The Challengers 8-man football team clinched the #1 seed in Wisconsin for the State Jamboree with an 8-0 season record after their victory October 15 against NEW Lutheran. The Challengers include students from St. Ambrose Academy and Abundant Life Christian School. The final score was 60-16 versus NEW Lutheran in the Great 8 North/South Crossover Game in Green Bay.
St. Ambrose Sophomore Mary Donohoe was blessed to head to New York City and Philadelphia with the Petewa Opus Dei high school girls’ group to be a part of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. Mary saw Pope Francis in Central Park in his “popemobile.” She also went to Philadelphia as part of the Festival of Families, with familes from all over the continent represented.
What did Mary think? She reflected on her pilgrimage: “Seeing all the people coming together from all over the continent to be inspired by our Holy Father really demonstrated how universal the Catholic Church is. It IS ‘catholic.'”
Join Abby Lease, UW Madison graduate and current St. Ambrose Academy teacher, as we survey the world of sports as it comes to us from the Ancients!
“Athletics from the Ancients: Sports Traditions from Ancient Greece and Rome”
Athletics has been an integral part of society throughout the world, ever since man came to innovate. Its value is inherent, as an avenue in the individual’s pursuit of health and skill, and as a focal point of community, from the local to global stage. For our own sporting traditions, we have the Greeks and the Romans to thank, who developed foot and horse races, boxing and wrestling, early forms of various ball games, the institution of international competition, and more.
In this lecture, Abby Lease will survey the world of sports as it comes to us from ancient Mediterranean sources and compare it with traditions of today. Join us on a journey from the Coliseum to Lambeau. This relevant lecture is free and open to the public.
On Thursday evening, Nov. 15, the 2015 Challengers celebrated their phenomenal season with their team banquet in the City Church Youth Center at ALCS. Their 6-0 record in conference earned the Challengers the Great 8 South Championship as well as a 2-seed spot in the WIAA 8-Player Jamboree, which took place in Schofield, WI, on October 31.
The Challengers’ game vs. the Luck H.S. Cardinals had to have been one of the wildest games ever played . . . the Challengers gave an amazing effort and put 64 points on the board, but came up short against Luck, with a final score of 110-64. Win or lose, we are so proud of our team and the effort they gave along with the way they conducted themselves is inspiring. One for the record books! For a detailed breakdown of the game, see this link.
Shawn Carney expects saints from among St. Ambrose students. In his keynote presentation at the 9th Annual Benefit Dinner on Saturday, December 12, 2015, Shawn Carney, the co-founder of 40 Days for Life, shared that, given our students’ Catholic formation and joyful manner of living, we should look to the students and graduates of St. Ambrose to bring Christ into the darkness and problems of our time. We do not need to despair of the bad news in the media when we have holy young people who follow Christ. Just as St. Maximilian Kolbe rekindled the Christian faith of a doctor in the concentration camps in World War II, so can our students rekindle the dimming flame of faith in our society.
St. Ambrose student members of the Guardians for Life pro-life group and faculty chaperons Miss Hilts and Mr. Bowden traveled to Chicago to join in a new pro-life tradition: the March for Life in Chicago on Sunday, January 17, 2016. It was a very cold day, with temperatures in the single digits. Nevertheless, the Ambrosians huddled in the cold with 5,000 pro-lifers from all over the Midwest in Federal Plaza in the heart of downtown Chicago. Among the speakers during the rally was Chicago’s Archbishop Cupich, who said, “[The March for Life] is about our nation and the soul of our nation…We want to make sure we send a message that what we do here today has a message beyond the borders of the state, beyond the borders of the city and speaks to the world about the importance of protecting life.” The young men and women at St. Ambrose are not afraid of defending the defenseless preborn children… even if cold weather is involved!
National History Day is an academic enrichment program that helps students learn about historical issues, ideas, people, and events. Each year, students create projects based on topics that fit the National History Day annual theme–for 2016, this is “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.”
The National History Day program includes a progressive contest cycle open to students in grades 6-12. Students may participate in National History Day contest categories for one of five contest categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, and website.
Events take place Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Wisconsin Historical Museum on the University of Wisconsin Campus. Click here for more information about the event.
Thanks, Coaches and Way to Go, Athletes!
Congratulations to our Model U.N. Illinois delegates, who brought home lots of accolades following the M.U.N.I. conference March 11-13. Juniors William D. and Justin H. earned Best Delegate and Outstanding Delegate for their work on the French Revolution Joint Crisis Committee. Senior Kate W. received Honorable Mention for her work on the Rise of the Dragon politburo and Freshmen Dmitri P. and Gus P. both represented Angola in their committees. What a great weekend!
Well before Opening Night this Friday, April 8, 2016, ticket sales for the student production of The Sound of Music surpassed ALL purchased tickets from last year’s rendition of The Music Man. Our student-actors are excited to mount their production of the greatest movie musical of all time. Join us where “The Hills Are Alive”! Click here for show and ticket information.
Beloved former SAA teacher Theresa Klinkhammer received the Holy Habit of Carmel on Easter Saturday, 2016, at the Monastery of the Holy Name of Jesus in Denmark, WI. The new novice, Sr. Lucia Marie of the Resurrection, visited with family and close friends following her private clothing and Mass of Thanksgiving.
God willing, Sr. Lucia Marie will be able to take her first vows in two years and final vows in three years, and will again have an opportunity to greet family and friends following those events.
