What's recently happened?
Winter is a time to be jolly and united with the community, and that is why Bishop Noll Institute has done unique things to help students enjoy the season and create new memories.
December is a busy month for everyone, but Bishop Noll has managed to create fun activities and events that will allow staff to participate with the student body.
Something that has been going on for years has been a fun battle between classes and teachers: the Christmas door competition. The teachers decorate their doors Christmas-themed while getting the students involved.
The creativity is up to the teachers, and it is up to the students to make the teacher's door dreams come true. The students did things like cut paper, make ornaments, and tape things together. The doors were decorated like Christmas trees, fireplaces, snowmen and more exciting things.
Another event allowed the students to wear their favorite ugly Christmas sweaters to school. The kids were able to get creative and find a Christmas sweater that would fill the school halls with Christmas spirit.
Last but not least, something that all of the student body participated in was the Lady of Guadalupe Mass.
This year was the first time that Bishop Noll hosted the Lady of Guadalupe Mass, and it was organized by the Hispanic Student Union and the Spanish Honor Society.
This mass involved traditional Mexican dancers, an altar for the Lady of Guadalupe, and special roses and readings in both Spanish and English.
A student who was involved in the process was Daisy González, a junior at Bishop Noll who is the co-head of the Hispanic Student Union.
González was involved in the planning process, and she was able to participate in the actual mass as a Eucharistic minister.
She was excited for this mass since it was something different than what Bishop Noll has done before. She also believes that it's a great way to honor the Lady of Guadalupe.
“I think this mass was important because some students didn’t grow up hearing about Our Lady of Guadalupe, and I believe it’s important that Lorenza Pastrick decided to have this mass to educate students a bit on her and her history," González said.
What’s coming up?
A school activity that plans to expand during the upcoming semester is the Science Olympiad.
Science Olympiad is a school activity that is based on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The team goes to competitions against other schools.
The students are able to pick what events they are in, and they do different things to prepare. Some events are test-based, so the kids study and make guides to use, while others are project-based and the students have to bring things they’ve built.
The kids have prepared for the task by having meetings after school and during their free time. They have paired up and decided what plans are best for each event.
The team is mostly filled with seniors and juniors, but there are a couple of freshmen who have stepped up.
A student who has been in the Science Olympiad since elementary school is Junior Mariana González.
The events that she does are trajectory, flight, rocks and minerals, and experimental design. She has prepared for her events by dedicating her time during student resource time at the stream lab to study for the exams.
González is excited for the upcoming competition which will take place at Purdue University Northwest. This competition will also be Regionals for the team.
“What I’m most excited about about the competition is the team bonding. Last year, we all just had fun and enjoyed being together. I’m also excited about the competition itself; I look forward to sharing my knowledge that I’ve obtained for my events with those that I am going against,” she said.
Aibel Joseph is a new teacher at Bishop Noll, and he is doing a good job at settling in with Bishop Noll.
He went to Blessed Robert Sutton Catholic Voluntary Academy in Burton upon Trent, England, and loved school in the social sense.
Joseph was not really at school for the teaching; he loved the atmosphere. He believed that it was truly less about academics and more about friends and the future. This did not mean, however, that Joseph was not serious about his faith.
When Joseph got more serious, he realized that his theology teachers were not the best examples of his faith. This did not stop him from growing; it encouraged him to strengthen his faith.
Joseph is at Bishop Noll because of the Echo program at Notre Dame. This program has allowed him to get two years of teaching experience and an M.A. in theology. The application was not easy since he had to take the SAT for graduate students and had a week-long interview process, but it worked out in his favor.
Joseph was randomly selected to teach at Bishop Noll, but he is glad that he ended up there.
“I am glad I ended up at Bishop Noll because of the diversity of students in the school, the welcoming nature of the students, the phenomenal theology department, and the helpful staff. I think it’s the best Catholic school in the diocese,” he said.
Joseph’s best lesson that he learned while teaching is that each student is different but desires the same thing: to be seen, respected, and engaged.
Joseph chose to be a theology teacher because he wanted his students to be closer to love and salvation after being in his class. He believes that teaching truth in its highest form, even when not accepted, is terrifying yet exciting.
Joseph is excited about the upcoming spring semester because he wants to teach his students how to live their lives in the world while using what they were taught in class.
A student that is excited for the upcoming spring semester is Senior Sophia Méndez.
Méndez is part of Drama Club, Art Club, National Honor Society, Hispanic Student Union (HSU), Multicultural Club, and Women's Empowerment Club.
Méndez’s job in the HSU is to make sure that everyone is present in the meetings and to make sure that people know what is going on. She brainstorms ideas as well for the club and plans events with the other people in charge.
Mendez is excited about the second semester because she has plans for the HSU.
Her focus is planning and creating Lotería Night, a fundraiser that will benefit the Union.
The club have recently done an elote sale which helps for the funds of the Lotería Night. With the funds, they were able to buy decorations, food, prizes, and more.
The HSU wants to work with the Multicultural Club and the Black Student Union after it is done with this event. It also wants to help with one of Bishop Noll's Fish Fries.
Méndez feels that the HSU will have an impact at Bishop Noll by bringing people together and by being here for Hispanic students.
“The club is here to help Hispanic students connect with their culture and learn more about it,” she said. “Most importantly, the HSU is here to bridge the gap between previous alumni students and present students.”