Merry Christmas!

Setting up the Nativity is a treasured part of our family Christmas tradition.  The Nativity scene was the creative idea of St. Francis of Assisi.  Preparing for Christmas in 1223,  St. Francis was given permission from Pope Honorius III to set up a manger scene, with an ox and donkey and plenty of hay.  He invited the villagers of Grecio, Italy to join him in front of the scene as he preached about the “babe of Bethlehem.”  As the story goes, when Francis was preaching during this first ever ‘live’ nativity commemoration, he was overcome by the imagery of Jesus present at the scene.  The idea of God becoming man, emptying Himself for love of humanity, moved the heart of Francis. 


This type of “letting go” or “self-emptying,” is called kenosis.  It is clearly the way of Jesus.  St Francis of Assisi and Franciscans worldwide still practice a spirituality of letting go. Francis of Assisi (1182–1226) let go of his life in the social upper class and joyfully lived in solidarity with the sick and the poor.  He let go of his status and all material trappings to live freely in the radical Gospel choice of voluntary poverty. He wanted to imitate the example of God in a manger, choosing a lifestyle of radical voluntary poverty – Francis was totally dependent on the goodwill of others and the grace of God for his survival. 


Emptying oneself, or letting go is not really promoted in our culture or society.  These days, the idea of “more for me” dominates.  Western culture admires and promotes the self-made, self-sufficient, autonomous individual who often makes these values their goal of life.  We see that some will sacrifice anything to achieve these self focused ideals.  Individualism permeates almost everything we do. It has become a basic social assumption.  In this modern individualistic and consumer culture, even religion and spirituality have very often become a matter of addition: ‘earning points’ with God, ‘attaining’ enlightenment, and ‘producing’ moral behavior. Yet according to Catholic tradition, authentic spirituality is not about getting, attaining, achieving, performing, or succeeding—all of which tend to pander to the ego. Catholic spirituality is much more about letting go—letting go of what we don’t need anyway, although we don’t always know that ahead of time.


We try to teach our Ledgers this.  True spiritual wisdom reveals that less is more. Jesus taught this, and the holy ones always discover it in one way or another. Think of the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Dorothy Day, and the generations of nuns, friars, and monks who intentionally took a “vow of poverty.” The great Dominican mystic Meister Eckhart (1260‒1328) said, “God is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.”  


Like St. Francis and so many others have discovered, when we “let go” of unnecessary things and worldly distractions, we can find Jesus in the most humble of places – like the three Kings did 2000 years ago.  This Christmas, I wish all in our Springs community sacred moments of kenosis.  May you be moved by the beautiful truth of our faith – that God is alive, and lives among us.  What more do we need? Alleluia!


Our Lady of the Ledge, pray for us!

Eamonn O’Keeffe 

Principal, High School

Upcoming Dates

Wednesday, December 22nd – Final day of Classes before Christmas Break

Monday, January 3rd – First Day of Classes after Christmas Break

Monday January 17th to Thursday January 20th – Semester I Exams (Exam schedule to be published January 6th)

Hot Chocolate Bar Fundraiser - December 21st and 22nd

“Baby, it’s cold outside!” BRRRR – Get ready to enjoy a hot cup of cocoa next week!

On Monday and Tuesday mornings, December 21st and 22nd, there will be a Hot Chocolate Bar Fundraiser in the cafeteria from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. with lots of delicious toppings for everyone’s delight to enjoy. Come and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with colorful sprinkles, cinnamon stick, whipped cream and more, for only $2.00 each.


Proceeds will be used to help our students to participate in the National March for Life in Washington D.C. in January 2023, allowing them to advocate for the sanctity of life and to exemplify our system’s core values.

Big Money Raffle (BMR) - January 14th

Have you turned in your BMR tickets yet? The BMR drawing is Friday, January 14, 2022!


Holiday get-togethers are the perfect time to sell your tickets. Take them to Christmas gatherings, or purchase one or more for that hard to shop for person on your Christmas list.

Tickets may be returned to school any time before the drawing at noon on Friday, January 14, 2022. Additional tickets are available at the North, South and Scrip offices or email

News and Information

School Safety

Every Ledger’s safety is the top priority for all who serve at the Springs.  As such, SMSA takes responsibility to establish and conduct various safety audits and drills throughout the school year.  Parents, you likely remember fire and tornado drills from your school days.  As required by the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and in partnership with local and regional educational leaders and first responders from healthcare and law enforcement, SMSA is developing additional plans and drills to help our school community be better prepared for a variety of emergency scenarios.  We believe that by establishing, communicating, and then practicing a comprehensive set of safety drills, SMSA will be best prepared to manage potentially difficult situations more effectively. 


In January and during Semester II,  SMSA leadership shall communicate new versions of emergency plans and safety drills with parents.  We plan to practice these best approaches with students, faculty and staff.  Please watch for more detailed communications about safety plans and drills, and for new resources designed to help parents effectively discuss school safety with their children. 


At SMSA we take school safety seriously, and strive to provide a healthy school culture and positive learning environment.  We fully understand the important role parents play as our partners to accomplish this goal.  It really does take everyone staying alert and working together to keep our Ledgers safe.  As always, if you or your child become aware of a potentially dangerous situation that may threaten campus safety, we urge you to contact the Fond du Lac Police Department.  To report life threatening urgent matters, please dial 9-1-1.  To report concerns that may not be urgent, please call 920-322-3700.  You  may also call the high school main office at 920-322-8062. 

Y-Screen For Sophomores

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all youth have an emotional health screening at least once a year. Freshman continue to participate in the emotional health and wellness “YScreen” assessment. SMSA has been partnering with Fond du Lac YScreen since 2003.  YScreen is the only program in our community that addresses the issue of teen emotional health and suicide prevention through screening and follow through. YScreen is free and confidential, and the YScreen staff does not share the results of the screening with any teachers or school staff, and the results are not stored with academic records.


The YScreen program helps pinpoint a problem in its early stages and gives support to families to address the problem in a positive and helpful way.The computerized screening is very simple and it takes students about 5 minutes to complete. 


Click here for more information about Y-Screen and the process at SMSA. 


Parents and guardians are required to sign a permission slip for students to participate.  All parents and guardians have received an email from Mrs. McCarthy of the Counseling Office regarding the Y-Screen permission slip.  Most have returned the permission slips, but some are still outstanding. Please click here for the Consent Form.

Ledger Learning Guide

SMSA Ledger Learning Guides Home Page 2021-2022 School Year

Parents are reminded to reference the Ledger Learning Guide each week.  Teachers are updating their course expectations  each week, identifying learning targets and referencing relevant standards.  Parents are invited to 

Dress Code – Help From Parents Needed

A reminder to all high school families that the SMSA Handbook Dress code will be reinforced for all students in the high school. During the first two months, adjustments were made to accommodate the supply chain delays found when ordering uniforms through Land’s End.  Since November 29, issues have been resolved.  Please discuss appropriate school attire/ uniform code with your students. Loungewear and athletic wear is strictly prohibited. Students will be receiving detentions for violations of dress code.  Many reminders have been provided since our return from the Thanksgiving break. Parents and guardians are asked to review the dress code standards with students and reinforce school expectations.  Click here to view the dress code.

The Pick-Ax December Edition

Click here to view the December edition of The Pick-Ax.

Honor Roll Quarter  1

Please click here to view the quarter 1 honor roll

Ledgerfest Auction Package – Sponsored by High School Parents

We’ve all been through this before so again this year we are making it easier than ever for you to support the Ledgerfest Auction. The high school Ledgerfest parent committee is collecting funds to put together an amazing auction package for Ledgerfest – Luck of the Ledger – Saturday, March 119, 2022.


