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Articles on this Page
- 11/01/17--10:00: _Students Attend Con...
- 11/02/17--09:49: _Homecoming 2017 in ...
- 11/10/17--12:36: _Conferences and Kai...
- 11/15/17--08:24: _District Chorus Honors
- 11/17/17--13:57: _O'Connell Teacher N...
- 11/20/17--10:00: _DJO Dads Club Underway
- 11/21/17--06:28: _A Thanksgiving Message
- 12/01/17--08:37: _Look Up
- 12/05/17--09:28: _Royalettes Dance at...
- 12/08/17--13:02: _A Long Blue and Gra...
- 11/01/17--10:00: Students Attend Concert Against Hate
- 11/02/17--09:49: Homecoming 2017 in Pictures
- 11/10/17--12:36: Conferences and Kairos and Shakespeare, oh my!
- 11/15/17--08:24: District Chorus Honors
- 11/17/17--13:57: O'Connell Teacher Named to ARISS Education Committee
- 11/20/17--10:00: DJO Dads Club Underway
- 11/21/17--06:28: A Thanksgiving Message
- 12/01/17--08:37: Look Up
- 12/05/17--09:28: Royalettes Dance at Regional Competition
- 12/08/17--13:02: A Long Blue and Gray Line
A group of 20 O'Connell students and faculty members attended the annual Anti-Defamation League's Concert Against Hate, held on Monday, Oct. 30 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
The National Symphony Orchestra performed a selection of music, including Stephen Falherty's "Make Them Hear You," from Ragtime and John Williams' theme from Schindler's List. The evening's hosts included Academy Award-winner, Louis Gossett Jr., along with Emmy Award-winner Blythe Danner.
"It was a powerful experience, especially hearing from holocaust survivor, Ann Jaffe," said chaperone Monica Stabile.
Jaffe is a retired educator of Jewish studies, who has impacted countless communities by sharing her story of survival to schools, churches and universities. She was born in a small village in Poland and was only 10 when the Nazi's first invaded her village. After being liberated, her father said to her, "I don't ever want to hear the word hate come out of your mouth." He told her, "Find kindness in your heart instead, because that was what made us different from those who did this to us."
"A Knight on the Red Carpet" was this year's Homecoming theme. A week of special dress days were capped off with a Saturday afternoon football game and a beautifully decorated gym for students to dance the night away!
View photo highlights below or at http://www.bishopoconnell.org/cf_media/index.cfm?t...
THOUGHTS FROM OUR HEAD OF SCHOOL, DR. JOSEPH VORBACH:
The first quarter of the school year is over and it went by very quickly. A lot has happened since I last wrote on October 27th, a day when all the teachers in the entire Diocese were at O'Connell for what turned out to be an excellent day of professional development featuring education thought leader, Todd Whitaker.
We went from Homecoming into a week that featured our first Kairos retreat of the year. We are able to offer these retreats several times a year thanks to the talents of our retreat coordinator, Ed Fitzpatrick, and the willingness of faculty who make the commitment to being retreat leaders. Speaking as the parent of a DJO grad who really loved her Kairos experience, I can attest to the power of that experience and I thank everyone who makes these four-day experiences possible.
Just earlier this week, we had parent-teacher conferences and I hope many of you were able to take advantage of these opportunities. Our team at the school is, of course, always available for conversation about matters of concern to you, but these conferences provide a good, formally scheduled chance to meet and discuss progress.
The freshmen held their elections for class officers this week. I am always especially proud of those who present themselves before their classmates and compete in the arena for an opportunity to be involved in student government. It takes courage to do this, as well as some thoughtful preparation.
Something else that requires courage and a lot of thoughtful preparation (rehearsal) is performing in a school play. It was my privilege last night to see the opening performance of Romeo and Juliet. Our student actors have clearly poured themselves into their preparation for this performance and I hope you get a chance to see their efforts this weekend. A number of the roles required the actors to commit to memory hundreds of lines. Romeo and Juliet, by one estimate, share over 1,100 lines between them during the play. It's impressive work and as you watch them perform, it's hard not to think about the way this experience will transform their adult lives -- as critical thinkers, persuasive public speakers, conflict mediators and so on.
Looking ahead, we have the second round of senior retreats next week, the Turkey Blitz is underway to support the Missionaries of Charity in Washington, DC, and it's Discover Catholic Schools Week next week -- if you have the chance to encourage someone to discover Bishop O'Connell, please do. We'd love to give them a tour and or have their child shadow one of our students to get to know the O'Connell experience.
On Saturday, Nov. 4, Bishop O'Connell High School choir students attended the annual District XII Choral Auditions. Over 700 students from Fairfax and Arlington county public and private high schools participated in the auditions with 235 selected to form the two choirs for the event. Students receive scores for their audition in the categories of vocal tone, intonation, rhythmic accuracy, interpretation, and sight reading. Thirteen Bishop O'Connell students and one alternate were selected for the 2018 District XII Chorus and will participate in a festival on February 8-10.
