|Weekly Newsletter Archive|
Posted May 26, 2016
The Class of 2016 celebrated graduation on Sunday, May 21 at Music Hall. The 158 members of the class celebrated with the traditional cap toss at the end of the ceremonies. During the celebration, McNicholas honored its outstanding graduates with the following senior awards:
Archbishop McNicholas Memorial Award
The highest award given at McNicholas High School to the outstanding young man and young woman who best exemplifies the type of high school graduate McNicholas strives to develop. The qualifications include academic achievement, continuous service, and character in terms of Christian ideals. This year's recipients were Emma Kapp and Matthew Cornell.
Christian Leadership Award
Given annually to one young man and one young woman who have continuously promoted Christian ideals by example and have tried to involve others in those ideals. This year's recipients were Sierra Meyer and Mitchell Hartwell.
Rasper Service Award
Given annually to a senior who has given outstanding service to the McNicholas community. This year's recipient was Nicholas Robben.
Given annually to one young man and one young woman who have displayed outstanding sportsmanship, loyalty, and courage throughout their athletic experiences at McNicholas. This year's recipients were Shelby Miller and Nicholas Staderman.
Outstanding Service Awards
Given annually to ten seniors for their many contributions to the McNicholas community over the last four years. The year's recipients were Jacob Cheek, Claire Daly, Maia Forman, Brian Gauch, Emma Heise, Margaret Schulhoff, Emma Smith, Brittany Taylor (salutatorian), William Vogelgesang, and Christopher Wells.
Posted May 12, 2016
The vast majority of McNicholas students go far beyond the required hours of community service. The honorary Century Club has been established to recognize those who do over 100 hours of service during their time at McNicholas. Membership in the Century Club is determined by adding all service hours completed helping the underprivileged and no more than 60 hours of other kinds of service. This year, 57 members of the Class of 2016 accounted for 11,275 of the 18,000 hours of service given in the community by this year's seniors since their freshmen year.
The 2016 edition of the McNicholas literary journal Reflections is now available for online viewing. Reflections, a co-curricular publication of the English and Fine Arts Departments, features original poetry, formula poems, reflections, songs, short stories, artwork, and photography of students in grades 9-12.
Students in the Creative Writing II class, Maddie Buhr, Emily Lundrigan, Julia Williams, and Nicholas Wynn, published the journal, but all students in the school were invited to submit their original material.
Click here to view the journal.
Posted May 12, 2016
McNicholas High School was proud to welcome U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup to campus on Monday for a special presentation to junior Molly Jorden.
Jorden was awarded first place in the Congressional Art Competition for her painting Rusty Truck.This painting will hang in the U.S. Capitol for a year. Congratulations Molly!
Junior Adrian Ell received the Lauren Hill Courage Award.
The Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Women's Sports Association, a non-profit organization affiliated as a Women's Sports Foundation community action program, sponsored an awards dinner that recognized and honored the best female athletes and coaches at the club, high school and college, and masters levels.
The AP Photography class participated in a program sponsored by the Taft Museum of Art, Artists Reaching Classrooms. The class hosted three visiting professional artists and took a trip to a local artist's studio and to the Taft Museum.
Seven students from the class were able to submit their work to be professionally framed by Suder's Art Store and displayed in a collaborative show at the Cincinnati Public Library.
Congratulations to senior Brynna Maxey who received the Louise Evans Memorial Scholarship for $1200; senior Anna Schutter who received a scholarship for $1000; and senior Emma Heise who received a Honorable Mention Award.
The Mercy Anderson Hospital's Physicians Charitable Foundation, which is made up of former chiefs of staff of the hospital, recently recognized junior Katie McHugh for her achievements in science.
She was presented with a check, and the McNicholas Science Department also received a generous contributions from Mercy.
Every year, the Service Club at McNick has the opportunity to go to SEM Haven, a retirement community in Milford, where they participate in a prom with all of the residents who live there. The students talk to the residents and their family members, and dance with them if they are able to.
The first SEM Haven prom McNicholas students participated in this year was March 17, and the residents had enjoyed it enough to where they wanted the students to return on April 13 for a second prom.
Every year there is a senior king and queen announced that five students help choose, and there is also a student king and queen. The king and queen for the first SEM Haven prom this year was Connor Higgins and Lexi Gauger. The king and queen for the second prom was Wade Brokamp and Lauren Mindrum.
Participating in the SEM Haven prom is a great opportunity to challenge yourself to meet new people, and even learn something about yourself. “The seniors at SEM Haven have remarkable stories to tell and may change your life. I had one lady who gave me a motivational speech for about 10 minutes, which truly moved me. I will definitely be coming back to the SEM Haven prom next year,” sophomore Grace Turner said.
Theology teacher and Service Club moderator Mr. Sam Roflow can’t say enough about the students who participated in the proms. “I feel like a very proud dad. These students just jump right in. I’m not sure I could have done that at their age,” Roflow said.
Posted April 29, 2016
McNicholas High School celebrated its annual Academic Signing on Friday, April 29, with the top students in the Class of 2016 signing commitments to the colleges of their choice.
Congratulations to Will Kamphaus, this year's valedictorian, and Brittany Taylor, salutatorian, for their outstanding academic accomplishments. Kamphaus will study engineering at the University of Cincinnati, and Taylor will study biology/pre-med at Loyola University Chicago.
Rounding out the top of the class are:
Posted April 28, 2016
Congratulations to our world language students who attained national recognition for their outstanding performance on the 2016 National Spanish Examinations. Students from McNicholas High School earned a total of 10 gold, 11 silver and 20 bronze medals.
Students from McNicholas have a long history of high achievement on these exams. Every year, students in Spanish classes take the National Spanish Exam. Teachers Tracey Canisalez, Kyle Jepson and Carla Wessels will honor each student who won a national award and medals at the Academic Awards Evening at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11. A Gold Medal represents a score in the 95th percentile or better; a Silver Medal represents a score in the 85th percentile or better; and a Bronze Medal represents a score in the 75th percentile or better.
"Attaining a medal or honorable mention for any student on the National Spanish Examinations is very prestigious," said Kevin Cessna-Buscemi, National Director of the Exams, "because the exams are the largest of their kind in the United States with over 154,000 students participating in 2016."
