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SHS takes 2nd in ND State Know Your Faith Championship!

SHS takes 2nd in ND State Know Your Faith Championship!


Sacred Heart was invited to participate in the North Dakota Know Your Faith State Championship at St. Mary’s School in Bismarck during the heart of Catholic Schools Week. This event pits the Catholic High Schools of Fargo Shanley, Bismarck St. Mary’s, Dickinson Trinity, Minot Bishop Ryan and East Grand Forks Sacred Heart in a Catholic trivia challenge. This was Sacred Heart’s first year participating.

At the school level, each 9-12th student took a test, and the top students from each class competed for the spot to represent SHS at the State competition. The Freshmen team, led by Lucy Bevelacqua, Bella Haas, and Ben Goetz, edged out a win at the school level (view the video of that event and victory HERE).

On Wednesday the freshmen headed to the event, themed “Welcome to the Jungle” at Bismarck St. Mary’s High School. The Know Your Faith Championship is part pep-rally, part dance, and part knowledge bowl on the topic of Catholic history and theology. The event was hosted by Bismarck St. Mary’s School, and Bismarck’s Bishop Kagan led the competition. Events were streamed live on Facebook and on the radio by Real Presence Radio.

Each team, accompanied by lasers, lights, music and epic introductions, was paraded around the gym and in front of their schools before being delivered to their competition tables by jungle themed golf carts. The competition was comprised of three rounds. Between each trivia round there were other games, including arm wrestling, music and dancing. The final round featured a question Bishop Kagan chose himself. Teams were told the subject would be on Saints and Angels and were instructed to wager first, based on their knowledge category. Then Bishop Kagan asked the final question he had chosen: “The word Angel is the English translation of a Greek word meaning what?”

DSC_0268As the teams were deciding on their answer, Fr. Justin Waltz, the Delegate of the Bishop for Catholic Education, and pastor of the Church of St. Leo the Great, in Minot, excitedly greeted students. “You guys are great and you are the future of the Catholic church!… People can say whatever they want about the millennial generation BUT THIS IS THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION! And knowing your faith and working together and believing in Christ and following him YOU ARE GOING TO CHANGE this world back into something CHRISTIAN!” He announced that the 2018 competition would be at the newly remodeled Dickinson Trinity High School.

When the final round answers were revealed, SHS had chosen the answer “Messenger.” The answer, which was correct, and their wager, placed Sacred Heart School in second place to Dickinson Trinity. 


 Congratulations to Lucy Bevelacqua, Bella Haas, and Ben Goetz who carried us to a SECOND PLACE FINISH with 919 points in our first ever Know Your Faith appearance!

Sczepanski wins 2017 Sacred Heart Spelling Bee

Sczepanski wins 2017 Sacred Heart Spelling Bee


DSC_0026Congratulations to Adam Sczepanski, grade 8, Sacred Heart School’s 2017 Spelling Bee Champion. Adam won the Bee in the 9th round by spelling the word interminableness. Adam will move on to compete in the Regional Spelling Bee held DSC_0034at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls on Wednesday, February 8th. The four top spellers from the region will advance to compete at the Mulit-Regional State Spelling Bee on Tuesday, February 21 in Fergus Falls.The winner of this bee will participate in the Scripps National Spelling in late May early June. We wish Adam the best of luck and know that he will represent Sacred Heart well!

We congratulate our participants representing grades 5-8.

5th Grade

  • Carter Fagerholt
  • Samara Zimprich

Alternate: Maddie Hart

DSC_00176th Grade

  • Daniel Suda
  • Abigail Zwilling

Alternate: Lauren Tran

7th Grade

  • Emma Cavali
  • Clay LaBine

Alternates: Gianna Hollcraft and Caden Reimer
8th Grade

  • Cloe Hanson
  • Adam Sczepanski

Alternate: Beau Votava



Gregory Downs Wins Sacred Heart School Geographic Bee


nationalgeographicbeelogoDSC_0004Gregory Downs, a fourth grade student at Sacred Heart School, won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee on January 17, 2017. The school-level Bee, where students answer questions on geography, was the first level in the 29th annual National Geographic Bee.  The Bee is sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

Classroom champions who competed in the championship round were Gregory Downs & Alexander Keller (Grade Four); Coen Arndt, Benjamin Wharam, & Samara Zimprich (Grade Five); Kaiden Azure & Noah Thompson (Grade Six); Victoria Keller & Kannon Knutsvig (Grade Seven); Andrew Potter & Jacob Kraft (Grade Eight).


The winner of the Sacred Heart School Bee, Gregory Downs, will advance to the next level of competition, a qualifying test to determine up to 100 of the top scores in the state making them eligible to compete in their state bee on March 31, 2017.  All state champions are eligible to win the national championship and its first prize, a $50,000 college scholarship, at the competition May 15-16, 2017, held at the National Geographic Society Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

What people are saying about SHS!

What people are saying about SHS!

“We love Sacred Heart because of the amazing, caring and compassionate teachers! It is such a family atmosphere and we know that our boys are taken care of. The educational experience they are learning in pre-school and kindergarten is by far more than we had expected! It is truly amazing that not only does Sacred Heart School want our children to excel in their classes but they also want to our children to be better members of society by teaching leadership, kindness, manners and faith! It was the best decision we could make for our boys to attend SHS! We look forward to MANY more years here!” – current parent.

“I am a single mom and my income level is low to take care of two kids on my own. Sacred Heart welcomes me and helps me to be able to afford it for my children to be able to attend. They make me feel so thankful that even though I can’t afford much my little one can still have the best education and home at that school no matter what! Love you Sacred Heart and thank you!” - current parent.

“It is the most beautiful place to teach the entire family the values of faith and love! It has guided our family for years!!” - current parent.

“Sacred Heart School is family!” – former parent and parishioner.

“Sacred Heart is an inviting school with a warm and caring atmosphere! Teachers become friends and students become well rounded with a love of learning and a love of God!” - current parent.

“It’s difficult to give your child up for that many hours a day, but knowing that they are in such loving hands makes it much easier! It’s a blessing!” - current parent.


Doze and Johnson named as Commended Students in 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program


Doze and Johnson named as Commended Students in 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program

Sacred Heart School announced today that seniors Valerie Doze and Joseph Johnson have been named as Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented by the principal to these scholastically talented seniors.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2017 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”


Remember the Titans Coach Herman Boone to speak to Sacred Heart School Students

boone_herman(300)Sacred Heart School is pleased to announce the that Herman Boone, the head coach whose monumental real life story was captured in the film, Remember the Titans, will be the featured DAY ONE speaker. He will address students, parents, parishioners and alumni at Sacred Heart on September 6th.

In 1971, as the city of Alexandria Virginia was consolidating their schools, Boone was appointed head coach at T.C. Williams High School. Remarkably, Boone was able to solidify a diverse coaching staff and unite a group of players into one of the most powerful football teams in the nation. Boone will share an inspiring message about the importance of treating others with respect and kindness.

Boone will speak to SHS students in grades 5-12 at 1:00pm in the Merth Gymnasium on Tuesday, Sept. 6th. All Sacred Heart parents, parishioners, and alumni are invited to attend the event.

Boone is the second guest speaker brought to Sacred Heart for the school’s DAY ONE activities. Matt Birk, former Minnesota Viking and Super Bowl Champion with the Baltimore Ravens spoke to students to kick off last year’s DAY ONE. The DAY ONE speaker serves to invigorate and excite students about the coming year.

Sacred Heart School is accepting applications for K-12 students and offers a willingness to try to make the school a financial possibility for all families. The school has made the pledge that no family will be denied a Catholic education based on finances. If you are interested in Sacred Heart School for your Preschool, Elementary or High School student, visit or call 218-773-0877.


Sacred Heart baseball players and coaches presented a baseball clinic for the Hospitality House Youth Development (HHYD) in Minneapolis during a recent trip to play schools in the Twin Cities area.

Student Athletes Share Time & Talent

Sacred Heart baseball players and coaches presented a baseball clinic for the Hospitality House Youth Development (HHYD) in Minneapolis during a recent trip to play schools in the Twin Cities area.

Sacred Heart baseball players and coaches presented a baseball clinic for the Hospitality House Youth Development (HHYD) in Minneapolis during a recent trip to play schools in the Twin Cities area.

When Sacred Heart School announced in the fall that “service” was part of the theme for students this year, Varsity Baseball Coach Paul Bethke knew he wanted to come up with a way to bring that message home to his athletes.

Bethke and his coaches know their mission here as a coach at Sacred Heart is much more than just teaching athletes to throw, hit and run bases. He reminds his athletes in practice, at games, and while traveling that all they do as representatives of the Sacred Heart community is done with the idea of being good Christian role models. Bethke feels that instilling that attitude in his athletes “may help them to respond to more important every day situations in a similar way.”

Sacred Heart baseball players made a trip to Minneapolis late last month for two games. After arriving in town, they made a special early stop at the Hospitality House Youth Development facility in Minneapolis where they gave a baseball clinic for the inner-city youth that participate in the HHYD programs.

Sacred Heart baseball offered a baseball clinic to the youth at the Hospitality House Youth Development facility in Minneapolis last month.

Sacred Heart baseball offered a baseball clinic to the youth at the Hospitality House Youth Development facility in Minneapolis last month.

“Just minutes after arriving, I knew in my mind that no matter if we ended up playing a single baseball game or not, this trip was going to be well worth it,” said Bethke. Almost immediately Sacred Heart athletes and their families were interacting with the kids, playing on the playground, baking cookies, filling planters, and getting involved with what the kids were doing.

Officially the athletes were visiting the HHYD facility to offer a mini baseball clinic. Each athlete was partnered with a child as they went through the stations. “It was great to see the team sharing their knowledge of baseball in such a caring, thoughtful way,” said Bethke. “I can assure you, our kids got as much, or more, out of the time that we spent there that afternoon.”

Matt Ogaard, a senior, enjoyed the time spent doing service. “I thought it was a great experience to combine service with our sports program.”

Sacred Heart athletes joined their opponents from Legacy Christian Academy in prayer following the game.

Sacred Heart athletes joined their opponents from Legacy Christian Academy in prayer following the game.

The next day the Eagles focused on the business ahead and prepped for the first of their two games that day. First up was Legacy Christian Academy in Andover, Minnesota. “Just playing someone different can have huge benefits to the program,” said Bethke. “It helps measure where you are at against teams in different parts of the state.” The team beat Legacy Christian 6-4. Noah Chine had 2 hits and Devin Evavold pick up the win on the mound.

Later in the afternoon the Eagles also beat St. Agnes in St. Paul 10-9 in eight innings. Riley Wavra, Ryan Holte and Nolan Hallaway each had 2 hits and Ryan Holte was the winning pitcher.
Coach Bethke hopes that the trip can possibly become an annual tradition for the baseball athletes as they continue to develop relationships with other teams. Despite the short notice for the trip this year donors stepped up to help find a way to send their athletes down. “We are so grateful to those who made it possible,” said Bethke.

“It was so encouraging and moving to see the Legacy Christian Academy athletes welcome our athletes to stand side-by-side with them and share a prayer after our game.”viewpictures

Why Catholic Schools? – a Student’s Perspective

Why Catholic Schools? – a Student’s Perspective


The following was written as part of the high school journalism class and was also published in the school newspaper, Echoes.

Why Catholic Schools?

by Haley Boushee, a Sacred Heart 11th grader

DSC_0003Going to a Catholic school is a very special thing and not something everyone can do. There are many perks involved in attending a Catholic school, such as growing in your faith with Christ, forming a strong bond with your school and community, and lastly an excellent education. It’s a very unique thing being able to pray and express your faith freely and however you want.

There are many reasons why parents choose to send their children to a Catholic school. Parents have the obligation to make sure their child is raised in the faith and sending them to a Catholic school fulfills that duty. It also gives the students an opportunity to learn how important the Catholic faith is and to grow closer to God.

Catholic schools are different compared to public schools because you can openly talk about God and your faith whenever you want. It feels like one big family and everyone knows each other which is also very nice. Sacred Heart School President, Mr. Adolphson said, “Catholic schools generally have a family atmosphere which is really attractive, and in most instances, students have more opportunities to be involved in extracurricular activities, service opportunities, and travel at a Catholic school.”


Catholic school students also score significantly above the national averages on standardized testing. Small class sizes contribute to students from a Catholic school having higher testing scores. Also, teachers take the time to make sure their students are succeeding in their studies. Students also have a religion class and the advantage of going to Mass weekly, allowing them to explore their faith even more than they could in a public school.

DSC_0192Senior, John MacLeod, said he wanted to come to Sacred Heart because, “I really wanted to finish high school at a Catholic school.” He also said, “The big difference between Sacred Heart and my former school is definitely the faith. Here conversations about life and how the world affects us are encouraged.” Freedom of thinking was sort of suppressed at his old public school. “Also we can praise Jesus all the time at Sacred Heart!”

Many of the students at Sacred Heart like attending a Catholic school for many different reasons. Sophomore, Abby Anderson said, “I like attending Sacred Heart because I’ve gone here since preschool so it’s like a second home.” Eighth grader, Ben Goetz said, “I like being at Sacred Heart because I get to grow in my relationship with God. I feel very blessed to have great teachers who have helped me throughout my journey. At Sacred Heart, I can put my faith into practice everyday.”

Some interesting facts about Catholic schools are:

There are 6,568 Catholic schools in America.

The total Catholic school student enrollment for the current academic year is 1.9 million.

99% of students who attend a Catholic high school graduate. Of those students, 86% attend a four year college.

Catholic schools provide over 20.5 billion dollars a year in savings for the nation.


Classroom Feature: Debbie Heitman, 9-12 Language Arts

Classroom Feature: Debbie Heitman, 9-12 Language Arts


Mrs. Debbie Heitman begins her classes with a writing prompt, often asking students fun or philosophical questions. It is a great warm up before beginning class and, as one senior phrased it, “the prompt writing makes class interesting and fun.”

Each month we’re featuring a different class or grade here at Sacred Heart School.

Mrs. Debbie Heitman grew up in Wisconsin and Illinois where she attended public elementary school and then Catholic middle and high school. She moved to Grand Forks to attend the University of North Dakota where she earned her Bachelors in English as an Education Major along with her English as a Second Language Certification. Just for fun she also majored in Philosophy. After graduation she began teaching at Sacred Heart School where she just recently celebrated her 16th year here.

She says, “I get excited about watching students get invested in a project, when they roll up their sleeves and really dig into learning; then, they proudly share their results. The Freshman demonstrational 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 all give students opportunities to shine, invest in what they are learning, and work collaboratively, creatively and actively.

I have remained dedicated to teaching at Sacred Heart because the most important aspect in my life is my faith in Jesus Christ, and my call to encourage students in their growing faith. Each subject area that we study involves a talent or gift God has given us. Literature across the ages allows us to look at the human pursuit of truth, meaning and worth.”

What her students say,
“Your class is unique because you challenge the students and care about their academic success in a way that seems more involved and meaningful.” – SHS senior.

“English is a language made up of many different components that are not always the easiest to understand. Mrs. Heitman breaks down each component so that when we leave the classroom, we feel like we accomplished something that day.” – SHS junior.

“Mrs. Heitman’s class is unique because she makes her lessons understandable for everyone, and will make sure everyone understands.” – SHS sophomore.

“We do a variety of different activities throughout the year, for example public speaking.”  - SHS freshman.


Mission as a Measurement of Success at Sacred Heart School


Various high school students in grades 7-12 gather as a “Faith Family.” Faith Families are comprised of students in a variety of grades, 7-12, who meet once a week to discuss a faith based topic as a small group.

How does the mission of Sacred Heart School drive success for the school and students?

Emphasis on Faith & Character
What makes Sacred Heart School a great choice for families is that the school’s mission goes well beyond academics. The Catholic school experience is meant to be transformative and make a difference in the life of every student.

Teachers at Sacred Heart understand that their mission here is not just a job, but a calling. Faculty and Staff emphasize a God-centered life and strive to serve as role models who share their faith, their talents, and their time. Students are continually encouraged to live the school’s philosophy to become “citizens who are responsive to the needs of society.”

This can be done through participation in classroom activities, sports and organizations, volunteerism, community involvement, opportunities for worship, and the encouragement of each child to foster and develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer. The results of students being surrounded in a culture of respect, discipline, character and generosity have an enduring impact and point the way to personal success rooted in moral character.

Superior Academics with Results
In reality, academic excellence at Sacred Heart is largely a result of a faith-filled culture that respects each child and supports and encourages the use of their God-given talent. “Catholic education is about developing the individual into what God has created us to be,” said Joanne Wilson, Sacred Heart’s Dean of Academics.

Fr. Ilango, Sacred Heart’s parish pastor, speaks during Mr. Roger Pieper’s junior Ecclesiology class.

Fr. Ilango, Sacred Heart’s parish pastor, speaks during Mr. Roger Pieper’s junior Ecclesiology class.

Tracking and understanding individual student growth is especially important to Wilson, who sits down with parents and students starting in 6th grade to create a personalized profile of a student’s interests, skills, needs and goals. Personalized Education Plans, or PEPs, are then shared with teachers if parents desire and can assist teachers in tailoring the educational experience to help maximize learning.

“Academically it allows the student to identify who they are,” said Wilson, “and discover their interests.” Ultimately the goal of an education at Sacred Heart is to empower a lifelong learner while fostering potential. Wilson says that the school hopes to “challenge students to continually learn and not settle.”

She then meets every other year with student and parents to continue to track that student’s growth and development as they learn, grow and prepare for life beyond high school.

There are still general criteria and best practices for Sacred Heart School and its students to meet. Sacred Heart School is recognized by the Minnesota State Accreditation Association (MNSAA).

A Caring Community
Families choose Sacred Heart because it fits in as an extension of their families. Values that are taught at home can be witnessed and lived at school. A student at Sacred Heart is accepted, respected and never lost in the crowd.

Sacred Heart School is unique in housing child care, preschool, and kindergarten through twelfth grade on one campus, making the school, in conjunction with the parish, feel much more like a family environment.