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Students Land Leads On Riverfront Stage

Students land leads on riverfront stage

Rising seniors Eli Lucas, Andrew Bittenbender and several other students are keeping up their musical theatre skills this summer by being part of the cast of two New Albany RiverStage Productions shows to be performed at the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater this weekend.

Eli is cast in Footloose in the role of the Rev. Shaw Moore, father of Ariel Moore, a defiant teenage girl who befriends newcomer Ren McCormack. Other PHS students in Footloose dance chorus include rising senior Grace Kempf and rising juniors Jenna Kaiser and Jesse Zoeller, and recent graduates Riley Quinn ’17 (Lulu Warnick) and Kevin Chrisco ’17. Andrew portrays Dewey Finn in School of Rock, a guitarist who loses his job and poses as a substitute music teacher.

Eli said he enjoys the challenge of playing the antagonist in this musical.

“I’ve always played the more happy-go-lucky characters, and playing a character with a little deeper motivation is a challenge – and I love it,” he said.

His summer has been filled with rehearsals, and he is looking forward to the performance. He also is glad for the chance to once again perform alongside Nick Long ’16 (dance chorus member) and Alex Duffy-Dries ’16, who plays Rev. Moore’s wife, Vi Moore.

“Performing with Alex is a dream,” he said. “I think we’ve cultivated a really great relationship on stage playing husband and wife.”

Being able to hone his skills over the summer will enhance his senior year theatre work. He’ll start the year playing the role of Black Stache (Captain Hook) in the fall show, Peter and the Starcatcher. Show dates for the fall show are Sept. 15-17 and 22-23 in the Ray Day Little Theatre.

He’ll also be busy with college auditions, regional auditions, and local theatre work. He also looks forward to yet-to-be announced the 2018 spring musical and other performance opportunities.

“Performing this rigorous show is preparing me mentally for the upcoming busy season,” he said.

School of Rock also a break from typical
Andrew also is playing a different type of role, which gives him the chance to show a different side of himself, he said.

“I usually play the more reserved characters, the straight guy as opposed to the funny guy,” Andrew said.

“However, in School of Rock I’m getting to let loose a lot more than usual, and it’s been so much fun. What I love about Dewey is his energy and his unapologetic and wild nature. He’s a rock star in his own little world and is so fun to play. He’s unlike any character I’ve played before.”

Andrew is the only Providence student in the cast, although the cast does include several students who were in the cast of this spring’s Deanery musical, Alice Jr. Like Eli, Andrew is grateful for the opportunity to keep acting through the summer.

“This performance is allowing me to practice being a different type of character than usual, which will be really helpful for this upcoming year at PHS theatre-wise,” Andrew said. “It also acts as a bridge from spring musical to fall show, allowing me to continue theatre during this down time, better preparing me for Smee in Peter and the Starcatcher this fall.

Footloose will be performed July 20 and 22 at 7:30 p.m., and School of Rock July 21 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the productions are available at the gate and online for $10.00 (adult) and $5.00 (senior citizens and students through high school).

Students Take Part In Leadership Events

Students take part in leadership events

Several students spent part of their summer expanding their leadership skills by taking part in different opportunities. Rising junior Joe Gryboski attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar held at the University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis in June. Rising seniors Grace Kempf and Heidi Popson attended Hoosier Girls State, and rising seniors Nik Heiligenberg, Ryan Strahm, Kaleb Dunn, and Jack Wagner took part in Hoosier Boys State, a week-long program held at Trine University in northeast Indiana that offers an interactive experience in government for rising seniors.

Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar

Rising junior Joe Gryboski, back row, second from left, poses with his small group at the HOBY seminar.

Joe was one of more than 150 other young high school leaders from the region to take part in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar (HOBY) that recognizes leadership talents and apply rising juniors become effective and ethical leaders. Student participants (known as HOBY Ambassadors) take part in hands-on activities, meet leaders in their state, and explore their own personal leadership skills while learning how to lead others and make a positive impact in their community.

