News From the Hall
September 7, 2021
- Message from the Head of School
- Upper School
- Middle School
- Lower School
- Fine Arts
A Message From the Head of School
Dear SMH Community,
Thank you, thank you, thank you! It is hard to believe that we are three weeks into the school year already, and we could not have asked for a more positive, energetic, and exciting start to the year. Such a great start could not have been achieved without the hard work and support of everyone in our community. I was fortunate to be able to spend some time over the weekend reflecting on the start of the year, and I honestly could not have imagined as we were planning for the beginning of the school year that we would have such a strong first three weeks. Our faculty and students seem to be getting used to our new schedule, our mitigation of the pandemic continues to trend positively for our community, and the resumption of our “more normal” programming has all of us feeling more connected with greater appreciation for the community that is our School.
I hope others feel also that renewed appreciation for the tremendous strengths of SMH. Our students are so genuine, talented, thoughtful, and committed to learning and doing their best. I appreciate how our parents want to partner with us to do what is best for their children, and I have been privileged to witness this in a more connected way through our first week of parent coffees. And our colleagues returned this fall excited to get back into the classrooms, studios, stages, and fields to help our students grow and learn.
Perhaps one blessing from last year was that it has reminded us how important these moments of human connection are to our work. I’ve been both impressed and thankful for all the efforts organizing our back-to-school nights, our morning parent coffees, our Convocation, Blue Tie Ceremony and Parade, our first Chapels, home sports competitions, dance socials, and Sorting Days for Middle and Upper School. In formal and informal ways, returning SMH families have reached out to welcome and offer support to our 128 new students and their families.
Whether new to SMH or graduating up to the next division, entering a new community can feel daunting and overwhelming; the thousands of small gestures undertaken by all of us make our new families feel that sense of belonging that we are striving for as a community. Importantly, our returning students feel this too. I thank each and every one of you for helping to build that sense of care, commitment, and involvement at the School.
Having been in schools for my whole career, I have always found the fall so full of hope and ambition because it is the start of the school year. It is a time of new beginnings and of new challenges. It is a time of empty notebooks, unread books, and inchoate questions and ideas. All of us will have our goals, or as we call some of the first meetings with our students and parents, “Hopes and Dreams.”
One of my hopes and dreams is that each of our students dreams “big” this year. We should want them to be ambitious because they are so talented and the world will need, in due time, their gifts and voices. My hope for our School is that every one of our students—and every member of our community—comes to feel proud of who they are and that they’re able to share their sense of self with the community in authentic ways. Among the most important things we can do as a school is cultivate a deep sense of belonging for each and every one of us who comprise our community. We do so by listening, respecting, and appreciating each other’s individual voice.
Educational research overwhelmingly supports that the precondition to deep learning is a sense of wellbeing. If members of our community feel overwhelmed, invalidated, or discouraged, they cannot be their best selves. So let us take this unique moment at the start of the school year to remember how we together are responsible for creating a sense of community that empowers all of us to dream big. Let us take care of one another, support each other, share our ideas gracefully, and take exciting but appropriate risks. May each of you grab hold of your hopes and dreams this year, and may each of you offer a hand to those that need one along the way.
August 16 marked the first day of school, and faculty and staff were excited to see Saint Mary’s Hall (SMH) students return to campus and kick off the 2021-2022 school year.
On August 18, SMH hosted the annual opening Convocation and officially welcomed the entire Saint Mary’s Hall community back. Read more about our kick off to the new school year and view our photo galleries capturing all the excitement by clicking here.
No Parking Zones & Barricades/Traffic Cones
As we come back to campus, we want to provide a few friendly reminders regarding campus access and parking. Parking is prohibited in No Parking Zones and marked spaces. These areas are marked by signage or curbs painted red. Please also remember to refrain from moving barriers or parking cones in designated areas as they are placed to direct traffic and help to ensure the safety of our community. Please do not remove traffic cones from parking spaces as those spaces are temporarily restricted for operational use or due to a special event on campus. Observation of these rules ensure the safety of our students and the convenience and functionality of pick-up/drop-off. We also want to ensure emergency medical and fire personnel who might need to access the campus are able to do so in an emergency.
