From the Desk of the Principal: December Newsletter

12-01-2018NewsletterMrs. Kimberly Stevenson

“Wait for the LORD, take courage; be strong and take heart, wait for the LORD!”

Ps. 27: 14

On behalf of the Holy Trinity Faculty and Staff, I want to wish all of our HTS families a very blessed Christmas. May the miracle of Christmas fill your heart with joy and peace.

Today we live in a fast paced world where we can get almost anything we want at the click of a button. We turn on our TVs and watch the movies we want on demand and order online and have it he next day. We can get in touch with others no matter where they are.

Waiting, especially patient waiting, is not something we do well. Advent is a 4 week time of quiet, joyful preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth and also a time to remember that we wait for Christ to come again at the end of time. It is a season to enjoy the hope that Christ’s Resurrection points to. The first Sunday of Advent is also a time of new beginning, it is the official start of the Church’s calendar.

Most popular of the Advent customs handed down to us is the Advent Wreath. It is made of evergreens bound to a circle of wire. The wreath is German in origin. It represents the cycle of thousands of years from Adam to Christ during which the world awaited the coming of a Redeemer. It bears four candles equally spaced on the wreath, three purple and a rose colored one for Gaudete, the joyful Sunday in Advent. What do the symbols mean? The circle which never ends, teaches us that God and the joy of eternity never ends. The wreath made of evergreens, which never change reminds us that God’s love never changes. The purple ribbons, which decorate it, symbolizes penance. The candles with their light tells us that Christ is the light of the world. Here are prayers said with the lighting of the wreath.

Advent Wreath Prayers

As a school faith community each Monday during Advent we will pray as we place a paper flame on the Advent wreath. We will sing the song, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!  Tuesday through Thursday we will use the Wake Up to Joy Devotions for Advent.

As we gather around our wreath to begin the celebration of Advent. Let us ask our Father in heaven to fill our hearts with grace. Heavenly Father, we look forward to the celebration of Christmas and to the coming of the Lord in glory. Bless this Advent wreath and all of us. As we pray daily around it, fill us with your love and strengthen us for our daily tasks. We ask this through Christ our Lord. All: Ame

THE FIRST WEEK—ONE PURPLE CANDLE IS LIT: Heavenly Father, as we begin this Advent, give light to our eyes and peace to our hearts. May the Lord find us watching and waiting in joy when He comes. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

THE SECOND WEEK—TWO PURPLE CANDLES ARE LIT: Father in heaven, set our hearts ablaze to follow in the steps of John the Baptist. May we bring light and love to all we meet, that the darkness of sin and fear may be overcome. In Christ’s name we ask this. Amen

THE THIRD WEEK—TWO PURPLE CANDLES AND THE PINK CANDLE ARE LIT: As we draw near to you, Lord God, keep us aware of your presence in all we do. Come with power to enlighten us by your grace that we may live in praise and peace all our days. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

THE FOURTH WEEK—ALL CANDLES ARE LIT: Lord Jesus, we approach that holy moment when Your coming as man is renewed in our hearts. Give us peace and allow us to celebrate Your presence with joy, that we may someday share Your glory. We ask this of You, who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, as One God, now and forever. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

Holy Trinity Catholic School 2018-19 Test Results

Our class averages have exceeded their grade level norms in all subject areas on the test given in September 2018!

The Iowa Assessment is a group-administered achievement test given in grades 2-8 which measures a student's knowledge in subject areas that students have learned in school – reading, language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. It is an achievement test which assesses a child’s knowledge of what they have learned in school and are not cognitive or IQ tests. Iowa Achievement Test is a norm-referenced test, which means a student’s performance is compared with that of a group of similar students who have taken the same test across the nation. Student scores are reported in relation to the scores of this “norm” group. Statistically, the majority of students nationwide will be in the 50th-percentile range. Grade equivalent indicates the year and the month of school for which a student’s level of performance is typical.

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is given in grades 2, 4, & 6. It is an aptitude test that measures a student’s general and specific cognitive abilities. It measures learned reasoning and problem-solving skills in    3 areas: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal, which are closely tied to academic success.