Joe was nominated by his teachers during his sophomore year and said it was an honor to be selected and is grateful for the experience. He enjoyed being able to meet many other students and make new friends from around the state as well as the many activities.

“We learned fun cheers, volunteered our time and talent to help some local groups in Indianapolis, and we listened to keynote speakers that explored the three fundamentals of leadership throughout the week: self, group, and society,” Joe said. “We even broke the world record for the most hugs given in one minute!”

The session topics included focusing on self-discovery in order to effectively lead others as well as on how to be a change agent in society. Activities included small-group discussion on group leadership and how to implement that into participant’s lives and schools and developing a project to improve their local community. Joe said he learned so much about himself and about leadership and looks forward to putting those skills into practice.

“I feel as though I have learned a lot about leadership as a whole,” he said. “The HOBY experience is one that I will never forget because of the amazing memories that I now have to share with so many other Indiana youth leaders. I would absolutely recommend this seminar to young leaders at Providence, and I am excited to see what the future holds for everyone who has gotten to go in the past.”

Coincidentally, Reed Fansler ’13 was among the young adults and former HOBY Ambassadors serving as leaders of the seminar.

At the end of the seminar, HOBY Ambassadors are challenged to give back by serving at least 100 volunteer hours in their communities. Students who complete the Leadership for Service (L4S) Challenge within 12 months of their seminar are eligible for the HOBY L4S Challenge Award and the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Alumni who log 4,000 hours of service receive the President’s Call to Service Award from HOBY. To date, HOBY Ambassadors have performed over 3 million hours of volunteer service in their communities. Joe said he hopes to pursue the L4S Challenge this year.

Hoosier Girls State and Hoosier Boys State
Grace and Heidi said they enjoyed being able to learn about government through mock elections at Hoosier Girls State. Grace was precinct vice committeeman for the Federalists party and a city councilman for her city, Firkin. Heidi ran for Freedom County coroner under the Nationalist ticket, but lost. She did serve as Bubala City fire chief. Grace said she learned a lot about state government and how it functions and enjoyed making new friends.

“I had a lot of fun bonding with the other girls in my city while decorating our county with them and was surprised at how much I really enjoyed being there,” Grace said. “I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to go to HGS, and I hope that whoever goes next year has as much fun as I did.”

Heidi said she found the first day of the session overwhelming but soon got the hang of things.

“Being able to put myself into these real life situations like county elections and debates for state offices not only introduced me to different positions, but helped me to fully understand what role each citizen played whether they held a high office or were simply working to be an educated voter,” she said.

“Overall, this week has intensely prepared me for my AP Government course next school year as well as the role I will soon play as a registered voter. In seeing all of these bright, involved young women working together to better our state, I have a greater sense of hope for our future and pride in our country.”

Jack and Kaleb were elected to different positions in their simulated cities. Jack was elected a judge for Newman City in Conn County for the Federalist party, and Kaleb was elected a County Commissioner for Bole County. Jack said he enjoyed the experience of seeing an election first hand, from campaigning to fulfilling the responsibilities of elected government positions. He also was able to witness an appeals court trial, listen to presentations by three Indiana mayors, and was able to work with other boys from across the state.

“It was a great experience,” Jack said.

Mission Trips Offer Service, Faith Experiences

Mission trips offer service, faith experiences

Several of our students chose to further their faith journey by participating in one of two mission trips led by New Albany Deanery Catholic Youth Ministries. Rising seniors Emma Wade and Sierra Brooks took part in the week-long Wolfe Pack mission trip to Campton, Ky. The group worked on several home improvement projects for the needy, from building wheelchair ramps and stairs to sealing roofs and cleaning underpinnings.

PHS alumni and rising seniors enjoy the Deanery Wolfe Pack mission trip. Back row, left to right, Sam Voignier ’17, Tyler Upton ’17, Nick Berry ’17, Scott Wiles ’15, and rising senior Emma Wade. Front row, Cheyenne Brooks ’17, Abby Huff ’17, and rising seniors Sierra Brooks, Claire Harper, and Olivia Storz.

Sierra said she found a lot of meaning in the trip’s theme: “I have called you by name; you are mine.” (Is. 43:1). That verse emphasizes the Christian’s call to love and serve others, and the group fulfilled that call. The group worked hard, and seeing their projects completed brought a sense of satisfaction. But the most enjoyable part “was seeing the joy and appreciation on the faces of those we served. Something so simple for us was so much for them.”

The trip had its fun moments too, including cave kayaking, a ropes course, swimming, country dance lessons, and hiking. Sierra also appreciated the concept that one person’s brokenness can become another person’s blessing.

“I definitely appreciated my blessings after this trip,” she said. “It was a great experience, and a good way to get closer to God.”

Faith in Action offers local mission work opportunity
Younger Deanery teens were invited to take part in Faith in Action, a four-day mission trip providing service locally.

Rising freshmen Jarrod Cox and Beth Wimsatt and rising sophomore Maggie Purichia were among those who took part. The group’s service activities included helping at a local nursing home, assisting with clean up days at several parishes, and clearing trails at Mount St. Francis. Beth said she enjoyed the opportunity to serve and “to help make the world a better and more beautiful place.” She also treasures all the friends she made during the experience and how her faith grew.

“This experience has shown me so many things about how I am chosen, blessed, broken, and given,” Beth said. “I learned so much about myself and others around me. We all have struggles, but with Christ we can get through it all. … Overall I have loved my experience at faith in action and can’t wait for next year.”

Class Of ’01 Rallies Around Family Of Deceased Classmate

Class of ’01 rallies around family of deceased classmate

The Class of 2001 was among those devastated last August by the sudden death of Josh Beam ’01 in a workplace accident. In addition to his parents and siblings, he also left his wife, Amy, and their infant daughter, Amelia.

Knowing that he left such a young family made the pain that much more. Over the past year, a group of classmates worked together to landscape their home so it was easier for Amy Beam to care for. Now, they are pitching in to promote the Lumberjack Dash 5K, a race to be held in Josh Beam’s memory in Milan, Ind., on Aug. 12.

When his classmates learned that his widow was struggling to keep up the yard of their home, they went into action. Tim Book ‘01, Ryan Stumler ’01, Mark Tolliver ‘01, and Nick Geswein ’01 joined up with other alumni, including Travis Stumler ’03, and John Kruer ’03 (friends of Josh’s brothers, Jacob Beam ’03 and Jeremiah Beam ’05) to complete the project.

Josh’s Pioneer boys’ soccer team also found a way to help. Jake Stengel ’05 initiated a collection at the 2016 PHS boys’ soccer jamboree for Amelia’s college fund. Brad Denman ’02 and Jake also reached out to other soccer players to donate money to the fund, Josh’s mother, Teri Beam said.

Josh’s family then organized the Lumberjack Dash as a way to keep his memory alive and to support the Moyer Foundation, which funds Camp Erin, a camp for grieving children who have lost a parent or loved one. His friends and classmates are helping to spread the word, and Matt and Melissa (Stumler ’05) Gettelfinger and Elizabeth (Freiberger ’01) and Seth Ernstberger are sponsoring the race so all proceeds will go to the Moyer Foundation.

Amy Beam said the race is a way to reach the many people who knew and loved her late husband.

“Josh was the perfect gentleman, a perfect husband, and the most loving father,” she said. “It is the least we can do for a man who meant so much to so many people. Josh made friends with everyone. He didn’t know a stranger, and he would give the shirt off his back if someone needed it. Josh’s work ethic, good-natured attitude, warm smile, caring heart, and love for his family impacted so many.”

They chose Camp Erin (via the Moyer Foundation) because it offers a place where children “can go grieve, find hope, and relate to others who are going through the same things they are,” she said. Her own daughter is too young to attend now but may need to attend in the future.

Amy Beam said she is deeply grateful to Josh’s classmates and friends for all the help and support they have given her family.

