Category Archives: Uncategorized

Karen Flake to be Inducted into Women’s Hall of Fame

Mount St. Mary Academy President and CEO Karen Flake was announced this week as a 2018 inductee into The Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the history of accomplishments and recognizing women across the state of Arkansas. Ms. Flake will be among the seven women and one organization recognized for significant contributions to Arkansas and to their respective fields at the fourth annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony on August 30 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

 

Past inductees to the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame have included Maya Angelou, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Alice Walton and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas among many others. The organization also provides women encouragement and inspiration from stories shared by these great women.

 

Read more about the 2018 class of Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame inductees here.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juniors and Families Celebrate Ring Mass

On April 29, the Mount St. Mary Academy Class of 2019 received their class rings at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Church. Following their entering procession and the blessing of the rings by MSM Chaplain Monsignor Lawrence Frederick, the 122 juniors with their families celebrated a mass to mark their call to leadership as next year’s seniors. The Class of 2019 adopted the theme of “Guardians of the Path” at their class retreat earlier in the month, and they will wear the rings as a symbol of their class unity and leadership.

 

After the Mass the juniors joined outside the church for photos and the long-standing tradition of asking friends and loved ones to turn the rings. The turning represents the year of graduation; for the Class of 2019, the rings were turned 19 times. Congratulations to next year’s leaders: The Mount St. Mary Academy Class of 2019!

 

More photos of Junior Ring Mass: https://flic.kr/s/aHskAYjpmh

MSM Senior to “Just Keep Swimming” at Franciscan University

On May 2, MSM senior Evelyn Nick shared her intent to continue her academic and athletic pursuits at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. While she thanked coaches, family and friends for joining her as she signed on to swim with the “Barons,” Evelyn says the offer to join the college team just tipped the scale leading up to her decision to attend a Catholic University.

 

“Everyone just so loves their faith,” said Evelyn, describing the Catholic environment on campus, “and I really wanted to be surrounded by other peers excited about their faith because it will push me next year to be better in my faith.”

 

As a Eucharistic Minister at MSM and a member of the MSM Campus Ministry Team as well as the Youth Advisory Council for the Diocese of Little Rock, Evelyn said that she was impressed by the number of daily masses available to the students at Franciscan, the numbers of students in line for Reconciliation and the Catholic ethics incorporated in the academic teaching. Evelyn plans to major in biology and said the focus on ethics in the science classes was important for her and anyone interested in going pre-med. When she discovered an opportunity for her to join the swim team at the Catholic university, she knew she had found a place to call home.

 

“Swimming is my one thing I really love doing, and I know that if I’m stressed, I love to go swim and get my stress out,” said Evelyn. “It’s relaxing for me, so I’m looking forward to having that outlet, with the stress of college, to be able to relax while at the same time I’m working hard.”

 

Evelyn has been swimming since she was four years old, competitively since the age of six, and she swims freestyle and butterfly for the Belles swim team. She has been a member of the Mount St. Mary swim team all four years. This year Evelyn and her fellow Belles relay members qualified for state in the Girls 200 Yard Freestyle Relay and the Girls 400 Yard Freestyle Relay.

 

Evelyn said she has learned a lot about herself in leadership positions at Mount St. Mary. Not only was she one of two seniors to lead the Belles swim team this year, but she also held leadership roles as president of both the MSM Latin Club and Mu Alpha Theta math honor society. In leading the swim team, she stressed how a good attitude plays an important part in helping her team meet their goals, and while she’ll be one of the new team members next year, she says she’s excited to take what she’s learned about herself at Mount and apply it to the Barons team.

 

Evelyn said, “I feel like I’ll have a lot more respect [for the senior members of the team] and I feel like I’ll be a lot more likely to go off of their example because they know what they’re doing.”

 


 

 

 

 

MSM Students Teach Water Quality with EKIP Program

On April 27 Mount St. Mary biology and chemistry students participated in water quality testing at Lake DeGray State Park in Arkadelphia with the Army Corps of Engineers. The day was offered as part of the Every Kid in the Park (EKIP) grant program, an initiative and incentive developed by the National Park Foundation (NPF) to engage 4th grade students in the outdoors and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates.

 

Approximately 100 4th grade students participated in the Lake DeGray program with a trail hike and hands-on experience testing the water quality of the lake with the MSM students, who demonstrated how to check the pH, Nitrates, Phosphates, Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen.

 

Afterwards, Mr. Doug Hanson from the Arkansas Geology Survey led the MSM students on a tour of the Lake DeGray Spillway geological formation, which is considered a world-class example of deep water sedimentary deposition. The field trip to Lake DeGray concluded the chemistry classes’ unit on water and the environment.

 


 

 

 

Concert Belles Chorus Earns Best In Class Awards at State Festival

The Mount St. Mary Academy Concert Belles earned yet another “Superior” Rating at the State Choral Festival hosted by the University of Central Arkansas on April 13. Adding another plaque to an already crowded wall of awards, this year’s chorus received two BEST IN CLASS awards: 2018 6A Best Medium Female Chorus and 6A Best Medium Chorus Overall.

 

The State Festival by the Arkansas Choral Directors Association (ACDA) invites the best choirs from around the state to come together to make beautiful music, have fun and perform for a panel of judges. To be eligible for participation in the state festival, ensembles and choruses must receive a minimum composite rating of “Excellent” at the region Choral Performance Assessment in early March. The Concert Belles performed three songs at the state festival, two of which they had perfected since the CPA and one new piece, said MSM Choral Director Chelsea Frazier.

 

“Every single year, people are RAVING over what these girls can do, from the warm-up room to the stage,” said Ms. Frazier, commenting on how much positive feedback the chorus received from choir directors, other high school students and student workers from around the state. “It is such a humbling and rewarding experience, and I want [everyone] to be aware of how amazing these girls are!”

 

To receive a “Division I – Superior” rating at the State Festival represents “the finest possible performance for the event,” according to the ACDA website. Out of approximately fifteen other choirs within their classification, the Concert Belles received the highest total score, with their superior rating earning the distinction of “being recognized as among the very best.”

 

This is not the first year the Mount St. Mary Concert Belles chorus has competed against 6A medium choruses from larger schools and come away with Best in Class awards. Because of the school’s size, Mount St. Mary Academy would be considered closer to the Arkansas Activities Association 5A classification, except the all-female status combines enrollment with the all-boys school and increases the classification for choral assessment to 6A — 7A for athletic teams. Still, the Concert Belles have consistently fared well at the state festival; the chorus earned the 6A Best Medium Female Chorus and Best Medium Chorus Overall in 2017 and was awarded Best Medium Female Chorus in 2016.

 


 

 

 

MSM Students Hit the Road for College Trip 2018

Thirty Mount St. Mary students, along with MSM counseling staff, spent three days in April touring colleges throughout the region. The road trip included visits to colleges and universities in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, where students were encouraged to walk the campuses, speak with school representatives and ask questions to get a feel for some of the different college choices to consider.

 

College Trip 2018:

Berry College   Rome, Georgia

University of Georgia  Athens, Georgia

Auburn University  Auburn, Alabama

University of Alabama  Tuscaloosa, Alabama

University of Mississippi  Oxford, Mississippi

Christian Brothers University  Memphis, Tennessee

Rhodes College  Memphis, Tennessee

 

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Spring Awards Season Kicks into High Gear

As Mount St. Mary students approach the final months of the school year, a number of our students, teams and organizations will be moving on to state and national competitions. We congratulate all of our student groups for their hard work and dedication this semester!

 

CHEMISTRY

Annie Quo and Sterling Snape qualified to compete in the National Chemistry Olympiad on April 21.  They were among the top ten students in the state who participated in the Arkansas Chemistry Olympiad.

 

POETRY

Mount St. Mary Academy seniors in Ms. Madey’s Creative Writing class won four of the six awards in the 2018 Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas Sybil Nash Abrams Memorial Student Contest.

2nd Place                                Raehana Anwar           “i am six”
3rd Place                                 Stephanie Verdaris     “Texas and Arkansas”
1st Honorable Mention      Hannah Brockette       “Lake Days”
2nd Honorable Mention     Grace Cassie                 “Love Letter”

 

PHYSICAL FITNESS

The JROTC Fitness Team placed first at the Arkansas State High School Championships 2018.

Annie Quo

Addie Farquharson 

Chloe Farquharson 

Anna Goodman

Yesica Reyes

Audrey Caruthers 

 

CONCERT BELLES

On March 1, the Concert Belles received another distinguished rating at the regional Choral Performance Assessment. They scored all I’s and were awarded a Division I plaque. This rating qualifies the choral ensemble for the Arkansas Choral Directors Association State Festival at the end of April.

The Harmony Belles received an overall Division II rating and a Division I in sight-reading at the regional assessment.

Concert Belles:

Raehana Anwar

Megan Brown

Lexi Caruthers

Clara Cordell

Rylee Gibson

Maya Giuffria

Cameron Heslip

Lexie Holley

Christina Kaufman

Anne Lashbrook

Mary Chandler Lindsey

Anna Kate Manchester

Regan Moss

Amelia Ochoa

Leah Paige

Emma Parker

Olivia Parker

Carol Stover

Ana Thompson

 

FORENSICS
The Forensic (Performance Speech and Theatre) Team had an amazing season, participating in five tournaments and placing in speech and theatre events such as storytelling, poetry, prose and duet improv. The team earned their first OVERALL SWEEPSTAKES awards, receiving first place overall at the Searcy tournament and second overall at the ASU Jonesboro tournament. They will be competing at the Forensics Arkansas State Championship held April 6-7 in Springdale, Arkansas.

 

The following students qualified to compete in the state tournament:

Amalie Shollmier

America Alejandri

Anna Farmer

Anna Palmer

Avery Appleton

Emily Delfos

Emily Werner

Hannah Burrus

Holly Marr

Karina Singh

Lexie Holley

Lily Eagan

Lindsey Taylor

Sarah Cate Lay

Sydney Austen

 


2018 Tuition Raffle Winner Announced

Congratulations to the Moreland family, this year’s winner of the Belle Booster Tuition Raffle. The second annual tuition raffle offered a chance to win a year of free tuition to parents of current students and 8th graders planning to attend Mount St. Mary Academy for the 2018-2019 school year. The drawing  was held on March 15 at the Mount St. Mary Academy Lip Sync.

 

The raffle proceeds benefit student clubs, organizations and athletic teams at Mount St. Mary Academy. Thank you to all the families who participated in the tuition raffle to support programs for MSM students!

 

Photo: Mount St. Mary 10th grader Naomi Moreland is announced the winner of the 2018-2019 tuition raffle, accompanied by MSM Special Events Coordinator Lauren Clay, Principal Angie Collins, President Karen Flake and Director of Institutional Advancement Kirsten Dickins.

 


 

 

 

Biology Class Attends Women in STEM Leadership Conference

On March 9, 2018, Ms. Johnson’s 4th period Honors Biology class attended a Women’s STEM Leadership Conference at University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. They were invited by Dr. Sederick Rice, biology professor and director of the UAPB ​​ STEM Center and a current MSM parent.

 

The keynote speakers were incredible professional women in various areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Mount St. Mary students also participated in various breakout sessions: DNA extraction, robotics and math methods.

