From the Desk of the Principal: December Newsletter

12-01-2017NewsletterMrs. Kimberly Stevenson


Time sure does fly when you are having fun. I cannot believe it is already December. We have so much going on as we are preparing for Advent, the Barnes and Noble Christmas Event, Band, Chorus, and Violin Concert, Stars of Tomorrow Performance, our Christmas program, and much more.
In today’s hectic world, it is challenging to remember the reason for the season but we must focus on the birth of the Baby Jesus.

Years ago a parent shared this poem with me, it touched my heart. I hope it touches yours as well.  Blessings to you and your families for a beautiful Christmas and a joyous and healthy New Year!

  • Blessings,
  • Mrs. Stevenson

If You Look For Me at Christmas

If you look for me at Christmas you won’t need a special star.
I’m no longer just in Bethlehem,
I’m right there where you are.

You may not be aware of Me amid the celebrations.
You’ll have to look beyond the stores and all the decorations.

But if you take a moment from your list of things to do,
and listen to your heart, you’ll find I’m waiting there for you.

You’re the one I want to be with,
you’re the reason that I came,
and you’ll find me in the stillness
as I’m whispering your name.


Advent: I welcome you to the season of Advent! The word “Advent” is originated from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.” It is during these next four weeks that we are invited by God to prepare our hearts, minds, and homes to make room for the love of Jesus. We are called to give of ourselves more fully and to be truly present to those who need us most. The anticipation of Christmas is an exciting time for many, but can also cause some stress within in us. May we not forget what the Advent season is really about, and for whom the preparation and anticipation is intended, for Christ is within us always!

Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that Advent is part of the Christmas celebration. In fact, Advent is a separate time of preparation all its own. For the Catholic Church, Christmas doesn't begin until the first Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve and it continues until the "Octave of the Epiphany" on January 6th.

I invite you to click the link below for the Advent daily readings.

Celebrating Advent With Our Children: As a faith community each Monday during Advent we will pray as we place a paper flame on the candle of the Advent wreath. We will sing the song, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!  Tuesday through Thursday the children will listen to an Advent story.

Advent is a most advantageous time to go to confession and children in grades 3 - 8 will ready themselves to receive the little Infant Jesus.

Christmas Collection for Father Ken, Father Ken, Father Bob, Deacon Lee and Deacon Tim: With the holidays approaching we would like to show our appreciation to our Priests and Deacons for their spiritual guidance and support of Catholic education. We are asking for $5.00 per family for their Christmas gifts.  If you would like to participate please send your donation in an envelope marked Religious Christmas Gift by December 8th. The children will present the gifts at Mass on December 15th.

December 6 - the Feast of St. Nicholas: St Nicholas was born about 17 centuries ago in what is now the country of Turkey. Nicholas was kind and known for his generosity to the poor. He gave away his money to those in need, but he tried to do it secretly so no one would know he was responsible. When people found out and praised Nicholas, he reminded them that God was the source of all goodness. Holy Nicholas was chosen to be a Bishop.

One of the old Christian traditions surrounding his feast day is for kids to leave their shoes out on the eve before his feast day. St. Nicholas will visit and fill their shoes with a small gifts and treats.

St Nicholas will visit the children at Holy Trinity School when the hallways are lined with shoes on December 6th.

Christmas Candy Cane Grams: Send a Candy Cane Gram to your children or they can send one to their friends, teachers, parents and prayer partners. The school will be selling Candy Cane Grams, December 10-15th.  A Candy Cane Gram costs $1.00.

If you would like to donate a box of candy canes for this project it would be greatly appreciated. Please send in the candy canes on or before December 8th.

Diocesan Golden Apple Awards: The Diocese of Pittsburgh has been blessed to be able to recognize outstanding teachers and principals through the efforts of Jack and Rhodora Donahue and the Donahue Family Foundation. Awardees receive a $5,000 grant. Each year parents and teachers are encouraged to nominate a teacher and principal who makes a real difference in Catholic education.  Contact the school office for nomination forms. Nomination forms are due in the HTS office by December 7th. Please see the attached nomination form. Your nomination letter must be typed and include the values and attributes which set the nominee above others.  Nomination letters are very important in the selection process and will be read by a panel of judges. 

Holy Trinity Catholic School’s Barnes & Noble Holiday Family Night: St. Nicholas Day December 6th from 4:00PM-8:00pm at Settler’s Ridge. Dog lovers will enjoy the featured author, Todd J. Vicker. He will be there to share and autograph his books about his dog Luke.

The following activities will also be filling up the evening:

  • Holy Trinity band, chorus, violins and ukuleles will perform at 5:00pm
  • Story time, and book signing by Todd J. Vicker at 6:00pm
  • Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest at 7:00pm

Stations around the store:

  • Holiday Minute To Win It Competitions
  • Take your picture with Santa in our photo area
  • Decorate a cupcake to look like Santa and carry it home
  • *Get in the spirit with a Holiday Tattoo
  • *Make reindeer food with Mrs. Stevenson

*Enjoy a Frappuccino created by two HTS students and served by HTS teachers.
*Stroll around looking at HTS student artwork

Tis the Season for Gift Cards:  The Development Committee of the School Advisory Board has suggested the school focus on the sale of Gift Cards to help the school reach our fundraising assessment as well as make fundraising as easy as possible for parents.  The gift card program gives parents and the school community the power to fundraise all the time, without doing anything more than using gift cards to pay for their everyday shopping. 

Did you know you can order your gift cards online at as well as at the school?  There are hundreds of cards to purchase.

Team Shirt Tuesday: Do you like the Steelers, Penguins, Pitt, Pirates, or HTS? Well, you can support your favorite team on December 12, 2017. This is the first day of Team Shirt Tuesdays. Student Council is hosting a dress down day to raise money for the Alzheimer Association. The students will pay $1.00 to dress down in their favorite team’s apparel. Jeans and sweat pants are permitted but they must not have holes on them. Check the calendar each month for the Team Shirt Tuesday and let’s work to find a cure for Alzheimer disease.

Christmas Performances: Holy Trinity School students will hold performances which will place you in a festive mood. Beginning on December 19th at 6:30 pm the Stars of Tomorrow and the Triple Threats will entertain us with a Christmas play filled with singing and dancing. Next, we will have our Christmas Concert on December 20th. Join us and listen to Christmas music by the Violin, Band, Chorus and Ukulele students under the direction of Mr. Ott and Miss Shipley at 6:30pm in the school gym. Finally, on Thursday, December 21st students in kindergarten – 8th grades will warm your hearts with songs of season at our Annual Christmas Program.  The program begins at 10:15 am.  Please enter the school through the gym entrance. Doors will open at 10:00am. Fa La La La La La La La La!

Check Out the Great Things our Kids are Doing!

Forensic Team Begins with a Bang! Holy Trinity’s Forensic Team attended their first meet on Saturday, November 18th at St. Kilian’s School. There were 12 teams that competed at this meet and we placed 3rd in the competition. Holy Trinity received eight 1st place ribbons, six 2nd place and twelve 3rd place ribbons. Every member of the Holy Trinity Forensic team received a ribbon.

Jillian Frosell, Bianca Golomb, and Reighan Bean received two 1st place ribbons. Melaina Merlo and Olivia Mulvay each received one 1st place ribbon. Congratulations to our Forensics team!

Honor Roll: Holy Trinity Catholic School proudly announces our Honor Roll for the 1st quarter. All students in grades 6th – 8th can earn a place on the quarterly Honor Roll by meeting the following criteria.

Honors: Quality point average of 3.25 – 3.74
High Honors: Quality point average of 3.75 – 4.0

Congratulations to our 73 students in grades 6-8 who earned a place on the school Honor Roll.

  • 8A High Honor: Vanessa Betten, Andrew Feeley, Averil Ludwick, Ethan Williams
  • 8A Honor: Connor Bridges, James Haseleu, Andrew Marcello, Madeline Schiavo
  • 8B High Honor: Audrey Flanagan, Chiara Golomb, Ian Lecker, Ethan Minzer, Joseph Rees
  • 8B Honor: Connor Callahan, Tony Cicchino, Nick DiPerna,  Jillian Frosell, Alex Paluso
  • 7A High Honor: Alan Betten, Kara Bridge, Collin Cimino,  Corinne Ludwick, Kate Mickle, Evie Minzer, Nate Schmid, Sage Sonnett, Olivia Wegrzynowicz, Lexi Zurbola
  • 7A Honor: Lily Barbisch, David Gallagher, Hunter Gorsuch,  Chris Ireland, Natalie Krulac, Luca Michnowicz, Caiden Ohrn, Nick Walker, Allison Weaver, and Victoria Wegrzynowicz
  • 7B High Honor: Stephen Baker, Gianni Domenico, Vincent Frank, Sammy Gaffney, Tyler Gaffney, Isaac Huang, Kyle Janas, Joseph Leininger, Karolina Lucas, Danny Miller, Clare Mulvay, Olivia Mulvay, Lorin Planinsic, Amanda Strub
  • 7B Honor: Isabella Cardimen, Jimmy Gaffney, Marco Iacchetti
  • 6A High Honor: Luke Baker, Dominic Bodek, Sofia Davoli, Bianca Golomb
  • 6A Honor: Deven Kumar, Grace Murray, Ryan Saginaw, Samantha Sawayda, Michael Smith
  • 6B High Honor:  Reighan Bean, Eliza Bell, Jenna Gardner, Julian Myron, and Aaron Williams
  • 6B Honor: Maddie Ashbaugh, Anthony D'Orazio, Julia Seng

