Art to Heart

Artwork submitted by Charlize Pedregosa ’20 for this year’s Art4Shelter.

In addition to food drives and trips to Feed My Starving Children, the Art4Shelter program at the Simpson House is another way Providence Academy students and faculty help our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Over the past few weeks, PA Upper School art instructor Mr. Chris Santer collected artwork from generous students willing to create and donate pieces specifically for Art4Shelter hosted . Art4Shelter, an annual charity event organized by the Simpson House, raises money through the sale of donated original works.

Providence students have been a part of the Art4Shelter charity event ever since it began nine years ago. In 2010, organizers of Art4Shelter reached out to Mr. Santer, hoping he would be able and willing to support the Simpson House with the artwork of his PA students. Santer happily agreed, and he now facilitates the donations of art from his classes every

One four relief prints by US Art Teacher Christopher Santer, the old 1st National Bank building, a landmark Art Deco skyscraper in St. Paul.


This charity event would not be possible without the generosity of artists across the entire state, from professionals to amateurs. Most of the paintings are 5×7, but some are 6×9 as well. The collected paintings all go to the art show at the Machine Shop in Minneapolis, where they are put on display.

Mr. Santer stated that “all of the paintings are anonymous and priced at $35 so that buyers will buy the artwork of both professional and student artists without any bias.” Thousands of paintings are sold, and all of the earnings from this event move the Simpson House one step closer to achieving its mission “to house, support, and advocate for people experiencing homelessness”. Founding member Megan Rye said, “Artists have the biggest hearts of anyone I know. I remember one artist who told me, ‘I could never write a check for $1,000, but if I make 33 small paintings, I can donate that much to the shelter’”.

Even if you aren’t an artist, you can still help! Be sure to attend next year’s Art4Shelter event and purchase some of the art for sale.  For more information, check out:

The impact the Simpson house has had on the Minnesota community.

An Amazing Technicolor Production!

“His coat was red and blue and yellow and…” If you attended the spring musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, you may be able to finish your new favorite song.  The talented caste kept theater goers laughing, singing, and tapping their feet throughout the successful showings of this year’s musical on the weekend, putting on 4 shows in as many days the first weekend of May.

Maddie Young sets the tone for a captivated audience and choir during the opening act.

Audience member Jacob Gable ‘19 commented about the style of the play, as he hasn’t attended many musicals, “The music made the plot more engaging and fun; it really flew by.”  The audience and those who weren’t familiar with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s and Tim Rice’s twentieth century hit may have been surprised to hear such a wide array of musical styles represented. This variation made the program entertaining to all ages. Gable said, “The different genres gave me an opportunity to hear music that I normally don’t listen to and it turns out I really enjoyed it!”

The play was a development from the Old Testament story of Joseph and his dreamcoat,  as a story to children, narrated by Maddie Young ’20 who handled the broad range and difficulty of songs with ease. Play enthusiast  Samuel Stoffel ‘19 said, “Ms. Young has exquisite singing voice and she was an excellent choice for one of the lead roles.”

Much to his brothers’ dismay, “Joseph” receives his coat of many colors.

This year’s musical exhibited the talent of some long-time members of Providence’s Performing Arts community but also featured some new faces on our stage. Among the eager rookies were Sam Young ’19 and Jack Healy ’19, showing it’s never too late to give something like this a try. When asked why they chose to try out for their first play Jack Healy said, “I saw that they needed cast members and I thought it would be something fun to do before I graduate.”

From dazzling costumes, to artistic set design, from catchy songs, to delightful acting, Joseph found a way to resonate with audience members of all ages, and incorporate actors from all backgrounds.  The only thing to lament is that we’ll have to wait until next spring enjoy another collaborative effort of this magnitude!

The Week That Wasn’t

Marred by winter storms and record-low temperatures, Catholic Schools Week at Providence Academy extended beyond its originally allotted time, and still awaits a couple of re-scheduled events.   Nonetheless,  the last week of January still included the Teacher Appreciation Pancake Breakfast, the Winter Ball, and the Pep Fest.

Catholic Schools Week began with a two-hour delay on Monday, January 28. Many students enjoyed the rare opportunity to sleep in, as well as the chance to wear spirit wear for the day. Joey Fafinski ‘19 stated, “It feels great to be out of uniform. I feel freed from waist to neck and ankles to toes”. On the other hand, Jacob Clipperton ‘19 was disappointed with the limited options. He commented, “I thought there was an opportunity to do something more fun and unusual. It seems like we wear spirit wear all the time”.

Unfortunately, hazardous temperatures caused school to be canceled on Tuesday and Wednesday. Many students, including Samuel Stoffel ‘19, were frustrated by the uncooperative weather. Stoffel explained, “It was a real disappointment to learn that we wouldn’t be able to partake in all of the Catholic Schools Week festivities last week, but I’m happy that Providence plans on rescheduling the events in the future.”

