Passion Week Begins

April 12th, 2014 by Catherine Neumayr

Dear HRA Families and Friends,

We begin Passion week and eagerly anticipate the Resurrection of Our Lord.  It will be a shortened week of only three days.  Please enjoy time with your family as you celebrate Holy Thursday, the day we celebrate our ordained priests and pray for more, Good Friday, the day we embrace the cross and venerate the Great Sacrifice of Our Lord, and rest on Holy Saturday with Jesus in the tomb, only to spiritually awaken on Easter Sunday.  I hope that the vacation Monday after Easter is the beginning of a joy filled Easter octave!  May you and your families enjoy this spiritual journey with one another this coming week.

This past week was one of some trials and great tribulations.  The Juniors and Seniors presented their theses to the Upper School, Faculty, and their families.  Each and every one wrote fine, coherent papers in which they struggled with some of the most difficult theological and philosophical topics I have ever encountered in the ten years students have been defending their theses.  Congratulations to the Juniors and Seniors for defending their positions thoughtfully and well.  A special thank you to the faculty advisors, Mrs. Schirda – the foundress and director of the Thesis Program, and Mr. Austin Welsh, the Composition 11/12 teacher for the excellent help and counsel you afforded these students throughout their preparation.  Bravo to all involved.

Thank you especially to the panel who brilliantly questioned the seniors for their evening rigor.  Fr. Augustine Highlander O.P., Dr. Laura Walters, and Mr. Mario Bird made up a superb panel to challenge the seniors to a grueling half hour of insightful and probing questions.  Justin Klump and Jacob Owens bravely fielded and defended their theses while conceding points in the interest of arriving at the truth of their subject matter.  They both showed maturity and wisdom in their prudent responses.  To the Juniors, I can only say how proud I was of your first efforts this year and how much I already eagerly await your papers as Seniors.  Congratulations to Karina Biegel, Jessica Smith, Anne-Marie Droege, Anna Jemmings, Victoria Zipay, and Lee Cookson!  Thank you to all the families who joined us.  You ought to be so proud of your children and their peers. Thank you to the great alumni who showed up to support the students and for all the moral support you provided.

I encourage all parents to check their emails for an important letter and picture I have sent to you regarding a triying event we endured this past week.  If you did not receive an email by Sunday midday, please be sure to call or stop by the school office so that we can give you a hard copy of my letter.  It is a enough to say that all is well and the state of the school is strong!

This is a shortened blog in order to save for more very exciting news I have to share in the coming week.  In the meantime, I wish you all spiritual blessings this week.


Miss Neumayr, Principal

Last Parent Association Mtg. of the School Year 2013/14

April 5th, 2014 by Catherine Neumayr

Dear HRA Families and Friends,

It has been two weeks since my last missive.  During that time much has happened.  I am in the midst of assessing the re-enrollment plans of the students for which I thank all you parents for your prompt responses.  The returning numbers for the 2014-15 school year look exceptional.  Our kindergarten is already quickly filling up.  I may potentially need to offer a second class again this coming school year.  The first grade has grown so large that the first and second grade will be their own separate classes.  Depending on the influx of new students, I may need to separate the third and fourth grade combination class for the coming year as well.  Our high school and middle school is growing next year which is most exciting.

Thank you to all those who have encouraged other families to consider our school.  Know that if a family cites you as their source for looking at the school, we discount your tuition by $250.00!  It is very hopeful that we will have the same number of students with the distinct possibility that we will grow next year.  I am excited at the prospect but intend to grow slowly and surely rather than encourage growth that is too much too soon.  I intend to maintain the fine quality and standards you have enjoyed this year and simply continue to inspire my faculty to even greater heights in terms of their guidance of your children!

In March and already in April, I have many congratulations to offer.  The students continue to distinguish themselves. Our alumni are also flourishing and sharing with me their successes.  It is my privilege to share the good news with you:

Alumni News

  • Mr. Patrick Klump (alumni) – Passed his Nursing Boards!  Bravo!
  • Mr. Kevin Klump (alumni) will graduate from the minor seminary, St. John Vianney, and continue on in the major seminary at the University of St. Thomas.  Bless you in your continued road to the priesthood, Kevin!
  • Miss Megan Woods (alumna) – Graduates from Eastern Washington with a B.S. in Biology where she attends on scholarship and also completes the Honors Program this spring.  She has already been accepted into Simon Frasier University in Vancouver B.C. to pursue a higher degree in Public Health.  We are so very proud of you, Megan!
  • Miss Cierra Houchins (alumna) graduates from the University of Dallas this spring.  She has just finished and is in the process of publishing a children’s book which she began in Mrs. Schirda’s class years ago.  It is the story of her rides home from HRA in the family’s big green van.  Her father has illustrated the book.  I am in the process of ordering the book and will have it proudly displayed in the office soon.
  • Miss Jamie Cookson (alumna) – has declared an English major with minors in General Business and Philosophy at Gonzaga University!  She is flourishing in her classes.  Continue the great work, Jamie!
  • Mr. Michael Tappel (alumni) – who is a freshman at Yale University is a member of the 100 year old group, The Spizzwinks, and has just finished a trip to New Zealand to sing.  He will travel through Europe in the month of May with the same group.  Bring back lots of memories to share, Michael!

Current Students

  • Michael Lucas (8th Grade) – Michael participated in the National Wrestling Championship Tournament in Virginia Beach this past weekend. Michael defeated all of his opponents from around the entire country and is the National Champion in Wrestling in his age and weight category.  We are so very proud of you, Michael!
  • Forrest and Sophia Rose both participated in the State Science Fair and brought home first place gold medals for their respective science projects.  Bravo to both of you!  Thank you for representing HRA so well!
  • The Junior High Indoor Soccer Team led by Coach Lee Cookson, a junior in the high school, and Coach Mary Tappel, a freshman in the high school, won second place in the final tournament of the season. Bravo to the entire team.  Come in and enjoy their trophy on display in the school office!
  • Justin Klump – Our one and only senior has decided to attend him parents’ alma mater, Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas in the fall.  Bravo and congratulations to you, Justin!

Cardinal Dolan Visited with the HRA/Lumen Christi High School Students

The entire high school had the privilege of meeting the Cardinal from New York, Timothy Dolan, two weeks ago.  He is a tall, large, warm, hugging machine!  He literally and figuratively embraced all of us and complimented the students on their schools and their commitment to Catholic education.  He shared his own vocation story and encouraged the students on in their faith.  The visit was an historic one for which the students were excited and grateful.  I was delighted to see five of the HRA students attend his evening talk at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish where he spoke to a crowd of 700 about the three great challenges Pope Francis faces.  He shared that the restoring of the primacy of Marriage and Family, Improving the Lustre and Restoring the Credibility of the Church, and Engaging the Secular Culture were the three particular areas that the Pope has made the focus of his papacy.  It was an excellent talk and a privilege to meet this great Cardinal!

During the week, the seminarians from St. Paul’s Seminary in Minneapolis returned for a priest retreat with the Cardinal.  My dear friend and seminarian, Mr. Arthur Roraff, will be ordained to the diaconate on June 6th at the Cathedral. All of the seminarians (Rob Whitney, Arthur Roraff, Kevin Klump) are dear friends of HRA and speak fondly of the days when they will be able to come over and say mass for our students in our John Paul II chapel. I long for those days already!

