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Sunday, January 27, 2013

National

Catholic Schools

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Teachers proud of their own Catholic education

St. Albert's Catholic Schools Week schedule

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Catholic Schools Week Teachers proud of their own Catholic education

2F Sunday, January 27, 2013

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Ashlee Coffey

acoffey@nonpareilonline.com

St. Albert Catholic Schools may be a place where students come to grow in their faith and spirituality – but it’s also a place for teachers to continue that growth as well. Several teachers and administrators at St. Albert have been part of the Catholic school system since their own time in the classroom – so being able to continue that tradition is a special part of teaching at the school. Ellen Rallis, a first-grade teacher, has been part of the Catholic education system since first grade. “I remember being very proud to be a student at St. Albert, especially wearing my uniform or a St. Albert shirt out in public,” she said. “I knew that I was wearing a symbol of my faith and hoping that people would say, ‘Wow, she goes to St. Albert! She’s so lucky!’” Rallis, who graduated from St. Albert in 1978, said being able to teach at the school she graduated from has had a profound impact on her life. She has

Open house today At St. Albert Catholic Schools, our students benefit from being part of a dynamic, faithfilled community where the love of learning and strong spirituality extends beyond the classroom to extracurricular activities, community service and athletics. We invite you to our Catholic Schools Week Open House today from 1 to 3 p.m. on our Gleason Avenue campus. Tour the school, including the state-of-the-art elementary school and daycare center, visit with faculty and staff, and interact with students to see how your support has shaped them into outstanding young men and women they are today.

Submitted photo

Kim Gorman, fourth-grade teacher at St. Albert, attended the St. Albert school system from sixth grade through her senior year. been teaching at St. Albert for 13 years and has taught second, third and first grade. “It’s in my blood. That’s what I tell people,” she said. “I actually feel like it’s my calling in life. I know I could make more money working at a public school, but I can’t imagine working in an atmosphere that didn’t center itself around the teachings of Jesus Christ and being able to live that each day.” Tom Heithoff, who teaches

junior and senior high school religion, agreed. “I became a Catholic school teacher because Catholic schools were the only type of education I was interested in,” he said. “I went from St. Peter’s to St. Albert to Creighton University. If Christ wasn’t at the heart of a school where I taught, I would feel like a fish out of water.” Heithoff, who graduated from St. Albert in 1971, said through his Catholic education,

he learned to “never leave my Catholic faith at home or in church.” “I was to bring it with me wherever I went,” he said. “(At St. Albert), we were expected to practice our Christian values throughout the school day and wherever we would go after the school day was finished.” Cindy Assmann, the school’s campus minister, said her experience at St. Joseph Catholic School in Earling gave her a formal structure to her membership in the church. “Being actively involved in the parish and school bonded that relationship of faith and church and helps me continue to grow in my faith,” she said. Assmann has taught at St. Albert for 30 years – first as a fourth-grade teacher for 10 years and a sixth-grade teacher for 19 years. At the start of the 2012-13 school year, Assmann accepted the position of campus minister. Her inspiration came from her sixth-grade teacher, Sister Virginia. “She had a way of encouraging and responding to my ideas

about religion and my faith journey,” Assmann said. “She taught me more in the way she lived her life and treated others with gentleness and kindness.” Fourth-grade teacher Kim Gorman attended Holy Family from first grade through fifth grade and then attended the St. Albert school system from sixth grade all the way through her senior year. Now in her 12th year teaching at St. Albert, Gorman said she enjoys teaching at a Catholic school because she can “share my faith daily in the classroom and with my peers.” TEACHERS/See Page 4F

‘Catholic Schools Raise the Standards’ The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2013 is “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards.” The annual observance starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2013 is today through Feb. 2. The 2013 theme supports the recent launch of the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, that ensure the effective operation and responsible governance Catholic schools across the coun-

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Message from the bishop My Dear Friends in Christ, No dollar amount can be placed on the values our young people receive from a Catholic school education. It is a holistic approach that focuses on educating a young person’s body, mind and soul. Where else can a student learn about the beliefs, Pates practices and traditions of our Catholic faith, live out their faith by serving God and those in need, and receive top academic training in a safe, nurturing environment? There is no greater investment for forming our youth’s future than in investing in Catholic education. I am proud of our Catholic schools in the Des Moines diocese. We are blessed with committed leaders and educators who are dedicated to providing a Christ-centered education as well as promoting high academic standards. Our students are actively involved in the community, participate in a variety of academic, fine arts and other extra-curricular activities while consistently demonstrating higher test scores than the state and nation. We are proud of the responsible and productive citizens who constitute the alumni of Catholic Schools. Your support and involvement in Catholic education will pay rich dividends for our young people, their families, the Church and society. I am grateful for all that you do on its behalf. Sincerely Yours in Christ, The Most Reverend Richard E. Pates Bishop of Des Moines

