Our own Katy (Tappel) Morrison is expecting a baby in August! We could not be more pleased at HRA to welcome this happy news! We thought we were spoiled with the joy of Baby Schirda. Now we are twice blessed.
To allay any concerns, I want to reassure you that Mr. William Clarke, a retired military man and longtime friend of HRA, will be substituting for Mrs. Morrison as she tackles morning sickness which has hit her very hard, and will also replace her for the three weeks she will be in New Zealand. He will begin observing and helping her out on Tuesday, January 29th. He has been homeschooling his four grandsons in the very same math and Latin as he will be teaching for our students. He is well qualified to teach these classes. Further, his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Lisa Williams will be taking over for Mrs. Schirda after the Easter vacation. Mrs. Williams is currently in the teacher credential program at APU and has begun a 30-hour practicum in which she will observe Mrs. Schirda in the classroom. By the time, Mrs. Williams takes over, she will know the students very well indeed. We are grateful for both of our long-term subs!
I do hope that everyone enjoyed their three day weekend as much as we did. The high school was able to rest after an incredible Saturday performance of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. after hosting and serving their guests to a delicious lasagna dinner made by Catholic, St. Patrick’s parishioner and former HRA parent, George Neuerburg, the students put on a superbly acted performance. The audience laughed uproariously. Archbishop Schweitz joined us and enjoyed the event and marveled at the actors afterwards! Our directors, Erin Furby and Danielle DiCiero, received high praise and flowers from their actors after this last performance. I presented the five seniors, Reagan Biegel, Natalie Chennault, Jamie Cookson, Michael Tappel, and Marisa Ramos with stuffed dogs with the inscription “You are special” to thank them for the service they have given to the drama program over the years and the mentoring and encouragement they have passed on to the younger students. A DVD of the performance is now available for purchase. Please add your name to the list in the front office so that all the orders can be made at once. The fee for the DVD is $10.00. Thank you to the Tappels for arranging the taping.
The entire school met to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 P.M. on Tuesday, January 22nd to pray for an end to abortion, to pray for all mothers, and to pray for the judges and a conversion of heart. Thank you to Fr. Augustine Highlander and the decade leaders, Dominic Zipay, Michael Chennault, Izaiha King, Savio Le, and Macklen Bell for leading us in prayer. May our prayers change the hearts of men and re-invigorate our own efforts to end this immoral practice that brings with it nothing but heartache and regret for those who despair of God’s infinite love and help and mercy in times of crisis.
The fifth and sixth grade enjoyed the fruits of their history studies by going to lunch, Wednesday, January 23rd to enjoy Japanese cuisine at Kobe Restaurant. Led by sixth grade teacher, Miss Selene Viens, and fifth grade teacher, Mr. Richard Shaut, the students impressed the waitress so much that she insisted on giving each of them a huge goodbye when they left. It gives me great pleasure to know that the fifth and sixth graders brought such joy to this waitress by radiating their own happiness and appreciation for such a wonderful field trip. Bless you for arranging this, Mr. Shaut!
Wednesday evening, high school teacher, Mr. Bolin chaperoned 14 students to the complementary Dress Rehearsal performance of Pucini’s opera, TOSCA. While the plot deals with some mature topics and some scenes were more passionately depicted than Mr. Bolin would have preferred the high school students to see, the students themselves reminded me that the evil characters did come to a bad demise and that the singing itself was superb. I was glad to know that the students had the maturity to find the merits of the production while noting the questionable parts. Their classical training protected them in this instance!
