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Students Show Different Ways To Give

Students show different ways to give

With Giving Tuesday just one week away, here’s a look at different ways our students give of their time and talent:

Senior Adam Garcia organized the installation of a flagpole and pathway at a local church for his Eagle Scout project.

Senior Adam Garcia recently received his Eagle Scout rank, the highest rank in Boy Scouts. In order to achieve the rank, Scouts progress through a series of ranks and coordinate a project that demonstrates their leadership skills. Adam’s project was to build a flagpole and concrete walk on the grounds of the New Chapel United Methodist Church and its cemetery in Jeffersonville.

Adam said he suggested the project to the church because he lives nearby and noticed the church didn’t have a flagpole. He spent about three months planning and executing the project, including hosting a carwash to raise the $800 needed to complete the project. He then sought the help of neighbors who knew how to operate heavy machinery to dig the path for the walk and of fellow Scouts in his troop, 4036 at Holy Family.

Adam said the most challenging part of the project was getting estimates for the cost of the concrete, in part because of the small size of the project. He did receive a favorable quote, and professionals poured the concrete. The most rewarding part is being able to see from his home the flag flying on the pole he and his fellow Scouts erected.

Now that he has achieved his Eagle Scout rank, Adam said he plans to stay involved with the troop and helping the younger Scouts to keep working on their advancement ranks and staying involved.

“I feel like that’s important,” he said. “If I had had someone when I was younger to be there for me, I would’ve gotten done earlier.”

Father-son activity becomes long-time service
Senior Cody Gibbs likes to help other people. So much so, that for the last four years, he has volunteered to teach self-defense classes alongside his father at Balmer Martial Arts studio in Floyds Knobs. In that time, he has built up 300 service hours teaching the classes.

Cody said he started taking classes in jujitsu with his dad in 2011, when his dad returned from a tour in Afghanistan and was looking for something the two could do together. At first, Cody didn’t really like the lessons, but over time, he began to enjoy them.

When he and his father were asked to teach the self-defense class four years ago, they readily accepted. They’ve continued to teach the classes for children and adults six days a week because they enjoy it so much.

“Overall, it’s a really good experience for me,” Cody said. “It taught me patience in working with all kinds of different people.”

Cody said he also enjoys the physical exercise, especially since he is normally a sedentary person. And he likes the chance to meet people he wouldn’t get to otherwise.

Cody has achieved his brown belt in jujitsu and is working on reaching the black belt level.

Senior acts upon seeing need
Senior Ethan Furnish is not one to sit back and wait for someone else to solve a problem. When he sees a need, he does what he can to help, just as he did with his nonprofit charity Soap 4 Hope. That’s right, his nonprofit charity, which he started as a sophomore.

Senior Ethan Furnish started a charity to help homeless people do laundry.

Soap 4 Hope works to partner local laundromats with Haven House Services in Jeffersonville to provide free laundry services to the homeless shelter. The laundromats preload funds on cards that the staff uses to clean bedding from the shelter. That allows the laundry facilities at the shelter to be free for the residents to use to clean their personal laundry”

Ethan said his parents help him with the charity but the idea was his. He knows that many people see those who are homeless as less than human, but he sees their needs. He has volunteered at local soup kitchens and knew it was probably hard for such disadvantaged people to stay clean.

Ethan and his parents have chosen not to file for 501 (c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service because they do not handle any money. They work as a go between to partner the Haven House staff with local laundromats. Soap 4 Hope does have a website www.soap4hope.net and encourages those who wish to donate to give to Haven House or other local groups or agencies that serve the homeless.

Soap 4 Hope also encourages the donations of any type of soap for Haven House. Ethan said he is considering organizing a soap donation drive at school.

Ethan also is a member of the New Albany Deanery Catholic Youth Ministries Youth Ministries Action Team, a planning group of which he has been involved with for several years and is now its chairman. YMAT coordinates and organizes events for Deanery middle school students, including planning and brainstorming. The team also organizes service and fellowship events for its 18 members.

He has accumulated 250 of his 400 service hours through serving on YMAT, Ethan said. But he is not involved to rack up hours. Planning events that are well received by middle school students is rewarding.
“It’s awesome getting to see others getting to enjoy the fruits of your labors,” Ethan said. “I got to enjoy youth ministry growing up, so hopefully, this is a small way I can continue doing that for others.”

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Students ‘Called’ To Attend NCYC

Students ‘Called’ to attend NCYC

Many of our students traveled with their parish youth groups to Indianapolis last week to attend the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), organized by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. The three-day event at Lucas Oil Stadium, which this year focused on the theme of Called, offers youth and their chaperones the opportunity to experience prayer, community, evangelization, catechesis, and service. Approximately 25,000 young people and adults from around the country attended.

Participants attended breakout sessions on topics relevant to living as a disciple of Christ in today’s world as well as general sessions, including prayer, liturgy and guest speakers, such as Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT. On Friday evening, the general session featured compline night prayer led by the monks of St. Meinrad, and some of our students were able to take part. Senior Eli Lucas was a lector, and seniors Heidi Popson and Olivia Dome were also on stage participating.

PHS students attended NCYC with their parish’s youth ministry.

Senior Skylar Richey attended with the Our Lady of Perpetual Help youth ministry, which included her younger sister, freshman Peyton Richey. Skylar said she enjoyed being able to strengthen her faith, from attending Mass with more than 25,000 people to listening to various speakers.

“I started my days by attending uplifting morning sessions, and I got to end my days by listening to inspiring speakers talk about their faith,” Skylar said. “Overall, NCYC was an awesome experience, and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go on this trip.”

Junior Sam Kruer, who attended with the youth ministry of St. John Starlight and St. Mary’s Navilleton, said he was grateful for the chance to deepen his faith as well as hear different viewpoints that opened his eyes to teachings of the Church. He especially related to the keynote presentation given by Sr. Miriam James, who spoke on the topic of success and failure, and how people define themselves by those events.

“We should define ourselves by our success (she said) because success trumps our failures every time,” Sam said. “This applies specifically to me in my sports because I make mistakes and sometimes they turn out badly, but I need to learn from the mistakes and move on because I do more good than bad in a game or practice. I loved NCYC, and I’m sad to know I don’t get to go again two years from now and have another wonderful experience.”

Sophomore Dylan Payne attended with the youth ministry from Sacred Heart, and he particularly enjoyed meeting Catholic teens from around the country as well as the inspirational speakers.

“NCYC was an unforgettable experience and helped me to better my relationship with Jesus,” Dylan said. “I really encourage anyone who hasn’t gone to NCYC to go and experience it for yourself. What I really enjoyed most was hearing the keynote speakers and hearing their stories of how God has called them in their lives. I also liked meeting all these amazing kids who are my age and who have the same beliefs as I do. Overall NCYC was an amazing experience.”

Freshman Katie Beyl attended with the youth ministry from St. John Paul II and said she was touched by the opportunity to share the experiences of prayer and liturgy with thousands of people in the same place.

“Every day was jam packed, but every moment was a chance for all of us to strengthen our faith in Jesus,” Katie said. “The closing Mass on Saturday night was breathtaking. It was so cool to see all these young Catholics joining together to grow and strengthen their faith in God. I am sad the amazing experience is over, but I cannot wait to come back next time!”

In related news, art teacher Ms. Stephanie LeBrun painted a mural that was used at NCYC. The mural of trees covered a long wall in an area with various fun activities. She completed the mural over Fall Break.

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PHS Moms Enjoy Work As Lunch Ladies

PHS moms enjoy work as Lunch Ladies

It’s not uncommon for Providence parents to be working in the classrooms, offices and other areas at school. Some work here for the few years their children are students here, while others start during that time but then continue in their positions for years following. Most have experience or education to match their positions. The cafeteria staff, however, boasts more than half of its staff with college degrees not put to use while they are serving lunch.

Providence moms and future moms make up most of the Cafeteria staff.

But these women, who hold degrees in mechanical engineering, business management, nursing, occupational therapy, logistics and elementary education, are working right where they want to be. Working as one of the Lunch Ladies, as they call themselves, enables each to be on her children’s schedule and work in a fun environment. The job is hard work as they prepare, serve and clean up from providing lunch for about 450 students each school day. But they have a good time doing it, each one said.

“It’s so much fun,” said Mrs. Maria Johnson Agtuca ‘79, mother of Amanda ’13 and junior Aaron. “It doesn’t feel like work. I’ve never had a job like that where you look forward to going to work. It’s always full of surprises.”

Mrs. Agtuca has degrees in business management and nursing. After working in banking and in a psychiatry office, she left full-time work to be on her children’s schedule. She volunteered in the St. Paul School cafeteria when they attended there and then waited for an opening at Providence to join the staff here two years ago.

Mrs. Donna (Bolly) Burke ’83 is in her third year working in the cafeteria. She had previously been a substitute teacher at St. Anthony, where her students went to grade school. She joined the staff when her son Hayden, now a junior, was a freshman. Her youngest, Aaron, is a freshman now, and her two older children have already graduated, Justin in 2006 and Renee (Burke) Kruger in 2010.

“I tease Hayden that I’m going to follow him to college,” Mrs. Burke said. “I worked at St. Anthony when he was there, and I came here when he was in high school.”

Teasing her son aside, Mrs. Burke said she has no plans to leave because she enjoys working here so much.

Mrs. Jody (Cooley) Fitzpatrick ’81 also plans to stay after her son, Shawn, graduates in May. She first started two years ago when a part-time opening came in in the middle of the school year. She quit last year when she was invited to be a member of the Providence Board of Trustees. Then manager Mrs. Karen Hennessey called at the beginning of this school year to let her know there was a full-time opening.

Mrs. Fitzpatrick said she did ask her children if they minded if she worked in their school, but otherwise didn’t think twice about accepting and stepped off the Board of Trustees. She had been looking for part-time work and wasn’t interested in finding work in her previous career. She had been an occupational therapist but left that field when her older child, Maryann ’16, was born.

“I like the schedule,” Mrs. Fitzpatrick said of working in the PHS Cafeteria. “I like the camaraderie with other moms. It’s very social. The kids make it fun. They’re polite and seem grateful for the food we make.”

Mrs. Colleen Caylor is in her fifth year on staff. She has a bachelor’s degree in logistics from Penn State University and graduate credits in business from Carnegie Mellon. Before her children were born, she worked for IBM in Manhattan and for U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh.

When her oldest, Shea, a senior, was in eighth grade, Mrs. Caylor and her husband were concerned about the cost of sending their children here. So when an opening in the cafeteria came up, she jumped at the chance.

“I got to test drive it for a year, and I decided it was worth it and we wanted to spend the money,” Mrs. Caylor said. “I wanted my kids to be part of it.”

Mrs. Caylor said she likes the atmosphere here and the freedom to talk about God. She also likes working in the same building as her three children, which also includes junior Frank and sophomore Sam. She also doesn’t mind that she’s not using her college degree.

“This is my ‘I get to’ job,” she said. “It’s not the kind of job you have to do.”

There are several more cafeteria staff members who are parents of current students, although some in the past have been grandparents or other relatives of students here. Others are relatives or friends of Mrs. Hennessey.

Mrs. Debbie (Popp) Miller ’87 also started here before her son did. She left a 20-year career in nuclear medicine when her son, Trey, was in eighth grade at St. Anthony. Now he’s a junior here. Her story appeared in the March 11, 2015, issue of the eVision.

Mrs. Sarah Gahagen is following a similar path. She is new to the cafeteria staff and took the job this fall. She and husband Chris ’96 have four children, and she left the corporate world years ago to stay home with them because “my family’s more important than the long corporate hours,” she said.

Mrs. Gahagen has a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame, where she met her husband, and previously worked in manufacturing in several different industries. Prior to working at PHS, she taught dance part time in the evenings but likes the day-time schedule here better, she said. Their children attend Our Lady of Perpetual Help, where her youngest is in preschool and her oldest is a sixth grader.

She said she and her husband are committed to Catholic education, having both had at least 18 years themselves, from grade school through college. But they had been wondering how they could afford it, and she had planned to look for full-time work when their youngest was in kindergarten. Now she has a job with hours that allow her to be a mom and with the potential to afford Providence tuition, especially since cafeteria employees receive a tuition discount for their students as do all faculty and staff.

“This (job) kind of feels like the answer to find the right balance and make it all work,” Mrs. Gahagen said.

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Students Put On Musical Godspell This Weekend

Students put on musical Godspell this weekend

Tomorrow night, the fall musical Godspell will debut in the Ray Day Little Theatre. Fall musical? Yes, thanks to the Musical Theatre Production Class, students have the opportunity to present a musical in November. The cast is smaller as is the venue, but audiences will still be highly entertained by this musical retelling of the Gospel of Matthew.

Unlike the spring musical, most rehearsals are held during class time. Most of the performances will be this weekend, with show times tomorrow through Saturday at 7:00 p.m. with a 2:00 matinee on Saturday as well. Next week, Deanery sixth graders will be treated to a special performance during the school day.

The cast is looking forward to demonstrating their hard work over the semester. Senior Brinley Prather, a member of the ensemble, said she found it was easier to fit the show intro her schedule by being able to rehearse during the school day. Junior Olivia Hall agrees, adding that she liked how the cast was able to help each other learn the music in the show.

Brinley is looking forward to entertaining audiences with the music, which is full of energy. “They’re songs you can really get into, and they have a lot of emotion in them,” she said.

Photos by Jennifer (Bartley) Dunn ’94

Senior Andrew Bittenbender, who portrays Jesus, also loves the music. “It’s some of the best music in any show, especially with the 2012 revival edition that we are doing,” he said. “It’s really energetic and hard not to move to.”

Senior Eli Lucas has a dual role as John the Baptist and Judas, the only other named parts in the cast. He said he likes the range of emotions in the show, which starts out upbeat in the first act, but by the second act and the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, the mood turns somber. He also enjoyed the dancing, which ranges from tap and jazz to rock and burlesque. “The dancing is so much fun,” Eli said.

Olivia said her dancing improved a lot over the semester, with Mrs. Amy Delaney teaching the choreography, and singing in four-part harmony has strengthened her vocal talents as well. That practice will help when rehearsals for the spring musical begin. “I’ve grown a lot,” she said.

Andrew said that playing the role of Jesus has helped him grow as an actor as well. He initially struggled with how to portray Jesus. “I mean, you’re playing God,” he said.

So many people have a different image of and relationship with Jesus, not only the characters in the show but those in the audience as well, he said. Some see him as a strong figure in their life, while others struggle with their relationship with him. He questioned whether he was genuine or caring enough in his portrayal as well. But he finally found the right mindset.

“I realized you’re never going to be able to please everyone,” he said. “By trying to capture his genuine loving spirit, that will allow people to put their interpretation of Jesus into that character.”
And he believes that the lyrics in the musical will also help the audience understand the true message of the show – and of Jesus.

“It’s another way to get the Gospel message outside of that church environment,” he said. “It’s great for people who might not go to Mass because they can still get that same message.”

Freshman Skilled At Sleight Of Hand

Freshman skilled at sleight of hand

Photo by Tony Bennett Photography for Extol Magazine

Freshman Evan Scott’s hands are rarely idle. If he has free time, he usually is playing with a deck of cards. But he’s not playing euchre or poker. He’s working on a magic trick. He’s gotten so good at it that he even earns spending money by performing his card tricks at various events. His schedule is pretty full for the next few months as he performs at company parties and other holiday gatherings.

He keeps his show informal and engages with the audience, but what he likes most is being able to perform the illusions, such as performing tricks that make it appear that a card has changed colors.

“I really like how once you learn as much as I have, it connects with everything else and everything branches out from it,” he said. “There’s just so much you can learn.”

Evan said he is always looking for new tricks. He started working on card tricks shortly after seeing a TV special three years ago. The next week, he was home sick and began looking up card tricks to entertain himself. He taught himself his first card tricks by watching videos on YouTube. Now, he uses lessons on DVDs and in books.

He got so good that he decided to try out for America’s Got Talent last year at an open audition in Chicago. He didn’t get past the first round, but the experience was eye-opening. As people waited to audition, they practiced in a large, open room, and he saw many magic acts. He realized that he needed to create an act that differentiated him from everyone else. He’s not sure when he’ll audition again but does hope to one day, and when he does, he’ll be ready to wow the judges.

“I didn’t put much thought into it,” he said about his first audition. “Next time, I’ll be more original.”

Volleyball Senior Named All American

Volleyball senior named All American

Senior Marissa Hornung has been named to the Under Armour First Team All American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. This places her as one of the top 24 volleyball players in the country. She will have the opportunity to play with and against those selected at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., on Friday, Dec. 15, in conjunction with the 2017 AVCA Convention. The game will be aired on the FloVolleyball channel.

Photo by Amy (Donner) Lorenz ’88

Marissa said she was shocked when she heard the news. She had been ranked No. 54 on the Senior Aces List by PrepVolleyball.com, was selected as the overall camp MVP at the 2017 Purdue Team Camp in the preseason, was selected to the Prep Volleyball Defensive Dandies First Team, was MaxPreps/AVCA Players of the Week for Indiana for the week of Aug. 21, was selected to the IHSVCA Coaches Association Class 4A First Team All-State and has been nominated for the second time for Gatorade Player of the Year, but she never thought she would be considered one of elite recruits in the country.

“I never expected to play in Kansas City and see other people placed on the list too,” she said. “It’s going to be a really good experience.”

Marissa said she is looking forward to the game because it will give her an idea of the faster pace of college volleyball – and as a Purdue recruit, playing with and against some of her future opponents at Nebraska, Michigan and Penn State.

She expects a number of changes once she starts playing in college, starting with her position. She has been an asset on the front row for the Providence varsity throughout her four years. By her senior year, she became the all-time dig leader at Providence with 1381 total career digs (a ball touched by blockers and then played by the defense), and the kill leader with 1556 in her career as a Pioneer, earning nearly 400 kills (point-scoring plays) this season alone. But at the college level, she anticipates moving to the back row because of her size. At 5-foot-seven-inches tall, she is at least five inches shorter than the shortest front-row college volleyball player.

What she doesn’t expect to change in college is one of the reasons she keeps playing volleyball – the friendships. Wherever she has played, from Union to Providence, she has made lifelong friends. She said she chose Purdue because it has the same sense of family that she has experienced at Providence.

Providence alumna Kathy Jewell ’94 is an assistant coach and has been a part of the coaching staff led by Coach Dave Shondell and his brother, John, for 14 years. That longevity helps her feel assured she will fit in with the players recruited by the Shondells. Another attraction to playing at Purdue is the program’s tradition of selling out every home game, so she can expect the same type of electric atmosphere she has experienced at Providence.

What she will miss is playing with her sisters, she said. Her first two years she played with older sister Jacquie ’16, who went on to play at IUPUI for one season and is now at Bellarmine. Playing with her was a chance to play with her idol, to learn from her and to talk with her about their ups and downs on the court. This year, she was the older sister to freshman Ali and she enjoyed “sitting back and watching her shine wearing that jersey.”

When Ali hurt her ankle in the semi-state loss to Avon, Marissa said that as her big sister, she wanted to break down but as the team captain she knew she had to motivate her teammates. So she put her feelings aside and worked to get the team’s mindset back on the game. Still, it was hard not playing her last game with Ali on the court with her.

“It definitely was not the way I wanted it to end, but I have no regrets because of how many games we did get to play this season,” Marissa said.

Marissa said that even though she won’t be playing with (or even against) one of her sisters, she is looking forward to playing in college because she gets to keep playing the game she loves. She started out as a softball player, and her travel team won the World Series one year. But as she began to play for Union Volleyball, she stopped playing softball. She played basketball some too and was on the PHS Girls Basketball team for two years. But volleyball soon became her focus.

Playing volleyball, especially on a team that won 2A and 3A state titles and nearly made it to the 4A state championship, has prepared her for life after high school. As an athlete, she said, she has learned to balance the demands of school, practice and homework – and made the Principal’s List along with sister Ali for the first quarter. She also has learned that to succeed, she must have an “inner passion” to achieve her goal.

But her decision to focus only on volleyball came easily when she realized “there never was a day that I thought, ‘I don’t want to go to volleyball,’” she said.

“I just enjoy playing so much,” Marissa said. “Maybe it’s the people I played with, but it also has to do with just the sport itself.”

Marissa is undecided about the major she intends to pursue at Purdue but anticipates it will be in the communications field.

Pioneering Spirit Brings Classmates Together

Pioneering Spirit brings classmates together

Charlie Jenkins’ 57 needed something to do in his retirement. His wife suggested he write the book he’d been talking about for years – the history of Providence Boys Basketball. He had a vivid memory of the program’s first two or three decades, first as a player and student and then as a sports announcer, and figured he could get the rest from former players and coaches. But he needed help in putting the research together in book form, so he turned to classmate Ray Day ’57, who had previously written and published a book, These Are the Good Old Days.

Charlie Jenkins ’57 and Ray Day ’57 present their book A Pioneering Spirit.

Together, the two put together A Pioneering Spirit, a comprehensive look at both the boys’ and the girls’ programs at Providence. The nearly 250-page softcover book contains 219 photos, essays by many of the former coaches, as many season stats as they could dig up, and much more. Thanks to Day’s expertise as Providence archivist and an amateur historian, the book goes beyond just a collection of news clips and yearbook photos.

“To a certain extent, it’s not a sports book, but it’s a history of Providence High School and the legacy of Providence High School,” Jenkins said. “It’s beneficial to the school with the info we gleaned and put together. They can use it for years to come.”

Day said his friends and former students may laugh at seeing his name on a sports book, especially since the success of the basketball season would delay his crew’s work on transforming the gym into the stage for the spring musicals he produced. But his expertise in chasing down facts was invaluable.

Day poured over 60 years of Providence yearbooks as well as every edition of the Pioneer Post and BluePrints school newspapers. He also scoured the neatly archived local newspaper clippings organized by Marilyn (Stemle) Jarboe ’56 from her years in the Providence Development and Advancement offices. He noted every stat, score and story mentioned.

