Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools Conference a Huge SuccessOctober 27, 2021
This year, the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools semi-annual conference returned to an in-person event that was hosted at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa. The theme for the conference was Resilient Leaders-Vibrant Schools. The keynote session on Thursday morning was led by Simon Jeynes, Executive Director of Christian Schools Management (CSM). His keynote session was […]
This year, the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools semi-annual conference returned to an in-person event that was hosted at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa. The theme for the conference was Resilient Leaders-Vibrant Schools.
The keynote session on Thursday morning was led by Simon Jeynes, Executive Director of Christian Schools Management (CSM). His keynote session was titled the Victory of God. The focus of his talk was on how we, as Christian schools, are living in a unique period of time, and we have a unique opportunity to grow our enrollments and strengthen the viability of our schools. Our school, being truly Christian, gives us the reason and the lived-out faith to demonstrate the Victory of God in our communities, neighborhoods, and regions.
After the keynote session, I chose to stick with Simon throughout the day and attended the morning session titled “Key Financial Indicators.” He said “that student achievement depends on many inputs and that having the necessary resources to ensure quality instruction is the key.”
After lunch, the session was titled “Your Website and Enrollment.” During this session we delved into our school websites. They were reviewed to see if our mission statement was clearly front and center of our website. We reviewed our admissions pages and reviewed how they can be improved. Simon emphasized that our schools needed clear and transparent communication with our school families, stakeholders, and benefactors.
The final Thursday session was titled “The Blasphemy of the Empty Seat.” Simon said “the empty seat is a reproach to us. It is an opportunity for a child lost.” He encouraged us to commit to filling our classrooms and we worked on ideas of how this could be done.
The Friday morning keynote speaker was Mr. Frank Donaldson from the Institute of School and Parish Development (ISPD). Mr. Donaldson challenged us to look at the present state of Catholic and non-public school education. He shared with us fifteen basic truths that ISPD has learned in the past 32 years of working with Catholic schools and parishes throughout the country. He followed this up with 12 steps for schools to prevail and not just survive.
The final session of Friday was titled “Enrollment Management – Understanding Why this is Everyone’s Responsibility” and was led by Mr. Frank Donaldson. This session introduced a visual of 15 checkpoints that clearly show the main areas of concentration for a robust enrollment management effort.
It was a great time to get away and relax. The atmosphere at the Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa was beautiful and the weather cooperated with warm, sunny, fall days. It was great to network with fellow Catholic school administrators and touch base with a few friends from Catholic schools from other dioceses in the State of Michigan that I haven’t seen in a while. Finally, the speakers were some of the best we’ve ever had at the administrators conference. It is definitely a great time to be a Catholic school administrator.
What’s New at St. Patrick School for 2021-22August 10, 2021
St. Patrick School is gearing up for another successful school year. There are many new and exciting changes for the 2021-22 school year. The following is a list of some of these changes as we prepare to kick off the school year: Staff: We are excited to announce that we have hired several new staff […]
St. Patrick School is gearing up for another successful school year. There are many new and exciting changes for the 2021-22 school year. The following is a list of some of these changes as we prepare to kick off the school year:
Staff: We are excited to announce that we have hired several new staff members. Mrs. Christine Rockey will teach high school English and will oversee the media center for our elementary students. Mrs. Karen Scheurer is our third-grade teacher and Mrs. Margaret Besson will be our academic support teacher. Teresa Knoop will be our lead daycare teacher for three- and four-year-old daycare and she will be assisted by Cortney Macomber and Kaitlyn Simmons.
Three- and Four-Year-Old Daycare: We have started a new daycare program for three- and four-year-old children. This allows for us to meet the needs of our parents of whose children attend three- and four-year-old preschool. This now allows them to have a full day option for preschool.
Academic Support Teacher: The teacher for this program will implement aids and services for students with Student Accommodation Agreements (504 Plans) and Nonpublic Service Plans (IEPs). She will also oversee the elementary sensory room.
Guided Reading Room: Is a classroom that has been furnished with instructional materials for elementary teachers to target specific academic learning goals, differentiating instruction based on the needs of each learner, and resources which are easily accessed by our teaching staff. It included leveled books, flexible seating, and tangible resources to help students foster a love of literacy.
Construction: Carpeting and the old chalkboards have been removed and asbestos has been abated in three of our elementary classrooms. New white boards are being installed and the flooring is being refinished.
Miscellaneous: Our staff will be excited to use the two new copy machines that were purchased and placed in our teacher lounge and teacher workroom. These machines are major upgrades over our previous machines.
The school has been given its annual summertime cleaning and is looking great. St. Patrick School is eager for our students to return, and we are excited and ready for an outstanding 2021-22 school year! We are excited about these new programs and are currently enrolling new students. We encourage you to prayerfully consider a Catholic school education for your children. Please feel free call the school office at (517)647-7551 or take a look at our prospective family’s webpage at http://www.portlandstpats.com/prospective-families and schedule a tour. “Try Us. You’ll Like Us” and other scholarships are still available for new families. We ask you to join us in prayer for our students and staff as we prepare to begin the 2021-22 school year.
2021 Sports Wrap UpJuly 8, 2021
The 2021 St. Patrick School spring sports season has officially come to an end. We would like to congratulate all of our teams for their efforts throughout the season. A lot of time and hard work was put forth on the field, track, course and in the classroom by our student athletes to ensure success. […]
The 2021 St. Patrick School spring sports season has officially come to an end. We would like to congratulate all of our teams for their efforts throughout the season. A lot of time and hard work was put forth on the field, track, course and in the classroom by our student athletes to ensure success. There were many outstanding individual and team performances. We would like to thank and congratulate our spring sport athletes on another outstanding season.
We were excited to bring our golf team back this school year. Without a season last year due to Covid, our five golfers were all new to the program. We hope to have a solid season with all five of our golfers returning in 2022.
The varsity baseball team had a strong season this year going 16-7-1, won the Kris Popp Invitational, and were District champions. Individual honors for our baseball team include:
- Chase Fitzsimmons: 1st team CMAC, All District, Academic All State and will continue his baseball career at Mid Michigan Community College
- Connor Cross: 1st team CMAC, All District, All Region, Academic All District
- Shane Cook: 1st team CMAC, All District, All Region, Academic All District, 1st Team All State
- Evan Schrauben: 2nd team CMAC, All District, Academic All State, and will continue his baseball career at Mid Michigan Community College
- Austin Fleischer: Honorable Mention CMAC, Academic All State
- Brayden Simon: Honorable Mention CMAC
- Braxton Teachworth: Academic All District
The varsity softball team finished with a record of 22-12. They finished in second place in the Central Michigan Athletic Conference, won the Kris Popp Invitational, and were invited to play in the Lansing Diamond Classic. The softball team won District and Regional titles and advanced to the state quarterfinals. They also finished first in Academic All State in Division IV with the highest grade point average, not only in their division, but in all divisions. Individual awards include:
- Aurora Beckhold – Academic All-State Player, 2nd Team CMAC, All District 2nd Baseman, All Region 2nd Baseman, Hall of Fame All Star Game
- Carly Scheurer – 1st Team CMAC, All District Outfielder, All Region Outfielder, First Team All State Outfielder
- Lydia Meredith: 1st Team CMAC, All District Player At Large
- Emma Honsowitz – Honorable Mention CMAC, All District 1st Baseman, All Region 1st Baseman
- Rylee Scheurer – 2nd Team CMAC, All District Pitcher, All Region Pitcher
- Mara Schrauben: Honorable Mention CMAC
- Addison Scheurer: Honorable Mention CMAC
- Jocelyn Rockey and Keelie Honsowitz: District and Regional Coach of the Year
The varsity boys track and field team had a successful season with a runner-up finish at the Webberville Invitational, a 7th place finish in the CMAC and a 10th place finish at Regionals, while competing with only six athletes on the team. Individual honors include:
- Jacobe Hayes-Dunning: State Finalist 100M (All-State 8th place), 200M (9th place) & 4×200 (14th place); All-Region 4×200 (regional runner-up), 100M, 200M & long jump; All-CMAC 100M (1st team), 200M (1st team), 4×100 (2nd team) & 4×200 (2nd team); Greater Lansing Honor Roll medalist 200M (6th place) & long jump (6th place) & qualifier 100M; Athlete of the Meet for the Webberville Invitational; school records in the 100M and 4×200
- Alex Fedewa: State Finalist 4×200 (14th place); All-Region 4×200 (regional runner-up), 110H, 300H; All-CMAC 4×100 (2nd team), 4×200 (2nd team) & 300H (honorable mention); Greater Lansing Honor Roll All-Academic; school record in the 4×200
- Payton Russman: State Finalist 4×200 (14th place); All-Region 4×200 (regional runner-up) & 400M; All-CMAC 4×100 (2nd team) & 4×200 (2nd team); school record in the 4×200
- Seth Frawley: State Finalist 4×200 (14th place); All-Region 4×200 (regional runner-up) All-CMAC 4×100 (2nd team) & 4×200 (2nd team); school record in the 4×200
The varsity girls track and field team continued to improve and find success throughout the season while winning the Webberville Invitational, finishing runner-up at the Portland Invitational, finishing 5th at the Regional Meet and finishing 5th in the CMAC. For the first time, the team qualified to compete at MITCA Team States and finished in 7th place. Individual honors include:
- Izzy Kissane: State Finalist 4×800 (All-State 6th place) & 4×400 (All-State 6th place); All-Region 4×800 (regional runner-up), 400M, 4×200, 4×400; All-CMAC 400M (2nd team), 4×200 (2nd team), 4×400 (honorable mention) & 4×800 (honorable mention); Greater Lansing Honor Roll 4×200 (3rd place), 400M (4th place) & 4×400 (5th place); Academic All-State 4×800 & 4×400; Greater Lansing Honor Roll All-Academic; school record in the 4×800
- Kenzie Fedewa: State Finalist 4×800 (All-State 6th place) & 4×400 (All-State 6th place); All-Region 4×800 (regional runner-up), 4×200, 4×400; All-CMAC 4×200 (2nd team), 400M (honorable mention), 4×400 (honorable mention) & 4×800 (honorable mention); Greater Lansing Honor Roll 4×200 (3rd place), 4×400 (5th place) & 400M (6th place); school record in the 4×800
- Amy Shaw: State Finalist 4×800 (All-State 6th place) & 4×400 (All-State 6th place); All-Region 4×800 (regional runner-up) & 4×400; All-CMAC 4×400 (honorable mention) & 4×800 (honorable mention); Greater Lansing Honor Roll 4×400 (3rd place); Academic All-State 4×800 & 4×400; Greater Lansing Honor Roll All-Academic; school record in the 4×800
- Cozette Brown: State Finalist 4×800 (All-State 6th place); All-Region 4×800 (regional runner-up) & 1600M; All-CMAC 4×800 (honorable mention); Academic All-State 4×800; Greater Lansing Honor Roll All-Academic; school record in the 4×800
- Sophia Schrauben: State Finalist 4×400 (All-State 6th place); All-Region 100H, 300H, high jump & 4×400; All-CMAC 4×400 (honorable mention); Greater Lansing Honor Roll 4×400 (5th place)
- Rylee Scheurer: State Finalist 100M & 200M; All-Region 100M, 200M, 4×100 & 4×200; All-CMAC 4×200 (2nd team) & 200M (honorable mention); Greater Lansing Honor Roll 4×200 (3rd place), 100M (11th place) & 200M (9th place); Athlete of the Meet for the Portland Invitational; Greater Lansing Honor Roll All-Academic
- Tessa Lawson: All-Region 4×100 & 4×200; All-CMAC 4×200 (2nd team); Greater Lansing Honor Roll 4×200 (3rd place); Greater Lansing Honor Roll All-Academic
- Marlie Bengel: All-Region 4×100; Greater Lansing Honor Roll All-Academic
- Olivia Pung: All-Region 4×100
Together, the girls and boys track and field teams earned 243 medals.
As a Catholic School, we expect our student athletes to represent us in a positive manner, bringing Christ to everything they do, and make us proud with their sportsmanship. Without a doubt, they have done so and represented our school mission statement: We Pray! We Learn! We Achieve! to their fullest, God-given potential.
Capping Off Another Successful School Year!June 4, 2021
It seems like only yesterday, we were creating our back-to-school plan to ensure we could return to in-person instruction for the school year not even knowing if we would be allowed to do so. Now, another successful school year has come and gone! We are proud to have been in-person educating our students throughout the […]
It seems like only yesterday, we were creating our back-to-school plan to ensure we could return to in-person instruction for the school year not even knowing if we would be allowed to do so. Now, another successful school year has come and gone! We are proud to have been in-person educating our students throughout the school year, with as much normalcy as possible, despite the challenges we faced. Our success this school year was made possible because of everyone who lends a hand in making St. Patrick the great place it is; we could not do it without you. We hope you know how grateful all of us at St. Patrick School are for your commitment.
On behalf of our pastor, Reverend Michael Alber, our PS-8 principal, Mrs. Cortney Smith, the St. Patrick School Board and myself, we would like to offer many thank yous for a great 2020-21 school year. We would like to specifically thank the following:
- Our school families for making the commitment to send their children to St. Patrick School. We appreciate that you are a part of our school family and that you let us be a part of yours. This thank you extends to all our grandparents as well.
- Our top-notch teaching staff, school counselor, coaching staff, and parish staff. All of you are an integral part of our family and we couldn’t do anything without you. Thank you for continuously going above and beyond to ensure all of our students are cared for.
- The student body for working hard both in their academics and in extracurricular activities and for serving as living examples of the Catholic faith. We can’t wait to see how you grow and what you will achieve next school year.
- The entire school support staff. We are blessed to have excellent administrative assistants who work in our school and parish office. Their ability to multitask and accomplish so much each day never ceases to amaze me. In addition, we are blessed to have an excellent maintenance and custodial staff who keep our school and grounds remarkably neat and clean. There are so many others, too many to name, including those who work in preschool, latchkey, and in the lunchroom. All of you are involved in the important task of running our parish school.
- The volunteers who do so many things behind the scenes! We rely on our school board, Father Flohe Foundation members, PTO, and Athletic Association members, as well as many other groups and individuals for help throughout the year.
- Thank you to everyone who donated to the school or parish this year! Your financial support allows us to offer an education that nourishes the entire mind, body and soul of a child. You are helping us to create the future leaders of our Catholic Church and community. Thank you for your generosity!
We would like to express our gratitude for your trust, support and cooperation during the school year. We are appreciative and thankful to everyone who makes St. Patrick School a great place to educate the children of Portland and its surrounding communities. We hope that you will take time this summer to rest and enjoy the wonderful opportunity to renew your body, mind, and spirit before we begin another school year.
Class of 1970 Enjoys 50 Year ReunionMay 28, 2021
In a typical year, each September since 2003, the Father Flohe Foundation has hosted a wonderful celebration for the St. Pat’s graduating classes who are celebrating their 50th class reunion. The Class of 1953 was the first class to graduate from St. Patrick High School, and the first to be honored at this party. This […]
In a typical year, each September since 2003, the Father Flohe Foundation has hosted a wonderful celebration for the St. Pat’s graduating classes who are celebrating their 50th class reunion. The Class of 1953 was the first class to graduate from St. Patrick High School, and the first to be honored at this party.
This year however, Covid created a need to change our plans for the Class of 1970 which saw the date for their 50-year reunion change on two occasions. At last, on Saturday, May 15, the third time was the charm. The Class of 1970 was able to gather for their 50-year reunion. On the class composite that sits outside the office, there are pictures showing 48 members of this class when they graduated from high school.
Classmates met at the school at 2:30 where I had the opportunity to show them around the school and talk about what has changed and what has stayed the same since they graduated. These tours are the highlight of these annual reunions for me; I get to hear stories from guests about their school years and they often enlighten me about the history of the school. Many of the grads have not been in the school since they graduated and were surprised by how much things had changed.
Following the tour of the school, the classmates attended the 4:30 Mass together. Following Mass, our alumni trekked out to the Wagon Wheel where they were treated to a delicious prime rib and chicken dinner. The classmates had the opportunity to sit and socialize, and some stayed long afterward to catch up and discuss their favorite memories of the good old days.
I always enjoy this annual event. It is a reminder that each person who enters our school has a story to tell, their own personal history. Hearing these stories and learning about these former students is a great reminder of what makes St. Patrick School such a special place.
Congratulations Class of 1970 on your special night and thank you for an enjoyable evening. We are glad we were able to host your reunion despite the roadblocks that were put in place. May God continue to bless you.
The Father Flohe Foundation was founded in 1988. Its primary function is to keep Catholic education available to the people of St. Patrick Parish and surrounding communities by funding some of the school expenses. The organization funds The Shamrock alumni newsletter, awards the annual Education Bell Award, and manages the endowment fund which helps to financially assist the school.
Saying Goodbye to the Class of 2021May 20, 2021
While all graduating classes at St. Patrick School are special to me, this one is a bit more special. When I started my tenure as administrator, this class started as my first kindergarten class. It has been an honor to watch them go through kindergarten all the way to graduation as their principal. Now, it […]
While all graduating classes at St. Patrick School are special to me, this one is a bit more special. When I started my tenure as administrator, this class started as my first kindergarten class. It has been an honor to watch them go through kindergarten all the way to graduation as their principal. Now, it is time to say goodbye as they will continue to build on the rock-solid foundation they have built here as they move on to the next phase of their lives.
As the beginning of the 2020-21 school year approached, it was our goal to have an as normal as possible school year for all our students. We especially wanted a “normal” school year for the Class of 2021. They already had lost the spring of their junior year of high school and we wanted to make sure they had an enjoyable final year of their school careers.
On the first day of school, I challenged them with the goal of helping me lead our school into normalcy. They were specifically asked to brainstorm and come up with as many ideas as possible and to make sure to share them with me; and of course, they delivered. They were strong leaders throughout the school year beginning with our annual spirit week celebration, having 36 girls on our cheerleading squad, coming up with new ideas for our Day of Giving, including Brice Cook having his head shaved, continuing through the planning of their senior trip adventure to Kalahari Resort, Shamrock Shakes on St. Patrick’s Day, hosting our own prom for the first time since 1969, activities planned by our Mind Over Matter committee, adapting our senior banquet, right up to rescheduling their last day of school.
Graduation day began with Mass celebrated by our pastor, the Reverend Michael Alber, who provided inspiring words for the Class of 2021 during his homily. After Mass, the graduates and their families moved to the school gymnasium for commencement. Mr. Hodge opened the ceremony with prayer and shared some inspiring words with the graduates. He shared the major achievements of the Class of 2021 which include:
- 16 of the 24 students are members of the National Honor Society.
- 17 out of 24 were recognized as CMAC Scholar Athletes, meaning they had at least a 3.4 GPA and lettered in at least two sports, one of which was in their senior year.
- 20 out of the 24 plan to go on to some form of higher education, with 3 entering the workforce, two of those possibly in a skilled trade, and one looking at the military.
- 18 of the 24 are graduating with honors (3.79 GPA or higher) with 11 of those having a weighted 4.0 GPA or higher and 20 having a grade point average of 3.50 or higher.
- They have a combined total of over $222,000 dollars in scholarships committed to those who plan to attend college.
Valedictorian Avery Zimmerman and Salutatorian Colette Pohl addressed their classmates; thanking those who helped them along the way, sharing accomplishments, memories, good times together, and all the possibilities for a great future. Following the speeches, the graduates were called forward to receive their diploma from Fr. Mike. One by one they turned their tassel, and the Class of 2021 joined a group of approximately 2,000 Shamrock alumni around the world.
Fr. Mike closed the ceremony with prayer, and the graduates processed out of the gym and into the future. Following their final class picture together and the traditional tossing of caps, there were hugs, handshakes, and family pictures to take.
As seniors, our class of 2021 succeeded in ensuring all our students had a great year despite the challenges we faced in doing so. They served as role models for our younger students, especially their Little Rocks, and provided many outstanding suggestions for ways to improve our school. We are all extremely proud of all that they accomplished during their time at St. Patrick School. We thank them for their leadership, work ethic, and how they have represented Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Roman Catholic Church, the Diocese of Grand Rapids, St. Patrick School, their families, and themselves. We are proud to say that they leave St. Patrick School with a firm foundation to continue living our mission statement. We Pray! We Learn! We Achieve! We look forward to seeing what the future holds for the Class of 2021. May God bless each and every one of them.
Shamrock Football to Play in a New Conference Starting in the Fall of 2021May 3, 2021
After four years of playing as an independent in 8-man football, St. Patrick School is excited to announce that we will be playing in a new league beginning with the 2021 season. Fortunately, not having a league has not been a hindrance to our program’s success with four consecutive regional championships and three trips to […]
After four years of playing as an independent in 8-man football, St. Patrick School is excited to announce that we will be playing in a new league beginning with the 2021 season. Fortunately, not having a league has not been a hindrance to our program’s success with four consecutive regional championships and three trips to the state finals in the last four years. It has, however, made scheduling a full schedule a challenge each year, and it has deprived our student athletes of the opportunity to compete for a conference title as well as individual conference honors.
The new conference will consist of St. Patrick, Fulton, Merrill, Webberville, and Vestaburg; Morrice will join the conference for the 2022 campaign. This new conference will be called the Central Michigan 8-Man Football Conference.
While we are appreciative that our varsity athletes will have this new opportunity, we are also very excited for another opportunity this new conference will provide. We have been unable to have a middle school football schedule over the past four years due to the difficulty of finding opponents willing to play at this level. Now, we will be offering a full middle school (grades 6-8) schedule as well. We are looking forward to the return of our middle school football program for the fall of 2021. All schools mentioned above will be participating in the middle school conference.
Our football program will continue with the goal of producing outstanding young Catholic men, who excel in the classroom, in their faith, and on the gridiron with the idea that these skills will go with them for the rest of their lives.
We are thrilled about this new opportunity for both our high school and middle school football programs. We look forward to the return of our middle school football program and eagerly await the opportunity to see our varsity team compete for a conference championship in 2021.
St. Patrick National Honor Society Committed to ServiceApril 23, 2021
Every year right before spring break, St. Patrick School celebrates another prestigious event. This event is the St. Patrick School National Honor Society Induction ceremony. At this beautiful ceremony, we not only welcome our new members, but also celebrate our second- and third-year members. This year we inducted 14 new members and honored 25 returning […]
Every year right before spring break, St. Patrick School celebrates another prestigious event. This event is the St. Patrick School National Honor Society Induction ceremony. At this beautiful ceremony, we not only welcome our new members, but also celebrate our second- and third-year members. This year we inducted 14 new members and honored 25 returning members.
If one were to ask most people what the National Honor Society (NHS) is about, they would probably say NHS members are the students who wear the honor cords or stoles at graduation. They may mention an NHS member tutoring other students, or other service projects. While it is true that the National Honor Society is an organization that honors the best and brightest high school students, it is actually far more. The National Honor Society is built upon four core values: scholarship, leadership, character, and service.
To become a member of the NHS, students must meet high academic standards. The national minimum grade point average (GPA) is 3.0 and it is up to each chapter to decide whether they would like to require a higher GPA for induction. Here at St. Patrick High School, the minimum GPA to be considered for membership is 3.700. All students meeting the criteria, starting in the spring of their sophomore year, are invited to apply. Prospective members must pass a review by their teachers who evaluate characteristics such as trustworthiness, responsibility, and leadership by example. Candidates must also have a clean discipline record. You may be surprised that despite the rigorous college prep curriculum at our school, approximately 60% of sophomores, juniors and seniors at St. Patrick’s are NHS members.
Once a member of the National Honor Society, students are required to commit themselves to volunteer service and leadership roles. While many NHS chapters at other schools count hours of service, NHS at St. Patrick High School does something a bit different. Instead, our NHS members are expected to commit to taking on two ongoing service projects or volunteer roles over the course of the year. These projects have to be ongoing in nature, and in two out of three categories: school, church, or community. For instance, a student may be an altar server and a tutor. Or they may be a peer-to-peer mentor and volunteer at a food pantry on a regular basis. This year, we have NHS members serving and leading their school as class, student council, and NHS officers; mind over matter committee members; tutors; library aids; and teacher’s assistants. They also serve the church as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, altar servers, and greeters. In our broader community, for instance, we have had members who volunteered with a local cat sanctuary, Crop Walk, Positive Solutions Informed Choices, and doing lawn maintenance for elderly neighbors.
In addition to individual service, our chapter takes part in several projects together. Each year we host four blood drives with the American Red Cross. Last year, thanks to community support, we collected over 130 units of blood! Last spring, St. Patrick High School was the only school in mid Michigan that still hosted a blood drive after schools were shut down due to Covid-19. We also collect toys for Toys for Tots; this past year collecting over 200 toys for children in need in our county. This tradition continued in November despite all high schools across the state being closed due to the pandemic.
I have been blown away by how the culture of our NHS chapter is viewed by our students, parents, and the community. It is a joy to have the opportunity to see our students learn and grow by being servant leaders in our school, church and community.
This column was written with the assistance of Mr. Jordan Smith, the St. Patrick School advisor for our National Honor Society chapter.
Professional Development for TeachersMarch 23, 2021
In a typical school year, St. Patrick teachers will participate in five professional development days. These professional development days are crucial to the development of our teaching staff. Catholic education in the 21st century is evolving and becoming even better as it adapts to an ever-changing customer base, while retaining the foundation that was laid […]
In a typical school year, St. Patrick teachers will participate in five professional development days. These professional development days are crucial to the development of our teaching staff. Catholic education in the 21st century is evolving and becoming even better as it adapts to an ever-changing customer base, while retaining the foundation that was laid in place by our predecessors.
On Friday, March 12, St. Patrick teachers participated in their fifth professional development day of the 2020-21 school year. The sessions that were presented are as follows:
- Rachel Selby, the School Outreach Coordinator for The Right Door For Hope, Recovery, and Wellness spoke to our teachers about mental health in the classroom and self-care. The main focus of this session was to learn how numerous mental health concerns are present in the classroom and tips to help support students with these concerns. Staff also discussed what self-care means and reflected on their own self-care. Rachel provided a self-care assessment, which helped staff reflect on different aspects of their life such as physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, relationship, and workplace. Staff were encouraged to take baby steps in improving their lowest scored area.
- Our elementary principal, Mrs. Cortney Smith, and elementary teacher, Mrs. Mary Cook, presented information from a conference they attended titled Inclusion In Action Conference, from the FIRE Foundation in Kansas City, MO. This year, the two-day conference took place virtually with experts from across the nation and even the world, coming together to celebrate inclusion in the classroom. Together they focused on a school environment that includes human dignity, gentleness, kindness, and compassion to bring out the best in all of the students and provide opportunities for all. A focus was on all students learning together and from one another. Research has shown the benefits to learning side by side. Socialization, graduation rates, post academic success, and behavior outcomes improve significantly when all are included.
- All staff watched a virtual presentation from the Sophia Institute, which provides the textbooks for our elementary religion curriculum, titled: “Created in Christ, Combating the Sin of Racism.”
Throughout the professional development day, all participants took part in reflection and discussion of how to apply the development training moving forward.
It is inspiring to see the level of devotion and commitment that exists within our teaching staff. They have been on the front line, providing our students with both in-person and remote learning options throughout the entire 2020-21 school year. Our professional development day provided them an opportunity to continue to develop their skills and abilities with the goal of ensuring that their students are provided with the best education possible.
Celebrating the Successes of 2020December 31, 2020
While many people would like to forget the year 2020, St. Patrick School would like to look at many of the major accomplishments we had despite the major challenge of educating our students during a pandemic. So, before we ring in 2021, let us look back at the top events for St. Patrick School during […]
While many people would like to forget the year 2020, St. Patrick School would like to look at many of the major accomplishments we had despite the major challenge of educating our students during a pandemic. So, before we ring in 2021, let us look back at the top events for St. Patrick School during 2020.
It would be impossible to rank them in order of importance, so I have placed them in chronological order instead:
- On Thursday, March 12, 2020, Governor Whitmer ordered all schools closed. St. Patrick School was ready. Our students only missed one day of school as our teachers continued to teach remotely through packets that were sent home and by teaching virtual lessons using Google Classroom.
- On Sunday, June 14, the St. Patrick High School Class of 2020 became one of the first senior classes in the State of Michigan to host an in-person commencement. They are the only senior class in St. Patrick history to have commencement in June, outside, and in a tent.
- At the end of August, St. Patrick School students returned safely to in-person education for the 2020-2021 school year. Our return to school plan was created over the summer months in conjunction with the State of Michigan Return to School Roadmap, the Diocese of Grand Rapids, and the Kent and Ionia County Health Departments.
- In September, Mr. Luis Arturo Araujo joined our teaching faculty as the K-12 Art/Technology instructor. Mr. Art brought a great resume to the position, and his positivity and energy is contagious!
- Our school counselor, Mrs. Jenny Garcia, and senior Emma Scheurer, as a part of her senior Capstone Project, created the Mind Over Matter group to work on boosting student morale, to problem-solve any challenges our students face, and to promote mental health awareness, and a positive school culture.
- St. Patrick Elementary School ordered 150 Chromebooks in case elementary students are forced to learn remotely again. Once they arrive in December and are available for use, our schoolwide 1:1 Chromebook initiative will officially be complete. We also purchased the GoGuardian program to monitor student use of Chromebooks to help ensure our students are safe while working online.
- At the beginning of November, Laynie Meredith and Cozette Brown both qualified for the state meet in girls cross country. This is the first time our cross country program has had two runners qualify for the state meet in the same year.
- The varsity football team is currently 9-0 and has advanced to the state semifinal game for the third time in five years. They are awaiting information from the governor and the MHSAA to see if they will be able to finish the season.
- Senior Brice Cook kicked off the giving season by offering to have his head shaved if we raised $500 for Positive Solutions Informed Choices (PSIC). Brice allowed the top donors to shave his head after we raised $987. Not to be outdone, our K-8 students filled 91 shoeboxes as a part of the Shoebox Initiative. Finally, despite having the high school learning remotely, we collected boxes and boxes of canned goods, 219 toys for Toys for Tots, and many diapers and pull ups for PSIC.
- The St. Patrick School Advancement and Development team began The Former Pastors’ Shamrock Endowment Fund with $76,000 from a previous St. Patrick Parish pastor as well as $8,000 in donations from other various benefactors. This endowment will be used for tuition assistance for future generations of Shamrocks.
“We Achieve!” is the third and final part of our mission statement and it is evidenced by this list. Many hours of work by a great number of individuals were completed to make all these events happen throughout 2020. Our students and staff, with great support from our parents and donors have made this year a huge success. We are excited about these accomplishments and are even more excited for the prospect of bigger and better things to come in 2021. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at St. Patrick School!