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Teachers find new ways to help others through art

For teachers involved with extracurricular activities, Extended eLearning has left a void. Art teachers Mrs. Donna Burden and Ms. Stephanie LeBrun have found ways to keep not only their students focused on art but others in the community as well by teaching virtual classes for the Arts Alliance of Southern Indiana. They also are coordinating the Virtual Deanery Fine Arts Fair and helped out a young-alumni-run budding business venture by painting the logo on their building.

Mrs. Donna Burden

For the Art Alliance, Mrs. Burden has classes on assemblage art, rock art, and gnome homes while Ms. LeBrun taught a class on nature art. Mrs. Burden was one of the

Ms. Stephanie LeBrun

featured artists on a segment on WDRB in the Morning recently to promote the art group’s virtual classes.

Mrs. Burden said art is a good way to de-stress anytime, even for those who don’t consider themselves talented at art. She has kept up with her routine of making art daily, and it has helped her deal with the stress of adjusting to eLearning and staying home long term.

Ms. LeBrun agrees that art is a good way to let off steam.

“Art is a great way to take your mind off of worries you might be having and can ease your mind,” Ms. LeBrun said. “You can use it to help with self-expression or just to get away from everyday stress.”

Mrs. Burden said she especially misses in-person interaction and the back-and-forth of working with students as they create. A big help has been her daughter, Eva, who has become a “built-in student.” Some of the projects are just for fun, while others became videos for the Arts Alliance’s classes. 

Having Eva to teach and work with also has helped Mrs. Burden as she misses her students while offering a secondary benefit to those watching her virtual classes. 

“We have been having fun making these videos together, and that provides the much-needed interaction that I need with my (students),” Mrs. Burden said.  “I think this is helpful for the viewers at home. The parents watching can make these pieces with their kiddos and see that interaction and see how the process evolves.”

Taking art fair virtual

Mrs. Burden also knew Deanery students would miss not having their art in the Deanery Fine Arts Fair in May, so she and Mrs. LeBrun worked on a plan to make it virtual. Students can submit art through Sunday, May 3, at 8 p.m., and local artists will judge their works. Additionally, there will be a popular vote category via Facebook. 

“Kids have lost so much this spring; everyone has,” Mrs. Burden said. “It seemed like everything was getting cancelled left and right. This Virtual Fine Arts Fair is giving us the ability to showcase our student work through all of this.  Right now, I think we feel a bit isolated, so this will be key for kids to see their friends’ artworks, and feel tied to their community despite being at home.”

Painting for alumni business

Mrs. Burden and Ms. LeBrun also were able to work together while staying socially distanced on an art project to help some of Mrs. Burden’s former students, Zack Flanagan ‘14 and Aaron Flanagan ‘16. Zack and his business partner had been planning to turn their charcuterie catering business Board and You into a wine and bistro bar with a mid-May opening date. (Aaron will be the executive chef at the restaurant, and sister Megan ‘19 has been delivering catering orders.) Earlier this year at the Providence Gala, Mrs. Burden and Zack came up with a plan for her to paint the electrical box outside the restaurant, in the style of the local student art project that has painted those boxes throughout the area. 

With the stay-at-home order starting as spring break started, the plan evolved to painting the business logo as a mural on the side of the building. Mrs. Burden then drew Ms. LeBrun into the project because of her experience with murals. 

Ms. LeBrun said she was happy to help but even she hadn’t done a project to the scale of the logo mural. It meant using Photoshop to get the logo to scale, and once Zack approved it, multiple sessions to complete it. Painting while staying distant was challenging, but the two managed it.

“We wore masks and sort of danced around each other when we painted, carefully avoiding staying near each other too long,” Mrs. Burden said. “She would be on the ladder while I was down below, or vice versa.”

After weeks of working on the project in the late afternoon and on weekends, the logo is finished, and the next step is sealing it. When working closely will no longer be an issue, the pair plan to paint a wine-and-cheese scene on the electrical box. 

For Mrs. Burden, helping on the project was gratifying knowing she could have a small part in a dream Zack shared with her in her classroom more than six years ago.

“It’s been really exciting to see Zack in this new venture with his brother, Aaron,” Mrs. Burden said. “I can remember Zack in high school telling me about his future plans, and how he was going to save up, go to business school, and start his own restaurant after college.  He’s so young, and he’s doing it! … I’m really excited to be able to have been a part of this for them, and know that my former art students are going on to such heights. It makes me really proud as a teacher to see my kiddos becoming such amazing adults and business people.”

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OLPH principal raises funds, awareness with 24-hour marathon

Steve Beyl ’99 continues to do creative and fun things to lead Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in his second year as principal. Last week, he ran a 24-hour “marathon” to raise money to support Catholic education. The idea came to run a mile at a time over a day as a way to promote the SGO Tax Credit Scholarship Fund while he was running for his daily exercise in his neighborhood. 

He said he was dissatisfied with how well he had gotten out the message of the SGO program and its benefit to students in Catholic schools during his time as principal as well as the public’s understanding of the program. With the pandemic affecting the economy, he knew more families would be in need of these Tax Credit Scholarships. He came up with the idea to run one mile at a time each hour over a 24-hour period to bring attention to the cause. He had never run a long-distance race before and knew a true marathon would not be doable, but breaking it down in manageable chunks would also help to draw attention to his cause.

“There is no way I could run a ‘real’ marathon of 26.2 miles straight, but I thought this was possible — and the 24-hour time period without sleep would be a challenge,” Beyl said. 

Source: Our Lady of Perpetual Help School Facebook page

His hope was to raise $2,000, but his primary goal was to increase awareness and understanding of the program. Donations to the program offer a tax credit to the donor and an opportunity for students in financial need to receive a scholarship to attend a non-public school like OLPH. 

“That was honestly my number-one goal, but of course, we actually wanted to raise some funds while we were at it,” he said. “I think we all know that during this uncertain time we are going to have to help not only potential new families, but current families as well. The funds in this account can make the difference on a child enrolling in our school.”

He started his run last Thursday night at 8:00 with a 3.2-mile run. He then rested until the next hour when he ran another mile. He posted his progress on social media, drawing attention virtually and in person as well.

From midnight to 8 a.m., he was joined by three others who ran and rested with him at a distance — OLPH third grade teacher and PHS assistant golf coach Pat McGuire and former PHS coworkers Brad Burden (Spanish teacher and Girls Basketball coach) and Bart Makowsky ’87 (theology teacher). 

“Having their company as we all sat far away to keep our distance in those overnight hours was so helpful,” Beyl said.

The biggest help was yet to come. 

Source: Our Lady of Perpetual Help School Facebook page

“Once daybreak came, families and students just kept showing up outside my house and along the running route,” Beyl said. “I couldn’t believe it. On the final run, the entire route was filled with students, teachers, and staff from Our Lady. It was an amazing feeling to run and see so many familiar faces who cared enough to be there for the end of the 24-hour marathon.”

His marathon raised more than $8,100 in donations to the SGO program and the awareness he wanted. It’s just one of many ways Beyl has been creative in keeping his students connected during the extended eLearning period. Beyl or one of his teachers hosts a Facebook Live event every evening, telling stories or playing trivia games. In-person morale boosters, like the families who cheered on his last mile, are important too, with teachers doing drive-by parades and yard visits to students, who do their schoolwork on their own or school-loaned Chromebooks.

“I can’t say enough about how hard they have worked to maintain those personal connections,” Beyl said. “I’m blessed and lucky to have such an outstanding staff.”

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Sports Spotlight: Girls Tennis, Softball, Boys Golf

Our Sports Spotlight this issue recognizes the senior student-athletes in Girls Tennis, Boys Golf, and Softball whose final spring sports season was canceled. Individual postings for each student-athlete will begin tomorrow.

Girls Tennis, which would have been vying for a fifth straight sectional and fifth straight regional, tying the sectional win streak of 2005-2009, has two seniors. Natalie Boesing and Maria Popson were part of both state qualifer teams — 2017 state runner-up and 2018 state quarterfinalist:

Natalie Boesing, No. 1 singles and a favorite to make First Team All-State and to qualify for her fourth trip to the state finals (4th season). Committed to play women’s tennis at Butler University fall 2020. House of Integrity, National Honor Society, Student Ambassador, Eucharistic Minister, and Spanish Club. Girls Basketball (4 seasons), Cross Country (4), Track (first)

Question: What did you like about playing tennis?
Answer: Playing tennis, but getting to do so with a team instead of on my own.

Q: How did you get started in PHS Girls Tennis?
A: I started tennis from a very early age. I can remember growing up and going to matches when I was younger. I was always so excited to be a part of the team one day.

Q: What do you like about playing No. 1 singles?
A: I like playing singles because I like feeling the pressure of it all being on me to pull out a win.

Q: What are you doing to stay in shape?
A: I’m running and playing tennis.

Q: What’s your favorite “quarantine” activity?
A: I have recently started fishing, which is something I’d never thought that I would like to do.

Q: How do you stay connected to friends?
A: I Facetime or text all my friends. I want to start writing letters to them, kind of like a quarantine pen pal.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: Spanish or Environmental Science

Q: What do you like about having class online?
A: Online class goes by a lot faster than actual school.

Q: What is the best part of being a Providence senior?
A: The best part about being a Providence senior could never be answered fully on this little question sheet. Providence is hands down the best high school around. The love and support each and every staff member shows for their students is unlike any other institution. I am so extremely blessed to have called PHS my home for 3 and 3/4 years. I formed such an amazing relationship with all my coaches and teachers. I will miss seeing them every day at school.

 

Maria Popson, No. 1 doubles and a favorite to earn All-District honors in doubles. House of Integrity executive delegate (4th season), Pro-Life Club president, National Honors Society president, Pinterest Club, Student Ambassador, theater, lector, and Eucharistic minister. Girls Soccer (4), Girls Basketball, and Bowling

Question: What did you like about playing tennis?
Answer: What I like about PHS Girls Tennis is the great culture and group of girls. Several of them I’ve know since playing with them on the middle school tennis team for Southern Indiana Catholic. Through that team and now the Providence team, we’ve gotten to know each other well. There are also several teammates I’ve only known for a year or two, but even in that relatively short period, I’ve gotten to know them as well. The whole team is very unified despite the diverse makeup, and we all have a lot of fun together, particularly before and after practices/matches.

Q: How did you get started in PHS Girls Tennis?
A: I started playing tennis when my sister Heidi (’18) and I joined the SIC middle school team. My interest to play in high school was piqued around that time. My brothers, Brenden (’12) and Benjamin (’16), played tennis at PHS throughout my grade school years (2008-2015). I was almost always at their matches in the fall, so through that experience, I got excited for the day when I’d get to play tennis for Providence someday. That excitement only multiplied when I saw Heidi play for the Girls Team starting in 2015 because I knew that in only two more years I’d be able to join her and some of my former teammates at the high school level.

