Dear DSHA Community,
Amidst the challenge of dual-format teaching and learning, reliance on multiple technologies, and feelings of being overwhelmed, light shines upon us.
On Tuesday March 17, the DSHA Board of Directors approved the implementation of the Marian Scholars Program. We were prepared to make a public announcement in the days that followed. Upon further consideration, we waited so that the story would not get lost in the midst of all that was happening surrounding COVID-19.
I want to thank our Inclusion and Equity collaborative team from last year: English Faculty Andy Berens; Mathematics Faculty Emily Brown; Social Studies Faculty Sue Goulee; Theology Faculty Lisa Metz; Theology Faculty Fr. Patric Nikolas, SDS; Science Faculty Stacey Strandberg; and Social Studies Faculty Chris Weiss.
I want to thank the adults and students who travelled to Washington D.C. and to Tennessee: Academic Dean Dr. Heather Mansfield; Director of Campus Ministry Stephanie Monson; English Faculty Aubrey Murtha; Specialized Studies Department Chair Connie Farrow; Social Studies Faculty Chriss Laemmar; Elizabeth Merz, DSHA ’21; Nora Clossey, DSHA ’21; Emily Capper, DSHA ’21; Maura Walsh, DSHA ’22; Juju Kass, DSHA ’22; Honor Callanan, DSHA ’21; Jacque Stegmayer, DSHA ’21; and Mady Koster, DSHA ’21.
I want to thank Administrative Assistant Dawn Hathaway for making the many arrangements for the two trips – flights, hotels, vans etc.
I want to thank our faculty who have Mia in their classrooms this year: English Faculty Kayla Gilgenbach; Social Studies Faculty Sue Goulee; World Language Department Chair Jen McLaughlin; Health & Fitness Department Chair Brian Calhoun; Health & Fitness Faculty Angie Hutchinson; Health & Fitness Faculty Jess Liban; Director of Theater, Choir, & Liturgical Music Zachary Ziegler; Campus Minister for Prayer and Worship and Theology Faculty Catherine Lennon; and School Counselor Kristin Shea.
I want to thank Director of Marian Scholars Mary Anderson and Marian Scholars Faculty Gretchen Caraher for sharing their expertise and for leading our implementation.
I want to thank Dean of Student Affairs Ruby Brock for supervising the program, helping to hire Mary and Gretchen, and for lending her special education training and expertise to the program.
I want to thank Mark and Mary Ruge, parents of Mia Ruge, DSHA ’24 (our first Marian scholar!) who are incredible partners in mission with us.
I want to thank Honor Callanan, DSHA ’21; Tori Koch, DSHA ’21; Nora Clossey, DSHA ’21; Emily Capper, DSHA ’21; Juju Kass, DSHA ’22; Mady Koster, DSHA ’21, Madison Moore, DSHA ’21; Jacque Stegmayer, DSHA ’21; Mia Jensen, DSHA '21; Rachel Gauthier, DSHA '22; and Ella Bressanelli, DSHA ‘DSHA ’22;
as the first peer mentors.
I want to thank Mrs. Lauren Beckmann, principal at DSHA feeder school St. Robert’s. Mrs. Beckmann’s leadership at St. Robert’s has been a beacon for other schools like DSHA in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Mrs. Beckmann shared her expertise and knowledge with us as we developed our program and hired our Marian Scholars leaders.
I want to thank our communications team of Vice President of Marketing & Communications Molly Shea and Marketing & Development Writer Madeline Zukowski for helping us tell this incredible story.
I also want to thank our Academic & Student Life Committee of the board and our DSHA Board of Directors for endorsing and supporting this program.
Finally, a special thank you to everyone not named in this letter. As time forges ahead all of us will engage with the Marian Scholars Program and work to provide an inclusive learning environment for all. In the midst of the immediate work before us, we take a moment to pray in gratitude for the gift of this amazing community.