Welcome to the November issue of On the Hill, Mary Help of Christians Academy monthly e-newsletter. On the Hill offers an inside view of life at Mary Help and all the other remarkable things that happen on campus each and every day. Read on to see for yourself the difference a Mary Help education makes...
Dear MHC Academy Family,

The time of the year to give thanks, “Thanksgiving,” has come and gone. Our greatest and deepest thanks must always be, first and foremost, to Our Father in heaven, who has given us so much - even His only Son. How can we ever say our thanks sufficiently?

I think you’ll laugh at this story...when I was a young Sister, I was at a celebration for Sr. Mary Rinaldi’s jubilee. I had been assigned to one of our houses in Tampa, and the mass and party were in her home town parish. After the mass and before the meal, Sr. Mary stood up and said, “How can I celebrate such a big milestone, (I think it was 40 years of religious profession) without mentioning the only man I ever loved?” I was at the edge of my seat, waiting to hear the juicy story of a long-lost love or a forgotten boyfriend! Sr. Mary began her next sentence, “My father…” A part of me laughed at my own silliness, and a part of me realized how much we owe to our parents. I hope the girls of Mary Help demonstrate deep gratitude towards their parents. Our parents have invested time, finances, hopes, and even their very selves in us!

Now we are on to the Season of Advent, that silent time of expectation with Mary, as we look toward the arrival of Jesus. Waiting with anticipation, we wonder at the unspeakable gift we receive - the gift given freely to all the world: Jesus, sent to show us the Way back to the Father.  

As a family, our Academy gathers close, gearing up for the coming months of sports and academics, surrounding those who are suffering in our embrace, and reaching out to the community that surrounds us to be an answer to their prayer. Let’s hold our family close and be present to one another so that we can be a “present” for one another and for all the world at Christmas!

It was our Blue Jays' favorite time of year - INTRAMURALS! Each class competed in a variety of games from Volleyball, to Chicken in the Hen House, to Tug of War and an Obstacle Course. All were vying for points to push their grade onto the top of the leaderboard. The classes were also judged on how they decorated their designated bleacher section and their sportsmanship. We were so happy to have Intramurals back in full swing this year!
MHC Academy students don't just learn the French language in their classes with Mrs. Serdsev, they also dive into the culture! Students made and ate crepes in the culinary classroom following a recipe entirely in French. They also researched French celebrations, presented their own family traditions in French, and studied the culture and cuisines of other French-speaking countries, notably Quebec in Canada and Senegal. French 3 and French 4 Honors will even learn how to make the traditional French Christmas log, Buche de Noel! Joignez-nous!
MHC Academy's Statistic courses introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. The Candy Grab activity gave the students the opportunity to collect, analyze, and interpret real data to see if students with a larger hand span can grab more candy than students with a smaller hand span. Scatterplots and correlation were constructed and analyzed.

What does the correlation coefficient tell us? How confident are we in the predictions made by the least – squares linear regression model? How do we interpret the coefficient of determination? Other than hand span, what other explanatory variables could have influenced the outcome? Upon reflection, it was determined that there was a strong, positive, linear relationship between hand span and number of candies grabbed. 

We study statistics to be able to effectively conduct research, to be able to read and evaluate articles, to develop critical thinking and analytic skills, and to act as an informed consumer. 
On Sunday, November 14, the class of 1981 met at La Neve’s in Haledon for their 40th reunion. They spent the afternoon laughing and reminiscing about their years at Mary Help, and upon leaving, promised to meet up again next summer. Here’s to lifelong friendships!
MHC Academy juniors were able to go off campus to the Marian Shrine, in Stony Point NY, a retreat center run by the Salesians of Don Bosco. Students participated in games and activities that related to our theme, “Come as 'We' Are.” We had the opportunity to learn more about our Salesian identity by walking to the 48 ft. tall bronze Virgin Mary and the Becchi House, where we were given a guided tour through a replica of Don Bosco's childhood home. When asked what they will remember from the day, one student commented, “I loved it! It felt so nice to be able to be outside in a beautiful location, and just breathe."
The Senior Class had their annual class retreat off campus on Friday, November 19th. The Seniors were able spend the day at the Salesian Sisters' retreat center in Newton, NJ. It was a very FULL day. Not only did the Seniors bond as a class with fun activities; they also had activities that allowed them to encounter themselves and God, while in adoration. 

One student said, “My favorite part of the day was definitely the bus ride, and seeing all my classmates come together and sing.” While another student said, “My small group really opened up a lot and talked about how we all grew throughout these 4 years. We realized that we aren’t the same people from freshman year and we’ve all grown so much.” 
Congratulations to Mrs. Terry Sullivan and our Forensics Team! MHC Academy hosted a November Forensics Meet attended by fifty-five student participants, judges, team moderators, and spectators.

