Fire Shadow Day: 5 Reasons to Experience Holy Family Catholic High School

Life is full of big decisions. At the time, none seems more important than deciding where’s the right place for your student who’s ready to make the leap to high school.

While that decision may be a critical turning point in your student’s success, it doesn’t have to be difficult, frustrating, nerve-racking or exhausting. In fact, that is exactly why Holy Family Catholic High School has made its Shadow Day program a realistic reflection of a day-in-the-life of a Holy Family student. No red carpet. No showering with expensive gifts. No formal tours.

Just a real-life experience of what it’s like being part of “The Family.”

“We are taking the whole idea of learning what a school is about to a very real experience,” says Scott Breimhorst, Holy Family Executive Director of Admissions. “We want to provide an experience that is as identical to a day at Holy Family as you can possibly get.”

This seeing-is-believing approach allows shadow students to “walk a mile” in another Holy Family student’s shoes. They get to see the daily routines of students just like them, with similar interests, hopes, dreams and goals.

Shadow Day visits begin in late September (this year, it starts September 22 to coincide with the FIRE 22 theme for the Class of 2022) and continue until mid-May. It’s easy to schedule a visit. Just contact Holy Family. Don’t forget to check out what you need to know before you visit.

Before you make that phone call or send us an e-mail, here are the five must-see-to-believe Shadow Day experiences your student will enjoy at Holy Family Catholic High School.

  1. PERSONALIZATION: No Student’s Visit is the Same

Every Holy Family student has unique interests, abilities and personal gifts. (We have more than 60 extracurricular activities to check out.) That’s why each Shadow Day is personally tailored to meet the needs and expectations of each prospective student.

  • What are your interests? When you schedule a shadow visit, our admissions team will ask your student about his or her academic and extracurricular interests. Why? That way we can best match prospective students with a student host.
    • Interested in robotics? Get paired with a student on our world-qualifying robotics team.
    • Nordic ski? Play hockey? Love performing arts? We’ll team you up with a student who will introduce you to others with the same interests. You’ll be able to ask questions and get answers from students just like you.
    • Passionate about singing? Play an instrument? Bring your talents and join in.
  • Can You Request a Shadow Host? Absolutely. If you have a friend or neighbor you want to shadow, just let us know. And if your interests are somewhat different, that’s okay. You’ll still meet students, teachers or coaches who will make your high-school experience memorable.
  • Time Challenged? While we recommend experiencing a full day at Holy Family, we know sometimes busy schedules make it difficult. Partial-day visits can be arranged. And if you want to bring a friend, we’ll make sure both of your interests are addressed.
  1. REAL-LIFE: A True Holy Family Day

It’s important that prospective students get a realistic feel for what their own Holy Family day might be like. That’s why we team 8th grade shadow students with freshmen, in most cases. Transfer students from other high schools are matched with students from their same grade. How do we make our Shadow Day as real as can be?

  • Follow Actual Class Schedules. Shadow students follow their host’s daily schedule, including attending their classes. Shadows experience typical freshman-year classes, including Biology, Sacred Scripture, World History and Geography, World Literature and more! Want to experience band, chorus, or an art class? Let us know!
  • What’s Convocation? Any Holy Family school day isn’t complete without our student-led Convocation. Each day, we hold an all-school gathering that anchors our students and teachers in faith, celebrates our accomplishments, and keeps everyone in the loop about school news and upcoming events.
  • What About Lunch? Read on…that one deserves a shout-out all its own.
  1. MEET & GREET: Students, Teachers and Coaches

With almost 150 shadow students visiting Holy Family Catholic High School each year, our Holy Family students are accustomed to seeing prospective students in the halls, sitting among them in classes, or visiting clubs or athletic teams. “Hey, Shadow!” greetings, followed by high fives are not uncommon. We want to make sure you meet as many students as possible.

  • The Inside Scoop. We’re proud to say that our students really know each other—who plays what sport, who is passionate about particular subjects, who is a member of what club. This allows the student hosts to connect shadow students with other students who have similar interests.
  • Class Action. Our teachers enjoy meeting shadow students and involving them in class activities too. They won’t call you out—but if you want to jump in and participate, it’s all you!
  1. YOU DESERVE A BREAK: Lunch and Fun

There’s a lot to digest over the course of a school day, and shadow students and their hosts welcome a pause in the action. Time and again, we hear how prospective students say that the Holy Family lunch program is a Shadow Day highlight.

