Fr. Steve’s updates

Wednesday February 3, 2010

Today was our school spelling bee.

Initial rounds were done in the classrooms; then, each grade sent the top 6 finalists to the school gym for the friendly competition in front of cheering classmates.

Fr. Anthony and I took turns as MC, which helped me from playing out.

Some of the matches were decided quickly; others went round after round to determine a champion.

The last group was, of course, the 8th graders. It came down to 4 students who went many rounds without missing.

The difference in their personalities showed even in how they spelled.

Cody is easy-going, had fun and grinned ear-to-ear as he got each word right. Amber is shy, and the judges could barely hear the letters as she successfully handled her words. Erica spelled perfectly; yet, each word finished came with a big question mark. Christian had bold confidence as he rattled off the words.

We got through the regular list and moved on to the challenge words, which caused two students to falter. It came down to Cody and Amber.

Both missed a few words, but since their competitor couldn’t finish the word, the spelling be went on.

Finally, Amber got a winning word right, but two of the judges couldn’t hear what she said.Fr. Steve is looking for the correct spelling!

I was right next to her and said, “I heard you do it right, Amber; now, go ahead and show the judges you can do it.”

She repeated her spelling more boldly and won!

It’s so satisfying when our students overcome their fears, shyness, insecurity, whatever, and find ways to succeed. Some students are more gifted and talented, but all generally need affirmation and encouragement.

I suppose that’s a good thing for all of us to experience from time to time.

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 89 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

9 thoughts on “Fr. Steve’s updates”

  1. Father Steve
    Good morning. Sounds like school was a blast. I loved those spelling bees, when i went to school. Never won a thing, but had a lot of fun. Good to see you doing so good, and i hope you have a terrific weekend. Lots of snow on it’s way in pa. God Bless
    Mike and Kathy Clapper

  2. Good morning Fr. Steve,

    The spelling bee sounded like a lot of fun…and won’t all the kids be surprised when they are older and can actually spell words correctly!

    Rainy and cool in the Dallas area today, but I’m not complaining (too much), cuz at least it isn’t snow!

    I think the pitchers are getting ready to start training camp in Arizona soon…before you know it you’ll be watching baseball again!

    Have a blessed day!

  3. JMJ / MMM 4 Feb 2010
    Dear Father Steve –You do good things for the kids in many ways. I know you don’t have time/energy to respond .. but what were the challenging words in the spelling contest? (Rhetorical)
    Each day, Father, you are kept in prayer. How many times Paul urges ENCOURAGEMENT and that we encourage one another.
    Continue aiming at being positive. (I say “aim at” because I have to say that instead of “I will do my best.” Nope. In all my 79+ years I have NEVER done my best. I can only “aim” at it.
    Jesus and Mary Bless you special!
    John (and Katie)

  4. I taught in Catholic Schools for more than 35 years. Some times the priests were “conspicuous by their absence”. It is a shame when priests do not take the time, as you do, for the children. They are always so excited to have Father “Pastor” pay a visit.I would have loved to be a teacher in a school such as this one with you as administrator.
    I pray daily for your health and the wonderful work done at your school.
    Blessings. Maureen

  5. Cudos for Amber! I loved spelling bees when I was a kid. I was extremely shy too, but confidence comes with perserverence and time. Way to go Amber and all the participating kids who did a phenomenal job.

  6. Hi Father Steve,
    I met you when you came to San Diego last fall. I was very impressed with you and with the school. I can’t imagine that God is done with you yet. You are too special. Everything seems to happen for a reason. Can’t imagine what it is, but hopefully it will be clear to you after you are fully recovered and this health issue is behind you. You are in my thoughts and I wish you all of the strength and comfort needed to get past this. Get well soon.

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