Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: September 2014

Saint Viator Named 2014 Blue Ribbon School

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Saint Viator High School is honored to be named by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School. This is the second consecutive Blue Ribbon Award for Saint Viator; the school received this prestigious award for the first time in 2008.

Of the 30,000 private schools across the country, Saint Viator is one of 50 that are being recognized this year. Out of the 337 total schools to be named a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School, Saint Viator is one of 6 private high schools. President Rev. Corey Brost, C.S.V. and Principal Eileen Manno will travel to Washington, D.C. Nov. 10-11 to accept this award on behalf of the Saint Viator High School community.

This Blue Ribbon award recognizes Saint Viator High School’s on-going commitment to the academic, spiritual and emotional growth of our students by providing the curriculum, technology, facilities and programs students need to succeed in an ever-changing world. Saint Viator was recognized for the integration of technology into curriculum, the Reverend Mark R. Francis, C.S.V. International Program, the Campus Ministry program, the Christian Service program, and the Father Louis Querbes Scholars program. Also highlighted were the Class of 2014’s composite ACT score of 26.3 and the drug testing program.

“I am very proud to be part of the Saint Viator High School community,” said Brost. “This award recognizes the hard work, dedication and success of our administration, faculty, staff and all our students. Academic excellence, faith formation, increased student achievement and building a curriculum that will prepare our students to face the realities of life in the 21st century remain the focus of everything that we do at Saint Viator High School. We are committed to building an even stronger curriculum and academic program for the future. My deep thanks go to everyone who has helped Saint Viator to achieve this singular recognition.”

For further information regarding Saint Viator High School’s award winning programs, please visit our Web site at www.saintviator.com/blueribbon.

Lionpalooza Tour Makes its First Stop: St. Louis

stlSaint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Fontbonne University and Webster University were the first schools visited on the Lionpalooza College Alumni Tour.

Saint Viator alumni attending those colleges were invited to reconnect and meet up with fellow Viatorians during a visit sponsored by Saint Viator High School and the Viatorian Office of Vocation Ministry.

They gathered for a Mass celebrated by Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, in Jesuit Hall on the Saint Louis University campus. After Mass, the group enjoyed lunch and caught up with former classmates. Students also learned how to remain involved in the Viatorian mission.

“I want our alumni to know that we are committed to their spiritual growth through college — and beyond,” Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, said

Accompanying Fr. Brost on this trip was Chris Wells, director of alumni relations, and Br. John Eustice, director of vocation ministry for the Clerics of St. Viator.

“Lionpalooza is our way to show alumni that Saint Viator will always be their home,” Wells said. “Our alumni made it a priority to be there.”

After visiting two college campuses last year, Saint Viator officials decided to ramp up their outreach ministry. This year, they will make eight college campus visits in the Midwest and Washington DC area, visiting with alumni at nearly 20 schools.

Next up, the tour will stop in Chicago Thursday, Nov. 6 to visit with Saint Viator alum attending DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University.

Less than one week later on Monday, Nov. 10, the tour heads to Washington DC to visit with alumni attending American University, George Washington University and Georgetown University.

Subsequent stops include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Tuesday, Dec. 2, the University of Iowa Monday, Dec. 8, and Milwaukee to meet with students attending Marquette University and the Milwaukee School of Engineering Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.

The tour concludes with a weekend in Indiana, stopping Friday, April 17, 2015 in South Bend to meet with alumni attending the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College, before heading south on April 18 to meet with alumni at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Beyond the social and spiritual aspect of the visits, alumni learned of ways to stay connected with their alma mater and the Viatorians.

They learned of many exciting events coming up, including 2014 Homecoming Weekend, an alumni 3-on-3-basketball tournament, the Belize Immersion Trip in December, and leadership opportunities at next summer’s Viatorian Youth Congress.

“It’s a way for us to reach out to our college alumni and let them know that we’re there for them and that we’re thinking of them,” Br. Eustice said. “What better way to do that than to join with them in prayer and in receiving the Eucharist.”

Class of 2014 Scholarship Offers Set the Bar

Months after graduation and nearly halfway through their first semester of college, the legacy of Saint Viator’s Class of 2014 remains highly esteemed.

The final numbers reflecting their scholarship awards and college acceptances have been calculated, and they are impressive.

Of the 250 graduates, 188 of them, (75 percent) accepted financial packages from their selected colleges. In total, these packages amounted to approximately $29 million, which is nearly $3 million more than the total scholarship offers received by the Class of 2013.

