Behind the Scenes: Holy Family Robotics

What is it? Holy Family’s robotics club, competing under the team name PyroBotics, is an opportunity for students interested in programming, engineering and robotics classes to form a competitive team of robo-builders. The team competes in competitions sponsored by FIRST®, encouraging students to immerse themselves in science and technology.

  • FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC): Small-scale, regional autonomous robotic competition open to middle- and high-school students. Offered fall semester.
  • FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC): Industrial-scaled autonomous robots designed by high-school students compete in a full-scale worldwide game. Offered spring semester.

What is the FIRST® Robotics Competition? Think NASCAR meets Transformers, giving students a chance to experience what professional engineers do every day. Billed as the “ultimate sport for the mind,” this competition is all about teamwork. Students build and program an industrial-scale robot that performs programmed tasks in a competitive arena. With more than 10 members on a team, working with professional volunteer mentors, the competition combines the excitement of sports with the rigors of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Brandon Bueltel working on protype for cube intake with programmers Colin Dosedel and John Vogel.

Who can compete? Students completing Holy Family’s Technical Studies and Engineering Graphics II.

Do students earn credit? Students enrolled in Robotics 1, 2 or 3 earn .5 credit for each course. Middle-school students can now take these courses and earn Holy Family credit, enabling them to participate in robotics in ninth grade.

What skills do members of the robotics team learn?

  • Team collaboration
  • Leadership
  • Problem solving
  • Programming
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • CAD
  • Design
  • Pneumatics
  • 3D printing

Learn About Holy Family’s 60+ Extracurricular Activities HERE.

Robotics: Holy Family’s Engineering Tradition

Look Where He Is Now!

Long before 2012 graduate Brian Kubisiak began high school at Holy Family, he was already rock solid on the fundamentals of computer programming. It is something his dad taught him early on, a second language that came completely natural to him and immediately drew him into the Innovation Lab at Holy Family.

“I started taking engineering classes with Nick (Livermore) my freshman year,” Kubisiak recalls. “When he proposed starting a robotics team, I eagerly accepted this opportunity to further my education in technology. I was looking for any chance to gain experience in programming, both through classes and extracurricular activities.”

In 2009, Kubisiak and a handful of like-minded students joined Livermore to launch the robotics team at Holy Family. They competed in the FIRST® Tech Challenge , a competition sponsored by FIRST® -For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The organization, founded long before the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) acronym caught on, focuses on inspiring young people to immerse themselves in science and technology.

Taste of Engineering

Competing in FIRST events offers students opportunities well beyond building robots. FIRST gives students a chance to experience and pursue STEM-related fields, inspiring them to become leaders and innovators while gaining important life skills, like collaboration, teamwork and problem solving.

“Robotics was a great learning experience for me, and many of the lessons I learned about working with a team are still relevant to my career,” Kubisiak says.

Kubisiak graduated from Holy Family with 5 credits of technology, 4 more than are required to graduate. He and his teammates also led the robotics team to the next level, launching the school’s entry into the FIRST® Robotics Competition, where teams of students build industrial-sized robots to compete in an intense game of survival against high schools from around the world. It’s billed as the “ultimate sport for the mind.”

Building on Tradition

Dosedel releasing the rope for the robot to climb.

Early success has led to a thriving Holy Family robotics team. Last year’s team qualified for the World Championships held in St. Louis, the second to do that since the program began. Perhaps that was the motivating factor that brought 10 of the 18 robotics students to the Innovation Lab on Student Assistance Day (SAD) on a chilly January morning this year.

With just a few weeks left to troubleshoot and fine-tune, it was all hands on deck. “Mona Lisa,” the name given to this year’s robot, needed to be “bagged up” and shipped to the FRC district competition site by late February. The competition, however, won’t start until a month later, March 28 to March 31, at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena. Follow their matches at https://www.thebluealliance.com/events where you will find updates and links to live video.

If there were such a thing as a card up your sleeve in robotics, it would have to be a second bot the team built named “Frankenstein.” A replica of Mona Lisa, this spec-bot allows the team to test, tweak and troubleshoot in the weeks leading up to the competition. Any modifications made to Frankenstein will be applied to Mona Lisa in the “pits” during competition weekend.

Commitment to Team

What’s most impressive-the students, eager to push the boundaries of their technical comfort zones, come to the Innovation Lab on their own time. Just as they have each weekend since January 6, when the details and tasks for this year’s FIRST® Robotics Competition were streamed live worldwide.

“One of the biggest goals of robotics is to understand the teamwork that goes with it,” Livermore says. “I’m always impressed by their resilience not to give up. Some kids stay here for 10 hours on a Saturday, and will not give up until the robot is working.”

The group works in small teams, each playing a vital role to the completed project. Some build, others program. They test to see who is best at driving the bot in a makeshift arena that emulates what they’ll face during competition, built by volunteer parents. Adult mentors, including Livermore; math teacher Gary Kannel; career engineers Bill Barnett and Tom Barrett; and Tufts University student and Holy Family grad Claire Pernat help students troubleshoot the robot or system programs.

Programmers Dosedel and Vogel and Advisor Kannel work on programming autonomous phase for the robot.

Despite homework, winter sports and other club activities, robotics team members have only six weeks to complete their FRC robot. Robotics captain Nikolai Charchenko works around his varsity hockey schedule, as does sophomore Sydney Paulsen (shown in the top image).

Lead programmer Colin Dosedel, in his second robotics year as a junior, is captain of the Math League and is involved in Mock Trial, Knowledge Bowl and Honors Society. Freshman Jeremy Schumacher competes in the Math League, Quiz Bowl and Mock Trial. They all agree robotics is something that has to take priority in their busy schedules.

“It’s a team,” says Schumacher, who was introduced to robotics when Holy Family’s team visited his middle school, St. Hubert Catholic School. “People are counting on you to get the work done. If you don’t come in, that means you’re letting the whole team down.”

Paulsen, one of three girls competing on this year’s team, says, “You have to make sacrifices. This is important-you can go out with your friends other times.”

The Task at Hand

Teams design their bots to compete in a full-scale robo-battle with new rules and tasks to accomplish each year. This year’s game, called “FIRST® Power Up,” requires each robot to lift square weights up to 7-1/2 feet in the air and place them on a large balance scale, with the goal of tipping the scale in your team’s favor. The task put so much stress on the robot’s lift that the Holy Family team was forced to disassemble and redesign the lift arms to add more support.

Adam Beer and Nikolai Charchenko work with Livermore on the elevator to lift competition cubes.

Charchenko is in charge of keeping the entire team on task, making sure there is plenty of time to have all the bugs worked out before it’s “go time.”

“It (robotics) makes me think in a critical way while also working as a team, to get a big project done,” he says. “That’s something you can’t get from other extracurricular activities.”

Dosedel agrees the deep-thinking collaboration robotics requires is something unique.

“I like working together to accomplish one goal,” he says. “A lot of people might want to do it all themselves. But you really can’t do that. It takes lots of ideas and to be open, not closed-minded on your own opinions.

Many Doors and Possibilities

While Charchenko’s sights are set on a career that includes hockey, engineering is his fallback plan.

“Robotics will definitely play a part in what degree I’ll take in college,” he says. “I heard that mechanical engineering is improving past inventions and making them better today. It’s hands-on engineering. I like having that visual idea and showing people.”

For Paulsen, robotics provides her an opportunity to try new things before committing to a degree track in college.

“I think being in robotics will confirm that I want to go into engineering in college,” she says. “I like solving a problem and getting my hands dirty until it gets done. It’s helpful knowing there are more females going into engineering and knowing that there are other people interested in the same things as me.”

Dosedel likes trying new things, and programming is just another challenge.

“I’m open to every thing,” he says. “I never thought I’d come to Holy Family and program a robot. I want to have an open mind to try new activities and learn new things.”

Picking Up STEAM

The future of Holy Family robotics is bright. This year at the Spirit of Fire Fundraiser, the fund-a-need focus was STEAM education (the added “A” stands for Arts). A portion of the $98,000 raised was invested into the Innovation Lab, where two additional 3D printers have been added, with plans for a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine this summer.

“All robots in the competition have to have at least one 3D printed piece,” Livermore explains. “Next year, we’re hoping to make an entire 3D printed robot. The only thing metal will be the motors and gears.”

Livermore is proud of his students accomplishments during and after they are a part of the robotics program.

To get middle-school students into Holy Family tech program and robotics quicker, Livermore started a pilot program three years ago. Tech classes are offered free to seventh and eighth graders during the first period. They can earn up to .5 technology credit for each class, which can be applied to Holy Family graduation.

“By completing both Technical Studies and Engineering Graphics II in middle school, ninth-grade students can immediately join robotics their first year,” Livermore says.

And that is called opportunity.

“Sometimes I’m kind of jealous,” he admits. “We have kids come through robotics that are now in biomedical engineering. They’re working on drones for Amazon. We have kids who are now programming at Rockwell Collins. They’re accomplishing things for huge companies and out there doing what they started in high school.”

Find out 3 Reasons Why Holy Family Students Succeed in College

Holy Family English Department’s Connected Curriculum

Techno Teachers: Holy Family English Department’s Connected Curriculum

Today’s students are driving change faster than ever before with their intuitive use of technology. For Holy Family Catholic High School’s English Department, that means changing the ways of teaching too.

“Technology is a tool that cannot and should not be ignored,” says English teacher Carlee Kocon. “It’s our responsibility to help prepare 21st-century learners for the 21st century with tools that are applicable and relevant to their current and future learning.”

Holy Family’s English department has teamed up to make sure students are ready for the future, weaving in technologies that emulate what students will experience in college and through real-world experiences. Their methods are the result of a focused effort led by English teacher Case Unverzagt, who created an ad hoc committee to explore teaching with technology and best practices.

“Technology remains a tool that students use in every facet of life, so I figured our teaching must incorporate technology to better reach and teach students,” Unverzagt says.

The English Department’s fresh mix of teaching and tech is a peek into how the Holy Family classrooms are evolving in a time of rapid change driven by a digital revolution.

“Technology is a tool and will never replace the ‘teacher,’” says Holy Family President Michael Brennan. “And it is far more than hardware and devices.

“I view technology as a key with the ability to transform student learning. The right technology in the hands of the right teacher is a recipe for transformational learning.”

Tech Advances Language Skills

Unverzagt points out that technology, like English, is textually focused. Therefore, the correlation between them is natural and encourages stronger writing and communication.

“Code is syntactical, and so is English,” he says. “Mistakes in coding change or destroy meaning analogous to poor grammar that obstructs meaning—text messages, Tweets, message board posts and emails all require compositional skills for creation. Many an adolescent spends time pondering the tone and context of the last Tweet or text.

“The skills we use to analyze literature and communicate ideas effectively and clearly translate immediately to reading, analyzing and creating content on technological platforms.”

The marriage between language and technology, he points out, dovetails with the English department’s overall mission:

  • Develop each student’s reading skills
  • Encourage interest in the language arts as research and leisure activities
  • Introduce students to a variety of writing styles and authors
  • Hone students’ listening skills
  • And, most importantly, develop writing as a process geared to create written pieces for a variety of purposes and audiences.

English teachers at Holy Family have collectively found ways to thread technology into their current teaching methods. Unverzagt, who teaches AP English and Honors American Literature, relies on multiple digital platforms, including Twitter, MS365, MS Teams, OneNote, various Google platforms and digital content.

Senior Creative Writing students write their pieces and share them during editing sessions.

“I try to use technology to meet students where they are in the digital universe and help them learn with and through technology,” he says.

Kocon, who has a master’s degree in Learning Design and Technology from the University of St. Mary’s, is driven to help students use technology to advance learning and creativity.

“Using technology just to use it isn’t popular, and students can sense that,” she says. “However, if you can point out the usefulness the technology provides, they’re usually all in. It’s all about balance and finding the right technology tool for the task at hand.

“In my Freshman World Literature classes, we use technology to share and edit work,” she says. “We create short slide presentations regarding chapters of text we are reading in class. Students also create their own quizzes to share to prep for later assessments, and some make online flashcards. For my Senior Creative Writing classes, students write their pieces and share them during editing sessions.”

Kocon is also quick to point out that technology has helped from the teaching perspective, too, making her more responsive and timely with instruction and feedback.

“I use various software to edit their papers and give feedback more efficiently and more quickly with voice comments, video comments or stamped comments, eliminating lengthy return time on writing pieces,” she says.

