Personalized spirit yard signs and decals for Basketball, Soccer, Swimming and more are available now! Order by November 16 for winter sports. Yard signs are $25 and car decals are $12.
It's not too late to order Family Shout Out Signs and Corporate Sponsor Signs to be hung at the football field, gym, theatre, and baseball field. Click here to shout out to your basketball player or musician! Order by November 16.
On Thursday, November 1, the St. Michael's Honors Anatomy and Physiology class had an amazing hands-on educational experience at the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University. Led by the Skeletal Lab director and a team of Ph.D. and graduate assistants, our class took part in a private workshop where we learned about human osteology, and identifying markers on the human skeleton, ranging from clues for sex determination to indicators of disease processes. This approach allowed for an integration of our classroom learning, provided our class a platform for analyzing a real human skeleton, and introduced our students to the process of creating a biological profile for anthropological forensic casework. Truly an outstanding experience!
Recently, AP English Language and Composition students visited St. Theresa's to help 5th-8th grade students draft some of their first perfect paragraphs of the year. In coordination with Mr. Quentin Moore, St. Theresa's middle school English teacher, students from both schools collaborated in small groups to answer prompts created by Mr. Moore. St. Michael's students spent the day giving friendly advice about best writing practices; it was heartening to see our students realize how helpful they could be to new academic writers. The experience boosted the students' confidence in their own writing and allowed them to reflect on how much they had grown as writers.
The St. Theresa's students were eager to listen to advice from high school students who had already experienced the rigors of academic writing. It was wonderful to see how they recognized what their high school counterparts were saying was exactly what they had been learning in class. Engaging conversation and laughter were staples throughout the day.
AAA Jackets will be on campus Tuesday, November 27, from 12:10 - 1:00 in Cafe Laredo for Lettermanjackets. Any student-athlete who plays a varsity sport interested in ordering a lettermanjacket or a patch for a lettermanjacket, please stop by AAA Jackets table.
This is the time of year when the nursing office at St. Michael’s may start to see an increase in student visits for viruses causing things such as runny noses, colds, flu, and bronchitis. Please remember that keeping our school healthy starts with proper hand washing, covering coughs, and staying home when sick.
I thought I would bring Antibiotic Awareness Week into the spotlight as a reminder that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises use of antibiotics only when necessary to further reduce antibiotic resistance, the spread of superbugs, and protect us from side effects from antibiotics. The CDC promotes Be Antibiotics Aware, an educational initiative to educate the public about when antibiotics are needed, when they are not, how to take antibiotics appropriately, and potential side effects of antibiotics.
Thank you for supporting your students' health and well-being,
Congratulations to the Varsity Theatre students who competed Saturday, November 2, at the James Bowie High School Texas Forensic Association (TFA) Individual Qualifying Tournament. St. Michael's students competed along with students from twenty other public and private schools from around the central Texas area to qualify for the TFA State tournament to be held in March in Houston.
Individual honors included: Collette Phillips - 1st place in Humorous Interpretation and 1st Place in Prose Interpretation, Isabella Garcia - 3rd place in Dramatic Interpretation, 4th place in Humorous Interpretation and 5th place in Prose interpretation. Vanessa Garlepp and Elisa Arguello received 5th place in Duo Interpretation.
Volleyball advances to the TAPPS 5A Final Four after defeating Frisco Legacy Christian Academy in three straight sets at Hamilton High School. This is the second time in three years that the Crusaders have reached the Final Four. In 2016, the Crusaders won the TAPPS 5A State Championship.
On Friday, November 9, the Crusaders will play Carrollton Prince of Peace at 3:00 p.m. at West High School, 1008 Jerry Mashek Dr. West, TX 76691. Single day tickets are $12 for Adults, $7 for Students. The winner of SMCA vs Prince of Peace will play the winner of Victoria St. Joseph vs San Antonio Christian on Saturday, November 10, at noon in the TAPPS 5A State Championship.
St. Michael’s invites you to join our state-qualifying swim team, and with your help, we can qualify again! The team practices four days a week: three days at Nitro Swimming Bee Caves with one dry land practice at St. Michael's on Wednesdays. For questions, please contact Coach Unruh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join us this Friday November 2 for Senior Night during the Regents vs St. Michael's football game on Austin McMeans Field at Crusader Stadium. St. Michael's will recognize the accomplishments of the seniors for the football, cross country, cheer, dance and drumline teams. The senior presentations schedule will be as follows:
6:45 p.m.:Parents of Football and Cross Country Seniors please meet down by the track.
7 p.m.: Football and cross country senior presentations begin before the football game. Presentation will begin at 7:00
8:20 p.m.: Parents of cheer, dance and drumline seniors, please meet at the track.
8:30-8:55 p.m.: Cheer, dance and drumline senior presentations begin during halftime of the football game.
Latin 1 Students Abby Barber and Daniel Pinzon competed in Certamen at the Caledonia Classic at St. Andrew's! Certamen (Latin, for "competition") is a trivia game in which students vie in the areas of Latin language, Roman history, Greek mythology, and Mediterranean geography. Competition was fierce, and despite getting points on the board, we were unable to advance to the finals.
Congratulations to the Varsity Theatre students who competed October 27 at the TAPPS Division I District 3 One-Act Play contest held in the Gloria Delgado Theatre. Their production of Steel Magnolias advanced to the state contest November 9 and 10 in Kerrville. In addition to their overall success as a production, there were several notable individual honors:
Best Actress Award: Brittany Stewart
Honorable Mention All-Star Cast: Isabella Garcia, Vanessa Garlepp, Collette Phillips, and Rylee Russell
In Honors Geometry, students were tasked with designing a city to prove theorems about lines and angles. Their creativity yielded new communities such as Candyland, Starbucks City and Hodge Podge city. They had to prove the following theorems:
vertical angles are congruent;
when a transversal crosses parallel lines, alternate interior angles are congruent and corresponding angles are congruent;
points on a perpendicular bisector of a line segment are exactly those equidistant from the segment’s endpoints.
Mr. Council and Ms. Priour are accepting applications for the Marine Conservation class for Winter Term 2019! Students will travel to Galveston, dissect sharks, stay on the beach, and learn all about wilderness and wildlife conservation through field trips around central Texas! Fill out this Google form to apply.
The Gazelle Foundation is able to ensure one more person in Burundi access to clean drinking water for the rest of his or her life with a $30 donation. Our hope as a school community is to share our amazing students' gifts with the greater Austin area. In order to encourage this engagement outside the St. Michael's borders, we have created an Advisory Challenge for the Run For the Water Event on November 4. Join us on race day to cheer on our runners or help St. Michael's raise money and reach our fundraising goal for people in Burundi by donating here!
In our always-on digital world, it can be hard for tweens and teens – and adults! – to successfully navigate online and IRL (In Real Life) worlds. Ana’s work, which is grounded in research and based on over fifteen years of working with students of all ages, offers practical solutions for students, parents, and educators as they navigate the ever-changing issues involving social networking and healthy teen development. Ana will be presenting to our students on November 14. For more information and a presentation schedule, please click here.
Latin 1 Students Abby Barber and Daniel Pinzon competed in Certamen at the Caledonia Classic at St. Andrew's! Certamen (Latin, for "competition") is a trivia game in which students vie in the areas of Latin language, Roman history, Greek mythology, and Mediterranean geography. Competition was fierce, and despite getting points on the board, we were unable to advance to the finals.
Latin 2 presented on mythological biographies. Over the course of many weeks, having each selected a figure from mythology, the students wrote simplified biographies, intended to be comprehensible to Latin 1 students with appropriate contextual and visual cues. Behold the sad tale of the Minotaur: Minotaurus habet corpus pueri et caput tauri. Minotaurus est filius Pasiphaae. Est fortior quam homo. Minotaurus est iratum monstrum. Theseus interfecit Minotaurum. (Story by Jordan Sommers; pictured is Marissa Rios, presenting on the hero Theseus, with Louis Smith, Koke Dolce, Anna Usleman, Augie Stone, and Kate Brady
As we continue to bolster our safety procedures at St. Michael's, our campus, in conjunction with the Travis County Sheriff's Office, completed a successful lockdown drill Wednesday morning. Thank you to all our faculty and staff for following proper protocol and procedure and assisting in an effective drill. We ask that our student body, faculty and staff continue to be mindful to keep all doors closed and to use key fobs for entry.
Teaching seniors is a unique opportunity to see the transformation from the excitement of leading the school and finally being on top, to the uncertainty and anxiety about transition toward the unknown future, to a gradually growing sense of young adulthood, the sobering, yet resolute facing of one’s thrownness into the world.
In addition, several schools in the area have seen incidences of staph infections on their campuses. St. Michael’s has been notified of a few cases involving a small number of our student athletes. The Athletic Department is taking all the prescribed steps to prevent the spread of staph in our athletic facilities; however, we would like to share with you some important information about identifying infection, personal hygiene, and disease prevention at the individual level.
John D. Esparza (Jake '18, Josh '20, Jack '22) will present at the November 7 Career Speaker Series on political lobbying.Mr. Esparza, a graduate of Texas Tech University in Lubbock and a sixth generation native of West Texas, serves as president and CEO of Texas Trucking Association (TXTA) and Executive Director of Southwest Movers Association (SMA). TXTA, one of the largest trucking associations in the nation, was established in 1932 in Austin, while SMA got its start in 1917.
The Science and Language Arts Departments are once again offering a unique opportunity for students to explore many issues that plague the health of our oceans today in Winter Term’s Marine Conservation Experience. Students will explore the history and current challenges of marine conservation/ecology from a unique set of perspectives: marine biology and literature. Students will explore several important conservation efforts in western Travis County by taking field trips to see different ways natural resources are protected and conserved.
While it seems like the school year has just begun, we are already starting to get y’all ready for Christmas. It’s poinsettia time!
These lovely holiday plants are $16.50 and can be paid for with cash, check (made out to SMCA), or online from this link. A secure box will be located at the front desk for you to drop off order forms and payment. A paper form is also available from my office, or you may download it here.
St. Michael’s Cross Country teams swept the 5A District 4 Championships at Dell Diamond in Round Rock on Friday, October 22. The men’s team led with the one-two punch of Jackson Long and Joe Lawler, who crossed the finish line well ahead of the competition in 15:45 and 16:48 for the 5k course, respectively. They were followed by fellow Crusaders Nathaniel Mahoney (5th), Lachlan Thomas (9th), Nicholas Terracina (10th), Jackson Laughery (11th), and Alex Garcia (17th). The men’s team easily outdistanced second place Brentwood Christian 27 to 78.
In English I Honors, the students are knee deep in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and are grappling with some of the more difficult language the play presents by completing the occasional translation of the longer speeches into modern English. For example, they paraphrased Mercutio's famous Queen Mab speech to gain a better understanding of his point about the fact that dreams mean nothing, "Which are the children of an idle brain,/ Begot nothing but vain fantasy."
There will be a Freshman Mom Coffee at the home of Anne DeVries on Wednesday, October 24, following 8:30 a.m. drop-off. Her home is located at 3202 Sweet Autumn Cove, just around the corner from St. Michael's. Coffee and light breakfast will be served. All moms with a freshman at SMCA are encouraged to attend.
What's a little weather to a true Crusader fan? Get cozy under the tent or on the porch with great food and drink. Enjoy music entertainment before and after the game. Plenty for the kiddos, too!
The schedule for Friday night is as follows:
6:00: Crusader Bands (in the Delgado Theatre if it's raining, or on the outdoor stage if it isn't)
6:30 - 8:00: Mexican Food Buffet (in the Dining Hall if it's raining, or on the back porch of the Dining Hall if it isn't), along with face painting, life-size Jenga, and life-size Connect 4 on the covered patio.
7:30: Kick Off
9:30: Alumni band performs (in the theater if it's raining, on the outdoor stage if it isn't raining)
Homecoming volunteers needed! We need a few parents to help set up for homecoming on Friday afternoon. Here's the link if you have time to spare!
Please pick up your order of HOCO mums or garters on Thursday between 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. or on Friday morning between 7:30-8:30 a.m. in the UPPER COMMONS! Several parent volunteers will be on hand to pass them out to those who ordered them.
In our always-on digital world, it can be hard for tweens and teens – and adults! – to successfully navigate online and IRL (In Real Life) worlds.
With empathy, compassion, and humor, noted Silicon Valley author Ana Homayoun discusses some of the modern parenting dilemmas in the age of the smartphone and speaks about her latest book, “Social Media Wellness: Helping Teens and Tweens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World.” The book explores how the digital balancing act affects all aspects of our lives and personal wellness, and for students impacts academic abilities and social well-being, as well as emotional and physical health.
It is an oft-neglected skill, but drawing is essential to good design work. This holds true for architects, product designers and graphic artists! All good graphic artists know that a simple doodle can get an idea across better than a thousand words, and with this in mind, students in Graphic Design class students are turning their hands to drawing.
On Friday, students begin drawing practice, using work from some of the best in the field of animation as their inspiration! This practice will pay dividends down the line, as students can depict concepts and ideas long before they turn on Illustrator or Photoshop. Drawing also cements essential hand-eye coordination, a knowledge of scale and form, and promotes creativity - all essential tools in the graphic designer's tool belt!
The image is a sketch from world-renowned Glen Keane, Disney animator and is one of the drawing samples that we sketch from.
It's here! The Winter Term Course Catalogue may be accessed from this link. From Pilates to Python Programming, there are over 40 courses from which to choose. You may also go to Resources>Winter Term and find it there. Registration will take place in Advisory classes on November 1.
When I started running a volunteer program at Austin Chinese School, I requested all Mandarin Class students to volunteer there five times within this school year. Students are not only doing their service job, but are also practicing their Chinese. Last Sunday, two Mandarin Class students, Cadence Layne and Clark Murdough, helped at Mid-Autumn Festival event. After the event, they went into the classroom to assist the Chinese teachers.
St. Gabe's Fall Homecoming Carnival is tomorrow, Friday, October 12. Any students needing volunteer hours can work after the school day and before the game. Here is the link: SGCS Homecoming Carnival Volunteers
This year St. Michael’s offers eight chemistry classes consisting of five on-level, two honors and one AP class.
To accommodate all of our students this year, on-level chemistry is being taught by Dr. Sheeter and Ali Thames. Both instructors bring expert and innovative teaching experiences into their classrooms and teach the same curriculum.
During the past nine years, Dr. Sheeter has been revamping the curriculum with three goals in mind: make chemistry engaging for students, produce better problem solvers, and prepare students for college chemistry. Several of Dr. Sheeter’s alumni have emailed to say that they were not only prepared for their first-year college chemistry courses, but they were leading study groups and pulling off A’s.
Please come and support the SMCA Women's Volleyball teams and welcome FUTURE CRUSADERS at our Chili Cook-Off Thursday, October 11, 2018.
Sader Dads will be hosting a Chili Cook-Off from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. and need you to whip up your favorite chili. Let's see who takes home the 2018 Chili Cook-Off Champion title. There is also an opportunity for you to volunteer to bring drinks and other items that we will need for this event.
We are looking forward to supporting our Women’s Volleyball teams and hope for a great turnout for the event. We look forward to seeing everyone and tasting some really fine chili!
After experiencing the Street Retreat, Juniors wrote articles, some of which may be considered for submission to the website “Austin Street Humans,” for which senior Sidney Kaliher is a contributing author. What follows is a sampling of several student reflections:
"I will carry with me the lessons that I have learned from participating in this enriching experience for the rest of my life and will spread the word to the rest of my community that it’s all right to feel a little bit uncomfortable and to not know what to do with yourself when encountering the homeless, but it isn’t all right to view yourself as superior to them and that therefore they don’t deserve your time." (Jessica Mikell)
"Since the Street Retreat, I attempt to mimic the attitude John shows every day, waking up with a new appreciation of the life I am living. My alarm is now set to “Goodnight” by Kanye West, the song from which John pulled out his life motto. From this day on, John will always live in my soul, in the sense of waking up with appreciation of the world and the value of each human life." (Matthew Melvin)
After turning their hand to stylized, artistic style rendering with Adobe Photoshop, students in the Architectural Design in 3D class move on to photorealism. With a client base that includes Nike, Rolex and special effects houses like Weta Workshop (Lord of the Rings), Luxion's Keyshot is the premier visualization software available.
Students in this class use Keyshot to render realistic images of their designs, bringing them to life with a little dash of Photoshop. This high-end software is used to visualize concepts such as architectural interiors, products and concept art. Students will use the software to render future projects (interior designs, product shots and skyscraper design) and develop their career skills. Once again, we offer our thanks to the generous donors who helped with the 302 computer lab refurbishment.
With The Crusader Fund in full swing, we wanted to remind parents of the various ways you can make your pledge or gift to the Crusader Fund.
Thank you to those that have pledged their support to the Crusader Fund and made an impact already:
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Bautch
Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Boykin
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Brucker
Mr. and Mrs. Leo Dehner
Mr. and Mrs. Brian DeRoeck (Carolyn ’93)
Mr. and Mrs. Jerry DeVries
Mr. and Mrs. David Dodson
Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Dolce ’90
Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Eichorst
Mr. and Mrs. John Esparza
Mr. and Mrs. Donald Figer
Dr. Gerald Gallinghouse
and Mrs. Nora Montez
Dr. and Mrs. William Getman
Ms. Stephanie Lucie and Mr. Roy Keithley
Mr. and Mrs. Tim Keyes
Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Matula
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Moyes
Mr. and Mrs. James Poer
Mr. Angel Rangel and Mrs.
Mr. and Mrs. Alan Smith
Mr. and Mrs. Alan Topfer
Mr. and Mrs. Roger Tyler
To make a gift online by Credit Card visit www.SMCA.com/CrusaderFund and complete the Giving Form. Under payment, select the credit card icon and hit submit at the bottom of the page. You will then asked to provide your credit card information.
NEW! Make a gift using your FACTS account
To make your donation via your FACTS account, click here and fill out the donation form. Your account will be charged at the end of the month or months by our Business Office for the amount listed.
Just a quick reminder that October 2 and October 10 are early dismissal days. Students will be released on Tuesday, October 2 at 2:00 p.m. and on Wednesday, October 10 at 12:00 p.m. On both days, buses will depart 10 minutes after dismissal. Athletic teams will start their practices at 2:00 p.m. on October 2 and at 1:00 p.m. on October 10. All details may be found from "Read More."
Extracurricular Acitivies Schedule:
Women's Basketball: OFF Both Days
Dance Normal Practice Times Both Days (4 PM Start Time)
Football: 2:30-5 (10/2) and 1-3:30 (10/10)
Men's Basketball: 2:30-3:30 (10/2) and 1-2 (10/10)
Volleyball: No Practice on 10/2 due to a game; 1-4 (10/10)
Parenting the Well-Balanced Student will be an interactive presentation on the parental role in developing and supporting healthy, engaged children. When we are too focused on grades and performance, we deny our children the time and energy they need to tackle the demanding work of growing up. Margaret Dunlap will focus on maintaining a healthy home environment that helps reduce academic stress, without sacrificing achievement, by increasing your child’s resilience, creativity, and well-being. Dunlap will share research-based strategies to help create a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for your child. An informational flyer is included here. Please see Early Dismissal article for more details.
In ten days, students from our sister school in France will be visiting St. Michael's. They will be with us for 12 days, and our students will go there for Winter Term. Unfortunately, their group is bigger than ours, and we are still in need of families to host two students.
The French students are polite and well-mannered. Please consider hosting one these boys. If interested, please contact Mr. Carlon Haas at email@example.com. The students are here from 10/11/2018-10/23/2018. Thank You!
A reminder that Juniors and Seniors interested in pursuing an internship over Winter Term must submit their applications by tomorrow, October 12, at 3:35 p.m. The application can be found here.
Parents, if you are interested in hosting an intern this Winter Term, or in taking part in our Career Series, please indicate your interest on this form.
If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Spear in the College Counseling Center.
The St. Michael’s Internship Program provides an opportunity for students to locate and craft a meaningful three-week internship experience during the Winter Term (Jan 8-25). This program, open to juniors and seniors, will aid students in finding their potential passions, while teaching our students to hone practical skills that will be used in the working world.
Our Mandarin class is going to host a Moon Festival next Monday, September 24, during lunch time. Students will set up the mid-autumn festival on the deck in the courtyard where they will host moon cake and tea tasting and a mock-up of moon cake making. Chinese yoyo, a hula hoop competition, and sun shooting games will round out the event.
Qui Nguyen's She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans as she struggles to deal with the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge. This high-octane dramatic comedy is filled with wicked fairies, nasty ogres, 90s pop culture, and offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all. Join our actors and as they share this timeless classic with our community October 5 at 7:30 pm, October 6 at 7:30 pm, and October 7 at 2:30 pm.
Due to some mature content, this production is recommended for 8th grade students and older. All St. Michael's students, staff, and parent admission is free. All prospective student admission is free (please wear a current school t-shirt or bring a student ID).
If you are not a member of the SMCA community, the general admission door price for the public is $5.00 for children and $8.00 for adults. All payment will be collected on the night of the event at the door. Please print and bring your registration confirmation to the performance as your RSVP.
One student said, “I listen to music all the time, but I never thought much about how it was actually made… very cool!”
There is a new trend coming in music education and St. Michael’s is leading the way! This summer I was fortunate enough to travel to Nashville and attend a conference hosted by The Association for Popular Music Education (APME). During the conference, I was surrounded by other musicians, industry professionals, university professors and educators and sat in on some round table discussions and seminars discussing the future of music education. I was amazed and thrilled when I discovered I wasn’t the only one teaching music through a popular and music industry-related viewpoint.
In fact, many universities have adopted this “popular music ed” philosophy and now major institutions are offering degrees in “commercial music” or “popular music.” For example, you can now attend the University of Miami and major in music and choose your primary instrument as “the computer.” And even in Europe, countries such as Sweden have adopted and implemented this approach in their schools. Now that major universities and institutions around the world are adopting “popular music education” (PME), it is only a matter of time before this filters down to secondary schools.
In preparation for their production of scenes from Robert Harling's Steel Magnolias, Varsity Theatre students learn hair styling techniques and practice on each other in class.
Helped by her eager assistant, Annelle (Elisa Arguello '21), the wise-cracking Truvy (Isabella Garcia '19) dispenses hairstyles and free advice to the town's curmudgeon, Ouiser (Collette Phillips '20), an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee (Vanessa Garlepp '19) and the local social leader, M'Lynn (Brittany Stewart '19), whose daughter, Shelby (Rylee Russell '21) is about to get married. Filled with both hilarious and heartbreaking moments that make the play both touching and funny, SMCA's one-act production is not to be missed!
This production will serve as St. Michael's entry into the TAPPS Division I District 3, One-Act play contest to be held in the Gloria Delgado Theatre on Saturday, October 27. The show will be open to the public and the performance time will be announced shortly. Varsity Theatre students hope that the entire SMCA community comes out to support their work!
Welcome to our Spanish exchange students! The heart of St. Michael's Global Studies Program is our relationship with sister schools Sainte Agnes in Angers, France and Highlands el Encinar in Madrid, Spain. St. Michael's and its sister schools have a unique program whereby students attend each other's school, fully and actively participate in student life there, and live with each other's family. Our exchanges allow students to see the world from multiple perspectives and to think and act globally by navigating cultural differences and problem-solve.
All grade levels are encouraged to attend the 'Hills of Austin College Fair' to explore the unique offerings at over 150 different colleges and universities from Arizona State to Yale. It's a one-stop college shop! St. Michael's is hosting this event with partner schools St. Stephen's, Regents and St. Andrew's. An up-to-date list of college attendees may be accessed from this link.
We are thrilled to continue the tradition of HOMECOMING mum and garter-making for the SMCA kids this year. Homecoming weekend this year is October 19. All sales proceeds from the mums and garters will benefit Project Graduation 2019! Each year, the money we raise from this fundraiser allows our seniors to enjoy a fun, memorable and safe night after their graduation festivities. We have had great success over the past couple of years and ask you to consider a mum or garter purchase as your parting gift to the senior class.
Please use this link to order your (or your son/daughter's) mum or garter for Homecoming 2018. You will see many choices. The kids love the tradition of mums in Texas and feel extra special wearing one, regardless of whether they have a date.
AP Spanish Language and the AP Spanish Literature classes went to San Antonio on September 11 to see the spectacular and historical paintings of the exhibition Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting from the Museums of Madrid. The museum’s guide took us on an artistic and historical journey, starting with El Greco’s dramatism and expressionism, 16th century. Then we moved to Velazquez’s realistic and complex portraits, 17th century.
In addition to the High School Research Initiative (HRI) course in partnership with the University of Texas, St. Michael’s is offering Engineer Your World 1to its students for the first time this year. Engineer Your World 1 is a course developed by the UTeach Engineering group of the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas.
We still have a few openings for the France exchange and World Youth Day trips for 2019 Winter Term. Please contact Mr. Carlon Haas at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Slots are officially closed 9/20/2018.
In three weeks, students from our sister school in France will be visiting St. Michael's. They will be with us for 12 days, and our students will go there in Winter Term. Unfortunately, their group is bigger than ours, so we are in need of families to host some French students. The French students are polite and well-mannered. Please consider hosting one. If interested in hosting a French student in Austin, please contact Mr. Carlon Haas at email@example.com. The students are here from 10/11/2018-10/23/2018.
Sophomores, who are studying World Literature, are reading Sophocles' plays from the Oedipus Cycle. These plays form an important part of the canon of Western Literature, since they were the models Aristotle later used to define tragedy.
In addition to reading the plays and analyzing the concept and structure of a tragedy, students are preparing and performing choral odes, much as the ancient Greeks did. Groups construct dramatic masks and choreograph movements to choral odes first performed in outdoor amphitheaters 2500 years ago.
The Crusader Cross Country teams competed in the Austin Westlake Invitational on Friday, August 31. Men's varsity took 11th in the 161 runner 20-team field comprised mostly of UIL 6A competition. Jackson Long led the way with a 5th place medalist finish running the 5K course in a blistering 15:29.
On August 31, 2018, the Crusader Football had its first inaugural game on the Austin McMeans Field at Crusader Stadium against Lanier High School. In the first quarter, the Crusaders got on the scoreboard with a 10-yard run by Senior quarterback Sam Saxton and then converted the two point conversion with a pass to Junior Tight End Jack Hagy. After recovering an onside kick, the Crusaders marched into the end zone again with a 10-yard run by Senior running back Sebastian Cascarano and converted the two point conversion again. After a force fumble and fumble recovery by the Crusader defense, Saxton connected with Hagy via the air for a touchdown to make the score 23-0 to end the first quarter.
Johnna Berardi has joined the Math Department this school year, teaching Geometry and Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry. Johnna hails from the great state of Ohio, home of the Buckeyes, where she taught at two different independent schools in Cleveland, Ohio. Johnna taught Geometry and FST at Hawken Upper School, a college preparatory school, where she also coached volleyball and served as an advisor. She then went on to teach Algebra at Fuchs Mizrachi, an orthodox Jewish school. Johnna is excited to join the St. Michael’s community and looks forward to seeing what the new year entails.
This email contains quite a bit of information, but we wanted you to have all of it, so please read carefully. We met with all juniors on Wednesday to update them on the use of Naviance, signing up for College Visits, and utilizing the College Planning tab under Resources for Naviance. All students also attended the TCU college presentation to better understand what a representative visit on our campus looks like!
IMPORTANT- We HIGHLY encourage all juniors to attend BOTH the Mock SAT on campus on September 15 and the Mock ACT on campus September 22. It allows you to determine the best test for you to pursue your junior year. Tests will be scored on site the day of the exam.
We are excited to incorporate into our calendar four late starts over the course of the year. The school day will begin for students at 10:00 a.m. on September 20, December 6, February 28, and April 4.
These late starts will serve a variety of purposes, not the least of which is giving our students an occasional opportunity to sleep in and get some extra rest, if they so choose.
For faculty and staff, these late starts will afford us opportunity to engage in a variety of professional development work and ongoing overall programmatic advancement. Time to work together as a learning community is too often in short supply. Hence, we decided to build in these time blocks so that we can collectively nurture our program and ultimately support student learning even more effectively.
In Spanish 4 our current chapter focuses on interpersonal relationships: break ups, marriage, qualities of the ideal partner, etc. The students were able to see this vocab in context by watching a 2014 short film out of Spain titled "Cafe Para Llevar" (coffee to go) which features a pair of exes who are brought back together by fate. The students used current vocab and grammar concepts to analyze Alicia and Javier's past, present and possible future together and were able to use the target language to express their personal opinions on the relationship. This lesson was a great way to make the current material relevant and take it out of the traditional textbook and into real life. Sometimes a little drama goes a long way in the classroom!
The Class of 2022 is in the midst of a seminar series on “How to Thrive in High School,” focusing on time management, study strategies, executive function skills, resources available on campus, and guest speakers from Student Life, Theology and Guidance Counseling. The seminar was designed to start all freshmen on the road to academic and personal success at St. Michael’s. All freshman meet during flex block once a week to facilitate small group discussion.
The St. Michael’s Cross Country teams continued their successful season at the Lockhart Invitational on Saturday, August 25. The boys varsity team of Nathaniel Mahoney, Alex Garcia, Lachlan Thomas, Jackson Laughery, Nicholas Terracina and Joe Eichorst competed in the 1a-4a Division. Jackson Long ran in the elite 6a race and took 6th place with a strong performance.
The women continue their team dominance by easily winning the 1a-4a race, without the help of senior runner Kinga Parrish, who was taking the SAT. Mary Hodapp and Camille Terracina led the way with 2nd and 3rd place finishes, respectively. Lyla Senn, Sydney Osgood, Finola Thomas and Gabrielle Bliss all earned top 10 medalist honors, with Ellie Greff taking 14th and Veronica Hodapp taking 28th place. The Crusaders will be back in action August 31 in the Westlake Invitational.
While many teachers and coaches undertake professional development courses during the summer, St. Michael’s basketball coach Cooper Land was able to design a course of his own.
Land spent two weeks with Identity Hoops International, an organization that uses basketball as a platform to partner with local churches and missionaries to engage, mentor and equip athletes. Land coached a team of nine former college basketball players aged 22-26 with aspirations to play professional basketball. After a stint at training camp in Phoenix, Arizona, the group set off to the Philippines for 10 days of basketball games, missionary work, and small group study sessions.
The St. Michael's computer lab was one of the beneficiaries of the recent campus-wide update. In all, 20 new computers were placed in the renovated lab. The new hardware is top of the line, and made possible by generous donations by supporters at last year's Gala fundraiser.
The new machines really allow technology-based classes to utilize the full potential of the software in use here at St. Michaels. Graphic Design and 3D Architecture classes have all benefited from faster loading, increased performance and general stability that comes from new hardware.
The Crusader Cross Country team began its season on August 18 in successful fashion. The three-time defending State Champion Lady Crusaders began their season where they left off in 2017. The Varsity 1 team of Camille Terracina, Mary Hodapp and Kinga Parrish dominated second place Goliad High School en route to the meet championship. The Lady Crusaders Varsity 2 team of Ellie Greff, Sydney Osgood and Cadence Layne finished 5th in the field of over 20 teams with a gutsy performance. The Junior Varsity team of Finola Thomas, Gabby Bliss and Veronica Hodapp put in a great performance, taking 4th overall.
On the men's side, the Varsity 1 team of Jackson Long, Nathaniel Mahoney and Joe Lawler took second in a hotly contested race with state ranked UIL 5A Lockhart.
We're excited to be offering Sader Dads shirts and hats. They will be high quality dark grey Nike Dri-FIT polo shirts. The logo on the chest will be the signature St. Michael’s “M” with “SADER DADS” stitching below it. The hats are maroon with white mesh with the St. Michael's M on the front and Sader Dads stitching on the side.
We could really use some help during the year with our many campus events! Please take a moment to check in and register for a current volunteer opportunity at Crusader Nation on GivePulse, our volunteer management system. We have lots of opportunities for parents to participate. It's a great way to meet new people, to model volunteerism, and to help build a vibrant community.
The Volleyball team will host St. Dominic Savio on Tuesday, August 21, for the first home game of the 2018 season at 6:00 p.m. in the Carter Athletic Center. If you can't make it to the game. KMAC Sports/VYPE Media will be broadcasting the game on their website. www.kmacsports.com.
Football Scrimmage Cancelled
The football scrimmage this Saturday, August 18, has been cancelled. The Crusaders will have a scrimmage against Austin Saints on Friday, August 24, at 6:00 p.m. at Crusader Stadium.
Order a shout-out sign for your favorite Crusader! They will hang all year in the Carter Athletic Center, Austin McMeans Football Field, Gloria Delgado Theatre, or Moore Field! Family signs are $75. Business signs and scoreboard sponsorships also available. Order here by August 26.
Yard Signs for Fall Sports and Fine Arts
Show your pride at home with a yard sign customized with your child's activity, name & jersey number. Crusadettes, School of Rock, Football, and more! Order here by August 26.
Starting in December of 2017, the SMCA film department had the amazing opportunity to work on Mr. Dziedzic's new Christmas movie A Chance of Snow. The result was a unique collaboration with student filmmakers and professionals that improved the prospects of two movies.
Bella Marco offered insight and so many rewrite notes that she shares credit with Mr D on the feature film A Chance of Snow. Mr D's team also helped mentor and guide the SMCA Cinema Club as they completed their award winning, State Champion spin-off film Secret Santas.
Laura Litschi, St. Michael's Theology Chair, graduated this summer with a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at Notre Dame. The Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program prepares transformational school leaders who make God known, loved, and served by implementing rigorous academic programs, managing school resources, and building robust Catholic school communities. Starting in 2016. Laura has been taking classes at Notre Dame throughout the school year to prepare to be a more effective leader for our school. Congratulations, Laura!
