118 MRA Students Receive 3rd Quarter Academic Honors

Mount Royal Academy has announced academic awards for the 3rd Quarter of the 2015-2016 school year. 21 students earned a position on the Headmaster’s List with a 4.0 average for the 3rd quarter.

More than 55% of the student body attained Honor Roll recognition; placing on the Headmaster’s List, the High Honors List (no more than one B), or the Honors List (no more than one C). In total, 118 students received Academic Honors.

Grade 1

Headmaster’s List: Mary Walsh

High Honors: Emily Beturne, Lucy Fryckowska, Nicholas Lavertue, Finn McColgan, Lindsey Smrkovski

Honors: Jackson Barns, Maia Dow, Hope Goyette, Benjamin Harman, Brody Jeanson, Rachael Tuck

Grade 2

Headmaster’s List: Caitlin Richardson

High Honors: Francis Fryckowski

Honors: Matthew Bissah, Clare Castor, Taylor Goodspeed, Edward Kanu, Leah LaMothe, Bella Wallace, Audrey Wenger

Grade 3

Headmaster’s List:  Luke Moorehouse

High Honors: Amelia Caravan

Honors:  Adalynn Beturne, Peyton Blackinton, Kaitlyn Costello, Claire Jackson, Nora Walsh

Grade 4

Headmaster’s List: Catherine Bellino, Lauren Dustin, Brennan Walsh

High Honors: Joshua Bissah, Sarah Cunningham, Spencer Cunningham, Max McColgan

Honors: James Akerman, Kyleigh Baker, Sean Beturne, Isabelle Correa, Peter Hogan, Nathan Kenyon, Terese Klucinec, Caleb Martin, Claire McMenaman, Katherine McMenaman, Padraig Mooney, Gabriel Ouellette, Felix Prieto, Emily Richardson, Abigail Sweet, Leo Wallace, Ellery Wheeler

 Grade 5

Headmaster’s List: Victoria Kenyon, Maryrose McLaughlin, Anya Moorehouse

High Honors: Nonah Dowsett

Honors:  Susan Kanu, John-Paul Martin, Lyndsey Patten, Julia Stout

Grade 6

Headmaster’s List:  Caleb North

Honors:  Anne Klucinec, Liam Ouellette

Grade 7

Headmaster’s List: Marius Edwards, Brendan Moorehouse, Emma Treece

Honors: Nicholas Hogan, Bridget Wallace

Grade 8

Headmaster’s List: Kateri Kalpakgian, Aidan Moorehouse, Andrew Normandin, Nicole Petrescu-Boboc

High Honors:  Mary Grace Klucinec, Curtis North

Honors: Luke Bocko, Madison Hemingway, John Klucinec, Anthony Mihaly, Tristan Ouellette, Antigoni Souliotis

Grade 9

Headmaster’s List:  Erin Diebold, Jacinta Hogan

Honors:  Hannah Fraioli, Nicholas Green, Zhiwei He, Ivy Horner-Richardson, Alexis Matte, Luke McMenaman, Alicja Nadolecka, Jaeda Rochford Hague, Rette Solomon

Grade 10

Headmaster’s List:  Aila Wenger

High Honors: Alexander Normandin

Honors: Kolbe Bocko, Isabella Kenyon, Joshua Griffin, Catherine Orlowski, Ezekiel Swenson

Grade 11

Headmaster’s List: Johanna Fitzgibbons, Bernadette Klucinec, Naomi Nelson

High Honors: Cooper McCrillis,Autumn Rose Prunier, Kealan Vasquez

Honors:  Hannah Everitt, Faith Lamontagne, Callan Rees, Ian Vasquez, Madison Vasquez

Grade 12

Headmaster’s List:  Matthew Caveney

High Honors: Miriam Caveney, Adrianna Kenyon

Honors: Anna Dahlberg

Mount Royal Academy is maintaining its surging enrollment with over 200 students currently enrolled for the academic year of 2015-2016. The school is in its 21st year of operation.

MRA Knights of Our Lady Basketball Program Elevating to Varsity Level

20151214_152237The iconic David and Goliath story provides an apt backdrop to a school that has remained largely unnoticed in the Lake Sunapee Region. Since 2010, there has been a determined effort to build a sustainable and competitive basketball program at Mount Royal Academy. Originally, there was only one boys’ basketball team, consisting of students in grades 7-12. Now, the basketball program is grateful and pleased to announce that the Knights of Our Lady will be competing at the varsity level in the NHIAA.

Since joining the NHIAA in 2012, the high school girls and boys competed against junior varsity teams. MRA is the smallest school in the NHIAA; back in 2012, there were barely 30 students. Now, there will be over 60 students in the high school, but the school still claims the title of least likely to be competitive due to size. But the size of the student population is by no means an accurate indicator of the courage or heart of the student-athletes.

The JV girls in fact won the 2016 Granite State Conference Junior Varsity tournament down at Pittsfield Middle High School. And the boys’ basketball program features a talented, young core of student-athletes.

“This is a big deal for our school. We know that it will not be easy, but going varsity is part of a larger plan to improve our mission. Young people need to learn how to practice virtue in the face of adversity, and competing at the varsity level will give our students another opportunity to rise towards a higher standard of excellence. We believe that if we keep first things first, and focus on the ultimate purpose of athletics – which is to form young people into adults with a moral compass – then our program will continue to be successful.” These were the reflections of Headmaster Derek Tremblay, who will coach the girls team next year.

Andrew Mihaly, the school’s Athletic Director, echoed the same thoughts: “I am extremely excited to help lead the community into a new level of competition. A varsity basketball program will allow our student-athletes to continue to strive toward excellence in both academics and sports. This is a big step for Mount Royal Academy; however, I am confident that our community will rise to the challenge.”

Parents are also very enthused about the future. John Normandin, a father of three boys already involved with the basketball program said, “This is an exciting step forward for the Mount Royal Academy athletic program.  We have watched the sports programs grow and improve every year.  Many of our kids have been in the basketball program for several years and being able to compete at the varsity level is a great opportunity for them.”

Student Spotlight: Lyndsey Patten 5th grade

Lyndsey PattenThe elementary grades of schooling should be a time of intense learning in all facets of life. A child’s intellect is focused on absorbing knowledge and skills in a myriad of disciplines.

Lyndsey Patten is currently a 5th grade student at Mount Royal Academy who embodies this truth. Her teacher, Mrs. Diebold, notes that Lyndsey works hard in class, never fails to complete her assignments and is especially good in math. Her academic diligence has won her a consistent spot on the quarterly honor roll lists.

Outside of school, Lyndsey pursues excellence in many ways. She has studied ballroom dancing since the age of 5 at the Newport Ballroom. She performs locally and has competed nationally in the Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Jive, Paso, Waltz, Tango, Fox Trot, and Quick Step. She plays soccer and softball competitively and even finds time to participate in theatre productions at the Newport Opera House.

When asked about her experience at Mount Royal, Lyndsey said, “I really enjoy learning in a place that allows you to talk about God and make friends with others who are willing to share their faith.” Her mother, Jody, also commented, “We recognized that Lyndsey would benefit from the structure and high expectations of excellence that Mount Royal has to offer. We expected that she would be academically challenged. Mount Royal not only has lived up to those expectations, but has surpassed them. What was an unexpected benefit was how the school goes beyond teaching a great curriculum. Mount Royal also teaches values and virtues that have helped develop any even stronger, more well-rounded child. And we could not be more grateful.”

One who excels in knowledge and skill may indeed shine bright but unless these are accompanied by goodness and joy, the light remains dim. Thankfully, this is not the case with Lyndsey. Her great sense of humor, ubiquitous smile and kindness towards others are well known. Benjamin Franklin’s aphorism, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn” is proven true with Lyndsey Patten.

Two Seniors at MRA Earn Esteemed Oberkotter Scholarship

Oberkotter_2016As the class of 2016 approaches graduation, the pressure to confront their future only increases. This pressure typically peaks even closer to May 1st, when seniors have to submit housing deposits. The ever growing costs of post-secondary education are a decisive factor, even if we want to encourage our young people to dream and look beyond the horizon to new possibilities for greatness. In this context, receiving a scholarship can be a vital piece of information while seniors select which door to open.

Mount Royal Academy is pleased to announce that two incredibly accomplished and outstanding seniors were recently awarded a $3,500 scholarship from the Robert and Joyce Oberkotter Family Foundation. If Adrianna Kenyon and Miriam Caveney opt to re-apply for additional scholarships, they could receive up to $17,500 towards their college education. This is a significant gift, and these two young women certainly earned every dollar.

According to the Oberkotter criteria, eligible applicants shall demonstrate two or more of the following: strong moral and ethical character; service to school, community and/or family; part-time work; extra-curricular activities; and/or sports participation.

Miriam Caveney made the following remarks when she discovered she was a recipient: “I’d just like to thank all my MRA teachers who greatly impacted my education, and give a special thanks to Dr. Kalpakgian and to my family friend, Camille Hardt, for writing letters of recommendation. Also, I’d like to thank the Oberkotter foundation for giving scholarships to upcoming college freshman. This money will greatly help my family’s finances since my parents are going to be supporting myself along with my two brothers in college as of next school year.”

And Adrianna’s mother couldn’t hold back her excitement: “We couldn’t be prouder of Adrianna. She is proof that hard work on and off campus pay off. Being an honors student, getting involved in sports and community work isn’t something Addy did to win a scholarship. She did it because that’s the kind of person she is and we know her 6 years at MRA have helped her grow into the amazing young lady she is today.”

Please join us as we affirm the goodness of these two gifted young women, both of whom will certainly leave a lasting impression wherever they decide to go after high school.

Captivating Pope Provides Practical Wisdom

Dear Families,

Pope Francis is without a doubt, a highly captivating and inspiring figure. His papacy has been marked by a renewed public interest in so-called matters of faith, even though the culture is becoming more and more resistant to anything perceived to be unseen, unproven, or purportedly unfair.

I am sure many of us have encountered commentary regarding the post-synodal exhortation entitled Amoris Lataeitie (‘Joy of Love’). Forgive me if this is too blunt, but the primary reason our culture has been eager for this document penned by Pope Francis to be released is quite simple: human nature is such that we never want to be wrong; we only want to be right. This is a blessing and a curse. We don’t want to be mistaken regarding the reasons for the greatest war zone of the modern era: the family. However, there is an internal radar directing us towards the truth.

Our culture thinks that Pope Francis is going to legitimize a wide array of modern social trends, new rights, and unnatural behaviors, and even though moral authority is offensive to most in today’s world, Pope Francis is in fact a moral authority capable of making a profound imprint on the mind of the majority.

And who is ultimately the purpose and therefore sadly the victim of the desecration and destruction of the family: children. Children have the most to lose because of the rapidly destabilizing breakdown of the natural, normal, fulfilling, and truly dignifying first cell of society: the family. And Pope Francis clearly demonstrates compassion towards families that are unable to put into practice the ideal vision, remaining unafraid to show mercy.

If you couldn’t tell already, each day I am reminded of the vital importance of the family.

Pope Francis did not declare new types of families. He didn’t feed the fodder for rationalizing using political freedoms to exalt anything besides the most effective and natural way to raise children, which is when a loving father and mother lay it all on the line for their children, enduring years of inconvenience resulting in an inward joy, caused by unconditional love.

I haven’t recommended any book before, so allow this address to be my first recommendation. Consider reading some great practical wisdom for marriage, raising children, and dealing with strife in the family. You won’t regret it.

How is this not profoundly moving? How does this not just make sense? (Pre-emptive apology, this is a long quote, but I tell students all the time to remember the context. Sound bites are not effective. Skip to classroom messages if you like). I think Pope Francis hits a home run!

Dialogue is essential for experiencing, expressing and fostering love in marriage and family life. Yet it can only be the fruit of a long and demanding apprenticeship. Men and women, young people and adults, communicate differently. They speak different languages and they act in different ways. Our way of asking and responding to questions, the tone we use, our timing and any number of other factors condition how well we communicate. We need to develop certain attitudes that express love and encourage authentic dialogue.

Take time, quality time. This means being ready to listen patiently and attentively to everything the other person wants to say. It requires the self-discipline of not speaking until the time is right. Instead of offering an opinion or advice, we need to be sure that we have heard everything the other person has to say. This means cultivating an interior silence that makes it possible to listen to the other person without mental or emotional distractions. Do not be rushed, put aside all of your own needs and worries, and make space. Often the other [family member] does not need a solution to his or her problems, but simply to be heard, to feel that someone has acknowledge their pain, their disappointment, their fear, their anger, their hopes and their dreams. How often we hear complaints like: “He does not listen to me.” “Even when you seem to, you are really doing something else.” “I talk to her and I feel like she can’t wait for me to finish.” “When I speak to her, she tries to change the subject, or she gives me curt responses to end the conversation”.

