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October Scholars stand out in four subjects

This month’s Scholars represent the subjects of English, Math, Social Studies, and Theology. These students represent all four grades and have been nominated by teachers in those subjects by demonstrating at least one of the following:

  • Outstanding Performance on a test, presentation, quiz, homework
  • Participation and input in class discussion                        
  • Superb peer leadership: assisting classmates with homework, new concepts, etc.
  • Modeling Christian principles or living the Providence Mission

Read below for a Q&A from each student:

English

Kalena Martin, freshman, House of Integrity, involved in theatre and art

Q: What do you like about English class?
Kalena: I enjoy some of the short stories and writing.

Question: What is your favorite subject in English?
KM: I love writing fiction, and it’s actually one of my hobbies!

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
KM: I’m making the most of this school year by studying and getting my work done as best as possible.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in English class helped you in other areas?
KM: English has helped me with vocabulary, terms, and usage of words, which helps me with my writing out of the classroom.

Ethan Richards, sophomore, House of Courage, Boys Soccer, Track

Question: What do you like about English class?
Ethan: I like that there isn’t one correct answer. I like that you can have a different answer from someone else and still both be correct.

Q: What is your favorite subject in English?
EDR: I like writing fiction the most, because in fiction you can write about anything that comes to your mind, and you can be creative and use your imagination.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in English class helped you in other areas?
EDR: I have learned how to answer critical thinking questions, such as taking information and answering a question that might not be directly stated in the text.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
EDR: I am making the most of this school year by doing all my homework the day it is assigned so I don’t fall behind. I’m also keeping in touch with my friends on days that we are having classes virtually.

Catherine Pfeiffer, junior, House of Spirit, Swim & Dive, Girls Golf

Question: What has been your favorite assignment/project in English class and why?
Catherine: My favorite assignment in English this year is the “I Believe” essay because I like writing essays

Q: What does it take to excel in English class?
CP: It takes actually reading what is supposed to be read to excel in English.

Q: What do you like about English class?
CP: The thing I like about English is that it’s pretty simple.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
CP: I am keeping good friendships with good people to make the most of this school year.

Sean Wetzel, senior, House of Courage
College plans:
considering University of Louisville or Purdue University in an area of engineering

Question: What do you like about English class?
Sean: One thing I like about English class in general is that it has greatly improved my writing skills.

Q: What does it take to excel in English class?
SW: One major thing I feel is necessary to excel in English classes is to be able to understand pieces of work, both what is on the surface and the more complex aspects. I also feel like understanding the basic structure of writing is incredibly important.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in English class helped you in other areas?
SW: I feel that English class has helped me in other areas by improving my ability to write out my thoughts in a clear manner, which is helpful in many other situations than simply writing a paragraph for class.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
SW: I am making the most of this year by doing whatever I can to stay active and participate in activities, even with there being more limits this year.

Math

Avery Drury, freshman, House of Spirit, Volleyball, Girls Basketball, Girls Track

Question: What is your favorite math activity?
Avery: Something that I like about math class in Mrs. Knott’s room is doing board work. For whatever reason I find that more enjoyable than doing a regular worksheet or taking notes.

Q: What does it take to excel in Math class?
AD: For me personally I am not great at math but I do try hard to keep a good grade.

Q: What has been your favorite math assignment?
AD: My favorite assignment in math would probably have to be anything with graphing.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
AD: I am making the most out of this school year by hanging out with some of the people I didn’t go to (grade) school with and by trying to go to the sporting events to hang out with people and make memories.

Taylor Bansbach, sophomore, House of Faith, Volleyball

Question: What do you like about Math class?
Taylor: The things I love about math class are the teachers and the classmates.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
TB: How I am making the most out of this year is to enjoy every moment because you never know if our school could get shut down like we did in the spring. 

Q: What does it take to excel in Math class?
TB: The thing that will help you excel in math class is practice.

Sophia Reisert, junior, House of Faith, Softball, Drawing Club

Question: What does it take to excel in Math?
Sophia: To excel in math, it takes hard work and dedication. When things get tough, you have to have these skills to do your best.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
SR: I have been doing the same routine I have done every year since freshman year: love life to the fullest. Although there have been setbacks, you shouldn’t let COVID-19 tear you down.

Q: How has math helped you in other areas?
SR: Math is a very used skill, and it has helped me in a lot of my science classes (ex. Chemistry).

Q: What do you like about math class?
SR: I like math because there is always a right answer to a problem.

Jackson Lorenz, senior,  House of Justice, Baseball
College Plans: Study exercise science

Question: What do you like about math class?
Jackson: In math class, I like that I can always get help very easily from my teachers.

Q: What is your favorite math subject?
JL: My favorite is Algebra because I understood that the most and knew how to solve the problems.

Q: What has been your favorite math assignment?
JL: My favorite assignment was the 1.1-1.4 Test in Pre Calculus because I did very well on it.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
JL: Taking in everything I learn and not taking time with my friends for granted.

Social Studies

Alcindor Smith Jr., sophomore, House of Truth, Drawing Club, Boys Track

Question: What does it take to excel in social studies?
Alcindor: It takes mainly commitment. In this class you’ll need to be able to take good notes, do your homework on time, and study for the tests as well as asking for help when you need it. If you can do all that, then you will do well in the class.

Q: What do you like about social studies in general?
AS: I like that it’s a class where you can freely speak your mind in subjects and give your opinion on most topics since (depending on the class/topic) it’s relevant to how we live in the world today. It’s also great that you can have frequent class discussions with your teacher and classmates.

Q: What is your favorite history subject?
AS: My favorite would be World History. I say this because I just feel that you learn even more about what happened before us in the whole world rather than just what happened in the United States.

Q: How are you making the most out of this year?
AS: This year (as I do every year) I’m trying to do better than I did the previous year. So that means do better with turning in assignments, consistently have good grades, etc.

Zachary Applewhite, junior, House of Justice, Boys Tennis, Quick Recall, Swim Team, Math Team, and Girls Tennis Manager

Question: What do you like about social studies?
Zach: Social studies has always been interesting to me because learning about how the past has affected how we live now and how even people from history that we idolize were just other people like us.

Q: Which is your favorite history subject?
ZA: I like world history because it covers people from everywhere and we see where a lot of today’s ideas and technology originated from.

Q: What does it take to excel in social studies class?
ZA: Paying attention in class and studying a few minutes every day.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
ZA: I’m taking four AP classes along with taking part in extracurricular activities.

Cai Celestin, senior, House of Spirit, Quick Recall, Theatre
College Plans: I have been accepted by Indiana State University and but I am still considering and applying to other schools. I am undecided on a major.

Question: What do you like about social studies?
Cai: I like social studies because it helps us understand why and how things became they way they are. The more you learn about history, the better you are at recognizing patterns and similarities.

Q: What is your favorite history subject?
CC: Personally, my favorite was American History. I found it very interesting just how much this country has changed in a relatively short time.

Q: What does it take to excel in social studies class?
CC:  I think to excel in Social Studies you have to have a good sense of understanding why and how things happen. You need to understand the sequence of events but also be able to provide context and explain what led to those events.

Q: What has been your favorite social studies project?
CC: My favorite was the Decade projects we did near the end of AP US History because they were really fun and it focused more on popular culture and society in those times.

Theology

Elizabeth Riddle, freshman, House of Integrity

Question: What do you like about Theology class?
Elizabeth: I like discovering how the natural meets the supernatural. It’s fun to learn about everything that couldn’t be created by itself, and how it was created by a higher being, God.

Q: Which Theology subject is your favorite?
ENR: My favorite is religious history. I like being able to read about big events in the Bible and then finding small details to put together why and how the event happened.

Q: What does it take to excel in Theology class?
ENR: I think you really have to believe what you’re being taught is true and look into historical evidence for it to make sense.

Q: What has been your favorite assignment/project in Theology class?
ENR: My favorite assignment in Theology so far has been the “Seeing God in Me.” This is my favorite because it made me think about all [the ways] I can and do think about my faith as well as think about those who support my faith.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in Theology class helped you in other areas?
ENR: Specifically in Biology, I have used specific detail from my Theology class to write better journals.

Mason McGuire, sophomore, House of Integrity, Volleyball manager, Girls Basketball manager, Tech Crew for theater.

Question: What do you like about Theology class?
Mason: What I like theology is learning about God and what he created.

Q: What does it take to excel in Theology class?
MM: It takes hard work and focus to get a decent grade.

Q: How has what you’ve learned in Theology class helped you in other areas?
MM: What has helped me in theology is by getting closer to my faith in God and learning what he wants from us.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
MM: I’m making the most of the year by trying new things and not worrying about the past.

Lauren McCombs, junior, House of Spirit, Girls Soccer

Question: What do you like about Theology class?
Lauren: I like that Theology class helps us strengthen our relationship with God and helps us better understand how to be a good Catholic.

Q: Which Theology subject is your favorite?
LM: I like religious history because it’s interesting to learn about how traditions in the Church originated.

Q: What does it take to excel in Theology class?
LM: To excel in Theology class it helps to pay attention and ask questions if you don’t understand something.

Q: What has been your favorite assignment in Theology class?
LM: My favorite assignment was doing a presentation on a pilgrimage site because it was interesting to get to learn about different customs in the Church around the world.

Emma Kaelin, senior, House of Integrity, Volleyball, Girls Tennis, and club volleyball
College plans: Play volleyball at Indiana State University and study speech pathology

Question: What do you like about Theology class?
Emma: One thing I like about Theology class in general is that I really enjoy being able to talk about my faith to others.

Q: Which Theology activity is your favorite?
EK: My favorite part of Theology is prayer because I love being able to talk to God about anything.

Q: What does it take to excel in Theology class?
EK: To excel in Theology class, you just have to listen and study. If you do these two things, you will be set for the class.

Q: What has been your favorite assignment in Theology class?
EK: My favorite assignment I have ever done in a theology class was the assignment in Miss VanderWoode’s Class. She read off a statement about a situation, and we had to decide if it was moral or immoral. This assignment was fun because it made us apply our knowledge of morality, but it also showed us what the Church says is moral.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
EK: I am making the most of this school year by trying to be involved in as much as possible. I am trying to volunteer to help out, go to games, and lead in new ways.

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Freshmen, sophomores put on fall children’s show

The freshman and sophomore Providence Players are preparing for this weekend’s children’s show, A Hairy Tale, a play by Charlie Lovett. The fast-paced comedy is a modern spin off of several well known fairy tales, including “Rapunzel,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and others, in which characters learn the meaning of true love and sacrifice. (For a cast list, click here.)

Freshman Margaret Gahagen plays Rapunzel, who is quite unlike the well known princess with very long hair. Instead, she is “a spoiled girl who is over dramatic,” she said. Her character screams a lot and can’t be taken seriously.

“She’s a lot of fun to play,” Margaret said. “She’s very lighthearted.”

Sophomore Jackson Bettler portrays Burt, the father of a peasant family. The “loud and disrespectful” character is fun to play because Jackson gets “to be somebody I’m not. He’s kind of the polar opposite of me.”

Freshman Sawyer Elias also is enjoying her role as Narrator 1. Her modern character is a foil to the Elizabethan Narrator 2, and the two characters are often at odds. Sawyer’s character is usually taking a phone call and has a sarcastic attitude.

For Sawyer, being on stage with each of the characters in their different scenes is the best part, she said.

“I like seeing how people play their characters and make it their own,” Sawyer said. “It’s always fun to see.”

Sophomore Aidan Singleton plays two characters, the old-fashioned King Edwin and the UPS delivery guy, Lou. He gets to have fun playing Lou, who “hides in bushes and delivers messages” and then make a quick character change into the more serious king.

Aidan said it’s been challenging to study so many lines and to switch quickly between characters, but he’s enjoyed it, especially playing Lou, who is “an alternate ego running around like a stalker.”

Because of social distancing restrictions, the show will be performed before limited audiences on Friday and Saturday evening only. Not having a full audience, especially the group of Deanery grade school students who typically come to watch the play during school, is disappointing, the cast said. Yet they were grateful to be able to put on the play at all.

“I’m glad we get to do it through all this,” Jackson said. “It’s a pick me up through hard times.”

For Margaret and Sawyer in their first play as high school students, it’s an opportunity they’ve looked forward to for years. Margaret has performed in the Deanery musicals at Providence since fifth grade, and Sawyer started her acting career as one of the Von Trapp children in Sound of Music when she was in second grade.

“I’ve wanted to do this since fifth grade,” Margaret said. “It kind of feels like home.”

Sawyer agreed.

“It’s like a small community,” Sawyer said. “I really like it.”

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Sports Spotlight: Cross Country and Volleyball

Due to having only one eVision issue in October, this month our Sports Spotlight focuses on two teams: Cross Country and Volleyball. For Cross Country, Coach Neal Masterson nominated sophomores Ben Kelly and Maci Hoskins, who will compete at semi-state on Saturday. (Tickets are $8 and must be purchased in advance.) It is the first trip for Ben and the second for Maci. Ben placed 23rd at last Saturday’s regional, and Maci finished seventh. The remaining team members also competed at regional, including junior Sarah Boehm, who placed 59th, and sophomore Erica Voelker, who placed 66th. For the boys — all juniors — Garrett Huber placed 42nd, Kaden Connin 52nd (with a personal record), Akhil Long 67th, and Will Harper 75th.

For Volleyball, Coach Terri (Blunk) Purichia ’90 nominated seniors Anna Purichia and Ali Hornung, Anna for her the leadership role she has taken on this season and Ali for her success on the court and serving as a role model to younger players. Also of note, Ali is one of 25 finalists for MaxPreps National Player of the Year.

The Volleyball team defeated Seymour and Floyd Central in three sets each last weekend to win its 10th sectional in as many years. The team will play in the sold out 4A Bloomington North Regional at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with finals at 7:00 p.m. Games will be livestreamed on the team’s Facebook page.

Read below for Q&As with the players.

Anna Purichia, senior, Volleyball, outside hitter, fourth season PHS, playing since age 6, House of Integrity, club volleyball
College plans: Playing volleyball at Eastern Kentucky University, considering majoring in pre-dental

From Coach Purichia: Anna has taken on a big leadership role with our team this season.  The seniors had several zoom meetings with me in the off season designing what they would like the season to look like.  Anna did a lot of research on her own and talked to vendors on her own to make sure that every detail possible was taken care of in the way the senior class wanted it to be. She communicates messages to the team, and helps to keep everyone well informed.  She has really done a great job helping the younger players get acclimated to our program through her guidance!

Question: What has been the highlight of your senior season?
Anna: The highlight of my season has definitely been having a season! We weren’t sure what it was going to look like during the summer, and we were all worried that the possibly we may not even have a season was going to become reality! I am so thankful for each and every game and practice I have had with my amazing teammates!

Q: How did you get started playing volleyball?
AP: I have played volleyball since I was 6 years old. I got started (obviously) because my mom lives and breathes volleyball, and I grew up around the sport, so it is something that has always been and will always be a huge part of my life.

Q: What do you enjoy about volleyball?
AP: I love the intensity of the sport! It is the best feeling when you are in a close match, and your physical and mental capabilities are being tested! That feeling of energy and adrenaline is the best! And it is a bonus that I get to play the sport with my best friends, and have met some of the most important people in my life through volleyball!

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
AP: My favorite part about begin a Pioneer is the image that comes with the title! I love how being a Pioneer means you are known for your dignity, strong academics and athletics, and faith! Being a Pioneer to me is wearing the name Providence on my back and having pride in doing so!

Q: How are you making the most of your senior year?
AP: I am making the most of senior year by putting as much effort into my academics as I do into my sports and extracurricular activities, to really prepare myself for college, as well as trying to go to as many sports events as possible and support my fellow Pioneers!

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
AP: My favorite school subject is either science or art. I love science, mainly anatomy (which her father, Jeff Purichia teaches), because I love learning about all the different ways that our bodies work, and art because I love to be creative and I find it very relaxing and a great pass time!

Q: Coach Purichia mentioned you took on a big leadership role this year, researching items to get the team’s requests fulfilled and bringing the freshmen on board. What have you enjoyed about being a leader?
AP: I have waited four years to finally be able to be considered a “big dog” on the team. Having that title may be intimidating at first, because of the status and image that Providence Volleyball upholds, but I was definitely excited to face the challenge head on. Of course, my teammates make it easy being a leader because they are always listening and observing, wanting to get better each and every day, and I have loved being able to get to know each and every one of them, not just as my teammates, but as some of my closest friends!

Q: What is it like having your mom as your coach?
AP: My mom being my coach is not a new thing, as I have played for her for the majority of my life, and while it does present some challenges, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel as if volleyball is one of our biggest ways to bond, and I know that no matter who I am playing, how I am paying, who I am playing with, she will always have my back, and that is a luxury that not many players get to have! I will definitely miss seeing her at practice every day once I graduate, but it truly has been the best four years!

Ali Hornung, senior, Volleyball, outside hitter, fourth season, playing since age 7, House of Integrity, Student Ambassador, Lector, Eucharistic Minister, and National Honor Society.
College Plans: Playing volleyball at Purdue University where she will get to play one last year with her sister Marissa.

From Coach Puriciah: Ali has had an absolutely amazing career at Providence! She is a top-notch athlete, student, and young lady! She is an outstanding role model for younger players to one day dream of being!

Question: What has been the highlight of your senior season?
Ali: The highlight of my senior season has just been being able to play the full season without missing a game. I know so many people who haven’t been able to play their full season because of COVID-19. I am grateful that I have been able to have a senior season, and I am even more grateful that I have been able to spend it with this particular group of teammates and coaches.

Q: How did you get started playing volleyball?
AH: I have been playing volleyball for 12 years. My mom (Kelly Quinkert-Hornung ’87) played volleyball at Providence and Indiana University, and both of my sisters played, so I was destined to play too!

Q: What do you enjoy about volleyball?
AH: The thing I enjoy most about volleyball is how fast paced and competitive it is. There are not many times when I am just standing around because there is always something going on. Volleyball in Indiana is super competitive because there is a ton of talent, and I have loved every minute of competing against that talent.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
AH: My favorite part about being a Pioneer is the relationships I have made with friends, teachers, coaches, etc. Everyone at Providence genuinely cares about one another and will always be there for support. It is a very close community, and I am so grateful for that.

