School News

by | Oct 5, 2017 | School News

Saint Mary’s Hall Students Help After Harvey

Although San Antonio was not directly in the path of Hurricane Harvey, the Saint Mary’s Hall community holds many ties to the Houston, Rockport, and Corpus Christi area. In response to the devastation caused by the hurricane, SMH came together to help provide relief for those affected by the terrible tragedy.

The Saint Mary’s Hall community efforts included several sizeable initiatives ranging from food relief, to monetary aid, to emotional support, to volunteerism. Everyone wanted to help.

• 7,000 pounds of goods, including non-perishable food, water, baby food, diapers, new clothing, and hygiene items, was collected and delivered to the San Antonio Food Bank. SMH Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts collected items during the morning and afternoon carpool.
• $4,918 was raised by hosting Out-of-Uniform Days, where students as well as faculty and staff were allowed to wear Texas-themed clothes based on cash donations; and funds donated by the Athletics Department from ticket admission and concession funds. Proceeds benefited the San Antonio Red Cross.
• The Spirit Store raised $9,652 by selling a limited edition #TexasStrong t-shirt. Students had the opportunity to wear the shirts as part of a special Out-of-Uniform Day. All proceeds were donated to the San Antonio Food Bank.
• Lower School students created thank you cards for the first responders in Port Aransas and Rockport.
• Supplies and donations were collected and delivered to aid Port Aransas. Monetary donations were used to purchase food and SMH volunteers cooked to feed more than 300 first responders, peace officers, volunteers, and locals.

The Saint Mary’s Hall community, many of whom had family and friends directly affected by Hurricane Harvey, united to help fellow Texans in need. The response to the SMH relief efforts was overwhelming and ever indicative of the school’s commitment to living out the value of “be kinder than necessary.”

Anti-Cyberbullying Bill Passes In Austin David’s Law Becomes Permanent Fixture Sept. 1
By Hallie Hardaway
A number of students within the community came together to take the pledge against cyberbullying in support of David’s Law, named and in memory of late AHHS student David Molak. The law went into effect on Sept. 1 with its purpose being to emphasize the need for Texas lawmakers and schools to keep up with evolving technology to prevent all types of bullying in and out of schools.

“The law is very helpful to students,” freshman Salma Escamilla said. “I think it will help people feel more comfortable in the community and online.”

From Aug. 23-25, the high school cheerleaders helped in The Oaks during the lunch period so that people could take the David’s Legacy pledge. Each student was given a sticker from the foundation and was directed on what to say in order to make the promise against cyberbullying. The goal of the stickers is to be a present reminder for everyone to think before they speak or act.

“I think it’s really important for people to live up to the pledge, especially since it has impacted the entire community,” senior Ansley Austin said. “I hope the sticker will be a daily reminder for others to help them think twice about what they’re about to say or write, and to help them stand up for others in order to help David’s Legacy live on.”

For the pledge, students place the sticker on their device, raise their right hand and recite the pledge that says to never to use the device to cause harm. Having a sticker on their phone or computer is a tangible and visible way to remind students to think twice about what they post on social media before they hit send.

“One way you can take the pledge is by agreeing to abide by David’s Law and not use a screen to bully another person,” sophomore Georgia Tipton said. “The sticker is great because it’s a little reminder to think before you speak.”

The stickers are an easy way for students to remember to always be kind to one another on and offline.
“David’s Legacy shined a light on the presence of cyberbullying that I had never noticed before,” junior Matthew Giddens said. “It changed how I see and use social media for the better.”

Since the law went into effect, it is now a crime to cause harm by using social media and the Internet. The intention of the law is to significantly reduce the presence of online bullying in and outside of school.

“I think it will make a positive impact on the community and how we go about treating one another,” senior Jordan Gurwitz said. “I truly hope that this law will really encourage people to be kind to each other in all settings, not just online.”

