At the Arboretum

On May 21st, the 1st Grade class of Mrs. Rusin and the kindergarten class of Mrs. Barone enjoyed a day at Gabis Arboretum, (formally known as Taltree Arboretum).  The students were given a guided tour of the grounds and taken on a nature walk to observe all that Mother Nature had to offer.  The students observed the sounds and sights of many birds, plant life, and water systems that help keep the ecosystem what it needs to be and to be sustained.  They were also asked to notice all the different colors of the forest, in and along the hiking path.  It was a wonderful experience for all the students.  After their hike, the students enjoyed a picnic lunch among the trees and it was followed up at school with drawings and writings of their many discoveries.  Gabis Arboretum is a beautiful way to experience nature and all it has to offer.

2018 Academic Team

This year, members of St. Michael’s School Academic Team competed in the 2018 Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl America Answers National 7th/8th Grade Contest. Our Academic team is a combination of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. There were 192 teams from 27 different states competing. Of the 192 teams, 127 competing at our level were all-8th-grade teams.

The Academic Team finished with a score of 92% – giving us 1,155 points, placed 32/127 (8th grade), placed 41/192 (overall), and was the Highest Ranked Indiana Team!

Wednesday, May 23, we celebrated the Academic Team’s success with a pizza party. Way to go, Warriors!

Pep Rally!!!

To celebrate the end of the 2017-2018 school year, the SMS students put together their annual Pep Rally. The individual sports and their coaches  were recognized between the cheerleading routines and some very comical sketches from the 8th Grade boys! The 8th Grade class then went on to dominate the SMS faculty in an epic tug of rope competition. It was a delightful afternoon for students, faculty, and families alike, topped off by the last Food Truck Friday of the year with I’Scream and Cookies. We can’t believe how fast the year has gone and wish our 8th Grade graduates the best of luck as they begin their high school adventures.

Spring Poetry Reading

Mrs. Barone’s Kindergarten class  spent their Thursday morning putting on a very special event. It was their 5th Annual Spring Poetry Reading. The students dress in costumes and bring props as their read an arrangement of poems they’ve written, not only making for a memorable morning for their families but also giving them a great chance to overcome their shyness before heading into 1st Grade next year. It was amazing just how many students were ready to step outside their comfort zone and make their performance their own. With the calendar ticking closer and closer to the summer holiday, these kids can’t wait to be back as First Graders.

Preschool Travels the World

Saint Michael 4/5 PreK class took a journey to learn about other Countries they were interested in with the children each picking a country they wanted to learn more about.  Some of the children brought in flags, items, books or food from their country. They “applied for” and filled out passports and bought plane tickets.  Then the children went to the computer lab where Mrs. Pagorek took tickets, and sat the children on their seats on the plane.  She then used the Smart Board and took the kids on a plane ride.  The kids absolutely loved this and you could see the imagination practical written on their faces.  After the plane ride, they went through customs and had their passports stamped.  They then did a show-and-tell about their countries, making flags and tasting foods from all over the world, imagining their trip to Poland, India, Russia, Mexico, Australia, Ireland and Vietnam.  They tasted food from Poland, Mexico, Ireland, Vietnam and India.  What a wonderful experience they shared!!

2018 Passport to Our Heritage

Passport to our Heritage is St. Michael’s major fundraising event. An exciting social event for guests age 21 and over, “Passport” encourages the involvement of the entire St. Michael Community, celebrating our past and investing into the future of our school and parish.

The event features various “Ports of Call”, where our families donate their time, talent and treasure to provide specialty cuisine and cocktails representing their cultural heritage. You can travel from Port to Port, experiencing the world through our own community. The event also features live and silent auctions, with something for everyone including fantastic packages from area businesses and unique opportunities within our own community. There are fun games and prizes to win, and a DJ plays to dance the night away.

Tickets are on sale beginning March 12th for $40 per person. Tickets will also be $50 per person at the door. Ticket prices include food at all ports, as well as beer and wine throughout the evening. Specialty cocktails are also available for purchase at the ports.

Saturday, April 21st, 2018                        5:30 PM – Midnight

There is so much to do as Passport…

Camaraderie, dining and dancing are just the “takeoff” events of the night. The voyage continues throughout the night with the highlight event, the Live and Silent Auctions.

Included in the auctions are amazing products and packages donated from local community members and businesses, alongside other parish items you might not expect, like:

  • Limo Lunch with Miss Kennedy
  • Reserved Front Pew at First Communion Masses
  • Dinner with Father Marty at the Rectory

Another feature of the auction are the Kids’ Projects. Close to the hearts of our St. Michael Catholic School parents, these crafty projects are created by each class of children, preschool through 8th Grade, for your enjoyment. But the auction highlights do not stop there. Also included is Bubbles and Bling. This exclusive subset of our silent auction features gorgeous pieces from local fine jewelers and specialty accessories.


From the Ports of Call…

The “boarding pass” ticket price includes the all-you-can-eat specialty cuisine at our ports of call. Cultural ports vary each year, but have included:

  • Germany
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Poland
  • USA

Taste your way around the world without having to leave Northwest Indiana. Beer and wine are also included with the “boarding pass” ticket. Additional specialty cocktails are available for purchase at each port.


…to the Final Destination

All the proceeds of Passport to our Heritage benefit the St. Michael Parish Community.

St. Michael Catholic School provides a quality Catholic education to students attending preschool through 8th Grade. In addition, over six hundred children receive instruction in their faith through our Faith Formation program.

Our school and parish take the utmost pride in providing an excellent education for our future leaders, with a devoted staff in a family-oriented environment.


Tickets on sale now!



How You Can Help…

Passport to our Heritage could not exist without the generous support of our community of sponsors, donors, and volunteers.


For more information on general event sponsorship packages, including a wide variety of promotional opportunities, please contact:
Jennifer Poskin, Co-Chair
(219) 313-7708,


To help provide food, beverages, and related products for our Ports of Call, please contact:
Tracy Haws


To donate an item or experience to our silent or live auctions, please contact:
Maria Dahn


To volunteer to assist with event set-up or operations, please contact:
Kim Knueppel, Co-Chair
(219) 718-7986,

A Look Back at Catholic Schools Week 2018

Catholic Schools’ week at St. Michael School was a huge success due to the dedication of our Student Council and the support provided by SMS staff, students, and family members. Our Student Council researched the theme: Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed. Their ideas all shared one common goal and this goal was to help others in their community and to show their appreciation for our priests, deacons, sisters, and school staff.

The Student Council organized a fun-filled week which encouraged creating cards and letters of appreciation, sharing time among peers, and donating money and items to several charities. The SMS community reached out to Kindred Nursing Home, Meals on Wheels, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Tradewinds, and Wounded Warriors.

In addition to helping others, students participated in a variety of activities. Some of these activities included a bake sale, scavenger hunt, donation contest among all grade levels, career day, movie/popcorn, and classroom visits from Fr. Greg! Their school spirit was displayed as they dressed down in spirit wear, sports attire, patriotic colors, career attire, and pajamas.

Furthermore, this extraordinary week ended with a new tradition created by Parker Knueppel, a 7th grader at SMS. His idea was called, “Champion of the Week.” His goal was to encourage SMS spirit and participation among the students. The class to achieve both of these would win a trophy filled with surprises. The 2018 winner went to Mrs. McLaughlin’s 5th grade class! They will hold on to this award until 2019!

SMS Daisies at Phil’s Friends

St. Michael School’s 1st Grade  Daisies, Girl Scout Troop #15442, recently took part in a wonderful service project.  The troop leaders try each year, during Lent, to take the girls on a field trip which focuses on service to others.  This year’s trip was to the office of Phil’s Friends, a local charity in Crown Point, IN.  The mission of Phil’s Friends ( is to provide Christ-centered support and hope to those affected by cancer.  1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year in the United States. Many of these people with cancer find themselves in hopeless situations in hospital rooms and homes across the country. Phil’s Friends brings hope through the distribution of hand-assembled Care Packages to cancer patients and their families, and consistent weekly support through Cards of Hope and prayer.

Our 1st Grade students and their families assisted the staff at Phil’s Friends to create and assemble hopeful Care Packages, as well as creating Cards of Hope to be sent to patients.  After all the care packages were assembled, the group said a prayer over them before they were set to be sent out to patients.  The girls and their families truly enjoyed the opportunity to help bring hope and share God’s love with those in need.

2018 Science Olympiad Regional Competition

The dedicated students of St. Michael School attending the 2018 Science Olympiad Regional Competition at IU Northwest. We were well represented in a number of events, including: Disease Detectives, Wright Stuff, Solar System, Towers, Potions and Poisons, Crime Busters, Battery Buggy, and Roller Coaster. We are so proud of our students and the amazing work and dedication they put into this competition and beyond delighted to see a number of medals come home with our students. Brianna Cook and Maggie Keith came home with a 5th Place in Potions and Poisons and Gabe Novales and Nathan Anderson came home with the 1st Place medal for Roller Coasters. These students represented St. Michael’s Catholic Community with such amazing professionalism and delight. We can’t wait to see what our students will do next year at the 2019 Science Olympiad.

Career Day in 1st Grade

During Catholic Schools Week at St. Michael Catholic School, Mrs. Rusin’s 1st Grade students participated in “Career Day 2018” along with the entire student body.  In preparation for this event, they wrote and presented their reports which explained their job requirements and the reasons for choosing their careers.  Their enthusiasm shined while they shared their career duties and experiences! Throughout the school, there were doctors, teachers, scientists, astronauts, and so much more!