Fun Fact: Laura's husband Andrew is a St. Michael's class of 2002 alumnus.
The Crusaderettes competed in the Danceline Competition at Horseshoe Bay. Congrats to the team for winning the Danceline Staff Pick Award, the Enthusiasm Award and the Sweepstakes Award. In addition, the following dancers received awards:
Emily Flores: Award for excellence in Pep Rally Jazz Routine
Meredith Henson: Awards for excellent in Field Kick and Competition Pom
Alyssa Solano: Award for Pep Rally Jazz Routine
And a big congrats to Caroline Carlisle, Meredith Henson, Louisa Nash and Alyssa Solano for excelling in the audition and being selected for the Elite Pom Routine.
We have exciting news! The café is receiving a software upgrade, LunchTime, to incorporate student and parent feedback. LunchTime will enhance our capabilities and shorten the time students wait in line. LunchTime continues to offer the aspects of MealTime that parents liked the most. For example, using cash, check or credit card in person to fill their students' accounts and the ability for parents to monitor their students' eating habits with a simple glance. FURTHER DETAILS WILL FOLLOW SOON!
St. Michael's has some amazing international students coming for the 2018-2019 school year. We are excited to have them join our community. Currently, we have students coming from China. Our goal is for our international Crusaders to become fully immersed into our community.
To that end, we are looking for families who might be willing to host one of our new intentional students for the school year.
Hosting includes a $1,200 a month stipend for 10 months.
an extra room
meals (if they eat lunch at school, they pay for it themselves)
transportation to and from school (or extracurricular activities)
an open mind and an open heart
The commitment is for one academic term only. Of course, you can do more, but that is the minimum. If you would like more information on hosting an international student at St. Michael's, please contact our Director of International Programs, Carlon Haas at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 512-328-2323 x 221.
Newest alumni Pendo Mugofwa and Mary Catherine Dickerson live the St. Michael's mission, "inspiring lives of service, courage, personal integrity..."
They both work at Camp Red Bird, a summer camp put on by the Austin Center for Grief and Loss, a non-profit organization focused on grief and trauma. Camp Red Bird allows children between the ages of 6 and 12 to spend a week with other kids going through similar experiences.
From the mundane to the marvelous, the St. Michael’s campus summer refurbish continues! Beginning with practice lights for the athletic field, new turf for the baseball field, new landscaping and deck, the work continues. Three floors of the Academic Building are getting complete makeovers and Crusader Stadium is being turfed. But there’s more behind-the-scenes recent progress as we get ready for the new school year!
We are excited to announce our new system for logging service hours, MobileServe, just in time for the summer, when many of our students get in the bulk of their service hours. MobileServe provides a slick and simple mobile interface for logging hours with multiple options for verification, such as geolocation and photo uploads.
All students should have received an email containing account set-up procedures. Simply click the link provided in the email, fill in the requested info, download the optional app, and start logging hours!
We will be sending biweekly Thursday newsletters during summer to keep you apprised of the progress on our many projects and provide news and information of interest to the entire community.
Should the need arise to send other time-sensitive information, you may also hear from us. Our goal for summer communications is that they not interfere too much with everyone's relaxation and family fun.
But don't forget about St. Michael's! We'd love to hear what our students and families are up to out there in the world. Put on some spirit wear, snap a photo, and tag us - @smcacrusaders - in your posts, or send a quick email to email@example.com. (Have you noticed that alumnus, and Kansas City Chiefs Center Mitch Morse, always sports a St. Michael's t-shirt when he's interviewed?)
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
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.
Spring football came to an end last Thursday. Collectively, we made a lot of progress. Your student-athletes have worked hard all spring at improving our team and progressing our program. I know we have many expectations for our student-athletes, but there are many rewards and benefits to expectation and accountability.
Football is truly a commitment. Many colleges have visited this spring getting a chance to see our beautiful facilities and your wonderful young men. Everyone from Penn State to Dordt college have been our way (for more of a list, check our Facebook page). Even our alumni have stopped by to share words with their younger brothers in the program about what it means to be part of a team with a common goal. Our Head of School (Dr. Nichols) and Athletic Director (Mrs. Cunningham) have also been at practice to show their support of these student/ athletes and how much they mean to our school community. We have an amazing staff of coaches that have risen to the occasion all spring and are dedicated to the overall betterment of your sons and this program. I am grateful and honored to have such an amazing staff and school community to serve. Now let me give you some information about this summer.
Football Games Are Won In The Off-Season!
Strength and conditioning this summer will be held off site in view of all the construction happening on campus this summer. We are fortunate to have access to the amazing Hill Country Indoor Facility.
Camp Dates are:
Week 1 - June 4 -June 7
Week 2 - June 11 - June 14
Week 3 - June 18 - June 22
Week 4 - June 25 - June 29
Week 5 - July 9 - July 13
Week 6 - July 16 - July 19
The camp will be a six-week program and will be Monday-Thursday. The camp is for incoming freshmen to seniors.There will be two sessions offered. 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (Recommended for Football Players) and 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (recommended for all other sports - men's and women's). The cost of the camp is $400 dollars.
I will be available at Hill Country Indoor on the first day of Camp (June 4) to answer questions. You can also email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also email questions directy to Rock Jaimes at email@example.com.
TAPPS 7 on 7 Tournament and Lineman Challenge (June 22 & 23)
Location: All Saints Episcopal School, 9700 Saints Circle, Fort Worth 76108
We will travel up sometime on the 21st of June and travel back after competition on the 23rd of June (more details to follow). I am attempting to have this as a sponsored event (cost of event, hotel rooms and travel). If you would like to contribute, please let me know. Any amount will be accepted but not expected.
Please send me an email confirming whether or not your student/athlete will attend as room arrangements will be necessary. We would like everyone to attend (freshman included) if possible but certainly understand summer schedules. Send me an email ASAP. I am also happy to answer any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) When did you begin your competitive running career and why?
After I had raced nationally for triathlons, I realized that running is something that came very naturally to me. I started competitive running in 7th grade at Regents. From there I competed during the summer and have continued to compete year-round since.
2) Was there any single moment or track meet where "the light bulb" went on and you realized "I can be pretty good at this?"
My parents always told me that I started walking very early when I was younger and that I seemed very athletic; however, everything goes back to triathlons for me. I had many coaches, and after I won the first triathlon I had ever competed in, they all told me that I was a talented athlete and especially good at the running part in triathlons. Ever since then, I knew I was going to be a competitive runner, but I realized that I had the opportunity of competing on the collegiate level when I won my first state championship meet.
3) What other sports did you play when you were in elementary and middle school? When did you choose to concentrate on running?
The first sport I ever started playing was soccer when I was 3. I played soccer until I was 12. I was also a competitive triathlete and pole vaulter in middle school! I made the decision to concentrate on running alone in eighth grade because I knew that I had a shot in going far in this sport and I enjoyed it the most out of every sport I had played!
As they have in years past, St. Michael's visual arts students participated in the Memory Project, whose mission is "To help children feel valued by providing them with meaningful pieces of personal history." From photos provided by the Memory Project, our students, along with many other student artists, created portrait drawings of children.
These children have suffered from extreme poverty and then a hurricane that devastated their island and destroyed their village of Les Cayes. A small gift, lovingly created especially for them, is something our students hope will bring a little light to their lives. A touching video of the portraits being distributed is provided here. And, thank you, students!
1) When did you begin your competitive tennis career and why?
Brennan: I began playing tennis at age 10, but I did not begin to play competitively until I was 12 years old, when I started at ATA. I decided to play competitive because I wanted to be like the older kids in the academy.
Hannah: I started playing tennis at the age ten. When I was 11 years old I played my first competitive tournament and have been competing since then.
2) Was there any single moment or tournament where "the light bulb" went on and you realized "I can be pretty good at this?"
Brennan: I remember one match, it was the finals of a champ major zone when I turned 15, if I won the match, I would reach super champ level, the highest level. It was in May and I remember the weather being super hot; I was drenched in sweat and the court was so hot. It was the last match on at the facility and I was just ready to be off the court. After three hours of fighting and running, I won the match. At this moment, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue.
Hannah: There was never a light bulb moment for me. My junior tennis career has been like a color coaster ride with lots of ups and downs, but in the end it has been a blast.
3) What other sports did you play when you were in elementary and middle school? When did you choose to concentrate on tennis?
Brennan: In elementary and middle school, I was a soccer player. Soccer was my sport, and I thought I would be playing it the rest of my education through high school. When I was 14, as I was playing both tennis and soccer at the same time, I decided to move to only tennis because trying to play two competitive sports was too much.
Hannah: I played soccer as a little girl, but then I really got into softball. My first softball tryouts I made the select 12 and under team. I played for 3-4 seasons, but I decided to only play tennis. Then in 5th grade i tried playing volleyball, but i was put on the B team even though I was one of the stronger players. I’m pretty sure we lost every game and i couldn't handle my team always losing.
For all returning cross country team members and anyone interested in running cross country, there will be a parents and athletes meeting on Tuesday, May 22, at 5:30 p.m .in the upstairs classroom in the Carter Athletic Center. Participatory expectations, summer training schedules and team goals with be discussed.
Spring Athletics Banquet on Wednesday, May 23
The St. Michael's Catholic Academy Athletic Department is proud to host the the Spring Athletics Banquet that will take place in the Gloria Delgado Theatre on Wednesday, May 23. The banquet will begin at 6:00 p.n. and conclude at 8:00 p.m. The following sports will be recognized: Baseball, Men's Lacrosse, Women's Lacrosse, Tennis, Golf, and Track and Field.
AP Spanish Language class students went to a restaurant to celebrate completing the AP exam and to taste authentic Cuban cuisine at The Habana Cuban restaurant on Congress, which is owned by their classmate Sofia Flores's parents. One caveat: all conversation had to be in Spanish.
Sofia was born in Cuba and moved to Austin with her family later on. The entire family has immigrated to the US at different times since the 1990s. No relatives remain in Cuba.
The restaurant is beautiful, and the food is delicious. I enjoyed pork with rice, beans, and fried bananas. We met Sofia’s parents and grandmother. Her grandmother told interesting stories about Cuba, and the students kept their word by speaking in Spanish only while at the restaurant. Dessert? Tres leches cake!
This camp is VERY ENCOURAGED for ALL incoming 9th-12th graders planning on trying out for the team in the fall. In the past I did not encourage our Varsity level players to attend, but it is much needed this summer due to our limited time in the gym. We will focus on Team Training and individual skills.
6th-9th grade 9:00AM-12:00PM Cost: $180
9th-12th grade 12:30AM-3:00PM Cost: $150
**Incoming 9th graders are encouraged to sign-up for both sessions for a reduced rate of $250
This camp is open to all schools, but I will hold spots for SMCA players until June 5.
It is hard to believe that three months from now we will be starting our 2018 High School Volleyball season. The work you put in over the summer is critical not only to our success as a program but in preparing you for year-long success in other sports you choose to compete in.
This will be my 7th season as the Head Coach for of SMCA Volleyball Program. I am very lucky to have 6 Seniors that will be leading our way to another successful year. I have listed some important information regarding this summer and the fall schedule.
As we continue to implement and review tools used to address student safety and support, we will be temporarily closing the Anonymous Alert portal in order to assess its best use in our community. As mentioned, this is a pilot program and we will continue to discuss this resource and others moving forward.
The Crusader Track teams concluded a successful season at the TAPPs State Championships held 5/4-5/518. Both teams finished 7th overall out of 33 boys’ schools and 34 girls’ schools in the final 5A rankings.
On the girls’ side, Kinga Parrish decisively defended her 800m state championship in winning the 2018 edition by over 20 meters in a time of 2:19.3. Mary Hodapp also took home the bronze medal in the 3200m run in a gritty season best performance of 12:00.6. Freshman Kiele Shultz had a sparkling performance as she set a personal best of 9'0" in the pole vault just missing out on state medalist honors in 4th place.
Many of you have logged service hours in X2Vol that cannot be approved because they have not been verified by the service organization supervisor. Please remember that all hours must be verified by the organization supervisor or we cannot accept them. Please log into X2Vol to determine if your hours have been verified. If your service supervisor contact has not verified your hours, you should reach out to them and ask them to verify your hours through the email link that was sent to them when you logged your hours.
If you encounter any issues getting your service hours verified, please speak with Mr. Hodapp, the campus minister, to arrange another way to verify your hours.
Looking for a current St. Michael's student who can answer all your child's questions and mentor him or her through their first year ? We can help!
Please complete the required formfrom this link within a week of receiving this notice. This summer, a Student Connector volunteer will get in touch to help your student have a great St. Michael's experience.
We take great care to match up our incoming students with someone compatible, which is why we rely on the information obtained in our survey. We have over 100 current SMCA student volunteers who are eager and ready to answer all your child's questions and assist him or her through their first year at St. Michael's.
Please help guide your student in completing the form.
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.
Today, I am happy once again to announce a call for nominations for the Figer Distinguished Teacher Award. This annual 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.
A St. Michael’s family has donated $500,000 over five years for the express purpose of inviting compelling, contemporary leaders and visionaries to the St. Michael’s campus to address students in a series of stimulating talks. The series is titled EDIFY.
In accordance with EDIFY’s mission, presentations will be directed to “unleash and enlighten the intellectual curiosity of St. Michael’s students so that they may form the habits of mind and heart that will enable them to courageously contribute to the common good.”
It has been wonderful to walk the halls and feel the energy at school as the fourth quarter begins. The time around Prom is always an exciting part of spring as seniors begin to spend their last months as Crusaders, and juniors start to learn what it means to be leaders of the school.
As we did when Homecoming kicked off the school year in September, this is also a prudent time to remind all that the safety of our students always ranks at the top of St. Michael’s priorities. Accordingly, we first ask the students attending Prom to remember that sound judgement and proper behavior are always expected at school-sponsored events; more so when they take place in the greater Austin community. Parents and guardians, we ask your help in reminding and guiding our upperclassmen to make wise and responsible decisions on this memorable night.
Many have worked especially hard during the last few months to make this night a success. To Ms. Payton Ritchey and her wonderful Prom Committee, thank you for all that has been done after school, out of the public eye, and with care and devotion.
After District play, St. Michael's came away with a record-breaking total of 11 awards! We had another All-American named AND an Academic All-American chosen (only three athletes are chosen for each award from the entire district!).
The following Varsity players who were just named All-District, All-State, Academic All-American and All-American award recipients.
ALL-AMERICAN (Best three players from the Central District. They exhibit superior skills and techniques, posses exceptional game sense and knowledge, and embody good sportsmanship. Although not required, strong consideration is given for players who have received All-State, All-County, or All-District team in current or previous seasons. Furthermore, players should be on varsity, play the majority of the teams' games, be a significant contributor, be of outstanding character and be in good academic standing in their school.)
#4 Gabi Pulsifer
ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN (A US Lacrosse All-Academic honoree is a player who exhibits exemplary lacrosse skills, good sportsmanship on the field, and represents high standards of academic achievement in the classroom (must hold a 3.7 GPA or higher). Only three players are chosen from the Central District.)
#2 Lyla Senn
ALL-STATE (Each District Varsity Division selects 12 players who represent the “best of the best" in the district, by position. The 12 players shall be comprised of three attack players, five midfield players, three defense players, and one goalie.)
April 22 is Earth Day! To celebrate, we brought in a specialist to talk to the Environmental Science elective classes. Ms. Carol Whitaker presented a three-part series on food choices and their environmental impacts. It is important to note that the focus was not about what students should or should not eat, but on equipping students with the science so they can make more informed choices.
"Education is the first step towards sustainable living, healthier bodies and a more compassionate society. By understanding the realities behind their food choices and the many benefits of healthful eating, students can make informed, responsible and compassionate decisions" (Carol Whitaker).
Presentation Part 1 covered the nutritional biochemistry of food and how our bodies react to different types of food. Part 2 focused on the environmental impacts of our modern agricultural industry. Part 3 was about factory farming. Students were encouraged to engage in discussion and use critical thinking throughout the presentation.
Below is more detail on each of the presentations:
Looking for something cultural to do with your high schooler? On May 4, for the first time ever, your family can experience an issue of Texas Monthly reimagined for a live audience at the historic Paramount Theatre. Mixing music, video, narration, and live performances, this special 90-minute performance will take audience members on a gritty storytelling journey they’ll never forget.
Texas Monthly Live will feature live stories curated by the magazine’s editors showcasing the breadth and depth of Texas, and is a great show for families with high school-aged children. St. Michael’s families will receive 15% off tickets to Texas Monthly Live by using the code IAMTEXAS athttps://www.texasmonthly.com/event/texas-monthly-live/
Thanks to everyone who came to the Crusader Classic Golf Tournament last week. It was lots of fun and a successful fundraiser for the school to benefit professional development. Thank you to Kathryn Boykin and Laura Keyes for being such awesome chairs and to our sponsors for their support of a successful event! We have photos to share of all the action. Please enjoy.
St. Michael's Physics and Honors Inquiry Program Instructor Russ Glenn is the recipient of a grant to attend "Galaxies and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX)" at the McDonald Observatory this summer.
"Dark energy is on the frontiers of astronomical study, and I am hoping through my work at the McDonald Observatory to bring back some strategies to engage the students in the science being done to further our understanding of this phenomenon," said Glenn.
At the observatory, participants will explore what components make up the universe, how it began, and where it's going. Studies of distant galaxies can help shape our understanding of the universe. Participants will also learn about new observations of millions of galaxies being made with the Hobby Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory as part of the Hobby Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) to help answer many of these questions.
The St. Michael's Catholic Academy women's doubles tennis team of Hannah Harrod and Brennan Foreman won the TAPPS 5A State Championship on Tuesday, April 17, at Waco Regional Tennis Center.
The duo has won four consecutive state doubles championships in the 4A and 5A division, while also leading their team to three team state championship titles. They are the first athletes in St. Michael's 34-year history to accomplish four consecutive state titles. They were also named among “The Fab 50: our choices for the top high school athletes of 2016-17” by the Austin American-Statesman.
Harrod and Foreman defeated a team from Tyler All Saints, 6-3, 6-1 in Tuesday's finals. Along with teammates Rachel Thweatt and Sofia Rangel Medina, the team finished with a strong third place in this year’s tournament.
Harrod and Foreman have both signed to play at the collegiate level. Harrod has signed with George Mason University and Foreman will play at Cal Lutheran.
9th and 10th grade college counseling appointments begin next week. Each student will be meeting for about 20 minutes with his/her college counselor. We will discuss their strengths, classes they have most enjoyed, summer plans, resume and thoughts about college.
Keep up the ACT/SAT testing and make sure you have registered for the exams you plan to take.
On April 7, 2018, Cristina Spellings ('21) competed at the State level Destination Imagination tournament in Dallas, Texas. Her team of seven students earned first place in the Technical Challenge, Maze Craze, and will be advancing to Global Finals in Knoxville, TN at the end of May, where they will compete against teams from all over the world.
We're excited to announce that Paula Priour is one of 16 scholars to be awarded a summer institute grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities. She will be participating in the Steinbeck Institute in July. Paula is thrilled for this extraordinary opportunity to engage with colleagues. "I'm teaching Steinbeck's Cannery Row right now, and it's maybe my favorite book of the year's curriculum, so you can imagine my excitement."
THE STEINBECK INSTITUTE: July 1-20, 2018
John Steinbeck was a social protest novelist, an ecological visionary and an incisive commentator on American values and ideals -- one who spent most of his career exploring what “the common good” really meant.
Please "Read More" for details on this prestigious grant.
As part of our guidance program and ongoing commitment to prevention and wellness, we have invited prevention specialists from FCD Prevention Works to join our community. A part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, FCD is a non-profit organization that provides substance abuse prevention education for schools. Since 1976, they have taught over a million students of all ages.
Their mission is to:
Encourage and support the non-use of alcohol and other illegal or illicit drugs during the growing years
Empower young people to make healthy, responsible choices regarding alcohol and other drug use
Teach students and adults how to recognize the early warning signs of substance abuse and to intervene appropriately
Educate students, parents, teachers, and administrators on the physiological and psychological effects of alcohol and other drugs
Promote awareness of drug addiction, including alcoholism, as a progressive, chronic, and often fatal disease
Provide educational communities with the guidance and training necessary to implement comprehensive, effective approaches to substance abuse prevention
The keynote speaker was John Urschel, a former NFL player and published mathematician. Urschel discussed how changing paths from one dream to another can be a fruitful opportunity and how his desire to keep learning propelled him to earn his Ph.D. in applied mathematics at MIT. He shared how grateful he was to his teachers for inspiring and challenging him to continue learning.
One of my favorite sessions, Ignite Your Math class is where I gained interesting techniques and tools to utilize in the classroom. A website titled Which One Doesn’t Belongprovides a quick way to think mathematically and explains the reasoning behind deduced answers. Dot Talks is an activity that helps students build confidence in critical thinking through identifying patterns and communicating with peers using mathematical vocabulary.
Another session focused on an online platform called Canvas. This is a learning management system for students and teachers to organize the classroom and promote communication from student to teacher, as well as from teacher to teachers within the learning environment.
In the end, the conference was a success and I was glad to share time with individuals that shared the same passion of engaging the minds of students in math. I look forward to helping guide students to their own aha! moments.
The cost is $30.00 (please make check out to SMCA)
If you are a new family or returning family for the 2018-2019 school year, the required yearly medical paperwork is available to be updated starting April 25. Please note that all forms must be signed and/or uploaded by August 1, 2018. All required medical forms are located at the Magnus Health Records tile on the Resources page after logging into mySMCA.
Finally, if you are a graduating senior in 2018… 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.
For the seventh year running, a community of forward-thinking individuals committed to furthering the field of education came together to participate in SXSW EDU. Participants ranged from teachers and students to policy makers and entrepreneurs. Because of this diversity, a wide array of sessions is offered to encourage participants to think creatively, make connections, and consider new approaches to the challenges faced by educators.
St. Michael's is hosting the TAPPS 5A District Track Meet on Wednesday, April 18, and Thursday, April 19. The meet will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. We need Sader Dad volunteers to support and host a successful nine-team, two-day event!
Are you able to help with any of the following? There will be a meet prep on the evening of 4/17.
Cook for the concession stand
Coordinate concessions on 4/18 at 2:00 p.m. and 4/19 at 11:00 a.m. (Evie Cascarano will organize, and items will be the same as for football.
Rake pits for field events and help with any needs there.
Set up and removal of hurdles both days. The more people we have the faster the meet goes.
Facing two days of extreme weather highs and lows, the Crusader Women's Tennis Team faced the toughest competition and largest district ever to secure second place in the TAPPS District Tournament in Waco. Anchoring the district team were seniors captains, Hannah Harrod, Brennan Foreman and Rachel Thweatt. Freshman players, Ori Boucvalt, Grace May and Sofia Rangel Medina rounded out the team in their first district appearance. The powerhouse team of Hannah Harrod and Brennan Foreman placed first in girls doubles to secure their fourth district doubles championship and first seed at the state tournament. Doubles Team Rachel Thweatt and Sofia Rangel Medina battled their way to a fourth place finish to qualify them for a state bid. Singles players, Ori Boucvalt and Grace May, played extremely well to go deep into the back draw to help their team place second. In this year of rebuilding for the women's tennis team, a bright future is ahead for these amazing freshman.
The Men's Crusader Tennis Team faced fierce competition this year. In their first district tournament for the Crusaders, brothers Jack Nichols and Nick Nichols placed fourth to secure a spot in the state tournament. Senior captains, Ryan Polk and Thomas Suffolletta finished 7th in district narrowly missing a spot at state. Singles players, Anthony Ortegon and Chris Marco played extremely well against some tough ranked players. The TAPPS State Tournament will return the Crusader Tennis Teams to Waco on April 16 & 17 at the Waco Regional Tennis Center.
The 2018 track and field season is well under way for the St. Michael's Crusaders. The women's team is led in the long sprints by Juniors Sidney Kaliher and Kinga Parrish. Kaliher has the #13 200m dash time in the state at 27.84 and Parrish has the #8 400m time in the state at 61.8 seconds. Parrish, Mary Hodapp, JT Thompson and Danielle Escutia currently have the #3 time in the State in the 4 x 400m relay as well. The Lady Crusaders flexed their muscle in the distance races as defending State champion Parrish tops the state rankings in the 800m dash at 2:21 with Mary Hodapp following in 4th. Hodapp and Parrish are currently ranked #1 and #2 in TAPPS 5A in the 1600m run as well.
All health records must be uploaded into Magnus, our electronic medical records system. However, please do not enter or upload information into Magnus until after April 18, 2018.
You can find the Magnus Health Records tile on the Resources page after logging into mySMCA.
Blank screening and physical forms may also be printed from the Student Health Tracker section in Magnus.
New students will need:
a current physical
vision screening from 7th grade or later
hearing screening from 7th grade or later
latest copy of immunization record
Current physical - this means a copy of a physical exam that has been performed within the last 365 days. It will 'expire' one year after the date performed. If your student will be getting a physical in May or later this summer, please have the doctor also make note that your student has been examined for scoliosis. Please find the physical exam form here. A copy of the physical exam from the doctor's electronic records system will be acceptable as well.
PLEASE NOTE: Physicals exams will be offered on campus at the Carter Athletic Center on May 24, 2018 fom 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This cost is $30.00.
Scoliosis screening - can be noted at the time of the physical exam. Most current physicals will have this information on them. Please do not submit the scoliosis screenings from middle school.
Vision and hearing screenings - if your student attends/attended a middle school in Texas, these should have been done in 7th grade. Please contact your student's middle school - now - for a copy. Remember, schools close in May/early June! If you cannot get them from the school, your student's doctor can perform these. If your student wears glasses/contacts, a copy of the prescription for correction is acceptable as a vision screening.
Immunization record - please obtain the latest record at your doctor's office or current school.
Please contact the nurse if you have further questions.
For several years, the Schoenstatt Movement of Austin has organized a Good Friday pilgrimage, with over 500 people participating last year. This year's pilgrimage will be on March 30, 2018. We will gather at St. Mary's Cathedral at 12:30 p.m. for a send-off blessing from Bishop Joe Vasquez. We will depart to the Shrine at 1:00pm. The Good Friday liturgy of the Lord's Passion is at 7:00 p.m. at the Shrine.
With the rainy weather giving way, the Crusader Tennis Team played its first home match against Veritas Academy on Friday, March 9. Isa Martinez started the Crusaders off with a win in a tight singles match. Grace May and Olivia Lovelady both played challenging singles matches, just being edged out by their opponents. The women's doubles teams were able to sweep Veritas! Riley Todd and Allison Vilas, Rachel Thweatt and Sofia Rangel-Medina, and Olivia Lovelady and Isa Martinez all took home definitive wins for the Crusaders.
The St. Michael’s Athletic Department is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of SMCA Winter Sports teams as we host the Winter Athletics Banquet this Sunday, March 25, in the Gloria Delgado Theatre from 4 :00 p.m.– 6:00 p.m. We will celebrate individual and team accomplishments of Swim, Men's Basketball, Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer and Women's Basketball. Athletes are to be in Mass dress (no jeans). Attendance by athletes is expected. Any family, friends, and fans are welcome to attend the ceremony. Hope to see everyone there!
On Tuesday, March 20, women's lacrosse defeated Georgetown. The Lady Crusaders had a 10-4 led at half and outscored Georgetown 10-0 in the second half to take home the 20-4 victory. The three top scorers were Adri Sotelo with 7 goals, Lyla Senn with 6 goals and Molly Pitts with 3 goals. The Lady Crusaders had assists from Molly Pitts, Adri Sotelo, Hannah Morgan, Lyla Senn, Laura Stoicoviciu, Camille Franklin, and Elena Meigs. The defense, along with Goalkeeper Camille Mclemore, only allowed 4 goals.
Students in AP courses (or Honors World History) have the opportunity to take an AP exam in May. The AP exam is optional, but may allow for college credit if the student receives a 3 or higher (score requirement is college-dependent).
9h grade: Bus Trip to Texas A&M- Must arrive on campus by 7:45am. Details were emailed on Tuesday and today!
10th grade: Leadership Retreat
11th grade: College Visit with Families (Make a tour and information session appointment as soon as possible. They are filling up!)
12th grade: Kairos, Sophomore Retreat, Baseball, TAPPS Theater or Service Hours. All seniors who are still working on service hours or the reflective paper, must work on one or the other over the 3-day weekend. You do NOT need to come to school on Friday, but documentation of service hours or paper must be provided on Monday to the College Center.
All grade levels are encouraged to attend to learn more about career and major options after high school. It is offered during lunch in the Upper Commons. Free Pizza!
March 8: Linda Brucker- Sales and Marketing
April 12: Dr. Martinez- Ophthalmologist
Wevdiscussed course options for the 2018-2019 school year in Advisory on February 28. Honors and AP recommendations were also discussed. Course registration will be online from March 5-9.
[Please click "Read More" for further information.]
Course Registration for 2018-2019 began March 5, at 8:00 am and ends March 9 at 6:00 p.m.
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 5, and the form is located in the Academic Planning section under the Resources tab.
Course appeal submissions close on March 9. 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 an elective or study hall, if desired. Students may not take more than one study hall per year. 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.
Feel free to reach out to college counselors or advisors for assistance with course registration.
The time is here to send in your copy for your student's final yearbook of high school! As in years past, you may choose to purchase one of three different sizes of ads that will be featured in the back of the yearbook: a full page, half page, or quarter page.
The design of the ad is entirely up to you! All that we ask is that you send in what the page will look like, the payment, and any pictures you would like included in your ad. There are only 20 pages designated for these ads, so space is limited and offered to those who submit their paperwork first. A downloadable order form may be accessed here.
To turn in your senior ad, please send all designs, pictures, and payment in an envelope to my attention. You may drop the envelope off with Lisa Schaffer at the front desk, mail it to school, or send it in with your senior. Everything, minus payment, may also be submitted to me via email.
Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions to Gil Garcia, Technology Instructor.
Congratulations to Varsity Theatre students Ellery Pierce and Olivia Sigel who competed at the National Speech & Debate Association's (NSDA) Heart of Texas District Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 24. Ellery and Olivia placed 2nd in Duo Interpretation and, in doing so, qualified to compete at the NSDA National tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in June. St. Michael's' competed against several other local schools in this district including, Bowie, Lake Travis, Westlake and Anderson High Schools.
The Varsity Theater students are also currently preparing to compete at the State TFA (Texas Forensic Association) tournament to be held at La Vernia High School March 1-3, as well as working on their partner school production of the musical Honk Jr. which is to be performed on March 28.
11th grade- College Visit with Families (Make a tour and information session appointment as soon as possible. They are filling up!)
12th grade- Kairos
Students will be discussing course options for the 2018-2019 school year in Advisory on February 28. Honors and AP recommendations will also be discussed during this advisory session. Course registration will be online from March 5-9.
Architectural rendering has long been a part of the architect's toolkit. Taking plans and converting them into a beautiful still image has been used by architects and designers for over 100 years. There are many artistic styles a designer can use, but one of the most enduring looks is a watercolor style rendering. Students in Mr. Meagher’s 3D Modeling with SketchUp class recently completed their first architectural render using this approach. This class places an emphasis on architectural design, function and scale. In this project, buildings are quickly designed in SketchUp, and then taken to Adobe's premier software, Photoshop. Once in Photoshop, students learn how to use brushes and effects bring the design to life. Using a few quick and simple techniques results in a stylish, artistic depiction of the student designs. Moving forward, students will learn about other artistic techniques used by designers, as well as photo realistic methods.
The Robotics Team participated in last weekend's Alamo Regional competition and performed very well. They won their division, beating some well-established teams, and ultimately ended up as the runner-up captain team in the Regional Championship. In short, they've advanced to Super Regionals in Athens, GA, which take place March 8 - 10. Best of luck, team!
The Gabriel Project offers hope and assistance to women during pregnancy. Their mission is "To provide emotional, material and spiritual support for pregnant women and families in need. We seek to plant the seed of God's love within the hearts of women and men who feel overwhelmed, lost, alone and afraid - whether rich or poor, single, married, young or older."
In the Lenten spirit of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, we will be holding a baby item drive to benefit the Gabriel Project during the week of March 5 - 9. Suggested items include: diapers, wipes, baby lotion and shampoo, clothes, toys, baby formula, etc. Please bring these items to the Upper Commons and place them in boxes provided. Thank You.
On Monday, February 19, St. Michael's Golf teams competed in the Lago Vista Golf Invitational. The Men's team took 1st place overall; Dan Cervoski took 1st place individually, while Brace Ryan finish second individually. On the women's team, Isabella Garcia took 1st overall, and Taylor Hurd took 3rd. It was a great day for the Crusaders on the green.
The Men's team will be back in action on Monday, February 26, as they compete in the Blanco Boys Golf Tournament.
On Saturday, February 17. Men's Lacrosse traveled to Georgetown to play Gateway College Prep. The Crusaders end the day victorious over Gateway Prep 13-12. The Crusaders were led by Hunter Rogers and Dylan Brucker, each scoring 5 goals. Connor Mahon, Jack Sherwood and Race Pulsifer also scored a goal each.
On Wednesday, February 21, The Crusaders took on Rouse High School and won 13-7 over the Raiders. Hunter Rogers, Lane Kilbride, Dylan Brucker, and Jack Sherwood all scored 3 goals each.
The Crusaders are now 5-1 on the season and will be back in action on Wednesday, March 7, against McNeil High School at McNeil at 7:00 p.m.
What a winter sports season! As we close out our winter sports season and march toward the spring, I believe I share our entire community's excitement with the successes of our fantastic young men and women on the both the courts and fields.
Heading into the playoff "season" it is fair to say that SMCA flexed its competitive muscle by taking District team championships in women's and men's basketball and in women's soccer. Those three teams went a collective 15-3 in roaring through district play. Our fabulous women's soccer team concluded its fantastic season this week with a hard fought playoff game versus a powerful Fort Worth All Saints. Congratulations, ladies, on representing SMCA in such wonderful fashion!
While many of us are familiar with Pavlov’s work on dogs, making them salivate when a bell is rung (known as Classical Conditioning), there is an even more influential form of learning, known as Operant Conditioning.
On Wednesday students in AP psychology class started examining this form of learning. And what better way to study how we learn than with a live dog outdoors.
Behavior training has increasingly become more focused on positive reinforcement for behavior correction, and students had a chance to experience that in the classroom. Building on the pioneering work of Edward Lee Thorndike (1874 –1949) students in the AP Psychology class saw how a reward system (dog treats) reinforces positive behavior, such as shaking a hand (paw). This led to Thorndike's Law of Effect; positive results are strengthened, and negative results are weakened.
This law would later form the basis of Operant Conditioning, and is used in behavior modification, therapeutic settings and education systems all over the world.
Stations of the Cross: Fridays during Lent at 12:45 p.m. (Chapel)
Rosary: Thursdays at 8:05 a.m. (Chapel)
Women’s Bible Study: Fridays at 7:45 a.m. (Chapel)
What is God’s Invitation to us During Lent? “Return to me with your whole heart…” (Joel 2:12)
What is Lent? Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a 40-day period leading up to Easter where we are called to honestly examine our hearts to discover the barriers that prevent the authentic communion--with God and others--that God desires for us. During Lent the Lord invites us to a renewed relationship with him by looking at ourselves through his eyes--the eyes of Mercy-- and recognizing his patient invitation to turn away from sin and back towards him. This turning away from sin, towards God, is called conversion in the Christian life--something that we are continuously called to each day of our life.
On Saturday, February 4, the Baseball team volunteered at Westgate Lanes for the Special Olympics Bowling Competition. The baseball players served as lane assistants - assisting the athletes competing on a lane, being part manager (making sure the participants bowl in the correct order and making sure they stay on schedule by keeping the momentum going) and part cheerleader.
Luke Andrews said, “While volunteering at Special Olympics, I had many positive experiences helping others, and have made many friendships with the athletes. My guys were super smart and skilled!” There were lots of smiles, cheering and high fives shared with the participants. Great job giving back to the community!
As Atticus Finch would say,“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb in his skin and walk around in it.”
The freshman English classes are trying to do just that by reading the non-fiction novel Enrique's Journey; a story about an unaccompanied minor on his perilous journey to the United States from Honduras. In conjunction with the novel, students are also learning how to vet news sources and to read the news with a critical eye. Students have been writing article summaries related to immigration and immigration policy, which they will use at the end of the unit when they weigh in with their own opinions.
A lector training session will be held Tuesday, February 20, during lunch in the chapel. This opportunity is open to all teachers and students who would like to lector at Mass this semester. If for some reason you cannot attend, or you have any questions, please contact Tara Senn at email@example.com.
The St. Michael's competitive robotics team, the LightSaders, advanced to the wild-card round in the First Robotics FTC competition. This was no small accomplishment, especially for a rookie team, as Austin hosts what is arguably one of the most formidable robotics leagues in the country. The Austin Metro League fields many nationally known programs each and every year, and making it out of league play is something most teams do not have the opportunity to experience. Of the 47 teams in Austin, only 12 are guaranteed slots at the Regional tournament. There are an additional 9 teams that then compete in a wild-card round of competition against other fringe teams within the region for the remaining Regional tournament spots. In their inaugural season, the LightSaders finished league play ranked 16th and entered the wild-card as one of the top remaining Austin area teams.
February 21:9th and 10th Grade Parent Night in the Theatre, 6:30 p.m.
March 2: Crusader Day (more details coming soon)
9th grade- Bus Trip to Texas A&M
10th grade- Leadership Retreat
11th grade- College Visit with Families (Make a tour and information session appointment as soon as possible. They are filling up!)
12th grade- Kairos
Students will be discussing course options for the 2018-2019 school year in Advisory on February 28. Honors and AP recommendations will also be discussed during this advisory session. Course registration will be online from March 5-9.
All seniors need to submit cap and gown and graduation announcement orders to Herff Jones during lunch this Friday, February 16. hey will be in the Theater Lobby. Students received order forms last week at school.
You have probably noticed that many of our students at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy maintain exceedingly active daily routines (e.g. school, sports, extracurricular activities, homework, social and work life). The sense of need to sustain the highly active daily routine, anxiety about school/peers, and the physiological demands placed on the brain and body as part of regular adolescent development are all underlying reasons for potential sleep-related difficulties in teens.
Todd Counsil, Biology Instructor, was accepted to the professional development opportunity on Future Water Quality Challenges to Aquaculture offered by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Baylor University and Texas Sea Grant and funded by the USDA, which he will attend this summer. He is excited about the opportunity to do some hands-on water quality studies he can then bring to his classes as students explore ecology next year.
The program will examine the urban water cycle. Participants will:
• Gain knowledge regarding current state of the science of contaminants of emerging concern and risk
• Understand how effluent-dominated streams could impact aquaculture, and product safety
• Participate in a field trip tour of a wastewater treatment plant and an aquaculture facility
• Conduct basic water quality testing exercises suitable for use with your students
• Collaborate to connect the research topics and concepts with classrooms and curricula
In Statistics class students are breaking down casino games to help with their understanding of probability. Blackjack is used to understand the concept of dependent versus independent events. It is also used to illustrate replacement versus non-replacement and how that may change strategy for the skilled blackjack player. As cards are played and not put back in the stack to be dealt, probabilities may change, which can result in different decisions (hit or stand) for the player.
On January 26, the St. Michael's Women's and Men's Basketball team traveled down the road to play district rival Regents.
In the first varsity game of the night, the Lady Crusaders jumped out to a 31-17 start in the first half and then continued to coast a 73-29 win against the Lady Knights. Senior Captain Anna Batchik led the Lady Crusaders with 21 points while fellow Senior Captain Gabi Pulsifer contributed with 16 points.
In the second varsity game of the night, the Crusaders and the Knights were in a tight contest game all game, with the Crusaders trailing 24-23 against the Knights at half. After the first quarter, key three points and free throws in the fourth quarter sealed the 49-46 victory for the Crusaders. Senior Matt Everett led the Crusaders with 14 points while junior guard Augie Watkins contributed with 12 points.
On January 30, The St. Michael's Women's and Men's Basketball team hosted Hyde Park on Future Crusader Night. The Lady Crusaders jumped out to a 30-12 lead against the Lady Panthers at half. Lady Panthers made a comeback in the second half, but the Lady Crusaders held on to a 49-41 victory. Batchik led the team with 28 points and Alexis Threadgill had 9 points. The Lady Crusaders are currently in first place in district.
If your student has had a diagnosed case of the flu this season, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to monitor the numbers and continue to track positive cases of the flu at SMCA.
Distinguishing Flu vs. Cold
Influenza (flu) is different from a cold.
Both a cold and the flu are respiratory illnesses, yet they are caused by different types of viruses with different symptoms. The flu usually comes on suddenly. To recognize flu symptoms, remember Flu F.A.C.T.S. (Fever, Aches, Chills, Tiredness, and Sudden onset). Children can have additional flu symptoms that are rare in adults, including vomiting and diarrhea.
What to Do if You or Your Student Gets the Flu
Even with preventative measures, sometimes you or your child may still get the flu. If your child has flu symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral flu medicine that attacks the flu virus. Antivirals may be an important adjunct to vaccination for flu prevention and control. If your child gets the flu, it’s important that they rest. Keep your child at home for at least 24 hours after his or her fever is gone. (Fever free for 24 hours without the aid of fever reducing medication.)
Adapted from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases “Is It a Cold or the Flu?” http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/symptoms.htm
St. Michael's is helping to sponsor the Gap Year Fair at St. Andrew's this weekend. The information is included below, and this is the registration link.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School will host the fifth annual Austin-wide USA Gap Year Fair on Saturday, February 3, 2018 from noon to 3:00 p.m. About 45 gap year programs will be present at the fair, representing a wide variety of domestic and international gap year experiences.
The program will begin from noon-1 pm with a panel presentation in the St. Andrew’s Upper School Chapel. Speakers will be presenting various perspectives on gap years and identifying what to look for in a program and how to find a good fit. Following that presentation, the USA Gap Year Fair will be open from 1:00 -3:00 p.m. in the Upper School Cafeteria. St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is located at 5901 Southwest Parkway in Austin. Parking will be available in the main lot and in the gym lot.
For further information, please contact Elizabeth Guice at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School (email@example.com, 512.299.9736).
"...nature brings us, as so often happens throughout the Old and New Testaments, unique experiences of God’s presence and communication."
A few years ago, I delivered a paper in Dallas at the Southwest Conference of the American Academy of Religion entitled, “The Noetics of Poverty in the Paintings of Vincent van Gogh.” The paper touched on issues of aesthetics in Van Gogh’s work, that conceptions of beauty radically differed between those rich and poor he was asked to paint. At the close of the conference I was contacted by a publisher, Rowman and Littlefield, and asked if I wanted to create an edited volume surrounding some of the issues of that paper.
On January 24, the St. Michael's Men's and Women's Swim Teams competed in the TAPPS Division II Central Texas Regional Swim Meet at Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio, Texas.
For the Crusaders, Junior Joshua Bannon finished first in the 200 IM with a time of 1.59,88 and finished second in the 100 Breaststroke with a time of 1.01,42 behind fellow teammate Senior Ted Beiter who finished first with a time of 1.00,34. Ted finished third in the 100 Freestyle with a time of 49.95. Joshua and Ted advance to the State meet in their respective individual meets and look to set TAPPS records there.
Junior Jacob Pratt finished sixth in the 200 Freestyle at 2.18.17 qualifying for State. The Crusaders also qualified for State in two relays. The 200 medley relay finished fourth with a time of 1:58,18 (Michael Cotton, Ted Beiter, Joshua Bannon, Jacob Pratt) and the Men's 400 Freestyle relay finished second with a time of 3:51, 64 (Jacob Pratt, Austin Obermeyer, Joshua Bannon, Ted Beiter).
For the Lady Crusaders, Madison McKenzie finished seventh and qualified for State in the 100 Breastroke with a time of 1.31,61.
Congratulations to all the swimmers who qualified to go to the TAPPS Division II State Championship in Mansfield, Texas on February 8.
A TED Talk-like (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) free event for students will take place on February 17 at Westlake High School Performing Arts Center, 4100 Westbank Drive, Austin, TX 78746 from 12:00 - 6:00 p.m. Here is the link to their website and registration.
Website description: "TEDxYouth@Austin is organized and produced by a dedicated team of youth leaders with key oversight from experienced adult mentors. Unlike most other youth events, TEDxYouth@Austin brings together students from all demographics in a non-competitive atmosphere. Our event is both one of the first and largest TEDxYouth events in the world, and we continue to grow each year. Attendance to TEDxYouth@Austin is completely free, and in exchange, our attendees commit to 4 hours of community service."
On Friday, January 26, Women’s Varsity Soccer beat Regents 3-0. In the third minute of the first half Kristen Walton scored. Then, soon after, Caroline Brutocao scored in the fifth minute off of a corner from Jessica Mikell. The score was 2-0 at halftime. In the Second half Caroline Brutocao passed to Jessica Mikell in the 39th minute, who found the back of the net, leaving the final score of the game 3-0.
On January 23, the St. Michael's Women's and Men's Basketball team opened district play against St. Dominic Savio at the Carter Athletic Center.
In the first varsity game of the night, the Lady Crusaders jumped out to a 29-7 start in the first quarter and then continue to coast a 73-19 win against the Lady Eagles. Senior Captain Anna Batchik led the Lady Crusaders with 25 points while freshmen post Alexis Threadgill contributed with 22 points. The Lady Crusaders are now 19-6 on the season and 1-0 in district play.
Despite playing hide-and-seek with light rain, we had an exciting and educational day last Friday on the island. In the morning, we explored salt marshes and volunteered for an oyster reef restoration project in the afternoon. The students worked in teams to fill up bags of oysters to be later placed in the bay in the summer to create oyster reefs for aquatic habitats and pollution filtration, and to enhance the environmental biodiversity. On Saturday, our big adventure was riding on the Texas A&M's R/V Trident with marine biologists. We were fortunate to see countless pods of dolphins. In fact, our guide informed us that he normally does not see so many dolphins in that short of a time.
Saturday night, we attended Vigil Mass at St. Patrick's Catholic Cathedral as we planned to go birding all day on Sunday. At the end of Mass, a very kind member of the parish gave all the students rosaries he made out of rope. Now our students will have a great souvenir on top of the many photos and memories already made. We just now finished a delicious dinner at the beach house of chili, mac and cheese, and salad dinner prepared by Paula Prior. Evenings at the beach house include learning line dances, playing board games, and watching movies.
Semester 2 Drop/Add Drop/Add for Semester 2 will be from January 15th - February 2nd. Please complete a drop/add form in the College Center if you need to make any changes for the spring semester.
Junior Family Appointments The college counselors will be sending out a calendar for junior family appointments by February 1st. Junior parents and students - please complete the Google Surveys you received and submit them before your scheduled appointment. Here are the links again for convenience.
Crusader Day Crusader Day will be Friday, March 2nd. Juniors are required to visit one college on this date, so please begin making travel arrangements! Freshmen students will be attending a field trip with the college counselors to visit one college on this date.
YouScience Sophomores and juniors should have received YouScience usernames and passwords in their SMCA email. Your Youscience profile is due by the end of Winter Term. Let your counselor know if you have not received your Youscience information via email.
January 15 - February 2: Semester 2 Drop/Add January 31: PSAT Information Session - 6:30 pm in the Theatre March 2: Crusader Day
Spotlight: Summer Program
It's never too early to start thinking about summer opportunities! Encourage your student to step outside their comfort zone this summer, and engage in a summer program or internship.
Bank of America Student Leaders Summer Program As a Student Leader, you will participate in an eight-week paid internship at a local nonprofit organization where you will learn first-hand about the needs of your community and the critical role nonprofits play. In addition, you will learn valuable civic, social and business leadership skills. Each Student Leader will attend the Student Leaders Summit held in Washington, D.C., where you will learn how government, business, and the nonprofit sector work together to address critical community needs.
To become a Student Leader, you must:
Currently be a junior or senior in high school
Be able to participate in an 8-week paid internship at a local nonprofit organization and work 35 hours a week
Be legally authorized to work in the US without sponsorship through the end of September 2018
Be able to participate in a week-long Student Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. (July 8th - July 13th, 2018) (All expenses paid. This week is part of your 8-week experience).
Be a student in good standing at your school
Obtain a letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor, or school administrator
For more information about this summer program, click here: https://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/global-impact/student-leader-eligibility-criteria.html#fbid=qJn_PPw83gW
On January 19, the Men's and Women's Soccer teams played their second district game of the season against Hyde Park at Crusader Stadium.
In the first game of the evening, the Men's Soccer team defeated Hyde Park in shoot-outs to earn their first district victory of the season. The game was tied 3-3 at the end of regulation with two goals by Zach Sommers and one by Jack Cisneros. In the shoot-out, the Crusaders and Panthers went 8 shooters each with St. Michael's edging Hyde Park 7-6 in the count. The Crusaders are 4-6-1 on the season and 1-1 in district play.
In the second half of the evening, the Women's Soccer team defeated Hyde Park 3-1.
Our young men and women were able to step up to the challenges and opportunities this trip presented with true charity. They worked long hours in the heat to build the foundation of a new house. From digging trenches to bending wire for reinforcements, moving dirt and making concrete for the foundation, the students were "all in." Helping us were a team of Nicaraguans with International Samaritan, who guided our work.
We did a tally of the donations in everyone's luggage, and I was astonished at how much we brought and donated to the community:
Loose Paper: 17
Toiletry Packs: 15
Pencil Bags: 40
Pens: 8 packs
Markers: 100 packs
Index Cards: 3
To illustrate the students' interactions at the site, during one afternoon, we met Isabel and her family, who are going to be the recipients of the next new home later this year (our recipient is Ivania). Isabel broke out in tears, telling us how thankful she is that we are here and how much she is thankful for God in her life. She told us her son, Darwin, has been waking up every morning at 5:00 a.m. excited to see us. Needless to say, she wasn't the only person there who was deeply moved.
Overall, the sentiment seems to that this trip has been extremely powerful and transformative. I know it was for me. Students are writing reflections on their experiences that we will share with you all.
Winter Term course students spent the first half of the term exploring the scientific basis of exercise and athletic performance. We studied the human body's physiological adaptation to exercise and fitness conditioning for athletic performance and everyday life. Our first field trip was to visit with an expert in the area of functional movement and conditioning at T4TG training center.
The second half of the term focused on nutrition principles as they apply to athletes and non-athletes. We looked at the role that nutrition can play in health and performance. Our recent field trip to a supermarket examined the psychology involved in the design and layout of the store, and how to focus on whole foods instead of processed products. Our final day wrapped up with healthy food prep and group project presentations!
In Auschwitz, we had a tour guide who took us through the barracks and exhibits and explained more of the history of Auschwitz and the horrific experience of the prisoners in the camp. It was extremely difficult, yet at the same time, the importance of being there was clear. After Auschwitz we went to Birkenau, and the sheer expanse of that camp is shocking. The suffering that occurred there is unfathomable. As hard as the day was for all, this quote from one of the exhibits sums up the importance of the visit: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
The St. Michael's Cinema Club is excited to host a 75th Anniversary screening of Casablancaon January 28 at 4:00 p.m. Named the #3 movie of all time by the American Film Institute, Casablanca follows two star-crossed lovers torn apart by war. The film features iconic performances by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, among others. Directed by Michael Curtiz (White Christmas, Robin Hood), the film is a study in how changing world events affect everyone, no matter how big the 'gin joint.' Join the Cinema Club for the screening and a brief discussion on the film.
The Winter Term course that we are working on is called Deep Impact, a course looking at the prevalence and importance of impact craters throughout the solar system. So far students have collected micrometeorites from around the school and investigated the structure of comets. We will continue our investigation by looking at the chances of Earth being hit by an impactor, and what we can do if we discover an asteroid or comet on a collision course.
In this particular lab, we are looking at the structure of impact craters and calculating kinetic energy based on the mass and velocity of each impactor; from here, we will utilize a computer simulator to see the predicted effects of an actual large-scale impact on the Earth. Click underlined headline above for lab photos.
Yesterday we woke up to full sun! We were grateful to have arrived on the island Monday so that we were able to take advantage of dry roads and have a full day of programming.
We started hands-deep in marine conservation - literally - we started the morning with shark dissections. In groups of 3-4, each student was able to dissect and isolate a shark's liver, intestines, stomach, eyes, and brain. One shark even had 5 developed pups inside, and recognizable stomach contents, evidence of its last meal - undigested shrimp and a small fish.
Winter Term Photography in Morocco students have no trouble finding subject matter during their trek through Morocco. From Chefchaouen, the "Blue City,” just inland from Tangier, to Rabat and Fez, their photographic journey winds through ancient lands, including 2,000 year-old Roman ruins at Volubilis. They even learned olive oil making and how to tie a shesh along the way. On the way to Fez, (a world UNESCO site), the group made a pit stop to learn how olive oil is made, bought oranges along the side of the road. Happy trails on our way to the Sahara and camel rides!
We are excited to announce that the Winter Term Serving Austin class is partnering with The Settlement HomeFor Children. We would love it if everyone could give a helping hand by either collecting Amazon gift cards, or clicking the link provided below to buy and provide the Settlement House with supplies from the wish list for these children. There is a blue box located by Ms. Schaffer's desk starting 1/18/2018 for those who wish to purchase separately from Amazon, and a small box kept with Ms. Shaffer for gift cards. There will also be a table at lunch on 1/23/2018 staffed by Laura Stoicoviciu and Alexis Peterson, who will collect the items as well as answer any questions you might have. We really hope everyone will try to donate as much as they can; we would really like to make a difference in these children’s lives.
Here is a link to the wish list where you can purchase items: Wish List
Serving Austin Class, Mrs. Stewart, and Mrs. Litschi
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in this week's CDC FluViewreport, influenza activity increased sharply again.
Take preventative actions to stop the spread of germs:
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash thoroughly with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
Let’s keep SMCA healthy as we step into the New Year!
Once again, St. Michael's graphic design students show off their fantastic talents and abilities! Several examples are included with this article.
The graphic design class here at St. Michael's takes a PBL (project based learning) approach to design theory and principles. Through a semester's worth of projects, some directed and some open, student learn the theory and practice of graphic design. Topics covered include album covers, TV show posters and a substantial final project. We use industry standard Adobe software, with students learning both Photoshop and Illustrator. Please enjoy viewing their impressive work!
The Marine Conservation Winter Term class had an opportunity to experience a conservational success story firsthand as they took a private tour of Westcave Preserve in far southwestern Travis County. After learning about some of the threats to water quality from point and nonpoint source pollutants, the guide led the class on a hike through the live oak/ashe juniper savanna in the uplands. She stopped often to talk about the unique geology and biodiversity of the nature preserve. The students then followed her down the steep canyon walls into the riparian habitat along the creek that flows from spring fed water. After a short hike up the box canyon shaded by 400 year-old bald cypress trees, they arrived at the beautiful grotto and cave. All left this magical place with an appreciation of the need to preserve such a magical resource.
Mr. Council, Ms. Dwyer, and Ms. Priour plan to return to the same area with students and explore neighboring Hamilton Pool. The students will then have a unique hands-on opportunity to compare the conservational management styles of the two park/preserves. These short field trips are getting the future Crusader Conservationalists ready for a week of field work with several conservational organizations in Galveston next week.
On January 4 - 6, the St. Michael's Women's Soccer team competed in the Blue Bell Invitational in Brenham. The first game played was against Denton Ryan, which was their hardest match of the tournament. The Lady Crusaders lost 2-1 in a very intense game. Jessica Mikell scored in the 29th minute of the second half tying up the game, with the assist of Caroline Brutocao.
The Lady Crusaders won the second game 6-1 against CC Carroll. Roberta Gonzalez scored in the 1st minute, followed by Danielle Escutia scoring in the 5th minute. Jessica Mikell scored in the 8th minute. Then, Caroline Brutocao scored at the 20 minute mark, off an assist from Jessica Mikell. Sophia Linn scored the fifth goal of the first half in the 38th minute. The second half Hannah Morgan had the last goal at the 8th minute.