December 2011 Parent Newsletter
Dear Parents and Students:
One of my favorite Gospel readings during the season of
Advent is Matthew 9:27-31. For all of you who might not remember it, this Gospel
tells the story of Jesus walking through a village when two blind men call out
to him for his grace to help them with their affliction. Jesus asks the men “Do
you believe I can do this?” The men responded, “Yes, Lord.” Jesus then touched
their eyes and said to them, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.”
With those words their eyes were opened.
Now this story if it ended here
would obviously be a great miracle and lesson of what faith can do for us. As
Catholics we all understand that the light of Jesus Christ opens our eyes to the
Truth. If we have complete faith in Jesus Christ, he will open our eyes to what
he wants us to do with our life here on earth.
However, the story does
not end there. After opening the eyes of the blind men who had complete faith
that Jesus was the one who could help them, Jesus told the men, “See that no one
knows about this.” But the men went out and spread the word of him through the
land in spite of the “stern” warning.
As parents all of us can relate to
the back end of this story. How many times have we been in the position with our
own children when we told them not to do something and they went ahead and did
it anyway? It does not matter if they were three or twenty-three years old, we
all can provide anecdotes of this happening to us at some level.
with the help of the Holy Spirit, we all know that fully opening our own eyes to
the Light of Christ is a complicated and arduous task, let alone helping shed
this light for the benefit of our children. Sometimes, it is the flaw of human
nature to do the opposite of what we are told.
Fortunately, Jesus knew
that spreading the good news and evangelization happened in many ways and
through varied and unexpected people of his time. Just maybe Jesus knew that if
he had told the blind men to go and tell everyone about what had happen to them,
they would have retreated into their own world and not told a soul. I believe
Jesus knew human nature all too well.
During this Advent season, we all
know there are constant distractions and opulence, literally and figuratively,
keeping our eyes closed to light of Christ not only keeping us from spreading
the good news to the world but also opening ourselves and our lives to the will
of God. Often with the “expected tasks” before us during this season from cards
and baking; to putting up the tree and decorating our home; to hustling among
the crowds for just the right gift, we retreat into our own world and just
expect that others to take on the task of helping other see the Light of Christ.
We all have
been reminded and in our hearts we know we are to keep Christ as the center of
this season. Yet, we are unable to see what is most obvious because so many
things get in the way of providing for our own spiritual growth and well being,
let alone helping others. We know there are so many opportunities for spiritual
growth and helping others right in front of us if we will just let Jesus open
our eyes to what is expected and trust that he does understand human nature and
we will respond in the way he wants us to. Now if our children would only follow
our advice in the way we wanted them to is another story for another
From all of us at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School have a
great Advent and a very Merry Christmas!
William P. Ford,
Placement Test - January 7
A reminder about the
Placement Test at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School for prospective 8th grade
students that will be on Saturday, January 7 -- 8:00 a.m. Students are asked to
bring two #2 pencils, a calculator, social security number and $15 exam fee. No
pre-registration required; Please arrive in the Commons before 8:00. Pizza
luncheon will be served following the test. Makeup test will be January 21. If
you have any questions, contact Diane Pyle, Admissions Director, at 913-319-2423
Enrollment for 2012-2013-Two Step
Verification of your student's return to Saint Thomas Aquinas for
the 2012-2013 school year involves two (2) different steps:
#1 Enrollment Forms-filling out required enrollment forms and fee
The enrollment packets for the 2012-2013 school year will
be mailed to all current freshman, sophomores and juniors on Friday, January 6,
2012. Students who plan to return to Saint Thomas Aquinas must complete all
forms and return forms and the $175 enrollment fee by Monday, January 30, 2012
to the Admissions office in freshman hall.
Enrollment packets for
incoming freshman will be sent to 8th graders after the January 7, 2012
placement test. These forms and fee are due back to the Admissions office by
Friday, February 10, 2012.
