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School News 2017-2018

Be Part of a Legacy - Building for the Future on the Foundation of Our Past

St. Mary Bellevue Campaign LogoThis weekend is St. Mary’s Centennial Campaign Commitment Weekend. The legacy of our first century is apparent as we moved from St. Mark’s to St. Mary’s and our school has grown since its original construction. Now, is the time to build on this legacy, as we approach our 100th anniversary, by expanding, refurbishing, modernizing and reducing our debt. This will be our gift to future generations: a model of stewardship that is necessary for a thriving faith community. Make a commitment and be part of a legacy. Building for the Future on the Foundation of Our Past. Click here to see the short video.

It Belongs to Everybody - Building for the Future on the Foundation of Our Past

St. Mary Bellevue Campaign LogoSt. Mary’s Church belongs to everybody. It is home to more than 1,400 families. Like every home, it needs a few tweaks here and there to keep it up. As our Centennial Campaign winds down this weekend we are holding a Commitment Weekend. Won’t you please prayerfully consider how you might help take your home, St. Mary’s, into the next century so we can open the doors wide for coming generations. That is our legacy, our children’s future. Building for the Future on the Foundations of Our Past.  Click here to see the video.

St. Mary’s School - Building for the Future on the Foundation of Our Past

St. Mary Bellevue Campaign LogoSt. Mary’s School is a warm and inviting atmosphere that welcomes each family to the community. Come and be a part of school that nurtures children’s hearts and minds to become servant leaders through a great Catholic education. Building for the Future on the Foundation of Our Past. Click here to see the video.


Our Community - Building for the Future on the Foundation of Our Past

St. Mary Bellevue Campaign LogoSt. Mary’s Parish is a special place for Ted and Cindy Menzel, “It’s our family, it’s our community, it’s our life.” What a blessing! A blessing our faith community would like to share for generations to come. We hope you feel the same way too! Building for the Future on the Foundations of Our Past. Click here to see the video.



Building for the Future - Building for the Future on the Foundation of Our Past

St. Mary Bellevue Campaign LogoSt. Mary’s is closing in on a milestone that gives us pause for reflection, our 100th anniversary is 3 years away. St. Mary’s has been blessed to grow its faith community to the point of outgrowing our church entryway footprint. The Centennial Campaign commitment weekend coming up June 23-24 gives us all a chance to reflect on what St. Mary’s means to us and how we can all keep our vibrant church thriving as we move into the next century. No gift is too small. St. Mary’s is a gift to us and the future. Building for the Future on the Foundation of Our Past. Click here to see the video.



Buildings Updated - Building for the Future on the Foundation of Our Past

St. Mary Bellevue Campaign LogoSt. Mary’s Church and school buildings were built to last. They’ve served us well and will continue to do so, but both need updating, restoration and repair to take us into the next century. St. Mary’s Parish is getting ready to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Take a listen to Father Del on how we can all take part in providing for upcoming generations at church and school. Building for the Future on the Foundations of Our Past. Click here to see the video.

Father’s Thoughts - Building for the Future on the Foundation of Our Past

St. Mary Bellevue Campaign LogoSt. Mary’s Parish will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2021. As we prepare for the second century we ask: “Are we equipped for an even more vibrant tomorrow?” We are a warm, welcoming and thriving faith community, a living legacy. Our church and school have served us well over the years and now need our help to continue to reach out to the upcoming generations. For the next several days we will post videos to help you understand our needs and desires to assure our faith filled church and school will build a legacy for future generations. Building for the Future on the Foundations of Our Past. Click here for Father's thoughts.

Alumni News - Paige Holbrook

PaigeHAlumna, Paige Holbrook, Class of 2015 has had a wonderful junior year at Bellevue East High School.
She was voted by her class to represent them as their Senior class Vice President next year. Paige was also selected by a committee of teachers to be the Co-President of the National Honor Society for her senior year. After being nominated her sophomore year to attend the HOBY (Hugh O’Brian) Youth Leadership Conference, this year Paige applied to become a junior counselor and was selected as a 2018 Nebraska ​HOBY Leadership Seminar Volunteer. Paige was also selected by the Lincoln Journal Star All-Academic State team for swimming.

Salsa Adds Some Spice to St. Mary's Spanish Class

salsa7Almost as important as the academic value of the class is the cultural immersion that we experience. Señora Sjostedt recognizes salsa3many of her students are interested in the Spanish culture as well as the Spanish language She always makes sure to enhance our class by mixing in cultural today. In anticipation of Cinco de Mayo, our 7th grade class made homemade salsa and enjoyed the fellowship that went along with it. Showing students that learning can be a balance of enjoyment and education, with a bowl of chips and salsa.