Jenkins dug into borrowed scrapbooks, including one on Roger Howard ’55, the boys’ program’s first superstar. Those scrapbooks provided additional photos beyond those found in the archives. He also contacted every former coach he could find and invited them to share their memories, and most did.
Despite the wealth of information the duo found, they were still disappointed to be missing several facts and some team photos. Unfortunately, season records weren’t regularly recorded in the school’s yearbooks and newspapers. IHSAA records posted on its website helped with the last 25 years, but there are plenty of holes in the first 35 or so years, a disappointment to Day, who wanted to get every team represented acurately.

With players’ and coaches’ interviews, they located every past coach except Brent Roberts. And they found every team photo except the boys from 1975-1976. Some might not be the best quality, since a number were small photos in the yearbook to begin with, but they relied on the expertise of former art teacher Mary Ann Bowman (1976-1984) to edit the photos.

Finding records on the girls’ teams was particularly challenging, since coaches seemed to have taken their stats with them (or discarded them) when they left, Day said. Sometimes, one fact led to the uncovering of past facts, such as with the girls’ program leading scorers. Last year, Claire Rauck ’17 became the all-time leading scorer for both programs. She had surpassed the record posted by Sara Gavin ’03, and when researching that story, Day uncovered a mention of another 1,000-point scorer, Alanna Burke ’90, just three weeks from the book’s going to print.

“When we started tracking this stuff, we realized this book is going to outlive us,” Day said. “We see it as a statistical reference, so we wanted that stats to be as accurate as possible.”

Day is hoping that as the book gets into the hands of alumni, those holes will be filled in. He’s holding back a copy to use to correct any errors or update any missing information, so it will be at the school’s disposal.

Day and Jenkins give credit to Bowman and Jarboe for their help on the project. Bowman gave a reduced rate on formatting the book and editing the photos to make them print ready. Jarboe’s penchant for saving every newspaper clipping about Providence also saved Day hours poring over microfiche in the local library. And both were invaluable at spotting errors.

Day and Jenkins said they enjoyed the couple of years they spent working on the project. Jenkins said he particularly liked catching up with past coaches and players and appreciated their willingness to help. Day said he appreciated getting to work with his classmate.

“It was fun to work on this together,” Day said. “It has been a labor of love.”

Jenkins encourages all former players and alumni to buy the book. Once 450 copies are sold, the costs of formatting and printing the book will be covered. Profits will then be donated to Providence. So far, more than 100 copies have been sold.

Day and Jenkins will hold book signings at the first home games of the boys’ and the girls’ season, Dec. 1 for the girls, and Dec. 9 for the boys. They will try to have a table at most home games throughout the season as well. Books can also be purchased in the main office. Book sales $20 are by cash or check. The book can also be purchased on Amazon or signed copies can also be mailed by ordering here.

Students Represent PHS In Various Activities

Students represent PHS in various activities

Several of our students have represented Providence in different activities over the last month, including those featured below:

Regional program gives students taste of business world
Five students are participating in the Amazing Global Marketplace, a program pairing high school students with mentors from metro Louisville area businesses to encourage their future participation in international careers. The program includes attending regular lessons during BLUE Day sessions and meeting with a local business as a mentor. Last Wednesday, five students taking part in the program — seniors Shawn Fitzpatrick, Jarrett Rowe, Mirashaye Basa and Jack Wagner and junior Mary Short — attended a kickoff event at Bellarmine and took part in a “speed dating” type activity in which they met with each partner business and shared all they had learned about the business. At the end of the activity they learned they were partnered with Samtec, a manufacturing company located in New Albany.

Students participating in the Amazing Global Marketplace program are partnered with local business Samtec

This international business-focused educational program uses simulated international business scenarios. Seniors Ethan Furnish, Brady Gentry, and Casey McCubbins and junior Bryce Drury also are taking part. Participants learn about international travel, negotiation, procurement, management, communication, culture and currency exchange. Our students will learn about their mentor company, Samtec, through shadow opportunities and a tour of the headquarters. They also will research international markets in preparation for the culminating competition in the spring at Bellarmine, where they will be given a real world business problem and compete against other schools from the area.

Mary said she is taking part in the program because she is considering majoring in business in college. She liked the kickoff event because it gave her some insight into the business world. “I enjoyed learning how the real world works,” she said.

Shawn said he signed up because he plans to major in business and is glad for the opportunity to experience a business environment. He liked meeting with business professionals and talking about their companies, even if it was stressful to be prepared to talk to so many at the kickoff event.

“I hope to learn how the business world works and the processes that go into it,” he said. “I want to see if it’s the direction I want to take in life.”

