Lumen News – April 17, 2020

Upcoming Important Dates:

  • Wednesday April 29th – Virtual Principal/Parent Forum, 7p-8:30p (email invitation)
  • Wednesday, May 6th – Baccalaureate Mass, 7p – Details forthcoming
  • Thursday, May 7th – Graduation and Commencement for the Class of 2020 – Details forthcoming

Principal’s Update:

Our week 4 of distance learning is coming to a close, and our students continue to impress.  When you think that our community pulled this together in less than two weeks, it is really quite amazing.  Our teachers continue to learn and improve their online instruction, and we are committed to assisting each and every one of our students adjust to this new learning method.  This was a big topic of discussion at the Parent-Principal Forum on Wednesday. If your son or daughter is struggling, encourage your son or daughter to use the office hours our teachers have set up.  Ask to see your student’s Google Classroom page and see how they manage assignments, requirements, etc. The best thing parents can do is to go directly to your child’s teacher for assistance. Send an email and perhaps, even set up a virtual parent-teacher conference.  Just because we are physically distant doesn’t mean that our relationships have to be. Our teachers, myself included, stand ready to assist in whatever way that we can.

Some additional highlights from the Parent Forum:

  • Father Tom and I are producing a “spring appeal” video highlighting where our finances stand as a parish and school.  We hope you will watch and consider our message.

  • You will see a tuition letter emailed early next week.  Unfortunately, we will be increasing tuition next year, but I hope that my rationale and explanation resonates within your family.

  • We are actively planning a virtual Baccalaureate Mass on May 6th to celebrate Mass and recognize our Class of 2020 graduates.  This will be shown via Facebook Live. More to follow on this event as well as the Graduation and Commencement ceremony scheduled on May 7th.  We are currently working on the details.

  • Our Drama team is working on a plan to record a “Reader’s Theater” version of the play they have been practicing.  More to follow, but hopefully this will be a community wide viewing in middle May.

  • We will be launching a spring marketing campaign via social media to encourage more families to come to Lumen.  Our marketing team will be developing a “virtual tour” for our website that allows prospective families to “check us out” from the comfort of their couch.  We ask that you help us SHARE our good news with all your contacts and friends in the community.

And finally, thanks to all of you as parents who are working diligently to keep your students on track.  We know that at times it isn’t easy for you, or your student. On days when your student may be feeling particularly overwhelmed, just remind them to be thankful they’re not my daughter Emily.

Have a blessed weekend!

Campus Ministry:

During this time of uncertainty and social distancing, stay connected through Christ.

A most blessed Easter Week to each of you! St. Benedict youth groups meet weekly via Skype. You can find more information below or at the St. Benedict Parish website.

Prayer Spot

Please pray for

  • Students, teachers and families who are working from home

  • Medical professionals and first responders

  • Those most vulnerable to illness

If you would like special intentions listed in Lumen News and Prayer Book of Intentions send them directly to Mrs. Loeffler.

School Announcements:

HELP! I’m a Parent – Not a Teacher

It’s always helpful to know that when times are hard, there is support to be found. Please take the time to download and read the flyer below from our colleagues at the National Catholic Education Association – It really is helpful information.

Culinary Arts Lessons

Culinary lessons continue courtesy of Alumni Mom Carol Sturgulewski. This week’s lessons are below. Please share them with your students – or tackle them yourselves!

Bunny, Bunny

Speaking of culinary lessons – not! We’re happy to report that Jidore the school rabbit will be moving to a new forever home. Thanks to 8th grader Kallen and the rest of the Cain family for keeping Jidore out of Mr. Bauzon’s stewpot.

Next Week’s Schedule

Next Friday, April 24th will be a Friday “B” schedule with periods 2, 4 & 6.

Art Challenge (for the art challenged?)

They say laughter is the best medicine and it’s amazing what people with time on their hands have been posting to the internet during this time of quarantine. From videos of parents lip synching Donna Summer’s famous song “I Will Survive” while homeschooling their kids, to memes about social distancing and hoarding toilet paper, it seems there’s something for everyone in the “now that’s funny” category.

In the spirit of fun, we’re tossing a contest out there, the idea borrowed from the Getty Museum in New York.  The Getty challenged people to re-create famous works of art at home, most with hilarious results! If you or your family want to try your hand at this, please do so and email your picture by next Wednesday night to Ms. Gore at or text it to her at 907-227-9584.  The winning entry will get a shout out in next week’s Lumen News!   Note that you can get lots of ideas by Googling “Getty Art Challenge” but here are a couple of examples to get you thinking. Keep in mind this is just for fun, this is not an assignment for students by any means!

“Woman with her Harp” (or vacuum!)

“Yawning Man” (in his bathrobe!)

Picasso’s “Pi-catso”

“Lot and his Daughters” (with the bathroom rug)

 St. Benedict’s & Other Community Events:

St. Benedict’s Youth Group

A message from Elise Martinez, St. Ben’s Youth Group Minister:

“We have Youth Night tomorrow over skype at 7pm! It will be an easter party with games, BYOCandy and more! Skype Link:

Last Sunday’s Project YM was outstanding! Fr. Agustino brought his personality and a personal story to emphasize the reality of Christ’s resurrection ‘in the flesh!’ If you or your teens missed it and want to get prepared for Divine Mercy Sunday: check out the replay here:

It was a blast having a bit of a family focused ProjectYM Live. This week we return to teen focused with parents encouraged to journey alongside. The dynamic Brian Greenfield will be our speaker this Sunday with Mary Castner leading worship.”

Remember that all Lumen students regardless of Parish affiliation are welcome to join the St. B’s Youth Group. Contact Elise for more info:

Have a great weekend! Don’t forget to cut & paste Mrs. Sturgelewski’s cooking lessons below, into an email for your student, and then to scroll down to review the NCEA flyers below (in Spanish and English). 

Culinary Arts Lesson #5
Last week was all about brunch, because… Easter! But the Easter eggs have all been eaten by now, right? (Although if you’ve been keeping them in the fridge, you probably have another day or two left, but don’t keep them much longer than that.)
So let’s get down to Real Food.
Everyone should know how to make a stir-fry. Meat, vegetables, maybe a little rice or pasta on the side–it’s everything you need in one pan! It’s also very flexible. If you can learn the basic technique of cooking meat and vegetables quickly in a pan, you can make a meal out of just about anything you have in your fridge. And once you mix it with vegetables and rice, tortillas or pasta, you can make just one pound of meat feed four people easily. You can use shrimp or fish instead of meat or chicken; you can use tofu or no protein at all. And you can clean out your refrigerator at the same time by using the last bits of various meats and vegetables!
Let’s start with a piece of beef. Flank steak is a popular choice, but look for round steak, London broil, skirt steak, hangar steak… all are relatively inexpensive cuts of meat. They need to be cut properly and cooked quickly to keep from getting tough. Check out this video, which explains how to cut meat against the grain.
As the video demonstrates, finding the grain is pretty easy on a piece of flank steak, but it might be harder to find on another cut of meat, such as a piece of top or bottom round steak, or a pork chop. Pick up the meat and look closely at it. Bend it, twist it a little, and try to figure out which way the grain is running. Cutting it properly will make all the difference when you taste the finished product!
Refer back to Lesson 1 if you need a reminder on how to cut up vegetables, and then see how this beef stir-fry works for you. Remember to do your mise en place first, setting out all your ingredients so you know you have everything and can work quickly.
This video shows a stir fry recipe for beef and green beans. The chef doesn’t give specific measurements, but it’s a good overview for how to cook the various ingredients.
Use the video’s techniques to try this recipe.


The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 ½  tsp. cornstarch

¼ tsp. baking soda

½ pound flank steak or round steak

2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce

2 tsp. Asian chili-garlic sauce (like sriracha or whatever spicy sauce you have)

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

3 cups broccoli (don’t use the stems)

2 garlic cloves


Cut broccoli florets (the flower-like tops) into 1-inch pieces.

In medium bowl, blend 1 Tbsp. water with the soy sauce, cornstarch and baking soda.

Cut steak into ½-inch slices against the grain. Add to soy sauce mixture. Let sit 10 minutes.

In another bowl, use a fork or whisk to mix the hoisin sauce, chili-garlic sauce and ¼ cup water.

When beef is ready, heat oil over medium-high for one minute. Add beef evenly and let it sit 1 minute. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2-4 minutes. Remove beef from pan using a slotted spoon, and put it in a bowl.

Put soy sauce mixture, broccoli and garlic in the hot pan and return to medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir beef and plate juices into skillet and cook 1 minute. Serves 4.


If Asian flavors don’t appeal to you today, Mexican food is stir-fry style, too!


You can use 1 ½ Tbsp. premade taco or fajita seasoning, or: mix the following:

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil

2 large bell peppers

½ large onion

6 ounces mushrooms (optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. flank steak, skirt steak, sirloin, or round steak

3 Tbsp. lime juice

8 small flour tortillas


Measure the taco seasoning into a small bowl, or make your own by mixing the first five ingredients above. Set aside.

