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School News 2018-2019

First Grade Patriotic Parade

PatrioticSymbol1April and May find the first graders immersed in a research project to learn about their favorite American symbol. They spend time at home with their family discovering important and interesting facts. In the classroom, the children work with their classmates to decide the details of their presentation. PatrioticSymbol7Children in Pre-K through 4th grades lined the parade route (hallway) to watch and listen as each symbol told a little bit about themselves. The American symbols led everyone in singing “You’re A Grand Old Flag” and “This Land is Your Land”. For more photos click here.








A Special Dress for Holy Communion

HolyCommunion19First Holy Communion is a special time! For June Boland it was even more special. She was wearing her mom's First Holy Communion dress which was made by her mom's grandmother. HolyCommunion7Hailey Boland, June’s mother, said, “It was my grandmother who made the dress and veil. June’s great-grandma.” June met her grandmother when she was a baby but she passed away when June was 6 months old. Hailey adds, “My grandma and I were very close and it means everything to be able to share my dress with June and to share the special story behind it.”







First Holy Communion

HolyCommunion1First Holy Communion is the culmination of what our second-grade students have been learning throughout the past year about this special sacrament. They learned about Jesus and now for the first time, Jesus comes to them in a unique way, through the Holy Eucharist. They receive him into their body and soul. HolyCommunion2It is a very personal and beautiful time. The girls wear brides’ dresses and the boys wear suits in honor of this holy and joyous occasion. Thank you Father Del for helping us Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord for the first time. For more photos click here.






Confirmation – Growing in Faith

Confirmation22St. Mary’s students were confirmed by Archbishop Emeritus Elden Curtiss. As Catholics, we are first baptized into the faith and then as we grow in body, so too, do we grow in spirit. This is what Confirmation is all about. The faith that was given us is now confirmed and made strong. Those who are confirmed take responsibility for their faith, sharing their faith and their own spiritual destiny. For example, instead of being given a name and sponsor like at baptism, they now make those choices. Confirmation42Maria Connealy chose her brother Jacob as her sponsor. Jacob is both an alumnus and currently a seminarian with our Archdiocese. Following Mass, the Archbishop and Father Del took photos with the newly confirmed. For more photos click here.



Crowning Mary

MayCrowning1Each year we honor Jesus’ mother, Mary during the May crowning. This year it all began with the eighth graders, many of them soon to be confirmed, processing into the church for Mass with their second-grade buddies who this year received Holy Communion. After Mass, the eighth graders walked in carrying roses while the second graders lined the pews.MayCrowning10 Father Del blessed the crown to be placed on Mary’s head. Julia Bennett and Seth Roos were selected by their peers to crown Mary. Then the eighth graders each presented Mary a rose and put them in a vase. Each of the other classes presented bouquets as well. For more photos click here.

Keeping Their Eye on the Ball for Team USA

USAVolleyball1For the second year in a row, three St. Mary's Alumnae were volunteers for the USA Volleyball International tournament in Lincoln. Anna Bennett (2017), Maria Connealy and Julia Bennett (both 2019) spent many hours learning and practicing the proper protocol for this particular tournament. USAVolleyball2They practiced locally at Bellevue East and West High Schools until the week of the tournament, where they traveled to Lincoln four days in a row. Their jobs included floor wiping after a player falls to the court and getting the volleyball to the server when the server was ready to serve. The three nights of games included up to 10 games that the girls had to pay close attention to 100% of the time so they were ready to run out onto the court or to get the ball to the server without delay. Even though the work was tiring and the hours long, the girls had smiles on their faces the entire time. For more photos click here.

It’s Happening Because of You – Major School Renovations

St. Mary Bellevue Campaign LogoThanks to the generosity of the St. Mary's community and the Capital Campaign, the school is undergoing renovations this summer. When we come back in August there will be a new Heating and Air Conditioning System (HVAC), LED lighting in the classrooms and common areas and new ceiling tiles throughout the school and Dominican Center. SchoolflwrsA second component is the installation of a fire sprinkler system throughout the building.
We are also completing the previous Fill-A-Need project which included phones, bells and clocks. Dr. Trish Wallinger, said, “We look forward to having a renewed environment in which to provide a Catholic education which nurtures students' hearts and minds.”

Saying Goodbye and Moving Out for Renovations

GoodbyeandMovingDay1The last few days of school were busy ones for everyone. As soon as teachers and staff waved goodbye to the students they were back in their classrooms packing up for the big move. Mr. Wessling and his crew of volunteers were ready to pack the U-Haul truck with furniture so it could be stored at various locations while the school undergoes a major renovation this summer. We can’t thank our movers enough for all their hard work. GoodbyeandMovingDay2Marion Lewis said, “I’m out! The first time in 37 years of teaching that I am finished with my classroom before Memorial Day! It was a forced out, but the new HVAC system and lighting and all the other improvements will be worth it!” Dr. Trish Wallinger, said, “We are already planning for August when we have to get everything back into the building for the start of school. All the efforts will pay off when our students and staff walk back into our beautifully renovated interior. Thanks to all who have been a part of this project so far!” For more photos click here.


Math Festival - Seeing Math in a Whole New Light

MathFestival1This year St. Mary’s students participated in a Math Festival. The purpose was to help them see the many different and unusual sides of math; the sides that are fun, colorful, exciting, and beautiful. Students made bouquets of paper flowers, jumped frogs across lily pads, explored ancient Chinese strategy games, and so much more.MathFestival7 Many thanks to the teachers, students, UNO Noyce scholars (pre-service teachers who will teaching math when they graduate), and parent and community volunteers who made this event so much fun! It was a blast. Kids from all grades were there. Becky Ham our Middle School Math teacher says, “We will definitely do something like this again, although it could be math-centered or STEAM-centered, or something else similar. It will be fun, whatever it is.” Something to look forward to next year. For more photos click here.


Through the Eyes of Mary

LivingStations17Each year St. Mary’s sixth graders offer the Living Stations to the parish during Holy Week. This year the Living Stations were a little bit different in review of the story and what was read. The stations were chosen according to the perspective of Mary. Quite a few of the 6th graders played two parts; sometimes they would read from the ambo, other times they had a part to play. Daniel Wessling was selected to play the part of Jesus just like his father was years ago at St. Mary’s. What a tradition.LivingStations28 Delaney Meinders was Mary. Zach Schaffart played John at the foot of the cross. Miss Sheridan selects the students who play these roles for the qualities they present as most closely mirroring the persons they portray. That selection process begins in the fall and is finalized a few weeks before practice. This year we have many photos that will take you from Jesus' sentencing to death, to his resurrection. Jesus is Risen. Alleluia. Click here for photos that follow the path of Jesus through his mother Mary’s eyes.



An Experience of a Lifetime That’s Why We Love Fourth Grade

1Lincoln State Capital Rotundra copyIn early May St. Mary's fourth graders went on their annual Lincoln Trip. This adventurous and educational trip included the State History Museum, the State Capitol, Morrill Hall; we had to see our state fossil the Woolly Mammoth, and our last stop was Gretna's Holy Family Shrine. It was a long day, but the experience will last a lifetime. 5Lincoln Trip Morril Hall

This trip provides exceptional curriculum support for Social Studies and Religion. The students were in awe of how what we discussed in class was there in front of them; history came alive and we spent time in prayer in thanksgiving at the end of our day while at the Holy Family Shrine. For more photos click here.



A Walk Back in Time

1Bellevue Cemetery Big Elk Gravesite Fourth graders went on their annual Bellevue Walk. It was wonderful to wrap up the year with learning more about our city's history along with our county and state history. The students focus each year changes based on how class discussions and lessons went. This year, we seemed to learn more about the Native Americans, especially Standing Bear and Big Elk. The students loved how history came alive on our walk. We visited the Sarpy County Museum and Depot, Fontenelle Bank / County Courthouse on Main Street, the Bellevue Cemetery, the Old Presbyterian Church, which is believed to be the oldest religious building in Nebraska, and the Old Log Cabin known as the oldest building in Nebraska. For more photos click here.



