|Weekly Newsletter Archive|
On Wednesday, Jan. 28, the McNicholas Science Department held its annual science fair. The fair featured projects presented by students currently enrolled in Biology and AP Biology classes.
Congratulations for the following award winners who were also invited to continue on to the District Fair at the University of Cincinnati on March 14. Those who place in the UC competition will advance to the State Fair at The Ohio State University.
Life Science Awards
Honorable Mention in Life Science
Physical Science Awards
Honorable Mention in Physical Science
Governor’s Award for Advanced or Alternative Energy Research
Governor’s Award for Advanced Materials Science Research
Governor’s Award for Environmental Protection
Governor’s Award for Biotechnology and Biomedical Technologies
National Association of Biology Teachers Honors
Posted January 29, 2015
Congratulations to seven McNicholas band members who were part of the Xavier University Honor Band: James Harrington, Maggie Schulhoff, Kyle Timmons, William Klunk, Steven Sinclair, Josh Hoeflich, and Jackson Durm.
The Honor Band consisted of 85 area high school musicians nominated by their band directors. The concert was performed Saturday, January 17, 2015 in the Xavier University Gallagher Theater. The Xavier University Honor Band was conducted by Dr. Terrence Milligan, 35 year professor at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
McNicholas High School’s Sophie Gorman joined elite players from the United States on the NSCA All-American Team. Each year, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) names an All-American team from the thousands of women’s high school soccer players across the country.
“Being named an All American was amazing,’ Gorman said. “I didn't understand the significance until I started getting congrats from the people around me, even including my old coaches.”
Gorman is one of only two sophomores of the 44 players named for the honor. The honorees received special recognition at an awards ceremony in Philadelphia on January 17.
Gorman was also named to the NSCAA Girls All-Central Region team and was the Southwest Ohio Player of the Year. She was also named First Team All-State as part of a team that took home the first State Championship for women’s soccer in school history.
“In the next two years it would be fun to do all this again, “Gorman said. “I think we have a chance to be very good at McNick for several more years. There is a lot of talent returning.”
Gorman added, “My next two years of high school are an opportunity for me to grow as an individual and for the team to grow. There’s always room for more improvement, and each year is a step farther to get myself and those around me prepared to play at the next level in college.”
January 25-31, McNicholas High School will commemorate Catholic Schools Week with events and celebrations that focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities, and our nation.
The 2015 theme for National Catholic Schools Week is Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service. Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, said, “As we prepare for this important week, I reflect upon how I will celebrate Catholic schools. In doing so, I need look no farther than our students…Our students are the fruits of our labor.”
He added, “As we enter Catholic Schools Week, my joy and hope is in our children, who represent the future of our Church. May God bless them during this week, and inspire all those who form our community of Catholic schools.”
Posted January 16, 2015; Written by Kayla Abbitt '15
Class president, Dean’s List recipient, and 2nd team All-State football player, senior Elliott Higgins has made his mark on the Rocket community, leaving little room for surprise when he was recently accepted into one of the most prestigious programs in the country: The United States Air Force Academy. Located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Academy is a coeducational public liberal arts college whose stated mission is “to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character, motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our nation.”
Application to the Academy involves many pieces. In addition to demonstrating high academic integrity, a full assessment of character and athletics is required for each applicant.
“Elliott and I began talking early on in his junior year [about applying to the Academy],” said his guidance counselor, Ms. Kaitlyn Richter. “He was very prepared and knew what he needed to do throughout the application process. I was very impressed with his follow through and his ability to be proactive and ask me for help when he needed it.”
Of the approximate 12,000 applicants each year, a little over 1,000 are admitted into the Academy, making for around a 15% acceptance rate. In perspective, The Ohio State University’s admission rate is 55.5% (2013) and Miami University’s is 66.7% (2013). In addition to three essays and countless interviews, a nomination from a member of the U.S. Congress is required, and the process of securing a nomination can be competitive and lengthy. Higgins received a nomination by Brad Wenstrup, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio’s 2nd district, all leading up to his acceptance into the academy.
“I’m most excited to go through basic training, where I will hopefully be trained by my cousin who will be a senior at the Academy,” Higgins said.
Higgins plans to accept and will leave for Basic Cadet Training on June 25.
Six McNicholas art students received recognition in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards contest.
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards began as a small writing contest with a $5 prize and six winning applicants in 1923. Today, more than 90,000 teens in grades 7 through 12 from around the nation annually submit more than 185,000 works of art and writing in 28 categories. Winning students earn opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships.
McNicholas High School is pleased to announce the court and honor guard for the 63rd annual Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras honors students who have given their time and talents in service to the school and community throughout high school. The senior court consists of 20 young men and 20 young women who have actively participated in school events and organizations. Membership on the court is a result of four years of compiled voting from students and faculty. The top four sophomore and junior young men and women constitute the honor guard.
The Annual Mardi Gras Pageant and Ball, the most prestigious student event of the year at McNicholas High School, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. The theme for the evening is Bayou Ball and Mrs. Anne Jones, Librarian and Webmaster, will emcee the event, an honor bestowed by the number of years of service to the school.
Click here to read the McNicholas Milestone's coverage of Maid of Honor Michelle Rowekamp and Captian of the Ball Elliot Higgins.
McNicholas High School is pleased to announce that Mr. Mark Doran has been named Director of Development. Doran joins McNicholas from Moeller High School where he has 17 years of experience working in a variety of roles, most recently as Associate Director of Development. Prior to that, Doran served as the Director of Athletic Development. Throughout his Moeller years, he was actively involved in capital campaigns and giving initiatives focused on facilities, tuition assistance, and endowment. He was also very involved in major annual fund-raising events similar to our McNick at Night and Athletic Boosters Hall of Fame.
Before he began working for Moeller, Doran had a successful career working in sales and account management for various information systems providers including Software Information Systems, Novell Corporation, and SARCOM Corporation. He began his career working for the IBM Corporation.
At McNicholas, Doran will oversee all development and advancement endeavors and will be responsible for all non-tuition fund-raising including the annual fund, McNick at Night, and Walk Day. He will develop and execute strategies to grow our fund-raising capabilities and work to establish an endowment and future capital campaigns.
"I am looking forward to becoming part of the McNicholas community," Doran said. "I am enthused by the opportunity to grow our development initiatives and look forward to getting to know parents, alumni, and friends of McNicholas."
Posted January 13, 2015
McNicholas High School’s Men's Varsity Basketball Team traveled to Florida over the Christmas holidays for a KSA Basketball Tournament. The Rockets played teams from Rhode Island, New York City, and Georgie en route to a 2-1 record and a 3rd place finish in their bracket. Senior Andrew Schuerman was named the team’s MVP for the tournament.
The KSA Tournament included 32 teams from across the country, divided into 4 brackets by the teams’ previous year records and size of school. McNicholas competed in the second largest bracket and placed third in games played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Coach Tim Monahan would like to see the men’s basketball team participate in this tournament or a similar one every three to four years. “We have been fundraising for this trip for the past year,” Monahan said. “It was a great bonding experience for the team.”
For more details about the tournament, read Kayla Abbitt's coverage in the McNicholas Milestone.
On Wednesday, Dec. 3, students and faculty at McNicholas High School had the opportunity to learn about World War II and the Holocaust from one who lived through its trials firsthand. Stephanie Marks, 89, shared her story - one that would take her family on a journey of over 7,000 miles, from the war-torn Polish countryside, through Western Europe, and finally to the shores of America, where they would ultimately find refuge.
Born in the small city of Konin, Poland, Marks grew up moving between Poland and Belgium, and was only a child when the German bombs began to fall and the Nazi soldiers marched in, forcing her family to flee to Warsaw on horse and wagon, making the dangerous trek through the bombed-out countryside with thousands of their fellow Jews who were seeking refuge. Marks and her family fled several dangerous situations and encountered countless challenges before ensuring their safety and eventual escape.
