Loaded Bases and Life Lessons

4 freshman and eighth grade players smile before their game. (Photo courtesy of Claire Roden)

“It’s like a family,” says first and second baseman Monica Rampetsreiter ’20 of this year’s Lady Lions’ softball team. “We’re all very close and encouraging and everybody helps everybody; we always support each other,” she continued.  These 25 girls are taking in more than just fundamentals of the game.

Captains Peyton Pietrini ’20 and Brigid Burns ’20  are each reading books about business that they then apply to softball.  Pietrini’s book, The Culture Solution, explores how each individual in a community has a role to play in improving the culture. Pietrini remarked, “This applies to softball because the book shows that each person on the team has to perform their role for the team to succeed. Though we have distinct roles, we have to come together as one for the team to work well.”

Burns’ book, Dare to Serve, discusses leadership techniques; she notes, “The book shows that the best leaders put their team members in the spotlight.”  Burns pointed out, “Leaders need to make people want to be there, which I’m am hoping to do through captains’ practice and other fun team activities.”

Captain Brigid Burns runs to catch a ball. (Photo courtesy of Claire Roden)

Waking up between 6:00-6:30 AM for morning captains’ practice Monday through Thursday in addition to afternoon practice five days continues to help the team not only improve their skills, but grow closer together.  Under the leadership of coach Horstman and the critical eye of captains, they drill, scrimmage, and condition in preparation for on-field success.  The hard work paid off in a recent triumph, Monday April 29th against Breck Lady Mustangs; Providence won handily, scoring 10 more runs than Breck in five innings, ending the game early.

However, the softball team at PA is about more than just about the game, it’s about life as well. Coach Horstman teaches his players that listening is the most important thing you can do in life, and the key to success is the right mindset. Rampetsreiter says, “My favorite lesson he teaches us is ‘specifics lead to terrifics’. It reminds me that taking the time to focus on the little things will help me both in softball and in life.”


Summer (School) Fun!

Do you or your student find themselves bored during the summer? As the school year ends, summer fun begins – even on campus. Providence Academy offers a wide range of summer programs; from academics, to athletics, to arts, there are camps for all ages and interests.

In lower school, children can attend one week camps, or even a full summer camp through PALs camp. PALs camp is an all day summer program that lasts until early August. Students in grades 2-5 have the chance to take part in a different activity every week. For example, the Martha Burns Swim Camp, allows students to take swim lessons at the Martha Burns Swim School in Medina. In addition to the weekly activity focus, every Friday there is a special field trip! PA also offers one week programs for students who can’t commit to a full summer-long program. For example, Survivor Island is a popular week-long camp in which students in grades 3-7 work collaboratively with their teammates to design engineering projects that will help them survive on an “abandoned island” and enable them to escape.

Nina von Dohlen ‘23 exercises her creative talents during an arts and crafts camp.

A popular middle school week-long program is Achieving in Middle School (AIM), led by Mrs. Theresa Claypool, middle school Dean of Students. AIM helps prepare students for middle school while laying a foundation for success.  Claypool said, “I would encourage students to join because the camp helps alleviate any anxiety students may feel about starting 6th grade.” In addition to building friendships with classmates, she continued, “They feel better just after walking through a schedule and learning how to open their locks.” A new camp this year is the hand lettering camp, taught by Mrs. Mary Anne von Dohlen, a PA parent. During this camp, students learn how to create beautiful calligraphy simply by using Crayola markers!


Mrs. von Dohlen teaches students during a previous summer camp.



High schoolers also have opportunities to participate in Providence’s summer programs. The Oak Savanna Research Project, led by Dr. Boldt, is a chance to do science research during the summer. Students travel to the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in order to learn about the oak savanna, an ecosystem that is home to a wide variety of unique plants and animals. Students work in teams to study the aspects of the savanna ecosystem, collect data, and design research projects.

Another new camp to look forward to this year is called “Kindling the Fire Within,” taught by Mrs. Jendro. In this program, students read and discuss Fr. Tomas Dubay’s book The Fire Within, a modern explanation of the teaching on prayer from the Gospels. They will also learn about saints Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. Mrs. Jendro says she created this camp because “At PA I encounter so many students who want to grow in the spiritual life, would like spiritual direction, or struggle with common problems that can be greatly helped with some insights from Scripture and the saints.”

Even though school is not in session, Providence still provides many opportunities spiritual and intellectual growth, framed by out of the ordinary activities and discussions. Students of all ages can participate in musical, science, and sports camps. For more information and to register click this link: https://www.providenceacademy.org/summer-activities/



A Superior Listening Experience

The Providence Academy band and orchestra kept their superior streak alive in the annual strings competition held last

Trumpet players Tommy Villafana and Peyton Albertini practice for contest.

Thursday here at PA.  8 orchestras and bands from across the state played one or two pieces they had practiced for months, pouring their whole hearts into perfecting each work.

The PA band and orchestra practice four days each week together, and have additional individual practice time totaling up to 10 hours a week. Abby Collins ‘20 says “[Music] takes a lot of discipline; you have to be patient and allow yourself to learn. I practice [clarinet] because I push myself to.”  Students aren’t the only ones returning to these pieces outside of group rehearsal.

Teachers, who also conduct work very hard on the contest piece as well. They have to organize all of the parts of the music, help each player with technique, and figure out the best way to make the contest piece spectacular. Beth Wolfe, orchestra instructor, says “I listen to many different recordings a lot and think about what we need to work on between rehearsals.”

