Principal's Message

St. Ursula Villa's campus foliage is beautiful and fall is definitely in the air. We have taken full advantage of the ability to hold classes outside during the recent pleasant weather and will now be more creative as needed. We are carefully monitoring COVID-19 cases in our school's demographic zip codes and are very mindful of our commitment to keep our students and teachers healthy while navigating this alarming pandemic. Thank you for your cooperation and support now and in the upcoming months.

While we truly miss gathering in person, we are pleased with the ways we have discovered to unite as a school community. In October, we worshipped together via live-stream for both the Liturgy of the Word and St. Ursula's Feast Day. Villa families supported "Pink Week" with generous donations and support of the event's activities to raise awareness of breast cancer and give to others. Many examples of our Villa Values - Education, Faith, and Community - are illustrated in this newsletter and lived out in home and school.

As we close this month, I wish you and your children a fun and safe Halloween!
Kent Halaby
Interim Principal
Traditional 4-year-olds created adorable witches, spiders, and ghosts from their hand- and footprints.
In Science class, 6th graders applied the scientific method to a Halloween-themed lab using candy corn.
5th grade Math students participated in a 30-minute LEGO activity. They were given a cup of random LEGO pieces, challenged to use their creativity to build something within the time limit, and then presented their finished product to the class.
Montessori Kindergarteners read Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert and enjoyed the book's theme: "A Leaf Man's got to go where the wind blows." Inspired by the illustrations made of actual leaves, they gathered nature items on a campus walk to creatively design their own "Leaf Person." The project finished with an imaginative writing activity about their Leaf Person's travels.
In Science, 4th graders completed a slime-making lab to review their chemistry unit and explored the states of matter, mixtures and solutions, and physical and chemical changes.
Traditional 4-year-olds explored the use of color and created Henry Matisse-style paintings over several weeks of Art classes.
7th and 8th graders are making "racers" in STEAM class to compete in The Vineyard Place Pumpkin Race. The student-engineered racers will carry a 10-pound pumpkin down the course with awards for fastest time, best artistic flair, and most innovative design.
Kindergarteners used shaving cream to practice letter formation and review their spelling words.
5th grade Math students developed their skills of adding and subtracting decimals during a game activity.
These Kindergarteners eagerly shared their new Library books. The COVID-modified library check-out process now makes books available to all interested Villa students, thanks to the efforts of Villa Librarian, Ms. Hall.
All Villa families are invited to participate in the STEAM "It's Not a Pumpkin" challenge and transform a pumpkin into something else - like this fully functioning clock!
In their unit on the metric system and measurement, 6th graders played "Rock, Paper, Scissors" to first earn a turn, then correctly convert a metric problem to advance on the game board.
Montessori C students use this Halloween-themed activity to break the name of each picture into syllables by tapping a pointer finger on large dots on a paper.
7th grade Science students studied properties of water such as cohesion and surface tension. They added drops of water on a penny until the surface tension broke, noting the experiment's process and results.
The Toddlers dressed in costumes and enjoyed a small Halloween party in their classroom.
Each month, a Primary, Intermediate, and Junior High student is selected by our faculty for demonstrating one of the nine Characteristics of an Ursuline Education. We commend these Ursuline Students of the Month for exemplifying September's characteristic of A Strong Family Spirit Within the School: Lexi Sandker (Primary), James Krausser (Intermediate), and Macy Finn (Junior High).
The Pet Blessing, a cherished 3rd-grade Villa tradition for 23 years, was reinvented as a special Religion class event. On St. Francis of Assisi's Feast Day, students brought photographs of their pet or stuffed animals for a blessing and St. Francis medal. They also learned the Prayer of St. Francis, studied Francis' life and legend, and appreciated his great love for all of God's creation - especially animals.
8th graders led our school community in a virtual Liturgy of the Word streamed to all our classrooms. This Liturgy of the Word included student-led Call to Worship, scripture readings, reflections on our school theme of “In times of great need, true friendship is recognized,” prayer, petition, and closing.
Villa Campus Minister Ms. Riehle shared the story of St. Ursula and led classroom activities to deepen students' understanding of our school's namesake. On St. Ursula's Feast Day, our Villa community celebrated and worshipped together with a live-streamed mass officiated by Fr. Tony Stephens with assistance from our 7th graders.
Montessori B enjoy a virtual visit by a Mystery Reader every week and love seeing their family members and friends "in" their classroom. Students use clues to guess the identity of the Mystery Reader - a parent, grandparent, nanny, or friend - who is revealed on the classroom Smart Board and reads a story via Google Meet.
It's always fun to have lunch together as a class when weather and space permits.
During "Pink Week," the Villa faculty and students participated in several ways to wear pink and donate to The Karen Wellington Foundation for LIVING with Breast Cancer. Teachers sported pink neckties (gifted by Gym teacher Ms. Hake), students paid $2 to wear out-of-uniform pink shirts, and 136 students competed in the 11th Annual Free Throw Contest during Gym class - all raising a total of $1730.00! St. Ursula Villa Junior High Student Council coordinated the fundraiser as part of October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month to increase awareness of the disease and honor Karen Wellington, a Villa mom and active volunteer during her children's years at our school. Donations were also made in honor of Riley Mack, whose brother Casey was in our Kindergarten class last year during Riley's treatment at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
Villa Cub, Daisy, and Girl Scout troops launched their after-school meetings with various activities, projects, and plans for their year.
Villa Parents' Organization (VPO)
VPO created a very special Halloween Hike through the Villa trails with age-appropriate sights and experiences ranging from a Villa Pumpkin Patch to a Spook Campsite. We thank the many volunteers who made this fun event possible!
Villa Boosters
We recognize the 8th grade girls volleyball players who celebrated their last home game in the Villa gym and thank long-time coaches Bain Butcher and Chris Cavanaugh for their dedication and making this such a great experience for the girls.
Congratulations to our 4th grade girls volleyball team, coached by Zorya Kluska and Dan Hass, on their 2nd place finish in the GCCYS post-season tournament.
Faculty Feature
Ms. Linda Freese has been a Traditional 3-year-old Preschool teacher at the Villa for 4 years and shares: "I have a fun, loving and very patient husband, Gary Freese. We have five beautiful children, Emma 17, Noah 15, Andrew 13, Brooke 10 and Kate 8. We enjoy boating and vacationing in Cumberland. Our children are very active in basketball, cross country, wrestling, soccer and softball! Most weekends we are busy attending some sort of sporting event."

More fun facts about Ms. Freese:
  • Favorite Food: "I love steak and shrimp!"
  • Hobbies or Interests: "I enjoy cooking and entertaining family."
  • Favorite Movie Quote: "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." from Forrest Gump
  • Favorite Book: The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
  • Most Beautiful Place: "Saint Lucia is beautiful as this picture shows. The water is clear, the sand is white, and the flowers are gorgeous. I hope to return there someday!"
  • Favorite Super Hero: "My favorite super hero is Wonder Woman, because if she can do anything, so can I!"
  • Why I Love Working at the Villa: "Working at the Villa is amazing! I love absolutely everything about this place. I love teaching in the Manor House Preschool program because every single day I get to make a difference in a child's life, which goes far beyond knowledge. I see God's goodness in each of my students as they enter my classroom each morning and that is the best part of teaching here!"