School News

St. Mary's Students Research Saints and Dress Up

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Students Research Saints and Dress Up - November 17, 2020

Third Graders at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point celebrated All Saints Day on Monday, November 2nd by dressing up as the saint they researched. Students had the opportunity to share their saint's story at Mass as well as present their research to their peers in the classroom. The third graders had a wonderful day and showed their hard work and creativity with their presentations and costumes.  St. Mary's School was opened in 1872.  The school offers grade levels Junior Pre-Kindergarten (for three-year-olds) through grade eight...

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St. Mary's School in Crown Point to Continue In-Person Education

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's School in Crown Point to Continue In-Person Education - November 13, 2020

St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point will remain open for in-person education. Schools throughout Northwest Indiana have made the difficult decision to move to virtual learning, but St. Mary’s principal, Tom Ruiz remains optimistic saying, “I think we all feel very blessed to offer in-person learning at this time. Our students, staff, and parents have all worked very hard to be in this position. At this very moment, we do not have a single Covid positive case amongst our in-person students and staff. That could change at any moment, but from the time we opened on August 13th, we’ve seen relatively few cases. Our re-entry team, which includes our school nurse, several teachers, my assistant principal, a member of our parish leadership team, and I have been meeting regularly to assess our situation. For now, we’re grateful to welcome our students into our building every day...”

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St. Mary School Presents VIRTUAL Spaghetti Supper

St. Mary's School - St. Mary School Presents VIRTUAL Spaghetti Supper - November 12, 2020

Another Spaghetti Supper has come and gone at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point. This year, the school organized it’s first ever, VIRTUAL Spaghetti Supper. Due to the pandemic, the spaghetti pots were kept in storage, the stoves in the school’s two kitchens weren’t turned on, and families were encouraged to make their own spaghetti at home and tune in to the video presentation on YouTube...

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St. Mary's School Hosts VIRTUAL Spaghetti Supper

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's School Hosts "VIRTUAL" Spaghetti Supper - November 10, 2020

St. Mary Catholic Community School will host its 59th annual Spaghetti Supper on Wednesday, November 11th at 6:00 PM. This year’s Spaghetti Supper will be the first VIRTUAL event of its kind at St. Mary’s. Each year, the entire Crown Point community comes out in support of St. Mary’s iconic event...

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St. Mary's School in Crown Point to Host VIRTUAL Veterans Day Program

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's School in Crown Point to Host VIRTUAL Veterans Day Program - November 10, 2020

All Veterans, active duty servicemen and women, and their families are invited to view St. Mary Catholic Community School’s annual Veterans Day Program on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. The students and staff of St. Mary’s will honor all veterans with a special VIRTUAL program starting at 9:00 AM. "We feel it is important to honor our veterans and at the same time help our students understand the sacrifices that were made by so many brave men and women to protect their freedom...

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Election 2020 Results from St. Mary's Preschool

St. Mary's School - Election 2020 Results from St. Mary's Preschool - November 4, 2020

On Tuesday, November 3rd, St. Mary’s Pre-K students came dressed in red, white and blue and ready for Election Day! Children were voting in the Great Cookie Election. They filled out their voter registration, learned about the voting process, gave persuasive speeches, and cast their vote! Votes were tallied and the winner was announced. The chocolate chip cookie came out on top!

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St. Mary's Youngest Students Enjoy Pumpkin Patch

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Youngest Students Enjoy Pumpkin Patch - November 3, 2020

On Monday, October 26, St. Mary School in Crown Point’s Pre-K and Kindergarten students picked pumpkins in their very own pumpkin patch. Since they couldn’t go to the pumpkins, the pumpkins came to them! Pumpkins were delivered directly to the school by Kregel's Pumpkin Patch, located in Lowell, In. The students enjoyed walking through the “patch” and picking their own pumpkin. The teachers, Mrs. Mesich, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Miller, and Mrs. Anderson were happy that the children were able to continue to participate in this much-loved Halloween tradition...

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Students at St. Mary's in Crown Point Take VIRTUAL Field Trip

St. Mary's School - Students at St. Mary's in Crown Point Take VIRTUAL Field Trip - October 21, 2020

The 5th graders from St. Mary Catholic School in Crown Point participated in a VIRTUAL field trip through the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. The students got a “behind the scenes” tour of a Paleontologist’s lab, learned about several different fossils, and the proper ways to clean fossils. Finally, the students had a "hands on" experience, cleaning and examining their own fossils. “It was fun to learn about the different types of fossils and get my own fossil to examine,” said Isabella Leurck. Throughout the experience, the students interacted with the on-site paleontologist at the museum, asking and answering questions...

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Teachers at St. Mary's Honored with Walkathon

St. Mary's School - Teachers at St. Mary's Honored with Walkathon - October 9, 2020

St. Mary’s Parish Council and Finance Council held its annual Teacher Appreciation Walkathon this week in support of the teachers at St. Mary’s School.  St. Mary’s School is blessed to have a wonderful group of teachers who dedicate their lives to educating children in their Catholic School.  “This year, our teachers are working harder than ever to provide a quality Catholic education for those students learning both in-person and remotely,“ said Principal Tom Ruiz. The walkathon was part of a week-long celebration for the faculty and staff that included several lunches and other expressions of gratitude from the parent community. Those who want to support the great work these teachers do, it is not too late to make a contribution...

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4th Graders Make First Communion at St. Mary's in Crown Point

St. Mary's School - 4th Graders Make First Communion at St. Mary's in Crown Point - October 5, 2020

Students at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point made their First Communion during the last couple of weeks. This sacrament was originally scheduled for the Spring of their 3rd grade year, but happened in the Fall of their 4th grade year, due to the pandemic. First Communion normally happens with a packed church with the entire grade level receiving The Eucharist as a large group along with parents and grandparents. Attendance was limited to only the First Communicant and their parents and the large group of students had to be split into two groups rather than one big group. Grandparents and others were invited to watch a live stream video of the Mass. St. Mary’s Pastor, Father Patrick Kalich, gave a wonderful homily to each respective group on their special days. Just as they normally do, children dressed up in special clothes, this year with masks, and took this special step in their faith journey...

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St. Mary School Shows Appreciation to Teachers with Walkathon

St. Mary's School - St. Mary School Shows Appreciation to Teachers with Walkathon - September 30, 2020

The students of Community School, in Crown Point will show their appreciation for their teachers by participating in a walk-a-thon next week. The walk-a-thon, the school’s 12th such event, is organized by St. Mary’s Parish Council and Finance Council.

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St. Mary's Students Outdoor Science Lesson

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Students Outdoor Science Lesson - September 29, 2020

The 5th graders at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point recently enjoyed an outdoor science lesson. The students found and classified different types of insects. They used magnifying glasses to get a better look at each bug. As the students collected data, they filled in charts to see which category each belonged in. This lesson gave students an appreciation of how scientists classify all living things.

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Creative Music Teacher at St. Mary's Teaches Ukulele to Students

St. Mary's School - Creative Music Teacher at St. Mary's Teaches Ukulele to Students - September 24, 2020

The fifth grade students of St. Mary’s Catholic Community School are beaming with excitement with the latest addition to the school’s music curriculum thanks to the help of a grant provided by the Crown Point Community Foundation. Thanks to this grant, prepared by Assistant Principal, Lisa Hughes, all of the 5th graders at St. Mary’s will get to transition from the recorder, a woodwind instrument, onto an instrument in the string family, the ukulele! 

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Busia Restores Blessed Mother Statue during Pandemic

St. Mary's School - Busia Restores Blessed Mother Statue during Pandemic - August 26, 2020

While many of us were hunkering down during COVID stay at home orders, one Busia (Grandma in Polish) was keeping busy helping her granddaughter. Middle School Science Teacher at Saint Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point, Mary Catharine Skinner, called upon her Busia to help with a school project. She needed Busia's years of experience and expertise. Prior to school switching to remote learning in March, Mary had discussed, with her secretaries, taking the Blessed Mother Statue from the office home over the summer to repaint. Well, the school building closed in the Spring and the Blessed Mother got a fresh coat of paint! Mrs. Skinner’s Busia, Charlotte Wentland, enjoys painting ceramics. For years she has been visiting the senior center and all of her grandchildren have been blessed to have many of her beautifully painted pieces. In fact, Charlotte has previously repainted and fixed up statues for St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception Parish and St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church in Michigan City. Her Catholic roots and service mindset are family traits she has passed down through the generations. Delighted to have a project, while very much stuck at home, she would regularly check in with Mary Catharine for a reminder on the timeline and let her know her progress. She even went as far as asking her local priest to look in the sacristy for an extra crown as a final touch for this particular Blessed Mother statue. Charlotte volunteers to decorate her parish regularly and knew there would be some extra pieces laying around waiting to shine...

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Mrs. Mirabel Villarreal's Class at St. Mary Catholic Community School

St. Mary's School - First Day of School at St. Mary's in Crown Point - August 17, 2020

St. Mary Catholic Community School started in-person and remote learning on Thursday, August 13, 2020. The students and staff members were very happy to see one another after a five month hiatus which began on March 13, 2020. “There were lots of smiles under those masks,” said principal, Tom Ruiz. Approximately 75% of St. Mary’s students are attending in-person while the remainder are learning from home. A Re-Entry Team was formed in the spring and they worked tirelessly all summer to be in a position to open the school in the safest manner possible. When asked how the first day went, St. Mary’s parent, Mr. Ernie Vega, had this to say, “I asked my daughter to elaborate on the changes and in explaining the temperature checking, hand sanitizing, mask wearing, and other procedures, she said she felt SAFE. That meant the world to us.”

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St. Mary's Honors Two Students with School's Highest Award

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Honors Two Students with School's Highest Award - June 9, 2020

A graduation tradition at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point is to honor the memory of Fr. Joseph Hammes by awarding two students with “The Hammes Award.”  Father Hammes is one of the HERO’s in the rich history of St. Mary’s parish.  St. Mary’s School was started in 1872.  The award given in his name goes to two students who exemplify Christian attitude and who live lives, even at a young age, of service.  This is the highest award given to a student at St. Mary Catholic Community School.  It signals to the community the school’s ideal student, who fully exemplifies what it means to live one’s life in the manner that Jesus would want us to.  The recipients of this award are academically and morally strong.  They are well liked, respected, and admired by the faculty and their peers.  This year’s Hammes Award winners were Kennedy Heath and Luke Nieman.

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St. Mary's in Crown Point Holds End of the School Year Parade

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's in Crown Point Holds End of the School Year Parade - June 2, 2020

On May 29th, a beautiful Friday afternoon, students and staff at St. Mary Catholic Community School said goodbye to one another. The school held a social distancing, “End of the School Year Parade.” “Typically, the last days of school are filled with field days, fun activities, hugs, and goodbyes. This year, those things weren’t possible, so we did the next best thing. We had a parade to properly create a feeling of closure to the school year,” said Principal Tom Ruiz. The vast majority of the school’s 500+ students showed up, many in brightly decorated cars and holding signs. There were many smiles and well-wishes for a great summer.

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St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Graduation Unlike Any in School's Nearly 150 Year History - May 29, 2020

St. Mary's Graduation Unlike Any in School's Nearly 150 Year History

St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point started in 1872.  The grade school has a long tradition of graduating it’s 8th graders upon completion of their school career with great pomp and circumstance.  This year’s graduation Mass and conferring of diplomas was in jeopardy due to social distancing restrictions.  For weeks, the leadership at St. Mary’s, along with a special graduation committee which was formed, fretted over the possibility of disappointing the students and their families by cancelling graduation or holding it “virtually.” 

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St. Mary's School - St. Mary Crown Point Hosts VIRTUAL Chess Tournament - May 18, 2020

St. Mary Crown Point Hosts VIRTUAL Chess Tournament

Eighteen Chess Club members from St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point recently participated in a virtual chess tournament.  After elimination rounds, nine semi-finalists competed in the final round. All students played well, but three achieved first place within their age groups. In the 6th-8th grade division, Emily Jen earned the top spot. In the 4th-5th grade division, John Mouser was victorious. Finally, among the 3rd grade and under participants, Joseph Mullally won top honors. St. Mary’s is grateful to the Walsh family for sponsoring the tournament and is very proud of all the students that participated. 

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St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Grade School Graduates Receive Top High School Honors - May 12, 2020

St. Mary's Grade School Graduates Receive Top High School Honors

St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point always sees their graduates go on to great success in high school. The school offers preschool through grade eight. St. Mary’s students come from as far away as Hammond to the north and Demotte to the south and as far as Valparaiso to the east and Crete Illinois to the west to attend the school. This year, St. Mary’s graduates took top honors at three respective high schools. JJ Wadas was named Valedictorian at Andrean High School, Blake Lopez was named Valedictorian at Mt. Carmel High School, and Lukas Denney received the highest academic honor that is awarded at Crown Point High School; Summa Cum Laude. “I’m very proud of these young men and all of their classmates. St. Mary’s students are not only extremely hard workers, thanks to the rigor provided by our teachers, but they also develop a moral compass that we hope will serve them well throughout their lives,” said principal Tom Ruiz.

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St. Mary's Graduate Makes Helping Others with Mission Trips a Priority in Life

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Graduate Makes Helping Others with Mission Trips a Priority in Life - April 20, 2020

Colleen Anderson is a person who has always been doing kind things. She was inspired to do mission work when she was a fifth-grade student at Saint Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point. This calling came when a group of students from Nicaragua visited the school. Colleen has since been on eight mission trips to Guatemala with Saint Mary Catholic Church and is currently living on the NPH (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos) Ranch, a home for orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk children in Honduras. Colleen values mission trips because on a trip “you get to know people and develop relationships”.

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St. Mary's Community Adapts to New Remote Learning Reality

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Community Adapts to New "Remote Learning" Reality - April 6, 2020

Students at St. Mary Catholic Community School have been using what is now being called “Remote Learning,” for several years.  Previously called "Virtual Learning," it had been reserved for snow days and other school cancellations.  Recently, the list of subjects taught by the teachers was expanded from Religion, Math, Reading, English, Social Studies, and Science to include Art, Technology, Music, and even Physical Education.  The platform of choice at St. Mary’s has been Google Classroom and the teachers had received intensive training for this last fall.  St. Mary’s principal, Tom Ruiz, had this to say, “I could not be more proud of our students for the way they’ve adapted to what has become our new reality.  It’s been a challenge for our parents, but they’ve given me a ton of positive feedback and expressed their appreciation.  Our teachers are amazing and they’ve worked extremely hard to plan interesting and creative lessons for their students and find ways to interact with them.”  

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St. Mary's Science Olympiad Team Qualifies for State Competition

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Students for March Madness Prior to School Closings - March 31, 2020

On Friday, March 6th, Wildcats of all ages gathered for St. Mary Catholic Community School’s annual three on three March Madness Tournament. The tournament consists of students from grades 5th-8th in a friendly basketball competition which was held at Andrean High School...

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St. Mary's Science Olympiad Team Qualifies for State Competition

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Science Olympiad Team Qualifies for State Competition - March 9, 2020

On Saturday, February 29th, the St. Mary Catholic Community School Science Olympiad Team competed at the Ivy Tech, Lafayette competition. The two teams of students walked away with 19 medals! St. Mary's of Crown Point placed second overall and secured a spot at the Indiana State Science Olympiad competition at Purdue University on March 21st. This will be the Wildcats’ second year in a row competing at the state level. The students were tested in subjects like heredity, fossils, food science, and ornithology. The students showed their knowledge of the scientific process with Experimental Design and their ability to code in Scratch with Game On...

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St. Mary's Students Duck and Dodge for a Good Cause at St. Mary's in Crown Point

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Chess Teams Qualify for State! - March 4, 2020

St. Mary Catholic Community School’s chess team sent 38 students to the SCI team regional tournament in Hammond, recently. The students competed as nine separate teams with 4-5 students on each team and performed extremely well. With nearly 400 area chess students hailing from as far as Lafayette competing and only three trophies in each age group, the competition was intense!

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St. Mary's Students Duck and Dodge for a Good Cause at St. Mary's in Crown Point

St. Mary's Students Duck and Dodge for a Good Cause at St. Mary's in Crown Point - February 25, 2020

On Friday, February 21st, over 60 fifth-grade through eighth-grade students from St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point gathered to play dodgeball and raise money for La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago. La Rabida is the only children’s hospital in the country to specialize in chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities. The students raised several hundred dollars for the hospital, which treats many children from Northwest Indiana.

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Alumni Spotlight: Experiences at St. Mary’s Inspire Nathan Doctor to Become the Best Person He Can Be

Alumni Spotlight: Experiences at St. Mary’s Inspire Nathan Doctor to Become the Best Person He Can Be - February 19, 2020

Nathan Doctor is a 2011 St. Mary Catholic Community School graduate.  He is currently a third-year pharmacy student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and anticipates graduating in May of 2021.  This is Nathan’s last year of classes and next school year he will begin his pharmacy rotations.  After graduation, Nathan plans to have a residency in pharmacy prior to beginning a career in academia.  He wants to give back by helping others with pharmacy school, thus impacting many lives.  He said, “I want to help create the next generation of Pharmacists.”

One of Nathan’s favorite memories while a student at St. Mary’s was playing the role of Jesus in the eighth grade Godspell production.  He said that the production was a lot of fun.  He decided he wanted to play Jesus for several reasons.  First, he remembered that a teacher told him what a great job he did when he played an angel in the nativity scene as a first-grade student.  Second, he watched others play Jesus in their eighth-grade productions and looked forward to doing the same.  Playing Jesus gave Nathan the confidence necessary to in high school to pursue roles in other theater productions; he eventually won the lead role in his senior musical.   When discussing the musical, Nathan went on to say, “we were blessed to have gifted, enthusiastic St. Mary’s students who went on to participate in theater in high school and beyond.”

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St. Mary's to Host New Event for Basketball Fans - February 18, 2020

St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point will host its inaugural “Crown Point March Madness at St. Mary's” event on Thursday, March 19. Individuals 21 and over are invited to join fellow basketball fans for a night of watching the first-round of the 2020 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Visitors can enjoy all of the action on the school’s 200 inch projection TV. The ticket price also includes all you can eat tacos and Miller Pizza Co. pizza and a bottomless beverage cup provided by Crown Brewing Co. There will also be a variety of wines available.

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St. Mary's School in Crown Point Celebrates National Catholic Schools Week

St. Mary's School in Crown Point Celebrates National Catholic Schools Week - February 10, 2020

Catholic School Week at St. Mary’s School in Crown Point was filled with many exciting, Christ-centered activities. The school started and ended the week with school-wide Mass on Monday, and on Tuesday the Middle School got to join the other schools in the Diocese at Andrean High School for Mass. Students also prayed a school wide rosary on Tuesday that was led by the first and second grades. One of the service projects throughout the week was to fill backpacks with school supplies and snacks that were donated to the St. Jude's House in Crown Point. On Tuesday, cookie trays were put together and delivered to for all of St. Mary's sponsors and businesses who contribute to the school in some way. On Wednesday, an outside organization called Camfel Productions gave an exciting multimedia presentation based on kindness towards others. This was followed by school-wide BINGO game, which was filled with the building with excitement. The fun continued on Friday, and the week was capped off with the incredibly exhilarating, annual staff vs. 8th grade volleyball game. Overall, Catholic Schools Week 2020 at St. Mary’s was a great time for the entire student body.

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St. Mary's Eighth Graders Take on Undefeated Team

St. Mary's Eighth Graders Take on Undefeated Team - February 7, 2020

Catholic Schools Week ended with serves, volleys, and spikes at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point. The teachers faced off against eighth-grade students in the annual volleyball game held this on Friday. For the last hour of the school day, the gym was packed with cheering students from all grade levels who held up signs to cheer on the teachers and the 8th graders.

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St. Mary's Kindergartners Beat Wintertime Blues with Hawaiian Day

St. Mary's Kindergartners Beat Wintertime Blues with Hawaiian Day - February 5, 2020

Aloha from Mrs. Williams’ kindergarten class at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point. Students played a game of limbo and danced along to traditional Hawaiian dances to celebrate Hawaii day for Catholic Schools Week.

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First Grade Rooms Full of Puppies at St. Mary’s School in Crown Point

First Grade Rooms Full of Puppies at St. Mary’s School in Crown Point - February 4, 2020

First-grade students at St. Mary’s School in Crown Point celebrated their 101st day of fun, learning, laughter, tears, and love during Catholic Schools Week. The day was centered around the 101 Dalmatians and the students dressed like Dalmatians.

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St. Mary's Students Express Gratitude to the Community

St. Mary's Students Express Gratitude to the Community - February 4, 2020

St. Mary’s School in Crown Point celebrated Catholic Schools Week, last week. One of the students’ favorite activities is preparing and distributing cookies to local businesses and organizations throughout the community to say "thank you" for all they do. The 5th graders were given the honor of delivering cookies to the Crown Point Police Department. "We really appreciate the Police Department because they keep us safe and bring DARE to our school," said Jaden Mendez.

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Cruz Takes GeoBee Title at St. Mary's in Crown Point

Cruz Takes GeoBee Title at St. Mary's in Crown Point - January 30, 2020

Nine students from St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point participated in the school competition of the National Geographic GeoBee on January 30, 2020. Elicia Cruz, a 7th grade student, won first place, with Andy Parent, a 7th grade student, winning second place and Kailana Urbanek, a 4th grade student, finishing third place.

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Kindergartners at St. Mary's in Crown Point Dress as Centenarians to Celebrate 100th Day of School

Kindergartners at St. Mary's in Crown Point Dress as Centenarians to Celebrate 100th Day of School - January 30, 2020

Kindergarten students in Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Messich's classes at St. Mary's Catholic Community School in Crown Point, IN are 100 days smarter! Students dressed up like 100 year-olds complete with walkers, life alerts, and grey hair to celebrate the 100th day of school. Each child brought in 100 small snacks that were put together in a bowl and divided up for snack time. A good time was held by all!

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St. Mary's School in Crown Point Represents Region in State Chess Tournament

St. Mary's School in Crown Point Represents Region in State Chess Tournament - January 29, 2020

Eighteen of St. Mary Catholic Community School’s Chess Club members traveled to Indianapolis this past weekend for the SCI individual state chess tournament. The weekend included fun and fellowship for the kids and parents as well as the seriousness and intensity of competitive chess. 

Three players achieved an amazing score of 4.0. Elijah Wagner, James Raggs, and Joseph Mullally all won four rounds landing them in 18th, 11th, and 21st place respectively in their divisions. The other state finalists included: Emily Jen, James Mullally, John Mouser, Rachel Mumaugh, James Zembillas, Jaxon Froglia, Nathan Jamrosz, Danny Shea, Lucas Raloff, James Wong, Gabriel Rosado, Stefan Novakovich, Joey Shea, Ayumi Artis, and Grace Jamrosz. All eighteen finalists played brilliantly and represented St. Mary’s School and Northwest Indiana very well.

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St. Mary's School to begin Accepting New Students

St. Mary's School to begin Accepting New Students - January 28, 2020

St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point will begin accepting new students for next school year on Thursday, February 13th at 8:00 AM. Parents typically begin lining up earlier than the 8:00 AM start time. "To my knowledge, the record is 3:45 AM,” said principal Tom Ruiz. When asked, the record setting father said, “I’ve camped out for concert tickets and for Bulls tickets back in the day. What’s more important than my kid’s education?" Most parents arrive an hour or so early for the precious preschool and kindergarten spots. Although the school currently has space for new students at all grade levels, on occasion there is a waiting list at some grade levels, especially preschool. The school has a reputation throughout northwest Indiana for high academic standards, offers a large number of extracurricular activities, and is supported by a very dedicated community. To learn more, visit stmarycp.org/school or call 219-663-0676 to schedule a personal tour.

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St. Mary Catholic Community School Alumni Spotlight:  Kathryn Strimbu

St. Mary Catholic Community School Alumni Spotlight: Kathryn Strimbu - January 22, 2020

Driven, dedicated, determined.  All of these words describe Kathryn Strimbu.  Kathryn graduated from St. Mary Catholic Community School in 2014 and was the 2018 Valedictorian at Andrean High School.  She is currently a sophomore, double majoring in Biology and English, at The University of Notre Dame. Kathryn attended St. Mary’s School from Kindergarten through 8th grade, starting at the same time as principal Tom Ruiz.  

At Notre Dame, Kathryn keeps herself very active, while at the same time, maintaining high grades.  She is part of three different musical organizations; Marching Band, Symphonic Band, and Hockey Band (a pep band for the hockey team).  She is also a part of PEMCO, a student-run theater organization, where she does costumes and takes photographs. She does research on campus and is the Liturgical Commissioner for her dormitory.

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Pre-K Students Enjoy Counting with M&M's

Pre-K Students Enjoy Counting with M&M's - January 16, 2020

During letter M week, St. Mary's Jr. Pre-k is having a marvelous time learning about math using M&M's. Students are sorting colors, counting M&M's and making comparisons of most and least quantities. They enjoyed charting their graphs, but their favorite part was eating the yummy candy!

St. Mary Catholic Community School offers Junior Pre-Kindergarten (for three-year-olds) and Pre-Kindergarten (for four-year-olds).  St. Mary’s faculty teaches a rich curriculum supported by a good balance of faith, play, learning, and supplemental experiences.  To learn more about St. Mary’s Preschool Open House call 663-0676.  

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St. Mary's Students Put on Living Biography Museum

Popular Parochial School in Crown Point Hosts Annual Open House Events - January 15, 2020

On Sunday, January 26th, St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point will hold its annual Open House and Pancake Breakfast. Those interested in learning more about the school’s top-rated education are invited to attend. St. Mary School offers a rigorous academic program and a safe, structured environment, within a warm, compassionate community. The school also offers a wide variety of sports, clubs, art, music, academic teams, scouts, and other extracurricular activities for students to become involved with. An Evening Open House will also be held the week prior, on Wednesday, January 22nd from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Attendees will have an opportunity to tour the school and meet the outstanding faculty and staff.

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St. Mary's Students Put on Living Biography Museum

St. Mary's Students Put on Living Biography Museum - January 15, 2020

During the course of the past five weeks the sixth-grade students at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point have been studying some of the world’s most pronounced humanitarians, reading their biography or autobiography. As part of this project, the students wrote an expository paper as well as presented a one-minute speech portraying life and times of the person. The students dressed as their humanitarian and gave their oral presentation, a “Living Biography Museum,” in Hammes Hall to the St. Mary’s community. Students from lower grades enjoyed being taught by the sixth-graders in an entertaining fashion.

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St. Mary's Students Organize Christmas Food Drive

St. Mary's Students Organize Christmas Food Drive - December 20, 2019

There was plenty of holiday cheer spread around the week before Christmas at St. Mary Catholic Community School thanks to Polar Express Day, Pajama Day, and tasty holiday treats.  There was also mounds and mounds of food piled high in the gym hallway.

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St. Mary's Students Remind Everyone of the True Meaning of Christmas

St. Mary's Students Remind Everyone of the True Meaning of Christmas - December 19, 2019

St. Mary Catholic Community School families gathered on the evening of December 17 for their annual Christmas Program, under the direction of music teacher, Mr. Tony Rossi. The program featured the Eternal Voices of St. Mary Choir, Kindergartners, 1st Graders, and 2nd Graders, as well as the St. Mary, Crown Point members of the CYO band. The audience certainly left that evening in the Christmas spirit, touched by the sounds of young voices and instrumentalists raised in praise of the birth of Jesus Christ.

St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point offers grade levels Junior Pre-Kindergarten (for three-year-olds) through grade eight.  St. Mary’s faculty teaches a rich curriculum supported by cutting-edge technology.  To learn more about St. Mary School’s upcoming Open House events on January 22nd and January 26th, visit stmarycp.org/school.

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St. Mary's Students Learn To Avoid Pitfalls and Make Smart Choices with C.P. DARE Program

St. Mary's Students Learn To Avoid Pitfalls and Make Smart Choices with C.P. DARE Program - December 19, 2019

On Tuesday, December 10th, 5th grade students from St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point graduated from the DARE program.  DARE, taught by Crown Point Police Officer Stanko Gligic, is a 10 week program which teaches students the importance of  saying no to drugs and alcohol, recognizing the signs of bullying and positive ways to make good decisions.  In his opening statement at the awards ceremony, principal Tom Ruiz said, "We're very grateful that the City of Crown Point continues to demonstrate the importance of educating of our youth by providing this valuable program.  It shows our kids how much the community cares about them.  Officer G. is a great role model for the children of Crown Point."

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Alumni Spotlight- St. Mary's School - Kindergarten Students Meet and then Marry 19 Years Later at St. Mary's

Kindergarten Students Meet and then Marry 19 Years Later at St. Mary's - December 18, 2019

A shared sense of values and similar upbringings brought Tommy and Colleen Lustina together.  They met in the KB room on the first day of school, Tuesday, September 7, 1982 while attending Kindergarten at St. Mary’s Catholic Community School.  They returned to the KB room this December for a nostalgic picture and shared stories about their time at St. Mary’s.  

Tommy and Colleen, 1991 graduates of St. Mary’s, were good childhood friends. Tommy, who played basketball, was the Student Council President.  Colleen was very active while she was a student. She sang in the choir, was a cheerleader, and played volleyball and basketball. They both remarked on their class song, “Friends” by Michael W. Smith, and how it made the girls cry when they were practicing for graduation. Colleen said that graduating from St. Mary’s was a bigger deal than when they left high school.

Tommy and Colleen continued their friendship in shared honors classes at Andrean High School.  When they were dating other people in high school, both of their families thought that they should date each other instead.  Tommy and Colleen were such good friends that they would go on double-dates, setting-up their friends to date the other.

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St. Mary's Students Learn to Use A.I. to Save Our Oceans

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Students Learn to Use A.I. to Save Our Oceans

In the computer world, the month of December has become an exciting time for instructing and inspiring the next generation of coders and developers. During the month of December educators are asked to participate in the “Hour of Code”. The event in recent years has seen participation of millions of students in over 180 different countries. This year St. Mary Catholic Community School students were exposed to “Machine Learning” (a version of Artificial Intelligence) as their topic.

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St. Mary’s Students Learn from the Professionals at WGN

St. Mary's School - St. Mary’s Students Learn from the Professionals at WGN - December 11, 2019

The WSMW news crew of St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point, IN recently took a field trip to WGN news studios in Chicago. WSMW is St. Mary’s very own in-house student run TV news program that is viewed by the entire school every morning. The trip exposed students to the many pieces that come together to make a television news programs work. "I really liked the trip because it taught me the differences compared to our channel. It would be cool to be a professional after seeing all the different types of equipment they get to use," said WSMW lighting and camera tech Benjamin Martin.

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Danielle Pace:  A Young Woman with a Passion for Animals, Living Her Dream

Danielle Pace: A Young Woman with a Passion for Animals, Living Her Dream - November 27, 2019

Danielle Pace, a 2012 graduate of St. Mary Catholic Community School, attended Kindergarten through eighth grade at the Crown Point parochial school. After St. Mary’s, Danielle attended Crown Point High School and graduated in 2016. Danielle is currently at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and is studying Veterinary Medicine. Danielle is an early admit to the Veterinary Medicine program and was able to skip two years of undergraduate work, something she credits to the foundation provided by St. Mary’s. She is currently a member of the Exotic Animal Club at Purdue and would like to go into Zoo medicine. Because there are very few collegiate programs that offer a focus in Zoo medicine, she is currently learning about both large and small animals. 

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St. Mary's Preschoolers Send Military Care Packages

St. Mary's Preschoolers Send Military Care Packages - November 22, 2019

The month of November is always a special time to remember our U.S. military veterans and current servicemen in our armed forces. Mrs. Cindy Anderson’s pre-kindergarten students at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point, wanted to thank our servicemen for the gift of freedom and safety they give us every day they serve in our military. 

During the month of November, in honor of Veterans Day, the students and their families collected items for care packages to send to four different servicemen. Students learned about each branch of the military and the special jobs they perform. They also sent letters to their “Military Friends” thanking them for their duty and sacrifice.

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St. Mary's 4th Grader Receives Honor from The State of Indiana

St. Mary's 4th Grader Receives Honor from The State of Indiana - November 19, 2019

All Hoosier students are taught Indiana History as part of their fourth-grade curriculum. Isabella Leurck, a fourth-grader at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point, took her learning one step further as she gathered ideas to answer the question, “What makes living in Indiana today so special?” The inspiration for her extra effort was to write an essay to submit for the annual Statehood Day Essay Contest administered by the Indiana Statehouse Tour Office and Indiana Center for the Book. This essay contest is open to all fourth-graders throughout the state of Indiana. 

Isabella Leurck won fourth place in the contest!  She will be honored on Statehood Day, December 11th, at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis where she will get to read her essay aloud as well as participate in educational activities. Isabella commented, “I am very excited that I won. It is an honor to go to Indianapolis to represent my school.” 

St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point offers grade levels Junior Pre-Kindergarten (for three year olds) through grade eight.  St. Mary’s faculty teaches a rich curriculum supported by cutting-edge technology.  Faith, Academic Excellence, Life Lessons, and Compassion are the pillars of the school. 

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Veterans Attend Program at St. Mary's in Crown Point

Veterans Attend Program at St. Mary's in Crown Point - November 18, 2019

The students of St Mary Catholic Community School held their annual Veteran’s Day Program this Friday. Local veterans were welcomed to the school with thank you cards made by the students, before being led by a procession of Girl and Boy Scouts into the gym where the veterans were met with a roaring standing ovation. The students lifted their voices in song to sing each of the five branches of the military’s song to recognize the veterans as a part of their respective branch. The keynote address was given by retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Dan Shea. Mr. Shea delivered a captivating speech about his years of service, telling St. Mary students how his call to service began as a young Boy Scout and how those experiences led him to want to continue serving his community and country as an adult.

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St. Mary's Environmental Club Enjoys Sunny Day at Sunset Hills Farm

St. Mary's Environmental Club Enjoys Sunny Day at Sunset Hills Farm - November 18, 2019

On Tuesday, November 5th, 25 students from St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point’s Environmental Club traveled to Sunset Hills Farm.  The students ranged from 3rd graders to 6th graders, and were led by Principal Tom Ruiz and 5th grade teacher, Miss Casey Thies. They were joined by former science teacher, Mr. Steve Davis.  On this trip, students got the opportunity to learn more about the ecosystems around the area as well as the animals that use it as their habitat. To begin, students had the chance to feed and pet animals such as goats, ponies, chickens, turkeys, and ponies at the farm on the property. From there, students took a wagon ride to different areas of the farm to learn more about the diverse ecosystems. The ecosystems the students visited were the prairie, the wetland, and the woods. Two fifth graders, Jaci Dumas and Logan Hamnik, both said, “Learning about all the different ecosystems and animals, taught us how to keep them safe.'' Overall, the students had a wonderful experience and brought new information back to their classrooms to share with their friends. “I can’t wait to tell all my friends and family about what we learned and how to keep the community healthy,'' said student Mason Ewing.  The three missions of the club are Education, Protection, and Appreciation.

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Supporters of Catholic Education Brave Cold to Attend St. Mary's Spaghetti Supper

Supporters of Catholic Education Brave Cold to Attend St. Mary's Spaghetti Supper - November 18, 2019

St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point held their annual Spaghetti Supper on Wednesday.  Despite the freezing temperatures, once again the masses came, they saw, and they ate spaghetti to support St. Mary’s School!  “It was great to see so many wonderful people attend Spaghetti Supper once again this year. This event is about far more than just a good meal.  It’s about community.  We had people walk over from down the block and we had a gentleman fly in from Salt Lake City, Utah to attend,” said the school’s principal, Tom Ruiz. 

Mrs. Emily Briseno chaired this year’s event.  The committee also included Mrs. Michealene Zarach who ran the Country Store which sold crafts and other items. The committee is already planning Spaghetti Supper #59. 

When an announcement was made that additional volunteers were needed, many of the school’s teachers and aides rolled up their sleeves to help.  One of them was Mrs. Amanda Wysocki who said, “I was happy to pitch in and help!  It is a great event, rich in St. Mary’s tradition.”

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Alex Nickla: A Young Man Shaped by Upbringing at St. Mary's School

Alex Nickla: A Young Man Shaped by Upbringing at St. Mary's School - November 13, 2019

Four words sum up Alex Nickla; professional, personable, passionate, and positive.   Alex is a 2009 St. Mary Catholic Community School graduate and currently is the team leader of The Nickla Group, a top 40 Real Estate Team in Northwest Indiana.  Alex graduated from Crown Point High School in 2013 and attended Indiana University in Bloomington for one semester. While at IU, he started learning about finance, Real Estate, and business outside of the classroom through YouTube videos, reading books, and attending seminars.  During this time, Alex spent a lot of time in self-reflection about “myself and my journey.” Alex said, “I knew in my heart there was something else for me.” He continued, “The things that were the most important to me were the relationships.” He decided to return to Crown Point for two reasons; to help his family and to start a career as an entrepreneur.

When thinking back on his athletic career at St. Mary’s as a youngster, Alex said, “I loved competition and the growth part of sports.”  He also compared sports to business by drawing parallels between them; he enjoys the competition and growth found in each. At the age of 22 Alex was named the youngest top 25 agent in Northwest Indiana.  Despite receiving this prestigious award, Alex decided that he needed something more fulfilling in his life. It was at this time, while reflecting on what he wanted most from life, that Alex started his Real Estate team.  Since then, Alex’s team has grown to 8 agents and is one of the top real estate agencies in the area. Because of his success, the town reached out to Alex to put YouTube videos on “State of the City”. In these videos, Alex gives updates on what is happening in Crown Point and other parts of Northwest Indiana. 

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St. Mary's Prepares to Feed the Masses at Iconic Spaghetti Supper Event

St. Mary's Prepares to Feed the Masses at Iconic Spaghetti Supper Event - October 24, 2019

St. Mary Catholic Community School will host its 58th annual Spaghetti Supper on Wednesday, November 13th.  St. Mary’s School is located at 405 East Joliet Street in Crown Point.  The meal includes a generous serving of spaghetti, Caesar salad, Italian bread, dessert and coffee or milk.  Ticket prices are, $6 for senior citizens, $8 for adults age 15-59 and $6 for children 5-14; children 4 and younger eat free.  Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling the school at (219) 663-0676.  Lunch will be served from 11:30 AM to 2 PM and supper from 4:30 to 7:30 PM.  Drive-through service is available; please call ahead for orders of 10 or more.  Delivery service is also available from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM for those who have a place of business in the Crown Point area and would prefer to dine in for lunch.  There is a five order minimum for this FREE delivery service.  To request a delivery service order form, call the school and an order form will be faxed to you OR email mrivera@stmarycp.org.  A piping hot lunch will be delivered by a smiling St. Mary’s parent.  A popular trend lately has been business owners purchasing spaghetti suppers to treat their office staff.  Be sure to attend this iconic Crown Point Community event!

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6th Grade Students Learn by Designing, Building, and Racing

6th Grade Students Learn by Designing, Building, and Racing - October 23, 2019

Sixth grade students at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point have been studying Archimedes’ principle of buoyancy as an interdisciplinary unit for the past five weeks. The unit launched with class book talks centering around the historical fiction novel The Cay, by Theodore Taylor. Once the novel was completed, the students worked in small groups to research, select, and then illustrate their vessel model of choice. The groups then constructed a small version of their illustration using a file folder and twelve inches of tape. The smaller version, once approved by the teacher, Mrs. Michelle Sarabia, was then constructed as an eight-foot vessel made of cardboard and duct tape. The respective groups chose a representative to man the boat with a goal of racing the craft for a minimum of twenty seconds. The project concluded with a boat race at the local Southlake YMCA and amazingly, the boats floated. “We’re very grateful to the Southlake YMCA for allowing our teacher’s vision become a reality with the use of their pool. This activity was one that our students will never forget!” said principal, Tom Ruiz.

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St. Mary's Environmental Club Enjoys Fall Fishing Excursion

St. Mary's Environmental Club Enjoys Fall Fishing Excursion - October 22, 2019

The Environmental Club from St. Mary’s School in Crown Point recently enjoyed a beautiful fall fishing trip. Members of the club and their parents and grandparents journeyed to southern Lake County. The fishing pond is connected to the Kankakee River, providing it with a diverse population of fish, and most students were lucky enough to reel in several fish regardless of previous experience. Bluegill, crappie, catfish, dogfish and bass were caught. Principal Tom Ruiz chaperoned the trip and had this to say, “When we got to the pond, one of our youngsters became inpatient and gave up on fishing pretty quickly. He decided to sit down and start playing on his phone. Thankfully, his grandfather didn’t give up and eventually got a bite. The young man put the phone down and reeled in a nice bluegill. The eight-year-old then went on to catch seven more fish all by himself. I was really happy to see the thrill of fishing trump the desire to play on the phone. I hope this young man will do some more fishing with this grandpa in the future.” The club’s four pillars are education, protection, and appreciation. The entire group strengthened their appreciation of the environment with this fishing trip that was organized by Cedar Lake resident, Mr. Jeff Nelson with the permission of a generous farmer that he knows.

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Grandparents and other Special Guests Enjoy Program at St. Mary's School in Crown Point

Grandparents and other Special Guests Enjoy Program at St. Mary's School in Crown Point - October 21, 2019

On Friday, October 18th, the students and staff at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point put on their annual Grandparents and Special Persons Day Program. Grandparents and special family members and friends were treated to coffee and donuts, a trip to the classrooms, and visit to the book fair with their students. The day concluded with a music program in the school gym. The St. Mary students shined bright with their smiling faces and energetic songs. A highlight of the program were the essays and poems written 8th graders to share with the audience that put into words what their grandparents and special people mean to them. Examples of sleepovers, movies, food, shopping, and the fact that the grandparents and special guests are spiritual role models truly touched the hearts of the grandparents and special people who were in attendance.

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St. Mary's First Graders Honor Saint Francis by Assisting Humane Indiana

St. Mary's First Graders Honor Saint Francis by Assisting Humane Indiana - October 8, 2019

On October 4th, the first graders at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point held a Pet Donation Drive in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.  The Children collected food, treats, toys, blankets, leashes and collars, along with many other items. The donations went to Humane Indiana. Shellie Dell, Indiana Humane’s Community Relations Manager and SMS Alumnus, said,”My heart is so full! What an amazing class of first graders!”

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St. Mary's 8th Graders Travel from Crown Point to Washington D.C.

St. Mary's 8th Graders Travel from Crown Point to Washington D.C. - October 7, 2019

Students from St. Mary Catholic Community School recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to experience history firsthand.  The trip is an annual tradition at St. Mary’s that students over the decades have enjoyed. The sixty 8th graders and chaperones toured the Capitol building, visited monuments and memorials, and learned how paper money is made at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The students had time to experience the Smithsonian Museums, International Spy Museum, and the Holocaust Museum. Student, Kennedy Heath enjoyed the Thomas Jefferson Memorial because he is someone she admires. Peyton Mori found her great-grandpa’s name on the wall at the World War I Memorial. Scott Ballentine liked International Spy Museum where he and his classmates crawled through vents and conducted an interactive secret mission. Yohanna Calzonzi touched by the various exhibits at the Holocaust Museum. She said the experience really helped her understand the tragic event in our world’s history. The students and chaperones were moved by the sight of the graves and the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery. 

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St. Mary's 7th Graders Learn CPR and Other Life Saving Skills

St. Mary's 7th Graders Learn CPR and Other Life Saving Skills - October 1, 2019

St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point recently hosted a CPR/AED and choking class for all 7th grade students. St. Mary Catholic Community School fathers and firefighters/ paramedics Mr. Jake Gettler and Mr. Cory Federico assisted the school’s nurse, Patti Miskus, with the organization and instruction of the class.  There was a written exam as well as a skills assessment portion. “The children did a nice job and have learned a very important, life giving skill. They now have knowledge and skills to help guide them until help arrives,” said Nurse Miskus. McKenna Smiser said, “I can now watch my cousins because if they ever choke or pass out I can help them.” Aundrea Muñoz said, “the class was a great help and she now feels more confident if that happens in a real life situation.”

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St. Mary's Kindergartners Visit Local Dairy Farm

St. Mary's Kindergartners Visit Local Dairy Farm - September 26, 2019

On Wednesday, September 18th, Mrs. Mesich and Mrs. Williams’ Kindergarten classes from St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point visited Kleine Dairy Farm in Cedar Lake.  The farm has been in the Kleine family for over 100 years. It was established in 1917 by Joseph Kleine, who is the grandfather of the current owner, Dave Kleine. The Kleine family has kept the values of the past intact while incorporating modern technology to insure the wellness of each of their cows.  Bio feedback from each cow, which the family knows by name, is monitored carefully via a computer system in real time.  The children were able to experience the daily routine of working on a dairy farm.  They saw how the cows are fed and what makes up their feed. They saw a calf being bottle fed, the milking parlor, and they got to climb up on the four tractors the Kleine family uses. The children even saw a large mechanical brush the cows can activate themselves, for a cow “moosage.” It was a great day and both teachers greatly appreciated the Kliene family for opening up their farm for a tour.  Stop by and see their booth at the Lake County Fair next year to learn more about the Kleine Dairy Farm.  The teachers, parent chaperones, and students learned how well the cows were taken care of and were impressed with the fact that a small local farm can produce a good volume of fresh, wholesome milk in a sustainable fashion.  

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St. Mary School's Parents and Community Expresses Appreciation to Faculty

St. Mary School's Parents and Community Expresses Appreciation to Faculty - September 26, 2019

On the morning of Friday, September 20th, 2019, over 500 students at St. Mary Catholic Community School showed their appreciation for their teachers by participating in the school’s 11th annual Teacher Appreciation Walk-a-thon.  The walk-a-thon was organized by St. Mary’s Parish Council and Finance Council representatives, Rose Krueger and Jen Heal.  The route stretched as far east as Indiana Avenue, to Crown Point’s historic square, and as far south as Greenwood Avenue. The school is grateful for all the support from the parents, and parishioners who made this year’s walk-a-thon a huge success.  The students also appreciated the efforts of St. Mary’s Faith Formation coordinator, Mrs. Marian Weeks, who cooked for the entire student body along with all her helpers from the parish Faith Formation program. 

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Mrs. Elizabeth Louis, A Life Well Lived

Mrs. Elizabeth Louis, A Life Well Lived - September 18, 2019

“A life well lived” sums up Elizabeth Louis life.  Liz, called Mrs. Louis by the students at St. Mary School, is a 1933 graduate of the Catholic school in Crown Point.  She celebrated her 100th birthday in April.  One of the highlights of the school year is when she attends the student Mass at St. Mary’s.   She comes each spring to inspire the third-grade students who make their first Holy Communion the Saturday before her visit.  The pastor, Father Patrick Kalich, always gives Mrs. Louis the microphone and she encourages all the students, especially the first communicants to continue to come to church, just as she has throughout her entire life.

 Liz was the next to youngest child in her family of seven children, 5 boys and 2 girls, all of whom attended St. Mary’s School.  The family lived in a 2-story house on Nichols Street that her father helped build. She remembers playing ball in the two-way street and said that there was very little traffic on the street in those days. 

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St. Mary’s Community to Show Appreciation to Teachers

St. Mary's School - St. Mary’s Community to Show Appreciation to Teachers - September 13, 2019

On the morning of Friday, September 20th, 2019, at 10:00 AM, students at St. Mary Catholic Community School will show their appreciation for their teachers by participating in a walk-a-thon.  This year’s walk-a-thon, the school’s 11th,  is organized by St. Mary’s Parish Council and Finance Council representatives, Rose Krueger and Jen Heal. 

The purpose of the walk is to show appreciation and raise funds for the teachers.  Teachers at St. Mary’s dedicate their lives to educating children at great personal sacrifice.  They forgo higher salaries that could be earned elsewhere in order to teach where they feel that they are “called” to teach.  St. Mary’s parish, led by Father Patrick Kalich and Sister Joanne Marie Schutz, have chosen to recognize the teachers of St. Mary’s for their dedication by organizing this event. 

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St. Mary's Environmental Club Pledges to Keep Highway Clean

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Environmental Club Pledges to Keep Highway Clean - September 9, 2019

The Environmental Club at St. Mary Community Catholic School, in Crown Point, have been helping keep the community clean for the past few years, but now they have taken it one step further. The club adopted highway, U.S. 231, in order to help keep that small section of the earth clean as well. The environmental club held their first meeting of the new school year on Wednesday, September 4th, and decided to take a field trip to US 231 to clean up any trash they found on the sidewalk and grass. Students were extremely determined to pick up all the pieces of trash because, “Keeping God’s creation clean would make him proud,'' said student Benjamin Martino. The ‘adopt a highway’ sign can be seen while driving west on U.S. 231 and the students were so excited about it, they even took a group photo underneath it. Students are hopeful that having this sign will remind people to recycle and to keep our beautiful Earth clean because as student Hailey Baehler said, “Our Earth is dying because we aren’t cleaning it.”  St. Mary’s Environmental Club will carry forward their mission of keeping their school and our Earth as clean as possible, and they will continue to spread the word in the hopes that others will follow along.  Their next field trip will be a fishing trip, but will soon be back to cleaning the neighborhood.  

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Students at St. Mary's Enjoy Popsicles and Autographs

St. Mary's School - Students at St. Mary's Enjoy Popsicles and Autographs - August 19, 2019

Things at St. Mary Catholic Community School are poppin’ already! On the afternoon of Friday, August 16, students spilled into the school parking lot armed with popsicles and yearbooks. The annual Popsicle Party had begun!

Yearbooks are ordered in May, printed in July, and signed annually in August. Students from first through eighth grades balance their books in one arm, sign with the other hand, and also manage to keep their popsicles from dripping all over! What talent! 

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Chef Chris Pappas Returns to Crown Point with Impressive Culinary Skills and Passion

Chef Chris Pappas Returns to Crown Point with Impressive Culinary Skills and Passion - August 19, 2019

Two words that sum up Chef Chris Pappas are passion and commitment. Chris is the owner and a full-time chef at Provecho, a fine dining establishment located in Crown Point. Chris holds a major stake in five local dining establishments including Pappas Restaurant, which was renovated 2014 when he took over from his father. Pappas Restaurant was Chris' second home growing up. Chris' passion is evident in his work ethic; he spends approximately 100 hours per week working at the restaurants. Chris is also a dedicated employer, believing in the importance of providing benefits to his 150 employees, a practice that is very rare in the restaurant industry.

Chris is a 2004 graduate of St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point.  He continued his education at Crown Point High School and then studied at Purdue University.  His parents always stressed the importance of a good education. During his sophomore year at Purdue, he spent time immersed in the kitchen learning the foundations necessary for cooking. He always knew that he’d be in the restaurant business and thought that learning about the kitchen would make him an overall better restauranteur.  It was at this time that Chris discovered his passion for creating food. He learned that he liked to expand upon the basics of cooking by learning the history and culture behind different cuisines.

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St. Mary's Graduate Accepts Position at Top Secret Space Division of Lockheed Martin

St. Mary's Graduate Accepts Position at Top Secret Space Division of Lockheed Martin - June 12, 2019

Joey Mucha graduated from St. Mary Catholic Community School in 2011 and Andrean High School in 2015.  He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Cybersecurity from Purdue University - West Lafayette this past May.  Mucha has a strong desire to help others and believes that his challenging Catholic education and faith formation helped him secure his new Cybersecurity job in the Space Division of Lockheed Martin Corporation.  Joey will soon be working on classified projects involving space exploration for Lockheed Martin. He will begin on July 22 and plans to live in a suburb of Philadelphia.

