May 18th, 2013 by Catherine Neumayr
Dear HRA Families and Friends,
We are approaching the last week of school. I marvel at how much the students of Holy Rosary Academy have accomplished this past year and look forward to celebrating their achievements at the Awards Assembly next Friday, May 24th at 10 A.M. in St. Dominic’s Hall. Parents, family, and friends are most cordially welcome to join us for the Awards Ceremony and the potluck following. At the Awards Ceremony, the 8th grade, the 6th grade, and the kindergarten will graduate from their respective classes. We will be most proud to welcome the new first graders, the new junior high students, and the new high school students to the next big step in their academic endeavors on that day. Please join us.
Before the Awards Assembly, however, we must celebrate the incredible year our seniors have enjoyed. The festivities begin with an evening Baccalaureate Mass at 6 P.M. The Archbishop will be presiding. Fr. Tom Lilly will be concelebrating. All are welcome to join us. Following the mass, the seniors have invited close family and friends to attend a special dinner in anticipation of the graduation the following day. The faculty look forward to hosting the seniors and their family and conveying how proud we are of all of their accomplishments.
Wednesday, the seniors, the faculty, the staff, and the student body will all journey to Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Graduation of 2013. Our dear Dominican chaplains will be presiding. Fr. James Barrand is so sorry to miss out this year; he will be in Rome but conveys his deepest congratulations to the seniors. We hope that as many parents will help us drive the students over and be in attendance to wish Reagan, Natalie, Jamie, Marisa, and Michael well as they move on to college or the Marines. The mass will last from 1 P.M. to 2 P.M. Then, we will move to the Lunney Center next door to begin the graduation ceremony at 2:15 P.M. Following the graduation ceremony, we will have a brief cake and punch reception. ALL HRA STUDENTS ARE TO BE PICKED UP FROM OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE AT 3:30 P.M. NO STUDENTS WILL BE RETURNED TO THE SCHOOL THAT DAY. Family and friends and faculty will continue to gather until the natural end of the reception. I encourage any parents who have remaining share hours to complete to consider helping me with the set up and serving on the evening of the Baccalaureate or to help with set up and serve at the Graduation ceremony.
In the meantime, our wonderful elementary and upper school students will be valiantly taking their final exams on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The elementary will take Core Knowledge Tests that check for their understanding of this year’s curriculum. The upper school has their final exam schedule available on the online calendar. Periods 1,2 exams are on Monday. Periods 3,4 exams are on Tuesday, and periods 5,6 exams are on Wednesday. There will be study time provided in between the exams in order for students to focus their attention and discuss questions with the teachers. Give it your very best, HRA students. These are the moments where you are called to strive for excellence and finish your academic year on an excellent foot.
Thursday of next week, May 23rd, the elementary school will all go over to Our Lady of Guadalupe to enjoy Field Day. This is an annual event in which the students and faculty enjoy all kinds of sports and activities coordinated by P.E. teacher, Mrs. Debra Pearce. Students are encouraged to bring wonderful lunches to the picnic style lunch (weather permitting). The Upper School is headed to Seward on Thursday, May 23rd where the students will enjoy the city, the beaches, the Sea Life Center, the waterfalls, and Exit Glacier in an action packed day. They will stop and Summit Lodge on their way back for a dinner next to the scenic Summit Lake. All the upper school is eagerly anticipating this end-of-the-year field trip. The faculty and seniors, who will be invited with us as chaperones, will be in attendance. Thank you to Miss Danielle DiCiero for making all of the arrangements for the students.
THIS WEEK AT HRA
In case you were worried that this past week at HRA was relatively uneventful, I can assure that it was not. We have been enjoying visiting prospective students visiting in our classes, field trips for the fifth grade, a Friday special substitute and science guru, Mr. Thompson (grandfather of kindergartner, Blaise)for the sixth grade, the first annual Sibling Day in the kindergarten (six excited students joined us), Scantron testing for grades 7,8,9 and Senior Exams,. The weekend began for the upper school with a well attended Friday Game Night hosted by the seniors as their final school event for the upper school student body. As always, the week flew by and was filled with much laughter, some tears, and the excitement of the imminent end of school. Thank you to the whole student body and faculty for continuing to work so hard in your classes and for making the faith-filled atmosphere we foster at HRA so joyful. Though I run around trying to prepare the many events coming next week and often feel frazzled and overwhelmed, the smiles on the faces of the students, the encouragement and work ethic of the faculty, and the friendship of the parents buoy my spirits and inspire me to have the stamina to do all that needs to be done. Thank you all!
UPCOMING FACULTY AND STAFF CHANGES FOR 2013/14 SCHOOL YEAR
- Business Manager, Miss Marisa Shanstrom, will be departing at the end of June. The entire HRA community wishes to thank her for the heroic and tireless behind-the-scenes work she has done for the school. I am so grateful to Miss Shanstrom for handling the financial and maintenance work (so desperately needed to keep our school running smoothly) with such professionalism and poise. You have made an indelible impression on HRA and your pioneering of this new business position has been nothing short of outstanding. Thank you!
- Miss Frania Lonskaia will not be returning as the music teacher next year but thankfully, will remain at HRA where she will assist her son in the heroic work they do to keep our school clean, neat, and tidy throughout the school year. Miss Frania has so generously shared her considerable musical talent with our students for which we are incredibly grateful! Her love of the children and her desire to inspire them to excellence has never wavered in her many years at HRA. We thank you and we love you, Miss Frania. We hope you will join us at mass to harmonize with the entire student body many times next year! Thank goodness it is not goodbye but simply “See you around.” May you be abundantly blessed for your great sacrifice and love for HRA!
- Mr. Louis Bolin, teacher in the upper school, will be leaving us to join the Monastero di San Benedetto, Norcia. Mr. Bolin hoped to spend more years with us as he payed off his graduate school loans. God has blessed him with the ability to go right to St. Benedict’s home town of Nursia, Italy right next year to discern further his priestly vocation. I cannot begrudge God who has called our dear Mr. Bolin to transcendent service, but I can express on behalf of the student body, faculty and staff how grateful we are for the wisdom and creativity he has brought to his classes and the piety he has modeled to all of us. You will be remembered most for pioneering our first every Latin IV class and doing it superbly. God speed, Mr. Bolin. Pray for us; we will pray for you.
- Mrs. Katy Morrison will not be returning to HRA next year because Baby Morrison will have just arrived near to the beginning of school. Mrs. Morrison will be so very missed by the entire HRA community. She has brought her incredible depth and breadth of knowledge in the liberal arts, especially her science and math genius and her love of Latin. The students have been so happy for the arrival of her child but so very sad to know that she will not be their “cool” teacher next year. We hope we will still see much of you, Mrs. Morrison, and that Little Morrison Jr. or Jrette will make frequent visit since your sister, Mary, will still be here. Thank you for the last three wonderful years, for your excellent teaching, for your directing of the Yearbook and choir, for inspiring in the students a love for science, math and Latin, and for your friendship. You will be gone but not forgotten!
- We are blessed to have a replacement for Mr. Bolin already! I have recently engage, Mr. John Haggard as our new full-time teacher in the upper school. In a brief biography he sent me, he wrote, “Mr. John Haggard is the fifth of six children and was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He was home schooled through high school, and attended Thomas Aquinas College, where he received a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts. He loves basketball and military history. He has acted in over a dozen plays, from Henry IV Part I to West Side Story, and has sung in choirs since he was eight. He has directed countless short films and one feature length film, entitled Who Killed Erin Sales? He has played the piano since he was nine, and his favorite composer is Mozart. He looks forward to living in Alaska, “the Final Frontier.” I am so very excited to introduce Mr. Haggard to the students and pleased to mention that he is a former classmate and friend of our returning beloved teacher, Mr. Welsh. He will arrive in Anchorage near to August 1st. You can see how many gifts he has to offer HRA. We can’t wait to welcome you into our HRA family, Mr. Haggard!
