News Archive

2020

  • November

    Students Inducted into the National Spanish Honor Society (By Dr. Daniela Radpay, World Languages Chair & Spanish Instructor)

    On Wednesday, November 18, St. Michael's had its first induction ceremony for the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica/National Spanish Honor Society. The newly-established St. Michael's chapter is called "Como la vida misma"/'Like life itself" and recognized 24 students for their outstanding achievements in their Spanish language classes. Congratulations to the following inductees:
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  • EDIFY Speaker Dr. Kristin Neff on Self-Compassion (By Lauren Gavin, Director of Health & Wellness)

    We are excited to announce the next speaker in our EDIFY series, Dr. Kristin Neff. Dr. Neff received her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, studying moral development and is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.
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  • October

    Evelyn Fuselier (on the left) and Mary Claire Fuselier (on the right) on a boat next to Alcatraz Island.

    Escape from Alcatraz (By Jessica Shafran, Advancement Associate)

    Evelyn and Mary Claire Fusiler learned of the infamous escape attempts from "The Rock" a.k.a., Alcatraz Prison, when attending Stanford Swim Camp. Being near San Francisco recently, they were inspired to see if they had the skill to complete the famous swim with its strong current and cold water temperatures.

    "It was definitely a very nerve-wracking undertaking with an element of danger, but once we got used to the cold then it became a lot less stressful," Mary Claire said. "The biggest challenge was the water temperature, (59 degrees) but luckily we had wetsuits to keep us a bit warmer."

    Before attempting the Alcatraz swim, which is approximately 1.6 miles, the farthest they had ever swum was about a mile at City Park when they were training for it. The sisters have been swimming for a total of 12 years on various teams around Austin. This year, they are starting their third season for St. Michael's. Mary Claire swims the 500 FR and the 100 FLY, while Evelyn swims the 200 BR and 100 BR. 

    They were dropped off in a boat next to Alcatraz around 8:00 a.m. Joined by their Mom, herself a master swimmer, they had good visibility without the typical San Francisco fog. Their family was there to cheer them on in a boat alongside. All three completed the swim in 45 minutes - quite a feat for a swim that can take some athletes up to an hour.

    "We reached shore after 1.6 miles in 45 minutes feeling tired but accomplished. Due to COVID-19, there weren't any Alcatraz Sharkfest swims this year, but we were still able to swim in just a group of three with a guide," Mary Claire said.
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  • Josh Thar: The New Voice of SMCA Sports (By Caroline Anderson, Marketing & Communications Coordinator)

    Anyone listening to recent VYPE volleyball broadcasts will have caught Josh Thar '23 on the mic. More than a few fans commented on his easy delivery and depth of knowledge of the players and the sport during and after the games, describing him as "awesome."

    "Volleyball is actually tough for me due to my lack of knowledge," Josh said.

    Associate Athletic Director and Head Trainer Kevin Steen learned of Josh's interest in announcing and set him up with Merl Bertrand of VYPE to observe his broadcast. VYPE has a program to encourage student participation in sportscasting called VYPE U.

    Josh is taking advantage of any opportunity he can to announce sports games, but would prefer to call baseball or football. He recently had the opportunity to call the last 10 minutes of the St. Michael’s vs. Brentwood football game at home and said he would love to do more of that.


    A transfer student this year from Dripping Springs, Josh also plays a variety of sports, including baseball, basketball and golf.

    "I'm excited to actually have a chance to play multiple sports here because of how competitive Dripping Springs was," Josh said.

    Asked whether he is interested in pursuing sports announcing/business in college or as a career, Josh said he doesn’t yet have it all figured out, but he’d definitely like to look into majoring in Sports Broadcasting in college.
    Students who may be interested in becoming ambassadors with VYPE U can apply on their website.

    "From journalism, broadcasting, photography, esports, and more, VYPE U has a place for all students with vast interests in the Sports Media realm. Our goal with VYPE U is to give students the opportunity to practice, discover, and hone their skills while working around their busy school schedules. Not only does this include connecting students with those already in the field for pointers and advice, but we work closely with our Ambassadors to answer any questions about this field they may have along the way."
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  • Alexa sits for makeup and styling session for a shoot in pre-COVID times.

    Freshman Alexa McGlathery Juggles School and Work (By Laura Duggan, Director of Marketing & Communications)

    With 20 minutes to go in Spanish class on the first day students return to campus during the pandemic, Alexa McGlathery quietly gathers up her backpack, nods to her teacher and heads to work. In the car with her mom, she prepares for an audition for a public service announcement (PSA) concerning underage drinking. She got the job.

    “Thankfully, St. Michael’s was very supportive,” McGlathery said.

    The PSA will air on social media and television and was directed by Emmy and Addy award-winning director Scott Rice from the Radio-Television-Film department at the University of Texas. According to the university’s website, Rice has worked with Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey with whom he co-teaches a film course at the University of Texas. The PSA is funded by Utah’s ParentsEmpowered campaign to educate on health risks of underage drinking.  

    “The PSA I filmed last week should be released in the next few months. I also filmed a commercial for Favor Delivery at the end of February — right before the pandemic hit the US, so that has not yet aired,” McGlathery said. 

    When asked whether she prefers performing live or in front of the camera, McGlathery said, “I feel more natural on camera because I’m not focused on projecting to an audience. However — the audience energy makes stage production fun, too.”

    Her favorite stage role so far was playing Kathy Seldon in “Singin’ in the Rain.” Alexa will be performing in the fall play at St. Michael’s. She is the only freshman in the varsity theater troupe.

    Alexa signed with her first agent at the age of nine. Today, she is represented by Laura Maxwell-Scott of Collier Talent agency (Austin, TX) and Debralynn Findon of Discover Management (Los Angeles, CA). All on camera auditions (television, film or commercials) come through them.

    Looking to the future, McGlathery said she hopes to continue acting in college and that she is also interested in broadcast journalism. 
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  • The Personal Touch! Best Way to Reach Prospective Families (By Leah Esparza, Director of Advancement)

    Let's spread the word in our communities about all of the campus visit opportunities available now with friends and family as we jump into admission season. Be ambassadors for the St. Michael's education experience and share your stories! 
     
    We have a list of virtual visit options beginning soon, including our newly-developed public shadow visits. The Shadow Visit introduces prospective applicants, who are current 8th graders or are currently enrolled in high school, to the St. Michael's community. 

    This year, St. Michael's has shifted to a rolling admissions application process. Applicants will now be able to move through the admissions process within four to eight weeks. Upon receiving a complete application profile, applicants will receive an admission decision two weeks after submission. Download our Guide to Admissions at St. Michael's for a step-by-step guide to the rolling admissions process.
     
    Thank you! Questions? Please contact Leah Esparza, Director of Advancement, lesparza@smca.com. 
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  • September

    Let Friends and Family Know! St. Michael's 2021-22 Admission Application Opens Oct 1

    This year, St. Michael's has shifted to a rolling admissions application process. Applicants will now be able to move through the admissions process within four to eight weeks. Upon receiving a complete application profile, applicants will receive an admission decision two weeks after submission. Download our Guide to Admissions at St. Michael's for a step-by-step guide to the rolling admissions process.
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  • Mandarin Class Zoom and Swiv'l in Action (By Meishing Chen, Mandarin Instructor)

    Imagine being able to teach the very same thing at the very same time to students at home and in class! That is what we're able to do with our new Swiv'l camera video technology and Zoom. Today we even did a  hands-on activity through this setup. All students in class and at home received the materials and watched me demonstrate as they worked. I didn't have to move at all!

    Not only can students at home see the entire classroom and the other students in class, those students in person can see me demonstrate on the projector which is even clearer for them, and I can see the virtual students' performance and help them on my big iPad at the same time. This technology is truly magic.


    I can totally manage both classrooms well at the same time with all the devices I have in the classroom. I love the LONG projector cable that enables me to sit next to the screen and see students' faces at the same time and hear conversation projected from Swiv'l from both classes as well. 
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  • Fire Ecology (Audrey Dwyer, Environmental Sciences Instructor)

    In our Fire Ecology Unit, we will examine the science behind wildfire, ecological succession, how fire can be a healthy land management technique, ways to prevent wildfire, the current fires in the USA, what it is like to work with the US Forest Service as a wildland firefighter (which is what I was doing summer/fall 2019), and more.

    I have filmed myself exploring a healthy fire that burned one month ago and how it has grown back already. We will then compare a video of me at a site of a megafire from 2018 that scorched the ground and had/still is experiencing negative environmental impacts on the land. After my fire unit, I will continue to make videos out in the field to enhance our units and virtual learning. 
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  • Music on the Deck - Gone Virtual!

