Starting the School Year Off Right

What an incredible start to the 2019-20 school year! First, the students (and parents) who were able to attend the Back-to-School Picnic last Saturday were blown away by the the new front entrance, beautiful lobby, and, of course, the sparkling gem that is the new theater. It has truly transformed our school building and energized everyone! Secondly, digital literacy and humanities teacher Anne Holmes started work Wednesday with her due date for her baby’s arrival a little more than two weeks away. Well, surprise, surprise, Anne began feeling “funny” during the day, left school at 2:00 p.m., and drove to the hospital where she delivered her little girl at 4:00 p.m. Wow! We are so pleased for her and baby Mabelle, who rang in at 6.9 pounds and 18.5 inches. Baby and family are doing fantastic, and we wish them the best! We were also fortunate that Goshen and High School alum Tom Skaggs G’04, ’08 was on deck to take on another St. Francis short-term assignment. He arrived at lunchtime yesterday, and will be Anne’s fill-in until she returns later in the fall. What a start to the school year! We also wanted to give you some tips to get the new year off to a great start, so here is some advice gleaned over the years from ourselves and other educational experts: Eat a good breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day and will give your child the energy to power through the morning. Have your child be responsible for their belongings (i.e. packing their [...]

2019-08-16T14:50:36-04:00August 16th, 2019|Goshen|

Inspiring Words on Intentions

Each year at our Graduations, students choose a member of the faculty or staff to speak on their behalf. This year’s 8th grade graduates chose Middle School Language Arts and Social Studies teacher Julie Mushkin. You can read Julie's speech below. Students, family, staff, and loving supporters, I would first like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak to you today about this class I love so very much. Delivering a graduation address for this talented group of 8th graders is a tremendous privilege, and I am truly honored. Thank you so much for inviting me to speak here. To our graduates, today represents the culmination of years of hard work. You have survived middle school and all the trials, tribulations, and triumphs that come with this time: Capstone, Big South Fork, 7th grade language arts, countless field days, formals, and so much more. Congratulations on making it through the beautiful, messy, priceless middle school years. You deserve to be celebrated today as you are poised and ready to embark on the new adventure of high school. Before we look at the exciting things that lie ahead, if you will indulge me for a minute, please allow me to take you all back to the first week of 7th grade when I gave you three pieces of advice: the first, and very critical for middle schoolers, as you all know, was to wear deodorant every day; the second, and equally important for timid 7th graders, don’t let the stories of the 8th graders scare you, for [...]

2019-05-31T08:57:23-04:00May 31st, 2019|Goshen|

Capstone, Renaissance Faire, and Farewell!

This last full week of school (gulp!) has been a BIG ONE for our 8th graders. Tuesday they culminated a semester of work in language arts by presenting their Capstone Projects to their family members and to the Middle School students and faculty. It is always an intriguing morning listening to as many presentations as you can fit in. They’ve all worked so hard, and you wish you could experience each and every one of them. As I walked around the room I heard or saw projects on such diverse topics as women in music, sleep disorders, forensic science, the history of tattoos, quantum mechanics, the psychology and history of con games, the influence of the Vikings, and many more. More impressive is how easily the kids can converse and present their major findings without referring to notes or pages on their trifolds. It is readily apparent that they have learned a great deal about a topic of interest to them while also completing a research paper. What an experience for an 8th grader to have before moving on to high school. Similarly, our 7th graders completed a mini version of Capstone last week with the annual Renaissance Faire. They chose an area of focus related to this fascinating era in history and presented a project on their findings. There I was regaled about “The Romani” (or gypsy culture back in the day), Renaissance food (with a sample included!), stained glass and mosaics, the black plague, Shakespeare, and much, much more. Congratulations to our 7th and 8th graders and [...]

2019-05-17T13:11:25-04:00May 17th, 2019|Goshen|

Sports Banquet Memories!

