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Mack Chat Podcast

Eau Claire Hometown Radio produces the 30-minute podcast for MACS, featuring a wide variety of guests with ties to the MACS community. 

Episode 13: Upcoming Musical Performance

Gretchen Jorgenson – Director of the Musical and a Science Teacher

Helen Bullard – Fairy Godmother and Costume Director

They are here to discuss the theatre program at McDonell, which is in only it’s second year in a new incarnation. This includes an upcoming performance in February.

Musical Cinderella February 3-6

Purchase Tickets Online Box Office (

This is both a familiar story, but has updated music that is sure to entertain traditionalists and newbies alike.

Kids are encouraged to come dressed as princesses and princes and get their photos taken with the cast.

Episode 12: Athletics & New Wrestling Program

Molly brings on Alexis Landherr, the school's new athletics & activities director, along with sophomore athlete Wyatt Pelkey.  They are discussing the school's new wrestling team and the school's athletic program in general.

EPISODE 11: Campus Ministry 

Molly sits down with two members of McDonell's campus ministry program to get the low down from both a supervisor and student perspective.  She is joined by Erica Boehm, the campus ministry coordinator for grades 6-12 and by student Megan Hanson.

They talk campus ministry at McDonell and the programs and resources available for students in the system.

The importance of “belonging”, building friendships and providing a place to share their faith and religion as disciples of Jesus.

Major events, including an annual pilgrimage to DC. Megan talks about her personal experiences. The transformative events that take place. Including a funny story of watching nuns playing basketball.

Celebrations during the Advent Season

Balancing the challenges of the secular world

EPISODE 10: Catching up with an Alumn 

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

- 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

EPISODE 9: Girls Succeeding with Math

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.

EPISODE 8: Mental Health

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

- 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.

EPISODE 7: Prolife Month

Kicking off October as Pro-life month, MackChat welcomes Melissa Bowe '86 and Lydia Deering to share more about their work in adoption and permanency support services at Catholic Charities, as well as senior Paige Smiskey to talk about her work as a MACS Student Ambassador leader for the annual diaper drive October 22-28. Join us to be inspired by the passion and faith of these ladies as they make a real difference for birth parents and babies!

EPISODE 6: Back to School

Guest Kathi Brenner Rice ‘89 joins us in promoting the Steppin' Across Tilden for a Cause fundraiser coming up September 11, 2021.  It's a fun event that takes participants on a five-mile walk across Tilden. All funds raised will benefit the Christian Ruf family.

Then, MACS Admission Coordinator, Kathleen Adams, talks about the return to school. Listen in as she shares insight on the influx of students and seeing new families come in from places such as Alaska and Florida.

MACS Advancement Director Jaynee Brannen  EPISODE 5: State Fair and Fundraising

Listen in as Rusty Volk 'H13, executive director of the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds and Jaynee (Armstrong) Brannen '03, MACS Director of Advancement, talk about their plans to 'Revive the Valley' this summer with MACS Celebrates 140 years on June 12 and the return of the Northern Wisconsin State Fair. The duo also share how their faith has played a role in their work and MACS living out its commitment to community building and inviting people to share in our mission. 

Priestly Ministry  EPISODE 4: Priestly Ministry
May 14, 2021 
Molly talks with Fr. Justin Kizewski, a past chaplain and Dean for MACS, about why we need priests in Catholic schools, the truth found in Jesus Christ, and the newly formed ministry Chippewa GRACE, a faith-filled response to the trauma of clergy abuse. As Fr. Kizewski prepares for his next chapter teaching in Milwaukee, he reflects on his years in ministry in Chippewa Falls.

School SafetyEPISODE 3: Health and Safety

April 13, 2021
Guests Fire and EMS Lieutenant Mr. Justus Busse and Mrs. Regi Geissler, RN, parent volunteers, chat about their passion for safety and protection of the students at MACS. Regi and Justus share their insights on the development of emergency procedures, staff training, building security, the MACS Pandemic Committee and their hope for the future.

EPISODE 2 McDonell Volleyball EPISODE 2: McDonell Volleyball

April 9, 2021
Guests Mrs. Kat Roesler Hanson '03, varsity volleyball head coach for the McDonell Central Catholic High School Macks and Ms. Maggie Craker '21, a standout student athlete chat about living the Mack Way through faith, family, tradition. Maggie and Kat share how to be successful on and off the court while trusting in God through the ups and downs.

EPISODE 1 Student Ambassadors EPISODE 1 Student Ambassadors

March 26, 2021
Guests Mrs. Mary Jacobson, student ambassador program coordinator, and Ms. Ann David '21, a distinguished senior student with a record of servant leadership through the ambassador program. Expect to be inspired and entertained, while getting to know more about this amazing program and two outstanding women that are living The Mack Way!

You can find more information on this link for MACS Student Ambassador Program.

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Why Mack Chat?
We chose the name Mack Chat to reflect "The Mack Way" as well as the informal nature of the conversations, i.e. chats.

The Mack Way refers to the culture of our schools, which projects the light of Christ and aligns to our core values: faith, honor, academic excellence, healthy living, community, and servant leadership

Involving YOU in our Mission