PA Celebrates its Annual Fall Fun Fair

From the Cake Walk to raffle prizes, Providence Academy hosted its annual Fall Fun Fair, for the 15th year in a row, on November 12. The fair spreads across three gyms and the Great Room, with quick-playing games and opportunities for Lower Schoolers to win toys, candy, and other treats. Even though the fair was created with the Lower School students in mind, it truly brings the entire PA community together. 

Memphis Senenfelder, ’31, William Le, ’31, and Osiris Goldberg, ’32, racking up prizes at the Fall Fun Fair.

Lower Schoolers, especially, enjoy everything about this popular school event. AJ Daniels, ‘32, expressed, “I really like the grab bags because I get to win candy, tickets, and stuffed animals.”  

Victoria McGregor, ‘30, added, “I love the cakewalk because I get to win cakes for my dad.” 

There is truly something for everyone in the community, as the middle school and upper school students get the chance to volunteer and interact with younger students. 

John Cummins, ‘22, noted, “The Fall Fun Fair allows me to be involved with the lower school students and it’s also a great way to get service hours.” 

Katherine Stephenson, ’28, helps Lower Schoolers play a racing game, and hands out prizes.

PA parents also love the fair.  Lower School parent of two, Laura Lowe, commented, “The fair brings the kids and the parents together, with opportunities to meet other parents and get to know one another.” 

While lower school students ran from station to station, arms full of prizes and deciding where to go next, parents took an opportunity to stay in one place and volunteer at specific stations. 

Parents and students gather in the Great Room for concessions and conversation.

With involvement from all grade levels, this beloved event is something the whole community looks forward to each and every year. Savannah Wesman, ‘30, exclaimed, “The Fall Fun Fair is so fun because I get to be with all my friends and win prizes.” 

Girls’ Soccer Makes School History, Goes to State

Going to State is something every athlete dreams of in their high school career.  Coming into the 2022 season, the Providence Academy girls soccer team set out to beat last year’s record of 1-14-1. However, following a 6-0 win against Rockford in the first game of the season, they knew that they could make it all the way to State. 

The team breezed through the regular season with a record of 13-3-0, becoming the number 1 seed for the Section 6A tournament. 

When asked how they felt going into sections, Maddyn Greenway, ‘26, said, “I feel that we came in confident and that we played how a number 1 seed team should play.” 

The Lady Lions first beat Rockford 9-0 in the Quarterfinal, then came out over Watertown-Mayer 5-3 in the semifinals, and finally defeated Southwest Christian 3-0 in the Section Final with goals from Avery Lampe, ‘24, Lydia Grajczyk, ‘26, and Greenway. 

Section 6A win against Southwest Christian, 3-0. PAW Photo Credit: Alan Lampe

On Wednesday, October 26, the team traveled to Monticello High School, a neutral site, to play against St. Cloud Cathedral in the State Quarterfinal. They defeated St. Cloud 6-1, with three goals coming from Lampe and the other three coming from Greenway, all scored in the first half. 

Then on Wednesday, November 2, the team had the opportunity to go to U.S. Bank Stadium where they played St. Anthony in the State Semifinals. After two goals from Greenway and a late goal from Elizabeth Hughes, ‘26, the team sadly  was not able to bring the game back, and lost 3-4. 

Greenway noted, “The nerves got to us, but we eventually settled in and dominated the field, even with the unfortunate result.”   

On Thursday, November 3rd, the team traveled to West St. Paul where they played Breck for third place. The score was 0-0 in the first half, however Kira Cmiel, ‘23, put Providence in the lead after scoring in the second half. At 78 minutes, Breck scored a goal, tying up the game.  

The team ended the game with a 1-1 tie against Breck, giving them a shared 3rd Place finish in State. Their 17-4-1 record for the season has become the best in the program’s 19 year history.  Along with this, the team experienced many firsts; becoming the first team in school history to be the number 1 seed in sections, going to the Section Final, winning Sections, going to State, and placing third. 

Shannon Healy, ‘26, Bridget Healy, ‘23, Kira Cmiel, ‘23, Avery Lampe, ‘24, Gabby Hankel, ‘24, Ceci Carron, ’26, Ella Vincent, ‘25, Ava Schroepfer, ‘25, huddle against the cold in football sherpas at the section quarter final against Rockford High School. PAW Photo Credit: Rien Rose Lee

In addition, Tatum Janezich, ’25, and Greenway broke records in Minnesota history. Janezich made 31 assists this season, as opposed to the previous record of 27 assists. And Greenway’s 58 goals this season made her the second main scorer in state history. 

Even though the season didn’t finish the way they wanted it to, the team still accomplished much more than they set out to. As noted by captain Rylie Schoenfelder, ‘23, “The season went very well and we made a lot of improvements. We also had a lot of success on and off the field.”    

Tune-ing into the Sacred Concert

The November 8th Sacred Concert, put on every year by the choir, and this year accompanied by the orchestra, is a concert in which students and families can praise God through voices and various instruments. In accordance with this year’s theme of meditation on scripture, every song was picked with scripture verses in mind. 

Mrs. Beth Wolfe, Strings Teacher, explained, “Music is a God-given gift, and a gift we should give away in the spirit of healing the world. When you play good music that has a sacred base, you get in touch with the creative energy of God.”

