Welcome to Eighth Grade!


 

 

 

8th Grade Homeroom Teacher:  Mrs. Catherine Kollars, ckollars@stclarepdx.org

Mrs. Kollars  is the 8th grade homeroom teacher, and she teaches religion and social studies to all 6th, 7th & 8th grade students.

 

Message from Mrs. Kollars
     Eighth grade will be an exciting and busy time that will go by much faster than you can imagine. Besides all of their academic pursuits, eighth graders will experience many other highlights. In September, they will begin to design their own class sweatshirts which will be allowed as part of their school uniforms. If all goes well, students will have these sweatshirts by the end of October. Leadership skills will be modeled, and students will have multiple opportunities to practice these skills throughout the school year as family group leaders, Eucharistic ministers, and in a variety of other venues.

   In mid September, students will begin their high school selection process by listening to student ambassadors from five area Catholic high schools. Between October and January, they will be allowed to miss up to two class days to visit any area high school that schedules tour days.  In December those students considering applying to one of the area Catholic high schools will take their placement tests.  In January, St. Clare middle school teachers along with Mrs. Monahan complete wholistic evaluations of those students seeking places in the Catholic high schools and students complete and submit their own applications.  Finally, in late March the acceptance letters arrive.

   In early May  the eighth grade will have its annual retreat. This event is traditionally an overnight, off-campus event running from a Sunday afternoon through a Monday afternoon led by a trained facilitator with the assistance of Mrs. Kollars.  Two to three parents to stay overnight and to be present during the retreat are also essential to make this important and memorable event happen.  The last week of school in June will include a student-planned, thank you prayer breakfast for the parents, a class trip, the send-off assembly, and of course, graduation on  Friday, June 9, 2018. With all of these activities to look forward to, I hope that all students and parents in the class of 2018 are anticipating a wonderful year!

Getting to Know Mrs. Kollars
     This year begins my 35th year teaching in a Catholic middle school and my  l7th year at St. Clare. Originally from the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area, my husband and I also lived for over 17 years in Missouri where I taught at two different Catholic schools. The class of 2018 will be my 33rd eighth grade homeroom class.

     I earned my bachelor's degree in American history (with a minor in English) from California State University, Sacramento. My Master of Education degree comes from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. I have a passion for teaching middle school students with their blossoming abilities to think more abstractly as they navigate their way through early adolescence. There is certainly something interesting happening in middle school every day.

     Some of my favorite things are anything having to do with history (historic novels, documentaries, even textbooks), reading (adult and young adult novels; I'm a particular fan of J. K. Rowling!), baseball, (I love my St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics), and of course my wonderful husband, Randy Kollars, who happens to be the  a religion teacher at St. Mary's Academy in downtown Portland. Together we enjoy camping and traveling during our summer vacations and just living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest the rest of the year.

      I also enjoy musical theater, and I am so very excited that Hamilton is coming to Portland this spring.  I am also blessed to have been able to secure a ticket!  I would have loved this musical (I have listened to the soundtrack many dozens of times) even if it was not engaging to youth, but the way that I have seen students get excited about history through their exposure to this musical is golden.  The lessons of history, tolerance, and perseverence are not limited to one cultural "norm", language, or ethinicity.  These are the ideas that excite me.

     I feel truly blessed to be part of the St. Clare School and Parish communities. Thank you for the privilege of knowing and teaching your children.