Recently 5 youth from Sacred Heart School along with other youth from the Crookston Diocese completed the inaugural Padres Aplas Leadership Program by traveling to Guatemala. The purpose of this program was to immerse these young Catholics into Catholic Social Teaching and inspire them to be the hands and feet of Christ. In Guatemala, they worked with three ministries who are committed to the spiritual, emotional, physical and mental well-being of some of Guatemala’s most vulnerable and most neglected citizens. It was an inspiring time to be with these people and get a chance to serve them in any way they needed. The following are the projects that the students worked with and the information if you would feel compelled to continue to extend help in any way.
Project Genesis is a community movement that seeks to disrupt the cycle of poverty at its roots by empowering children and families and providing a safe space where students can learn and play. Project Genesis provides hope to over 100 children, living in a neglected region of Guatemala. Children are given education support, proper nutrition, spiritual support, health care and safety. Director Ricardo Armas has devoted his life to this work. Ricardo shared that “children used to come to Project Genesis thinking their only options for the future were to drive a chicken bus, or migrate to the United States, now they talk about becoming doctors and veterinarians and lawyers.” You can learn more about Project Genesis by visiting their website:www.genesisguatemala.org.
Hogar Luz de Maria
Students visited the Luz de Maria children’s home that serves as a safe place for orphaned and abandoned children. Hogar Luz de Maria provides dozens of infants, toddlers and youngsters with love, support, education, health care, and nutrition. They provide a family structure and healthy atmosphere. You can find out more about Hogar Luz de Maria here:http://hogarluzdemaria.org/
Casa Jackson Hospital for Malnourished Children
Students also served at Casa Jackson, a hospital that has helped over 2,000 children recover from life-threatening malnutrition. You can learn about Casa Jackson here:https://godschild.org/services/guatemala/casa-jackson/
Since returning from the VEX World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, the Sacred Heart VEX Robotics team has been busy — planning, reflecting, and sharing their experiences. We sat down with three team members to talk more about their experiences.
This year’s VEX Robotics challenge game was called Turning Point. Can you explain a bit more about that?
Kannon Knutsvig: The goal is to use your robot to pick up balls and shoot them to flip flags to your color or to pick up and flip caps on the ground to your color. Either could score you a point. There is an autonomous operation for extra points, and “parking” which is two robots pushing.
What was a highlight for you?
Michael Suda: This is my first year participating, so it was interesting to just see how the competition works and then to try to design a robot that would work well to achieve the goals that were put before us. Also to meet other teams and see how they solved the same problem in a different way.
What awards did you earn this year?
Caden Knutsvig: This year we competed at State, Nationals, and Worlds. This year we won 12 awards, including two Excellence awards, twice we were named for the Judges Award and twice as Skills Finalists, we were tournament champions twice, and at almost every tournament we were in the finals. That’s a really big change from placing dead last for two years in a row. The Excellence award is for the all around “best in show” robot and is based off the team notebook, the score from talking to the judges, skills score, and your competition performance. It’s the highest honor you can get at a VEX competition and we got it twice this year… Which is really amazing!
What do you think made a difference last year to this year?
Michael Suda: Some of us had gone to a camp during the summer before competition started and we picked up some ideas there. There are two systems that are out for VEX systems right now, V4 is older, and V5 has newer motors. They are stronger, but you can use less of them. We were one of the few teams that got the V5 system early, but only had it for about a week before our first competition. It had a flywheel that would kind of shoot the ball like a baseball batting mechanism. We modified it throughout the year, but for the most part we kept the same basic design. We did develop a robot later on that had a catapult that threw the ball. There were a lot of factors that you could tweak with the catapult as to how fast or far you wanted the ball to launch.
What was the experience of competing at WORLDS like?
Kannon Knutsvig: The highlight for me at Worlds was to see 1,700 teams at the event — it was massive! To think that we made it to the world championship is pretty neat. You’re in the best of the best. It was nice to meet people from different cultures. I talked to people and brought back currency from all the countries I could – New Zealand, Philippines, China, UAE, South Korea, Canada, Columbia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Lebanon, Egypt, Mexico, Taiwan, Bahrain, Australia, Russia, Vietnam, Paraguay, and Saudi Arabia.
What challenges did you encounter?
Michael Suda: We’re looking at just making sure we have enough materials currently to keep a functioning robot. Ideally we would have more than one robot. It works really well, but having more materials will help us test our robot and see how it would work against other competitors. It would also help us try new things as there are multiple ways to solve the same issue or finding a more efficient way to solve a problem.
