Let’s end our year celebrating the talents of our student athletes, artists, and musicians. Over 1,200 members of our community joined our livestream of the Class of 2020 Baccalaureate and Commencement Masson Wednesday, May 20. This week we invite you to tune in at 7:00pm on Thursday, May 28, for the Holy Family ESPYs, Spring Virtual Coffee House, Spring Band Performance, and the earlier shared Virtual Art Show.
The 2020 Holy Family ESPY’S
AWARDS SHOW HONORING HOLY FAMILY STUDENT ATHLETICS AND ACTIVITIES
Introducing the first annual Holy Family ESPY’S, recognizing excellence in student athletics and activities.
Holy Family Spring Virtual Coffee House
One of Holy Family’s favorite musical nights of the year went virtual this spring with a coffee house featuring a few veteran performers.
Holy Family Band presents “Music from our Virtual Journey.”
From our Mrs. Laura Boillat, HFCHS Director of Vocal Music: Learning, rehearsing and performing music is on an ongoing group project, with an ENORMOUS amount of subtle yet essential non-verbal communication between musicians. School moving online in mid-March due to Covid-19 turned music performance groups on their heads! The Holy Family Band was no exception, but we embraced the online format and began a journey into the world of studio music and music production. In doing so, we have learned a LOT about recording, editing, and mixing, and just how vital that non-verbal communication is to perform live music effectively. We have certainly grown as musicians through this experience!
Many of the virtual performances presented here are the culmination of our third project in our exploration of a digital audio workstation (DAW) called Soundtrap (similar in function to Garageband). Students started out experimenting with loops and beats to create original ringtones they could use on their phones. We then moved on to incorporating our own recorded tracks for project two. Project three expanded on it and required students to work individually or in groups to create layered recordings along with loops. It took countless hours for everyone to get from zero to their final product. After the music was selected, we familiarized ourselves with it through listening and practicing. Working with a timeline of what needed to be done and setting goals for accomplishment, students needed to collaborate with others in their group to make musical and non-musical decisions. Students then began recording their parts in their homes, using only the equipment they had on hand. Recording, along with editing, required a lot of problem-solving and experimenting with everything from microphone placement (typically just a computer or phone) to tempo and balance. Students then layered, edited, and mixed them into our final performance of the 2019-2020 school year.
We present to you “Music from our Virtual Journey.”
Holy Family Activities – Summer Sports & Camps – May 26, 2020
Greetings Holy Family students, parents, coaches, and campers,
The following guidelines have been created to provide families with a clear understanding of Holy Family’s plans to create opportunities for students throughout the summer, while implementing measures to safeguard the health and safety of everyone involved. These procedures have been created based on recommendations from national, state, and local administrators and health experts, and tailored to the unique specifications of our school’s facilities and student body.
Families are expected to review the plan, and make decisions about their son or daughter’s participation in team training opportunities this summer.
Families who elect to participate in training and camps must complete the attached COVID release of liability form prior to participation.
Please know that this plan has been created with the most accurate and timely information available. However, as new information becomes available, it is possible that plans may need to be modified. We will ensure that families are informed of changes as they arise.
Updates about training and camps in July will be provided at a later date, based on the available information at that time. We are hopeful that we’ll be in a position to offer camps and training throughout July with progressively fewer restrictions.
Period 1 – June 8 – June 29:
All sports camps for elementary and middle school students that were scheduled to take place prior to June 29th have been either cancelled or rescheduled for July.
Individuals who have registered for camps will receive communication regarding rescheduling and/or refunds.
Registration fees will be refunded in full in a timely fashion for all cancelled camps.
Training for Holy Family students (including freshman enrolling in Fall 2020) will adhere to the following parameters:
No sports specific training will occur until June 15 in accordance with MSHSL guidelines. Coaches will provide specific information to their participants.
All coaches and students should be screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to participation.
Screening includes a temperature check administered at home prior to participation.
Families are required to monitor the health of their children and withhold them from participation if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:
Shortness of Breath
Close contact, or cared for someone with COVID-19
Temp (if higher than 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit)
Any person with positive symptoms should not be allowed to take part in workouts and should contact his or her primary care provider or other appropriate health-care professional.
Vulnerable individuals should not oversee or participate in any workouts during this phase.
Limitations on Gatherings:
Workouts will be conducted in “pods” of students with the same 5-10 students always working together
No gatherings of more than 10 people at a time inside. Up to 50 individuals may gather outdoors for workouts.
It is essential that parents register for summer training opportunities immediately to provide coaches the opportunity to plan and stagger trainings.
Parents, if your son or daughter is planning on participating in summer training for an activity that does not require online registration, please contact the program head coach for specific information about training opportunities and logistics
If locker rooms or meeting rooms are used, there must be a minimum distance of 6 feet between each individual at all times.