Q: What do you like about playing No. 1 doubles?
A: For the PHS Girls Tennis team, I’ve played a variety of positions. For singles, I like the different patterns and strategies I can apply throughout the length of a match. For doubles, I like the more aggressive nature of gameplay and having a partner by my side.

Q: What are you doing to stay in shape?
A: I’ve been playing tennis, playing Just Dance, going on extensive walks, and doing spontaneous workouts with my siblings during quarantine to stay in shape.

Q: What’s your favorite “quarantine” activity?
A: My favorite quarantine activity is playing different games and sports with my brothers outside.

Q: How do you stay connected to friends?
A: Over quarantine I’ve stayed connected to my friends through a group FaceTime app.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: My favorite subject is math because it is a very logical subject, so I understand it better than any other subject. Also, math is widely applied in various other subjects that I enjoy such as chemistry or physics. Ultimately, math is my favorite school subject because of Mr. Book’s class pet, Stu Jr.

Q: What do you like about having class online?
A: When I get finished with class, I can go outside.

Q: What is the best part of being a Pioneer?
A: The best part about being a Pioneer is the community. The Providence community is very much a family, and it is full of excitement in every direction. As a Pioneer, there are so many spiritual, academic, athletic, and artistic opportunities available. You can be involved as much or as little as you want. I’m grateful to be apart of the Providence community for these reasons.

Q: Do you plan to continue in tennis in college?
A: With family or possibly joining a club team at U of L.

Boys Golf would have been anchored by juniors Carson Heldman, Dru Juliot, and Victor Beeler, and sophomore Jack Kaiser and led by senior captain Andrew Henderson 

Andrew Henderson (4th season – 2nd at varsity). Football (4) and Bowling (1). House of Faith executive delegate, National Honor Society, Honor Council, Student Ambassador, Green Dot Club, Pro-Life Club.  Plans to participate in a club sport or varsity sport in college.

Question: What do you like about playing golf?
Answer: I like that golf is both an individual and team sport. You can control your own outcome with the amount of effort you put in, but you also have a team to compete and work with.

Q: How did you get started in PHS Boys Golf?
A: I started golf freshman year to challenge myself in a new sport I knew I could play for the rest of my life.

Q: What are you doing to stay in shape?
A: I work out here at home and stay in contact with friends to motivate and challenge each other physically while in quarantine.

Q: What’s your favorite “quarantine” activity?
A: My favorite “quarantine” activity is going on walks in the neighborhood.

Q: How do you stay connected with friends?
A: I use social media as well as different FaceTime apps to try and stay connected with friends.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: Chemistry.

Q: What do you like about having class online?
A: I like the opportunity to spend more time with family while taking classes online.

Q: What is the best part of being a Pioneer?
A: The best part of being a Pioneer is the amazing support and love from the community. The relationships and unforgettable memories I have made these past four years as a Pioneer will be with me for the rest of my life.

The Softball team has six seniors and was on track for a winning season and competitive sectional.

Elyse Kristiansen, outfield (4th season). Girls Basketball (1), Volleyball (2). House of Truth senior executive delegate, National Honor Society vice president, Pro-Life Club co-president, Green Dot, Student Ambassador, SEAC. Hopes to play intramural sports in college.

Question: What do you like about playing softball?
Answer: I love playing alongside some of my best friends. It is always a good time when I am on the field with them.

Q: How did you get started in PHS softball?
A: I started playing softball my freshman year. Some of my basketball teammates played, and they convinced me to play with them. 

Q: What do you like about playing outfield?
A: I can see everything that is going on in the field. I feel like it gives me an advantage, and I can really help my teammates out during plays. 

Q: What are you doing to stay in shape?
A: I have been doing a lot of workouts at home, and I enjoy taking a lot of walks throughout my neighborhood. 

Q: What’s your favorite “quarantine” activity?
A: My favorite quarantine activity right now is to watch Netflix. There are a lot of shows that I have been wanting to watch but haven’t had the time to with school and practice.

Q: How do you stay connected with friends?
A: We have been texting a lot in our group chat and we have group FaceTime calls, which allows us to catch up with each other. We miss each other so much!

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: AP Government and Politics. I love learning about government and social studies. And Mrs. Harritt is my all-time favorite teacher. She makes the content and classes so much fun and so easy to learn!

Q: What do you like about having class online?
A: I like that I have the freedom to focus on areas of school that I need more help on, whereas in a classroom we may move through the information at a quicker pace. 

Q: What is the best part of being a Pioneer?
A: We truly are one big family. I know that no matter what I am going through or where I go in life, my Providence family will always have my back and will always be supporting me.

 

Kennedy Allender, infield (3). Girls Golf (4). House of Faith and Green Dot.

Question: What do you like about playing softball?
Answer: What I like about playing softball is the unexpected. You never know if the ball is coming at you or not.

Q: How did you get started in PHS softball?
A: I started softball because my friends wanted me to play with them, and I thought it would be a fun experience.

Q: What do you like about playing infield?
A: What I like about third base is the speed of the ball coming at you and the excitement of it.

Q: What are you doing to stay in shape?
A: I’m going on a lot of walks and helping my dad outside with lots of things.

Q: What’s your favorite “quarantine” activity?
A: Anything outside. 

