November 21, 2014

Band salutes a favorite priest, students excel and educator is honored

Band members of Father Michael Shawe Memorial Jr./Sr. High School in Madison pose on Oct. 17 with Father Hilary Meny outside SS. Peter and Paul Church in Haubstadt, Ind., in the Evansville Diocese. Father Meny has been a longtime supporter of Shawe’s band, which also became a marching band for the first time this school year. (Submitted photo)

Band members of Father Michael Shawe Memorial Jr./Sr. High School in Madison pose on Oct. 17 with Father Hilary Meny outside SS. Peter and Paul Church in Haubstadt, Ind., in the Evansville Diocese. Father Meny has been a longtime supporter of Shawe’s band, which also became a marching band for the first time this school year. (Submitted photo)

(Editor’s note: The Criterion once again offers its monthly salute to the success stories of Catholic schools in the archdiocese.)

Compiled by John Shaughnessy

Marta Belt became overwhelmed with emotion as she watched nearly-100-year-old Father Hilary Meny react to the special performance for him by the first marching band of Father Michael Shawe Memorial Jr./Sr. High School in Madison.

“It made chills run down your spine to watch Father Meny, who will be 100 in January, move his hands like he was conducting the band,” recalled Belt, a band parent, of the special moment on Oct. 17.

On their way to a state musical competition in Evansville, Ind., that evening, the band stopped in nearby Haubstadt to salute Father Meny, who led the effort to establish Shawe High School and Pope John XXIII School, both in Madison. Father Meny has been a longtime supporter of Shawe’s band, which also became a marching band for the first time this school year.

“We wanted to thank him the best way we knew how,” noted Colleen Burdette, another band parent. “Our original thought was to play in his front yard, but it wasn’t quite big enough. His family arranged for us to perform in the parking lot of the [SS. Peter and Paul] Catholic Church down the street.”

Band director Bill Gordon added, “We thought that playing for Father Meny would mean so much more than any thank you card could ever say.

“I was so proud of the kids. It was amazing. It is a memory that will be with me for many years to come.”

The Shawe Band of Gold has 45 members, with over a quarter of the student body participating in the band. Shawe High School has about 175 students in seventh through 12th grade.

The band participated in its fourth marching band competition of the year in Evansville on Oct. 18. The band has already achieved success, said its flag coach, Sue Tilley.

“They have brought home awards and trophies in their first season ever,” she noted. “They have started something that will continue to grow and shape the music program at Shawe for decades to come.”

After their first competition, band director Gordon told the students, “You made history today! You are the first group of Shawe Memorial students who have competed in a marching band competition. You helped make my dream come true.”

The plan to salute Father Meny began after the marching band’s first performance.

“When the marching band performed for the first time, it was an amazing sight that brought tears to my eyes,” Belt said. “I looked over at [Colleen Burdette] and we said at the same time, ‘Father Meny would be so proud.’ So our plan began.”

The emotion flowed for her again as Father Meny conducted the marching band. His joy was evident.

Bundled in blankets on the cool, fall evening, he smiled and said, “You came a long way to say thank you. That you did this for me is wonderful.”

Diving right in

Sarah BaconIn a sport where competitors strive to enter the water with as little splash as possible, Sarah Bacon made a “big splash” this year during national and international diving competitions.

A senior at Cardinal Ritter Jr./Sr. High School in Indianapolis, Sarah earned three national titles during the U.S. Junior National Diving Championships in August.

Her success also qualified her for the World Junior Diving Championships in September in Russia. There, she placed third in the 3-meter dive and sixth in the 1-meter dive.

 

Up to the challenge

Rebekah IsraelRebekah Israel earned a first-place finish in the National Youth Engineering Challenge in September in West Lafayette, Ind.

A senior at Father Michael Shawe Memorial Jr./Sr. High School in Madison, Rebekah competed in the “Electric/Energy” category, one of nine areas in the engineering challenge.

Rebekah’s work focused on the “principles of the relationship between electrical currents and magnetism” and how they are connected to everyday activities.

“I specifically reviewed and discussed the utilization of electrical currents, coils and magnets to explain the function of transformers, the generation of electrical power, and the operation of electrical motors,” Rebekah said.

“Without an understanding of these principles, we could not have electricity generated and brought into our homes, could not charge our cell phones, use most kitchen appliances, vacuum or do many of the daily activities that we often take for granted.”

‘Passionate commitment’

Chuck WeisenbachChuck Weisenbach recently received the 2014 Outstanding Leadership Award from the Indiana Non-Public Education Association (INPEA).

Weisenbach was saluted for his 20 years as the principal of Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, and for his contributions to the INPEA Board of Directors, which he has served for 10 years, including two years as its president.

“Chuck Weisenbach has not only served Roncalli in extraordinary fashion for the past 20 years, he has served the entire state of Indiana with his passionate commitment to providing the best possible learning environment for all students,” said Roncalli president Joe Hollowell.

“Chuck’s dedication to student learning, his incredible work ethic and his support for the development of great teachers has been a gift to all who care about young people in our state.”
 

(Send short summaries of your school’s success stories to assistant editor John Shaughnessy by e-mail to jshaughnessy@archindy.org or by mail in care of The Criterion, 1400 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN, 46202. Please include a contact person for your school’s story and a phone number where he or she can be reached.)

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