Summer reading keeps students engaged in academic reading and introduces them to ideas, topics and themes that will be covered in the coming school year. The reading material chosen will inform and direct the initial classroom discussions and assessments, as well as serving as a foundation from which teachers can begin addressing key terminology and class procedures.
All incoming freshmen should choose one of the following titles in addition to the selection from their English course.
The Straight A Conspiracy: Your Guide to Ending The Stress of School by Hunter Maats and Katie O’Brien
10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades (While Studying Less) by Thomas Frank
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
Making it Stick:The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown
The Six Most Important Decisions You Will Ever Make by Sean Covey
Grit: The Power of Passion & Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Humility Rules: Saint Benedict's Twelve-Step Guide to Genuine Self-Esteem by J. Augustine Wetta O.S.B
In addition to the required reading for English courses listed below, students are expected to read other books of interest to support a love of reading and intellectual curiosity.
English I The Hobbitt J.R.R. Tolkien
Honors English I Excerpt from 40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology, Ed. Beverly Lawn (This selection will be sent to all students enrolled in Honors English I.)
English II The Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Honors English II Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
English III Into The Wild, Jon Krakauer
AP English Language and Composition Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman
English IV 1984, George Orwell
AP English Literature 1984, George Orwell Never Let Me Go, Kazuro Ishiguro
As we look to next year in terms of forward planning, we always send out a survey around this time to gauge student interest in extracurricular activities. St. Michael's offers 13 sports, as well as extracurricular options to participate in Dance, Theater, Film, Music, and possibly, Computer Science.
We have developed a Student Activity Interest form so that students can let us know the activities they may want to join next school year. This is a mandatory form for all students that helps us to staff and develop our programs. The form should be submitted even if the student does not want to join any activities. Either a parent or student may submit the form. (Please check with your student to determine whether he or she has already submitted the survey.)
One form per student, please.
Please complete the form by May 31, 2019 so that coaches and instructors may contact students to discuss their interests. The form may be accessed from this linkand is also available on the Resource Board after login.
SMCA Baseball falls to Fort Worth Christian School to close out a successful season. With a 17-10 record, and finishing in the final four at the TAPPS Division 2 State Tournament, our players have nothing but an exciting and remarkable season to look back on. Congrats!
Baseball rounds out the 2018-2019 athletics season. Thank you so much to all the families, friends, coaches, donors and so many more who continue to support St. Michael's athletes! We couldn’t do it without you!
GenHERation is a network where young women and companies connect. GenHERation has empowered more than 250,000 young women and hosted 300 events across North America. GenHERationDiscoveryDays2019 are immersive day trips that provide high school and college women with the opportunity to visit and interact with female executives at the nation's most innovative companies. Participants will travel by bus throughout each city, which will serve as an educational incubator complete with guided discussions by industry mentors. GenHERation Discovery Days will take place across 10 cities, including Dallas, Austin, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Charlotte, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia. The GenHERation bus is coming to Dallas on 6/24 to visit the headquarters of:
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
GenHERation Discovery Days is the only experience where you can get a behind-the-scenes look at your favorite companies, meet the most powerful female leaders in America, explore different career paths, share your resume with top companies across the country, and jump-start your career. Learn how GenHERation member Clayton B. got an internship with the Oprah Winfrey Network through Discovery Days here. Check out this Fast Company article to learn how Ariana S. received her first job on our Discovery Days bus.
Students in physics class finished the year with a pair of labs utilizing the school’s small-scale wind turbines. In the first lab, students used the wind turbines to measure how efficiently they converted the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy. To do this, they first determined the work that was done by the wind turbine as it lifted a mass. Additionally, they collected data on time to determine the power that was generated.
In the second lab students were able to choose a variable to manipulate and see how it affected the electrical power generated by the turbine. This lab used miniature generators attached to the turbines to convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy. In preparation for the lab, students were taught how to calculate power in Watts when both current (Amps) and voltage (Volts) are known. The students chose many different variables, including number of blades, wind speed, gear ratio, and blade shape.
Inquiry labs have formed a foundation of the work this year in the physics classes. These labs allow students to choose their independent variables and then design experiments to test those variables. By doing inquiry labs, students get practice implementing the scientific method, collecting and analyzing the data that they collect, and, hopefully, have some fun along the way!
Should we use fertilizers that produce food more efficiently but harm the environment? What is the best course of action to combat human trafficking? Do you think surrogacy is an ethical option for a family who wants a child? Should assault style weapons be taken off the market? Do you think euthanasia should be legalized across the United States? Is torture moral?
These are some of the many questions junior theology students are posing to each other for discussion. Each student spent fourth quarter researching and writing about a moral issue. In these final weeks the students present their research to the class and lead discussion among their peers.
I love these weeks of presentations and discussion when I get to join the students in the audience and witness the evidence of their growth throughout the year as they lead and participate in high-quality class discussion. As students discover the value of in-depth research, writing, and discussion on these complicated issues, I encourage them to end the year with a "what next?" curiosity to further inform themselves so that they can confidently take responsibility for their opinions.
Our school is on a continuous journey to support student well-being. In this effort, it is important to gather feedback about adolescent experiences, their perceptions of academic engagement, connection to school community, and overall well-being. An online survey of adolescent experiences was sent to students on Wednesday, May 16, and students had a designated time to complete this survey. A summary of survey findings and how data will be used will be available to the school community in the fall.
If your student has medication or supplies in the nurse’s office, they need to be picked up by May 31. Items will not be stored on campus over the summer months. Any medication or supplies unclaimed by May 31 will be discarded. Thank you.
Graduating senior student in 2019? Congratulations! Please note that seniors and their families only have access to their uploaded health information in Magnus until June, which is also when you are no longer able to access mySMCA. Please plan accordingly if you would like to print or make copies of uploaded health information.
Just a reminder that ALL returning students need to have their health records updated. You can do this NOW, and get it out of the way before summer break!
Please update anything that is due to expire August 1, 2019. New families, please complete your checklist of TO DO items.Remember, new physicals are required each school year (good only for 365 days), and TAPPS forms must be filled out and signed by a parent and student each year.
All health information is found at MY SMCA. Log into mySMCA, click on the on the RESOURCES page, and go to the Magnus Health Records tile.
The window is now open to start completing your student's electronic medical records for the 2019-2020 school year. You may now start the process of uploading forms and answering questions on the checklist. Please make sure that you update the health file so that the next due date for items on the checklist now reads 8/01/2020.
A few reminders:
Access to Magnus, our electronic medical records provider, is available by logging onto mySMCA, clicking on the Resources tab, and then clicking on the Magnus tile.
All forms (physical, TAPPS, medication forms, etc.) can be accessed and printed out directly from Magnus.
Upload all completed required forms directly into Magnus. Please do not give paperwork to faculty/coaches at the school.
Make plans to complete your student's health file by August 1, 2019, so that your student is compliant and ready for the first day of school.
All students are eligible to participate in the on-campus Book Buy-Back and Rental Return on Friday, May 31.
Workbooks and annotated novels do not need to be returned. There is no need to print or pack anything for the Book Buy-Back and Rental Return on-site event. Just gather up the books and bring them to the Campus Ministry room between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Prefer to avoid the lines? A great option for families is to return books by mail. Simply log into your eTechCampus account, view the list of books that need to be returned, and print a free shipping label.
On Friday, May 17, AP Calculus classes will be attending Calculus on the Green. We will leave for Zilker Park at lunch and will participate in motion activities. Students will record data on projectile motion and check it with the formula value. Students have worked very hard all year in these demanding courses, and it's time for some extra calculus fun!
The Crusader track teams performed brilliantly at the 2019 TAPPS State Championships on May 3 and 4th in Waco. The TAPPS 5A District 4 and North Regional Lady Crusader Champions competed at the state meet and earned state runner-up honors which is the highest team finish since joining TAPPS. Mary Hodapp and Camille Terracina got things started on Friday night in the 3200 m run. Hodapp surged with over a half mile to go and was never challenged en route to the second 3200m title in program history. Terracina ran a gritty race placing 7th. The next day in the field events, hardworking sophomore Kiele Shultz tied her personal best of 9’6” in taking bronze in the pole vault. On the track, Kinga Parrish kicked off day 2 of the meet leading wire to wire in the 800m run winning an unprecedented third consecutive state championship in that event. Freshman Sydney Osgood took home the bronze medal in the 800m race. Next on the track was the Lady Crusaders 4x200m relay squad of Molly Van Ackeren, Caroline Treadwell, Sidney Kaliher and Jennifer Thomson. The team ran a fabulous race bringing home state bronze of their own. A few minutes later the crowd stood and roared its approval as Kinga Parrish won the 400 m dash State title. Parrish set a new SMCA school record of 58.76 seconds as she erased a 15 meter deficit in the home stretch to notch her second title of the day. Moments later, in perhaps the meet’s biggest upset, Senior Jennifer Thomson won the 300m hurdles in an SMCA record 46.04 seconds as the number five seed. Minutes later Hodapp and Terracina toed the line for the 1600m run. This time with 500m to run, Hodapp burst to the lead with no response from an outmatched field and cruised to her second state title of the meet. Terracina closed with a season best and took 5th. Finally the ladies 4 x 400m relay of Hodapp, Van Ackeren, Thomson and Parrish won the team’s 6th State championship with a season best 4:09.1 to close out the meet. When the dust settled the Lady Crusaders won a meet and program best 6 state championships and broke 2 school records. The team’s 100 points is also a program State Meet record. Eight of the Lady Crusaders’ nine athletes at State took home 1st, 2nd or Honorable Mention All-State honors with seniors Parrish, Thomson and Hodapp garnering a combined 8 State Championships alone.
