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Summer Update from the Island

July 3, 2012

Dear DeLaSalle Families,

As we join you in celebrating our nation’s many blessings this July 4, it’s hard to believe we’ve reached the halfway point in the annual transition from one school year to the next. Just six weeks ago we were celebrating the shared gifts and future goals of the Class of 2012 at their Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies. Less than six weeks from today, we will welcome at least half of our students, including many of our newest Islanders in the Class of 2016, for the start of fall athletic practices on Monday, August 13.

Our 113th year on Nicollet Island is dawning and we look ahead eagerly. We pray each day that you find these summer months allow you to refresh yourself ahead of our next school year. We are busy preparing programs (and our facilities) not only for fall athletics but certainly for the first full day of classes for all students on Monday, August 27. Your family has a role in that preparation, and we thank you for responding soon...

Islander Net Community Orientation is Required - Please respond soon

All families are required to register and attend an Islander Net Community orientation session before the school year starts. There are 10 sessions available for you to choose from and you can find registration information here. These orientations will provide an overview of the upcoming school year, ensure that you have turned in all forms required by the school and by other organizations, and allow us to distribute iPads to students.

Key 2012-2013 School Year Dates

You can always find the latest school calendar information on our Website.

New Leadership

As you know from earlier communications, I am honored that the Board of Trustees has appointed me as DeLaSalle’s next President. All of us at De share in my good fortune to be surrounded by a talented and experienced group of administrators who have kept us moving forward throughout the past year. In turn, I am pleased to announce that Mr. James Benson has accepted my offer to become Principal. A native of New York City, where he was both a teacher and administrator in Catholic schools, Mr. Benson moved to Minnesota in 2005 and began teaching English at De. He has spent the last four years at De as Vice Principal for Academic and Student Life. Mr. Benson is a capable leader and I am happy to work with him in his new role.

2012-2013 Enrollment

We are confident that we will begin the 2012-13 school year with our largest overall enrollment in 40 years, somewhere between 670-685 students. As such, we are hiring several new staff members to meet the needs of a growing school Thank you for your many kind referrals to friends and family members. At this time, we are still accepting applications and could yet place a limited number of students for the coming year.

Science Lab Renovation

We are on schedule to complete the renovation of the science wing on the third floor of the B building by the time school starts. Once completed, we will have new classrooms and labs for use by the science and social studies departments.

Honor Roll

Let me be the first to congratulate those students whose hard work in the classroom has earned them a place on the spring semester honor roll or high honor roll. Students are named to the honor roll if they earn a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and a place on the high honor roll if they have a grade point average of 3.8 or higher. You can find the full honor roll on “The Source.”

A Busy June -- Kudos to Those who Serve and to National History Day participants

The Island has been buzzing with activity throughout June. Forty-one students and their chaperones traveled to New Orleans for the third annual service trip, continuing the effort to rebuild houses through the Habitat for Humanity program. Other students have been preparing for academic travel to Brazil through the Social Studies department. Several more have been at school for driver’s education and summer Health classes, athletic workouts, and work-service programs. We’ve been joined by dozens of area grade school students who have participated in “Camp Islander” summer camps in drama and athletics. We continue into July with football camp and also baseball, cheer and volleyball camps this month. You can learn more about Camp Islander online.

Congratulations to five students from the Class of 2013 who earned national recognition recently for their History Day projects. Neal Billig, Bridget Farrell, Morgan Lieske, Ana Schaff and Joe Vitt earned top honors at the state level this spring for their work and joined Mr Martin Marrin ‘77 in Washington, D.C., last month for the national competition. Schaff earned third place at the national level in the Senior Individual Web site category for for her project “The Freedom Rides of 1961.” Billig, Farrell, Lieske and Vitt took twelfth place at the national level in the Senior Group Web site category for their project “Armenian Genocide: The Extermination of a Race.” In addition to the History Day contest, the DeLaSalle delegation met with Minnesota’s two U.S. Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and toured the White House with the help of Ramone Penny ‘02, who now works for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Summer Christian Service Opportunities

There are many opportunities for students to remain active in the school and greater community over the summer. You can find the latest service opportunities available through “The Source.”

If you Receive Need-Based Financial Aid, Please Sign Up for Student Work Service

We remind families that each student who receives financial aid from DeLaSalle is required to complete ten hours of work-service at the school between June 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013. DeLaSalle is pleased to continue our 113-year legacy and assist approximately half of our students who can only afford to pay a reduced charged tuition. We are likewise grateful to the hundred of donors, mostly alumni of the school, who help today’s students with their gifts to the financial aid program. Ten hours is not a huge time commitment, and it is an important symbol that all of us, including students, should give back when someone steps forward to help us. Work-service hours may be completed during the summer or during the school year, and all financial aid recipients must participate. While several students have already scheduled (and even completed) the ten hours of work-service requirement, we have yet to hear from many families. Please contact our Director of Facilities Sean McMenomy if you have not yet scheduled your required hours.

2012-2013 School Theme

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
Every year we choose from Scripture a theme for the school year that guides us in all we do – from learning in the classroom to participating in all school activities to serving our greater community. This year’s theme draws upon our Catholic and Lasallian traditions in helping us recognize the influence and the hope that comes from a greater power in our lives.

Summer Mass Schedule

We are pleased to offer Mass over the summer for those students, families, staff and alumni who want to embrace and enhance their Catholic faith. Please join school chaplain, Fr. Patrick Barnes, in the Chapel of the Brothers' Residence as he celebrates Mass at 11am on the following Tuesdays: July 17, 24, 31 and August 14. For more information, contact Peg Hodapp.

The Christian Brothers' Gala

Plans are coming together for the next Christian Brothers´ Gala Saturday, October 13, 2012 from 5:30 - 10:30pm. Both student and adult volunteers are needed to help with the event. Student volunteer positions fill quickly and all opportunities are first come, first serve. Adult volunteers are needed to help bring The Gala to life! For more information about volunteering and how to sign up, visit the Gala website.

We are also accepting donations for the Live and Silent Auctions. Please consider donating an item to the Gala. You may contact Gerilyn Hommerding for more information.

We will be in touch again within a couple of weeks with additional back-to-school information, including forms you are required to have on file with us, that will help make for a smooth transition to the 2012-2013 school year.

In the meantime, please know that our school is open during July (though many staff do take vacations during this time). Feel free to contact us with any questions. We look forward to welcoming you back to a new school year soon.


Barry Lieske, AFSC
DeLaSalle High School



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