Catholic Schools Week

Sunday, January 27, 2013

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Plan for revitalizing Catholic schools The National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, released in 2012, provide the first ever standards for operating Catholic schools nationwide. Catholic schools have long been known for their focus on high standards of academics and spiritual growth. The new standards document provides a compass for schools as they continue that effort, offering clear guidance on a full range of schoolrelated practices that should be included in any school’s comprehensive policies. “Our National Catholic Schools Week theme for 2013 draws special attention to our new national standards,” said Dr. Karen Ristau, NCEA president. “We now have a road map leading to a revitalized Catholic educational network for this century.” The new standards establish nine defining characteristics for Catholic schools: 1. Centered in the person of Jesus Christ

2. Contributing to the evangelizing mission of the church 3. Distinguished by excellence 4. Committed to educate the whole child 5. Steeped in a Catholic world view 6. Sustained by Gospel witness 7. Shaped by communion and community 8. Accessible to all students 9. Established by the express authority of the bishop Thirteen standards describe policies, programs, structures and processes that should be present in mission-driven, program-effective and responsibly governed Catholic schools. The standards address four categories: mission and Catholic identity, governance and leadership, academic excellence, and operational vitality. Seventy benchmarks provide observable descriptors for each standard that schools can adapt and use to measure their own success. The standards are the result of years of work by Catholic edu-

cators. The project was led by Dr. Lorraine Ozar at the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness of Loyola University Chicago and the Barbara and Patrick Roche Center for Catholic Education in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College in collabo-

ration with nine other Catholic colleges, NCEA and others involved in Catholic education. To read more about the Catholic Schools Standards Project and download the standards document, go to catholicschoolstandards.org.

Did you know? • The Diocese of Des Moines is

comprised of 17 schools. There are 15 elementary schools (prekindergarten – eighth grade) and two high schools. Schools are located in Council Bluffs, Creston, Des Moines, Granger, Harlan, Perry, Urbandale and West Des Moines. • Des Moines Diocese Catholic schools are committed to research based teaching strategies and innovative applications of technology. Classroom computers, interactive whiteboards, software programs, extensive computer labs and other equipment are integrated into most of the schools. • The two high schools in the Des Moines diocese offer vast opportunities for students to participate in numerous academic, fine arts, leadership, service, leisure and athletic extra curricular activities. Students in younger grades can also participate in a variety of opportunities.

– dmdiocese.org

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4F Sunday, January 27, 2013

Catholic Schools Week

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These teachers are products of Catholic schools meet.” Based on their personal experience, the teachers agree St. Albert is a successful Catholic school because of its support system for students. “When you love a child, you do not let them fail,” Heithoff said. “When a student at St. Albert is experiencing serious problems, he or she has an army of support systems from family, parish priests and fellow parishioners, teachers and administration, fellow parents, alumni, all the way to our Lord himself. It gives the students a sense of purpose that leads to success.”

TEACHERS/From Page 2F “The benefit of teaching at a Catholic school is the ability to pray at any time and to discuss how our faith molds our decisions we make,” she said. Rallis said her Catholic education helps her every single day in her classroom. “I can feel the Holy Spirit working through me – using me as a catalyst to spread Jesus’ message and hopefully help the students Heithoff develop a firm base of faith on which to continue to grow,” she said. “I am so lucky, too, because I get to see God’s face every time I look into the eyes of my students. Rallis It’s extremely rewarding.” Teachers agree about the many benefits of a Catholic education for their students. These include being in a safe learning environment where they can explore and study church teachings, history, sacraments and scripture, Assmann said. “They are given the opportunities to live out their faith by participating in prayer, liturgy and class activities and discus-

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Above, Ellen Rallis, a first-grade teacher at St. Albert, helps a student with her work. Rallis said her Catholic education helps her every single day in her classroom. Far right, Cindy Assmann speaks at the 2012 All-School Mass at St. Albert. Assmann has taught at St. Albert for 30 years. At the start of the 2012-13 school year, Assmann accepted the position of campus minister. Her inspiration came from her sixth-grade teacher, Sister Virginia. sions,” she said. “They are also encouraged to ‘build the king-

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About the 17 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Des Moines There are 17 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Des Moines. Students of the schools receive a holistic approach that focuses on educating the body, mind and soul. Students learn about their Catholic faith, how to live it by serving God and others in need, and receive top academic training in a safe, nurturing environment. Our Vision Catholic schools in the Diocese of Des Moines, based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the mission of the Church, are collaborative communities of spiritual formation and academic excellence, where students grow in faith and wisdom, emerging as responsible citizens dedicated to the practice of life-long discipleship of Jesus. Our Mission and Belief Statements

We develop and inspire learning for life by providing a world-class education within a Catholic environment for our students. • Catholic schools exist to enable students to learn the traditions and doctrines of the Catholic Church and to carry out the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in their daily lives • Each student in Catholic schools should experience the value of human dignity and the concepts of peace and justice to enable them to be participants in a global society • Catholic schools and parishes are partners with parents in the education of the children • Catholic school educators apply researchbased curriculum and instructional strategies that enhance the learning of all students – dmdiocese.org

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Sunday, January 27, 2013 5F

Students grow in faith and spirituality at St. Alber t Ashlee Coffey acoffey@nonpareilonline.com Since opening its doors in 1964, St. Albert Catholic Schools has made it a priority to build a foundation of faith for its students. "At St. Albert, faith gets incorporated in everything we do at every grade level," said Joseph Connolly, president of St. Albert schools. "You can go to our daycare and see the kids there having daily prayer and many of our classes have prayer throughout the day. Plus all of our students go to mass at least once a week at school. It’s important that our kids have that exposure to their faith and it gives them something they can cling to when life gets difficult." Students grow in their faith through the school’s integration of gospel values, daily prayer and Christian principles in its curriculum. Senior Brendan Stephany said St. Albert offers the perfect balance of faith and academics. "I think that’s huge because we can’t look at the world from just a purely academic angle. You have to take a look at it through the eyes of faith," he said. "And that’s what we do here. We take a look at science and see how that interconnects our faith with creation. So you see how God works within the world while also learning your studies and preparing for college. That’s a huge part of this school here." Mason Beezley, a junior who has been at St. Albert since kindergarten, said his Catholic education has made him a well-rounded person with good morals.

"We’re like a family here so we don’t disrespect people," he said. "I’ve also been taught a lot about hard work. They tell us if we work hard, good things will happen to us." Spiritual growth also occurs through a student’s participation in Catholic ministries, religion courses, community service projects and annual religious retreats. St. Albert students in grades 9 through 12 are required to perform service hours each year at their parishes, school and community as part of their coursework. Freshmen are required to do 12 hours of community service; sophomores must do 14 hours; juniors are required to do 16 hours; and seniors do 18 hours. Half of those hours must be used at one of the eight parishes that support the school. After four years of high school, each student ends up with 60 hours of community service. "Our service work has given us a good sense of knowing how to do service, when to do it and just giving you a sense that it’s right and you should do it even after you graduate," said John Theulen, a junior at the school. Even at the elementary grades, students engage in certain service projects throughout the year at hospitals and adult care centers, Connolly said. Mass is also an important part of all classes’ weekly schedule. On Thursdays at 8:45 a.m., grades 7 through 12 attend mass as a group; and on Fridays at 8:45 a.m., kindergarten through sixth garde attend mass together. Half a dozen times a year, the

school has an all-school mass held in the school’s main gymnasium. The mass generally has nearly 800 students and staff in attendance, as well as 200 to 300 guests, including parents, grandparents and people from the community, according to school officials. "When you’re in (the gym during an all-school mass), it’s just a really cool experience to feel because you’re all there together," John said. "You have the choir and the band ... everyone is participating in their own way. It just really connects us as a school." Junior Madison Dunning, who has also attended St. Albert since preschool, said the school’s focus on spirituality has made her more involved in the mass. "I’m more involved in church and I understand what’s going on because of the spirituality I’ve learned here," Madison said. "I think mass is more important to me than if I went to a public school because I wouldn’t know that much about it." The school helps students learn the ministries of mass and encourages them to participate as lectors, Eucharistic ministers, altar servers, musicians, cantors, greeters and campus ministers. Brendan is one such student. At his home parish – Holy Family in Council Bluffs – Brendan was an altar server for several years after fourth grade. Once he entered high school, he became a Eucharistic minister. "I have to say that all goes back to the school as well," he said. "Are you that involved in your faith if you don’t learn and live it every day?"

Courtney Fostvedt has been attending St. Albert Catholic Schools since she was in preschool. Throughout her education, she’s come to realize the importance the school has played in her spiritual life today. "Faith has definitely helped me through the journey," Courtney said. "Throughout preschool and up until now, I’ve realize what kind of person I am and what I want to become. Being stronger in my faith helps me be stronger with my family, my friends and with the community here." Senior Jenny Daley agreed. "The faith and spirituality we’ve learned here keeps us closer to God," said Jenny, who has been a part of St. Albert since preschool. "I think people at other schools get pulled away from the aspect of what it means to be a Catholic and at St. Albert, we know what it means. And we follow it." Connolly said it is his hope that every student who leaves St. Albert Catholic Schools becomes a future leader of the Catholic Church. "Whatever profession they choose and whatever city they live in, I want all of our students to be good leaders in their communities and their professional life, but I also want them to be good leaders of the church," he said. "I want them to be the people that are on the parish council of the church they belong to and I want them to be the people who volunteer at their parish or school. My hope is that a student who leaves here will be a good leader and a good Catholic leader."


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6F Sunday, January 27, 2013

All on one From cradle... From the first days of pre-school to high school graduation, Saint Albert provides an excellent faith-based education from cradle to college all on one campus. The 2009 addition of the Sheryl K. Johnson Child Care Center allows Saint Albert to serve children 6 weeks to 4 years old. The center is opened all year round, 6 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday. The center cultivates a child’s spiritual and developmental growth in a supportive and nurturing environment. The child care center and elementary school provide a high-quality, technologically advanced education that is unmatched in the Council Bluffs area. Classrooms include wireless laptop labs, “Smart Boards” interactive learning systems, LCD televisions, ELMO systems and laptop computers for each teacher. Students also benefit from the High Ability Learner Program, a program designed to nurture the gifts of students in K-12th grades who show high levels of performance and potential. In addition to the High Ability Learner Program, Saint Albert offers over 25 enrichment activi-

ties, including Science Bowl, Speech Contests, Catholic Daughters, History Day, Battle of the Books, and Leadership Programs, that helps students explore and succeed in their scholastic interests. High school students can earn college credit by taking courses offered in partnership with Iowa Western Community College, Creighton University, or the Advanced Placement program. Saint Albert offers a wide variety of courses - from Trigonometry to Music Theory, Computer Applications to Composition and Literature – and gives students a solid foundation for their collegiate and professional careers. Traditionally, Saint Albert boasts a 99% graduation rate with 96% of students pursuing higher education. The challenging curriculum helps students earn the highest average ACT score in the Council Bluffs area, with 100% of students taking the test, and approximately 75% of Saint Albert graduates secure collegiate scholarships. All students, from cradle to college, learn in a creative, disciplined atmosphere nurtured by the support and dedication of their teachers. Give your child the gift of a quality, Catholic education! Call (712) 3299000 for enrollment information.


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Sunday, January 27, 2013 7F

campus

...to college

Foundation for the future • The 48 members of the Class of 2012 were offered scholarships in excess of $1 million and were accepted to over 50 colleges and universities

• Over 30% of the Class of 2012 scored a 25 or higher on the ACTs

“Saint Albert challenged me academically, athletically, and spiritually and provides its students with the building blocks to succeed in the future.”

Sarah Hamling ( 04), Pharmacist at Walgreens

• Saint Albert (2004) • Drake University, Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience & Psychology (2008) • Drake University, Doctor of Pharmacy (2012)

• The top 15% of the Class of 2013 has an average score of 30 on the ACTs

“Saint Albert was an important factor in helping to motivate me in a competitive world. Whether it is academics, athletics, or other activities, Saint Albert fosters an expectation that students will work hard and strive for success.”

Daniel Fischer ( 05),

Practicing Attorney at Baird Holm Law Firm • Saint Albert (2005) • Iowa State University, Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business & Economics (2009) • University of Iowa College of Law, J.D. (2012)


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8F Sunday, January 27, 2013

Be A Part Of The Tradition Of

Excellence!

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE • • • •

Has small class sizes that allow for individualized attention. Reports higher standardized test scores than Council Bluffs public schools. Offers challenging college credit and advanced placement courses. Has a 99% graduation rate (5 yr avg) with 96% of students pursuing higher education. • Helps over 75% of students obtain collegiate scholarships. The 48 members of the Class of 2012 were offered collegiate scholarships in excess of $1 million and were accepted to over 50 colleges and universities.

STRONG SPIRITUALITY • Helps students grow in their faith through their participation in Catholic ministries, in their religion courses, in their community service projects, and in their annual religious retreats. • Nurtures students’ faith by integrating gospel values, daily prayer, liturgy, and Christian principles into the curriculum. • Trains students in the ministries of Mass and gives them the opportunity to participate as lectors, Eucharistic ministers, altar servers, and Campus Ministers. • Welcomes families of all faiths.

COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY • Encourages students to volunteer in Council Bluffs, Southwest Iowa, and their local communities. • Offers energetic campus ministry programs, such as the World Mission Trip, to raise students’ community awareness and involvement. • Requires students to perform over 60 total hours of service to their school, parish, and wider community during their high school careers.

ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS • Offers 25+ extracurricular clubs and teams for students of all ages, including Destination Imagination, Invention Convention, Math Counts, and Speech contests. • Has a K-12th grade High Ability Learner Program that nurtures and challenges students who demonstrate high levels of performance and potential. • Boasts numerous state championships in athletics, fine arts, and academic clubs that engage students in heart, mind, and body.

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Catholic Schools Week

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

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Catholic Schools Week ‘Raise the Standards’ St. Albert Catholic Schools schedule Jan. 27 through Feb. 2 Monday Wednesday

3)

Pray for our Community Parent/Grandparent Luncheon (Pre-K - Grade

Mitten Day for Kindergarten Student Appreciation to Board Members, Priests, and SA Ambassadors

Tuesday

Pray for Students Parent/Grandparent Luncheon (Grades 4–6) Student Service Project –Pennies for Patients

Pray for our Nation Parent/Grandparent Luncheon (Grades 7-12)

Thursday

Pray for Vocations & Clergy All-School Mass with Bishop Pates at 9:30 am. All are welcome. Seniors as Elementary Classroom Aides

Friday

Pray for Teachers Green & Gold Spirit Day Faith & Marriage Presentation by Jason Angelette

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S T. ALBERT C ATHOLIC SCHOOLS

Why parents choose Catholic schools • Offer an education that combines Catholic tradition with academic excellence • Partner with parents in the faith formation of their children • Set high standards for student achievement and work closely with them to help them succeed • Provide a balanced curriculum that includes art, music and fitness • Use technology effectively to enhance education • Instill in students the value of service to others • Teach children respect of self and others • Emphasize moral development and self-discipline • Prepare students to be productive citizens and future leaders • Have a 99 percent graduation rate and have 85 percent of graduates go to college • Cultivate a faculty and staff of people who are dedicated, caring and effective • Provide a safe and welcoming environment for all

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Catholic Schools Week

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1. Write a note of appreciation to your children’s teachers. Thank them for the attention and energy they give your children every day, as well as for their dedication to Catholic education.

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Catholic Schools Week is not just for kids. On these two pages you’ll find 10 ways for parents to participate in the annual celebration of Catholic education:

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Catholic Schools Week

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Top 10 Ways for Parents to Observe

Catholic Schools Week is not just for kids. On these two pages you’ll find 10 ways for parents to participate in the annual celebration of Catholic education:

6. Set aside time for family prayer for all those who contribute to the success of your children’s school, including students, teachers, staff and volunteers. Add a prayer for vocations to continue the Catholic education tradition in your community and throughout the country. 7. Volunteer to help plan and carry out Catholic Schools Week activities. Whether you are able to contribute a little time or a lot, your effort helps make the week special C.B. Omaha Des Moines for all. AFFORDABLE Efficiency 1 & 2 Bedroom Apts. Town Homes 8. If, through your work or volunteer activities, you learn of a need in the community that students at your or 871-4539 322-5535 children’s school can help fill, recommend a Catholic Schools Week or ongoing service project. Better yet, volunteer to organize it.

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9. Join in the fun! Gather the entire family—from younger siblings to grandparents—and participate in the week’s events at your children’s school. 10. Extend a special invitation to your school’s open house and other Catholic Schools Week events to friends and neighbors who might want to learn more about the value of Catholic education.

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OLE S!

We Insert Ba itworms Into Active Mole Runs. T his Method Is Proven To Be Extrem ely Effective !


Catholic Schools Week 2013