The TAPPS 5A District 4 and North Regional Champs had a great showing at the State Meet as well. First race of the meet was the 3200m and Junior Jackson Long kicked things off by taking the silver medal in a lifetime best 9:33.7. In the field events, Thomas McCarthy took 7th in the high jump, Nathan Vondrak had the 5th place throw in the shot put and Stone Sears leaped to 6th place in the triple jump. On the track, sophomore Joe Eichorst followed suit in the 800m dash with an 8th place finish. The Crusaders 4x200m Relay of Vaughn Malone, Sebastian Cascarano, Stone Sears and Reece Anderson executed a great race taking home State Bronze for the second consecutive year. Cascarano followed his relay bronze with a 200m dash career best 22.8 seconds taking 5th place. Next on the track was the 1600m run where Jackson Long raced to his second silver medal of the day. The Crusaders then flexed their muscle in the meet’s final event. The 4x400m relay team of Cascarano, Anderson, Sears and talented freshman Jack Esparza obliterated the field en route to a State Championship in an impressive 3:25.60! The five second margin of victory is the largest margin of victory in school history at a State Meet. The team took 4th overall noting 4 first team All-State honors, 2 second team All-State honors and 4 Honorable Mention All-State honors.
After a stellar season like this the future is bright for Crusader Track and Field!
Cross Traininghosts a retreat every year to provide an opportunity for teens to get excited about their Catholic faith before they face the trials of high school. They also aim to empower youth with a community of fellow Catholic students to grow in faith together.
The Cross Training mission is to train young Catholics to be confident in their faith and strong leaders in the community. During the past 20+ years, Freshmen Summer Camp has, through the power of the Holy Spirit, developed to be the deep, spiritual, and immensely fun camp that it is today. Registration is available now! Go to the Register page to complete an online registration.
St. Michael’s Catholic Academy men’s and women’s track teams both won their respective TAPPS 5A North regional championship in historic fashion on April 25 at Clark Stadium in Fort Worth. The men's team was led by a dominating performance in the final event, the 4 x 400 meter relay. The team of Sebastian Cascarano, Reece Anderson, Stone Sears and Jack Esparza dominated in a quality field by posting the state’s fastest qualifying mark headed in to the State Meet set for 5/4/19.
In total the SMCA men are sending nine athletes across 10 events to the state finals. Jackson Long qualified second in the 3200M and 1600M runs. Joe Eichorst nabbed the 7th seed in the 800m dash. The men’s 4x200m relay of Vaughn Malone, Cascarano, Sears and Anderson took 2nd and are headed to state as the 3rd seed. Cascarano also qualified as the state’s 6th seed in the 200M dash. The Crusaders turned in good performances in the field events as well. Nathan Vondrak took second place in the shot put; Thomas McCarthy qualified for the state meet, taking 4th in both the high jump and pole vault; and Stone Sears nabbed a spot at state by taking second in the triple jump.
The St. Michael’s women turned in a virtuoso performance in winning five regional championships on the track and qualifying nine athletes in eight events. Two-time defending state champion Kinga Parrish turned in the most dominating performances of the meet in winning the 800M dash by a 10 full seconds. Minutes later Parrish crushed the field in the 400M dash running the fastest time in the state and setting a new SMCA record at 58.90 seconds. Mary Hodapp, not to be outdone, also took home two individual titles in the 3200M and 1600M runs, posting the top marks in each headed to Saturday’s state meet. Parrish and Hodapp then teamed with Jennifer Thomson and Molly Van Ackeren in winning the 4x400M relay earning the state’s 1st seed headed to State. The ladies 4x200M relay team of Van Ackeren, Caroline Treadwell, Sidney Kaliher and Thomson took second in a season best performance and earned the state’s 3rd seed in the process. Freshman Camille Terracina punched her ticket to State taking second in the 3200M and fourth in the 1600M. Fellow freshman Sydney Osgood earned her spot in the state final with a bronze medal in the 800M. Thomson also took third in the 300M hurdles and Kiele Shultz took second in the pole vault securing the 3rd state seed.
The Crusaders will be competing in the TAPPS 5A Track and Field State Championship on Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, at Panther Stadium in Waco, Texas. Congratulations to all the state qualifiers and good luck at state!
St. Michael's welcomed highly-acclaimed author and environmental speaker Dr. Kim Stanley Robinson to present a lecture to coincide with Earth Week. Robinson is one of the most well-known and respected science fiction writers in the world and was named a Time magazine “Hero of the Environment.”
Through the science-fiction genre, Robinson reveals some possible solutions to the environmental challenges that humanity faces, and that topic was the focus of his lecture. Afterward, Robinson met personally with students in AP Environmental Science and English classes to further discuss the environment and the life of a writer.
“I really enjoyed the time with Dr. Robinson, especially the luncheon that the AP Environmental Science students had with him. We talked about the effects that human development can have on the environment and the available options for the future of climate change,” junior student Luc Pierce said.
Dr. Robinson spoke to the entire student body. Interestingly, he spoke to the students without any visuals - no video, PowerPoint, or special props, and totally captivated the audience. Dr. Robinson's talk was compelling in that it addressed climate change and global warming not only from a technological and scientific perspective, but also from a socio-political perspective, citing Mondragon, a corporation and federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain founded by graduates of a local technical college, as an alternative socially responsible business model. His theses sparked lively commentary and debate in the Q & A that followed.
According to an article in The New Yorker, Robinson is "generally acknowledged as one of the greatest living science-fiction writers.” His work has been translated into 24 languages. Robinson has won numerous awards, including the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the Nebula Award for Best Novel. Robinson's work has been labeled by The Atlantic as "the gold-standard of realistic, and highly literary, science-fiction writing."
On Saturday, April 27, the Lady Crusaders defeated Westlake 9-8 to win the Division I Central District Championship and earn a berth for the TGHSLL State Tournament on the weekend of May 11 and May 12 at Coppell Middle School in Coppell, Texas. The Lady Crusaders are ranked as the #5 seed overall and will play #4 St. John's on Saturday, May 11. Time of the game has yet to be announced.
Congratulations to our Lady Crusaders for winning the district championship and advancing to the state tournament for the 8th year in a row! Senior Lyla Senn earned Academic All-American honors and All-State honors. Theresa Martinez was awarded All-State too! Abby Moran, Isabella Oballo, Sydney Schiro, and Alexcia Zeller earned All-District honors.
At St. Michael’s, we think globally and act locally. On Wednesday this week, students listened to a lecture from EDIFY speaker, Dr. Kim Stanley Robinson, highly-acclaimed author and environmental speaker. Robinson is one of the most well-known and respected science fiction writers in the world and was named a Time magazine “Hero of the Environment.” Dr. Robinson spoke to the entire student body. Interestingly, he spoke to the students without any visuals - no video, PowerPoint, or special props, and totally captivated the audience,
Dr. Robinson's talk was compelling in that it addressed climate change and global warming not only from a technological and scientific perspective, but also from a socio-political perspective. His theses sparked lively commentary and debate in the Q & A that followed.
In addition, students from two of our science courses were involved with inquiry projects related to water quality.
Chemical pollution and bacteria contamination represent two of the biggest concerns to public water quality. High concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) in water, such as E. coli and enterococcus, can cause health risks to people who swim in the water or consume it. Since our school and many of our families live near and play in Barton Creek, St. Michael's students focused their research on the Barton Creek watershed water quality, with an emphasis at Lost Creek Bridge.
Honors Research Initiative students, a partnership course with UT, wrapped up their FIB sampling from Lost Creek. For the past two years, students of HRI have been sampling the water quality along Barton Creek.
FIB identify high risk areas for fecal contamination, which can lead to water-borne illnesses. To address this problem, HRI students sampled water along the upper Barton Creek watershed. Although many of the locations we studied had low levels of FIB, there were a few locations that had elevated levels of bacteria. With data analysis still pending, be sure to catch their final presentation May 3, at 2:50 in Room 407!
Are you inspired to nominate a faculty member for the Figer Distinguished Teacher Award? Please do! It takes but a few minutes and would mean so much to an awardee.
