Monday, December 14, 2015

Trinity School Virtue of the Month for December: Generosity

Virtue of the Month for December: Generosity

Generosity is giving time, talent, labor, or money to others without being rewarded in return.

God loves a cheerful giver.

A generous person freely helps others, shares, shows compassion, always among the first to reach out to others in need.

St. Francis of Assisi and Blessed Mother Teresa are good examples of compassionate givers.

Ways that you can practice generosity:
  • Collect homework for a classmate
  • Volunteer to help at a school, church or community function
  • Fill your mite box during Lent
  • Help a classmate with a project
  • Help with BINGO at St. Martin's on a Sunday afternoon
  • Give up recess to be a rainy day aide
  • Share a game or a treat with someone
  • Spend time with a friend who is upset
  • Give someone else a turn in a game
Make someone's day by giving something away.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Trinity School Virtue of the Month for November: Gratitude

Virtue of the Month: Gratitude

Gratitude is being aware of the gifts we receive each day and being appreciative of the giver.

Gratitude moves us to use our gifts and put them to work in the service others.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His steadfast love endures forever.  Psalm 107:1

  • A grateful person does NOT lament what he/she does not have
  • A grateful person is not envious of what others have.
  • A grateful person avoids consumerism.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.  Psalm 118:24

A grateful person:
  • Thanks others
  • Takes care of possessions
  • Thanks God for each new day every morning
  • Thanks God at the end of each day for blessings received
  • Sees the needs of others and strives to help them

Every day should be a day of Thanksgiving.

To acknowledge receipt of a gift
To be courteous
To express appreciation
To reflect on the giver's thoughtfulness
To absorb the blessing of being remembered
To value the time and expense
To seal it in my memory
To encourage the giver

Monday, October 5, 2015

Trinity Virtue of the Month for October: Tolerance

Virtue of the Month: Tolerance

Tolerance is respecting the dignity and rights of others - even those whose beliefs and behaviors are difference from our own.
We may  not agree with others, but we must respect differences.

Tolerant people say:
  • "Hey stop it. You're putting her down."
  • "It's hurtful to make fun of how people look."
  • "That's not funny.  It pokes fun at his religion."
  • "Why don't you let him be on the team?  So what if he's never hit a ball before."

Tolerant people:

  • Refuse to take part in activities that make fun of people because they're different.
  • Don't laugh at jokes that make unkind remarks about a person's race, religion, culture, or size.
  • Stand up for someone who is being put down or ridiculed.
  • Refuse to exclude someone because she/he is different or not as experienced at something as others.
  • Get into the habit of saying only positive and kind things about others.

There are many examples from the Bible showing how Jesus was TOLERANT.

It takes self-control to be TOLERANT.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Learning Through Play

As I stood atop of the playground at recess duty, I scanned the many children hard at work. They were chasing each other, climbing and sliding, and bouncing balls; activities you see on most playgrounds. On further investigation,  they were collecting leaves and sticks in the ‘woods’ to make “stew”, digging for “gold” in the sandbox, and hiding behind the Trinity Tree  from the “dinosaur”. Children at play. They have such great imaginations. Unfortunately, many experts have been trying for years to keep those imaginations out of the classrooms and studies are showing the impact this has on academic development.

In a recent article from the New York Times titled Let the Kids Learn Through Play (Kohn, May 16, 2015) research on “child initiated” learning was discussed. The article sites research, done at the University of North Florida by Dr. Rebecca A. Macron, following children from preschool age to third and fourth grades. The research compared preschool programs that were more academically oriented, to child initiated, to those in between. Her research showed that children in the more child directed programs showed higher grades by fourth grade than those in a more academic structured program. Similar recent studies at Cambridge University and University of California also show results pointing toward child driven exploration as better for emotional and academic growth.

Upon visiting Trinity’s early childhood classrooms, enjoy the experience of children hard at work. The centers to mimic real life, blocks, and painting may be our future chefs, architects, and artists. Or, our future neurosurgeons and engineers may be trying to figure out how to keep the block tower from falling or how to share the blocks evenly with friends. The skills they are learning in child directed ‘play’ will serve them well in future academic learning, social and emotional development, and the knowledge that learning is fun.


                                                                        -Mrs. Heather Schell, M.Ed.
                                                                          Trinity School
                                                                          Second grade teacher

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Trinity Virtue of the Month for September: Diligence

Virtue of the Month: Diligence

Diligence comes from the Latin word diligere meaning to value highly, to take delight in.

