News Archive

2022

  • May

    Publication of the 2nd Annual World Languages Literary Magazine (By Dr. Daniela Radpay, World Languages Chair)

    The Department of World Languages is proud to present the second edition of the SMCA World Languages Literary Magazine: Alebrije! The word "alebrije" describes colorful, fantastical creatures in Mexican folklore, but it also symbolizes the vibrancy and uniqueness of the student works within this magazine.

    This publication features student work from various World Languages: Spanish, Mandarin, Latin, French, and ASL. Submissions include poetry, art, and short stories (and many feature translations). We are so appreciative of all of the students who submitted their work and our World Languages teachers for all of their help and support. I would also like to give special thanks to our student editors: Lucy Fuselier, Katherine Stevenson, Caroline White, and Mary Caroline Nolan.

    To check out the final product, please click here: Alebrije | SMCA World Languages Literary Magazine. We hope you enjoy it!
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  • The History Journal (By Caverlee Dahill '22, Editor)

    This year’s Clio is composed of student articles concerned with the legacy of the Federalist Papers, the
    85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay to explain and promote the U.S.
    Constitution in the battle over ratification in the state of New York in the fall and winter of 1787 and 1788.

    Please take a few minutes to appreciate the work that has gone into this journal–from the students who labored over their term papers to the SMCA publication team who made this possible to the editors who have made something magical. Feel free to download the booklet from this link and enjoy!
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  • April

    Baseball Game Against Geneva School of Boerne (By Coach Darrell May)

    St. Michael's Crusaders Varsity stayed in it until the end, but Geneva School of Boerne - Varsity pulled away late in a 3-1 victory on Tuesday.  The game was tied at one with Geneva School of Boerne - Varsity batting in the bottom of the sixth when an error scored one run for Geneva School of Boerne - Varsity.

    The pitching was strong on both sides. Geneva School of Boerne - Varsity pitchers struck out seven, while St. Michael's Crusaders Varsity sat down seven.

    Geneva School of Boerne - Varsity got things started in the first inning.  Luke Valdez grounded out, scoring one run.

    In the top of the fifth inning, St. Michael's Crusaders Varsity tied things up at one when Shawn George threw a wild pitch allowing one run across the plate for St. Michael's Crusaders Varsity.

    George led things off on the pitcher's mound for Geneva School of Boerne - Varsity. George lasted six and a third innings, allowing three hits and one run while striking out seven and walking one.

    Owen Moore started the game for St. Michael's Crusaders Varsity. The pitcher went six innings, allowing three runs on two hits and striking out seven.

    Ryan McRae, Alex DeLeon, and Eli Arrambide each collected one hit to lead St. Michael's Crusaders Varsity.
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  • Hampton Baker with Family at Hacienda con Vista

    St. Michael’s Freshman Student Hampton Baker Swaps Jeans for Breeches (By Laura Duggan, Director of Marketing & Communications)

    While we enjoy sharing news about student-athletes who participate in St. Michael's athletics, we also like to celebrate our students' achievements outside of school, such as Hampton Baker's equestrian story.

    Breaking with her western cowboy family tradition was not the goal for Hampton Baker’s young self. She simply wanted riding lessons – not being content to share space on her dad’s saddle anymore. The only local option for the seven-year-old, however, was a hunter/jumper show barn, and that meant crossing over to English riding; and so began Baker’s new direction to award-winning equestrian.

    “My grandparents on both sides come from agricultural backgrounds, so I was introduced to horses while watching my family gather cattle on horseback,” Hampton said. The family ranching and rodeo culture runs deep. In fact, her grandfather was named “2021 Citizen of the West” by the National Western Stock Show organization.

    Baker competes as a hunter and a jumper. She has two horses, both mares, one for each specific sport. The shows she attends are nationally recognized among the highest-ranked and most competitive of all the USEF-rated (United States Equestrian Federation) shows. For most of the school year, Baker says she can personally only train four days a week, although her horses train six days a week to stay in show shape.

    This past week, Baker competed in the $15K Junior/Amateur Derby at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida, and was the youngest rider to finish in the top 12 out of 50 competitors. In 2021, she finished 8th in the 3’3” Large Junior Hunters 15/under out of 64 of the top-rated hunters in the country. In 2020, at the age of thirteen, she finished 5th nationwide in the 3’3” Large Junior Hunter 15/under category.

    For the uninitiated, equestrian riding is a complicated, multi-tiered activity. “Basically, the difference between hunters and jumpers is that in hunters the horse and rider jump a memorized course in which they are judged on their accuracy and graceful style. In jumpers, on the other hand, style rides behind speed. In that course, the fastest horse and rider without any faults wins the class, and it doesn’t matter if you and your horse look graceful doing it,” Hampton explained.

