AUSTIN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL ANNOUNCES SCHOOL EXPANSION CAMPAIGN
TO FUND NEW CHAPEL, SCIENCE LABS AND DAVE DEBUSSCHERE CENTER FOR ATHLETICS
TO MEET NEEDS OF GROWING STUDENT BODY
CHESTERFIELD, MICH. (March 22, 2018) – The Board of Directors for the rapidly-growing Austin Catholic High School today announced the tip-off of a $6.5 million fund-raising campaign to expand the school’s gymnasium, build a permanent chapel and renovate and upgrade science labs.
The gymnasium project as part of an overall $12 million Together We Can fund raising initiative will be the Dave DeBusschere Center for Athletics named in honor of the late Austin Catholic High School two-sport student-athlete. Born in Detroit, DeBusschere gained early fame by leading his prep team to the 1958 MHSAA State Boys’ Basketball Championship 60 years ago today, then excelled in baseball and basketball at the University of Detroit, pitched for the Chicago White Sox, was a player-coach for the Detroit Pistons and later won two NBA Championships with the New York Knicks all while wearing uniform number 22.
“Our family is truly honored that Austin Catholic High School chose to name the new athletic facility after our father Dave DeBusschere. The core principles that our father embodied and passed down to his children are rooted in the exceptional education, sportsmanship, community and morals that he received from Austin.” – Peter, Michelle and Dennis DeBusschere.
From an inaugural class of seven students in 2011 in a rented, temporary building to a current enrollment of nearly 100 in a permanent location, the co-ed Austin Catholic High School has filled an important need for families seeking an educational experience centered on faith for their children in Northern Macomb County. Austin boasts a 100% graduation rate and all students have been accepted at various college and universities and have been awarded more than $1 million in academic scholarships. Austin students contribute more than 2,000 hours of local community service annually.
“Austin Catholic High School has experienced rapid growth in student enrollment and 81% participation in athletics, so this school expansion is of the utmost importance for our current students and families and future generations of families who value a Catholic-centered educational experience,” said Lisa Upton, Director of Advancement.
The campus enhancements including the DeBusschere Center for Athletics are the second phase of the school’s Together We Can Capital Campaign.
The athletic center will feature a renovated weight room, multi-purpose fitness and sport training rooms and locker rooms, concessions area, staff offices for the Business, Admissions and Advancement departments and seating for more than 300. External athletic expansion will include improved softball facilities and soccer field enhancements and an area for future tennis courts.
The new Chapel will continue the Austin Catholic tradition of offering Mass three times a week and will feature a prominent, central campus location with seating for 200 expandable to 400 with a dedicated campus drive, parking and a new façade. The new Fine Arts and S.T.E.M. labs will offer two full science labs and a general science room.
“To remain competitive with other high schools, a growing and vital Austin Catholic requires science labs and a fully functional gymnasium; and to continue offering daily prayer and Mass three times a week we need a new Chapel,” said Janel Coppens, Principal/Head of School. “The Board of Directors’ decision comes at an integral time to support growing enrollment, athletic and academic momentum.”
The Austin Catholic athletic program recently committed to fielding boys (co-ed) golf this spring bringing the total programs to 12 varsity sports and one junior varsity sport.
“Building a sports program is challenging, but our students and families have worked extremely hard over the last seven years to create positive energy for athletics at Austin Catholic. The gym expansion as the Dave DeBusschere Center for Athletics is going to benefit current and future students,” said Mike Miller, Director of Athletics.
Ground-breaking for the Austin Catholic expansions is expected in Spring of 2018 followed by construction with a stated goal of all expanded facilities including the DeBusschere Center for Athletics to conclude in the Fall of the 2018-2019 academic year. Austin Catholic previously raised $3.8 million during a silent phase of the Together We Can campaign to fund the move into the current school building and adjacent land.
Opportunities to support the Austin Catholic expansion project include a range of naming opportunities from fitness rooms and galleries to showcases and individual lockers. For those interested in supporting Catholic education or learning more about the project visit www.austincatholicacademy.org or call/email Lisa Upton, Director of Advancement at 586-200-0143.
ABOUT AUSTIN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
Austin Catholic High School opened in 2011 and has settled into their Chesterfield, Michigan home on 23 Mile Rd. between Fairchild and Gratiot since 2016 in their permanent 54,000 sq. ft., 14-acre home. As the only co-educational Catholic High school in Macomb County, Austin aims to provide a comprehensive education while cultivating healthy, resourceful, and caring young men and women. Austin espouses a faith-first philosophy emphasizing the Augustinian Core Values of Truth, Unity, and Love. Austin offers full academic and extracurricular programming, with highly qualified instructors and a dedicated staff in a community environment. Austin Catholic: Providing New Opportunities with Long Standing Tradition. Austin Catholic High School is online at www.austincatholicacademy.org, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AustinCatholicHighSchool, on Twitter @austincatholic and on Instagram at austincatholic.
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Eat, Drink, Give: Wine and Beer Tasting Dinner
MACOMB, MICH. – Back by popular demand, Austin Catholic High School’s Parent Association presents a Wine and Beer Tasting Dinner on Friday, April 21st at Sycamore Hills Banquet Center. The evening begins at 6pm and ends at 10pm. Tickets are $50 per person, or $450 for a table of ten. Sycamore Hills Banquet Center is located at 48787 North Avenue in Macomb.
The event includes 50/50, a lottery tree raffle, and a six course meal, paired with small production, limited edition wines. Bottles of wine will be available for purchase. Bud Light, three seasonal craft beers, and non-alcoholic drinks will be on hand at no extra cost for those guests who don’t drink wine. In addition, there will be a cash bar for mixed drinks.
Proceeds from the fundraiser benefit the educational needs of the students and faculty at Austin Catholic. To make a reservation, contact Director of Advancement Lisa Upton at (586) 200-0143 x 202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Austin Catholic High School Hires Business Manager
CHESTERFIELD, MICH. – Austin Catholic High School administration announced today they have hired Jason Davidson as Business Manager/Director of Finance. A new position created because of growth, Davidson will oversee the school’s financial and business operations.
