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Fall Newsletter


Greetings to the OLPH Community,

Our Lady of Perpetual Help is blessed in so many ways. First and foremost we are able to put Christ first. Each class, meal, and meeting begin with prayer. We insert our Catholic traditions into every possible aspect of our work for the praise and glory of God. OLPH is blessed by being managed at the Parish level. Our time, talent, and treasures are allocated towards goals that we ourselves can choose. Because of this, we are able to be responsive to our unique needs and focused in our approach. This is evident in our growing technology development, campus safety improvements, and ongoing staff development. Finally, the standard of academic excellence is set high at OLPH and is consistently being maintained. As a school, our students regularly achieve above the national average on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. This is a tradition we are ready to continue. In this, my second year as principal, I am glad to say the school is strong and getting stronger! I would like to thank each of you who share so generously of your time, talent and treasure to contribute to the great undertaking of maintaining a successful Catholic school. Whether you are a parent who takes the time to read and pray with your child; a volunteer that assists a teacher in the classroom; an organizational member working to bring enrichment and service to our community; a coach putting in long hours to help each child unlock hidden interests and potential; or a contributor to our Annual Fund… I thank you.

In Chirst,

Sam Martin

WELCOME FROM OUR PASTORS My School Days … greetings to all our parents, supportive parishioners, alumni and future alumni!!! I can remember my own “Catholic School Days” at St. Mary’s in Knoxville, where we learned not only the standard subjects but that special ingredient that made those days so special – our faith in Jesus. Math and Holy Days gave us a broader outlook that developed within us the ability to try to see the world as God sees the world. A literate, scientific, artistic and athletic education given here at OLPH will enable our students to be the seeds of the Kingdom for years to come. Never underestimate the power of a seed and the Word! Thank you for your part in making this kind of education possible and thank you for your prayers and presence in OUR school. Together we build a better world with our students! Wishing you a blessed Advent and a joy-filled Christmas!

As a new priest I am still learning about being an associate at a parish with a school. My parents were both teachers, so I already knew what a blessing it is to attend a wonderful school like OLPH and to have such dedicated and caring teachers and staff. However, something new that I have learned is just how important the students and staff are to the community, to the parish and to my own faith. Their enthusiasm and deep desire to learn is inspiring and a real joy. Part of that stems from the variety of educational experiences that OLPH offers and which the school’s Annual Fund appeal helps to supplement. In many different ways, it enhances the variety of gifts of education for our students, which in turn allows them to be a gift to our community, our school, our parish, our families and to God. I am very thankful that God has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of the wonderful parish and school community we have here at OLPH.

Fr. Jim

Fr. Ray

WHO’S NEW AT OLPH NEW TEACHER SPOTLIGHT Abbie Gatlin is our new 2nd grade teacher. Abbie is certainly a hometown girl who has a long family history with OLPH. Abbie followed in her grandfather and father’s footsteps by graduating OLPH in 2006 and going on to NDHS. Abbie recently graduated from UTC in May, 2015 with a degree in Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education. Abbie is already familiar with most of our students from her work in our After School Care program and from substitute teaching. Abbie says she is excited to be back at OLPH as a teacher, and she is grateful to be teaching alongside some of her former teachers.

Michael Dawn Blackwell is our new

Meghan Panter is our new

Paige Hawkins is our new 1st

4th grade teacher. She joins us from

5th grade teacher. She went

grade teacher. She is an OLPH

the Chattanooga Charter School of

to St. Mary’s School in Oak Ridge,

parishioner and NDHS alumni.

Excellence where she has taught

TN as a student and completed

She most recently worked at

Kindergarten, serving

practicum work there while in

East Ridge Elementary School

as the grade level chair. Michael

college. Meghan most recently

and is a new mother of a beautiful

Dawn is an avid dancer and

worked at St. John Vianney

baby. Paige is passionate about

dance instructor and is

Catholic School in Gallatin, TN.

softball and volleyball and helped

coaching our new Dance Team,

She is very active in the Ulster project.

coach the Notre Dame Volleyball team this season.

the Sapphires.


FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY At Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, we strive to provide access to cutting edge technology and instruction based on sound teaching principles. We are dedicated in being good stewards of our technology funding by ensuring all grades have access to modern devices, higly trained teachers, and innovative lessons that are fun. We are giving our students a firm platform to stand on as they grow to meet the challenges of an increasingly technology-based world.

TECHNOLOGY PURCHASES This year our technology dollars continue to be put to good use. We plan to purchase another lab of 25 iPads for dedicated use in the main building for 1st - 4th graders. In addition, bluetooth keyboards will be purchased to use with all of our iPads. Other major planned purchases include 3 Promethean interactive white boards which will be placed in PreK, Kindergarten, and 8th grade Language Arts.


TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT This year our staff will receive a full day of instruction devoted to the planning and implementation of iPads, flat screen TVs, and Apple TV devices. Further professional development will focus on the improved use of interactive white boards and student response devices. We understand that students benefit the most from interacting not only with technology but with each other. Our staff is taking great strides to develop this as a strength on our campus.

As early as 2nd grade, students begin to enter the world of “coding” or writing programs for computer-based systems to follow. Whether they are generating the basic commands for an angry bird to find its target on or creating complex routines for a robot to follow in our after-school First Lego League, our students are developing critical thinking skills that translate into the modern workplace.

TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM Many teachers at OLPH are finding new ways to connect the natural interest students have in videogames with essential curriculum. Mrs. Monahan’s 7th grade science class worked collaboratively to produce virtual landscapes that served as


models of cell anatomy using the popular game Minecraft. For example, one group built a Jurassic park. The walls were the cell wall, the front door represented the cell membrane, and the garden green space represented the chloroplasts. These students had to think critically and creativly while communicating and working with each other. In the final presentation, students explained their part and how it fit into the analogy of a cell. These higher-order thinking skills, incorporated with fun technology, make learning enjoyable and create lessons that will last.

ART & TECHNOLOGY Our art teacher Mrs. Raquel Mullins is working with middle schoolers to use software in creative processes. Students will work collaboratively to create 3D sculptures, using 3D modeling programs found on sites like A select number of sculptures will be chosen and printed on our in-house 3D printer. Beginning this school year all art projects will be publshed on Artsonia, the word’s largest online student art museum. To see what some of the OLPH artist are up to you can visit:

LIVING OUT OUR FAITH VIRTUES IN PRACTICE This year we began a new Virtue program under the direction of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. Each month children in grades PK-8 learn about the same Virtue. Each grade celebrates their Virtue during a special Friday morning Mass each month.

THE LIVING ROSARY One of the many traditions at OLPH is our Living Rosary celebrated during the month of October. Representatives from each grade lead the Rosary in Spanish and English.

ALL SAINTS DAY “The Saints Go Marching In” each year at morning Mass on All Saints Day, students in 1st – 4th grades come to school dressed as their favorite Saint. Over 60 saintly boys and girls participated this year.


CATHOLIC HERITAGE WEEK During Pope Francis’s visit to the States, the whole school celebrated Catholic Heritage Week with various academic and spiritual activities. PreK and Kindergarten made Papal hats while the middle school students wrote essays and made a spiritual quilt which hung in the church. Mrs. Burns, one of our faculty members, and her daughters were interviewed by the local news about their trip to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. They shared how their experience would impact their lives and faith. Other middle school students were also interviewed and asked about how we celebrated the week and how significant the Pope’s visit was to the young Catholics in our community. We finished the week by celebrating with some of the past Popes at Friday morning Mass. The faculty and students were even surprised with a letter and blessed photo of the Holy Father from the Vatican. This was a week to remember for everyone.


