Providence awarded A grade
Providence continues to demonstrate its commitment to excellence with the designation of an "A" grade from the Indiana Department of Education for its students' performance in the 2017-2018 school year. The 2017-18 School Accountability Grades were announced last week.

The School Accountability Grades are based on the following criteria:
  • Student performance as a percentage who pass English and math assessments
  • Individual student growth based on catching up, keeping up, and moving up in English and math assessments
  • The percentage of 12th graders who graduate from high school and have taken steps to be college and career ready
Additionally, Providence is pleased to learn that its ISTEP+ test results for grade 10 for the 2017-2018 school year rank first among all local high schools. We are also first among all Indianapolis Archdiocesan high schools and second among all Catholic high schools in the archdiocese. Of all Catholic schools in the state, we have the fourth highest percentage of students passing both ELA and Math at the 10th grade level.  Furthermore, we have the 16th highest scores in the state of Indiana among all Indiana high schools, placing us in the top 3 percent.

On college entrance exam scores, Providence students continue to improve. Our 2018 graduating seniors scored the highest on the ACT exams compared to their peers in the previous five years. Collectively, the 2018 results are 2.7 points higher than the state composite score overall and 3.8 over the state composite in English. On the SAT, the 2018 seniors improved their reading and writing scores and overall remained the same as the previous year.

As previously announced, our students' AP passing rates continue to rank above the state and international average. In 2018, the state average was 53 percent passing and 61 percent globally. At Providence, 67 percent of the students taking the exams scored a passing rank of 3 or higher.

Dr. Mindy (Lankert) Ernstberger '74 is proud of the hard work put forth by our students, faculty, staff, and families to get these results.

"Congratulations to our students!" Dr. Ernstberger said. "They continue to demonstrate dedication, determination, and God-given talents in all that they do at Providence. With the support they receive at home, it is obvious that our parents also value individual growth, a quality curriculum, and outstanding educational pursuits. Finally, behind these students' success, is a faculty and staff who work tirelessly on behalf of our students. The professionalism and commitment to excellence demonstrated by our teachers continues to be the hallmark of a Providence education."
Two seniors earn spot in sacred art exhibition
Seniors Joe Gryboski and Ally Seifried  had the honor of having their artwork accepted into the Our Lady's Gallery juried exhibition of high school sacred and devotional art. Their pieces were on display last weekend at the gallery at Our Lady of the Greenwood Church in Greenwood, Ind., for its Gala Open House. Read more .
Teacher receives equipment grant

Science teacher Mrs. Laura Swessel has been awarded an equipment grant from the Purdue University Energy Department in Discovery Park for use in her STEM clubs and camps. She is a member of the board for the former Duke Energy Academy at Purdue, which offered a free week-long program for approximately 75 high school rising juniors and seniors and up to 12 K-12 teachers. When the program lost funding from its sponsor recently, the equipment needed to be disbursed.

Mrs. Swessel wrote a proposal for how she would use the equipment, and she was one of five teachers whose proposal was accepted. She received four drones, two thermal engines, and full sets of snap circuits and wind turbines, to name a few. Many of the items were on her wish list for labs in her high school classes or STEM Club and STEM Camp activities, and she looks forward to the equipment enriching activities for all her students.

"I am most excited about the four drones I received," she said. "I had planned to do a drone activity next summer and was trying to figure out how I could fit 10 drones into my camp budget. Now, I only have to purchase six."
Save the Date: Christmas Showcase
Get in the holiday spirit by attending the Christmas Showcase on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. in the Robinson Auditorium. The evening features performances by the Popcorn Players, Providence Singers, and Musical Theatre Class. Admission is $5.00 at the door. Cookies will be served following the show.
Junior learns leadership skills at Rotary weekend
Junior Bryce Hutchins recently was selected to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), a leadership program coordinated by local Rotary Clubs. Bryce was one of three students sponsored by the Clarksville Rotary and the only Providence student. Read more.

Faculty Profile: Ellen Holifield
Mrs. Ellen Holifield's job as theatre teacher, Performing Arts Department chairperson, and theatre director means many long days. Just like a coach, she is busy many evenings and some weekends as she preps her cast for a show. She teaches Theatre I, Advanced Theatre, Musical Theatre Production, and Tech Theatre this semester. She is directly responsible for the production of the spring musical and the Deanery musical as well as the holiday theatre troupe, the Popcorn Players. But her hand is in every show that goes on a Providence stage.

