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.
Steve Schmutz joined Archbishop Murphy High School in 2006. He received a B.S. degree in Marketing and History from Santa Clara University, a Master of Initial Teaching from Gonzaga University and a post masters Principal certification from Seattle University. Prior to his arrival at AMHS in 2006, Steve taught at South Whidbey High School, Gonzaga Preparatory High School, and the International School of Aruba. He also served as the Principal at Eastside Catholic High School. While at AMHS, Steve has served as a member of the Social Studies Department, as the Dean of Students, as Principal and as President.
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.
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.”
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.
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.