The students of St. Michael’s Catholic Academy are truly blessed to have such outstanding, award-winning faculty to inspire them on their learning journey. Our overall program of arts, sciences, and humanities is vibrant due to the passionate commitment and deep expertise of these teachers.
The annual award Figer Distinguished Teacher Award is bestowed upon a member of the St. Michael's faculty who exhibits excellence in the classroom, models the core values of the school, engages with the community, creates an innovative learning environment, and contributes to student life within and outside of the classroom.
The Figer Award is intended to reward a member of the faculty who makes the classroom exciting and encourages a lifelong love of learning. There is no requirement on the length of time a faculty member has served at St. Michael's in order to be nominated. There is no limit on the number of awards that may be received by any one individual. There is no restriction on receiving the award in consecutive years.
The entire community can participate by submitting nominations for the award at this linkby Friday, May 10.
This semester, we offered on-site professional development for faculty as a way to inform teachers of the most recent research relating to student learning in a way that's effective and supportive, in order to better teach and mentor their students. This program has been well received, and we plan to continue to offer informative seminars on a broad variety of subjects next school term. During the current semester, we covered different aspects of learning support and learning styles:
Incoming freshmen who are interested in being a part of the Crusaderettes or SMCA Cheer Team are welcome to come by the Dance Room (#703) in the Fine Arts building with their parents to learn a little bit more about the teams. Coach Parra will provide information about team values.
St. Michael's welcomes highly-acclaimed author and environmental speaker Dr. Kim Stanley Robinson to present a lecture to coincide with Earth Week. Robinson is one of the most well-known and respected science fiction writers in the world and was named a Time magazine “Hero of the Environment.”
Through the science-fiction genre, Dr. Robinson reveals some possible solutions to the environmental challenges that humanity faces, and that topic will be the focus of his lecture. Additionally, Dr. Robinson will meet personally with students in AP Environmental Science and English classes to further discuss the environment and the life of a writer.
Men's and Women's Lacrosse teams both qualified for playoffs. The Lady Crusaders defeated Lake Travis 15-4 to secure the #3 spot in the central district of Division I Texas High School Girls Lacrosse League. The Lady Crusaders will play #2 Vandegrift on Thursday, April 25, at Round Rock Sports Complex. Time yet to be announced. The Lady Crusaders are 11-2 overall and 5-2 in district.
The Crusaders had their last game of the regular season on Wednesday, April 17, against McCallum. The Crusaders have already secured a playoff spot and will play Gateway College Prep at Gateway on Wednesday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m. The Crusaders defeated Gateway earlier 13-9 in a non-district game. The Crusaders are 6-6 overall and 3-2 in district.
Way to go Crusader Lax and good luck in your playoff games!
There is an opportunity to learn more about python programming for scientific uses at a student conference at the AT&T center on UT's campus. The course is July 8/9 and costs $50. Please continue reading for more information, if you are interested.
SciPy (Scientific Computing with Python) Conference Teen Track
The SciPy Conference (Scientific Computing with Python) is hosting a two day workshop for teens that are interested in learning more about the intersection of science and technology. The workshop includes a hands on tutorial exploring a data set with analysis and visualization tools. Participants will also take a field trip to theTexas Advance Computing Center Visualization Laband then hear from a number of scientists in various field about what they do and how they solve complex problems using various computer languages. This workshop will take place July 8-9 at the AT&T Executive Conference Center on the UT Campus. The cost of $50 for the two-day session will also cover breakfast, lunch, and snacks. See website for prerequisite experience and what to bring. Space is limited.
This past Friday, April 5, music students traveled to the TAPPS Solo Competition hosted at Regents. The 13 students who competed brought back 10 State Gold Medals for SUPERIOR performances of their solos. The group ensemble competition will be in Waco on April 23. Congratulations, all! (Right/left - Bottom /Top)
Ever wonder how to get into UT or A&M, how to tell the "sticker price" vs. the actual cost of a college, how to navigate the NCAA and athletic recruitment process, what parents should do as part of the process, or even how much does where a student attends college matter?
If you have these questions or any other questions about the college admissions process, come attend Junior Family Night, Wednesday April 17! We have brought in experts in each of these areas for small breakout sessions so that you can get your questions answered and have more resources to navigate the college admissions process.
This event is great not only for parents but also students, so that they can also make sure that they are on the road to fulfilling their dreams.
RSVP by Friday, April 12, by clicking on this link.
Attention Senior Parents: Celebrate your senior's accomplishments with a Decision Day sign! These yard signs list your child's name and future college and will be displayed in the Circle Drive in front of school on Decision Day for you to proudly enjoy and take home! ORDER DEADLINE IS this Friday, April 12!
Please invite your child's grandparents to join us at St. Michael's to celebrate Grandparents and Grandfriends Day on Thursday, April 18. They will enjoy a light breakfast and a short program in the Gloria Delgado Theatre, then experience a day in the life of a high schooler by joining their grandchild for a campus tour and attending two of their classes. Grandparents and grandfriends can click here to view the invitation and to RSVP.
Thank you for making the Crusader Classic a success! It was a beautiful day to hit the links, and our sponsors hit a hole-in-one!
The film program took home three awards from TAPPS this weekend. They won best documentary for Ryan Lenhart's film profiling the making of A Chance of Snow. It's the first documentary film produced by SMCA.
Jack De Roeck won state for his college application short film Tough Lunch, while Ryan came in second with his short The Shaving Short. Both Jack, Ryan and producer Bella Marco will be moving on to film schools next year.
For students in Theology I, a central focus of study this semester is a foundational topic in Christianity: Revelation. Christianity is based on God’s revelation. The word “revelation” (‘apokalypsis’ in Greek, which literally means ‘unveiling’) was first used by the earliest Christians to describe the process of God revealing himself to mankind throughout human history. Put simply, revelation is the idea that out of love, God has sought us out and revealed himself and the truth, and has taught us how to live life in a way that leads to the happiness we are created for.
This invitation to authentic happiness lies at the heart of accurately understanding the Christian concept of Revelation. In the Person of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the Father fully revealed himself and his plan of love to the world. This is why Jesus says “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). But Jesus lived some 2,000 years ago; how can we today know with certainty all that Jesus did and taught? How does Christ’s revelation reach us today, and how can we know it is true? These are a few of the essential questions students are asking and seeking the answers to in the current unit of study. Key to discovering the answers is understanding the foundational role that the Twelve Apostles played in the earliest years of Christianity and the handing on of Christ’s revelation to the successive generations of Christians through the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit.
To help make this history of the early Church come alive, students have been watching the first three episodes of "AD Kingdom" and "Empire," a miniseries (available on Netflix) based on the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. Watching these episodes that depict the events from Jesus’ passion through the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost has sparked class discussion and guided our further study of the process of how God’s revelation has been handed on throughout history in the Church. In order to invite students to consider the personal invitation to abundant life that Jesus extends to each person through his revelation, we will end this unit by considering Pope Saint John Paul II’s words on revelation in his encyclical Fides et Ratio:
“History therefore becomes the arena where we see what God does for humanity. God comes to us...in the Incarnation of the Son of God...God takes on a human face. The truth communicated in Christ’s Revelation is...no longer confined to a particular place or culture, but is offered to every man and woman who would welcome it as the word which is the absolutely valid source of meaning for human life.”
The long-awaited 2nd Annual Lunch with Dad event will take place on Tuesday, April 30, from 12:00pm–1:00pm in the Dining Hall.
Last year we had an impressive turnout for the inaugural event. You do not want to miss this opportunity to have lunch with your son or daughter before the school year ends. You can either purchase your lunch from the cafeteria or bring your son or daughter lunch from their favorite spot.
Please CLICK HERE to RSVP. We need an accurate headcount for Ms.T of those who will be purchasing lunch from the cafeteria. We look forward to seeing you at Lunch with Dad!
Students in Mr. Meagher's Architectural Design in 3D are trying their hand a designing a mixed- use urban space. Mixed-use spaces, sometimes called live-work spaces, are sections of urban development that combine residential, commercial and entertainment uses. As the global population becomes increasingly urban, mixed-use spaces are becoming increasingly common, and representative of smart city design.
In this project, students will start with a block of city land 600 ft squared. Students will then construct a suitable 3D model that showcases their planning. Once the students are finished with the construction and modeling, they will export an image of their choice that best demonstrates their design.
St. Louis Catholic School is reaching out about their annual Cougar Classic Golf Tournament, which will be held on Friday, May 10, at Teravista Golf Club. They are offering a special student discount price of $75 for any student under 18 at our Catholic high schools and student alumni. Students can also register at www.slcsaustin.org/cougar-classic. There does need to be an adult present to drive the cart (if adult is not golfing, they would be free).
Our tennis team advanced three - one men's singles and one men's doubles team, to the TAPPS 5A State Tennis Tournament in Waco on April 8 and April 9. Freshmen Nick Alvarez won his match in the first round 6-2, 6-1. He lost his second round match to the eventual state runner-up. Senior Doubles Partners Chase Boykin and Jackson DeRoeck lost their match in the first round.