Campus Access Vehicle Permits
As a part of our on-going security initiatives, we update the school’s Campus Access Vehicle Permits (parking permits) at the beginning of each school year for each vehicle that is used to enter campus. If you have not obtained your new permit, please do so. Vehicle Permit Forms will also be available at the front gate and at the Facilities Office. As a reminder, anyone without a new-year permit will be addressed at the front gate to submit for a new permit. Failure to have a permit on your vehicle could result in delays or denial of campus access.
You may have noticed in your inbox that we have a fresh look to News From the Hall! Along with this new design, we have a new schedule in order to streamline communications and to lighten the amount of messages you receive via email. We have moved to a two-week schedule. Click here to see this year’s schedule. We hope you enjoy reading about all the wonderful happenings at SMH in News From the Hall this school year!
- Form 8 September 10 8:15am
- Form 5 September 13 8:15am
- Form 10 September 14 8:15am
- Form 11 September 17 8:15am
- Form 1 September 20 8:15am
- Form 2 September 21 8:15am
- Form 9 September 22 8:15am
We have developed healthier and more dynamic schedules for all divisions for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. From the initial study of our programs and work with Independent School Management (ISM), to gathering feedback from each of our students, to analyzing the data to make decisions about the schedule, the process has been intensive, strategic, and involved. These new, innovative schedules are indicative of our commitment to an inspired and purposeful movement toward improving the excellent educational experience offered at Saint Mary’s Hall. Visit our Daily Schedule webpage to learn more.
When: Thursday, September 9, 3pm - 5pm
Because of the sensitivity of the handling and storage of the Pfizer vaccine, it is important to prepare for the number of individuals who would like to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Only those who have already signed up for the Pfizer vaccine will be eligible to receive it.
You MUST bring a current vaccination card if you are receiving a second dose or booster.
Students 13 years of age and older can receive a flu vaccine without a parent present but we do require a signed consent (both sides MUST be completed) by a parent or guardian along with payment or insurance information.
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit an Honors Sculpture and Design class taught by Upper School 3D Art Teacher Nate Cassie.
I watched students navigate a potter's wheel; I watched students negotiate the geometry of a project; I watched students operate a nail gun. It was fabulous.
These last three weeks in the Upper School have been bursting with experiential opportunities, deep critical inquiry, and the all-important, free blocks in the library. When I step out into the Upper School courtyard, I never know what I might see or hear. I have been passed by groups of students, clad in their apiarist best setting out to maintain the campus beehives. I have listened to the laughter coming from the AP Chemistry lab while they determined the formula for Epsom salts. I have felt the blue sorting paints on my hands as new community members joined their respective Capers and Elliotts Teams.
Our Upper School students have embraced a new schedule, health and safety protocols, and the spirit of community building with resilience, grace, and initiative. I am grateful for their commitment to cultivating a campus of inclusivity, positivity, and safety. The Class of 2022, in particular, has set a powerful tone of trust and connection, and their leadership will ensure that this year is fun and memorable.
I continue to be amazed by the work of my Upper School colleagues. Their creativity and dedication to the meaningful student experience are the foundation of our division. Taking the time to listen, guide without judgment, empathize through challenges, and cheer for achievements, is an essential part of an educator's job. Authentic connections and consistent relationships set the stage for academic risk-taking, meaningful topic exploration, and independent project creation.
As always, I am grateful for your partnership, insights, and ideas. Your voice is essential in our work to support your students, and I am eager to hear from you at any time.
