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Wildcat Weekly
A Weekly Newsletter from St. Mary's Academy 
Sister Vicki Schwartz SL to Serve as SMA Interim President
The St. Mary's Academy President Search Committee is pleased to announce that Sister Vicki Schwartz SL has agreed to serve as Interim President for the 2016-17 academic year. 

The Search Committee has determined that the timing of the Academy President search lends itself best to a July 2017 start date for the new President, as the broadest candidate pool requires up to a year's notice to a current employer. Accordingly, the Search Committee, the Advisory Committee and our Search Consultants, Risa and Mathew Heersche, have determined that July 2017 is the probable optimal start date of our new Academy President.

Sister Vicki, who serves on the SMA Board of Trustees, knows the St. Mary's Academy community well. She has been a Loretto student, teacher, administrator and Trustee throughout her educational and professional careers. She received a degree in English and Elementary Education from Webster College, and has a master's degree in English from St. Louis University and a master's degree of Theological Studies from the Franciscan School of Theology at the Graduate Theological Union. In addition, Sister Vicki brings a depth of leadership experience at various organizations. Given her background and experience, she is ideally suited to work with the Board and the school community on carrying forward our key strategic initiatives. We are pleased and honored that Sister Vicki will be assuming this important leadership role. Click here to read a narrative of Sister Vicki's extensive background.

College Signing Day at SMA
On Tuesday, March 8, the Athletics Department celebrated a signing day by honoring three high school student athletes bound for Division III athletic programs in college. 

Congratulations to the following athletes for their dedication and commitment to SMA on an off of the field. Good luck next year!
  • Maddie BredehoeftClarkson University- DIII Volleyball
  • Clare StateJohns Hopkins University- DIII Swimming
  • Brittany TaylorDenison University- DIII Field Hockey
Click here to read more!
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!
Congratulations to the cast and crew for their wonderful production of the All Academy Musical, The Wizard of Oz. Completing four shows that wrapped on Sunday, everyone had fantastic things to say about the performance from start to finish. Thanks to Shara Castle, the cast and crew is pictured above.

The performances gave a special nod to donation and transplantation awareness. Donate Life Colorado wishes to thank faculty, students and parents for the support of organ, eye and tissue donation. They shared, "It's amazing to see young women who genuinely care about their neighbors around them!" Click here to view a video shared on the Donate Life Colorado Facebook page.

And a few words from the Standing O's!
Words cannot express the gratitude for all the hard work put in by members of The Standing O's! It takes our team working with an outstanding Director, Roberta Hamilton-Griggs, in order to produce a show like The Wizard of Oz!!! Thank you just isn't enough! The All Academy Musical could not happen without your support, dedication and endless work!  

A HUGE Standing Ovation goes out to our team of outstanding parents and grandparents! Congratulations on a job well done to: Liza Allis, Jennifer Buecking, Brian Brieske, Sean & Shara Castle, Kerry Cussler, Jane Hoogerwerf, Betsy Huguez, Stephanie Largan, Derris & Marla Newman, Maria Perez, Caren Powell, Kamae Risher, Stacy Rechtin, Fil & Paula Sapienza, Robert & Jodi Stevens, Vicky Sullivan, Jim & Patricia Vandermiller, Jennifer Wagner, Meredith Wakelyn and Adriana Williams! Additional kudos go to Theresa Lorenzo, who lent us her room everyday after school, Bill Kummer, Brian Cole and Zach Steffen who worked double time on our behalf! Job well done and Thank You.
Community News
  • 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.
Lower School News & Events
  • SMA's 10 Destination Imagination teams did a fantastic job at last weekend's competition. Five of our seven competitive teams are moving on to the State Competition on April 9! They are:
    • Reaching Out To The Paws - Third grade team in Service Learning (pictured above, right, during their performance)
    • The DI Dominators - Third grade team in the Scientific Challenge
    • The Rainbow Girls + 1 - Fourth grade team in the Fine Arts Challenge
    • Fiery Footprints - Fifth grade team in the Fine Arts Challenge
    • Beyond DI Can See - Middle school team in the Scientific Challenge
 We are proud of the work and accomplishments of all teams!
  • The fifth grade class enjoyed their trip to the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception last week.  Attending a liturgy presided by Archbishop Samuel Aquila with fifth grade classes from other Catholic schools, our students demonstrated maturity and were very observant and prayerful during the mass. They are pictured below with Archbishop Aquila.