  • Lunch On Us! Shadow students can order the special entree of the day, cruise the fresh salad bar, tower their trays with à la carte items and, for dessert, they won’t want to miss out on our very own Carol Gestach’s freshly baked cookies. They. Are. Legendary.
  • Beyond the Classroom. Yup, it’s a real thing, with the acronym BTC. This is a chance for students to unwind after lunch. Students and, yes, sometimes teachers, compete in friendly ping-pong matches, organize pickup basketball games or just enjoy time to catch up with friends. It’s flexible and fun, and meant to be that way. If it is game day, students sometimes use this time as a study hall to get a jump start on homework.
  1. BE HEARD. We Want Your Feedback

Shadow Day doesn’t end once you leave Holy Family Catholic High School. We want to hear from you, both students and parents.

  • We want to know how the day went.
  • Answer your questions.
  • Hear your student’s thoughts.

Are there more areas of interest your student wants to explore? We can arrange that.

Schedule a shadow day!

Questions? If you or your potential student has additional questions before or after a Shadow Day visit, contact Scott Breimhorst, Executive Director of Admissions, or Rob Bell, Admissions and Financial Aid Officer, at (952) 443-1955, or e-mail admissions@hfchs.org.

60-Plus Holy Family Extracurricular Activities

We’ve all been there. We invest in all kinds of activities for our kids to pursue. It’s part of the growing process: developing the whole person, not just academically, but physically, socially and emotionally.

Then, as high school nears, that little voice sounds the alarm in the back of a parent’s head. Is my daughter or son good enough to make the team? Can they continue with music? Get a part in the play? Compete with other students? Is high school the end of the line?

“It’s interesting comparing Holy Family to other large schools in the area,” says Activities Director Nick Tibesar. “We have kids staying with programs longer than what I saw in public schools. So often, in other schools, kids come in playing ball with friends during their summers and evenings, sometimes for years, and all of a sudden they end up as a high school freshman and sophomore not on a team anymore.”

Not at Holy Family Catholic High School. Here, students get an opportunity to participate in the sports and many other activities they are most passionate about. Plus, they often discover a wide variety of other sports, academic teams, clubs and activities they never considered.

“We encourage kids to try new things and stretch limits,” Nick says. “We want them to be involved in multiple things to fight some of the outside pressure to specialize in just one of them.”

Smaller School Size, Big Opportunities

With a student body of 400 kids, Holy Family provides unlimited opportunities to explore new things. Students often participate in more than one activity, not just during the school year, but also during a single season.

“When looking at sports, there are students who were on the trap and lacrosse teams, or tennis, track and baseball,” Nick says. “But more common is a kid who participates in both a sport and one of our academic competitions.

“We had a player on our basketball team who also was on our varsity Math League team. As a coach, I recall a half dozen times he had to go to Math League. No one acted like that was strange or gave him a hard time. We said, ‘How did Math League go? And cool you’re doing so well.’

“It’s fun to be in a culture where someone is not ostracized for picking academics over athletics.”

Endless Opportunities

With over 60 extracurriculars to choose from, your Holy Family student is destined to pursue his or her talents, while trying new activities outside of the classroom.

“There are a lot of people who chose Holy Family for the right reasons—faith-based environment, college prep, joining a community where their student is known and cared for,” Nick adds. “All of those things extend to our classroom, lunchroom and after-school activities.

“We consider extracurricular activities the last class of the day. And, they provide the same values as everything else at Holy Family.”

QUICK FACTS:

92% of Holy Family students participate in extracurricular activities

90% of Holy Family students participate in multiple extracurricular activities in a school year

60+ Holy Family extracurricular activities are offered each school year

(more…)

British Isles Capitals Tour

By Maggie Berg ‘19

In June, a group of 50 Holy Family students, adult chaperones, and teachers traveled to the capitals of the British Isles for an educational enrichment summer trip. Junior Maggie Berg ’19 kept a travel log to share their experiences.

