Notre Dame Regional High School

Cape Girardeau, MO

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Quad State Music Festival

 Students from our Music Arts program are attending Quad State Music Festival at Murray State. 

"The Murray State University Quad-State High School Honor Choir is selected each fall by recorded audition. Students and teachers from Kentucky and the surrounding state have a unique opportunity to study and perform a major work from the choral/orchestral repertory. They arrive for rehearsal on a Sunday evening with the notes and rhythms learned. Within the next 24 hours the 250 + individual singers selected from more than 35 high schools become a choir with the singular purpose of making glorious music together. Monday evening they perform the work with a professional orchestra. It is an intense period of rehearsal, of musical, intellectual, personal and professional growth. A truly remarkable musical opportunity the Quad State High School Choral Festival is the only festival in the region to focus on the choral-orchestral repertory."  --Quad State Website

Congratulations Mrs. Seyer and students!

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Girls Tennis Makes History

NDHS Girls Tennis Team has made school history this season. For the first time, the girls won Districts as a TEAM. They went on to capture Sectionals and qualify for the STATE over the weekend. Doubles teams Megan Gullette & Claire Southard and Anna Grace Stroup & Claire Bruenderman will compete in the doubles state competition and will be joined by Amina Hussein and Emma Marshall in singles competition. 

Congratulations and Good Luck to these girls and coaches!

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There was never a doubt in Karla and Robert Essner’s minds that their kids would go to Notre Dame Regional High School.

“It was just head and shoulders above any other choice for so many reasons: academics, spirituality, and environment,” said Karla. “It really is a community, a family. They enforced what we were trying to teach at home.”

Robert graduated from Notre Dame in 1973, and Karla has been working as an administrative assistant at the school since 2007. Their kids, Nathan, Bonnie, and Lee graduated from Notre Dame in 1999, 2000, and 2004, respectively.

In 1999, when Bonnie was a senior, a certain newly appointed principal approached Karla with the idea of a “senior tree” tradition. She was an active volunteer at the time with in the Pawprints newsletter, a publication sent to Notre Dame parents, that was in its early stages.

“It was a Brother David calling,” said Karla. “It was a way to create a lovely memory for seniors, and a way to bring the class together at Christmas time.”

Two decades later, the Senior Tree Tradition is going strong.

Robert has served on the Notre Dame Foundation Board since 1986, long before their kids were enrolled. As a C.P.A., Robert has provided the foundation with sound financial advice.

“I knew they would be going there in the future, and I wanted to build it up,” said Robert. “I thought it was a good mission, and I had the skill set.”

He currently serves as the Treasurer of the NDHS Education Fund Foundation Board of Trustees.

Over the years, the couple has been active at the high school wherever they could be of help, including Booster Club and bingo.

When it came to establishing a new school building, they both served as major gift solicitors during the first capital campaign. During the second capital campaign, Karla served alongside Dennis Vollink and Danny Essner as co-chair. Recently, Karla served as editor of the redeveloped alumni magazine.

Outside of Notre Dame, they are extremely active at their home parish of St. Augustine in Kelso. They’re both Eucharistic ministers and serve as facilitators for the FOCCUS marriage preparation program. Robert serves as a lector and is a member of the parish finance committee. Karla has been a member of the parish council and school board, worked on St.

Augustine’s confirmation program for nearly 20 years, and has served on St. Anne’s Sodality in multiple capacities.

Although sustaining Notre Dame for their own children was an important factor in their service, they always had future generations on their mind.

“The teenage years are formative years,” said Robert. “If you start them in the right direction, you’re improving society.”

Receiving an Annunciation Award was an honor the Essners did not expect. Karla suspects “It all goes back to that darn monk!”
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Notre Dame Regional High School wouldn’t be where it is today without the dedication of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

74 of them, to be exact. Sister Jean Ann Weyer did the math.

“I checked! I found out that there were 74 nuns that taught either at St. Mary’s, Cape Catholic, or under the current name: Notre Dame Regional. And I counted how many years combined,” said Weyer. “It was 317 years of teaching.”

So, when the former Notre Dame teacher was told she was the recipient of an Annunciation Award, she wanted to make it clear that her acceptance was on behalf of all those who taught at the school since its inception.

“I only taught for four years, and there are so many other teachers who are more deserving,” said Weyer. “But I’m still teaching; after hours, but still going. So the only reason I’m accepting the award is because it’s in the name of those 74 sisters.”

During her assignment at Notre Dame in Cape Girardeau from 1957 to 1961, Weyer taught biology, typing, and home economics. She was also in charge of the Living Rosary.

“Practically the whole school volunteered. It was truly a very spiritual experience,” said Weyer. “It was an opportunity for the entire student body and their parents to give glory and honor to our Blessed Mother.”

The school, called Cape Catholic at the time, was just one of many stops across her 52 years of teaching high school. She’s served at institutions across the St. Louis region, including St. Laborius, St. Gabriel’s, St. Barbara’s, St. Francis Borgia, and the all-girls Notre Dame High School.

“I love working with teenagers. They’re just so interesting!” said Weyer. “I personally had such wonderful teenage years, and it’s such an exciting time for them.”

Teens have also taught her quite a lot. This statement rang especially true in 1982, when she began teaching at an alternative high school in East St. Louis. It was for troubled students ages 17 through 24 who had dropped out due to drugs, pregnancy, or incarceration.

“There was a lot of pain to cope with,” said Weyer, which she combated through a fierce prayer life.

“Most teachers learn to bring all of their experiences through prayer to God, because you can get kind of burned out,” said Weyer. “You need to pray, pray, and pray. I couldn’t live without prayer. It’s what gives me life.”

Her days never ended at 3:00 p.m., either. For over 20 years, she would then volunteer at the New Lifestyle Program - a high school equivalency program for women working their way out of prostitution - or to teach inmates at the Medium Security Institute.

In 2003, she began working at the Notre Dame Tutorial Center in St. Louis, and in 2009 began her current volunteer post at the Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Program. Here, she assists students in learning English to achieve citizenship in the United States.

“The longer I teach them, I realize how blessed we are here in the U.S.,” said Weyer. “We take so many things for granted that people throughout different parts of the world cannot take for granted. One of my students from Croatia came here with just a pillowcase and a few pieces of clothing. That was it. And if they don’t have citizenship, there’s a lot of things they’re missing. They can’t vote, and they can’t get Social Security.”

Many religious leaders come through the program, too. She’s in the process of teaching a priest from Madagascar, and recently she not only helped a priest from Indonesia with his English, but with inclusivity.

“He was writing his homilies for church every day, and I made sure he used inclusive language,” said Weyer. “Over half of our Catholic congregation are women, and many churches still say ‘brothers.’ I don’t like that. If there are women in church, then they use ‘brothers and sisters.’”

Weyer is celebrating her 89th birthday this month. Despite her age, she still drives herself, is very independent, and still accepts God’s call to serve each day. She’s capable of retiring, but just “can’t sit around doing nothing.”

“I love teaching, and I plan to continue doing so as long as my health and the good Lord wants me to,” said Weyer.

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The NDHS Education Fund Foundation is organizing a 10-day, guided tour of England, Scotland and Wales in 2020.

ALL ARE INVITED (you do not have to be associated with Notre Dame to attend or go on the trip)! The trip,scheduled for June 18-27, 2020, will include London, York, Edinburgh Castle, Choices on Tour, Lake District, North Wales, and Stratford-upon-Avon!

The Travel Show will include detailed information about the trip itinerary, accommodations, inclusions and costs. 

To R.S.V.P. for the Travel Show on October 16 or for more information about the British Landscapes trip in general, contact 1st Class Travel, 573-651-0088 or email

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On Monday, Oct. 14, Notre Dame Regional High School Senior Victoria Collom signed to play for Central Methodist University's Esports program. Collom has accepted an Esports scholarship to play League of Legends and Hearthstone at the university, the first scholarship of its kind for the Bulldogs.