Develop the habit of giving real importance to the other person. This means appreciating them and recognizing their right to exist, to think as they do and to be happy. Never downplay what they say or think, even if you need to express your own point of view. Everyone has something to contribute, because they have their life experiences, they look at things from a different standpoint and they have their own concerns, abilities and insights. We ought to be able to acknowledge the other person’s truth, the value of his or her deepest concerns, and what it is that they are trying to communicate, however aggressively. We have to put ourselves in their shoes and try to peer into their hearts, to perceive their deepest concerns and to take them as a point of departure for further dialogue.

Imagine how much more practical wisdom can be found in the actual document, not the commentary.

Let us recommit our families and school to the powerful yet gentle intercession of St. Joseph, a model for fatherhood and patron of our school. By his prayers, may our children receive what they were created for: true love that hurts but heals at the same time.

Yours Truly In Christ,

Derek Tremblay
Headmaster

Student Spotlight: Matthew Caveney (Class of 2016)

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Matthew Caveney (’16) is pictured here with his sister, Miriam (’16), sporting his medals from  Division II States.

Mount Royal Academy’s mission is centered on fostering an environment in which each student can recognize his true dignity and excel in all facets of life. Senior Matthew Caveney exemplifies this ethic.

As president of the Student Government and a member of the National Honors Society, his leadership is well established. His efforts led to improved social experiences for the student body. Matt oversaw a field trip to a Red Sox game last year. He recently coordinated a collaborative effort between Student Government and NHS to host a semi-formal dance at the school.

Matt’s teachers attest to his meticulous approach to learning and his desire to help others inside and outside of the classroom. Headmaster Derek Tremblay notes, “Even though he is soft-spoken, Matt is keenly aware of what it takes to be a virtuous man. Matt is also very modest and confident, not flamboyant, and always eager to help others.”

Last summer, Matt participated in the esteemed Great Books Program at Thomas Aquinas College in California. His thirst for the truth, and exceptional rhetorical skills were made manifest at the program. Winning is not his goal, per se, but rather to express the truth. He is adept at viewing an issue or idea from all sides.

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As an athlete Matt and his sister, Miriam, represent MRA in NHIAA Division II Swimming. At the 2016 NHIAA State Championship Meet Matt placed 3rd in the Boys 100 Yard Butterfly and 5th in the 50 Yard Freestyle.

He is currently leading the largest senior class ever to graduate Mount Royal Academy. There is little doubt that his witness will be an inspiration for the future. He intends to enroll at Thomas Aquinas College in the fall of 2017.

Rare, Intimate Musical Concerts at MRA

There is a well-kept secret hiding in Sunapee NH. Only a privileged few are aware that Mount Royal Academy has hosted five high caliber musical concerts over the past six months. The series has been dubbed the Concert Spirituel. The title pays homage to the tradition that began in late 18th century France. At that time, musical performances were heard by the privileged few in the homes of society’s elite. The Concert Spirituel was proffered to the public at large through the purchase of a ticket – a truly novel idea at the time. The series underway at Mount Royal Academy has revived the concept while making a minor adjustment – these concerts are open to the public and totally free of charge.

The unassuming atmosphere of the St. Joseph Center belies the virtuosic musicianship that awaits the fortunate attendee. Seating is arranged in a small semi-circle around the Yamaha Grand Piano. Not only can one hear flawless performances of the great classical composers but fascinating and informative introductions to the pieces by the artist’s themselves.

So clear your calendar for Friday, April 29th because at 7:30pm Moscow pianist Ilya Vanichkin triumphantly returns to Sunapee for a second recital on Mount Royal Academy’s new grand piano.  His program will focus on two well-known works by Mozart’s mentor, Classical composer Franz Joseph Haydn and the futuristic Romantic composer Franz Lizst.

Although both composers have ties to an imperial countryside estate near Vienna known as Esterháza, on the surface, Franz Joseph Haydn (18th century) and Franz Liszt(19th century) could not be any further apart aesthetically. However, Vanichkin, the internationally acclaimed piano giant, will reveal to the audience that Haydn and Lizst were both in essence mystically-minded composers of concert music. Those who attend will not be disappointed.

A dessert reception will be provided at intermission.  Sunapee’s Friends of Classical Music have prepaid for the concert’s expenses so that admission is free to the general public. No tickets are required for the concert and dessert reception.


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