Congratulations to the 2013 Memphis Catholic Hall of Fame: former All-Pro NFL player and All-American right guard for three National Champion Notre Dame teams, the late Joe Signaigo, CHS ’22; first Dean of Women at Georgia Tech, the late Judith Priddy Orr, SHHS ’55; former Chief of Pediatrics at Methodist University Hospital and Patients’ Choice Award-winning Memphis physician Dr. William Terrell, SAHS ’57; former Catholic High coach, teacher and quarterback, Edgar Dooley, CHFB ’60; internationally noted University of Michigan psychology professor and author Dr. J. Frank Yates, FBHS ’63; Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for Middle Tennessee, the Honorable William Joseph Haynes, Jr., FBHS ’66; prominent assistant professor at the University of Memphis, Margaret Moore “Peggy” Quinn, SHHA ’66; former “Executive in Residence” at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and nationally known motivational speaker, Jerry Acuff, CHFB ’67; Baylor Medical Center Trustee and OB/GYN Chief at McKinney (TX) Medical Center, Dr. Tracey Banks, MCHS ’84.
The Memphis Catholic High School Hall of Fame, initiated in 2011, honors graduates, teachers, and notable supporters of our 90-year-old school. The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals associated with Catholic High in all its iterations, including the original coed Catholic High (1922-1945), Catholic High School for Boys (1945-1970), the merged “heritage” schools of Sacred Heart and Father Bertrand (1970), and the current Memphis Catholic High School.
Named “Best All Around” in his senior class, Mike Accardi made his mark at Catholic High. A student government and class officer, Accardi played fullback on the Catholic High football team which tied for the city championship in 1966. After receiving an English degree from Memphis State University, Accardi’s considerable people skills led him to a sales career, where he has excelled, winning numerous “Salesman of the Year” awards. Accardi has also been active in the Catholic Church, initiating a program for engaged couples to supplement the pre-Cana program, and becoming involved with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Today the Accardis are the parents of three adult children and grandparents of six.
Bill Anderson has spent a lifetime devoted to the law and the criminal justice system. Bill has been a probation officer and parole officer, a criminal defense attorney, and in 2010 was elected Judge of Shelby County Criminal Court Division 7. He is past President of the Memphis Trial Lawyers Association and the Criminal Law Section of the Memphis Bar Assoc. Bill has been a volunteer, coach and Judge of the TN High School Mock Trial Competition throughout his legal career. He and his wife Lisa , also an attorney, are the parents of two sons.
Voted Class Favorite and elected the first coed class president in the newly-merged Memphis Catholic, Fred’s leadership has been recognized by his election as President of the Mid-South Football Officials Assoc. and his selection to the Memphis Amateur Sports Hall of Fame in honor of his 30 years as a referee for peewee, junior and high school football. He has also served on the boards of the East Memphis Catholic Club and the West TN Family Solutions. He and his wife , Teresa, have been married for 34 years.
Pastor, teacher, mentor, friend, Monsignor Batson was selfless in his near 50 years of service to the Diocese of Memphis. Msgr. Batson was at the forefront of the local civil rights movement, earning the National Conference of Christians & Jews Humanitarian award for working “endlessly to house and feed the poor.” Msgr. Joseph Kerrigan calls Batson his role model, “He brought a lot of applied Catholic social teaching to parish life,” says Kerrigan., “and he did it with such grace.”
Hays was class president, student council officer, Key Club member, and football letterman at Catholic High. With bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Memphis, Hays attended UT medical school and went on to become one of Memphis’ most respected internists. Board certified in internal medicine, he is a valued member of the Methodist Healthcare system. Hays and his wife Judy have four children and are grandparents of granddaughter, Holly Hays
Senior class president , league leading-scorer and All-Memphis in football on both offense and defense, Whit set high goals and achieved them. Whether as defensive end at UT, as a pro at Miami, Boston and in the CFL, or as a salesman in food service, Whit’s dedicated performance drew the loyalty and admiration of all. Whit was devoted to his five brothers and sister, his three beloved daughters, and to the five grandchildren he adored.
Justin continued the Canale tradition of excellence as a high school All-American in football and by setting a state record for shot put his senior year. He continued setting records at Mississippi State in football and track, and later played pro football in Boston, Cincinnati, Montreal and finally with the Memphis Southmen. Justin also burnished the family’s reputation for civility, serving each customer at Canale’s Store over many years with a generous helping of Southern hospitality.
For 40 years, Monsignor Ciaramitaro has served the Diocese of Memphis in a host of ways. He has been pastor at St. Ann Bartlett, Holy Cross in Paris, TN, and now is pastor at St. Michael parish in Memphis. Has also has served as Dean of the Jackson Deanery, and has been a member of the Diocesan Personnel Board, the Presbyteral Council, and the College of Counsultors of the Memphis diocese, as well as Vocations Director and as Spiritual Director for the SEARCH retreats.
Student athlete was an apt description of Mike Clary during his four years at Catholic High. An honor student and member of the football, basketball and track squads, Clary earned All-State honors in football, and went on to Rhodes College, where he obtained a degree in biology. He also played football and golf at Rhodes. After two years teaching and coaching at Ridgeway High School, Clary returned to Rhodes, where he became the winningest football coach in the school’s history. In 1989, Clary was selected as Rhodes Most Outstanding staff member, and in 2000 he was selected NACDA Division III Athletic Director of the Year. His wife Nancy is also a Memphis Catholic graduate, and they have two grown children.
