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Dear Holy Spirit Prep family,
Happy Catholic Schools Week! This week across the nation, we celebrate the essential role Catholic education has in the formation of our children, and celebrate all of the people involved in that formation: clergy, parents, teachers, and our students themselves. We are a remarkable communion of faith - preparing students for success in college, yes, but also to be faithful and joyful in life, and happy with God forever in heaven. We are, as our mission statement says, a "communion of souls destined for joy."
I look forward to updating you on the state of our communion of joy at my Head of School address, this Friday at 4:00pm in McDonough Hall. I want to update you on the school's admissions efforts for next year, on our development efforts and the school's financial standing, and on the progress our seniors have made in applying to colleges and universities across the country. I'll touch on our plans for athletics over the next three years and the results of our reaccreditation application. Stick around afterwards! Food trucks from Sweet Auburn Barbecue and Tex's Tacos will be outside serving snacks, and at 6:00pm, varsity basketball takes on Young Americans for the Pink Games, supporting Mercy Care.
We began Catholic Schools Week in Atlanta with the Archbishop's Banquet for Catholic Education, which honors faculty and staff from each archdiocesan and independent school in the Archdiocese. I am incredibly proud of this year's HSP honoree, Hector Gamarra, who has faithfully and enthusiastically served HSP as our facilities manager for the last seven years. Hector himself is the product of a good Jesuit education, and understands deeply the value of Catholic formation in our students' lives. He is essential to our Upper School operations, and I'm delighted we could honor him in this way.
In addition to Catholic Schools Week, this week is also National School Choice Week, and legislators across the country will consider proposals for supporting a range of educational options. Right now, in Georgia, one of the best programs supporting school choice is one we participate in through the Georgia GOAL Scholarship program. GOAL funds scholarships for outstanding students who otherwise couldn't afford the full cost of tuition.
This week, though, GOAL and programs like it are under attack. Georgia legislators are considering proposals that move programs like GOAL to a corporate-funding model, removing contributions from private citizens, and requiring significantly more standardized testing and reporting to the state. We will not participate in a scholarship program with such restrictions. We want to see the program remain in place, and the cap on personal contributions raised dramatically. I strongly encourage you to sign the GOAL petition asking the Georgia legislature to raise the cap. In raising the cap, we can continue to invite deserving students into our community.
Finally, with Lent beginning next Wednesday, February 12, I want to recommend the Best Lent Ever program from DynamicCatholic.com. The founder of Dynamic Catholic, Matthew Kelly, will be our commencement speaker this year. "Best Lent Ever" is a daily email subscription that will energize your Lent, and inspire you to have a meaningful Lenten season. Know that as a school community, we will be praying for you and your family.
Yours in service,
P.S. This week, we have released the full academic calendar for the 2016-17 school year. You can download a PDF of the calendar here.
To date, we have 47% parent support for the Annual Fund. Please help us reach 100% by end of January! Pledge now and pay by June.
Why is my participation in the Annual Fund important?
The first question that most outside constituencies ask before making a gift is, "What do your board, staff and parents contribute?" It is so important that we show support from within before we go to outside sources for contributions. Participation in the Annual Fund demonstrates to others that we, as one of the closest groups to the School, support our mission. What better way to motivate other groups to give?
The Annual Fund is the school’s largest and first fundraising priority, which supports resources and educational initiatives for students and faculty not covered by tuition alone. The Annual Fund allows the school to respond to immediate needs and make improvements that directly benefit our children.
The success of our Annual Fund depends on the participation of every member of the school community – parents, grandparents, trustees, faculty, staff, former parents and grandparents, alumni, friends, foundations and corporations. This school year, we aim to raise $535,000 with 100% commitment from our current parents.
Make your gift
Make a Pledge
The 1996 Level
$19,960 and higher
The Donoghue Level
The Donnellan Level
$5,000 - $9,999
The Dillon Level
$2,500 - $4,999
The Paraclete Level
The Gold Level
The Green Level
Up to $499
Publix cards are available at the front office of each campus. Just give the card to your cashier at checkout and HSP will receive $250 for every $37,500 spent.
Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Holy Spirit Preparatory School when you shop at AmazonSmile. To enroll, go to smile.amazon.com.
Enroll in the Target Charge of Education Program and Target will donate up to 1% of your REDcard purchases to HSP. To enroll go to www.target.com/tcoe.
If you can’t attend the event on February 11, you can shop anytime in February and let Mednikow know you are with Holy Spirit Prep. Mednikow will determine its jewelry donation to the Spring Gala based on the amount of sales they do from HSP shoppers in February.
Upper School Open House
Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night
Kyle Pietrantonio, HSP's Head of School, will present his annual address to the HSP community in McDonough Hall. In his address, Mr. Pietrantonio will discuss the state of the school, including updates from our admissions, college counseling, and development programs; an overview of our recent accreditation visit; and what's in store for HSP over the next few years.
As part of Faculty Appreciation Day, Holy Spirit Prep will cover food truck costs for faculty and staff. Pick up your food truck vouchers after the Head of School address.
Stay afterwards for food trucks and the annual Pink Games, supporting Mercy Care!
February 5 | 6:00pm
Supporting Mercy Care
All HSP Lower School basketball players should wear their jersey to the Pink Games!
Come out and support the girl's varsity basketball team's annual fundraiser for Mercy Care! Varsity girls take on Atlanta Girls School, and present a donation to Mercy Care at half-time.
Food trucks will be serving concessions ahead of the game at 5:30!
St. Joseph's Cohort will be selling Chick-Fil-A sandwiches at the game.
Buy tickets online
Each year, all graduating seniors have the opportunity to go on a senior trip to Vatican City and Rome. Students planning to make the trip are expected to pay their way, which can pose financial challenges for some. To help defray costs, "Roma" was born. Every year, the seniors produce a fun-filled evening of auction items, entertainment, Italian pasta dinner, and desserts. They utilize their talents: singing, dancing, art, baking, serving, etc. to create what has come to be a memorable night for both participants and guests!
One of the most anticipated features of the evening is the Senior Servant Auction. Many of the senior students will advertise their various talents (everything from yard work and babysitting to tutoring younger students to car washing and house painting). Roma guests have the opportunity to bid on the seniors. Winning bidders will have the chance to utilize their Senior Servant on Senior Service Day in May (after their final exams). Questions? Contact Mike Verlander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click to register
Click to register
Holy Spirit Prep is incredibly proud of Hector Gamarra, our facilities manager, who, this past Saturday, was honored for his service to Catholic education at the 2016 Archbishop’s Catholic Education Banquet. The banquet is an annual event hosted by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory during Catholic Schools Week, which recognizes the contributions of faculty and staff at each independent and archdiocesan Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
Hector has served as HSP’s facilities manager for seven years and has in that time, humbly and without notice, gone above and beyond the duties of his position to support HSP, our school's mission, and our faculty and students.
Hector is a product of Catholic education himself, a graduate of Colegio San Calixto, a preschool-12th grade Jesuit school in Bolivia. While reflecting on the service he performed as a student there – visiting nursing homes and prisons – Hector said, it’s “where I learned that we are all responsible to bring a word of faith, love, and hope to all who need it.”
It was at San Calixto that Hector was formed by teachers like Fr. Basiana. “He impacted me by his kindness and the humble life he led. He taught me that we can…help people through our daily actions,” Hector said.
Hector loves supporting the HSP community: “The highlights of my work happen when students and parents approach me to thank me for helping them with special projects such as theater and school functions. I especially feel appreciated when students who graduate thank me with big hugs and cards for all the help I’ve provided them throughout the years.”
Head of School Kyle Pietrantonio shared his gratitude for Hector’s years of committed service, “Hector is always happy to help our Holy Spirit Prep community and does an excellent job keeping our facilities in great shape. I pray that Hector continues to be a shining example of magnanimity each day for our students.”
The full academic calendar for the 2016-17 school year is now available. The calendar lists key dates, sacramental events, and all of the regular events that make up the school year at Holy Spirit Prep. The calendar does not include athletic or Mass schedules.
Download the full 2016-17 academic calendar (.pdf)
Download the 2016-17 key dates (.pdf)
Congratulations to Mrs. Jessica Askins, our Upper School Spanish teacher, who has been awarded a summer study abroad scholarship by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. The AATSP is the primary professional organization for teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, and selected Mrs. Askins based on the excellence of her application, including her experience and the recommendation of HSP faculty.
Mrs. Askins was awarded the organization's Estudio Sampere Scholarship, which funds a four-week intensive Spanish language program at Estudio Sampere in Madrid, Spain. She will join teachers from around the world for the course, designed specifically for Spanish-language instructors. In addition to her coursework, Mrs. Askins will get the opportunity to participate in a host of cultural opportunities.
Mrs. Askins said she couldn't wait to return to Spain, and to bring back everything she learns to share with her students.
Thank you to all of you who helped with Casino Night! Whether planning, cleaning, check-in, bartending, MCing, hauling, dealing, or getting the word out, it was appreciated very much. Please know we could not have done it without you and the success is shared equally. We feel the success was most noted in the good times, camaraderie, and smiles of our Holy Spirit community. Even Holy Spirit parishioners, priests, and deacons joined in the fun!
We know Casino Night raised some great funds for HSP's athletics program, and hope to have the final amount to announce shortly.
With gratitude, Vern and Jennifer
8th-12th grade (varsity) | 6th-8th grade (middle school)
February 1st, at North Fulton Golf Course (Chastain Park) | Tee times start at 4pm.
Please inform Coach Verlander at email@example.com of a student’s intention to tryout, and Coach Verlander will be able to arrange tee times accordingly.
February 1st | 4:00pm-5:30pm
Parent Meeting, February 3rd | 6:00pm | Upper School Commons
February 1st-February 5th
4:00pm-6:30pm | Monday-Thursday;
1:00-3:30pm | Friday (2/5)
February 1st-February 3rd | 4:30pm-6:00pm
Parent Meeting, February 1st | 6:30pm | Upper School Commons
February 1st and 2nd | 4:00pm-6:00pm
February 2nd-February 4th | 3:30pm-4:30pm
Parent Meeting, February 2nd | 5:00pm | Upper School Commons
Lower School Open House
Monday, February 8
9:00am (join us for Mass at 8:15am!)
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
You're invited to see what's in store for your students when they move to the Lower School, whether that's next school year, or two years from now. At Holy Spirit Prep's Lower School, your student will continue to experience the outstanding academics, courageous athletics, and faithful service you expect for your elementary experience.
Come visit the Lower School campus during out Open House to see what we mean: you’ll meet more of our brilliant, caring faculty and tour campus with our school leaders, where you'll have the opportunity to quiz them on what an actual day in the life of an HSP Lower School student looks like.
Sign up for the spring season of Little Cougar soccer!
Holy Spirit Prep Lower School Field (4820 Long Island Dr.)
Pre-K3s and 4s ~ Boys and Girls
Saturday mornings 8:45-9:45 starting March 12th:
Cost: $105.00 (includes the cost of the jersey)
Hurry! Registration ends February 22nd.
The Lower School will celebrate our family's participation in the Annual Fund next Friday, February 12. Those students whose families have made gifts to this year's Annual Fund will observe a dress-down day. If your family has not yet donated or pledged to this year's Fund, we will be sending home pledge cards this Friday that can be turned in for your child(ren) to also participate.
Make your gift or pledge online now
We are so close to 100% participation at the Lower School and we hope our remaining families will make their gift this week! EVERY DONATION/PLEDGE, NO MATTER THE AMOUNT, IS NEEDED!!
In addition, we want to celebrate the grade that first reaches this milestone of 100% participation with an ice cream social, scheduled tentatively for April 1st.
Contact Jen DeCastro at email@example.com if you would like to discuss your giving options.
Please click on appropriate class(es) below to sign up for a conference.
