School News

Here at Father Marquette Catholic Academy, we want our parents and community members to be informed about our student accomplishments, important updates, and inspiring and informative articles. Check our news and events page often for all the latest happenings.

Happily Ever Afters and Farewell Feasts

The castle opened this week for the last time to welcome 20 amazing fairy tale authors. They sang, ate, and listened to their classmate's readings of their creative books. The lights will go out as the children leave. I wish them all a happily ever after. My heart goes with them all. - Mrs. Julie Hocking

Two happy women dressed in costume Royal Fairy Tale Books by First Grade Authors sign on table with booklets Students sitting at a table in a classroom decorated as a castle
Field Trip to Sand Point on Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

The 3rd and 4th grade took a field trip to Sand Point on Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising! While it was a rainy day, it was still a great trip!

The students learned about the historical significance of the Munising Coast Guard Station and how navigation techniques have changed over time. They then learned how to use a compass and how to take a bearing. The classes also did water quality testing of Lake Superior! They completed tests on the water to draw conclusions about the health of the water and how humans affect the health of the water. Finally, the students took a hike through a marsh and learned about plant adaptations and why certain trees and plants live in this area.

Students in rain gear outside on field trip Park ranger talking to students outside Two girls in raincoats holding umbrellas during field trip
Cops and Doughnuts Winners
View more photos of Cops and Doughnuts Winners

The winners of the "Cops and Donuts" auction item at our recent Gala got the ultimate treat last week! Police Chief Ryan Grim and Officer Jeff Czarny, our dedicated school liaison, pulled up in style to whisk the lucky kiddos away for a morning they won't soon forget.

First stop: Huron Bakery, where the officers treated the children to a delicious breakfast of donuts and other goodies. Next, they hopped back into the police car for a ride to school, arriving in true VIP fashion.

From the excited smiles on their faces, it's clear that these students had a blast spending the morning with their local heroes. This unique experience is a perfect example of the positive relationships we strive to build between our community and law enforcement. Congratulations to the lucky winners, and a big thank you to Chief Grim and Officer Czarny for making their day extra special!

    Farewell to Dr. Betz
    View more photos of Farewell to Dr Betz

    With a heavy heart but overflowing gratitude, FMCA said its goodbyes to Dr. Betz this week. Her dedication and leadership will be deeply missed. We celebrated her incredible contributions during a heartfelt goodbye hour on Monday, and we wish her nothing but the absolute best in her future endeavors. We are incredibly excited to have her continue her leadership torch across all our schools. As one chapter closes, another exciting one begins! We are thrilled to have Mrs. Pillifant at the helm, and we have full confidence that she will lead FMCA down a path of continued success and growth. Let's say a prayer for both Dr. Betz and the bright future ahead!

      5th Grade Revolutionary War Unit
      View more photos of 5th Grade Revolutionary War Unit

      Fifth graders got a taste of history by reenacting a session of the First Continental Congress! Students took center stage, proposing measures, delivering speeches for and against them, and then voting for their choices. Staff and guests were invited to witness the event and act as neutralists, whom the students had to convince with their arguments.

      Last week, they explored the Stamp Act, and next week, they'll tackle the Second Continental Congress.

      Beyond these reenactments, their daily class experience reflects the events leading up to the Revolutionary War. For example, they participate in a "payment and taxes" system for pencils or other classroom needs. On Day 1, students chose a colonist with a unique backstory to become, which they use to base their opinions and decisions on throughout the unit.

      This immersive experience wasn't just about performance. Through the reenactments and class time simulations, students gained a deeper understanding of the reasoning behind the colonists' decisions and the weighty consequences they carried for the future of the colonies. (It turns out that forging a new path can be a bit scary!)

      Overall, the fifth graders are demonstrating an impressive grasp of the curriculum, making this a truly engaging and educational experience for all involved.

      Marquette Symphony Orchestra Finale Concert
      audience watching the Symphony play

      Our fourth and fifth graders were treated to a delightful morning of music on Monday, April 15 as the Marquette Symphony Orchestra presented their season's finale concert for young audiences at the Kaufman Auditorium.

      The 45-minute program offered a captivating introduction to the world of orchestral music. The talented musicians showcased their instruments through interactive demonstrations bringing the magic of each sound to life. The concert featured a selection of engaging pieces, including the ever-popular Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov.

      The true highlight of the show was the look of pure joy on the children's faces during the audience participation segment. The orchestra cleverly incorporated interactive elements, no doubt sparking a lifelong love of music in many young hearts.

