Page 1

The St. Mary's Times Volume 1, Issue 1

St. Mary’s Catholic School

December 2011

Students ‘deliver’ a special performance this year By Daniela Gonzalez


It’s the time of year everyone’s been waiting for! The holiday season celebrates the birth of Jesus and his second coming. St. Mary’s will be celebrating its annual Christmas program. This year’s program was a special one that family members surely enjoyed! The theme for this year was “Christmas Special Delivery,” a fresh, new play that “focuses on the meaning of Christmas and understanding of what it’s all about, as we model true events that happen in our community,” states Mrs. Arizmendi, the music teacher in charge of the skit and songs in the program. “Everyone worked very hard, in learning the music and basic dance steps. We practiced every day and also prepared for a weekly liturgy,” she says. Mrs. Arizmendi expected 300 or more people to attend and did not

Photo By Laura Zamora First graders rehearse in the Church for the annual Christmas program. The first graders performed as dancers on the first day of the program’s performance.

charge an admission fee. Students from first to fifth grade helped with the choreography, while the sixth graders were the main characters in the play. It was held Dec. 12 for first, third, and fifth grades and Dec. 13 for fourth grade in St. Mary’s Church.

The sixth graders performed both days. The girls’ attire was black tights, a black skirt, black shoes, a red top, and a black headband. The boys’ attire was black dress pants, a red tie, and a white dress shirt.

Sixth grade class leads mission money race By Raphael Ugalino


The St. Mary’s School classes have been bringing and collecting money for the less fortunate through the mission money bag. This money will be given to those who need it. Mission money counts are being reviewed by the business office and

Parents Association hosts upcoming Posada PAGE 2

so far, Sr. Luz’s sixth grade class is in the lead. Her class has always been famous for having the biggest amount of mission money collected. Sr. Luz’s class raised $32.01 in August, $89.72 in September and $53.82 in Octoner. Altogether, these three months add up to $175.85. The class has been raising money

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Basketball season is underway once again PAGE 3

since the beginning of the school year. It has a goal of reaching at least $1,000 by the end of the school year. Sr. Luz states they are leading the school in mission money because their main mission is to help the poor and less fortunate. She also said that the sixth grade See ‘MONEY’ on Page 2

Profiling fifth grade teacher Mrs. Gutierrez PAGE 5

Volume 1, Issue 1


Continued from Page 1

participates to push the bar even further with help by going to La Posada, where volunteers help serve food to people who need it. She also has a big piggy bank-like apple, where anyone who wants to donate money can put any kind of currency inside to help others. Sr. Luz said it means a lot to her and her class to lead the school in mission money, and they hope to in-


St. Mary’s Catholic School fluence the rest of the school to give more and help others. “I think the mission money is really important so we can help people have shelter, food, and other things,” said Anaeli Arizmendi, a student in her class. Sr. Luz said there aren’t any material rewards for being the top class in the mission money race - just the feeling of satisfaction of making a difference in people’s lives. Remember to pitch in some money to the mission bag, because every cent helps!

Page 2

St. Mary's Times Staff Box

Writers: Emma Davis Dante Gonzales Daniela Gonzalez Briana Montes Tesa Muzquiz Raphael Ugalimo Sponsor: Laura Zamora

Lining up!

Photo By Laura Zamora The fifth grade boys rehease one of the final numbers of the Christmas program in the church.

If you’re interested in joining the SMS Newspaper Staff, come by one of our meetings in January! The staff will meet on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m. in Room 1.

St. Mary’s gears up for traditional La Posada By Daniela Gonzalez


Many cultures today have traditions that people still celebrate. One of these wonderful traditions is La Posada. So, what is it? La Posada is a special Mexican party that reflects on the journey of Mary and Joseph when they were looking for a place to stay since Mary was about to give birth.

As a Catholic tradition, La Posada includes prayer, nine stops to houses, singing praises and the pinata afterwards, representing sin which must be hit with a stick, symbolizing God. La Posada will be celebrated for the second time so students can learn the meaninr of it. Everyone from the school community is invited to attend. Msgr. Bert will lead the Posada, and all can participate by

singing and praying together. Last year, approximately 300 people attended the Posada and this year, the Parent Associateion is hoping more people will arrive. La Posada will be held at 6 p.m. in the school gym on Dec. 20. Parents are encouraged to explain the meaning of La Posada to their children and participate in the organization and decoration.

