188th EDITION: March 26, 2021

From the Desk of Mr. Benji Winkelman


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle

Two weeks ago, we hit the one-year milestone of the Covid-19 stay-at-home order. I, like everyone else, thought we would be back in school in two weeks. Once the reality set in that we would be in our homes for a longer period of time, I embraced the possibility of not being so busy and was looking to develop some new habits. I was going to read more books, cook more meals for my family, I was going to lose a few pounds, etc. Spoiler alert! I did not do any of it. My pre-corona virus routines fell hard and fast and some days at dinnertime I realized that I had not gotten dressed or even showered. Even though I teach students how to create and develop good habits, I struggled to even follow my own advice.

Before we continue, I need to define habits. Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviors on any given day. What you repeatedly do (i.e., what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray. Everything I teach in my classes from strength training to nutrition, to fundamental sport skills, everything starts with creating good habits. When you learn to transform your habits, you can transform your life. But How? I am glad you asked.

Below are five simple steps taken from Changing Habits from the University of North Carolina for changing one habit at a time (#5 is my own personal tip).

1. Choose one habit and do it well: It is ideal to select one goal that will bring your life in line. Be sure to start with something easy to achieve and then slowly enhance the degree of difficulty.

2. Write down your plan: Make visible what you will do each day. Remember to start off slow, focusing on creating rituals first and results second. Also, define success in measurable terms.

3. Make your goal public and develop a support team: Ask your family, friends, or colleagues to help hold you accountable. Be sure to report your progress each day, either within a journal or through your favorite social media outlet.

4. Make a plan for when you falter: Write down what caused you to stumble. You want to be as honest as possible. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to start over with a revised plan.

5. Make this your new motto: “Never miss twice.”

I find the “never miss twice” mindset to be particularly useful. I will miss one day, but I am not going to miss two in a row. Slipping up on your habits doesn't make you a failure. It makes you normal. You have to learn to not judge yourself or feel guilty when you make a mistake, and instead focus on getting back on track. Please take some time over the break, think about creating a new habit or improving on a current one, develop a plan to implement those changes and begin to make some positive changes in your life. I hope that you find this edition of the Friday Focus to be helpful and please use the link to learn more about changing your habits.

Spring break is finally here, and I hope that everyone will stay safe and find some much-needed rest and relaxation. To everyone in our Marian Central community I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Easter!

Benji Winkelman

Dean of Students

Hybrid/In-Person Learning Update

Please click the link below for a copy of the letter that was sent to families earlier this week regarding the potential to return all students back to full-time in-person learning. Thank you for your continued patience and support. April, 2021 Update. Please refer to the April calendar below for additional information.

Spring Break Travel

Please click the link below for a copy of the letter from the Diocese that was sent to families regarding spring break travel. Thank you. Spring Break Travel - Letter from Diocese

Prom 2021

The Diocese has given approval for Marian Central to host a 2021 Prom. Due to capacity restrictions and social distancing guidelines, this year's Prom will be for senior students only. Specific details regarding the event will be emailed to seniors and their parents.


Final tuition payments for the 2020-21 school year are due April 1st. Payments can be made online or be sent to the office. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Murwin at

Dental Forms Required - Freshmen

All Freshmen dental forms are due in the office no later than May 15, 2021. This documentation is required by the State of Illinois. Dental exams must have occurred between November 15, 2020 and May 15, 2021. Please click here for a Dental Exam form.

Athletic Registration

All student-athletes who intend to participate in interscholastic athletics must be registered prior to the first practice (see below for season start dates). Registration can be completed on Marian Central’s athletic website or by clicking here:

Boys Tennis: April 6

Boys Lacrosse: April 6

Girls Soccer: April 6 – 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Softball: April 6 – 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Boys & Girls Track and Field: April 6 – 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm for Girls; 4:00pm - 5:30 pm for boys

Baseball: April 6 – 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Please continue to check the athletic website, Marian Central Catholic HS | Home ( for any changes. If you have any questions please contact the athletic director, Mr. Curtis Price, at or 815-338-4220, Ext 119.

Virtual Car Race - Win Prizes Weekly!

Congratulations to our 8 winners from our third Virtual Car Race! Check out the TEN new prizes that have been added for Monday's race at For updates on prizes, races, and winners, join "Hurricanes, start your engines" Facebook group here.

Paint, Sip & Be Pampered!

Marian Central's Paint and Sip is an adult painting class where no experience is needed! All materials, instruction, and tasty drinks and snacks will be provided, and you will go home with a vibrant painting you made. Get ready to be pampered while painting! Each painting station will have a personal server assigned to you.

When: Sunday, April 11 at 2:00 pm

Where: Marian Central Cafeteria

To register for the event, visit Seating is limited due to state guidelines. Early registration is encouraged.

Golf Outing - Save the Date!

Monday, July 26

Bull Valley Golf Club

More information will be coming soon. In the meantime, please SAVE THE DATE!

Mentor Program

Current Sophomores and Juniors - Are you interested in becoming a Mentor? For details, click here: Mentor Application Information. Applications are due on Google Classroom (code m5m77av) no later than 5pm on Friday, April 16th.

Upcoming Virtual College Visits

All juniors and seniors may attend these virtual visits. Students must receive permission from their teachers to attend each visit and must sign up for all visits in SCOIR. Students learning remotely on the day(s) of any visits will be sent links to access the presentations through their Marian Central email accounts.

Tuesday, April 6th - St. Ambrose University - 3rd Period

Friday, April 9th - Ancilla College - 2nd Period

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Order lunch from the Marian Central Cafeteria or from Napoli by clicking here.