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St. Mary's Alumnus Returns to School to Share Message of Kindness

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Alumnus Returns to School to Share Message of Kindness - June 12, 2019

On Wednesday, May 29th, St. Mary Catholic Community School graduate (class of 2016), Elizabeth Gonzalez, returned to her Alma mater to deliver a simple but powerful message.  The theme of the presentation given to the 4th thru 7th grade students was...BE KIND.  "The feeling I get when I am presenting is entirely energizing.  Knowing that I am fueling the fire of the next generation of kindness is one of my biggest joys in life," Gonzalez stated.  After interacting with the students, Gonzalez moved the group outside to continue the memorable experience.  Each student was provided with an environmentally friendly balloon.  As the song "Brave" by Sara Bareilles was played in the background, Gonzalez told the students, "As we let go of the balloons, it symbolizes letting go of the past of unkindness.  As you release the balloon it serves as a pledge to continue a life of unwavering kindness."

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St. Mary's Wildcats Tour Indy

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Wildcats Tour Indy - June 7, 2019

Early on a Friday morning in spring, two coach buses departed from St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point. Forty-two fourth-grade Wildcats were headed to our state’s capital city to culminate a year of learning Indiana history.  

St. Mary's teacher, Mrs. Arianne Wong, led the students and their chaperones on a day-long trip which started at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. Walking through the rooms, Emma Bane commented, “The paintings done by Benjamin Harrison’s wife are really cool!”

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St. Mary's Students Make History Come to Life With Parade

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Students Make History Come to Life With Parade - June 6, 2019

On Wednesday, May 22nd, fourth-graders at St. Mary Catholic Community School impressed all who visited with their Indiana History Parade projects. Set up like a science fair, Indiana History topics were on display via tri-fold boards, shoebox “floats”, and oral presentations. Students from other classes visited the parade during the day while family and friends were invited to the well-attended evening event.

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St. Mary's 7th Graders Visit Art Institute of Chicago

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's 7th Graders Visit Art Institute of Chicago - June 5, 2019

St. Mary Catholic Community School 7th Graders recently enjoyed a magical day at The Art Institute of Chicago. The beautiful historic building contains one of the best collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings world-wide. Students enjoyed Grant Wood's American Gothic, Edward Hopper's Night Hawks and many other famous works of art. The Thorne Miniature rooms were especially fascinating. The field trip ended with a walk to "The Bean", which delighted all. “Our students are blessed to have the opportunity to experience these masterpieces in person and we certainly hope that this excursion helped them further develop their love and appreciate of art,” said St. Mary’s art teacher, Carrie Kirby.

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St. Mary's Kindergarten Students Move on to First Grade, First Grade to the Tune of New York, New York

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Kindergarten Students Move on to First Grade, First Grade to the Tune of New York, New York - June 4, 2019

At St Mary's in Crown Point the kindergarten classes are preparing for first grade. On Friday May 24th the children sang songs for their parents to announce that they are ready to move on. For the grand finale, the children wore top hats and sang the song New York, New York replacing it with first grade, first grade.

St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point offers grade levels Junior Pre-Kindergarten (for three-year-olds) through grade eight.  St. Mary’s faculty teaches a rich curriculum supported by cutting-edge technology.  Faith, Academic Excellence, Life Lessons, and Compassion are the pillars of the school. 

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Indoor Field Day Turns Out to Be A Blast for St. Mary's Students

St. Mary's School - Indoor Field Day Turns Out to Be A Blast for St. Mary's Students - June 4, 2019

On Thursday, May 30, St. Mary Catholic Community School, in Crown Point, held their annual field day to kick off summer and to celebrate the end of another fantastic year. Mother Nature had plans of her own and forced the activities inside, but that didn't slow the St. Mary Wildcats down! The 3rd-7th graders held a dodgeball tournament. While the Kindergarten-2nd grades had station activities set up in the halls and cafeteria. The activities were a huge success! Hippy hop races, tug of war, sled pull races were just a few of the exciting games. Giggles and laughter filled the entire school. The teachers even got in on the festivities and were challenged by the 6th grade students to a couple rounds of dodgeball as a reward for bringing in the most food items during the school’s annual food drive. “It was the perfect way to capitalize on another great year at St. Mary's,” said field day coordinator, Mrs. Melanie Light. She especially appreciated the help of Mrs. Laura Williams, Kindergarten teacher, and Mrs. Leitza Leurke, parent, for their organization and creativity for this year's station events.

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St. Mary Students Enjoy World Class Museum of S & I

St. Mary's School - St. Mary Students Enjoy World Class Museum of S & I - June 4, 2019

On May 2nd, sixth graders from St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point, traveled to Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry. They spent the day reinforcing science concepts learned during the school year. The students particularly enjoyed the “Numbers in Nature” exhibit, learning about the patterns that exist around them. Another favorite was the “Science Storms” exhibit. The students had the benefit of experiencing several of these storms in a realistic presentation; one in particular was a tornado simulation. It was an excellent way to strengthen prior knowledge for future science studies. “We’re blessed to have a world class museum just a short bus ride away and teachers willing to go the extra mile to make science come alive for our students,” said St. Mary’s principal Tom Ruiz.

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St. Mary Crown Point's Environmental Club Enjoys Hike at The Indiana Dunes

St. Mary's School - St. Mary Crown Point's Environmental Club Enjoys Hike at The Indiana Dunes - June 4, 2019

On a beautiful Tuesday in May, St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point’s Environmental Club went hiking at the Dunes National Lakeshore. Students were in for a treat as the weather was cooperating well with clear skies and the shining sun. One of the group’s sponsors, Mrs. Mary Skinner, chose Trail 9 which is a 3.6 mile intermediate loop. The trail combines hiking through forests and along the top of the dune ridge. Members of the club were in awe when they reached the top of the dune and the Beach House Blowout, a huge bowl of sand that made for an incredible vista. The surprises in scenery continued as the students were able to view Chicago’s Skyline and see the different shades of Lake Michigan’s water. Fifth grade member Sophie Wake said that she couldn’t wait to bring her family here one day to enjoy the hike!

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St. Mary's Students Enjoy Successful Mission at Challenger Learning Center

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Students Enjoy Successful Mission at Challenger Learning Center - May 28, 2019

On Tuesday, May 21st, St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point’s Fifth Grade Classes went on a field trip to the Challenger Learning Center in Hammond, IN. Students worked together to complete their mission to “Rendezvous with a Comet.” Teamwork was an essential part for their mission as the mission control team had to communicate jobs to the spacecraft team. The students had success in their missions of identifying and naming two new comets. The classes completed their day with a rocketry lab where they tested Newton’s Laws of Motion.

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Sixth Graders Celebrate International Day at St. Mary's School in Crown Point

St. Mary's School - Sixth Graders Celebrate International Day at St. Mary's School in Crown Point - May 23, 2019

On May 20, 2019, the 6th grade students at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point participated in International Day. During the past three weeks the students have been learning about their own ethnic background. To close out the unit of study, the students gathered to share special foods, unique to their culture, with family and friends. Students were treated to tamales (Mexico), kolachkes (Poland), lumpia (Philippines), chocolate (Switzerland) and more.

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St. Mary's 2nd Graders Enjoy Trip to Field Museum in Chicago

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's 2nd Graders Enjoy Trip to Field Museum in Chicago - May 22, 2019

On May 9th the 2nd graders at St. Mary Catholic Community school hit the big city of Chicago in their annual trip to The Field Museum of Natural History. This trip culminates the year of social studies and science for the students. The children love checking out the Ancient Egypt exhibit, the dinosaurs in the Evolving Earth exhibit, as well as the Native American Earth Lodge. Second grade teacher, Amanda Wysocki, loves seeing the changes at the museum from year to year as well as the kids faces when they meet the large dinosaurs for the first time.

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St. Mary's 8th Graders Rally to Put on Play to Help the Homeless

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's 8th Graders Rally to Put on Play to Help the Homeless - May 21, 2019

The St Mary Catholic Community School Class of 2019 presented their end of year, class play on Friday. This year's play was an original production, with the main story written by Emmy Wake, and additional scenes written by Abigail Mackey, Caitlin Wadas, and Vanessa Navarro, all St. Mary 8th graders! Emmy began writing the play last summer. Under the direction of music teacher, Tony Rossi, the rest of the 8th grade class brought this original story to life with acting, singing, dancing, set building, and painting.

