Dear HRA Families and Friends,
This week marks the push to complete our first school fundraiser: the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Drive. This is a critical event for our Parent Association who graciously provide the school with supplies and food for our many events throughout the year. I encourage you to go out this weekend and get sign-ups for those who would love to enjoy a sweet treat by Friday evening or Saturday morning. The doughnuts will be delivered by noon on Friday, September 12th and can be picked up in St. Dominic’s Hall. Thank you to all the families who participate!
Well, the last three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and a true triumph! Thank you to the faculty, staff, parents, and students for helping to make the transition from summer a joy. As I walk through the halls and sit in on classes, I am so delighted to see how eager the students are to learn and the teachers to teach. We have grown this year and now have 137 students! This is a 30% growth in our student body and a true testimony to the hard work and excellence of the many people involved in the success of this little brown school on Fireweed Lane.
The HRA staff of Miss Neumayr, Miss DiCiero, and Mrs. Furby will be joined by a Morning Office Manager this coming Tuesday. Miss Roxanne O’Connor will be greeting everyone in the Front Office Window starting on September 9th. Be sure to come by and introduce yourself. Miss O’Connor is a parisioner at Holy Family Cathedral, a registered nurse by trade, and currently our Ballroom Dancing teacher for the year. We are so grateful that she will be able to step in and help the staff to continue to offer the personalized and welcoming service we enjoy bringing to our HRA families and visitors.
The school is also so grateful to our Dominican priests who have already said three school masses for us in the last three weeks. Their role as our chaplains and their incredible spiritual generosity continue to keep us firmly grounded in the importance and centrality of receiving the sacraments frequently. We are especially grateful to the Dominicans for offering Confession for the upper school at our Holy Hour at Holy Family Cathedral on September 5th and to Fr. Augustine Hilander for coming to do exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at our school chapel for the K-6 grades and for offering Confession as well. Further, it was a pleasure to welcome Fr. Patrick Brosamer, Associate Pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, to say mass in the chapel for the elementary grades. He will be coming to us three Tuesdays of the month for the rest of the year for which we are truly blessed. As our chapel is too small for the whole school, Fr. Patrick’s help in coming to us is especially needed and most gratefully received. Thank you, Fr. Patrick! Finally, our second grade teacher, Miss Alison Bilafer, has graciously agreed to be our school sacristan to help us be sure that all that is needed for mass and adoration is prepared and waiting so as to make life much easier for our priests. God bless you, Miss Bilafer, for this great service to the school.
Fr. Augustine Hilander has also asked me to encourage any interested readers to consider joining the Holy Family Cathedral reading group. Each month they read edifying literature. This year, their list is superb! I can particularly recommend Shusako Endo’s SILENCE! Please contact the cathedral or look on their website for more details!
September 18: Endo, Silence
October 16: Mother Teresa, Come be my Light
November 20: Mark Twain, Joan of Arc
December 18: Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet AND Joseph Pearce, Shakespeare on Love
January 15: T.S. Eliot, Murder in a Cathedral
February 19: Michael O’Brien, Sophia House
March 19 (St. Joseph): Dorothy Day, Long Loneliness
April 16: St. Augustine, Confessions
May 21: Charles Williams, War in Heaven
I spoke to Miss Jordan Brittain, our last Office Manager. She sends her special love to the parents, students, faculty and staff of HRA and “misses us every day!” She is currently working as a TA in a kindergarten and enjoys the warmth of Tempe, Arizona. Still, she plans to come up to make a visit and check up on us within the year. God bless you, Miss Brittain. We miss you.
Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Valerie Shaut, and her husband, former HRA fifth grade teacher, Mr. Shaut celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Mr. Shaut, the eternal romantic, had her former students from the many elementary grades bring her twenty-five roses throughout the day. Congratulations to you both for the witness to Christian marriage and the love of Christ for His Church that your own mariage represents. God bless and keep you as deeply in love for all the years to come.
Thank you to the high school teachers for arranging and taking the upper school out on Friday, August 22nd for their “Bonding Day” walk, lunch, and flag football afternoon. Led by senior teacher, Mr. Welsh, the students enjoyed a sunny, brisk, and energetic walk to and from the Woodland Field near to Shiloh Church off of New Seward. The afternoon was topped off by the arrival of a big, dripping box of Otter Pops purchased by Mrs. Schirda and gratefully slurped up by the students!
The elementary students also enjoyed a “bonding” afternoon the following Friday, August 29th. The elementary met in the Kolbe lobby to put on Etiquette skits. Each grade came up with Discourteous skits of what not to do and then followed them with behavior that exemplified what HRA students should do. The students enjoyed each others efforts and much laughing and discussion ensued. The students then enjoyed Chocolate Pudding Pops outside and played for the remainder of that sunny afternoon.
That same afternoon, the Upper School enjoyed their first Ballroom Dancing class of the year. They began and eventually mastered the intricate steps of the Balboa Swing taught by teacher, Miss Roxanne O’Connor. It was an excellent form of exercise and a great way to develop hand/eye/feet coordination. Miss Neumayr even jumped in and kicked up her heels.
HRA is so proud of the huge soccer teams we have playing this year. The JV and Varsity teams began meeting before the start of school under the wonderful management of our Athletic Director, Maureen Klump, and Varsity Coaches Seth Rosenthal and Patrick Klump, as well as our highly skilled and experienced coach, Mr. DiCiero (father of our Business Manager). The three captains, Lee Cookson (Sr.), Mary Tappel (soph.) and Matthew Lastimoso (Soph.) are also doing a great job to lead our teams to victory. The results of the games will be in “Weekly Updates” if you click on it on the front page of your Sycamore pages each week. Mrs. Erin Furby is writing out a brief weekly bulletin of what happened this week, what is happening next week, and important upcoming events. She includes the wins, losses, and ties of our sports teams. Be sure to check it out each week.
Speaking of upcoming events, here are some to be sure to remember:
1) Opening Mass of the Year with the Archbishop – Thursday, September 11th at 9 A.M. at Our Lady of Guadalupe. We are in need of drivers if you can help. Share hourse provided.
2) Back to School Night – Thursday, September 11th all parents are encouraged to stop in between 7-9 for elementary and see how your child is performing. The Upper School parents will mimic their child’s school day beginning at 7:15 and lasting approximately an hour. Each teacher will give a five-minute explanation of the course syllabus. You may go back and visit with each teacher more at length after the “school day.”
3) Elementary SCANTRON testing – From Monday to Friday of this week, grades 2-8 will be taking their first SCANTRON tests of the year to assess where they are in comparison to the nation. The testing is in the areas of Reading, Math, and Language Arts. Junior High will take their tests September 15th and 16th.
4) Lifetouch Pictures – On Tuesday, September 16th, the students, faculty, and staff will have their individual pictures taken. Be sure that your child’s uniform has been washed and pressed and that especial attention has been taken that your child is in school regulation uniform socks, tights, and shoes. No head accessories should be any other color than black, navy, forest green, crimson red, gray, or white.
** Soccer games are listed on the Sycamore calendar!
I wish everyone a wonderful week.
Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal