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Family Focus 4/23/2021

date 04/28/2021 author Kris Sauer category 2020-21, April 2021 comment Leave a comment

April 23, 2021

Dear BA Families:

As I write this newsletter on Thursday, sunshine streams into the windows of my home where I continue to recover. As was previously shared, my surgery was successful and additional bone and CT scans did not show any spread of the cancer past my lymph nodes. I am thankful for your prayers and support and will be able to join students, families and staff remotely for the next few weeks.

I was saddened to learn about students connected to our school who have been injured or passed away during these past few weeks. We are thankful for our counselor and your partnership as we support our students during these times. Please continue to reach out to Ms. Rogers or other staff for any emotional needs this spring.

Staff Announcements!
New Band Director Hired: 
We are excited to announce that Mr. Edward Wendt, Jr. will be joining Bethlehem Academy as our new band director. He will be replacing Mr. Scot Gardner, Bethlehem Academy’s band (and occasional choir) teacher of 44 years. Mr. Wendt comes from the Totino-Grace Fine Arts Academy, where he taught various music groups, and Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Winsted where he instructed high school band and other various groups and ensembles. Please join us as we welcome him into the BA

Retirement Announcement: After 33 years, Eileen Kriechbaum has also announced her decision to retire. Her love of the Spanish language and culture has inspired 100s of BA students to continue in their Spanish studies beyond high school. We will miss her energy and love as she transitions to retirement. 

Retirement Celebrations: With three dedicated staff retiring this spring, including Tracy Meschke, Eileen Kriechbaum, and Scot Gardner (details below for Mr. Gardner), watch for additional details later this spring to join BA in honoring all three staff as they leave a legacy for all to follow at BA.


  • April 26-28: MS MAP Testing - see below
  • April 26-30: Prom Dress Down Days
    • Monday, April 26 - Beach Day
    • Tuesday, April 27- Neon Day 
    • Wednesday, April 28- America Day 
    • Thursday, April 29- Jersey Day
    • Friday, April 30- Prep day (MS students must be in Mass-appropriate clothes
  • April 29: Student of the Month, 7:30am in the Gym / ACT Aspire 9th grade makeup test day
  • April 30: Middle School Mass Day 
  • May 1: Prom 2021, Grand March streamed live on our YouTube channel here
  • May 4: AP Calculus BC Exam
  • May 5: AP English Literature Exam
  • May 5: Band and Choir Concert, 6 & 7 p.m. Limited attendance but join us online via our YouTube channel!
  • May 6: Avant Spanish Test
  • May 7: AP European History exam
KUDOS: To our Ms. Story and our FFA officers Karlie DeGrood, Brooke Johnson, and Matt Palan for doing such a great job representing BA & our FFA program on KDHL's Tuesday morning radio show!

Congratulations to the Robert's Family - they were the lucky winner of the $200 Amazon gift card, drawn from all families who registered for 2021-22 by April 1st!


  • 2021-22 Financial Aid Update: We are working on financial aid. Students must be enrolled for next year for aid to be allocated.Contact Kris Sauer if you have questions or need assistance completing enrollment and/or responding to information requests from TADS.
  • 2021-2022 School Calendar: copy attached

BA Annual Fund: THANK YOU! We continue to close the gap! As of today we have received $246,996 in gifts, 99% toward our goal of $250,000. Keep sharing the good news.

BABS Fund-A-Need (FAN): Thank you! We have raised enough through the FAN to add needed security cameras and purchase 11 new interactive SMART Boards for our classrooms. Help us get to 18 SMART boards-donate to the FAN here.  

FINISHING THE YEAR STRONG/COVID UPDATES: As we approach the end of the school year, we ask your assistance in remaining vigilant in upholding COVID safety protocols. We've seen an uptick in students and family members who have been asymptomatic but tested positive for COVID, and numbers in Rice County continue to climb as COVID variants take hold. Please help us keep students healthy and in school the rest of the year. Remember-

  • Vaccinations now available for students 16 or older! See link below.
  • Stay home if sick; contact the attendance line with info & symptoms;
  • We encourage testing OFTEN! See links below. It is encouraged that your student test every two weeks.
  • If your student or member of your household is getting tested for COVID due to exposure or symptoms, your student should stay home and isolate until you receive and provide a copy of test results to the office.
  • Consistently wear a mask, continue to social distance from others - and please ask your students to do so as well especially when not in our building and limit social gatherings.