Five MHC Academy students qualified for recognition by earning a 25 out of a possible 30 points over the course of three rounds:
  • Keira Fay, Faith Monesteri, and Lillian Kopacz in the category of Dramatic Performance
  • Emilia Cabaero and Maya Watters in the category of Oral Interpretation of Literature.

We are very proud of our enthusiastic, hardworking team! Next stop...December's meet at Delbarton on December 18th! 
The J.O.Y. (Joining Old and Young) Club crafted a Thanksgiving wreath for the Salesian Sisters at the Provincial House. Each leaf on the wreath was signed by a student or faculty member at Mary Help of Christians Academy. The Sisters received it gratefully and displayed it prominently in the convent!
On November 12, 2021, we welcomed young women traveling from 35 towns across 7 counties, taking a day off from their 22 different private and public schools in both NJ and NY to spend the morning with us and see firsthand all that Mary Help of Christians Academy has to offer. While here guests had the opportunity to attend several classes of their choosing designed and taught by the amazing Mary Help faculty. Class choices ranged from Chemistry, TV Production, Culinary, Art, Healthcare; the list goes on and on. They also were amazed at the talented performances by our own Salesian Voices and Don Bosco Prep Cheer Team.

Also, while on campus our guests played games, attended our club fair, socialized with our Mary Help students, made friends from other schools and of course feasted on delicious breakfast and snacks. The Salesian family wouldn’t have it any other way. It truly was a great day had by all.
Mary Help of Christians Academy will be presenting Frozen as its Spring musical! Frozen is the story of a girl who feared her gifts and realized when she embraced them, she uplifted the community in which she lived.  

March 24 - 26, 2022

Casting Boys Grades 9-12
  • Monday, Nov. 29th 6-9pm Vocal
  • Tuesday, Nov. 30th 6-9pm Dance
  • Monday, Dec. 6th 6-9pm Callbacks  

Please email the Director, Lucia Cardona at lcardona@maryhep.org to sign up for an audition!
Our Varsity Soccer team went 13-3-2 this season, the best record in school history. Our Blue Jays reached the State Quarterfinals. We are so proud of our Blue Jays and how hard they played this season. 

We are also very proud of Senior, Ava Porter, who was selected to be honored at the New Jersey Girls Soccer Coaches Association All State Banquet on January 16th. That isn’t the end of our soccer honors. On Monday, November 15th, our Varsity Soccer Coach, Ken Van Rye, was honored at the Bergen County Soccer Officials Association season ending banquet, in appreciation for his 15 years of service. Congratulations Coach Ken! 
Our Varsity Cheerleaders cheered the Bosco Ironmen as they advanced to the Football State Finals on Saturday, November 27th at MetLife Stadium. Although Don Bosco Prep did not win, we are proud of our brother school and their amazing season!
Swim Team tryouts were completed on November 11th. Our swimmers are training hard for their first swim meet which will be on Wednesday, December 1st, at Hackensack High School. We wish our Blue Jays luck, as well as our brothers, the Don Bosco Ironmen, who we will be swimming with. 

We are thrilled to be bringing back our Competition Cheer Team this winter season, as well as continuing our Dance Team. Both teams have completed tryouts and finalized their rosters. Our competition team is looking forward to working hard towards competing in January and February. Our Dance Team will performing at the Varsity Bosco Home Basketball Games, 1st Home Game December 21st at 7pm, as well as performing at our MHC Home Varsity Basketball Games, 1st Home Game January 6th at 4pm. 

The Basketball season opens up on Friday, December 17th away at Manchester Regional. 
We had the most amazing event on campus on Saturday, November 20th, with our Color Wars Run/Walk! Our MHC Academy campus was filled with students, friends, and family -including parents and siblings, coaches and of course, COLOR! Thank you to everyone who attended to make this event so much fun! Congratulations to our Sports Council Members for organizing the event. Great Job Ladies!
Have you been following MHC Academy's Mr. Frank LaMendola on the Food Network's show Holiday Wars? Watch him compete on Sunday nights at 9pm!
On November 30th - GIVING TUESDAY - unite with thousands of faith-filled people across the country and donate to your favorite Catholic parish, school or ministry. Won't you consider supporting Mary Help of Christians Academy? Visit our page to donate. Thank you for your support!
During the upcoming month of December we will focus on moving from apathy to empathy. Sr. Angela Vallese, one of the early missionaries of the Salesian Sisters. Sr. Angela wanted to bring not only the message of Christ but the particular Salesian Charism to the in Tierra Del Fuego. The empathy and care she showed for not only the families and children but also other missionary sisters is commendable. How can we show empathy during this Advent season? Who do you know that needs to hear the message of Jesus’ love? For that indeed, if the greatest gift we can give and receive.  
MHC Academy
659 Belmont Avenue
North Haledon, NJ 07508
P. 973.850-7467
F. 973.790.6125