Community Corner: June e-Newsletter

Around town this weekend? Be sure to head to Riverfront Rendezvous July 2-4 featuring live music, horseshoe tournament, lumberjack shows, Carp Classic fishing competition, and fireworks from a barge in the river on Sunday at dusk!

It’s back – the 49th Annual Iola Car Show, themed The ’70s Show-Rerun, is set to take place July 8-10. Check out the event catalog here.

Mark your calendars for July 15, the inaugural celebration of “715 Day” throughout the greater Stevens Point area.

Reach for the stars, or maybe, just check them out in the sky. The UWSP Allen F. Blocher Planetarium is back open offering eight shows a week with limited seating. 

Looking for a new spot to take the kids this summer? Check out the new playground at Bukolt Park!

Save the date for Saturday, July 31 and make plans to head to Celebrate Plover. The free event includes craft vendors, free youth activities, fire department water fights, food and beverages, volleyball tournament, live music and performances, and an awesome fireworks show to end the night!

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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,, 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

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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

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, 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

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.

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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.

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Gregg Hansel Retirement Party Open House

Gregg Hansel Open House Retirement Party InviteSchool’s Out Forever!!!

You’re Invited to an Open House Retirement Party Honoring
Mr. Gregg Hansel
For His 36 Years of Service to Pacelli Catholic Schools

Saturday, September 12 | 12-3PM
Pacelli Catholic High School
Tent on Front Lawn (Maria Drive)

Your Assignment
Come to celebrate with Mr. Hansel! All are welcome (kids, too!).
No gifts please.

>> Click here to download a copy of the invitation.

Congratulations Gregg Hansel

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

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 to include in the new Community Corner section of our e-newsletter and website.

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