Aaron Hieptas, new high school religion teacher
By James Gross - Knight Writer
Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy
Aaron Hieptas, the new religion teacher, has begun his first year of teaching at the high school.
Not only is this Hieptas’ first year at Lourdes, but it is also his first year of teaching. He said he knew that he wanted to be a teacher since high school. After high school, Hieptas double-majored in philosophy and Catholic studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. He also completed a year of graduate study at Sacred Heart seminary on the outskirts of Milwaukee, WI.
Hieptas said he has had quite a few experiences that prepared him for teaching. Hietpas has taught a lot of summer camps and education clubs, but this is his first actual teaching job in a school.
Hieptas is currently teaching four classes: Theology 9, Catholic Church, Morality, and Social Justice. Next semester he said he will also teach a vocations class. Hieptas said his goals are to invite the students into a closer relationship with God because “that is how students grow: to make them be who God wants them to be.”
Hieptas said he enjoys many aspects of Lourdes including the community and the friendly environment. “I love the community, getting to know the students, getting to know the teachers, and it really feels like a family. I really want the best for my students, and I want to help them grow and be the best they can be.”
One challenge that Hieptas admits to is the lesson planning and all of the “red tape” that comes with a new job and experience. However, according to Hieptas, the process has all been “wonderful” and he loves every second.
Hieptas said he originally applied for the open middle school religion position. When principal Dave Mikesell saw Hieptas’ application, however, he emailed him and told Hietpas that the high school position was open as well. Hieptas said he then changed his application to the high school religion position. When Hieptas came in for the interview he said, “I went in for the interview, and Mr. Mikesell showed up in khaki shorts and a shirt. I was in a suit and felt a little awkward, but it all worked out.”
Theology teacher Abby Mikesell is Hieptas mentor for the year. She said that as a mentor, she feels her role is more of a collaborative role. "We get to imagine how to better the department together.”
Abby said she also helps to answer Hieptas’ logistical questions such as how to put in grades. “I think he is doing great, and building good relationships with the students,” Mikesell said.
Junior Riley Studinski said that he really likes taking Hieptas’ Morality class because “it is a fun class with a fun environment.” Studinski said he has learned many new concepts in Morality including that “the goal of morality is happiness.”
Aaron Hieptas: the new high school religion teacher.
New face in business department
By Noah Ralofsky - Knight Writer
Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy
New business teacher Linda Schlag has started her first year at Lourdes this 2019-2020 school year.
After working in several different fields, Schlag said she accepted the business teacher position at Lourdes. After seeing the job posting online, Schlag said she applied for the job because she was brought up in a Catholic setting, and Lourdes aligns with her Catholic values.
Schlag said she earned her bachelor’s and master's degrees from UW-Green Bay and her teaching certification from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Before coming to Lourdes, Schlag said she worked in recruiting, the insurance industry, and taught business classes at Northland International Boarding School.
Schlag said she likes her new teaching position so far, and she feels as if she has assimilated into the school well. Schlag said her favorite part of her job is when the students can apply what they learn to real-life and when they show her that they are retaining and learning the information.
Schlag said doing activities with her classes is the best part about teaching because she can see her students get more excited about a topic and get more out of the lesson as opposed to simply listening to a lecture.
E-Commerce/Entrepreneurship is Schlag’s favorite class to teach because she loves the business aspect of the curriculum, Schlag said. Junior Will Frank is currently taking Schlag’s E-Commerce/Entrepreneurship class. Frank said he likes her class because he can create his own business and control all of the aspects that go into it.
“My teaching philosophy is to help students rise to their full potential,” Schlag said. In addition, she says she loves to help form her students into the best versions of themselves.
Linda Kaelin celebrates 21 years of teaching at Lourdes
By Annie Schraa - Knight Writer
Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy
Teacher Linda Kaelin has been a part of the Lourdes Academy family since 1999. Throughout the years, Kaelin has taught German courses, English courses, world history courses, and a communications course. Kaelin’s favorite courses to teach, however, are her German courses.
Kaelin said she grew up listening to her grandma speak German which sparked her interest in the language. In college, Kaelin majored in English and was required to take a foreign language class. She studied German on the side to help better understand the language spoken in her home. Kaelin said she found that she enjoyed the German language and ended up receiving a double major in both English and German. Kaelin also studied abroad in Germany for six weeks to enhance her speaking skills, she said.
Even with all of her experience in English and German, Kaelin admitted that her first year of teaching was difficult for her. “I knew the information that I had to teach, but I didn’t have any methods or training, so I had to learn the hard way,” Kaelin said. Evidently, learning the hard way made Kaelin a teacher with strong attributes that have lasted her 21 years in the teaching field.
The growing use of technology has urged Kaelin to change her teaching techniques throughout the years. When she first started teaching at Lourdes, Kaelin said she never used technology to keep records or grades for each student, and it was rare to see a student with a cell phone. “Now it’s unusual to find a student without a cell phone on them,” Kaelin explained. She feels as though with the growing technology, students do not have to think as hard or put as much effort into learning because the internet does it for them.
Even with this rise of technological use, Kaelin still believes that the students she teaches now are more concerned about their futures after high school than those students she taught when she first started at Lourdes. Kaelin feels that the current students have higher expectations and stricter guidelines with their grades which better prepares them for life after high school.
Kaelin said her favorite part about teaching at Lourdes is the fact that she knows every teacher and student. Knowing her students helps her teach each student more effectively based on their academic needs, she said. Kaelin also said she enjoys the camaraderie between the teachers at Lourdes. “I don’t feel like the teachers compete with each other; we try to better each other as teachers and strengthen each other spiritually,” Kaelin explained.
Kaelin celebrates 21 years of teaching at Lourdes.
Broadway actor steps off stage to visit Lourdes students
Regan Kraus - Student Journalist
Lourdes Academy - Knight Writer
On Sept. 26, Lourdes Academy students and faculty got front row seats to a behind-the-scenes chat with both a Broadway Phantom of the Opera producer and actor.
Ciarán Sheehan, a Broadway actor who played the lead role of the phantom in the musical The Phantom of the Opera, talked about how his passion for theater never dissipated. “It’s fun, you know? There’s a reason they call it a play,” Sheehan said. Even though he has a very busy schedule performing eight shows a week, Sheehan still has the “spark.”
As a practicing Catholic, Sheehan bases some of his career off his faith. “The Judeo-Christian foundation of our society really influences how I approach situations, people, and characters,” Sheehan said. Even in the public eye, Sheehan is not afraid to show his love for Jesus and portray his Christian values through his roles.
Although he loves his career, Sheehan said the most difficult part of it is being away from his family. “It’s difficult in terms of logistics, knowing who’s going where, but now that my kids are all out of the house, I only have to deal with missing them.” Performing eight shows a week, Sheehan has a hard time seeing his family sometimes, but he makes sure to call and visit them often, he said.
Senior Rosa Natalia Melendez, a madrigal and musical actress and singer, enjoyed listening about the behind the scenes life of Sheehan. “I liked learning about what it took to act as one of the hardest roles in musical theater,” Melendez said.
Lourdes band director Michelle Sorenson played a large role in arranging Sheenhan’s visit to Lourdes. In addition, Sorenson procured tickets to Sheehan’s performance of The Four Phantoms, the show that brought him to Oshkosh to perform at The Grand. Sorenson said a generous Grand Opera House sponsor paid for tickets to be given out to Lourdes students and staff during Sheehan’s visit.
German and English teacher Linda Kaelin was interested in seeing the show with her daughter and was happy to receive two free tickets. “He was the best phantom I’ve ever seen; I thought his singing was fantastic,” Kaelin said.
Sheehan not only shared his talents with the community but inspired the students as well.
Phantom of the Opera actor Ciarán Sheehan talked to Lourdes students about his career as a Broadway actor.
Teacher's Pet - Cathleen Probst
By Grace Syson - Knight Writer
Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy
Some teachers have a pet that will never leave their side: a pet that is with them through everything. For history teacher Cathleen Probst, her dog Lambeau is her best friend. He is a lab cur mix who is eight months old and a ball of energy.
Probst has owned her puppy since April 28, and said she adopted Lambeau because “...it was time. We have two and a half acres, and I believe dogs belong outside running, playing, and having fun, and we have a lot of room.” Probst said she named her dog Lambeau because “...the Packers are a big deal here and I’m a big fan.”
Fitting his name, Lambeau’s favorite toy is anything that resembles a ball especially footballs. Probst describes Lambeau's personality as "psycho, but a good psycho." She said, “He’s eight months old, and he doesn’t lie down. He doesn’t rest; he’s in a constant state of motion.”
Probst said Lambeau is an energetic puppy who loves to run after the geese that fly around her house, and his favorite treat is any type of meat. Lambeau hates night time and going to bed.
Probst said a funny quirk that Lambeau has is “when he looks at you when you’re talking to him; he cocks his head as if he understands you. It just cracks us up.”
Lambeau during his least favorite time of day: bed time.
Probst and Lambeau spending quality time together.