Bronze for Peter Lekše in American Computer Science League Competition

American Computer Science League (ACSL) has been organizing computer science and programming international contests for 43 years. On average  about 500 teams in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia participate annually. Students are tested on fundamental concepts in computer science, ranging from Number Systems to Boolean Algebra and Digital Electronics. Each contest also includes a problem to be solved by programming. The top students are invited to compete in an online Finals competition. This year three of the DCG students, namely  Peter Lekše, Rebeka Stres and Angelika Volarič, qualified in the finals, but it was Peter Lekše, who  gained the bronze medal. Helena Starc Grlj, teacher of informatics at the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, prepared the students for the competition.

This how Peter experienced the event: “Recently I took part in ACSL Finals, which I qualified for by competing in four contests throughout this school year. The contest for top teams was held in the USA, but due to pandemic, the competition was held online, with the same starting times for all the students. I must say I was lucky because for me that was at 4 pm, but it must have been tougher for West Coast and Korean students.

The competition started with ACSL director Marc Brown greeting us on the livestream. Then we had three hours to solve two problems. One was about building sentences with words from a given dictionary and a given sentence structure. For the other one we had to make a program that would determine whether the king is safe, in check, in checkmate, or in stalemate, given the state of the game. I finished a little early and was pleased with my solutions even though they could most likely be further optimized but that would require more time. After a short break we started with short problems and had one hour to solve twenty of them. They were a bit harder since it was a final competition but I was able to handle everything and was pretty confident about my solutions. After about two hours the results were released. Out of 580 students who qualified for the finals I was tied in 44th place with 37 out of 40 points, winning a bronze medal. I am very happy with my achievement considering I did not practice very much and that I can be quite sloppy at times”. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

Easter Greetings 2021

Easter, 2021 Marija Blaži, Teacher at Alojzij Šuštar Primary School

The right hand of the LORD has struck with power; the right hand of the LORD is exalted. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.” The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. Ps 118:16-17, 22-23

May the celebration of Easter open our eyes to the light of the Risen, so that our lives may reflect the hope that he bestows upon us! Felix Alleluia!

Anton Česen, M. A.

Director

 

Good News From Bonnie Scotland: Virtual Arrival at St. Stanislav’s

In these days this is the only way to say hello to our friends from Scotland.

The Story Behind: The S6 have decided to do a virtual walking challenge during the month of January to continue our fundraising for the British Heart Foundation! Together, we will complete 3500km by the end of January, which is the distance from Wellington School to our partner schools in France, Slovenia, Germany and Belgium! We will be tracking our steps to calculate the distance we complete and if you would like to support us, donations are greatly appreciated. Although it may be even more difficult now to fundraise during this time, we are determined to do everything we can to make a difference!

Latest Update: The S6 pupils have now completed 2,255km (over 3 million steps) and have just left the second partner school, St. Stanislav’s Institution in Slovenia and are currently walking through the picturesque village of Althofen in the Austrian Alps on their way to Dortmund, Germany! Our friends in Slovenia gave us a lovely warm welcome! /Susan Coontz/

FUTUR€NVIRONMENT

We are happy to announce that a new Erasmus+ project Future€nvironment has been launched with the Mallinckrodt-Gymnasium (Dortmund, Germany) as the coordinator and the following partner instiutions: Sint-Jozefscollege, Torhout, Belgium, Institut Saint Dominique, Mortefontaine, France, SUGS Georgi Dimitrov, Skopje, Northern Macedonia, Wellington School, Ayr, Scotland and St. Stanislav’s Institution. Project coordinator at St. Stanislav’s is Alenka Battelino. The project starts on 15.12. 2020 and ends on 14.12.  2022.

The short description and the aim of the project run as follows:

The environment, sustainability, global warming, biodiversity – these are topics which engage young people across the world; yet while many are ‘talking the talk’, they are not all ‘walking the walk’. This project aims to capture the interest of our students in the natural world and the environment and help them to make changes that will ensure the sustainable future that they are campaigning for. Although young people are worried about the future of our planet, many are not making the small changes in their lives that would help to safeguard the planet. Food waste, conspicuous consumption and reluctant recyclers are present in our schools in Belgium, France, Germany, Northern Macedonia, Slovenia and Scotland (UK). This project will encourage the small steps which can be taken by everyone for the good of all. /Alenka Battelino/

Christmas Greetings 2020

Rok Pogačar, teacher in the Jeglič Student Home, Rejoice in the Lord, watercolour, 2018

“Christmas involves different aspects and contextual elements of celebrating – humanity, family, peace and friendship, new hope and great expectations to a rich Slovene cultural tradition as well as a general need and desire for a family celebration. /…/ We wish all who strive for peace, justice and freedom, prosperity and mutual aid in society and worldwide an abundance of God’s blessings and success. For everybody, Christmas is a celebration of fresh hope and new strength in friendship and love.”

