Advice to a Graduating Senior

Each year at our Graduations, students choose a member of the faculty or staff to speak on their behalf. This year’s seniors chose College Counselor Leslie O’Connor. You can read Leslie's speech below. A warm welcome to parents, grandparents, relatives, friends, faculty, staff, administration, Board of Trustees, and the wonderful Class of 2019. I am deeply humbled and honored to be standing here today to address the Class of 2019, my first class as a College Counselor at St. Francis. It is truly a privilege. Recently, I came across a TED Talk by Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston’s College of Social Work. Dr. Brown is a prolific author who has spent 20 years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. This particular TED Talk was so compelling that my husband actually sat down and watched it with me, a rare occurrence in our house, as sitting is not really his thing. The topic that Dr. Brown addressed was on what she calls; courageous vulnerability. Dr. Brown’s research of this concept was inspired by Teddy Roosevelt’s historical speech from 1910, “The Man in the Arena.” I will read an excerpt of it now, with the preface that I took poetic license and will say woman along with man for the obvious reasons. The reality is that Eleanor Roosevelt most likely wrote the speech anyway! And I quote: “It is not the critic who counts, not the man or woman who points out how the strong man or woman stumbles or where the doer of deeds could [...]

2019-05-31T09:12:11-04:00May 31st, 2019|Downtown|

Saying Goodbye to the Class of 2019

It's surreal to be writing my last newsletter article of the year. Somehow, as the year goes on, time speeds up and these last weeks simply fly by.   We began the process of saying goodbye to the Class of 2019 last week: their last Morning Meeting, the last classes, Prom. This week brought the emotional, joyful Senior Luncheon (at which faculty and staff read a speech written for every senior), and next week, of course, is Graduation. Juxtaposed against this are the visits in recent days from young alums who are back home from college and stopping by to say hello. I am so proud of our seniors, of all they have learned both in and out of the classroom over the past four years. And I cannot wait to hear about their adventures in the coming years! Then I turn to look at the students who will be returning next year: unbelievable that these fresh-faced 9th graders are about to become worldly sophomores, the 10th graders are halfway finished with high school, and the 11th graders are rising to the top and finally abandoning their beloved first-floor locker hallway. I'm so excited about all that 2019-20 will hold, with our new retreat program, a just-announced musical production of Chicago, some already-booked speakers, the usual array of athletics and extracurriculars, and the leadership that the Class of 2020 will undoubtedly provide.   First, though: summer break! Time for all of us to recharge, reflect, plan. I will miss all our Wyverns and can't wait to see everyone in [...]

2019-05-17T15:14:42-04:00May 17th, 2019|Downtown|

Big Week for Wyvern Athletics

It’s been a big week for Wyvern Athletics! Highlights include: Senior TJ Richardson signed to play tennis with Tiffin University (and plans to play basketball, as well).  Senior Caleb Mason won both the 100m and 200m and junior Ben Cornett broke the school record for the mile (5:12) at the Louisville Small School Championships track meet. The tennis teams celebrated Senior Night with decisive match wins against DeSales and Mercy.   The baseball team notched its biggest win in school history, dispatching Western 25-0.   Tennis and track regionals are next week, as well as the Spring Sports Banquet, and the baseball district tournament is the following week. Congratulations to our spring sports Wyverns on some fantastic accomplishments this season! I will send an email to parents over the weekend as another reminder, but for planning purposes: This Thursday, we hold our awards assembly in the morning (which is just a student-faculty event) and then celebrate our Class of 2019 at the Senior Luncheon, which is off-site. Because of the Senior Luncheon, 9th, 10th, and 11th graders are dismissed at noon and they do need to leave the building promptly at noon, as all the faculty and staff will be leaving to attend the luncheon. Students should be aware of this, and we will continue to remind them about it, as well as encouraging them to use this free afternoon to study for their exams! The exam schedule is listed on the School Calendar and in School Notes, elsewhere in this newsletter.   Awards Day and the Senior Luncheon [...]

