Stella Maris Academy: Lots Happening on Our Campuses!

The following commentary is from Jesse Murray, principal of Stella Maris Academy’s St. John’s campus.  We are grateful for the amount of information he shared with us about the students at St. John’s  and the good work and experiences they are having at Stella Maris.  Thank you, Jesse Murray!

The students from Stella Maris Academy continue to combine fun, learning, faith, and service into their daily experiences.  Here is a tour through a few recent events on the the St. John’s & Holy Rosary Campuses:

The 8th grade students were led by Mrs. Katie Lisi and Dr. Mary Boylan, MD,  on a tour of the Women’s Care Center.  Here they learned a valuable lesson on the miracle of life and the science that helps us care for this most precious gift.  The students had the special opportunity to see real life images of a baby with the 3D ultrasound equipment. Following, they had lunch and an afternoon of sledding fun as a reward for reaching their class goal for a school fundraiser.  

Also pictured below is Mrs. Peggy Frederickson, principal at the Holy Rosary Campus, sharing a gift of over $1,300 with the Women’s Care Center raised through a penny war fundraiser at their campus during Catholic Schools Week. 

8th Graders Sledding Party

Mrs. Peggy Frederickson, Principal, Holy Rosary Campus










The 7th grade class recently traveled to the Laurentian Environmental Center for a three day field trip.  Valuable lessons regarding life and faith were learned. Lessons of humility, self control, courage, teamwork, and perseverance were on the top of the list as our youth were challenged to take ownership of their experience in life and become contributing members (good old-fashioned stewardship!).  The experience was unforgettable in many ways! The lessons are truly carried back to the classroom to strengthen our learning and faith community.

7th Graders at the Laurentian Environmental Center

7th Graders at the Laurentian Environmental Center












The 6th grade class recently had a strong showing at the regional History Day competition at UMD.   The theme this year was “Conflict and Compromise”. Each student conducted historical research through personal interviews, reading biographies and historical texts,  finding archived material and photographs, and studying the details of historical events that have shaped our society and world.  Two 8th graders and eight 6th graders will advance to the state competition in May at the University of Minnesota.


6th Grade Science Projects

6th Grade Science Project









The 5th grade class was recently on retreat at the Cathedral of Our Lady.  The children celebrated Mass with the younger Stella Maris Academy students and spent time in prayer and reflection in advance of afternoon reconciliation.  For fun, they met up with the kindergarten students, read books together, and enjoyed a lunch. Later in the week, the 5th grade class shared the St. Patrick’s Day spirit by wearing their green!  In order to be out of uniform, the middle school students brought in over $325 of personal donations to give to the BackPack Program, serving the children in need in our community.


Kindergartners & 5th Graders Reading Together

Kindergartners & 5th Graders Reading Together








Kindergartners & 5th Graders Reading Together

5th Grade St. Patrick’s Day Spirit









Keep sharing information with the people of John’s.  We love your input!





How fun is it to see the faces of two Stella Maris students–one from the Holy Rosary campus and the other from Saint James!

Maia Lisi & Reggie Frederick, way to go, making the news and speaking as articulately as you did!  We are proud of you and excited you were present when the Gold Medal Winners came home!






Jenny Boran

Hello! This is Ms. Boran reporting from Stella Maris Academy’s middle school campus at St. John’s! This is my first year working for Stella Maris and I am serving as the Faith Formation Director. One of my responsibilities is  campus ministry for our middle schools.


I’d like to give you a glimpse into  faith formation taking place at St. John’s this Lenten season. We are keeping it simple and as a school are focusing on the three traditional themes of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.



This year our students began  Lent by brainstorming in their weekly small groups how they could each fast, pray, and give (alms) this season.  It involved  students considering their daily lives and what things get in the way of their relationship with Christ. They each came up with a few personal Lenten goals that pertain to their daily lives and faith. I’ve been very impressed by a few of our students who willingly gave up their iPads, TV or other technology in order to grow in their faith and to simplify their lives. Some of the students have expressed  surprise at their revived contentment with “old-fashioned” leisure, like reading and hiking! I’m excited to see them continue to grow in this awareness as  Lent continues.


Stella Maris Stations of the Cross

Each of our homerooms are dedicating part of their morning meetings to some form of Lenten prayer. They are also holding you, the parish community, up in prayer this season!






The whole school is also attending weekly Stations of the Cross led by Fr. Rich on Thursday afternoons.  The students will have also have an opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this season. In addition to Fr. Rich we have four priests from the Duluth parishes who have generously offered to come hear our students’ confessions.

We have also arranged Lenten retreats for each grade, which offer the students an opportunity to step away from the classroom and have time to learn more about this sacred season and to provide them with an opportunity to slow down and to connect with Christ in the midst  of their week.


As a campus we are undertaking a food drive this March to help support the CHUM food shelf. Each week we’ll be collecting a particular food item on the CHUM Most Needed list. Our hope is that students will look to their own pockets and piggy banks for the funding of this food drive making it a more personal sacrifice and effort to feed the hungry as the Gospel commands us.

Hunger statistics will also be displayed in the cafeteria to spur a greater awareness of the local needs as well as an appreciation for the delicious food made available to us by our kitchen staff.  

Please continue to pray for our students, staff and the mission of our school!



Many students chose to learn archery as one of the multiple electives offered during the second trimester.

Archery at Stella Maris

Archery at Stella Maris