Dear HRA Families and Friends,
We had a wonderful opening week for 2014! The students returned smiling and ready to work. The faculty enjoyed a productive week and remarked at the excellent behavior and enthusiasm of the students. I was so happy to welcome everyone back safely to the campus for Monday’s assembly. There I wished everyone a Merry Christmas as we had a week remaining of the Christmas season. I also read some encouraging letters from one of our alumni Marines, Sam Wilson, who had written individual responses to all of the third and fourth graders who had written to him before the Christmas break. He spoke to the students about his life as a sniper currently stationed on a ship in the Indian Ocean and his conviction that by praying each day and receiving the Sacraments, he will be able to live out his vocation as a soldier. I also gave out calendars of the liturgical year to the students in honor of the Feast of the Epiphany. It is my hope that many of the students brought them home and put them up in their rooms or in the family communal space. All in all, it was a great start to the new semester.
We were not without some struggles this week, however. The Shauts, who were caught in the freezing weather struggles, finally arrived on Tuesday after three days attempting to return from New York. They returned with sanity and sense of humor intact. Thank you to Mrs. Verbout, Mrs. Colleen Carter Duncan, Mrs. Doerner and alumna, Michelle Tobia, for stepping in to help with the kindergartners and the fifth grade. Further, our dear first grader, Christopher Sanchez, was diagnosed with “scarlet fever.” Thanks to the sage advise of parent, Dr. John Tappel, I learned that this is a form of strep and not a cause to be unduly afraid of mass contagion. Nevertheless, it offered me a chance to encourage parents to be careful and thoughtful about sending their children to school if symptoms of coughing, sneezing, snuffling, sore throat, or stomach ache exist. In the office, we are limiting our receptionist as the only person to use the school phone (she will call on behalf of your child) in order to minimize any contagion. We bleached all chairs and desks and surfaces around campus and will continue to clean tables and knobs as an attempt to limit illness. The H1N1 influenza is also a deep concern. Please do all you can to protect your children during this particularly virulent flu season! We will do our best to maintain healthy practices here at school.
I was alerted by the filming crew who visited in December that they would be grateful if I did not do anything more to publicize our experience until the show airs in April. I must honor their wishes as part of the contract I signed. You will note that I have removed information on this visit from my blog insertions and will no longer make mention of it until the airing of the show. Thank you for your patience. I look forward to sharing more in my blog later in the semester.
In the meantime, there are a few thank yous that I have neglected from the month of December that I have been longing to include in my blog.
1) Thank you to the Parent Association led by Mrs. Lisa Cookson and her assistants for the fantastic reception put on after the Festival of Lessons and Carols.
2) Thank you to Matthew Krepel and Dominic Le for their steady and excellent care of snow blowing after snow falls. Thank you also to Mr. Nunes and Mike Gordon from Chilkhoot Charlie’s who helped smooth the parking lot and remove the growing pile of snow. We have been so blessed.
3) Thank you to Mr. Stankewich for his incredible work in St. Bernadette’s and the Bosco building. Thank you to Mr. Fleming and his son for all the work they did on our rental spaces. You are all in our prayers for your selflessness.
4) Thank you to Jordan Brittain and Evangeline Dooc for their help in setting up for the Faculty Christmas Dinner. Thank you to Mr. Barry Yabyabin for providing the incredible meal we all enjoyed. Thanks also to the parents, Mrs. Jane Garcia, Mrs. Carmela Bell, Mrs. Vicky Galvez etc… for being his helping elves.
5) Thank you to all of the wonderful parents who helped with the Advent Brunch. Again, Mrs. Lisa Cookson orchestrated a smooth and wonderful spread of food. The Brunch was replete with a film of Joseph and his brothers put on by the 8/9 Sacred Scripture class and the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” put on by the 9/10 Composition class and the first and second graders jointly. Thank you to Mrs. Schirda and Miss Verreux for bringing to life this classic! Thank you to Fr. Paul Raftery O.P. for leading us in prayer and blessing the event with his presence.
6) Thank you to the Tobia family for all of their help over the Christmas break. Their daughter, an alumna from 2011, Michele Tobia helped me put up pictures, lights, wood cupboards etc…. with frequent trips in from her parents to assist. I am so grateful. Have a great semester back at Benedictine College, Michelle!
7) Thank you to Mr. Welsh, Mr. Haggard, and Miss Brittain for chaperoning the movie night before the Christmas break!
8) Thank you to all the HRA families for their many gifts for the faculty and for me. I am writing my thank you notes but want to be sure that you know how very grateful and happy your gifts made me over the Christmas holiday. As I stayed up here, I saved your gifts for Christmas morning. Bless you for your care and love for me and the faculty.
I know that I have neglected to remember the many people who deserve my gratitude. Know that any oversight was not intentional.
Finally, I want to invite all of you to stop by Kolbe to visit our newest picture. Fr. Anthony Patalano O.P. gave us a beautiful Marian picture of Our Lady handing St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena rosaries. I had it framed over the break and had the unveiling after our school mass on Thursday. It is truly beautiful and adds immeasurably to the front lobby. Do stop to see it. Further, we put the traditional chalk on our buildings. For the Feast of the Epiphany we put over the doors. Miss Anne Marie Droege, a junior, carefully wrote 20 + C + M + B + 14. It stands for the year 2014 (beginning and end) and the opening initial of the three magi kings, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. It has become a lovely tradition at the school to use blessed chalk and to bless each building with this equation. Do note it the next time you come by school!
- Monday Assembly
- Elementary Mass Tuesday at 2:15 in the chapel
- Scantron Testing for grades 7,8 from Monday to Wednsesday
- Thursday High School Mass in the school Chapel at 10:15
- Friday Pizza Day for lunch
- 6th Grade field trip to Eagle River (winter intensive)
- Friday Upper School Joseph Day, drama practice, and a movie for the junior high
- MONDAY, JANUARY 20 is Martin Luther King Day and a SCHOOL HOLIDAY.
- Much Ado About Nothing Play coming up on January 24th at 7:00 P.M. at St. Patrick’s Hall on Muldoon and January 25th dinner/theatre at 6:00 P.M. at St. Patrick’s. You may sign up and pay for tickets in the office.
- RAFFLE TICKETS MUST BE SOLD AND SUBMITTED NO LATER THAN JANUARY 31. All are invited to the spaghetti feed at St. Patrick’s Hall for the raffle drawing. The Spaghetti Feed begins at 6:00 P.M.
Have a blessed week as we return to Ordinary Time in the liturgical year. The Christmas Season has been a joy and a blessing. We welcome the Baptism of the Lord this Sunday and the beginning of His great ministry. God has sent his Son to become man and dwell among us. We are so richly blessed to commemorate this reality each year!
Miss Neumayr, Principal