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The OLMA Overview -- January 11, 2019
Happy New Year and welcome back! As wonderful as time off can be, I must admit to being very happy to see our students' faces on Monday. A fresh start always feels good. Academically, it's a whole new ballgame for everyone. I encourage all students to start strong and ask for help to keep you from falling behind. Make your studies priority number one.

We often talk about how important it is for our girls to get out of their comfort zones in order to grow. Four our of our girls are seriously experiencing just that! I arrived yesterday and am in Spain with 13 students from OLMA, St. Augustine Prep and Malvern Prep as part of our annual Spain Exchange. I'll be here for just one week, but the students will spend three weeks attending school, living with local families and exploring the sights, sounds and overall culture of Spain.

So far, one of the biggest differences we have noticed is meal time. Lunch is 2:30/3:30 and dinner is 9, 10 and sometimes 11 pm! Many of us didn't make it to dinner last night as we were so exhausted from the travel day.

Today I toured two schools and was able to spend a little time with all of the students involved in the program. Tomorrow we travel to Toledo for the day. Our hosts have been wonderful and it is fantastic to watch our students learn and practice their Spanish.

I am so grateful that we can offer this opportunity for our students and hope that others will consider it next year! This spring, the student hosts in Spain will travel to the U.S. and be our guests. I can't wait to welcome them! I'll be sending along photos of our adventures. Here's the first batch! -- Mrs. Coyle
Student Spotlight
Meet Ava Mottola, Class of 2019
Whether it's a toy, a special snack while at the grocery store, a few extra dollars, or permission to join a friend on vacation, kids can be very persuasive when they want something from their parents. When Ava Mottola decided that she wanted to transfer to OLMA, she knew she needed to be convincing, so she turned to Powerpoint. "I asked them to sit down and then presented a Powerpoint on why I needed to be at OLMA," she said. "I still keep it on my computer!"

Needless to say, they bought it -- hook, line and sinker -- and Ava joined OLMA as a sophomore. "I wanted a sisterhood," said Ava. "I was an only child until I came to OLMA and found my sisters." Ava says she also enjoys the feeling of belonging and being known for who she really is. "At OLMA, I'm not just a face in a large crowd," she said. "I can express myself freely without worry and feel appreciated for who I am. OLMA is a place where you feel more you."

Now a senior, Ava is grateful for the opportunities that she has had as an OLMA student. "I want to become a special education teacher and work in an elementary school," she said. "I know that because of the opportunities I've had to test out my career choice. Last year, I shadowed an elementary school teacher in Vineland and loved it. As part of senior Religion my classmates and I visit an area elementary school class every week in service to the students and teachers there. Last summer I chose to spend my Mini-Mester at St. John of God. I spent an entire week working with children and adults with disabilities. The combination of these experiences cemented my decision to pursue a career in Special Education."

Ava, who serves as Secretary of the OLMA Interact Club, thrives on service and has made it a part of her everyday life. "I volunteer whenever I can and really enjoy it," she said. "I especially liked the service we did in Camden at a thrift shop and school as part of our senior retreat. These are experiences that you just can't get anywhere else."

When asked if she had any words of wisdom for the young women who will be joining OLMA in the fall, Ava emphasized the importance of surrounding yourself with people who really care about the real you. She found that at OLMA and says that you will too.
Older and Wiser, OLMA Grads Share Advice
With a year or two of college behind them, these five graduates returned to OLMA as part of Villager's Advice Day organized by College Guidance. The girls visited with seniors and shared their very varied experiences. They also enjoyed reconnecting with their teachers and little sisters. Pictured below (l to r) are: Jessica Baals, Hope Viviani, Morgan Hagerty, Madison Hagerty, and Jessica Riordan.
Get Ready to BLACKOUT Cancer!
Get set to make a difference while cheering on the OLMA Villagers Basketball team on Tuesday, January 29! The night's theme is BLACKOUT CANCER , so wear as much black as you can!

OLMA is fortunate to be partnering with Pizza Hut on this event! The entrance fee is $5 per person and includes FREE pizza and a GREAT GAME as OLMA battles Buena. To be sure we have enough pizza, please pre-order your tickets in the athletics office, by emailing Coach Leng at mr.lenguadoro@olmanj.org, or by clicking here .

As an added bonus for pre-ording your tickets, you will receive a FREE #OLMACares shirt -- in black. of course! Deadline to pre-order is January 22, so don't delay. All are welcome!
Order Your Valentine's Day SCRIP
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Valentine's Day is right around the corner, so now's the time to order your Hallmark SCRIP! Hallmark is one of thousands of retailers that participate in SCRIP. Orders are placed every Friday and cards are sent home on Wednesdays. To find out more, go to https://www.shopwithscrip.com/. You may also email our parent coordinator, Mikilyn Hiles at jerryshvac@comcast.net.
Upcoming Events

OLMA Basketball Chick-Fil-A Night -- January 18. Sign up with Mr. Lenguadoro. $5 for chips, water and chicken sandwich!

BLACKOUT CANCER -- Tuesday, January 29; Carew Hall; Pre-order with Mr. Lenguadoro and get a free #OLMACares shirt!

NO SCHOOL -- Martin Luther King Day; January 21

Strategic Planning Focus Groups -- January 28-February 1

We hope you enjoy the OLMA Overview. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Mrs. Kinkade at 856.697.2008, ext. 140, or email her at: mrs.kinkade@olmanj.org