Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: February 2015 (Page 1 of 2)


Saint Viator Announces 2015 Valedictorian and Salutatorian


Clare Hannon of Palatine and Mack Rooney of Arlington Heights are the Class of 2015 salutatorian and valedictorian.

As spring draws near, and playoff season approaches for many high school athletes, Saint Viator seniors Mack Rooney of Arlington Heights and Clare Hannon of Palatine are gearing up for their respective activities.

Mack is a guard on the Lions’ basketball team, currently tied for second in the hotly contested East Suburban Catholic Conference, while Clare is a top scorer on the school’s Scholastic Bowl team, seeded fifth going into the IHSA regional tournament.

However, these student athletes have more on their minds than advancing in state competition. Saint Viator administrators announced this week that the pair had emerged at the top of the Class of 2015.

Mack was named valedictorian, while Clare was named salutatorian, after they both compiled grade point averages of over 104 percent.

“They are both taking the most rigorous curriculum possible,” says Principal Eileen Manno.

Both Mack and Clare are members of the Querbes Scholars class. The honors program was designed to enable highly motivated students to excel in academics and prepare them for admission to some of the leading colleges and universities.

They reflected on the rigor of their academic loads and the value in taking so many AP classes recently after hearing the announcement from school officials.

“I guess it’s nice to see all the hard work materialize,” said Mack, who attended Our Lady of the Wayside School in Arlington Heights before attending Saint Viator.

Clare attended St. Theresa School in Palatine before Saint Viator, and right from the start she enrolled in honors classes and joined the newspaper staff and Scholastic Bowl. By graduation, she will have taken nine AP classes.

“It was hard, but it was worth it,” Clare said. “I enjoyed going in depth in class.”

In looking back, both students pointed to influential teachers who had helped them along the way and encouraged them to succeed.

“Fr. (John) Van Weil helped me develop an interest in science,” Clare said. “On Scholastic Bowl, my teammates look to me for questions on history and literature, but after taking honors chemistry with Fr. Van Weil, I gained confidence in science.”

Mack pointed to Mr. Thomas Nall, who taught him Modern World History in freshman year and though he has retired, his class still resonates.

“Mr. Nall had a lot of interesting views,” Mack said. “He opened my mind to different viewpoints and opinions.”

Both students have multiple college acceptances to choose from, and have not formally declared their decision. But this much they know: They are a Lion for Life, and have benefited from attending Saint Viator, which is a community made up of people who are invested in their growth, development and success.


Director of Bands Mr. Vince Genualdi stands with Mr. Frank Rice and Mr. Michael Ferreter, co-chairmen of the State of the Art Catholic High School Band Competition at last year's competition.

Saint Viator’s Band Named Grand Champions of State of the Art Catholic Band Competition

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Director of Bands Mr. Vince Genualdi stands with Mr. Frank Rice and Mr. Michael Ferreter, co-chairmen of the State of the Art Catholic High School Band Competition.

After more than 20 years, Saint Viator’s band program finally nailed it.
At last Saturday’s State of the Art Catholic Band Competition, Saint Viator’s combined symphonic and concert bands were named Grand Champions of the festival.
That’s not all.
The judging panel, which included music professors from the University of Illinois, Illinois State and Harper College, awarded them a Superior Rating for their
performance as well as best brass in Class AAA, best percussion in Class AAA and 1st place among large schools in Class AAA .
“The students had an extremely musical performance,” said Mr. Vince Genualdi, director of bands. “Their hard work and willingness to better themselves paid off.”
Students in both bands polished their three competition pieces every day in class as well as with private instructors. They also had an in-school clinic with David Morrison, former director of bands at Prospect High School and Illinois State Teacher of the Year.
Members of the Knights of Columbus launched State of the Art in 1982 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.
This year’s festival drew 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.
Saint Viator’s first overall title came after winning Most Improved Band last year and in 2013, they finished second in Class AAA, behind Marian Catholic.
“This is incredible news for our band program,” said Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president, “and for our first year band director, Mr. Vince Genualdi.”


Saint Viator Introduces Alumni Ambassador Program

AlumniAmbassadorsNote-2The Saint Viator and Sacred Heart Alumni Association Board has reached out to more than 5,000 graduates in hopes of identifying volunteers to help launch a new Alumni Ambassador program.

According to a new charter recently approved by the 14-member board that represents alumni of Saint Viator and the now closed Sacred Heart of Mary high schools, the Alumni Ambassadors will be tasked with several key responsibilities.

“The Alumni Ambassadors will take charge of keeping their class connected, generating enthusiasm for alumni events and programs, and supporting alumni to alumni activities,” said Chris Wells, Director of Alumni Relations for the Arlington Heights School. “We foster on-going relationships with all graduates, offering a wide range of opportunities to be active and stay connected to Saint Viator. With 51 graduating classes from Saint Viator as well as the 23 from Sacred Heart, we want to do a better job of engaging our alumni.”

