Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Six Given Recognition by the NSAA

Congratulations Knights! Academic All-State
Academic All-State

Back Row: Evan Murray (Football), Tom Feichtinger (Cross-Country), Lukas Buehler (Cross Country)
Front Row: Grant Ramm (Tennis) Taylor Korensky (Football), Peter DeWald (Tennis)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Concert

This year's Christmas Concert featured performances by the Mount's Band, Choir, and Strings. The Mount Michael Speech team also performed renditions of Christmas classics, comedy, and poems.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Going Places: Kyle Svingen '07

Kyle Svingen '07Looking back, there are so many things that I loved about my four years at Mount Michael— the high academic standards demanded by the teachers, the effort and sportsmanship expected by the coaches, and the support and brotherhood shared among the students. One of the aspects I took for granted was the implicit expectation that every student was going places. The question in the spring of Senior year was not if one was going to college, but where one would enroll in the fall. “I’m going to UNL to study Engineering” or “I’m going to St. Thomas to pursue a degree in Philosophy” or “I’m going to be a cadet at West Point.”

I went to a small liberal arts school in Northfield, Minnesota called St. Olaf College, where I majored in Physics and Religion while participating in numerous music ensembles and engaging in all the richness of campus life. Like my four years at the Mount, my time at St. Olaf prepared me to be successful, both personally and professionally. Perhaps the most valuable gift from the values-based education I received at Mount Michael and St. Olaf was a deeper understanding of my place in the world.
Conversations with monks, teachers, professors and peers helped me shape a world view that led me to understand the privilege I have been given. Both of my parents went to college and were able to send me to the best college-prep high school in the state, which empowered me to study at a leading liberal arts college. This privilege is not anything to be ashamed of; instead, it can be used as a tool for the greater good.

After graduating in May of 2011, I signed up for an AmeriCorps service year with a nonprofit called College Possible right here in Omaha. AmeriCorps is a federally-funded national service organization; it’s similar to the Peace Corps, but members serve within the United States. College Possible is a nonprofit formed ten years ago in Minnesota’s Twin Cities with the mission to help low-income students earn their college degrees. Upper-income students are more than ten times more likely to earn a college degree by the age of 24, compared to their low-income peers; this is a disparity that only contributes to the cycle of poverty. College Possible is making college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. Ninety-one percent are students of color who come from families that make an average of $25,000 per year. Students attend twice-weekly sessions after school during the course of their junior and senior years. My role within College Possible is a junior coach; I work with high school juniors, building the idea that college is an expectation, not an aspiration, and facilitating ACT test-prep, learning about the college application process and exploring college options. In their senior year, the curriculum shifts from test-prep to applying for admission, financial aid and scholarships. College Possible coaches continue to support our students throughout college, giving our students every benefit we can to empower them to success. Over the last ten years, 98% of our students have earned college admission, and of those, 80% have earned a college degree or are currently enrolled in college!

College Possible has done awesome things for low-income youth in the Twin Cities and Milwaukee; Omaha is the third city in which College Possible operates, and we are very excited to make a difference in this community. In our first year, we will be serving 60 students in two local public schools, and we are hoping to serve in six high schools next year, with plans for further expansion.

I’m excited to be making a difference in the lives of these students. Many never considered going to college prior to enrolling in College Possible, and now they are on a path to success. Just like at Mount Michael, the most common question posed to a College Possible Senior isn’t if he or she is going to college, but where; our students believe in themselves, and know that they are going places!
~ Kyle Svingen (’07) (article featured in the winter 2011 edition of the Michaeleen)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rawandan Students Share Similar Experiences

Yunsik Oh | Staff Writer  for “The Mount”   photos by Joey Bastian

Johnny BucyanaMount Michael is home away from home for many foreign students. Rwandan natives David Gatete, Songa Rugangazi, and Johnny Bucyana are no exceptions. “I love Mount Michael. Even though I am away from everyone at my home, I feel no difference. Everybody here is just like my brothers and part of my family,” said Gatete.

These three Rwandans came to Mount Michael for different reasons. Rugangazi wanted to go to a college in the United States, and his parents wanted him to go to a boarding school here so he could get adapted to American culture and the American way of learning and teaching. By searching the internet and asking around, he found out about Mount Michael.

David GateteBucyana said, “My mom works in Haiti. She’s a doctor and she’s been there for one-and-a-half years, since the earthquake. She wanted me to go to a boarding school since she was not at home.” Some of Bucyana’s family members also study in the states and have even graduated from college here. “Coming here was not a sudden decision,” said Bucyana.

Gatete came to America to learn English. Gatete said, “My dad owns a construction company in Rwanda, and my mom goes around to other countries buying machines for dairy products for the Rwandan people. My dad was the person who sent me here. He heard about Mount Michael from the person who helped Songa discover the school. Two years ago, our president made the French language illegal in Rwanda, and he forced all the schools to use English instead of any other languages. My dad thought it was necessary to learn English to succeed in Rwanda,” said Gatete.

Songa RugangaziFuture plans for these three Rwandans remain unclear. After graduating from college, most of them are planning to go back to Rwanda and help their families. Gatete said that he wants to study engineering and architecture as his major in college, and then return to work at his dad’s business.

“I want to study industrial engineering as an undergraduate major and hopefully get my MBA after that. I would like to get work experience in the U.S. before going back to Rwanda,” said Rugangazi.

As for Bucyana, he is still largely unsure of what he will do after college; however, one thing is for certain. “I am not sure what I am going to do after graduating college because it depends on what job I get,” he said. “But I can say that I definitely enjoyed my time at Mount Michael and it is going to make an impact in my life.”

D J Wooten: Man Behind the Beard

Nate Van Haute | Staff Writer for “The Mount”

DJ WootenEvery November at Mount Michael, new faces emerge, not because of transfer students or new teachers, but because of a fundraiser for a non-profit organization put on by student council. This year, D.J. Wooten has emerged as the top facial hair grower at the Mount. Along with many other students, Wooten paid 5 dollars in exchange for a shave-free month. Although many students admire Wooten for his uncanny ability to grow facial hair, there are many other reasons why students look up to him.

Wooten grew up hearing all about Mount Michael. His dad graduated from the Mount in 1987, and after earning his PhD in nuclear physics, he got a job working in the military. Because of this, the Wooten family has lived in many different places. Wooten moved to Nebraska right before his freshman year, and knew that Mount Michael was the place for him. “It was a tough transition at first, but I have come to love Mount Michael,” said Wooten. He admits to missing his friends in Ohio, but they keep in touch with Skype. “We often play Dungeons and Dragons, which is always a good time,” he said.

D.J. Wooten loves staying involved and cherishes the little free time that he has. At Mount Michael, he is involved in robotics, band, cross-country, wrestling, and track. He said, “I love being able to play sports at Mount Michael because of the small environment.” In the classroom, Wooten excels. He maintains a competitive GPA and is regularly active in the classroom.

Wooten said that his favorite teacher is Dave Cormier, not just because of his facial hair, but because of the way he runs his class. Wooten said that there is a lot of learning, and also a lot of laughing. Outside of the Mount, Wooten is also very involved. He is active in Boy Scouts and loves adventures. “My life has been one large adventure,” he said. “I don’t know many other kids who have moved six times.”

Other students admire Wooten for his study habits and personality. Classmate Jimmy Steier said, “D.J. is a really funny kid. He maintains a perfect balance of having fun and maintaining good academic standing.” Classmate Josh Bloomquist said, “We often call D.J. Sasquatch for his facial hair, but he takes it well. He gets along with everyone in the school and is a great role model.” Although his facial hair will be gone in December, Wooten will continue to be a model student.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Recognition for Football Players

Class B Football All-State Honorable Mention

Evan Murray
Ken Batenhorst
Josh Rauterkus 

Class B District 3 All-District Football Team

Evan Murray, Sr., HB/SS
Kenny Batenhorst, Sr., OL/DE
Josh Rauterkus, Jr., OL/DE

Honorable Mention

Harrsion Engel, Sr., FB/LB
Preston Hendricks, Soph., HB/LB
Jonathan Hendricks, Soph., TE/LB
Tommy Maliszewski, Jr., QB/FS

Congratulations Knights!

Mount Michael Launches Big Plans

Omaha World Hearld Article -  There's no shortage of blue skies and open fields on Elkhorn Mount Michael High School's 350-acre campus. But after years of growing enrollment, the all-boys Catholic school is nearing capacity and needs more space for science labs, student residences and sports fields. Read More...

Monday, November 14, 2011

UNL Math Day Class "B" Champions 2nd Place All Classes!

Class B Champions UNL Math Day Mount Michael Benedictine
104 schools and approximately 1500 students participated in the 23rd annual UNL Math Day.  For the Probe I written exam, Mt. Michael placed first in class B and second in all classes.  This is the seventh year in a row that Mt. Michael has placed first in its respective class.  Young-Joon Park placed 2nd (highest finish ever for a Mt. Michael student), Eun Woo Jee placed 18th, Sung Han Yoon placed 31st, Yun Sik Oh placed 37th, Ji Hoon Park placed 42nd, and Mike Collins placed 49th. Mt. Michael placed 3rd in the class B quiz bowl.  More Photos....

Class B
1.Mount Michael Benedictine
3. Duchense

All Classes
1. Lincoln East 80
2. Mount Michael Benedictine 75.4
3.Westside 74
4. Creighton Prep 73

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Twenty Named as 2011 AP Scholars by the College Board

The AP Program offers several AP Scholar Awards to recognize high school students who have demonstrated college-level achievement through AP courses and exams. Although there is no monetary award, in addition to receiving an award certificate, this achievement is acknowledged on any AP score report that is sent to colleges the following fall.

AP Scholar
Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.

Behr, Adam C.
Dewald, Patrick C.
Engelkamp, Alexander G.
Hendricks, Tanner R.
Holloway, Lucas
Hotovy, Joel B.
Huss, Paul S.
Jung, Jae Hoon
Kang, Kyung Mo
Kritenbrink, Peter A.
Parr, Grant
Taylor, Clayton

AP Scholar with Honors
Granted to students who
receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.

Bohnhoff, Michael K.
Chew, Darren Q.
Hankins, Joshua R.
Koch, Kevin J.
Van Haute, Vincent R.

AP Scholar with Distinction
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

Kellar, Michael R.
Kim, Gunhwan
Zhou, Yuan

Friday, November 4, 2011


Steve Anderson '09
Steve Anderson, a 2009 Mount Michael graduate, shares his experiences of playing college football and of attending Mount Michael during his ESPN radio interview.

Steve is the place kicker for Nebraska Wesleyan University and last week kicked a game winning field goal for his NWU team. 2011 graduate Jake Rauterkus joined Steve this fall on the NWU football roster.

Listen to ESPN Radio interview

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Math Team 3rd Place at Midland University's Math Competition

In a competition against 13 other schools which included 8 class A schools, Mount Michael's Math team place 3rd behind Lincoln East and Omaha Central. 

Individual medalists were as follows: Freshmen: Jonathan Collins 1st place, Young Joon Park 3rd place, Marcus Cronin 5th place. Sophomore: Eun Woo Jee 5th place, Junior: Tony Gao 3rd place.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Knights Cross Country Team State Runner-up!

Thomas Feichtinger: Class B State Individual Champion

Mount Michael has its first ever individual state champion. Thomas Feichtinger won his state championship medal by 19 seconds over defending champion Franklin Ibarra of Lexington.  Feichtinger's time was 16:00.4.  Also medaling for the state runner-up Knights was Junior J.T. Cronin who came in 6th place with a time of 16:39.8. Sophomore Thomas Kalil came in 21st with a time of 17:09.9 and Senior Lukas Buehler finished 22nd with a time of 17:11.1. Rounding out the team were Junior Trey Wiemer 44th 17:53 and Freshman Marcus Cronin 52nd 18:03.6.   Omaha World Herald

Feichtinger is leader of Mount Michael's pack  Read article - Omaha World Herald

Monday, October 17, 2011

KVSS Radio from "The Mount"

On Monday morning October 17, KVSS Catholic Radio broadcast live from Mount Michael Benedictine as part of their Heartland tour of  area Catholic schools.  Listen Now to a replay of the broadcast.  Photos - KVSS Facebook

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Abbey Receives New Oblates

During Vespers after a recent Benedictine Oblate meeting Jamie Backer, Beth Summers, and Eva Winkeler  made their oblation after a one-year novitiate.

Also during Vespers Bob Bastarache and Scott Jorgensen were inducted as Oblate novices. Additionally Peg Marshall will start the novitiate but was unable to attend due to having to work. During their year of novitiate they will be instructed in the Rule and Benedictine Spirituality.

A reception was held in the monastery afterwards for the Oblates and their guests.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cross Country District Champions

This year's District Championship Meet was held at the Mount.  Mount Michael Fans gathered in large numbers to cheer on the Knights and were not disappointed.  Thomas Feichtinger continued his winning ways by finishing in 1st place. The other five Knights were also Medalists.  J.T. Cronin 3rd, Lukas Buehler 4th, Thomas Kalil 9th, Trey Wiemer 12th, and Marcus Cronin 13th.   The Knights will compete at the state championship in Kearney, Nebraska on Friday October 21st at 3:30 pm. 
 Go Knights! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Freshman Retreat

The theme for the freshman retreat this year was Ora et labora (Pray & Work).    The day began with practice and the assigning of roles for Mass which would be said later in the day. Some students also performed a short pantomime of the story of Saints Benedict and Scholastica.

Steve Luna offered a presentation about “Men and Prayer.”

The Eucharist followed with Fr Gregory Congote presiding. His homily was on Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

After a snack break, Fr. Daniel Lenz gave an explanation of the Medal of St. Benedict along with a presentation about the life of Saint Benedict written by Saint Gregory the Great.

After lunch the students had a break. In the afternoon Virginia Tardy gave a presentation on Ora et Labora with Mount Michael prayer beads. This was followed by lectio and the presentation of the story of Blessed Pier Goirgio Frassati given by Teresa Monaghen.  Next Cindy Jandrain gave a presentation on Labora/Service.   More Photos

Friday, October 7, 2011

Three Knights Receive National Merit Recognition

Congratulations to Mount Michael seniors George Townsend, Harrison Engel, and Michael Collins! George qualified as a National Merit Semi-Finalist and Harrison and Michael are National Merit Commended Students. George will proceed to the finalist selection next spring.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Grand Parent's Night

Starting at 6:30 he Mount Michael choir and band welcomed grandparents as they gathered in the gym to spend the evening with their grandsons.   Several persons addressed the gathering including student council president Thomas Feichtinger.

For the next hour the grandsons gave tours of the school and told their grandparents about life at the Mount.  Afterwards everyone enjoyed refreshments in the student union.

The evening concluded as everyone reassembled in the gym while the Mount Michael strings provided music.  Night prayer was then sung by the entire gathering and goodbyes were said.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sophomore Retreat Leadership

The sophomore retreat was held this year at Saint Patrick’s parish in Fremont, Nebraska. The presenter was Fr. Michael Eckley. The students participate in a variety of leadership activities including the creation of a shield modeled on the johari window. This activity allowed them to think about knowing their selves and others. Snacks and lunch were provided and served by several sophomore moms. More Photos

Friday, September 30, 2011

Called to Serve

Sang-Won Bahng '11 is currently a freshman chemical engineering major at the University of
. He was drafted into the Korean military and will be serving in August 2012. "You're
doing it for your country and paying back what your country has offered you," said Bang.
Read the entire article from the Daily Nebraskan

Monday, September 26, 2011

Junior Retreat: Service

This year's junior class retreat was focused on service. It was held at the Pro Sanctity Center located north of Elkhorn. The retreat was presented by Jessie an Apostolic Oblate and Jeff a college student who shared his conversion journey.

The day began with the celebration of the Eucharist and was followed by presentations, projects and participation in some service work around the grounds. Lunch was served by a generous group of junior class mothers who prepared a variety of delicious dishes. More Photos

Monday, September 19, 2011

Youth Rally and Fall Festival

Youth Rally & Fall Festival
Despite clouds and drizzle the Youth Rally and Fall Festival were a success. Because of the cool temperatures and rain, the Youth Rally was moved from the parking lot into the gym on Saturday afternoon. The gathering saw young people from many locales in eastern Nebraska gather at the Mount for fun and to strengthen and renew their faith.

Sunday's Festival saw plenty of clouds and drizzle in the morning, but by 2:00 pm the sky began to clear and the sun soon warmed a growing crowd, that had been slow to arrive up to that point.

Thank you to everyone who attended the events and the sponsors and friends of Mount Michael who worked so hard to make them a success.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Boys Town Ropes Course (Senior Retreat)

The senior class recently completed a one day retreat at Boys Town. After starting the day with Mass the class participated in the ropes course. The course is designed to challenge individuals in their personal development and team building. Lunch was provided by senior moms. Father Gregory Congote and Father Daniel Lenz from Mount Michael accompanied the class.  More Photos

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From Omaha to Hollywood

Jono Matt, ’06, studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and now works for the executive producer of “Son’s of Anarchy” at FX Network.  The show won the Television Critics Association award for outstanding achievement in a drama, and it boasts Katey Segal who won the 2011 Golden Globe Award for best actress in a drama.  Matt was recently in town for the Mount Michael Class of 2006 reunion and had an opportunity to answer some questions about his new job for the Alumni Post. 
Q: What does your new job actually entail?
A: I’m the assistant to television director and producer Paris Barclay, and we’re now working on the FX show “Sons of Anarchy.”  My job is to keep track of what the most recent decision is, according to daily changes on set involving, weather, actor illness, etc ...  
Q: How did you find this job and get hired?
A: Paris was forwarded my resume by my college pal that worked with him on Glee. Paris was intrigued by a line in my opening sentence ‘...raised in a boarding school flanked by cornstalks.’ So he plucked my resume from the stack, and we bonded during the interview over our similar high school experiences. He graduated in the 70’s from an all-male boarding school in Illinois
Q: What is the most rewarding part of the job?
A: My favorite part of work is spying in on the writer’s room. The writers have the pressure on their shoulders of writing 13 hours of TV on very short deadlines. For example, the writers are outlining episode 12 of the season, and the crew is now filming episode 9 -- not a lot of time to mess up. Also, a child from the make-a-wish foundation is coming to set this week; which is an emotional reminder of how lucky we are to be working at a place that people ‘wish’ to visit.   
Q: What is your favorite memory from Mount Michael?
A: My favorite part of MM is the bonds that are created from the universal experience every class shares. I just had four of my best friends come visit and none of them graduated with me (1 from 07, 3 from 08). In fact, I never spoke to them during school, it wasn’t until college when we got to chatting and were like “holy crap, we’re telling the same stories, just with different characters.”
Q: Where do you want to go from here?
A: I want to write for a scripted, one-hour drama television show next. Then move into feature screenplay writing and ultimately write an animated movie for Pixar.

Greg Sullivan '06 Reflects on a Year in Africa on a Benedictine Volunteer Program

Togo, the smile of Africa, is a small, West African country tucked in between Ghana and Benin. It is one of the poorest nations in the world with no major exports or mainstream tourist attractions. But what this little country lacks in financial capital and world recognition, it makes up for in culture. I could not have asked for a more difficult, trying, or rewarding experience than what I went through in my six months in Togo. The mission of my service was to teach in a rural school and determine if the monastery at which I was residing would be a valid and safe service site for the St. John’s Benedictine Volunteer Corps, as I was the first volunteer to set foot in West Africa. My teaching and my time in Togo lasted for six months when I decided to join forces with another volunteer in Nairobi, Kenya to work with street children living in the Mathare slum. The two months I spent in Kenya were a wonderful compliment to my experience in Togo. I was afforded the rare opportunity to work with children from two very different yet very similar cultures of Africa. It truly was the experience of a lifetime. And to avoid doing the trip a disservice that experience by trying to describe it in a few words I have provided a link to the blog which I edited throughout my journey.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Faculty Kick Off the Year with a Retreat

In preparation for the new school year the entire faculty and staff made a short retreat on Monday morning, the feast of the Assumption of Mary.

The retreat was led by Teresa Moynihan from thePro Sanctity Center.  Teresa has been a friend of Mount Michael for many years. The Pro Sanctity Center hosts our class retreats for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors every fall.

Being very familiar with the Benedictines Teresa spoke about Benedictine values and how she has observed them at Mount Michael and adapted them into her own life.

She pointed out that the Rule of Saint Benedict begins with the phrase: “Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.”  All of us, whether faculty, staff, monk or student, needs to listen carefully to what our hearts are telling us, not just the noisy sounds around us.  We need to take time each day for the Benedictine practice of the slow meditative reading of scripture called Lectio Divina.  It is listening to our hearts during this prayerful time that nourishes our souls and gives us the energy and insight to live our Christian faith fully.

Monday, August 15, 2011

All Family Mass and Picnic Starts the Year

Every school year starts off with Mass and a picnic under the pines sponsored by the Mount Michael Booster Club. The Mass was said by school chaplain Fr Gregory Congote O.S.B.  The music was led by senior Joe Bastian.

At the conclusion of Mass a few announcements were made and then the chicken was distributed for dinner.  More Photos

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Senior Legion Baseball: State Champions


At the state tournament the Knights had a spectacular showing.
The Knights dominated by outscoring their opponents 55-5.
Congratulations Knights!

State Results
Round one: Hartington - Knights win 11-0 
Round two: Alma - Knights win 13 - 1
Round three: Pender - Knights win 10-0 
Round four: David City - Knights win 12-3 
Championship Game: Pender - Knights win 4-1 in 10 innings

 Omaha World Herald - Championship Article
Omaha World Herald - All in the Family 
Omaha World Herald - Heads called, Mount Michael Declared Champ