Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Saint Viator’s Band Takes First in Class at State of the Art Catholic Band Competition

bandSaint Viator’s Symphonic Band has a long tradition of doing well at the annual State of the Art Catholic Band Festival, but this year, they nailed it.

This year’s festival drew nearly 20 Catholic high schools across Chicago and the suburbs to converge on Brother Rice High School for the 37th annual contest. When it was all said and done, Saint Viator placed 1st in Class AA and also earned “best brass” and “best woodwinds.”

Saint Viator’s band members also won the coveted “Jim Moore Esprit de Corps Award” — named for one of the founders of the contest and its longtime emcee — for their enthusiasm, professionalism and overall contribution to the contest.

At the end of the day, Saint Viator’s score for the day landed the band in 3rd place out of 18 overall, and ahead of one of the AAA bands.

In finishing in first place in class AA, Saint Viator set the bar for the other schools in the class, including St. Ignatius, Brother Rice, and Mother McAuley, Fenwick, Nazareth, Notre Dame/Resurrection, Providence Catholic, Marmion/Rosary and St. Rita.

“I am so proud of these students for their hard work,” said Mr. Vince Genualdi, director of bands. “Our program is about enjoying the journey to the performance and these kids rose to the challenge and had a phenomenal performance as a result of that.”

Members of the Knights of Columbus launched State of the Art in 1982 and they continue to be on hand to present trophies. They created the festival as a way to showcase band programs in Catholic schools — and encourage music education. Over the years, the festival has become quite competitive, with Marian Catholic, a nationally ranked band program, setting the bar for excellence.

Typically, the festival draws bands from Notre Dame, Resurrection, Nazareth, Fenwick, St. Patrick’s, Mount Carmel, De LaSalle, Brother Rice, Mother McAuley, St. Laurence and Queen of Peace high schools, as well as Bishop Noll Institute from Hammond, IN.

 

It’s Official: Another Perfect ACT Score

Fecko_Daniel PAsk Daniel Fecko ’20 what his favorite class is, and he has to think about it. And why not? He enjoys all of them, he says and, it turns out, he’s good in all of them, too.

Late last fall, Daniel joined an elite group. He learned in November that he had earned a perfect score on the ACT. He is the fourth Saint Viator student over the past year to have aced the test. Thomas Constertina ’19, Maura Hogaboom ’19 and Caroline Lavendar ’19 all earned perfect scores last year and now are contemplating their college choices for the fall.

“I was pretty sure I did well on it when I came out,” Daniel says with a smile. “It’s been a big goal of mine for a while. I started preparing over the summer and took a practice test almost every week.”

Academic challenges come naturally to this high achieving junior. He competes on Saint Viator’s math team, as well as the academic team, where he has earned individual medals in math and English.

Daniel also enjoys the fine arts. Last fall, he and Lavendar were selected to represent Saint Viator at the highly competitive Illinois Music Education Association District 7 Music Festival. When he’s not singing in the choir, Daniel plays trumpet in the band and is an active member of the Campus Ministry team.

In this weekend’s musical, the Wizard of Oz, Daniel is a featured dancer. And to round it all out, he plays soccer in the fall and volleyball in the spring.

“I know,” he says with a laugh. “It’s a lot to manage, but I like to push myself.”

Daniel credits his rigorous course work at Saint Viator, and at St. Colette Catholic School in Rolling Meadows, with giving him the tools he needed to excel on the test.

“Mr. Paolelli’s grammar unit helped a lot,” Daniel said. “And so did my seventh grade English class. I still remember all of that.”

Daniel is the third of four children of Mike and Lucy Fecko. While his older siblings, Sara ’13 and Matthew ’17 are pursuing the fine arts in college and graduate school, and younger sister, Margaret, will be a freshman in the fall, Daniel thinks he may like to explore engineering.

“I’m not sure,” he says with a laugh. “I’m interested in so many things.”

 

Saint Viator Boys and Girls Basketball Teams Reach New Heights

BB7F2256-4C7F-479E-9B33-0988236DA61BBoth the boys and girls basketball teams are having a great winning season. The boys basketball team battled for first place in the ESCC on Feb. 15, a game that was also televised on the UTOO network as the game of the week. The Saint Viator community of current and future students, alumni, parents, grandparents and friends packed the gym to witness a decisive victory over Marian Catholic, ranked #7.

This win comes after the boys team received the #1 seed in the Grayslake Central Sectional. Next, the boys will play for the Conference Championship on Feb. 20, and Saint Viator will be hosting the Regional Championship during the week of Feb. 25.

Saint Viator High School also hosted the girls 3A Regional, in which the girls basketball team won their fourth consecutive regional title. The girls team now moves on to play in the Carmel Sectional Semi-final on Monday, February 18, at 6:00 p.m. vs. #4 seed Johnsburg.

If the girls win against Johnsburg, they will play the winner of #5 seed Carmel vs. #2 seed Marengo on Thursday, Feb. 21, for the Sectional Championship. Athletic Director Jason Kuffel attributes recent successes to the dedication of both the coaching staff to their students, and the student athletes to their craft.

“This is a great time in Saint Viator Athletics,” said Kuffel. “This is the first time in school history that both our boys and girls basketball teams have been awarded the #1 overall seed in their respective sectional in the same year.”

Cole Kmet ’17: From ND to Cooperstown

Cole Kmet '18.

Cole Kmet ’17.

Cole Kmet ’17 holds a rare distinction among student-athletes at the University of Notre Dame. Not only is he a dual-sport athlete, but he is the first dual-sport athlete to have been the starting pitcher in a baseball game since 2010.

That uniqueness was not lost on officials during last season’s Shamrock Series football game, played at Yankee Stadium, when the Fighting Irish faced the Orange from Syracuse. Turns out Kmet was the only player who also plays baseball to appear in the game.

For the record, he caught one 17-yard pass during the game and came in multiple times on special teams and as a blocking tight end.

Sports writers found it ironic that this left-handed pitcher was wearing pinstripes at Yankee Stadium, to play football.

Now, that moment will live on in history. Last month, officials with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Coopersburg announced they had requested and received Kmet’s helmet be added to their collection.

Photo courtesy of Katie Meyers/Fighting Irish Media.

Photo courtesy of Katie Meyers/Fighting Irish Media.

It is the only football helmet to be acquired by the Hall of Fame, though there are other pieces of football history preserved in Cooperstown, officials said.

Jon Shestakofsky, vice president of communications & education at the museum said that while the majority of their collection comes from the baseball diamond, they also collect other pieces that tell the story of baseball’s connections off the field.

“We were particularly interested in collecting the helmet used by Cole,” Shestakofsky said, “a two-sport athlete who also stars on Notre Dame’s baseball team, as he clearly has a love for baseball.”

The acquisition had to be approved by the NCAA compliance department, and Kmet, himself, but that was an easy call.

“It’s obviously very cool and a tremendous honor to have something of mine in the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Kmet said. “It’s cool to know that when I go there someday I can see my helmet in the hall.”

He also liked the uniqueness of the acquisition.

“How cool to have a piece of football memorabilia make its way all the way to the Baseball Hall of fame,” Kmet added.

Kmet learned of the honor in late December, during a football practice in preparation for the team’s Cotton Bowl appearance as part of college football’s Bowl Championship Series semi-finals.

“We were able to have our head baseball coach, Mik Aoki, come out to a football practice to surprise Cole that the Hall of Fame wanted his helmet,” said Michael Scholl, assistant director of athletics communications. “So that was a special moment and made it even more unique.”

No doubt, Kmet and his family will make a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. After all, they are a baseball family, with Casey Kmet ‘19 committing to play baseball this fall at Notre Dame, and learning this month that he is a pre-season All-American.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Wizard of Oz

SVHS-151Senior Kiana Resch loves playing the role of the Wicked Witch of the West in the “Wizard of Oz,” but it’s not as easy as it looks. She has spent months perfecting the witch’s evil laugh, which comes after her famous line, “I’ll get you, my pretty — and your little dog, too!”

Kiana shares the role with Claire Capra ’22, and they both are enjoying bringing to life one of the show’s most iconic characters.

SVHS-167“It’s just super fun to transform yourself into someone else, if only for a little while,” Kiana says. “But she’s not just sassy and mean, she has some funny lines, too.”

Look for all of that fun and energy to come bursting off the stage, as the show opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1. Shows continue at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2 and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, as well as at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 and 9, and at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 12.

In all, some 120 students are involved in the cast, with more than 20 working behind the scenes in tech and stage crews, as well as those in the orchestra and another 50 serving as ushers.

SVHS-182Sophomore Sophie Limberakis shares the role of Dorothy with Maggie VanValkenberg ’19, and both auditioned by singing the show’s most memorable song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

“It’s magical,” Sophie says. “I don’t know if I’ll ever land another role as good as this one.”

Senior Will Walberg says he knew he wanted the role of the Cowardly Lion as soon as he auditioned. He now shares the role with Daniel Ornelas ’20.

“It’s his voice I’m trying to capture,” Will says. “I’m great with accents, but I’m trying to be loveable and terrified and brave, all in the same character.”

Will and Daniel wear custom made lion costumes that are so heavy and warm, they will be wearing a vest with ice packs underneath, just to stay cool.

SVHS-101Mrs. Kate Costello, who is directing and producing the show, says she selected the musical for its wide array of wacky characters available to students. Even then, she created new roles to give more students a chance to perform in the show’s big ensemble numbers, including dancing poppies, snowflakes and even ghosts to accommodate more students.

“One of the themes of the story — which applies especially to our young actors — is the importance of recognizing our own inner strengths,” Mrs. Costello says. “I enjoy the irony that none of the characters realize they already possess the qualities for which they are seeking a magical solution. The Scarecrow already is the smartest; the Tinman already is the most loving and tender; the Cowardly Lion already has the courage to lead the rescue.

“Participation in the Saint Viator musical brings out the inner strengths — and hidden talents — in many of our students, and our adults too,” she adds. “We grow stronger and more confident when we work together to create this theater family, not over the rainbow, but right here, on the Joann Calzaretta stage.”

 

Saint Viator Students Demonstrate ‘Faith in Action’

Golden Rose Award recipients with Bishop Hicks and Rev. Jerry Jacob (photo by Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women).

Golden Rose Award recipients with Bishop Hicks and Rev. Jerry Jacob (photo by Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women).

Four Saint Viator students were recognized last month by members of the Chicago Archdiocese Council of Catholic Women when they received the group’s Golden Rose Award.

The award is bestowed annually to young women who demonstrate leadership and spirituality in their parishes, as well as service to the community.

Recipients included:

  • Emily Goebel ’19 is a member of St. Emily Parish in Mount Prospect. She has served as a cantor, member of the youth and adult choirs, religious education catechist, Vacation Bible School teacher and in liturgical ministry.
  • Maura Hogaboom ’19 is a member of St. James Parish in Arlington Heights. She has served as a retreat leader at Quest and Kairos, Catholic Heart Work Camp, urban immersion, Habitat for Humanity and Vacation Bible School at St. James.
  • Elizabeth Miller ’20 is a member of St. Mary Church in Buffalo Grove. She served as a program leader for confirmation retreats, as well as a peer minister and Catholic youth role model.
  • Kathryn Williams ’19 is a member of St. Alphonsus Ligouri Parish in Prospect Heights. She serves as a Eucharist minister, altar server, youth ministry leader, and parish high school retreat leader.

In reflecting about the award, Emily said she became more active in her parish after joining the children’s choir in sixth grade.

“Someone noticed me and asked me to cantor when I was in eighth grade,” Emily says. “I was really surprised. I had never taken lessons or sung a solo before. I felt really good about that.”

She wound up joining the adult choir and has continued singing and becoming more active in parish ministries ever since. Her parish involvement led to Emily becoming active at Saint Viator, including singing in Music Ministry at school liturgies, participating in choir and in Campus Ministry, as well as performing in the musicals and plays.

“As a cantor, I try to involve people more in the Mass,” Emily says. “I know my involvement in the choir and as a cantor has deepened my faith life.”

Which is exactly why women with the Council of Catholic Women thought it was important to start the Golden Rose Awards.

“In our society, high school women already receive recognition for their academics, sports, and in the arts,” said Evelyn Getty, president. “We felt in today’s world, the importance of recognizing their faith and how that impacts their parish.”

