Pep Squad Camp & Halftime Performance



Students in Kindergarten through 8th grade have a unique opportunity  to perform Monarch’s Football Halftime show. Our Pep Squad is hosting a clinic and the performance. The Pep Squad consists of members of Mater Dei Song Teams and Mater Dei  Cheer.

cheer camp


The clinic to learn the routines is on Saturday Sept 13 on Mater Dei campus in the LeVecke Center from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. The performance is at Halftime on Sept 19 at the big home game against Upland High School. This game will be at Santa Ana Bowl 7:00 pm Friday 9/19/2014.

Click here for the website with registration form.

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On the Sidelines: Honors and Accolades

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What a year 2014 has been for Mater Dei boys’ basketball coach, Gary McKnight.  Like never before, if there was a prestigious coach of the year award to be presented, it seemed like McKnight was there to accept it.  Roll the tape…

  • Morgan Wooten Award *for lifetime achievement in coaching high school basketball by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Naismith Boys’ National Coach of the Year
  • MaxPreps National Coach of the Year *for all sports
  • MaxPreps Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year
  • National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) National Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year
  • CIF State Coach of the Year
  • CIF-SS Open Division Coach of the Year

And the 2014 good fortune probably does not end there.  McKnight, with a 995-85 (.921 winning percentage) career coaching record, will most likely notch his 1,000 career win sometime in the month of December.  Stay tuned.

Martinez Honored
Rick Martinez was recently named the inaugural 2014 boys’ track and field state coach of the year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.  Martinez led the Monarchs last spring to both section and state championships, the first such titles in boys’ track and field in school history.

The Gold Standard
Mater Dei’s Katie Lou Samuelson (Class of 2015) spent the past summer helping Team USA’s U17 squad win the FIBA World Championships in the Czech Republic.  The United States beat Spain in the gold-medal game, 77-75.  Samuelson led her team in scoring, averaging just under 14 points per game during the event and was one of two Americans named to the five-member all-tournament team.  Samuelson recently committed to the University of Connecticut.

Philip Bellomo, Director of Athletics

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Principal’s Message: Guest Blogger Mrs. Zeyda Marsh – World Languages Department Teacher

principals-message-logo1While many students and teachers dedicate the summertime to much needed rest and relaxation, Mrs. Zeyda Marsh of the World Languages Department, seized an opportunity to further her studies in China.  In July of this year, she took intensive Mandarin courses at the University of Languages in Beijing for four hours each day for several weeks.  After school, she had over three hours of homework, but did manage some sightseeing and experienced Chinese Culture.  Enjoy some photos and excerpts from her writings to us here at Mater Dei this summer. It was a joy to live vicariously through Mrs. Marsh and her travels to the Far East!

July 12
This weekend I slept under the stars on the Great Wall of China in Haikou to the North East of Beijing. It took two hours to get to the town where we started the hike on a narrow- steep path that lead us to the wall. I hiked for about two hours carrying my backpack, sleeping bag, mat, and tent before reaching the wall. The hike was both exhilarating and scary at times, since this part of the wall built under the Ming Dynasty and it has not been rebuilt since. It is mostly made up of debris and very narrow steps of about 70% to 80% angles (see picture of other hikers). This trek was a one in a lifetime experience!

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July 14
Today I visited the Forbidden City (Gugong) in Beijing. This was the home of 24 emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties and the heart of China for 500 years. This is also the largest palace complex in the world, and it was named “The Forbidden City” because an unauthorized visit would result in instant death. The Ming emperor Yongle established its layout between 1406 and 1420, and it was the seat of power until 1911 when the revolution ended imperial rule. It is absolutely impressive!

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It is officially summer in China! Schools are out and the crowds are unbearable! A bit of stamina, determination, lots of water, and “Hanyu” or Chinese do the trick. I have yet to visit many places, including Mao’s tomb. I am hoping to get up at the crack of dawn one of these days to beat the crowds, since I already tried but gave up. Standing in line for hours under unbearable heat is not my idea of fun, but I would like to see the most revered person in China.

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July 27
After concluding my studies at the Beijing Language and Culture University, I embarked upon a week-long tour of China to further expand my cultural understanding of this ancient nation. To kick off my tour, I took a six-hour train ride from Beijing to Datong this past weekend. Datong is a city of approximately 3 million people located to the west of Beijing in Shaanxi Province. Known for its delicious noodles and coal-mining industry, Datong is consequently one of the most polluted cities in China. However, upon arriving, it was not so bad, and the cool, mountain weather provided a welcome respite from the stifling humidity of Beijing.

