News From the Hall
January 31, 2022
- A MESSAGE FROM THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR
- Upper School
- Middle School
- Lower School
- Fine Arts
A Message From the Athletic Director
Displayed in my office is one of my favorite quotes, "The Man in the Arena," by Teddy Roosevelt.
It states: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
This passage was the inspiration for Brené Brown's book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. In today’s world - the arena - critics have grown more prevalent and are deafening at times, amplified by the advent of social media. For many, the fear of failure can be paralyzing. Each day presents uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure. This can certainly be true for athletes. So many dread having the ball in the last second of a game, or become paralyzed as they approach the starting line of a race. Sometimes, the athlete is able to deflect that fear and doubt to produce the winning play or fly off the starting blocks to win the race. Other times, they are not. We will all experience criticism, challenges, and losses, whether in sports, the classroom, or at home. When facing these challenges, the key is recognizing that our greatest successes arise from our ability to dare greatly, embrace vulnerability, and courageously engage in our lives, understanding that sometimes the victory is in the experience, rather than the outcome.
The Upcycle Sale, organized by the Parents’ Circle, ended last week with tremendous success. SMH parent-volunteer Rashonda Davis (Reigan ‘29) led a team of enthusiastic volunteers to produce the multiday event, selling gently-used school uniform pieces at reduced prices. SMH families who found that their students had either lost or outgrown items from their current school uniform wardrobe were delighted at the opportunity to fill in the gaps for the second semester. Rashonda and her team collected, sorted, hung, labeled, and priced hundreds of uniform pieces, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience. Shoppers were overwhelmingly supportive of and grateful for the sale, which allowed them to shop at school, keep costs down, and give new life to no-longer-needed but still valuable uniform pieces.
The Parents’ Circle is thankful to all who donated, volunteered, and shopped with us. We look forward to another Upcycle Event in the future, so hang on to those unwanted uniform pieces and stay tuned for the next collection and sale date.
Tremendous kudos to Rashonda! The SMH community applauds and appreciates you!
Penelope Luna '22 and Nicholas Campos '22 were among 88 students recognized at the H-E-B Scholarship Awards Luncheon on December 15.
Each student received a $7,500 college scholarship and their name and school shown on the big scoreboard screen during the Valero Alamo Bowl. A volleyball captain of both her club and SMH team, Penelope aspires to study at Columbia University. Nicholas is a member of the lacrosse and bowling teams and is interested in International Relations at the University of Chicago.
As we anticipate this week's opening of the Middle School Drama Production, Revenge of the Space Pandas, it reminds me of the many skills learned in a drama class/program that move beyond the stage.
I remember being part of plays both at school and at summer camp when I was younger, and there is no doubt that much of my confidence today comes from those experiences I had as a young adult. So what are some of the skills developed in a drama class that move beyond the final production?
- Communicating more articulately and confidently
- Processing what others say and how to respond
- Understanding empathy
- Time management
Whether on the stage or behind the curtain, there is much to be gained from a course or class in the dramatic arts. How many of you have seen a positive change in your child from having participated in a Saint Mary’s Hall drama course or production?
Head of Middle School
On January 22, Form 8 students Jay Huang '26, Amruta Patel '26, and Bianca Rodriguez '26 competed in Novice Division at the third Certamen Invitational at Johnson High School. They won the three preliminary rounds handily with an aggregate score of 460 points against seven other teams from Johnson, Reagan High School, Antonian High School, St. Andrew's, and St. Thomas.
Our Middle School team went on to win finals, with St. Thomas and Antonian placing 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Please join Middle School Latin Teacher Raoul Nicoll in congratulating these hard-working students!
We are so excited to announce that Middle School overnight field trips have now been approved for our 2022 spring semester.
Form 7 and Form 8 Overnight Field Trips to Port Aransas and Corpus Christi (two separate field trips)
- When: The Form 8 trip will take place April 4-6, and the Form 7 trip will occur May 2-4
On this field trip, students and faculty chaperones will travel to Port Aransas and Corpus Christi and stay at the Mustang Island Episcopal Conference Center in Port Aransas. The buses for this trip will depart on Monday morning and return on Wednesday afternoon by the end of the school day.
One of the fun activities during the three days include a trawler boat excursion in Port Aransas Bay to study various types of marine life found in the bay habitat. In Corpus Christi, students will enjoy time aboard the U.S.S. Lexington as well as a tour of the Texas State Aquarium and all of its fun educational offerings. One of the highlights of this trip occurs on the private beach at the Mustang Island Episcopal Conference Center where all students will take a class in sand sculpting and then participate in a team sand sculpting competition between class members, with faculty chaperones will serving as judges. This trip always proves to be one of the most popular events of our Middle School experience and we are especially excited that our Form 8 students will also be able to experience this trip that was not possible last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Form 6 Overnight Field Trip to Camp Buckner in Burnet
- When: The Form 6 trip will take place April 28-29
On this field trip, our Form 6 students and faculty chaperones will travel to the Texas Hill Country to spend two days and a night at Camp Buckner outside of Burnet. The buses for this field trip will depart on Thursday morning April 28 and will return to campus on Friday afternoon by the end of the school day.
Activities during these two days include a wide range of outdoor education experiences and recreational events. Some of the fun outdoor education and recreation options available to our kids are team-building challenges on a state-of-the-art ropes course, zip line, a swimming pool with blob/slide, Frisbee golf, basketball, soccer, sand volleyball, gaga ball, 9-square, and human foosball. Professional facilitation for activities is provided by The University of Texas Outdoor Education Department, and lodging and meals are provided by Camp Buckner staff professionals. The Form 6 faculty and staff chaperones are very excited to share in the experience with their students.
Get ready for fun this spring Middle School!
Saint Mary’s Hall National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) is proud to announce its first Discovery Day. Similar to a traditional career day, Discovery Day expands its content to areas beyond traditional jobs and careers. We are looking forward to hosting experts, alumni, and hobbyists with authentic interests and careers at our campus on Thursday, February 24.
Interested in speaking? Email Form 7 English Teacher Chase Hebert at email@example.com for info.
Community Service Council (CSC) has some exciting news! On Valentine's Day (February 14) during lunch, CSC will be hosting their annual pizza lunch. This year, the profits will be used to benefit Children's Hospital of San Antonio. Students can pre-order the pizza ($5 for two slices) from February 7 – 11 by submitting the form and payment to CSC sponsors, Middle School Social Studies Teacher Anne Allbritton or Form 6 Math Teacher Missy Northington. The form to order pizza is located here.
The following people received nominations this week for the Middle School Dean’s List for Kindness and Respect:
Andrew Eisenhauer ‘27
Isa Acosta ‘26
Megan Lamoy ‘26
Sam Miller ‘26
Jahan Sayeed ‘26
As a reminder, any Middle School student or parent may nominate a fellow classmate or faculty member by sending Assistant Head of Middle School and Dean of Students Mike Mayberry a brief email describing the act of kindness or respect. These names will be shared weekly in the Middle School section of News From the Hall as well as announced during Middle School Monday morning announcements. We encourage everyone at SMH to have an attitude of kindness and respect, one that brings out the best in you and those around you!
On January 14, a total of 20 spellers from Forms 2-5 competed in the 2022 Lower School Spelling Bee.
The event, located in the Remmert Theater, was attended by parents and livestreamed to classrooms and homes across San Antonio. The top three spellers were Ariana Wali ‘30, Walt Wilde ’31, and Nikhil Isiguzo ’30. Ariana won with the word “aeration.”
Congratulations to all spellers on a job well done! A big “Thank You” goes to Form 5 Language Arts Teacher Jane Viccellio for organizing the Spelling Bee and Lower School Library Associate Angie Veale for pronouncing the words for the spellers. A huge shout out and thank you to Director of Video Production/Digital Cinema Teacher Will Underwood for streaming the event seamlessly.
It is not every day you read a sentence like “Please donate your gently used heels … for art!” Forms 4 and 5 artists are making an animation with high heels for the McNay Art Museum in response to the Spotlight artwork Sole Sitter by Willie Cole. Lower School Art Teacher Kellen Stanley has a fantastic collection of heels donated last year to begin this project.
Ms. Stanley said, “As we finish out the project, we request a few more shoes to create an ambitious stop-motion film. If you or your family have a pair of gently-used high heels you are willing to part with, the Lower School art room would love the pair as art materials."
After this project ends later this semester, students will donate our shoe collection to our local chapter of Dress for Success. This non-profit organization provide resources like interview outfits for women in need.
