News Archive

2019

  • March

    2019 Spring Musical: A Cabaret

    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. 
    Read More
  • College Admissions Scandal: A Teachable Moment

    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.

    Read More
  • Dementia Simulation and Brain Physiology (By Neilia Bliss, R.N., Anatomy & Physiology Instructor)

    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.

    A special thank you to Colleen Urry for suggesting the dementia simulation for our class and assisting on campus with our group. More information may be found at https://www.secondwind.org/virtual-dementia-tourreg.html
    Read More
  • It's A Classic! Sign Up Today for Crusader Classic Golf Tournament

    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!  
    Hope to see you on the links!
     
    Chairs Laura & Tim Keyes and Kathryn & Patrick Boykin
    Honorary Alumni Chair Dirk VanderPloeg '97!
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  • Making Life Safer: Engineer Your World Students Study Building in Earthquake Zone (By Patti McLain, Physics & Engineering Instructor)

    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)
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  • Project Graduation Celebration!

    Seniors, it's time to sign up for Project Graduation! All seniors will want to attend this all-night celebration on May 25, the night of graduation. You'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.
     
     
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  • Sophomore Theology Students Explore Identity and Temptation (By Adrienne Prochaska, Theology Instructor)

    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. 
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  • Spring Sports Yard Signs!

    Spring athletes: Show your Crusader team spirit with a yard sign!  Order for baseball, tennis, golf, track, and more! 

    Please place orders for sports signs by April 12, 2019. 
     
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  • St. Michael's to Honor Student Academic Achievements (By Shannon Hudson, Director of College Counseling and Academic Services)

    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!
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  • Students Being Their Best Selves (By Dr. Dawn Nichols, Head of School)

    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.
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  • Summer Camps at St. Michael's Registration Open!

    Sign up here for any camp listed below. For Film Camp, please use this link to sign up. 

    ATHLETICS

     Basketball  |  Football  |  Strength& Conditioning |  Volleyball 

    Boys Basketball Camp
    Contact: Coach Land
    Email – cland@smca.com
    Cost $100 per week
    June 10-13

    Grades 2nd-6th
    9:00am - 12:00pm

    Grades 6th-9th
    12:30pm – 3:30pm
     
    Strength & Conditioning Camp
    Contact: Coach Dicus
    Email – jdicus@smca.com
    Grades 9th-12th
    7:00am - 9:00am
    Cost $300

    June 10- 13
    June 17-20
    June 24-27
    July 8 – 11
    July 15-18
    July 22-25
     
    SMCA Volleyball Camp
    Contact – Coach Silvernail
    Cost $125 per session

    June 24-27

    Grades 7th-9th 
    9:30am - 12:00pm

    Grades 9th-12th
    12:30am-3:00pm
     
    Boys and Girls Soccer Camp
    Contact: Coach Miller
    Email – pmiller@liverpoolfcamerica.com

    Grades 3rd-5th
    Cost $145
    July 8-11
    9:30am - 12:30pm
     
    Grades 6th-9th
    Cost $145
    July 15-18
    9:30am - 12:30pm
     
    SMCA Football Camp
    Contact: Coach Dicus
    Email – jdicus@smca.com
    Cost $250

    Grades 5th-9th
    July 22-25
    9:00am - 1:00pm
    Read More
  • SXSW EDU 2019: Alpha Rockets and More (By Russ Glenn, Physics and Honors Inquiry Project Instructor)

    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.
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  • Course Registration Extended to March 24

    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.
    1. Access registration through the Course Request tab, once logged into MySMCA.
    2. 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!
    3. 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.
    4. Please be mindful as to which semester you are registering for and register for both semesters. 
    5. Students are not guaranteed their selected courses, but we do our best.
    6. Students may register for up to three AP courses per year. Honors courses are unlimited, but students are advised to consider their workload.
    7. 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.
    Read More
  • Fasting & Abstinence Guidelines for Lent (By Dennis Hodapp, Director of Campus Ministry)

    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.
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  • Washington University Austin Info Session

    There will be a WashU Info Session:
    Monday, March 25

    7:00 - 8:00 PM
    George Washington Carver Museum
    1165 Angelina Street
    Austin, TX 78702

    For additional information, call the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at (800) 638-0700 or (314) 935-6000.
    Read More
  • Winter Term Travel Applications and Raffle Tickets Due March 15

    Just a reminder that applications for Winter Term 2020 travel are due 3/15/2019. You may access the application here:
     
    https://goo.gl/forms/9hfB2XCzGlpH7bss1
     
    Also, We have extended the Winter Term Raffle! You can buy tickets till 03/15/2019. They are $50/each or 3/$100. 
     
    To buy Winter Term Raffle Tickets, click here. Then select "Register for Remote Bidding" and enter your phone number, and you will see the raffle tickets and gala auction items appear.

    If you have any issues please do not hesitate to contact Cristina Feldott. I have copied her on this email for your convenience. Happy buying!
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  • Lollapalaxa: Five Lacrosse Games - One Field - March 9

    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
    • Food provided by the Sader Dads
    • Live music provided by Sader Dads band
    • Lacrosse vendor tents with giveaways.
    • Games
    • Day-of-event commemorative T-shirts
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  • Classic Entertainment - Puppets! (By Ivan Klousia, Director of Theatre)

    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.
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  • Crusaderettes Named Grand Champion Team

    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
    Awesome performance, Ladies!
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  • Delightful Theatre Adventure for Partner School Elementary Students (By Ivan Klousia, Director of Theatre)

    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.
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  • HRI Students Recognized at Austin Regional Science Festival (By Dr. Dennis Sheeter, Science Department Chair, AP Chemistry Instructor)

    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.
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  • February

    Crusader Day - March 4

    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 school on Monday, March 4. Buses will not run on Crusader Day.)