Quizzes, Apps and Creativity

Zach Brown, who teaches Honors British Literature, Speech, Contemporary Issues and College Prep Writing, utilizes Google surveys, online quizzes and collaborative documents, so students can work together and participate in class in new ways.

“Kahoot! is a great app for making a review or quiz similar to a game, and it engages students far more than raising their hands to demonstrate their learning,” he says.

Google surveys, online quizzes and collaborative documents allow students to work together and participate in class in new ways.

Brown also stresses the importance of discerning credible information sources from questionable ones, and making sure students are aware of singularly shaded information and insulated viewpoints. Instead of diving deep into the technology, he focuses on how students can use tech to better present ideas with substance. With this thinking, Brown has turned a new page on the way students “author” book reports.

“I can make the presentation of learning more inviting, so the reading and completion of the assignment isn’t as onerous,” he says. “For example, making a movie trailer in a video editing program encourages students to entice a viewer, so students work to make their work exciting and prove they can make something great. This requires students to read the book, but without the additional work of an essay looming ahead of them.”

The New Standard: Tech Competency

As Holy Family students move through various English classes, the staff has developed a benchmark of key technology competencies students need to master. Likewise, every teacher has been trained to help implement these competencies through their curriculum.

“Students need to know how to create meaningful presentations, so that they can convey their ideas in a powerful way,” Brown says. “Since new programs will always replace the old, I need to teach them how to navigate through confusion.”

“Ultimately, it comes down to successfully transitioning students from high school into college, so they are prepared to articulate their opinions and beliefs, which are subjective, as well as objectively present arguments and sides to issues. When students realize that technology can help give their voice a platform, I feel they are more engaged.”

See 2018-2019 Holy Family Course Descriptions

3 Reasons Holy Family Students Succeed

If you’re numbers driven, it is unquestionable that Holy Family Catholic High School students prove year, after year, after year that they are prepared for college.

What are the indicators? Here are some of the biggies:

  • Average ACT Score (2017): 25.4; Average ACT Score of Top 25% (2017): 31.7; Average ACT Score of Top 10% (2017): 33.6
  • 4-year College Attendance (2017): 93% (2-Year College attendance (2017) 1%, Athletic Opportunity (2017) with plans to attend college: 3%)
  • College Completion Rate 6 years out of high school: 84% (National Avg. 53%) Source: National Student Clearinghouse, tracks students for six-years in 98% of all colleges

What the numbers don’t tell is…WHY?

  • WHY do Holy Family students routinely outperform Minnesota students taking the ACT by an average of 5 points over the past 5 years?
  • WHY do Holy Family graduates succeed their first year in college?
  • WHY do Holy Family students graduate from college way above averages from other high schools, according to The National Student Clearinghouse?

“One of the things people always point to is ACT test scores,” says Kathie Brown, Holy Family Catholic High School principal. “Yet test scores are not everything. It’s important to be a thoughtful, reflective, rational thinker, and to take action when you have strengths to be active. You can’t have other people think and do things for you. That is what is important in post-secondary education.”

With that, we set out to put our finger on some of the specifics that answer why Holy Family Catholic High School students succeed in college. We asked five experts, all of whom have worked with Holy Family students and seen them succeed in college and beyond. They are:

  • Kathie Brown, Holy Family Catholic High School Principal
  • Jeanne Weber, Owner, collegeONE, helping students organize and streamline the college application process
  • Melissa Livermore, Holy Family Dean for Academic Support
  • Josh Rutz, Holy Family Counselor
  • Laura Horton, Holy Family Counselor

Based on independent interviews with each of these experts committed to helping students achieve success beyond Holy Family, there are a number of reasons why they are successful in college, starting with year one. But these three stand out:

1. Students Leave with Exceptional Writing and Communication Skills. Brown admits this can be a challenge in a society driven by digital devices. But that doesn’t change the need to be articulate, she says. When it comes to excelling in college, students with exceptional writing and verbal skills stand out among peers.

Kathie Brown: “If you can’t communicate well, your ideas will die with you. Our kids are not afraid to express their ideas. They can speak in public and they know how to write when they leave here. They are going to wind up helping their peers in college.”

Jeanne Weber: “There seems to be an emphasis on writing (at Holy Family) in more than just English class. I see a focus on writing in history and many of the other classes. This makes Holy Family kids stronger communicators than what I see from other schools. Even when they sit down with an adult, they are a little more at ease. They listen and have great communication skills.”

Josh Rutz: “One thing we consistently hear is that the workload, particularly the written papers, helps our students succeed in college. Alumni often say when it comes to knowing how to study, knowing the expectations of how to be good students and writing papers in college, they say they are well prepared. Doesn’t matter what college they attend. It seems every single student is saying they are well prepared.”

2. Opportunities Build Leadership Skills. Small numbers seem to deliver big results at Holy Family. With an average student-teacher ratio of 13:1, students can’t fly under the radar at Holy Family. Plus, they participate in extracurricular activities in extremely high numbers. The result is an expectation that Holy Family students lead.

Melissa Livermore: “Almost 100 percent of our students are involved in something, and many in more than one thing. By the time they leave Holy Family, our students have excellent time management skills because they are so involved.”

Josh Rutz: “(Holy Family) Students are not just focusing on school, but every other aspect in their lives—volunteering, work, sports, clubs, activities, and in faith and religious aspects. If anything, they’re too busy. Sometimes, they overwork themselves because they are such great leaders and want to have an impact on all aspects of life. One example: We bring kids on service trips all over the world. Those experiences change our kids in great ways. That’s why they do so well in college and after.”

Jeanne Weber: “When I look at Holy Family kids, the biggest advantage they have is the ability to participate. They have great social interactions, which comes from being in a small school, expecting students to take leadership roles and help out others. Participation helps them with leadership skills. They understand the nature of college, and that they’re going there to learn stuff. They’re just a little more well rounded and make good decisions while in college. They are substantially prepared to take that on.”

3. Holy Family Students Advocate for Themselves and Others. Often overlooked, this skill possibly should be at the top of this list. It shows confidence, drive, leadership and independent learning at a very high level.

Laura Horton: “One of the biggest things to college success is knowing how and where to advocate for yourself. When Holy Family students are out on their own, they check on academics, go to counseling services for help, and join clubs and groups to get connected and build that important social network. Being your best advocate is putting those skills to use. Sometimes, life happens. How students use these support services to tackle bumps in the road that likely come up defines their success.”

