Archives for April 2015

The gift of learning without fear.

After speaking on the steps of the US Supreme Court yesterday in support of marriage equality alum Kinsey Morrison ’14 had this to say, “One final thought after an unforgettable day: I realized tonight that if my sisters and I went to any other schools, we might be really afraid to go back tomorrow. St. Francis and Stanford have both given me the gift of learning without fear, one I too often take for granted when I forget how long I lived without it and how many people still do.” Thank you Kinsey and very well done!

Photo Gallery for the Week of April 20th

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School Notes from Week of 4/24

  • The annual Student Art Show and Senior Project Showcase will be held Wednesday, May 6th from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the Downtown Campus. Student paintings, photographs, sculptures, and films will be on display, and student musicians will perform. Seniors will set up and discuss their Senior Projects. All are invited – please join us!
  • Get Your Tickets Now! St. Francis School is hosting our annual Pegasus Parade event at the Downtown Campus. We’ve got front row seats or bleacher seating, parking, face painting, a bouncy house and private restrooms! Come join us for a great family outing! For more information and to sign up, click here.
  • GOOD LUCK to the High School Science Olympiad team as they compete at State this weekend!
  • 9th Grade Registration at the High School is Wednesday, May 6th at 5:30 p.m.!
  • Before Spring Break, the 6th grade math classes combined forces to make hexaflexagons! We had much fun, and here is a link to learn more.
  • 6th grade and 8th grade Spanish students had the opportunity to visit the nearby La Minga farming co-op to LaMinga-1learn about rice cultivation! Given the importance of rice as a human food staple and the students’ study of Asian cultures this year, this was a wonderful hands-on learning opportunity. The majority of the lecture was given in Spanish while students and Spanish teacher Angela Ponzio served as interpreters when needed. It was an excellent cross-curricular language immersion experience. Students asked questions in Spanish and shared the farmers’ responses with the non-Spanish speakers present. A big thank you to Christine Brinkmann and Nelson Escobar (co-op organizer, pictured left) for helping to make this happen!
  • Middle School Parents, don’t forget the 7th/8th grade formal is Thursday, April 30th. Click here for more details.
  • Congratulations to Goshen graduate and SFS Drama Project alum Annie Stone G ’11, who had her 10-minute play selected by Actors Theater of Louisville’s New Voices Festival for the second year in a row! Annie’s play, Don’t Leave Me Here, Okay?, will be performed Monday, April 27th and Tuesday, April 28th and tickets are FREE (reservations required). Go, Annie!
  • If Goshen’s Head of Maintenance Jim Denicola looks proud these days, he has a good reason! His son, Neil, tied the Kentucky state record this week by hitting home runs in five consecutive games!
  • Congratulations to St. Francis Goshen graduate Paige Didier G’12, who recently found out she has been accepted into the Governor’s Scholars Program this summer! This comes as no surprise to those of us who worked with Paige! In addition to this honor, she has also been named Academic All-State in track and field and has been in both of our SFS Alumni drama productions since graduating. Go, Paige!
  • Get ready for the Summer Reading Book Fest May 4th-8th! Can you believe that it is almost time to pick up your summer reading books?? This year, the library has teamed up with Carmichael’s Books for a book fair starting on Monday, May 4th! This book fair will have copies of all the books on your student’s summer reading list, as well as exciting new titles handpicked by St. Francis faculty and the Carmichael’s staff! Proceeds will go towards the library’s Reading Room renovation project!
  • Avoid the summer slump! Summer Break is just around the corner! If you are looking for a way to keep your children academically engaged over the summer months, please consider purchasing Summer Solutions Workbooks. Each practice book contains 30 lessons along with Help Pages and an answer key for self-checking. The books can provide the necessary review and practice that allow students to retain important math and language arts skills. You can find more information, including sample lessons, help pages, and list of skills here. It is recommended that the students complete a lesson three times per week over Summer Break. There are a variety of workbooks to choose from. If you would like to place an order, click here. If you order by May 10th, the workbooks will come right to school and then into your child’s backpack! The books are reasonably priced at $12 per book and shipping is free when books are ordered through St. Francis School. Please contact Ann Mundt if you have any questions.
  • The Learning Resource Center is excited to provide the following support services this summer:
  1. Math tutoring for review of this year’s concepts to be ready to move forward next school year
  2. Academic support with Ann Mundt in reading, writing, and mathOrganizational workshop for middle school students and parents in August to start the new year off well-organized
  3. Emily Boyle will be available at the The Learning Center-Downtown Campus to provide the academic support services for any interested students as well.
    If you are interested in knowing more about any of these services, please contact Claudia McCrocklin.
  • Congratulations to Clay Foye ’18 who is one of 20 students in North America selected to participate in an intensive two-week Startalk Chinese Language program at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Wyvern Baseball Bests Whitefield Academy

