(Jingle bells ring at start)

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas, everybody! I’m Jake Rosenmeyer!

And I’m Stephanie Kajewski! Seasons greetings from all of us here at the “Bear Facts”, where we’re getting ready for Christmas vacation at Bishop Garrigan High School.

If you look around school, you can definitely tell Christmas is coming. There’s a big Christmas tree in the main lobby, and the secretaries are playing holiday carols over the intercom. There’s also two nativity scenes, an Advent wreath, and some garlands adding to the festive spirit. A lot of the individual classrooms have special decorations, too. Mr. Kohlhaas always puts up a Jesse tree, which he uses to count down the days of Advent, and for as long as he’s been at Garrigan Mr. Burrow has hung a paper chain in his room with the names of all the students he teaches. A new decoration this year is a little forlorn Charlie Brown Christmas tree that Mrs. Schiltz put up in her room. It all helps us get ready for Christmas.

The holidays are always a time for giving and helping other people, and we’ve been doing a lot of that at Garrigan the past few weeks. Both the student council and our health classes have bought gifts for four needy families from the CARE Team’s Adopt-a-Family project. Student council members were especially pleased to be able to help Santa get a remote control truck and a Hannah Montana comforter for kids who especially wanted them.

The Christian Leadership in Action group has also been busy collecting winter coats and also helping out with the Toys for Tots drive. Some students also helped deliver fruit baskets for St. Cecelia’s parish. The faculty has gotten into the giving spirit, too. The Garrigan staff lent a helping hand to two area families, and at their Christmas party last week they collected around $500 in donations that will help buy gifts for residents at the area care centers.

Religion is always an important part of school here at Garrigan, and it’s especially important at the holidays. Each Monday in Advent we’ve had a brief prayer service at school to light candles on the Advent wreath. We’ll have a special service next Monday where we’ll remember the origins of different Christmas traditions. Then we’ll have our all-school Christmas mass on Tuesday, as we get ready for vacation.

The quiz bowl team had another early Christmas gift last weekend. Both the varsity and JV teams made playoffs, and the varsity finished in second place overall at the South O’Brien Tournament in Paullina. While the questions were the toughest of the year, both Garrigan teams had perfect 4 – 0 records going into playoffs. The JV fell to the top seeds from Sergeant Bluff—Luton, while the varsity beat Unity Christian in the semi-finals and then narrowly lost to Odebolt—Arthur—Battle Creek—Ida Grove in the championship game.

The Bears have competed in six quiz bowl tournaments this year, and they’ve made the playoffs at every one of them. Congratulations to Jake Rosenmeyer, Rebeccah Erdman, Brittany Berte, Michael Fakler, Drew Magill, Alex Hamilton, Philip Detrick, Alison Frideres, and Zach Scobba on their success at South O’Brien. The next quiz bowl competition will be January 9, 2010, when they’ll compete in the Twin Lakes Invitational at Sioux Central.

Speech season has started. District large group contest will be about a month from now in Spencer, and Garrigan will have ten events entered. The varsity events include a readers’ theatre called “Oh, What a Tangled Web”, acting ensembles called “The Committee Meeting” and “But Listen”, two improvisation groups, a group mime, and musical theatre selections “Singing in the Rain” and “Anatomy of a Musical”. There’s also two freshman entries: an improvisation group and the readers’ theatre selection “Kiss Me Quick, I’m Double-Parked”. Best wishes to all the speech entries!

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Trista Cantu. Here to tell you about her is Rachel Berte.

Trista Cantu will be graduating at the end of the first semester. Over the years she’s been especially active in health classes and the Health Occupations Student Association. In the past she was also in band and choir. After graduating Trista will be helping out at home and also working to earn money for college. We wish her all the best in the future.

Thanks, Rachel! With the holidays coming, we’ve got three weeks of events on our Golden Bear calendar. Tomorrow is the fourth Sunday of Advent, and Monday we’ll have the holiday traditions service put on by Christian Leadership in Action.

Monday night the freshman basketball teams play NSK at Swea City. Then on Tuesday we’ll start the day with Christmas mass at St. Cecelia’s. We’ll have short classes all day, with a holiday dismissal at 2:15 in the afternoon.

Tuesday night the basketball teams are looking for a holiday win over Algona High. Garrigan will host the JV games that night, with the varsity across town. Then we’ll all celebrate the holidays with our families.

School starts again on Wednesday, January 4, 2010, which is the Feast of St. Elizabeth Seton. That night there’s freshman basketball, with the Bears hosting Humboldt.

The games with St. Ed’s that were originally scheduled for Tuesday the 5th have been moved to Wednesday, January 6. The cross-country team will be serving a chili supper during the games that night.

Thursday, January 7, the freshman basketball squads host NSK, and then Friday the 8th there’s varsity basketball, with the Bears welcoming Hampton—Dumont. Finally on Saturday the 9th the math team travels to Iowa Falls and the quiz bowl team plays at Sioux Central.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for 2009. We’ll be off for the next two weeks because of Christmas, but be sure to join us on Saturday, January 9, 2010 when we’ll be back with more news from Bishop Garrigan High School. Until then …


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