A student publication for the MND community

What Was Your Favorite Christmas Break Activity?

Things to do in Cincinnati During the Holiday Season!

Going to the Cincinnati Zoo’s Festival of Lights is one of the most common holiday trips made in the winter. The Zoo is all decorated for the holidays along with some of the animals who can resist the cold weather! In this photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo Festival of Lights.


The holiday season is quickly approaching and there are so many things you can do to keep from boredom and staying in bed all day.

The Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo is one of the many things you can do in winter this year. The event officially opens to the public on Saturday Nov. 18. It is open from Sunday-Thursday 5pm to 9 pm and Friday-Saturday 5-10pm. Starting at six there’s Jeff and Jenn Christmas Choir performance, then at 6:15 the official tree lighting ceremony begins, and at 6:30 the Santa visits begin!

Continue reading “Things to do in Cincinnati During the Holiday Season!”

The Show That Lit Cincinnati!

Crowds of people at the BLINK event wait in line to get a chance to ride the exciting lighting up see-saw in Smale park. Every time a side of the see-saw hits the ground that half lights up

On Oct. 12 through Oct. 15, downtown Cincinnati held the largest light show in the nation: BLINK. It is estimated that one million people attended the light show which made BLINK’s attendance more than Riverfest, Taste of Cincinnati, and Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. BLINK spanned 20 city block! There was such a massive amount of people due to this event being so open to the public with free admission and much publicity. Not only was the show amazing to look at and interact with, but there was delicious, diverse food all around. Senior Olivia Bennett attended the BLINK show and said she loved it! Bennett mentions how it was such an amazing place to be with her family and that it had beautiful scenery.

Continue reading “The Show That Lit Cincinnati!”

A Story on Paper to a Story on Film

Junior Cara Wagner reads the Archie and The Gang Comics during class!

Riverdale, a show that contains never ending drama and a hunt to find an unknown killer, was available on Netflix on May 18, 2017, however, this was not the first time the public had seen Riverdale‘s characters and story line. The story line was a spin off from a comic book series called Archie and the Gang.

Senior Olivia Bennett comments, “I’ve been watching it since it first came out and I am hooked because of all the suspense. I honestly had no idea it was a comic before becoming a show!”

The initial characters, Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, made their first appearance in Pep Comics in December of 1941 and still appear in the Riverdale show today.

Continue reading “A Story on Paper to a Story on Film”

The Voice of “Cinderella”

By the MND Pawprints staff writers

Former Galilean Home resident Jean Beaudelaire performs for MND students in the chapel.

On Friday, November 17, MND Cougars were treated to the inspirational music of Jean Beaudelaire,  composer, musician, and singer.  Jean’s  life story is a beautiful testament to the graces that flow when people trust God to lead them through life’s trials.  Jean shared a little about his story as a growing boy in Haiti.  He immigrated to America at age 9  to seek medical treatment for his leg.  He settled in Liberty, KY into the welcoming Galilean Home.  Adopted and raised by Sandy and Jerry Tucker, Jean received needed medical care including a prostatic leg.  In the rural, serene environment of Kentucky, Jean developed his musical talents.  Now married with two children, Jean travels the region sharing his story through his music. Continue reading “The Voice of “Cinderella””

Shadowing Season!

The shadow season is in full swing for the class of 2021! Freshman Lily Fritz spent Nov. 9, 2017 showcasing the spirit of MND to prospective eighth grade student, Maggie Butkovich. “It’s great being able to show off Mount Notre Dame” Fritz says, “I love the school.”














By: Olivia Long ’19

Bring Literature to Life

Students in Mrs. Julie Hagerty’s AP Literature class show off the dance they learned to enrich their reading. Senior Grace Hall commented, “For our class we learned a ‘Tarantella’s’ dance because it was in a play we read called “A Doll’s House.” The students learned this dance and then performed and taught it to the rest of the class!












By: Cara Wagner ’19

Creative Cougars’ College Careers

If “all the world’s a stage” then seniors Amber Lewis, Gabi Smith and Amber Reinert are playing the parts of seniors with an incredible amount of grace and compassion.  As the season of college application approaches Mount Notre Dame seniors are choosing schools, writing essays and preparing to begin their college career.  It has been a long and eventful journey but MND’s class of 2018 has written their hearts out, found their passions and set themselves up for success.

Amber Reinhart and Gabi Smith are excited to begin their path towards choosing a college. Mount Notre Dame has prepared these girls to think about and be ready for college since freshman year.