Thursday, June 15, 2017 – Off to London

Our large group showed up at the MSP airport for an early flight to Chicago. After a quick flight, we made our way onto the largest plane that most of us have ever been on with nine seats across. Filled with so much excitement, many couldn’t sleep while others dozed during the 8-hour flight.

Friday, June 16, 2017 – Our First Day in London

When we got off the plane, it was technically Friday; we gained six hours flying from the Midwest to London. We scrambled off the plane filled with excitement and climbed on a bus for our first day of touring London.
The first thing we noticed is that in Europe, they drive on the left side of the road and the drivers’ seats are on the right side of the car. This is because when people used to ride horses they would ride on the left so they could hold their swords in their right hand during a duel or, instead, extend a hand peacefully.

Our first stop in London was the Covent Garden for lunch, shopping, and entertainment. In the main square, there was an entertaining street performer on a unicycle and lots of different types of architecture. To get around the city, all 50 of us took London’s subway transportation, the Tube, for the first time. We were overwhelmed by the new experience of subway lines and routes, but would soon master them.

Everywhere we went there were new people to meet and we enjoyed listening to their British accents. Our next stop was Trafalgar Square, which had the National Gallery, Nelson’s Column and multiple statues. From the top of Nelson’s Column we could had a perfect view of Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. These breathtaking sights made us excited for the rest of the journey. We enjoyed a dinner of chicken and mashed potatoes at a pub and then headed to the hotel.

Saturday, June 17, 2017 – Visits to famous places and glimpse of the Queen

Today our local tour guide took our bus around the bank area of London. We jumped off the bus in front of building across from St. Paul’s Cathedral and took a quick elevator to the top for the best view in all of London. All of London’s most famous buildings were visible in the distance.

Our next stop was the Prince Albert Memorial commissioned by his wife, Queen Victoria, after his death. She lived 40 years longer and only wore black after he died.

We visited Westminster, which has Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Parliament building. The tower that everyone thinks is Big Ben is actually called the Elizabeth Tower and the bell inside is Big Ben.

From Westminster we hopped onto the bus to Windsor, a small town where Windsor Castle, the residence of Queen Elizabeth is located. Windsor had fun shops and restaurants. At the top of the hill was Windsor Castle. The castle has multiple buildings; the oldest was built in 1070.
While we were there, the Queen was returning from her “birthday” celebration in London, and we saw her she rode by in her black Range Rover.

After visiting the castle, we returned to London for fish and chips, a classic British meal. That night, the majority of our group went on the Jack the Ripper tour. The tour brought us to the East End of London, away from tourists. The tour put us back in the late 1800’s and we were brought on the path of the murders committed by a man no one has ever been able to convict or identify. We were able to put ourselves back in time as witnesses as we listened to the tour guide explain to us the evidence and different conspiracy theories that are still being discussed to this day. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017 – Sunday Mass at St. Paul’s Basilica

In the morning, we went to St. Paul’s Basilica for Sunday Mass. This service was different from home for all of us; it was a music-less Mass, everything was spoken. Everything was nice and direct and finished in 45 minutes. The rest of the day was free time until dinner. Most of us checked out the infamous luxury department store, Harrods. Others went on a Harry Potter tour, which brought them to different locations where the movies were filmed.

Monday, June 19, 2017 – Leaving the busyness of London

Today we took a train all the way through England north to Scotland. There were many rolling green hills and a calm peacefulness compared to the busyness of London. We toured Edinburgh on the bus and then drove up the hill to Edinburgh Castle. The castle overlooks the entire city of Edinburgh. After we toured the castle, the time was ours to explore different parts of the town and shops. The roads were filled with hundreds of people and many bagpipe players. For dinner we ate at the Spirit of Scotland. Some people tried Haggis, which is a traditional Scottish meet, or sheep heart. We ate and enjoyed a traditional Scottish performance from singers, dancers, a violinist, and a bagpipe player– a true delightful taste of Scottish culture.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 – From Scotland to Northern Island

We all took a bus to Cairnryan, Scotland, and then a ferry to Belfast in Northern Ireland. The ferry was similar to a cruise ship with lots of seats, entertainment, and food. After we arrived in Belfast, we enjoyed a beautiful view of the Irish Sea. Of course, we had a potato dinner, a typical meal in Ireland. It was fun to think that today we woke up in Scotland and went to bed in Ireland.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 – On the edge of Ireland

In the morning we all drove to Bushmills, Northern Ireland. The drive was beautiful with rolling green hills and many sheep, but on top of that was a stop to Giant’s Causeway. We walked down and we were literally on the edge of Ireland and could see where the land cuts off at a cliff. As we walked down toward the shore, there were these amazing hexagonal shaped rocks to climb. They were formed from volcanic activity over 60 million years ago. We soon learned of the legends of the rocks that say they were rocks thrown into the sea by giant Finn McCool.
Later, we visited the other side of Northern Ireland called Londonderry or Derry, a naming dispute between the nationalists and the unionists. Derry has a recent history of attacks from the Irish Republican Army, also known as the IRA, and lots of peaceful movements to unite the Protestant and Catholic sides of town. There were many peace murals and a peace bridge connecting the two sides of town. After a long day of touring all of Northern Ireland, we landed back in Belfast for dinner at our hotel.

Thursday, June 22, 2017 – An afternoon at the Titanic Belfast

Today we took a tour around Belfast and got off the bus to sign the peace wall and leave our mark in Ireland. We learned some Irish slang like the word “crack” means “fun” and “boot” is a trunk of a car.

After the tour we visited the Titanic museum. The museum is as tall as the original Titanic and is built to look like the iceberg that it hit. The Titanic was constructed in Belfast and cranes used to build the ship remain standing. We were supposed to drive straight from the museum to Dublin, Ireland. We left Belfast and 15 minutes later, our bus broke down. After two hours waiting for bus, we were began the 2-hour bus ride to Dublin, Ireland. We enjoyed the whole Irish experience by eating dinner at a pub and then we were off to the “hotel”.

It wasn’t quite a hotel. Technically called “student accommodations”, it was a boarding school and its property was quite cool. We were all able to explore the grounds including an old castle on campus. There was a tunnel made out of bushes tall enough to fit our whole tour group. They also had “footgolf” which is like a combination of soccer and golf. A small group of us took a walk from our accommodations to the Irish Sea. The ocean was beautiful and we found some great shells and met an adorable puppy.

Friday, June 23, 2017 – A day to explore

Today was our exploration day in Dublin, Ireland. We saw many important landmarks including St. Patrick’s Cathedral. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. We saw the Book of Kells, which is the oldest book containing the four Gospels and is housed at Trinity College. We then had free time to shop around and visit different museums. We met for an Irish meal of beef and potatoes. Some people stayed at the dinner longer for an Irish dance performance while others went back to the accommodations for free time. For our last night in the British Isles we ordered a late night snack of many giant pizzas for all of us to share.

Saturday, June 24, 2017 – Back to home

We woke up at five in the morning to start our long trek home. After a flight delay we finally made it on the plane for an 8-hour flight to Chicago. Because our flight was delayed, we missed our connection, so instead were once again on a bus for six-hour ride home. We were reunited with our families, dogs, and friends. We also brought back many new experiences and stories to share.

The opportunity to travel throughout the British Isles was an amazing experience. Seeing the sights we’d only read about in our textbooks helped us all learn so much more about the history and cultures of the countries we visited. We have gained a new knowledge of people and places around the world and let’s hope that’s just the beginning. The whole experience made the countless hours of traveling and the patience needed to enjoy a new part of the world worth it.

See a video of their trip HERE. View a gallery of Maggie’s photos from the trip HERE.

2017 Ready Tee Fire is a huge success!

Thank you to the sponsors, golfers, and volunteers who made the 2017 Ready Tee Fire Golf Classic a HUGE success! This year’s event was one of the largest in our 21-year history with a full field of 145 golfers and a record number of alumni participating. The event raised a budget-breaking $45,000 of net proceeds to support Holy Family programs.

2017 Ready Tee Fire Golf Classic winning teams are:

Open Division: Noel Rahn, Rich Balm, Tom Peterson, Joe Gleason
Second Place: Tim Browne, Andy Olson, John Bohmbach, Jim Bergerson
Alumni Division: Ryan Swanson ’14, Dylan Woolf ’14, AJ Spaulding’14, and Joey Marooney ’14
Women’s/Mixed Division: Chris Moakley, Marty Moakley, Meaghan  Moakley ’13, and Mike Brennan

2017 on-course game winners are:

Hole #2 Closest to the Pin: Karen Menzuber
Hole #4 Men’s Longest Drive: Tom Peterson
Hole #4 Women’s Longest Drive: Alexis Pricco ’18
Hole #9 Longest Putt: Mike Iversen
Hole #10 Women’s Longest Drive: Meaghan Moakley ’13
Hole #10 Men’s Longest Drive: Adam Dooley
Hole #16 Closest to the Pin: Joe Finley
Hole #18 Longest Putt: Jeff Felmlee ’08

Thank you to the following generous sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor
Strom Engineering

Silver Sponsors
Klein Bank
Rahr Manufacturing
PK Services

Bronze Sponsor
BiG Athletics

Prize Sponsors
Swannies
2nd Swing

Friends Sponsors
Merrill Lynch/The Polhen Terris Group
Charter Bank

This event would not be possible without our 14 student volunteers and 11 adult volunteers. Thank you for your time!

Click HERE to see the Facebook album of the day.

Alumni Spotlight: Tom Mahota’s Bright Future

Tom Mahota: Known for putting his best effort into everything he takes on, this 2017 Holy Family Catholic High School graduate explains opportunities and those around him helped shape a path for success.

“My family has always encouraged me to do well in school and work to become a better person, but being around people and friends who strive for the same things makes it much easier and more natural. Holy Family is an easy place to do this because there are so many good people who want success for themselves and others.” —Tom Mahota, 2017 Holy Family Graduate

Graduated: 2017

Elementary/Middle School: Our Lady of the Lake School, Mound

Attending: University of Minnesota–Twin Cities

Major: Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics

Holy Family Activities:

  • Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Nordic Skiing
  • Football
  • Robotics
  • Knowledge Bowl
  • Eco-Freako Club
  • Bowling Club
  • Honor Society
  • Campus Ministry
  • Empty Bowls
  • Art Fairs

HF: What is your definition of “success?”

TOM: I think that someone who is successful in life is someone who has found happiness in themselves and in others. I’ve met a lot of people—good, bad and everything in between. One thing I’ve learned is that people who can recognize that their happiness doesn’t come from just themselves treat others with a particular kind of kindness.

Everyone has ups and downs in life, but the people who are able to find happiness in others are the ones who stand out to me. I would definitely consider this success.

HF: How have your varied experiences connected to the person you are?

TOM: One of the most valuable things that I’ve found in being involved in such a wide scope of things is how to deal with many different types of people.

It is amazing to experience the difference between the atmosphere of a locker room and an art fair. Neither one is better than the other, yet the people, the atmosphere and the temperament are completely different.

There is value in both, and the people I have met in both have definitely shaped me.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a very competitive person. A big reason for this is from the years of sports and having such a large part of my life be competitions with amazing coaches and mentors.

Then there is also the creative side. I’ve been building things for as long as I can remember, and the people I’ve met at places like workshops or art fairs are some of the most interesting and kind people I’ve encountered. I’m hoping that those traits are rubbing off on me as much as the competitiveness.

HF: With so many interests, how do you remain focused on what is important?

TOM: I think the best way is to simply surround yourself with the right people. My family has always been encouraging me to do well in school and work to become a better person, but being around people and friends who strive for the same things makes it much easier and more natural. Holy Family is an easy place to do this because there are so many good people who want success for themselves and for others.

HF: How do your interests transform how you perceive the world?

TOM: My perception of the world is through a lens of all the different things I do and the connections I can make between them. I’ve found my experience with things that seem totally different helps me excel when I bring qualities from each together.

One example is robotics. When designing and developing a machine to shoot balls, I used concepts and ideas from baseball pitching machines. I’d been around them my whole life and was able to draw a similarity from baseball to benefit what we did in robotics.

HF: Now that you have graduated, do you see yourself as a role model for other high school students?

TOM: The way I perceive myself is no differently than the way I see other people. Everyone has his or her own talents, interests and shortcomings, including myself.

I feel like a lot of times people see someone do something amazing and say, “Oh, there’s no way I could do anything like that,” before even trying it.

The only thing I would say that has helped me succeed is this: I never tell myself I can’t do something, or that something isn’t for me before I try it and decide for myself.

SHARE YOUR HOLY FAMILY EXPERIENCE. If you have a unique story, experience or twist in life because of the influence Holy Family Catholic High School has had on you, share it with us. E-mail your story to: communications@hfchs.org. We’ll spotlight stories from Holy Family parents, students and alumni.

What they knew four years ago…

Four years ago the parents of the HFCHS Class of 2017 were looking for much of the same things that today, the parents of the Class of 2021 are seeking. They wanted a welcoming environment where their children would be known, challenged, supported, and would discover new talents and passions. We are proud of our Fire 2017 graduates, and we can’t wait to start the journey with our Fire 2021 incoming 9th graders!

Our graduates attend some of the best college and universities across the country. Click here to see a list of the schools of our 1673 alumni. The National Student Clearinghouse®, the leading provider of educational reporting, tells us our students are two times more likely to graduate from college than the national average.

Request Information on HFCHS

Dedicated Teachers

“At Holy Family, I was able to form and run a club, play sports, and challenge myself academically because of the teachers’ never-ending support and dedication. They create an environment where learning is the focus, not the deadlines. Education at Holy Family is more than just educational; it prepares you for the future.”

Lorena Palattao 17, College: UCLA, Major: Mathematics

$10 Million in College Scholarships

The 103 graduates of the Class of 2017 earned $10.32 million in college scholarships and they accepted over $3.5 million of those scholarships. As she announced the scholarship amounts at graduation, President/Principal Kathleen Brown stated: “With these awards, colleges and universities acknowledge in our students a skill set they may not otherwise see in other students. They want our students to attend their institutions.”

Opportunities to Excel, Lead, and Participate

Holy Family offers students the opportunity to participate and excel in college preparatory academics, service projects, and over 50 clubs and sports. The Class of 2017 includes:

  • 4 National Merit students
  • 9 AP Scholars
  • Athletes continuing to five Division I and multiple Division II and III athletic programs
  • 10,000 Lakes Regional First Robotics Competition Winner and World Championship Qualifier
  • State Math League Second Place Team
  • Presidential Service Medal recipients

MSHSL superior-rated vocalists, instrumentalists, and artists

Application totals for Class of 2021 largest since 2010

Applications for the Class of 2021 are approaching the highest we’ve seen since 2010. The Class of 2021 students and families are excited to be a part of the FIRE! Admissions work continues all summer long and we welcome new families every week!

Our sophomore class is expected to grow by 10-15% by the end of summer.  Why are those students looking to make the move to Holy Family? Here’s what one recent transfer told us in his application, “I would like to attend Holy Family because of the small class sizes and the sense of community. I enjoyed my visit and felt welcome. I know Holy Family will offer me a better high school experience and prepare me well for my future.” 

Tuition assistance and a limited number of transfer grants are still available.

Fire Track and Field Athletes Look Forward to Section Meet

With the track and field championship season now in full swing, the primary goal of every track and field athlete is the same: perform well enough to advance to the next round. When the bus left Jordan High School, host of the Section 2A, Sub-Section 8 Championship meet on Thursday, May 25, many Fire athletes met that goal. Holy Family will send a large contingent to sections.

Holy Family Girls Team Fared Well

The Holy Family girls fared well as a team, battling their way to a third-place team finish in the seven-team Sub-Section. The Fire’s 140 points trailed team champion and host Jordan’s 234 points. The Holy Family team attack was spurred on by qualifying efforts in three of the four relays, three event titles, three Honor Roll standards, and 12 Section 2A Championship meet qualifiers.

With the top four athletes in individual events and the top two relays qualifying for the next round, the Fire needed great performances.   Holy Family would boast the winner in two of the individual events led by senior captain Kendra Franck, who rolled to another victory in her primary event, the 800m run. Franck’s winning time of two minutes, 25.07 seconds was just off of her personal best time, but almost two seconds ahead of the next competitor and a Section 2A championship qualifying performance. The Fire received another Section 2A meet standard in this event courtesy of junior Megan Beulke, who ran a personal best time of 2:30.63 to advance to the 4th and final qualifying position. The final individual Fire victory belonged to sophomore distance specialist Ellie Marschall, who paced herself to an easy victory in the 3200m run with a winning time of 12:58.23, over 17 seconds faster than the next competitor. Also sparking the Holy Family distance attack was senior captain Abby Ernst, who qualified for sections with a 4th place time of 5:49.80, a new personal best, in the 1600m run.

Senior captain Emily Willenbring advanced to the Section 2A meet in three events. Willenbring set a new Holy Family Catholic school record in the long jump competition, stretching the tape to a new personal best mark of 16 feet, 11 inches to place 2nd overall. Willenbring then also set a new personal-best time in the 200m dash, shaving almost 1.5 seconds off her previous best. Her time of 26.14 seconds was a Minnesota Class A Honor Roll Standard and placed her in 2nd overall, just 0.04 of a second out of 1st place. She then capped her day by anchoring the Holy Family 4 x 200 relay to victory in a time of 1:48.54. Willenbring’s relay teammate junior Emma Terris also qualified for the Section 2A meet in three events: the high jump competition with a second place 4’7” effort, the 4 x 200 relay, the Fire 4 X 100 relay with Section 2A second-place qualifying time of 51.97.

Also qualifying in more than one event were Holy Family sophomore sprinter Evelyn Willenbring in 4 X 100 and 4 X 200 relays, and junior Alexis Pricco in the 4 X 100 relay, and as an individual in the 300m hurdles with a personal best time of 50.85 seconds and a 4th place finish.

Junior Maggie Mahota advanced to sections with the top Fire time in 300m hurdles and second place 49.75-seconds. Mahota (5th) and Pricco (6th), also posted personal bests in the 100m hurdles but did not advance to sections in this event. Mahota then teamed up with fellow juniors Casey Krasowski and Gracie Lund along with sophomore Grace Conroy to claim Holy Family’s 4th and final event win of the day in the 4 X 400 relay with a time of 4:20.34, almost 8 seconds better than the next team, and just off a season-best mark.

“Our girls took care of business today by advancing to the Section Meet in multiple events,” noted Fire head coach Ian Parzyck. “Emily had a great day with the school record in the long jump, we had two individual champions, and our relays were good again. All in all it was a good day for our girls, but our multiple personal best performances show us that everything is coming together for them at the right time with the Section meet on the way.”

Fire Boys Track and Field Athletes Fight to Move On

The Holy Family boys were able to fight their way to 5th place in the team standings behind Jordan High School’s Sub-Section 8A Championship 280 points at Sub-Section 8A meet. Staring down the possible end to their track and field season, a number of Holy Family boys showed their fight by demonstrating that they were far from finished; as they sent six athletes in four events on to compete at the Section 2A meet.

Leading the way in the individual events was Fire sophomore and middle distance specialist Zyler Niece, who paced himself to a 2nd place finish in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:10.37. Holy Family would see one more distance runner advance as sophomore teammate Jack Fink grabbed the 4th and final Section qualifying spot in the 1600m run with a time of 4:54.64. Fink became the Fire boys’ only two-event qualifier when he anchored the Fire 4 X 400 relay team of junior captain Joe Olson, with sophomore teammates Nick Lynch and Brendan O’Connor to 2nd place in a near season-best time of 3:35.47.

The Holy Family boys would also see success in the field, as senior throws captain Daniel Trieff punched his ticket to next week’s section meet with the 4th and final qualifying spot in the shot put competition. Trieff threw a personal-best mark of 44 feet, 2 inches to ensure his season would continue. “I was really pleased to see Daniel chuck out that personal best throw with his season on the line,” exclaimed Coach Parzyck. “And while there were a couple of near misses from some of our athletes in other events, I was truly happy to see our boys battle back and eek out one more Section qualifying performance in the 4 X 400 in exciting fashion at the end of the meet.”

The Holy Family Catholic track and field teams will now set their sights on Mankato West High School, host of the Section 8AA championship meet. The top two individuals and top relay teams, plus any qualifying standards, will earn the right to compete at the MSHSL State Championship meet in June. “All of our Section qualifiers performed well on Thursday, and will now see the best in the Section 2A Meet on Saturday, June 3. We have 18 girls and boys who are set to compete at Mankato this week for an opportunity at State. It should be a lot of fun for our athletes to perform at their best to see just how far they can go.”

Photo by Paige Wicka

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.