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Principal's Letter - May 11, 2011

Dear St. Monica Academy Parents,


Another busy school year is nearing its end.  With your support, the school and students continue to move in a positive direction as you will see in this newsletter.  There have been trying times as well, and sadness with the passing of three school parents and a brother:  Mr. Chris Stamp, Mrs. Virginia Ballesteros, Mr. James Rasmussen, and Mr. Timothy Horvath respectively, all of whom we will never forget and keep in our hearts and prayers.



The month of May brings ceremonies, celebrations, graduations, farewells, prayer services, field trips, garden days, and classroom picnics.  At the same time, we are starting to think about next year (a new beginning) and the excitement of students moving to the next grade.  Regardless, we have to remain in the present, giving priority to the current school year and finishing it as strong as possible.


We can pay particular attention to a variety of competitions in recent weeks.  This past weekend, St. Monica students presented their science fair projects at the state competition at the University of Illinois in Champaign.  The competition has two components, a paper session, where student compositions are judged, and a project session, where science projects are judged.  For the paper session, Paulina Marecka (8th gr.) earned a Gold Award, Annette Lopez (7th gr.) earned a Silver Award, and Marin McCall (8th gr.) earned a Bronze Award. 


In the project session, Blake Rosenbusch (7th gr.) earned a Gold Award.  Dylan Tabang (8th gr.) and Elijah Irizarry (7th gr.) earned Silver Awards for their science projects.  This year, the State Science Fair included more than 1,020 projects from the entire state of Illinois and acknowledges the work and achievements of the finest young scientists in the state of Illinois.  Congratulations to all of our students for the many hours that they have invested in their projects and papers under the guidance of junior high science teacher, Mrs. Kiszynski.   


The results have also been determined for an essay contest sponsored by Holy Name Men’s Club of St. Monica Parish.  The winners are Ben Ranft (7th gr.), Anna Natividad (6th gr.), Vibyana Sacluti (5th gr.) and Patrick Lambe (4th gr.).  The essay topic for the contest was to write about, “examples of individuals who lead a faithful life as a young Catholic in the community”.  The essays will be read and a prize will be awarded this Sunday in Beyenka Hall at 10:00 a.m.  We thank the Holy Name Men’s Club for their support of our school children. 


We are also pleased to announce that 8th grader, Paulina Marecka was selected as a winner in the 2011 Cook County State’s Attorney’s Anti-Drug Poster Contest.  Paulina’s poster will be featured in the 2012 Anti-Drug Poster Calendar.  She has been invited to attend the Awards Ceremony at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago to receive recognition for her efforts.  Congratulations! 


Our St. Monica Academy Student Council serves as role models to others throughout the school year.  The following students have participated and showed great initiative throughout the year as members:  Cato Newell (President), Maddie Abbatacola, Claire Conroy, Lexie Ippolito, Paul Saad, Annie Valenziano, Joey Lynch, Nicole LeBoeuf, Anna Natividad, and Jeremy Donohue-Wach.  All of these students are developing into fine leaders in addition to balancing their academic responsibilities. 


We would also like to take a moment to thank Tom Becker (President), Robin Liesz (Vice President) and Ronna Atlas for their dedicated service as members of the St. Monica Academy School Board.  We appreciate their time and effort as school board members for the benefit of our students! 


In a fundraiser to benefit children with cancer, St. Monica Academy raised $7,160 this year for St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital.  The Math-A-Thon program, which is headed by Mr. Haruska has raised more than $35,000 for St. Judes in the last six years!  Dylan Tabang ($620.00) and Sophia Acevedo ($454.00) raised the highest dollar amount this year.  Great Job!


In other news, the FSA (Family & School Association) donated an electric piano to the school to be used in our music program and talent show performances.  We also received a donation of 24 computer tables courtesy of Newedge, USA LLC.  The pick up and delivery of the tables was made possible by Golan’s Moving & Storage, Inc.


In the St. Monica student gardens around campus, classrooms are beginning the process of preparing the soil after weeks of planning.  In the next few weeks, the gardens will be planted, but will have to be maintained through the summer.  If you’re interested in helping during the summer months, please attend the garden training session at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1st at the Carmen Street Garden. 


We also would like to thank Lurvey’s Garden Center in Des Plaines for their yearly donations of plants for our gardens.  They have been very generous to our school in providing needed shrubs, flowers, and plants.  Fittingly, Lurvey’s Garden Center was recently selected as the recipient of the “Spirit of St. Monica Outstanding Business Award” for the St. Monica Gala in October 2011.  Parishioners, Sharon and Herb Bass were selected for the Cosmo Militello Service Award, and no one is more deserving of this award.  They are true stewards of their faith in all that they do! 


Tickets are on sale now for the 2011 St. Monica Gala, which will be held Friday, October 21st at Beau Jolie Banquets in Schiller Park on Lawrence Ave.  The Gala is a wonderful opportunity to meet and celebrate St. Monica Academy with other families.  Buy tuition raffle tickets, and you may be the lucky winner of ONE YEAR’S FREE TUITION!


In sports, the junior varsity boys track team earned first and second place trophies in their first two meets of the year in addition to numerous individual medals.  In volleyball, the 6th grade boys team finished as division champions in the City Suburban Catholic Conference.  Great Job!


As we look forward to the next school year, it is extremely important that we have an accurate student number count to properly plan for the new school year.  Therefore, if you have not registered, please do so as soon as possible.  If your child is not returning, please inform Mrs. Pellegrini in the school office.  Of course, we want to give our current families the first opportunities to register before classroom space fills up.  Please send in your registration as soon as possible to guarantee a spot.




State Required Examinations


§         Every student entering Preschool, Kindergarten, and 6th grade is required to submit a complete physical exam and immunization record by the first day of school in order to begin school.  This is a requirement of Illinois State Law.  We encourage you to beat the rush and make your physical appointments now.  Here are additional requirements for children entering preschool, kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 6th grade.


o       Preschool – completed physical examination when entering for the first time.


o       Kindergarten – completed physical examination, vision examination, and dental     examination.


o       2nd Grade – completed dental examination.


o       6th Grade – completed physical examination and dental examination.


§         Please remember to pick up student medication in the school office by the end of June.  Medications not claimed will be discarded.


§         Remember to purchase gym uniforms through the Athletic Board for the coming school year.  Orders are due in early June and will be delivered on Family Payment Day (August 13th 10:00 – 1:00 p.m.)  Order forms are in today’s communication folder and are also available in the school office or printed from the school website.


§         School office hours for the summer:


                  June        9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.      Monday – Thursday


                  July         Closed                            Phone calls will be returned


                  August     9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.     Monday – Friday


This year’s 8th grade graduating class is a special group judging by the number of academic scholarships and acceptances to the following schools:  St. Ignatius, Fenwick, Guerin Prep, Notre Dame, Resurrection, St. Patrick, St. Benedict, Loyola, Maine South, and Lane Tech.  Congratulations to all of our graduates as they prepare for their graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 28th.  We wish them great success as they enter high school and a new phase in their lives.


Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Sharon Sholtus for her 39 years of service to St. Monica Academy and to Catholic Education.  Mrs. Scholtus began this school year as one of our 1st grade teachers, but has since decided to retire.  She has been an important part of the St. Monica community for many years, and we want her to know that we will miss her.  Thank you Sharon for your professional service and dedication to the children of St. Monica!




Ray Coleman, Principal


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