Lay Missionary

Lay Missionary2John Din, a Columban Lay Missionary, plays bamboo panpipes for a crowd of students as he shows them how the people of Peru express joy and gratitude for God's blessings.

Legion of Mary

Legion of Mary picLegion of Mary has helped me strengthen my faith. It helped me feel welcomed into the community of St. Mary’s. I have come closer to Mary and Jesus since I started going. Everyone is really welcoming and kind. I feel God’s presence in all of them. I am so grateful to my friend who suggested that I attend and for the leaders who welcomed me with such love.
I am so blessed to have people who love Jesus as much as I do in my life. I love how warm it feels when I am praying there. It is amazing to be praying and talking with people who feel the same as I do about our faith.
--Katie Orloski, Student Writer (6th grade)

Eighth Graders Assessments - Learning and Fun!

8th Grade Assessment picThe past couple of weeks, our class has been working on the state required assessments for the eighth grade. We have a total of three assessments that we have to complete before the end of the year. In Spanish, we had to write and illustrate a short picture book about ourselves entirely in Spanish. Then we read our books to the first-grade class.

The other two assessments are linked together in English and History. It is called the History Hall of Fame project and the eighth graders do it every year. For the English part, we had to write a research paper about someone who has contributed to history. I chose Helen Keller. It was interesting to learn about her.

In History, we had to create a video or a presentation about our person. We could create a Prezi, a video interview, or a music video. I love to make videos. I chose "Baby" by Justin Bieber and rewrote the lyrics about Helen Keller. I created the music video using iMovie. Next week we are going to present our videos. I am super excited!

Lindsey Wessling, 8th Grade


heat article pic1 of 25th graders are known for their energy, but another kind of energy is heat energy. We have been learning about this for about a Heat pic 2 of 2week. We did a few labs on Heat. For one lab, we compared hot, cold, and room temperature water. We put red food coloring in the hot water and blue food coloring in the cold water. Then we poured a little bit of each into the room temperature water. The warm water went up and the cold water went down. This lab showed us that heat rises.
Another lab we did was to put hot water on the burners and take the temperature of the water. Afterward we compared its temperature to the cold water. Next, we waited about 2 minutes and took the temperature again to compare those. This was to get practice on proper temperature measuring with a thermometer. Those are some of the things we have been learning in science.

By Jilian Sasek and Taylee Wharton (5th graders at St. Mary’s)

2018 Serra Club Altar Server Awards

AltarServers2The Serra Clubs of Omaha and Norfolk honor 8th grade servers throughout the archdiocese each year. Six 8th graders from St. Mary's church were so honored by Archbishop Lucas during a special liturgy at St. Gerald Church in Ralston.

Our 2018 Serra Club Award Winners are:
Ashton Joseph
Alexander Lee
Owen Legner
Nathan Schmitz
Gabrielle Sjostedt
Samuel Wilwerding

Congratulations to this year’s recipients. Thank you for your dedication and service to our church. It is difficult to choose only six honorees, we recognize and applaud all the good work of our many altar servers! For more photos click here.

4th Graders Visit our State Capitol and Receive a Taste of our Rich Nebraska History

StateCapital3From the State Historical Museum tour to our State Capitol Tour, students were bright eyed and thirsty to learn more about our StateCapital5enriching Nebraska history. Many thanks to the AgCouncil for providing lunch so students could re-energize before touring Morrill Hall and enjoying the planetarium show “Firefall.” Morrill Hall is Nebraska's largest natural history museum which includes the world's premier collection of fossil elephants, interactive paleontology exhibits, American Indian exhibits, walk-in wildlife dioramas, and a hands-on discovery room.

This is a trip all upcoming 4th graders look forward to and judging from the smiles as they descended the bus, a great time was had by all! For more photos click here.

Changing Hearts Wax Museum Exhibit

WaxMuseum1The fourth grade students produced a Wax Museum project. This project included the students researching a famous person of WaxMuseum2their choice. The students wrote a biography, created a poster, memorized a speech, and put together a costume.

This project incorporated many curriculum standards including speaking, writing, and reading. Our younger students learned a lot as they visited the wax museum and asked questions. For more photos click here.

St. Mary's 6th and 7th graders Apply the Scientific Method and Have Fun too!



There was a lot of excitement as the 6th and 7th graders presented their science fair projects to parents and fellow students. A science ScienceFair13project is an investigation using the ‘scientific method’ to discover the answer to a problem or question.

The ‘scientific method’ is a tool to help organize thoughts and possible solutions. It is a process or a plan to follow which allows the best solution to be found.

These projects also allow students to practice their public speaking and take pride in a successfully executed project. For more photos click here.

St. Mary's Exercises and Learns Healthy Living

Pump it Up5St. Mary's 4th and 5th grades participated in Creighton's "Fit for Life" program. Medical students visited St. Mary's to promote healthy lifestyles for students and their families. Students established personal healthy lifestyle goals in the areas of nutrition and exercise in order to help fight the growing epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other metabolic disorders in the local community.

The culminating event for students participating in the "Fit for Life" program was this field trip to "Pump it Up" to have some fun and exercise. Thanks Creighton!Pump it Up1

St. Mary's Parents Show Their Spirit Behind the Scenes

When parents and schools work together, the results can be incredible! This last weekend, St. Mary's held its 24th annual Spring for the Children Benefit Auction at the Beardmore Event Center in Bellevue. This is our largest fundraiser of the year and it would not be possible without the dedication of our amazing parents. Here we see our parents working behind the scenes as they transform the event center to showcase our spectacular benefit auction.St. Marys Parents2St. Marys Parents1

6th Grade Presents the Living Stations of the Cross

LivingStations1On March 23rd, the St. Mary's students celebrated The Living Stations of the Cross presented by the 6th grade class. This is a LivingStations2deeply spiritual re-enactment of the events leading up to and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Pre-Kindergarten Learns the Parts of the Body

PreK Body Parts3Our Pre-K students were very excited about their lesson on the human body. They would find out where their body parts are located and what they do. Take for example our beating heart. They learned that our heart isn’t visible, but they can certainly feel it beating! They also enjoyed making their own creation of the human body. Pretty good representations wouldn’t you say? For more photos click here.









St. Mary's Takes March Madness

St Marys Takes March MadnessCongratulations to all the teams who participated in St. Bernadette’s March Madness Tournament. The 8th grade boys St Marys Takes March Madness1defeated St. Bernadette, and the 7th grade boys went undefeated and took 1st place. Good job!




Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids - St. Mary’s Kids are Winners!

DSC04582Jackson Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit with the mission to advance financial knowledge on a national scale and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K12 classrooms, today announced St. Mary’s Elementary School in Bellevue, Nebraska as the $10,000 grand prize winner of the Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids! contest. The contest invited elementary school teachers and families to take a pledge to teach kids how to “earn, save, spend and donate.” St. Mary’s was also awarded a $1,000 prize to donate to a charity of their choice, with the goal of teaching students about the value of making donations.chaching1







 Featured left to right: Mike Bryant, Discovery Education; Dr. Alice Wilder, Co-Creator, Cha -Ching Money Smart Kids, a financial literacy program for children; Dr. Trish Wallinger, Principal; Danielle Robinson, Jackson Charitable Foundation Representative

National Geographic Bee

NAT Geo Bee 1Congratulations to Christian Swiecicki, from St Mary's School. Christian has qualified to compete in the state level competition of the National Geographic Bee! The Nebraska State Bee will be held on Friday, April 6, 2018.







Fun in the Snow at St. Mary's


Recess3St. Mary's students don't let the snow slow them down. Encouraged by staff to be physically active during recess, students pack boots and snow pants to enjoy the snow at recess. Recess2From climbing on the snow piles to making snow angels and building snow sculptures--our students re-energize for their afternoon learning. For more photos click here.




Some Highlights from Catholic Schools Week

Baking14Third through fifth graders baked goodies and sold them after the Catholic Schools Week Kick off Mass to help support the Columban Fathers Mission Project. The $327 raised through parishioner’s support will go toward buying crayons and other school supplies for children in Peru and Pakistan. At school the week started with a Prayer Service prepared by student council members. Prayer partners were chosen by taking a colored strip of paper out of a basket which was then made into a prayer chain that hangs in the main hallway. Students also baked cookies to donate for an evening meal at the Stephen Center. Aqua Africa came to speak to students about helping global communities with a water project. One of speakers was Mabior Acouth, the older sibling of one of our students. Students are busy thinking how they can help and serve the people of God in a continent far away from Nebraska after seeing how hard it is for them to get water. Students participated in Spelling Bees and the winners for grades 1-4 are: first grader Molly Orloski 3rd place, first grader Allison Schmitz 2nd place and third grader Anna Mlnarik took first place. The winners for 5-8th grade are: 8th grader Lindsey Wessling took 3rd place, 7th grader Megan Schneider 2nd place and 6th grader Katie Orloski took first place. She will now participate in the Archdiocese Spelling Bee. Buddies2Buddy classes got together to read and enjoy snacks and we capped off the week celebrating our students many talents at the 5th Annual Talent Show. Many thanks to Alumna, Christina (Hascall) Legner, Class of ‘91 for bringing the Talent Show back to St. Mary’s and for coordinating it for the last five years. Please click here to look at photos from the week. Lots of great memories of fun and fellowship.

