Leading up to their first big basketball game, Our Lady Star of the Sea School (OLSSS) held a pep rally on Friday, November 17. There was a deafening roar from the students as they cheered on their classmates, “The Seahawks,” who played students from Father Andrew White on Sunday, Sunday, November 19.
OLSSS is a family and community oriented Catholic faith-based school in Solomons, Maryland. With 99 students in grades pre-K to 8, the student-teacher ratio averages approximately 11 to 1. Mary Bartsch, principal of OLSSS, said, “Students and teachers of all grades know each other. The parents know all the students and each other. Parents are active and comfortable with the school.” Earlier in the week the school held a Thanksgiving dinner where staff served students and their families. Ms. Bartsch said this could not have been done without the help of Ashley Lee, Susan Cole Quinn, Beth Oster and Connie Gott.
Members of the OLSSS basketball team and teachers, joined by students from St. Mary’s Ryken High School varsity basketball teams, formed a tunnel that each of the OLSSS classes ran through. As the students came through the tunnel you could see the posters they had made to cheer on their classmates.
Then the members of the OLSSS girls and boys junior varsity basketball team and girls and boys varsity teams were introduced. They ran through the tunnel amidst cheers and banners to the stage.
Monsignor Mike Wilson, Pastor at Our Lady Star of the Sea, blessed the group. He acknowledged the tremendous amount of spirit they showed. The classes then took part in a “spirit” contest led by Principal Mary Bartsch. Each class rose and chanted “We got spirit, yes we do; we got spirit, how ‘bout you!” It is good that the school has a very strong roof because each class showed a tremendous amount of spirit! After several rounds, the 7th-8th grade class was announced as the Spirit Champions.
The St Mary’s Ryken students spoke with the younger students about basketball and St. Mary’s Ryken High School. They passed out cups, wristbands and book bags, making sure that each student received something. Attending from St. Mary’s Ryken High School girls’ basketball team were Tanasia Miles, JaKayla Brown, Katie White, Kennedy Paton, Chalon Miles and Coach Toyja Somerville. Members of the boys’ basketball team included Aaron Jasper, Alperen Kurnaz, Louis Tang, Jon Pappa, Devin Ceaser, David Brown and Coach Walter Booth.
Coach Booth said “this is a great opportunity to begin building a relationship with future players. The high school players are able to provide a role model and build relationships with the younger students.”
Coach Toyja Somerville said that the game “is bigger than basketball. It is an opportunity to use my God-given gifts to teach life’s lessons through basketball. It is refreshing when you can meet and talk with the players at a younger age.”
There are other events coming up. In January, they will kick off Catholic Schools Week with an open house. During Catholic Schools Week OLSSS will announce plans for their 85th anniversary celebration which will kick off in September for their 2018/19 school year. OLSSS was established in 1933, faithfully serving Southern Maryland.
Also in January, The Alumni Players, a group of former students, parents and staff members, hold their annual dinner theater. This year they will perform a “whodunit” called Alibis, written by Peter Kennedy, that shows shades of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie. Their hilarious shows are always funny and enjoyable. The food is very good. They are always sold-out, so watch for tickets to go on sale.
Watching as the students left the auditorium for dismissal, you could see the bond between the children and their teachers. The older students made sure younger classmates found their way back to classrooms, teachers talked with parents coming in to pick up students. Ms. Bartsch stated, “If you want a school that is faith-based, with a rigorous academic curriculum, that partners with the parents for the success of all the children then Our Lady Star of the Sea is the school for you.”
Yes, they are a good choice for our community.
Upcoming events on the OLSS calendar include:
Nov. 21 Turkey Trot, Solomons Boardwalk
Nov. 25 Alumni Reception
Dec. 1-2 Open House
Dec. 2 One Hot Christmas Chili Cook-Off
Dec. 8 Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
Dec. 14 Christmas Program
Jan. 16 Pre-Kindergarten Open House
Jan. 18 Kindergarten Open House
Jan. 28 Pre-K – 8th grade Open House
Jan. 28 – Feb. 3 Catholic Schools Week
Jan. 26-27, Feb. 2-3 Alumni Players present the show “Alibis”
Our Lady Star of the Sea School, established in 1933, is a member of the Archdicese of Washington and is a fully-accredited private Catholic School offering Pre-K through 8th grade. Their mission is carried out in a Catholic atmosphere, which promotes the spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical development of each child. The school provides students and families with small class sizes, outstanding academics with a non-common core curriculum, leadership development, and involvement in team building and STEM activities with additional focus placed on the arts and religion. For more information on the school, visit www.olsss.org, or contact the school at 410-326-3171.
For information on St. Mary’s Ryken, a college preparatory Catholic High School located in Leonardtown, Maryland, please visit www.smrhs.org.
Please enjoy the picture gallery below.
Joyce Stinnett Baki