Catholic Schools Week Comes to an End; Three Employees are Honored

Middle school students making blankets at SHINE Faith Sharing Lunch. Photo by Instagram @campusminnadems

Another successful Catholic Schools/Marianist Heritage Week has concluded at Chaminade College Preparatory. Students on both campuses enjoyed fun-filled, mission-driven activities. Middle schoolers enjoyed Dr. Seuss-themed special dress days and celebrated the week with an NJHS Bake Sale, Mix It Up Lunch, Faith Sharing, house picnic, and energetic Faith Rally.

High school students on a service trip with Habitat for Humanity. Photo by Instagram @nadeactivities

High school students commemorated the week with Random Acts of Kindness Lunch, an Instagram contest, the annual Fr. Chaminade Contest, a service trip with Habitat for Humanity, and an exciting Formation in Faith Rally.

Marianist Educators honored three fellow employees with the Blessed William Joseph Chaminade Award: Kelly Benning and Paul Sauter from West Hills, and Oscar Perez from Chatsworth. Each recipient was nominated by his or her peers for demonstrating one or more of the Characteristics of Marianist Education: integral, quality education; family spirit; adaptation and change; formation in faith; and service, justice, and peace.

Pictured left to right: Luis Guerra, Kelly Benning, Paul Sauter, and Bro. Adam Becerra, fsp. Photo by Pam Liceralde

Kelly Benning is the librarian at the West Hills campus. She makes the library an innovative learning space for discernment, reflection, and academic research. Under her leadership, the library is a gathering place where students are challenged to consider how they can contribute to society with their gifts and talents. 

Paul Sauter, biology teacher and science department chair on the West Hills campus, demonstrates compassion, humor, and love in all he does. Paul serves through the Kairos retreat every year and has coached in the past. He is always willing to give of himself to serve his students.

Pictured left to right: Nikki Russ, Oscar Perez, and Fr. Josephraj Rymond, S.M. Photo by Tommy Smeltzer

Oscar Perez is on the facilities staff at the Chatsworth campus. With a positive attitude, Oscar imparts warmth, understanding, and generosity in all he does, from setting up for Masses and rallies, to finding solutions to complicated campus problems. His work is precise, accurate, and done with a smile. Dedicated to helping students, faculty, and staff, Oscar has a hand in everything on the Chatsworth campus.

A Message from the President

Dear Chaminade family,
With so much trauma in our area, let us be of one heart and hold on to our hope. Please join me in prayer for those in our Chaminade community who have suffered a significant loss due to the fires:

Loving Father,

Today we ask Your blessing and protection for the Chaminade family, especially those directly impacted by the fire. We stand in solidarity with all victims of loss as we struggle to find ways to show others the reason for our hope.

Educating in the Marianist Family Spirit is about creating a “home away from home;” a feeling of “place” that extends the boundaries of our four walls to include our neighbors, our beloved school, and its families. With Family Spirit as our mantra, in God’s name let us pray for and comfort each other during this time of great need.

May we be hope for our families who are stretched and suffering. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Communication will continue as the overall damages are assessed. Please continue to monitor your emails, the Chaminade website, and social media for updates.

God Bless,
Rob Webb P ’18 ’20

Performances to Watch in November

During November you can catch some great performances from Chaminade’s high school and middle school drama programs. Beginning Friday, November 9, The Chaminade Players bring Arthur Miller’s dramatic classic, The Crucible, to life on the Marilyn Simons Stage at the Tutor Family Center for the Performing Arts on the West Hills campus. Inspired by real events, The Crucible dramatizes the Salem witch trials in 1690s Massachusetts. Performance dates are::

  • Friday, November 9 Canceled
  • Saturday, November 10 Canceled
  • Friday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 17 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 18 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are $20 per adult and $15 per student
Click here to purchase tickets.

The Middle School Players present Space Captain: Captain of Space in the Fr. Allan DeLong Center for Arts and Athletics on the Chatsworth campusWritten by Jeff Sproul, Space Captain: Captain of Space is a 1930s adventure story like Flash Gordon, but with a modern sense of humor. Performances dates are:

  • Thursday, November 15
  • Friday, November 16
  • Saturday, November 17

Showtime is 7:01 p.m. General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or by clicking here.

This story has been edited with new performance dates and times for The Crucible

Robotics Squads Deliver Strong Performances, State Qualifier in Home Tournament.

img_0002-2.jpgBy Tommy Smeltzer

Chaminade’s Eagle Engineering robotics team has qualified a squad to compete in the California State Championship for the sixth consecutive year as team 1138A took home the top award at their home tournament, The Chaminade Showdown. At the same tournament, Team 83A, the Vex Robotics team from Chaminade middle school won the Judges Award.

As in previous years, Eagle Engineering splits off into three distinct teams for the Vex Robotics competition. While all of the students collaborate and support each other leading up to game time, they compete as separate teams in tournaments. During qualifying rounds, matches are played between alliances of randomly paired teams vying for the highest ranking, while judges interview students and study their machines for a variety of awards. Based on the results of nine matches for each team, top-ranked teams then pick their alliance partners for the elimination rounds.

This is the fourth year for Chaminade hosting a tournament on their West Hills campus. Overnight, volunteers turned the Bob Hope Center into a sports arena featuring competition fields and bleachers, pits for teams to work on their machines and a full livestream broadcast setup. All four of Chaminade’s Vex squads competed, along with 28 other area teams.

The teams rebounded from a rough start to the season as tournaments in Bakersfield and Calabasas presented a slew of technical and strategic challenges. Needing a fresh perspective in the two weeks off, team 1138B founding member Anthony Gruppuso ’13 was brought in to inspire the teams to re-think their approach. Gruppuso’s unique leadership style and a keen eye for strategy sent a bolt of energy through the high school squads, and the results were impressive. All three played to their strengths with greater urgency, with the senior-most squad, 1138A leading the rankings most of the day only to be toppled (literally) by the all-girl 1138G in a late round. Both 1138G and 1138A finished in the top eight (4th and 8th respectively), guaranteeing them a spot in the elimination rounds.

Both Eagle teams were knocked out in the quarterfinals. However, the judges chose 1138-A as the winner of the Excellence Award, given to the team with the best performance consistently across all categories. That guaranteed them a berth at the State Championship where they will compete next March for a chance to move on to the World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky in April.

With the season now in full swing, Eagle Engineers have no time to let up. Both the 1138B and 138G teams, as well as the 83A team from the middle school, are more driven than ever to qualify to compete alongside 1138A at the State Championship. All of the teams are determined to improve and refine their machines as they go into their remaining three events of 2018 in Reseda, Granada Hills, and El Camino College.

Eagle Engineering is a student-centered competitive robotics program with a focus on a professional team approach to design, engineering, programming and business challenges. For more information on Chaminade Robotics and how you can support the team, please contact Head Coach Tommy Smeltzer: tsmeltzer@chaminade.org.

Celebrating Respect Life Month

“Today, we remember Saint Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals and the environment. He cared for the poor, the sick, and all creation…” said Mrs. Kate Beskid ’00 on Thursday, October 4, kicking off Respect Life Month at Blessing of the Animals on the Chatsworth campus.

 

Eight miles away, on the West Hills campus students, faculty, and staff celebrated Respect Life Month with a special Mass and candlelight procession. “At the deepest level of our being,”  said Bro. Adam Becerra “there is a thriving force that holds power, wisdom, love, and grace. And that thriving force, is God communicating all that God is, so that we may thrive to be who we were created to be.”

As a Catholic, Marianist school, Chaminade’s CME of Service, Justice, and Peace teaches students to promote the dignity of human life from conception to natural death and to respect creation.  Every October, Chaminade Joins the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to celebrate Respect Life month as one human family and put our faith into action.

Throughout October, Chaminade will emphasize Catholic Social Teaching (CST) principles in the classroom to help develop students’ awareness of the contemporary issues in their world that directly relate to:

  • The Dignity of Human Life
  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  • The Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
  • Solidarity
  • Stewardship (Protecting Creation)

The Chatsworth campus will also hold a Respect Life Mass on Monday, October 15 at 9:15 a.m. in the Fr. Allen Delong Center for Arts and Athletics.