Teacher Spotlight-Ms. Gwiazda
Understanding concepts of science or art and applying those concepts are commonly thought to employ different hemispheres of the brain. Again, according to research, people are often dominant in one area and have less functions in the other. It is rare for an individual to be dominant in both. Bishop Noll is very blessed to have such a person in the guise of Ms. Jennifer Gwiazda. Her areas of expertise are Biology (the study of life) and Art (the visual presentation of the creator’s concept).
Ms. Gwiazda is in her second year at teaching at BNI, but has taught elsewhere, with twelve years in total. She currently teaches Biology, Intro to 2D Art, Advanced 2D art, and digital art. Previous to Noll, she taught Physical Science, Ceramics I, and Ceramics II. Along with teaching at Bishop Noll, she is the moderator for Art Club. So far this year, she and the members of the art club have painted and carved pumpkins, decorated Christmas cookies, made Christmas ornaments, and various other arts and crafts. Gwiazda says that her two passions of art and biology go hand in hand with each class. She is able to incorporate art in biology and biology in art.
Gwiazda said, “The best part about teaching Art and Biology is that I’m passionate about both subjects and I get to have the best of both worlds in my job as a teacher. It doesn’t feel quite right when I’m teaching one of those disciplines, teaching both subjects keeps my days interesting. I get to see my students excel in two very different disciplines: Art and Science, and that’s pretty cool!”
Bishop Noll is very fortunate to have Ms. Gwiazda because she brings a new perspective to both art and biology to the school.
Student Spotlight-David Mendoza
An accurate representation of Bishop Noll’s motto, “Mind, Body, and Soul,” is found in senior David Mendoza. The first part of BNI’s motto in “Mind.” Mendoza is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, participates in Biology and Art Club, tutors, and also has received a full academic scholarship to Swarthmore College from the QuestBridge Scholarship. This educational institution is located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, which is near Philadelphia in the southeastern portion of the Keystone State.
The second part of the BNI motto is “Body.” Mendoza runs Cross Country as well as track and field at Noll. The final part of the motto is “Soul.” One of the reasons Mendoza attended BNI was to grow in his relationship with God. He believes that the schools focus on the spiritual, along with formal religious aspects such as all-school Mass and class retreats have enabled him to prosper in that relationship.
His memories of BNI also include the many friends he has made along the way with the opportunity to serve as a mentor to younger students and represent Noll in the community. Mendoza plans on majoring in Engineering and Spanish. He says he would also like to study Biology.
Mendoza said, “My time at Bishop Noll has been amazing and I would not trade my four years for anything.”
Bishop Noll students and faculty will truly miss him and wish all the best in his future.
What has happened?
Students at Bishop Noll loved getting into the Christmas spirit. One way they did this was by participating in a gift project called “Adopt-a-Friend.” This project was sponsored by Catholic Charities. Bishop Noll has had this tradition take place in early December for the past six years. Every year BNI students adopt families to receive Christmas gifts. This year, there were 6 families with a total of 14 individuals that would receive gifts. Each homeroom was paired with another homeroom and is assigned a “friend.” The “friends” ranged from newborns to adults.
Each student brought $3-$5, so every group had plenty of money to work with. During homeroom time, students went online shopping and, as a class, decided on what gifts to buy with the guidance of their teachers. The students then wrapped the gifts and wrote Christmas cards. The new “friends” joined the BNI community for the annual Spaghetti Dinner and Band/Choir concert. The recipients were very grateful for what the BNI community had done for them and were super excited and thankful for the gifts they received. They were also appreciative of the students’ performances in choir and band.
What is coming up?-Peanut Butter Drive
Have you ever seen hundreds of jars of peanut butter in any context other than a store? Well, Bishop Noll faculty and students have! Every year around January, the BNI Student Council holds a peanut butter drive. Students bring in jars of peanut butter to their homerooms. Usually, an incentive is added to whichever homeroom wins, such as pizza or donuts. Whether a student brings in three jars or thirty jars, each jar of peanut butter is greatly appreciated. All of the peanut butter jars are donated to a local food pantry, who looks forward every year to BNI’s generous donation. These donations are used by needy families in the Calumet Region. The above picture is from the 2017-2018 school year drive.