April Teacher Feature: Mr. Mike Schmoll

Name: Mike Schmoll

Grade & School You Teach: 9-12 Social Studies, Pacelli

Where did you grow up and go to high school and college?

Grew up in Stevens Point, graduated from SPASH and UWSP.

Where was your first teaching job?

Substituted in the public schools for a year and then started at Pacelli.

How long have you been teaching? 22 years

How long have you been teaching at Pacelli Catholic Schools? 21 years

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Pacelli Catholic Schools?

The freedom I have to teach what I want and how I want to teach it and the family atmosphere amongst students, staff, and families.

What is unique about the education experience offered at PCS that you can’t find anywhere else?

I think the family atmosphere at Pacelli is very unique and sets us apart from other schools. I have had student and parents of students I had twenty years ago come up to me and ask how I’ve been and how are things at Pacelli. People seem to really care about the students and the school.


What was your favorite class when you were a student?

Any history class.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A farm machinery salesman like my Dad.

Who is your biggest inspiration/role model?

I really don’t have one specific person that I use as a role model. I looked up to my parents and grandparents but there have been many people who I have looked at as role models. I try to take a little bit from all of them.

What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?

I’ve recently taken up beekeeping which is very interesting. I also like to read, mow the lawn, and surf the internet.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I’ve worn glasses or contacts since I was in fourth grade so I think I’d like to have some sort of super eye sight.

What’s something that most people or your students don’t know about you?

I have four grandkids and four dogs.

What is the most important piece of advice you can give to a student?

Don’t go through life with blinders on. Don’t be afraid to experience new things, they might take you to a place you never imagined yourself.

Celebrating Early Learning, Young Children

Pacelli Catholic Early Childhood Center Celebrates Week of the Young Child

By: Lesley Lingofelt-Svihel, Director, Pacelli Catholic Early Childhood Center

Pacelli Catholic Early Childhood Center (ECC) is celebrating Week of the Young Child™ from April 24-28, 2017. Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers, and their families.

As early childhood educators, we experience the joys of working with children and their families every day. We get to watch them grow and learn by exploring the world around them. To us, the week of the young child means that we can honor the children by giving them the opportunity to try new things, to be proud of their accomplishments, to give to others and to appreciate their families. Each day of the week we have special events planned to foster early learning and celebrate children. Here is what we will be doing at Pacelli Catholic Early Childhood Center from April 24-28, 2017 to celebrate Week of the Young Child.

Music Monday – The Pacelli Catholic Middle School Solo and Ensemble group is coming to our center to perform for us and to share their love of music, giving our little people an up close look at what musical instruments sound and feel like. Who knows, maybe they will inspire one of our kiddos to be the next Louis Armstrong or Bob Dylan.

Tasty Tuesday – We want to show our little people just how much fun exercise and eating healthy can be. We are going to get a work out learning to line dance and then renew our energy with a tasty trail mix full of things we like that are good for us.

Work Together Wednesday – This is a day we are hoping to put a smile on some the faces of the residents of the Portage County Health Care Center. We will be making placemats to brighten up their meal time. Hopefully it will bring back some special memories of a time they had a child’s drawing hanging on their refrigerator.

Artsy Thursday – We will have our own Art Gallery set up here at Pacelli Catholic ECC so the children can display some of their masterpieces. What a great feeling for our little people to know that what they do is important and that they can be proud of themselves and their accomplishments.

Family Friday – This day we say thank you to the families who graciously share the most precious thing in their life with us, their children. Families are invited to start the day off having breakfast together. What a great way to begin your day by sharing a meal with your child, getting to know their friends and meeting other families.

Every day is special when you have young children in your life. Week of the Young Child™ gives us the opportunity to honor young learners one week of the year and celebrate the joy they bring to us.

Stevens Point City Times: Pacelli Catholic Early Childhood Center Celebrates Week of the Young Child

March e-Newsletter: In the News & Community Happenings

The following are news snippets from the March 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.

Check out the impressive, new, almost completed Cardinal Fitness Center located at PCHS. Thanks to the leadership and direction of the Big Red Club and our very generous donors, we were able to make dreams of this space a reality and it will be opening soon to students, families, and staff to promote wellness, fitness practices, and healthy active lifestyles.

Pasta and Playhouse, Pacelli Style, Please! That’s right the PCHS DI teams and theatre program are joining forces to bring you this “P4” evening of all-you-can-eat spaghetti and a live performance of West Side Story on Friday, April 28.

Kindergarteners at St. Stan’s learned about Antarctica, dressing like Tacky the Penguin, playing Don’t Break the Ice, and making their very own Tacky penguins.

Check out some of these inspiring “Real Catholic Life” videos by Chris Stefanick: How Do We Know If He Really Rose, Why Confession, How Do I Pray, and so many more to inspire you this lenten season.

Destination Imagination (DI) teams had a busy but successful weekend at their competitions. The 4th grade team “DI Double L Pickles” earned 3rd place medals at their first ever competition, PCMS teams Destination Koalification and Team CAMJAM are both off to compete at state in May, and PCHS improv teams Alpha Omega and Omikron earned 1st and 2nd, respectively, at regionals and are also off to compete at state. Alpha Omega was also presented with the Spirit of Discovery and Imagination Award recognizing Outstanding Spirit, Teamwork, Volunteerism, and Sportsmanship.

A group of students from Assumption High School delivered care packages from PCMS students to Casa Hogar in Peru, getting to experience the pure joy and excitement the kids had as they opened them.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has some great lenten resources to help you reflect and renew your faith: 10 Things to Remember for Lent, Scriptural Stations of the Cross, Rediscovering the Sacrament of Penance, Saints for the Lenten Season, 6 Ways to Evangelize During Lent, and more. It’s never to late to begin or refresh your lenten journey in preparation for the Easter season.

Congratulations to PCHS winter sports athletes who were named to the CWC-8 All Conference Basketball Teams: Andrew Blanker (1st Team), AJ Firminhac (2nd Team), Garret Parks (Honorable Mention), Chrissy Shafranski (Honorable Mention), & Sarah Mueller (Honorable Mention).

Mrs. Taylor’s art class at PCMS had a SWEET assignment recently.

It wouldn’t be Pi Day without Pi Day carols and, well, pies! Ms. Schroeders Finite Math & AP Calculus classes delighted the PCS central office with special Pi Day songs. Ms. Schroeder was also awarded 12 pies for Pi Day from Trig’s for being an inspiring teacher. Congratulations to her!

Holy Spirit, St. Joseph, St. Peter, & St. Stephen parishes are joining forces to sponsor the “Totally Catholic Maker Fun Factory” vacation Bible camp from Tuesday, June 13-Friday, June 16.

Flashback to the 1949-1950 school year, dug up in our building cleaning and moving process at St. Stan’s, where the class sizes were huge and all the teachers, and even the principal, were named Sister Mary!

Middle and high school band and choir students participated in solo and ensemble, with many qualifying for the state competition. Congratulations and good luck!

Early Childhood Center students got a visit from Fr. Jerzy on Ash Wednesday who explained the ashes, gave ashes to the kids, and had a prayer with them.

PCHS dance team traveled to Florida to compete at nationals and took 4th place!

Congratulations to PCMS February Students of the Month: Benett Klish (6th grade), Nicholas Schroeder (7th grade), & Jacob Mengel (8th grade).

St. Bron’s 1st graders are learning to think positive – “I am strong. I am in control. I can do it.” – during Mindful Movement.

Pacelli middle and high school students combined forces at the direction of Mr. Dahlseng and Mrs. Gruman for a Pops Concert, blowing us away with their talents in band and choir.

Thank you to all who attended the 4th Annual Cardinal Crusade Live Auction & Dinner! It was a great success with nearly 140 attendees, our biggest turnout yet.

St. Bron’s students and teachers were busy decorating their doors, participating in a book swap on Dr. Seuss’ 112th birthday, and recording the WINNING video clip for WAOW’s “Wake Up Your Imagination and Read” contest. To congratulate our students, WAOW Channel 9 reporter Josh Holland spent the morning with 4th and 5th grade students at St. Bron’s, delivered some new books to them, and even interviewed some kids on camera – congratulations!

March is Art Month and so many of our PCMS students have their work on display all around Central Wisconsin.

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

Community Happenings

UWSP will host the 45th Annual Festival of the Arts on Sunday, April 2 from 10AM-4PM at the Noel Fine Arts Center.

The World’s Largest Trivia Contest, sponsored by WWSP 90FM & Friends, will be held April 21-23, so get your team together for “The Royalty of Contests – Trivia 48.”

Favorite local ice cream hotspot Belts’ Soft Serve opened for the 2017 season on Friday, March 3, marking the official start of spring as far as Point natives are concerned.

Despite an odd sign placement, the “Catholics Returning Home” campaign seeks to welcome lapsed Catholics back into the church family with open arms, open hearts, and open minds. This lenten season is a great time to reflect on your faith and grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ and the church.

On the upcoming April 6 anniversary of the United States’ entrance into World War I, the Portage County Historical Society has a series of events, programs, and exhibits to commemorate and honor Portage County’s role in the war. This project would not be possible without the support of many in the community, including some of our Pacelli alumni.

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.

P4: Pasta and Playhouse, Pacelli Style, Please!

Image result for west side storyImage result for spaghetti dinnerInvite your entire family, friends, and colleagues for an evening of great food and live theater on Friday, April 28, when Pacelli High School students host an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner starting at 4:30PM, followed by a live performance of the classic musical West Side Story at 7PM in the Pacelli FACC, complete with live orchestra!


The menu and theater value can’t be beat! Dinner includes all-you-can-eat spaghetti with homemade sauce, salad, corn, garlic breadsticks, homemade cake, and beverages (coffee, milk, & homemade raspberry iced tea).

Ticket prices are listed below.

Advanced Sale Prices:

  • Adults: $10 dinner, $16 dinner & show
  • Students: $8 dinner, $10 dinner & show

At the Door Prices:

  • Adults: $20 dinner & show
  • Students: $14 dinner & show

For more information, contact the Pacelli High School office at 715.341.2442. See you at P4 on Friday, April 28, starting at 4:30PM!

Proceeds from the dinner will benefit our Destination Imagination (DI) teams while proceeds from the show will benefit the high school theater program.

March Teacher Feature: Mrs. Sara Groshek

Name: Sara Groshek

School You Work At:  Pacelli Catholic Early Childhood Center (formerly St. Joseph Early Childhood Center)

Where did you grow up and go to high school and college?

I grew up in Stevens Point and graduated from Pacelli High School and from MSTC with an Associate Degree in Secretarial Science (now called Administrative Professional).

Where was your first job?

During my junior year of high school, I worked at McDonald’s.

How long have you been working at Pacelli Catholic ECC?

This is my 19th year working at Pacelli Catholic ECC. My first year I worked as an aide for kindergarten (with Mary Henning) and my second year I was an aide for first grade (with Michele Tippel). When St. Joe’s School became the early childhood center, I began working in the office.

What do you enjoy most about working at Pacelli Catholic Schools?

I enjoy seeing the children every day and working with a great group of people.

What is unique about the Preschool and Child Care experience offered at PCS that you can’t find anywhere else?

I believe our Preschool and Child Care have the best staff. They work hard and truly care about each child.

What was your favorite class when you were a student?

My favorite class was spelling.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a teacher.

Who is your biggest inspiration/role model?

My Dad.

What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?

I love spending time with my husband, Tony, and my family. I enjoy spending time outside (when it’s not winter), walking, doing a little gardening, cooking and reading. My favorite thing to do in the summer is to get out on the river on our pontoon boat.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I would want the power to heal. I have a difficult time seeing people sick/suffering. I wish I could help everyone.

What’s something that most people don’t know about you?

I like watching clouds. I love taking pictures!

What is the most important piece of advice you can give to a child?

Always remember to say “thank you.” Even though something may be difficult, keep trying. Don’t give up. Be happy!

Pacelli Catholic School System Announces Restructuring for 2017-2018 School Year

Big changes are in store for the Pacelli Catholic School system by way of restructuring for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. Work will begin in spring and continue over the summer, thanks to donors of the system’s capital campaign, to enable growth and efficiencies across the board.

The Pacelli Catholic Early Childhood Center will move from its current location at St. Joseph’s to the St. Stanislaus school building, allowing for tremendous expansion of the program. This site will continue to be the location of the 4K program, saving the school system potential transportation costs and providing convenience for parents in that wraparound care will now be provided on site.

Pacelli Catholic Elementary School will be housed at the St. Stephen school building in Stevens Point and the St. Bronislava school building in Plover, consolidating the number of elementary school sites to just two locations. The two buildings will each house grades K-4, with St. Bronislava continuing to offer their existing 3K, 4K, and childcare programs. Pacelli Catholic Middle School, currently home to grades 6-8, will welcome all system 5th graders in the fall, while Pacelli Catholic High School will continue serving grades 9-12.

In preparation for these moves, several construction projects will be taking place at both St. Stan’s and St. Steve’s beginning this spring, including bathroom renovations, classroom updates, playground updates, and work to ensure that the new childcare center location meets all state licensing requirements. All work is scheduled to be completed by the end of July.

Along with this restructuring will come some minor changes to administration roles and duties, too. Ellen Lopas will continue to serve as the principal of Pacelli Catholic Middle School, assuming additional duties in managing professional growth, curriculum, accreditation, federal programs, the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program, and some 4K responsibilities. Gregg Hansel will continue in his roles as director of education and principal of St. Steve’s. He will also assume the position of principal of St. Bron’s. Larry Theiss will continue serving as principal of Pacelli Catholic High School, assuming some duties to support marketing and retention, while Lesley Lingofelt-Svihel will remain director of the Pacelli Catholic Early Childhood Center.

Additionally, work is currently underway and will soon be completed on a new fitness center at Pacelli Catholic High School. This fitness center, funded by the Big Red Club, the high school’s athletic booster club, will help transform numerous programs within the system, like athletics, physical education, and wellness. The goal is to increase health and fitness for all students and families within Pacelli Catholic Schools.

For questions on the restructuring, please contact Gregg Hansel at 715.341.2445.

Come to Pacelli’s Famous Fish Fry…You’ll Be Hooked!


Mark your calendars, Pacelli Famous Fish Fries are almost here! And that means one thing, SPRING is coming! We hope your family will join us in this great Pacelli tradition as one of our guests on a Friday night.

Come enjoy our HOMEMADE beer batter or baked fish fry or shrimp basket (or combo plate to enjoy both!), fries, baked potato or HOMEMADE potato salad, coleslaw, roll and HOMEMADE CAKE! It is a delicious meal at a great price. Parents, we also offer a peanut butter sandwich option for kids (under 3 eat free) or a single fish piece option.

Join us at Pacelli Catholic High School or carryout and eat in the comfort of your home.  Join us at Pacelli Catholic High School 4:30-7 pm March 3, 10, 17, and 31; April 7. Proceeds are used to help teachers in their classrooms.


To order carryout please call 715-341-2442 AFTER 4:15 pm.

Menu Options & Pricing

  • 1 piece fish (famous beer batter or baked) – $7.00
  • 2 piece fish fry (famous beer batter or baked) – $9.00
  • 3 piece fish fry (famous beer batter or baked) – $11.00
  • 6 piece jumbo shrimp basket – $10.00
  • Combo plate (1 piece fish, 3 jumbo shrimp) – $9.50
  • Extra piece of fish – $2.00
  • PB&J Slider – $3.00 (children under age 3 free)

February e-Newsletter: In the News

PCHS Senior Katherine Mueller advanced to the finalist standings in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Thanks to PCMS teacher Maureen Brocken, our middle school received the Sprout Level recognition from Green & Healthy Schools of Wisconsin for reducing environmental impact, increasing sustainable literacy, and improving wellness.

PCHS students, staff, and community members participated in the Red Cross blood drive to help save lives.

PCMS was the home to four visiting students from China who spent 2 weeks with the seventh grade class.

Students at St. Bron’s participated in a Jack and the Beanstalk Project Lead the Way unit, constructing a beanstalk strong enough to hold the golden egg.

Gilchrist Dental visited our childcare center students to teach them all about the importance of dental health.

Congratulations to 6th grader Winston Hill, 7th grader Mateo Koch, and 8th grader Grace Wiskerchen for being named the PCMS January Students of the Month!

Pacelli Catholic School’s ongoing capital campaign is nearing the end of the formal solicitation phase, inching closer to our $3 million goal and our building realignment.

Samantha Schoepke, 4th grader at Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Stephen, recently won a statewide fire safety poster contest sponsored by the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Pacelli’s Big Red Club, our athletic booster club, a new fitness center is in progress at PCHS, part of ongoing health and wellness initiatives in the school system.

Students at St. Bron’s were delighted to a weather presentation by Justin Loew from WAOW Newsline 9, while PCMS students got to see a weather presentation from Samantha Kuffel.

PCMS students showed off their many talents during their annual Catholic Schools Week talent show at the end of January, as did our elementary students at St. Steve’s.

St. Bron’s students celebrated the 100th day of school with a fun STEM activity, creating something from 100 blocks, cubes, poker chips, or wikki stix.

Congratulations to PCMS teachers Elaine Jakusz, Sherry Patton, & Carrie Gruman-Trinker for receiving awards from the Portage County Alliance for Youth.

One of our favorite Catholic Schools Week traditions, our 5-8 students join our high schoolers to celebrate mass and, this year, took part in some fun activities afterwards.

Students took part in the Diocesan Brains & Brawn tournament in La Crosse.

Mr. Hansel was duct taped to the wall, a reward to St. Steve’s students for hitting their reading goals.

Fr. Ed talked to St. Bron’s 5th graders about Groundhog Day and the significance of it being celebrated 40 days after Christmas Eve.

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

February Teacher Feature: Mrs. Kim LaBelle

Mrs. Kimberly LaBelle, Kindergarten, Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Stanislaus

Name: Mrs. Kimberly LaBelle

Grade & School You Teach: Kindergarten at St. Stanislaus School

Where did you grow up and go to high school and college?

I grew up in Stevens Point, I went to SPASH. I went to UWSP for college.

Where was your first teaching job?

I taught for 4years for WRACS at Sacred Heart in Nekoosa. I taught all grades 2nd-6th.  

How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for 16 years.

How long have you been teaching at Pacelli Catholic Schools?

I have been teaching Kindergarten for 12 years at St. Stan’s.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Pacelli Catholic Schools?

I enjoy being able to share my faith and knowledge of my religion with my students everyday through prayer, bible stories, and celebration of the liturgical seasons.

What is unique about the education experience offered at PCS that you can’t find anywhere else?

I really enjoy the lower class sizes which allow me the opportunity to get know each child and family better.

Have you received any teaching-related awards?

2011-2012: Golden Apple-Teacher of Distinction Award & 2013: Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Outstanding Teacher Award

What was your favorite class when you were a student?

I enjoyed history and art classes.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I have always wanted to be a teacher.