“They have truly been a blessing,” she said. “The Providence family must be close knit as I have never seen such great friendships that have lasted so long. Josh’s friends invited me into their group the first time they met me, and they have treated Amelia and me like family. It meant a lot to me to have them help with the landscaping, and I know Josh is smiling down on them because they have been taking care of his girls.”

Brittany (Tevis) Geswein ’01 said that she and her classmates are happy to help Amy Beam and her daughter with whatever they need, just as Josh Beam was always there for his friends. And she credits Providence for being the impetus to their friendships in the first place.

“The real story here is the gift the Providence community is in all of our lives,” Geswein said. “We are so thankful to be a part of it especially because it brought our wonderful group of friends together. It is what brought Josh into our lives. We are blessed with 20 years of precious memories. Anything we can do to honor Josh we will. And we pray that he is smiling down on us.”

For more information about the Lumberjack Dash, click here.

Girls Tennis, Baseball, Track Advance Far In The Postseason

Girls Tennis, Baseball, Track advance far in the postseason

Congratulations to our spring sports teams on completing successful seasons, especially the Girls Tennis and Baseball teams, which advanced far into their respective postseasons.

Baseball has record-breaking season
The Pioneer Baseball team advanced to the semi-state game in its attempt to defend its 2016 state title, but fell 5-1 vs. No. 3 Ritter High School. The team had a great season, going 28-5 and repeating as sectional and regional champions. Several players broke school records along the way, with rising senior Timmy Borden driving in the most runs with 44 RBIs for the season as well as setting a new record for the most doubles in a season with 15. Rising senior Reece Davis set a new record for wins by a pitcher in a season with 10, tying Matt Andres ’99, who set the record in 1998, and Jake Lewis ’17 set the record for wins in a career with 25. The team recorded the most runs in a season with 300 and most stolen bases in a season with 113, bypassing the previous record of 90 set in 1979.

Jake set several individual career records during his four years as a varsity player: Most games played (188, tied with Juston Betz ’17), most at bats (118), and most doubles (36). Jake will continue his baseball career at Eastern Kentucky University.

The team graduated five seniors: Jake, Juston, Parker Graf ’17 (who set the career record for most hit-by-pitch), Garrett Popp ’17, and Blake Wurm ’17. The team expects a talented team in 2018, including seven returning starters.

Track sends two to state
The track teams had outstanding seasons, with the boys’ team placing third at sectional and sending a dozen athletes to regional plus two to state. In the state finals, Tyler Ettel ’17 set a school record of 14.24 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles with his fourth-place finish, earning him a spot in Boys Track All State. Tyler, who was sectional and regional champion in the 110 hurdles, also broke a school record in the 300 meter hurdles (:40.23). He competed last weekend in the Midwest Meet of Champions in Ohio with top finishers in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, where he placed third. Tyler is considering his college track team options.

The boys’ team had sectional champions in four events: Tyler in the 110 hurdles; Micah Oberhausen ’17, who also competed at state in shot put; rising senior Spencer Purcell in discus and the 400 meter relay team of Tyler, Nick, Michael Craig ‘17, and rising junior Chris Heselschwerdt. The team graduates nine seniors: Tyler, Micah, Michael, Nick Berry ’17, Reid Masterson ‘17, Matthew Harbeson ’17, Luke Schroering ’17, Evan Striby ’17, and Jonathan Tolentino ’17. Nick and Reid made IATCCC Academic All State first team, which has some of the most stringent eligibility requirements. Reid and Luke will continue their running careers in college, Luke for Marian University in Indianapolis and Reid for Bellarmine University. Micah is a preferred walk-on to the Marshall University football team and will compete in the Down Under Games in Australia next month.

The girls’ team placed fourth at sectional, with the girls 3200 relay team of rising sophomores Carlie Miiller, Kaylee Kaiser, and Avery Stumler and Bayley Wade ’17 breaking a school record – which they broke again at regional (10:02.89). Bayley and rising senior Brinley Prather made IATCCC Academic All State honorable mention.

The team graduated two seniors: Bayley and Sarah Welsh ’17, who will be teammates on the women’s track team at IUPUI next season.