Great season overall for our players and new coach, Carlin Murray.
Angela has more than two decades of nonprofit fundraising experience, with particular emphasis on Major Gifts and donor stewardship. After graduating The University of Texas at Austin, Angela joined a Houston-based task force communicating progress of the Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup.
Looking to move out of the ‘crisis business’ and into the nonprofit arena, she joined the United Way of Miami-Dade in 1992…just in time for Hurricane Andrew, the most powerful hurricane to ever hit South Florida. Then came the highly-publicized scandal involving the national United Way CEO: the Miami chapter was the only one in the system that actually increased giving that year. Angela became the Executive Director of the LCCC Foundation, a community college foundation in Cheyenne, WY, and returned to Austin in 2009 where she had served with St. Gabriel’s Catholic School and local startup, Rallyhood, before joining SAFE in 2014.
She believes that the health of a community is reflected in the health of its families. So it’s not surprising that a great day for Angela is when she can spend time with family AND meet with someone who makes a gift to support the work of SAFE.
Congratulations to Dr. Weibly on the publication of her book "Maybe Murder." The novel is a "cozy mystery," a subgenre of crime fiction written with humor that takes place in a small, socially intimate community. Her second book in the series is due out soon.
In "Maybe Murder," Benjamin Kalico, a young man who has opened a detective agency in Austin, Texas, forms an unlikely partnership with Emelia Winterjoy, a retired English teacher and amateur sleuth, to solve a murder “that hasn’t happened yet.”
Dr. Weibly earned her masters and doctorate in English literature from the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught generations of St. Michael's students in her tenure here.
Students from the Honors Inquiry Program culminated their work, which began in the 2018 spring semester, by presenting to the community last night, Wednesday, March 27, in the Gloria Delgado Theatre. This motivated group of students conducted research, wrote abstracts and theses, and showcased their work on an impressive array of topics of their own choosing, modeling self-directed students who are stakeholders in their own education. Instructor Russ Glenn, program leader, was gratified with the results of their work.
"This was our first year for the Honors Inquiry Program, and this group of students was outstanding in its commitment to seeing the work through. The next group is already in the pipeline," Glenn said.
Please select "read more" for the students' individual abstracts.
Vanessa Garlepp: STEM
Olivia Glode: Misophonia
Roberta Gonzalez: Sunscreen-Induced Coral Bleaching
Camila Lashbrook: Edgar Allen Poe
Kris Madrid: Drone Use in Agriculture
Max McDaniel: Arms Control
Sydney Schiro: Beauty: Culture-Specific or Universally Defined
$200/person Hosted by The O'Malley Family Enjoy snacks and drinks while competing for $2250 in prizes!
IT'S A CHICK PARTY! April 24, 2019
$100/chick Hosted by The Marco Family Sip, Chat, Nibble, Laugh, Relax, and Enjoy the view of the Austin skyline while hanging out with your peeps!
HAVANA NIGHTS CUBAN CUISINE
April 27, 2019
$125/person Hosted by The Flores, Martinez, and Mays Families Enjoy delicious authentic Cuban cuisine from Habana Restaurant while listening to Cuban music and sipping a rum drink or smoking a Cuban cigar.
FRESHMAN FIESTA - CINCO DE MAYO May 4, 2019 $125/person Hosted by The DeVries, Lewis and Moyes Families Freshmen parents celebrate Cinco de Mayo and the winding down of Freshman year at the Moyes Home with margaritas, festivities, and a Mexican buffet dinner! ITALIAN WINE PARTY - SOLD OUT! May 18, 2019 $200/person Hosted by The Keyes Family
LOCAL MUSIC HOUSE PARTY
September 14, 2019 $100/person Hosted by The Cervenka and Curtin Families Chill at the Curtin home with Austin musicians and enjoy snacks, drinks, and cocktails at this once-in-a-lifetime party!
We’re proud to announce that Lyla has been selected as an NHS Scholarship recipient. She was chosen from more than 11,000 applicants and will receive a scholarship toward higher education. Recipients are chosen based on their demonstrated work to support the four pillars of NHS: scholarship, service, leadership, and character. Congratulations, Lyla!
As stated in the National Honor Society Constitution, selection for membership to the NHS is "based on outstanding scholarship, character, leadership, and service." St. Michael’s current GPA requirement for NHS application eligibility is a 3.5 GPA. However, the 3.5 GPA cut-off leads to an applicant pool that now seems misaligned with the overall vision of NHS. If we are to truly reflect the Constitution's membership requirement that students demonstrate outstanding scholarship, it would stand to reason that we increase the minimum GPA for NHS to reduce the percentage of eligible students.
We believe that by adjusting our approach there will be more focused engagement by NHS students in service within the school and in the greater community. As well, we would more fully recognize those students who have achieved exceptional academic success at St. Michael’s. Therefore, we will shift the GPA eligibility from a 3.5 to a 3.75 beginning with the Class of 2022. During this transition time, students in the Class of 2021 will be eligible to apply for NHS with a 3.50 GPA.
Sociables are coming up and are a great way for parents to mingle. We would love to see you at the It's a Chick Party or Havana Nights!Click here to register.
April 18 is Grandparents Day. If your child would like to invite their grandparents or grandfriends for breakfast and a special tour, please click here to give us their contact information so that we can send an invitation.
Senior students and families, check out the Project Graduation page, with senior dates and lots more action items, such as Decision Day yard signs and Project Graduation tickets.
In February, Russ Glenn graduated from American Public University with an MS in Space Studies. His concentration was Planetary Science, and his thesis for the degree was in one of his primary interests: planetary defense. The thesis is titled "CIVIL DEFENSE RESPONSE TO A LATE WARNING ASTEROID COLLISION."
A highlight of the program for Russ was taking an Orbital Mechanics class from Alan Hale, one of the scientists that discovered the Hale-Bopp comet.
"Seeing comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 was one of the events that got me interested in space science," Glenn said.
In our current unit, Spanish 3 students learned about nature and the environment, and grammatical structures to express possible future events. For their final project, students worked in small groups to create a news segment about a prevalent environmental issue or natural phenomenon affecting the United States or a Spanish-speaking country.
Students presented on diverse topics of interest to them, such as shark finning, coral bleaching, deforestation in South America, oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, and the effect of hurricanes on New Orleans. In their news segment, where students dressed and performed as newscasters, they described the environmental problem in detail, and then proposed solutions using the subjunctive and future tenses. Students also created a detailed handout that explained their topic and solutions to their classmates. This activity allowed students to employ the grammar and vocabulary from this unit to teach their class about important environmental issues.
Join SMCA Theatre department students as they present a rousing spring musical revue! Come and hear many of your favorites as performers sing and dance their way through some classic and contemporary musical numbers. This highly entertaining performance also features student-composed monologues that will be sure to captivate audiences. Performances are scheduled for Friday & Saturday, May 3 & 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday May 5 at 2:30 p.m.
New this year! Enjoy a nightclub dinner theatre event! Returning alumni will perform as Ms. T and her crew prepares a wonderful meal for guests.
Please take a moment to peruse this excellent article from the "Challenge Success" organization on the recent college admissions scandal. You may recall that we invited "Challenge Success" to our school last October to present "The Well-Balanced Student." Here is a link to a follow-up article from that session should you like more information on their program.
Students in Honors Anatomy and Physiology class have been busy taking on the challenges of learning about the nervous system. Recently, the class had the opportunity to dissect sheep brains in lab class.
We experienced a hands-on approach to studying the anatomy of the brain and discussing the roles the different regions play. After diving into the anatomy and physiology of glial cells and neurons, and roles the central and peripheral nervous systems play, the class had a special opportunity to simulate what damage to the nerve cells in the brain might actually BE like. The Senior Community Ambassador from Silverado, Bee Cave Memory Care provided our students with an opportunity to do a dementia simulation for which they donned special gloves, glasses, headphones and shoe inserts that delivered a unique experience.
After the simulation, one student wrote, “The neuropathy in the feet was painful, and the lessened mobility and distracting noises made it difficult to clearly follow the instructions. I was forgetting things and wandering. I definitely gained a new understanding and empathy for people suffering with dementia.”
Dementia is typically characterized by a decline in mental function with symptoms that often include difficulty using language, personality changes, disorientation, memory loss and problems preforming the activities of daily living.
Our class is thankful for these exceptional opportunities that add to our educational experience as we look to not only learn about human anatomy and physiology, but also examine common disease processes and their pathophysiology in a way that enriches the learning process.
Calling all golfers, from duffers to pros! Pull together your foursome today! There will be plenty of fun, friendly competition, as well as sponsorship and underwriting opportunities at this signature St. Michael's event. Fabulous raffle prizes, too! We look forward to seeing you there!
