Best of Luck, Mr. Walter!

Mr. Walter_Main Image_2MPBy Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

This Tuesday at an all-school assembly, Alexandra and I had to announce that Walter Denham was spending his last week with us! Students greeted this sad news with groans and even a few tears.

“Mr. Walter” is in his seventh year with us and has made a name for himself in many areas! He has been a bus driver extraordinaire, maintenance man marvel, “ManVenture” favorite in our Uniquely St. Francis auction items (with compatriot Bob Bertke), and drama set engineer and troubleshooter. In addition, his influence on the growth of our Derby Camp experience has been legendary! This annual trip now sells out and brings in around 50 kids for a weekend of food, frivolity, and adventure. This is mostly Walter’s doing, as he has worked so hard to make sure our students have fun. And if you need someone to play the “fool” in an assembly, Walter Denham is your man. He has been a 70s disco dancer, Kenny G-playing flutist, member of Devo, and the list goes on and on.

To put it simply, Walter has immersed and invested himself in the St. Francis experience and the students can see and feel that palpably. They know he cares about them and St. Francis, and he has made a large impact on our school culture. Walter has a wonderful job opportunity, but leaves us reluctantly. The impact of Walter Denham will remain on our campus for years to come.

All-State Choir_2MPAlso this week, we honored 15 Middle School students who attended and performed at the KYACDA All-State Choir gathering in Lexington last weekend. Students have to audition into this choir and we have a proud history of getting many of our students in over the past five-plus years. That is in large part to the dedication and talents of music teachers Bob Bertke and Kim Rash, who also attended with the kids. From Bob:

“We’re immensely proud of these students who joined 600 other students from across the state in an intense weekend of music-making that ended with a fantastic concert at the Singletary Center for the Arts on the University of Kentucky campus. These students represented our school community exceptionally well!”

Here is the list of our All-State Choir members:

  • Harrison Aberle
  • Catherine Dewberry
  • Lucy Frederick
  • Molly Hales
  • Kameron Julian
  • Sophie Kirby
  • Caroline Koloff
  • Julia Koloff
  • Ayda Marshall
  • Caroline McCurry
  • Jane McLeroy
  • Zoe Petiprin
  • Jude Sleadd
  • Mya Stevenson
  • Molly Waggener

And some quotes from a few of the kids:

“It was interesting getting to meet new kids, plus I got to sing, so it was fun!” – Jude Sleadd

“This was my third year auditioning into KYACDA All-State Choir. I learned so much from our conductor, Dr. Lesley Mann. The weekend was very fun, but it was also a great learning experience that taught me so much as a singer and a person.” – Jane McLeroy

“It was really nice because you get to sing all day. There was a pool, and I got to bond with my friends.” – Zoe Petiprin

How can you go wrong with a pool? Congratulations again to these students and our fabulous music department!