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Crusade grant helps update Learning Lab

The Learning Lab has received an update thanks to a grant from the WHAS Crusade for Children. The grant covers physical improvements like the installation of carpet tiles and new furniture as well as programming to address trauma-related issues in students. The new furniture includes modular desks and chairs, a study bar and modern bar stools, and alternative seating such as padded lounge chairs and Bintiva balance discs.

The goal was to create an environment to support the students’ varying learning needs, said Mrs. Karen (Popp) Schueler ’83, director of learning support services. Students like the study bar because it feels like a coffee shop, and the padded chairs feel more comfortable for reading. The modular seating, carpet, and lounge-type chairs feel more collegiate, while the balance disks help students who are more fidgety.

Most of the students like the new additions, but for those who prefer a more traditional setting, they have the option to study in the kitchen area, which has a long table, or at the conference table in Mrs. Schueler’s office. If they need a space with dim lighting or for individual help with a teacher or aide, there are two offices available.

“They tend to migrate to where they feel comfortable in the atmosphere where they work the best,” Mrs. Schueler said.

The options now “empower the students to make some choices,” and those choices help the staff determine the students’ needs that day, said Mrs. Darlene Valvano, Learning Lab special education teacher assigned to Providence by Greater Clark County Schools. For example, if a student heads directly to the padded lounge chairs, the staff can tell that the student may need some time to decompress – or wants to spend time reading.

The trauma intervention programming is another important benefit of the grant and goes beyond simply sprucing up the room, Mrs. Schueler said. The Learning Lab serves about 15 percent of the school population, and the needs of those students continue to grow more diverse. Ms. Ellen Williamson, behavior specialist with GCCS and the daughter of president Steve Williamson, will be a resource as the Learning Lab plans its trauma-intervention programming.

“It’s an emotionally packed environment” in the Learning Lab some days, Mrs. Valvano said.

“Which is why the look, the feel, and the decorations are so important,” Mrs. Schueler said.

Mrs. Schueler and Mrs. Valvano are proud of their students’ progress and say this grant will only help their students succeed more readily. Mrs. Chris Golembeski and Ms. Cheri Cooke (another GCCS employee) are teaching assistants and also help provide personal attention to each student.

The four staff members ensure students in the Learning Lab stay on task and get the help and support they need to complete their assignments and succeed in their classes. Most importantly, they obviously care about their students. They encourage them, teach them, and listen to them. And they show tough love and enforce rules and boundaries as necessary.

Mrs. Valvano said she is touched when she thinks of the program’s success stories. A student so unable to deal with noise that he or she couldn’t eat in the cafeteria went on to serve in the U.S. military. A student whose attendance record demonstrated a school phobia decided to become a teacher.

“I don’t think anyone leaves here feeling faulty,” Mrs. Valvano said. “I think some do come in (to the program) that way, but we’re trying to rewire their thinking.”

The support the Learning Lab receives from GCCS specialists in various areas from speech and hearing to educational psychologists is invaluable. So is the support and responsiveness from the administration, which helped work on the grant.

Dr. Mindy (Lankert) Ernstberger ’74 is pleased with the achievements of the program.

“The Learning Support team at Providence is integral to the success of our teachers and students,” Dr. Ernstberger said. “They provide tremendous support, guidance, and communication so that teachers have an understanding of the individual needs of their students. When students are struggling in our coursework, Learning Support provides not only academic content help but also organizational and emotional supports so students ‘own’ their learning and find success.”

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Little Shop of Horrors opens next week

The Musical Theatre Production class has been preparing all semester for the production of Little Shop of Horrors. The musical tells the story of mild-mannered floral shop assistant Seymour and how his life changes after he finds a strange plant he names Audrey II. The show opens Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ray Day Little Theatre. Additional show times are Nov. 15-16 at 7:00 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 2:00 p.m. The cast also will put on two special productions for Deanery sixth graders Nov. 18-19. The show is recommended for ages sixth grade and up.

Junior Kieran Kelly plays Seymour and says he has some similarities with his socially awkward character, but there are some areas where he has to stretch himself to portray him well.

“It’s kind of a challenge because he has to be nerdy to a point it’s almost uncomfortable for the audience,” Kieran said. “It’s also hard to get in the mindset of feeding people to a plant,” referring to Audrey II’s thirst for human blood.

Senior Megan Murphy said she can better relate to her character, Audrey, Seymour’s love interest. Her character is very insecure as the show begins, but by the end her sense of self-worth has increased.

“This is my first lead, so I’m not extremely confident,” Megan said. “So along with Audrey, I’m still finding my confidence.”

Senior Luke Rodski has played a variety of different characters on the Providence stage, but his role as Orin, the evil dentist, is one that is by far the most different from his own personality.

“He’s probably one of the most far out characters I have ever played,” Luke said. “He is your stereotypical evil dentist who is always loaded on his own laughing gas. He’s absolutely wild in that regard, so it takes a lot of energy. It can be tiring to run around all crazy like that for a while.”

