The Knightly News

Providence St. Mel’s ‘Sister Act’

By Emani King

November 8, 2017

Arduous, entertaining, funny, and comical are all words that the cast used to describe this year’s musical.

Sister Act, the musical, written by Bill and Cherie Steinkellner, will be performed by Providence St Mel’s student actors during the second weekend of November.

“You can expect to see a lot of fun, singing, and dancing, and a lot of silliness,” said Musical Producer David Baar.

The cast is made up of new and returning cast members. Some of the returning members include 8th grader Zaria Primer, sophomores Richard Harrison, Ty Townsend-Ford, and Makayla Watts, juniors Taylor Donald and La Niece Dennis, and seniors Ryan Coleman and Jasmine Smith.

“You can expect to see our hard work and effort and also new and good talent,” said Jasmine.

The new upcoming actors include 6th grader Bria Pryor, 8th grader Khristian Richmond, Freshman Tau Kennebrew, and Senior Ar-Raheem Payne.

The cast is excited about a number of new things in this musical, but the best part for them is the bond they form together- not just with students, but with teachers as well.

“Rehearsing with the cast is what I look forward to everyday,” said Director George Meier.

“The best part about being in the musical is the love you get from each other. It makes us more as a family and makes us want to do it again next year,” said freshman Daniel Lee Ill.

Feedback from the cast affirms that another enjoyable part about the musical is the dancing. The choreographer, April Shipp, of the Joffrey Ballet, did a great job at making the musical more interactive.

“The favorite thing I like about it is the dancing. Ms. Shipp is allowing us to do more audience dancing, so that is cool,” said 7th grader Ajene Cooks.

The choreography will not just be on the stage, but right there next to you in the aisle. This will make you feel like you are a part of the story.

“The music for the Broadway show that we are doing was written by Alan Menken. He wrote the music for a whole bunch of Disney movies like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and the Newsies, so the music is really great,” said Music Director Brian Ward.

Clear your schedules for Friday, November 10th or Saturday, November 11th to see our edition of Sister Act!


The nuns in the Sister Act cast learn their blocking for the song “Bless Our Show” in the movement room. Photo by Emani King.

Maker Space Center on the Way

By Serena Jackson

April 24, 2017

The education students are receiving today is a drastic change from the way students were taught in the past due to different evolutions in society. Schools are integrating technology into students’ everyday curriculum. Lower school students are finding a majority of their books online. High school students have replaced paper with Google Drive. With technology becoming the face of our generation, science, math, and engineering have joined beside it to create the STEM movement.

“We needed more creative ways of learning for children who might demonstrate areas that are not traditionally what would be taught in schools 15-20 years ago,” said President Jeanette Butala.

The Providence St. Mel administration and board members decided to create a center called the Maker Space Center (M.S.C.). This center will allow students to experiment and learn more STEM-related topics.

“We’re only at a brainstorming level right now. We definitely want to keep both [the library and Maker Space Center], but have the majority be the M.S.C. I want to get together a committee. We have at least ten graduates in the past 7-10 years that are engineers and have really creative jobs in engineering and technology," said Ms. Butala.

The Maker Space center is still in the beginning stages. The finishing date for this project is still in the works because Ms. Butala wants to get as much feedback as possible before committing to a final product.

“I am going to solicit advice from experts, graduates, engineers, and people who work at some of the Maker Space centers at different colleges and universities. I have been to NorthWestern and I am going to the University of Chicago to look at their innovation centers,” said Ms. Butala.

Ms. Butala wants to help put Providence St. Mel students ahead and broaden students’ perspectives.

“We are never going to give up the rigorous academic center that we have because I truly believe that the way to a better future is through a rigorous, globally competitive education,” said Ms. Butala.

Integrating the STEM program into the curriculum adds to the list of reasons that make Providence St. Mel stand out against other local schools.

“With our Maker Space Center we are trying to expose our elementary students to technology. It works best with their age group because the only world they truly know is technology,” said Mrs. Turner.

Science, technology, engineering, and math are becoming very popular in our society and those who are not adapting to the change are going to be unprepared. Maker Space Centers allow our students to be the heads of the movement.

“I have a lot of ideas of things that can be made. I was a Boy Scouts leader for 20 years, and I have many different types of great little experiments. I think it’s so important that we create young scientists and students who go on to a science field of their choice,” said librarian Cecilia Meers.

Ms. Meers plans to conduct many interesting experiments with lower and middle school that will create a greater interest in other lower school students.

“The lower school students are very excited about it! We are doing different things with coding all the way down to the Pre-K grade level. We see a variety of interests in middle school students with our Lego League and our Robotics program,” said Mrs. Turner.

Many older students feel if they were exposed to this type of program when they were younger they would have a stronger understanding and interest in math and science. They would [also] have the upper hand against others.

“Many of our juniors and seniors are not sure what they want to do when they get to college or in the future. Providing them with this exposure might be helpful. Graduated seniors have returned and said they took extra computer courses or decided to major in an economics course due to the little glimmer they received here,” said Mrs. Turner.

Once the center is built, it will be located in the current library. If you are worried about the books that consider the library home, don’t be.

“Some books are leaving, some books are staying. I am excited about this, and it was high time we get some of these old books out of here. We still need books. If something happens and the computers go down the teachers won’t give you another two weeks to complete the research paper,” said Ms. Meers.