DYMUSA Board

Sister Gina Fleming, OP, is a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville, New York. Before entering, she used her bachelor degree in Physical Education and her masters in Special Physical Education for high school students before taking the roles of principal and assistant principal. As a member of the congregation, Sister Gina has held the position of Youth Promoter since 2000. Four years after attending the first Dominican High School Preaching conference, Sister Gina initiated the National Preaching in Action conference for college students. She then went on to found Dominican Young Adults USA and has participated in three of the International Dominican Youth Movement gatherings.

Sister Mary Nolan, OP, is a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville, New York. She attended St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York, where she earned her BS in Education and the Fordham University, Bronx, New York for her MST in Math. After ministering for many years in elementary and secondary school, Sister Mary taught computer science at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York. She currently ministers as the Testing Coordinator for The Opening Word, Wyandanch, New York and as a catechist at St. Hugh of Lincoln, Huntington Station, New York.

Sister Mary Soher, OP, is a member of the Adrian Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan. She graduated from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas and worked in television and media before entering the congregation. She earned a Masters of Pastoral Studies from the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois in 2004 and a Doctor of Management from Colorado Technical University, Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2013. Sister Mary participated in the first Dominican High School preaching conference in 1999 and in 2009 became the current director of the conference. She is a presenter at the National Preaching in Action conference and has participated in four gatherings of the International Dominican Youth Movement. Currently, she is the Director of Campus Ministry for Dominican University of California.

Patrick Spedale earned his BLA from the University of Saint Thomas, Houston, Texas in 1988 and an MRE in 1990.  He has served in mission with the Dominican Sisters of Houston since 1996 as the Director of the Office for Campus Ministry at St. Pius X High School. He is the founding and artistic director, Senior Choirmaster, of the award-winning St. Pius X Concert Chorale and Campus Singers, Fine Arts Department Chair, and was awarded the 2005 Partner in Preaching by the Dominican Sisters of Houston for his work in promoting the mission and charism of the Dominican Sisters.

Patrick has served the Dominican High School Preaching Conference for over 15 years as liturgist and a presenter. He has presented at the National Preaching in Action Conference. Patrick has served in Catholic faith formation and education for over thirty years to all ages. He is a member of the National Catholic Education Association, Texas Choral Director’s Association and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

Lianni Castro grew up in Vallejo, California and graduated from Dominican University of California with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Music and a Minor in Religious Studies. Past experience includes work as a Music Director at a Dominican Parish and Leadership Coordinator with Caritas Creek Outdoor Environmental Education Program with CYO. In 2009, Lianni completed her Graduate studies at Villanova University with a Master of Arts in Theology where she was also the recipient of a full scholarship and internship in Campus Ministry. Following her graduate studies, she returned to her Alma Mater and has been ministering at Dominican University of California ever since. She served on the board of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA) and has been a participant at both the Dominican College Preaching in Action Conference and the Fanjeaux Trip, walking the footsteps of St. Dominic.

Sister Joan has served as the Interim Special Assistant to the President for Dominican Mission and the Interim Coordinator of Dominican Ministries at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT. She is also a former member of the Leadership Team – Dominican Sisters of Peace as well as a Trustee – Ohio Dominican University from 2009-2015. In addition, she has been the Chairperson for the Ministry and Identity the Vice Chair for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious Region 6 and a member of the Reconciliation Ministry Team Newman Center at Ohio State University from 2009-2014.

Sara Stoddard received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business degree from Adrian College, graduating with magna cum laude honors.  She started her career at a small public accounting firm and quickly moved to the regional public accounting firm of Plante Moran, in Toledo, Ohio, specializing in tax compliance. Desiring an exit from public accounting, Sara moved to the Adrian Dominican Sisters in 2002 and has served as the Congregation’s Director of Finance since 2006. Sara has served on many non-profit boards with the most recent being the Treasurer for the Lenawee United Way. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Michigan and Ohio and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

While a student at Edgewood College in Madison, Kevin was introduced to the Dominican Charism through the National Preaching in Action Conference in 2006. The following years would lead to Kevin’s involvement in the founding of DYA USA and serving on the initial young adult board, local activities in his DYA Chapter, representing the USA at the International Dominican Youth Movement (IDYM) in Fatima, Portugal in 2009, his election to the IDYM International Commission for four years (2009-2013), and subsequent participation in IDYM World Meetings in Bogota, Colombia (2013), and Toulouse, France (2016). In 2013, Kevin completed his MA in Family Ministry and Faith Development from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. Kevin currently works as the Director of Religious Education at a Diocesan Parish in Middleton, Wisconsin. He lives in Middleton with his wife, Leslie.

Sister Kathleen Anne Tait, OP, is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois. She has a BA in Education with a major in history and a minor in Mathematics and an MA in Educational Administration from St Thomas University, St. Paul, Minnesota.  Most of her years of ministry have been in education, teaching at the elementary and high school levels and administrating in two of the congregation’s sponsored high schools.  Sister Kathleen Anne served as the Associate Superintendent of High Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Currently, she is the director of the Dominican Association of Secondary Schools and Director of Mission Advancement for the Dominican Sisters of Springfield IL.

Dr. Wirgau holds a M.S. in Experiential Leadership from Aurora University in Aurora, IL. and an Ed.D in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.  Most recently, Andrea was the Dean of Student Development at Aquinas College, a Dominican Catholic Institution of Higher Education in Grand Rapids, MI.

