Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas Day #6: A Semester in Review

Sitting on the cusp of 2010, the start of our next semester and the beginning of a new decade, I find myself looking back at what has been a memorable Fall Semester. Please allow me the pleasure of reliving some of those moments.

The year officially began for some students on August 19, as our new freshmen class arrived for Freshmen Orientation. We were particularly excited to have nine Armleder students join their North Campus classmates, our largest Armleder contingent yet. While the class of 2013 was smaller than the previous year, the percentage of new faces to CHCA was higher, with nearly a third of the class coming from the outside. Not only did students join us from middle schools across the Tri-State area, but Hee Woo Choi and Da Sol Kim arrived from Korea, while Che Li joined the class from China. I spoke with the students about the history and tradition they were joining at the MSL High School and we took a tour of the campus. They were then oriented to high school life, participated in a session on study skills, did team building exercises with Student Ambassadors, and finished with a “Schedule Scavenger Hunt” that ended with students trying out their locker combinations. Everyone who successfully opened his/her locker (everyone to my knowledge), found a neon green freshmen class t-shirt. Thanks to this day, freshmen seemed more at ease on the first day of school.

We began our year as a community with our Opening Convocation at Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church on August 20th. It was a beautiful time for all of us to open our year with prayer and worship. Unfortunately our attendance was much lower than expected for the event but it was a meaningful time for all who participated.

Our first week ended with a celebration. Despite the early hour, a rowdy student body packed into the gym bleachers to root on the Eagles in a 7 AM pep rally on live television. The Fox 19 crew did live news spots and weather broadcasts from campus with performances by the pep band, Encore, and the cheerleaders. Players, coach, and AD were all interviewed as well. The network crew commented on our spirit. They said we’d be a hard act to follow and that we’d set the bar high for all schools to come.

In chapel Mr. Salkil kicked off the year with a series entitled “My School.” He focused each week on a different aspect that makes us unique: our identity in Christ, service, and worship. He highlighted how we are a community that shares life together and that we are to challenge each other to grow in our faith in Christ.

As we moved into the second quarter, we celebrated Spirit Week and our school’s twentieth year anniversary. Students showed their spirit, dressing for Nerd Day, Western Day, Twin Day, College Teams, and Class Colors. The highlight of the Spirit Competition was our first ever Homecoming Float Competition and halftime parade. Keeping wih the theme “There’s No Place Like Home,” the freshmen pulled the unexpected upset. A blow out for the football team and a beautiful Homecoming Dance at the Phoenix capped off a memorable week.

A memorable moment for me was at the 20th Year Anniversary program when alumni from each graduating class introduced themselves and told where they are now. It was humbling to see the outcome of the teaching and learning and growing we do here together. Then current students, from high school all the way down to pre-school , introduced themselves as future graduates. Our future is bright!

A number of other moments stick out so far this year. The Three Musketeers received rave reviews. The Eagles win against North Hardin on a game ending field goal was historic. Encore made us proud in their many performances, from the National Anthem at the Reds game to opening for the Lindner Great American Financial Christmas party. We were well represented at the Girls State Tennis meet, with a singles and a doubles representative. The MSL High School was listed in the Cincinnati Magazine issue on high schools as one of five schools named in the General Excellence category. Mr. Baker’s homeroom of freshmen guys, Baker’s Dozen, beat all odds and won the Homeroom Dodge Ball Tournament in front of a wild student body. The AP Art Exhibit "Drawn" awed all in attendance. And at the end of the semester, we were led into the Christmas season at the Sacred Music concert at St. Xavier church, where all of our musical groups and ensembles shared their musical gifts as an offering of worship.

The list of all the wonderful moments so far this year could go on and on. But much is still ahead. What will happen next? May we at CHCA have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

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