- New mother and beloved teacher, Mrs. Marie-Louise Schirda, will be returning to the faculty again next year. She will be teaching part-time, two to three classes. I know the students share my relief that this incredible woman and teacher will grace our halls again next year. Her daughter, Helen Marie, has already bewitched me with her beauty and cuddly personality. Helen Marie has already been to Prom 2013, the Greek and Roman Festival, and Michael Tappel’s senior recital. We look forward to many visits from Helen Marie next year and thank her for letting her Mom come back to share her many gifts as a teacher. Welcome back, Mrs. Schirda!
- It is my privilege to announce that Mrs. Colleen Carter Duncan will be our Director of Choir for the K-12 student body next year. Mrs. Duncan, a Gonzaga University graduate with a degree in Liturgical Music and Musical Literature, has also taken some graduate classes from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA in historical musicology. She is a highly skilled musician and has directed choirs before. Currently she sings for and assists her husband, Mr. Gavin Duncan, as he directs the Holy Family Cathedral music program. She teachers voice, piano, and harp and has already graced the campus with her gifts and talents several times this year. She has many exciting plans to elicit from the students a continued love of sacred music and longs to introduce them to a range of classical secular pieces to enliven their range. She is a gentle lady with a powerfully lyrical voice. I look forward to you enjoying her contributions to the beautiful sounds coming from the walls of HRA! Welcome, Colleen. We are delighted to have you.
- During the course of the summer, I will let you know when we have hired our new Business Manager and the part-time teacher we will hire to replace Mrs. Morrison. In the meantime, I want to thank the fantastic duo of substitutes, Mrs. Lisa Williams and her father-in-law, Mr. Clarke, who have stepped in to replace Mrs. Morrison and Mrs. Schirda in the last few months. Mrs. Williams and Mr. Clarke, you have been a true gift to me and to the students. Your tireless work, your love for the students, and your generosity in the last few months overwhelms me with gratitude. You are both terrifically gifted teachers and true Catholic role models for our students. God bless you for the heroic flexibility you have graced us with this semester as we adjusted to the needs of our pregnant faculty. Thank you, dear friends!
I AM SO PLEASED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT THE REST OF THE FANTASTIC FACULTY ARE RETURNING TO BRING US THE SAME STEADY, PROFESSIONAL, LOVING, OUTSTANDING TEACHING WE HAVE ENJOYED THIS YEAR!
So, dear HRA families and friends, be sure to mark your calendars for the exciting end-of-the-year activities coming up this week. If you have need of completing share hours, contact me if you can help this coming week. There are so many opportunities to help with by driving and setting up and taking down our many receptions and meals. I have some tasks for the summer as well. Parents may continue to work off their hours after work if that is the only time you can come.
I wish everyone a blessed week. Pray for my stamina!
Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal
May 9th, 2013 by Catherine Neumayr
Dear HRA families and friends,
You may still take part in the Charity Walk tomorrow, May 10th, at 6:00 P.M. You may bring a hard copy of the application (found in our front office) and sign up at the registration table at the beginning of the walk. This is our major Parent Association fundraiser of the year. Your participation helps us so very much. It is a really delicious and fun activity filled with potential surprises like the free trip to Hawaii the Shaut’s won one year. Come and join the faculty and HRA families.
Miss Neumayr Principal.
May 9th, 2013 by Catherine Neumayr
Dear HRA Families and Friends,
The seniors have made up their minds for their plans for next year. It is my pleasure to confirm that:
Reagan Biegel has passed his tests and has been accepted into the Marines.
Natalie Chennault has her sights set on Adrian College in Michigan where she hopes to pursue a pre-physical therapy program and continue her hockey involvement.
Jamie Cookson is heading on an academic scholarship to Gonzaga University where she will pursue a major in the liberal arts.
Marisa Ramos will attend Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio where she will likely pursue a degree in philosophy or theology.
Michael Tappel will attend Yale University next year and plans to continue his music education as well as major in a special liberal arts program. He has broken the school record for the most acceptances to college and the most scholarship money awards ever garnered by an HRA grad.
HRA could not be more proud of the time, effort, and dedication these seniors have put into pursuing their future plans. They have spent endless hours consulting their family, friends, teachers, and loving (slightly obsessed) Principal Neumayr as they completed many applications, essays, scholarship applications, and transcript requests throughout the whole process. Their efforts have borne much fruit. We are so very proud of all five of you seniors and look forward to hearing about your future successes. Know that HRA will always be here to encourage you on your way! Principal Neumayr only begs that you KEEP THE CATHOLIC FAITH that will sustain you and anchor you along the journey.
HRA Alumni News
Congratulations to all of our former HRA students and alumni. We are so proud of you for all of your accomplishments!
- Tyler Geiermann is graduating with an English degree from the University of Washington.
- Jan Acosta completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Cum Laude from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles Monday, May 6th.
- Darren Canlas will be Commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force this Friday, May 10th. He graduated from UAA May 5th with a B.A. in Psychology and minored in National Defense, Strategic Studies, and Leadership: Air Force Emphasis.
- Patrick Klump will graduate with a B.S. in Nursing from Benedictine College in Atchison, KS May 11th.
- Patrick Nakada completed his double major in Business and Japanese from UAA this past May 5th.
- Jessica Fulton was named Miss Alaska this past November and will compete in the Miss USA Contest this coming summer.
- Haley Reyna gave birth to her second son in April!
- Sara Rosevear is expecting her second child sometime in December.
- Gabe Abel graduated in Engineering from UAA
- Jacob Abel received his Masters in Engineering from Purdue (one year ago) and is currently working for an engineering company in Chicago.
- Michael El-Khoury stopped by to meet with the seniors and tell us about successfully completing boot camp in the Marines. Bravo to you, Michael.
I urge all other HRA alumni to fill me in with any more news that I can include in my blog. I am so very proud of all that HRA former students and graduates have gone on to do!
This is the busy season of the year. Here are the events that will most interest you:
- Lumen Christi baccalaureate mass on May 15th and Graduation it the gym at 7 P.M. May 16th. Former HRA students Hillary Butler and Meghan Butler will be graduating.
- Upper School Seniors will offer the final Spirit Day this Tuesday, May 14th. Theme: Movie or TV characters.
- On Wednesday, May 15th, the kindergarten will offer the first annual Kindergarten Sibling Day. We look forward to welcoming our future little Knights!
- Seniors will take their Final Exams on Thursday and Friday of this coming week. They will be done with their classes and have the next week off. They will join the upper school as alumni chaperones for the Seward Trip and the Awards Assembly and Last Day of School Potluck.
- 7,8,9 will take Scantron tests in Reading, Language Arts, and Math this week.
- All families are invited to the 2013 Baccalaureate Mass in St. Dominic’s on May 21st at 6 P.M. honoring our graduates. Invited guests only will attend a dinner following the mass. Archbishop Schwietz will be presiding.
- The entire school will attend the 2013 GRADUATION held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish at 1 P.M. The Dominican Chaplains will be presiding. Please help us transport the student body. The mass will be followed by the Graduation Ceremony at 2:15 P.M. Cake and refreshments will be served at 3:15. Parents MUST retrieve their children at Our Lady of Guadalupe at 3:30 P.M. No students will be returned to HRA.
- Mrs. Ana Williams will be gone to visit her father in Mexico the last week of school. Miss DiCiero will supervise the After School Care Program in her absence.
- No After School Care offered on Friday, May 24th because of noon dismissal.
- Elementary School Field Day will be held on May 23rd at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Please help us transport the students and join in the fun and competition. It is a wonderful day of great fun for the students and faculty.
- The Upper School will go to Seward for the day on May 23rd. We have sent home a flyer of the days events. We have procured a Motor Coach for the day. It will be a safe and reliable means of transportation. The school is picking up a third of the cost but needs students to put in $30.00 to help defray costs. I urge parents to have their children earn the trip by doing chores or babysitting for you. We apologize at this last expense for the year.
