Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

History of the Saint Viator High School Crest

crestDepending on your age, you may have seen it thousands of times in print, at school events and even on clothing, but what do you really know about the school crest?

While many things have changed since the doors to Saint Viator opened over 50 years ago, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the crest, and more importantly, what it stands for.

According to our history, the school seal incorporates the red lion and white fleur-de-lis from the coat of arms of the city of Lyon where Fr. Louis Querbes began his work that led to the formation of the Viatorian community. Surrounding the letters IHS, is a crown of thorns. IHS or “In Hoc Signo” in Latin translates to “In this sign,” and the letters are centered on the cross, which is the seal of the Clerics of St. Viator. The three orbitals symbolize scientific learning. The torch behind the shield is a symbol of knowledge, truth and the Catholic faith.

That’s quite a message for a single seal, but one which clearly represents all that Saint Viator High School stands for.

International Program Leads to Lasting Friendship and Global Awareness

Haoqing & Jack in BeijingWhat started out as a way to help one of the new international students transition into Saint Viator, led to a lasting friendship that not even Jack Geary ’18 and Haoquing Bi ’18 could have predicted.

“Our friendship grew tremendously from his first day at Viator,” Jack says. “We always talked about me possibly going back to China with him, but the closer we got to senior year, the more serious we got about it.”

Sure enough, the two flew to Haoquing’s native Bejing earlier this summer, for what turned out to be a once in a lifetime trip.

“Before I knew it, I was sitting next to him on a 12-hour trip to China,” Jack said. “It still didn’t feel real when we landed that I was on the other side of the world.”

Mrs. Rose Ruffatto, director of the Rev. Mark R. Francis International Program, says that while the program is intended to help international students succeed academically and socially, the benefits for Saint Viator students are just as important.

“We hope to create lifelong friends and global awareness with our students.” Ruffatto says, “but as far as I know, Jack was our first student to visit one of the international students in their home country.”

Over the next two weeks, Haoquing showed Jack everything from the Forbidden City and its miles of palaces to the emperor’s Summer Palace and the Great Wall.

“It was a breathtaking view every step of the way,” Jack says.

The second half of their trip included a bullet train ride to Shanghai, as well as a trip to the bottom of Mount Huangshan and hiking up the Yellow Mountain, and taking in the famous Terra Cotta warriors, all before heading back to Jack’s home in Beijing.

“I’m truly grateful to have experienced such an amazing trip. But it wouldn’t have been possible without Haoqing,” Jack says. “Saint Viator provided me with a friend for life and a trip full of memories that will last a lifetime.”

 

 

 

New Faculty & Staff 2018-2019

Join us in welcoming Saint Viator’s newest faculty and staff members:

Theology Department

Patrick McGarry joins the Theology department from Mount Carmel High School with a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Saint Xavier University. Patrick will be teaching Christian Discipleship.

Zach Wulbert comes to Saint Viator after completing his BA in Theology and Secondary Education from Creighton University with field experience in four Catholic schools in the Omaha area. Zach will be teaching Fundamentals of Catholic Faith and Catholic Exploration of the Bible.

Science Department

Neil (Nels) Flink joins the Science department from Wauconda High School with a BS in Chemistry from Northeastern Illinois University and a BA in Communication from the University of Illinois. Nels will be teaching Chemistry.

Rachel Mroz comes to Saint Viator from Trinity High School with a BS in Biochemistry and MA in Teaching from Dominican University. Rachel will be teaching Biology and Mobile Apps.

English Department

Adam Galvez joins the English department from Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City with a BA in English from Gonzaga University and an MA in Education from the University of Portland. Adam will be teaching American Literature and British Literature.

Scanlan Center

Br. Peter Lamick ’07 joins the Scanlan Center as a full-time program assistant after completing his MA in Education and Secondary History at DePaul University. Peter will be teaching Learning Strategies III and IV.

Counseling Department

Claudia Carone comes to Saint Viator from North Cook Young Adult Academy in Des Plaines with a BA in Psychology and Sociology and an MA in School Counseling from Roosevelt University. Claudia will be our Counselor for the Class of 2020.

Fine Arts Department

Joleen Sievers-Kragt joins the Fine Arts Department from Johnsburg High School as our Choral Director and Vocal Musical Director. Joleen has a BA in Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa and an MA of Music in Voice Performance and Opera from Northwestern.

Social Studies Department

Andrew Weber ’12 comes back to Saint Viator from St. Colette with a BA in History and Secondary Education and is working on his MA in Teacher Leadership. Andrew will be teaching World History, Civics and US History.

David Lyons joins Saint Viator from York Community High School with a BS in Business Management and will have an MA in Teaching and Secondary Education in August. David will be teaching US History, Intro to Entrepreneurship, and Personal Business Computing.

