News from The Atonement Academy --- Vol. 2020-2021 No.11, October 1, 2020
"Stat crux dum volvitur orbis: While the world changes, the Cross stands firm.”
~St. Bruno

Changes abound around us, and at The Atonement Academy we seek always to have daily routines, to include Mass every day, to help us remain centered and fixed on our goal to do God's will regardless of the flux of the world we live in.

When they are on our campus, Crusader students and their families-- as well as the faculty and staff--at The Atonement Academy have come to expect the comfort that order and stability bring to uncertain times.
The magnificent Crucifix on top of the rood screen at Our Lady of The Atonement Catholic Church.

Dear Academy Families,

Our Lady of The Atonement Catholic Church is growing, and we want the new parish families attending Mass on weekends to know about The Atonement Academy, the church’s primary ministry to families. As many of you have experienced firsthand, an Academy education is a life-changing gift. As with all such gifts, it is a joy to share.

In order to facilitate an introduction to new families, we will be holding the first of what we hope will become monthly “Academy Sundays” this weekend (October 4th) at the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Masses. To participate, please attend one of these Masses as a family and have your Academy scholars wear their uniforms. During announcements, Father Lewis will ask them to stand and be recognized along with any present faculty, staff, and alumni. After Mass, please be open to any parishioners who may approach you with questions.

Thank you for your willingness to witness to the work of Christian formation that God is accomplishing through our parish school. Going forward, we plan for Academy Sundays to serve as a means to keep the parish community informed of school news that may be of interest as well as aware of school activities in which they may want to participate.

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.

October 3
Booster Club Movie Night--postponed until a later date

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 6
First Quarter AR Quiz Deadline (error in previous newsletter)

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)
SAT (Seniors)

October 23
Half Day (LS dismissal at 12:15; MS/US at 12:30) Note: Even though King's Fair was re-scheduled, this is still a half day. Also, please realize that 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.

October 30
Virtual All Saints' Day Program and Salute to Grandparents
With health concerns, our program will be a virtual one this year. All LS families will be emailed a link for the program.


10/1/20-US Volleyball, 6:30 p.m. against Gateway Christian
10/1/2020-MS Volleyball, 4:30 p.m. against Castle Hills First Baptist
10/2/20-US Football, 7:30 p.m. against New Braunfels Calvary Baptist
10/8/20-MS Football, 7:00 p.m. against FEAST

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.
Please note there are recent updates to the Remote Learning FAQs. These updates address what to do if your child needs to transition temporarily to Remote Learning due to illness or quarantine. Also, office hours for Mr. Sackett’s Remote Students (4th grade) have changed. A complete listing of teachers’ office hours for remote students may be found here.

Middle School Football: Coach Hegedusich
This past Thursday, the MS boys football team competed against Hill Country Christian and made history: it was the first time a MS game had been played "under the lights"! The boys played tough, but came up short with a score of 7-19. Henry Watson played a great game (his first tackle football game), scoring the team's only touchdown and making several key defensive tackles. We still have a lot of work to be done as the season progresses. We have a bye week this week to fine tune a few things, and our next game will be at home on October 8th against FEAST at 7:00 p.m.
Upper School Varsity Football: Coach Vidal
This past Saturday, the team traveled to McDade, Texas to play the Bulldogs. This was our season opener, and the boys played a tough game and good game overall. This game taught us a lot about ourselves and how to handle adversity. The game opened with a long touchdown run by McDade on their first play, and on the next play for kickoff return, Michael Cantu ran it all the way back for his first varsity touchdown. The team came up short with a score of 27-52. We had big games by both of our seniors: David Henriquez caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Mick Skeens and at the end of the game, had 13 total defensive tackles and a fumble recovery. Nicholas Cosnowski ran for 84 yards on 15 carries and scored a touchdown and a 1 point conversion. Our freshman group stepped up with Mick Skeens throwing for 111 yards on 7 attempts and one touchdown. Mason Wendtland led all freshman with 13 tackles, five solo. We look forward to hosting New Braunfel’s Calvary Baptist on Friday on Crusader Field at 7:30 p.m.

For their "last first" Crusader football game of the season, seniors David Henriquez and Nick Cosnowski earned the right to be called Big Dawgs! With 12 tackles, 50 receiving yards, his first ever touchdown, and a fumble recovery, David stepped up to lead the pack! Nick had 15 tackles, 87 rushing yards, a forced fumble, and a touchdown! Both seniors have grown into their leadership roles as they look to leave a lasting legacy of excellence on our football program! See photo in "Scenes on Campus" below.
Middle School Volleyball: Coach Alvarado
The girls have played tough during each of the last two matches. With the young team led by just three 8th graders, there is a lot of learning to be done and a lot of growth to be achieved. The girls are responding well to practices and are working hard every day. They look to host Castle Hills in crusader gym today at 4:30 p.m. and then travel to Winston to play on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Lady Crusader Varsity Volleyball: Coach Alvarez
The team is on fire right now, having opened the season and won seven straight games. Right now, our girls volleyball team still 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 traveled to Fredericksburg Heritage this past Tuesday to play the 2019 District Champs. The game was decided in four sets with the Lady Crusaders coming out on top with a 3-1 victory. The Lady Crusader Volleyball team is exciting to watch, and we encourage everyone to come out and support the girls in their next home game vs. Gateway Christian at 6:30 p.m. today. A few of Mr. Petroff's terrific photos of our team may be found below.
Middle School Cross Country: Coach Buendia and
Upper School Cross Country: Coach Gray
The Atonement Academy’s middle and high school cross country teams were excited to compete in their second race of the season hosted by FEAST homeschool. They were also very grateful for the overcast weather that made for great running conditions. The middle school team was led by 6th grader Zachary Cantu who came in 4th in his 2-mile race with a time of 12:58. Also having a good race was Adrian Garcia-Tovar who came in a time of 16:24, running a full 40 seconds faster than his previous race this season. The high school was thrilled to welcome Madison Vale, Madelline Magallanes, and Xavier Magallanes to their first race of the season. All three put up good times and look forward to running even faster at their next meet on October 10th in Austin at the Brentwood Christian School Bears Invitational.
This week there is no Cross Country meet for both teams, as they look to race on campus this Saturday with a course that has been marked by our cross country coaches. We will be looking to host a XC meet next year for schools to attend.

Winter Sports
Winter Sports are right around the corner. There are two letters going out this week that you will receive via Atonement Communications that pertain to Winter Sports. Please read them carefully.
Booster Club
Registration for the Booster Club is still open at this time. Next meeting will take place on October 7th. Registration link can be found on the school's website, or by emailing Coach Vidal.
The Booster Club will be setting up a tailgate on Friday for the Football game to bring the community together. Please see the flyer below for details and join us.
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 the Crusaders on. 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.

Game Tickets and Protocols
Remember, you must have an advanced ticket to get into game, purchased tickets as well as free tickets for student, teacher, or Booster Club members. For free tickets, please email Coach Vidal if you plan to attend. Temperatures are being checked at the admissions table. Please follow protocols and practice social distancing while at the game. Face masks required when entering and exiting facility.

To purchase tickets, please go to links below:
Faculty/Staff and Students get into game free. Please email or notify Coach Vidal if you plan on attending.

On October 14th The Atonement Academy will be providing the PSAT to all freshman, sophomores, and juniors. Here is a copy of the email correspondence from Sister Mary Margaret to on-campus students, explaining what the PSAT means for these upper scholars. There is a separate letter, here, for remote learners.

Class of 2021

Today, the first of October, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens their application system. Regardless of your income, all families should complete the FAFSA every year, each year they plan to have a child attend college. The FAFSA is required in order to be eligible for all federal financial aid, as well as most state and institution aid. Families have from October 1st to June 30th each year to submit their FAFSA. Funds are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis, so the sooner you apply, the more aid you may receive.

This link will take you to a page for how to begin and sign up for FAFSA. You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) within three weeks of completing your FAFSA. The SAR is a summary of your aid eligibility and includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Schools use this number to calculate your child's financial aid package.

Looking for Scholarships
Begin applying for scholarships within the college or university in which you are submitting applications. Be sure to look for deadlines. Also, visit Tuition Funding Sources (TFS) at for more scholarship opportunities.

SAT day at The Atonement Academy is October 14th. There will be no classes (remote or in-person) for seniors that day.

Class of 2022

Begin looking at colleges and universities virtually. Look at our fall college fairs and visits on our school’s website. Begin making a list of colleges you are interested in and researching their degree programs along with cost.

After taking the PSAT, The Atonement Academy encourages all juniors to sign up for the SAT in March. The March SAT date is March 13th, with a registration deadline of February 12th. Due to the pandemic and the lack of testing availability, Texas A&M University has announced they are extending their test-optional admissions policy to the Class of 2022. We await announcements from other colleges and universities

College Fairs

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 employed as the school librarian. I substitute teach if needed. I also teach classes by request. Some of these classes include but are not limited to MLA Citation, Cyber Safety, Online Etiquette, Introduction to Technology, Basic Introduction to Microsoft Office Word Processing and Presentation Software, Gale Database Sources, and Worldbook Online Source.

What do you most appreciate about teaching at The Atonement Academy?
I appreciate the ability to promote Christianity without restriction. I encourage and promote all types of books in addition to focusing weekly on the lives of our Catholic saints who our students can look to for inspiration when faced with life challenges.

I love that our teachers and staff can integrate the gifts God provides us all with core subjects such as history, math and science as they are teaching our students. I myself have five children here and see it as a priceless gift that enhances the teaching of our terrific and very talented faculty at The Atonement Academy.

What do you look forward to this school year? 
I look forward to just being present. One of my hopes is that we are able to have a full sung mass as we start the Winter and Spring concert. 

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
I spend a ton of time on crafts now that I have completed my Masters in Library Information Science. I hope to start a small business in the future. Other than crafting, I am trying to devote more time to my family. As you can imagine, working as a full time librarian and student took a lot of time away from the family.

What is something you wish we had asked? 
I would like to have been asked our dreams for the future of The Atonement Academy. I would love to see the original school building infrastructure upgraded in support of our teachers. I would also love to see us accrue enough donations to not only finish classrooms in our newer school building but also add a retreat house for our upper scholars, a school memorabilia/coffee shop/textbook store and event space, so that the building can draw in future revenue from patrons in our community.
Photos include Mrs. Wendtland with her husband as well as one of her family of Crusaders. There is a shot of her spinning (she spins wool and dyes it for many of her crafts), and an array of the masks she sews and some of her knitting.


I began attending The Atonement Academy in 2007 as a 6th grader. It was a tough transition as I found the curriculum to be much more challenging than I was accustomed to. I attended The Atonement for seven years (Middle School and Upper School) and graduated in 2014. While at the Academy, I also completed two years in the Pre-Freshman Engineering summer program through UTSA. Then after my sophomore year in the Upper School, I began taking college classes at Northwest Vista College. I haven’t had a summer off since 7th grade! 
My goal in Upper School was to take the pilgrimage trip to Rome with my classmates in 2013. I started working at Bill Miller’s BBQ my junior year to save money. With the help of my family and a generous grant from The Atonement Academy, I was able to see the wonders of Italy! My favorite memory was sitting on a balcony in Assisi in the company of my classmates.
When I look back on my years at the Academy, I am most grateful for the strong academic requirements that prepared me to be more mature and take my studies in undergraduate and graduate school seriously. I also appreciate my strong faith that has helped me to find peace during difficult times.
By the time I graduated from the Upper School, I had over 45 hours of college credit from my summer classes and AP coursework. I enrolled at UTSA in 2014 and completed my Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology – Athletic Medicine in 2017. All this time I continued to work weekends at Bill Miller’s BBQ to help with my books and expenses.
My goal since Middle School was to gain acceptance to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program so that I could achieve my dream of becoming a physical therapist. I was in the process of re-taking some prerequisite courses to improve my GPA when I was accepted to the University of the Incarnate Word’s physical therapy program in June of 2014.
I started the program in the fall of 2014, and right away I was grateful for my three years of Latin at the Academy. My human anatomy class was no joke! Honestly, graduate school was so tough, I hardly had time to do anything but study.
The DPT program gave me multiple opportunities to participate in clinical rotations at Methodist Health Care Ministries Outpatient Clinic (providing pro bono care to the low income community), Warm Spring’s Outpatient Neurologic Clinic, Christus Santa Rosa Hospital Acute Care Services, and Baptist Hospital Acute Rehabilitation Services. My favorite setting was Acute Rehabilitation and I hope to work in that field once I am a licensed practitioner.
I completed my DPT requirements this August and I am currently studying to take the board exam in October. I would appreciate everyone’s prayers because this test is the last challenge that I must overcome to achieve my dreams.
Once this is over, I hope to become a licensed physical therapist here in San Antonio so that I can continue to serve my community’s health care needs. I am also looking forward to finally having some free time to enjoy hiking and camping with my friends.
Photos include Romi as a freshman at The Atonement Academy in 2009-2010, graduating from UTSA in 2017 (a year early), and literally surrounded by his 2014 Crusader classmates.
Note that the date has changed, and there is no half-day just before King's Fair, but there will be plenty of fun, food, and fellowship! Mark your calendars, and plan your costume!

The library is sponsoring an election for "The Best Classic Book of All Time." Will it be The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? Lord of the Rings? The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? Pride and Prejudice? The Brothers Karamazov? Plan on voting in the Primary on October 9th! (Remote students in 1st-12th grades will receive their ballots via email to participate in the Primary, and they must be returned no later than October 9th!)
Our photos include Ms. Szyszkiewicz’s sophomore class just completed their unit on Feudalism. After reading and studying the Magna Carta (a charter between King John and his nobles), they were given different feudal roles (king, lord, serf, master of a guild, etc.) and negotiated a charter between themselves based on the rights and privileges of the feudal system.

In other photos, Mrs. Johnston and Mrs. Powell demonstrate one part of our new security system for checking in visitors and volunteers. And Mrs. Fitzgerald kindergarteners are featured in two photos: as they have technology class with Mrs. Wendtland, as well as story time with library docent Mrs. McDonough. This week's "Big Dawgs" are seniors Nick Cosnowski and David Henriquez. Also featured are varsity volleyball photos from Mr. Petroff, and our history-making MS football team under the lights.

Our Lady of The Atonement’s Music Series has the third performance now available on YouTube. In recognition of this week's glorious Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Dr. Jennifer Seighman, OLA Music Director & Organist and Mr. Gary Marks, former OLA Organist, play Mendelssohn and Brahms.
The performance can be accessed using this link, or you can simply go to the parish website and click on the promotional banner on the home page.
Many Atonement families participate in Family Enrichment San Antonio, including Drs. Barbara and Paul Ku, who passed along this flyer for Crusader families' information.

Our uniform company, Academic Outfitters, informed us of their new store hours. Please note that starting October 5, 2020, hours are as follows:

Monday – CLOSED
Tuesday to Thursday – 10:00a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday – 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday – 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Sunday - CLOSED
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.