For many, the sacred concert is a chance to take a break from the busyness of their everyday life, and dedicate a moment to be grateful for what God has given us. Ms. Kelsey Wessels, Upper and Middle School choir teacher, said, “The sacred concert is special because it is not only a chance to celebrate the music God has given us, but to also celebrate Him.”

The orchestra plays while being conducted by Mrs. Beth Wolfe.

When it came to the choir and orchestra performing together, both Wolfe and Wessels loved that they had the opportunity to do so. 

“One of the positive aspects of playing together,” said Wolfe, “is that we can learn a lot from each other. The orchestra can learn how singers emote from their music, and the choir can learn from us about precision and what it takes to play together on a string instrument.” 

Having both the choir and orchestra play together was not only a special experience for these teachers, but also a great moment for the students. 

Nathan Ward, ‘24, a choir student, commented, “It was a really neat experience because it created a strong sound that was beautiful.”

Additionally, strings student Alyssa Condon, ‘23, enjoyed both playing with the choir and having the audience sing along.

Some highlights from the sacred concert were when the choir performed, ”Look at the World” by John Rutter, and when the orchestra played “Fantasia” by Tomas Tallis. In addition to this, there was a beautiful piece sung by the choir while two violinists played along. 

Wessels reflected, “The song ‘My Shepherd Will Supply My Need’ had a six part vocal split, so when the string soloists played at the same time the choir sang, it held together fantastically.” 

Following the concert, Wessels and Wolfe felt incredibly proud of their students, due to their hard work paying off. 

Wolfe commented, “Every concert is a surprise and every concert gives more than I thought it would. The choir and orchestra did so many things well that it’s a good base to have as our main goal and as a measuring stick for future concerts.” 

The Sacred Concert was a great experience for both the choir and orchestra, and they look forward to doing it again in years to come.

Honoring our Veterans Through Music

How can one truly define what we owe veterans? At the beginning of this year’s Patriotic concert, Symphonic Band Director, Mr. Thomas Jones, quoted, “A veteran–whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserved–is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including his or her life.” 

On Thursday November 10th, the Providence Academy Symphonic Band, along with Mr. Jones, took the PAC stage for a night to remember all who have served in the military. The Patriotic Concert has become an annual tradition during the week of Veterans’ Day, and is a rewarding time to recognize veterans and their contributions to the United States. 

The night began with a prayer and introduction by Headmaster, Dr. Todd Flanders, thanking all of our veterans for their attendance and for their service to our country. The concert was filled with entertaining songs such as, “A Nation’s Prayer”, “Stars and Stripes Forever”, and “Thunderbolt”. The concert concluded with a fan favorite, “American Heroes”. As the song played, veterans in the audience were encouraged to stand when their branch’s song was played, to be recognized for their service. Finally, during the last section of “American Heroes”, the band played “America the Beautiful” and the audience beautifully sang along. 

Providence Academy believes that it is very important to put on this concert every year. Jones conveyed, “We are reaching a time in our country’s history where patriotic concerts are becoming less popular and this ideal of nationalism and patriotism is being lost. I think it is so important that we at PA preserve our heritage.” 

Jones went on to say, “We at PA are not endorsing one political party or another. What we are doing is saying that we are unified as a country and no matter what challenges we face, we are going to need to face them together.”

PA parent and Army Veteran, Katie Heubschen, remarked, “I am so honored that Providence takes the time to recognize veterans, and it is also very special to look around and see others who have served.”

The concert was a perfect way to celebrate the exceptional men and women who served our country and to show our true appreciation for their sacrifices.

Lower Schoolers Treated to Early Halloween Fun

On Halloween, the Lower School had a fun time attending Trunk-or-Treat, an event put on by Providence’s chapter of the National Honor Society. Although this tradition is fairly new, starting just three years ago, it has become extremely popular, giving Lower and Upper School students an opportunity to dress up and interact. 

“This is my favorite way to spread Halloween cheer,” exclaimed Grace Counts, ‘23, who dressed up as Marshall from PAW Patrol for her cohort’s “fired-up trunk.” 

Julia Holton, ’24, Kira Cmiel, ’23, and Avery Lampe, ’24, hand out candy to lower schoolers at Trunk or Treat, in front of their “Mystery Machine.” PAW Photo Credit: Katarina Greenwood.

NHS cohorts had a blast decorating their cars, with different themes such as, McDonald’s, PAW Patrol, Star Wars, Sports, Minions, Lightning McQueen, Scooby Doo, and Charlie Brown. 

Counts commented, “I love seeing the creativity in everyone’s cars because some people went all out and others just went to bring joy to the Lower Schoolers.”

The Lower School students loved interacting with the Upper Schoolers, especially getting candy from them. “My favorite candy was the suckers,” exclaimed Everett Jones, ‘35. 

After the event was over, each Lower School class voted on which decorated car was their favorite. The most popular cars were the McDonalds drive-thru and Charlie Brown. 

Bridget Healy, ‘23, President of NHS, said, “My car’s theme was McDonald’s drive-thru. We thought that McDonald’s would be a fan favorite among the Lower Schoolers.”

Mary McGinty, ’23, works the McDonald’s drive-thru, the Lower Schoolers’ favorite NHS car. PAW Photo Credit: Katarina Greenwood.

Trunk-or-Treat is more than just a little event. It brings joy to both the lower school and the upper school. 

Healy added, “Trunk-or-treat is a great way for Upper School students to bond with Lower School students at Providence Academy. It is a great way to connect with our roots because we all came from the Lower School and it reminds us of our childhood.”