Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Repairs & Upgrades

Track Resurfacing - More photos
Every summer while students and faculty are on break various repairs and upgrades are undertaken at the Mount.   So far the track has been resurface and will be painted in the near future.  The stage roof has been recovered to stop some pesky leaks, the server room has been remodeled and segmented into additional office space for faculty. Currently worn pavement is being replaced in front of the Chapel and in the near future carpet will be replace the rubberized surface on the ramp between the school and gym.   

The most exciting upgrade for campus this summer is a 3 mile fiber-optic line has been run and currently being connected to the buildings.   This line was schedule to be completed the end of July but but it looks like it might be ready early in the month! Photos

Regular repairs and upkeep are in full swing.  Leading the way in keeping the grounds in tip top shape are alums Colten Boison ' 14 and Lucas Tucker'15.     

A Fiber-Optic Line is laid along Mount Michael Road to bring improved internet connectivity to the Mount

Monday, June 29, 2015

New Hires for 2015-2016 School Year

Technology Director

Dr. Thomas Rzemyk, Ed.D.
Dr. Thomas Rzemyk will be the Mount’s new technology director. Dr Rzemyk holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration from Bellevue University, a Master of Science in Security Management & Criminal Justice from Bellevue University, and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Higher Education Leadership from North central University. He is also a graduate of the United States Air Force Security Forces Police Academy. Thomas began his law enforcement career in 2001 in the United States Air Force as a Security Forces Military Police Officer and Investigator. After an honorable discharge in 2005, Thomas began a professional career in Information Technology and Network Security. He has been employed as an analyst by the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and for the last eight years, served as a Technology Facilitator for Millard Public Schools in Omaha.. He also teaches and develops undergraduate and graduate courses at various educational institutions across the United States.

Dr. Rzemyk currently has over a decade of information technology, project management, and higher education classroom teaching experience. “As a technology professional, it is my vision that all faculty, students, and staff have access to the technology resources required to be successful, innovative, and creative in the classroom. Technology continues to evolve and is an important element of society. I believe that strategically aligning students with the correct tools and technology resources allows them to become independently inspired and motivated to work collaboratively with their peers. Thus, preparing each student for a rewarding future.”

Basketball Coach

Derrik Spooner
Leading the Knights in the Palace next winter will be Coach Derrik Spooner. Coach Spooner is a native of Omaha and a graduate of Millard North High School. He played basketball for Hasting College and earned his BA in Physical Education with an endorsement in K-12 Physical Education.

Post-graduation, Coach Spooner taught for both Holy Cross Catholic School as well as Grace Abbott Elementary School.

His recent coaching experience included the titles of Boys Varsity Assistant/Junior Varsity Head Basketball Coach, Boys Freshmen Basketball Coach and Reserve Baseball Coach, all within the athletic department of Millard North High School. It is an exciting time for Mount Michael Benedictine athletics. We wish Coach Derrik Spooner much luck in the coming season.


Mount Michael is happy to welcome Mr. Patrick  Mohs to our community. He will be teaching Algebra and Geometry at the Mount.  He graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2010 and has since then taught Algebra and Geometry at St.  Wenceslaus and Westside Middle School.

Social Studies

Tom Swanson '01
Mount Micheal Alum Tom Swanson '01 is excited to return to the Mount as a teacher. In 2007 he graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha. For the last nine years Tom has called Alliance, Nebraska home.  He has has taught a variety of courses at Alliance High School; American History Research, World History and Geography, Current Events, Academic Decathlon, America at War, and Holocaust History.  He has designed elective courses, and developed flipped and blended learning environments that have increased student achievement.

Tom has been head coach of the Alliance Spartans American Legion Baseball team for many years and in 2014 led them to their first state birth in a quarter century. He also has experience coach cross country. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sokols Gift Mount Michael $5,000,000

Mount Michael Benedictine announced this week that the school received the largest single gift since its inception in 1970.  To honor their son and brother, DJ Sokol, philanthropists, David and Peggy Sokol and Kelly Sokol Avery donated $5,000,000 for a new school building.  The building will be named The DJ Sokol Learning for Life Building.  DJ Sokol was a 1999 alumnus of Mount Michael Benedictine School who lost his heroic battle to cancer in June of that same year.

Over the years the Sokol family has been very generous to our monastic community and school; donating funds to renovate the chapel, the student union (Armory), the sophomore floor and other important projects.  Additionally they were the single largest donors to the new wing of the Abbey Building, completed in 2007.  The Sokols believe in the power of education for young men.  They have invested in Mount Michael Benedictine because our students absorb and reflect the Benedictine values of Community, Moderation, Hospitality, Integrity and Service.  The first stage of the Now is the Time campaign allowed us to replace a Waste Water Treatment Facility and to increase our endowment for the operation of the school by $2,000,000.  Additionally the freshman dormitory was renovated and a new shower room installed.

The capital campaign currently maintains a $2,100,000 balance including cash and pledges.  With the addition of this gift we have $7,100,000 and will break ground on The DJ Sokol Learning for Life Building in the fall of 2015.  Along with other classrooms this building will feature a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Center, new Media Center and Computer Lab. The goal will be for this building to open during the 2017-18 school year.

The Sokol family hopes to encourage matching gifts from alumni, our Mount Michael family and other potential donors.  We still need your help to complete this project.  No gift will be too small.  With a concerted and combined effort we are confident that we will move from vision to reality.

Please feel free to contact Mrs. Kim Volpone at 402.253.0964 or email her at kvolpone@mountmichael.org to donate or volunteer to help us in this endeavor.  In addition to your financial support we truly need your prayers and assistance.

Below is a preliminary sketch showing the new building in relationship to the current campus. The DJ Sokol Learning for Life Building is illustrated to the right of the current facility.  Prochaska & Associates and BCDM will be the Architects for this project.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sports odds and ends

All State Soccer
Marcus Cronin ('15) and Dusty Loukota ('15) played for the North team in the recent Nebraska Shrine Soccer Classic. The south team won in a shootout. The Omaha World-Herald named Cronin and Sam Van Haute ('16) as Class B second team all-state selections. Jonathan Collins ('15), Loukota, Colin Lakeman ('18) and Andrew Ernst ('15) were honorable mention selections for the Knights. The Lincoln Journal Star placed Cronin on its Class B all-state team with Loukota and Van Haute tabbed as honorable mention selections.

All State Baseball
In baseball Chris Riddle ('15), Ryan Riddle ('17), Mick Steier ('15) and Jake Batenhorst ('15) were named Class B honorable mention by the Omaha World-Herald. 

All State Golf
J.T. Hudson was named All Class B Golf
MVP Basketball
Knight shines as South heats up late (Article snippets from the Omaha World Herald)

For Mohammad Elradi and the rest of the South boys squad, it was all about saving their best for last at the Metro Basketball Coaches Association’s annual Buell-Brosnihan Cage Classic.

Elkhorn Mount Michael’s Elradi scored 20 points and collected MVP honors as the South outscored the North 40-27 in the fourth quarter in cruising to a 119-105 win at Omaha Creighton Prep’s Heider Center.

Elradi credited his teammates for getting him the ball when he was open.

“We just came out to play,” he said. “I was hitting the shots I needed to hit and got us where we are,” Elradi said.

Complete Article: Buell-Brosnihan Cage Classic on Saturday.

2015 Five-Year Reunions

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Top Half Left to Right: 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985
Bottom Half Left to Right 2010 1990 1995 2000 2005

Class of 1965
Back row: Father Norman Hunke, John Schulte, Phil Kelley, William Keiderling, Gene McGuire, Steve Vertin, Father Jim Shaughnessy, Gary Slothower, Paul Derks
Front row: Ron George, Dean Uhing, James Maynes, Ed Siedlik

Class of 1970
Jeff Selzle, Michael Reznicek

Class of 1975
Back row: Harry Eccleston, Floyd Stoddard, Tom Dolphin, Jim Schulte, James Stackhouse, Bob Nelson
Front row: Richard Langenegger, Brian Burke, Michael Leonard, Donald Brandt

Class of 1980
Doug Hettinger, Mark Sojka

Class of 1985
Back row: Charlie Collins, David DiGiancito
Front row: John Hoffman, Daniel DiGiancito, Matt Schmidt

Class of 1990
Back row: Matt Liebrentritt, Mark Tamisiea, Richard Dickey, Peter Bradley, Travis Smith, Scott Ullrich
Front row: Jeremy Fitzpatrick, Jeff Brady, Dan O’Keefe, Peter Hoppe

Class of 1995
Back row: Andrew Himberger, Matt Pick, Matt Wilson, Jim Jansen
Front row: Craig Hegemann, Jim Clements, Jeremy Reiff, Joe Gard

Class of 2000
Tom Houston, David Jarvis

Class of 2005
Back row: Scott Lindgren, Blake Suing, Aaron Cox, Ron Kmieck
Front row: Chris Sanchez, Lance Villenueve, Steve Christenson

Class of 2010
Back row: Will Denton, Nate Evans, Sean Murphy, Adam Prusa, Mike O’Donnell, Charles Dudek, Tommy Christenson

Back row: Brendan Walsh, Ted Pane, Joshua Charvat, Gunhee Park, Christopher Hoff 

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