Q: How do you stay connected with friends?
A: I’m staying connected with friends by texting them and FaceTime on occasion.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: Science because I love how many different areas of science there are to learn about.

Q: What do you like about having class online?
A: I don’t have to wear a uniform.

Q: What is the best part of being a Pioneer?
A: My favorite part about being a Pioneer is the feeling of having a family to go to. 

 

Kasey Lockard, infield (3rd season). Volleyball (2) and Girls Golf. House of Humility.

Question: What do you like about playing softball?
Answer: I love the team sport aspect. I know that my teammates will always be there for me and pick me up when I need it, and I’ll do the same for them.

Q: How did you get started in PHS softball?
A: I started playing softball my sophomore year because I had just quit Volleyball and I wanted to play another sport. So one of my fellow seniors, Elle, help convinced me to play, and I don’t regret it.

Q: What do you like about playing first base?
A: I like how the ball will always get thrown to me and that my teammates rely on me to make the catch to get the out.

Q: What are you doing to stay in shape?
A: Right now, I’m doing some at home workouts and taking a lot of walks with my family and dogs to stay in shape.

Q: What’s your favorite “quarantine” activity?
A: Watching Netflix. I have watched and finished at least 3 shows already during this quarantine.

Q: How do you stay connected with friends?
A: FaceTime and social media. We make an effort to always try to at least talk to each other once a day.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: Government. I am currently in AP Gov, and I love it! I am very interested in politics and I find all of the material very interesting.

Q: What do you like about having class online?
A: My favorite thing about having class online is not having to put on our uniforms and sleeping in.

Q: What is the best part of being a Pioneer?
A: The best part about being a Pioneer is the family at Providence. I know I will always have a special place here and that means a lot to me. Being a Pioneer has truly made me a better person.

 

Claire Culwell, outfield (3rd season). Girls Dive (2), Volleyball (2), Girls Soccer (2), Bowling (2), and Track (1). House of Justice and Pinterest Club (with my fave teacher Mrs. Mauk!)

Question: What do you like about playing softball
Answer: Spending time with my friends and coaches

Q: How did you get started in PHS Softball?
A: I used to play as a kid, and my friends and I wanted to play for fun.

Q: What do you like about playing second base?
A: It gets a lot of action, so I never get bored out there.

Q: What are you doing to stay in shape?
A: I take long cathartic walks.

Q: What’s your favorite “quarantine” activity?
A: Reading

Q: How do you stay connected to friends?
A: FaceTime, Snapchat

Q: What is your favorite school subject and why?
A: I like Psychology because I find it interesting.

Q: What do you like about having class online?
A: It’s more freedom than being in a classroom.

Q: What is the best part of being a Pioneer
A: The family-like community.

 

Shelby Wright, infield (2nd season). House of Courage senior executive delegate, Math Team, and National Honor Society.

Question: What do you like about playing softball?
Answer: I love the overall environment Softball offers. The team and coaches always make it worthwhile.

Q: How did you get started in PHS Softball
A: I started Softball my junior year after Laramie Cecil convinced me to play.

Q: What do you like about playing first base?
A: Because my favorite part of softball is catching the ball.

Q: What are you doing to stay in shape?
A: Biking around my neighborhood.

Q: What’s your favorite “quarantine” activity?
A: Watching YouTube.

Q: How do you stay connected to friends?
A: Texting and Snapchat.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: I love English because of how the answer is never one set thing. The answer can vary depending on the person, and I think that is a lot more interesting than one exact answer.

Q: What do you like about having class online?
A: I like being able to go at my own pace and work in the comfort of my home.

Q: What is the best part of being a Pioneer?
A: The best part of being a Pioneer is the community that comes with it. We are a very close-knit community, and I know I’ve built relationships that will last a lifetime.

 

Elle O’Bannon, catcher (4th season). Bowling (2), Girls Golf (2). House of Loyalty senior executive delegate, Student Ambassador, Pinterest Club president, Book Club, Quick Recall, Spanish Club, Star Wars Club. Outside of school: CYO volleyball, American Red Cross volunteer and donor, and Floyd County Superior Court 3 summer intern (would be second summer).

Question: What do you like about playing softball?
Answer: I love the intensity and camaraderie of softball.

Q: How did you get started in PHS Softball?
A: I started softball my freshman year because I wanted to try something new.

Q: What do you like about playing catcher?
A: I love being behind the plate. Catchers get to see the entire field. I love that, it’s the best view in the place.

Q: What are you doing to stay in shape?
A: I’m hiking right now to stay in shape, and I’m also hitting off a tee in my neighborhood tennis court.

Q: What’s your favorite “quarantine” activity?
A: Redecorating my room.

Q: How do you stay connected to friends?
A:I Snapchat my friends to stay in touch.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
A: My favorite school subject is AP Government because Mrs. Harritt is an awesome teacher, I love SCOTUS cases, and I love learning about how the government works.

Q: What do you like about having class online?
A: I hate that I don’t get to be in class with my friends, but I love that everyone is understanding about our struggles.

Q: What is the best part of being a Pioneer?
A: The best part about being a Pioneer is knowing pretty much everyone.

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Teachers deliver items for at-home lessons, lab

When school is in session, Mrs. Laura Swessel makes sure her assigned physics labs have the necessary supplies on hand for students to complete the experiments. When she prepared for the labs virtually, she adapted some labs for items students would readily have at home. But the Coulomb’s Law lab couldn’t really be adapted. Students needed two feet of yarn or string and two balloons. They weren’t expensive items, but for students without them on hand, that meant a trip to the store. So Mrs. Swessel decided to hand deliver the items to make sure they arrived on time, leaving them outside their homes for students to be prepared for the labs.