As far out as that role is, juniors Victor Beeler and Josh Russell portray the same character in different capacities. Josh controls the various-sized puppets that represent Audrey II as the plant grows, and Victor is its voice. With the smaller puppets, Josh is out of sight controlling a hand puppet. By the end, when Audrey II has grown to its full size, he sits inside the plant base on a small chair and opens and shuts its mouth.

“It’s nothing like I’ve ever done before,” Josh said. “Everything about it is a new thing, and so far everything has been challenging. It’s physically difficult to move, and it’s heavy.”

He also has to learn how to match the puppet’s movements to Victor’s words, something he is still working on.

Victor said it is a different experience voicing the character from the sound booth, and he’s learned that the key is “learning to communicate” with Josh so that his voice and Josh’s movements coincide. As for the character itself, he’s having fun portraying the hungry plant.

“I like how almost cocky he is,” Victor said. “It’s fun.”

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance online at, by phone at 812-945-2538 x 254, or by email at Tickets also will be available at the door the day of the show. Seating is limited.

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Leadership camps help develop skills, faith

Several students have had opportunities recently to attend leadership camps. Freshman Aidan Singleton and junior Allen Kruer attended RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) program at Bradford Woods in Morgan County, Ind., sponsored by the Rotary Club of Clarksville. Sophomores Zach Applewhite, Dallas Bonnet, Brayden Gronotte, Kadie O’Bannon, and Aidan Welch attended the Student Leadership Program at the Fatima Retreat Center in Indianapolis, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Juniors Landon Kruer and Nicholas Hooper, who attended SLP last year, went as youth leaders.

Allen Kruer (standing on left) and Aidan Singleton share their experience at RYLA with members of the Rotary Club of Clarksville.

Aidan and Allen said they enjoyed their experience at RYLA, which is an intensive leadership experience sponsored by local Rotary clubs to develop young leaders’ skills and basic networking in a fun environment. Many of their activities were outdoor team-building activities, and they both said they learned a lot.

Aidan said he felt that he came back having improved his listening and public speaking skills, and the skills he learned will help him be “a better student, listener, and friend.” He also strengthened his self-confidence.

“I learned that I can do anything I put my mind to,” said Aidan, who is in the House of Justice and involved in theatre, Quick Recall, Providence Singers, Pro-Life club, and Pinterest Club.

Allen said he wanted to attend because he wanted to improve his leadership and communication skills, and the camp helped him do that. He most benefited from working on effective communication skills.

“When I had an idea for a particular activity, I had to effectively communicate it to the group so that everyone knew their role and what they were doing,” Allen said “It also helped me realize that a good leader must relate with their team, so that the team feels more comfortable following instructions and has more fun completing them.”

Allen, who is in the House of Truth, on the Quick Recall Team, and plans to run Track this spring, also said he benefited from the friendships he developed so quickly.

“I learned just how close a group of people who had never met each other in their lives could come in just a few hours,” Allen said. “The activities promoted teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership skills that everyone got to experience together.”

The sophomores who attended the SLP retreat said they enjoyed learning specific leadership skills.

Aidan Welch, who is the sophomore delegate for the House of Justice and on the Boys Soccer team, said he learned that leaders must have a degree of humility.

“I learned ‘Don’t take the credit but take the blame,’” Aidan said.

Brayden, the sophomore delegate for the House of Humility and member of Honor Council, Bowling Club, and Quick Recall, said he liked how the retreat tied in the spiritual aspects of being a leader.

“I became closer to God and learned how Jesus was leading in his life,” Brayden said.

Zach, who is on Honor Council, Swim team, and Boys Tennis, said he learned that leaders need to be good listeners and to lead by example as Jesus did.

“You need to go through the actions, not just tell them what to do,” Zach said.

The senior girls organized it and raised money by buying shirts (that were up charged $5) and also donations of parents. We donated to The Lyme disease association.

Dallas is in Honor Council, Girls Tennis, Book Club, Quick Recall, and Drawing Club and with her horse is involved in dressage competitions through the Stonehurst Riding Club. (And recently won her first regional title in Arabian Horse Association Region 14.) She said she liked learning what makes a Christian, or servant, leader different than just being a good leader.

She particularly liked the feet washing activity, which recalled Jesus’ washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper. The junior leaders washed the feet of the adult leaders, and the small group leaders washed the participants’ feet.

“It was moving because it drove home that point of why Jesus washed the feet of his disciples,” Dallas said.

Kadie, who is in Girls Golf, Bowling Club, Dive team, Softball, Spikeball Club, Pinterest Club, and Drawing Club, and sophomore delegate for the House of Loyalty, agreed that the retreat went beyond improving one’s leadership skills.

“It truly changed my life as cliche as that sounds,” Kadie said. “I really just grew in my faith and met amazing people who are interested in the same things as me. It helped me branch out of my comfort zone more and relate to more people as a leader.”

She also learned to improve her skills in adapting to different situations, which will help her be a better leader “because I know how to find things in common with them.” Now, she wants to apply what she learned and work on creating a culture of inclusiveness.

As a group, the students want to bring back the theme of “Pack the House,” which gets the student body more engaged in extracurricular activities.

Landon and Nicholas said they wanted to return as leaders to help others have the same positive experience they had.

“It made a difference in my life, and I wanted to make a difference in others’ lives,” Landon said.

Landon was a small group leader and enjoyed having a direct impact on the participants and their experience.

“I helped them become better leaders by explaining my experiences from the retreat, how they can learn from the retreat and each other, and how they can bring what they’ve learned back to their school to benefit their fellow students,” Landon said.

He also liked the contrast being participating and leading.

“The retreat was different as a leader because instead of being served, we were the servers, giving light to other students,” Landon said. “I enjoyed the fact that I was able to help others meet new people, but most importantly find God. I feel my leadership skills did improve as well, because I learned how to better connect with those students who I was around during the retreat.”

Nicholas was the junior sacristan, meaning he went “from group to group to help with their projects and generate ideas.” That way, he got to work with each of the participants in some capacity. And see their skills grow.

“As the retreat went on, it was interesting to see the kids begin to lead in their own way,” Nicholas said. “Although we all come from different schools and are fresh faces to most, it’s a truly amazing thing to watch everyone grow closer together by the end.”

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November Scholars excel in Spanish, science, visual arts

The November Scholars are outstanding students in Spanish, science, and visual arts. The Q&A below features juniors and seniors. The freshmen and sophomores’ answers will be featured next issue.

The scholars are

  • Science: freshman Alcindor Smith, sophomore Chloe Brown, junior Rosie Kempf, senior Zoe Libs
  • Spanish: freshman Jackson Bettler, sophomore Cade Carver, junior Ali Hornung, senior Amanda Pasierbowicz
  • Visual Arts: freshman Ana Cabezas, sophomore Maya Paris, junior Abby Hanlon, senior Gus Schonard

Junior Rosie Kempf, Science Scholar, Math Team, Bowling Club, Providence Players, Student Ambassador, Junior Executive Delegate House of Truth

Question: What do you like about science?
Answer: One thing I like about science is how as more questions are answered, more are asked.

Q: What is your favorite science class?
A: AP Chemistry because it is challenging, but fun and interesting. 

Q: What has been your favorite lab?
A: My favorite lab was the Ideal Gas Law lab in Chemistry.

Senior Zoe Libs, Science Scholar, Cheer, Math Team, Student Ambassador, SEAC and National Honors Society.

Question: What do you like about science?
Answer: I like science because it’s such a vast subject and there’s always something new to learn.

Q: What is your favorite science class?
A: AP Chemistry because it involves a lot of math and labs.

Q: What has been your favorite lab?
A: My favorite lab was a titration lab that I did in chemistry because we got to see a  gradient of color develop in the solution.

Junior Abby Hanlon, Visual Arts Scholar, Providence Singers, Providence Players, Math Team, Student Ambassador.

Question: What do you like about art?
Answer:  I enjoy art because each person is given the ability to creatively express themselves however they want to.

Q: What is your favorite art class?
A: My favorite art class is Intro to 3D Art. This is partly because it’s the only art class I’ve taken (besides theatre), partly because it is an experimental and introductory course, and mostly because my teacher is Mrs. Burden.

Q: Who is your favorite artist?
A: My favorite artist is Wassily Kandinsky because of the use of abstract forms and colors throughout his work, which he used to express his “inner life.” I also admire the resemblance and connection his works had to music.

Senior Gus Schonard, Visual Arts Scholar, Sherlock Club, Tech Crew

Question: What do you like about art?
Answer:  It gives me freedom and a way to express myself.

Q: What is your favorite art class?
A: My favorite art class was Intro to 3D because we got to do a lot of what we wanted.

Q: Who is your favorite artist?
A: I don’t have one.

Senior Amanda Pasierbowicz, Spanish Scholar, National Honor Society, Green Dot Club, Book Club, Art Club, Drawing Club, and Sherlock Club

Question: What do you like about Spanish?
Answer: Spanish has several nice attributes, from the cultures it stems from to simply the language itself. It’s an interesting experience, to say the least, trying to translate complex concepts and ideas from English into Spanish; in the end, over the years it has given me a greater appreciation for everyone who speaks more than one language.

Q: What has been your favorite Spanish project?
A: I enjoyed learning about Día de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead.” The Spanish culture has a really unique take on death, and I personally like the idea of celebrating the deceased’s life rather than only mourn their death. There’s a place for both, I think; mourning their death first, but then celebrating their memory as well.

Q: What is one thing you’ve learned this year, and why does it stand out to you?
A: I learned some cultural things I did not know about Mexico, including a practice following the death of a loved one. Instead of having a wake at a funeral parlor, or otherwise sending the body to said parlor, they keep the casket open in the home for everyone to come and see. It stood out to me because it is very different from how wakes are held here, and altogether highlights the different approaches to death.

Junior Ali Hornung, Spanish Scholar, Volleyball, Student Ambassador.

Question: What do you like about Spanish?
Answer: I like being able to learn and speak in a different language.

Q: What has been your favorite Spanish project?
A: We have not done a project yet, but we interact with each other using Spanish all the time.

Q: What is one thing you’ve learned this year, and why does it stand out to you?
A: One thing I’ve learned about this year is the culture of Spanish speaking countries. It stands out to me because Mrs. Belmonte can give first-hand examples and experiences.

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Athletic training career is ’11 grad’s dream job

Spencer Corrao ’11 was a talented multi-sport athlete as a Pioneer, playing running back for the Football team and catcher for the Baseball team – helping both teams to winning seasons and postseason runs. He continued his football career at Hanover College, contributing to the team’s success from his first season. So it seems only natural he would have a career centered around sports. Having earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and applied physiology in 2015 from Hanover College, he is now the director of pro athlete performance and education for Bommarito Performance Systems in Miami.

His job has him working on a regular basis with professional athletes in football and baseball as well as those in hockey, basketball, tennis, soccer, boxing, and even sailing. Although he wasn’t mentioned specifically in the article, his work with Ezekiel “Zeke” Elliott, a running back with the Dallas Cowboys, during his contract holdout, an article in The Dallas Morning News about it gave a good picture of the type of training he provides.

Just as he coordinated Elliot’s training, recovery, and timing of the consumption of nutrients during his six weeks in Cabo San Lucas, Corrao does the same for all his clients, although usually at the Miami facility. It’s a job he loves, from developing training regimens to writing educational content about physical training. Seeing his clients improve is his greatest reward.

“I love spending time with my athletes and helping them to grow, improve, and perfect their craft on a day to day basis,” he said. “From the little kids in grade school all the way to professional athletes, to those that are just trying to stay and shape and live a healthy life, the best part of my day are those moments with the people I work with where I know I am able to make a difference in their life and help them in a positive way.”

There’s enough variety in his work to keep him challenged. He works one-on-one with clients. Writes their training plan. Coaches others online. And teaches the facility’s new staff members and coordinates interns. But his favorite part is working one-on-one with clients and helping them meet their goals. And while it could be easy to be star struck by his professional athlete clients, he gives the same attention to helping those whose physical improvement is for their daily mobility as those whose careers depend on it.

“Something I have realized is that it doesn’t matter if it is a guy trying to win the Super Bowl or someone who just wants to be able to take their dog for a walk, the joy in a job like this is helping someone meet their goals and get better,” Corrao said.

There are still plenty of challenges to his job, mainly what his clients do – or don’t do – when they are not in the training facility. Some clients just lack the self-discipline to fulfill their goals.

“You cannot help everyone,” he said. “Especially in the realm of physical training, a great plan and motivation in the gym or on the field can only go so far. An individual needs to be motivated and disciplined the other 20 hours of the day that they aren’t at the facility with me. 

His job does require some traveling, such as when he traveled to Cabo San Lucas to work with Elliott, or when he provides training at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis (bringing him close to home). He also travels for conferences and professional training for himself. But mainly he is at the Miami facility working with clients on a daily basis.

“I like to be at the facility, where we can help a lot of athletes at once,” he said.

And when he’s not at work, he’s enjoying the sights and culture of Miami with fiancée Kori Siebert ’13, whom he will marry in late December. He said they love the diversity of the people, the variety of things to do and see, and of course, the weather.

“Kori and I have been able to experience a lot of different things and people that we wouldn’t have anywhere else in the world,” Corrao said. “Being five minutes from the beach is always nice too!”

As much as he loves his new home, he is grateful for the foundation he received in Southern Indiana and at Providence.

“From growing up in New Albany to my time at Providence to Hanover College, I have been extremely blessed to always have a support group that helped me to push towards what I love to do,” Corrao said. “It is easy to work hard when you are surrounded by people like that. I have been able to meet some really incredible people through my work here, both athletes and non-athletes. And it would have never been possible without all the people that have been there for me along the way. I hope I can help everyone around me chase their passions in the same way.”

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October Leaders honored

 Each month, 12 students are named Scholars or Leaders. This month, students from each grade in the Houses of Courage, Faith, and Humility received the recognition for the work they do in their House.

The October Student Leaders are:

Courage: freshman Maddie Beeler, sophomore Abby Shavers, junior Victor Beeler, and senior Shelby Wright
Faith: freshman Bailey Heavrin, sophomore Sarah Boehm, junior Nicholas Hooper, and senior Andrew Henderson
Humility:  freshman Ella Unruh, sophomore Akhil Long, junior Sophia Hottois, and senior Lauren Stapp

Read the Q&A:

Shelby Wright, senior, House of Courage Senior Executive Delegate, third year House leader, Softball, Quick Recall, Math Team.

