Alex Nickla: A Young Man Shaped by Upbringing at St. Mary's School - November 13, 2019
our 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.
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 email@example.com. 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!
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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."
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Youngsters Spread Christmas Spirit with Program at St. Mary's School in Crown Point - December 21, 2018
Families gathered together at St. Mary School in Crown Point on the evening of December 19th for the annual Christmas Program. The music program is 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 CYO band led by Mr. David Little. 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.
Andrean High School Artists Share Talent with St. Mary's Elementary Students - December 19, 2018
Andrean High School’s art club, lead by Mr. Sammy Listro, came to visit St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point. The art club worked on Christmas projects with the 1st and 3rd grades. Several St. Mary School alumni came back for the visit. SMS alumni Megan Thomas stated, “SMS is so special to me that I love coming and sharing that feeling with the children.” Mary Mantel, another SMS alumni, said, “I wanted to come because art is the gift that I can give back to SMS.”
St. Mary's School in Crown Point Spreads Christmas Spirit with Annual Food Drive - December 18, 2018
The Christmas spirit spread around last week at St. Mary Catholic Community School thanks to Polar Express Day and holiday treats, but also in the mounds and mounds of food piled high in the gym hallway.
The families at St. Mary Catholic Community School recently donated almost 1,400 pounds of food to God’s Groceries, the food pantry at St. Mary’s Parish which was filled to the brim.
St. Mary School in Crown Point to Host Two Open House Events - December 18, 2018
St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point will host two Open House events in January. Attendees will have an opportunity to tour the school and meet the outstanding faculty and staff.
An evening Open House will also be held on Wednesday, January 23rd from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. On Sunday, January 27th, the school will hold its annual Open House and Pancake Breakfast. St. Mary School offers a rigorous academic program and a structured learning environment, within a warm, compassionate community. The school also offers a wide variety of sports, clubs, music, academic teams, scouts, and other extra-curricular activities.
St. Mary's School - Biography Museum at St. Mary's School in Crown Point - December 12, 2018
Sixth graders at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point study different forms of literature genre. Over the course of the past six weeks students have been reading biographies and autobiographies with their teacher, Mrs. Michelle Sarabia. After all of their hard work writing an expository paper, creating a timeline, writing a bibliography, the middle schoolers ended the project with a celebration of a “Living Biography Museum.” It took place in St. Mary’s Hammes Hall on December 11, 2018. “The children did an exceptional job presenting their speeches to the younger students who came to the “museum,” teachers, and parents.
St. Mary's School - Crown Point Community Comes Out in Droves to Support Catholic School - November 19, 2018
Another Spaghetti Supper has come and gone at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point. 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,” said the school’s principal, Tom Ruiz.
St. Mary's School - St. Mary’s Catholic Community School Makes Halloween Visit to WGN - November 8, 2018
The WSMW news crew of St. Mary Catholic Community School of Crown Point, IN recently took a field trip to WGN news studios. WSMW is St. Mary’s very own in-house student-run TV news program that is viewed by the entire school every morning. Their tour guide for the event was Lourdes Duarte. Lourdes Duarte is an television journalist for WGN-TV, where she is an investigative reporter and co-host of the WGN News Evening News at 4pm. She took time out of her schedule to not only show the students the studio, but also to give students a normal a day in the life of a news report/host.
St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Environmental Club Enjoys Fall's Majesty in Nature - November 5, 2018
The Saint Mary Catholic Community School’s Environmental Club, under the direction and guidance of Principal Tom Ruiz and teachers Steve Davis and Mirabel Villarreal recently visited Sunset Hill. A good time was had by all and school, located in Crown Point, expressed their thanks to the Porter County Parks Department, especially to the naturalist educator Ms. Natalie Klancer for such a memorable experience.
St. Mary's School - Mark your Calendar for St. Mary’s Famous Spaghetti Supper on November 14th - October 15, 2018
St. Mary Catholic Community School will host its 57th annual Spaghetti Supper on Wednesday, November 14th. 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 will remain, $5 for senior citizens, $8 for adults age 15-59 and $5 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.
St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Students Travel from Crown Point to Nation's Capital - October 10, 2018
Students from St. Mary Catholic Community School recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to experience our nation’s capital. The fifty-nine students 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 Institute Museums, International Spy Museum, and the Holocaust Museum. Eighth grader, Sonny Tran, thoroughly enjoyed the National Air and Space Museum, especially the flight simulator. He said, “It felt like you were actually flying!”
