How we celebrate Catholic Schools Week

The students, teachers, and faculty at Providence Academy celebrate Catholic Schools Week every year. They participate in fun modified uniform days and exciting activities throughout the week, including dodge ball and doughnut days.
“I love how on each day of the week there is a different theme. My favorite is probably jersey day,” says Madie Anderson ’20.

Madame Heitzmann, like many other teachers, get in on the fun of the modified uniform days.

Providence Academy is an independent Catholic school, but it isn’t the only school to celebrate Catholic Schools Week. According to the National Catholic Education Association, “National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States”.  Catholic schools all across the country celebrate during the last Sunday of January and through the rest of the week.
Some other Catholic schools in the area, including Holy Name of Jesus, also have special activities throughout the week, like PA does. They will have different out of uniform days, including “pajama day” and “wear you favorite color day”. They also have a Medallion Hunt, which seems to be a favorite among students, explains Carla Durand, the office manager at HNOJ school.
“I think that a medallion hunt would be fun to have at our school, especially for the younger kids,” says Bradley Koskie ’19, who has a sibling in the Lower School.
At Providence Academy, there is also a Catholic Schools Week dance. The PA dance normally follows a theme. This year the theme was “dress cool”. Students took this in a variety of ways: some dressed in cool colors, some dressed in stylish clothes, and some dressed for cool weather.

Gabby Munger ’19 and Katie Prom ’19 pose in their “dress cool” costumes.

This is different from some of the other Catholic Schools nearby because most of them only go up to 6th grade. But, other non-Catholic schools, like Wayzata and Maple Grove, will have winter dances around the same time as PA. Their dances are more formal than PA’s, and resemble closer to Homecoming.  “Sometimes I wish that our Catholic Schools Week dance was more formal, but I do like that it is more laid-back,” says Maggie Murphy ’19.
It is great going to a Catholic School in the first place, but even more so because of Catholic Schools Week. It is a time to have fun (even while being at school), and Providence especially tries to make it the best for its students.

Allie Lee ’17 wears her Catholic Schools Week sweatshirt.

Until next year, NET Team

After a year with the 2016-2017 NET Team, they are about to leave for the summer.
The NET team this year has accomplished so much, with retreats for the Middle School and Upper School, small groups, adoration, and Bible studies. They also formed many connections with the students at PA when they attended sporting events, theater productions, concerts, and even hung out with students outside of school. They constantly cheered people on and helped everyone grow in their faith.
What the students at Providence will miss the most about the NET Team this year is their constant support and the fun activities that they planned. Some of the NET Team members recalled their favorite memories from the year. “One of my favorite memories was going to the corn maze with students and the rest of the team. It was funny because we were cleaning corn [from the corn pit] out of the van and out of our pants pockets for weeks,” says Lauren Kubelka, a member of the NET team.

The NET Team and some students at the corn maze.

Another great memory was right before Christmas break. The “Netters” brought in hot chocolate for the Upper School, but one condition of having the hot chocolate was that the students couldn’t leave the NET room. “People were literally chugging hot chocolate, with emphasis on the hot,” recalls Elisabeth Ortega.
One thing that students will miss the most about this year’s NET team is their constant support. “I will definitely miss the Netters coming to my basketball games to cheer the team on,” said Hailey Hohenecker ’20. The Netters even sat in on some choir and band rehearsals. “We especially loved the band and choir competitions and concerts. Three of us are big band people so we would go to their rehearsals consistently,” said John-Joe Jackson, a Netter and band enthusiast.
The Netters also recalled their favorite moments of being on and planning the various retreats, alongside Mr. Carrillo, the Choir Director and Campus Minister at Providence Academy.

The NET Team planning for the second semester.

They worked long and hard to come up with fun activities, skits, and interesting conversations for each different grade level to have on their own retreat. “I loved going on the retreats because I got to talk to student’s that I normally wouldn’t talk to, and I feel like God had a reason for putting them in my group,” says Marina Garcia  one of the NET team leaders.
Even though the Netters are very sad to leave, they have accomplished so much over the year. Luckily, we won’t be without a NET Team for long, though, because they return at the beginning of every year. Our very own senior, Gabriel Kopp ’17 said that he is taking a gap year to join NET. So, maybe there will be a familiar face in the NET team come next year.

Some of the Netters on their first retreat.

On your marks, get set, go!

Track is a great way for students of all ages to meet new people and form lasting memories. The start of the season begins with captain’s practices. These are run by students who were voted captains of the team at the end of the last season. Throughout the season they lead the rest of the team with their sportsmanship and their integrity.
“I love being a captain because I feel like I can really help people become faster and stronger,” says Coco McCarthy ’17.
A typical captains practice begins with  warm ups, followed by stretching, and after this students break up into their separate groups. Everyone gets to choose which events they want to participate in, including sprinting, long distance and throwing. At captains’ practice, the sprinters normally do some sort of ab workout, along with some sprinting drills. The long distance team will go on a run or do laps around the track. Finally, the throwers will do a workout, where they use weights to get stronger so they can throw farther.

