Cardinal Appeal: Students outside SLS with St. Louis Statue

Cardinal Post October 2017

Letter From
the Principal

Dear St. Louis Friends and Families,

Mother Theresa of Calcutta once said “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” St. Louis Faculty members teach our students daily that God has blessed all of us with special gifts and talents; and, when we all work together in mission, great things can happen! St. Louis’ key to being such a wonderful school is that students, faculty, staff, parents, and volunteers all have different gifts and talents that they put to use each day. Everyone is so willing to lend their time, talent and treasure to make our school and Parish welcoming, Jesus centered, and academically excellent.

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis System of Schools will be going through reaccreditation next year. As part of the ongoing continuous improvement process, schools in the system take a look at our diocesan, parish, and school mission and belief statements, academic data, parent, teacher and student survey data, and our five year strategic plan to make sure that we are continuously making each school year better than the last. Each school submits their plans to the diocese and that data is used in the diocesan action plan for the next five years. Mrs. Shaw and I serve on the committee that leads this process for our diocese and we take that role very seriously. She and I both have seen what a strong Catholic education can do to affect our children’s future first hand, both with our own grown daughters and sons and the many graduates that we were blessed to know over the years. Currently, as a faculty, we are beginning to plan for the next five years. We have been working on clarifying our mission statement and beliefs in concert with the diocese. We have asked for input from our new Pastor, Fr. Jolly as well as our advisory

school board who has been so generous with their time and expertise.

One major component of our five year strategic plan here at St. Louis Catholic School is to strive to incorporate more STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) across the curriculum. A group from our faculty leadership team, Mrs. Shaw and I traveled to MTSU to an AdvancEd Conference this past week. One of the speakers at the conference asked, “What makes your school unique, especially when it comes to STEM education?” Without hesitation we were able to share that being a Catholic School, we are able to approach STEM not only from a problem solving and analytical point of view, but also we have our Catholic moral compass that guides us through our solutions as we look at real world problems. It is not just cold, hard, facts and mathematical calculations that drive our problem solving abilities, but we also have the blessing of discussing, “What would Jesus call us to do?” based on Catholic social teachings, biblical scripture, and the Catechism that we cherish so deeply.

As we move forward in our continuous improvement journey we will be sending new surveys and inventories out to our families and community. We welcome all of you to be a part of the process. As we look at clarifying and updating our mission and educational beliefs we will send out the information in our Wednesday Wire for all of our community members to share your thoughts. As always, you never have to wait until a survey is sent out to share any ideas you might have on ways we can be continuously improving the school. You are always welcome to email, stop by the office, or give us a call.

As Mother Theresa of Calcutta states so eloquently, “ … together we can do great things.” I thank you all so much for being with us on this great journey. We truly are a family and community of great faith.

Peace and Blessings,

–Mrs. Teddi Niedzwiedz, Principal

Important Dates

Oct. 27
Parent/ Teacher conferences
(no school)

Oct. 29
Open House @ 1pm
Trunk or Treat @2pm

Nov. 1
All Saints Day (no school)

Nov. 6
Winter Uniforms

Nov. 8
Crazy for our Country Day

Nov. 10
Veteran’s Day Mass & Program

Nov. 13
Homeroom Pictures
(wear uniforms)

Nov. 17
Spelling Bee @ 9:15am

Nov. 20 - 24
Thanksgiving Break
(no school)

Dec. 1
Cardinal Christmas Game

Dec. 2
First Penance @ 10am

Dec. 8
Feast of the Assumption
(no school)

Dec. 14
Drama & Orchestra performance

Dec. 19
end of the 2nd quarter

Jan. 4
classes resume

Solar Eclipse

Students in grades 3-8 got to view the solar eclipse together on the football field on August 21 at approximately 1pm. As we listened to Here Comes the Sun over the loud speakers (thanks to Mr. Walker and his eclipse sound track), the clouds parted long enough for us to catch a glimpse of one of the most amazing sights we have ever seen. Fr. Ruben led us in a prayer for peace and unity in our world. Younger students watched the eclipse in the DLC and made some eclipse artwork in Mrs. Durden’s class.

Cardinal Crops

Our Cardinal Crops committee had a great planning meeting. Under the direction of Mr. Eric Wildman, the committee made a plan for the year which Mrs. Niedzwiedz shared with our teachers. Each grade has been assigned a bed to plant and maintain throughout the school year. We are excited to see (and even taste) what they grow. Thanks to all who are helping in this effort. The kids have really enjoyed the hands-on learning experience of working in the garden.


Home & School Updates

The first Home & School meeting was attended by over 70 parents! Dedicated parents are what make our community so amazing and so unique. H&S officers shared news about the year’s events and recruited volunteers. If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can still sign up to help. Simply email the president of H&S, Benolyn Craig, at to get involved. She has opportunities for those who work in and out of the home. Benolyn Craig’s goal this year is to have 100% parent participation. The next meeting is on October 24 at 6:30pm.

Makerspace Update

As you may have heard, we converted our computer lab into a Maker Space over the summer! Students have enjoyed using the space during STEM labs and for robotics club meetings. Teachers can also use the space for projects that are too big and/or too messy for the classroom. Be sure to check out this amazing space during our Open House!

Counselor Corner

The role of a School Counselor is to work with students and parents to help guide students' academic, behavioral and social growth. We are so lucky that our counselors, Mrs. Ragghianti (5th-8th grade) and Mrs. Mitchell (PK– 4th grade), work hard every day to fulfill their roles here at SLS. Mrs. Mitchell has spent the first 9 weeks of school focusing on kindness. Mrs. Ragghianti is focusing on organization and study habits. Both of these dedicated women also sponsor Student Council and help the officers plan activities in which the whole school can participate. For example, they will host a C.O.P. stop in October. Community protectors will be invited to eat lunch with students. Students will make cards and artwork for our visitors. Look for information in the Wednesday Wire so that you can invite family members that serve our community to join us!

Noteworthy Moments:

Duke TIP

Congratulations to these 7th grade students, who qualified for the Duke TIP’s 7th Grade Talent Search! These students scored in the 95th percentile or higher on their 6th grade standardized tests: Abby Pyrdom, Hana Roberts, Ward Simmons, Kaitlin Smith, Mia Soefker, Walker Steinriede, Anna Kate Wade, Ava Wendt, Ava Witmer, Audrey Zweig, Connor Stevens, Andre Valdes, Zach Davenport, Constantine Skouteris, Will Brownlee, Nicolai Buchignani, Savannah Cook, Lindsey Crossnine, Jacob Goughnour, Anne Grimes, & Alex Johnston

Student Council Elections

Student Council held elections for the 2017-18 school year on August 31st. The candidates campaigned for two weeks and gave their speeches in the gymnasium on election day. Students in grades 5-8 voted and the officers were announced that afternoon. Congratulations to: Caroline Baker (President), Mauricio Rentas (Vice President), Mary Grimes (Secretary), John Michael Posey (Treasurer), Caroline Dorian (Sergeant at Arms), and Mia Soefker (Chaplain), our 2017-18 officers!! We are proud of all who ran!!

SLS Cross Country

Our cross country team is having an amazing season! On September 27th, they won the Shelby 7/8 championship for the first time in SLS history! Ethan Soefker placed 1st and Alex Grusin placed 2nd. We are so proud of our team, our coaches, and all of the hard work that led to this victory! We look forward to seeing how far they go this year. This program, led by Coach Kelley Grusin and his assistant coaches, is open to students in grades 3-8.

SLS Chess Club

Chess Club is a new addition to our list of extracurricular activities this year. We have over 20 members who meet each week to learn about the game. Each 12 week session costs $125. Look for information about future sessions in the Wednesday Wire.

Room Parent Rally

Room Parent Coordinator, Natalie Cummings, held Home & School’s 2017 Room Parent Rally in the Clunan Center on August 30. Room parents met with teachers to plan for the year. We appreciate all the parents who volunteer, especially those who take on leadership roles. Be sure to read and respond to emails from your room parents to stay informed throughout the year!

Our Veteran’s Day Mass & program are on 11/10 at 8:15am.
Please join us for this special event!



This year we have started a new tradition. We will have a children’s Mass on the second Sunday of every month. Now, parents can see what happens at daily Mass every week when the students celebrate Mass with their classmates. The children’s choir will sing and students will proclaim the Word of God, present the gifts, and work as hospitality ministers. The first children’s Mass was beautiful. We are so excited for this opportunity for our children to learn the important roles of the laity at Mass on Sundays!


Parish Picnic

Each year, we celebrate the Feast of St. Louis with a parish picnic. This year, the event was held after noon Mass on September 24. The Men’s Club grilled burgers, hot dogs, and bbq chicken, the Home & School Association sponsored a cake walk, and parishioners provided prizes for Bingo! In addition to the train ride, there was a petting zoo for children to enjoy this year. Balloon animals, face painting, and a water balloon fight with Fr. Ruben made the afternoon memorable for all who attended. We are so grateful to be part of such a wonderful parish. Thanks to all who participated!!

Lunch with our
Priests and Deacons

Another reason we love being a parish school is that we get to see our priests and deacons outside of Sunday Mass. Fr. Jolly, Fr. Ruben, Fr. Burke, and Deacon Mike have already come to visit the students at lunch and in the classrooms on multiple occasions already this year. We are grateful that our children get to visit with the leaders of our flock on a regular basis. We hope you are all joining us in praying the Memorare every day for the priests of St. Louis Catholic Church!!

2nd Quarter Honor Roll

Highest Honors

4th Grade: Andrew Brimm, Maria Brown, Emma Caesar, Elliott Cary, Hollis Coleman, Andrew Denegri, William Fruechtenicht, Emma Goughnour, Henry Hyle, Mia Ralph, Evelyn Rehrig, Madilyn Sutherland, Michael Taylor, Riley Tull, Drew Van Epps, Lilliana Vescovo

5th Grade: Garrett Brown, Nate Brownlee, Griffin Bryant, Jack Candiotto, Luke Cestaro, Joey Drouillard, Julia Elbelhar, Will Edwards, Emma Grusin, Caroline Hubbard, Vincent Kouch, Madeline Marcantel, Jack McBee, Madeline Mitchell, Abby Price, Claire Rains, Matthew Richardson, Reed Shupe, Josh Tancrell, Alexander Taras, Ava Thomas, Grove Thompson, John Zweig

6th Grade: Emma Berry, Grady Booth, Cullen Brummer, Hill Canale, Thomas Casatt, Caroline Gibert, John Goodwin, Campbell Gossett, Sofie Herbstrith, Stephen Hudson, Mark Koch, Christian Novarese, Abby Wood

7th Grade: Will Brownlee, Lindsey Crossnine, Abby Pyrdom, Kaitlyn Smith, Andre Valdes, Anna Kate Wade, Audrey Zweig

8th Grade: Caroline Baker, Fontana Cary, Alex Grusin, Michael Ross, Madeline Tonole, Jacob Wildman


4th Grade: Ellie Bender, Iris Bird, Will Brick, Eme Donaldson, Claire Fagan, Anna Fox, Abby Griffith, Alice Cate Hauser, Harrison Herbstrith, Rich Hudman, Wilson Jamison, Corbin Kirkland, Hallie McBride, Juliana Meadows-Jackson, Alex Perrone, Matthew Price, Briley Quarles, Alice Rehrig, Raul Sanchez, Ethan Wildman

5th Grade: Mallory Adair, Bryce Beyer, George Booth, Macie Carr, Caroline Cassatt, Ella Colvett, Sam Fitschen, Thomas Hayden, Reed Johnston, Chloe Jones, Emmitt Kraus, Susanna Lyons, Lilly Martin, Mary Ann Pesce, Audrey Simmons, Beckett Sudbury, Ford Sweeney, C.J. Weaver, Alex Wendt, Jack Young

6th Grade: Lulu Baker, Matthew Botto, Elizabeth Chism, Piper Cochran, Ayden Coon, Chase Evangelisti, Ivy Gates, Griffin Herring, Peter Hossenlopp, Cash Johnson, Harrison Kane, Lila Outlan, Om Patel, Will Perrone, Nicholas Pesce, Hunter Reeb, Claire Ross, Henry Sasse, Robert Senter, Elizabeth Soefker, Wilson Webster, Peter Wilson

7th Grade: Nicolai Buchignani, Zach Davenport, Madeline Duffee, Anne Grimes, Mary Grimes, Lindi Hathaway, Alex Johnston, William Moore, Alaina Pierotti, Mauricio Rentas, Hana Roberts, Ward Simmons, Katie Skinner, Mia Soefker, Connor Stevens, Ava Wendt, Luke Wendt, Cooper Williams, Ben Wills, Ava Witmer

8th Grade: Auden Brummer, Anna Grace Cervetti, Grace Cestaro, Anthony Cestaro, Hadley Donaldson, Caroline Dorian, John Drouillard, Jane Fracchia, William Gossett, Jake Herbison, Rob Hubbard, Katie Lamm, Kendyl Lockhart, Michael Novarese, Jameson Pugh, Ethan Soefker, Sophie Spencer, Ginny Tavoleti, Hudson Tollison