Header Image
Wildcat Weekly
A Weekly Newsletter from St. Mary's Academy 
Thanksgiving: Giving Thanks in the Academy President's Blog: 

How can we be celebrating Thanksgiving already?

Calendars move quickly and some years move more quickly than others. Working in a school community, we use holidays as markers in our progress and that can make things seem to move even more quickly. So here we are in November with Thanksgiving right around the corner. But I will admit that I still have Halloween decorations around my house and well, if truth be told, red, white and blue Labor Day napkins still festoon my table. But time marches on!

Deirdre V. Cryor
Academy President

Eight Weeks of Giving: Annual Fund Honors Teachers 
This week during Eight Weeks of Giving we reflect on all of the special teachers who have impacted the lives of children at SMA. Whether it's spending extra time helping with a homework assignment, opening minds to new ideas or suggesting a favorite novel, teachers encourage students to reach their full potential.

Contribute to the Annual Fund today in honor of SMA's outstanding faculty. Your donation ensures SMA teachers have the tools they need to give students the best education possible in a nurturing environment. Remember you can schedule your Colorado Gives Day donation early by selecting "CO Gives Day" under Donation Type and make your dollar go further!      

Faculty Making a Difference on Campus
There is no question that the faculty at St. Mary's Academy is exceptional. Each day, teachers dedicate time to providing instruction to students, reflect on and assess academic performance, plan for upcoming lessons, think critically about long-range instructional strategies, and even share their experience and talents beyond their classrooms.

Last week's Late Start meeting was a perfect example of these strategies in practice. Teachers engaged in cross-divisional meetings with their colleagues to focus on the vertical curriculum that takes place in each subject area on campus. Some notable conversations included the following:
  • Language Arts/Social Studies/History/Geography teachers gathered from grades 4-6 and 7-10 to discuss strategies and convey how to develop critical thinking through writing and discussions.
  • Math teachers from grades 4-6 discussed working to build a firmer foundation in automaticity and mathematical thinking. They discussed math vocabulary and what teachers assess from year to year. 
  • World Languages teachers gathered to discuss the importance of teaching culture, grammatical structure and spoken fluency in Spanish and French. They shared their unique methodology and the results seen in the classroom.
  • The JK-3 teams met together to discuss the word study program, Words their Way. According to Lower School Principal Florence Swanson, "Teachers shared strategies to meet the needs of all learners at their level, how to communicate and practice the weekly skills, and more! It was a productive meeting focused on our students and instruction!"
High School Principal Kathryn McNamee added, "These types of strategic meetings help the articulation of curriculum between grades and teachers develop effective ways for kids to feel confident as they transition from one grade to the next at St. Mary's Academy."
Faculty Making a Difference Beyond Campus As Well!
Beyond campus, SMA teachers are also making their mark! Below are a few examples to highlight:
  • High School math teacher Iswari Natarajan will be presenting at the 2016 Global Forum on Girls' Education, Creating a World of Possibilities. Scheduled to take place February 7-9, 2016 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, her proposal entitled "Teaching Girls AP Calculus: Making the Shift from A(nswer getting) to P(roblem Solving)" will be an INSPIRE! roundtable session for the conference programming. Her topic was selected among over 250 proposals submitted nationally.
  • Junior Kindergarten teacher Elizabeth Dowling, Ph.D., recently joined Natalie Rekstad-Lynn of Black Fox Philanthropy at Boulder Country Day School to offer a presentation on ways in which families can engage children in making a positive impact in the community and beyond, inspiring a lifetime of contribution. Some key points she communicated were the parents' role in shaping a child's philanthropic values, age appropriate pathways to philanthropic engagement, and practical guidance on how and where to engage children in the community. 
  • High School Fine Arts teacher Andrew Beckham currently has an exhibit showing at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins. Entitled, Firmament: An Incalculable Distance, the exhibit is on display through January 16, 2016.  Click here for more information
Community News
  • The Standing O's would like to give a big ovation to the parents who helped provide food and tech support during the SMA High School production of the "Dixie Swim Club."  A huge thank you to Jane Hoogerwerf, Katya Boulos,Todd Larabee, Paula Sapienza, Karen Polzen, Pat McHenry, Joanne Hills, Michael Hills, Kerrie Slocum and Fil Sapienza! Additional kudos to Orchestra Mom, Traci Sanders who supplied cookies for the Middle School concert. Your efforts are appreciated and we thank you!small_pumpkins_pie.jpg 
  • It is Thanksgiving pie time! Join Academy Parents in thanking our SMA teachers, faculty and staff and bring in Thanksgiving pies on Friday, November 20 at morning carpool drop off. We will have Academy Parents members at carpool to help collect pies for the SMA faculty to enjoy for the holiday. The more the merrier!
  • Throughout the month of November, as we remember the faithful departed, St. Mary's Academy makes available a Book of the Dead in which students and faculty can share the name(s) of those loved ones who have died so that they may be remembered in prayer. The book is located in the High School outside of Principal, Ms. McNamee's office. 
Lower School News & Events
  • In honor of Veteran's Day, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Richard Cimino paid a visit to the Lower School. As pictured at right with the Kindergarten, he described his 21 years of service. He visited a few other grades throughout the afternoon. They talked about flying planes and other branches of the military. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, Lt. Col. Cimino also happens to be Kindergarten Teacher Marla Giardino's brother!
  • LS Advanced Band and MS Concert Bands add Holiday CheerThese bands will be playing together on Saturday, December 5 at Littleton United Methodist Church (5894 S. Datura Street, Littleton) providing Holiday music starting at 7:00 PM. Students and families are invited to remain for the 7:30 PM concert to hear more holiday band music provided by the Colorado Wind Ensemble. Discount tickets available to SMA with prices ranging from $5.00 to $13.00. Please contact Sharon Gayley to order discount tickets by December 3Come and support our fabulous SMA bands!  
  • The SMA Presto Orchestra will have the honor of performing at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, prior to a Colorado Ballet production of The Nutcracker. This event will take place on Sunday, December 12. The matinee begins at 1:00 PM, and our orchestra will perform for a full 45-50 minutes in the lobby of the Ellie Caulkins, once the doors open at 12:00 PM to the general public. To place a ticket order, please click here or contact Cherie Swisher.
  • Save the date for two upcoming Lower School Concerts!  Please note the start times of these events have changed slightly:
    • Wednesday, December 2: LS Beginners Concert at 2:30-3:00 PM in the Forum. This will include beginning band and beginning orchestra musicians.
    • Wednesday, December 9: LS Christmas Concert at 7:00 PM start time in Forum. This concert includes LS advanced and presto orchestras, LS advanced band, LS Choral Club.
  • Friday, November 20: Grandparents' Day and early dismissal. No EDC.
  • Monday, November 23-Friday, November 27: Academy Closed for Thanksgiving and Fall Break.
  • Monday, November 30: Classes resume
  • Wednesday, December 2
    • Assembly featuring second grade; 8:10 AM in the LS gym
    • LS Beginners Concert; 2:30 PM in the Forum
Middle School News & Events
  • Progress reports will be posted on the Infinite Campus portal before the Fall Break/Thanksgiving holiday.
  • Congratulations to the 22 students in the MS Music Theatre class for their performance of The Broadway Beat last week. Co-taught by Mrs. Roberta Hamilton-Griggs and Mrs. Cherie Swisher, this was the inaugural music theatre class in the Middle School! Below is a photo from their performance.

