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Dear Holy Spirit Prep family,
Over the holidays, we hosted our annual alumni brunch on Christmas Eve. I got to catch up with our graduates on their progress at schools such as Harvard and Georgia Tech and the Naval Academy, on their emerging careers, and their families. Seeing the excellent, poised, successful young men and women they've become always affirms my faith in our mission. I was also delighted to see every graduated class represented at the event this year!
Our current seniors have started to receive their early college acceptances, and it's exciting to watch them as they're welcomed to universities like Notre Dame, Georgetown (my alma mater), Purdue, Boston College, Ave Maria, and many more. They have already received over $1 million in scholarship offers.
Catholic Schools Week is almost here, and I'm proud to share that the Archdiocese of Atlanta will recognize our own Marylu Valek at the annual Archbishop's Education Banquet that opens the week. Marylu has served our school for over 13 years in a number of roles - librarian, office manager, my own executive assistant - supporting and caring for our students and teachers alike. I'm grateful for the scope of the quiet, humble service she has provided the school over her years here, and delighted we can honor her this Catholic Schools Week.
I want to extend personal invitations to families you believe would benefit from the HSP experience. The Preschool and Upper School will both host Open Houses on Sunday, January 29; the Lower School will host theirs during the school day on Monday, February 6. These are eye-opening, deep-dive experiences, where prospective families will hear from students and teachers about what makes HSP a remarkable place to grow in faith, prudence, and magnanimity.
I hope I'll also see you at Casino Night, an annual night of blackjack and poker supporting HSP athletics, on Saturday, January 21. It's an adults-only event, so make sure to leave the kids in good hands for the evening. A professional company will be hosting the games that night, so it's perfect for beginners and card sharks alike.
Register for Casino Night
On Thursday evening, February 2, our own Tommy Curtin, along with his wife, Kaitlyn, will host a talk on "Creating a Culture of Literature at Home." This will be an especially good topic for parents of our Pre-K-2nd grade students; the Curtins, drawing on research and their own experiences in getting their children to read, will talk about how students can come to love reading, including topics of technology, and quality literature. It is a passion of the Curtins, and should be an instructive evening.
Add this to my calendar
If you haven't heard yet, our varsity basketball teams are having an incredible season, dominating their region games, and testing their mettle against some of the most challenging opponents in the Atlanta metro area. If you haven't yet, be sure to look at our calendar and cheer them on at an upcoming home game. Go Cougars!
Yours in service,
P.S. You should receive a save-the-date in the mail this week for our annual Spring Gala. Be sure to mark April 29 on your calendars for this wonderful event supporting our faculty and our school!
Saturday, January 21, 7:00pm
Join us as we support HSP athletics with an adults-only event in McDonough Hall!
It's a night of food, drinks, poker, and blackjack. A professional poker tournament company keeps the play running smoothly for the seasoned players and beginners alike.
Alumni returned to campus on Christmas Eve for the annual Christmas Eve brunch, a casual event for alumni to reconnect during the holidays.
The prayer intentions below have been compiled by the volunteers of Connections for Women and Cougars Care. Please consider adding the following intentions to your prayers:
Senior John Arnold is having a banner January with the reception of several awards, including college acceptances to Notre Dame and Georgetown, being named to Atlanta InTown's 20 Under 20, and being named a Coca-Cola Scholar Semifinalist.
John was named to Atlanta InTown's 20 Under 20, an annual feature recognizing the extraordinary achievements in community service among Atlanta's high school students. John was recognized for his efforts to create summer lunch programs for impoverished students in the Atlanta metro area.
John teases his sister, Olivia, while preparing meals at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception's night shelter with the ONE apostolate.
John brought together his friends and classmates every Thursday night to prepare lunches, and then Friday mornings he would deliver the lunches to the children enrolled in the summer sandwich program known as Smart Lunch Smart Kid. “I created my summer sandwich ministry so that my school community could work with me to fight hunger on a grander scale,” John says. “I am so grateful I had the opportunity to found and coordinate this sandwich ministry through my school because by the end of the summer my classmates and friends enabled me to produce and distribute almost 3,000 lunches to the children in the Smart Lunch Smart Kid program.”
In addition, John has been named a Coca-Cola Scholar Semifinalist. Only 1,914 Semifinalists were chosen among nearly 86,000 applicants this year because of their outstanding leadership, academic achievements, and dedication to their community. John will now seek to advance to the next round of recognition as a Coca-Cola Scholar Finalist, competing for 1 of 150 college scholarships worth $20,000.
Holy Spirit Prep is incredibly proud of Marylu Valek, Executive Assistant to the Head of School, who, during Catholic Schools Week, will be honored for her service to Catholic education at the 2017 Archbishop’s Catholic Education Banquet. The banquet is an annual event hosted by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory during Catholic Schools Week, and recognizes the contributions of faculty and staff at each independent and archdiocesan Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
Marylu has been a part of the Holy Spirit Prep community for over 13 years, since enrolling her daughter, Erin ('12), in 2003. She has served the school in many capacities, including as library aide, Lower School office manager, and her current position as Executive Assistant to the Head of School.
Marylu is a product of Catholic education herself. She grew up at St. Brigid School in West Hartford, Connecticut, and graduated from Mount. St. Joseph Academy, an all-girls high school, before pursuing her Mathematics degree at the University of Connecticut. Early in life, she learned about investing in Catholic communities from her parents. "My parents sacrificed so that all of us could attend Catholic schools. By example, my parents helped clean, repair, and paint our school during the breaks. My father, who was skilled in woodworking, was asked by our parish priest to build a mobile altar that would be used in the school’s gym for Masses. While attending high school, I helped to balance the parish’s checking account on a monthly basis!"
Attending Catholic schools is important to Marylu. "My generation was allowed to pray in school each day – whether you were in a public or a Catholic school. My daughter, due to our move to Atlanta, was not able to attend a Catholic school for 2 years, as there were no openings. I was saddened about the removal of prayer and the holidays that I grew up with. Being in a Catholic school allows me to practice my faith and share it with our students."
For over thirteen years, Marylu has labored behind the scenes to support our students and faculty, quietly and without calling attention to herself. "For Valentine’s Day in 2016, a first-year student presented me with a hand-made card. In it she wished me a Happy Valentine’s Day, saying that I had always been so kind to her and how much she appreciated it. I had no idea that how I acted had made that kind of an impact."
Head of School Kyle Pietrantonio shared his gratitude for Marylu's years of committed service, "in each and every role, Marylu has devoted herself tirelessly and passionately to the work at hand. Her attention to detail, patience, and commitment to the school are beyond reproach. She truly has one of the most beautiful servant's hearts I've ever known."
The following dates are the key operational and sacramental dates for the 2017-18 academic school year.
Download the 2017-18 Key Dates
Makeup Day for school pictures is Wednesday, January 18. Students who missed picture day in August should have their photo taken on this day.
Photographers will be at the Preschool on both Wednesday, January 18, and Thursday, January 19. They will be in the library from 9:30am-10:30am.
Photographers will be set up in the cafeteria at the Lower School from 9:30am-10:30am. Students should wear dress uniform, and will be dismissed by their teachers to have their photos taken.
Photographers will be set up in the Upper School gym from 11:00am-12:00pm. Students who need makeup photos should report to the gym at the beginning of lunch.
Learn what's in store for you at the Lower or Upper School! Come to one of our upcoming Open Houses during the school day: talk to students, see classes in session, and learn about all the programs and offerings we have waiting for your student on the next part of their educational journey.
If you know a family that would be a great fit for HSP, invite them to come, too!
RSVP on the Holy Spirit Prep website
Inspiratio Presents The Curtins: Creating a Culture of Literature at Home
DATE: Thursday, February 2
LOCATION: Lower School Media Center
Child care will be provided.
Ever wondered how to get your kids reading at home? You know, for fun! And not just reading, but reading good books? Veteran HSP teachers Tommy and Kaitlyn Curtin will offer “Creating a Culture of Literature in the Home” as part of our Inspiratio series. The Curtins' presentation draws on decades of classroom teaching experience, independent research, and their own adventures raising children in our very modern world. Specific topics to be addressed include:
All HSP parents are invited, but families with preschool and early elementary age students should particularly consider attending.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 6:00 - 8:30p.m.
Upper School Gym
Buy your tickets to Roma!
Each year, all graduating seniors have the exciting opportunity to go on a senior trip to Vatican City and Rome. Students planning to make the trip are expected to pay their way, which can pose financial challenges for some. To help defray costs, “ROMA!” was born. Every year, the seniors produce a fun-filled evening of auction items, entertainment, Italian pasta dinner and desserts. They utilize their talents: singing, dancing, serving, auctioning art creations, etc. to create what has come to be a memorable night for both participants and guests.
One of the most anticipated features of the evening is the Senior Servant Auction. Many of the senior students will advertise their various talents, everything from yard work and babysitting to tutoring younger students, car washing and house painting. Roma guests have the opportunity to bid on the seniors. Winning bidders will have a chance to utilize their Senior Servant on Senior Service Day in May, after their final exams. Questions? Feel free to contact Thomas Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets are on sale in advance for $10 per person; $50 maximum per family. Tickets will be sold at the door for $15 per person; $75 maximum per family. Cash or check only at the door please.
Varsity girls and boys basketball continued their winning streaks as school resumed in January, defeating Trinity Sharpsburg 64-45 (boys) and 66-57 (girls) in an away game matchup on January 3. Girls continued with a solid home court victory over Atlanta Girls School, 48-19. A game against Cumberland was cancelled due to weather.
Come cheer the Cougars on at an upcoming home game in the new year!
Their upcoming home games include:
January 13 vs. Dominion
January 20 vs. Cristo Rey PINK GAMES
January 24 vs. Heritage
January 13 vs. Trinity Sharpsburg
All games start in the Upper School gym with JV at 4:30pm, varsity girls at 6:00pm, and varsity boys at 7:30pm.
vs. Cristo Rey
Upper School gym
JV Boys: 4:30pm
Varsity Girls: 6:00pm
Varsity Boys: 7:30pm
Come cheer on the Cougars as they take on Cristo Rey for the annual Pink Games. Proceeds from the games will be donated to St. Joseph Mercy Care, a clinic offering an array of medical and social services to low-income and homeless people.
RSVP for Family Fun Night
Download the January enrichment newsletter
Principal's Honor Roll is awarded at the end of each quarter to any student earning a grade of A- or above for every subject taken that quarter including enrichment areas.
Elizabeth del Mazo
Madeline Van Oss
Mallory Kate Jones
High Honor Roll is awarded at the end of each quarter to any student earning a grade of A- or above for five or more core subjects for that quarter and a grade of B- or above in the remaining subjects. Core subjects are defined as Religion, Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.
Honor Roll is awarded at the end of each quarter to any student earning a grade of A- or above in four or more core subjects for that quarter and a grade of B- or above in the remaining subjects.
Brady Van Oss
The Lost and Found at the Lower School is overflowing! Please come sort through the Lost and Found for any belongings your student may have lost. Items not picked up by Friday, January 20 will be donated or inventoried in the school store.
Holy Spirit Prep’s goal is to grow a band program. Students in 4th – 6th grades who are taking private lessons on band instruments with MetroMusicMakers will automatically be eligible to join our Band Club starting in January. Students who are not taking private lessons with us and younger students who are taking lessons with MetroMusicMakers may be able to audition for a seat in the class. The band fee is a one-time fee of $195 due at the beginning of the Spring Semester. Additional siblings will receive 10% off their band fee.
Sign up and get more info about Band Club
What Lessons Are Available?
Lessons are currently available for the following instruments:
Piano – Kindergarten and up
Ukulele – Kindergarten and up
Guitar – 3rd grade and up
Band Instruments – 4th grade and up
Percussion (snare kit)
When Will The Lessons Take Place?
For your convenience, lessons will take place during the school day. Lesson days and times will be coordinated with the school administration.
HSP Lesson And Band Club Calendar
January 10: Lessons begin
January 19: Band Club begins on Thursdays at 3:00-4:00
March 6 – 10: Spring Break, no lessons
April 12 – 17: Easter Break, Thursday lessons will be rescheduled for the week of May 22
May 2: Band Class moved to Tuesday for Spring Concert rehearsal
May 9: Spring Concert
May 11: Band Club Party
Week of May 15 – Final week of lessons
Week of May 22 – Make-up week
This Friday at 2:00pm, 5th-8th grade contestants will meet on stage in the Lower School cafeteria to take on that classic academic challenge, the spelling bee! Winner of this bee will break the streak of multi-year champion (now 9th-grader) Sophia John, and move on to represent HSP at the Archdiocesan and GISA spelling bees!
This meeting will run for an hour in the evening in the Media Center at the Lower School. It will be a time for you to prepare as a 2nd-grade parent (at least one parent from each family) for your child's reception of the sacrament. We will go over more of the weekly lessons, prayer service, and practical aspects of the procedures. Parents only, please. Please contact Ms. Eckert at email@example.com with any questions.
Head of School's Honor Roll is awarded at the end of each semester to any student earning a grade for the semester of A- or above for every course taken that semester. Students must be taking at least seven credit courses to be eligible.
Principal's Honor Roll is awarded at the end of each semester to any student earning a grade for the semester of A- or above for that semester in not less than five subjects and a grade of not less than B- in the remaining subject(s). Students must be taking at least seven credit courses to be eligible.
Camila del Bosque
Dean's Honor Roll is awarded at the end of each semester to any student earning at least four A-'s and a grade of B- or above in every other subject.
Julia del Bosque
Mary Palmer Mason
Students interested in dropping or adding courses to their schedule for second semester should submit the Drop/Add Request form to Ms. Little in the Commons building, room 221 of the Admin Wing, by Friday, January 13. Any student/parent that has questions about schedule changes or withdrawing from a course AFTER Friday, January 13, must contact Ms. Little by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Withdrawal from a course after Friday, January 13, will result in a withdrawal passing (WP) or withdrawal failing (WF) grade on the student’s final transcript/report card for the 2016-17 school year.
As our senior class gears up for their farewell to HSP, we want to invite you to order a senior ad in the 2016-17 yearbook. This is your opportunity to send your seniors off with loving messages and photos that they will be able to look back on forever.
How to Order a Senior Ad
This year, we've partnered with Herff Jones to produce our yearbook, including our senior ads. You'll use their online portal to pick the size of your ad, design your ad (including photos and messages), and pay for your ad.
At the website, YearbookOrderCenter.com, you'll:
Your work will be auto-saved, and you can work on it over several sessions.
The initial deadline for ordering your senior ad is Wednesday, February 2. After the deadline, the cost of the senior ads will increase.
With any questions about ordering yearbook ads, please contact our yearbook advisor, Tim Durski, at email@example.com.