#1StudentNWI: Bishop Noll Institute celebrates Catholic Schools Week

#1StudentNWI: Bishop Noll Institute celebrates Catholic Schools Week

What’s recently happened?

Bishop Noll Institute (BNI) celebrated Catholic Schools Week (CSW). Starting on Sunday, the school and parents were invited to celebrate Mass. Monday was when students dressed as each other for Twin Day. Tuesday was Dress Like a Holiday Day. 

On Wednesday, Catholic grade schools came to BNI and celebrated Mass with Bishop Robert McClory. Our Lady of Grace School, Saint Casimir School, St. John Bosco School, St. John the Baptist Catholic School, St. Stanislaus Catholic School, and St. Thomas More School all joined the BNI students to have a Mass with over 1,200 people. 

Thursday was ‘90s Day and Teacher Appreciation Day. There was an exhilarating students versus teachers volleyball game with the students winning. Friday was Student Appreciation Day, and students wore their class color. Seniors wore black, juniors wore red, sophomores wore pink, and freshmen wore green. The students ended the day watching “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”

“My favorite day was Thursday. Everyone went above and beyond for their outfits. It was a fun experience walking through the hallways while hearing ‘90s music over the PA. I liked assistant coaching the student team for the volleyball game,” said Freshman Esmeralda Alba. 

The BNI Speech and Debate team is in its final weeks of competing before Sectionals. On Saturday, February 3, the team competed at Valparaiso High School. The team placed fifth out of 13 teams. 

Anna De La Torre and Soledad Castellanos placed in Discussion. Abigail Buksa and Paulina Torrejon placed in Duo Interpretation. Jolette Luna and Kimberly Padilla placed in Impromptu Speaking. Jolette Luna placed in Informative Speaking. Taylor Holland placed in Poetry Reading. Sergio Meza placed in the United States Extemporaneous Speaking.     

What’s coming up?

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and Band President Alessandra Lopez came up with a musical way to get into the spirit. She gathered band section leaders to play serenades per requests of students and faculty members. During student resource time and after school, people will hear “L.O.V.E.,” “Love Fool,” and “Careless Whispers” throughout the hallways.  

The BNI Boys Basketball team has made a forever brotherhood and an outstanding team. The team has grown together as a family and in skill since the beginning of the season. They have gotten better because they have learned each other’s strengths to make a good play. The team's record is 15-6 and 6-0 in conference play, placing them first in the Greater South Shore. 

BNI basketball has grown from last year with new recruits and having a mindset of not wanting to lose the last few games of the regular season. The basketball team is looking forward to playing Hanover Central in Sectionals for some revenge from last year’s game. The team will play Highland High School for one of its last regular season games on February 13.  

“We want to show that Bishop Noll is the best in the Region,” said Junior Augustus Matushek. 

Staff spotlight:

Kevin Driscoll has been teaching at BNI for five years. He serves as the Theology Department chair teaching Sophomore Theology. Driscoll received his master’s degree in pastoral studies from Catholic Theological Union and a Bachelor of Science degree in mass media/broadcasting from Illinois State University. 

Driscoll did full-time radio at a country music station doing news and sports. He still works part-time at a local public radio station doing news but sees it as a hobby now. After experiencing communications, he used his skills to work for the Diocese of Gary for 16 years. Driscoll was in a Catholic Youth Ministry leading young adults on retreats, organizing conferences, and guiding them to be evangelists. 

Transitioning from leading young adults, he wanted a more stable job. He decided to start teaching using the skills he has gained throughout the years. He still gets to evangelize the Gospel to young people. 

Driscoll served as the Junior Varsity Baseball coach for three years. He enjoyed hanging out with the kids who were previously or going to be in his class. Driscoll’s favorite part about being a teacher is working with students that understand the spiritual concept of BNI. 

“I like when students are actually open to going deeper into their faith,” said Driscoll.

One of the core concepts of Driscoll’s class is for students to write about what they think on a topic. He loves to read the written feedback because he looks at students in a whole different light. 

Driscoll is currently training for an upcoming half marathon in May. He is trying to get more into running and is starting to enjoy it. 

Driscoll believes the school needs more when it comes to faith exploration. He wants the Theology department to be an active part of helping students dig deeper in their faith. 

“I would like to see more opportunities. I want to challenge students,” said Driscoll.

Student spotlight:

Zekiel Zukley is a junior at BNI. Not only does he excel in the classroom but also on the field and court. Zukley is a goalkeeper for soccer, kicker and punter for football and will transition to a defensive end for next season, setter and outside hitter for volleyball, and throws shot put and discus and occasionally runs for track and field. 

Zukley plans on studying either science, business in entrepreneurship, or mechanical engineering. His biggest inspirations are his dad, who owned a business, and his grandfather, who worked his business from the ground up. He has been taking difficult courses this year which has pushed him to try his best and be more organized. Zukley’s favorite and most difficult class is Spanish ACP because it gives him an incentive to want to learn.

His grade point average (GPA) has been his biggest academic accomplishment, and he is looking forward to taking more challenging classes. He wants to keep above a 4.4 GPA and hopes to become valedictorian. If he had to choose a college, he would attend the University of Dayton, Ohio or Purdue University. 

Zukley’s favorite memory from school is being able to play soccer and volleyball with his two brothers last year. He went to Regionals for volleyball with them which was exciting. Another memory was when his two brothers were playing with him on the court and his other brother was line judging. 

His biggest athletic accomplishment is being ranked seventh in the entire state for goalkeeping. Football and soccer and the two sports he enjoys the most because he has found his niche in and he really enjoys them. Zukley’s goals for this upcoming school year is to break records for shot put and discus, be ranked state goalkeeper again, and be scouted by an Ivy League for punting and kicking for football.

“I’m planning on playing one of the four sports I play right now in university,” said Zukley. 

Zukley enjoys studying languages. He is currently studying German and Spanish outside of school. He also likes to build LEGOs, reading, and working out. Zukley is helping out the shot put and discus throwers this year. He thanks his mom and brothers who have pushed him and showed him that he cannot be anyone but himself. He also gives thanks to God. 

“I have to strive to do my best no matter what. Regardless of if that means I’m going to fail or if it means that other people may not like what I do, I’m going to have to do it to show who I am,” said Zukley.