May 2018

  • 05/25/2018 Celebrating the 8th Grade

    School Events, Principal Cassidy's News & Notes, Weekender

    Today, our 8th graders take their last final exam, had their last celebration and IB awards gathering, rehearsed for their graduation ceremonies and at 2:15 will take a final walk through the building to say goodbye to their school family. Whether a student has been here 9 years or 1 year, Annunciation is their home.  It seems strange that the final school day for them is already here.

    Over this past year, we have worked together to fulfill our mission to develop each child to their full “potentiality”. We have celebrated together from Septemberfest to Graduation and every event in between.  We have prayed together through joyful moments – launching our Potentiality campaign, Christmas program, Carnaval, Exhibition, IB authorization visit, Monday morning meetings, and classroom celebrations – to sorrowful moments – loss of members of our community and tragedies within our country and world.  In all of this, it is the sense of faith and community that has held us together and formed the true family that Annunciation represents.

    To our family, we send heartfelt thanks – for working with us, celebrating with us, and praying with us. As a family, we experience up’s and down’s, good times and bad times, but as a family does, we hold each other up and know that together, with God’s grace, there is nothing we cannot do.

    As our “Potentiality” video says, “I am a promise, I am a possibility, I am a promise, with a capital P – I am a great big bundle of “Potentiality”.  As we wrap up the 2017-18 school year, we celebrate the partnership and effort of all of us to bring about the promise of each child and their full potentiality.

    Thank you for partnering with us and being a member of our Annunciation family. We are grateful for this time together and look forward to next year when we continue the strong tradition of Annunciation Catholic School even as we build for the future.

    God Bless,
    Jennifer Cassidy

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  • 05/25/2018 Battle of the Books Summer 2018

    School Events, Enrichment, Weekender

    What is it?  

    The ‘Battle’ is designed to enhance reading comprehension and breadth of reading in a fun, informative way.  Books included on the reading lists have been carefully read and selected by literacy leaders across the nation.  The books are selected for their high interest level, challenging vocabulary, reading levels and appropriate content. The books are purposefully selected to expose students to a variety of genres, quality authors, diverse races/cultures and historical eras.

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  • 05/25/2018 Welcome, Mr. Schild!

    School Events, Weekender


    I am Mr. Schild and I’m excited to join the Annunciation Catholic School community. I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I was a product of the Grand Rapids Catholic School system, graduating from St. Adalbert Grade School and West Catholic High School. I attended college at Central Michigan University where I received a Bachelor of Science in Education. I had a double major in Secondary Education Social Studies and Political Science and a minor in History. I was blessed in the fall of 2008 when I married my college sweetheart Natalie in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

    I have had the blessing of teaching in Catholic schools for the last 10 years. I am a Google Certified Educator and love incorporating technology into my social studies lessons. Currently, I’m a graduate student in the Murray Institute seeking a Masters of Arts in Educational Studies through the University of St. Thomas. I enjoy sharing my passion of history, civics, geography, and my faith with my students. I feel truly blessed to teach in a Catholic school where I can attend mass with my students and begin each class period with a prayer just as I experienced as a student in the Catholic schools of Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

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  • 05/25/2018 Welcome, Ms. Haecherl!

    School Events, Weekender

    I am excited to join the Annunciation staff as the new 5th grade teacher!

    As the oldest of three children I grew up used to being in a teaching role. I am from in a small town north of the cities where I was actively involved in my parish. When I was a 5th grader I started going to youth group and that is where my passion for the Catholic faith was nurtured.

    I graduated from The University of Saint Mary's of Minnesota in Winona with a degree in Elementary Education and minor in Spanish. The next year I taught 2nd and 4th grade in Honduras. The abroad experience was something I loved but I missed my family often. For the past two years I have been teaching 5th grade in Willmar, Minnesota. I have enjoyed working with 5th graders and challenging them to be true thinkers and learners.

    Teaching in a Catholic school is a new adventure for me but I am excited to bring both the love of faith and teaching together. I am thrilled to be teaching in an IB school.

    Have a fantastic end of your year and I look forward to meeting everyone in the fall. 

