Welcome back to St. Mary's! Take a look at how we've changed through new courses, new technology, and new opportunities. A lot of students have walked these halls, had the same teachers (we are blessed with teachers with a strong commitment), and have been challenged through the years to live the motto: Spirituality, Academics, Service. We have a lot in common and would love to develop our alumni base. Please contact us and send us information about you and your family via the Alumni Information Form below. Let us know the best way to let you know what's happening within our St. Mary's community. We want you to be a significant and continuing legacy of St. Mary's.
Alumni Board and Other Positions
As shared in the Fall 2016 newsletter that was mailed out on November 22, 2016, and included in the parish bulletin, school newsletter, and on social media, we are excited to announce the formation of a St. Mary's School Alumni Board - President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer - as well as the establishment of other Alumni positions. See below for Alumni Board members and other positions.
Christina Legner: 402-210-2981
Alumni Information Form - provide contact information, stewardship (time, talent, treasure) interest, etc.
Alumni News and Events
2020-2021 School Year
St. Mary's Alumna Honored on Mercy Day
Traditions mean a lot at St. Mary’s School. They do as well at Mercy High School. Anou Akot, St. Mary’s class of ’17 was honored on Mercy Day, the day Mercy High School celebrates the life of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy. Anou was selected by the senior class to take part in the play of Catherine’s life as the narrator. This is one of the biggest honors students can receive. Because of COVID-19 the play was seen virtually, alumnae across the country were sent a link so they could share in the annual tradition.
More about Anou. She is Senior Class President, and a member of Operation Others and the Yearbook Club. As an athlete at Mercy she has run Cross Country, is a triple jumper in Track and Field and played Basketball all four years. She has served as a Student Ambassador for four years. She plans to major in Chemistry and Pre-Med in college. She is a member of St. Mary’s Church in Bellevue.
As to being chosen for the play, Anou says: “This is a tremendous honor and I take it very seriously. I cherish every moment I have had with this senior class.”
To read more about Mercy Day and watch the video click here.
(Two Catherine McAuley's, L- Anou Akot, narrator, R- Kateri Pantoja, played the younger Catherine McAuley)
Congratulations! Fr. Matt Successfully Defends His Doctorate
Fr. Matt Rolling St. Mary’s alumnus, class of ‘96 flies to Rome to defend his doctoral dissertation. Even COVID 19 couldn’t keep him away. Here are the details in his own words.
I (almost) have a doctorate in philosophy (PhD). The almost is because I don’t technically get it until I print the final draft with all final corrections from my professors, but that’s just a matter of time.
The topic is: “To Be Well-Disposed: The Factors that Contribute to the Development of Moral Character according to St. Thomas Aquinas.” It’s a mouthful, but in short, it’s about the various things influencing the kind of person we become, things like temperament, upbringing, culture, parenting, society, and education and other such little things. All nicely packaged in 250 pages.
I started this back in 2014 when I arrived in Rome to start on a license (European equivalent of a Master’s), and finished the lion’s share when I returned home in 2019 to reside at St. Gregory the Great Seminary, serve as Academic Dean, teach philosophy class, and do one-on-one formation with seminarians.
Because of COVID restrictions, I’m only in Rome for a week, but I shouldn’t complain because many of my peers are doing this virtually and, well, I’m in Rome, Italy. It’s great being back; in some ways it felt like coming home because, after all, it was home for 5 years. Nonetheless, restrictions kept some parts of the whole process from being normal. For example, how does one say good-bye, probably on this side of eternity, to people he’s been with for 5 years without being able to make physical contact with them?
The defense was good. It helped that I ran into my director the morning of the defense, and after asking me how I was doing, said, “Don’t worry about it. The paper was excellent. You have nothing to be concerned about.” That helps! The questions involved some expansion of ideas present in the dissertation while others involved taking a step further beyond the bounds of the topic itself, but that’s generally expected of one with such a degree: you ought to be able to think about and provide some insights into things that aren’t just the textbook answers.
The names of the priests in the photo are, from left to right, Fr. Matthieu Raffray, Fr. Serge-Thomas Bonino OP (director), Fr. Matt Rolling (me), and Fr. Dominic Holtz OP.
A Spirit of Change
Fr. Chris Saenz is celebrating 20 years as a Columban priest. His first call to the faith was to become a missionary. As a Columban missionary priest he spent 20 years in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. Now a spirit of change has brought him back home to Bellevue and the Columban Mission headquarters.
Fr. Saenz believes immigration is an important issue for the Church and that we are always in need of more Spanish-speaking priests. Immigration is part of Fr. Saenz roots, his grandfather on his mother’s side was an illegal immigrant from Mexico who lived in the United States for decades without obtaining citizenship.
Fr. Saenz is currently working on his third Master’s degree, a Master’s of Science in Church Management, from Villanova. While studying he is also working with Spanish Outreach and is the chaplain for Spanish Marriage Encounter of Omaha. Fr. Saenz attended Gross Catholic High School and is an alumnus of our very own St. Mary’s School, class of ‘82.
An Important Lesson Learned While at St. Mary’s
Br. Frassati, born Alexander Davis, is, and always will be, close to St. Mary’s Church and School. Alex attended St. Mary’s school from Kindergarten through 4th grade while his dad was stationed at Offutt, AFB. While at St. Mary’s School he learned a very important lesson which he discussed while delivering the homily at St. Mary’s Church on the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
“I always remember as a kid coming on Tuesday to Mass was a huge sacrifice. Why? Because my favorite class, typing, was always cut short so we could attend Mass!" While sitting in the pew, he remembers looking up at the crucifix. It’s a part of the church no one can miss. It is the focal point of St. Mary’s Church. In the crucifixion you see Christ suffering and dying for us. Br. Frassati remembers thinking, any little kid who thought he was suffering was made to realize something else, “we are all called to make sacrifices.” Sacrifice is central to our faith. As Br. Frassati says, “ He (Jesus) is calling on us to make a sacrifice to enter the kingdom of heaven…Christ sacrificed all for us, may we be willing to offer any sacrifice for the love of him.”
Br. Frassati became a deacon earlier this year and came back to visit his parents who are parishioners at St. Mary’s. During his home visit each year, Br. Frassati attends Mass and prefers to sit next to the stained glass window on the right with the Dominican shield below Our Lady. He entered the Dominicans of the Province of St. Joseph as a novice in July of 2015. Br. Frassati will return to New York City to complete his diaconate year and prepare for the priesthood. For more photos click here.
Filled With the Spirit of Mercy
In the Mercy bulletin released each week at Mercy High School, they announce the Spirit of Mercy Award. It is a simple way for faculty and staff members to recognize students who have gone above and beyond in their everyday actions during the past school week. They want to be intentional about honoring the merciful moments that happen with no expectation of recognition. When faculty and staff witness these merciful moments they submit student names to Mrs. Miller, the Campus Minister. Mrs. Miller then forwards the names to Michelle Storch for publication in our weekly school bulletin.
One of St. Mary’s alumna, Anou Akot class of ‘17, was on the list this week! Congratulations Anou for being filled with the Spirit of Mercy.
Made the Team!
Meet the newest Mercy High School volleyball player! Katharina Storch, St. Mary's class of '20 and an incoming freshman, made the team and will be an outside hitter. Twenty girls started the week trying out, and after three nights of tryouts, 10 girls made the freshman team. Here’s to a great year playing ball!
2019-2020 School Year
God Has a Plan
Julie Targy, like so many other brides had special plans for her wedding day. She knew who she was going to marry, when, where, and how many guests there would be. Then COVID -19 happened. Like many others in this situation, everything planned had to be rethought which, at first blush, was disappointing to say the least. Being a woman of faith, she accepted that changes had to be made. She knew what mattered most was marrying the man she loves. This is what she wrote on her Facebook page:
“For I know the plans I have for you”- Jeremiah 29:11
God knows the plan for each of us, even when it’s hard to see it sometimes. Looking back on a day that to many people, may have seemed “ruined” or "unplanned", ended up being the most intimate and special moment of our lives.
Of course, it wasn’t what we originally planned, but it was more perfect than we could have ever imagined.
May 22, 2020 was about Tyler and I entering into the most beautiful sacrament of marriage amongst our immediate family and God.
During a time in this world where everything seemed completely uncertain, there was nothing clearer that day than getting to say YES to forever with my best friend.”
On May 22, 2020 Julie Targy, St. Mary’s alumna ’10, married Tyler Hinker.
For more photos click here.
One of the Newest Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders Hails from Bellevue
Erin McMaster, a St. Mary’s alumna class of '10, is living her dream! On June 12th, she was selected as one of the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders. Virtual auditions are in the books and the team selected.
Mom, Kathy McMaster, says, “So, proud of our daughter, Erin. She has worked so hard and never given up on her dreams. I’m so excited to watch her live her passion and dreams.”
Last year Erin made the 2019-2020 Orlando Sea Wolves Dance team. She graduated from Bellevue West in 2014, and from UNL in 2018 with a Dance Degree from the College of Fine and Performing Arts.
A Crowning Achievement
Ashley Arrowsmith was named Prom Queen at Bellevue East High School on April 4, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the school being closed, a virtual prom was held on zoom instead of a traditional prom setting. Congratulations, Ashley!
Ashley has many achievements to celebrate her senior year! She has been in ROTC for four years and currently holds the title of purple squadron commander cadet rank of major. Also, within ROTC, she was part of the Honor Guard and Drill Team, the same group that does the Veterans ceremony every year at St Mary's School. This is made even more special with the fact that Ashley graduated from St. Mary’s in 2016.
She was also on the varsity cheer squad which placed 3rd at state and completed her third year on the flag team with the Bellevue East marching band which placed 6th in the state. She was also on the cross country and track team.
For more photos click here.
Deadline for St. Mary's Alumni Scholarship Draws Near
Don't miss out on St. Mary's School Alumni Scholarship 2020 Opportunity. Applications are due by March 31st, 2020.
Since 2014, the St. Mary's Home and School Association has offered scholarships to 8th graders and alumni. If you are an 8th grader who will be attending Catholic high school 2020-2021 or a 12th grade alumni who will be attending Catholic college/university 2020-2021, March 31st is only a week away to get your application in.
St. Mary's Alumni Football Star
Jack Nutter, class of '18, earned his letter in Varsity Football as a sophomore at Gross Catholic High School. He was voted Scout Player of the year by his teammates.
His proud Mom, Bernadette Fisicaro Miller,says, “Way to go Jack, so proud of you and all your dedication to your team, school and education.”
We are all proud of you at St. Mary’s, keep it up!
An Award-Winning Book Helps Those Affected by Cancer
Two Creighton University students collaborated to write and illustrate a book titled, Cross of a Different Kind: Cancer and Christian Spirituality, to help people affected by cancer.
Anthony Maranise, the author, was inspired to write from his own experiences with cancer. He’s been in remission 21 years. Mirjana, “Missy” Walther, class of ‘12 at St. Mary’s and currently student teaching, always had a love of drawing and painting. Their online friendship strengthened by their Christian faith led them to this project as a way to help others. Anthony asked Missy to illustrate the book he was writing.
“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Luke 12:34) The winning duo received a Best Book award at the American Book Fest in Los Angeles last year in the Religion-Christianity category. They have been nominated for other awards as well. Their greatest reward though, is knowing that the proceeds from their book sales and illustration prints will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where Anthony was treated, and other nonprofits. For more details and interviews with Maranise and Walther, check out the article in Creighton magazine. Click here to read.
God's Blessing in Marriage
Shane Giles, a 2008 graduate of St. Mary's, married the love of his life, Jessica Trinkl, on August 17, 2019 at the Basicila St. Josaphat in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The ceremony was co-celebrated by Bishop William Callahan and Fr. Pat Reidy. Bishop Callahan is the Bishop of the Diocese of La Cross, Wisconsin and a Trinkl family friend. Fr. Reidy is a Holy Cross priest and was Shane's rector at Notre Dame.
Both Shane and Jessica are 2016 Notre Dame graduates where they met during the last 5 days of their senior year, a union blessed by their mutual Catholic faith. Shane's brother Sean, a 2004 graduate of St. Mary's, was the best man and his children, who currently attend St. Mary's, were also in the wedding. Shane and Jessica expressed their vows by joining hands with a crucifix held between them, symbolizing God as a perpetual part of their wedding and marriage. They reside in Nashville, Tennessee where Shane works for Ferrara Candy Company in Chicago, Illinois and Jessica attends medical school at Vanderbilt University.
O’Rion Moreno, St. Mary’s class of ’16, commanded the Bellevue East ROTC formation at the Arrows to Aerospace Parade this year.
This is Moreno’s fourth year in ROTC where he currently holds the rank of Staff Sargent. He has been on the drill team and the Honor Guard and also runs cross country. After he graduates from East in 2020 O’Rion plans to attend UNO, the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Going Back to School
Rebekah Menzel went to school at St. Mary’s; her mother, Cindy, is the school’s 5th grade teacher; her brother, Aaron, and her sister, Hannah, also both attended and now even some of her sister's children are going to school at St. Mary's! Clearly, she has lots of close ties to our beloved school. Rebekah has always had a passion for art. She knew one day she would be an art teacher, but her ultimate dream was to come back to St. Mary’s as a teacher.
Last year, her dream came true as she became St. Mary’s art teacher! Of course, that sadly meant her teacher and mentor Mrs. Schutt would be retiring. Rebekah is now carrying on some of the traditions Mrs. Schutt implemented at certain grade levels, but she is also making them uniquely her own. In her first year, Rebekah and her students received the honor of creating Christmas decorations to represent Nebraska as part of the National Park Foundation 2018 America Celebrates display. As she begins her second year back with us. she's experiencing one more change - her name is now Mrs. Crider!
(right, Rebekah in 4th grade at St. Mary's)
Alumni News Archive
- 2018-2019 School Year
- 2017-2018 School Year
- 2016-2017 School Year
- 2015-2016 School Year
- 2014-2015 School Year
2014-2015 School Year
The Culture Project
Ben Petr, a 2006 St. Mary's alumni graduated from Marquette University a semester early, with two majors, Economics and Supply Chain Management, and a minor in Political Science. Ben joined Blain's Farm and Fleet as a management trainee with sights on going into corporate within two years. Ben says, "I am still living in Milwaukee and am active in my new job, and rising quickly. I always thank my time at St Mary's for giving me the drive and determination to be as successful as I have been. I still also keep in touch with many of my St. Mary's friends and created bonds that have lasted a lifetime."
A Graduation Present
Two hours before his Baccalaureate ceremony Matt Delaney received the best graduation present a college graduate could ask for...a job offer. Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs offered Delaney a job as a Social Studies teacher. Matt said, "I accepted and am very excited to get started." What makes the job even more special at Thomas Jefferson is that's where his Mom, Sheryl Witkowsky graduated. (Photo of Matt and his Mom at his Graduation) The next day, Matt gave the commencement speech at Briar Cliff University's 83rd Commencement ceremony where he received a Bachelor's in Secondary Education and a Bachelor's in History with Endorsement in American History, World History and American Government.
The Hat Toss
Sean Cork graduated from the United States Air Force Academy May 28th with a degree in Chemistry and was one of the celebrants to take part in the annual graduation hat toss. Sean says, "as far as the hat toss, it was just exciting knowing that four years of hard work had finally paid off and I would finally be going to fly as an officer in the United States Air Force. Seeing the Thunderbirds fly over with hats in the air was a fantastic visualization of my dream becoming a reality." Cork, no longer a cadet, is now a 2nd Lieutenant and will begin flight training in December at Vance AFB in Enid, Oklahoma. In his senior year at the Academy Sean won the bronze medal at the NCAA boxing championships and was named an All American in boxing. Sean is a 2006 graduate of St. Mary's School. Thanks Lt. Cork for accepting the call to duty. (Photo courtesy of the USAF Academy)
Alumni St. Mary's Class of 2010 - Graduating Seniors at Bellevue East - Honors
President's Award for Educational Excellence:
Students chosen for this award have earned a cumulative grade point average of 4.5 or higher and backed that up with a score at or above the 85th percentile on the Math or Reading sections of the ACT or SAT.
Kaitlin M. Kozusko
James A. Schnitzer
Scott A. Walker
Academic Certificate Winners:
Students at BPS who were in the top 10% of the senior class for Fall 2013 (using weighted semester GPA) and were the recipient of three previous Academic Letters.
Thomas R. Walther
Honor Society Cord Recipients:
Congratulations and Good Luck as you move forward in your academic pursuits. St. Mary's is so proud of you.
2014 University Commencement Speaker – A St. Mary's Alum
Matt Delaney will take to the podium May 17th to give the commencement speech at Briar Cliff University's 83rd Commencement ceremony. He will represent the Class of 2014. Matt, a history and secondary education major will talk about the diverse social and spiritual experiences he has had while at Briar Cliff, a Roman Catholic University. What a great representative for BCU (Class of 2014) and St. Mary's (Class of 2006). Matt, has been on the Dean's list all 4 years. He was the Fall 2013 Varsity Football Team Captain, and received the GPAC (Great Plains Athletic Conference) Scholar Athlete 2011-13 and the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) National Scholar Athlete 2012-2013. The GPAC Scholar Athlete is considered Academic All-Conference, while the NAIA Scholar Athlete is considered Academic All-American. In his chosen career field Matt was selected as Briar Cliff University Education Department's Most Outstanding Secondary Education Graduate for 2014. These are just a few of his honors at Briar Cliff while also committing time to Community Service. Matt mentored our future leaders, helped feed the hungry, and build a home for those in need, helped teach football to our youth, and helped children with cancer. For a complete review of Matt's accomplishments, honors, and community service click here. Upon graduation Matt plans to teach at a high school in the Omaha metro area.
In Memory and Support
Funeral services will be held for Poth Acouth a St. Mary's 2007 graduate later this week. The 22-year-old Iowa Western Community College student pursuing a criminal justice degree was working on achieving a 4.0 this semester. The St. Mary's School Community offers prayer support to 3rd grader Acouth Acouth and the family as they grieve the loss of their brother and son, Poth. Our school community would also like to help support the Acouth family financially. If you feel the call to donate, please make your check out to Helena and Wantok Acouth. The family will receive friends Friday May 2nd at the Bellevue Memorial Chapel from 5:00 - 7:00 P.M. with a Vigil at 7:00 P.M. The funeral will be Saturday May 3rd, 2014 at 10:30 A.M. at St. Mary's Church.
Claims a Wing Open Title
February 20, 2014 wasn't just any night for Sean Cork. Sean claimed his first Wing Open title. He competed in the 2014 Wing Open Boxing Championships under the lights at Clune Arena at the Air Force Academy. In the 147-pound bout, Sean a senior quickly took control of the ring. He forced a standing-eight count in the opening round with freshman Pedro Barrientes. Barrientes responded with several jabs. The second round was low scoring and both contenders came out strong in the third. Sean, a 2013 finalist, won his first Wing Open title, as he earned the judges' decision. Congratulations Sean, a 2006 St. Mary's Alum.Photos Courtesy of the Air Force Academy.
St. Mary's Alumnae March for Life
Nothing could keep Sarah Ruff and Laura Sjostedt, both from St. Mary's from taking part in the largest prolife event in the world. Not even the snow, ice or temperatures in the teens. Today, January 22nd, they along with two of their classmates from Mercy High School will march in the 40th March for Life in Washington, D.C. The rally will begin at the National Mall and the March will take them up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court Building on Capitol Hill. Mercy didn't sponsor a trip this year so the girls joined the Archdiocese's group of young people making the trek by bus. Each girl also raised the $400 needed for the trip. The busses left at 7PM Saturday and will return Thursday at 3PM. A long, but necessary journey, in their fight for life.
Photo: Elizabeth Nussrala and Laura Sjostedt (seniors) top row, Sarah Ruff and Maddie Nebel (juniors), all from Mercy High School.
Alumni Reach Out With Their Newsletter
Julie Targy A St. Mary's Alumnae Will Play Ball
Julie Targy is living her dream, she will play basketball for the Briar Cliff Chargers this fall. Here is the story from Briar Cliff:
"Briar Cliff Inks Targy for 2014
Women's Basketball - Thu, Nov. 21, 2013
Julie Targy has signed a letter of intent to play basketball for the Chargers of Briar Cliff University in 2014. The 5-2 Bellevue, Nebraska native has racked up 10 varsity letters for the Thunderbirds of Bellevue West, so far in her career. She has earned three letters in basketball, two in volleyball, four in track, and one in forensics.
"Julie is a high energy athlete that gives great effort at all times while on the court. She will be a great addition to the Briar Cliff Women's Basketball program", says head coach Mike Power. "Julie is also a great student and will fit in well on our campus. She is a high character student athlete."
In her junior basketball campaign she averaged 8.9 ppg and 2.7 rpg. She also contributed 3.2 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Off the court, Targy is actively involved in National Honor Society, PTSA, DECA, St. Mary's Youth Group, Student Council, and Dance.
The daughter of Stephen and Tina Targy is an honor roll student, who is looking to possibly major in public relations at the Cliff."
Briar Cliff University is a private, Franciscan, Roman Catholic University in Sioux City, Iowa.