2019-05-10T12:43:04-04:00May 10th, 2019|Downtown|

End-of-Year Events

We celebrated the Class of 2019’s official commitment-to-college day on Wednesday with a class photo and a congratulatory cake! Next up on the seniors’ calendar (besides AP exams; more on that below) is Prom. Some important Prom details to share, for all parents: This year's Prom is next Friday, May 10th at C2 Event Venue, 225 E. Breckinridge Street (very close to the Salvation Army/Old Male gym where we play volleyball and basketball), from 8:00 - 11:00 p.m.  All students, grades 9-12, are invited to come (and may bring a date or not). The junior class is selling tickets at school to 9th - 11th graders (seniors attend free) and will keep those funds to roll into their budget for next year’s Prom. Each year, students raise money (through bake sales, car washes, the Wyvern Store, the Senior Auction, etc.) that is banked for their senior year, when they then are able to plan the Prom they want (and make a class gift to the school). The Class of 2019 has been working hard on this event and we're all looking forward to it! We ended up with a beautiful day for Advisee Games last Friday, with students enjoying relay races, tug o’war (with the crown taken home by the Trent Apple/Alissa Shoemaker advisee group), the ever-popular costume contest (won by the Tony Butler/Terri White advisee group)  and a new addition this year: kickball games featuring 9th vs 10th graders and 11th vs 12th graders. My advisee group notched the overall win, bringing the trophy back where it belongs [...]

2019-05-02T14:54:08-04:00May 2nd, 2019|Downtown|

One Eventful Week!

It's been a full and exciting week of Advisee Games (I'll report on that next week), the always-fabulous Student Art Show & Senior Project Showcase, field trips to the Festival of Faiths (thanks to the Sacred Space Committee) and Brasserie Provence (for the upper-level French classes), fundraising lunches by the 11th grade and the We Act Club ("Gumbo for Ghana"), and more! Perhaps the most important thing we did all week, though, in terms of student well-being, is the Distracted Driving presentation for the full student body on Tuesday. Our Counselor Terri White shares more on that below:    This week, the entire student body attended an assembly on the dangers of distracted driving. Jay Vaughn, a trial attorney and Goshen parent who travels around the country with other colleagues volunteering their time with the organization, presented to parents Monday evening and students Tuesday morning. The presentation included personal stories of lives lost and forever changed due to distracted drivers who were talking on the phone, working their GPS, texting, reaching for an object in the car, etc. Students were actively engaged throughout the presentation and horrified by video footage they viewed of teens and other drivers veering off the road or speeding through intersections completely unaware of the dangers they posed to themselves and pedestrians around them. The videos did not contain graphic content, but did show how in "just a few seconds," cars can be out of control and off the road from distractions. The students also learned vital information such as:  car crashes are the [...]

2019-04-26T16:30:24-04:00April 26th, 2019|Downtown|

St. Francis Has Got Talent!

We enjoyed another fabulous Talent Show yesterday afternoon! Joke-telling and lots of music were on the agenda. Students played and sang songs from the likes of Carole King, Taylor Swift, Chicago, and the musical Waitress. What I always love most about the talent show - even more than the amazing skills and passion on display - is the students’ appreciation of each other, as evidenced by copious applause at the conclusion of each performance. A late entry by Señora Angela Katz and some of her Spanish II students, performing a song, even had students waving their uplifted iPhones with flashlights on, as the kids do these days in imitation of the cigarette lighters of yore.  Next week brings a distracted driving presentation for parents on Monday night and students on Tuesday morning, our annual Student Art Show & Senior Project Showcase on Thursday, and our final Community Service Day with Advisee Games following on Friday! Other exciting events include a Flamenco dance demonstration with Señora Angela Ponzio from the Goshen Campus; fundraising lunches hosted by the 11th grade and the We Act Group (the latter dubbed “Gumbo for Ghana”); a field trip for upper-level French students to Brasserie Provence; and an opportunity for students to meet and talk with University of Louisville professor and Thrivals founder Nat Irvin. The beautiful weather must be helping energize the students, with teachers holding class in the Courtyard and students spending their free time there as well. Here we go into May!

2019-04-19T15:18:49-04:00April 19th, 2019|Downtown|

Back at School!

