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Welcome to St. Mary's Family Room 109

March 09, 2020
By Janelle Soto '20
St. Mary's House Family Room 109, 2020
Janelle Soto '20
Janelle Soto '20, St. Mary's House

In the House of St. Mary’s, it has already been quite a year.  The third-quarter is already wrapping up, and many spring sports are getting ready to start their season.  All the captains have been on the move and are already planning the final House Event. This past week, the House of St. Mary’s was in charge of an event to raise money for the Clean Water Project.  All the money raised will go to The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to provide many students and families in Africa with clean water.

We raised money by having Penny Wars, a competition for each House to fill their own jars with pennies and fill other Houses' jars with any silver coins or bills. Pennies resulted in positive points while the silver coins and bills resulted in negative points. Overall, the water project was very successful. We beat our goal and raised the most money this year compared to all other previous years.

Besides the fundraising event, many Houses have already started looking forward to next year!  The juniors have been making great choices and are looking forward to leading their Houses next year.  The Houses have already started their new captain applications, and St. Mary’s has already gotten many juniors to turn in applications to become captains.  After asking one of the applicants, Oscar Campos-Ortiz’ 21, a few questions, I received some interesting answers.  I asked Oscar why he looked forward to being a captain next year and what he looked forward to for the end of the school year.

“I look forward to improving the House System and being able to connect with my peers along with other people from the House," Oscar said.  "I also look forward to the final House Event because it’s a big and final event.  It also reunites everyone as a whole before the school year ends which is a good feeling.”

Along with that, St. Mary’s Family Room 109 has gotten ready for this Lenten season.  Family Room Captain, Kate Reuter’20, has come up with the idea to give more to the less fortunate. They wanted to think of a way to do a charitable act, and they thought of an amazing idea! Her family will collect canned goods and deliver them to a food bank to help those in need!  I definitely think that the House System has done every student well in some way.  Not only have students grown within the House, but also as a whole Carroll community!

Welcome to Mercy Family 104

March 02, 2020
By Summer Medina '20
Mercy House Family Room 104, 2019-20
Mercy House Penny Wars 2020
Family Room 105 brought in a lot of pennies! (L-R:
Grace Norman '23, Cathyrn  Leies '20, and Charlie Thompson '20)

As a community, Carroll High School excels in community service and donating.  Our students and faculty have lived up to this reputation recently with Bottles for Babies and Penny Wars projects by bringing in money to help these two causes.  Friday, February 28th during Family Room, our Houses had a competition to bring in pennies for Penny Wars.  This competition brings attention to communities without clean water around the world.  A donut party was the prize for the House that had the highest score based on the amount of money collected, and Mercy House won the reward!

Our Houses are deeply passionate about community service and helping others out. Mercy is no exception, and our students go over and beyond to help those in need. One student who embodies this amazingly well is Delany Conger '21 from Family Room 104. She went out of her way to help teach a fellow Mercy student some math they had missed from being out.  Mercy is the place to be!  Keep it up Mercy, and congratulations on your win of Penny Wars!

Welcome to Gonzaga House

February 18, 2020
By Madeleine Sanders '20
Gonzaga Family Room 209, 2019-20
Madeleine Sanders '20
Madeleine Sanders '20

All throughout the week, the Gonzaga House Captains were teaming up with the Mercy House Captains to finish preparations for the upcoming house event, a spin-off of the Match Game since the competition was on Valentine’s Day.  The competition was a success for Gonzaga, not only because we won, but there was overwhelming positive feedback from all houses about the event as well.

Joe Lansangan ‘21 said, “the experience was indubitably extravagant.”  He thought it was cool to see his classmate, Catherine Berent '21, as a participant in the hot seat and Family Room Captain, Amelia Harlow '20, on stage as an MC.

Breaking our two-year streak of not having won a House Event was relieving.  It renewed faith in our house and inspired many to attend Marquee events such as that weekend’s basketball game.  Sam Scheu ‘21 described how she felt after winning the House Competition.  “I thought we were doing pretty well considering our House got many of the right answers.  When Mr. Sableski announced that there was a tie for second, I expected to be one of the Houses that were tied, but to my surprise, we won!  My friends and I were so happy.”

Family Room 207 at Carroll's Hot Seat
Family Room 207 representatives in Carroll's Hot Seat House Event

The House Competition wasn’t the only exciting thing that happened last week.  While the snow day on Thursday canceled many of Gonzaga’s Family Room parties, it did not stop some Family Rooms from sharing candy and handing out Valentines.  Meredith Sanders ‘23 expressed her appreciation for her Family Room Captain, Luke Wittmann '20, who hand-wrote kind messages for everyone in Family Room 209.  Overall, it was a great week for our house.

Welcome to Family Room 307

February 09, 2020
By Jill Roberts '20
Charity House Family Room 307

The second semester has begun, and students are buckling down. Winter sports teams are headed into the tournament and are prepared for the seedings.  Looking into the future, Carroll’s St. Pats Fest is coming up soon.  Students are asked to sign up for a shift

Jill Roberts '20, Charity House
Jill Roberts '20, Charity House

in order to fulfill the 80% goal to receive a day off.  Also, each House is putting together a basket for the Silent Auction.  Each basket has a theme which will be announced by House deans.  This month is also full of school dances with Turnabout on February 22, Father-Daughter on February 28, and Mother-Son on February 29.  Finally, it is important to check calendars for the listed upcoming days off in February. 

In Family Rooms, students are busy taking in every moment as time is winding down.  This coming Friday, Houses will participate in the third Quarter House Event, a game show presented by Gonzaga and Mercy Houses.  Also, Charity captains are busy planning events for Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  In Room 307, Jackson Stanard '20 has been planning fun events like Pictionary, Hangman, and TikToks!  One of our very own Charity mentors, Mr. Ben Joplin, knows PUBLIC, the band whose song inspired one of the most popular TikTok trends.  The band said if Family Rooms make a TikTok to “Make You Mine,” the best video would be featured on their page.  In Room 307, I asked Morgan Sanko '20 a few questions about starting her final semester of high school.

“Family Room has brought me closer to people who I never thought I would be friends with,” Morgan says.  "We all know each other very well and respect each other.  We have fun and play lots of games just to bond.  I am going to miss our celebrations the most.”

Everyone can see the importance of community that the House System has instilled.  Each student is comfortable with their peers they spend time with every day. There are different purposes for having the House System, but one is definitely to create a family sensation in the school environment for every student. 

Welcome to Baltimore Family Room 304

February 02, 2020
By Carroll High School
Baltimore House Family Room 304
Michael Taylor '20
Michael Taylor '20

We're a month into the second semester, and all the Houses are preparing for a great second half of the school year.  In the first semester, the Houses participated in two House competitions and countless family room activities, but it is now time to look forward to what is coming.  Skylynn Pierce 21’ from Family Room 304 shared some thoughts about how her Family and House are prepping for a fantastic second semester. 

“The first semester went well, and our Family Room bonded with each other and had more communication throughout the House which created a closer bond with each other,” Pierce said.  Communication is very important in the House System because it allows for every House to better understand what each Family is doing and how to improve certain activities or ideas. 

When asked what her goals were for the second semester, Skylynn said, “My goal is to improve my Family Room because I want to help grow as a family and make sure that everyone in my Family Room knows that they are welcomed.  Anyone from the House System is welcomed, because we are such a loving community, and that responsibility is primarily on the students.  We are all coming together as one to bond."

A personal bond seems to be very important to most members of Carroll.  They feel a personal connection not only to their fellow students, but also the Houses themselves. This is the most important part of the second semester; the ability to keep up the pace and continue to grow this bond with each other and with Carroll.  All the students at Carroll are ready for another great semester, and all they need to do is keep the great pace set by first semester.  With the House System, this is not only possible, but extremely enjoyable.