  • LS Advanced Band and MS Concert Bands add Holiday Cheer! These bands will be playing together on Saturday, December 5 at Littleton United Methodist Church (5894 S. Datura Street, Littleton) providing Holiday music starting at 7:00 PM. Students and families are invited to remain for the 7:30 PM concert to hear more holiday band music provided by the Colorado Wind Ensemble. Discount tickets available to SMA with prices ranging from $5.00 to $13.00. Please contact Sharon Gayley to order discount tickets by December 3. Come and support our fabulous SMA bands! 
  • Friday, November 20: Grandparents' Day and early dismissal. No ASA.
  • Monday, November 23-Friday, November 27: Academy Closed for Thanksgiving and Fall Break.
  • Monday, November 30: Classes resume
High School News & Events
  • To show our solidarity for the devastating event in Paris last Friday, the French National Honor Society invites you to participate in a week-long project of remembrance. Students have all received Eiffel Tower cards in their mailboxes in which they can share an intention, a story, a memory, a wish, or a prayer and put them on Ms. Rogers' door.
    L'amour est plus fort que la haine. Love is greater than hate.
  • Junior Sarah Gamel won best delegate at the Cherry Creek/Cherokee Trails Model UN meet on Saturday, November 14. Congratulations to Sarah, who is pictured at right, and the entire team.
  • Click here to see the Lower School Honor Roll of Givers by grade level as of November 16th. Congratulations to both 11th and 12th grade classes tied with 25% giving participation! 
  • HS grades, interim reports, as well as the Finals Schedule are available on Infinite Campus now. If you want to have grades/interim reports for future reference, please print them out as this window is only open for a short period of time. 
  • Friday, November 20: Grandparents' Day and early dismissal
  • Monday, November 23-Friday, November 27: Academy Closed for Thanksgiving and Fall Break.
  • Monday, November 30: Classes resume
Admissions News & Events
  • High School Placement Test is Saturday, December 5 at 8:00 AM. Registration is easy. Click here to begin.
  • SMA Junior Kindergarten/Kindergarten Siblings: Please contact Admissions to RSVP for the required group visit.  
    • Junior Kindergarten Applicants: December 16 or January 21; 9:00-10:00 AM.  
    • Kindergarten applicants: January 13; 9:15-10:45 AM or January 26; 8:30-10:00 AM.  
Click here for the online application, parent comment form and teacher recommendation! 
  • 8th Grade Student/Parent Get to Know SMA High School night is on Thursday, November 19 at 6:30 PM at 470 Race St. This event is currently at capacity but we will be happy to take reservations for a wait list. Please contact Gracie Carr. Thank you so much!
  • SMA MS Preview is headed your way on December 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  RSVP at:  https://onlineapps.smanet.org/forms/general-rsvp
  • Financial Assistance Portal at sss.nais.org began November 1. New and returning SMA families are encouraged to begin the process of applying for financial assistance. Please apply at sss.nais.org and begin uploading documents requested. For additional information, and to reference the list of documents needed, click hereIf you have any questions, please email Gracie Carr.
  • Shout out of thanks to: Sandi Gleim, Jodie Gusek, Linda Roberts, Liz Carr, Katy Turner, Blake Booth, Kelly Dominguez 
If you have any questions please contact Gracie Carr or Seely Greenberg in the Admissions Office.
Advancement News
Grandparents' Day is Friday! 

Make sure your child's grandparent has RSVP'd to Molly del Monte via e-mail or at (303) 762-8300
We look forward to seeing our grandparents on campus for this special day, Friday, November 20.
Alumnae News
A great and easy way for alumnae to support SMA is through the Amazon Smile program. 

Every time you shop at Amazon, 0.5% of the value of your purchases will go back to SMA. Log onto smile.amazon.com and choose St. Mary's Academy for the Sisters of Loretto. 

Thank you for your support!
Athletic News
  • Last week, SMA Student Council organized an energetic pep rally to kick off the winter sports season! Students and faculty participated in "minute to win it" games as well as "knockout" and silly soccer. The High School is excited to cheer on the Swim and Dive, Basketball, and Dance teams as they begin their competitions in December!

For details and schedules, contact the Athletics Office, check the calendar on the St. Mary's Academy mobile device App, or visit the websiteGo Wildcats!

Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved.