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Wildcat Weekly
A Weekly Newsletter from St. Mary's Academy 
Boys' Leadership Initiative is Off to a Great Start
This school year, the Lower and Middle schools have launched the Boys' Leadership Initiative, a mentoring program to benefit Middle School boys and their Lower School peers. Taking place under the guidance of the both Lower and Middle School Principals, as well as teachers Mr. Andy Blair and Mr. Zac Hood, the program began with five Middle School students in the fall, and has continued throughout the year.
 
Developed with a few goals in mind, the program enables Middle School boys to be in a leadership role and learn how to mentor others while developing a stronger mentoring relationship with their teachers. In the Lower School, the children-particularly the boys-enjoy a more frequent male presence during school day activities and form relationships with older students on campus. Paired with a specific class for their academic trimester, the Middle School boys assist the Lower School teachers in the classroom, work one-on-one with a few students, and even play together during recess and help coordinate activities in PE to promote teamwork and cooperation. In their own classroom, the boys learn about childhood development and mentoring.
 
According to Mr. Blair, "The biggest benefit has been seeing the boys develop a greater sense of responsibility. They see how influential they are to the Lower School boys and they want to live up to it."
 
Reflecting on their experience, some of the Middle School boys have shared the following:
  • "This class has been an important way to teach leadership to me. I also hold a leadership position in my Boy Scout troop and they tie hand in hand. Things that I learn in this class can also be administered in Boy Scouts and the same is true for things that I learn in my troop. Overall, this class was very fun and a great way to help my leadership skills." - Aidan Gregoire
  • "It has been a great experience for me in working with the lower schoolers. It has taught me how to be a better leader and it has also given me a lot more patience...Overall, this was one of the best experiences for me and I hope it was one of the best experiences for them." - Aidan Lehman
  • Ryan Quinette shared what he got out of mentoring last trimester:
    • I learned that everybody needs a mentor, someone to look up to, and to learn from.
    • I got to have fun with younger kids, and get to know them and guide them.
    • I got to meet new teachers and assist them
    • I got to read with the kids and help them.
  • "What I got out of the mentoring program was we got to help the little kids. I established a better relationship with kids and teachers." - Jack McCormick
4th and 5th Graders Run Young AmeriTowne
On Tuesday, February 23, the fourth and fifth grade classes enjoyed their annual trip to AmeriTowne! Now in its 26th year, and sponsored by the Young Americans Center for Financial Education, Young AmeriTowne is an award-winning educational program offered to help teach students about business, economics and free enterprise in a fun and hands-on way. Young AmeriTowne has received countless accolades for its engaging format and its applicability across all types of student and school demographics. More than 295 schools across Colorado participate in Young AmeriTowne each year.

To prepare for the experience, the 4/5 teaching team has been introducing the students to concepts such as supply and demand, job skills and work habits, banking procedures, democratic processes, civic consciousness, and career awareness. These lessons prepared the children for the culminating experience, the day in Young AmeriTowne.  During their time there, the students-turned-citizens each had professional roles and applied concepts they've learned by working together to operate a 17-business town. 

This life-like simulation is an incredible learning experience for all students, that not only teaches important economic concepts, but also valuable life skills. In reflecting on their experience, a few students shared the following:
  • "AmeriTowne to me meant being able to take things into your own hands and relying on myself to make purchases." Caitlin Crysel
  • "I was a judge at AmeriTowne and you needed to be fair. You were really busy, but it was super fun."  Emily Rodriguez
  • "I thought AmeriTowne was very fun and exciting.  However, managing your money was very difficult."  Angus Dugan
  • "At AmeriTowne, you get to be an adult for a day.  You get to buy real things with fake money.  My experience as the mayor this year was great and I enjoyed running the town."  Ben Jeffords
  • "AmeriTowne helps you learn how to manage your money and while you are at it you have a good time."  Emma Lehman
  • "Young AmeriTowne is an experience that is hands-on and helps you for when you have to go out into the real world." Bridget Sachs
Biennial Parent Satisfaction Survey
Periodically, St. Mary's Academy solicits feedback from parents on what you seek for your child educationally and how well we are delivering. At least every other year, we utilize the online parent satisfaction survey created by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) that has been customized for our use. The survey will take about 15-20 minutes and we ask that you complete the survey in the coming weeks prior to its anticipated close on March 18. 
 