Help For Hurricane Survivors

Students at Woodbridge Elementary collected supplies for the victims of hurricane Harvey. Items collected included bottled water, dry clothing and snacks. The students helped to bag up the items and wrote heart-felt, hand-written notes to the survivors.

Off To Races On Courses, Cross Country Teams Start New Season
By Hudson Scow and Joe Blake
The boys and girls cross country teams had a great 2016 season with many accomplishments, including returning seniors Tyler McGinnis appearance at state where he ran a personal best and placing 53rd at state. This year, the teams are excited and ready to get back to work for the upcoming season under Head Coach Brian Ricketts.

“The best part about last season was working together as a group and building as a team,” senior Ally Krautheim said. “I’m really excited to see if this year’s teams will live up to last year’s teams.”

The teams holds practices bright and early in the mornings before school. The grind certainly never stops when it comes to talking about the dedicated cross country teams who hope that all their hard work during the summer and off season will pay off.

“I enjoy cross country, running with my friends and Coach Rickets is a bunch of fun,” junior Emma Mickler said. “It’s a great way to clear your mind and stay in shape.”

Because of Hurricane Harvey, the teams first meet at Southwest High School was cancelled. This has given the teams more time to prepare for the next meet.

“I was so devastated our meet got cancelled,” sophomore Sydney Eyster said. ‘’I’m ready to hit the ground running and look forward to the season. I also enjoy running with my friends.”

The teams next meet was at Northeast Sports Park. The girls placed 7th and were led by Krautheim and the boys placed 10th and were lead by Gibbs.

The meet was a good start to the season,” Ricketts said. “But our goal is to be at our best in October for the district meet.”

Glory On Court, Volleyball Team Looks To Build Success
By Hunter Campbell
The varsity volleyball team finished the regular season at 16-9. With many returning lettermen, the team looks to use their experience playing with each other. Under Head Coach Todd Dorgan and Captains senior Outside Margaret Stell, senior Setter Whitney Seiler, senior Libero Emily Nanez and senior Middle Blocker Abby Sanders, the team hopes to control district and advance to the playoffs.

“I’m excited for the district season,” junior Right Side Gray Simpson said. “District will be tough with Dripping Springs but we hope to find success.”

The volleyball team has been able to come back in games because of their impressive defensive skills. The training from the off season and summer workouts through MIT (Mules In Training) has really helped with team bonding and growth as a unit. Summer workouts were held from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and the entire team was dedicated to show up every day on time, ready to work hard.

“Waking up in the mornings was the biggest challenge for our summer workouts,” Pape said. “Once we got there and started stretching, everyone was ready to prepare for our season.

The Lady Mules are invested in their district games and have the same goal, to get to the state tournament. So far, the team is 1-1 in district play with a loss to Dripping Springs 3-1 and a win over Medina Valley, 3-0.

“I am excited for playoffs this year but want to get through district first,” junior Setter Katrina Hein said. “We are in a very tough district, but if we can get lots of support from our fans and get through on top, we will go far in playoffs.”

The volleyball team will do great things this season with all the work they have put in during the summer and with the strength of the team bond. The team has one goal and one dream: winning a state title this season.

“Our season has been pretty good so far,” Dorgan said. “We have a few thing to work on so we can be prepared for district.”

Swinging For Wins, Tennis Working Toward Success In Matches
By Collin Dilling
Under the Head Coach Larry Oxford, the varsity tennis team has several returning lettermen, like senior Spencer Raines, sophomore Fiona Crawley and senior Campbell Erwin. Crawley is a returning state champion in girl’s doubles. Erwin is a returning state champion in boy’s singles. Boys’ team captains are Raines, Erwin and senior Will Walsh. Girls team captains are senior Emma Reeves and senior Kaylin Thompson.

“I’m really excited for this season,” Reeves said. “Especially because I’m a senior and a captain so this is my last year and I want to make it count.”

The team is ready to win. Last season they placed second as a team in state in the fall season.

