Meet the Lourdes Academy school board

By Annie Schraa - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

The Lourdes Academy school board is well known for determining school policies and changes, but who are the faces behind the committee?

According to the Lourdes Academy website, the board consists of nine members varying from parents to parish members. In addition, each representative participates or leads a subcommittee focusing on a specific agenda. Four of the board members hold specific positions in the group.

Chairperson Andrew Thorson is an at-large member and a Lourdes parent; he leads the Facilities Committee. Vice-Chairperson Gina Hafemeister is both a Lourdes parent and a St. Raphael representative, and Secretary Diana Hellmann is an at-large member. Both Hafemeister and Hellmann are involved in the Advancement Committee. Treasurer Tony Wihlm is an at-large member, a Lourdes parent, and participates in the Finance Committee.

Most Blessed Sacrament representative Steve Anderson, at-large member Kevin Corkin, St. Mary Winneconne representative Dave Flora, St. Jude representative Tom McDermott, and pastoral representative Father Jerry Pastors are also members of the school board.

Lourdes principal Dave Mikesell explained the importance of the school board as it gives balanced representation during decision making based on policy, budgets, and system changes. “It’s almost a form of checks and balances for the school system,” Mikesell said.

The school board meetings take place every third Wednesday of the month, and subcommittee meetings vary throughout the month.

Stay tuned for more detailed information about each of the nine board members.

National Junior Honor Society members donate blankets for community service project

By Raechel Russo - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Lourdes National Junior Honor Society members cut, tied, and donated fleece blankets to donate to Children’s Wisconsin-Fox Valley Hospital located in Neenah, WI and a women’s shelter located in Oshkosh.

NJHS is a middle school orgnaization led by NJHS advisor and middle school science and math teacher Kimberly Kropuenske. Kropuenske said, “In order to receive an application and apply for NJHS, a student needs to have a certain grade point average, and the students need to be involved in the community and school.”

Kropuenske said that the NJHS members decided to make the blankets because community service is one of the pillars of the organization, and the students thought making the blankets was a “cool idea.”

The members of NJHS met in Kropuenske’s classroom for approximately two hours to make the blankets. The 23 eighth-grade members made over 23 blankets. Kropuenske said, “The kids picked out the material that they wanted, and they made all different sizes.” The students made blankets for both small children and adult women.

The NJHS members and Kropuenske will donate the blankets to the hospital and women’s shelter before the holidays.

Students pick patterns and assemble blankets.

Students prepare to cut edges of blankets.

Eighth-grade NJHS members align blanket edges.

Blankets are cut, tied, and folded and will be delivered in time for Christmas.

Pollyanna Kilde: new middle school Spanish teacher

By James Gross - Knight Writer

Student Journalists - Lourdes Academy

Although Pollyanna Kilde has worked in the elementary school office for a couple of years, this fall she also joined the Lourdes staff as the new part-time Spanish teacher for the middle school.

Kilde majored in Spanish in college, so she was academically prepared for her first teaching position here at Lourdes.

To begin her teaching day, Kilde said she arrives at the middle school around 12:00 p.m. and teaches until the end of the school day. Kilde has quickly warmed to her new position and to her students.

One of Kilde’s students eighth grader Mason Carpenter said, “We have learned a lot about the colors and the alphabet.”

Eighth grader Sommer Wermes said, “In the beginning, we learned about he/she and the difference between feminine and masculine words. We’re also learning about some family terms like mom, dad, brother, and sister.”

According to Carpenter, “It’s fun to learn a new language and try something different. Also, Mrs. Kilde is nice.”

Wermes said, “She [Kilde] has some games which are fun when we play them.” Wermes also said that one of her interests is to speak to her brother in the Spanish she knows which is “fun to try.”

Kilde said she found out about the job through her children who have attended Lourdes through the years. Kilde has a son who is a freshman at the high school and two children in the elementary school. She also has a daughter who is a junior at Oshkosh North. Kilde also said she heard about the Spanish position through Lourdes emails and from being involved at Lourdes as a parent.

Kilde said her only concern before accepting the job was the age of the students; however, she said she has found that she can relate to the students and reason with them. “They know what they’re supposed to do and they understand the expectations,” Kilde said.

Another thing that Kilde finds rewarding is when her students understand. “I like to see when they get it and a light bulb goes off." Kilde also enjoys sharing her weekly joke “JaJa de la Semana” and her weekly saint quotes with the students.

Kilde said her goal is “for the students to like Spanish so they continue with it.”

Pollyanna Kilde the new middle school Spanish teacher.

Battle of the Books

By Grace Syson - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Battle of the Books is a reading program which encourages middle schoolers to read while competing in exciting battles against their peers.

This year, 57 middle school students combined into six teams, consisting of eight to ten students on each team. The students were given a list of 30 books that they had to read as a team in a six week period. During week seven, the teams answered detailed questions about the books they read.

Lourdes parent and BOB organizer, Nancy Ralofsky said, “A double-elimination bracket system is used to organize the competitions which eventually determines the winner.” Ralofsky has coached BOB teams for seven years and has organized the program for the past four years.

Ralofsky said, “BOB has been running for at least ten years. Usually there are six teams that participate but one year there were eight teams.”

This year's winning team was You’re Killin’ Me Smalls. The talented readers were eighth graders Emma Dillenberg and Isabelle Dietzler, seventh graders Olivia Gelhar, Clair Kollat, Sabur Machiros, and Delaney Ruedinger, and sixth graders Jasmine Saiyed, Ryder Mullen, Claire Trofka, and Braeden Ridenour. Each team member was awarded a five dollar gift card and a medal.

Eighth graders who participated in BOB all three years of middle school were rewarded with a king sized candy bar.

Some of the most popular books among the students were Firegirl, Call of the Wild, Restart, and Kira Kira. Dillenberg said that her favorite book was The City of Ember.

Members of the winning team, You're Killin' Me Smalls, were awarded medals for their victory.

Teacher’s Pet: Schade’s mischievous sheepdog Gilbert

By Tate Fabisch - Knight Writers

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

A teacher has many different responsibilities, and for middle school math teacher Alissa Schade another responsibility she has at home is keeping her 12-year-old dog Gilbert in line.

Schade said that she got Gilbert the day after she found out she was pregnant with her daughter Lucy. Gilbert is an Old English Sheepdog that is brown and white. Schade said that she wanted to have a theme for her pets’ names, so she decided to choose names from characters that actor Johnny Depp played in movies. Schade said the she picked her dog’s name from the movie What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

In the movie, Johnny Depp plays a young boy who has to take care of his overweight mother and younger brother who has a knack for finding trouble. Fitting to his name, Gilbert the dog has also caused some trouble in Schade’s house and in the neighborhood.

Schade said that one time she ordered cookies from the Girl Scouts and found that she was missing a box of Thin Mints. Schade said she later found “a corner of the box covered in slobber.” Gilbert not only enjoyed the delicious cookies, but Schade said that he also ate the cardboard and plastic too! The question is not what’s eating Gilbert Grape, but what is Gilbert the dog eating?

Stealing people food is not the only mischief Gilbert has gotten into. Schade said that Gilbert has run away on multiple occasions.

Gilbert getting some sun.

Gilbert trying to get some rest.