Dear HRA Families and Friends,
Forgive the late Post this weekend! I took Friday and Saturday to catch up on maintenance and clean my office; the prospect of coming back on Sunday to write my post competed with my desire to take a day of rest…I rested.
It is a treat to tell you what a wonderful week we had last week! The week began nicely with the addition of four new students, the Harris children, and Gabby Holder. The new students fit in like they had been here all year. We are so happy to have them.
The Post Silent Auction efforts in the halls of Kolbe worked out very well. We added approximately $2500.00 to our total auction intake and our final number has moved to $215, 500.00! Thank you to all those bidders young and old!
Thank you to Fr. Patrick Brosamer who came over for the elementary mass on Tuesday and to Fr. Mark Francis O.P. who said the high school mass on Thursday. We are indeed blessed with fine young priests to inspire our youth.
Thank you to Mrs. Shaut, Mrs. Verbout, and Miss Verreux for planning the field trip to the PAC theatre on Tuesday for their kindergarten and first/second grade classes. The students enjoyed a production of Little Red Riding Hood and other classics. It was a wonderful outing and the students behaved very well according to their teachers.
The highlight of the week came on Thursday when each of the classes depicted a saint for our All Saints Day Festival. I began the festival by reading some words of wisdom from Pope Francis. In an address to you people he said,
” How does school help you to grow? It helps not only by developing intelligence but also by an integral formation of all the aspects of your personality. In following what St. Ignatius of Loyola teaches, the main element of school is to learn to be magnanimous. Magnanimity; this virtue of the great and small, which always makes us look at the horizon. What does being magnanimous mean? It means have a great heart, having a greatness of mind; it means having great ideas, the wish to do great things, to respond to what God asks of you. Hence, also for this very reason do well the routine things of every day and all the daily actions, tasks and meetings with people. Doing the little everyday things with a great heart open to God and others. “ Pope Francis
Many parents and relatives joined us in St. Dominic’s for moving portrayals of heroic saints; sometimes we were moved to laughter and sometimes we were moved to tears! Congratulations to the following classes:
Kindergarten: Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta &
St. Justin Martyr
Grade 1/2 – St. Francis of Assisi
Grade 3/4 – A variety of Saints gave a little autobiography
Grade 5 – St. Therese of Lisieux
Grade 6 – St. Nicholas of Myra
Grade 7 – St. Dymphna
Grade 8/9 – Joseph and His Brothers (film)
Grade 10 – St. Monica reads St. Augustine’s Confessions (script written by Richard Maloy and company)
Grade 11/12 – The Crowning of David
A special thank you goes to our Choir Mistress, Mrs. Duncan, for preparing a lovely All Saints Day Song for the students to sing as the culminating event of the Festival.
Another special thank you goes out to the “saintly” mothers who brought in homemade sweets as a treat for the young actors and actresses at the end of their show! It was a bountiful treat and all the little ones finished Thursday on a sweet note.
Congratulations to Holy Rosary Academy for writing and illustrating their many letters last year to the Mail for the Troops Campaign for Christmas 2012. Mr. Forrest Brooks stopped by to drop off Certificates of Merit. In particular, Miss Verreux’s Class was recognized for the many, many letters her first and second grade class produced last year. She was awarded a certificate for helping HRA to be the #1 elementary school in Alaska for the Mail for the Troops effort in 2012! Particular students were also recognized for their many letters and illustrations: Joshua Fouch, Tinius Manu, and Amarisa Manuel all received certificates for their efforts as well! We are excited to begin our letters for this Christmas now. The students will be working on cards for the troops from now until November 12th. I know that military personnel receiving these cards are so grateful for this fine effort. Bravo Knights!
Ballerina and seventh grader, Kateri Miller, will be participating in the Nutcracker production at the PAC this year. I encourage all interested families to plan to go and cheer her on. We are proud of you Kateri!
At the Upper School, we use a demerit system if the students have neglected to follow the dress code, demonstrated poor manners and self-governance, or omitted doing their homework. The demerit program is an effort to foster good habits in the students as they grow in virtue and integrity. I thought you might be interested in the way it works. Here is how it works:
Demerits can be tracked on Sycamore. A teacher puts the violation, along with the number of demerits issued, on Sycamore so that you will be aware of your child’s status on a daily basis. When your child receives two demerits we will send a warning letter home. Please sign and return via your child the following day. After the fourth demerit, the student will have two date options offered for a one-hour detention in uniform with me. The student needs to bring homework to complete although I reserve the right to have him or her do chores around the school if necessary. If a student serves an hour and within the same semester receives four more demerits, he or she must come on a designated Saturday in uniform to serve a three-hour detention with me.
This past Saturday, I had four young men help me for an hour. I am grateful to them and to their parents for seeing the importance of seeing their punishment through and I appreciate how hard the boys worked during that hour. I am pleased that it has taken until November for ANY student to have enough demerits to serve a Saturday. It speaks well of the maturity of the junior high and high school this year and their ability to self-govern.
I have had a chance to speak to the BBC producer of the TWENTY/TWENTY program called “Extreme Schools.” We will have two thirteen year old girls joining us. Their names are Trewely and Macey and they are from England. It will be great fun to introduce them to Alaska and to our school. It is important for parents to know that though the week will be taped by the BBC producers, parents reserve the right to “Opt Out” if you prefer not to have your child on camera. I look forward to providing you with more detailed information as the time draws nearer.
I am delighted to announce that we have a new faculty member who has joined the school. Due to unforeseen health conditions, Miss Therese Syren will scale back and only teach two classes. Mr. Andy Coldiron, who has both his Teacher Credential and his Masters in Education, will teach the History 7, History 8, and Science 7/8 Girls classes in her stead. We are most grateful that he can join our staff and hope that you will stop in to welcome him and even sit in on one of his classes! Welcome Mr. Coldiron!
Thank you so much to Mr. Stankewich (daughter of 7th grader, Laura) and Mr. Stevens (father of kindergartener, Carlos) for coming by this long weekend to help with school maintenance. Mr. Stankewich is making sure the wee ones and our renters will be warm and safe throughout the winter in the Bernadette Building and Mr. Stevens did a thorough assessment of the campus and bought and installed fresh light bulbs anywhere they had burned out. Both gentleman did a great deal to allay my fears about the imminent winter. Thank you gentlemen!
- Elementary Mass in the chapel at 2:15. Guest priest, Fr. Ward, presiding
- Picture retakes in St. Dominic’s beginning at 9:30 A.M.
- H.S. Mass in the chapel with one of our Dominican priests at 10:15.
- Parent Association meeting from 6::30-7:30 P.M. in the Kolbe Lobby – Sycamore training, State of the School Address, Upcoming events (Advent/ Christmas preparations, raffle, Centurion program etc…)
- Friday is Joseph day (periods 4,5,6) followed by Community Service from 1-3 for the Upper School
Have a blessed week.
Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal