Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Blessed & Broken

View More Architect Drawings
The Feast of the Archangels is always a notable event at the Mount but this year it had much greater significance than usual.   This day marked the groundbreaking and blessing of the site for The DJ Sokol Learning for Life Building.  Many guests were in attendance including school board members, donors, families and friends. Of special note was the presence of Peggy Sokol the mother of DJ Sokol ‘99 in whose memory the building is named.

Archbishop Lucas Blesses The Building Site
Because of a larger crowd for this year’s special events the feast day Mass was held in the Gymnasium instead of the Chapel.  Archbishop George Lucas was the celebrant for the Eucharist.  During the service the Archbishop also mandated 6 students as extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. They were juniors Zach Cairney, Jean-Marie Djidjoho, Joe Coldiron, Patrick Halpin, Drew Goddard, and Michael Ecker.

After Mass everyone proceeded to the construction site.  For the blessing the students stood along an outline of the school as the Archbishop sprinkled holy water at the future entrance.  Students then were each given vials of holy water and dispersed to sprinkle holy water throughout the site.   The student kept the vials as mementos of the occasion.

In the evening a large crowd again gathered at the construction site this time for a ground breaking ceremony.  Numerous talks were giving noting the school history and thanking supporters past and present for making Mount Michael the great school that it is.  Peggy Sokol was presented with a framed rendition of the architects drawing of The DJ Sokol Learning for Life Building.  Many of DJ’s classmates from 1999 posed with Mrs. Sokol for a photograph.

Formal Ground Breaking Ceremony
Ten individuals partook of the formal ground breaking ceremony representing various parts of the Mount Michael community.  They were Andrew Collins ’01, President of the Alumni Assoc.; Greg Steiren ’01 of BCDM, Todd Rohweder, School Board President; Michael Fischer ’16, Student Council President; Dr. David Peters, Head of School; Peggy Sokol, Abbot Michael ’68, Fr. Daniel Hendrickson ’89, President of Creighton University; Jim Classe ’84 of Prochaska & Associates, and John Levy representing DJ’s class of 1999.  

At the conclusion of the formal ceremony students, faculty and families broke out their shovels to turn a little dirt!

The current construction timeline calls for finalized plans by the end of October with construction bids going out in November.  Some preliminary ground work might be done this fall but the actual construction start is slated for March.  The goal is for completion for the 2017-2018 school year. The Architects for The DJ Sokol Learning for Life Building are Prochaska & Associates and BCDM.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Bits & Pieces

National Merit Commended Student
Mount Michael is  proud to announce that in addition to having 2 National Merit Finalist senior Jackson Thompson was named a National Merit Commended Student.

Commended students represent the top 5% of the 1.5 million students entered in the 2016 competition.

Jackson is the son of Dr. Michael and Michele Thompson of Elkhorn.  He attended Elkhorn Valley View Middle School.

Pope Watch
Mount Michael seniors traveled to Creighton University to watch Pope Francis address Congress. Time was set aside afterword for prayer,  reflection and small group breakout sessions. There was also a question and answer session with Congressman Brad Ashford via closed circuit from Washington. Photos

Knights Named to Mayor's Youth Advisory Commission
Juniors Patrick Halpin and Joe Coldiron have both been selected to represent Mount Michael on the Mayor's Youth Advisory Committee.  They will be attending meetings for this committee one afternoon a month.  

The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Commission provides youth voice and representation within the City of Omaha. The Commission is designed to encourage high school students to become engaged in local government and active in their community through civic participation. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Christian (Andy) Dunbar '89 featured in the UCLA ANDERSON BLOG

Career SEAL and John Wooden Global Leadership Fellow Christian Dunbar Thinks Fearlessly about His Next Layer of Service

By Carolyn Gray Anderson
Christian Dunbar (EMBA ’16) has been active on Navy SEAL teams for 22 years. He is a U.S. Navy Captain and Deputy Commander in the Naval Special Warfare Center, responsible for all West Coast SEAL teams. He’s embarked on nearly a dozen deployments, many in combat, most under his leadership and lasting six months. One of those deployments interrupted his MBA studies, requiring him to take a year’s leave of absence to run Special Operations in Afghanistan.
In 2015 — the year he would have graduated were he not called into service overseas — Dunbar is one of four recipients of a John Wooden Global Leadership Fellowship. He’s a third-generation Eagle Scout whose Midwestern parents set strong examples of citizenship and personal responsibility. With two grandfathers who served in World War II, grandmothers who inspired his wise choice of spouse, and four children (ages 2 to 12) at home in San Diego, he regards his family as his most influential collaborators. “It takes their resilience, the shared love in the family,” he says, “to be able to succeed.”
At Dunbar’s level of Special Operations, leaders toggle back and forth between tactical assignments or deployments and corporate executive roles running a piece of the organization in, say, HR or finance. “You traverse from being in charge of 16 people in the middle of the night on the ocean, trying to get them to do dangerous things, to growing up to be in charge of 70 people, to then being in charge of 350 people. Your leadership style changes. When it’s a smaller unit, it’s definitely more visceral: it’s about ‘you and me’ and survival. You find a good way to create a bond with your people. Whereas when you continue to grow up it’s a little bit more about ‘Do I know how to be a technical expert?’ ‘Can I run larger management pieces and run divisions instead of small teams?’” Special Operations, he says, teaches you always to ask whether you’re doing the right thing for the people on the ground (or in the water, as the case may be), as you would in combat. “As you get withdrawn from personal risk, you still have that bond with other guys on the ground.”
Humbled by his award, Dunbar says he wants to live a life of leadership that Wooden would be proud of. For his part, he can be proud of his track record so far; but he acknowledges the possibility of resting on one’s laurels.
Dunbar grew up in the Midwest and went to college at Notre Dame, where UCLA basketball wasn’t exactly on his youthful radar. But he wrote in the essay required for his Wooden fellowship application that Coach Wooden actually had a role in shaping his leadership development and his ability to motivate people effectively after years of managing them. He says in 2005 he had just changed jobs, going from a corporate and policy role in Special Operations Command to jump back into a SEAL team as director and deputy commander of operations. His team, a Special Operations task force, was preparing to deploy to Anbar Province, Iraq, in 2006. A senior enlisted advisor shadowing him helped him become aware that, although he was master of all the tactical and technical components of his work, he might have lost sight of the most effective and intuitive (vs. mechanical) ways to manage, lead and inspire other people.
An avid reader of classic manuals on leadership, Dunbar read Wooden on Leadership on the recommendation of his wife, a former Marine. Remembering the valuable lessons in that book, Dunbar paraphrases Coach Wooden by observing, “When you think you have all the answers, you’ve stopped asking the right questions.” And he took to heart that friendship and cooperation are both foundations of the Wooden Pyramid of Success. “I directly attribute to Coach Wooden my ability to pivot at a pretty critical time, 12 years into the SEAL teams, when I thought I was very successful but was losing touch.”
With master’s degrees in space systems operations and unconventional warfare (which describes as the “science of counter-terrorism”), Dunbar is pursuing an Executive MBA because he’s developing a “sports performance” business in which he’s applying psychology and behavioral techniques that have worked in military contexts to mitigate negative behavior — specifically, sexual assault and domestic violence.
Through what he describes as a circuitous path, Dunbar says, “I really feel as though I’ve found that next layer of service.” His consultancy teaches better habits and decision-making to help athletes become better educated as well as better selected and assessed, and imparts better ways to cope with the stress and the power struggle they deal with on the field. He’s led this kind of training across an organization thousands wide, and he imagines clients among the NFL or other major athletics organizations and large university systems.
Thus, a for-profit business applying the methods he knows effectively intercept and change negative behavior will branch into the Ethos Project, inspired by alarming statistics that one in four college women will get sexually assaulted on campus. When family friend and UC Regents President Janet Napolitano launched the Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault, Dunbar, with three daughters of his own, reflected that, having helped to stop the invasion of entire countries, he ought to be able to contribute somehow to curbing this kind of violence.
He’s now training to be a victim advocate. He says UCLA offered him chances for collaboration outside Anderson. He’s networked among people on Napolitano’s UC task force, medical care providers, and UCLA Title IX Coordinator Kathleen Salvaty, a fellow Notre Dame graduate.
“The Anderson experience has been amazing for me,” says Dunbar. “I chose to comehere.” He says he interviewed at other b-schools where the process felt more “cut-throat,” but the Anderson culture reinforces for him “a sense of purpose, a sense of service.” He feels strongly that the Anderson community is interested in the quality of life, within the b-school cohort and outside of it. “It’s a lot about the students, but it’s also about the staff, the faculty…. And some of them are not just plain old ‘good professors.’ I look at what they do extra; they’re studying or they’re proving or discussing happiness.
“When you get to be my age and you’ve been in the SEAL teams for twenty-something years…it’s about resourcefulness, it’s about working hard, it’s about a commitment to each other — there are other things in life besides business success.”

This Article was extracted from the UCLA Anderson Blog

Monday, September 21, 2015

60th Annual Mount Michael Fall Festival 2015

The day was picture perfect and the crowd was large from the beginning of the day until the close.

Fall Festival is a special event and it’s always a wonderful reminder of what an amazing community we have! Thank you for volunteering your time in order to support our monastic community. Whether you volunteered at a food booth, made a donation, set-up, baked cakes, cleaned-up, helped at a game booth, loaded a hayrack ride, tore-down, or helped a guest feel welcome -- everyone was an integral part of making the event a success and we thank you.

A special thank you to all those who attended the festival with family and friends.  See you again next year at the 61st Mount Michael Fall Festival.

 Save the Date: September 18, 2016!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Journalism Launches News Blog

Journalism Blog

The Mount Michael Journalism Team has started a journalism blog titled "Free-Lance" it is the online companion to the student produced print publications "The Mount"  It includes news, sports, features, entertainment and opinion pieces.  Updates will be posted 3 times a week.

You can also follow Mount Michael Journalism on Twitter @MM_Journalism

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Two Knights Recognized as National Merit Semi-Finalist; One Commended

Congratulations to Mount Michael’s two National Merit Semi-finalists. Sam Bohart and Christian Keller.
Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. High school seniors.

Sam is the son of Drs. Andrew and Patricia Bohart of Lincoln Nebraska. He attended Lux Middle School and is a member or St. Joseph's Parish.

Christian is the son of Steve and Cathy Keller of Omaha. He attended St. Stephen the Martyr School and parish in Omaha.

Semifinalists now continue on to compete for National Merit Scholarships. Finalist status and scholarship winners are announced in the spring.

National Merit Commended Students will be announced at a later date.

Previous Year's Honorees

Mount Michael is also proud to announce that Jackson Thompson was named a National Merit Commended Student.

Commended students represent the top 5% of the 1.5 million students entered in the 2016 competition.

Jackson is the son of Dr. Michael and Michele Thompson of Elkhorn.  He attended Elkhorn Valley View Middle School.