Academic Olympics At St Rose Of Lima School [Newtown Bee]

February 10, 2015

Article as it appeared in the Newtown Bee

By Eliza Hallabeck
Monday, February 9, 2015 at 9:52 am

St Rose of Lima School Principal Sister Colleen Therese Smith opened the Academic Olympics event at her school on Friday, January 30.

Behind her students stood in groups of five to face off in an event that would challenge them with questions on science, social studies, math, religion, and language arts. The groups were arranged by grade level.

Sister Colleen said the event was the first of its kind at the school, and she said she hoped it will not be the last.

State Senator Tony Hwang visited the school that the day and asked the students questions during a number of the Academic Olympic rounds. Monsignor Robert Weiss and Sister Colleen also posed questions during the event.

Questions included, “What is energy?” “What is the top of a wave called?” “Name the seven continents,” and “Name the young man who faced the giant Goliath with only a stone and a slingshot.”

When Sen Hwang said the words “young man” when reading a question, staff took it as a cue. “YMCA” by the Village People began to play, and teachers and school leadership began dancing, leading the students to stand up and dance along in place as well. Msgr Weiss and Sister Colleen danced at the front of the assembly, and the students on stage for the Academic Olympics also began to dance in place.

After the song was over, the Academic Olympics resumed.

Students were selected randomly to participate in the event, and the questions were gathered from teachers. Each round the student groups were asked five questions, and teams received one point for each correct answer.

Top scoring teams were named for both the intermediate level grades and for the middle school level grades.

After the judges totaled up all of the questions and responses, the fourth and sixth grades were named as the top winning groups in the Academic Olympics.

“I was honored to have been invited by St. Rose School to visit with students and teachers and to participate in the Academic Olympics,” Sen Hwang said in a statement following the event. “I was so impressed with the celebration of learning and the sense of joy among all in attendance. It’s truly a pleasure to celebrate our community, our children, and their educational successes through events like this.”

The Academic Olympics was one of many celebrations at the school during National Catholic Schools Week. Other celebrations included a St Rose Spirit day, with students dressing in school colors and bringing in canned food to donate to FAITH Food Pantry; a Faculty Appreciation Day, for which students could donate $1 for the Morning Glory Breakfast Program at the Dorothy Day House in Danbury to dress down for the day and wear their teacher’s favorite color; a crazy hat day; and a Parent/Pastor Appreciation Day.