- The Yearbook is amazing. Call to secure your book at the front office. It is $55.00.
- The last day of school will be an Awards Assembly. All parents and relatives are welcome and invited to join us. The list for potluck submissions will be coming home at the end of this week.
- A letter from Business Manager, Marisa Shanstrom, will be coming home shortly for all those who have not paid their enrollment fee to secure a spot for next year. All those who qualified for the Discount enrollment fee will enjoy a $100.00 savings! The enrollment fee is due June 15th. We are so happy so many of you are returning to the school.
As you can see, there are many events happening between now and the end of the year. Remember that it is a time of great joy and promise, especially for our kindergartners, sixth graders, eighth graders, and seniors who will enjoy graduations this year. The sun and fun awaiting us is so exciting.
Miss Neumayr, Principal
May 9th, 2013 by Catherine Neumayr
Dear HRA Families and Friends,
May is here. May 1 we remembered Our Lady in a special way by having our annual May Crowning in St. Dominic’s Hall. A huge thank you goes to our May Crowing coordinator, Mrs. Valerie Shaut. We were blessed to have four First Communicants (Justin Acosta was gone for his sister’s graduation) dress up in their white to assist with Mary’s Crowing.
The First Communicants were joined by kindergartner, Nicolas Reiman, who was baptized this year and Justin Klump who was just Confirmed and led our opening and closing prayers. Second Grader, Maria Koop, crowned Our Lady and was assisted by third grader, Giovanna Mercurio. Giovanna Mercurio was later selected to put the crown on Our Lady for the Holy Family Cathedral May Crowning as well.
This time of year, it is such a treat to see our students who have received one of the Sacraments of Initiation wait on Our Lady with such love and devotion! You may notice that our statue of Our Lady of Grace is currently gone from the campus. Not to worry, she is safely resting in the front of Holy Family Cathedral as the Dominicans asked us to share her with them. I was delighted and honored to do so. She looks simply beautiful surrounded by flowers at HFC. Do go down to visit her.
Special thanks go to the sixth grade for ringing the bells, the seniors (and junior, Jacob Owens) for leading the school in the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary, and for Fr. Augustine Highlander O.P. for leading us in a special prayer and blessing of our statue of Our Lady of Grace. Thank you to Miss DiCiero for creating the program and the entire student body for their quiet and prayerful demeanor throughout the ceremony. Holy Rosary Academy trusts in the love and care of our Heavenly Mother. These days allow us to show her our gratitude. Hail Mary Full of Grace!
The Elementary School enjoyed their first annual Etiquette Afternoon last month. The students worked together to determine the content and perform skits reflecting behavior that helps students to be more virtuous. The kindergarten and fifth grade worked together and made us laugh uproariously as they demonstrated how not to behave in chapel (like falling asleep and slipping off your chair) and how to behave properly. Sixth grade worked with first and second graders to demonstrate proper greetings and polite behavior around adults. The third and fourth graders showed the student body and faculty the appropriate greeting when a visitor comes in the room. All-in-all the skits were a huge success. It was a truly fun way to remind the students of the virtuous habits they can foster every day! Thank you to all the teachers for their creativity and supervision. We look forward to more of these days next year!
St. Cecilia Music Appreciation Day
HRA wants to thank the Ohotnicky family for bringing beautiful music to the campus. Home schooling student, Ana Ohotnickly, planned a day of music appreciation for HRA to enjoy as a way of fulfilling her American Girl project . She brought her harp and fellow students who play the violin, piano, viola and trumpet. All the grades enjoyed a wonderful hour learning about the five instruments, trying them out under the supervision of the presenters, and listening to an impromptu concert. It was a really fun event and a joy to have Ana Ohotnicky organize such a lovely day for us! Thank you to the students for your interest and excellent behavior.
Centurion Program and Donations News
The Centurion is doing very well. We have brought approximately $34,000.00 in from supporters of the school far and wide. The number exceeds the Board’s goal of $30,000.00 and falls short of my own hopes that we could break $40,000.00 this year. I still have hope. Anyone who has not yet submitted names and addresses for our annual donation appeal is welcome and encouraged to do so. It is not too late to send out appeals! Thank you to all who have been so generous!
Mrs. Pam Albers, mother of Shelby (Gr.6) and Alyssa (Gr. 3) encouraged me to apply for a charitable donation from the Elmendorf Offficers’ Spouses Organization. Mrs. Pearce put together a list of P.E. and recess equipment needs and it was accepted! We received a generous check for $500.00 to defray our costs for equipment next year. Thank you Mrs. Albers. Your thoughtfulness means so very much to us!
There are so many reasons to count my blessings as the year draws to a close. I am so pleased with the students. The Elementary School is taking their end-of-the-year SCANTRON tests in Reading, Language Arts, and Math. I look forward to sharing with you their results. The early outcomes indicate the students have made great gains this year! The students will also take Core Knowledge Tests on the last week of school to determine how well they have absorbed their courses throughout the year. I will look forward to mailing you the results early in the summer. Grades 7,8, and 9 will take their SCANTRON next week.
Next blog I will discuss the seniors’ plans for college, alumni news, and baccalaureate, graduation, Final Exams, Awards Assembly, End of the Year Potluck plans. In the meantime, I remain,
Miss Neumayr, Principal
May 7th, 2013 by Catherine Neumayr
Dear Families and Friends of HRA,
The school year continues with non-stop fun and amazing events to edify the students and bring joy to the campus. Not the least of which was our glorious Open House. Many students, parents, faculty, and staff were on hand to greet fourteen families representing a potential 21 students. The visiting families continually expressed their excitement at the prospect of joining our school and spoke in glowing terms about their student tours.
Thank you most especially to my Office Assistant, Danielle DiCiero for her unflagging help in preparing all the marketing materials for the event. Parents such as Mrs. Mercurio, Mr. and Mrs. Koop, Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Zipay, Mr. Chennault, Mrs. Cookson, Mrs. Patton, and Mrs. Lee deserve my sincere thanks for talking with parents and making the evening so fun.
My very biggest thanks go to the best marketers of the school: the students. A huge thank you goes to the Ramos family for supplying balloons and to Marisa and Karina Ramos for their excellent tours. Thank you to superb tour guides, Jacob Owens, Patrick Czyz, Lee Cookson, Karina Biegel, Victoria Zipay, Sarah Lucas, Arianna Fouch, Eric Bjelland, Matthew Lastimoso, Mary Tappel, Atlin Bell, Juliana Biegel, Izaiha King, Nicolas Williams, Casey Painter, Elizabeth Pope, Dominic Zipay, Joseph Bjelland, John Lastimoso, Michael Chennault, Marianna Williams, Gabriel Zipay, Sophia Rose Jack Chennault Giselle Rachels, Macklen Bell, Giovanna Mercurio, Angela Patton, Zacchaeus Zipay, Maria Koop! I was overwhelmed by the joy in which you all showed off the school and spoke with such grace and poise. Thank you so much.
Since the Open House, we have received daily calls from those who were sorry to have missed the Open House and have made arrangements to come and visit the school since. Our kindergarten is nearly full and the elementary classes continue to fill up. We are hoping to add more students to our fantastic junior high and high school. Be sure to spread the word of the incredible education we offer here at Holy Rosary Academy!
Jr. Sr. Theses Presentations!
The Junior and Seniors truly treated the student body and faculty to a terrific series of theological and philosophical topics this past April 16th and 17th. The students spent the semester determining their topics, meeting with their teacher advisers, reading as much as they could on their respective topics, taking notes, writing outlines, writing draft after draft, and practicing reading their speech and answering questions from their peers.
Here are the topics chosen by the Juniors:
Patrick Czyz – Whether Dependence on Technology is Prudent?
Jacob Owens – Whether the Uninformed Voter Should Vote?
Justin Klump – Whether the Purpose of Punishment Is to Teach?
