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Mrs. Mauk’s love of math helps students learn

Math teacher Stephanie (Mayfield) Mauk ’99 loves her job, and it shows. She loves her subject, and she enjoys helping her students learn problem solving skills to help them find the right answer. She is in her eighth year at Providence, and her 16th year overall. She also is in her sixth year as Math Department chairperson. She teaches AP Calculus, Honors Precalculus & Trigonometry, Precalculus & Trigonometry, and Probability & Statistics.

As much as she enjoys teaching math, she wasn’t always certain math would be her subject. Although she enjoyed her math classes at Providence, she also likes history. Once she decided she wanted to become a teacher, she knew she had to choose between the two. Her history classes at Ball State University, however, focused on “memorizing a lot of dates,” she said. She enjoyed her math classes so much more, that she chose math education for her major. She has been happy with her choice ever since.

“I like math because there’s a right and a wrong answer, but there are lots of ways to get there,” she said. “So we do a lot of problem solving, and it’s good seeing kids working to get the answer.”

Mrs. Mauk also makes sure her students have a variety of ways to apply the lessons she teaches. After she spends time giving direct instruction, the students spend the remainder of the block in a variety of activities, from board work to working in pairs at their desks.

“I want them to do most of the learning themselves and working to get the answer to add to my direct instruction,” she said.

Mrs. Mauk said it may look like students are doing most of the work, but she spends a lot of time preparing each lesson, especially since the department no longer uses textbooks now that students have iPads. She uses state standards and College Board standards to develop the curriculum for each subject and provides instruction and activities for students to master those standards.

She said she feels gratified seeing her students work hard to learn the concepts and necessary problem-solving skills. Her students not only take advantage of work time during class time, but many of them come to her room before school, and not only on BLUE Days. She also is pleased that the percentage of students passing the cumulative AP Exam has generally increased year over year. In 2017, 25 of the 29 AP Calculus students passed the exam, for example.

Mrs. Mauk applies the same approach of empowering students as faculty sponsor of the House of Courage. When she first became a House leader, she led the meetings but soon realized the students would be more attentive listening to other students, and the student leaders would be better leaders by taking charge of various tasks. Now, she sees the student leaders learning responsibility and working hard to achieve a goal, such as winning the Third Quarter Points Challenge.

Mrs. Mauk also has a creative side and gets to enjoy that as a faculty sponsor of the Pinterest Club along with Mrs. Mary Alice (Lenfert) Knott ’77 and Mrs. Corinne (Alles) Beyl ‘99. The teachers and students agree on a craft found on Pinterest and then get together so they can each work on the activity.

The House Leadership Program, extracurriculars like the Pinterest Club, and the close-knit community are some of the things that make teaching at Providence different than her previous teaching jobs. Mrs. Mauk taught at a much larger school in the Indianapolis Public Schools system prior to returning to the New Albany area and taking the job here.

“It was such a big difference teaching here,” she said. “I just love knowing everybody. I love going to the students’ games, and they get excited to see me and other teachers there. It’s a job where even if I come in in a bad mood, it doesn’t last long. The kids want to be here, and they are interested in learning. That makes it fun.”

Mrs. Mauk has a master’s degree in secondary education from IUPUI. She and her husband, Tony, live in Floyds Knobs with their son Lucas, 11, and spend much of their free time attending his sporting events. They are members of Holy Family. She also has two adult stepsons, Gavin and Garrett.

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Students practice being philanthropists

Six of our students participated in the Youth Philanthropy Council sponsored by the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana. High school students from the area sit on the council, and their primary duty is to recommend the awarding of grants to organizations that benefit youth. PHS students on this year’s council include seniors Bryce Drury, Charlie O’Bryant, and Alex Henderson, junior Claire Reyes, and sophomores Katie Huff and Ryley Gunther.
Ryley said he enjoyed being on the council. He was on the team that made the presentation to recommend a grant for Miles for Merry Miracles and found it rewarding.

“It was an opportunity for us to learn how to properly award grants to organizations and what those organizations are doing,” Ryley said.

Alex said she joined the council this year because she was intrigued by the opportunity to learn about local philanthropy projects.

“Not only were we exposed to different local foundations who help people in need, we were also able to connect with students of all ages from schools around the community,” Alex said. “This was my first year on the Youth Philanthropy Council and I’m so glad I was able to participate.”

Claire said she was glad she applied after reading about the opportunity in school announcements.

“I saw it as an opportunity to be involved in the community in addition to just being involved at my parish and in school,” Claire said. “I really liked getting to meet new people. And I liked the process of going through the applications and determining who deserved the grants.”

Claire also recommends that students sign up to participate next year.

“It’s a good opportunity, and you can learn a lot,” Claire said.

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Justice leaders motivate House to win

Seniors Kaden Williams and Anna Thomas bring a competitive spirit and differing gifts as co-senior executive delegates for the House of Justice. Anna has the energy to motivate the members of the House to accomplish what needs to be done, and Kaden is a good spokesperson to inform everyone of any necessary information. But they both like to win, and their working together to get their House involved helped their House win the First Quarter Points Contest, they said.
“We’re really competitive,” Anna said. “We’re always trying to win.”

Kaden said that he enjoys helping his House win and achieve its goals.

“I like getting a group of people who don’t usually get together to work toward the same goal and come together and compete,” he said.

He credits Anna with being a big reason the House can work together because she has a sister, Julia, who is a freshman, which helps her connect with the younger grade and get everyone in the House involved.

Anna said she enjoys seeing everyone contribute, such as when Justice partnered with Integrity and Truth to put on the bonfire at Fall Homecoming and when they shopped for the Angel Tree project. Next, the House will plan the May Crowning ceremony.

Anna is on the Softball and Girls Track teams and was previously on the Bowling Team. She is a member of National Honor Society, Green Dot, SADD, and Spanish Club, and she is a Eucharistic Minister. She plans to major in nursing at Indiana University Bloomington.

Kaden is on the Baseball team and was on the Football team and he is a member of National Honor Society and a Eucharistic Minister. He plans to attend Butler University and major in pre-med.

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Two seniors earn Eagle Scout rank

Seniors Matthew Nokes and Sam LaMaster recently were named Eagle Scouts by the Boy Scouts of America, the highest rank  in Boy Scouts and one that requires advancement through several ranks, the earning of more than 20 merit badges, and organizing a service project. Both belong to Boy Scout Troop 4010 at St. Anthony Parish and have been in Scouting since first grade.

Sam’s project was to design, build, and install shelving in a gym loft and maintenance building at St. John Paul II School in Sellersburg. He spent 188 hours overall including planning and on-site work. With the help of his grandfather and father, Brian LaMaster ’89, who are skilled at woodworking, he was able to design the shelves, and he then organized several work days to install them with the help of members of his troop and some of his friends.

His father donated the wood for the shelves, having saved it for another project and then didn’t need it. Sam then asked family to contribute money for the rest of the supplies, raising about $100.

Sam said he learned a lot in organizing the project and fulfilling all the requirements for the Eagle Scout rank.

“It felt like a good opportunity for me to use all the skills from my years in Scouting,” Sam said. “I finally had a chance to put all those together and have an application for them. It also proved my leadership skills overall.”

He said he feels a great relief having completed the project and the process to apply for the rank advancement. Often, the Eagle Scout rank is a culminating experience for a Boy Scout, but Sam said he intends to stay involved. He enjoys the troop’s service projects, such as helping at Lanesville Heritage Weekend, and the troop’s adventures. Every other summer, the troop has taken a big trip. He took part in one to Alaska that included mountain climbing and white water rafting in Class 4 rapids and one to northern Minnesota canoeing along the Canadian border, which was the more difficult because it was a survival trip that required them to fish for food.

Matthew also feels a great relief having his Eagle Scout project complete. Although the project required only 130 hours of works time, the process was spread over 18 months because the parameters of the project changed within a few months of his starting on it. Last October, he completed the rebuilding and repairing of the Stations of the Cross trail at Mount Saint Francis. He also built two benches and put down gravel and did some landscaping along the trail.

Matthew had a total of 35 people helping him over 12 work days and raised about $300 from families at St. Anthony Parish. His grandfather also donated wood for the project. Planning all those elements and coordinating all the volunteers was more difficult than he thought it would be, he said. Now that he is finished he feels a great deal of satisfaction, especially since he was able to work on a project where people will pray.

“I was very glad I could do a project that coincided with my faith,” Matthew said. “I’m glad to help Mount Saint Francis because I go there a lot on campouts and for some retreats. It felt good to help them out.”

Coincidentally, another Providence Boys Scout once worked on the same project. Andrew Marking ’11, now head groundskeeper at Quad Cities River Bandits in Davenport, Iowa, replaced all the crosses on the trail for his Eagle Scout project.

Matthew said he has enjoyed being a Boy Scout, especially going on summer trips. His favorite was the survival skills trip to Minnesota.

