Striving for excellence in the new year

Dear Helias Catholic family,

Today, at the request of Bishop McKnight, our school community is praying the Rosary in memory of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. It is a peaceful and reflective way to center ourselves and thank God for the gift that Benedict was to our Church.

Today also is the beginning of our first full week of school in the new year. Classes are off and running, practice for the spring musical is ramping up, athletic activities continue on their busy pace, and many other co-curriculars are starting the new semester with meetings and competitions. It does not take long to shake off any cobwebs given the daily rhythm of our school.

I want to update you on a few items in the midst of everything that is taking place this month.

Construction: The renovation of Helias Catholic’s Rackers Fieldhouse is complete with the exception of a few finishing touches. Renovation of the Crucifix Entrance is nearing completion. We hope to see everything complete in the coming weeks.

We’re grateful for these significant improvements to our facilities, which our staff continues working hard to maintain. We recently weathered a water main break over the holidays. Director of Facilities Travis Reinsch and his team continue to work hard to keep our campus clean and orderly. Thank you, as always, to our maintenance and custodial staff.

Strategic Plan: Recall that Helias Catholic began its strategic planning process prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year we brought together three groups of members of our community to discuss the three main focus areas of the plan: Catholic Identity, Academic Excellence and Organizational Vitality. Work continues in all of these areas. For example, Helias Catholic has refashioned our campus ministry program to help strengthen our school’s Catholic identity. Kristen Berhorst brought her leadership to our staff as director of finance, adding to the great work of Associate Director of Finance Darlene Muessig. Principal Spencer Allen and his administrative team continue to visit classrooms, promote professional development, and look to coach and partner with our faculty.

Discussion on Racism: Our faculty and staff discussed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ pastoral letter against racism, “Open Wide Our Hearts,” this past fall. Helias Catholic’s Advisory Council also discussed the pastoral letter at its December meeting. The question before us is how best to bring this important topic to our wider community for continued conversation. I hope to share more with you about this in the next few weeks.

Alumni: Director of Alumni Relations Ron Vossen continues his outstanding work reaching out to our alumni. Currently our alumni database is well over 1,300 people. Ron and the school are active on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Stay tuned for news from the Helias Catholic alumni office in the regular alumni newsletter.

There are many positive things happening at Helias Catholic. Your continued support of our Catholic mission is deeply appreciated. Our prayers remain with you and your loved ones!

Live, Jesus, in our hearts — forever!

John Knight
Helias Catholic High School President

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In this blog, Helias Catholic President John Knight and guest writers share updates about ongoing work to advance Helias Catholic High School’s mission to provide excellence in Catholic education and vision to build a community of saints and scholars for Christ. Please send responses, ideas, questions and friendly greetings to Mr. Knight at