2017-2018 In the News
OA field house will add space for sports
DEBBIE BLANK THE HERALD-TRIBUNE
Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception leaders plan to build a multipurpose field house east of the school between the auditorium and State Road 229, President Diane Laake told the Oldenburg Town Council Jan. 8.
The $2.5 million to $3 million structure designed by architectural firm SHP Leading Design, Cincinnati, will contain a 10,000-square-foot activities center with a full-size basketball court and enough bleachers to seat 800-1,000, "double our current capacity."
Board of Trustees chair Darryl Maslar also is leading the field house committee. Soon these other members will break into subcommittees based on areas of expertise: President Diane Laake; principal and athletic director Brian McFee; Tom Horninger; Sister Margie Niemer, OSF; Todd Reed; Amy Streator; Anne Suttman; Megan Walke; and Mike Wilhelm.
"We certainly want to involve all of you in the conversation" about the building. She believed it will advance the academy's mission. "Part of that mission is insuring the legacy of the Sisters" of St. Francis. "It takes constant plans to insure the academy continues to thrive and to prosper."
"The Sisters were very, very gracious to us in deeding the land and buildings we're currently occupying ... That's given us a real security and confidence." Now the focus needs to be on enhancing the athletic facilities, the president said.
She noted when buildings were constructed, OA was an all-girls school. It began welcoming young men in 2000. With an enrollment of 210 students, "we have 19 varsity sports. Literally every student in the school plays on one or another team. One gym just isn't enough."
Even though wrestlers and cheerleaders in the winter and baseball players in the spring can practice in a multipurpose building constructed on former tennis courts, "we still need additional athletic facilities."
The new air-conditioned facility will contain the school's primary gym, "but our current gym will stay. That will give us two full-size gyms." With freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams all vying for practice space after school, "we could really have three teams practicing at once."
Locker rooms in the field house's north end will be accessed from outside. Football players will be able to "use that as their locker and dressing room instead of tracking those muddy cleats into the school building." At the south end, "what we're also really excited about" is a large atrium for gathering at most 70-80. "When we have a class meeting or a meeting of senior parents, you don't want the gym or auditorium, but you're not going to fit in a classroom." That area also will have restrooms, a concessions spot and full-size kitchen for the fundraising dinner auction and other events "so we can prepare food on site."
The field house will come right up to the gravel parking lot, which will be blacktopped "so that will look a lot nicer."
OTC member Dennis Moeller asked about parking. "Every car will not fit in that lot," she acknowledged. "We know we will get more (vehicles) in the lot ... once it's paved and lined."
"There aren't that many games" that would draw 1,000. A crowd of 600-700 is more likely. "We have a lot of street parking."
The building will boast a brick veneer exterior. "We know it's important to you that it matches the other buildings on campus ... We think it will blend in really well." Of classic academy buildings, she said, "I love those stone friezes in the front. We want to put something like that on the (field house) front so it looks the same."
She added, "We also feel like what this will be ... is a community facility." Although Oldenburg Academy will own and operate it, "we really want this to be an addition to the community."
Moeller asked if any Sisters of St. Francis buildings were available and suitable for athletics. The president explained, "The kind of renovation that would need to happen" would be too costly. A fresh structure could be "exactly the way we want it."
"For about the last year, we've been focused on trying to do some fundraising to make this possible. This is a capital expense .... We already have tremendous support from quite a few of our alums, current parents and community members."
Officials at three local foundations – John A. Hillenbrand, William and Martha Hillenbrand and Hillenbrand Family – have pledged $750,000 over the next five years to make this project happen. "Because of the Hillenbrand family gifts to us, it will be the Hillenbrand Family Feldhaus." The facility's name is a nod to the town's German heritage.
OA leaders have begun talking with general contractors, but no bids have been sought yet. They would like to see a fall groundbreaking. "We think it would take less than a year to build" with completion perhaps by the start of the 2019-20 school year.
To meet the groundbreaking target, town attorney John Kellerman advised, "The architect needs to make sure he gets to this meeting probably no later than May" to get approvals from OTC and then the Franklin County Area Plan Commission and Building Department.
The $4.5 million capital campaign's fundraising goal focuses on three main areas: athletics (field house and a future field); expanding the international student program (please see box); and increasing the endowment for tuition assistance and future capital projects, she said.
"We're a little more than halfway there on our fundraising. We want to start being more public about it."
Laake is meeting individually with people who might be interested in supporting the school. Those who want to contribute or have questions may contact her at email@example.com or 812-933-0127.
Kellerman asked about space for a field. She replied, "We don't have land yet for the athletic field."
Of the field house, OTC President David Wahman said, "It will be great for the town."
Laake promised, "I'll keep you all posted."
Freudenfest Committee member Jeff Paul said, "Thanks, Diane, for your leadership. This is very exciting news for the town of Oldenburg." He wanted to acknowledge the Hillenbrands "for their interest in our little village."
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.
Another school initiative
The OA president reported, "We're still working on increasing our international student program." She and admissions director Annette Hunger will fly to Boston in February to learn about how they can expand it. The organization OA works with wants to send more students to Oldenburg from Asia. "We're excited about that opportunity."
The OTC president asked, "Where will all your foreign students live?" Laake answered, "Right now they're living with families. We're not talking about suddenly (adding) 50 students." Perhaps up to 20 international teens would attend the academy.
Wahman suggested housing visiting students in a Sisters of St. Francis location would "solve two problems – a place for students to stay and preserve that building."
Original story: http://www.batesvilleheraldtribune.com/news/local_news/oa-field-house-will-add-space-for-sports/article_954f4605-104f-5d5a-affa-949eaa3abc11.html
Maverick Challenge Hosted at Oldenburg Academy
The Maverick Challenge, a business planning competition was hosted at Oldenburg Academy on December 14, 2017. Community judges adjudicated the 14 students based on the business plans and products they created for the competition. Oldenburg Academy and South Ripley both participated in the program from Ripley and Franklin County. Oldenburg Academy had five teams participate and South Ripley had one team.
The Maverick Challenge was started in 2008 by the Columbus Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and has been a growing program since. The competition is intended to simulate the real-world process of entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from early-stage investors, successful entrepreneurs and community leaders. Oldenburg Academy Assistant Principal Jonathon Maple is the head of the Franklin/Ripley County competition and leads the challenge at the school, “I’m so proud of the students – they challenged themselves to go through a process that is preparing them for any career they choose.” Students had the opportunity to work with business and community mentors as well as experience feedback from professional judges.
The winners were announced and they received cash prizes. Third place winner, which received $150, was 2 Fresh 2 Go, a food truck that would utilize locally grown foods to produce foods; this business plan was created by Stuart Lamping and Dalton Mooney. Second place winner receiving $250 was Kitten’s Jerky Company, a locally-owned jerky company that plans to grow into a large manufacture of jerky; this business was planned by Kyle Kline and Levi Stenger. The first place winner received $150 and went to Three Scoops, a high end dessert bar with catering service. This was presented by Lexi Brown, Adam Mullen and Owen Sporleder. “A lot of food companies this year, which was very interesting – all of the teams did a wonderful job planning their business and going through the process,” Maple commented. The top three teams will move on to the Spring Maverick Challenge Regional Competition, where nine counties will compete against each other, hosted by Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.
Ripley County Genesis Pathways To Success, Ripley County Community Foundation, Franklin County Community Foundation, Oldenburg Academy and the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce all sponsor the challenge. “We truly cannot have this without their support and assistance, we are so grateful to live and work in such a supportive community,” Maple commented.
Anyone interested in getting involved with the 2017 Maverick Challenge can contact Jonathon Maple at email@example.com, Maple encourages involvement, “it is a great opportunity to work with some truly innovative and inspiring students in southeastern Indiana.” Maple was encouraged by the growth of the challenge, “it was great to see South Ripley join us this year – they truly did a fantastic job, for their first year. We hope other schools recognize the opportunities the Maverick Challenge provides and will join us in the future.”
Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception is a Franciscan Catholic co-educational college preparatory high school committed to academic excellence, social responsibility, leadership and personal growth for our students who will excel in our ever-changing world. Oldenburg Academy is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg. For more information, visit www.oldenburgacademy.org or contact Mrs. Annette Hunger, Admissions Director, at 812.934.4440 ext. 231.
OA Students Test Atmosphere in Innovative Way
As part of studying the atmosphere in Freshman Biology, the students at Oldenburg Academy launched a Near Space Balloon into the stratosphere on Wednesday, November 29. The students, led by their teacher Steven Hensley, built a payload for the balloon that contained a flight computer to collect data, a GoPro camera to record video, and a GPS tracker so they could track the balloons movements. The students researched and planned optimal launch dates based on weather patterns and predictions. They also worked with the Federal Aviation Administration to file the appropriate paperwork to make sure the balloon and payload were FAA compliant. The balloon is filled with helium and released with the payload. As it gains altitude, the balloon expands until it bursts. Once it bursts, a parachute is deployed to bring it back down safely. The balloon traveled 119 miles and landed in a farm field near Washington Courthouse, Ohio. It reached an altitude of 100,279 feet and traveled up to 214 mph. It withstood temperatures down to -122.18 degrees Fahrenheit. The students will continue to analyze the data they collected as they learn more about the Earth's atmosphere.
OA GIVES THANKS FOR LARGEST GIFT IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception is pleased to announce a leadership challenge gift totaling $750,000 to its Build. Inspire. Lead Campaign from the John A. Hillenbrand and William and Martha Hillenbrand Foundations. Gus Hillenbrand, President of the Foundations states: “The John A. Hillenbrand and William and Martha Hillenbrand Foundations are privileged to contribute to the outstanding educational and moral principles that Oldenburg Academy has furthered throughout the years.”
OA’s vision for this campaign is to continue to advance its mission of offering the highest quality, comprehensive, college preparatory Catholic co-education they have provided for over 165 years. Details of the capital projects will be announced in the new year.
In recognition of this generous gift, OA President Diane Laake responds: “This is a gift that honors the past, acknowledges our present and believes in our future. We are so grateful to these Foundations for their confidence in and support of this great school.”
This is the second leadership gift OA has received for their campaign. The Sisters of St. Francis – Oldenburg affirmed their support of the Academy by formally deeding the Academic Building and Auditorium to OA. “This gift secures our future and enables us to advance our strategic plans” states President Laake.
Four selected for Oldenburg Acdemy’s Athletic Hall of Fame
Ammann-Brinkmoeller Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees:
The Athletic Hall of Fame is named for Sr. Mary Ammann, OSF who was the first Athletic Director at the Academy and Mrs. Pat Brinkmoeller who was an early and highly successful coach and teacher. Together, these visionary women were responsible for bringing a competitive, IHSAA sanctioned athletic program to ICA/OA.
Carolyn Hortemiller Dieckman ‘70
Carolyn played volleyball and softball at ICA and volleyball in adult leagues for many years. She coached volleyball for several years and was instrumental in the critical formation years when ICA’s high school athletic program was just beginning. Carolyn has been an enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer in the Oldenburg/Batesville area for many years.
Lucas Nare ‘11
Lucas ran track and played basketball. Lucas became the first male student to win a sectional track event when he placed first in the 100m dash in 2010 and again in 2011. He ran track at Thomas More College and became the first track and field athlete from ICA/OA to compete in the NCAA National Championship track and field tournament. He was the PAC champion in the 200m in 2013 and the 100m, 200m, and 4 by 100m in 2014. Lucas is completing his doctorate in Physical Therapy at Bellarmine University and will graduate this spring.
Elizabeth Schrimpf ‘04
Elizabeth was the first OA student to swim at the Indiana state meet. She qualified to swim backstroke there in all 4 years. She went on to swim in college at Boston University on an athletic scholarship. While an OA student, she was also a key figure in the creation of the “Adopt A Sis” program begun in 2002 which pairs OA students with Sisters of St Francis and continues today. Elizabeth recently completed her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology and will be working in Ft. Myers, FL.
Kendra Wessling Weisbrod ‘09
Kendra received 11 varsity letters (4 soccer, 3 basketball, 4 softball) and went on to play soccer for 4 years at Thomas More College. In high school she was named IN soccer Coaches All Academic Player (2 yrs), and Top Team player & All District – 2nd team. In college she helped TMC win the PAC conference championship 2 years in a row and was named to the PAC Academic Honor Roll all 4 years. Kendra works as a Physical Therapist in Northern Kentucky.
Photo Caption: Kendra Wesseling Weisbrod, Carolyn Hortemiller Diekcman, Lucas Nare, Elizabeth Schrimpf all accept as being part of the Hall of Fame.
Oldenburg Academy names two Distinguished Alumni
Oldenburg Academy is pleased to announce Sue Siefert ’76 and Jan Dietz Alexander ’77, as Distinguished Alumni. Siefert and Alexander were recognized by classmates and community members at the annual Alumni Homecoming on October 14, 2017.
Distinguished Alumni are nominated and selected through the criteria of having been graduated for at least ten years from OA/ICA. The distinguished alum must have been regarded as a student who invested in the OA community during his or her tenure through involvement. In addition, the distinguished alum must be a person who has made a significant impact on and contribution to the world (local, national, global). Additionally the criteria names someone who lives out the mission and values of OA in his/her everyday life. After nominations are reviewed, the Distinguished Alumni is selected from a committee.
Oldenburg Academy congratulates Sue Siefert and Jan Dietz Alexander.
Sue Siefert ’76 “Distinguished Alumni Award”
Sue reflects the Franciscan values she learned at the Academy. Sue is not only a woman of prayer; she embodies the values of compassion for those in need, simplicity of focus in bringing the gospel to life, and enthusiasm for building up others. She does this in her promotion and support of the Sisters of St. Francis as their Development Director and in the importance she places on family and friends. Sue has been especially visible in Batesville and Oldenburg through her community involvement. She has served as president of Batesville Area Resource Center (BARC) and was instrumental in joining with the community to bring the facility to life. As a member of the Batesville Kiwanis, Sue is one of the organizers of “Applefest.” She is also a member of the Rural Alliance of the Arts, Ripley County Community Foundation, and the Batesville Area Historical Society. Because of Sue’s dedication to the Sisters and the community, she received the Batesville Area Chamber Distinguished Service Award in 2016.
Jan Dietz Alexander ’77 “Distinguished Alumni Award”
Jan began her lifelong nursing career in the perinatal care in Indianapolis and Kokomo before moving to Nashville, TN in 1986 where she continues to serve today. The care and education of mothers and their children has always been her passion. Thirty-two years later while working as Director of Women’s Services, Jan was instrumental in creating The Birth Center at Hendersonville Hospital. On May 12, 2016 Jan received the Patient Experience Healthcare Hero Award at the Nashville Business Journal’s Health Care Heroes Award Reception. Jan is also involved in her community as well. She is an active member of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, and she has taken several mission trips to Port Au Prince, Haiti to assist the earthquake victims. Additionally, she has served on the Board for the March of Dimes and currently serves as a very active and committed Board Member for the Cumberland Crisis Pregnancy Center in Gallatin, TN.
For more information, or to nominate a distinguished alum, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos: Sue Siefert/Jan Alexander accept their awards as Distinguished Alumni.
Virtue, Honor, and Education Award Winner: John Armbruster
Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception, Inc. is pleased to have awarded the recipient of the annual Virtue Honor Education Award at Oldenburg Academy’s annual Alumni Homecoming. John Armbruster, current OA faculty member, received the award and was honored at the alumni mass. The Virtue Honor Education Tribute was esetablished in 2004 by the Oldenburg Academy Alumni Board to recognize a living or deceased Oldenburg Academy faculty or staff member who has made a meaningful spiritual and educational impact upon the alumni
John has dedicated 53 years to the ministry of education. His first teaching position was at Sunman High School in 1965. After one semester at East Central High School, he went to North Dearborn Elementary to become assistant principal. He later became principal and served there for seven years. In 1981, he served at principal and teacher at St. Nicholas Catholic School until 1983. He later returned to the Sunman-Dearborn Community School Corporation to serve as superintendent until his retirement in 2000. He then served two terms for the school board of the corporation. In 2004, he came to Oldenburg Academy for “one year.” That time has now extended to fourteen years. John currently teacher Chemistry I, II, and AP as well as Physics.
Photo: John Armbruster, Chemistry Teacher, was recognized at the OA Alumni Mass. Armbruster is a veteran educator, having taught at Oldenburg Academy for the past 14 years.
OA Unveils New Innovation Room
Oldenburg Academy is pleased to announce the unveiling of their new innovation room for student-use. This new learning space is funded through a variety of sources, and creates a wide-variety of options for each student’s education. Through the generous funding from the CREATE Foundation, John A. Hillenbrand Foundation, Armstrong Flooring, Ohio Valley Flooring, and Don, Susan, Meredith & Madelyn Maier, the room has transformed into an innovative, technological-rich and collaborative learning space.
The CREATE Technology Foundation spent countless hours researching the idea of the “classroom of tomorrow.” The Classroom of Tomorrow allows an environment to embrace technology to open up a world of the learning resources at student’s fingertips. To facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity and collaboration, the physical space of the Classroom must be transformed to allow students to have a learning experience through classroom furniture and technology.
Jonathon Maple, Assistant Principal, assisted with the research and implementation of the innovation room. He reported, “we wanted a whole new feel for the classroom – a new floor, new wall colors, new furniture and new technology; fortunately, through the generosity of local organizations and donors, we were able to make this dream a reality.”
The innovation room houses enough seats for 40 students. With 10 whiteboard tables, rolling chairs, 5 Apple TV’s, and 4 whiteboards adorning the walls, the classroom lends itself to a new way of learning and teaching. According to Maple, “we want to teach our students to be collaborative learners and innovative thinkers, a learning space set up like this will do just that; also, anytime we can inspire our students to learn and get excited about the space they are learning in, it is a win-win.”
Students really like the room. According to OA Freshman Blake Borgman, who takes both Biology and Engineering, and uses the room often, feels the room “fits what you’re doing in class. The room has all different kinds of ways that you can brainstorm and work with people. You can make a model of something by drawing on the table. It is also a great way to present topics with the multiple Apple TVs, where you can see what you need to see up close with more detail.”
Oldenburg Academy looks to continue making enhancements to rooms to meet the needs of the student body. Maple concludes, “we are excited to continue to move forward and offer the best education in the best educational environment possible for all of our students.”
Photo: Representatives from Batesville Tool & Die share about manufacturing careers in Oldenburg Academy’s new Innovation Room.
As part of the Oldenburg Academy College to Career Readiness Program, Oldenburg Academy students had four days of Career Guest Speakers during the first annual “Career Guest Speaker Week” in October. During the Catholic college-preparatory high school’s REACH time, students spent 30 minutes listening to college-career guest speakers. Over 40 speakers joined the week. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, educators, pharmacists, athletic trainers and entrepreneurs were just a few of the professionals that shared thoughts with students.
Oldenburg Academy’s College to Career Readiness Program was launched this year, allowing all students to explore college-bound careers. The program entails a REACH time, where students spend 30 minutes a day doing things like Indiana Career Explorer, preparing for standardized tests, perfecting college applications and focusing on their future college-major and career choice. As freshmen, sophomores and juniors complete activities, they prepare for making an internship decision for their senior year. All OA students are placed in community-based internships, or are given a capstone project to participate in their senior year. Jonathon Maple, Assistant Principal, is in charge of the Career to College Readiness Program. He reports, “We are so pleased with the program so far – we know that we offer a strong college-preparatory curriculum, but we want to ensure that our students are entering college knowing their intended major and will be set up for success not only in college, but their career as well.”
Career Guest Speaker Week was just one of the many activities that students have participated in to further prepare them and excite them about their future. “It was a huge success – anytime that we can excite our students about their future, and give them memorable opportunities to learn from the community, we know it will have a lasting impact,” Maple said. Anyone who is interested in participating in the Oldenburg Academy Spring Career Guest Speaker Week can contact Maple at email@example.com.
Photo: Katherine Strasemeier, who graduated from Oldenburg Academy in 2012, returned to speak about her career during Career Guest Speaker Week. Katherine works in the Febreze division of Proctor & Gamble
OA Students Deepen Their Franciscan Roots
Again this year, Oldenburg Academy students deepened and strengthened their Franciscan roots by collaborating with students from other regional Franciscan high schools. Recently, OA students joined forces with students from Roger Bacon (Cincinnati) and Padua (Parma, OH) High Schools on a retreat sponsored by St. Bonaventure University where they explored themes integral to the Franciscan intellectual tradition (photo 1). It was such a positive experience for all involved that plans are underway for this to be an annual event.
For the second year in a row, OA and Roger Bacon students and staff embarked on a pilgrimage to the sacred Franciscan sites in Rome and Assisi (photo 2 & 3) as part of an Assisi Scholars program. The following are a few reflections from students on this life changing experience for all:
Sam Hubert ‘18- “Seeing all of the holy sites, and all of the people visiting them, really showed how unified the Catholic faith really is.”
Rachel Stoll ‘18- “The pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi was a once in a lifetime experience that allowed me to see the universality of the Catholic Church and to understand what it means to be Franciscan. Learning about the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare has inspired me to be more attentive and open to God’s voice in my life.”
Delaney Bruns ‘18 - “This trip was an amazing opportunity that I will forever be grateful for. A big take-a-way for me was realizing that we actually had Mass in front of St. Francis’s tomb, which made the experience even more valuable.”
These events are a few examples of how OA “inspires YOU”. For more information please contact President Diane Laake.
OA Sends Help to Texas and Family in Batesville
NEW Faculty and Staff for 2017-18 at Oldenburg Academy
OA Receives 2016 Indiana Advanced Placement (AP) Award
Oldenburg Academy was the only local recipient of the 2016 Indiana Advanced Placement (AP) Award at ceremonies held on June 14 at the North Atrium of the Indiana Statehouse by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). According to the IDOE, to be selected, schools must have at least 25 percent of their 2016 graduating class receiving a 3 or better on an AP exam. 72 schools achieved this distinction.
AP is a research-backed method to facilitate student participation and success through delivery of college-level courses and corresponding exams in the high school setting, the IDOE says. Qualified students who pass AP courses enroll in college at higher rates than other groups of students, require significantly less remediation, and have higher average first year grade point averages and credit hours earned than other groups of students.
For the 2015-16 school year, 11,904 graduating students passed at least one AP exam with a 3 or better. This is an increase of six percent over the year prior, and an increase of 114 percent in the past 10 years, says the department of education.
At OA, 55.8 percent of their AP students earned a 3 or higher on exams.
In a statement, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick shared: “Research tells us time and again taking and passing AP courses prepares students for the rigors of the college classroom,” said McCormick. “I am pleased with the dedication these schools and their educators have shown in providing a head start into higher education for their students. I applaud the success of each student who worked hard to study and pass their advanced placement courses and exams.”
OA President Diane Laake concurs. “OA’s mission is to prepare our students for success in college and beyond. AP classes play a crucial role in providing our students with the rigor, expectations and academic challenge essential for future success. With 100% of our graduates pursuing post-secondary studies, this award is a welcome indication that we are meeting this goal. The fifty-nine members of OA’s class of 2017 provide further reinforcement: $9.6 million in scholarships, 73% received Indiana Honors diplomas, and 99% received dual and/or AP credit. We are very proud of these hard-working students and their extraordinary teachers.”
Good news about OA’s College Readiness!
OA recently received a report from the Indiana Commissioner of Higher Education describing some key indicators of how well our grads are prepared for post-secondary study as well as freshmen year results for Indiana state universities. For the Class of 2015 here are some of the notable data points:
63% earned an Honors diploma; 37% earned a Core 40
98% earned dual credit from an Indiana Public College
93% enrolled in a 4-year Bachelor’s degree program
28% enrolled in STEM; 24% in Business; 10% in Education; 10% in Health
3.4 average Freshman GPA (Honors diploma grads); 2.8 Average for Batesville and Franklin County high schools
3.1 overall average Freshmen GPA of all OA grads (not available for public schools)
More reasons why OA is “so worth it”!