• Katie Schulte '18

2020 Vision: Looking into the First Days of the Freshmen

Each year, St. Ursula Academy welcomes new creativity and knowledge to our community from people all around the city. This year we welcome the Class of 2020 as well as 7 new staff members. The Light set out to find what some of the freshman students and new staff have experienced during their first month at SUA. They shared their stories of their first classes, getting around campus, and expanding their horizons as they embark on this new journey.

All Faculty and Staff welcoming students on the first day of school.

The "Freshman" Staff

Ms. Stacey Fagin

What is your career and new role at St. Ursula?

I am a school psychologist. Though employed through Cincinnati Public Schools, I am assigned to St. Ursula one day a week. I will be spending Tuesdays at St. Ursula this year, working mostly with the Educational Services Team.

How does St. Ursula differ from your past experiences?

Though I grew up going to Catholic schools (I'm a McNicholas alum...sorry) this is my first time working as a staff member in a parochial school. I completed my school psychology internship in the Oak Hills Local School District in the spring of 2015, and I have been employed with CPS ever since.

What are you most excited for in your first year at St. Ursula?

I'm really excited to be back in the parochial school system. I think there are so many different opportunities to be had in both the private and public school settings, and I am excited to see all of the great things happening at St. Ursula. All of the women I have met so far have been so kind and helpful. I'm looking forward to a really great school year!

Do you have any fun stories from your first week here?

I went into Mrs. Arling's room to get directions to the technology office and she was working with a group of seniors. Though they were all very descriptive in how to get there, none really wanted to walk ALL the way downstairs with me. Younger children are always so excited to be able to get up and leave a room so I've got my work cut out for me with these older ones! ;)

Is there anything else you wish to include about yourself?

I have a 9 month old Maltipoo puppy named Jovie who demands most of my time. In my free time, I like to spend time with my friends and family, and I really enjoy reading and running. I completed my first half marathon doing the Flying Pig last May and I just signed up to run the Queen Bee Half Marathon in October!

Ms. Erica Miknius

What is your career and new role at St. Ursula?

My new role is the Student Help Desk Technician.

How does St. Ursula differ from your past experiences?

St. Ursula differs from my past experiences because I never really interacted with kids as much as I do on a daily basis here. I find it really easy to connect with the girls because I was once in their place. I’ve also never felt more appreciated or included at a job then I have in my short 8 months here!

What are you most excited for in your first year at St. Ursula?

I am most excited to continue to learn new things, because working in technology you can never have all the answers.

Do you have any fun stories from your first week here?

Fun Stories from my first week here...I would say one of the best things was that my first day here I found out that I only had to work a week and a half until I got a 2 Week break because of Christmas!

Is there anything else you wish to include about yourself?

Fun Facts, I have a twin brother named Ryan, I played basketball in high school (Oak Hills) and college (Otterbein & Mount St Joe) -I will gladly challenge anyone to a 3 point contest, and I am a Die-Hard Michigan State Fan!

Ms. Cindy Nelson

What is your career and new role at St. Ursula?

I'm a junior and senior counselor at SUA

How does St. Ursula differ from your past experiences?

A big difference from the previous school that I worked at was that I was at a coed school vs. now working with all girls. We also had a 7 bell schedule so the block schedule is very different as well.

What are you most excited for in your first year at St. Ursula?

I'm excited to meet all the girls and help them be as successful as they can be while they are here and help them plan for their future.

Do you have any fun stories from your first week here?

No specific fun stories yet!

Is there anything else you wish to include about yourself?

I live in Loveland with my husband and 18 month old daughter.

Ms. Melinda Gilb

What is your career and new role at St. Ursula?

My role here is that of Religious Studies and AP Psychology Teacher. Currently I am teaching Freshmen Scriptures and moderating the Freshmen Class.

How does St. Ursula differ from your past experiences?

Being in an all-girls high school environment is not new to me. I have taught girls at the high school level for the past 14 years and am excited to continue to do so. One of the things I love about St. Ursula is the gratitude that is evident among the student body. I love the fact that when students leave the classroom they turn around and thank their teacher.

What are you most excited for in your first year at St. Ursula?

I am most excited about new challenges and experiences.

Do you have any fun stories from your first week here?

In all my years teaching I have never had air conditioning in my classroom. Each morning as I drive into work I find myself getting excited that my classroom is going to be so comfortable to work in! I'm very grateful for the AC in these hot summer months. :)

Is there anything else you wish to include about yourself?

A little bit about me...I got married this summer, I adopted a 50 lb puppy), I love to travel and camp! I believe by the time the fall is over I will have gone on 13 camping trips this season. (Tent camping mostly) I'm really excited to be here and have loved the first two weeks!

Ms. Angela Steele

What is your career and new role at St. Ursula?

My role at Saint Ursula is Finance Assistant in the Business Office. I mainly assist families with tuition and online help with the tuition management software, FACTS. My other duties include Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and numerous administrative duties around the office.

How does St. Ursula differ from your past experiences?

I came from 15 years of working for corporate which is a much different environment than the school environment here at SUA. I very much enjoy the community feeling of the students, faculty and staff. It’s much more relaxed and welcoming. Everyone is friendly and always offering a smile. Being able to interact with families is a plus!

What are you most excited for in your first year at St. Ursula?

I very much look forward to getting to know the students and their families. I enjoy the staff and working with friendly faces. But what I'm most excited about is to be a part of the SUA community throughout the school year and see how we grow.

Do you have any fun stories from your first week here?

I don't have any fun stories from my first week here. Accounting is pretty boring!

Is there anything else you wish to include about yourself?

I live on 50 acres in Indiana with my husband and three kids. Lincoln is 14, Sydney is 9 and Owen is 8. We are always busy with kids sports but we enjoy it. We love to take trips, watch movies and go out to dinner. Our favorite outing now is a quick trip to the local ice cream shop for a blueberry cone.

Ms. Annie Tate

What is your career and role at St. Ursula?

I am a school psychologist at SUA, this is my second year of working here on Thursdays.

Going into your second year, what are you most excited for at St. Ursula?

I have really enjoyed working with the faculty and students here!

What are you most excited for in your first year at St. Ursula?

I am excited to see students participating in clubs and getting involved during their time at St. Ursula.

Is there anything else you wish to include about yourself?

I am from Cincinnati, and live on the East Side with my family, including my 6 and 4 year old daughters.

Freshmen posing on first day of school

The Freshman Class

Elizabeth Summers

What was the funniest/most awkward/ or scariest moment of the first week?

It was really awkward when trying to find a seat at lunch.

What did you expect on your first day of school vs. what actually happened?

I expected the day to feel really long because of the longer class periods, but it went by really fast!

Mallory Adler

What was the funniest/most awkward/ or scariest moment of the first week?

I had to print out some forms for a class, and when I got down to the printer, I was so confused about what buttons to press. I awkwardly stood there for a minute or two just staring at the printer, and a senior must have known I was confused so she printed my paper out for me and showed me how to do it. :)

What did you expect on your first day of school vs. what actually happened?

On the first day of school, I expected to be completely confused about where to go. But it actually wasn't that bad! Walking through my schedule totally helped. I haven't gotten lost (yet), and I now know that everyone is so nice and will help me even if I get lost!!

Anna Voelkerding

What was the funniest/most awkward/ or scariest moment of the first week?

One of the funniest moments of the week was watching the sophomores put on their skit for the school on the Monday during welcoming week. It was hilarious (nice job sophomores) and very relatable which just made it even funnier. The most awkward moment would be lunch on the first day. Everyone was trying to find a seat and the cafeteria was very crowded. I didn’t know what to do, so I hunted down a chair and sat at a random table. It was awkward at first, but once we started talking it was nice. The scariest moment would probably be when the bell rang at the beginning of the day. I thought the bell only rang for the start and end of classes, so when I was sitting in the hallway and the bell rang, I thought I was going to be late to class on the first day. That is when my friends told me how the bells actually worked.

What did you expect on your first day of school vs. what actually happened?

On the first day of school, I expected the people who went to grade school together would automatically be together and would not want to meet new people. I also thought that the sophomores, juniors, and seniors would not acknowledge that we were there. However, everyone, including faculty and staff and returning students, were all welcoming and helped the freshman get to know their new school.

Molly Deane

What was the funniest/most awkward/ or scariest moment of the first week?

Surprisingly, I haven't had as many as I expected but I will admit that there have been a few times when I forgot my iPhone in Mr. Heizman's calculator caddy and had to go back to his classroom later that day to get it back. There was also the first day of school where our classes would be in a different order and I sat outside of my physical science classroom for a while. When I looked inside there were a bunch of seniors in the classroom and I knew that I screwed something up (this was around 7:54 A.M.). Then I remembered when I looked at my sister's schedule papers a while back and saw that there were days when the schedule changed so I quickly asked an upperclassman who was in the hallway what class we were having first that day and she helped me out. I then sprinted to the design building and made it right on time.

What did you expect on your first day of school vs. what actually happened?

On the first day of school I honestly had pretty low expectations. There isn't really anything to expect much out of being one of the new freshmen because everyone knows that it's the bottom of the high school 'hierarchy'. Though it was reassuring to know that I was already well acquainted with some of the upperclassmen from the rowing team, including my big sis. The first day actually turned out pretty well and I met plenty of people. Since my big sis and I have known each other for a while, I felt pretty comfortable and we had a good time going around the school while meeting some of my teachers.

Here’s to a great school year! We are happy to have all of the new additions to the St. Ursula community!


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Cincinnati, Ohio 45206