Dream Flight USA STEM Shuttle Visits Pacelli Catholic Schools

For the first time since the pandemic hit, the Dream Flight USA STEM Shuttle took up its first mission. On Monday, students from both Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Stephen (PCES-St. Steve’s) and Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Bronislava (PCES-St. Bron’s) experienced the hands-on work stations on the unique coach bus resembling a space shuttle.

According to their website, stemshuttle.com, the stop at PCES-St. Steve’s was their first mission since November 2019. Boasting its 15th year of missions, the STEM Shuttle proudly bills itself as “the field trip that visits schools.”

The STEM Shuttle, manned by two veteran on board teachers, gives several small groups of students about an hour to be challenged by hands-on activities combining space travel and STEM education.

“It’s exciting to have the STEM Shuttle back up and running and we were thrilled to be their first mission this spring,” said Ellen Lopas, principal of PCES-St. Steve’s and Pacelli Catholic Middle School.”

The stop at PCES-St. Steve’s was one of many taking place throughout Central Wisconsin thanks to a donation from Connexus Credit Union’s Connexus Cares Committee to the Dream Flight USA Foundation. The STEM Shuttle will return to Stevens Point to visit grades 5-8 at Pacelli Catholic Middle School on May 20.

“We’re grateful to Connexus Credit Union and the Dream Flight USA Foundation for giving our students the opportunity to participate in some interactive, engaging space-related STEM activities outside of the classroom,” said Lopas.

>> Click here to view photos from the STEM Shuttle visit!

Community Corner: April eNewsletter

Community CornerLooking for some foodie fun this weekend? Check out the Food Truck Festival at District 1 Brewing on Saturday from 11am-11pm complete with live music and a variety of food trucks.

Kick off your Saturday with the May Day 10K: Fun Run/Walk & Festival that starts at D1 Training Stevens Point and ends at District 1 Brewing. There’s still time to sign up!

The Stevens Point Farmers Market will be back on the Downtown Square daily from 6:30am-5pm starting in May through October. Be sure to check out the popular Saturday market!

The Tomorrow River Business Association is sponsoring its annual Tomorrow River Swap-A-Rama on May 7 & 8.

Check out the Hmong Week Kickoff online on Monday, May 10 at 5pm.

CREATE’s ArtsWalk & Night Market is on for May 14 from 5-8pm. Stroll the historic downtown and connect with community artists, makers. Save the date for future ArtsWalk dates: July 14 and September 1.

With all these events celebrating creativity, the outdoors, artists, musicians, cultural diversity, local growers, and more, the Stevens Point area is a great place to live, work, and play. Check out more at everythingpointshere.com.


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.

Kindergarten Visit Day

Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Bronislava (PCES-St. Bron’s) and Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Stephen (PCES-St. Steve’s) are set to host a Kindergarten Visit Day on Friday, May 7 from 9-11am for incoming 2021-2022 kindergarten students. This special day is for the students only (no parents/guardians) and is held in their respective kindergarten classrooms. It’s a great opportunity for your child to meet and interact with their new classmates, get to know the teachers, see the school, and participate in some school day activities to get them acclimated for the fall semester.

In addition, PCES-St. Bron’s is also hosting a parent meeting on Thursday, May 6 from 5-7pm in the PCES-St. Bron’s Library. This meeting is for parents and guardians only (no students). Dr. Greg Kaster, PCES-St. Bron’s principal, will share background information on the school and Mrs. Julie Glodowski, kindergarten teacher, will share more about the kindergarten program and curriculum. You’ll also meet our school nurse who will share details on immunization requirements and other health topics. Registration forms will be available if needed. School tours are available following the meeting.

Parents with kindergarteners attending PCES-St. Steve’s for the 2021-2022 school year should stay tuned for more details on a parent meeting to be held in August.

Click below for more information.

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.