Several recent events have given the program clarity. Wells pointed to a recent alumni survey that generated over 700 responses in which the results indicated that 92% of respondents want to be more closely connected with the school, and 60% strongly desire reconnecting with old classmates. In addition, a reformatted Reunion Weekend built around Homecoming in 2014 brought out larger crowds than normal with participants vocalizing a desire to be more connected.

“Connecting over 14,000 alumni is challenging, but we are learning that when you break the class years down into eras, the alumni want to hear from us in different ways and about different things,” said Wells. “We want to match the message and delivery with the audience so a group of active Alumni Ambassadors can assist us in achieving the level of connectivity that our alumni want. Regardless of your era, we believe that When you’re a Lion, you’re A Lion for Life and our alumni can help us further the mission of Saint Viator High School.”

To that end, the school is asking volunteers to step forward and help kick-off the new initiative this year. “Time commitment is flexible and term is for one year, with a kickoff celebration this summer,” said current Alumni Association Vice Chairman Court Harris ’03. Harris said the current board has laid out a plan that they will share with the new Ambassadors that will make the time commitment “fun, meaningful, and rewarding by creating structure, purpose and direction for the group.”

If anyone is interested in learning more about representing their class they can simply fill out an online form at or by calling Chris Wells at 847.392.4050 ext. 259 to discuss the program.

“We’ve heard from the great alumni base of Sacred Heart and Saint Viator and we are ready to take them up on their offer to be more engaged,” said Wells. “Get ready, because our Alumni Ambassadors are on the way.”

Saint Viator High School is a Catholic, college-preparatory community called to provide religious formation and an academic program of excellence to young men and women of the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Principal Eileen Manno with Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV.

Fr. Arnold Perham, C.S.V.: Mentor of the Year

Principal Eileen Manno with Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV.

Principal Eileen Manno with Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV.

At the recent Ash Wednesday Mass, students gave Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV, a standing ovation in recognition of his more than 50 years helping students master mathematics.

It turns out that was just the beginning of his time in the spotlight. On Saturday, Feb. 21 he was honored as the Village of Arlington Heights’ Mentor of the Year at its sold out Hearts of Gold dinner.

In accepting his award, Fr. Perham described how he motivates students by telling them stories of those that went before them, and what they did to overcome obstacles to achieve success. At the end of his speech, he summed up his commitment.

“There’s no place I’d rather be,” he said.

Saint Viator Principal Eileen Manno nominated Fr. Perham for the award, crediting his work helping students in the Math Club, Math Team, Querbes Scholars program and in the school’s math lab.

Fr. Perham continues to publish materials with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and, in 1989, he was honored by the Math Teachers’ Association of Catholic High Schools in Chicago.

“I get these nomination forms every year, but I never want to single out just one teacher. We’re all educators,” Mrs. Manno said. “But when I see Fr. Perham come faithfully every morning, it just hit me how much he reflects our mission, both academically and spiritually.”

Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V., president of Saint Viator, attended the dinner, along with Fr. Thomas von Behren, C.S.V., provincial and Fr. John Milton, C.S.V., as well as Mrs. Eileen Manno and Mrs. Mary Lee DeBelina, assistant principal, and his sister, Faustine Perham.

“I can’t think of anyone who deserves this recognition more,” Fr. Corey said. “You won’t find a kinder, wiser, more intelligent person in this building. He shines God’s bright light, daily.”

Color Crest

Two Seniors Named National Merit Finalists

They did it. Saint Viator High School announced last week that seniors Alex Lubinec of Cary and Joseph Orecchio of Arlington Heights joined an elite group: They were named National Merit finalists based on their preliminary SAT scores taken in 2013.

Alex Lubinec

Alex Lubinec

Officials with the National Merit Scholarship Program said that the finalist pool represents the highest scoring entrants in each state, or less than one percent of high school seniors.

Across the country, 15,000 National Merit finalists were announced this month, down from the original 1.5 million high school sophomores who took the SAT, and from this group, 7,600 National Merit Scholars will be chosen and awarded scholarships.

There are three types of scholarships awarded through the National Merit Scholarship Program:
• National Merit® $2500 Scholarships
• Corporate-sponsored scholarships
• College-sponsored scholarships

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.

Joe Orecchio

Joe Orecchio

She points 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,” Mrs. Manno added.

The National Merit Scholarship Program also recognized eight Saint Viator students as National Merit Commended Scholars. They include: Michael Baxendale, Clare Hannon, Ben Paolelli, Mackenzie Rooney, Timothy Schade, Kathyrn Vanderbosch, Peter Wilson and Alexander Witek.

All 10 of these outstanding students were selected before their freshman year to be in the Fr. Louis Querbes Honors Program, which was launched in 2010 to offer additional challenges and enrichment opportunities for motivated students.

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

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3D Printing: Revolutionizing Visual Arts Classes

photo 2In technology circles, 3D printing is cutting edge, with its ability to turn an image into a 3-dimensional object. Experts are calling it a “game changer” with its ability to instantly print parts and products, as well as replicate human tissue for pharmaceutical testing.

And Saint Viator visual arts students are getting in on the ground floor.

For the last year, students in Advanced 3D Design classes have been using the newly released mobile app designed by Modio, to design action figures on their iPads, before they see them come to life through the printer.

“Utilizing 3D printers brings an entirely new dimension to our program,” Mr. Bill Faltinoski, fine arts department chair, said.

He points to skeletal models that can come to life through the printer, or famous sculptures, allowing students to use them as a reference for drawing. Additionally, he points to students in his iPad Media classes, which will be able to use the 3D printer for animation, bringing their figures to life.

“It’s pretty incredible what this printer can do,” senior art student Michael Sullivan said. “The possibilities are endless.”

While only students in 3D Design classes have used the printer this year, Mr. Faltinoski expects students in every visual arts class to have access to its technology by next year.

“It’s another art medium, a sculptural medium,” Mr. Faltinoski added. “It’s being used in engineering, medicine and manufacturing, but it offers just as much promise to artists.”

Currently, the department has one 3D Makerbot 5th Generation printer that is tucked away in one of its back studios. However, with construction starting next month on expanding the fine arts facilities, the printer will move to the new technology center, where Mr. Faltinoski hopes to add at least one more, as well as a large size printer and color printer.

Incorporating technology into the visual arts program is an extension of the school’s iPad initiative, and one of the components of the renovation of its fine arts facilities. It also demonstrates another example of Saint Viator’s commitment to excellence in education.

“This is revolutionary,” Mr. Faltinoski said. “It’s going to be like the home computer.”


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Students Grill Criminal Defense Attorney During First Presidential Lunch Discussion

A criminal defense attorney and Saint Viator alum kicked off the Presidential Lunch Discussion Series on Thursday at Saint Viator. The first 20 students who signed up, got to spend 6th period lunch with David Gaeger, ’02 in the third floor Viator Room.

Sitting around large conference tables, arranged in a circle, they enjoyed pizza and cookies while hearing how Mr. Gaeger spends his days. Right from the start, he mesmerized students with his descriptions of some of his clients, who ranged from gang members and weapons offenders, to drug abusers and first degree murderers.

“I loved my time at Viator, and everyone here,” Mr. Gaeger, who played football and basketball at Saint Viator, and also was a member of the Ski Club, said. “But now I’m representing clients who have a different reality, including poverty, gang membership and visiting their parents at the Cook County Jail on Sundays.”

Mr. Gaeger grew up in Elk Grove Village and attended Queen of the Rosary School. After Saint Viator, he attended Carroll College, where he played football, and majored in business administration with a minor in religious studies.

It was always his dream to attend law school, and in choosing John Marshall Law School in Chicago, he learned from law professors who were also practicing attorneys. During his third year, he clerked at the Cook County’s State’s Attorney’s Office, where he worked alongside felony prosecutors.

A government hiring freeze prevented him from joining the prosecutor’s office, consequently he went into private practice and instead used his experience to defend persons accused of a crime.

“I love it,” Mr. Gaeger told the students. “It’s been a really rewarding career.”

Students asked him everything from what to major in before attending law school, to what his typical day is like, and how he feels about defending a client he thinks is guilty.

“That’s the first question everyone usually asks me,” Mr. Gaeger said. “I look at it this way: I have a job to do to be an advocate to make sure the state holds itself up to its standard of proof.”

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president, sat in on the lunch session. He described it as the first in a series of informal presentations aimed at exposing students to different career possibilities.

“This school is committed to opening you up to an incredible future,” Fr. Brost said. “Remember, being a Lion is much more than just the four year academic period you spend here.”


It’s No Joke: Chicago Tribune Cartoonist Enlightens Saint Viator Freshmen

Students in Mr. Kevin Hogendorp’s Modern World History Class cover a variety of topics in their study of different nations. But Wednesday’s special presentation offered them a different spin on examining political and economic issues of the day: editorial cartoons.

They learned about the medium from one of the experts: Scott Stantis, political cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune since 2009, whose work appears weekly in the USA Today, and is syndicated to more than 400 newspapers across the country. He described his craft to the students and about how political cartoons have endured and connected with readers, even as the journalism industry has changed.

Stantis also described just how much goes into creating his cartoons. For starters, Stantis works closely with the Tribune’s editorial board to reflect the paper’s opinions on issues. As it is, he said nearly 70 percent of his work is local, or about Chicago politics, and one of his most recurring subjects is Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He even showed students how he draws the Chicago mayor.

