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                                          A McDonell Area Catholic Schools Podcast Series

A podcast series highlighting the people within the McDonell community!  Hosted by Molly Bushman, she brings on students, educators and community members to help bring you inside what is happening!


Catching up with an Alumn who is a Broadcast Professional  CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Matt Willkom a 1998 McDonell Alum and Executive Director Iowa Catholic Radio in Central Iowa is the guest. Matt and Molly reminisce about their time as classmates and about Matt’s path to becoming the executive director of Iowa Catholic Radio.

- How his time at McDonell shaped his career and his faith

- The concept of “you can’t give what you don’t have” when it comes to his relationship with God

- Evangelizing and why that shouldn’t scare off Catholics

- The possibility of his radio group expanding into the Chippewa Valley

- His Father, who is a retired dentist a Deacon and ordained minister.

- Lessons from when we had to be separated during the pandemic. How the perspective  gave us on what to focus on.

- Words of advice to his younger self when he was a student at McDonell.

- Seeing God’s work through his time in radio


Girls Succeeding with Math  CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Focusing on the girls and women in the math/science fields with a mother/daughter McDonell combo.  Wendy is a math teacher at the school and Rose is one of her six children who are either alums or still currently enrolled at the school.





Talking Mental Health with a pair of professionals tied in with the McDonell School System. Andrea Hess with Oakleaf and Ruthann Proue, a school counselor discuss mental health systems within the McDonell Schools

- What is the school district providing? The importance of being proactive with programming

- Even with proactive approaches, sometimes mental crisis does happen, and what resources are there

- There are more issues now than before (and no, it’s not just because of COVID but instead deeper than that)

-  Why communication between kids and their adults is important

- Lastly, shifting gears, Andrea discusses “Domestic Church” and what this program is that she is involved in.


Pro Life Month


Pro-Life Episode in honor of October being pro-life month. Sponsored by Cobblestone Hotel and Suites

Guests include Melissa Bowe and Lydia Deering from Catholic Charities.  Also, student ambassador Paige Smiskey.

Topics include some of the programs within McDonell and Catholic Charities to support the Pro-Life Mission. Who is it Catholic Charities works with and what is their responsibility to those who they serve?

What are a few of the events, including the diaper drive (10/22-10/28 this year), that the school and students are involved with.




Back to School and Steppin' Across Tilden

A pair of guests join the program. Kathi Rice tells us all about the Steppin' Across Tilden for a Cause fundraiser coming up Sept. 11th.  It's a fun event that takes participants on a five-mile walk that starts at one bar and ends at another!

Then, Kathleen Adams, the admissions coordinator for the school system, talks about the return to school.  The fact that the system has had a large influx of students and seeing new families come in from places such as Alaska and Florida.



State Fair & Fundraising

Rusty Volk from the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, and one-time development director for McDonell and Jaynee Brannan, the school's current Director of Advancement join Molly for this episode.

Since most students attend the school on at least some form of scholarship, tuition alone doesn't cover the operating expenses.  So we learn how funds are generated and what they go towards.

We also learn about the new "Macks Celebrate 140 years" event coming up June 12th at the fairgrounds.  The event includes your chance to win a private concert with Chris Kroeze



Episode with Father Kizewski

Father Justin Kizewski, the Pastor for Holy Ghost and St. Bridget Parishes chats with Molly.  We hear about father's background and his path to the priesthood (he originally didn't even want to attend Catholic high school yet alone get into this vocation).

We learn how his entering the priesthood shares something in common with Cheerios.

How he feels about leaving Chippewa Falls soon.  He's been around for years, seeing people from baptism to communion to confirmation to marriage to even death.


His work with students, educating on everything from New Testament to Church history to Latin.


What is "The Truth"


And lastly, his work with Chippewa Grace Ministry and helping to heal the wounds of the clergy scandals.  Whether directly or indirectly, these events have impacted the entire community.




EPISODE discussing Health and Safety

On this episode we're introduced to a pair of parent volunteers who have helped to shape and improve the school's health and safety protocols.  What are some things that have been tweaked and introduced in the last few years as the school continues to strive to provide the best for the families that count on it.


EPISODE with Student Athletes

Molly talks with head volleyball coach Kat Hanson, and senior player Maggie Craker about the school's highly successful volleyball program.

- What coaching and playing for the Macks means

- How athletics and academics work in unison to grow people

- Setting high standards for yourself

- Relying on others and celebrating their success

- Maggie's advice to younger students


EPISODE - Student Ambassador Program

We learn about the student ambassador program within the school.  Molly brings in Mary Jacobson, who created and continues to run the program.  Plus, we meet Ann David, a senior student who has grown up with the program and shares experiences.


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