Last week St. Joseph’s High School Staff met with our eighth graders who will continue on in our high school program. A few of our Lakota (Sioux) graduates already have plans to go back to their home reservations and finish school there. They will meet with their Family Service Counselors to prepare for that.
Those who will remain here receive the schedule and expectations for the 3-week high school prep program. They were asked to pick one of our current high school students – often a sibling or relative – to shadow in the next few weeks as they learn what it will be like to go to the larger Chamberlain Public School.
While some people ask if we’d ever consider our own high school, we have a good working relationship with Chamberlain. If our students can make the jump into a mainstream high school, I believe it makes taking the next step to college or vocational training that much less scary and more attainable. We continue to see the importance of support and encouragement for the students through all the important times of transition.
Our St. Joseph’s staff has been active in supporting efforts to help those in our community who are battling cancer.
Our Relay for Life team decided to have some fun with a different kind of fundraiser last weekend, and tried a “beauty pageant” for 17 men in our community.
All the contestants in the “Mr. Relay for Life” competition were incredibly good sports. Several of our staff joined Chamberlain’s mayor and other local dignitaries in scouring our St. Joseph’s Thrift Store for evening gowns and fancy get ups for a runway walk. They were each give a humorous philosophical question to answer. And, of course, the night had to include a talent competition. Contestant challenges ranged from juggling rubber chickens, to catching tennis balls with a fishing net, and stringing plastic Barrel-O-Monkeys together.
The crowd who poured into the community center filled the bleachers, and extra chairs had to be brought out. There were constant belly laughs and a tremendous spirit of fun and community. Originally, the committee had hopes of raising $500 for the cause, but as spectators voted for their favorites by filling donation jars, over $4400 raised in support of local people with cancer!
When the Master of Ceremonies read the thank yous and included the names of a dozen St. Joseph’s staff on the planning team, I overheard a person in the bleachers behind me surprised that we could get so many volunteers. In our community, volunteerism is not dead. Besides their commitment to their jobs on campus, I’m impressed by the spirit of our staff to make a difference in the community.