St. Mary's News
By: St. Mary of the Assumption School
About 50 future artists, ranging from 4 to 10 years of age, and their parents from around Van Wert County attended an “Art Around the World” Night at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School last Thursday evening.
The young artists were each given a passport to be stamped as they traveled from one country (art station) to the next. In all, they would travel to seven different places and create seven different works of art. Demonstrations and explanations for the children were given by St. Mary’s fifth and sixth grade students under the guidance of St. Mary’s teachers.
Young artists visited “Italy” where they did chalk drawings while listening to works of Antonio Vivaldi, an 18th century composer who was a renowned master of the violin. The young artists drew what or how the music made them feel. After that, children could travel to “Germany” were they made a Schultuete. At the beginning of every school year, children all over Germany set off with their large and shiny Schultuete, also called school cones. These over-sized, colorful school cones sweeten the child’s first day of school as they come filled with little gifts, school supplies and sweets.
While visiting “Africa,” children created an African ceremonial mask after looking at different examples inspired by original ceremonial masks. In “Australia,” they created an Aboriginal Dot Art painting using bright colors on pictures of indigenous Australian animals.
Next the young artists could go to “Russia” and create their own Pysanky egg. Pysanky, the art of the decorated egg, is an ancient and beautiful form of folk art from the Ukraine. From there children went to “Mexico” and created a mosaic tile. Children were able to place small pieces of tile and other materials together with glue to form a pattern. Finally, students made a stop in “New York City” to do a little graffiti art. Although people have been drawing on walls in caves since the beginning of time, this art form really took off in the 1970’s, when people began writing their names all over the city.
The fun night with family and friends concluded with punch and cookies, complements of St. Mary’s PTO. Everyone who attended seemed to really enjoy themselves and had interesting art projects to take home and enjoy.
The third through sixth grade students at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School recently visited Alliance Automation in Van Wert. The professionals at Alliance Automation are experts in designing and building automation systems that optimize a business production process. The students learned about small stand-alone machines, gauges and fixtures, and fully automated assembly lines. Students were able to see robots in action and learn about the growing automation industry. Elementary students at St. Mary’s are preparing for the future with technology classes focusing on computers as creative tools. Alliance Automation’s state of the art facility in Van Wert was a real source of inspiration to the students.
St. Mary of the Assumption School held its Third Annual Science Fair on April 16. The students were placed into multi-aged groups that consisted of students from fourth through sixth grades, with a fifth or sixth grade student as the group leader.
Students were challenged to choose a project that is important to science and that would help them to develop the scientific method. They worked on their projects for nine weeks at school and among group members’ homes. They
were then asked to determine a topic for their respective projects utilizing the library, Internet, and other available resources in problem-solving, creativity, decision making, design, and research through a hands-on approach. As the event drew near, students’ anticipation grew for the presentation of their project and poster boards.
The projects were scored by three judges: Barb Hesseling, Denny Hesseling, and Jim Bloomfield. After the scores were tallied by Dustin Hesseling (fifth/sixth grade teacher), two groups’ projects emerged as winners. In first place was “Food on the Floor (The Five Second Rule)” by Hanna Say, Anna Cassidy, and Emma Hatcher. Awarded second place was “The Goobusters (Oil Spills)” by Catherine Kopack, Liesel Lare, and
Mary Yackey, first grade teacher at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School, has been named one of the 2014-2015 Golden Apple Award winners. Through the generosity of the Jack and Rhodora Donahue Family Foundation, the Golden Apple Award has been established to honor outstanding individuals who devote their lives to teaching in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Toledo and the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School is the first school, in the history of the Golden Apple Awards to have its teachers win in consecutive years. Last year Therese Tate, St. Mary’s Kindergarten teacher, received the award.
Yackey will be attending an awards banquet on May 21 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg. She will receive a Certificate of Achievement, a Golden Apple with a 24 carat gold cross, a Golden Apple lapel pin, and a cash award of $5,000.
Yackey has taught first grade at St. Mary’s for the past 16 years. She serves as the LIFE Team Coordinator for the school. She is the lead teacher in the ACE Collaborative on Curriculum Development for Language Arts. She has served as mentor teacher for resident educators and as St. Mary’s Local Professional Development Committee representative for the State of Ohio Department of Education. She has been awarded Master Teacher status by the Diocese of Toledo and the Ohio Department of Education. In addition, she serves as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish.
Yackey is also involved in improving the Van Wert community. She assists with fundraisers at the Van Wert Elks and is in the Van Wert Civic Theater and Off Stage Productions. She also serves the Van Wert High School Swim Team by helping with the computer scoring and serves meals to needy at Bread and Bowl at First United Methodist Church.
“I find no greater joy than teaching in the Catholic school where I attended as a child,” says Yackey. “Through my role as a first grade teacher at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School, I am entrusted to serve my students as they embark upon both their educational and spiritual journeys. I take this honor very seriously, and I understand that the unique spiritual aspects of a Catholic education serve to help shape a child’s view of the world. I truly believe that our Project Based Learning model allows me to provide a “hands on” approach to learning that children embrace. In addition to its academic value, the model also challenges my students to explore the wonders of God and develop responsible human beings who will transform the world. I am blessed to be able to serve in St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School. I do so with a joyful heart, longing to bring all of my students closer to God. Together we are on a joyful journey.”