On the Feast of the Anunciation, Fr. Paul Raftery O.P. said the Dominican Rite mass on campus in St. Dominic’s Hall.  This anciet rite is one of the oldest forms of the mass.  Said completely in Latin, this rite is a quiet mass that allows the students to pray and listen to God in the silence.  The mass was accompanied by an outstanding ensemble of singers whose chant and song were positively heavenly.  Thank you to our earthly angels, Mrs. Colleen Carter-Duncan, Mr. Gavin Duncan, Dr. Laura Walters, Miss Arianna Fouch, and Mr. Mario Bird for lending their exquisite voices to this holy feast!  The students were attentive and prayerful throughout.  It was a mass fit for the King of King, Lord of Lords!  Thank you, Fr. Paul Raftery O.P.!

Many apologies for the state of the parking lot.  The mountain of snow is slowly melting much to my delight.  It is, however, causing ice slicks at important arteries of the lot.  I am trying to put down gravel to steady the walkways. Further, Miss Brittain and other helpful hands are laying down ice melt at shaded turns on the pathways of school. Watch your step and tread carefully for a few more weeks.  Thank you to the O’Hanley family for bringing us gravel to put down!  Help yourself to the bags close to the fence in the parking lot if you should need to put down gravel for safety.

Congratulations to all the students from kindergarten to grade 12 for the wonderful presentations you afforded your parents and the faculty last week.  They were the best that I have witnessed in my twelve years at the school!

Best of luck to the juniors and seniors who will be giving their theses presentations on Thursday and Friday of this coming week.  All parents and friends are welcome to join us to encourage the juniors and seniors as they present their philosophical papers and defend them.  While the Juniors will defend their papers to the faculty and students, the seniors will have a panel made up this year of Fr. Augustine Highlander, Dr. Laura Walters, and Mr. Mario Bird before whom they will defend their paper.  Thank you, Juniors and Seniors for all the long hours and meetings with your faculty advisors and your Composition 11/12 teacher, Mr. Welsh.  This is a stressful time, but your rhetorical confidence will soar after you surmount this hurdle!

Upcoming Events:

April 7, 2014 – The Parent Association Meeting will be held in the Kolbe Lobby.  It will last from 6:30 – 7:30 P.M. Babysitting will be provided.  The agenda for the evening was sent home with your child on Friday.  Be sure to ask for it from your child if it has not been passed along.

Junior/Senior Theses Presentations:

Thursday, April 10 – Juniors, Karina Biegel, Jessica Smith, and Anne-Marie Droege will present their theses from 1-3 P.M. in St. Dominic’s Hall.

Friday, April 11th – Juniors, Anna Jemmings, Victoria Zipay, and Lee Cookson will present their theses from 1-3 P.M. in St. Dominic’s Hall.

Friday, April 11th – Senior, Justin Klump and graduating Junior, Jacob Owens will present before a panel from 6-8 P.M. in St. Dominic’s Hall.

I am looking forward to our Open House on April 23rd from 6-9 P.M. with great anticipation!  I ask parents and friends to spread the word and invite interested families to attend.  Further, I have asked the students to come in uniform to give tours of the campus and welcome the interested families.  Parents, too, are most welcome to come that evening to stand in Kolbe during the reception of the families and introduce them to your experience of the school.  The evening is always a lovely one.  Your attendance is greatly appreciated and your attendance certainly includes share hours.  The entire faculty will be in attendance as well.  The teachers have pledged to keep it a low to no homework evening!

Be sure to add the first annual Festival of Poetry and Song on the evening of May 1st at St. Patrick’s parish hall to your calendar.  The event will begin at 7 P.M followed by a light reception.  The music and poetry recitations along with a brief but lovely May Day Procession to crown Our Lady should be a memory for the ages.  One young man in the high school told his mother the other day after music practice, “The music was so beautiful I nearly cried!.”  Be sure to join us for this lovely evening.

Well, that is all for the evening.  Have a blessed upcoming week.  May your Lent continue to be a renewal in mind, body, and spirit as you await our Risen Lord.


Miss Catherine Neumay, Principal

P.S.  I will let you know when the BBC show is available to be viewed as soon as I receive word!




Cardinal Dolan Visits Alaska!

March 23rd, 2014 by Catherine Neumayr

Dear HRA Families and Friends,

This week brings Cardinal Dolan of New York to give spiritual direction to our priests and seminarians (all four just flew in to participate in the priestly meeting)!  Our own high school students are blessed to have an opportunity to meet with Cardinal Dolan at Lumen Christi Monday, March 24th in the afternoon.  I look forward to sharing with you their experience in my next blog.  In the meantime, you may want to consider attending the Monday, March 24th evening Cardinal Dolan talk at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish hosted by the organization Catholics United for the Faith.  The event is free but donations are welcome.

Well, the sun has heralded in spring so beautifully.  Happy birthday to Miss Verreux (first/second grade teacher) who shares her birthday with the first day of spring.  As the light and the warmth increase, so also do the high spirits of our teachers and students.

This past week we enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day immensely.  The faculty and the students were all in green!  Tuesday, we were blessed with retired priest, Fr. Brunet, who said mass for the elementary students.  Wednesday, Mrs. Schirda organized our St. Joseph Feast Day.  Fr. Augustine led us in prayer and the upper school students went on a pilgrimage to sing a St. Joseph song to each of the elementary school classes as well as distribute a prayer card to each.  The event was topped off with a delicious potluck of Italian pastas, Mrs. Schirda’s famous white bean salad, and plenty of feast day desserts.  Thank you to choir director, Mrs. Colleen Carter-Duncan, for preparing the students to sing on this great event.  Thank you to seventh grader, Joseph Bjelland, for carrying around the portrait of St. Joseph during the pilgrimage   You have an amazing namesake!

On Wednesday the entire school raced over to the Dome off of Raspberry and ran around the track as Mrs. Pearce is testing them for the Presidential Fitness Challenge.  It was such fun to see the students run and release any stress of the week. Thank you to the students for your good natures and good behavior on this outing! Thank you to the many parents who chipped in to help drive.  (Mr. Pope, Mrs. Neavill, Mrs. Koop, Miss Bell, Mrs. Miller)

Thursday brought Fr. Mark Francis, O.P. to say mass for the upper school.  Thank you to the sophomores for providing meatless soups for lunch.  Thank you to Mrs. Erin Furby for organizing the upper school out in many directions for our last month of Community Service this school year.  Thank you to the students who helped with kindergartern art and who put down ice melt and cleared the walkways on campus especially.  The combination of the sun and long days seemed to move the week along at a very speedy pace.

The Centurion Project is going very well.  We have collected almost $5,000.00 in the very first week!  Thank you to all our wonderful donors.  You may check out our progress on the school website page.  I update it daily!  Please submit names and addresses if you have not already done so.

The students returned from spring break in good spirits and ready to begin the fourth quarter and rapidly complete the school year!  Thank you to the teachers for all the help in making the transition back to school so smooth and joyful.

This upcoming week is quite out of the ordinary.  Be sure to consult your child’s teacher if you have any questions.

Upcoming Events

  • Monday, March 24th – high school goes to Lumen Christi H.S. for the Dolan talk
  • Tuesday morning at 8 A.M. Fr. Paul Raftery O.P. will day the Dominican Rite mass in St. Dominic’s Hall in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation (all-school mass).  Parents and friends are welcome.
  • Tuesday through Friday, the upper school is dismissed at noon for Presentations in the afternoon.  Each student is afforded twenty minutes to speak to their parents on three areas they wish.
  • Friday, March 28th – NO SCHOOL for the Elementary.  Elementary students are required to bring their parents to a scheduled appointment to make their presentations.
  • After School Care will be available except on Friday.  Upper School students staying after school must stay in the school library while they are waiting for their presentations.

My shoulder contiues to improve but prevents me from typing too much.  Enjoy the coming week as Lent continues. Consider attending the Dominican Forum by Brother Justin Gable O.P. on Dante’s Comedy or the Friday Frozen Friars Concert (free).  Both events are at Holy Family Cathedral.