For the first time in St. Ambrose history, the student production of The Sound of Music garnered 25 nominations for the TOMMY Awards! The TOMMY Awards recognize excellence in theatrical productions at the high school level. We are so proud of our student actors and production crew, both those nominated for the TOMMY Awards and those who contributed to the amazing performances of The Sound of Music. Congratulations!
The judges have decided, and their verdict is that the St. Ambrose musical production of The Sound of Music is a winner! Specifically, TOMMY Awards went to Sam Galvin for the Outstanding Leading Performance as “Rolf” and to Natalie Davies for the Outstanding Supporting Performance as “Liesl.” The pair performed “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” together. Also, Jaimee Prado was the Spirit Award winner for her role behind-the-scenes. The TOMMY Awards recognize excellence in theatrical performances at the high school level for the greater Madison area. Congratulations to the TOMMY Award winners and the entire cast and crew!
Veronica Arntz, St. Ambrose Class of 2012, graduated from Wyoming Catholic College this May with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts. Next fall, she will be heading to the Augustine Institute in Denver, CO to continue her studies in theology, a field of study that she first encountered at St. Ambrose Academy. After her rigorous undergraduate coursework, Veronica was tired. However, she soon noticed the desperate need in today’s society for the good news of Jesus Christ: “But, when I considered the work that needs to be done in the Church, I realized that I needed to go to grad school.” Already with published articles in Human Life International’s Truth and Charity Forum, Veronica is on her way to sharing the truths that she first encountered at St. Ambrose and delved into more deeply at Wyoming Catholic College. Click here to see a list of Veronica’s recent articles.
Here’s some food for thought from Veronica’s most recent article: “For marriage to be oriented toward bringing children into the world, fidelity, and a sacramental bond marked by self-gift, it can only exist between one man and one woman. Many see this teaching of the Church to be intolerant or hateful. However, it truly is a message of love, for it is Christ’s very own message in the Gospels. Not only that, but it is God’s plan for creation from the beginning. Thus, God intends married love to exist between only one man and one woman, and only this kind of marriage can reveal the sublime dignity of the human person.”
It has been a long time coming. While St. Ambrose Academy has embraced the “Guardian” as the school’s mascot since the beginning, no one had really defined what the Guardian was until alumni and students began a discussion two school years ago. Was the Guardian a guardian angel, a member of Plato’s Guardian class, or something else? Then, the idea emerged and found favor among students and alumni that the Guardian was a Swiss guard, a guardian of the Holy Father and of the Church. Graphic designer alumna Theresa Ptak (Class of 2008) transformed the idea into images, the brand-new St. Ambrose Guardians mascot!
On Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, students and St. Thomas Aquinas parishioners celebrated with Fr. Bart and Deacon Jack as they blessed and dedicated the new Stations of the Cross garden at St. Thomas Aquinas. The prayer garden is a recently completed Eagle Scout project by SAA senior William Donohoe.
Congratulations to SAA Senior Justin Hineline, who recently received the good news that, based on his scores on the PSAT, he has qualified as a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist for 2016. As a Semifinalist, he is part of a national pool representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors; he is among the highest-scoring entrants in Wisconsin. Justin will apply to be a National Merit Finalist, the next step. Congratulations, Justin!
In the final showcase game of the WIAA 8-Man Football Jamboree in Rothschild, WI, the Challengers (the St. Ambrose/Abundant Life football team) overcame an early deficit to win dramatically in overtime against Prairie Farm. The final score was 40-34. This final win was the perfect end to an undefeated season (8-0) for the Challengers. St. Ambrose seniors especially were key players in the Challengers’ win. Congratulations, Challengers!
Read about the 10th Annual St. Ambrose Academy Benefit Dinner in the latest issue of the Catholic Herald for the Diocese of Madison. Our very own Laura Karlen wrote about the starting point for the annual dinner: Bishop Morlino at the grill. At the first dinner, Bishop Morlino not only planned the menu with Italian favorites — St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, would have approved– but also cooked alongside student helpers. It was a feast! The feasting will continue this year on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at the Alliant Energy Center (register here) — there are too many mouths for Bishop Morlino to feed himself these days! Expect to see many familiar faces and hear from articulate, faith-filled young people — it’s the event of the Advent season!
Click the image at left for more information and to purchase tickets for the St. Ambrose Academy 2017 spring musical, with showtimes March 31 – April 2 at the Verona High School Performing Arts Center.
Congratulations to SAA Senior William Donohoe, who has received nominations to the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy from WI Representative Mark Pocan and Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson.
Way to go, William and the Class of 2017!!
Matt Marsland, Class of 2015, founded the St. Ambrose Model United Nations team, which racked up a number of honors his senior year. Now, as a Notre Dame sophomore, Matt was part of the secretariat for the first-ever Notre Dame Model UN conference. Matt acted as “Head of Simulation” to lead the Notre Dame conference also attended by his younger, former compatriots from St. Ambrose.
The St. Ambrose delegation won honors, including “Best Small Delegation” and “Best Delegate” awards for two SAA seniors, one in the Security Council and one in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes.
Congratulations, alumnus Matt Marsland and the St. Ambrose Model UN delegation!
At the 10th Annual Benefit Dinner on December 10, 2016, Development Director Joe Draves shared the great news that St. Ambrose would partner with the Apostolate for Persons with Disabilities and the Diocese of Madison to form the St. Ambrose Academy Reading Institute (SAARI). That partnership has solidified, and St. Ambrose parent and SAARI director Deb Krebs’ research to address dyslexia in her own family will now benefit children all over the Diocese of Madison. Already, Deb and her tutors, who are all trained in the Barton System for Reading and Spelling, are working one-on-one three hours per week with students in two area Catholic grade schools. St. Ambrose is pleased to offer real assistance to the 20% of students who struggle with dyslexia.
Read the recent article in The Catholic Herald for more information.
In order to be a Finalist, Justin had to have been among the top 15,000 seniors in the nation according to a judging team that considers test scores, grades, curricula, school recommendations, activities, leadership qualities and the candidates’ own essays. There are a lot of hoops through which to jump!
We are proud of Justin and look forward to learning which college or university he will select for next year!
Tim Heiney from Relevant Radio stopped by rehearsal for Hello, Dolly! and recorded wonderful interviews with director Angela Hineline and many of the main characters. If you’re not familiar with the show, this radio piece is a great way to learn the basic storyline. You’re sure to be excited for the show after hearing song clips and students talk about the musical in their own words! Click here for the radio piece.
It’s official: St. Ambrose will debut a baseball team this spring! Add another sport to the growing list of extracurricular activities to complement what students learn in the classroom! The baseball team will be a partnership with Abundant Life Christian School (ALCS), the Championship International Baseball Academy (CIBA) and the Diocese of Madison. Luis Abreu, CIBA president and trainer, played Major League Baseball and will bring his expertise to player and leadership development. The Diocese has offered outdoor space at Holy Name Heights (formerly the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Center) for home games and practice. Players from St. Ambrose and ALCS will play their first game today, April 3, 2017, in Evansville after completing an indoor winter hitting league — their very own spring training! Play ball!
The judges that nominate and award Madison-area high school theatrical productions to recognize excellence through the TOMMY Awards came to Hello, Dolly! They saw an incredible display of theatrical talent in the St. Ambrose ensemble. They came. They saw. As far as nominations go, St. Ambrose’s production conquered… the hearts of the audiences and in every category that the judges considered. Yes, Hello, Dolly! really swept the nominations, garnering the highest praise in every category. One judge commented:
“St. Ambrose Academy’s production of Hello, Dolly! was a joy from beginning to end. There was an absolute comfort and ease to this production. The performers went above and beyond learning their individual roles. They created lively characters in a specific time and place, developed strong onstage relationships and were given time and space to blossom. This level of confidence invited the audience to sit back and enjoy a marvelous afternoon in the theater. Congratulations to St. Ambrose Academy’s entire cast, crew and staff.”
The number of nominations are too many to list. But, click here for the complete list. Just a few notable nominations included: “Outstanding Musical,” “Outstanding Ensemble,” “Outstanding Lead Performance,” “Outstanding Supporting Performance,” “Outstanding Direction,” etc.
Given the hard work put into the musical by our students and parent volunteers, we know that they deserve the recognition. Now, we look forward to the actual award announcements!
With graduation coming up quickly, the time has come to determine and joyfully announce the valedictorians, salutatorian and the winners of the Christian Virtue Award. Every St. Ambrose senior has put in a lot of hard work and effort and certainly poured a lot of faith into his or her schoolwork and formation. Each can expect great fruits in college or in his or her next endeavors. We are pleased to especially recognize:
You are warmly invited to celebrate these incredible accomplishments along with the entire class of 2017 on Sunday, May 28, 2017 for St. Ambrose Academy’s Graduation. Mass is at 1:00 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, and the graduation exercises will follow at 2:00 p.m. in the social hall (617 Everglade Drive Madison, WI 53717).
Ambrose alumnus Thomas Carey (Class of 2008) has been a busy man since he and his fiancé Sonia graduated from the University of Wisconsin in May 2012, and married the following week. After an adventuresome honeymoon of backpacking in the Rocky Mountains, the newlyweds moved to Colorado, where Thomas began graduate school in organic chemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Sonia started work on a nursing degree.
Now in the fifth year of his doctoral studies, Thomas teaches chemistry and works in a university lab researching molecular systems that could someday aid in solar energy conversion. He and his team members recently published an article in The Journal of Organic Chemistry summarizing the work of the last few years. The title, “Synthesis of Geometrically Well-Defined Covalent Acene Dimers for Mechanistic Exploration of Singlet Fission,” may not communicate much to the uninitiated, but it contributes toward understanding a very particular way that light and molecules can interact, known as “singlet fission.”
“In the paper,” said Thomas, “we describe the synthesis of two tetracene-based products and outline a general strategy where structural variation can be used to tune the electronic properties of these dimers. These molecules are studied by others in our group as part of our project to systematically analyze the mechanistic details of a photophysical process called ‘singlet fission’ (wherein a single photon absorption gives rise to two excited states), which has applications in developing more efficient solar energy technologies.” In simpler terms, Thomas said, “we are trying to understand how a certain photophysical process works. Our group doesn’t work on the actual design of solar cell devices, but what we do could contribute to increasing their efficiency down the road.”
After full days in the research laboratory and teaching, Thomas comes home to a busy home
life. Sonia has finished her nursing degree, and the couple now has three sons: Benedict (3), David (1), and newborn Nicholas, who made his appearance within a week of the publication of Thomas’ most recent article. Being “first author” is a major step toward earning his PhD, which Thomas hopes to complete in another semester or two.
We admire the productivity and holy ambition of this young couple, whose hard work in academia has not precluded them from living out God’s plan for sacramental marriage and the family so generously. Thank you for your Christian witness of sacrificial love and excellence in virtue!
For the technically literate or the brave, you may like to read Thomas’ article here (please know, access to the full text requires a paid login).
The Overture Center’s Tommy Awards Program has named the St. Ambrose Academy production of Hello, Dolly! an Outstanding Musical! This award is considered to be the highest honor a school can receive within the Tommy Awards Program, as it recognizes the achievement of excellence within all aspects of the production. As recipients of this award, the entire Hello, Dolly! cast has been invited to perform a four-minute medley featuring several musical numbers from the show on the Overture stage during the Tommy Awards Show on June 11th!
We’re also thrilled to announce the following individual awards. Each of these four students will be honored for their individual achievements in additional musical medleys during the Tommy Awards Show on June 11th.
Junior Natalie Davies has received an Outstanding Leading Performance Award for her portrayal of Dolly Levi.
Junior Sam Galvin (Barnaby Tucker) and Junior Therese Klingele (Minnie Fay) have been honored with Outstanding Supporting Performance Awards!
And, Sophomore Marcianna Wanta has been named our school’s 2017 Spirit Award recipient.
Congratulations also to the following individuals of the Hello, Dolly! Production Team who will be honored at a special Outstanding Director/Designer Tommy Awards banquet on June 2nd:
We are very proud of our entire cast, crew, and production team. It takes incredible dedication, hard work, and commitment to achieve these honors. We thank God for the gifts and provisions that He provided during our journey. He made this show the parade we hoped that it would become!
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The Tommy Award press release will be posted here as soon as it is available.
Coming Soon! We will also share a video clip in coming days featuring director Mrs. Angela Hineline and cast and crew sharing their reflections and exuberance on receiving this most happy recognition.
Ambrose alum, Robert (Bobby) Marsland III, is now a post-doctoral scholar at Boston University, after successfully defending his PhD thesis in late May at MIT. Prior to joining the lab of Jeremy England at MIT, Robert spent a year at Oxford University studying the logical structure and historical origins of the core areas of modern physics. Robert obtained his bachelor’s degree in physics at Princeton University, where he carried out experiments in the statistical physics of atomic gases.
In his research, Robert uses the insights of contemporary physics to unpack the molecular-level observations that are being carried out with ever increasing precision in living cells. By combining the latest developments in theoretical statistical mechanics with numerical simulations of model systems and analysis of high-resolution microscopy data, he hopes to contribute to a deeper understanding of the physical mechanisms of life, opening new pathways for medical intervention and biotechnology.
Robert cites his St. Ambrose Academy (SAA) education as instrumental in shaping his scientific intrigue and pursuit:
“My love for natural science flourished at SAA, starting with those awesome experiments in Mr Gillett’s physical science class. The best one was making hydrogen from water with electricity. We took apart some D cell batteries and stuck the graphite cores into a milk jug, to make conducting electrodes that wouldn’t corrode. Then we plugged the jug into the wall, and collected the gas bubbling from the two electrodes into flasks. Finally, we lit the hydrogen flask on fire, proving that we had obtained the desired products. I had read about this reaction many times, but was amazed to see it actually work!
Another stimulus was Ms. Lesperance’s advanced Biology class. My mind was blown by the incredible complexity of the cell, and those memories stuck with me all through my physics training at Princeton.
But what I’m most grateful for is the solid training in Catholic doctrine I received at SAA, along with abundant opportunities to deepen my personal relationship with God. I think one of the main obstacles to the advance of science in recent decades has been the error of confusing our abstract scientific models with reality – thinking that quarks and electrons are more real than trees and rocks. This places a severe constraint on scientific creativity that especially limits the development of the life sciences. Faith forces us to recognize our littleness before the mystery of reality, and keeps us open to new ways of looking at things. I’m thrilled to now be working at the cutting edge of theoretical biology, where my job is precisely to come up with these new and hopefully more powerful perspectives.”
Given his mature devotion to our Catholic faith, it’s not surprising that in addition to his scientific work, Robert serves as assistant director of Elmbrook Center near Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Elmbrook is an educational center for young men; helping prepare them to become dedicated professionals who thrive in work and life and who advance their profession as a service to persons and society. The Center is entrusted to Opus Dei, a personal prelature of the Catholic Church. Robert’s role as assistant director will make a lasting impact on these young men that will reach far beyond work and this life. His time as a Guardian is now leaven for the East Coast as well.
It’s a St. Ambrose tradition to head to the American Players Theater (APT) for a play each fall. This year, the Ambrosians enjoyed Jane Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice.
If you thought that Jane Austen could only be entertaining for women, think again! One St. Ambrose football player couldn’t wait to visit the closest library to check out the book behind the play!
Thanks to the Carey family for hosting the 2015-16 SAA Board/Faculty/Staff party at their home this fall. We are so blessed to have such a phenomenal group of people bringing Catholic classical education to life at SAA!
St. Ambrose Academy welcomes Joseph Draves as the new Development Director at St. Ambrose!
Joe has seven years’ experience in Catholic development working for Relevant Radio in Green Bay. Joe has a Bachelor of Business Administration from UW-Madison and a Masters of Theological Studies from Ave Maria University’s Institute for Pastoral Theology. Joe and his wife Julie are the homeschooling parents of five children. Joe starts work at St. Ambrose on September 14.
Joe will join Laura Karlen, now Senior Development Associate, in the Development Office along with the new Associate Development Director, Bridget Wittwer.
Alumna Bridget Wittwer (Class of 2012) joined the team as of September 1. Bridget and her husband Nick live in Spring Green with their 5-month-old son John.
Please warmly welcome Joe and Bridget to the Development Office and the St. Ambrose community!
SAA faculty members Patrick Delaney and Abby Lease along with President David Stiennon attended the Institute of Catholic Liberal Education Catholic Classical Schools Conference, “Rejoicing Together in Truth,” July 20-23, 2015 in Euclid, Ohio on the Notre Dame College campus. The conference brought Catholic classical educators from around the country to pray, learn, discuss, and rejoice while gaining insight into how to better serve their academic communities.
Our fundraising is an uphill climb due to our lower-than-average tuition cost and tuition assistance for needy students, all to make a Catholic classical education accessible to families from all over the Diocese of Madison. With your help today, we could scale our gap and reach our need of $300,000 on the fiscal year.
It’s true that we still have $10,000 to go, and time is running out. But, with God all things are possible. And, aware of the generosity of our St. Ambrose community, we know that meeting our need IS possible… with your help. Please consider joining our fund drive by donating safely online at this link.
Thank you in advance for your kind assistance. God provides for St. Ambrose in amazing ways… through so many wonderful people! Please join us in sharing the Gospel with the next generation.
In a hard-fought battle, the youngsters came out on top July 3 in the first-ever SAA Students vs. Alumni Ulimate Frisbee Game! Could be the start of a new tradition (especially the alumni after-party)!
Once a Guardian, always a Guardian!
On Sunday, July 5, beloved St. Ambrose friend and teacher Theresa Klinkhammer will formally enter the Monastery of the Holy Name of Jesus in Denmark, WI, where she will begin the discernment process towards taking her vows as a Discalced Carmelite nun.
How we will miss her smiling face, sweet spirit, and inspired teaching! And how grateful we are that she will be praying for all of us and for the mission of St. Ambrose Academy.
May Our Lord abundantly bless you, Ms. Klinkhammer!
Click here to watch his inspirational remarks.
At Graduation on Sunday, Elizabeth Schiedermayer (’15) received the Christian Service Award for her outstanding example of Christian service. Click here to watch her acceptance speech, in which she explains how St. Ambrose has helped her “learn to give the gift of self.”
Last week, junior Liam Moreland met with UW-Madison Professor Emeritus Charles Scott. Charles and his wife, Anne Mulgrew Scott, established the Anne Mulgrew Scott Honorary Scholarship to help a student who needed tuition assistance in order to attend St. Ambrose. Liam was the first recipient of this scholarship. He had the opportunity share with Charles directly just how much he is learning at St. Ambrose — both in the classroom and on the basketball court — and how grateful he is for Charles’ and Anne’s generosity.
This is just one example of how our benefactors who believe in our mission make sacrifices so that young people can benefit from a St. Ambrose education. Read more on scholarships.
Sophomore Justin Hineline’s audio submission to the “Voice of Democracy” contest recently won him $500 from his local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post. Nationally, the VFW established this contest to encourage high schoolers to express themselves on the topic of democratic ideals and principles. The topic for this year’s essay contest was, “Why Veterans are Important to our Nation’s History and Future.” Justin’s essay was a well-crafted, poetic response to this question; his answer is timely for Memorial Day coming up.
Enjoy listening to Justin’s very brief speech. If you can’t play the file directly, you can click to download the file and listen through Windows Media Player.
The lights are off, the house is empty, and the cast party was a blast! Now the cast and crew are catching up on homework and counting down to finals, end-of-year field trips, and graduation. A BIG THANK-YOU to everyone who helped make The Music Man possible!
Please enjoy our show photo album at this link.
On Monday, April 20, 2015, Dean of Students Michael Kwas will present on the goals and basics of the 2015 Summer Academic Skills Workshop, which will run from June 22 to July 9, 2015. This public presentation will be from 7:30-8:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish (602 Everglade Drive Madison, WI 53717).
What’s to know? There are certain good habits– time management, diligence, conscientiousness, problem-solving– that help students succeed regardless of intellectual abilities. These are the very skills that this summer workshop seeks to impart to students entering grades 6-9. With two talented teachers, Michael Kwas and Andy Galvin, students will study dendrology (the ecology of trees and forests, grades 6-7) or the history and science of food, cooking and eating (grades 8-9). Read more about the workshop.
With thanks to God, tickets are selling very quickly for the St. Ambrose musical production of The Music Man. If you wish to buy tickets ahead of time (not at the door), please make your purchases by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, 2015. Tickets may be purchased online, via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling Diane at (608) 698-1571.
Special Faculty Lecture Sunday, April 19
“Tank towns, cubebs, and sen sen: The historical context of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. “
They’re selling like hotcakes… the tickets to the St. Ambrose musical production of The Music Man, that is! Students-actors have been singing and dancing through this Americana-striped musical since November. You won’t want to miss Mrs. Paroo and Winthrop’s rendition of “Gary, Indiana” — it’s time to get your tickets!
Relevant Radio personality Fr. Rocky Hoffman will be hosting a live broadcast of his popular “Go Ask Your Father” show at St. Ambrose Academy on Friday, March 20 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. In this live audience format our students get to ask Fr. Rocky a wide variety of questions about our church, our moral teachings, and our faith life. Our students will ask Fr. Rocky pre-selected questions directly and see/hear his answers for a nationwide audience with thousands of listeners.