The Council established the award in 2015 and had four girls nominated by their parishes. This year, they had 25 Golden Rose recipients, and of those four attend Saint Viator.

Saint Viator Invites Businesses to Support Summer Work Study & Internship Program

baxendale1Senior Robert Baxendale of Arlington Heights enjoys performing on stage at Saint Viator High School, both in its musicals and fall plays. Consequently, when searching for the right fit in its Summer Work Study & Internship Program, officials found just the ticket: an internship at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in downtown Arlington Heights.

Last summer, Robbie operated the spotlight for a variety of stage productions at the theater, which meant learning to follow complicated lighting cues. He also assisted in the marketing department, enabling him to get hands-on experience both behind the scenes of the stage and its administrative departments while earning valuable dollars toward his tuition.

A pair of local businessmen sponsored his internship: Jim Mitchell, a Saint Viator alumnus and owner of Mitchell Marketing as well as attorney Steve Daday, a Saint Viator parent.

Sponsoring students at nonprofit organizations is just one way for business partners to support Saint Viator’s innovative program. The work study program places interns at work sites of participating business partners, who contribute $3,000 toward the student’s tuition.

Saint Viator will host a reception from 5:30-7 p.m. Jan. 23 in Querbes Hall of the school, for current and prospective business partners to learn more about the program. Participating students and current employers will be on hand to share their experiences.

Tom O’Neill, a 1988 graduate of Saint Viator and CEO of the Würth Group in Vernon Hills, says originally, he wanted to support the program as a way of giving back to his school. After sponsoring his first intern, he realized his company gained far more from their young intern than they expected.

“I have to say, Alex did more for our company than we did for Alex,” O’Neill says of Alex Thorn ’17, who sponsored two interns last summer. “His attitude and willingness to take on new projects changed the culture of our IT department.”

Saint Viator always seeks to add more corporate partners. This year’s list includes Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in Rolling Meadows, Kelleher & Buckley in North Barrington, Midwest Glaucoma Center in Hoffman Estates, MK Industries in Vernon Hills, Rose Packing Company in South Barrington, UHY Advisors, and a CPA firm in Chicago to name a few.

Nonprofits include: Catholic Charities in Des Plaines, Citizens for Conservation in Barrington, Journeys and the Road Home in Palatine and Norwood Crossing in Chicago. Nonprofit jobs are sponsored by generous individuals who cannot provide jobs themselves but want to support the program.

At each site, students work five, eight-hour days for a period of six weeks during the summer. Ideally, Saint Viator tries to pair the student with a company or organization that reflects the student’s interest.

Companies or individuals interested in sponsoring a Saint Viator intern should contact Kirsten Nozime, coordinator of the Summer Work Study and Internship Program. Call her at 847-392-4050, ext. 268, or email svcwsp@saintviator.com.

Here We Come A Caroling, with Adults from St. Coletta’s

7589918208_IMG_4564A record number of students stayed late on Friday to carry on a holiday tradition, that, well, sings.

For a second straight year, students combined with residents of St. Coletta, who live in group homes in the Northwest suburbs, to go Christmas caroling in the neighborhood and relax over cookie decorating and refreshments afterward. It was the fourth year overall that Saint Viator students have caroled in the neighborhood.

The bash was thrown by the Campus Ministry department and drew nearly 100 Saint Viator students and 20 adults from St. Coletta’s. The group was so large, they had to divide into groups for their caroling and spread out across Saint Viator’s surrounding neighborhoods.

Accompanying the students were Mrs. Jean Dziedzic of the Enrollment Department, Mr. Christopher Paolelli, Dean Deb Scerbicke and Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV.

7589885328_IMG_4585“They were a very distinguished looking group of carolers. There was a lot of food and a lot of singing. Everyone had a great time,” said Fr. Bolser, who already says Mass one night a week for St. Coletta residents and looks for ways to bring them together with Saint Viator students.

The night before the outing, members of Saint Viator’s powerlifting team helped serve food at a holiday party held at St. Coletta’s Center in Palatine.

7529057696_IMG_4573“These athletes are truly dedicated to service, which is a core tenant of the Illinois High School Powerlifting Association,” said Mr. Alex Nadolna, strength and conditioning coach who also coaches Saint Viator’s powerlifting team.

The adults served by St. Coletta are in their 40s and 50s and have developmental disabilities. St. Coletta’s of Wisconsin was founded in 1904, and it continues to be inspired by the Franciscan mission of compassion, dignity, and respect, in serving adults with developmental disabilities.

Its main residential facility is located in Jefferson, WI, but St. Coletta’s now serves adults in the Northwest suburbs, who live in 10 homes in the area and attend programs at a resource center in Rolling Meadows.

Sophomore Thanks Veterans, One Wreath at a Time

Ashleigh Jarvis-Flinn ’21 with her mom, Jenn, and her grandmother at her grandfather's, Major Roger “Bud” Flanik, grave.

Ashleigh Jarvis-Flinn ’21 with her mom, Jenn, and her grandmother at her grandfather’s, Major Roger “Bud” Flanik, grave.

Dayton National Cemetery in Ohio reached a record number of sponsorships this year for its annual participation in Wreaths Across America, in part due to the efforts of a Saint Viator sophomore.

Ashleigh Jarvis-Flinn ’21 promoted Wreaths Across America this fall as part of her effort to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award. She and her family drove to Dayton on Dec. 15 for the laying of the wreaths ceremony, when nearly 2,700 wreaths were laid on the graves of veterans, including her grandfather’s.

FB_IMG_1544993183272“I’ve been in Girl Scouts since I was in first grade,” Ashleigh says. “Since I’m in high school, I wanted to finish it out. Earning the Gold Award would be the ultimate. It’s the highest award in Girl Scouting.”

Ashleigh started out in a Girl Scout troop based out of St. Hubert’s School, and of those that started with her, six high school students remain involved. They are in Troop 40482, led by Mrs. Joyce Moynihan.

IMG_3448Just last summer, the teens completed the Girl Scout Silver Award and now have set their sights higher. The Gold Award is likened to Boy Scout’s Eagle Award. In order to earn it, girls are challenged to “demonstrate leadership through take-action projects, that have a sustainable impact in their communities and beyond.”

Ashleigh became aware of the Wreaths Across America initiative when her grandfather, Major Roger “Bud” Flanik, an Air Force veteran and former Viet Nam fighter pilot, passed away in 2016. He is buried at the Dayton National Cemetery, home to more than 47,000 veterans.

IMG_7274(1)Wreaths Across America started more than 20 years ago when its founders drew sponsors to purchase Christmas wreaths to lay on the graves of veterans at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington. Currently, more than 1,400 veteran cemeteries take part each year. Their same mission drives them: “to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and teach children the value of freedom.”

Major Roger J. Flanik

Major Roger J. Flanik

“As a family, we pledged to place a wreath on Grandpa’s headstone,” Ashleigh says, “during the laying of the wreaths ceremony each year.”

That’s when she realized she could advance the project’s mission and make a larger impact on her own community and the veteran community.

Ashleigh began her project last fall when she set out to fundraise for more wreaths to place at the graves of veterans at the Dayton National Cemetery. She began by designing a website that educates visitors about Wreaths for America and her own personal story, of her grandfather’s heroism.

She then promoted her project through Facebook and other social media outlets, and wound up earning enough for 60 wreaths, and thus helping the cemetery reach a record this year.

FB_IMG_1544993188581“What touched my heart was knowing that each time a wreath is placed upon a grave,” Ashleigh said, “that a veteran’s name is said out loud. What a perfect way to honor and validate that they still matter to us, and will never be forgotten.”

To read more about Wreaths Across America and Ashleigh’s late grandfather, click here.

Welcome Home, Br. John Eustice, CSV

EusticeFr. Dan Hall, CSV and the Provincial Council of the Clerics of St. Viator have announced that Br. John Eustice, CSV will be returning to Saint Viator High School beginning next semester.

He will be moving into the position of Vice President of Mission and Viatorian Identity. Br. John has been working in Bourbonnais, Illinois, with youth ministry and young adult ministry. He will continue to fill the role of Director of Vocations for the Province of Chicago.

Br. John will fill the role vacated by Fr. Fall on his election as Provincial of the Chicago Province.

Welcome home, Br. John.

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