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MAGAZINE Spring 2011


Principal Kris White says goodbye

GRMS: Family of god

a reflection by

sister teresita, IWBS

focus on sisters of the incarnate word & blessed sacrament ALUMNI NOTES


meet GRMS's new principal Mrs. Kathy Stapleton

A NativityMiguel Network School Sponsored by: Congregation of Christian Brothers, Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Marist Brothers of the Schools


........Letters GRMS interim principal Kris White comments on his experience at Guadalupe Regional Middle School.


........A Farewell to Brother Leo Shea, FMS Faculty, staff and friends come together to celebrate Brother Leo Shea, FMS, GRMS's founding president.


.......Spirit Awards Check out our 2011 Spirit Award recipients Brother Leo Shea, FMS and Lita Ortiz .


.......Fall & Winter Highlights We look back on some of the high points of the 20102011 school year.


...New on Campus Every school year, as GRMS evolves, so does our campus. See our newest campus additions.


...In the Community GRMS students were everywhere this year. View photos from two of our favorite fundraisers.


...GRMS - Family of God Read Sister Teresita's take on what it means to be part of the GRMS community.


...Spring Highlights We look back on more of the high points of the 20102011 school year.

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From typography to biography Guadalupe Regional Middle School Magazine


.....Sisters of the Incarnate Word Learn all about the new journey of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament.


.....GRMS Places in C-SPAN Contest These talented eighth graders put their skills to the test in a national video competition.


.....Sports A brief overview of this year's Athletics Program with some staggering participation stats.


....Congratulations Graduates GRMS graduated 27 eighth graders this June. Meet those with top honors.


....Alumni Notes These graduates are lending the way. Check out the who, where, & what of these grads.


....Staff and Faculty Notes Brief notes about staffers who are making a difference, joined our team, and were recently honored.


....GRMS's New Principal We are proud to introduce GRMS's new principal Mrs. Kathy Stapleton.


....Our Supporters A few fun photos from Guadalupe Regional Middle School supporters.

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A publication created in-house at Guadalupe Regional Middle School (GRMS) for the staff, students, graduates, and supporters of GRMS. More at: Guadalupe Regional Middle School 1214 Lincoln Street | Brownsville, TX 78521 | t: 956-504-5568 | f: 956-504-9393 Mission: Guadalupe Regional Middle School provides a tuition-free, quality Catholic education to boys and girls in grades six, seven, and eight whose families desire but cannot afford a Catholic education. This academically challenging school teaches its students how to live the gospel values of love, justice, selfdiscipline and respect for others with the goal that they become the future leaders of the Brownsville civic and church communities. Board of Trustees: Br. Richard Van Houten, FMS Sr. Mary Ann Korczynski, IWBS Br. Raymond Vercruysse, CFC Board of Directors: Mrs. Mina Besteiro Mr. Polo Borrego Mr. Jorge De la Garza Mrs. Rosie Fruia Mrs. Analicia Garcia Mrs. Celia Garcia Br. Francis Garza, FMS Mr. Newlin Lancaster Mrs. Marcia Martinez Mr. Tony Martinez, Chair Ms. Lita Ortiz Dr. Carmen Rocco Mrs. Marti Ortiz Schaefer Sr. Mary Vianney Uyeno, IWBS Mrs. Isabel Vezzetti Mrs. Cassandra Wolfe Mr. Matthew Zebrowski Ex-Officio: Rev. Francisco Acosta, Pastor Mr. Michael Motyl, President Mr. Kris White, Interim Principal DEVELOPMENT OFFICE Ms. D. Pilon, Director of Development

Letters Dear Friends,


hen I came to GRMS last summer, it was a time of personal uncertainty. I was leaving my home of over 30 years to come to a school I knew very little about and a place that I knew even less about. I was stepping into a role that was temporary by design. I was not the principal that students, parents, and faculty had been expecting when they left for the summer. At first, I was apprehensive. I spent most of my days in the office working at getting a sense of the school’s character and operations. Though not new to Catholic school leadership, every school presents its own culture and its own challenges. My apprehension quickly turned to happiness and appreciation; happiness at being fortunate enough to work with the many wonderful people associated with GRMS, and, appreciation for all the support that everyone in the GRMS family has provided me during my time here. Everyone from the incoming sixth-grader to the Chair of the Board of Directors has demonstrated time and time again how gracious, beautiful, and caring the GRMS community really is, even to an outsider such as myself. As my time here at GRMS comes to a close, I am impelled to offer a few comments on my experience here. First, this school is blessed with an PHOTOS: (left pg. from outstanding student body. Though try- top) White during GRMS ing at times, they are sincere, hard-work- Bumper Sticker Blitz ing, and so very, very funny. They are the | Welcoming parents to Christmas Concert easiest students I have worked with in | (right pg. from top) fourteen years as an educator. White directs 2011 group photo | (left) White at Open House | (right) White conducts schoolwide Geography Bee sponsored by National Geographic in cafeteria

Second, the GRMS community members I have met, including alums, parents, Board members, and community supporters have been exceptionally hospitable to me as an out-of-towner, even knowing my time in the Valley was destined to be brief. My experiences with everyone I have met here have made my 10 ½ months here pleasant, enjoyable, and more memorable than I could have imagined.

