Duchesne Academy to host educational technology conference

Duchesne Academy to host educational technology conference

Duchesne Academy will host Catholic high school educators from across the Omaha area for a first-of-its-kind educational technology conference on October 11, at 8:45 a.m. at Duchesne Academy.

This event will include speakers, discussion sessions, and vendors. Kelly Gomez Johnson will deliver the keynote address about equitable teaching and leadership practices in STEM education. Gomez Johnson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Her work and leadership projects have attracted nearly $4 million in funding since 2016.

Presenters and attendees will dive into the topics and funding models that are unique to parochial schools.

“Timely professional development is hard to come by during the school year. By hosting this event on an in-service day, we are providing teachers new tools they can take back to their classrooms the very next day,” said Jason Schlesiger, Duchesne Academy Director of Technology.

The conference will also feature a presentation from Julie Sigmon, Director of the Omaha STEM Ecosystem, a citywide partnership to maximize STEM, learning initiatives encompassing the Greater Omaha area, including 12 school districts.

Other topics include how to create virtual field trips in a post-Covid world, cyber security, incorporating art into STEM curriculum, and establishing sustainability programs.

Goal 1 spotlight: Amy Becker, Dean of Students

Goal 1 spotlight: Amy Becker, Dean of Students

When I was young I attended public school, which meant going to CCD. (Now it is called Religious Ed.) It also meant that my parents had to be very intentional about raising my brothers and me Catholic.

One of the ways my mom did this was by talking to us about prayer and asking us to pray together, especially in times of trial.

I remember when a well line broke on the farm, my  mother gathered us to pray to Mary and ask her to help us find the break so we would have water for the livestock. The first prayer card I received from my mom was of St. Joseph. I remember having a discussion about his role as foster father and the power of praying to him specifically.

Over the years she and I have called, texted or shared in conversations and requests to have each  other join in praying to St. Joseph for someone or about a particular issue. 

When Pope Francis announced that 2021 was the year of St. Joseph, I was delighted! My mom sent me a whole book of prayers to St. Joseph. Tucked in the pages is the prayer she taught me, years ago, but there are so many other beautiful prayers there too!

I have spent 2021 contemplating the quiet, loyal foster father of our Savior. I love that prayers to St. Joseph are often labeled, ‘for impossible causes’ or ‘difficult situations.’ Guided by the Holy Spirit, St. Joseph faced a difficult situation with kindness and compassion and he was witness to the impossible made possible.

 

Duchesne family helps students celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Maria Cruz wanted share part of her culture with her daughter’s classmates. Mrs. Cruz, who is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, prepared on Wednesday a special lunch for students of enchiladas, beans, and rice. Her daughter is Sophia Becerra, A’22.

Maria Cruz leads Duchesne Food Program staff in making enchiladas, rice, and beans, on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

Maria Cruz leads Duchesne Food Program staff in making enchiladas, rice, and beans, on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

The meal was part of Duchesne’s recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Cruz was excited to celebrate introduce some teens to a new culture through food.

“It represents what we do, what we like, our culture, our food, our traditions, our language,” she said.

Jacqui Caniglia, Duchesne Food Program Manager, was eager to welcome Mrs. Cruz to the kitchen.

“The best part of being down here is when we have our community come in to cook and serve with us,” Caniglia said.

Students were excited to try the authentic food and Mrs. Cruz was happy to serve students and teachers.

“I love Duchesne. I love how they work together, the students with the teachers, and overall they care about each other.”

Duchesne senior wins national championships in competitive horse riding

OMAHA – A Duchesne Academy student is returning to school with a new title: National Champion. Caleigh Copenhaver, A’22, competed in six riding disciplines at the 2021 Arabian Youth Nationals in Oklahoma City – the top competition for youth in the sport. She won sidesaddle and western pleasure had six top-ten finishes in other events and qualified in another. This was the second year in a row she has won a national title in a horse-riding event.

Copenhaver’s road to Oklahoma City started in December. She spent hours in the saddle working with her horses and then more time caring for the animals all while balancing her schoolwork.

A Duchesne Academy student is returning to school with a new title: National Champion. Caleigh Copenhaver, A’22, competed in six riding disciplines at the 2021 Arabian Youth Nationals in Oklahoma City in July “The feeling of your number getting called for a championship is a unique feeling and there isn’t anything else I can compare it to,” Copenhaver said.

“It takes good mental stability and confidence to be able to show at a national level. It takes a lot of work to learn some of these horses and how to ride them,” Caleigh’s mother, Jenn Copenhaver said.

Her riding career began when she was 10 years old when she started competing in local competitions. When Copenhaver was 12 she added regional competitions to her schedule, and two years later was traveling the nation to compete. Copenhaver displayed her skills, experience, and endurance during this summer’s 15-day national competition in July.

“Show days are long and lots of hard work. Practice rides, show rides, getting the horses ready, doing stalls, keeping the horses healthy and sound, it takes a lot of time and effort,” her mother said.

To look her best, Copenhaver created competition outfits that included ornate tops and riding pants she wore a pristine white hat and her Sacred Heart ring.

“I wear my ring everywhere and never take it off. I am also grateful that Duchesne allows me to go to practice and compete as long as I keep up with my schoolwork. Duchesne has been supportive of this sport and I very much appreciate it,” Copenhaver said.

This was the end of Caleigh’s riding season but not the end of her career. She plans to continue competing as a youth until she turns 19 when she will transition to adult competitions.

Congratulations, Caleigh!

Duchesne 2021 graduation at St. Cecilia will be full capacity

Duchesne 2021 graduation at St. Cecilia will be full capacity

OMAHA, Neb — Duchesne Academy’s 2021 commencement ceremony will be the first full-capacity event at Saint Cecilia Cathedral since March 2020, the school announced Tuesday. Graduation will take place on the evening of May 27.

Administrators encourage students and their guests to wear a mask to help protect vulnerable people who may attend, but will not enforce mask-wearing.

“Many of our guests will be grandparents who, even if fully vaccinated, remain our most vulnerable population and break-through infections are still possible after vaccination,” said Principal Laura Hickman, Ed.D.

St. Cecilia Pastor Father Michael Grewe made the decision to open the event to full capacity after administrators made the request to do so on behalf of seniors and their parents. Graduates will be allowed up to nine guests and will sit with their families during the ceremony.

“These students have worked hard to maintain their grades and a strong sense of community during multiple closures. We are happy that they will be able to graduate in front of their families,” said Hickman.

Duchesne’s graduation ceremony will be live-streamed on the school’s Facebook page.

Duchesne Academy Class of 2021:

84 Seniors

100% will attend college

95% received at least one college scholarship

21 scored a 32 or higher on the ACT

7 National Merit Finalists, 2 commended scholars

2 QuestBridge Scholars

1 Student selected to U.S. Senate Youth Program

9825 reported service hours since 2017