Thursday was a quiet day but Friday was full of surprises. We held the Spelling Bee to determine our representative to the Alaska State Spelling Bee competition later in the semester. I am pleased to announce that eighth grader, Mary Tappel, will be our representative and fifth grader Macklen Bell, will be our alternate representative. Bravo to you both! Congratulations to all the winners and runners up in the classroom competitions held in advance. The class winners and runner up representative from each of the grades were the following:
3rd Grade – Class winner – Alyssa Albers Runner-Up – Macklen Bell
4th Grade – Class winner – Jonas Knox Runner – Up – Jenessa Lorenz
5th Grade- Class winner – Sophia Rose Runner – Up – Macklen Bell
6th Grade – Class winner – Lilly Gonzalez Runner- Up – Christopher Knox
7th Grade – Class winner – Nicholas Williams Runner – Up – Silas Cook
8th Grade – Class winner – Mary Tappel Runner -Up – Evangeline Dooc
Just after the official spelling bee, Miss Neumayr offered for any junior high or senior high student to join in a friendly but competitive spelling bee. Rivals Jacob Owens and Michael Tappel who fought it out last year (Owens won), gave strong performances. In the end, Michael Tappel took the top prize followed by fellow senior, Jamie Cookson who came in second. A great time was had by all
The Latin students at HRA also enjoyed the First Annual Intra-school Declamation (Latin poetry recital) Competition held immediately after the Spelling Bees! Mrs. Schirda, Mr. Bolin, and Mr. Welsh organized and judged the students on their speech, expression, diction, and pronunciation. Latin I, Latin II, and Latin 111/14 competed for the chance to be chosen to represent HRA at the Anchorage city-wide Declamation competition held February 16th at East High School. I was so delighted to see how poised and calm the students were as they gave their best performances before all of their classmates, parents, and teachers as well as the judges. Though not all were as smooth and polished as they hoped to be, I was so proud of them for facing what most consider a fearful public speaking experience with such grace and calm. The winners were the following:
Latin I – First Place – Nicholas Williams ; Second Place – Patrick Droege ; Third Place – Therese Knox
Latin II – First Place – Sang Nguyen ; Second Place – Anne-Marie Droege; Third Place – Izaiha King
Latin III/IV – First Place Tie – Arianna Fouch & Monica Klump ; Second Place Tie – Karina Biegel & Richard Maloy ; Third place – Mary Tappel
* All high school students will now represent HRA at the city-wide competition. The junior high students distinguished themselves but are not eligible. Congratulations to all of you Latin Knights!
Thank you for organizing this great event, Mrs. Schirda. We are so proud of you and Mr. Bolin for representing us as judges at another declamation competition this weekend! You are true Latin professionals!
The week finished smoothly. I had the pleasure of a great discussion with the fifth and sixth graders in which we reviewed and analyzed their impressions of the school play. What a bright and insightful group of students. I was delighted by the thoughtful way in which the fifth and sixth graders wrote and shared their observations so keenly with one another and me. Special note goes to the deep insight of Michael La Fountain, Mariana Williams, and John Lastimoso whose comments catapulted the conversation far beyond what I could have expected. I thought I was in a room with college students; they handled the subject matter so well! Thank you for making my afternoon so enjoyable, fifth and sixth graders!
The Junior High Volleyball Team won both of its games against Grace Christian and Anchor Lutheran Friday evening. Way to go Knights!
- Catholic Schools Week begins on Monday. We will begin with an assembly announcing the events of the week. Parents are encouraged to participate or help drive for any of these events.
- TUESDAY – High School Mass at 10:10 in the chapel.
- TUESDAY – Grades 1,2,3 will go to Lumen Christi to meet with the 2,3 grades from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. They will enjoy a pizza lunch, work on The Last Supper Mural, work on a service project, and work on some team building activities. This will be a great way for our students to meet other Catholic school students!
- WEDNESDAY – The high school will leave school at noon to perform a few acts from The Taming of the Shrew for the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton fifth and sixth graders. The rest of the school will follow. The K-8 will leave school at 12:45 P.M. and return at 3:00 P.M. for the Catholic Schools Mass held at 1:30 at SEAS. Parents may pick their child up at SEAS by 2:40. Be sure to let the teacher know if you take your child home from SEAS. Otherwise, students will be transported by to HRA by 3:10 P.M. We would love for parent drivers to help us make the drive over in one caravan.
- THURSDAY – Grades 4,5,6 will go sledding at Kincaid from noon to 2 P.M. The chalet will be open for students to thaw out in between runs. They will meet up with SEAS students and Lumen Christi junior high students. Miss Viens and Mr. Shaut will transport by bus and chaperone. Parents are welcome to come along and help us!!
- FRIDAY – First Friday Adoration – the high school will go to Holy Family Cathedral.
- FRIDAY – The Junior High Volleyball Team will play at 4 P.M. at the Lumen Christi gym.
- February 8, 2013 – Mid-quarter grades sent home with students.
- February 12 – Parent Association Meeting from 6:30-7:30 in the Kolbe Building. Parents will learn how to re-enroll for next year on Sycamore. The process will only take a few minutes.
- February 13 – ASH WEDNESDAY – Archbishop Schweitz will say mass for the student body at 10:10 A.M. in St. Dominic’s Hall and then distribute ashes. Parents and friends of HRA are welcome to join us.
Please check the online calendar at hraak.com for details on the months ahead. Simply click onto the event and more details, times, and places will appear.
I look forward to telling you all about our Catholic Schools Week adventures next week.
Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal