Celebrating time, talent, and treasure Print
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Feb. 08, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

Fort Atkinson Talent Show
St. Joseph School in Fort Atkinson eighth graders participate in a lip-sync battle during the school's recent talent show. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

FORT ATKINSON -- Catholic Schools Week is a time to celebrate Catholic education, including all those who support it and those who are learning from it.

St. Joseph School in Fort Atkinson recently took some time out of a busy school day to do just that.

Among a plethora of other activities, January 31 marked the day of an all-school assembly and talent show.

Honoring students and friends

Class-by-class the students arrived at the assembly, dressed up in various themes, ranging from wearing neckties (the boys and the girls), wearing plastic hard hats and flannel, and even one group of girls were wearing app logos on their shirts representing Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.

As the assembly got underway, the first part was the annual occasion to honor the Parishioner, Parents, and Teacher of the Year, or as Principal Kari Homb called them -- "some very special individuals that mean so much to us."

The Parishioner of the Year was Joanne Smith, a third grade teacher at the school for more than 30 years before retiring in 2005.

The announcement of her name was greeted with a "third grade, third grade, third grade!" chant heard loudly in the school gym.

While being honored for her continued role in being active in the school and parish, Smith told the students, teachers, and guests, "This is a wonderful school; you are so blessed to be here."

The Parents of the Year honored were Bill and Rhona Buchta.

In addition to their active volunteer roles with the parish and school, Rhona is also a middle school language arts and literature teacher at St. Joseph.

The Teacher of the Year was Stephanie Sennhenn, 4K teacher, who was recognized for always seeing the best in what her students do.

Some St. Joseph students also got their chance to be honored.

The winners of the Knights of Columbus poster contest were announced in all the grade levels.

Knights Jeff Boos and Jim Wollangk came to the school to present the prizes to the students.

Showcasing talents

Following the assembly, and a brief recess, was the annual school talent show.

Eighth graders Jacob Murphy, son of Lynda and Chad, and Scott Buchta, son of Parents of the Year Rhona and Bill, served as the emcees of the show and kept the audience entertained in between acts with jokes such as: "What happens if you eat yeast and shoe polish?" ("Every morning you'll rise and shine."); "What do you call security guards working outside Samsung shops?" ("Guardians of the Galaxy"); and "What is the tallest building in the world?" ("The library. It has the most stories.").

The first act was the fourth grade, which led everyone in singing the national anthem.

The ensuing cavalcade of acts included piano players, dancers, singers, and more.

One young boy flexed his own comedic muscles with the yarn, "I just came back from an emotional wedding. Even the cake was in tiers."

A student mind-reader came on stage and was successfully able to determine that three teachers, through a series of math and word questions, were pondering the existence of gray elephants in Denmark.

The seventh grade class urged some audience participation with their own version of a hilarious cookie-decorating contest.

As is a yearly tradition, the eighth grade class attempted to steal the show, this year with a lip-sync battle.

Segments of hit after hit, past and present, came out of the speakers as the big kids mimed to songs such as: Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby," Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive," and NSYNC's "Bye Bye Bye;" just to name a few.

Other Catholic Schools Week events at the school on other days included dress-up days, a movie day, a Special Person's Day, science fair, staff versus students volleyball, along with Masses celebrating the role of Catholic education in faith lives.


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