September Principal's Message

The new school year is well underway with active learning in and out of the classroom, enriching specialty classes and activities, and special opportunities to gather as a school community. I hope you enjoy getting a glimpse in this Monthly Message.
Traditional 3-year-olds learned about acorns and the letter "A."
8th grade Science students designed and engineered a bridge made of pennies. The bridge was designed to cross over the "ruler river" with additional requirements such as increase in bridge height or river width. This project developed problem solving skills and application of the scientific method.
Kindergarteners practiced "sweep netting" during Outdoor Education class. They gently swept a net along a row of tall grass and plants to catch and examine insects and small bugs.
5th grade STEM students used animation tools to bring a ball to life by applying basic animation principles such as linear interpolation and Bézier curves.
4th graders applied the steps of the scientific method to answer the question "Would a sucker dissolve faster in hot or cold water?"  
2nd graders played and sang "Listen," a song exploring various classroom mallet instruments. Focusing on proper mallet grip and playing technique, students improvised in the key of C on xylophones, glockenspiels, and metallophones.
The Traditional 4-year-olds studied oceans and ocean creatures, decorating the hallway with "snorkel faces" and colorful seahorses.
6th graders helped compost by adding cardboard, newspaper, and leaves to the campus composter. These carbon-containing "browns" mix with nitrogen-containing "greens," such as food scraps, and decay and turn into soil.
Montessori preschoolers created their own color wheels while learning about color mixing in Art class.
Our Villa Chapel now has a wonderful addition - a beautiful gold Tabernacle which contains the Eucharist outside of Mass. The Tabernacle's nearby red light reminds us of the real presence of Christ, who is a blessing to our school. We appreciate the generous patron who purchased the Tabernacle along with several other items that will enhance our worship of God and make our Villa Chapel a place of reverence and prayer.  
Our Opening Mass included lively original music to our school theme of "Live in harmony, united together all of one heart and one will." Music teacher Charlotte Loflin composed the song, provided Lead Vocals and Hand Signs, and was joined by Katie Evers (Music student teacher) on Lead Guitar and Vocals, Matt Cohen (Math and STEM teacher) on Rhythm Guitar and Vocals, Drew Williams (Spanish teacher) on Bass Guitar, Christie Halaby (Villa mom) on Piano and Vocals, and Kent Halaby (Assistant Principal) on Tubano Drum.
This week St. Ursula Villa hosted Ursuline Education Network's Board of Trustees in advance of UEN's national conference, held later this week in Cincinnati. Composed of educators and administrators from Ursuline schools coast to coast, UEN promotes the preservation and development of the Ursuline charism and fosters educational excellence, innovation, and global connectedness.
7th and 8th graders enjoyed a new lunchtime Craft Club where they sewed and created essential oil-infused bean bags. These can be kept in the freezer and used for headaches or microwaved for muscle pain.
Jim Bisenius, founder of "Bully-Proofing Youth," shared valuable techniques with Kindergarten - Junior High students. Additional presentations included faculty after -school training and a Villa parent evening session.
Villa Parents' Organization
Fall is a busy time for our VPO! In addition to hosting our Annual Welcome Back Teacher/Staff Luncheon, VPO organized and distributed school supply kits that were delivered to classrooms for the Meet and Greet, stuffed and labeled Wednesday folders for the school office, hosted the Room Parent Informational Meeting, and assisted all grades with Picture Day. Next up: Grandparents/Special Friends Day in October! Please reach out to Lisa Reinhard if you would like to volunteer.
Villa Boosters
We thank the Junior High Student Council for their leadership in the Boosters Raffle and are happy to announce that this year's Raffle raised a total of $45,482 for Villa athletic programs - far exceeding the school goal of $30,000! Raffle winners were W. Wyder for $2,000, Robin Nielsen for $1,000, and Amy Sandker for $500. Congratulations to Kindergartener Sebastian Kritikos who was the top seller in the school!
Faculty Feature
Ms. Jessica Harding has been teaching 6th Grade Language Arts and Religion at the Villa for 5 years. She grew up in Cincinnati and has 2 sons – Quinn (4 ½) and Matthew (2 ½).
Other fun facts about Ms. Harding:

  • Favorite Book: The Soloist by Steve Lopez
  • Favorite Movie Quote: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” (The Help)
  • Most Beautiful Place: The Mediterranean Sea. “My parents are originally from the country of Lebanon and we have traveled there and enjoyed the beautiful architecture and history – including the site where Jesus performed the Wedding at Cana.”
  • Most Proud Of: “I am most proud of using my summer to enjoy time with my family but still focusing on how to grow as a teacher and provide a rich educational experience for my students.”