The Bear Facts
May 5, 2012

Good morning! I’m John Richter!

I’m Austin Salz!

And I’m Craig Kohlhaas! Welcome to a special edition of the “Bear Facts”, where we’re saluting the Class of 2012 here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

The year is almost over for those of us in the Garrigan senior class. There’s just one more day of normal classes, followed by semester tests. We’ll have our baccalaureate mass next Wednesday night, followed by a special awards assembly. Then a week from tomorrow we’ll walk across the stage Garrigan’s fifty-third commencement ceremony.

The seniors chose turquoise and sterling silver as our class colors. The class flower is the white spider mum. Each senior class also has a class motto, and this year’s is “Behind us are memories, beside us are friends; before us are dreams that will never end.” The seniors chose Philip Detrick to give the farewell address at graduation.

There will definitely be some big shoes to fill when the Class of 2012 leaves BGHS. The class is very well-rounded when it comes to sports. This year’s seniors have been state champions in golf; they’ve competed at state or advanced in playoffs in basketball, track, cross-country, football, volleyball, baseball, and softball. Members of our class also helped start the school’s target shooting team.

It’s not just sports where the seniors excel, though. Members of the danz squad and quiz bowl team have continued the schools tradition of competing at nationals in those fields. The Class of 2012 has also led the Garrigan cheerleaders to success in state competition. Senior Austin Salz has won honors for his video production in the Skills USA competition, while Jeanne McCall has twice won the top award at the North Central Conference Art Show.

Members of the Class of 2012 have earned outstanding performance awards in both music and speech, and they’ve been part of some of the best plays, musicals, and concerts we’ve produced at Garrigan. Several have also qualified for state in math competition. Many members of our class are very active in their churches, including four—Daniel Gelhaus, Lizzy Hohmeister, Mallory Bormann, and Emily Bell—who have gone through special training to become Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

A question the Garrigan office gets every year is why it is our seniors always graduate a week before Algona High. If you take a quick look at the school calendars, it’s easy to see why. Just as we do most years, Garrigan started two days earlier than the public schools last fall. Then there were several other days throughout the year when we had school but Algona Community was off. That allows us to finish the state required school days earlier—which is why we’ll be graduating on Mothers Day.

We held class president elections for next year’s student council on Tuesday. Freshmen Ben Vaske and Andrew Miller probably had the most interesting campaign. They showed a video they posted on YouTube, and that helped them get a lop-sided win. The sophomore class had the closest election. In the end Kara Eischen and Kristin Condoleon won a three-way race with just four more votes than their nearest competitors. In the junior class, next year’s class presidents will be Thomas Bradley and Jake Kollasch, and the eighth graders voted in Stephen McCall and Zach Boelter. Congratulations, class presidents!

For the past month and a half we’ve been doing a feasibility study at Bishop Garrigan, looking into the possibility of doing major improvements at the school. The results aren’t final, but the preliminary findings are very encouraging, and it appears we are likely to go ahead with the capital campaign to raise money for renovations. The improvements would provide a new gym, as well as additional office, classroom, and storage space. While we won’t be around to use them, we know future students will really enjoy all the renovations.

Our final Senior Spotlight of the year features Sara Poeppe. Here to tell you about her is Alex Boisjolie.

Sara Poeppe is an Algona native who is best known for her accomplishments in dance. Sara is also one of the core leaders in Garrigan’s Christian Leadership in Action group, and she’s also a two-year member of the National Honor Society. Like most of our seniors, Sara will be off to college in the fall. We wish her—and all the Class of 2012—the very best of luck in the future.

Thanks, Alex! On our Golden Bear calendar this week, there’s boys golf today at Hampton. Then tomorrow speech, drama, band, choir, quiz bowl, and the “Bear Facts” will all pass out awards at the fine arts banquet.

Monday are the North Central Conference golf and track meets. The girls golf meet is at Algona, boys golf is in Ft. Dodge, boys track is at Humboldt, and girls track is in Clarion.

Senior final exams are next Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday night there are try-outs for next year’s football cheer squad. Then Wednesday the chamber choir will head to Iowa State for the Outstanding Performance Showcase.

We’ll have a school mass Wednesday morning. Baccalaureate is Wednesday at 7pm. Then Thursday there’s the district track meet at Lake Mills.

Next Friday there’s sectional boys golf at Lake Park. And then on Mothers Day weekend there’s graduation for the Class of 2012.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for this week—and the last “Bear Facts” show for those of us in the Class of 2012. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in next week when some of the younger Golden Bears will be here to bring you the news from Bishop Garrigan High School.

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