    As beautiful as it is to watch an equestrian, it’s not all ribbons and trophies. “Sometimes I’m afraid Hampton is going to have the bones of an old rodeo cowboy before she’s 18,” said her mom, Elizabeth Baker. Baker has fallen off, been bucked off, and been thrown into standards more times than she can count.

    “I learned very early that I wouldn’t last long in this sport if I didn’t have resilience and patience. To win, so many things must go right: you yourself must be riding well, and your horse has to understand what you’re asking of them and want to do it for you. On top of that, things like weather, travel, and injury can all affect the performance of your horse, and sometimes you don’t even know it until it's too late,” Hampton said.

    As a St. Michael’s freshman, most of her classmates aren’t aware of her equestrian accomplishments. “It’s not a conversation starter for me,” Hampton said, “it’s just something I like to do with my family, and most people don’t really know about that world.”

    During her first year at St. Michael’s, Hampton decided to try a team sport, although she is quick to point out that being a hunter/jumper is also legitimately a team sport – your teammate being equine. Like many St. Michael’s students, she is a multi-sport athlete. This year, she got involved in cheer, basketball, and lacrosse – not easy to manage when she’s going to horse shows out of state once or twice a month, which she says is all part of the fun.

    “One of the best things about riding is that I get to travel all over, especially in the summer, to places like Florida, Michigan, Kentucky, and North Carolina,” Hampton said.

    And, yes, she would like to continue riding when she goes to college. “That would be my dream to be a part of a college equestrian team,” Hampton said. “Right now, I’m learning about the differences between the two main collegiate equestrian programs: Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and figuring out which one would align best with what I have to offer a college team.” 

    Baker may have been the first to break with family tradition, but her parents also recently jolted the local riding world in a big way by moving their horses from a commercial barn and starting their own family barn in Dripping Springs last August. Establishing their independent barn, “Hacienda con Vista,” has spurred some friends to join them, and the new barn currently has eight horses and five mini mules the Bakers rescued from a kill pen in Tennessee.

    “To the outside world, it doesn’t seem like a big deal to create your own family show barn, but it’s really not all that common, so I think people were really surprised when we decided to do it,” Hampton said.

    Unlike commercial boarding facilities where management challenges often mean horses are kept stalled and isolated for extended periods, the Bakers are able to provide species-appropriate nutrition and customized care. At “Hacienda con Vista,” the animals can roam and socialize as nature intended.

    “It has been incredibly rewarding to be able to stand on our own, care for our horses the way we want to and have the unique opportunity to learn from different trainers from all over the country,” Baker said.

    Since going out on their own, Baker has had the opportunity to train and show with top professionals, such as the leading US show hunter rider, Victoria Colvin, as well as top ten-ranked derby rider, trainer, and judge, Hope Glynn. “These opportunities wouldn’t have happened if we had stayed where we were,” Hampton said.

    The young teen is keenly aware of her advantages and takes nothing for granted.

    “I realize, more and more every day, how lucky I am to be able to do this. My entire family lives a certain lifestyle and makes sacrifices so that I’m able to compete at a national level. Our family vacations are now mostly horse shows. I’m so grateful and know none of this would be possible without the support of my parents and grandparents,” Hampton said.
    Read More
  • March

    Leukemia & Lymphoma Society "Students of the Year" Campaign (By Courtney Kenefick, Communications Associate)

    Kate Marcus '23 and Campbell Earley '23 share a common bond: they both lost a grandparent to blood cancer. Together they wanted to raise awareness of this rare cancer and celebrate the lives of the ones they loved. They reached out to The Leukemia Society.
     
    Their fundraising journey spanned seven weeks. Campbell and Kate hit the ground running in early December. They started by making phone calls, setting up meetings, reaching out to friends and family, and sending many emails with their mission in mind.
     
    In a few short weeks, they began reaching their goal.  Ecstatic, they then reached out to corporations for donor matching and in total raised $12,000!
     
    The Leukemia Society was so impressed with these young women that they awarded them with their "Students of the Year Award" to thank them for not only raising awareness of this rare blood cancer but for making such an impact on finding a cure.
    Read More
  • LightSaders Robotics Heads to San Antonio Regionals (By Neil Flores, '22)

    On Saturday, February 12, the St. Michael's LightSaders Robotics Team attended the Austin Metro League Robotics Championship.  The team entered eliminations in 1st place and finished as the winning alliance captain.  The LightSaders took home the trophy and advanced to the regional competition in San Antonio, with teams from across the state of Texas.  For the regional competition at San Antonio we expect to have around 32 teams that have advanced from their own leagues. We will be competing this Saturday, March 5, in order to advance to the World Championship.