All three gentleman spoke to grades 5-12, their parents and guests, and the faculty. They fielded difficult questions and revealed their extensive study and true insights into these topics. Congratulations for a truly edifying afternoon, Patrick, Jacob, and Justin!
The Seniors also did a superb job. They had to defend their topics before a panel of distinguished guests as well as students, family, friends, and teachers. Here were their panelists and their topics:
Panel One was made up of Fr. Scott Medlock of St. Patrick’s Parish, former HRA parent, Mindy Goorchenko, and distinguished Family Practictioner, Dr. Mario Lanza. All three panelists offered difficult questions and tough counter-arguments to our three brave seniors who fielded the panelists deftly and patiently.
Here were the three senior topics:
Reagan Biegel – Whether Nuclear Warfare Is Morally Permissible?
Jamie Cookson – Whether Fairy Tales Are Good for Children?
Marisa Ramos – Whether Man Can Be Perfect as His Heavenly Father is Perfect?
Evening Two Panel: Dominican Fr. Paul Raftery, Mrs. Monica Kinney (3rd time panelist), and Mrs. Sarah Lindamood who pushed and pressed the seniors on their definitions and adroitly challenged the seniors to defend their positions.
Natalie Chennault: Whether Happiness Is a Feeling?
Michael Tappel: Whether God Offers All Men an Equally Difficult Road to Salvation?
After the two wonderful evenings with the seniors, the faculty took the seniors to an authentic Italian dinner and had an evening full of laughter and reminiscing about the last four years. Thank you, Seniors, for working so hard and giving us so much food for thought with your theses presentations!
Greek and Roman Festival
What a terrific day the students put on for the community of Anchorage. The second annual Greek and Roman Festival of plays and games took place (previously we focused on plays without the games and festivities). A huge thank you goes to Cynthia Geiermann who headed up the potluck lunch and directed our wonderful parents and grandparents like the Thompsons (grandparents to kindergartner, Blaise) and the Cooksons to help. A great deal of thanks goes to the seniors who valiantly helped me set up the tables and chairs for lunch, ran the Mythology Bingo game, looked out for the little children, and kept the atmosphere generally upbeat.
Some of the incredible games were:
The Labyrinth – built by Reagan Biegel, Jacob Owens, Justin Klump, Patrick Czyz, Victoria Zipay, Karina Biegel etc.. This game was a hit with the little children as they crawled on their hands and knees through cardboard trying to reach the candy and avoid the Minotaur. Bravo Greek II and Latin III for all your hard work.
The One-Eyed Chuck – invented by Mr. Welsh and the Latin I class! This was a game inspired by the famous Odysseus encounter with the angry Polyphemous, Cyclops who hurled rocks at Odysseus as Odysseus taunts him as he is escaping. Ryan Foster, Sang Nguyen, Therese Knox, Patrick Droege, and Lee Cookson had a blast challenging the students to hit the moving ships with one eye covered!
Cafe Olympia put on the third and fourth graders was one of the most enjoyable restaurant visits I have made. The students served (paper made simulations) wine and ostrich meat and other enjoyable treats of the Roman and Greek culture. Most of us were in stitches as the serving staff of nine and ten year olds gave us real world Roman attitudes and shoddy service. The General Manager played by Mikael Hilario gently came around doing “damage control” because of his surly servants. Thank you to Miss Theis for teaching her students what an authentic Mediterranean cafe is really like: loud, obnoxious, and fun, filled with rollicking antics and laughter! Thank you third and fourth grade!
The kindergartners and the sixth graders ran the Decathlon events and kept the student body fit and fancy free outside with races and high jumping etc. Thank you to Miss Viens and Mrs. Shaut for coordinating the events and making the outside part of the festival so fun!
The plays put on in St. Dominic’s were also a hit. The first and second grade recited Aesop’s Fables, “The Fox and the Grapes” and “The Dog in the Manger,” with just the right amount of inflection and cadence to keep us interested and enjoying the moral of the story. The fifth grade followed up with some animated depictions of further Aesop’s Fables: “The Owl and the Grasshopper,” “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” and “The Ant and the Chrysalis.” The break out dancing to “I Feel Good” was the surprise of the skits.
Latin IV wrote their own engaging play called, “Helena is Beautiful; Philosophy is Ugly. It was a brilliant discussion between Homer, Horace, Plato, and Cicero in which much arguing went on about a variety of philosophical ideas. The piece had the entire school howling and revealed what a truly classical education these bright students, Richard Maloy, Monica Klump, Karina Biegel, and Arianna Fouch, have absorbed. When you can turn the famous ideas of these great men into humorous barbs, you have really come to know your subject matter. Suffice it to say, though this wasn’t specifically a participation in Mortimer Adler’s The Great Conversation, it was a great conversation. Bravo to you Latin IV. I saw your play three times and laughed hardest the third time!
Thank you to all the parents and students who cooked and provided the delicious meals. Thank you to all who attended this sunny day filled with the joy of the past and the exuberance of the present. Thank you finally to all of our home schooling families and visiting families in attendance to join us for this wonderful day. Can’t wait to see you all next year for another Ancient Fest!
It is late, and I must head to bed, so I will regale you with May Crowning and our historical Etiquette Afternoon as well as exciting news about the upcoming graduating seniors’ college plans and much more. Until tomorrow, I bid you all good reading and a fond adieu.
Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal
May 7th, 2013 by Catherine Neumayr
Dear HRA families and friends,
The HRA students came back to school after Easter vacation refreshed and ready to soar through the fourth quarter this week. We have been blessed with many moving events in the last few weeks. Perhaps the most moving, however, was a surprise letter from Rome sent to third grader, Mikael Hilario! During the days leading up the the Papal Conclave, Miss Theis’ third and fourth graders each adopted a cardinal for whom they planned to pray. Young Mikael chose Cardinal Burke who is an American cardinal who resides in the Vatican and served Pope Benedict XVI as the Prefect of the Apostolic Signature, the second highest ranking American in the Vatican. Over the Easter break, a letter arrived at HRA for Mr. Mikael Hilario. Upon his return on Monday, Mikael opened a letter from Cardinal Burke in which he thanked Mikael for his prayers. In gratitude he had included a beautiful blue beaded rosary blessed by Pope Francis I the very first evening of his Papacy! Mikael very generously allowed me to read the letter to the school assembled Monday morning; then, he showed the student body the rosary. What a truly beautiful gift and what a privilege for us to have this sacramental, blessed by our new Pope, in our midst. We are honored and so very proud of our Mikael and all the other students who wrote so lovingly to their cardinals! Thank you, Miss Theis, for connecting our students to the Universal Church! Check out Mikael’s article in the Catholic Anchor!
At the Monday, April 8th assembly, we were also privileged to have the Dimond High School Jr. ROTC flag detail come to demonstrate the proper handling of the United States Flag and the Alaska flag. One of the young men, Andrew Helzer, is the son of one of HRA’s original founders. It was a treat to have him be a part of this time. They spoke to the whole student body and then took some students out to demonstrate the proper putting up and taking down of the flag. Their visit has prompted our fifth graders, whose particular job it is to put up and take down the flag each day, to now go out in fours in a single file and be even more regimented in their conduct as they handle the flag. Thank you to father and former military, Mr. Gonzalez for arranging this event.
I have been able to spend weekends at three of the Catholic Churches in the area. I reported that I was able to go to S.E.A.S. for the weekend of masses with the help of the Klumps and the Biegels to spread the word about HRA. Since then, I visited Our Lady of Guadalupe masses on the weekend of April 6th and 7th with the assistance of the Lastimoso boys and the Williams family. I met wonderful families and was warmly welcomed. The following weekend, I went to St. Patrick’s to all the masses accompanied by the Tappel family and the Lucas family. Again, it was a treat to meet the parishioners and tell them about our wonderful school. I hope to visit St. Andrews several times this summer as well as Holy Family Cathedral and St. Benedict’s. Thank you to all the wonderful families who so graciously have their children put on their uniforms and who represent the schools so well! I am truly grateful. The fruits of my visits are already evident!