Davidson’s appointment comes on the heels of Austin’s most recent acquisition of the old Chesterfield Elementary and the rise in enrollment at the six year old high school. “Mr. Davidson brings a wealth of experience in management, finance, and administration. We are impressed with his qualifications and experience and are pleased to have him join our team,” stated Janel Coppens, Principal and Head of School. Davidson, most recently employed by Auxiom, LLC and VAR Channel Marketing, LLC, is familiar with the challenges facing young organizations, and also the education sphere. “I am excited to begin this next chapter in my professional career where I can combine my business and finance background with my interest in school administration and helping others.” stated Davidson, “We all need a little more love in the world, and I believe education is where it begins.” A graduate of Walsh College, Mr. Davidson is an active member in his community working closely with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation in Romeo and as a member of the Clintondale Board of Education.
Austin Catholic High School Hosts Chastity Project Founder Jason Evert
MACOMB, MICH.- Chastity and love speaker Jason Evert is coming to Austin Catholic High School on Friday, April 28th. There are two sessions during the day: the morning session (9- 10:30am) is geared toward high school students, their parents, and other interested adults. The afternoon session (12:30-2pm) is for 8th grade students and their parents.
Founder of the Chastity Project, Evert will present his talk for teens: Love or Lust? Why save sex for marriage? He will discuss dating, relationships, sexual purity, and the difference between love and lust, from a Christian perspective.
Space is limited and registration is required. To register, email email@example.com or call (586) 200-0143. Cost is $5 at the door for students of non-affiliated schools and adults. Free to Archdiocese of Detroit middle school students. Austin Catholic High School is located at 25925 23 Mile Rd. between Fairchild and Gratiot Ave. in Chesterfield.
Austin Catholic High School Students Picked for Art Show
MACOMB, MICH.- Two Austin Catholic High School students will have artwork featured in the 36th Annual Macomb County Secondary Student Show. Senior Liza Lucaj’s “Chocolate and Vanilla” and Senior Pierpaolo Zaldaña’s “Ursa Polar” were chosen.
The juried competition received hundreds of entries from grades 7-12. Art Teacher Bill Littlejohn said he is proud of the first students from Austin to reach the level of being able to have their work juried for possible entry into the Macomb County show.
Awards will be announced at the Opening Reception on March 11th. The reception and show are at the Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens. It will be open to the public through April 8th. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. For more information, visit https://www.theartcenter.org/single-post/2017/01/27/36th-Annual-Macomb-County-Secondary-Student-Show
Austin Catholic Student Hosts Christmas Party for Kids with Special Needs
MACOMB, MICH.-Austin Catholic High School Senior Liza Lucaj will be hosting a Christmas Party for kids with special needs on Saturday, December 17th from 10am until Noon. Children with special needs and their families (siblings, parents, grandparents, etc.) are welcome to attend. The event will include crafts, games, cookie and gingerbread house decorating, face painting, dancing, and visits with Santa Claus and his Christmas dogs.
The event is Senior Liza Lucaj’s Caritas (Love) Project. Austin Catholic students perform a minimum of 100 hours of community service/Christian outreach in their four years of attendance, in addition to a senior designed Caritas (Love) Project. Lucaj is inspired by her sister, Gina, who has special needs. “Gina is an inspiration to me, and always brightens my day. I’d like to give back by spreading that light into the community,” says Lucaj.
Admission to the party is free, but registration is required. RSVP by December 5th to SpecialNeedsChristmas@yahoo.com. Austin Catholic High School is located at 25925 23 Mile Rd., just west of Gratiot Ave. in Chesterfield.
Austin Catholic High School Music Program Presents A Christmas Concert
MACOMB, MICH. – The students of Austin Catholic High School’s Vocal and Guitar Ensembles and Band Program cordially invite you to their “Gift of God” Advent & Christmas Concert. It will be held offsite at St. Isidore Church on Tuesday, December 13th at 7pm. St. Isidore Catholic Community is located at 18201 23 Mile Rd., Macomb, MI 48042. Admission is free.
ACHS presents its 4th Annual Gala Dinner and Auction
MACOMB, MICH. – Austin Catholic High School will be hosting its 4th Annual Gala Dinner and Auction on Friday, November 18th at Zuccaro’s Banquets & Catering in Chesterfield Township at 6p.m. This year’s theme is “Bountiful Blessings.”
“The Gala is a wonderful way to start the season of thanks and giving. We have a lot to be grateful for this year, including our new, permanent home in Chesterfield. It will definitely be a celebration!” says Lisa Upton, Director of Advancement. The event boasts live and silent auctions, raffles, dinner, and an open bar. Entertainment will be provided by the Austin Catholic High School Band Program.
Tickets are $75 per person, or $700 for a table of 10. Proceeds directly benefit student scholarships and programs. Sponsorships and donation opportunities are available through the Advancement Office. For more information and/ or to participate, please contact Lisa Upton, Director of Advancement, at 586-200-0143 x202. Special thanks to our Austin Legacy Sponsors: Motor City Stamping, Incorporated and Weingartz.
Austin Catholic High School Purchases Chesterfield Elementary for Permanent Home
MACOMB, MICH. –Austin Catholic High School is slated to move into Chesterfield Elementary School for the 2016-2017 school year. The news results from today’s sale of the building by L’Anse Creuse Public Schools to Austin Catholic High School. The 54,240 sq. ft. facility is located at 23 Mile Road between Fairchild and Gratiot on approximately 14 acres.
For the last five years, Austin Catholic has operated out of the Seifert Elementary building on 26 Mile Road, leasing the space from New Haven Schools. The new facility will become the high school’s permanent home.
“We were blessed to have found Seifert when we did,” said Principal Janel Coppens. “It has been a mutually beneficial relationship with New Haven Schools. “It is now time for us to move into a permanent location that will house our increasing student body. With its 26 classrooms, gym, cafeteria, library and inner courtyard, this building will surely accommodate our growing athletics and music programs.”
Austin Catholic first approached L’Anse Creuse about Chesterfield Elementary in midDecember, 2015. An offer of $3.175 million was made to the district in April 2016. — more — Austin Catholic Page 2 The building had undergone extensive renovations in 2009/2010, receiving updated infrastructure, technology and security. The school board anticipates that minor renovations will be required to modify the elementary school for high school students. An open floor plan, a fully integrated science and technology wing, and a new athletics space are being considered.
In their new home, Austin Catholic students will have access to a full cafeteria, gym, approximately 26 classrooms and plenty of green space. Austin and L’Anse Creuse will also participate in shared-services and programs that will benefit both Austin and the District.
Since opening, Austin has grown from nine students to projected 90 for 2016-2017. As the only co-educational Catholic high school in Northern Macomb County, Austin aims to provide a comprehensive education while cultivating healthy, resourceful and caring young men and women. “Our faith and our Augustinian Core Values of Truth, Unity and Love are at the forefront of everything we do at Austin. WE are a community, united in our desire to be better, do better, and love better.” stated Principal Janel Coppens.
As the only Augustinian High School in Michigan, Austin provides a rich history of education and support. “We are thrilled to learn that our sister school has found a permanent home to call their own,” said Fr. Richard J. McGrath, OSA, Ph.D., Superintendent of Schools for the Augustinians of the Midwest and Canada. “We are pleased to once again have the name Austin represented in the Detroit Metro area, so that future generations of young men and women will receive an Augustinian education.”
Regional Bishop, Michael Byrnes was at Austin Catholic recently for Mass and when given the news today responded: “Today’s event marks a significant milestone in the development of Austin Catholic. It is a testament to the dedicated leadership of the faculty, staff, parents, students, benefactors, and board. May the school continue to flourish under the grace and providence of our heavenly Father!”
3rd Annual Leonard J. Brillati Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing
MACOMB, MICH. – Austin Catholic High School is hosting the 3rd Annual Leonard J. Brillati Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing on Monday, June 27th at Cherry Creek Golf Course in Shelby Twp. Proceeds from this outing will directly benefit the Austin Catholic High School Scholarship Fund.
The outing is a four-person, best ball scramble. Cost is $125.00 per golfer for 18 holes of golf with a cart. Registration also includes continental breakfast, lunch at the turn, and dinner. Highlights of the day’s events are: awards and prizes given to the 1st, 2nd , and 3 rd place teams, contests, and raffles. Check in is at 9:00 a.m., shotgun start at 10:00 a.m.
There are many sponsorship and advertisement opportunities available through the Austin Advancement Office. For more information, to sponsor, and/or participate, please contact Lisa Upton, Director of Advancement, at 586.749.7900 or visit http://www.golfoutingpro.com/event/austincatholicacademy.
Leonard J. Brillati was Austin Catholic High School’s first President. A strong leader in the community, Leonard was an advocate for all youth to receive a Catholic education, regardless of finances. After his passing in 2013, Austin created a scholarship fund in his name to continue his vision of Catholic education for all.
Enthronement of the Sacred Heart at Austin Catholic High School
MACOMB, MICH. – The Michigan Chapter of the Men of the Sacred Hearts will be leading the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary at Austin Catholic High School on Wednesday, February 3rd at 11a.m. The Enthronement ceremony is based on the Austin community making a promise to center their daily lives on the Sacred Heart through prayer and actions. Images of the Sacred Heart will be displayed in every classroom, with one large devotional image in the school’s main entrance.
Austin Catholic was first approached by Kerry Schaeffner, a 1963Austin Catholic Preparatory High School alumnus, Austin Catholic High School Board Member, and member of the Men of the Sacred Hearts, about the Enthronement. Austin Catholic’s administration enthusiastically agreed to participate in the event as a way to formalize faith in the faculty and students’ school routine. “The Enthronement is a visual reminder of our faith and devotion to Jesus. We are honored to participate,” said Principal Janel Coppens. Fr. Roman Pasieczny, the Spiritual Director of the Men of the Sacred Hearts, will preside over the blessings. Pasieczny is the Pastor of the St. Lawrence Catholic Community, which held an Enthronement at its Catholic school in early January.
The Enthronement will take the place in lieu of Community Mass on Wednesday, February 3rd, with a community luncheon to follow. Press interested in attending the event is invited to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with “RSVP Sacred Heart” in the subject line. For more information on the Men of the Sacred Hearts, visit http://www.menofthesacredhearts.com/msh_chapters/msh_michigan
Austin Catholic High School’s Innocent Nwoko Signs Athletic Scholarship
MACOMB, MICH. – Austin Catholic High School’s Innocent Nwoko signed a National Letter of Intent to attend and play basketball in the fall of 2016 for the Central Michigan University Chippewas (Mid-American Conference, Division I) in Mount Pleasant. Nwoko, a senior at Austin Catholic High School, currently plays basketball for the New Haven High School Rockets as part of a co-op agreement.
Nwoko, surrounded by his Rockets teammates, coaches, and host family, signed his commitment after a conditioning session on Wednesday, November 11th. This is Nwoko’s third season with the Rockets. After departing Nigeria, Nwoko enrolled as an international student at Austin Catholic High School in his sophomore year. “I have visited Central’s campus 5-6 times and I really like the academia and basketball program. I feel like it will help me improve myself,” says Nwoko. When asked if he thinks it will be a challenge, he laughs and says “transitioning from high school to any college is a challenge!”
Principal Janel Coppens says of the senior, “I think Central is a great fit for Innocent academically and athletically. We are extremely proud of all he has accomplished. To have a member of our second graduating class achieving such a goal really sets the bar high for our other Crusaders.” In addition to maintaining a 2.9 GPA, Nwoko led the Austin Catholic Crusaders soccer team as a captain and leading scorer in their inaugural season.
3rd Annual Winter Gala Raises the Stakes
MACOMB, MICH. – Austin Catholic High School will be hosting its 3rd Annual Winter Gala Dinner and Auction on Friday, December 4th at Zuccaro’s Banquets & Catering in Chesterfield Township at 7p.m. This year’s theme is “You can bet on us!”
The event boasts live and silent auctions, raffles, dinner, and an open bar. In keeping with the Vegas theme, guests will encounter larger than life dice, playing cards, and poker chips. To preview live and silent auction items, visit http://austinacademy.wpengine.com/events/gala-auction-items/ Entertainment will be provided by the Austin Catholic High School Choir and Band.
Don’t leave your reservation to chance, get your ticket today! Tickets are $75 per person, or $700 for a table of 10. Proceeds directly benefit student scholarships and programs. Sponsorships and donation opportunities are available through the Advancement Office. For more information and/or to participate, please contact Lisa Upton, Director of Advancement, at 586.749.7900. Special thanks to major sponsor Motor City Stamping, Incorporated.
Austin Catholic Hosts Halloween Party for Children with Special Needs
MACOMB, MICH. – A Halloween Party for kids with special needs will be held at Austin Catholic this Saturday, October 31st from 10:00-11:30a.m. Two Austin Catholic seniors, Hannah Burke and Tiffany Lacap, are hosting the event. Families will be treated to cider and donuts and participate in games and activities like painting pumpkins, cookie decorating, and of course, trick or treating. Costumes are encouraged!
Children with special needs and their families (siblings, parents, grandparents, etc.) are welcome to attend. Chaperones can RSVP to Austin Catholic’s main office at (586) 749-7900. The event is free. Guests should follow the Austin Catholic signs to the building’s west entrance at 24125 26 Mile Rd., just east of North Ave.
Austin Catholic students are required to earn a minimum of 100 hours of community service/Christian outreach in their four years of attendance in addition to a senior designed Caritas Project. Burke and Lacap are chairing this event as their senior project. It’s an issue close to the girls’ hearts; Tiffany has a family member with special needs and Hannah wants to become a Special Education teacher.
Austin Catholic Hosts Fall Open House on Sunday
MACOMB, MICH. – Austin Catholic High School warmly welcomes middle school students and their families to the Fall Open House this Sunday, October 25th from 12:30-4p.m. This year’s recruiting theme, Where faith and individuality are embraced, exemplifies what Austin does best: balancing individual student needs within a community built on the Augustinian values of Truth, Unity, and Love. New Admissions Director Amy LaPerre says, “Helping Austin to grow and flourish has become a true passion of mine.” Austin’s student body currently numbers 73, representing over 20 parishes in Oakland, Macomb, and St. Clair counties.
Attendees will be treated to refreshments, a guided tour by a Student Ambassador, and a firsthand look at Austin Catholic’s 2015 class composite, which hangs alongside the collection of Austin Prep Detroit composites. Austin Catholic is located at 24125 26 Mile Rd., just east of North Ave. Guests will be directed to the building’s west entrance.
The “Cruise” Continues with Corks, Kegs & Classic Cars
MACOMB, MICH. – Car aficionados and Austin Catholic High School supporters are invited to keep “dreaming” at the Corks, Kegs & Classic Cars fundraiser. Hosted by the Austin Catholic Parent Association, the event will take place at Stahl’s Automotive Foundation in Chesterfield, Mich. on Saturday, September 26th from 5-9p.m. “Stahl’s Automotive Foundation has done an excellent job of bringing Motor City history to Macomb County. What place could be better to celebrate the tradition of Austin Catholic, which also began in Detroit?” said Lisa Upton, Director of Advancement.
Guests can tour the museum, munch on appetizers, participate in raffles, and sample wine and beer provided by Rochester Mills Beer Co. Adult tickets are $25 each or $40 for two. Student tickets are $18 each. Students and children must be accompanied by a parent. All proceeds benefit Austin Catholic student activities. Tickets are limited, and are not available at the door. Please make checks payable to Austin Catholic High School 24125 26 Mile Rd., Ray, MI 48096. For more information, please contact Austin Catholic High School at (586) 749-7900.
Austin Catholic Receives $250 Library Grant
Macomb, MI — The Michigan Chapter Catholic Library Association (MCCLA) just announced that one of its fall 2014 grant recipients is Austin Catholic High School. School Librarian and Admissions Director, Karen Turk, wrote the grant proposal requesting funding for popular novels (particularly with multicultural themes), age-appropriate nonfiction books, and college guides to supplement the school’s current collection.
The 2014-2015 school year is the first year that the high school has had a functioning media center since it opened in 2011. “It is such a blessing to be able to expand our collection to books that reflect the students’ interests. We may be an iPad school, but nothing compares to the sensory experience of curling up in the library with an actual book,” said Turk.
Austin Catholic High School Holds First Commencement Ceremony
MACOMB, MICH. – Austin Catholic High School will hold its first Commencement Ceremony Wednesday, May 27th at St. Clare of Montefalco Church in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. Seven seniors will graduate in this inaugural ceremony held at the same location Austin Catholic Prep, Detroit held their ceremonies. Baccalaureate Mass begins promptly at 6:00pm with the Commencement Ceremony to follow.
“We are thrilled that this journey, that began over 20 years ago, is coming to a reality. These seven young men and women are the beginning of something new while carrying on the long tradition that Austin Prep and the Augustinians have created,” stated Austin Catholic Principal and Head of School, Ms. Janel M. Coppens. “I couldn’t be more proud of these young people.”
Representatives from the Austin Prep Charter Graduating Class of 1956 will be present to usher in the new Austin graduates and Albert Harvard, ’56 will be the commencement speaker. The Very Reverand Bernie Scianna, O.S.A Provincial of the Midwest Augustinians will preside over the Baccalaureate Mass and bless the new graduates. Regina Marogi will give the student address as the Student Body President and Valedictorian. “This is an entire Austin community celebration, involving everyone who has been a part of Austin,” said Coppens.
Austin Catholic Forensics Team Competes at State Tournament
MACOMB, MICH. – The Austin Catholic Forensics Team finishes the 2014-2015 season with a state champion and multiple tournament trophies. Senior T.J. Leota, led the team of six throughout the year, earning multiple team and individual trophies. The pinnacle of the season was Leota’s win in the Poetry Interpretation category this weekend at the Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association State Tournament at Oakland University.
After advancing to the semi-finals in 2014 in Poetry Interpretation, Leota was driven this year to make it to the finals. With a different poem and renewed determination, Leota and Austin Forensics coach, Julie Hakes, recruited a variety of fresh faces and worked during lunches and after school to hone their talents. Also competing on the team were junior, Nick Schudt (Storytelling); sophomores Noah Bowles and Alex Radwick (Duo); freshmen Gariann Cadelina and Sydney Dziurman (Poetry Interpretation), Brendon Krimmel (Sales), and Tereza Lucaj (Prose Interpretation). Sydney Dziurman also advanced to the semi-finals this weekend but fell short of a finals appearance. “I was surprised to make it [to semi-finals], but excited to compete in one more round,” said Dziurman. “Even though I didn’t advance, I was too happy for T.J. and the rest of our team to really think about it.”
“I couldn’t believe I won and I actually cried. Then another coach told me that my win broke a seven year streak of poetry wins by another school, and the magnitude of my winning truly hit me. I will never forget what forensics has given me,” said Leota.
The team ends the season after having won the Middle Division team trophy at the Black Hawk Speech and Debate Invitation at Leslie High School; Second Place in the small School Division at the Ninjatational Tournament at Avondale High School; First Place team at the Shamrock Invitational at Notre Dame Prep; and a variety of individual honors at each tournament and the Novice States and Regional Competitions.
“I am just so proud of these kids and all their hard work. For most of them, this is their first time competing in forensics and speech. What they have done this year is awesome and I am just so glad I was able to be their coach,” said Hakes after the finalists were announced. “From the passion and dedication that Brendon [Krimmel] had for his product and his sales speech, to the emotion and connection that Tereza [Lucaj] and Sydney [Dziurman] found with their pieces, I am truly blessed to have worked with these kids.” Krimmel was a leading force with the team throughout the year, netting multiple first places and a fourth place finish at the very competitive Novice States in March.
Austin Catholic is a member of both MIFA and MISCA. The Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association governs the forensics tournaments and formal Regional and State tournaments. The Michigan Interscholastic Speech Coaches Association also sponsors tournaments and events across the state, of which Austin competes in. Forensics is divided into multiple events from those that are prepared in advance such as sales, informative, and expository; to those creative and dramatic like poetry interpretation, dramatic interpretation, duo and multiple interpretation, and prose interpretation; to the un-prepared impromptu, broadcasting, and duo-impromptu. Competitors compete in multiple rounds and are judged on performance, time, and ability to convey their message.
2nd Annual Leonard J. Brillati Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing
MACOMB, MICH. – Austin Catholic High School announces their 2nd Annual Leonard J. Brillati Golf Outing, Monday, June 22nd at Cherry Creek Golf Course in Shelby Twp. Proceeds from this outing will directly benefit the Austin Catholic High School Scholarship Fund.
There are many sponsorship and advertisement opportunities available through the Austin Advancement Office. Cost is $125.00 per golfer which includes 18 holes of golf with cart. The outing is a four-person, best ball scramble. Highlights of the day’s events will include continental breakfast, lunch at the turn, and buffet dinner. Awards and prizes will be given to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams. Several contests, such as Hole-In-One, Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, and a Vegas hole will be taking place throughout the course of the day. There will also be a 50/50 Raffle and basket raffles. Check in is at 9:00 a.m., shotgun start at 10:00 a.m. For more information, to sponsor, and/or participate, please contact Lisa Upton, Director of Advancement, at 586.749.7900 or visit www.golfoutingpro.com/event/austincatholicacademy.
Leonard J. Brillati was Austin Catholic High School’s first President. A strong leader in the community, Leonard was an advocate for all youth to receive a Catholic Education, regardless of finances. After his passing in 2013, Austin created a scholarship fund in his name to continue his vision of Catholic Education for all.
Third Annual Wine Tasting & Student Art Auction
MACOMB, MICH. –Austin Catholic High School’s Parents Association presents the Third Annual Wine Tasting, Dinner and Student Art Auction. The event will be held at the picturesque Sycamore Hills Golf Club and Banquet Center at 48787 North Ave. in Macomb on February 6, 2015 from 6 to 10 p.m.
For $65 per person (or $600 for a table of 10), supporters can indulge in a six course meal, paired with small production wines meant to tantalize the taste buds. Sommeliers will be on hand to explain the pairings, including the wines’ origins. The wines will also be available that evening to purchase at deeply discounted rates.
This year’s theme is Mardi Gras! Strolling among the beads and feathered masks, guests will find Austin Catholic student artwork in a variety of media to bid on. Call (586) 749-7900 to reserve tickets and get ready to laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)
The 2014 event brought in more than 270 attendees and raised approximately $8,000 for the Parents Association. The Parents Association supports the educational needs of faculty and students. The PA coordinated the purchase of a rubber weight room floor and physics supplies and sponsored six students headed to the state forensics competition, buses for various field trips, and retreat costs with last year’s proceeds.
Austin Catholic Students Host Christmas Carnival for MCREST Children
December 10, 2014 – MACOMB, MICH. – Austin Catholic High School will be hosting a Christmas Carnival for approximately 45 homeless children this Saturday, Dec. 13th from 9a.m. until noon. Through their interactions serving MCREST (Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team), Austin Catholic students recognized that Christmas is not always a festive time for families without homes. The hope of Student Event Chair, Nora Walker, in welcoming kids from MCREST is “to put smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts.”
The Student Government event will include crafts, games, cookie decorating, storytelling, caroling, and visits with Santa Claus. Through generous donations and student fundraising, all the children will receive prizes, food, and small gifts from Santa. “We have had five dress down/blue jean days to raise money to buy supplies for this, so it has been an entire student body effort,” said Walker. Each Austin student will be responsible for a craft, game, or serve as a “buddy” to one of the children. “This is truly serving others and making a difference at this time of year,” said Deacon Dennis Loffreda, Austin Campus Minister, “For as it says in Acts 20:35, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.”
Donations of Christmas décor, small gifts and refreshments are still being welcomed. Please call the school directly if you are interested in supporting our students’ efforts to take Merry Christmas from a wish to a reality.