“The team is looking really strong and we are hopefully going to win district and make it to state,” Thompson said. “I’m really exited to see what this team can accomplish.”

Practices begin at 3:30 and end at 4:45. They involve hard work and lots of drills. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the top six varsity players practice while the bottom six practice Mondays and Wednesdays. All team members have practice on Fridays. Some of the drills are very difficult but keep the players in shape and match ready.

The team competes in fall and spring. In the fall, all of the matches count toward the teams’ record. In the spring, the matches are all individual and go on a personal record. However, both seasons can lead to state titles.

“I’m really excited to go back to state because I had a lot of fun last year,” Crawley said. “Hopefully, I will be able to play in a state match again.”

MacArthur launches the Keep Kolter Cougars Reading Book Drive

Kolter Elementary School in Houston, Texas sustained significant damage during Hurricane Harvey. Unfortunately, the damage to the school was so severe that nothing from the former campus will be salvageable. The faculty and student population will be relocated to a vacant campus for the remainder of this school year, where they started school on September 25.

MacArthur Library is holding a book drive to help rebuild Kolter Elementary’s lost library collection and help support teacher classroom libraries. Donations of new and gently used children’s books can be dropped off at the MacArthur Library. Kolter serves PreK through fifth grade students, who would enjoy a variety of fiction and nonfiction books.

Kolter Elementary offers language exploration in Spanish, French, and Chinese, so MacArthur will also accept books in various languages. Library staff will collect books throughout the month of September and October but are prepared to collect books beyond those dates for Kolter if necessary. Monetary donations can be made directly to Kolter’s PTO fundraiser: Thank you in advance for your generosity.

St. Luke’s Episcopal School Lends Support to Harvey Relief Efforts
On August 28th, the SLES community began to grasp the widespread devastation and the magnitude of human needs resulting from Hurricane Harvey.  The school united with the St. Luke’s parish and joined in the coordinated effort of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. On August 30th, families began donating personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, baby supplies, water and snacks

On Saturday, September 16th, SLES staff and middle school students delivered the items generously donated by St. Luke’s families.  When the SLES team arrived in Port Aransas, two trucks full of needed supplies were waiting to be unloaded at the Port Aransas Recovery Supply Depot.  With many hands ready to help, the supplies were unloaded in no time.

Head of School, Thomas McLaughlin reminded the school community, “As so many people move through the challenging months ahead, let us continue to carry them in our thoughts and prayers.”
The items provided by St. Luke’s families will be distributed throughout the coastal region.

UIW opens Student Engagement Center

On Monday, Aug. 28, the University of the Incarnate Word unveiled its new state-of-the-art Student Engagement Center with a blessing and ribbon cutting. The event, attended by approximately 400 students, faculty and friends began with a moment of silence for the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey.

UIW Chaplain Fr. Thomas Dymowski, O.SS.T. began with a prayer, blessing the students, the community and the building. President Dr. Thomas Evans along with Student Government President Aaron Chavez and mascot Red the Cardinal cut the ribbon, officially opening the facility.

The SEC “will prove to be the living room for this campus designed to meet the goal of student success. It will be a place for living and learning where residents find a place to gather and for commuters to have a home away from home. The SEC is about the importance of engagement of ensuring that students are fully involved in the life of this institution and its people,” said Evans.

The 122,500 square foot Student Engagement Center features administrative offices, including the University Advising Center, TRIO Programs, Career Services, Veterans Affairs, University Mission & Ministry, the Writing & Learning Center, Tutoring Services, Campus Engagement, Student Conduct, university post office, bookstore, university help desk, and a new central dining facility. A ballroom, 10 multipurpose rooms, Student Government Office, Campus Activities Board Office, Greek Life Office, and a Student Organization Complex are among a few of the amenities available to students. Red’s game room and pub, located on the basement level of the Student Center, includes billiards tables, shuffleboard, darts and gaming stations.


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