When Marks, who has since volunteered her time at the local Holocaust Center, reflects back on the Holocaust and on the loss of over 11 million lives, she does so not with hatred, but with a sense of hope that today’s society is headed in the right direction.
“What you have in your heart is the most important thing in the world. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, Muslim or Jewish, white or black,” Marks told the students. “Because if you don’t have love, you are nothing.”
To read more about Marks’ story, click here.
Posted December 16, 2014
On Thursday., Dec. 11, the McNicholas High School Band presented its annual Winter Concert. Selections by the Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and Jazz Orchestra entertained a crowd that included families, fellow students, and alumni of the band program.
The Wind Ensemble opened the concert with I Heard a March on Christmas Day by Steve Hodges which included many familiar carols arranged in one piece. After a traditional Jerry Nowak arrangement of The Christmas Song made popular by Mel Torme, the Wind Ensemble closed its set with the Finale Movement #4 from Serenade for Strings in C Major by Tchaikovsky.
The Percussion Ensemble played two high energy pieces, Tango Argentino by Joaquin Valverde, and Bound for Marakesh by Chris Brooks. Freshman William Granlund serenaded the crowd with a beautiful rendition of Christmas Time is Here by Vince Guaraldi.
The concert closed with a three song set from the Jazz Ensemble including an arrangement of Deck the Halls by Mike Collins-Dowden.
The Rocket Band will perform at the Catholic Schools Week concert on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. and will travel to Marshall University on Saturday, Jan. 31 to play at the Marshall University Jazz Festival.
Students at Archbishop McNicholas High School will soon join with thousands of others who have shown their support for ailing college basketball player Lauren Hill by taking part in the viral “#Layup4Lauren” Challenge to raise money for cancer research. The upcoming fundraiser, coordinated by the McNicholas Student Philanthropy organization, is not only an effort to join those who have already shown their support on social media, but a show of compassion towards the countless children who suffer from pediatric cancer.
Members of the club took a special interest in raising money to support pediatric cancer research following the diagnosis of Hill, the Mt. St. Joseph freshman who is battling DIPG, a rare, inoperable form of brain cancer. Throughout the remainder of the year, Student Philanthropy hopes to look into additional ways in which they can raise money and awareness for the cause, which impacts an estimated 13,400 new cases each year in the United States alone, making childhood cancer the most common cause of death by disease for children and teenagers.
“We need to be spreading awareness about cancer,” senior Michelle Rowekamp explained. “It could happen to any of us. McNick is very big on service, and I think this is a great way for us to branch out.”
Hill, 19, made national headlines in November, when, despite her terminal diagnosis, she was determined to play her first college basketball game, though her persisting symptoms made even practice drills an arduous feat. On Nov. 2, over 10,000 fans packed the Cintas Center at Xavier University to cheer her on as Mt. St. Joseph won their first game of the year against Hiram College. Even basketball superstar LeBron James was there to show his support.
With her condition continuing to deteriorate, Hill recently made the choice to begin hospice care, but is said to remain “in good spirits,” according to her family’s “Fight for the Cure” Facebook page.
Student Philanthropy sold t-shirts for $10 through Dec. 10, with the proceeds going to The Cure Starts Now, a locally-based charity, endorsed by Hill, which works to find a cure for pediatric brain cancer. Select students will also have the chance to take the “#Layup4Lauren” Challenge during halftime on Friday, Dec. 19, when the Varsity Men’s Basketball Team takes on Purcell Marian at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s a really important cause, and we encourage everyone to participate,” junior Emma Kapp said. “Everyone here has someone in their life who has been affected by cancer.”
Posted December 11, 2014; Written by Hannah Van Zant '15
McNicholas High School science teacher Ms. Lauren Wulker recently traveled to the Amazon for the completion of her third Earth Expedition as part of her master's degree work for Miami University. Earth Expeditions are accredited excursions for teachers and adult students who are seeking to earn their master’s degree from Miami University through the Global Field Program.