/The first Christmas greetings in public media in Slovenia on Radio Ljubljana, was given by Alojzij Šuštar, Ph.D. on December 24th 1986./

This year we commemorate the 30th anniversary of independence of the Republic of Slovenia and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alojzij Šuštar, Ph. D., Archbishop Metropolitan of Ljubljana, who legislatively re-established St. Stanislav’s Institution for education by a decree on November 13th 1992.

In the spirit of both anniversaries, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year 2021.

Anton Česen, M.A., director of St. Stanislav’s Institution

Substituting Strange Days for a Huge Song!

230 singers changed entirely these strange days

What happens when 230 young singers and 5 conductors join forces to convey their feelings in these strange days? Yes, one could say that science fiction has become reality, but not for the singers at the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium in St. Stanislav’s Institution. The fact is that singing is a common sight at this school nevertheless, we are particularly proud to announce the release of Strange Days as devised by students under a careful supervision of their conductors. All five school choirs, namely The First-Year Girls’ Choir of DCG (conductor Marjetka Kozmus), The First-Year Boys’ Choir of DCG (conductor Tine Bec, who also prepared the song for polyphony singing), (Re)Mixed Choir of the DCG, St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir of the DCG (both under the baton of Helena Fojkar Zupančič) and St. Stanislav Youth Choir of the DCG (conductor Damijan Močnik) participated in the project. They made a cover of Strange Days by The Strunts featuring Robbie Williams.

In a month and a half students prepared their audio and video recordings, took part in individual vocal lessons to brush up their voices, uploaded the recordings in Teams, the conductors listened to each of them, the band prepared the instrumental accompaniment, video and audio editing followed and voilá – the cover is out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGAw2SZqrcE

Congrats to everybody who contributed to its making! Indeed every little thing that you do goes a long, long way. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

 

 

Archbishop Zore: “Consider the obstacles, but never let them stop you.”

Archbishop Alojzij Šuštar

Each year the entire school community of St. Stanislav’s Institution celebrates St. Stanislaus’ Day to mark the feast of the Institution’s patron. It took place on 13th November 2020, in particular to celebrate the many talents and successes of the pupils of Alojzij Šuštar Primary School and the students of Diocesan Classical Gymnasium. The headmasters addressed the students and offered a flashback of the academic year that was so abruptly brought to an end by the pandemic. This year’s festivities were held under the title of Fulfilling God’s Will, which was the motto of Alojzij Šuštar (1920-2007), the Archbishop of Ljubljana between 1980-97. The centenary of his birth is being celebrated this academic year. Unlike previous years, all celebrations have been restricted to virtual mediums and consequently, for the first time in the history of the re-establishment of St. Stanislav’s Institution the event has been prepared digitally by Studio Siposh and followed online. This year’s programme was in hands of Mojca Lavrič of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium and turned out to be a happy feast of mind and soul.

Considering new doorways

Holy mass was celebrated in the school chapel by the Archbishop of Ljubljana Msgr. Stanislav Zore and school chaplains. He spoke of the obstacles in our lives, which should never prevent us from going on, offering a remarkable example of the life of Institution’s patron saint St. Stanislaus Kostka. He never let the obstacles stop him on his way to reach his goals and the Archbishop encouraged the students to seek for new routes, new possibilities and new doorways.

“The magic of music lies in pauses … We all need them desperately.”

With these words Karel Gržan, Ph.D. reflected upon the challenges of today’s world, considering above all the outstanding message of Šuštar’s life and work. The director of St. Stanislav’s Institution Anton Česen, M.A. pointed out at Šuštar’s decisive role in legislatively re-establishing St. Stanislav’s Institution for education. He also expressed gratitude to the keen supporters of the Institution. The performance was given by the students of all schools, fusing teachers and students, actors, singers, dancers and instrumentalists into a meaningful entity.

“Archbishop Šuštar was a very kind and prudent person.”