A DILIGENT person works hard to finish a job.

A DILIGENT person is:

  • a hard worker
  • industrious
  • attentive
  • persistent
  • steady
  • earnest
  • energetic

A DILIGENT person applies him/herself to the task at hand:

  • starts working right away
  • works hard to finish a job
  • invests time and energy
  • does a job efficiently
  • applies his/her God-given talents

DILIGENCE is a key ingredient to success in practice, exercise, and study.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Trinity School Core Values

Trinity School is accredited through AIMS (Association of Independent Maryland Schools).  During the 2014-2015 school year the faculty and staff prepared for the upcoming re-accreditation of the school.  This is a process that takes place every 10 years.  The preparation consists of a self study of all aspects of the school by the faculty and staff.

The School Philosophy Committee developed the Trinity School Core Values.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Trinity Graduates Address the Class of 2015

Trinity School graduates Connor Ganley and Marissa Varnado addressed the Trinity Class of 2015 at their awards ceremony on June 2.
Connor has an Academic and Athletic scholarship to UMBC.
Marissa has an Academic and Athletic scholarship to Johns Hopkins University.

Here are their inspiring speeches:

Good morning Sister Catherine, Mister Rickbeil, parents, teachers, faculty, staff, and students of Trinity School, especially the Trinity Class of 2015. I am incredibly honored to have been asked to come back and speak at this ceremony just four years after I myself sat in those seats as an eighth grader. I can remember feeling incredibly accomplished as I walked out of those gym doors after my own graduation, diploma in hand. And I hope you all feel the same way. You’ve made it; and that was no small task. Believe it or not, you are all incredibly well prepared for high school. It may take you some time to realize it, but the academic rigor and the constant demand for personal excellence at Trinity will come in handy this fall and beyond. But this is not to say that there will not be some adjusting that needs to happen. After all, you’re about to become freshmen. And as a fellow Trinity alum (I always keep my alumni card in my wallet), I thought I could give you some useful advice to help ease the transition into next year, and the next four years of your lives.
            First, the nerves. Granted, it took me all summer to even become the slightest hint of nervous to start high school. But after that first day, man, I was a wreck. I was so overwhelmed by all the packets of course syllabuses and the new teachers and the unfamiliar faces and the lack of friends that I was done. After my first day of high school, I wanted to quit. Needless to say, though, I didn’t. Looking back, the best advice I think I could give myself, and the advice I’m giving to you all, is be yourself and don’t be shy about it. Stay true to who you are and to the values that are taught so well here at Trinity. High school is a big place with lots of people and so many unknowns, but I’ve found that if you just be yourself, you’ll find people with similar interests. With so many people at one school, I can guarantee that you’ll find a group of friends. Even I did, and I’m a hard-core nerd. I can draw the chemical compound 2,5-dimethyl-3-propylnapthalene or rattle off the fundamental theorems of calculus like nobody’s business, and one of the greatest things about high school is that no matter what interests you, there will be people just like you. People you can identify with and people who will open up to you. In short, don’t be afraid to be yourself next year, because you’ll fit in.
            Second, the workload of high school may seem incredibly daunting. By now you’ve probably all heard some horror stories of students staying up all night to finish their homework or study for a test on a topic that the teacher never taught. But I wouldn’t characterize high school like that; it’s absolutely manageable and fair. Notice how I said manageable and fair, but not easy. It’s hard work for sure, but I’m certain that the teachers at Trinity have done an excellent job at teaching you what it means to work hard in the classroom. I know that was the case for me, and I was all the better in high school for it. This is not to say, however, that there won’t be a few nights when you’re burning the midnight oil trying to finish an English paper or those math problems or the history outline. And sometimes all three. But it’s absolutely doable. There’s a certain person in my mind who best illustrates this idea for me. In the summer of my sophomore and junior years, I attended a swimming camp at the University of Virginia, and I had the honor of being coached by a Mr. Don Easterling. Some might say that he’s crazy, some that he’s senile, and others that he’s absolutely insane. If you don’t believe me, he made us do handstands with a partner before every practice. Keep in mind, this is a swim practice. One time, he told those of us in his group to “have fun” because we were finished our practice and had extra time, so a few of us jumped in the pool. Not two minutes later, however, he yells at us to get out of the water because we were “having fun wrong,” then made us take our goggles off and swim underwater to the other end of the pool and back. Now that was fun. He’s a role model of mine, and easily one of the wisest people I know. After a particularly difficult workout in the pool, he sat his group down and talked about how hard swimming is. And he concluded it with the words, “I never said it was going to be easy. I only said it was going to be worth it.” And I feel that adequately sums up a good portion of high school.
            For my final piece of advice to you all, I would like to also give credit to another mentor in my life who I believe has made a world of difference. There was a teacher here not long ago by the name of Mr. Thomas Lauth, who taught social studies in the middle school. I know I haven’t been gone long, but I’m not sure if any of you remember him or have seen him at the fall festival. Mr. Lauth was a very commanding presence in the classroom, always demanding excellence of his students and serving as a stellar role model. His favorite mantra was, “Pay attention to detail,” which is the first of two important lessons he taught that I’m giving to you today. This lesson has saved me countless times in many different classes, as details are often all that matter. Pay attention to details, and the rest will fall into place.
When Mr. Lauth retired, he gave a speech that has stuck with me to this day, and quite honestly, it has made all the difference in my life. If it could be pared down to two words, his speech said, “Have passion.” And I think that is the best piece of advice I can offer to you today, Trinity Class of 2015. Have passion. Fully invest yourself in all that you do. Put your heart into your work, whatever it may be. Because it is with passion that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. It is passion in life that makes all the difference. Trinity School has so well prepared each and every one of you to follow your passions during the next four years and beyond. And that is such a gift.
If I remember correctly, on the very last day of Mr. Lauth’s class, he projected that day’s homework onto the white board. In all caps, the homework was, “Have a great life!” and those are the words I would like to leave you with today. Be yourself. Work hard. Pay attention to detail. Have passion. And have a great life. Best of luck, Trinity Class of 2015. God bless.
Connor Ganley
Trinity Class of 2011
Mount St. Joseph Class of 2015
UMBC Class of 2019

Good morning Sister Catherine, teachers, and parents and students of the Class of 2015.  My name is Marissa Varnado and I graduated from Trinity with the Class of 2011 and graduated from NDP just about a week ago with the Class of 2015 and next year I look forward to attending Johns Hopkins University where I will study psychology and play on the women’s basketball team.  It’s so crazy saying that because I remember hot lunches, recess on the playground, and Mr. Rickbeil’s religion class like it was just yesterday.  Graduation is such an exciting time because it causes you to reflect a lot on what experiences have passed you by.
Within the past year I’ve had the chance to travel to both El Salvador and Ecuador for service projects.  In both countries, I spoke with high school students my age that were scholarship recipients.  It’s so overwhelming to hear about the hardships that some of the students face in order to simply go to school through 12th grade.  One girl that I met in Guasmo Sur, a poor neighborhood of Ecuador, had to spend over a quarter of her family’s $2.00 a day income just to travel to school taking 4 different public buses.  She was so grateful for her scholarship because if it didn’t cover the cost of transportation she wouldn’t be able to eat.
Each student that I met was so grateful for their education and they worked hard to try to improve their family’s situation every single day.  These students were such an in inspiration to me and throughout the two trips, I thought back on my high school experience and noted so many differences; for example my greatest struggle going into freshman year, I thought, was being the single, solitary student from Trinity going to NDP.  Talk about perspective!
New experiences like that can be scary, but I believe that in life it’s all about how you react.  When I got to NDP it seemed like everybody knew everybody except for me.  Instead of wallowing in self-pity (for too long), I set out to get involved in as much as I could.  I joined the Athletic Association, the basketball team, got involved in service, and sat at as many different lunch tables as I could.  That reaction really paid off as I later found myself the treasurer of the Athletic Association, captain of the basketball team, and even as part of Campus Ministry, among other things.  So I guess the moral of that story is to keep thing in perspective, and get yourself out there; try anything and everything you can, you’ll meet tons of people, and you’ll grow as a person from it even if it turns out to not be the most fun experience.  From those not so great experiences you’ll learn the types of things you don’t like, so you grow as a person either way.  Don’t confine yourself to one thing, I know college seems light years away (but it’s really not) so being a well-rounded person makes you interesting to colleges not only on paper, but it will give your something to talk about in interviews as well.  Trinity prepares you so well for the academic side of the transition to high school, so thank you to all of my middle school teachers for that!  And trust me you’ll be thanking them in a few years too, but those little tips will help you with the social transition.
The next thing I will say about high school is that it’s all about time management.  I know I just told you to get out there and join every single club and talk to every single person, but you do have to think big picture and make tough decisions.  You should always wonder that, if by choosing to do something, you are leaving enough time to finish all of your homework, or study fort that test coming up.  Learning to manage your time is a big part of high school, and a big part of life as well.
I will contradict myself on final time, however, by saying that by the time you’re my age, 4 years down the road, you’ll know where you’re going to college, and you’ll look back on all the work you did to set yourself up to that, but you have to realize that friends and experiences can sometimes take priority because when you’re counting down the days you have left with your friends, you aren’t thinking about the grade you earned on a particular test.
The last thing I’ll say is that your parents are always right.  Even when they aren’t they are, and listening to them will make high school an enjoyable experience for all involved.
So congratulations Class of 2015!  I know your transitions to high school will be smooth sailing thanks to Trinity, but even when you hit a rough patch, just remember that it’s you growing as a person, and experiences like that will eventually shape you into the people you will become: great leaders, great friends, and great students that will go on to change the world, I believe in you and I can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish.  You’ll be great!
Marissa Varnado
Trinity Class of 2011
Notre Dame Prep Class of 2015
Johns Hopkins Class of 2019

