News from The Atonement Academy --- Vol. 2020-2021 No.10, September 24, 2020
"Life is to live and life is to give and talents are to use for good if you choose. Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks—then the doing of your work shall be no miracle but you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God."
~Blessed Solanus Casey

In the classroom and on the playing fields, Crusaders are encouraged to do their best and persevere!
Middle scholars Megan Guerra and Zachary Cantu each placed first in the past weekend's Cross Country meet. Congratulations, Crusaders!

Dear Academy Families,
Classes may have started more than a month ago, but to me it’s always the advent of cool, fall weather that makes me feel that school has begun in earnest. The multiplication of school activities—many of them profiled in what follows—has the same effect. Allow me to draw your attention to two in particular.
“Academy Sundays” launch on Sunday, October 4th. Going forward, we hope to collaborate with our clergy to make the first Sunday of each month an opportunity to highlight the mission of Academy, its scholars and faculty, and upcoming school activities that may be of interest to parish families. See below for more details.
Fall sports are in full swing, with several squads enjoying early success. Make sure to put the upcoming games and meets listed below on your calendar so that you can come out and cheer on our Crusaders!
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 29
Wednesday Rosary (Sacred Heart Chapel, 3:00 p.m.)

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

October 3
Booster Club Movie Night

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 12
First Quarter AR Quiz Deadline

October 12-December 15
Second Quarter AR Quiz Testing Period

October 13
Sibling Shadow Day

October 14
PSAT (All 9th, 10, and 11th Grade Students)

October 23
Half Day (LS dismissal at 12:15; MS/US at 12:30) Note: only PreK – 5th grade will have lunch that day. Therefore, if you use the school’s catering service, you may order lunch for any of your children in 5th grade and below, but will not want to do so for any children in 6th grade and higher.


9/24/20-MS Football, 7:00 p.m. against Hill Country Christian
9/25/20-MS Volleyball, 4:30 p.m. against BACH
9/25/20-US Volleyball, 6:00 p.m. against BACH
10/1/20-US Volleyball, 6:30 p.m. against Gateway Christian
10/2/20-US Football, 7:30 p.m. against New Braunfels Calvary Baptist

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 tomorrow, 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!

Remember, you must have a ticket to get into game, unless you are a student, teacher, or Booster Club member (and all must reserve their free ticket with Coach Vidal). Temperatures are being checked at the admissions table. Please wear your face mask for all indoor sports and have one readily available for outdoor sports. Please see the links below to purchase tickets, or use Facebook to access the Atonement Sports page.

Middle School Football: Coach Hegedusich

This past Thursday, the MS Football scrimmage was cancelled due to a heavy rain we received that afternoon that made the field unplayable. However, the boys have been working hard to open the season for the first time in the MS program's history under the lights against Hill Country Christian at home this Thursday (TODAY) at 7:00 p.m.
Upper School Varsity Football: Coach Vidal

First all, thank you to all the fans who came out to support the boys this past Friday night at the scrimmage against St. Gerard. The players learned several things about themselves and how to improve on the mistakes that were made. Scrimmages are crucial to the understanding of what your strengths and weaknesses are as team on defense, offense, and special teams. The team played tough, handled adversity very well, and got better. We travel to McDade, Texas this Saturday to open our season and play at 12:00 p.m. vs. the McDade Bulldogs.
Middle School Volleyball: Coach Alvarado

The girls played tough in their last matchup vs. BACH, coming out with a victory for their first on the season with a 2-0 win. They will be traveling to New Braunfels to play this week and will host BACH again this Friday at home at 4:30 p.m. Coach Alvarado looks to build off the momentum from the last game and get their second win of the season.
Lady Crusader Varsity Volleyball: Coach Alvarez

The team is on fire right now, having opened the season and won five straight games. Right now, our girls volleyball team has the best record in all of TAPPS 1A schools that field a volleyball team. Coach Alvarez is doing a great job leading the girls into the right direction. The team has one more pre-season game vs. BACH at home this Friday at 6:00 p.m. before they go on the road to open up district play vs. Fredericksburg Heritage on Monday September 28th.
Middle School Cross Country: Coach Buendia

The Middle School XC team competed in the First Baptist Academy Cross Country meet this past Saturday. The team brought home five "top ten" medals from the meet, with the following scholar-athletes medalling:

Megan Guerra, 1st Place
Gianna Hivnor, 2nd Place
Gabriella Garcia-Tovar, 8th Place

Zachary Cantu, 1st Place
Henry Watson, 9th Place
What a great first meet for our Middle School XC team! Great job to Coach Buendia on getting them prepared for the meet. They will look to compete this Saturday (9/26) at the FEAST Cross Country meet here in San Antonio.
Upper School Cross Country: Coach Gray

The Upper School XC team also competed in the First Baptist Academy Cross Country meet this past Saturday. The team brought home six medals from the meet, with "top ten" placings by:

AnaMarie Santos, 2nd Place
Madelyn Landry, 3rd Place
Victoria Watson, 7th Place

Nathan Groh, 5th Place
Andrew Sackett, 9th Place
Matthew Petroff, 10th Place
A great first meet for our Upper School XC team this past weekend. Great job to Coach Gray and Coach Kennedy on getting them prepared for the meet. They will also look to compete this Saturday (9/26) at the FEAST Cross Country meet.
Winter Sports

Winter Sports are right around the corner. Upper School Basketball will soon have a finalized schedule and will start practicing on November 2nd. If you are playing a fall sport, you will need to finish the Fall sport first before your transfer to your Winter sport. Always finish what you start.

Middle School Winter sports: (Soccer/Basketball) will begin their practices once the Fall sports season concludes with the last competition.

We are still needing more athletes to join our girls Middle School Soccer team to be able to field a team this year, and for Boys/Girls Basketball.
Capacity Limit--Indoor Sports

We have increased the capacity limit of our indoor seating to 80 spectators. This is an increase from 60 spectators.
Live Streaming--Indoor Only at this time

Beginning this Friday, we will be live streaming our home indoor athletic events for fans at home to watch and cheer on the Crusaders. We have installed a camera in the gym that gives us the capability of live streaming all indoor sports through our Atonement Sports Facebook page. Between now and Friday, if you would like to view the live streaming, we ask that you follow or like the Atonement Sports Facebook page to know exactly what is going on with sports at The Atonement Academy and also to view the game.  

Pre-Sale Links for Games this Week

9/24/20-Middle School Football, 7:00 p.m. vs. Hill Country Christian (Gates open at 6:00 p.m.)

9/25/20-Middle School Volleyball, 4:30 p.m. vs. BACH (Doors open at 4:00 p.m.)

9/25/20-Upper School Volleyball, 6:00 p.m. vs. BACH

On October 14th, The Atonement Academy will be providing the PSAT to all freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. The PSAT/NMSQT is the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The PSAT is a great primer for the SAT, and even the ACT, but it’s more than just a trial run. PSAT scores are used to identify National Merit Scholars and award merit scholarships. More than 3.4 million high school students (mostly juniors and sophomores) take this nationwide, multiple-choice test every year. At The Atonement Academy, our freshman also take the test.

The College Board describes it as follows: "The PSAT won’t count towards college admissions applications, but it is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship. Some of the highest scoring students may win scholarship money, so while you shouldn’t stress out about the PSAT, you certainly shouldn’t ignore it either. Use the PSAT as practice for the SAT and ACT and an important guidepost on your college admissions journey. The PSAT has two sections: Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. You’ll encounter passage-based questions—sometimes accompanied by tables, graphs, and charts—and math problems drawing upon algebra, geometry, and a little trig."

Today parents of our 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students will receive an informational letter about the PSAT from Sister Mary Margaret, so be sure to check your email or view this link. A separate letter is also being sent to remote learners, viewable here.

Our College Fair information continues to be updated. The most recent update may be found here. As always, when you have questions about college counseling, please correspond with Mrs. Powell.
Families may click here for more information and for registration form.

What do you currently teach, and what do you enjoy about it?
I am currently the Assistant Head of School at The Atonement Academy. Sadly, my duties this year prevent me from teaching, and I miss it greatly. Last year, however, I had the pleasure of teaching Latin to 9th-graders while also serving as the Dean of the Lower School. While there are several subjects I have taught and love teaching, Latin is one of my favorites. I enjoy introducing students to the beauty of its orderly structure and its ability form the mind in logical rigor and analytical precision. In my role as Assistant Head of School, I enjoy working closely with teachers and students alike in supporting their growth in the true, good, and beautiful. 

