January 30, 2021


Good morning! I’m Isabel Casey

I’m Ella Muller!

And I’m Veronica Capesius! Welcome to a special episode of the “Bear Facts”, where we’re celebrating Catholic Schools Week here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

For the past forty-eight years Catholic Schools Week has been celebrated nationwide every year. President Biden, who went to a Catholic school himself, recently signed an order that officially declared that next week will be Catholic Schools Week for 2021. This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” Garrigan will spend the week celebrating those characteristics.

The week starts at the parish masses this weekend, where Garrigan students will dress to show their school pride. Garrigan has students from all the parishes in the Five Saints and Holy Trinity clusters, as well as from more distant Catholic churches like St. Mary’s in Humboldt and Holy Family in Emmetsburg.

Monday at 8:30 Mayor Rick Murphy will officially open Catholic Schools Week in Algona. Following his declaration, Fr. Matthew will celebrate our Catholic Schools Week mass. Because of COVID-19, only Grades 2, 8, and 12 will attend in person, but the rest of us will be watching mass on a livestream. Student Council members will thank teachers after communion.

Tuesday will be Student Appreciation Day, and we’ll have a black and gold day at school. That morning community supporters can come out to Garrigan for a “Bear Buzz” gathering. Wednesday we’ll be making crafts for nursing home residents, and in the afternoon there will be a schoolwide rosary over Zoom.

Thursday we’ll recognize teachers and those in religious vocations, and it will also be pajama day at school. There will be an out of uniform day on Friday, and the chamber of commerce will have their coffee at Garrigan. We’ll have lots of fun activities that day—including skiing, ice skating, bowling, ice fishing, snowshoe hiking, and a movie. It will be Staff Appreciation Night at the basketball games next Friday night, and we’ll end the week on Saturday with the winter dance.

Last Saturday Garrigan’s entries in the district large group speech contest were judged, and we’re pleased to say that the school earned six Division I ratings and just one Division II. Events earning I’s include the choral reading “Oh! The Places You’ll Go”, the readers’ theatre “Wait ‘Til the Sun Shines, Nellie”, the Ensemble Acting scene “The Mouse and the Raven”, a Group Improvisation, and two Musical Theatre selections: “This World Will Remember Us” and “It’s Been a Long Day”.

All these events will now advance to state, which will be held virtually next Saturday, February 6. Students advancing to state include Annie Burns, Isabel Casey, Maryanne Capesius, Ella Muller, Veronica Capesius, Lillee Deike, Ella Nelson, Molly Bormann, and Mya Kemna.

The state-bound speech students also include Meredith Tigges, Emily Lappe, Violet Bode, Jack Snyder, Joey Trainer, Katelyn Cink, Sam Plathe, Emma Grandgenett, Tara Kron, and Riley Rosenmeyer. Rounding out the group are Brendan Plathe, Benjy Trainer, Anna Berke, Gracie Elsbecker, Bailey Meister, Reese Rosenmeyer, Kelle Bormann, and Marguerite Fakler.

Just like for district, the state speech entries will be recorded ahead of time, using a single non-moving camera and no editing or special effects. Three different judges will critique the entries, and they’ll give their ratings next Saturday. The very top selections will receive all-state nominations, which will receive certificates and medals—even though there will be no actual all-state festival this year.

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Kelle Bormann. Here to tell you about her is Maryanne Capesius.

Kelle Bormann is an Algona native who has been active in speech all through high school. She’s also in choir, and she combined those talents with a Musical Theatre selection that advanced to state contest. Kelle is also a talented artist, and she’s taken advanced math and science classes all through school. She’ll be off to college next year, and we wish her all the best in the future.

Thanks, Maryanne! On our Golden Bear calendar, this morning the boys’ JJV basketball team will be playing at North Union. Then tonight the varsity girls will play a special game versus Cedar Rapids Xavier at Coe College.

Monday we’ll start the day with Catholic Schools Week mass. There’s a basketball quad that night against Lake Mills, making up a game that was snowed out a week and a half ago.

Tuesday the Bears play another quad, this time at Forest City. Then Wednesday we’ll have the annual Blessing of Throats for St. Blaise Day.

Friday there’s even more basketball. This time the Bears will host a quad against West Hancock. Next Saturday the state speech entries will be judged, and that night there’s the big winter dance.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for Catholic Schools Week. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in again next week for more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.