Science students take part in research project

Matthew Reger, left, assists in a Falls of the Ohio research project over Fall Break

Earth/Space class students had an opportunity over fall break to take part in an in-depth study of the ancient flora and fauna at the Falls of the Ohio conducted by Dr. Kate Bulinski, an associate professor of environmental science at Bellarmine University. Juniors Matthew Reger and Jesse Zoeller each spent several hours helping Dr. Bulinski with her paleoecology study.

Matthew and Jesse examined the fossil bed for fossils of sponges and coral. They then determined the fossils’ location with a compass, measured each one and looked for any patterns. Matthew examined more than 100 shells in about three hours, and Jesse studied 50 sheets in about two hours. They said they liked being able to locate different types of fossils and consider their longevity.

“The fossils there were there longer than the dinosaurs,” Jesse said. “It was another fun experience to see how many different kinds of fossils we can find.”

Students portray Halloween characters at Louisville Zoo
Photos of some of our students dressed in Halloween costumes have been showing up on social media, not because they are getting a jump start on the holiday but because they are part of the cast for The World’s Largest Halloween Party at the Louisville Zoo. Each portrays a character in different scenes set up throughout the zoo. Senior Kaleb Dunn is Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid, senior Eli Lucas is Spiderman, and senior Mary Claire Natalie plays Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. They interact with children as they walk along the trail through the zoo, commenting on their costumes and posing for pictures.

Mary Claire and Eli said it’s fun when they encounter children dressed up like their characters. Mary Claire will remind them “There’s no place like home,” and Eli said he has fun pretending to sling webs with the fellow Spiderman-costumed characters.

“I like seeing all the little kids,” Mary Claire said. “They get really excited about it, and I feel good about myself because they’re excited to see me.”

Kaleb agrees. “It’s fun to interact with the kids and bring to life a character most of them already knew.”
The students also find they are learning many new characters as they see children dressed up in costumes they aren’t familiar with. They ask the rest of the cast if they know any characters they don’t know so that they can comment on them if they see more of those costumes. Getting to know so many students interested in theatre throughout the area is another bonus, they said, noting that they often ask the children on the route to pass messages to other characters as a way to interact with the children – and have fun with the cast.

“I like the work environment,” Eli said. “I get to work with a lot of experienced actors.”

Duo Serves Children In Need Over Fall Break

Duo serves children in need over Fall Break

Seniors Katie Baker, in back on left, and Natalie Gallegos work with residents of Orphan’s Heart in Guatemala over Fall Break.

Seniors Katie Baker and Natalie Gallegos traveled to an exotic location over Fall Break, but it wasn’t a vacation. The duo spent a week on a mission trip to San Juan, Guatemala, serving with the nonprofit organization Orphan’s Heart. This was their second mission trip to the center, and this time they took with them three pallets of baby items donated by students last month.

Katie and Natalie traveled with Natalie’s father, Roger, and a group from Orchard Hill Church in Michigan and spent their time reading Bible stories, doing crafts and playing outside with the children. Many of the children were new residents since their last visit, but a few were the same and did recognize them.

Orphan’s Heart operates a malnutrition center and a daycare at the site. Children suffering from malnutrition live at the center until their nutrition levels are restored. Their families receive assistance from the center in the form of a month’s worth of food, including rice, beans, powered milk and eggs. Katie and Natalie’s visit coincided with the week the goods were distributed, so they were able to witness the families interacting with their children.

Katie said she enjoyed working with the children, especially one she helped draw out of her shell. She also learned a lot from one of the leaders of the Orchard Hill group because she was a model of strong faith.

“It strengthens my faith when I go,” Katie said.

Natalie agrees.

“It puts a lot in perspective,” Natalie said. “Small things we don’t think about they think are wonderful.”
It also felt good, they said, to see how excited the staff was to hear about their donations. Because of the number of items, the donations will be brought to Guatemala with different groups of volunteers each week.

This trip, they worked with an intern at the center who not only helped them get to know the children better but also gave them an idea for a future visit. Natalie plans to major in psychology, and Katie plans to major in business with an emphasis on nonprofits, and they said they will each be able to serve as interns at the center in the future.

The girls were able to see some of the sites in the region. One day of the trip they traveled to Antigua, where they toured a coffee plant, visited churches and historical sites, and went to the market, where they especially enjoyed returning to a stall they had visited previously.