On January 24, the American Library Association announced its list of top books for children. The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature was awarded to The Last Cuentista, written by Donna Barba Higuera. The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book was awarded to Watercress, illustrated by Jason Chin. The Coretta Scott King Book Award, recognizing an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children was awarded to Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper. The Pura Belpré Awards honor Latinx writers and illustrators whose books celebrate the Latino experience. ¡Vamos! Let's Cross the Bridge, illustrated by Raúl Gonzalez, was awarded for outstanding illustrations. The author award winner was The Last Cuentista, written by Donna Barba Higuera. All of these books are currently in the Lower School Library or have been ordered.
In addition to children’s literature, the American Library Association’s list includes young adult and adult literature. For a complete list of award winners click here.
Forms 4 and 5 students are collaborating on a video called Walk in their Shoes. This is an animation and video connected to The McNay Museum's Spotlight project co-taught by Lower School Art Teacher Kellen Stanley in art and Form 4 Language Arts Teacher Tess Eggleston.
Spotlight is a K-12 arts programming spearheaded by the McNay Art Museum. Every year, a new artwork in the McNay collection is selected to be the "Spotlight" artwork, and participating classrooms around San Antonio study the art and artist before creating a collaborative artwork in response.
Stanley said, “With COVID-19, we're in a unique moment for Spotlight where this academic year and last year's artwork are both the same. Therefore, the project began in the 2021-22 school year in Form 4 Art and English Language Arts classes. This year, Form 4 and 5 artists will collaborate to continue and finish the animations. The final artwork will be displayed at the McNay Art Museum in May 2022.”
Current Form 5 students may remember animating and studying shoes, specifically high heels, from Art class last year. Above is a screenshot of a virtual Art class where we started brainstorming ways to walk in other people's shoes.
Do you have a pair of shoes to donate? If so, please contact Ms. Stanley at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop them by her classroom by mid-February. Thank you for your creative and generous support!
The Revenge of the Space Pandas opens on February 3! The Middle School cast of The Revenge of the Space Pandas invites you to come see their production on Thursday, February 3 at 7pm; Friday, February 4 at 7pm; and Saturday, February 5 at 2pm in the Remmert Theater. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by clicking here. View the cast list.
The Upper School student-directed lab production of the black comedy Bright Ideas will be performed in the Black Box Theater on Friday, February 11 and Saturday, February 12 at 7pm. The production, directed by Kathleen Benson ‘22, is a parody of Macbeth that examines the depths some parents go to help their children succeed. Parental guidance is suggested, as this production is only recommended for ages 14 and up.
Performances are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Auditions for the One-Act Play, Almost Maine, will be held Wednesday, February 16 and Thursday, February 17 at 4:15pm in the Remmert Theater. Students should be prepared to cold read from the scripts. Scripts are available to check out from Upper School Speech & Dram Teacher Terran Duhon.
Over the weekend of January 7-8, our SMH Upper School Speech & Debate team competed in the Churchill Classic in San Antonio, where Kathleen Benson '22 and Jack Rykert '23 won 1st place in Duo and Jack won 1st place in Info. The team won 1st place overall at the tournament!
In addition, Debate student Anish Beeram '23 competed virtually in Florida, and debate students Nicholas Campos '22 and Andres Trujillo '22 competed virtually in North Carolina.
The team added more TFA State qualifications to our ever-growing list. Congratulations to:
- Jack Rykert '23, Informative Speaking & Duo Interpretation
- Kathleen Benson '22, Duo Interpretation
- Abbie Zeller '22, Informative Speaking
- Jonathan Tubb '23, Congressional Debate
2022 Winston Churchill Classic in San Antonio, Texas (In-Person):
- Kathleen Benson '22 and Jack Rykert '23 – Duo Interpretation – 1st Place – Tournament Champions
- Jack Rykert '23 – Informative Speaking – 1st Place – Tournament Champion
- Jack Rykert '23 – Dramatic Interpretation – 2nd Place
- Kathleen Benson '22 – Humorous Interpretation – 2nd Place
- Kate Van Zandt '23 – Poetry Interpretation – 2nd Place
- Abigail Zeller '22 – Original Oratory – 3rd Place
- Abigail Zeller '22 – Informative Speaking – 4th Place
- Ben Cruz '23 – Humorous Interpretation – 5th Place
- Ben Cruz '23 and Ana Cruz '25 – Duo Interpretation – 6th Place
- Jonathan Tubb '23 – Student Congress – 10th Place
Semifinalist Recognition (Top 12 in each event):
- Kathleen Benson '22 – Original Oratory
- Jonathan Tubb '23 – Informative Speaking
- Adele Davidson '23 – Program Oral Interpretation
- Kate Van Zandt '23 – Prose Interpretation and Dramatic Interpretation
- Andres Fernandez '25 – Humorous Interpretation
2022 Sunvite in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Virtual)
- Anish Beeram '23– Student Congressional Debate – Finalist, 6th Place out of 115 entries
49th Annual Laird Lewis Invitational in Charlotte, North Carolina (Virtual):
- Nicholas Campos '22 and Andres Trujillo '22 – Public Forum Debate – Quarterfinalists, Top 8 teams out of 41 entries (also, received a UKTOC Bid)
Families may view and purchase fall production photos from Fine Arts Photographer Kemp Davis by clicking here. The password is: SMH.
