Junior High Honors Program
First and second honors are awarded at the end of each semester to 7th and 8th grade students who have demonstrated high academic achievement. Students who earn a grade point average of 3.5 to 4.0 earn first honors. Students who earn a grade point average of 3.0 to 3.49 receive second honors.
8th Grade High School Scholarship Recipients
53 students graduated in the SMM class of 2018. 15 of those 8th graders won academic scholarships to Omaha area Catholic High Schools.
Additional Scholarships & awards
St. Margaret Mary School, at the end of eighth grade, presents several scholarships including: the SMM Guild, Philip Kenny Memorial Vocal Music, the SMM Spartan Athletic and the Knights of Columbus Phil Kenny Scholarship. These are for students who will attend Catholic high schools. Information and specific requirements will be sent to parents in the fourth quarter of eighth grade. The school also presents the Presidential Academic Award at the end of eighth grade to those students that meet the requirements that are based on their achievement on the standardized tests and semester grades for grades 4 - 8.
SMM Robotics Club
The SMM Robotics club entered their first year of competition in 2016-2017 with full force. The commitment and enthusiasm of Robotics coaches and club members generated tournament success. Starting in 2017-2018 the Robotics club entered the VEX competition.
Recent Robotics Club awards include:
CREATE UIS Open Robotics Championship 2017 Engineering Award
CREATE JR National Robotics Competition Best Engineering Design
St. Margaret Mary 2017 CREATE Jr. Robotics Tournament Champion
CREATE St. Robert Bellarmine 2016 JR Robotics Tournament Honor Award
The St. Margaret Mary teachers and staff are devoted to the education of students from kindergarten to 8th grade. The community has offered special recognition for these outstanding faculty leaders.
Mrs. Kate Rezac teaches 4th grade at St. Margaret Mary School.
Rezac is the co-creator of Monarch Rescue: An Educator's Guide to Using Butterfly Gardens to Implement STREAM "an easy to implement resource for classroom teachers to create monarch rescue gardens as a tool for an authentic, project-based learning experience incorporating the STREAM model".
Kate Rezac is a teacher at St. Margaret Mary School where she shares her curiosity of monarchs and their environment with her fourth grade students. Rezac recently participated in Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education Program for Inclusive Education.
In 2014 Rezac wrote a grant proposal to build the Monarch Meadow and received funding from the National Catholic Education Association and was selected to receive an additional grant again the folllowing year . The Monarch Meadow is a certified schoolyard habitat and a Monarch Waystation, which provides monarchs the environment they need in order to sustain their 1000+ mile migration.
In class and outdoors in the Monarch Meadow, 4th grade students discover the importance of providing for these marvelous migrating monarchs. Students see the necessity to create an "inn" and a place for monarchs and other pollinators to rest, find nourishment and a home. The students take on the role of protector of the monarchs. Students further study the migration pattern of the monarchs from Mexico to Canada. Through their work, they participate in citizen science activities such as reporting sightings and tagging monarchs.
Fourth grade SMM students learn and understand their responsibility to be stewards of this beautiful creation.
Mrs. Barb Gilman teaches 3 grade at St. Margaret Mary School.
Cover feature Catholic Teacher Magazine Fall 2016
Saint Margaret Mary’s 3rd grade teacher, Barb Gilman, is featured on the cover of September’s issue of Catholic Teacher magazine. Gilman is honored for her dynamic work building community for both students and educators throughout the world. Gillman, a wife and mother of three, loves teaching in a Catholic school and keeping up with the latest teaching research.
While most of her 3rd grade students are tucked in at 8 am Saturday mornings, teacher Barb Gilman visits with other Catholic teachers from around the world on Catholic EdChat. Gilman, along with Nancy Caramanico, host the Twitter chat. Their audience includes administrators, diocesan officials, and teachers from across the world- even Sydney, Australia.
Nearly 8000 Catholic educators follow Gilman on Twitter and have tuned in to hear her present the last few years at the National Catholic Education Association conference. Gilman credits her collaboration with other educators on Twitter and at conferences for “reenergizing me every week.”
“As a teacher you can be very isolated with your students in the classroom. Every week I almost always come away with one good idea from the chat,” says Gilman.
2014 NCEA Distinguished Teacher for the Plains States
In 2014, she was awarded the NCEA Distinguished Teacher for the Plains States. “I love Catholic education and I believe we need to enrich and empower other Catholic teachers with the latest research and advice.” Gilman may also be found at Catholic EdCamp, which she helped start, at Creighton University each summer. You can also find her monthly blog post for Loyola Press- http://catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com/author/barb.
Mrs. Sheri Vollmer teaches Physical Education to all grades, K-8 at St. Margaret Mary School.
2016 Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award
Saint Margaret Mary’s School Receives 2016 “Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award For Helping Students go From Zero to Sixty”
“Let’s Move! Active Schools,” was part of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “ Let’s Move!” initiative, honored Saint Margaret Mary’s School as one of only three in Nebraska with the 2016 “Let’s Move! Active Schools” National Award. The “Let’s Move!” campaign is dedicated to ensuring 60 minutes of physical activity a day as the norm in K-12 schools. Learn more about the program at http://www.letsmoveschools.org.
“You have to engage kids at all levels to be successful,” says Mrs. Sheri Cohen Vollmer, Physical Education/Health instructor at SMM. “I love to watch those ‘Aha Moments’ when a student says ‘I can do this’.”
Vollmer joined the staff at Saint Margaret Mary’s School in 2014. She credits the award to the community support she has received, “We have had parents, teachers, and administration on board to focus on every student falling in love with fitness for life.” Vollmer says the key to creating this love is to give students help at every level so they realize what they can achieve in fitness, and find at least one thing they could love for the rest of their lives.
The “Let’s Move!” Award is a two-year designation and SMM School met significant benchmarks in five areas: physical education, physical activity before and after school; physical activity during school, staff involvement, and family and community engagement. The President’s Council on Fitness will provide school champions with continued information, resources, and inspiration needed to build healthier lives for future generations.
A banner will be provided to the school along with a National Award Certificate and congratulatory letter from the former First Lady, Michelle Obama.