      Students in balcony waiting for the symphony to playStudents waiting for the symphony to playStudents watching for the symphony play
      Michigan Company Presentations
      View more photos of Michigan Company Presentations

      For the end of the unit study on Michigan, the third grade class did research projects on Michigan-based companies/products. The kids researched companies like Domino’s and Little Caesar’s pizza, Sanders chocolates, and Better Made chips. They even received a package from Mr. Vlasik filled with jars of pickles, a pickle book, and a personal letter. After the kids created posters filled with information about their company, they conducted presentations for their classmates. Some might say it was a dill-ightful assignment!

      Reading Month Fun
      View more photos from our reading month of fun

      We are halfway through March, and students are crushing it with their reading adventures this month! During the first week they delved into the world of books under the glow of their flashlights, and we even had a bubble-tastic assembly that brought joy to the whole school. During the second week they embarked on an exciting journey to the Backwards Book Fair at Sacred Heart and donned the attire of their beloved book characters. And guess what's coming up next? The highly anticipated book fair, along with a lineup of other delightful activities to wrap up the month before spring break kicks in. Let's keep the reading magic alive!

      March is Reading Month

      March is reading month, so it’s time to “read until you pop!” Check out our calendar of events as we celebrate all month long.

      March is Reading Month flyer
      View more photos from our Starlab experience

      We recently had an incredible experience in the Starlab, made possible through the generous donation from the NMU Seaborg Center. Under the guidance of Mrs. Gencheff, who orchestrated the entire event, our students embarked on a journey through the cosmos, delving into various celestial wonders tailored to their curriculum needs.

      The Starlab provided an immersive and awe-inspiring encounter with topics ranging from planets to constellations, offering a dynamic and educational experience for each group. Here's a glimpse into the cosmic voyage our students undertook:

      1. Planets
      2. Constellations: Students explored the night sky, discovering the beauty of constellations and unraveling the stories behind these stellar arrangements.
      3. Earth's Movement and Seasons: The Starlab vividly depicted the movement of Earth, helping students comprehend the factors that contribute to the changing seasons and varying lengths of day.
      4. Nebulae
      5. International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope
      6. Comets and Asteroids
      7. Lunar Phases: Students observed the moon's changing phases, gaining insight into the lunar cycle and its influence on Earth.
      8. Eclipses: The Starlab simulated solar and lunar eclipses, providing a close-up look at these rare celestial events and the science behind them.
      9. Rovers

      We extend our gratitude to the NMU Seaborg Center for their invaluable donation, enabling us to offer this enriching experience to our students. Mrs. Gencheff's dedication in organizing, setting up, and teaching during the sessions ensured that each child had a unique and tailored journey through the cosmos.

      The Starlab adventure not only sparked curiosity but also deepened our students' appreciation for the wonders of the universe. We look forward to more exciting educational opportunities that inspire and cultivate a love for learning.

      Beacon House Donation

      The second graders presented Mrs. Tavernini with a check for $430 as a donation to The Beacon House. The money was raised during Catholic School’s Week from the nonuniform day and proceeds from the used book sale. Thank you for your support to help make this possible!

      Second grade class posing for a picture with Mrs. Tavernini Mrs. Tavernini with a happy student holding the donation check
      100th Day of School
      View more photos our 100th Day of School celebration

      On Wednesday, February 7, 2024, we celebrated our 100th day of school! Our classes participated in fun activities to celebrate. The first graders had a 100th day challenge to make the tallest tower out of 100 legos. They had some awesome creations! Kindergarteners made necklaces out of 100 pieces of cereal. Finally, the second graders successfully completed their challenge to build bridges that were one yard long and could allow a car to travel over. These students are future engineers in the making!

      Pre-K Learns About Animal Tracks
      View more photos of our Pre-Kindergarten students learning about animal tracks

      Students in Pre-Kindergarten Blue recently learned about animal tracks/footprints. Miss Anne brought her collection of tracks, and students thought it was so neat to look at and compare them. They saw footprints from ducks, muskrats, woodpeckers, porcupines, mice, beavers, deer, elk, and many more. Afterwards, they took out their Play-Doh and the animals from their block area and made our own tracks!

      Feast of Presentation of Our Lord Jesus
      View more photos of the Feast of Presentation of Our Lord Jesus

      During a recent Friday school Mass, we celebrated the Feast of Presentation of Our Lord Jesus, which commemorates the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple by his parents, which was Jewish custom. Often called “Candlemas” (think Candle Mass), because on this day, the Church would traditionally bless the candles that would be used during Mass for the rest of the year. The reference to light heard in the Gospel reading that day, “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel," (Luke 2:32) is what inspired the tradition of blessing the candles on this feast. And yes, we really gave the kids candles with real fire, they all did a great job!