Head of Upper School
On Thursday, September 9, 6pm-7:30pm, the Upper School Meet the Teacher night will have an Open House format to limit the number of individuals in classrooms and community space. Our classrooms will be open beginning at 6pm for you to visit and connect with instructors. Please visit our FlipGrid to hear more specific information about our teachers' classroom philosophy, upcoming projects, and course goals (information about how to access our FlipGrid will be sent in the coming days). Please note that these videos will communicate specific times in the evening that teachers will be discussing their various classes. Light snacks and beverages will be available in the Upper School Courtyard throughout the evening, and we look forward to seeing all of you.
Form 9 parents have an optional meeting with Form Sponsors in the Coates-Seeligson Theater/Chapel from 5:30pm-6pm. Form 10 parents an have an optional meeting with Form Sponsors in the Cotes-Seeligson Theater/Chapel from 7:30pm-8pm.
Have you checked out the new Community Service webpage on the SMH Community Portal? We are pleased to announce a new section where you can find everything related to community service. You will be able to find service verification forms, our school guidelines as to what constitutes service, President's Service Award information, as well as a request form for the award. We have also included links to some non-profit organizations around the city and nationally, where you can find service opportunities. Community and campus service opportunities will be posted here weekly as well. We invite you to visit our section. Sign in to the SMH Community Portal and scroll down on the main page. You will find a tab entitled Community Service Opportunities.
In Upper School Social Studies Teacher Amy Pozza’s class, students class participated in activity called the Afro-Eurasian trade simulation. Students were assigned a region and acted as merchants engaging in trade along the postclassical trade routes that connect their region with surrounding areas. View the lesson slides.
2D Drawing & Design Teacher Logan Blanco served as a guest lecturer in Upper School Math Teacher Jim Polito's Calculus III class. Because of the three-dimensional nature of the course, students are charged with drawing three-dimensional images in a two-dimensional space. Mr. Blanco's perspective and guidance helped illustrate and support students as they engaged these new drawing methods. He took student sketches and recreated them from several different viewpoints. Students asked many questions, shared several insights, and applied the material immediately. Mr. Polito will continue to partner with the Fine Arts departments and plan to utilize the 3D printer later in the semester.
The Blue Tie Ceremony and Parade held on August 20, celebrated, honored, and recognized the Class of 2022 as the school's leaders. This tradition, dating back to 1940, recognizes a powerful legacy of leadership embodied by Saint Mary's Hall seniors and alumni. This symbolic long blue line binds Saint Mary's Hall graduates, and we are proud of the mentorship and sense of community modeled by the Class of 2022. Congratulations to our seniors! Read more about this year’s Blue Tie and view our photo gallery.
On September 3, the Upper School commenced their annual sorting of Capers and Elliotts. Named in honor of Bishop Elliott and Bishop Capers, the teams compete throughout the year. The competitions range from tug of war to online gaming with a culminating Bishops' Day!
Blue Tie photos are now uploaded to our All-School photographer’s website for purchase. The instructions to order are below.
- Visit https://www.jerstadphoto.com/index
- Click on Client Gallery at the top.
- Click on the image with the Client Gallery and select Saint Mary's Hall Images.
- The Password is Saint Mary's Hall ... case sensitive.
The first two weeks in Middle School have been awesome!
We have completely immersed ourselves in the fact that we are connecting face-to-face this year from Day 1. Literally in the face! In our first assembly, Assistant Head of School and Dean of Students Mike Mayberry, Middle School Athletic Coordiator and Basketball/Golf Coach Lance Lewis, and myself ended up with a whipped cream pie in the face. What had started as a time to remind students about all of our guidelines in Middle School ended up being a time to get pumped for the start of school! Our Council Officers, after throwing pies in our faces, had everyone up and dancing and they tossed out purple beads and purple wrapped candy. While we explained the new schedule and the lunch process, it was later in the week with the help of our Council Officers that we reviewed how to be a successful Middle School student and not end up in Mr. Mayberry’s office for the “being your best self” conversation. It was a much better start than listening to Administration and watching endless PowerPoints.