Friday, April 5, 8:00 a.m. Shotgun Start
Grey Rock Golf Course
Breakfast, Lunch and Fun Beverages Included
You'll get a swag bag with shirt, hat and balls, plus breakfast tacos and lunch from Habana Restaurant, and fun drinks all morning! Fabulous raffles & highly coveted prizes for first and last place!
The Engineer Your World I students are wrapping up the penultimate project of the year. This unit demonstrates the importance of acquiring and analyzing data to inform design decisions. Students use the engineering design process to redesign an apartment building for improved safety in an earthquake-prone region of northeast India.
Through two rounds of building and testing scale models and analyzing the resultant data, students learn about the challenges of collecting, interpreting, displaying, and analyzing data to make and defend informed design decisions while considering necessary trade-offs between building height, building cost, and public safety. After testing their final designs, students document the results. Students opted to try two very different earthquake mitigation techniques: adding truss structures and tuned mass damper.
"Developed by a team of University of Texas faculty, NASA engineers, and secondary teachers working with funding from the National Science Foundation, Engineer Your World is an innovative, student-centered curriculum that engages learners in authentic engineering experiences and inspires them to embrace an engineer’s habits of mind. Collaborative, student-directed projects build resilient problem-solving skills and empower students to think like engineers, to adopt engineering processes, and to pursue engineering disciplines for the betterment of our world." (https://engineeryourworld.org)
All seniors will want to attend this all-night celebration on May 25, the night of graduation. They'll be transported to a secret location for the last gathering of the class of 2019. Festivities include games and contests, huge prizes and swag for each attendee, tons of food and drinks, and more, all in a safe, supervised setting. Click here to buy tickets and to buy your graduate's Decision Day personalized yard sign. Project Graduation ticket orders are due May 10, 2019.
Students in Sophomore Theology are entering into the narrative of the Gospels by looking at the key events in Jesus’ life and discussing the relevance of those events in their own lives. Recently, students read about Jesus’ baptism and temptation in the wilderness. Students learned about how Jesus receives His identity from the Father, and how He is defined by the Father’s love for Him. Each class then had a student-led roundtable on the topics of identity and temptation, exploring the relationship between a sense of their own identity and their ability to live as disciples of Christ. This discussion enabled students to see the necessity of being rooted and grounded in the love of the Father so that they might follow Jesus more closely and receive the abundant life that He promises.
It's once again the time when we take the opportunity to recognize students for their outstanding academic work throughout the school year.
On Wednesday, April 17, at 10:00 a.m., students will receive a variety of awards, including the Fr. Joel Konzen and Fr. Vincent Lopez awards for achievement in the classroom. Top performing students will also be recognized with the summa cum laude award for their outstanding grade point averages. Additionally, several prestigious Book, Service and Leadership awards will be presented.
Parents: If your son or daughter is an award recipient, you will receive an email invitation during the week of April 1. Be on the lookout, and be sure to mark your calendar!
Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with all of our students at the weekly morning meeting – to ask for their help regarding a problem that we are trying to solve. There has been intermittent mischief resulting in damage to the boys’ bathrooms in the academic building and boys’ locker room in the Carter Athletic Center.
We believe that only a very few students have been engaging in this misbehavior. Yet these antics have resulted in inconvenience to many of our young men as bathroom traffic has had to be rerouted due to closures for repair. And, of course, this situation has necessarily taken our hard-working maintenance/ custodial team away from their other many responsibilities on too many an occasion of late.
I asked the students to nurture in their own hearts and minds as well as in the hearts and minds of others that taking care of St. Michael’s for today and tomorrow – for our students and our visitors - is a shared responsibility. Should they see such things occurring, we ask that they speak up and be part of the solution.
I asked if any students would also wish to speak to the situation, and two young men offered very impactful messages. In my view, that was the highlight of the gathering – hearing students talking to students about being their best selves.
Optimism reigns that we solve this problem in short order. Perhaps we already have.
I was thrilled this year to represent St. Michael’s at SXSW EDU. SXSW EDU is a premiere opportunity for professional development for all educators. Although I was focused on educational innovations and research-based best practices, there were many other interesting workshops and presentations I was able to attend. Some highlights from the conference included:
Building Community: Weaving America’s Social Fabric with David Brooks
Dial Down the Stress Without Dumbing Down School with Denise Pope and Ian Kelleher
The Right Stuff is the Never Give Up Stuff with Astronaut Leland Melvin
Leveraging Technology to Make Expert Teachers with The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning
Unstick! Everyday Design Thinking Breakthroughs
The Google Lab
Invention Education with the Lemelson Foundation
Reconstruction: America After the Civil War with Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Identity Education through Songwriting with the faculty of Interlochen
Additionally, there were many workshops on implementing student-driven inquiry programs such as project-based learning across disciplines. The major highlight of the event for me was meeting with a representative from Austin-based Firefly Aerospace and being invited to visit their facilities.
While on the visit I had the opportunity to witness a test of their 41,000 pound thrust “Reaver” engine. Four of these engines will power the Firefly Alpha rocket they hope to launch in December of 2019. They aim to put small payloads into LEO (Low-Earth Orbit). I look forward to finding ways to get students involved with this “New Space” startup company here in our own city.
After a few software hiccups, course registration for 2019-2020 is again open for current students! Registration has been extended to Friday, March 24. All materials, including the registration instructions, course catalog and course offerings, are located under the Academic Planning Tile in Resources, when logged into mySMCA. New student registration will open on April 10.
Access registration through the Course Request tab, once logged into MySMCA.
On the right side of the screen, you can view teacher recommendations for Honors, or AP level classes. Please do not register for advanced classes if you were not recommended for AP or Honors. We do have an appeals process beginning March 6, and the form is located in the Academic Planning section under the Resources tab or in the College Center.
Course appeal submissions close on March 15. Students will not be allowed to appeal to take Honors/AP courses during the fall drop/add period, so please be sure to appeal NOW!
Each student is expected to register for 10 classes: 6 academic classes, and a study hall or elective, if desired. Choices 8-10 are alternate electives in the order of preference.
Please be mindful as to which semester you are registering for and register for both semesters.
Students are not guaranteed their selected courses, but we do our best.
Students may register for up to three AP courses per year. Honors courses are unlimited, but students are advised to consider their workload.
All materials, including course catalog, course offerings and registration instructions are located under Academic Planning from the Resources Tab.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Shannon Hudson, Director of College Counseling & Academic Services.
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.
The norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may also be taken, but not to equal a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding from age 14 onwards. If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the "paschal fast" to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily his Resurrection.
You're invited to our first ever Lollapalaxa Saturday, March 9, 2019 beginning at 9:00 a.m. Please click here to RSVP. Come and cheer on our Crusaders, eat great Sader Dad food, and enjoy the company of our faculty, students, parents, and alumni! at whichever game(s) work best with your schedules.
5 lacrosse games in one day on one field, featuring the U. Texas and Texas State women, St. Michael's Women's and Men's teams, and the St. Gabriel's Boys' and Girls' teams
Theatre I students are in the construction process of a puppet show. The project is to compose their own 5-minute puppet play, construct puppets, memorize their parts, and then present to the class. There are several important aspects to this assignment: First, the story is an adaptation, like West Side Story is adapted from Romeo and Juliet. So students must keep the basic idea of the original, but they have the freedom to change important aspects of the story to make it uniquely theirs. The students must then design and construct their own stick puppets using craft supplies. Lastly, they are working on vocal technique and puppeteering skills to bring the characters to life and perform for their peers.
The Crusaderettes Competition Dance Team participated in the Crowd Pleasers Austin Showcase last Saturday. They performed three different routines over the course of the day and walked away with a clean sweep of winnings! The team won:
Best in Class for Open
Best in Class for Kick
Best in Class for Jazz
Outstanding Choreography Award for Open
Outstanding Choreography Award for Jazz
Crowdpleasers 2019 Grand Champion Team (highest score in their division)
Super Sweepstakes Award - Eligible to perform at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Theatre students are excited to present our partner school theatre production, Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island,by Joshua Mikel on Wednesday, March 27, at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. This show is recommended for K-4th grades.
When a package bound for Good Good Island is mistakenly delivered to Bad Bad Island, the Bad Bads find something frighteningly horrible inside: a little girl named Rosa! Unable to choose between throwing her into a volcano or tossing her into the sea, the creatures of the island finally agree that their ruler, The Idol, should decide. He challenges Rosa with a series of impossible tasks -- but what happens when she starts doing the impossible? Join us for this wildly entertaining adventure, as it shows that sometimes family and goodness can be found in the most unlikely of places.
Our High School Research Initiative students had a good showing at The Austin Energy Regional Science Festival , one of Texas’ largest regional science fairs with almost 3,000 students participating. It encourages and rewards innovative student research and provides scientists, engineers and other professionals a chance to volunteer in the community.
St. Michael's is one of only four Austin-area high schools in the program, which is funded by a NIH Science Education Partnership Award. “The pioneering HRI program provides high school students the opportunity to initiate and engage in real-world research experience with faculty and graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin and potentially experience similar gains,” as stated on the College of Natural Sciences website.