Q: How are you making the most of your senior year?
AH: I am making the most of my senior year by trying to stay as involved as possible. I try to participate in as much as I can and attend as many events as I can because it is my last year as a student, and it will go by so quick.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
AH: My favorite subject in school is art because I love to be creative. There is not just one way to do things in art, you can pretty much do the things you like the way you want. Our art teachers are pretty great too!

Q: Coach mentioned you are a role model for younger players. Who has been your role model during your volleyball career?
AH: My sisters have been my role models during my volleyball career. I grew up watching them play pretty much every week. Even though they were so different on the court, they were both amazing, so I always have looked up to them.

Q: What does the sport of volleyball mean to your family?
AH: Volleyball has meant so much to my family. It is something we all enjoy doing and watching, and it has taken us to so many amazing places. It is something that makes us closer as a family because we all love it so much, and it is something we always support one another in.

Benjamin Kelly, sophomore, Cross Country, second season, running since fifth grade, House of Integrity, Math Team, Boys Track, and basketball.

Question: What was the highlight of your regular season?
Ben: The highlight of my season was running 17:11 for the 5K at the Trinity/Valkyrie Invitational.

Q: How did you get started running?
BK: I started running in fifth grade for Southern Indiana Catholic because my younger brother wanted to run, and I wanted to try it out too. I liked it and decided keep running in high school.

Q: What do you enjoy about running?
BK: I enjoy running because if I want to improve in the sport, I can just work harder. In running you just rely on yourself and how hard you’ve worked.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
BK: My favorite part of being a Pioneer is having support in everything I do from the school community.

Q: What is your favorite school subjec
BK: My favorite subject is math because there are always a lot of different ways to get the answer.

Maci Hoskins, sophomore, Cross Country, second season, running for nine years, House of Courage, Girls Soccer, Girls Basketball, Girls Track.
Question: What was the highlight of your regular season?
Maci: The highlight of my season was my race at CERAland Park near Columbus. I ran my personal record of 19:20 and set a new school record.

Q: How did you get started running?
MH: I started cross country because I was looking for another fall sport and was originally going to play softball but I decided to try running and loved it.

Q: What do you enjoy about running?
MH: I love the individuality of running. I also love to compete, whether it’s friendly bets with the boys or racing down the stretch. The competition of cross country makes me love it even more. Cross country also challenges my mind and body, and I love being able to improve and reach goals, knowing that my physical and mental strength gets stronger and stronger.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
MH: I love the closeness of the PHS students, especially at sporting events when everyone is excited and cheering.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
MH: I love my Weightlifting class! Weightlifting is super fun and improves my athletic ability.

Q: What are the challenges and rewards of playing two sports at once?
MH: The main challenges are time management, strain on my body, and finding time to do school work. However, the rewards of playing two sports that I absolutely love are getting to be teammates with all the soccer girls and the Cross Country team. Those friendships and bonds are my favorite and keep me motivated to continue to do both sports.

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Three early Pioneers celebrate milestone jubilees

By Ray Day ’57, archivist

Three former Providence High School teaching Sisters are celebrating milestone jubilees in 2020. Two of them joined the Sisters of Providence in September 1960 and one in 1940.
Students in attendance between August 1965 and May 1968 may remember math teacher Sister Mary John (photo at right, from 1968 yearbook). Today, this Chicago native is known as Sister Mary (photo at left). She ministers as a volunteer at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice and as a spiritual director at Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods. She is celebrating 60 years with the Congregation.

Sister Ann Carita (photo below left, from the 1978 Providence yearbook), native of Indianapolis, entered the Congregation in September 1960. She was a math teacher at Providence during the 1965-1966 school year. No sooner did we get to know her and she was gone – only to return five years later in the fall of 1971. Many changes were occurring in religious orders at that time in history. When she began the 1973-74 school year her face was the same but her name was different. She was now Sister Nancy Reynolds.

Sr. Ann Carita/Nancy brought other changes to Providence. Her love of all sports took flight when she became our first “Sister-coach.” Beginning during the 1972-73 school year, she coached the first-ever Girls Cross Country team for two years. From 1973 through 1978, she coached the Girls Tennis team – an outstanding group of girls who finished the next three seasons undefeated. Under her leadership, the girls won sectionals in 1975, 1976, and 1977. They also earned the regional title and were state finalists in 1976.

Also during her time at Providence, Sister Nancy (photo at right) considered helping Dottie (Galligan) Zipp ’69 with Girls Basketball, “but I went into officiating rather than coaching that sport,” she said. Sister also served as statistician for the Football team for a number of years, and Coach Gene Sartini dubbed her “The Sideline Nun.” Today she resides in Louisville, ministers as a canonical consultant and serves as prioress of the Carmelite Nuns in Louisville. Sister Nancy is celebrating 60 years in the Providence Congregation.

Sister Mary Roger Madden, pictured at left and a native of Decatur, Ill., joined the Sisters of Providence in September 1940, a full 80 years ago. She served Providence for just one year, 1964-65. Regretfully the very thin 1965 yearbook does not contain a photo of her, and I’ve not been able to determine what subject she taught while here.

My search of the Providence archives reveals 125 Providence Sisters have served at Our Lady of Providence High School. Additionally, many members of their Congregation also taught at several Deanery grade schools or ministered at Providence Retirement Home and Providence Self Sufficiency Ministries, Inc. at Guerin Woods in Georgetown, Ind. Former Holy Family School teacher Sister Marie McCarthy (1965-1967) is celebrating 60 years. Former Holy Family School teacher Sister Winifred Mary Sullivan (1958-1960) is celebrating 75 years. Also, Sister Annette Schiff ministered from 1991-1993 as a receptionist at the Providence Retirement Home, then located on Spring Street in New Albany.

We at Providence extend our sincere congratulations, as well as prayers of thanksgiving, for their service to southern Indiana.
Early Pioneers indeed!

NOTES –
1 – Recent photos courtesy of the Sisters of Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods website
2 – Congratulatory messages may be sent to: 1 Sisters of Providence, Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana 47876

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Fall show debuts Friday to limited audiences

The fall show Walk Two Moons debuts this weekend, with showings to exclusive audiences on Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The audiences are limited to family and close friends of the cast in order to maintain social distancing in the Robinson Auditorium. Click here for a cast list. Read More.

Walk Two Moons by Tom Arvetis is based on the book of the same name by Sharon Creech. The title refers to the Native American saying, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.” The play delves into the memories of 13-year-old Sal as she tells the story of the disappearance of her best friend Phoebe’s mother, with the characters exploring conspiracy theories, painful realities, and light-hearted moments.

Despite the restrictions, the cast members say they are excited about and grateful for the opportunity to perform, especially after having had the second weekend of the spring musical canceled in March.

Senior Rosie Kempf, who portrays Salamanca ‘Sal’ Hiddle, the play’s narrator, said she is not taking the chance to be on stage again for granted.

“I’m just looking forward to being able to perform while we still have the chance,” Rosie said.

She said she is enjoying her role because she gets to portray someone with a greater imagination than her own. She primarily relates to the character through Sal’s close relationships with her family and friends and likes that the character overcomes a difficult childhood by using her experience to help her friend go through a rough patch.

“It’s made her tough,” Rosie said.

For senior Mara Holifield, who plays Phoebe Winterbottom, her role is meaningful because it closely relates to her real life.

“I get to be best friends with my real best friend,” Mara said.

Senior Victor Beeler, who plays Phoebe’s father, Mr. Winterbottom, as well as the Sheriff, said he likes his role as Phoebe’s father, even though it’s a more serious role than ones he has played in the past. His character has “a lot of intense moments” as he tries to deal with various crises, so Victor has to imagine himself as an adult and how he himself would handle those situations.

Senior Kieran Kelly also plays two roles, both very different. Mr. Birkway is Sal’s energetic English teacher, while John Hiddle is Sal’s dad, who is dealing with the death of his wife. In the fast-paced show, there isn’t much time between his characters’ appearances, so he needs to get into each one without much lead time.

“They’re both two extremes, and I have to figure out how to switch between them quickly,” Kieran said. “I try to picture what’s going on in the heads of both characters and figure out their place in the story and apply that.

Overall, the cast is enjoying this time preparing for the show and spending time together.

“I’m looking forward to just being able to be with my friends on stage, to meet some juniors I didn’t get to be in shows with last year, and having fun time in theater,” Kieran said.

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September Scholars lead in world language, science

This month began the recognition of our scholars and leaders, starting with world languages and science. The September Scholars are as follows:

  • French: Freshman Margaret Gahagen, sophomore Henry Lovan, junior Tyrone Davis, and senior Rebekah Berg
  • Spanish: Freshman Sawyer Elias, sophomore John Walthers, junior Allison Mercer, and senior Kieran Kelly
  • Science: Freshman Kate Simmons, sophomore Avery Miiller, junior Hayden Vissing, and senior Grant Dierking

Here are Q&As with most of them:

French

Rebekah Berg, senior, French IV ACP, House of Integrity, volunteer at the Kentucky Humane Society, began taking French sporadically in second grade and more focused since seventh grade

Question: What do you like about the French language?
Rebekah Berg: I believe the French language is fairly easy to learn. It is one of the romance languages, which is similar to English. I like how some of the words are cognates, which is the same word in English.

Q: What do you like about French class?
RB: We are all a family. I’ve taken French with these girls since freshmen year, and we are all very close, and I feel like we can all get through one last year together.

Q: When did you first become interested in taking French?
RB: I first became interested in French, honestly, because I loved how the words were pronounced. They were all pronounced so beautifully with the classic French accent. Also, French is one of the most widely known languages, and if one day I possibly travelled to France, or to Europe in general, I would be able to understand and speak with some of the natives from that country.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
RB: I’m making the most of this school year by studying hard and trying to stay positive and open to change. With COVID, you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow, so if you are on a tight schedule and routine, it’s nearly impossible to keep it with all the changes, but I try to make the most out of what I can and stay positive through it all!

Tyrone Davis, junior, French III ACP, House of Faith, Football, started taking French as a freshman

Question: What do you like about the French language?
Tyrone Davis: What I like about the French language is how unique and different it is from English and a Spanish, but also how these languages also share history with each other and come from the same roots.

Q: What do you like about French class?
TD: What I like about French class is learning about the history and it’s culture, and comparing it to the American culture and how we do things.

Q: When did you first become interested in taking French?
TD: I first became interested in taking French when I was on the D.C. trip in the eighth grade. Mrs. Lennon was my chaperone, and she talked to me about the classes she teaches. I also did not want to take Spanish, because I knew a lot of other people were already taking it. I figured French would be something different from the normal.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
TD: I’m making the most of this school year by studying and touching up on all of the French verbs and conjugations. I’m really hoping I could visit France sometime.

Margaret Gahagen, freshman, House of Justice, Honors French I, Children’s Show, Girls Soccer

Question: What do you like about the French language?
Margaret Gahagen: One thing I like about the French language is how it connects back to the arts.

Q: When did you first become interested in taking French?
MG: I have wanted to take French for as long as I can remember because of my ballet background.

Q: How has taking French helped you outside of class?
MG: French has helped me understand a lot of words in ballet, things like “pas de deux” (a dance for two people) and “entrechat quatre” (a jump where you beat your legs four times) make a lot more sense because now I know that “deux” and “quatre” are numbers.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
MG: I am making the most of this school year by being grateful that I am able to go to school and all of my extracurriculars.

Science

Kate Simmons, freshman, House of Humility, Biology, Girls Soccer, Girls Basketball

Question: What do you like about science in general?
Kate Simmons: I like science because I feel like there is a wide variety of topics in science that you can learn about. 

Q: What has been your favorite science class?
KS: My favorite science class is biology because I like to discover new things about life.

Q: How has taking science helped you outside of class?
KS: Science helps me outside of class by understanding more about life and things that surround me.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
KS: I am making the most of this school year by taking nothing for granted and working hard.

Avery Miiller, sophomore, House of Faith Sophomore Delegate, Honors Chemistry and Anatomy & Physiology, Girls Soccer, Girls Tennis, Honor Council.

Question: What has been your favorite science class?
Avery Miiller: My favorite science class thus far has been Anatomy because Mr. Purichia makes it a very interesting course and learning about the body is interesting to me.

Q: What do you like about science in general?
AM: What I like about science in general is how it’s a tool to understand the world around me.

