Financial Reality Fair Comes to St. Mary’s

St. Mary’s High School hosted a Financial Reality Fair presented by Bank on Buffalo on Thursday, February 16, 2023.

St. Mary’s juniors and seniors attended the nearly two-hour long fair in separate sessions. As stated on Bank on Buffalo’s website, “The fair is an immersive experience of tangible financial scenarios, allowing students to go through a simulation of real-life experiences related to spending, saving, and budgeting.”

“At St. Mary’s, we pride ourselves on preparing our students not just for college, but for life,” said St. Mary’s Dean of Academic Affairs, Keith Junik. “Our Lancer Life Curriculum includes courses like public speaking, personal finance, and leadership skills so our students graduate with some real-world skills that will be useful to them outside of the classroom. Exercises with outside organizations, like this Financial Reality Fair with Bank on Buffalo, really help take that curriculum to the next level and have it come to life,” Junik concluded.

Prior to the event, students chose the career they will most likely pursue and were then given an entry-level salary to go through the exercise with. Students challenged their assumed lifestyle against their career choice, making financial decisions like where to live, what kind of car to buy, choosing a health insurance plan, choosing cell phone plans and streaming platforms, spinning the “Whammy Wheel,” and much more.

“Our students really bought into this Financial Reality Fair,” Junik added. “They were engaged the whole time, rotating from station to station, and I think they were surprised to see that life after graduation, even with a solid career, might not be as easy as they thought. There are so many factors to consider, and it’s important for us, as an educational institution, to be able to provide our students with opportunities to be in those real-world situations, so they gain that invaluable experience,” Junik resolved.

Second Quarter Dean’s List

It’s hard to believe that the school year is more than halfway complete! As we look ahead to the second semester, we are proud of what these students on the Dean’s List have accomplished. Keep up the hard work, Lancers!

Academy Spotlight: Business, Finance, & Entrepreneuriship

ACADEMY SPOTLIGHT: OnCore Golf co-founder Bret Blakely spoke with members of the Business, Finance, & Entrepreneurship Academy along with the Journalism & Marketing Academy earlier this week. Bret spoke about his experience in getting OnCore Golf off the ground in 2011 and how it takes a great idea, a lot of hard work, some great people, and a little bit of luck to have a successful company. OnCore Golf is now one of the biggest names in the sport, and to have that type of company homegrown in Buffalo, NY is really inspiring to the students in the Entrepreneurship Academy.
Throughout his presentation, Bret gave some great business lessons to our students, and we are so appreciative to him for coming in to speak.
You can check out more about OnCore Golf here.

Alumni Meet Up in Tampa/St. Pete

In February, we had an amazing meet up with our Lancer alumni in the Tampa/St. Pete area. It was so great to catch up with so many alumni who moved away from the snow and cold.
As you can see, it was a beautiful afternoon at the Vinoy, as these Lancers reminisced about their days at St. Mary’s. Can’t wait for the next one! Keep your eyes peeled for where our next St. Mary’s meet up will be.
Photo 1: Classmates from 1984 – David Repka, Barbara Brueckl, & Bob Prindlville
Photo 2: Kay Danner & Beverley (Reid) Repka from the Class of 1963
Photo 3: Dan Saracki ’78 and his wife, Paula, Selene (Matuszewski) Partridge ’90, Jill (Schilling) Hampton ’75
Photo 4: Beth Anne Prindlville, Tanya Repka, David Repka ’84, Paul Danner ’62, Bob Prindlville ’84, Barbara Brueckl ’84, and Jared Repka ’87
Photo 5: Classmates from 1958 – Barbara (Gister) Pryor and Linda (Matteson) Reece
Photo 6: David Repka ’84 brought his letterman jacket, and it still fits

It’s Musical Time!

Follow the yellow brick road! We’re officially one month away from opening night of St. Mary’s 2023 spring musical, “The Wizard of Oz.” The cast, crew, and directors have been hard at work, and they can’t wait for family, friends, and supporters to see the show March 9th, 10th, and 11th.
If you’d like to help contribute to the show, you can donate an item from their Amazon Wish List or purchase an ad in the program. More information on how to purchase an ad can be found by calling the school at 716-683-4824.

Academy Spotlight: Education

ACADEMY SPOTLIGHT: After partnering with our neighbors at St. Mary’s Elementary School, the Education Academy has been getting some serious on-the-job experience. For the past couple of months, members of this Academy have been shuttled over to SME to actually be in the classrooms to work directly with the amazing teachers at St. Mary’s Elementary. Every member of the Education Academy has been able to gain experience in teaching all of the different grade levels and subject areas to really hone in on their passions and interests.
This type of experience is exactly what The Academies at St. Mary’s High School are all about. We are so appreciative to St. Mary’s Elementary for being so welcoming and cooperative as we worked out the details of this amazing program. The St. Mary’s families working together and enhancing each other’s academic programs is such a wonderful thing!

Academy Spotlight: Visual Arts

ACADEMY SPOTLIGHT: Members of the Visual Arts Academy recently embarked on The Memory Project. The intention of The Memory Project is to link children together all over the world through art. These portraits allow children to truly see each other, regardless of any cultural, religious, or circumstantial differences.
After applying to partake in The Memory Project, a school is then linked with a group of children facing some type of challenge in a different part of the world. St. Mary’s students painted portraits of children in Nigeria.
Now that these portraits are complete, they will be shipped to Nigeria and delivered to their likenesses to bring them a little sense of joy and hope.

Academy Spotlight: Law & Criminal Justice

ACADEMY SPOTLIGHT: The Law & Criminal Justice Academy welcomed a very special guest speaker, Stephen Kasper. Mr. Kasper is the father of St. Mary’s Spanish teacher, Mrs. O’Brien.
Mr. Kasper is a world renown consultant on fingerprinting and latent evidence and is even a published author on those topics. He retired from the Amherst Police Department, Lee County Sheriffs, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement and taught at Edison College.
With our students, he discussed the different types of fingerprints and what causes them to be left behind, showed them how to dust for fingerprints and lift them, and then worked in the lab with chemically processed fingerprints taken off of pop bottles and cans. So cool!

Senior Class Visits Historical Churches

As part of their senior portfolio project, the Class of 2023 visited two of the most ornate, historical, and just plain beautiful churches in the city of Buffalo as part of a class-wide field trip. The seniors visited Corpus Chirsti and St. Louis churches and learned from the wonderful staff the historical significance of each church and about so many of the amazing details hidden in these holy spaces.
After the tours, the class enjoyed a delicious lunch at Ilio DiPaolo’s. This day has become a great tradition for our seniors and something they look forward to throughout the year.

Academy Spotlight: Journalism & Marketing

ACADEMY SPOTLIGHT: The Journalism and Marketing Academy welcomed back SMHS alumnus, Daniel May ’20 to guest speak. Dan laid out the basic degree track for those students interested in majoring in public relations and showed examples of press releases and media advisories. This spring, Dan will be able to graduate a full year early thanks to the Advanced Placement credits he earned as a student at St. Mary’s.
Dan was also able to speak about his experience in gameday operations with the Buffalo Bills and in a summer internship with the Pro Football Hall of Fame that he was able to land after a very competitive application process.