Jeanne Weber: “Holy Family students are very confident. They’re not boastful, but they are confident. If they see something that needs to be done, they do it. And they know when they need help. At Holy Family, there is an expectation that you are going to do well. Whatever that well is for you. And that’s a reflection of college.”

Josh Rutz: “Holy Family students are not afraid to ask questions. They become great self-advocates and advocates for others. We push and see growth in that from 9th to 12th grade. No matter where they are at, they are willing to ask for help or help each other out when in need. It provides that feeling of never being alone.”

Kathie Brown: “Holy Family students believe in goals. They know it takes practice and time. They know that, ‘Just because I want, doesn’t mean I can have.’ They keep going after it. I love the persistence and perseverance. When catapulted in new places, they are still OK. They know these are the things I need to do and these are the people I need to find to succeed.”

While those three reasons are the consensus favorites, there are many more reasons Holy Family students succeed in college. Here are a few additional thoughts from our experts on why Holy Family Catholic High School students are ready for a successful college experience, starting with day one.

  • Holy Family Students Think About Thinking. It is almost a lost skill in the digital age, says Brown. “They reflect about what they do and why they do it. They have great thoughts and are not afraid to express ideas.”

Livermore agrees: “We want to make sure students are geared toward learning and understanding. Not just for a grade or to check a box. We want them to learn and understand, and think about thinking.”

  • Students Experience Challenging Course Rigor. “We have high standards and hold all students to them,” Livermore adds. “This gives them confidence to take reasonable risks, such as trying new classes that they wouldn’t have before. It doesn’t scare them off, because they know how to do it, and that they can do it.”
  • Life Skills Are Taught at Holy Family. “Students leave here knowing what they need for a successful future,” Horton says. “They’re able to collaborate with peers; work with professors and faculty; and develop a sense of service and true caring for others. These all translate into aspects they’ll use in their lives and the working world.”
  • “Family Network” = Success. “The family atmosphere here pushes kids at a different level,” Rutz says. “When they have hard times and fall, they know where to turn. They come back here, turn to their families and turn to their experiences here at Holy Family that helped them grow. They have the confidence to tackle life. And life is not always easy.”
  • A Sense of Sacrifice and Direction. “I do think Holy Family kids, because their family is paying for high school, have a sense that people are sacrificing to send them there,” Weber adds. “And, maybe because of that, they have a better sense of what direction they want to head in. They can confidently take that step into college.”

Click HERE to meet alumni Ella Dahlin ’14 and see the impact a Holy Family education had on her success.

Alumni Spotlight: Ella Dahlin, 2014

Ella Dahlin: Using her gifts and sense of justice, this 2014 Holy Family Catholic High School graduate brings opportunities to others. She credits Holy Family for positively influencing and nurturing her in and out of the classroom.

“One of the most powerful aspects of Holy Family’s community is the support system that believes in its students. In high school, I felt important and valued by my teachers, staff, coaches and peers. I was taught to own who I was unapologetically. It gave me the confidence to make decisions and believe in them.” Ella Dahlin, 2014 Holy Family graduate

Alumni Profile: Ella Dahlin
Graduated: 2014
Elementary/Middle School: St. Joseph Catholic School, Waconia
University Attended: Loyola University Chicago, graduated in 2017
Degree: Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services
Holy Family Activities:

  • Campus Ministry
  • The Phoenix
  • Yearbook
  • Cross Country
  • Lacrosse
  • Nordic Skiing
  • Volleyball

HF: Catch us up—what are you doing today?

ELLA: I am an elementary site supervisor with the Boys and Girls Club of Garden Grove (BGCGG) in Southern California, where I’m responsible for the implementation of an after-school program for 100 students. BGCGG provides free after-school programs that focus on academic success, provide positive role models and create opportunities for children to realize their worth.

HF: What are you most proud of at this point of your life?

ELLA: I am proud of working hard to graduate a year early from Loyola, taking a risk and moving to California, and for pursuing my true passion by working towards social equity with the Boys and Girls Club. As blessed as I am, I know it is not by some coincidence. I have been able to achieve what I have today because of my amazing family, friends and educational opportunities. I was extremely lucky to attend a high school and university that shaped me into the person I am.

HF:  How did Holy Family influence your extracurricular activities while at Loyola?

ELLA: My favorite club at Loyola was the Women’s Lacrosse team, where I was a captain, treasurer and board member. If it were not for Holy Family, I would have never been introduced to the sport in the first place, so I am very grateful for my high school program.

During my time at Loyola, I was also a resident assistant and worked as a student office assistant with Residence Life. In many ways, these roles were just the continuation of (Holy Family’s) campus ministry, as I was responsible for programming, decorations and welcoming new students on campus.

My activities also included:

  • Social justice internship program
  • Volunteering at Catholic Charities Madonna House
  • Alpha Phi Omega (a service fraternity)
  • Alpha Sigma Nu (a Jesuit honors society)

Loyola is an amazing university with an abundance of opportunities, so I was able to pursue the interests that started with my time at Holy Family. Although I have some innate interests in these activities, it was Holy Family that started the fire that encouraged me to pursue them.

HF:  Did a Holy Family teacher have a particularly positive impact on what you are accomplishing today? 

ELLA: The strongest asset Holy Family has is its amazing, committed teachers. I will always remember the way Mr. (John) Dols encouraged me to take on opportunities and let my light shine. Mr. (Jacob) Dueck provided insight, created community and always acted from a place of care. Mr. (Andrew) Witchger challenged and supported me, and Dr. (Holly) Pottebaum encouraged me to dig deeper into the history of social justice in our country.

The list could continue forever, but the point is—every teacher impacted the way I thought and helped shape me into the critical thinker I am today. I am so appreciative of the holistic, caring education I received that prepared me for college and my life after college.

HF:  Do you have a favorite memory from Holy Family?

ELLA: A collective feeling that is present in all my favorite memories is one of accomplishment—planning a trip to Haiti, scoring a goal in lacrosse or contributing to Christmas convocation. Holy Family does a fantastic job at offering opportunities that actualize students’ efforts and ideas. With a strong support system, I was empowered to be uncomfortable, take risks, and work hard to make my ideas a reality.