Question: What skills/gifts/talents do you contribute to your House
Answer: As a leader I am most focused on listening to the thoughts and ideas of the people in my house.

Q: What do you like about being a House leader?
A: I love being a House leader because I get to make people’s ideas a reality.

Q. What is your favorite service experience you’ve done while at PHS?
A: My favorite service experience was when each House did the Angel Trees. It was fun shopping for the kids with the people in my House, especially knowing that it was going to such a good cause.

Q: What has been your favorite House activity?
A: My favorite House activity was the tailgate we had before Guerin Day. I loved seeing the enthusiasm my House had.

Victor Beeler, junior, House of Courage Junior Executive Delegate, Fall Show, Providence Singers.

Question: How would you describe your leadership style?
Answer: My leadership style is mainly to take charge and to get things done as smoothly and as quickly as possible.

Q: What do you like about being a House leader?
A: I like being a House leader because it means that I can bring ideas to the table and get to see some of them planned out and put into action.

Q: What is your favorite service experience you’ve done while at PHS?
A: I remember one year we made cards for our middle school teachers, and it was really fun and creative and had a great time doing it.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your House?
A: The thing I enjoy most about our House is the fun that we have in all of our meetings.

Q: What has been your favorite House activity?
A: Definitely Guerin Day!

Abby Shavers, sophomore, House of Courage Sophomore Delegate, Girls Golf, Math Team

Question: What do you like about being a House leader?
Answer: I like that I get more of a say in the events that we host as a House.

Q: What House activity have you helped plan?
A: I helped to plan our Coat Drive and Guerin Day breakfast.

Q: What is your favorite service experience you’ve done while at PHS?
A: I enjoyed the Penny War last year.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your House?
A: I like that my House has a lot of spirit.

Maddie Beeler, freshman, House of Courage Freshman Delegate, Volleyball, theatre.

Question: What do you like about being a leader?
Answer: I enjoy being a leader and getting to be on the inside of things. I have filled my position with responsibility, respect and positivity.

Q: What House activity have you helped plan?
A: I helped plan a breakfast we did before our Guerin Day, and I enjoyed talking with the people in my House (during the breakfast).

Q: What is your favorite service experience you’ve done while at PHS?
A: My favorite service project was when I went to St Elizabeth Catholic Charities and helped clean their yards.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your House?
A: My favorite thing about my house is the people in it.

Lauren Stapp, senior, House of Humility Senior Executive Delegate, former Junior Executive Delegate, Swim (4th year and team captain)

Question: What skills, gifts, or talents do you contribute to your House?
Answer: I’m very organized and creative, so that’s something that I’ve been able to bring to my House. I enjoy planning events for my House.

Q: What do you like about being a House leader or a leader in general?
A: I like being able to share my ideas, make decisions, and see results. It’s nice to know that my role was important and that it meant something.

Q: What is your favorite service experience you’ve done while at PHS?
A: I helped with Empty Bowls my freshman year. I really enjoyed this event because I was able to help with setup and with running the event. I liked how all the bowls sold were made by students at PHS and the event benefited the community because the money was donated.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your House?
A: My favorite thing about my House is the unity between the students and the teachers/faculty.

Sophia Hottois, junior, House of Humility Junior Events Coordinator, Freshman and Sophomore Executive Delegate, Student Ambassadors, Volleyball, Pro-life Club, Pinterest Club, Spanish Club

Question: What is your favorite service experience you’ve done while at PHS?
Answer: My favorite service experience at Providence is definitely the Angel Tree project. I love the fact that we can give so many people the opportunity to have a great Christmas and put a smile on their faces. I also love to shop, especially for little kids since they have the cutest clothes.

Q: What has been your favorite House activity?
A: My favorite House activity is Guerin Day. I love participating in certain activities, running around to watch different events, cheering on my friends and House members, and the competitive atmosphere. Also, I think it’s interesting that even though each House is divided throughout different activities, they have to work together in order to be successful.

Q: What do you like about being a House leader?
A: To me, a leader is someone who is constantly aware of the people around them and helps their peers grow in some sort of way. Leaders become better by rising up the people around them. Out of all the characteristics of a leader, being able to help others is my favorite. I love helping people, and I love the way it makes me feel.

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?
A: I would say that I try my best to include everyone and be as honest and approachable as possible. I’m also rather loud, especially when I laugh, which causes me to catch other people’s attention, even when I’m trying not to. I let people know that they can talk to me about anything, and I will help them in whatever way they need me too. However, I still want to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, so, when necessary, I’ll be assertive as well. Living in a positive atmosphere is super important to me, and I like to bring that kind of energy to those around me

Akhil Long, sophomore, House of Humility, Cross Country

Question: What do you like about being a leader?
Answer: I like helping people grow in different ways.

Q: What is your favorite service experience you’ve done while at PHS?
A: I helped out at a fellow Scout’s Eagle project.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your House?
A: My friends and the adults who help out.

Q: What has been your favorite House activity?
A: The House Mass honoring Brandon Tevis (House of Humility, Class of 2016) because it helped carry on his memory.

