PA welcomes students from Spain

April Yelich '16 and her foreign exchange student Bea Jimenez-Carles '16.
April Yelich ’16 and her foreign exchange student Bea Jimenez-Carles ’16.

Peanut butter; an average food in America. Yet, for Spanish foreign exchange student Bea Jimenez-Carles ’16, peanut butter is one of many new things she is excited to try while studying abroad.

Jimenez-Carles is one of three students coming from the Aquinas American School of Madrid. Álvaro Garde ’15 and Beltrán Carrillo ’17 are, as well, staying for a semester.

Last year Mr. George Weigel, biographer for John Paul II, visited the Aquinas American School of Madrid. The school informed him that they were interested in launching an international studies program in the United States. Having previously visited Providence Academy as a speaker, Weigel thought PA would be a good fit for the Aquinas American School.

Fast forward to fall of 2013, and Weigel’s suggestion is now reality.

In addition too the Aquinas American School students, PA will host Paula Horeno ’16 for a full year.

Horeno is from Spain, but is not affiliated with the Aquinas American School.

According to the Chair for the Department of World Languages, Mrs. Joelynn Lahr, “Paula’s mom and Mrs. Patnode were really good friends” and, as a result, the Patnode family will be hosting Horeno during her stay.

Each student has different aspirations for their visit, but all wish to improve their English.

Garde is staying with the Ritz family, and hopes to “meet new people.” He is planning on playing soccer for the boys soccer team.

Jimenez-Carles is looking forward to “learning a lot of things and making new friends.” She is staying with the Yelich family.

Carrillo finds Providence Academy to be “very big” and thinks it’s interesting that there are “soccer places, and football places, and basketball places.” He will be staying with the Perinovic family.

While Providence will only be receiving students from the Aquinas school this year, in the future, the school hopes to expand the program.

“In the next few years we hope to send students over to Spain,” stated Mrs. Lahr.

During the students’ time in America, Mrs. Lahr hopes they can gain “A deeper understanding of American culture, the culture in our school, and the foundation of faith that we live in and out of school.”

From the PAW Staff: New year, new PAW

The 2013-14 PAW staff (as of Wednesday, August 28)
The 2013-14 PAW staff (as of Wednesday, August 28)

Get ready PA, The PAW is back and better than ever, with some big changes to our publication. For starters, you may have noticed our brand-new website, which is sleeker, more functional, and more user-friendly than the old site. (Big shout out to the fabulous Mr. Darren Rousar, who dedicated a lot of time and even more talent to make these improvements for us).

You also may have noticed The PAW’s increased presence around PA these first few weeks of school – get used to it! The PAW staff is busy planning contests, commercials, giveaways, and surprises for the student body that will continue throughout the school year.

And the final, most important improvement to The PAW? Well, with the PAW’s mission to provide complete, timely, and accurate information to the PA community in mind, this year the publication is going to take full advantage of what an online site allows. This means that we’ll have rolling publication of stories, updating the site multiple times a week (even every day!) rather than a once-a-month publication. We’ll also be implementing more videos, photos, graphs, and polls to really try to connect with and represent the PA student body.

As a staff, we’re capitalizing on these changes to continue to make The PAW a resource for information, a forum for ideas, and a place for students to have a voice. So speak up! Subscribe to us, send a letter to the editor, and contact us with your ideas for stories. We’re here to make the world among these yellow walls a better place, and we want your help.

PA’s construction could mean less parking availability

As Providence Academy students drive into school this year, they will look to the west and see a fenced off parking lot and bulldozers digging up the ground. In July, PA took its first step in the long awaited construction project. The financial gifts from PA families and the Make Your Mark – Build The Pride capital campaign made the construction possible.

The expansion is due to be ready by the end of the 2012-2014 school year, and will connect the current building to the future performing arts center.

The expansion will house a conference room, a gathering space for Middle Schoolers, office space for middle school and development staff, and a TV studio for the production of PA communications, student classes, and Providence eLearning products.

The construction has caused the west parking lot, mainly used by upper schoolers and parents, to shrink considerably in size and is likely to cause problems for those planning to park there. In addition, seniors will find it difficult to find a spot in the senior parking lot because the only access to the lot will be via the east driveway by the softball field.

As the class of 2014 is the largest graduating class in PA history, seniors will struggle to park in the north lot because spots will be more limited than they ever have been before.

Brenna Smith ’14 and Heather Leuer ’14 say they believe both the size of PA’s senior class and the construction will cause problems. They say they wish temporary parking would be available to better fit the needs of the seniors and the teachers that will be parking in the senior parking lot this school year.