Welcome to Charity Family Room 202

October 21, 2019
By Jillian Roberts '20

As the first quarter wraps up, Carroll is onto the next quarter and new events. The fall sports are ready for tournament time, winter sport tryouts are just around the corner, and the Marching Patriots are preparing for their  regional and national championship competitions coming up in November. Looking a little deeper into the House System, Family Rooms are busy with a number of activities. This week I talked with Trent Fox '20, captain of Family Room 202. Let’s take a look at how they are spending their time throughout the week.

Second Quarter House Event: Lip Sync

With a competition coming up in the next few months and the kick off of the second quarter, these students are busy. When I asked Trent what he would be doing with his Family Room this week, he gave me a run down.  “On Monday, I showed my room our theme song for the Lip Sync competition," Fox said.  "Then, I asked if anyone in my room would like to play major roles”. With this discussion, ideas for our dance began to light up in students' heads.  “On Thursday, the entire Charity House will head to the gym to begin organizing our plans for the Lip Sync. There are a number of roles and groups that students will pick to be in or be a part of!”


Academic Time

Although Tuesdays are dedicated solely to academics, students’ studies and classwork is often discussed throughout the week. With the end of quarter one approaching, these students focused on their studies and completing assignments for their courses.

Food Fight!

On Friday, Trent’s Family Room is playing Food March Madness. Trent described the game by saying, “In this game, rather than there being teams competing, food will be competing. Whichever food ends up in the Champion spot, I will bring in later next week.”

The importance of family is greatly emphasized throughout Carroll. “I see Family Room as a time where you can get closer to other people in all grade levels. You build a relationship with people you probably would not have talked to otherwise,” Fox said. Every student feels a sense of comfort with the bonds built in their Family Rooms. That is the goal of the House System and magic of Family Room! 

Welcome to Baltimore 315

October 09, 2019
By Carroll High School

The beginning of a new year means the introduction of freshmen to the House System, and to their Family Room. The beginning of the school year is the most important because it will shape how the freshmen view the House System and Carroll as a whole. Ryan Ballou ‘21 answered some questions about the first week, which featured four extended Family Room periods. 

When asked what his favorite activity in Family Room this week was, Ryan said “My favorite thing was probably playing two truths and a lie just to get to know everyone, and get to know more about their personal lives.” 

Small activities such as two truths and a lie are very helpful in Family Room during the early part of the school year, in order for all of the classes to get to know each other, and truly become the ‘Family Room’ that we strive for. When looking at getting to know each other, the most important group to take into account is the freshmen. Bringing them into the fold and allowing them to express themselves and participate is a great way to be inclusive. Ryan also had insights on this. “We’re planning on incorporating the freshmen and having different Family Room rules, we’re doing a lot of birthday activities and different games to get them accustomed to Carroll.”

Family Room is a tool to broaden our horizons, and to expand our group of friends.









But Family Room isn’t only for the freshmen. The entire point of a Family Room is to incorporate students from all grade levels and allow them to help each other and become a family of sorts. When a student is placed into a Family Room, they stay there for their entire high school career, so the people in that room should be a family to them, and they should allow the new students that come in after them to participate in this same family feeling that they were able to experience. 

Family room allows everyone to be included. It is a true family, and after four years, it should impact the student for the better. The entire focus of Family Room is based on inclusion, but everyone likes something different about it. Here’s what Ryan says is his favorite part: “My favorite thing about family room is just getting to interact with people from different grades, people I don’t see normally in my classes.”

And that really is the whole point. Family Room is a tool to broaden our horizons, and to expand our group of friends. Family room truly is the definition of family.