      Successful Catholic Schools Week
      More photos about Successful Catholic Schools Week

      Students had a wonderful time during Catholic Schools Week celebrations this week! The week started with our pre-kindergarten gold students getting a taste of kindergarten for the morning. They got to experience what a day will look like for them next year during Kinder for a Day. We had lots of festive clothes all week for all of our dress-up days. The students took some new-to-them books home during our used book sale, and the funds raised from the donations will be going to an area charity. The whole school really enjoyed cheering on the players for our student vs staff volleyball game. Middle school students went to the Cathedral for their annual retreats, all classes had a movie and popcorn afternoons, and wrote thank you notes to various people and businesses in the area and more! 

      Catholic Schools Week serves as a way to integrate faith and stewardship into the fabric of the school community. We look forward to this week all year long. 

      A big thank you to the dedicated teachers and volunteers who put in the effort to make these days memorable for the students. Their contributions play a significant role in creating a positive and enriching CSW.

        2024–2025 Enrollment Night
        2024–2025 Enrollment Night flyer

        Fall 2024–2025 registration is now open! Please join us on Wednesday, February 21 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. for our 2024–2025 Enrollment Night. Meet the teachers and principal, explore the classrooms, and more! View our Enrollment Night flyer for details.

          Monsignor Blessings

          On the Epiphany, our kindergarteners watched as Monsignor bestowed a blessing on our entrance into the new year. The numbers "20" and "24" at the front and end represent the year we are entering. Meanwhile, the letters in the middle hold symbolic significance, representing the three wise men—Casper, Melchior, and Balthasar—who are traditionally associated with the Epiphany. The Epiphany is a Christian feast day that commemorates the revelation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, as represented by the visit of the Magi or wise men. It is a celebration of divine manifestation and illumination.

          Adult speaking to studentsAdult writing on the top of a door
          Adult reading from a book20+C+M+B24 written above the door
          FMCA Catholic Schools Week

          The FMCA Catholic schools week is January 28 through February 3. We would love for your participation in all of the activities. Please see the schedule of events to plan your week.

          FMCA Annual Fruit Sale 2024

          You are invited to participate in the 2024 fruit sale. Our delicious fresh fruit includes California oranges, Texas grapefruit, and Washington state apples and pears. The fruit sale begins on January 19. Fruit sale order forms and money need to be turned in to the school office by February 9, 2024. Please view the FMCA Annual Fruit Sale flyer for more information and the order form. If you have any questions, please contact the school office at (906) 225-1129. You can also email Jackie Lefebvre or call her at (906) 235-5723.

          Third and Fourth Grade Field Trip
          Third and fourth grade students standing in front of theater - View More Photos

          Mrs. Parson's and Mrs. McKnight's Father Marquette Catholic Academy third and fourth graders had a field trip on Tuesday, December 19 to the Peter White Public Library. After the library, they took to spreading joy by caroling in downtown Marquette! They finished their day with a well-earned lunch at Donckers.

          Heritage Presentations
          Table with heritage items

          The second graders created a family crest with their parents. They then made a poster with their crest, flags, and maps from the countries of their family's origin. Each student brought in a family artifact to display and tell about. We shared a meal of soup, rolls, and desserts. Many family members attended, and it was a great day of celebrating the students' work and bringing families together.

          Adult and student giving a presentationstudent giving presentation
          Student gives presentation while adult holds up picturesadults and students in classroom watching a presentation
          St. Nicholas

          The first graders have St. Nicholas for their classroom saint. They made wooden shoes in the hope they will be filled on St. Nicholas Day on December 6!

          First grader making a wooden shoe at her desk First grader coloring in a paper wooden shoe at her desk Three students holding up their wooden shoe artwork
          Fall Lego League
          View more photos of our Fall Lego League

          Six kids + one robot + 15 + missions + one AR concert glasses presentation = An unforgettable first Lego League Challenge competition. We finished in first place in innovation project and third place overall.

          No part was easy, but these kids excelled through the stress of the precision required for the robot coding and showed resilience in learning how to come up with ideas for, and then share, an innovative (new to the world) idea on using technology in arts. The 22 teams were so fun to compete alongside, all encouraging each other as they each strived for excellence in their own performance. Our coaching team and parents were cohesive, each bringing strengths that complemented each other.

          Father Marquette Catholic Academy Gala 2024
          Father Marquette Catholic Academy presents Evening with the Eagles Gala flyer

          Father Marquette Catholic Academy presents Evening with the Eagles - A Masquerade Ball on Saturday, February 10, 2024, at The Northern Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University. Join us:

          • 4:00 p.m. - Mass at St. Michael’s Parish
          • 5:00 p.m. - Cocktails with cash bar provided by The Northern Center.
          • 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. - Dinner with key note speaker and Dr. Jessica Betz
          • 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. - Dancing with music provided by Double Trouble Entertainment

          There will also be a silent auction; raffle prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250; 50/50 raffle, and a prize wheel. Tickets are $75. Please visit our Gala page for complete details.

