Rosarian Academy E- News
Volume 3: Issue 6January 6-30, 2015

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Rosarian Academy, founded in 1925, is a private, coeducational, Catholic school sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Its mission is to educate the whole person for life in a global community in the light of Gospel values. 

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Alumni Spotlight

Isabel "Betty" Gomez Sinz, Class of 1943, Visits Campus
It was of great pleasure to welcome alumna Isabel "Betty" Gomez Sinz to campus on January 28th. Isabel attended Rosarian from 1938-39 while she was in the 8th grade! She came here as a boarding student from Cuba. Like Rosarian, she too will be celebrating her 90th birthday in 2015! 

Alexandra Murray, Class of 2011, Accepted to Harvard
Congratulations to Rosarian alumna, Alexandra Murray, for her acceptance into Harvard early decision. Alexandra attends The Benjamin School and is Benjamin's Class of 2015 valedictorian. 

"A big thank you to all of the amazing teachers from Rosarian who molded Alexandra into the fine young lady she has become," said Yvette Trelles, Alexandra's mother. 

Patrick Hopkins, Class of 2013, Serves as Junior Chair of Boys Town Basket Brigade
Patrick Hopkins is currently a sophomore honor student at Cardinal Newman and has been volunteering at Boys Town South Florida for almost two years. Inspired to do more to help children and families in need in the local community, Patrick served as the Junior Chair of the 24th Annual Basket Brigade on November 22, 2014. The Basket Brigade filled baskets with fixings for a complete Thanksgiving Dinner for 300 underprivileged families in the West Palm Beach Community. 

Click here for more information on Patrick Hopkins and Boys Town of South Florida and their awesome service to our community.

Get to Know Mr. Stephen Rubenacker, Incoming Head of School
Contributed by Mr. Rubenacker


Originally from Long Island, New York, I am the youngest of four. My older sister, two older brothers and I were born and raised Catholic. I have loved working with children for as long as I remember.  This was largely due to the influence of my family. My parents had always instituted in me the importance of hard work and giving back to the community. Despite a demanding and busy career as a General Contractor on Long Island, my Dad always made time to coach our t-ball teams and pitch in when our local Parish needed renovation or updating. Now 83, he remains active with the Knights of Columbus. My mother took great pride in her role as a homemaker when we were young, often giving up time to teach our weekly religion classes as we were growing up.  Once I was old enough, my mother returned to work for St. Christopher's Otilie, who provided foster care for hundreds of students in the New York area. While doing so, she returned to school in the evening, ultimately receiving her undergraduate and graduate degrees in education. As a result, she was promoted within St. Christopher's and finished her career as an educational advocate. Now retired, she volunteers at our local hospital. Our family just celebrated my parents' 60 year wedding anniversary.

I met my wife, Kate, in the summer of 2004.  Having a tremendous love for travel, I took advantage of a travel grant that was offered by my school to go to Australia on a sailing and camping trip.  After spending a week on the Great Barrier Reef, I traveled to the far north of Australia, not far from Darwin, to Kakadu National Park.  The camping there was rugged, at times dangerous, and not traveled frequently by most tourists. Who would have thought I would have met my soul mate while camping on the furthest corner of the planet?  As we would later say, I would have had more of a chance marrying a Kangaroo than meeting and eventually marrying someone as amazing as Kate.  


While I thought that I had traveled a great deal in my time, it was nothing compared to Kate.  British by decent, she has traveled the world over, and I would later discover that I would have more of a challenge discovering where she hadn't been than where she had.  By trade, Kate worked for over twenty years as a physical and occupational therapist at a school for students with developmental and physical needs in Southeast England.  Over the years, she expanded that work within a charity called Dreamflight which brings a 747 full of terminally ill children from England to Disney World every year.  Kate is still very active in Dreamflight and plans to return to her participation in the annual trip when we take up residency in Florida.  She grew up in a school very much like Rosarian Academy, loving every moment of her time at St. Joseph's Convent in Berkshire, England.  Her parents were married 58 years before passing into God's hands in recent years.  Kate has given up a great deal over the years to not only drop everything and move to the U.S. but to follow me on this tremendous career path to Florida.  I would never be able to adequately acknowledge or thank her for all that she has done.  


In 2009, Kate and I were blessed with our first son, Thomas.  By 2011, we welcomed Daniel.  Our children are the light of our lives--all that we have ever dreamed of and all that we could ever hope for.  Thomas has inherited his grandfather's instinct to build and "tinker" with things.  He loves nature and often will collect rocks, seashells or bird feathers.  Daniel is also a builder with a wonderfully inquisitive nature and fine sense of humor. Both boys love animals and participated in soccer this year. As a family, we can frequently be found exploring our local zoo or aquarium.  We love the time we spend together as a family. 