Rotary Club of Omaha Honors Top Eighth Grade Students

Rotary20191Jacob Legner and Maria Connealy were the honorees from St. Mary’s School at the 92nd annual Rotary Honor Roll Luncheon. Each year students are selected based on their leadership, character, scholarship and presence. This year 424 eighth-graders were selected from 58 public and Christian/Catholic schools. Rotary20192Both Jacob and Maria were at the Rotary luncheon held at the CHI event center, May 16th with Miss Carol Sheridan their 8th grade teacher. Only 5 percent of the eighth-grade students each year can say they were Rotary honorees. These are two of the very finest students in the Omaha area. Congratulations!

Omaha Gives 2019

Omaha Giveslogosq05222019Another year to be thankful for our supporters in this one day of giving with Omaha Gives. Eleven donors raised $730 for St. Mary’s. We thank you for your continued support and generosity.



A Family Tradition

JoeandJerryKoubaJerry Kouba was in the first graduating class at St. Mary’s School to go from first through eighth grade. Here he is with his great nephew, Joe Kouba at Joe’s Confirmation. On May 19th Joe graduated from St. Mary’s School having been here since Pre-K. The school is celebrating 70 years this year.

May Family Food Night – Chick-fil-A

ChkfilLogoFinalcropThis is such a busy time of year with school coming to an end; graduations, Confirmations, and Holy Communion. Why not take a break from the kitchen to join us at Chick-fil-A tomorrow night, Thursday May 9th, between 6-8 P.M. and enjoy the company of family and friends. We’re looking forward to seeing you there. It’s also a great cause for St. Mary’s School, all receipts from 6-8, even the drive thru orders will be counted toward benefiting our school.





An Early Start on Becoming Servant Leaders Has a Big Impact

ServantLeadersHandsMarkersA big part of our school year centered on being of service to others. The first graders took this to heart and included the Earth in their efforts to be servant leaders. They learned that the Crayola company recycles any brand of marker, highlighter and pen, so they sponsored a school wide project to collect all the used markers from each classroom and extended day. ColorCycle LogoWe took them to Sarpy County's Earth Day celebration and just heard that the children's efforts kept 1,175 markers weighing 23.5 pounds out of the landfill. We have been designated a ColorCycle School!



Scientists Discover the Beauty of Trees

ScientistsBeautyofTrees1The first graders have spent the year observing and studying the trees around the school. They have enjoyed documenting the seasonal changes as they practiced using their scientific eyes. ScientistsBeautyofTrees3To celebrate Arbor Day the boys and girls used sidewalk chalk to draw pictures and write messages celebrating the beauty of trees. For more photos click here.




Scientists in Action

Scientists in Action1As part of our study of spring, Easter and Earth Day, first graders watched the trailer for the PBS show American Spring Live. We were inspired to be citizen scientists and chose to participate in the Lilac Tracking Project. Children used magnifying glasses to observe how far the flower buds have opened. Scientists in Action4They documented their observations in their science journal and went online to submit our data. For more photos click here.




St. Mary’s Math Festival – Fun for Everyone

Math Festival Flyer PDFSt. Mary’s is hosting a Math Festival in the school gym April 30th from 6 to 8 PM. This will be a school community event open to all students and will be hosted by the Middle School. The Math Festival’s purpose is to engage students of all ages through creative problem solving and critical thinking. Activities are designed for Kindergarten through Seniors and beyond. There will be art, math, geometry, puzzles, races and games. Volunteers from the University of Nebraska, Omaha will be here to help! Come and enjoy the fun. We hope to see you there. We could use some help setting up tables and chairs before the event. If you could stop by a little early to pick we could get this done! Thanks for considering.

Flowers for Mary – Help Needed

MayCrowning17St. Mary's has a long-standing tradition of presenting flowers to Mary, Our Mother, at the May Crowning. Students in second and eighth grade receiving their sacraments this year will make the presentation to the Blessed Mother May first at 9:15 AM immediately following the all School Mass. All are welcome to attend. The Bellevue Leader will have a representative attending to take pictures for the newspaper. The flowers are a gift from the entire school.
We hold a reception in the Parish Center after Mass. We could use the help of three more people for the reception! To sign up, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or let the office know. Thanks for making this day special!

Fit for Life

4 5 Fit for Life 1St. Mary's fourth and fifth grade students once again participated in Creighton University's annual "Fit for Life" program. This is where Medical students come and visit St. Mary's to promote healthy lifestyles for our students and their families. Students established personal healthy lifestyle goals in the areas of nutrition and exercise to help fight the growing epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other metabolic disorders in the local community. 4 5 Fit for Life 2In these pictures, Mrs. Menzel, our fifth-grade teacher joins in the discussion of healthy food choices.






Keeping the Faith

Keeping the Faith Serra Award Altar ServersThis past Monday, the Omaha Serra Club sponsored the Bishop’s Altar Server Awards to recognize altar servers within the Archdiocese who have shown dedication and leadership in their responsibilities at the altar and for being visible witnesses of their faith by serving at parish Masses and school Masses. From St. Mary’s parish, the following students from St. Mary’s School were recognized: Joshua C. Braxton, Jacob R. Legner and Lathan P. Reed. The altar servers are in the photo with Archbishop George Lucas.



Need a Spring Pick Me Up – Check Out Our Rainbow Lenten Prayer Service

Rainbow Prayer ProjectibleStudents silently entered the gym to the sound of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". The Lenten Prayer Service was led by students in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 4th grades, who made a rainbow by sitting in rows and wearing colored shirts. Students joyfully shared alms for the Rice Bowl and prayed the Rainbow Prayer. One of many cherished moments at St. Mary's.


No Boring Worksheets for Our Pre-Kindergarten

PK Human Body1It’s never too early to learn about various parts of the human body. Our students start in Pre-Kindergarten by learning simple concepts like; though all components of the human body work differently, they still manage to work together. Teamwork. PK Human Body2After this lesson students understood teamwork, as well as the basic functions of the body's main components. A special thanks to the Shopko Foundation, whose science grant funded the human body learning puzzle among other science initiatives at St. Mary’s School.






Let’s Jazz Things Up with Honor Band

IWCC JH 2019cropConnor McGarry, a St. Mary’s  7th grader, was nominated by his Gross Junior Band teacher to attend and perform in the Iowa Western Community College Honor Band January 31st.  One hundred and one members were chosen from 14 participating schools.  They spent the day working with Jony Garmoe, the band director at Clive Learning Academy and Westridge Elementary School in the West Des Moines School District. IWCC JH Band 2019 They rehearsed and prepared five pieces of music for the evening concert in three rehearsals throughout the day.  St. Mary’s School partners with Gross High School to offer band to our 5-8th grade students. Students receive a lesson at school once a week, then participate in a group lesson at the high school.



Archdiocesan Metro Elementary Teacher of the Year

MenzelCindy Menzel, St. Mary’s 5th grade teacher, was named the Metro Elementary Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Menzel is being recognized for her extraordinary dedication and strong personal commitment to Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Omaha. Dr. Trish Wallinger announced on behalf of the Archdiocese of Omaha at the Spring for the Children Benefit Auction that our very own teacher Mrs. Menzel had been awarded the prestigious award. She said, “We are very excited for her.” Mrs. Menzel joined the St. Mary’s faculty in 2007.






St. Mary’s Student Takes Top Award for His Wildlife Artwork

BalanyAward1pgGavin Balanay, a fourth grader, tied for First Place in the 2019 Wildlife Week Poster Contest. Students in fourth through sixth grades across Nebraska participated in an art contest with the theme of "Wildlife in Nebraska State Parks".  Balany competed against other 4th graders across the state. He was honored on March 30th at the Wild Adventure Day Celebration in Lincoln and received a framed copy of his artwork.  The Nebraska Wildlife Federation chose this years’ theme because, "Our state parks have provided an oasis for our native wildlife, this habitat provides the essentials for the needs of our wildlife species.” Nebraska has eight state parks. Go out and visit them and see God's creations up close. Congratulations to Gavin and all the other artists across Nebraska who captured the beauty of wildlife in our state. For more photos click here.

Kindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of School – We’re 100 Days Smarter

Kinder 100th day 3The 100th day of the school year is a classic "teachable moment." In Kindergarten, students celebrated the day by each bringing in 100 of the same item that they counted themselves (for example: pennies, cheerios, paperclips). Kinder 100th day 2 cropMrs. Lewis and her aide Ms. Lauren had fun things planned during the celebration which engaged students in activities that promoted counting, and also left them with a sense of accomplishment on their progress in Kindergarten. For more photos click here.

March Family Food Night – Welcome a New Restaurant to Bellevue

StMarysRaisingCanesLogoRaising Cane’s is a new restaurant in Bellevue and is hosting our March Family Food Night. This would be a great opportunity to give them a great St. Mary’s Welcome and also help support our school. We would love to see you all there Thursday, March 21st. Bring family and friends between 4-8 P.M. Fifteen percent of all proceeds will be donated to St. Mary’s School. Thank you for your continued support.






St. Mary’s Revels in Their St. Valentine’s Day Red

ValentineParty6Without a doubt, classroom parties are a special part of fond childhood school memories. At St Mary’s, students love to work hard on their academics, especially on Valentine’s Day. They know what the afternoon holds—a great tradition of fellowship, fun and taking a break from their usual school routines to celebrate. Valentine Party1Parent volunteers in each grade coordinate with teachers on the fun. Some enjoyed games or crafts, whatever the activity there was one common theme—an afternoon of smiles, laughter and a chance to make new memories. For more photos click here.


More Articles ...

  1. Painting Prayer Rocks
  2. Service Project - Sack Lunches to Holy Family
  3. Geo Bee – A Dream Come True
  4. Aqua Africa Bake Sale – Success Means Clean Water for Residents  
  5. Reconciliation - One Step Closer to Communion
  6. February Family Food Night
  7. A Bowl to Remember
  8. Advent – Preparing for Christmas
  9. Las Posadas
  10. Christmas Concert Traditional and New
  11. Academic Honors 2nd Quarter
  12. No School Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 30, 2019
  13. Get Out the Vote for St. Mary’s as a Superstar Catholic School
  14. Catholic Schools Week 2019
  15. Catholic Schools Week 2019 Calendar
  16. And So It Begins - 2019 Catholic Schools Week
  17. Pre-K and Kindergarten Information Night
  18. Karate Promotion and Opportunities at St. Mary's
  19. Our Tree Gets A Special Visitor
  20. St. Mary’s School Taste of Bellevue Art Walk
  21. A Special Holiday Treat – Visit St. Mary’s Tree in D.C.
  22. Snow Play: Learning at its Finest
  23. St. Mary’s Nebraska Tree on the National Mall in D.C.
  24. College of St. Mary's Science Workshops Benefit Our Students
  25. Holiday Night for the History Books
  26. The People’s Choice
  27. The Trip of a Lifetime is ON! – Thank You
  28. A Celebration of Gratitude and Appreciation – Kindergarten and Fourth Grade Buddies
  29. Academic Honors Awarded
  30. St. Mary's School Grant from Shopko Foundation for Science Fun
  31. Budding Botanists Prepare for Winter
  32. St. Mary’s School to Represent Nebraska at National Tree Lighting in D.C.
  33. Experiencing Another Culture
  34. Father Matt Comes Home to Visit
  35. The Sign of the Cross
  36. The Gift of Public Speaking Starts Early and Naturally
  37. Prayer Warriors Meet Weekly at St. Mary’s School
  38. Sixth Grade Service Project Benefits Babies and New Parents
  39. 6th Grade Science Gets Its “Mad Scientist” On With Fun Experiments With Dry Ice
  40. EPS Baby Drive
  41. Constitutional Conflict Then and Now- History Brought to Life
  42. A Life Changing Moment for Pre-K Students and Some Monarch Butterflies
  43. Having Fun With a Buddy
  44. STEM Breeds Creativity in the Classroom
  45. Rhythm and Words Make Up Something Musically Delicious!
  46. Home and School and Your Volunteerism

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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