 


 

New Education Savings Opportunity for Catholic School Families

Did you know the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act expanded 529 savings plans to allow families to invest funds for K12 tuition in addition to higher education expenses?  As of January 1, 2018, up to $10,000 can be used from a 529 plan for tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school.​

 

A new fact sheet jointly issued by the National Catholic Education Association and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops explains the changes for parents of children in Catholic schools and answers many of the questions you may have.

 

Download the 529 plan fact sheet.

 


 

 

 

 

MSM Chapel Sees Renovation, Restoration

This year during Catholic Schools Week, January 28-February 3, Mount St. Mary Academy held a special dedication for the newly renovated school chapel. Those involved say the generosity of donors and volunteers made it all possible.

 

“We started work at the end of last school year, and we had the help of so many talented people,” said Mount St. Mary Academy President Karen Flake. “With insight from from alumna Elaine Kelly Green ’04, artist Kevin Kresse, and school administration, we began to see a vision for a lighter, brighter school chapel, full of inspiration for our students.”

 

The Mount St. Mary Academy Chapel, first built in 1982 when the 1908 school building was razed, offers students a place to sit and pray, meditate and host visiting speakers for theology classes. Mass is held in the chapel twice a week by MSM Chaplain Monsignor Lawrence Frederick.

 

While the beautiful stained glass from the original convent provided a calming and spiritual backdrop for these activities, much of the room was in need of updates. The renovation included replacement of the wall coverings as well as new seating, drop-ceiling and carpet to lighten the appearance and remove allergens.

 

A beautiful, back-lit crucifix depicting Jesus at the Resurrection was crafted by local artist Kevin Kresse and gifted to the school in memory of Rev. Monsignor Bernard G. Malone by his nephew and former Mount St. Mary Chaplain, Monsignor Francis I. Malone and the Joseph V. Malone, Sr., family of Philadelphia. Kresse is a Catholic High School alumnus with several sisters who graduated from Mount St. Mary Academy. Monsignor Malone received an early assignment at Mount St. Mary as a young priest and has remained involved with the school, now serving on the Mount St. Mary Academy Board of Directors.

 

In order to inspire on campus the spiritual presence of the Sisters of Mercy who founded the school, several items from the Mount St. Mary Convent Chapel were relocated to the school chapel as well. Mount St. Mary Campus Ministry Director LouAnn Gieringer shared how MSM students will now be able to observe the Stations of the Cross with the addition of 14 wooden stations from the Sisters. Other items from the chapel included a marble holy water font and a framed copy of the St. Pudenziana painting of “Mary Mother of Mercy” from one of the oldest churches in Rome. A letter dated July of 1890 explained the original painting had been blessed and a reproduction commissioned by Pope Leo XIII, who had given it to the Sisters of Mercy as a sign of deep appreciation for the work of their entire congregation.

 

At the dedication ceremony on January 31, President Flake thanked the donors present, and MSM Chaplain Monsignor Lawrence Frederick gave a special blessing for the chapel. The renovation was made possible by gifts from Nabholz Charitable Foundation; Libby and Lee Hastings, Michelle and Stan Hastings, and Cathy (Hastings ’76) and Steve Owen in honor of Rosalyn Jones Hastings ’48; the Mount St. Mary Class of 2016; and an anonymous donor.

 

With the joyful dedication of the renewed chapel, all in the school community are encouraged to visit this chapel in prayer to rededicate their life, work and efforts to the Lord and shine Christ’s Light to the world.

 

 


 

 

 

Catholic Schools Week 2018: Dozen Reasons to Choose

Today marks the beginning of National Catholic Schools Week 2018! This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” We’re proud of to be a part of Catholic education and the many contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.
Read below a dozen reasons to choose Catholic schools. #CSW18

 

  1. We offer an education that combines Catholic faith and teachings with academic excellence.
  2. We partner with parents in the faith formation of their children.
  3. We set high standards for student achievement and help them succeed.
  4. We provide a balanced academic curriculum that integrates faith, culture and life.
  5. We use technology effectively to enhance education.
  6. We instill in students the value of service to others.
  7. We teach children respect of self and others.
  8. We emphasize moral development and self-discipline.
  9. We prepare students to be productive citizens and future leaders.
  10. We have a 99 percent high school graduation rate. 85 percent of our graduates go to college.
  11. We cultivate a faculty and staff of people who are dedicated, caring and effective.
  12. We provide a safe and welcoming environment for all.

 

The National Catholic Educational Association

NCEA.org/csw

From the MSM Family: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Our hearts are lifted in praise this Christmas for the wonderful gift of Jesus and the joy He brings to our lives.  May God fill your life with hope, faith, joy and peace this holiday season and throughout the new year!

 

Thank you to all of our Mount St. Mary campus ministry team members who helped to make this Advent season so special for our MSM school community by sharing their reflections with us.

 

 

Christmas Reflections 
by Mallory Wine, Breanna Racher, Mary Claire Fox, Julia Bates, Kaci Elrod

 

 

 


 

 

 

Advent Week 4: PEACE

With only one day until Christmas, the fourth week of Advent may not be long but calls us to commit ourselves to PEACE in the world. During the fourth week of Advent, student campus ministry team member Regan shares her family tradition of volunteering during the holidays to share God’s peace with others.

 

Fourth Week of Advent: PEACE

by Regan Moss

 

 

 

Advent Week 3: JOY

Mount St. Mary Academy students and faculty are filled with JOY now that exams are finished and holiday break has begun! During the third week of Advent, our student campus ministry team member Kassidy reflects upon the rose-colored candle of the Advent wreath and how it reminds us that joy is very much a part of growing closer to God this Advent season.

 

Third Week of Advent: JOY

 

by Kassidy Reyes

 

 

Advent Week Two: FAITH

Bishop Anthony Taylor joined the Mount St. Mary community for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. During the second week of Advent, our student campus ministry team members reflected upon the Nativity and shared about what the Nativity teaches us about faith and how we can live our faith during Advent.

 

Second Week of Advent: FAITH 

 

by Evelyn Nick ’18 and Anne Moehllers ’18

 
 

 


 

 

 

 

The Season of Advent is Upon Us: Week One

This Christmas we will be sharing the expectant waiting of the Advent season with our school community by giving special time for reflection and contemplation in the upcoming weekly Belles Blasts. Our student campus ministry team members will be offering reflections on their favorite Advent traditions in order to extend the preparation for Christmas in our minds and hearts. We invite you to join in the scripture readings, follow the weekly tips and enjoy the spiritual enrichment of the Advent season as together we prepare for the coming of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

 
First Week of Advent: HOPE
 
by Addison Bridges ’18 and Hailey Grillo ’18

 

 
 
 

 

 

Robin Hood Days Food Drive Kicks Off Holidays at MSM

This year Mount St. Mary students collected more than 51,242 canned good items as part of the school’s Robin Hood Days collection for charity. The annual food drive provides holiday meals for Arkansas families in need. Robin Hood Days culminated on Friday, November 17, with a frenzy-filled morning, as local food agencies received the donations and school administration counted the collected cans to measure against the school’s goal of 30,000 cans.

 

Each grade level met their class goal in order to participate in an off-campus lunch in January. This year’s winning class was the senior class, who collected 16,255 cans. Over the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving break, students collected cans from family, friends and neighbors, in addition to holding fundraisers like the “We CAN Wednesdays” and “Beans for Jeans” spirit days and a viewing of the movie Sister Act. The organizations that received the cans and donations were Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock and the Arkansas Foodbank.

 

It is estimated that more than 1 million canned goods have been collected by Mount St. Mary Academy since the school-wide Robin Hood program began in 1974.

 


 

 

 

Parks Award Honors Mount St. Mary Volunteer Service

We are thankful for our wonderful City of Little Rock and the Parks and Recreation Department, who hosted the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon held on Wednesday, November 15, at the Southwest Community Center in Little Rock. Mount St. Mary Academy was awarded the “Maintenance Volunteer of the Year” award for our Mercy Day work, cleaning up Allsopp Park alongside the Parks Department. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of all you do to make our city such a great place to live!

 

 


 

 

 

MSM Open House Welcomes Grades 5-8 to Discover “Why Mount?”

On Sunday, November 12, Mount St. Mary Academy hosted its annual Open House, where families of young women in 5th-8th grades got a glimpse of life at the all-girl school. They toured the school, asked questions and attended sessions on areas of interest.

 

If you know of someone who was “Born to Be a Belle,” please contact Director of Admissions, Annie Cross, at 501.664.8006 to schedule a tour.

 

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Did You Know? Robin Hood Days Fun Facts

The season of Thanksgiving at Mount St. Mary Academy cannot be mentioned without including the longstanding tradition of the Robin Hood Days can drive.  While graduates remember their own Robin Hood Days stories, we often hear questions like “How long has the can drive been held at MSM?” or “How many cans have been donated over the years?”

 

After a little digging into the history of this cherished school charity, we found out some Robin Hood Days Fun Facts that we’d like to share!

 

Robin Hood Days Fun Facts

 

Courtesy of the Mount St. Mary Academy Archives

 

 

 

Photo Credit: The Mercian, 2013

 


 

Sister Act Opens November 30

presented by the Mount St. Mary Arts Department

November 30 – December 2nd
7pm, 
Catholic High Auditorium

 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and may be purchased at the door.

 
“When disco diva, Deloris Van Cartier, witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won’t be a found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community but, in doing so, blows her cover. Soon, the gang is giving chase, only to find them up against Deloris and the power of her newly found sisterhood.”

Rated PG.


Katie and Leah’s Stories: MSM students are elevating expectations

Raising remarkable women begins by raising their own expectations. Hear from them yourself at Open House on November 12, and learn about some of the ways girls grow and thrive at Mount St. Mary Academy in the last two videos of the Elevating Expectations series: stories of MSM students.

 

PLAY VIDEOS:http://mtstmary.edu/whymount/AND SHARE with any young women you know who would benefit from an excellent, faith-based all-girl education.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Welcome to November – a season of Thankfulness

This month and the next are all about looking beyond ourselves and recognizing the needs of others.  We launched our season of Thankfulness with the Robin Hood Days canned food drive, challenging each class to raise 8,000 cans for the drive.  We encourage each family to contribute and ask others (friends, family, neighbors) to contribute to our drive.

 

Caroline Martine ’19, in her Call to Worship this past Wednesday (All Saints Day Mass), spoke of her admiration for Blessed Father Stanley Rother’s example of living our faith.  In the Call to Action, Sophie Chier ’19 challenged each of us to “give of ourselves in all aspects of our lives.”

 

Catherine McAuley (our Foundress) said, “Our divine Savior’s example should be before us under all circumstances, particularly in exercising charity towards our neighbor” (Practical Sayings, pages 4 – 5).  As a school, we have embraced the Mercy charism and a “can-do,” practical attitude toward the suffering of those in need.  Thank you for supporting our school’s mission and blessing us with your daughters.  We are Thankful.

 

 

What’s your story? MSM students are elevating expectations

Raising remarkable women begins by raising their own expectations. Hear from them yourself at Open House on November 12, and learn about some of the ways girls grow and thrive at Mount St. Mary Academy in the first two videos of the Elevating Expectations series: stories of MSM students.

 

PLAY VIDEOS: http://mtstmary.edu/whymount/  AND SHARE with any young women you know who would benefit from an excellent, faith-based all-girl education.