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Your feedback is important and plays a large role in our future planningIf you have any questions about the survey, please contact Lindsey Lopez via e-mail or by phone at 303-762-8300 ext. 223.
Community News
  • Break a leg to the cast and crew of The Wizard of Oz! Tickets are available for purchase at the door. 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...Almost sold out!
  • 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.
  • The Forney Museum of Transportation is pleased to announce their participation in Museum Day LIVE! This wonderful program, sponsored by the Smithsonian, creates a free day at cultural institutions across the country to allow people better access to these places of interest. Additionally, this special edition March event, held during National Women's History Month, is working to assist women and girls in need to experience local cultural institutions. This year's special edition event will be on Saturday, March 12 from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. In order to participate, please register online to receive a ticket that is good for two individuals. Bring either a printed copy or the download on a smartphone to the Forney Museum of Transportation on March 12 to redeem. Click here to see what other museums in Denver and the surrounding area are participating.
  • A program of the ACIS counselor's group, The Circle of Influence is proud to present Adolescent Sexuality: Education in the Home. A panel and audience discussion will take place on Wednesday, April 13 from 8:45 - 10:15 AM at Aspen Academy (5859 S. University, Greenwood Village 80121). The forum is free and open to all ACIS school parents. Contact Craig A. Knippenberg, LCSW, M.Div. with questions and to RSVP.
Lower School News & Events
News:
  • We realize that the parking capacity in the Lower School lot can be a challenge, especially on days when there is an assembly. Please refrain from parking illegally and circling the lot waiting for a space to become available. This causes gridlock and can be dangerous to cars and people. When all parking spots are full, please park in the North Parking Lot, which has plenty of parking availability. We especially ask parents of third through fifth grade students to consider this option and enjoy a stroll across the quad in the morning! Thank you for your cooperation.
  • Best wishes to our 11 Destination Imagination teams who will be competing on Saturday, March 5 in the regional tournament. DI is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students' creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic Challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning. 
  • The March Late Start, Great Start will benefit the food pantry at Southwest Improvement Council (SWIC), a non-profit founded by a Loretto member who is in her 29th year as director. This is the fourth year the kindergarten has organized the canned food drive. Next time you're at the store, please pick up a can or two or let your children come along and pick out something they think other kids would enjoy. Thank you for helping the LS students live the Loretto School Values by sharing with families in need.
  • Congratulations to first grader Sabine Pfister-Paradice, who recently received her American Citizenship. It's been a long process, so a large celebration was in order! As pictured at right, Sabine and her classmates marked the occasion with a patriotic dessert buffet filled with cake, apple pie, ice cream, and American flags! 
  • Congratulations to fourth grade student Hannah Reyes, who performed on the big stage at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Colorado Ballet's Alice (in Wonderland). It was a busy schedule for her; she participated in nine productions, which just wrapped on Sunday, February 28!
  • SMA is asking each Lower School family to donate a $25 gift card to the Gala. Bring your gift cards to Jackie in the Lower School Office by Wednesday, March 16. Classes that are in the running to receive a special treat (7 or more gift cards) include:
      • JK - 2 gift cards donated
      • Kindergarten - McGown: 2 gift cards donated
      • 1st Grade - Hoogerwerf: Treat earned!
      • 1st Grade - Lorenzo: 3 gift cards donated
      • 2nd Grade - Irwin: Treat earned!
      • 2nd Grade - McGann: 5 gift cards donated
      • 3rd Grade - Smith: Treat earned!
      • 3rd Grade - Stroz: Treat earned!
      • 4th Grade - Hamilton: Treat earned!
      • 4th Grade - Honig: 5 gift cards donated
      • 5th Grade - Deits: 3 gift cards donated
      • 5th Grade - Rand: 4 gift cards donated
Events: 
  • Thursday, March 3; 7:00 PM: The Wizard of Oz All Academy Musical in the Forum
  • Friday, March 4
    • Half Day for Students. Dismissal at 11:40 AM.
    • The Wizard of Oz All Academy Musical in the Forum at 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, March 5; 7:00 PM: The Wizard of Oz All Academy Musical in the Forum
  • Sunday, March 6; 2:00 PM: The Wizard of Oz All Academy Musical in the Forum
  • Wednesday, March 9: Late Start for Students. Classes begin at 9:00 AM.
Middle School News & Events
News: 
  • TAEKWONDO, Slacklining (pictured at right), Mountain Safety, Improv and Pilates were some of the sessions the Middle School students took part in during the Health Fair last week. Several non-profit organizations such as Sports Servants, Earthlinks and Project Cure shared their program goals and explained the needs of the people they serve. The day was complete when the faculty took on the eighth graders in a friendly, but competitive basketball game. We are grateful to all of the speakers who volunteered their time.
  • 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 or email Gracie Carr to reserve your seat. Questions? Call Gracie Carr at 303-762-8300 ext. 205. 
  • Congratulations to sixth grade student Izzy May who hit the big stage at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Colorado Ballet's Alice (in Wonderland). Pictured at right as the blue door, she stayed busy participating in nine productions, which just wrapped on Sunday, February 28! 
  • SMA is asking each Middle School family to donate a $25 gift card to the Gala. Bring your gift cards to Diane in the Middle School Office by Wednesday, March 16. CATs that are in the running to receive a special treat (7 or more gift cards) include:
    • Blair: 3 gift cards donated
    • Cencula: Treat earned!
    • C. Garcia: 2 gift cards donated
    • M. Garcia: 3 gift cards donated
    • Mayfield: 4 gift cards donated
    • McVie: Treat earned!
    • Pattison: 3 gift cards donated
    • Pritchard: 3 gift cards donated
    • Sanders: Treat earned!
    • Schmitt: 5 gift cards donated
    • Rutan: Treat earned!
  • Did you know? Each grade in the Middle School is putting together a basket to be auctioned at the Gala. Make sure to visit your grade's Sign Up Genius to sign up for an item. Items are due to Diane in the Middle School Office by Wednesday, March 16.
    • 7th Grade - Backyard Movie Night Basket
      • Sign Up Genius: Look for the Sign Up Genius in your email later this week.
      • Questions? Contact Melissa McCormick
Events:
  • Thursday, March 3; 7:00 PM: The Wizard of Oz All Academy Musical in the Forum
  • Friday, March 4
    • Half Day for Students. Dismissal at 11:30 AM.
    • The Wizard of Oz All Academy Musical in the Forum at 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, March 5; 7:00 PM: The Wizard of Oz All Academy Musical in the Forum
     