- Evangeline Dooc has received an award of $500.00 tuition towards her continuing Catholic education from the Catholic Daughters of America for her application/essay and letters of recommendation from her pastor and a teacher. Congratulations, Evangeline!
- Michael Tappel was selected as one of the 550 semifinalists (out of 3900 candidates) to advance to the final round of the 2013 United States Presidential Scholars Program Competition. Though he did not win the award to go to Washington D.C. and take his teacher (me!), his semi-finalist placement is a high compliment indeed.
- Michael Tappel was among 25 students to receive a $4,000.00 award from the BP Principal Scholarship to be paid towards his college tuition. Congratulations, Michael!
- Jacob Owens received Honorable Mention for a poem he submitted to the Anchorage Daily News for the April Poetry Competition. Way to go, Jacob!
- Michael Lucas is the State Championship wrestler in his weight and age category for Alaska! He won in three categories of wresting: graeco, freestyle, and folkstyle. He won twenty matches and lost none. We are so very proud of you, Michael!
Thank you to the first and second grade class for delivering 398 cans collected in the first 100 days of school to F.I.S.H. Thank you for stocking the shelves and helping those less fortunate receive the food they need! Thanks for coordinating and helping them accomplish this Miss Verreux and Mr. Jason Fouch!
Mr. and Mrs. Shaut have been offered the opportunity to pay down on debt from Mr. Shaut’s illness this past summer. Log onto youcaring.com if you or a friend want to help them in their efforts. The hospital has cut their costs in half if they are able to pay it off. I know that the Shaut’s have put off adopting their two children because of their recent setbacks and are anxious to resume bringing their children from Nicaragua.
THE YEARBOOK HAS ARRIVED AND IT IS SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL! Please order your copy at the school office for $55,00 before they are all gone! Bravo to Mr. Welsh and his excellent student staff (Natalie, Chennault, Jamie Cookson, Karina Ramos, Richard Maloy, Sang Nguyen, Jacob Owens, and Michael Tappel).
Sacraments of Initiation
Congratulations to our First Communicants, Maria Koop, Giovanna Mercurio, Justin Acosta, Joshua Fouch, and Miguel Garcia. Congratulations also to Justin Klump who made his Confirmation with Fr. James Barrand as his sponsor. What a very special season it has been to go mass and witness these fine HRA students receive yet another Sacrament to bring more grace into their lives. May the Eucharist and the descent of the Holy Spirit fortify you in mind, body and spirit, ladies and gentleman. You are called to be nothing less than saints! I was especially proud to see that thirteen of our high school students came to support Justin as he completed his Sacraments of Initiation. That kind of school support is what makes HRA such a special place!
Stay tuned for my next blog in which I will tell you all about the Open House, Junior and Senior Theses Presentations, Greek and Roman Festival, the May Crowning, St. Cecilia’s Day, Etiquette Afternoon, and College Decisions from our seniors. I will include upcoming events to prepare for as well.
Thank you for your patience as my blog has been silent for the last few weeks. There have been many visitors interested in enrolling in the school as well as the many activities listed above that have dominated my time and energy. Nevertheless, it is a true joy to write to you and tell you how well the school and the students are doing.
Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal
April 7th, 2013 by Catherine Neumayr
Dear HRA families and friends,
At long last, I have had a moment to catch my breath and share with you many of the amazing events of the last few weeks at Holy Rosary Academy. Currently, the school is enjoying an Easter hiatus. We dismissed for the Triduum and took the week after Easter off to rest and rejuvenate before the last push of fourth quarter.
I am pleased to say that many of my staff are enjoying a vacation in Florida for their rest and relaxation this week. A beloved donor has afforded them the chance to stay in two beachfront condominiums looking across at Cape Canaveral. Thank you, Mr. Dick Armstrong, for your desire to keep my faculty happy and healthy and able to return to the students with renewed vigor and creativity! No pressure on my staff and faculty, but I expect that Miss Theis, Miss Viens, Miss Lonskaia, Miss DiCiero, Mrs. Shaut, Mr. Shaut, and Mr. Welsh will be the most cheerful and engaging teachers of the fourth quarter!
The last two weeks have been nothing short of amazing in the scope of areas the students have enjoyed! I’ll begin with my accolades for the participants of the school Science Fair. The judges, provided by our resident scientist parent, Jacki Rose, all mentioned that the preparations and presentations of the students was much improved this year. The careful and steady preparation by the teachers guiding the students through the scientific method has continued to build and improve our science department in the upper school. It was nice to hear the judges confirm my own observation of the improved work of the students over the last few years! Grades 5 – 10 participated.
Event Coordinator, Mrs. Rose awarded the winners first, second, and third place ribbons at the Monday Assembly on March 18th. The winners from each grade are as follows:
Fifth Grade Sixth Grade Seventh Grade
1st Sophia Rose Lilly Gonzalez Luke Mouracade
2nd Jack Chennault John Lastimoso Michael Lucas
3rd None Andrew Cookson Sam Jemmings
Eighth Grade Ninth Grade Tenth Grade
1st Mary Tappel Sang Nguyen Lee Cookson
2nd Eric Bjelland Sarah Lucas Anna Jemmings
3rd Evangeling Dooc Richard Maloy Karina Ramos
Two of our participants went on to compete in the Alaska State Science Fair the following weekend. Fifth grader, Sophia Rose, won a gold place award for her project, and her brother, Forrest Rose, received a gold place award AND a $50.00 check for placing first in the field of animal behavior. Bravo to both students for representing HRA so beautifully. Next year, we hope more of our students will consider competing at the state level as well!
After several years of falling short of offering this informative evening, I finally offered a College Night to the high school students. I was delighted to see a small but interested group of students and parents representing the ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade attend the evening. On Monday, March 18th, I invited Mrs. Jessica Kearns to give students and parents an overview of the financial aid system from the Federal to the Local level. She was outstanding and made the whole process much more clear. Here are some websites that might interest parents looking for assistance as you begin to enter the college realm:
FAFSA application (priority deadline February 1st at the earliest)
Seniors Michael Tappel and Marisa Ramos came to give the students and parents tips on the process they have recently negotiated. Both Michael and Marisa had great tips and ideas and websites to suggest as evident above. Matther Kreppel, a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville and currently teaching theology at Lumen Christi High School presented on his Catholic experience at Steubenville. I followed up with tips on when to take the SAT and a few recommendations on where to begin to search for schools. Overall it was a terrifically informative evening and a great help to our upcoming college-bound HRA students. Thank you to all who assisted me!
Our seniors continue to impress me with their search for colleges. Senior Jamie Cookson went on a college trip with her father to investigate three of the schools that interest her. She visited St. Norbert College, the University of Dayton and Gonzaga University. She enjoyed each visit but found herself most attracted to Gonzaga University. Upon her return, she learned that she had been admitted to the very selective Holy Cross College in Massachusetts. What a fine compliment to her hard work and excellent scholarship. Bravo Jamie. Please pray for Jamie as she discerns these wonderful choices.
Natalie Chennault continues to hear positives from her school. She has added Trinity College in British Columbia and Concordia College in Wisconsin. In total, all eight colleges to whom she has applied have admitted her! Our prayers go with you as you discern as well Natalie! Congratulations.
Finally, Michael Tappel heard from several highly selective colleges. He has been admitted to Northwestern University, Rice University, Vanderbilt University, Notre Dame University and Yale University in the last month! Bravo to you, Michael. Our prayers go with you as you work through the pros and cons of each option. Congratulations, Michael!
It is humbling for me to watch these five seniors this year make very discriminating choices about their future. They have all worked hard and sacrificed much to pursue their college, missionary, or military dreams. Know that the HRA community will support you as you move to the next stage of your lives. We love you, seniors!