St. Mary’s Principal Dan Metzger comments, “Mrs. Yackey is an essential part of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School. As a principal, it is a great feeling to know that if I need help in getting something done, Mrs. Yackey will be one of the first people to step up and take it on. When you enter Mrs. Yackey’s classroom, you see a room buzzing with activity. Depending on the day or time, you may see students working independently at tables; interacting with each other at learning centers; using various means of technology, like a Smart Board and iPads to reinforce classroom instruction; or working on project-based learning lessons. You will also have a hard time finding Mrs. Yackey. She will more than likely be on her knees or in a small chair conferring with a student at the student’s eye level, or on the floor working with a small group. Mrs. Yackey understands that students have to be actively engaged in the learning process. Her classroom is a place of great discovery, adventure, and creativity. She is committed to making herself, her classroom, the whole school, St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, and the Van Wert community the best it can be and that is why she is truly deserving of this award.”
By Doug Heckler
It’s January and that means Catholic Schools Week cannot be far away at St. Mary of the Assumption School. The week of Jan. 25-31 has been designated for the annual, week-long celebration of the value represented by Catholic Schools nationwide.
Sunday kicks off with a pancake and sausage breakfast sponsored by the School Council from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.. The week officially gets started at the 10:30 a.m. mass assisted by students. After that, an open house of sorts will have booths set up in the Gym exemplifying activities at the school.
Monday sees Mayor Don Farmer offering a proclamation to the school for Catholic Schools Week, and the first round of the Quiz Bowl, (10:20-10:50 a.m.) with an awards ceremony recognizing the specialness of each student. Tuesday offers grandparents and parents the opportunity to share lunch with their students and round two of the Quiz Bowl (12:30-1:00 p.m.). On Wednesday, a representative from each class will visit the Hospice Center and present blankets that were made by their class. Thursday finds student representatives taking lunch to the Van Wert Fire Station employees along with semi-finals at the Quiz Bowl (12:30-1:00 p.m.) and in the evening (6:30-7:30 p.m.) Science Fun Night for ages 4-10 years with their parents. At noon on Friday, students will be allowed to change into jeans with blue and gold shirts as a part of St Mary of the Assumption Pride Day. The week’s activities conclude on Friday with the finals of the Quiz Bowl (12:30-1 p.m.) and an afternoon movie with popcorn in the gym.
By Douglas H. Heckler
On Sunday, I had the opportunity to spend “An Old Fashioned Christmas” with the voices of the St. Mary of the Assumption School student body.
This musical presentation offered the mix of children’s voices in renditions of “Deck the Halls”, “O Christmas Tree”, “ Angels We Have Heard on High”, “Joy to the World”, “ Jingle Bells”, and one tune I STILL cannot get out of my head… “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”.
Even Santa, in the form of a student, made an appearance during the performance of “Santa Claus”. As the finale, the lower grades came down off stage and offered further musical arrangements culminating in “Silent Night” as the curtain was drawn back on a scene taking us back to Bethlehem and a small stable at the edge of town, where a child is born.
Directed by Erin Stokes (who has taken over the musical direction and education for the school) and accompanied on the piano by Kathy Stewart, this event was very well attended as even the “media” bench was re-apportioned for guests and family members. Even Fr. Stan was part of the “standing room only” crowd. A big thank you goes out to all who participated in adding to our enjoyment of the Holiday Season.
By Douglas Heckler
On Thursday, Nov. 13, St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School held their annual Scripps Spelling Bee for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students. Students prepared for this local spelling bee by using materials provided by National Scripps Spelling Bee and Merriam-Webster.
The winner of this year’s event was fourth-grader Annie Renner. She correctly spelled “hazelnut” to become champion. She will now advance to the county level competition to be held at the Marsh Foundation in February. Finishing first runner-up was fourth-grader Emma Hatcher, who will serve as an alternate should Annie not be able to participate.
On Oct. 15, students at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School took part in a Mini Career Fair at their school. Student ambassadors from Vantage Career Center came to the school and demonstrated how they used science, technology, engineering, and math in their respective career schools.
St. Mary’s students were treated to presentations in the careers of welding, computer network systems, health technology, precision machining, electricity and carpentry.
Young students need additional exposure to careers that use science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and these Mini Career Fairs demonstrate in a short amount of time how STEM skills are used in local jobs. These demonstrations are often a “spark” to get students started talking about the kinds of things they like to do and what interests them.
By Douglas J. Heckler
St. Mary of the Assumption School students participated in the Van Wert County Apple Festival art contest and the Mile Fun Run October 17 and 18. Art students created three different art types for the show: grades 1-3 entered “In the Tall, Tall Grass” mixed media collages and ceramic turtles, grades 4-6 entered cast concrete leaves and Autumn tree drawings.
St Mary’s students who participated in the Mile Fun Run won first and second place in the girls’ 8 and under, first and third in the boys’ 8 and under, and second place in the girls’ 9 and 10 year olds.