League of Legends is a team-based online battle arena video game and Hearthstone is a strategy card game. 

“Victoria brings a lot of excitement and experience to the game and we are excited that she is joining the program," said Head Coach Aaron Shockley about his new addition. "When Victoria tried out for our team last fall, we knew she would be a great addition to the program and the university.”
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ND Enjoys Summer Travels

Notre Dame had an eventful summer.   Mrs. Layton, Mrs. Tomaszewski, Mrs. Worley, and Mr. Hinton, with students from ND, took a trip to Peru; Ms. Strohmeyer hosted this year’s Annual Joan Strohmeyer Mission Trip in Tuba City, Arizona, along with Mrs. Schaefer, Mr. Boeller, Mr. Landewe, Mr. Rowland, and Mr. Kuper; Ms. Siebert spent her summer in Spain; and Mrs. Timpe and Mr. Keusenkothen, along with students, attended Steubenville.

Mrs. Layton’s group had the opportunity to take 16 students, along with a few parents, on a trip to Peru. The group visited Lima, Cuzco, Uros Islands, and Machu Picchu: one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The trip itself wasn’t a walk in the park. According to Layton, “It was rugged.We did stay in hotels for the majority of the trip, but that didn’t mean it was easy.”  At 14,000 feet, experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness wasn’t uncommon. “It was strenuous due to altitude sickness, but it was still awesome,” Layton said.

The group hiked for the majority of the trip. “Lots of hiking at the Sun Gate in Machu Picchu. We had to have a guide, and we only had two hours to stay as the site was closely monitored-- they didn’t want a lot of people staying for too long,” Layton said. Alongside the exhausting symptoms of altitude sickness and the strenuous hiking, there was a lot of culture shock.

One thing to know was that it seldom rains in Peru; however, when the group visited, they did experience some misting. “The first day in Cuzco, our guide, Rod, said, ‘This is the first time it rained since I was eleven.’ And he was talking about the mist!” Layton said.

The food in Peru was exotic compared to the meals the average American is used to. “The food was amazing,” Layton said. “This may be a little controversial, but we tried alpaca steaks and kebabs, and the Inca specialty: guinea pig… It was all delicious,” Layton said.

Ms. Strohmeyer led the Annual Joan Strohmeyer Mission Trip to Tuba City, Arizona. According to Strohmeyer, the origin of the mission trip was in 1996 when she was working at St. Vincent’s Grade School in Cape Girardeau.

“My mom and dad went on vacation with this priest who had a pastor friend from Tuba City, and they suggested  I should bring my youth group so they can experience this awesome place,” Strohmeyer said. The Annual Joan Strohmeyer Mission Trip, named after her late mother, was founded.

Tuba City, Arizona is a small town in Coconino County on the Navajo land. According to Strohmeyer, this year’s group had the opportunity to see some dinosaur tracks and the Grand Canyon, which was only half an hour away.

Mission trips are often a place where community comes together through service and prayer. “You feel like you’re really doing something—and that’s a great feeling!” Strohmeyer said.

It’s also an opportunity to get close with people participants might not have had the chance to be close with. “Every year, we have students coming with us for the first time during their junior or senior year, and they often say they regret not going on all four years,” said Strohmeyer. 

Dulac, Louisiana will be the location of next summer’s trip. Sign-ups will be available during an informational meeting announced sometime this year.
Ms. Siebert travelled to Spain to work as an au pair to teach kids English. According to Siebert, this was her first time traveling out of the country. “I went to San Sebastian, Spain, which is a tourist destination. There are three different beaches and, in the time I was there, multiple celebrities visited the area, including Woody Allen, who is currently shooting his newest film,” Siebert said.

Siebert stayed in Spain for a little over a month and lived with the Rodriguez family.  Experiencing Spain this way was better because she lived like the locals and fully experienced the Spanish culture through the Rodriguezes.

“My sole purpose for being there was to help the kids with their English, while also caring for them during the day,” Siebert said. She taught the three kids through different activities that included reading books in English, watching videos in English, and practicing their English-speaking skills constantly.

Siebert also met a friend of the family who was German and also an au pair. “We had her over for a dinner party one night. Between the family, the German au pair, and myself, there were four different languages being spoken at one table,” Siebert said.

Siebert’s stay in Spain was an eye-opening experience and sparked her desire to continue learning more Spanish once she returned home. “I can truly see the value in speaking multiple languages and being able to communicate with others,” Siebert said.

Steubenville is a three-day high-energy youth Catholic conference held all over North America. The conference is filled with great music, wonderful presenters, and a few thousand Catholic teens. Mrs. Timpe had the opportunity to be a group leader for this year’s Steubenville in Springfield, Missouri.

A lot of students from ND annually attend the conference, but Timpe recommends more go. “Teens get to encounter Jesus personally, in Word and Sacrament. The focus is on choosing Christianity as a joyful decision. When you get 5,000 teens in a room that is already brimming with energy, then add Jesus, the effects are amazing,” Timpe said.

The conference is geared to mainly youth and is specifically developed for high school students, but there are adults and college students who attend to act as chaperones or small group leaders. “There are conferences put on for college students, for example ‘Seek’, and three different adult Steubenville encounters,” Timpe said.

Timpe’s job as a group leader was to keep everyone in check for their safety. “Once I got there, my job was to get us where we needed to be, and keep track of everyone,” Timpe said.

“My favorite thing was watching so many teens living out their faith. Every time I leave, I have a renewed faith in the future of the church,” Timpe said. This was Timpe’s 9th year attending the Steubenville conference as a group leader. According to her, she would have gone as a student if she had known it existed. “I think it would have been an incredible boost to my faith before going off to college,” Timpe said.

by Jona Vercide, Staff Writer for the ND student newspaper The Hi-Lites


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Notre Dame has two new programs for seniors this year.  One of those is the connectCAPE Program and the other is the A+ Program. 

ConnectCAPE consists of senior job shadowing provided by the Cape Chamber of Commerce. 

The student participating gives their top three areas of career interest and then the Cape Chamber of Commerce connects them with a chamber member in that area who is willing to have them shadow their job. 

This program allows students access to real-world settings, an opportunity to explore career options, and the ability to learn from someone who is currently working in the student’s area of interest.

The main requirements are good school attendance and a good disciplinary record. Although, certain fields do require students to be 18 or older.

There are two four-hour sessions with each  shadowing experience, along with a post-shadow survey. The deadline to sign up has already passed, but the program is an annual program which means it will be available next year.

The A+ Program,  offers scholarship money toward community colleges and many other Missouri schools. A full list of schools is available from Mrs. Mueth in Guidance. 

The requirements include: a 2.5 GPA, a 15-17 on the math portion of the ACT (varies with the student’s GPA), and 50 hours of tutoring or mentoring another student. The 50 hours must be supervised by a member of the Notre Dame faculty or staff.
Students are able to start tutoring or mentoring once they finish their sophomore year and have until three weeks before graduation to earn hours.  If interested in either of these programs, see Mrs. Mueth in the Guidance Office.

by Bryson Kielhofner, Staff Writer for the ND student newspaper The Hi-Lites

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Together We are ND!

I will never forget Friday night August 18, when I heard the news: Brother David would be leaving ND. I was devastated.

But time goes on.  Brother David was reassigned to St. Anthony’s High School on Long Island and we’ve already begun this year without him.

But we are not lost as a school. As a matter of fact, we’re on the right path. The path Brother David set for us in his twenty years of service as our principal.
What Brother left for us was a school strengthened and united by tradition, legacy, and most importantly: faith.  We all individually can carry on those values.

