Pacelli’s Catalina Cabello Honored with Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education

Catalina Cabello Golden Apple AwardTuesday was a big day for Pacelli Catholic High School (PCHS) Spanish language teacher Catalina Cabello as she was honored with the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education. Presented at the Portage County Business Council’s Creative Excellence Awards Breakfast, Cabello was recognized for her innovation and creativity in bringing foreign language learning alive for her students.

Throughout her 5 years at PCHS, Cabello has taken her students beyond just learning the language, seeking to expand their knowledge of Hispanic and Latin cultures through special projects, like creating their own alebrijes, brightly colored folk art statues. 

“Through these projects students experience the cultures of different countries, learn vocabulary that they might not encounter in class, practice their Spanish speaking and writing skills and get to be creative,” said Cabello’s colleague and PCHS math teacher Laurie Schroeder. “They get excited to talk about their work and the ‘trivia’ they learned in their research.”

Students also benefit from immersive language instruction led by Cabello with trips to Madison to learn salsa and merengue dancing, ordering food in Spanish, and documenting their experiences by creating videos. Many of Cabello’s students have traveled to Spanish speaking countries, speaking fluently with natives, and continued their Spanish language studies after high school.

Cabello’s commitment doesn’t stop with her students in the classroom. She serves on the board of the Portage County Literacy Council, helping to implement strategies that promote the intellectual, cultural, and linguistic development of Latin and Hmong populations in Portage County. Cabello served as an interpreter with the public school district facilitating meetings between staff and Hispanic parents, translating school-related documents, and even coordinated “Hispanic Family Night” to promote reading at home every day. She also taught Faith Formation classes for 3rd and 5th graders at St. Bronislava Parish. Cabello is also a board member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Wisconsin Chapter (AATSP-WI) and is a member of the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL).

Also honored at the Creative Excellence Awards Breakfast were two Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education runners up – Pacelli Catholic Schools computer science teacher Dana LaMotte and Pacelli Catholic Middle School 5th grade teacher Tiffany Wittmus. 

Per the Portage County Business Council a total of 15 nominations were submitted for the award, 12 of them being Pacelli Catholic Schools teachers. In addition to Cabello, LaMotte, and Wittmus, other nominees included Carol Bernas, Jeff Bushman, Annabel Maas, Jenifer Meronek, Greg Miller, Ann Molski, Amy Parks, Lisa Springob, and Joe Zawacki.

Photo Credit: Portage County Business Council

Why Pacelli Catholic Schools

When my husband and I moved to Central Wisconsin 16 years ago, we were pregnant with our first child, had just finished a career with the military, and were relocating for work. We visited many towns in the Central Wisconsin area looking for just the right place to raise a family. There were many things we were looking for in our new town – a new home, office, shopping, dining, fishing spots, entertainment possibilities – but one thing was foremost in our minds, a Catholic education for our child(ren). We quickly became members of Pacelli at St Bronislava and have been blessed with that decision ever since.

Grabiec FamilyMy husband Edward and I have 4 children and all have had the pleasure of attending Pacelli Catholic Schools. Each year we are continually impressed with the quality of education our children receive, second only to the faith-filled atmosphere they are able to experience each day in Catholic schools. As a parent, there is comfort knowing that our morals and religious beliefs are mirrored in their daily life at school, and that their teachers serve as role models. This strong foundation in Catholic faith helps them develop a life-long relationship with Christ and the Catholic Church.

Catholic schools strive to help our children find value and reach their full potential, as well as create kind, knowledgeable, productive members of society. With God’s guidance, they receive academic, spiritual, social, and physical development. The high standards of quality teaching along with the standards of behavior and respect for others, are a part of daily Catholic school life. With higher academic achievement levels, higher math scores, higher graduation levels, and a low student to teacher ratio, it was an easy decision to continue our children’s education through the Catholic school system. The wide curriculum and strong academic reputation of Catholic schools serves our children well, helping them create a successful God-centered worthy life.

Having a Catholic identity helps our children become part of a Catholic culture that is grounded in academic excellence, faith formation, and service. Creating a school/church connection creates an atmosphere of comfort with our church family, and our children are able to find fellowship opportunities within. Belonging to a Catholic school and church allows us to get involved and feel the comforts of home when we have no other relatives in the area. In our ever-changing world, we are so blessed that we have the solid foundation of Catholic education and faith for our family.

Many blessings to you and yours.

Monica Grabiec
Parent of Maxwell ’24, Samuel ’25, Vincent, & Ruby ’30

Pacelli to Host 8th Annual Cardinal Crusade Auction Event Virtually

Pacelli Catholic Schools will host their 8th Annual Cardinal Crusade auction event virtually this year.

Traditionally an in-person live auction and dinner event garnering more than 200 attendees in SentryWorld’s Grand Hall, Pacelli’s taking things online from February 4-6. Featuring over 100 items and packages collectively valued over $25,000, online bidding for the event opens to the general public at 12pm on Thursday, February 4 and will close throughout the evening of February 6.

Discover Door CountyFeatured packages include vacations to Door County, Wautoma, Nashville, and Kissimmee, FL; a staycation with activities in Plover; 5-hour guided fishing; pheasant hunting; six course beer pairing dinner; and golf throughout Central Wisconsin. Additional items such as Samsonite luggage, a bar cabinet, TV stand, smart home technology, local restaurant and shop certificates, tickets to museums and family-friendly activities across Wisconsin, area gym memberships, ¼ black angus beef, generator, gift baskets, and much more are also available for bidding on the online silent auction, found by visiting crusade2021.ggo.bid.

Daily prize drawings will be held Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for those participating in the online auction. Dubbed the Bidder Bonus Prize Drawings, online bidders will receive one entry per day for each bid placed to win prizes like $250 cash, an RTIC cooler and drinkware bundle, and a $150 Ray-Ban gift card.

Despite the event shifting online, a couple of the more popular games will be continued virtually, with a guaranteed prize for all who play. Participate in the “Catch the Cardinal Spirit Cork Game” by buying a virtual cork online for $20 to win a mystery bottle of wine, spirits, or craft beverages or buy one of the 40 mystery boxes online for $40 for a chance at winning the grand prize – a one night stay at the American Club and $500 Destination Kohler gift card.

This year’s Cardinal Crusade also features some of its most popular raffles – Travel Raffle (win a vacation for 4 or 2), Pick Your Scrip Raffle (win up to $1,500 in gift cards of your choice), and Tuition Credit Raffle (win $1,000 or $500 Pacelli Catholic Schools tuition credit). Tickets are on sale now through 4pm Friday, February 5 at the Pacelli Catholic Schools Central Office (1301 Maria Drive, Stevens Point) and the drawings will be held during the event’s live stream broadcast on Saturday, February 6.Pick Your Scrip Raffle

The live stream, kicking off at 7pm, will feature co-hosts Tom Cashin, Pacelli Class of 1971 and Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, and Ann Molski, longtime Pacelli teacher and softball coach and fellow Athletic Hall of Fame member.

Also featured in the broadcast will be a short video and special fund drive supporting the needs of Pacelli Catholic Schools teachers by providing them additional funds to enhance their classrooms, with a goal of raising $15,000. Contributions to the “Classroom Dreams” fund-a-need effort can be made online at crusade2021.ggo.bid.

While this year’s Cardinal Crusade will be unlike any other, the school system has set a lofty revenue goal to help support the nearly 800 students served through their childcare, preschool, and K-12 education programs.

For more event information, visit pacellicatholicschools.com/cardinalcrusade.

The Importance of a Catholic Education from a Mom

Life is messy. Sometimes it is tempting to look at other families or friends and think, “wow, I wish I was them,” or, “look how lucky they are,” or, “everything is perfect in their life, why can’t it be perfect in my life.”

The reality is there is no such thing as a perfect life; only a life that is perfect for you. Most of life isn’t something that just happens to us, although sometimes it is easier to use that as an excuse. The truth is that decision after decision, some small, some large, build upon each other and create the life that we have. Over the years, and through experience, I have come to believe more and more that it is our moral ground, our faith, and our belief system that determines which way we go on so many of those decisions. As a parent, not only do those decisions affect you personally, but they also impact those around you.

Do you ever look at your kids and beam with pride and think how blessed you are to be their mom or dad? Sometimes it can be the absolute simplest gesture your child makes. Maybe it is seeing the kid next to him at lunch not having much food to eat and he shares half of his sandwich. Maybe it is pausing when he is walking in a building to hold the door open for someone else and lets them go in ahead of them or seeing some litter on the sidewalk and picking it up and throwing it away.

You may wonder what all of this has to do with a Cathollic education and my answer to you would be everything.