Kate, Thomas and Daniel and I are all very excited to be joining the Rosarian family and look forward to the transformative years that lie ahead.


Mr. Rubenacker will be contributing monthly to our e-newsletters until the end of this school year. In the meantime, you can read his blog and find out about some of his work at the Friends Academy by clicking here.

Feast of the Epiphany Celebrated in Spanish Classes
The Lower School visited by the Three Kings

Lower School Spanish classes celebrated Three Kings Day, or Feast of the Epiphany, upon their return from Christmas break. January 6th marks the day on the Christian calendar when the magi brought gifts to the baby Jesus. In Spain, Latin America and many Hispanic communities in the U.S., Three Kings Day is celebrated with many different traditions including parades and performances. 


The students in the Lower School Spanish classes left their shoes outside their classroom door and the Three Kings left gifts inside. 

Students Paint Their Hearts Out to Help Local Woman and Disabled Daughter
25 Middle School Students Spend Saturday Morning Serving Others

Led by Rosarian Academy's National Junior Honor Society, 25 middle school students spent Saturday, January 10, painting the West Palm Beach home of a woman in her 80's and her disabled daughter. As part of its sponsorship of Paint Your Heart Out, the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County provided the recycled paint and painting supplies at no cost to the homeowner. 


"It was a great event because the students had an opportunity to serve a fellow member of the community in need while also learning valuable life skills," said Mr. Hansen, Rosarian teacher and NJHS moderator, "I was proud of the students' efforts and that they voluntarily took a huge part of their Saturday to give back and do something beneficial for others."

Through Paint Your Heart Out, more than 80 homes were painted or repaired last year. The Solid Waste Authority donated more than 7,000 gallons of recycled paint to non-profit and governmental agencies. For more information on Palm Beach County's solid waste, recycling programs and their dedication to improving our community, visit

Lower School Participates in Let's Move: Commit to Change Challenge
Palm Healthcare Foundation Partners with CBS12 to Promote Health and Wellness in January

For two years, kindergarten through fourth grades have been moving in the classroom, in addition to their physical activity in PE classes and recess. Each month, the Lower School classes log in their Let's Move minutes and compete for an extra recess. The program not only promotes health and wellness but also helps with productivity in the classroom.

"We want the kids to be active in the classroom because it helps them study better and be more attentive in class," said Jon Payne who helps Lindsey Beylo coordinate the program throughout the school. 

From January 10-31, Palm Healthcare Foundation partnered with CBS12 and local healthcare, business, city, youth, and community leaders to mount a county-wide Let's Move: Commit to Change challenge. This campaign piggybacks on Michelle Obama's national Let's Move! initiative and motivated Palm Beach County residents to take charge of their health by committing to healthy behaviors and to recognizing the importance of exercise and nutrition to reduce diabetes/obesity. 

Out of the 35 teams completing in Palm Beach County, Rosarian finished fourth with 229,554 minutes. Great job Lower School teachers and students! Please click here to see a recent news segment on Rosarian's participation that CBS12 aired.
Third Graders Plant Tree at Bradley Park with Garden Club of Palm Beach
Celebrating Arbor Day


On Wednesday, January 13th, The Garden Club of Palm Beach presented to Rosarian Academy's third grade classes on Arbor Day and its history. They discussed different types of trees with focus spent on the Silk Floss tree which The Garden Club planted on January 15th in Bradley Park. The speakers also brought in a few types of seeds from various trees.


Third graders - Layna Steele, Lulu Lang, Nicholas Stewart, and Brewer Rehm - helped The Garden Club of Palm Beach plant the Silk Floss tree today in honor of Arbor Day which is celebrated in Florida the third Friday in January. 


The Garden Club of Palm Beach focuses its attention on conversation, civic improvement and horticulture. It plants a tree annually in conjunction with Arbor Day.


Middle School Recognizes Academic Achievers and Star Athletes
Second Quarter Honors Assembly


Rosarian Academy hosted an awards ceremony January 16 to honor and recognize its middle schools students who had exceptional academic and athletic achievements during the second quarter of the school year. 

