March 23, 2024

Good morning! I’m Ella Schaaf!

I’m Ben Greteman!

And I’m Abbie Capesius! Thanks for joining us for another episode of the “Bear Facts”, where we’re getting ready for Holy Week here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

This has been a weird week at Garrigan. The biggest reason for that is because about half our students have been gone on a music trip to Nashville. The band and choir saw all the sights, had a live performance, and even did a private recording session down in Music City. Right now they’re on their way home. They’ll stop to go to Palm Sunday mass in Missouri this afternoon, and they should be back in Algona late tonight.

The musicians weren’t the only ones gone this week. On Tuesday Garrigan’s juniors and seniors who weren’t in Nashville were down in Des Moines on a special field trip sponsored by the Iowa Farm Bureau. They toured the capitol, spoke with state legislators, and even made a special visit to the Iowa Supreme Court. The group got a good glimpse at just how our government works.

Another special activity this week was visits to area nursing homes. Freshmen visited the care centers on Monday, sophomores on Wednesday, juniors on Thursday, and seniors on Friday. Students enjoyed visiting and playing games with the all the residents.

We also had a special guest at school this past Monday. Father Ken Geraci has been speaking at Divine Mercy Parish throughout the week, and he spoke to students at Garrigan Monday morning. Fr. Ken explored his transformation from being an agnostic to becoming a priest, and he also talked about the meaning of the Catholic faith. Then on Tuesday he also led our weekly student mass.

There was one more special activity this week. Monday Mrs. Peterson, the Garrigan superintendent, prepared a special all-school game of rock—paper—scissors. Students could challenge each other all day long, and at the end of the day there was a special assembly to crown a rock—paper—scissors champion. The overall winner in the end was freshman Gracelyn Eastman.

Besides having the music students gone all week, another thing that made this week weird was having the calendar show it was spring while the weather went back to winter. Garrigan was supposed to be hosting the CYO track meet this afternoon, but because of cold temperatures that meet has been cancelled. We hope things will turn around and we’ll have some real spring weather before long.

This coming Thursday high school students at Garrigan will have their annual Holy Thursday retreat. There will be several special events that day. Among them BGHS graduate and former teacher Jake Rosenmeyer will be back to discuss his call to the priesthood and life in seminary. There will also be a special presentation on the mission trip to Mississippi. The retreat helps everyone prepare for the coming Easter holiday.

Next Monday three Garrigan students will be heading to Cedar Falls to perform at the All-State Speech Festival. Brooke Ludwig and Sam Plathe were selected for all-state in the field of Spontaneous Speaking, where they have to give a speech about current events on the spot, without any advanced preparation.

Violet Bode will be performing at all-state in the field of musical theatre. In that category actors sing a song from a musical. The goal isn’t just to sing well, though, but to get the character across and act out the meaning of the song. Congratulations to Violet, Sam, and Brooke on being selected for all-state speech.

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Austin Denker. Here to tell you about him is Zach Warren.

Lately Austin Denker has been studying to take his CDL test to drive big trucks. That will mostly help him as he continues a career in farming. Austin works on two family farms—one in Kossuth County and the other near Carroll. At school he’s one of the people who helps to keep the student website up to date. We wish Austin all the best after graduation.

Thanks, Zach. Because of the upcoming Easter holiday, we’ve got two weeks of events on our Golden Bear calendar. This weekend is Palm Sunday, and tonight students return from the music trip.

Monday is the all-state speech festival at UNI. We’ll have mass on Tuesday. Then Wednesday and Thursday there’s parish busing because the Algona Community Schools aren’t in session.

There’s an elementary music concert Wednesday night, and the junior class will have their retreat that night too. Thursday we’ll have our annual day of reflection, with an early dismissal that afternoon.

There’s no school activities on Good Friday, Holy Saturday, or Easter Sunday. Things start up again on Monday, April 1, with a home boys golf meet vs. Spencer and girls golf at Humboldt. Classes resume on Tuesday the 2nd, and there’s girls track at Clear Lake that night.

Thursday, April 4, the girls track team runs at Eagle Grove, and there’s a home coed golf meet with Belmond Klemme and North Iowa. On Friday the 5th there’s boys track at Clarion, and Saturday the 6th is prom night 2024.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for March. We’ll be off next week because of the Easter holiday, but be sure to join us again on April 6 to hear more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.