News from The Atonement Academy --- Vol. 2020-2021 No.9, September 17, 2020
"Without confidence and love, there can be no true education. If you want to be loved…you must love yourselves, and make your children feel that you love them.”
--St. John Bosco

A leading Catholic educator, St. John Bosco's advice to teachers and students has been inspiring the hallways of Catholic education for over 100 years! Tomorrow our teachers take the annual "Oath of Fidelity," and we want them to know that their love for our young scholars is greatly appreciated!
Second graders are getting accustomed to a new normal while we all pray for a return to true normalcy soon!

The love--and patience--of their teachers is an immense help to our families at this time.

Dear Academy Family,

This morning while observing a grammar lesson in a Lower School classroom, I noticed something. On her wall, the teacher had hung a colorfully lettered plaque that read, “Do the right thing…even when no one is looking.”

How do you know a person, really? As humans, it is not given to us to read the depths of another’s heart. Only God knows each of us fully. Even to know one’s self—just one person—is a life-long task. Perhaps this is why in Scripture we are warned about judging hastily.

Yet in spite of the curtain drawn across our deepest self, there are times we seek to express the sincerity that lies there, or at least the sincerity we aspire to. Marriage vows, military swearing-in ceremonies, oaths of office, the pledge of allegiance—each are an attempt to express a commitment to, essentially, “Do the right thing…even when no one is looking.”

Tomorrow during both school Masses, faculty and staff will publicly take an “Oath of Fidelity” by which they pledge to act and speak in communion with the Catholic Church and in obedience to her teachings. We do this from the heart; the Oath reflects a reality as well as a continuing aspiration. 

When you enroll your child at The Atonement Academy, we want you to know that the Catholic faith in its fullness guides our pedagogy, curriculum, and lived example. Maybe there will be a day when this becomes so obvious to all that no Oath is needed! Until then, we promise we will keep striving.

Let us continue to pray for one another. Our Lady of The Atonement—pray for us!

Your servant,

Matthew David Watson
Head of School

Safe Return Plan. Thank you for partnering with us to carry forward the mission of Catholic classical education in these challenging times. Please remember that our comprehensive Safe Return Plan and all updates and revisions will always be sent first to your email inbox and then will be posted on our website at this link.

September 17
PTC Virtual Meeting via Zoom, 8:00 p.m. (get the Zoom address from your RenWeb school email)

October 1
Coffee with Mr. Watson, 8:00 a.m.

October 4
Academy Sunday (9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Sunday Mass)

October 6
Booster Club "Red Out" Game and Pizza Night

October 8
Booster Club Movie Night

October 12
First Quarter AR Quiz Deadline

October 12-December 15
Second Quarter AR Quiz Testing Period

October 13
Sibling Shadow Day


Middle School Volleyball
9/17/2020 Thursday BACH HOME A-4:30 p.m.

Lady Crusader Volleyball
9/17/20 Thursday BACH HOME 6:00 p.m. Varsity
9/18/20 Friday Winston AWAY 5:00 p.m. Varsity

Middle School Football
9/17/20 Thursday Scrimmage- Bracken HOME 7:00 p.m.

Varsity Football
9/18/20 Friday Scrimmage-St. Gerard Catholic HOME 7:00 p.m.

Middle & Upper School Cross Country
9/19/20 Saturday, First Baptist Academy, Universal City TX
US Girls 8:00 a.m., US Boys 8:30 a.m.
MS Girls 9:15 a.m., MS Boys 9:45 a.m.

Always check our school website for updates and details.
In addition, Atonement Sports are kept current on their social media page (Atonement Sports) and the Athletics tab on the school website.
Electing Remote Learning for the 2nd Quarter 
We have asked families to renew their choice to continue Remote Learning on a quarterly basis. Please email Mrs. Powell ( by September 25th if you wish to continue Remote Learning for the second quarter.
Remote Learning FAQs and Office Hours
For questions about Remote Learning please consult our Remote Learning FAQs. Teacher’s office hours for Remote Students may be found here.

As a thriving, growing parish, it is important the Our Lady of The Atonement Catholic Church continues to establish traditions that will bring together our School and Church life. Whether or not you are a parishioner, your family is invited to join us as we launch monthly “Academy Sundays.”

To participate, please have your Academy scholars wear their uniforms to the 9:00 a.m. or the 11:00 a.m. Mass the first Sunday of each month.

Our first Academy Sunday will take place on Sunday, October 4th. Father Lewis and Father Jenkins will recognize our scholars at these Masses and will remind our parishioners of the Academy’s mission to form young men and women into virtuous leaders who serve Christ and his Kingdom.

We hope you will join us!

On October 14th, The Atonement Academy will be providing the PSAT to all freshman, sophomores, and juniors. Due to limited capacity and certain areas cancelling their testing, the College Board has allowed schools to provide the SAT to seniors only on the same day. The Atonement Academy will have five of our seniors taking the SAT that day on campus.

The Atonement Academy has shown consistent average of a 1200 SAT score throughout the years. Last year’s graduating class had a 1293 average! We look forward to what the Class of 2021 will do regarding their scores.

Here are the other SAT dates:
September 26 check testing sites for cancellations
October 3 registration deadline of September 3 (late registration is September 22)
November 7 registration deadline of October 9 (late registration is October 27)
December 5 registration deadline of November 5 (late registration is November 24)

College Fairs and Visits Fall Schedule

This year’s college fairs and visits will be virtual. This gives our Upper Scholars an opportunity to participate in numerous fairs and college visits. Use this link to review The Atonement Academy’s College Fair and Visit schedule. As additions are made, we will update the page (see page in Documents and Forms, under the Resources tab).

Our school Masses often feature specific class choirs, and in the event you are interested in attending a school Mass when your child is singing, there is some information to be aware of in advance of showing up for Mass.

First, be sure to arrive at the front desk in the school building at least 20-30 minutes before Mass begins to sign in. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are limited to 12 additional people per Mass. Second, you must have your temperature taken and wear a mask. Third, front access doors are locked for entrance once Mass begins, so even if you have your name on the list, be sure to come into the Church building before Mass begins. You may call the front office to reserve a seat, but you must arrive 10 minutes early to have your temperature checked and check in or your seat will be released.

Here is the full list of choirs for mass for the remainder of this month.
9:00 a.m., MS Girls
12:50 p.m., 5th Grade
9:00 a.m., US Women
12:50 p.m., 3rd Grade
9:00 a.m., 6th Grade
12:50 p.m., 4th Grade
Thanks to YOU, we raised $21,125!

Last Thursday we participated in The Big Give, a special day of giving to nonprofits in South Texas. The Atonement Academy raised funds for campus security equipment, which will include: “keyless” entry access control, surveillance cameras, and intercoms for major entrances. Our goal was to raise $15,000, and we significantly surpassed that goal. This will allow us to purchase additional features and functionality. We appreciate your generous support!

Our Sibling Shadow Day is scheduled for Tuesday, October 13th. It is designed for our current students’ siblings to have the opportunity to experience what it would be like to be a Crusader.

Their experience will consist of: 

8:00 a.m. Arrival in front office to be escorted to appropriate class
(Students will complete and hand in a COVID-19 self-assessment form, have temperature check before entering building, and wear a mask.) 

9:00 a.m. Mass (MS & US) 12:50 p.m. (LS)

Lunch varies with class schedule (We will provide pizza and a beverage.)

12:00 p.m. pick up for students in PreK-3 to 1st from front office
2:00 p.m. pick up for students in 2nd to 5th from front office 

3:00 p.m. pick up for students in 6th to 12th from front office

We ask the following dress code be followed on Sibling Shadow Day: 

Boys (PreK-3 to 5th Grade): slacks, polo shirt and black shoes or plain tennis shoes.

Boys (6th -12th Grade): slacks, button down shirt and black shoes. 

Girls (PreK-3 to 12th Grade): knee length dress or skirt and blouse, with modesty shorts underneath, black shoes or plain tennis shoes.

RSVP by contacting Mrs. Joiner in the Admissions Office.

1.  What is your role at The Atonement Academy, and what do you enjoy about it?
I have been the Health Coordinator for The Atonement Academy since 2018. This is a position which I have enjoyed so much because I get to work with children from PreK-3 to young adults in the Upper School. This position has also allowed me to use some of the organizing skills learned through my master's degree in healthcare administration. In particular, 2020 has been challenging with the current COVID-19 Pandemic. The school’s safe return plan has involved teamwork, love for our children, and recognizing the importance of having our students back to “in person” learning for their further academic, emotional, mental, and social development.

2. What do you most appreciate about The Atonement Academy?
I first heard about the Atonement Academy through a dear friend of mine, whose children were going to school here. Through her influence, I booked the school tour with Mrs. Havel (almost 10 years ago), and I fell instantly in love with the academic environment and the structure which included daily Mass. It was and still is what my husband and I were expecting for the moral and academic formation of our children. The beauty of classical education, the tight relationship between teachers and students, and having a profound Catholic formation is paramount for our children's education. So much so, that two years ago my husband and I became parishioners ourselves and enjoy the daily Mass as much as our schedule permits. Furthermore, I started to get involved in the school by volunteering as a room mom and later as a substitute teacher .

3. What do you look forward to in the 2020-2021 school year?
I really look forward to our students completing a successful and joyful academic year. Additionally, the lessons learned through the challenges of this COVID-19 Pandemic will help our children to become more faithful and caring Catholics who know the importance of taking some time off their hefty daily life for contemplation and prayer. And of course, to stop wearing a mask and start seeing our little ones' smiles again.

4. What else can you tell us about yourself?
Well, I was a career scientist, in my fourth year of postdoctoral fellowship at Baylor Medical College, doing cancer research, writing scientific papers/ book chapters, and being trained to become an assistant professor, when I became pregnant with my second child. At the same time, my husband was invited to join a medical group here in San Antonio. So we decided to move to San Antonio when our daughter was born and for me to retire from the scientific field to allow for more time to enjoy our children while they were still little. This was a difficult decision, but the sacrifice was worth it. I got to spend those precious moments with them. During that time, I also completed a Master in Business Administration with a focus on Healthcare.

Later, when my children started school, I decided to teach part time Anatomy and Physiology I / II labs at Northwest Vista College. I enjoyed teaching for two years, but I realized that I would rather teach younger children and not as much fresh out of high school college students. Thus, when the opportunity to volunteer at school presented itself, I enjoyed substituting as much I could. However, I noticed that my vocation wasn’t teaching, and I confirmed that thought when I got the opportunity to substitute for Mrs. Montalvo, our previous school nurse. I spent three months substituting for her a few days a week while she was transitioning and getting ready to move overseas. Later that summer, Mrs. Adame mentioned that the position was still open, and I accepted to be the school healthcare coordinator for only a year. That was the best decision ever! 

When I am not at school, I love spending time with my children in their after-school activities. I am also helping the American Heritage Girls as Coordinator for 2020 (talk about challenges!) after three years of being their vice-coordinator. I even took Tae Kwon Do classes with my children for a few years (we are provisional black belts, planning to get our black belts at some point). We currently enjoy taking our dear puppy, Avie, for walks and hikes as a family. However, our favorite pastime is travelling, which we can’t do much right now. It is so good that we were able to visit Germany last year. My husband and I met in Heidelberg, our alma mater. We were so happy to show our children around campus and relive old memories. Presently, with all what is going on, crafting, reading, and watching science videos are our top favorite activities.

5. What is something you wish we had asked?
I always have a blast when somebody asks me where I come from. It is the best icebreaker ever, and I can answer that question many different ways, depending on my mood. The correct answer, however, is that I am an American, born in Chile, with Chilean and Colombian parents, raised in Venezuela (from age two to 17), studied in Germany (from age 17 to 25), married to a Mexican, moved to the US (age 26 to the present), and have two Texan children. My home is where my family (heart) is!

Photos: Colorado, Summer 2019: hiking the Upper Piney Trail at the White River National Forest. Enjoying the Weichnactsmarkts in Heidelberg on our Silver Dating Anniversary trip to Germany, Fall 2019 and showing our children where my husband officially asked me to date him almost 26 years ago (at the University’s “Botanik Cafe”).