With your contribution, we are hoping to collect enough to create not one but TWO great packages for this year’s online auction. Click here to make a donation today!


If you prefer, you may send cash or check (payable to Andrea Nuss) in an envelope marked: HS Ledgerfest/Kristin Zitlow.

High School Counseling

News and Information

College Counseling Notes & Updates: December 13th, 2021

Seniors/Senior Parents:


We’re just over a week away from Christmas Break (yay!) and just under three weeks away from the next big deadline date (January 1st) for many colleges’ Regular Decision plans.


Here’s what you need to know for this week:


  1. Any transcript requests for January 1st deadlines should be submitted no later than Wednesday, December 22nd at 3:30 PM. Remember to use this online form for every transcript request you need to make:


  1. I plan to be “on call” during Christmas Break to help with any emergencies that need attention. An emergency is really intended to be just that; an unexpected situation that arises suddenly and requires immediate attention. I would like all of us to use Christmas Break for well-deserved rest and relaxation. I don’t plan on doing any “heavy lifting” over Break and I don’t want any of you to do any heavy lifting either! If you need an essay reviewed or assistance with any applications that will be due while we’re on Break, please meet with me on or before Wednesday, December 22nd so we can work on it together beforehand. Remember that you can schedule meetings with me online using my Calendly page:


  1. Students who need letters of recommendation for scholarship applications can use existing letters that’ve been written by teachers. These letters can be revised to be “general” so they apply to any scholarship(s) that students are applying for. Please do not ask teachers to revise letters to be specific to individual scholarships.


  1. As we get ready to receive Early Action admission decisions, please remember to continue reporting any admission decisions you receive to me using this online form: It’s vital that we keep accurate data about all of our college application outcomes so we can properly advise future students!


  1. Remember to use the SMSA Scholarship Information page to search and apply for local and state-level scholarships: The page is always being updated, and I want to thank those who’ve reported incorrect and broken links to me so I can fix them!


As always, you know where I’m at if you have any questions!



Mr. Stamatakos

Upcoming Dates

None at this time.


Career Exploration

None at this time.

Job Opportunities

Boys and Girls Club

Click here for more information on open positions.

Scholarship Opportunities

Lands’ End School Starboard Scholarship – EXTENDED to January 19th



The Lands’ End School Starboard Scholarship acknowledges and rewards students who display exceptional leadership skills. Up to five scholarships will be awarded to eligible Preferred School students in grades 8‑12. Please see full eligibility guidelines. The Lands’ End School Starboard Scholarship Program was established to assist middle and high school students, currently in grades 8-12, who are enrolled at a Lands’ End Preferred School in the U.S. (SMSA Preferred School Number: 900157314)


2021-2022 Application now available. Applications will be accepted now through January 19, 2022 or until 1,000 applications have been received.

Michael J. Wolfe Scholarship Essay Contest

Attention All Teens! Would you like the opportunity to win some cash? The FDL Chapter of WRTL is sponsoring the Michael J. Wolfe Essay Contest. Write an essay expressing your pro life views and you could win $100, $200, or $300. Please see attached correspondence for details.


Please click here to view the flyer.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Badger Precollege

Applications for Badger Summer Scholars and the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badger Precollege are now open.


Badger Summer Scholars is a two-week program in which students attend a college-level seminar in a topic of their choice, taught by UW-Madison instructors. Students also participate in the Jump Forward series, a workshop series on how to prepare for college, including topics on the admissions process, navigating college, career exploration and more.


The Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) engages talented students from across Wisconsin, the nation and the world in an intense, research-focused, three-week summer program. Designed to push students to the next academic level in an intimate learning environment, students in ALP enroll in a single course for an in-depth experience, with numerous opportunities to connect with instructors, build community and engage with peers.


Click here for the flyer

Click here for more information

College/University SMSA visits

None at this time.

College/University Virtual Visits

None at this time.