Document 33688

Volume IV, Spring/Summer 2006
Founded on the Franciscan faith...
Preserved with parent pride...
Sustained by staff and student spirit...
Sts. Simon & Jude Catholic School
Huntington Beach, California
A Letter
from our
“The time goes so fast that there are
days when the person who says it can't
be done is interrupted by the person
who is doing it.”
Fr. Michael Harvey, O.F.M.
Fr. Christian Mondor, O.F.M.
Fr. Dan Lackie, O.F.M.
Sr. Maureen Sheehan, B.V.M.
In this issue:
• Student Council
• Class of 2006
• The Silver Award
• Spring Sports
• A Wrestling Champ
• PFA Chili Cook-Off
• Alumni News
• Endowment Update
academic learning, but a special place in
which each student is empowered to build
character, show compassion toward others,
deepen their Catholic values, strengthen their
faith, and give service to the church and community. We are very fortunate to have families who provide us with unwavering support
of these endeavors. “Thank you” for your
steadfast partnership in the education of our
At Sts. Simon & Jude School, a sense of
community and pride is evident in everything
that we do. You notice it immediately. You
feel it as you walk across the parking lot or
The end of the school year is a special time
attend a school function: the quality, the trafor all of us, although it is a bit difficult to
dition, the pride, and the history of being
believe that June has arrived so quickly. It is “family.” Whether in the classroom or on the
a time to celebrate with our students for all
playground, participating in a community
they have accomplished, and to acknowledge service project or performing at our
our devoted parish and school staffs who
Christmas program, our students' pride for
have ministered so faithfully this year. It is a their school and for themselves shines
time to review all of the ways in which we
through. From their active leadership in
have been successful, and a time to begin
Student Council and their intellectual drive
making plans to build on that success in new in academics, to their spirit of unity and
ways that will positively shape our future.
resilience in athletics, and their resolute faith
in God, our students make us stand back in
Our students have had a remarkable year, and wonder and delight. They make hope, love
none of this could have happened without a and zeal a reality in this parish community.
committed and enthusiastic faculty. Our
Our progress and our desire for continuous
teachers and staff members are willing to give improvement are because of them. They
freely of themselves to provide many oppor- make me proud to be the principal of this
tunities for our students to take on different school.
challenges and enjoy new experiences. We
have an outstanding school staff, and I am
And so to our students I would like to say,
honored to be working with them. I am also “thank you” for another amazing year. My
grateful for the Friars and parish staff mem- hope is that the light within each of you will
bers who so graciously supported the many
continue to shine brightly. May our God
accomplishments we have enjoyed. “Thank
bless each and every one of you, and may He
you” is not enough for all that they consiskeep you always in the palm of His hand.
tently give to this ministry.
I wish all of our families a safe, restful and
I would also like to express heartfelt appreci- wonder-filled summer vacation!
ation to our families for whom we are very
thankful. It is because of your dedicated
Crystal A. Smith
presence, your time and energy, your prayers, Principal
and your generosity that we have such excellent Catholic education at Sts. Simon & Jude
School. Our school is not only a center of
School Spirit
Reigns at SSJ!
Is it possible to give service to school and
have fun at the same time? Does meeting on
a Friday afternoon after a tough week of
school sound interesting? Is there joy in
planning activities for 700 opinionated individuals? Any Sts. Simon & Jude School
Student Council commissioner would
answer with an enthusiastic “yes” to all of
the above! Participation in SSJ Student
Council provides leadership, community
2006 Student Council
building and service opportunities, all within who bring life experiences from Catholic
a cooperative spirit of fun and challenges.
schools everywhere is a great beginning to
finding out the true meaning of the words
Being a member of Sts. Simon & Jude
“consensus” and “leadership.”
Student Council begins with a vigorous campaign and election process that includes
Student Council is one of SSJ's highly visidelivering an inspirational speech to the stu- ble organizations. Planning pep rallies,
dent body. After being installed in office,
organizing Catholic Schools Week, and leadthe first responsibility of each commissioner ing prayer assemblies and morning
is to attend the Association of Catholic
announcements are all activities that are part
Student Councils (TACSC) leadership camp service and part community building. You
to engage in a plethora of activities that will can often find Student Council members
enhance each commissioner's leadership
assisting with school liturgies and paraliturskills. Members return to us in the fall with gies. Service to school and church commufresh ideas on how to make the next school nities is an essential element of many council
year even more exciting. Learning how to
activities. Being official greeters on the first
co-exist in school with peers while being the day of school, at Back-to-School Night, and
primary role models of the school can be
Grandparent's Day is their pleasure. Healthy,
quite a challenge for junior high students.
responsible living is encouraged through Red
Attending camp with hundreds of students Ribbon Week and Field Day activities. The
Class of 2006
Sts. Simon & Jude School had good reason
to celebrate as the Class of 2006 received
their diplomas on a sunny Saturday morning
in early June. This class of 8th graders
exemplified the success, attitude and determination that can be expected from a graduate at our school. Most of these graduates
spent nine to ten years of their formidable
years at SSJ. The presence of the Friars,
parish staff and school faculty at the graduation Mass emphasized the significance of
the day. To have the love, support, guidance
and encouragement of the entire parish
community throughout the years, and at this
special celebration, was impressive! It certainly spoke volumes about the importance
importance of nature is honored by way of
Earth Day projects. Though various service
commitments, Student Council strives to be
respectful, as well as reverent and supportive.
This is the exciting piece of belonging to
and working with such a dynamic group.
The tasks may all seem like very simple
things to do, however, a great deal of ingenuity and many hours of organization go
into each event. Fun but in control, exciting
but organized-it's a very careful balancing
While Student Council may seem to spend
a great deal of time just having fun, the
members work hard to maintain high grade
point averages while fulfilling their duties
and responding to their many constituents.
It all starts with service and leads to respect.
At the end of the day, school spirit reigns!
of each of these children in the eyes of their
teachers and the adult leaders within the
most substantial venture that we will ever
make! The foundation of spiritual formation, academic knowledge, values and morals
taught to our children at SSJ is worth every
Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment dollar.
in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
The investment in our children is by far the Through much laughter and tears, this day
was a wonderful celebration of an exciting
milestone for these young scholars. As they
go forward into the world, these students
have been well prepared to assume their roles
as faith-filled Catholics, successful lifelong
learners, and responsible citizens. Good
luck to the graduating Class of 2006!
Parker Miller and International Referee/ Coach John Mata
SSJ Student
Athlete Excels in
Olympic Sport
Parker Miller, an 8th grade student at Sts.
Simon & Jude School, flew to the state of
Washington in April to compete in the
Western States Regional USA Wrestling
Tournament. He competed with 800 of
the best wrestlers from California,
Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska.
This tournament is tougher than the
California State Championship because it
includes champions from many other
states. Parker competed as a Cadet, which
means that he wrestled against high school
freshmen and sophomores in the Olympic
styles of both Freestyle and Greco-Roman.
Freestyle is similar, but much more exciting, than the wrestling you may have seen
in high school competitions. Greco-Roman
style is particularly exciting as participants
are allowed to lift and throw their opponents in order to score points. Only the
most experienced wrestlers have the skill
and courage to compete in Greco-Roman
wrestling. Parker really enjoys the Greco
throws…particularly when he is the one
doing the throwing!
Parker placed in the top six as a Cadet,
which is an amazing feat. He also placed
4th in California in Greco-Roman
wrestling, and has been invited to join the
California National Team. Placing at a
national or regional tournament is the
highest achievement possible for a local
wrestler, and while the most of these athletes have been competing since the age of
five, Parker has only been involved in
wrestling for about 18 months. Parker is
fortunate to train in one of the best
Freestyle Youth Wrestling Clubs in the
nation-John Mata's Surfside Wrestling of
Huntington Beach. Congratulations
Parker! Wrestling fans at SSJ will certainly
be keeping their eyes on you!
Dolphin Spring Spirit!
The SSJ boys' volleyball teams had a very
successful year. The boys' “A” volleyball
team won an early season tournament that
was held at Servite High School. The
Dolphins recorded an outstanding 9-0
league record. Seeded at number one in the
playoffs, the team easily won their first
match, but then lost the semi-final game to
Serra Catholic. The boys bounced back,
however, to capture third place in a convincing manner. Team coach, Trent Amelotte,
brings years of coaching and refereeing
experience to our school. He did a tremendous job during his first year of coaching
our volleyball teams!
PAL Track Meet - Huntington High School- May 13th
SSJ boys' “B” volleyball team was also
undefeated in league play. Although there
are no playoffs in this division, we know
without a doubt that this team would have
dominated. Mary Zant coached the boys'
“B” team, and John Gergen was her invaluable assistant coach. Throughout the years,
Mary Zant has done an excellent job of
teaching superior volleyball skills to many
SSJ athletes who continued to have success
throughout their high school and college
The girls' softball teams experienced another great season! The “A” softball team
ended the season tied for 1st place in league
play, and they took 2nd place in the diocesan league! The girls' “B” team played at a
higher level than they have ever experienced,
and many of the girls had the opportunity
to participate in this sport for the first time.
Look for both teams to do well again next
year. Our special thanks go to Russ Smith
and Mike Romero for coaching these teams.
Girl Scouts
Receive Silver
Award for
“Loaves & Fishes”
For their Silver Award project, Girl Scout
Troop 2321 of Sts. Simon & Jude School
hosted a carnival for the “Loaves &
Fishes” organization in Santa Ana on April
29, 2006. The carnival, which served over
400 underprivileged children in Santa Ana,
was a huge success. The Girl Scout Silver
Award is the second highest award in Girl
Scouting and the highest award an eighth
grade Girl Scout can achieve. “Loaves &
Fishes” is a wonderful ministry to the
homeless and needy families of Orange
County. The girls of Troop 2321 chose to
host the carnival for the children at
“Loaves & Fishes” because these families
cannot afford luxuries such as a day trip to
expensive theme parks.
During the planning process, the girls discussed their hope for the carnival to be a
perpetual event that would be run by other
troops for many years to come. Wanting
this to happen, and realizing that they
would need some help with the project,
they decided to involve as many SSJ troops
as possible in this carnival. In order to
facilitate the involvement of the younger
Girl Scout troops, they attended the
younger troop meetings to explain the
event and offered suggestions for them to
help in small ways. Some of the younger
Girl Scout Troop 2321 worked countless
hours and spent several months organizing troops helped to make candy bags, and
sorted and counted prizes. One idea the
this carnival. As you can imagine, there
eighth graders had was to have the chilare many little things that are needed to
dren at the carnival participate in a cupbe prepared before such event. They
cake-decorating contest. They asked a
planned and collected donations for the
event, sorted the many donations of toys Brownie troop for assistance with this idea,
and stuffed animals, and created fun-filled and the energetic Brownies baked over 350
unfrosted cupcakes! It was truly a comgame booths. Each girl was responsible
munity event that brought many ages of
for her own booth at the carnival and
Girl Scouts together, and much joy to the
needed to make sure she had enough
many children at “Loaves & Fishes.”
prizes and help.
After the carnival the Silver Award recipients shared some thoughts about the day:
“It felt good to help others and give them
something they wouldn't have.”
“The day brought happiness to the kids.”
“We helped less fortunate and we benefited by feeling good about helping people.”
“All the kids had a great time.”
“I learned how lucky I am.”
“I learned to care more for others.”
“Rewards don't come easy; you have to
work at them.”
Troop 2321 Silver Award recipients are
Kelly Culhane, Corey De Marco, Alyssa
Fulmer, Emily Hyams, Alexa Manrriquez,
Morgan McClafferty, Erin Mullins,
Kristen Steinfeld, and Amanda Stoddard.
Congratulations, ladies! Your SSJ family
is very proud of you.
a row. A special thanks to all the cooks
who made the event extra “hot!”
Can You Say
Down-home fun was the scene on
Saturday, April 29, at the annual PFA Chili
Cook-off! Eight avid home cooks threw
down their best chili recipes in hopes of
winning the coveted “Best Chili” designation, and all of the concoctions were delicious. Although the competition was
fierce, Donna Denny successfully defended
her “Best Chili” title for the second year in
A community event in Colman Hall would
not be complete if we did not have the SSJ
Men's Club serving soft drinks, beer and
As if eating lots of scrumptious chili was wine. In addition to all of the delicious
not, in and of itself, a good enough reason down home cooking, the PFA Hospitality
for a chili cook-off, we once again enjoyed Committee provided a tempting spread of
some good old-fashioned square dancing
tasty and delightful desserts. Thank you
complete with a certified “caller.” It was a to both groups for their amazing support.
real hoot watching the youngsters and
their parents spin around the dance floor
The PFA owes a debt of gratitude to the
attempting to follow the caller's instrucChili Cook-off Committee: John Meagher,
tions. There were some minor collisions
Lisha Ortiz, Rikki Ortiz and Eric
between a few of the more exuberant
Pellkofer. Eric, who could not decide
dancers, but nothing that a little spit and
which of the eight chili dishes was his
some ice couldn't fix. Fr. Michael, Fr.
favorite, exclaimed, “We will have to do it
Christian and Crystal Smith were all in
again next year!” So brush off your best
attendance to maintain law and order,
chili recipes and dust off your boots.
especially during the judging of the event We'll see y'all next year!
The exciting raffle provided a final opportunity for SSJ parents to fulfill their
fundraising obligations for the school year.
There were some terrific raffle prizes,
including service hours for a year, a
month's tuition donated by the Men's
Club, and a beautiful Tiffany necklace, just
to name a few.
Class Notes
Joseph Kovacs currently lives in
Massachusetts and is Engineering Director
of Revivio, Inc. He has three children. His
SSJ memories include playing over-the-line
baseball at lunch and 8th grade students
dancing on the lawn.
Suzi Bouveron is a Health Educator with
the California Department of Health
Services. After earning a Masters in Public
Health from Boston University, she volunteered to work in the Peace Corps and
worked internationally for about nine years.
Suzi fondly remembers that her class of 40,
which began in the 4th grade, remained intact
and all 40 students graduated together.
Jose Lafosse is a Professor of Psychology at
Regis University in Denver, Colorado. He
obtained a Ph.D. in psychology from USC,
and a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical
neuropsychology at the UC Davis School of
Medicine. Jose does research on dementias
such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
He remembers playing the guitar at school
masses and attending Sonshine Summer.
Aidas Palubinskas, after receiving his
Bachelors and Law degrees from Loyola
University of Chicago, has returned to
Lithuania. He currently serves as a Member
of the European Parliament representing
Lithuania. He fondly remembers Mrs. Tufo,
who encouraged his interest in politics, history and social studies.
Wendy Arseneau is working on her second
career as a nurse and will be attending
Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Among her favorite SSJ memories are the
Halloween parades, light blue uniforms, Sr.
Carolyn, Fr. Ronald and Fr. Anthony.
Alicia Seevers is the Girl's Athletic Director
at Orange High School. She has been at
Orange High for 10 years, and has also
served as Varsity Girl's Basketball coach and
as the Athletic Trainer. Her memories
include Sr. Carolyn, Sr. Virlee, and playing
softball and basketball with her friends.
Jonathan Huettner received his B.S. in
Electrical Engineering from UC Irvine in
1998, and is Director of IT at Criticom
Robyn Pasternak is currently working
towards her Bachelors in accounting with
plans to become a CPA. She remembers
with fondness Outdoor Ed, visiting the
Mayflower and the graduation celebrations.
ing growth and stability of SSJ's financial
foundation. Our school's endowment fund
ended the quarter on March 31, 2006, with
a value of $974,779. This is the closest we
have ever been to the original $1 million
goal, and there are several positive items to
The ability to provide report. First and foremost, on March 31,
spiritual and academic the endowment fund paid out $10,357 in
leadership to our stu- support to the school budget. Next, the
dents is inextricably
return on the endowment fund assets was
linked to our
3.7% for the quarter. And finally, we are
resources. We are
pleased to announce that there was approxialways grateful when
mately $10,000 received in new contribumembers of the com- tions last year. To those of you who gave
munity choose to
this year, thank you. Your generosity has
make Sts. Simon &
touched the lives of our students, and will
Steve Check
Jude School a priority be instrumental in furthering our goals as a
for their charitable dollars.
stellar community of education.
Last year's endowment proceeds represent
another critical step forward in the continu-
Rachel Svoboda received her B.A. from UC
Irvine in 2003. She is Marketing and
Advertising Account Coordinator at Fraser
Communications. Rachel's favorite SSJ
memories include PE, half-days, free dress
and the graduation dances.
Jessica Domenici obtained her B.A. in
Communications Studies from Loyola
Marymount University in 2004. She works
in marketing for Hyundai Motor America.
Her SSJ memories include the Halloween
parades, junior high dances, visit to the
Pilgrim ship, the Catalina field trip, and
many others.
Are you an Alumni of SSJ? Let us know
what you are doing. Send your news to SSJ
Alumni Association c/o Sts. Simon & Jude
School, 20400 Magnolia Street,
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
much more than this. If you are considering making a contribution, please pray
about it and ask yourself if contributing
financially to the long-term benefit of the
school is in your heart. Those who know
and care about Sts. Simon & Jude School
and its role in shaping young lives also
know that everything cannot be funded
through tuition alone, and they are willing
to step forward and make meaningful financial commitments.
There are several endowment fund projects
in progress. None of the projects are terribly time consuming, but the endowment
fund committee can use some assistance. If
you would like to help, please call Steve
Check at (714) 641-3579.
While $1 million was the initial goal for the
endowment fund, the long-term goal is
The “Spirit” Newsletter is published bi-annually and is always looking for new and exciting information. The Spirit contains articles about events, people and interest to the
school that are not discussed in the weekly “Tuesday Communication.” If you have a topic of interest or would like to write an article for this publication, please submit it to
the school for consideration. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” so photos describing the article must be included with a submittal. All submittals
may be sent via email to Cheryl De Marco at [email protected] or brought into the school office
Destination: Catalina Science Class
August 30, 2006
September 1, 2006
September 4, 2006
September 21, 2006
September 29, 2006
November 11, 2006
7th graders hike to overlook the blue Pacific Ocean
Research shows that Catholic schools are effective because there is
an emphasis on:
• Faith formation and Catholic values
• A quality, academic curriculum
• Community building
• Orderly and safe physical environments
• Supportive social environments
• Parental involvement
• Teaching as a ministry
• Excellence
Suited up for nightime snorkeling - what lurks out there?
Sts. Simon & Jude Catholic School
20400 Magnolia Street
Huntington Beach, California 92646
Hands-on experience for a science
School Begins
Back-to-School Mass
Labor Day - Holiday
Back-to-School Night
SSJ Fall Festival Begins
SSJ Annual Auction