Outdoor training will be utilized, when possible, to increase distance between individuals
Parents who drop athletes off for camps and training are requested to remain in their vehicles, rather than entering the facility
Captain’s practices are not allowed during the month of June
Adequate cleaning schedules have been created, and will be implemented for all athletic facilities to mitigate any communicable diseases.
Individuals should wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with warm water and soap before touching any surfaces or participating in workouts.
Hand sanitizer will be made plentiful and available to individuals as they transfer from place to place.
Appropriate clothing/shoes should be worn at all times to minimize sweat from transmitting onto surfaces.
Students are encouraged to shower and wash their clothing upon returning home.
There will be no shared clothing between students.
All athletic equipment, including balls, should be cleaned intermittently during training.
All athletic equipment such as bats, batting helmets and catchers gear should be cleaned between each use.
All students shall bring their own water bottle. Water bottles will not be shared.
Hydration stations will not be utilized.
Rights and Responsibilities for Athletes:
Choices made by families – to participate, to not participate, or to participate only in some settings will be respected at all times.
Athletes are expected to respect the privacy and space of others, and may expect the same for themselves.
Coaches will provide opportunities for students who are unable to train on campus to develop skills and improve strength and fitness, as requested.
Students may elect to wear cloth masks if they choose to do so during training, but they are not required to do so.
Families will be informed if a student develops COVID-19, but individual health information about students will not be shared with other families. Families are expected to contact the Athletic Director if your son/daughter is found to have COVID-19.
Individual adherence to the guidelines found herein is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance for the outpouring of support that has been displayed for our students, teams, and school throughout some very challenging times!
We are grateful to serve a community so committed to leading the way for our students.
Nick Tibesar & Tim Triplett
April 3, 2020
All districts are offering free lunch to students who may or may not qualify for free and reduced lunch. Below are sites for area school districts. Click on the document below for links to sites for more information about free lunches during the COVID19 crisis.
We hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz issued a Shelter in Place Order for the State of Minnesota from March 27 at 11:59 pm through April 10. With the previous requirement of gatherings 50 or less in place until mid-May and this new directive, we are moving forward with the following items.
NEW INFORMATION: Online School begins on Monday, March 30, and now extends until at least Monday, May 4, in accordance with today’s directive. Starting tomorrow, you and your student will receive more details from our faculty and staff on expectations, plans, and resources. By 8:00 am on Monday, March 30, students will receive information and directions for the week ahead.
We are tremendously grateful for the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff as they prepare for the launch of an extended online learning dynamic. Redesigning lesson plans and implementing an online approach rich in human connection is not a small task, yet, their commitment to seeing our students through this transition remains steadfast.
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
NEW INFORMATION: Minnesota State High School Leaguewill honor the Governor’s executive order and suspend all spring sports until the state lifts distance learning measures. The league has not made a decision about the cancelation of the spring sports season. However, coaches have been notified of the MSHSL’s extension of the ban on any practices, training, etc. until at least May 4when schools could potentially reopen.
We understand your disappointment as this is not what anyone planned or imagined, especially for our seniors. Discussions are underway to ensure we celebrate and acknowledge important rites of passage for our seniors. As more definitive plans (or as absolute as these times allow) develop for senior events and others, we will share more information. The continually changing COVID-19 landscapes make this work challenging, but not impossible.
Please know we are keeping you in our prayers and ask for your prayers in return. Please stay safe and take every precaution recommended by the State of Minnesota as all of us shoulder our responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19.
We must echo the sentiment expressed by so many, “We will get through this together.” We will get through this together because of our deep faith in God, who guides our every step. We will get through this together as a caring and supportive family. We will get through this together and emerge as an even stronger community with new ideas and innovations in providing excellence in education for our students in mind, body, and spirit.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – 8:00 a.m.
As we follow the recommendations of our state and national government, our campus is closed until further notice to all individuals with the exception of employees who have permission to access the building.
Monday, March 16, 2020 – 6:48 p.m.
Update from Assistant Principal Dols regarding tomorrow’s Student Assistance Day
First of all, great job, everyone!! Thank you for taking today’s practice experience seriously, working hard, and giving it your full attention. Most importantly, thank you for responding to the survey. The combined feedback from students and teachers will help us build on our strengths and make adjustments and corrections as needed.
We feel very good about today’s outcomes and confident in our preparation for a smooth and successful transition to online learning after the break. Our committed and talented teachers put in many additional hours in preparing today’s lessons. We are grateful for their flexibility and efforts, which allowed us to test our systems and software proactively.
The overwhelming majority of our students reported feeling prepared for online learning after today’s practice. We are in excellent shape to begin online classes on March 30. Closer to that date, we will send reminders and any necessary information to ensure a meaningful and academically strong extended online learning experience.
I want to reiterate the expectations for tomorrow’s limited Student Assistance Day. To minimize person-to-person contact, students should only attend Student Assistance Day if they have an appointment with a teacher to complete Quarter 3.
Finally, students may pick up any remaining necessary items from their lockers, but please make it a quick grab and go. We ask all students to enter and exit the building through the main entrance. The doors will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we navigate these unprecedented times. In true Holy Family spirit, today was a success because of your willingness to work together and take care of each other. We will continue to do so beyond the course of this virus because that is what we do every day.
This morning Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-2 authorized the temporary closure of Minnesota K-12 schools to students in order for school administrators and teachers to make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, Holy Family administrators made plans for the continuation of learning, following the week of our scheduled spring break. While Governor Walz’s mandate was an order for public schools, we will be in compliance utilizing the following plan, as described below.
CONTINUATION OF LEARNING
Online Practice Day – Monday, March 16
To prepare as fully as possible for an online learning dynamic, Monday, March 16, remains a practice day for online learning. Students are to be at home on this day and will be expected to participate in a full day of online classes utilizing our regular schedule. It is essential that our students and families take this day very seriously as we prepare for the potential of a long-term dynamic due to COVID-19.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Students will be sent a survey evaluating their practice day experiences by the end of the school day on Monday, March 16. Because we need time to evaluate this information for discussion with teachers on Tuesday morning, it is imperative that students respond to the survey by no later than 4 p.m.
NEW INFORMATION: Tuesday, March 17 – Student Assistance Day/End of the Quarter
School leadership made the decision to move Thursday’s end of quarter date to Tuesday, March 17. On that day, Holy Family will offer a Student Assistance Day for students who must make up Quarter 3 tests, quizzes, and/or presentations that cannot be accomplished from home. The hours of SAD are 10:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
The building will be open on Tuesday until 5:00 p.m. to pick up any additional needed personal items or learning materials for the March 30-April 3 online learning dynamic. Students will not be allowed to congregate—only to pick up materials.
Teachers will communicate how they are wrapping up the quarter. This includes information regarding any scheduled assignments, projects, tests, and quizzes.
We are allowing an exception to our uniform policy for the March 17 Student Assistance Day. Students may be out of uniform.
There is no busing transportation available on Tuesday, March 17.
If a student feels unwell, his or her parent should notify the school office, and the student should stay home.
While so much of our attention is focused inwardly on the needs of our school as we navigate these uncharted waters, let us not lose perspective of the ways we can support others beyond our campus. If you are coming to campus, please considering a non-perishable item to support local food shelves as they experience increased demand.
NEW INFORMATION:Extended Spring Break
Spring break will begin on Wednesday, March 18, for students and last until the original scheduled end on March 27. Teachers will be using the additional days to wrap up the third quarter and refine plans based on Monday’s experiences and feedback received. For those of you making the decision to travel during spring break, we ask that you carefully read the travel guidelines listed in the “How You Can Help” in last week’s email and an update in the section below.
NEW INFORMATION: Effective immediately, all sports and activities are suspended until further notice, including, but not limited to training, practices, scrimmages, banquets, meetings, and contests.
Decisions regarding future events continue to evolve. We will communicate decisions as soon as they are definitive. Calendars will be updated accordingly.
Please see the information in the previous update for a list of ways our community can continue to help with the management of the spread of COVID-19. Please note: If a family member has tested positive or been exposed, contact the school at email@example.com.
These are challenging times, and this is a significant response by our state to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This raises many questions that we cannot answer immediately, but we are committed to keeping you as informed and supported as possible. There is much more information to come.
As you prepare for the changes this will entail, please know that HFCHS is committed to providing a strong educational experience in the face of these drastic, but necessary measures. Together, we can ensure these next days and weeks will be productive as possible while we all curtail our activity in such a way that protects the health and well-being of each other, our families, and our community.
Stay healthy and continue to do all that you can to prevent the spread of germs.
We are keeping all our families in our prayers and ask for His blessing on our community as we enter into this new phase.
3/12/2020- Special Announcement Regarding Holy Family’s Plans Moving Forward
Holy Family remains in solidarity with numerous government, business and educational institutions as we exercise vigilance and enact preventative measures with regard to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the prioritization of the health and well-being of our community – both local and extended. As such, Holy Family continues to monitor information and recommendations from official and credible sources including the Minnesota Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
Additionally, our professional networks are both strong and extensive, and include the Office for the Mission of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the local public school district ISD 112, the greater metro area Catholic high schools, and the Lasallian/Christian Brothers secondary schools across the nation. The exchange of information has been constant and the dialogue has been rich and supportive…we are in this together.
While this email is lengthy, there are times where more communication is helpful. We appreciate your thorough attention to the following information. Students will be provided this information tomorrow during Convocation and, additionally, in their classrooms.
Online Practice Day – Monday, March 16
As shared in an earlier communication, Holy Family Catholic High School has been preparing for the possible extended closure of the school for some time, framing lessons and procedures to support the continuation of instruction in a non-traditional environment. Each teacher has designed meaningful course work and experiences that will be communicated online using mySchool and Office 365.
To prepare as fully as possible for an online learning dynamic, Monday, March 16, is scheduled as a practice day for online learning. Students are to be at home on this day and will be expected to participate in a full day of online classes in accordance with our regular schedule.
This exercise will allow both teachers and students to experience various methods for academic instruction that could be utilized during any future implementation of online learning. Therefore, students are asked to bring all their textbooks, notebooks, calculators, instruments, music, and other resources home with them tomorrow and before they leave for spring break.
When students return to school on Tuesday, March 17, teachers will solicit feedback in an effort to troubleshoot concerns and build upon strengths and successful practices. After school activities presently scheduled for Monday, March 16, will continue as planned.
President Brennan Announces Holy Family’s Next Principal
Earlier today, President Brennan announced the professional advancement of assistant principal John Dols as the next principal of Holy Family Catholic High School. Effective immediately, Mr. Dols will begin to work alongside current principal Kathie Brown to ensure a smooth transition as the necessary planning timelines of the upcoming school year approach.
President Brennan shared the following message with the community:
As you are aware, at the end of the current school year, Mrs. Kathie Brown will be retiring from Holy Family after 20 years of dedicated service to our school – a legacy for which we will remain forever grateful. What began as a search process aimed at finding a replacement for a single position would evolve, in the space of the last nine months, into a far more comprehensive, organization-wide process. This expanded approach called upon Holy Family to look inward and evaluate existing roles, functions, and their respective alignment in an effort to determine the optimal structure for effective school operations. The result positions Holy Family to build upon current levels of institutional momentum to support the attainment of our strategic goals aimed at driving growth through excellence.
With that said, as Holy Family Catholic High School’s president, and with the support of the Holy Family Board of Directors, I am excited to announce the appointment of Mr. John Dols as the next principal of our beloved school. Currently serving in the role of assistant principal, Mr. Dols is a licensed school administrator with 23 years of Catholic education experience. He grew up in Catholic education attending Minneapolis’ Ascension Catholic School for grades K-8 and DeLasalle High School for grades 9-12. Mr. Dols holds a Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies from St. Norbert College, a Master of Education from St. Mary’s University, and his principal licensure from the University of St. Thomas. He is a graduate of the Brother John Johnston Institute of Contemporary Lasallian Practice. He began his career as a theology teacher, first at Xavier High School in Appleton, WI, and then at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights before joining Holy Family as a campus minister and assistant principal in 2006.
I have had the pleasure and privilege of working and serving alongside John Dols for the last three years. With unwavering conviction, I can state that our school community is blessed and fortunate to have such extraordinary talent within our walls. Mr. Dols’ leadership will set forth a course for the future of Holy Family that seeks continuous innovation and reinvention, and remains authentic and true to the mission-centered aspects of our school’s culture – faith and family.
Effective immediately, Mr. Dols will work closely with Mrs. Brown to ensure a smooth transition as the necessary planning timelines of the upcoming school year approach.
As Mr. Dols shares in his message below, we are blessed to have such incredible and experienced educators within our current staff who lead with deep faith and passion for the mission of Holy Family. We look forward to enhancing each student’s educational experience with an unrelenting commitment to developing young adults with ever-deepening faith and Christian leadership skills — caring for them in mind, body, and soul— forming scholars and saints.
Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever!
A Message from Principal-Elect John Dols
Principal-Elect John Dols shared his gratitude and excitement as well as two additional position announcements.
Fifteen years ago, I drove to the Southwest suburbs to interview for a job I was not sure I wanted in an area that was utterly unfamiliar to me. One of the things that I remember vividly from that interview was a statement made by Kathie Brown. She said, “Holy Family does not have an entrance exam; we have a placement test. All kids are welcome here. All kids belong.” It was this statement, among others, that convinced me to take the job. It is the way this reality plays out daily that has made me fall in love with the school, the students, and the faculty and staff, and families.
Our mission is to take care of students wherever they are academically, spiritually, and emotionally, and help them grow. This mission lives and breathes in our faculty, staff, and administration— in the way we teach, the way we interact with students and families, and the policies and procedures that drive us. I am proud to be a part of this mission.
As I look toward next year and the years to follow, the innovations such as May Term, Canvas, and our International Student Program excite me. We can innovate while staying true to who we are, a Catholic school that strives to serve all!
I am pleased to announce the professional advancement of two distinguished Holy Family colleagues and the following first steps in further aligning our structure with our school’s mission and core values of scholarship, leadership, integrity, and faith. Current Dean for Academic Support, Melissa Livermore, will be promoted to the role of Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs – a newly developed position with an acute focus aimed at advancing the academic dimension of our school’s mission through faculty and student support, professional development, curriculum oversight, and technology integration. Current Director of Individual Giving and Alumni Relations, Matt Thuli, will serve as the Assistant Principal for Student Life – a position that supports our students as they navigate the ever-increasing complexity of life beyond the classroom setting. (Please see their bios below.)
I love Holy Family. I am honored and blessed to be able to serve as the second principal in the school’s history.
Current Dean of Academic Support, Melissa Livermore, takes on an expanded role in her new position as Assistant Principal of Academic Affairs. Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Secondary Mathematics Education from Willian Penn University and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction as well as Ed. S- Education Specialist from the University of St. Thomas. She holds a K-12 principal licensure from the State of Minnesota and is currently working toward the completion of a Doctorate of Educational Leadership and Learning from the University of St. Thomas. She completed the Lasallian Social Justice Institute, a formation program based on the Gospel. Mrs. Livermore joined Holy Family in 2001 as a math instructor, and has spent the last eight years overseeing academic support, guidance, and teacher development.
Current Director of Alumni Relations Matt Thuli has accepted the position of Assistant Principal for Student Life and Alumni Relations. Matt has a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Winona State University and principal licensure from the University of St. Thomas. When Holy Family opened its doors in 2000, Mr. Thuli was our first physical education instructor, basketball coach, and activities director. For ten years, he performed the role of both activities director and dean of students, before accepting his current position on the advancement team four years ago. Mr. Thuli has successfully grown our alumni relations program and led three consecutive years of growth of the annual fund. However, his heart remains that of an educator and school administrator, and he looks forward to returning to serving students and families on a personal and daily basis.
The course registrations for summer school and the 2020-2021 school year for current students is now open! The 2020-2021 Course Description Book is located on our website (www.hfchs.org) under Academics. Go to Curriculum and click on the book. There you will find information about each class we offer.
Summer 2020 Summer School
Click HERE to register for summer courses and summer camps. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for summer course options.
2020-2021 Course Registration
To use the registration system, parents need to access their mySchool accounts and click on Begin Registration. The program identifies prerequisites, totals credits as you make choices, and lists remaining requirements for graduation. It will highlight a course for which a student is not prepared. Students who have transferred to Holy Family may need the help of a counselor to navigate the differences between former requirements and those of Holy Family. After making selections, click Preview. If choices are correct, click Submit.
Other than simple drops, class changes requested after June 4, 2020 will require a $20.00 fee as every alteration impacts the design of the master schedule. If a class change is impossible to accomplish, the fee will be refunded.
As a reminder, a fee is no longer required at the time of class selections. Each student’s course registration fee will be billed and processed through TADS on March 15, 2020 based on current payment type (i.e., automatic bank withdrawal or card payment). If you need to adjust this payment date, please reach out to Jodi Smith in our business office at 952-856-1413 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
Please note: Tuition agreements are not yet available and are not necessary to select courses for the summer or 2020-2021 school year. Families will receive notice of their agreement’s readiness via an email from TADS in the coming weeks. Families applying for tuition assistance will receive award letters from the business office when their awards are determined. Tuition agreements will follow.
Holy Family Catholic High School Dance Heads to State in both Jazz and Kick!
Following very strong performances throughout the competitive dance regular season, Holy Family Dance Jazz and Kick teams brought their best to the Section 2A competition on Saturday, February 8. And it paid off! Fire Jazz won the Section Championship, and Fire Kick finished in third place, earning them a trip to the MSHSL State Class A Dance Tournament on Friday, 2/14, (Jazz) and Saturday, 2/15, (Kick)! Congratulations to the dancers, coaches, and parents!
Fire Dance Team Jazz performance schedule can be found HERE. We recommend arriving early as they often run ahead of schedule.
Fire Dance Team Kick performance schedule can be found HERE. We recommend arriving early as they often run ahead of schedule.
We are excited for the continuation of a strong dance program legacy:
Jazz/Funk State Champions:
Additional State Appearances:
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2020
We hope you will join us in cheering on both teams at the Target Center. If you are unable to make it to Target Center, the competition will be streamed on https://www.prepspotlight.tv/MSHSL.
President Michael Brennan is excited to announce the hiring of Jack Kelly in the role of Executive Director of Major Gifts and Donor Relations within Holy Family’s Department of Advancement. Jack began his career in development at Holy Family well over a decade ago. For the last eight years, he served as an executive consultant and vice president for Mission Advancement Partners (MAP), an independent consulting firm specializing in fund development for nonprofits.
There, his work focused on leading development teams and guiding their efforts in raising immediate operational funding as well as creating development plans targeted at sustaining long-term growth. In his time with MAP, Jack demonstrated a keen and committed passion for working with nonprofit organizations. He provided strategic oversight and expertise in the area of capital campaigns, operational fundraising, and internal advancement program development – in all, helping his clients raise over $200 million.
While Jack brings a wealth of industry experience and wisdom, he returns to the many robust Holy Family relationships, which he continued to nurture over the years. His diverse skill sets, coupled with his unique relational connections with so many of our school’s constituent base, will allow him to hit the ground running in his new position. As his title indicates, Jack’s role will focus on donor cultivation and stewardship as well as major gift solicitation aimed at supporting our campaign efforts, debt service, and special projects.
When describing his feelings about the recent hire, Mr. Brennan shared, “I am enthusiastic about this positive development in our school’s institutional advancement trajectory and filled with hope as Jack joins our team. I hope our community will join me in congratulating and welcoming him (back) to Holy Family!”
Mr. Kelly officially began his work with Holy Family on December 16. You may reach him by email at: email@example.com or by phone: 952-856-1418.
Commencement ceremonies are wonderful opportunities to share good news with our community. Each year as Holy Family Catholic High School acknowledges individuals for academic success and senior awards, we also celebrate our families’ returns on their investments as we announce the college scholarships dollars offered and accepted. Principal Kathie Brown used these words to announce this year’s totals:
All of our students have great plans for their lives. It is wonderful when colleges and universities acknowledge potential and are able to offer scholarships to help young people meet their goals. I am going to give you two numbers: one is the amount of scholarship money this class of 110 has been offered; the second is the amount these students have chosen to accept. Both numbers are important as they signify confidence in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of our students and reflect the value of your investment in a Holy Family education.The HFCHS Class of 2019 earned $14,243,184 in college scholarships and accepted approximately $3,824,350.
This year Holy Family is proud to have its first recipient of the $20,000 Richard M. Schulz Family Foundation College Scholarship, Julia Geurs. Julia is an honor student, multi-sport athlete, captain of the state consolation champions HF Girls Basketball, a campus minister, and well-known for her kindness to others, especially the underclassmen who were part of her sports programs. We caught up with Julie to learn more about the scholarship and her high school experience.
HF: How did you hear about the scholarship?
I heard about the scholarship through an announcement that Mr. Rutz made during an Leadership Institute meeting.
HF: Was it a difficult process?
The process was super easy and went smoothly. The application was very straightforward and well explained. Mr. Rutz really helped me along the process by helping me with downloading transcripts, reading my short answer in the application, etc.
HF: What activities were you involved in during high school?
Julia: During high school I was involved in tennis and basketball for all four years. I also was a part of Honors Society. I played softball for one year, and I was apart of equality club senior year.
HF: What classes did you particularly enjoy?
Julia: I had a great experience with all of my classes at HF, and they were more enjoyable because of all the understanding teachers. Specifically, I really enjoyed Chemistry, Catholic Social Teaching, Morality, and Clay.
HF: Do you have a major in mind for college? If so, why did you choose it? Julia: In college, I plan on studying something in the medical field. Right now I am thinking either becoming a nurse or a physicians assistant! I’ve chosen this path because I really want to help others and impact their lives for the better.
HF: Where are you attending college and why did you choose that college? Julia: I’m very excited to be attending University of St. Thomas. I chose St. Thomas because it is an excellent school, and I know it will be a great fit for me.
HF: What factors contributed to your academic success?
I was academically successful because of all the support and help I had from different teachers throughout the years at HF. I also attribute it to being organized and determined to do well. I put a lot of work into my school work and studied hard.
HF: Anything else you’d like to share as it pertains to your four years at Holy Family? Julia: I am so incredibly grateful for my four years at HF because I grew to become a better person through the people I met and the experience I had. I also always felt very welcomed and supported by the staff. It is a great community, and I am extremely happy I made the choice to attend Holy Family.
Holy Family’s summer enrollment season is underway. Parents are discovering what Holy Family has to offer their children. Visit our website or give our admissions team a call at 952-443-1955 to learn more about our school and our Family.
In the Spring 2019, Principal Kathleen Brownannounced her retirement as the principal of Holy Family Catholic High School at the completion of the 2019-2020 school year. Upon her retirement, Mrs. Brown will have served our school for since its inception through the 20th anniversary year.
A Message from Kathie Brown
Dear Holy Family Families and Friends,
The 2019-2020 school year will be infused with both subtle and enthusiastic celebrations of Holy Family Catholic High School’s 20th anniversary. The years have flowed quickly and confidently one into another, filled with stories of growth and accomplishment.
It is with joy that I announce my retirement at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Because we remind ourselves several times a day we are all in the holy presence of God, every one of us is developing the understanding there is more to our individual callings than we are presently living. Consequently, I am looking forward to another year of Holy Family experiences, replete with initiatives to accomplish, teachers to encourage, families to serve, and the gift of daily gratitude for the lives that have touched mine.
I remember moving from Wisconsin to Minnesota in July 1999. I was a city person; my introduction to the school was walking the farmland on which this beautiful building was to be erected. Immediately, I knew starting a Catholic high school wasn’t just a rare opportunity. It was a pristine sketchbook available to many creative and loving minds, hearts, and hands who were excited about transforming lives!
The sketchbook is pretty full now but there are plenty of pages for future artists. Holy Family has developed in many ways in these first nineteen years and it is easy to take for granted how our faculty, coaches, and staff have gone above and beyond to create an environment that is safe, relational, and grounded in Gospel values. I cherish the many traditions that are firmly entrenched in our culture: Thanksgiving dinner served by teachers and staff, visits from St. Nicholas, Coffee House, and Convocation. These and other special aspects of this sacred space have come from people who realize trusting and caring relationships build strong communities. An effective school is, at its core, a community.
I have great confidence in the processes mentioned below by President Brennan and Board Chair Tom Furlong to seek the next principal of Holy Family Catholic High School. I know great care will be taken to fill this role. In the meantime, prepare to celebrate our 20th anniversary with me. If ever there is an occasion that calls for a party (or several!), this is it!
Living Jesus in our hearts,
Kathie Brown, Principal
A Message from the President and Board Chair
Dear Holy Family Families and Friends,
It is hard to imagine our high school with a different principal. Kathie Brown has been the one and only person to hold this office since Holy Family’s inception 20 years ago. We are indebted to Mrs. Brown for her pioneer spirit and the life of selfless service she has led in the name of Catholic education. In so many ways, we simply would not be here today if it were not for Kathie Brown and her relentless pursuit to see Holy Family succeed and thrive. Much like the way she has viewed every student who has walked through our front doors, Kathie Brown saw the limitless potential of 72 acres of Minnesota farmland and cultivated a once lofty dream into the beautiful reality that is Holy Family Catholic High School today – a place, a home, a family where both students and Savior are known, loved and served. Please join us in our gratitude for the legacy we are honored to inherit and the gift of one final year with someone so instrumental in our trajectory as a school and the beacon of hope we aspire to be. Thank you, Kathie Brown!
As you can imagine, the search for a new principal – one whose sense of vocation is both formed by the Catholic faith and inspired by an understanding of mission — is no small undertaking. Once more we are grateful for the timing of Mrs. Brown’s announcement and the year-long runway it provides to conduct a thorough search for the ideal candidate. It is a task that school leadership views as both a great responsibility and a tremendous privilege knowing full well the impact this position has on school culture, student learning outcomes and day-to-day operational effectiveness.
As such, the Office of School President and the Holy Family Board of Directors will collaboratively engage in a search process for this position with a goal of having new leadership in place for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. To ensure fidelity to our responsibility of providing the very best for Holy Family, a national search will be conducted aimed at sourcing high quality, effective and talented candidates from both near and far.
In the meantime, we again ask that you join us throughout the upcoming year in our gratitude for Mrs. Brown’s faithful service to Holy Family and humbly request the support of your prayers as we navigate the journey of transition that lies before us.
Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever,
Michael Brennan, President Tom Furlong, Board Chair
Holy Family Catholic High School proudly announces Chris Carlton as a 2019 Ambassador of Christ Award co-recipient. Chris is the son of Mary and the late Roy Carlton of Chanhassen. He attended middle school at St. Hubert Catholic School in Chanhassen. This award is chosen by votes from classmates, faculty, and staff and awarded to a senior who consistently act in a dignified manner, and, by doing so, influence others to strive for goodness and holiness. This year the voting for the Ambassador of Christ was tied and Chris was the co-recipient with Allie Phillips.
Chris graduated Suma Cum Laude with honors from Holy Family Catholic High School on Wednesday, May 22. He leaves high school with a very full resume of involvement in school activities. He played tennis for four years and was a varsity captain his senior year. He served on the school’s student council for four years, finishing his term as an executive board member and the public relations external officer. He is a four year member of the Honor Society, Health Club, Eco-Freako Club, Lasallian Youth Club, the Knowledge Bowl Team, and Youth in Government, where he was invited to represent the State of Minnesota’s Delegation at the National Judicial Competition. As an underclassman, he also dipped his toes in football, lacrosse, and the Equality Club. Outside of school he has volunteered with Feed My Starving Children, Furnishare at Love Inc., the American Red Cross, The Langdon, and Summerwood Senior Living Community.
Next fall, Chris will attend the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where he plans to major in finance and physics. We caught up to Chris after graduation to learn more about his faith journey.
What role does your faith play in your life?
My faith leads my action. I have been absorbing Catholic values my whole life, thanks to my wonderful mother, and I keep them close to my heart so I may affect others positively. Additionally, my faith serves as a valuable foundation to lean on when I struggle.
How has your faith developed/changed in your years at HFCHS?
My faith has blossomed during my high school years, in part, due to my excellent teachers at Holy Family. Theology, Social Studies, and English classes at Holy Family have proven invaluable due to the free exchange of ideas which have strengthened my faith.
Who has influenced you and your faith? How?
My mother has been my primary faith teacher throughout my life, with great support from my uncle C.J. Schoenwetter and aunt Robin Schoenwetter. By taking me to mass, teaching wisdom from the Bible, and emailing me on contemporary Catholic issues, my family builds my faith life. I could not discuss my faith, however, without my theology teachers Mr. Bosch, Mrs. Bosch, and Mr. Schlepp, all of whom have been instrumental in my faith formation.
What do you find most rewarding about your faith?
The results of manifesting the Catholic faith in the world: mostly, smiles.
What are your feelings about receiving the Ambassador of Christ Award?
I feel very blessed to have so many people in my life to model my actions after. Even though I have grown up without my father, I have found many role models in the St. Hubert and Holy Family community, many of whom are reading this right now. Parents, teachers, coaches, and friends: thank you!
Favorite HFCHS memory:
There are too many to choose from, but I’ll try to narrow it down: Haiti, tennis, football, knowledge bowl, each and every learning moment with my teachers, lunch table discussions, convocation, and the time I have cherished with Holy Family’s Class of 2019.
How did you make the most of your years at HFCHS?
As an underclassman, I did my best to give everything a shot. Then, I focused on what I was passionate about. Open-mindedness has gifted me new joys, new beliefs, and new experiences which I otherwise would not have had the pleasure of knowing.
Best of luck to all of my friends graduating this year and thank you to the parents, teachers, faculty, and staff who have supported us along the way! Go Fire!
Holy Family Catholic High School is excited to announce Archbishop Hebda’s appointment of Fr. Nels Gjengdahl as Holy Family Catholic High School’s full-time chaplain beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. Fr. Gjengdahl is the current pastor of Nativity of Mary Catholic Church in Bloomington, MN, and has previously served as the school chaplain at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights. This appointment comes in response to a formal request submitted by Holy Family in March 2018.
Fr. Gjengdahl grew up in North St. Paul, MN, graduating from North St. Paul High School in 1999. He then attended North Dakota State University to study engineering. While he has been a lifelong Catholic, it was at college where his faith came alive. After two years of studying engineering, Fr. Gjengdahl entered Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo, ND, and graduated with a degree in Philosophy in May of 2003. In the fall, he entered the St. Paul Seminary at the University of St. Thomas. He was ordained a priest in 2007 and was appointed parochial vicar at St. Odilia in Shoreview, MN.
Following St. Odilia, Fr. Gjengdahl was assigned as parochial vicar of St. John Neumann in Eagan as well as part-time chaplain at Saint Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights. After one year, his chaplain assignment became full-time. This change allowed him to be both a full-time teacher and a sacramental minister for the school. He taught several subjects including morality, sacraments, Church history, world religions and Catholic social teaching and even coached ultimate frisbee. After a seven-year term as school chaplain, he was assigned as pastor to Nativity of Mary Catholic Church in Bloomington, MN in 2017.
Beginning July 1, Fr. Gjengdahl will transition from his position at Nativity of Mary Catholic Church to providing the Holy Family community with full-time sacramental leadership and spiritual guidance. He will teach within theology department, support ongoing campus ministry efforts, and enhance formation opportunities for our students and their families.
When announcing the move to his congregation, Fr. Gjengdahl shared these thoughts, “I am very grateful to Archbishop Hebda and to Holy Family Catholic High School for this opportunity. I have enjoyed serving as a high school chaplain in the past and look forward to returning to this ministry. It is a rare opportunity to engage high school students in our Catholic faith on a daily basis, and it is a precious gift that I take seriously. I am excited to share Jesus Christ with the community at Holy Family through the sacraments, and in the entire life of the school.”
When asked what the addition of a full-time chaplain to the Holy Family staff means for the school, President Brennan responded, “As a school, we are blessed to have wonderful relationships with our local priests and are incredibly grateful for their time and leadership over the past 20 years.” He added, “However, the addition of Fr. Nels to our community, our theology department, and campus ministry programs creates opportunities for daily sacraments and allows us to more deeply live out our Catholic mission. I am grateful for the wisdom, open hearts, and leadership of Archbishop Hebda and Bishop Cozzens in providing a shepherd for our school with an extensive background in secondary Catholic education.”