I came to San Antonio and started my education at The Atonement Academy as a freshman and completed my junior year just before we returned to Mexico. But I still consider myself a member of the Class of 2012!
After my last year of high school in Mexico, I enrolled in the Vancouver Film School in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where I graduated with diplomas in 2D Animation, 3D Animation and Concept Art, and then I earned a diploma in Business Management at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Right after graduation, I was hired as a painter in the Apple TV collaboration with NASA for “Snoopy in Space.” After that, I was a designer for a Nickelodeon kids' show, “Blaze and the Monster Machines.” At the moment, I am a designer for an unannounced Disney animated show and a Netflix show as well. Yes, I've been busy!
The best experience of my career has been by far, to be contacted by producers, studios and directors to work on their projects because they saw my work on my website or one of my social media accounts. At the beginning, it was stressful to apply and wait for a response from the studios, but coming to a point in my career where they look for me feels great.
To study and now work such a long way from home was both exciting and scary at the beginning, but I appreciated the chance to meet people from all over the world and get to be independent and learn to fend for myself, and build my own network of friends and business contacts. I feel I wouldn't be where I am had I studied close to home without getting out of that comfort zone.
I have been very fortunate throughout my life, having many opportunities to travel and getting to know so many different places first-hand throughout Europe as well as North and South America. But by far my favorite trip was my trip to Rome with The Atonement. Perhaps I was unable to finish and graduate with my class because I had returned to Mexico, but I was still invited to join my friends on the pilgrimage. It was the trip of a lifetime!
Photos include Roberto with his dad and younger brother Carlos (who is also an alumnus), Roberto and friends on a suspension bridge in B.C., and several examples of his work, including a Crusader he created for one of our galas.

Lady Crusader Varsity Volleyball

Only one week into the season, the Lady Crusaders are 2-0. They opened the season this past Thursday on September 10th with a 3-0 win over Universal City First Baptist at their school. Then the ladies brought it back home this past Tuesday on September 15th to play Our Lady of the Hills, a 3A school. The Lady Crusaders won the game 3-0 as well. Coach Alvarez along with his assistant coaches Alejandro Oliveros and Megan Alvarado are doing a fantastic job. Next games are today at 6:00 p.m. against BACH, and then Friday at Winston School.

Middle School Volleyball

The MS team played their first game this past Tuesday vs. Bracken Christian and competed with a good team. They lost 0-2 but learned and gained valuable experience along the whole game. Coach Alvarado is doing great things with the Middle School program. Next game is today at 4:30 p.m. in Crusader Gym against BACH.

Varsity Football

The Crusaders open their season this Friday at 7:30 p.m. under the lights with a Scrimmage against St. Gerard, a 3A school.

Middle School Football

The MS Crusaders open their season today at 7:00 p.m. under the lights with a scrimmage against Bracken Christian.

Middle and Upper School Cross Country

Our Cross Country teams will have their first meet together in San Antonio at Universal City First Baptist this Saturday, September 19th.

Winter Sports Update

We are actively recruiting our scholar-athletes for Winter Sports. Upper School teams will start on November 2nd due to TAPPS rules, and Middle School will start as soon as Cross Country, Football, and Volleyball conclude their seasons.

We hope to have participants to field the following teams:
Middle School--Boys/Girls Basketball, Boys/Girls Soccer
Upper School--Boys/Girls Basketball

Right now, we currently do not have enough on the team to field a team for: Boys and Girls Basketball and Girls Soccer for MS.

Please register your athletes to play by signing up on the sports registration link.

Admissions Process at All Home Athletic Events Due to COVID-19 Restrictions

The school's temperature checks and mask requirement (see Safe Return Plan) will be followed at all indoor games. In addition, be aware that we are no longer accepting cash at admissions table for our home athletic events. We will be sending out pre-sale links about three to five days in advance for you to purchase your ticket online. Your name will be put on a list and checked off when you arrive to the game and present your email confirmation of purchasing your ticket.

If you are a faculty/staff member, you have access to home athletic events for free. Please email Coach Vidal if you plan on attending. This way your name will get put on a list for you to be let into our games.

If you are a student at The Atonement Academy, you still have access to home games for free as well. Your parents will need to contact Coach Vidal if you plan on attending the game for your name to be put on the list to attend.

If you are a Booster Club member, your membership will give you access to all home games for free, however you still need to email Coach Vidal to get your name on the list.

The reason for letting Coach Vidal know is it guarantees you a seat at the game while we are under capacity restrictions due to COVID-19. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter to help our athletic events run smoothly.

Concessions at all Home Athletic Events

This is also going cashless as well. We will have card readers to swipe your card at our concessions stands.

Pre-Sale Links for Games this Week:

9/17/20- Middle School Volleyball 4:30 p.m. vs. BACH

9/17/20-Upper School Volleyball 6:00 p.m. vs. BACH

9/17/20-Middle School Football- 7:00 p.m vs. Bracken (FREE GAME-Scrimmage) still want people to process a free ticket to help control the gate.

9/18/20- Upper School Football-7:30 p.m. vs. St. Gerard (FREE GAME-Scrimmage) still want people to process a free ticket to help control the gate.

9/22/20-Middle School Volleyball-4:30 p.m. vs. Cornerstone

9/24/20-Middle School Football- 7:00 p.m. vs. Hill Country Christian

Interested in making our yearbook better? The Yearbook Club is for Middle and Upper School scholars who are interested in taking pictures, designing pages, and sharing their school spirit. We are looking for 10 dedicated, school-spirited, hard-working members.

How do you join? Complete the Yearbook Sign-Up form and turn it in by September 18th. Sign up forms are here and on our website.

If accepted as a club member, you will be required to sign in and work on the yearbook every week beginning October 12 and ending April 23. Work may include taking and uploading photos, designing a page, or revising pages for final submission.

Mandatory meetings are the following Mondays:

First Semester
September 28, October 12, October 26, November 16, and December 7

Second Semester
January 11, February 15, March 1, March 22, and April 12

Remote Students will Zoom for meetings. Additional dates may follow as we near the yearbook deadlines.

If you have any questions, please see Mrs. Powell or email her at

Upper scholar Lucas Sanchez visited the Cathedral in Austin with members of his family this weekend and happened to meet Abby Johnson, nationally renowned Pro-Life trailblazer. His mom said,"Lucas was extremely happy to meet her as he wears his 40 Days for Life t-shirt almost religiously everywhere he goes." We also have photos of Mrs. Joyner, Director of Admissions, and the Zilli and Zuazueta families showing off their Crusader Spirit signs! You can still purchase signs from the front office. In other photos, Upper and Lower School scholars enjoy fresh air during lunch time, and upper scholars Alfredo Santillan and Sarah Trevino wait for their school photos to be taken.
Let's pray for our school and for each other! Atonement mom Dr. Barbara Ku will be spearheading our Wednesday Rosary this year. She started this week, and all are welcome to join! We meet in the Sacred Heart Chapel, located adjacent to the main chruch (use the smaller red door). Join us at 3:00 p.m., just before carline begins, and you will be out in approximately 15 minutes.

Join us on social media! Even if you are not one to post your personal activity, it IS a vehicle for information and engagement with our school!

FACEBOOK is an online social media and networking platform that uses the written word, photos, and videos to communicate with the world.

The Atonement Academy page is our public page. Anyone with an account can see the information here, so it is great for getting information out to the public and advertising our school to interested families. "Like" us on Facebook and ask your friends to do so as well! It can be a great venue for us to share all the good news about our school community! The page is managed by school representatives.

Atonement Exchange is a private group. Participation is limited to currently enrolled families and graduates of our upper school. A series of qualifying questions must be answered before a person is allowed to join the group, and at the beginning of each school year, the group is updated with our current families. It is a great private forum for our Atonement community to exchange information, books, uniforms, photos of school sports and events, and parent formation ideas. Posts to the Exchange are managed by school personnel.

Atonement Sports is a public page that is managed by our department of athletics. School sporting events and photos are promoted on this page. "Like" the page on Facebook to follow sports-related information and activities.

INSTAGRAM is an online, worldwide photo/visuals platform.
Our account is found under theatonementacademy and is managed by school personnel. It provides visual content similar to what is found on The Atonement's Facebook public page.
The Atonement Academy, founded in 1994, is a PreK through 12th grade Catholic, classical school. It is the parish school of Our Lady of The Atonement Catholic Church, one of the founding parishes of the Personal Ordinariate of The Chair of St. Peter, established by Pope Benedict XVI and located in Houston TX.