Six eighth-grade students--Caroline Fulton, Will Keen, Walker Mahoney, MacCrea Murphy, Toby Vega-Dadurian, and Erin Yavinsky--and one seventh grade-student, Meredith Anderson, were recognized for achieving Highest Academic Honors (all "A's" in the first quarter, second quarter, and on all exams). Accelerated Reader awards were given to fifth-through-eighth-grade students who have read 500,000 words or more since the start of the school year. The following students were recognized: +500,000 words: Davis Dickinson (5th grade), Madison Fabbri (5th grade), Sailor Kate Ashley (5th grade), John Molina (5th grade), Seema Thakkar (8th grade); +600,000 words: Joseph Coates (6th grade), Hope Diffenderfer (7th grade); Colin Riley (8th grade); +700,000 words: Maggie Acosta (5th grade); +1,000,000 words: Marlowe Flom (7th grade); +3,000,000 words: Blair Haft (5th grade). Eighth grade students who advanced to the district science fair held at the South Florida Fairgrounds in December were honored: Maya St-Hilaire, Gabriella-Melendez Rodriguez, Dante Cooper, Hannah Lewis, Michael Brams, Brian Quinlan, Izzy Goldstein, Gina Landrum (won a special award from the American Psychology Association), and Samir Thakkar (placed 4th in his division in the field of botany). Sixth-through-eighth grade students who achieved the Honor Roll were also recognized. To qualify for Honor roll, students must receive no less than a "B" in all academic subjects and no grade less than "Very Satisfactory" in all co-curricular classes.

Girls Varsity Basketball and Boys Soccer student-athletes also shined at the ceremony. All girls on the basketball team received "League Champions, 3-Peat" trophies for capturing the Independent School League Championship three years in a row, under the coaching leadership of Jameson Olsen and Elizabeth Fugate. Kate Driscoll and Harper Murphy received Coach's Choice awards; Hannah Lewis was named Most Improved; Devyn Dyett was given Ms. Defense; and Isabella Fiorentino was awarded Rising Star. For Boys Soccer, Diego Hernandez received the Golden Ball award for scoring 14 goals in the season; Sean Neligan was given the Sportsmanship award; and Mac Murphy and Sebastian Merchan were both named Most Improved.

Group of 8th Grade Boys Volunteer with Els for Autism
Helping Children on the Autistic Spectrum Golf


Eighth graders, Erik Parry, Ryan Monroe, Mac Murphy, and Brian Quinlan, volunteered to help children on the autistic spectrum golf and perform other gross motor activities on Friday, January 16 at the Meyer Amphitheater.


"They did such a fabulous job interacting so naturally with children. The parents were absolutely thrilled to see peers volunteering, as it has quite a large impact when children reach children," said Mary Cross Parry, mother of Erik and Jack who is on the spectrum. Jack Parry stood tall as he introduced all of the new volunteers--his brother and his friends.

The eighth grade boys proudly wore their dress uniforms to this event, representing Rosarian exceptionally well. 

Mrs. Parry is extremely grateful for how the Rosarian community has embraced her son, Jack, over the years, "As Jack is seen as accepted by intelligent, wonderful Rosarian students in other social settings, it curiously draws others in to meet him. Then they see just how normal, yet uniquely intelligent and hysterical he is...Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Leaving the comfort of Rosarian Academy at the  close of this school year will be especially difficult for me!"

Ella Schrotenboer Honored as January Student of the Month
8th Grader Honored by Kiwanis Club of Palm Beach


Rosarian Academy eighth grade student, Ella Schrotenboer, was honored as the school's January Kiwanis Club Student of the Month on January 20th. 


Ella was recognized by the Kiwanis Club of Palm Beach for her excellence, character and leadership potential. She was accompanied by her parents and History teacher Mrs. Kathy Moormann at the luncheon. In her acceptance speech, Ella thanks all of her Rosarian teachers for "showing me what hard work can do and for making learning fun."


Ella has attended Rosarian Academy for two years. She is an active member of the NJHS, was the captain of the volleyball team, and plays goalie for the varsity soccer team. She hopes to attend Dreyfoos School of the Arts or Cardinal Newman for high school and ultimately wants to be a theater teacher as a result of her love for both children and theater.
Don Quixote Tried Before 5th Grade Literature Class
Parental Legal Experts Assist in Trial Preparation

Mrs. Linck's fifth grade literature classes welcomed four gifted and dedicated legal experts and mothers into their classroom. The parents outlined a very unique and privileged journey into the courtroom where the students themselves prepared to determine the guilt or innocence of their very own Don Quixote. 

On Wednesday, January 21, Don Quixote was charged with crimes of vandalism, murder of livestock, and treason. Each witness was presented by the Defense and cross-examined by the Prosecution. One class found him to be a villain but not sane at the time he committed the crimes. The other class found Don Quixote to be a villain and guilty. The trial was a great learning experience and enrichment opportunity for the fifth grade students.


School Spelling Bee Ends in Tie After 44 Rounds
Mac Murphy and Hope Diffenderfer to Advance to Regional Level

Congratulations to Mac Murphy (8th grade) and Hope Diffenderfer (6th grade) for being the finalists in the Middle School Spelling Bee that took place on January 23rd.. Mac and Hope went 44 rounds without misspelling a word and were finally declared co-champions for the school-level of the 2015 Scripps Spelling Bee. Mac and Hope will both represent Rosarian at the Regional Spelling Bee on February 24th at The Benjamin School. 