    Sara Haecherl 

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  • 05/25/2018 New Staff Announcements

    School Events, Principal Cassidy's News & Notes, Weekender

    Hello Annunciation School Parents.

    The last month or so has been busy with end of the year activities. In addition, I have been fortunate to lead the process of seeking new teachers to join our school community. For each opening, we have an initial interview with a team of people representing different aspects of the school program. We then have a second round with additional people joining me to have a more specific conversation to find the right person for each position. 

    We are very prayerful and intentional about finding people who share our vision and mission, who believe in what Annunciation stands for, and is excited about the future direction we are headed. This thorough process helps us find the very best people – along with a lot of prayer! 

    I am excited to introduce two recent hires. Our two new teachers will be joining us in 5th grade and Middle School Social Studies respectively. Attached are brief introductions and photos of our new teachers, Ms. Sara Haecherl and Mr. Rick Schild.

    In addition, there is a letter from Shannon Buncher, our Preschool Site Director about a change for her and our preschool. Shannon lives near St. Jude of the Lake in Mahtomedi, which is her home parish. The pastor of St. Jude also had hired Shannon for a previous teaching position.  A position in the preschool opened at St. Jude and Shannon couldn’t pass up the opportunity to teach in her home parish. We are so grateful to Shannon for her amazing leadership and hard work for our preschool program. She has been a blessing. Fortunately, Miss Mary Eilen, our other Kinderstart teacher, will be taking the role of Site Director here at Annunciation. Blessings to you, Shannon! Thanks for all you have done to build our program.

    While change can be hard, it is often through change that some of our greatest growth can occur. Our prayers continue that God sends us amazing people to join us in our mission. Thanks to all of you for your kind words and prayers as we seek new members of our team. We are blessed with the new staff joining us and look forward to more to come.

    Have a great Memorial Weekend!

    Jennifer M. Cassidy
    Annunciation Catholic School

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  • 05/25/2018 2nd Grade Research

    School Events, Weekender

    This week 2nd graders discussed how to take notes for a research project. First, they completed an idea map, filled with topics they wanted to find out about the plant. Next, they talked about how to use sources to pick out useful information. Students are hard at work collecting as many facts as they can to put together their final report.

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  • 05/25/2018 The Limited Resource of Water

    School Events, International Baccalaureate, Weekender

    Fourth grade students continued their study of how humans share the limited resource of water this week by restricting their use of water to only what they could carry with them for the school day. They filled one gallon jugs with water and were asked to only use the water from their jug for the entire school day. At the end of the day, students were challenged to find a use for their remaining water and not to waste it!

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  • 05/25/2018 Field Day 2018

    School Events, Weekender

    Field Day is almost here! 

    This year, all activities will take place on the beautiful Annunciation Campus! Activities scheduled for the day are fun, fast-moving, and involve all! As in past years, all 7th grade students will have a lead role in coordinating activities during the event.

    Following the All School Relay at approximately 12 noon, parents are invited to bring lunches to join their children for lunch outside.  The day wraps-up at 1pm and parents who are not able to join for lunch, are asked to pick students up as usual in the car pool line. 

    We look forward to a wonderful day of fun to conclude a great school year and kick off an awesome summer!

    All students can be in free dress and must bring a bag lunch from home.  

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  • 05/25/2018 SeptemberFest Save the Date!

    School Events, Church News, Weekender

    Save the Date!

    SeptemberFest Weekend

    September 14-16th


    2018 SeptemberFest Co-Chairs

    Jaki & Jason Ortmeier

    Sarah & Dan Klein

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  • 05/25/2018 Summer Library Hours

    School Events, Weekender

    In order to support student reading over the summer, the Annunciation library will be open two dates during June & July! Students can browse books and check out titles for summer reading. The library has several of the books from the Battle of the Books reading list as well!

    Plan to enter through the front door. Please use the form below to let me know you are coming.

    Happy reading!

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  • 05/25/2018 IB Exhibition Tech Club

    School Events, International Baccalaureate, Weekender

    5th graders, Leo, Jack & Franklin held their first technology club meeting as a result of their exhibition studies. Annunciation students from 2nd, 3rd & 4th eagerly learned how to code!

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  • 05/25/2018 Year End Notes

    School Events, Weekender

    Dear Parents,

    We are coming to the end of our school year and we have a few reminders and updates to share: 

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  • 05/25/2018 Girl Scout and Kindergarten Working Together

    School Events, Weekender

    The 6th grade Girl Scout Troop #15982 helped kindergarteners make wound bandages for Haiti. Way to take some action everyone!  

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  • 05/24/2018 STEM Activities Summer Workshop

    School Events, Weekender

    Do you have a curious child who would like to explore the mysterious world of science, technology, engineering, and math this summer?

    With Summer STEM Activities, students will work to explore different concepts—we may get a little messy, but we will be learning! We will be filling spots on a first come, first serve basis, so sign up today!

    The activities are designed for students entering 2nd - 5th grades in Fall 2018.


    Cost for each activity is $30.  No additional supplies or costs are needed. 

    Location is Annunciation Catholic School, room TBD. 

    Space is limited, so please register today

    All classes will go from 9-11am. 

    Questions can be sent to Ashley Hannigan at:

    Please complete the registration form and send payment to the office by Thursday, May 31st . Checks should be payable to Annunciation.

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  • 05/24/2018 Art Explosion! Summer Workshop

    School Events, Weekender

    Does you child love art? Your child will love exploring different art mediums while creating his or her next masterpiece! During this workshop, students will be introduced to, or reinforce, art concepts that will strengthen technique and explore creativity. I will be filling spots on a first come, first serve basis, so sign up today!

    The art activities are designed for students entering 2nd-5th grades in Fall 2018.


    Cost for each activity is $50.  No additional supplies or costs are needed. 

    Location is at Annunciation Catholic School, room TBD. 

    Class size is limited, so please register today

    Wednesday, June 13, June 27, July 11, July 18, July 25 and Friday, July 27.
    Classes will be from 9-11am with the exception of *Friday, July 27. More time is needed to paint and decorate the masks when they are dry. We will meet from 9-10am on 7/27. 

    Questions can be sent to Ashley Hannigan at:

    Please complete the registration form and send payment to the office by Thursday, May 31st . Checks should be payable to Annunciation.

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  • 05/19/2018 2nd Annual “Let God Set Free” Retreat, June 8-9: Two Ways You Can Help!

    Church News

    "Every human being, man, woman, boy and girl, is made in God’s image.  Therefore, we declare on each and every one of our creeds that modern slavery, in terms of human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution, and organ trafficking, is a crime against humanity.”  Pope Francis  Jan. 2015

    2ndAnnual “Let God Set Free”Retreat, June 8-9: Two Ways You Can Help!

    In June of 2017, we held our 1st Annual “Let God Set Free” Retreat for those who staff the organization called Breaking Free, which does outreach and provides services to victims of sex trafficking. At that time many Annunciation parishioners wrote care and support notes to those who came to this retreat. The retreatants were amazed that people whom they had never met would write to them by name and tell of their prayer and personal sacrifice for them during their retreat. One year later they still display the notes they received in their work cubicles. 

    We will conduct our 2nd Annual “Let God Set Free” Retreat June 8-9, at the Carondelet Center in St. Paul. Our planning committee, made up of the Carondelet Peace and Justice Center, members of the Congregation of St. Joseph, and several volunteers, invites you to contribute personal notes for these women to receive during the Friday evening prayer time of their retreat. 

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  • 05/18/2018 U.S. Academic Triathlon Team Wins at State Tournament

    School Events, Weekender

    ​A team of five 6th graders from Annunciation School has won second place at the 2018 Minnesota U.S. Academic Triathlon State Tournament, held recently at Woodbury Middle School, Woodbury, MN. Johnny, William, Fletcher, Ozzie and Charlie were coached by Julie Steege, middle school math teacher.

    During the Tournament, the team wrote, produced, and performed a skit with just 40 minutes to write and rehearse. The topic was “Monster in the House,” and students had to come up with a modern take on a classic story element. Students participated in a “Face-Off!,” a round of questions from history and math to literature and consumer issues; and rotated among three challenging “Mind Sprint”  problems, testing their verbal, critical, and creative problem-solving skills. The team has been practicing since last fall.

