Saint Thomas More High School celebrated a spirited Catholic Schools Week this year.
The week was highlighted by morning radio host Elizabeth Kay’s TM 00 speech and a mass presided over by Bishop Richard J. Sklba SF 52.
On Tuesday, Kay TM 00 gave a speech to the STM student body about her life, in hopes of giving the students good advice about life choices and career development. Kay helped start STM’s Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter. Later that year, the group’s work would become much more personal. Kay’s cousin Jennifer Ramus, who was a student at Saint Thomas More, was killed by a drunk driver in 1998.
“This school got me through that time,” Kay said of STM.
Kay had never liked country music, even though it was Ramus’ favorite genre. After the accident Kay began listening to it as a way to remember her cousin. While in college Kay got an internship at Milwaukee’s country radio station FM 106. After graduation she got a job at a country music station in Green Bay. Kay’s goal was to eventually find a radio job in Milwaukee.
Things began to go south in Green Bay after a new boss arrived. She applied for jobs in Milwaukee, but was told she did not have enough experience.
Through the rough patches, Kay says she always “trusted God’s plan.” Her patience was rewarded when her husband was accepted into the firefighter program at MATC in Oak Creek. The two moved back to the Milwaukee area even though Kay did not have a job.
Kay began working in Media Relations for the First Stage theater company. WMYX 99.1 and WKTI 94.5 both offered jobs to her, but she trusted her gut and turned them down. Her instinct would prove to be wise when WKTI would let most of its employees go a month later.
WMYX came back to Kay with another offer. This time their offer was “whatever she wants.” Kay agreed to a “great deal,” as she described it.
“Preparation finally met opportunity,” Kay said.
Kay is very happy with her job, serving as a co-host on the station’s morning drive show “The Morning Mix.”
Kay left the STM students with a few words of wisdom.
“Go with your gut. Pray to God,” she said. “You won’t always understand why, but trust your faith.”
STM’s mass service the next day would explore faith more.
The service provided a homecoming to Bishop Richard Sklba who attended Saint Francis Seminary, a predecessor school of Saint Thomas More. Bishop Sklba read the “parable of the sower.” In the gospel,seed falls on the ground. It is lost when it falls on unfertile ground, but grows plentifully when it falls on “good earth.”
In his homily, Bishop Sklba spoke of the potential God sees in every person.
“God is able to take any one of us to create extraordinary results,” he said.
Bishop Sklba proceeded to talk about the importance of Catholic schools.
“Catholic Schools Week is a week to be grateful for our blessings, to be thankful for teachers, and God,” he said.
He expanded on the importance of Catholic schools after mass.
“Catholic Education is an enormous blessing and opportunity,” Bishop Sklba said. “It provides the very best in knowledge, together with a sense of moral appreciation of knowledge, and a sense of our responsibility to use that knowledge well.”
The bishop also spoke of the school itself.
“I’m impressed,” he said of STM. “There’s not a spirit of indifference. There’s a sense of engagement.”
The students also showed that engagement towards the school, as the week continued.
On Thursday, a vast majority of the students wore school spirit gear, ranging from athletic jerseys to handmade t-shirts.
The week concluded with one of the schools’ famous pep rallies. Upwards of 90% of the students wore their class color (seniors in blue, juniors in green, sophomores in red, and freshmen in orange).
The highlight of the pep rally was the dodge ball tournament. The senior class won the award for most spirit points accrued over the course of the week and during the pep rally.
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