Kelly Francisco’s 4-year-old preschool

This was an event that I put together for my parents to say thank you for all of their love and support throughout my year of treatment. This was just my way of saying thank you. Robert Kaufmann, who works for and manages Fun Services, was kind enough to let us use a bouncy house for the kids to play in. I ordered pizzas, and we all came together as a family and enjoyed each other’s company. I am so blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones at work and at home. God is good!

Amiee Downey & Riki Albert’s transitional kindergarten & 3-year-old preschool

Ms. Downey: Every year we do a 3-year-old Preschool/ T.K. circus. The T.K. students dress as clowns, and the preschooler can dress up as whatever they want. It showcases both gross motor skills we have worked on throughout the year, as well as all of their little personalities. It’s hard work, but always comes together so nicely and the kids love it.

Ms. Albert: The TK and 3-year-old Preschool Circus is one of my most memorable events this past school year. We begin practicing immediately after Spring Break with approximately 45 kids along with getting ALL of the darling artwork together for this event. It always feels so overwhelming, and it appears the kids have very little idea of what we’re asking them to do. Through the busyness of it all, the circus always manages to come together in a most adorable way. Seeing the success of the kids’ performances, at last, becomes worth every effort!

Caroline Greenman’s transitional kindergarten

These photos show my class holding up different pages from their work binders. We worked on these throughout the year. It includes calendar pages from each month, journal pages, letter A-Z pages, number pages. There are also a variety of pictures. My favorite is a picture from their first field trip by the bus and a picture from their last field trip standing in the same order. You can see how they have grown. This binder reflects how much they learned this year. It is truly amazing the growth I have seen. I know they are all ready for kindergarten.

Natalie Mahoney’s kindergarten

This is a picture is one of my favorites from the school year. We decided to plant flowers in front of the school for our service learning project. The students and I had a wonderful conversation about what it means to do Gods work. We talked about how important it is that we help others and help our community become a better place. We came to the conclusion as a class to plants flowers in the front of the school to start making our school a better place. The students were so eager to plant and help the school look and feel welcoming. This was a great day!

Brooke Schmitz’s kindergarten

A few weeks back my class hosted a surprise baby shower for me. We gathered in the library where several moms were there to celebrate as well. I chose this event because it shows how lucky I am to be a part of such a wonderful school family. It also made me feel appreciated by all of my students’ families, which doesn’t happen at too many other schools.

Devin Dubois’ 1st grade

Ward Smith, a first-grader, buys a book every year for his birthday and donates it to his class. This year he chose “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”. Seeing how much my class loved the book sparked an idea for me. Our end of the year writing piece would be making our own comic book titled “Diary of a First-Grade Kid”. We followed every step of the writing process. As a whole class, we brainstormed ideas about things we could write about that we did in first grade. We worked together on one topic and I showed the students how to make a web and make a story from the web. From there, the students were able to pick their own topic and make webs. Once they had 3 or 4 small stories of about 4-5 sentences they worked with partners on correcting each other’s writing. They sat down with a partner and read each other’s work. They fixed things like capitals, spelling, and punctuation. Students then highlighted part of the story that they were going to include in their book. When it was time to put everything together, we designed our front covers with the same cover as “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”. Students drew pictures and wrote their stories. Then, we invited families to hear students read their story from the “author’s chair”.

Amy Doyle’s 1st grade

I chose this picture because, of everything we’ve done all year, praying together as a class, getting to know God better, and growing closer to God is the most important. We have learned so much this year – how to read or read better, write more, double-digit addition and subtraction, learning about animal life cycles in science, and going on a field trip to Meijer Gardens to see the butterflies in all of the phases of their life cycle. But, my most important job is to bring these children closer to God. Daily, in our prayers and our Theology lessons, we did just that. We ALL grew closer to God, learning more about how much He loves us, and getting to know His great promises for our lives.

Barbie Carrier’s 2nd grade

The Second-Grade Supermarket is a wonderful event that has been going on for about 25 years! Every year the second-graders eagerly await and anticipate the supermarket. They take on the role of becoming “producers”, making “goods” to sell to others. This project incorporates math, social studies, and theology (Service Learning Project). Every year a charity is picked to benefit from the money raised through the Second-Grade Supermarket. This year the Food Pantry of St. Joseph Church benefited from the efforts of the second-graders and the purchasing power of the elementary school. Our second-graders also sponsored an OODC to raise money for the Food Pantry. All together, they donated $910. They were very proud of how their hard work and efforts were able to benefit so many.