Showcasing Our Many Talents While Helping a Great Cause

TalentShow2On Friday, February 2nd, St. Mary's Home and School Association hosted the 5th Annual Catholic Schools Week Talent Show as the culmination of our Catholic Schools Week celebrations. There were 22 amazing acts and the emcees and stage crew were our very own middle school students. Each year a charity is chosen to recognize. This year the charity was the Nebraska Humane Society. Our free will offering that night raised over $450 for this worthy cause. Thank you all for your tremendous support.

TalentShow1Featured in these photos are two of the acts:

Olivia, a Kindergartener, and Angelo Zieno, her dad, a ’95 Alumnus, singing and playing the piano to “Lost Boy” by Ruth B
Joseph Brown, a 6th grader playing “Magic Man” by Willard A. Palmer on the piano.



Spreading Joy Throughout the World

Gospel of Joy1

St. Mary's students have always centered our Catholic Schools Week activities with service. How can we serve others as Jesus did?

Gospel of Joy2Miss Jankovich's 4th Graders combined their faith and creative writing skills to create a Gospel of Joy poster. Inspired by learning about the Columban Fathers' Missions through Mrs. Menzel and her 5th grade class, we used an idea from Father Chris Saenz, a Columban and St. Mary’s alumnus, about bringing the Gospel of Joy to the world.

Gospel of Joy34th Graders created these posters to inspire others to go out and spread joy, JESUS' JOY, throughout the world.

Posters by: Gianna Carranza, Abigail Lee, and Deklen Trzaska



Celebrating Catholic Schools Week

2018 CSW Logo Book CrossCatholic Schools week is a special time for us. It brings into focus the gift and the value of a Catholic Education. This year as our logo states, Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed. We at St. Mary’s are teaching students to become future servant leaders, faith-filled disciples and enriched citizens in our communities. This fun-filled week encompasses each of these aspects celebrating who we are. Festivities began at Mass Sunday, January 28th, that included a pancake breakfast and students hosted a Bake Sale to support the Columban Mission. The week includes a Special Friend’s Mass, Prayer Service, Spelling Bee’s, we Showcase our Academic Projects, All School Dance, Buddy Projects for our Community, Annual 8th graders go to the Cathedral, Performing Arts, Pep Rally, Staff and Student Volleyball game and much more. The final event brings everyone together including family and friends as students perform at the 5th annual Talent Show Friday, February 2nd in the school gym at 7:00 P.M. Come join us.

St. Mary’s Student Thanksgiving Celebrations


 Students enjoy Thanksgiving celebrations with their school buddies. At St. Mary's older grades and younger grades are paired up with "buddies." Then throughout the year, the buddies participate in a variety of activities. For example, buddies sit together at Mass so the older students can assist with crossing the street and model good behavior at Mass. If there's a class project in the younger grades where more assistance is needed sometimes the older buddies will visit (ex. a project to make homemade apple sauce). In these pictures, the activity was some fellowship and fun in celebration of Thanksgiving.


St. Mary’s Witsclash Team



Over the Veterans day holiday weekend the St. Mary's Witsclash team traveled to Bryan High School to compete in the largest quiz bowl in Nebraska. Any sixth, seventh, or eighth grader can join the Witsclash team. At the Bryan tournament we did very well, with one of our teams seeded fourth in the bracket of over thirty teams. While we didn't win any trophies, it was a really fun experience for all of the teams.

Written by Lindsey Wessling, 8th Gradewits2



St Mary's Information

St. Mary's Catholic School is a Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth Grade School of the Archdiocese of Omaha. Our mission is to provide a Catholic education that nurtures students' hearts and minds to become servant leaders in an ever-changing world.

Our philosophy of education is to offer a five-day program to assist families in teaching those truths, skills, and ideals, which are necessary for Christian living. We believe that education must develop the faculties and abilities of the whole child: spiritually, intellectually, physically, and emotionally. To help achieve this, our faculty and staff are an integral part of the formation of Christian community and dedicate themselves to the task of developing Christian citizens.



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