It All Started at St. Mary's
Natalie (Targy) Kamtz , a 1999 St. Mary's alumnae, is currently the Clinical Study Coordinator for Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Her job includes a variety of things from finding studies, recruiting patients, tracking all study activities, budgets, and contracts, as well as helping write up the results. Natalie says, "We had such wonderful teachers like Mrs. Schutt, Mrs. Nedemeyer, Mr. Eckerman, Mrs. Langhorst, Mrs. Gold, Mrs. Sobillo, and many more at St. Mary's. I had so much fun dissecting all kinds of cool animals. It was so wonderful to be able to explore the sciences and it certainly became a passion of mine that feeds what I do currently. Although, I didn't appreciate it, as I should have then, I now very much appreciate a Catholic environment and curriculum in school. It's so important for kids to be surrounded with the church's teachings and to understand the importance of Christ's love in every aspect of our lives, including our education." Natalie received an academic scholarship to Rockhurst, a Jesuit college in Kansas City where she received her Biology degree in 2007. She also received a science scholarship while at Rockhurst. Natalie was involved in sports, on the dean's list and founded "Run for a Reason" to support breast cancer awareness and research.
2013-2014 School Year
Focused on Her Faith
Liz Connealy will be leading Bible studies and a mentorship program for young women at Wayne State College this year. She, along with 4 others, is working with FOCUS, the Fellowship Of Catholic University Students, to help others find Christ. Liz went to a non-FOCUS college and wasn't very involved with her faith but a FOCUS national conference changed her life forever. As an adult she made Christ an intimate part of her life and wants to share her testimony with others. Liz, a 2005 St. Mary's graduate, and 2013 graduate of Northwest Missouri State, needs your support in her mission.
If you would like to make a donation click here.
Or call Liz at 402-658-4943.
Military Survivor Instructor for a Summer
Sean Cork, St. Mary's alumni 2006', spent his summer working as a military survival instructor at the Air Force Academy teaching land survival as well as POW training that included resistance, escape and evasion. Sean is a senior and will be graduating next spring as a second Lieutenant. He is a varsity boxer and coaches boxing during the school year. The photo is of him boxing an Army boxer from West Point, the Army's military academy. This year, he was named to the Athletic Director's list for his outstanding physical test scores, his boxing and his grades in physical education. He is also majoring in Chemistry and was really challenged last year by his two semesters of physical chemistry. Even with the challenges of a very tough major, he is on the Dean's list for being in the top 1/3 of his class academically. Sean wants to fly after he graduates and is considering his opportunities as graduation approaches.
St. Mary's Alumnae Ready for High School
Christina Sullivan will be going to Bellevue East. She has prepared well, having been on the honor roll the last two years and making straight A's in 8th grade. She is a member of the Junior National Honor Society. Christina has been involved in volleyball, basketball and swimming. During school she also volunteered with Circle of Friends helping other kids with physical or emotional difficulties once a week.This summer she is volunteering at Camp Munroe to work with children who have developmental disabilities and will also help out at the Transplant Reunion at UNMC in July.
St. Mary's Alumnus Going Strong
Joe Sullivan, will be a Junior at Bellevue East this fall. As a Sophomore, Joe was on the Honor Roll and lettered in football. He also participated in power-lifting, swimming and track. He has participated in the Youth Learning Academy at UNMC for 4 years and is applying to be on the Advisory Council. This summer he is working at Camp Munroe to work with children who have developmental disabilities and will volunteer at the Transplant Reunion at UNMC in July.
St. Mary's Alumnus Aims High
Tommy Walther is ranked in the top 1% of his class out of 364 students at Bellevue East with a 3.83 GPA on a 4.0 scale. In August he starts his senior year. Tommy has lettered in swimming, football, baseball and academics. Tommy also power lifts. He has already earned college credit in world history, Psychology, and English at Bellevue East. This year he was inducted into the National Honor Society.
St. Mary's Alumnae is on Her Way
Michaela Sullivan graduated as Salutatorian (in a three way tie for first) from Bellevue East in 2013 and will be going to the University of Nebraska Lincoln with 20 college credits in hand. She will be starting out as a Sophomore to pursue Speech Pathology with a minor in Spanish. Michaela received a full ride through her Regents Scholarship, Buffet Scholarship and $4,000 Scholarship from the Department of Education, which will pay for all of her books, tuition and room and board. Michaela lettered in track, cross-country and swimming. She was one of eight 12- sport athletes to graduate in her 385 person class. That means she participated in 3 sports each of her 4 years in high school. She also, took 1st place in the state of Nebraska her Junior year in powerlifting in her weight class, as a Senior she took 2nd. Michaela was inducted into the National Honor Society her Sophomore year and remained there for 3 years. For community work, Michaela took part and was on the Advisory Board of the Youth Learning Academy at UNMC for four years. That's where students are exposed to many fields in medicine and they volunteer to help others.