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Trinity Virtue of the Month for May: Confidence

Virtue of the Month: Confidence

Confidence is based on hope and trust in God's promises.
We can have confidence only if we first trust and in trusting have hope.
It is best to place our trust in God because He knows what we need and He will not let us down. 
Whatever God asks us to do, He will give us what we need to accomplish it.
If you believe this, you possess the virtue of confidence.

A confident person:

Avoids worry at all costs.
Thinks thoughts of confidence.
Uses the gifts God gives him/her.
Perseveres to complete tasks and all responsibilities.
Never quits.
Tells God often you trust Him.

  • Worry is like a rocking chair; you rock and rock and get nowhere.
  • Without you, nothing is possible; with you, all things are possible.
  • Ask yourself: How confident am I on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest)?  Ask yourself the same question 4 weeks later.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Sister Catherine Celebrates 45 Years at Trinity School

Sister Catherine, SND is about to complete her 45th year as principal of Trinity School and is still going strong.  Success has come to the school throughout Sister Catherine's tenure.  The school has twice been honored as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of  Education.
Recent milestones under Sister Catherine's leadership include:
  • The building of St. Julie Hall - the Middle School building
  • Implementation of the Julie Program - for children with mild to moderate learning differences
  • Opening of the Preschool - for 3 and 4 year old children
  • Additional extracurricular activities - Band, Cross Country, Track, Girls on the Run, Middle School clubs
  • Expanded Technology Program - STEM classes, iPad Program, Campus WiFi
  • Maryland State Green School Award
  • Healthy Howard Gold Award
Born in Baltimore but raised in the Washington area, Sister Catherine attended Maryvale, a Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur school.  She was so inspired by the order that she became a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur and has dedicated her life to St. Julie.

Sister Catherine returned to Maryvale as principal of the lower school and later became principal of St. Ursula School in Parkville.  In 1970 she was selected by the order to become principal of Trinity School.  Trinity School was only 29 years old at the time Sister Catherine became the principal.  She has touched thousands of lives in her years at Trinity School.  Sister Catherine says, "My main joy, and what motivates me, is the children."  When students, alum, parents, and faculty think of Trinity School they picture Sister Catherine.

Click here to listen to a special song written for Sister Catherine, celebrating her years at Trinity School.  Special thanks to Trinity faculty member, Aileen Stauffer and band member, Ron Valenzia of Breaking 12 for sharing the song.  Click here to access more songs from Breaking 12.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Trinity Virtue of the Month for April: Fairness

Virtue of the month: Fairness
Fairness is the virtue that urges us to be open-minded and honest and to act justly.
A person who is fair treats others as he/she would like to be treated.

A person who is fair:
  • sticks up for others who are treated unfairly
  • takes turns and shares
  • decided on the rules and shakes on them
  • keeps an open mind and listens to all sides before judging
  • acts fairly at all times, even when unsupervised by adults
  • is fair with everyone

  1. Find out your friend's interests and choose a game you both can agree on.  It makes things fairer.
  2. Decide on the rules before the games starts and stick by them: no changing rules midstream.
  3. Use "Grandma's Rule" to determine who will go first: whoever picks the game goes last.
  4. Play until the game ends; don't quit unless you both agree.  For younger children set a timer for a specific play time and play until the buzzer goes off.
  5. Be supportive and complimentary to the other players.  Try to praise your teammates at least twice before the game ends.
  6. Never complain about your own playing - or other players' playing.  If you can't say  anything nice, just don't say anything.
  7. Always end the game on a positive note with a handshake or by saying "Good game" or "Let's do it again".  Then offer to help clean up and put the equipment away.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Trinity Virtue of the Month for March: Respect

Be mindful that ALL people are entitled to respect because each person was made by God according to a unique plan.  All of God's creatures have a right to RESPECT.

