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Holy Family is a co-educational Catholic college-prep Lasallian high school committed to helping all students realize their academic and spiritual potential.

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Emerging eSports

Last year, two Holy Family students Sam Treat and Enzo AlAhmar, launched Holy Family's eSports with great success, and it is far from “game over!” for one of Holy Family's newest offerings. 

Last year, two Holy Family students, Sam Treat and Enzo AlAhmar, launched Holy Family's esports with great success, and it is far from "game over!" for one of Holy Family's newest offerings.

After participating in a Fortnite tournament hosted by another Holy Family student, Enzo and Sam were inspired to bring eSports to Holy Family. The development of a school program from something so many students already enjoy seemed a natural fit. Sam says, "we've always played video games casually with friends; why wouldn't we do it competitively through school?"

Before the start of their sophomore year, the duo decided to continue hosting more tournaments and as popularity for their tournaments grew, the idea to move forward with a full eSports program further developed. 

Initially, they hosted Fortnite, Rocket League, and Minecraft tournaments and collected data about the most popular games. Since then, with the support of Activities Director Nick Tibesar, Holy Family eSports has continued to take off. So much so that in March, the former publication design classroom is undergoing renovation into an official eSports gaming arena.

 

eSports competing

 

Making it Official

With two years of experience behind them and team advisor Mr. Gary Kannel in place, the program is now an official eSports League competitor. The fall of 2022 was their inaugural season of competition against teams outside of Holy Family. Using the gaming data collected from their sophomore year, they created four teams based on the most popular games among the student body: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros, and Overwatch 2. Holy Family’s League now competes against various high schools across the central region of the United States in competitions organized and hosted by PlayVS. 

Sam and Enzo acknowledge that video games have a reputation for being isolating, and the boys want that stereotype broken. The program has created a community for gamers at Holy Family. Enzo adds:

"eSports is a TEAM effort; it's not gaming by yourself. I didn't know until I started playing, but you must work with your team to find strategies. If you are trying to win by yourself, it won't work. You need to communicate with each other and create strategy as a team."

Students gathered together enjoying playing video games

 

Their team strategy is working. In their first official season, fall 2022, Holy Family eSports Mario Kart and Rocket League teams qualified for the central region playoffs. Only the top 32 teams out of 114 across the central United States qualify for playoffs. The newcomer Holy Family eSports Mario Kart team finished in a very respectable 11th place.

Sam and Enzo take great pride in the eSports team and look forward to continuing to expand the Holy Family eSports League. With the goal of creating a community for gamers, the boys invite all interested students to join them. Enzo reflects on their journey, “Our club is growing as the sport grows. It's pretty cool to know you've had a hand in starting something for your school that connects students who might otherwise not ever compete on the same team."

Matches are streamed live on the eSports YouTube channel (youtube.com/@hfchsesports). Follow @hfchsesports on Twitter and Instagram for updates and competition times.

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Not Your Oar-dinary Senior

Senior Courtney French signs NLI to row at the University of Notre Dame after seed of an idea is planted by her Holy Family mentor

Senior Courtney French signs NLI to row at the University of Notre Dame after seed of an idea is planted by her Holy Family mentor

Arm muscles burning and staring straight ahead, her oar slices through the water as her gaze is transfixed on the teammate in front of her. Not allowed so much as a glance at the blades in the water, shoulder blades are the ones she must focus on. 

Though not very common in Minnesota, rowing is quite the grueling sport. Unique in that it is both a team and an individual sport, one must have the mental toughness and physical stamina to endure the race while also keeping in sync with their teammates to work together as one.

 

French rowing with the Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club

 

Courtney French, senior at Holy Family Catholic School (HFCHS) and rower for Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club, describes the sport like this to an outsider:

"It's not like soccer or hockey where if you have a bad shift, then you can go back out and re-do it," Courtney explains. "In rowing, you really only have one chance."

Though French speaks with such knowledge of the sport, she only started rowing about a year and a half ago. In search of AP classes and more rigorous academics, she transferred to Holy Family her sophomore year. Upon arrival, she was paired with (then) senior Jillian Oncay as part of the student ambassador program to help ease the transition of new students. 

More than a friendly face in the school hallways and weekly check-ins, Oncay’s mentorship changed the trajectory of French’s future college career. Oncay is the one who first introduced French to the sport of rowing, educating her on the ins and outs of the sport and the club in which she rowed: Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club in Eden Prairie. The timing was perfect, as French was looking for a spring sport to add to her existing rotation of swimming and hockey. French cites how effectual it was to have a peer in which to ask questions and provide insight about rowing, especially someone as skilled as Jillian Oncay. At the time, Oncay had just signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to row at the United States Naval Academy. 

Less than two years later, French signed her own NLI to row at the University of Notre Dame.

 

French in her Notre Dame rowing gear 

"I really think the Ambassador program is important in helping newer students adjust to Holy Family," French says. "It's a totally different experience than I've had in other schools. Having people your age to ask questions can be helpful. I think the program helps new students make friends and really enjoy their time at Holy Family."

Along with excelling in a new sport in such a short time span, French transcends expectations academically. She recently earned a spot on the HFCS highest honor roll, the President’s List, which credits students with a 3.80 to a 4.33 GPA. 

This honor is the result of French’s meticulous organization and time management. From before-school student council meetings to all day academics followed by rowing practice, French isn’t done with her day until most people are eating dinner—around 6:30 p.m. She explains how she plans out her assignments and works ahead so that nothing is late. Like rowing, schoolwork takes time and dedication, but it is very much worth the satisfaction with the end result.

And, the results continue to pile up. In February, Courtney competed as an individual in the US Rowing Indoor National Championships in Atlantic City, NJ, and earned a silver medal in the U19 race against 48 competitors with a time of 7:16.6 in the 2000 meter event (2K meters is the standard distance in rowing.) Watch Courtney's full event HERE

This fall as French heads off to the  University of Notre Dame with aspirations of medical school and a career as a pediatric surgeon. She will undoubtedly use skills learned in the classroom and on the water to continue to accomplish extra-"oar"dinary things.

"It's not heavy metal or what people would normally think of as hype music," French explains, laughter in her voice. "The slow speed helps me get in the zone and calms me down a bit."

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Eight Student-Athletes Sign NLIs

On November 11, 2022, eight Holy Family student-athletes signed their National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level. 

On November 11, 2022, eight Holy Family student-athletes signed their National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

Boden Kapke signs his National Letter of Intent for Butler University

 

The NCAA estimates the percentage of high school athletes continuing to compete in organized athletics at the D1 or D2 collegiate level to be between 1-2%. In November, eight-student athletes added their names to those select few when they signed their National Letters of Intent.

Boden Kapke, Butler University Mens Basketball

Sophi Hall, Providence College Womens Basketball

Courtney French, University of Notre Dame, Rowing

Maddy Helmstetter, University of St. Thomas Womens Hockey

Grayson Limke, Sacred Heart University Womens Hockey

Sedona Blair, University of New Hampshire Womens Hockey

Ella Knewtson, Long Island University Womens Hockey

Taylor Koeppl, Saint Anselm College Womens Hockey

Additional athletes are expected to sign on the Winter and Spring Signing Days.

 

All eight student-athletes together  

 

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Scholarships for Incoming Students

Let’s talk SCHOLARSHIPS, and the huge opportunity they provide families with students attending Holy Family Catholic High School.

Let's talk SCHOLARSHIPS, and the huge opportunity they provide families with students attending Holy Family Catholic High School.

Prospective family looking at brochures 

 

Each year Holy Family awards a number of scholarships and grants to incoming students. These awards ease tuition costs, while also rewarding students for their past success and future potential.

“We’ve put our money where our mouth is with this program,” says Rory Oster, Executive Director for Enrollment.

"We have dedicated significant financial resources to these scholarships to ensure a broad application of funds is possible."

For those who like hard numbers, consider these facts:

  • 9X. Holy Family scholarship and grant offerings are trending up with many added during the last three school years. Students may apply for more than one scholarship in the areas they feel most appropriate. Most are awarded to multiple students each year.
  • 3 Categories. 1) Merit Scholarships are earned by students that have already achieved and excelled in middle school, and show potential for future success. 2) Qualifying Scholarships are for students meeting specific criteria, such as coming from one particular middle school.  3) Grants are awarded to families meeting qualifying criteria.
  • Stackable and Renewable. Many scholarships and grants are awarded to multiple students each year. Also, most scholarships are renewable annually for four years, and students can apply for up two different merit scholarships.
  • Lots of Zeros. Annual awards range from $500-$3,000. Multiply by four years, and they grow to several thousands of dollars in tuition savings!

 

“It is absolutely in every incoming ninth grader’s best interest to apply,” Oster adds. "With the variety of areas covered in our merit scholarship program, we have the ability to reach many families. Why not give it a shot?"

Before breaking down each scholarship opportunity available to incoming students, here are some essential yet critical things to know:

 

  • Holy Family Enrollment. Before applying for scholarships or grants, students complete the Application for Enrollment.  Incoming ninth-grade students must also take the High School Placement Test given in January.
  • Categories. Scholarships are available for academic achievement, leadership, volunteerism, and involvement in extracurricular activities except for athletics. 
  • January 22 is the priority deadline for applications. Don’t wait until last minute. Several scholarships require an essay or plan. These take thought and polishing. Students meeting the January 22 deadline receive first consideration.  Applications received after that date may be eligible if funds are still available.
  • Variable Tuition Applications. For most scholarships and grants, an application for variable tuition is not required. But some do require this application. If so, be sure to complete it by January 22.
  • We have streamlined the application process and students need only submit a single application essay, even if they are applying for multiple scholarships.

 

Now that the official stuff is out of the way, here’s a look at all Holy Family scholarship and grant opportunities. Any way you add it up, these are a win for Holy Family students and families.

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Loved Beyond Measure

"You can perform miracles by touching the hearts of those entrusted to your care."

The founder of Lasallian Catholic education, St. John Baptist de La Salle, said it well when he wrote, "You can perform miracles by touching the hearts of those entrusted to your care."

Ms. Diggens giving the commencement speech at graduation 

 

Latin and English teacher Ms. Deirdre Diggins, the faculty speaker at this year's commencement, exemplifies this phrase. Selected to speak by the senior class during their retreat, Ms. Diggins imparted the wisdom her late-mother shared over her lifetime. It became the cornerstone of her message to the Class of 2022. Her address is paraphrased in these three bullet points:

  1. Think happy thoughts. The smallest mindset shifts that happy thoughts create always help us to focus on the good and to know even on the hard days, to find some small thing that brings us joy. As you move to the future, remember to focus on the small opportunities for happiness in every day.
     
  2. Turn it over. Real power and peace come from a firm faith. The example of faith by your grandparents, parents and teachers will help you to be present with your relationship with God and lean on that faith as you go through your life. The foundation of faith cultivated during your years here will help you to remember to turn your troubles over to God in times of difficulty.
     
  3. Know that you are loved always. Know that the environments my colleagues and I have created in our classrooms are the result of a deep commitment to unconditional love and support. The community of Holy Family and your families will continue to support and love you as you make your way into the world beyond Holy Family. You are loved beyond measure.

 

Diggins closing her commencement speech
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HOLY FAMILY

By the NUMBERS

Our student/teacher ratio is 12-to-1 with 95% of our faculty holding advanced degrees.

Holy Family offers AP and Honors Courses across the curriculum. However, all courses prepare students for college-level work.

Holy Family students perform more than 4000 hours of community service during the school year.

Our counseling team works with students on a 1:1 basis. Our school counselor-to-student ratio is 140:1, compared to the Minnesota average of 1:792.

Holy Family Class of 2022 Graduates earned $11.93 million in college scholarships.

Highlights

Highlight NEWS

Pair of hands holding diploma

Holy Family Catholic High School hosted its Class of 2024 Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 19, 2024, in the HFCHS Slattery Athletics and Convocation Center.

Holy Family Catholic High School president receives Minndependent leadership award.

President Michael Brennan was honored on Sunday, April 28, as the 2024 recipient of the MINNDEPENDENT Leadership Award in the 9-12 category. Recipients of this award are nominated by their peers and selected by a MINNDEPENDENT selection committee.

2024 Honor Society Ceremony

On Wednesday, April 24, the honor society held its annual ceremony, inducting new members and renewing the commitment of existing ones. This significant event served as a celebration of academic excellence and service, reinforcing the enduring values cherished by the society's members.

student shakes hands with the president of the school

Holy Family Catholic High School is proud to celebrate academic excellence through its Academic Honors Day program, honoring students with exceptional achievements, including certificates, letters, pins, and cords for maintaining a 3.5 GPA or higher across multiple semesters. During the ceremony, academic department awards also recognized exceptional dedication, participation, and scholarly engagement. 

Fr. Aric Aamodt

Last week, Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced the official appointment of Father Aric Aamodt as Holy Family’s school chaplain effective July 1, 2024, and shall continue ad nutum episcopi. President Brennan shared this announcement message with out community.

Ten Additional Athletes Commit to College Athletics

On Friday, April 12, in front of the student body and a large gathering of family and friends, the Holy Family Activities Department celebrated ten student-athletes' commitments to play D2, D3, and NAIA college-level athletics.

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