Inside this edition: Faculty congratulations! | Christmas concert details |  Meet our new art instructor | Trinity Thunder basketball and more!
December 2017 Newsletter
Heartfelt Congratulations to Dr. Krista Slagle!
On November 24, 2017 in the city of Kortrijk, Belgium, Trinity Academy teacher Krista Slagle defended her thesis to a committee at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. She was awarded her doctorate in Literature and is now officially Dr. Slagle! Her thesis was a translation analysis of Postcolonial French Literature. Dr. Slagle reports, "It was an inordinate amount of work and by the grace of God required a never-give-upness which propelled me to continue to the end." The Trinity community is proud of you, and we celebrate your accomplishment!
Looks to us like you have a hearty fan base that's been cheering you on!
Welcome to Resident Artist and Art Instructor, Mr. Johnny Defilippis!
We asked Mr. DefiIippis about himself and his influences as an artist. Here is his response:

I grew up in a large family of 7 kids. My parents are both actors and we always had something creative happening. We learned about our Catholic faith through theater and shows on the saints. Faith isn't something that has ever been a boring thing but instead is a livelihood. My father, Leonardo Defilippis, is my inspiration in the arts. His work of evangelizing through theater gives me a direct insight into the hardships and grace of an artist. There was never a dull moment.

Being an art teacher at Trinity Academy lines up with all the things I found beautiful at college and in my family. It is amazing to form relationships with students and bring a sense of joy into their lives. I wake early, excited to face the day.

In my spare time I enjoy cooking, playing music and diving into anything in the arts. I love reading historical books and also architecture and the American home.
It's Admissions Season for the 2018-19 School Year!
Admissions for new students for the 2018-19 school year have kicked off!

If you have a child in 5th grade, now is the time to apply! Siblings of current Trinity Academy students may also apply for the limited spaces in other grades. Applications are available online on the Trinity website, or you can pick one up from Miss Ficker in the office. Priority deadline for high school is January 12, 2018 and middle school deadline is February 23, 2018.

Please pass the word along to your friends about the wonderful education available here at Trinity Academy!
Christmas Concert - December 15th - 7 pm
The Christmas celebration in music, poetry and art will be held on Friday, December 15. The concert will feature middle school and high school choirs, string ensembles, and the Trini-Tones. Artwork from our 7th, 8th, 11th and 12th grades will be on display. Please invite your friends and family to join us on this very special evening. A reception will follow.

December 15, 2017
7:00 pm
Peace Lutheran Church
Here's some important details for students and families:

  • Wednesday, December 13 - Rehearsal at Peace Lutheran. Please drop children* off at Peace Lutheran at 8:30 am (Do not come to school first.) Students will be driven back to Trinity at 11 am. We need volunteer drivers for the 11 am return trip. Please contact Lisa Ficker if you can help!
  • *11th and 12th grade students who are not performing in the concert will report to Trinity Academy at 8:30 am for regularly scheduled morning classes.
  • Friday, December 15 - Student performers need to arrive in concert attire at Peace Lutheran by 6:15 pm (strings players) or 6:30 pm (all other performers).
  • Concert attire: Ladies: solid white 3/4 or long-sleeved blouse or dressy sweater and black skirt knee-length or longer or dress black pants and black dress shoes or sandals. Gentlemen: Solid white long-sleeved dress shirt, black slacks, black socks, shoes and belt.
  • Cookies: Families, please bring a plate of cookies to share at the reception following. Cookies can be homemade or store-bought. No peanuts or peanut butter please.
Trini-Tones at the Grotto

The Trini-Tones, Trinity's extra-curricular choir led by Mr. Stephen Thompson, will be singing at the Grotto this Christmas season. The full ensemble will perform on December 12th at 9:00 pm. Mr. Thompson has also formed a smaller chamber choir, the Schola Cantorum, which will be singing at the Grotto on December 22nd at 6:00 pm. Please come over and enjoy the Grotto festivities and support our Trinity singers!

Details for singers:
Tuesday, December 12
3pm - 4pm Final rehearsal after school
8 pm - Meet at the Grotto at Gate 5, or to carpool, be at Trinity by 7:30 pm. Contact Dr. Clark by Monday if you wish to be part of the carpool (drivers and riders). Here's a map of the grotto entrances.

Only the student performers and a few chaperones will be able to get in through gate 5 (performers entrance). Families and other fans will need to enter the main gate and pay admissions, but you can walk around and enjoy the beautiful lights, animals, etc. as you wait for the performance. Dress warmly!!!
Important Calendar Notes for Christmas Break, Project Week, and Evaluations
Here's some details about the upcoming break and project week/evals!

  • December 21 - Christmas Fun Day at Trinity for all students. Arrive at school at 9 am for games, squad competitions and food (lunch provided!). School is dismissed at 1 pm for the Christmas break!
  • December 22 - January 7 - Christmas break
  • January 8-12 - Project Week at home
  • January 10-12 - Evaluation conferences for parents (including 11th/12th grade students). Watch for an email to sign up for your preferred eval times!
  • January 15 - No school for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
  • January 16 - Back to class!
  • January 16 - Middle school presentations for parents/friends - 2:00-3:30 pm.
Project Week Details
Trinity Academy endeavors to develop in our students the habits of life-long learners. During project week, students are given a full week to devote to an in-depth study of a particular topic. They get practice in good research techniques, learn how to organize large amounts of material and then put it into a coherent form. They also get the opportunity to think through problems on their own.

Project Week runs from January 8 - January 12.

Details about each project will come home with the students next week. If you have any questions about the project, below is a list of project leaders, by grade. They will be available the week prior to and during project week for any questions your child may have about the project, so feel free to contact them directly.

6th grade - Geography - Mr. Gaffney
7th grade - Science - Mr. Tomassi
8th grade - Medieval History - Mr. Dr. Longshore
9th grade - American History- Mr. Mertz and Mrs. Mertz
10th grade - Chemistry - Mr. Clark
11th grade - Current Issue - Dr. Robertson
12 grade - Physics - Mr. Tomassi

The projects will be on display and we invite all parents to come and walk around and ask questions of the students on  Tuesday, January 16th from 2:00 - 3:30 pm.
Middle School Speech Club
The 2016 Trinity Speech Team
The Middle School Speech Club kicked off for the year with an informational meeting Friday (12/8) during lunch. The speech club is an excellent opportunity to hone public speaking skills. No prior experience is necessary. We teach the students skills (inflection, posture, engaging the audience, articulation, etc.) and also how to think quickly and systematically on your feet with impromptu speeches. The kids who participated last year learned so much and had a great time!

Our Speech Team competes at the Valley Catholic Speech Tournament, which is an annual event that draws more than 400 students from the greater Portland/Vancouver area.

This year the tournament will be held on Saturday, March 3 from 7:30 am - 4 pm.

The speech team will gather once a week during lunch and then on Thursdays after school (starting in January). We will make alternate practice times for members who have a time conflict with the Thursday afternoon time slot.

Dr. Clark and Beth Kabele are coaching the Speech team and are happy to answer any questions. Announcements will be made at school for upcoming meeting times. Please come join us!
Guest Lecture at Trinity: President of Trinity Schools, Mr. Jon Balsbaugh
On November 9th, Trinity Academy welcomed Jon Balsbaugh, president of Trinity Schools Inc., for a "Mission and Vision Night." He gave a presentation called, Evaluation, Grading, and Student Motivation ( The presentation was recorded and is available here). In his lecture he explained, "Our approach to grading and evaluating students differs considerably from other schools because our philosophy of learning is so different. In order for our students to become lifelong learners, we believe that they must be motivated by something more fundamental, deeper and more lasting than grades. They must be motivated by a love of learning itself."

Mr. Balsbaugh spent the week at Trinity Academy leading a series of workshops for the faculty as part our ongoing faculty enrichment and training. A big thank you to Mr. Balbaugh for sharing his wisdom and expertise!

We hope to have a video of the program available soon.
Toy and Book Drive to Benefit Community of Hope and Doernbecher's
Trinity Academy is hosting a toy and book drive to benefit our local community, organized by William and Lisa Eddleman and family.

WHAT: A TOY DRIVE! Bring in a NEW and UNWRAPPED toy and/or book! Items must be NEW, since many children in the hospital have compromised immune systems and the hospital must maintain a strict infection control policy.

AGE RANGE: We are collecting for children AGE 8 MONTHS TO 10 YEARS OLD. If donating a book, consider a BOARD BOOK as they are very sturdy and particularly good for the younger children.

WHERE: Put it in one of the collection bins at school.


Community of Hope is a Christian service organization in North Portland that supports homeless single-parent families in transforming their lives by providing temporary housing, education, and practical mentoring. The goal is that the families will be able to build stable lives for themselves and their children in the community. Detailed information can be found on the Community of Hope website.

Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital cares for children with very serious illnesses, who are often in the hospital for long periods of time. The hospital provides toys, art supplies and games to help patients feel more “at home” in the hospital. Detailed information, as well as their current “wish list,” can be found here,

We will be wrapping up books and toys for about a dozen children who are currently staying at the Community of Hope, and taking the rest of the items to Doernbecher.

THANK YOU so much for you participation in this. It is a wonderful way for us and for our children to be mindful of those who have less than we do, and to bring some Christmas cheer to families in need.
Trinity Alumna Wins Math Award
Mary Tomassi, TA '16 graduate was one of seven undergraduates to receive the Trjitzinsky Memorial Award given by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) to students who plan to pursue careers in mathematics. The University of Dallas news website quotes Professor John Osoinach, "[Mary] embodies the diligent student who loves learning mathematics." Mary explains more about her choice of going into this field, “I truly enjoy studying mathematics, because it gives you an opportunity to further explore philosophical thought in a more tangible sense.” Learning about the process of mathematics has helped me form better methods of decision making and critical thinking, which benefit not only my studies at UD but my day-to-day life.” The full article and can be read here.

Congratulations, Mary!
News from College Counselor Dr. Francie Longshore
Seniors have finished most of their college applications at this point and are waiting to hear back from the various schools.

Juniors will be receiving questionnaires to fill out over break. The questionnaires are designed to help them narrow down what they're looking for in a college, and I use them to figure out how to help coach them through the process. These forms are due after break, and I will meet with each junior one-on-one during January and February to go over their answers and suggest resources and next steps that might be useful to them.

Juniors and Sophomores, PSAT scores will be available online on December 11. Log into your College Board account to check on your score.
Trinity Thunder Sports News
Basketball Season is Underway!
Practice Schedules: Middle school girls and boys practice schedules can be found on the CYO Trinity Thunder webpage.

The Girls High School team games are about to begin! Come bring your Thunder support and cheer these girls to victory!

Game schedule for High School Girls:
December 12 - 5:30 pm - place TBD
December 18 - 4:30 pm - Columbia Christian
January 5 - 5:30 pm - North Clackamas Christian
January 12 - 6:00 pm - Damascus Christian

The complete schedule can be downloaded here.

Shopping on Amazon? Support Trinity at the Same Time!
Christmas shopping and giving to Trinity can go hand in hand! Trinity Academy is listed on Amazon Smile .   Money raised through this program helps cover costs of some of the extra events and fun we have around school! If you need help getting this to work, contact Beth Kabele  and she will be happy to walk you through the steps. It only takes 1 minute to set up and then your purchases all benefit Trinity!

"What is Amazon Smile?", you ask. It is a charitable work of Amazon that will give Trinity Academy a percentage of each purchase you make on Amazon through the Amazon Smile page.
What you need to do:

  1. CLICK on the button below which takes you to Trinity's Amazon Smile page OR you can go to and search for Trinity Academy by name (Trinity Academy, The People of Praise Vancouver). Assign Trinity Academy as your charity of choice.
  2. Make your purchases.
  3. Remember to bookmark Amazon Smile, so the next time you shop on Amazon, it starts on the Amazon Smile landing page.
  4. After you assign Trinity Academy as your charity, your Amazon account will remember your selected charity. No need to return to the link, or do anything special. Just start with "smile"!
  5. A hint: When I go shopping on Amazon now, I just type "smile" in the browser on any of my personal computers/devices and it takes me right to my Amazon smile account that is linked to Trinity Academy.
  6. Pass this link on to all your family members so they can support Trinity Academy!
Important Dates for Your Calendar
December 12 – Trini-Tones Grotto Concert – 9 pm (performers arrive by 8pm)
December 15 – Christmas Concert – 7 pm at Peace Lutheran Church
December 21 - Christmas Celebration (for students, 9 am - 1 pm)
December 22 - Start Christmas Break – No School  
January 5 - Last day of Christmas Break 
January 8-12 - Project Week (students work at home)
January 15 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday - No School
January 16 - Classes Resume for 2018
January 16 - Middle School Project Week Display and Presentations - 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Click here for the 2017-18 Academic Calendar.