Girls Tennis team heads to state for first time
Girls Tennis had a record-breaking season. The team went 21-1 and was undefeated until its last match, when it lost to No. 1 Carmel High School to become IHSAA Girls Tennis State Runner-Up for the first time in program history. The team sailed through sectional and regional, with sweeps of New Washington and Jeffersonville to win its 14th sectional and then Floyd Central and New Albany to win its fifth regional (and third since the team format change in 1982) – and its first back-to-back regional titles.

The team defeated No. 11 Columbus North 3-2 to win its first semi-state championship and earning the program’s first trip to the team state competition. (In 1976 and 1977 Mary Chris (Fell) Rodden ’77 represented Providence at the state finals in singles, when the tournament was a singles and doubles tournament, not a team and individual tournament. IHSAA records do show Providence competing as a team because of the format at the time.)

The tennis state finals team competition is played in three matches over two days. The team defeated No. 3 Center Grove 3-2 in the state quarterfinals and then No. 7 South Bend St. Joseph 3-2 in the state semifinals, with the No. 2 doubles team of Natalie Jacobi ’17 and rising senior Heidi Popson making the deciding point in both matches.

The players earned several honors for their performance this season. The team earned IHSTeCA Academic All-State with an average GPA of 3.89, and Natalie Jacobi received Academic All-State honorable mention. Many of the team members were voted All-District and All-State. All-District honors include single

s first team rising junior Halli Trinkle and rising sophomore Natalie Boesing, and doubles first team, Natalie Jacobi, rising seniors Izzy Coe and Heidi, and rising junior Hannah Conder. Coach Scott Gurgol was voted District Coach of the Year. All-State honors include Halli, First Team Singles; Natalie Boesing, Second Team Singles; and Izzy and Hannah, Second Team Doubles.

The team finished the season ranked No. 3 in the final state rankings. With Natalie Jacobi as the team’s lone senior, the team expects the return of six starters for the 2018 squad (Halli, Izzy, Heidi, Hannah, and Natalie Boesing and rising senior Clare Hooper). Rising senior Kirstie Krininger and rising sophomore Maria Popson will look to fill the void left by Natalie Jacobi’s graduation, and the team also anticipates a talented group of incoming freshmen.

Halli and Natalie recently competed in the CITA Girls’ 18 and Girls’ 16 Midwest Qualifier. Halli won the Girls 18 CITA qualifier in singles and doubles. Natalie qualified for the Midwest Closed Tournament in the Girls’ 16 singles by defeating the No. 7 seed player and advancing to the quarterfinals before losing to the No. 2 seed.

Softball improves over season
By Coach Ted Cooper

The Lady Pioneers had a good year. They improved in every category from last year, and they played hard, never gave up, and had fun doing it. Significant wins included a 5-4 victory over Pekin Eastern in eight innings, a 5-4 win over Paoli in nine innings, and a 14-0 win over Switzerland County in five innings. We have a great group of freshmen coming in next year to add to a great returning team, so we are very excited for next season. We would also like to thank the senior class Sydney Milliner ‘17, Alexa Wilson ‘17, Mia Fougerousse ‘17, Katrina Cooper ‘17, and Olivia Jenkins ’17 for all they have done for Providence Softball. They will be missed greatly.

Boys Golf ready to do more next season
By Coach Victor Beeler ’94

The 2017 Boys Golf season came to a close with the team falling short of advancing from sectionals by just four strokes. Rising seniors Shawn Fitzpatrick and Will Kaiser led the Pioneers in sectionals with a 79 and an 80, respectively. The team will return all five varsity starters in what should be a deep run into the postseason in 2018.

Rising Senior Wins Trip Of A Lifetime To D.C. Through REMC

Rising senior wins trip of a lifetime to D.C. through REMC

Rising senior Ethan Furnish is one of five local youth representing Clark County in the annual Indiana

Ethan Furnish answers a question during a visit to the Office of the Indiana Superintendent of Education.

Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. He was selected after submitting an essay to Clark County REMC and has been enjoying an all-inclusive seven-day trip to the nation’s capital, where he has met various government leaders, visited various monuments and museums, and attended a rally with more than 1,800 student delegates from across the country.

Ethan emailed this reflection from Washington, D.C.:

“It has been an honor to represent the Clark County REMC and Indiana on the National REMC Youth Tour! We started in Indianapolis, visiting our own state capitol to see how our government works before visiting D.C. to witness our federal government. While in the office of the Indiana Superintendent of

Ethan snaps a selfie with Dr. Jennifer McCormick noting their schools’ state volleyball rivalry. 

Education, Dr. Jennifer McCormick, I mentioned that I was from Providence. Immediately, she stopped and, being from Yorktown, fist bumped me and mentioned our volleyball rivalry. It was a comic moment in the state house.

“So far on the national tour, we have visited historic Gettysburg and the moving Flight 93 9/11 Memorial in Pennsylvania, and we have now spent two days in D.C. We joined more than 1,800 high school youth at the REMC rally, hearing speaker Mike Schlappi, an Olympic gold medalist, who shared a message of hope and perseverance. Tomorrow, we are visiting the U.S. Capitol, where we will meet with all nine Indiana U.S. Representatives and both U.S. Senators. I have the honor of introducing Sen. Todd Young, for whom I interned in the 2016 Senate race.

“I want to thank the Clark County REMC for giving me this amazing opportunity. I have had a fantastic experience thus far, and can’t wait to see what D.C. holds for our group.”

Junior High Student-athletes Have Successful Spring Season

Junior high student-athletes have successful spring season

Our junior high students competed in four sports this spring season, including baseball, track and field, girls’ tennis, and soccer. There were not enough players to field a soccer team, so interested students played with their own parish. Our baseball, track and tennis athletes had good seasons, with the boys’ track & field team placing second in the Deanery championship.

With just seven athletes, the junior high boys’ track team placed second in the New Albany Deanery Catholic Youth Ministries Track Championship. Three girls made up the girls’ team and did well. At the championship meet, eighth grader Dean Flint won the 800 meter run, followed closely by seventh grader Garrett Huber. Garrett then won the 1600 meter run, with eighth grader Samuel Bowles in third. Dean came in second in the 400 meter dash, and eighth grader Nathan Striby was just a few steps behind in third. Sam was part of a trio of eighth graders who scored points in the hurdles — Kort Jurgensmeyer was third, Sam was right behind him, and Dominic LaDuke was half a step behind Sam.

Kort did well in field events, winning the discus with an amazing 82-foot-1-inch throw, coming in second in the high jump, and placing fifth in shot put. Dominic came in second in discus, and Sam was third in long jump. Nathan scored points in the 100 meter dash, coming in sixth, and seventh grader Akhil Long came in sixth in the 200 meter dash. Eighth graders Will Becht and Will Harper also scored in the top 10 in their events; Will Becht was seventh in the long jump and Will Harper was eighth in the discus. Garrett, Nathan, Akhil, and Dean made up the relay teams to help score more points, with the 400 relay team coming in third, and the 800 relay team in second.

For the girls, seventh graders Daisy Priddy and Brianna Clifford did well in field events, placing second and sixth, respectively, in long jump. They also did well in shot put, with Daisy coming in third and Brianna fourth. In discus, Brianna placed fourth, and Daisy sixth. Seventh grader Ella Tichy came in third in the 100 meter dash.

The teams were coached by George Bowles with assistant coaches Sherry and Chris Jurgensmeyer.

Four junior high students on SIC Girls Tennis
The Southern Indiana Catholic Girls Tennis team offers developmental competition for sixth through eighth graders in the New Albany Deanery. This year’s team was made up of players from OLPH, Holy Family, St. Anthony’s, Sacred Heart, and Providence Junior High. Four junior high girls – eighth graders Katie Beyl, Hannah Bissig, and Sydney Shireman, and seventh grader Katie Riggs – played on. The teams do not keep score, but Coach Amy Martin said the team “all played great this season. It will be great to have them back next year.”