Congratulations to the Indoor Soccer team! They competed in the end of the season ACSSA State-Coed Indoor Soccer Tournament and came in second place after an incredibly exciting game against Anchor Lutheran. They have had a phenomenal season lead by their coaches, Jamie and Lee Cookson. Team moms, Mrs. Lisa Cookson and Mrs. Maureen Klump were on hand to help along the way. We are very proud of you knights! Thank to all the parents and elementary and high school students who came to support the team. The HRA spirit is a joy for me to behold.
Independent Schools Fair
A special thank you goes out to Glen Biegel for hosting me on his radio station to advertise for the Alaska Independent Schools Association. The Independent schools in Anchorage came together at the Loussac Library to host a school fair on March 23rd. Special thanks go to sophomore, Karina Ramos, junior, Patrick Czyz, and senior, Marisa Ramos for coming to help represent HRA at this school fair. I am so grateful for your help and attendance at this annual event!
Congratulations to the entire student body for putting on excellent presentations for your parents. In the upper school, students chose three subject areas and demonstrated something he or she had learned this year. They wove their subjects together with a theme to demonstrate how interrelated the subjects are in a classical program. The elementary students were also in charge of their own presentations and demonstrated work on the board or in booklets they had made for their parents. This time of the year is the perfect time for the students to begin to work on their rhetoric, the ability to express their understanding in speech! Thank you, students, for taking the time to put together thoughtful and insightful presentations!
Thank you to former teacher, Mr. Hoak, for presenting on his many trips to Cambodia. He spoke to the K-6 students on the last day before break. It was the perfect chance to have a change of pace in anticipation of the break.
A final note: Congratulations to senior, Michael Tappel who performed in the sold out sensation, The Pirates of Penzance, over the Easter holiday. Many of our students were able to go and watch him for the dress rehearsal. The Opera very generously supply free tickets for the dress rehearsal performances for our students. HRA students seem to really appreciate exciting shows like this one. Well done, Michael. Your singing and dancing and comedic touches were a pleasure to watch. We are so very proud of your fores into professional opera!
- Only six weeks left of school!
- Monday, the Dimond ROTC program will come to HRA to demonstrate how to respect the American and State Flag as we raise it each day and especially on Assembly days.
- Monday, Mrs. Theresa Imlach will be on campus to film students during their school day. Her efforts will help me with future advertising and marketing ventures. She will be escorted by me throughout the day.
- Tuesday, High School mass in the chapel at 10:10 A.M.
- Wednesday, Open House from 6-9 P.M. at HRA. Students will not have homework and are asked to consider coming to school to help give tours and meet and greet interested families. Parents are warmly encouraged to attend and meet and greet with interested families as well.
- Thursday, elementary mass in the chapel at 10:10 A.M.
- Thursday, we remember Mrs. Mary Louise Rasmuson, on the anniversary of her birthday. Please say a prayer for the repose of her soul on this day.
- Friday, the high school will go out on their last community service Friday of the year.
- Saturday, the junior and senior high school will enjoy “Prom” hosted by the seniors at O’Malley on the Green banquet hall. Parents are welcome.
Have a blessed week as we finish the Easter Octave and celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation this Monday!
Miss Neumayr, Principal
March 25th, 2013 by Catherine Neumayr
Dear HRA Families and Friends,
On Saturday, March 23rd at 8:08 A.M. Helen Marie Schirda was born to Mr. and Mrs. Stefan Schirda. HRA faculty are so pleased that our dear colleague, Marie-Louise Schirda, has delivered a baby girl. Helen is already a beauty with striking black hair and eyes! I have been given permission to share some of her earliest pictures and shall do so in my next blog.
The week was so terrifically busy last week that I have not had a chance to catch my breath and write my weekly blog. I will write to all of you on Wednesday to share everything from the Science Fair results, to College Night, to the St. Joseph’s Feast Day celebration, to the Indoor Soccer success, to the superb Presentations put on by the student body, to the Independent School’s Fair to the joyous arrival of Helen Schirda! That was just a portion of my busy week!
In the meantime, we are experiencing so much snow. Please check the ASD website and our school website to find out if we have school tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24th. I have no way of predicting at this point. We are scheduled to have an all-school mass on Tuesday. The upper school will enjoy an all-school seminar on Wednesday.
I hope and pray that you have a Holy Triduum and a blessed Easter week of vacation. The students have truly earned a break.
Forgive my abbreviated blog. More to come on Wednesday!
Miss Neumayr, Principal
March 15th, 2013 by Catherine Neumayr
Dear HRA Families and Friends,
In the midst of another exciting week at 1010 W. Fireweed Lane, we were blessed with a new Pope. Everything about the very first words and actions Pope Francis took as our new Holy See impressed me. He began his tenure by asking us to prayer for our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Then, he asked us to pray for him. Then he blessed us. Then he went to pray at the foot of our Lady. Then he jumped in the bus with all the Cardinals rather than taking the Pope’s limousine and paid his hotel bill in person! I have a feeling, this Pope is going to challenge all of us to a radical new way of living our faith. I, for one, eagerly await his wisdom and encouragement. Viva il Papa!
The week began with a special presentation by Mr. Dick Armstrong on Monday morning. He is a donor and friend to the school. He presented the faculty with a special flag already framed that he had commissioned to be flown over the geographic center of the South Pole on January 15, 2013 while he was working in Antarctica for the month. He then gave the faculty and staff a framed picture of the flag flying at the site. The plaque reads, “Dedicated to the unselfish teachers and staff who do an outstanding job of teaching the future leaders of our country.” I hope to have both pieces hanging in the hallway of Kolbe for all to enjoy. Thank you so much, Mr. Armstrong!
After the presentation, Mr. Armstrong treated the elementary and the upper school to an outstanding power point lecture of his travels in Antarctica. The power point filled our imaginations with the wildlife, barren land, simple facilities, and unique scientific labs and machinery used by the modest number of people who bravely venture down to the South Pole. It was so exciting to learn firsthand about a place I know very little about. The students were attentive and asked intelligent questions at the end. Mr. Armstrong, an engineer and pilot, enjoyed the student’s questions and fielded them perfectly. Faculty and students enjoyed it immensely.
The sixth grade has just finished A Secret Garden and dressed up and enjoyed a special tea in the library this past Monday. Sixth grade teacher, Miss Viens, taught the young ladies and men the proper way to drink tea and eat biscuits. It was a dear sight for me to walk in and have them raise their teacups to me in greeting. Thank you for teaching the sixth graders the finer points in life, Miss Viens!
Tuesday, the upper school took their National Latin Exams. They were excited and threw themselves into the competitive test. I was delighted to hear their excitement and confidence after taking the test. We will see how they do and look forward to sharing the results with you at the awards assembly on the last day of school. Bravo to you Latin students.
Wednesday began as an ordinary day, but quickly turned into an extraordinary one. I had forewarned the students on Monday that we would all mobilize as soon as the white smoke appeared and meet in Kolbe to watch the new Pope emerge. I was driving around town doing errands for the school, when a series of calls came through alerting me to return to the school immediately as the Pope had been named. Parent after parent called me to be sure that the students were seeing this live. When I returned, I entered an electrically charged room. All the students, from k-12 as well as all the teachers were piously praying the rosary as they awaited the first sign of the Pope. The excitement in the room was palpable and moving. It is a testament to the teachers inspiring awe in the little ones that our students were so attentive to and delighted to witness this historic event. When Pope Francis emerged, the students burst into applause and were irrepressible in their excitement. I thought to myself, “Every one of these students will remember the day and the hour and the place where they were when they connected with their new Pope. How precious that I should be a part of that time and that memory with them.” Thank you HRA students for your immediate faith and love for this new Vicar of Christ!
The upper school finished Wednesday by striding for excellence at the Dome off Raspberry. They tested for the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge. Mrs. Pearce will let each know if he or she passed later in the school year.
