The DSHA English Department is committed to developing exceptional writers. Through four years of composition-based and college preparatory curriculum, teachers help students grow in critical and analytical thinking skills through methodical application of these abilities in each course. The annual result of this intentional development is a class of graduating seniors who have learned to find and communicate their individual voices in a manner that is logical, clear, and original. Students work on syntax, imagery, and tone, while infusing their own perspectives and life experiences into their writing in a way that honors the assignment at hand.
Each year, the DSHA English faculty receives countless messages from their former students. These messages share the same sentiments: students feel overly prepared for college through both their paper-writing skills and their ability to form and articulate an argument or point of view across a variety of subject matters. Class of 2022 English Department award recipients Madeline Setliff, DSHA ’22, and Ximena Cavazos, DSHA ’22, articulate why this coursework has mattered–and how they hope it will continue to matter in the years ahead. Yes, it is about being overly prepared to write excellent papers in college and being successful academically and in their careers. Yet is also about being human–learning to communicate and own their voice on the things that matter–and more importantly, why they matter.
Spring Semester 2022 of The Word Magazine | President Katie Konieczny, DSHA '92, and Principal Dan Quesnell
Dear DSHA Community,
While we typically write you a letter to share some highlights from the semester, we’d like to take a different approach this spring. Instead, we offer a letter of love and appreciation to the class of 2022; a class that is extra dear to each of us.
I (Principal Dan Quesnell) was able to walk alongside of this class as both a principal and a father to Nora Quesnell, DSHA ’22. My love for this class—given all they have endured and accomplished—is difficult to summarize in a limited number of words.
And I (President Katie Konieczny, DSHA ’92) spent my first full four years as president with the DSHA Class of 2022. We have been challenged together. We have learned together. And we have grown together in our love for our shared sisterhood.
On my first day at DSHA at the start of sophomore year, I walked into Mr. Lelisnki’s first-hour English class incredibly intimidated. Not because Mr. Lelinski is intimidating. He might, in fact, be the least daunting teacher at school.
Good evening, DSHA. I’m honored to speak to you today, and I first need to extend my gratitude to the many people who have brought the class of 2022 to this moment. Thank you, friends and family, particularly our parents, for everything you’ve done to support us. I would also like to thank DSHA, our excellent teachers, staff, the Sisters of the Divine Savior, and everyone who contributed to our education. Not one of us could have gotten here alone, and our successes are largely due to your generosity, patience, and support.
I served at the Congregational Home for Vocare. Congregational Home is a non-profit, faith-based continuing care retirement community which houses and cares for the elderly. Within the home, the residents range from living independently to needing assistance and therapy. Some residents walk on their own and others get around by wheelchair. Some are capable of holding conversations while others are nonverbal. Some could recall my name day by day while others saw me as a stranger each time I said “hello.” Despite all this, one thing was true for all those I worked with. Every single person, in their own unique way, was a blessing in my life. The Vocare prayer, “Teach Me to Be a Blessing,” reminded me to serve with patience and kindness, but the residents I interacted with impacted me in a way that can’t be put into words. To give you a bit of an idea, however, I will share a little bit about my time serving and how it made me feel.
During my two weeks on Vocare, I had the honor of serving at Bryant Elementary. Bryant is a small Milwaukee Public School just 10 minutes away from DSHA, and around 220 students are enrolled there. I had the joy and absolute pleasure of spending my time in the K4 room with four and five-year-olds.
Newly retired Social Studies Faculty Sue Goulee has been a warm presence in the classroom and halls of DSHA for over two decades. Always thinking of her students, she is passionate about having a positive relationship with the girls she teaches—especially her freshman students—and helping young women see the history around them. From her shoe collection to her energy in the classroom, she is a beloved teacher by many. Although Goulee retired from teaching following the end of the 2020-21 school year, she is still involved in the planning and communication areas of the Freshman Wellness Seminar program and is a substitute at DSHA.