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Wildcat Weekly
A Weekly Newsletter from St. Mary's Academy 
Naomi Shihab Nye Visits SMA in the Academy President's Blog: 

This week we hosted poet Naomi Shihab Nye. Naomi was born in St. Louis to her father, a Palestinian refugee and her mother an American of German and Swiss descent. Naomi spent her adolescence in both Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas. Her experience of both cultural difference and different cultures has influenced much of her work. She calls herself a "wandering poet."
 

Deirdre V. Cryor
Academy President

High School Unpacks the Power of Words at Annual Diversity Day
 
The annual High School Diversity Day took place on Tuesday, February 9. It was a day filled with exciting speakers, fun activities, and wonderful food. With the theme, Unpack the Power of Words: Deepening Dialogue to Seek a Greater Understanding, guest speakers included poets, authors, and other individuals well versed in the skills of communication. 

To start the day, world-renowned poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye delivered a keynote address and read some of her work. Focusing on the power of words and the importance of writing, Naomi challenged the students to write everyday about what they see around them. In fact, she shared a poem that she had written for Diversity Day in her hotel that morning. She is pictured above, left, with Common Ground Club President Ciela Vega. Chelsea, a freshmen, said of Naomi, "She was really nice and she talked about a lot of important points that we should know and about events going on in the world."

Students then participated in a series of break out sessions that covered topics including "Short Walk to Genocide" by Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action's Roz Duman and Barbara Coloroso, "Misconceptions and Accountability Under God's Will" with Thomas Hernandez, "RISE Colorado: One Woman's Journey" with SMA alumna and recent Forbes' 30 Under 30 nominee Milagros Barsallo '05, among other topics and writers' workshops.

Following an internationally themed pot-luck lunch featuring cuisines from over 30 different countries and a student led talent and fashion show that nourished students' bodies and souls, students had the privilege to hear award-winning slam poets Mr. Ayinde Russell and Ms. Dominique Johnson (pictured above, right). They performed poems on the topics of race and civil rights. Students even had the opportunity to go into group break out sessions with the slam poets to continue the discussion and learn more about slam poetry. 

The day concluded a performance by Johnny 5 of the FlobotsThe entire school sang along to a variety of songs during a sing off among students. The last song of the day was a rendition of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot juxtaposed with a rendition of When the Saints Go Marching In, both with lyrics changed to demonstrate a welcoming attitude towards refugees. 

Diversity Day is a special day widely anticipated by students and faculty alike. It is an important day that focuses on the Loretto School Values of faith, justice, community and respect. As summarized by Common Ground Club member Sarah Gamel, "Yesterday, we truly did unpack the power of words."
President Search Update and Upcoming Parent Forums
We are looking forward to the upcoming visit of our search consultants Mathew Heersche and Risa Oganesoff Heersche of Educational Directions. They will visit St. Mary's Academy on Wednesday, February 17 and Thursday, February 18 to interview members of all groups within the school and determine what we seek in our next leader. 

Parents are invited to attend one of two parent forums that will be taking place during their visit: 
  • Wednesday, Feb 17 from 6:00 to 7:00 PM in the Community Center
  • Thursday, February 18 from 8:15 to 9:15 AM in the Community Center

If you are interested in attending either of the forums, kindly RSVP to Lindsey Lopez via e-mail or by phone at 303-762-8300 ext. 223 by Tuesday, February 16. While RSVPs are not required to attend, your response will be helpful in determining how many guests to anticipate.


In addition, if you have not had a chance to complete the anonymous online survey please take a moment to do so. It is available by clicking here. The survey will be open until February 18, 2016 and is an important way to share your thoughts with the consultants.
SMA is Transforming into the Land of Oz
The All Academy musical is coming soon! To buy your ticket to The Wizard of Ozclick here and choose "Standard" ticket. Tickets are $10 each and sold exclusively online. 