Baseball team holds promise for future
By Coach Chris Lorenz

The SIC Baseball team includes teams for seventh and eighth graders throughout the Deanery, with boys from OLPH, St. Anthony, Providence Junior High, Sacred Heart and Holy Family. The eighth grade team finished 11-3 with our last loss being in the second round of the league tournament. We had a nine-game winning streak at one point in the season. Pitching, hitting and defense were all on display every time we took the field. Out of the 15 kids on the eighth grade team most plan to attend PHS in the fall.

The 7th grade team finished the season with a 7-4 record, and it too lost in the second round of the tournament. The boys showed up to play every game. With their development this season, we look to be a very strong group when they are in the eighth grade next year. On the weekends, both teams combined to play double headers. This group finished the season at 8-8. The future looks bright for baseball at PHS for years to come.

Eighth grade coaches are Chris Lorenz and assistant coach Steve Shannon; seventh grade coaches are Barry Schueler and assistant coach Tom Mooney ’79.

Working Together Makes Service More Meaningful For Mother-child Duos

Working together makes service more meaningful for mother-child duos

As many of our students log their service hours to meet graduation requirements, they team up with friends to make the work more fun. A few of our students volunteer with their family. Some, like rising senior Scott Schueler and Taylor Marshall ‘13, make it an ongoing project or tradition to volunteer with their mothers.

Scott and his mother, Mrs. Karen (Popp) Schueler ’83, were recently profiled in the St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities email newsletter for their commitment to mowing the agency’s lawn. Taylor will be profiled in the upcoming Vision magazine for her repeated mission trips to Nicaragua to serve with the nonprofit organization Amigos for Christ. This week, she is there once again, but this time with her mother, Mrs. Debbie (Sparks) Marshall ’84, former PHS director of special events and constituency management.

Taylor and Debbie (Sparks) Marshall enjoy a send off with  their family at the Indianapolis airport before their mission trip.

Taylor, who recently graduated from Marian University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in peace and social justice, has served on mission trips many times, including trips to Campton, Ky., with the New Albany Deanery Catholic Youth Ministry while in high school. Her mother joined her on one of those Campton trips, just as she did her other two children – Justin ’06 to Coahoma, Miss., and Nathan ’09 to New Orleans. This is Taylor and her mother’s first trip to Nicaragua together.

During college, Taylor participated in several mission trips to Nicaragua through Amigos for Christ. Just as on those previous trips, their work this week will help the organization in its mission to bring clean water to remote villages in the Central American country. Volunteer work on the trip can vary, from digging trenches for water lines to building bathrooms or working with orphaned children.

Despite the back-breaking work, Taylor chooses to return to serve again and again. She said she loves hearing people’s stories, especially from those with different backgrounds.

“One of the things that makes me love Amigos so much is making those connections and building bridges between cultures,” she said. “They always say that it doesn’t matter if you don’t get one ditch done that day as long as you have a meaningful conversation with someone.”

Debbie Marshall said before she left that she was excited about joining Taylor on this mission trip.

“I am so thankful to God for this opportunity to serve in Nicaragua and the extra special blessing to serve with Taylor again,” she said.


The following is reprinted with permission from the St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities monthly email newsletter.

Volunteer Spotlight: Mother-Son Team Leading by Action and Example
When Karen Schueler heard that St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities needed someone to mow the grass at the Market Street campus, she mentioned it to her son, Scott, a student at Providence High School in need of volunteer service hours. Karen decided to tag along and help the first time. “Mostly,” she joked, “to get so

Photo used with permission from St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities

me added steps on my Fitbit.” Soon, she and Scott discovered that with two people working toward the same goal, the job was much easier. They also really enjoyed spending time together volunteering as a mother-son team. So, they decided to make it a weekly thing.

Karen has served on the advisory council for St. Elizabeth’s for many years and firmly believes that volunteering gets you elbow-deep enmeshed within the organization. “It is very easy to sit through executive meetings and board meetings and make decisions, but you get a better feel for the overall agency and its mission through volunteering and working side-by-side with clients and staff.”

