Dear HRA Families and Friends,
It has been several weeks since I have had a moment to write and catch you up on the many accomplishments of the students and faculty here at HRA. For those parents attending HRA for the 2014-15 school year, please know that a Weekly Update is posted on the home page of Sycamore so that you can keep up with the week that has passed and be reminded of the upcoming events of the coming week. The Update is bullet points to be brief and easy to read. Please be sure to log into your Sycamore Home Page to enjoy the Weekly Update put together by the Afternoon Office Manager, Mrs. Erin Furby.
I have much to tell, but I must begin by taking a moment to speak about the passing of the our dear benefactress and former Principal, Mrs. Doerner. Mrs. Doerner passed away on Saturday, September 6th. She had a beautiful death and was able to receive Viaticum and the Last Rites and enjoy the love and comfort of her family surrounding her. At her bedside sat Mrs. Shaharriet Houchins (Mother of HRA Alumna, Cierra Houchins) who nursed her in her last days.
Mrs. Houchins and I were asked by the family to plan Mrs. Doerner’s funeral. It was a true joy and privilege to do so. The outpouring of love from her former students and friends overwhelmed us. We were able to call upon many of the alumni and HRA former faculty to help with the funeral. The HRA Upper School students and some elementary also joined the funeral to make up the choir led by HRA choir mistress, Mrs. Colleen Duncan. Approximately 200 attendees came to bid Mrs. Doerner adieu for now. I wish to thank all of the students, faculty, staff, and alumni for helping Mrs. Houchins and me properly say goodbye to Mrs. Doerner. In particular I thank,
- The Houchins Family for all their work throughout the week.
- Fr. Patrick Brosamer for the Sacramental care he gave Mrs. Doerner and for the beautiful mass and homily he gave.
- Alumni, Michael Rannals and Current HRA student Dominic Zipay for serving the mass
- Mr. Kevin Barnett for accompanying the choir on the organ
- The HRA Choir – particularly junior, Arianna Fouch, for soloing Ave Verum after Communion.
- The readers (former HRA Executive Director, Mr. Ed Wasell and Alumna and former HRA teacher, Nicole (Gagnon) Tracy
- The Responsorial Song – sung by former HRA teacher, Mr. Mario Bird
- The Gift Bearers -Alumni, Jessica Fulton & Michelle Tobia (both whom flew thousands of miles to attend)
- The Song of Farewell from Colleen Carter Duncan
- The inspired words of eulogy by Mr. Edward Wassell
- The final moving eulogy by Ricky Schrekenghost (long time family friend and former HRA Athletic Director)
- The HRA faculty and staff for their attendance and help throughout the week.
- All the many alumni and Parents who shared their memories and love of Mrs. Doerner with her family.
Dear, Mrs. Doerner – Rest in Peace. We will do our part and pray for you each time we pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. If you are already at your final resting place in heaven, please pray for us! God speed, dear friend.
So that Holy Rosary Academy can remember Mrs. Doerner in perpetuity, a Scholarship Fund in her name as been established. We thank the many donors who helped the Memorial Scholarship to swell to over $1500.00 already. This scholarship would please Mrs. Doerner very much. It will be a privilege to honor the first recipient at our end-of-the-year Academic Awards Assembly. Thank you to all who gave so generously.
KRISPY KREME SUCCESS
A huge thank you to all the families who particpated in the Krispy Kreme Parent Association fundraiser making it THE MOST SUCCESSFUL in the history of the fundraiser. We raised over $2,000 dollars ($700.00 more than expected) and had our 300 boxes sold before 4 P.M. A special thanks go to Mr. Ramos (father of Alumna, Marisa, and former student Karina) for picking up the doughnuts. Thanks to our students for marketing them and selling oodles of boxes. Finally, and most especially, thank you to our PA President, Mrs. Kathy Tappel for running such an organized, efficient, and successful event this year. I am so very pleased!!! This event will help finance the purchase of the necessary items to keep the school clean and well-maintained. Thank you to former PA President, Karin Owens for all of her behind-the-scenes help too! I will say that special donors to the event, Mrs. Kelli Emili, and Mr. Don Lederhos will be in our prayers daily for their gifts to the school during this event. Bless you one and all! Thanks for counting the money, Miss DiCiero and for depositing it PA Treasurere, Neil Holder. It takes a big group to pull off these events. Bravo!