It's a job she has loved all of her 18 years here, starting right after she earned her bachelor's degree in theatre arts from Murray State University. (She has since received her master's in teaching from Spalding University.) Her Musical Theatre Production class, which she co-teachers with Mr. Ron Breedlove, just completed its run of Honk!, but she is already at work finalizing the cast for the spring musical, Freaky Friday. The show will start vocal rehearsals soon, and after Christmas Break, the cast will be hard at work to prepare for the March 8 Premiere Night.  Read more.
Athlete Profile: Girls Basketball
As part of our series on student-athletes, this issue we focus on Girls Basketball, which started its season earlier this month. Junior Kaylee Kaiser is a guard and also is on the Girls Soccer and Track & Field teams. She has been playing basketball since kindergarten and is in her third season at PHS. Junior Brigid Welch, who is out with an injury for now, plays the post position. She has been playing basketball since fifth grade and played for the Providence Junior High team before playing for the high school team starting her freshman year. She also plays Girls Soccer and is on the Track & Field team. Click here for the full Q&A.
Sports News: Blue Pride Madness, All Stars
Blue Pride Madness to kick off basketball season
Blue Pride Madness is tonight beginning at 6:00. Entrance is free but donations will be accepted at the door. Come meet the Boys and Girls Basketball teams, enjoy some skill competitions, and watch the boys in some preseason scrimmage fun. At halftime, the Floyd/Clark County Warriors, a Special Olympics team coached by graduate Tim Ferree '99, will scrimmage.

Volleyball players make All Star teams
Junior Courtney Glotzbach made the Indiana High School Volleyball Coaches Association 3A/4A Junior South All Star team, and senior Lilly Bivens made the 3A/4A Senior South All Star team, which won for the first time in several years this past weekend.

Three sign with Division I colleges
On National Signing Day last week, three seniors signed National Letters of Intent with NCAA Division I colleges.
Senior Halli Trinkle, the 2018 Girls Tennis Singles Champion, signed to play women's tennis with the College of Charleston in South Carolina.
Senior Lilly Bivens, a standout on the PHS Volleyball team, signed to play volleyball at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.
Senior Joe Wilkinson, a PHS Baseball standout, signed to play baseball at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Parent Notes:  Placement Exam, Final Exams & more
Thanksgiving Break
We hope all our students, faculty and staff, and their families have an enjoyable time with family and friends as they celebrate Thanksgiving. School is closed Nov. 21-23 and will resume on Monday, Nov. 26, with a BLUE Day and B Day schedule.

Deanery Night coming soon
Save the Date: Boys Basketball Deanery Night is Tuesday, Dec. 4. All Deanery students and teachers are invited. Deanery players and coaches get in free when wearing their jerseys or shirts indicating their schools.
The Boys Basketball game vs. Meade Co., Ky., starts with the junior varsity contest at 6 p.m., followed by varsity at 7:30 p.m. Activities include a 3-point shooting contest and Deanery team recognition at halftime.

Placement Exam for incoming freshmen
The High School Placement Exam is Saturday, Dec. 8. Students should arrive at the Robinson Performing Arts Center by 8:30 a.m. to begin the exam at 9:00 a.m. The exam, for prospective freshman students for the 2019-2020 school year, concludes by 12:15 p.m. Students should bring two No. 2 pencils and a check for $15 made payable to Providence High School. Pre-registration is not required.

Please call Mr. Dave Smith at (812) 945-3350 or email with any questions regarding tuition, CHOICE Scholarships, or financial aid. PHS will work with each family to make a Catholic education accessible and affordable.

First Semester Final Exams
Final exams start on Thursday, Dec. 13, and continue through Tuesday, Dec. 18, assuming school is not canceled due to inclement weather. Final exams will be on a full-day schedule, with two exams each day. Click here for a schedule.
Help Providence on #GivingTuesday
Once again, Providence is joining other organizations around the country to encourage charitable activity on #GivingTuesday, which takes place on Nov. 27.

We encourage you to demonstrate your #PHSBluePride by doing one of the following things:
  • Make a gift by going to and clicking Give Now at the top of the page. You can choose where you want your contribution to go - student financial assistance (ASAP), your class endowment fund, or the theater facility upgrade.
  • Go to Facebook or Twitter to give a shout-out to your favorite teacher or coach, tell us about a memorable event, or offer a reflection on your overall Providence experience - use #PHSBluePride and we'll share these throughout the day with the rest of the PHS family.
  • Put your talents to work as a volunteer for your class reunion, for our Gala Dinner and Auction event in January, or to assist with assorted tasks around the school. Send your contact information to
We'll enter you in a drawing for three new Providence sweatshirts from the interactions we receive that day.

Thank you for your support!
1000 Point Club members recognized
Last Saturday, two new 1000 Point Club boards were unveiled, recognizing boys' and girls' basketball alumni who scored 1000 points in their Providence career. Hannah Wolford '18, Sara Gavin '03, David Ernstberger '80, and Robert "Bobby" Murphy '70 were in attendance and also received a plaque recognizing their personal achievement.

Other alumni who achieved this milestone were Claire Rauck '17, Luke Fitzgerald '07, Keevan Miller '06,  Alanna Burke '90, Tom Gohmann '91, and Roger Howard '55.
Breakfast with Santa coming soon
Breakfast with Santa will be celebrated on Sat., Dec. 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the cafeteria. This fun and free event is open to all Deanery children up to age 9 and will feature photos with Santa, Christmas music, crafts, and snacks with a performance by the Popcorn Players at 9:30 a.m.

The event is sponsored by Providence Girls Soccer and the Popcorn Players. Reservations are not required. For information contact the PHS Admissions Office at 812-945-3350 or
Reunion planning for 2018
Reunion planning is complete for the class years ending in 3 and 8, but there are events planned for other years. To ensure you receive reunion information in a timely manner, please update your contact info here.
  • 1955: Quarterly gathering at Radisson Hotel, 505 Marriott Drive, Clarksville; 11:30 a.m. Dec. 7, 2018. No RSVP necessary. Contact Donna (Beswick) Detrick at (812) 945-0333 with questions.
  • 1960: Annual mini-reunion brunch will be on  Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. at the Orange Clover Copper Room. Details will be on  class web page and  Facebook page.
  • 1962: Dec. 1, 2018, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Covered Bridge. Class Gathering. Contact Sharon Kleehamer at or 812.246.2233 
Save the date for 2019 reunions:
  • 1969: 50th Reunion, Sept. 20-21, 2019. Golden Diploma Dinner at Providence March 2, 2019.
  • 1979: Sept, 6-7, 2019. Follow Providence Class of '79 Facebook page for details.
  • 1959: Aug. 31, 2019.
History of Providence basketball available
Copies of A Pioneering Spirit, co-signed by the authors, are available for sale in the Providence Main Office during school hours, or simply call Charlie Jenkins '57 at 812-945-8715 or email Ray Day '57 at to order. Books are just $20. When ordered by phone, add the cost of shipping. The book is also available online at but the book will not be signed by the authors.
Alumnus gets chance to run NYC marathon
Hunter Harritt '09 started running and competing in triathlons two years ago. Last month, he had the opportunity to fulfill every long-distance runner's dream: to run in the New York City Marathon.

Harritt said he had wanted to compete in the 26.2 mile race ever since he began running long distances, and he qualified to compete by winning a spot in the marathon's lottery. He realizes it was great fortune to win a bid on his first attempt, and he is grateful for the experience and is proud to have finished in under four hours.

"The race was terrific and more than I could have ever imagined," Harritt said. "Running through the five boroughs, across the bridges, and finishing in Central Park was a phenomenal experience. The crowds were so inspiring and helped me get through a couple of rough spots."

Harritt and his wife, PHS social studies teacher Maria (Cochran) Harritt '10, took their son, Wells, on the trip. Maria and her sister Meagan (Cochran) Donald '04 ran in the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K in Manhattan the day prior to the marathon, and they spent the rest of the weekend sightseeing and visiting with friends.

Harritt plans to continue running for exercise and competitively because he is "much happier and healthier because of it," he said. Next up is the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Half Ironman in May with his brother-in-law, Scott Donald, and friend Jacob Kraft '10.
Nov. 21-23: Thanksgiving holiday
Dec. 1: Breakfast with Santa
Dec. 4: Deanery Night
Dec. 8: 8th Grade Placement Exam
Dec. 9: Christmas Showcase
Dec. 13: Finals Exams begin

Thanksgiving Prayer

Father in Heaven, Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this time of giving thanks.

Thank you for all the graces and blessings You have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: Our faith and religious heritage; our food and shelter; our health; and our family and friends and the love we have for one another.

Dear Father, in Your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessing throughout the coming year. Amen.

Christa (Payne) Hoyland '84
Director of Communications
eVision reporter/writer

Our Lady of Providence High School
707 Providence Way, Clarksville, IN 47129
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