There have been several opportunities to get into the Christmas spirit at St. Mary’s! The Performing Arts Department took their Christmas Show on tour to Tennyson Court and several local grammar schools to spread some Christmas joy. There have been a couple of dress down days this month to support St. Mary’s families and local organizations who could use some extra help around the holidays. National Honor Society made Christmas cookies and distributed them to local nursing homes. Religion classes hosted two separate families through St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy for the holidays. Classes were asked to buy different items off a Christmas list for these families to help make their holiday one to remember.
The list of things that people can partake in to make this time of year truly a special one is endless. We do our best at St. Mary’s to open up as many doors as possible to as many students as possible for service opportunities. Our Lancers can make a real difference in the lives of others during this Christmas season!
At St. Mary’s, our faculty and staff always stress the importance of giving more than you receive, and what better time of the year to put that into practice? Senior Matthew Rosinski collected over 650 ornaments from St. Mary’s families to donate to Elderwood at Cheektowaga for the second consecutive year. Matthew began the ornament drive in 2017 to honor his late grandmother, Ruth Pearce, who was once a resident at Elderwood and loved the Christmas season! Thank you to all those who participated! We are so blessed to have students like Matt as a part of our Lancer family. You can see him here with the Director of Elderwood Larry Piselli and the bins of ornaments that will make some very special residents’ Christmases a little merrier.
St. Mary’s recently hosted College 101 Night where recent graduates came back for a panel-like discussion for our current students and their families. These alumni shared their stories and experiences on what life is like beyond the hallways of St. Mary’s. A special thanks to: Alyssa Zirnheld’16 from Mercyhurst University, Caitlyn Meyer ’17 from James Madison University, Carrie Kidder ’16 from Rochester Institute of Technology, Christian Szablewski ’18 and Mitch DiPirro ‘16 from St. Bonaventure University, Dani Hockwater ’15 from University at Buffalo, David Owczarczak ’16 from SUNY Erie Community College, Emily Bookmiller ’18 and Kendra Ciezki ’16 from The University of Alabama, Eric Brown ’18 and Shae Antonicelli ’18 from SUNY Geneseo, Leah Meyer ’15 from Duke University, Nino Marino ‘18 from Elmira College, and Shannon Murty ’18 from University of Rochester for coming back home to help our current bunch of Lancers!
St. Mary’s took their Christmas Show on tour once again this year, singing and dancing for local grammar schools and assisted living facilities to spread the joy of the season. The Glee Club, Handbell Choir, Tap Club, Ballet Club, kickline, and solo artists all showed their best stuff on the tour. Stops included Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament School (OLBS), Notre Dame Academy, Immaculate Conception, Tennyson Court, and The Greenfields.
Take a look at some photos from the festivities:
Kevin Sylvester of PGA Tour Entertainment and All Square Media LLC and formerly of the Buffalo Sabres joined Mr. Herr’s Public Speaking classes to give some pointers and go over the basics on what makes a public speaker so effective. Guest lecturers like Mr. Sylvester are part of St. Mary’s ongoing attempts to be innovative with our curriculum and engage students in lessons.
Russell J. Salvatore will once again make a huge difference in the Western New York community. He has made a substantial gift to St. Mary’s High School in Lancaster to help the school make up the deficit left by the Diocesan cuts announced last April.
Salvatore has been a friend to the town and village of Lancaster for decades and had actually been in discussions with the St. Mary’s High School Board of Trustees and Head of School, Kevin Kelleher over the past year to try and determine how to best help the school. The chance to help reverse the deficit caused by the Diocesan cuts provided a great opportunity for Mr. Salvatore to step in and immerse himself in St. Mary’s. Mr. Salvatore lives by the mantra his dad always expressed to him: “Give and you will receive.”
Salvatore has been impressed with the progress made at St. Mary’s and believes in the momentum the school has been able to garner. It is in large part because of Kelleher’s leadership and his administrative team that Salvatore felt confident in the school’s direction and in making his gift. Kelleher and Salvatore both share a passion for education and will work to ensure great schools, like St. Mary’s, are able to continue to offer a safe, innovative, faith-based environment for future generations of students. Salvatore knows the impact this type of donation can have on St. Mary’s High School, in an email he wrote: “Kevin, I am happy to be in a position to help the St. Mary’s students and their families. St. Mary’s is on such a great path and I see you, your leadership team and the Board working hard, you are making a difference and are doing outstanding things for the young people in our community, following a tradition I remember from when I moved out here 50 years ago. This should help keep the momentum going.”
St. Mary’s is primed to continue its 114-year tradition of educating the best young men and women in Western New York to become the leaders of tomorrow.
Earlier this Fall, the St. Mary’s Performing Arts Department announced that this year’s musical will be The Addams Family. If that announcement wasn’t exciting enough on it’s own, this year’s St. Mary’s production will be up for Kenny-award consideration, which celebrates the best of the best of high school theater Western New York.
Take a look at the cast list and wish our “ancestors” best of luck as they bring this story to “life” March 14th, 15th, and 16th at St. Mary’s High School. Stay tuned for information on when tickets will go on sale!
St. Mary’s celebrated the best and brightest the school has to offer with the induction of 30 new members into the Marian Chapter of the National Honor Society. These students represent the best of the four pillars of NHS: scholarship, service, leadership, and character. The future is bright for this group, and we cannot wait to see all of the things they accomplish over the rest of their time at SMH!
The new members are (in alphabetical order): Kayla Bestpitch, Sara Bojarski, Kelly Cleversley, Allison Cole, Grace Haxton, McKenzie Jensen, Marguerite Kellner, Myla Kline, Jennamae Lipiarz, Julia Livingston, Daniel May, Samuel Mickel, Ava Miller, Brendan Murty, Madison Nuttle, Rebecca O’Connor, Mary Owczarczak, Caleigh Pfalzer, Rachel Pokornowski, Nicholas Pronobis, Emily Renkas, Marie Rhodes, Emma Ridolfi, Matthew Rosinski, Destiny Severn, Carolynn Steffens, Kerry Sullivan, Jillian Szeluga, Jacob Wilk, and Jeffrey Zoyhofski
St. Mary’s Seniors had the times of their lives gallivanting around the happiest place on Earth on their senior trip! A whirlwind trip consisted of stops at Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom. The Class of 2019 took on all of the rides, shows, and attractions full force, packing hours of fun into each day and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Take a look at some photos from the senior trip to help put you into the moment:
Most high schoolers would be thrilled to be in the top 10% of their class academically, score ridiculously well on their SATs, be an All-WNY Volleyball player, and just be universally loved by everyone in their school. Those amazing facts are just a small part of St. Mary’s senior Hannah Mulhern’s story. Hannah was diagnosed with a brain tumor in her junior year of high school, putting a hold on life as she knew it and really calling into question if she would live to see her graduation day.
Melissa Holmes from WGRZ came to St. Mary’s to share Hannah’s story, and we are so pleased to share it with our readers as well. Please follow this link to watch the whole story!
The St. Mary’s High School Performing Arts Department put on its annual Fall Play in early November. This year’s installment was Pat Cook’s mystery-comedy Clockwork. The incredibly talented cast put on a wonderful show thanks to their hard work and the dedication and perseverance of the directors, Ms. Ruhland and Ms. Jackson. Congratulations on a wonderful performance!
Here’s what one of the actresses herself has to say in regards to a recap of the story:
By: Brianna Propis ’19
“It was only a matter of time before audiences roared with laughter and smiles on November 2nd and 3rd upon the curtains first opening to reveal the cast of Clockwork. The Dunwoody family and their kooky counterparts certainly made their presence well-known on the St. Mary’s stage this past weekend with a rather twisted form of Southern charm that certainly kept audiences guessing and chuckling until the end.
The story opened on the Dunwoody clan and their patriarch, Zack (played by Matthew Walter), merely interacting the way the family typically would on any given day of the week, though much of the conversation was directed towards Leon’s (played by Ben Stegmeier), Zack’s nephew, “wrenched leg.” Curiosity ultimately proved to be Zack’s downfall after Leon finally caved to his uncle’s constant prodding regarding how he hurt his leg— since the story was so comical that it made Zack literally laugh himself to death.
Immediately after his death, the grandfather clock located in their family room chimed for the first of many times throughout the remainder of the show, considering the Dunwoody family began to mysteriously die off one-by-one afterwards. Were the clock’s chimes merely coincidental, or did they somehow serve as a sort of prophecy to signify the death of yet another family member?
As the plot continued to unfold, each of the show’s cast members were able to showcase their talents and deliver a wonderful performance of their colorful characters that was virtually impossible for the audience to forget!
Although the rehearsals undoubtedly had their ups and downs, Clockwork was ultimately made possible through the immense dedication and hard work implemented into every last detail by Ms. Ruhland and Ms. Jackson. Through their crucial directing, each cast member was enabled to reach their full potential in presenting a wickedly hilarious glimpse into the Dunwoody family’s murder mystery!
Thank you to those who helped in the creation process of Clockwork during one or many stages of pre-production, and thank you to those who attended a showing and supported the St. Mary’s theatre department! None of this could be made possible without you.”
Editor’s Note: Brianna Propis brought the character of Dr. McMurry to life in this year’s production of Clockwork.