As the celebration of Catholic Schools week concluded, students enjoyed an indoor picnic with their families Friday in the St. Agnes school gym.

Grabbing their picnic blankets, 120 students enjoyed spending time with their parents and siblings during lunch as over 300 people gathered to celebrate being with not only their family, but also their school family.

For Nolan Troupe, Friday’s picnic provided an opportunity to engage with school faculty, mingle with parents and connect with his son, Charlie.

“I love being able to spend time at my child’s school,” Troupe said. “It helps me see what they’re learning.”

Charlie gave a thumbs up as he took a bite out of his sandwich.

Friday’s indoor picnic was the second one for the Troupes.

“It’s nice to see the community support for the school and it’s nice to get to know the teachers and parents,” Troupe said.

For Sloane Margheim, the picnic was her favorite event of the week because she spent time with her family.

“This is my favorite thing because my mom and dad get to come,” Sloane said. “I like to have lunch with my mom.”

As she and her mother, Andrea enjoyed yogurt and cheese balls, Sloane said it was a treat to have a cold lunch for a change.

“She was excited when I packed it,” Margheim said.

Throughout the week, Margheim said the school organized fun activities for the students and provided opportunities for parents to get involved.

“I like that we get to focus on her without her other siblings here,” she said. “I want her to know we support her in her education and we want the best for her.” Margheim added, “It’s nice to see all the parents make time for their children.”

Surrounding by their school family and their children, Jon and Melissa Dudley smiled as they ate lunch with their children Killian and Connor.

“I enjoy spending time with them because this is the only time we get to have lunch together,” Jon said.

The Dudley’s enjoyed their sixth indoor picnic at St. Agnes, which they said has grown over the years.

“There are more families now than when we first started coming,” Melissa said.

For their son, Connor the picnic was fun.

“I like spending time with them,” he said. “It’s cool.”

While Holly Polk enjoyed the chocolate cake after the picnic, her favorite part of the week was learning the Ten Commandments.

“We learned the Ten Commandments and the first one was love God first,” she said.

Polk added, “I liked this week a lot. Wednesday we got to wear our St. Agnes t-shirts to church.”

Throughout the week, the students enjoyed several classroom activities like Jeopardy and bingo.

Julie Brown, school administrator, hopes the students understand the sacrifices of their parents to allow them to have a Catholic education.

“What I hope the students garner during CSW is to appreciate the many people/entities that help make our school the wonderful place it is,” Brown said. “Their parents have committed to providing them the opportunity to grow in both mind and spirit.”

St. Agnes has held a annual picnic for at least 26 years.

Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at

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