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“The Hobbit” comes to life in eighth grade English


One of Mr. Pete Lund’s english students and her key which opened the door for Thorin & Company.

Sacred Heart students in Pete Lund’s eighth grade English class are being introduced to Catholic author, JRR Tolkien, and the book, The Hobbit. The book, known for its many Catholic themes, has been a fun addition to classroom studies. Students are evaluated on their reading using a variety of methods, but the first one was a project of the students’ own choice. English instructor, Pete Lund, says that “I am always impressed with the students’ imagination and creativity.” They could pick a character, scene or place and create an artifact using materials they wish to tell about it.

Ashley Combs, one of the students, created a video game based on The Hobbit. Combs said she had fun creating the game and learning how to complete it. “I made it with a developer program called Adobe Flash.” In her game Bilbo goes on his journey and the player advances by answering questions and collecting artifacts.


Combs walked students through the game she created using the class SmartBoard.

Imari Crayton, a student, said that Mr. Lund is a neat teacher. “He doesn’t just have us read out of a book — he kind of puts his own “way” into everything.” Students are currently creating a second project, using clay, to reproduce a character from the story. Lund added, “anything hands on seems to enhance and give more value to the subject studied. It’s a great time to let artistry shine and imagination reign!”


Engaging the World through Sciences


High School Biology students test a variety of samples under the tutelage of Ardell Knudsvig, director of U of M Crookston’s Project for Applied Sciences.

Sacred Heart is unique in that our Catholic identity is strengthened by the ability for the school to teach faith not only in the formal religion classes, but also by the school’s integration of Catholic teaching into other parts of the curriculum. Mr. Mike Marek, a longtime SHS high school science instructor said this fits nicely into what he teaches in his science classroom. “Science is the process of slowly uncovering the creation story that God has designed. As humans unfold the story I hope to bring a deep appreciation for life and the creation of nature while bringing a sense of responsibility to the students. They are the future caretakers and stewards of the creation.”

This past year Sacred Heart School was very excited to add a new Biotechnology component to the school’s already strong Biology curriculum. “The Biotechnology field is just exploding and has the potential to change life on earth,” said Marek. “This has big implications. Humans now have the ability to manipulate DNA to work better in existing organisms.”


Students measure out samples while they construct their reservoirs for Mr. Mike Marek’s Environmental Science course.

At Sacred Heart, science students are trained to adapt quickly using new insights. They make their own discoveries and come to comprehend what decisions scientists use to understand and make good choices in order to take care of the creation. Marek says, “what I hope to hammer home to them is that the world is changing rapidly and humans, with their knowledge about nature through science, multiply the pace of new discoveries exponentially.”

science_equipmentSacred Heart’s Science Department offers courses in Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Environmental Science. In addition to traditional science courses Sacred Heart is also pleased to offer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses for students in grades 9-12. Students in grades 6-12 also have the opportunity to further advance their engineering and coding skills through the school’s VEX Robotics Club.

In an effort to continue the learning beyond the classroom, Marek’s biology students were visited last week by Ardell Knudsvig. Knudsvig, a long time Crookston High School science teacher is the Director of Student Outreach Projects for Applied Science and Technology at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

Gel electrophoresis is one of the techniques scientists use to look at samples to determine their genetic or anatomical properties. Instead of DNA samples, Knudsvig brought with him a selection of chemical samples, five were “knowns” — items that that were identified and named. Knudsvig included three “unknowns” in their samples tray. Knudsvig told students that “you have to have knowns and unknowns because we don’t always have a computer to tell us if we have a positive match. That’s your job as scientists.”


Students use micropipetters to measure out their chemical samples into electrophoresis gels.

After a general explanation Knudsvig let the students return to their lab workstations to begin using a micropipetter to drop measured samples into each of the cell wells of their electrophoresis gel.

When the gel was plugged in Knudsvig explained that the material would start to separate as the electricity pulled the atoms apart based on their positive and negative charges. Some students had good samples, but to one group Knudsvig commented, “This one’s kind of sneaky. It should be pulling apart as there should be more color in this one.”
On top of the experiences in biology class, students do have the opportunity to apply for work at UND’s Molecular boot camp for two weeks this summer. During the two-week laboratory-based time they will learn to identify possible agricultural pests or other animals using DNA sequencing. Interested students can see Mr. Marek.



EAST GRAND FORKS ARTS AND CRAFTS COUNCIL                   po Box 622 East Grand Forks, MN 56721      

The EGF Arts & Crafts Council is offering a $1,000 scholarship to an East Grand Forks Sr. High graduate or Sacred Heart graduate who qualifies and meets the criteria set by the Council.

Requirements:  must be at least a second year college student; must be a graduate from EGF Senior High or Sacred Heart; must include a transcript of completed education; must show intent to continue education in art, music, drama, creative writing, or a related arts field; has not previously been awarded this scholarship.

Application forms may be downloaded at the above website address, or may be obtained by mailing or emailing the council at the above addresses.

Form requests must be made after May 1st and postmarked by July 15.





Theosis speaker talks about the Bible with students

theosisSacred Heart students already have daily prayer time, but the new “Theosis” program launched in the school this year offers high school students a special opportunity to hear from a rotation of guest speakers on a variety of topics pertaining to faith, family, and life.

Jake Unterseher, a former UND Focus Minister, spoke to Sacred Heart students about the humor he finds when reading the bible.

“Some of the stories crack me up!” He then told the traditional story of how Jesus healed a paralytic man by leaning over him and saying that ‘his sins were forgiven.’ The people watching this were shocked – and said to Jesus that only God can forgive sins. “So that’s one way to read the story – but then you have to remember the part from the beginning. This is the one where they literally shove a paralytic guy through a roof. Imagine if you were traveling and stopped by a friend’s home and all of a sudden these guys rip open your friend’s roof and shove a guy through! Think about that!” The students laughed as Unterseher mimicked the scene. “My favorite part is the last line of the passage where the people said, ‘we have never seen anything like this before’… No kidding!”

Unterseher continued to break down the steps he uses when reading a bible passage saying he likes to think about what exactly he is reading; a story, rule book, or letter. “When I read this way it helps me understand what is going and what I am reading. A letter to the Romans is going to be different than a story of a miracle as both are dealing with different things.” He then considers the context the stories were written in all those years ago. “Paul didn’t write a letter to the Christians in Grand Forks in 2015. He wrote those letters 2,000 years ago. Things were a lot different then so some of those crazy rules that seem ridiculous now made sense in context.”

The third step to Unterseher’s bible reading method is to remember the purpose of the story. “We have to remember none of this matters if it is not for Christ in the end.” To make his point, Unterseher used the story of Abraham and Isaac. “If you don’t read it and think about Christ coming in after it seems totally crazy!” Abraham, who was old and didn’t have any children was told by God to in the story of Genesis to go outside and look up in the sky to number his descendants. “We miss the part of this story where this happens at 9:00 AM in the morning. When you walk outside at 9:00 AM how many stars do you see?” A student responded, “One.”

Later, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. “So when you read this you’re thinking, that sounds terrible! What kind of God would say that he was going to have a father kill his only son?” Unterseher used the full story of Abraham to explain how, in reality, God was setting up something that would occur 1000 years later. Unterseher said to students, “there’s so much good stuff in the Abraham and Isaac story. The story of Abraham and Isaac, when compared to Jewish and Christian traditions reveals a much more amazing message.”

The place where this story happens is Mt. Moriah. Unterseher adds, that “Mt. Moriah gets a new name later on – Golgotha.” The Sacred Heart students were quick to respond that they knew what happened at Golgotha. “That’s the place where Jesus was crucified. That place is also called The Place of the Skull.” Unterseher asked if The Place of the Skull was just a creepy name or if they thought it meant anything else. “The skull they are talking about is Adam’s burial place. So in ancient Jewish tradition that is the ancient burial place of Adam.” In Christian tradition, the tomb Jesus was buried in is only a short distance away from the site of the crucifixion. Jesus was buried in the same location. “So the story all comes together. Abraham and Isaac, Jesus, and Adam.”

When Abraham is asked by his son, Isaac, what they are planning to sacrifice, Abraham responded with “God will provide.” God did provide Abraham with a son. And God had asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son. At the last minute they spot a ram with its head stuck in a thicket of thorns. Unterseher adds that “the thicket where the ram had its head stuck is the exact same kind of thorn that the crown of thorns was made out of when Jesus was crucified.” Excitedly Unterseher says, “Check that out! Not only is God’s only son being sacrificed on the same hill where Isaac was going to be sacrificed on but they found the right lamb of God with its head stuck in a crown of Thorns – which in the New Testament is Jesus. Bam. Jesus, crown of thorns, on the hill with the tomb of Adam, which becomes Jesus’ tomb where he rises from the dead.”

Unterseher concluded by mentioning that he notices interesting things all the time when he reads the bible. “I want to encourage you to do this when you read the bible. You can skip some the boring stuff — you don’t have to mumble through cover to cover. Does the bible still sound mind-numbingly boring? Maybe. But are you willing to try to read some things that might seem exciting?”

PCW seeks logo designs for the “Thunder”

PCW seeks logo designs for the “Thunder”

Sacred Heart, along with Climax and Fisher Schools, is currently accepting logo nominations to represent our Polk County West football team’s logo: Thunder. The logo will be used online, in print, on merchandise, and other locations as determined by the schools. Entries can be submitted by email to, or to the school or parish offices, attn.: Paul Stinar. Deadline for submission is Monday, May 11.

It is important to remember that because of the requirement for this to be our public logo, entrants should take care to ensure that their entries are not in any way similar to existing logos or other copyrighted images. PCW and its affiliates will reserve the rights to use the logo in any way they wish. The logo may include the letters PCW, words Polk County West, or Thunder. Logos can be submitted in electronic format or as a paper drawing. Please understand that the logo may be redrawn or modified to help clean up the edges and give it a finished look.

We look forward to collecting your entries and thank you for your continued support of Polk County West football!

Paul Stinar
Sacred Heart High School
218.773.0230 ext 239
Sacred Heart Eagles

High School Baseball Teams Go to Bat for EGF Food Shelf

High School Baseball Teams Go to Bat for EGF Food Shelf

 High School Baseball Teams Go to Bat for EGF Food Shelf

 On Tuesday, April 21st the East Grand Forks Senior High Green Wave will face the Sacred Heart Eagles in a High School baseball game.  The intra-city game that afternoon will be hard fought on the field for local bragging rights and will also feature some friendly competition off of the field.

The East Grand Forks Home Run Club, a local supporter of youth baseball, has come up with an off-field challenge for both schools.  The HRC will collect donations for the East Grand Forks Food Shelf from players, parents and fans from each of the schools.  All those attending the games that bring a food item to be donated will place their item(s) in a Sacred Heart collection box or a Senior High collection box.  The school with the largest donation will be deemed the winner of the Food Shelf Challenge.

The Home Run Club will also add to the fun.  The HRC will make a monetary donation to the Food Shelf on behalf of both varsity baseball teams based upon the number of pounds of food collected by each school.  Another savory twist added to the late afternoon at the ballpark will be with the sale of the delicious grilled burgers at the concession stand.  The HRC will donate one dollar to the Food Shelf for every hamburger sold at the park that day.  Fans can enjoy great baseball and a great burger all while lending a helping hand to the local food shelf.

Both varsity and junior varsity games are scheduled for that afternoon with the varsity game at 4:30pm followed by the junior varsity game starting at approximately 6:30pm.  All games will be played at Stauss Park.



Fine Art takes center stage at SHS

During the school’s annual Interim/Beyond the Classroom program Sacred Heart students explored additional experiential learning opportunities and career exploration. For ten of Lacey Basgier’s Mural Painting students the week allowed them to work on a large scale mural that represented the identity of Sacred Heart School.


High School Mural painting students work on their mural on the first day of Interim week. The final piece will hang in the school.

“Interim was, without a doubt, the most impressed I have been with a group of students,” said Lacey Basgier, Sacred Heart’s High School Art Instructor. The group learned about the entire process of taking a sketch and turning it into a large acrylic painting. Basgier was impressed with how the students exceeded expectations. “I spent every day blown away by what they were doing.” The students drove the entire project, says Basgier, agreeing and sketching out the design on day one and beginning the painting process by Tuesday. “It just all fell into place perfectly.”


The Mural Painting Interim course is just one of the additional components that fit nicely into Sacred Heart’s curriculum opportunities. The Visual Arts program at Sacred Heart School develops a young artist’s technical abilities through a variety of traditional and contemporary media. Under the guidance of high school instructor Lacey Basgier and elementary instructor Mary Kulas, Sacred Heart students are learning the technical foundation necessary to clarify their ideas as they cultivate their artistic abilities.

The high school curriculum offers a wide variety of possibilities during the year. Painting, drawing, art history, charcoal, and ceramics are just a few of the topics covered. “I try to do a variety of things so hopefully the kids that aren’t drawn to a particular medium can be drawn into something.”

Elementary students begin taking art classes in first grade with classes continuing until 6th. High school students have the opportunity to take classes in 8th grade, with additional courses offered as electives each year. There is also the option to double up on art electives and take an additional elective called VA Advanced. Basgier adds, “As it’s all self-directed, with VA Advanced we do encourage students to try a new medium or direction not yet tried.”

Mural group Photo

Basgier’s students and their mural. The students created the mural to represent the identity of the school.

The school’s large windowed high school art department features two kilns which are utilized each year when students complete ceramics projects. Elementary students create a new ceramic nativity figurine each year in art, creating baby Jesus, the animals, an angel, Mary and Joseph. In high school a ceramics assignment is completed in each course. Basgier, who has a background in ceramics, says “I really enjoy working through problems of how to work with the clay with the students.”

Three times a year the high school art department joins with the Concert Band, Concert Choir, and Select Choir for a Fine Arts Night. Following the concert the Visual Art Department’s art show opens on the second floor of the school. The exhibit features an assortment of student artwork. “I like displaying all the student’s work. It is rewarding for them and for me as a teacher to see it up as a collective unit.” The public is welcome to visit Sacred Heart on a Fine Arts night. The next one will be held on May 13th  beginning at 7:00 p.m.


Tim Gust ‘56, speaks to Career Development Class


Sacred Heart School understands that students will eventually graduate and move out into the world. A unique offering at the school is a Career Development course offered in the fall semester to junior and senior students. The purpose of the course is to explore different career options, help students make a decision on a career direction, help them select a major in college, how to conduct a job search, find internships, set goals, and the importance of networking. The course is taught by Sacred Heart School’s guidance counselor, Patrick Hart.

Gust, the founder of the career and counseling program at Sacred Heart, poses with Patrick Hart, the current school counselor and instructor of the Career Development course.

Gust, the founder of the career and counseling program at Sacred Heart, poses with Patrick Hart, the current school counselor and instructor of the Career Development course.

On Tuesday, students heard from Tim Gust, a 1956 Sacred Heart alum, who has found success in the field of Neuropsychology. Gust, who currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, wanted to talk to students about his life and their career decisions.  Gust reminisced a little about his time at Sacred Heart relaying tales about a few of the sisters that used to teach here. “Here at Sacred Heart we are fortunate to have had good teachers. A good teacher really does make the difference. It’s what counts….That’s my thank you to Sacred Heart.”
Gust quickly changed the focus to careers. “Ultimately I want you all to have jobs. How many of you are working now?” Gust then pointed around the room as students responded with their various jobs.” He then asked students what careers they were considering. Students provided a variety of responses: law enforcement, acting, vocal performing, author, medical fields, and architecture.
Gust said, “you have to get into an environment or situation that rewards your particular interest. Without that there is a chance you won’t be successful.” Gust relayed his own personal story of academic success but a struggle in college to succeed. “Your looking at a guy who initially flunked out of college as an engineer.” Gust said he chose his career because of family history and not because of any particular interest. “Had I taken an interest survey or put more thought into my career initially it might have been different.”
Gust turned to the counseling center at UND who helped him with an assessment and ultimately he finished his degree and went onto complete several more. It was during his doctoral studies at UND that Gust started the first career and counseling program at Sacred Heart. “That was something I really enjoyed — and wished I had it as a senior.”
Gust, the founder of the career and counseling program at Sacred Heart, poses with Patrick Hart, the current school counselor and instructor of the Career Development course.[/caption]

Gust, although semi-retired, is still doing part time work for the city of Los Angeles where he helps the city screen possible law enforcement applicants. He mentioned to students the importance of thinking about their career now. “If you end up with a DUI now it will mess you up and hinder your application years down the road. You’ll be looked upon differently.”

When students asked him what the most important tool was for success in life he responded, “Know as much as you can about technology. To be able to use technology well in any field — music, health care, etc. — will advance your career options.”

Gust ended by encouraging students to really consider their future now. “I encourage you to make the most of your life.”


Students engage during “Theosis”

Theosis_MarkSacred Heart students already have daily prayer time, but the new “Theosis” program launched in the school on Monday will offer high school students a special opportunity to hear from a rotation of guest speakers on a variety of topics pertaining to faith, family, and life.

Theology Instructor, TJ Beyer, kicked off the program by asking students “What is the goal of Christians??” Following a round of responses the final answer from students was “to get into Heaven.” Beyer followed up with an explanation of Theosis saying, “with Theosis we share in God’s glory and become part of God. Our prayer is that you dive deeper into that mystery to get into heaven.”

Beyer introduced the guest speaker, Mark Hollcraft, Director of Life Teen Ministries and Newman Center Outreach at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston, MN. Hollcraft asked students, “what does it mean to be inspired? What inspires you?” Students supplied a variety of answers such as family, sports, and music. “Now of all those things you said, as a way of knowing, you are giving me what exactly? Opinions.” Hollcraft explained to students that sometimes we are put in a position in this world where an opinion may be used in place of fact. So our first way of knowing things is ‘opinion.’ What is the second way?” A student quickly chipped in, responding, “Facts.” Hollcraft affirmed the answer saying that through facts we can prove knowledge. “How do I know all this is true? I saw it. I experienced it. I heard it.”

“Here’s a tough one. How do you know you love someone? Love does not make sense without a third way of knowing.” Hollcraft asked students what was a third way knowing. Students responded, “Faith.”

The Miracle of Lanciano had been brought up in the event’s earlier Trivia Challenge. Hollcraft was quick to refer to this in his talk, reviewing the story with students. The miracle was a divine response to a priest who doubted about the Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist. During Mass the host was changed into live flesh and the wine was changed into real Blood. Hollcraft asks students, “What is the truth of this story? The miracle is a confirmation of something Jesus said 2,000 years ago. This is my body and my blood.”

“Think about this for a moment. The God of all the Universe created all things and in the culmination of his creation we received the Eucharist. Anything that can inspire you cannot inspire unless inspired by the One who created you.”

Bringing his talk to a close, Hollcraft again threw a question out to the students asking them how many of them wanted to inspire others. After students raised their hand he responded, “To inspire others you first need to be ready to be inspired. To breathe out you must first breathe in the Holy Spirit.”

“You guys have this unique opportunity to be in a Catholic School. Our faith is a daily decision. What are you going to let inspire you? Things of your faith or things of mediocrity? Let it be the breath of God. His breath is new life.”