 

 


 

 

 

Partnership with Hendrix offers Aspire Scholarship for MSM students

On Monday, October 30, Mount St. Mary President Karen Flake and Principal Angie Collins met with Hendrix College President Bill Tsutsui and members of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion to discuss the Hendrix Aspire Scholarship program available to Mount St. Mary students. Mount St. Mary signed on with Hendrix in 2015 as one of the original program partners to provide students with the opportunity for a top-class liberal arts and sciences education.

 

The Aspire Scholarship program covers up to the full cost of attendance (tuition, fees, on-campus housing and meals, and other expenses) for Federal Pell Grant-eligible students from partner secondary schools and organizations. Recipients of the Aspire Scholarship are also given support to encourage academic achievement and engage them in activities to advance their vocational interests.

 

Students interested in the Hendrix Aspire Scholarship will need to complete the FAFSA and the Hendrix admission application by the November Early Action I deadline of November 15. For information, please contact the MSM Counselors Office.

 


 

 

 

Student writer: Love of God breaks through body insecurity

 

Thank you to Olivia, Mount St. Mary senior and member of The Mount newspaper staff, for sharing her faith and talent as a regular contributor to the Arkansas Catholic Young Faith column. Young Faith is a column series featuring Catholic student writers from Catholic and public schools in Arkansas. They share stories of struggle and triumph in their lives, all through a lens of faith.

 

Her most recent article was published in the Oct. 26 edition of Arkansas Catholic.

 

https://www.arkansas-catholic.org/columns/column/5354/Love-of-God-breaks-through-body-insecurity

 


 

Booster Club’s Chills & Thrills 5K celebrates second year

A beautiful fall day in Arkansas welcomed more than 200 runners, walkers, children and pets to take part in the second annual Chills & Thrills 5K Run/Walk and Fun Run on the Mount St. Mary Academy campus.

 

MSM Rockettes cheered on race participants, some dressed in seasonal costumes, to start the challenging course throughout the Hillcrest neighborhood. Highlights included water stops with MSM costumed cross country team members as well as the “Nightmare on Elm Street,” the culminating hill before the 5K home stretch.

 

Children ages 6 to 12 had the option of participating in the one-mile Monster Dash, which circled the campus and ended with an obstacle course of tire hopping, belly crawling, wall scaling, sack racing fun. Racing their way to the finish, each race participant rang a bell to signal successful race completion and was awarded a “Survivor” medal.

 

Mad Scientists, MSM science instructors Dr. Tina Hendrickson and Ms. Robin Johnson, performed science demonstrations like the “magic pitcher,” which used the pH of liquids to change colors, and the crowd-pleasing observation of explosive qualities in varying concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. Afterwards, the Mad Scientist Activity Lab let participants experience hands-on activities like decoding secret messages, dissecting earthworms and creating bubbling slime.

 

Thank you to all of the event participants, volunteers and sponsors for making the 2017 Chills & Thrills event a huge success, with nearly double the participation over last year’s race. Event proceeds benefit all extracurricular programs at Mount St. Mary Academy.

 

More photos at https://flic.kr/s/aHsm63EAuy

 

 


2017 Chills & Thrills Sponsors

 

Presenting Sponsor
CHI St. Vincent

Silver Sponsor
Meadors Adams & Lee Insurance

Bronze
Bank of Little Rock
Bank of Little Rock Mortgage
Kutak Rock LLP

Purple 

Arkansas Pet Cremation
Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics
CustomXM
Elite Functional Rehab
Executive Services
Flake & Kelly Commercial
Dr. Thomas and Cynthia Frazier
Integrity Products, Inc.
The Janet Jones Company/ Debbie Teague
McLarty Volvo Cars of Little Rock
Qualchoice Health Insurance
Paychex
Pulaski County Title, LLC
Ray Lusk Plumbing
Relyance Bank
Stone Bank
Thomas & Thomas LLP
Vondran Orthodontics
Wardlaw Orthodontics
Wright Lindsey Jennings

Holy Ghost

Bar Louie
Susan & Tim Boe
Cross Tire Pros
Edwards Food Giant
Krebs Brothers Supply
Kim & Quentin Markland

 

 


 

 

 

MSM Shows Mercy Spirit with a Day of Service

Mount St. Mary Academy students, faculty and administrators reported for work at 15 service organizations to “Make Mercy Real” on a day of service known as Mercy Day. Around the world, Mercy Day is celebrated to commemorate the day the school’s founders, the Sisters of Mercy, opened the first House of Mercy in 1827 to serve the sick and the poor in Ireland. Mount St. Mary Mercy Day activities included cleaning up parks, picking up trash, and helping out at schools, hospitals and organizations throughout Greater Little Rock who serve the poor and sick in our community.

 

2017 Mercy Day Service Site Assignments:

 

Access Schools – Breckenridge and Mississippi locations
Arkansas Children’s Hospital
Arkansas Foodbank
Calvary Cemetery
Camp Aldersgate
CHI St. Vincent
Easter Seals Arkansas
The Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock
Little Rock Compassion Center
Our House
Recycle Bikes for Kids
St. Joseph Center of Arkansas
St. Theresa Catholic School
Susan G. Komen

 


 

 

 

 

2017 CHS Homecoming Court Announced

Congratulations to the 2017 Catholic High School Homecoming Court!

 

Front Row (Left to Right): Macy J., Rockette Representative; Sydney C., Caroline J., Liza M., and Sydney W., Varsity Cheer Representative

 

Back Row (Left to Right): Rieves P., Lauren W., and Mallory W.

 

The Catholic High School Homecoming game will be Friday, September 22nd, at War Memorial Stadium with kickoff at 7 p.m. The Homecoming Ceremony will be held during half-time.

 

Go Rockets!
See Photos from 2017 Homecoming Pep Rally on the MSM Flickr page.

 

 

 


 

Mercy Education Launches Initiative for the Future

The Mercy Education System of the Americas (MESA), a new initiative for education ministries sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, launched on July 3, 2017, formalizing a system of relationships for the 58 Mercy education ministries in Argentina, Belize, Guam, Honduras, Jamaica, the Philippines and the United States. The new educational system was formed in order to promote, support and advance the Mercy calling and Catholic identity into the future by connecting across all borders to share the charism of the Sisters of Mercy founder, Catherine McAuley, and to address the critical concerns of the Sisters.

 

Day-to-day operations at Mount St. Mary Academy will not change, and local administration and the local board will remain in place. While all Mercy educators are united by their dedication to reveal God’s love through service in the Mercy tradition, the Mercy Education System of the Americas will also encourage and enable educators to share resources and best practices in order to prepare students for an accelerated culture and a global society. In the past Mount St. Mary students, faculty and staff have partnered with fellow Mercy ministries through service projects, leadership conferences, video contests and a pilgrimage to the House of Mercy in Ireland.

 

Leaders from all Mercy education ministries gathered at a forum convened on March 9, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia, expressly to set the stage for this collaboration. Even with a full agenda, many participants made time to express their enthusiasm for Mercy Education System of the Americas and the opportunity it represents.

 

Their witness and anticipation of the new extension of the Mercy mission may be viewed in a video at the following links:

 

English: https://youtu.be/W0Tjuqbh08s  Spanish: https://youtu.be/vH9rI_k4UXA

 

Class of 2017 “on their way” after graduation

Mount St. Mary Academy students faculty, staff and their families and friends celebrated the Class of 2017 graduation at the Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 25, 2017, at Robinson Auditorium. The words of the class song, “On My Way” by Phil Collins, described the feelings of excitement and anticipation felt by the 120 graduates, who received their diplomas from the Reverend Bishop Anthony Taylor as MSM president Karen Flake announced each graduate and the college she will attend. They were joined on stage by superintendent of Catholic schools, Mrs. Vernell Bowen; MSM principal, Mrs. Angie Collins; and chairman of the MSM Academy Board of Directors, Mr. Phillip Gillam.

 

Commencement Speaker Patti Drake urged the Class of 2017 to stay centered in faith as they enter a new chapter of their lives. Ms. Drake’s daughter Mary, a member of the Class of 2011, suffered a debilitating car accident in 2009. Ms. Drake spoke to the class about trusting the Lord in times of difficulty because God causes all things to work together for good for those who follow Him. She pointed out to them that His plans may not be the same as their plans but “God is good. All the time.”

 

 

Congratulations to the Class of 2017:

 

92% of 120 SENIORS offered scholarships from colleges and other institutions

 

More than $14 MILLION in college scholarships awarded to the Class of 2017

 

10,945 HOURS of service to the community completed during their junior and senior years

 

Members of the senior class offered acceptance to 207 COLLEGES and UNIVERSITIES

 

 

More photos from the 2017 Mount St. Mary Academy Commencement Exercises:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskW8dUt5

 

 

 

 

Senior Recognition Ceremony awards accomplishments, inducts 120 alumnae

The Mount St. Mary Academy Alumnae Association gained 120 new members at the Senior Recognition Ceremony held on Monday, May 22. Attended by MSM families, alumnae relatives, and alumnae board members, the ceremony honored the accomplishments of the senior class and inducted the Class of 2017 into the MSM Alumnae Association.

 

Sixty-eight percent of the senior class earned the academic status of Honor Graduate with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. The top five honor graduates in the class who will speak at the 2017 Mount St. Mary Commencement Ceremony on May 25th are: 5th honor graduate Anne Thibault, 4th honor graduate Chloe Beall, 2nd honor graduates Katie O’Malley and Caroline Coplin-Chudy, and 1st honor graduate Claire Althoff.

 

Four MSM students received recognition by the National Merit Program during the 2016-2017 school year. Hannah Isaacs and Chloe Beall were selected as National Merit Finalists, Katie O’Malley was selected as a National Merit Commended Student and Rosemarie Ochoa earned the status of National Hispanic Scholar. Each of these young women represent the top five percent of the more than 1.6 million students who entered the National Merit competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying Test as 11th-graders.

 

A number of academic honors, merit awards and scholarships were awarded to many deserving MSM students in the Class of 2017. Caroline Coplin-Chudy received the 2017 Principal’s Award for living the Mercy values at Mount St. Mary. The Flora Bittner Croft Scholarship was given to three MSM students attending Catholic universities, and the Judith Wrappe Scholarship honored one senior for her artwork depicting this year’s theme of “Sisterhood.”

 

Melanie Parham Fox ’81 was recognized as the 2017 Mount St. Mary Academy Alumna of the Year for her contributions to the school and the community in the educational arena and for her volunteer work with MSM spirit groups and booster club initiatives as well as leadership in spearheading the merchandise system for Mount St. Mary.

 

More photos from the Senior Recognition Ceremony:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskVUJMDT

 

 

Two MSM students accepted to UAMS HEALERS program

Must be Mount Girls!  Cameron H. ’19 and Lexi C. ’18 were accepted to the UAMS HEALERS program (Health Education Active Learning Experience for Regional Scholars). The HEALERS program is a hands-on, interactive program open to high school students in Pulaski County who are interested in serving the community through the medical field. Out of hundreds of applicants only twelve students are selected each year to participate in the program; this year’s HEALERS program will be held from June 12 to June 23, 2017.

 

The HEALERS program allows students to:

 

  • Learn and ask questions about a variety of medical careers directly from a professional in that field.
  • Learn how to administer first aid to accident victims to include bandaging, control of bleeding, splinting and spinal immobilization.
  • Learn how to administer Basic Life Support (CPR).
  • Demonstrate a better understanding of medical terminology.
  • Demonstrate an increased awareness of teenage health-related issues, enabling each individual to make better informed decisions based on scientific data.
  • To gain experience in a clinical setting through active volunteering.

 

Congratulations, Cameron and Lexi!

 

 

Summer Camps at the Mount for 2nd to 9th grades

Mount St. Mary Academy will be offering eight fun and exciting summer camps for both girls and boys entering 2nd to 8th grades as well as sports camps for girls entering ninth grade.

 

Camps include volleyball, basketball, math, pinterest/crafts, drama, media, creative writing and cooking, so keep up your skills this summer or try something new! Most camps are half-day camps and may be combined for a full day of camp fun with an hour lunch break provided.

 

Pricing and information may be found on the downloadable registration form at http://mtstmary.edu/summer-camps/ 

Questions?

Please email summercamp@mtstmary.edu
and mention the camp name to find out more information!

 

 

 

Three MSM Athletes Sign with Colleges

Mount St. Mary Academy would like to recognize and celebrate the athletic and academic accomplishments of three senior athletes who signed their letters of intent over the past two weeks. Mary R., Lizzie A. and Maggie S., surrounded by family and friends, made the public decision to continue their education at the university level while also pursuing athletic careers.

 

“The entire Athletic Department and school community is extremely excited for Lizzie, Mary, and Maggie to have the opportunity to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level,” said Athletic Director Marilyn Lenggenhager, recognizing the Mount St. Mary four-year athletes and honoring the decision made by each student and her family. “Their hard work here at Mount St. Mary Academy has paid off and we wish them well!”

 

Mary R. signed a letter of intent to play basketball with Hendrix College on Tuesday, April 18. Mary played varsity three years for Mount St. Mary Academy and was a member of the AAU basketball team Arkansas Elite. As a dual sport athlete, she also played on the Belles volleyball team. Mary is a scholar athlete and president of the National Beta Club at Mount St. Mary.

 

Lizzie A. signed a letter of intent to play basketball with Lyon College on Tuesday, April 25. A three-year varsity starter for the Belles, Lizzie was selected to All-Conference her junior and senior years and to the 2017 All-Metro Classic girls basketball game. She is also a scholar athlete and multi-sport athlete.

 

Maggie S. signed her letter of intent to join the Lyon College volleyball team on Thursday, April 27. Maggie played volleyball four years at Mount St. Mary, playing varsity three years as the middle blocker for the Belles. She was selected to All-Conference her senior year.

 

Photos from these events can be found on the MSM Flickr page:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mtstmary/albums

 

MSM Artists Highlighted at Annual AYAA Competition

Forty-five Mount St. Mary Academy students competed at the annual Arkansas Young Artist Association (AYAA) Convention and Competition on April 12, 2017, where more than 50 schools and 2,000 student members were represented.

 

In addition to viewing student exhibits and listening to the convention speakers, the Arkansas Young Artist Association annually awards at least ten $500 scholarships to current AYAA members in good standing.

 

Congratulations to these MSM students:

 

Erica Vanhaute and Kristin Divino both received scholarships from AYAA and Breanna Freeman received a renewable scholarship from Kansas City Art Institute.

 

Erica Vanhaute – 1st place Oils Abstract/Non-Objective, 4th place Sketchbook
Giselle Trejo – Honorable Mention Cut Paper/Collage
Jasmine Rico – 3rd place Sculpture Realistic
Emily Delfos – Honorable Mention Scratchboard Expressive
Audrey Caruthers – 3rd Place Pen and Ink, Honorable Mention- Sketchbook
Elizabeth Bell – 1st place Digital Art Computer Generated
Vivian Boe – 1st place Fiber Arts Expressive, 4th place Fiber Arts Realistic
Amelia Ochoa – 4th place First Year Dry Color Media
Isabella Boyd – Honorable Mention- First Year Painting
Olivia Bice – 4th place First Year Painting

 

The Arkansas Young Artist Association (AYAA) is a state-wide organization of high school students grade 9-12. The mission is to encourage the visual arts in Arkansas students through professional speakers, competitions and exhibition.

 

 

 

June Basketball Camp for 2nd through 9th Grades

Girls entering 2nd through 9th grades are invited to attend the Mount St. Mary Belles Basketball Camp. This day camp will provide instruction to develop individual  basic fundamental basketball skills.

 

WHEN

June 12-14 ,  2017

9:00-11:00am → girls entering 2nd-5th grades for Fall 2017

1:00-3:00pm → girls entering 6th-9th grades for Fall 2017

 

WHERE

MSM McAuley Center – 3224 Kavanugh Blvd, Little Rock, AR

 

COST

$65 includes camp t-shirt*  (*If registered by due date of June 5)
$50 for Basketball Skills Academy participants

 

WHAT TO BRING/WEAR

You will need to wear a t-shirt,  shorts, and tennis shoes.  Refreshments will be sold.


INSURANCE

Each camper must be covered by a family’s insurance policy.

 

Space is limited! To register for camp, download the registration form and return by June 1 with cash or check made out to MSM.

Seniors Win Art Competition

Congratulations to Erica V. and Isabella G. Both of the students’ artwork were selected as winners in the 2017 Governor’s Young Artist Competition, and will be displayed at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, April 12 – May 13, 2017.

Teen Poet Wins 1st Place

Hannah B. won 1st place at the McMath Branch Library for her written poem, which she entered into the teen poet laureate contest.  She will be representing the McMath Library Branch at this year’s Arkansas Literary Festival, which is put on by the Central Arkansas Library System.  Her written poem will be competing against the written poetry winners from all of the branch libraries April 27th through 30th.  Congratulations, Hannah,  and good luck!

