November 20, 2015

At the Academy

A Note from the Head of School
Dear Friends,
Abraham Heschel said:  “Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.” As Thanksgiving approaches I am reminded once again how grateful I am to each of you for daughters and for your dedication to St. Agnes. You are our trusted partners and we value your faithful support. When I count my blessings, you are clearly among them. Thanksgiving blessings to you and your family.
Blessing and love,
Sister Jane

Gala Wine Pull Kickoff Party
Save the date, 6-8 p.m. Thursday, January 28 at the home of Katy Haute, 111 Warrenton Drive. Details to follow.

Houston Girls' Cotillion
Earlier this week, St. Agnes sent a note to sophomore parents about Houston Girls' Cotillion. St. Agnes Academy is not affiliated with Cotillion, nor are any Cotillion events endorsed or sponsored by SAA. Although St. Agnes Academy discipline and conduct rules apply to all SAA students attending Cotillion, no St. Agnes personnel are in attendance or chaperoning Cotillion events. St. Agnes does offer Winter Formal to our students, one day prior to Cotillion, at the Westin Houston, Memorial City on January 8.

International Food Festival
The annual St. Agnes International Food Festival is coming up Thursday, December 3. This is a wonderful tradition in which our students come together to share all the diverse cultures and backgrounds that make up the St. Agnes community. Students were asked to sign up during homeroom to bring dishes to share for the festival. Many of your daughters have already signed up to bring a dish, but if they haven’t there is still time! If your daughter neglected to sign up, but you would still like to contribute, please email either Laura Brasher or Meredith Millik with the name of the dish you plan to send and its country of origin. We need lots of participation in order to make this event go smoothly and to feed the entire student body, faculty, and staff! The dishes will be dropped off on the morning of December 3 to members of the Mothers' Club who are helping to coordinate the event (drop off location TBD). Thanks very much and we look forward to it!

The St. Agnes/Strake Jesuit Mixed Chorus presents Handel's Messiah 7:30 p.m. December 11 and 12 at Strake Jesuit in the Parsley Center. Purchase your tickets online today and see our tiered pricing; premium seating $25, preferred seating $20, and general seating $15. Each ticket has a specific seat assignment. Online ticket sales close two hours prior to each performance. Box office sales the day of each performance based on availability.

Band and Orchestra Christmas Concert
You are invited to join us at the 2015 Band and Orchestra Christmas Concert, 7 p.m. Saturday, December 5 in the Parsley Center of Strake Jesuit. The concert will feature performances by the SJ/SAA Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, and Symphonic Band! Tickets are $8 Pre-Sale in the SJ Spirit Store and $10 at the door. Children ages 12 and under are free. Students with ID are free. The concert will feature Christmas favorites, such as Sleigh Ride, which are sure to put you in the Christmas spirit!

Raffle Is Here!
Raffle packets are out! Included in your daughter's packet is a parent letter (also available online), a prize list, parish sale information and their 40 tickets to sell. Every student is required to sell $200 in raffle tickets. As a reward,  they will receive two raffle holidays: Friday, February 12 and Friday, March 11. Please let Teri Peterson or Cathy Rotter know if you have any questions.

Spain Trip
For those interested in the summer trip to Seville, Spain through International Studies Abroad, your verbal commitment is due, via email to Laura Brasher, TODAY, Friday, November 20. The verbal commitment is not binding, but gives us a better idea of numbers.

The Notre Dame Vision Conference
This Conference is a 5-day experience at the University of Notre Dame. Students from St. Agnes and Strake Jesuit will attend June 20-24, 2016. Click here for more information (including registration) about this awesome conference for high school students. The SAA/SJ group will fly to South Bend on Monday morning, June 20, and return to Houston Friday evening, June 24. It’s a great opportunity to see ND’s campus, grow in faith and meet cool people! If you are interested, return your registration form and $100 deposit to Campus Ministry before finals! Contact Anna Sklut with questions.

Yearbook Ads
It is her last year of high school. Show her how proud she has made you. Contact Kathi Thompson at 713.219.5506 to purchase an ad in the 2016 edition of the SAA yearbook, VeritasClick here for information on how to submit an ad. Space is limited so be sure to contact us early, we will be on a first come basis. All artwork and money is due December 11.

Financial Aid Application Deadline for 2016-2017
All financial aid applications for the 2016-2017 academic year must be completed by Feb. 15, 2016 through our online process. Click here for instructions. The Independent School Management's FAST (Financial Aid for School Tuition) program application is also available online. If you have additional questions, please contact our financial aid coordinator Leland McKinney at 713.219.5461.

Double Triple Trio at Renaissance Festival
One more chance to catch the beautiful harmonies of our students! The Texas Renaissance Festival will feature our Double Triple Trio, the St. Agnes and Strake Jesuit Triple Trios, November 20-22.

Counselors' CornerAcademy Fund

This week, Counselors' Corner looks at several important issues coming up. To read these articles in their entirety, visit Counselors' Corner.

