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School News 2019-2020

Keeping the Faith – We Respect Life and Pray the Rosary

Rosary1In October, Respect Life Month and Month of the Rosary, sixth grade students held a baby drive to gather donations for the EPS, Essential Pregnancy Services. They collected many diapers, clothes and other baby items. The students then carried the items to the EPS and toured the facility. EPSNurse Erika did a wonderful job showing the students ultrasound pictures of a developing baby. She related to them how often when parents see their unborn child, they fall in love with the baby and choose not to abort. It was very powerful for the children. Tonya, another volunteer, explained how new parents come to EPS and learn how to care for a baby. They earn Care points. They use these points to trade for needed baby items. Everyone who enters receives help. We are grateful for the good work that happens to promote life, right across the street from our school!

In addition, the whole school gathered at St. Mary’s Church on October 31st at 2:30 and prayed the rosary for life. Thank you, Legions of Mary participants, John Mullen and Theresa Hollars! Rosaries were distributed to all children who did not have rosaries from The Legions of Mary.

On Mondays throughout the school year, after school, children in grades 4 through 8 are invited to pray the rosary together. Once again, thanks to John Mullen and Theresa Hollars a Jr. Legions of Mary Chapter has formed at our school. For the past three years, we have been praying for Life and all other intentions brought to us. All are invited to drop their petitions in the box in front of the school office. We include those petitions in our Monday rosary.  For more photos click here.

It’s that time of year again, our Autumn Safari is BACK!

AnimalArt4The 7th grade art class has been hard at work creating their abstract animals. Now, they are excited to put them on exhibit around the school! They began by creating an armature out of newspaper and masking tape. Then, they used that armature as a framework to add their layers of paper mache. Next, they covered their whole animal with patterned paper. Finally, they added their finishing touches! AnimalArt1aButton eyes, pipe cleaner whiskers, yarn manes…these are only a few of the details you will see on their animal creations. They hammered, cut, mixed, got glue up to their elbows, and their works of art are truly something to see. For more photos click here.

We hope you enjoy your St. Mary’s Safari Adventure!

Mrs. Crider and the 7th Grade Art Students



Landscape Artists Take Us Away

8thLandscape2“The 8th graders studied techniques for painting with acrylic on canvas and did an AWESOME job,” says Mrs. Crider their art teacher. They used photos of places they'd been or would like to go as inspiration. 8thLandscape1They captured the beauty of God’s wonderful works, in their own creations. Their paintings are on display on the shelves in the hallway. As you walk by, picture yourself in one of their beautiful paintings feeling the peace and serenity all around you. Click here for more photos.

Mrs. Crider and the 8th Grade Art Students



You Can Feel the Love – What Makes These Educators Winners

Teacher of the Year1St. Mary’s Fifth grade teacher, Cindy Menzel was awarded Metro Educator of the Year at the 42nd annual Archbishop’s Dinner for Education. She is one of eight educators recognized for demonstrating a strong personal commitment to Catholic education and for their service above and beyond the ordinary. Of course, we know Mrs. Menzel lives and breathes what she does out of her love for Jesus and the children. Watch this video in the recipient’s words and feel the love that your children experience every day at St. Mary’s and the other Catholic schools around the archdiocese. Teacher of the Year2Two of our students helped to collect donations at the event so that other children may receive scholarships so they too can share in the gift of a Catholic education. Click here for the video.







See the Value of a Catholic Education - In Our Children’s Own Words

Students TalkWe recently celebrated eight outstanding Catholic educators from across the Omaha archdiocese at the Archbishops Dinner for Education. We are truly blessed and honored that our own fifth grade teacher, Cindy Menzel received the Metro Educator of the Year award for elementary school. Mrs. Menzel says, “Perhaps most of all, I pray that my love of Christ and willingness to encourage students to recognize His great love for each of us will remain with them long after they have passed through my doors.” As this video shows from students from the eight schools represented including St. Mary’s, she didn’t have to wait long to see the impact she and the other educators are having on our children. They see it and live it every day. It is part of who they are.  Click here for video.

Mercy Comes to St. Mary’s

Mercy2Mercy Student Ambassadors have been busy visiting eighth grade classrooms across the Omaha Archdiocese to tell future Monarchs all about their all girl Catholic high school. Mercy1 St. Mary’s was one of the schools that welcomed the Student Ambassadors into their classrooms!







Coming Together at the First All School Mass

FirstMass2Songs were sung and prayers said for the first time this school year as buddy classes came together for the first all school Mass of the year, Wednesday, August 28th. FirstMass16The eighth graders read the Readings and petitions while Fr. Del celebrated the Eucharist. There is such a sense of comfort being back at St. Mary’s where we can share our love for each other, Jesus Christ and our beloved patron Mary.  For more photos click here.




And so, It Begins, The First Day of School 2019-2020

1st Day1The first day of school, though delayed until Monday, August 19th due to school renovations, was an exciting time for parents, students and teachers. The St. Mary’s School mascot was on hand for the first time ready to welcome everyone to school. Everyone waited in their class lines while being reunited with old classmates and welcoming new ones. 1st Day20School supplies were collected and the teachers smiled as they led their students into their newly renovated classrooms. The day was a full one that had students learning everything from how to cover their new books, to how to use your locker for the first time and get to class on time! Fourth graders helped their Kindergarten buddies at lunch. It was good to sit by friends again and rush out to the first recess of the new school year. Especially since the playground was unavailable to play on most of the summer due to renovations. After a full day dismissal came and parents anxiously waited for their children to see how the day went while some extended day students waited on the Buddy Bench and got down to business doing their homework. Click here for more photos.

It’s Great to Start Another School Year with Everyone’s Favorite - Ice Cream

IceCreamSocial1Another St. Mary’s tradition that brings everyone together at the beginning of the school year is our Ice Cream Social. This year there was a minor change due to school renovations, the social was held in the parish center. There, the 8th graders served ice cream and toppings to students, parents and teachers. It was so much fun seeing so many friendly faces while enjoying ice cream and viewing last years’ yearbook.IceCreamSocial2 All were welcome to sign a t-shirt and a poster thanking those who donated to the event including Mr. Dan Kouba, owner of Dairy Twist who so generously provides the ice cream and toppings each year.  For more photos click here.

A New Addition to Our Annual Tradition

AtoA1St. Mary’s once again participated in Bellevue’s annual Arrows to Aerospace Parade. Our new Spartan mascot joined teachers, parents and students as they walked down Mission Avenue handing out candy, waving to everyone while showing their St. Mary’s spirit.  AtoA34Prior to the parade, everyone gathered in the school parking lot to help decorate the trailer, enjoy some donuts and juice provided by the Home and School Association, get a St. Mary’s School tattoo, and play on the playground equipment. For more photos click here.

An Award-Winning Book Helps Those Touched by Cancer

MissyWaltherBookPublishedApril2019Two Creighton University students collaborate to write and illustrate a book, 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. MissyPhotosMirjana, “Missy” Walther, class of ‘12 at St. Mary’s and currently student teaching there always had a love of drawing and painting. Their online friendship strengthened by their Christian faith led them to help others. Maranise asked Walther to illustrate the book. “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 proceeds from their book sales and illustration prints will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where Maranise was treated and other nonprofits. For more details and interviews with Maranise and Walther read the article in Creighton magazine.  Click here for the article.

A Rock Star

CindyMenzel2019EducatoroftheYearCindy Menzel, St. Mary's 5th grade teacher is named "Metro Educator of the Year, Elementary" by the Archdiocese of Omaha. She will be honored September 12th at the 2019 Archbishop's Dinner for Education.
Her daughter Hannah expressed what so many others feel. "A little piece on my mama. She’s probably the most humble woman I’ve ever met. She never toots 🎺her own horn, and she wears so many 🎩  hats to help our dear sweet Catholic school be so successful! Mom, YOU ROCK!!!

No wonder we love our school.

- From the Archdiocese of Omaha (see below)

2019 Elementary Educators of the Year – Archdiocese of Omaha

Each year, the Archbishop’s Dinner for Education honors eight outstanding educators for their contributions to Catholic education. The 2019 Dinner for Education will be held September 12 at Embassy Suites in La Vista. Leading up to the event, we’ll highlight this year’s honorees on the blog. Read on to learn about our Elementary Educators of the Year.

Metro Educator of the Year – Elementary: Cindy Menzel, St. Mary’s School (Bellevue, Nebraska)

Fifth-grade teacher Cindy Menzel just completed her twelfth year at St. Mary Catholic School in Bellevue, and she has had an impact on nearly every aspect of the school and parish. “She works daily to live her faith and bring her students in closer relationship with Jesus. She does this out of love of the Lord and in service to others,” said principal Patricia Wallinger.

Cindy has been instrumental in the school improvement process helping to increase the use of technology as well as the AdvancEd accreditation process. Her knowledge of students, curriculum and data collection have led to a stronger math curriculum.

“I am hopeful that my efforts in guiding students to find their own gifts, and to see the gifts in others, will have a lasting impact,” said Cindy. “Perhaps most of all, I pray that my love of Christ and willingness to encourage students to recognize His great love for each of us will remain with them longer after they have passed through my doors.”

God’s Blessing in Marriage

ShaneGilesWeddingPhotoShane 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 con-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 their 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 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 in between 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.

Taking Command

AtoAParadeORionO’Rion Moreno, St. Mary’s class of (’16) commanded the Bellevue East ROTC formation at the Arrows to Aerospace Parade. 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 has run 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

RebekahMenzel4thGradeRebekah Menzel went to school at St. Mary’s. Her mother, Cindy is the school’s 5th grade teacher. She has lots of close ties to St. Mary’s. Her brother and sister went to school there and now some of her sister’s children are going to St. Mary’s. Rebekah has always had a passion for art. She knew one day she would be an art teacher. Her ultimate dream, to come back to St. Mary’s. Last year her dream came true. She became St. Mary’s art teacher. Of course, that meant her teacher and mentor Mrs. Schutt would retire. Rebekah is carrying on some of the traditions Mrs. Schutt implemented at certain grade levels, but she is also making it uniquely her own.DCOrnaments1 In her first-year Rebekah and her students received the honor of having to create Christmas decorations to represent Nebraska as part of the National Park Foundation 2018 America Celebrates display. She just started year two here, one change, her name is now Mrs. Crider. (The photo to the left is of Rebekah in 4th grade at St. Mary’s)


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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