Math Department

Katie Anderson joins Saint Viator from Loyola Academy and will be teaching AP Computer Science. She holds BS in Mathematics with Computer Science from Loyola University Chicago and an MS in Mathematical Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago as well as a Teaching Certification Secondary Education with a Mathematics Endorsement from National Louis University.

Assistant Principal

Mike Field joins Saint Viator from Deer Path Middle School in Lake Forest with a BA in American History from DePauw University and an MA in Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University. Mike has taught Social Studies, been the Director of Educational Technology at District 225, and was an Assistant Principal at the 7th & 8th-grade level.

Director of Student Activities

Anne Marie Lowery joins Saint Viator from Loyola Academy with a BA in History and Human Development from Boston College and an MA in International Education from NYU. Anne Marie has taught German and Social Studies, coached basketball and was the Director of Student Activities at Loyola Academy.

Director of Enrollment

Christine Bremner joins Saint Viator from Our Lady of the Wayside as our Director of Enrollment. She has a BS in Elementary Education with a concentration in Biology from the University of Illinois-Champaign. Christine has taught Science and was the Technology Coordinator at Our Lady of the Wayside.

Assistant Director of Enrollment

Patrick Gaeger ’08 comes back to Saint Viator from St. Laurence High School as our Assistant Director of Enrollment. He has a BA in Business Communication and a Masters of Management from Robert Morris University. Patrick was the Admissions Recruiter and Head Lacrosse Coach at St. Laurence.

Return to Oshkosh: Querbes Scholars Immersed in Aviation Engineering

image1For the seventh time, Saint Viator students in the Querbes Scholars Program traveled to Oshkosh, WI, for its world-renown air show, run each year by the Experimental Aircraft Association.

It turned out to be a win-win. Not only did they experience the thrill of seeing so many aircraft in one place, not to mention meeting pilots and engineers, but they accrued service hours toward Saint Viator’s STEM designation since they were immersed in aircraft engineering.

IMG_0380The trip also offers hands-on service opportunities. Students worked with youngsters in the KidVenture area, which is set up in three hangars and offers hands-on activities and learning opportunities, but it turned out that the Saint Viator students learned as much as their pupils.

Mrs. Cate Majka, who teaches physics and moderates one of the Querbes’ homerooms, led the scholars to the annual fly-in convention, which this year drew a record crowd, or more than 600,000 people last week and 10,000 airplanes.

IMG_0370Dan Majka, a former Saint Viator teacher, provided the scholars with their credentials. He serves on the EAA board of directors and he chairs the KidVenture booths.

Their day started out in the morning, when Saint Viator students rolled up their sleeves and taught youngsters how to rivet—construct the standard aviation fastener using state-of-the-art rivet guns—shape props, and check electrical circuits.

“It was so much fun to work with children and learn more about airplanes,” said Katie McManaman ’20. “I was able to learn how carbon fiber is made and other STEM-related topics.”

IMG_0390Madi Walker ’19 agreed: “At KidVenture, I learned about airplane safety and then had the opportunity to share that knowledge and assist children in exploring aeronautical mechanics.”

They capped their day off by watching the air show itself, which showcased F-16 flights and the Blue Angels, as well as historical aircraft, warbirds and acrobatic displays.

IMG_0382“There were so many interesting people and planes, including the helicopters and drones, I would never have experienced without the opportunity to visit AirVenture and KidVenture today,” Brooke Puccini ’19.

Mrs. Majka has organized the trip every year and this time she was accompanied by staff member, Mrs. Donna Benedict.

“It was a long but fun, educational and rewarding day,” Mrs. Majka said. “I really enjoyed watching my students learn how to rivet so they could teach younger kids. It was great to see how excited they were about their volunteering experience and how much fun they had learning about aviation.”

Saint Viator Lacrosse Nets an All American and Academic All-American

SVHS_122Saint Viator’s boys’ lacrosse team learned this month that one of its players was named a High School All-American and another was named an Academic All American, as determined by U.S. Lacrosse, the national governing body of the sport.

Elijah Black of Mundelein, an Ohio State recruit, was named an All-American while Drake Imhoff of Barrington was named an Academic All American. Both selections recognized their achievements on and off the field.

Their selections come on the heels of a standout season for the Lions, in the first year of IHSA lacrosse. They advanced to the sectional semi-finals, before losing to perennial powerhouse, New Trier. However, they posted a 15-4 season and had four players make all-state, including Kyle Pearce ’18, Wyatt Rich ’18, Luke Baer ’19 and Elijah Black.

Coach Bill Sanford described both Elijah and Drake as tremendous leaders on the team, who led their teammates by example.