An important part of the college application process is writing a college essay. What someone writes about for a college essay says a lot about them, it’s the picture of themselves they put forward to the world and should be about something important.  It may be a simple event that had a bigger meaning or a memory that influences how someone sees the world, but is has to be something that really matters to its author.

Continue reading “Creative Cougars’ College Careers”

Food for Thought

By:  Cara Wagner

As soon as Block EF arrives, it’s time for most MND students’ favorite part of the day: Lunch! Though food is a vital component of the MND lifestyle, opinions about the numerous meal options in the cafeteria are divided.

Sophomore Mackenzie Vaughn displays two staples of an MND lunch, as many students often purchase pasta and the famous MND chocolate chip cookies. She has been buying her lunch since Freshman year. “I never pack my lunch (because) the food is great!”

The MND cafeteria has a wide variety of food options, ranging from grilled cheese to hot dogs to snacks including chips and cookies. There is also a salad bar, and the outside line includes choices like breadsticks, pasta, and mini chicken sandwiches. In addition, there are many breakfast options including mini sausage sandwiches and hash browns. However, there are some meals that seem to be more popular with MND students.

Continue reading “Food for Thought”

Learning in the Classroom and Behind the Wheel

By:  Addy Werling

Like many of her classmates, Rachael Horst, sophomore, turns sixteen and hits the road for her first time with her driver’s license. After many hours spent at Driver’s Ed classes and many in-car hours, Horst is excited to finally have her freedom behind the wheel. “It was a lot of practicing,” Horst says, “but now that I can finally drive myself places, it’s totally worth it.”

There are some new sophomore drivers at MND who are hitting the road for the first time after turning sixteen and receiving their driver’s licenses. This is an exciting time for the sophomores, but it can also be a stressful. Teens must put in a lot of practice and preparation before they have their freedom on the road, from driver’s education classes, to in-cars, to driver’s tests.

Continue reading “Learning in the Classroom and Behind the Wheel”

What is Your Favorite Christmas Song?

By: Cara Wagner ’19

Riding with a Passion

By Olivia Bennett

Sit up straight, with your heels down, shoulders squared, and eyes focused. Hold on tight to the reins, and take a deep breath. The sound of steady gallops ring as the wind pushes and whistles through the air. The excitement flies through her stomach as she rides her horse swiftly and gracefully through open fields. This is just another day in the life of Senior Morgan Reifsteck.

Senior Morgan Reifsteck wins first place at her horse show on Oct. 14, 2017. “Winning a show is the best feeling in the world,” says Reifsteck.

Continue reading “Riding with a Passion”

MND Spooktacular: The Church Suffering

By:  Liv Long and Clara Conover


In churches, prayer can be heard for souls in purgatory. But, what does the church really think of ghosts? Father Mike Schmitz says, “They’re doing this to get our attention, so that you and I, as the church militant, can pray for them.”

During this spooky season, ghost stories are at an all-time high. But, what does the Catholic Church believe about these tales? Father Mike Schmitz from Ascension Presents has the answers. He explains that there aren’t any Catholic Doctrines that state clearly that ghosts do or don’t exist. Father Schmitz said,

“We’re absolutely prohibited in scripture and in the bible to have any kind of communication with ghosts.”

This means that Ouija Boards and contacting the departed is not morally allowed. But why? Father Schmitz explains it simply, Continue reading “MND Spooktacular: The Church Suffering”

MND Spooktacular: Typhoid and Tombstones

By:  Clara Conover and Liv Long

school bus

Students of Mount Notre Dame Academy gather around a school bus. These students were most likely boarding students.

The story began in the fall of 1862. Mount Notre Dame Academy had been open and accepting students for two years.

Diseases such as malaria, influenza, and scarlet fever swept rapidly through the boarding school at this time. Typhoid Fever, which was especially common throughout the Civil War, is a virus spread through contaminated food and water, most commonly contracted overseas.

According to Convent records supplied by Sister Paula Marie, two boarding students had caught Typhoid fever. It was only fatal to one of these students, Cecelia Tompkins, a 14-year-old whose family lived in California. During the end of her daughter’s life, Cecelia’s mother couldn’t come out to visit her or to bury her because of particularly devastating winter weather. She instructed that Cecelia be buried in the cemetery next to the sisters, which is now across the street from MND. Continue reading “MND Spooktacular: Typhoid and Tombstones”

Spooktacular: Witness Accounts

Joe Holtman (002)

By:  By: Liv Long and Clara Conover

When walking through the school after dark, beware of the MND ghost. Mr. Joe Holtman had his fair share of ghost encounters over the past six years. He says, “The ghost was just kind of a known fact.”

To find out more about the alleged MND ghost, we interviewed Mrs. Day, Mr. Holtman, and Sr. Paula Marie. Sr. Paula Marie offered facts, while Mrs. Day tried to debunk the legend, and Mr. Holtman gave away his experiences with the ghost. Mr. Holtman, the famous maintenance man at MND who regularly works in the cafeteria, told of his encounters. Continue reading “Spooktacular: Witness Accounts”

Five Things to Do before Halloween

By: Lindsey Benhase


A glimpse of the thousands of pumpkins piled high at Shaw Pumpkin Farm, a very popular fall attraction for Cincinnati families.

With fall in full swing, and Halloween soon approaching, many people are searching for the perfect fall activities. Here are five great activities that should be done before Halloween…

  • Pumpkin Patch or Fall Festival

Continue reading “Five Things to Do before Halloween”

MND Spooktacular: Types of Ghosts

By:  Clara Conover and Liv Long

3rdfloor hallway ghost story

What lurks in these halls? According to experienced ghost hunters, it could be a poltergeist. “Oh my god… it’s real.” – Rachel Hartmann

After learning that the MND ghost exists, a few questions arise! What type of ghost is it? What are the different types of ghosts? Continue reading “MND Spooktacular: Types of Ghosts”


By Liv Long and Clara Conover

Mary 1 (2) (002)

Accounts say that ghosts have passed in front of Mary who watches over the third floor. Mr. Joe Holtman recounted his alleged ghost experiences, “I believe there is something I can’t explain… With the rich history of the school, who knows?”

Unexplained phenomena often have a common scapegoat in this building. Odds are you’ve heard of the paranormal activity that supposedly takes place in the halls of MND.

There’s a common thread in these supernatural rumors. When asked what they had heard about the alleged ghost, students tended to mention a younger girl who died a long time ago on MND property and currently has some sort of connection to the third floor.

Over the next four school days, this legend will be dissected, analyzed, and its status as either fact or fiction will be revealed. Through research, witness testimonies, and a tell-all of this portion of MND history, the truth behind these apparitions will be unveiled.

Niehaus Advances to State!


By:  Peyton Fay

Kelli Niehaus getting ready to strike a ball back at her opponent.

Junior Kelli Niehaus, the top tennis player at Mount Notre Dame, is on her way to state. Niehaus placed 2nd in her sectional and has moved on to the next bracket. During the season she was out for the whole month of August because of injuries. For her first match of the season she came back winning her match against Ursuline. Niehaus is very excited to be going to state for the third year in a row.

Continue reading “Niehaus Advances to State!”

Time Warp: 2017 MND Trends

When you look around MND, what do you see? Is there anything you have seen among your classmates that you have not seen in past years?

Sophomore Vanessa Huffman says, “I have noticed a lot of trends throughout the start of the school year. Everyone is always wearing scrunchies and New Balances. I think everyone has started to like scrunchies because they don’t leave annoying creasing in your hair when you put

your hair up.”

Continue reading “Time Warp: 2017 MND Trends”

Let’s PAWS!

PAWS was just introduced to the MND community this school year. As most of the community knows “PAWS” stands for Pause, Ask, Wait, and Share. PAWS is an acronym used as communication tool when discussing difficult situations or hurtful feelings.  Using PAWS as a tool provides skills and a framework to help someone who may not speak up without this tool.

Sophomores Abby Beckham, Kamille Harris, and Peyton Fay are using the PAWS initiative in class! Abby tells Peyton to “PAWS” in order to find a solution to their problem.

Mrs. Judy Metcalf, Assistant Principal, states, “There was an incident last year and some people in our community felt they didn’t really have a voice.”
Continue reading “Let’s PAWS!”

Running His Way Into MND

New Mount Notre Dame Math teacher, Dr. Jeffery Johnson, decided it was time that he started helping high school students get into the college of their choice. Dr. Johnson started teaching college students in 1993 and previously taught at the University of Cincinnati.

New MND faculty member, Dr. Johnson, prepares for his classes.
He is excited to be in the atmosphere of MND.

This is his first-year teaching at a high school. He wanted to become a teacher because he wanted to make sure students are ready to be successful in life. Continue reading “Running His Way Into MND”

What’s Your Fav Season?