In every situation remember the GOLDEN RULE:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  

How do you feel when someone does not treat you with respect?

Here's a good rule to live by: Before saying anything, ask yourself: "Is it kind?" and "Is it necessary?"

Here are some ways to reflect on the virtue of RESPECT:
1. Give examples of how Jesus showed respect for all people.

2. Make a list of how you respect YOURSELF.

3. Make a list of ways you respect the ENVIRONMENT.

4. Create a moto for RESPECT.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Diversity at Trinity School

Trinity School is blessed to have a diverse student body.  Families from many cultures have chosen Trinity for their child's education.  The number of diverse students has grown over the past 10 years to 50%.  This gives our students the advantage of learning about people from many backgrounds first hand.  The study of various countries and cultures is also a part of the curriculum.
For Example, the fifth graders recently presented their projects on India. Students were able to taste Indian food and see Indian clothing. There was even an edible model of the Himalayas! The students researched an aspect of Indian culture that they found interesting. Other topics included Mother Teresa, geography, outsourcing, religion, music, and dance.
Saint Julie, foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, said "Teach the children what they need to know for life."  The richness of cultures at Trinity School prepares the students for life in our Global Society.
Michele Pearson, 5th Grade Teacher & Joan Voshell, Admission Director

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February Virtue of the Month: Courage

Courage is having the strength to do what we need to do.
Courage is when we go ahead when we are afraid.
Courage is needed when there are things we have to change, especially if we know it will affect other people and there is a possibility that they won't like what we are doing.

There are many different kinds of true courage:
  • Courage that stays cool and calm in troubled times
  • Courage that stands up for what is right
  • Courage of acting according to your faith in God
  • Courage of trusting yourself and refusing to follow the crowd when the crowd is wrong

Another name for Courage is Fortitude.  It is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so you have it.
Do you use it?

Jesus once said to his disciples who were caught in stormy weather in a boat:
Have COURAGE, it is I.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Yoga

Preschoolers stretch and pose in Twinkle, Twinkle Little Yoga

The New Year brings calmness, peacefulness to the preschool program with the introduction of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Yoga, led by Susan Finn, certified Child Light Yoga instructor and Pre-K teacher Assistant. Weekly she gathers the children for about 30 minutes of activities that include mindfulness, self-control, kindness to others, meditation and relaxation known to the children as “going to our special place." The children listen to directions, read and act out poses from a story, imitate animal movements and then relax. Mrs. Finn states” exercise is just the beginning of yoga’s benefits for kids It’s not religious, but everyone knows there’s something special about yoga beyond the physical practice.” She teaches her students yoga breath — slow, deep breathing — to help them calm themselves, and to remember self-control and kindness. 

The preschool Yoga program is built around music.  It incorporates the monthly virtues through storybooks, and peacefulness and calming poses. The children journey to their special place, such as the ocean, moon or a forest, learning yoga poses that carry them on their peaceful journey. Many of the benefits of kids’ yoga are similar to those that adults enjoy. Both adults and children get exercise while developing the relationship between mind, body and breath. But while adults get out of their heads and into their bodies, children learn that their minds control their bodies.
Mrs. Law
Preschool Director

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Trinity School Virtue of the Month for January: Kindness

To become a good person, one must do good things, make good choices, express good attitudes, share with others, and engage in good behavior.

LOVE IS KIND; love is not rude.
A kind person is one who:
  • Compliments others
  • Cheers up someone who is sad
  • Helps others
  • Smiles
  • Shares
  • Gives to the less fortunate
REFLECTION: Jesus was kind to everyone, not just to those who were nice to Him.  Jesus shared bread with others.  He spent time with others who were sick or needed someone to talk to.

PASS IT ON (Henry Barton)
Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on
"Twas not given for thee alone,
Pass it on

Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe another's tears,
"Till in Heaven the deed appears-
Pass it on.