    Nearly 175 teams, grades 5-8, participated in U.S. Academic Triathlon this year in Minnesota alone. U.S. Academic Triathlon (USAT) is an academic and creativity competition aimed at fostering divergent thinking and building teamwork skills. USAT is a charter member of the Synergy & Leadership Exchange. To learn more about USAT, visit    

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  • 05/18/2018 Living Up to Our Potentiality

    Principal Cassidy's News & Notes, Weekender

    At the start of school, we launched our new “Potentiality” campaign. Our mission calls us to educate and develop the whole child – bringing out their true “Potentiality” as children created uniquely by God to do something special in our world. This has been the focus for all we do at Annunciation – our training, teaching, planning and praying.

    As we near the end of the school year, I have been able to witness some amazing moments when I have seen the true potential of each child soar! Whether it is the 8th graders from the Washington D.C. trip who made a video to share with students from Mexico to teach them about Minnesota, to the kindergarteners sharing their learning about habitats or “wants and needs”, to the 5th graders teaching all of us important things through their Exhibition projects – all of these moments highlighted more than just learning content – it showcased that the students were learning about life. As I stop and talk to students or see them in their classrooms, I am struck by how they are now taking what they learn and seeing how this can make them better people.

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  • 05/18/2018 Painted Lady Butterfly Release in 1st Grade

    School Events, Weekender

    First graders watched Painted Lady Butterflies change through their life cycle from chrysalis to butterfly. And even though they were sad to let them go, they released them back into the wild this week.

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  • 05/18/2018 Spring Piano Recitals & Performances

    School Events, Weekender

    Students have been working hard in lessons and rehearsals for their recitals Tuesday, May 22nd during the school day in the church sanctuary.  This performance is a wonderful opportunity for piano students to show their peers some of the material they have been working on this year. 

    Performers are asked to change into recital wardrobe at school before they play.  Grades will be divided by level to accommodate space and school schedules. 

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  • 05/18/2018 Lunch Room News


    Thanks to all who made this a successful lunch program this year! We will putting together a menu for next year, that will include several choices, so stay tuned for that menu in August.

    As we wrap up the year, please make sure your family account balance is at a positive or zero balance. If it is not, please make a payment before May 25th. When making a payment, please add the amount of lunches or milk your child will be purchasing for the rest of the month.

    Finally, the last day of the lunch program, including milk, will be May 25th.

    If you have any questions, please email me!

    Anne Stickney,

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  • 05/18/2018 Astronaut Lands at Annunciation for a Special Visit

    School Events, Weekender

    On May the 4th, we were very blessed to have astronaut, Kjell Lindgren, visit our school!

    He gave two inspiring presentations to our students. Both presentations featured a video of his journey and time at the International Space Station.

    After the presentations, he visited all of the individual grades for questions and class photos. Students and staff even received signed photos of Kjell in his astronaut suit.

    We also learned some fun facts about astronaut, Kjell Lindgren. 

    A special thank you to Amy Smith for all her hard work supporting APO to get Kjell here!  

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  • 05/18/2018 5th Annual School Supply Drive

    School Events, Weekender

    It’s time to kick off Annunciation’s 5th Annual School Supply Drive!

    Let’s make this our best School Supply Drive yet!  Please know that all donations are VOLUNTARY; no need to give up your lucky pencil! 

    Here are some important things to keep in mind as you plan any donations:

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  • 05/14/2018 National Math Challenge Contest Results

    School Events, Enrichment, Weekender

    In early April, 30 Annunciation students in grades 2-5 participated in the National Math Challenge Contest. 

    This Math Contest is a national contest for elementary students. The goal of the competition is to encourage students' interest in math, to develop their problem-solving skills, and to inspire them to excel in math. 

    More than 33,000 students representing 772 schools across the country took part in this spring’s contest.  

    The following students are our Annunciation School Team Leaders

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  • 05/11/2018 Welcome, Mr. LeTellier!

    School Events, Weekender

    Andrew LeTellier is delighted to bring his passion for reading and writing to the Annunciation middle school team. He comes to us from Seattle, WA, where he has been teaching 7th Grade ELA at Saint Joseph School, writing stories, hiking plenty, and wishing he were a sailor.

