Semester End Successes

A Year of Success for Bishop Heelan System
Posted on 12/22/2020
BHCS President Dr. John Flanery emails BHCS families a monthly letter outlining school successes. Here is his final update for 2020.

Greetings Families of Bishop Heelan Schools,
As we come into the Christmas break we wanted to share with you another long list of great successes from our students and schools:

FAITH AND SERVICE  
- 3rd-8th grade students at Holy Cross raised money for the Life Team Christmas service project. The Life Team compiled wish lists for children so they would have something special under the tree. The items are donated to the Salvation Army Christmas giving project.
- Students at Holy Cross participated in a challenge to "Pack the Principal's Office" in December to collect items for the Ronald McDonald House and the Warming Shelter. The students collected a grand total of 12,340 items!! They collected so much they were also able to donate to other organizations including the Gospel Mission, the Safe Place, Shesler Hall, and the Crittenton Center Emergency Shelter. 
- Mater Dei students made Christmas cards and posters for the sisters at Mount St. Francis in Dubuque, Iowa. Christmas concert videos were also shared with the sisters so that they could enjoy the “sounds of the season.”
- Mater Dei 5th-8th grade students adopted nine families for Christmas through the Community Action Agency. The homerooms bought gifts for a total of 30 children. Students ordered gifts online and wrapped them for their adopted children.  Students also enjoyed a lock-in during the day with several activities including a live Clue game, holiday Scattergories, a holiday movie with popcorn and the favorite, dodgeball. The day culminated with wrapping gifts and making cards. This is a yearly event and the students wanted to make sure they could continue it despite Covid-19.
- Five girls in 7th and 8th grade who attended a BFF (Best Franciscan Friends) Camp at Mount St. Francis in Dubuque when they were 5th graders will be taking part in a virtual “Cozy Conversations” meeting with several Franciscan Sisters. The girls and sisters will be discussing Christmas memories and favorites while enjoying hot chocolate and cookies provided by Julie Tebbe, Minister for the Sister of St. Francis. 
- The Dual Language Academy students celebrated the feast day of our Lady of Guadalupe by creating an altar in her honor. 
- Sacred Heart families donated over $3,000 this advent season for people in our community in need. 
- Bishop Heelan students and staff took on the Chapel Challenge to spend time each week in adoration. 

ACADEMICS/SCHOLARSHIP
- Bishop Heelan senior Benjamin Raymond joined the 30+ ACT Club
- The Holy Cross Quiz Bowl competed in the national Virtual Covid Challenge: they ranked 8th in the third and final competition, putting them 5th place nationally from the combined contests.
- Bishop Heelan Debate and Quiz Bowl students enjoyed several virtual competitions throughout the first semester. 
- Sacred Heart PK/K teachers received a grant to create boxes to help students build fine motor skills.

ATHLETICS AND ARTS
- The Bishop Heelan Weight room is undergoing an impressive transformation! Thanks to the generosity and creation of Jerad and Peggy Higman, new lifting stations have been built and installed. There is quite a bit still to come. We will keep you updated on this incredible development. 
- Bishop Heelan seniors Anesa Davenport, Drew Determan, Ellie Gengler, Jordyn Knapp, and Mason Scott all committed to collegiate athletic programs.
- Bishop Heelan senior Mitchell Joines is currently 16 - 0 with 13 wins by pin in wrestling. Mitchell is also ranked #5 at 170 pounds in Class 2A.   
- The wrestling team at Bishop Heelan has won the SBL and Arena tournaments so far this season. 
- Coach Jay Wright won his first game as the girls basketball coach against Sioux City North and the girls basketball team has 5 wins in a row heading into break. 
- The Bishop Heelan Concert Band and Vocal department recently held Christmas concerts at O’Gorman Fieldhouse. 

OTHER ITEMS
- Bishop Heelan celebrated Christmas with a door decorating contest and donuts for students and staff.
- From the enrollment office, there are 17 students coming second semester so far. We hope to have even more!
- Many letters have gone out for the Guadalupe Fund.  This fund for Hispanic students is important as many of  these student's  possess strong faith and a desire to further their education beyond high school, while often being the first in their families to attend college. This year over $26,000 was given to 41 high school students.
- Sacred Heart Parish kicked off a $5 million capital campaign which includes expansions to the church and school.
- Sacred Heart kindergarten students enjoyed a Zoom with Santa. 

As always I appreciate your continued support and dedication to Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools. We are so grateful to you! May the peace of Christ and the majesty of this season fill you and your family with great joy! 

God bless you,
John 

Dr. John Flanery
President, Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools 
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