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Holy Trinity
Holy Trinity
Social Studies
Holy Trinity





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Christmas Collection for Priests and Deacons: 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 14th.

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 beginning on December 10-18th for $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 7th.  Fill out the attached form to order Candy Cane Grams and return it to the school.                  

December 6th 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.
On December 6th St Nicholas will visit the children at Holy Trinity School.  The hallways will be lined with shoes waiting for his visit.

Also, on December 6th Holy Trinity Catholic School will host a Barnes & Noble Holiday Family Night and Dine In at Blaze Pizza

The event runs from 3:00PM-8:00PM at the Settler’s Ridge Barnes and Noble. Profit from this event supports the up keep of the Nooks and purchase online novels for Literature classes. HTS will get a percentage of all orders from Dec 6-11 in store and from orders made on line as long as the school number #12457362 is used at the time of purchases.

The following activities will also be filling up the evening:

  • Holy Trinity band, chorus, and violins will perform at 5:00PM
  • Santa will share a Christmas story from a local author@ 5:30PM
  • Stations around the store: Holiday Games and Puzzles and Photo area
  • Decorate a cupcake to look like Snowman or Ornament and carry it home
  • Get in the spirit with a Holiday Tattoo
  • Make reindeer food with Mrs. Stevenson
  • Enjoy a Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Frappuccino created by Riley Lecker and the Vanilla – Chocolate Twist created by Caiden Ohrn and served by HTS teachers.  Do not forget to walk around to see the HTS students’ artwork.

Please join us on December 6th at Blaze Pizza to support Holy Trinity Catholic School. The Dine Out fundraiser will start at 3pm until 8pm at Settlers Ridge. Just show them the attached flyer and let them know you are there to support HTS. Thank you for your continued support! The flyer is attached.

Gift Cards:  Your everyday shopping can make a huge impact on fundraising at Holy Trinity Catholic School.  Using gift cards to make purchases that you usually make on a regular basis is the simplest way to meet your assessment and support the school.  Use these cards for your essentials such as groceries and gasoline.  Cards are available for entertainment such as dining at restaurants, airplane tickets and hotel stays.  Will you be remodeling or purchasing an appliance?  We carry Lowes and Home Depot cards too!
The school stocks 42 cards with denominations from the seasonal $5.00 – to $500 amounts. By visiting you have access to over 750 cards.  Now is a great time to start using this program!

Let’s Read! The Christmas holiday is a great time to snuggle up with book.  Here is a list of books to read during the Christmas season. 

Title Author Title Author

God Gave us Christmas

Lisa Tawn Bergen

Legend of the Poinsettia

Tomie dePaloa

The All I Ever Want Christmas Doll

Patricia C. McKissack

The Stable Cat’s Christmas

Christina Vrba

An Angel for Solomon Singer

Cynthia Rylant

The Legend of the Candy Cane

Lori Walburg

A Child is Born

Margaret Wise Brown

How Many Miles to Bethlehem?

Kevin Crossley-Holland

Leo’s Gift

Susan Blackaby

Pinata in a Pine Tree

Pat Mora

The Way You Are

Max Lucado

Christmas in the Manger

Nola Buck

Christmas Performances: Join us for a festive celebration of this Glorious Season  beginning on Wednesday, December 12th with the Violin Concert under the direction of Mr. Ott. Then on Thursday, December 20th the Band and Choral Concert directed by Miss Shipley will entertain you with sounds of the season. Both performances begin at 6:30pm. Finally, on Friday, 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.  All concerts will be held in the school gym. Please enter the school through the gym entrance. Doors will open at 10:00am.  Joy to the World!

Our Amazing Kids!

