Alumni News

(May 2020)

MAKING GROUND BREAKING COMMITMENTS
 

It’s hard to believe, but it completely slipped my mind. Preparing and planning has kept us all running. I remembered as the car took the turn around the gymnasium heading to the back of the school and my boys pointed out the completely altered car line bypassing construction at the front of the school. Just like that, 11 years of dreams, plans, labor, perseverance, tears, stress, hope, prayers, and steady faith realized. Not quietly for those on our campus, as trenches get carved into our parking lots, trees come down, and large machines operate, but quietly in terms of the recognition of what this moment means in the hearts of so many Saint Olaf supporters spanning over 60 years. On the drive home this beautiful March morning, so many emotions whispered in my head.

 

There are people we wish were here today who have passed but believed unwaveringly in Saint Olaf as a church, school, and community, including in their final wishes. This past year the school has been the recipient of three in memoriam funds from such faithful supporters. These are people who worked at and for our school, had children and grandchildren graduate, and even attended themselves. That is a rare gift, 3 generations of committed families. That is the power of Catholic School Community. As Principal Mcfall recently wrote in our school’s weekly letter, we stand on many shoulders, multi-generational, dedicated people who believed to the end because of the amazing things this community can and does do together. I pray we all look back on this day, this moment in our lives, and say this was a time of miracles and wonder as we did something big for our kids, grandkids, and all those to come. I pray this for all our Catholic Schools.

 

Many of the schools in the Diocese are on similar journeys. We each in our own ways continue to fight for and uphold Catholic Education. While flashy buildings are hardly who we are, it is difficult to attract families to the what and why when they enter run down, “well-loved” facilities. We promise strong academics, faith-filled character development, and community, but often after those building tours. It often doesn’t matter if we can assure parents that students will experience the most up to date, researched backed, dynamic ELA program, if they can’t see beyond tattered carpet, peeling paint, and noisy AC window units. The sad reality is that we are not our parents or grandparents generation. That handy guy “Uncle Jimmy” that we all know who can jury rigg cords for computers doesn’t cut it anymore because communities and schools don’t operate the same ways. We don’t know “Uncle Jimmy” and certainly don’t want duct tape cords running down walls when we write tuition checks for our child’s best education.

 

While we may lament the memory of those relationships from our childhood parishes and schools, change is inevitable. The relationships are still there but manifest in different ways. What we offer today is the same ideology Catholic Schools were founded on, but the approaches must fit a far more affluent, higher consumer, and purchase savvy generation. So we don’t quit, but learn to speak a new language. If local Catholic Schools appear well-worn, instead of pulling students and heading to the nearest Charter School, stay, contribute, invest, and re-build. That other school may have the newest building, but without a ideological foundation rooted in faith, it will never have the most critical component to education. Catholic Schools continue developing intensely rich, faith-filled people. There are still strong academics, thoughtful teachers deeply invested in your children, and nearby parishes offering constant support and prayers. That other school may help your student prepare academically to be a doctor, but your local Catholic School will help your student understand why being a physician is his/her God given talent and how to work in service and love to others. What we do with and how we use our education is what truly matters.

 

As Catholic Schools, we are endlessly and actively working on improvement in all areas. As we labor to catch up to schools with full government funding, we ask every Catholic reading this publication to support us. Talk about the good Catholic Schools do in your communities, share about the students and families you have known, learn and share about all the many Capital Campaign and building projects going on in our Diocese for schools. Prayerfully consider financially supporting one or more. Visit us! The groundbreaking for Saint Olaf began March 2, 2020, but we are one of many and as a system of Catholic Schools we stand on your shoulders as well as all those who came before. Please, celebrate with us and with all our schools. I recently wrote to our Saint Olaf families, believe in this school, believe in our families, our faith, and our community. This place is a light, one of many that must continue. If you’ve wondered whether this project can get done, or if it will ever even start. It STARTED today. Hear the whisper in the wind of what’s coming, feel the sunshine of God’s love warm your face as the fresh snow slowly melts into spring. Get ready, pray, and find a way to join in, if you haven't already. Catholic education is something worth being part of.      

            



(April 2020) 

WHO REMEMBERS THIS? 

http://www.icatholic.org/article/st-olaf-school-and-parish-celebrate-a-legacy-of-50-462722

A decade later we look forward to another celebration this fall as we begin our 60th Year of Saint Olaf Catholic School! Stay tuned for details... 

