Principal's Newsletter -- Vol. 8, No. 03 -- March 9, 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Greetings from Rockhurst.  In light of our recent weather and our many interruptions, the promise of spring is alive and well here at the Rock.  I appreciate your patience as we amended our schedule to react to weather related emergencies.  As we end the third quarter and begin the fourth quarter of our academic year, let us be grateful for all that has been given to us during this school year.  

Though the promise of spring and warmer weather may tempt our students to start thinking about summer break, now is not the time for our students to ease up.  The fourth quarter offers our students an opportunity to finish strong and thus pave the way for a strong final grade.  A significant part of your son’s final grade is what he earns on his final exams.   Final exams for Seniors are May 14-16; final exams for FR/SO/JR are May 21-23.  Please encourage your son to pay particular attention to announcements for study sessions and extra help leading up to exams.  

With the start of Spring comes continued planning for the summer programs and the 2018-2019 school year.  As always, but especially in light of the tragedy in Parkland FL, we are conducting a review of important policies and procedures; I will keep you informed of changes to policies or procedures as necessary.  I appreciate your active interest in our school.  It is gift from God to have all of you in our community.   

Your son’s grades are now available in NetClassroom. I encourage you to review your son’s progress with him.  Please contact his teachers or counselor if you have concerns.  It is my hope that your son is able to begin the fourth quarter in a position of academic strength.  Please recall that all course failures must be remediated in summer school before credit can be awarded and grade level promotion can be granted.

Below please find various announcements concerning the many goings on around campus.  

  • The winter months have been very successful for Rockhurst students.  Just to name a few:  the Varsity Basketball team continues to enjoy success in district competitions.  Good luck to them on Saturday, March 10!!  Mock Trial and important Speech and Debate victories have led both teams to state and national competitions.  Hockey ended a terrific season with second place in the league championship.  The Model UN Trip, Choir and Instrumental Music have also enjoyed great success this winter.  Thanks to all students, coaches and moderators for all of these extraordinary achievements during the third quarter. 

  • Our students are working very hard academically and in their co-curriculars.  Their hard work is obvious to us and to our community.  

  • Our Freshman retreat was handed on to the class of 2021. Great job by all involved!!

  • The Spring Sports/Activities season is now upon us, and we look forward to many great things this quarter.  
  • Spring Break is March 12-16, 2018.  All faculty and many of the administrative staff, including the Principal’s Office staff, take time off during the break. Please be patient if emails or calls may have a delayed response.  It is my hope that you all enjoy your break and return renewed and ready for the completion of the 2017-2018 school year. 
  • Recently your son should have completed his registration for classes for next year. Shortly after spring break, enrollment material will be sent from the business office.  I ask that you be attentive to the “return by” dates of these materials. 
    • Plan ahead!!  Students without current enrollment contracts or past due tuition will not be permitted to begin fall programs -- including athletics -- in August.  Please contact Mrs. Kelly Williams in the business office, 816-363-2036, ext. 525, if you have questions.

  • Information concerning graduation and end of year senior activities will be posted on our website soon. Senior parents are asked to be attentive of deadlines.  Seniors must clear all obligations to Rockhurst before a diploma or transcript will be released.
  • As the spring activity season moves forward, students are reminded that there will be many work grant opportunities.  Students must listen to announcements and sign up as events are announced.  All students on work grant must complete the grant hours prior to the end of the year.  


An important Note about our Spring Musical, Bonnie and Clyde:

The Dramatics Society is ready to open our Spring Musical during the week following Spring Break. Our actors, stage set designers, and musicians are working long hours to present a great evening of theater for all of us.  

Our musical this year, Bonnie & Clyde, is a Tony nominated musical based on a novel authored by Ivan Menchell.  The musical version presents a challenging and compelling musical score composed by Frank Wildhorn with lyrics written by Don Black.  

We chose this show for our Spring Musical production because of the rich and demanding music that we felt would feature the current performers in our department. This story depicts the lives of real-life criminals Bonnie & Clyde, and while they are the main characters of the show, their exploits are in no way glamorized. With the backdrop of the Great Depression, we see these young people choose a path to escape the hard lives in which they lived. The deaths of Bonnie and Clyde come as no surprise to anyone who knows the story, and this show illustrates that crime does not pay. While Bonnie and Clyde’s sister-in-law, Blanche, sings “You Love Who You Love,” we can’t help but think that they should have chosen a different life that didn’t include the troubled brothers Clyde and Buck Barrow.

We selected this show two years ago, and the students have been working on this show for months. With a school shooting in our recent memories, it is difficult to contemplate using weapons in this show, but they are essential to the story of Bonnie & Clyde. It is important to note that the weapons used in our show are stage props that are non-firing and non-functional, but still their use will represent death and destruction. Our production in no way condones the use of violence to solve a problem, and we hope that Bonnie and Clyde provide a cautionary tale to our audiences.


Closing Remarks

While the fourth quarter does indeed indicate that end of the school year is nearing, there are many wonderful things left to accomplish here at school; our school year is far from over.  This week we registered the class of 2022.  After Spring Break, we will begin the election process for next year’s Student Government officers, the Junior class will receive class rings and celebrate a leadership Mass indicating their rise to school leadership.  Our awards assembly will honor student achievement this year, and we will gather to pay tribute to Mr. Scott Duschen and Mr. Frank Lyngar, both of whom are retiring at the end of the school year.


May we use our Lenten observance as a means of drawing even nearer to our God who loves us.  At Rockhurst we seek to find God actively working in our lives in a variety of ways.  The Pastoral Office is offering many programs and opportunities for the Lenten season.  Please encourage your son to avail himself of the Pastoral Office offerings.  May the season of Lent be a time of prayer and reflection for you and your family as we wait in joyful hope of our celebration of the Resurrection of Christ.   Please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers as we prepare for the joy of the Easter season.  Thank you for all you do for Rockhurst!!   Have a wonderful and safe Spring Break!!  AMDG

In Christ,

Gregory Harkness

Gregory M. Harkness '81

Health and Wellness


  • Thank you for the feedback we received from individuals who were able to attend January’s Dr. Leonard Sax evening presentation about fragility and resilience.  Those unable to attend but who would like a recap may click here.

  • The December Principal’s Newsletter introduced Dr. Sullivant of Children’s Mercy to our community.  We are pleased to pass along the following articles shared with us by Dr. Sullivant:

“Facing Anxiety”

Anxiety is a normal and often healthy part of our humanity.  Natalie Haultain, Psy.D, presents information about how anxiety becomes harmful, particularly for adolescents, and how parents might respond.  

“Screentime in Adolescents”

Dr. Libby Milkovich and Dr. Elizabeth Hastings examine the many positive and negative aspects of adolescents with screen time and also refer to some tools for parents to consider.  

“Means Restriction”

Dr. Sullivant offers a poignant message about the critical importance of limiting access to methods used in suicide.  Her words are a powerful read for all parents. 

  • Finally, freshmen in seminar recently participated in a workshop about recognizing signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships.  Conducted by members of the Metropolitan Organization to Combat Sexual Assault (MOCSA), the workshop spanned both romantic and non-romantic relationships.  The following week, freshmen heard from Dr. Gary Seabaugh about manipulating anxiety to help motivate behavior.  For example, feeling anxious about a test can motivate students to study in order to relieve that anxiety; doing well on the test reinforces the anxiety-reducing act of studying.

Spectacular Auction


COME ABOARD! Rockhurst Spectacular Auction is April 21st. It’s time to gather your matey’s and make plans to attend this fun event.  Make your reservation here.

We are accepting items for the live and silent auction as well as donations for underwriting.  Visit the auction website for more information here.

If you want to volunteer for this fun event, contact Moira Healy at

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