Congratulations Scholars! Congratulations to our 84 students in Grades 6-8 who earned a place on the Honor Roll for the 1st 9 weeks.  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

  • 6A High Honor: Sean Frosell, Chloe Hornyak, Riley Lecker, Joelle Ludwick, Matthew Mickle, Luke Miller, Hannah Zurbola
  • 6A Honor: Henry Barbisch, Carrie Betten, Jack Marcello, Corinna Martella, Liam McAndrews, Natalie Paluso
  • 6B High Honor: Sarah Buzzard, Josie Einloth, Ashlyn Gill, Gianna Kennelly, Alexandra Loehlein, Tyler Sidhom, Bailey Ye
  • Honor: Lydia Bartlett, Tommy Butts, Mia Crofford, Tanner Gorsuch, John Haseleu, Rachael Lucas, Angelina Osso
  • 7A High Honor: Eliza Bell, Bianca Golomb, Samantha Sawayda, Julie Seng
  • 7A Honor:  Luke Baker, Dominic Bodek, Maria Cicchino, Deven Kumar, Grace Murray, Ryan Saginaw,  Michael Smith
  • 7B High Honor:  Anthony D'Orazio, Sofia Davoli, Jenna Gardner, Aaron Williams
  • 7B Honors:  Maddie Ashbaugh, Reighan Bean, Julian Myron, Marie Pigoni, Contessa Tripodi
  • 8A High Honor: Lily Barbisch, Alan Betten, Tyler Gaffney, Marco Iacchetti, Corinne Ludwick, Katherine Mickle, Danny Miller, Evelyn Minzer, Clare Mulvay, Sage Sonnett
  • 8A Honor: Stephen Baker, James Gaffney, Samuel Gaffney, Hunter Gorsuch, Kyle Janas, Olivia Mulvay, Allison Weaver
  • 8B High Honor: Kara Bridge, Collin Cimino, Gianni Domenico, Vincent Frank, Isaac Huang, Karolina Lucas, Nathaniel Schmid, Amanda Strub, Olivia Wegrzynowicz, Alexis Zurbola
  • 8B Honor: Isabella Cardimen, Christopher Ireland, Joseph Leininger, Melaina Merlo, Luca Michnowicz, Mason Moore, Caiden Ohrn, Kyle Rooney, Isabelle Seibel, Victoria Wegrzynowicz

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. Children using AR choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. Teachers help your child choose books at an appropriate readability level that are challenging without being frustrating. Every book has an AR Reading Practice Quiz which 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 as well as the kindergarten and first grade classes who participate in AR as a class.  These children will receive a dress down day on December 17th. 

