Archives for December 2015

Photo Gallery for Week of Dec. 14-18

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Photo Gallery for Week of December 7-11

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School Notes for Week of December 7-11

  • The 5th grade is collecting toys, puzzles, coloring books and markers for Kosair Children’s Hospital. Donated items, which should be new, can be dropped off in the large boxes in the Middle School and Lower School amps. Any and all donations are appreciated. This collections runs until Wednesday, December 16th.
  • The High School Quick Recall teams concluded league play for the calendar year this week.  The Varsity is at 8-0, having won 18 straight in their league (the Louisville-area private schools) over the past two years.  The JV (with only one sophomore and the rest freshmen) has a 5-4 record.  Varsity team members are Sam Borden, Madison Ebel, Sam Edwards-Kuhn, Rose Gilbert, Zoe Koss, Lucy Lv, Jack Baize, Scott Morrison, Jay Swan, and Mariana Wilson.  JV team members are Clay Foye, Joshua Arnett, Hope Carstanjen, Evvie Cooley, Chandler Durbin, Chris Hammond, Elizabeth Johnson, Caden Kirby, Angus Middleton, Megan Read, Michael Snyder, and Patrick Spencer.  
  • Early registration now available for Goshen after-school activities. A variety of art programs are available, in addition to some old favorites, like Choir and Chess, and a new option: Table Tennis! Handouts were sent home in backpacks today, but you can also check out the offerings here.
  • SFS Girl Scout Troop 969 (5th grade) made more than 100 holiday cards and delivered them to residents of Friendship Manor Nursing Home.
  • MathCounts, a math competition on February 20th at U of L’s Engineering School, is open to 6th-8th graders who are interested in more complex mathematics. The competition day is a lot of fun, but students will also have fun practicing problems and learning more about cool math!  Practice has been taking place during Projects, but after-school practices will begin Monday, December 14th from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.  Practices will run until the week before Winter Break. Practices are open to any student in 5th-8th grade who likes math!  Email Erin Staley with questions.
  • The Hour of Code is a national movement to encourage students to try computer programming. This week has been the big push for American schools to expose students to many different activities that help foster the thinking involved in programming.  Many students at St. Francis, from the Lower School in Emily Campbell’s and Carey Thornburgh’s classes through the Middle School in Erin Staley’s, Brian Kirby’s, Debbie Adkins’ and Jason Chlopek’s classes, have been exploring games and sites intended to teach students coding.  Please reach out to your students and ask them about their coding experiences this week!  For further exploration, visit
    Here are some of the sites we visited:

Additional Opportunity to Order Art to Remember Items

By Tina Brown, LS Art Teacher

After hearing from a handful of parents who are still interested in placing orders with Art to Remember, I checked with our ATR representative, who agreed to keep the school’s account open for late ordering until January 16th. The products from that round of orders will be delivered to us at the beginning of February.

While this timeline won’t help you out with your holiday shopping (Art to Remember promised on-time holiday delivery only for orders placed by October 23rd, due to the large volume of orders they receive at this time of the year), these items would be a great gift choice for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Grandparents Day! (You’ll save yourself a trip to the mall and help the school raise funds all at once — win-win!)

To place an order online, click here. You’ll need your child’s individualized order code, found in the yellow box on the back of their paper order form. If you have misplaced your order code, I’d be happy to look it up for you! Please e-mail me at, and include your child’s name, grade level and lead teacher (or advisor) in the message. Thanks, and happy ordering!

Our Students Aren’t Slowing Down!

By Suzanne Bizot Gorman, Head of Downtown CampusHangingOutatHS

First, a huge THANK YOU to our wonderful Parent Association for the fabulous Appreciation Lunch on Wednesday, including both delicious dishes that parents made and sent in and dessert crepes by For Goodness Crepes.  We all feel truly appreciated and are so grateful.  

As we move toward the academic culmination of the semester – exams – our students aren’t slowing down!  The Showcase of Plays last weekend was terrific – kudos to playwriting instructor Jane Jones of Actors Theatre, producing director Rachael Dobring, and all the student playwrights, directors, cast and crew.  The Avenue Q cast list is posted today, so mark your calendars now for March 4th and 5th for that production!

The basketball teams acquitted themselves well at the St. Patrick Tournament in Maysville last weekend, both finishing as runners-up.  As many of you have heard by now, sophomore Alexis Nelson had a Seventh Region record 58 points in one of her games – incredible!  And the JV boys are off to a 2-0 start.  The bowlers are equally impressive – we’ve had scores in the high 100s during matches and even a 200 in practice.  The Quick Recall JV and Varsity squads reeled off wins against KCD this week.

One of my favorite events from this week was a 9th grade – 12th grade get-together during our Flex period on Thursday.  Students feasted on doughnuts and spent time together talking about the past semester, upcoming exams, and more.  There was great energy and conversation, and both grades really enjoyed it.

Four Shillings Short ‘WOW’ the Goshen Campus! Quick Recall Rocks!

By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

Four Shillings Short Performance

Four Shillings Short Performance

Last Friday, the whole school was in for a real treat – a concert from folk duo Four Shillings Short. The husband-and-wife team of Christy Martin (from California) and Aodh Og O’Tuama (from Cork, Ireland) bedazzled the whole school with their knowledge and command of over 30 folk instruments from around the world! Their combination of gentle humor and virtuoso musicianship was intoxicating as they played instruments both familiar and strange, such as the hammered and mountain dulcimers, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, Medieval and Renaissance woodwinds, recorders (from the bass to the high-pitched “baby” recorder!), tin whistles, North Indian sitar (a crowd favorite!), the Andean charango, Irish bodhran, African  doumbek, and even the good old spoons! As you can see, they took us around the world while they entertained us! Kids clapped and sang along and were absolutely enthralled during the 50-minute performance!

We receive many assembly “offers” but are very selective about which ones we bring to St. Francis. This was one of the best in recent memory. And we have one of our own, former Goshen teacher Alice Premo (formerly Alice Covell!), to thank for generously sponsoring this wonderful concert. Alice taught at St. Francis for 35 years in Lower School Language Arts and Social Studies and is good friends with the musicians. She is also the mother of our very own Michael Mahoney G’78, 7th grade LA/SS teacher and MS Social Studies Chair, and grandmother to 8th grader Lorenzo.  All were brought onstage before the show to thank, acknowledge, and reminisce. Bravo!!

I also wanted to recognize the very successful 6th Grade Showcase event we hosted on the Goshen Campus all day Saturday! Kudos are especially in order to Debbie Adkins, Anne Farra and Lindsy Serrano for the fantastic job they did organizing and running this complicated academic tournament (along with the help of many other SFS folks!). Alexandra and I received a very complimentary email from parent and volunteer Audrey Morrison about the day:

6th Grade Showcase was yesterday. Ms. Adkins and Ms. Serrano were there and in primo organization mode. Ms. Serrano was the head scorer; Ms. Adkins was head everything. The way the Adkins/Serrano team had the competition set up and going was a thing of beauty. At one point in that very long day, Ms. Adkins said, “By the time they all show up for the awards ceremony, I want to be there waiting for them.” She was. Ms. Varda and Mr. Frechette worked all day as moderators, judges, or scorers and Ms. Chanda and Ms. Farra were there all day as well. Chef Matt prepared a nice lunch spread for officials and coaches. The SFS people were amazing, and I think all the competitors/parents/ officials realized it. Those faculty members did St. Francis proud.”

Thanks, Audrey, we couldn’t agree more. Look for results elsewhere in the newsletter and thanks to all these hard-working, dedicated souls for reflecting so well on St. Francis and giving of their time!

Preschoolers Enjoys Activities of the Season

By Renee Hennessy, Director of PreschoolPreschoolPlay_2

This week I have noticed a high concentration of glitter with blue, red, green, and white paints, plus a plethora of other holiday colors throughout our area of the school.  I peeked in the 4s classroom to see their classes mixing cinnamon, flour and salt together to create a wonderful scented dough for sensory play.  The Adventurers’ class has been busy creating a wintery scene (although winter is playing hide-and-seek) on their wall with white lights and shimmery trees.  Our Ducklings class has been singing and dancing to holiday songs.  You can always tell what season it is by spending a few minutes in a Preschool classroom!

This is the time of year our family traditions mean so much.  At our school, we celebrate and value the richness of culture and ethnic diversity.  We encourage parents and grandparents to share with us their holiday traditions. Talk to your child’s teacher about sharing your family’s traditions.

On Thursday, December 17th, the entire Goshen Campus will have a Pajama Day.  Please remember to send your child in regular shoes. They will still have a typical day, so appropriate shoes will make their time on the playground more enjoyable.  On Friday, December 18th, children are encouraged to don their festive wear for our last day of the year.

The Preschool holiday parties are “low key” events.  They are usually in the classroom with minimal visitors.  The focus is on the special activities and snacks of the day, rather than a large gathering.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday, and I wish everyone the best of the season.

College Corner

By Kit Llewellyn, College Advisor


  • Talk to your senior friends about their applications/visits to campus/interview experiences.
  • Be sure to keep up background reading (newspaper, novels, magazines, sci-fi) to maximize your performance on the SAT next year.
  • Research possible colleges for admission using handbooks, catalogs, videos, virtual tours and online resources.
  • When your PSAT test scores arrive in January, study the results to discover where you need more focus or assistance. You will be sitting for a practice ACT test in the spring
    (TBA) for practice and experience.


  • When you receive your PSAT test results in January, make sure to discuss your scores with Mrs. Llewellyn. Research possible colleges for admission using handbooks, catalogs, videos, virtual tours, and online resources.
  • Using your PSAT scores as a preliminary indicator, begin narrowing the range of colleges you are researching. Register for the SAT and the ACT on one of the spring test dates (observe that some of the test dates fall during Winter Break, Spring Break, Derby, et al).  Plan ahead!
  • If you are interested in SAT/ACT prep courses or tutorials, contact Emily Boyle in The Learning Center.
  • Keep your academic focus during exams this and next semester.
  • Check into some summer programs which you might coordinate with the proposal of your Senior Project.


  • All of your evaluation forms and teacher recommendations have been submitted via Naviance to your colleges.
  • You should complete SAT, ACT and SAT Subject Tests (if required) testing this month. Walk-in registration is possible if you did not register on time. Remember that it is your responsibility to send your official scores from ACT and College Board to the universities.
  • If you are accepted early decision, withdraw applications to all other colleges by writing a note.
  • If you are deferred early decision, write to the college stating that it is still your first choice and you will attend, if accepted in the spring.
  • Parents: Begin filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and/or the CSS profile (if applicable) for January mailing — the earlier the better!
  • Parents need to complete their taxes as soon as possible in order to submit FAFSA.

Everyone will enjoy the holidays more if all of your paperwork is completed by exam week. Realizing the juggling of your daily work, sports, drama, jobs, friends, and family can be overwhelming; try to stay organized and manage your time wisely.

If a college requires an interview and you cannot make it to campus, it is your responsibility to call the admissions office and set up an alum interview locally.

As always, if you need clarification or are confused about any piece of this process, do not hesitate calling or emailing
Ms. Llewellyn (
502-736-1012). Make sure to get all info regarding the financial aid process at EACH college/university; their requirements and deadlines vary.

Parent Association News

Staff/Faculty Holiday Wish Fund: LAST DAY!!!

This is a wonderful way to thank all the staff and faculty that help your child on a daily basis!

The Holiday Wish Fund was started many years ago by the Parent Association as a way to make the holidays a bit easier on the parents, while ensuring the teachers and staff get the recognition they deserve. St. Francis School is unique in that each child, even the youngest preschooler, has multiple teachers every day. When you add in the administration, kitchen staff and maintenance crew, your child’s school day is made special by dozens of people. The PA’s aim is to simplify your life and make sure all our teachers and staff members are thanked for their hard work. Here’s how it works: if you choose, you may donate any amount of money you’d like. We collect everyone’s donations, then divide the money amongst the employees based on part-time or full-time status. Each employee is asked to specify a gift card they would like to receive. We then purchase the gift cards and distribute them along with a nice note thanking them for all they do. And that’s it! You can relax and know that each person who brightens your child’s day will be thanked for the difference they make.

Holiday shopping with Amazon?

If you and your friends/family will be shopping with Amazon this holiday season, please use Amazon Smile and support the SFS PA! Thank you!

SFS PA is on Facebook!

Don’t forget to “Like Us” on Facebook. Also, to make sure you are seeing all our posts, be sure to “follow” us as well. Thanks!

Mark your calendars

Wednesday, 12/16 5th Grade Hosting Faculty/Staff Breakfast (G)
Friday, 12/18 Holiday Parties @ 10:00 a.m. (PS) @ 2:45 p.m. (G)
Friday, 1/22  Parent-Daughter Dance @ 7:00 p.m (G & PS)

6th Grade Showcase

By Anne Farra, LS & MS Humanities, 6th Grade Quick Recall Coach6thGShowcase

On Saturday, our academic team competed int he 6th Grade Showcase.  The team made our school proud, coming in 2nd place for our region!

The 6th grade Quick Recall team began practicing during lunch and recess on Fridays in late September.  In November, students additionally gave up a morning recess to practice.  The Showcase competition included five other regional middle school teams: North Oldham, East Oldham, Trimble County, Henry County, and St. Aloysius.  6th Grade Showcase is made up of three parts: written composition, written assessment (5 subject areas), and quick recall.  Our team did wonderfully all around!  Lily Gilbert placed 2nd in written composition and 1st place in Arts and Humanities.  Grayson Karleski placed 3rd in Science.  Ali Muse placed 5th in Language Arts.  The team placed 2nd in quick recall, losing to North Oldham in the final round.   Way to go, Wyverns!

The team is composed of Lily Gilbert, Grayson Karleski, Ayda Marshall, Kathryn Denham, Veronika Vawter, Natalie Koch, Maddy Feitelson, Ali Muse, Harrison Aberle, and Reese Ragland.

A huge thank you to the following people: Anne Farra, head coach of the 6th grade team; Debbie Adkins, assistant coach and contest manager of the event; and Lindsy Serrano, who served as the head scorer. Andrew Frechette, Heather Varda and Misty Chanda served as moderators and scorers.  Audrey Morrison was the chief official. Judy Riendeau, Joanne Brock, Melanie Pugh, Erin Staley, Pattie Koth, Sarah Wallace and Cara Baribeau helped as proctors, graders or with registration. And Charlie Patton helped make sure all of the tech needs went off without a hitch.