          6th Grade Skyscraper Project
          View more photos of sixth graders building skyscrapers

          During the first quarter, the 6th grade student teacher, Miss Britney Challier, did a fun project with the geometry six class. This class is one of our quarter-long classical advantage the middle school offers. They designed and built skyscrapers, found the surface area of the buildings, and then found the volume.

          All Soul's Day
          Students in the classroom praying

          Second grade prayed the rosary on All Soul’s Day for all those who have passed.

          Pumpkin Patch
          View more photos of Pre-K students at a pumpkin patch

          Pre-k Gold turned the playground into a pumpkin patch! Students were each given $5 of pretend money, picked out their pumpkins, and paid the cashier. The pumpkins ranged in price, so the class had to count out money as they paid for their pumpkins.

          Fire Prevention Week Field Trip and Poster Winners

          Kindergarten and 4th grade took a field trip to learn about fire prevention at the Third Street fire house. The kiddos loved getting to see the fire trucks, and they took home some great helpful tips.

          Congratulations to our fire prevention week poster winners!

          • Grand Prize: Norah Gregorich - Norah won a ride to school in a fire truck on November 6!
          • Second Place: Elora Marchese-Lynch
          • Third Place: Sonja Ylkanen
          • Fourth Place: Noelle Espinoza
          students sitting on classroom floorstudents watching firemen next to firetruck
          Students watching fireman put on his gear next to the firetruckstudents lined up with firemen next tot eh firetruck
          October Prayer Partners
          View more photos of October prayer partner.

          Please enjoy these fun photos of one of the October prayer partner get togethers!

          Fire Safety Week
          Students in front of fire truck with fireman

          Fire Safety Week is held in October every year. Students have many opportunities to gain knowledge on how to be safe around fires and what to do if fires should occur at home.

          Our elementary classes visit the Fire Station on Third Street, and that same station brings a trailer to FMCA. The firemen teach exit strategies for fires in the home. The students love it and learn a lot that they take home and share with their parents.

            Middle School Bike Trip
            Students with bikes standing in front of trail signs

            Middle school students recently took their annual bike trip along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. They started biking from Ishpeming and finished for lunch at Border Grill. The rain thankfully held off, and it was a great trip!

            September Prayer Partners
            Smiling children sitting at table while making crafts

            Kindergarten and 4th graders recently learned about the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi and made bird feeders together. 2nd and 8th grade prayer partners worked on a creation project.

            2nd Grade Scavenger Hunt

            The 2nd grade class has been enjoying the wonderful fall weather we've been having! Here are some photos of a nature scavenger hunt they had!

            Four girls with their note pads for the scavenger huntTwo boys with their note pads for the scavenger hunt
            Students seeing the vestments for the first time.

            Last week, the 8th grade logic class went outside to work out on the picnic tables. While walking over, they saw MaryAnn Bernier with a huge box heading into the Catholic Social Services building. She asked if they wanted to see Bishop Baraga's vestments that had not been seen by the public yet. She said the vestments had been hiding in an attic, staff not knowing what was in the box. The class was included in the first 20 people to have seen the vestments!

            Miss Soha is planning on taking the 8th-grade class to the Bishop Baraga House when the vestments go on display for the public. 

            Annual Applesauce

            PreK Gold made their annual applesauce in class! The kiddos have so much fun going through the process of "cutting" the apples, cooking the apples, and mixing it all together, but their favorite part (as would be ours!) is eating it! 

            Preschool boy sitting next to plate of apple pieces Preschool boy slicing apples Preschool girl slicing apples Applesauce recipe on the board
            Potato Harvest
            Students cleaning potatoes they've harvested - View More Photos

            Sixth grade students recently harvested potatoes with Miss Gencheff during their science class. These were planted by students in the spring of last school year in our own raised garden beds. We will have a tasty surprise soon. Stay tuned!

            Happy Birthday, Mary!

            The first graders visited the statue of Mary for her birthday on September 8. They brought birthday cards for her as well as sang the most beautiful version of Happy Birthday. We could feel Mary smiling in heaven.

            Students holding up their colored drawing of MaryAltar to Mary with candles and drawingsStudents singing Happy Birthday to St. Mary
            Welcome Back

            We welcome back our students, families, and staff. We look forward to an amazing 2023–2024 school year!

              2023 Open House
              2023 Open House Flyer

              The Father Marquette Catholic Academy will have an open house on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Come meet your teachers and explore your classrooms! For questions on how to register, contact us at (906) 225-1129 or email us.