HF:  How have you changed since leaving Holy Family?

ELLA: I have grown into a more educated and experienced individual. When I was younger, I was idealistic to a fault and have become more realistic through the years. Although slightly jaded, I am still an optimist who believes in the potential of every person. Through my experiences after high school, I realized the world is much more gray. I am and always have been an opinionated person, but I have learned the importance of listening to those who contradict me. I must understand other people’s life experiences to create a community that can come together.

HF: How did Holy Family help you be successful in pursuing your dreams? 

ELLA: Holy Family taught me that hard work, determination and a passion for what I believe in is powerful. I will never forget the class where Mr. Dols shared a quote that says:

“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.”  — Marianne Williamson, author

The staff and students at Holy Family embody that idea. I was fortunate enough to receive an education that molded my character and empowered me to believe in myself. My education challenged me to apply for challenging jobs, to take on opportunities that make me uncomfortable and to own who I am as a person.

HF: How did Holy Family help build your confidence and skill set in a highly competitive world?

ELLA: One of the most powerful aspects of Holy Family’s community is the support system that believes in its students. In high school, I felt important and valued by my teachers, staff, coaches, and peers. I was taught to own who I was unapologetically. It gave me the confidence to make decisions and believe in them. I was no longer uncertain or half-hearted in my ideas but rather fully committed. This skill set prepared me both for college and now my life after college.

I’m not afraid to ask questions. I am not afraid to admit my own mistakes. I am not afraid to learn. Since I was believed in, I believe in myself, so I do not fear a competitive world. I will work hard, I will show up, I will follow my passions, and I know that with time, I will succeed.

HF: What advice do you have for current and prospective Holy Family students? 

ELLA: Take on the opportunities that Holy Family offers. Since Holy Family is smaller in size, I was able to participate in sports, clubs, and events that I may not have been able to at other schools. I started Nordic skiing my sophomore year because I wanted something to do. I joined Math League because my friends wanted to try it. I fell in love with writing when I joined The Phoenix. If you want to feel valued, if you want your name remembered, if you want to be able to join any team or club simply because it interests you—then this is the school for you.

If you already attend Holy Family, join those activities! There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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

Wonder where our graduates go to college? Visit http://www.hfchs.org/follow-graduates/ to see a list of colleges.

The Inside Scoop on Holy Family Placement Tests

Inside Scoop on Placement Tests: What to Know & Why to Go

FIRE 23 Families—mark January 19 on your calendar and highlight it in yellow. This is the date for Holy Family Catholic High School Placement Tests for all incoming ninth-grade students. It is your student’s first step to securing a successful academic future at Holy Family.

Parents sometimes have questions about our Placement Tests.

  • Why do students take them?
  • How is the information used?
  • What if my student has a bad testing day?

To help answer these questions, and many more, we’re sharing this list of helpful answers. It should give you a complete picture of why Holy Family Placement Testing ensures every student has academic opportunities that uniquely fit his or her needs, interests and strengths.

Q: Is there a difference between an entrance exam and a placement test?

HF: Yes. Typically entrance exam scores are used to determine acceptance into a school. Holy Family does not use entrance exams. Instead, we offer placement tests for incoming freshmen with the goal of placing students in a course level where they can experience success.

Q: Is there only one placement test?

HF: We offer three placement tests:

  • Incoming Freshman Placement Test — Broad scope of topics for all incoming freshmen.
  • Math Placement Test — Required for students interested in courses beyond Algebra I.
  • World Language Placement Test — Required for students interested in taking foreign language beyond the first level course.

Q: What are the dates for this year’s exams?

HF: The placement tests are scheduled for these dates:

  • The High School Placement Test (STS’ High School Placement Test—HSPT®) given to all incoming ninth-grade students is January 20, 2018 beginning at 8 a.m. (please arrive by 7:50 a.m.)
  • Math Placement Test is June 2, 2018 beginning at 9 a.m (please arrive by 8:50 a.m.)
  • World Language Placement Tests are scheduled on an individual basis throughout the summer.

Q: What are the test fees?

HF: The Freshman Placement Test is $25. This fee is waived if there is already an Application for Enrollment on file. There are no fees for the Math or World Language Placement Tests.

Q: How is the STSHigh School Placement Test (HSPT®) used?

HF: The test results are utilized in two ways:

  • Provide staff with a clearer academic view of the incoming class. It allows the administration to make staff and curriculum adjustments to suit the needs of the class as a whole.
  • Help identify students who need extra academic support or can benefit from encouragement to broaden their academic horizons.

Q: What subject matters does the High School Placement Test include?

HF: The exam covers a broad scope of topics, including, but not limited to: reading comprehension, vocabulary, literary elements, punctuation, spelling, measurements, area, volume, mean and functions. More information can be found on the STS’ High School Placement Test (HSPT®) website.

Q: But wait! If the Math and World Language Placement Tests are conducted after the February 2018 class registration date, how will we know which math and language classes to register for?

HF: Students should register for the math and world language classes that they intend to take in the coming fall. Once placement test results are in, students can make adjustments to their class schedule if necessary. 

Q: Does every student have to take a Math Placement Test, and is it the only factor used in placing a student in a math class?

HF: Only incoming ninth-grade students who want to register for math classes higher than Algebra I take the Math Placement Test. There are three test options: Geometry, Algebra II or a higher-level math course. Individual circumstances can be reviewed during the process to decide which test is right for a student.

Q: How can my student prepare for the Math Placement Test?

HF: There are math review packets at http://www.hfchs.org/math-placement-faq/  available online, and we host weekend review sessions prior to the placement test.

Q: Who must take a World Language Placement Test?

HF: Only incoming ninth-grade students who want to register for second year or higher Italian, Latin or Spanish courses take the exam for their language of choice.

Q: How can my child prepare for a World Language Placement Test?

HF: Students should review materials from their previous world language classes.

Q: Can a student take a science/engineering placement test?

HF: All ninth-grade students begin their science discovery with biology, and engineering studies begin in our Technology Studies program. Holy Family offers a pre-engineering course to eighth-grade students. Students who successfully complete the course earn a Holy Family semester technology credit, giving them the opportunity to take Engineering II during their freshman year and compete with our robotics team.

Q: If we have a question about where our student has been placed after receiving test results, what do we do?

HF: Let’s talk about it. Our staff welcomes dialogue with parents and students to ensure we are all on the same page. We want all students to be successful—not overwhelmed or unchallenged. If, for example, a student is on the border of testing into a higher-level math class, there is an opportunity to be re-evaluated through a summer course.

Q: If my student is placed in a class and it becomes clear early in the first quarter that it’s not the right fit, can he or she be moved up or down a level?

HF: Flexibility is important when it comes to finding the right fit for students. We encourage families to contact the student’s teacher and counselor to discuss challenges the student is facing. Often one-on-one sessions with the teacher bring the student up to speed. If the family, counselor and teacher determine a move to a less challenging course is necessary, we’ll do our best to accommodate the change with the least amount of disruption to the student’s overall class schedule.

Q: Do any of the test results move students into Advanced Placement (AP) or Honors classes?

HF: Generally the only Honors option offered to ninth-grade students is in mathematics. There are exceptions. PSAT Tests, measuring readiness for college, are taken in ninth and eleventh grades and help identify AP potential.  After ninth grade, teachers will recommend Honors and AP classes to students who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills to be successful in those courses.

Q: Do transfer students have to take any of the placement tests?

HF: Typically, no, they do not. We rely on their incoming transcripts for class placements. 

Q: If my student isn’t able to take the tests on the scheduled dates, are there make-up sessions?

HF: Absolutely! Those with conflicts on the date of the The High School Placement Test should contact Scott Breimhorst at 952-443-1955. Contact the school office at 952-443-4659 to make arrangements for another summer test date for math and world language tests. It is recommended that the math test is taken in early June.

Have A Question?

Ask about Placement Tests and we will include the response anonymously for other FIRE 22 families to see. Send your question to breimhorsts@hfchs.org

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION FOR ENROLLMENT TODAY!

The $25 Freshman Placement Test fee is waived for students with an Application for Enrollment on file.

Apply Today

DuPont Pioneer Supports Robotics Team

Holy Family Catholic High School Receives Grant from DuPont Pioneer

Victoria, MN – December 6, 2017– Holy Family Catholic High School is pleased to announce that DuPont Pioneer donated $2000 to the Holy Family robotics program as part of the DuPont Pioneer sponsorship program.

Pioneer makes contributions to community-based organizations on behalf of the business and employees. Consideration for outreach grants is given to communities where Pioneer sales representatives, DuPont Pioneer employees and customers live and work and that support quality-of-life initiatives to create an improved, sustainable lifestyle for people worldwide.

Engineering and Robotics instructor Nick Livermore appreciates the support, “We are grateful DuPont Pioneer recognizes the value in making investments in high school technology programs. We are a small program doing big things. Last year we made our second trip to the FIRST Robotics World Championship. Our small class sizes allow students to have hands-on experience from idea generation to design to execution. DuPont’s grant will help students take their concepts from CAD drawings to working robots.”

The Holy Family robotics program is in its 8th year of competing in the FIRST Robotics Competitions and Tech Challenges. These competitions combine the excitement of sports with knowledge and skills acquired in science and technology courses. Last year’s FRC team was a member of the winning alliance at the FRC 10,000 Lake Regional Qualifier which earned the program a second trip to the world competition.

Click here to learn more about Holy Family’s engineering and stem curriculum in our course description book.  Contact engineering and robotics instructor Nick Livermore at livermoren@hfchs.org or visit our robotics team’s website.

New Scholarship for Class of 2022 Students

Holy Family Catholic High School is excited to announce the establishment of The Hildebrandt Family Scholarship, a NEW scholarship opportunity for charter and public school students joining the Holy Family Class of 2022. This opportunity is available in addition to financial need based grants already offered; however, financial need is not a requirement for the this scholarship program.

Established by Dean and LeAnn Hildebrandt, the Hildebrandt Family Scholarship seeks to assist motivated, goals-driven students from charter and public middle schools in accessing Catholic 9-12 education at Holy Family Catholic High School. The Hildebrandt Family Scholarship honors the excellent experience they and their children had at Holy Family, and aims to help more public school families consider the incredible opportunities that Holy Family has to offer.

Applicants will submit an essay articulating their goals as a student at Holy Family Catholic High School along with two letters of recommendation. Annual renewal of the scholarship is contingent upon the student maintaining good academic standing and providing an end-of-school-year written reflection on progress.

Up to twelve Hildebrandt Family Scholarships of $3,000 each will be awarded to incoming 9th graders (2018-19 academic year) who attended public middle schools.

Click here for more information on all scholarships and tuition assistance.

 

Behind the Scenes: Theatre Arts Prepares for Oz

Just two years ago, when Holy Family opened its new Performance Center, all eyes were focused on how the space would be used. Yes, the “black-box theater” with seating to stage left and stage right is an intimate space for special school Masses. It’s also a place worthy of student art shows, band and choral concerts and the all-school “Coffee House” talent nights. By all accounts, the Performance Center was off to a busy start.

But the ultimate dream for the new Performance Center was to inspire and invigorate Holy Family’s Theatre Arts program, giving students a place to perform, sing, dance, imagine and create.

Holy Family Theatre Director Eric Olson

“We want people to know this school is dedicated to the arts,” says Eric Olson, the school’s new theatre director who joined the faculty this year. “To create an amazing theatre arts program at Holy Family, we’re going to set the bar high so that kids from other schools will want to bring their talents here.”

Olson knew for his theater program to get off to a rousing start, it was time to inspire students to reach for the stars and make a bold theatrical statement. Just weeks after school began, Olson hung posters and got the message out in daily school announcements. Auditions were scheduled for Holy Family’s first production of the year—The Wizard of Oz! He chose the classic for a number of reasons.

  • Generations love this popular musical, and it is a story that draws big crowds.
  • It was one of the first movies Olson remembers as a child—“It was so magical and creative to escape to the Land of Oz!”
  • It sets the expectations high and requires lots of student participation to make it all happen.

Olson didn’t have to wait long for the buzz and excitement to kick in.

“Within the first week, students were pounding on my door,” he shares. “So many wonderfully talented kids came out and wanted to be part of it from many aspects—lighting, sound, costuming, singing and acting. As a director, I can’t ask for anything better.”

Fueled By Passion

It takes more than one director with a vision and the passion to make it all happen. Olson’s challenge was to get everyone collectively excited, particularly in a high school with fewer than 500 students.

He relied on his experience, letting the students know he was ready to embark on something big. Something similar to what he did with his own K-12 theater company that produced 34 shows in nine years.

Gigi Shannon and Director Eric Olson work on a scene.

“I had to talk to the students and convince them to give me a shot,” Olson said.

 

And that they did. From day one, he has received rave reviews from both cast and crew.

“Mr. Olson gives really good instruction on acting and you know exactly what his vision is,” says senior actor Giselle Shannon, who performed in her first show as a freshman and is finishing with the coveted role of the Wicked Witch of the West. “He has a vision for what he wants and conveys it effectively, even during auditions.”

The excitement for this new level of Holy Family theater doesn’t just come from the actors under the lights or those who have seen the program evolve over the years.

Freshman Collin Nawrocki raised his hand to help with sound, something he was familiar with and interested in. It didn’t take long for him to step beyond his comfort zone, taking on full duties as “student director.” He designed the program, posters and tickets; manages the soundboard; learned the nuances of stage lighting; and came up with a dramatic way to project the “great and all-powerful Oz!”

Olson calls Nawrocki “Boss Man” to the cast, empowering him to multitask and keep everyone focused.

Student Director Collin Nawrocki discusses sound levels with Olson.

“People have no idea of how much work goes on behind the scenes,” Nawrocki says. “There is coordinating food, mics, costume design, special effects, lighting cues. The most difficult part is not knowing what’s going to go wrong.”

However, he doesn’t feel alone. The cast and crew in this year’s musical has become a tight family ready to help at a moment’s notice.

“You just can’t do it all by yourself,” Nawrocki says. “You have to have people around you that are supporting you. If you don’t, things won’t function well.”

Senior Ben Richards, performing the demanding role of the Cowardly Lion, shares similar sentiments, noting that the sacrifice of time extends far beyond the theater.

“You can’t do everything in practice,” he says. “There is a lot that goes on and has to be done at home. People don’t realize that family members help memorize our lines and master scenes. They are a big part of it.”

One thing clearly doesn’t go unnoticed to many of the students involved in the theatre arts program. Holy Family provides opportunities they may not get at larger schools.

Ben Richards and Marie Fahey with the Munchkin Ensemble

Richards says, “In a small school, you can do theater, Italian Club, athletics and get it all done. A lot of us are committed to so many things, yet we do well because we manage time and school work well.”

Shannon agrees, knowing that she might not have the same chance to do it all in a larger school.

“Everyone is really understanding of each other because we have so many things we’re involved in,” she says. “Here, the only pressure is to do a good job collectively.

All Hands On Deck

Annelise Brown is fine-tuning a song and dance number with the cast.

Take a look around the school just weeks before the “curtain lifts” and there are theater activities happening simultaneously in every corner of the school.

  • The Chorus, a group of students playing support roles in multiple scenes, works on the main stage with student choreographer Lillian Graupman.
  • Across the school, Holy Family Music Teacher Annelise Brown is fine-tuning a song and dance number in the chorus room with the main cast.
  • In a storage room adjacent to the theater, art teacher Shelagh Gamble “helps” two students putting finishing touches on the “Munchkin Land” set, one of four multi-paneled scene changes created for the musical. (Dozens of volunteers and students from Art 1 and Painting 2 classes created the massive backdrops.)
  • During a break, freshman Marie Fahey, cast as Dorothy, practices Over the Rainbow using the new wireless microphones Nawrocki sourced for improved sound.
  • Back on stage, middle-school students from Guardian Angels Catholic School in Chaska take their place as the loveable Munchkins, practicing their big scene with Dorothy.
Marie Fahey as Dorothy works with members of the ensemble cast from Guardian Angels.

None of this, mind you, takes place under Olson’s direction. The students are working independently today, as Olson, who also has a master’s in English and teaches American and Modern Literature, tends to Parent/Teacher Conference duties.

It Takes Unsung Heroes

In the dressing room, senior Costume Designer Natalie Wideman has Gigi (Shannon) try on a pair of black high-tie heels, perfect for the Kansas persona of Miss Almira Gulch, who transforms into the Wicked Witch of the West.

“Do they fit?” Wideman curiously asks, while wheeling a rack of costumes she’s altering. “Can you walk around in them for the whole show? Why don’t you wear them for the rest of practice today just to make sure.”

Wideman shares costume and set styling duties with Graupman. She used to act, but instead has taken a backstage role this year to do what she loves—create awe-inspiring costumes. She learned to sew from her mother while in 4-H, and began designing clothes on her own shortly after.

Wideman switched roles from actress to seamstress for this production.

“I’m taking a 1980s style wedding gown with the big puffy sleeves and making it into Glinda’s dress,” she grins. “It’s going to be fabulous!”

Wideman points out many students helped with this year’s musical, thanks to Olson’s all-school outreach that has made theater arts the talk of Holy Family.

“The whole school is involved. People are volunteering to paint backdrops and bring in props. A lot of people are pitching in with the lifting (of scenes) and helping make this something special.”

And the Show Goes On…

The lights will be glowing bright on opening night—7 p.m. Friday, December 8—when the first of three performances kick off a weekend filled with Oz. With every practice, confidence is growing and the pieces are falling into place.

“Kids in the theater space are full of ideas,” Olson says. “I want collaboration. I want to run the program by listening to students and other teachers, taking in what they want and working together to make it happen.”

No one knows that better than Nawrocki, who spends each day after school immersed in the theater environment.

“I’ve given him (Olson) so many crazy ideas,” he says, “and a few of them have even happened. There are going to be some unexpected surprises (with Oz). We haven’t even figured all of them out yet, but there will be some pretty cool stuff.”

That kind of enthusiasm in the theatre arts experience is exactly what Olson was hoping to bring to Holy Family.

“My biggest goal is to make kids feel welcome and that they have a place to trust in, perform and be expressive,” Olson says. “I want to establish a place where the kids know they can come and have it theirs.”

Getting back to that black-box theater busy with activity, Olson sees it as a challenge that’s even new to him.

“Most theaters I’ve been in are auditoriums with theater-style seating,” he explains. “This is definitely different and it’s uniquely challenging. We have to block things out differently. We’re in a triangle, performing for two sides of the room.

“I think the audience is going to have an intimate experience and see the actors and scenes up close. They’re going to be involved rather than sitting back, feeling like they’re part of every performance.”

Click HERE for the Wizard of Oz performance schedule. We hope you’ll join us for the show!

 

 

 

Spirit of Fire Gala is a huge hit!

Holy Family Catholic High School held its 18th Annual Spirit of Fire gala on November 11, 2017.  Parent volunteers transformed the school’s Slattery Activities and Convocation Center into a glamorous space for the 345 guests in attendance. The event exceeded its $300,000 goal, netting over $310,000, including an unprecedented $100,000 title sponsorship from Strom Engineering (Strom’s CEO emeritus, John Radick, is a current Holy Family parent.) Proceeds support school programs and tuition assistance scholarships.

Strom CEO John Radick

Themed “A Holy Family Tradition,” the evening kicked off with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by dinner and entertainment from the Holy Family jazz band, drumline, and vocal jazz group, Voices of Fire. Holy Family welcomed alumnus Tom Lano ‘11 as the master of ceremonies.

Joining Strom in sponsoring the evening were Silver Sponsors: KNW Group, Jaguar Communications, SevenHills Benefits Partners, Restwell Mattress Factory and LiveWell Chiropractic; Friends Sponsors: Browne+Browne Marketing, Requet Chiropractic, Charter Bank, Culvers, the Anseth family, and the Graupman family; Advertising Sponsors: Lions Tap, PK Services, and Catherine Seck of Edina Realty and a late-night snack provided by the Chanhassen Chick-fil-A.

This year’s fund-a-need focus was STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education. It raised $98,000 to allow the school to purchase additional 3-D printers and a CNC machine for the Innovation Lab, enhance the science labs and classroom equipment, replace the ceramic studio kiln, add a permanent grand piano in the Performance Center, and provide teachers with additional STEAM professional development.

A fundraiser of this magnitude would not be possible without the commitment of more than 100 parent volunteers who procured and organized the silent and live auction items, managed the logistics of setting up and tearing down the event space, supervised the junior class volunteers, and decorated the activities wing and center.

Holy Family’s new events and marketing coordinator expressed her gratitude after coordinating her first Spirit of Fire, “Through the entire planning process, I have been blown away by the generosity of our sponsors, local businesses, and parents.  I am so grateful for the parent volunteers who shared their expertise and knowledge from past events, not to mention the hours of their time in preparing and pulling off such a large gala.  It speaks volumes about what this school means to our parents and our extended community.”

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Holy Family Students Serve the Homeless

Holy Family Service Tradition: Breakfast at the Simpson House

5:00 a.m. Gracie Lund’s mobile phone comes alive, waking her on a “day off.” The Holy Family Catholic High School senior has 15 minutes to load groceries and get to the Holy Family parking lot to pick up a group of waiting freshmen ready for their first Simpson House experience in Minneapolis.

The goal: Serve a hot breakfast by 7 a.m. to homeless men and women who stayed at the shelter the previous night. It’s a simple gesture that means so much. Taking the time to serve a hearty meal and start someone’s day with a smile and a kind word.

“Simpson House is a great hands-on service project because you can see the people you are impacting,” says Lund, who learned the ropes two years ago as a sophomore. “I like seeing the people I’m helping, and it has a big impact on me as well. That’s why it’s my favorite service activity.”

Project Owned by Students

Lund and fellow senior leaders Alexis Pricco and Mark Haran have Holy Family alumnus Rob LaRose (2013) to thank for the early morning wake-ups. LaRose personally launched the service project his junior year, and it has become an ongoing tradition. The students completely organize the program, buy groceries and visit the Simpson House 15 to 18 times each year on days off, late-start days and even during the summer.

“It is unusual for a student group not to have adult supervision,” says John Vodicka, Simpson House Volunteer Coordinator & Shelter Advocate. “It says a lot about the students and their abilities, and the confidence Holy Family Catholic High School staff have in the youth.

“The students are unique in lots of ways,” he adds, “particularly in their genuine interest in serving the homeless poor, getting outside their comfort zone and spending time learning about what must be done to eliminate homelessness in our community.”

John Dols, Assistant Principal and Campus Minister, recalls how LaRose’s passion to make a difference at the Simpson House planted the seeds for a program that is now a Holy Family Catholic High School tradition.

“Rob served dinner there with his family and wondered what they did for breakfast,” Dols explains. “He found out they would have cold cereal or nothing at all. He decided to make a difference, and that he and his family would serve breakfast on his birthday.

“Then, he suggested to me that Holy Family should serve breakfast on days off and late starts. I totally supported that, but told him he would have to run it. He did for two years, and we both decided he needed to train a junior to take over if he wanted to keep it going.”

Reaching Out to Others

Six years later, students continue to make sure the Simpson House tradition carries on. Senior leaders this year took it even a step further, visiting the freshman Independent Studies (I.S.) class to recruit volunteers so they could see what the Simpson House service project is all about.

“We thought it would be good to get all grades involved this year,” Lund says. “It was actually surprising that the kids were so eager to go. We already have people for next time.”

On average, 45 to 50 Simpson House guests stay for breakfast before they have to leave the shelter each morning. Students organizing the project, who shop for groceries the night before, still use the original grocery list created by LaRose 6 years ago.

“Sometimes we change it up, making French toast instead of pancakes, or bacon instead of sausage,” Lund says. Otherwise, the list is fairly consistent. It includes:

  • 7 cartons of 18 eggs
  • 2 bags of cheese
  • 2 bags of precooked sausage
  • 2 boxes of pancake mix
  • 2 bags/containers of grapes, strawberries or other fruit
  • 4 gallons of milk
  • 1 gallon of chocolate milk
  • 2 gallons of orange juice
  • 2 gallons of apple juice
  • 2 bottles of syrup
  • 1 pound of butter
  • 1 package of napkins
  • 1 container of whipped cream

“I think it is important for Holy Family to continue this service tradition and make sure it is student led,” Lund adds. “ It gives students a chance to take leadership, organize and get kids together so they can see how they have an impact on others. That is really important.”

Dols agrees. “Sometimes, adults get in the way. This program is the students’. There is a true sense of ownership and pride,” he says. “Service is integral to our faith and an essential aspect of our Lasallian Charism. It is who we are.”

Watch Simpson House Slideshow