As discovered on the first day, this year we have brought back the deli bar, salad bar, and of course, panini’s! This was new to both our Form 6 and 7 students. With three or four to a table, depending on Form level, our connections continue to grow as we finally share a meal together. Either before or after lunch, students are enjoying some unstructured down time. Again, another opportunity to connect with others. I gather there have been some crazy competitions in the Gaga Pit! Students and teachers alike have been found tossing the ball around.
Students and faculty have begun to navigate our new schedule and the feedback has been unanimously positive. Teachers have more time to connect with students and have begun the deeper dive of their curriculum. One teacher remarked, this is the first year I have felt I have really gotten to know my advisees in the first week. We finally are doing what we say we do. Visiting classrooms, I have seen and heard some amazing ways teachers are connecting with students and ways in which teachers are connecting students to the curriculum. This included visiting Middle School Social Studies Teacher and Baskeball/Baseball Coach Brian Fleming’s class, who used Sim City to explain the importance of water for developing communities. Teachers have rethought how to begin the school year to develop trust and connection to really bring out the best in their students. Also, I have not heard of any student up late at night working on homework and have even heard a few say they are finally eating dinner as a family again!
All students are benefiting from our enhanced fitness program, Fitness for a Healthy Lifestyle. The focus of this class is to gain the skills necessary to keep fit long after their school days and competitive athletics are done. Students are being challenged not only in the weight room with Director of Sport Performance and Athletic Mindset Hector Cano, but with classes on Pilates and Yoga by Head of Dance Yosvani Cortellan, Lower School Dance Teacher Yanayet Lopez, and Dance Program Administrator & Music Registration Coordinator Stephany Rayburn, just to name a few. For the other two days of this block, students are becoming more focused on their social, emotional, and mental health with our Health and Wellness classes. Health and Wellness Educator Amelia Teodosio and Middle School Counselor Leslie Palmer are guiding these classes that focus on everything from health education to developing ways for building self-esteem.
We ended the second week of school with the “Friday Night Under the Lights Middle School Purple Out” football game. It was a huge success for our Middle School students. Not only were they featured attendees, but more importantly, it provided our students with a way to safely come together and bond at a school event. We did not have such events last year and are glad we were able to start the year off quickly. Students had special sideline passes and were allowed to sit on the field and head to the locker room for halftime. The spirit was apparent as students had "Go Purple" tattoos, various face paint, balloons, cow bells, and more!
The excitement over the past two weeks has been, in many ways, unreal for me. I feel as if I am new again. I experienced my first Baron Bazaar and the first time we could bring the entire Middle School into a space - and not the virtual kind! There are so many firsts to be experienced for me and our 2021-2022 Middle School Community. From day one, we connected, and now, we are building towards a year filled with growth, opportunity, and joy!
Sincerely, Sarah Visagie
Head of Middle School
The first day of school began with a student leadership led pep rally which included music, dancing, and the Middle School Administration being greeted with a surprise.
Tuesday was also a student leadership led Assembly, this time about the school dress code. Students gave the dos and don’ts of what is appropriate school wear by dressing up. The day ended with each Form level Advisory competing against each other in a water balloon toss, a tennis ball pass relay, and egg carry relay.
Friday started with fun traditions, beginning with the Blue Tie Parade followed by our Bennett and Bailey sorting, where Form 6 and new students learned what house they would represent during their time in SMH Middle School.
Form 7 Life Science students are exploring the relationship between hand and feet length. It’s a great way to practice proper measuring and graphing, and we promise that the rulers were well sanitized between uses!
Recently in Form 7 English Teacher Chase Hebert’s English class, students have been exploring, through tiered questions, the novel, Okay for Now, a story in which a boy learns to cope through the beautiful illustrations of John James Audubon. Students have enjoyed the in-depth discussions surrounding this inspiring novel, especially under the lens of our year’s literary theme, “relationships.”
Additionally, the classes have been working on prepositions and prepositional phrases through sentence imitating and dissection. We look forward to more opportunities for learning and achieving through the upcoming school year!
