Dear Holy Rosary Academy families and friends,
At last I have a moment to reflect and share my gratitude with the many members of the HRA family who contributed to a wonderful week last week. The highlights of the week are as follows;
- On Monday I learned that senior, Jamie Cookson, had been accepted to the University of Idaho and that senior, Marisa Ramos, had been admitted to Franciscan University in Steubenville! They are applying to many other colleges, but they are both off to a fine start. Congratulations, ladies.
- Tuesday, Mrs. Pam Albers put on an incredible Faculty Luncheon! She organized a turkey meal that was so delicious I could hardly convince my faculty to go back to teach. She orchestrated a small army of HRA parents to help. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Albers for cooking the turkey, bean casserole, quiche and rolls AND for setting up so beautifully in the library. Thank you to Lia Patten, Roberta Zipay, and Gretchen Bell for supervising recess so that the teachers could eat freely! Thank you to HRA Moms, Marcie Koop, Rosa Salazar, Lia Patten, Ersula Harkley-Harrington, Maureen Klump, Lisa Cookson, Roberta Zipay, and Rebecca Jemmings for your delicious contributions as well. The faculty was touched by your kindness; the food was simply scrumptious!
- Wednesday brought the most snow that I have ever experienced. It was beautiful and terrifying. Though our scheduled dress rehearsal at Our Lady of Guadalupe was cancelled, the students put in two hours of practice refining the program in St. Dominic’s Hall. It was a great practice and a fun all-school get together. I thank Matthew Kreppel (friend of the school) and Mr. Dominic Le for spending hours plowing lovely pathways throughout campus. Your work is SO appreciated!
- Wednesday the seniors had a surprise alumna visit from Michelle Tobia, a freshman at Benedictine College. The squeals of joy and the rush to hug her brought at least three chairs and nearly Mr. Welsh to the ground in the mad scramble to get to her! Since then, we have been deluged with alum visitors. Miss Jan Acosta, graduating in nursing this year came by to pick up her little brother, Justin, and shared with me her fantastic internship at Kaiser Permanente. Mr. Pat Klump, senior nursing student at Benedictine College stopped by to tell me that he had his best academic semester and will be graduating in May. Darren Canlas, his classmate at HRA, is in the Air Force at UAA and has been given a most exciting position upon his graduation in the spring. He has been assigned to the Office of Special Investigations and will be in counter intelligence in Massachusetts. As you can imagine, he is most excited. I ran into Roisin Nakada and Cierra Houchins over the weekend and they too are flourishing at U of Montana and the U. of Dallas respectively. Cierra has been an RA this year and seems to enjoy the leadership role she has. Roisin is excited to pursue physical therapy. Finally, I had a lovely visit from Megan Woods who is happy in the honors program and the Biology Department at Eastern Washington. Finally, I had a chance to visit with Tyler Geiermann at lunch today; she is finishing her degree in English from the U. of Washington. It has been wonderful to see how our HRA students are blossoming in the world, keeping the faith, pursuing excellence, and continuing to foster their HRA friendships with students and faculty. Keep it up alumni. Remember that you are Knights forever!
- Wednesday was also 12/12/12 and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A friend of Miss Verreux’s came to give her a lei from Hawaii. That evening, I took the lei and laid it on the snow outside of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish to honor Our beloved Mother of God. Mrs. Verbout, our substitute extra ordinary helped the kindergarten cut out poinsettia petals and decorated a board in the Kolbe building that honors Her. Be sure to look at the beautiful bulletin board in Kolbe! Thank you, Mrs. Verbout.
- Thursday was PSAT day. The freshman, sophomores, and juniors received their PSAT scores back from Miss Neumayr. I was so happy to tell them that every single one of the sophomores and juniors had improved their scores. Mr. Welsh determined for me that the math went up by 30% on average for the students and 20% for the writing. The reading went up less because the scores were already so high. Overall, it is clear that the time that the students are putting into the Saxon math is truly paying off. The demonstrable improvement was statistically clear. The freshman also tested well for their first time. Parents, be sure that your son or daughter has shared his results with you. Copies of the results are safely in the students’ files in the office should you need another copy. Taking the PSAT freshman, sophomore, and junior year helps the students to become accustomed to the SAT format and to give HRA a sense of whether we are preparing our students for college based on a national standard. Bravo, Knights. You have prevailed in battle against this competitive test. To make the faculty’s day, Mrs. Lia Patten brought Great Harvest Bread for us to enjoy! Thank you, Mrs. Patten. We are still savoring the many cookies and breads included!