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St. Mary School’s Student-Run News Crew Visits WJOB Studio

St. Mary's School - St. Mary School’s Student-Run News Crew Visits WJOB Studio - May 20, 2019

The WSMW news crew of St. Mary Catholic Community School of Crown Point, recently took a field trip to WJOB 1230 AM radio studios.  WSMW is St. Mary’s very own in-house student run TV news program that is viewed by the entire school every morning.  The hosts for the event were Ryan Walsh and Jim Dedelow.  Ryan is a integral part of the production team at WJOB. Jim Dedelow, station owner, hosts JED in the Region, a daily show for region news as well as a platform to honors many accomplishments by individuals of NWI.  He invited members of the WSMW crew to sit in and participate in several in studio interviews.  Student were able to experience the new studio layout, which is conducive to hosting more of a hybrid live Television component to their radio shows.   “It was really neat to see how the show was created.” said 6th grader Samantha Noren, current Newsanchor for the schools WSMW. “Listening to Mr. Dedlow talk about how he first was exposed to and fell in love with  radio at a young age made us think more about careers in radio in our futures.”

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Mothers Enjoy Tea with their Kindergartners at St. Mary's in Crown Point

St. Mary's School - Mothers Enjoy Tea with their Kindergartners at St. Mary's in Crown Point - May 20, 2019

On May 3rd at St. Mary's school in Crown Point, Mrs. Mesich's Kindergarten class had a tea to honor their moms. It was held in the classroom which was decorated with tablecloths and tea lights the children made. The children performed a short program and then presented their mothers with a card that had a special reading inside.

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St. Mary's Kindergarten Students Enjoy Donuts with Dudes

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Kindergarten Students Enjoy "Donuts with Dudes" - May 16, 2019

On Wednesday, April 24th, Mrs. Williams' Kindergarten class, at St. Mary School in Crown Point, hosted their first "Donuts with Dudes." Students invited a special person in their life to enjoy coffee & donuts and visit their classroom. The coffee was flowing and there was plenty of donuts to munch on for all. The children were then read their favorite stores by their "dude" or "dudette" to cap off the morning.

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St. Mary's Students Pedal to School

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Students Pedal to School - May 3, 2019

On Friday May 3, 2019 students from St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point took to the streets on two wheels to participate in the school’s annual “Ride Your Bike to School Day.” St. Mary students ride from home, or gather at the Lake County Fairgrounds to ride to school. This year approximately 200 students biked it to St. Mary on the cool misty morning. St. Mary’s wishes to extend a special thanks to the Crown Point Emergency Management Director, Mike Wysocki and his crew and all the parent participants for helping the young riders travel safely to St. Mary School.

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St. Mary's Students Duck and Dodge for La Rabida Children's Hospital

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Students Duck and Dodge for La Rabida Children's Hospital - May 3, 2019

On Friday, April 26th, over 90 fifth-grade through eighth-grade students from St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point gathered to play dodgeball and raise money for La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago. La Rabida specializes in treating children with chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities. The students raised over $1,000 for the hospital. The tournament was organized by junior high math teacher, Mrs. Theresa McLoughlin and she was helped by several Andrean High School students who are St. Mary’s alumni. Seventh grader Bella Gonzalez said that “the tournament was fun, and it was even better knowing that we were helping a good cause.”

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St. Mary's Environmental Club Celebrates Earth Day with Cleanup of Sauerman Woods

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Environmental Club Celebrates Earth Day with Cleanup of Sauerman Woods - April 25, 2019

On Wednesday, April 24th, members of the Environmental Club from Saint Mary Catholic Community School spent the afternoon cleaning garbage that littered Sauerman Woods in Crown Point. Together, the students walked with Principal Tom Ruiz, Science teacher Steve Davis, and 5th grade teacher Mary Skinner from the school to the park. Club members were shocked at how much garbage was retrieved during the cleanup. Many of them exclaimed that they were happy to help clean the Earth! Throughout the year, the club takes a variety of field trips (including the Indiana Dunes), participate in lessons to learn about the environment, and do their part in helping to keep the Earth clean.

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St. Mary School Makes Chess Club History with Top 10 Finish

St. Mary's School - St. Mary School Makes Chess Club History with Top 10 Finish - April 3, 2019

On Saturday March 23rd, St. Mary Catholic Community School’s 31 chess team members traveled down to Martinsville, Indiana (south of Indianapolis) to face some stiff competition in the 2019 team chess state tournament. The students competed as teams of four and performed impressively. After nine grueling hours and six rounds of chess, the final results were announced. The chess team was ecstatic to receive a coveted top ten trophy in the 3rd grade and under division. The 3rd and under A team consisting of John Mouser, Julian Wagner, James Raggs, and Joseph Mullally took home the 9th place trophy of more than fifty of the state’s finest teams who qualified for state.

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Eight Teams Went to Regionals, Eight Teams Qualified for State

St. Mary's School - Eight Teams Went to Regionals, Eight Teams Qualified for State - March 8, 2019

St. Mary Catholic Community School’s Chess Team recently participated in the Scholastic Chess of Indiana Team Regional Tournament in Hammond.  This is the biggest regional in the state with over 400 students competing from as far as Layfayette.   Thirty-five St. Mary’s students on eight teams participated in the all-day tournament. All eight St. Mary's teams qualified to advance to the state tournament at the end of March in Martinsville, Indiana.  “We would have been very pleased if even just one or two teams made it to state.  Having all eight teams make it was a very impressive.  We’re very proud of these youngsters and their coaches,” said St. Mary’s principal, Tom Ruiz.

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St. Mary's Students Enjoy Annual March Madness Tournament

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Students Enjoy Annual March Madness Tournament - March 5, 2019

On Friday March 1st, a multitude of teams came out to compete in St. Mary Catholic Community School’s annual Wildcat March Madness 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament. This year’s tournament was held at Andrean High School in Merrillville. "This is a fun event that the whole family looks forward to each year. The students start thinking about their team names and chose t-shirt colors the year before in anticipation," said organizer, Mrs. Melanie Light.

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St. Mary's Students Enjoy Ice Skating Excursion at CP's New Rink

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Students Enjoy Ice Skating Excursion at CP's New Rink - March 4, 2019

Students from St. Mary School in Crown Point enjoyed a morning of ice skating at the new Bulldog Park ice skating rink on Thursday and Friday. The students walked over from St. Mary’s with their teachers and parent chaperones. The trip was organized by assistant principal, Mrs. Candace Wadas. According to 5th grader, Alex Calzonzi, “It was fun! It was one of the best field trips we’ve ever been on!” Crown Point Parks Department director, Jennie Burgess, explained that St. Mary’s was the first school group to ever visit the new rink. Even Mayor David Uran stopped by to hear the laughter and witness the children enjoying this unique and enjoyable excursion.

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Students at St. Mary's Learn History and Enjoy Tasty Treats

St. Mary's School - Students at St. Mary's Learn History and Enjoy Tasty Treats - February 22, 2019

Students in Miss Rachel Skinner’s 3rd grade class at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point were treated to a variety of delicious goodies. As part of her Social Studies lesson, students were encouraged to learn more about their own heritage and then bring in a dish for extra credit. The tasty treats included spaghetti and meatballs, Polish pastries, and a variety of other delicacies from around the world.

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Parents Arrive Early for Spots at St. Mary’s School

St. Mary's School - Parents Arrive Early for Spots at St. Mary’s School - February 14, 2019

St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point began its OPEN APPLICATION period for new students on St. Valentine’s Day. More than forty families showed up to turn in enrollment applications for spots for next school year. The school advertised that it would begin accepting applications for new students at 8:00 AM. The first parent to arrive and start the line came at 4:00 AM. “Here at St. Mary’s we have parents who are prominent public figures and we have parents who are blue- collar workers. The thing we all have in common is that we want the best for our kids and we’re willing to make sacrifices to provide it” said principal, Tom Ruiz.

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St. Mary's 1st Graders Support Children with Cancer

St. Mary's School - St. Mary's 1st Graders Support Children with Cancer - February 11, 2019

The 1st graders at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point decided to do a special community service project during Catholic Schools Week.  They made miniature “Love Your Melon” hats.  Love Your Melon is an organization that was founded by students at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota.  Since 2012, it was their goal to improve the lives of children battling cancer and to put a hat on every child with cancer.

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Chess Dynasty in the Making at St. Mary's School in Crown Point

St. Mary's School - Chess Dynasty in the Making at St. Mary's School in Crown Point - January 11, 2019

St. Mary Catholic Community School’s Chess Club recently competed in the Scholastic Chess of Indiana individual regional tournament at Morton High School in Hammond.  Those who reached the highest levels qualified for the state tournament.  In a good year the school in Crown Point typically has five students or so advance to the state tourney.  This year St. Mary’s had nineteen qualify!  School principal, Tom Ruiz said, “We’re proud of all our chess club members and all the parents who help provide this opportunity for our students, especially Dr. Lisa Mullally who heads up the club.

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