December 16, 2015 


Welcome to the revised and renewed Cougar Alumni Newsletter! As you can see, we have been busy updating and upgrading our website. We welcome your correspondence and feedback as we move forward.
This month, we recognize two of the four distinguished alumni who will be honored on the Wall of Achievers during Homecoming on January 22, Ms. Denise Durham Williams (ML Class of '75) and Mr. Darcy Caetano (ML Class of '88).
Featured Alum-- Ms. Denise Durham Williams, ML Class of '75
Current Occupation: Executive Director of Student Sponsor Partners.



Biography: Ms. Denise Durham Williams is the Executive Director of Student Sponsor Partners, a well established not-for-profit focused on providing academic scholarships and mentoring to over 1,100 inner city high school students. Working with 23 parochial schools (including MLS), Ms. Durham Williams is empowering academically underserved students with a quality education and strengthening their life skills through a four year mentoring program ensuring each student achieves post secondary success.

A former senior officer at JP Morgan Chase, she has successfully managed numerous business departments in finance, marketing, community development, human resources, training, and leadership development for thousands of employees globally.  In 2001, her commitment to educational and workforce issues was acknowledged by JP Morgan Chase’s Executive Team by being appointed an Executive-on-Loan to the Welfare to Work Partnership. In this position, Ms. Durham Williams collaborated with William J. Clinton Foundation in the development of several workforce and educational internship pilots for the Harlem community.


In 2004, Ms. Durham Williams joined Citigroup and was selected to be the National Director of Community Relations managing a $20MM grant budget. She strategically launched innovative community programs in partnership with over 700 not-for-profits serving low to moderate income neighborhoods and served as Citibank’s key spokesperson on national community issues. She also proudly led Citigroup’s global diversity strategies and programs for over 200,000 global consumer employees worldwide.


After thirty accomplished years on Wall Street, Ms. Durham Williams joined the not-for-profit sector in 2009 when she was chosen to lead One Family, a not-for-profit whose mission is to end family homelessness in Massachusetts. As the Executive Director, she expanded One Family’s Scholarship program statewide and successfully advocated for improved community and housing resources to low income, at-risk homeless families in Massachusetts. In 2013, Mrs. Durham Williams moved back to New York and became the President of Kids in Distressed Situations, a national not-for-profit providing over $100MM in clothing, books, toys and other kids essential products to children in need and completed a multi-million merger with K.I.D.S. and Fashion Delivers.   


Ms. Durham Williams’ past and current community activities include being the Board Chair-The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Board Treasurer for One Family, Development Chair-Greater Hudson Valley Links Chapter, Advisory Council Member-Massachusetts Interagency of Homelessness and Housing and Mentor-Boston Public Schools.


Ms. Durham Williams has been recognized for her community leadership through the bestowing of several awards including: Celebrating Women Leaders Award from the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Women of Achievement Award from the Lighthouse Ministries, Compass for Kids-Beacon of Homelessness Award and the YWCA Saluting Women and Racial Justice-Distinguished Business Leader.


Ms. Durham Williams is a graduate of Tufts University with a BA in Economics. She resides in Westchester with Gary, her husband. Her only daughter, Chloe attended Smith College, received her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and currently works in Denmark for an international design and consulting firm. When Denise is not doing community work, she enjoys entertaining friends, cooking gourmet meals, gardening and relaxing by taking pilates classes. 


Best Memory of MLHS:  Being the co-captain of the cheerleading squad and the supportive educational environment that allowed her to excel academically and to live up to her true leadership potential.
Featured Alum-- Mr. Darcy Caetano, Jr.,   ML  Class of '88

Current Occupation:  Volvo Network Development-- Volvo Group, Latin America
Biography: After graduating from MLHS in 1988 Mr. Caetano and his family moved back to Brazil. In 1989 he started Law School, graduated in 1994, and started a post-graduate course for a judiciary career while working as a lawyer at the Bank of Parana Development. 
In 1996,  Mr. Caetano started a 15-year career in the automotive industry working as a financial consultant at General Motors where he held different positions and earned recognition of his individual performance and contribution to General Motors global performance. 
Mr. Caetano's career led him to live in several different cities until 2011, when he was hired as marketing manager for Renault Financial.  While working for Renault Financial, he received recognition for his contributions for Renault’s marketing workshops in Paris.
Since then, he has moved back to his hometown, gotten married to Edna Goulart, and accepted a new challenge at Volvo Group, Latin America. Currently, Mr. Caetano is responsible for network development  and studying an MBA of Corporate Strategic Management.
He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and learning new languages.
Best Memory of MLHS:  "The people I met, my friendship until today with some of my classmates and teachers, and the graduation day which back then meant to me the achieving of a great challenge."
Cougar News and Notes: 
  • Welcome home, Justin Burke (ML Class of '06)!  Justin just returned from a year-long tour on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt that included time in the Middle East. We thank Justin and his family for their faithful service to our country!
  • Congratulations to Mr. James Regan (Principal and ML Class of '76) upon the birth of his granddaughter, Amelia Anne, born to Kristin (ML Class of '01) and Charles Sticco. God's blessings on a new generation of Cougar alum!
  • Congratulations to Karen Tepale (ML Class of '15) on earning a spot in an NYPD Internship program! Karen just finished her first semester at Monroe College and is planning to participate in an FBI Internship program this summer! She's well on her way to reaching her goal of becoming the Director of the FBI!
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