 

 

(March 2020, News)

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME!

It can be said that the value of a school may be based upon the quality of its graduates. Great schools like MIT conjure up names like Benjamin Netanyahu, Buzz Aldrin or Kofi Annan. Harvard may bring to mind John F Kennedy, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. Stanford makes us think of Tiger Wood and Elon Musk. What about Saint Olaf Catholic School?
 
Margaret-sponsored a shoe drive sending hundreds of pairs of shoes to orphanages in the Caribbean
Diane-Software engineer for L3
Brian-Judge graduate with multiple top academic awards, currently an industrial engineer
Deanna-Pediatric Physician Assistant for the University of Utah
Patricia-VP of Public Relations and Business Development for a local car dealership
Shaun-steel fabrication business owner and EMT for local fire department
Anthony-design engineer for Orbit Lawn Supply
Ed-Licensed purchaser for Dominion Energy
Alexandra-Lab Assistant for the Chemistry Department at Boise State University
Adam-Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
Dain-Doctor of Dentistry for a Native American Reservation in New Mexico
Lindsey-Research Scientist for ARUP and a pharmacist
John Jr-Decorated US Army combat medic-Battle of Faluja 2004
B-fashion designer in New York
Megan-Chemical Engineer
Evan-Engineering Quality Technician for L3
Patrick-Machinist of precision parts
Joe-Financial Advisor
Tyson-General Manager for Salt Lake City Bar & Bistro
Warren-architect
John-Actor in LA
 
We often tend to look for the greatest gifts among those that hit home runs. These Saint Olaf graduates make up the community we call ours; singles, doubles, triples. Though some may not live close, the roots of their beginnings started with Saint Olaf Catholic School. It is the gifts given them by the teachers, nuns, clergy, and parents that formed the foundation of what they are today. Their education from Saint Olaf is a cornerstone of that foundation.
 
So, what does your Saint Olaf ball player do?
 
*Help us fill in our team by shooting us a line giving an update.
Our Thanks to Wayne Welninski for writing this! 
(January/February Events)
CATHOLIC SCHOOL'S WEEK, SCIENCE FAIRS, AND MORE...
 
Catholic School's Week this year was January 26 through February 1. As these annual celebrations role around I find myself in the school basement once again combing through pictures and school history-years and years of steadfast commitment adding up to who and what we are today. In an article for the Davis County Clipper from February 1981, "According to a recent parent questionnaire, academic and religious excellence are the main reasons why parents send their children to St. Olafs." These are the very things Catholic Schools Week highlights and we hope are still important to current families. We also hope for more. The theme of wanting more runs through everything we do. You'll notice it in much of what is written in order that you might see, hear, and experience the more we are putting into your students and our school. The more that has always been a part of this community and makes our connection so strong.
 
We want excellence in our academics and religion, but even more than that, we want excellence built into the very heart and soul of each and every student we have the opportunity to serve and teach here at Saint Olaf Catholic School. We want it for our staff too. We want our students and families to feel loved, protected, served, and educated, while they pursue their own individual paths to excellence. We desire to know our students, deeply and personally, in order to help guide them to what gives them purpose and ignites their passions. We want them to understand their faith and to know how to use it as a compass through all life's adventures. So what does all this mean?
 
In seeking more, we push for the completion of a much needed building and renovation project. We are currently evaluating all curriculum, watching the data from our new reading and social studies programs (initial test scores went up all around) while seeking the best science and math programs for next year. We are looking at options to innovate our middle school program and add more "specials" for most students. Teachers and staff are constantly evaluating grading systems, projects, presentations, and extracurricular activities, including summer camp. After a 4 year hiatus from Science Fair projects, Mr. Sirstins re-introduced the projects and our students had amazing success under his guidance. We had 8 students compete at the Diocesan Fair at Juan Diego, with each of the 6 total projects winning a ribbon and 4 students earning the opportunity to compete at the State Science Fair in March. We pause to recognize and celebrate this successful "more moment" but it is only the beginning.  More is coming, always...More is our unwavering commitment to you our families, and as you peek through our past, more has always been part of Saint Olaf.    
 