Finally, of course, has been my time with the faculty at GRMS. I spent more time with the teachers and staff members than anyone else during my stay in South Texas. We worked hard; shared stories and laughs; and, grown as educators together. They have been my family away from home. The support and comfort they offered me has made it considerably easier to live apart from friends and family back in California.

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The number of stories that I have shared, and will continue to share back home about everyone I have met here in Brownsville are too numerous to recount here. Just know that I have benefited from our time together in ways you will never know. I will miss each of you in the many different ways that each of you is unique and special. My debt to you is boundless. I look forward to hearing about the many great things in store for the future of Guadalupe Regional Middle School. Page 5

s s e l B d o "G GRMS " ! s t a c b o B o g d n a

.D. d E , e t i h W r e h p o t s i r K

Honors A farewell to Brother Leo Shea, FMS Founding President Staff and faculty along with Board members and long-time friends of Guadalupe Regional Middle School honored founding president, Brother Leo Shea, FMS at a farewell Mass and reception on December 3, 2010. The evening showcased the GRMS campus while celebrating the school's past, present and future. "Several of the founding board members were in attendance, as well as volunteers from our first graduating class," said Michael Motyl, President. "It was wonderful to reflect on the work of all the different groups in attendance, especially Brother Leo who has been at the helm all these years." Brother Leo Shea, FMS was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the fourth of five children. He attended the Marist Brothers’ Central Catholic High School as well as Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York where he majored in English before earning his Masters in English at Seton Hall and Masters of Education from Manhattan College. Shea has also earned numerous educational and professional certifications throughout his lengthy career. With over 50 years as a Marist Brother, Shea’s ministry has led him to serve as teacher of English, Latin and religion, and in leadership roles like Director of Guidance at various schools, principal, provincial, founder of Marist mission in Liberia, West Africa and as the founding president of Guadalupe Regional Middle School (GRMS) in Brownsville, TX. Shea stepped down from the position of president of GRMS at the end of last school year and will be serving as Assistant to the Principal and Director of Special Programs at the Marist school Mount St. Michael in New York.

PHOTOS (from top) Brother Leo Shea reflects on his experiences at GRMS | Former Board Member Barbara Martinez catches up with Brother Leo | (L) Chair of Board of Directors Tony Martinez meets new faculty member Brother Tony Quinn | Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe say farewell to Br. Leo

Since Guadalupe Regional Middle School’s founding in 2002, Brother Leo Shea has worked to create a safe, quality learning environment at the only NativityMiguel tuition-free middle school in all of Texas. Those who know him comment on his infectious personality, humor and his deep gratitude toward friends and supporters of his ongoing mission to create opportunities where there were few. Page 6

Special thanks to Marti Shaefer, Cassandra Wolfe, Jason Wolfe & Tony Martinez

2011 Spirit Awards


uadalupe Regional Middle School honored our founding president, Brother Leo Shea, FMS with the 2011 Spirit Award. Every year, the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Brownsville hosts a Spirit Awards banquet. The evening is a beautiful celebration of the impact of our Catholic schools, and each school has the opportunity to honor someone . The title SPIRIT was chosen for this annual Catholic school award to commemorate the manner in which Jesus assured the continuation of His work as He completed His earthly ministry. He sent His SPIRIT to be with the apostles, to enlighten them and give them courage as they went forth to teach and spread His gospel message. The primary purpose of Catholic schools is to teach and witness to the Catholic teach as Jesus did. Through support of Catholic schools, recipients of this award share in the work of the Spirit by providing an opportunity and environment in which the teachings of Jesus can be passed on to the next generation. The word SPIRIT is symbolic of the energy, enthusiasm and sense of service that each honoree has exhibited in support of Catholic schools. Also honored this year was GRMS Board of Directors member Lita Ortiz, who received the Spirit Award from Saint Joseph Academy. Thank you to our 2011 Spirit Awards table sponsor the Marist Brothers of the Schools. Past GRMS Spirit Award recipients : * 2010 | Brother David Concannon, CFC * 2009 | Brother Arthur Williams, CFC * 2008 | Diane Milliken Garza * 2007 | Patricia Flota de Hernandez * 2006 | Brother Brian Walsh, CFC * 2005 | Martha Garcia * 2004 | Barbara G. Koch and Jim Tipton * 2003 | Brother Larry Heathwood, CFC and Leo Langer

! s n o i t a l Congratu Page 7

Fall & Winter Highlights Football Friday GRMS kicked off the year with great outdoor fun at Football Friday. The school's courtyard was transformed to accommodate Seat Belt Relays, the Great Golf Challenge, plenty of toss and throwing games, and a bouncy castle for younger siblings. The focus was kept on healthy choices and encouraging students and their families to keep moving! In addition to physical activities and spirited music, healthy food options were available including fruit cups and granola bars. Special thanks to Espuela Tires for donating a tire for the football throw. Farmers Market GRMS's Student Council raised money through the Christmas season to be the first GRMS class to have a float in Brownsville's annual Charro Days parade (February). Students, with the help of Mrs. Jennifer Rose-Segrest & Miss Laura Cassel, created ceramic ornaments to sell each Saturday morning at Brownsville's Farmers Market at the Museum of Fine Arts. Each ornament was hand cut to resemble angels, doves and crosses, each glazed with its own special style. Special thanks to Mrs. Rose-Segrest for her time, tent and tables.

An Active Student Body The activities and enthusiasm kept rolling out this fall with a combination of student led events and invitations to participate in community functions. Here were a few favorites: Spirit Week – Haunted House and Mascot/Courtyard dedication Choir Performance – Holiday Village at Dean Porter Park GRMS Christmas – gift exchange

Geography Bee In December, every student participated in the school’s Geography Bee (sponsored by the National Geographic Society). Student Council President Ivette Villarreal was the school-wide champion, having beaten out fourteen other school-wide finalists. The school-level competition took place in front of the entire school. Congratulations, Ivette!

Self-Publishing In December, every student authored, illustrated, and self-published either a short story or a poetry anthology. This project was a collaboration between the Language Arts and Technology programs. These books were hard-bound for free for students and the school (and some parents) purchased additional copies. A keepsake for years to come!

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Pulse on Poetry Check out these poetry gems from students exploring the medium during a poetry unit:

Take note

Crack an Egg by Denisse Garay Crack an egg. Break the yolk. Make it flutter. Stock the heat. Hear it sizzle. Shake the salt, Just a drizzle. Flip it over, Just like that Press it down. Squeeze it flat. Pop the toast. Spread the jam thing. Say the word. Breakfast is in. Former teacher donates benches Mr. Martinez, former GRMS technology and student newspaper instructor, brought GRMS a welcomed surprise early this fall, donating two park benches for outdoor campus seating. Thanks, Mr. Martinez!

Computer lab revamp



The GRMS computer lab underwent a drastic revamp over Christmas break. Through a Kenedy Memorial Foundation grant, GRMS furnished the technology room with a set of SmartDesks, ergonomic computer furniture designed for education. SmartDesks allow the electronic classroom to better accommodate multimedia instruction, computer training and interactive learning. The convertible desks hold a computer's monitor and keyboard. The monitor flips down underneath the desk when necessary, creating a flat surface for writing, special projects and collaboration. Among the many benefits, SmartDesks give GRMS the option to use the computer lab as a traditional classroom space when necessary and a multi-purpose room for activities like evening study hall, where students' needs are mixed. Page 9


New on Campus

f it has been a while since your last visit to the GRMS campus, make a date this fall. Guadalupe Regional Middle School is evolving and the grounds along with it. Here are two new mustsee campus additions.


1. Bobcat Court: As part of GRMS's Spirit Week in the fall, Tony Martinez, the chair of GRMS's Board of Directors, was on hand to reveal a freshly painted mascot on the school's covered courtyard. Created by GRMS graduates Lili Martinez '05, Melissa Sandoval '10, and Angela Smith '05 under the direction of Mrs. Jennifer Rose-Segrest and Ms. Dandy Pilon, the painting sits in the center of Bobcat Court. 2. Prayer Garden Cross: To celebrate this year's Catholic School's Week, GRMS created a thoughtful project for the school's entry walkway - a beautiful five foot cross featuring hand-painted tiles by students and teachers. Each tile represents a word that sums up their GRMS experience.


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In the community Annual Thanksgiving Pie Sale at GRMS: Guadalupe Regional Middle School is deeply grateful for those who have made our annual Thanksgiving Pie Sale such a success and so much fun! Special thanks to Saint Mary's Parish and Sacred Heart Parish in Brownsville + GRMS grads, students and their families!

What an awesome group of volunteer students, grads, & family members.

In the Community: Tipton Ford Slasher Sale Cookout GRMS students, grads, families, & staff offered a variety of delicious treats at Tipton Ford's Fall Slasher Sale in Brownsville, TX. The fajitas, hotdogs, sweets, and soft drinks provided lunch for customers on the hunt for a deal on their favorite vehicles while raising funds to support GRMS's tuition-free model.

We so appreciate all the folks at Tipton Ford for their wonderful support!

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Reflection GRMS: Family of God By Sister Teresita Rodriguez, IWBS Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. The Church is nothing other than “the family of God.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Domestic Church, Number 1655)

religious congregations willing to help, and a large group of Brownsville’s citizens willing to support the school lovingly. When all was ready, the students arrived.

At GRMS we live as part of “the family of God”. How do we know that we are part of this family? I imagined the lives of Jesus, Mary and Joseph living together through their hard times and their good times, how they reacted and dealt with them, then I compare their lives to our life at GRMS.

I like to compare our students to Jesus. He was a normal teenager with some of the same difficulties and joys as any other teenager. When Jesus was twelve he went off to start His mission without letting his parents know. To his surprise, and with the help of his parents, he discovered that it was not time. The same with our students, at times they think they don’t For example, the birth of Jesus was not an easy need the directions we try to give them, however, experience for Mary and Joseph. Joseph discovers because of the wrong choices they sometimes make, that he has to take Mary on this long journey to they see that it is best to listen to us. Bethlehem at a time when she was almost ready to give birth. They knew it was not going to be easy. I believe that living as a family has almost become They were aware of the possible problems ahead, but part of our curriculum. I say this because if anyone it didn’t stop them. They knew it was the will of God. would ask any person that knows our school, “What is the most evident characteristic of your school?” The GRMS, I believe, had similar beginnings. The only response would be, “Being a family”. certainty was that is was the will of God. We started our journey to our Bethlehem and I often see students helping arrived at Our Lady of Guadalupe "I believe that living as a family each other with their work, Parish and began getting ready working together on a project, has almost become part of supporting others in the for the birth of GRMS. different activities of the school, our curriculum. " After the birth of Jesus the Holy (sports, art projects, spelling Family went through several bees), praying for those who ask difficulties before they returned to Nazareth to start for prayers. their normal lives. Joseph working as a carpenter while Mary took care of Jesus and did housework, together Teachers and staff are also supportive of the students; teaching Jesus about God the Father. They also prayed always being there for them, giving them extra help together, and enjoyed each other. Through all their when needed, ready to listen when they want to talk, experiences they were kind, loving and supportive of coaching students in sports, helping them get ready each other. for things such as Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, etc., always encouraging them in all that they do. GRMS began with difficulties. The founders had great faith in God and went out looking for support which Teachers are also supportive of each other. An they received with kindness and love. They found important item in our faculty meeting each month is, Page 12

“Commendations and Affirmations” where teachers affirm and thank each other for the work they have done that month. Teachers often substitute for each other in times of need. Our alumni are also part of our family. They often visit the school thanking all for what the school did for them. In their off time they come to help in what’s needed. Another group that is very much part of our family is our financial supporters. I believe that they are the ones that show us the greatest love. Not because of the money that they work so hard to get for us, but because they so often show us how proud they are of us by coming to some of the students’ activities. Our parents also are part of our family. They help with many of our activities; at times cooking for the students or for fund-raising activities, by taking students to sport games, decorating, etc. They support the teachers when it comes to what is best for their children. Our family consists of many groups. Jesus too, when he went out to do his ministry, started with disciples and apostles, with women that followed him and saw to his and his followers’ needs. He had friends he visited with at their homes. We, too, are part of his family and he is part of ours. Learn more about Guadalupe Regional Middle School's family at or schedule a campus visit by calling 956.504.5568.

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Sister Teresita Rodriguez is a cherished member of the GRMS community and has been with the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament since 1972. She is a part-time Religion teacher at GRMS and a parttime Alumni Coordinator at Incarnate Word Academy in Brownsville.

Spring Highlights Spelling Bee Early this spring, every student participated in the school’s Spelling Bee. The four finalists included two students each from the 8th and 7th grades, with Tanya Quezada, 8th, taking the title of school Bee Champion. Finalists went on to represent GRMS in the Diocesan and BANSA Spelling Bees, as well as March’s Regional Spelling Bee at UTB. Well done!

Easter Family Picnic A beautiful GRMS tradition was born this spring, as faculty and staff, students and their families gathered for the school's first Easter Family Picnic held at Dean Porter Park. The event was kicked off with a brief prayer service organized by Mrs. Patricia Flota and words from GRMS Board of Directors Chair Tony Martinez, followed by an Easter egg hunt organized by GRMS's National Junior Honor Society. Parents of students in the National Junior Honor Society provided a variety of side dishes and desserts to complement a tasty brisket. Special thanks to the National Junior Honor Society and Rudy's BBQ. Just dance! As part of the GRMS Student Council agenda, students enjoyed not one, but two after-school dances this year. The Hollywood themed dance at the start of the year only generated more enthusiasm for the end-of-the-year Beach Party dance held right in the school's cafeteria. Student Council members painted backdrops, created their own special decor, and organized the event from set-up to clean-up as a way to celebrate everyone's hard work throughout the school year and say good-bye to friends in the eighth grade.

Fine Arts Night and Fans for Japan The second annual Fine Art Nights Night took place on May 19th, showcasing ceramics, general art accomplishments, folklorico dances, poetry, drama and of course band and choir. Students and their families were invited to watch traditional Mexican folkloric dances on the school's Bobcat Court and peruse art displays before heading inside for songs from the choir and band. The school's Student Council was also on hand for their Fans for Japan fundraiser, selling hand-made earrings, pins and hair clips to send funds for earthquake victims in Japan.

Choir Performances Just days after Fine Arts Night, the school’s choir performed at a competition on South Padre Island after much practice from performances throughout the year including: Weekly Mass • • Holiday Village at Dean Porter Park – December Mardi Gras spring fundraiser – March • • School Leaders Conference for the Congregation of Christian Brothers – April Brownsville Mayor’s Inauguration – May •

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Founders' Week May 2-6 marked GRMS's special commemoration of the founders of the three religious congregations that sponsor the school. This year’s Founders’ Week was especially dedicated to Venerable Jeanne Chezard de Matel, founder of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. Founders’ Week included a number of events and activities that recalled to mind the work and charism of the school’s founders.

Thank you to our sponsoring congregations: Congregation of Christian Brothers, Marist Brothers of the Schools, and the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament

In Language Arts classes, students were presented with brief histories and stories about each of the three religious congregations who founded and continue to sponsor the school. At a special morning assembly, a decorative display in honor of Venerable Jeanne Chezard de Matel was unveiled in the school’s Courtyard. This display remained throughout Founders’ Week for prayer and reflection. In Religious Studies classes, students participated in a special prayer service dedicated to Venerable Jeanne Chezard de Matel. At our regularly-scheduled Wednesday Mass, members of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament joined the school for Mass. Special songs reflective of the work of the Sisters were incorporated into Mass by the Choir. Icons of the three founders, as well as representatives of the three founding congregations, participated in the Procession. The founders’ icons were also be blessed by the celebrant and left on display for the liturgical celebration. Founders’ Week concluded with a day devoted to service in the community. Students spent several hours performing service at a variety of locations around Brownsville. These sites included the Brownsville Children’s Museum, the Brownsville Museum of Art, Gladys Porter Zoo, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and Good Neighbor. Students also began and ended their day of service with opportunities for discussion and journaling about their service experiences. For more information on Guadalupe Regional Middle School or any of its sponsoring congregations, please visit the following: GRMS: Congregation of Christian Brothers: Marist Brothers of the Schools: Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament:

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Sistersof the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament

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By Sister Irma Gonzalez


he Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament of Corpus Christi, Texas, one of GRMS’s three sponsoring Congregations, began their journey to South Texas in France. They traveled to Brownsville and opened the first school in Brownsville and the first Catholic School in South Texas in 1853. The journey to Texas spanned three centuries and a number of wars. The Sisters of the Incarnate Word were founded in 1625 by Jeanne Chézard de Matel. Closed down during the French Revolution, the Sisters were re-established in 1816 in Azerables, France to build up the Church after the Revolution. By 1852, eleven new convents had been established in France and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament was again vibrant. Meanwhile in “the New World,” Texas was going through many tumultuous changes also. During the first half of the nineteenth century, Texas was governed by four of the six countries whose flags flew over Texas: Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and the United States. As any student of history will know the changes in government were often won at the price of war.

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☼ Jeanne Chézard de Matel, Foundress

☼ Bishop John Marie Odin, first Bishop of the Republic of Texas

Enter Bishop John Marie Odin the first Bishop of the Republic of Texas. The Texas Handbook Online says the following about Bishop Odin, “Odin's greatest contribution to the development of the church in the United States was the effort that he made toward the revival of Catholicism in Texas during the period 1840–1861.” Since most of the clergy and religious ministering in Texas were Mexican, the majority returned to their homeland after Texas Independence in 1836. Having only a handful of priests and nuns left, Odin reached out to his native France for help. Thus it was that in 1852, four Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament left France along with Oblates of Mary Immaculate. They reached Texas mid-year in 1852 and spent several months learning English in Galveston. From there they traveled to Brownsville, Texas where they established Incarnate Word Convent and Academy on March 7, 1853. The Sisters were most innovative in their efforts to educate the youth of the area: in the early years the Sisters had an English school and a Spanish school, for which they printed their own books to teach the girls they taught. One hundred fifty eight years later, the Sisters still run Incarnate Word Academy in Brownsville, the oldest continuously open Catholic School in Texas. The Sisters currently serve in the Dioceses of Brownsville, Corpus Christi and Beaumont. In the Diocese of Brownsville, six Sisters serve in Brownsville at GRMS, St. Joseph Academy, Incarnate Word


☼ Superiors of

Academy, and distributing communion hosts to parishes; and two Incarnate Word Sisters minister in Edinburg at Holy Spirit Parish and at the Renaissance Hospital. The zeal of the early Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament is evident in the number of other independent Incarnate Word communities that were founded in the years following their arrival in Brownsville. Today the family of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament world-wide numbers close to 1,000 members with nine independent congregations serving in, schools, clinics and insertion communities in the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, France, Spain, Kenya, Tanzania and Sudan. All the congregations of the Incarnate Word Order maintained a great deal of communication and camaraderie among them though they were independent monasteries. In 1982, recognizing the common heritage of their foundress, Jeanne Chézard de Matel, the Incarnate Word Sisters signed a Charter of Communion that was hewn to articulate the common points that the different Congregations shared. Today the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament are on another journey. Responding to a call from the Spirit for unity, six groups of Incarnate Word Sisters are journeying together in the hope of becoming one Congregation. The work of uniting as one Congregation can be te-

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iors of the six Congregation seeking Union

f the six congregations seeking union

â˜ź Sisters working on the finance section of the documents

Sisters working on the Finance section of the documents

dious, but the end product is sure to be a blessing. A representative committee of leadership from the six groups has been working since 2006. They have provided processes for the Sisters so that they can look together at large and small pieces of what it will mean to be one united Congregation. All work must be translated into English or Spanish. Questions surface: What will happen to our current Motherhouses? Will we all have to move? Will I be sent to a convent where I won’t understand the language? Will we be able to start new missions in other parts of the world because we are working together? Will the new energy bring more vocations? What will be our new name? Answers to these and many other questions will come as we move closer to becoming one. We are certain only of the fact that the Incarnate Word is in the midst of this journey as surely as God has been in the midst of our journey to the present moment. This summer representatives from the six groups met to write a first draft of a common constitution. The group met in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The Sisters worked, prayed and played together for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks the Sisters who were part of the committee had made life-long friends and had worked together to produce a first draft of a document that will govern the new Congregation. The document is being edited by a smaller group in order to prepare to share it with all 800+ members of the different congregations. Imagine 800 women agreeing on anything. This truly will

be the work of the Holy Spirit. For those of you who know us, you may not notice much change for many years. Many of you have already met some of our SISTER Sisters at functions you may have been to. Our commitment to South Texas especially Brownsville, which we affectionately call the Cradle of the Order in the New World, is strong. Please pray that all will be open to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we, the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, embark on a new journey.

Learn more about the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament at or: Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament 2930 S. Alameda Corpus Christi, Texas 78404

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Sister Irma Gonzalez is the School Director of Incarnate Word Academy in Brownsville, TX.

Honors GRMS Places in C-SPAN Competition In January, 2011, eighth-graders at Guadalupe Regional Middle School wrote, produced, starred-in, and edited a five-minute video that focused on their personal experiences with federal and state immigration policy currently being debated by politicians in Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas. This video was submitted to C-SPAN as part of its annual current events focused studentvideo contest. The video submitted by the students at Guadalupe Regional Middle earned “Honorable Mention”, meaning that their video was deemed to be one of the top-25 student videos from a total pool of over 1,000 submissions.

provided by C-SPAN. It was at this point in the process when students collectively chose to focus their video project on immigration and how immigration impacts their daily lives.

Students spent the next class period examining the various aspects of immigration and how these aspects might lend themselves to the particular “segments” of their student video. Once segment-topics were determined, students selfselected themselves into segmentgroups. Each segment-group was responsible for the writing and filming of their individual segment. Each segment-group was coordinated by a student leader who The C-SPAN video project was orreported directly to the student ganized and facilitated by Mrs. directors who were chosen by the Jennifer Rose-Segrest, Technolteacher. Student directors were ogy instructor and newly-desig(L) Eduardo Cordova, (C) Kelly Sosa, responsible for coordinating the nated Director of Student Activi(R) Kevin Berlanga overall student video, particularly ties at Guadalupe Regional Middle taking the lead in the editing process once individSchool. Mrs. Rose-Segrest became aware of the ual segments were completed. contest through a direct mailing from C-SPAN which invited schools to submit student videos. For the next several class meetings, students Additional information was obtained from the Cworked in segment-groups to complete their part SPAN website and from C-SPAN’s customer service of the student video. During this hotline. time, both the teacher and the student directors worked within As part of the introduction to this and among segment-groups to project, students were shown the assist them in their work. Segwinning video from last year’s Cment-groups created scripts and SPAN contest. Students discussed story-boards, searched for online the aspects of the winning video resources, rehearsing speaking that they liked and which aspects roles, acquired the necessary props that they didn’t like. Students also and ancillary materials, and filmed discussed ways in which the video their segments using Flip Video could have better achieved the reCameras according to a shooting quirements of the contest and how schedule that each segment-group the video could be more informawas responsible for producing. Much of this work tive and engaging. Following this discussion, stuwas completed during class, however, significant dents began brainstorming various topics for their amounts of the actual filming required additional videos given their interests and the topic prompt Page 20

time outside of the regular-scheduled school day. This was especially true for off-campus interview segments and location shooting. As segments neared completion, the student directors took the lead in the editing process. This part of the student video project took the most amount of time compared to other aspects of the videoproduction process. Titles, transitions, credits, additional graphics, and music were added during the editing process by the student directors. Additionally, student directors devoted a considerable amount of time ensuring that a seamless quality was present as the video moved from segment to segment. Once finished, the final student-video was submitted to C-SPAN for review. As previously noted, the video earned “honorable mention� in the competition, meaning that the video was one of the top 25 videos from among the over 1000 videos submitted. In addition to submitting the video for competition, the video was also screened for the Guadalupe Regional Middle School Boards of Trustees and Directors, as well for the Board Chairs, Presidents, and Principals at the annual leadership conference of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers of North America. This student-produced video-project was a considerable success for the eighth-grade students and Technology program at Guadalupe Regional Middle School. It offered students the opportunity to produce a multimedia project using a number of skills that will be in high-demand when they step into the business world. This project also afforded students the opportunity to share their voice regarding their interests and the facts of their life. They did so creatively and collaboratively. The success of their video in the C-SPAN competition provided the reinforcement for their success that ensures that the students will continue to channel their energies in ways similar to those associated with this project. Whether or not Guadalupe Regional Middle School will continue to participate in the C-SPAN Student Video Project, the Technology program will continue to incorporate student filmmaking as an essential component of the Technology curriculum. Page 21


Check out our singing and dancing filled tour of the campus!



Sports T

he athletics program offered a variety of team sports including football (in partnership with Saint Joseph Academy Middle School Division), Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer, and Softball. Approximately 80% of GRMS’s student body participated in at least one sport. Of those students, more than half played at least two sports throughout the school year. • JV Volleyball (co-ed) • Varsity Volleyball (co-ed) • JV Girls Basketball • Varsity Girls Basketball

• JV Boys Basketball • Varsity Boys Basketball • JV Softball (co-ed) • Varsity Softball (co-ed)

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• Girls Soccer • Boys Soccer

Guadalupe Regional Middle School



Order your GRMS anniversary “10 years and counting” t-shirt today! White lettering on a dark blue t-shirt. All adult sizes are $20.00 each. Shirt sales benefit GRMS.

Name ____________________________________________ Address __________________________________________ City _____________________ State______ Zip __________ Phone____________ E-mail_________________________ Youth Small __________ x $15 each = $________________ Youth Medium _______ x $15 each = $________________ Youth Large__________ x $15 each = $________________ Adult Small __________ x $20 each = $________________ Adult Medium________ x $20 each = $________________ Adult Large __________ x $20 each = $________________

For questions or additional sizes, please call the main office at 956.504.5568. Pre-ordering 6/1/11-8/1/11. Return form w/ payment to GRMS: 1214 Lincoln St Brownsville, TX 78521 Please make check payable to Guadalupe Regional Middle School. -------------------------------------------------By credit card: Type: □ Amex □ Mastercard □ Visa

Adult XLarge _________ x $20 each = $________________

Card Number: ______________________________

Adult XXLarge ________ x $20 each = $________________

Exp. Date:______________________

TOTAL $________________ Page 23

Congratulations Graduates! The community of Guadalupe Regional Middle School would like to congratulate all twenty-seven eighth graders who participated in the 2011 commencement ceremony performed by Bishop Daniel E. Flores at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish on Friday, June 4. Valedictorian: Ivette Villarreal Saint Joseph Academy Salutatorian: Graciela Guttierez Med-Tech High School

GRMS Class of 2011 students will go on to attend the following high schools: • • • • • • •

Savethe date

Hanna High School Med-Tech High School Pace High School Porter High School Rivera High School Saint Joseph Academy Veteran's High School

St. Marcellin Champagnat Award: Eduardo Cordova Saint Joseph Academy Blessed Edmund Rice Award: Ivette Villarreal Venerable Jean Chezard de Matel Award: Judith Rock Saint Joseph Academy

10th Anniversary Mass Friday, August 19, 2011 All are invited to celebrate at GRMS's 10th Anniversary Massexactly ten years to the day! More info by calling GRMS: 956.504.5568.

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Alumni Notes s make ll e t a u Grad ty baseba ol arsi SJA v s high scho a team eshman fr

akes a m e t a Gradu h at Pace splas chool S High

s ollow f e t a Gradu llow brick the ye at SJA road

Who: Alex Banda '10

Who: Missael Soto '09

Who: Leslie Villarreal '08

Where he is: Saint Joseph Academy, Brownsville, TX

Where he is: Pace High School, Brownsville, TX

Where she is: Saint Joseph Academy, Brownsville, TX

What he is up to: Alex, who was his GRMS class salutatorian, has continued his academic excellence throughout his freshman year at Saint Joseph Academy. Consistently making the "A" Honor Roll during the school year, Alex was also one of the few freshman to make the Varsity Baseball Team at Saint Joseph Academy. He hopes to continue his success on and off the field as he enters his sophomore year. Alex's sister, Iliana, will be a Senior at St. Joseph Academy and graduated from GRMS in 2008.

What he is up to: Missael just completed his sophomore year at Pace High School and is excelling both in and out of the classroom. He is part of the Criminal Justice magnet program that the school offers and is making a splash as a member of the school's Swimming & Diving team. In just two years on the Swim Team, he as already made significant contributions to the team and is looking forward to making it to the State competition next year. Missael's younger brother, Aldair, will be a 7th grade student at GRMS this fall.

What she is up to: Leslie Villarreal is a rising senior at St. Joseph's Academy. Leslie is part of the concert band, and the drama club. This spring she took part in the spring musical "The Wizard of Oz", in which she portrayed the part of a City Father, and a Poppy. Come her graduation, she plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin.

Page 25

Check out Leslie in GRMS's Lip Dub: Photo credit: Eric Kinkopf

Staff & Faculty Fall ACE Retreat By Mr. Matthew Wilsey You know that feeling you get before Christmas? That anxious itch you develop in the depths of your stomach before being reunited with distant family, waiting for Christmas morning, and eating too many delicious cookies? Well, Christmas came early for ACE teachers this semester. More than 180 first and second-year teachers in the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Program converged on Austin the weekend of December 3rd – 5th. Teachers traveled from all over the United States, from Washington D.C to Los Angles and from South Bend to Brownsville, eager to be reunited with roommates and friends; ready to relax and recharge; and excited to escape the suspect culinary talents of their roommates! Although the aims of the retreat were different for the first and second-year teachers, both retreats fell under the guiding premise of, “Do not be afraid.” (Luke 1:30) First and second-year teachers, alike, were challenged to surrender their fears – about teaching, about relationships, and about the future – to God and trust in His loving plan. Within the framework of the “Do not be afraid” (Luke 1:30) theme, first-year teachers discussed he struggles and rewards of teaching. As a tool to foster discussion, first-year ACErs had the opportunity to review their ACE application essays, in which they answered the question, “Why do you want to be an ACE teacher?” Following a personal reflection, and then a smaller group session, teachers returned to share their motivations for initially wanting to join ACE and how those motivations changed over the course of the first semester. Invariably, answers morphed from a desire to emulate parents and former teachers to love, both for our students and our housemates. While this love is sometimes masked with our students, often times in the wake of missed assignments, massive piles of papers to be graded, and “growing experiences,” and with our housemates, as people leave their dirty dishes out, buy skim milk rather than 2%, blast music early in the morning – first-year ACErs agreed that they were following God’s plan and should not be afraid. Second-year teachers focused on their plans following their two-year teaching commitment. A subtheme of the second-year teacher’s retreat might have been entitled, “What’s next?!?” The theme of “Do not be afraid” (Luke 1:30) centered on their anxieties discerning God’s plan for them. From additional schooling, in graduate school, medical school, or law school, to new service opportunities, to continuing to teach, the options for these individuals are vast. Many of the sessions were focused on helping the teachers discern God’s divine plan in light of their many talents. The ACE retreat was a wonderful opportunity for teachers to come together, share stories, inspire one another, and reenergize. However, just like with the wonder of Christmas, it was soon over – and much too quickly. Yet, ACErs left with a rediscovered confidence and trust in the Lord and His plan for all of us. Mr. Wilsey is originally from New York and is a first year Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) teacher at Guadalupe Regional Middle School in Brownsville, Texas. Learn more about ACE at Page 26

Staff & Faculty Notes e: Jubile nn n e d l i Go ny Qu rs o T r e Broth tes 50 yea r e ra celeb tian Broth s i r as Ch

Brother Tony Quinn, CFC had much to celebrate this year, as 2010 marked his Golden Jubilee, 50 years with the Congregation of Christian Brothers. Originally from Manhattan, New York, Brother Tony spent his elementary and high school years at All Hallows Catholic school where the influence of the Congregation of Christian Brothers called him to his vocation. ¶ "It's been a great 50 years,” said Brother Quinn. “I have seen a lot, experienced a lot; I've played a variety of roles as teacher, campus minister, pastoral outreach, retreat leader, spiritual director and counselor. I've been blessed." ¶ Currently Brother Tony Quinn is serving at Guadalupe Regional Middle School (GRMS) in Brownsville, Texas as the sixth-grade English teacher and reading coach. This is Brother Quinn’s first year as a teacher and community member of GRMS.

a eresit S T r e t Sis WB uez, I g i r & d Ro Called in s d n op atte orksh W d e Gift ork New Y

On October 19-22, 2010 Sister Teresita Rodriguez, IWBS represented Guadalupe Regional Middle School at the Called & Gifted Workshop held in Rhinebeck, New York. This retreat was an opportunity for thirty select faculty and staff members from the Christian Brothers' educational sites to come together to reflect on their call to mission in the tradition of the Congregation of Christian Brothers. The Called and Gifted program, begun in 1984, focuses on the charism of Blessed Edmund Rice, the founder of the Christian Brothers, and how that charism effects all who work with the Brothers in the ministry of education. Br. Chris Burns and Mrs. Melanie Anchukaitis, facilitators of the program, reminded participants that they are called to serve the Church, and have been gifted with the blessings of God to complete that service. Page 27

iss her M c a e t ACE a Cassel in Laur athon s r a m runs ippi, raise ss Missi unds f

Miss Laura Cassel, English teacher at GRMS, trained this Fall to run with the ACE Marathon group at the Mississippi Blues Marathon in Jackson, Mississippi on January 8, 2011 to help raise awareness for underserved Catholic schools around the country, especially those served by the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program, like GRMS. Cassel has participated in four previous marathons, this being her first with ACE Marathon. ¶ “Marathons are such a great means of building solidarity and awareness,” said Cassel. “I've kept doing them because of the contagious enthusiasm I've found there. I can think of no better way to raise awareness for what ACE is doing and support a needy and deserving school!” ¶ Congrats, Miss Cassel! We were cheering you on in spirit!

Staff & Faculty Meet GRMS's New Principal (1 Peter 4:10) As each has received a gift, employ it in serving one another, as good managers of the grace of God in its various forms. Married for 30 years to her husband Ed, Kathy has three children, and currently one grandchild and one on the way, but she is excited to include the students, families and staff of Guadalupe Regional Middle School as part of her extended family. Kathy has more than fifteen years of experience in education in both public and Catholic schools teaching and serving as a school administrator at the elemenMrs. Kathy Stapleton tary and middle school levels. Most recently she served as adjunct faculty at the college level. Kathy has the State of Texas Teaching Credentials and a Texas Administrative Credential for all levels. She has worked with both adults and young people having served as an assistant principal, facilitator, development director, retreat organizer and speaker, teacher, coach and student activities advisor. Kathy graduated from the University of Texas at Brownsville with a Bachelor's degree in English and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership. She recently received a full scholarship from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio to earn an additional Masters degree in Catholic School Leadership.

GRMS's Educator of the Year The Distinguished Educator fully represents the hard work and dedication required of the school’s mission, demonstrates the high level of skill and talent required of teaching his/her subject area, and exhibits the same level of care for students that the school’s founders exhibited in the very first schools established by the Sisters and Brothers. This year’s Distinguished Educator was nominated for this honor by several colleagues on staff and numerous students in the school. Technology teacher and Art Program Director, Mrs. Jennifer Rose-Segrest, was presented with this year’s award. She is an outstanding classroom teacher, developing innovative and creative lessons which foster student voice. She is an excellent activity moderator, providing students with diverse opportunities to express themselves and explore their creative abilities. She generously contributes her talent and time to nearly every aspect of school life. She is a compassionate educator, a supportive colleague, and a trusted friend. Page 28

Our Supporters

Page 29

We are always SO thankful for our supporters. Here are a few photos from this year's events.

DONATE your old


Your old cell phone can provide much needed funds! Phones can be in any condition.

Support Guadalupe Regional Middle School

Please include the battery if you have it. No chargers or accessories needed.

Guadalupe Regional Middle School is a tuition-free Catholic school in Brownsville, TX.

Page 30 956-504-2405

It's a page turner - GRMS Magazine Spring 2011  

It's here! GRMS's online magazine has got all the exciting details from the 2010-2011 school year.

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