2014 School of Excellence – HRA High School Recognized!
In other news, much has been happening at HRA already this year. I am very excited to announce that the HRA High School has been named a 2014 School of Excellence by the Cardinal Newman Society. They receive hundreds of applications from the Catholic high schools throughout the nation. The schools are small, medium, and large. We were chosen in the top seventy one schools, or the top 5% of those who competed. This is an outstanding honor and speaks to the excellence of the curriculum and the faculty as well as the fine performance of the students. HRA was judged on her Catholic Integrity, Civic Duty, and Academic Excellence. We have been recognized in the top five percent in all of those categories. This is the 8th year since 2004 that we have been honored for excellence. I am so proud and happy that Holy Rosary Academy has remained true to her founding and that the school’s excellence is evident on a national as well as local level. Thank you to the Cardinal Newman Society for this recognition and encouragement.
Opening School Mass with the Archbishop!
Holy Rosary wants to be sure to thank Archbishop Schwietz and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish for warmly welcome our entire student body for a mass to honor the beginning of the school year. The Archbishop gave a beautiful homily reminding all of us that we are sinners on the journey to the Father. He reminded us to judge one another with the love and mercy and compassion of Our Heavenly Father if we want to live the Catholic life. The seniors provided readers, servers, and led the student body in song. It was a lovely Opening Mass and we are grateful for the OLOG community for sharing it with us.
I also want to thank all of the faculty and parents for joining us for our annual Back-to-School Night. This year it was nicely attended and parents had the chance to mimic their child’s class schedule while learning about the books and activities their children will enjoy this year. Thank you to Mrs. Schirda and Miss Bilafer for acting as hostesses in the Upper and Lower Schools respectively. Thank you also to Mrs. Rosa Sanchez, Vice President of the Parent Association who came to inform parents about their raffle and auction obligations. You add so much to these evenings, Rosa. Thank you!
Thanks go to Mr. Luke Klotz and Mrs. Danielle O’Neill for stepping in as substitutes for the first grade while Miss Verreux was away. The first graders had a wonderful time.
Thank you to Mrs. Furby for organzing the Community Service afternoon for the Upper School. My favorite service was that some of the older students came to read and be read to in the kindergarten, first, and second grades. All the students had a wonderful time and the teachers could see the students blossom under the attention from the older students. The Upper School will continue to send students to read with the Lower School on Community Service Days. What a blessing to have such a wide and rich range of ages at HRA.
Mid-Quarter grades went home with the students. The students are performing well. I ask that parents be sure to send the signed forms back to the elementary teacher or in the Upper School to the homeroom teacher so that the faculty can be assured that the parents are keeping track of the grades. Remember, parents, that the grades are accessible daily on your Sycamore website.
Lifetouch came and took individual pictures of the students and faculty. A special note of thanks goes to Mrs. Cagle (mother of second grader, Will) who spent the morning with me organizing the event and keeping the students moving and prepared for their pictures. God bless you, Mrs. Cagle. It was fun to squeeze in great chats with you while we worked!
Thank you to Mr. Thompson (grandfather of first grader, Blaise) who has been painting on our sporadic sunny days. He painted the Hickel Historical House and the shed beside it. He also painted the steps around the Kolbe building. Most importantly, he was able to remove the lopsided table from the K-2 Playground. Thank you for all you do for us Mr. Thompson.
Thank you also to Mr. Stankewich who painted the star on campus as well as checked and cleaned all of the heaters in the Kolbe building. Bless you for all the maintenance and care you bring to the campus!
Finally, thank you to the Tobias, who, though their daughter is far away at Benedictine College, still came to mow our lawns and keep up the grounds in their daughters stead. My gratitude knows no bounds. Bless you John and Tami!
Please support the HRA soccer team whenever you can! Though this season has not be filled with wins, the team is the best I have ever known in my thirteen years at HRA. Go Knights! Have a great tournament this weekend and thank you to our fearless leader, Mrs. Maureen Klump, our coaches, Seth and Patrick, and our sacrificing parents – particulary the Cookson’s who are taking an RV down to fit all the luggage for the soccer team as they play in the Christian tournament in Kenai. God bless and keep you all safe, one and all.
Though there are many more to thank and more news to share, I shall stop here and drive my weary self home to a warm meal and a snug bed this autumnal evening.
Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal