Monday, November 26, 2012

Seeking Prospective Students in Asia

Jake Recker | Editor for "The Mount"

“I thought Mount Michael’s trip to Asia was beneficial for a variety of reasons. It gave us the opportunity to meet with our current parents, touch base with some of our international alums, and to recruit new students,” Admissions Director Eric Crawford said. This is the third time Crawford has been in Asia for recruiting; the trip took place in late October, and Crawford was joined by Dr. David Peters, Head of School.

On the trip, Peters and Crawford traveled to China and South Korea. They visited the cities of Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul. The main focus of the trip was recruiting. They attended a school fair in Shanghai along with 40 other boarding schools from the U.S. and Canada. At the fair, the pair was able to meet with many students interested in coming to Mount Michael. Mount Michael rates as the top all-male boarding school in the country for both affordability and standardized test scores, making it an attractive choice for international students looking for an American education. Recruiting was not the only part of the agenda in China, however. During their stay, Peters and Crawford had the opportunity to advance Mount Michael’s relationship with Chinese schools as well. Peters and Crawford visited two schools, a grade school in Wuxi, China and a high school in Beijing. The visit to the grade school in Wuxi was set up by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce with the idea that this institution could become a sister school with Mount Michael. The high school they visited is the top school in Beijing. Crawford and Peters met with the assistant principal; they were surprised to learn that she was so impressed with Mount Michael that her school hopes to collaborate on school projects with Mount Michael in the future.

Peter’s and Crawford’s stay in Seoul consisted mostly of visiting with the families of our current students. “Meeting with the parents was a great way for the parents to meet someone from the school for the first time, and it was also beneficial for them to get information on the school,” Peters said. Not only is Mount Michael expanding its recruiting internationally, the school is looking to recruit more in the United States. Recently Crawford attended boarding school fairs in both New York and Dallas to put Mount Michael’s name out on a national level. He is also putting more ads about Mount Michael in cities such as Des Moines, Kansas City, and Sioux City. Both these recruiting efforts, international and national, help Mount Michael maintain its student population. The school wants to keep the international population at around 10% so that it will remain an immersion experience for international students. In order to keep that balance, Mount Michael needs a broad domestic recruiting system.

In any case, Mount Michael’s enrollment is growing. After this year’s senior class of 38 graduates, the hope is to have every incoming freshman class at around 65 students. This will boost the entire enrollment to about 240, the school’s maximum carrying capacity. In order to maintain its competitive edge, Mount Michael wants to receive more applicants than the school can accept. This way, Mount Michael will have high performing students, both locally and internationally. “We want to make sure we have the best qualified students coming from all over. We want to gain more internationally, but we still want to serve Nebraska students first and make sure we get the best out of Omaha,” said Crawford.

Mount Michael’s international program is unique. Without the international students, Mount Michael would lose an aspect of its culture not found in any other Omaha school, and the trips to Asia only further strengthen Mount Michael’s international program. “We want to make this trip to Asia a regular one. We hope to go back every two years from now on to be able to stay connected with families and alumni in Asia as well as to implement a new and exciting recruitment tool,” Peters said.

Roshone: About More Than Wins and Losses

Yunsik Oh | Staff Writer for "The Mount"

For John Roshone, coaching is not all about winning. Win or lose, he cares about his players and puts all of his efforts into improving the varsity basketball squad as a whole.

Mount Michael’s strong basketball tradition can be traced back to legendary coach Jim “Killer” Kane. During Kane's Tenure George Roshone, John’s father served as junior varsity coach. When Roshone retired, the reins transferred to Jim Mayberger '84. During these eras, Mount Michael won two state championships and two state runner-ups. Today, the younger Roshone is carrying on the program’s rich tradition as head coach.

Coach John RoshoneGeorge Roshone coached at Mount Michael from 1970 to 1993. He had a big influence on John’s life. “My dad hasn’t necessarily influenced my coaching, but he has influenced my life more than anyone else. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are going to Mount Michael football and basketball games on Friday nights, or running around in the gym or gullies during weekend practices when my dad was coaching,” said Roshone.

During his high school years, Roshone played football and basketball for coach Kane. “The most important thing I learned from coach Kane was that there is no substitute for hard work and at the end of the day, win or lose, if you played as hard as you possibly could, you should have no regrets,” Roshone said. He also said that he had the incredible fortune to play with two all-state basketball players, Pat Moylan and Kevin Clanton. “Because of them I was able to play on teams that were very successful. More than anything, those years just reaffi rmed my love for Mt. Michael as a whole,” said Roshone.

For Roshone, it is still about connecting with his team. He enjoys his time with the students who, he says, make Mount Michael a great place. “Roshone is a very committed teacher and a coach. He understands what it takes to succeed both in the classroom and in the court. Mount Michael is lucky to have such a respected person as at our school,” said junior Tommy Maliszewski.
The worst part in Roshone’s coaching career was when Mount Michael lost to Elkhorn South two years ago at districts and barely missed out at state as a wild card team. “They started the season 0-5 and won 15 of 16 games after. They were such a great group of seniors to coach and it was hard to end the season that way knowing I would not coach them again,” said Roshone.

As the season approaches, Roshone looks forward to seeing his team improve. “I hope this season can be better than last year's. I want to focus on rebounding, not turning the ball over and free throws.”

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Monastic Celebrations: 135 Years of Service

by Prior Richard Thell, O.S.B. 
     Over the years I have been asked to write about various monks, especially at the time of anniversaries or as we say in the monastery: jubilees.  I feel that I never do justice to those monks about whom I write.  Each monk has his own God-given gifts which he uses each day within and outside of the monastic community.  Living and working as closely together as we do, there is the tendency to take for granted what others see.  What follows is a tribute to three good monks.
     In the abbey at Thanksgiving time, the monastic community celebrated the jubilees of: Abbot Raphael Walsh, Father Stephen Plank and Brother Francis Schmitz, whose monastic service equal 135 years.  The gifts, talents, and accomplishments of each of these men are many and varied.
     Brother Francis Schmitz celebrates his golden jubilee of monastic profession this year.  Brother Francis sits across from me each day in chapel during our monastic prayer and daily Mass--he is always there!!  In fact if Brother is not there (which is extremely rare) someone will go to his room to see if something is wrong.  Among the monks, Brother Francis is known for the steadfastness and good example he sets for all of us at prayer; his jovial personality, and the wry comments that he injects into almost every conversation.
     Brother first came to Mount Michael in 1961, and was among the group of men who made up the first novitiate class of Mount Michael Abbey.  After a year of novitiate, Brother France professed his vows as a Benedictine monk on the feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, 1962.  Although he is now retired, he has held many jobs here at the abbey; he has worked in the kitchen, on the grounds, and along with Brother Andrew was responsible for establishing the Christmas tree farm of the 1980s.
     Mount Michael alums from the '70s, '80s and '90s will remember Brother most for his fanatical support of all Mount Michael athletics--especially basketball.  Many who are reading this article will recall Brother Francis on the sidelines of the basketball court sitting behind (or, at times, next to) Coach Jim Kane.  During the more heated basketball games, both Coach Kane and Brother Francis would freely offer advice (encouragement?) to the referees when they thought an errant call had been made.
     What many of the athletes of those days might not know was that after football and basketball games, Brother would wash the team uniforms.  For many, many years, he worked well into the night making sure that the Mount Michael uniforms were laundered and repaired; he took great pride in his work and our teams always had their uniforms ready and clean for the next game. He is still an avid fan of all Mount Michael sports, and of course, Nebraska football.
     Father Stephen Plank first came to Mount Michael as a freshman in high school in 1977.  After graduation in 1981, he went to Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas; he then entered the novitiate at Mount Michael and professed his vows as a monk 25 years ago on July 19, 1987.  He studied theology at the Catholic University of America and was ordained on April 16, 1994.  Since that time Father Stephen has continued his academic interests; he holds several degrees including degrees in counseling and school administration.  Currently he is a full time member of the Mount Michael Benedictine faculty; he teaches all the French classes, a college planning class, a psychology class and is the college guidance counselor.
     Over the span of 25 years, Father Stephen has been a Dean in the school, Spanish teacher, biology teacher and principal.  His forte is languages and for many years Father Stephen has been a teacher in and chairperson of Mount Michael Benedictine's foreign language department. As a sign of his excellence and hard work in his field, he was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award by the Nebraska International Language Association.
     Father Stephen in a voracious reader:  fiction, non-fiction, current events, entertainment, etc.  He is a good “go-to” person for reading suggestions and reviews.  His extensive knowledge of history and all things French gives him plenty of material for very well informed homilies.  He is a gifted homilist; he was able to use this gift and share his thoughts on 25 years of monastic profession in his homily at our monastic Thanksgiving Day Mass.
     Sixty years ago on May 30, 1952, Abbot Raphael Walsh was ordained a priest at Conception Abbey in Missouri. He was appointed as first abbot of Mount Michael on October 6, 1964.  Over the years much has been written about him in the pages of the Michaeleen and he, himself, has written many articles for this publication; most recently as president of Mount Michael Benedictine.  Although his assignment as president came to an end two years ago, he is not retired. (That word is not in his vocabulary.)  He continues to serve the community by his faithful attendance at the Divine Office and Mass, his weekly and weekend pastoral assignments, and his work in the Mount Michael Development Office.  When Abbot Michael needs a priest for an last minute assignment he knows he can count of Abbot Raphael who is more than willing to help.
     When he retired as abbot in 1989, Abbot Raphael spent 13 years as a parish priest at Saint James Parish in Omaha.  He worked hard at that assignment and still maintains contact with many of the friends he made there.  He stays current with what is happening in the church through he almost daily reading of Catholic publications.  When he is not prayer, reading or working, he likes to play golf which he says is good for his humility (and prayer life).
     At 85, his energy is amazing, and more than one monk has mused that he hopes to have even a small portion of Abbot Raphael's energy when reaching that age.  When I asked Abbot Raphael what his 60 of priesthood has meant to him, he said that as a novice he loved to pray Psalm 23 because of the verse, "One thing I ask of the Lord and this I seek that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life."  He went on to say that "after 67 years as a monk and 60 years as a priest I thank God that my prayer has been answered."
     In his homily to the monastic community on Thanksgiving Day, Father Stephen acknowledged the 135 years that he, Abbot Raphael and Brother Francis have given to monastic life. Anyone of you who have met one or all of these monks knows that they do what they do because of their love God, His Church, and for their vocation to Mount Michael. For this, all of us are grateful and we know that Mount Michael will continue to benefit from many more years of their prayer and service.  Ad Multos Annos!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

National Blue Ribbon School Banner Unveiled at Rally

Dr. Peters & Mayor Suttle unveil National Blue Ribbon Banner

     Representatives of the entire Mount Michael community of students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and school board members along with dignitaries, were on hand for the unveiling of our National Blue Ribbon banner and plaque. Talks were given by Head of School Dr. David Peters, Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle, and stand-ins for Congressmen Lee Terry and Jeff Fortenberry. The Mount Michael choir and band also performed at the celebration.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Math Day Contest

At the UNL Math Day, Mt. Michael took 2nd place  in class B on the Probe I written exam and 3rd place in the Quiz Bowl.  Out of the 99 schools and 1389 students that participated, Eun Woo Jee placed 21st and Sung Han Yoon placed 26th.

Mount Michael’s participants were Ji Hoon Park, John Choi, Yutong Gao, Yoon Ho Kim, Yun Sik Oh, Eun Woo Jee, Moon Sup Kim, Sung Han Yoon, Cameron Bretsen, Jonathan Collins, Young Joon Park, Jin Seo Kim, Logan Larson, Dun Fletcher Li, Lucas, Tucker, Chongshi Sun, Christian Keller, and Changgi Kang. More Photos

Friday, November 9, 2012

All-State Athletes


Congratulations to Thomas Kalil '14 on being named all-state/all class by the Nebraska Coaches Association. Senior JT Cronin was also recognized by the association earning all-state Class B honors for the second straight year. Kalil and Cronin helped lead Mount Michael to the Class B state cross country championship this past October.
Thomas Kalil                                J.T. Cronin

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Retired Green Beret Returns to Mount Michael as Substitute

Jimmy Steier | Editor for “The Mount”

Some students may have noticed a new face at Mount Michael. This is the face of substitute A.P. Calculus and Honors Physics teacher David Wooten, who has a doctorate in Applied Physics. Wooten is the father of senior D.J. Wooten and sophomore Thomas Wooten. Wooten graciously donated his time to help teach the classes normally taught by Abbot Michael Liebl for two weeks while Liebl was visiting Rome. “When Abbot Michael asked me to come and teach, I was more than happy to help,” Wooten said. Wooten, who graduated from Mount Michael in 1987, has an interesting and admirable past.

Wooten came to the Mount in 1984 because he thought an all-boys boarding school sounded like an ideal escape from his four sisters at home. He also saw Mount Michael as an academically challenging school that would cultivate his potential. At Mount Michael, Wooten was taught by Liebl. “Back then, he was just Father Mike to us, but he was also even scarier. He used to tell us that sitting was a privilege, and he even made us stand in class for one whole week when we became a little too rowdy,” Wooten said. “Father Mike was one of my biggest inspirations for getting a graduate degree in physics, however. He fostered my interest in this subject very early on in high school.”

After high school, Wooten attended the United States Air Force Academy. He then went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering and a Doctorate in Applied Physics from the Air Force Academy’s Institute of Technology. After earning these degrees, Wooten switched from the Air Force to serve in Army combat forces. Wooten then became a special forces Green Beret. He was named a Green Beret A-Team leader and was stationed in countries such as Panama and Bosnia. After retiring from combat, Wooten settled down and started a family. He now works as an active Army advisor dealing with counter proliferation, which refers to diplomatic, intelligence, and military efforts to combat the production of weapons.

Mount Michael students have benefitted from Wooten’s experience in the fields of physics and calculus and from his familiarity with Mount Michael. “It’s great to have someone familiar with Mount Michael in class. Mr. Wooten teaches us very well while keeping class fun and enjoyable. Some of the stories he has told us from his time at Mount Michael are hilarious,” senior John Thomas Cronin said.
While subbing at the Mount, Wooten has noticed many changes. “When I went to Mount Michael, only three teachers were not monks. We also didn’t have a big computer lab or a baseball field. The room where the computers are now used to be a room filled with typewriters. Typing 101 may have been one of the most useful classes I took at the Mount,” Wooten said.

Wooten also notes that some things have remained the same. “There is still a great college-prep atmosphere at Mount Michael. It’s a very unique school that offers challenging classes and fosters a great moral fiber in its students. Subbing for Abbot Michael at my alma mater has been a great experience,” Wooten said.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Academic Decathlon Team News

On Saturday, November 3, Mount Michael participated in the first Academic Decathlon scrimmage of the year.  The scrimmage is not an official competition, but it helps schools see how they may compare in three of the seven academic areas and gives students an opportunity to practice under real test conditions.

Marcus Cronin:  2nd place in Math
Gus deMayo:  3rd place in Art
Alex Hotovy:  3rd place in Math, 2nd place in Language & Literature
Zach Starman:  3rd place in Language & Literature

Ben Connealy:  1st place in Art, 2nd place in Language & Literature
Ben Pape:  3rd place in Math
Adam Terasinski:  2nd place in Art, 1st place in Language & Literature

Gabe Cohen:  3rd place in Language & Literature
Collin Donahue:  1st place in Math
Andy Johannes:  1st place in Language & Literature
Scott Townsend:  2nd place in Math

John Choi:  2nd place in Math
Rowan Gruber:  3rd place in Math
Eun Woo Jee:  3rd place in Math

In addition, Thomas Kalil and Alex Hotovy received medals for having the highest overall scores for Mount Michael's team.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bishop Dendinger Celebrates All Saints Feast at the Mount

Mount Michael/St. John’s alum, Bishop William Dendinger ‘57 came back to the Mount to celebrate the Feast of All Saints with the entire school and monastic community.  Bishop Dendinger is currently the bishop of the Grand Island, Nebraska Diocese. Bishop Dendinger reminded the students that facing life’s difficulties with steadfast commitment to their faith is the path of White Martyrdom to which we are all called. More Photos