NDP students will enjoy a much needed rest over Fall Break Oct. 21-25.

Students will be using this time off from school to serve others, focus on athletics, travel, and plan for their futures or relax with friends and family.

NDP students and faculty are heading down to Rocky Point, Mexico to build homes on the 1Mission trip this Fall Break.

“I am excited about going back to see the houses we have built and the impact we left on the community last year,” senior Rami Sibai said. Rami attended last year’s 1Mission trip and is excited to return. 

“The life changing experience of seeing a different part of the world and witnessing extreme poverty first hand was my favorite part of the trip because it made me appreciate every little thing that I take for granted,” said Sibai.

On this year’s trip, Sibai is most excited about “handing the keys over to the families and seeing the emotional looks on their faces.” 

This year’s “unforgettable trip,” according to Sibai, will be slightly different from last year. Less students will be attending the trip, and the number of houses being built will be two instead of three.

Last year’s 1Mission Trip students. Photo Courtesy of Jayce Henderson

NDP student contributing toward building the house in Rocky Point, Mexico. Photo Courtesy of Jayce Henderson

Fall sports teams will have many practices and both home and away games over break to take advantage of not having classes. 

This is a chance for the teams to get very close with each other and build more chemistry. Marek Hertle, senior varsity hockey player, said, “We have to work very hard, but I am excited to play during the break because I think it’s a great opportunity to improve and grow as a team.” 

The hockey team has a busy schedule during the year, and it does not stop with them. Samantha Maxwell, senior varsity volleyball player, said, “I love playing over fall break because it keeps the team connected and we all love spending time together. It also gives us more time to practice before playoffs and state.” 

Fall teams are taking advantage of this open session to prepare for upcoming games and tournaments and grow as a community of Saints!

Marek Hertle looking to pass to an open teammate during a game at the Ice Den on March 6, 2018. Photo courtesy of Marek Hertle.

Members of NDP’s AP Environmental Science class are traveling to Iceland over fall break to learn more about the country’s culture and usage of geothermal energy. The class will be participating in a variety of unique opportunities, including hiking glaciers, swimming in lagoons, volunteering with sled dogs, and swimming along a fault line. 

“One thing [I am most excited about] is… the exposure to [the Icelanders’] lifestyle and the way that they take care of the environment,” said Kandi Wojtysiak, the leader of the trip, about the experience. 

This Iceland trip is a very unique opportunity for students to learn more about environmentalism and how to better support the planet.

One of Iceland’s many mountain ranges, similar to what will be hiked on the trip. Photo from Creative Commons

For seniors who are thinking of going out of state for college, this week is the perfect opportunity, and many seniors are taking the week off of school to combine relaxation and planning ahead. 

Senior Mary Stallkamp said, “I am going to California to tour USD and Loyola Marymount University, and then going to Disneyland for two days.” She said will be “the perfect mix of fun and future planning,” as well as time to have fun with her family before she goes off to college. 

College tours are an essential part of the college selection process for both students and admissions advisors, and Stallkamp is not the only student taking this opportunity. 

NDP seniors Nicolette Sciortino and Lauren Stein are also touring colleges in California, with Sciortino touring SDSU and USD and Stein touring Loyola Marymount University, Chapman University and USD. 

With California schools being top picks for many NDP students, the state can be sure to expect many more visits from NDP seniors and underclassmen over fall break and the rest of the year. 

A photo of the University of San Diego (USD) campus courtesy of the school website

Over fall break, many NDP seniors will be filling out college applications. The tedious process is comprised of writing essays, reporting standardized test results, reporting transcripts, finding scholarships, submitting letters of recommendation, and much more. 

Derek Elsholz, senior at NDP, said, “The application process has proved quite bearable with the program of Naviance.” Elsholz plans on applying to top tier schools like Notre Dame, Duke and Penn, so the application process has been quite hectic.

 Another senior student, Gabby Odinet, is in the process of applying to nine competitive schools. When asked how the applications are going, Odinet said, “Well I never have time and I get no sleep, so it’s going great.” 

Other students are going through the same thing, with the deadlines approaching. The early action deadline for colleges is Nov. 1, and the normal deadline varies. 

Photo of college mail piling up. Photo courtesy of Danny Doherty.

Many students are going to be traveling all around the country for vacation during Fall Break for many reasons, including college visits and family. 

Senior Carly Bettis will be traveling to Texas to visit her sister and take a tour of Texas Christian University. 

Bettis said “TCU is on her top 5 college lists” and wants to “follow in [her] sister’s footsteps.”

Her sister, Sydney, is currently a senior at TCU and will be on the field for the homecoming game as she was nominated by her peers to be a representative for the university.

“I am excited to explore the Dallas and Fort Worth area with my family,” said Bettis.

Carly Bettis and her sister, Sydney, visiting each other last fall at TCU

While many students are traveling for fall break, a number are looking forward to having a fun, relaxing time at without leaving town.

Staying home to unwind and de-stress is one of the best ways to make the most of any break from school. 

Senior Shireen Sadeghi is hoping to, above all, “catch up on sleep” over fall break. She is also looking forward to “[spending] time with friends and family.” 

A great way to do so is by attending Scottsdale and Phoenix’s myriad of fall-themed activities. Local fall events during break include the Scottsdale Fall Festival (Sat Oct. 26 5-9 pm on South Eldorado Ball Field, 2311 N. Miller Road), Fear Farm (Fri-Sat 7-12 pm, Sun 7-11 pm, Mon-Thurs 7-10 pm), and the Carefree Carved Pumpkin Garden (Carefree Desert Gardens Mon-Sun 10 am-8 pm).

The Scottsdale Fall Festival will be happening on Oct. 26 from 5-9 pm on the South Eldorado Ball Field, 2311 N. Miller Road. 

Image from VisitPhoenix