#1StudentNWI: Bishop Noll Institute Connects Students to Community

#1StudentNWI: Bishop Noll Institute Connects Students to Community

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Albrecht

 A teacher who has taught almost everything is Mary Albrercht. When she first started at Bishop Noll five years ago, she was the freshmen theology teacher. Two years ago she took over STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.) She teaches STEM to all freshmen and a select group of eight graders from nearby Catholic grade schools. This year she is also teaching Intro to Engineering Design to all grade levels.

Before coming to BNI, she taught social studies. When asked about her favorite part of STEM, she said, “My favorite part of the STEM program is learning with my students. I love when I can physically see that a student is learning a new skill. I love that students are given the opportunity to work with their hands and their minds to create a new design. I love watching students collaborate or get excited about trying out a prototype. They are learning the application of math and science with the use of technology and the design process. There is enough variety in the curriculum that all students can be challenged and excel.”

When she switched over from theology to STEM, she was nervous that she would not do well, but the students and faculty at Bishop Noll were always encouraging her. She loves working with students and faculty members because they are a second family to her. She is glad that she took on the challenge of being the STEM teacher and takes summer classes with the PLTW company to further her knowledge of the STEM field. Bishop Noll is very fortunate to have Albrecht with them because she is an asset in all concepts for the school.

Student Spotlight: Elijah Carrasquillo 

An athlete, a scholar, and a volunteer is what you would call junior Elijah Carrasquillo. He is an accurate representation of Bishop Noll’s motto: “Mind, Body, and Soul.” At BNI, Carrasquillo is on the soccer, cross country, and track teams. He is one of very few people who participates in two IHSSA sports during one season. He does this during fall season when he runs cross country and plays soccer. There would be some days where he would run a 5k and then drive a half hour to play in a soccer game.

However, even with playing two sports, school always comes first. At BNI, he participates in Academic Super Bowl, Academic Spell Bowl, and National Honor Society. One of the reasons he came to BNI is because he scored very high of his entrance exam and was able to get a scholarship. Besides receiving a scholarship, Carrasquillo loved what BNI had to offer and their family atmosphere.

Along with participating in sports and academic clubs, he is a student ambassador and is involved in campus ministry. He has volunteered at the freshmen retreats and and has gone to a grade school to put on a confirmation retreat.

Carrasquillo said, “My favorite part about Bishop Noll besides the academics, sports, clubs, etc is the people I’ve met, for sure. Coming into Bishop Noll I knew very few people but now I know so many great people and have had the opportunity to be friends with those that have even graduated. Every single person that I have met at Bishop Noll has positively affected me, all due to the opportunity I’ve had to come to Bishop Noll.”

Although Carrasquillo is unsure of a career path, he knows that attending BNI has prepared him for anything coming his way.

What’s coming up?

Christmas time is coming up, which means the annual BNI Choir and Band Concert is too. The choir, which is directed under Mr. David Herr, will be his last performance due to taking a his job in the Diocese of Gary. Not only is the choir performing at BNI, they also will be putting on a concert at Hartsfield Village in Munster.

Bishop Noll’s choir is made up of about under forty students in grades 9-12. This year they are singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, as a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin. Other songs that will be performed are “Vida La Vida” by Coldplay, “Seasons of Love” from the the Broadway musical Rent by Jonathan Larson, and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John. Several other songs will be performed as well as some Christmas songs.

Bishop Noll’s band is directed under Mr. Rocco Carriotto. The BNI band is made up of under sixty students from grades 9-12. Along with several Christmas songs, the award-winning band will be playing some other songs such as “Moana”, “Sinatra in Concert”, and “Bug Bunny’s Greatest Hits.”

So far, the Marching Warriors have been in several 4th of July parades, Columbus Day parade, Thanksgiving parade, and will perform in New York City in the spring. The annual Christmas concert will take place December 16th at 6pm. The talented students, whether it is playing an instrument such as a violin or their voice is the instrument, are excited to perform for the BNI community.

What has happened?

Looking for a place to write your prayers or intentions down? Bishop Noll has created an intercessory prayer cross. The cross idea came from Mrs. Katie Fredericksen, Ms. Stacia Bolakowski, and a handful of sophomore students.

The project technically started last year when Mrs. Fredericksen showed the sophomores, who were then freshmen, this picture of a prayer wall that she saw at a conference and told them that she wanted to do something like that at BNI. She was able to have a friend make 3D life size cross at the beginning of school year and bring it into the school. Fredericksen and the handful of sophomores primed the cross and then painted several coats of dark blue chalkboard paint. Then they wrote phrases and words such as “In Jesus name we pray” and “Amen.” On the sides of the cross there are detachable chalk markers for students to write with. The plan is for an intercessory prayer group to meet monthly and pray for all the intentions listed on the cross.

Bishop Noll students, staff, and parents have commented on how great this new structure is and believe that it will continue to bring positivity to the BNI community.