Welcome to Charity Family Room 203

October 07, 2019
By Jillian Roberts '20

At the beginning of the new year, we try to focus on acclimating the freshmen to their new school and making them feel as welcome as possible. But, Family Room is for all grades. We hone in on helping each other out with various subjects, issues and becoming a small family.  I asked Sean McKitrick '23 about his favorite part of in Family Room so far.  

“My favorite thing was playing the games and activities," McKitrick said. "They were fun, and I got the opportunity to learn more about my fellow classmates.”

For this second week of school, my Family Room has been preparing for the first House Event of the year: a cheer competition. On Monday, the captains taught the students our Charity House cheers in Family Rooms. On Tuesday, the entire House met in the Auxiliary Gym and practiced as a whole. I assigned specific tasks like making signs, finding noise makers, gathering head gear, and painting to each Family Room to accomplish by Friday. Thursday, my Family Room brought together our ideas about how we want to decorate our poster signs. On Friday, a couple of students went outside to begin spray painting while the other students stayed inside to practice cheers.

I would say we are feeling pretty confident about our cheers! Next week, we plan on wrapping up our signs and final touches to our cheers. Before we know it, all the Houses will be taking the field for the competition.

Welcome to Gonzaga Family Room 315

October 01, 2019
By Madeleine Sanders '20

As the day of the cheer competition drew nearer, Gonzaga Family Room 312 was busily preparing for the first house event of the school year. Members of our family room joined the rest of the house to practice the cheer on Tuesday, and we sounded really good. On Thursday, Donna Lawhorn ‘21, Casey Walsh ‘22 and other members of Family Room 312 finished painting the signs for our cheer which spelled out “G-O-N-Z-A-G-A”. The buzz around the competition continued to grow on Friday, and when we met in our family room that afternoon, we put on face paint, glitter, and hair ribbons, provided by our dean and family room teacher Ms. O’Malley, to show our Gonzaga spirit.

We got out to the field for the competition with the rest of our house. We were the first house to perform and were super hyped. I encouraged all of our Family Room to cheer as loud and enthusiastically as they could because everyone participating was going to make our cheer one hundred times better. Family Room 312 took my words to heart and rocked it along with the rest of Gonzaga.

After performing, I talked to members of our family room Chris Ruetschle ‘23 and Izzy Ramby ‘21. Chris told me that getting loud and involved for the cheer made the competition much more enjoyable, especially since everyone was cheering together and no one felt singled out or embarrassed. Izzy said that our cheer sounded very strong and organized and definitely in the running for first place.  

Gonzaga claimed fifth place for the cheer competition. Although we hoped for a higher finish in the standings, I can attest that our family room had fun with this competition. Everyone got involved, and we got to know each other better through working together and practicing with each other. Family Room 312 also agreed that the cheer competition was a great way to set the tone for the football game that night.

Welcome to St. Mary's Family Room 214 (2020)

September 30, 2019
By Janelle Soto '20

Every new school year means a lot when it comes to the House System. It means a new beginning for the incoming freshmen, transfer students, and the House Captains. I asked Nayeli Torres ‘21 about her favorite things in Family Room so far and what she looks forward to this year.

Nayeli said, “I enjoyed playing the get to know you games and having a day of making friendship bracelets.” She also said, “I look forward to the birthday treats and getting to go outside to play games.” 

During the first couple weeks of school, the freshman get introduced to their Family Rooms and their new start at Carroll. The House System is a very important thing because it makes all grade levels connect together and make the freshmen feel welcome and at home. Family Rooms do not only focus on making you feel welcome, they also focus on other important things like academics. Having different grades in family is definitely an advantage because you get help from other students and hear about their experiences at Carroll. Every Tuesday is academic day, and this week was our very first one. This really does help the students because if they don’t have a study hall, it gives them a little extra time to get started on some homework. 

I definitely think that this year will be filled with a lot of fun and exciting things. After competing in our first big House Event and seeing all the great new people in family room, St. Mary’s will have a lot to look forward to!