Coulomb’s Law states that the force between two charges is directly proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the charges. The lab calls for the balloons to be inflated and rubbed on the student’s hair to demonstrate the charge.

Senior Nolan Banet said the hand-delivered supplies were unexpected.

“She also wrote me a letter saying she was thinking of me and that I can always email her for help,” Nolan said in an email. “When she delivered this to me, I was very surprised and appreciative of her for going out of her way to provide me with the items because I thought I had them at home but I didn’t. It was especially nice of her to think ahead and personally deliver them because I did not tell her whether I had them or not.

Junior Sean Wetzel also appreciated having the supplies delivered. Doing a lab at home meant finding space for it, “but I found it to be pretty manageable,” he wrote in an email.

Ms. Stephanie LeBrun knew it was unlikely the 27 students in her Painting class would have the supplies they needed to do assignments for the rest of the semester, “including acrylics, brushes, paper, and a large canvas for their final project and some unfinished projects to complete,” she wrote in an email. She also knew her students, especially the seniors, would want any finished work still in her art studio, so she included those items too.

Ms. LeBrun said the deliveries will “make e-learning easier on both students and myself” and also gave her a chance to greet her students from a distance and was “a nice chance to see the seniors one last time.”

Senior Kyle Wisdom, who has taken art classes for three years, said in an email that he was glad to have the supplies so he could do his assignments. Completing assignments via eLearning is manageable because he takes a photo of his finished work and uploads it to Google Classroom. But he is most grateful to have his previously completed artwork.

“It meant so much to me that she delivered the completed artwork,” Kyle said. “That way we will have the work to cherish forever to show how much we have learned in art class at PHS.”

 

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New PHS Football coach named

Daniel McDonald, formerly the defensive coordinator for Louisville Male High School, is the new Providence Football head coach. In his three seasons as defensive coordinator at Male, the team was No. 2 in scoring defense in KHSAA 6A football in 2017 and 2018, the KHSAA 6A state champion in 2018, and the KHSAA 6A state runner-up in 2019.

Previously, he was defensive line coach for Male for one season, offensive coordinator for Louisville Seneca High School for three seasons, and head coach at Louisville Waggener High School for one season in 2012-2013.

Coach McDonald has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Indiana University Southeast, where he was the captain of the men’s baseball team, an NAIA Academic All-American, a Gold Glove winner, and a member of the IUS Athletics Hall of Fame. He has taught eighth grade language arts for three years at Louisville Newburg Middle School.

Coach McDonald said he is looking forward to beginning to work with the team and becoming part of the Pioneer community once school is able to resume and IHSAA guidance allows a return to contact with athletes. He has already started working virtually with the team to get to know the players and challenge them to stay in shape, as expressed in this WDRB interview

“I am absolutely honored to be a part of the Providence football tradition and to have the opportunity to grow that tradition,” Coach McDonald said. “We’re going to bring a new energy, enthusiasm, and relentless effort.”

Coach McDonald also eagerly anticipates supporting and working with Catalyst Catholic youth football staff in the New Albany Deanery to assist in building that program as well.

Mr. Mickey Golembeski, Providence athletic director, said he anticipates Coach McDonald bringing a talented skill set to the football program.

“We are very excited to have Coach McDonald as our new head football coach,” Golembeski said. “He brings to us a very strong knowledge of the game and the enthusiasm and experience to build on the storied success of Providence football. We’re looking forward to him getting started.”

Coach McDonald is a native of Louisville and a graduate of Waggener. He and his wife, Courtney, who is a native of Madison, Ind., have two sons, Landon, 6, and Cruz, 4. The family attends St. Athanasius Parish in Louisville.

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Boys Basketball has breakout season under new coach

By Coach Ryan Miller ’99

The Pioneers truly had a great 2019-2020 basketball season full of learning and new first steps for the program – players and coaches alike. The learning began over the summer in a parking lot basketball court in Bloomington outside of Assembly Hall and carried on into the fall, where the players worked hard on the court, in the weight room, and even on the playgrounds shoveling mulch (“Get Off Me Mulch!”) – all to prepare for the season ahead. The focus from the beginning was simple: Attitude & Effort. Thanks to good player leadership this was established, laying the foundation for the upcoming season.

This season began with some exciting, close victories – including several games determined in the final seconds. The Pioneers were fortunate to get several big wins over the course of the season which would propel the team forward and grow their belief. Just as important were the tough losses to high level competition which served as learning tools and set the stage for essential improvement and growth. In fact, one of the most memorable and valuable games of the season was a loss on Senior Night and Deanery Night in front of a packed Larkin Center.

The boys were able to witness the support of their Providence and Deanery community in full display on that special night – and the sting of that loss would ignite their desire to do more and seek to realize greatness. Ultimately, they would, as the ‘19-‘20 season and journey reached its culmination in a sectional championship title. In what turned out to be the final game of the season, the Pioneers played a complete game and their best team basketball of the season. It was a moment they had unsuspectingly been building towards ever since those initial summer days on the outdoor court.

The varsity team went 18-7 capturing the ninth sectional title in program history. The JV team had a great season under Coach Carruthers and Coach Ryan Pickerrell ’13 going 18-4, as did the freshman team under Coach Kevin Ferree ’95, going 11-4. The Pioneer Academy and Deanery teams showed good promise this season as well – their efforts were appreciated.