Finally, Happy Birthday to Helen Marie Schirda, daughter of Mrs. Schirda, who turned one on March 23rd! 


Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal


What a Break!

March 15th, 2014 by Catherine Neumayr

Dear HRA Families and Friends,

Please read the following letter.  A hard copy will also be sent home with the students:

Dear Upper School Parents,

On March 19th  at 11:30 a.m. we will be celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph.  In 1870 Pope Pius XI decreed that this feast be celebrated throughout the Church as a first class feast.  In honor of St. Joseph who gives our school so many blessings, we will have a “St. Joseph Table” that  Fr. Augustine Hilander, O.P. will bless before lunch.

Since we are celebrating this feast with Italian food, please consider bringing menu items that are symbolic of the life of St. Joseph.  Here are a few suggestions: a pasta dish with breadcrumbs to symbolize the sawdust from the carpentry of St. Joseph, a fava bean salad to remind us of the powerful intercession of St. Joseph who saved the people of Sicily from starving during the Middle Ages by providing them with a favorable fava bean crop, and bread/pastries in the shape of St. Joseph’s staff and carpentry tools.  The table will have white candles and white lilies to symbolize the purity of St. Joseph.  If you have a statue of St. Joseph that you would like to bring to the altar for a blessing, please bring it on Wednesday. Since today is Monday, I thought simple desserts and pasta dishes would complement the students’ lunches on Wednesday.


In honor of St. Joseph,

Mrs. Schirda

Neumayr News

I do hope you have all enjoyed a very relaxing break.  I rested and then rested more.  The range of weather from warm and sunny to the Great Blizzard of March 14th 2014 has been breathtaking.  I finally went to the doctor to check out my arm.  The verdict: strained rotator cuff and tricept.  Recovery: gently exercise it and hope it stops hurting and use the brace sparingly.  So, you will see me rest my arm sometimes, but I plan to improve dramatically in the next six weeks!!!!  I will not be held down, but I will need the gentleman to help me with the heavy lifting!  I will also write a more limited blog as the typing puts a particular strain on my upper arm.

The coming week is already quite busy and I wanted to forewarn you:

Many apologies to the kindergarten parents and students in Mrs. Verbout’s class.  She will be spending another week with her daughter whose husband is in the military and was sent on a mission taking him away from his newborn. Never fear, however, we are blessed with Early Childhood Development Teacher Certificated, Miss Paige Corona, who has been substituting for two weeks and who will continue on with Mrs. Verbout’s class this coming week. Thank you, Miss Corona!

The Centurion Fundraiser has officially begun!  We have mailed out the initail 750 letters.  Please submit addresses if you have not already done so.  Please pray that the many friends and family will be generous with us this year. Thank you to Miss DiCiero, Miss Brittain, and Miss Viens for all the work they have done preparing the huge mailing!  I am so grateful.  An ongoing tally of what has come in can be found on our website on the Centurion page!

1) Monday Assembly – March 17th  (Declamation Awards)

2) St. Patrick’s Day Monday, March 17th

3) Tuesday, Mass at 2:15 for the Elementary

4) Wednesday – St. Joseph Feast Day – 7-12 potluck (see included letter by coordinator, Mrs. Schirda)

5) Trip to the Dome – Mrs. Pearce is organizing the whole school to go for distance running testing for the Presidental Athletic program she completes with the P.E. Students. Any parents who can help drive between the hours of 1 P.M. and 3 P.M. are most welcome!

6) Thursday Board Meeting at 7 A.M.

7) Thursday Mass for the Upper School at 10:15

8) First Draft of Junior and Senior Theses Due to Advisor

8) Friday – Community Service for the Upper School

9) Next week – Upper School Presentations beginning on March 25th – half day for the Upper School.  All Day presentations and NO School for the Elementary students on Friday, March 28th!!  Be sure to sign up for your meeting time this week.


Congratulations to all of the participants from grades 6-10 for great presentations.  The judges were particularly impressed this year.  The following students were awarded ribbons for outstanding boards, research, and presentations by Science Fair coordinator and mother, Mrs. Jacki Rose.  Thank you to Mr. Welsh, Mr. Haggard, Mr. Coldiron, Mrs. Furby, and Mr. Shaut for preparing the students so well.

1st Place for the first ever Science Thesis Presentation went to sophomore, Richard Maloy.  He discussed Whether Artificial Intelligence Can Ever Recognize a Higher Being?  It was an excellent paper and spurred on a spirited discussion with the science teachers in particular.  Richard fielded the questions with maturity, wit, and wisdom.  Bravo Richard!  You are a true pioneer.

Sixth Grade

1st Place     –         Sophia Rose

2nd Place   –         Aine Nakada

3rd Place    -         Alexander O’Neill

Seventh Grade

1st Place     –         Chistopher Knox

2nd Place    -        Felicity Hart

3rd Place     –        John Lastimoso

Eighth Grade

1st Place     –        Stephen Woyte

2nd Place   –        Forrest Rose

3rd Place    -        Samuel Jemmings

Ninth Grade

1st Place     –        Anna Berry

2nd Place    -       Evangeline Dooc

3rd Place     –       Mary Tappel

Tenth Grade

1st Place     –        Sang Nguyen

2nd Place   –        Arianna Fouch

3rd Place    -        Therese Knox

Bravo to all of you!  I was the most pleased in all my twelve years at HRA.  The science teachers are preparing the students well and the result is evident in the quality of the work and the presentations.  All students are encouraged and welcome to participate in the State Competition as well.  

Other News

Thank you to all of the wonderful field trips the teachers had planned for the last week before Spring Break!  The 3/4 class went to the Anchorage Museum as they have been studying North American Exploration and Geography.  The kindergarten enjoyed great success Ice Fishing with Mrs. Shaut and Miss Corona and lots of great moms and dads.  This is a favorite annual event!

Thank you to the Upper School Faculty for providing meatless soup on Ash Wednesday, to Fr. Augustine Highlander for saying such a beautiful Ash Wednesday mass, and to the juniors and seniors for providing meatless soup on Friday.  Thank you also to Mr. Welsh and Mrs. Furby for coordinating the Stations of the Cross in the chapel for the Upper School and to the Elementary teachers for exposing their students to age appropriate Stations.  Such a beautiful Lenten Practice for all of us to practice as we await the Triduum and Easter.

Thank you to St. Patrick’s Parish and St. Andrew’s Parish for welcoming me so warmly at their parishes for marketing.  I had a wonderful time with both parishes and thank the priests for allowing me to say a few words to their parisioners.  God bless you wonderful priests!

Finally, congratulations to fifth grader, Jenessa Lorenz, who spent her Spring Break in Mexico serving the poor with the Foundation for His Ministry with her family.  We are proud of you for your missionary zeal and selflessness, Jenessa.

I will sign off for the week to give my arm a rest, but I could not finish the vacation without bidding you a fond greeting!

May your Lent be filled with spiritual growth and renewal in your love of the Lord!


Miss Neumayr, Principal


Welcome Back Chip!

February 28th, 2014 by Catherine Neumayr

Dear HRA Families and Friends,

Chip Chennault has returned to us and has completed  his chemotherapy for now.  Continue your prayers for dear Chip. We are so very delighted to have him return to seventh grade and regular life.  Thanks be to God that he can be with us to share his smile, humor, and insights.  Welcome back Mr. Chip. The whole school rejoices in your return!

What a week of events.  My arm is not 100% but much improved.  Thank you to all of you who have wished me well.  In particular, I thank the kindergarteners who have gently patted my arm and offered me their heartfelt hopes that I improve.  The brace is off for the most part, but I am going to keep my comments brief again this year in the interest of continuing to improve.

