Bubbles and sponges: Catholic school ends year on a happy note

Leah Witterick, center, passes a wet sponge to Brayden Bencomo, left, during a race. At right is Hank Kitzke. Wendy Nugent/HC Now

By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now

NEWTON—Students screamed, threw water at each other, flung heavy wet balls at targets and ran all over on Wednesday morning, all in good fun as it was field day. They event got to drench St. Mary Catholic School Principal Joshua Bargdill in water, since he was a good sport at the dunk tank.

“With so much that was different about this year, it was wonderful to see and hear the kids laugh and play through the day,” Bargdill said. “I am so hopeful that we can start next year as we ended this one.”

Elementary school-aged students through those in middle school enjoyed themselves under the Kansas clouds as rain threatened, but stayed away.

Students had their favorite things from field day.

“I liked to dunk the principal,” fourth grader Jordyn Tauiliili said, adding she did dunk him.

She said the school’s last day this academic year was Thursday, May 20.

Freddy Acevedo, who graduated from the eighth grade on May 18, said that day was field day.

“This is the last day of fun before we put it all away,” he said, adding riding the banana bikes was his favorite activity on field day.

The principal, parent volunteer Amy Antle and other parent volunteers put the event on.

“Since we haven’t had a normal PTO year, the principal and I stepped up with 30 parent volunteers,” Antle said, while working the event.

She said there were nine stations the kids could take part in. Those included chalk art/bubbles, races, bounce house, bounce obstacle course, launcher and sponge relay, Jenga and Kerplunk, obstacle course in the grass, dunk tank and banana bikes.

“A few of them were age dependent,” Antle said, adding 133 students took part.

One of the first-year parent volunteers, Ashley Vanover, was all smiles after her shift.

“Fun stuff,” she said to Antle. “Gave me good ideas for summertime.”

Field day is a tradition at St. Mary Catholic School.

“This is an important tradition in our school,” Bargdill said. “The SMCS field day is a chance for students, teachers and families to spend time in fellowship. As mitigation efforts began to roll back during spring, we looked to find fun and safe ways to end the school year. Field day was a priority to try and add back onto our calendar.”

He said the special day has been a part of their school program for decades.

“It was something that I wanted to do, if at all possible,” Bargdill said. “It was working with a few of our parent volunteers that gave me the confidence that we could pull it off.”

He said Antle was instrumental in having and organizing the event.

Playing in the water from the fire truck was the students’ favorite thing, Bargdill said.

Lunch even was special on field day, with students and others eating grill hot dogs, banana, cookie, milk and chips.

The principal also had a favorite part of the day.

“Hearing our students laugh and play outside together,” Bargdill said. “What better way to launch into summer could there be?”



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