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Vol 2 No. 3



by Karee Dinkel

Catholic Schools Week is a chance for all Catholic school students to appreciate and celebrate going to a Catholic school. The week at TMP started off by showing appreciation to our local community. The famous TMP chocolate chip cookies were delivered to supporters around the community. At school, students wore spirit dress and added accessories such as hats, shades, etc. On Tuesday, Student Appreciation Day, students had early dismissal, wore a college team shirt, and there was a scavanger hunt in the CFR. Wednesday was dedicated to the families of the students who watched a movie, wore beach accessories, and wrote thank you notes to someone who is special in their lives. Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day was Thursday; they enjoyed a jean day and a gift from STUCO.

By Brianna Romme

Ending the week, Friday was dedicated to celebrating our faith with a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Weisenburger and including students from TMP Junior/Senior High School, Holy Family Elementary School, and St. Mary’s School in Ellis. Following the Mass, all 800 students will spend the rest of the day together. Catholic Schools Week is an opportunity for Catholic school students to show appreciation towards their community, families, and teachers and have fun with it.


by Anna Gottschalk

TMP has been busy with construction over the last few months. The two main construction projects are the elevator inside the school and the work in the Field House. “There are a few details to complete before the elevator can be installed into the elevator shaft. Although the parts are ordered, it is hard to tell when the elevator can be used,” said Mr. Tom Kisner.

January 30, 2014

In the Field House, the old pool in the wrestling room has been filled in. The building of the new fire exits has begun so basketball games can be played on the home court. The walls have already been cut for fire exit doors. But, like the elevator, it will be hard to tell when the exits will be completed since there is no way of telling exactly when the needed materials will arrive.

After five years of service at TMP, on January 17th Sister Paul Ann said goodbye. Due to health issues, Sister returned to the Sisters of St. Agnes in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. When asked what she will miss the most about TMP, Sister responded, “The atmosphere! The kids are good. They really made me feel welcomed! Also, all my family members are in the area.” Sister has many family members in the Hays and surrounding areas, including 7th and 8th grade English teacher Mrs. Brull. Sister was also asked if she enjoyed her experience. “I sure did! Especially my little friend, Lydia Brandel.” Lydia is the daughter of TMP’s choir teacher, Mr. Brandel. She spent a lot of time with Sister Paul Ann. They attended Mass together, and she would accompanying Sister on all her different errands throughout the day. “She will be greatly missed!” Taylor Teel (8) stated.




by Trae Megaffin

By Erin Muirhead I think everyone would agree the elevator construction process is very loud and sometimes a bother. Our classes have been interrupted by loud noises at times. Also, switching classrooms where the elevator entrance will be gets extremely crowded because of the “boxes” that take precious hallway space. The students, on the other hand, sometimes get in the way of the workers as well. With this being said, I have not heard anyone complain. When the elevator is completed, there will be many advantages. If you have a broken leg or are elderly, it will make it much easier to get to different floors. If something very heavy needs to be moved to different floors, it will no longer have to be carried up all the stairs. Also, it will make our building wheelchair accessible.. Although the process has its ups and downs (no pun intended), everyone has cooperated well and respected each other. The elevator is coming along very well and will be finished very soon. Over all, I think the elevator will be a fantastic addition to the Thomas Moore building.

When students get to high school, they suddenly have tons of choices for new classes to take. A lot of students end up wasting semesters of their precious four years in high school with classes they don’t enjoy. Some students graduate from high school thinking, “What could I have done if I simply knew what I was good at when I arrived?” There is a simple fix. At the junior high level, you get a couple of different choices in classes. You can take an advanced class in English or social studies; you can choose band, choir, or Academic Enrichment. Academic Enrichment is the closest thing to electives the junior high has, but what the class does is not the individual’s choice. If you want to do band and/or choir, Academic Enrichment is not an option. Other than those few exceptions, there are no class choices in the junior high. You have to do PE, computers, band, and choir the entire year. Cutting those to 9-week or semester sessions would allow kids to have the choice to try out some new things such as weights, art, debate, theatre, and more specialized math and computer classes to name a few. PE, computers, and band/choir are all great classes, but many students wish they could try some different things to find out what they like and what they’re good at. I believe that if kids knew what they liked when they got to high school, greater accomplishments would be reached. People say they want TMP-M to reach their full potential in academics and in athletics. This is the next step to get ahead of the game.


The MOKAN Take Charge Challenge is challenging businesses from four different Kansas and Missouri cities. The challenge is a competition designed to impact energy efficiency with participants in businesses of the cities and is poised to have a great effect on the energy future of the heartland. So far, Hays is in first place and is beating Kansas City, Kansas, by 1330

points. The winning city receives $10,000 for a water or energy conservation project. The building in the winning city that produces the most points is awarded $5,000. TMP’s main building is leading Northwestern Printers by 205 points. Tim Speno said,” The challenge for TMP has been really good because it has been an overall collective effort of TMP’s students, teachers, alumni, and parents.”

CASH FOR CASA by Gracie Schmidt

What is CASA? CASA is an acronym for Court Appointed Special Advocates. The organization believes that every child has the right to a safe and permanent home. CASA volunteers are the voice of the child and speak in their best interest. Twenty-three of thirty-one judicial districts in Kansas have CASA programs. In 2012 alone, those twenty-three programs supported and supervised 879 volunteers who advocated for 2,156 children suffering neglect, abuse, and so much more. Out of those 2,156 children, it is safe to say there were well over 100 in the Twenty-third Judicial District

which serves Ellis, Rooks, Trego, and Gove Counties. TMP-M Junior High held a bake sale on Monday, December 16, the night of the band concert. For the fundraiser, students were asked to donate baked goods. Over 160 items were brought! As a reward, the students earned a Sweats Day. At the bake sale, the TMP Junior High raised $579.29 and donated it all to CASA. Lindsey Crisendery, director of CASA for our district,

came to TMP and received a check from the students. She stated that she was very surprised and appreciated what the stuents had done.

Student Council officers Trae Megaffin, Ciara Seib, Karee Dinkel, and Anna Speno presented a check for $579.29 to Lindsey Crisendery, director of CASA of the High Plains after Mass on January 13. The money was raised with a bake sale at the school’s Winter Concert.

BUILDERS CLUB by Hope Aufdemberge

On December 12, Builder’s Club conducted another MoKan Challenge. The members of TMP Junior High Builder’s Club went through the school and completed an inventory of all the office machines. Members were checking to see if the machines were Energy Star efficient or not. During the Builder’s Club’s last meeting, officers were elected. Elly Lang was elected president; Tabitha Brandel, vice president; Halle Lang, secretary; and Hope Aufdemberge, treasurer. Builder’s Club is hoping to obtain its official charter in February. Membership is open to any junior high student.

HELPING MOMS IN NEED by Creighton Renz

To show support for the Mary Elizabeth Home, the TMP-JH STUCO will be sponsoring a drive to collect items like shampoo, hair care products, and other essentials for the moms at the home. The Mary Elizabeth Home provides a home for mothers who conceived children at a young age. It provides them a safe place to stay and food to eat. Donations are expected to provide for all their needs. Anna Speno (8) said, “This is a great way to give back to the moms who do so much for their children.” Trae Megaffin exclaimed, “This is a great stewardship opportunity where we can all give to the mothers instead of giving to their children for once.” Items will be collected in junior high Academies during the first week of February.

THE SNACK BASKET Room 311 When you need a little snack to get you through the day.


On January 16th, TMP-JH held the school Spelling Bee. Close to the beginning of January, the seventh and eighth graders took a spelling test that determined if they were going to participate. This year, we had twelve contestants. The eighth grade was represented by Tabitha Brandel, Michael Braun, Adam Gottschalk, Anna Gottschalk, Trae Megaffin, Taryn Stauth, Dylan Tabor, and Cameron Werth. The seventh grade representatives were Paul Bull, Ryan Karlin, Emily Schulte, and Josh Stecklein. After several intense rounds, the results of the Spelling Bee were:

Tabitha Brandel, first; Trae Megaffin, second; Josh Stecklein, third; Anna Gottschalk, fourth; and Michael Braun, fifth. The first, second, and third place winners all received medals. Megaffin stated, “I was really nervous, but it seemed like fun. I thought I flunked the test and was surprised when my name was called.” Brandel, who finished in 1st place, said, “I was still in shock when I finished, but I am very happy with my results.” Brandel, Megaffin, Stecklein, and Gottschalk, will represent TMP-JH in the Ellis County Spelling Bee on January 30 at Fort Hays.


by Ethan Rohr

On January 13th, the TMP-JH Scholar’s Bowl teams went to a tournament in Colby, Kansas. Both seventh and eighth grade teams played seven rounds and made it to the finals. The eighth grade team consisted of seven members: Dylan Tabor, Ethan Rohr, Tabitha Brandel, Kyra Polifka-Wilhem, Erin Muirhead, Katy Walters, and Gracie Schmidt. The team was one question or ten points away from

winning the last round to take third place. The seventh grade team consisted of six members: Paul Brull, Nicholas Zimmerman, Leanne Rack, Kaitlyn Burd, R. J. Whitmer, and Dylan Werth. They took fourth place in the tournament. Paul Brull, captain of the seventh grade team, stated, “Our team was good, but there is always room for improvement.”

Tabitha Brandel (8) spells the winning word in the TMP-JH Spelling Bee for first place in the competition. -Photo by Mrs. Schoepf


The chess team scored again! On January 18, 2014, the eight member TMP Junior High chess team competed in the Onaga Chess Tournament. They took second place with 14.5 points, which was close behind the winning team, Washburn Middle School, with 15 points. Chess is a game requiring a great deal of mental strategy. Alex Lenser (8) said, “I think it takes patience and much dedicated time to become a good chess player.” TMP Junior High also had members place individually. Sheldon Weber (7), with a total of 4 points, placed seventh. Paul Brull (7), in eighth place, also scored 4 points, while Nicholas Zimmerman, seventh grade, scored 3 points for eleventh place. Alex Lenser (8), scored 3.5 points for tenth place. This year, the junior high team has placed in the top three each time they’ve competed. In their first tournament against Pleasant Valley, they placed first. The next tournament will be Saturday, February 1, at Topeka Collegiate School.

Seventh grade Scholar’s Bowl team members Kaitlyn Burd, Dylan Werth, and Paul Brull untangle the buzzer cords before their first round at the Colby Invitational Scholar’s Bowl Tournament. -Photo by Mrs. Brull

by Autumn Hohmann

This past Christmas season, TMPJH Student Council sponsored many activities to celebrate the season. The Christmas ornament was hidden and found three times this year. Maddie Lagree (7), Andrew Lang (7), and Alec Stults (8) found the hidden Christmas ornament and received gift cards. The students of the junior high also presented Advancement Director Jeff Brull with a check for $100 for the Thomas More Society to show their appreciation for the people from all over the United States who support them through this fund. At the Christmas concert, the junior high held a bake sale which raised $579.29 for CASA of the High Plains. CASA helps kids in unsafe conditions represent themselves in court. TMP-JH STUCO sold candy grams for a quarter each. The money raised supports the Junior High Stuco at TMP. This year the junior high also had a dodgeball tournament on December 18th. It included a Sweats Day, relay races, games, and, of course, dodgeball. The winning team, which was Team 4, will receive a Sweats Day later this quarter. At right, Halle Lang (8) and below right Maddie Lagree (7) participate in relay races at the Dodgeball Tournament. Below, students rush to the center to grab a dodgeball. -Photos by Mrs. Brull

MEET ALEX by Taryn Stauth

The CFR or school library is now equipped with an automated card catalog. The system is called Alex, short for Alexandria, which is the name of the company that installed the system. Currently, there are about two thousand of the estimated ten thousand books in the CFR, already entered into Alex. Mrs. Augustine, the school librarian, put in, by hand, 687 books. Mrs. Ellen Schimdt put in the remaining books that have been entered. “Every book took about five to ten minutes to put in,” stated Mrs. Augustine. Although time consuming, Alex will be very beneficial to the students and Mrs. Augustine. Each student has a set code, as does every book, allowing check out and accessibility to overdue book dates very simple and effective. A student can search Alex for a book in the CFR from any computer at TMP, with up to ten people searching at one time. Alex gives a student the title, author, genre, and page numbers of the book being searched. .




There has been great excitement in the eighth grade Computer Literacy classes. Mr. Harris has assigned videos to the students. “Mr. Meagher and I collaborated to teach about the seven deadly sins,” said Mr. Harris, “The students select a sin, act out some scenes, and edit them on the computer.” The choices they have are gluttony, sloth, envy, greed, wrath, lust, and pride. There are about fifteen videos being made, and they are expected to be completed by January 31st. “My group’s video is over greed. To stop this sin from happening, you should pray and use the heavenly virtue of charity. We’ve also learned how to edit our videos using a really cool editing application on the computer,” said Emilee Pfannenstiel (8). Many students are talking about how much fun this project is, and they love watching the results.

NEW FACES by David McFarland

There are two new faces in the TMPJH this semester, Betsy Smith and Stephanie Demuth. Coach Smith is a student teacher with the P.E. teacher, Rose McFarland. Ms. Demuth is teaching under Kathy Amrein, the band director and Michael Brandel, choir director. They both enjoy student teaching at Thomas More Prep Marian Junior High. Demuth teaches on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She is also student teaching at Holy Family Elementary. Smith is teaching and observing all five days of the week in the junior high. Alex Lenser stated,” I like the new change. It is nice to have someone new. I also think the student teachers are learning a lot and having fun with us.”

WRESTLING 2014 by Adam Gottschalk

Chase Werth (8) went up to defend the basket against Hoisington in the Kennedy gym while Tate Garcia (8) rushed in to assist. The Monarchs defeated Hoisington.

-Photo by Mrs. Brull


The TMP-JH boys all ended their basketball seasons with positive records. “I think everyone had a successful season, and everyone became better ball players,” said Tate Garcia (8). Garcia was on the A team whose season ended with just four losses. Both B and C teams had undefeated seasons. Alec Stults (8), who was on B team, talked about their perfect record. “It felt really good because

we were the first B team at TMP-JH to accomplish this. We had our good and our bad games, but we powered through it and came out on top.” The seventh graders this year can’t wait for next year’s season. “I am really looking forward to next year. The coaches are ballers. I can stay active during the off-season by ballin’ and hittin’ the jay,” said Zach Braun (7). The TMP-JH seventh grade boys also had an undefeated season. Emily Schulte (7) and Emma Humphrey (8) play defense against Sacred Heart of Dodge City in the Holy Family Elementary gym. The Lady Monarchs won the game by a hefty margin. -Photo by Mrs. Brull


Wrestling season is here for TMP-JH with 12 wrestlers currently participating. There will be a total of five meets throughout February and the beginning of March. Practice started on January 20th with the first meet only a couple days later on January 30th. Since the original wrestling room is under construction to install a fire exit, the canteen in the Field House is serving as a temporary wrestling room. When Marlo Armendariz (8) was asked how excited he was about this year, he said, “I am really excited for this year. I think that our team will be good.” The coaches for this year are Coach Threlkel, Coach Peterson, and Coach Hayes


The TMP Junior High Lady Monarchs wrapped up their 2013-2014 basketball season on January 23 with outstanding records. The C team finished the season with an undefeated record of 11-0. They also took first place at the MCAA tournament. B team ended their season with a record of 14-1, taking first place in the MCAA tournament. Finally, the A team wrapped up their season with a record of 14-2, taking 3rd place in the MCEL tournament. When asked how the season went, assistant coach, Coach Smith stated, “It went very well. As a coach, I came in with high expectations for the team, and they succeeded.” Over all, it has been a tremendous season for the TMP Junior High Lady Monarchs, and they look forward to seeing what next season has in store.

Messenger jan2014  

Messenger Vol. 2, Iss. 3

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