The “Go Ask Your Father” show can be heard on the local radio dial at 1240AM or via the internet. You won’t want to miss the questions our students have to ask or how Fr. Rocky addresses these questions about our faith for our very own community.
Love bacon? Love beer? We all love bacon. Those of us over 21 love to drink beer responsibly! 🙂
There is a special day set aside for tastin’ bacon and drinkin’ beer: Saturday, March 14, 2015 for the Bacon and Keggs Bash. The event will feature savory dishes from Madison’s finest restaurants along with local microbrews. The location is Keva Sports Center in Middleton.
Proceeds will help, in part, St. Ambrose Academy! It’s a good cause. The Bacon and Keggs Bash is guaranteed to be a great (tasting) day!
At last night’s St. Ambrose Faculty Lecture entitled “Finding Freedom,” Theresa Klinkhammer demonstrated the sure path to becoming children of God. This is our calling as the faithful. This path is choosing the “greater good,” avoiding the lesser good of something sinful. Sin enslaves us. What a wonderful message as we start Lent today!
Parents hope that they can impart the Catholic faith to their children through catechesis and direct modeling of living a Christian life. But, they recognize that practicing the Catholic faith is a choice that their children must make. Through encountering Jesus Christ at St. Ambrose, parents can feel confident that their children will know and love Jesus Christ and His Church. But, how it encouraging it was to hear one young person, junior Sadie O’Leary, assert that she would practice the Catholic faith as an adult in her presentation at the 8th Annual St. Ambrose Academy Benefit Dinner in December.
In addition, she’ll also be playing the leading lady, Marion, in St. Ambrose’s production of The Music Man in April. Way to go, Sadie!
If you missed him live at the 8th Annual St. Ambrose Academy Benefit Dinner on Saturday, December 13 or just want to revisit the sophomore’s amazing story, check out Tony Brown’s video:
Tony Brown credits Our Lady of Guadalupe, whom he learned about in his eighth grade history class at St. Ambrose, with helping him through a serious surgery and critical infection in 2012. She touched his heart again when he traveled to Mexico City on pilgrimage last spring. Tony shared these inspiring words with the crowd that night: “…I want you to know that my classmates and I are seeking to follow Our Lady, who leads us always to Our Lord.” Tony and his St. Ambrose classmates are heading in the right direction!
SAA History teacher Michael Kwas talks wining and dining, inspirations and wrapping up his Madison Magazine wine column after a stellar fifteen-year run. Click here for article.
Fr. Chad Droessler, pastor of Blessed Trinity Parish (Dane) and Dr. Jeff Karls, principal of Blessed Trinity School (Dane), will co-sponsor and host the special Catholic Schools Week St. Ambrose Faculty Lecture by Abby Lease, a History and Latin teacher. The event is Thursday, January 29, 2015 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Blessed Trinity (109 S. Military Road Dane, WI 53529). Abby’s lecture has wide appeal with her topic of “Becoming Saints: The History and Process of Canonization.” She will explore why St. Peter of Verona was canonized after only 11 months while St. Joan of Arc was canonized after 500 years. What really, truly makes one a saint? This lecture is free and open to the public.
The Vatican released new information on men and women “up” for canonization just this week. This special Faculty Lecture event will help you to understand more deeply how ordinary people –like all of us– becomes saints.
Watch or re-watch the St. Ambrose Academy Benefit Dinner keynote address given by Rev. Francis “Fr. Rocky” Hoffman, Executive Director of Relevant Radio. His talk, entitled “Learn It. Live It. Love It. And You’ll Never Leave It,” demonstrated that Relevant Radio’s and St. Ambrose’s missions are the same: forming Catholic saints. After the dinner, Fr. Rocky shared on Facebook about our sophomore student speaker: “This young man just told a crowd of 700 how Our Lady of Guadalupe saved his life. Very inspiring!!” He also commented that he was “impressed with the turnout and the support for St. Ambrose Academy.”
We extend our gratitude to Fr. Rocky and Relevant Radio for the collaboration between both apostolates, Relevant Radio and St. Ambrose Academy. It was a gift to have Fr. Rocky as our special guest presenter!
Last spring, Wisconsin State Journal reporter Doug Erickson attended a “Teach ‘Em to Think” Tour featuring a short presentation from then-senior Jose Flores. Jose shared that he had applied to become a seminarian for the Diocese of Madison after considering medical school, UW-Madison, and the University of Dallas. In a recent update piece, Doug shares that Jose Flores DID go into the seminary. Jose is now attending Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, MN. Jose, we at St. Ambrose are so proud of you!
Rev. Francis “Fr. Rocky” Hoffman from Relevant Radio and 700 Catholics, including Bishop Robert Morlino and 33 Catholic organizations, made the 8th Annual St. Ambrose Academy Benefit Dinner a resounding success!
We extend our gratitude to all the parents, friends, students and staff that made this incredible evening possible!
In the words of our junior student presenter:
Through your support of St. Ambrose, you are building up the next generation of Catholics.
We [the student body] have been given all the wealth of a solid education, because of you.
We have been educated to think critically and to form sound opinions, because of you.
We will have the richness of the Catholic faith because of you.
We know that God has a plan for each one of us because of you.
YOU made this happen for me, and for my all classmates.
Thank you very much.
St. Ambrose senior Matt Marsland was recently nominated by U.S. Representative Mark Pocan to the Class of 2019 at the United States Service Academies. Matt’s nomination was for the U.S. Naval Academy. Read more here.
We are busily updating reservation information for the gala event of the Advent season, the 8th Annual Benefit Dinner. Reservations are near 500, but we want to reach 700! Can you help us get there by registering online now in just minutes?!
Vicki Thorn, an international pro-life speaker, the foundress of Project Rachel, and the Executive Director of the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, visited St. Ambrose Academy on Wednesday, November 12 to address the high school students. She spoke on the biology of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, debunking the idea of casual sex without consequences. Then, Vicki gave a special guest lecture at Holy Redeemer-Cathedral Parish as part of the St. Ambrose Faculty Lecture Series. Jaws dropped to the floor as Vicki shared the intricacies of our biology.
Congratulations to the 2014 Challengers on an outstanding season! A great time was had by all at the WIAA 8-man Jamboree this Saturday. Although the Dragons slayed the Challengers 58-40 on the field, our men fought valiantly and there were many outstanding individual performances, including a number of Challengers recognized on the All-Conference teams.
When Rev. Francis “Fr. Rocky” Hoffman offered to be a keynote speaker for the 8th Annual St. Ambrose Academy Benefit Dinner, who were we to say “no”? Of course, we are thrilled to have the Executive Director of Relevant Radio (incidentally also a business sponsor) remind us of the importance of passing on the Catholic faith in our culture. He knows from being on the road visiting Catholic schools as part of his Go Ask Your Father radio show just how well-poised Catholic schools are to passing on the Catholic faith. Fr. Rocky will be able to celebrate with us the value of Catholic education on Saturday, December 13, 2014 at the Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall in Madison.
Want to join Fr. Rocky and 700 other guests? Make a reservation!
Senior Matt Marsland recently received the good news that, based on his scores on the PSAT, he has qualified as a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist for 2015. As a Semifinalist, he is part of a national pool representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors; he is among the highest-scoring entrants in Wisconsin. Matt will apply to be a National Merit Finalist, the next step. Congratulations, Matt, on your accomplishment!
St. Ambrose is very pleased to welcome Michael Bowden, Class of 2010, to the ranks of our staff! Michael is a 2014 cum laude graduate of the University of Dallas and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. He has spent his last several summers in volunteer service, most recently joining the core team of Love Begins Here, meeting our students in the process. Michael’s role at St. Ambrose will be as the Development Assistant where he will be able to bring his firsthand knowledge of what it is like to be a student to the wider world of our broad St. Ambrose community.
Michael is pictured below with his St. Ambrose classmates in 2010. He is the second from the left and now sports a full beard, which he couldn’t have as a student. Welcome, Michael!
Come out to celebrate the 2014 Challenger football season at our tailgate party this Saturday, Oct. 4, at 11:00 a.m. before the Challengers kick off at 1:00 p.m. vs. Maranatha Baptist.
For a printable invitation, click here.
SAA Freshman Kate K. competed in the State 4-H horse show in Milwaukee with her horse, Fancy. They qualified at the Green County Fair earlier this summer. Fancy is a Tennessee Walker that Kate has had for just over 4 years. Kate also competed in the Horse Judging competition. She finished in the top ten for the Juniors who gave reasons.
We are pleased to have John Winkowitsch join the St. Ambrose faculty this fall. The seminarian for the Diocese of Madison will be teaching Geometry part-time. John brings teaching experience and a great passion for Jesus Christ to the classroom. Welcome, John!
Learn more about John’s journey into the seminary.
The classrooms are sparkling, the books are stacked up high, and the faculty is ready!
Looking forward to seeing your smiling faces tomorrow!
After a SERIOUS rain delay… and then another, and another… the Challengers emerged victorious from their first game of the season. The 2014 team is looking tough! Next up: Road Trip to Three Lakes on Saturday, Aug. 30. The full season schedule is here.
All parents and athletes who are planning to be a part of the Guardians’ high school or junior high cross country teams should plan to attend the mandatory team meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, August 11, at the Bishop O’Connor Center gym. For more information, contact Coach Angela Hineline.
Wow! Our first-ever Matching Gift Challenge has exceeded our expectations. We are on track to meet or even surpass our 2013-14 fundraising goal.
While we are still praying for the remaining end-of-month gifts to arrive, enabling our forecast to hold true, we know one thing for sure: God is abundantly blessing St. Ambrose Academy through our generous benefactors! Thank you so much for supporting Catholic classical education in Madison.
On Friday, July 18, at 7:00 p.m. at Middleton High School, Josh Santiago (SAA ’14) will represent the Challengers in the 8-Man Prep All-Star football game. Josh and Challenger Coach Mark Martinez will both be a part of the South Division team.
Come out for some great summer FOOTBALL!
The Wisconsin State Journal has more details at this link.
In less than one week (July 7-11, 2014), we’ve raised $3245 toward the $10,000 matching challenge. Mental math will give you that, with the matching dollars, we’ve actually raised $6490! So, $3245 really means $6490. But, in human terms, it really means opening the door to a St. Ambrose education for 2 or 3 students who couldn’t afford full tuition. Many of our students, nearly 50%, are in this position. Click the blue “Donate” button at the top of any web page to join in the matching challenge in July!
The St. Ambrose Guardians for Life group were recently nominated for a United Way community volunteer award based on their work with the Madison Pregnancy Helpline.
Way to go, Guardians!
Dear parents and friends,
With these brief notes I would like to keep you up to date with highlights of our monthly Saint Ambrose Academy, Inc., board of directors meetings. My goal is to keep these notes short enough that you can read them in one minute.