At this time, we have no new positive cases among school students and/or staff. Any confirmed or exposed school members are quarantined. All interested staff have received the vaccine. We will continue to follow safety protocols including spacing, mask wearing, ventilation and cleaning as well as the 10 day quarantine. Please see links to additional COVID resources below:

Please pray: For Ella Banon, younger sister to BA 8th grader Barak Barner who is dealing with cancer; families suffering loss of a child in recent accidents; students who have been injured and are recovering; and I welcome continued prayers as well for my healing.

Mindy Reeder

Counseling Support: We have learned of a suicide challenges circling social media on TikTok, Twitter and other sites. It involves encouraging teens to engage in "blue whale" and chapstick suicide challenges. Please be sure to talk with your child and be aware of their social media use and accounts. Here are other resources:

Crisis Phone Lines

YouthLine:  Text teen2teen to 839863 or call 1-877-968-8491

Crisis Text Line: Text Hello to 741741

Trevor Project: Call 1-866-488-7386 or text "start" to 678-678

Here is a list of suicide warning signs for teens. 

Merit-Based Hoban Scholarship Applications Available
Students in grades 8 through 11 are invited to apply for the John E. and Lucille M. Hoban Merit Based Scholarship. Students are required to write a two-part essay and must be a student in good standing with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The 2021-2022 application is attached. The deadline for submission is Monday, May 10, 2021.

Order your 2020-2021 YEARBOOK
Have you ordered a yearbook for the 2020-2021 school year? May 29 is the deadline to purchase a school yearbook! Cost is $65. Order yours today - see the attached form or order online here. Contact Mr. Zabel if you have any questions. 

Adult 2021 Summer Employment Opportunity
Bethlehem Academy is looking for an energetic adult to help supervise the summer student work program. This student supervisor will work with the students under the direction of the BA maintenance team. The position runs from June 7 to  August 13 from 8am-2:30pm with a half hour lunch break. Pay is $12/hour.  Contact Steve Zabel at 334-3948 ext. 220 or by email if you or anyone you know may be interested. Position is flexible and may be shared. Deadline to apply is May 21. 

Lilly O’Donnell Memorial Service April 30
There will be a memorial candle vigil for Lilly O’Donnell on Friday, April 30, 8:30pm at the Northfield High School football field. Please wear a mask if you plan to attend.

Band/Choir Spring Concert May 5
The Spring Concert will be held in Van Orsow Auditorium. Choir begins at 6pm, Band at 7pm. Tickets will be distributed as they were for the winter concert and the event will be streamed live on our YouTube channel. Additional information will be provided by Mrs. Kratt and Mr. Gardner.

Online School Store Now Open! 
BA facemasks, car clings and **NEW** polos are now available for purchase on our online school store. Also available are BABS fixed priced items, including wrought iron planters and messenger bags. Click
here to purchase these great items! 

BASEBALL APPAREL - Click HERE to order by this Saturday, April 24.

Home Track Meet Help
Bethlehem Academy is hosting home track meets on Thursday, April 29 and Tuesday, May 11.  We are in need of 2 more volunteers for these events:

  • Public Address Announcer - follow a script to announce upcoming races and possible announce results as they become available
  • Starter's Assistant - assist in getting race results and getting next race participants ready.
Please contact Ed Friesen or Brent Zabel if you are willing to help with either of these duties.

Parent Volunteers for Mr. Gardner Open House June 12
Calling all band parents/guardians! Scot Gardner has served Bethlehem Academy as the band director for 44 years. During his tenure, he has touched the lives of thousands of students, building their confidence, inspiring them with his love of music, and inviting them to strive for excellence both in their music and in life. To celebrate Scot, Cassie Kratt is seeking parents volunteers to help plan a retirement open house to be held at BA on Saturday, June 12. Please email Cassie if you are interested in honoring Scot in this special way. Thank you! 