  • College Panel for Juniors and Seniors
    Juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to meet with recent alumnae to hear about their transition to college and their experiences January 6. Juniors will also hear from a group of seniors who will answer questions specifically related to the college process. Juniors and seniors may sign up for two of the four sessions (Highly Selective Colleges and Universities, Public In State Colleges and Universities, Public Out of State Colleges and Universities, and Private Colleges  and Universities). Students have until December 11 to register for a session, otherwise your daughter will be assigned a session. Information regarding this year's college panel can be found here.
  • Junior Group Guidance Recap
    The college counselors were in your junior daughter’s history classes on Thursday to discuss starting the college process. To read about our conversation, visit Counselors' Corner.
  • Wellness Center Parent Night Recap
    Thank you to all of the parents who joined us Wednesday evening for our annual Wellness Center Parent Night. This year’s speaker was Shayna Barksdale, LCSW of Austin and Houston Therapy for Girls. Shayna shared great information with our parents on the topics of resilience: the ability to bounce back and healthy boundaries. Ms. Barksdale provided a handout that addresses depression in girls. If you would like to view a copy, please click here.

Read the full articles at Counselors' Corner.

The Academy Fund is off to a great start this year! Our current parent participation by grade level is:

2016 – 23%
2017 – 26%
2018 – 21%
2019 – 23%

We hope that all of our families will participate in the Academy Fund to the best of his or her ability. To make your gift today click here.

Club NewsSpirit Store

Mothers' Club
Please volunteer for the junior class sponsored Faculty/Staff Appreciation Luncheon, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Wednesday, December 2. The theme is Fiesta St. Agnes. We need:

  • Three to four more people to make homemade desserts (pies, cakes, cookies) dropped off in the Fleming Room by 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 2.
  • One to two servers and hostesses for the luncheon, 11 a.m. - 1:30ish p.m. (including a quick clean-up after)

This is a great opportunity to show the St. Agnes faculty and staff how very much you appreciate what they've done for your daughter. Please email Carole Day and Jill Ditto and indicate how you would like to help. 

Solidarity Day/International Food Fest: The Festival is Thursday, December 3. It will provide the opportunity for your daughters to reflect on your family’s heritage. A sign-up sheet should be in each homeroom. Please encourage your daughter to sign up to bring a dish! As always, please make sure the dish is disposable. Please mark if the dish needs to be served hot or cold, and the country of origin.
If you have volunteered you will be receiving an email to sign up for times. If not, here are the available times:

Receive Food: 15 people,  7 - 10:30 a.m.
Table Moms: 25 people, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (set up food, cut desserts, ice water, deliver paper products, distribute utensils)

Please email Kelli Stevens if you would like to volunteer. This is a fun event and is enjoyed by all!

Martha’s Kitchen: A million thanks to all who donated to the Martha’s Kitchen Toiletry Drive! Due to your generosity we were able to assemble 450 bags. Each bag received a soap, bath wash, shampoo, conditioner, comb, toothpaste & toothbrush. The items were packed in a colorful organza bag that will be distributed at Christmas. Sr. Maria Elena of Martha's Kitchen was overwhelmed by St. Agnes' generosity and sent a heartfelt thanks to all. Many thanks to the moms that helped sort the items and assemble the bags. “Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much”- Helen Keller

Exam Snacks: Final exams are right around the corner. We will start collecting snacks December 7-11 with final exams beginning December 14-17. Please consider donating a snack item! We need bottled water (8 or 16 oz. bottles), fruit (clementine oranges, apples, bananas), individual bags of goldfish, crackers, chips, cookies, the list is endless. If you are interested in helping the week of December 14-17, please contact Maria Bahena. Thanks!

Shhh! It’s a secret! You should have received a red envelope with plan to make the holidays merry and bright for our faculty and staff AND simplify your shopping list. To make it even easier click HERE to make your gift online. Thank you in advance for supporting our teachers and staff. Questions? Contact Debbie Sohmer.

Dads' Club
Thank you to Vic Caso for leading and instructing the Know Your Car Seminar and all those who supported and attended the event.

Please note some of our upcoming Dads’ Club activities:

  • Help with the ISEE Entrance Exam Parking and Logistics 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. / 11 a.m.-noon, January 23. Interested in volunteering, please contact David Greely.
  • General Meeting 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. February 9. Guest speaker to be announced.
  • Set-up and staff the St. Agnes Academy Hospitality Tent for the Steps for Students 5K, 7 - 10 a.m. February 20. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Dennis Hoelscher.

Monthly Golf Group: The Dads’ Club is introducing a monthly golf outing.  If you are interested in participating in the group at any time, please contact Golf Czar, Quintin Smith, or call 281.836.1285. He is targeting mid-morning tee times on one Saturday per month at Sienna Plantation.

Father/Daughter Mass & Brunch Survey: We value your input and would appreciate your feedback on how we might improve the event next year. Click here to fill out a short survey.

The St. Agnes Dads’ Club wishes you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving! For information regarding ways to connect with the Dads’ Club, please visit our website or contact Dads’ Club President Joe Berno.

Booster Club
Save the date for the annual Booster Club Christmas Party, 6 p.m. Wed, December 9 at Tejas Taco House. Team Reps will be sending an invite to all parents of athletes. Please join the BC Board, coaches and other parents as a "Thank You" to all who make Booster Club a success to assist our athletic program; as dinner is on  "The Booster Club".

-Gina Sessums 
Booster Club President

NEW Academy-sized coffee mugs are in the Spirit Store. Get your 22 oz. matte mug for your coffee, tea, or even your morning oatmeal.

Sisters Each X Coffee for All


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