Alumna’s Leadership Key to Orchestra’s Success

Alumna Bronwyn Early ('09) and the RHS Orchestra. (Photo by Barry Wong.)


Villa Academy alumna Bronwyn Early (’09) and the Roosevelt High School Orchestra took top honors at the 40th Annual Northwest Orchestra Festival hosted by Mount Hood Community College. As concertmistress, Bronwyn was praised for her “key leadership” and “outstanding” performance. Bronwyn was also part of the quintet that took top honors in the small ensemble category. Congratulations, Bronwyn!

Villa Alumni Shine at Seattle Prep

Seattle Prep recently presented forty-six Villa Academy alumni with academic honors. There were 13 former Villa students on the President’s List (GPA>=3.85), 17 on the Dean’s List (GPA>=3.55), and 16 on the Honor Roll (GPA>=3.0).

Villa Academy alumni included on the President’s List are seniors Lauren Matthews, Julien Brundrett, and Julia Anderson, junior Maddie Burnett, Jenay McAuley, and Emma Johnson, sophomores Veronica Hartling, Olivia Pingul, Mackie Graaf, and Jack Stewart, and freshmen Sarah Hampson, Jesse Lewis, and Bailey Aggen.

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A Safety Reminder

As the days (hopefully) get sunnier, many children enjoy playing on the lower playground near the NE exit after school.  We’ve had many reports of kids crossing the NE exit road unsupervised to play in the grassy orchard.  As traffic is heavy during pickup time, please be especially attentive to your kids, and remind them to stay in the playground area.

Destination Imagination Teams Excel at Regionals

Villa Academy’s 5th grade Destination Imagination (D.I.) team recently qualified for the Washington State championship after taking second place at regionals. They also received the prestigious Da Vinci Award for the most outstanding creative solution to the D.I. challenge, while Villa’s 6th grade D.I. team was presented with the Spirit Award. These were two of three special awards for which all 78 teams participating, ranging in age from elementary to high school, were eligible – quite an impressive showing for Villa Academy!

Villa's 5th grade D.I. Team: Minola D., Jonah C., Mia L., and Cami H.

Destination Imagination is a global competition in which student teams solve open-ended science or engineering based Challenges and present their solutions in performances at tournaments. The 5th grade D.I. team was challenged to create a structure from a list of 18 potential materials (cork, straws, corrugate cardboard, monofilament line, aluminum foil, etc.) that could withstand 300+ pounds of crushing pressure and torque forces. Following months of experimenting and refining ideas, the kids presented their solution in an 8-minute creative and structural performance that parodied the Cat in the Hat, written completely in rhyme. Learning through this creative process is what draws kids to D.I. “You think of things in a new way, use your imagination and come up with crazy ideas,” said team member Cami H.

The 5th grade team will cut short their spring break and travel to Wenatchee on April 6 for the state tournament.  Good luck to our 5th graders and congratulations to both teams for their outstanding performances at regionals!

Simple Lenten Meal Wednesday, March 13

During Lent we focus on prayer, personal sacrifice and service to others. Our simple meal will draw the students’ attention to those less fortunate among us. View the March menu for details of what will be included in the meal. WE hope many of you will plan to have your child participate. One dollar for each meal purchased will be donated to Catholic Relief Services, Operation Rice Bowl. Click here for details about Operation Rice Bowl. Students will be served only once; there will be  no second helpings served on Wednesday, in keeping with our theme.  We will begin each meal in the lunchroom with a special prayer.

Second Graders on “Safari to Kenya”

Fr. Okumu shares his shuka with Mrs. Purn's second grade class.

Villa Academy second graders recently began their Safari to Kenya, a four week, activity-based unit in which students role-play as photographers invited to travel to Kenya’s Maasai Mara Wildlife Preserve. Throughout their safari, students will participate in various activities tied to lessons about the physical environment of Kenya and the Maasai people and culture. For example, students are tasked with packing their suitcases with appropriate clothing and equipment, requiring them to research the climate in Kenya.

Their studies came to life when students received a special visit by St. Bridget pastor and native Kenyan, Fr. Stephen Okumu. He brought many items to share with the kids including the Kenyan flag, the national team soccer jersey, and his own shuka, a distinctive Maasai garment. Fr. Okumu told many personal stories about life in Kenya – a favorite of the kids being his encounter with a leopard!

Students from Gede Angels Primary School send their thanks to Villa Academy.

In addition, the Safari unit includes a service element where the students raise money for Gede Angels Primary, a newer school on the east coast of Africa.  Monies raised have built a classroom and lavatory, and have also provided for desks, chairs and other school supplies.

Empowered to take charge of their own learning, the Safari to Kenya unit is embraced by students and remains a hallmark of the second grade at Villa Academy.

Villa Alumni Recognized for Academic Excellence

Thirteen Villa Academy alumni were recently recognized for their academic excellence at Bishop Blanchet High School.  Blanchet students earn academic honors at the end of each semester based on their grade point average for all classes. First Honors recognizes a 3.7 – 4.0 G.P.A. and Second Honors recognizes a 3.3 – 3.699 G.P.A.

Villa Academy alumni receiving First Honors include Erica Blume (10th grade), Anna Clarkson (12th grade), Julie Henling (12th grade), Molly Henling (9th grade), Shelly Henling (10th grade), Alexander Piedra (10th grade), Isabel Piedra (10th grade), and William Whitfield (10th grade).

Villa Academy alumni receiving Second Honors include Erik Johnson (10th grade), Jefferson Lee (11th grade), Nicolina Rutkowski (10th grade), Jack Shephard (9th grade), and Jeremy Tanaka (10th grade).

“The accomplishments of your graduates reaffirm the fine educational preparation and instruction that you have provided them,” said Blanchet President Antonio DeSapio.