Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Welcome Mr. Lee


I have been a Grand Rapids resident for the past 6 years, but I am originally from Riverside, California. I was excited to move back to my mother’s hometown, she grew up on the Westside of Grand Rapids. In May 2020 I graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design with a double major in Art Education and DrawingAs a working artist I have a natural love for learning and teaching. I find it is important to seek beauty in the practical as well as the ornate. 

As All Saints Academy’s new Technology Teacher (3rd-5th grade), I want to ensure our students receive skills and knowledge that helps them thrive in our changing world. The student’s study of visual culture, computer literacy, and software navigation will allow to become adept technological problem solvers. The repetition of skilled tasks like typing, hotkey commands, and coding, gives students a broad base of applied knowledge they can build on throughout their lives.  


It is my honor and pleasure to work with such an animated and creative group of students. I look forward to creating the ideal educational environment for all! 


Best wishes, Mr. Lee 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Merry Christmas from 8th Grade!

 Caroling in 2020

Although the normal 8th grade caroling tour was not possible this year, we were able to get the ASA class of 2021 together with Mrs. Clark to sing a few Christmas songs. We are happy to be able to share these with you today! Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Amazing Race: School Edition!

 Creativity and Innovation @ ASA!

By Nick Schaab

On Wednesday, I, and with the help of Mr. Kress and Mrs. Gibson did a Amazing Race for my class, the 7th graders. I have been planning this since December started. I first got the idea because I made 2 Amazing Races for my family to do and because my family and I are obsessed with the Amazing Race. We have watched 7 seasons in the span of about 2 months! So I started to plan one for my class to do with the help of my mom. 

To start off, I made a riddle to find where their next clue was. Once they found that they would go to a roadblock which is a challenge that only 1 person can do. The challenge was to successfully wrap 2 presents. (that was my mom's idea) It was pretty funny to watch. The third challenge they had to do was a choice between a parkour course on the playground and playing around the world in basketball. After they finished that they were to head to the pit-stop/finnish line. Dean and Roman won the race, but everyone got their favorite candy. It was really fun. I would like to thank Mr. Kress, Mrs. Gibson, and my mom for helping me.

I thought it was really fun. I liked how are class had to work together and strategies to win the race. Everyone had a good time, even if they didn't win. I think it was a great way to end off the break school right before break. -Dean Armock

I liked it alot especially when we had to find the clues for everything and I am happy that Nick got us candy at the end. I am grateful when Nick took his own time to do something for us. -Austin Phillips

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Color Monsters

Students are building their feelings vocabulary. They are encouraged to practice identifying and naming the feelings that they are experiencing. Students are given an opportunity to practice noticing what is physically happening when they have a feeling. They may feel their muscles tense up or their face gets red when they are mad or they notice butterflies in their stomachs and sweaty hands when they are nervous. When they recognize what feeling they are experiencing, they are more equipped to manage their feelings in an effective way. 

The story that was in the spotlight for this classroom visit was The Color Monster, written by Anna Llenas. This fun picture book explores how a monster learns to sort out his mixed up feelings. The story connects feelings with colors and experiences while fostering their emotional literacy. 

While at home, families can utilize literature, tv shows or movies to provide great opportunities for identifying characters’ feelings, what clues led you to think they felt a certain way, how they handled the feeling. Identifying some other options to cope with the feeling allows reinforcement of building emotional literacy skills. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

3rd Grade Balloon Cars

Third graders learn about motion (position, direction, speed) during science lessons.  Making motion observations fun, Dr. Groh visits with Balloon Cars each fall.  Dr. Dan Groh is a science professor at GRCC teaching chemistry.  As part of the GRCC community involvement, Dr. Groh joins ASA a couple times a year adding to student's scientific understanding.  

Lydia:  "This was really cool!"
Poppy:  "It was awesome!  Great learning experience of force."
Amelia:  "Friction is science!"
Ashley:  "I liked learning about speed, direction and position of the balloon car."

Evy:  "Friction balloon cars are awesome!!! Thank you Dr. Groh!"
Parker:  "It was a great way to learn science."
Isabella:  I like learning about movement of air."  
Wes:  "I like learning about friction."
Elijah:  "Balloon cars are cool."
Taras:  "It was cool and had a lot of friction.  Thanks for the Balloon Car, Dr. Groh"
Ben:  "I learned how the speed, direction, and position are changed,"

Jacob:  "It was fun to watch and it was cool to see when we raced to see who would win.  Thank you for teaching us with the balloon car."
Joey:  "It was impressive."
Kyle: "I loved it!  It was cool!  I liked learning about the force of air."
Isaac:  "if you're learning about motion, you should do the balloon car lab."
Andrew:  It was fun."
Mason:  "It was fun learning about speed, direction, and motion from Dr. Groh." 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Family Table Talk: Thanksgiving Edition

Give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

1 Thessalonians 5:18 


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

8th Grade Volleyball 2020


The “Sweaty Eagles” they jokingly called themselves after a hot August practice in 5th grade. This stuck with them for the next 4 years.

      “Sweaty eagles on 3.....” !

This is how we ended every practice, every game and sometimes used it as a cheer during matches. (The opposing team thought we were nuts:). That name was the start of a great 4 years.  

Fifth grade was a bit of learning curve for the girls and ourselves as new coaches. If you have ever watched a group of 5th graders play volleyball you know that just getting it over the net is a big deal. These girls came in with one goal that year, to have each of their teammates get at least one serve over the net. They came pretty darn close.

During 6th and 7th grade the girls started to show their individual talents. Some were good at passing, some had the finesse to set, while others were able to play aggressively at the net and they were all becoming amazing servers. By the end of 7th grade we were really playing volleyball!  The girls knew their positions, they were communicating and we were playing as a team. Eighth grade was going to be amazing!!  

And then.....we had a world pandemic.  It wasn’t clear if it was even safe to go to school let alone play volleyball. But we got the ok to start practicing outside in the hot August sun on the baseball field with all the dirt and sticks and no net. Did they complain???  You betcha. But it was all worth it the day we heard we could move into the gym it. Masks and all, these girls just wanted to play ball!  

Their season was good with the best percentage of wins we’ve had but that is not what we are most proud of. Over the years these girls have grown in spirit, love and friendship and are becoming wonderful young ladies in Christ. 

 - Coach Ellis -

Helping Laura to coach the girls in volleyball over the last four years has been so much fun, and so very rewarding. I didn't start out planning to be Laura's assistant in coaching ASA volleyball. I had never played volleyball growing up, and had played very little as an adult. I went up to watch and help with a practice, and I just never stopped going! Laura and the girls invited me in to learn alongside of them. 
The opportunity to be around this special group of then 5th graders, and now 8th graders, was one I did not want to pass up. Having the chance to watch them learn, grow and be successful in this sport of volleyball has been so fun. They were so little looking back at pictures from 5th grade, and the pictures now show how much they have grown. They are so beautiful and strong, each one of them! 
During our very last match a couple of weeks ago, as they were about to take the court for their last game, I held back tears knowing that this was going to be the last time they were going to be together as a team, and the last time I would get to be around them all. The "Sweating Eagles" went out there, and made everyone very proud, during their last game, and in each game over the last four years! They worked hard at practices, they were kind and encouraging to their teammates, and they always represented ASA very well with respect towards other teams and schools they played and visited over the years. Thank you girls for letting me be part of the last four years! I had so much fun with you all!
- Coach Schaab -

I loved being on the volleyball team! I got to spend time with friends and we had lots of fun parties. I learned to love volleyball! - Maya Schaab 

We could help each other improve and see each other grow every year. Even when somebody made a mistake we helped them up and told them they did good. It made me feel like we were all a family and we could have fun together.

"I got it!" 


Thursday, November 12, 2020

ASA Votes

All Saints Academy may be where news outlets focus their attention in 2024. For the third time in a row, the ASA student vote was predictive of the Presidential election results. Just as in 2012 with the majority of votes for Barack Obama and 2016 with votes in favor of Donald Trump, K-8 students voted for Joe Biden 89-64 (58%-42%). 

Students in grades K-2 voted with paper ballots, dropping in their votes to the ballot box one by one in the hallways in order to maintain safe distances. Third through eighth grade students voted online through a Google Form. The Elementary vote was 38-33 in favor of President-Elect Biden while the Middle School also voted in favor of the former Vice-President 51-31. 

The students were excited to be able to participate in this exercise.  Great conversations and learning took place leading up to election day.  It was awesome to see the students partake in the process.

8th Grade Camp and Retreat 2020

“Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.” 

1 Timothy 12:4

On Thursday, October 23rd the 8th grade class was blessed to have two Camp Manitou-Lin staff members come to us and offer a day of team building activities. Though the weather tried to spoil our fun, we still had a great time! Students were split up into two groups to strengthen their relationships and communication skills. Students enjoyed building boats, learning outdoor survival skills, playing “telephone” while communicating how to build a structure, and competing in an egg drop challenge to see whose vessel protected the egg the best.

The students were also able to participate in archery in our gymnasium. All students learned the proper technique of how to hold a bow and arrow and everyone hit the target at least once! Hooray! Students then participated in a maze challenge where they had to direct their blindfolded partner through a maze and see who could finish the fastest. Students also worked on their memory recall while trying to figure out a path through a different maze.

On Friday, October 24th the 8th grade class had their annual retreat. The day started with Mass with both Father Tom and Father Danny. Students then spent time learning about The Paschal Mystery, exploring the 8th grade’s class verse, and reflecting on the Profile of an ASA Graduate. Students made art to celebrate The Day of the Dead as reflection on the Paschal Mystery.

The class was broken up into small groups to create short videos to explain what the class verse means to them. Representatives from Catholic Central met with the group virtually to give students an opportunity to hear about the opportunities available at CC. Students also had a chance to meet with representatives from West Catholic in November to hear about the opportunities available there.

To wrap up the day students completed a small service project started by Mr. Needham, by putting the finishing touches on some workstation screens for their classrooms. And then students had a chance to reflect on the Stations of the Cross.

Throughout both days students were also able to connect with some of their friend participating as possible from home!

   Overall we had a great two days learning and connecting with each other!

"Some parts were a bit frustrating and tough, but I got through it and so did my team!"

"I learned from camp day that communication is the key to having a good team."

- The ASA Class of 2021 -

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

"Everyday" Math Projects

A Math Store Story

By Abby Stanton and Elizabeth Stafford

The past few weeks the All Saints 6th grade class has been working on a shop project to work on our skills with decimal operations. We picked a store and picked 5-7 items for our store. Then we created google drawings with our pictures or printed off pictures and pasted them on a poster. We also filled out a google sheets document with expenses, expected income, actual income, expected income two, and actual income two. 

On October 13 we did our first shopping day. We went around the classroom with $100 to buy from our fellow classmates. We learned how to write checks to represent what items we decided to buy from our classmates. The shopping day was really fun to do. You got to search up what you wanted to make your store. On shopping day you got to shop at each other's stores and it was really fun going to each other's stores. Having a shopping day is fun to have. It teaches responsibilities about the real world. You can be a good store owner and have a good time.  

We changed some of our products and prices and on October 20th we did our second shopping day. The second day was much more successful for everyone. To finish off the project we did a reflection. 

Here are some student reflections:

  • My favorite part was seeing what people decided to buy and what people decided to sell. It was fun going around and looking at all the things that people were interested in. - Ariadne Smith

  • I can use this in the future if i work at a store. I can use it at every job, and even when I'm older. I can always use math for everything or every job. - Carissa Sisk

  • My favorite part of this project was making the layout, because you got to design it yourself and you could be creative. My second favorite thing was being able to have a feel on what it's like to own a business, because we might end up having one when we’re older. - Leila Spicer

  • I could use these skills to start a business. I also could use it to learn about money in college, or when I am shopping. - Sam Moll

  • My favorite parts were boosting up my friends' shops because it made them happy and putting my shop together. - Shannon Hormuth

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

HELP Pregnancy Crisis Aid ASA Donation

Paula Veneklase, HELP Pregnancy Executive Director,

joyfully accepts our ASA donation from Miss Simmons.

Spring is the time of year when we experience many changes.  The flowers begin to bloom, the trees start to blossom, the air warms up, the critters peek their noses out.  These seasonal changes follow God’s plan set from the time of Creation.  But Spring 2020 brought something else to our days: shutdown!

Staff had planned the beautiful, annual Via Dolorosa walk for our ASA family.  One of the activities for the day was to cut and assemble flannel burp cloths to donate to HELP Pregnancy Crisis Aid, our current community service project partner.  

The call went out to families for donations of fabric and thread.  Multiple patterns were created for little hands to trace.  But we were not together to put the project together as an ASA family.  So, during the shutdown, Miss Simmons and Ms. Starback … and Miss Simmons’ grandma … sewed and sewed and sewed to put together more than 120 burp cloths for an ASA donation to HELP Pregnancy.  The ladies also made several fleece blankets, flannel blankets, and lap quilts that were donated as well.  All donations were dropped off on October 20, 2020.  

Miss Simmons’ grandma helps in the sewing!

Thank you card from Paula Veneklase to all of us at ASA. 

HELP Pregnancy Crisis Aid is a local, Catholic non-profit organization dedicated to providing support services for women and families.  (

Ideas for how to continue to support HELP Pregnancy Center this year:

  • Spiritual Adoption Prayer


  • Donations presently needed: Enfamil yellow formula, Diapers sizes: newborn, 5 & 6, Bottles and pacifiers, Baby washcloths and towels, NB and 0-3 winter sleepers and clothing (boy & girl) 24 mo & 2t winter sleepers and clothing (boy & girl)

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

ASA Can Drive Results


Remember, way back in May 2020 when ASA Home and School held a Can Drive at the Middle School? 

Well, with the help of many volunteers and our great ASA community, our success was overwhelming. With your contributions and the hours of hard work by our volunteers who transferred the bags of cans and bottles (from the lawn, to the sheds, to the gym, to a semi trailer to ANOTHER semi trailer), sorted the various materials, and coordinated the event, All Saints Academy earned $11,700!!! 

Thank you to everyone who cleared their garages of cans and bottles! Thank you to the volunteers who gave their time to sorting and transferring! Thank you to the event coordinators who made sure we had volunteers, a trailer to store and transfer the cans and bottles, and arranged for an efficient return procedure. Stay tuned for details on the great things this fundraiser will afford All Saints Academy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Virtual Calming Rooms

 Students Find Peace and Relaxation

ASA students continue on their journey to build their emotional literacy skills and expand their social emotional tool box. Emotional literacy includes learning to be aware of and identify the varied feelings we experience.  Students are taught to recognize that all their feelings are okay. With resources and social emotional lessons, students are continuing to identify and learn healthy strategies to cope with uncomfortable feelings. 

All K-8 students were provided access to and taught how to access the virtual calming rooms.  They were each provided an opportunity to explore the options that are available to help relax and find peace when experiencing an uncomfortable feeling, while at school or at home. Practicing breathing strategies, experiencing visual relaxation such as glitter falls, feeling the calming effect of an aquarium, being creative with online coloring, and finding comfort with prayer all provide options to return to calm from an uncomfortable feeling. The virtual calming rooms provide these experiences to our ASA learners.

This is a resource that provides students the time to practice emotional regulation.  It is a chance to access appropriate resources they can use to manage their emotions during a time of need or simply an opportunity to practice daily breathing strategies and self-care. We encourage you to explore these as a family and practice these emotional literacy tools together.  

K-4 Virtual Calming Room

5-8 Virtual Calming Room