KA – Ms. Kelly Martin
KB – Ms. Lyndsay Pinzone
Pre-1st – Mrs. Bethany Rusenko
1A – Ms. Tracy Kendall
1B – Ms. Megan Gallagher
2A – Mrs. Mary Shaw
2B – Mrs. Faith Rummelsburg
3A- Mrs. Karen Fickett
3B – Ms. Grace Jacobi
4A – Mrs. Amy Lampert
4B – Mrs. Michelle Doniphan
5A – Ms. Dana Christensen
5B – Mrs. Stephanie Irizarry (Rebecca Arrowsmith)
4 and 5th Grade Math – Ms. Meghan McCabe
6A – Mr. John Angelle
6B – Mrs. Samaris Andrews
5th and 6th Grade - Science Mrs. Mary Kenny
6th Grade ELA – Ms. Ericka Schultz
The Monsignor Dillon Trivia Bowl, the Lower School's annual theological trivia quiz judged by Monsignor Dillon, has been rescheduled for 10:00am on February 12.
The Annual Fund is sponsoring a House challenge at the Upper School this week. The first House to reach 100% parent participation in the Annual Fund will have a dress-down day and Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuits for breakfast on Friday, February 12th.
Make your gift or pledge now
Contact Jen DeCastro at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss your giving options.
The following is a reprint of an email sent by Mrs. Sotomayor on Wednesday, 1/27.
Dear 7th grade families,
This spring, the 7th grade class is invited to attend the Skidaway Island/UGA Marine Extension Research Facility along the coast of Georgia. The Skidaway Island 7th grade field trip brings the Life Science class to life as both focus on how organisms interact with one another (ecology), how they came to be (evolution), and the diversity seen amongst species (taxonomy). This field trip is an experiential learning opportunity for students to put into place all of the knowledge gathered in past science classes. Highlights of the trip include a Salt Marsh study, aquarium exploration with touch tank tour, and a day-long boat excursion to Wassaw Island, a Georgia barrier island. In addition to research (lab and field) based activities, the students will take a trip into historic Savannah on Tuesday night for dinner at Tubby’s Tankhouse and ice cream at Leopold’s (yum!). Leopold’s gets two thumbs up and a big smile from the trip leader, Mr. Radosta.
Submit a permission slip to guarantee your student's spot
Once we have a list of students attending, we will send out the trip itinerary and the packing list. All students are encouraged to attend and we hope they will. With this in mind, if you need financial assistance or if you would like to sponsor one of the students (both will be held in confidence), please contact Mr. Radosta (email@example.com) or myself (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Highlights of the field trip:
Dates: March 20-23, 2016. Bus will depart Upper School at 2:00pm on Sunday, March 20th and return to the Upper School at 3:00pm on Tuesday, March 23
Estimated Cost: $350.00/student (subject to change based on number of students attending)
Deadlines: Permission slip (attached) returned to Mrs. Browning by February 19th. This will guarantee a spot on the trip. Payment is due no later than March 11th.
Yours in service,
1. In need of service hours? We are in need of junior high and high school students to assist with baby sitting during Mr. Pietrantonio's Head of School Address, Friday Feb. 5th, from 3:45-5:15. Come earn service hours, then head to the gym to support your teams at our annual Pink Games! Sign up for babysitting with Ms. Van de Voorde.
2. The Atlanta Chapter, Georgia Right to Life will hold their Eighth Annual Pro-life Oratory Contest for junior and senior high school students at 6:00 PM on Thursday, February 18th in the Lower Library. The speech is to be on the topic of right to life issues, such as abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, or embryonic stem cell research. It must be 5-7 minutes in length. The winner will receive a $100.00 Prize and will compete in the Georgia Right to Life State Pro-life Oratory contest on Saturday, February, 20th, 2016. The second place winner will receive $100.00. Please contact Ms. Van de Voorde to sign up.
BERRIDGE PROGRAMS IS SEEKING APPLICATIONS FROM ENTHUSIASTIC, PASSIONATE YOUNG ACTORS AND FILMMAKERS! GREAT SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE!
Now in our 9th summer, Berridge Programs offers a non-competitive, nurturing environment for a young artist to pursue the study of theatre or film surrounded by the historical and cultural riches of Normandy, France.
