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St. Pat’s Prepares for Safe Return to School

August 6, 2020

St. Patrick is committed to doing all it can to return our students safely to in-person education for the 2020-2021 school year. We are sharing our return to school plan which has been created in conjunction with the State of Michigan Return to School Roadmap, the Diocese of Grand Rapids, and the Kent and Ionia […]

St. Patrick is committed to doing all it can to return our students safely to in-person education for the 2020-2021 school year. We are sharing our return to school plan which has been created in conjunction with the State of Michigan Return to School Roadmap, the Diocese of Grand Rapids, and the Kent and Ionia County Health Departments.

While we know every stakeholder will not necessarily agree with every measure and precaution that has been taken, everyone needs to understand these steps are being taken to ensure our students can safely return to in-person learning.

If we are in Phase 3 or lower of the State of Michigan’s reopening plan, we will need to engage our students remotely. This remote learning will not be the same as it was in the spring. All grades will use Canvas, our new learning management system. In grades K-5, teachers will not be sending packets but will have a combination of whole groups and small groups that will meet online at scheduled times throughout the week. Assignments will be downloaded through Canvas.  Grades 6-12 will have a weekly schedule that includes scheduled class time and a teacher will be on the other end of the student’s screen. A printer/scanner is highly recommended if we are in phase 3 or lower.

If we are in Phase 3 or lower, we will not have preschool. Once we return to Phase 4 and have preschool, tuition will be paid on a prorated basis.

If we are in Phase 4 or higher, we will host in-person classes at St. Patrick School for grades PS-12. The highlights of our Phase 4 plan include the following (please go to our website at portlandstpats.com to see our Phase 4 and 5 plans):

  • It is extremely important that parents complete a wellness check on their student(s) before school each morning. A student who is running a fever or does not feel well needs to stay home for 10 days after their symptoms first appeared and for at least 24 hours with no fever and not taking any fever reducing medication.
  • Drop-off and pick-up: Before and after school latchkey drop-off and pick-up will remain the same. For elementary students, parents will pull into the parking lot between the school and the church and drop-off outside the main office door. Students will then proceed directly to their classroom (like we do on rainy days). Elementary after school pick-up will remain the same as it was in the 2019-2020 school year (pick-up location may change for some families). Elementary students may not enter the building until 8:30 a.m. and must be wearing masks upon entering the building. Middle school students will enter and exit at door #7 and high school students will enter and exit at door #8 (please do not park in the bus loading zone). Middle and high school students may not enter the building until 7:15 a.m. and must be wearing a mask upon entry.
  • Masks: All staff must wear masks all day unless they are by themselves or eating. K-5 students must wear masks in common areas such as the hallway and bathrooms only, and 6-12 must wear masks all day except when eating.
  • PS-8 will be staying in the same classroom throughout the day and teachers will be coming to the classrooms as scheduled. 9-12 will move classroom to classroom. Learning stations will be cleaned and sanitized after each class period.
  • Lunch: Hot lunch will be brought to classrooms for students who do not bring a sack lunch, and students will eat in their classrooms. Recess time will still be provided.
  • Students will be separated by grade level whenever possible, and preschool, lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school students will stay in their quadrant of the school whenever possible.

Please let us know by August 10 if your child will not be coming to school for in-person classes and will be doing remote learning so we can get everything set up to ensure they have a solid learning experience. Parents will be committing to remote learning for the first nine weeks. They can continue to make the decision to continue remote learning or switch to in-person at the end of each marking period.

We ask for your patience and support as we face the challenges and restrictions created by COVID-19. We will continue to do everything we possibly can do to ensure the safety of our students and staff. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our plan, please contact preschool through 8th grade principal Mrs. Cortney Smith at cortneysmith@portlandstpats.org or high school principal Mr. Randy Hodge at randyhodge@portlandstpats.org.

 

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Saying Goodbye to the Class of 2020

June 15, 2020

When I began my tenure as administrator of St. Patrick Catholic School, the students from the Class of 2020 were in 1st grade. After 12 years with them, we said goodbye on Sunday, June 14. On that day, they entered a new phase of their lives.   Our goal at St. Patrick is to ensure […]

When I began my tenure as administrator of St. Patrick Catholic School, the students from the Class of 2020 were in 1st grade. After 12 years with them, we said goodbye on Sunday, June 14. On that day, they entered a new phase of their lives.

 

Our goal at St. Patrick is to ensure that when our seniors receive their diplomas on graduation day, they have a rock-solid foundation for a successful life–a life that our Lord has prepared for each one of them. Our goal is that they will continue to serve as living representatives of our school mission statement: We Pray! We Learn! We Achieve!

 

While many events were similar to those of other classes that have come before them at St. Patrick High School, this class had a unique and memorable experience to say the least. The year started off like any normal school year and included our annual Spirit Week and homecoming celebrations, and our football team made it to the state finals with a trip to the Superior Dome in Marquette. Our school year continued to proceed without incident as any regular school year. The Class of 2020 had a great senior trip to Boyne Mountain Resort in February and were looking forward to winding down the school year with prom, senior banquet, graduation Mass, and commencement on the horizon.

 

Suddenly, the rug was pulled out from underneath them. School was closed for three weeks beginning on March 13 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This eventually led to the cancellation of the remainder of in-person classes and all extracurricular activities for the remainder of the school year.  The many traditions and events we take for granted were now looking like they might not happen. Instead, new events were created to give everyone an opportunity to recognize them for all they worked for and achieved.

 

We had pictures of each student posted on the window of our school, videos of and for the Class of 2020 made, and an awesome parade through our town. Finally, graduation Mass and commencement arrived, albeit with limited attendance and taking place in a tent instead of the church and school gymnasium.

 

Graduation began with Mass celebrated by our pastor, Reverend Michael Alber, who provided inspiring words during his homily. After Mass, it was time for our first outdoor and live streamed commencement in school history. I began by sharing the major achievements of the Class of 2020 which included the following:

 

  • 13 of the 26 students are members of the National Honor Society.
  • 17 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.
  • Twenty-five out of the 26 have plans to go on to some form of higher education. One is joining the National Evangelization Team (N.E.T.) for a year or two.
  • One is discerning her vocation as a religious sister, and one is planning to attend seminary.
  • Two have signed a National Letter of Intent to participate in college volleyball.
  • Twelve are graduating with honors (3.79 GPA or higher) with six having a weighted 4.0 GPA or higher. Twenty-three have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

 

Bishop David Walkowiak opened our commencement ceremony with prayer and Fr. Mike followed with some thoughts about the Class of 2020. Salutatorian Jeffrey Davlin and valedictorians Tyler Coyne and Bret Weller addressed their classmates, talking about the family atmosphere of St. Patrick School, 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 diplomas from Bishop Walkowiak.  One by one, they turned their tassel, and the Class of 2020 joined a group of more than 2,200 living Shamrock alumni around the world.

 

Fr. Mike closed the ceremony with prayer and the Class of 2020 processed out of the tent and into the future. They followed our annual Shamrock tradition of getting a post-graduation class picture on the steps in front of the school gym, and finally, they ended their high school career with the annual tossing of mortar boards (caps). It was an official ending to a great school career by a great group of students.

 

They are leaving with a rock-solid foundation of values, knowledge, wisdom, and faith. I can say with the utmost certainty that they prayed, they learned, and yes, without a doubt, they achieved. May God bless every one of them and their future endeavors as they move to the next phase of their lives.

 

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Tough Times Don’t Last

May 19, 2020

A Message from the Principal Our high school yearbook advisor asked me to share my thoughts on this school year for a “blurb” in the yearbook. I wanted to share what I wrote to the St. Patrick High School students who were here for the 2019-20 school year.   As we started the 2019-20 school […]

A Message from the Principal

Our high school yearbook advisor asked me to share my thoughts on this school year for a “blurb” in the yearbook. I wanted to share what I wrote to the St. Patrick High School students who were here for the 2019-20 school year.

 

As we started the 2019-20 school year, I reflected on all that had happened throughout the previous school year. We had 16 snow days, a flood, a gas leak, and a power outage day. We had missed so many days of school that year that the Office of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Grand Rapids required us to make up some of those days. I thought to myself, there is no way possible that we can have a crazier school year than the previous one.

 

Throughout the winter months, we only had one snow day and one two-hour delay. I could not help but think as spring neared that wow, this has really been a tame year with very little adversary. Little did I know what was about to hit. Within one week of having that thought, the governor of our great state issued an Executive Order forcing us to close school for three weeks which ended up leading to closing school for the remainder of the year.

 

I was amazed at the ease at which our high school staff and our students, working together with the support of our parents so easily transitioned to distance learning. It made me realize what a blessing we have here at St. Patrick School with such great students, teachers, and our school families.

 

Throughout the shutdown, I came into my office and worked each day. It was easy at first but became more difficult each day as I missed seeing the students in the building. I missed greeting them at the doorway each morning, seeing and talking to them in the hallways and around the school, stopping into the classrooms to see what they were learning, and going to watch them participate in extracurricular activities. I especially missed participating in those annual rites of passage for our senior class as their high school careers come to a successful completion.

 

Unfortunately, over my 12 years serving as administrator at St. Patrick School, I have come to take all the blessings we have here for granted. The opportunity to work with our students, to work with our school and parish staff, the opportunity we have to pray each day and attend Mass each week. Finally, the wonderful support we have from our school families and our parish community. We have countless blessings to be thankful for and we should always be mindful of them and all that we have.

 

I look forward to the day that all will return to normal and the teachers and students will once again fill our hallways with laughter, joy, excitement, and an eagerness to see friends, and learn new lessons. I hope and pray for the Class of 2020 as they move on with their lives and begin anew this journey we call life. Thank you to all of our high school students for being the great individuals you are. Thank you, Class of 2020, for great high school careers and for your great leadership.

 

Tough times don’t last but tough people do. Keep the faith that better days are ahead. We will persevere. We are Shamrocks!

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Take Time to Thank Your Child’s Teacher

May 4, 2020

In case you were not aware, the week of May 4-8 was officially designated as Teacher Appreciation Week. The first week of May is always set aside as a week for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they made to our lives and the lasting contributions they continue to make in the lives of […]

In case you were not aware, the week of May 4-8 was officially designated as Teacher Appreciation
Week. The first week of May is always set aside as a week for honoring teachers and recognizing the
lasting contributions they made to our lives and the lasting contributions they continue to make in the
lives of our children. Teachers change the lives of millions of children every day, and the work they do
each day moves us beyond words.

With the abrupt end to the physical school year, our teachers had to step up and do even more to
continue education with virtual classrooms and learning-at-home lessons. All to ensure every student
has the tools they need to reach their full potential. I have been amazed at the ease which our teaching
staff converted to distance learning and am truly appreciative of their ability to adapt so quickly. Our
teachers at St. Patrick School and in Catholic Schools across the country model the Gospels in all they
do. The relationships they build with our students affect them throughout their lives.

Unfortunately, it is more of a challenge for schools across the country to celebrate this week with most
states having cancelled in-person classes. I do have some suggestions of how you can celebrate and
show your child’s teacher how much you appreciate them and all that they do for your child(ren).

  • Send a Thank You Note: Feel free to send them a card the old-fashioned way via the U.S. Postal Service.
    It can be a store-purchased card or a handmade card by you and your child. If you are not comfortable
    sending a card via the U.S. Postal Service, do not hesitate to send them an online homemade thank you
    card via email or leave a thank you note in Google Classroom.
  • A “Thank You Parade”: Consider doing a parade with cars, which is a popular Covid-19 idea. The kids can
    create posters, wave out the window and say “thank you” to their teacher.
  • A Video Saying Thank You: Make a video saying, “thank you.” Email it to the teacher but also share it onyour personal Facebook page or ask your school to share it on their Facebook page.
  • Send a Gift Card: I am a big supporter of local businesses, so I encourage the sending of a gift card froma business in the greater Portland area. I suggest restaurants or places that offer a service such as nails,hair, massage therapy, etc.
  • Make Something as a Class: Have each child draw a picture or write a short paper explaining what theylike about their teacher. One parent can put it all together as a book so the teacher has a keepsake theycan look back on with fond remembrance of the school year.

Perhaps you have a better idea of how to thank and show appreciation for your child’s teacher. With
many people being forced to educate their own children at home, hopefully they have come to
appreciate the hard work our teachers put in each day. They often spend their own money and use their
own personal time. Even though our students are not physically in the classroom, our teachers are still
doing all that they can for your child and their well-being. Please take a moment of your time to
recognize diligent and hard working teachers, especially during these uncertain and unusual times. A
little appreciation will definitely go a long way.

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Covid-19 Teaches Us It’s Time to Learn Online Etiquette

April 28, 2020

With the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe, executive order, many schools made the switch to educating their students online. With receiving an education at home comes online lessons and online meetings. With online meetings comes online etiquette, especially for those who must utilize their webcams for lessons or meetings. When one must be online working […]

With the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe, executive order, many schools made the switch to educating their students online. With receiving an education at home comes online lessons and online meetings. With online meetings comes online etiquette, especially for those who must utilize their webcams for lessons or meetings.

When one must be online working on their webcam, what are some specific forms of etiquette one must utilize? Please allow me to be so bold as to make a few suggestions for all those school aged individuals who are having classes online:

  • Dress appropriately. I would recommend dressing professionally. A shirt is a must, even for males. For students, a t-shirt will suffice (with nothing inappropriate or offensive on it) as the bare minimum for most online meetings. Even though others in the meeting may not be able to see you from the waist down, one should also wear appropriate pants. It is also recommended that one does not look like they just stepped out of bed wearing their pajamas and having unkempt hair.
  • Make sure your camera is set up in a professional looking area. Please be aware of what is in the background. One does not want something in the background that is inappropriate. It is recommended you do not sit in front of a large window as the glare often makes it hard to see
  • Try to make sure there is a minimum amount of distractions. Loud televisions or radios, barking dogs, and screaming siblings can get in the way of the task at hand. Also, do not be distracted by your phone or any other items that may be in close proximity to you. When you are in a meeting with someone whether online or in person, it is best to keep distractions at a distance out of professional courtesy.
  • If you are in a group meeting, please make sure to keep quiet while others are talking or keep your microphone muted. Often, a wave of the hand, a nod of the head, or a thumbs up is enough communication to let your teacher know you are following along with the meeting.
  • It is recommended that you do not eat during an online meeting. Drinking of water or soda is acceptable, just don’t spill it on your keyboard.
  • Make sure you actually attend the meeting. Teachers only have so much time in a day and it is very difficult for busy staff members to schedule additional meetings.
  • Please be on time for the meeting and do your best to stay until the end. If your meeting starts at 1:00 p.m. You should be logged in by 12:55 p.m. so you are ready to go.
  • Make sure you are sitting appropriately so the person you are online with can see you throughout the meeting. Pretend you are meeting in person. One would not lie down or sit in an inappropriate position if you were meeting in person.
  • It is highly recommended that one is prepared for the meeting by having their work completed and ready to go. Having all necessary class materials and noting questions in advance that you will want to ask helps the meeting run even more smoothly.

For parents: When your school-aged children are online working with an adult or even with other students, it would be prudent for an adult to be in proximity to their children to monitor their activity. We can never be too safe in supervising our children while they are online whether it is with an adult or their peers.

If students follow these simple suggestions, they are sure to have an efficient, professional and productive online meeting. Make sure to stay safe during these unique and uncertain times. If I missed any tips on having a professional online meeting for students, please feel free to share your suggestions with me at randyhodge@portlandstpats.org

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Lifting our Voices in Song

March 10, 2020

Each March, the Diocese of Grand Rapids hosts an annual event called Songfest. All the fourth-grade students in the diocese are invited to West Catholic High School in Grand Rapids for a fun and exciting day.   This year, 461 students from 23 schools across the diocese participated in the 24th annual Songfest. The day […]

Each March, the Diocese of Grand Rapids hosts an annual event called Songfest. All the fourth-grade students in the diocese are invited to West Catholic High School in Grand Rapids for a fun and exciting day.

 

This year, 461 students from 23 schools across the diocese participated in the 24th annual Songfest. The day starts with the students gathering at West Catholic for rehearsal. Deacon Dennis Rybicki, director of liturgical music for the diocese, directs the program. He begins the day going through and explaining the music and has students practice all the songs they will be performing that evening. The students have all been practicing in their music classes before the big day. He is assisted throughout the program by Mr. Kevin Varner, principal of Our Lady of Consolation School in Rockford, and Ms. Cindy Thomas, principal of St. Stephen School in East Grand Rapids, as moderators.

 

Each fall, the 4th grade students are assigned a pen pal from another school from within the diocese. They write letters back and forth throughout the fall and winter. Then following morning rehearsal, they get to meet each other during lunch. This year, our students shared letters with students from San Juan Diego Academy.

 

After lunch, it is back for dress rehearsal. Deacon Dennis leads them through the program one more time trying to emulate their performance as close as it will possibly be for the evening performance.

 

After dress rehearsal, each school has open time to explore before the evening begins. For St. Patrick School, we visit Frederick Meijer Gardens. This time of year is perfect because we can check out the butterfly exhibit along with walking around to look at the various works of art in their gallery and on the campus.

 

After visiting Frederick Meijer Gardens, we have dinner at Applebees. Following dinner, it’s back to West Catholic for a little time to relax before for the big show.

 

The evening program begins with a welcome and prayer from our diocesan Superintendent Mr. David Faber. Fourth-grade students lead the singing of our national anthem. It’s then followed by songs including but not limited to Blessed Are They, the Fifty Nifty United States and Go Light Your World. It is always a student and crowd favorite when the students “make it rain.”

 

Our students are excited about this opportunity to participate in Songfest. It provides for a memorable day and it also gives them an opportunity to see they are part of something bigger and more than just our school here in Portland. It’s an experience they share with their classmates making memories that will last a lifetime.            

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St. Patrick Elementary Students Attend NED Kindness Adventure Assembly

December 28, 2019

By: Mrs. Cortney Smith On Tuesday, December 3, St. Patrick K-8 students had a unique opportunity to attend a program that has been presented to students in all 50 states and across the world. It is performed in nearly 5,500 schools and encourages nearly 2.5 million kids worldwide each year. Preventing bullying in schools is […]

By: Mrs. Cortney Smith

On Tuesday, December 3, St. Patrick K-8 students had a unique opportunity to attend a program that has been presented to students in all 50 states and across the world. It is performed in nearly 5,500 schools and encourages nearly 2.5 million kids worldwide each year.

Preventing bullying in schools is as important today as it has ever been. The Kindness Adventure Assembly gets to the heart of bullying by showing that kindness is the key to making friends and respecting others.

This school-wide character education program, known as “The Kindness Adventure”, centers around a 45-minute assembly. The main goal is to create an awareness of kindness. During the assembly, students are introduced to a character known as N.E.D. He is a lovable cartoon character who is relatable.

During the assembly, the speaker, Matt, begins by introducing the students to N.E.D.

N.E.D. stands for Never Give Up, Encourage Others, Do Your Best

After the introduction, they tell a story which involves N.E.D. and Matt traveling to Kenya to demonstrate kindness. Throughout the story he used humor, audience participation and object lessons. Students were on the edge of their seat as the speaker integrates interactive media with Bidii Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya.  Together with N.E.D., Matt demonstrated the following:

 

Caring Is Cool

Include Others

I Can Make Friends Anywhere

Each Person Matters

Different Can Be Good

 

The speaker continually reinforced and integrated kindness, respect, and acceptance lessons that encouraged students to maintain kindness. It is emphasized that we all can show kindness just by giving a smile.

Students and teachers were excited by N.E.D. who is a simple, relatable, and a kid-focused character. Mr. Matt was an excellent presenter who got this message across in a humorous way.

The great thing about this assembly is that it is at no cost to the host school. The program only asks for you to hold a sale of Kenyan gear for a week after the show. Kindness gear includes three different types of artwork made by Kenyan artisans.  They use all the money earned as a “pay it forward” for the next school that wants an assembly, to pay for clean water in Kenya, and a small portion to the artisans for their talented work. Since the assembly, we have sold over 127 pieces. For more information on the show go to http://www.kindnessadventure.com/ and check out the free resources for students, parents, and teachers.

 

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St. Patrick Students Participate in Mental Health Awareness Week

December 18, 2019

According to a new study, published by the American Psychological Association, rates of mood disorders, especially anxiety, and suicide-related outcomes have increased significantly over the last decade among adolescents and young adults. Being aware of this increase in mood disorders, St. Patrick School dared to be different this past week and participated in Mental Health […]

According to a new study, published by the American Psychological Association, rates of mood disorders, especially anxiety, and suicide-related outcomes have increased significantly over the last decade among adolescents and young adults. Being aware of this increase in mood disorders, St. Patrick School dared to be different this past week and participated in Mental Health Awareness Week.

Each day of the week had a mental health concern associated with a specific color. Students wore shirts with the designated color each day. There were activities that were designated to go with each day. Here is a breakdown of each day’s color and activities:

On Monday, our students wore blue in recognition of those who struggle with depression. Students participated in a ”take what you need and give what you can” challenge where they were able to take phrases for themselves based on what they need in their life and/or pick an act of kindness to complete.

For Tuesday, students wore red in recognition of those who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We held an assembly to discuss mental health and PTSD. Mr. Jim Geisen from the Right Door for Hope, Recovery and Wellness presented to our students. He used the remainder of his time to answer any questions our students had.

The middle and high school split into separate groups to do a “Cross the Line” activity. This helped students gain a visual of the differences and similarities they have with other students and reflect on the theme that every person has their own story.

Wednesday, students wore yellow in recognition of those who struggle with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Students colored an awareness ribbon. Those that finished their drawing turned them in to our school counselor. One lucky winner had a chance to pie a teacher during our culminating activity on Friday.

Our pastor, Fr. Michael J. Alber did a great job of connecting his homily at our weekly high school Mass into our Mental Health Awareness theme. After Mass, our high school students and staff spent 15 minutes in Adoration providing our students an opportunity to pray and give their struggles, concerns and cares over to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to help them mentally focus and prepare for exam week.

For Thursday, students wore green in recognition of those who struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Students had the opportunity to make a green braided bracelet or test their OCD tendencies by making a beaded bracelet without a pattern.

Finally, on Friday, students wore pink in recognition of those who struggle with anxiety. This was the day we found out what class had the highest participation throughout our Mental Health Awareness Week. Those classes with the highest participation had student representatives selected that were able to “pie” select teachers who agreed to be models of putting their fears and anxieties aside so students could pie them for a little fun. The freshman had the highest percentage and won 10 pies while the sophomores and juniors tied for second and won four pies each. Alexis Hilliard was the student whose awareness ribbon was chosen so she was also able to pie a staff member of her choice. Finally, students were able to make their own slime during lunch to create a stress/anxiety relief tool.  It was a fun and exciting way to end our week.

A very big thank you to senior Olivia Fogarty and our school counselor Mrs. Jenny Garcia for planning and leading our Mental Health Awareness Week activities. Also, a special thank you to all of the staff members who agreed to have a pie in their face. It was a great stress reliever for all as students get ready to take their exams, continue to celebrate and Advent and prepare for Christmas.

 

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Fall Sports Wrap Up

December 16, 2019

Before we get too far into the winter sports season, we want to recognize our student athletes’ accomplishments for our fall sports season. St. Patrick High School wrapped up another successful fall sports season with our annual awards banquet on December 3. The biggest highlight of the season was our football team finishing the regular […]

Before we get too far into the winter sports season, we want to recognize our student athletes’ accomplishments for our fall sports season. St. Patrick High School wrapped up another successful fall sports season with our annual awards banquet on December 3. The biggest highlight of the season was our football team finishing the regular season with an undefeated record and an overall 12-1 record as the 8-man football Division II state runner up. Our football team finished as state runner up two of the last three years.  We would like to congratulate all our teams for their efforts throughout this fall sports season! A lot of time and hard work was put forth in the gym, on the field and of course in the classroom by our student athletes.

As previously mentioned, the Shamrock football team had a strong season winning a regional championship trophy and advancing to the state final. Individual honors include:

  • Ned Smith: All-State Honorable Mention running back/defensive line
  • Zach Spitzley: Portland Beacon Athlete of the Month for November
  • Tyler Coyne: Tim Chamberlain Award
  • John Schneider: Bishop Baraga Award

The varsity volleyball team had another solid season finishing 5th place in the league in a very strong Central Michigan Athletic Conference (CMAC). They finished second in the silver bracket at the Dansville Invitational. Individual awards include:

  • Samee Teachworth: 1st team CMAC and Aquinas College Volleyball Commitment
  • Mya Luna: 2nd team CMAC and school record for 233 serving aces in her career
  • Olivia Fogarty: Honorable Mention CMAC
  • Ally Florian: Honorable Mention CMAC

Our cross country program was unable to field a girls’ or boys’ team, but we did have a solid group of runners representing our school’s cross country program. Individual honors include:

  • Cozette (Cozie) Brown: 2nd team CMAC, school record holder and medaled in four invitationals and Portland Beacon Student Athlete of the Month for October. She is the first female runner in school history to qualify for the state meet, finishing 75th in Division IV out of 238 runners.

Our JV volleyball team finished with an overall record of 21-7-5 and brought home a trophy for winning the gold bracket at the Perry Invitational. Our freshman volleyball team had a successful season showing much growth and finishing with an overall record of 10-8-4.

As a Catholic School, we expect our student athletes to represent our school in a positive manner, bringing Christ to everything they do, and making us proud with their sportsmanship. Without a doubt, they have done so in what turned out to be an extremely successful fall sports season. Our high school student athletes did an excellent job representing our school mission statement: We Pray! We Learn! We Achieve!

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Time to Be Thankful

November 26, 2019

This year, St. Patrick School has implemented a new program called Virtues in Education. Each month has a specific virtue assigned to it. For the month of November, we chose the virtue of gratitude. It is a most fitting choice as the Virtue of the Month since most people around this time of year spend […]

This year, St. Patrick School has implemented a new program called Virtues in Education. Each month has a specific virtue assigned to it. For the month of November, we chose the virtue of gratitude. It is a most fitting choice as the Virtue of the Month since most people around this time of year spend some time thinking about what they are thankful, grateful or appreciative for in their life.  I, like most people, do the same. Why and for what am I grateful, thankful and appreciative?

 

There are many things that come to mind, first and foremost the opportunity to serve as principal in my home parish and at the school from which I graduated. There are several other things that always stand out as well.

 

I am so appreciative that our school is built on our Faith in Christ.  Having the freedom to put God first in everything we do is a precious gift.  We are able to pray each morning as we start the day; we give thanks at lunch time; we gather for Mass each week and we pray before each large event, including athletic events.  What a gift it is that we can give thanks for all of our successes and the blessings we receive.

 

I also enjoy the family-like atmosphere here at our parish school.  I believe we are one big family, and that our school is an extension of the home.  All families have issues that they struggle with.  Families go through tough times where their love is tested.  Fortunately, tough times don’t last but tough people do.  Families forgive and forget and move on and grow from the trials and tribulations that test their love and faith.  And in the end, it is always a great feeling to come home where we can deal with the issues of life with a strong support system in place.

 

The commitment to academic success throughout our school community is another thing I appreciate about our school.  Our school family’s value rigorous standards in the classroom and invest themselves in that success.  Small class sizes at St. Pat’s help foster that success as well and give teachers the opportunity to truly get to know their students and provide them with one-on-one attention.  Small classes also make it easier to monitor a student’s progress, remediate a struggling student, and help foster the family environment we have at St. Patrick School.

 

One cannot go wrong with a foundation built on faith, family, love, and learning.  It is a foundation that is made to weather even the toughest of times.

 

St. Patrick School is open to all members of the community, and our school family welcomes all who enroll here.  You do not have to be Catholic to send your child to St. Patrick.  All faiths are welcome.   All that is required is a strong commitment to the educational success of your child.

 

Take time to be grateful, say “thank you” and count your blessings this week as we enjoy Thanksgiving and then begin to prepare for the start of Advent. On behalf of our pastor, the Reverend Michael J. Alber, elementary principal Cortney Smith, myself and the entire parish and school staff at St. Patrick, we wish you a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

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