- Friday brought excitement. Ugly Sweater Upper School Spirit Day lived up to its name. The students threw themselves into putting on painfully unsightly ensembles that brought laughter and tears to my eyes. The student creativity was super. That afternoon, the students enjoyed some relaxing ballroom dance to loosen them up for the Festival of Lessons and Carols that evening.
The Festival of Lessons and Carols was simply wonderful. Congratulations to Ms. Frania Lonskaia and senior, Michael Tappel, for directing the choir in a superb performance. The students came dressed impeccably sporting lovely corsages made by our art teacher, Mrs. Debra Pearce. Thank you to the elementary and high school for the piety with which you read lessons from Scripture and sang as a prayer. Thank you for making me cry at the beauty of your violin playing, sophomore, Anna Jemmings, and for your stunning verse of O Holy Night, Michael Tappel! Thank you to the audience for your prayerful reception of the concert. It was a beautiful Advent rest in preparation for the birth of Christ. A huge thank you to Mr. Fleming for helping to set up and host us at Our Lady of Guadalupe and for alumni, Peter Hickel Jr., for bringing the school benches to and from the event. Thank you to my Office Assistant, Miss Danielle DiCiero, for making the program and procuring the flowers for our choir directors. Thank you to Parent Association Officers, Mrs. Karin Owens for shopping for the reception and Mrs. Lisa Cookson for setting up and hosting the reception. A special commendation to Cynthia Geiermann for setting up and decorating for the reception. Thank you to the many hands who helped without my knowledge. Thank you to all the parents for delivering our children in a timely way. Finally, thank you to Mrs. Morrison for accompanying the students on the piano. What an incredible example of a Catholic community coming together to offer their gifts and talents for His honor and glory! Thank you one and all!
Perhaps the most exciting event is that sixth grade teacher, Miss Selene Viens, is hosting her sister for Christmas. Her sister, who is a Sister has taken the name Sister Mary Rose Viens, is on vacation from her mother house in Italy where she spends her days in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Please be sure to introduce yourself to this beautiful vision dressed in a white habit with a floor length veil. She will be visiting and speaking with all the students in the course of the week. Welcome, Sister Mary Rose to our little brown school. Thank you for gracing us with your holy presence!
- Raffle tickets must be turned in by noon on December 27th in order for your to receive credit. The drawing will be in the Kolbe on the 27th at noon. All are welcome to come and watch. Tickets must be turned into Miss DiCiero or Miss Shanstrom.
- Final Exams are taking place in the upper school on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Say a prayer for our scholars.
- Fr. James said an early mass for high school today. A Dominican will say mass on Thursday for the elementary. All are welcome.
- Friday is the last day of school; all of the students are looking forward to the NOON DISMISSAL! There will be no after school care. Please make other arrangements that day.
- The Advent Brunch list has been sent out. Be sure to send your item(s) in the morning with your child. Mrs. Cookson will be supervising the food in St. Dominic’s. Extra lists are in the office. Parents are encouraged to help us serve. Remember that your shopping, cooking, and helping time all goes toward share hours! The upper school will help serve the elementary school, eat, and begin caroling around town. It should be a lovely day in the elementary classrooms as their teachers have many special events planned.
- Holy Rosary Academy will close from December 22nd to January 6th. Miss DiCiero will open up the office on December 26th and 27th from 9-noon. Please call or come in at that time if you have raffle tickets to deliver or questions and concerns for her. I will be in Chicago from December 24th to January 3rd but will be accessible by phone. Any emergencies should be directed to Miss Marisa Shanstrom living on campus.
I want to finish by wishing each and every one of you a happy and holy Christmas and a Happy Neu Mayr 2013. Can’t wait to hear about your great family vacation. Cherish one another and rejoice in the night of the Dear Savior’s Birth. I’ll be in Chicago with family. We’ll exchange stories and adventures when I return.
Miss Neumayr, Principal