Rosarian Academy Places 2nd in Catholic Athletic League Cheerleading Competition
Cheerleaders Competed at Cardinal Newman High School Against Six Other Catholic Schools

Rosarian Academy cheerleaders competed on Saturday, January 24th in the Catholic Athletic League Varsity Cheerleading Competition held at Cardinal Newman High School. Out of the seven local Catholic schools participating, Rosarian placed second! First place was awarded to St. Clare, second to Rosarian Academy, third to All Saints, fourth to St Ann, fifth to St Juliana, sixth to St Helen, and seventh to Sacred Heart. The Rosarian cheerleaders received a trophy, a banner, and individual medals.


"After a hectic week of replacements and working around girls' injuries, the Rosarian girls pulled it off by placing second! I could not be more proud of our girls and all of the hard work and dedication they have put into this season," said Head Coach Miranda Comisky.
Family Fun Day Kicks Off Catholic Schools Week
Sunday, January 25


The campus was buzzing with excitement on Sunday, January 25th at Family Fun Day! What a great way to kick-off a Catholic Schools Week with an awesome community event. Everyone had a blast on the new rides and slides. The middle school enjoyed playing basketball or volleyball against their parents, and the lower school students had a blast playing tug of war and participating in sack races. Sno-cones and popcorn were found in every child's hand and even some adults indulged in the treats. The face painter had non-stop action, and the photo booth created lasting memories of this amazing day.

Such a fun family day could only be pulled off with the help of many volunteers. A very special THANK YOU to all the volunteers that worked the event, Nicole & Jason Guari the RAFA Presidents, the entire RAFA Committee and the co-chairs for the event, Lissa Dorsey & Rebecca Vargas. Thank you to the leaders of our organized games and all the faculty staff who made the day possible. Special Thank You to Cathy Reader & Sr. Judy for going above and beyond. Congratulations to the Hardyman family for winning the GoPro Hero4. We couldn't have asked for a better day!


Samir Thakkar Wins School Geography Bee
Twelve Finalist Compete in School-Level Bee

Twelve finalists from grades five through eight competed in the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee on January 28th. Students answered oral questions on geography.The three finalists were eighth graders, Mac Murphy, Joey Rouijel, and Samir Thakkar.Congratulations to Geography Bee winner Samir Thakkar and runner-up Mac Murphy. Samir will now take a written test to try to qualify for the state Bee. Good luck, Samir!

Jelly Donuts Make Learning the History of the Earth Fun
First Graders Study Earth's Crust, Mantle, Outer Core, Inner Core


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First graders studied the History of the Earth. After learning about the Earth's crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core, the students made the Earth with a jelly donut and an M&M. In this video, students explain this great learning experience.


Curriculum Brought to Life on Stage 
Kindergarten and First Grade Field Trip to Kravis Center


The kindergarten and first grade classroom curriculum was brought to life in a field trip to the Kravis center where the students saw books they have been reading performed on stage. Theatreworks USA performed "Fly Guy and Other Stories," which included: Diary of a Worm, Fluffy the Classroom Guinea Pig, Horace & Morris but Mostly Dolores, Lilly's Big Day, The Paper Bag Princess, and Fly Guy.

Students Learn About and Explore Many Different Career Options
Career Day Brings in 39 Speakers Across Various Professions

Thank you to all of the parents and community members who participated in Rosarian's Career Day on Friday, January 30th. The kindergarten through fourth grades heard from nearly 29 speakers from various professions including Doctors, CEO's, Real Estate Brokers.and FPL executives. The Middle School students heard from 10 speakers--ranging from Graphic Designer, Biological Water Management guru, Non-Profit Director, Scripps Researchers to International Banking and Magazine entrepreneurs. All lower and middle students had the opportunity to be a part of the Sheriff's department presentation, showcasing two horses and a K9 unit. 

The goal of Career Day is to provide a platform for the students to learn about and explore many different career options and help them understand how they can begin to prepare for those careers at these early stages in their lives. We hope the students saw the significance of their everyday classroom experiences and the impact that yesterday's and today's learning has on helping them pursue tomorrow's dreams. 


Upcoming Events

Grandparents' Day - February 19 and 20, 2015

Celebrating 50 Years of Rosarian Academy's Theater - February 28, 2015 Talent Showcase

Ready > Set > Glow > Annual Fund 2015 - March 1 - May 30, 2015
Taste of Rosarian at a Private Home on Palm Beach - April 11


For more information on the above events, please contact Sheena Wilber, Director of Annual Giving & Events:  

This Month's Featured Auction Sponsors
Thank You to the Following Businesses and Families

Herlong & Sanchez Families | Deon's Cleaning Services | Fabbri Family