Patricia Kuenzel’s 3rd grade

This picture is from our field trip to the Pioneer Cabin. As part of our Michigan History unit, we got to experience a day in the life of a Michigan pioneer. We worked together to make our food for the day and help with chores around the farm. The students got to make stew, cornbread, applesauce, and butter. We helped till the soil in the garden, cut wood, and make candles and soap.

Rachel Andersen’s 3rd grade

This is one of my favorite pictures of my class this year and one of the most meaningful things we do as a class. Every day we make time to do what we call “Prayer Requests”. We go around in a circle and share any special intentions we have, and we pray together. We also make time on Fridays to say prayers of thanksgiving for all of the blessings we received and experienced throughout the week.

Elizabeth Casterline’s 4th grade

I chose our field trip to the state capitol and Supreme Court Learning Center because it represents a culminating event of fourth grade. It tops off what they have learned about Michigan in both 3rd and 4th grade. This class made me so proud with their exceptional behavior while we were touring the capitol and attending Law Day at the learning center.

Linda Hamel’s 5th grade

For our fifth-grade service project, we stuffed over 100 socks and hats for homeless men, women, and children at the Haven of Rest in Battle Creek. I saw such compassion from these fifth-graders as they made sure everybody got what they might need to help them through the winter. They didn’t stop until every item we collected was donated. While we were putting things together, I could tell that the kids really understood the importance of what they were doing. There was very little talking.

Laurie Murphy, advisor_6th grade

The one event the sixth-graders found special was sixth-grade camp. It involved all the students in activities, helping them connect with nature even if they didn’t have “camping experience”. At the same time, it helped them develop healthy relationships with their peers. Camp gives the students an opportunity to understand each other – that the strength of one person might be someone else’s weakness. There was a sense of camaraderie among the sixth-graders after camp that didn’t seem to be there before camp. That sense of belonging is probably one of the most important as they transition from elementary into middle school together.

Gloria McNamara, advisor_7th grade

I chose the seventh grade preparing for the eighth-grade farewell dance because I was so proud of the way they came together as a class to do something special for the eighth-grade class.

Don Shafer, advisor_8th grade

“Faith and Family” is a good way of describing our eighth-grade class this year. The kids have celebrated Faith Events during throughout this school year. The students have taken great pride in altar serving, going to Mass, singing in the choir, May Crowning, putting on the Passion Play, attending Stations of the Cross and the Chrism Mass, receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, receiving blessings from our priests, and sharing our Faith with one another by reciting the rosary for our Catholic community. Part of the BCACS’s mission statement is to “Share the Faith”, and our eighth-graders have done this very well.

Kyra Rabbitt, advisor – Freshmen

It was fun to watch the freshmen on Field Day interact with the sophomores and juniors. I like that the teams were a mix of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. I didn’t really see them as freshmen anymore. I just saw St. Philip students who were all working together as part of a team.

Laura Miller & Nicole Krajewski, advisors_Sophomores

Ms. Miller: Sophomores seem to have the hardest time with homecoming. As freshmen, they are green but enthusiastic. As juniors, they can see a way to steal a victory from the seniors. As seniors, they have the experience and class unity to win it all. It isn’t called the “sophomore slump” for nothing. When the sophomores overcame the odds to win the Macho Volleyball tournament during Spirit Week, that was no small victory for students in what can be their most difficult high school year. It brought them together and gave them something to celebrate.

Ms. Krajewski: The sophomore class were very determined and worked well together to gain a victory. It was very exciting to watch! The sophomores who were not playing were cheering on the whole time.

Stephanie Halbert, advisor_Juniors

The juniors were given the most difficult time period (1920’s-1930’s) for our hallway theme during Spirit Week. Documentation for St Philip Schools during that period was scarce. Our class president, Abbie Lahr, led the charge, collaborating with local St. Philip historians to obtain as much information as possible about our school during that time. The result: a creative hallway highlighting the Dust Bowl and the events that took place at St. Philip Schools during that time.

Vicky Groat, STP principal_Seniors

Graduation day was awesome, starting with the hour or so before the ceremony when the seniors gathered outside taking pictures. This is a close class, and it showed. Family and faith were the themes of Tyler’s salutatorian speech, Andy’s valedictorian speech, and the song they performed as a class. It was bittersweet for me. I am proud of this class and all they have achieved, but also sad to see them leave.

One last look….

Our preschoolers watching our 8th graders leave St. Joseph School for the last time.

The Class of 2018 on the steps of St. Philip Catholic Central High School for the last time.

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Questions? Call Cathy Erskine at 269.963.1131