“That is the part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The opening week of the 2021-2022 school year brought much excitement which included an opening of school pep rally, fun outdoor games, and Advisory competitions. The week of spirited fun ended on August 20 with the annual Bennetts and Baileys sorting. The entire Middle School student body moved from the Blue Tie Parade into the Booke Gym and sat in the stands according to their team. New students and Form 6 students went to the middle of the gym and eagerly anticipated the calling of their name to join their Bennett or Bailey teammates. Sports Council (SC) Captains Sam Schwab ‘26 and Kathryn Tubb ’26 brought the energy and assisted by Colston Book ’27 and Reese Arrington ‘27, the event was the most boisterous sorting seen on campus in many years! Chants and cheers resonated throughout the gym and made the spirited event a truly great way to build up the community and end a week of fun. Congratulations to all of our students and faculty who are now proud Bennetts or Baileys. The competition for the end of the year cup should be very exciting.
The Community Service Council (CSC) held a special election last week to choose a new president for the 2021-2022 school year. Adrian Sorensen ’26 was chosen and will serve in this role. Congratulations, Adrian! Please stay tuned for upcoming announcements about service opportunities and events sponsored by the Council.
We began a new tradition last year, giving any Middle School student the opportunity to nominate a fellow classmate or faculty member by simply sending Assistant Head of Middle School and Middle School 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. Therefore, 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!
The following people received nominations this week for the Middle School Dean’s List for Kindness and Respect:
- Henry Ames ‘26
- Colston Book ‘27
- Edward Briggs ‘26
- Eve Cavazos ‘27
- Patricio Testas ‘27
Welcome to Lower School’s first “Community Meeting” video viewing.
The traditional Lower School Morning Moments has become our Community Meeting. This week's Community Meeting features Head of Lower School Khristi Bates, Lower School Counselor Susan Moore-Sickmann, and Lower School Music Teacher Liz Troutwine.
As part of a service project for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Lower School Art Teacher Kellen Stanley and Lower School Librarian/Instructional Technologist Linda Wells team taught Form 5 students during Art, Library, and Interdisciplinary time. They collaborated with SMH colleagues Educational Technology Coordinator Matt Montez, 2D Drawing and Design Teacher Logan Blanco, and Upper School Photography Teacher Kyle Petersen to figure out how to turn a pencil drawing into laser-cut wood, plastic, and other materials. It was a hit to begin the school year with a service project with Form 5, our leaders of Lower School. Here are the winners of the design challenge's final pieces. (Pictured l-r: Lucy Conrad '29, Gavin Greene '29, Marcello Tamez '29, and Savannah Inderlied '29.)
What a great year for the Lower School Library! Lower School Librarian/Instructional Technologist Linda Wells and Lower School Library Associate Angie Veale are planning many fun and exciting adventures for our young readers. The popular Mystery Reader program will begin late September/early October. Be on the lookout for sign-up dates! The Lower School Library Birthday Book program is off to a great start. If you have not returned your child’s birthday book form, and would like to donate a birthday book to our library, there is still plenty of time. The Lower School Library has purchased a great many new books for our Saint Mary’s Hall readers. The S.T.E.A.M. Collaboratory is now open and available to teachers and students. At the beginning of each month, a Library Smore Newsletter will be posted to your child’s teacher's Smore. Look for the News from the Lower School Library purple button on the teacher Smore Newsletter. This year, we will hold the Read-A-Thon in October, and the Scholastic Book Fair during the week of Grand Day at Saint Mary’s Hall.
If you have not turned in your Summer Reading Minutes, please do so now. Our Summer Reading Celebration will be happening soon during Community Meetings via Zoom, so stay tuned!
Congratulations to the cast of 2021 Fall Musical, The Little Mermaid!
Thirty-three Form 8-12 students are currently working on this family musical to be presented to the SMH community October 22-24 in the Coates-Seeligson Theater Chapel.