St. Mary's Alumnae Aims High
Missy Walther finished her freshman year ranked in the top 1% of her class of 398 students at Bellevue East with a 4.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale all the while playing on the JV softball team, freshmen Basketball team, power-lifting club, and Varsity Soccer team. She was awarded the "3 Sport Athlete Award" her freshmen year and also lettered in soccer. In her spare time Missy also volunteered at Mable Rose with former St. Mary's classmates.
St. Mary's alumni and students from our parish achieved 4th quarter high school academic honors: at Roncalli, Rachel Norris made the Honor Roll; at Duchesne, Kathryn Zieno received Highest Honors; at Mercy, Allayna Bash, Marlene Djidjoho, Julia Leister, Laura Sjostedt, Jill Sobczyk, and Veronica Traggiai received First Honors, and Hannah Kimsey received Second Honors; at Gross, Danielle Cork, Sarah Janda, Patrick Mruz, and Chelsea Schmitz earned a 3.25 GPA or greater, and at Creighton Prep, Matthew Cervantes, Riley Hanson, Jonathan Henderson, and Benjamin Reckmeyer received First Honors, and Hayden Hanson & Michael Martin received Second Honors. Congratulations!
Congratulations 2013 Graduates and Scholarship Winners!
The following students celebrated graduation from St. Mary's School at Mass on May 19th; Alfred Balanay, Juan Chavez, Jr., Shayanne Cornett, Jean-Marie Djidjoho, Marcel Dugas, James Goetz, Michael James, Joseph Keenan, Nowa Keita, Sara Kepford, Maya Lewis, Danny McMaster, Mikayla Sage, Nick Schnitzer, Lauren Traggiai, and Cole Wellman. Also, congratulations to James Goetz, Jean-Marie Djidjoho, Maya Lewis, Shayanne Cornett and Lauren Traggiai, recipients of the Dr. Charles and Amy Longo Scholarship. James and Maya will attend Daniel J. Gross High School, Jean-Marie will attend Mt. Michael High School, and Lauren will attend Mercy High School. Shayanne will attend Mercy or Daniel J. Gross High School. Maya and Lauren also received $300 scholarships from the St. Mary's - Bellevue Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court#2036. Congratulations to all the scholarship winners!
Rachel Norris has earned a place on the Principal's List for the 3rd quarter at Roncalli High School. Rachel maintained A's & B's for the quarter.
Helping Others Reach for the Gold
Nathan Feldmann, a St. Mary's alumni was invited to speak at the Congressional award kick off activities in Elkhorn, Nebraska Saturday with Congressman Lee Terry and Johnny Rogers. Johnny Rogers was a 1972 Heisman Trophy winner from UNL (seen here with Nathan in the Heisman Trophy stance).
Nathan spoke about his experiences in earning his Congressional gold-medal award. He told them the Congressional award is more than a checklist and recounted working with his buddy at Munroe Meyer. By volunteering at Monroe he learned the value in serving and connecting with others, and helping the community.
Nathan said he is continuing to set goals as a sophomore at UNL and grow even though he's no longer working for a medal. He talked about his involvement at the People's City Mission in Lincoln as well as being a member of the Cornhusker Marching Band and the medical student-shadowing program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Then he left the new Congressional Award recipients with a challenge: find a way to serve that's meaningful to you, so that your Congressional award experience becomes a part of who you are and that you continue to live that lifestyle long after you reach the gold.
St. Mary's alumnae at Mercy High School are bringing in Academic Honors. For the 3rd quarter First Honors go to: Allayna Bash, Marlene Djidjoho, Julia Leister and Jill Sobczyk. Second Honors go to Laura Sjostedt and Veronica Traggiai. Congratulations!
A Rare Honor
Chelsea Schmitz, a junior at Gross High School, was inducted into the Archbishop Gerald T. Bergan Chapter of the National Honor Society on February 27th. In order to be selected, she had to maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher and demonstrate outstanding character, leadership, and service within the school and community. Chelsea is the daughter of Randy and Trixy Schmitz.