  • Congratulations to third graders Sequoia Bucsek, Gianna Garcia, Lola MacLeod, and Macie Parsons for receiving a 2015-2016 Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Honorable Mention award! Completing a STEM project in January, the girls wrote a detailed paper about a technology that they would like to see 20 years in the future. The students also had to design five sample web pages about their "invention," which was a disappearing phone. The girls proposed technology to make phones invisible without having special glasses to see them. Their thought was that fewer phones would get stolen if they were not visible to the naked eye. There were 25 third grade projects picked out of many thousand nationwide, and SMA's team was the only winner in the grades K-3 division in the state of Colorado! The Honorable Mention award places SMA's team project among the top 10% of all ExploraVision projects submitted to the competition this year. According to the award letter, our students "are commended for a job well done in demonstrating innovative thinking in their exploration of science and its impact on technology and the future."  
  • Thank you to all families who have made a gift to the 2015-2016 Annual Fund and congratulations to Kindergarten for leading the way with 65% participation! It is our expectation that every family will make a gift to the Annual Fund - no gift is too small - and help us achieve 100% participation.  Please click here to make your gift. THANK YOU!  
  • 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.
  • ONE WEEK LEFT! Wednesday, March 16 is the last day to turn in $25 gift cards for the Spin the Wheel Game at the Gala. Each Lower School Class that turns in 7 or more gift cards will receive a special treat. Bring your gift cards to Jackie in the Lower School Office.
    • JK: 2 gift cards donated
    • Kindergarten - McGown: 2 gift cards donated
    • 1st Grade - Hoogerwerf: Treat earned!
    • 1st Grade - Lorenzo: Treat earned!
    • 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: Treat earned!
    • 5th Grade - Deits: Treat earned!
    • 5th Grade - Rand: 6 gift cards donated
  • Thursday, March 10; 6:30 PM: Third Grade Night at the Museum Parent Meeting in the Lower School.
  • Sunday, March 13; 2:00 AM: Spring Forward! Daylight Savings Time Begins.
  • Tuesday, March 15: Lower School Health Fair
  • Wednesday, March 16; 8:10 AM: Assembly featuring the AmeriTowne Field Trip and Brownie Troop
Middle School News & Events
  • We appreciate the participation of the many families who have made a gift to the 2015-2016 Annual Fund. The eighth grade has the highest participation rate of the entire Academy with 67%! Great job! It is our expectation that EVERY family will make a gift to the Annual Fund - no gift is too small - and help us achieve 100% participation. Please click here to make your gift today. THANK YOU!! 
  • 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. 
  • ONE WEEK LEFT! Wednesday, March 16 is the last day to turn in $25 gift cards for the Spin the Wheel Game at the Gala. Each CAT that turns in 7 or more gift cards will receive a special treat. Bring your gift cards to Diane in the Middle School Office.
    • Blair: 5 gift cards donated
    • Cencula: Treat earned!
    • Fonesca: 1 gift card donated
    • C. Garcia: 2 gift cards donated
    • M. Garcia: 3 gift cards donated
    • Kilbon: 2 gift cards donated
    • Mayfield: 5 gift cards donated
    • McVie: Treat earned!
    • Pattison: 5 gift cards donated
    • Pritchard: 3 gift cards donated
    • Sanders: Treat earned!
    • Schmitt: 5 gift cards donated
    • Rutan: Treat earned!


  • Sunday, March 13; 2:00 AM: Spring Forward! Daylight Savings Time Begins
  • Monday, March 14-Friday, March 18: Eighth Grade Trip to Washington, DC and New York
High School News & Events
  • Congratulations to senior Iris Cervantes Gutierrez, who was recently profiled as Student of the Week in La Voza bilingual publication serving the Hispanic community in Denver. The profile features Iris's range of awards and accomplishments, while also commending her for working part-time and participating in her community. She is bilingual and has enrolled in advanced placement classes, plays the violin in the orchestra and is the president of the Latina Affinity Club. Cervantes Gutierrez is also the vice president of the Tri-M Honor Society and the secretary of the French Honor Society. To date, she has applied and been accepted to Colorado State University, University of Northern Colorado, University of Denver and Augustana College. Click here to see the full profile.
  • SMA's Class of 2016 is continuing to receive tremendous accolades as they prepare for graduation. From three students signing to play DIII athletics, as featured above, to prestigious college acceptances continuing to come in, 80 percent of the class has already received at least one merit-based scholarship offer. To date, awards total $5,331,544. 
  • This week marks the start of a Pad and Tampon drive put together by Girl Gang. It will run until next Tuesday, March 15. Everything collected will be going to Sacred Heart House! Just a few things:
    • Please bring your items in a sealed bag or box (we can't accept individual items.)
    • If you can avoid cardboard tampons that would be great but whatever you can manage is greatly appreciated! 
    • We will have collection boxes in your advisories by tomorrow
    • The winning advisory will win a sweet ice cream treat 