Ella Unruh, freshman, House of Humility Freshman Delegate, Children’s Show, singer in a local band

Question: How would you describe your leadership style ?
Answer: My leadership style is to be able to speak up and make decisions but also hear out and follow through with the needs of others. I’m more of a creative person, so when coming up with ideas I tend to think outside the box.

Q: What do you like about being a House leader?
A: I like being a House leader because my voice and the voice of others around me can be heard more loudly and be carried out. And a leader in general, I like being able to be in control of my choices and to be an outgoing and helpful person. I feel like when you are a leader, others around you tend to mock your decisions and attitude so I like to set a good example (I try my best).

Q: What is your favorite thing about your House?
A: My favorite thing about my House is the House spirit and feeling like you’re on a team and in it together, that we are able to accomplish things and bring joy to others through service.

Andrew Henderson, senior, House of Faith Senior Executive Delegate, former Sophomore Delegate, former Junior Executive Delegate, Football, Boys Golf

Question: What activities are your House planning for this semester?
Answer: One activity that the House of Faith led was the tailgate before the Providence vs. Silver Creek Football game. This was a great social event that allowed students time to get together and meet new people before the game.

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?
A: I like to lead by setting a good example for others to follow. I can be a vocal leader when needed but like to let my actions serve as a model for others.

Q: What do you like about being a House leader?
A: I enjoy getting to know and being able to help guide the younger students in my House. The House system allows upperclassmen the opportunity to make the transition for underclassmen easier.

Q: What is your favorite service experience you’ve done while at PHS and why?
A: The Penny War is a fun way the entire school gets involved in raising money for a good cause.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your House?
A: I enjoy the family-type atmosphere of our House and getting to know other students who would not normally be in my “circle” of friends.

Nicholas Hooper, junior, House of Faith junior Executive Delegate, former co-sophomore executive delegate, Baseball

Question: How would you describe your leadership style?
Answer: I feel like my style of leadership is through example. I always make sure to carry myself respectfully and with a purpose because you never know who may be watching.

Q: What is your favorite service experience you’ve done while at PHS?
A: My favorite service project that I took part in was the Christmas Angel Tree project. It was very rewarding to see so many people gather together to help out families who needed a little extra help that Christmas.

Q: What do you like about being a leader?
A: I like being in positions of leadership because I feel that it gives me an outlet to share my experiences and ideas. Also, I thoroughly enjoy seeing my ideas, or the ideas of my group, take root and make a positive difference in the lives of people around us. I feel proud that I can artistically represent my House and do my part to improve the quality of our projects.

Sarah Boehm, sophomore, House of Faith Sophomore Delegate, Children’s Show, Providence Singers, Spring Musical, Track, Cross Country, Swim.

Question: What do you like about being a House leader?
Answer: I like being a house leader because I like planning activities.

Q: What House activity have you helped plan?
A: I helped to plan a tailgate before the Silver Creek Football game, and I enjoyed planning it because I like planning events.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your House?
A: My favorite thing about my House is the people who are in it.

Q: What has been your favorite House activity?
A: My favorite house activity is just Guerin Day.

Bailey Heavrin, freshman, House of Faith Freshman Delegate, theatre, Providence Singers.

Question: What do you like about being a House leader?
Answer: My favorite part is planning fun events.

Q: What do you like about being a leader in general?
A: I like having my voice heard in this position and I can speak for those who don’t.

Q: What has been your favorite House activity?
A: One event we have had was the tailgate. The best part is watching everyone have a good time with their friends.

Q: What do you enjoy about your House leadership role?
A: The best part of of holding this position is being able to connect with new people.

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Brothers enjoy summer camp leadership opportunity

Twin brothers Josh and Jake Russell, both juniors, are used to helping others. Their mother, Sonja Russell, teaches religion at Our Lady of Perpetual Help school and often takes them along to help with the school’s service projects. So they eagerly signed up to work as counselors at Gasper River Catholic Youth Camp in Bowling Green, Ky., after having attended the camp for several years. Their sister, senior Liberty Russell, was a counselor last summer.

“It seemed like the next step,” Jake said.

They began attending the weeklong summer camp several years ago after their father learned about it while on a men’s retreat at the site. They enjoyed taking part in activities such as zip-lining, rappelling, and team building, especially since they were paired with spiritual activities as well.

Being a counselor rather than a camper gave them both new insight into the camp.

“I just enjoyed being able to be a counselor,” Josh said. “After going for three or four years, it was a different experience to counsel. I was able to put my attention on other people and help them experience it.”

Jake said the counselors play an important role in making the summer camp experience even better, and he was grateful for that opportunity.

“Getting to be the person that inspired them and lead them on their journey – that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much,” Jake said.

Even though they were both counselors, the brothers said they didn’t have much time together. During their training, they were taught not to spend time with other counselors but to focus on the participants. Still, they enjoyed being there at the same time.