On January 22, some of our Middle School musicians auditioned for Region Band in La Vernia. Here are the results:
- Sam Miller '26, Form 8 - 2nd chair oboe, Symphonic Band
- Mazreen Sanjana '26, Form 8 - 15th chair clarinet, Concert Band
- Rabani Bajaj '27, Form 7 - 7th chair clarinet, Concert Band
Members of the Upper School Jazz Band and Orchestra traveled to Disney recently to take in the sights and participate in a recording session with a Disney music engineer. The students recorded music to Moana, which will be placed into the film and shared with the students at a later date!
Anish Beeram '23 is the nation's bid leader in Congressional debate. The high school season has several different circuits - the national circuit has thousands of debaters. In order to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, students compete at national level tournaments that have enough prestige to accumulate bids. Two bids are needed to qualify and be invited to the Tournament of Champions. At this point in the year, Anish is the bid leader with the most number of bids in the entire nation. Over the weekend, Anish placed 3rd in Congress at the Barkley Forum National Debate Tournament, hosted by Emory University.
Sculpture & Design and AP Art History Teacher Nate Cassie was recently mentioned as “one to watch in the San Antonio art scene” in the New Art Examiner, an independent magazine of art and culture. Congratulations Mr. Cassie! Read the article.
Head of Dance Yosvani Cortellan recently taught two master classes for the Bolshoi Ballet Theater School in residence at the Houston Ballet. Ballet students from across Texas participated in the workshops. Congratulations to Mr. C.!
Congratulations to our Barons swimmers who qualified for the TAPPS Swim Meet! See the regional swim meet results below:
- Ethan Doehler ‘22 — 1st place in the 200 yard freestyle (holds the pool record); 1st in the 100 yard butterfly
- Kirsten Schlortt ‘22 — 1st place in the 100 yard freestyle; 2nd place in the 100 yard backstroke
- Joshua Hunter ’23 — 1st place in the 50 yard freestyle; 1st place in the 100 yard freestyle
- Alex Gillham ‘23 — 8th place in the 100 yard freestyle; 10th place in the 100 yard backstroke
The Barons had an up and down month in January. There was stiff competition with three games against Top 5-ranked teams. Some highlights included a phenomenal buzzer-beater by freshman Emily Ton ‘25 to beat Regent 48-46, and wins against St. Anthony & Providence. The Barons look to secure their second straight playoff berth with a strong finish.
The men’s basketball team spent January battling through injuries and illness. The team has continued to focus on the process and keep a growth mindset as they enter the back half of district play. The upcoming schedule is promising for the Barons to compete well and finish the last few weeks of the regular season on a strong note.
Men's Varsity Basketball Head Coach Barry Chamberlin said, “We hope you will come out and support the team in their final home game and Senior Night on February 1 at 6:30pm.”
The Barons men's soccer team fought hard against a strong TMI team but fell short by a score of 3-1. The Barons struck first with a goal from a corner by captain Cailan Baker ‘22, served in by Rhys Baker ‘24. The panthers had a good response and tied the game just before the end of the first half.
TMI scored two goals off quick counters in the second half to seal the win.
The Barons look to bounce back versus Saint Anthony's Catholic School to get back on track for a playoff run.
In our Chapel discussion this past Monday, we covered the topic of servant leadership.
Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy that empowers people to perform at their best by putting the needs of others first. Robert K. Greenleaf, principal founder of the modern Servant Leadership movement, said this regarding the difference between servant leadership and other leadership philosophies:
"The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons?"
As we go throughout this week, let us consider ways that we can lead, helping others grow through service. I invite you to keep these three observations in mind about great servant leaders:
- Great servant leaders are great listeners.
- Great servant leaders are aware of what’s going on in the world (macrocosmic and microcosmic).
- Great servant leaders are committed to building belonging.
Dr. Fredricc Brock