  • Sunday, March 6; 2:00 PM: The Wizard of Oz All Academy Musical in the Forum
  • Wednesday, March 9: Late Start for Students. Classes begin at 9:00 AM.
High School News & Events
News: 
  • St. Mary's Academy did very well at the 2016 Arapahoe County Mock Trial Competition. The 10-person B team, pictured above, made up of junior, sophomore and freshman girls including Avery Butler, Gabby Grant, Julia Gabriele, Kandyce Sanchez, Grace Cox, Maggie Dubus, Sarah Emmanuel, Hannah Pogue, Nicolette Olsen, Ava Erickson won second place and is one of four teams from Arapahoe County that will advance to the State Competition in Pueblo on April 1 and 2. One of the scoring judges in the final round observed that it was the best round she had seen in several weekends of judging. All of the girls worked very hard, were prepared and confident. We are incredibly proud of all of them.
  • Iriana Reyes-Corral and Latavia Pineda, Model UN delegates, each won two awards at Saturday's meet at Fossil Ridge High School in Ft. Collins. Pictured together above, at right, Iriana won Delegates' Choice and Best Delegate, and Latavia won Delegates' Choice and Honorable Mention. Congratulations, ladies!
  • Congratulations to senior, Abby Clements. She is now a Finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Among the 1.5 million students who meet entry requirements each year, only approximately 50,000 of the highest scoring students receive program recognition.
  • SMA is asking each High School family to donate a $25 gift card to the Gala. Bring your gift cards to Clare in the High School Office by Wednesday, March 16. Advisories that are in the running to receive a special treat (7 or more gift cards) include:

    • 9th Grade - Ferguson: 3 gift cards donated
    • 9th Grade - Pfeifer: 4 gift cards donated
    • 9th Grade - Weinberg: Treat earned!
    • 10th Grade - Beckham: 4 gift cards donated
    • 10th Grade - Natarajan: 2 gift cards donated
    • 11th Grade - Ehrlich: 4 gift cards donated
    • 11th Grade - Evans: 1 gift card donated
  • Did you know? Each grade in the High School is putting together a basket to be auctioned at the Gala. Make sure to visit your grade's Sign Up Genius to sign up for an item. Items are due to Clare in the High School Office byWednesday, March 16.
Events:
  • Thursday, March 3; 7:00 PM: The Wizard of Oz All Academy Musical in the Forum
  • Friday, March 4
    • Half Day for Students. Dismissal at 12:00 PM.
    • The Wizard of Oz All Academy Musical in the Forum at 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, March 5; 7:00 PM: The Wizard of Oz All Academy Musical in the Forum
  • Sunday, March 6; 2:00 PM: The Wizard of Oz All Academy Musical in the Forum
  • Wednesday, March 9: Late Start for Students. Classes begin at 9:00 AM.
Admissions News & Events
  • Congratulations and welcome to the SMA Class of 2020! High School acceptances went out recently and many students were on campus last week to meet their future peers, take a final look at SMA, and enjoy a pancake breakfast. Pictured at right are a few of our future students donning their new SMA sweatshirts and having a little fun on the quad.
  • SMA Middle School Enrollment Decisions are mailed and emailed March 2. Lower School Enrollment Decisions are mailed on March 9. If you have not had a chance to re-enroll your student, there is no time like the present to submit your contract and deposit. If you misplaced your child's enrollment contract, contact the Admissions Office. We are happy to email or mail you a new copy.
  • Middle School Welcome Event: March 8 from 8:30-9:30 AM for a Pancake Breakfast in the Community Center Duncan Lunchroom. This event is for New Middle School 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. SMA rising 6th graders received an invitation in their Friday folders last week!  Please RSVP to Seely Greenberg.
  • 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. Girls and boys from SMA and other Middle Schools are invited to give this test a try!    to reserve your seat. Questions? Call Gracie Carr at 303-762-8300 ext. 205. 
Advancement News

  • The Pre-Gala Auction will take place from April 6-15. Auction items will be available for viewing in the Sanders House Auxiliary Board Room; however, all bidding will take place online. Items included will be parking spots in the Lower and High School Parking lots, restaurant gift certificates and more! Stay tuned for the link to place your bids. It will be available after Spring Break.
  • We're looking for Broncos and Avalanche tickets for the Gala. If you have either of these items, please contact Molly del Monte with any questions.
Alumnae News
The All Academy Musical Alumnae Reception will be held Friday, March 4 from 5:30 - 6:30 PM in the Graham Family Alumnae & Volunteer Room in the Sanders House.

At 
6:30 PM, we will head over to the High School Forum to get situated for the 7:00 PM Wizard of Oz performance. 

Click here to RSVP.
Athletic News
  • The varsity basketball team lost last Tueseday in the first round of districts to a very tough Kent Sun Devils team. The game was tied after the first quarter and was close through the midway point of the 3rd quarter before Kent stretched the lead to double figures and took control. 
The Wildcats returned home for the next round of the playoffs to face the Machebeuf Buffaloes in an elimination game. It had been a little over a month since the hard-fought regular season win over the Machebeuf, and the Wildcats knew they would have their hands full. Led by 15 points from Dre Gentry and stellar defense by Lauren Carroll and 9th grader, Hannah Finke, St. Mary's Academy came away with a convincing 8-point win to advance to the consolation championship game on Saturday.


 

Another tough opponent in Manual arrived on Saturday for a battle to claim the final seed from the Metro League District play. The Wildcats gave a tremendous effort throughout the 32 minutes, but the Thunderbolts defeated the Wildcats. While the girls were disappointed to see their season end, they took great pride in all that they accomplished throughout this season. It was a great year as the rebuilding of the program continues, and the Wildcats will return 11 of the 12 players for next season.
  • 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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