This week, though we're just back from Spring Break, has in many ways focused on the next school year! We opened course registration for returning students, featuring not only core classes and AP options but also exciting junior/senior electives like True Crime, Microfiction and the Prose Poem, Race in American Cinema, Delhi: Then & Now, Climate Change: An Activist’s History, Light & Optics, Design & Engineering, and Vertebrate Zoology. The seniors are getting final acceptance notifications from colleges and making decisions in advance of the May 1st deadline. The English department is busily reviewing possibilities for the all-school summer reading book, to be announced soon. And we're contemplating the additional faculty summer reading possibilities, exploring options that focus on race, trauma-informed teaching, or mindfulness; books from the keynote speakers at the upcoming ISACS Annual Conference in Louisville next fall; and more. We particularly enjoyed sharing last year's summer reading choices with parents at our Back-to-School Night and hope to do so again.   Before we get to 2019-20, though, there's plenty of energy left for this year! Today we had our fifth Community Service day, followed by a Kentucky Shakespeare Festival production of Macbeth. The tennis and track teams are both in action this afternoon, with the baseball team hosting an invitational tournament tomorrow. The We Act group heads to the annual We Day celebration of service next Tuesday, and the sophomores travel to the University of Louisville to see a production of A Raisin in the Sun. Back at school, students are enjoying this warm spring weather by spending [...]

2019-04-12T13:55:02-04:00April 12th, 2019|Downtown|

College Corner: The College Decision Making Process

College Corner appears in the Wyvern Weekly with suggestions and dates to help make the college search and application process as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. Seniors are in the process of making a decision as to which college they will attend. The deadline for making the enrollment deposit is Wednesday, May 1st. We will be celebrating the May 1st deadline at SFS by seniors, faculty, and staff wearing a t-shirt or sweatshirt from the college they are attending (or attended in the case of the faculty and staff!). In order to not miss important deadlines, seniors should be checking their email for communications from their colleges, as housing, registration, orientation, and other important information is being sent. It is common courtesy to email the admissions offices at the colleges you are declining to let them know you have made a commitment elsewhere (you don’t need to say which college you are attending, but you can if you want). If any seniors are undecided about which college they plan to attend, here are some suggestions for parents and students when considering the decision:  Compare scholarships and financial aid packages and decide what is most comfortable for you financially as you consider loan amounts. What are the strongest programs academically and do they interest you? Do you have a dedicated academic advisor and career counselor? Consider the surrounding area of the college as you will be living there for four years. Is it important for you to be in or near a city? Do you want to be surrounded by [...]

2019-04-12T10:12:14-04:00April 12th, 2019|Downtown|

Grandparents’ Day!

Today was Grandparents’ Day at the High School! Grandparents are invited to visit two classes and have lunch with their grandchildren. This is a lovely event every year, as it gives grandparents a glimpse into the lives of these teenagers that they otherwise wouldn’t get. Many thanks to our Development team and our Parent Association for making this possible! The final pre-Spring Break major event is upon us Sunday - Tuesday, as over 20 students head to the Galt House for the Kentucky United Nations Assembly (KUNA) event. Then an intrepid group of 11 High School students (along with three Middle School students, some parents, and chaperones Ralph Marshall and Chris Hutchins) departs for China on Thursday! Over Spring Break, they will visit Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai.   Spring Break also marks the end of Senior Project presentations. If you follow St. Francis on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve likely seen the posts with photos of our seniors and the titles of their projects. In April, we’ll wrap up the process with the Senior Project Showcase on Thursday, April 25th (also the date for the Student Art Show and the Class of 2023 Welcome Picnic). You’ll see an invitation, but please save the date!

2019-03-22T13:37:03-04:00March 22nd, 2019|Downtown|

A Day Around Town

We are back at it with our fourth Community Service day of the year today. Students who worked outside had to battle cold and muddy conditions, but persevered nonetheless! This afternoon, we had our second "half' of Cultural Day, which includes thematic downtown field trips for each grade. The 9th grade, focused on media, visited Red Pin Media (publishers of LEO, the Voice-Tribune, and more). The 10th grade, themed around art, took a trip to the Speed Art Museum. The 11th grade, centering on the legal/justice system, visited the Jefferson County Law Library for a seminar on "Knowing Your Rights." And the 12th grade traveled only as far as the Space for Thought, where they continued their theme of preparation for college and life with a financial literacy seminar with our Business Manager, Greg Borders.  The BSA's Soul Week, highlighted by a panel of speakers on Wednesday, finished in fine fashion with "The Feast" today; next up is Diversity Week with its annual Potluck and Fair, as well as some student education on intersectionality. And in between the two Weeks is tonight's Women's Retreat. This 17th annual event is a favorite for many of us on the faculty and staff, as we always look forward to this time with the fabulous young women of St. Francis.   The tennis team had its first match and the baseball team its first scrimmage game this week, so we're managing to be underway on spring sports, despite the weather challenges. Fingers crossed for some better weather soon for our spring sports athletes. [...]

2019-03-15T15:04:18-04:00March 15th, 2019|Downtown|
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