The performance schedule is as follows:
    • Thursday, March 3 at 6:30 PM
    • Friday, March 4 at 7:00 PM
    • Saturday, March 5 at 7:00 PM
    • Sunday, March 6 at 2:00 PM
To get a little inspiration, last night, 54 members of the cast and crew attended The Wizard of Oz performance at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Pictured below are the High School student leads for the SMA production, Maddie Castle who will be the Cowardly Lion, Sarah Hoogerwerf will play Dorothy, Allie Putze as the Tin Ma'am, Cory Sapienza will be the Scare Crow, and Macey Hills will be Glinda, the good witch. 
Community News
  • Great news! You can now share your best and favorite images from school events with SMA. In turn, we will be able to share more photos with you! Simply scroll to the bottom of the SMA homepage and click on Photo Submissions
  • Your input is important and appreciated as St. Mary's Academy begins the search for our next Academy President. If you have not done so already, please take a few moments to complete the online survey by February 18, 2016.
  • The Standing O's would like to give Mr. Kartik Dakshinamoorthy, a huge standing ovation for designing an outstanding logo! We are absolutely thrilled to have such a beautiful logo to use for years to come! Thank you!!
  • The Standing O's have been busy with preparations for the upcoming musical, The Wizard of Oz! A huge round of applause for Jodi Stevens, Betsy Huguez, Vicky Sullivan, Meredith Wakelyn, Maria Perez, Liza Allis, Stephanie Largan, Adrianna Williams and Shara Castle. These parents have been creating tags for lockers and providing after-school care and feeding the cast!  A special thank you to Ms.Theresa Lorenzo who offers her room everyday for after school care. Additionally, The Standing O's give a big round of applause to 8th grader Parker Amburn, who designed the logo used on all of the locker tags through out the school. Way to go Parker! Thank you to each of you for all of your hard work and effort!
  • Academy Parents is once again proud to sponsor "The Island" one of the most anticipated events by our Middle School kids! We are going to have a wonderful event on February 19 for the Middle School students, made even better with your participation. To volunteer the evening of the event please click here to sign up.
  • SMA Nuggets Night is March 8! Join the Denver Nuggets for the annual St. Mary's Academy Community Night with the Nuggets on Tuesday, March 8 at 7:00 PM. All participants can join in the VIP Experience prior to the game and 40 select students will be able to take part in the Red, White and Blue Crew and SAIMARAC will sing the National Anthem. Don't miss it. Click here for more information.
  • Nationally recognized parent educator Vicki Hoefle will be at the South High School Library in Denver on April 15 & 16, 2016 to lead an interactive and dynamic intensive parenting workshop. Click here for more details and registration.
    • DATE: April 15 & 16, 2016
      • Friday 6:00 PM Registration; 6:30 - 9:00 PM Workshop
      • Saturday 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM (1 hour break for lunch at noon)
    • PLACE: South High School Library (1700 E. Louisiana Ave., Denver)
    • COST: $275 per person, $400 per couple
    • Program Materials Included
Lower School News & Events
News:
  • Before her keynote address for the High School Diversity Day, a variety of classes from the Lower and Middle schools had the wonderful opportunity to work with acclaimed author and poet Naomi Shihab Nye. Conducting writers' workshops with the third, fourth and fifth graders as well as two sessions with Middle School students on Monday, February 8, Ms. Nye found our SMA students to be incredibly articulate, insightful, and talented young writers. On Tuesday, she also dropped in on the Junior Kindergarten and Mrs. Irwin's second grade class to talk about the process of writing poetry and books, revising work, and finding inspiration every day.
  • The Lower School is on target...in more ways than one! As pictured at right, new bullseye targets have popped up on the playground for students to have a place to throw snowballs! Ms. Swanson and teachers have communicated snowball safety with students to ensure they have fun and use the new targets effectively. 
  • SMA is asking each Lower School family to donate a $25 gift card to the Gala to be used in the Spin the Wheel Game the night of the Gala. Each Lower School Class that donates seven or more gift cards will win a special treat! Bring your gift cards to Jackie in the Lower School Office by Wednesday, March 16. Remember that you can buy a variety of gift cards in the Business Office. Three classes are already in the running to win a special treat!
    • 2nd Grade - Irwin: 4 gift cards donated
    • 4th Grade - Honig: 4 gift cards donated
    • 5th Grade - Rand: 2 gift cards donated
  • Led by the JK and first grade classes, the Lower School raised a generous $2,128.55 for Haitian Families FirstThank you so much for your contributions to support this worthy cause every year. 
Events: 
  • Friday, February 12: Faculty Retreat Day,  No Classes
  • Monday-Tuesday, February 15-16: Academy Closed in Observance of Presidents' Day