What do you appreciate about teaching at The Atonement Academy?
I appreciate that The Academy pursues the highest possible purpose of education. Through its integration of faithful magisterial teaching and a classical curriculum, it aims at nothing less than helping students lead lives of the fullest possible joy and meaning. With skilled teachers striving for personal excellence and modeling a faith-filled life, our school does so much more than prepare students for college and careers (which it does exceedingly well nevertheless), but most especially prepares students to attain a genuine happiness that can only come from a life lived well and in proper relation to the source and summit of all that is true, good, and beautiful. 

Speaking of the beautiful, the beauty of choral music at The Academy is one of the very things that drew me here. Especially in service of the liturgy, our choral music offers one of the fullest ways to participate in the creative act of God and to experience concretely the reality of being made in His image and likeness. Like (and because of) God, we too are beauty-makers! With its liturgical orientation I also love that our choral music provides students an exceptional means offering a fitting response of gratitude, worship and thanksgiving to the wonders of God’s creation they encounter in their other subjects. 

Tell us a bit about yourself: how you spend your leisure time, or what you are reading right now, or a favorite inspirational figure or quote, updates on your immediate family, or the like! 
I was born in Mexico but have lived in Texas since I was two years old. In my spare time I enjoy exploring Texas State parks with my family either for day trips filled with hiking and picnics or overnight camping and fishing trips. Another hobby of mine, which I have not been able to pursue much since moving to San Antonio, is woodworking. In the past however I have built many things, mostly at my wife’s request, from bunk beds and coffee tables to chicken coops and rabbit hutches. Although my woodworking has fallen by the wayside, I still managed to find some time for reading and am currently re-reading Flannery O’Connor short stories while reading St. John Henry Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua as well as an excursus on philosophical realism by the mid-century Platonist, John Daniel Wild. Over the summer my wife and I celebrated our 12th anniversary and are looking forward to welcoming our seventh child in December.  
Photos include Mr. Creech on top of "Old Baldy" at Garner State Park, a family Easter photo before “participating” in quarantine Easter Mass, and Mrs. Creech with most of the kids as they were camping at Guadalupe River State Park.

Parents are welcome to attend school Masses, but please realize we have a very limited number of seats available. To participate in a school Mass, please follow these protocols:

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 office to reserve a seat, but you must arrive in the front office 10 minutes early to have your temperature checked and check in or your seat will be released.
We have an exciting year ahead for Our Lady of The Atonement parish choirs.  If your child is not already part of our parish music program, we hope they will consider joining us this year.  Homeschool students, children in the parish, and students from The Atonement Academy in grades 3-12 are welcome.  

We particularly need middle and upper scholars who are so highly trained at the Academy to bring their musical leadership to our parish music program. Our goal is to re-instate a tenor-bass choir this year, but we need a commitment from our young men in order to do this. 

If your family are parishioners and/or attend Sunday Mass here, please consider having your child(ren) participate in this vital ministry if they enjoy singing. 

There is no fee to participate. There will be an introductory meeting for all students interested in Parish Choir on Wednesday, September 30 (Grades 3-6 will meet from 3:30-4:30 p.m., Grades 7-12 from 4:30-5:30 p.m.). The regular rehearsal schedule will resume on October 7. For more information please click here and/or email our Music Director/Organist, Dr. Jennifer Seighman.  
Photos include our Cross Country team at the meet last weekend and our varsity football team's scrimmage. Thanks to Mrs. Landry, Mrs. Wendtland, and Mr. Petroff for some great action photos.

In other shots, Patrick Henriquez shows off his 3rd grade project for Charlotte's Web and Dahlia Schwartz poses in front of the red doors on her first day to attend classes on campus. A few photos of our first graders--Paul, Natalia, and Tyler-- prove that eyes can smile even when wearing masks!

Mrs. Lillich sent in a photo of second grader Ben and said, "Ben was so excited to walk his sister Wendy to her first day of religious education classes at Atonement. He is very proud of his school, and she loves getting to feel like a part of The Atonement Academy, too."

Lastly, congratulations to Nick Cosnowski for being the first ever "Big Dawg!" The new "Big Dawg" award is awarded weekly to a football scholar-athlete who exemplifies what it means to be a "Big Dawg." Nick showed outstanding academics and leadership both on the field and in the weight room, pushing his teammates to be the best they can be. Congratulations!

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.