Holy Family Catholic High School Announces New President

After an intensive search led by current and former members of our Board of Directors, in collaboration with Cohen Taylor Executive Search Services and Holy Family administration, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Brennan as the new president of Holy Family Catholic High School. The Most Reverend Archbishop Hebda gives his blessed approval.

Brennan will succeed Kathleen Brown, who has served the high school in a dual role as president and principal since 2010. Brown is eager to focus on the role of principal, allowing her to continue to enhance the strong college preparatory curriculum of our school and execute the academic initiatives of the 2017-2021 strategic plan: Growth & Excellence. She describes the partnership with Brennan as “a gift that will strengthen our commitment to touch the hearts and minds of students, thereby transforming lives.”

A product of Catholic education, Brennan has a bachelor of arts degree from Boston College, a Master of Education and a Master of Educational Administration from the University of Notre Dame. His career in Catholic education includes five years as a teacher, four years as a principal, and, most recently, six years as the Director of Catholic Schools in Rochester, MN.

As the Director of Rochester Catholic Schools (RCS), Brennan oversaw a unified school system that provides high-quality Catholic education to more than 1,600 students living in the greater Rochester, Minnesota area and the Diocese of Winona. He managed a $15 million budget, oversaw a $34 million building project, managed a team of 250 staff, and cultivated extensive community relationships.

Brennan and wife, Denae, along with their four young children, will relocate to the southwest Twin Cities metro this summer. Brennan looks forward to bringing to Holy Family his passion for helping youth develop a love of learning and faith.

Holy Family Board Chair Chris Moakley shared his sentiments about the hiring of a new president, “As a school community, we will begin our 18th year in Catholic education with an increase in enrollment, continued commitment to high academic achievement, and a diverse program of athletic and extracurricular activities. The success of Holy Family is a direct result of the leadership of Kathie Brown, the administration, teachers, and our dedicated students. Our current families will immediately benefit from the energy and experience Michael Brennan will bring to this role. Our future students, including the children of our more than 1600 alumni, can look forward to a school characterized by Christian values and a continued pursuit of excellence.”

Holy Family faculty and staff will have the opportunity to meet Mr. Brennan before the end of the school year. More information regarding a community-wide welcome reception will be announced in the coming weeks.


Art on Display

Over the course of the coming week, Holy Family artists will have their pieces displayed in three exhibits– the Holy Family Spring Art Show held in the school’s bus lobby next Thursday and Friday, and two hosted by organizations outside of the building, going on now.

Over 100 pieces of ceramic, painting, drawing, photography, and video will be on display in the hallways on Thursday, April 27, and Friday, April 28. The show will remain open for guests attending the Friday music concert held in the Performance Center.

The artwork of twenty Holy Family students is currently on display at Charter Bank High School Art Exhibit at its Chanhassen branch until April 28. There is a special artist reception on Sunday, April 23, from Noon-1:30 p.m.

Ten additional Holy Family student pieces are part of this year’s Third Congressional District High School Art Competition and Exhibition hosted by Congressman Erik Paulsen. Their works and those of students from ten area high schools are available to view now through April 24 in the lobby of the Bloomington Center for the Arts. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC. The winning works will be on display for one year at the U.S. Capitol.

Ms. Gamble encourages students to enter art shows and exhibitions, stating, “The semester art shows held on campus in the winter and spring are a great way for family, friends, staff, and students to see the work of our students. Taking it outside of our building gives students an opportunity to have their art seen by a much broader audience. Being selected to be in exhibits such as these is an incredible honor for our students and our school.”





New Girls Hockey Head Coach Hired

This afternoon Holy Family Activities Director Nick Tibesar announced the hiring of Randy Koeppl, as the  new head coach for the Wildfire girls hockey  program. Coach Koeppl comes with a wealth of coaching experience, including 15 years of coaching at the high school and club levels.

After a standout career at Bloomington Jefferson, where Coach Koeppl played goalie on back to back state championship teams, he went on to play in the USHL, and eventually for Coach Woog at the University of Minnesota. He’s remained active in the game ever since, coaching varsity boys hockey at Holy Angels, and most recently at Hopkins High School.  In addition to his high school hockey coaching commitments, Coach Koeppl has also been serving as a leader and mentor in Winny Brodt-Brown’s OS Selects all-girls hockey program, and coaching in the Eden Prairie youth association and Team MN.

Coach Koeppl will email families regarding a team meeting and summer training opportunities in the coming days.

Voices of Fire to host Harmonic Convergence for Vocal Jazz Concert

Holy Family Catholic High School’s vocal jazz ensemble, Voices of Fire,will host Harmonic Convergence in the HFCHS Performance Center on Wednesday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is just $5 and parking is free.

This select six-member vocal jazz ensemble has gained a reputation for its dedication to preserving the art of vocal jazz. Directed by Lucas Mattson, Harmonic Convergence performs extensively throughout the United States and Canada and has shared the stage with artists such as Groove for Thought, New York Voices, and The Real Group. Harmonic Convergence also serves as the ensemble in residence at the School for Music Vocation’s vocal jazz workshops help each summer.

Lucas Mattson holds an Associate of Applied Arts degree from Southwestern Community College as well as a B.A. in Piano Performance from Northern Arizona University. While attending Southwestern Community College, Lucas was a member of Voices Iowa and performed at Carnegie Hall in 1997, 1998, and 2002. He also performed at the New York IAJE conference in 1998 and the World Choral Symposium in the summer of 2002. Mr. Mattson is active throughout the country as a performer, arranger, and clinician.

Holy Family’s vocal jazz ensemble, Voices of Fire, is directed by Holy Family, Southwest Community College School for Music Vocations, and University of Wisconsin graduate Annelise Brown. More information about our vocal music program can be found on our vocal music web page.

Looking for more great music? Join us for our Contest Recital and Concert on Thursday, March 16. Admission to the recital concert is free.

Drama program announces spring musical

This May, Holy Family drama department presents a musical for the spring play: James and the Giant Peach. This funny and heartfelt production is adventurous and perfect for an audience of all ages.

The play is based on the popular book by Roald Dahl. James is a young orphan who is taken in by two evil aunts. He acquires a magical potion, causing a peach to become gigantic and insects to become human. James then travels with the insects on his giant peach across the ocean, undergoing many adventures.

The cast has a minimum of 9 people, but the theater director, Ms. Olson, is hoping for as many as 35-40 participants.
Ms. Olson’s goal for this play is to set a high standard for what will hopefully be a tradition of musicals at Holy Family. She hopes that this production will help students gain interest and excitement to participate in future plays.

Ms. Olson chose James and the Peach because the show has a cartoony yet approachable mood. It’s also an appealing production because not many people have seen James and the Giant Peach, so they have no preconceived notions about the characters or the performance.

Auditions will be in the Performance Center on Monday, March 6 and Tuesday, March 7 after school, followed by callbacks, Thursday, March 9.

There are also 4-10 roles available for middle schools students. Auditions for middle school students are on March 20 between 4-6 p.m. Anyone interested in auditioning should contact Anna Olson at olsona@hfchs.org

Holy Family’s James and the Giant Peach will premiere May 12 and 13.

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH is presented through special arrangement with Musical Theatre Internationl (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIshows.com

by Mary Seifert ’17

Fire hockey finish best season in program history

By Trey Cavello ’17 Photo: John Grunow

Fire hockey made their first-ever Section 2AA Championship appearance on Wednesday night at Mariucci Arena. The Fire ranked 5th in the state, faced off with Eden Prairie, ranked 1st in the state and carrying a 14 game winning streak.

The team was seeking revenge for elimination last season in a hard-fought semifinal against Eden Prairie. Going into the game, Ben Almquist said, “We need to score on our chances and play strong defensively. We also need to stick to our system.”

The Eagles struck first midway through the first period when Spencer Rudrud found the net for EP. The Fire, however, were quick to respond when junior Joe Hankison tied the game on an unassisted even-strength goal.

Eden Prairie then took a penalty with around 12 minutes left in the second period. Senior Nick Michel deflected a shot from Matt Anderson into the net to give the Fire a power play goal and a 2-1 lead, sending Holy Family fans into a frenzy. Eden Prairie responded quickly when Casey Mittelstadt tied the game 9:23 into the second period.

After a scary moment, when Fire captain Matt Anderson was checked from behind and slid head-first into the boards, a 5-minute major penalty was assessed to Eden Prairie. It was divided into the second and third periods, giving the Fire a huge opportunity. It took the team a few minutes to capitalize, but Senior Mack Byers scored on an assist from Ben Almquist 30 seconds before the penalty expired, to give Holy Family a 3-2 lead.

Once again, the Eagles battled back from a deficit, scoring two unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead. With time running out, Eden Prairie took a penalty, giving the Fire an opportunity to pull their goalie and pressure the Eagles with a 6 on 4 for the final minute of the game. The team peppered the Eden Prairie goalie with shots, and hit a post with moments remaining, but were unable to tie the game before time expired.

Holy Family finished what is undoubtedly their most successful season in school history. They defeated some of the best programs in the state, made it to their first-ever section championship game, and won another conference championship in decisive fashion.

If not for their placement in the challenging Section 2AA, the team’s chances of a State Tournament appearance might have improved considerably. Regardless, the team left an impression on the Minnesota hockey community by taking the #1 ranked Eagles, winners of 4-straight section championships, to the wire in an intense game at Mariucci.

The Holy Family community and hockey program says goodbye to an amazing group of seniors and looks forward to more exciting seasons to come.

To see a slideshow of the game, check out the images by student photojournalists Claire Melander and John Grunow and their Section Final Slideshow.

This story was originally published in our schools online newspaper, The Phoenix.

Holy Family music students earn excellent and superior ratings

Holy Family instrumentalists earned all superior and excellent ratings for their performances at this year’s Section 2AA Solo and Ensemble Music Contest on Monday, February 13. Judges rate the performances on eight factors of five points each: tone quality, intonation, rhythm, balance and blend, technique, interpretation/musicianship, articulation, and other performance factors. Scores of 35-40 points earn a contest top rating of Superior, 28-34 points an Excellent rating, 22-27 points a Good Rating, and 21 or below a Fair Rating.

The woodwind performances included Natalie Wideman’s clarinet solo and her clarinet duet with Mitchell Hausback. Both pieces earned Superior Ratings. While most musicians prepare for about 6-8 weeks, Natalie and Mitchell had just 3.5 weeks, due to a back order on their music.

Also performing a solo was Giselle Shannon on the cello. Accompanied by alumni parent and talented pianist, Pat Schaffran, she earned a Superior Rating and a perfect score of 40 on her performance of W.H. Squires’ “Fairytales.” Giselle began playing the cello 18 months ago and spent over four weeks preparing for the music contest. When asked why she chose to enter the contest she answered, “I take every opportunity to perform I can. A performance or contest motivates me to practice, not just for practice sake, but with the intention to improve and give my best performance.”

Giselle joined violinists Nicole Espinoza, Melissa Espinoza, and Maddy Kohrman to form a string quartet. The quartet earned an Excellent Rating for their ensemble performance of Bach’s “Brandenberg Concerto 5.” The Excellent Rating is an impressive feat for a quartet with two members with fewer than two years experience playing a stringed instrument.

Holy Family’s final entry Jazz Ensemble, a group of select musicians from the school’s jazz band, also earned a Superior Rating. Musicians in the ensemble are Anna Alleven (alto sax), Daniel Trieff (trumpet), Giselle Shannon (piano), Sam Winfield (bass keyboard), and Ryan Jandl (drums). Jazz Band will compete in the Large Group Contest in just a few weeks.

Director of Instrumental Music, Mrs. Laura Boillat, encourages all band students to participate in the contest each year for the satisfaction they receive from preparing and performing for the contests. She comments, “The ratings the students earned are great! But the best part of participating in solo & ensemble contest are the feelings of accomplishment students get from performing their very bests; the time and effort are all worth it!”

On March 16, Holy Family’s music department is offering a Contest Concert and Recital in the Performance Center at 7:00 p.m. This free concert is an opportunity for the Holy Family extended community to hear the performances from the solo & ensemble contest including those of the band and chorale from the Large Group Instrumental and Vocal Contest still to come.

2017 Summer Camp Registration Now Open!

Join the summer fun at Holy Family Catholic High School!  Our summer camps are open to the community and provide a safe place  to explore new interests and improve skills. From cooking to acting or fencing to volleyball, there is something for everyone on campus this summer.

For middle school students who are interested in learning more about track and field, a our Middle School Track and Field Club begins in April! Click on the bar below to see our options and register for spring and summer fun!

2017 Summer Camps

Students recognized with Scholastic Art Awards

 Holy Family artists submitted a variety pieces to the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards and several pieces are winners of Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention awards.  The Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards have recognized the ingenuity, vision, and talent of America’s youth since 1923. The numbers of participants has increased ever since their inception.

The artwork is contributed in 13 different categories. The artists range from grades 7 to 12. Each artist is eligible to submit one or more pieces of art. They can also submit portfolios made up of 8 pieces of artwork.

Art that is judged for successful inclusion in the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards exhibit is awarded either a Gold Key, Silver Key, or an Honorable Mention. The MSAA exhibition is held at the U of M’s Regis Center for the Arts. The award ceremony will take place at the Weisman Art Museum. Any pieces that receive a Gold Key are automatically entered into the National Scholastic Art Awards. The NSAA takes place in New York.

Tanner Braun; Photograph “Empty Nutrition”

Holy Family’s award-winning artists are:

Gold Keys

Tanner Braun; Photograph “Empty Nutrition”

Tom Mahota; Ceramics “Rusted Red Teapot”

Caitlyn Shipp; Photograph “The Woman of the Masquerade”

Tom Mahota; Ceramics “Pit fire Bud Vase”

Silver Keys

Peter Kerkvliet; Animation “Animation Demo Reel”

Tom Mahota; 8 piece Ceramic Portfolio “Sculpture vs Function”

Lucy Treat; Drawing “Wearing Air”

Honorable Mentions

Tanner Braun; Photograph “Explore”

Tanner Braun; Photograph “Cruise”

Tanner Braun; Photograph “Aliens are Real”

Eleanor Erdman; Photograph “Pier”

Lillian Graupman; Painting “Van Gogh in a Box”

Lillian Graupman; Painting “Girl and the Window”

Jonathan Grunow; Photograph “Forest Portrait”

Jonathan Grunow; Photograph “Black and white Portrait”

Tom Mahota; Ceramics “Pillar Vase”

Tom Mahota; Ceramics “Pit fire Moon Vase”

Tom Mahota; Ceramics “Pit fire Bud Vase”

Claire Melander; Photograph “me”

Caitlyn Shipp; Photograph “What Lies Beyond”

Caitlyn Shipp; Photograph “The Superior Wave”

Lucy Treat; Drawing “Wearing Air”

By Maddie Mocol
January 23, 2017

This article appeared in the school online newspaper, The Phoenix. To read more articles from our student newspaper, click here.

Holy Family students seeing success in Knowledge Bowl Season

Holy Family students competed in a multi-school Knowledge Bowl event on January 18th in Blaine. Over forty different teams competed alongside the four teams Holy Family sent.

Knowledge Bowl competitions consist of two different portions. First, everyone competing takes a written test. There are sixty questions on the test and individuals are given fifty five minutes to complete it. Based on those test scores, teams are placed into different rooms.

The oral rounds take place in these rooms. There are four rounds of oral, or buzzer, and each round consists of forty five questions. All points are cumulative, and at the end of the meet, whichever team has the most points wins.

Team ‘Plural Moose’, with Walter Treat, Patrick Loughran, Mitchell Jans, and Josh Mohling, took third place in the competition.

Many students participated in this meet, such as the team ‘Hopefully Not Last Place’, consisting of Colin Dosedel, Dominic Phillips, Evan Epple, Matt Deavan, and Tony Berg. Reflecting on the competition, Colin Dosedel said, “The meet went pretty well, but there were some struggles because we are a JV team and this was a varsity meet.”

The team ‘Hopefully Not Last Place’ during yesterday’s competition.

Participation in Knowledge Bowl has grown over the years, drawing students from all grade levels at Holy Family. For this particular meet, Holy Family sent two senior teams, one junior team and one sophomore team.

Sophomore Dominic Phillips said Knowledge Bowl “is fun because it’s an opportunity to challenge myself with things I might not otherwise have known. It’s also fun to work as a team with friends outside the context of sports. My highlight of the season so far is getting third place at the first meet.”

The team’s next competition is at Holy Family on January 31st.

This article originally appeared in the school’s online newspaper, The Phoenix

Anna Mohling