School News

by | March 13, 2019 | School News

The Public & Private Schools of ’09

Catholic Arts and Academic Competition – STREAM Contest

On Saturday, February 2, 25 students from St. Peter School competed in the Catholic Arts and Academic Competition STREAM contest along with many other elementary and middle schools from the Archdiocese of San Antonio. The contest, held at Incarnate Word High School, features a variety of subjects and activities for students in first through eighth grade. Students who place earn points for their school toward the Cup of the Spirit award, which is given to the school with the highest number of points for CAAC competitions held throughout the year. A total of 15 students from St. Peter’s placed in Art Memory, Catholic Heroes, Know My Faith, Math, and Spelling. Furthermore, all three students who competed in Witness to the Word, a monologue contest, advanced to the final round. Two students, Liz Nguyen and Sela Montoya, placed in the top three at the end of the day. The school is also especially proud of Gabriella Perdikis, who placed first in the Math contest for 5th grade.

Liz Nguyen and Sela Montoya Monologue 2nd and 3rd place
Liz Nguyen and Sela Montoya placed in the top three in the monologue contest: Witness to the World.
Gabriella Perdikis 1st place Math
Gabriella Perdikis placed first in the Math Contest for the 5th grade.

Spanish Spelling Bee

Under the direction of Mrs. Patricia DeMotte, several Spanish students at St. Peter School competed in a school-wide Spanish Spelling Bee. The elementary student winner, Araiza Terrazas, and the middle school winner, Amalie Terrazas, advanced to compete at the Region 20 Annual Spanish Spelling Bee on Saturday, February 2. Amalie did particularly well, advancing to the fifth round of the bee!

Araiza and Amalie Terrazas Spanish Spelling Bee
Araiza Terrazas and Amalie Terrazasboth advanced to compete at the Region 20 Annual Spanish Spelling Bee.

St. Peter Prince of Apostles Winter Gala

The St. Peter Prince of Apostles Winter Gala was held on Friday, February 8 at the beautiful Rosenberg Sky Room on the campus of the University of the Incarnate Word. The annual fundraiser included a cocktail reception, dinner, a live and silent auction, and dancing to the music of Groove Knight. A good time was had by all.

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St. Peter Prince of Apostles Winter Gala

Saint Mary’s Hall Receives National Recognition in Writing

The 2018 edition of The Walrus, the school’s literary magazine, won the following accolades: REALM First Class, in the Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines (REALM) Program of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE); this is the top honor in this nationwide contest. The magazine was also recognized as a Gold Medalist with Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) with All-Columbian Honors for Essentials, Verbal; and received Visual All-American Rating with National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) with marks of distinction in content, writing and editing, photography, art, graphics, and design. 18 other students at SMH won awards in the 2018-2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in Southwest Writing Region-at-Large. Sixteen winners were Upper School students, and two other student winners were in Middle School. Of these 18 students, eight are Regional Gold Key winners and their work is currently being considered in New York City for national recognition. National Medalists will be announced on March 13.

Saint Mary’s Hall seniors Sarah and Nicole pose with literary magazine sponsor Upper School English Teacher Amy Williams-Eddy, while holding the certificate for the Gold Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

Up In Smoke

By Alamo Heights High School Journalism Student Brian Yancelson

Over the last few years, a new sensation has developed among teenagers: vaping. Performed through electronic cigarettes, which produce an aerosol also known as vapor, vaping has traditionally served as a vehicle to quit smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. Recently, usage has grown tremendously, especially among teenagers, and many people are worried about the lack of real knowledge on the effects of vaping.

“This is a real health risk, and I don’t think kids know. Just like marijuana, there are not a lot of studies that tell us the long-term impacts,” Assistant Principal Norm Collins said. “Vaping is just so new. We learned the hard way how destructive nicotine and all the things associated with cigarettes were, and millions have died. I would hate for kids to be so addicted to this that in 10 years, they all have cancer of the mouth and it was something they could have avoided.”

One JUUL pod contains about the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. While today’s teenagers are more reluctant to smoke cigarettes than generations past, a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that vaping is becoming a troubling trend among America’s youth. According to a survey released by the University of Michigan last year, 11 percent of high school seniors vape. Looking at even younger teenagers, 3.5 percent of eighth graders in the United States vape, and most young people see vaping as harmless (According to a Kathleen Raven article in Yale Medicine, Sept. 13, 2018).

There are various e-cigarette companies but the most popular is JUUL Labs, which has captured about 72 percent of the market share since its start in 2015 (according to an article by Linda Richter, Center On Addiction, October 2018). JUULs are incredibly small and they look like flash drives, making them easy to conceal and carry around. Along with their small size, JUUL sells many different flavored “pods,” which are tiny packets that contain nicotine and other substances. These flavors, which include mango, mint and cucumber, are used to attract youth in ways similar to those that cigarette companies previously used to market to teenagers.

“At first, flavors definitely did affect me,” a senior said. “I thought, ‘If I’m going to do this to my body, I only want to be doing it with things I actually enjoy. Usually the only times I hit it is when I’m doing homework or I’m super stressed, so I guess it’s like a coping mechanism for stress. I do think a lot about being such a guinea pig generation. We’re going to get older and we are going to be the people coming out with test results about the effects of this. ” In response to concerns about teenage usage and pressure from both the public and government agencies, JUUL recently announced they are halting sales of most of their flavored pods like mango and cucumber, as those are some of their most popular flavors among young people. These flavored pods will still be sold online, but JUUL plans to implement an age verification system prohibiting those under the age of 21 from purchasing their products. In addition, JUUL will shut down Facebook and Instagram posts promoting these flavors, and they have asked Snapchat and Twitter to ensure under-aged people do not see their posts.

Close to home, the administration has sent home information to parents about vaping, talked to the PTSO and done advisory lessons on the topic.

Alamo Heights Cheerleaders Earn State Title

For the third time in four years, our Alamo Heights High School Cheerleaders have earned the 5A State Championship! The team competed in mid-January in Dallas/Ft. Worth and will continue their journey at nationals in February!

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The Alamo Heights High School Cheerleaders are pictured above at the UIL State Championships in Dallas. The girls posed with their coaches and a plaque they will bring back to San Antonio commemorating the event.

Swimming, Diving Prepare For District Meet

By Alamo Heights High School Journalism student Collin Dilling

The boys and girls competed in the Texas Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association swimming and diving championships held at Palo Alto College on December 1. Both the boys and girls teams won the 5A and under division. Overall, the Mules were second in overall points among all 6A and under schools. The Mules topped all NISD and NEISD schools, with the exception of Ronald Reagan High School. The Mules are led by Head Coach Don Walker.

“We had a great meet,” senior Cate Pal-Freeman said.
The Mules had several returning stars and several newcomers. The returning stars are seniors Bella Strash and Maya Clark, and junior McCoy Patterson. Some of the newcomers are freshmen Lila Foote and Elizabeth Walsh.

“I’m super proud of our team this year,” Strash said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how our team does in meets later this season.”

The Mules tied a school record for the 200 medley relay, where they placed third with a time of 1:49.12. This is just one of their many accomplishments of this year. In past swim meets, Strash placed first in 100 fly, second in 50 meter fly and second in 200 meter fly. Foote placed first in 100 meter backstroke, second in 100 meter fly and third in 50 meter backstroke. Patterson placed third in 400 meter individual medley and second with his relay team in 200 meter medley relay.

“We have had a great year and have competed well,” Clark said. “We have been working really hard and I think the results show how hard we work.”

The Mules have practiced every day from 7-9 a.m. The teams have been waking up early all season.

“Being a part of a team like this is a great feeling,” senior Ella Behnke said.

“It’s very nice to also have some of my good friends on the team because we really get to know each other more.”

Poetic Justice – Students Recite for Scholarship Opportunity

By Alamo Heights High School Journalism student Vivian Phillips

Recently a new program began on campus that will provide students with the opportunity to not only learn about poets but also to win up to $20,000 in scholarship money. Poetry Out Loud was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and is a national recitation competition that gives students an incentive to learn different pieces of poetry as well as display their dramatic talents. This program was initiated by English Teacher Eric Cruz and is being led by junior Sofia Angulo.

“Trying to make sure everyone had enough information was the most difficult part of starting this program,” Angulo said. “I wanted everyone to have a clear idea about what to do so we could all have an enjoyable experience.”

Students participating in the initial classroom competition were told to memorize one poem of any length by November 30. The competition was held in the black box theater, with students who were absent performing a day later in Cruz’s room.

“The challenge I found to be most difficult was the memorization,” junior Leigha Forrest said. “Two stanzas of my poem were very similar and strong structure can lead to a muddled recitation.”

Each student with a prepared poem walked up to the microphone in the black box to recite, and a vast display of poetry was presented. From classic pieces by Shelley to contemporary pieces about climate change, each student had full jurisdiction over what he or she recited.

“Something I found to be surprising about the first round of this event was how supportive everyone was of each other,” sophomore Charlotte Bell said. “It didn’t seem like a competition.”

Poetry is a very vulnerable art to engage within solidarity, much less in front of a panel of judges. Students open to competing in this opportunity put themselves in a position where their performances were observed by an entire audience of people. Nonetheless, they competed because of their commitment and love for the art.

“I enjoyed watching my classmates perform as I’ve never seen them open up like this,” sophomore Eleanor Badger said. “I found it difficult to open up to everyone in the audience, but it was worth it in the end.”

Out of the 16 students who performed, a total of eight were selected for the subsequent competition on December 13. This competition’s purpose was to determine who would compete in the statewide competition to take a shot at winning the grand scholarship.

“To plan the school-wide competition, I began with a team assigned to me in our literary magazine class period,” Angulo said. “We met nearly every day to decide how to organize the venue and make sure all the aspects of the presentation would be in order.”

All of this organization proved to be fruitful the day of the competition, with each contestant presenting their two pre-pared poems in front of an audience. The event had two rounds, each consisting of the contestant’s first and second poem choices. After these two rounds, a 10-minute intermission took place allowing the four judges a period of time to compare each contestant’s score, leaving them with the runner-up and winner of the competition. Senior Hanah Shields was the runner-up with sophomore Hailey Soupiset being the grand winner of the night.

“I have never seen so much power and grace as when all of the contestants went up to the stage for their declamations,” Angulo said. “I am so proud of our school for giving us this opportunity to display this kind of artistry for our community.”

Poetry out lod VIVIAN 004
At the beginning of the event, senior Jordan West introduces each performer and piece of poetry. Photo by Vivian Williams
Poetry out lod VIVIAN 006
As the first performer, junior Sofia Angulo wows the audience with her declamation of Franz Wrights’s poem, To Myself.
Photo by Vivian Williams

Seventh Grader Brings Alive the Battle of San Jacinto

St. Luke’s Episcopal School seventh-grader, Catie Miles, won second place in the 25th Texas History Essay Contest in February with her essay “The Battle of San Jacinto.” The contest is sponsored annually by the Battle of Flowers Association.

Miles’ essay transported readers back in time to that fateful showdown between the Texas Revolutionaries and Santa Anna’s troops. Writing from the point of view of one of General Houston’s soldiers, she vividly recounted the pivotal moments that won Texas its independence on the banks of the San Jacinto River.

“I come from a family of Texas history buffs and first became interested in the Battle of San Jacinto when we visited the battle site on a family trip several years ago,” says Miles. “Choosing this topic made perfect sense for me.” As she aptly phrased it in the closing lines of her essay, “my name is Catie. I am twelve years old and a proud Texan.”

Catie will be honored with the other winners at the Battle of Flowers Annual Oratorical Contest, at the Witte Museum in San Antonio on Friday, February 22, 2019.

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Catie Miles

Alamo Heights Girls Basketball

The Mules girls basketball team are once again having a great season due to all their hardwork and long hours of practice. Scrimmaging, shooting guard Lila Kelley, small forward Dayton Flowers and junior point guard Claire Gunter work on perfecting their game during a seventh period.

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Photo by Jacqui Davis

Alamo Heights High School Calendar

March 7
Early Release
Staff Development Day

March 9-10
SAT Testing

March 11-15
Spring Break

March 19
3rd Nine Weeks Ends

March 20
4th Nine Weeks Starts

March 27
Family Night
No Homework

April 19
Good Friday
School Holiday

April 26
Battle of Flowers
School Holiday

April 30
Senior Panoramic Picture

May 4-5
SAT Testing

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