Q: Do you plan to pursue science as a college major or career?
AM: I’m not sure if I will pursue a degree in science, but this year I have taken an interest in anatomy, which has broadened my view on science. With this being said, I might consider a degree in life science.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
AM: I am making the most of this school year by trying to stay optimistic about the future. I’m looking forward to resuming to normal life, but proceeding with caution. We are all doing our best to get through this time with the help of each other.

Hayden Vissing, junior, House of Truth, AP Chemistry, Baseball

Q: What do you like about science in general?
Hayden Vissing: I like science because it allows me to learn the reasoning behind many of the processes in our lives and it is very interesting.

Q: What has been your favorite science class?
HV: My favorite science class that I have taken has been chemistry because I like working with the specific elements and using them in formulas.

Q: What has been your favorite assignment, project, or lab in science class?
HV: My favorite lab that I have done so far was the titration lab that I did in Chemistry class last year. I liked being able to handle the reaction myself and to see the reaction and results form right in front of me.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
HV: I am making the most of this school year by doing the best work that I can while at home and by continuing to work hard when we are in the classroom.

William “Grant” Dierking, senior, House of Integrity senior executive delegate, AP Physics, Honor Council, Eucharistic Minister, Lector, Student Ambassador, Drawing Club, ProLife Club, Math Team, Quick Recall team, Providence Singers, Spring Musical, and Boys Golf.

Question: What has been your favorite science class?
William Grant Dierking: Physics has been my favorite science class because I enjoy applying math to real life phenomena.

Q: Do you plan to pursue science as a college major or career?
WGD: I plan to major in engineering because of the joy I have experienced in my physics courses.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
WGD: I am making the most of this year by trying to maintain academic excellence while also being very active in the Providence culture through game attendance, extracurriculars, and student leadership. I am also branching out to make new friendships in addition to the close ones I already have.

Q: How has taking science helped you outside of class?
WGD: Science has helped me outside the classroom by improving my problem-solving abilities and by giving me a better understanding of the world around me.

Spanish

Sawyer Elias, freshman, House of Justice, Honors Spanish I, theatre, Volleyball, has taken Spanish since first grade

Q: What do you like about the Spanish language?
Sawyer Elias: To me, Spanish is a really intriguing language. I love how it has different and more respectful versions of words. I find it really cool that there are different ways to say the same word.

Q: When did you first become interested in taking Spanish?
SE: I first became interested when I started taking it in first grade. We played Spanish bingo a lot, and I loved learning new words.

Q: What has been your favorite assignment in Spanish class?
SE: My favorite assignment so far has been when we had to have a conversation with our partner in full Spanish. It was a fun challenge.

Q: What do you like about Spanish class?
SE: What I like about the class is how fluid it moves from one lesson to another. When we start a new lesson, we don’t start from scratch on a new subject but instead build upon what we already know.

John Walthers, sophomore, House of Justice sophomore class delegate, Honors Spanish II, Boys Golf, started taking Spanish in junior high at OLPH.

Q: What do you like about Spanish class?
John Walthers: I like Spanish class because Mrs. Belmonte is really nice and very patient as we learn.

Q: When did you first become interested in taking Spanish?
JW: I decided to take Spanish because my sister really liked the language when she was here, so I thought I’d try it as well.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
JW: I am making the most of this school year by trying to attend a lot of BLUE Days when we are in session in the building. This helps to keep me keep current with all of my classes and teachers.

Allison Mercer, junior, House of Courage, Spanish IV ACP, Volleyball previous two years, has taken Spanish since sixth grade

Question: When did you first become interested in taking Spanish?
Allison Mercer: I first became interested in taking Spanish in high school in seventh grade because I had already taken it before and knew I liked it.

Q: How has taking Spanish helped you outside of class?
AM: I want to have the skill of being bilingual going forward in life so that I can speak to more people and be able to know the language of popular travel destinations. It will also help me later in life when I am applying to jobs.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
AM: I am making the most of this year by focusing on my grades and school work more than anything. Even though tickets are scarce this year for games, I still want to enjoy that aspect of high school every chance I get.

Kieran Kelly, senior, House of Integrity, Spanish IV ACP, theatre, Swim Team, and Quick Recall, started taking Spanish in fourth grade

Question: What do you like about the Spanish language?
Kieran Kelly: What I like about the Spanish language is that it challenges you to think in a way that you normally don’t have to in English. I think learning another language is really good for your brain.

Q: What do you like about Spanish class?
KK: What I like about Spanish class is that we don’t only learn about grammar, but we also learn about words and phrases that Spanish speakers would be likely to use, and we also learn about the culture of Spanish-speaking countries in order to gain a better perspective.

Q: How has taking Spanish helped you outside of class?
KK: Spanish has helped me outside of class because I can communicate with more people effectively, and eventually will help in that it is possible for me to get a better job because of the fact that I took Spanish.

Q: How are you making the most of this school year?
KK: I am making the most of this school year by not taking anything for granted and making the most of every moment. I’m also doing this by being a part of all the extracurriculars I like.

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Sports Spotlight: Boys Tennis

This issue’s Sports Spotlight features Boys Tennis seniors Michael Hamm and Landon Kruer. Coach Scott Gurgol nominated Michael because he has “played most of his career at Number 1 singles and faced the toughest competition. He’s been clutch coming through with big wins to secure 3-2 match victories (Memorial, Columbus East, Borden). His presence at the top of the lineup allows me to be creative with the lineup behind him.”

Of Landon, Coach Gurgol said: “He’s been our most consistent point scorer at Number 1 doubles his junior and senior season. He’s had four different partners, and he gets the job done. He’s also been flexible and played singles in some key spots to help the team earn victories.”

Michael Hamm, senior, fourth season/seven years overall, No. 1 singles, House of Justice

Question: What are you looking forward to in your senior season?
Answer: I am looking forward to having a great season with the team and winning this year’s sectionals. Also just getting to know the underclassmen and showing them how to act when they become seniors and how they can be a leader.

Q: How did you get started playing tennis?
A: I got started to play tennis [because of] my dad. My dad introduced it to me when I was very young, and we always watched the Grand Slams when they were on. Then I tried to play it, and I loved it.

