We are all beginning to taste the last gasp of summer as August rolls forward. Families are beginning to gather back-to-school supplies. Pacelli athletic teams are starting fall practices. The Packers and Badgers are in full swing. The smell of disinfectant is in the halls.
First, our prayers go out to the Raczek family. Long-time football coach Bob Raczek passed away recently after a long battle with cancer. A friend of mine who passed away too young once said, as busy as people are you have to "throw a funeral" to get everyone together. That was the case as many Pacelli alumni and former football players gathered to remember the tremendous impact Coach had on everyone. Coach wanted a celebration and that was certainly the case. There was less talk of W's and L's and more talk about how Coach Bob molded them as young men. Thanks for the memories, Bob!
Like all of you, we are shifting to fall and coming up quickly for the Stevens Point Area Catholic Schools is the 39th annual Panacea. It will be held Sept. 6 to 8 at Pacelli High School. All of the traditional Panacea items will be back, plus a few changes.
On Friday and Saturday night, we will feature two local bands, Southbound and the Jerry Schmitt Band. This year, the Panacea vehicle raffle is featuring a cardinal red 2013 Jeep Wrangler. On Saturday, we will hold the first annual Panacea Kickball Tourney on the Bob Raczek fields. All weekend long, you can tour our silent auction and find items that auction off between $10 and $1,000. The Central Wisconsin Children's Museum is joining us for Kiddyland inside of Pacelli High School. There will be plenty of food, bingo, polka dancing, carnival rides and on and on. Check out our website for more information.
We were busy over the summer. Thanks to successful fundraisers, including the Schulfer & Associates Shredding Party with support from IROW, we have been able to upgrade security at three of our locations, with one still pending. Our parents donated funds. We also received support from the Home & School Associations and a Diocesan grant to achieve our first goal in these upgrades.
Pacelli and St. Peter Middle School have been busy implementing Project Lead The Way-Science/Technology/Engineering/Math (STEM) curriculum. At Pacelli, one course each was added in technology and biomedical sciences. St. Peter will be integrating the material in science courses throughout the year, including a robotics section. The goal is to further enhance opportunities for our graduates (more than 90 percent who go on to college) and increase ACT scores.
Last year, Pacelli had a highly successful mentoring program. Students were assigned to teachers and staff to afford them another opportunity to interact in a different atmosphere than the classroom or counselor's office. This year we are adding a similar program at St. Peter Middle School to support our students in those incredibly challenging teen-age transition years.
Thanks in advance to the central Wisconsin community for supporting SPACS. Whether it is our golf outing, Panacea, security or other needs, it is great to be a part of central Wisconsin.