Dear HRA Families and Friends,
What a week it has been. The students have had a whirlwind of activities to enjoy this week. We began the week with an assembly in which we said a special prayer for the teachers in honor of Catholic Schools Week. The teachers make the school possible and we can never thank them enough. Your prayers for the teachers do so much to give them the strength to assist you in the raising of virtuous, scholarly, Godly children. I know a family whose children pray for my stamina every night. I often think of that when my energy level is flagging. Miraculously, my energy will be renewed beyond the point I thought I would collapse. Those prayers DO help us teachers so very much!!
Mrs. Shaut made a special announcement at the assembly. She had challenged the kindergartners to try to tie their shoes in under 30 seconds. She encouraged them by promising a special field trip the Museum of Natural History. Not only did they ALL beat the thirty second challenge, but Sebastian Fournier received a special reward for tying his shoes in 7.8 seconds and received a special prize. Bravo to all the kindergartners and especially speedy Sebastian! Thank you to Mrs. Toni Yovino, donor and friend of HRA, who is sponsoring the students’ trip to the museum and writing the kindergartners a special poem with each of their names included. She will read them the poem at the museum. Thank you Toni! Bravo my little Knights!
The upper school enjoyed a special treat on Monday. In honor of the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, they enjoyed doughnuts in the shape of a dog bone. On the Dominican crest is a dog because Thomas’ mother had a vision of him as a dog bringing light to the world. The students were mildly amused but wolfed down the doughnuts with alacrity.
On Tuesday, grades 1,2,3 went to Lumen Christi to meet up with the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton grades 2,3. Lumen Christi students and staff planned great games, an art activity and some charitable work for the student to enjoy. Our students came back bursting with stories of working on a Last Supper mural, playing great team-building games with the SEAS students, and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to be delivered to Claire House.
On Wednesday, the whole school went to SEAS to join in a Catholic Schools Week mass. Fr. Tom Lily was the main celebrant while our own chaplains, Fr. Augustine Highlander and Fr. James Barrand, assisted. Thank you to our wonderful priests for their unflagging service to the diocese and to our school. Fr. James gave a challenging and brilliant homily!. He challenged the students to leave their schools each day and lead a radically different life than the secular community. He warned that the faith can be lost at the wrong colleges. He reminded all of us of our calling to live a holy life and avoid the secular traps. Bravo, Fr. James Barrand!
Thank you to all of our parent drivers. We could not move the whole school across town without you! Finally, thank you to senior, Jamie Cookson, for reading the first reading, junior, Jacob Owens for carrying the cross and altar serving, eighth grader, Eric Bjelland for reading the petitions, and fifth grader, Mariana Williams for bringing up the gifts. A special thank you to the Shauts for being extraordinary ministers of the cup! Thank you to SEAS for their hospitality. The students enjoyed cookies and briefly socialized with the other two schools, SEAS and Lumen Christi, before heading back to school. One more note: the high school was kind enough to perform two scenes from The Taming of the Shrew for the SEAS fifth and sixth graders. Their teacher, former HRA teacher, Mrs. Ali Ann (Marrs) Stamilov truly enjoyed hosting us for this special showing!
I could not leave out grades 4,5, and 6 who were invited by SEAS and Lumen Christi junior high to join them for an afternoon of sledding at Kincaid Park on Thursday. The students, led by Miss Viens and Mr. Shaut and wonderful parent volunteers enjoyed a terrific afternoon in ideal sledding conditions. According to one sixth grader, Thursday was “the best day of school all year!” Thank you to all who brought sleds. The pictures of the event are terrific. I will blow them up and put them on the bulletin board in Kolbe soon!
Thursday also marked the 100th day of school. The first and second graders celebrated by completing their can good challenge to collect one hundred cans. The first and second graders not only met that challenge but also far surpassed it by collecting 330 cans to be delivered to a food pantry to help the hungry! Bravo, my little Knights. Further, Mrs. Shaut had all kinds of fun events for the kindergartners who made crazy, creative hats and enjoyed a day of celebration.
Friday came quickly enough and the students enjoyed a pleasant and “normal” day in school. High school students worked on science fair projects or junior/senior theses and then went to Holy Family Cathedral for First Friday adoration. The elementary school enjoyed art class, recess in the snow, and First Friday devotions in the chapel. Miss DiCiero prepared packets that have been sent home to you through your children. Be sure that you received a sealed envelope that contains your tuition statement and your share hours. There are special notes on the share hours. Miss DiCiero and I took the liberty of adding some hours to certain statements if we knew that a parent had forgotten to submit the hours. Do let us know if you detect any errors and we will correct them immediately. We also sent home the February calendar with detailed notes of events on the back. We hope this will help you keep track of the many events coming up. Do check the online calendar each week to see if any changes have been made.
Our seniors continue to impress me with their college admissions. Senior, Natalie Chennault has been admitted to the University of Alaska in Anchorage AND in Fairbanks. She also recently received admissions to St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, Minnesota. It happens to be my grandmother’s alma mater. Senior, Michael Tappel, received word from USC (University of Southern California) that he was not only admitted to their prestigious university but that they wanted to fly him down to interview for a full-ride scholarship at the end of February. Please keep Michael (as well as all of our dear seniors) in your prayers as he pursues this opportunity.
Next week is wonderfully “normal” and “unbusy.”
Here are some upcoming events to note:
- Father/Daughter Dance hosted at Lumen Christi school in the upper room. HRA fathers and daughters are most cordially welcome to this event happening tomorrow, Saturday, February 2nd at 7 P.M.
- Masses on Tuesday and Thursday at 10:10 in the chapel. All are welcome.
- Monday, March 11th, Faculty Luncheon – any parent able to help supervise the recess and lunch periods for the teachers are most needed. Please contact Miss DiCiero at firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know if you can help.
- Tuesday, March 12th – Elementary Potluck and Valentine’s Day celebration. HRA would like to ask all of her students to plan to bring Valentine cards and gifts to distribute on Tuesday, February 12th, to avoid intruding on Lent which begins with Ash Wednesday on February 13. The faculty realizes that this is highly unusual but it is terribly important to us that the students really come to understand how important it is to honor each important period of the Liturgical Year. Lent is a penitential time and Valentine’s celebrations would be in conflict with that. Thank you to all the parents for helping us to convey the reason for bumping up our own Valentine’s celebration two days earlier.
- Ash Wednesday Mass with Archbishop Schweitz at 10:00 A.M. in St. Dominic’s Hall. Ashes will be distributed. All are welcome.
- Poetry/Short Story student submissions to the Anchorage Daily News competition by the February 13th deadline.
- Priests’ Luncheon on February 26th from noon to 1:30. Contact Miss DiCiero if you can help serve for the luncheon. HRA mother, Michelle Droege, will be preparing the meal but welcomes all parent help!
PLEASE NOTE – I will be going on a professional development trip to Los Angeles in February. I leave, February 21 and return February 27. During that time, I will be in constant contact with the school. Mr. Fleming will be available in my stead while I am gone. Any concerns should be brought to my Office Assistant, Miss Danielle DiCiero, who can contact me immediately or call Mr. Fleming to respond. Tuition and financial questions may be directed to my Business Manager, Miss Marisa Shanstrom.
Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed upcoming week.
Miss Neumayr, Principal