    During the AML Robotics Championship, 14 teams advance out of the 60 that entered from the Austin Metro League Robotics Championship. Below is our winning alliance shown with teams 12533 (Inception) and 8424 (Cyber Eagles).
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  • January

    Authentic Adventure Journalism (By Laura Duggan, Director of Marketing & Communications)

    "I want everyone to leave this course with the ability to write a solid and entertaining story about an outdoor adventure. They should know how to research, interview sources, use quotes, formulate a lede and nut graf, and structure both a profile and a first-person story," said Pam LeBlanc, a freelance writer specializing in stories about outdoor adventure and recreation, from backpacking and scuba diving to paddling and snow skiing.

    And what better way to tell such a story than to jump right into a unique adventure soaring above pine trees with the Colorado River in the distance at Zip Lost Pines 1,140-acre McKinney Roughs Nature Park. We look forward to reading their first-person articles about the experience.

    Ms. LeBlanc's work has appeared in Texas Monthly, Texas Highways Magazine, Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, Real Simple, AARP, Austin Monthly, Texas Co-op Power, Tribeza, the Houston Chronicle, and more. Her first book, “My Stories, All True: J. David Bamberger on Life as an Entrepreneur and a Conservationist,” was released in September 2020.
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  • LightSaders Assist St. Gabe's Science Students (By Cyrus Mende '24)

    A drone owned by SMCA Science Department) is up and running again thanks to the LightSaders Robotics team.  They are going to use it to support a St. Gabriel's 8th grade science class in order to help them with their egg drop challenge.  St. Michael's administration allowed the team to borrow the drone.  The team will design and build an air-drop mechanism capable of dropping the students' eggs remotely from the ground.  They are manufacturing the parts themselves to equip the drone, including a part that they will 3-D print and install on the drone. Team members will assist the 8th grade students by creating an example dropping method and answering their questions regarding the underlying science.

    The LightSaders are heading to another competition on Jan 22.  Thanks to the Robotics team for their superior technical skills in serving others.
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  • Safari-Themed Winter Formal (By Camille Terracina and Jennifer Fang)

    As we enter into the second semester, we are looking forward to our Safari-themed Winter Formal!  The dance will be “Sadie Hawkins” style, or “girls ask guys.”  The dance will be held in the Dining Hall on Saturday, February 12, starting at 7:30 p.m.  Students must check in by 8:30 p.m., and are expected to stay until the dance ends at 10:30 p.m.  Tickets are available online for $10 in advance on mySMCA and $15 the night of the event.  If you wish to bring an out-of-school date, be sure to fill out a guest form.    

    Executive Student Council Members Camille Terracina and Jennifer Fang
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  • Serving Austin Winter Term Class All Around Town (By Laura Duggan, Director of Marketing & Communications)

    Students in the Serving Austin Winter Term course have been working and helping all over Austin at many different organizations. From preparing groceries at the Westover Food Pantry to helping at All Things Wild animal sanctuary, harvesting seeds of Blue Stem Grass at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, and bundling diapers at Catholic Charities. Closer to home, students have pitched in to clean up the cafeteria after lunch and have helped out in Athletics organizing inventory in the training room, putting up lacrosse nets on the field, and completing spring cleaning of the equipment room. They also moved the lacrosse shed across the field. 
     
    Many of the Serving Austin participants are also connecting with students in all grades with awareness-raising and donation drives for such organizations as St. Louise HouseBookspringHope Food Pantry, and others, offering service hour credit for bringing in much-needed items. Please email Rae Harrison, Registrar & Service-Learning coordinator, with any questions.  
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  • Men's Soccer Wins District Opener (Coach Patrick)

    In the District opener, St. Michael’s beat St. Anthony 6-1.  Goal scorers were Holt B, Sammy S, Thomas D, Ben H,  Mark P (his first-ever soccer game at SMCA), and Noah C. 

    Up next is a Friday home game at 7 pm vs. St Mary’s Hall.
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  • Women's Soccer First District Victory (By Coach Keyes)

    The Women’s Soccer team won their district opener in a not-so-hard-fought 13-0 victory at St. Anthony’s on Tuesday afternoon. 

    Kennedy H (22) led the team with 4 goals, Julie L (24) had three and other goals were scored Cadence L (22), Skylar M (22) Ruby B (24), Laney K (24), Abigail D (25) and Kyra L (25).   Skylar M and Laney K combined in goal for the shutout.

    All 21 players who suited up got ample time on the field to contribute to a great first district victory.
    Up next is a Friday home game at 5 pm vs. St Mary’s Hall.
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    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.