“Elijah put a tremendous amount of pressure on opposing defenses, which helped create space for his teammates,” Coach Sanford said. “He was more than willing to share the ball, which led to a really balanced offense.

“I think his game has grown a tremendous amount in two years,” Coach Sanford added, “and will continue to do so over the next year before he heads off to Columbus to play for Coach Myers at OSU.”

Elijah came into lacrosse season, coming off wrestling, where he was one of only two Lions to advance downstate, eventually losing in the second round. This versatile athlete also plays football. As a running back, he helped lead his team to a consecutive Class 5A playoff appearance last fall.

Drake is a two-time captain and he was an All-Conference selection this year in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. While he fielded offers to play NCAA lacrosse at schools like Haverford and Middlebury out east, he chose instead to concentrate on academics and attend Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.

“Drake consistently lived up to our expectations, on and off the field,” Coach Sanford said. “He was a two-year captain that brought maturity and focus to our team, and he was able to apply those traits to all of his endeavors.”

Fr. Robert M. Egan ’69 Elected Superior General of Viatorians

SVHS_0030It’s official! Just five years after leaving Saint Viator High School as president, Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV ’69, has been elected Superior General of the worldwide Viatorian Community.

He was elected Tuesday, during the congregation’s General Chapter meeting going on at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein. It is a six-year term and with it comes the primary responsibility of promoting the community’s religious and apostolic values.

Fr. Egan is the second Saint Viator High School graduate to assume the leadership position in recent years. Fr. Mark Francis ’71, led the community as superior general from 2000-2012. He was on hand as a delegate to the General Chapter, to congratulate his former classmate in person.

In fact, Saint Viator High School graduates are playing a big role at the Chapter meeting. Of the six delegates there representing Viatorians in North America, four are alumni: Fr. Egan, Fr. Francis, Fr. Dan Lydon ’73, and Br. Michael Gosch ’74.

Egan-Francis - CopyTwo more delegates—Fr. Thomas von Behren and Fr. Patrick Render—are former presidents of Saint Viator High School, while Fr. Dan Hall and Br. John Eustice, were elected as alternates but ended up not having to serve.

The vote came Tuesday, during the final week of the General Chapter, which takes in more than 40 delegates from Viatorians across the world, including Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Haiti, the Ivory Coast, Spain and the United States.

Fr. Egan takes over from Fr. Alain Ambeault, CSV, of Canada, who has led the congregation for the last six years.

Fr. Egan brings to the role his 48 years as a Viatorian, including 40 years as a priest. During those years, he has served as pastor of St. Viator Church in Chicago and of St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, before being elected Provincial Superior last year.

Service & Song Camp Draws Record Turnout

sns6A tradition of immersing incoming students into Saint Viator’s commitment to service continues this week at the sixth annual Service & Song Camp.

More than 150 students—a record turnout—gathered in Querbes Hall for the start of the five-day camp. They included 43 current Saint Viator students who signed up as leaders, as well as recent alumni and more than 100 incoming students.

“We’re here because there’s pain in the world,” said Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, former president of the high school who started the unique camp in 2013. “This week we’re going to feed the hungry and visit the lonely. We’ll be changing the lives of people by the work you do. You’ll be changing the world because you had the guts to come this week.”

sns2The camp has two tracks. While most of the students participate in service, another group develops their experience in liturgical music. Working with Mr. Dan Walls, choral director, they learn liturgical music that opens and closes each day’s sessions.

This year’s service destinations include: Community Threads, Sisters of the Living Word, SALUTE, Inc., WINGS, the Wheeling Township Food Pantry and the Viatorian Community Garden, all in Arlington Heights; Journey Care in Barrington; Catholic Charities in Des Plaines; St. Joseph Home for the Elderly and Journeys: The Road Home, both in Palatine; and Feed My Starving Children in Schaumburg.

Mr. Brian Liedlich, president of Saint Viator High School, greeted campers on the opening day. He thanked them for coming and for making a commitment to service.

sns“Carrying out service is consistent with the gospel values and with our mission as a school,” Mr. Liedlich said. “It is my hope that service impacts your life, not only in your years here but for the rest of your life.”

This year’s leaders exemplified how service had impacted their lives.

“I first came as an eighth grader and I wanted to meet new people before freshman year,” said Nicole Durso ’19. “Now, as a leader, I hope to instill the same passion for service that I have.”

J.C. Thomas ’20 has attended two Service & Song camps before this year, and through his involvement, he says it has opened his eyes to serving the marginalized. He returned as a leader this year and said he hoped to influence younger students.

“It’s important that they know that people are in need and that we can help,” he said.

sns4Before the campers departed for their first service trip, they reflected on the pain and suffering they see in the world. They each wrote one issue on a poster on that back wall, and their answers ran the gamut, from hunger, homelessness, and bullying, to human trafficking, deporting immigrants and gun violence.

While they may not be able to affect change in some of these areas, Fr. Corey said he wanted them to acknowledge the suffering they see in the world and that they can be agents of change.

“Our intention is to let students directly serve those most in need in the local community,” Fr. Corey said, “and learn why service is at the heart of a lived‐out Catholic faith.”

Service & Song Returns for 6th Annual Summer

Service & Song 2017

Service & Song 2017

A tradition of immersing incoming students into Saint Viator’s commitment to service continues next week at the sixth annual Service & Song Camp.

More than 150 students will turn out for the five-day camp, its largest group ever. They include junior high students and incoming freshmen as well as current Saint Viator students and young alumni serving as leaders.

Service & Song 2016

Service & Song 2016

When the camp begins next week, the students will be divided up into 10 teams, grouping junior high and incoming students with teen leaders from Saint Viator. Each afternoon starts out with a reflection on their service and people they impact, as well as a song led by the student musicians and choral members.

Some of the destinations group have previously volunteered at include Community Threads, Sisters of the Living Word, Wheeling Township Food Pantry and the Viatorian Community Garden.

Class of 2017 Alumni Respond to Recent Survey

AlumniAssociationLogoEarlier this summer, 29 members of the Saint Viator Class of 2017 took a few minutes of their time to participate in an online survey about their first year of college. They answered a short list of questions and provided ratings regarding their freshmen year experience in college and how well Saint Viator helped prepare them. The questions focused on both academic and social preparation.

The responses are now being tabulated and evaluated. Many of the respondents took time to add comments to many of the questions and each answer is being reviewed. The majority found that the experience they had in their first year of college exceeded their expectations and most felt that Saint Viator prepared them well for the transition.

The comments provided covered a wide range of input but there was clearly a feeling that Saint Viator provided a great deal of structure for them. There were also requests for more business classes (we’ll have news about that soon) and a request to have greater contact with recent Saint Viator grads who can provide guidance through college and in launching careers.

We appreciate all of the feedback and will evaluate closely the depth of feedback across the board.

Saint Viator Alumnus Jason Kuffel Announced as New Athletic Director

Kuffel_JasonJason Kuffel, a graduate of the Class of 1999, has been appointed as the school’s new Athletic Director. In making the announcement, Saint Viator High School President Brian Liedlich noted that Kuffel is the first alumnus of the school to serve in this capacity.

“I am exceptionally pleased to announce today that Jason Kuffel has accepted my offer to become the new Athletic Director for Saint Viator High School,” Liedlich said in an internal memo to the faculty and staff of the school. Kuffel has served as our Director of Enrollment for the past four years while also serving stints as an Assistant Coach in the school’s successful basketball and lacrosse programs.

According to Liedlich, “Jason stood out among the more than 90 initial applications we received from many qualified individuals across the Chicago area and beyond. While rapid, our search was intense and thorough, and I believe with certainty that Jason is the right person to guide us into the next era of Saint Viator Athletics.”

For his part, Kuffel welcomes the challenge to continue his service to his alma mater. “It has been an honor to help expand our student body numbers through my role as Director of Enrollment for the past few years. It has allowed me to get to know so many families throughout the entire region. I look forward to the challenges of now working with our outstanding coaches and trainers to guide many of those students through their athletic pursuits in a Saint Viator uniform.”

Kuffel will be replacing his close friend Marty Jennings who has accepted a role in the Development department at his alma mater, Loyola Academy in Wilmette. Both Liedlich and Kuffel thanked Jennings for his service over the last four highly successful years for the school’s athletic teams.

“Jason not only follows Marty Jennings, but a succession of outstanding Athletic Directors at Saint Viator including Fr. Pat Cahill who our gym is named after, and Bob Artman, whose name is associated with one of our highest student awards. I know that Jason is more than up to the task,” Liedlich said, noting that the decision to select Kuffel was unanimous among the seven-member search committee.

“Our mission for Saint Viator athletics goes well beyond excellence in the field of competition. We are committed to having our coaches and athletes not only be leaders on their teams and exhibit the highest levels of respect and sportsmanship but to use their place on a Saint Viator team to set an example in service and sacrifice in the world around them. Jason has exhibited an exemplary commitment to integrity, ethics and Catholic tradition in his work as Director of Enrollment and I know he will do the same as Athletic Director.”

Kuffel noted that the environment has changed a great deal since his playing days at the school with year-round programs, the addition of an on-staff strength and conditioning coach, some of the summer camps for grade school and junior high students, and the rapid expansion of technology in training and coaching. “I am excited to implement some of the innovative technology that is now available to student-athletes while upholding the more than 55 years of Saint Viator Lion tradition.”

Kuffel will begin his new role immediately.

 

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