Thank you to Father Patrick Brosamer and Fr. Augustine for saying our elementary and high school masses respectively. We are so blessed to hear your insightful homilies and so grateful that you bring us The Sacrament!

The week’s focus was on the Science Fair.  We were blessed on Thursday to have fanstastic judges (engineers and scientists) rounded up by Mrs. Jacki Rose.  The students created some of the best displays I have seen at HRA and presented with confidence and poise.  The winners for each grade will be announced on Monday at the morning assembly should parents wish to join us from 8-8:20 A.M. in the Kolbe Lobby.  I will include the names of the winners in next week’s blog.  Thank you to the HRA science teachers led by Mr. Welsh.  You prepared the students well!

I am so happy that so many of you have re-enrolled your children for next year and have received the $100.00 discount.  The last day to receive the discount is this Monday, March 3rd.  Please call or come into the front office to pay the amount by the end of the school day.  After that time, we will no longer offer the discount but will be in touch with you to find our your intentions for the coming year.  The re-enrollment fees will be due on May 1st to save a spot for your child for the coming year.

Please note that we have a tentative calendar of the coming school year in the Kolbe lobby if you have not yet received one.  The major event that may change on the final calendar is spring break.  Currently, we have the calendar stating that we will take the week after Easter off.  That may be waiting too long to give the students some time off for rest.  The faculty and I will watch closely to see how this year works as we are taking the same spring break as the Anchorage School District. We may do the same next year.  The other dates, however, are likely to remain.

Thank you to Miss Paige Corona for substituting for Mrs. Verbout in the kindergarten.  You are doing a super job and the students already adore you!  We are so glad you will remain with us for all of next week as well!

I spent Friday morning at the State Spelling Bee competition.  I want to thank Miss Aine Nakada (Grade 6) for representing HRA so beautifully.  Although Aine was eliminated in the first round (amongst 144 contestants!), she handled herself with grace and poise.  You were an excellent ambassador for the school Aine.  I am so very proud of you for your courage in participating in this prestigious event.  Thank you also to Mrs. Nakada, alumni, Patrick Nakada, and alternate speller, Miguel Garcia (3rd Grade) for accompanying me to cheer for Aine.  Next year might just be your year, Aine!

Today, February 28, we received some tragic news.  The brother of our beloved high school teacher, Miss Therese Syren, passed away suddenly this morning.  I would ask that you keep the entire Syren family in your prayers and the repose of Stephen Syren uppermost in your thoughts in the coming week.  It is likely that Miss Syren will be out much of the week.  We send you our love and sympathy, Miss Syren.  May Stephen now rest in peace with your dear mother, father, sister, and brother.

Thank you to Mrs. Furby for leading an excellent handwriting review for the junior high this Friday afternoon.  The upper school is committed to helping our students handwrite well for the rest of their time at HRA.  We hope they will carry that skill on for the rest of their lives.  The methodical, careful precision of handwriting is instrumental in developing the students’ small motor skills but more importantly for helping them to write and think carefully and purposefully.

Similarly, I would like to thank Mr. Dominic Le for presenting on finance to the high school on Friday afternoon!  Mr. Le (father of two and uncle to two of our students) presented the history of ancient counting and finance practices through the ages until today.  He spoke to students about the debt crisis of today and the importance of carefully approaching their own financial decisions.  We hope to have Mr. Le return to deepen the students appreciation of practical economics before the end of the semester.  Thank you for doing a superb job, Mr. Le!

I will be at St. Patrick’s Parish this weekend for all the masses to advertise HRA.  Do stop by to say hello if you are attending mass there.  Thank you to Mary Tappel (9th grade) for assisting me at the 11:30 mass!

Thank you to Justin Klump and Jacob Owens for organizing a GAME NIGHT for the junior high and high school this weekend.  I will enjoy being in attendance with teacher, Mr. Matthew Krepel, and Office Manager, Miss Jordan Brittain, along with older alumni to enjoy the nerf gun wars, Apples to Apples etc… this Saturday!

The upcoming week will be our last before spring break.  It looks to be a very smooth week.  Please join us on Wednesday for the All School Mass at 10:15 for Ash Wednesday.  The children will receive ashes.  As Lent begins, please consider sending your child to school on Fridays with meatless lunches to honor and respect the Catholic custom of abstaining from meat on Lenten Fridays.

As always, I remain, gratefully yours,

Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal


Science Fair Week!

February 23rd, 2014 by Catherine Neumayr

Dear HRA Families and Friends,

I must write a very short blog this week.  Two weeks ago I injured the shoulder and upper arm muscles of my right arm.  I have ignored if for the last two weeks and consequently have been experiencing more and more discomfort.  Muscle rest (including typing) is the prognosis.  In obedience, I will suspend typing for a few days and hope that you will understand.

So many wonderful events and people to thank must wait for a few days.  Stay tuned…

In the meantime, some important news to convey:

1) Re-enrollment letters have been sent home.  Enrolling on Sycamore (directions included in the mailing) will take only minutes.  If you pay the enrollment fee by March 1st, we will discount you $100.00.

2) The Centurion Annual Appeal letters will be sent out starting on March 1st.  If you are new parents and have not submitted addresses to complete your discounted tuition obligation, please do so this week.

3) The Science Fair takes place this Thursday. Students will present their work to judges in the morning.  Displays will be up all day  in St. Dominic’s.  Parents are welcome and encouraged to come take a look.

4) We welcome the Grandel family and in particular, Alec Grandel (freshman) to the HRA community beginning this Monday!

5)Thank you to Mrs. Furby, the faculty, the Tappels, and the appetizer geniuses, Rebecca Berry and Karen McMorrow for putting on a beautiful wine party this Friday for their auction contribution back in October.  Thank you to Unwined as well for hosting us and treating us to their delicious wines!

6) Wish Aine Nakada well this week as she prepares to compete this Friday in the State Spelling Bee Competition.  Miguel Garcia, the third grader runner-up, and I will go with her to root her on.  We are so proud of you, Aine!

7) Indoor soccer has commenced.  Game days will be posted on the Sycamore and Word Press calendars shortly.  Thank you to student coaches, Mary Tappel and  Lee Cookson, and Moms Extraordinaire, Mrs. Lisa Cookson, and Maureen Klump for your dedication to the team!

Have a blessed week,

Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal

Time to Re-Enroll!

February 14th, 2014 by Catherine Neumayr

Dear HRA Families and Friends,

I have just been visited this Friday evening by a group of very excited Junior High volleyball players and their coach. The Holy Rosary Junior High Volleyball “B” Team took second place and brought home a trophy (will be on display in the Kolbe Lobby) from their final tournament!  Congratulations Knights.

What a testimony to the fact that a small team with a big heart can conquer great obstacles!  This tiny team, comprised of seven players, had to play the tournament with only six players and no substitutions throughout! Bravo to Julianna Biegel, Elena Biegel, Evotia Manu, Arieta Manu, Savio Le, Jenessa Lorenz and John Lastimoso (absent for the tournament) for an excellent season.  I am so very proud of all of you!  Many thanks go to Mrs. Maureen Klump for organizing the team, to Miss Jordan Brittain for coaching the students to success and inspiring them with her own work ethic and drive, to Mr. Sang Nguyen (sophomore) for Assistant Coaching and giving so generously of his time, to Mr. and Mrs. Dickason for attending all the games and driving so much, to the Lastimoso’s, Le’s, Grandma Manu for all the driving and encouragement for the players, and finally, Izaiha King (8th grader) for supporting each and every game ! Bravo to all involved!  I have already volunteered the faculty for a friendly game against this awesome team.  More details to follow.

The light is returning and uplifting the spirits of the faculty and students. It was another great week. It positively flew by.  I want to thank Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Mr. Fleming, and  Fr. Vincent Blanco for hosting me to market the school all weekend after all the masses.  A special thank you goes to Mr. Jacob Owens (11th Grader), Mr. John Lastimoso (7th Grade),  Mr. Matthew Lastimoso (9th Grade) , and Mr. Miguel Garcia (3rd grader) for assisting me at the HRA Information Table this past weekend!  Thank you to their families for bringing them in uniform to help me out.  I look forward to attending all the masses at Holy Family Cathedral this weekend!

It was a week of wonderful news and events. On Monday, Mrs. Schirda, the Latin teacher in charge of the Declamation Competition in the Upper School (poetry recitations in Latin) awarded the following students with Gold, Silver, and Bronze certificates for their success against their classmates:

Our Cum Laude Winners (Bronze):

Latin I     –     Christopher Knox

Latin II   –     Ryan Foster

Latin III  -     Elizabeth Pope

Our Magna Cum Laude Winners (Silver)

Latin I     –      Thomas Biegel

Latin II    -      Patrick Droege

Latin III  -      Izaiha King

Our Summa Cum Laude Winners (Gold)

Latin I     –     Felicity Hart

Latin II   –     Therese Knox

Latin III  -     Sang Nguyen

The Latin Declamations are an exercise in the art of speaking well.  Each of the participants assumed the character of the speaker and had to convey to the audience the emotions such as the outrage at the treatment of Hector,embellishment about a dead sparrow, sorrow at a brother’s grave, praise for those who die for their country and so on.  Bravo to all the students, winners and all the rest of the Latin I, II, and III classes for standing up in front of all your peers and reciting so maturely and well.  I was truly impressed.

Best of good fortune to Sang Nguyen, Therese Knox, and Ryan Foster as they compete at the State Championships at East High School March 1st.  We are rooting for you!

Special congratulations go to first time Grandmother, Mrs. LouAnn Verbout (kindergarten teacher), whose grandson, Grant Michael, came into the world on Wednesday, February 12th born to her oldest daughter.  We could not be happier for you, Mrs. Verbout!  We all understand that you must race down their on February 22nd to be with the family and snuggle with your new grandson.  For the parents of her class, know that her students will be adopted by Mrs. Shaut and assisted by loving parents and teacher assistants while Mrs. Verbout is gone on this very important trip to Texas.  God speed, Mrs. Verbout!

Mr. Justin Klump (senior) filled me in with the good news that Benedictine College has offered him $13,000.00 a year in merit scholarship money for each year of college.  Bravo to you, Justin.  Altogether, from the four Catholic colleges that have accepted him, Justin has received a combined total of scholarship money for the four years of $124,000.00. Congratulations, Justin.  What a wonderful position you are in as you come to the close of your time at HRA.  We look forward to hearing your decision as to which college you will attend.  I know you will succeed wherever you go!

Bravo to Super Junior, Jacob Owens, for going to the Come and See Vocations weekend at St. Paul’s Seminary in Minnesota this weekend.  I am so proud of you for your openness to looking at all of the possibilities that God might have in store for you in the future.  I am so happy that you will have a chance to see dear friends of HRA, Seminarians Arthur Roraff, Rob Whitney, and Kevin Klump on your visit.  Whatever your vocation, you will be the wiser and richer in character from this weekend experience.

Holy Rosary Academy has just been informed that we will be the owner and operators of the first local Catholic Radio Station broadcast in the greater Anchorage area!!!! This is an amazing feat and much thanks go to the Board, Mr. Brian Metra, Mrs. Pam Albrecht, and Mr. Ed Wassell for being the moving spirits behind this effort and for whom all credit is due.  We have eighteen months to build and begin to broadcast.  I look forward to sharing more details as they unveil.   This will bring new meaning to “rhetorical skills” for the students as they will help with the broadcasts.

My heartfelt congratulations and gratitude go to Miss Danielle DiCiero and Mr. John Haggard, head teachers of the Drama I Junior High Students. She and he prepared the Junior High students to recite selected Shakespearean Monologues for all of the Upper School at lunchtime this week.  On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the high school student body was treated to excellent speeches from our Junior High under Miss DiCiero’s care.  I am so very impressed and pleased with the effort and work all involved put into this excellent drama exercise.  Bravo Knight Thespians!

Thank you to Miss Theis for running the “best seminar ever” with your fourth graders, to Miss Verreux for teaching your students the Robert Burns poem, “My Love is a Red, Red Rose” just in time for Valentine’s day, and to Miss Selene Viens for taking her sixth graders on an amazing Winter Intensive out at the Nature Center.  (Special thanks to Mrs. Danielle O’Neill for driving!)  I have been inspiring the teachers to foster wonder in their students.  The love of learning these activities excite in the students fill my heart with great joy. Thank you elementary teachers!

I received some wonderful Alumna news from Miss Marisa Ramos who is currently a freshman at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.  She has applied and been accepted for an internship with the Dietrich von Hildebrand Project.  She will assist the project by helping to proofread his works, keep a student blog, and help to solidify him as a major theologian of the twentieth Century.  Marisa, who is studying philosophy and theology, is enjoying her whole experience at her university but is especially excited about this opportunity in her field of study. Thanks for writing, Marisa.  I am so very proud of you!

As the week comes to end, so also does the time Miss Gabby DiCiero has spent with us for After School Care.  Thank you to Miss Jordan Brittain and Miss Danielle DiCiero for filling in for her this week.  Starting next week, Mrs. Christina Smith, mother of the three Harris children (Jonah, Evan, and Adi) will take over the position of After School Care Director.  We are so grateful and so delighted to welcome her onto the faculty!

Finally, Miss Brittain put together packets of information and sent them home with your children this weekend.  Please ask them (if they do not remember to give them to you) for the packet containing the minutes from the Parent Association Meeting this past Monday, new information on how to sign up your Fred Meyer Rewards Card for money to come to HRA, and information on the upcoming Centurion Fundraiser beginning on March 1st.  If you are new to the school and have not yet submitted addresses to fulfill your discounted tuition obligation, please take some time to fill out and submit those before March 1st so that we can be sure to help you take care of your obligation.

I am also mailing home the re-enrollment papers for you to fill out on your Sycamore site (five to ten minute process) or fill out on a hard copy from the office.  If you are able to re-enroll by March 1st, we will discount your re-enrollment fee of $250.00 by $100.00!! We want to thank you for being such a wonderful parent this year and keep your enrollment fees down to $150.00 + $50.00 for the Parent Association.  This enrollment fee will secure your child’s spot in the school for next year.  


Upcoming Events

  • Monday – NO SCHOOL (President’s Day)
  • Tuesday, February 18th – All School Assembly
  • Tuesday, Indoor Soccer for Junior High begins
  • Tuesday, Elementary mass with Fr. Scott Medlock at 10:15, all are welcome
  • Wednesday – Mr. Fleming will speak to each of the classes on Safe Environment
  • Thursday, HS mass in the chapel with the Dominicans, all are welcome

Have a blessed week.  I will be at the Dimond Center from 10:30 – 3:00 on Saturday advertising the school with the Independent Schools Fair if anyone happens to be shopping and want to stop by and say hello.  If you are at Holy Family Cathedral, come visit me after the mass.  I’m always so glad to see HRA families and friends.


Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal


Parent Association Meeting 2/10

February 9th, 2014 by Catherine Neumayr

Dear HRA Families and Friends,

Another wonderful week at Holy Rosary Academy has come to an end.  The week was truly enjoyable for me because it was such a regular week.  We were able to settle into a nice routine only disrupted by a return visit from the BBC filmers on Friday.

Before regaling you with the events of last week,  I want to alert you to our third Parent Association Meeting of the year. We are meeting this Monday evening from 6:30 – 7:30 P.M.  Babysitting will be provided.   At this meeting we will be informing new and returning parents about the following agenda items:

1) Results of the Raffle Fundraiser.

2) Information on signing up for rewards for the school from Fred Meyer.

3) What is the Centurion Fundraiser and how to provide addresses for the Centurion Fundraiser beginning March 1st?

4) Upcoming events and share hour opportunities.

5) Miss Neumayr’s State of the School Address

6) Business Report – Miss DiCiero and PA treasurer

7) Sycamore training on how to re-enroll

8) Questions/Concerns from the Parents

** We will finish at 7:30 P.M. but the Parent Association Officers and I will remain for further questions.

This Week in Review

The week began with our wonderful Monday Assembly.  There we learned that the Grades 5-8 volleyball team had defeated Birchwood B team and had their first victory of the season.  Bravo Knights.  The remainder of the week was fairly uneventful.  Thursday was an all school mass with retired priest, Fr. Brunet.  It was his first time to the campus and our first chance to enjoy his priestly wisdom.  We are so grateful to be able to invite priests throughout the diocese to offer mass for us especially when our dear Dominicans are away as was the case this week.

The week finished with a bang, however.  A cameraman and a sound man returned to the campus on Friday to catch a few shots and do a few interviews that had not been completed by the BBC group who came in December.  A huge thank you goes out to all the teachers for adapting to the changes to the day!  I especially thank the elementary teachers who graciously helped me to redo our traditional weekly assembly even though it dug into the students lunch time.  Thank you to the students for throwing yourself into all the interviews and camera shots with such enthusiasm and joy.  I look forward to sharing the show with the HRA community as soon as it is completed.  I expect to have a copy of the show by the end of March!

Mid-quarter reports were sent home with your children this Friday.  Please be sure to sign the form and return it via your child to his or her teacher.  We want to be sure that you, the parents and primary educators, are kept aware of your child’s progress.  You may check on Sycamore for daily homework and grades every evening.  Do not hesitate to make a meeting with your child’s teacher should you have any concerns.

Justin Klump, our senior this year, was accepted to his parents’ alma mater, Benedictine College this past week.  He has now been admitted and has been awarded merit scholarship from all four of the Catholic colleges to which he has applied.  You are in our prayers, Justin, as you discern the right place for you to take your next step in education. God speed!

Congratulations to Justin Klump and Jacob Owens for planning and executing the first annual High School Boys Lock-In.  Most of the junior high and high school boys were in attendance.  Thank you to the teachers for their incredible sacrifice in spending the night with this rowdy bunch!  Thank you to Mr. Welsh, Mr. Haggard, and Mr. Coldiron!  Thank you also to the alumni and older gentleman who came to help.  Among them, alumni, Michael Rannals, Reagan Biegel, Patrick Klump and youth leader, Luke Klotz.  I was delighted that former student, Patrick Czyz came to join in the events as well!!! Thank you all, gentleman, for having fun and leaving the school standing! I know of no broken windows!  I hope this will become another HRA tradition.  Well done, Senior Justin Klump, and Super Junior, Jacob Owens.  Thanks to all the other boys who helped.  Perhaps most appreciated was Atlin Bell (8th) who brought fifteen nerf guns.  Good thinking, Atlin!

I spent the weekend at Our Lady of Guadalupe recruiting families to join the school next year.  Thank you to Fr. Blanco and Mr. Fleming for making room for me and for making me feel so welcome!  Thank you especially to the Lastimoso family for joining me at 5:30 mass on Saturday.  John Lastimoso (7th) spoke at the end of mass and made me very proud. Miguel Garcia (3rd) and his family joined me at 9 A.M. Mass.  Miguel came in uniform as John had done and both looked so handsome!  Thank you, Miguel and to your parents for assisting me.

Upcoming Events

  • 2/10 Monday Assembly (parents welcome)
  • Parent Association Meeting - Monday, February 10th from 6:30-7:30 P.M. in the Kolbe Bldg. Lobby. Babysitting provided.
  • 2/11 Tuesday, Mass for the Elementary at 2:15. (all are welcome)
  • 2/11 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at lunch, SHAKESPEAREAN MONOLOGUES by the junior high.  Come and watch your child in St. Dominic’s between noon and 12:30 P.M. Thank you Miss DiCiero and Mr. Haggard for preparing them.
  • 2/13 Thursday, High School Mass in the chapel.  (all are welcome)
  • 2/1 Friday, Community Service day for the Upper School. Any parent who can help drive is welcome.  This is a great share hour opportunity between 1-3 P.M. Contact Mrs. Erin Furby for details.
  • 2/14 Friday, Miss Neumayr and Mr. Welsh will spend the day working on updating our marketing materials, online website etc… (neither I nor Mr. Welsh will be available to meet with you that day.)
  • 2/14 Pizza Day – money for pizza must be submitted by Wednesday to homeroom teacher or classroom teacher
  • 2/14 Friday, Science Boards for grades 7-10 are due!!! Parents, know that we expect your child to do the work and for you to be the cheerleader.  The students have been methodically led through the process.
  • 2/15 Saturday, the Upper School has their Black and White Ball (semi-formal).  Parents are welcome to join the faculty who will be chaperoning the event.  Come watch these students dazzle with their waltz and swing moves!

Check our website calendar or the Sycamore calendar on your home page for events coming up each day.

Have a blessed week!


Miss Neumayr, Principal

Raffle Winners et al…

January 31st, 2014 by Catherine Neumayr

Dear HRA Family and Friends,

Today we held our annual Raffle drawing.  It is our second largest fundraising effort of the year.  It looks like we have had an excellent fundraiser this year.  I look forward to sharing the final figures with you next week.  In the meantime, the winners are:

$10,000.00    -    Mr. Matt Smith of Post Falls, Idaho – winning ticket sold by the Jansen family

$1,000 or a full tuition – Ms. Meredith Weitz – winning ticket also sold by the Jansen family

$500.00 –  Mr. Ray Booker – winning ticket sold by the Cook family

* All the winners have been informed.  Ms. Weitz has not determined which of the prizes she wants to choose yet.

We thank all of the parents, staff, and Board members in attendance for helping to make the “spaghetti feed” raffle drawing such a delicious and wonderful event !  In particular, I thank Mr. Fleming, Board Member and Master of Ceremonies, for helping to coordinate this event and for having the Our Lady of Guadalupe Knights of Columbus help sell tickets with and for us!  Thank you to Business Manager, Danielle DiCiero, and Office Manager, Jordan Brittain, for all the coordination and work they put into this enjoyable event.  Thank you to senior, Justin Klump, highest ticket seller, ninth grader, Evangeline Dooc, and second grader, Paul Knox, for choosing the tickets out of the bin and to all the wonderful parents – chief chef, Mr. Yabyabin and helpers, Mrs. Knox, Mr. Foster, Mrs. Hart, Mrs. Bjelland, Erin Furby, and student, Sang Nguyen for serving up the meal to the student body!  Looking forward to next year already!

We’ve had a wonderful week of celebrating Catholic Schools Week.  Thank you to Fr. Augustine O.P. for coming to our Monday Assembly to begin the week with a special blessing.  Thank you to Fr. Augustine also for saying our All School Mass on Tuesday honoring one of our patron saints, St. Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of Catholic schools and scholars.  We further celebrated by serving up doughnuts as a special treat for the students.  Wednesday, the kindergarten celebrated the 100th day of school with all kinds of fun activities including finding 100 candy kisses hidden all around the classroom and wearing homemade creative hats on their heads!  I loved stopping in and being spoiled with a cupcake that said “100″ on it.  In fact, the Harris family had made 100 cupcakes which the kindergartners enjoyed eating and sharing with the elementary classes.  Thanks to kindergarten teachers, Mrs. Verbout and Mrs. Shaut for their creativity and the splendid day they afforded their excited kindergartners!

Then, we all drove to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish to enjoy a special mass put on for the four Catholic Schools in the Anchorage Diocese.  We celebrated mass alongside Lumen Christi High School, SEAS, and Our Lady of the Valley!  Thank you to Fr. Tom Lilly, Fr. Anthony Patalano O.P, Fr. Andrew Lee, Fr. Patrick Brosamer, and Fr. Leo Walsh for representing the schools and offering a beautiful mass for all of us.  Many thanks to Camille Rzeszut and all the mothers at SEAS for coordinating the mass and the reception.  Thanks also to junior, Karina Biegel, for reading the second reading, Giselle Rachels, for reading some of the petitions, and Gabriel Zipay, and Elena Biegel for bringing up the gifts. Thank you to Mr. Welsh for capturing photos for the school!  Thank you to Board member, Mrs. Gena Columbus, for joining us at the mass.  It was a wonderful event to mark the excellent progress of our Catholic School System.

Today, Friday, was the Feast of Don Bosco, another important saint for our school as he was an educator and loved children.  We have named our High School building, the Bosco Building in his honor.  What a celebration and a feast we enjoyed today.  Originally, we were scheduled to go sledding at Kincaid Park, but the icy conditions deterred us. Instead, we included all the students in our raffle and spaghetti feed and then sent off the elementary to enjoy a relaxed afternoon of good ol’ fashioned board games and friendship.  Thank you to the elementary teachers for coordinating the afternoon activities.  Thanks to Mrs. Pearce for continuing art classes. Finally, a special thank you goes to Mrs. Erin Furby for teaching some nice waltz and swing steps to the fifth and sixth graders in an impromptu dance lesson.  Bless you, Mrs. Furby.  The students loved it.

Recognition goes also to the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of HRA, Mr. John Haggard and Miss Jordan Brittain.  Mr. Haggard and Miss Brittain demonstrated and taught grades 7-12 the waltz and the swing for two hours on Friday afternoon.  I came in to smiles and dancing children everywhere. It was amazing to see how quickly and how well the students picked up the dancing and began to look first rate.  I look forward to seeing the students bring their new talents to the Valentine’s Dance scheduled for February 14th.

I want to take a moment to congratulate Mr. Jacob Owens, our graduating Junior, who was recognized for his Eagle Scout project and completion of the Boy Scout program.  Jacob enjoyed a celebratory dinner with his troop and many friends and admirers who spoke about what an “articulate, kind, and hard working” man he had become.  His mother spoke eloquently about his accomplishment and how proud she and her husband are of his work ethic.  I was privileged to attend the dinner and witness the admiration all in attendance had for Jacob’s Eagle Scout accomplishment.  We are so very proud of you, Jacob.  The values and skills you have gained from this program will stand you in good stead throughout your life.

Finally, senior, Justin Klump, was accepted into the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton chapter of the Knights of Columbus this past Thursday.  Bravo to you, Justin!  May you remain an active member throughout your lifetime.  The outstanding men who belong and the holy work they do will be a holy anchor for you along your own spiritual path.

Our fifth grade through eighth graders volleyball team had their first game tonight.  I look forward to telling you the results.

Upcoming Event

Mid-quarter grades will be sent home on Friday, February 7th.

I wish you all a blessed weekend and a delightful upcoming week.  Please stop and say hello if you are at SEAS and see me at the table marketing the school after all of the masses.


Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal



“Much Ado” About The HRA Raffle!

January 28th, 2014 by Catherine Neumayr

Dear HRA Faculty And Friends,

Happy Catholic Schools Week!  What an incredible several weeks of activities our students have already enjoyed.  I want to take a few moments to catch you up and then tell you about the special week the students will enjoy this week.

Before I recap the last few weeks, however, I wanted to encourage all you HRA families to do your best to sell the rest of your raffle tickets by 10 A.M. on Friday, January 31st.  The drawing will be held at noon in St. Dominic’s.  Please come and join us for a spaghetti lunch and the public drawing at that time.  Invite friends and relatives as well.

The last few weeks have been a true whirlwind.  Some of the most noteworthy occurrences are as follows:

College News

Senior, Justin Klump, has been admitted to three colleges already!  He received word from Ave Maria University that he has been admitted and has been awarded a merit scholarship worth $6,000.00 a year (for a total of $24,000.00) and $1,000.00 a year because he goes to a Catholic school!  Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina has admitted him and offered him a merit scholarship for $5500.00 anually!  Finally, he has been admitted to Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio and awaits their financial offer.  Congratulations, Justin!  We look forward to your final decision!

Huge thank yous go out to the following people:

Alumna, Michele Tobia – Thank your for prepping our buildings for the Feast of the Epiphany and for building the cover for the science shelves and for your excellent painting of one of our rentals!  Thanks for giving up so much of your Christmas vacation to help the school!  We can’t wait to see you in the summer.

Mr. Stankewich (father of 7th grader) – Thank you for the maintenance work with the buses and for all your work with the zone valves in St. Bernadette building.

Mr. and Mrs. Tobia (parents of aluma, Michele)  - Thank you for taping the Festival of Lessons and Carols so that we can have a memory of it for years to come.

Mr. Dominic Le and Mr. Reiman and Mr. Stankewich – thank you for all the extra help you give when the snow falls and we need shovelers!

Mr. Lederhos (Grandfather of 2nd grader) – Thank you for the ice melt and shovels and help clearing out the backside of the campus.  Thanks also for the monthly pizza pick-up and delivery to the school as well as your many donations.  You are my personal Santa Claus.  Bless you!

Fr. Augustine – thank you for being our chaplain and for the many, many times you thoughtfully come over to support the school and offer special blessings.  Your attendance at the play and for the opening of Catholic Schools Week and for the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas mass is much appreciated.  We are so blessed to have your prayers and your spiritual support.

Fr. Anthony Patalano – Thank you again for the beautiful picture of Our Lady giving rosaries to St. Dominic and St. Catherine that now graces our wall in the Kolbe building!  I love walking past it multiple times a day.

Mr. Thompson (grandfather of a kindergartner) – thank you for the geology presentations in the kindergarten and for the third and fourth grade.  You are a super teacher and have really enlivened the students’ love of science.  Thank you!

Gabby DiCiero – Thank you for stepping in to do such an amazing job with the After School Care Program.

Carmela Bell (mother of a sixth and an eighth grader) – thank you for doing our monthly shopping!!!!!You are invaluable.

Mrs. O’Neill, Mrs. Woyte, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Lucas, Mrs. Neavill, and Mrs.Jemmings – thank you for the transporting of grades 5 – 8 to the matinee dress rehearsal of the play!  We literally could not have done it without you.

To all those whom I have forgotten, know that many times a day I pray for you in thanksgiving for all that you do.

The Spelling Bee

Congratulations to the top two spellers from grades 1 – 8!  They are as follows:

Izaiha King (8)                     Forrest Rose   (8)

Lilly Gonzalez (7)                Christopher Knox (7)

Aine Nakada (6)                   Sophia Rose (6)

Arieta Manu (5)                   Johah Harris (5)

Bernadette Hart (4)            Jonas Knox (4)

Miguel Garcia (3)                Joshua Fouch (3)

Stephen Hart (2)                 Amarisa Manuel (2)

Evan Harris (1)                   Nicolas Reiman (1)

This was the first year that the first and second graders competed!  I was so very proud of their efforts.  Bravo!

The winner was sixth grader, Aine Nakada.  Her winning word was science. Though a seemingly easy word, the words leading up to this word were quite challenging and tricky enough for all of her peers to make an error.  We went through 12 rounds to reach the winner.  Congratulations, Aine!  She will compete for the State Championship at the Performing Arts Center on February 28th.  

The second runner up and alternate spelling champion, third grader, Miguel Garcia, will accompany her should she be unable to meet this obligation.  Congratulations to the youngest alternate spelling champion in the history of HRA.  Congratulations, Miguel!

Alumni News

  • Thank you to Corie Geiermann (’06), a budding plumber, for installing two new toilets in St. Dominic’s.  I appreciate your time and expertise, Corie!  It was wonderful to see you back on campus.
  • Jamie Cookson (’13) was recognized on the President’s List at Gonzaga for an outstanding semester academically.  Only those with grades between a 3.7 and 4.0 were recognized.  Jamie, we are all so very proud of you!!!
  • I have had the privilege of hearing from many of our recent graduates.  Most have reported their G.P.A. in the same superlative range of 3.7 -4.0.  It is such a relief as their former teacher and principal to know that HRA is really preparing these students to step up to the next level and still perform superbly.

The Play

Many thanks and heartfelt congratulations go out to the three directors of this year’s Shakespearean play, Much Ado about Nothing.  Miss Danielle DiCiero, Mrs. Erin Furby, and Mr. John Haggard directed one of the school’s most outstanding performances to date!  The high school was simply superb!  They treated our grades 5,6,7,8 classes to a wonderful matinee and then had two highly successful and well attended evening performances. The 125 guests for the supper theater evening really excited the actors who stepped up and gave the crowd their best.  Though our lead actors were truly outstanding, the entire ensemble of actors was so strong and cohesive that the play as a whole had no weaknesses.  Bravo to our high school students for all of their hard work.  Memorizing upwards of 300-400 lines for some of them is mesmerizing to behold and a true feat and indication of the fine minds these students have.

I want to specially recognize the leads for the play as three were only freshman just beginning to try out their acting chops.  Special acknowledgement belongs to:

Benedick – played by Matthew Lastimoso (9)

Beatrice – played by Karina Biegel (11)

Claudio – played by Lee Cookson (11)

Hero – played by Jessica Smith (11)

Don Pedro – played by Jacob Owens (11)

Leonato – played by Eric Bjelland (9)

Dogberry – played by Anna Berry (9)

Thank you to all the parents for the many Saturdays you spent driving your children to practice.  Thanks to George Neuerberger for the delicious lasagna meal, and alumni, Michael Rannals, and Mrs. Furby’s husband, Will for the tireless clean-up efforts they made during and after the play.  God bless you three for your selflessness!

School Choice

Please write to your congressman urging him or her to support the School Choice initiative.  Mr. Fink has been working tirelessly to be sure that this term there is a vote.  Take the time to send a brief note and put positive pressure on the politicians.  The freedom for parents that this would offer is tremendous and you parents at HRA would feel it immediately.  Thank you so very much.

The Raffle

Congratulations and thank you to all the parents who have completed their raffle obligation.  Miss Brittain is calling to remind and encourage any of you who are completing your sales this week.  We are so very grateful to Mr. Fleming, Jordan Brittain, Danielle DiCiero, and Mr. Yabyabin for all of their hard work in completing the raffle preparations and the spaghetti feed for Friday.  I look forward to sharing with you next week the winners and the total earnings of this most important fundraiser!

Please plan to go to lunch or dinner at Don Jose’s Restaurant on Northern Lights this Saturday, February 1st between the hours of noon and 10 P.M. The owner is father to one of our second graders.  He is going to donate a portion of the proceeds to all three local Catholic schools.  Please come and encourage many friends to support this effort to finish off Catholic Schools Week with a flourish!

The Junior/ Senior Theses

Thanks to the careful guidance of Composition 11/12 teacher, Mr. Welsh, the juniors and seniors have selected their thesis topics and begun their study in preparation for their April presentation and defense.  We wish you well on this journey in search of the truth of the matter!

Sports News

Congratulations to Patrick Droege and Izaiha King who have been playing basketball with the Lumen Christi high school and junior high teams respectively!  We are so grateful to Lumen Christi for generously inviting us to play with them and so proud of our two HRA basketball stars.  Happy season Patrick and Izaiha!

Thank you to Miss Jordan Brittain, Mr Dickason,  and sophomore, Sang Nguyen for coaching the volleyball team, grades 5-8.  Please come out and support our small but determined team.  Their first game is this Friday, January 31st at 4 P.M. at Lumen Christi.  The players this year are Elena Biegel (5), Arieta Manu (5) Evotia Manu (5) Savio Le (7) John Lastimoso (7) Julianna Biegel (8), and Jenessa Lorenz (5).  Go Knights!

After School Care News

Thank you to Gabby DiCiero (sister of our Business Manager) for stepping in to take such good care of our After School Program.  Gabby has assisted us while she is waiting for her brother, for whom she is a full-time caregiver, to be released from the hospital.  Her brother, Dominic, is much improved and coming home soon.  Gabby will need to make her last day February 10th.  I will be announcing her replacement shortly.  In the meantime, thank you so very much, Gabby, for your gentle patience and care.  The excited voices that I hear each afternoon as I work in my office, cheers me and inspires me on in my own work.  Thank you!!

Fred Meyers Rewards Card

Holy Rosary Academy has just signed up to receive community rewards benefits from your Fred Meyers Purchases. Please submit your rewards card to the attendant who will then connect your purchases to our school so that we can be sent some rewards similar to that of Carr’s and ESCRIP.  More to come.

Upcoming Events

  • All Catholic Schools Mass at SEAS – January 29th at 1:30 at SEAS.
  • Don Bosco Day of Games – Friday January 31st – elementary will enjoy an afternoon of board games 1-3
  • Joseph Day (periods 4,5,6) on January 31st
  • Raffle Drawing – January 31st at noon in St. Dominic’s – join us for a spaghetti feed prepared by father of first grader, Mr. Yabyabin.
  • Father/ Daughter Dance February 1st at St. Benedict’s Parish at 7 P.M.
  • Monday Assembly (2/3/14)
  • All School Mass on Tuesday (2/4/14)
  • Declamation (Latin/Greek poetry) Competition in St. Dominic’s on 2/7/14 at 1:00 P.M.
  • Mid-Quarter Grades sent home – 2/7/14
  • Parent Association Meeting – 2/10/14 from  6:30-7:30 P.M. in the Kolbe building.  Babysitting provided.
  • Junior High Shakespearean Monologue presentations at lunch from noon to 12:30 on Feb. 11,12,13.  Parents encouraged to attend.
  • President’s Day – No School   2/17/14
  • Science Fair Project Completed by – 2/21/14
  • Science Fair Competition – St. Dominic’s Hall on 2/27/14

I will be marketing the school for the next six weekends at all the local parishes.  See the calendar for the locations for each weekend.  I will be calling some HRA families who attend  each of the parishes to come and assist me (child in uniform).  If you would like to help, please let me know.  I would be most grateful for your enthusiasm at each parish.  What a joy to encourage fellow Catholics to join our happy family next year.  REMEMBER that if you should recommend a family to the school and they come, we will credit your account with $250.00.

Bless you and have a wonderful week!


Miss Catherine Neumayr, Principal




Phone (907)276-5822 & Fax (907)258-1055
Location: 1010 W. Fireweed Lane Anchorage, AK 99503
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