St. Patrick Catholic School

122 West Street, Portland, MI   (517) 647-7551

Reflections by Randy Hodge

Mr. Hodge's Reflections also appear in the Portland R & O and the Ionia Sentinel Standard nearly every week.

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Strong Community Partners Lead to a Vibrant Community

Posted on December 12, 2017 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

As a member of this community, we value our relationships with city, business, and school leaders. There are many services provided by our local government. In fact, you may not even be aware of the many pieces of the partnership we have with them.

• A member of the Portland Police Department serves as a liaison to the Chief of Police on our behalf. In addition, the officer helps conduct lock down drills with the students and plans safety measures with the school administration. The police department also provides an officer for our community events in which we may disrupt traffic or need extra assistance, such as leading our annual homecoming parade.

• The Portland Fire Department has an annual fire safety assembly the first week of October. They also assist in running and supervising at least one fire drill each year and assist with any changes that may need to be instituted or implemented. The fire department also sends several members to ignite and supervise our annual homecoming bonfire.

• We work with the City each year in the planning and coordinating of the picking up and removal of leaves on our Annual Thanksliving Day.

Most recently, we have been working with the City on additional safety measures for our school and parish grounds. These include but are not limited to:

• Looking at and reviewing parking on Union Street when ballgames and the parish festival are taking place. It was recently approved to only allow parking on one side of Union Street by the City Council during their November meeting. No Parking signs have been installed with the goal of improving the safety of pedestrians, traffic flow and emergency vehicle access.

• Reviewing the intersection of West Street and E. Grand River Avenue for the safety of students crossing to and from the student parking lot as well as Alton Park. You may have already noticed the new school crossing signs that have been installed recently. We are active members of the Safe Routes to School grant application committee. Other members of the committee include Portland Public Schools Superintendent Will Health, Transportation Director Gary Bond, City Manager Tutt Gorman and City Engineer John Moxey.

• Reviewing the safety of students playing in Alton Park with the possibility of finding grants and/or donations to upgrade the playground equipment. As a part of the Building Healthy Communities grant, St. Patrick School donated and installed a Ga Ga Ball pit at Alton Park. The Portland City Parks and Recreation Department accepted a donation of fencing, on our behalf, for the front of Alton Park along Grand River Ave. and approval for the installation has been completed. We need volunteers to install the fencing. Please contact us if you would be willing to lead this project and more information will be provided.

Ultimately, it is important to us that we continually stay in contact with our local government to not only work together for the betterment of our community but also to teach our students to be good citizens. It is important that we all take responsibility for being good stewards of what we have here in our community.

We thank everyone who is employed by and represents the City of Portland for working with St. Patrick School and for all they do for our community.


2017 Fall Sports Wrap Up

Posted on December 5, 2017 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

With our 2017 varsity baseball team ending the previous school year with a state championship, we were all excited to see what kind of encore our fall sports season would bring. Our varsity football team did not disappoint as they allowed us to hang a second consecutive banner by finishing as the state runner-up in Division II 8-man football. We would like to congratulate all our teams for their efforts throughout this fall sports season! A lot of time and hard work was put forth in the gym, on the field and course, and in the classroom by our student athletes.

As previously mentioned, the Shamrock football team had an outstanding season going 8 – 1 during the regular season and advancing to the state finals and finishing 11-2 as state runner-up. Individual honors include:

• Colin Cook: Honorable mention all-state defensive line

• Tanner Lawson: Honorable mention all-state QB, Channel 6 and Lansing State Journal Athlete of the Week

• Ned Smith: Lansing State Journal Athlete of the Week

• Tyler Schrauben: Tim Chamberlain Award

The varsity volleyball team followed last year’s historic season with another strong one. They were awarded honorable mention in the state rankings during the season and brought home a first-place trophy at the Burton Bendle tournament. They finished the season with a 23-16-3 record and finished 5th in the CMAC (a league in which both the first and second place teams advanced to the state finals in their respective division). They also exceled in the classroom qualifying for team academic all-state. Individual awards include:

• Amelia Schrauben: Academic all-state, school records for most assists in a career and most aces in a career.

• Lauren Bengel: Academic all-state, Class D all-region, honorable mention CMAC

• Emma Gunderman: Academic all-state

• Jerika Kihn: Honorable mention CMAC

Our cross-country program had a girls’ team for the first time in a number of years and finished in 6th place in a competitive CMAC. The girls’ team finished 14th out of 34 schools while the boys’ team finished 13th out of 38 schools at the Class D meet. Individual honors include:

• Tyler Coyne: Medalist in three meets, honorable mention CMAC, academic all-state

Our JV volleyball team finished with a 14-2-12 record and advanced to the championship game in two of their tournaments. We were also excited to field a freshmen volleyball team again for the first time in a couple of years. They finished with a record of 8-2-4 and won the Silver Bracket of the Lakewood Invitational.

As a Catholic School, we expect our student athletes to represent our school in a positive manner, bringing Christ to everything they do, and making us proud with their sportsmanship. Without a doubt, they have done so in what turned out to be an extremely successful follow-up to our great spring sports season. They represented our school mission statement: We Pray! We Learn! We Achieve!


A Time to be Thankful

Posted on November 21, 2017 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Each year around this time I, like many others, spend time reflecting on what I am thankful for. There are many things that come to mind, first and foremost having the opportunity to serve as principal in my home parish and at the school from which I graduated. But, there are several other things that always stand out as well.

I am so appreciative that our school is built on our faith in Christ. Having the freedom to put God first in everything we do is a precious gift. We pray each morning as we start the day, we give thanks at lunch time, we gather for Mass each week, and we pray before each large event, including athletic events. What a gift it is that we can give thanks for all our successes and blessings.

I also enjoy the family-like atmosphere here at our parish school. We are one big family and our school is an extension of students’ homes. All families have issues they struggle with. Families go through tough times where their love is tested. Fortunately, tough times don’t last but tough people do. Families forgive and forget and move on and grow from the trials and tribulations that test their love and faith. And in the end, it is always a great feeling to come home.

The commitment to academic success throughout our school community is another thing I appreciate about our school. Our school families value rigorous standards in the classroom and invest themselves in that success. Smaller graduating classes give teachers the opportunity to truly get to know their students and provide them with one-on-one attention. It is easier to monitor a student’s progress, remediate a struggling student, and help foster the family environment we have at St. Patrick School.

I am proud that are students are willing to step up and be leaders in our school and in our community. Our Student Ambassador Team continues to do great work in our school, in our community and beyond. Students continually look around and where there is a need, they find a way to fill it. We have a new computer club and a handwriting club this school year which were started by our students.

Our students are missionaries in the truest sense as they represent their faith, school and families. Here is just one example of how our students and their families represented our school.  We received this note this week:

My husband and I were in Marquette, MI on Saturday night (11/18/17) to celebrate his birthday. It was a getaway we were looking forward to because it was our first night away from our six children in over a year. When we checked into our hotel (the Country Inn) we were thoroughly disappointed to see teenagers everywhere.

However, the students and their families who stayed in the hotel were excellent stewards of your school. The kids were mannerly and well behaved, and the families were all at Mass on Sunday morning.

I wanted to pass on the compliments to you as the head of your school. These young people were really a beautiful example of why Catholic education is worth it. We are from Iron Mountain and our children go to a Catholic school there but there is no option for Catholic high school. I hope and pray that your school is thriving.

God Bless!

Jessica Cameron

One cannot go wrong with a foundation built on faith, family, love, and learning. It is a foundation that is made to weather even the toughest of times. St. Patrick School and Parish are definitely something to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

St. Patrick High School Students Prepare for Retreats

Posted on November 21, 2017 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

As a Catholic school, our most important and crucial responsibility is the development of our students' faith. There are many channels that we use to accomplish this, one is our annual high school retreat day. It takes place each year around the beginning of Advent.


Although our Catholic faith is infused into our everyday curriculum, it’s important we allow students to further their spiritual mission and experience God’s work outside the classroom. On Wednesday, Nov. 29, all St. Patrick High School students will attend a retreat.


Any high school student in grades 9 - 11, including those who are homeschooled or attend Portland High School who belong to St. Patrick Parish are invited to attend at no cost. If your child does not attend St. Patrick High School and would like to attend, please RSVP to the school office by Tuesday, November 21 to assist our planning.


The retreat day schedule is as follows:


Freshmen: Aquinas College Light Team

  • Theme: SHINE: Serving Him IN Everything
  • Location: Aquinas College, Grand Rapids
  • Time: Depart at 7:30 – Return at 3:00
  • Lunch: Provided at AQ Cafeteria


Sophomores and Juniors: Mr. Bill Mousel

  • Theme: The Source and Summit of Our Faith
  • Location: St. Patrick Parish Hall
  • Time: 8:00 – 2:30
  • Lunch: Catered by Sue Kreiner around 11:30


Seniors: Fr. Solanus Casey Center

  • Theme: “Called to Serve”
  • Location: Fr. Solanus Casey Center, Detroit
  • Time: Depart: 6:30 a.m. – Return: 6:30 p.m.
  • Lunch: Eat at Food Kitchen
  • Dinner: Sit down restaurant on the way home (students must bring their own money)


Permission slips for freshmen and seniors need to be turned in to their theology teachers by Monday, Nov. 27.


The retreats provide our high school students the opportunity to grow as individuals and to grow spiritually. They also provide lifelong lessons that may forever impact them. We will continue to encourage our students to participate in events and activities over and above our theology curriculum so they can become the best they can be.


For more information contact Mr. Randy Hodge, school administrator, at 647-7551 or


Join us for a Fall packed full of events

Posted on November 7, 2017 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

We have completed a very busy and exciting first marking period and are preparing for many activities that will take place before we reach the end of 2017. Looking ahead, there is no immediate let up in the schedule with many activities scheduled between now and Christmas Break. Here are some of the activities taking place that we would like you to know about and join us for.

• November 16: The St. Patrick School PTO hosts its annual wine tasting fundraiser at the Wagon Wheel. This is a great time to socialize and meet new friends while helping our Parent Teacher Organization raise funds.

• November 20: Diocesan seminarians will visit St. Patrick students and share their stories of how they were called to become priests.

• November 21: Students will participate in our school’s annual community service day which we are calling “Thanksliving” this year. Students will be out in the community helping local residents and organizations with various projects. If you need your yard raked or a small service project completed please contact the school office (647-7551) and let us know what we can do to help, along with the location of the project.

• November 29: High schoolers will participate in our annual retreat day. Our seniors will travel to the Fr. Solanus Casey Center in Detroit and the freshmen will travel to Aquinas College for their respective retreats. The sophomore and junior retreat will take place on our school campus.

• December 5: Our high school German classes will travel to Frankenmuth to have an opportunity to engage in German culture right in our own state.

• December 8: We will celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. Masses. All are welcome.

• December 11: At 2:30 and again at 6:00 p.m., we will have our annual elementary Christmas program in our school gymnasium.

• December 14: Our National Honor Society students will travel to Ionia to help prepare for the annual Toys for Tots toy giveaway.

• December 19 – 21: Our high school students will have their annual exam week before embarking on Christmas break.

• December 20: Our elementary students will celebrate Christmas with parties in their classrooms.

Stay up to date with what’s happening at St. Patrick by reading our school newsletter online (, following us on Twitter (@PortlandStPats) and liking our Facebook page (St. Patrick School – Portland, Michigan).


St. Patrick Students to Celebrate "Thanksliving"

Posted on October 31, 2017 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (0)

For many years, St. Patrick students have participated annually in an event called “Pay It Forward”. In recent years, it has mostly consisted of raking leaves around the community. After much thought, prayer and brainstorming, this event will be getting an extreme makeover this school year including a new name.

The St. Patrick High School Ambassador Team has spent a great deal of time planning "Thanksliving.” As the name implies, our students will offer thanks for the blessings they have received through living service to people within our own community and in the surrounding area.

Our younger students will continue raking leaves for the elderly and homebound within walking distance of the school. But the secondary students will embark on much more ambitious service projects. Specific plans are still being formulated by the Student Ambassador team, but among those under consideration are:

• Hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive at the school

• Going to area nursing homes and visiting with those residing at the facilities. They will also help complete any projects that these facilities need help with.

• Assist Positive Solutions Informed Choices, a pregnancy resource center in Ionia, with any projects they may need assistance with.

• Complete any other service projects that our local government or citizens need help with.

• We would like to collaborate with other area Catholic Schools. This allows us the ability to expand our good will and provides the ability to reach out to those beyond our own community.

This big event will take place on Tuesday, November 21.

If you know of someone or any organization in the greater Portland area that we can be of assistance to on this date, please contact the school office at (517) 647-7551 or email your project or suggestions to

Continue to check our school website and Facebook page for "Thanksliving" updates and photos the day of. We will continue posting details and information as it becomes available.



St. Patrick School Supports Students and Community with Healthy Kids Grant

Posted on October 9, 2017 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

In recent years writing and applying for grants has become a new source of revenue funding in the non-profit world. Many businesses seek to support their community and projects occurring at non-profits by funding grants in areas specific to their business or a cause that reflects the businesses’ values and ideals. To help our school and parish in this process Mrs. Cortney Smith, assisted by Mrs. Heather Hendges-Davis are working with the administration to oversee the writing of grants and their implementation when awarded.

I am pleased to announce that one of the first grants we applied for was awarded to our school and in turn to our community. Last year our elementary principal, Mrs. Sarah Townsend applied for and received a Healthy Kids grant for $2,125. The school administration and grant writing team identified that the funding would best be spent on equipment for students to use at recess, especially when recess takes place on the parking lot between the church and school.

The funds allowed us to purchase new, interactive and multiplayer playground equipment. We purchased materials for two Ga Ga Ball pits to be installed in the parking lot as well as extra-large checkers, mega-chess (pieces are over two feet tall), tic tac toe and two Shamrock themed corn hole sets. These items are available for the students to use daily during all recesses.

As a thank you for the support the community has shown to St. Patrick over the years we wanted to share our blessings in turn. Our committee asked for and was granted permission to install and gift a third Ga Ga Ball pit to the City of Portland which was installed on Saturday, September 30 by generous volunteers in Alton Park. Now, during lunch recess at the park, students can use this third Ga Ga Ball pit as well any community members who patronize the park.

For those who may not be familiar with it, the game of Ga Ga Ball is a variant of dodgeball allowing for the entire class to remain active. Physical education at all grade levels can take advantage of the new pits. Various curriculum ideas can also provide for unique classroom teaching experiences with both the pits and the giant outdoor games.

All the activities that have been provided from these grants are getting a lot of use by our students since they have arrived. Second grade student Olivia Martin echoes the sentiments of many students when she says "I like everything about it (Ga Ga Ball)! It's so fun. Almost everybody plays it for the whole recess. I play with kids I've never played with before."

We would like to thank volunteers Chris Pung, Doug Smith, the father and son team of Jeff and Alex Fedewa, Cortney & Troy Smith along with sons Ben & Henry, and Mark Davis & Heather Hendges-Davis for their time and talent launching this exciting project. A special thank you goes out to park patrons, brothers Robert and Mason Doty, who saw the crew last Saturday morning and pitched in to help!

We hope these additions to St. Patrick School will lead to even more active and critical thinking play for the students and add to the enjoyment of Alton Park visitors.

If you are aware of any grant opportunities that may benefit St. Patrick Parish/School or the greater Portland community, please contact Mrs. Cortney Smith at


Class of 1967 Enjoys 50-Year Class Reunion

Posted on October 6, 2017 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Each September since 2003, the Father Flohe Foundation has hosted a wonderful celebration for the St. Pat’s graduating classes who is celebrating its 50th class reunion. The Class of 1953 was the first class to graduate from St. Pat’s High School, and the first to be honored at this party.

On Saturday, September 9, the Class of 1967 was invited back. On the class composite that sits outside the office, there are pictures showing the 39 members of this class when they graduated from high school.

Classmates met at the school at 2:30 where I had the opportunity to show them around and talk about what has changed since they graduated. I was assisted by two members of our senior class, Mallory Scheurer and Douglas Cope. Many of the grads had not been in the school since they graduated and were surprised by how much things had changed. These tours have become a highlight for me; because as the guests tell their own stories they enlighten me about the history of the school.

Following the tour of the school, the classmates attended the 4:30 Mass together. The Mass intention was for the eight deceased members of the Class of 1967. Following Mass, our alumni trekked out to the Wagon Wheel where they were treated to a delicious prime rib and chicken dinner. The classmates had the opportunity to sit and socialize, and some stayed long afterward to catch up and discuss their favorite memories of the good old days.

I always enjoy this annual event. It’s a reminder that each person who enters our school has a story to tell, their own personal history. Hearing these stories and learning about these former students is a great reminder of what makes St. Patrick School such a special place.

Congratulations Class of 1967 on your special night and thank you for an enjoyable evening. May God continue to bless you.

The Father Flohe Foundation was founded in 1988. Its primary function is to keep Catholic education available to the people of St. Patrick Parish and surrounding communities by funding some of the school expenses. The organization funds The Shamrock alumni newsletter, awards the annual Education Bell Award, and manages the endowment fund which helps to financially assist the school.

Fall Festival is Coming Soon!

Posted on October 4, 2017 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The autumn equinox recently arrived which is a sure sign that St. Pat’s Annual Fall Festival is just around the corner. This year’s event will be held on Sunday, October 8, once again sponsored by the St. Patrick Athletic Association, and staffed by our Shamrock athletes, their parents and coaches. The festival generates over 20% of the sports budget and ensures that our students don’t have to ‘pay to play’.

The Fall Festival will provide food, fun, and festivities for the entire family beginning at 9 a.m. The vendors will open then so you can go to the 7:30 Mass, then right over to the school to start your holiday shopping. The first-floor hallway, classrooms, and gymnasium will be packed with handmade goods. There is always such a variety that it is difficult to choose what to buy. Admissions Advocates from the Diocese of Grand Rapids will also be on hand to greet visitors and answer any questions you may have about St. Patrick or a Catholic school education. So, stop by and say hi while you’re browsing.

Kidsfest activities, games, face painting, and raffles will keep the kids occupied while you shop. The fun starts at 10 a.m. on the second floor of the school.

And if the shopping tires you out and you’re hungry or don’t feel like cooking, dinner will be served in the cafeteria from 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. It will include roast beef, ham, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, vegetables, salad, homemade bread, homemade desserts and a beverage of your choice. Take-out meals are also available in the Parish Hall, located on the south end of the school, adjacent to Grand River Avenue.

If you’re the athletic type or want to make room for the delicious dinner, you’ll want to run in the 5K or half-marathon, which will begin at 8 a.m. And if you’re looking for something more relaxing or find the thought of running to be bad for your health, there will be a euchre tournament in the Parish Hall beginning at 12:30. This is also a good place to sit and wait while your spouse shops!

The Fall Festival will offer plenty of fun for everyone in the family. We hope to see you there!


For complete information about St. Patrick Fall Festival, visit the festival website:


St Patrick Athletic Association Update for the 2017/18 season

Posted on September 19, 2017 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

The following information has been provided by Mr. Mike Coyne, St. Patrick Athletic Association president for the 2017-18 school year.

The St. Patrick Athletic Association was formed in 1951 to raise the funds necessary to operate Shamrock athletic programs. Today, our mission remains the same. Currently our athletic budget runs over $120,000 per year. In addition to funding our athletic programs, the Athletic Association recruits hundreds of volunteers needed to support both our fundraising events and to ensure our hosted athletic contests are presented in a way that represents the mission of our parish and school. The good work we do provides students of St Patrick the opportunity to participate in our sports programs at no additional cost. The Athletic Association leadership team includes three others: Vice President Todd Davlin, Treasurer Scott Brown, and Secretary Kim Drake.

St. Patrick athletic programs have been blessed with a generous following and community support which has enabled us to generate enough revenue to meet our budget. Keeping with our tradition, “pay to participate” fees will not be required at St. Patrick School again this year.


The following are 2016-2017 Athletic Association accomplishments:

• We continued to find great success with our annual fundraisers (Fall Festival, Spring Country Auction, and Sports raffle)

• Other smaller events pushed our budget over the top including Comedy Night and Sports Passes

• We recruited hundreds of volunteers for our hosted sporting events and fundraisers


The following are 2016-2017 team Accomplishments:

• The varsity football team qualified for playoffs for the 5th straight year, and won the Central Michigan 8-Man Conference

• The varsity girls’ basketball team won the district title, and Coach Schrauben earned his 600th career win

• The varsity girls’ volleyball team won 3 tournaments. They also won a district and a regional title (the first in school history)

• Our Bowling, Track, and Cross County teams sent eight athletes to State finals’ events

• The varsity girls’ softball team won the Vestaberg invitational

• Our baseball team won the Class D state title

• 14 Shamrock Athletes were named to the CMAC All-Academic team

• Our varsity Volleyball Coach Heidi Wenzel and our Varsity Baseball Coach Bryan Scheurer were named LSJ Coaches of the Year


We have many people to thank including:

• Great parish leaders in Father Larry and Deacon Don

• Parish and school administrators who lead with faith and integrity

• Pat Russman and Sarah Townsend our athletic directors who spend countless hours behind the scenes coordinating our athletic programs

• Teachers who work with our student athletes, teaching them how to balance their faith, academics and sports

• Coaches who give their time to teach and coach our athletes

• Bus drivers who provide our teams with safe transportation

• Parents who set great examples for our student athletes by supporting our teams

• Our local business community who financially supports our athletics year after year

• All Athletic Association volunteers who ensure that our fundraising and hosting of athletic events are conducted in line with our mission

• Our fans who support our programs with your attendance and at our fundraising events

• Our athletes who provide proud examples of what it means to be St. Patrick Scholar Athletes


There are a number of ways you can help us this school year:

1). Join the Athletic Association by attending our meetings

2). Help work at our fundraisers (Fall Festival, Shamrock Auction)

3). Help with game-day activities (clean up crew, concessions, work at the gate)

4). Certify and work with the school to join our list of bus drivers

5). Buy and sell raffle tickets for our fundraisers (Fall Fest, Sports Raffle)

6). Buy an Athletic Sports Pass and attend as many events as possible.


