We have reached the time of the year when it feels that everything has shifted into high gear. As we return from our Easter break, suddenly the end of the year is in plain view. There is so much left to do and so little time remaining. The temptation for some is simply to sit back and coast to the end. My encouragement to all of us, however, is a bit different. Let’s revisit the dependable baseball / softball analogy as a way to plan for a sweeping conclusion.
For most baseball or softball players, getting a good solid hit is always one of the main objectives when at bat. The other important objective is to round the bases for a score. There are several ways to score a run, but probably one of the least inspiring is to score on a walk from third base. It’s certainly much more thrilling to race or slide into home base to score a run. There is a greater sense of accomplishment in that way, and there are many more “high fives” coming into the dugout.
So here’s my encouragement for our young charges here at school as the final weeks of the school year loom ahead. Let’s finish strong. Let’s give it our very best until the end. As cheerleaders and coaches on the sidelines, we can be ready to give high fives as they slide into home base. And what better way to end the year than coming to the last day feeling, “Wow, that was a terrific year!” Certainly for all of us, there are some days that are better than others. In the dark days of January, it may feel that the end of the year won’t come soon enough. As I look at our students now, however, I can see how much they have grown, not only from the victories but also from the challenges they have faced. I am so proud of each and every one. They are rising to the occasion and are ready and prepared to move ahead. Their accomplishments have come through hard work and the amazing support and instruction that come from our teachers and parents.
So I invite our students to step up to the plate. Take a glance at the coaches and cheerleaders that surround the field. Focus on the end goals and make solid choices with every swing. There will be much to celebrate at the end of the day, and I will be the first in line to give each a “high five” and a hug as they cross home base. Batters up!!! Let’s hit it out of the park.
Head of School
Teacher Appreciation Week is already next week! This year Amy Petrow and Haley Ochoa (Co-Chairs) have been planning the wonderful treats to be enjoyed by the entire St. Michael’s faculty and staff. It’s always a special week, and the teachers feel the love and appreciation from our community. There are still some ways to help out if you are interested and able. If so, please contact Amy Petrow (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Haley Ochoa (email@example.com) to find out more. Thank you for your support and for appreciating the faculty and staff at St. Michael’s!
Order forms for the 4-8 Fine Arts Night Flowers are coming home in today’s Eagle Express. Additional forms are also available online via the school blog, the middle school Portal, and in the School Office. They are due in the School Office by Wednesday, May 17. Pre-ordered flowers will be available for pick-up at the Flower Stand from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. on the night of the performance. A limited number of bouquets will be available for purchase the night of the show, so order early to guarantee yours! Questions? Contact Holly Hancock von Guilleaume at firstname.lastname@example.org or Heather Walsh at email@example.com
4-8 2017 Fine Arts Order Form
Intramurals – Our spring intramural track program is coming to an end this week. The last day will be this Thursday, April 27. I know the kids have had a great time, and it has been exciting to see their improvement.
Middle School Sports – Our basketball season is winding down. This is our last week of the regular season:
Girls – Friday, 4/28 SM @ Desert Christian
Boys – Friday, 4/28 Desert Christian @ SM
Next week will be the league tournament for both the Boys’ and Girls’ A Teams. This is a single-elimination tournament. The games will be on 5/2, 5/4, and 5/5. Game times and locations will be announced as soon as we have them. Good luck to both of our teams!
Having competed in Mathleague.org’s regional elementary school-level math competition in December, six of our 6th grade mathletes have qualified to compete in the fourth annual state-level competition! The following students will compete with other top-scoring students from around the state at University High School on Saturday, May 6: Naomi Capaldi, Olivia Cho, Sam Clark, Jack Douglass, Aiko Levine, and Boone Lewis.
The test materials expose students to broad concepts from number theory, statistics, probability, algebra, geometry, and more. The competition is structured to promote and reward the application of problem-solving strategies and working together to share ideas and techniques. Participation in this competition promotes excitement for achievement in mathematics, and we are so very proud of our terrific math students. Good luck, mathletes!
And we’re off! The third and final trimester of the school year has begun. It never ceases to amaze me that we arrive at this point, and suddenly the end of the year seems much too close. There is so much left to do and a finite amount of time in which to accomplish it. In Chapel on Monday, I reminded our students that, using a baseball analogy, we are on third base and rounding the corner toward home plate. Rather than walk into home, why not run in, sliding across the plate and exclaiming, “Wow! That was an amazing year!” Our students work hard throughout the year. They play hard as well and often stretch themselves not only to try something new but work toward mastery in the process. It’s a delicate balance, trying to achieve goals while being mindful of the importance of growth and learning through the process.