“It definitely builds your character and life skills,” he said. “It teaches you things you wouldn’t get out of a typical youth program.”

Completing his Eagle Scout rank gives him a great sense of accomplishment and also allows him to look back to see how his past activities and achievements have led up to that final award.

“I feel like I’ve learned so much, and I’m glad I have something to show for it,” Matthew said.

Matthew plans to attend Indiana University Bloomington and is considering several majors, including history and several foreign languages. Sam plans to attend the University of Louisville and major in mechanical engineering.

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House of Faith leaders make a good team

Seniors Megan Flanagan and Alex Henderson are used to working together as co-delegates for the House of Faith. Since sophomore year, the two have been sharing the delegate role and find it works well. Now as senior executive delegates, they have the chance to plan activities and motivate their House to get involved. 

Alex said the two have similar leadership styles, and when one has an idea, they discuss it before taking the idea to their faculty leaders. Megan said Alex is strong in her faith and contributes a lot to the House’s spiritual activities, and Megan likes to plan the social activities.

“We bounce ideas off each other to get a really good outcome,” Megan said.

Megan said she is most proud of the dance their House sponsored after the Fall Homecoming football game because it was well attended by the underclassmen and everyone seemed to have a good time. Alex said she was really proud of the House’s participation in the Spirit of the Season drive at Christmas because many of the students and faculty in the House donated money or time to allow them to get the gifts their sponsor family needed.

Next up, the House of Faith is planning to revive the Silhouette Stations of the Cross during Holy Week. Megan said she wanted to bring back the former House of Faith tradition because she remembers her brothers, Zack ’14 and Aaron ’16, talking about it. Megan added that her brothers are the inspiration for her getting involved in her House because of the things they shared when they were involved. And she hopes to plan House activities that inspire her housemates to share the fun they have with their younger siblings and keep the tradition going.

Alex also wants to set an example that will continue with younger members. She said she enjoys being able to share her faith with underclassmen in their House while also helping them have fun.

“It has been such a humbling experience leading the House of Faith this year because I have seen the work that needs to be put in to create the fun and productive atmosphere that the House system has fostered the past few years,” Alex said. “By leading this House built on faith, I hope that I serve as an example for younger students that it’s important to get involved and to share their faith with others.”

Megan also is a member of SEAC, National Honor Society, and Green Dot. She was a three-year member of the Volleyball team before a surgery sidelined her this year. She said her favorite is SEAC meetings with Dr. Mindy (Lankert) Ernstberger ’74 because she not only is able to have a hand in planning school activities but also she can make a connection with the adults in the administration like Dr. Ernstberger and get to know them better.

Alex is four-year member of Girls Golf, including three years on varsity; a member of the St. Genesius Society, on the executive council for Student Ambassadors, a student leader for Liturgical Music Ministry, a member of Providence Singers and the Popcorn Players, and outside of school, a part of the Youth Ministry Action Team (YMAT) with Catalyst Catholic (formerly known as New Albany Deanery Catholic Youth Ministries). She also has been involved with Book Club, Green Dot, Pinterest Club, and the Cheerleading team. She also is a cast member of the spring musical, Freaky Friday, something that means a lot to her because it’s her last show at Providence.

“It has been such an amazing experience to be able to perform for the Deanery schools and to perform in the beautiful Robinson Auditorium the past four years,” Alex said.

Megan plans to attend Indiana University-Bloomington and has received a direct admit to the Kelley School of Business in the entrepreneurship program. She said business ownership runs in her family, from her father owning a Chick fil A in Elizabethtown, Ky., to her brother Aaron starting his own catering business while he’s in culinary school. She and her brothers often talk about going into business together, so she looks forward to studying entrepreneurship in college.

Alex said she hopes to make her college selection in the next few weeks and plans to major in psychology and/or biology with the goal of continuing on to medical school in order to become a physician in neonatology or neurosurgery.

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House of Integrity profile: It feels good to win

Haylee Hall

Jacqueline Scott

House of Integrity co-senior executive delegates Jacqueline Scott and Haylee Hall are thrilled their House has won the Second Quarter points competition, which will land them in the House Cup finals in the spring. It is the first time Integrity will appear in the House Cup since the competition began.

“It feels awesome to see the seniors putting in the effort,” Haylee said. “It’s a sense of gratification for us as senior leaders seeing people in the House putting in effort and getting us rewarded for it.”

Haylee said one important way the House won points in the Second Quarter was through the commitment of the House members to attend morning liturgy on Thursdays, one of the way Houses can earn points.

Jacqueline said she was impressed with how the House members came together to support the Spirit of the Season giving challenge during Advent. Nearly every House member donated money, and many of them took a turn shopping, wrapping the gifts, or delivering them.

“Everyone took part,” Jacqueline said. “We collected enough money we could get all the (assigned family’s) children’s gifts and something for the parents too.”

Jacqueline and Haylee said they’ve seen more commitment from their House members all school year, something they credit to the House faculty leader Mrs. Terri (Blunk) Purichia ’90, who serves as a permanent substitute teacher and Volleyball coach. Integrity came in a close second in the First Quarter points, and Mrs. Purichia inspired the House leaders and members to work hard in the last quarter to get the win.

Jacqueline is involved in many activities, including Girls Soccer.

“Coach P. has been an amazing leader,” Haylee said. “She’s so enthusiastic, and that carries over to the House, especially the leaders.”

House leaders and members have been inspired all school year to get involved – and not just to earn points. That showed in how everyone came together to put on the bonfire last semester. It had been several years since Integrity sponsored the bonfire, which at one time kicked off what is now known as Guerin Day. Haylee said she wanted to bring back the event because she remembered hearing about it when she was in middle school. As the leaders began planning it, they quickly decided to bring on other Houses to help organize it in order to make it more manageable – and to get more students interested in attending. Jacqueline and Haylee said their plan worked, and they were pleased with how many students attended.

Jacqueline and Haylee said they like working together to plan things for the House and are quick to point out each other’s strengths. Jacqueline is “analytical and organized,” Haylee said. And Haylee “is creative and thinks outside the box to think of ways to get people involved,” Jacqueline said.

Jacqueline is on the Girls Soccer team, is a member of the Spanish Club and SEAC, and is a Student Ambassador. She plans to attend Indiana University-Bloomington and major in chemistry on the pre-med track.

Haylee throws the discus for the Girls Track & Field team.

Haylee is on the Volleyball and Track & Field teams and a member of the Pinterest Club. She plans to attend IU-Bloomington and has received a direct admittance to the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies and plans to major in biology and East Asian language and culture with plans to go into dermatology. She is teaching herself Korean and learning the alphabet to get a head start.

Both girls have held leadership positions in the House since sophomore year and said it feels good to accomplish a goal during their senior year.

“It shows the initiative we both have in making our mark, and it feels good knowing we could go out winning something substantial for our House,” Haylee said.

“I think it will keep going too,” Jacqueline said. “I want the enthusiasm to continue even next year.”

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Students explore political leadership at Lugar Symposium

Juniors Maria Popson, Andrew Henderson, and Claire Reyes attended the Lugar Leadership Symposium at the University of Indianapolis in December and are grateful for what they learned. The day began with an address by former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar and a photo opportunity afterwards. The students then chose two breakout sessions to attend.

Claire attended sessions on immigration and the Me Too Movement, which she found to have a lot of similarities to our Green Dot program because of its emphasis on being an active bystander in order to stop others from being treated unjustly. She said she also learned a lot from the immigration session, which she chose because her parents are immigrants.

“I have a much better understanding of the immigration process,” Claire said, adding that she found especially interesting the differences in modern and past immigration policies and processes.

Maria and Andrew attended a session on politics in the 2018 primaries and the upcoming 2020 primary. Maria said attending the session was informative and she now feels more comfortable discussing the political process and structure. She also learned a lot in the session on North Korea, which explained the history of the country and its relations with the United States.

Andrew said the sessions, including one on U.S. leadership in the world, provided new insight for him, especially on our country’s responsibilities as a world leader. He is interested in history and enjoys learning about government and politics, and he plans to implement some of what he learned about leadership.

“We learned how we can be leaders in our community by having healthy debates,” Andrew said. “It was a leadership opportunity, and I’m going to use my leadership skills in my community.”

The students also said they enjoyed meeting other teenagers from around the state, and Maria recognized several from other leadership events she had attended.

“More people should go,” Claire said. “It was a lot of fun.”

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House of Spirit leaders focus on unity, fun

Seniors Ross Reyes and Alyssa Perkins share the duties of senior executive delegate for the House of Spirit, and their different approaches blend well for the success of the House. Ross is the resource for House members to come to with questions, and Alyssa brings ideas and tries to make the meetings fun.

Alyssa said her leadership style was inspired by Abbi Hamm ’16, who was the executive delegate when Alyssa was a freshman.

“Abbi was really energetic and involved,” Alyssa said. “I think it’s cool that I can take on that kind of role for the freshmen so they can feel comfortable. I also try to be fun and energetic to make things entertaining.”

Ross is good at planning, and he helped match House members’ skills and interests to place them in the best spots for the Guerin Day competition in late September. He previously was the sophomore and junior delegate for the House. He is a member of the Quick Recall team, which finished up its regular season last week, and was in Honk!, Providence Singers, and Popcorn Players. Next semester, he will have a role in Freaky Friday, the spring musical.

Alyssa is new to House leadership but not in being a leader. She is a cheerleader, and those skills come in handy as she works with the House. She recently presented an idea for the House to do a Valentine’s Day service project in which the members will sell candy grams to benefit the American Red Cross. She said she is enjoying her House leadership role and building unity in the House.

“I enjoy how the classes are coming together,” she said.

Ross said he likes helping students express their ideas and having input into school activities.

“I like to be involved with what we’re doing,” he said.

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Junior learns leadership skills at Rotary weekend

Junior Bryce Hutchins recently was selected to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), a leadership program coordinated by local Rotary Clubs. He was one of three students sponsored by the Clarksville Rotary and the only Providence student.

Bryce said he learned various leadership skills and strengthened his self-confidence during the weekend program earlier this month.

“I learned about myself and that it’s good to step outside of my comfort zone and sometimes I need to take control of the situation and be a leader,” he said.

Before attending the program, he would often find himself recognizing that something needed to be done in a situation, but he was reluctant to take the initiative. Through the projects and games he took part in at the RYLA program, he now feels more confident in responding to such situations, “even when I feel a little uncomfortable,” he said.

Bryce said he can implement several of the leadership skills he learned on his sports teams, which include Baseball and Boys Basketball. Having gone through the RYLA program, he now realizes that his coaches saw him as a leader. On different occasions, his coaches had pulled him aside to talk to him about doing his part in being a leader on the team. Now he recognizes that he has those skills after his teachers nominated him to take part in the RYLA weekend.

Bryce said he is grateful to the Rotary Club, which sponsored the program, and to the teachers who nominated him.

“I was really glad to have the opportunity, and it was good to meet new people and get out of my comfort zone a little bit and learn some things about myself,” he said.

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House Student Leader Profile: Truth

Seniors Griffin Rogers and Lauren Tomlin have different approaches when it comes to leading the House of Truth as senior executive delegates. But it provides a good balance, Griffin said.

“I like to lead by example, but I can sometimes take charge,” Griffin said, noting that he likes to focus on morale boosting. “Lauren is more vocal and more in charge.”

Griffin said he likes to build up the spirit of the House members, just like he did for the Boys Soccer team. At House meetings, he brings a positive outlook, and he often sends email encouraging his fellow members to participate in events.

Lauren agrees it is more her leadership style to call be more vocal and to call everyone to attention at House meetings.

“I like helping out my House and having everything in order,” she said. “I help bring order to my House and help take pressure off the adults.”

Griffin, who was previously the junior events coordinator for his House, also is a Student Ambassador and recently finished his third season on the Boys Soccer team. Lauren, who previously was a sophomore and junior delegate for the House, also is on the Swim & Dive team for her fourth season and is a first-year member of Green Dot. Both share a love of theatre. Griffin is in Honk!, the fall musical produced by the Musical Theatre Production class and had a lead in the fall show. Both will be in the upcoming spring musical, Freaky Friday.

Lauren said she likes being involved in leadership, theatre, and athletics because it widens her circle of friends.

“I get to meet a variety of kids and make a variety of friendships and do what I love while spending time with those friends,” she said. “It’s like different little families because of the different things I do.”

Outside of school, Griffin said he likes to write poetry and journal, spend time outdoors, and practice shooting his crossbow, which was a Christmas gift his eighth grade year after his success at archery at CYO camp.

Griffin hopes to attend college at Bellarmine University, Ball State University, or Hanover College. He is undecided on his major. Lauren is deciding between Purdue University, Indiana University-Bloomington, the University of Louisville, and Indiana University Southeast. She plans to major in elementary education because she wants to “help shape future minds.”

Lauren said she has enjoyed being a leader in the House of Truth the last few years. As a sophomore, she mainly listened to ideas and suggestions for her House, but by her junior year, she was able to share her own ideas in her role as a junior on the SEAC board, made up of junior and senior House delegates. Now as a senior, her role involves listening to everyone’s ideas and consider them.

“It’s really interesting getting everyone’s point of view,” she said.

The House of Truth is again planning an all-school service project for the Christmas season in which the Houses will be challenged to adopt the most families from the local Angel Tree program.

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