Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Volunteer Spotlight: Allison McGrade

Lynn Morris, Allison McGrade, and Stephanie Arrington
Allison McGrade is the mother of Nicola ’14 and Nena ’16. She has taken on the role as chairperson of the Hospitality Committee for our Parent Council and recruited a great group of moms to join her team. Allison is the team parent for Lacrosse and joined many other Parent Council parents in hosting a freshman parent social at her house.

Here are Allison’s own words about her volunteer experience at Rosary:

"I wasn't sure how to get involved at Rosary, so I was happy that other parents reached out to me to fill the hospitality position on Parent Council.  I really enjoyed all the events we were asked to host last year.  I met so many parents and girls that were just familiar faces before.  Whenever we set-up for an event the staff was so appreciative and it made us feel good to take one small job off of their hands so they could focus on the big responsibilities that they have. The duties of our committee are providing light snacks and refreshments at evening events that include grade-level parent meetings, prospective student open houses, and various student/parent gatherings. The committee is made-up of six dedicated Rosary moms. The November Open House and High School Placement Test day are two larger events for us, so we recruited some extra help from Jill DeFranco (Mary Kate 17', Gina 16') , Julie Rounds (Amanda 16') and Celia Gerish (Danella 16') who are our on-call members.  That is what is great about helping out with this committee...you can help out occasionally and still make a huge contribution.  

If you would like to join Parent Council as a part of the hospitality committee, please email Allison McGrade at amcgrade@valmesarealty.com.

Rosary Hospitality Team
Allison McGrade (Nicola 14' Nena 16')
Lynn Morris (Makenna 16')
Patty Lahr (Katherine 16')
Jeanette Grobaty (Lauren 14')
Stephanie Arrington (Cassie 16')
Kristene Ersek (Reiley 16')

Friday, February 7, 2014

Going for Gold

In honor of National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend, we're highlighting two of our very own Girl Scouts who have made a big impact in their respective communities. 

The Girl Scouts Gold Award
High school students in the Girl Scouts are tasked with projects that can take a considerable amount of time to complete– the pinnacle being the Gold Award. The Girl Scout Gold Award is open only to girls in high school. According to www.girlscouts.org,this prestigious award challenges you to change the world—or at least your corner of it. By the time you put the final touches on your seven-step project, you'll have solved a community problem—not only in the short term, but for years into the future.”

Following the guidelines given from their troops, senior Girl Scouts use these seven steps to plan their project:
1. Identify an issue
2. Investigate it thoroughly
3. Get help and build your team
4. Create a plan
5. Present your plan and gather feedback
6. Take action
7. Educate and inspire

Lucy Cervino '14
A senior at Rosary, Lucy has been a Girl Scout for thirteen years– building friendships, participating in community service, and even traveling abroad to England and France to gain leadership skills.

As a young girl, Cervino spent many afternoons at Rosary with her older sister, Gina ’04, who was a member of the Mock Trial team and the newspaper staff. She would often walk around campus to pass the time, becoming familiar with each hallway, each door, and the hidden spots she found fun to explore. As she stepped onto campus in 2010 as a freshman, Lucy reminisced on her childhood experiences at Rosary. It became clear to her what she would do to honor those moments, thus beginning the planning for the St. Francis Reflection Garden.
Lucy wanted to create a space that promoted prayer, serenity, and peace for all who stepped foot on campus. She knew this would be a place for students, faculty, staff, and guests to take a little break during the day.

Construction on the garden began in the summer. Situated behind Room 200, Lucy worked 110 hours to create an aesthetically pleasing space.  She worked with Mr. Tom Tice Sr. and Mr. Patrick Nunez to develop sketches, plant lists, and maintenance plans.  

Her project came to a close as Lucy’s classmates, basketball teammates, and family joined her for a blessing of the garden. Father Michael Hanafin welcomed the crowd and blessed the soil in a dedication ceremony.  In the middle of the reflection garden stands a statue of St. Francis. On his feast day, Rosary religion classes used this space for a blessing of the animals.  

You can often find someone sitting on a bench in the garden, enjoying a quiet moment. Lucy hopes that this space will continue to be an inviting and serene place for the Rosary community to gather. 

Halina Szymanski '14
"Since I have recently rejoined Girl Scouts, my experience has been wonderful. Not only have I gotten closer to the other girls in my troop, but I have also formed stronger ties with my community. My troop participates in many events, and we work with all kinds of people – from younger girl scouts to the elderly in nursing homes. By working with and helping different people, Girl Scouts has shown me the importance of community service. Seeing the positive effects our work has on others encourages me to continue helping my community. Girl Scouts has taught me the importance of hard work as well. In addition to participating in community-serving activities, my troop hosts events through which we as a troop earn money. These events take months of prep-work, but by keeping our final goals in mind, we persevere. For example, last summer we were able to take a trip to Europe, much of which was financed by money we made as a troop from such events.

Inspired by previous community service and the encouragement of our leaders, last summer each girl in my troop decided to take on her own Gold Award project. For my project, I decided that I wanted to help little kids, so I partnered with the Salvation Army in Santa Fe Springs, which houses families of women and children who need a place to go and help to get back on their feet. At the Salvation Army, I cleaned up and redecorated the preschool classroom. With the help of family and friends, I repainted the classroom, painted murals in each of the two bathrooms, installed new window treatments, and cleaned up. While I was working on my project, the preschoolers would come in and tell me how much they liked the mural, and the teachers would say what a good job I was doing. This positive feedback made me realize that I was truly making an impact and inspired me to take on similar projects in the future. Not only did I help others through my project, but I learned a lot about myself as well.

For the remainder of my senior year, I hope to enjoy myself and prepare for college. I also plan on doing more community service, such as with the Kingdom Fair project in religion class. This time I hope to help a whole new group of people. In the future, I hope to become a doctor and help those who cannot help themselves. I also hope to one day travel the world. I want to be able to experience new cultures, see new places, and meet new people."     


We are proud of these two Royals for their accomplishments! 
Congratulations Lucy and Halina! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Royals head to space

Did you know Rosary is going into outer space? 

...Well, at least our technology is! With the help of Dr. Maffia, eleven Rosary students will be collecting data from ArduSat nanosatellites that are currently in lower Earth's orbit. The class will have access to two weeks worth of data collection in early May. "We are hoping to take a picture of southern California with Rosary at its center. How cool will that be?!," says Dr. Maffia. 
Currently, the students in Dr. Maffia's class are programming Arduino microcontrollers– the same hardware found on the nanosatellites. A range of sensors will be available for programming, including a(n): 
Geiger Counter
Infrared Thermometer
Light Sensor
Sun Sensors (Photodiodes)
Temperature Sensors

Want to this more about this amazing technology coming to Rosary? Watch this quick video for an introduction to the ArduSat technology.