The Seelos Star
A newsletter for families of Seelos Academy

Fall 2019
Classroom News
Students continued the tradition of dressing up as saints to honor and learn about the saints of the Catholic faith around All Saints Day. The children celebrated these saints on the Wednesday prior to the holy day at the weekly school Mass. There were two "saints" from each grade, and others that represented computer, religion, library, and art.
In October, the three and four year-old preschool classes were learning about pumpkins. They carved pumpkins to see what was inside and even made pumpkin playdough out of pumpkin! The Seelos Academy Early Childhood Center students capped off their lessons on pumpkins by visiting Soergels Farm. Each class took a hayride to the pumpkin patch and every student was allowed to pick out one pumpkin to take home. After the hayride, the students had fun playing on the Soergels' playground.  They enjoyed beautiful weather for the field trips!
The kindergarten class recently received enrichment funds for ten Bee-Bots, which are coding robots to help with sequencing. The students set commands on the Bee-Bot to help move forward, backward, making left and right turns, and pause by pushing the command button on the top of the robot to help solve a puzzle. Students will use them throughout different curriculum concepts, solving math problems, decoding words, and sequencing story parts.
While studying the systems of the body, Drs. Clare and David Sarknas visited the fourth grade science classes to help the students better understand our circulatory and respiratory systems. They even brought in a pig's heart to demonstrate the four chambers of the heart. The children loved the lesson.
Our fourth graders showed off their creativity for the 5th Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest.  The faculty and staff judged the contest. The students below won special awards for their work.
For the past eight years, Mrs. Smolter led eighth grade students to Washington DC as part of their lesson on the Holocaust. This is a trip that I was looking forward to since sixth grade.

On October 21, at 6 AM, my classmates and I boarded a bus to the nation’s capital. After a quiet ride and donuts for breakfast, we arrived at the Holocaust Museum at 11 AM. We were able to tour the museum until 1:30. I was amazed by all the artifacts that were still preserved.

After the museum, we went to the Lincoln Memorial. From there, we could also see many of the other monuments and government buildings, including the Capitol and the Washington Monument. We walked along the Reflection Pool to the World War II Memorial. It was there that some of us saw a motorcade speed past. We are not quite sure who was in the guarded car, but it was very exciting to see. 

From the World War ll Memorial we walked to the Vietnam Memorial. We met a Vietnam veteran who talked to us about the Vietnam War and his experiences during that time.

The bus ride home was a little livelier than the early morning ride. Everyone was excited about our day and our dinner at the Golden Corral. We arrived home at 8:30 PM. 

Thank you to all those who contributed in some way to the Learning Enrichment Fund. Because of them we were able to take this meaningful trip. And also a special thanks to Mrs. Smolter who organized all the events, so that we could have a learning and fun-packed day.
contributed by Connor Peoples, 8th grade
National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week is November 16-24. Mrs. Smolter brought awareness to her middle school students of the needs of the homeless locally and of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund ( ).  This organization helps to provide school supplies, learning centers, after school activities, and personal hygiene supplies to students facing family difficulties.

The seventh and eighth graders participated in a poster contest to publicize National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week. The theme was empowering children and building their confidence. The students did an excellent job and many posters were sent in. Students were also asked to donate a $1.00 to help the organization provide backpacks and school supplies. 

Students also helped to fill a need at the North Hills Community Outreach Food Bank. The food bank was in need of noodles, chunky soups, and tuna, so 7th and 8th grade students brought in their donations. Mrs. Smolter delivered five full boxes of donations to the center. 
Father Joe has been visiting the school on Wednesdays to meet with small groups of students during their lunch period. The thirty-minute session begins with a prayer and continues with open discussion with the students. The students have had many great questions for Father Joe on topics like heaven and confession. 
Activities and Athletics
On Tuesday, October 21, Blessed Francis Seelos Academy students prepared and served a free spaghetti dinner for the Northern Regional police officers and firefighters from the Wexford and Marshall fire departments. Approximately 40 first responders attended. The students made placemats and “prayer rocks” for the guests.

The event is a service project for students who are involved with the school’s “Samaritan” group. The students hoped to show their appreciation for the hard work, commitment and sacrifices that first responders make on a daily basis .
Six homerooms are in the running at this point for the end-of-the year pizza party and bragging rights that they hold the most spirit at Seelos Academy. Through designated Spirit Days at volleyball and soccer games, the following homerooms are neck-and-neck in the attendance tabulation at the Spirit Day events (these homerooms are listed in alphabetical order by teacher last name): Mrs. Barton (eighth), Dr. B (sixth), Mrs. Gallis (fifth), Mrs. Huerbin (fourth), Mrs. Maxwell (eighth) and Mrs. Narvett (sixth). There is a four-way tie for second place! Additional Spirit Day events will take place during the basketball season. Be sure to come out to support your classmates and sign in at the admission table to receive credit for your homeroom. 
contributed by Sharon Talarico
The Cross Country team is a force to be reckoned with. They continue to excel at every meet, and the championship meet was no different. The Developmental Girls and Boys teams along with the Varsity Girls team won the Diocesan championships. It was a three-peat for the developmental boys and girls, and the first-ever top finish for the varsity girls. The developmental boys went undefeated the entire season. The JV girls finished fourth after a strong season and the most improved group among the Seelos teams. The JV boys placed third at the championship meet, and the varsity boys finished a strong eighth out of fifteen teams while missing runners for the meet. On an individual note, fourth-grade student Caroline Sell placed first among all developmental girl runners and set a course record.

Congratulations on a fantastic season that included the best weather in recent memory and a visit from Olympic hopeful Margo Malone (pictured above with the varsity girls) who spoke to the team before participating in a practice with the varsity runners. Ms. Malone began her running career at Saint Teresa School and continued at North Hills High School and Syracuse University. She qualified for the Olympic trials after winning a marathon in Switzerland - the first marathon she entered. 
contributed by Sharon Talarico
The Girls JV and Varsity Volleyball teams all recently wrapped up successful seasons—marked by camaraderie, teamwork and outstanding sportsmanship. 
The Varsity Blue Girls’ Volleyball team finished the season as the runners-up at the Diocesan Volleyball Championship Tournament. The girls entered the tournament as the sixth seed, after an 11-1 regular season record. Along with the tournament champions from St. Louise de Marillac, the Seelos girls will represent the Diocese of Pittsburgh in the State Volleyball Tournament in Philadelphia on November 9th and 10th.  
The teams consists of eighth graders Aniela Balog, Megan Becker, Julie Butler, Emma McCosby, Seraphina Myron, Carli Rivetti and Alex Sepcic. seventh Graders: Alex Aiello and Rebecca Feczko.

The Varsity White Girls’ Volleyball was committed to fostering a love of the game, improving skills and learning to work effectively as a team.  The girls turned in a strong performance at the Holy Cross Varsity B Tournament and battled in close sets throughout the season. Eva Hughes, Morgan Kernan, Theresa Kilburg, Mary Maloney, Megan McLaughlin, Lucy Puhalla, Talia Soltys and Bianca Udrea, all seventh graders, are members of the team.

The volleyball future is very bright with the Seelos Girls JV Volleyball team completing a great season, marked by a six-game winning streak, as well as Silver Bracket wins at the Seelos JV & St. Kilian's JV Volleyball Tournaments.  They won a first-round playoff match-up against the St. Louise Gold team making it to the sweet 16 before a close loss against the JFK Green team. 
Team members are sixth graders Lauren Becker, Abigail Brown, Samantha Butler, Maeve Koroly, Alexa Risdon and fifth graders Amelia Aiello, Aribella Castellano, Emma Dunlap, Juliana Lehman, Gabrielle Matzus, Jocelyn Roofner, Sara Zagrocki.

Congratulations to all the girls!  Your dedication, commitment and skill are inspiring!
contributed by Susan McLaughlin
Varsity Blue
Varsity White
Congratulations to the JV and Varsity North Pittsburgh Catholic Ironmen Football teams on their Diocesan Championship wins on Sunday, October 27. 

Seven Seelos Academy boys play on the team: (front row) Enzo Pecoraro, Hunter Chimenti, Ty Ryan, Clayton Frissora. (back row) Hunter Drugatz, Jack White, Marc Pieto. The Ironmen Cheerleaders were on the sidelines all season, encouraging the players. Molly Begley, Cora Cole, Grace Chrobak, Chloe Cole, Alexandra Wagner, Aniela Balog, Sofia Pecoraro, and Harper Chimenti are part of the Ironmen Cheerleading Squad.
The Varsity Co-Ed Soccer team came from their third seed in the playoffs to take home the diocesan varsity soccer championship. Playing back-to-back days and shutting out both opponents, the Saints defeated East Catholic, 3-0, in the semi-final game and Saint Philip, 1-0, in the championship game. Eighth grader Matt Price got the winning goal in the final game off a corner kick, and Nate Maxwell, another eighth-grade student, was perfect between the pipes stopping everything that came his direction over the two-game playoff series. Congratulations, Saints! 
contributed by Sharon Talarico
Seelos Academy holds a Christmas Shop in December for all preschool through eighth grade students. It is a fun opportunity for the kids to purchase gifts for family members and friends for $5 or less. We are looking for donations of craft items -- popular items are ornaments, wreaths, scarves and jewelry.
Feeling creative? Willing to share your talents? If you can make or donate anything, please contact Marcie Berry at . Thank you for your support!
Our days are filled with extreme busyness, running from one thing to the next, leaving us exhausted at the end of the day and often overwhelmed with life. "Seelos Circle" can help. Seelos Circle is prayer circle where we take 15-20 minutes once a week and, as an alternative to sitting in car pickup line, to come together on the old side of the church, to pray the Rosary.

Seelos Circle's goal is to create an environment that thrives on "the power of prayer" -- and if you have never been part of prayer circle before, it is a magnificent tool to help others for whom the circle prays, while simultaneously instilling a deeper sense of faith in each person in the Circle, helping us achieve "balance" in our daily lives. 

Please come and invite your moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone to  join us beginning November 8, 2019 at 2:35 pm and each consecutive Friday  to pray the rosary, no need to RSVP, just park in the carpool line and join us in the old side of the church. Whenever school children join us, they will be dismissed from the classroom and not the church.
Scholastic Book Fair December 9-14
The Seelos Academy Book Fair opens on December 9. The Book Fair will be located along the ramp between the art room and spanish room. Preschool families, parents, and friends are welcome to shop. Each K-8 classroom will also have an opportunity to visit the sale during the week. Weekday hours from December 9 -13 are 8:15 AM - 2:55 PM. The Fair will also be open on Saturday, December 14 from 9 AM - 11 AM.
 Click the button below for information on reducing your tuition bill through financial aid, grants, and tax credits.
Families earn tuition credit by purchasing gift cards through the school. The program generates additional revenues used for the operational costs of Seelos Academy. Order online at, at either campus office, or Sign up for ShopwithScrip and make gift card purchases from your phone on demand. For more information, contact .
Shop and earn points during the school year through the Apples for Students Program, and Giant Eagle will donate back to Seelos Academy. Sign in to  to register your Giant Eagle Advantage Card® online. Select your account on the home page and then click again on your account from the drop down. Enter Blessed Francis Seelos Academy as the school that you’d like to receive points under "Apples for the Students".
Save your receipts from Moe’s (any location) and Moe’s will generously provide the school with a catering credit at the end of the school year. Twenty percent of all receipt totals will go towards this credit!
Save your Chick-Fil-A receipts from the Wexford and Cranberry locations and return to school. Through store credit earned for reimbursed receipts we are able to provide food items for the school community, including our annual 8th grade picnic and teacher luncheons.
Scanning your receipt using the Box Top app is an easy way to help earn money for Seelos Academy. This fundraiser has netted thousands of dollars over the years. Download the  BoxTops for Education app , scan your store receipt, and instantly add Box Tops to our school's earnings online. Download a full list of participating  Box Top Products.
Blessed Francis Seelos Academy receives cash back from Amazon Smile! Simply log in to your Amazon account and type "Amazon Smile" into the Amazon search engine. Designate Blessed Francis Seelos Academy as your charity that will receive 0.5% of each of your eligible Amazon purchases.
Market Day is a direct order program with food products that will now be delivered directly to your door! Market Day will return 10% of funds spent back to our school. Of this 10%, 5% will be able to be directed to your tuition accounts. It will be managed the same as the gift card program. Purchases will be able to be tracked and money earned credited to your account! The other 5% will go to our school's overall fundraising goal. Instructions for registering can be found  here .
The Seelos Academy Learning Enrichment Fund provides financial support to the faculty and school for professional development, classroom materials, and school-wide programming. If you would like to donate to the fund or sponsor the annual golf outing, the fundraiser for the Fund, please contact the office. You can also contact the office if you would like to be part of the Learning Enrichment Committee or volunteer at the golf outing.