They plan to attend the annual Christmas Camp between Christmas and New Year’s Day, which they have enjoyed in the past. They said they like the contrast to the summer camp, which is primarily outdoors with a full scheduled of planned activities. Some activities are outdoors, but this time they are bundled up instead of in shorts and T-shirts. The Christmas Camp also allows teens to choose from a variety of activities.

Josh said his favorite part is going to Mass on New Year’s Eve at 11 p.m., which allows them to literally start the new year in church.

Gasper River has become a favorite spot for the brothers, and they hope to be able to be counselors again.

“There’s just something about it,” Josh said. “The Holy Spirit really moves in that place. There’s no traffic noise, so you can really connect with nature and the people around you.”

Jake agrees.

“It’s a combination of a really good Catholic environment with a lot of people who care about their faith in their daily lives,” Jake said. “It takes people like that to make it the way it is.”

The rest of the year, Jake and Josh help out in different ways. Jake is a member of the Student Ambassador Leadership Team (SALT) through the Deanery’s Catalyst Catholic organization. He said he enjoys helping the team help plan middle school activities in the Deanery.

Josh helps his dad with Men’s Group activities at OLPH and hopes to help coach soccer at the school in the spring. He also attended One Bread One Cup, a liturgical ministers camp at St. Meinrad over the summer, which led him to be invited to lead morning prayer at NCYC in Indianapolis next month.

Josh said he enjoyed learning the origins of today’s liturgical music and “how it evolved from the Gregorian chant,” while at One Bread One Cup. “I learned the intricacies in the style of chant and just how difficult it can be.”

He has learned more and met more people in practicing for the leading the prayer at NCYC, which he considers an unexpected honor, he said.

“I met so many awesome people through training and practicing with them,” Josh said. “We had so much fun at St. Meinrad. I think that it’ll be so much fun to lead on the big stage. I’m looking toward being a part of something I used to sit in the stands for. I look forward to encouraging my friends all along the way and just having fun doing it.”

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Sports Spotlight: Football and Cheer

As the Football team heads into sectional play and Cheer prepares for its competition season, we look at three student-athletes:

Senior Vincent Benningfield, four-year Pioneer Football player, defensive and offensive line, member of the House of Truth, plans to attend Purdue University to study aviation and flight technologies in pursuit of becoming a pilot.

Question: How did you get interested in football?
Answer: I have played football for 12 years. I have always been interested in the sport for as long as I remember.

Q: What do you like about being part of the PHS Football team?
A: My favorite part of being a member of the Football team is the brotherhood I have become a part of and the friendships I have been able to form through the game itself.

Q: What are you looking forward to in the postseason?
A: What I’m most looking forward in the post season is the possibility of making a strong push for another sectional championship or possible more with the team.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
A: My favorite part about being a Pioneer is the fact that I have been able to form friendships through sports, school events, and other school activities that I hope last for years to come.

Senior Connor Hazen, four-year Pioneer Football player, House of Spirit

Question: What do you like about being part of the PHS Football team?
Answer: The brotherhood I’m around everyday

Q: What are you looking forward to in the postseason?
A: Just playing with my brothers for the remaining games.

Q: What has your favorite service activity (at PHS) been and why?
A: Working with underprivileged children at a daycare

Q: What are your college plans at this point?
A: I plan on going to Purdue to study agriculture


Sophomore Ella Tichy, second year on PHS Cheer, House of Humility, cheers year-round

Question: How did you get interested in cheerleading?
Answer: I’ve always loved gymnastics and tumbling, so cheerleading was a natural step to use the skills I had learned. Cheerleading is my passion

Q: What do you like about being part of the PHS Cheer team?
A: I love doing what I love with the people I love. I have found a sense of family in my teammates and coaches. I enjoy the way cheer pushes me to be the best I can be. When cheering on the football and basketball teams, I love leading the students and seeing Blue Pride in action.

Q: What are you looking forward to in competitions?
A: I am most looking forward to coming together as a team and seeing all of our hard work pay off, especially at state and nationals. This is my first year traveling to Dallas, and I can’t wait to show teams from all over the country what Blue Pride is all about. We’re hoping to bring home 1st place in both state and nationals!

Q: What is your favorite subject in school?
A: My favorite subject is biology and art. I can’t narrow it down to one! Not only do I love the material and what we do in the classes, both Mrs. Burden and Mrs. Welch have influenced my life both in and outside the classroom.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
A: My favorite part about being a Pioneer is having teachers who care, being able to grow in my faith, and seeing Blue Pride in action every day!

Q: What is your favorite part of being in the House of Humility?
A: My favorite thing about my House is how creative everyone is and how they contribute their talents.

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’61 grad a strong influence on Indy school

Bob Tully ’61 fell in love with Catholic education while a student at Providence. He may have spent his career here had another opportunity not taken him to Indianapolis. There, he became football coach and religion teacher, then athletic director, then campus minister, and now vice president of mission and ministry for what is now known as Roncalli High School. His dedication to the football program earned him public recognition in recent years. Last year, he was named to the Indiana Football Hall of Fame along with retired Roncalli head coach Bruce Scifres. This year, Roncalli named the football field after Tully.