Scout Sunday Recognizes Its Own at St. Mary's
Fifteen scouts from the St. Mary's parish were honored for their diligent efforts in religious programs for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Four Cub Scouts received the Light of Christ award where they learned about Jesus' love through Reconciliation and First Communion. Eleven Scouts received the Parvuli Dei (Children of God) award as they learned about God's presence in people around them and their contributions to help others in their community. Adult leader, Kolene Krysal received the Bronze Pelican award for her contributions to the spiritual growth of Boy Scouts. St. Mary's has been sponsoring the Scout program for more than 60 years. One of the lectors was Eagle Scout, Larry Ortega, St. Mary's graduating class of 69'.
Erika Bennett Wins an iPad!
Erika Bennett, a St. Mary's alumna, wins the ultimate prize for her extraordinary skill. Last October she went to Defy Gravity to celebrate her sisters, Anna and Julia's birthday. While they enjoyed the indoor trampoline, Erika tested her skills through a timed course, maneuvering her body through the trampoline laser maze. She had the fastest time for the month and won a $25 gift card. Erika was invited back to compete in the end of year competition and won again! This time, she took home an iPad which she plans to use for her schoolwork at Mercy High School.
Did you get the 1st St. Mary's Alumni Newsletter we sent out this week by email? If not, now is the time to update your contact information by sending an email to alumni(at)stmarysbellevue.com That way you won't miss any future mailings. We'd also like to know what is going on in the lives of St. Mary's Alumni. If you have information you'd like to share about: weddings, births, honors, etc. send it to alumni(at)stmarysbellevue.com
First Shot at Big Game
"I turned 21 this year and was able to celebrate by shooting my first elk, which was about the best present ever." Sean Cork, a 2006 St. Mary's alumni took aim with his new hunting rifle designed for larger game such as elk and shot his target. Cork says his dad actually sited his new rifle and brought it from Nebraska along with one of his buddies. It was Sean's aim that brought down the elk. Sean went hunting northwest of Steamboat Springs with his hunting club from the Air Force Academy, some of his friends from school, his dad and a buddy from back home. Sean says, "My dad took most of the meat home, (except for some steaks which I already ate!) and has already made jerky, salami and other yummy things."
Sean, is a second classman (Junior) at the Air Force Academy majoring in Chemistry. He is also an intramural boxing coach as well as a member of the Air Force Academy Varsity boxing team.
2012-2013 School Year
St. Mary's Alumni Brings Home the Gold
One of St. Mary's own, Nathan Feldmann received the Congressional Award Gold Medal at our Nations Capitol June 20, 2012. Nathan was one of 277 exceptional young Americans, 7 of them Nebraskans, who challenged themselves and made lasting contributions to their community, country and themselves. The United States Congress recognizes young people who set and achieve goals in Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness and Expedition/Exploration.
To earn his Gold Medal, Nathan mentored the mentally and physically disabled at the Munroe Meyer Institute. He gave more than 400 hours to help them learn to swim, play, cook and interact with one another. Nathan was an active leader and member of his high school marching band (Papillion- La Vista South) involved in 5 competitions per year. He ran a half marathon, and he planned a five night snowboarding trip to Winter Park, Colorado. Not only did he learn the fundamentals of snowboarding, he learned how to effectively plan a large-scale trip that included all aspects of lodging, food, travel and budget.
Nathan says, "The Congressional Award experience has instilled in me the importance of goal setting and work ethic, which I will be able to use for the rest of my life. I have just completed my freshman year of college at UNL. I will continue to develop in these four core areas even though I am no longer pursuing an award. I will continue to apply these skills toward my academic and career goal to become a physician. I feel that the Congressional Award has prepared me for the challenges and obstacles that lie ahead. And that's the head fake. This award is not about the magnitude of accomplishments, developing a resume, or simply completing a checklist, but rather, how the Congressional Award has molded and shaped us into people of service, responsibility, and integrity. We must now go into each of our communities and apply what we've learned using our time, talent, and treasure that God has given us to make this world a better place."
Timothy Lewis, a St. Mary's alum, and his wife Caitlin welcomed their first child Tyler Robert Lewis June 9, 2011, weighing 5 lbs. 1 oz. Tyler is the grandson of two St. Mary's teachers, Marion Lewis and Stacey Schutt.