  • Wednesday, February 17: Classes Resume
Middle School News & Events
News: 
  • Today, the Middle School observed Ash Wednesday mass with their Lower School peers in the Lower School gym. The priest's message about considering Lent akin to a two-paned window...the upper pane being our line of sight toward God and the lower pane being used for us to see and serve others felt quite apropos as students processed out of the Lower School under a beautiful blue sky and over the crisp shadow of the building's cross.
  • SMA is asking each Middle School family to donate a $25 gift card to the Gala to be used in the Spin the Wheel Game the night of the Gala. Each CAT that donates 7 or more gift cards will win a special treat! Bring your gift cards to Diane in the Middle School Office by Wednesday, March 16. Remember that you can buy a variety of gift cards in the Business Office. Four CATs are already in the running to win a special treat!
    • C. Garcia: 2 gift cards donated
    • McVie: 3 gift cards donated
    • Pritchard: 2 gift cards donated
    • Sanders: 4 gift cards donated
  • Calling all current seventh graders! We invite you to take the PRACTICE High School Placement Test on Saturday, April 16 in the Community Center from 8:15-11:30 AM. This test is normed for seventh graders but it will prepare students for the HSPT in December 2016. You can register online starting February 1, 2016 or email Gracie Carr to reserve your seat. Questions? Call Gracie Carr at 303-762-8300 ext. 205. 
  • SMA's Middle School Winter Getaway is almost here! The Middle School Academy Parents Island Social is Friday, February 19 from 6:00 - 8:30 PM at 2233 S. Geneva St., Denver, CO. The cost is $20 if received by February 18 or $25 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets and please review IC for additional information.
Events:
  • Friday, February 12: Faculty Retreat Day,  No Classes
  • Monday-Tuesday, February 15-16: Academy Closed in Observance of Presidents' Day
  • Wednesday, February 17: Classes Resume
High School News & Events
News: 
  • Congratulations and thank you to the Common Ground Club (some members pictured at right), Mrs. Debbie Horning, and all who helped to make yesterday's Diversity Day such a wonderful event on campus.
  • On Monday, the Middle School and High School hosted Fernanda Ubillos on campus. She is a visiting High School Biology teacher from Uruguay participating in the Fulbright Exchange program. She visited with Instructional Technology staff to discuss how SMA incorporates iPads, digital microscopy and ActivBoards in their instruction of students. She also observed Middle School Science classes in the morning, and then High School Science and Digital Design classes in the afternoon, followed by working with SMAbotics as they build their FIRST robot for their competition in March. This year's FIRST SMAbotics team includes captains Sophie Finke and Zoe Roberts along with Lilia McGee-Harris, Ceili Sauer, Kat Hahn, Maddy Fair, Madeline Moore, Darryl Filmore, Riley Fitzpatrick, Jolie Klefeker, and Abby Clements
  • SMA is asking each High School family to donate a $25 gift card to the Gala to be used in the Spin the Wheel Game the night of the Gala. Each advisory that donates seven or more gift cards will win a special treat! Bring your gift cards to Clare in the High School Office by Wednesday, March 16. Remember that you can buy a variety of gift cards in the Business Office. One advisory already in the running to win a special treat!
    • 9th Grade - Pfeifer: 2 gift cards donated
  • The High School Common Ground Club has extended the food drive for the Denver Urban Ministries through tomorrow, Thursday, February 11. Last call to bring canned tomatoes, boxed meals (excluding Ramen noodles), peanut and other nut butters, cereals, and canned fruits!  All donations are greatly appreciated.
Events:
  • Thursday, February 11; 5:30 PM: Basketball @ SMA
  • Friday, February 12: Faculty Retreat Day,  No Classes
  • Monday-Tuesday, February 15-16: Academy Closed in Observance of Presidents' Day
  • Wednesday, February 17: Classes Resume
Admissions News & Events
  • Financial Assistance applications are due February 12. We recommend that you apply as soon as possible. While we know your 2015 taxes will not be completed by February 12, we must have your application submitted no later than February 12 to be considered for assistance for the 2016-17 school year. Please begin the process by applying at: sss.nais.org.
  • Calling all current seventh graders! We invite you to take the PRACTICE High School Placement Test on Saturday, April 16 in the Community Center from 8:15-11:30 AM. This test is normed for seventh graders but it will prepare students for the HSPT in December 2016. Click here to register online or email Gracie Carr to reserve your seat. Questions? Call Gracie Carr at 303-762-8300 ext. 205. 
Advancement News
  • We are so close! The Annual Fund is now at 98% of our $350,000 goal. Congratulations and thank you to the seventh grade with 63% parent participation to date. Support from the entire parent community will enable SMA to close out this year's Annual Fund. Click here to make a gift today.