Karen also shared that leading by example and action is the best way to get our young people involved in community service. “Mowing grass weekly is not the most glamorous volunteer job, but at the end of the task, there is a sense of joy and accomplishment,” shared Karen. “It is also good for our community to see young people out and working at the agency.” Scott added, “I got started doing this only because of a requirement from my school. Now, it is part of my weekly routine, and it feels good to help others out.”

Karen encourages others to approach St. Elizabeth’s and communicate your strengths and passion. “They will find a place for you to volunteer within the agency. It would be really cool if families would adopt an area of landscaping on the properties and help with maintenance once a week.”

Seniors receive honors, scholarships at award ceremony

On Sunday, the seniors participated in the Senior Awards ceremony, receiving honors for their classwork as well as notification of community scholarships. Of note are the valedictorian and salutatorian, Tony Kaiser and Nicholas Tomlin, respectively. Each will address the Senior Commencement audience during the graduation ceremony on May 28.

Tony is a member of Quick Recall, National Science Bowl and National Honor Society as well as one of the Rotary Top 10 Scholars and a National Merit Scholar Commended Student. He also is a Boy Scout and has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He plans to attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and major in software engineering.

Nicholas is also a member of Quick Recall and National Science Bowl as well as the Math Team, National Honor Society and Spanish Club and founder of the former Pokemon Club. He also is one of the Rotary Top 10 Scholars and a National Merit Scholar Commended Student. He plans to attend Purdue University and major in aerospace engineering.

As they approach graduation, they are pleased with their accomplishments and relieved the hard work is nearly over for high school.

“I’m happy that I got this far (as a salutatorian),” Nicholas said. “I didn’t think I would get here.”

“It’s rewarding to know I’m first ranked in the class,” Tony said. “I didn’t have the goal of being valedictorian, but I just wanted to try my hardest.”

Many seniors were presented awards, and all seniors who received direct college scholarships were recognized. The senior class received a collective total of  $8.3 million in direct college scholarships. When Twenty-First Century Scholarships and community scholarships are added in, the total increases to $8.7 million. Additionally, four seniors received nearly $280,000 in athletic scholarships.

For a full list of Providence awards presented at the ceremony, click here.

For a full list of direct scholarship awards, click here.

For a full list of community scholarships and awards, click here.

Senior’s love of helping others recognized with various awards

As a way of living out Catholic Social Teaching, our students are required to verify 60 service hours during their high school years. In total, our seniors recorded more than 10,100 hours. Some students find that in fulfilling their requirement, they have developed a love for helping others. Senior Evan Messmer is one such person. Among his peers, he has recorded the most service hours at 383, nearly all at his parish, St. Mary of the Knobs. In recognition of his efforts, he received the Providence Service Award as well as the New Albany Deanery Catholic Youth Ministries Outstanding Service Award (as did senior Abby Huff).

Evan started helping out at SMK by joining his family in cleanup projects. His father was on the parish’s cleanup committee, so he was in charge of helping clean up from various events. And Evan tagged along. Even after his father was no longer on the committee, Evan, his father, his mother and his sister, Andrea ’15, continue to volunteer. His mother and sister mostly help with the parish fish fry, and his mother heads up the general store during KnobsFest.

Evan has helped set up for events such as KnobsFest and card parties. He has cleaned out the school during the summer, cleaned out gutters in the fall, and helped with cemetery clean up.

“I’ve done a little bit of everything there,” he said.

He’s usually the youngest helper, which elicits compliments to his parents for his giving so much time at his age. He appreciates the compliments and the awards he received from Providence and NACYM. But even more he enjoys knowing others are benefitting from his hard work, such as the stairs and nature trail he built on the parish grounds for his Boy Scout Eagle Scout project. That project took a lot of time, but those hours were only 75 out of his total 383. He also likes that the parish benefits from his work to set up for events like KnobsFest.

“It feels good knowing the church is going to make money and get more parishioners involved,” he said.

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