    Hey Saders! We know these times are strange and difficult, so we decided to do something to bring our SMCA community back together! MUSIC ON THE DECK IS BACK! Enjoy this recording of our virtual event.
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  • Pleased to Announce Three National Merit Semifinalists (By Shannon Hudson, Director of College Counseling & Academic Services)

    Gabrielle Bliss, Grant DeRoeck and Peter Holub have all been awarded National Merit Semifinalist status. This program honors individual students who "show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies."

    "First I’d like to say congratulations to the other semifinalists! I feel honored to be a part of the National Merit group representing St. Michael’s. I’d also like to extend my thanks to the school for providing a learning environment that encourages these opportunities. I’d really like to go to the University of Virginia or Northwestern University." (Gabrielle Bliss) 

    To provide context, over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. 

    "I am honored to have been selected as a National Merit semi-finalist. I feel lucky to have received the opportunities that this award may present. I don’t have a particular college in mind, but I know I will be applying to Notre Dame and University of Washington." (Peter Holub)

    To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed  scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record,  participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and write an essay.

    "I am honored to have been selected as a National Merit Semi-Finalist along with Gabrielle and Peter. I feel fortunate to attend a school that provides students with the opportunities that St. Michael's does, and I am grateful for all the great teachers I've had along the way. I am applying to several schools with Boston College as my top choice," Grant DeRoeck said.

    Good luck to all in this next round!
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  • Listen to Daniel Serna Interview with FLX ATX (By Kevin Steen, Associate Director of Athletics and Head Trainer)

    Daniel Serna interviewed with FLX ATX (formerly Fanstand ATX) last Friday evening, May 15, at 8:15 p.m. to talk about St. Michael's football and basketball on 104.9 the Horn. It was a live interview, which you may access from this link.

    According to broadcaster Snupe Daniel, "One of our most fun interviews of the night! We caught up with St. Michael's dual sport star Daniel Serna ('21) to talk about the culture of TAPPS sports, competing in two major sports at key positions for the Crusaders and staying safe during COVID-19."
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  • Serving Close to Home (By Caroline Anderson, Communications Associate)

    As part of St. Catherine of Siena's summer challenge, Jack and Caverlee D. '22 and their family, organized a neighborhood diaper drive to benefit SafeAustin.

    "We wanted the kids serving close to home, doing small acts of love for people we live next to. We want the kids to know that service can be small but have a big impact,"mom Kate said.

    Their family not only collected diapers and funds, but they also asked their neighbors how they could be of service, whether that was through prayer, running errands or even yard work.

    What a great example of getting in the community and lending a helping hand. #ThisIsSMCA 

    Do you have news to share? Can our community be of help? Please email communications@smca.com!
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  • Spanish Students Earn National Recognition (By Dr. Daniela Radpay, Spanish Instructor)

    Congratulations to the many St. Michael's Spanish students who attained national recognition for excellent performance on the 2020 National Spanish Examinations!

    Spanish students earned a total of 1 gold, 5 silver and 10 bronze medals, along with 25 honorable mentions. 

    “Attaining a medal or honorable mention for any student on the National Spanish Examinations is very prestigious,” said Kevin Cessna-Buscemi, National Director of the Exams, “because the exams are the largest of their kind in the United States with over 140,000 students registered in 2020.”

    Our students have a long history of high achievement on these exams and were taught by Spanish teachers Mr. Aitor Arrondo and Dr. Daniela Radpay.  

    The National Spanish Examinations are administered each year in grades 6 through 12 and are sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

    Level 2 Exam:
    • Lily Peter- Silver
    • Caroline White- Silver
    • Jake Cameron- Bronze
    • Gracen Gamboa- Bronze
    • Matthew Gilbey- Bronze
    • Connelley Williams- Bronze
    • Rebecca Karakourtis- Honorable Mention
    • Reid Schuchart- Honorable Mention
    • Jacob Tybor- Honorable Mention
     Level 3 Exam:
    • Mary Claire Fuselier- Gold
    • Henry Moyes- Silver
    • Drew Tufto- Silver
    • Annie Acosta- Bronze
    • Ava Bautch- Bronze
    • Mary Caroline Budd- Honorable Mention
    • Evelyn Fuselier- Honorable Mention
    • Lucy Fuselier- Honorable Mention
    • Jillian Getman- Honorable Mention
    • Audrey Griffith- Honorable Mention
    • James Meigs- Honorable Mention
    • Molly Van Ackeren- Honorable Mention
    • Aubrey Villalobos- Honorable Mention
    • Lily Watkins- Honorable Mention
    • Elisa Arguello- Honorable Mention
    • Emilie Gonzalez- Honorable Mention
    • Sebastian Vargas-Lopez- Honorable Mention
    Level 4 Exam:
    • Gabrielle Bliss- Silver
    • Fernanda Gonzalez- Bronze
    • Ella Hudson- Bronze
    • Mary Manley- Bronze
    • Caroline Brut0cao- Honorable Mention
    • Riley Cameron- Honorable Mention
    • Michael Cervantes- Honorable Mention
    • Annika Coffman- Honorable Mention
    • Halle Francis- Honorable Mention
    • Alyssa Garlepp- Honorable Mention
    • Sophia Linn- Honorable Mention
    • Ryan Radhakrishnan- Honorable Mention
    • Sofia Rangel-Medina- Honorable Mention
    • Samuel Queralt- Honorable Mention
    Level 5 Exam:
    • McLain Kenyon- Bronze
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  • The Art and Science of Blended Learning (By Dr. James Inman, Latin Instructor)