  • 2A Met Goal: Luke Blatt, Sophia Colosimo, Landon Don, Adrian Jerabek, Mia Molinaro, Kerrigan Wallover
  • 2A Exceeded Goal: Derek Daniel, Thomas Einloth, Elin Gabor, Samantha Loehlein, Connor Males, Alexandra Sipusic
  • 2B Met Goal: Noah Latouf, Isabella Madden, Maeve McGarvey,
  • 2B Exceeded Goal: Athena Ameredes, Peter Baker, Ashlyn Curry, David DelFiandra, Erin Gayliardi, Lauralei Kroniser, Vivian Miller, Aric Rigler, Nathan Sawayda,  Marco Sidholm, Zachary Teramana
  • 3A Met Goal: Nico Domenico, Luca Neal
  • 3A Exceeded Goal: Eve Betten, Anna Cicchino, Maddie Debbis, Sadie Karashin, Andre Kolocouris, Andrew Ludwick, Simon Rohrdanz, Catherine Schmidt, Lucas Stragand, Brooklyn Young
  • 3B Exceeded Goal: Leo Beadling, Dean Douglass, Jason Kulbieda, Mia Pessy, Isabel Stuckman, Sydney Trippe, Wyatt Walsh, Liliana Woessner, Ava Zieminak 
  • 4A Met Goal: Christian Gill, Isaac Jones, Jordan Jones
  • 4A Exceeded Goal: Marco Buzzard, Danica Nauman, Alex Smith, Triumph Tarr, Jack Turina
  • 4B Met Goal: Nathan Leiden, Sydney Loehlein, Dominic Michnowicz, Luke Sidhom
  • 4B Exceeded Goal: Ryan Bridge, Kaylie Butts
  • 5A Met Goal: James Baker, Tamia Hall, Lucas Sperandeo
  • 5A Exceeded Goal: Vincent Arbster, Cece Bodek, John Cavicchia, Ava Domenico, Brayden Douglass, Maximilian Gabor, Natalia Gonzalez, Lexi Kolocouris, Kailyn Lach, Helene Ludwick, Finn McGarvey, Ricky Murray, Lidia Oldak, Leah Parker, Brady Rooney, Sophia Saginaw, Lydia Wegrzynowicz,  Christian Williams, Zoe Woessner
  • 5B Exceeded Goal: Eve Amendola, Julia Davoli, Lucy Einloth, Ella Hoffman, Norah Latouf, Dylan Luchini, Owen Minzer, Michael Pigoni, Kaitlin Pozo, Giovanni Raubaugh, Matthew Sawayda, Roman Tripodi, Carl Walz
  • 6A Exceeded Goal: Carrie Betten, Thomas Gayliardi, Joelle Ludwick, Luke Miller, Ava Tournay, Hannah Zurbola
  • 6B Exceeded Goal: Lydia Bartlett, Lily Blanciak, Tommy Butts, Sarah Buzzard, Mia Crofford, Josie Einloth, Ashlyn Gill, PJ Hawkins, Gianna Kennelly, Alexandra Loehlein, Rachael Lucas, Angelina Osso, Harold Tarr, Armando Velasquez,    Bailey Ye.
  • 7A Met Goal: Grace Murray
  • 7A Exceeded Goal: Luke Baker, Eliza Bell, Dominic Bodek, Maria Cicchino, Bianca Golomb, Deven Kumar, Ryan Saginaw, Samantha Sawayda, Julia Seng, A.J. Sinicki, Michael Smith
  • 7B Met Goal:  Contessa Tripodi
  • 7B Exceeded Goal: Maddie Ashbaugh, Reighan Bean, Ashley Boehm, Joey Cicchino, Anthony D'Orazio, Sofia Davoli, Kaia Douglass, Jenna Gardner, Julian Myron, Marie Pigoni, McKinley Walsh, and Aaron Williams
  • 8A Exceeded Goal: Stephen Baker, Lily Barbisch, Tyler Gaffney, Hunter Gorsuch, Marco Iacchetti, Natalie Krulac, Corinne Ludwick, Daniel Miller, Evelyn Minzer, Clare Mulvay, Olivia Mulvay, Sage Sonnett
  • 8B - Exceeded Goal: Kara Bridge, Isabella Cardimen, Collin Cimino, William Fryer, Arrianna Hagan, Morgan Hagan, Isaac Huang, Christopher Ireland, Joseph Leininger, Karolina Lucas, Melaina Merlo, Luca Michnowicz, Caiden Ohrn, Nathaniel Schmid, Isabelle Seibel, Amanda Strub, Olivia Wegrzynowicz, Victoria Wegrzynowicz, Alexis Zurbola

Cross Country Championship: Congratulations to the JV Girls and JV Boys teams who each placed 3rd at the Cross Country Championships held on October 20!  All of the schools in the Diocese with cross-country runners competed in this race held at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds.  Teams must have a minimum of five runners to be eligible to place. Times from the school’s top five runners are then combined to determine placement.  Holy Trinity Varsity Girls and Boys also competed. 

Individual medals were awarded to the top 25 runners in each grouping.  In the JV Girls Open Race (grades 1-4), Eva Crofford placed 17th.  JV Girls’ Mia Crofford (13th) and Sophia Saginaw (19th), JV Boys’ James Baker (13th) and Christian Williams (25th), and Varsity Boys runner Luke Baker (18th) also received individual medals.

Congratulations to the JV and Varsity volleyball teams on a great season.  The Varsity made it to the 1st round of the playoffs but fell short to a tough St. Gabriel's team.  We had 8-8th grade members of the team:  Kara Bridge, Hunter Gorsuch, Corinne Ludwick, Melaina Merlo, Clare Mulvay, Olivia Mulvay, Victoria Wegrzynowicz, and Alexis Zurbola.

Classroom Spotlights

8th Grade: 8th grader Nathaniel Schmid coordinated a school-wide food collection for the Light of Life Rescue Mission in the month of October.   The Light of Life Rescue Mission is a non-profit organization that provides food and shelter for the homeless and those in need, in addition to programs that help these individuals transform their lives. 

