American basketball player Nicole Anaejionu '99, track and field standout Dana Carey '11,  and Lacrosse Legend Caroline Forester Crowe '15 , who was instrumental to the growth of the athletic program and a guiding member of the Catholic High School League's (CHSL) Executive Committee. Additionally, former student-athletes representing the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) state championship soccer teams of 2003 and 2004 will be on campus to represent both teams' induction to the hall of fame. 

Once again, Jennifer Hammond, FOX 2 Sports Reporter and 2024 National Sports Media Association (NSMA) Michigan Sportscaster of the Year, will be the evening's host for the third consecutive year. Hammond will lead the inductee panel in an interactive talk show-style format that promises to be entertaining for all ages. 

While tickets are free of charge, attendees are encouraged to register and contribute to the Hall of Fame effort if possible. Additionally, registrants and sponsors have the opportunity to write personalized messages to the inductees during the registration process. Sponsors will take part in a private meet-and-greet event with inductees that will include photo opportunities and a champagne reception. Hors d'oeuvres and light refreshments will be served to all. 

The Hall of Fame Class of 2024 joins 2023 inductees longtime contributor Denny Flynn, groundbreaking tennis coach Julie McKnight (posthumously inducted), all-American swimmer Mollie Pultie '15, and dual sport threat Stephanie Storen Jett '93 (basketball & volleyball) and 2022 inductees Barry Brodsky (soccer), Mary Cicerone (basketball), Jay Louis-Prescott (field hockey & soccer), Bill Thompson (swimming) and Dave Feldman (athletic director). 

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