Q: What do you enjoy about tennis?
A: The thing I most enjoy about tennis is just you’re on your own, well in singles that is. If you mess up, it’s not your team that messes up, it’s you. You make your own shots, and you have all the pressure on yourself.

Q: What do you like about playing No. 1 singles?
A: The thing I like the most playing one singles is that it is very challenging to play against people who are better than you and you’re just on the court by yourself. You have to keep composure is the most challenging thing when you’re on the court.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
A: My favorite part about being a Pioneer is how close we are to each other. Covid has made it very hard this year to be with my friends, but we still manage ways to hang out while being cautious.

Q: How are you making the most of school this year?
A: I’m doing all that I can to hang out with my friends and getting used to have to wear masks in the classroom.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: My favorite subject in school is Anatomy because I like learning about the human body, and I love Mr. Purichia.

Landon Kruer, senior, fourth season/fifth year overall, No. 1 doubles, House of Spirit Senior Executive Delegate, Honor Council, Baseball

Question: What are you looking forward to in your senior season?
Answer: I am looking forward to winning sectionals with my current partner, (junior) Jake Rodski.

Q: How did you get started playing tennis?
A: I started tennis in the eighth grade after some of my friends asked me to play.

Q: What do you enjoy about tennis?
A: I enjoy the competitiveness of tennis and the pressure that comes with each point. It makes you concentrate and be the best you can be in tough situations because one point can win or lose you the match.

Q: What has it been like to adjust to different partners and how has it helped you grow as a player?
A: I have had to adjust to every partner because every one of them has a different way of playing and a different level of talent. It has helped me as a player because my game has gone from one way of play to many, so I can be more versatile and use more skills on the court.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
A: My favorite part of being a Pioneer is that our school has a family feel to it and that you know everyone, student and teacher alike.

Q: How are you making the most of school this year?
A: I am trying to stay positive and hope for better times in the future in order to make the most of wearing masks and social distancing.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: My favorite school subject is AP Government because I enjoy learning about how our country and government were formed and how it has changed and stayed the same over time.

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Young alumni open businesses despite pandemic

It’s tough enough opening a small business in any climate, but doing so in the middle of a pandemic is even more challenging. Yet inventive, determined people, such as the three young alumni featured here, continue to turn their ideas into money-making ventures for the sheer love of sharing their passion with the public. Their businesses range from a part-time hobby to a large-scale sporting adventure club.

Monetizing a crafting hobby
Becca Hellinger ’15 has always loved to do crafts. At Providence her favorite classes were art, and she loved spending time working on various projects. But once she began nursing school at Indiana University Southeast, her studies kept her from spending much time at. After earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing in May, she promised herself she would return to doing things she loved as a personal reward, she said.

She started making decorative badge reels and epoxy tumblers for herself and then for friends as a way to destress after her night-shift job as a nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Norton Children’s Hospital. Coming home after a long shift and working on craft projects has become her favorite way to unwind.

“I love how I can go into my basement and start working on something and everything else in my mind melts away,” Hellinger said. “I lose track of time and stay up way too late quite often, but it’s worth it to me to have that outlet to unwind at the end of each day. I also love the happiness and excitement on people’s faces when I deliver their items. I love being able to make something personal for them to bring a little more joy to their day when they see it. Their excitement makes my heart happy.”

The idea for selling her creations came when friends who received her gifts suggested she sell them. In June, she started a Facebook page, Becca’s Craft Creations and Personalizations, and began taking orders. Since then, she’s had a steady stream of orders from coworkers and friends. For now, she plans to limit her orders to local delivery to avoid shipping.

She spends a couple hours each day either crafting for herself or working on orders. It takes five days to complete an epoxy tumbler because of the curing process, and she can make up to eight at one time, thanks to additional turners her dad made for her.

Hellinger said she plans to continue nursing full time and maintain her business as a hobby. Even though she loves crafting, she loves her career too.

“This is a tough job (working in the Pediatric ICU), but I love how rewarding it can be,” she said. “I not only care for children during some of their worst days, but also for their families.

Being able to see the kids go from very critical to walking out our doors is definitely a highlight I love. I can’t see myself working in another profession.”

Turning family tradition into marketing opportunity
Collin Rauck ’15 also is turning his hobby into a business. Whitetail Bloodline, which he co-owns with a friend who shares Rauck’s passion for hunting, “is a hunting brand that aims to promote hunting and conservation that has been passed down throughout our bloodline,” he said.

The business is still in the early stages of development and for now offers a merchandising line of hats, hoodies, shirts, and decals. Next up, Rauck and his business partner, Gavin Sodders, plan to post videos of themselves hunting to the Whitetail Bloodline YouTube channel. Future plans include starting a podcast focusing on hunting tips and strategies.

Rauck and Sodders began formalizing their longtime dreams of owning an outdoor company just as the spring quarantine began. Despite the shutdown, the two moved forward with their plans. Merchandise sales opened in late August, and the pandemic has meant shipping delays, but orders are coming in. The two continue promoting the brand and their love of hunting and the outdoors on the business’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

Although it may seem like a crazy time to start a business, Rauck said he and Sodders were ready to launch their business despite the climate. After all, hunting can be a solo sport, and they are both looking forward to the fall season opening soon.

“We’ve both been hunting since we could basically walk, and we both are very thankful for our dads being the biggest influence in getting us into hunting and the outdoors,” Rauck said.

Old family farm now a sporting club
Jack G. Koetter ’14 also has launched an outdoor activity business, but of the three profiled here, his is the only full-scale business. The Sporting Club at the Farm, located on 740 acres along the Ohio River on River Road in New Albany, offers a variety of outdoor activities, mainly focused around shooting and archery, with plans to expand into hiking, corporate outings and more.

Koetter left his job as foreman with his family’s business Koetter Construction in order to launch The Sporting Club. As assistant manager, he oversees daily operations and handles property management. It’s been a busy year for Koetter and his business partner, Bobby Brooks, who is a cousin to Koetter’s wife, Catherine (Emerson) ’14.

Brooks shared his vision for the river-bottom land one of his relatives was selling, and Koetter saw the potential for the old farm. The two began work on the property in July 2019, and The Sporting Club opened this past June – delayed from the original April opening because of the statewide quarantine. He also is using his former construction business skills to restore the nearly 150-year-old farmhouse into a pro shop and clubhouse.