Administrator’s Report. Fall enrollment is projected to be 93-100 students. The fall faculty plan is nearly complete.
Budget. Although the 2014-2015 operating expense budget remains at $675,000, reduced spending of about $12,000 has been identified in the event enrollment is in the lower level of the projected range.
Development Director’s Report. The new development database is proving helpful for activities like the phone-a-thon. Our development goal, nearly 50 percent higher than last year’s, is within reach.
David R. J. Stiennon
President, Saint Ambrose Academy, Inc.
Ambrosians Zoe Apel (SAA ’12) and Peter Carey (SAA ’11) are serving as part of the leadership team for the Madison Diocese’s first-ever Totus Tuus youth program.
Totus Tuus, which the Diocese of Madison has added to its lineup of youth outreach offerings in 2014, is a summer Catholic youth program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness, and Eucharistic worship.
Click here for more information about Totus Tuus and the 2014 schedule for the week-long program, which will be offered at six different Madison-area parishes throughout the summer.
Two Ambrosians represented SAA at last weekend’s Overture Tommy Awards.
The Tommy Awards program recognizes, honors and encourages excellence in musical theater production among area high school students.
At a reception before the May 24, 2014 Graduation Mass and Ceremony, Bishop Robert Morlino presented Chris & Beth Ptak with the Louis & Zelie Martin award for outstanding dedication to Catholic education. With the graduation of their youngest son Chris, in 2014, the Ptak’s five children have all graduated from St. Ambrose Academy.
On Saturday, May 24, the ten St. Ambrose seniors celebrated their graduation at the Bishop O’Connor Center in Madison.
St. Ambrose students welcome your prayers as they head into finals week! This last week of school will be a whirlwind of final exams, end-of-year field trips, school cleanup, and preparation for Graduation. We’re in the home stretch!
In case one might guess that our students are memorizing Latin stanzas all day, take a look at St. Ambrose students trying out a Harley-Davidson motorcycle on Monday, May 12.
Crystal Mundt and DD Sorg from the Sauk-Prairie Harley dealership brought by a “jumpstart” motorcycle, which (for safety’s sake) was strapped down to a flatbed railer, for the students to try.
In addition to sharing Harley’s unique history as a company, Crystal Mundt made many students smile big once the motorcycle’s engine began revving. And Principal Schmiesing got in on the fun, too!
Join us for the final “Teach ’em to Think” Tour of the school year!
We are offering a Breakfast Tour on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
We warmly welcome you to attend our whirlwind 59-minute breakfast-and-school-tour event, where you can see classical education in action. Visit with our students, let us treat you to a tasty continental breakfast, hear from our board members, and see the inner workings of our classes, all in about an hour.
More information is here. Please RSVP so we can be sure to plan for enough breakfast! Children are welcome to attend with their parents.
The 2013-14 St. Ambrose yearbook is going to be the best one yet!
Students wishing to purchase the 2014 yearbook should sign up at school. Orders must be paid in full to receive a yearbook. Books are $15 each or $12 each for 2 or more.
Please contact the school office for more information.
On Tuesday, April 29, SAA Dean of Faculty Theresa Klinkhammer presented her fascinating research about the many references to ‘living water’ throughout the Old and New Testament.
The evening presentation was the final monthly installment of the SAA Faculty Lecture Series for 2013-14. We are planning a new line-up of speakers, topics, and locations for 2014-15!
We appreciate the hospitality of the Divine Mercy parish in Sauk City for hosting our April event.
For the first time, St. Ambrose Academy will offer summer session classes in the skills of becoming a great student. Click here for more information. Come to the Informational Meeting on Thursday, May 8.
On April 8, Sisters from the Apostles of the Interior Life came to Madison to lead the parish mission at the Cathedral Parish. We arranged for a stop at St. Ambrose earlier in the day.
Sr. Michela Brugnoli along with consecrated woman Mary Grace addressed the junior high and high school students. Sr. Michela talked about the Apostles of the Interior Life and their mission of reminding people they are called to be saints and helping them develop a relationship with God in prayer. Sr. Michela shared the three R’s of mental prayer: Read, Reflect & Relate, and Resolve. She also gave examples of miracles of conversion and divine providence she has experienced.
To hear the vocation story of another Apostle of the Interior Life, listen to this recording David Stiennon made when the Apostles were stationed at St. Paul’s University Catholic Center a few years back.
On Wednesday, April 9, Dick Brachman, the Market Chair for Madison’s Town Bank location, visited our senior high students after lunch. Although firmly established now in the banking industry, Dick explained how he graduated from the School of Journalism at UW-Madison intending to be a sports writer. When the Wisconsin State Journal wasn’t hiring, Dick went into the insurance industry before settling into banking. Dick is proof positive that there are many different routes into successful careers. Dick encouraged the senior high students to keep learning every day -even after graduation- and network network network! We thank Dick for networking with St. Ambrose!
Senior Jose Flores gave a fantastic interview in a Wisconsin State Journal article by Doug Erickson published on Sunday, April 6, 2014. Jose shares his plans for next year, which may include attending minor seminary for the Diocese of Madison. Read all that this articulate young man had to say.
St. Ambrose has a shiny new website! Please make yourself at home and have a look around. Many of the pages are in their early design stages, so check back often for updates and improvements!
Four St. Ambrose athletes are braving the cold spring to join with teammates from ALCS and MCDS to form a girls’ soccer team.