St. Mary's School - St. Mary's 7th Grade Enjoys Day at the Dunes - October 5, 2018
St. Mary Catholic Community School’s seventh grade class enjoyed an educational day at West Beach, where they observed the various stages of succession at the Dunes. Mr. Steve Davis, science teacher, with the assistance of Christine Gerlach, ranger from the National Lake Shore, provided the students with the opportunity to study and observe this natural ecological resource. Mr. Davis and English teacher Dr. Tacor Sims, with the assistance of parent chaperones, Melissa Scott, and Deborah Callaghan-Shea made this field trip memorable.
St. Mary's School - St. Mary's 7th Graders Learn Life Saving Techniques - September 28, 2018
St. Mary Catholic Community School 7th grade students were recently certified in CPR/AED. St. Mary School fathers and firefighters/paramedics Mr. Jake Gettler and Mr. Cory Federico, along with school nurse Patti Miskus, were instructors. The students were required to pass a written exam as well as a skills assessment. “The children did a nice job & have learned a very important skill,” said Nurse Miskus. “We are very blessed to have Nurse Miskus who facilitates this training at St. Mary School. Who knows? Perhaps one of our students will save a life someday,” said principal Tom Ruiz. All school and rectory staff, as well as 7th and 8th grade students, are CPR/AED certified.
St. Mary's School - St. Mary's Environmental Club Enjoys Annual Fishing Trip - September 25, 2018
Recently, on a beautiful crisp fall morning, the Environmental Club from St. Mary’s School in Crown Point recently enjoyed a fishing trip. Students, families, and staff members 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, and bass were caught.
St. Mary's Students Show Love and Support for Teachers with Walk-a-thon - September 21, 2018
On the morning of Friday, September 21st, 2018, over 500 students at St. Mary Catholic Community School showed their appreciation for their teachers by participating in the school’s tenth annual Teacher Appreciation Walk-a-thon. The walk-a-thon was organized by St. Mary’s Parish Council and Finance Council representatives, Lowell Killion and Penny Pappas. The route stretched as far east as Indiana Avenue, to Crown Point’s historic square, and as far south as Greenwood Avenue.
Beautiful Weather Allows for Outdoor Learning at St. Mary's School - September 19, 2018
As the beautiful days of summer were extended into September, St. Mary Catholic Community School enjoyed the outdoors while learning about The Creation. Mrs. Romie Kabella’s class discussed the seven days in which God created all things, and ways to take care of all these gifts. At the end of the session, students completed a Creation collage and a “Keep God’s World Clean” coloring project.
Firefighters Teach Safety Lesson to Kindergartners at St. Mary's in Crown Point - September 19, 2018
On Friday, September 14th, the Crown Point Fire Department came to visit both Kindergarten classes at St. Mary Catholic Community School. Along with Crown Point Fireman Anthony Flynn, there were three 911 dispatchers that came to speak to the children about safety. The children were allowed to make practice calls to 911 and provide location information.
Students Take to the Streets of Crown Point in Support of Teachers - September 17, 2018
On the morning of Friday, October 21st, 2018, 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 10th, is organized by St. Mary’s Parish Council and Finance Council representatives, Penny Pappas and Lowell Killion. “We are very grateful for the education provided by the teachers and the foundation in the Catholic faith they share,” said Ms. Pappas.
St. Mary School's Annual Yearbook Signing Party Fun - August 20, 2018
St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point’s annual Back-to-School Ice Cream Social and Yearbook Signing Party was an enjoyable time for all! Students look forward to the annual tradition that takes place at the end of the day on the first Friday back to school. Yearbooks were distributed by teachers and popsicles were handed out by the Home and School Association with a group of parent volunteers. Students enjoyed signing one another’s yearbooks and capping off the first week of school in a fun way!
Creative Teacher at St. Mary's School Uses Toothpaste to Teach Important Lesson - August 17, 2018
At St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point, third grade teacher, Miss Rachel Skinner, began the school year with creative ideas, sticky toothpaste, and happy students. She organized a team building activity that was enjoyable and “hands-on” where the students squeezed out an entire tube of toothpaste as fast as they could. Next, the students used toothpicks to get as much toothpaste as possible back into the tube.
First Day of School at St. Mary's in Crown Point - August 16, 2018
Teachers at St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point gathered for a prayer at 6:55 AM. Shortly after, the doors were opened and a flood of students and parents eagerly poured into the building to start the first day of school. A similar tradition has been followed since the school opened in 1872. St. Mary’s offers grade levels Junior Pre-Kindergarten (for three year olds) through grade eight.