Mr. Gonzalez, father to sixth grader, Lilly, came to demonstrate to the 3rd through 6th graders the appropriate way to take down and fold the flag. He reminded all of us that each fold is supposed to be made while praying for the soldiers and the country at each fold. The students listened respectfully and took the presentation seriously. Mr. Gonzalez is former military and told the students how dearly he loves the flag and all it represents. The students learned that any flag that is dropped must be ceremoniously burned by an Eagle Scout because it has been desecrated. The flag, he told them, must be pressed to the breast while carrying it to keep it safe and to indicated how close to our heart it is. Thank you, Mr. Gonzalez, for such a moving demonstration and for teaching us how precious our flag and our freedom really is!
Thursday was the Science Fair. Because the students had practiced their presentations the previous Friday to their teachers and peers, they were prepared and ready. The judges remarked at how well prepared and smooth the presentations were this year. Thank you to Mrs. Jacki Rose for coordinating the judges and to Mr. Welsh, Mrs. Furby, and Miss Viens for preparing the students so well! Thank you also to the Acosta family for helping run the event and clean up afterwards! The results from the Science Fair will be announced at the Monday morning assembly. All parents are welcome.
Friday, each class went to the chapel at different times of the day to recite the Stations of the Cross for Lent. Pizza was served by our wonderful parents, Jen Dooc and Pam Bjelland. The seventh grade served lenten soups to the upper school. The Junior High Drama Class, led by Mrs. Furby and Miss DiCiero, entertained the upper school with memorized monologues from Shakespeare during lunch. The performances were moving and impressive in students so young. Seventh grader, Nicolas Williams, brought the room to a standstill with a spry and mischievous piece as Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Congratulations to all the performers.
After lunch I joined the upper school as they took off for community service in the afternoon. I went to Forty Days for Life and was so moved by the courage with which the students testify to the dignity of human life as they stood in the cold humbly praying the rosary in hopes that any women entering Planned Parenthood that day might turn away and Choose Life. I am so proud of these young people who already know how to defend the unborn!
At the end of the day, all students received their third quarter grades (please sign and return!) along with the most current invoice and share hour information for parents. Be sure your child delivered your sealed envelop!
Our unbelievably talented seniors continue to be recognized by colleges around the country. Jamie Cookson received acceptance from Gonzaga University in Washington. She was awarded the school’s “Distinguished Academic Achievement” Dussault Scholarship for $40,000! Bravo to you Jamie! Natalie Chennault was admitted to Concordia College in Wisconsin and North Dakota State this past week. Her hockey team also won their week-long tournament and are heading for California for more championship competition. Way to go Natalie! Michael Tappel also received the exciting news that he had been accepted to the University of Chicago this Friday. He was awarded the second highest merit scholarship award given worth $10,000 annually for all four years! I continue to be so proud of these gifted seniors! Go Knights!
- Discounted re-enrollment officially ends at midnight on March 15th. I encourage all those who have yet to re-enroll to please go onto Sycamore to re-enroll as soon as you can. Though you are re-enrolling, you need not pay your re-enrollment fee until May 1st. We would like to know and plan for all those who will be returning!
- All fathers and sons of HRA are encouraged to log onto www.catholicmenforlife.org to sign up for an hour or more in front of the abortion clinic on Lake Otis March 23rd. The hope is that there can be 100 men praying the rosary for the unborn every hour of that day from 7-6:30 P.M. Please consider being a party of this worthy cause.
- Thank you to all those who have provided us with more names for our Centurion list. We send this letter only once a year. It is a worthy and important final fundraiser for the year. If you have names of family and friends near or far who might want to contribute to our school, please email them to Miss DiCiero or bring the address in to us. We are so excited and grateful for all that you have done for the school to help us this year!
- College Night – Monday, March 18th. All 9th, 10th, and 11th graders are urged to attend the college night overview. There will be a financial aid officer to explain the process to parents. I will give students and parents an overview of how to prepare for college. The seniors will be on hand to tell give the students the “inside scoop” to applying to schools as they have so recently gone through the process. It should be a very informative night. All are welcome.
- On Tuesday, the upper school will celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph. Mrs. Schirda will set up the beautiful flower altar and provide the traditional fava bean salad, Fr. Augustine will lead us in the litany prayers, the faculty and students will enjoy lunch, and then Fr. Augustine will expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration in response to the request of the new Holy Father, Pope Francis’ for prayers. The students will then carry around a picture of St. Joseph and pilgrimage to the elementary classrooms to pray and sing with each class. It should be a wonderful day. Consult the letter we emailed out last Monday to see what you might want to send to the luncheon. Parents and friends are welcome to join us.
- Mrs. Schirda will enjoy her last week of school before she begins her maternity leave. Please be sure to stop in to wish her well. She has been a vital part of the success of Holy Rosary Academy. I can never thank her enough for teaching the children so well and inspiring them to heights they would never have known they could reach without her gentle guidance. We love you Mrs. Schirda, and we can’t wait to meet your daughter! Go with God, dear friend of HRA!
- Mrs. Lisa Williams is ready to step in for her for the rest of the school year. Mrs. Williams has been sitting in Mrs. Schirda’s classes for months and has been doing some of her student teaching as she prepares to graduate from the APU Teacher Credential Program. Welcome, Mrs. Williams. Mr. Clarke, who substituted for Mrs. Morrison, will step in to teach Mrs. Schirda’s Latin III. He is a classics major and adept at Latin. I thank God for sending me these two phenomenal teachers at just the right moment!
- Grades 7 – 12 will have noon dismissal from Tuesday to Friday next week. Students have signed up for times to make their presentations in the afternoon. Grades K – 6 will have noon dismissal on Friday, March 22nd so that they can also make their presentations. This is a wonderful week in which the gifts and talents of our amazing students are on display. I hope it is a treat for you parents to see a tiny taste of what your child has learned this year!
- Anyone who knows a family interested in HRA is encouraged to send them to shadow a student for the day or enjoy a tour and meeting with me. I will also be at the Loussac Library taking part in the Independent Schools Fair, next Saturday, March 23rd in front of the Marston Theatre. I will have a booth there and would be happy to see anyone you send to me. The event goes on from 2-5 P.M.
Have a blessed week.
Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal
March 9th, 2013 by Catherine Neumayr
Dear HRA Families and Friends,
*** Please remember to re-enroll online at the Sycamore website by March 15th (next Friday!) in order to receive the $100.00 discount. The re-enrollment process takes a matter of minutes to complete. I look forward to welcoming your children back next year!
The whirlwind of activities this week made my head spin…in a good way!
Monday, Fr. Scott Medlock, from St. Patrick’s Parish, came to visit for the day because he had missed the Priest luncheon. He and I enjoyed a wonderful visit and then I walked him around the school and invited him to sit in on my Moderns Class. He was so appreciative because he had done the Great Books Program at Notre Dame University himself. He jumped right into the discussion on whether art can be moral or immoral as I introduced my juniors and seniors to the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Thank you so much for joining us, Fr. Scott.
On Tuesday our three Greek II students took their national exam. We hope that Patrick Czyz, Justin Klump, and Jacob Owens did very well!
The third and fourth graders”adopted a Cardinal” to pray for during the conclave and wrote touching letters to their Cardinal encouraging him in his efforts. Thank you, Miss Theis, for making this historic moment in the Church something for which the students can invest their gifts and their prayers and thus be connected to the sacred work of the Cardinals. The little ones inspired me to adopt a Cardinal too. Cardinal Filoni of Italy, may the wisdom of the Holy Spirit infuse you and inspire you to cast a thoughtful vote for a holy Pope. Amen!
A huge thank you goes out to Mr. Fleming, our beloved Board member, who spent all of Wednesday speaking to each of the grades about Safe Environment. Mr. Fleming does such a beautiful job of reminding the students of their inherent dignity and worth and encouraging them to always defend and safeguard that gift from God from those who may intend harm. We are blessed to have St. John Fleming, as I call him! Parents are always welcome to come and listen with their children or to opt out of this talk should they prefer to have Safe Environment talks with their own children.