Welcome to Mercy Family Room 106 (2020)

September 23, 2019
By Summer Medina '20

This school year has started off with a boom!  Now that we have finished the 5th week of school, the Family Rooms have become comfortable with their new friends.

In Family Room 106, the Mercy students went out on Thursday to chalk up the sidewalks. I asked Ronald "RJ" Sticka ‘21 what his favorite thing about Family Room was. RJ said, “The food parties that we have and all the friendships.”

After these first couple weeks of school, the freshmen are now in the flow of Family Room. On Monday, Family Room 106 had a birthday part for Tyler Wuebben ‘20 and Preston Davis '23 helped make popcorn and pass it out. The House System is very important to help all the grade levels connect and participate with each other.
Not only do Family Rooms focus on the fun aspect of school, but they also help with academics. Tuesdays are the Academic Day, and that's when students can have help from each other with homework, whether it's studying or just help understanding a concept. Mercy House is excited to continue on with this already great year and cannot wait to see what the students have to bring over the coming months!

Welcome to Baltimore Family Room 306

September 16, 2019
By Michael Taylor '20

Students at Carroll meet four days a week in Family Room, and it is very important that each room feels comfortable with each other and participate in activities that allow each individual at Carroll to feel like they belong to a family, and not just a school. Helping to spark investment in the House System by doing a variety of activities that suit each room is the goal for every captain and Family Room teacher. This week, Olivia Hickman ‘20 talked about her Family Room, Room 306.

“In the past, even if it’s not an Academic Day, we talk about academics and make sure that everybody is on track, which makes me feel really good about my grades," Hickman said.  "We also go outside occasionally and play frisbee.” Family Rooms are not all fun and games.  Sometimes, students need to focus on their academics, and this is what the aforementioned Academic Day is for. Tuesday is now a day entirely designed around students getting help and focusing on their studies for a little while.

Touching base with students even when it isn’t an Academic Day is a wonderful idea, but Family Room is about much more than studying and playing with frisbees. 

The way Family Room makes every student feel is very important. Olivia says, “Family Room makes me feel included and makes me feel like I have a safe space to go to.” This is truly the most important part. No matter how many fun games they do, the best part about Family Room is the way it makes students feel. They truly feel like the people in their room are there for them, and they feel like they belong there. That is the beauty of Family. Every week that passes makes every student feel more and more like a real family.

Welcome to Trinity Family Room 210 (2020)

September 09, 2019
By JC Copley '20

Hello everyone! This week has been an exciting week for the Carroll Patriots, especially for Family Room 210. Lead by religion teacher Mr. Brun and captains Abby Bertke and Jc Copley, Family Room 210 participated in Homecoming Spirit Week with gusto. Monday was pajama day, and most everyone showed up in their comfiest PJs. Monday was also the day that Family Rooms voted on their choice of song for the second House Event, which is the lip sync done every year.  Music videos were shown during this time and Family Room 210 had a dance party to go with it. It was very entertaining watching Mr. Brun dance! 

Tuesday was Family Room Color-Coordination Day, in which the Family Room picked what color shirts they wanted to wear on that day. It was a difficult choice for us, but we narrowed it down to three colors and eventually chose white. Tuesday also happens to be Academic Day, so most students were busy studying and doing homework during this time. Wednesday’s theme was 80s-90s Day, and seeing everyone's costumes was like a blast from the past! Thursday was Red, White, and Blue Day, and everyone in Family Room 210 was decked out in Carroll Spirit. The seniors and drama students left Family Room at this time to be a part of the Harlem Globetrotters' commercial. Because the captains of the room were gone, Kenny Shahady '21 took charge and coordinated a game for the room to play. Friday's theme was Tropical, which perfectly matched the Homecoming theme Aloha. The khaki’s and button up tropical patterned shirts were a sight to see! A Pep Rally also took place on Friday, ending up with the Seniors winning the Spirit Stick. Go Pats!

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