The Global Field Program (GFP) at Miami brings master’s degree candidates such as scientists, educators, and community leaders together by giving them access to conservation areas in Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas, for firsthand experience with inquiry-driven education, environmental stewardship, and global understanding. GFP candidates join a growing network of leaders who work collaboratively to bring about change in local and global contexts.
When Wulker first became aware of the GFP p`rogram at Miami, she knew she needed to participate in it. "My passion for science and learning within the context of the global community converged when I was informed of this graduate program," Wulker said.
Each Earth Expedition is worth a total of seven credit hours, and each student is required to participate in three trips before graduation. Wulker's first expedition took place in Baja, California, where she, along with the others on the trip, studied desert and marine ecology.
In Peru, she studied avian ecology. She would wake early in the morning in her mosquito-netted bed when the birds were the most active to track and record various characteristics, such as molting and change in size. On her latest excursion to the Amazon, she studied evolution and maintenance of biodiversity, as well as the effects of human intervention.
For those who seek to pursue similar routes of conservation and animal/environmental studies, Wulker shared some helpful advice.
“When looking for a school, class size is definitely important,” Wulker said. “Express your interest in studying abroad early on, even if it’s taking an alternative spring break.”
December 8, 2014; Written by Nick Keri '14
On Dec. 4 and 5, McNicholas hosted the now annual “Friends of Batahola” Fair Trade sale. The sale took place in the library during both lunch periods and featured handmade and hand-painted items from Nicaraguan artisans.
Though the sale has happened sporadically since 2007, this is its third consecutive year, and it has gained stability through the Nicaraguan Immersion trip taken in June, said Theology teacher John Norman.
“While it has occurred in the past, the sale really gained ground when Hutch (Campus Ministry Director Jeff Hutchinson-Smyth) and I began going on the Immersion trip to Nicaragua,” Norman said. “We have worked to establish a connection with our friends there and to get a fair return for their craft.”
Hutchinson said that this sale gives the people of Nicaragua the opportunity to really market their craft.
“There is a tremendous amount of talent, and it has no access to the global market,” Hutchinson-Smyth said. “This not only gives them the chance to sell their work, but also make the highest profit possible by cutting out the middle-man.”
The items on sale included jewelry, hand painted crosses, and notecards featuring the two murals painted at McNick by Nicaraguan artist and Batahola Cultural Center art teacher Gerardo Arias. Not only are these items a great way to help the people of the developing world, but they make quality gifts for loved ones,” Hutchinson-Smyth said. “Many of us have the desire not to just buy ‘stuff’ but to find a meaningful gift for the people we love.”
Though the sale only lasted two days at McNick, there are other opportunities to get involved in Fair Trade. A store called 10,000 Villages, located in O’Brienville, sells fair trade items from around the world. Once a month, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish sells fair trade coffee, chocolate, and other items after their masses, and local grocery stores carry fair trade coffee.
Hutchinson-Smyth and Norman agree that this sale is great way for students to practice solidarity.
“The sale can help broaden the vision of our students in terms of how to be citizens of the world and how to act as a Catholic,” Norman said.
The spirit of giving is alive at McNicholas High School throughout the year and even more so during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. With the temperatures plunging and holiday expectations escalating, McNicholas students have several opportunities to reach out and help people not-so-different from themselves.
Each day McNicholas students are encouraged to live a Christ-centered life, and their efforts this holiday season are part of the journey to gain “full stature in Christ.” By helping people in the community not so different from themselves, students at McNicholas gain an appreciation for the great gifts in their own lives as well as for the growth and satisfaction that comes from giving.
Posted November 25, 2014
For 100 years, the convent on the campus at McNicholas High School has been a central part of thousands of students’ lives. On Sunday, December 7, McNicholas invites the community to help celebrate the centennial with an open house from 6 to 8 p.m.
