The Viking Press
Fall 2015, Issue #7
Starting off the school year with prayer and community!
There is an old saying, “Time waits for no one!” And that is certainly true here at St. Eugene School. It is hard to believe that we have just completed our first trimester of this school year. It is with much pleasure that I find myself reflecting on the myriad of wonderful things that are happening at St. Eugene School. As I walk through the halls, I am still in awe at all that I see and hear. When I peek my head into the classrooms, I see students who are happy, engaged, productive and being challenged.
Our St. Eugene School is a prayerful community. Each morning our students meet in prayer. They listen to Scripture, pray together, and lift their voices in song as they welcome each new school day. Our flagpole has also been a meeting place of prayer. We gathered in prayer on the first day of school as we welcomed a new school year. We also gathered for the 9/11 Memorial and a Veterans Day Prayer Service. The rosary was recited each Thursday during the month of October in our Peace Garden near the statue of our Blessed Mother in the school courtyard.
My heart is warmed that our students are learning how to be people of service by giving of their time and talents for the good of others through our service organization, God’s Work Our Hands. Our older students traveled to Feed Our Starving Children and packaged meals that will feed sixty-six people for one year. They have also traveled to St. Mary of Providence and hosted a Halloween party for the residences that live there. Our seventh grade Confirmandi has also been busy helping St. Vincent de Paul. They have helped load trucks of food after the Sunday Masses. Our littlest ones made bird feeders and dog biscuit. The proceeds were donated back to the Altar and Rosary to use as they see fit. All of our students’ hands have been very busy doing God’s work!
St. Eugene is blessed to have a New Playground! This has been a welcomed addition for all of us. It has been quite a sight seeing students as young as preschool all the way up to eighth grade swing on the monkey bars and sliding sown the slides. Yes, recess is in full force, and the students’ excitement is overwhelming. We are so blessed to have a fun, safe place for the students to play. We are truly appreciative for the generosity of Fr. George and St. Eugene Parish.
Words From Fr. George
I like to compare the season of Advent to making a cake. When a person makes a cake, they have to prepare the ingredients first. The proper ingredients, measured to the proper amount, must be mixed together first before a cake can be baked. When all is ready, it is crucial to allow the proper time for the cake to bake. For example, if you are baking a cake, and you only let it bake in the oven for two minutes, you will have to eat your cake with a straw. The waiting time is important and it can be ignored.
Preparation and waiting are key to baking a cake, and it is the key to the season of Advent. Prayer is the main ingredient that makes Advent a success. Prayer allows the true meaning of Christmas to shine forth. We prepare our hearts in order to experience the full joy of the season. Remember, Christmas is not just a day, it is a season. Have a great Advent and a joyful CHristmas Season!
School Advisory Committee
2015-2016 School Advisory Committee Members
Thank you to the following school stakeholders for giving of their time and talent to help advise Ms. Scotkovsky and Father George on school-related matters, participate in the school’s development, recruitment, and long-range planning, public relations, and marketing of the school.
Fran Lynch-Vice President
Ann Marie Adesso-Social Media
Matthew Burzawa-Spring Fundraiser
Christine Coleman-Spring Fundraiser
Tracy Dolce-PAFA Liaison
Ann Gariti-Spring Fundraiser
Sue McGovern-Alumni and Communications
Ana Modica-Community Outreach
Steve Rog-Spring Fundraiser Chair
Vince Santucci-5K Chair
St. Eugene Trot 'n Treat 5K Run/Walk 2015
Halloween came early at the 4th Annual St. Eugene Trot 'n Treat 5k Run/Walk and Kid's Monster Dash on Saturday October 17th. Over 450 people attended the race from all over the Chicagoland area as well as 6 different states. The 5k included 326 total participants with the men's winner, Angel Saenz (19:59) hailing from Franklin Park. The women's winner was Melissa Anderson (23:24) from Chicago. The Monster Dash races included 126 total participants running in 4 different races.
Our race had the honor, of once again, being featured in Chicago Athlete Magazine prior to the event, and in the results section of the November issue! The Chicago Area Runner's Association (CARA) has given our race very high marks for being a "family fun event" and the 2015 race definitely lived up to its reputation with plenty of giveaways, music, food, and post-race activities! This race has truly achieved its goal of not only raising money for St. Eugene School, but also becoming one of the premier 5k events in the Chicagoland area.