    The Girl Gang also wishes to raise awareness about the fact that tampons are still taxed in most states while a majority of other necessities are not. Click here to see more information and sign a petition if you would like to help! 
  • Celtic Journey: Ireland and Scotland! SMA High School is planning an 11-day student trip in June of 2017. Led by Ms. Horning and Ms. Lee, and facilitated by EF Educational Tours, this is an invitation to a pilgrimage of adventure and personal discovery. Highlights include the Book of Kells in Dublin, the "peace-line" in Belfast, and hiking on the small Inner Hebrides Island of Iona, in Scotland, settled by Columba and his monks in 563. Our trip concludes in Edinburgh. This trip is designed for students of any faith tradition or none, based on the belief that personal reflection in historical places of both wild and "civilized" beauty contribute to our growth as human beings. A parent and student interest meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 6 at 6:30 PM in Ms. Horning's room. Applications will be available at that time, and space is limited. This will be a unique and memorable journey!
  • Last week, Rachel's Challenge visited the High School. A program based on the life and writings of Rachel Scott, who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999, it is designed to help promote and sustain an environment of kindness and compassion in the school community. In an assembly format, program advisors challenged the students to dream big, look for the best in others, choose positive influences, and to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion. Taking the messages from the Rachel's Challenge assembly, a group of High School students are working with HS Counselor Julie May to form the Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club. They will focus on finding fun and creative ways to start and continue chain reactions of kindness and compassion throughout the school community.
  • Congratulations to the 10th grade for 51% parent participation in the 2015-2016 Annual Fund and THANK YOU to all families who have made a gift! It is our expectation that every family will make a gift to the Annual Fund - no gift is too small - and help us achieve 100% participation. Please click here to make your gift today. THANK YOU!  
  • ONE WEEK LEFT! Wednesday, March 16 is the last day to turn in $25 gift cards for the Spin the Wheel Game at the Gala. Each Advisory that turns in 7 or more gift cards will receive a special treat. Bring your gift cards to Clare in the High School Office.
    • 9th Grade - Ferguson: 4 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: 2 gift cards donated
    • 12th Grade - Applegate: 6 gift cards donated
  • Thursday, March 10 & Friday, March 11: High School Community Days
  • Friday, March 11: End of Third Quarter
  • Saturday, March 12-Thursday, March 17; High School trip to United Nations Conference on the Status of Women 2016 in New York.
  • Sunday, March 13; 2:00 AM: Spring Forward! Daylight Savings Time Begins
  • Tuesday, March 15; 9:55 AM: High School Concert in the Forum
  • Wednesday, March 16; 6:30 PM: High School Winter Sports Awards Ceremony in the Community Center.
Admissions News & Events
  • Lower School Enrollment Decisions were mailed today, 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 admission office. We are happy to email or mail you a new copy.
  • Welcome to all the newly enrolled MS and HS students!  We are so thrilled you have selected SMA for your child for the 2016-17 school year.
  • The SMA Middle School Welcome Breakfast was held March 8. It was a great success as over 70 accepted and enrolled students enjoyed a tasty pancake breakfast. Academy Parents also welcomed more than 40 parents to a delightful "meet and greet" in the MS Commons.
  • All 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. 
  • A big shout out of thanks to: Patricia Skinner, Carolina Skinner, Sophie Finke, Miranda Loughry, Rhondi Clark, Linda Roberts, Melinda Robinson, Lynn Malik, Heidi Humber, Wendi Mahoney, Kim Harrington and Marna Belfance for your good words about SMA in the community!
Advancement News
  • The deadline for auction items to be included in the Gala catalog is Wednesday, March 16. Click here for the auction item donation form. We are still in need of  Broncos tickets, Avalanche tickets, restaurant gift certificates, airline gift certificates or miles and any items you would want to purchase at an auction. Thank you for your support!
  • We're looking for BOTTLES OF WINE for the Instant Wine Cellar. This year SMA is partnering with Bouzy Wine & Spirits at University and Orchard (next to Trader Joe's) to curate the wine cellar. Purchase your wine at Bouzy at a 15% discount or drop off your favorite bottles from your personal collection at your division office byWednesday, March 16.
Alumnae News
Thank you to the alumnae that attended the Alumnae Reception and All-Academy Musical, The Wizard of Ozon Friday night.

The group was blown away by the caliber of the performance and the talent of SMA's students and would like to extend a big congratulations to the cast and crew.

Athletic News
  • Spring Sports are Here! Please join us in cheering on our SMA Wildcats in our first home games this week:
    • Thursday, March 10: Varsity and JV Soccer- 4:00 PM & 5:45 PM
    • Friday, March 11: Varsity and JV Lacrosse- 4:00 PM & 5:30 PM
    • Saturday, March 12: Varsity Lacrosse- 10:00 AM
  • 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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