    This summer, I took part in a 10-day engagement institute put on by Independent School Management (ISM) called "The Art and Science of Blended Learning."

    We were given materials to read through and discuss with other participants and solicit feedback as they were guided through ways to rethink assessments and lesson planning for blended and distance learning.
    Some of my major takeaways were tips for building community during distance and asynchronous learning, as well as understanding Universal Design Learning (UDL) when planning lessons to help accommodate different learning styles and environments.

    There's so much more I could say about this workshop. It was definitely thoughtfully organized and well moderated. I have pages and pages of notes that I'm continually referring back to!
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  • May

    St. Michael’s Alumni Families to Donate 8,000 N95 masks to Dell Children's Medical Center

    Working with the St. Michael's "Mums of Alums" group, alumni parents Tracy and Jarrett Anderson (Clay '18 and Mason '16) organized a cadre of St. Michael's families to donate close to 8,000 N95 respirator facemasks at a cost of approximately $25,000 to Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, a pediatric acute care hospital affiliated with The UT Austin Dell Medical School, and a member of Ascension Health.

    "Jarrett and I wanted to do something to support the front lines and local businesses in the fight against COVID-19. We sent a big food delivery to St. David’s, but that didn’t seem like enough," explained Tracy Anderson. "Then we heard from alumni parent Dean Drummond (Dylan '16) mentioning the availability of medical masks. So, the idea was forged to buy masks and donate them with other SMCA families."

    A recent article in The Atlantic highlighted the ongoing need for masks and personal protective equipment:

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  • March

    James Dziedzic Interviews Seattle Mariner Brendan McGuigan, '14

    James Dziedzic, St. Michael’s film instructor and host of the baseball radio show “Let’s Get Two,” interviewed Lifetime Crusader Brendan McGuigan '14 who signed with the Seattle Mariners last August.
     
    "It's been one heck of a journey to get to this point and I’m happy to say that the road keeps going. I’m beyond thankful to the Seattle Mariners organization for the opportunity to pursue a lifelong dream. Cheers to new beginnings," McGuigan said.
     
    On the show he discusses his career right before he reports to spring training this week.
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  • Alex Cannata in Statesman "Faces off the Field"

    Congratulations to senior Alex Cannata for his appearance in the Austin American-Statesman series, "Faces off the Field." Alex answers a host of questions on his baseball career, including why he chose to come to St. Michael's.  

    "I moved from Lake Travis to St. Michael’s because I liked the smaller class sizes and the ability to have Coach Schiraldi be my baseball coach. He is one of the best baseball minds there is in Austin, and having him as my coach has helped me with my game tremendously."

    Catch his complete interview in Austin American-Statesman's new edition of "Faces Off the Field"!
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  • February

    National Signing Day at St. Michael's (By Jeff Dicus, Head Football Coach and Athletic Director)

    Yesterday was National Signing Day 2020 here at St. Michael's and across the country. An outstanding celebration it was! We want to say GREAT JOB to Kathryn Morton (Wesleyan University) and Jack Hagy (University of South Dakota). We are Crusader proud of these two student-athletes, and their families, teachers and coaches.
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< 2020

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  • We are a

    Family of Families
3000 Barton Creek Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78735  (512) 328-2323
St. Michael's Catholic Academy is mindful of its mission to prepare the student holistically for leadership, service, and decision making consistent with Catholic values; and admit students of any race, color, or national and/or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to the school. St. Michael's Catholic Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and/or ethnic origin, age, or gender in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. St. Michael's Catholic Academy does not discriminate against students with special needs; a full range of services might not be available.