Known affectionately as “nurturer in chief”, Mrs. Figiel served the Diocese of Memphis for over 40 years. Norma received her bachelor and masters degrees at the University of Memphis. She taught chemistry, home economics, and religion classes before becoming the school counselor at Memphis Catholic. Her ability to connect with her students was truly superior. She and her husband Chester are the parents of five, and grandparents of six.
The late Billy Gillespie is a fine example of the grit and heart of Catholic High students through the years. The starting tailback on the Catholic football team, Gillespie was struck down with polio his junior year. An All-Memphis standout in junior varsity, it appeared that Gillespie’s involvement in athletics was over, but the determined young man graduated, went to business college, married and started a family of six children, and built a successful pick-up and delivery business. For 15 years, he coached football, baseball, basketball, and softball at St. Joseph’s Elementary, where he was athletic director. Gillespie received the Governor’s Trophy Award as Outstanding Handicapped Citizen,and was also chosen to the Memphis Park Commission’s Amateur Sports Hall of Fame.
If ever there was an individual who exemplified the spirit of Memphis Catholic High, it is the late Rev. Msgr. Patrick J. Lynch, the beloved “Father Pat.” For 18 years he served as teacher, wrestling coach, assistant football coach, and later athletic director. “He was also your confessor, your friend, and your conscience,” recalls a former student. In the 50-plus years of his priesthood, Lynch also served as pastor of several churches in the diocese, West Tennessee Deanery Director of Youth, Diocesan Director of Vocations, Director of St. Peter Home for Children, and finally as Chaplain of St. Peter Villa. “Father Pat was a man’s kind of man, who commanded respect, but was always respectful to the students,” according to a former student. “He was also an excellent confessor and was always there for you to talk to when you needed.”
Father Murray taught English at Catholic High School for Boys for 11 years, and many of his students fondly remember him as the person who taught them how to speak and write properly. A Nashville native, Fr. Murray also served as assistant pastor at Immaculate Conception parish, and as Deanary Director of Catholic Social Services for the Diocese of Memphis.
On graduating from Father Bertrand High School, Noel was selected by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation to its first class of National Achievement Scholars. Senior class president, Student Council president and class valedictorian, Noel attended the University of Pennsylvania on scholarship, and graduated with a degree in Economics from the prestigious Wharton School. From there he attended law school at Penn, receiving the Earl Warren Fellowship from the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense Fund (LDF). He returned home to join the Ratner, Sugarmon & Lucas firm, where he became partner. He currently is a partner at Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh, and a Delinquent Tax Attorney for the Shelby County Trustee. Married to Pearlene Collins Noel, they have two sons and five grandchildren.
Teresa Sloyan took the skills she learned at Memphis Catholic and used them to make a difference in both corporate and non-profit worlds. After graduation from the University of Memphis and post-graduate work at UT, Teresa served as Director of Community Relations and Corporate Giving for AutoZone, and spent nine years as Director of Human Services and Community Relations for the City of Memphis. Teresa now serves as the Executive Director of the Hyde Family Foundations. In addition she is active in New Leaders New Schools, Teach for America, and the New Teacher Project. She serves on the Tennessee State Board of Education, the Memphis City Schools Teacher Effectiveness Advisory Council, the Tennessee Diploma Project, and the Riverfront Development Corporation.
Inspired by his mentor at Catholic High, fellow Hall of Famer Msgr. Pat Lynch, Vince Smith left Catholic High with a desire to serve his faith and succeed academically and professionally. Receiving bachelors and masters degrees in biology at the University of Memphis, then a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics, and a medical degree from the UT, Smith served as a graduate teaching assistant for several years both at Memphis and UT. Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Smith is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians, and has been chosen by Memphis Magazine several times as one of the city’s top internists. He is former Chief of Staff for Baptist Memorial Hospital and President of Staff at Baptist. Smith is also a member of the board of directors for Birthright, and is a generous supporter of the Education That Works program at Memphis Catholic.
Sacred Heart High graduate Magnes Welsh is a portrait in professional success and personal philanthropy. A National Honor Society member and writer for the student newspaper, became newspaper editor at the University of Memphis, where she received her Journalism degree cum laude. She also has an MBA from Northwestern University. After college, she worked for MLGW and Federal Express before moving to Chicago to join Kraft Foods, where she became director of public relations. After Kraft, Welsh opened Magnes Communications, serving clients such as Chiquita Brands International, Jones Lang Lasalle, and Atlantic Philanthropies. Welsh is a trustee for the Gamma Phi Beta Foundation, Evan’s Life Foundation, the Flawless Foundation, and a director of Family Focus.
Voted “Most School Spirited” in high school for his service as the “Charger” mascot, Mike has channeled his enthusiasm into dedicated work for the Memphis Diocese since his ordination in 2002. He currently serves as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Milan, TN and St. Matthew Church in Humboldt, as well as Chaplain for Sacred Heart High School in Jackson,. Mike has been Spiritual Director for the SEARCH retreats for 11 years, during which he’s led 39 retreats, helping hundreds of teens to better understand their faith.
Dani Ray Barton
Director of Admissions & Student Success
901.276.1221 ext. 22