For the 188 students who reported scholarship offers, the average amount received per person was $153,113, more than $25,000 more than the year before them.

Mrs. Mary Vanderbergh, executive director of the Office of Institutional Advancement, described the record numbers as significant for the entire Saint Viator community.

“After $1.4 million in scholarship and grant support went to more than 30 percent of our students here,” she said, “that’s an important return on investment.”

Overall, 100 percent of the class was accepted into college. Students were accepted to schools throughout the country, and received scholarship offers from some of most notable, Ivy League schools: Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Cornell universities.

Some of last year’s most popular school choices were the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Notre Dame, Marquette University, DePaul University and Indiana University.

These scholarship statistics were calculated shortly after Saint Viator learned the Class of 2013 average ACT score was 26.3, based on each student’s highest composite score.

A closer look revealed that of the 250 students who took the ACT, the top 25 percent of the class averaged 31.7, while the middle 50 percent averaged 26.2, all well above the state average of 20.7 for the Class of 2014.

“We’re thrilled,” Principal Mrs. Eileen Manno said. “These scores and scholarship offers reflect the rigorous education students receive at Saint Viator over the course of four years.”

New Head Girls Basketball Coach Arrives from Europe

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New head girls basketball coach, Paul Missavage, left, coached boys basketball, soccer and track at Saint Viator from 1980 through 1985.

For Coach Paul Missavage, you can go back home again.

Some 30 years after he began his coaching career at Saint Viator, Missavage returns this fall to become the head girls’ basketball coach. He brings to the role a range of basketball coaching experience, with both boys and girls, and stateside and abroad.

Missavage spent 23 of the past 30 years coaching overseas.

Missavage spent 23 of the past 30 years coaching overseas.

Some of his recent experience includes coaching men’s basketball in Luxembourg from 2012 to 2013. During his tenure as head coach, he led his team, BBC Arantia Larochette, to join the top league in Luxembourg for the first time in 40 years.

Most recently, he worked as the boys’ head basketball coach at a private American school in Kuwait.

“His wide range of professional experiences, as well as his excitement for Saint Viator, was instrumental in his selection,” Marty Jennings, athletic director, said. “In particular, we believe his experiences abroad will provide great learning experiences for our players.”

Before traveling overseas, Missavage coached three sports at Saint Viator, including soccer, basketball and track, from 1980 through 1985,.

He was also the former head girls basketball coach at Grayslake High School from 1993 through 1995, while teaching physical education at variety of suburban schools. Missavage started his career at Our Lady of the Wayside School in Arlington Heights, and also taught at Grayslake Middle School, Waukegan High School, Grayslake Community High School, and Schaumburg High School.

Over his 35-year coaching career, Coach Missavage developed a committment to man-to-man defense, as well as an up-tempo offense, that likes to “press on defense and run.”

“I like to make it fun for the players on court,” he said.

Missavage said he is excited to be back at Saint Viator, but he knows it will not be easy preparing his team for its rigorous East Suburban Catholic Conference schedule.

“The ESCC is one of the toughest conferences in the state of Illinois for girls’ basketball,” Missavage said. “I want to build up the program to the highest level possible, but to do that, it takes time, patience and lots of hard work.

“I know it sounds cliché,” he added, “but the main goal is to help these young girls to grow and have success in the future as athletes, students and people in life.”

Freshmen Immersed in Viatorian Charism During Annual Retreat

Less than one month after starting school, Saint Viator High School freshmen learned what makes their school different: the Viatorian charism.

At the annual freshman retreat, more than 230 class members and 125 student leaders gave up an entire Sunday to spend the day reflecting on a message rooted in Viatorian charism: “Faith: Lived, deepened, celebrated.”
Students broke up into small groups led by upper classmen, and first identified symbols around the school where faith is lived. Through dialogue and discussion, students also learned ways to deepen their faith.
“We really challenged them to dive in and find out who Jesus really was,” Br. John Eustice, CSV, said, who helped coordinate the retreat with staff members in campus ministry. “They ultimately learned that the way you do that, is through building better relationships with your friends and family.”
Following the day’s theme, the retreat ended with teens celebrating their faith at a family Mass. The concluding liturgy drew 750 people and involved young people in many parts of the Mass, including the music ministry.
President Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, was an active retreat participant and served as the main celebrant.
“Something good is happening here at this school,” Eustice said. “That was apparent at the Mass, where we filled the entire gym. It was a first for the freshmen, but they are learning that this community is a place where our students and their families can live, deepen and celebrate their faith.”

Premier Class of 1964 Returns to its Roots

A historic celebration took place at Saint Viator High School Saturday Sept. 13, when members of its first graduating class, the Class of 1964, returned to celebrate their 50th reunion.

The two-day event began Friday morning with the Mass of the Holy Spirit, the first all-school Mass of the year. As members of the reunion class processed into the gym, the entire student body stood to give them a standing ovation.

“Their presence demonstrated to our students that Saint Viator is bigger than all of us…and that we are all standing on the shoulders of these men,” Chris Wells, director of alumni relations, said. “We sent them forth with Red Lion flags to showcase their loyalty wherever life takes them from here.”

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, welcomed Saint Viator’s first graduating class, the Class of 1964, at the first all-school Mass Friday, Sept. 12. The Mass marked the beginning of a special weekend. The school’s first group of students returned to their roots to reflect on their years spent at Saint Viator and the impact they had on their lives.

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, presided at the Mass, and at the end, students and graduates celebrated together by enthusiastically singing the school’s traditional fight song. Their trip down memory lane did not stop there. The alumni then joined with school administrators and the development office for brunch in the Viator Room. A highlight of the meal was a slide show, which featured yearbook photos from their time as students. The video featured young students wearing jackets and ties during years when President John F. Kennedy was in office, and before the upheaval of Vatican II and the Civil Rights movement.

“There is no question that the discipline and education that we received placed us in a position from which success in life was attainable — if not assured,” said Dr. Thomas O’Keefe, current resident orthopedic surgeon in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The generation gap appeared even greater when alumni toured the school to see changes on every floor. When this group began their sophomore year in the fall of 1962, everything, the whole building was new. Walking the hallways 50 years later, the group saw the third floor Scanlan Center, the first floor Marie Gallagher Academic Commons, and the two-story Boler
Center, among the most impressive renovations completed over the past 50 years.

The reunion continued Friday night, when grads gathered in a tent during the Lions’ home football game against East Suburban Catholic Conference opponent, Marist. The Saint Viator pep band even came to the tent to perform for them.
Before the game, the alumni stepped onto the field to lead a prayer and a pep talk for the team. Many even watched some of the game from the sidelines, including Doug Frait, a retired teacher, who played football for the Lions. Despite the colder temperatures, Frait appeared so excited to be there, that he would have suited up to jump in and play.

The reunion continued Saturday, when graduates and their wives gathered at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Arlington Heights for a formal dinner, before joining other alumni, parents and Saint Viator faculty and staff at September Fest on the school grounds.

“Thank you for taking a risk,” Fr. Brost said to the men. “You attended a school you knew nothing about, but it’s because of you, that so many students after you have been able to experience and live the mission of Fr. Querbes and Saint Viator.”

Latest National Merit Semifinalists Announced

Saint Viator High School announced Wednesday that seniors Alex Lubinec of Cary and Joseph Orecchio of Arlington Heights were named semifinalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. The two are among approximately 16,000 semifinalists in competition for 7,600 scholarships that will be offered next spring.

National Merit Scholarship Program officials said that the semifinalist title is based on preliminary SAT scores and the pool represents the highest scoring entrants in each state, or less than one percent of high school seniors.

These students will now have a chance to advance to the finalist level, from which the National Merit Scholars are chosen.

Both Lubinec and Orecchio are members of the second class of the Fr. Louis Querbes Honors Program, which launched in 2010 to offer additional challenges and enrichment opportunities for motivated students.

Saint Viator seniors Alex Lubinec (left) and Joseph Orecchio (right) were named semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Program. Saint Viator Principal Eileen Manno said these students excel in and out of the classroom, and
have scored well on their pre-college testing, in part because of their rigorous course work pursued at Saint Viator.

“It’s a tremendous accomplishment for these students and their families.” Manno said. “National Merit recognition reflects their dedication and openness to learning, as well as the school’s dedication to academic excellence.”

Manno pointed to the school’s commitment to curriculum mapping, which includes identifying ACT benchmarks for college readiness, as well as its expanded Advanced Placement class offerings, equally focusing on content and skill development.

“The rigorous course of study offered to our students helps boost their performance on tests,” Manno said. Both students are enrolled in multiple AP classes this semester and are involved in different activities outside the classroom, including Scholastic Bowl. Lubinec also performed in the school play and musical, and competes in volleyball. Orecchio plays left wing and is a co-captain of the varsity hockey team.

According to National Merit Scholarship officials, 90 percent of semifinalists advance to become finalists. They must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From Marching Illini Drum Major to Saint Viator Band Director: Meet Mr. Vince Genualdi

The new 11-member Saint Viator drum line debuted at the opening football game Friday, Aug. 29, and fans noticed. Their

cadences ramped up excitement at the game, marking the beginning of a new era for Saint Viator bands.
“It’s an exciting time to be part of the band,” said new director, Vince Genualdi.
Genualdi comes to Saint Viator after spending one year as band director at Freedom Middle School in Berwyn and working with multiple neighboring high school bands, for example, Prospect, Wheeling, Rolling Meadows, and Elk Grove Village.
Before that, he marched for two years in the sousaphone section with the Marching Illini, on his way to earning a spot as one of three drum majors for the 350-member marching band, during his junior and senior years.
“That was an awesome experience,” he said. “It was really fun.”
Genualdi grew up in Elk Grove Village and attended Elk Grove High School, where he began his freshman year with a new band director, Ron Fiorito, who has since doubled the size of its programs.
Among Genualdi’s plans for the band program, which includes two concert bands, a jazz and, pep band and percussion ensemble, is growing its numbers is first and foremost.
“I want to get excitement going, and then I think everything will fall into place,” Genualdi said. “I want to make it a good experience for students, give them a reason to show up.”
The pep band at the football games, and an additional pep band made up of 20 students willing to travel to recruiting events, including Sept. 13 at September Fest, is figured to help increase visibility.
Saint Viator’s new band director, Mr. Vince Genualdi, is eager to get students involved and excited about the program. He envisions this new pep band to perform at events inside the school, as well as on recruiting visits to area feeder schools. He and the Fine Arts department will also continue the combined concert series with local junior high programs.
After last year’s combined concert and Fine Arts Day with students from St. James School in Arlington Heights, Genualdi and the department arranged a similar concert to take place with students from Our Lady of the Wayside School.
The band also will travel to Disney World next spring, continuing a tradition that dates back to 2000, as well as compete in the State of the Art Catholic band competition, and Jazz in the Meadows at Rolling Meadows High School, as well as a number of other festivals.
“I want to make the program as visible as possible,” Genualdi said. While he played the sousaphone in marching band and tuba in concert band, and consequently has a love of the lower brass section, Genualdi wants to expand all sections of the program.
“I want to build a comprehensive program with an excellent jazz program, concert ensemble and athletic program. Ultimately, I want the program to produce fully rounded musicians,” he said.

Saint Viator to Host Interfaith Dinner in Observance of Sept. 11

In a world of ever-increasing, religious-based hate, members of the northwest suburban Children of Abraham Coalition, find their message of tolerance and acceptance more important than ever.

For the third year, they will join with members of the Saint Viator High School community to host a potluck dinner for area families as a way to promote interfaith understanding and peace, on the 13th observance of Sept. 11. Families are invited to reflect on their religious or cultural background as they dine with Muslim and Jewish families from around the area.

Guests also will hear brief reflections on peace from a Jewish, Muslim and Catholic teen. Families gathered in 2012 to observe Sept. 11 and reflect on cultural diversity. The event takes place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11 at Saint Viator. Each family is asked to bring a dish to share, that reflects their cultural heritage, making the event a veritable feast as well as a celebration of diversity.
Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president of Saint Viator, helped to form Children of Abraham in the wake of Sept. 11, as a way to advance interfaith dialogue among teens and their families, and build relations between religions. He drew immediate support and members from area temples and Islamic centers in the northwest suburbs.

“We can’t stop all the religious-based hate in the world, but we can do our part,” Fr. Brost said. “We can be people of peace in our corner of the world, especially on Sept.11, a day that showed how deadly religious hate can be.”

Guests in the past have belonged to Jewish temples in Buffalo Grove and Long Grove, as well as Islamic centers in Schaumburg and Glendale Heights, and Catholic parishes in the northwest suburbs. Families will gather at tables in the school’s Boler Center, while its former cafeteria undergoes a yearlong renovation. On each table, a framed centerpiece will bring home the event’s underlying message: Salaam, Shalom, Peace.

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