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Winter 2020

Newsflash! St. Mary’s Gets It Right!

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Campus Tour


Join Us for Our January 29th Open House You'll enjoy a school tour, engage in a Q&A with parents and students, and more!

6:30pm · 816 Black Oak Drive

Inside Newsflash: St. Mary's Gets It Right . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-5

Board of Trustees

Inaugural Aug Mod Trip a Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-7

Eve Benton · Secretary

Teaching Abroad: Mrs. Lovett's Year in China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-9

Mirek Bobek, MD Chris Borovansky

Student Profile: Will Kranenburg, '20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10-11

David Chamberland, MD

A Week Can Change a Life: Artists’ Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Kylie Clement

Alumni Spotlight: April Strickland, '98 · Emma Bennion '19 . . . . . . . 13 Course Spotlight: Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14-15

Mark Eberle Jerry Eiler Krissa Fernandes Tanny Flowers Peter Grant, MD

Get Social . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Jens Heycke

Fun Facts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Jeresa Hren

Athletic Highlights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18-19 Calling All Alumni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Scott King Amy Kranenburg Adam Peterson · Chair Frank Phillips Rev. Ken Sampson

Portrait of a Graduate

Adrian Snyder

A dynamic thinker with the skills and knowledge to ask compelling questions and seek multiple perspectives for the greater good.

A joyful spirit who holds work and responsibility in balance with time for family, friends, personal interest and spiritual growth.

Chuck Watson · Treasurer

A lifelong learner whose inherent curiosity ignites a passion for new ideas.

A global citizen who demonstrates empathy and integrity, who lives out the ethics and morals of the Catholic faith and acts as a steward of the Earth’s resources.

Jim Meyer · Principal

A confident leader, who brings groups together to engage in thoughtful dialogue and inspires positive action. A brave explorer who dares greatly, embraces challenges, demonstrates initiative, and is resourceful and resilient.

A caring community member who serves others and contributes to the betterment of society and the world beyond.

Frank Phillips · President Ryan Bernard · Vice Principal, High School Chris Johnson · Vice Principal, Middle School, COO Andrea Saxon Gibson · CFO Bethany Brown Director of Advancement Rebecca Naumes Vega '99 Director of Admissions Jamie Young · Athletic Director

St. Mary’s School of Medford is located in the beautiful Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon. St. Mary’s is a co-ed, independent, Catholic, college-preparatory school, teaching grades 5-12. For more information see Please send comments to or call 541.773.7877.


From the President

Newsflash! St. Mary’s Gets It I had the pleasurable experience a few days ago of Frank Phillips · President

reading three things in the same hour, from three different sources, that affirmed how well St. Mary’s has designed our educational program.

Our Mission St. Mary's School inspires all students to discover their talents in a uniquely responsive Catholic environment. Professional Excellence St. Mary’s teachers inspire students to achieve their full potential in thought, word, and deed. Creative and compassionate, they provide a supportive community that values excellence, integrity, and diversity. Our teachers share a visible enthusiasm for professionalism, innovation, and scholarship.


The first item was a Wall Street Journal article about a push in the North Carolina public school system to go to year-round school. The conclusion in the article was that numerous studies and a bunch of education experts in universities and superintendents running big public school systems have discovered that year-round school is both ineffective and unpopular. Taking the standard 180-day school year, however, and breaking it up with longer more frequent vacations while cutting summer break down to eight weeks or fewer was hands-down the best way to revise the school calendar. A calendar of this type led to lower stress in students, better retention of what students have learned, and higher academic achievement. Later on in this issue, you will see those results confirmed at St. Mary’s School with big jumps in our SAT and AP scores since we instituted the Mod System. In other words, our St. Mary’s Mod System calendar is simply the best way to structure the school year according to the experts. The second item was the NY Times report on the most recent PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) results and the failure of Common Core to improve education and academic achievement in the USA. Every three years, 10th graders across the planet, in the world’s 36 most highly developed nations, take one of the most psychometrically valid tests ever constructed to compare academic achievement across the globe. The USA is still just average-to-mediocre as a nation, not cracking the top-ten of the 36 countries in any subject area. Common Core, already ten years old and still struggling to be implemented

Right! properly, with many standards that were obsolete as soon as they were published, has not only failed to improve academic performance, but has made many children miserable with frequent high stakes testing. St. Mary’s module system allows us to innovate endlessly, change our course content to suit an ever changing world, does away with all but the bare minimum of tests necessary to chart our students’ progress, and makes teaching fun. Chalk another point up for the Mod System! On another note, four of the top-performing areas were in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu Province, and Zhejiang Province. St. Mary’s has a satellite campus in all of these areas. The third item I found in that same hour of reading was in The Dawn of Eurasia, a book by Portuguese diplomat and scholar Bruno Maceas. This is a riveting account of the process of Europe and Asia now melding, albeit with great strife and difficulty, into a highly interconnected economic and political supercontinent. In the book, Maceas references “the center of economic gravity.” This is a graphic that the McKinsey consulting firm came up with via weighting locations by GDP in three dimensions and then projecting the result to the nearest point on the earth’s surface. It’s kind of like tracking the magnetic pole for economic activity. In the year 2000, the center of economic gravity was in the North Atlantic between the USA and western Europe. By 2015 it had shifted east to Russia, and by 2025 it will be on the northern Chinese border. The point to this story is that globalization and global competition will not go away and are shifting towards Asia.

The globalization toothpaste is not going back into the tube, and our students need to understand the world, develop competency across cultures, and be able to meet those challenges. At St. Mary’s School, with 75 students from ten countries in our boarding program and with ample opportunity to study abroad in high school, our students will be much better prepared for this globalized future than will students who receive a more provincial, localized education. In conclusion, the most important thing we do at St. Mary’s School everyday is to educate our students well and prepare them for life as adults. It is very nice to know that our program is designed in the best possible way to achieve this goal.


Inaugural Aug Mod Trip a Success By Lia Kirkpatrick


n July 30th, eleven high school students embarked on the first Aug Mod trip abroad! The group traveled to mainland Ecuador where they spent 6 days in an indigenous village outside of Quito called Ilumรกn. Ilumรกn, home to the Quechua people, is a center for authentic, handmade Ecuadorian crafts. Students enthusiastically spent several days repairing concrete and block walls, painting, and cleaning in a village community childcare center and a local craft shop. As part of the cultural immersion, students worked at the last authentic handmade hat shop for the Picuasi Family and even had the chance to transport hats to the Otavalo outdoor market and try their hand at selling the handmade wool hats! After several days of serving the community of Ilumรกn, playing soccer, dancing, and working alongside the Quechuan people, the group spent time exploring the beautiful cathedrals and volcanic peaks surrounding the capital city of Quito, even venturing up the Pichincha Volcano to an elevation of over 14,000 ft! The group left the mainland behind and embarked on a journey to the rustic Galรกpagos Islands of Baltra, Isabella, and Santa Cruz. Students spent four days exploring the incredible wildlife, clear waters, and volcanic craters the region offers. Highlights of the islands included a hiking trip around the Sierra Negra caldera and Volcano Chica lava beds, snorkeling with wildlife at Cocha de Perla, learning about wildlife


conservation efforts at the Darwin Research Institute, and walking among the giant Galåpagos tortoises and through lava tunnels at an ecological tortoise reserve. St. Mary’s School is blessed to be able to offer such eyeopening and purpose-driven trips to our students; it was a unique adventure filled with culture, service, history, and science!


Teaching Abroad:

Mrs. Lovett’s Year in China How many years have you been teaching at St. Mary's School? I have been with St. Mary’s for 15 years.

Tell us about your decision to teach for a year in China. How did it begin? What interested you about the opportunity? St. Mary’s President Frank Phillips had shared many stories about China and really sparked the idea of me teaching at one of our sister schools. Conversations with my students and colleagues from China also piqued my interest. It was just good timing, combined with the interest to live abroad for a year, that led me and my husband to Wuhan.

What were some of your favorite experiences? My students! They were very sweet and dedicated. We had a lot of activities that centered around American culture and holidays. It was fun sharing our culture as many of them had never traveled to the United States. I also enjoyed seeing six of my 8

former students from the US in cities around China: Bob Gu ‘18, Jerry Wen ‘16, Olivia Plotnick ‘09, Trine Parsons ‘17, Becca Casebolt ‘11, and Jason Mars ‘16. Trine was in Thailand for Christmas vacation and flew to Beijing to meet me and my husband. The three of us hiked a remote 7-mile stretch of the Great Wall in freezing temperatures on Christmas Eve. It was peaceful, sunny, super cold crisp air. Just awesome! Being a small town girl from Oregon & Alaska I have always wanted to live in a big city. Well, living in a city of 11 million—I got exactly that. I learned that I am not a city girl, but I did enjoy taking the subway to work each day. I also loved trying all the food from different cities and countries! I liked the "hot pot experience", although it is way too spicy. Also, I do not like eating stomach or intestines! I cannot get over the texture! My students loved taking me to hot pot. I ate a lot of "hot-dry noodles"—special to Wuhan region as well.

What was something that surprised you about the school system or students in China? I thought it was really interesting that students were afraid to ask questions. In China, students are not encouraged to engage in dialogue with their teachers. So when I would ask my students questions during lecture, and expect them to respond, it took them awhile to have the courage to speak up. After a couple of months, they were completely engaged! They were also really surprised when I encouraged them to come seek extra help from me during lunch. This type of student-teacher interaction is just not prevalent in China. But overall, the students in China were like the typical high school students here in the US.

What lessons did you learn abroad that you have brought back to the St. Mary's classroom? I have a much better sense of how difficult and strange it can be living so far from home in a foreign land, so I have a strengthened compassion for our boarding students. On occasion it was extremely difficult to live in China—and I had my husband with me for support. Being removed from your family at such a young age is hard for our students. It was also hilarious to realize I use a lot of sayings and I try to keep that in perspective here in my classroom. Daily I had to explain the meaning behind my word choices; “born in a barn”, “a piece of cake”, “an arm and a leg”, “beating around the bush”...and my chemistry jokes were almost always a total bust!

Did you have a chance to travel during school breaks while in Asia? It was an amazing travel year! We went to ten different countries! In China we hiked Zhangjiajie (where Avatar was filmed), hiked a seven mile secluded section of the Great Wall during Christmas, visited the TerraCotta Warriors in Xi’an, rode bikes around the beautiful karsts formations in Yangshao. Got caught in a snowstorm in the ancient city of Fenghuang. We also went to the Gobi desert in Dunhuang—an important city along the Silk road.

What was it like for you to come back to our new STEM center? It was amazing to come back to such a beautiful space. I feel really spoiled to teach in this environment. It is really wonderful to be back and teach with all my colleagues in such a positive community.

Any last thoughts about your time in China? It was truly an amazing experience. I feel like I learned a lot about myself. It was not exactly easy living in China—but stepping outside of your comfort zone are the experiences that make you grow as a person.

Student Profile: Will Kranenburg, ‘20


ver summer break, junior Will Kranenburg had chance to intern with Univision and see firsthand how the Spanish-language television station works its magic every day. Will has shared with us a quick look into his trip to Miami and - true to his time there, has offered his piece in both Spanish and English:

Este verano, tuve la oportunidad de ir a Miami, quedarme con mi tía y mis primos, e ir al trabajo de mi tía para aprender más español y para mejorarlo también. Mi tía, Satcha Pretto, trabaja para Univision, una red de televisión que dice noticias a la gente en el idioma de español. Cada día durante la semana, yo iba con ella a trabajar, y pude ver lo que hace la gente de Unvision y cómo lo hace también. En las mañanas, me tenía que despertar a las tres, para que pudiéramos llegar a tiempo al estudio (a las cuatro). Entonces, ella tendría que prepararse para su show, que se llama Despierta América. El show siempre empezaba a las siete, así que siempre había mucho que hacer antes de empezarlo. De las siete a las once, ella estaba en el show, hablando sobre las noticias y lo que pasaba y había pasado en el mundo. Después, ella hacía un poco más trabajo, y entonces salíamos del estudio a las doce.


This summer, I had the opportunity to go to Miami, stay with my aunt and my cousins, and go to my aunt's work to learn more Spanish and improve my existing language skills. My aunt, Satcha Pretto, works for Univision, a television network that broadcasts in Spanish. Every day, I went with her to work (I had to wake up at three so that we could get to the studio by four) and saw what the people of Univision do, and how they do it as well. Each morning, my aunt would have to prepare for her show, Despierta America. The show started at seven, so there was always a lot to do before then; from seven to eleven she was on the show talking about the news and what was happening in the world. After the show aired, she did a little more work, and then we left the studio by noon.

Fue muy interesante ver lo que necesitaba pasar para preparar para comenzar el show. Lo más difícil para nosotros fue despertar tan temprano en la mañana. Ya que había mucho que hacer antes del show, despertarnos temprano fue lo que tuvimos que hacer y es lo que mi tía tiene que hacer todavía, cada día de la semana. En general, esta oportunidad fue increíble para mí Aprendí mucho y también pude ver la parte de mi familia que habla español. Les quiero decir a los estudiantes estudiando español en nuestra escuela: si quieren aprender el idioma ciertamente, deben ir a otro país o a un lugar donde se hable espanol para experimentar inmersión total. Aprenderán lo que no pueden aprender en el aula.

It was very interesting to see what needed to happen to prepare for the show. The hardest thing for us was waking up so early in the morning; and my aunt has to do that every day of the week, Monday through Friday. In general, this was an incredible opportunity for me. I learned a lot and I also was able to visit the Spanish-speaking part of my family. I want to tell students studying Spanish in our school: If they truly want to learn the language, they must go to another country or a place where the Spanish language is spoken to experience total immersion. They will learn what they cannot learn in the classroom. 11

A Week Can Change a Life:

Artists’ Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico By Betsy Moore


uring the summer, while our students are off enjoying their extended, and much-deserved break, many St. Mary’s faculty members find themselves gearing up for a class of their own in the form of continued education. This past summer, St. Mary’s resident artist Mrs. Moore found herself in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Below is a brief excerpt of her time in the artists’ workshop: “I have visited the Glen Workshop every other year, for the past ten years! The Glen Workshop is a week-long intensive workshop with professionals at St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Glen offers workshops for writers, songwriters, artists, bringing in professionals in each field. Their motto, "A Week Can Change a Life", must be true as I always find myself coming back for more! I first attended in 2008 using a grant from St. Mary's School and have kept up the tradition ever since. I love being in Santa Fe; there are so many museums and galleries, all so beautiful and inspiring! Each year I explore more of the Southwest, recently visiting Taos, Georgia O'Keeffe's home in Ghost Ranch, Bandelier National Monument, and Los Alamos. I have met people from all over the world, and have found each person to be very serious about pursuing their art and spirituality at the Glen Workshop. I was born in Albuquerque and returning to the Southwest has become an important pilgrimage for me.” Back in Southern Oregon, Mrs. Moore offers a wide variety of classes for students including: life drawing, collage, painting, installation, assemblage, calligraphy and lettering, Pysanky egg decorating, and more!


Alumni Spotlight: April Strickland ‘98 We are proud to announce that this year’s graduation speaker will be St. Mary’s alumna from the class of 1998, April Strickland. April is a cultural anthropologist and currently a professor at Bowdoin College in Maine. April was the senior researcher for Oprah’s documentary, Belief which offers intimate portraits of belief systems across the world. April worked on the project from its conception in pre-production to its completion. “Over the course of three years, we shot in 33 countries and six continents,” says Strickland. We are so excited to welcome April back to campus and look forward to hearing her graduation address.

April Strickland (far right) and her team of researchers with Oprah Winfrey (center).

April Strickland (far right) and her team of researchers with Oprah Winfrey (center).

Emma Bennion ‘19 St. Mary’s School alumna, Emma Bennion ‘19, took her artistic talent to a new level this past summer. As part of her senior project, Emma turned a once dull and drab exterior wall at the Jackson County United Way office and turned it into something beautiful for all to experience. The mural was a labor of love and encompasses the many values we share as a community; Community, Compassion, Vision, Inclusivity, and Integrity. The mural is located at 60 Hawthorne St. in Medford. Emma is now a Freshman at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. 13

Course Spotlight: Well-Behaved Women Rarely


t. Mary’s School offers its students over 200 courses from which to build their schedules. Below, students from the popular course Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History briefly answer the question: What surprised them most while taking this class with Ms. Huizinga? Course Description: This course will examine the role women have played in the shaping of America. From early women assisting exploration of the continent and settling political disputes, through the major waves of feminist reform, students will determine how women have impacted America and how their efforts in an ever-changing country changed the role of women over time.

Andrew Medley, ‘20: I really enjoyed this class. It was fun, interactive, and had great subject matter. I feel like a more educated individual, and significantly more woke. I was really surprised to learn the factor socialism and communism had on helping womens’ rights and the size of the movement in the 1960-1980 and how much change it made. It was also interesting to learn about how antidepressants were originally created for women and the amount of drugs that were “tested” on them. Especially in childbirth. 14

Make History

Students were tasked with creating visual metaphors to represent elements learned from the course. (Pictured above and below)

Grace Chan, ‘20

Bailey Mustard, ‘21

I highly enjoy Ms. Huizinga and I thought it would be fun to learn about women in our history. It surprised me to learn that even though many women that were not upper class got invited to conventions for womens’ rights, many couldn’t go because they had no way of getting there. It was also surprising that so many marches happened and had thousands of women and men participating in them over the years.

I loved learning about feminism because I find it extremely interesting. I also love having Ms. Huizinga as my teacher, she makes classes fun while teaching us and is always nice and positive. I learned about Mexican women in history who made 30 times less than a white male at the time. I also learned that, during the feminist movement in the 60s/70s/80s, lesbians were excluded by straight feminists in the movement. Both of these things greatly surprised me. I’ll never forget the history we learned about women and far we’ve come in the feminist movement since then.

Xavier Warfield, ‘20 I decided to take this class because, well, I never had a bad Ms. Huizinga class. It surprised me to learn how far back women asked for the right to vote and how long it took for the movement to succeed; and even when women got the right to vote, it was mostly white, land-owning women.


Get Social

Follow St. Mary’s School on social media to


glimpse the day-to-day life of our students,

news on upcoming events, and more!

Our students are so talented! Over the summer many St. Mary's students participated in Teen Musical Theater of Oregon (TMTO), here's a picture of some of our students who starred in the summer production, My Son Pinocchio, Jr. #stmarysmedford TMTO: Teen Musical Theater of Oregon #wearestm

Due to a generous gift from the Eiler family, our Crusader Varsity Football team went to visit the Oregon State Football team last fall!!! Our players had a chance to meet pre-game with some OSU players (including St. Mary's alum Bryce Bramscher, pictured above), stand on the field while the Beavers warmed-up, then enjoy watching the Beavers crush Cal Poly. From the looks of it, they had a pretty perfect Football Saturday. Credit: Marc Salvatore

For their first field trip of the year, our 5th grade class ventured over to Oregon’s beloved Crater Lake! #stmarysmedford #wearestm #5thgradersrock We love working with Kids Unlimited to continue this amazing tradition! #stmarysmedford #wearestm #crusaders 16

Fun Facts Did you know… Facts about St. Mary’s School that may surprise you. Since our switch to the Mod  system we have seen test scores

As Mod 1 wrapped up, students in our Crochet for a Cause x-bin had a chance to survey their success. Over the course of a single mod, 24 students were able to complete 58 hats in total! The "cause" this year was to provide the hats for the homeless of our community. Students began this mod at all ability levels, from beginner to experienced. Some students will continue to crochet in a studentformed and led club for the remainder of the year. Great job students! #stmarysmedford #crochetforacause

increase dramatically. Our ACT scores have increased 31% overall, with a 69% increase in scores of 4 or better! Our SAT scores increased 10% overall. There are 514 students in the  2019-2020 St. Mary’s student body, our highest enrollment ever! We have almost 40 student clubs,  ranging from Cacti & Succulents to NaNoWriMo, the Outdoor Club, and more. ranked St. Mary’s  School the #1 Best Catholic School in Oregon. St. Mary's has also rated #2 Best  Boarding High School in Oregon,

This fall, our volleyball program had the great honor of adding 5 St. Mary's alumni to its coaching ranks! Our alumni coaches led both our middle and high school teams; we so appreciate their dedication to St. Mary's and its students! #stmalumni #wearestmarys #stmarysmedford

and the #3 Best Private High School in Oregon!


Athletic Highlights


The Crusader Football team finished 3rd in the league and played in a first-round playoff game.

The Crusaders Varsity Boys Soccer team finished 1st in league and won their first playoff game, finishing the season in the State Quarterfinals.

The Crusader Volleyball team finished the season 4th in the league.

Our Crusader Cross Country runners finished the season strong individually. David Noble '22 was named to First Team All District.

The St. Mary’s Varsity Girls Soccer team completed their season 1st in league and won their first two playoff games, completing their season in the State Semifinals against Oregon Episcopal School.

Team Photography by Tim Tidball

Crusader Middle School Football

Crusader Middle School Cross Country

Crusader Middle School Volleyball Teams


Calling All Alumni! Are you part of the Crusader Connection? Inspired by the hospitality of Laura (Stepovich) Tramonte ‘80 who, over the years, has opened her home to many St. Mary’s alumni attending college far away from home, the Crusader Connection does just that! We will match you with St. Mary’s alumni who are attending college in your area. Whether you invite them to coffee, over for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or more. Our students in college appreciate a welcoming home and friendly face while they are away from their own families. Interested alumni should contact Sarah Naumes Primerano ‘97 at

7 Fall 201

Summer 2019

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