The Pioneer coaching staff could not have been more proud of this team for how they grew and what they accomplished. They discovered that great things can happen when you combine a collective energy with enthusiasm, selflessness, and togetherness. They were not only successful on the floor, but they were also successful as teammates, classmates, and community members this season. The graduating seniors are managers Olivia McCurdy, Angela Quintero, and Ashley Miller and players Sterling “Ster – the Storm” Huber, Alec “Foug – the Stopper” Fougerousse, Austin “AG – Rip it & Chin it” Grantz, Austin “And 1, Get Off Me” Barnett, and of course, Bryce “The MVP” Hutchins. We are thankful for each of them and their families for being true, great Pioneers. They blazed a trail and left their mark!

Go Big Blue!

Coaches Miller, Stemler, Block, Denman, CC, Pick, Koetter, Ferree, KM, & Cobble

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March Scholars excel in variety of subjects

Earlier this month, we honored students who excel in social studies, Health/Freshman Focus, theatre, and physical education. These 12 students include freshman Dylan Boggs, sophomore Tyler Brogdon, junior Nathan Striby, and senior Donte Davis in P.E.; freshman Jacob Schonard in Health/Freshman Focus; sophomore Zach Van Wie, junior Allen Kruer, and senior Mike Morra; and freshman Avery Johnson, sophomore Penny Trinkle, junior Mara Holifield, and senior Dylan Payne. Click Read More for a Q&A with these March Scholars:

Social Studies

Zachary Van Wie, sophomore, Humility. Quick Recall, Math Team, and Boys Basketball

Question: What do you like about social studies?
Answer: I enjoy social studies because I like to learn about history and about how our country came to be. 

Q: What is your favorite social studies class?
A: AP U.S. History (APUSH) has been my favorite history class that I have ever taken because it is much more in depth than all of the other history classes I have taken. 

Q: What has been your favorite social studies lesson?
A: My favorite part of APUSH so far has been learning about the Civil War. 

Allen Kruer, junior, Truth, Student Ambassador, Math Team, Quick Recall, CYO basketball for OLPH, Pro-Life Club

Question: What do you like about social studies?
Answer: I like learning about history, and I find learning about the past very interesting. Learning how the world works and seeing all the interactions between countries across the world is also very intriguing.

Q: What is your favorite social studies class?
A: My favorite social studies is AP U.S. History because I find it fascinating to learn about our country’s past. It is interesting to see how the country is run and how it has been run in the past.

Q: What has been your favorite social studies project?
A: My favorite project in a social studies class is the final project completed in AP U.S. History. It was about a certain decade, and we were allowed to dress up, sing songs, and dance dances from the decade.

Michael Morra, senior, Truth, Boys Soccer, Bowling Team, National Honor Society

Question: What do you like about social studies? 
Answer: I like social studies because it teaches us about the outside world and what is occurring in it, both in the past and the present. I’ve always liked history so it makes sense social studies is an enjoyable subject for me.

Q: What is your favorite social studies class?
A: My favorite social studies class is AP Government because it has informed me about an essential part of our country that I didn’t know a whole lot about before. I feel like it makes me a better citizen and allows me to make more informed choices as I begin to enter the adult world.

Q: What has been your favorite social studies activity?
A: My favorite social studies project was an AP Government worksheet called “Bureaucracy of Pizza,” which demonstrated how much the government regulates the food industry. It had us take each ingredient of a regular pizza and describe how it was regulated, which made me realize just how much government involvement there can be without us realizing it.

Physical Education

Dylan Boggs, freshman, Courage, Boys soccer 

Question: What do you like about P.E.?
Answer: In P.E., I like that we play multiple games, not just one. I also like how it is a break from normal class.

Q: What is your favorite P.E. activity?
A: My favorite thing to do in P.E. is either ultimate frisbee or indoor soccer.

 

Tyler Brogdon, sophomore, Justice, Football, and Track.

Question: What do you like about P.E.?
Answer: I like P.E. because it helps me with my extracurricular activities. 

Q: What is your favorite P.E.class?
A: My favorite P.E. class is Weightlifting because it helps with my speed and strength.

Q: What has been your favorite P.E. activity?
A: My favorite P.E. activity is max outs because it shows the hard work I’ve put in to lift that much weight. 

Nathan Striby, junior, Faith, Football, and Track.

Question: What do you like about P.E.?
Answer: What I enjoy about P.E. is the inspiring attitude of everyone who is involved within the class.

Q: What is your favorite P.E.subject?
A: My favorite P.E.subject is the advanced class because each day it is a new experience and keeps me healthy. 

Q: What has been your favorite P.E. activity?
A: My favorite P.E.activity we have done is dodgeball. This is because not only does everybody get to be involved at the same time, but each round continues to become even more challenging than the last.

Donte Davis, senior, co-senior executive delegate of Faith, Football

Question: What do you like about P.E.?
Answer: What I like about P.E. is the competitive attitude and spirit that everyone brings to each class. It makes every game way more fun to play and also allows for me to stay active.

Q: What is your favorite P.E.class?
A: My favorite P.E. class is Advanced P.E. because everyone who takes it has a great attitude, and we do a lot of activities that push you to drive yourself harder. Another reason I love the class is because my little brother is in it, and it’s always fun to tease him a little bit.

Q: What has been your favorite P.E. activity?
A: My favorite P.E. activity is dodgeball because no matter who is on your team, there is no guaranteed win, and there is the opportunity to clash heads with some of my classmates.

Health/Freshman Focus

Jacob Schonard, freshman, Loyalty, Children’s Show, Spring Musical

Question: What do you like about Health and Freshman Focus?
Answer: In Health/Freshman Focus, I enjoy being able to learn about myself and how to improve upon myself. The class teaches me how to be a better person.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Health class?
A: Health teaches me all about how to keep myself healthy. Not only physically, but also emotionally and socially.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Freshman Focus class? 
A: Freshman Focus teaches me about the school I go to. I always like to know about where I am and what drew me in closer.

Q: What has been your favorite class project/assignment/activity in either of these subjects?
A: Recently in Health, we had a project where we were assigned to research foods high in nutrients. Not only one but all. I enjoyed learning about what to eat to keep me at the top of my game.

Avery Johnson, freshman, Truth, Spring Musical

Question: What do you like about Theatre Arts?
Answer: What I like about Theatre Arts is acting out fun skits and plays with my friends.

Q: Why did you choose to take this elective?
A: I chose to take Theatre Arts I because I thought that acting would be an interesting thing to try, and I wanted to meet new friends.

Q: What has been your favorite theatre activity?
A: My favorite theatre activity was acting out Charlie Brown Christmas and The Grinch.

Penny Trinkle, sophomore, Loyalty, Spring Musical, Drawing Club

Question: What do you like about Theatre Arts?
Answer: I like that performing allows people to see you differently. You can get away with acting a certain way on stage that you could never get away with anywhere else in life. 

Q: Why did you choose to take this elective?
A: Theater has always been a huge part of my family’s life. 

Q: What is your favorite theatre class?
A: Theater Arts II.  I really enjoy the lack of math that is required, and I am lucky to have friends who also love theater, and we get to share that together in class.    

Q: What has been your favorite theatre activity?
A:
My favorite theatre activity so far has been Providence Singers.  

Dylan Payne, senior, Humility, theatre including spring musical

Question: What do you like about Theatre Arts?
Answer: What I like most about the theatre arts is that it is so unique. It’s not your average class. You get to learn but also have fun while doing it. It is a way to look at the world in a whole new way.

Q: Why did you choose to take these electives?
A: I was involved in theatre at Sacred Heart and have always wanted to do it, so I knew I would get involved once I got here.

Q: What is your favorite theatre class?
A: Directing because it’s full of freshmen who look up to you, and it’s rewarding seeing them look up to you and realize how you are affecting their life.

Q: What has been your favorite theatre activity?
A: I really have enjoyed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this year. It is such a fun show, and it has so many special moments that I will hold onto for forever.

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Unsung Heroes: Team parents help players, coaches

Any parent of a Pioneer student-athlete knows it takes a village to feed a team. No matter the sport, there is a group of parents behind the scenes making sure the team has what it needs to succeed during the season. Their volunteerism goes beyond what the coaching staff provides and organizes things from team meals and carpools (for small teams) to spirit wear  and more. This article focuses on the parents who support the Boys Basketball team.

This group of parents organized fundraising, including selling the advertising signs that hang in the gym and spirit wear T-shirts at the start of the season and after winning the sectional championship as well as selling 50/50 tickets during all home games — with each parent taking a turn selling. The parents also planned and coordinated team meals on game days so the boys could have a healthy meal without having to leave campus. Each parent took a turn bringing in the food. The junior players’ parents coordinated the senior night activities.

Typically for our sports teams, one or two parents coordinate the parent group activities, and several parents take charge of organizing various elements, whether sign ups for selling raffle tickets or bringing in meals for the team. The Boys Basketball team parents did the same.

They volunteer their time, donate food, and buy advertising and raffle tickets because they are committed to Providence and their student’s team’s success, the parents said. One of those parents is Mrs. Traci Hutchins, wife of Assistant Principal/Director of Students Scott Hutchins ‘91 and mother of senior player Bryce Hutchins and freshman Logan Hutchins. She said the parents give because it’s part of being a Providence parent.

“It’s just what we do, right?” Mrs. Hutchins said. “We know how busy the coaches are, and we know they need funds to cover buses, uniforms, etc. We support our kids, and we support Providence. Sometimes that’s financial; sometimes it’s time; usually it’s fun … especially when it’s cheering on the team during a win over New Albany or a sectional championship!”

Ultimately, the parents give their time, energy, and support because they want to be there for the team.

“It’s not about us,” Mrs. Hutchins said. “We’re just happy to lend a hand when and where it’s needed and see the kids enjoying the benefits of a successful program.”

Coach Ryan Miller ‘99 said he is grateful for the support of the team parents. He commended them for the nutritious meals they provide before games, which help the team “not only fuel up with healthy food options before playing a game but also to build camaraderie allowing the players to spend time with one another off the court.”

 In addition, the funds they raise through the raffle, T-shirt sales, and advertising in the gym allows the team to purchase equipment as well as pay for transportation and post-game food and drinks for the players, he said.

“This is invaluable to our program, allowing us to better serve the needs of our student athletes in the basketball program,” Coach Miller said. “The PHS Boys Basketball program could not function optimally without the tremendous efforts and assistance of the basketball parent volunteers.”

He applauded the Providence parents, who give more than some team parents might have to because of the nature of being a Catholic school.

“At PHS, we often have to give more of ourselves, making sacrifices of our time, efforts, and resources,” Coach Miller said. “However, in that process we also feel like we receive more, as we work together to help meet the needs of each other’s children and families. The parent volunteers are a good example of that … putting our faith in action through sacrifice for one another.”

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Cast ready to sing Joseph’s story

You may think you’re familiar with the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors, but you’ve never seen it portrayed quite like it is in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, this year’s spring musical. The sung-through musical comedy features over-the-top characters and a variety of music from country to Calypso and Elvis to French.

“It’s very colorful – pun intended,” said junior Victor Beeler, who portrays Joseph. And as far as the music goes, “it’s just the whole shebang!”

Throughout the show Victor’s character is rather naïve and self-centered, which leads to his brothers’ selling him to the Egyptians. Even though his circumstances are sometimes challenging, Joseph was a fun role for him, he said.

“It’s just me being a kid,” Victor said. “Joseph has no idea what’s going on.”

As he goes from being his father’s favorite to being sold into slavery and then sent to prison, Joseph does have a breakdown when faced with harsh reality, Victor said. But he bounces back and learns from his situation.

Senior Dylan Payne, who is in his first spring musical lead role, plays Joseph’s father, Jacob, who despite his sorrow of losing his son is actually the show’s comedic relief.

“He’s more like ‘out there,’” Dylan said, noting he enjoys portraying him as a caricature, who wails loudly and is the only one who doesn’t know the truth about Joseph’s situation. His favorite scene is when he reunites with his son. “That’s like a special moment for me. I love it.”

Junior Grant Dierking also plays another larger-than-life character, Pharaoh, who has a strong resemblance to Elvis Presley. He said he is enjoying himself in his second spring musical.

“I get to have fun up on stage being as goofy as I want to,” Grant said.

Grant said he likes how each of the characters is an important part in the story, not just the lead characters.

“The brothers (of Joseph) are responsible for as much if not more (of the storyline) as the leads are.” Grant said.

Senior Regan Elias is the narrator and is enjoying the challenging of a new type of role for her. Instead of interacting with other main characters on stage, she interacts with the group of children who make up an on-stage audience. She is the one telling the story of Joseph to the group. And she also interacts some with the actual audience.

“It’s a lot more storytelling” than previous lead roles she has had, she said. “So I have to be ‘on’ the whole show.”

The group of children is portrayed by alternating groups of 30 Deanery students, 60 in all. Those students sit on risers for much of the show, but they also sing along at times and have portions of choreography.

Dylan said audiences will love the music because “there’s something for everyone.” The length is also appealing, since each act only lasts about 45 minutes.

“It keeps you involved,” Victor added.

Director Ellen Holifield agrees.

“I’m really looking forward to opening Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on Friday,” Mrs. Holifield said. “This has always been one of my favorite shows, and it has been a joy to direct it. The audiences will love the bright, colorful, energized production of a familiar Bible story. They will enjoy the wide variety of musical styles brought together in this fast-paced production.”

Show times are March 6 at 8:00 p.m. for Opening Night ($40), March 7 at 7:00 p.m., March 8 at 2:00 p.m., March 13 at 7:00 p.m., March 14 at 7:00 p.m., and March 15 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 for all performances except Opening Night and may be purchased online, by calling (812) 945.2538  ext. 301, or at the door.

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Photo credit: Jennifer (Bartley) Dunn ’94

Artful service project raises awareness

For the past several months, art students have contributed to the school’s efforts to create panels for the 25 Million Stitches Project in California. Our students’ panels will be sewn together with other panels stitched by more than 2,000 artists from around the world and shown in a display to bring awareness to the plight of the world’s 25 million displaced refugees.

Much of that stitching has taken place in Mrs. Donna Burden’s 3-D art classes. Girl Scouts from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School, which included Mrs. Burden’s daughter, also stitched several panels. This semester, she opened the project up to the student body in hopes of achieving 100 percent school-wide participation. She hung panels for each House and invited students to stitch on the panel representing their House. Last week, the panels were in the student entrance so students could stop and add a stitch on their way into school.

All the panels will be on display during a reception tonight from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Administrative Corridor to showcase the pieces before they are mailed to California. Mrs. Burden said many of the panels have a personal meaning to the students, and the reception is a way to feature their work as well as give them a chance to enjoy their art one more time before they are sent off.

Sophomore Kayla Badon said she does feel an attachment to the project because it helped her focus on her father’s story.

“My dad is a refugee; he’s originally from Haiti, so this is personal to me,” Kayla said. “I really didn’t know his story before.”

She also is grateful to help bring awareness to others in the United States and around the world who are undergoing something similar to her father’s experience.

“With this project I’m glad to have a chance to be part of welcoming refugees to America,” Kayla said.

Learning how to do stitch work was a new experience for many of the students, even Mrs. Burden. Kayla was one of the few who had experience, since she did needlepoint as a child. Some of the students, like freshman Brooklyn Stemle, taught themselves the intricacies of stitching.

“I like crafts, so this was something new and fun to learn,” Brooklyn said, adding that the project helped her feel closer to her late great-grandmother, who was skilled at needlepoint. Her family has a framed piece of her work as a momento. “I didn’t learn needlepoint from her, but this gives me a connection to her.”

Senior Gus Schonard was one of a couple students who devoted extra time to the project. She took hers home and devoted at least 10 hours on it, she said. Her panel was featured in a story on Feb. 29 in the News and Tribune. Providence’s contribution to the project also was recognized in a blog about the project and featured in the eVision earlier this school year. 

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