Associate Head of Admissions & Enrollment Management Joe Muller and Upper School Speech Teacher Terran Duhon are co-directing. Voice Teacher and Assistant Band Director Jaime Ramirez is the Musical Director. Artistic Director of the Woodlawn Theater Chris Rodriguez is the Guest Artist Choreographer, Upper School Technical Theater & Stage Design Teacher Patrick Cunningham will be designing the sets, and Lighting Designer and Assistant Technical Director Javan Johnson will be designing the lights. Rose Kennedy will be the costume designer.
Tickets for The Little Mermaid will go on sale on September 24. Stay tuned to News From The Hall for more details!
Upper School Painting & Drawing students and Form 5 artists started the year by making personalized bookmarks for a child paired up with Make-A-Wish Foundation. Her wish was to have a library in her home, and she mentioned fantasy novels are her favorite. In the spirit of Lower School, a unicorn was chosen as the main prompt for this fantasy-themed design. Form 5 artists were presented with STEAM design parameters to create a simple stencil or drawing of a unicorn to etch or cut out the bookmark with cutting-edge technology - the laser-cut machine. These four bookmarks feature Form 5 designers Lucy Conrad '29, Gavin Greene '29, Marcello Tamez '29, and Savannah Inderlied '29.
Drawing and Painting Teacher Logan Blanco’s Upper School classes made block-print designs that incorporated surprising images, shapes, colors, and patterns.
Congratulations to senior Speech and Debate students Nicholas Campos, Andrew Trujillo, Penelope Luna, Kathleen Benson, and Abbie Zeller for being named Academic All-Americans by the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA). To be eligible, students must have earned at least 750 NSDA points, completed at least five semesters of high school, demonstrated outstanding character and leadership, and earned a minimum GPA of 3.5. Congratulations students!
From June 7-9, the Saint Mary's Hall Middle School Speech Team competed at the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament. The team competed against more than 300 teams from five countries and nearly every state in the nation. It was the biggest middle school Nationals in the history of middle school speech and debate.
The SMH team received the Middle School Team of Excellence Award. This award was presented to the 20 teams with the most points. The following students were named Middle School NSDA Finalists:
- Andres Fernandez ‘26
- Ria Jampana ‘27
- Amruta Patel ‘27
- Sophia Nelson ‘26
- Original Oratory
- Rusham Goyal ‘26
- Original Spoken Word Poetry
- Sophia Nelson ’26
- Ellie Wyche ‘26
- Prepared Prompt Speaking
- Sohan Bhakta ‘27
- Sophia Nelson ‘26
This past summer, Matthew Averyt ‘22 was a cellist in Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). This program brings together musicians ages 16-19 from around the country for a multi-week training residency with leading professional orchestral musicians. Part of this program is to tour some of the great concert halls around the world; however, this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mathew had a four-week residency at SUNY Purchase College in New York, under the baton of Maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto. The rehearsals throughout the program culminated in professional recordings of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, Suite from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and other works.
Matthew had this to say about the program: “Being surrounded by some of the best young musicians and renowned professionals from around the country inspired me to refine my approach to music in respect to both my technique and my musical decisions.”
Upper School Sculpture and Design Teacher Nate Cassie’s junior and senior classes completed the work that began last year by the 2021 seniors to expand the outdoor studio space of the Sculpture studio. Look at their accomplishments!
This summer Upper School Drawing & Painting Teacher Logan Blanco and Upper School Sculpture & Design Teacher Nate Cassie had their work exhibited at local galleries. Mr. Blanco’s work was part of a summer art show at the Hunt Gallery. Mr. Cassie’s work was seen at Ruiz Healy.
With the school year beginning, Barons football welcomed the community to a Middle School “All-Access” Night for the season and home opener.
The rain early in the afternoon did not keep the fans away as nearly 100 Middle School students and families, packed Lewis Stadium to cheer on their Barons as they welcomed the Nueces Canyon Panthers.