This week brought the annual Middle School Sports Banquet to the Goshen Campus, and it was heartwarming as usual! The camaraderie and spirit among teammates and the special relationships that develop between coaches and their players were on full display Tuesday night. The coaches spoke warmly about their teams, seasons, and challenges, and delighted in handing out well-deserved trophies to some of their athletes. I always love how their teammates delight in cheering each other on, and the “all for one” philosophy is clearly evident. It's easy to see that our faculty and parent coaches are teaching our students the proper lessons about athletics; that winning isn’t everything (OK, it is nice!), practice is crucial, and sportsmanship is paramount. The smiles on the students’ faces makes it one of the really rewarding evenings of the school year. And in addition to the Middle School Sports Banquet, many other events keep coming at us on the Goshen Campus. Last week we hosted yet another stunning Kindergarten Derby, and in our version, there were no disqualifications, only ponies willing to help each other out when they took a tumble! The costumes, parade, and pageantry were fabulous and it was a memorable day at “St. Francis Downs” for our preschoolers through 8th graders, as the latter took their final victory lap around the circle out front. Last week was the Middle School Talent Show; this week, it was time for our Lower School students to have their turn! It was a jam-packed affair, as always, emceed by 4th graders Nolan Reif and [...]

2019-05-10T12:45:42-04:00May 10th, 2019|Goshen|

National History Day and Lots of Talent!

Monday’s Middle School Morning Meeting had that end-of-the-year feel: more like a rowdy Friday rendition! First off, we honored our 5th grade students who competed in the Kentucky National History Day Competition at the University of Kentucky over the weekend, a first in the School’s history. 5th grade teacher Billy Spalding led his charges into “battle” and they emerged with impressive results. Here is a summary from Billy: “Congratulations to the 5th graders who represented St. Francis, for the first time ever, at the Kentucky National History Day Competition on Saturday, April 27th at the University of Kentucky. Kennedy Julian, Eleanor Kayrouz, Charlie Rutherford, and Sydney Shoemaker competed against the best historians from all over the state. Sydney and Eleanor won second place for the group exhibit category, and Kennedy and Charlie won first and third place, respectively, for the individual exhibit category. All four participants medaled in their NHD debut! Their performance was the culmination of their efforts of the year. The students researched a historical topic utilizing primary and secondary sources, developed a thesis and defended it with facts, and presented their findings in a way that supported their argument and fit with the annual theme of the contest. They then had to revise, edit, and make necessary changes based on the feedback they received at the regional contest. Finally they had to present their exhibit to a panel of judges made up of history professors and teachers. The skills they learned from National History Day are valuable tools that will serve them throughout their entire academic [...]

2019-05-02T11:53:23-04:00May 2nd, 2019|Goshen|

ERBs and Coming Attractions!

It's been a studious week on the Goshen Campus as our 4th - 7th graders have been toiling away working on their ERB standardized tests. And while it’s certainly not their favorite activity by any means, counselor Julie Marks makes sure the students know why we take these tests and gives the teachers practice tests and information to have the kids properly prepared. By all accounts, it has gone off without a hitch this year. The 8th grade, meanwhile, has enjoyed their standardized testing reprieve, and we are all looking forward to getting back to our normal routine next week. We’ll share your child’s results with you, of course, when the results come in late summer. And our teachers will also look over them which helps with certain placement decisions as well as the valuable information we glean into each and every one of them.  I also wanted to highlight a couple of big coming attractions for next week. Tuesday night brings the always-fun Middle School Talent Show, which will start at 6:30 p.m. With the Main Amp under construction, we’ll be in the Multi-Purpose Room this year and will have the usual singing, dancing, and musicianship, as well as some comedy this year - and one more year of the amazing Jamie Campbell performing magic! All of the proceeds benefit the Class of 2019’s class gift, so it’s a combination of great entertainment for a noble cause. And Wednesday brings the heart-warming Preschool and Kindergarten Derby races to campus. The pomp and fun associated with these events are [...]

2019-04-26T13:35:33-04:00April 26th, 2019|Goshen|

7th Graders “Rough It” in Indiana!

This week, our 7th graders ventured up to Brown County State Park in Indiana for their outdoor education trip. This location was a first for us, so they got to be explorers in seeing whether this park fit the bill as a good location for hiking and class bonding. Overall, we were blessed with great weather - only chilly the first night (mid-40s) before soaring to the upper 70s on Tuesday! And fortunately, no rain, although the high winds literally blew some of our tents out of the ground! Learning to prepare properly for the weather (and what life brings you) is part of the point of these excursions. The area was very beautiful! It was a homecoming of sorts for me as Indiana University is only 15 miles up the road (of course I never made it into the park as an undergrad!). Here are some of the highlights from the trip: Some groups hiked to and climbed a tall fire tower! The view at the top above the trees was impressive, naturally, and the whooshing winds up high were both cooling and calming (even if Angela Ponzio wouldn’t climb up with us). One of our hikes, which all three groups did, led to a gorgeous lake with lots of turtles sunning themselves and one unexpected encounter with a large snake doing the same! We found out later this was a harmless copperbelly water snake, but it still gave many of us the willies. We spent some silent time both hiking and sitting near the lake, which isn’t [...]

