Dear HRA Families and Friends,
The autumnal trees of vibrant yellow, oranges, reds, and fading green, along with the sounding of the “termination dust” alarm, signify a shift in the season. We are indeed deep into fall in the middle of September! As a former Californian, I am always in awe of this radical transformation. Yet, I must say that the nip in the air, the spectacular variation in nature’s hues, and the snow topped mountain tops also bring with them a sense of joyful anticipation of the many exciting upcoming events of the fall!
The week began with our Monday Assembly. At the end of the assembly, Miss Alexandra Theis surprised me with a beautifully framed Papal Blessing from Pope Francis. While in Rome, our beloved former chaplain, Fr. James Barrand (now stationed in Anaheim, CA) had this special Papal blessing prepared for the school. I was moved to tears and the students were jubilant. Please come into the Kolbe Lobby and enjoy the newest addition to our wall. Thank you to the staff, faculty, and Board members who financially afforded Miss Theis and Miss Viens to take the Papal Blessing and have it professionally framed. I was so touched by the generosity of all of you! This Apostolic Blessing brings with it abundant graces that the school richly needs and for which we rejoice. Thank you Fr. James Barrand. You are gone but NOT forgotten!
Tuesday was a regular day. I did realize that I had the incorrect Picture Day on the calendar. PICTURE DAY IS ON OCTOBER 1ST FROM 8-10 A.M. It has been corrected on the online calendar at www.hraak.com and on the Sycamore calendar. Your child should have brought you the order forms for the class picture and the individual pictures. You may order and pay online to avoid having to send money to school with your child.
The soccer team continued their winning streak. On Tuesday they defeated Lumen Christi High School for the second time this season. They won 3-1; Junior, Lee Cookson, scored two goals and senior, Justin Klump, kicked in his first goal of the season! Thursday, the soccer team defeated Birchwood 3-0 which was particularly sweet as they had lost to them two weeks before! Congratulations to freshman, Mary Tappel, and Lee Cookson who were the goal-makers in that game! Finally, the soccer team played Lumen Christi on Friday as the first game of the tournament they will finish in Kenai next weekend. They defeated Lumen 5-0. Lee Cookson scored two; Eight grader ,Izaiah King, scored his first goal of the season; Seventh grader, Andrew Cookson, scored one, and Dominic Zipay knocked his first of the season through the goal posts. It was another impressive showing by the Knights. Good luck in the tournament this coming week. We are very proud of you!
Wednesday, Mid-Quarter Reports went home with your child. You should have receive a sealed envelope containing your child’s current grades. Please be sure to sign the report and have your child return it to their elementary school teacher or to their homeroom teacher in the upper school. Parents of students from second grade to sixth grade also received the results of the students first Scantron test of the year. We will test your child again the last week of school in December and in May to monitor their progress. The pertinent score can be found next to NPR. The number next to that indicates the percentage your child scored in relation to all other students in the nation taking the same test. You will also note next to GRE the grade level at which your child is testing. We look to this scored simply to confirm that your child is working at grade level. If any parent would like us to generate a detailed recommendation list of areas students can improve, you are welcome to request it in the front office. Those seeking out a tutor might appreciate this list. Please see Miss Brittain in the front office should you wish this list. All in all, I was pleased with the students’ performance. The seventh and eighth graders took the tests this week. We will be sending those scores home shortly.
Due to a conflict with the Girls’ Volleyball tournament in December, I have also had to change the Festival of Lessons and Carols date. The date has been changed on the online calendar and Sycamore to Wednesday, December 11th at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Students are to arrive at 5:30. The concert will begin at 6:00 P.M. and last approximately an hour. A light dessert reception will follow in the Church lobby. We hope to send the little ones home by 8 P.M. for a full night’s sleep. Homework will be minimal for all the students that night. Please reflect the changes on your calendar and accept my apology for these revisions.
I am most grateful to Mrs. Barbara Doerner for substituting in the kindergarten on Wednesday and for taking the fifth grade for Thursday and Friday. It is such a treat to have our former principal among us again! Further, former HRA first grade teacher, Mrs. Alyson Linear, graced us with her presence subbing for Mrs. Shaut’s kindergartners on Thursday and Friday. The kinders loved her right away and her affection for them was immediate as well. Thank you Mrs. Linear. It is always so wonderful to see you on the HRA campus.
Thank you to all who made Thursday’s school mass so beautiful. As always, Fr. Anthony Patalano spoke eloquently and fed us with his homily and with the Blessed Sacrament. Many thanks to the theology teachers and students for preparing the readings and petitions. A special thank you to sophomore, Therese Knox, who cantored the psalm beautifully. I am most proud when I see our students share their gifts with their school community.
