January has come and gone and February portends great things.
This was a marvelous week at HRA. The students are halfway through the quarter and are bringing home their mid-quarter grades for you to read and sign. The second through ninth graders are bringing SCANTRON results from their second round of testing for you to keep. Many of you will be pleased with the improvement and progress the SCANTRON results reveal!
Across the nation, schools like ours celebrated Catholic Schools Week. We began the week with a talk at the Monday assembly from an honored guest: the former headmaster, Jim Hickel! He inspired the students to see in their Catholic education the path to holiness and happiness. Son of Vern Hickel, the benefactor who donated the first buildings and property to the school, he shared his memories of growing up in what is now the chapel when he was a boy and the joys he experienced bringing the school into existence as a man. We are so grateful that he joined us.
On Wednesday, the entire school joined St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and Lumen Christi for a Catholic School Week mass. Thank you to Fr. Augustine Highlander O.P. and Fr. James Barrand for representing Holy Rosary as our priests. Thank you also to Margarita Drews for welcoming the entire congregation, Jacob Owens for reading the second reading, Ashlee Rapoza for bring up the gifts, and the high school choir for singing the communion song of adoration. As always, the students were exemplary in their mass behavior and attire. I never cease giving thanks for the privilege of being a part of HRA on days like this! Thank you to Fr. Tom Lily and the SEAS community for hosting this event.
In the midst of all these activities, the sixth through tenth graders also began to focus more seriously on their Science Fair Projects. The school Science Fair will be on March 6th. This year, the science teachers have been setting strict deadlines and giving study time for the students to prepare for this competition in a timely way. Parents and students, please be aware that HRA will be supplying the poster boards for the students this year. The high school is also pleased to announce that the juniors and seniors have selected their thesis topics and have begun their reading and study as they prepare for their defense in April. Their topics will be written in a future blog. Keep these fine intellects in your prayers as they embark on this challenging task!
By now, most of you parents will have received the annual appeal letter encouraging you to send your addresses to Mrs. Kristine Johannes, a Board member, in order to allow us to send a letter asking your relatives and friends to help support HRA. As Centurions, you will be fulfilling your last fundraising obligation of the year by making sure that at least $250.00 comes in from donors you have asked us to solicit. Please feel free to contact Miss DiCiero in the front office, Miss Kristine Johannes, Mr. Fleming, or Miss Neumayr to answer any of your questions. Please note that there is a DONATE button on the website that allows the donors to pay by computer rather than sending a check. Under “About Us” you will find a page dedicated to the Centurion Project. This will let you know how the fundraiser is going. Thank you one and all for your help as we try to raise $35,000.00 I know that with Our Lady’s help, we can do it!
Congratulations to the new Drama, Debate, and Forensics Team for doing very well in their first competition. Diego Barnes-Barros made the finals and came in fifth in his first ever attempt in the Domestic Impromptu category. Jacob Owens was one point away from the quarterfinals in Lincoln/Douglass Debate in his first outing. HRA is so proud of Diego, Jacob, Justin Klump, Jamie and Lee Cookson, Reagan Biegel, and Karina Ramos for representing HRA so well. Their coach, Mr. Doug Stewart, was thrilled with their performance. Please consider coming to watch them compete next weekend at Service High School.
Parents, please be sure that your child has all the requisite equipment for outdoor play during these cold and snowy months! Students, especially in the junior high and high school, have been forgetting boots and snow pants preventing them from snowshoeing with the new shoes Mrs. Pearce purchased to enhance upper school P.E. exercise. She asks that parents please be sure that your child is prepared for P.E. Students unprepared are given chores to do around the school; a burden for the administration and a loss of exercise for the students.
The week finished beautifully with the School Spelling Bee. We are proud to announce that the winner, Mr. Joseph Syren, will be the HRA representative at the state competition this year and Miss Mary Tappel will be his alternate. Bravo to you both. The winning word was “defiantly.” Though the high school students do not compete in the Scripps Spelling Bee, they requested to take part in a high school competition. Congratulations to the high school winner, Mr. Jacob Owens ’14, and runner up, Mr. Michael Tappel ’13 . The winning word was “mononucleosis.” After an excellent morning of spelling, the administration treated the entire student body to morning doughnuts to continue the Catholic Schools Week celebrations.
Finally, thank you to Fr. James Barrand for coming over Friday afternoon to bless the throats of all the students in honor of the Feast Day of St. Blaise. This custom is a blessing that asks for good health for the remainder of the year. The students then finished the week with time for first-Friday adoration. Due to heavy snow, the high school elected to stay on campus.
Next week, Mr. Fleming will return on Wednesday for any parents who wish to consult him about tuition billing. We thank you for your patience as we continue to smooth out our system.
A last and heartfelt thank you to Mr. Shaut, Mr. Le, and Reagan Biegel for shoveling the never ending snow, snow, snow!
God bless you all and keep you warm and safe. Enjoy the returning light! Till next week…