Congratulations to the following students. I look forward to our fourth year in the program next term.
We are excited to offer multiple co-curricular opportunities for off-campus experiential learning on March 4. Please find the details for each grade level listed below. All students are expected to take part in these days of exploration, learning, and service. (Please note that families must provide transportation to and from schoolon Monday, March 4. Buses will not run on Crusader Day.)
Monday, March 4
All 9th grade students will visit and tour two college campuses on Monday. Students will visit Texas State and either Incarnate Word or Trinity University. The college counselors will assign the school visits in San Antonio based on an alphabetical divide.
Permission slips must be submitted to the college counselors in person or via email byFriday, March 1.
All students must be on campus by 7:15 a.m. We will return by 4:00 p.m.
Monday, March 4
Sophomores are required to attend the Sophomore Leadership Retreat, led by the Senior Leadership Team and SMCA faculty and staff. This retreat provides students the opportunity to grow in their roles as leaders in the St. Michael’s community through a series of virtue-based talks, activities, discussions and prayer experiences centered around the concept of leadership as self-gift. This retreat will occur within the time frame of the regular school day, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:35 p.m at the new St. Catherine of Siena Parish Center. Buses will depart St. Michael's from the faculty parking lot at 8:15 a.m. and return at approximately 3:35 p.m.
All 11th grade students are expected to use this day to visit a college campus with their families (or friends). Students are required to bring one Permission Form to be signed by college admissions representatives to verify their tour and information session. All colleges have set tour and information session times that require reservations. Please visit the individual school websites ASAP as tours do fill up.
The college visit form isavailable hereand can also be found in the College Counseling Office. If there are circumstances that prevent a family from visiting colleges or attending visits with friends, we may have a few spots available on the 9th grade college trip. Students who need to attend the SMCA trip MUST contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, March 3 to Wednesday, March 6 (Kairos)
Monday, March 4, (Crusader Day)
Seniors not attending Kairos or the Sophomore Retreat must use this day to complete their required 40 service hours and reflection, if they have not already done so. Please record at least 6 service hours between Saturday, March 2 and Monday, March 4 on MobileServe in order to avoid an absence for Crusader Day. Please see our SMCA Recommended Service Opportunities and SMCA Service Learning Info Sheet for more info. Questions related to service hours and utilizing Mobile Serve may be directed to Dennis Hodapp.
Students who have completed all hours and reflection, and who are not attending the retreats, please see Ms. Hudson in her office regarding your plan for the day.
Any senior going on an overnight trip to Kairos needs to complete the medication release form if bringing prescription medication. Please upload the form once complete to Magnus. If unable to upload the form, you may email or turn it in directly to Neilia Bliss, School Nurse.
All of the preceding information is available under Resources>Crusader Day after login.
Congratulations to Elena Meigs ’20, who earned a 36 – a perfect ACT score. Only two-tenths of 1 percent of students who take the test, a curriculum-based achievement exam, score that high. For the ACT, 34 and up is the 99th percentile of test takers! A perfect 36 is the rarest score of all.
From the soccer field to AP Calculus, Elena excels at being a well-balanced St. Michael's student. Great accomplishment, Elena.
A generous donor has made available an online Catholic resource. We're pleased to announce FORMED.org, an online service for accessing thousands of Catholic videos, audios and ebooks On Demand anytime, anywhere! As a member, you will have access to entertaining movies, inspiring audio talks, informative bible studies, and much more. We are providing this resource free of charge to help our members learn and grow in their faith. You will also be able to easily access any featured content that we are promoting within our community from time to time. So please join us.
We hope you will enjoy this incredible gift and please spread the word to others.
To sign up for FREE, just visit us here: https://smca.formed.org.
This week, students in English II class begin their culminating projects for their Lord of the Flies unit. In this unit, students learn about different perspectives and philosophies regarding man's inherent nature (Humanism and Anti-Humanism) and learn to apply those philosophies through a reading of William Golding's representation of boys-turned-savages. Students wrestle with the ideas of leadership, equitable governance, society, civilization alongside opposing ideas of isolation, chaos, fear, and othering.
For their culminating project, students can choose between six different creative projects to express the ideas outlined above. Of these options, several involve visual arts (painting, sculpting, digital art, etc.). In other options, students have the capability to choose between constructing journals of children on the island, safety/survival guides, and writing a short story of their own based on varied premises of Lord of the Flies. Next week, students will present these projects as they transition into Kafka's The Metamorphosis, where they will continue to explore philosophies of man's fundamental nature.
St. Michael’s students are taking part in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Pennies for Patients fundraiser from February 19 to March 8, led by the Senior Leadership Team.
During this program, students will collect money to support LLS’ mission:
Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
St. Michael’s has its own online giving page that students, parents and faculty can share with friends and family: SMCA Online Donation Link. When you donate, make sure to choose which grade to donate to. The grade who gets the most money will win a pizza party, and the top student will get to throw a pie in Mr. Cutrer’s face!
Our goal is to earn $5,000; our stretch goal is $10,000. We will reach our goal if each student donates $13 and our stretch goal if each student donates $25.
Winning Class - Pizza Party
Winning Student - One pie in Mr. Cutrer’s face
Winning Faculty/Staff - Gift card
Winning Alumni - Personalized “Thank you!” video from Senior Leadership Team
Mariali, Daniela, Luisa, Angie, and Antonella are five young students from Lima, Peru, who just spent three weeks with us at St. Michael’s for their summer break. They wanted to come Austin to experience American high school life and improve their English skills by attending regular classes.
For the last few days of their time here, they presented lectures about their own country and culture. They prepared the lesson very well with a PowerPoint presentation, food and souvenirs for students. The students ended the lectures by salsa dancing with their classmates.
They liked Austin and are quite impressed with St. Michael’s. They said the campus is beautiful, the classes are interesting, and the students and teachers are friendly. It has been an unforgettable experience for them and for us, too.
Senior Vanessa Garlepp was recently notified officially that she has been selected as a National Merit Finalist from the approximately 1.6 million original entrants.
She now has an opportunity to continue in the competition for one of the 7,500 National Merit Scholarships.
“I’m honored to be a National Merit Finalist, which means being a part of a select community of high school students nationwide. Hard work sometimes goes unnoticed, so it is nice to get recognized for my dedication to academics and the college preparation process. This accomplishment is especially meaningful given the many other activities I've juggled during this semester, including a busy soccer season, competing for varsity drama, performing in music concerts, and filling out college and scholarship applications,” Vanessa said.
Vanessa rounds out her senior year being the lead in the fall play, running Praise Band, and working as a National Honor Society tutor.
“Vanessa is a natural leader for our school as a whole and in her classes. I’ve known Vanessa as my advisee and as a student for nearly three years and am impressed by her enthusiasm, discipline, maturity, compassion, and ability to always do her best at everything she does,” said Dr. Dennis Sheeter
IS YOUR STUDENT THINKING ABOUT LEARNING TO DRIVE OR READY TO TAKE THE TEST?
You'll need a Verification of Enrollment (VOE) for the DMV. New this year, we have an online form. Please be sure to allow enough time to request and receive the form, and avoid school breaks and summer vacation when sending your request. The form is available under the Student Life tab of the website. Note: The DMV will not accept electronic copies of the VOE.
On Tuesday, February 19, the Lady Crusaders lost 5-1 to Grapevine Faith in the TAPPS Division II State Semi-Finals game at Waco ISD Stadium. This was the best season in the St, Michael's Women's soccer history. The Lady Crusaders finished the season 14-4-1 and TAPPS 5A District 4 Champions. Congratulations, all for a great season. We are so proud of you.
Why are there professional blackjack players but not professional roulette players?
In Statistics class, students played blackjack and simulated playing roulette to help illustrate the difference between independent and dependent events.
Dependent events (blackjack hands) are events where knowing previous outcomes changes the probability of the upcoming event. Clever blackjack players will track the cards that have been dealt and then change their betting strategy and/or game strategy based on what cards have been played but not put back in the deck.
Independent events (roulette spins) are events where the probability does not change based on previous outcomes. The probability of the ball landing in any of the numbered slots on the roulette wheel is 1 out of 38. This is true no matter what the previous outcomes were. If the ball lands on a black number five times in a row, the probability the next one will be black is still 18 out of 38 (18 black slots out of the 38 possible slots).
Ramping it Up! Our Athletics Department now has its own Twitter account. Follow @SMCA_Athletics for the latest news and information. Check out their Instagram feed and stories, too. All Athletics - All the Time.
World Language Mandarin students celebrated the Year of the Pig Chinese New Year with gifts, food, games, and of course, the red envelope.
In Chinese culture, a pig represents luck, overall good fortune, wealth, honesty, and general prosperity. The pig symbolizes a hard working, peace-loving person, a truthful, generous, sociable person with a large sense of humor and understanding. Recent Years of the Pig are:1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, and 2019.
Mandarin students and many Chinese international students started Chinese New Year preparations right after Winter Term, working hard to get ready for their traditional on-campus event. Mandarin students did lucky-pig paper cutting and decorated the school. They also drew and designed bookmarks that they put in red envelopes for faculty mailboxes.
Everyone helped at the event. We all worked like a big family and enjoyed ourselves a lot. Many students and staff came to enjoy the food, games and crafts, and shared in the fun with us.
St. Michael’s is an actual multicultural world village. We are planning another astonishing Chinese New Year celebration for next year. Please come if you missed out on the event this year!
At the TAPPS DIV II state championship meet, senior Josh Bannon won first place, and is the new state record holder, in the 100m breaststroke with a time of 59.51. Bannon also placed second in the 200m individual medley race at 1:55.43 - also breaking a St. Michael’s school record. In the individual medley (IM) event, the swimmer covers the four swimming styles in the following order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. The meet took place on Thursday, February 7, at the Mansfield ISD Natatorium in Mansfield, Texas, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area.
Madison just released recorded a song last June at the studios of David Tyo in Saratoga Springs, New York. He is Recording Arts Department Chair at The New School of Radio and Television in Albany, New York. (To learn more about him go to his website http://www.davidtyo.com ). She recorded with Kenny Kakaty who is also 15 years old ( https://www.kennykakaty.com ) and wrote the song. Madison will be back in the studio over spring break to record another original song and a few cover songs.
On Wednesday, February 13, the Men's Basketball team played Regents at Dripping Springs High School for the District championship. The Crusaders defeated the Knights by a score of 47-44 to win the District title for the third year in a row.
The Crusaders finished the regular season with a 6-1 record in District and 23-10 overall. The Crusaders will host Carrollton Prince of Peace at the Carter Athletic Center on Tuesday, February 19, at 7:00 p.m. in the TAPPS 5A Boys Basketball Area Round. KMAC/VYPE will be broadcasting the game if you can't make it. It is a TAPPS Playoff Game, so there is no free admission for Crusader Nation. Admission prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students. Let's fill the stands, y'all!
Sean Tyler used his Winter Term to volunteer at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center in Hoedspruit, South Africa, which focuses on the conservation of rare, vulnerable and endangered animal species.
After traveling 18 hours from Austin to Johannesburg, Tyler caught another flight into Hoedspruit (Afrikaans for Hat Creek), a small town near the northeast border of South Africa in the Limpopo province, where he billeted for three weeks at Nungu Camp.
NEW THIS YEAR - Online Ad Submission! Starting Monday, St. Michael's will begin accepting senior ad submissions from parents for the 2018-2019 Yearbook. The submission window will last from Monday, February 18, until Thursday, February 28. Senior ad pricing is as follows:
On Monday, February 11, the Lady Crusaders hosted McKinney Christian in the TAPPS Women's Soccer Division II Area Playoff Game on Austin McMeans Field at Crusader Stadium. The Crusaders got on the scoreboard first with a goal by Jessica Mikell. Cadence Layne scored two goals in the first half to give the Crusaders a 3-0 lead at half. The Lady Crusaders scored one more goal and defeated the Mustangs 4-0 to advance to the Elite Eight.
The Lady Crusaders will play Tyler Grace Community School at Robinson High School on Saturday, February 16, at 3:15 p.m.
On Tuesday, February 5, St. Michael's recognized the women’s and men’s basketball seniors before their basketball games against Hyde Park at Carter Athletic Center.
Amber McGee the only senior of the women’s team was honored before their game. The Lady Crusaders defeated Hyde Park 42-32 to keep their playoff hopes alive and move into a second place tie.
The men’s basketball team honored their nine seniors, Blaise Dehner, Niko Guiterrez, Jason Jehl, Paul Meyer, Will Prevost, MJ Samaniego, Nicholas Villarreal,Nathan Vondrak and Augie Watkins.
The Crusaders defeated Hyde Park 56-47 to remain tied for first place in district and clinch a playoff berth.
The Lady Crusaders and Crusaders will have their last game of the regular season this Friday at Brentwood Christian. The women tip off at 6:30 and men tip off at 8:00 p.m. Thank you seniors for all your hard work and dedication.
The Swim Team will compete in the TAPPS Division II Swim State Championship on Thursday, February 7, at Mansfield Independent School District Natatorium in Mansfield, Texas. St. Michael's Swim team will be represented by Josh Bannon competing in the 200 IM and 100 Breaststroke, Madison Barrick in the 100 Butterfly and 500 Freestyle, Mary Claire Fuselier in the 100 Butterfly, Evelyn Fuselier in 100 Breaststroke, and Lucy Fuselier in the 100 Breaststroke. The Swim team will also have a women’s relay team in the 200 IM Relay and 200 Free Relay of Barrick and the Fuselier triplets, with Melina Ustinov as an alternate. Congratulations to all the swimmers who qualified for State and Good Luck at the Meet!
Back-to-Back District Wins! On Monday, February 4, the Lady Crusaders defeated Brentwood Christian 5-1 at Senior Night on Austin McMeans Field at Crusader Stadium to win the TAPPS Division II District 4 Championship. The Lady Crusaders finished district play with six wins and zero losses, outscoring district opponents 27-5. This is the second year in a row the Lady Crusaders have won district.
The Crusaders will host McKinney Christian in the TAPPS Division II Area Playoff Game on Monday, February 11, at 4:30 p.m. on Austin McMeans Field at Crusader Stadium. Please come out and support the Lady Crusaders.
The Valentine’s Day-themed Winter Formal Dance will take place in Café Loredo on Saturday, February 9, from 8:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Doors close at 8:30, so please arrive prior to that time. Once at the dance, students are required to stay for the duration. Tickets will be on sale next week at lunch for $10 and will be $15 at the door the night of the dance.
We hope all our students can make it out for our second dance of the year!
As we bid a wistful farewell to Winter Term 2019, with its fantastic, globetrotting trips, intern explorations, and cleverly crafted classes from our creative faculty, we plunge into a new semester, happily inaugurated by National Catholic Schools Week this January 27 - February 2.
During Catholic Schools Week, we have the unique opportunity to celebrate the long history of the Church’s nurturance of the whole person through holistic education. For instance, on Monday, we celebrated in our morning prayer one of the greatest Catholic theologians of all time, St. Thomas Aquinas, whose writings and teachings are so influential that nearly a thousand years later he is widely studied and considered, in the words of the late Saint Pope John Paul II, "A master of thought and a model of the right way to do theology." As the patron saint of Catholic Schools and students, we pray to him, asking him to teach us to lift our minds and our hearts to our Creator and Lord, Who is the source of Wisdom and Love.
I also want to take this opportunity to celebrate our students who, in the longstanding SMCA tradition of service, put their faith into action by serving others as Christ serves them. As many of you know by now, we implemented a new service tracking system, MobileServe, at the beginning of last summer. By all accounts, it has been a success, and I am excited to share some results from the service log data. SMCA students have already logged a total of 2555 service hours for the first semester. More info about our top service hour earners can be seen in the graphs and chart below. Congratulations, and keep up the good work guys!
Please remember that service hours are a graduation requirement. If you are looking for opportunities to serve, check out our SMCA Recommended Service Opportunities. Also take a look at our SMCA Service Learning Info Sheet which explains the service requirements and how to log hours properly.
As always, I pray for each and every member of the St. Michael’s community, and ask you to keep me and our community in your prayers. St. Michael, pray for us!
We continue St. Michael's 35th Anniversary by celebrating our community members. Our first profile featured Paula Priour, a 29-year veteran English teacher, whose own three children attended St. Michael’s. Next, we heard from Nicolette Cannata and her eight siblings — all St. Michael’s graduates, and Nicolette's son Alex, a current student. For this family profile, we feature an alumnus who returned to become a St. Michael’s teacher. Dennis Hodapp’s family is yet another example of a multi-generational legacy family with strong ties to St. Michael’s. Beginning with Dennis, five Hodapp siblings attended, and two currently attend, St. Michael’s — with one more to come!
Mr. Aaron Schuchart will be here on February 7 at lunch in the Library.
Mr. Schuchart is a senior biotechnology executive who has built a number of business in the biopharmaceuticals, agriculture, and bioenergy fields. He is currently Chief Business Officer for Aeglea BioTherapeutics. In this role, he leads the Business Development, Corporate Strategy, and Commercial Planning functions. Aeglea is a biotechnology company developing new medicines for rare genetic diseases and cancer. He has led or advised on numerous financing and strategic transactions, both inside companies and as an external advisor to privately funded biotech clients. Mr. Schuchart holds a B.S. in accounting from Texas Tech University, an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and is a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP).
AP English Language and Composition students are embarking are on the Researched Argument paper. This foundational paper allows students to choose an issue of interest to them - the topics range anywhere from the influence of late night comedy on politics to ecotourism to genetic engineering. The only parameters for choosing a topic are that it needs to be debatable and it needs to be of interest to them.