By Olivia Bennett ’18 and Abby Beckham ’20

A Teacher or a Coach?

Mrs. Kim Drefcinski, Algebra 2 teacher, smiles as she is welcomed into the MND community for the 2017-2018 school year. Her huge passion for math and teaching allowed her and her students to have a successful start during these last few weeks. Mrs. Drefcinski mentions, “I want to create a comfortable classroom where kids aren’t afraid to take a risk or get something wrong.” She is happy to be a part of such a strong community, and looks forward to a productive year.

Some people might agree that math is just another boring school subject required to graduate, but for new MND Math teacher, Mrs. Kim Drefcinski, it is her “sport.” Although familiar with MND as a parent to senior Payton Drefcinski, Mrs. Drefcinski makes her appearance as a permanent math teacher here for the 2017-2018 school year. Mrs. Drefcinski brings a great deal of teaching experience to the MND community. Her impressive history includes teaching math to middle school and high school students for over ten years in a variety of different states including Utah, Minnesota, and Florida.

Continue reading “A Teacher or a Coach?”

Screen Time & Face Time: The New Cell Phone Policy

mrs metcalf
Mrs. Metcalf observes the new cell phone policy in the hallways of MND.

A new cell phone policy was implemented for the Mount Notre Dame school community this school year. This cell phone policy states that students can only have their cell phones out during lunch and merit time, and cell phones must be put away while in the academic wing. Mrs. Judy Metcalf, Assistant Principal, and the Discipline Advisory Board felt that a new policy was necessary for the school.

Continue reading “Screen Time & Face Time: The New Cell Phone Policy”

Homecoming Showdown: Who is Your Team?

By: Olivia Bennett ’18, Abby Beckham ’20, Caroline France ’20


Mount Notre Dame has added a multicultural student union to its extensive array of extracurricular activities. 

Excited after their September 8th, well-attended meeting, Multicultural Student Union members Pariss Ruffin, Sydney Jefferson, and Amber Lewis. “We first need to understand others to understand ourselves,” states club president Jefferson.

“This club is meant to bring the multicultural aspects of MND’s community to the forefront, as well as serve as a safe space for all MND students to discuss sensitive issues,” according to the club’s founding president, Senior Sydney Jefferson. 

When she and the rest of the leadership team introduced the Multicultural Student Union to the student body on August 22, 2017, Jefferson wanted to make sure people knew the club was for students of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures.  Continue reading “Multiculture-All”

New Year, New Freshmen

Over the summer, freshmen Mikaylah Sova, Claudia Banke, Lily Fritz, and Abby Casavan joined Moeller’s Marching Band and had their first halftime performance on Sep. 8.

As a new year is ushered in, so are the new freshmen. The beginning of the school year is already very hectic, and even more so when starting at a new school. Freshmen Claudia Banke, Lily Fritz, Abby Casavant, and Mikaylah Sova shared a little bit about their experience transitioning into high school. They are four new students and are a part of the Moeller Marching Band. All the girls had heard about MND through family or friends, and shadowed with a few different people. When shadowing, the outstanding things they noticed were the tablets, the friendly community, and of course the food. They all agreed that the students and teachers were welcoming. Banke chose MND because she is a legacy, Casavant had family there, and Fritz and Sova had their hearts set on it. Continue reading “New Year, New Freshmen”

Greyhounds and Graces

Rejoicing with MND religion teacher Mrs. Dodds, Mrs. Butz experiences Freshman Retreat. Mrs. Butz joined the MND community as a religion teacher at the start of the school year. She was extremely thrilled to find a welcoming sisterhood here at MND! (Photo courtesy of Mrs. Dodds)

Greyhounds. Cooking. Social Justice. You might be wondering what these words have in common. They describe the life of one of MND’s newest teachers: Mrs. Butz! Mrs. Butzcurrently teaches Faith and Foundations to freshmen and will be teaching one Comparative World Religions class next semester. She is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the MND family!

What excites her the most is the sisterhood of MND and its commitment to growing every student’s “whole person.” Coming from an all-girls school background, she wanted to be part of a similar community, and she has found that here at MND.

“I’m super excited to be here…really, really excited. I’ve found that all-female community, a supportive staff, and people [at MND] are just so enthusiastic!” Continue reading “Greyhounds and Graces”

Solar Eclipse: Hot or Not?


By: Caroline France ’20


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