Our programs are open to students ages 14-19, including graduated seniors. The Acting Program includes classes in Movement, Acting Techniques, On Camera Acting, Shakespeare, Performance, Directing, Musical Theatre, Writing and Improvisation. We also have a separate Film Program where young filmmakers can write, direct, shoot, edit, produce their own profession-quality short film.
We are pleased to announce the continuation of our Scholarship Program this year with two types of scholarship available:
1) Merit Scholarship in the amount of $1500
2) Financial Need Scholarship for up to 70% of the program tuition
Details of our program and application can be found on our website at www.berridgeprograms.com.
The Family Outreach Ministry will have a Lenten Service Project during "Family Date Night "on Wednesday, February 17th from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in McDonough Hall. Children and their parents will pack snacks bags to bring to the Homeless Shelter in downtown Atlanta. Please donate non-perishable snack items such as granola bars, fruit cups, water bottles, cheese crackers, and sanitizing soaps. Collection bins will located by the preschool and the religious education office. Parents are invited to help assemble the snack bags with their little ones after the Wednesday Night Dinner that evening.
Children squabble and fight. To some extent, this is normal. But what if self-centeredness, envy, low self-esteem, or other issues are draining peace from your household? The Lord wants to reach the needs of your child’s heart, and he will equip and use YOU to do just that! Join us on Sunday, February 7th at 10:00 a.m. in Malta Hall, as Dr. Dede Casal, HSCC parishioner and Mom, discusses what is often at the root of family discord, and offers concrete methods of building a peaceful home.
A parishioner at Holy Spirit since 2011, Dede graduated summa cum laude from Augusta College with a BS in Biology in 1989, and then graduated MD from the Medical College of Georgia in 1993. After completing a pediatric residency at the Medical College of Georgia, she has seen patients in a private practice setting, as well as worked as a hospitalist and assistant clinical professor in Nyack, NY for Columbia University and at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston for Emory University. She retired from clinical practice in 2004 to focus on being a full time mom to her 4 children who range in age from 7 to 17 who attend HSP.
Journey of Hope is a special 17-week program for women addressing the unique concerns of divorced Catholics. It offers support and discussion of important issues that arise as the result of a divorce. The strong emphasis on prayer, scripture, the Sacraments and Church teachings leads to healing and a better relationship with Christ.
Meetings will begin on Thursday, February 18th from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. in Meeting Room 1 of the McDonough Hall building. Topics for discussion include: How do I deal with my anger? What does the Church say about divorce? Can I receive the Sacraments? How do I deal with my children? Do I need to let go? Do I have to forgive? Why does God allow divorce to happen? What is an annulment? Am I still a lovable person? Should I date? Does suffering have meaning? And many other important issues.
For more information or to register, please contact Paige Mitts at 404-353-7627.
Conquest Weekend Camp
Sponsored by the Legionaries of Christ.
Download the informational flyer (.PDF)
Interested in complementing the great spiritual formation that your son receives at Holy Spirit Prep? Join us for one of our next Conquest Weekend Camps!
5th and 6th graders: March 4-6 at Camp Hidden Lake in Dahlonega, GA Register
7th and 8th graders: March 11-13 at GA FFA Center in Covington, GA Register
This is a great opportunity for boys from the Atlanta area to spend time with each other in a Christ-centered environment. Boys are invited to grow in their faith and leadership skills.
Dads are welcome to join us! By following the registration link you can also download the permission form.
For more information, contact Father David Barton, LC at email@example.com.
AMC Mansell Crossing Theatre
7730 North Point Pkwy, Alpharetta 30022
MOM Foundation Presents
Confessions of St. Augustine
Showing at AMC Mansell Crossing Theatre
Thursday, February 11
In this year of mercy, the Mary Our Mother Foundation is pleased to be showing at a major theatre "Restless Heart, Confessions of St. Augustine." This acclaimed movie tells the story of St. Augustine, who by God's grace, turned from a life of sin to become a great Saint and Doctor in the Church. This is a one time showing and seating is limited. Cost is only $10. Popcorn and drinks will be available. For group discounts of 5 or more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details
Click here to purchase tickets!
Please pass this on to others whom may be interested in attending.
God bless you and hope to see you at the movies!