Until then, though, they plan to arrive earlier at school to find a place for their cars.

“My plan is to get there early, grab some popcorn, and watch people fight,” Leuer said.

PA expands college counseling program with new hire

New college counselor, Mr. Brian Estrada

This year, Providence Academy welcomes a new college counselor. Mr. Brian Estrada comes to us from Hanover, New Hampshire and brings with him nine years of admissions experience.

Born and raised in Texas, Mr. Estrada attended Texas Christian University after high school. As a baritone player, he planned on majoring in Music Performance but graduated a Political Science major.

“On my first day of classes as a TCU music major, I went to music theory and ear training and I had this gut feeling that ‘the other people in this room are much more passionate about music than me,’” he said.

Though disheartening, Mr. Estrada assures us that he played in the marching band all four years.

After his time at TCU, he attended Indiana University where he earned his Masters in Education and shortly after was hired in Nashville, Tennessee.

In Nashville, he worked for Vanderbilt University as an admissions counselor for 4 years starting in 2004. Shortly thereafter he moved to Hanover where he represented Dartmouth College for 5 years.

When asked why he decided to enter the world of college admissions Mr. Estrada said, “It seemed like the most interesting. The job of a college admissions representative is tied very closely to the goals of an institution.”

He was also attracted to the travel, application review, and public speaking necessary in the field.

As an admissions rep, Mr. Estrada read at least 15,00 essays. Though he can’t recall one essay as being the most memorable, he does remember a few that stood out as very funny, poignant, or confidential.

Though he does not carry the formula for creating the perfect admissions essay, Mr. Estrada is excited to begin working with Providence Academy students.

He first visited Providence in 2007. When at Vanderbilt he recruited from Minnesota and was invited by PA Director of Admissions, Mrs. Sarah Hogan, to speak at Junior College Night.

“As a Catholic admissions counselor, my first thought was, ‘How did I not know about this place?’… As an admissions counselor visiting a beautiful school with great students, I had very strong feelings for Providence even as I left for Dartmouth,” said Mr. Estrada.

Now settling down in Minnesota, Mr. Estrada has already begun working with students. This year he will meet with 25% of the seniors and 50% of the sophomores.

Both Mr. Estrada and Mrs. Walker are hopeful that the addition of another counselor will allow the expansion of the College Counseling program to freshman and sophomores as well.

PA senior spends summer on island adventure

Anna Clipperton '14 spent much of her summer swimming with sea turtles while working as a scuba instructor in
Anna Clipperton ’14 spent much of her summer swimming with sea turtles while working as a scuba instructor in the British Virgin Islands.

Anna Clipperton ’14 spent the majority of this summer in the British Virgin Islands as an intern for SeaTrek, a scuba diving, sailing, and marine science summer program for middle and high school students. The trip, which lasted seven and a half weeks, was packed full of hiking, diving, sailing, snorkeling, nightly science presentations, and much more. Clipperton was one of the staff leaders of the program, after having been a student in the program last summer.

“I loved the program so much last year,” she said. “I knew I wanted to be a staff member this year, because the staff was my favorite part about the voyage when I was a student. They were their own little family and I wanted to be a part of that family.”

As a staff member, Clipperton’s schedule was even more packed than the students’. Each morning she would get up at around 6:30a.m. to make sure breakfast was cooked and morning chores were done before the students got up an hour later. Then she would help lead a hike or a dive before lunch, and then the entire “fleet” would sail to their next destination in the British Virgin Islands. After lunch, the students would have snorkeling time or free time before dinner and a science presentation.

“My favorite memory of my internship was when our fleet went to a place called Diamond Cay,” said Clipperton.

At this island, the fleet glimpsed no less than twelve sea turtles while on a snorkel Clipperton was leading.

“I had seen turtles before but never in that quantity,” she said. “The water was only about 8 feet deep, so we could easily free dive down and be right next to them.”

Clipperton currently plans on turning her back to back summers at SeaTrek into a three year run, returning next year as long as her schedule allows it.

Clipperton's fleet of ships sailed around the British Virgin Islands for seven and a half weeks.
Clipperton’s fleet of ships sailed around the British Virgin Islands for seven and a half weeks.
Scuba dives to sites like this were an integral part of the summer program.
Scuba dives to sites like this were an integral part of the summer program.
This was Clipperton's second year spending her summer with the SeaTrek program, and she hopes to return next year as well.
This was Clipperton’s second year spending her summer with the SeaTrek program, and she hopes to return next year as well.