District XII is one of several districts in the state of Virginia created by the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA). The District Choral Auditions are very competitive due to the high level of excellence among choral programs in the northern Virginia area. The mission of the Virginia Music Educators Association is to provide leadership and professional development to ensure quality music education.
Pictured below – Back row (l to r): Audrey Somerville, Andrew Oliveros, Anthony Socarras, Peter Lucas, Nikolas Rocha, Audrey Gaskins, Elise Welsh. Front row: Ava Coffin, Annemarie Wolf, Emma Powers, Caitlin Mea, Grace Rafferty, Lara Sunter (not pictured: William Varfis).
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) group has named Melissa Pore to their U.S. Education Committee.
Melissa Pore is on the science faculty at Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington, Va., where she teaches engineering and technology. Previously, she was the director of technology programs and computer teacher at nearby St. Thomas More Cathedral School, where she helped grade school students successfully build and launch the first elementary school satellite as part of the NASA CubeSat Initiative. Pore is also a member of the Goddard Amateur Radio Club, AMSAT of North America, and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). She earned her first amateur radio license in 2014 and presently holds an FCC Technician Class license as KM4CZN.
The ARISS program provides learning opportunities by connecting students via real-time amateur radio contacts to astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The program is possible because of a partnership between NASA, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, the American Radio Relay League, and other amateur radio organizations and space agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe. The program's goal is to inspire students worldwide to pursue interests and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by doing hands-on activities about space and amateur radio.
The ARISS-US Education Committee provides guidance on the educational aspect of the program and Pore joins a small group of educators from across the United States who were named to the committee.
"I am honored to join the ARISS team of educators, engineers, and innovators who are leaping beyond our earthly foothold to inspire the next generation of explorers," said Pore. "With more than 1,130 amateur radio contacts directly between students and astronauts, this program is an important aspect of the space program's educational outreach, and I am thrilled to be a part of this."
For more information on ARISS, visit www.ariss.org.
THOUGHTS FROM OUR HEAD OF SCHOOL, JOSEPH VORBACH:
I parked my car at school this morning just before 7 a.m. As I headed toward the doors at the Trinidad Street entrance to the school, I heard footsteps behind me and I held the door for a student and her mother who were hurrying into the school. As we got into the hallway, I noticed how quickly the mother and daughter were walking and said, "You guys are on a mission," and they said they were trying to get to Mass on time. A moment later, three young ladies in the junior class went running by, said good morning, and said they too were going to Mass. At this point, I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking to me. I'd forgotten about First Friday Mass in the student chapel and I was heading for my office with my breakfast in hand. But the image of students and parents running to Mass was too much. I went to Mass, drawn by the thought of a mom and daughter and a group of classmates who'd obviously made plans to get to Mass together on this Friday morning.At the beginning of the year, Bishop Burbidge encouraged all of us to "look up" -- to look to the Lord. Yesterday, I looked up and saw this spectactular sunrise over the school. Today, I was drawn by others to head to the chapel and look up.
Congratulations to O'Connell's Royalette Dance Team who earned 1st, 2nd and 3rd place team awards, as well as several individual honors, at the Dec. 3 Dance Team Union Regional Competition held at Fairfax High School. The event brought dance teams from a number of high schools around the area, including Brooke Point, Chantilly, Centreville, Dominion, Fairfax, McLean, Oakton, Paul VI and Woodson.
As a team, the Royalettes earned 1st Place in Varsity Team Performance, 2nd Place in Varsity Jazz, and 3rd Place in Varsity Pom. In addition, members of the team earned recognition individually:
Junior Solo (ages 13-15)
1st Place - Gaby Dominguez '20
2nd Place - Audrey Gaskins '21
Senior Solo (ages 16+)
3rd Place - Haley Breaux '18
4th Place - Erika Williams '18
7th Place - Julia Stievater '19
8th Place - Katarina Visek '18
Junior Duo (ages 13-15)
1st Place - Angelina Lucchetti '20/Sophia Maceo '20
Senior Duo (ages 16+)
1st Place - Erika Williams '18/Haley Breaux '18
2nd Place - Gaby Dominguez '20/Julia Stievater '19
"I couldn't ask for a harder working team," said Head Coach Chrissy Salvador. "Each competition is a stepping stone towards Nationals. We just competed two weeks ago, and with our seniors in New York for the Macy's Parade, plus the Thanksgiving Break, we made last minute modifications. These girls stepped up, and we couldn't be happier with the results they so deserved."
What's next for the Royalettes? A very busy basketball schedule, along with preparations for the East Coast Regional Championships and the UDA National Championships at the end of the month.
Find out more about the Bishop O'Connell Royalette Dance Team at www.bishopoconnell.org/dance.
Pictured above: The Royalettes with their awards.
Pictured below: The Royalettes posing with their friends from the Paul VI dance team.