Catholic Schools Week is a celebration of gratitude.  This week, with hearts of gratitude our school community gives thanks especially for the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with our students.  In a year where isolation has been experienced by so many, having school everyday has provided all of our students, faculty and staff the blessing of presence and community – gifts craved by so many who are unable to engage with school in-person daily.  We are also exceptionally grateful for parents, benefactors and educators whose choices and commitments to support Catholic education have made possible our experience together on the Ledge!  We are mindful that there are many regions of our Nation and State without access to quality Catholic education.  For us here at the Springs, generations of parents, benefactors and teachers have imposed their strong wills and goodwill to imagine and execute the Ledger Way of SMSA.  


Our students are the most recent in a long line of proud Ledgers to experience high quality and rigorous Catholic education which consistently sees 97% of graduates engage with post-secondary learning.  Alumni Ledgers, dedicated to lifelong learning, continue to report their gratitude for Catholic schooling.  So many have seen their experience on the Ledge as the springboard to a meaningful life, and to opening pathways of placing their personal talents and interests at the service of others in a wide variety of careers.  


There is no better way for our current Ledgers to honor our alumni, benefactors, parents and teachers than to put forth their highest and best efforts in classes, do the right thing, tell the truth, act with kindness, and take care of one another.   This week, we are grateful for the chance to engage each theme day with enthusiasm…celebrate our 100th Day of school…and celebrate our Catholic school heritage and Ledger pride.



By the end of this week juniors, sophomores and freshmen will all have received Counseling Office presentations around course selection for the 2021-22 school year. Schedule Request Worksheets have been distributed and students will be sharing these forms with parents to be signed. The School Counseling Office has established a Google Classrooms site specific  each grade level in which all resources for course registration have been posted. 


At this time, parents should engage with their teens in discussions around course offerings, academic goals, and graduation requirements.  For your reference and convenience, the 2021-22 Curriculum Guide has been posted on the Website, found under Family Resources. Please review the 2021-22 Curriculum Guide course offerings and academic policies. 


Finally, parents are encouraged to reach out directly to our high school counselor Mr. Tallen Mahaffey with any questions about the forms or course selection process.  Finally, please make sure students are following deadlines for submitting their Schedule Request Worksheets.  This is a critical first step and essential aspect of preparing for next school year. 


Our Lady of the Ledge, pray for us!


Be well, God bless. 

Eamonn O’Keeffe, Principal Grades 9-12


Upcoming Dates

Mark Your Calendars - No Classes on February 12th & 15th

As President Stacey Akey communicated last week, there has been a change to the school calendar for the month of February.  Parents should please note that both Friday, February 12th and Monday February 15th are no longer school days.  No classes will be held on either day.

Singing Telegrams - February 14th

Tired of flowers and chocolate?! This Valentine’s Day (February 14th), St. Mary’s Springs Academy’s Music Department, will offer a fun way to virtually show your loved ones how much you appreciate them. 


Music students will prepare a personalized message for your loved ones, as well as serenade them in song. This personalized video will include students dressed in formal attire, singing three love songs, in a lovely three-part harmony that you can enjoy for years to come.


Your payment of $35 must be received by February 11th, 2021.  


Click here to order your Virtual Singing Telegram today!

Click here to view the flyer.

Ledgerfest Auction Item Sponsored by High School Parents - due February 26th

We’ve all been through this before, so 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 2021. Click here to make a monetary donation and the committee will do the rest!


With your contribution, we are hoping to collect enough to create not one but TWO great items for this year’s online auction.


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


Any questions? Contact Chris ~ ~ 920-322-8059


This is a simple way to make your impact at SMSA

News and Information

High School Yearbook

Reserve your copy via QR Code click here.

Registration: Schedule Request Worksheets for 2021-22

Beginning this week with juniors, students will receive Counseling Office presentations around requesting classes for the 2021-22 school year. Schedule Request Worksheets will be distributed and students will be sharing these forms with parents to be signed. In February the process will continue to sophomores and freshmen.  We encourage parents to engage with their teens in discussions around course offerings, academic goals, and graduation requirements.  For your reference and convenience, the 2021-22 Curriculum Guide has been posted on the SMSA Website, found under Family Resources 

Please review the 2021-22 Curriculum Guide course offerings and academic policies.  Of course, parents are encouraged to reach out directly to our high school counselor Mr. Tallen Mahaffey with any questions about the forms or curse selection process.  Finally, please make sure students are following deadlines for submitting their Schedule Request Worksheets.  This is a first step and essential aspect of preparing for next school year.

Safe Social Network Update

Please visit,  SAFE SOCIAL NETWORK – Tik Tok & Young People, to view the episode on Tik Tok.

Thank you for supporting Big Money Raffle!

Thank you to everyone who supported the 35th Annual Big Money Raffle drawing last Friday, January 22nd. We raised $98,850, selling 1977 tickets! The winners from last Friday’s drawing are:

1st Place – $20,000 Roger Rammer

2nd Place – $5,000 John Goebel

3rd Place – $2,500 Aaron Everson

4th Place – $1,000 Kris Bosio

5th Place – $500 Janet Coon

6th Place – $500 Phil Kubichka

7th Place – $500 Jon Petersen


Thank you also to our top selling families who collectively sold over 80 tickets!

– Steven and Andrea Wagner Family

– Jeffrey and Amy Wilcox Family

– Erin and Jennifer Beaty Family

Snow Days/February Schedule Change and Policy Updates

Below are three important updates regarding snow days for the remainder of this academic year, two February schedule updates, as well as a few policy updates to the Return to the Ledge operational plan.


Snow Days/February Schedule Change

As required each year, SMSA submits an official Academic Calendar to the Archdiocesan Office for Schools and to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).  Each official Academic Calendar must comply with instructional hour requirements set by the DPI.  For the current year (2020-21) SMSA has submitted an Academic Calendar that includes six (6) extra days of instruction to account for any potential instructional time that may be lost due to “snow days.”


During this year of the pandemic and with virtual learning as a new and legitimate option, some have asked if “snow days” are now a thing of the past, no longer necessary due to advancements in learning technology.  Our Leadership Team has discussed this question and we are now prepared  to share our decision with SMSA parents/guardians, faculty and staff. Therefore, for your planning and preparation: 


For the remainder of 2020-21, should inclement weather require a “snow day” declaration by school Leadership, SMSA students will NOT be expected to attend classes virtually, and the campus will be closed.  Our Leadership team believes that, given the unusually demanding circumstances of the current year and unique strain placed upon families, students, faculty and staff, allowing the mental and physical break which accompanies a “snow day” is most appropriate.  Should all six available “snow days” be used in the next term, only then may SMSA elect to activate virtual learning for any subsequent inclement weather event, thus maintaining fidelity to instructional hour requirements. 


Related to this decision, the Leadership Team also believes that it is appropriate to make the following adjustment to the Academic Calendar for Semester II: 


  • SMSA will utilize a “snow day” for Friday, February 12. NO CLASSES will meet, childcare is closed as well as the entire campus.
  • SMSA will utilize a “snow day” for Monday, February 15. NO CLASSES will meet and childcare is closed.  However, on February 15, campus is open as faculty and administration will be engaged in a full-day of professional development.


We recognize that it is significant to make changes to the school’s Academic Calendar, and we do not make this change frivolously.  Creating this mid-term break opportunity speaks to the value we place on the wellness and holistic balance of students and their teachers at a time year that requires a little more care of the soul. 


Return to the Ledge Update

The Return to the Ledge operational plan (RTTL) was designed to guide our planning, preparations, and ongoing operations for in-person and virtual learning during the healthcare crisis caused by COVID-19. This is a working document, and upon completion of the first semester, we have made some adjustments, including:

  • increased opportunities to celebrate Mass
  • additional library, playground and locker access
  • enhancements to art and music education
  • increased opportunities for performing arts participation


Please click here to view the RTTL addendum, effective January 18, 2021. 


We will continue to monitor and evaluate operating protocols and safety measures, making course corrections which align with the commitments identified in our plan.


We thank all of our parents and guardians for the many sacrifices and adjustments already made in 2020-21 to support SMSA planning, programs and protocols.  We are grateful for your continued flexibility and goodwill.  Thanks in advance for supporting the decisions and changes outlined above.  As always, we are all in this together! 


SMSA Virtual Learning Guides and Information

With more students electing to learn virtually at this time of the year, I suggest parents of virtual learners review the links provided here. These are resources for better understanding virtual learning at SMSA. 

  1. SMSA Ledger Learning Guides Home Page
  2. HS Expectations for Virtual Learners DOC 2020-21
  3. Expectations for Virtual Learners Slide Deck

High School Counseling

From the Office of Tallen Mahaffey, 9th - 12th Grade Counselor

Seniors:  Complete any college applications as soon as possible. Now is a great time to update your acceptance status for all of your college applications in Naviance. 


The next phase for moving on to higher education at colleges/universities/technical/Trade schools is to look for scholarships on the financial aid/scholarship sites of your potential colleges and in Naviance under Scholarships.  If your parents work at a large corporation, they may want to check with their Human Resources Department to see if there are scholarships available to children of employees.


Seniors, if you have received Award Letters from colleges you have been admitted to, please send a copy of your award letters to Mr. Mahaffey in the School Counseling Department. 


Juniors: Information about taking the ACT this spring will be shared with you as soon as ACT is able to confirm our April host date-This is in process and we are eagerly awaiting their decision.  You may want to begin looking at the ACT website if you have not done so already. 


Attention all Parents 


Scheduling for the next school year 2021-2022.

Parents, please ask your daughter/son to show you the Schedule Request Worksheets and 4-Year Plans they completed in school this week.  Please pay special attention to the notes page and the graduation requirements page included with those handouts. Please look for further information to come that will explain how students can sign-up for an individual meeting with their school counselor to enter their course requests for the coming school year.  See the “Notes for To Be…” page in the handouts your daughter/son received this week.  


In the event a form has been lost or misplaced, all students can get the forms and information they need by going to the Google Classroom for Freshmen, Sophomores, or Juniors.  A video is also posted in these Google Classrooms that explains in detail, how to request classes for the upcoming school year.  Parents, please ask your daughter/son to login to their Google Classroom and show you what is there for students regarding the scheduling process (and study skills, time management, using Naviance for college and career matching, and how to schedule a meeting with their school counselor).


School counselors have worked with all current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors on how to request their classes for next year.  Our classroom discussions helped every student learn how to make requests for the required and elective courses each student should ask to have on their schedule for the upcoming school year.  


Each student was asked to complete a draft copy of their 4-year plan for high school to see how they planned to complete all of the classes required for graduation from SMSA and how to request the courses they would like to take to prepare them for success after high school in college, technical college, trade school, or joining the workforce.  As a college preparatory high school, an emphasis was placed on preparing students for admission to competitive colleges and taking courses that would help them succeed once in college so that they will graduate with a hard earned and valuable degree.


All High School Students


Fresh Start to a new semester:  The beginning of the new year and the second semester gives us all an opportunity to set goals and make positive changes in our lives. Let’s all work with a renewed focus on learning and earning the grades you have set as part of your goals.  The opportunities you will have after high school depend on how hard and how smart you work to prepare yourself now.


Please contact your school counselor to discuss ways to improve your learning and reach those goals you have set in each class.  You will also find a full list of study tips posted in the Google Classroom for Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.  


The counseling department will begin a Stress Management group for high school freshmen students during the spring semester. This group will meet once a week during lunch for 8 weeks. Topics include: coping tools, relaxation techniques, self-care, and more! Space is limited. Please contact Ms. Rusch ( for more information. 


A new Study Skills group for high school students will begin soon.  Space is limited-but spots remain available.  The group will meet in the evenings from 6:00 pm to 7:30pm.  Please contact Mr. Mahaffey for more information.

News and Information

National School Counseling Week

For those of you I have not yet gotten the chance to meet, my name is Michaela Rusch and I am the school counseling intern working with Tallen Mahaffey this year. This week, we are celebrating National School Counseling Week! We want to extend our gratitude for your support of our students and your support of our counseling program here at SMSA.


Below is a short infographic on some of the roles and responsibilities of school counselors. Please know you can always reach out to our school counseling department with any questions or concerns you have, whether you are needing some extra support for a student or for yourself. Please also see the images below for some self-care ideas for teachers, faculty, and parents as self-care is a priority and a necessity in the work that we do! Take a few minutes for yourself today as a reminder of the great work you have been doing this year.


Thank you again for your support!



Michaela Rusch and Tallen Mahaffey


Click here to view a flyer on what Student Counselors do.

Click here for end of day care.

Click here for 50 ways to take a break.

Northern Michigan University Music Program

The counseling office has received information about Northern Michigan University’s Music Program. You must first apply and be accepted to NMU, register for an audition. Audition on Saturday, February 13th or Saturday, March 21st. 


You could win a scholarship. Click here to register.

We the Students Scholarship Essay Contest

As we celebrate Black History Month next month, what better time to reflect on the meaning of equality and justice in our world today? To truly explore the question in an essay that is between 500–800 words, students will need to go beyond “dictionary definitions,” and express their understanding and reasoning about the connection between these two ideas. This reasoning involves a combination of observation, experience, and some pretty “big ideas.” What does it take to understand them? To build toward and maintain them? To see them with regard to each other? Why is this relationship important?


The sixteen student winners will receive a total of $20,000 in scholarship prizes. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, April 15, 2021. 


More details including rules and regulations can be found by clicking here

Information from UW-Green Bay

Kayla Boguska, admissions counselor from UW-Green Bay, has shared some information about applying to UW-GB. They know the college search has been an interesting one for students this year, so they wanted to share more information about the visits they are offering to help you see if UW-Green Bay is a fit. They are offering a variety of in-person and virtual visits, with some tailored specifically towards admitted students to help with next steps and becoming a Phoenix.


  • In-Person

o Daily Visits: Offered most weekdays at a limited capacity, 30 minute presentation with an admissions counselor and 75 minute tour with a current student


o Evening Visits: Offered select evenings at a limited capacity, 30 minute presentation with an admissions counselor and 75 minute tour with a current student


o Admitted Student Saturday Tours: Sneak peak tours offered select Saturdays throughout the spring, 60 minute tour with a current student


  • Virtual

o Live Information Sessions: Offered most Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:00 p.m., 45 minute presentation with both an admissions counselor and a current student


o Major Preview Days: Highlighting specific majors/programs available at UW-GB with current student and faculty presentations


o Admitted Student Next Steps Sessions: Open forum session for admitted students to work through next steps with an admissions counselor


Click here for  Kayla’s calendar if you want to set up an appointment with her.

Learn While you Earn College Credit – Marian University

Marian University is offering 100% online pre-college courses to help high school students get ahead!  Click here for more information.

Upcoming Dates

Wisconsin Education Fair – February 10th

Wisconsin Education Fairs is offering access to nearly 160 Colleges, Specialty Schools, and Military Branches. Get registered today and explore options!


Explore the Marian University booth and receive a special gift!


Visit 10+ schools and be entered to win a set of AirPod Pro’s. Three sets will be awarded on Monday, April 12, 2021.


Click here to register or log back in! Chat live with reps on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. CST, but please explore the booths at any time.

Career Exploration

Bellin College Summer Nursing and Imaging Camps – Multiple Dates

Applications are now being accepted for Bellin College summer nursing and imaging camps. Applying to summer camps

How much does it cost?

  • Nursing Day Camp:

Monday, July 26, 2021: $50

Tuesday, July 27, 2021: $50

Wednesday, July 28, 2021: $50

Includes camp t-shirt, lunch and clinical supplies


  • Medical Imaging Day Camp

Thursday, July 29, 2021: $90

Includes camp t-shirt, lunch and clinical supplies


Payment is not required until after the participants have been selected to attend the camp.


How are the participants selected?

Students are selected after a holistic review of their application including the date the applied, GPA, essay question, and dates available.


Who can apply?

High school students who are sophomores and juniors at time of application.



Please contact Claire Drevs at

Apply online at

Job Opportunities

Boys and Girls Club

The Boys and Girls Club are currently hiring for these open positions:

Teen Program Aide

Fine Arts Coordinator

Front Desk


Applications at


Scholarship Opportunities

Elks Legacy Awards – Deadline February 5th

The Legacy Awards provide $4,000 scholarships for children and grandchildren of dues-paying Elk members. Please click here for more details and the application link. Deadline is Friday, February 5, 2021.

The Senate Scholar Program – Deadline February 8th

The Senate Scholar Program is an intensive week-long educational program offered by the Wisconsin State Senate. Admission to the program is highly competitive and is limited to 33 academically exceptional high school juniors and seniors from around Wisconsin. Each Senate Scholar receives a hands-on, up-close view of the Legislature’s role in our democracy.


For more information and application, please go to


Applications will have to be received no later than February 8th, 2021.

College/University SMSA visits

Wednesday, February 10th at 1:10 p.m. – Northern Michigan University

Monday, February 22nd at 1:10 p.m. – Grand Canyon University

Wednesday, February 24th at 1:10 p.m. –  Lynn University from Florida


Please contact Mrs. Hackl with any questions.

College/University Virtual Visits

None at this time.