Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September's Virtue of the Month: 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.

1.  Give EXAMPLES of how Jesus showed respect for all people.

2. I am respectful when I …………………

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

4. In every situation remember the GOLDEN RULE:

Do unto others as you  would have them do unto you.

5. Make a LIST of how to respect YOURSELF.

6. Make a LIST of ways you respect OTHERS.

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

8. Here’s a good rule to live by:  Before you say anything, ask yourself:

“Is it kind?” and “Is it necessary?”

9. Create a CLASS MOTTO for RESPECT.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Happy 76th Birthday, Trinity School!

Trinity School in Elicott City, MD

Happy 76th Birthday, Trinity School!

Friends and colleagues,

I just wanted to send a short note to wish everyone at Trinity a happy 76th birthday!  I am thinking about everyone and praying for you all this day- especially with the beloved Genesee Valley trip finishing up for the 7th grade.  I hope that everyone has had a wonderful first week of school, and that everyone gets a weekend to catch up on rest in the two days ahead.  For as wonderful as the first few days of school are- it's even more wonderful when they are done and life at school can get back to normal!

Things are going well here in Minnesota, and we are finishing our 2nd week of school.  I've been enjoying the start of the school year, although I underestimated the culture shock of joining a different school, where there are policies I am not used to, stories I am not aware of, and 180 middle school students to learn their names.  I also am learning to teach a US history course 4 times a week, doing the best I can to learn history myself before presenting it to my students!  Overall, it has been wonderful being back in Minnesota and the weather has been beautiful- although we're only a few months away from winter.  We will see how much I like the weather then.

I hope everyone has a great day today and a day where you can celebrate a wonderful school you get to call home.  

God bless,

Kyle Rickbeil

Monday, June 5, 2017

Thank You to My Maryland Family

Thank you to my Maryland family…

By  Mr. Rickbeil

Mr. Kyle Rickbeil Teaching in 2005

Thirteen years ago, I encountered a major setback on my way to becoming a teacher.  I was weeks away from moving to New Jersey to start a master's program at Seton Hall University and a teaching job in the Diocese of Newark when everything fell through.  I was unable to find a school placement that worked, and the harder I tried, the more convinced I was that I was not supposed to be moving to New Jersey.  Discouraged, I took a one-year job teaching outdoor education at a Catholic summer camp in Indiana and waited for another opportunity to teach.  I longed to have my own classroom, and had great ambitions of what I wanted to accomplish when I finally had a chance to teach…and then came Trinity School.

I came to Trinity in the Summer of 2005 as part of the Operation Teach Program at the University of Notre Dame of Maryland.  This program has graduated several Trinity teachers, such as Mr. Hosford and Mr. Bentzley, and as well as former teachers Ms. Archer, Ms. Dries, Mr. Printz, Mr. Trotty, and Ms. Manjarrez.  During my first interview at Trinity, I was told that if I put my heart into my work I would be loved by the children and the rest of the Trinity family.  That was quite a sales pitch- I knew that I could use a family out here since mine was over 1,000 miles away!  The sales pitch was no gimmick- they were right about their promise.

During my first few drives down the long driveway off of Ilchester Road, I remembered thinking that this was an impressive school, but I was going to serve for two years and then move back to the Midwest.  Two years into my tenure, I seriously considered moving back, and had a group of friends to live with all ready for me once I made my decision.  When the time came to decide, I could not leave.  I was hooked.  My heart was at Trinity, and I knew it wasn't time to go.  I planned to stay for two more years, until the basketball team I was coaching graduated.  Two years later, I was offered one of those job opportunities that I couldn’t refuse, offering a higher salary and better hours.  I refused it.  I decided to stay a few more years until my next basketball team graduated.  After those three years, I decided to stay another two years, and before too long I ended up here for 12 years.

These last twelve years have been full of memories, and they have certainly been enjoyable.  I have been blessed to take on many different assignments at Trinity, and each of them brought great joy to my life.  Teaching religion was everything I hoped it would be, and it was such a thrill to share the goodness of God with so many classes of Trinity middle school students.  Coaching basketball, track, and cross-country may have been my greatest thrill on campus, and the races and games brought plenty of life to my weekends.  It was a blessing to offer my loud voice and my energy for the pep rally, fall festival, and spring event.  And of course, I was beyond blessed to succeed my hero and close friend Mr. Wilson a few years ago as Head of Middle School.  I have seen this campus from many different angles doing many different jobs during the past 12 years, and it's beautiful any way you look at it.

Counting my five years in Indiana before Trinity, I have been away from my family in Minnesota for the past seventeen years.  During these past twelve years, I have been adopted into the Trinity family and have been greatly blessed by your support.  I have met students I will always remember, co-workers that were true friends, and parents that were teammates in this great work of education.  The Trinity family has definitely kept me busy during the last twelve years, and it has certainly made sure I was well-fed!  As a supportive family, Trinity has also provided for much of my education by helping me through two masters' degree programs at Notre Dame of Maryland and at Marymount University.  I have also learned countless valuable lessons about working with people on the job, whether it was in my classroom, my office, or on the basketball court.  I have also benefited from the supportive leadership of Sr. Catherine, Mrs. Martinez, Mrs. Law, and our other administrators over the past twelve years that have clearly put their whole heart into their work.

After seventeen years away, I know with much clarity that it's time to return to Minnesota.  Faith, family, and love are all calling me back to the Midwest, and those are three pretty good reasons to return anywhere.  I am going to miss Trinity.  Although I have dreams of coming back to lead the pep rally, chaperone the Genesee Valley trip, or do the live auction at the Spring event, I am sure that I will have other commitments in Minnesota that will make these unfeasible.  Please know, however, that Trinity will be in my prayers, and I will come back to visit.  Our mission of proclaiming the goodness of God and teaching children what they need for life is beautiful in its simplicity and effectiveness, and I know the Trinity family will be a blessing to many more families that come down the long driveway.