Brother David said in an interview, “ND is kept together through God and prayer. How can a school named after our Holy Mother fail?  It’s not going to happen.”

We are also gifted with the best leader to help us do just that, Interim Principal, Mr. Tim Garner.  Garner has served Notre Dame for nearly 20 years and is an alum of Notre Dame. During his years as an ND student, he was very active playing baseball and acting in musicals, including Into the Woods. 
Garner studied at Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Garner went on to study Administration at William Woods University in Fulton, Mo. He received his Master’s in Administration in 1999. 

We’re moving into a new era with new leadership. As long as we keep ourselves on the same path we will never fail in carrying out Brother David’s mission: keeping our school spirit and faith alive.

Activity Week is right around the corner. What better way to raise our school spirit than to sell more than we ever have before? 

Our sports are also a good opportunity to show off our colors and go crazy with spirit. Brother David visited almost every game he could in every sport. We can do the same.

When people see how we perform as a school this year they will know what we mean when we say, “Together...We are ND”. 

by Mason Galemore, Editor in Chief of the ND student newspaper The Hi-Lites


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At 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23, over 250 students at Notre Dame Regional High School kicked off their annual freshman-senior lockin. At 6 a.m. the next morning, they headed home after a night full of fun, bringing back with them the comfort of being able to recognize a few new faces. 

According to faculty organizer Angie Schaefer, the all-nighter originated as an action plan in 1988 created by the Notre Dame Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention team. 

“It was designed as a way to help our freshmen coming from a variety of feeder grade schools to get to know one another in an evening of games and activities,” said Schaefer. “We also bring in speakers that have a message of alcohol and drug prevention.”

This year’s speaker was Missy Lane of Jackson, who shared her story of driving while intoxicated and the consequences that followed. Brad Lively, a patrolman for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, also dropped in to discuss various laws that will apply to students when they’re of legal age to drive. 

Senior Perri Poe said although the talks were similar to those that took place at her freshman-senior lockin, she still thought they were a good refresher.

“It was definitely one of the lower points of the night, I guess you could say. But it’s good to be serious and really get the point across to make sure we’re safe throughout the year,” said Poe.

As is typical of the lockin, seniors were tasked with the planning and implementation of activities. This structure allows the class to both take on a leadership role at the school and develop a mentoring relationship with incoming students. The summer before the lockin, they gather for several planning meetings and decide on a theme. The 2019 theme? The popular 90’s sitcom, Friends.

“A lot of us knew the background of Friends, and we thought everyone kind of knows about it anyways. So it wasn’t specific. It was more general so everyone could relate to it,” said Poe.

One way they incorporated the theme was while students were writing down personal short-term and long-term goals. One goal was on a coffee mug, and the other on a gold frame - similar to the one seen in Friends - which were then posted onto a large replica of the show’s iconic purple door. 

Poe’s little sister, Ava, was a freshman this year. She happened to be in Perri’s small group during several outdoor games, including earth ball, wiffleball, frisbee, and flag football. Other activities included verbal games, such as “Never Have I Ever” and “Truth or Dare.” The most popular attraction of the night was the sudsy slip and slide, which, before his new appointment, Brother David Migliorino joyfully operated year after year. 

Ava admitted her trepidation upon arriving at the lockin, but said that feeling didn’t last long as there was “really no time to be nervous.”

“I saw my friends and then I saw my sister, and [the activities] were nonstop,” said Ava. “I got to meet a lot of new freshmen, but I also got to meet a lot of the seniors. After that, if I didn’t know where I was going at school, I got to see the people I met at lock-in and ask for help.”

In comparison to the ample orientation events Notre Dame hosts for incoming freshmen, Ava said the lockin outshined them all. 

“We got to get a lot closer with people because we were there all night. The other activities are just a few hours or during a class, and with less people. Like Peer Helpers - there’s maybe 30 people in that,” said Ava. “At lockin, you get to meet more people you didn’t know before.”
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