    Freshmen

    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.

    Sophomores

    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.
     
    Please complete the field trip permission form, and return to Ms. Adrienne Prochaska in class on February 28.

    Juniors

    Monday, March 4
     
    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 is available here and 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 shudson@smca.com

    Seniors

    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. 
     
    Thank you,
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  • Elena Earns a 36 on ACT - Just Perfect!

    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.
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  • FORMED: Netflix for All Things Catholic

    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.
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  • Multi-Media Culminating Projects on "Lord of the Flies" Unit (By Payton Ritchey, M.A., English Instructor)

    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. 
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  • Pennies for Patients SLT Fundraiser

    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.

    Rewards:
    • 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
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  • Peruvian Students End Three-Week St. Michael's Visit (By Aitor Arrondo, Spanish Instructor)

    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.
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  • Vanessa Garlepp a National Merit Finalist

    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
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  • Verification of Enrollment (VOE) Form Request Now Online

    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. 
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  • Women's Soccer Has Great Season

    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.
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  • All About Probability (By Mackey Smith, Math Instructor)

    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).
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  • Announcing New Twitter Account for Athletics!

    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.


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  • Celebrating the Year of the Pig (By Meishing Chen, Mandarin teacher )

    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!
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  • Josh Bannon Places First-Breaks Record at State Swim Meet

    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.
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  • Madison Barrick '22 Releases Original Song

    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.

    You may listen to her song on iTunes from this link. Enjoy!
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  • Men's Basketball Wins District! Back-to-Back-to-Back!

    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!
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  • Sean Tyler Sums Up Winter Term Experience in South Africa

    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.
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  • Senior Ads for Yearbook (By Gil Garcia, Technology Instructor)

    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:
    • Full Page $350.00
    • Quarter Page $140.00
    • Half Page $200.00
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  • Women's Soccer Advances to Elite Eight

    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.
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  • Basketball Wins Big on Senior Night

    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. 
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  • SMCA Swim Headed to State

    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!
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  • Women's Soccer Wins District Championship

    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. 
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  • Austin Marathon Volunteer Opportunity

    Date: Feb 17 (Sunday) 6:30-11am 
    Volunteer agency: GAZELLE FOUNDATION, work a water stop at the Austin Marathon
    Location: OUTDOORS RAIN OR SHINE at mile 11 of the marathon (2302 Enfield Road, Austin TX 78703 see map below)
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  • Be My Valentine, Y'All! Winter Term Formal

    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!
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  • Catholic Schools Week Launches Second Semester (By Dennis Hodapp, Director or Campus Ministry)

    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!

    Sincerely Yours,

    Dennis Hodapp
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  • Celebrating our 35th Anniversary: An Alumnus Returns to Teach at St. Michael's

    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!
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  • College Counseling Center News & Info

    Summer Program:
     
    Johns Hopkins Pre-College, programs in Disease and Physiology and Introduction to Surgery
     
    Career Series:

    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).  
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  • Major Dates for 2019 - 2020 School Year

    2019
     
    Aug 1 - Aug 2
    College Boot Camp for Seniors
    Aug 1
    Fall Sports Begin
    Aug 10
    Aug 12 - 13
    Crusader Clean-Up
    First Day of School & Retreat for 9th Grade
    Aug 13
    Grades 10-12 IDs, Photos & Schedules
    Aug 14
    Classes Begins for ALL Students
    Nov 25 - 29
    Thanksgiving Holiday Break
    Dec 23 - Dec 31
    Christmas Holiday Break
    2020
     
    Jan 1 - 6
    Christmas Holiday Break
    Mar 16 - 20
    Spring Break
    May 29
    Last Day of School
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  • Researching an Argument (By Stephanie Stewart, Humanities & Writing Instructor)

    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.
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  • Sader Dads Winter Social, Wednesday, February 6

    All St. Michael's Dads are welcome to attend the Sader Dads Winter Social from 6: 30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the new Sway Restaurant in Westlake, 3437 Bee Cave Road  78746
     
    Questions? Please contcat Chris Kappmeyer at 512-426-1937 or chris@brokernetwork.com.

    Thanks and Welcome!
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  • St. Michael's SoundCloud Site (Steve Moreland, Director of Fine Arts)

    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)
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  • January

    Give Ms. T and the Dining Hall Team a Hand, and Keep the Lunch Line Moving!

    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!
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  • License to Thrill Gala - February 23, 2019

    "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! 
     
    Help fill Bond's gala attaché with silent and live auction gadgets. We need your donations of gift cards, experiences, and items to make the gala a success.
    Click here to see a detailed list of our needs.
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  • Music Classes Songwriter Panel and Showcase

    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.  
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  • St. Michael's Celebrates 35 Years: Our Legacy Families!

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, ST. MICHAEL'S!

    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!
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  • Winter Term 2019 Updates

    Students in the Serving Austin Winter Term course are holding a book drive.

    INTERNSHIPS

    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.”
     
    Students are currently interning at diverse organizations, such as Hack StudiosTri-Star FarmAustin Oral & Maxillofacial SurgeryIBM, and BEEVET Animal Hospital, in Austin, and as far away as Massachusetts, New York and China.
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  • Congratulations, St. Michael's!

    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.
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  • Fall Culminating Projects in 3D Architecture Design Class (By David Meagher, Technology & Social Sciences Instructor)

    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.
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  • Fall Sports Post-Season Accolades

    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.
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  • Report Cards & Transcripts

    Student report cards and 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.
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  • Welcome to Winter Term!

     
    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 ChinaWe 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 GreeceMarine 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 communications@smca.com, and we will be delighted to share it.
     
    For program questions, please contact Heidi Sloan, Director of Academics. 
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