Thank you for the joys of the past twelve years, and for adopting me as a son in the Trinity family.  This school has truly been a place where I've learned to love education.

With thanks,
Kyle Rickbeil

Thursday, April 13, 2017

APRIL: Virtue of the Month ~ 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

ADD TO THIS LIST: ______________________________________________

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.

Give EXAMPLES of times when Jesus was kind to others.


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.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March Virtue of the Month: FORGIVENESS


Forgiveness is to pardon the wrongs done against us or to seek pardon for wrongs that we have done to another.

When the apostles asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, he included these words.

Forgive us our trespasses (sins) as we forgive those who trespass (sin) against us.

Ask to be forgiven, to forgive others, and to forgive yourself because peace cannot exist without forgiveness.

Search the Bible to find the many times when Jesus forgave others.

Read the Parable of the Lost Son
Luke 15:11 - 32

                Jesus forgave his murderers when he hung dying on the cross when he said,

“Father, forgive them:  They don’t know what they are doing.”

Forgiveness Gives You Freedom, Joy And Peace.
Without it, Revenge, Anger and Bitterness.


I will no longer dwell on this incident.
I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you.
I will not talk to others about this incident.
I will not allow this incident to stand between us or hinder our relationship.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Trinity School Awarded Knott Foundation Grant for Technology

February 24, 2017

Hello Everyone! 
In 2012, aware of the approaching STEM tidal wave and the necessity of having a viable IT-ready facility, the Marion I. and Henry J. Knott Foundation granted Trinity $81,000.00 to kick off Trinity's technology initiative.

Moving to the present, in September of 2016 the Development Team began work on a proposal to the Knott Foundation requesting their support for our ongoing technology upgrades.  Maintaining our edge in the realm of education technology is critical to the success of Trinity's curriculum, particularly in the areas of science, math and STEM.  Every day, all students, from the youngest to the oldest, benefit  from the effectiveness of our wireless infrastructure, our iPads and ancillary IT equipment. 

Yesterday Trinity received a call from the Knott Foundation informing us that Trinity will be awarded $82,400.00 to further our technology goals.

The most important thing to remember is that everyone at Trinity played a critical role in the Foundation's decision to grant such a large amount. I would like to thank the administrative staff who helped with the data pertinent to their departments. Patty Lill - business manager, Kathy Spiegel - assistant business manager, Christine Walsh - admissions director, Karen King - administrative assistant.  I would also like to thank Sr. Catherine, Mr. Rickbeil and Mrs. Martinez, who were present at the interview conducted by a Knott Foundation Trustee, for their support and detailed information regarding the impact of educational technology on students and teachers.

I would like to thank David Godfrey, IT manager, for carefully researching our whole- school technology needs.  Mr. Godfrey handled the grueling questions posed to him with confidence, providing backup data and detailed pricing and line item descriptions.

My thanks to Mr. Tom Pilon, Board of Trustees Chair, for encouraging the Board to participate 100% in Annual Giving. Thank you to Meg Ignacio, chair of the Board Development Committee, and thank you, Trustees, for maintaining the Board's tradition of 100% participation with your contributions.  The Knott Trustee was pleasantly surprised that this is a longstanding achievement, which cannot be said for all schools.

Thank you, Trinity Faculty and Staff for being the personification of the mission of Trinity School. Your participation in Annual Giving was also noted as was Trinity's Green School award, especially in the area of Chesapeake Bay preservation. That each school and preschool has its own Annual Giving faculty-agent who is well versed in encouraging their peers to give beyond measure was commended.

A noteworthy observation by the Knott Trustee was the participation of our awesome Grandparents who contribute their time and talents by actively participating as volunteers, stepping in for our all too busy parents, sponsoring their own activity - the Father Daughter Dance, and raising their Annual Giving percentage each year.

The presence of Trinity alum as current parents, faculty and the induction of graduates into the Alumni Association show Trinity rising to the challenge of maintaining contact with former students, particularly in the social media market.

Our parents received congratulations for their awareness of the importance of both the school mission and the challenge to reach 100% participation in Annual Giving. From monetary contributions to fundraising to serving pizza lunches, Trinity parents live the mission and carry the positivism into our surrounding community. 

As one parent recently said, "I find my joy in helping out at school. It is the best way to be a part of what is happening in my childrens' lives while they are at school."  

The strength of Trinity is our parents who sacrifice so much to give their children an education based in  Christian faith, who help their children with positive encouragement, and who work together as a family joined with the common goal of giving their children what they need for life. From monetary contributions to fundraising to positions of Trinity service, Trinity parents live the mission and carry the positivism into our surrounding community. 

The focus of the interview was our mission, our growth and our readiness to move toward the future.  I humbly express my appreciation to all of you who, in spite of the challenges of today's world, dig in your heels and let your hearts guide you to providing the gift of Trinity, a firm education and life foundation, for your child. 

Thank you 82,400 times.


Renee Van Schoor
Development Director
Trinity School

Thursday, February 9, 2017

February Virtue of the Month: INTEGRITY


Integrity is a virtue for moral decision making.
It is doing what God expects of you.


1) Telling the truth

2) Keeping one's promises

3) Taking responsibility for one's behavior

Stands for somethings
Has strength of will
Is moved by God to do what is right

Monday, January 23, 2017

January 2017: Virtue of the month: COURAGE

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 where 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 you 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?

In your own words, write one sentence that says what courage is.

Give three reasons why courage is important.

Name two people you think have shown courage and say why.

Name three instances when the virtue of COURAGE is needed.

Jesus once said to his disciples who were caught in stormy waters in a boat:

Have COURAGE, it is I.