Regina Jr Sr High Newsletter

December 2018

From the Principal

Dear Regina Community,

The season of Advent starts this weekend and with it we prepare for the coming of Christ. Our Junior High Via and High School Theology courses will be using reflections from Bishop Robert Barron's book Advent Gospel Reflections throughout the season. Other activities during the season include Mass with Bishop Zinkula and Reconciliation.

In this month's Give Us This Day, Father James Martin talks about how noisy this season can be. He recommends doing as Jesus did on many occasions and withdrawing from the noise, finding some quiet time for yourself. This can be done with prayers or readings that are meaningful to you. In case you are like me and need some direction, then Father Martin recommends Isaiah and the Gospels.

All 7-12 graders will also be involved with the senior-led Christmas Basket Project. Regina students will be providing gifts and necessities for 16 families this year. Anyone wishing to help our students is welcome to do so. More information on the Christmas Basket Project is given below.

I pray that all of you are able to have a meaningful and enjoyable Advent, Christmas, and New Year.

God Bless,

Glenn Plummer

Visit From JoCo Metro Bomb Team & Truck

The Robotics team organized a visit to Regina by the Johnson County Metro Bomb team and truck. This will be on Thursday, December 6 at 2:30. The team will be showing their throw bot, night vision goggles, and thermal imaging device as well to the students.

Please do not become alarmed if you see a patrol car and bomb truck in the parking lot on the 6th.

Religious Celebrations & Faith Activities

December 5: K-12 Mass with Bishop Zinkula @ 9:30

December 12: 7-12 Prayer Service (8:30) & Reconciliation (9:00)

December 19: 7-12 Christmas Basket Prayer Service @ 11:00

Mass and prayer services will be held in the Jr/Sr High Gym, unless noted.

Mrs. Welter and a few students created this awesome Advent bulletin board!

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Regina Christmas Basket Project

The Regina Christmas Basket Project needs your help and support this holiday season. Regina Christmas Basket is the senior service project that allows the Regina and Iowa City communities to come together as one to celebrate the Christmas spirit of giving.

This year the Regina Christmas Basket Project has partnered with the Dream Center to find 16 families, whose children range from newborns to teenagers, who need additional support this holiday season. The Regina the senior class was then split up into 16 groups, each supporting a different family. These 16 groups are then paired with all 15 religion classes, involving the entire junior high and high school. The final family is paired with the facility to involve the faculty and staff.

To get to know these families on a deeper level, Regina’s senior class has volunteered at the Dream Center as well as shared a meal with these families at the meet and greet dinner that was held on October 28th. During this time, Regina’s seniors created a bond with these families before learning more about the needs and wants of their family this Christmas Season.

Regina seniors have visited all junior high and high school religion classes to introduce their respective family and share their christmas list. A sign-up genius has been sent out by your child’s religion teacher. If you would like to get involved you can sign up to donate a gift, via your child’s sign-up genius, or send a monetary donation with your child to give to their religion teacher. Please have all donations into your child’s collection room by December 14th, with any checks made out to Regina Christmas Basket with the family number in the memo line.

Christmas lists range from household necessities: kitchen supplies, furniture, clothes, and winter coats; as well as wants: toys, coloring books, and electronics. On December 19, Regina’s seniors will deliver all donated gifts to their Christmas Basket Family following our closing prayer service.

Donating to the Christmas Basket Project is never required. Any gift you are able to give is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support of Regina’s Christmas Basket Project.

“You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” - John Bunyan

From the School Counselor

Representatives Visiting Regina in December:

Dec 6: Army

Dec. 13: Iowa School Of Beauty


(The ACT Prep seminar is attached.)


On November 19th, all 7th graders explored STEM careers through an interactive STEM Institute, hosted by Workplace Learning Connections and Kirkwood Community College.

(pictures sent separately)


Junior Girls interested in attending Girls State, sponsored by the Iowa City American Legion Auxiliary, should let Mrs. Zoulek know no later than December 14th. For more information, go to


November 15th, the Regina National Honor Society hosted over 120 Senior Citizens for their annual Thanksgiving Dinner. The visitors played bingo, were entertained by the second graders dressed in full pilgrim costumes and also heard from the Regina Orchestra.


On November 5th, Mrs. Zoulek presented at the Iowa School Counselor Conference in Altoona. She, along with Kim Anderson, a counselor from Tipton high school, presented "Preparing Student Athletes for College."

