Activities showcase school pride at St. Mary’s during Catholic Schools Week

Photo courtesy of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Joy Marquardt

The theme of “Faith, Excellence, Service” will commemorate National Catholic School Week from January 29 to February 4, 2023 at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Tomahawk.
“At Catholic School Week, we look forward to seeing how the children react and how they want to participate in the different activities we have planned,” says the school’s director of over 18 years. Juanita Skubal, a serving teacher and interim principal, said.
A week-long celebration Mass will be held at the church on Sunday, January 29 at 10:30 am, followed by a community gathering to serve cinnamon rolls at the Corpus Christi Center.
The spelling bee for grades 1 through 5 begins the school week on Monday, January 30th. The winner from St. Mary’s advances to the regional competition.
A school-wide retreat with devotion and worship will be held on Wednesday, February 1st, focusing on faith-building exercises and worship.
St. Mary’s Church students will travel to St. Francis Catholic School in Merrill and join students from Rhinelander, Medford and Merrill on Thursday, February 2nd for Mass by Bishop James Powers of the Upper Diocese.
“Our students really look forward to the Bishop’s Mass each year where they can see other Catholic school children,” said Skbal.
For this week’s service project, students are soliciting donations for the Ronald McDonald House in Marshfield with the goal of raising $500 for charity.
“Children know that it is young children and their families that they are helping,” said Skubal. “They are learning about kindness and caring for others, knowing that one day their family may need help.”
A themed dress-up day, snowman building at the Milestone Assisted Living Center, and other activities round out the week. The week ends with Grandparents’ Day on Friday, February 3rd, when students invite their grandparents and other relatives to school for a special mass and luncheon.
“Kids enjoy spending a special day with their grandparents, showing them what they do at Mass and experiencing it together,” said teacher Adam Gessler.
Gessler has taught 4th and 5th grade at St. Mary’s for seven years and has been a school volunteer for over 13 years.
“I really like the small school atmosphere here,” he said. “I have watched several children over the years and watched them grow. You form a unique bond with every child.”
Gessler uses a hands-on approach to learning and has taken classes on field trips to locations such as Tree’s for Tomorrow and Tree Haven to learn about areas outside the classroom.
“We do more learning outside the classroom, which is very beneficial,” he said.
Gessler built a hydroponic garden at the school. His class is cared for, utilizing resources from home and school committees. The garden he produced over 30 pounds of lettuce, used in schools and donated to other facilities.
“The older children are mainly responsible, but the whole school benefits,” he said.
Gessler’s class is often paired with underclassmen from St. Mary’s as reading buddies or as partners on school projects.
“His big kids are such a good role model for younger students,” Skbal said. “It warms my heart to see children learning from and helping each other.”
In addition to teaching Latin as an extracurricular activity for grades 2-5, Gessler supports school service projects such as Earth Day trash picking, leaf raking for veterans, and blanket making for the American Red Cross. increase.
“Kids are learning that they’re not everything,” Gessler said. “All are created equal, and in the image and form of God we are all the same. They think of others and learn value by treating all with dignity and respect. I’m listening.”
Both Skubal and Gessler are proud graduates of St. Mary’s and have kept in touch with some of their former teachers.
“We know what it was like when we went to school here, and we want to give others the same opportunity,” Skbal said.
Christi Lobermeier now has two children who attend St. Mary’s and volunteers in classrooms and various school activities.
“I love the fact that we participate and are allowed to be with the kids,” she said. It’s great to see them interacting with the children, and the school has a family-like atmosphere.”
Lobermeier appreciates not only the religious aspects of the school, but also its emphasis on kindness, respect and concern for others.
“They do things as simple as caroling downtown or smiling and waving at passing cars,” says Lobermeier. “Not everyone is having a great day, so if there’s anything you can do to make yourself feel better, it’s a great lesson to learn.”
St. Mary’s students do Walk for Virtues and sponsor children in Honduras with money raised from donations at Blue Jeans Fridays and other events.
“We also love the prayer elements and spirituality of St. Mary,” said Rovermeyer. “Catholic School Week is a celebration of being a small Christian school.
The school’s largest fundraising event, the annual Spring Gala, will be held on April 21st at Tomahawk’s Inshara Country Club with a Hawaiian theme. The event features activities such as the Silent Auction, Desert Auction and Time and Treasure Raffle.
Enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year is now available to all St. Mary’s students and will be open to members of the three sponsored parishes beginning January 30. General registration to the community opens on her February 10th. Call 715.453 for school details. .3542.

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