Nate has been actively involved with the Mission for the last few years, having attended the Tunch and Wolf Walk for the Homeless and, most recently, having collected items for a Winter Survival Kit which provided items to help the homeless stay warm during the winter months.  He has also had the opportunity to tour the Mission to learn about all of the programs that they provide.  

This year, the Mission is creating Thanksgiving baskets which will provide food to feed those who are in need of a Thanksgiving meal.  Nate asked Holy Trinity students to donate stuffing, instant potatoes, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, canned gravy, and canned yams.   Thank you, Nate, for your efforts!

6th and 7th Grade Science: Students in 6th and 7th grade competed in their first Fairchild Challenge titled “Our STEAM Mentors.”  The Fairchild Challenge is “multidisciplinary, standards-based environmental education outreach program designed to give middle school students an opportunity to creatively shine.” It is sponsored by Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.  Students had to pick a mentor from the STEAM field and either interview the person or research to find additional information.  They also had to include a portrait.  The top 8 student entries were submitted in a booklet for judging.

Middle School Robotics: Congratulations to our Robotics Club students who participated in the B.E.S.T. Robotics Competition held at Grove City College and were awarded Best Middle School!!  This is the 4th year that our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students have had the opportunity to participate in this challenge.  The task this year entitled “Current Events” was to build a robot in six weeks which could simulate ocean clean-up by removing plastic garbage from artificial ocean “gyres” that were constructed aside a moving “current” beam that the robot navigated.  The teams compete with their robot in 3-minute matches scoring points for the amount of garbage removed from the gyre and for the wildlife rescued (in the form of rubber ducks and 3D computer generated turtles.)  In addition to the robot competition, teams must also submit a project engineering notebook, give an oral presentation, demonstrate spirit and sportsmanship, and provide an educational display.   Though the overall competition has middle and high schools competing against each other, a Best Middle School Award is given to the middle school that accumulates that most points in each of these categories.

Middle School—Forensics: Holy Trinity School’s Forensic Team attended their first meet on Saturday, November 17th at St. Kilian’s School.  Holy Trinity's team received seven 1st place, fourteen 2nd place and five 3rd place ribbons.  Every member of the Holy Trinity Forensic team received a ribbon.  Olivia Mulvay received two 1st place ribbons.  Melaina Merlo, Clare Mulvay, Riley Lecker, Allison Weaver, and Bianca Golomb each received one 1st place ribbon. Holy Trinity took 3rd place out of the 14 teams that competed.  Congratulations to everyone for all of their hard work!  

Junior Achievement: Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania brought their economics-based curriculum program to our Kindergarten through 8th grade students on November 19th.  JA students from Bishop Canevin High School presented the age appropriate lessons to each classroom. The elementary students worked on the JA Our Families® lesson which focuses on the roles played in the local economy and shows children the importance of work and the skills that are required to get, or earn, what they need and want. Intermediate students worked on the JA Our Nation® unit in which they discussed business globalization and the importance of STEM skills as job skills.  7th grade students studied in the JA Economics for Success® module learning how to earn money, spend within a budget, save and invest, and use credit cautiously.  The modules used with the 6th and 8th grade students are new this year and are SMART Board based. For example, the 8th grade students were quizzed on logo recognition. 

Holy Trinity alumni currently attending Bishop Canevin High School, Savanah Abbott, Kylie Airesman, Braehm Brown, Tony Cicchino, Jillian Frosell, Renee LaGrosse, Thea LaGrosse, Ian Lecker, Jack Mickle, Collin Milko, Connor Miller, Nick Paluso, Sabrina Skukalek, and Natalie Zurbola, were a part of the team of students presenting to the classrooms.  We were thrilled to have them back!

Thanksgiving: Kindergarten celebrated Thanksgiving by having a program in church for their families. They re-told the story of the first Thanksgiving and sang songs about being thankful to God.

Three year-old preschool also celebrated Thanksgiving by singing songs and doing finger-plays for their families with a program in the school gym allowing parents to see all that they have learned in their first few months of preschool.

Kindergarten and First grade made hats to represent pilgrims and Native Americans who celebrated the first Thanksgiving Feast. They wore these hats to the school’s annual Thanksgiving Mass.  Each grade donated items for the parish St. Vincent de Paul food pantry which they brought to church to present at offertory.