During the open house, the first and second floors of the convent will be open for tours and will include photos of the classrooms, chapel, and residential areas in use throughout the years. The Heritage Room will feature Art of the Convent, work done by students and faculty featuring the convent and some of its beautiful features. Christmas music by the McNicholas High School band and liturgy choir will be featured on the front porch of the convent, and Santa will visit at 7 p.m. to light the new trees by the Military Memorial.
The McNicholas Cooking Club will provide cookies and members of Student Council will host a children’s activity area with a special craft project.
|The Convent Chapel with its original décor.||St. Joseph Academy students in the 1920s used the room in the front of the building on the second floor as a music room. Today it is the Spanish 1 classroom.|
Posted November 20, 2014
From November 10-14, McNicholas celebrated la Semaine Nationale de Français (National French Week) with French prayers, trivia questions, student presentations, and fun activities.
On Thursday, a group of students gathered for an authentic French dinner at La Petite France. The highlight of the week was the annual McNick Tour de France, where student teams from each French class competed on bicycles to win the maillot jaune.
Click here to read the McNicholas Milestone's coverage of the week. For additional news about the World Languages department, click here.
Posted November 20, 2014
The McNicholas Theatre Department's fall production, It's Not The End of The World, has won a first place, full production slot at the 2015 Thespian Conference in Columbus in March.
"We are excited for this opportunity to present the show in front of hundreds of young theatre enthusiasts, teachers, and professionals from all over the country," theatre teacher Ms. Teresa DeZarn said.
The production includes Nothing is the End of the World, directed by DeZarn, and The Diary of Adam and Eve, directed by Jeanne Spurlock. This is the third consecutive year that McNicholas has won this honor under the leadership of DeZarn.
Posted November 12, 2014
On Tuesday, Nov. 11, McNicholas High School inducted 39 new members into the Altiora Chapter of National Honor Society. The National Honor Society recognizes the achievements of junior and senior students who excel academically and fill leadership roles in the school and wider community.
The induction was led by NHS moderators, English teacher Mrs. Katie Caster and social studies teacher Ms. Michelle Semancik. SAIL teacher Mrs. Val Combs gave the congratulations speech to the newly inducted members. NHS officers Michelle Hollenkamp, Trevor Lynd, Molly Kidwell, and William Allgeier also assisted with the ceremony.
Congratulations to new members Zachary Arnold, Taylor Ashmore, William Babb, Kelly Breitenbach, Caleb Brunner, Maria Ciampone, Kelly Cole, Matthew Cornell, Claire Daly, Aaron Diemler, Micah Diemler, Jackson Durm, Vincent Ehemann, Nicholas Emig, Emma Feld, Lauren Fisher, Maia Forman, Emma Heise, Connor Higgins, William Kamphaus, Emma Kapp, John Longbottom, Brynna Maxey, Adam Neltner, Grant Painter, Gabrielle Quesnell, Nicholas Robben, Jarrod Roetenberger, Sidney Schaeper, Margaret Schulhoff, Anna Schutter, Margaret Sheehan, Elizabeth Simmons, Sarah Standiford, Brittany Taylor, Gillian Tierney, Kyle Timmons, Abigail Weiler, and Hannah Wuerfel.
On Wednesday, Nov. 11, students and faculty assembled in honor of over 200 McNicholas alumni who have served their nation in the armed forces. During the hour-long service, the school rededicated its military memorial, which commemorates the lives of five McNicholas graduates who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country.
Gathering together near the memorial, the student body joined the nation’s veterans and the families of those McNicholas alumni who have fallen in the line of duty. Social Studies teacher Frank Lowden began the ceremony by offering a bagpipe call to order, ushering in members of the American Legion Post 484, who presented the colors for the Pledge of Allegiance. The student body participated by waving American flags and joining their school Liturgy Choir in the singing of the National Anthem and "God Bless America."
