January 13, 2018

Good morning! I’m Megan Wadle!

I’m Sam Trainer!

And I’m Ben Degen! Thanks for tuning in to the “Bear Facts”, the show where each week we keep you in touch with all the news at Bishop Garrigan High School.

Back in the fall we told you about two big projects the school was working on—a new hard-surface track and a chapel large enough to handle our current needs. Over Christmas break we received major contributions to both of these projects, and the track in particular has been green-lighted to go ahead. Drainage work has already been completed all around the football field, and the hard-surface paving should be done this spring.

Architectural plans for the new chapel can be found on the school websites, together with letters explaining the need and how contributions will be used. As part of the chapel project, we will be giving a new home to statues and stained glass windows from St. Benedict Church. We encourage everyone to consider contributing to the project. Check out or to find out more about it.

There’s one more construction project underway right now. We received funds specifically designated for a major renovation in the school’s main lobby. Changes have included a new feature wall of large gray tiles and a large cabinet that divides the area and provides a focal point to display the painting of our namesake, Bishop Philip Garrigan. New flooring will be installed soon to complete the project. Thanks to the Buscher family who contributed to the project.

The school recently received the results of last fall’s Iowa Assessments, the standardized tests students around the state take each year. While no student thinks of ITEDs as a very important test, overall the school’s results this year were impressive. In the high school every single junior placed in the proficient category in math, and every freshman was proficient in social studies. 

There was also 100% success in first grade math and third grade social studies, and on half of the tests given last fall, more than 90% of Garrigan and Seton students had good scores—which is one of the best showings of any school in Iowa. Congratulations to both students and teachers for making that happen.

January is a busy time for the Bishop Garrigan music department. On Tuesday, January 23rd, Garrigan will compete in the Iowa Lakes Show Choir competition. While we’ve always had a show choir at Garrigan, it’s been decades since the group actually competed. Our new choir director, David Fog, has been active in show choir for years, though, and he’s looking to build the group here.

Also coming up is the Sioux City Diocese Band Festival, which will be held in Storm Lake on Wednesday, January 24. Top musicians from all over northwest Iowa will be honored at the event. Representing Bishop Garrigan are flautist Layah DeLange, Jordan Hansen and Megan Besch on clarinet, trumpeters Megan Bronk and Emma Thul, Sami Darling on the French horn, Ashlyn Harrington and Derrick Kirsch on trombone, and tuba player Logan Heying. Congratulations to them!

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Emerald Shipler. Here to tell you about her is Caitlin Thilges.

One of Emerald Shipler’s biggest activities over the years has been FFA. She’s been an officer in the Algona FFA and has been to national conventions for that organization. She’s also among the top competitors on Garrigan’s trap-shooting team. Over the years her other activities have included things like speech and Christian Leadership in Action. Emerald plans to head off to college next year, and we wish her all the best in the future.

Thanks, Kate. On our Golden Bear calendar, the second semester starts on Monday. We’ll have parish busing that day because the Algona Community Schools are not in session.

Monday night there’s JJV basketball, with the Bears hosting Lake Mills. Then on Tuesday the JV and varsity basketball teams travel to Lake Mills for a basketball quad.

Wednesday we’ll start the day with a student mass. There’s a Gala meeting that afternoon. The school board meets at Seton on Thursday, and that night there’s JJV basketball with the Bears taking on Mason City Newman.

Next Friday we’ll have an out of uniform day to raise money for the student gift for Gala. The Bears will be hosting Eagle Grove that night. Finally next Saturday there’s the district large group speech contest at Spencer.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for another week. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to listen again next Saturday, when we’ll be back with more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.