Jan 01

Meet our 2022 National Merit Students

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Holy Family Catholic High School is proud to announce the 2022 National Merit Scholarship program recognizes two of our seniors, Makenzie Pavelka and Alexander Beer, as National Merit Commended Students. Out of 1.5 million entrants, roughly 34,000 earn Commended Students recognition. Congratulations to Makenzie and Alexander on their well-earned recognition! To learn more about the National Merit Scholarship program, click here.

At Holy Family, our National Merit Commended Students are more than scholars. They are active participants in school activities and generous volunteers in the broader community.

Makenzie Pavelka

2022 National Merit Commended Student Makenzie Pavelka

Name: Makenzie Pavelka

I will miss being in a learning environment where I feel supported by each and every teacher and having a school counselor who is so willing to answer any questions and chat with me at a moment’s notice.

Middle School: Shakopee Area Catholic School

Activities you are involved in at HF:

  • Girls Soccer
  • Nordic Skiing
  • Latin Club
  • Math League – State Champions 2021


Volunteer Experience
:

  • Feed My Starving Children
  • Vacation Bible School at the Parish of Saints Joachim and Anne
  • Coaching recreational soccer and assist at soccer camps at Shakopee Soccer Association

If you know your college and major and are ready to share, please include: I am not sure yet on what college I am going to attend, but I plan on studying Exercise Science or Kinesiology.

HF: Only 34,000 of all students who took the PSAT will be recognized as Commended Students. Congratulations. How did you prepare for the PSAT?
Makenzie
: I prepared by getting a good night’s sleep, eating a good breakfast, and showing up early so that I was calm and ready to go.

HF: You are also an AP student. Rigorous academic course loads can be stressful; how do you deal with that stress, and what advice do you have for students who are going through similar situations?
Makenzie: I deal with stress by talking to people I trust, like my close friends, family, and Mrs. McCoy. I also combat stress by using my planner to help manage my homework load and stay on top of studying. My advice for students going through the same situation is to remember that studying is important but so is sleep! I try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night, especially before tests in AP classes (or standardized tests!) And also to use a planner to stay organized!

HF: What makes you most proud about being a National Merit commended student?
Makenzie:
I am most proud that the effort I put into academics daily was able to be displayed and recognized.

HF: What will you miss the most after you graduate from HF?
Makenzie:
I will miss being in a learning environment where I feel supported by each and every teacher and having a school counselor who is so willing to answer any questions and chat with me at a moment’s notice.

 


Alexander Beer

2022 National Merit Commended Student Alex Beer

Name: Alex Beer

Middle School: St. Hubert Catholic School

Activities you are involved in at HF:

  • Football
  • Nordic Skiing
  • Lacrosse – (Captain 2022)
  • Campus Ministry
  • Leadership Team of Transfer Student Ambassadors

Volunteer Experience:

  • Metro Area Youth Pheasants Forever Mentor
  • Member of Student Ambassador Program
  • Fire Family Visit Tour Guide

If you know your college and major and are ready to share, please include:

Interested in pursuing a Biochemistry Degree on the pre-med track.

Questions:

HF: Only 34,000 of all students who took the PSAT will be recognized as Commended Students. Congratulations. How did you prepare for the PSAT?

Alex: After taking the PSAT sophomore year at Eden Prairie and receiving a decent score, I realized that I was close to the benchmark for earning acknowledgment. With a little hard work and determination to study over the next year, I stood a real chance of achieving recognition. So, as the procrastinator in me dictates, I walked in to take the PSAT a year later cold turkey.

HF: You are also an AP student. Rigorous academic course loads can be stressful; how do you deal with that stress, and what advice do you have for students who are going through similar situations?

Alex: Three AP classes on top of three sports last year made me arrive at the mantra I now live by to manage stress – “It always gets done.” In three-plus years of high school, no matter how seemingly impossible the test or unbearable the workload, it always works itself out. The work will not do itself and there have been plenty of nights of staying up to 1:00 am after practice to finish schoolwork.  But, with hard work, a little sleep deprivation, and lots of coffee, anything is possible. The key is starting and prioritizing what matters most to you. There are sacrifices that have to be made but ask yourself what you truly value and pursue it relentlessly.

HF: What makes you most proud about being a National Merit commended student?

Alex: Being a National Merit commended student places me into a cohort of some of the best and brightest students in America. It will hopefully present opportunities that will allow me to truly offer the world the best I have. I am also hopeful it will make college hurt the wallet slightly less.

HF: What will you miss the most after you graduate from HF?

Alex: I transferred to Holy Family as a junior after attending Eden Prairie High School for two years.  In that short period of time, I feel extraordinarily fortunate to have a circle of friends, teachers and staff that I trust to have my back.  The camaraderie, loyalty and absolute trust that we all want the best for one another make this a place I look forward to coming to every day.  That is what I will miss the most.

 


Interested in learning more about Holy Family?

Please join us for a Fire Family Visit. Fire Family Visits are small group, on-campus information sessions with personalized tours led by our student ambassadors. Click on the link below to find the time and date that works best for your family and then reserve your seats! See you soon.

Register for a Fire Family Visit

Jan 01

Barth Receives Community Star Award

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Holy Family junior Jack Barth is one of nine recipients of the 2020 Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Upper Midwest Community Star Award. This award, introduced for the 2020 RMHC Gala, recognizes young people who are dedicated to the organization’s cause. These recipients have gone above and beyond to embody the Ronald McDonald House values of respect for every individual, excellence in all you do, and compassion for those in need. 

Jack first became involved with the Ronald McDonald House in eighth grade. He immediately saw the value of helping his community members. When asked why he chose this charity he said, “I felt an instant connection to this organization because my uncle and his family needed to use a home like this when he was sick with cancer. It was so good for his family to be able to be together during [such a] hard time.”

Jack is a member of Holy Family’s Honor Society which promotes and celebrates volunteering with non-profit organizations beyond campus borders. His membership with the honor society inspired Jack to invest a significant number of hours at the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis. There he cooked for guests, worked in the yard, and assisted with food drives. When he’s not volunteering, Jack plays on the Holy Family hockey team.

Membership in Holy Family’s honor society is not Jack’s only motivation to volunteer. For Jack, the real reward is “knowing that the work I do actually makes a difference in the lives of people living there… Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House has made me a kinder, more empathic, and compassionate person. I hope to remain involved with the organization throughout my life.”

Click HERE to learn more about Holy Family’s Honor Society.