Speakers at the event included United States Air Force Colonel Walter C. Daniels II ’85, and Lieutenant Colonel Brad Wenstrup, United States Army Reserves and 2nd Congressional District U.S. House of Representatives.
“Today is meant for celebrating the service of those who came before us and those who will come after us,” Daniels told the crowd. “As we rededicate this memorial, I ask you not to mourn the loss, but to celebrate the service.”
Originally dedicated in 2009, the military memorial honors five McNicholas graduates who were killed in the line of duty: Marty Mugavin ’65, Greg Iding ’65, Joe Berning ’69, Chuck Kiser ’85, and Nick Erdy ’02. During the rededication ceremony, select students offered tributes to the each of the fallen veterans, recounting stories of their lives and sacrifices. Daniels and Wenstrup were then invited to share with the McNicholas community their thoughts on the importance of honoring those who give their lives to military service.
“To me, every day is Veteran’s Day,” Wenstrup said. “Not a day has passed when I do not think of our troops. Those who serve our country are the best and brightest. Our great American veterans go where others fear to go, and ask nothing from those who give nothing.”
Following the ceremony, the veterans and their families were invited inside for a breakfast, held in the school cafeteria. There, students were able to spend quality time with family members who have served in the armed forces, while reflecting on the service of those McNicholas graduates who had paid the ultimate sacrifice to their country.
“We should remember them as they lived and see it with happiness rather than sadness and grief,” senior Patrick Simmons said. Simmons attended the event with his grandfather, a veteran of the Vietnam War. “We must never forget those who have served, and must remember them not by glorifying the war and bloodshed, but rather through people who still live and through remembering those who died.”
Daniels concluded his speech by presenting the ceremony’s attendees with a challenge to support those who work for freedom today while preserving the memory of those military members who have since passed.
“I challenge you to live the life of selfless service as those men have,” Daniels said. “Remember them and ask yourself: ‘How can I serve my community today?”
Posted November 10, 2014
On Oct. 28, seniors Andrew Parra, Keely Meakin, Molly Kidwell, Will Allgeier and Sarah Shook observed a live surgery at The Christ Hospital. The group observed a hysterectomy and later had the opportunity to operate the same robotic arms the surgeons used on the patient.
“The point of the arms is so that the surgeon is able to use them like they would use their own arms and hands but do so in a minimally-invasive fashion. We were able to use the arms to shift numbers and letter blocks and attempt to organize them,” senior Molly Kidwell said.
Students also took a tour of The Christ Hospital Nursing School and saw a demonstration of the simulation lab where nursing students have a chance to practice their nursing skills before trying them on real patients.
“I absolutely loved touring the nursing college, and getting to see the SIMS dummies was a remarkable experience,” Kidwell said. “These dummies can have asthma attacks, heart attacks, and even give birth!”
Fellow senior Will Allgeier agreed. “It looked really interesting and shows how much of a difference you can make in people’s lives,” Allgeier said. “All of the equipment and people involved proved to be something special.”
Both Kidwell and Allgeier said that the experience fueled their interest in health and medicine. “Observing the surgery made me realize just how passionate I am about the human body and about science in general,” Kidwell said. “I felt excited awaiting the surgery, and telling people about my experience made me smile... It just really validated my desire to pursue a career in pediatrics.”
On Saturday, Oct. 25, a group of 30 students spent the morning cleaning the Mt. Washington Cemetery. The group from the school’s Service Club has made this work of helping maintain the cemetery, which is just down the street from McNicholas in Mt. Washington, a regular service project.
“The Mt. Washington Cemetery Association is so grateful to have the assistance of a large group of student volunteers from McNicholas High School,” Julie Rimer, secretary and treasurer of the Cemetery Association. “Mr. Sam Roflow, Chair of the McNicholas Theology Department, and the students performed a wide variety of maintenance tasks at the Mt. Washington Cemetery--collecting fallen tree limbs, planting trees, weeding and removing litter. Since the formerly abandoned cemetery is maintained by a small group of trustees, the help was invaluable.”