MSM Forensics Team Earns National Charter Status

Mount St. Mary Academy recently received the prestigious national charter member status in the National Speech & Debate Association along with three other Arkansas schools: Crossett High School, Har-Ber High School and North Little Rock High School. This is the highest school membership honor you can achieve in the National Speech & Debate Association.

“Charter membership reflects sustained commitment to speech and debate,” said J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director of the National Speech & Debate Association. “We are extremely proud of our charter schools, coaches, and students for their hard work and passion for speech and debate.”

Schools earn charter membership status after receiving at least 50 degrees within a three-year period. Students and coaches earn points in the Honor Society through speech and debate competition, community service, public speaking, and leadership activities.  The more points earn higher degrees of recognition.

Every school within the National Speech & Debate Association is designated a provisional chapter, member chapter, or charter chapter. Each status determines voting privileges, a district’s strength of chapters, and number of qualifiers to the annual National Speech & Debate Tournament.

About the National Speech & Debate Association

The National Speech & Debate Association is the largest interscholastic speech and debate organization serving middle school, high school, and collegiate students in the United States. The Association provides competitive speech and debate activities, high-quality resources, comprehensive training, scholarship opportunities, and advanced recognition to more than 150,000 students and coaches every year. For 90 years, the National Speech & Debate Association has empowered more than 1.5 million members to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals, and honorable leaders in our society. For more information, visit www.speechanddebate.org.

Mercy & Me Jewelry February Offer:

Teacup and Teapot set, $30-$50 ($70 regular price)

 

“Make sure they have
a comfortable cup of tea before I go.”

– Catherine McAuley

 

You can now remember Catherine McAuley’s “comfortable cup of tea” with one of our very special Mercy & Me custom jewelry pieces that feature MSM student artwork of a teacup and teapot. During the month of February, receive TWO FOR $50 – the Teacup bracelet and Teapot necklace (regularly $70) or teacup and teapot pendants – TWO FOR $30.

 

Learn more about the Mercy significance of tea from Erica ’17, creator of this year’s Mercy & Me cast pendants, or purchase Mercy & Me jewelry here.

 

 

 

 

 

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown Opens November 3

Mount St. Mary Academy Fine & Performing Arts Department presents the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday, November 3rd, 4th, 5th & 7th at the Catholic High School Auditorium. Join us for this family-show and watch the beloved comic strip come to life!

 

Tickets are available at the door.

$5/students and seniors; $10/adults

 

 

 

Sisters of Mercy inducted into Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame

 

Congratulations to our founders, the Sisters of Mercy, who were inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame last night at a reception held at the Statehouse Convention Center. Along with eight women from across the state, the Sisters were recognized for making a significant impact on the lives of others and helping to elevate the status of women in our state, our nation, and, in some cases, around the world.

 

The number of lives the Sisters have touched over the years is overwhelming! Here’s a quick look at the far-reaching ministry of Mercy in Arkansas.

 

The Sisters of Mercy have opened, maintained and managed:

  • five hospitals
  • three schools of nursing
  • twenty-two schools
  • a women’s spirituality center
  • a teen education center
  • retirement homes
  • a ministry for women in prison

Today in Arkansas, the Sisters of Mercy still run/sponsor two schools, two retirement centers, four hospitals, and numerous medical clinics.

 

Learn more about the history of the Sisters of Mercy in Arkansas.

 

Photo:  Arkansas Catholic photo by Aprille Hanson

 

2016 Arkansas Girls State Teaches Citizenship and Leadership

Congratulations to our Arkansas Girls State delegates, MSM rising seniors Lizzie Allgood, Vivian Boe, Maddy Frazior, Kirsten Hawkins and Kathryn Studer!

They represented MSM well last week at Girls State, a program that provides citizenship training for young women and gives them the opportunity to learn about city, county and state government by experiencing it themselves. Through participation in a mock government, these MSM students elected officials, held a variety of leadership positions and heard from their respective counterparts about their roles and responsibilities here in Arkansas.

 

 

 

Three Mount St. Mary teachers among 2016 Stephens Award winners

Three faculty members and one student at Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock have been named recipients of the 2016 Stephens Award by The City Education Trust. Mount St. Mary Academy instructors Kathy Smith, Maureen Stover and Jenny Moses make up three of the five teachers who have been selected to receive an $8,000 cash award recognizing their outstanding and inspirational teaching. Senior Darcey Collins, a Finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program, is among the eight student recipients who have been selected to receive a $5,000 scholarship for their proven records of academic excellence. Congratulations for such an incredible achievement!

MSM HoneyBelles Win $25,000 Helping the Environment

The HoneyBelles, a team of six science and art students from Mount St. Mary Academy, advanced in March to win a $15,000 first place award in the Lexus Eco Challenge, a national contest that encourages middle and high school students to develop and implement environmental programs that positively impact their communities.

After carefully studying the local environment, the HoneyBelles developed an Action Plan. They created a pollinators habitat on the school campus to protect the dwindling bee population so vital to modern agriculture. They also started a composting system to help sustain the garden and began spreading awareness about the importance of bees to the greater community.

Sixteen teams in each challenge, including Mount St. Mary Academy, won $10,000 in grants and scholarships at the end of November. All the winning teams were invited to participate in the Final Challenge for a chance to win one of two $30,000 grand prizes and eight first place prizes of $15,000. In all, $500,000 in scholarships and grants was awarded, with a total of $25,000 awarded to Mount St. Mary Academy.  

The HoneyBelles plan to use the prize money to help fundraise for two organizations – The Bee Cause, a grant program aimed to educate young people about the importance of bees, and Bee Abroad, an organization that seeks to reduce poverty in developing countries throughout the world through beekeeping.