Due to school closures, some of the most anticipated events of Catholic Schools Week were postponed. These included Service Day and the Pep Fest. Service Day provides PA students the opportunity to take a break from the stresses of a normal day of classes while at the same time giving back to the community. In addition to volunteering, students looked forward to activities such as touring U.S. Bank Stadium and the Guthrie Theater. These were canceled, but it is rumored that they will be rescheduled at a later date. The Pep Fest consists of a dance put on by the Spirit Squad and the annual PowerPuff

NHS members making pancakes for the faculty in their “grout fits”.

volleyball game. A perennial favorite, the PowerPuff game pits senior and junior men against each other in volleyball. The game was finally played this Wednesday, with the seniors emerging victorious.

On the final day of Catholic Schools Week, students in the National Honor Society put on a pancake breakfast for faculty members. This breakfast serves as a small thank-you to teachers for all they do. Further, Upper School students were able to be fully out-of-uniform as part of the “groutfit” theme. However, not all students participated. In the sea of gray, Stoffel stood out from the crowd; he intentionally wore the PA uniform. He explained his appearance, saying, “ It was an opportunity to stand out and be my own person for a change.”

Catholic Schools Week did not go according to plan, leaving some disappointed. Still, with some quick rescheduling by Providence Academy, most students ended up satisfied.


Give Blood, Give Life

Vampires aren’t the only ones who want your blood. In fact, the Memorial Blood Center will gladly take it; there are many people in dire need of blood. Just this past week, countless members of the Providence Academy community did their part, giving both their blood and their time.

The inside of the blood bus.

Providence Academy partnered with Memorial Blood Center to give students and faculty the opportunity to help those in need by donating blood. On December 5th, a Memorial Blood Center bus parked in the front lot and the blood donations started.

Those who planned to donate blood first had to sign up with Gabriella Munger ‘19 in the days leading up to the event. On December 5th, donors made their way to a table at the front of the school – manned by a volunteer from Memorial Blood Center – to sign in. Next was a thorough interview determining whether he or she was eligible. Of the interview, Hunter Kehl ‘19 remarked, “It lasted over 20 minutes, even though it was cut short because it turned out I couldn’t donate.” Once this final test was passed, a volunteer quickly escorted the donor to the “Blood Bus” outside, where blood is drawn.

Not all students were able to donate their blood, but there were still opportunities to help out. Several members of the

The Memorial Blood Center mascot – ABO Joe

National Honor Society manned the table and held doors, as well as making posters to advertise the event. NHS volunteer Harrison Vetter noted, “though I didn’t donate blood, I hung posters around the school informing faculty and students alike of the main details”. In addition, a few students, such as Jacob Halek ‘20 dressed up as the Memorial mascot. The mascot – a drop of blood – was used to raise awareness of the blood drive at upper school lunches.

Although the PA blood drive has come to an end this year, there are still many opportunities to donate blood. The Memorial Blood Center has locations all over the Twin Cities, giving everyone the chance to donate with ease.

To find more opportunities to give blood, see:


Seasons Changing Means Off-Season Training

Fall is the perfect time to get a jump-start on training to for spring sports or personal fitness goals. Many Providence Academy students are making use of campus facilities in order to get ready for their upcoming athletic competitions.  While the bitter-cold Minnesota winter can pose a tough challenge to aspiring sportsmen and women, PA student-athletes have many opportunities to improve their skills in the off-season. One of these is the dome.

The PA dome is now prepared for another year of indoor training in the harsh winter months.

Many athletes find their winter training constrained by smaller indoor spaces, but the dome gives student athletes room to train in ways that would otherwise be impossible. Sam Lograine ‘19 explained, “The dome is really nice. It gives my friends and me a chance to train for baseball in a space that lets us throw farther to strengthen our arms.” Fellow baseball player Sam Ferreira ‘19 notes that the dome “is an integral part of our season. Captain’s Practice takes place in the dome, and it allows us to start our season on time instead of waiting for the snow to melt. This gives us a big advantage”.

Another facility open to PA students is the weight room. Instead of having to go to LifeTime or another expensive gym, this allows Providence athletes to get stronger right here on campus. The weight room is free to use for all PA students, and Dylan Servais ‘19, a regular, loves it: “The Providence weight room is a great opportunity for me, and any other student wanting to get in the perfect shape for their sport because it is very accessible to anyone wanting to train.” Fran Benson ‘20 used the weight room to recover from a foot injury, remarking that “it really allowed me to get back to my peak performance level, even though I couldn’t practice”.

Even so, some PA students chose to go elsewhere with their training needs. Riley Schroeder ‘19 finds the PA options slim and

Lifetime Fitness, the gym where Riley works out.

stated, “I think lifetime a lot better because it has a lot more exercise equipment that I can use.” This is a common complaint when it comes to the weight room on campus, as it is located in a relatively small room when compared to the expansive spaces of professional gyms.

Between the on-campus offerings and off-campus options, as the weather gets colder you’ll find more and more PA student-athletes staying on top of their game this off-season.