176th EDITION: December 18, 2020

From the Desk of Benji Winkelman

Congratulations, we made it! Now that the first semester is complete, we can stop and catch our breath, rest, and spend time with our friends and family.

Looking back on a very unusual, but successful first semester, I am grateful for all the families that have put their faith in our school, and I appreciate all of the obstacles that had to be overcome to continue to choose Marian Central Catholic High School. Additionally, the perseverance and dedication that our faculty and staff have demonstrated this semester is truly remarkable and should be commended. To step outside their comfort zone and design and implement new ways to present material and assess student learning has made a profound and meaningful impact on our students' lives.

As we welcome this two week break with open arms, I would like to thank all of the people that opened their hearts to the O’Neill/Harding family. Family is a term we use quite frequently to describe the culture we are trying to create and maintain here at Marian. It is a concept that we have always tried to nurture and encourage in our students, and although we leave after four years here, we all remain part of the Marian ‘family.’ Through the help of our Development Office and Student Council, our current students were able to witness and partake in that love for one another in the form of our Christmas Drive to help two Marian alums through a difficult time. Difficult situations can bring out the best in people, watching this student body organize and come together through prayer and financial support to bring some much needed Christmas cheer was truly outstanding, and I have never been more proud to be a Hurricane.

The spirit of Christmas is Christlike love. The way to increase the Christmas spirit is to reach out generously to those around us and give of ourselves. The best gifts are not material things but gifts of listening, of showing kindness, of remembering, of visiting, of forgiving, of giving time. I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Benji Winkelman

Please join us...

Remote Learning - January 4 - 15

As a reminder - Per the Diocese of Rockford, all students will be learning remote for the first two weeks in January. All students will follow Bell Schedule 1 for all days during these two weeks. Students will return to the red/blue hybrid schedule beginning Tuesday, January 19th. Please click here for details.

Dental Examination Forms - Freshmen Students

The State of Illinois requires all freshmen students to have a Proof of Dental Examination Form on file in the school office. These are due to the office no later than May 15, 2021 for an exam that occurred between November 15, 2019 and May 15, 2021. If you have any questions, please reach out to Kris Johnson at 815-338-4220 ext. 100 or

Please click here for the Dental Examination Form

Yearbook Photos/Retakes


Students who have not yet been photographed this year or who desire a retake will be photographed on Thursday, February 4th or Friday, February 5th.

Remote student photographs will be taken after school hours on Thursday, February 4th. A specific schedule will be shared at a later date.

Seniors who have not yet been photographed or require retakes will be photographed after school hours on Thursday, February 4th. A specific schedule and additional details will be shared at a later date.


1. Go to, scroll down to the gallery area of the page.

2. Freshman, Sophomores, and Juniors should go to the School Pictures area and then click Enter Gallery. Seniors should go to the Class of 2021 Senior Portraits and click Enter Gallery.

3. Type your email address to enter the gallery.

4. Read the instructions that display after you've entered the gallery. (Please scroll to read all of the instructions!) This will include information you'll need to access your student's private album, order digital files and/or professional prints, add White Glove Touch-Up services, and use your Pre-Pay Credit!

If you have any questions about the photos or the ordering process, please contact Vicky at or 815.307.0974

College Information Night - Virtual

WHEN: Tuesday, February 9th, 2021 from 6:30-9:00 PM (Program begins at 6:30 PM)

WHERE: This year’s program will be virtual, with links being sent to participating families no later than Friday, February 5th, 2021

WHAT: An opportunity to learn about starting a college search, how colleges review Marian transcripts, test optional admission policies, and to attend a mock college application review. Students and families will also have the ability to ask the college admission officers who will be presenting on these topics questions.

Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors and their parents/guardians are invited to attend this program. We strongly encourage juniors and their parents/guardians to attend College Information Night. We’ve put together a comprehensive program that’ll be slightly different than last year’s program. We’re confident students and their families will leave with insight into some of the most complicated and confusing parts of the college search.

We ask that those planning to attend this program please register online at:

Please direct any questions about College Information Night to Mr. Stamatakos ( or Mrs. Diamond ( We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, February 9th!

EMPOWER ILLINOIS Reservation Night 2021

The State of Illinois has created a new way to fund scholarships for children who choose to attend Catholic schools through the “Invest in Kids Act.” Scholarships offered through this program have the potential to cover up to 100 percent of tuition and eligible charges for next school year at Marian Central Catholic High School.

The Empower Illinois Scholarship Granting Organization website ( will be accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year beginning Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

The Empower Illinois scholarship is first come first served, based off the time in which you submit reservation. Your timestamp matters and may impact your chances of receiving a scholarship.

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Testing Day - January 26th



Senior Students will not have school on January 26th to allow for college visits.

Freshmen and Sophomores will be taking the PreACT test, and Juniors will take the PSAT/NMSQT in-person at Marian Central (start time 8:00 a.m.) on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. This will be a shortened school day and all buses will run according to the shortened schedule. Social Distancing guidelines will be maintained in hallways and testing rooms and all students will be required to wear masks while testing. All safety and cleaning protocols will be observed.

Remote students are strongly encouraged to test and will be assigned to remote-only student testing rooms. Those remote students planning to attend and test should contact the Guidance Director, Mrs. Hilton, via email ( no later than Friday, January 15, 2021 to register for testing.

We encourage our students to take these tests seriously as the results provide valuable information to be used to prepare for future ACT and SAT tests and resources to aid in the career/college planning process. If you have any questions, please reach out to Mrs. Hilton, Guidance Director, at 815-338-4220, ext. 121 or

To familiarize yourself with the tests and the benefits for your students, please click on the following links:



Class of 2021 - Baby Pictures Needed

It’s that time of the year! BABY PICTURE TIME!

1. Bring in an actual photo (size 8x10): please have your FULL NAME and your English teacher’s name marked on back. (Use masking tape to write on if you don’t want to write on the actual photo back!) GIVE TO YOUR ENGLISH TEACHER! He/She will have a folder to collect photos, and we will return the photo through your English class once we have it scanned and saved.

2. Email a .jpg formatted directly to In the title of the email, please include your full name. Make sure you notify your English teacher, and we will verify with him or her that the image was downloaded successfully.

3. Send in a .jpg copy on a recordable cd. Give to your English teacher, and we will return the disc promptly.

What type of photo works best? The BEST type of baby photo is when you were 6 months – 3 yrs. PLEASE do NOT send in newborn photos (taken in the hospital.) All newborns look the same – and have that same scrunchy-faced angry look. At about 6 months, however, we can see hints of your unique personality! Don’t be left out! We are striving to have 100% of our senior class represented!


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