 
 
(December 2019 News)
A SEASON OF HOPE  
 
Each year as Advent season begins, hopefully you find a few quiet moments of reflection-for the coming Savior, for the past year, and for new beginnings ahead. In your evaluation, what were successes of last year and what were failures? Did these experiences provide growth, improvement, or connections? For the office staff at the school, we keep returning to our building project first, as we evaluate all we do, because it is such a critical step. It is one of many in a long line of steps needed to shepherd our school into a new and ever improving era for this community and we feel a tremendous weight and responsibility for this mission.
 
As Christmas villages emerge from decoration bins and the soft lights begin to glow from the tiny windows, we can't help but think of our village here. How do people describe it, how has it changed over 60 years, and how does it need to change to remain a significant light here in Bountiful? Besides the badly needed building updates and addition, the next things identified as desperately needed this year were renewed and reinvigorated relationships with our parish and alumni, the people who have shared and experienced this place. We hope, that it isn't just a place that you experienced, however, but that you felt true community, a village, surrounding you with love and the light of Christ as you were shepherded toward your best self. That is still our goal and we continue to pray that you will actively join us again in helping this generation of children find their best selves. It is hard to say how successful our attempts have been in strengthening bonds with our parish and alumni. We have certainly reestablished many connections, but are eager for more-more relationships, more community, more shared vision. In this time of Advent, we wait with anxious anticipation for so much more...
 
At this moment, we sit on a precipice, with everything completed to begin our building project except final funding. Plans are complete, paperwork is in order, permits are in hand, and yet, we wait. We wait for responses from our school families, we wait for parishioners, for alumni, for grant boards, and for friends. The waiting is hard, but in the waiting we find time for prayer, reflection, and growth. In the waiting we keep telling our story, keep pushing our dreams and vision for our village, clinging to hope, and always keeping our light burning. We wish you all a blessed Advent with much time for reflection, prayer, and hope. We wish you a Very Merry Christmas as we welcome the light of the world once again into our hearts!  
 
 

(October 2019 News)
TRADITIONS, FAREWELLS, AND HALLOWEEN CARNIVALS.

As we prepare for another fantastic Saint Olaf School Carnival, we also bid farewell to one of our own.  Traveling through Saint Olaf's past, we've encountered through written materials, photos, stories, and even face to face conversations many incredible alumni and past families. People who improved the world around them by deeply caring and ministering to others. It is difficult to put into words what this has meant to those of us who currently steward the school. We are so sincerely grateful to all who have poured into our school throughout its 60 years and are so profoundly proud to hear that the mission and education received here lives and breathes inside each of you as you serve and care for your own communities. Please, keep sharing your (our) stories as we seek to usher forth a new generation of Saint Olaf Vikings. Thank you Marilyn Larrabee and family. While it seems so inadequate to simply say Thank You, your service, dedication, love and faith lives on in our hallways and in our students. We will carry your legacy forward as we continue the mission of Saint Olaf Catholic School to RISE.
 
As we continually seek to link past and present to cohesively build the future, it has become clear that we need more activities and traditions that bring us together as alumni, current families, and community. What better way to initiate a new tradition than to tie it to a long standing one, our Halloween Carnival. We happily invite the entire community to join us for our 1st Annual Family and Alumni Car Show with the Halloween Carnival to follow. We hope to see as many local alumni there as possible and to hear your stories and journeys since you left us. Please help make this an unforgettable evening of fellowship and sharing. Bring friends, family, and neighbors as we celebrate the love, joy, and community here at Saint Olaf.
 

(September 2019 News)
WE'RE LOOKING FOR SAINT OLAF ALUMNI!

Where you in third grade when Gov. Matheson and his wife visited Saint Olaf?
 
Were you doing jumping jacks in PE in 1980?
 
Were you on the leading edge of computer technology in the 1970s? 
 
Saint Olaf Catholic School Alumni we are searching for you! We need your assistance with a project for Catholic Schools Week 2020! We are going to fill the halls with student accomplishments during Catholic Schools Week, January 27-31. We will be dedicating a special area for our Alumni. Please email Mrs. Moffat a picture of you. We would love to portray what you are currently doing, so send in your club, sport or activity photo. You may also submit your current school picture, we want to showcase the graduates of 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Call or email Mrs. Moffat in the office if you have any questions, 801-295-5341 or jmoffat@stolafs.org. We can't wait to see your photos.  Don't forget to register with our Alumni Directory.