The Bear Facts

December 18, 2010

(Jingle bells ring)

Keisie Berke:  Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas! 

I’m Anna Kollasch!

And I’m Michael Hellman! Seasons greetings from the “Bear Facts”, and a very Merry Christmas from all of us at Bishop Garrigan High School.


The holidays are here. Both the band and choir have held their Christmas concerts, and decorations are up in the lobby and in lots of classrooms around the school. Next week we’ll full days of school on Monday and Tuesday, but we’ll take time out for Advent prayer and a Christmas traditions service. Then Wednesday we’ll have our schoolwide Christmas mass, and we’ll dismiss early for Christmas vacation.

Every year at Christmas lots of groups pitch in to try to make the holidays a happier time for needy people around the area. This year student council, Christian Leadership in Action, and HOSA all adopted families from the CARE Team’s holiday list. The faculty chipped in to help out the families of the victims who were murdered last month, and they also bought gifts for residents at area care centers. The band and choir have also gotten into the act. They’ve been sharing their talents, spreading Christmas joy around the community.


The quiz bowl team had a reason to celebrate early this Christmas. We told you last week that their score in the Knowledge Master was more than a hundred points higher than last year. We found out this past week that Garrigan was the top small school in Iowa in the Knowledge Master, and one of the top small schools anywhere in the country. The Bears’ score of 1201 compared with other area schools like Mason City Newman with 1049, Humboldt with 980, Ankeny with 829, Clay Central Everly with 781, and Northwood Kensett with 606.

The Bears are hoping for more holiday magic as they compete again today in quiz bowl. The South O’Brien tournament that was scheduled for last weekend was postponed due to snow. Garrigan has both a varsity and a JV team entered in today’s tournament. After Christmas they’ll compete in another area tournament at Sioux Central, and later in the season they have a Midwest regional tournament in Omaha and nationals in New Orleans.


For the holidays, we gave a survey to Garrigan students. We asked people what their plans were over the holidays. While the most popular answer was spending time with family, there were some other answers. Zach Keith said he’ll be playing “Call of Duty”, Kelsie Berke listed karaoke among her plans, Logan Smith wants to go four-wheeling, and Chelsea Doughan says she’ll drink gallons of hot chocolate with giant marshmallows.

Next we asked people what they wanted for Christmas. A lot of people wanted electronic stuff. Kenzie Eischen wants a Nook, Lana Larson and Mariah McCall both want cameras, and Shelby Schindler wants a netbook. Chris Loss wants a Droid, and Kelsie Rahe said she’d like a laptop—or maybe a dog. Kelsie Berke wants a boyfriend. Other things on people’s gift lists included money, Vikings tickets, clothes, make-up, a snowmobile, and a llama.

Our question asked people for their best Christmas memory. Both Darwin Cole and Levi Bernahrd said it was getting a Wii, while Nate Krieps responded “eating food”. Anna Kollasch said her best memory was hanging out with her cousins in a blizzard, while both Jacob Behr and Sabrina Book said their top Christmas memory was getting a snowmobile. Emily Bell likes her family’s tradition of watching A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation, and Rebecca Molsberry says nothing can top the memory of her grandma cranking open a window and shooting squirrels out of trees. Eric Baumann says he has too many good memories to tell, and McKayla Loss spoke for lots of her classmates when she said, “Every Christmas is the best because I’m with all my family.”

Finally we asked people what their worst Christmas memory was. Several people said it was being snowed in last year at Christmas, and they definitely don’t want that kind of weather again. Other people, though, said their worst memories were of Christmases when there wasn’t any snow. Shawn Vaske remembers eating a whole pan of green bean casserole and then getting very sick that night. Michael Berke remembers a failed attempt to do a back flip on his snowboard. Both Bailey Kohlhaas and Corey Weydert remember getting nothing but clothes for Christmas, and Brayton Loss remembers spending the holiday stuck at the Denver airport. Then there was Neal Koob, who says his worst memory was finding out he had made cookies and put them out on Christmas Eve—just so his parents could eat them.


Our Senior Spotlight for the holidays shines on Anna Kollasch. Here to tell you about her is Kelsie Berke.

Anna Kollasch is a Whittemore native who is active in lots of stuff and does well at almost everything she tries. Anna has gone to all-state in both speech and choir, and she’s a four-time national qualifier in quiz bowl. She also presented a report at the World Food Prize conference in Des Moines. Anna is active in basketball, cross-country, and track, and she also keeps busy with publications, band, Christian Leadership, and National Honor Society. Anna loves politics and always keeps up on current events. When she’s not at Garrigan, you might hear her voice as the “Sunday girl” here on KLGA. She’ll be off to college next year, and we wish Anna all the best in the future.


Thanks, Kelsie. On our Golden Bear calendar, there’s quiz bowl today in Paullina. Then this afternoon the Bears will play Webster City in a make-up match that was postponed from two weeks ago.

Tomorrow is the fourth Sunday of Advent. Monday we’ll have our annual Christmas traditions service at Garrigan. That night the freshman basketball teams host Clarion Goldfield.

Tuesday there’s the big holiday basketball match-up of the crosstown rivals. This year Garrigan is hosting the varsity games, with the JV at Algona High. Between the games we’ll have an open house for families who are interested in sending their students to Garrigan or Seton.

Wednesday we’ll have Christmas mass. Then we’ll dismiss at 2:15 for Christmas vacation. There are no activities over the holidays, and school starts up again on Monday, January 3rd.

The basketball Bears play at Eagle Grove on Tuesday the 4th, and that Thursday the freshmen play at NSK. Then Friday, January 7th the varsity Bears travel to Iowa Falls.


That’s the “Bear Facts” for 2010. We’ll be off for the next two weeks as we celebrate Christmas and New Year’s, but we’ll be back again Saturday, January 8, 2011, with more news from Garrigan. Until then …

EVERYBODY: MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

(Jingle bells ring.)


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