Some track practices take place in the dome.

Students within these different groups have strong opinions on why their event is the best.  Hailey Hohenecker ’20 says that she likes to sprint because she feels as if she would get bored running around the track multiple times. She also thinks that sprinting is really exciting.
The students in long distance believe that they are better at it than sprinting or doing a field event. Maddie Kelly ’20 says, “It’s what we’re good at, we are better at distance than sprinting.”

Maddie Kelly ’20, Hailey Hohenecker ’20, Emma Kelly ’22, and Riley Nechanicky ’19, pose on the track.

Finally, the throwers and students who do field events say they like the challenge, but also like how they don’t have to run as much.”I like being a thrower because the practices are really fun, and I get a lot stronger throughout the season,” says Maggie Murphy ’19.
This year, some additions have been added to the track team. Just as in years past, the Providence Academy students are teaming up with students from Heritage, but now, they are also co-oping with Maranatha Christian Academy. Providence Academy partners with other schools, “to provide opportunities for all to participate on teams with a consistently safe number of athletes and for more students to gain the benefits that education-based opportunities present,”  explains the Providence Academy athletic director Rick Johns.
Track is a fun way to become more fit by improving your speed, strength, and endurance. It is also a great way to make new friendships and form a “track fam” as some people on the team like to call it. The team has high hopes for their meets this year, and hopefully they can bring home some “gold”.


Sailing into a New Season

Sailing is a sport that not many people have heard of or tried. It is a very interesting sport that seems to intimidate some people. “I feel like sailing seems so hard and complicated,” says Maggie Murphy ’19. In reality, sailing is a really fun sport with a great coaching staff, who help everyone to learn the sport.

Lake Minnetonka, where the sailing team practices


The sailboats, called 420’s, which the sailors use.

The sailing team welcomes all levels of experience, including beginners who have never sailed before, the people who have been sailing for a while, and the elite team. At the start of the season, the beginners practice with the head coach to learn the basics. After they get a handle on the idea of sailing, they are partnered with people who are more knowledgeable about the sport. This creates a safe environment where people of all ages and skills can learn the basics of sailing. With four coaches in the spring season, there is a lot of mentoring and resources for new sailors.

The Providence Academy sailing team practices at the Wayzata Community Sailing Center on Lake Minnetonka with a few other schools in the area, including Benilde, Wayzata, Orono, and Chanhassen. “Sailing practices are fun because you get to meet so many new people, but you are still a separate team with your own school,” says Eleanor Christianson ’19. A basic sailing practice is about two and a half hours, consisting of drills, where the sailors work on turning, either by jiving or tacking, and race-like scenarios, which are called regattas.

Right now, the sailing team consists of six people, but they always want new people to join. They gave donuts out in the atrium so that people would know about the sailing team, and maybe eventually want to sign up. The students on the sailing team always try to explain that sailing actually is really fun, so that more people want to participate. “One time we sailed to Ben & Jerry’s”, Jack Wall ’17 recalls.



Fast February

Each year at Providence Academy, the month of February flies past for a number of reasons. For starters, February is only 28 days long, and begins half way through Catholic Schools Week.  Catholic Schools Week often goes by very fast because there are many fun events and activities that happen. President’s Day is also celebrated during the month of February, so that takes one day off of school in an already short month.
Also during February, there are many different applications due. Everyone applies for honors classes during this month, and this year it is especially hectic because honors levels have been added to every Upper School class except for history. This makes for many more applications to write for each individual student.
“I feel especially stressed this year because I need to decide which honors courses to take, and fill out the applications for all of them,” says Maggie Murphy ’19.
The National Honors Society also has their application due during February. The NHS application is so taxing because students who apply have to write a personal essay about themselves. With an already busy course load and added stress of applications, students to have a pretty busy schedule.
“I was pretty stressed about getting all of my applications done in such a short period of time , but I was able to accomplish

Ms. O’Brien, a Spanish teacher, has a countdown to Spring Break on her board.

everything,” says Jack Zhao ’19.
Another reason that February has flown by very fast is how unseasonably warm it has been. Usually, February is the month where the Twin Cities has the most snow, according to, but this year the month has been unusually warm. We have reached record breaking temperatures, as high as temperatures

Riley Nechanicky ’19 walks into school without a jacket.

in the 60’s. These warm temperatures have created a stir in the Providence community for a break from school and summer fun. Normally, students and faculty start to feel “spring fever” closer to spring break or even during it, but this year the fever has come earlier – just like the unusually warm temperatures.
Many students are restless for spring and summer to come.
Raj Moothedan ’17 says, “It is really nice to have spring weather but I really want spring break to come soon.”
Many of the teachers love the warm weather too. “I love this weather, and it is especially nice for me because I hate wearing socks!” explains Mrs. Gregg, the administrative assistant.
“Fast February” is a name for a month with many different applications due that is only 28 days long and has unseasonably warm weather. Even though February went by so fast, we need to get ready for March, another fast month.