The week finished well for all the students but the upper school was treated to two exceptional talks from Fr. Scott Medlock of St. Patrick’s Parish. Fr. Scott spoke to the students about the reality of bullying; how spiritually harmful it can be and how frequently we are unaware that we are either bullying or being bullied. He offered some excellent ways for the students to diffuse situations where bullies seek to hurt another in mind, body, or spirit. Practicing the Golden Rule, he said, was the Catholic response. All peoples must defend themselves from harm and confide in an adult when he or she cannot figure out how to resolve an uncomfortable encounter. But, to diffuse the situation by avoiding responding in kind was the ultimate message. Fr. Scott then presented his hopes and dreams for the Cloister that he is building at his parish. He would like HRA faculty and students to be part of the development of a Catholic site that would be a digital accompaniment of Catholic prayers, art, poetry, and writings to help inspire those who seek the cloister for spiritual nourishment. Copies of the plans can be found in the office. This Cloister filled with mosaics, sculptures, friezes, and fountains will potentially contain some of the most beautiful art in the city. Fr. Scott has hired a world class artist from Italy who is adding piece by piece. I hope that our students will be able to be part of this effort to attract many to God through beauty. Thank you for the visit, Fr. Scott. Come again soon!
Saturday, four amazing HRA runners competed in the ACSAA Cross Country Tournament. With only four participants, HRA came in third place and brought home a trophy! Considering we do not have a team, this was an impressive feat. Congratulations to freshman, Fintan Nakada, who won first place in the 2.5 mile race and to senior, Justin Klump, for coming in third in the same race. Congratulations, also, to Aine Nakada who won her race and to Jenessa Lorenz for competing so well. We are very proud of you!
Finally, thank you to Senior, Justin Klump, and Super Junior, Jacob Owens, for organizing the second annual HRA Back to School Bonfire Saturday night. Some students played volleyball in the freezing cold while others munched on snacks around the bonfires or watched the cartoon, IRON GIANT, in St. Dominic’s Hall. Thank you especially to the chaperones, Miss Brittain, Miss Theis, Mr. Kreppel, and Mr. Welsh for supervising this fun evening.
- Keep selling those Raffle tickets!
- Be sure to contact the front office to indicate your plans for the auction. We have many sign ups for helping on the day of the auction and for procurement calls. We hope some of you are planning to attend the event and bring friends. You may purchase tickets and sign up in the office. Thank you to all parents who help our students as they begin to work on their auction contributions.
- Share hours are always available for the following tasks:
- SHARE HOUR OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND.
- I have need of parents to help me to clean out the offices under the chapel.
- I need someone with a truck to help take materials to the dump.
- I also need help to fix the big fence near the basketball court that has come unhinged due to heavy wind.
- I need someone who can help me to keep the Kolbe and Bosco doors from slamming by adjusting the spring to close more slowly.
- Anyone with electrical savvy is needed to help me to replace light bulbs. If you are willing to be on call, I would love to be able to call you. We have a light bulb out in the girls’ bathroom in Bosco. I never know when a new ballast must be put in with the light bulb and thus do not do it myself.
- Our teachers are always in need of someone to help make copies for the weeks and months ahead. Thank you to the parents who have already helped.
- Many of the teachers would love a break for recess or lunch supervision. Parents who are willing to help need to finish the Safe Environment certification and complete a form for Pinnacle Investigation to tell us that you have no felonies on your record. The process is easy and the staff in the front office will gladly walk you through it. Your efforts are good for two years.
- In years past, parents have volunteered to make a lunch for the faculty once a month. I know that our busy faculty would be so delighted to enjoy a home cooked meal once a month. Please contact Miss Neumayr if you are interested in taking a month.
- THE PRIEST LUNCHEON COMES UP ON THURSDAY. Thank you to Mrs. Droege for making the meal, Mrs. Cook for contributing the dessert and to all the parents coming to help. We have seventeen priests, deacons, and parish staff joining us. We are thrilled to host the servants of God in this town. Although Archbishop Schwietz is unable to join us, we hope that Archbishop Hurley will be able to come. Thank you to Mrs. Colleen Carter Duncan for preparing the students to sing for the religious! Thank you also to Mrs. Jordan Brittain for all the coordination from the front office. This will be our third year hosting the priests. It is among my favorite HRA events.
- Mrs. Klump and I are eagerly recruiting students from grades 5-8 to play on the basketball team this year. Practices will be nearby at Stellar Gym and we have great Christian schools as our competitors. Please encourage your child to participate. Miss Brittain, whose mother and sister both coach basketball, will coach the teams.
- Sign-ups for the girls’ high school volleyball team are also posted in Bosco. It looks like we will have a strong and experienced team this year. Go Knights!
Bundle up and enjoy the autumnal colors this coming week. Blessings upon all of you. Keep Mrs. Field and Michael “Chip” Chennault and his family in your prayers. They are never far from our thoughts as they bravely battle back to health!
Miss Neumayr, Principal