The students in the 3rd Grade were reading a story in their Journeys textbook entitled, “Aero and Officer Mike, Police Partners”. It is a story that talks about the role that a police dog plays on a police force. The story covers the partnership between the officer and the dog, the signals and commands given in a foreign language like Czech, training procedures, duties, the special senses a dog has, and community outreach. Because the children loved the story so much, my two wonderful 3rd Grade teachers inquired whether I would allow a visit from the Cleveland Police Canine Unit; my response was, “Absolutely!”
So on Thursday, three Cleveland Police officers and K9 Hugo visited with our 3rd Graders. Sergeant Allan and Officer Kincade are two of our dads, and Officer Nichols is K9 Hugo’s partner. K9 Hugo is a six-year-old German Shepherd, who is a dual purpose Police Service Dog trained in Narcotics Detection and the Patrol Areas of Obedience, Agility, Tracking, Evidence Search, Building Search, and Handler Protection. Officer Doug Nichols proudly showed off the shield that Hugo wears around his neck and explained to the students what a typical day is like. He gave Hugo some very specific commands in Czech and talked about the importance of trust between a police officer and a police dog. The children were fully engaged and had many questions. The officers took time to answer each one until it was almost time for dismissal. A special note of thanks to our Cleveland Police for making this special visit.
Our 2nd Graders had a special visit from one of our parents who is a violinist. Mrs. Keller demonstrated her special talent and then taught the children how to produce different tones on a violin. She talked about how important it is to practice. This fact is true in all areas of life- practice makes us better- better athletes, readers, singers, musicians, teachers etc. Each child was then given an opportunity to actually play a few notes. We hopefully will have some future violinists to join our string ensemble that Mr. Becker-Howell has begun for us as part of our music program. Thank you, Mrs. Keller, for bringing this beautiful experience into our school.
On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, our 3rd Graders sang a beautiful rendition of Ave Maria in Latin as the Communion Reflection. These children had been working on this for several weeks and did an outstanding job! Their voices sounded like those of angels. Congratulations to them and to Mr. Becker-Howell.
The students in Grades 6-8 had a visit from Mike McCoy, graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the #1 draft choice of the Green Bay Packers, now retired, and motivational speaker. Mr. McCoy spoke to the students about “ Value and Worth of a Person in God’s Eyes”. He talked to the kids about the 3 D’s: Decisions Determine our Destiny. The choices we make, who and what we allow to influence us, and what we put into our minds will determine who and what we become. Mr. McCoy prayed with our students and encouraged them to become leaders and not follow the crowd. He reminded all of us that God knew us even before we were born, and He has a plan for each one of us. He left them with this thought: If God values us, should we not value others? It was a great assembly that packed a powerful message.
Congratulations to our 2nd Graders who received the Sacrament of Reconciliation on December 2nd. They were very well prepared by their teachers, Mrs. Horvath and Mrs. McGinty and seemed very calm. They are looking forward to their First Holy Communion in May.
Finally, I invite all of you to our Christmas Pageant on Tuesday, December 19th at 1:00 and 7:00 in the Gym. The show features our Advanced Band, our String Ensemble, our choir, and a play entitled, Out Standing in the Field, featuring our Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Graders. We would love to have our parishioners attend as a way of thanking you for your ongoing support of St. Mark School! Mrs. Cocita