News and Announcements
25th Annual Benefit Auction A Success!
Blanchet’s twenty-fifth annual benefit auction, the “True Blue Gala” was held on April 23 and was the most successful in the school’s history, raising over $275,000 for students and programs. This event is possible only through the substantial efforts of our families, staff, students, and volunteers and the generous support of sponsors, donors, and friends of Blanchet Catholic School.
The week began with a virtual silent auction Monday, April 18 through 22. The virtual silent auction was incredibly successful with over 150 parents, alumni, and friends bidding online. On Saturday, April 23 we hosted our first large in-person event in almost two years. It was wonderful to see so many faces, old and new, to celebrate all things Blanchet. The Severin Sisters and Blanchet senior Hannah Estrabo performed during Happy Hour while guests enjoyed appetizers and drinks and bid on premier and dessert silent auction items. The evening concluded with a delicious dinner prepared by Holy Family Academy Catering, an engaging live auction, and a wonderfully successful paddle raise for Blanchet’s new STEM Wing. We were able to meet both anonymous matching donations for the paddle raise and are close to reaching our goal to complete the STEM Wing. We will continue to raise money for this project in the coming months. If you are interested in donating, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally, we would like to thank all of our sponsors who helped to offset the cost of this event. Please support these businesses if you are able! They include Pioneer Trust Bank, McDonald's of Salem/Keizer, Jim Frelich & Associates, Pacific EMS, AG Sadowski Co, Dr. Margaret Giruc, DDS, Hillwood Properties, Margie's Farm & Garden, Katie Piche- Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Real Estate Professionals, Legacy Real Estate Group, Queen of Peace School, Power Auto Group, Salem Clinic Obstetrics & Gynecology, Salem Radiology, Scenic Valley Farms, Severin Sisters, Triplett Wellman Contractors, AKS Engineering & Forestry, LLC, Gallagher Fitness Resources, Christine Granatir, Charlotte Eugenio - Realty One Group Willamette Valley, Michael W. Grainey Consulting LLC, Heltzel Williams PC, Kevin Mannix Law Firm, and Wyatt Construction.
Vote for Blanchet Catholic School in the 2022 Best of the Willamette Valley Poll. Blanchet has been nominated for Best High School, Best Middle School, and Best Private School. Help us win by voting daily on all your devices. Voting closes on Friday, April 22 at 5:00 p.m.
To vote, visit: https://www.votebowv.com/Blanchet
The Cav Way is Blanchet’s mid-high character program that was developed by administrators, staff members, and teachers last summer. This program encourages students to be mindful of themselves and others as they are moving through their days. It unifies our mid-high student body and inspires us toward common goals as we are intentional with words and actions that benefit the common good. The Cav Way is summarized in five character traits: RESPECT, CITIZENSHIP, INTEGRITY, RESPONSIBILITY, and GRIT.
In gratitude, we have been celebrating their efforts and successes with varying recognitions throughout the semester, the most common form being The Cav Way STAMP CARD. As of the end of the first semester, our mid-high student body has redeemed 760 stamp cards. This translates to an additional 7,600 positive interactions between students and staff members! We recently celebrated with a relaunch of The Cav Way that recognized the students’ efforts and successes, followed by the viewing of the PG movie, Wonder. Go Cavs!
Congratulations to National Merit Finalist Sam Schindler
Blanchet is proud to announce that senior Sam Schindler, has been named a National Merit Finalist. This is a distinguished honor awarded to students scoring in the top 1% of the nation on the PSAT. Since 1998, thirty-two Blanchet alumni have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship organization, thirteen as finalists. Finalists hold additional distinction in their academic records, SAT scores, extracurricular activities, community service, and school recommendations.
Sam is a well-rounded student and actively involved in Blanchet leadership, athletics, service organizations, and theater. He is the current Student Body President and President of the National Honor Society. Sam is also an officer for the Blanchet DECA leadership council and a two-time state DECA Business Finance finalist in 2021 and 2022. To add to Sam's academic accomplishments, he maintains a weighted GPA of 4.2.
Sam is also involved in several service organizations and clubs at Blanchet. He is a member of Blanchet Students for Change and helps to organize faith retreats for students with the Spirituality Team. Sam has also been involved in the Blanchet Spirit and Outdoor Clubs. In addition to school, he volunteers at Queen of Peace Church as an altar server and helps to train new servers.