Cut peppers, onions and mushrooms in thick slices. Mince garlic. Set aside.

Thinly slice steak against the grain.

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 2 Tbsp. of oil, let it heat for a minute, and then add the sliced vegetables. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently but not constantly. Add half the seasoning mix and all the minced garlic. Cook 2 more minutes.

Remove the vegetables from the pan and set on a plate. Return the skillet to the heat. Add the steak to the hot skillet and sprinkle in the rest of the seasoning mix. Cook, tossing the meat constantly, until it’s browned—2-3 minutes for medium rare. For well done, add another 3 minutes, but it might be tough!

When the meat is cooked, add the vegetables back to the pan. Drizzle in lime juice and toss.

Serve on warm tortillas with sour cream, guacamole or salsa. Serves 4.

 Culinary Arts Lesson #6

Yesterday’s session showed how to cut meat against the grain. Most people don’t realize that chicken breast tastes best and is more tender when it’s cut against the grain, too. Don’t worry about it when cooking with chicken thighs, drumsticks or wings, but that large piece of chicken meat that you find in the breast has a definite grain to it. Pick it up, and look at it closely to spot the grain. Go ahead, get your hands on it–you need to know your ingredients!
This shows you how:
These recipes are what many people would think of as “America” Chinese food, but they’re easy and tasty. If you don’t have fresh ginger in your household, use 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger. You can also substitute vegetables–use kale or chard instead of cabbage, grate some carrots in place of celery, etc. What’s in your fridge?
One common ingredient in all these recipes is cornstarch. It looks like powdered sugar or flour, but it works differently. Cornstarch is what turns a soupy mixture into a thick, shiny gravy sort of thing. (If you don’t have cornstarch, you can get similar results with flour, but it doesn’t work as well, and you have to make sure the flour and water are blended together very well so the flour doesn’t form lumps.)
Here’s a basic chicken stir fry that can also be used with pork. You can substitute almonds or walnuts for the cashews, or leave them out altogether.


Food for Thought, Robert Capon

1 slice fresh ginger (thickness of a quarter)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup cabbage, diced

½ cup fresh mushrooms, diced

¼ cup canned water chestnuts, sliced

¼ cup chopped celery

½ cup bamboo shoots

12 snow peas

2 boneless skinned chicken breasts

Peanut or vegetable oil

½ cup chicken broth

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. cold water

Cut up all the vegetables and have them ready next to the stove.

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water.

Cut chicken breasts into bite-size pieces (cut each breast in three strips lengthwise, then across).

Heat a wok or large frying pan hot, then add 2 Tbsp. oil and keep heating. If it sputters when you drop a bit of garlic in, it’s ready. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry 10 seconds.

Add vegetables, and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth. Cover and boil for 2 minutes. Put mixture into a bowl.

Heat the pan very hot again, add a little more oil, then the chicken, and let cook 1 minute without stirring. Begin stirring and cook until the pieces are starting to turn golden and are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Return the vegetables to the pan and bring it to a boil. Add the snow peas. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until it thickens.

Serves 4.

Here’s another chicken stir-fry that adapts itself to whatever you have on hand. You can also make this with pork instead of chicken.


½ cup orange juice

1 ½ tsp. finely grated or chopped orange zest (the orange part of the peel, not the white part)

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

½ tsp. salt

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 ½ tsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. cold water

2 boneless skinned chicken breasts

Peanut or vegetable oil

In a small bowl, mix orange juice, zest, soy, salt, garlic and brown sugar. Set aside.

In another small bowl, mix cornstarch and water. Set aside.

Cut chicken breasts into bite-size pieces (cut each breast in three strips lengthwise, then across).

Heat a wok or large frying pan hot, then add 2 Tbsp. oil and keep heating. If it sputters when you drop a bit of garlic in, it’s ready. Add the garlic and stir-fry 10 seconds to flavor the oil.

Add the chicken. Let it cook 1 minute without stirring; then cook and stir until the chicken is no longer pink inside, 5-7 minutes. Add the orange juice mixture and stir until it bubbles. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until it thickens.

(You can easily add vegetables to this dish. Stir-fry them in oil about 3 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Put them aside in a bowl, then put the pan back on the stove, add more oil, and cook the chicken. Return the vegetables to the pan when you add the orange juice mixture.) Serves 4.