Fall Sports Teams Wrap Up Successful Seasons

Fall sports teams wrap up successful seasons

Boys Tennis seniors have record number of wins
By Coach Scott Gurgol

The 2017 Boys Tennis team ended its season ranked No. 26 in the state and No. 4 in District 8 with a 15-6 record as sectional runners-up. The doubles team of senior Adam Starr and junior Carson Carrico then represented Providence in the doubles sectional, ending the season with a 20-3 record.

In addition to Adam, the team graduates three seniors: Nick Boesing, Cullen Ebert and Michael Coyle. These seniors earned 57 wins throughout their Providence career, setting a record for most wins in a four-year span. Next season, the team will look to Carson and fellow juniors Aaron Agtuca and Harry Green plus sophomore Jack Arnson for leadership.

Highlights of the season include wins over Silver Creek and New Albany, continuing the team’s win streak over these teams – six years in a row over Silver Creek and four years consecutively over New Albany. The team also beat several ranked teams, including No. 30 Franklin Community, No. 28 Evansville Memorial, and No. 14 Bloomington North. One of its best tournament wins was earning first place in the Columbus East Invitational.

Cross Country runners advance in postseason
By Coach Neal Masterson

The 2017-2018 boys’ and girls’ Cross Country teams had many highs and lows this season. Some races were good, and some weren’t so good. Each day was an opportunity to learn, run faster and run smarter. This is clearly evident with every runner having run a personal all-time best at some point during the season.

The boys’ team stayed consistent in its pursuit in rebounding from the prior year’s team that had three of its top seven runners graduate (and two run in college). Everyone was up for the challenge as no one person held his same position on the team all season long from week to week. The season concluded with a sixth place team finish at sectionals. Three boys (juniors Thomas Gaines and Tyler Upton and sophomore Alex Perkinson) did qualify for regionals the following week. This was an improvement from the prior year when just one boy advanced. The future looks promising as we do return six of our top seven runners next year.

On the girls’ side, having such a small roster made things kind of difficult for our two girls to train. This still didn’t stop them from practicing hard every day and working to improve themselves each race. Sophomore Natalie Boesing saw success, winning two races and a runner-up finish in another. Senior Emma Flispart saw two top 25 finishes at the Clarksville Hokum-Karem and the Providence Invitational. Natalie concluded her season with her second consecutive trip to the Brown County Semi-State. She recorded a time within range of the school record and eight individual spots from qualifying for the state meet. The girls’ outlook is promising as we have some talented incoming freshmen and possible first-time runners looking to give the sport a try next year.

Girls Soccer wins 10th sectional crown
By Coach Dave Smith

Girls Soccer finished its season with a record of 13-6-1. Season highlights included victories over Jeffersonville, New Albany and Christian Academy of Louisville. The 2017 campaign marked the program’s 18th consecutive winning season and 10th sectional championship (six in the highest IHSAA classification at the time and four in the 1A division).

Eleven seniors saw their careers come to a conclusion, having posted a combined record of 54 wins, 16 losses and 8 ties. Senior Olivia Dome and sophomore Lauren Lindquist each scored seven goals on the season, while sophomore Avery Stumler tallied six. Lauren led the team with five assists.

The defense, led by seniors Hannah Hanlon, Skylar Richey, Sierra Brooks and Bailey Brown along with junior Jacqueline Scott and sophomore goalkeeper Brigid Welch, posted a total of 10 shutouts while surrendering only 17 goals on the season (0.85 per game).

Olivia Dome was named Indiana Coaches of Girls’ Sports Association Academic All-State. Senior Bailey Barron, Bailey Brown, Sierra, Hannah and Skylar were awarded Honorable Mention Academic All-State.

Boys Soccer repeats regional title
By Coach Nathan Marshall ‘09

The 2017 Boys Soccer team finished the season with a record of 12-7-3 and exited the state tournament at semi-state. The season started slow, mixing in a group of returning and new players to the squad. The team faced a tough schedule, playing 10 ranked teams in their respective classes and saw much improvement through the season, going 10-3-2 over the last 15 games of the season, including wins over local rivals New Albany and Jeffersonville.

The program graduates nine seniors, including team captain and four-year varsity letter-winner Michael Gill. There will be some slots to fill next season but getting a couple key players back from injury and returning the majority of the midfield and forwards make the future bright. Juniors Austin Hughes and Isaac Coker were also co-captains this year and look to have a big senior season. The team was led in goals by freshman forward Luke Hesse, playing opposite to his brother, senior center back Shane Hesse. Austin was voted to the District 4 Second Team. Four players earned Academic All-State honors: Michael and juniors Sam Kruer, Joe Gryboski, and Austin.

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