Big Thank You to Theisen's

A big Thank You to Theisen's for selecting Regina Catholic Education Center as a recipient of a "Theisen’s More for Your Community Grant". Representatives from Regina accepted a check for $800 that will go to support Our Security Camera Project. We thank Theisen's Home Farm Auto for their continued support of our school and community!

Invitation to participate in a survey

Do you have a son or daughter in grades 7 to 10? I am conducting a study on adolescent characteristics and experiences and how these relate to aspects of school learning and would like to invite your daughter or son to participate. Before you send this invitation to them, I would like to make sure that you are OK with them participating. You’ll find information about the study at this link:

Research Study Invitation for Adolescents

Hello! Are you a student in grades 7 through 10? If so, we would like to invite you to be part of a a research study we are doing about adolescent characteristics and experiences.

Specifically, the purpose of this study is to look at relationships between students’ personal characteristics and experiences and how these may relate to aspects of their school learning (things like studying and persevering). We are looking for students in grades 7 through 10 who attend a public or private school in the Iowa City area. We are interested in students of all academic levels (strong students as well as those who might struggle) and students with all kinds of backgrounds.

If you would like to participate in the study, click the link at the end of this email and you will be taken to an online survey. There, you will find information that will help you and your parent decide if you’d like to participate in the study. If you do, then you’ll complete the rest of the survey on your own, which will take about 20 minutes.

If you complete the survey you may choose to have your name entered in a drawing for $10 in compensation. You will be able to choose between a $10 gift card from Amazon or a $10 check as the drawing prize. For every 10 people who complete the survey, one $10 prize will be added to the drawing, up to a total of 50 prizes. Please respond to the survey only once!

If you have any questions about the study, please contact Kathy Schuh at or 319-335-5667.

If you are interested in participating and your parent agrees that you can, please click on the following link.


Kathy Schuh

Kathy L. Schuh, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Program Coordinator

Educational Psychology / Learning Sciences


University of Iowa

N304 Lindquist Center North

Iowa City, IA 52242


Camp Kesem at UI

Camp Kesem is a student-run organization that provides support for children who have been affected by a parent's cancer. One of their services is a free week-long summer camp where these kiddos can just be kids and leave their adult responsibilities behind. To be a part of Kesem, the child must be between the ages of 6-18. Here is the link to an interest indicator form for families who might be interested in attending camp. for you to send out to families who might be interested in attending camp.

Activity Involvement and ACT Achievement

There are wide-ranging benefits to student participation in high school activities. Students can develop new skills, broaden their experiences, practice social skills, and increase their appeal to college admissions personnel. In addition, ACT data indicate that, regardless of a student’s high school GPA, involvement in high school activities is often associated with higher ACT Composite scores. At the same time, results typically identify a point of diminishing returns, one where many activities are associated with a drop in ACT scores.

From ACT's Condition of College and Career Readiness Report 2018

Children's Literature Festival

Once again, the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature will host the One Book Two Book Children's Literature Festival. The festival will be held Feb. 22-24.

As in year's past, we are encouraging students in grades 1-8 in Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Corridor area school districts (or home school students in equivalent grades) to submit one piece of original writing for the competition that is a part of the festival. This year, however, we are now featuring the opportunity for students to submit work in English, French, or Spanish.

Information is attached below.

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Fight the New Drug Presentation

Parents: You along with your middle school and high school students are invited to attend, at no cost, the presentations by Fight the New Drug on December 5th in Solon, at the HS Performing Arts Center. See attached flyer for more information

Fight the New Drug presentations to MS & HS students are age appropriate and combine humor, interactive demonstrations, powerful stories and high quality videos and animation to help inform about porn’s harmful effects on their brain, their relationships and the world. The presentations are positive and hopeful, not shaming or embarrassing. They equip young people with ways to protect themselves, to be empowered to talk without shame and to get free-access to help if struggling with an addiction.


Chemistry and Physics


  • Students just completed the first test for Chapter 6, which covered conversions between moles, volume, mass, and number of particles. We build on that in the second half of Chapter 6 and will use percent composition data to determine empirical and molecular formulas for compounds.


  • Physics students are currently working with projectile motion and how it relates to Newton's Second Law of Motion. Students built torsion catapults from a kit and then were able to design and build their own catapults using jumbo craft sticks, hot glue, and rubber bands. We are currently in the midst of our Catapult Contest, where teams/individuals earn points for various levels of accuracy and distance. The pictures included below show students building their torsion catapults and competing in the Catapult Contest. After the completion of the catapult lab, we will continue on to Circular Motion and Relative Velocity. The last unit before final exams will cover Gravitation.

Dr. Ensign's Science Update

n Biology we have been studying Ecology. We have discussed the impact the California wildfires have had on plants, animals, humans, and their surroundings. The students recently completed an animal population lab where students determined the population of a larger area by evaluating a sample area.

In AP Biology we have studied free energy, metabolism, cell respiration, and photosynthesis. The students recently completed a photosynthesis lab where they were able to recreate how plants survive and function, all in a laboratory setting.

In Biomedical Science the students are still investigating the mysterious death of the fictional character Anna Garcia.. They have evaluated the autopsy and medical reports for clues and determined she had Type 1 Diabetes. Next up-a lab to determine what she ate the night before she died and what role diabetes played.

In Human Body Systems students have been working on their Manikens (mini skeletons) using clay to recreate the brain and spinal cord. This has included extensive research into how and why the brain functions like it does.

English 8 & Language Arts 8

The 8th graders are closing in on the trial scene in To Kill a Mockingbird. We have been discussing conflict, symbol, and the characteristics of Southern Gothic literature as we explore the characters of Maycomb. We will be discussing themes pertaining to racism, social class, and gender stereotypes as the plot of the novel builds. To help visualize events in the novel and locate key details, the students are drawing maps of Maycomb and recording events from the novel on these maps during block English periods.

In the afternoon language arts classes, we are finishing our study of subjects and objects. Your student should be able to identify a subject, subject complement, direct object, indirect object, object of a preposition, and an object complement . . . with the aid of a notecard with some handy formulas written on it. We are also starting a writing unit on biographies. Your student will be writing about a family member or family friend and conducting an interview before constructing an outline and beginning the rough draft.

English 12 & AP Literature

Sonnets are red

Villanelles are blue

Sestinas are long

So that’s poetry--Whew!

Okay, so that’s not very good, not really very good at all. However, more than 50 seniors have entered the Scholastic Art and Writing Contest and Buena Vista University’s Hot Dish creative writing contest with sonnets, villanelles and sestinas that are definitely better than good. Perhaps a few only merit hanging on the refrigerator next to their kindergarten finger paintings or the first grade hand turkeys, but the bulk of them exhibit talent and effort that I have rarely seen in high school students. In fact, a half dozen rank among the very best poems I have ever read by anybody, period! But here’s a caveat, I judge with my 20th century eye and a 19th century ear. I was recently made aware that this is the 21st century, and so I am making them write for a more “with it” audience. We’ll wait and see.

High School Art

"The Holidays are here, which means that students are creating gifts to give

to family members and friends. I won't give specifics, so as not to spoil any surprises. Here is a nice group photo of the 3D Forms class, showing off their handmade candles."

High School Health

We have started on the mental health unit. I haven't figured out a way to get this heavy information done sooner than right before Christmas so will try and plan a fun activity to break the material up for the class immediately before break. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Junior Theology

We have finished our unit on Jesus as our Moral Guide and Sin. We continue with studying the Ten Commandments through the end of the semester. Our focus currently is on Love of God, Commandments One thru Three. We also, will be doing activities for the Advent season including reflections from Bishop Barron and making Advent Calendars. The Junior Class will be leading the Reconciliation Prayer Service on December 12th at 8:30am with Reconciliation to follow.

Math Club

Math Club has a big month in December. Please sign up on the Math Club Sign-up Genius page to get reminders about the events:

In addition to the events listed below, Math Club meets every Thursday morning at 7:30 am in Mrs. Hill's room to practice for contests. Email Mrs. Hill at with any questions.

Tuesday, 12/11/18 - 7:30 am in Mrs. Hill's Room - Math League written contest

Thursday, 12/13/18 - 7:30 am in Mrs. Hill's Room - ASMA written contest

Saturday, 12/15/18 8:15 am - 12:20 pm - Math League Team Competition - City High School (Students can qualify for the State Competition later in the year - Regina will host a contest in which students can qualify for State - please look for more information about this contest later. It will be held 3/9/19). Junior High Students may participate in this High School Contest. Awards: There will be plaques for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places for both large and small schools (Varsity only for small schools, JV and Varsity for large schools). In addition, medals will be awarded to individual winners at each grade level for Sprint and Target Rounds.

