The Bear Facts ... April 25, 2009

Good morning! I'm Kelly Rouse!

And I'm Ashley Beisch! Welcome to a special "Bear Facts", where it's time for Prom 2009 here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

This year's prom theme is "Island Paradise", and the junior class has been working hard to transform the gym into a tropical dreamland. At the center of the prom decorations is a huge cruise ship, and there's also an island and a waterfall. According to junior student council officer Molly Brashear, the effect is very bright and watery, and it should provide a wonderful setting for everyone at prom.

For many prom-goers the evening will begin with a special dinner at Sister Sarah's. Then there's the all the photographs, followed by Prom itself. The Grand March is at 8:30 tonight, and the public is invited to come and check out all the stylish prom-goers. The fun continues with After-Prom, which this year will be held at the State Street Theaters. Putting everything together, it's an all-night celebration.

Today is also a big day for the Golden Bear math team. The state mathematics finals are being held today at West High School in Iowa City. Juniors Brittany Berte and Luke McCall and sophomores Alex Hamilton and Michael Fakler got up very early today to get down to Iowa City for the event. They'll be working hard all day taking tests and answering tough questions, hoping to quality for the Midwestern regional mathematics championships, which will be held in Kansas City next month. Seniors Ben Hellman and Kelly Rouse and junior Rebeccah Erdman also qualified for state, but unfortunately they won't be able to compete today.

Last weekend the Garrigan band and choir had several entries at the state solo and ensemble contest in Armstrong. They had an awesome day, taking home ten Division I or "superior" ratings, as well as seven Division II or "good" awards and one Division III. Vocalists Rebecca Brosnan, Anna Kollasch, Cassie Reising, Alec Boeckholt, and Becky Jennings all earned I's, as did trombone soloist Alex Hamilton. The madrigal ensemble, percussion duet, saxophone quartet, and percussion ensemble were also judged superior. Earning II's were Hannah Bode, Michael Hellman, Vinny Humble, Philip Detrick, and Becky Jennings, as well as the chamber choir and trombone trio. The girls triple trio received a Division III or "good" rating.

Solo and ensemble contest went especially well for seniors Rebecca Brosnan and Alec Boeckholt. In each center, the judges name the one performance they felt was the best of the day as an "outstanding performer", and both Rebecca and Alec earned that top honor. Both sang selections from Handel's Messiah. Rebecca sang "O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion", while Alec's performance was called "The Trumpet Will Sound". They will perform their award-winning selections on May 12 in Ames at the music association's Outstanding Performer Showcase. Congratulations to Alec and Rebecca, and to vocal director Linda Ferjak!

Next Wednesday we'll have our annual Stewardship Day here at Garrigan. This event, which dates back more than a decade, is a time when every student and teacher pitches in to help out in the school and community. The whole school is divided into groups of five to ten, each of which works on different projects. Some do spring cleaning in the school building, while others get the baseball and softball fields ready for summer. Other groups do projects in the different parish churches around the area. The student council will spend the morning doing their annual "adopt-a-highway" project, cleaning up highway 18 around Sexton. Everyone works hard, but it's also a fun break from the routine.

Last Monday was a special day for Garrigan's freshman class. Bishop Walker Nickless was in Algona to confirm the ninth graders as full members in the Catholic Church. Confirmation is a year-long process, and the freshmen have been studying and doing service projects to get ready for the big event. Congratulations to all our freshmen on their confirmation!

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Jenna Carlson. Here to tell you about her is Shanna Miller.

Jenna Carlson is an Algona native who you might have seen working at the local Dairy Queen. Her activities have included quiz bowl, speech, and Christian Leadership in Action, and you'll see her in the crowd at pretty much every Golden Bear event. When she's not at school, Jenna relaxes by bike riding. She plans to major in business at Iowa State next year, and we wish her all the best in the future.

Thanks, Shanna. On our Golden Bear calendar this week, there's the state math finals today in Iowa City. Then tonight there's the "Island Paradise" for Prom night 2009.

Next Tuesday there's boys track at Emmetsburg, and the girls track team runs at Forest City. Also on Tuesday the golfers have triangulars with Webster City and Hampton-Dumont.

Wednesday is Stewardship Day. That afternoon we'll have the intramural basketball championships, and after that the faculty will plan the activity calendar for 2009-2010.

There's cheerleading tryouts Wednesday afternoon. Thursday the track teams run at NSK. Then next Friday is May Day, and we'll have First Friday adoration in the Garrigan chapel.

Friday night there's boys track at Hampton and the golf teams take on Clarion. Finally next Saturday the quiz bowl team will compete in the NAQT state finals at Iowa State University.

That's the "Bear Facts" for April. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in again next week for more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.

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