Who is your biggest inspiration/role model?

I would have to say Helen Keller. She overcame many obstacles and struggles in her life to make a difference for others.

What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to travel, read, listen to music, and spend time with my family. I also love to bake.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I would love to be super fast.  

What’s something that most people or your students don’t know about you?

I was held back in first grade for speech difficulties.

What is the most important piece of advice you can give to a student?

Always be yourself, don’t try to be someone you are not.  Be true to yourself.

Is there anything else you want to share about yourself?

I love sharing my gift of teaching. I love to teach children’s liturgy at mass on Sunday mornings at Holy Spirit church throughout the year. I also enjoy baking and cooking. I like to share those talents by baking for parties and donating for church or school events.

Empowering Parents, Developing Kids

Wisconsin Parental Choice Program Enables Parents to Choose Best Educational Opportunities for Their Child

By: Hannah Henderson, Director of Advancement, Pacelli Catholic Schools

Are small class sizes, individual attention to students, high test scores, and innovative technology programs important to you? Have you thought of sending your child through a private school system but been held back by financial constraints? There is an opportunity for you to get the education you’ve always wanted for your child even if your means are limited thanks to the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program.

We have a rich history of promoting school choice in this state. In fact, Wisconsin is the home to our nation’s oldest and largest school choice program. It began with open enrollment amongst public school students for the 1998-1999 school year and has evolved to also enable families to select a private school learning environment if they feel it best suits the unique needs of their child.

Pacelli Catholic Schools is proud to participate in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP), commonly referred to as the school choice or voucher program, because of the opportunities it gives to families and to this community. I firmly believe that strong private schools make for strong public schools, and strong schools create rich educational opportunities which make for a thriving community.

Our state’s private schools educate nearly 123,000 K-12 students and employ more than 6,000 teachers, not including the countless other administrative and educational staff that work tirelessly on behalf of our state’s most valuable resources – our children. According to the Wisconsin Council of Religious & Independent Schools (WCRIS), if there were no private schools, state and local taxes would have to increase by over $1 billion to pay for those students’ education in public schools. Academics aside, think of the economic impact private schools have on our state!

I couldn’t put it better myself than School Choice Wisconsin, a statewide school choice advocacy group, who said simply that the WPCP program exists to, “empower families by advocating for quality educational options so parents can choose the best educational environment for their child.” That’s our vision for Pacelli Catholic Schools; to be an environment that fosters the unique gifts of each student to grow as disciples of the faith and leaders for the world.

Our children will be just that – leaders in our community, in our state, and in our world. Don’t we want to ensure they have a rock solid foundation in their preschool-12 education which gives them every opportunity to be successful adults?

Our teachers strive to give each student the attention, support, and challenges they need to grow as students and as people of faith and morals. Our students learn computer coding beginning in kindergarten. They’re achieving the highest ACT scores in the area. Last year they completed over 12,000 community service hours. Our schools have won 3 US Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School Awards. We have over 5,300 alumni scattered across the globe leading in every field from law to medicine to social justice to manufacturing.

We might be Pacelli Catholic Schools, but our doors are open to all, regardless of your income level or faith. Don’t let concerns over how you’re going to fund tuition get in your way. The school choice program allows you to send your child to Pacelli Catholic Schools for free, so long as you meet the income requirements of the program. Beyond that, we award tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships and tuition assistance annually, including over $70,000 for this school year alone. Our goal is simple – to empower parents to provide their child with the best education and to empower our students to become leaders in their communities and around the globe.

Come join us at Pacelli Catholic Schools, currently enrolling for the 2017-2018 school year. For more information on applying for the school choice program, visit www.pacellicatholicschools.com/choice. The application period is open until April 20, 2017. Call 715.341.2445 with any enrollment questions, and we’re happy to help make your dreams of a Pacelli Catholic Schools education a reality for your child.

Stevens Point City Times: Empowering Parents, Developing Kids