“It has been seven days a week, daylight to dark getting us to where we are now,” Koetter said. “And I have to thank my wife, Catherine Koetter, for allowing me to spend countless hours away from her and our three young kids,” Summer, 4; Jackson, 2; and John Kayce, 8 weeks.

Business has gone well this summer, with families, individuals, and organizations coming out to enjoy clay target shooting, archery, fishing, and hiking. The facility also offers events, banquets, and weddings.

“These are some of the things we do to keep the lights on but our mission and our ‘why’ is to get kids in the outdoors,” Koetter said, noting that organizations such as the National Archery School Program and Scholastic Clay Target program use the facilities. “(We want) to get kids that maybe aren’t the star quarterback or pitcher or maybe don’t have a father figure in their life to get them outside and teach them that there is more to life than just video games and give them a chance to be a part of a team or talk about God. That’s something that is very near and dear to our hearts.”

Koetter said that despite the full-time effort needed to launch a business, he is grateful to see how families and children are enjoying the farm and its offerings.

“The opportunity to bring the business to our community that has an economic impact and to share our passion for the great outdoors has been a dream come true,” Koetter said. “I have to thank my business partner, Bobby, for including me on his idea and to give the glory to God for putting our families together and assembling our team to get this business to where we are now.”

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Freshmen bond during first retreat

Last week, our freshmen participated in a day of reflection with community building activities, small group sharing, faith sharing witness talks from others, and prayer. The activities were held at Providence and facilitated by a group from CYO Camp Rancho Framasa. The students enjoyed their first Providence retreat experience, even with social distancing and mask wearing.

Freshman Quentin Hesse said he had fun during the community building activities, which focused on communication. When communication broke down, his group failed and ended up arguing. But when they worked together, they solved the task.

“We had to communicate with each other and pay close attention to complete and accomplish the goal,” Quentin said. “Our groups had to work together and be patient with one another in order to cohesively complete the task. We had to listen to one another’s advice in these games as well. … When we listened and worked with one another, we were able to get the job done.”

Freshman Erin Popson agreed.

“This made us have to speak with one another and problem solve based on what the others told us,” Erin said. “By working together on these activities, we became closer as a class, a team, and a spiritual family … [It] helped us understand how important communication is when we’re in a relationship with God.”

The witness talks and small group discussions also helped the students see their faith in a new light.

“The one that stuck with me the most was that I should put God first in my life,” Quentin said. “As a lifelong catholic, I had already known that this should be something I should do in my life. On the retreat I felt a connection to put God first. It made me realize that I should not only notice that I should put God first, but I should act this way in my life.”

Erin saw the day as an overall positive faith experience.

“The freshman retreat was an amazing experience, allowing me to meet and connect with the others in my class,” Erin said. “Overall, it helped me to understand the ways God speaks to us and how we must respond if we wish to be closer with Him and have Eternal Life with Him in Heaven.”

Freshman Evan McCombs said he liked connecting with his classmates in a new way.

“We really got to know our classmates,” Evan said, adding that he liked how the retreat leaders brought fun into the faith experience. “I definitely had a lot of fun at the retreat.”

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Freshman enjoys helping others learn

Freshman Ada Kitch misses being able to do her volunteer work with students at Kenwood Elementary School near Iroquois Park in Louisville. Last year as an eighth grader at Holy Family, her godmother, Aimee (Hess) McDonnell ’96, who teaches English as a second language at Kenwood, invited Ada to help out with Kenwood’s Culture Club, which celebrated diversity and acceptance while also helping students with their conversation skills.

Ada started working after school with two of McDonnell’s ESL students. The boys are refugees from Africa whose family immigrated to the United States through Kentucky Refugee Ministries after their village was attacked.

Ada’s mom would take her to Kenwood after school, and she would play games with the boys and talk to them to help them improve their English skills. Sometimes they would tell stories in English using cards with pictures of various objects. Other times, she would play their favorite game of soccer with them. Then she would ride with McDonnell as she gave the boys a ride home to the Churchill Downs area.

McDonnell said Ada was an asset to the Culture Club and its goal of playing games and having fun while listening to and speaking English.

“She was a natural and made learning English fun for them,” McDonnell said. “She was able to form a bond with them that allowed her to connect with them even after COVID.”

Ada said she learned so much while helping the boys improve their English. Her eyes were opened to the living situations of those in poverty. She learned of the atrocities the young boys witnessed in their hometown – and how it’s normal for them to wake up to the sound of gunshots in their new neighborhood on any given night. Despite those painful memories and the differences in their life experiences, the boys were thankful for so many things and kept a positive attitude.

“I realized how privileged I am,” Ada said. “I never had a life like they do (living with a large family in a small house). I’ve always been content, and I realized how unthankful I am. The little things that make them so happy, like going to the park, can be boring or no big deal to my family.”

Her family and McDonnell’s family also began collecting items to donate to the boys’ family – and any other of McDonnell’s students who needed help. Sometimes they donated food; other times they donated outgrown clothes or sheets and pillows.

When schools were closed due to the quarantine last spring, Ada missed working with the boys. McDonnell set up a program she named WakeUp Call in which volunteers from St. Margaret Mary Catholic School and Sacred Heart Academy could provide the same help Ada had been doing but virtually. The goal was for the volunteers to call ESL students to give them a chance to speak English as well as “help with homework, play games virtually, and just be a bright spot in their day,” McDonnell said.

“Speaking and listening in English is so important to an ESL student’s progress,” McDonnell said. “The WakeUP call program gives them the opportunity to engage in English, even if no one in their home speaks English.”

Ada began working with a young girl in the WakeUp Call program, calling and checking on her every day. Talking on the phone and checking on her progress with her parents was more challenging than helping with the Culture Club, she said, especially since the girl’s parents didn’t speak any English. Once school was out, Ada called a few times to check on her but really missed never having the chance to see her in person.

McDonnell will start up the WakeUp Call program again next month instead of the Culture Club. Ada is eager to help again, even if it’s only over the phone.

With JCPS starting its school year virtually, it will be several weeks before she would have the opportunity to volunteer in person again. But if she is given the chance, she would.

“I really like the fact that (helping others speak English) can change their lives,” Ada said. “It feels good to help people and make their lives better.”

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