Napoleon Tavale '03

Actor and Drama Teacher


 How has your high school experience impacted your life?

As an actor, The Lillian Stage was the theatre I was cast in my first play ever! I was a singer, dancer, and full time performer at CDH in the choir, in Campus Ministry (we were the ones that sang hymns and played instruments at the masses), and dancing in the musical theatre shows and cultural events. My high school experience revealed to me at a young age that Performance and Storytelling is what I want to do as a professional career for the rest of my life.  I'm still that same kid now many years later and I owe that all to CDH!

What advice would you give a current CDH student?

Please have an open mind about your education and take ownership of your time there. Ask Questions when you're not sure of subjects, extra curricular activities, etc. and try to engage yourself with your desired environment(s). For example, my desired environments: Theatre, Choir, Football & Basketball. Be a sponge and absorb the atmosphere, the curiosity, the faith, the love, the struggles, the challenges, and embrace the people that surround you. Be kind, be respectful, and remain humble through all of it, with the critiques AND even the praise. Enjoy it and have a sense of play while being focused and determined to get your work done!

What does being a graduate of Cretin-Derham Hall mean to you?

It means a strong sense of accomplishment from a well established school. I feel proud and honored to represent the purple and gold wherever I go in life. Graduating from CDH is one of the first big achievements in my life and being a first generation here in the U.S. it means the world to my family. It was not something I did on my own, a very big and special thanks goes to my parents for believing in me.

What is your favorite memory of high school?

This question is tough to narrow it down to one favorite memory since I have so many! I'm going to have to go with playing varsity football and being fortunate, through our hard work, to make it to the Metrodome (doesn't exist anymore) and play where the Vikings played - I mean, how cool is that?! Joe Mauer was our fearless leader at the time as quarterback and the atmosphere was bonkers. Our team got to run out of the tunnel and see all of our CDH fam in purple and gold (same color as the VIkings). It was an energy, an excitement, a vibrancy, and an unbelievably palpable environment that I truly won't ever forget. Even as an actor, that was the biggest stage for me since all eyes were watching in the dome and on television.

Why is it important to you to support our school?

It is extremely important to know where you came from and the hard working community that shaped you.  Our school is a family while you're there as a student and when you graduate to go explore the world. The purple and gold Raider Pride lives on!