FALL FIELD TRIPS AND HALLOWEEN FUN Each Fall our students and teachers look forward to expanding their learning through field trips. This year our first and second graders continued their tradition of visiting Old McDonald Farm and Pumpkin Patch. There, they had fun playing in the corn cribs and picking out the perfect pumpkin. The PreK class visited Guthire Farms, where they saw various farm animals, went in a corn maze and of course picked out a pumpkin. Fall fun was had by all children and parents who attended both field Trips. Our Kindergarten class and their 8th grade buddies continued their tradition of visiting the Chattanooga Zoo together. They learned about animal habitats and the necessary elements for sustaining life. This trip has become something both 8th grade and Kindergarten students look forward to each year. Our third and fourth graders made the trip to Fort Loudon in Loudon,Tennessee. Students were able to hear about how the fort was built and how the Cherokee Indians interacted with soldiers. This trip greatly enriched their study of the early days of America and our native friends.


This year teachers, students and staff donned their best costumes and had a little Halloween fun! PreK- 2 nd grade classes celebrated with parties and Halloween games. We loved seeing students and teachers dress up for this fun-filled day.




STUDENT REFLECTIONS I found a part of myself at Camp Lookout. I made

Our experience at Camp Lookout was great for the whole

new friends and had a wonderful time with them.

grade. It opened our eyes to nature and God’s creation. We

My thoughts about others were changed. We had

had many bonding and interactive activities throughout our

the privilege to do many fun things. One of my

time there, and we think it helped unite our class. Memories

favorites was going up on a high ropes course.

of our camp experience will live forever. We had the chance to

This let me conquer my fear of heights. My group

connect with others in our grade that we don’t usually get to

members said, “You have to finish! It’s worth it!”

talk to. Even though the trip was fun and exciting, God was in

and when I got to the end of the course, I strapped

our presence. -Jane Anne Haywood & Isabella Gearinger

in and did a free-fall. It was a truly amazing feeling. It made me think that even when I fall, God is there pulling me back up. Learning about others and Mass were also really fun especially since Father Jim was there. The most important things that I learned at Camp Lookout were keeping God in the center of our lives and to build people up and not tear them down. -Jason Oliver

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Carly Goetz was selected to attend the STEM National Young Leaders Conference this summer. She says that it gave her a lot of knowledge on careers, and was a lot of fun as well. It gave her the opportunity to see actual careers in action and meet with successful people who explained their occupations and expectations. Carly was selected out of the entire middle school because of her excellent grades in math & science, her dedicated mindset, and hardworking spirit.

Lilly Schafluetzel was chosen to attend the YMCA Youth Trust leadership camp. This camp teaches about leadership, responsibility and requires students to think outside the box when solving problems. Lilly says she made lasting friendships, but most importantly it helped her realize the importance of being a leader for God. She was chosen to represent the 8th grade because of her outstanding leadership qualities and encouraging actions.

Annamarie Todd is on her way to a successful creative career. Art students from 7th grade recently took on the challenge of educating our citizens about the impact of littering. Hamilton Shines is a Mayor initiative project in which all K-12 students are invited to compete. Annamarie and her hard work won the middle school award this year. Her design will be featured on a billboard in our community and Mayor, Jim Coppinger visited the school this month to present her the award.


RAM ATHLETICS “The Catholic RAMS� football team includes students from OLPH and Saint Jude. OLPH has one of the richest football traditions of any Middle School in Tennessee, dating back to 1948. In the 67 years since, OLPH has had a winning percentage of over 73% and has claimed 24 championships. 2015 was the RAMS first undefeated season in 50 years. The RAMS have had 17 one-loss seasons since 1966, making this undefeated season all the more special. The RAMS are coached by brothers and Alumni Billy and Bucky Dearing.

Volleyball Teams

Varsity Football Cheerleaders



Cross Country Teams

NDHS Junior Swim Team

For the first time ever, OLPH students in the 6th-8th grades have the opportunity to compete together on our new middle school swim team. Along with students from Saint Jude School, they will be competing both independently and with Notre Dame as their middle school team.

Soccer Teams

Sapphires Dance Team

Our new Dance Team, the Sapphires, are joining us this winter. They will be performing throughout the Basketball season at home games. The team is made up of girls from 6th- 8th grade, and coached by our new 4th grade teacher Mrs. Blackwell.


Basketball Softball Golf 9

Baseball Track


2015-2016 Home & School


Officers MAUREEN STREKO President




KARI HUDSON Social Coordinator & Grand Ram Tricycle Race


DEANNA ROBERTS Breakfast with Santa


Home and School is off to another fun-filled year with events and activities to support the teachers, staff and families of OLPH! We started the year with a Back to School picnic where parents, students, faculty and staff were able to gather together to kick off the new school year. In September, our 2nd Annual Choo-Choo Fall Fest and Grand Ram Tricycle Race was well-attended and fun for all. The return of an old OLPH festival tradition, Jammin Jars, was a huge hit. The Catholic Rams celebrated a victory in Choo Choo Bowl XXV, and Home and School was able to raise over $8,000 to support our school. Monies raised from the Fall Fest, as well as other Home and School projects fund events like the Back to School Picnic, Trunk or Treat and an End of Year Spring Fling, a social celebration for the whole OLPH community. In addition, Home and School provides each teacher with $100 to spend on items needed for their classrooms and $200 towards professional development. We celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day by providing a catered lunch for all faculty and staff and purchase needed items for classrooms and buildings. We also fund one field trip per student to help defer the cost for parents while providing an enriching educational experience for students. -Maureen Streko H&S President

MARINA DELANEY Choo-Choo Festival

DEBORAH MINGO Fall Festival Carnival 10



Father Jim Vick Josh Roberts Sam Martin Ted Hacket Booster Club fee $40 per year.

Ralph Christiana

CREATIVE ARTS GUILD Cissy West Bridget O’Grady

Teresa Hennen

Julie Gribben

Steve Idol

Karen Martin Gass

Robert Jones

Stacy Brown

Kari Hudson

CAG fee $30 per year. Benefits Art, music & band

Donna Rast

Maureen Streko Jack Berry (past president), Dawn Brown, Christopher Champlin, Theresa Critchfield, Jennifer Flowers, Kristy Higgins, Dennis Wolf Breakfast with Santa


“Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time” Christmas Program Winter Jam 8th Grade Fundraiser

MARCH 18 TH Living Stations

Catholic Schools Week Kick off Mass & Open House

APRIL 29 TH Grandparents Day


APRIL 30 TH First Holy Communion


OLPH STUDENTS GIVE BACK TO THOSE IN NEED OLPH Prides itself on teaching our students from the time they start in PreK through the 8th grade the importance of service and giving to others. Many of our service projects are student-driven and some have become strong traditions in our school. At the beginning of the school year we held “Soles for Souls” a collection to help those in 3rd world countries. We collected gently used shoes, which would be mended and sent to 3rd world countries to those who are less fortunate. Each November OLPH students, staff and parents prepare for our Annual Thanksgiving food drive benefiting Catholic Charities. Starting November 1st boxes were placed in Holy Family Hall and each of the school building hallways. This year we fed 125 families and collected over 3/4 of a ton of food ranging from canned green beans, yams, boxes of corn bread mix, stuffing and potatoes. OLPH families and Boy Scouts spent their Saturday morning putting the Thanksgiving boxes together for Catholic Charities. This has become a very special tradition for our school and instills the value of giving to others during the Holiday season.


Chattanooga’s Signature Marti Gras Event

February 6 th 2016




CELEBRATING THE TRADITION PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE Your support is essential to Maintaining the mission and tradition of OLPH School . We invite all parishioners, school families, grandparents, faculty and staff, school alumni and friends to prayerfully consider active participation in the 2016-2017 Annual Fund Campaign. Send your Gift in today using the enclosed envelope, or pay by credit card on our website at:

Fall Newsletter 2015  
Fall Newsletter 2015