All of us have difficulties at times finding that right balance. Being the often driven person that I am, I can hold myself to impossible standards. I am well aware that many of our students do as well. Striving to have a growth mindset rather than one that is fixed, however, enables me to allow for flexibility and acceptance of myself along the way. It’s not a matter of settling for something less. Rather, I can strive to do my best, learning and growing along the way, setting realistic goals, even at my more senior age. That’s the power of “yet.” It’s not so important what we achieve in the end, but rather what is being accomplished and learned in the process along the way. For our students, when they figuratively slide into home base at the end of the school year, my hope is that we can help them to recognize how far they have come, being proud of what they learned in the process, knowing that they have grown tremendously. So off we go, rounding third base. As we complete the year, may we all celebrate a year well lived with much progress achieved along the way.
Head of School
Intramurals – Our spring intramural season of track for all interested third, fourth and fifth graders will begin on Monday, February 27th. The track season will run for eight weeks, and practices will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from immediately after school until 4:45 p.m. A participation fee of $75 will be billed to your account, and each student will need a completed permission slip on file. You may pick up a permission form in the School Office or find it on our school website (under the parent link/forms tab).
The purpose of this program is to give kids an enriching experience in a non-competitive manner. While there will be inter-squad games and competitions, the focus of this program is on fundamentals and skill building. If your child can only attend a couple of days per week or has to miss a day here and there, it’s not a big deal. This is supposed to be a no-pressure, fun-filled situation. We are excited to announce that former St. Michael’s stand-out athlete Hailey Sanders will be coaching our track program!
Middle School Basketball – Basketball is off to a great start. Our only practice this week is Friday, February 17th. There will not be practice over Rodeo Break. Practices will resume on Monday, February 27th.
Middle School Track – Our Middle School Track season will begin on Monday, February 27th. Practices will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from immediately after school until 4:45 p.m.
Each spring IBE provides scholarships to St. Michael’s families and also releases funds that have been held from donations to pay for tuition for the coming school year (2017-2018).
If you believe you have funds at IBE, you must register with them each year in order to have them released. Their online registration is available at IBEScholarships.org. If you would like to apply for a scholarship from IBE for the 2017-18 school year, the deadline is March 31st.
For further information you can contact IBE at 512-5438.
Our sympathy and condolences go out to Brian, Gina, Kate, and Jack Connelly in the loss of their beloved mother and grandmother this past weekend. Services for Kathleen Connelly will be held on Monday, February 20, at 12:00 noon at St. Pius Church, located at 1800 North Camino Pio Decimo.
On Thursday evening, our campus will be a happening place! Not only will we be welcoming visiting families as they tour our school, but we will be having a “STEMazing” opportunity to see Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at work. Our STEM Festival will feature our students and the research they have done in proving, or disproving, scientific hypotheses. We will have student reports on famous inventors and young researchers from our Lower School demonstrating our amazing sense of smell and the integration with taste buds. Science and language arts will be intertwined as middle school students share original science-fiction stories. In addition, we have invited the Tucson community to join us. We’ll have experts in optics, laser games, physics challenges, and brain games for all ages. Scientists will be roaming around, eager to share what they do and how their careers evolved. This is all part of our expanding STEM initiative from K-8, which is broadening our understanding of the connections throughout various areas of study, including how Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, as well as Art, Music, and Religion are linked together and complement one another.
Our growing STEM program at St. Michael’s is a result of our capital campaign and our commitment to bringing a greater presence of STEM education into our curriculum and school program. Funds raised through our capital campaign, Charting Our Course for the Future, are helping to support these efforts. Our STEM Festival is just one example of this initiative. Other examples include our growing robotics elective and presence at area competitions; our increasing presence at local and regional math competitions; and our expanding relationships with the University of Arizona STEM programs as well as with the scientific community at Raytheon. Across the board, our faculty is taking part in local and state professional development opportunities that provide tools for integrating STEM elements into classroom activities and into a variety of subjects from Kindergarten through middle school.
It’s an exciting time on the St. Michael’s campus and, as we look to next year, our students can expect to see even more opportunities to explore their world and expand their understanding of the relevance and connections between what is being studied and learned. I am grateful to the members of our faculty as they embrace this initiative and engage our young learners. It’s a team effort as we prepare our students to think critically and dream big! At St. Michael’s, there’s a balance between answering questions and questioning answers; a balance between discovering yourself and discovering your world.
Head of School