Happy New Year! 

We have made it.  We have made the great leap in time from 2020 to 2021! Of course we are all praying that 2021 will be a kinder, gentler experience for all.  Taking a look back at the past year, it is clear to see that all of our lives have been upended in one way or another.  I hope and pray that, in the days ahead, all of us may soon renew life-giving habits and traditions that have been disrupted by the pandemic.  While the limitations of 2020 may have made us feel trapped in time – like being caught in the movie “Groundhog Day” – together, we move forward into a new place and time of hope and promise! 


In addition to ringing in a New Year, this week we celebrated the Feast of Epiphany. This 12th day of Christmas recalls the journey of the three Magi who were so determined to discover the newborn King, Jesus.  Like the three wise men, and people of goodwill in all spiritual traditions, we too are seekers.  It seems everyday on the Ledge, we search for the truth and answers to mysteries large and small.  Ultimately, we seek meaningful companionships…with one another, and with our Lord.  In the year ahead, I look forward to sharing and celebrating many ‘epiphanies’ together with our Ledgers! 


Exam Week

Next week is a special schedule in the high school to support the administration of semester exams.  Please click here to review the exam week schedule and guidelines. These were published in a previous eLedger, and were also shared through the Skyward Message Center. 


Like all matters of school life, Exam Week is impacted by the reality of COVID. In particular, the following guidelines have been extracted for your convenience: 

  1. Students who have elected to be a virtual learner for all of Semester I or all of Quarter 2 will naturally be permitted to engage with Exam Week in the virtual model.  These students will be receiving directions about their final semester virtual assessments from each teacher. 
  2. Students who have elected to learn in-person for Semester I are expected to be in-person for Exam Week.  The exceptions to this may include: a) any student who cannot physically report to campus due to being temporarily isolated as a positive COVID case; b) any student who has been temporarily quarantined as a close contact to a positive COVID case; c) any student who is otherwise unwell and called-in excused/ill by a parent. 


Important: The option to switch into a virtual format on an intermittent basis has been applied liberally this year.  However, this practice is suspended during Exam Week for students who are physically well and without other valid exceptions (identified in “b” above).  Intermittently choosing the virtual option during Exam Week is too disruptive to students, teachers, educational goals and process of final assessments. Therefore, all students who do not fall into “a” (above) and who are physically well are expected to be in-person during Exam Week.  


Our Lady of the Ledge, pray for us!


Be well, God bless. 

Eamonn O’Keeffe, Principal Grades 9-12

Upcoming Dates

Last Day of Semester I - January 8th

Last day of classes for Semester I will be Friday, January 8, 2021.

Exam Week - January 11th - 14th

Please click here to view the exam week schedule and expectations.

No School - January 15th

There will be no school on Friday, January 15, 2021.  This day will be used for Semester I grading day for teachers.

Semester II and Quarter 3 Begin - January 18th

First Day Classes for Semester II and Quarter 3 will begin on Monday, January 18, 2021.

Big Money Raffle Drawing - January 22nd

There is excitement in the air as St. Mary’s Springs Academy counts down for your chance to win $20,000!


Only 2 weeks remain to purchase or sell your Big Money Raffle tickets before the drawing at noon on Friday, January 22, 2021. Additional tickets may be purchased at the North, South or Scrip offices and tickets may be dropped off or returned with your child as soon as they are sold.  For questions, please contact Kristin Zitlow at or 920-322-8006.


Please show your support of SMSA by selling and/or purchase the tickets. The System relies on your involvement to make this fundraising raffle a success. All proceeds go directly to the SMSA annual fund, which offsets the operational costs of St. Mary’s Springs Academy.


Don’t miss your chance to win $20,000 with an additional $10,000 in cash prizes, purchase your tickets today!

Ledgerfest Class Auction Baskets - Items Needed by February 26th

Planning has begun for our annual Ledgerfest fundraising auction and we are in need of your help! Last year, we collected money from each grade level to put together some amazing auction baskets, which went over very well during our auction held this past summer. This year, we are asking each grade level to contribute again to putting together a basket around a specific theme. This will then be a part of the silent auction which will run in April.


If you would like to contribute towards your child(ren) class basket, please send your cash contribution in a sealed envelope with your child’s name, grade level and Ledgerfest Donation written on it. Your student can then give it to their homeroom teacher or drop off in the North or South office. If you send in a check, please make it payable to Andrea Nuss. Please note that if you have more than one child attending SMSA, you can send in one envelope but please note each child and the amount you are donating for them, along with their grade level on the envelope.


This is SMSA’s largest auction and the money raised makes a direct impact towards the greatest needs of the school.


Please have all contributions in by Friday, February 26, 2021.


If you have any questions, please contact Andrea Nuss at


Thank you so much for your willingness to help make this year’s Ledgerfest a success!


Andrea Nuss and the Ledgerfest Committee

News and Information

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

Welcome Mr. Ford

Let’s give Mr. Jacob Ford a big Ledger welcome! Mr. Ford replaces Mr. Petrie and Mr. Skiff as the freshman Theology teacher, and like both, is also a Ledger!  He is a proud member of the Class of 2015 and a 2019 graduate of St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN.  Mr. Ford has been a familiar face in our school community since returning from Minnesota and has provided excellent service as a substitute teacher in both the elementary school and high school.  He is familiar with our students and staff, and we are all very excited that he was available to join us for the remainder of the year. 

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.  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 at the end of January. You may want to begin looking at the ACT website if you have not done so already.


Those juniors who have elected to take the ACT online at home on Saturday, January 15th should make sure you have followed the directions provided to you by ACT. Those directions will guide you to make sure you and your computer are ready for the test. You will want to make sure you have enough time to work out any technical issues with ACT before the deadlines pass.


Semester Exams: Please make sure you are continuing to study for semester exams. Work with your teachers to schedule a time to meet if you need extra help. Study for 20-25 minutes at a time and take a 5-minute break. A full list of study tips have been posted in the Google Classroom for Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.


If you are given a study guide by a teacher, make sure you complete the guide as soon as possible. Expect that the questions on your test will be worded differently than your study guide. Study guides are meant to help students identify what is important so students can spend more time studying those ideas and concepts and apply them-not just memorize information.


Youth Apprenticeship Program

Attention all Parents of current Sophomore and Junior students who may be interested in the Youth Apprenticeship Program: There will be an online information session for you to attend so you can learn more about the program. This information session will be held on four different dates to make it more convenient for parents to attend.


Please click here for details.

News and Information

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.

Youth Apprenticeship Virtual Parent Presentations

Mrs. McArthur from the Youth Apprenticeship program will be hosting virtual Zoom presentations for parents to help educate them and their students about Youth Apprenticeship and what opportunities are on the horizon. 


Dates that they have targeted are: 

Tuesday, January 12th – 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 13th – 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 14th – 6:30 p.m. 


Zoom links/invites will be coming shortly.

Career Exploration

No news at this time.

Job Opportunities

No news at this time.

Scholarship Opportunities

Fond du Lac Area Insurance Association

The Counseling Office has received the updated scholarship from FDL Area Insurance Association, or FAIA. The amount is $500. It will be offered to a senior pursuing a college or technical degree and has demonstrated a core value of community service and complete an essay based on the benefits of insurance. It can be found on Naviance.

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.

College/University SMSA visits

No updates at this time.

College/University Virtual Visits

None at this time.