Student Senate Gives Back to Women and Children’s Hospital

St. Mary’s High School’s Student Senate completed their year-long service project this week and delivered the fruits of their labor to Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. The students chose to hand-make 50 blankets so that newborns can go home from the hospital safe and warm!



Here are Collin Tytka ’17 and Ryan Tytka ’18 with Sue from Child Life Services at the entrance to Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.

Sophomores Take On Junior Robotic Surgery Challenge


Two Lancerss will be spending their summer learning about surgical robotics.  Sophomores Athena Mohamed (left) and Emily Molnar (right) have been selected to participate in the Junior Robotic Surgery Challenge (JRSC) at Roswell Park Cancer Institute of Buffalo.

Mohamed and Molnar were selected from a highly competitive field of candidates, between the ages of 16-19 and from across the country, in order to participate in the program. St. Mary’s AP Biology teacher Mrs. Kathleen Walh-Henshaw is extremely proud of the girls and the hard work they have displayed all year: “The application process alone for the robotics program is extremely rigorous,” Walh-Henshaw said. “This whole experience is a wonderful opportunity for Athena and Emily to really expand their knowledge in the science and medical fields and to learn the intricacies of robotic surgery, which is an incredibly fascinating field.”

Through the JRSC, students will be exposed to the Fundamental Skills of Robotic Surgery curriculum- also known as the primary method used to train robot-assisted surgeons at Roswell Park.  In addition to this exposure, students will have access to workshops and job fairs to really get a feel for the opportunities that await them in the fields of science, technology, and medicine.  At the end of the course, students will receive a certificate of completion in Introduction to Robotic Surgery.

St. Mary’s Annual Fashion Show

17973589_10155328774567139_3099812874239624698_oThe Lancer Parent Partnership held its annual Fashion Show at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens on April 25th.  The event was a huge success thanks to our wonderful student models, vendors who donated the beautiful clothing, and parents and staff who spent countless hours planning and executing the event.  Don’t these kids clean up nice?!

St. Mary’s voted for Donald Trump

votinga16St. Mary’s High School recently participated in the Presidential Voting Process through a series of events sponsored by the Social Studies Department.
In October, senior Participation in Government students visited other social studies classes to discuss the election process and share the platforms of the candidates.
On Monday, Nov. 7, the day before the rest of the nation voted, students and faculty who had pre-registered cast their votes. “Electoral” votes were then tabulated based on the size of the homeroom.
The results – taking the Electoral Votes 63-32 and the Popular Votes 65%-35% – was Donald Trump.
Thank you to all who participated in this project.

Theater Department nominated for 2017 Kenny Award

After an extensive application process, the St. Mary’s High School Theater Department has been notified that they have been nominated for a 2017 Kenny Award.

Now entering its 24th year, the Kenny Awards recognize and celebrate outstanding high school musical productions in the Western New York region. The volunteer Kenny judging panel, made up of area theatre and education professionals, views the productions of the program finalists throughout the year and selects nominees and award winners based on the productions they see.

This is the first time that St. Mary’s has been nominated for the Kenny Award.

The Department, as part of the nomination process, announced that the musical for Spring 2017 will be Fame.

Fame tells the story of several students who attend the High School of Performing Arts, among them fame-obsessed Carmen, ambitious actress Serena, wisecracking comedian/bad boy Joe, quiet violinist Schlomo, “talented but dyslexic” dancer Tyrone, determined actor Nick, overweight dancer Mabel, and poor dancer Iris. St. Mary’s last presented Fame in 2001.

Because of the amount of work necessary in preparing for the musical, the department has decided to change the audition dates. Auditions will now take place on Monday, Dec. 12, and Tuesday Dec. 13, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Call Backs will be on Wednesday, Dec 14. from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Cichockis mission to Dominican Republic

Cichockis MissionThis past summer, my family and I embarked on our very first mission trip to the Dominican Republic.
Along with other members from CenterPointe Community Church, we traveled for a week in August, to serve with SCORE International. Our mission was to reach out and be the body of Christ for those in need. Our main focus was to share the Gospel wherever we went. We shared the Gospel in words and actions by serving in areas such as vacation Bible school in remote villages, working with children in orphanages, visiting a nursing home, several work projects, and providing food to families.

The Monti Cristi Nursing Home and Casa de Luz (House of Light – an orphanage for severely handicapped children) are two of the ministries that we served. Our purpose was to love them and provide loving physical touch. The elderly at the nursing home and the children at the orphanage are there because no one else will care for them. We brought the love of Jesus to them and prayed that others would come to do the same.

Going into the villages for food distribution was something I will never forget. The food bags we distributed cost $10 and provided enough food for a family for two weeks. Each box included items like rice, pasta, beans, and canned fish. Even though that does not seem like it would feed a family for two weeks, families make it last by only eating one meal a day.

To prevent hunger they chew on sugar cane and often feed the kids “mud pies.”

We blessed others by serving and we were also blessed in the process. The smiles on people’s faces and the laughter of the children when we played are memories that we will cherish forever.

“To glorify God through missions in obedience to the Great Commission.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

  • Written by Rachel Cichocki ’18, Miranda Cichocki ’20, Connor Cichocki ’23, Mrs. Dianna Cichocki, & Dr. Jason Cichocki

Open House will be held on Friday, September 23

open-houseOpen House will be held on Friday, September 23 from 5-7 and Sunday, September 25 10-noon.

If your son or daughter is in sixth, seventh or eighth grade, attending an open house is ideal to begin the process of selecting a high school. Catholic high schools typically hold their Open Houses in September or October each year. Take this opportunity to visit schools you and your child are considering, talk to the teachers and the students, tour the school, and learn about academic programs and extracurricular activities. If you can’t attend an open house, call to schedule a personal tour.

Cast for Seussical the Musical announced

Following auditions during the first week back from Christmas Break, the directors of this year’s Spring Musical had the hard task of selecting the cast for the production of Seussical the Musical.

Congratulations to the following:

Cat in the Hat – Joseph Stoj
JoJo – Victoria Powell
Horton – Alex Hokaj
Gertrude – Grace Fuller
Sour Kangaroo – Anna Heerdt
Mayzie – Victoria Jankowski
Mayor – Eric Brown
Mrs. Mayor – Leah May
Judge Yertle the Turtle – Samuel Horton
Grinch – Collin Tytka
Vlad Vladikoff – Scott Brown
General Schmitz – John Connolly
Bird Girls – Joelle Cianciosa, Kendra Ciezki, Christina Federico, Helen Gibson, Erin Hufford, Shala Wright
Wickershams – Bradley Berchou, Benjamin Blackhall, Andrew Salamone
Dancers – Ashley Cruz, Marissa Dantonio, Sarah Filion, Joyce Hunziker, Jill Greene, Gabrielle Mauro, Hanna Strek, Jessa Syracuse, Kylie Wagner, Regan Weiss, Emma Winiarski, Madeline Wnuk, Maya Zelazny
Ensemble – Jennifer Baran, Rachel Cichoki, Matthew Ciezki, Allyson Fischer, Heather Gotro, Nicole Gorny, Samantha Grabski, Julia Hartloff, Karen He, Gary Li, Peter Li, Marissa Loniewski, Andrew Maziarz, Matthew MacDonald, Shannon Murty, David Owczarczak, Alicia Pacer, Marysia Paradis, Jennifer Piskor, Brianna Propis, James Roetzer, Jeffery Rosner, Nicholas Samson, Andrea Seeloff, Kristi Smith, Julia Soluri, Jillian Vitale, Kathryn Vogl, Frida Zheng.

Tickets for the March 10, 11, and 12 performances of Seussical will go on sale on Monday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 a.m. in Mr. Kidder’s Office (behind the Library).
Tickets are reserved seating only. No tickets will be sold before February 22.
The tickets cost $8 for adults, $5 for high school or college students, children, and senior citizens. A weekend pass for all three performances is also available at $20 each (may not be all same seats).
More information is available by calling Mr. Kidder at 683-4824, ext. 215.

Meet the new teachers at St. Mary’s High School

This year, St. Mary’s High School welcomed three new teachers: Dr. Kirsten Eurenius (Chemistry), Ms. Meaghan Hillery (Art), and Mr. Ryan Kaminski (Music). With a semester now “under their belt,” let’s meet the new teachers and learn about what makes them special.

1. Tell us about yourself.

KE: My chemistry education started with a wonderful high school teacher, Mr. George, at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD, then continued with a chemistry major at Cornell University, a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from U.C.L.A., and a three year research position as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health. As much as I appreciated my time at N.I.H., I quickly realized that my heart belongs with teaching, not research. When my post-doctoral position ended, my family was transferred to Laredo, Texas, where I was able to teach at the Laredo Community College and the Texas A&M campus there. My husband’s job necessitated lots of travel and some moving, and finally we landed in his hometown of Buffalo, where I became an adjunct in chemistry at Buffalo State College. I greatly enjoyed my nine years there, but as an adjunct I felt I was never truly a part of the Buffalo State community.
MH: I started painting when I was six years old and knew that I wanted to be an Art Teacher by the time I was 13. For high school I went to Mount Mercy Academy in Buffalo, and took as many art classes as possible. I then furthered my education at Daemen College. In the past I have worked at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Orchard Park, St. Joseph School in Gowanda, St. John the Baptist in Alden, and Nativity of Our Lord in Orchard Park. I have also worked at South Park High School in Buffalo. I am currently working on my Master’s Degree, and during my free time I am always drawing and painting to work on my techniques.
RK: Professionally, I’ve received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia and Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, respectively. Prior to St. Mary’s I had worked as a long-term substitute music teacher in a few school districts including Clarence, Fredonia, South Glens Falls, and Cleveland Hill. Last year I worked as the Chorus Manager for the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. Personally, I grew up in Lancaster and attended Lancaster High School. I’ve always been involved in the performing arts, in many different ways: I write & record music (my latest EP Where It Starts is on iTunes & Spotify), I play guitar & sing in a cover band (Exit 59), I sing with a professional a cappella choir (Harmonia Chamber Singers), I perform in plays and musicals around Buffalo (my next show is Children of Eden at the Lancaster Opera House). During the summertime I direct children’s theater through the Lancaster Youth Bureau and I direct the Lancaster Depew Community Chorus.

2. Why St. Mary’s High School?

MH: A few years back I had originally interviewed with St. Mary’s and from there I went on to teach at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Growing up attending Catholic School I was able to fit right in with the faculty, staff, and students easily. From all of the experience I have gathered in the past few years, I was able to come back to St. Mary’s this year with many great new ideas and a refreshed excitement. I am in love with the sense of family and community throughout the school, and I am honored to be a part of it.
RK: It’s always been a dream of mine to teach at the high school level; I feel I have the most to offer to students in this age group. I’m also a fan of the small-school setting; to me it feels more like a family than some of the bigger schools at which I’ve taught. In addition, I appreciate that St. Mary’s offers Keyboard/Guitar, Rock ‘n’ Roll History, and other exciting music electives; most schools don’t offer options like that. So I love that I get to come in and teach these fun classes.

3. What do you think of St. Mary’s so far?

KE: I am delighted that I have found a position teaching at St. Mary’s! The faculty and staff are wonderful – inspiring, dedicated, and inclusive – and the students have been a joy to get to know.
MH: Now that I have been here for a semester I am focused on all of the great things that I am looking forward to accomplishing with the students. I am having a great time teaching the students, and sometimes the students will teach me something new here and there. I think the best experiences always involve having someone realize their true potential and really open up artistically.
RK: I was just telling Mrs. Kranz the other day that I don’t even feel like a new teacher anymore. I’m still learning every day, but now that I have a semester under my belt, my comfort level with being at St. Mary’s is much higher than it was on day one. I also feel more connected to the students now, and that’s what it’s really all about. I’ve had so many great experiences, it’s hard to name just one… I think putting on the Christmas Show with the Glee Club was definitely a highlight.

4. What about the second semester?

KE: This upcoming semester I’m working on taking my General Chemistry and Regent’s Chemistry students into a more mathematical understanding of chemistry while exploring DNA analysis and other analytical techniques with my Forensics class.
MH: In the second semester we are running 2D Studio in Art, 3D Studio in Art, Advanced Ceramics, and Digital Art. I am looking forward to having the students explore more art paths and really opening up their imagination. I am also looking forward to going to the major Spring events – such as the Lancer Auction, the Fashion Show, Fine Arts Night, and then finally going to Art Alive with the students.
RK: The second semester will feature the school musical Seussical and the Evening of Fine Arts – so both of those events are going to be huge projects for me. Ask the students in Seussical and they’ll tell you, I can hardly contain my excitement about that show. I LOVE IT!! Next semester, I’d also like to increase the size of the Glee Club and the Praise Band – so if anyone is interested, let me know!

5. Any other thoughts?

KE: St. Mary’s is a treasure, and I’m excited to have finally found a teaching home!
RK: I just want to thank the students, staff, faculty, and administration for being so welcoming to me as a new teacher. Every morning when I drive to work I think about how fortunate I am to get to do this every day. Thanks for your support.