“I don’t have the words to describe what it meant to me,” Tully said, though he joked that he had to check the obituaries to make sure his name wasn’t listed there too. “To have such a beautiful stadium as that, named after me and created by Dr. [Joseph] Hollowell,” the school’s president. “The feeling was awesome. I was so happy.”

Tully followed his Providence football coach, Jim MacGregor, to what was then Bishop Chartrand High School, a new Catholic high school opening on the southside of Indianapolis a year after graduating. MacGregor was recruited to start the football program, and he needed an assistant. MacGregor was recruited by Fr. Robert Kitchin, then the Providence spiritual director, who was moving to Chartrand to serve as principal.

Tully became the school’s and the football program’s biggest cheerleader. When Chartrand merged with another south Indianapolis school in 1969 to become Roncalli, the football coach resigned and Tully was asked to step in. He took the head coaching job for four years and then became athletic director, a role he used to make financing the football program a priority. Scifres became head coach in 1990 and amassed a 248-88 record and eight trips and seven wins at state before retiring in 2016.

That level of success was “something we were striving for (when he helped MacGregor start the program and as he insisted on the program’s financial support) but we never expected to achieve heights it as,” Tully said.

When invited to the Indiana Hall of Fame, Scifres said the honor should go to Tully instead. The Hall of Fame board was so impressed, they inducted the two of them together.

That moment was a great honor and one Tully celebrated from a hospital bed. But in September, he stood proud under the scoreboard and the sign that bears his name.

“It’s been a blessing to be part of the Roncalli program and meet so many great people,” Tully said. “God continues to smile on us by sending us blessing after blessing after blessing.”

When Roncalli happens to compete against Providence in sports, Tully said he is a little torn.

“My heart is still in the halls at Providence, but I have to cheer for Roncalli though,” he said.

He credits the Sisters of Providence who taught him at PHS with instilling in him his love for Catholic education, PHS, and Roncalli. He parlayed that love into creating the campus ministry program at Roncalli more than two decades ago. His love for the school – and its love for him – led to the creation of his current position several years ago.

He is happy to be working in the same building since he moved to Indianapolis in 1962, even as the name changed – and his job description. One thing hasn’t changed is his commitment to his faith, his family (which includes wife Mary Pat (Dallmann ’63) and their children, Leigh (Tully) Wilham and Michael, and five granddaughters), and Roncalli.

“I hope I am allowed by God and the administration to continue,” he said.


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Children’s show on stage this weekend

James and the Giant Peach, a play for the whole family, will be held in the Robinson Auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 27, at 2:00 p.m. Performed by the freshman and sophomore Providence Players, this delightful children’s show is an offbeat adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl adventure about a boy, his insect friends, and their amazing journey across the ocean on a giant piece of fruit. Tickets are $5 for adults and students (K-12) and can be purchased at the door. Free admission for children under 5 and for Deanery teachers.

Sophomores Katelyn Phillips and Katie Riggs are members of the cast and looking forward to the show. Katelyn plays Ladybug, and Katie is Spider. Both girls were in the show last year in minor roles so are pleased to have named roles. They said they liked the chance to play different characters than they have before.

“It’s really interesting to be the ladybug because out of all the characters in this play, I didn’t really see myself being a ladybug,” Katelyn said. “So it’s somewhat challenging, but a lot of fun to do.”

They said they feel more prepared to be on stage this time, having been in the cast for last year’s show.

“The show last year prepared me because this year I knew what to expect, and I now know just how we’re supposed to act for the younger kids coming to see it,” Katelyn said.

Katie agrees.

“It helped me work on being loud and dramatic,” Katie said.

Freshman Aidan Singleton plays the Old Green Grasshopper in his first children’s show, and he is grateful for the opportunity to have a named role his first year.

“I love playing the part of a musical person,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting to show all the work we’ve done for the past months.”

Sophomore Sarah Boehm plays the lead role of James and said she is “looking forward to performing for the little kids.”

Katelyn and Katie said they are excited about the opening performance on Saturday. Katelyn said she is looking forward seeing “the expressions on people’s faces and seeing how much they laugh at what we’ve worked hard” to produce while Katie said she likes the excitement of opening night.

“The adrenaline rush is one of my favorite parts,” Katie said.

Katelyn is a member of Drawing Club and Providence Singers, and Katie is in Drawing Club and Quick Recall, and plays Girls Tennis. Sarah is on the Track, Cross Country, and Swim teams and is a member of Providence Singers and Pinterest Club. Aidan is in Quick Recall, Pinterest Club, and Pro-Life Club.

In related news, tickets to the fall musical, Little Shop of Horrors, are on sale on the school website. The show is Nov. 14-17. More information will be in the next eVision.

More School News stories:

Sophomores deepen faith on retreat


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