This year's race raised approximately $20,000 for the technology and other initiatives at St. Eugene School. Over the past 4 years, the race has generated over $85,000 and has become one of the most important fundraisers for the school. All of this would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors, volunteers, parishioners, and school families. A very special thanks to our top sponsors for once again supporting our race. These sponsors include Acierno Family Dental in Edison Park, Joseph's Finest Meats in Chicago, Molex Incorporated and The Santucci Family.
Volunteers are perhaps the most important resource for an event like this to be successful! This year we had the benefit of many volunteers in the days leading up to the race and on race day. It was great to see so many families from different grade levels come together to support the race whether is was to pass out flyers to neighborhood homes, set up runner's bags, race day set up, or assisting on the course. The 5k truly brought people together from the school, parish and community an embodied the St Eugene spirit.
For next year's race, we will be looking for new, energetic members to join the 5k Race Committee. We plan to organize the race as a PAFA (Parents and Friends Association) event. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested.
Family Fun Events in the Fall!
Special thanks to all of the families, school faculty and staff who donated their "trunks"; this event would not be possible without all of the support! It was great to see Fr. Greg and Fr. John supporting our event and being the costume contest and trunk decorating judges! Last but not least, a special thanks to all the parent volunteers and of course the 7th and 8th graders who helped as well! A VERY special thank you to the Acierno Family for their donation of fish, to the Molley Family for their donation of kiddie prizes, and to Valenzano Bakery for securing pizza donations!
See you next year...if you are interested in joining P.A.F.A, or would like to volunteer for a specific event, please contact the school office for more information!
Thank you to all the families and faculty that volunteered and decorated their car "TRUNKS"!
Mrs. Glynn & Mrs. Spanola
Mrs. Kusinski & Mrs. Lesniak
Mrs. McKermitt, Mrs. Kopkowski, & Mrs. Lajewski, Mrs. Caravia
What's happening around school?
Keyboarding has been a big focus in the computer lab this fall! Making the “Tip-Top Typing” board was a goal of many students in grades 4-8. How many WPM (Words Per Minute) can you type? The 1st through 3rd graders have been practicing good techniques as well. The iPad carts have been getting a workout too. Students have learned how to use the app Book Creator. The 8th graders are now using Google Apps for Education. In the weeks to come they will working with Google Doc & Google Classroom to submit homework electronically. They are very excited and will help them be prepared for high school!
Kindergarten has been busy participating in several service projects. In honor of Veteran’s Day, we colored cards that were sent to the veterans at Hine’s VA Hospital! We also donated warm gloves, scarves, and socks to the school-wide collection.
We also created Christmas cards for Veterans that will not be home for the holidays. Our cards were sent to the radio station, US99, to be added to other card collections. Schools across the Chicagoland area helped the radio station achieve their goal of 10,000 cards!
Our next service project will be to write a letter to Santa Claus! These cards will be placed into a mailbox that has a direct line to the North Pole via Macy’s. Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation for each letter that is written to Santa.
We are grateful to all the students and parents who supported the "Keep Christ in Christmas" poster contest. The Knights of Columbus, who sponsor this project each year, are always impressed with the quality of the artwork! The students created their entries with a variety of images such as the Nativity, the Magi, the Town of Bethlehem, and Angels.
Another thank you to all who participated in the Harlem Irving Ornament Project! We had a good response from the students in grades Kindergarten through 4th grade and are very proud of their work! Please check out the work at the mall!
To our second grade parents...look for a Christmas Tree from your student, it will be coming home soon!
4th & 5th Grade News!
It’s been a very busy, very learning filled 1st trimester. Common Core math is in full swing. A daily review will help to prepare our students for the taking of the Aspire Test in April. The students have become very good at creating their own math problems, too.
In Science, 5th grade just finished learning about the life processes of both plants and animals and completed research on life cycles of a few different species.
4th graders had an exciting unit on Earth’s natural resources and how best to use them. They created games out of materials that can be recycled. They are now discovering what matter is down to the atom.
Religion is a time to get closer to the Lord, so we show our joy in song every day. They have some pretty good moves, too! ;)
The fifth graders took a virtual tour of the Mayflower and are learning what it was like to be a one of the early colonists.
They are also keeping up with current events by reading their Weekly Readers on the iPads, they watch news feeds that coordinate with the articles and have class discussions about current events.
The fourth and fifth graders have enjoyed creating book reports on the app Book Creator…you can try it at home!
Spanish & Chinese
The Spanish classes celebrated All Souls Day (in Spanish "Dia de los Muertos) by creating Offredas (memorials) to our family members who have died. They also tasted "pan de Los Muertos" (Day of the dead bread). The primary grade students created Veteran's Day cards in Spanish to be sent to the Veterans' Hospital. The Chinese class celebrated the Autumn Moon festival by listening to the story of Chang-An and her flight to the moon and eating moon cakes.
2nd grade - Thanksgiving Feast
The preschool class has been learning their shapes. Each week we have been working on a different shape. At the end of November we will make our Pizza Book. Each pizza is made up of sausage circles, cheesy triangles, rectangular onions and green pepper squares. To wrap up our lesson, everyone will make their own mini pizza for snack! Buon Appetito!
7th & 8th Grade - Look at What’s Going on in Junior High!
Science Fair News
Our 7th and 8th grade scientists have been busy working on their science fair projects. In science class, students learned how to use the scientific method in order to complete their projects. They formed a hypothesis and then performed an experiment to help prove the hypothesis. In literature class, students worked on procuring research on their topics in order to write the review of literature in APA format. Our young scientists have all the answers about habitat overcrowding, antacid potency, effects of temperature on the strength of magnets, and the most effective detergents on stains. The science fair will be held on Tuesday, December 15th.
Our junior high students were invited to two theatrical performances. We were part of the audience for Robin Hood at St. Patrick High School and Beauty and the Beast at Resurrection. Students in grades four through eight are also looking forward to A Christmas Carol at Drury Lane in December.
First and Eighth Grade Buddies
In preparation for the season of Advent, the eighth graders made an Advent Chain Calendar. Each day in Advent is represented by a purple or pink link. Each link contains a message, scriptural passage, kind act, or treat. Each day the first graders will remove one link and reveal its message. The children might be asked to say a kind word to a classmate, recite a prayer, or help set the dinner table. We hope that this is a meaningful way for the first graders to prepare for the birth of Jesus. The eighth graders presented the Advent Chain Calendar at an Advent Wreath Prayer Service.
Student Council News
Our Student Council members have been working hard to promote school unity, spirit, and service. A Warm Clothing Drive was held for the veterans of Hines Hospital. All the St. Eugene students made a card to send along with the donations of hats, scarves, gloves, and socks. A Thanksgiving Food Drive was also sponsored to help the less fortunate.
Principal Appreciation Day was celebrated for Ms. Scotkovsky. A math problem was written and sent to Ms. Scotkovsky to solve. The answer of the problem sent her to that room. Upon her arrival, she was presented with three clues to solve. The last clue in each room led her to a gift and card from the class. We weren’t able to fool Ms. Scotkovsky; we forgot she was a math teacher!
Sacrament of Confirmation
As the second trimester begins, the seventh graders will begin a concentrated study of the Holy Sacrament of Confirmation. The students will be attending a Day of the Spirit retreat at the Cabrini Retreat Center on December 9. 2015. This retreat will give our students the opportunity to pray and reflect on the commitment that they will soon be making when they receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Fr. George and Mrs. Barbara Sidevic will be the retreat leaders for the day. The day will be broken into several sessions and will conclude with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. This year the Confirmation liturgy will be on Friday, March 8, 2016.
Check out these educational apps and websites!
Learn Spanish by Mindsnacks
Basic vocabulary and converation skills!
Basic Kindergarten vocabulary, sight words and math skills!
5th Grade Learning!
Math, Science, Vocabulary made fun and much more!
Improve Vocabulary - Mindsnacks
Enhance vocabulary by not just memorization!
Middle School Math
Fun for all...answers questions as fast as you can!
Best Books For Tweens!
This app is a fun way for parents, teachers, librarians, and readers to get more information about top selling books. Recommended Ages: 8-12!