    Through the University of Portland’s PACE (Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education) program, he received a Masters of Education, a Reading Endorsement, and also met his wife, a Minnesota native. Now, as they move closer to family, Andrew looks forward to his new life in the Twin Cities, where he hopes to enkindle a love of reading and writing in every student he teaches, and maybe, one day, finally learn to sail.

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  • 05/11/2018 Early Dismissal

    School Events, Weekender

    Annunciation Extended Day Program is Open

    There will be an early dismissal from School on Thursday, May 31st.  School will be let out at 12:30p.m.  Extended day will be open from 12:30p.m.-6:00p.m.

    On Thursday, May 31st, the children coming to Extended Day will need to bring a bag lunch which will be eaten with their class during field day.  There will not be hot lunch or milk served on this day.  We will be staying on school grounds

    Extended Day will provide a snack at 2:30p.m.  There will also be a 4:30p.m. snack time and this snack is brought from home.

    Please dress the children appropriately.  We will be going outside in the afternoon.


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  • 05/11/2018 The Home Stretch

    School Events, Principal Cassidy's News & Notes, Weekender

    Happy Spring! We survived our long winter and are enjoying the warmer, sunnier days. As we approach the final weeks of the school year, we also take this time to reflect on the past year and share our successes. Last night, we hosted the State of the School where we reviewed our strategic plan and vision, shared some of the highlights, and celebrated our achievements.

    Through our strategic vision, Annunciation Catholic School has been on a course that is unique to our school. Our journey to become an IB World School has transformed our teaching and learning. You can be proud of the growth and the choice you have made for your children and family. We are excited about the goals we have accomplished, but even more excited about what lies ahead.

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  • 05/11/2018 Wiffle Ball Spirit Wear

    School Events, Weekender

    The online store for all things Wiffle Ball is NOW OPEN!

    This is a special link, separate from the Identity Stores link on the school's website:

    Store Link:

    Teams, get your Wiffle Ball apparel ordered in time for delivery for the School's Out Tournament, May 31st- June 3rd. The online store is ONLY available NOW through MIDNIGHT, MONDAY, MAY 14th!! To ensure delivery by May 30th!!!

    If you have any questions, please contact:

    Jennifer Davis

    Thank you!

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  • 05/04/2018 Always Learning

    School Events, International Baccalaureate, Weekender

    At Annunciation, we strive to prepare students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them.

    As a staff, we are committed to being lifelong learners.    

    This past weekend several staff members participated in a three-day International Baccalaureate professional development conference. Staff attended sessions including: Developing the Primary Years Program, Nurturing Creativity, and Pedagogical Leadership. We were learners along side over 400 International Baccalaureate educators from all over the world.

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  • 05/04/2018 Sagrada Familia Quilt Presentation

    School Events, Weekender

    Second graders were recognized at the all school mass this past Thursday where Fr. Park blessed their religious artifacts. We also held a small reception after mass and presented a quilt to Sagrada Familia. The quilt was created by 2nd graders during their First Communion preparations. 

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  • 05/04/2018 Working Hard on 5th Grade Exhibition

    School Events, International Baccalaureate, Weekender

    What is IB Exhibition? Fifth graders’ opportunity to demonstrate their learning throughout elementary school.

    Fifth grade students have been working very hard, colloborating in groups, to learn as much as they can about their given topic. The students are using all of the thinking, researching, synthesizing and social skills they have gathered from kindergarten through 5th grade to pull these extensive projects together. We are excited to view them at IB Exhibition on May 16 & 17!

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  • 05/04/2018 8th Graders in Washington D.C.

    School Events, Weekender

    Eighth graders have enjoyed their week visiting all of what Washington, D.C. has to offer! Here is a photo of the students at The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and in front of The White House.

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  • 05/04/2018 The Butterfly Life Cycle

    School Events, Weekender

    This week first graders explored life cycles and observed the life cycle of a butterfly with our very own caterpillars. Our favorite part of the week was finding books about caterpillars and butterflies to read to them.

    Mrs. Mullinax
    1st grade teacher

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