The entire school community was greeted also by the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor. He congratulated the Institution on the school’s day and shared some happy memories of Archbishop Šuštar with the audience. He said he felt eternally thankful for what he had done for the Slovenes and Slovenia and urged the young to follow Šuštar’s inspiration.

/Lily Schweiger Kotar/

St. Stanislav’s Day 2020 – Fulfilling God’s Will

Students looking forward

Each year the entire school community celebrates St. Stanislav’s Day to mark the feast of the Institution’s patron. This year it is under the title of Fulfilling God’s Will which was the motto of Alojzij Šuštar (1920-2020), the Archbishop of Ljubljana between 1980-97. The centenary of his birth is being celebrated this academic year. Inspirational figure of Archbishop Šuštar serves as the guideline for these festive days, as well as the entire school year in terms of his endeavours in the development of the Church in Slovenia and his contribution to democratization and independence of Slovenia.

Unlike previous years, all celebrations have been restricted to virtual mediums this year. Nevertheless, we have the pleasure of inviting you to follow us online. The occasion will be marked with holy mass and a solemn celebration on Friday 13th November 2020. Holy mass will be celebrated at 3.30 p.m. by the Archbishop of Ljubljana Msgr. Stanislav Zore. The solemn celebration will take place at 5 p. m.. Karel Gržan, Ph.D.,  a Slovene priest, will unveil the outstanding message of Šuštar’s life and work and make them resonate with the larger message in the world we live in today. The performance will be given by the students of all schools in St. Stanislav’s Institution, proving their versatility, talents and joy of sharing it all with us.

The entire event has been planned digitally so we are looking forward to meeting you online.

Anton Česen, M. A., Director of St. Stanislav’s Institution

David Ošlaj, alumni of DCG, to participate in International Distributed Physics Olympiad 2020

David (first row, right) qualifying for Physics Olympiad in June 2020 © www.dmfa.si

It is an honour to announce that last year graduate of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium David Ošlaj is to participate at the International Distributed Physics Olympiad (https://i20.mipt.ru/). The event is organized by the famous Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology for those students who qualified for the International Physics Olympiad 2020. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to pandemic, however, the online version is to take place between December 7-15, 2020. As an exception this year the Olympiad welcomes university students who were last year high school students.

The qualifictions took place at te end of academic year 2019/20 and David qualified to join the team of five young promising scientists (S. Bukovšek, J. Kocutar, M. Malovrh, and L. Podbregar) who will represent The Republic of Slovenia. The organizers promise that both theoretical and experimental exams are expected to be tough nuts to crack.

This year mentor of the DCG physics students is Martin Čokl, teacher of physics. The entire school community wishes an abundance of good luck and inspiration to David and the Slovene team with this competition! /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

 

In Memoriam + The Right Reverend Monsignor James Cassin

Mgr Jim Cassin with the priests from St. Stanislav’s Institution in Ireland (2017)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of The Rt Rev Mgr Jim Cassin from Killkeny, Ireland, who died peacefully on Friday, 5 June 2020. He was a faithful friend of St. Stanislav’s Institution and collaborated successfully for decades with the last three directors of the Institution – Bishop Jamnik, Roman Globokar and Anton Česen. Mgr Cassin devoted his life to Catholic education and the well-being of everybody connected to Catholic schools, which is the point where he influenced decidedly certain aspects of work and life in St. Stanislav’s Institution. He had always considered schools as places of faith and learning. He was a very valuable, learned and knowledgeable advisor, in particular as a member of the Association of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools in Europe, the European Committee for Catholic Education (CEEC) and The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. He participated actively as a speaker in many conferences and symposiums organized by St. Stanislav’ Institution, the last one being in 2009 when the religious education in Slovene schools was evaluated and offered some future perspectives. Jim delivered a speech on the teaching of religion being a source for Europe.

For me, he was the most powerful figure, when in the classroom with students. I had the honour of having him occasionally in my classes, when he visited Slovenia and the Institution on several occasions. He had the gift to encourage and connect the young, was a powerful witness of Christ’s gospel and a committed priest. This is why the students so gladly listened to him. But above all I remember him with great fondness as someone who was gentle, considerate, kind and funny. Jim was such a warm person and had a kind word for everyone.

Jim Cassin will be sorely missed. In his last message with New Year’s greetings he wrote: “I am hoping to spend a good New Year 2020 and hope to see you in Ljubjana again soon.” Little did we know he would spend “a good New Year 2020” in Father’s kingdom. May he rest in peace. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/