Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Albrecht
Mary Albrecht is a teacher who has taught nearly every subject. When she first started at Bishop Noll five years ago, she was the freshmen theology teacher. Two years ago, she took over the STEM Department. She teaches STEM to all freshmen as well as a select group of eighth graders from nearby catholic grade schools. This year, she is also teaching Intro to Engineering Design to all grade levels.
Before coming to Bishop Noll, she taught social studies. When asked what her favorite part of STEM is, she shared, “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. She also takes summer classes with Project Lead The Way, a nonprofit organization that develops the STEM curriculum for students, to further her knowledge of STEM.
All of us at Bishop Noll are fortunate to have Albrecht as a teacher because she is an asset in all areas of 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 Bishop Noll, Carrasquillo is on the soccer, cross country, and track teams. Carrasquillo is one of very few people who participate in two IHSSA sports during one season. He runs cross country and plays soccer during the fall. There would be some days where he would run a 5k and then drive a half hour to play in a soccer game.
However, school always comes first for Elijah, despite playing two sports. At Bishop Noll, he participates in Academic Super Bowl, Academic Spell Bowl, and National Honor Society. One of the reasons that he came to Bishop Noll is because he achieved a very high score on his entrance exam and was able to get a scholarship. Besides receiving a scholarship, Carrasquillo loved what Bishop Noll had to offer as well as 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 has visited a grade school to put on a confirmation retreat. Carrasquillo shared, “My favorite part about Bishop Noll besides the academics, sports, and clubs 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, including both the ones that are still here and those that have graduated, have 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 Happened?: Bishop Noll Prayer Cross
Are you 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, a picture of a prayer wall that she saw at a conference and told them that she wanted to do something like that here at Bishop Noll.
She was able to have a friend make a 3D life-size cross at the beginning of school year and bring it into the school. Both Fredericksen and the handful of sophomores primed the cross and painted several coats of dark blue chalkboard paint. They then 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 Bishop Noll community.
What’s Coming Up?: Bishop Noll Choir and Band
Christmas time is upon us, which means the Annual Bishop Noll Choir and Band Concert is near. Mr. David Herr is in charge of directing the choir, and this will be his last performance due to taking a time-consuming job in the Diocese of Gary. Not only is the choir performing at Bishop Noll, but they will also be putting on a concert at Hartsfield Village in Munster.
The choir at Bishop Noll is composed of just under 40 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 Broadway musical Rent by Jonathan Larson, and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John. Several other songs, including Christmas tunes, will be performed as well.
Bishop Noll’s band is directed under Mr. Rocco Carriotto. The Bishop Noll Band has about 60 students from grades 9-12. Along with several Christmas songs, the award-winning band will be playing songs including “Moana”, “Sinatra in Concert”, and “Bugs Bunny’s Greatest Hits.” So far, the Marching Warriors have been in several 4th of July, Columbus Day, and Thanksgiving parades. They will additionally perform in New York City in the spring. The Annual Christmas Concert will take place on December 16th at 6 PM. With instruments such as a violin or their own voice, our talented students are excited to perform for the Bishop Noll community.