Fair Stand Manager Needed
BA parent team sought to run the BA Cardinal Cafe fair stand July 21-25, 2021, at the Rice County Fair. Tuition reduction and training from the retiring managers provided. Contact
Kris Sauer for more information.

Summer Football and Girls Basketball & Volleyball Camps 
BA will be hosting a number of camps this summer. Football camps are open to students in Grades 4-12, with a passing camp open to varsity players. Girls basketball and volleyball camps are open to girls in grades 2-8. Click here for information on all our summer sports camps.


PROM & POST-PROM: Prom is Saturday, May 1, 2021. Attendees should plan to wear masks for most of the evening. Prom will be hosted in our gym, with the Grand March at 5pm and the dinner and dance from 6-9:45pm. Grand March: BA 12th graders attending Prom are allowed 4 guests each. 10th & 11th grade BA students will get 2 guests, as will each non-BA student attendee. Guest names must be provided to Tammy Anderson by Thursday, April 29. Post-Prom and non-BA student guest permission slips are due Wednesday, April 28. Parent volunteers needed for Post-Prom; sign up to volunteer for Post-Prom here


The ACT ASPIRE make up test for 9th grade students is next Thursday, April 29. Students will be contacted individually at school to attend the make-up session. ACT has informed us that we will have test scores sometime in July.  To learn more about the test, visit

JUNIORS: Upcoming ACT Test Dates
Register here! for the June 12 exam (sign up deadline: May 7; late signup deadline: May 21). 

SENIORS: Faribault Sertoma Club Scholarship
The Faribault Sertoma Club is offering two $1500 scholarships for post secondary education. The recipients of the scholarships will best personify Sertoma's motto, "Service to Mankind". Deadline is April 30. 

SENIORS: Grad Party List
A reminder to please email Class of 2021 grad party details (date, time, location, menu) to Barb Johnson for the master class grad party list.  

SENIORS: Faribault Daily News Graduation Section-May 6 Deadline
The Faribault Daily News will again publish its annual special section featuring area high school graduates. There is also a special online version where seniors can create and personalize a page of their own to share with friends and family. Graduates or their parents may submit a photo (at least 1MB, vertical and preferably pictured from the waist up) and information on the Daily News website at It is free; the deadline for graduate submissions is May 6. For more information, contact Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134 or


Grade 6-8 MAP Testing April 26-28
Middle school students will spend 2 periods daily next Monday through Wednesday (April 26-28) in MAP testing in math, reading, science and language. Please be sure your student gets a good night’s sleep and is well rested for these exams.


Sacred Relics of the Saints: Treasures of the Church, May 10 @ DMCC
Divine Mercy Catholic Church presents a teaching and exposition of Sacred Relics on Monday, May 10 at 6:30pm. See attached flyer. Fr. Carlos Martins of the Companions of the Cross will be here with an extraordinary Vatican collection of over 150 relics, some as old as 2000 years. The Church of St. Dominic in Northfield will present the same program on Saturday, May 15, at 6:00 pm.

Spring Break 2022 Guatemala Trip
Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 Spring Break Mission Retreat to Guatemala. Deadline to apply is May 1st.
here for more information. 

Faribault Golf Course: Kitchen Workers

Faribault Golf Course is seeking 3 part-time line cooks (1-2+ years’ experience) to start the golf season. Pay depends on experience and availability. Call or send resumes to Chef Patty LeBeau at or call 612-701-7190.

Tri-Star Manufacturing: Assembly Work
Student workers sought for summer assembly work at Tri-Star Manufacturing in Kasson. Contact Peggy Sheldon at 507-331-4347 if interested.

2021-2022 BA/DMCS School Calendar
Hoban Scholarship 2021 Application
Yearbook Order Form
Sacred Relics DMCC May 10 

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Our Mission
Bethlehem Academy, a Catholic school in the Sinsinawa Dominican tradition, strives to empower its students and staff to achieve personal, spiritual and academic excellence. We challenge ourselves to love as Jesus Christ loved, to lead, to serve, to inspire and to seek the truth: Veritas.
105 3rd Ave. SW
Faribault, MN  55021
Phone:  507-334-3948
Fax:  507-334-3949