Miss Syren shared with me that her History 7 class made a bingo game for their review of WWII and then proceeded to play it! I enjoy hearing about fun and creative ways for our students to learn and retain information. Bravo to Miss Syren and the students for putting the bingo charts together and enjoying yourselves thoroughly!
The fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders enjoyed a trip to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton on Wednesday to watch the sixth graders at SEAS perform Cinderella. It was directed by one of our former teachers, Ali Ann (Marrs) Stramilov. The students enjoyed it very much and we are grateful to SEAS for extending the invitation.
Seniors Jamie Cookson and Marisa Ramos buckled down and procured OMalley’s on the Green for prom this year. The date will be Saturday evening, April 13th from 8 P.M. to Midnight. Grades 7 through 12 are invited and guests must be cleared by the administration.
Thursday, the indoor soccer team, made up of 5th through 8th graders triumphed at the Lumen Christi gym by winning all three of their games. Bravo to the team and thank you to their wonderful student coaches, Jamie and Lee Cookson. A huge thank you to moms, Lisa Cookson and Maureen Klump, for driving and chaperoning the practices and games. Way to go Knights!
Twelve students and three teachers volunteered to be the choir for the priestly ordination of Deacon Ken Bolin on Thursday evening at Our Lady of Guadalupe. The HRA choir was asked to sing at the ordination of former Episcopalian, Ken Bolin who is truly the product of the beautiful work Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI did to bring the Anglicans back into the Roman Catholic Church. In a moving ordination, Fr. Ken Bolin took his vows and received the blessing and imposition of hands from four Bishops, a Monsignor, and about thirty-five priests. Our students and Miss Syren, Mrs. Furby, and Mr. Welsh sang HRA’s signature “Our Father” before the mass and then accompanied three sopranos in the music for the mass. I thank my students and teachers for assisting in this historic ordination! I ran into Arcbhishop Hurley after the mass. He mentioned how much he enjoyed the Priest luncheon and how much he would like to come to the school to offer a mass. I shall invite him soon!
Friday brought exciting news. Our own freshman, Arianna Fouch, won the Faith Walk illustration competition this year. Her drawing will be put on the Faith Walk booklets and buttons for the 2013 Good Friday Faith Walk that convenes downtown. Congratulation, Arianna. We are so proud of you!
Friday the school also set aside time for the seventh through tenth graders to bring in their mandatory Science Fair projects to present them to Mrs. Furby and Mr. Welsh respectively and to their classmates in preparation for the school Science Fair next Thursday, March 14th in St. Dominic’s. I was so proud of the students for coming prepared with some well-considered topics! The juniors and seniors met with me to continue to work on their thesis presentations just a month away.
Four of my theology teachers, Mr. Louis Bolin, Mrs. Marie-Louise Schirda, Miss Therese Syren, and Miss Alex Theis, went to a meeting called by Archbishop Schwietz and Fr. Tom Brundage to speak to Lumen Christi, SEAS, and HRA teachers about the Cardinal Conclave convening this Tuesday. Our teachers came back pleased with the presentation and happy with all of the history and information conveyed by the Archbishop and Fr. Tom. While they were gone, I was able to determine how we will be able to hook a computer up to a television screen to be able to show the live coverage of the white smoke and the emergence of the new Pope should that happen during school hours. It would be such a privilege to share with all of the students this important transition in the Church! Thanks be to God for modern technology when we can use it for the good!
The seniors are putting on a fundraiser dance for prom this Saturday evening. Seniors, Jamie Cookson, Marisa Ramos, and Michael Tappel worked into the wee hours of the morning setting up for the neon-light-themed dance. They have done a beautiful job and have utterly transformed St. Dominic’s Hall. Fellow chaperones, Mrs. Furby, Mr. Welsh, and I will look forward to reporting to you on the success of the dance in next week’s blog.
- Donor and friend of HRA, Mr. Dick Armstrong, will attend our Monday morning assembly for a presentation followed by a talk on his trip to Antarctica. He will speak to the elementary from 8:30-9:45 A.M. in St. Dominic’s and from 10 – 11:15 to the upper school. All are welcome to sit on and enjoy Antarctica vicariously.
- Mr. Rich Owens has invited any interested HRA parents to attend an information meeting on helping to fund raise for the purchase Camp Challenge in between Wasilla and Palmer. Mr. Owens hopes to purchase the property and convert it into a a year-round camp and retreat center for the Catholic Community with the help of the Catholic community. The property is made up of 57 acres of lakefront property with 18 fully-functioning buildings. The camp would be named St. Therese’s Camp and offer summer camps for grades 2-12 as well as retreats throughout the year for the Catholic schools and the parish catechesis and youth groups. The possibilities are endless as to how much this can benefit the Catholic community here in Alaska. Please consider attending the information meeting this Tuesday, March 12th at St. Benedict’s Parish or contributing to the cause. Brochures are available in the office.
- Mr. Beav Deering, a friend of HRA, has founded a local Catholic Men for Life Organization. I ask all of our HRA fathers to consider joining Beav on an important quest. His message and plea to Catholic men is simply this:
“On March 23rd we will gather on the side- walk outside the abortion mill at 4001 Lake Otis Parkway to continuously pray the rosary every hour the facility is open (7:30 am to 6:30 pm). Men who are not accustomed to the rosary, please come and be a presence with us.
We intend to have 100 men present to pray during every hour during the clinic’s business hours. This number may seem high, but if just half of the men in the Anchorage parishes were to offer just one hour, we would easily surpass this number. The thought that this is not achievable is shameful.
Please sign up for at least one hour (two would be better) of your time on Saturday March 23rd. We need you to make this initial project a success so we have a firm footing for the future of this organization. It is a small sacrifice for a great cause. You may sign up online at www.catholicmenforlife.org”
- All the Latin students will take the National Latin exam second period on Tuesday, March 12th.
- Mrs. Pearce will take the P.E. classes to the Dome this Wednesday to test them for the President’s Physical Challenge for which they have been working all semester. The results of their success will be announced at the Awards Assembly at the end of the year.
- Mrs. Jacki Rose has coordinated for outside judges to critique our HRA students’ Science Fair Projects this Thursday, March 14th beginning at 8 A.M. All are welcome to enjoy the presentations or drop in and walk around reading the projects throughout the day. Awards for placement will be given out the following Monday, March 18th at the morning assembly. Parents are welcome.
- Mrs. Pearce will be gone on Friday, March 15th. I am in the process of procuring one of our volunteer art teachers for the upper school to step in and do a project with the students.
- The upper school will go out on Community Service on Friday March 15th.
- Monday March 18th, Miss Neumayr will offer a College Night Overview for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students and parents. A financial aid officer will be present to explain the FAFSA and other benefits for parents. Miss Neumayr will provide helpful materials to organize the students and parents for the college application process. Please plan to attend this worthwhile evening.
- Tuesday, March 19 – Friday, March 22 will be half days for the upper school. Parents are encouraged to sign up this week for Presentation times. Students will present on some of the most meaningful lessons they have learned this year. It is always a week in which I am so proud of the students and their teachers for all they have accomplished this year!
Do, please check the online calendar or the calendar we sent home to you to see the many upcoming events and activities planned. There is never a dull moment at Holy Rosary Academy.
Please consider inviting a family or two to our OPEN HOUSE, April 10th from 6-9 P.M. The faculty will be on hand, the students will lead tours, and I will meet and sit down with each of the families individually. It is always a wonderful evening. Remember that the school will discount families by $100.00 for recommending one student and $250.00 for bringing two or more students to the school. Your word is so valuable in the community.
God bless you all this week! Remember to pray for and with the Cardinals as they listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. God willing, we will be reciting “Viva IL Papa!” by the end of the week.
Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal