Mrs. Kropuenske welcomes new baby

By Maria Foss - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

OSHKOSH, WI - Raegan Rose Kropuenske, daughter of middle school science teacher Kimberly Kropuenske, was born on March 7 at 3:35 pm.

“We picked the name Raegan because we wanted her to have a unique name that you do not hear very often, and her middle name was my great grandmother’s name,” Kropuenske said.

According to Kropuenske, Raegan is a very observant baby. “She really likes to concentrate on and look at faces, and she also makes some pretty silly faces which she gets from her father.”

Kropuenske shared some of the ways that Raegan has changed since she was born. “She is starting to smile when you talk to her, and she is sleeping much better at night. She is only waking up about once or twice a night which is fantastic because we can get some sleep!”

Since Kropuenske has two children now, life has also changed for her as a mother. “Having two children close in age takes a lot of work. Instead of just waiting on one, I have two to make happy. Once I get one fed or occupied, the other one demands my attention. It also takes work to go anywhere to two little girls. I have to pack for two opposed to one, and I have to make sure that I have all the supplies for both children.”

Baby Raegan is not just an adjustment for Kropuenske, but also for her one-year-old daughter, Kensington. “Kensington was not too sure about Raegan at first. She was a little jealous when Raegan was born because the attention was not only focused on her, but she has gotten much better,” Kropuenske said. “Kensington likes to interact with Raegan, although we have to remind her to be gentle when she gives hugs.”

Kropuenske is still on maternity leave, but she will return in a few weeks. “I have spent my maternity leave learning how to juggle two little girls on my own. During the first week, my mom and my husband were home to help me, but for the last few weeks, I have been on my own during the day with the girls,” Kropuenske explained. “I have also spent time with family during my maternity leave, and during that time, had Raegan baptized. During Easter, we plan to take a trip to Illinois to visit family as well.”

Shared teachers share knowledge

By James Gross - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

OSHKOSH, WI - Several teachers at Lourdes teach both middle and high school classes and are able to share their knowledge with students from both levels.


Art teacher Jill Thurk has been at Lourdes for 12 years and has been teaching both middle and high school for three years. Thurk teaches basic art principles in middle school, but in high school she goes more in depth in her classes. According to Thurk, the biggest difference between middle and high school is the students’ energy levels. “In middle school, the energy levels are very high which gives me energy as well,” Thurk said.

In high school, Thurk said that one of the parts of her job she enjoys the most is helping students organize their college art portfolios. Turk said several of her former students have contacted her years after graduation and thanked her for helping them which she said makes her happy. In Thurk’s Art 1 class, students mainly use pencils to create drawings. In Art 2, students work with acrylic paint and create some 3D paintings. In Art 3 and 4, students create more 3D drawings, and students have more choices about what type of art they want to focus on. Many of the Art 3 and 4 students choose to create art that aligns with their expertise and that will help them prepare for college-level art classes, Thurk said.

Thurk has recently been awarded the Silver Sword Award for excellence in teaching, proving her versatility as a teacher.


Theology teacher Abby Mikesell is one of the newest members of the Lourdes staff who is nearing the end of her first year as a teacher. Mikesell teaches the basics of religion in her middle school classes but said that in high school she goes into more detail about what was learned in middle school. According to Mikesell, she is encouraged in her first year of teaching to see that middle and high school students both are interested in learning. “One of the biggest differences is just where students are developmentally. Middle school and high school students have different needs and capabilities. Middle schoolers are also going through a lot of changes and their brains are developing, so they just require different needs,” Mikesell said.


Physical education teacher Stacy Smith is one of the two physical education teachers and has been teaching at Lourdes for three years. This year is her first year teaching both middle and high school. At the middle school, Smith teaches the students both outdoor and indoor activities. In the high school, she teaches many different classes including Strength and Conditioning which focuses on getting the high schoolers in fit shape. Smith said she enjoys teaching this class because the students compete for different prizes. Another high school class Smith teaches is Competitive Sports which focuses on learning the rules and playing specific sports including floor hockey, basketball, volleyball, pickleball, soccer, flag football, and team handball. Smith said the biggest difference between teaching high school and middle school is how she teaches the classes. Smith said she has to adjust her teaching style to keep the high schoolers active for the entire block which is 90 minutes in contrast to the 45 minute classes in the middle school.

Middle schoolers hit the track

By Noah Ralofsky - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

OSHKOSH, WI - Although the track and field season started with a meet cancellation, Lourdes parent and head coach Polly Moore has high hopes for this year.

Coach Moore has been the head coach for the middle school track team for 14 years. She said she believes that this year will be one that will stand out. Moore has 61 athletes in total participating this season, with most events being covered. These events consist of distance runs, sprints, relays, and throwing and jumping events.

“My favorite part of coaching is teaching the kids to like a sport that I love,” said Moore. She also enjoys watching the athletes gain experience and learn about the sport, achieve personal goals, and explore the many different aspects and techniques involved with track and field.

Eighth grader Brayden Mecklenburg runs the 100 and 200 meter dash, the 4x100 meter relay, long jumps, and triple jumps. He said he likes to run because he likes to stay in shape, and he enjoys running with his friends. Also in eighth grade, Mary Husman runs the 100 and 200 meter dash and both the 4x100 and 4x200 meter relay. Her favorite part about track is that she can bond with her friends over a sport that they all like to compete in.

Seventh grader Mason Carpender runs the mile, 400 meter, and long jumps. He said that he just loves to run, and it's something he is good at. Husman´s sixth grade sister Heidi Husman also competes in track and field. Heidi occasionally runs the 4x100 meter relay but mostly throws shot put and discus. Heidi enjoys being with her friends at track most of all.

As opposed to the seven meets last year, Moore said there will be eight meets to compete in this year. “I think the kids like the Dodgeland meet the most because although it is usually raining and very cold, they can get out of school early,” Moore said jokingly. On a more serious note though, the meet Moore is most excited about is the newly added one this year. This new meet, the state championship meet, will be held in Waupun, and will be available only to qualifiers. Those who finish in the top 30 places in the state in the event in which they are competing will qualify to compete. Moore says this will be an opportunity for the athletes to be more motivated to try to qualify for this prestigious meet.

A day in the life of future Knight: John Mikesell

Riley Studinski - Student Journalist

Knight Writer - Lourdes Academy

OSHKOSH, WI Hi, I’m John Mikesell and I’m almost 2 years old! You may have seen adorable, little me running around the halls with my parents, religion teacher Abby Mikesell and principal Dave Mikesell, but how much do you really know about me? Here is what you need to know.

They always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I like to start my mornings with some cereal and fruit. My favorites are bananas and blueberries.

When my parents are at work, I go to UW Oshkosh’s daycare center where I like to play with my two best friends: Claire and Jimmy. After lunch, around noon, I like to take my daily nap. When I wake up, I like to play with my toys. I love my puppy and turtle. I also like making music with guitars, drums, and other musical instruments. Oh yah, I also love playing with balls.

At home, I also enjoy having my parents read to me. My favorite books are Llama Llama Red Pajama and my Thomas the Train flipbook. Before I go to bed, I get a bath and play for a little bit more. Right before I climb into bed, my parents read me my stories, I say my prayers, and then I fall asleep.

I had a very exciting spring break. My family and I went to Pennsylvania to see my grandparents on the farm. I had a really fun time!