The Viking Press

Issue #5 March 2015

Can you believe 2nd semester has come and gone? How time flies!

There is so much exciting and important news to share with our St. Eugene School family.

Please enjoy reading the next issue of the Viking Press!

Also, remember to "like" us on Facebook!

Mark Your Calendars!!

March 19th - St. Joseph's Table

March 20th - Spring Photo

March 22nd - Bunny Breakfast

March 27th - 7th Grade Confirmation

April 2nd - April 10th Easter Break

April 22nd - 8th Grade Ribbon Mass

April 25th - "The Round Up" School Fundraiser

May 2nd - First Communion

May 15th - May Crowning

Principal's Corner

How “lucky” can one school be? St. Eugene School is among “the lucky 40” schools randomly (are we sure it was done randomly???) selected to be visited in April by an outside AdvancEd team. The on-site visits are a part of the system-wide accreditation process the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese are going through this year. As those in the downtown office like to remind us, “we are a school system and not a “system of schools.” Basically, this means that an individual school’s self-study and evaluation of past years has been replaced by an in-depth process that asks all schools to provide the same data and judges the system as a whole by these findings. The data collection was tedious and we are relieved to see it coming to an end. I am very grateful to Mrs. McKermitt and Mrs. Kusinski for all their time and work as our local AdvancEd team. Without their dedication and conscientiousness the self-study and data collecting would not have been completed. The good news for those of us visited this year is that we don’t have to have another on-site visit for five more years! (Although we do have to show that we are working to meet any recommendations resulting from this initial AdvancEd process.)

If you are like me, you were happy to see the month of February come to an end. For the second year in a row we had to take “snow days” and put up with both extreme cold and too much snow! But, our school families have been great about getting their children to school; winter month attendance has been excellent! Hopefully, since March came in like a lion it will go out like a lamb, and the warmer Spring-like weather will be here soon. Now that we have reached the second trimester we know that the end of the school year will be here before we know it…but, not without our enjoyment of the many remaining events and traditions that make our school the special place it is. So, let’s sit back, keep warm, and get ready for those special days that await us!

Archdiocese Chicago Catholic Schools

Please check out this website for some information on Chicago Catholic Schools!

Words From Fr. George

Paper or Plastic (Not China)

I often use ordinary items to explain a lesson to children. Recently, I was on my way to the 1st and 2nd grade classrooms with a bottle of bubbles to demonstrate how material things do not last in life. While walking through the school, I encountered the Little Vikings (children ages 18 months through 3 years old) who were visiting the kindergarten and preschool children. Of course, when the children saw me - a big man (every adult looks big to a small child) - dressed in all black, and sporting a beard, they naturally were a little scared. Then I remembered my bottle of bubbles that I was going to use in my lesson. Let me tell you, bubbles are a great ice breaker with children of any age.

There I was blowing bubbles at the little children who immediately ran around trying to pop them. The children were no longer scared of me. They wanted me to continue to blow the bubbles so they could make them disappear. It was then that I learned a lesson from the children. Material things do last forever, but, around small children they get destroyed even faster. Parents may want to remember this lesson. They are given plastic plates, or, in some cases, paper plates until they get older.

St. Eugene Parish Website

Our parish has recently updated their website. You can always check here for news and upcoming events!

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St. Eugene School Fundraiser "Round - Up"

Saturday, April 25th, 7-11pm

St Eugene School Chicago - Shaunessy Center

Come join us for a fun filled country western themed evening featuring live music by " Lucky Town"! Food vendors will be on site from 7-9 pm along with a cash bar!

Now let's get to the good stuff...many games of chance including split the pot raffles, pull tabs, "mock horse races", silent auction and OF COURSE our beloved classroom memorabilia will be auctioned off!

Raffle tickets are also being sold in the school office...$50 each!

It's a great way to support our children AND have some fun! Mark your calendars and buy your tickets now!

School Advisory Committee SAC

"What does the School Advisory Committee (SAC) do?"

"Can parents attend SAC meetings?"

"How did they decide that?"

We have heard these questions time and time again. Many parents don't understand exactly how some decisions are made, by whom, or how they can be involved. ALL parents are invited to either serve on SAC or attend the monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in room 110. We encourage parents to get involved in their child’s education and actively participate on committees. Experts agree that parent involvement in their children's education is one of the biggest predictors of student success.

The School Advisory Committee encourages all parents, new or veteran, to get involved and join SAC. Not sure what SAC does? Please read the last edition of The Viking Press for highlights of events and activities that SAC has participated in over the course of this year. Still have questions? Please ask a current SAC member for more information.

SAC will be accepting nomination forms from now until May 15th for anyone that would like to nominate someone or even themselves.

Thank you and we hope to receive many nominations!

Click on the Google Form (box) below to print/view the Nomination Form!

Tech News and Helpful Websites!

Visit DK Find Out...for fun learning activities with interactive diagrams, videos, quizzes, and photo galleries. It's kind of like an interactive search engine! Learn about dinosaurs, animals, space, nature, and much more! Click HERE to visit the website!

If you are looking for a safe photo search engine, check out Photos for Class. All of the images are school-appropriate for educational use. The best part is that downloaded images automatically cite the author and the image license terms! This will help make school project safe and easy!

Let's geek out with Science!!! Check out this website to Explore the Field of Engineering! The American Society for Engineering has created the Engineering, Go For It (eGFI)

web source that aims to promote interest in engineering for grades K-12 students. There is information branching from agriculture to aerospace, as well as real people who work in each field. It's a really neat resource!

Reading Bear is a free service that offers 50+ narrated presentations on all the main phonetic patterns of the English language. Students can control the pace of each lesson to best meet their needs. At the end of each lesson, students can take a quiz to assess their understanding and receive instant, verbal feedback for each question. It's a fun way to practice reading skills!

STUDYJAMS is a website that is designed to help your child learn and review math and science concepts through guided learning techniques and also quizzing! Some topics include plants, solar system, human body, decimals, percents, multiplication and division!

Here are some new educational Apps that rock! Check them out!

Monetary Donations for the Golden Family

Thank you to all that have come together to support one of our families here at St. Eugene after the sudden passing of Joe Golden, father of Dylan (3rd) and Nico (1st). If you have not had a chance to visit the donation site, you can contribute monetarily by clicking here GoFund link.

Our Annual 5K Race!

Save the date for our 4th Annual St. Eugene Trot 'n Treat 5k Run/Walk and Kid's Monster Dash on October 17th, 2015 at 9am. This is a great event including music, food and fun for the whole family. Last year's race raised over $24,000 for technology and other school initiatives. Please plan on joining this important school fundraiser as a runner or volunteer. We look forward to seeing you all there and be sure to tell your family and friends!

Alumni Spotlight - Brett Balduf

What year did you graduate from St. Eugene? I graduated St. Eugene’s in 1987.

High school: Notre Dame High School, graduated in 1991

Undergraduate: University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Undergraduate major: Psychology

Degree: Bachelor in Science - I also received a Masters in Social Work from University of Illinois, Chicago and my Type 75 Administrative Degree from DePaul University.

Resides In: Park Ridge, Illinois

Current Parish: Our Lady of Ransom

Job Title/Duties: Principal of Carpenter Elementary School

Company Name: School District 64

What activities / sports did you participate in when you were at St. Eugene? While I was at St. Eugene’s, I played basketball, softball, and flag football. I attended camp every summer.

How do you think St. Eugene prepared you for your chosen profession and success you’ve had so far? St. Eugene instilled in me a strong work ethic and held me accountable for my work, my actions, and my faith.

What is your fondest memory of St. Eugene? It’s hard to just pick one as I spent 10 years of my life at St. Eugene. I remember my teachers, funny stories with friends, and academic successes at different grade levels. I remember our Christmas shows and assemblies. I always enjoyed going to summer camp every year, playing on the sports teams, and the various activities we attended.

Is there a particular teacher, coach or student who inspired you? I had great teachers at St. Eugene, but I have to write about Fr. Shaughnessy. I admired him, feared him, and appreciated everything he did for us as students. His stories were always humorous and thought-provoking. He took us everywhere: skiing, camping, and Cubs games. He was always at Friday night skating. He cared about us, the school, and the parish.

What advice do you have for current St. Eugene students?

Continue to work hard in school and don’t settle for “doing just enough to get things done.” Respect yourself, your work, and obviously others. Stay connected to the Church. There is something special about the friends you are making now. I remain friends with my St. Eugene friends 28 years later, and I know a lot of other alumni that would tell you the same thing.

What do you do in your free time? Being a principal, I still work a lot in my free time. However, I enjoy spending time with my family and extended family. I like to go to my children’s sporting events and coach when I have the opportunity. I am a huge Bears, Blackhawks, and Cubs fan. I sing and play keyboards in a band. I enjoy participating in sports, but also enjoy playing video game sports too!

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I have an interesting St. Eugene’s story. My band played live at Eugene-a-Fest in Fall 1985. I was in 7th grade. My future wife, Jackie, approached me at the fest and first introduced herself by asking if I was the one in the band. That was the day we met. We married 14 years later at St. Eugene Church. Both of our children were baptized at St. Eugene as wel.

If you’d like to hear something current from the band, search Otherwise Civilized on ITunes and download One More Day.

Family (spouse/children): Jackie, Noah (8th grade, 14 yrs. old), Ethan (5th Grade, 10 years old)

If your siblings are alumni, please give me their names and graduation years: Brad Balduf (1984) & Brian Balduf (1981)

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St. Eugene School's BRAG BAG...we have plenty to say and pictures to share!

Winter Dance - The 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will don their dancing shoes onThursday, March 12th. They will be the hosts for a winter dance with their lady friends from St. Mary of Providence. Our students will "wow" the ladies as they perform a dance to the song "Rather Be." Our gym will then come alive as all dance to the tunes of "The Hokey Pokey," "The Twist," and "The Chicken Dance." After the dancing, all will enjoy refreshments and a several games of BINGO. The ladies of St. Mary of Providence are looking forward to their field trip to St. Eugene School, and our students are anxiously awaiting seeing their friends once again!

Remembering the Holocaust - During the next couple of weeks, mini lessons on the Holocaust will be presented during literature and social studies to our 7th and 8th graders. Students will attend Resurrection High School's play, "The Diary of Anne Frank" on March 19th, and a trip to the Holocaust Museum is planned on March 31st. "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." -Anne Frank

Eighth Grade English - Have you ever wondered why dinosaurs became extinct or what effect fast food has on us? Or perhaps you have pondered why we dream and what those dreams mean. Have you ever questioned why slavery became so prevalent or how women battled for rights. Can you even begin to fathom the effects Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat, and Facebook have on our culture. These are some of the topics that the 8th graders have chosen to research for their research papers. Students have been working diligently gathering resources and writing note cards. Their finished products will certainly be research masterpieces!

St. Eugene Girl Scouts!

All our Daisies, Brownies and Girls Scouts had a wonderful fun-filled time at the annual "Lock-in"! The lock in was in our school gym and the girls enjoyed treats, games, and a movie! This years theme was beach bum fun! Joining Girl Scouts is very easy! Please contact the office if your daughter is interested in becoming a girl scout!

Thanks for reading and Happy Spring!!

Keep an eye out for our NEW PLAYGROUND SYSTEM...coming soon :)