Math Department

Math 7 students are working hard to apply the legal rules they learned using Hands-On Equations. We are solving all kinds of equations now without pawns and cubes!

In Pre-Algebra we have just finished up our unit on solving equations. This included simplifying equations, solving with variables on both sides, and multi-step equations. Our next unit will be an Introduction to Functions. This will include graphing events, and identifying linear or non-linear functions.

Algebra 1 just finished learning about solving inequalities. We are moving on to several kinds of graphs and learning about functions.

Geometry has been working on triangle proof problems with the special isosceles and equilateral triangles. They will soon be learning about relationships within triangles (bisectors, medians, altitudes, etc.).

Algebra 2 is working on a variety of methods for factoring expressions and solving equations. We're heading into material that students didn't cover in Algebra 1!

Discrete Math has worked on graph theory (networks) and will be studying the evolution of numeration systems. Egyptian, Roman, Chinese, Babylonian systems and others will be explored.

Pre-Calc is finishing up their chapter on exponential, logistic, and logarithmic functions. They will soon know how they all can become millionaires! Up next are the trigonometric functions.

High School Calculus just learned the Product and Quotient rules. Next week, we'll cover the Chain Rule, which will allow us to differentiate a lot more types of functions.

AP Calculus AB just finished a unit on L'Hospital's Rule, Particle Motion, Implicit Differentiation, and Derivatives of Inverse functions. In the next unit, we'll tackle Inverse Trig Functions and their derivatives, Linear Approximations, and Related Rates.

AP Calculus BC just finished up a really long unit that covered reviewing Integrals from AB, Integration by Partial Fraction Decomposition, additional applications of L'Hospital's Rule, and Improper Integrals. We're now working on Parametric and Polar Equations and their Applications to Calculus. We'll soon move on to Vectors.

AP Statistics students are working on their final chapter for this semester of the course. If we can get a jump on the material for second semester, we have some other materials that we'll work on over the University's break so that students can maximize their preparedness for the AP Exam.

Ms. Hunstad's Newsletter

English 9 students are currently reading the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Students have been working on analysis of characters and major plot points. Students will take part in a Socratic Seminar as their Final Assessment.

English 11 students are currently reading the Greek Tragedy Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. Students have been studying the basic elements of a play and applying them to the play as we read. Students will be completing a multitude of projects for their Final Assessment.

AP Language and Composition students recently turned in their first AP scored essays. Yay! Students are currently working on the identification of figurative language within multiple texts. Students will be composing a rhetorical essay graded on the AP scale for their Final Assessment.

Please feel free to contact with me any questions or concerns, or stop by before or after school! Happy Holidays!

God Bless,

Ms. Hunstad

Musical Information

The Regina High School Theatre Department will be performing Disney’s The Little Mermaid at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts on March 1-3, 2019.

This year we are very excited for our high school spring musical, The Little Mermaid. Tickets will be on sale starting December 4th. Prices are as follows: Child $12.00, Student 17.00, Adult $22.00 and Premium $27.00. Premium tickets are located in the front center section and first row of the balcony. What a great Christmas present idea! Tickets are on sale during City Circle’s Beauty and the Beast, which will be opening on December 7th, so get your tickets early!

We hope you will come and support our very talented students in March.

Auditions were 11/29-30, and we'll be looking for Crew members soon. Encourage your son or daughter to be an assistant stage manager, or on the crews for lights, sound, hair, make-up, or production.


High school students are finishing up their bowling unit. Grades 7 thru 10 are doing a variety of activities,we will be starting our volleyball unit after break.We have a lot of events planned for the gym this time of year.

Social Studies Department

7th grade Geography

The 7th graders have finished up their study of the political geography of Latin America. As they concluded their study of Latin America, they also studied the different forms of governments represented not only in Latin America, but throughout the world. As a concluding activity, the 7th graders used gummy bears to represent the varying forms of governments. We have now started our study of the political geography of Europe along with studying contemporary issues such as the European Union, Brexit, and varying economic and political systems of European countries.

8th Grade US History

We have been studying the Revolutionary War, battles, help from the French, important people. We focused on the spies that Washington used, which basically won the war. How Benedict Arnold was going to give up West Point. We watched the History Channel video: Decoded and wrote about if Agent 355 (which is code for Lady) was a real individual.

