I had the pleasure of visiting with Pat and Bill earlier this month and recorded our conversation in the St. Thomas Chapel. I was particularly moved by their reflections on what the mission of Catholic education is for our students. Please enjoy two of the great leaders in the history of Holy Cross and AMHS.
The Archbishop Murphy High School Mock Trial team is well known for being one of the top teams in their area. Lead by Roger Brodniak, who also teaches at the school, they have won six district championships since 2006. One of the perks of being on such a renowned team is being eligible to attend the Angela R. Mathew High School Seminar Program at Harvard University. This seminar allows the students on the AMHS team to learn from some of the most successful mock trial competitors and coaches in the country. The Harvard Mock Trial Association is one of the most competitive in the world and offers valuable lessons for the stand-out Archbishop Murphy team.
As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, I look forward to exploring the history of our school, from the early founders with their pioneer spirit to the early leaders of the school who harnessed this spirit and established what is today the only Catholic high school in Snohomish County. The story of Holy Cross and Archbishop Murphy High School is a story about hope, love, faith, and sacrifice. The first entry in this series features former board of trustees chair Herb Sprute and former Principal Kris Smith. They joined me in a conversation in the St. Thomas Chapel as we reminisced about their time at Holy Cross and Archbishop Murphy High School.
As Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy High School celebrates its 30th anniversary this fall, senior Anthony Damitio is living out a family legacy there. The 17-year-old’s three older brothers are AMHS graduates, and one of his two sisters is a freshman at the private Catholic high school.
Simply put, Catholic education transforms lives – shaping the hearts and minds of all its students. It opens doors, knocks down barriers and unleashes our human potential. The lasting touch of this experience forms a deep foundation upon which an individual can build a wonderful life – one rooted in using her/his God-given gifts for the benefit of others as well as themselves.
The past few years I have enjoyed an annual birthday celebration of one of our good friends and long-time supporters: Roman Miller. I first met Roman in the summer of 2006 when I was a member of the football coaching staff. Roman frequented our practices, always with a bag of candy and another bag of newspaper and magazine articles. Within seconds of our first conversation, Roman had already identified a connection with my high school football coach, Don Anderson, who Roman supervised as a mentor teacher during Coach Anderson’s student teaching. Soon other connections were identified as Roman learned of my life in Spokane and on Whidbey Island. Our conversations continued on the bus rides to our away games, with Bill Arkell chiming in from time to time from the driver’s seat. Of course Roman would share his amazing life stories and as a teacher of history, I was fascinated with his connection with the Manhattan Project which included a visit to Princeton and a class from Albert Einstein. It’s nearly impossible to believe any person (other than perhaps Forrest Gump) could have encountered as much living history as Roman Miller.
For those of us old enough to remember the days when TV had only a handful of channels, we likely remember Fred Rogers, better known as Mister Rogers. I spent many hours as a child watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood and his magical world of make believe . I recall Mister Rogers entering his living room, adorned with a fish tank and traffic light, hanging up his jacket in the closet and putting on a cardigan sweater, then changing his shoes, all the while singing “Won’t you be my neighbor?” directly to the camera. Episodes featured characters such as Mr. McFeely, Officer Clemmons, and Trolley as well as puppet characters, including X the Owl, Cornflake S. Pecially, Daniel Striped Tiger, and Donkey Hodie, voiced by Fred Rogers and a team of performers. Award-winning actor Michael Keaton (who worked as a stagehand on Mister Rogers Neighborhood early in his career) recently paid tribute to Fred Rogers by hosting a 50th anniversary celebration in March 2018.
Transitional deacons Louis Cunningham, Justin Ryan (Class Of 2006) and Anh Tran will become the Archdiocese of Seattle’s newest priests when they are ordained this month by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain.
I knew very little about Satya Nadella prior to listening to the podcast. His story is compelling. He was born and raised in India, the son of a civil servant father and Sanskrit professor mother. He attended the renowned Hyderabad Public School and the Manipal Institute of Technology. His classmates included future CEO’s of Google, Adobe, MasterCard, and Nokia. While at MIT, he earned a degree in engineering, followed by advanced degrees in computer science and business from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Chicago, respectively. His arrival in the United States in the early 1990s coincided with a series of events which were changing the face of the world: the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communist occupied Eastern Europe, the technology boom in the US, including the rise of Apple and Microsoft and numerous Silicon Valley tech companies in the late 1980s. There was also an open door policy for immigrants from India to the US following the end of British rule in India along with what Nadella describes as an “enlightened American immigration policy.”
In April, the AMHS DECA chapter sent eight students to the International Career Development Conference competition in Atlanta this year. An additional three students attended the THRIVE Leadership Academy. During their six-day trip, these 11 students competed in varying events both as individuals and teams, and also had the chance to explore Atlanta.
Set in 1955, in a place the program describes as a “square little town in a square little state”, the music of Elvis Presley provides the soundtrack for a story of friendship, love, mistaken identity, and rock and roll. Directed by AMHS choir and drama teacher Carrie Wright, with the musical pit conducted and joined in performance by AMHS band teacher Keith Curtis, the production includes students who perform on stage and work behind the scenes. Additional staff members, parents, friends of AMHS, and the wonderful people at the Everett PUD Auditorium made for an amazing two week run of five brilliant shows.
The DECA State Career Development Conference was held March 1-3 in Bellevue. Several AMHS students finished in top spots qualifying to join nearly 19,000 students from around the world at DECA’s International Career Development Conference, April 21-24 in Atlanta, Georgia. Thirty-one AMHS students competed at the competition.
Archbishop Murphy girls basketball coach Cassie Snyder was named the Class 2A coach of the year by the Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association during the WSGBCA’s senior all-state games March 17 at King’s High School.
Archbishop Murphy’s freshman theology teacher, Sean Gross, recently earned his Ph.D. in Ethics and Social Theory from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
In a courageous effort by a fun-loving group of freshmen and a sophomore, Archbishop Murphy's Junior Varsity Mock Trial team finished in 18th place at the Washington State high school mock trial championship at the Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia on March 23-25, 2017.
During the Faith and Future campaign, numerous donors and supporters of the chapel project sponsored artwork, furnishings, and spaces within the St. Thomas Chapel. Along the way, we captured the stories of the people and the spaces. Please enjoy these “chapel stories” and as you visit the St. Thomas Chapel, we hope you experience a connection to the families who helped make this amazing addition to AMHS become a reality.
On February 16th, 11 students and 2 teachers from Archbishop Murphy High School traveled to Guatemala for a service learning trip. Over the six-day experience, they visited three different schools, learned about Guatemalan culture, and heard countless stories from the people they were helping.
The Archbishop Murphy High School Girls Basketball team tied the best record in school history, finishing 2nd in state.