Please consider attending our meetings and becoming an active member. Our meeting schedule is posted on the school website ( If you attend eight meetings per year you will earn a free family sports pass for the following year (a $200 value).


Feel free to contact me at 517.331.0715 or at if you have any questions. I love to talk about St. Patrick Sports programs and this very hardworking, generous group.


Thank you again to everyone who supports St. Patrick athletics!




St. Patrick Elementary Students Attend NED Assembly

Posted on September 11, 2017 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

This past Wednesday, St. Patrick elementary students had a unique opportunity to attend a program that has been presented to students in all 50 states and across the world. It is performed in nearly 5,500 schools and encourages nearly 2.5 million kids worldwide each year.

This school-wide character education program, known as “the NED show”, centers around a 45-minute assembly. Its main goal is to make all the students “champions”. During the assembly, students are introduced to a character known as NED. He is a loveable cartoon character whose name is an acronym for:

• Never give up

• Encourage others

• Do your best

During a NED assembly, the speaker begins by introducing the students to NED. After the introduction, they tell a story which involves NED and his attitude. Throughout the story which uses humor, audience participation and object lessons, students are kept on the edge of their seat as the speaker integrates yo-yo and magic tricks into the show.

The speaker continually reinforces and integrates character lessons that encourage students to maintain a positive attitude and to work hard to do their best. It is emphasized that we all can be “champions” in our lives and towards others. Throughout the lesson, the three main teaching points of never give up, encourage others, and to always do your best are reinforced.

Students and teachers were excited by NED who is a simple, relatable and kid-focused character. Mr. Gary was an excellent presenter who got this message across in a humorous way.

The great thing about this assembly is that it is at no cost to the host school. The program only asks for you to hold a sale of NED gear for a week after the show. NED gear includes three different types of yoyos, extra string, and yoyo holsters. They use all the money earned as a “pay it forward” for the next school that wants an assembly. Since Wednesday we have sold over 70 yoyos and numerous holsters.

For more information on the show go to and check out the free resources for students, parents, and teachers.




Updates and news for the new school year

Posted on August 21, 2017 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

St. Patrick School hosted its annual open house this past week and everything is set to begin another successful year. As we begin the 2017-18 school year, we want to provide you with an update on the many initiatives we have been working on. There have been many generous donations and a lot of individuals providing hard work and expertise to make sure St. Patrick School is prepared to meet the needs of our students.

>Technology: Next IT is overseeing our school technology program and is working in conjunction with Mr. Ross Schneider. They have been upgrading our wireless which includes the installation of new access points and new laptops have been purchased for the staff and already in use. The students will also have some new items when they return, including:

• 60 Chromebooks for our high school 1:1 program. All students in grades 9 – 11 will be issued a Chromebook. Seniors may be issued one at their request.

• The middle school (Grades 6-8) students will have a portable lab which will house 30 Chromebooks solely for their use.

• We opted to purchase 30 touchscreen Chromebooks for our elementary students. Research shows elementary-aged students benefit from touchscreen devices which many are already using at home.

• We have a new Shared Time Agreement in place with Portland Public Schools. We welcome Mr. Bob Powers as our elementary computer teacher.


>Dual enrollment opportunities: We have partnered with Aquinas College in Grand Rapids and they will be hosting two classes at St. Patrick during the upcoming school year. Approximately 40 members of the junior and senior classes have signed up and attended orientation on the Aquinas College campus and are ready to go for the fall semester. In the fall, students will take Introduction to Communications and they will take Public Speaking in the spring.

>Battle Creek Science Kits: Last year we purchased the first set of kits for our students. This year, they will continue using the first set of kits and we will be purchasing and using the second set. Last year, students were excited about the hands-on and engaging lessons that are an integral part of these kits.

>Switching back to the ACT: We have finalized our agreement for our high school juniors to take the American College Test (ACT) in the spring. Our official ACT test date has been scheduled for the end of February. We will have our students prepared and ready to go for this important college assessment which will help them when applying to colleges and for scholarships.

>Increased counseling services: For the past two years, one part-time counselor has served our DK-12 student body. To help our students, we will be bringing in a second part-time counselor which will allow them to have access to a counselor all five days of the week. Mrs. Valerie Hynes will serve as our secondary counselor. We welcome Miss Jackie Bass who will serve as our elementary counselor.

All of us at St. Pat's School are excited and ready for an outstanding 2017-18 school year! We are excited about these new programs and are currently enrolling new students. I encourage you to look at our prospective families webpage: and schedule a tour. Welcome Scholarships, along with our “Try Us! You’ll Like Us!” guarantee are available to new families.


PTO Looking for new members

Posted on August 14, 2017 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The St. Patrick School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) closed out a busy year in June by approving $5,000 towards technology improvements for the school. They also approved up to $10,000 in donations to upgrade the school’s whiteboards.

Now they are preparing for next school year with new officers and they are looking for you to help join them in their efforts. We welcome the following individuals to the PTO leadership team:

• Mrs. Jackie Morris, President

• Mrs. Jen Chamberlain, Vice President

• Mrs. Nikki Mosser, Secretary

• Mrs. Mara Pline, Treasurer

The PTO typically meets the third Wednesday of the month in room #115 at the school unless there is a conflict. Scheduled meetings for the 2017-18 school year are:

• September 20

• October 18

• November 8

• December 13

• January 17

• February 21

• March 21

• April 18

• May 16

The meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. and usually last about half an hour. Once a parent attends at least five meetings, they will receive an “Out of Dress Code” slip for each one of their children.

The PTO leadership team is planning the following events for the upcoming school year and are looking for volunteers to help them in their efforts.

• While their used uniform sale will already be complete by the time this goes to press, the PTO used uniform store remains open in the school. You can shop anytime during regular office hours. The PTO is always accepting gently used uniform donations to keep their stock updated, you can drop off your items in the school office (please no donations of clothing that is ripped, torn or stained).

• They assisted at the Back to School Open House with the setup, serving of hot dogs, cupcakes, and lemonade, manning an information table, running the used uniform sale and with the cleanup.

• The annual Back to School Tailgate will take place before our first home football game on Aug 25th. Everyone is welcome to attend! They will have kid’s games and serve hot dogs. They would appreciate if everyone brought a dish to pass, but we hope you’ll attend even if you cannot bring a dish.

• The PTO will host our annual Scholastic book fair from October 6th through the 15th. The book fair will be open during our annual Fall Festival which takes place on October 8.

• They will host our annual Kidsfest during the Fall Festival. Kidsfest games and drawings take place on the second floor of the school. They are always seeking out donated prizes.

• The annual Wagon Wheel Wine Tasting fundraiser will occur again on Thursday, November 16 beginning at 6:30 p.m. We hope you’ll join us!

• There are many other activities they are responsible for including feeding the students on our annual Pay It Forward Day, feeding the staff during the evening of Parent-Teacher conferences and providing goodies for our veterans during our annual Veterans Day celebration. Please visit the school website ( and click on our “For Parents” icon to learn more about PTO activities.

We are looking forward to working with our PTO as they continue to do great things on behalf of our students, staff and school. We encourage our school parents to be actively involved with our PTO. It is a great opportunity to get involved, meet other parents, make new friends and help lighten the load by assisting at the many activities and events that take place throughout the school year.

For more information about the PTO, feel free to contact PTO President Jackie Morris at


Gearing up for a new school year

Posted on July 31, 2017 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The school office is open and ready to go and the final preparations are taking place to make sure everything is ready to go for the 2017-18 school year. There will be a whirlwind of activity as we ensure we get off to a great start at St. Patrick School. The teaching staff will soon be in their classrooms working hard and our fall sports teams will begin practice in anticipation of the upcoming season. St. Patrick is a school which serves the entire Portland community so we want to make you aware of our fall calendar.

• August 7: Fall practices begin for our football team.

• August 9: Fall practices begin for our volleyball and cross country teams. Please check our school website, Facebook and Twitter pages (page names are below) for practice times.

• August 15-17: The teaching staff reports for professional development.

• August 16: We host our annual Welcome Back to School Open House. This begins at 6:30 p.m. in the church with introductions and announcements. Parents and students will have time to visit classrooms, meet their teacher and drop off any supplies. We welcome all members of the community to join us for this important night!

• August 22: The school faculty will attend the diocesan back to school celebration in Grand Rapids.

• August 23: First day of school for students in grades DK-12.

• August 25: Join us for the Back to School tailgate at our first home football game against Waldron at Portland High School.

• September 1-4: No School for Labor Day.

• September 5/6: First day of school for preschool students.

• September 11-12: Picture day for all students.

• September 22: Annual Homecoming football game.

• October 11: Confirmation at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Grand Rapids at 7:00 p.m.

• October 12: Parent/Teacher Conferences from 4:30-7:30 p.m.

• October 13: Early Release Day with Parent/Teacher conferences taking place from 12:30-3:30 p.m.

We are excited about the new school year and are ready for another great start! There are many great upcoming events and we look forward to seeing everyone back at school soon.