According to teacher Kyle Jepson, McNicholas students outperformed nearly every school in Ohio, including larger schools like St. Xavier, Moeller, Ursuline, and Cleveland St. Ignatius as well as Summit Country Day and Seven Hills.
At the state level, ,Myles Bailey received the 3rd highest score on the State of Ohio Buckeye Chapter National Spanish Exam Level 1 in the Category of Classroom Experience. Kay Daly received the 3rd highest score in the State of Ohio Buckeye Chapter National Spanish Exam Level 2 in the Category of Classroom Experience.
Gold Medal Winners
Spanish I: Myles Bailey, Madison Boeckman, Lilly Osterday, Matthew Pryor, Sophia Sponsler, Olivia Tore
Spanish II: Kennedy Brennan, Lexi Gauger, Gabriela Scorti
Spanish III: Isabella Daley
Silver Medal Winners
Spanish I: Abigail Bryll, Rylie Higgins, John Sheehan, Jillian Tore, Jacob Watford, Lilian Zimmerman
Spanish II: Wade Brokamp, Logan Stanford
Spanish III: Seon Jin Kim, Zach Woodke, Veronica Menendez
Bronze Medal Winners
Spanish I: Emily Byrne, Collin Crowthers, Annabelle Fisher, Andrew Geers, Bente Joosten, Jack Potter, Julia Straub
Spanish II: Trey Ackel, Cole Burdick, Audrey Estes Anthony Marraccini, Natalie Martinez, Samantha Moser, Paul Rammel, Maria Staubach, Lauren Steinkuhl, Elise Walsh
Spanish III: Lauren Alvey, Sean Kapp, Andrew Russell
On Monday, Apr. 25, guests from The Cultural Center of Batahola Norte visited McNicholas High School. Each year, students from McNicholas visit the Cultural Center of Batahola Norte as part of the Nicaraguan Immersion Experience, a week-long visit during the month of June that serves as an opportunity for solidarity, partnership, and accompaniment with the people of Nicaragua. Twelve McNicholas students will be a part of this trip June 8-16 this year. Seniors Emma Smith, Katie Sponsler, Jake Vaughn, Madeline Fehn and trip coordinator John Norman joined the visitors.
On Sat., Apr. 23, the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association hosted Spike for Tykes at Capital University's Capital Center.
The charity volleyball tournament showcased 16 of the best Ohio high school boys volleyball teams and proceeds went toward the Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Each Ohio region (North, South, East & West) was paired with a "Tyke". A tyke is a child who has overcome adversity with the support of Nationwide Children's Hospital. Each tyke represents a different department within the hospital. Money donated from each region will be donated to that tyke's hospital department.
McNicholas men's volleyball teams participated in the tournament and got to meet their "Tyke" Jeremy to give him a shirt.
On Tues., April 19, McNicholas High School inducted 36 students into one of the three world language honor societies at the school. The ceremony featured McNicholas alumna Melina Hazzard ’12 as the guest speaker as well as prayers in French, Latin, and Spanish. Current honor society members enrolled the new members, and world language teachers Julie Dill (French), Paula Romolo (Latin), and Carla Wessels (Spanish) congratulated and welcomed the students who have maintained high academic standing and four years of foreign language studies in high school.
Société Honoraire de Français
Abby Jane Conard, Cameron Haynes, Molly Jorden, Felicia Marino, Molly Smith
National Junior Classical League Latin Honor Society
Gabriel Dotterweich, Katherine McHugh
Sociedad Honoraria Hispánia
Saul Barriga, Elizabeth Beck, Gracie Blades, Angela Bolan, Hannah Brune, Madeline Buhr, Kathryn Byrne, Ryan Byrne, Carly Cullion, Isabella Daley, Gillian Donnelly, Lauren Dundon, Kayley Evans, Samuel Havlis, Abby Hay, Seon Jin Kim, Hailey Lau, Veronica Menendez, Emily Mentzel, Lauren Pearson, Amy Powell, Andrew Russell, Jackson Sager, Gabriel Sander, Andrew Schmidt, Jared Taylor, Benjamin Wainscott, Abigail Weiler, Hannah Wuerfel
AP Biology students had the opportunity to view a live open heart surgery Tuesday at The Christ Hospital. Students witnessed the surgery and then asked questions of the surgeon and medical team. The students who attended were Vanessa Bayliss, Atticus Block, Sam Havlis, Salvatore Marino, Ian Bodner, Maia Forman, Lauren Alvey, Brittany Taylor, Alessia Accordino, and Hannah Wuerful. See Local 12 coverage of this oncei-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
McNicholas seniors Matthew Cornell, Brian Cabell, and Brian Gauch were selected as a 2015-16 Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Honorable Mention winner. The project—Project Bean--used current or emerging technology to design a way to control invasive insects such as the emerald ash borer.
The Honorable Mention award places the trio’s project among the top 10 percent of all ExploraVision projects submitted to the competition this year.
Students from Mr. Spurlock’s AP Physics 2 class recently competed in the TEAMS competition at the University of Cincinnati. Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) is an annual competition for middle and high school students designed to help them discover their potential for engineering. During this one-day competition, students apply math and science knowledge in practical, creative ways to solve real-world engineering challenges.
The McNicholas students qualified for the National Competition held in Nashville at the end of June. Overall they placed 17th out of 91 teams in the state. They qualified by having a high enough score on the Part I competition. On-site, they placed second in the second part of the competition.
Congratulations to seniors Zach Arnold, Nick Emig, Connor Higgins, Will Kamphaus, Josh Poole, Nick Robben, Adam Neltner, and Rocky Zhang.
Posted April 20, 2016; Written by
By Mary-Kate Dowling Parra ’16, Owen Schuh ’16, Olivia Schultz ’16, Katie Sponsler ’16, and Nicholas Wynn ‘18
McNicholas High School participated in the third and final National Signing Day ceremony on Wednesday, April 13, with seven athletes committing to playing their sport at the collegiate level. Signees included seniors Tristan Bentley and Griffin Garrison for soccer; Sam Browning, Ryan Byrne, and Will Vogelgesang for baseball; Brenna Yannetti for volleyball; and Duncan Weir for lacrosse.
