#1StudentNWI: Bishop Noll Institute’s speech team succeeds and students create new clubs

#1StudentNWI: Bishop Noll Institute’s speech team succeeds and students create new clubs

What’s happened

The speech and debate team at Bishop Noll Institute (BNI) made history earlier this month with their third-place finish at the IHSFA Class A state competition.

Members of the state team included seniors Abigail Kawalec, Ruby Meza, Jacqueline Vazquez, and junior Adrianna Alvarez. Kawalec placed third overall in the United States Extemporaneous and in the top 12 for Impromptu.

Meanwhile, Meza placed in the top 24 for Poetry, Alvarez placed in the top 24 for Original Performance, and Vazquez placed in the top 24 for International Extemporaneous.

state speech

The speech and debate program will truly miss their seniors as their competition season comes to a close, and it has grown and succeeded greatly in the last four years with the class of 2021.

In addition to speech and debate, BNI has a variety of after-school programs. New additions this year include: workshop club, chess club, environmental club, and the recreational dance team.

The workshop club meets after school in the STREAM Lab. In this club, students are able to design and create their own prototypes, use software such as Tinkercad, and use the 3D printer. The club is sponsored by Algebra and Engineering teacher, Brian Lambie, and STEM teacher, Mary Albrecht. 


The chess club meets after school in a designated classroom, which is sponsored by school counselor, Cynthia Kielbasa, and English teacher, Kevin Burgun. Students play against one another on multiple chess sets. As their program begins to grow, they hope to go to chess tournaments next year. 

This year, the environmental club is starting up a recycling program. This new program is focused on recycling in the school and celebrating Earth Day.

The recreational dance team resumed activities this month. Digital Design teacher, Hannah Dominiak, is the sponsor for the club. Participating students get to learn new styles of dance, while getting a good workout in after school. 

These clubs join the many other clubs BNI has to offer including Science Olympiad, campus ministry, video game club, women empowerment club, drama club, and art club. 

courtney blakely


In regard to athletics, senior Courtney Blakely on the Girls Basketball team has made history yet again. She was recently announced as an Indiana All-Star, being the first female ever at BNI to receive this prestigious award.

Academic Achievement

The Bishop Noll Maryknoll National Honor Society Chapter recently announced their new inductees. Senior Karissa Hernandez, juniors Kayla Arambula, Angel Omar Lopez, Bianca Perez, Vanessa Salazar, Julieta Wedryk, and sophomores Juliana Barrera, Itzury Becerra, Luke Buksa, Maria Carbajal, Rebecca Carlos, Marissa Casares, Gino Delli Colli, Hannah Evenson, Brianna Gonzalez, Kinnedi Lewis, Sophia Mendez, Victoria Piskol, Maria Quiroga, Nyree Ruiz, and Adriana Torres-Cruz will all be inducted on April 7, which will also be livestreamed.

All these students have a 3.5 GPA or above and have exceeded in the categories of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. These students join 32 of their peers in this prestigious group.

On April 14, the BNI students who will graduate with distinction will have a banquet to honor their accomplishments. The 18 students who received this accolade are able to invite their parents as well as a teacher who has inspired and guided them throughout their educational journey. 


The BNI drama department is proud to announce that this year’s school musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, will be held April 16-April 18. The musical will be live-streamed each night.

“I am looking forward to this musical because it is my senior year and it’s been extremely important to me to build and maintain relationships with my peers. Drama club is like a second family to me, so the show allows me to build relationships with these incredible people, as well as make art and entertainment,” said senior Olivia Baczkowski, who plays a speller’s mother in the show.

Upcoming events

April 19-24, the Bishop Noll Maryknoll National Honor Society will celebrate National Student Leadership Week for the first time ever. The National Honor Society is teaming up with the BNI Student Ambassador program for this fun week.

There will be a student leadership wall which will include BNI students who have some sort of leadership role at the school such as an officer in a club or a captain of a team. There will be a designated day where students will be encouraged to dress business professional to promote leadership. Finally, there will be a Zoom call with Congressman Frank J. Mrvan to talk about leadership. 

The last major event for April will be the National Honor Society Blood Drive on April 30. The National Honor Society hopes to reach their goal of 40 pints of blood donated.