 

 

  • Be a part of creating one of the Gala's most unique auction items! When you donate a bottle of wine, it will be combined with other wine donations to create an "Instant Wine Cellar" which will be auctioned off at the Gala. Donate one bottle, two bottles or an entire case! Donations are due to your school office by Wednesday, March 16. Thank you!
  • New This Year: SMA is partnering with Bouzy Wine & Spirits, located at University and Orchard next to Trader Joe's. Purchase your bottle of wine for the Instant Wine Cellar at a 15% discount and leave it at Bouzy, whose owner Chris Franke will be curating the Instant Wine Cellar for SMA.
  • We're looking for AIRLINE MILES for the Gala Auction. If you have miles to donate or a contact at an airline who may be able to donate miles or a gift certificate to SMA please contact Molly del Monte. Thank you! 

 


Alumnae/i News
  • Congratulations to SMA's Middle School alumni who are on the Regis Jesuit High School Boys Division First Semester Honor RollClick here to read more
  • As a follow up to last week's story about SMA alums signing to play NCAA Division I sports in college, pictured at right are Andrew McCormick and Austin Campbell on their signing day! Both also received Second Honors on the Regis Jesuit High School Boys Division 2015-2016 First Semester Honor Roll, as referenced above.
  • Join us for the Alumnae Brewery Crawl on Saturday, February 20! This event is open to alumnae of legal drinking age and their guests. We will head to the RiNo neighborhood to check out some of Denver's best breweries. We'll meet at Zephyr at 1:45 PM, make our way to Our Mutual Friend and end the afternoon at Stem Ciders.  Click here to RSVP.
    • Zephyr Brewing Company: 421 26th St. Denver, CO 80205, 1:45 - 2:30 PM
    • Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew: 2810 Larimer St. Denver, CO 80205, 2:45 - 3:30 PM
    • Stem Ciders: 2811 Walnut Street Denver, CO 80205, 3:45 - 4:30 PM
Athletic News
  • Several of our Middle School lacrosse players traveled to California recently to participate in the highly competitive Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival with over 325 other teams from all over the country. Seventh graders Krissy Rael and Maya Dammen and their TEAM 180 Lacrosse teammates from Colorado won their division at the festival. Harrison Buecking played for the 3D Colorado Select team and his team finished in second place. Paris Corporon, a sixth grader at SMA competed in the tournament with her Team 180 teammates and finished in 4th place in their division. Congratulations to our students and their teammates!
     
  • If you are interested in playing a High School spring sport, please complete our five athletic forms and submit them to the SMA Athletics Department before preseason begins on February 29. The five forms are: Current Physical Exam, Parent Permit, Medical Release, Permission to Travel, and Code of Conduct. Please also check the ALL CLEAR list, to be sure that all of your paperwork has been processed. 
  • This past week SMAquatics made quite the splash at Colorado College at the Tri Peaks League Championships Meet. Out of the nine teams that competed, SMA took third with some high quality swims and new meet and pool records. All of themembers of the SMA team did fabulously and most made significant improvements. The end of this season only means forward progress for our small and mighty team; until next season swim team!
     
  • 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!


   
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