2019-04-19T13:33:23-04:00April 19th, 2019|Goshen|

Reflecting on “The Sound of Music”

After a long and restful Spring Break, we returned this week refreshed and looking forward to the homestretch leading to the end of the year. At Morning Meeting on Monday, we talked about the many, many events that occur between now and then, such as track meets, Derby events (especially the Kindergarten Derby!), talent shows, the 8th grade Capstone Projects Showcase, camping trips, dances both “cute” (Parent-Daughter Dance) and “serious” (7th/8th Grade Formal), just to name a few! All ultimately lead to Class Day, Red/Blue Field Day, our Final Assembly and, of course, the Goshen Campus Graduation. Not to mention the hustle and bustle of everyday life and learning at St. Francis, of course! But before we move onto all of the upcoming events, I want to take a quick look back at our spring musical, The Sound of Music. If you didn’t get the chance to see the show, it was staged in the huge auditorium of Old Male High School (seating capacity of 1,538!). This allowed our cast and crew of 56 to perform in a different style of theater than the one to which they are accustomed. As I commented on in curtain speeches, with our theater expansion and front lobby renovation going on all year, we’ve now done four SFS drama productions in four different locations. This includes the summer alumni show, Getting Out, at Baron’s Theater Downtown, The Odd Couple on our Downtown Campus, Seussical KIDS at Gingerwoods, and The Sound of Music at Old Male. And while this has certainly been challenging, it [...]

2019-04-12T13:30:32-04:00April 12th, 2019|Goshen|

A Wyvern Weekend!

Morning Meeting this past Monday was a joyful celebration of so many wonderful things our kids did over weekend. First, Joanne Brock was her usual inspirational Pied Piper, leading 19 of our Lower and Middle School students, along with PE teacher Rosanne Conlan, to shave their heads (or cut off a good deal of hair!) for the annual St. Baldrick’s campaign to raise funds to fight cancer. Together the team raised over $12,000 this year! What an act of compassion and lesson for our students. We also celebrated our 5th graders’ first-ever foray into National History Day at U of L. Billy Spalding led this new initiative where students created projects based on historical events and four of our students - Kennedy Julian, Eleanor Kayrouz, Charlie Rutherford, and Sydney Shoemaker - advance to the state competition next month in Lexington. Meanwhile, Middle School students Amelia Gorman, Jack Rutherford, and AJ Stevenson participated in the Governor’s Cup State competition on Sunday in Louisville, which they qualified for by advancing through District and Regional competitions. AJ described it as “an endurance test of test-taking!” Yet another huge accomplishment was turned in by 5th grader Andrew Snyder, who was “team St. Francis” at the Science Olympiad Regional competition coached by Jason Chlopek. Despite being our only Middle Schooler who competed, Andrew stood up to 15 other full teams and captured a second-place medal in the Road Scholar event! This is the first time in over six years that the School earned a medal for Road Scholar. And on top of all that, [...]

2019-03-22T10:05:52-04:00March 22nd, 2019|Goshen|

Hard Hat Tour of Main Amp, Theater, & Lobby Wows All!

Last Friday was a special day on the Goshen Campus as Lake|Flato architect Danny Davy flew in from Texas to see firsthand the progress on the Main Amp and theater project. He started his day attending our Middle School Morning Meeting and gave a cool presentation showing what it means to be an architect. He talked about the creative side of his profession, but also how math is integral to what he needs to know. (It’s always great for kids to get an answer to the question “Why do we need to know this?”) That afternoon, a group of donors, school administrators, project personnel, and local media donned their hard hats and took a tour of the construction project to see the progress that’s been made (and of course, the Wyvern and Buffalo Construction buffalo mascots were on hand  to lend some “pomp to the circumstance!”). It was awesome to see the full size of the stage and be able to visualize it in its new configuration. This has certainly been a challenging year in many ways on the Goshen Campus, with the heart of our school inaccessible, but seeing what is only a few short months away from reaching fruition gave us all a spring in our step! Our students, faculty, and community are in for a real gem, and we all can’t wait until next year!  As part of helping to make this dream a reality, each of our grades is taking on a fundraising project to support the Main Amp and Theater building. Our students will [...]

2019-03-15T16:04:12-04:00March 15th, 2019|Goshen|
Load More Posts