The PA orchestra played “Serenade for Strings” for the contest.  Wolfe reflected, “I think it is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written for string ensemble.”  She continued, “it has soaring melodies and an interplay between the different sections which causes many surprises and emotional moments.”

Orchestra players Monica Rampestreiter, Aaron Kim, and Max Peckinschnider smile after their contest

Between a soulful, lyrical sound in “Be Still My Soul” and the fast, energetic “Pilatus”, the band showed their vast skill set. Collins said, “The band’s favorite is Pilatus. It has a catchy melody and it’s fun to play.”

Three judges critique each performance and give a score out of 40. Collins said, “I was a little nervous [for the contest] because any time you’re on stage and you know people are watching you, you can get into your own head. When that happens, you really have to turn off that voice of doubt.”

Despite nerves, PA’s band and orchestra played fantastically, receiving a Superior rating, a reflection not only of the hard work and determination of the orchestra and band, but also their deep love for music.  In the words of Mrs. Wolfe, “Playing a musical instrument is being part of a miracle. Every piece you play is a wonder and a new experience to see what you can do on the instrument.”

If you want a superior listening experience, don’t miss your chance to come to the band, orchestra, and choir concert this Wednesday, February 27th at 7:00 PM in the PAC.

The “Totally Tubular” Gala

Who we are and where we’re going is shaped by where we’re from. Students at Providence Academy have the chance to explore their passions and grow in their faith, while preparing for the world ahead. Support for such an opportunity comes in many forms, but most recently at the annual Gala.

Parent volunteers and PA staff organize an evening of food and fellowship with generously donated items to support the school, its staff, and students.  From golf course gift certificates, autographed sports memorabilia, portrait studios, and more, the silent auction hall is packed with items up for bid.   Amidst the live auction, attendees also contributed to scholarships for future PA students.

Pictured above, our live auctioneers for the evening, the O’Sullivans.

There was more to the Gala than bidding, however. It was also a fun night out for parents and staff members. Donna Azarian, a PA parent, said, “My fellow PA Mom, Courtney Daniel refers to the Gala as the “Mom Prom”!  It is a fun night to get dressed up, have a lovely dinner, be amongst wonderful and dear friends and celebrate Providence Academy!”.

Part of the fun is the Gala theme. Past themes have been: Super Bowl, the Roaring 20s, and Celebrating the Arts. This year, the theme was the 80’s. Jillian Twaddle, 2019 Gala chairperson stated,  “When you think of the 80’s you cannot help but smile, and think of fun, music, and togetherness. Much is similar in the feeling many have within the walls of Providence; we feel a sense of togetherness, radiating love and faith.”

The Gala began with Mass at 4:30, celebrated by Bishop Cozzens. After Mass, guests were served appetizers and participated in the silent auction in the Performing Arts Center and the Middle School Cloister. During this time, the PAC and Cloister hummed to the sound of 80’s tunes played by the Upper School Orchestra, guests greeting each other and chatting excitedly, and the click of glasses. The silent auction ended promptly at 6:45, and the attendees were led to the Great Room, which was decorated in neon lights and cassette tape centerpieces. A delicious dinner was served at 7, created by our brilliant Chef Morris.

As the evening began, the Reopelles and Schillings smile for a photo in the PAC.

Following dinner, there was a keynote alumni speaker, and a senior slideshow. Donna Azarian said, “I always cry when the Senior Slide Show is presented at the Gala. They are tears of sadness that the students will be moving on outside of Providence Academy, and tears of happiness knowing that these young adults will be going out into the world with the knowledge and love of Christ in their hearts and minds.”

This year’s Gala was a huge success, made apparent by the laughter and excited chatter present at the event. Also, the Gala exceeded financial expectations. Jillian Twaddle said “To watch families plant the financial seeds for growth, as well as to see the passion each holds for a school like no other, was evident that we truly have something special here at Providence.”


The Gift of Giving

Christmas is in the air! Christmas music plays on the radio and in every store, Christmas commercials are shown on TV constantly, and the soft twinkle of Christmas lights accompanies people on their daily commute. The Christmas spirit has also come to Providence through the second annual Holiday Boutique.

The Holiday Boutique takes place at the Statue of Mary, selling everything from baked goods to ornaments to dishtowels. All of the items on sale are donated by PA families and all money is donated to our school, a win-win. Lisa Prom, one of the directors, commented on this creative solution to holiday gift shopping, saying “Donating helps families re-purpose and recycle gently used items that they don’t want anymore, which in turn helps us generate money for Providence.”

A mother and daughter look at the jewelry on display at the Boutique.

This event offered a great opportunity for families to buy Christmas gifts. There was an excited buzz as students and parents perused the tables for the perfect Christmas gift. Colleen Newman ‘20, a volunteer at the event, said “Everyone was having fun and there was a great, lively atmosphere.” The Boutique also had a wrapping station where people could go to get the items they bought wrapped and instantly ready to put under the tree!

Lisa Prom sells baked goods to families and students.

The hassle of shopping for Christmas gifts can sometimes deaden the Christmas spirit, turning what should be an occasion for joy and generosity into a stressful and tiring chore.  This week’s on site opportunity to do some Christmas shopping highlighted the generosity of our families and brightened spirits in the halls of PA. 

Like Christmas itself, Helena Peppin ‘20, reflected, “bringing everyone together like this creates an atmosphere of giving and unity.”  Students from every grade, parents, and teachers gathered together to shop for Christmas gifts, decorations, or tasty treats. Lisa Prom said, “The Holiday Boutique brought the community together to celebrate the feast of St. Nicolas and encourage enthusiasm for Christmas.”