Tony Butler, Athletic Director

Tony Butler,
Athletic Director

The Wyvern MS baseball team picked up an impressive win over Whitefield Academy on Monday night. In their first game in 16 days, St. Francis looked well rested as they posted an 8-3 victory. The team was led offensively by Connor Gorman, who went 3 for 3 with a home run and five RBIs. Stevaun Butler was steady on the mound, striking out five and allowing two runs in three innings of work. The team’s overall record is 2-2 with five games left on the schedule before the season-ending tournament.

Last night our MS Track team delivered a solid performance at Henry County with the girls winning the meet and the boys coming in 2nd!

The meet was further proof of the depth and talent of our girls’ team, given that they were without the 7th graders due to their field trip to Mammoth Cave. Our 7th graders encompass some of the best athletes for their age in the state. So to have a dominating performance without them, winning the meet by 85 points and being crowned champions , speaks volumes of our team! Yet another plaque for the trophy case and medals for 1st-3rd and ribbons 4th-8th. The boys’ team also didn’t disappoint, coming in 2nd place overall. Great job once again.

After a recount, 8th grader Alexa Von Feldt was awarded the Girls’ Conference Meet MVP tonight. She scored a total of 39 points – 1st in Shot Put, 1st in Discus, 1st in Turbo Javelin,
and tied with our very own Parker Smith for 1st in the High Jump. Congratulations!!

Girls’ 5/6 – KCD Invitational 4/17/2015 – 1st Place OverallMS_TrackField_417_2

Kyra Mefford
2nd place 55 M Hurdles
3rd place 200 M Dash

Olivia Hahn
3rd place 400 M

Mellie Simpson
2nd place Shot Put
2nd place Discus

Mackenzie Crowder
3rd place Discus

2nd place 4×200 (Bella Nugent, Bennett Middendorf, Ayda Marshall, Poppy Kuhn)MS_TrackField_417_5
3rd place 4×100 (Nyla Nawab, Norah Patrick, Ayda Marshall, Anna Hardwick-Jones)

Girls’ 7/8 – KCD Invitational – 1st Place Overall

Ryane Jones
1st place High Jump
1st place 200 M Dash
2nd place 100 M Dash

Holly Yelton
2nd place 1600 M

Grace Donovan
1st place 400 M

Meredith Fleming
1st place Long Jump
1st place 800 M

Sydney Ragland
3rd place 800 M

Chloe Church
2nd place 200 M

Alexa Von Feldt
1st place Shot Put
2nd place Discus

Cloey Beardsley
3rd place Discus

1st place 4×100 (Ryane Jones, Chloe Church, Meredith Fleming, Grace Donovan)
1st place 4×400 (Grace Donovan, Olivia Hahn, Izzy Payne, Meredith Fleming)

Boys 5/6 – KCD Invitational – 3rd Place Overall
Lucas Makk
3rd place 400 M

Jimmy Lancaster
2nd place High Jump

Stevaun Butler
2nd place Long Jump

Isaiah Green
1st place 55 M Hurdles

3rd place 4×400 (Owen Carey, Jimmy Lancaster, Stuart Middleton, Lucas Makk)

Boys Varsity 7/8 – KCD Invitational – 4th Place Overall
Ford Middendorf
2nd place 55 M Hurdles
3rd place 800 M

Caden Kirby
3rd place Discus

3rd place 4×100 (Ford Middendorf, Sean Sullivan, Drew Perkins, Caden Kirby)

Girls v. Assumption
St. Francis 1 – Assumption 4

Eva Borders ‘18 continued her streak of wins in this match, 6-0, 6-0!

Boys v. St. Xavier
St. Francis 1 St. Xavier 4

Jamie Anderson ‘15 continued his run of outstanding play as he was victorious 6-4, 6-4.

Girls v. Assumption
St. Francis 3 – Assumption 2

Lily Tierney ’15 pulled out a win in #1 singles and and both doubles teams (Talia Blue ’17/Esme Tyler ’16 and Anna Finkelstein ’15/Shelly Lancaster ’18) were victorious to notch the team’s overall win.

Boys v. Ballard
St. Francis 1 – Ballard 4

Without several key players, the team fought hard. 8th grader Alan Ziegler pulled out a victory in a tough 6-3, 1-6, 11-9 match!

Athletic Announcements

  • Tennis Senior Night: The boys’ and girls’ tennis teams will be celebrating Senior Night on Monday at Crescent Hill Park. Festivities will begin around 4:00 p.m. for Jamie Anderson, Lily Tierney, Anna Finkelstein, Grace Riely and Ciana Lancaster. Parents should arrive no later than 3:45 p.m.
  • The Middle School sports banquet will be Thursday, May 7th! Look for more information to come.
    All students who will be in grades 5-12 next year and are interested in participating in athletics will need an updated physical for the 2015-16 school year. Click here for a middle school physical form. Click here for a high school physical form.

We Day: “I am a world changer!”

Shelly Jones, 6th Grade LA/SS, MS Language Arts Chair

Shelly Jones, 6th Grade LA/SS, MS Language Arts Chair

“I am a world changer!” Last Friday, St. Francis Middle School and High School students repeated these words, learned a We Day dance, and were inspired to keep giving back to others as a part of We Day Kentucky, a celebration of service learning at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. The powerful thing about We Day, where students hear inspirational speakers and performers and participate in service as a portion of the event, is that tickets cannot be bought. They can only be earned through completing two service projects — one with a local impact and one with a global impact. The Downtown Campus We Act community service group attended the event after focusing

We Day Kentucky

We Day Kentucky

locally on hunger and globally on their ongoing efforts to fund the building of a school in Haiti. Goshen students in grades 4 through 8 completed a variety of service-learning projects, from bake sales to can drives to walk and read-a-thons to raise money for global and local organizations selected by each grade.

At We Day Kentucky, guest speakers and performers including Spencer West, Molly Burke, Mayor Greg Fischer, jazz pianist Harry Pickens, Kentucky cellist Ben Sollee, and local performing artists Southern Sirens celebrated the students’ success and inspired them to keep giving back to their communities. During a “working lunch” session, Goshen students shared their service-learning stories while creating “plarn,” or plastic yarn, out of grocery bags that would eventually be crocheted into sleeping mats for the homeless. High School students spent lunchtime at the Muhammad Ali Center in a facilitated discussion with peers, sharing stories of their activities this year and learning strategies for planning successful service-learning projects. All told, 1,300 students from over 100 schools in our region participated in We Day Kentucky, but St. Francis was the only school in the region to have the entire

We Day Kentucky

We Day Kentucky

Middle School student body engage in at least two service projects per grade! We are also (as far as we know) the only High School to incorporate service into the school day for the entire student body multiple times per year.

After the event, some Middle School students shared their thoughts:

“I was inspired by all the speakers to make a change. I think I could volunteer for organizations when I’m old enough to volunteer. The service would really help shape me as a person, and help me ‘become a warrior,’ as Spencer West quoted.”
Ayda Marshall, 5th grade

“Today I enjoyed at We Day all the electricity and energy that was in the building and all the performances and speakers. Especially Spencer West because he was motivational and he didn’t care what people thought of him because he had no legs … but he proved people wrong by doing things they said he couldn’t.”
Ian VonFeldt, 5th grade

“Craig Kielburger was the founder of Free the Children. He was really inspiring about how he got a group of kids (together) and started speaking out about child labor.”
Stevaun Butler, 5th grade

“We Day inspired me to raise money and give it to people in Africa and pick a family in Africa to give money to help out with maybe food or clothing, or go on a mission trip there to help. … Spencer West inspired me because when someone tells me I can’t do something and I really believe I can, then he told us we can do what we want. He climbed a mountain on his hands.”
Marley Diamond, 5th grade

“I thought it was really inspiring about Molly Burke. She took a bad situation [going blind and being bullied] and turned it into a positive situation and now is helping people around the world overcome obstacles that are thrown at them.”
Owen Carey, 6th grade

“Since we did a local service project and a global service project we got to go to We Day. I loved it so much. We went all day on Friday and learned many different things. They had speakers there. A couple of my favorites were Molly Burke and Spencer West. Molly talked about how she went totally blind in 8th grade. At this time she also had a broken leg. One day, these girls were assigned to take her to lunch, they told her they weren’t hungry, Molly had nothing else to do but to follow her. They led her into the woods, took her crutches and broke them and left. She was sitting in the woods by herself and couldn’t see or move.”
Audrey McClain, 6th grade

“We Day inspired me to make change in the world and make new friends and meet new people, especially Spencer West and Molly Burke.”
Teagan Morrison, 6th grade

“I thought it was really inspirational and it inspired me to want to volunteer and help people that are less fortunate. I thought that two of my favorites, Molly Burke and Spencer West, did a really good job of making a negative thing turn into a positive thing.”
Sophie Johnson, 6th grade

As we look forward to service-learning projects for the 2015-16 school year on the Goshen Campus, please contact Anne Farra, our Service Learning Coordinator, if you would like to help with the Service-Learning Fair in the fall or if you know of an organization that you would like to recommend for the Service-Learning Fair. The High School is planning its community service sites as well; if you know an organization (preferably downtown or nearby) that would like a group to come work six times per year, please contact Community Service Coordinator David Word.

Fine Arts Evening Another Sucess

Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus, Director of the SFS Drama Project

Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus, Director of the SFS Drama Project

Three highlights from last week immediately jump to mind. First, kudos to our Fine Arts Department for another successful Fine Arts Evening on Thursday! From the opening introductions by some of our 8th graders highlighting their tulip project for charity, to the beautiful art gallery on display, to the gamut of musical performances from JK/Kindergarten up through the jazz stylings of our 6th graders, to the square dancing and banjo picking (courtesy of our very own Charlie Patton), to the 7th grade Humanities art “quizzes,” it was a nice showcase of what we do so well! Parents and students alike seemed to really enjoy the relaxed and low-key atmosphere. The arts are one of our core values, and nights like this demonstrate the wonderful myriad of experiences our students have each and every day due to our talented group of teachers. Congratulations are in order to Faith Murphy, Kim Aberle, Bob Bertke, Tina Brown, Jenni Pollard, Nita Duechle, Anne Farra, and Alex Taylor for another showcase of how the arts are thriving and vital to our mission!

The next day, our Middle School track team competed at the KCD Invitational and had a stellar showing! This is always a highly competitive meet and both our girls’ teams emerged as CHAMPIONS! Our boys also had strong showings with 3rd and 4th place finishes respectively, out of seven teams. Individual and relay team highlights are in Tony Butler’s article. It is fantastic to see our track and field teams bringing home the hardware and returning to the “glory days” of old, thanks to all their hard work and excellent coaching from Shavar Cowherd and Goshen alum Chase Carlson! GO WYVERNS!

Finally, grades 4 – 8 (and some High School students) had a very special field trip last week as they earned their way into a “We Day” celebration at the Kentucky Center for the Arts! This was due to the amount of service we have done collectively at St. Francis, the value of which cannot be overestimated. Thanks to Shelly Jones for spearheading this opportunity for Goshen Campus students. You can check out her article here.

In closing, I am always humbled by all the great things that are going on around here in addition to the academics facilitated daily by our incredible staff. Have a wonderful Derby weekend next week (and I’ll see some of you at the formal!).

Advisee Games an Annual Highlight

Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

This week’s highlight was our annual Advisee Games on Tuesday. This annual event allows each Tug O War victorsAdvisee Group to compete in the costume contest, three-legged race, tug o’war, wheelbarrow race, sprint, distance run, and water balloon toss. It’s always a lovely afternoon in Seneca Park with friendly competition and fun, and this year was no exception. Points are awarded for placing in each event, and the winning group has yet to be announced – but it is worth noting that the undefeated champion of the always hotly contested tug o’war was my (ahem) mighty crew! (See our photo. Not that I’m proud of the victory or anything ….)

Last week concluded with a trip to We Day for some of us, and Shelly Jones’ article recaps that nicely. This week, our Choice Conversations series for 2014-15 wrapped up with Choice Conversations founder Bob Klingle spending the lunch period with students himself, rather than bringing a separate speaker in. Choice Conversations will resume in the fall!

Next week brings several interesting student-driven events. On Tuesday, our ECO group will host a speaker as part of a belated Earth Day celebration; on Wednesday, we’ll have our annual Diversity Potluck luncheon (at which students bring a dish from home to share with all); and on Thursday we will enjoy this year’s Talent Show.

Speaking of next Thursday – just a reminder that due to the Pegasus Parade coming down Broadway, students should plan to leave school promptly after dismissal. There is no need to dismiss early, but students will want to vacate the area as quickly as possible – unless, of course, you’re joining us for the parade! See the Parent Association flyer in this newsletter.

This flurry of activity is the finale for regular weeks of class this year, as Monday, May 4th begins AP exams, and from there, it’s a march to the finish for all classes, but especially the seniors, whose last day is Friday, May 15th – three weeks from today. Unbelievable!

 Important Upcoming Dates

Friday, May 15th
Prom (9th – 12th graders) 8:00 – midnight
Seniors’ Last Day

Tuesday, May 19th
Spring Sports Banquet on the Downtown Campus

Wednesday, May 20th
Last day of classes on the Downtown Campus (before exams)

Thursday, May 21st
Awards Assembly on the Downtown Campus (students only)
Senior Luncheon at 12:30 p.m. (dismissal at noon for 9th – 11th graders)

Friday, May 22nd and Tuesday, May 26th – Thursday, May 28th
High School final exams

Monday, May 25th
No School (ALL) Memorial Day

Thursday, May 28th
Last Day of School/Exams at the High School
Graduation Rehearsal at Actors Theatre at 3:00 p.m. (all seniors must attend)

Friday, May 29th
Graduation at Actors Theatre, Pamela Brown Auditorium at 4:00 p.m.

Parent Association News Week of 4/24 (Goshen)

A HUGE thank you to the JK & K Families for hosting a fabulous Staff/Faculty Luncheon.
The food was delicious and your time is truly appreciated!

Important Upcoming Dates
Thursday, May 1st @ 3:45 p.m.: Pegasus Parade
Friday, May 8th @ 8:10 a.m.: PA Thank You Assembly (NEW DATE!!!) (Goshen)
Friday, May 22nd: Staff/Faculty Luncheon hosted by Preschool
Wednesday, May 27th @ 1:15 p.m.: Last Day of School Ice Cream Socials for JK-3rd Grades

PA Special Grant Announcement

We are excited to announce the grants that will be provided to the school this year from the PA. Drumroll please … over $10,000 has been “granted”!!!

A BIG thank you to all of our amazing SFS families for helping us reach this goal! We truly appreciate it! All of YOUR efforts – paying dues, collecting BoxTops, using your Kroger Plus and Target Red Cards, purchasing Spirit Wear, selling and buying used books at the High School, and supporting all our fundraising efforts – have made this possible!


  • A grant to the Science Department for an oscilloscope
  • A grant to the English Department for lots of books and furniture for the Reading Room
  • A grant to the Downtown Campus to commission an interactive sculpture for the High School courtyard to include the abacus on this campus


  • A grant to the Science Department for Photogate timer, Ohaus x 2 scout balance, AP Bottle racer package, Plasticware and other lab equipment
  • A grant to the Library for new Reading Room shelving and furniture
  • A grant to the Music Department for a set of 20 classroom ukulelesPAGrantPic


  • A grant to the Preschool Playground for a mud kitchen

We are thrilled to have such a great group of families to work with to support the needs of our children and the fabulous faculty and staff at St Francis School!

If you are interested in being involved with the Parent Association, please contact us!

Andi McLeroy
St. Francis School PA President, Goshen Campus

Andrea Melendez 
St. Francis School PA President, Downtown Campus

Children Need to Play

Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

Hennessy, Preschool

This has been a busy week prepping for the Preschool Derby Races and Tea (Grandparents’/Special Friend or Visitor Day). Each class is busy creating a float for the parade, constructing horses from paper or socks, and, most importantly, deciding on names for their thoroughbreds. This will be an event that you don’t want to miss. It’s my personal favorite each year.

Painting Derby Float

Painting Derby Float

Spending time in our Preschool rooms, I’m reminded of why our program is a special place. On a typical day, you will see what to an untrained eye like a whirlwind has passed through our classrooms. Inevitably crayons, paper, and tape have made it to the floor. Wooden building blocks are stacked all around the room and were used to build towers, castles, or train tracks wherever the imaginations happened to be visiting for the day. Our teachers are busy working with children to extend their ideas and support them in making connections; many conversations are happening throughout the day. We talk about everything! Our program is one that promotes inquiry, discovery, creativity and active play. We value children, their ideas, and the process of learning. The joys of childhood are celebrated each day with friends, families and teachers.

What you won’t see are worksheets and workbooks with formal activities. In fact, what research suggests is that this type of early academic instruction can have an adverse effect on preschool-aged children. Dr. Lillian Katz, a highly respected researcher in early childhood and professor emerita at the University of Illinois, recently wrote an article about academic goals and intellectual goals for young children. She states that early childhood programs need to “provide a wide range of experiences, opportunities, resources and contexts that will provoke, stimulate, and support children’s innate intellectual dispositions.” Children need to play, make developmentally appropriate choices and investigate the world around them by asking questions and seeking answers facilitated by their teachers. With so many articles written recently about formal academics for preschool and kindergarten, I felt that it was important for me to stress the benefits of our play-based curriculum, which focuses on the social, emotional, and intellectual goals of our children. Most likely this is why you chose St. Francis Preschool — a wise choice indeed.

For more information about this topic click on Dr. Lilian Katz’s article here.