Step #2 Course Selection
Process-choosing courses for the 2012-2013 school year.
selection process will begin late in January, 2012. As in the past we will hold
a very important evening meeting with parents and students to assist in the
selection process. Students will receive current transcripts and detailed
information regarding what courses are needed for graduation. Please mark your
calendars to attend the appropriate evening meeting with your
Class of 2013
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 @ 7 p.m. Theater
2014 & 2015
Course Selection Night
Wednesday, February 1,
2012 @ 7 p.m. Theater & Gym
***All current students and parents who
miss the evening sessions are welcome to attend a make-up session during seminar
on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 @ 10 a.m. All signed course selection sheets for
current students are due Friday, February 17, 2012 to Academic Counseling.
Classes are filled based on the date forms are turned in. Avoid missing the
Incoming Freshman Course
Saturday, February 25, 2012 @ 9 a.m.
***Individual Help sessions
for Class 2016 are Wednesday, February 29, 2012 from 5:45-6:45 p.m. in Room
Speaker coming to Saint Thomas Aquinas!
You don't want to miss this!
If someone told you
“You're a Better Parent Than You Think!” how would your react? January 11, 2012
at 7PM is your opportunity to hear Dr Ray Guarendi
, author of
the book “You're a Better Parent Than You Think!” at Saint Thomas Aquinas
Auditorium. Dr. Ray is a clinical psychologist, author, public speaker and
nationally syndicated radio host ("The Doctor Is In" on Ave Maria Radio (http://avemariaradio.net/
) & EWTN Radio
(KEXS 1090)). His aim is to help you raise great kids, bolster your
self-confidence as a parent, and to put authority into your hands, where it
by the STA Parent Guild & Mothers Club
From the Library
As early as 2009 a subtle shift
began appearing in the results of our internet searches. Major engines such as
Google and Yahoo introduced new algorithms or formulas for finding information
that are based not only on the search terms we enter, but on our past searches
and social media links. Each time we “like” something on Facebook, or follow a
particular Twitter account, we contribute to our social profile and alter the
results of our searches on almost every major search engine. Because of our
tracked preferences, individuals who enter identical search queries may have
totally different results.
In an article posted in eClassroom News on
August 10, 2011, titled “New Web-search Formulas Have Huge Implications For
Students and Society” school technology expert Dennis Pierce explains “The
reasoning behind this game-changing move is to help us sift through the
overwhelming amount of information at our fingertips. The major search
companies recognize that we need a filtering system to save us from information
overload and the system they’ve created now relies more heavily on our history
of preferences than on an objective calculation of relevance to bring certain
resources to the front of the pack.”
While the need to narrow our results into a usable set of possibilities
may be of some merit, it is also a fact that this new system has the potential
to narrow our world. Eli Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble: What the
Internet Is Hiding From You (Penguin Press HC, 2011) gave a TED (Technology,
Entertainment, and Design) speech in May, 2011 that addressed this issue. He
challenged search engine developers to maintain ethical standards in “a world in
which the internet is showing us what it thinks we want to see, but not
necessarily what we need to see.” Because we don’t know what is excluded from
our results we are not exposed to other viewpoints and can become polarized
rather than open to diverse ideas. Filtering information in a global society
can have extremely negative consequences if we have more information than ever
at our fingertips but have it so personalized that we exist in our own unique,
unbalanced filter bubbles.
Both students and adults need to evaluate
what they are seeing (and in some cases being fed) from the internet. What is
the source of the information? Who is responsible? Is the information biased
in any way? How current is the information and can it be verified elsewhere?
Search from other engines in addition to Google to see if the results differ.
Contact your favorite search engine and voice your opinion on their filters
(there should be a “contact us” button on every search engine homepage or under
the “about” tab.) The internet can be a tool to access the world and expand our
horizons but we need to be vigilant to keep it that way.
Saints NHS Christmas Project
Needed To Help Wrap Christmas Gifts!
The NHS Christmas Project is in
need of parent volunteers to help with the seminar wrapping party on Thursday,
December 13 during seminar. Please contact email@example.com
if you are
able to help!
Book Club for Men Only
If Your Boy Won't
If you're the parent of one, you understand this
In addition, it would not come as a surprise to learn that
according to Scholastic.com "teen boys read less and tend to score lower on
standardized reading tests than girls. You know that your son has things he
finds far more interesting than actually reading a book. He never asks for a
book, and often complains bitterly about the ones assigned at school".
Thomas Aquinas High School has a solution. We are in the process of creating a
Book Club for "Men Only". This would be a father and son event possibly on
Saturday mornings once per month or whenever the group decides to
Find out more and become a part of this new group by coming to an
information meeting on December 6th at 7:00 p.m.
in the STA
Contact Paula McCarthy firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have
questions or if you would like more information.
On Saturday, November 11th, “Saints Alive and
” provided excitement and friendship when the 500 guests and
50+ volunteers united to witness the transformation of the gym and commons as
they enthusiastically and generously supported Extravaganza. Thank you to
General Co-Chairs, Patti & Dan Brewer and Mary Ann & Jerry Robison for
overseeing and guiding the Extravaganza Steering Committee and volunteers in a
successful community event. Soon the committee will announce Extravaganza 2011
proceeds, which will directly support student activities. A special thank you to
the hundreds of volunteers and donors and to the faculty & staff of Saint
Thomas Aquinas. Don’t miss the Extravaganza website
pictures of the evening.
Trip to Japan
We are still looking for a few more
students to go on our trip to Japan. We need a commitment and a small deposit
before students leave for Christmas vacation. Please email Mrs. Kaye Thompson email@example.com
if you have
any questions about the trip.
Saints Survival Kits
Parents: Show your support
during finals for your Student!!!
The Saints Survival Kit is a fun bag of
misc. treats for your student to snack on during finals.
* The kits are
$7.00 each. This is a fundraiser for the Saints Cheerleaders!
deadline is Friday, Dec. 9th, 2011
You may also pay by check. Make the
check payable to STA and mail to:
c/o Dawn Bellerive
W. 139th St.
Olathe, KS 66062
Any questions? Call Dawn Bellerive at
913-908-8078 or Carrie O'Donnell at 913-319-2454.
The yearbook staff is ready for your
senior ads, and EARLIER IS CHEAPER! Sooner is better for us and better for you!
If you have any questions, you can call senior ads editor Kelsey Castinado
between 11-1 on Tuesdays and Thursdays or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find more info online at:
"The Shield is the best way to
reach Aquinas students! A newspaper is given to each student during seminar when
they have time to read it, and the newspaper is written by students for
students. So if you want to reach nearly 1,000 Saints, check out http://www.stasaints.net/s/348/index.aspx?sid=348&gid=1&pgid=917
Feast Day Mass – Thursday, February 2
Parents, please join us for the All School Mass
celebrated by Archbishop Naumann at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, January 28 in honor of
the feast day of Saint Thomas Aquinas!
Mass of Remembrance – Wednesday, February 8
4th annual Mass of Remembrance will be held on Wednesday, February 8 -- 7:00
p.m. in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. Join us for a beautiful
celebration honoring deceased loved ones of the Saint Thomas Aquinas community.
You are invited to enter the name and deceased-date of your loved one(s) into
the permanent Saints’ Book of Remembrance. This book is kept in the Chapel for
regular submissions, or you may contact the Office of Advancement at (913)
At the Mass of Remembrance, we will light candles for all
deceased loved ones. Please let us know (contact Cindy Winkler - 913-319-2425
and leave a message) if you plan to attend the 2012 event on Wednesday, February
9, so that we may amply plan for the evening. A short reception will immediately
follow Mass in the Library.
Please consider coming
to see our Thespian/Repertory Theater show next week!
This is our first
EVER student-directed musical. The show is really cute and it's only $3.50 per
ticket. Proceeds will go to help fund our trip to the Kansas thespian
conference in January.
Charlie Brown will be in our "Black Box
Theater" a.k.a. room 120. I have attached the program so you can see who is in
December 2 at 7:00
December 3 at 5:00
Saints Annual Trivia Challenge – Saturday,
February 4th – Setup begins at 6:15 p.m. Trivia Challenge begins promptly at 7
Parents, alumni, alumni parents and staff will not want to
miss out on this fun evening! Organize your table of ten (10) for $150 or $15
per person. Categories will range from history to pop culture. Decorate your
table, submit a team name and bring your own beverage, appetizers or snack.
Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated team table, trivia team winner and
runner-up team. Prizes are determined based on attendance: last year with 300
guests, prizes were $1,000 to first place, $750 for runner up and $300 for best
Reservations can be made online www.stasaints.net/triviachallenge
The Ballroom Dance Classes invite
you to attend their DANCE SHOWCASE
on Sunday Dec. 11,
at 1:30 p.m.
in the theater.
This required performance is for
the parents of the students to come and see their accomplishments. This is
event is free and open to all family and friends.
Dueling Buses travel to Lawrence’s Barrel House on
Saturday, March 3
the Extravaganza signup this popular road trip event is almost full. Meet in
the Commons at approximately 6 p.m. for appetizers & socializing, jump on
your fully-stocked luxury bus for the short ride to Lawrence to participate in
the unique entertainment experience of dueling pianos. At the Barrel House,
alumni parents, Bob & Kathy Fitzpatrick, ’01, ’04, ’07 will welcome the
Saint Thomas Aquinas group with pizza and preferred seating.
person you can be part of this fun-filled evening (cash bar at the Barrel
House). Hurry only twelve (12) spots left!
Parent Guild News
The STA Parent Guild wishes everyone a very
joyful Advent season and Merry Christmas. May we all be mindful of our abundant
Moms, begin the holiday season with a night of festivities at
the home of Carol Pascuzzi on December 6 for the annual Ornament Exchange. This
is a fun way to meet new friends and relax during our busy holiday rush. Please
see the newsletter for details!
Also, moms, mark your calendar for our
ever popular Mother-Son dance on January 7. Our social committee encourages
everyone to attend, even those sons reluctant to dance with their moms! We
promise a great time for all.
Thank you to everyone, especially our
committee, for all their support in 2011. We look forward to more activities in
2012 and as always, if you have a suggestion or would like to volunteer, please
give us a call.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Beth and Matt
Soccer Player Making Waves
The National Soccer Convention will be held in Kansas
City this Year: Thursday-Sunday, Jan 12-15 Saints graduate and current
Creighton student Molly Khoury
, will be honored on Saturday,
January 14 for recently being named a high school ALL AMERICA by the NSCAA for
her senior campaign of 2011 as a Saints centerback.
On Thursday, January
12, Saints soccer coach, Craig Ewing
, will present at the NSCAA
Round Table a segment on creating and maintaining an Elite High School Soccer
program. The presentation will be followed by an hour "round table"
Two Students Nominated for Shooting Stars
The Arts Council of Johnson County announced that two seniors,
and Jordan Calovich
finalists in the Shooting Stars Scholarship and Awards program. They were
nominated by faculty members Kim Harrison and Joe Heidesch and are part of the
107 high school students nominated from over 20 area high schools. All nominated
students will be honored at the Arts Council's Annual Shooting Stars Gala on
April 1 held at the Johnson County Community College campus.
Mothers Book Club
The STA Mothers Book Club is an open group
for anyone who loves good books, good food and good conversation. Alumni moms
Our December selection is "Moloka’I” by Alan Brennert and
it will be discussed on Wednesday, December 14th at Renee Carey’s house.
We’d love to have you join us. For more information or to RSVP for
the December meeting, please call or email Janelle at 913.221.7288 or email@example.com
those who like to plan ahead, our January selection is “The Other Wes Moore” by
Wes Moore. The January meeting will be on Wednesday, January 11th , location
Mother's Club Ornament Exchange
Ornament Exchange is Tuesday December 6th @ 7 p.m. All mothers are invited to
join us at the home of Carol Pascuzzi 12757 Richards Road (Nottingham by the
Green) for fun, food, and fellowship as we celebrate the joy of Christmas with
an ornament exchange. Please bring a wrapped ornament ($10-$15) and a joyful
spirit to share with your fellow STA Moms.
RSVP by Monday, Decemer 5 to
Marie Schmidt firstname.lastname@example.org
or Dana Vena email@example.com
Lunch Bunch following Feast of the
Immaculate Conception All-School Mass on Thursday, December 8. Dodge City
Distillery at 11935 S. Blackbob Road in Olathe (new restaurant at SE corner of
119th & Blackbob). Everyone is welcome – please RSVP to Beth Nichols,
Mother's Club Fashion Show
Save the Date!
Mother's Club Fashion Show is Sunday March 4, 2012 in the STA Commons. Look for
more information on this newsletter site.
College Bound December 2011
2011 College Bound
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