A slide show took students through his body of work since joining the Tribune. They ranged from one in 2009, when Chicago lost the Olympic bid, and the most recent one was of a child sick with measles, blaming Jenny McCarthy, who opposes vaccination.

Mostly, Stantis wanted to impress on students his vision of editorial cartooning, that it is not just entertainment but he hopes to stir reactions from readers. He hopes they find his work provocative and ultimately a catalyst for change.

The famed cartoonist’s visit drew Assistant Principal Mary Lee DeBelina to drop in on the visit. She pointed to his presentation as another example of excellence in education at Saint Viator, where students are exposed to a lifelong journey of learning and discovery.

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Passion, Revenge, Murder: Italian Students Thrilled by Puccini’s “Tosca”

On a recent field trip to Chicago’s Civic Lyric Opera, students of Signora Rullo’s Italian classes immersed themselves in the beauty of the rich language and culture. The group traveled by train into the city to take in a performance of “Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini.

“The opera is truly Italian culture and musical tradition at its best,” Signora Rullo said. “Not only were some of the greatest composers Italians, Verdi and Puccini for example, but some of the greatest tenors of all time, such as Enrico Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti or sopranos like Renata Tebaldi, were as well.”

While Signora Rullo strives to take her Italian students to a different opera in Chicago every year, “Tosca,”she said, proved quite thrilling. “The students liked Tosca very much because there is passion, action and murder.”

This was senior Dominique DiVito’s first trip to the opera, and she said it wouldn’t be her last. “We enjoyed the opera because it was so intense and held our attention,” Dominique said. “I would definitely recommend taking students to go see this opera next year. ”

While following the story line and understanding the language can prove to be an obstacle for first time opera-goers, the Lyric Opera House has tried to solve that problem by placing an electronic message board above the stage that translates simultaneously.

Still, Signora Rullo, a native Italian, and her students found they could follow along without totally depending on the captioning.

“The librettos are in Italian and the language is typical of the 1800s and difficult to understand, even for an Italian,” Signora Rullo said. “Still, it’s another wonderful way to see a language come alive with such passion and melody.”

Signora Rullo said that each year she hopes to inspire an appreciation for the opera among her students.

“I fell in love with it when I first saw it at 14,” she said. “I haven’t stopped going since then.”

Signing Day at Saint Viator: 11 Student Athletes Commit to Playing at the Next Level


From left to right: Patrick McNamara, Collin Rustay, Joe McCollum, Brian Peters, Luke Fulton, Ben Dickey, Javier Romero, Chris Beiersdorf, Nick Carlson and Kevin Monson. (Not pictured: Chris Curnutt).

National Signing Day was a busy one at Saint Viator High School, with 11 student athletes signing letters of intent to play college sports.

They included Ben Dickey, who chose to play baseball at Northwestern University. Nicknamed the “roadrunner” by his teammates, he stole 49 bases out of 50 attempts, and hit .292, while scoring 27 runs. Defensively, he played centerfield, which fueled by his speed, played havoc with his opponents.

Joe McCollum, who served as placekicker and punter for the Lions, signed on to be a placekicker at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, where he plans to study engineering.  Ironically, since the Mountain Hawks compete in the Patriot League, Joe just might play against his older brother, Harry, who plays the same position for Georgetown.

Luke Fulton committed to play football at the University of Dayton. After a standout season as a defender for the Lions, who advanced to the semi-finals of Class 5A, Luke will bring his tenacious defensive skills to the Flyers, playing at the safety position.

Another defender for the Lions, Chris Curnutt committed to play football at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, while defensive back, Brian Peters, will play at Washington University in St. Louis.

Collin Rustay committed to play lacrosse at Florida Southern University. Collin was selected as an ESCC All-Conference Player in both his sophomore and junior years. He was captain of the varsity squad as a junior, and helped his team reach the championship semi-finals in his sophomore year.

Patrick McNamara, committed to play basketball at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. The shooting guard is a three-point specialist for Coach Quinn Hayes and the Lions, after connecting for 74 three-pointers last season, and averaging 13 points per game.

Kevin Monson, will play baseball at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI. The senior shortstop helped the Lions notch their second consecutive 20-win season last year enroute to earning the regional title. Kevin’s defense also helps the basketball team, where he plays point guard, directing the offense and playing gritty defense at the other end of the court.

Two members of Saint Viator’s Class 2A sectional champion soccer team, will go on to play in college. Javier Romero, who played midfield for the Lions will play at Dominican University in River Forest, while defensive specialist Chris Beiersdorf, will play soccer at St. Mary’s College in Winona, MN.

Nick Carlson, who led the golf team to win the ESCC this year, enroute to being named all-ESCC, MVP of his team, and a second successive state qualifier, will play golf at Illinois Wesleyan University.

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