Volume 1, Issue 1


St. Mary’s Catholic School

Page 3

Cheer squad wraps up for the fall Basketball B E D about six years now and cannot wait teams tip off for the cheerleaders’ upcoming perThe St. Mary’s Cheerleaders are formance. So far this year, the St. Mary’s season with ready to pick up their pom-poms and start cheering! With 18 cheerleaders cheerleaders have performed in on this year’s squad, Coach Rozlynn three pep rallies. As the cheerleadhigh hopes ers wait for another performance to Vasquez is leading the way. y mma avis FIFTH GRADE STAFF WRITER

The squad’s most recent performance was their Christmas Special on Monday, Dec. 12 in the St. Mary’s School Gym. They danced to the wonderful Christmas song “Jingle Bell Rock.” The cheerleaders worked very hard for that performance. They practice three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:45 a.m. to 8:05 a.m. Coach Vasquez is very excited and proud that the cheerleaders have come a long way and she is looking forward to the years to come. She has been cheerleading for

cozme, they are continuing to practice their cheers so one day they can follow their d r e a m s and become a professional cheerleader. For each performance, the squad learns a new routine with choreography. Be sure to come watch the cheerleaders perform in their next show after the holiday break.

Courtesy Photo The 2011 St. Mary’s School cheerleaders were photographed in the gym this fall.

If you would like additional copies of this month’s newspaper, they will be on sale during lunch during the week of Dec. 12-16. Copies will be sold until the end of January in Mrs. Gonzalez’s class in Room 1. All copies are $1. Thank you for reading!

By Dante Gonzales


This year, the St. Mary’s School basketball team has seven separate teams from K5 to sixth grade. Coach Javier Gonzales has 121 players overall from K5 to 6th and practiced started in early November for all of them. According to Coach Gonazles, each team practices two times a week. The game schedules had the teams starting competition the week after Thanksgiving. The St. Mary’s teams don’t keep winning or losing records, but Coach Gonzales says the point of this is to learn the concept of basketball. Some of St. Marys’ recent competition includes a team called the Outlaws. Coach Javier Gonzales has been coach for more than 8 years now. He said the expectations he has for this year’s teams are for them to “play like a champion.”

Want to share the newspaper with a friend? Read it online at StMarysSpirit

Arts & Entertainment

Volume 1, Issue 1

St. Mary’s Catholic School

Page 4

SMT Students of the Month: Four first graders By Tesa Muzquiz


This month’s students of the month are four featured first graders. Jason Zamarripa and Mariana Corona are both in Mrs. Contreras’ first grade class and Gabriela Ortiz and Jason Villarreal are in Mrs. Trapp’s first grade class. These students were chosen because of their behavior and ability to be a role model to show that others can do good. Villarreal, Corona and Ortiz have attended St. Mary’s since kinder while Zamarripa came in as a new student in first grade. Ortiz and Villarreal both like math the most out of all their subjects. Ortiz spends up to 15 minutes doing homework and studying. She enjoys riding her bike and likes the movie and TV show “Hannah Montana.” Her favorite part about coming to school is learning new things each day. Villarreal spends up to 10 min-

utes doing homework and studying. During his spare time, he enjoys playing tag and football and likes the movie “Dolphin Tail.” He’s a part of the school basketball team. His favorite part about coming to school is writing in his journal and drawing pictures. In Mrs. Contreras’ class, Zamarripa’s favorite subject is also math. He said he spends up to 10 minutes on homework and studying. He enjoys playing outside, and his favorite book and movie is “Green Eggs and Ham.” He also on the basketball team and likes learning new things each day at school. Corona enjoys science the most out of all her subjects and she spends up to 10 minutes doing homework each day. She enjoys playing with her sister and likes “The Foot Book.” Her favorite part about coming to school is going to music class. Next month, the students of the month will be second graders.

Gabriela Ortiz from Mrs. Trapp’s class

Mariana Corona from Mrs. Contreras’ class

Jason Villarreal from Mrs. Trapp’s class

Jason Zamarripa from Mrs. Contreras’ class

All photos for this story were taken by fifth grade staff writer Tesa Muzquiz.

Arts & Entertainment

Volume 1, Issue 1

St. Mary’s Catholic School

Page 5

SMT Teacher of the Month: Mrs. Gutierrez By Raphael Ugalimo


Who is that hardworking, reward-deserving and wonderful teacher of the month? It’s fifth grade teacher Mrs. Gutierrez. According to her, she’s been teaching at St. Mary’s School for a loyal 16 years. She teaches Math and Religion. She taught fourth grade for five years, teaching every subject. Gutierrez stated that she used to work at Morningside and Palm Grove

Elementary before coming to St. Mary’s. Gutierrez said that her favorite part about working at St. Mary’s is teaching students about God and preparing them for their future years in education. In all of her years of teaching, Gutierrez said the curriculum has changed a little, but her teaching methods have always stayed the same. In her spare time, she brings her kids to sports practices and dance class, which shows she is not only

SMT’s Saint of the Month: St. Nicholas, the bishop of Myra December’s featured saint of the month is St. Nicholas. He is popularly portrayed as Santa Claus. He was the bishop of Myra (now known as Turkey) and was known for his kindness and compassion, especially with children. St. Nicholas became a bishop in the fourth century after Myra’s old bishop died. He was popular around the town because he was a good citizen who always helped the needy, studied and prayed. He was known for loving God with all of his heart. We celebrate St. Nicholas during Christmastime because we’re encouraged to give the same love to others.

a teacher, but a supporting mother. Mrs. Gutierrez is a great teacher as well as a wonderful mother. What other extraordinary things can she be? *Note: The St. Mary’s Times’ Teacher of the Month is based on suggestions from faculty, staff and students. A teacher will be featured in each issue. If you have a suggestion for next month’s honorable teacher, stop by our meetings at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays in Room 1.

Upcoming Events Monday, Dec. 12: 1st, 3rd, 5th and 6th grade Christmas Program 6 p.m., St. Mary’s Church Tuesday, Dec. 13: 2nd, 4th and 6th grade Christmas Program 6 p.m., St. Mary’s Church Friday, Dec. 16: Montessori Grades Christmas Program Parish Hall Saturday, Dec. 17: “Tree of Light” ceremony 5:30 p.m., St. Mary’s Church

Saint Nicholas gives children gifts in this photo. He was known for his kindness.

Congratulations to the SMS Cub Scouts of Troop 11 for collecting more than 100 teddy bears and stuffed animals in their November toy drive! They were collected in Mrs. Esparza’s room and donated to children in hospitals, shelters and group homes. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, Dec. 20: 3rd grade project presentation “Christmas around the World” 2 p.m., St. Mary’s School & Parents Association Christmas Posada 6 p.m., St. Mary’s Gym Friday, Dec. 23: First day of holiday break!

Volume 1, Issue 1


Opinions & Fun St. Mary’s Catholic School

‘n’ Ma sh!

Page 6

The SMS Times is hosting a coloring contest! If you wish to enter, cut out the photo below, decorate it with your best art skills and turn it into Room 1. The deadline to turn in colored entries is Wednesday, January 11.

The SMS staff voted on the five best Christmas tunes to listen to over the holidays. Tune in next month for another featured theme playlist. 1. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Justin Bieber 2. “O Holy Night Medley” by Hanson 3. “Little Saint Nick” by John Denver & The Muppets 4. “Winter Wonderland” by Selena Gomez 5. “The Christmas Song” by Owl City

Saints Sound Off! What are your Christmas vacation plans?

26% 42% 32%

Going out of town (A) Staying here (B) Not sure yet (C)

Check out our paper each month for a different poll!

Name: Grade: Room #: Winners will be announced in the next issue of the SMS Times.

HEY READERS! Do you enjoy writing poetry? The St. Mary’s Times is hosting a

poetry contest for its next issue of the paper! Submit an original

Valentine’s Day poem, at least three stanzas long, to Mrs. Gonzalez

in Room 1 by Wednesday, January 18. The winner will be featured in

the next issue of the St. Mary’s Times and will be given a prize. Turn in your poem with your name, grade and room # at the top of the page.

December 2011 issue  

The first issue of the St. Mary's School Newspaper to be released on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 13 and 14.