The scoring started early with multiple Barons adding to the total, including seniors Alec Czar, Andrew Fisher, Alex Alvarez, and Austin Soltis. Freshman Greer Kemmett continued the tradition of a female field goal kicker for the Barons, adding two kicks of her own. The Barons beat the Panthers 61-36.
“It was a great night both defensively and offensively for the Barons. This was a fantastic home opener for the 2021 Baron football team and community. Thank for your support, and we look forward to our next game,” Head Football/Baseball Coach Lee Ortiz said.
The hot and humid morning didn’t slow the Barons cross country team as they welcomed Veritas Academy and Holy Cross to the SMH Invitational meet. The Barons captured multiple Top 5 finishes on both the men’s and women’s sides. “It was great way to kick off the season,” said Head Cross Country/Track and Field Coach Dave Thurchak, “Everyone worked hard and did their best.”
- Maggie McLatcher 13:50 Veritas
- Camila Navas-Hahn '23 14:38 SMH
- Jennifer Casarez 15:01 Holy Cross
- Bella Arreola 15:11 Holy Cross
- Paloma Escobedo 16:59 Holy Cross
- Ella Shaw 17:20 Veritas
- Callie Church 17:58 Veritas
- Mary McLatcher 18:00 Veritas
- Elizabeth Conroy 18:01 Veritas
- Hannah Cuellar 18:25 Veritas
- Michaela Casarez 19:13 Holy Cross
- Ally Gibbs '23 24:11 SMH
- Christopher Chan '24 22:56 SMH
- Patrick Lang '23 23:59 SMH
- Matthew Ard 25:38 Veritas
- Jordy Vimont 25:41 Veritas
- Truett Compton 27:44 Veritas
- Kenneth Belcher 27:55 Veritas
- Dawson Hancock 28:14 Veritas
- Pablo Hernandez 29:39 Holy Cross
- JC Yaeger '25 29:40SMH
- Ephriam Cho '24 31.28 SMH
- Ian Garza '25 31.54 SMH
- Cy Rabke '25 32:42 SMH
In the first of its kind, the Athletic Department hosted a Media Day to better market and promote the sports offered at Saint Mary’s Hall. These pictures will be used to create unique and eye-catching graphics that can be posted to social media and shared among the community.
This year, Baron athletes will take the field with new leadership in several sports. Saint Mary’s Hall is excited to welcome three outstanding full-time head coaches and educators. To read more, click here.
While most students were enjoying the last two weeks of their Summer, our Baron volleyball team was in the gym on August 2 preparing for their season. The women have been hard at work the last four weeks preparing for their district matches with pre-season matchups and two tournaments against area schools.
First up were scrimmages on August 6 versus San Antonio Saints, Keystone, and Joh Paul II. The following Tuesday, August 10, the Barons hit the road for a hard fought five set match against Lanier High School. Ultimately, the Barons fell 2-3.
The following weekend took them across town to McCollum High School for matchups against McCollum, Marshall, Edison, and Southside at the Harlandale ISD Tournament. The squad came out with a few losses but lessons learned.
Two more matches against New Braunfels Christian Academy and Keystone prepared the team for a weekend of good competition at the Geneva tournament as they faced teams like Incarnate Word, Bracken Christian, TMI, Providence, and South San-West Campus.
Check out the SMH Athletics schedule for a list of home games this season and come out to support our JV and varsity volleyball teams.
Brian Garrett '19, current Division I Davidson Collegiate golfer, competed in the 2021 USGA Amateur Tournament in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. More than 300 qualifiers from around the world showed up at the tournament the week of August 9. Days one and two were stroke play which was the qualifier for match play. Brian shot 75 on day one at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania and shot even (70) on day two at Long Vue Club, Verona, Pennsylvania. Brian missed the match play cut by two strokes.
When asked about the experience, Garrett said, “This was the best week of my life.”
Brian has returned to Davidson (where he is currently the #2 player) and will continue to play both collegiate and amateur golf tournaments until next year’s USGA Amateur Tournament at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey.
Senior Swimmer Ethan Doehler '22 has been named to the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association All-American team for the 100 Free and 100 Breaststroke. Being named to this list, puts Ethan as one of the top 100 swimmers in the U.S. for these events. Congratulations Ethan!
Congratulations to junior Camila Navas-Hahn '23 on reaching the 500 Mile Club! Camilla has logged 500 miles running, making her the first Baron to accomplish this goal.
Saint Mary's Hall values its culturally and spiritually diverse community. As such, having a respectful awareness of world religions and holidays is important for mindful scheduling and inclusivity throughout the academic year. I want to take some time to highlight three upcoming Jewish religious observances and offer ways that we can intentionally support observant faculty, staff, and students:
September 7-8, Rosh Hashanah: Observance begins on sundown the day before. Rosh Hashanah is a celebration of the Jewish New Year that begins at sundown and brings upon a period of reflection for the past year and year to come. Faculty, please be mindful when scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities. If planning an event, provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply).
September 16, Yom Kippur: Observance begins at sundown the day before. Yom Kippur is the day of atonement in Judaism where individuals reflect on their sins and seek forgiveness from God. Faculty, please be mindful when scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Jewish faculty, staff, and students may be fasting all day.
September 21-27, Sukkot: Observance begins at sundown the day before. A festival that commemorates the gathering of the harvest and the years that the Jewish people journeyed through the desert on their way to the Promised Land. Faculty, please be mindful when scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities. Some Reform and Orthodox Jews may observe the first two days as non-working days.
Thank you for helping us celebrate our rich culturally and spiritually diverse community.
Dr. Fredricc Gerard Brock
Dear Saint Mary’s Hall Community,
Welcome new families, new students, and new employees to Saint Mary’s Hall. We endeavor to be an institution where people feel like they belong. As the newest members of our community, you can let us know how we’re doing. Welcome back, returning families, students, and employees. We’ve missed you this summer and frankly, through the pandemic. We are thrilled to be opening our gates to the Saint Mary’s Hall community in ways that we were less able to last year. Navigating the complexities of a global pandemic have certainly helped us all appreciate what we all need as humans: community. It has been nice being together again as a full community and I continue to feel impressed with our ongoing abilities to navigate challenges together.
I am deeply grateful for the lessons we learned last year and for the opportunities to expand upon that knowledge this year. One example was that our students appreciated additional time with their teachers and fewer classes for which to prepare each night. As such, our community made some intentional choices around sustaining a schedule that promotes wellness. We look forward to continuing to hear from the community about this shift.
On Wednesday, September 8, at 8:45am, we will gather in the Remmert Theater for our All-School Wellness Coffee to introduce the Wellness Team to parents who are able to attend our first coffee of the year. We will explore the broad strokes of current student wellness programming at Saint Mary’s Hall. I am deeply excited to introduce you to new members of the team this year, including Interim Chaplain Dr. Fredricc Brock, Coordinator of Student Well-being Dr. Valerie Lohr, and Upper School Counselor Deborah Saldana. They join the esteemed returning members of our team, which include School Health Service Coordinator Melissa Baumholtz, Lower School Counselor Susan Moore-Sickmann, Middle School Counselor Leslie Palmer, and Health and Wellness Teacher Amelia Teodosio.
This is our Wellness Team, but to be perfectly honest, everyone is on the Wellness Team. Tyrome Wilkerson, who welcomes students every day, is wellness. Detective Rodney Aguilar, who patrols campus on Fridays, is wellness. Taylor Ditto and Jennifer Spearman, who guide students in their college counseling, are wellness. Kim Kleberg, who kindly and patiently helps my children out of the car every day, is wellness. Brian Kaestner, who welcomes all, is wellness. Laura Renard, who helped me with a Smartboard last week, is wellness. These are but a few examples of wellness at Saint Mary’s Hall with so many others currently happening and about to happen.
We look forward to continuing to partner together to emphasize wellness this year!
With excitement and gratitude,