Honoring Our Veterans

On Friday, November 10, Pacelli Catholic Schools students in grades 5-12 gathered to honor those who have served this country. This special annual ceremony included a memorable slideshow with photos of family members and friends in some way connected to PCS. In addition, the Pacelli Band led the playing of the armed service songs from each military branch, inviting those who served and those representing a loved one who has served to stand and salute when their branch’s song was played. This  year’s service also included some special interviews, both on video and in person, of a few veterans very near and dear to our hearts. To all of the veterans out there, thank you for your service!

If you weren’t able to be at the ceremony or know a veteran who wasn’t able to attend, please check out the full ceremony video below. Click here to checkout the slideshow with photos of veterans connected to PCS.

Portesi Awards Grants to Catholic Schools

The Portesi Fund for Catholic Education has awarded grants for four projects across all levels of students enrolled with Pacelli Catholic Schools to enhance their learning in various areas.

Pacelli Catholic Elementary Schools-St. Bronislava & St. Stephen

The elementary schoolsl are receiving funding to purchase sets of guided reading books at a variety of levels, allowing for more individualized reading instruction and making instruction more consistent and less expensive.

Pacelli Catholic Middle School

Fifth grade students will be purchasing up-to-date and user-friendly atlases to learn the skills of identifying places on maps. They will improve their understanding of regions, countries, and cultures through current atlas study. In a second funded project, fifth grade students will also be receiving weekly issues of Current Events-Scholastic News Magazine. As a class, they will read through the articles and make connections to the world while also strengthening their reading comprehension and fluency.

Pacelli Catholic High School

Funding for additional copies of YOUCAT Catechisms will be available for the freshman class. Adding more copies will allow for students to complete reading assignments at home or in their study halls, allowing more class time for instruction and discussion of assigned readings.

Established in 1999, the Portesi Fund for Catholic Education is a designated fund administered by the Community Fund of Central Wisconsin. The fund serves as a resource for Pacelli Catholic Schools’ teachers to fund special projects or equipment specifically aimed at enriching the classroom experience.

October e-Newsletter: In the News & Community Happenings

The following are news snippets from the October e-Newsletter highlighting the Pacelli Catholic School system, individual students, alumni, staff, and members of the PCS community who have recently been highlighted for their accomplishments.

For 10 weeks this semester, UWSP phy ed teaching students are getting the most hands-on experience they can with St. Steve’s K-3 students coming to campus for class.

Teams of students grabbed their rakes and braved the cold for Make a Difference Day.

Our kids at the early childhood center seem to really be enjoying their new building as you can tell by all the smiles from the Fall Fun Night.

Alum Payton Hintz ’14 was named the Blue Angels Spotlight Player for her work on the volleyball court at Mount Mary University. Read more about Hintz and here volleyball achievements here.

A few PCHS band students traveled to the University of St. Thomas to participate in an honors band concert with about 100 other high school students from WI and MN.

Mark your calendars – you sure won’t want to miss out on the upcoming production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid performed by our very talented middle schoolers!

Each year, our senior students take part in Senior Service Day, giving back to the community in many different ways. There was a team that cleaned up Belke Lumber for alum Jim Belke ’59, groups that cleaned area parishes, and many students that spent their day at St. Bron’s reading and playing with our elementary students.

Kindergarteners at St. Steve’s got to dress up for the day as community helpers, learning what they can to do help others.

PCHS hosted the 2nd Annual Cardinal Career Fair learning from many area businesses and professionals about their career path. Special thanks to all that participated, especially our alumni.

Alum Sami Kay Shafranski ’15 and her Upper Iowa University D3 softball team earned the highest GPA among softball teams of all divisions in the country for the 16-17 school year. Of the team, Shafranski was individually awarded with a spot on the President’s Team for having the highest GPA.

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

Community Happenings

Local business Skyward, Inc. recently celebrated earning their 2,000th customer! Congratulations to a great family-run business and we’re proud to partner with you for our school management and student information needs.

The Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau wants to hear from you on what you look for when you travel for leisure. Regardless of where you work or live, you’re eligible to participate in the survey and make the Stevens Point community an even better place to live and visit.

UW System President Ray Cross announced a restructuring of UW Colleges and UW-Extension to make improve student access and success and meet the changing workforce needs of Wisconsin. This will bring some changes to UWSP, UW-Marshfield, and UW-Marathon County.

Next Wednesday, Nov. 9, the Stevens Point area will host the finale event for HATCH, a startup business competition run by Newaukee and Brightstar Foundation in which the winner will receive $10,000! Register to attend the event at the Noel Hangar and watch three Stevens Point residents compete and others from North Central Wisconsin compete for the grand prize.

The sculpture park became home to four new-large scale pieces as part of the “Out of the Woods: A Grand Entrance” residency with help from UWSP students, staff, and artists from across the globe.

Take a sneak peek, behind-the-scenes tour of the new UWSP Chemistry Biology Building, scheduled to open in less than a year.

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

Pacelli to Hold Blood Drive on Oct. 31

Pacelli is having a blood drive for the American Red Cross on Tuesday, October 31. We need your help to make this event a success! Appointments begin at 9:00 am and continue at 15 minutes intervals through 2:00 pm. Sign up online at http://www.redcrossblood.org/give or by emailing mschmitz@pacellicatholicschools.com.

As a direct result of this event, Pacelli students will receive scholarship money! The amount of the scholarship increases with each donation. If you do a double red cell donation, we will get double credit for your donation. Last year Pacelli gave out $500. We would like your help to continue generating scholarships for our students. Thank you for in advance for making this event a success.

Contact Maria Schmitz at mschmitz@pacellicatholicschools.com or call 715-342-2008 with any questions.

September e-Newsletter: Community Happenings

Community Happenings

Check out the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of India at the 30th annual Festival of India taking place on Saturday, Oct. 7 at SPASH.

UWSP was recently ranked in the Top 10 public Midwestern universities.

Sentry is home to a new restaurant, Muse, taking over the former home of @1800. SentryWorld is also hosting their Close the Course Run/Walk on Nov. 4 to mark the end of this year’s golf season.

In partnership with Create Portage County, Whitefeather Organics farm in Custer is hosting FIRE WORKS, a fun community art event where they’ll also have farm-to-table brick oven pizzas and fresh-pressed cider available for purchase.

The Portage County Business Council’s Wines of the World event will take place on Friday, Oct. 20 at the Holiday Inn featuring not only wines from around the world but local wines from Sunset Point Winery, local craft spirits from Great Northern Distilling, and local food from Rockman’s and Ski’s Meat Market.

UWSP is working in partnership with aquaponics facilities like Nelson and Pade Inc. to help lure Wisconsin’s youth into farming in a whole new way.

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

Pacelli Inducts Three Athletes, Three Special Contributors to Athletic Hall of Fame

Pacelli’s Athletic Hall of Fame grew by six over the weekend with the induction of three athletes and three special contributors. This year’s athletic inductees were Stephanie Fischer ’04, Dave Kurzynski ’88, and Elizabeth “Beth” (Boden) Nemec ’04, joined by special contributors George Check ’65 and Dennis and Patricia Elsenrath.

Despite the extreme heat, Kurzynski, Check, and the Elsenraths participated in the Pacelli homecoming parade on Friday followed by a tailgate party held in their honor in the Pacelli parking lot. Later that evening, all six inductees attended the homecoming football game where they were recognized and introduced to the crowd and presented with a piece of Pacelli spirit wear and a lifetime all-sports pass.

The formal induction banquet took place on Saturday, September 23 at the new Must at Sentry where our inductees were presented with a plaque. A duplicate plaque will join those already displayed in the lobby of the Student Activities Center at Pacelli High School, where it will be permanently displayed along with those of our past Hall of Fame inductees.

Notable accomplishments of each inductee appear below.

Stephanie Fischer | Class of 2004 | Basketball & Softball

Stephanie Fischer graduated from Pacelli High School in 2004. For her work on the basketball court, she received the honors of Honorable Mention All-Conference in 2002, 2nd Team All-Conference in 2003, and 1st Team All-Conference in 2004. Stephanie was a member of 2 Regional Champion Teams both in 2003 and 2004. But where she really shined was on the softball field. In her 4 years, Stephanie and team were 3-Time Conference Champs, 3-Time Regional Champs, 2-Time Sectional Champs, and the 2003 State Champs. Individually, Stephanie received Honorable Mention All-State in 2002, 1st Team All-State in 2003, and both 1st Team All-Conference and Conference Player of the Year in 2004.

She went on to play NCAA Division 1 softball at Tennessee Technological University (TTU) with Pacelli teammate Elizabeth (Boden) Nemec from 2005 to 2008. Stephanie led all NCAA Division I softball in two statistical categories in 2008, home runs (27) and slugging percentage (1.019). Stephanie also set the TTU record for batting average, hitting .457 in 2008. Stephanie received the Second Team All American honor from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association in 2008. Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 2008 and played for the Rockford Thunder, a National Pro Fastpitch team, for one summer before moving to Milwaukee to attend Marquette University.

Dave Kurzynski | Class of 1988 | Wrestling & Football

Dave graduated as the Class Valedictorian from Pacelli High School in 1988. That year he also received the Scholar/Athlete Award and the John Jelich Memorial Award, and was quite the student athlete throughout his Pacelli Career. He was a 3-year letter winner in football, earning Honorable Mention All-Conference – Linebacker in 1987 and was a member of the 1986 State Championship team. Dave was also a 4-year letter winner in wrestling. He was a 1987 WISAA State Champion, 1988 WISAA State Runner-Up, 1986 WISAA State 3rd Place Finisher, and, with a senior record of 30-4-1, was named the 1988 Team MVP. Dave was a 2-time Regional Champion and was named 2-times to the 1st Team Academic All-State in both ’87 and ’88.

Elizabeth “Beth” (Boden) Nemec | Class of 2004 | Cross Country, Basketball, & Softball

Elizabeth (Boden) Nemec graduated from Pacelli High School in 2004. Beth was a multi-sport athlete, earning 4 letters in cross country, 2 in basketball, and 4 in softball. She was also a member of 2 Regional Champion Teams both in 2003 and 2004, along with teammate and fellow Hall of Fame inductee Stephanie Fischer. And much like Stephanie, the softball field is where she made her mark. Beth and team were 3-Time Conference Champs, 3-Time Regional Champs, 2-Time Sectional Champs, and the 2003 State Champs. Individually, Beth received Honorable Mention All-State in 2002, 2nd

Team All-State in ’03, and was team caption in ’04. Beth was also named 3-times to both the 1st Team All-Conference and 1st Team All-District in ’02, ’03, and ’04.

She played NCAA Division 1 softball at Tennessee Technological University (TTU) with Pacelli teammate Stephanie Fischer from 2005 to 2008. Beth’s accomplishments and awards while at TTU on the softball field and off are numerous:

  • Freshman of the Year
  • 4-Time Athletic Directors Honor Role—’05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08
  • 4-Time Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Commissioners Honor Role—’05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08
  • 1st Team All-Conference—’06, ‘07, ‘08
  • Coaches Award ‘06
  • TTU President’s Award—’06, ‘07
  • CoSIDA Academic All-District—’06, ‘07, ‘08
  • CoSIDA Academic All-American—’07, ‘08
  • OVC Player of the Year ‘07
  • NFCA All-Region ‘07
  • Best Offensive Player ‘07
  • Most Improved Player ‘07

Beth also set records for at bats (834), runs scored (191), total bases (481), and home runs (51) along with many other impressive stats. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Masters in Civil Engineering.

Beth was drafted and played 1 year with the Rockford Thunder in the National Pro Fastpitch League. Beth coached Pacelli girls basketball during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons, as well as softball from 2011-2015 including numerous conference, regional, and sectional championships, and 2 state championship teams in both 2012 and 2015.

George Check | Class of 1965 | Special Contributor

George graduated from Pacelli High School in 1965. He played basketball for 2 years and competed in track and field for 3 years, where he set the high jump record his senior year by beating the previous record by 2 inches.

George went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) where he was a 4-year letter winner in track and field where he held the triple jump record all 4 years. In his senior year, George was team captain, MVP, and participated in the national track and field meet.

A photographer by hobby and passion, it was during the 1996-1997 school year that George began taking pictures at various Pacelli sporting events. In 2001, he received the Athletic Director’s Award for providing pictures for the bulletin board. To this day, he continues his passion for capturing Pacelli’s athletic events on camera. Since 2008, he has accumulated over 163 CDs with a total of nearly 23,000 photos in which he prints, provides a disc to the PCS office, posts pictures to the bulletin board, and even provides pictures to some of the athletes’ parents. Of his work, George says, “this ‘hobby’ has allowed me to meet many wonderful parents, athletes, and coaches of PCS.” You can see a couple of his recent snapshots in your program.

George has also volunteered as a track and field coach for 5 years at St. Peter Middle School, now Pacelli Catholic Middle School, and donated the former Pacelli track and field record board. He has been a member of the Big Red Club since its inception, which generates funds to help fulfill athletic needs.

Dennis & Patricia Elsenrath | Special Contributors

Over the past several years, Dennis & Patricia’s involvement with the Big Red Club kept them active in working up plans for a new fitness center at Pacelli High School. They were instrumental in the planning, soliciting of funds/grants, and the execution of bringing the former weight room to the beautiful new fitness center that it is today. The center, now known as the Berard-Klasinski Clinic Fitness Center was dedicated in memory of Coach Bob Raczek, and is a big component of physical education and athletics at Pacelli. The Big Red Club, of which Dennis currently serves as vice president, raised enough funds to support a fitness center coordinator responsible for developing programming for students and staff, and plans are underway to open the fitness center to all Pacelli Catholic Schools family members to further promote a culture of health and wellness.

“Dennis and I always sought involvement in athletic associations at all levels because we value highly what team membership teaches young adults,” said Patricia.

Pacelli Catholic Schools Reveals Major Gift Donor

With gratitude, Pacelli Catholic Schools revealed today the identity of the major donor responsible for the $500,000 gift to the Pride in Our Past…Faith in Our Future Capital Campaign. The gift, which was used as a matching gift challenge for maximum impact, was made by philanthropist and alumnus Tim Copps ’60.

“Tim’s gift is a great blessing to us,” said Gregg Hansel, director of education for Pacelli Catholic Schools. “It will help us in so many ways, not just now but well into the future.”

The gift will be used, in part, to fund renovations at the St. Stanislaus school building in preparation for that building to become the new home of the Pacelli Catholic Schools Tim Copps Early Childhood Center.

“Tim’s gift was instrumental in helping us raise an additional $1 million towards our capital campaign,” said Hansel. “Those additional funds are crucial to continuing a strong tradition of Catholic schools in this community.”

The remainder of Copps’ gift will be used to establish the Excellence in Education Fund for teacher salary enhancement created through the Pride in Our Past…Faith in Our Future Capital Campaign.

“That piece really stood out to me,” said Copps. “You need to provide people with a good salary.”

Copps’ identity was revealed after a recent meeting between PCS administrators and Copps, who spends his summers in Stevens Point and winters in Naples, FL.

Tim Copps is a 4th generation member of The Copps Corporation. While serving as president, Copps and his brothers and cousins decided to focus on developing Superstores, the first of which was opened in Oshkosh in 1984. From there they expanded to Manitowoc, Appleton, Green Bay, Stevens Point, and Fond du Lac, opening smaller stores in many other parts of Wisconsin. In 2001, The Copps Corporation sold 22 Copps stores to Milwaukee-based Roundy’s, which was later purchased by Kroger in 2016, allowing Tim Copps to focus more on philanthropy.

Major philanthropic efforts of Copps include supporting other local organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, United Way, and UWSP, among others.

“I’m glad the fund drive was a success,” said Copps of the capital campaign. “I’m glad I was a part of it.”

 Right: Tim Copps (right) admires his senior class photo and those of his classmates while reminiscing about friends and memories made before his graduation in 1960 from Pacelli High School. Pictured with Copps is Gregg Hansel (left) of Pacelli Catholic Schools.

Stevens Point Journal: Tim Copps provides $500,000 gift to Pacelli Catholic Schools campaign

Stevens Point City Times: Pacelli Reveals Identity of $500K Donor

June e-Newsletter: Community Happenings

Last Thursday, Stevens Point based Sentry Insurance kickoff construction on a major expansion located across the street from their national headquarters. The new facility will be a seven-story, 270,000-square-foot building.

Local Q Gallery show will feature farms, flowers, and rural America, the work of Portage County artist Mary Lee Reineking.

Downtown Stevens Point continues to thrive and grow with the recent opening of Bria Bella & Co., a women’s boutique shop.

UWSP will be the host of the Great Lakes Analytics in Sports Conference on July 13, showcasing the latest concepts, research, and innovations in the field from featured speakers from professional and college sports organizations, the business sector, and the academic community.

SentryWorld was recently named one of the top public courses in the US, earning the #34 spot in the Golf Digest magazine.

Custer was recently host to the 28th Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) Energy Fair, the oldest and largest event of its kind in the world.

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

May e-Newsletter: In the News & Community Happenings

The following are news snippets from the May e-Newsletter highlighting the Pacelli Catholic School system, individual students, alumni, staff, and members of the PCS community who have recently been highlighted for their accomplishments.

Pacelli Catholic Schools director of education and principal of St. Stan’s/St. Steve’s principal Gregg Hansel was selected as a Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Leadership Award recipient.

Pacelli’s softball is on a roll after knocking out No. 1 Horicon in a 3-0 win. The team, ninth overall, advances to play on June 1 vs. No. 6 Cochrane Fountain City for a berth in the Division 4 state tournament.

Know of kids or teens looking for FREE summer breakfast and lunch? Check out this flyer for more details and send them to Pacelli Catholic High School this summer.

High school track 4×400 teams, both boys and girls, have broken the school records this season.

The 7th Annual Pacelli Catholic Schools Shredding Party, hosted by Schulfer & Associates, LLC Financial Professionals, was a huge success earning more than $3,500 for the new Pacelli Catholic Early Childhood Center to purchase playground equipment. Thanks to the PCHS band for playing, Kohl’s employees for volunteering, and Express Recycling Solutions, Inc. for providing the secure and confidential shredding services.

Students from both St. Bron’s and St. Stan’s celebrated their First Communion, embracing their faith and growing their relationship with the church.

Congrats to PCMS April Students of the Month: Gabriel Hoerter (6th grade), Zoe Sell (7th grade), and Logan Vayder (8th grade).

On May 10, we held a formal grand opening ceremony for the new Berard/Klasinski Clinic Fitness Center in memory of Coach Bob Raczek at Pacelli High School. Special thanks to Dr. Corey Huck, Prof. Nisha Fernando, and other members of UWSP for the ongoing partnership in the center and for these additional photos from the event. Plus, check out this cool 360 degree view of the space.

Many PCHS juniors were inducted into National Honor Society while senior members were decorated, celebrating their first step towards graduation.

Max Firminhac ’16 was recently chosen for the 2017 KIDS from Wisconsin show troupe, which includes a show in Stevens Point on July 20.

Mrs. Okray’s second graders at St. Stan’s had fun celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

3-year-old preschoolers from Pacelli Catholic Early Childhood Center took a walking field trip to the steam engine and stopped to play one one a little more their size.

Pacelli’s Joyce Krusa (below) was recently named Chemistry Teacher of the Year by the American Chemical Society-Central Wisconsin Section.

Pacelli put on a great showing of West Side Story. Special thanks to Mrs. Elaine Jakusz and Wendie Cliver, WCM Photography & Creations for the great snapshots of the performances.

PCHS freshmen and sophomore spanish students worked together with Dr. Olsen’s UWSP spanish students to enhance their learning and understanding of the language.

An annual tradition for PCHS students, they helped throw Senior Citizen Prom at Brookdale Senior Living Solutions, evening crowning a prom king and queen.

Many members of the PCHS track team are headed to state this weekend in La Crosse. Good luck to those athletes!

We were blessed to honor Pacelli alumnus James (Ness) Niespodziani ’59 as this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. A brunch was held for Jim where he was honored surrounded by family and friends and he later gave a keynote address at the PCHS graduation ceremony.

PCHS DI team Alpha Omega competed at Global Finals in Nashville, TN last week. They received their results on Saturday, just in time for graduation, and placed 12th out of over 80 teams in the Improv Challenge. Congrats!

Happy retirement to both Mrs. Bonnie Charles and Mrs. Patti Henning from St. Steve’s who were recently recognized at a school mass. Also retiring this year is Mrs. Mary Okray from St. Stan’s.

Our littlest students enjoyed learning about law enforcement, getting a sneak peek at the back of a police car and talking with local officers.

Congratulations to our newest alumni, the class of 2017! Click on the mini albums below to see their senior photos and future plans. Album 1. Album 2.  Album 3. Album 4. Album 5. Album 6.

4th graders at St. Bron’s read a book, completed a display board on the book, and dressed up as the main character to present to the rest of the school.

Thanks to Mrs. Michele Tippel for sharing photos from the spring PCMS band and choir concerts.

Congratulations to the PCMS softball team for their undefeated season of 14-0!

St. Stan’s kindergarten graduates shared some wonderful thoughts and memories from their year.

St. Steve’s 4th and 5th graders were recognized at their last school mass as they’re on to new things at PCMS next fall.

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

Community Happenings

Pacelli high school students have been part of the internship growth in the community, and Stevens Point was recently named one of the top 100 best places for a summer internship.

If you are a local or planning to come back for a reunion before Panacea, check out some of what the fun things happening in the area.

Sustainability is an important part of our community, and UWSP was recently named a US Green Ribbon School for their efforts including something as simple as promoting wellness and student health and the use of water bottle refilling stations, two new initiatives also happening at Pacelli Catholic Schools with the launch of the new fitness center and the installation of new bottle filling stations happening over the summer.

UWSP also unveiled a new video overview of the progress on their new science building, neighbor to St. Stan’s, one year after the groundbreaking. We’ve had our own fun watching our students grow with the building this year.

The Orange Barrel Art tour, brought to you by the Stevens Point Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and CREATE Portage County, is back for yet another year.

The 8th Annual Z Tourney, a memorial fishing tournament, raffle, and family day, will be held on Saturday, July 15 at Lakeside Bar in Stevens Point. The money raised from the event will fund a scholarship of up to $2,000 annually awarded to a graduating Portage County high school senior(s) in honor of Dan Zurawski ’07, a UWSP sophomore who drowned in 2009.

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

8th Annual Z Tourney

A Memorial Fishing Tournament, Raffle, and Family Day at Lakeside Bar in Stevens Point

Money raised from this event will fund a scholarship of up to $2,000 annually awarded to a graduating Portage County high school senior(s) in honor of Dan Zurawski ’07, a UWSP sophomore who drowned in 2009.

When: Saturday, July 15

Where: Lakeside Bar, 736 Old Wausau Road, Stevens Point, WI

Click on the flyer below for additional details on the schedule of events, tourney fee and format, and more. Visit www.TheZTourney.com to donate, access team registration, tourney rules, and more.