The following day, I headed to the Yungang Grottoes and the Hanging Temple of Hengshan. In order to get to these places, which are at significant distances from Datong proper, I hired a taxi for the day.

Using my masterful bargaining skills obtained in Latin America and honed amid the cutthroat competition of Beijing’s markets, I managed to whittle down the price to a mere 350 kuai (less than $60). The taxi driver was an affable fellow with whom I got to practice my Putonghua for several hours, trying to decipher at times his Datonghua, the nearly impenetrable dialect spoken in these parts. He also seemed to be the most cautious driver in the entirety of the People’s Republic of China, coasting along the mountainous roads at 30 kilometers per hour (roughly 20 mph), when the posted speed limit was much higher. As a result, my trip was prolonged by several hours which afforded me more opportunity to learn about the Chinese culture and inform the driver about the illustrious culture of the USA, or “Meiguo” (translated literally: Beautiful Country).

My first stop was the Yungang Grottoes, a series of shallow caves carved into the limestone hillsides on the outskirts of Datong. My expedition hit a small snafu when the ticket clerk refused to give me the student entry price into the site owing to my one-day expired student ID, but my bargaining skills prevailed once more, and minutes later, I headed into the grottoes triumphantly with my half-price ticket in hand.

The grottoes themselves, some which date back over 1,500 years, were spectacular! Each cave held a stone carving of Buddha more extravagant than the last, the culmination of which was an enormous cavern housing an immense Buddha flanked by several smaller figures, all painted and plastered with gold leaf.

From there, it was onward to the Hanging Temple of Hengshan. Perched precariously upon a sheer cliff face, I joined several other tourists in my quest to scale the temple, which is a collection of rickety wooden planks forming a snaking path that winds up and down past staggering drops and railings much too low to save anyone should they fall over. I myself, the intrepid Mrs. Marsh, was even daunted by the height!

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Thus concludes my latest dispatch from the East.

Until my next adventure,

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Student Designers Complete 2014-15 Admissions Pee Chee

With the 2014-15 school year underway, the Advancement Office is already making preparations for the 2015-16 school year and for the admissions marketing season for the next generation of Monarchs – the Class of 2019.

For the past six years, the Advancement Office has partnered with Mrs. Wilson and the AP 2-D graphic design students to create the Mater Dei admissions portfolio in the style of the old school pee chee folders which were very popular in the 60s, 70s, and 80s among students. Ten students in the graphic design program select two of ten images and provide their graphic expertise and style in creating images for the newest addition of the pee chee. The Advancement Office staff then oversees the final layout and submission to the press house, Main Graphics in Irvine, CA.

This year, the students and their teacher got to tour Main Graphics and see their work on the presses.  It was a great experience for our students to see their work come to life and produced en mass.  The staff at Main Graphics was so generous with their time and explanations of what goes into the production process.

Enjoy some photos of the trip and be on the lookout for the 6th edition of the MD pee chee!

Sincerely in Mater Dei,

The MD Admissions Team

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Pura Vida from Home-Sweet-Home!

PrintWe arrived back at LAX yesterday afternoon safe and sound. I think it is safe to say that although we all had a wonderful time, it was nice to be returning back home. Enjoy the photos below, they are a snippet of the adventures and experiences we had in Costa Rica. Pura Vida!

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Pura Vida from Costa Rica!

PrintToday was another big travel day for the group, this time by bus from La Fortuna to Montevede, a small town in the cloud forest. Heavy rains made the “normal” route inaccessible, meaning we got to take the scenic detour via the Pan-American highway. Weather has been rainy and was humid in La Fortuna; it is much cooler and windier here in Monteverde.  The last couple days have been full of many exciting things: a visit to a volcano, swimming near a waterfall and at a hot springs, kayaking at Lake Arenal, a visit to a local elementary school, and more. We are all doing well and having a blast. Pura Vida!


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Pura Vida from Costa Rica!

Print Greetings from Costa Rica!

We all made it here safe and sound with all of our luggage (after a couple celebrity sightings at LAX), and we had a busy day here in San Jose. We visited INBioparque, where we learned about the biodiversity of Costa Rica, then toured Cafe Britt and learned about how coffee in produced. In the evening we had mass at a cathedral downtown, and ate dinner at the hotel afterwards. There are many pictures to come! Today we leave for Arenal, with a stop at a volcano along the way 😀 Adios for now!

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