AP Psychology has been quite the challenge! Lots of quizzes, notes, and tests (we’ve even snuck in a couple of projects like the cell phone simulation). The goal for the course is to prepare for and score well on the AP exam in May. Half the topics have been covered so far. Entering second semester we will have to review more frequently and add information to tests from former units. It may seem like a lot and it really is, but such is the nature of AP classes.

AP US History

Currently in AP US History, the students are learning about the regional issues leading up the Civil War. Related to those regional issues, that students applied their knowledge of the Market Revolution of the 1800's in a simulated Shark Tank activity in which they had to convince their fellow classmates to invest in their chosen invention. They also plotted and practiced secret diplomacy as diplomats of countries such as the United States, Russia, and Great Britain in a Monroe Doctrine simulation. As we finish up our Period 4 unit, the students will complete a document-based essay on Jacksonian Democracy. We plan to conclude with the Civil War prior to Christmas break.

In Psychology we have completed our study of the nervous system and the brain. It has been quite an interesting semester but then again psychology is interesting (I might be a bit biased). We will end the semester studying sensation.

In U.S. History we have been working on nominations for a progressive era reformer postage stamp. We should end the semester with a unit on imperialism.

Spanish Department

Spanish I

We learned vocabulary about how to describe ourselves and others (personality and appearance), how to use definite and indefinite articles, and how to use noun-adjective agreement. We reviewed snack foods, after-school activities, and "ser" (to be), "gustar" (to like) with infinitives, We also learned about Tex-Mex and Mexican food, the tradition of making "cascarones" (painted eggs filled with confetti), Fiesta San Antonio, and after-school activities in Miami and San Antonio.

Spanish II

This November, Señora McAndrew’s classes learned about the meaning and customs of the celebration of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). They enjoyed coloring skulls and trying Day of the Dead bread!

Spanish III

We are learning fashion and pastime vocabulary, verbs like "gustar" (to like), how to use "por" and "para," the future tense, and the future tense to express probability. Señora McAndrew's students are working on their second oral presentation with preterit and imperfect verb tenses.

Spanish IV

We learned Latin American industry and career vocabulary, subject and stressed object pronouns, possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns, and how to conjugate the future perfect tense.

Attached pictures:

In Señorita Frei's Spanish IV class, Zeffa Yeh, Lauren Kimani, Jessica Hunter, and Abigail Burger playing "matamoscas" (flyswatter). Señorita Frei calls out a vocabulary term in Spanish and two students from different teams take turns competing against each other by swatting the picture that fits the vocabulary term. Señora McAndrew's Spanish II Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) alter.

Speech 11 & Language Arts 7

Greetings from Speech 11 and LA 7!

After a filling Thanksgiving break, the students are bellying on up to a new feast of projects and units that are spread out on the kitchen table of education that we call the classroom.

The Juniors are just starting a new project where they are to pick a famous speech to listen, watch, read, and then analyze so that they can put their findings into a short two page paper. Up next after this project they will begin working on Persuasive speeches to present to the class.

7th Graders are in the middle of learning about verbs and their different uses. They have already learned the basics of verbs and we are starting to learn about the more complex uses of these important parts of speech, such as verb tense, regular and irregular verbs. After verbs, we will start our Drama unit, where the students will eventually work in groups to create a short play of their own.

That's all for now. Until next time!

From the desks of Mr. Tunnicliff and Mr. Rouse

Via Update

We all have finished up with our study of Creation and the Trinity. Each class did an artistic creation representation. As the first Sunday of Advent will soon be upon us on December 2nd, the 7th and 8th graders will also begin their study of the Advent. Throughout this liturgical season, the students will be reflecting upon Advent through the use of Bishop Robert Barron's "Advent Gospel Reflections" . We will also be working through a unit on Mary: Queen of Heaven and Earth.

Each VIA class will also be participating in the Regina Christmas Basket project. This senior service project allows the Regina community to come together as one to celebrate the Christmas spirit of giving. Each Via class has adopted a family who falls below the poverty level and are unable to provide Christmas themselves.This year, Regina Christmas Basket has partnered with the Dream Center to build our bond with the community. Please see the Sign-Up Genius sent by each Via teacher for information regarding donations. Thank you for your support of the Regina Christmas Basket Project. Have a blessed Holiday season!