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Sacred Heart High School had a personal finance class team place second in the “Stock Market Game” out of 478 Minnesota teams this year. Members of that successful team were Ivy Edwards (11th grade), Adam Sobolik (10th grade), and Harmon Swiger (10th grade). Ivy, Adam, and Harmon’s self-designated team name was “The Best.”
The Stock Market Game is a national simulation done by teams of elementary, middle, and high school students to teach the importance of investing. The Sacred Heart students participated in the high school division. Each team is given an imaginary $100,000 to invest in the stock market over a period of three months. The Sacred Heart team had a remarkable return of 26% on their chosen investments during their three months. Other Sacred Heart teams also scored high with one placing in 11th and another in 20th place.
The Stock Market Game is sponsored by the SIFMA Foundation at no cost to the students or Sacred Heart.
“The SIFMA Foundation is dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of the financial markets for individuals of all backgrounds. Drawing on the support and expertise of the financial industry, the SIFMA Foundation provides financial education programs and tools that strengthen economic opportunity across communities and increase individuals’ awareness of and access to the benefits of the global marketplace.”
Mrs. Debbie Heitman was recently selected as a CLAES Nobel Educator of Distinction by The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). Educators of Distinction are outstanding role models and exemplary practitioners who have made a lasting difference in a student’s life by encouraging them to strive for excellence, not just in their academic pursuits, but in all their endeavors. Educators of Distinction are also eligible to compete for NSHSS’ Educator of the Year award.
Heitman was nominated by Sacred Heart senior Jiejun Chen. Chen is a member of NSHSS, and says that “Mrs. Heitman loves all her students. She voluntarily stays after school almost everyday to answer any questions from students. She has a lot of patience; she is never irritable when I ask the same question over and over again. She is a skillful teacher, who can make a confusing novel interesting and easy to understand.”
Debbie Heitman graduated from the University of North Dakota and started her teaching career at Sacred Heart in 2000. Mrs. Heitman’s dedication to Sacred Heart is cemented through her faith in Jesus Christ and the passion she has from watching her students grow in their faith. All students in grades 9-12 hold Mrs. Heitman in very high regard. Some of the staples in Mrs. Heitman’s curriculum include the Freshman (demonstration speeches), the Sophomores (authoring and illustrating children’s books), the Juniors (reciting the Gettysburg address or singing Native American poetry), and Seniors (holding mock interviews, producing Beowulf films, and standing before the school community in the Senior Debate). These projects give students opportunities to shine and invest in learning as they work collaboratively, creatively, and actively.
Thank you to Mrs. Heitman for your dedication to Sacred Heart and congratulations on a well earned distinction.
Sacred Heart School
2018-19 Third Quarter Honor Roll
Straight A Honor Roll
A Honor Roll
B Honor Roll
Congratulations to Sacred Heart 6th grader Amrit Bhutani who took FIRST place in the Regional Spelling Bee in Thief River Falls, on February 6th at Northland Community Technical College. By placing in the top four, Amrit will now advance to the Multi-Regional Spelling Bee in Fergus Falls on February 19, 2019. We are so proud of her and how well she has represented Sacred Heart! The Scripps National Bee will take place in Washington, D.C. during Bee Week in late May. All spellers participated in a written round in the morning with the top 21 spellers advancing to an oral round in the afternoon.
The top four spellers advancing to the Multi-Regional State Spelling Bee on February 19 in Fergus Falls include: (from left to right) Summer Goulet, Grade 8, from Crookston School District, Amrit Bhutani, Grade 6, from Sacred Heart School, East Grand Forks; Elizabeth Gust, grade 8, from Greenbush/Middle River School District, and Sydney LaVoi, Grade 8, from Bemidji School District. They compete at the State Spelling Bee in Fergus Falls at the Lakes Country Service Cooperative on February 19th.
Amrit, took home the school level spelling bee championship in the 13th round with the correct spelling of the word hillock, an English word meaning a small natural elevation of land of a local area. She moved into the championship one-word round after successfully spelling proboscis, a Greek to Latin word meaning, the very long, flexible snout of some mammals; especially: the trunk of an elephant. Grade level representatives that participated in the bee, held on Friday, January 25th, 2019, included 5th graders: Aryan Bhutani and Brooke Cantera, 6th graders: Amrit Bhutani and Peter Dallum, 7th graders: Maddie Hart and Mason Nelp, and 8th graders: Daniel Suda and Abigail Zwilling.