Sam enjoys sports and is an award-winning athlete. He played varsity baseball, basketball, and football in high school. You can catch Sam on the varsity baseball field this spring!
Sam plans to attend the University of Notre Dame in the fall and was accepted to their Mendoza School of Business to study finance. His family, friends, and the entire Blanchet community would like to congratulate Sam on all his accomplishments and hard work.
The Shoe Battle Begins. Can you help?
Blanchet’s leadership class is reaching out for extra hands this year to help with the annual shoe battle. The battle begins March 7 and ends March 18. This amazing event has been going on for several years and the main goal is to collect as many shoes as we can to donate to homeless kids, teens, and young adults, in the Salem-Keizer school district and surrounding areas.
Blanchet is collecting mostly new or slightly used shoes. We cannot accept ballet flats, slippers, sandals, or flip-flops because they break easily or take up too much room. Our target is to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes. Any of the following count as one pair of shoes:
- Athletic shoes
- Skate shoes
- Tennis shoes
- Casual tennis shoes
- Boots and cowboy boots
- Formal heels
- 10 new pairs of socks
- 25 new pairs of shoelaces
If you can help by setting out a bin to collect shoes and/or putting up a poster to spread the word, please email Mrs. Bashaw at email@example.com. Thank you for supporting Blanchet Catholic School in this important activity!
In March, we organized a new extracurricular opportunity for students at Blanchet Catholic School that focuses on environmental stewardship. We formed a team and joined CEI - Caretakers of the Environment International. CEI (caretakers4all.org) is an international organization dedicated to environmental protection through education, commitment and action of youth and their teachers. The CEI organization holds a conference each summer in which school teams share environmental projects, posters, and cultural videos with one another. In anticipation of attending the conference, we quickly got to work brainstorming ideas for a project based on the conference theme of sustainable communities.
Ten students joined me for the first CEI team at Blanchet. After brainstorming and researching project ideas, we decided to build a garden. We named our project "Growing Up Together" because all the students were freshmen and growing together along with growing the food in our garden. The name also invoked the need for togetherness, an ever-present theme in today's culture.
In alignment with our goals, we participated in an outreach project on Earth Day. We spent the afternoon helping the students at Queen of Peace improve their outdoor learning spaces and plant their vegetable gardens. This experience inspired us to look at our own outdoor learning environment (OLE), too. We spent two separate days revitalizing our OLE with the help of other students and adults in addition to the CEI team. The support of students on campus included the AP Biology class which created a pollinator garden in the OLE as their legacy project. The CEI team now cares for the area and it's definitely attracting those bees!
Before beginning our own food planting, we toured the Youth Farm of Marion Polk Food Share. The facility grows food for people facing health issues and food insecurity, and uses organic sustainable agricultural methods. We enjoyed our tour and learned so much to bring back to our plans for our new garden. The visit also led to two of our team members joining the Harvest Crew on the Youth Farm this summer.
The last step before completing our garden was securing the funds and supplies. Many parents stepped up to help. After students and parents built our new planter box using reclaimed materials, Scenic Valley Farms, Margie's Farm and Garden, and Bark Boys helped us fill it. Sally White, the person who first introduced us to CEI, brought tomato, kale, tomatillo, and potato starts to get our garden going. Our little raised garden was finally a reality. Students took turns caring for our garden throughout the summer and sharing our bounty with the community.
In addition to our raised garden, we added green space to the parking lot on campus. With the help of parents and team members, we removed a section of concrete in an unused portion of the parking lot. We then prepped it and planted a tree. When the tree matures, it will provide shade to the area, clean our air, reflect beauty, and remind us of the impact we all can have on the planet.
With our project complete, we turned to preparations for the virtual conference. We created a cultural video to share what life is like for American teens, a poster of the highlights of our project, and a video with details of the project. All of these were shared at the international conference in July. For the conference, our students were camera-ready by 5:00 a.m. all week long! They were a tired crew, but the experience was amazing. We heard from multiple groups and people, with the highlight being Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland! She was inspirational and several students found a new role model in her. Students also participated in small group sessions with games, competitions, and plenty of new things learned. We met and interacted with people from all over the world, including some countries we were not familiar with like North Macedonia and Malawi. One of our students shared with me the power of hearing people her age from all over the world sharing similar concerns about our environment and inspiration to make changes for the better.