Austin Catholic students are required to earn a minimum of 100 hours of community service/Christian outreach in their four years of attendance in addition to a senior designed Caritas Project. Walker is using this event as her senior project but also plans to do something similar in the spring. “Helping others and seeing their smiles is the biggest gift I can receive.”
2nd Annual Winter Gala Offers Hope and Cheer
December 1, 2014 – MACOMB, MICH. – Austin Catholic High School will be hosting its 2nd Annual Winter Gala Dinner and Auction on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at Zuccaro Banquets & Catering in Chesterfield Township. Proceeds from the event will directly benefit student scholarships and programs.
The event boasts live and silent auctions, raffles, dinner, and an open bar. Entertainment will be provided by the Austin Catholic High School Choir and Band. In keeping with The Polar Express theme, guests will encounter surprises throughout the evening and a special visit from Santa Claus. The event will run from 6:30-11:30 p.m.
Supporters are invited to demonstrate their belief in the future of Austin Catholic’s students through financial support. Tickets for the event are now available at Austin Catholic for $65 per person. Sponsorships and donation opportunities are available through the Advancement Office. For more information and/or to participate, please contact Lisa Upton, Director of Advancement, at 586.749.7900.
We anticipate the event to be a huge success… if you just believe.
Lost Piece of Detroit Athletics History Recovered
October 13, 2014 – MACOMB, MICH. – Austin Catholic High School recently assumed possession of the 1958 Detroit News Metropolitan Detroit Championship trophy, also known as the Motor City Championship trophy. The award commemorates the pivotal basketball game between Austin Catholic Preparatory School in Detroit and Northeastern High School in Detroit.
That year, the Friars of Austin Catholic Prep were led by center Dave DeBusschere, a prolific athlete who would go on to play for the Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, and Chicago White Sox, before his death in 2003. After clinching the Detroit Catholic League’s Central Division, the Friars 63-40 win over the Detroit Northeastern Falcons was a crucial step toward becoming the Michigan Class A high school basketball champions of 1958.
Austin Catholic Preparatory School operated as an all-boy, Augustinian high school in Detroit from 1952 to 1978. In 2011, the Augustinians renewed their commitment to the metro Detroit area by opening the coeducational Austin Catholic High School in Ray, Michigan. The Motor City Championship trophy, along with treasured Magistro yearbooks, and other memorabilia, bridge the gap between Austin students of the past and present, and are proudly displayed at the new Austin Catholic.
NASP & Michigan DNR bring Archery to Austin Catholic
October 8, 2014 – MACOMB, MICH. – New for the 2014/2015 school year, Austin Catholic High School has added the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) curriculum to its physical education classes. Students will learn safety, along with proper form and technique, from certified teacher and National Archery Association (NAA) trained instructor Lisa Schulz.
Without the contributions of the Huron Pointe Sportsmen’s Association (HPSA) in Lenox Township, and its president Joe Burke, the program would not have come to fruition. The HPSA, in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, donated the new equipment to Austin Catholic. “I’m elated, and more importantly, the kids are excited. For those who already took physical education, or have prior archery experience, we will be implementing an after-school club too,” says Schulz. Austin Catholic is one of only a handful of high schools in Macomb County that have the NASP program.
According to ArrowSport Foundation, archery can help “engage more students in the educational process, improve classroom performance, and reduce dropout rates.” It’s also accessible to students of all ages, sizes, and physical abilities; training for instructors includes a section on how to teach disabled students.
Austin Catholic High School Founding Headmaster Dies
September 8, 2014 – MACOMB, MICH. – Rev. David L. Brecht, OSA, Ph.D. died in the late afternoon on September 6, 2014. He was 75. Father Brecht had been battling a leukemia-like condition called myelodysplasis since 2012. As his chemotherapy and blood transfusion treatments became increasingly less effective, he made the decision at the end of the 2013-2014 school year to retire from teaching and campus ministry at Austin Catholic High School in Ray, Michigan.
Early Life, Formation, and Education
David L. Brecht was born on October 17, 1938, in Detroit, Michigan, to John Lloyd and Mary Brecht. He first encountered the Augustinian friars when he attended Austin Catholic High School in Detroit and was part of its first graduating class. He entered the Augustinian Order as a Novice on September 8, 1956. He professed his first vows on September 10, 1957, and his solemn vows exactly three years later.
A lifelong student, Father Brecht earned many academic degrees. From Villanova University, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Master of Arts in Classical Languages. From Loyola University Chicago, he earned a Master of Education and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration. He also earned a Diploma in Counseling from Salesian University in Rome. Amidst his studies, he was ordained to the priesthood on February 6, 1965.
Education Ministry through 1990
After ordination, Father Brecht was first assigned to Mendel Catholic High School in Chicago as a teacher and chaplain. In 1967, he was assigned to Tolentine College in Olympia Fields, Illinois, where he served as sub-master of the professed, an academic dean, and a teacher.
In 1973, the same year in which Father Brecht completed his doctorate, he began teaching at Villanova University in Philadelphia and also held administrative positions there. He was later assigned to serve as Principal of St. Rita of Cascia High School in Chicago from 1979 to 1983. During this time, he served as a member of the Provincial Council. In 1983, he was named Superintendent of Augustinian Schools and Prior of St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery in Olympia Fields. In 1985, Father Brecht was appointed Headmaster of Cascia Hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While at Cascia Hall, Fr. Brecht was responsible for the school becoming co-educational and establishing a grade 6-12 education program.
Three Terms as Prior Provincial
In 1991, Father Brecht was elected Prior Provincial, the leader of the Midwest Augustinian Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel. As Provincial, Father Brecht launched the Augustinians’ Journey of a Lifetime capital campaign to benefit the needs of retiring Augustinians. He served as Provincial for two terms until 1999, when he was assigned as the associate pastor of St. Jude Parish in New Lenox, Illinois. He returned to Tulsa as a teacher at Cascia Hall in 2001.
In 2002, Father Brecht was again elected as Prior Provincial; he is only one of two Augustinians to serve as Prior Provincial for the Midwest Province for three terms. At the end of his term in 2006, he was named Pastor of St. Clare of Montefalco Parish in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. He later served as the chaplain of Villanova College in King City, Ontario, during the 2009-2010 school year. In 2010, he returned to St. Clare of Montefalco Parish as Pastor and was also instrumental in the re-birth of his former high school – Austin Catholic – now co-educational. He served as the founding Headmaster of the “new” Austin Catholic High School, Director of Mission Effectiveness, Campus Minister, Theology Teacher, and Latin Teacher.
Awards & Accolades
Named an “Outstanding Educator of America” in 1972, Father Brecht was cited for his contributions to the advancement of higher education and service to the community. He was inducted into the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor in 1980 “in recognition of service to all people regardless of race or faith.” Periods of archaeological research on Roman ruins in Tunisia and Algeria, where St. Augustine lived and ministered in the fourth and fifth centuries, gave Father Brecht material for numerous lectures, published papers, and a short documentary on the life and times of Augustine. Additionally, Father Brecht has published several articles on educational themes and served on many educational commissions and task forces. Father Brecht was recognized as an honoree for the Augustinian Gala in 2014.
Forensics Team Advances to State Tournament
April 2, 2014 – MACOMB, MICH. – Congratulations to our Austin Forensics Team for rocking the Regional Tournament on Wednesday and advancing to the state tournament. Events and Places: Jacky Eubanks, 1st Place Prose Interp.; T.J. Leota, 1st place Poetry Interp; Brendan Moroz, 1st Place Sales; Regina Marogi, 3rd place Impromptu; Oscar Aponte, 4th place Impromptu; and Tara Warner, 3rd place Poetry Interp. “I am so proud of the students, they have improved with each tournament,” said Mrs. Hakes. The team will travel to Western Michigan University May 2nd and 3rd to compete at the State Interscholastic Forensics Tournament. Congratulations! And Go Crusaders!
Archdiocese of Detroit Honors High School Students
March 30, 2014 – MACOMB, MICH. – The youth ministers of the Archdiocese of Detroit have collaborated to create an event of recognition to honor young people and acknowledge their efforts in leader-ship, Christian service, or commitment, to their parish, family, community, or school. Each participating parish determines which high school youth from their parish will be recognized, but parishes must stay within the criteria established by the Timothy Recognition Committee. A parish may nominate eight youth for the Certificate of Appreciation and one youth for the Award of Excellence.
We are proud to announce that nine ACHS students received this honor at a ceremony conducted at St. Isidore Parish on March 30th.
ACHS Students receiving the Timothy Certificate of Appreciation: Hannah Burke, Jacky Eubanks, Lindsay Malzahn, Matthew Sturza, Emily Walker, Madalyn Warren, and Pier Paolo Zaldana.
ACHS Students receiving the Timothy Award of Excellence: Maria McPhail, Nora Walker.
These honors reinforce what we already know about our students … ACHS students are dedicated to living out their faith not only in school but in the community at large where they Witness Christ to all they come in contact with.
Austin Catholic Places Third at Grass Lake Forensics Tournament
February 24, 2014 – MACOMB, MICH. – Austin Catholic students returned home late Thursday evening with a trophy in their possession. Placing third overall, the team of seven students was thrilled with their performance at their first Forensics Tournament. In addition to the team trophy, juniors T.J. Leota and Jacky Eubanks placed in their individual events. T.J. earned a second place medal in the Poetry Interpretation category and Jacky a third in Dramatic Interpretation.
This is the inaugural year for the Austin Forensics team with coach and mentor Julie Ann Hakes leading the group. Hakes, also an English and Public Speaking teacher at Austin was very impressed with her students’ performance. “As our first tournament, I am so excited for our Austin speech students! Their diligence and attitude made Austin proud,” said Hakes. Four students from the team participated in the MISCA Poetry Slam in November with outstanding results but this was the first Forensics Tournament for the team. “I just wanted the kids to go there and see a real tournament and give it a try before we made any further commitments,” Hakes said, “Now they know, and now they can prepare for the season.”
Despite the freezing rain and poor road conditions, the Austin team made the two hour trek to Grass Lake High School and was joined by Ionia High School, H.H. Dow, Hart High School and host Grass Lake. According to Hakes one or two schools dropped due to the weather.
Knights of Columbus Council 13983 Selects Essay Contest Winners – Austin Catholic Students Advance to State Level in Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest
February 24, 2014 – MACOMB, MICH. – The judges from St. Kieran Knights of Columbus Council 13983 have completed their judging and have announced the results for the 2014 Knights of Columbus Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest. After the All-School Mass on Friday, Austin Catholic students were honored for their participation and informed of their advancement to the state level by Council representatives including Grand Knight, Ron Koscierzynski, Ed.D., who worked with Austin administration and teachers to sponsor the contest.
All Catholic students in grades 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 attending public, private or parochial schools were eligible to participate. Each contestant wrote their essays on the theme of: “The Importance of Religious Freedom.” The winners are:
9th Grade: 1st place – Emily Walker, 2nd place – James Lynott, 3rd place – Brendan Moroz
10th Grade: 1st place – Rebecca Milan, 2nd place – Madalyn Warren, 3rd place – Maria McPhail
11th Grade: 1st place – Jacquelyn Eubanks, 2nd place – Louis Hackstock, 3rd place – T. J. Leota
“We are very proud of our students for their effort on this contest. I was very impressed with many of the final essays and could not be happier with the relationship that has developed for us with Mr. Koscierzynski and the St. Kieran’s Council,” said Mrs. Janel Coppens, Austin Principal.
The goal of the Knights of Columbus Essay Contest is to give students the opportunity to define the role of religious freedom in our society, and to strengthen the bond between the Knights of Columbus and their local schools. “Religious Freedom is something that has been sought by people for millennia. However, although it is a precious thing, it is also a fragile thing, easily lost if not safeguarded. The students who participated in this essay contest truly captured the importance and meaning of religious freedom to both people as individuals and as a society,” said Mr. Koscierznski.