Long before I took the position of president at Pacelli Catholic Schools I was an ardent supporter of Catholic education. My husband and I come from multi-generational families of Catholic school attendees. When our kids were ready to go to school, it wasn’t even a decision we consciously made; we just signed them up at St. Joe’s in Sturgeon Bay. But the reality is the reason it was a forgone conclusion in the minds of both my husband and myself was the grounding each of us received throughout our Catholic educations, even though we are 15 years apart in age and the Catholic education each of us experienced was very different. It was the same morals, same beliefs, and same faith that we wanted to give our kids to be able to draw upon when they were going to be faced with all of the decisions that life throws at oneself. We wanted to ensure that, even when we were not there by their side, they would have the resources internally to draw upon and make the best choices possible.

As we prepare to celebrate Catholic Schools Week the first week of February, I want to applaud those parents who made a commitment to their children’s future by enrolling them in a Catholic school. While finances should never be a barrier to a Catholic education, despite available help like tuition assistance, school choice, and scholarships, for many paying for Catholic school tuition is a sacrifice, and dare I say it a choice.

For those of you who make a decision to have your child become a part of our Pacelli Catholic Schools family, I want to assure you that we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that we are giving them the best education possible, in a safe and secure environment with the resources of faith and values to draw upon as they grow to become their individual best!

If you are interested in learning more about attending or supporting Pacelli Catholic Schools please feel free to reach out to me at any time. My number is 715.341.2445, you can email me at cweber@pacellicatholicschools.com, or come and visit me in our Central Office. I invite you to witness the difference of a Pacelli Catholic education in the life of your child. In my humble opinion, it may be the best choice you make.

In Faith,

Cindy Weber
Cindy Weber
President

Community Corner: November eNewsletter

Community CornerGet in the Christmas spirit by participating in the first ever edition of “A Very Plover Christmas” – a special drive thru Christmas lights event.

The Winter Farmers Market is in full swing every Saturday from 8am-12pm at Redeemer Lutheran Church – ELCA.

In search of some locally made gifts for Christmas? Head to the Tomorrow River Christmas Craft Show Dec. 7-8, CREATE Portage County’s Downtown Holiday Makers Market on Dec. 12, or the Holiday Makers Market at The Rose House on Dec. 12.

Make your own wreath this year by participating in The Rose House’s handcrafted wreath workshop on Dec. 3 with Inspired by Nature – Fine Floral Finds. Prefer to craft from the comfort of your own home? Check out CREATE’s virtual wreath-making workshop with Central Rivers Farmshed, Solin Tree Farm, and The Main Grain Bakery.

Save a life – donate blood. Sign up to participate in Ascension St. Michael’s Blood Drive on Dec. 11.


Spot community updates or events? Share it with pacelli@pacellicatholicschools.com to include in the new Community Corner section of our e-newsletter and website.

See Pacelli in the news? Send it to pacelli@pacellicatholicschools.com for inclusion on our website, social media sites, or e-newsletters.

Community Corner: October eNewsletter

Community CornerUWSP recently announced that Dr. Thomas Gibson will assume the role of chancellor effective January 11, 2021.

Get ready to test your aim! A new ax-throwing facility, to be known as Section 715 Throwing Co., is set to open this November in Plover.

The relatively new-to-Plover Monk’s Bar & Grill is set to renovate to a more open-concept design to include four garage doors. New menu items including mac and cheese, pizza, and wings will be featured.

Stevens Point Brewery plans $2.5M in upgrades. Check out this and other business news in the Stevens Point Journal’s Streetwise feature.


Spot community updates or events? Share it with pacelli@pacellicatholicschools.com to include in the new Community Corner section of our e-newsletter and website.

See Pacelli in the news? Send it to pacelli@pacellicatholicschools.com for inclusion on our website, social media sites, or e-newsletters.

Community Corner: June e-Newsletter

Community CornerStevens Point based Worzalla publishing company announced the completion of their $12.5 million expansion.

Check out the start of the Summer Concert Series at Tiki Beach Bar & Grill featuring Spicy Tie Band on July 2.

City leaders in Stevens Point have approved an ordinance change allowing open intoxicants in the Downtown area from 12-9pm Wednesday-Friday until October 16. Area restaurants and businesses will also be able to expand outdoor sales and serving space into municipal parking spaces.

Head over to the new District 1 Brewing Company for one of many dates of food and music on tap showcasing local music and food trucks.

The Riverfront Arts Center has announced some upcoming exhibits starting this week with Visions XXI, the 21st annual juried exhibit themed with the artist’s unique vision.

To learn more about all the great things going on in our community, check out www.everythingpointshere.com.

If attending community events, please keep CDC and Portage County Health guidelines in mind, remembering to practice social distancing or staying home if you feel unwell.


Spot community updates or events? Share it with pacelli@pacellicatholicschools.com to include in the new Community Corner section of our e-newsletter and website.

See Pacelli in the news? Send it to pacelli@pacellicatholicschools.com for inclusion on our website, social media sites, or e-newsletters.

Bishop Callahan Announces Reopening of Catholic Schools in Fall

Dear Parents & Staff,

I want to take a quick moment to introduce myself and share with you how excited I am to be the new President of Pacelli Catholic Schools!

I have lived in Door County almost my entire life, except for attending Carroll University in Waukesha for four years. I ran our family business for more than 20 years, was Vice President of our YMCA for almost 10 years, and most recently was CEO of Sunshine House, an organization that meets the needs of seniors as well as intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals through personal care services. It also helps them to be successful by working on our manufacturing floor as well as through career development and so much more. I have served in leadership positions on more than a dozen boards and was part of the committee who worked to consolidate our Catholic schools in Door County.

I am passionate about Catholic education and the moral values and spiritual grounding we instill in our youth, all the while helping them reach academic excellence and individual success. In fact, our family has 4 generations of Catholic school attendance! We have so much to be proud about in the work we do and the impact we have! I am a huge believer in continuous improvement, and while Gregg Hansel has left big shoes to fill with his retirement and years of dedicated service to PCS, every new leader brings in new ideas, perspectives and expertise.

I want to personally thank Gregg for positioning our school well for continued success and growth and wish him a fulfilling retirement! Hopefully we can do a celebration of his service sometime this fall.

Starting a position like this in the middle of a pandemic is something I am sure no one would ever imagine having to do and I will share with you that it has been, and will be, all-consuming for the foreseeable future. Based on that, I apologize if I am not able to connect with each of you personally, face-to-face, as soon as I would like.

Attached you will find a  letter from Bishop Callahan outlining his support of us opening this fall. We fully embrace his directive to open in as “normal” a fashion as possible, but unfortunately normal is not going to mean the same now as it did 6 months ago.

Over the next couple of months we will communicate as much as we can what our plan will be, with the understanding that there will be several variations and progressions based on current outbreaks and infection rate, increased knowledge, public perception and more.

I want to also thank each of you who took the time to fill out the family survey we sent last week – if you have not filled it out yet, you are still able to do so and we encourage you to share your perspective.

Based on the survey results to date as well as CDC, Public Health, and Diocesan Guidelines our number one priority is to provide face to face education in fall of 2020. Pending availability of equipment, we hope to offer remote access into our classrooms for those who cannot attend in person due to personal choice or whatever their individual situation may be day-to-day. We are working to put resources and training in place to help us not “skip a beat” whether in person or remote.

We are establishing cleaning protocols and putting plans in place to limit unnecessary interactions between multiple groups of students, all the while acknowledging the importance of socializing and mental health. Things like lunch and recess will look different.

We know we have families who fall on both ends of the spectrum in regards to items like wearing masks and whatever decisions we make will not satisfy everyone, but I want to personally assure each of you that we are spending hours and hours, doing the best we can to hear all perspectives and make what we feel are the best decisions at any given time.

This is going to take a team effort on all of our parts to be successful – from staying home if you are ill, trying to limit the exposure your children have to individuals who may be potentially positive, to everyone washing their hands more and covering their coughs.

We have a tremendous staff and administrative team in place who are doing their best to ensure the 2020-2021 school year will be as successful as possible.

Thank you for being a part of our Pacelli family and may God’s grace be with each and every one of you.

In faith,

Cindy Weber
President, Pacelli Catholic Schools

>> Click here to read the letter from Bishop Callahan

Virtual Scholastic Book Fair

Virtual Scholastic Book FairPacelli Catholic Schools
Virtual Scholastic Book Fair

Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Stephen & Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Bronislava are hosting a Virtual Scholastic Book Fair from May 11-September 4, 2020. The virtual fair is a great way to get books in the hands of your students now to keep them reading at home over the summer.

  • All purchases benefit our schools and earn rewards
  • Shop Book Fair exclusives, best-sellers, skill-builders, and more
  • Orders ship direct to home
  • Book-only orders over $25 receive FREE shipping
  • Over 6,000 items to choose from through the Scholastic Store Online

Visit the book fair homepage by clicking the link below to support your school and shop now!

Shop PCES-St. Steve’sShop PCES-St. Bron’s


In addition, Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza is excited to share Scholastic Home Base, the perfect companion to your Virtual Fair! Home Base is the ultimate destination for kids to interact with favorite characters, play games, track reading streaks™ to unlock book donations, earn rewards, and more. It’s FREE – click here!