The next CEI conference will be hosted in Costa Rica. We are so excited to continue our works as a CEI team and share that work again. The theme for the coming year centers on water, and we already have ideas expanding our projects from this year and incorporating water conservation in our plans.
The experience inspires me. As a teacher, I am moved by the dedication and motivation of this group of students. As a Catholic, I am thrilled to see this team putting into action what Pope Francis called all of us to do in his encyclical letter Laudato Si' in 2015. In this profound and timely document, the Pope calls on all of us to take action to care for our common home. He also recognizes the critical role of education in this endeavor. "Good education plants seeds when we are young, and these continue to bear fruit throughout life" (#213). I am more than hopeful the students on the CEI team and future students will continue to care for God's creation in meaningful and substantial ways. As Pope Francis reminds us, "There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions, and it is wonderful how education can bring about real changes in lifestyle" (#211).
If you are interested in learning more about CEI, our team at Blanchet Catholic School, or becoming involved in our projects, please reach out. I would be happy to connect with you.
Charles E Lee Scholarship Program
Blanchet Catholic School is pleased to announce the new Charles E. Lee Scholarship Program. This scholarship program will offer financial assistance to deserving students attending Blanchet Catholic School and to support Blanchet's mission to ensure that students are prepared to excel, to lead, to serve and to inspire!
This program is named in honor of Mr. Lee's service and dedication to Blanchet Catholic School. His passion for education and expertise in marketing and development have contributed significantly to the success of Blanchet Catholic over the last 27 years. Chuck was a confident leader who shared the mission of Blanchet in everything he said and did. He lived “by Courage and Faith” and his legendary stories about “the carpet in the gym “and “where there's’ a will, we want to be in it” will be long remembered, as will Chuck.
Born and raised in Seattle, Chuck Lee graduated from the Seattle Public Schools and the University of Washington, where he majored in journalism. After graduation, he taught in the Edmonds School District and received his Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Seattle University. At the age of 25, he became the Principal of an inner city Catholic School and began a 40-year career as the Principal or President of five different Catholic schools. During his 16 years at Blanchet, Chuck led the effort to raise over $17 million to purchase and renovate the facility and provide millions of dollars in financial aid. In 2013, Chuck was hired by Mountain West to help create the Career Technical Education Center in Salem.
Together, he and his wife Krina have six children and eleven grandchildren. Mr. Lee was elected to the Keizer City Council in 2001 and 2005, served three terms on the Salem/Keizer School Board and was also appointed by the Governor to the State Ethics Commission. Chuck received the National Catholic Education Award in 2009 and was inducted into Blanchet's Hall of Fame in 2017.
Chuck passed away on September 4, 2021 from complications of multiple system atrophy (MSA), a rare, neurodegenerative disease with symptoms similar to Lou Gehrig's and Parkinson's.
How to give
If you would like to donate to the Charles E. Lee Scholarship program, you can,
Make an online donation or pledge here or mail a check to Blanchet Catholic School at 4373 Market St NE, Salem, OR 97301. If you have any questions or need more information, please call Blanchet President Bob Weber at 503-391-2639 x224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blanchet senior Brooklyn Buchheit attended the National Youth Leadership Forum for Law & CSI over the summer. In her own words, she shares her experience.
My NYLF Experience by Brookly Buchheit, Class of 2022
This summer I was fortunate enough to participate in an experience of a lifetime. At the beginning of 2020, I was formally invited to participate in Envision’s National Youth Leadership Forum for Law & CSI. I had seen that former Cavaliers had participated in different branches of the program and I reached out to them to see if they thought the program was really worth it. After lots of researching and planning, I decided to enroll for this program.
In the months leading up to the program, I worked hard to earn money towards the program. There were also some pre-program assignments I had to complete in order to be prepared when I arrived. With COVID and all of the restrictions around the virus, I was anticipating many of the attractions and experiences to be closed or unavailable. However, the teams putting together this amazing program made sure the scholars received the most fulfilling experience.
This was my first time travelling somewhere far away on my own, let alone across the country. I had a layover both ways as well. I took this as an opportunity to see for myself if I could travel and live on my own somewhere distant, as I prepare for college. I had to rely on myself alone and continue my punctuality and responsibility as I was on my own. This was one of the most beneficial ways of proving to myself that I have the ability to go wherever is fit for me, no matter how far.
Once I arrived at the program, I found that all the other kids who had travelled to the program were just as nervous as me. This was comforting considering that I was in a room with 350 other scholars in the same boat as I was. It was eye-opening to be in a room multiple times a day with a group of scholars, the same size as my school, who are all interested in having a future in law or CSI. These scholars came from all over the world, making being from Oregon feel foreign, but also right at home.
I was placed in the Holmes group, named after Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., a Harvard law graduate and Civil War veteran who advocated judicial restraint and developed the concept of “clear and present danger”, as the only basis for curtailing freedom of speech. This was a group of 16 other law interested scholars who lived as far as California, New York, and Wyoming. My roommate was from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The Holmes group was my family for the week and I could not have asked for a better group to enjoy my D.C. experience with. We have kept in touch every day since we left the camp, no matter the time difference.
The first few days, we spent time in our small groups learning and talking about the courtroom and the rules and etiquette regarding it. We also received the opportunity of listening to renowned speakers such as Mr. John Douglas. Mr. Douglas is a retired special agent from the Behavior Analysis Unit, a criminal profiler who interviewed many criminals, including Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Robert Hansen. He has also written many books, such as Mindhunter and The Killer Across the Table, and has been confirmed to have been the inspiration behind the characters of Jason Gideon and David Rossi in the popular television series Criminal Minds. The Netflix Original series Mindhunter was picked up from Mr. Douglas’ book as well. Another speaker was Marvin Anderson of the Innocence Project. Anderson was wrongfully convicted of many crimes with a sentence of 210 years. After John Otis Lincoln came forward to identify him as the actual assailant, the judge still refused to exonerate the conviction. Mr. Anderson served 15 years in prison and 4 years fighting parole until his innocence was finally proven. As Chief of Hanover, Virginia Fire Department, Anderson also works on the board of the Innocence Project to help those wrongfully convicted of crimes.
Along with those amazing speakers, I was able to participate in a simulated Supreme Court Trial, and a criminal mock trial as well. These are experiences I had never participated in before this program and I found how beneficial they were to increasing my understanding of the American government. I learned how to be on the prosecuting side for both of these cases. I especially enjoyed the rebuttal I was able to take part in regarding the evidence we obtained and the defendant’s arguments. I was especially fascinated by the Supreme Court Trial simulation. I enjoyed having to fight for my “client’s” rights regarding the constitutional amendments and different Acts in the Constitution. The Mock Trial taught me to stay on my toes considering the evidence and the expert witnesses were not announced until the night before.
The Envision program also included a tour of many of the monuments in Washington D.C. I was able to visit the Lincoln Memorial, Korean Memorial, Capital Building, Reflection Pool, and the Smithsonian Castle. As an American, you always see pictures of these buildings but it is incredible to be able to physically visit them. It is a goal of mine to be able to go back to Washington D.C. and visit the rest of the monuments and the museums.
This program was the most incredible experience I could have asked for. I now have friends from all over the country. I have experiences to share with my friends and family. I have the ability to confirm what I want to do in college and as a career. The Envision program has given me the opportunity to learn more about my interests and encourages me to be a leader in my community through the strengths that I have created. If you were to ask me if I think the National Youth Leadership Forum was worth the expense, I would tell you to absolutely go. You not only create amazing experiences for yourself, but you make amazing friends and get the ability to show who you are and what you are interested in.
Freshman Dylan Cuff recently traveled to Reno, Nevada to participate in the National baseball tournament. His North Valley Select team tied for third place overall out of 20 teams from all over the United States. For his efforts on the field, Dylan was selected by the opponent coaches to be one of 26 athletes who will compete on an All-Star team and play in a showcase tournament later this summer. But, that wasn’t enough for this Cavalier athlete. Dylan stepped up to the plate and swung away in the home run derby contest. He took home the third place award. Way to go, Dylan!
Are you a baseball player looking for some fun and camaraderie? Check out Blanchet’s baseball summer camp scheduled for next week (July 19-23). You can learn more and register at www.blanchetcatholicschool.com/athletics/summer_camps.cfm.