The St. Kieran’s representatives in addition to their presentation of awards, spoke to the students, staff, and families present at Mass and joined the Austin community for an extended lunch following the presentation. “They made the presentation very special for the students and we are honored they shared the afternoon with us. Ron and the council are welcome any time,” said Coppens.
September 25, 2013
On April 25, 2014, the Augustinians will hold their second gala at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago. Our inaugural gala, held one year earlier, attracted 460 guests, 40 sponsored tables, and raised over $130,000 in support of the Augustinians. This year, we are pleased to announce our three honorees will be: Fr. David L. Brecht, O.S.A., Fr. Jack Gavin, O.S.A., and Fr. Bill Sullivan, O.S.A. Congratulations!
Fr. David L. Brecht, O.S.A.
Fr. David L. Brecht, O.S.A.
Fr. David Brecht came to know the Augustinians by initially attending Austin Catholic High School in Detroit. After his novitiate year in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, he professed his first vows in 1957 and was later ordained to the priesthood in 1965.
Since then, Fr. Brecht has made a tremendous impact across our Midwest Province. Following ordination, he taught at Mendel Catholic High School and Tolentine College, both in Illinois, and at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. He later became the principal of St. Rita of Cascia High School in Chicago, Headmaster of Cascia Hall Preparatory School in Tulsa, and the Superintendent of Augustinian Schools. He took on these roles all the while serving as a member of the Provincial Council. He was later elected the Prior Provincial for the Midwest Province, and became one of only two Augustinians to be elected Provincial for three terms.
Among these and many other assignments, Fr. Brecht returned to Michigan in 2006 to serve as the pastor of St. Clare of Montefalco Parish in Grosse Pointe Park. He now serves as the Director of Mission Effectiveness at Austin Catholic Academy in Ray, Michigan.
In 1972, Fr. Brecht was named an “Outstanding Educator in America” and was also inducted into the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor in 1980 “in recognition of service to all people regardless of race or faith.” We are grateful to have Fr. Brecht serve as an Augustinian from our Province and wish him the best on this new honor at the Our Mother of Good Counsel Gala.
May 24, 2013
Austin Catholic Expanding Teaching Staff
Austin Catholic Academy High School is looking to hire additional teachers for the 2013-2014 school year. CLICK HERE for the job postings. The deadline to apply is Monday, June 3, 2013.
April 29, 2013
New Haven Enters Unprecedented Agreement
In these days of intense competition between schools and school districts, New Haven Community School is an unprecedented exception. Not only does New Haven participate in a shared services agreement with another public school district, L’Anse Creuse, New Haven has now entered into an agreement with a parochial school, Austin Catholic Academy. “In both cases we’re doing it for students. We save money with L’Anse Creuse so we can offer more programs. With Austin, we’re working together on athletics so we can offer more sports,” said Keith Wunderlich, Superintendent. When asked why he would help the competition, Wunderlich answers “I got into education to help kids. This agreement helps New Haven kids. We’re a small school district and sometimes we don’t have enough students to play a sport. By working with Austin, we will now have enough athletes to play certain sports.” A public/parochial athletic relationship is rare. The agreement went through many stages before it was approved by the Michigan High School Athletic Association last week. Students from Austin will be able to play on New Haven High School teams. The agreement runs for two years and then can be renewed or not depending on what each school needs at the time.
April 25, 2013
New Principal Announced at
Austin Catholic Academy High School
Ray Twp., MI — The Austin Catholic Academy Board of Directors has approved the appointment of Janel M. Coppens as the new principal of Austin Catholic Academy High School for the 2013-2014 school year. Board Chairman Rev. Chris Talbot made the official announcement to staff and students after the all-school mass Thursday.
“We are delighted that Mrs. Coppens will be the new principal. She is familiar with faculty, parents, and students; and our unique needs as a new Catholic high school. She has been integral in bringing the 1:1 iPad initiative and blended [digital and traditional] library to Austin Catholic; and with her enthusiasm and innovation will continue the great work being done here at Austin.”
Mrs. Coppens will assume duties held by Rev. David Brecht, OSA, visionary leader and Headmaster, as he steps aside as educational leader. Rev. David will remain at Austin, serving as Mission Effectiveness Director and advisor to the Principal and President, Leonard Brillati. Similarly, Francis Turk, currently serving as Associate Principal, will remain throughout the summer and fall to assist in the transition.
Mrs. Coppens, who currently teaches History and English at Austin, will oversee the educational mission of the academy, in addition to working with development and admissions to further promote the newest Catholic High School in the Archdiocese.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected for this position. I am truly blessed to have the privilege to work with such wonderful educators, students and families. I am deeply committed to Austin and am looking forward to the challenge of advancing this amazing school.”
Archbishop Allen Vigneron Visits ACA
Archbishop Allen Vigneron visited Austin Catholic Academy High School on Tuesday, March 12. His time at ACA included discussions with both the freshmen and sophomore classes along with Celebrating Mass.
CLICK HERE to look at photos from this great day.
Transportation – iPads – AP/Online Courses come to ACA
The Austin Catholic Academy Board of Directors has approved a plan to pursue transportation options for our students beginning with the 2013-2014 school year. Pricing has not been established as of yet, but it is anticipated that it will be competitive with other Catholic High Schools within the Archdiocese of Detroit. Routes will be set-up based on demand. Our initial plans call for service to the SOUTH (St.Clair Shores-Clinton Township), WEST (Utica, Rochester, Washington, Shelby), and NORTH (Port Huron, St. Clair). Again, these will be adjusted based on demand.
The ACA Board also approved a Technology Blueprint including the addition of iPads for all students, digital textbooks and the establishment of an e-library. The plan will also add AP and online courses to the Austin Curriculum offerings.
Combined with low tuition, small class size, daily Mass, student activities and an athletic program, Austin Catholic Academy is one of Macomb County’s premier Collegiate High Schools.
We are excited for the coming school year, and hope that you will consider Austin Catholic Academy your choice for your high school and future.
To begin your Journey of a Lifetime, please contact the Admissions Office at (586) 749-7900.