Accelerated Reader: Holy Trinity students in grades K – 8 have been participating in the Accelerated Reader (AR) program this year. AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Each child picks a book at his own level and reads it at his own pace. When finished reading the books they take a short quiz on the computer. Passing the quiz is an indication that the child understood what was read. AR gives the children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice.

Children using AR choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them. Teachers help your child choose books at an appropriate readability level that are challenging without being frustrating. Every book that has an AR Reading Practice Quiz is given a point value. AR points are computed based on the difficulty of the book (ATOS readability level) and the length of the book (number of words).  A goal is set by the teacher for each child.

I am thrilled to announce the names of the students in grades 3 -8 who have met or exceeded their goal for the 1st 9 week period.  These children will receive a dress down day on December 18th.  For more information on AR visit the Accelerated Reader website at www.

AR Exceeded Goal

  • 3B: Ryan Bridge and Isaac Jones 
  • 4A: Eve Amendola, Zoe Woessner, Lidia Oldak
    4B: Cecelia Bodek, John Cavicchia Julia Davoli, Max Gabor, Natalia Gonzalez, Marin Reinhardt,  Brady Rooney, Sarah Sellman, Lydia Wegrzynowicz
  • 5A: Carrie Betten, Thomas Butts, Mia Crofford,   Sean Frosell, John Haseleu, Gianna Kennelly, Joelle Ludwick, Tyler Sidhom, Ava Tournay, Bailey Ye, and Hannah Zurbola
  • 5B: Josie Einloth, Ashlyn Gill, Lily Ireland, Liam McAndrews, Luke Miller
  • 6A: ​Luke Baker, Dominic Bodek, Sofia Davoli,     Gabby Novelli, and Sammy Sawayda
  • 6B: Maddie Ashbaugh, Reighan Bean, Eliza Bell, Joey Cicchino, Maria Cicchino, Anthony D'Orazio, Jenna Gardner, Dominic Kolocouris, Julian Myron, Julia Seng, Contessa Tripodi, and Aaron Williams
  • 7A: Lily Barbisch, Alan Betten, Kara Bridge, Collin Cimino, Erin Dorsett, Billy Fryer, David Gallagher,  Hunter Gorsuch,  Chris Ireland, Corinne Ludwick, Luca Michnowicz, Kate Mickle, Evie Minzer, Caiden Ohrn, Nate Schmid,  Nick Walker, Olivia Wegrzynowicz, Victoria Wegrzynowicz, Lexi Zurbola
  • 7B: Stephen Baker, Vincent Frank, Arrianna Hagan, Morgan Hagan, Isaac Huang, Kyle Janas, Joseph Leininger, Karolina Lucas, Melaina Merlo, Danny Miller, Clare Mulvay, Olivia Mulvay, Kyle Rooney, Amanda Strub
  • 8A: Braehm Brown, Taytem Froehlich, Cheyenne Gorsuch, Kennedy Walsh, Ethan Williams
  • 8B: Chiara Golomb, Cameron Hurwitz, Ian Lecker, Ethan Minzer

AR Met Goal

  • 4A: Alexis Kolocouri
  • 4B: Roman Tripodi
  • 6A: Kaia Douglass, Bianca Golomb, Deven Kumar, Addison Miskow, Grace Murray, Marie Pigoni, Ryan Saginaw, Michael Smith, and McKinley Walsh. 
  • 7B: Gianni Domenico, Sammy Gaffney, Lorin Planinsic     
  • 8A: Madi Schiavo
  • 8B: Jillian Frosell, Renee LaGrosse, Gabe Miller

Live on the Air with Fairchild Challenge, Eco Edibles: Some of the 7th grade students went on air on Saturday, November 11, to participate in the Saturday Light Brigade Radio Show to discuss the Fairchild Challenge, Eco Edibles.  This is a program sponsored by Phipps Conservatory. The students  created recipes using discarded plant parts in science class and yes, they were edible.  Yummy!