Tristan Bentley has committed to playing soccer at Capital University in Columbus. Bentley, the son of William and Adria Bentley, has been playing since the age of three and will be playing striker and midfield in college. Of his time in high school soccer he said his teammates “truly were a family, on and off the pitch. He added, “They’ve made my high school experience so much better.”
At Capital, he will be studying business and is very happy to be continuing his soccer career. He added that his parents have helped him the most on his soccer journey. “My parents have sacrificed so many things to put me through club soccer and paying for all the out of state trips [for games] and all of my gear. They really have been there, supporting me every step of the way,” Bentley said. His mother Adria said, “Through the years, it has been enjoyable to watch Tristan grow as a player. It has been a joy to have coaches, teachers, and trainers come to us and tell us how happy they are to have him on their team. We hear all the time about how hard he works and how impressed they are with his overall vision and work ethic…We look forward to seeing him continue to grow as a soccer player and are very proud of him.”
Sam Browning has committed to Lake Erie College on an athletic scholarship to play baseball. “My love for baseball began when I was 4 years old when I started playing T-ball,” Browning said. During his time at McNicholas, Browning has played as the pitcher and the third baseman and plans on continuing these positions in the coming years. Browning said he is thrilled to continue his baseball career into college because, “It’s just a dream I’ve always had.” He is the son of Mike Browning and Laura Browning. Browning’s father said he is extremely proud of Sam and all his efforts he has put in, “Sam has not only done well athletically but he’s been a very good student. He knew what he wanted and stayed focused to get it.” Browning plans on majoring in accounting at Lake Erie College.
Browning finished his junior year baseball season as Division II Player of the Year, GCL Player of the Year, 1st Team All City and GCL, and Forest Hills Journal Player of the Year. “Playing against good talent in the GCL will definitely help me be prepared for next year,” Browning said. From playing in the district championship to playing at Great American Ball Park, Browning said he has made countless memories, “I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to play with; they are the ones who make it enjoyable. On the other hand, I definitely can’t wait to meet my new teammates next year and begin my journey as a college athlete,” he said.
Ryan Byrne will attend Ashland University where he plans to study business. The son of Bob and Lori Byrne, he has committed to playing baseball at Ashland and will continue to play catcher, the same position he has played at McNicholas. Byrne has played baseball since he was five years old, and his long career earned him offers to play for Earlham, Concordia, and Ohio Wesleyan University, in addition to Ashland. Byrne said he ultimately decided on Ashland "because it was the campus that I felt most comfortable at and where I could see myself excelling." Byrne’s mom, Lori, said she is excited about seeing him once again behind the plate in Ashland colors and being part of a college team. “It is hard to put into words how proud I am of Ryan. A lot of kids start out with a dream of playing sports in college. Injuries and burnout often occur and change their path. Ryan has worked very hard to make it this far, and I admire his dedication!” Lori said.
Byrne said that his time and experiences at McNicholas will help him in college and has influenced him as a whole. "My teammates have made my high school experience amazing. We have had a ton of fun and some success to go along with it," he said. "I have learned more about the game from in-game experience and from my coaches," he added. Byrne said that it was a joint effort from his family, coaches, and friends and teammates who have helped support him throughout his career. His junior year, Byrne was named Team All GCL and the Team All City, in addition to receiving the Rocket Award. He was also named Team All GCL three times in football, twice on the defensive line and once on the offensive line. Byrne is excited to begin conditioning during the fall/winter in preparation for the spring season, saying, "I'm looking forward to making memories that I'll never forget."
Griffin Garrison has committed to Thomas More College to play soccer at the collegiate level. Garrison, the son of Grant and Taren Garrison, started playing soccer at the age of four, and throughout his high school career he excelled as the team’s forward. As a Rocket, his acclamations have attributed to the success of his athletic career and include being crowned All City Player of the Year, All State, GCL Player of the Year, McNick’s Best Offensive Player, and MVP.
Next year, Garrison expects to run the same position, and his experience of playing all four years throughout high school has helped him make the decision to further his passion of the sport. “Looking back, one memory I will definitely remember is playing against my cousin and pulling a snipe on him from 25 yards out. We had been messing around beforehand about who would win the game, and even though his team ended up winning, it was still fun to be able to pull a move on him,” Garrison said.
Garrison is thankful for his parents who have always been there from the start to help him achieve his goals, and they are looking forward to being able to continue watching him play since he will only be a short distance away.
Will Vogelgesang, son of Coleen and Dick Vogelgesang, has signed with Miami University to play baseball. He started playing tee-ball at the age of three and his career has expanded to now signing with a Division I school with the eventual hope of playing professionally. During his freshman year at McNick, he played on the freshman baseball team while the past three years he’s played varsity. While at McNick he has earned Most Improved Player of the Year 10th grade, 1st Team GCL 10th and 11th, All City 10th and 11th, Offensive Player of the Year in 2015, and All Ohio Honorable Mention. He has also played at Champions Baseball Academy, and this summer he plans to play for Cincinnati Fury. His position is shortstop and hopes to play it in college but is ready to move to fit the needs of the team.
He is looking forward to playing for a DI school next year hopes to get to Omaha for a chance at a national championship. He hasn’t declared a major but plans on studying occupational therapy. His parents, brother, and Jeff Keith, his infield coach at Champions, were all influential in helping him pick his college, but he will never forget the influence of his high school team. “They pushed me to become a better leader and teammate,” Vogelgesang said. He looks forward to the rest of his season and hopes to win the 2016 State Championship with his current Rocket team.
Duncan Weir, who has only played lacrosse since his junior year when McNicholas added a lacrosse program, will attend the University of Indianapolis where he received an academic scholarship and plans to major in business with a minor in creative writing. He is the son of Beth Weir and Jeff Weir. Weir said he is excited to continue his athletic career in college because, "I love the sport of lacrosse and ever since I was little, I always wanted to play a sport in college." Weir's father Jeff said he is incredibly proud of Duncan and is excited to be able to watch him play at a university that is only two hours away. "He has worked extremely hard and put everything he has into lacrosse. It's amazing to see such fruitful results after such a short time," Jeff said.
Currently in the middle of the current lacrosse season as a Rocket, Weir said his coaches Mike Riggall, Cory Rusinek, and Sean Finnegan have helped him a great deal on his journey to continue playing lacrosse in college. "My coaches have all pushed me to be my best every day and have taught me everything that I know about the sport. They built me into a lacrosse player from the ground up, and I could never have done it without them," he said. In his junior year as a first-year lacrosse player, Weir was named 1st Team All South Region, 2nd Team All State, and received the Rocket Award. He was also named 2nd Team All GCL in soccer. While Weir is looking forward to playing lacrosse in college, he said will miss his teammates. "My teammates have made my high school experience really incredible -- there is nothing like having a group of 30 other guys who share the same goals and struggle. It's a bond like no other," he said.
Making the trek two hours north of Cincinnati to Ohio Dominican University is Brenna Yannetti, who has committed to playing volleyball for the panthers for the next four years. Playing volleyball since third grade, Yannetti said she chose to continue playing volleyball in college because she didn’t want her volleyball career to be over yet. Reflecting on her time as a Rocket, she said, “[My team] helped encourage me to stay positive I wasn’t playing my best,” and she added that she will miss the team bonding over the years.
Yannetti has declared exercise science as her major, and she will begin coach-assigned workouts at home during the summer but will then report to ODU in August to begin practices. As she was deciding where to attend, her parents Michele and Joe Yannetti told her, “You have to go where your heart is. If you don’t you won’t be into it.” They added that they are looking forward to continuing to see her play and that her volleyball is not over with her senior year.
Students in the Introduction to Engineering class were given the challenge of shipping a product in the safest, most cost effective package. Working in teams, students were tasked with designing a package using the materials provided to safely ship a single potato chip to the school address. Their final grade was determined using a formula that took into account the condition of the chip, size, and mass of the package. The project seems deceptively simple, but by designing, manufacturing, and testing their packages, students had a chance to see the external stresses that manufacturing engineers must consider when developing a package or product design.
After the packages were shipped April 9 from Maysville, Kentucky, students were given the tracking number to follow the package's progress. Eventually all the packages arrived at McNicholas, and were opened for evaluation. In the end students learned it wasn't as easy as it looked - only 2 of the 9 boxes returned totally intact chips.
Introduction to Engineering is a semester class for juniors and seniors and is designed to be a survey of the different branches of engineering for students thinking of pursuing engineering in college. In addition to field trips and speakers, students complete a hands-on project in each branch covered, to get an idea of the challenges faced in those fields.
Close Up is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to experience their government in action. From visits to Washington's famous monuments, memorials, and institutions, to meetings with their Congressional delegation on Capitol Hill, Close Up students get a first-hand look at the American political system and consider what role they, as students, play in our democracy.
The trip was funded by Robert C. Fisher, Class of 1955. The Fischer Scholar Program at McNicholas was established through a donation from his estate so students could attend the $2,000 trip each year.
This year, juniors Vanessa Bayliss, Atticus Block, Jacqueline Geygan, Jonathon Hazzard, Miranda Roesel, and Gabe Sanders spent the week of March 14-18 in Washington, D.C.
The Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce has named its Citizens of the Year award winners, and McNicholas is proud to announce that Ms. Teresa Davis has been awarded Educator of the Year and senior Mitchell Hartwell has been awarded Student of the Year.
Teresa Davis is in her third year at McNicholas High School as part of the Theology Department faculty. She teaches classes in scripture, world religion, and vocations and is part of the Campus Ministry Team and the Anime Club moderator. Davis spearheads McNicholas' Grief Support Group which meets regularly to provide a network of support, compassion, and help for students who have lost a loved one. Davis has brought a number of speakers to McNicholas that challenge our students and push their comfort levels, including Immacluee Ilibagiza, a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
"Her love for students is unparalleled," Kaitlyn Richter, guidance counselor says. "She goes above and beyond to help students who are struggling. She is passionate about our grief group, and giving hurting students a place to process their pain. She is a bright light in the halls of McNick on a daily basis, and she has a sincerity in her desire to see us continue to be excellent as a school."
Senior Mitchell Hartwell is a four-year honor roll student and member of the tennis team. He has also been a part of the Liturgy Choir for three years and a Service Club member and McNicholas Ambassador. Hartwell's area of greatest contributions to McNicholas is in the theatre. He has done the sound for seven McNicholas stage shows and four talent shows, and when he is not in the sound booth, he is at center stage. Hartwell is also vice-president of the McNicholas chapter of the International Thespian Society.
"What is most impressive about Mitchell is the maturity, thoughtfulness, and humility he shows as he serves our school community each day," teacher David Sandmann said. "His dedication to the theatre and to his classmates is evident as he is the first to arrive and the last to leave many rehearsals. He will not hesitate to spend extra time teaching and mentoring younger students who are now working on the tech side of a show. He does so without being intrusive, but is always supportive."
Davis and Hartwell will be recognized on Tuesday, April 19 at the Anderson Area Chamber's Citizens of the Year awards program.
Thirteen students participated in the Regional Science Fair this past weekend at the University of Cincinnati. Congratulations to freshmen Jacob Reuss and Michael Schaeper who both qualified for the State Science Fair in Columbus on May 14.
Shaeper also won the Young Scientists Award in the environmental sciences category from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services. Freshmen Vinny Ramundo won $40 from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services in behavioral and social science.
Congratulations to Schaeper, Reuss, and Ramundo and to all the participants--Lily Osterday, Carly Suttles, McKenzie Miller, Sam Durm, Kay Daly, Katie McCort, Danielle Robben, Brett Liming, Veronica Menendez, and Christina Poole.
Seven McNicholas student will have artwork on display at The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County's Main Branch from April 13-May 7.
This student art show is sponsored by the Taft Museum of Art through their Artists Reaching Classrooms program that the AP Photo class participated in this year.
Congratulations to the following students who will have their work professionally framed and displayed-seniors Caleb Brunner, Sara Crooker, Haleigh Haugh, Emma Heise, Brynna Maxey, Anna Schutter, and Sarah Standiford.
Posted March 17, 2016
Candidates for the National Art Honor Society are invited by the Art Department to apply to the society
based on the students’ artistic skill, commitment to art, and academic standing. They are required to
have a minimum of two semesters in art coursework and maintain a 93% average or better in art. They
may be inducted as sophomores, juniors or seniors and must be in good academic standing. Once
inducted, students must re-apply each year. Candidates commit to majoring or minoring in art, or will
have art be a part of their careers, or will continue to have art be a strong interest after high school.
Congratulations to the following NAHS seniors who will be studying art and design in college: Maria Ciampone, Sally Daoud, Jackson Farwick, Melissa Frey, Haleigh Haugh, Connor Higgins, and Meghan Schoening. Congratulations to the following juniors who were inducted: Atticus Block , Avery Dietz, Tate Ewers, Amy Farr, Carmen Feck, Jackie Geygan , Meghan Hagenbarth, Molly Jorden, Anna Kellerman, Seon Jin Kim, Noah Kohl, Valerie Lane, and Molly Smith.
Posted March 17, 2016
The McNicholas High School Thespian Troupe 4737 attended the Ohio Thespian Conference just outside of Columbus, Ohio.
In the individual events competition, seniors Augustin Huffman (filmmaking) and Christopher Wells (monologue) received the highest rating of "double superior" and were invited to present their work on Sunday morning for all conference attendees. They are also eligible to go on to the National Thespian Conference in June.
“I am very proud to say that everyone performed well and received high marks and very positive feedback,” Theatre Director Teresa De Zarn said.
In addition to participating in the individual events competition, students enjoyed attending productions and workshops. Participants included Jillian Sennett, Hannah Straub, Lauren Alvarez, Nick Robben, Thomas Moore, Nick Emig, Sal Marino, Jacob Fries, Eric Dill, Lauren Alvey, Lauren Mindrum, Kelsey Minnick, Emma Brandt, Allyssa Taylor, and Hunter Cole.
This winter, McNicholas High School juniors Molly Jorden and Noah Kohl submitted their artwork to local and national awards programs that recognize exceptional student talent. Both Jorden and Kohl were recognized for the outstanding work they have done and encouraged to continue creating.
The Cincinnati Arts Association sponsors the Overture Awards each year which recognizes, encourages, and rewards excellence in the arts among Greater Cincinnati students in grades 9-12 in six artistic categories. Both Jorden and Kohl were semifinalists in the visual arts category, two of only three underclassmen of the 20 visual art semifinalists.
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated since 1923. Alumni of the awards include artists Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, and Robert Indiana. In this year’s competition, Jorden won six Gold Keys and Kohl won a Silver Key and an Honorable Mention.
On the national level, Jorden won two Silver Medals, earning her the privledge of having her works Red Door and Steel Girders on display in Carnegie Hall in New York City this summer.
Jorden’s work involves close-up studies of the architecture in Paris. Her work captures the textures and details found in the design of architecture. “I have been fortunate enough to travel a lot throughout my life with my flight attendant mother, and I draw a lot of my inspiration from travel,” Jorden said. “I have always had an interest in old buildings with history and character. I like the textures and imperfections of stone and woodwork, so I take pictures whenever I get the opportunity to visit buildings with such qualities. Because of this, the focus of most of my art has been close up depictions of architectural structures.”
Kohl’s work involves more portrait work. He recently completed a study of portraits beginning with one of his mother and growing into a study of his friends and family in oil paint. Kohl creates images in exact likeness while capturing the uniqueness of each individual object or person.
“His style is realism, some might say photo realism,” Willy Corbett, drawing and painting teacher, said. “His portraits paintings with oils and pencil are second to none.”
Jorden and Kohl each have donated their time and talent to McNick at Night, McNicholas High School’s biggest fundraiser. Each student will do a drawing of the bidder’s choice, and proceeds from their live auction donation will benefit the school.
Senior Nick Staderman was selected as the 2016 Anthony Muñoz Foundation Division III Defensive Lineman of the Year. According to the Foundation, of the numerous nominations submitted, Staderman was chosen as the most outstanding Defensive Linemen in his division according to the selection committee of Anthony Muñoz, Michael Muñoz, Dave Lapham, Mike Dyer, and Andrew Whitworth.
Staderman received the award at the Football Foundation's Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet. The Anthony Muñoz Foundation presented all 16 finalists with their award at this event.
McNicholas Football Coach Mike Orlando said that Staderman was a versatile and important part of the football team. "Although he was a tremendous player on both sides of the ball, his leadership is what will be missed the most," Orlando said. "He was great at keeping things together when it was needed the most and had the ability to bring everyone up to a higher level."
On Thursday, Feb. 25, McNicholas High School inducted Cathryn Humphries Lest '09, Chris Gatio Haynes '74 and Kevin Huber '04 into the school’s Hall of Fame.
Cathryn Humphries Lest '09 was a two-time state champion (100M dash and 200 M dash) and a three-time state runner-up. She was a 14-time state qualifier, a 12-time state placer and placed first 15 out of 16 career events at district meets. Lest was GGCL Athlete of the Year in 2006, 2007, and 2009, and holds McNicholas school records in 100, 200, 4x100. She currently teaches science at McNicholas and coaches the track team.
Chris Gatio Haynes '74 is the recipient of the Good Fellowship Award. Haynes has been a tremendous supporter of the Rocket Athletic program for years, working gates, bingo, and various events to help our teams thrive.
Kevin Huber '04 was a standout football player in his years at McNicholas and is currently the punter for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. He was a three-time All-GCL punter (2001, 2002, 2003) and a finalist for the 2007 Ray Guy Award for college punter of the year. In 2015, Huber was selected for the Pro-Bowl.
The event hosted by Hall of Fame member Margaret McClure Vogler, ’83, also featured a speech by Mike Bohn, Athletic Director for the University of Cincinnati.
McNicholas celebrated its 17th annual Penny Day and Blood Drive last Friday. Over $6,000 was collected by the McNicholas community to help support struggling families at Inner City Catholic School in Cincinnati (CISE), Nicaragua (Project Education) and McNicholas High School (Tuition Assistance). This year’s total pushes the 17-year cumulative total above the $100,000 mark.
Additionally, Hoxworth Blood Center was on campus Friday and collected 84 units from students.
“I know of no other school that can raise this kind of money in a week, let alone a day and running a blood drive simultaneously,” Sam Roflow, faculty adviser to the McNicholas Service Club, said. “What a great day of generosity!"
The Intro to Engineering class visited Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Feb. 24 for Engineering Demo Days at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT).
AFIT is the Air Force’s graduate school of engineering and management as well as its institution for technical professional continuing education. Students participated in demonstrations and lectures on the science and engineering used in defense technology.
Presentations included a demonstration of autonomous drones for surveillance in the Autonomy and Navigation Technology Center, an explanation of the Star Tracker system for guiding space ships using visual star locations, electrical generation/conservation, principals of aeronautical engineering using balsa gliders and rockets, jet engine technology, hazmat procedures, and an description of the Open Skies treaty and inspections of surveillance planes that are a part of the treaty.
The McNicholas Percussion Ensemble performed at The Dragonfly Foundation's annual gala on February 13. The Dragonfly Foundation raises funds to bring comfort and joy to kids, young adults, and their families enduring cancer and bone marrow transplants.
Band Director Keith Nance was impressed with the foundation and the ensemble. "Seeing what the Dragonfly Foundation does for people and hearing their stories was a moving experience. In my sixteen years here at Rocket High, I can't remember being more proud of a group of students who used their talents to help someone else," Nance said.
The Percussion Ensemble is comprised of Maggie Schulhoff, Josh McSwigan, Matt Lipinski, Jordan McCormick, Adam Blatt, Jarod Estes, and William Granlund.
McNicholas High School’s Mock Trial Team won both of its trials at the regional competition on February 19 and will move on to the state competition in March. The team placed third overall, its highest placement ever in regional competition.
Additionally, the team won three of the four available individual awards—senior Brian Gauch earned the Best Attorney award and seniors Sarah Standiford and junior Jared Taylor received Best Witness awards. Other team members who turned in a top performance include seniors Jackson Durm and Will Babb, sophomore Tess Forman, and freshman Emily Potter.
This season, the McNicholas team has won all four of its trials and earned seven of the possible eight individual awards, giving them one of the top records in the region this year. The McNicholas High School team is one of only approximately 30 teams out of almost 400 initial teams from Ohio that will compete at the state competition beginning March 10 in Columbus.
Immaculee Ilibagzia, Rwandan genocide survivor, shared her story of forgiveness, hope, and joy when she spoke at McNicholas High School on Tuesday, Feb. 23.
Ilibagzia spent 91 days hiding in a bathroom with seven other women and girls to escape the genocide in Rwanda that killed her parents and brothers.
McNicholas partnered with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio, the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement at Xavier University, Mayerson Foundation and Sisters of St. Joseph to make her appearance possible. Ilibagzia will also spoke at Xavier University Monday, Feb. 22.
The Xavier event began with a performance by the St. Leo Parish's Burundi Choir, a group of former refugees resettled by Catholic Charities. Books were available for sale and signing following both of her presentations.
Theology teacher Teresa Davis said, “Ms. Ilibagiza's story of survival and forgiveness is remarkable. We can all be inspired and uplifted with hope and joy by this faith-filled Catholic.”
Click here to read the Cincinnati Enquirer’s coverage: Rwandan genocide survivor brings message of hope.
Posted February 16, 2016; Written by Claire Murphy '16, Nicholas Wynn '18, and Mary Kate Dowling-Para '16
On Wednesday, Feb. 3, McNicholas High School participated in the second NCAA Signing Day of the year, with commitments from six students from the Class of 2016. The signers included Michaela Shepherd and Emma Heise for soccer, Adam Hisch for football, Carley Scales and Sara Crooker for volleyball, and Shelby Miller for swimming.
Michaela Shepherd will be attending the University of Evansville, Indiana, in the fall on soccer scholarship, where she plans to study athletic training. She has played four years of soccer for McNicholas, three on varsity, and was on the State Championship team in 2014. She was named 1st team GCL her junior year and 2nd team GCL her senior year, and she has also been All-City. “My fellow teammates from my McNicholas soccer team have pushed me to be a better player, and taught me teamwork,” Shepherd said.
Emma Heise will be attending Murray State University in the fall on a soccer scholarship and is undecided on her major. She has played four years of soccer at McNicholas, with three years as a varsity player, and scored two goals to help bring McNicholas to victory in the 2014 State Championship game. She has scored 22 goals with nine assists in her varsity career, she made 2nd team GCL as a junior, 1st team GCL, All-City and All District her senior year and is a Rocket Award and Southwest All Star recipient. “Playing for McNick has helped me because of all of the training sessions, and the sense of family I got from playing on the team,” Heise said.
“We are very proud of Emma. Playing at a college level is something that she has wanted to do since the beginning of her sophomore year, and she has been working really hard year round to make that dream a reality,” Cheryl Heise, mother of Emma, said.
Carley Scales signed to play volleyball for Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky and even though she has not decided on a major, she has narrowed it to Marine Biology or Environmental Science. Scales chose Thomas More because she connected with the volleyball coach there more than the coaches at the other schools she was interested in, and she already knew some of her future teammates.
Scales started playing volleyball when she was five, and while at McNicholas, she played volleyball all four years. During her freshman year, she was the JV co-captain, and joined the varsity team her sophomore year. In 2015, the team was the district runner-up, and the district champion in 2014. Also in 2014, she was fourth in a league in blocks with 62, with 18 service aces, 79 kills, 30 digs, and a .948 serving percentage. “[Being on the team] gave me a lot of confidence and helped me grow in school spirit,” Scales said.
Scales’ parents, Teri and Charlie, are excited about their daughter’s upcoming college experience. “She’s worked really hard and made a lot of sacrifices in time and energy. She’s happy, so we’re happy,” they said. They also said that while Scales was trying to choose a college, they suggested focusing on the right college for her academic and future goals, and just hoping that volleyball worked out instead of making volleyball the main deciding factor. They are also excited about Scales living on campus. “Living on campus will be a whole new experience for her. It’ll give her more independence,” they said. They also mentioned that they’re excited Scales chose a college close to home so they could still attend her games.
Sara Crooker, a teammate of Scales’, also signed to Thomas More College for volleyball and has chosen to major in Athletic Training. She chose Thomas More because she wanted to stay close to home, and thought that Thomas More would be the best place for her to continue playing volleyball throughout her college career.
Crooker started playing volleyball when she was nine years old. Most recently, she was named the most improved of 2014, and her team was named All-City 2nd Team and GCL 2nd Team in 2014 and 2015. Also in 2015, when Crooker became her team’s co-captain, she received Cincinnati Enquirer All-City Honorable Mention and McNick’s Rocket Award.
“My teammates are more like my family…they are a great group of girls that have definitely had an impact on my life,” she said. She added, jokingly, that the girls put so much time into volleyball that they may even see each other more than their actual families.
She also wanted to recognize John Sheldon, her freshman and sophomore year coach that she will definitely remember some years from now. “He made me the player I am to this day,” she said.
Shelby Miller committed to Wright State University for swimming. Miller, who started swimming competitively when she was nine, has been on McNick’s Varsity Swimming Team for all four years and has been named the MVP for three years. She was a state qualifier for three years and a one year state finalist, qualifying for the 500 yard freestyle for all three years and the 200 yard freestyle one year.
Miller’s favorite memory from swimming the last four years is when all her friends came to cheer her on at Senior Night. Miller is looking forward to continuing swimming next year and to doing well at more meets. Her parents, Kurt and Ann, are excited for their daughter to be able to meet new people and broaden her horizons at Wright State.
Adam Hisch, a running back and wide receiver, has committed to Lindsey Wilson College for football. He played on the freshman football team and then varsity for three years. He was awarded 2nd Team GCL his junior year and during his senior year, he was named 1st Team GCL, Tristate Football Preseason Honorable Mention, Ohio Prep Football Honorable Mention, All-City Honorable Mention, Tristate Football Player of the Week nominee, Tristate Football Postseason nominee, and 2nd in the GCL Coed division in all-purpose yards with 1,478 yards in nine games.
Hisch would like to thank his parents and his 8th grade coach, Coach Bachman, for all their help over the years. Looking back at his four years, Hisch said, “Playing at McNick helped make me better person on and off the field.”
Junior Katie McHugh earned a perfect composite score of 36 on the ACT college admission exam. Of the 1.8 million students who take the ACT each year, only about 1,000 receive the highest possible score.
McHugh took the test in December and checked her scores online. “I was happy to get the results,” McHugh said. “I thought the math was easy, but I didn’t know how I did on the rest of it.”
McHugh, who takes AP Calculus as a junior at McNicholas, did not take any special classes or do any preparation for the test. She credits her English classes with helping her on the reading section and her accelerated math studies track with helping her earn the perfect score.
“Katie is one of three juniors taking AP Calculus, which is normally an all-senior class,” Kathy Tyler, McNicholas’ AP Calculus teacher, said. “She has yet to get a test question incorrect. She often helps the rest of the class understand a complicated problem.”
McHugh, who is a member of Mu Alpha Theta and the National Honor Society, is ranked first in her class of 170 at McNicholas. She hopes to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and study math or computer science. McHugh also plays lacrosse and is a member of the Service Club, Spirit Club, and Student Philanthropy Club.
McNicholas High School senior Connor Higgins has carried a full load of classes as a four-year honors student, including four advanced placement classes this year. In addition to his classes, Higgins carts golf clubs as a caddy at the Coldstream Country Club. The combination of his class schedule and his reputation as an excellent caddy has carried him to a full four-year scholarship at The Ohio State University as an Evans Scholar.
The Evans Scholars Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides college scholarships to golf caddies. Sponsored by the Western Golf Association, the Evans Scholars Foundation has helped more than 10,600 caddies attend college since 1930.
Higgins was nominated by Coldstream Country Club for his outstanding work as a caddy as well as his exceptional high school record and test scores. Out of over 750 applications, Higgins is one of about 20 students in Ohio who are Evans Scholars this year. He began the application process last October, and as a finalist, he participated in an interview at the Scioto Country Club in Columbus in January.
“The final interview was in a press conference style where the interviewers raised their hands and I had to call on them for their questions,” Higgins said. “The questions covered my application but also included questions that required creativity and the ability to think fast on my feet.”
Higgins credits his preparation for the scholarship and college to his McNicholas education and some of the resources available on campus. “I enjoyed the Introduction to Engineering class, but my favorite class has been Architecture,” said Higgins who plans to study architectural or civil engineering at OSU. “Being able to use the 3-D printer, make 3-D models, and learn CAD to design floor plans has been fun and interesting.”
Higgins will live in the Evans Scholars House on the OSU campus and looks forward to the experience of living and studying with students who share similar values. “There is a code and creed that all residents must follow and also a great sense of community and a cool atmosphere,” he said.
In addition to playing on the golf team, Higgins also has been involved in Ski Club, Service Club, Student Council, and Student Philanthropy at McNicholas and is a member of Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society. “Connor has been a part of many aspects of McNicholas over his four years here,” Principal Patty Beckert said. “He has an outstanding work ethic, discipline, kindness, and enthusiasm that will carry him far in his life.”
The 18th annual McNick at Night dinner and auction is on Saturday, March 12 at Norlyn Manor in Batavia. The evening includes a buffet dinner, silent and live auctions, and ends with a special appeal. This year's special appeal will be for improvements to the McNicholas website.
The website is the centerpiece of marketing efforts for McNicholas and a cornerstone of communication. From prospective families and community sports fans to current families and alumni, the McNicholas website is the central starting point for information, but the website is in great need of better navigation, more flexible content management options, and greater opportunities to integrate visuals into its design. These improvements will allow our parents, alumni, and prospective families the opportunity to integrate with our community better by finding information more quickly, watching video or viewing photos of our students' remarkable accomplishments, or more easily volunteering time, talent or treasure to support our mission.
With the support of the McNicholas community during the special appeal, our goal is to have the refurbished website operational by the start of the next school year. A new website would be an exciting new face to McNicholas and an opportunity to reinforce the foundation for digital communication and marketing efforts.
Click here for more information about McNick at Night, to RSVP for the evening, or to make a donation.
McNicholas student representatives joined students and teachers from Cincinnati-area schools at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains for the 2016 Catholic Schools Week Mass. Archbishop of Cincinnati Dennis M. Schnurr was the celebrant. In his homily, the archbishop urged students to hold tight to the "gift of faith" as their lives change into adulthood.
"Our Catholic schools set and achieve high academic standards and high graduation rates but, even more, our Catholic schools equip our students with the eyes of faith and an understanding that their talents are God-given and given for a definite purpose," he said.
Seniors who represented McNicholas were Kaylin Adkins, Salvatore Marino, Olivia Schultz, Claire Daly, and Melissa Frey.
In addition to mass at the cathedral, McNicholas has been celebrating Catholic Schools Week with a variety of activities, including a video conference with Archbishop Schnurr, a cereal collection for local food pantries, contests and treats at lunch, and a student dodgeball tournament. McNicholas is also welcoming its newest Rockets during Catholic Schools Week at registration for the Class of 2020.
Congratulations to the Mock Trial Team for winning both of their trials at the district competition on January 29. The competition was held at the Hamilton County Courthouse, where the team presented both the Prosecution and Defense sides in separate trials. The case this year involved a 4th Amendment issue on whether a police officer was justified in using deadly force against a teen armed with a toy bow and arrow. The McNick team is one of only a few teams out of 48 total teams in the competition that will advance to the regional competition on February 19.
The team was awarded all four individual awards in their trials. The awards for Outstanding Attorney were awarded to Jackson Durm and Sarah Standiford, and the awards for Outstanding Witness were awarded to Sarah Standiford and Tess Forman. Other team members who all gave top performances to win the team competitions include Brian Gauch, Will Babb, Jared Taylor, and Emily Potter. Mr. Frank Lowden serves as faculty advisor, and Mrs. L. Weigand serves as legal advisor for the team.
Click the icon for more information and to register!
As the winter sports seasons come to an end, McNicholas will hold its annual Hall of Fame induction in the Café and Student Union on Thursday, Feb. 25. The speaker for the evening will be Mike Bohn, Director of Athletics at the University of Cincinnati.
Through nominations submitted by fellow alumni, the inductees chosen by the Hall of Fame review committee include Cathryn Humphries Lest '09, Kevin Huber '04, and Chris Gatio Haynes ‘74. Lest and Huber will be recognized for their athletic careers while Haynes will receive the Good Fellowship Award for her dedication to McNick’s athletic program.
As a Rocket, Lest was a two-time state champion in Track and Field, she placed first in the 100m and 200m dash and still holds the record at McNicholas. She continued her track career at Hillsdale College in Michigan and is now a science teacher at McNick. "I feel really honored to be inducted. I'm very grateful for all the teachers and coaches that have gotten me this far. I never could have done any of this without the help and support of my family, friends, and the rest of the McNicholas community," Lest said.
Huber, who is the current punter for the Cincin
nati Bengals, will be inducted at the annual event for being a standout football player in his years at McNicholas, the University of Cincinnati, and as a Bengal. He was chosen in the fifth round draft by the Bengals and has been repeatedly rewarded for his efforts such as earning first-team All-Pro honors from Sporting News.
The Good Fellowship Award will be presented to Haynes for her many years of support and dedication to the athletic program. She has been a consistent supporter of the Rocket Athletic program for years, working gates, bingo, and various other events.
Tickets are available presale for $25 or $35 at the door. Presale tickets can be purchased online with a credit card or ticket requests can be made in person in the athletic office during regular school hours or via U.S. mail. The doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner is served at 7 p.m. For more information, please contact athletics assistant Susan Rohlfs at email@example.com or click here.
McNicholas conducted its annual science fair on Wednesday, Jan. 27. The fair included entries in the life and physical science categories and was judged by members of the school’s Science National Honor Society and faculty. This year’s winners are eligible to compete in the regional science fair to be held at the University of Cincinnati on March 19.
Life Science Winners
1st Place--Veronica Menendez--Brain’s Response Based On Screen Size
2nd Place (tie)--Brett Liming--What Color of Light Do Plants Grow Best Under?
2nd Place (tie)--Jacob Reuss: Kidney Bean Electricity Survival
Sam Durm--The Impact of Sleeping Position on Snoring
Lilly Osterday--The Heat Energy of A Compost Pile
Vinny Ramundo--The effect of Exercise on Memory
Danielle Robbe-- Light’s effect of Cockroaches
Michael Schaeper--Aspirin and Plants
Physical Science Winners
1st Place--Carlie Suttles--Seeing The Light Through a Cell Phone Spectrophotometer
2nd Place (tie)--Katie McCort--Do You See What I See?
2nd Place (tie)--Ben Bryll: Height of Balls That are Different Temperatures
2nd Place (tie)--Christina Poole--Which Riprap Prevents Shore Erosion?
Kay Daly--Ball Bounce Resiliency
McKenzie Miller--Finding Alternative Deicers
Governor’s Award for Advanced Materials Science Research:
McKenzie Miller--Finding Alternative Deicers
Governor’s Award for Environmental Protection:
Christina Poole--Which Riprap Prevents Shore Erosion?
Governor’s Award in Agriculture and Food Science Research
Jacob Reuss--Kidney Bean Electricity Survival
Governor’s Award in Information Science and Technology research
Veronica Menendez--Brain’s Response on Screen Size
National Association of Biology Teachers Honors:
Michael Schaeper--Aspirin and Plants
Congratulations to sophomore Skyler Lance for earning first place in the American Chemical Society Illustrated Poem Contest.
As part of every National Chemistry Week (NCW) celebration, the American Chemical Society (ACS) sponsors a national contest for students. Entrants were asked to submit an illustrated poem that illustrated the theme: Chemistry Colors Our World.
The goal of National Chemistry Week, sponsored by the American Chemical Society, is promote the value of chemistry in everyday life. Lance received a $300 cash prize for her work and will be honored, along with teacher Mrs. Regina Goines, at an awards banquet in the spring.
Click to view larger image.