If you want to keep informed of activities taking place at St. Patrick School, go to our website:, click on the “About Us” icon and pull down to our calendar. This lists all activities taking place at St. Patrick School. We also encourage you to follow our Facebook page (St. Patrick School – Portland, Michigan) and Twitter account (@PortlandStPats) for the latest information.

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your summer and find time for rest and relaxation to renew yourself in mind, body and soul.

2017 Spring Sports Wrap Up

Posted on June 23, 2017 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The 2017 St. Patrick School spring sports season has officially come to an end. We would like to congratulate all of our teams for their efforts throughout the season. A lot of time and hard work was put forth on the field, track, course, and in the classroom by our student athletes to ensure success.

The Shamrock baseball team won an outright CMAC title, repeated as the district and regional champions, advanced to the Division IV championship game where they were crowned as State Champions for the first time in program history with a school record 34 wins. Individual honors include:

• Bryan Scheurer – Division IV Coach of the Year

• Brendan Schrauben: 1st team CMAC, All District, 1st team All-State Catcher, Academic All-State, LSJ Sports Awards Top 10 Baseball Player, Diamond Classic Scholarship winner and attending Alma College to play baseball

• Graham Smith: 2nd team CMAC, All District, Academic All-State

• Noah Goodman: 1st team CMAC, All-District, 2nd team All-State Pitcher

• Dan Mackowiak: 1st team CMAC, All District

• Brandon Scheurer: 1st team CMAC, All District, 1st team All-State Infield

• Nathan Lehnert: Honorable Mention CMAC

• Devin Fedewa: 1st team CMAC, All District

• Sam Mauren: 2nd team CMAC

The varsity softball team also had a solid season finishing in third place in the CMAC and won the Vestaburg Invitational. Individual awards include:

• Kelsey Schneider: 2nd team CMAC, All District, Academic All-State

• Karlie Bartlett: Honorable Mention CMAC, All District, Academic All-State

• Samantha Leonard: Honorable Mention CMAC, All-District, Academic All-State

• Katie Coyne: 1st team CMAC, All District

• Chloe Cross: 1st team CMAC, All District

• Alaina Schrauben: 2nd team CMAC

• Team: Academic All-State Award and All District Sportsmanship Award

We were very excited to not only be able to field a full varsity golf team but a partial JV team as well. The golf team improved from 7th place in the CMAC last year to a 4th place finish this year. Senior Samuel Hodge finished 2nd team CMAC.

The girls and boys varsity track teams also had a strong season. The boy’s team earned a 3rd place trophy at the Webberville Invitational and finished in 6th place at regionals. The girl’s team earned a 2nd place trophy at the Webberville Invitational, finished 5th in a tough CMAC and placed 4th at regionals. Together, they tied or broke 10 school records and earned 151 medals. Individual honors include:

• Brittany Thelen: Honorable Mention CMAC (4x400); Honor Roll Meet Medalist (4x400); All-Region and State Qualifier (100, 4x200, 4x400); All-State & Academic All-State (4x200, 4x400); School Record (4x200)

• Annie Gunderman: 2nd team CMAC (400); Honorable Mention CMAC (4x400); Honor Roll Meet Medalist (400 and 4x400); Honor Roll Meet Qualifier (100); All-Region, All-State & Academic All-State (400, 4x200 and 4x400); School Records (400 & 4x200)

• Leah Cook: Honorable Mention CMAC (Long Jump & 4x400); Honor Roll Meet Medalist (4x400); All-Region and State Qualifier (Long Jump, 4x200, 4x400); All-State & Academic All-State (4x200, 4x400); School Record (4x200)

• Emma Gunderman: Honorable Mention CMAC (300 hurdles & 4x400); Honor Roll Meet Medalist (4x400); Honor Roll Meet Qualifier (300 hurdles); All-Region and State Qualifier (300 hurdles, 4x200, 4x400); All-State & Academic All-State (4x200 & 4x400), School Record (4x200)

• Jerika Kihn: School Record (Pole Vault)

• Ashton Walker: Webberville Invitational Runner of the Meet; 1st Team CMAC (3200); 2nd team CMAC (800); Honor Roll Meet Medalist (1600); School Record, All-Region, State Qualifier, All-State & Academic All-State (1600 & 3200);

• Greg Doll: Webberville Invitational Field Athlete of the Meet; Honorable Mention CMAC (110 hurdles); 2nd team CMAC & State Qualifier (shot put);

As a Catholic School, we expect our student athletes to represent us in a positive manner, bringing Christ to everything they do, and make us proud with their sportsmanship. Without a doubt, they have done so and represented our school mission statement: We Pray! We Learn! We Achieve! to their fullest, God-given potential.