Andrea brings her gifts of leadership and her passion for education to her new position as Executive Director of the Dominican Association of Secondary Schools.  Enhancing the student journey and the quality of their experience is one of her highest values. Dr. Wirgau is a Gallup certified Strengths Coach and applies a strength’s based educational lens to all that she plans and develops. She is a motivational speaker, strategic planner and enjoys encouraging others to excel.

She is a native of Lowell, MI and credits much of her success to the upbringing and training provided in a farm setting and faith community by her parents, family members, teachers, neighbors, and the wonderful relationship she has with her husband and four children.

Pat was the first director of the National HS Preaching Conference which began in 1999.  She remained in that position for 10 years.  Eventually handing over the reigns of that program to another Dominican sister, Pat then became involved in the newly formed Dominican Association of Secondary Schools (DASS) where she was named Executive Director.  Pat retired from that position 1n 2014 but has never lost her love for our Dominican High Schools and continues to be involved with making sure that our beloved charism is being passed on to the next generation of Dominican administrators.

Pat was also one of the founding members of the Dominican Volunteer organization and served on that board for 9 years.  Pat retired to Adrian (the Weber Center) in the summer of 2017.

Pat’s experience within our Dominican school systems and her love for our charism make her a valuable asset to the DYMUSA board of directors.

While a student at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, NY, Sean was introduced to the Dominican Charism through the College Preaching in Action Conference in 2007. Sean participated in the foundation of DYA USA, attending the national gathering in Chicago in 2010, serving on the National Board as VP of Finance (2008-2009) communications chair (2009-2010), and then as National Coordinator from 2010-2012). Between 2011-2012,Sean served on the Dominican Mission Team, speaking about the Dominican Charism at various colleges, universities, and parishes. From 2011-2012, he served as a full-time volunteer for one year with Dominican Volunteers, USA.  He continued to live in community with current and former DVs, as well as City Year Volunteers, at the DVUSA Carlos Morales Alumni House for the next few years. He was able to represent USA at the International Dominican Youth Movement (IDYM) in Bogota, Columbia in 2014, where he was elected to the IDYM International Commission as Promoter of Communications (2013-2014), and later would represent USA in the IDYM International Gathering in Toulouse, France (2016).

Work Experience

2011-2012 – St. Pius V School, Chicago, IL – Resource Room Teacher

2012-2016 – St. Pius V School, Chicago, IL – 6th Grade Teacher

2016-2017 – Rosemont Elementary, Orlando, FL – 5th Grade Teacher

2017-2018 – OCPS Academic Center for Excellence – 5th Grade Teacher/Team Lead

2018-Current – Laureate Park Elementary – 5th Grade Math/Science Teacher

Sister Gina Fleming | Executive Director

Sister Gina Fleming, OP, is a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville, New York. Before entering, she used her bachelor degree in Physical Education and her masters in Special Physical Education for high school students before taking the roles of principal and assistant principal. As a member of the congregation, Sister Gina has held the position of Youth Promoter since 2000. Four years after attending the first Dominican High School Preaching conference, Sister Gina initiated the National Preaching in Action conference for college students. She then went on to found Dominican Young Adults USA and has participated in three of the International Dominican Youth Movement gatherings.

Patrick Spedale | Board Chair

Patrick Spedale earned his BLA from the University of Saint Thomas, Houston, Texas in 1988 and an MRE in 1990.  He has served in mission with the Dominican Sisters of Houston since 1996 as the Director of the Office for Campus Ministry at St. Pius X High School. He is the founding and artistic director, Senior Choirmaster, of the award-winning St. Pius X Concert Chorale and Campus Singers, Fine Arts Department Chair, and was awarded the 2005 Partner in Preaching by the Dominican Sisters of Houston for his work in promoting the mission and charism of the Dominican Sisters.

Patrick has served the Dominican High School Preaching Conference for over 15 years as liturgist and a presenter. He has presented at the National Preaching in Action Conference. Patrick has served in Catholic faith formation and education for over thirty years to all ages. He is a member of the National Catholic Education Association, Texas Choral Director’s Association and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

Lianni Castro

Lianni Castro grew up in Vallejo, California and graduated from Dominican University of California with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Music and a Minor in Religious Studies. Past experience includes work as a Music Director at a Dominican Parish and Leadership Coordinator with Caritas Creek Outdoor Environmental Education Program with CYO. In 2009, Lianni completed her Graduate studies at Villanova University with a Master of Arts in Theology where she was also the recipient of a full scholarship and internship in Campus Ministry. Following her graduate studies, she returned to her Alma Mater and has been ministering at Dominican University of California ever since. She served on the board of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA) and has been a participant at both the Dominican College Preaching in Action Conference and the Fanjeaux Trip, walking the footsteps of St. Dominic.

Sister Mary Nolan, OP, | Board Treasurer

Sister Mary Nolan, OP, is a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville, New York. She attended St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York, where she earned her BS in Education and the Fordham University, Bronx, New York for her MST in Math. After ministering for many years in elementary and secondary school, Sister Mary taught computer science at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York. She currently ministers as the Testing Coordinator for The Opening Word, Wyandanch, New York and as a catechist at St. Hugh of Lincoln, Huntington Station, New York.

Sister Mary Soher, OP | Board Secretary

Sister Mary Soher, OP, is a member of the Adrian Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan. She graduated from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas and worked in television and media before entering the congregation. She earned a Masters of Pastoral Studies from the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois in 2004 and a Doctor of Management from Colorado Technical University, Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2013. Sister Mary participated in the first Dominican High School preaching conference in 1999 and in 2009 became the current director of the conference. She is a presenter at the National Preaching in Action conference and has participated in four gatherings of the International Dominican Youth Movement. Currently, she is the Director of Campus Ministry for Dominican University of California.