During this unit students learn how to write an annotated bibliography, conduct quality research, and synthesize credible voices with their own in an 8-10 page researched argument. Students are already immersed in their research and eager to become more knowledgeable on their topics. It is one of my favorite units to teach because it allows me a birds-eye view of students using skills from their freshmen, sophomore, and junior years to navigate a world saturated with information. By reading a variety of perspectives on a particular issue, students learn to identify biases and to determine, based on logic and evidence, a reasoned conclusion of their own.
This unit prepares students for the various rigorous writing assignments of the college experience across the disciplines and establishes lifelong critical thinking skills.
We're pleased to announce that you can now access student recordings from St. Michael's own Soundcloud site. Listen and enjoy!
During our "Record Your Own Song" class, students studied the art of recording and production. They were given the option to remake a cover version of their favorite song, or record an original song using the tips and tricks professional producers use in Logic Pro X.
Here are two examples of their recordings posted on SMCA's SoundCloud - with many more tracks to come!
"Rolling In The Deep" (originally performed by Adele) recorded by Mia Bernecker (JR), Grace Usleman (SR) and Austin Obermeyer (SR)
"Forever Young" (originally performed by Alphaville) recorded by Madison Barrick (FR)
For the convenience of Ms. T and all the students who enjoy her fantastic lunches, please go into your LunchTime account and enable the "auto-replenish" option. This will eliminate under-funded accounts, speed up the check-out process for all students and the dining hall team, and provide a more enjoyable experience for all. Thanks!
"imgcenter">The Man with the Golden Gun is ready for some fun! Table Sponsorships and Exclusive Underwriting opportunities are starting to fill, so RSVP today! And don't forget a ticket to the shag-a-delic Austin Powers After Party. Yeah, Baby!
All parents and family are invited to attend classes on January 24 to hear what students created during Winter Term.
Songwriter Q&A Panel
There will be a guest songwriting Q/A panel this coming Friday, January 18, from 12:30-2:00 p.m. in the Music Room. We will have a few local songwriters talk with students about their songwriting process, and our students will be able to ask questions. A few of them will be able to showcase their work and get feedback.
Record Your Own Song
Presentation begins at 9:30 a.m.
Thursday, Jan 24
Songwriting & Lyrics
Presentation begins at at 12:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan 24
It's been a fun and educational winter term thus far! Our "Record Your Own Song" class has spent time learning about the various recording techniques and the history of audio recording while using professional recording gear and the Apple Logic Pro X software program. Our "Songwriting & Lyrics" students have been learning about successful songwriters, both old and new, and the various songwriting techniques used by top writers.
We continue St. Michael's 35th Anniversary by celebrating our legacy families. Multiple generations are represented at St. Michael’s — from founding board members and their children to alumni who return to teach and volunteer.
Nicolette Cannata, whose son Alexander is also a St. Michael’s current junior, is one such legacy family. Not only Nicolette, but 8 Cannata siblings attended St. Michael’s from its early years right up until 2011!
Junior and Senior students are gaining real-world experience with Winter Term internships. Lauren Milliner is one such student. Lauren is interested in studying neuroscience or biochemistry in college, with the goal of becoming a surgeon. During her first week of partnering at St. David's North Medical Center Hospital with both a neurosurgeon and general surgeon, Lauren observed brain, gall bladder, spinal, and melanoma surgeries. While doing rounds of the operating rooms, Lauren encountered a doctor preparing a kidney for transplantation.
“It was really cool to see the organ outside of the body and to see the process of how they take the kidney from one person to another.”
During the craniotomy, doctors were implanting a device with electrodes to correct a deformity of the brain.
“I was in awe. The sight of brain surgery was breathtaking and beautiful,” said Milliner. “So far this experience has been very reassuring of my goal to become a surgeon.”
St. Michael's opened its doors in 1984. In the ensuing years, trustees, parents, faculty, and staff labored to build a school of academic excellence. The St. Michael's Catholic Academy of today has realized its founding vision: to rank as a top-tier secondary school, responsive to emerging education frontiers.
Our curriculum promotes: ▶ Self-directed students ▶ Collaborative, interactive learning ▶ Experiential research opportunities ▶ Inter-disciplinary programming ▶ Real-world career exploration
Stay tuned as we share milestones and moments from founders, students, parents, trustees, and alumni during the month of January.
Architectural rendering has long been a part of the architect toolkit. Taking plans and converting them into a beautiful still image has been used by architects and designers for over 100 years. Students in Architectural Design in 3D class recently completed their final architectural renderings using a variety of software and approaches. This class places an emphasis on architectural design, function and the importance of correct scale. Students also learn how to design, populate and render architectural concept pieces. Projects this semester ranged from Micro Houses, Georgian streets, modern house concepts, and challenging designs.
The Athletic Department congratulates the following individuals on fall sports teams for receiving post-season accolades.
Women's Cross Country team won the TAPPS 5A State Championship for the fourth straight year. First school in TAPPS history to win four consecutive team state championships. Kinga Parrish, Mary Hodapp, Camille Terracina, and Sydney Osgood finished in the top 10 to earn All-State Honors. Kinga Parrish and Mary Hodapp earned Academic All-State Honors.
Men's Cross Country team finished second in state. Jackson Long and Joseph Lawler finished in the top 10 to earn All-State Honors. Joseph Lawler earned Academic All-State Honors.
TAPPS 5A District 4 Championship and State Runner-Up Volleyball team: Kelsey Kilgo and Moorea earned First Team All-State Honors and First Team All-District Honors. Kathryn Morton and Nora Carlson earned Second Team All-State Honors and earned First Team All- District Honors as well. Gracie Cuba and Lauren Milliner earned First Team All-State Honors and First Team All-District Honors. Reilly Sokolosky, Liz Bruegging, Ella Hudson and Alexis Threadgill earned Second Team All-District Honors. Claire Beiter and Olivia Muth earned Honorable Mention All-District Honors. Gracie Cuba, Kathryn Morton, Kelsey Kilgo and Moorea Wood earned Academic All-State Honors.
Football: Stone Sears earned First Team All- District Linebacker Honors. Sion Carr earned First Team All-District Offensive Lineman Honors. Paul Meyer earned Second Team All-District Linebacker Honors and Honorable Mention All- District Running Back Honors. Garrett Urry earned Second Team All-District Secondary Honors and Second Team All-District Athlete Honors and Honorable Mention All-District Punter Honors. Lex Boucvalt earned Second Team All-District Wide Receiver Honors. Jaxon Jehl earned Second Team All- District Offensive Lineman Honors and Honorable Mention All-District Defensive Lineman Honors. Sebastian Cascarano and Keaton Granger earned Second Team All-District Running Back Honors. Trey Carr earned Honorable Mention All-District Defensive Lineman Honors. Joseph Meyer earned Honorable Mention All-District Linebacker Honors. Vaughn Malone earned Honorable Mention All-District Secondary Honors. Jack Hagy earned Honorable Mention All-District Tight End Honors. Lex Boucvalt and Sebastian Cascarano earned Academic All-State Honors.
Student report cardsand transcripts are now available online from mySMCA. To view these documents, log in and select student's "Progress" tab. Links to the report card and transcript will appear directly beneath the “Performance” heading. See screenshot here.
Should you have any questions about accessing reports, please contact Rae Harrison, Registrar.
We're all very excited to be in our fourth Winter Term. As the first college preparatory school in Austin to institute a Winter Term of specialized study - a unique academic, cultural, service, travel, and language immersion program - we're pleased to see how the program has grown. For example, the internship option has burgeoned from 15 participants in 2016 to 53 students this year.
What a great opportunity to be able to do an internship during the school year! Students are currently interning at diverse organizations, such as Hack Studios,Tri-Star Farm, IMES Engineering, Austin Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, IBM, and Beevet Animal Hospital in Austin and as far away as Massachusetts, New York and China. We will be reporting on internship experiences as students send in their journal entries.
Winter Term 2019 travel is comprised of six meaningful opportunities for growth and learning. From our sister school exchanges at Highlands El Encinar in Madrid, Spain and St. Agnes in Angers, France, to Mythology in Greece, Marine Conservation in Galveston, service in Nicaragua and Ecuador, and World Youth Day with Pope Francis in Panamá, students are sure to return with a broader understanding of the wider world. We look forward to sharing their moments and reflections.
For the next three weeks, we will feature news, photos, videos, and all things Winter Term. We hope to report on as much activity as possible to give you and your student an opportunity to enjoy some dinnertime conversation about this exciting program.
This week, we focus on the many and varied mini-courses on campus. From Personal Finance to Digital Photography, from Printmaking to Shakespeare and Python Programming, our goal is to provide you with coverage that will put you in the center of the activity.
Should you have Winter Term news, videos or photos to share, please let us know. You may send information to email@example.com, and we will be delighted to share it.
For program questions, please contact Heidi Sloan, Director of Academics.