Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: August 2015

Querbes Scholars Return to Oshkosh to Build Aviation Fasteners with Aspiring Pilots

IMG_2335A group of Querbes Scholars returned to Oshkosh, Wisc., last month for the annual air show, and they found it, well, riveting.

This was the fifth summer that Querbes moderator, Mrs. Cate Majka, and her fellow physics teacher, Mrs. Jan Grana accompanied students to the EAA AirVenture fly-in convention, known as the greatest celebration of aviation in the world.

Once again, it was more than a sightseeing trip. Students rolled up their sleeves and helped in the KidVenture area — set up in three hangars across from the AirVenture museum — which offers hands-on activities and learning opportunities to young, aspiring pilots.

KidVenture officials even acknowledged Saint Viator’s commitment to the show, by presenting the students with a five-year, recognition plaque.

Many of the Saint Viator students chose to work in the riveting booth, where they helped children learn how to construct the standard aviation fastener, using state-of-the-art rivet guns.

“This year was super enriching for me,” said senior Danielle Laterza, about her second year volunteering in Oshkosh. “I decided to volunteer at a more challenging job than before. Learning how to rivet was thrilling, but being able to pass that knowledge on to younger children gave me a strong sense of accomplishment.”

Students spent four hours volunteering in KidVenture, before getting a chance to explore some of the highlights of the show itself, spread out across 1,800 acres and filled with more than 12,000 airplanes.

Their day concluded with watching the daily air show itself, which this year included World War II warbirds flying, as well a British Harrier jump jet, and modern aerobatic airplanes.

“This is always a great trip,” Mrs. Majka said. “It gives students a different type of volunteering experience where they get to help younger kids learn a valuable skill that they couldn’t learn somewhere else — and they have fun seeing the sights of the convention and airshow.”

Plus, she added, that this type of learning experience — outside the classroom walls — reinforces Saint Viator’s commitment to excellence in education by accompanying students along a lifelong journey of learning and discovery.

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Chicago Archbishop Dedicates Querbes Hall and Fine Arts Facilities

Archbishop Blase Cupich made his second visit to Saint Viator High School this year, and he felt so at home that he donned a baseball cap, and accepted a shirt and bag, all adorned with the Lions’ logo.

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“The archbishop just said he’d wear that jacket and hat when he visits Carmel,” Fr. Corey joked after gifting Archbishop Cupich the spiritwear.

“He’s a lion for life,” said Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V., president, in presenting the archbishop with gifts, “and he’s committed to Catholic education.”

The Chicago archbishop headlined a dedication and prayer service held Sunday to celebrate the completion of a $3 million renovation of its fine arts facilities and the multi-media, college-styled dining facility, the Fr. Louis Querbes Hall.

In thanking the Viatorian Community and individual investors on hand for investing in the school and its mission, Cupich described their partnership as a “great enterprise” and one that gives young students a “very hopeful outlook on the world.”

Archbishop Cupich toured the new facilities with students and Fr. Corey after giving them his blessing.

Archbishop Cupich toured the new facilities with students and Fr. Corey after giving them his blessing.

“I really do find that Catholic education, especially at the secondary level, is a top priority,” Cupich said. “We need to bond together in ways that make it possible for many families to enjoy the great privilege of schools like Saint Viator.”

Many of the Viatorians who served as teachers and administrators were on hand for the dedication, including Br. Leo V. Ryan, C.S.V., a former president of the school and the last living member of the building committee — made up of Viatorians — to design the school.

“It’s spectacular,” Br. Ryan said. “And I like how it’s tuned into all the latest technology. It will really help carry students into the 21st century.”

Many of the investors on hand for the dedication supported the capital campaign, despite not having any students at the school any longer.

“Our kids had a tremendous experience here. Viator not only prepared them for college, but it has carried through their professional lives,” said Jack Klues of Arlington Heights. “And when you combine all the spirit and commitment of the Viatorians, we had to support this.”

Tod Faerber, a member of the board of trustees and graduate of the Class of 1976, agreed. The youngest of his four children, Joe, graduated in 2014, but he continues to work for the school.

“This is great,” he said looking around the new Querbes Hall. “Anything that we can do prepare these students for college and beyond, I’m all for.”

With the completion of Querbes Hall and the fine arts facilities, it brought to a close the school’s Shaping the Future with Faith Campaign, a four-year, $14 million undertaking, with major building improvements and an increased endowment fund, all made possible by generous donors.

“Today is the culmination of a long journey,” Fr. Brost added, “that will provide facilities that will enhance the educational experience for each student here and for generations.

“We have also increased our endowment, from $8 million to $10 million,” he added, “to allow more families to experience the transformative power of a Saint Viator education.”

Applause, Applause: Fine Arts Students Start Moving Equipment Into Their New Digs

Move in day finally arrived for the fine arts students. They began moving band and choral equipment into their new facilities on Wednesday—before the official dedication ceremony at 5 p.m. Sunday—and the larger, acoustically enhanced rooms drew rave reviews.

Amelia Bottcher helped move band and choral equipment into the new  Fine Arts facilities Wednesday, Aug. 12.

Amelia Bottcher ’17 helped move band equipment into the new Fine Arts facilities.

Junior band students Amelia Bottcher, Adam Domagala, Hugh Tully and Jeremy Yoder all helped carry in some of the percussion equipment. As they entered the new band room, they each did the same thing: they clapped.

Not an applause, mind you, but one clap. Then, another.

“It doesn’t echo,” Jeremy said, as he looked around the room at all of the acoustic panels, sound dampeners and even curtains, all meant to absorb the sound.

The new band and choral rooms, as well as the second floor visual arts studio, all doubled in size, with acoustically designed band and choral areas, as well as a new visual arts center, with the latest in 3D technology.

Adam Domagala and Jeremy Yoder helped carry percussion equipment into the new band room.

Adam Domagala ’17 and Jeremy Yoder ’17 helped carry percussion equipment into the new band room.

Together with the new Fr. Louis Querbes Hall, a multi-media enabled, college-styled dining facility, it’s part of a $3 million, 2,794 square foot addition that took nearly one year to complete.

After Sunday’s dedication ceremony, the new facilities will be ready for freshmen, who start classes Wednesday, before the first full day of classes start Thursday.

Hugh Tully couldn’t help but compare the new digs to the old band room, which was built in 1961, when the school opened.

“The old band room had concrete walls, so the sound just bounced right back at us,” Hugh said. “It affected the way we heard the music, and was really hard on our hearing. With all these new pads on the walls and the ceiling, it reflects the sound really well.”

All of the students agreed the newness of the room, its expansive size, private lockers, hardwood floors and tall ceiling, makes them excited to start the year.

“With all of this new technology,” Amelia added, “I think we’ll learn better.”

From One Hugh to Another: Junior the Latest to attend Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership

Saint Viator junior, Hugh Tully, shares more in common with veteran actor, Hugh O’Brian, than just his first name.

Turns out that like O’Brian, who famously played Wyatt Earp back in the 1950s, Tully is interested in service and leadership.

Hugh Tully '17 at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference in Chicago.

Hugh Tully ’17 at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference in Chicago.

This month, Tully was among 500 teens from around the world to attend a world leadership conference, sponsored by an organization started by the actor more than 50 years ago, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, or HOBY.

Their week included a mix of service, including working to clean parts of Chicago’s Humboldt Park, and packing lunches for hungry children, and speakers. Its mission was to teach young people how to become catalysts for positive change in their communities.

One of the speakers they heard from was Diane Latiker, a top 10 CNN hero, who responded to gang violence in her south Roseland neighborhood, by turning her home into a safe haven. She went on to found the nonprofit organization, Kids Off the Block.

Tully, who participates in Saint Viator’s band program, musical, choir and music ministry; was deeply moved by Latiker’s speech.

“I guess I kind of knew (gang violence) was there, but I didn’t know the full extent of how it affects kids,” he said during an interview for the Chicago Sun Times.

Tully attended the weekend edition of HOBY as a sophomore, and he said attending the world conference was a bonus.

Principal Eileen Manno said Saint Viator has been sending students to HOBY for 20 years. She described it as part of the college prep curriculum, which not only is rigorous but empowers students to become lifelong learners and leaders in academics, faith and service to others.

Long Awaited Dedication of Querbes Hall and Fine Arts Facilities Draws Chicago Archbishop

Archbishop Blase Cupich will make his second visit to Saint Viator High School this year, when he arrives Sunday to dedicate the new Fr. Louis Querbes Hall, a college-style dining facility, and the completed renovation of its fine arts facilities.

The $3 million, 2,794 square foot addition took nearly one year to complete, and includes a multi-media enabled dining hall, large enough to seat 400 students, while doubling the fine arts space, with acoustically designed band and choral areas, as well as a new visual arts center, with the latest in 3D technology.

“This is an incredible time for Saint Viator High School,” said Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president. “With the completion of these projects, we are able to provide students with everything they need to thrive, for generations to come.”

The transformational project is the culminating piece of the school’s Shaping the Future with Faith Campaign, a four-year, $14 million undertaking, with major building improvements and an increased endowment fund, all made possible by generous donors.

Plans for the building improvements began four years ago, as the school community celebrated its 50th anniversary at a formal gala on Chicago’s Navy Pier. That night, the Clerics of St. Viator made a $3 million donation that served to jumpstart the capital campaign and underscore their support for the high school and its mission.


Saint Viator Senior Establishes Butterfly Garden in Long Grove Nature Preserve

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Erin McDermott ’16

Senior Erin McDermott fondly remembers celebrating her birthday each year with her grandmother, who would come in from out of town and together they would plant a “birthday garden.”

“This annual tradition gave me a love of gardening,” Erin said. “I knew I wanted to plant some type of garden for my project.”

Her project—planting a butterfly garden—is the capstone element of her Girl Scout Gold Award, which represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, and one that only five percent of active Girl Scouts achieve.

“When I started to research types of gardens that would benefit the environment, I learned about the diminishing number of monarch butterflies,” Erin added. “I knew I had my project.”

According to Girl Scout guidelines, a Gold Award project must demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable “Take Action” projects.

Saint Viator administrators point to Erin’s project as another example of what it means to be a Lion, as one who is inspired to serve the wider community and committed to a lifelong journey of learning and discovery.

Erin turned to a section of the Reed Turner Woodland and Nature Center in Long Grove for her project. The 40-acre preserve features a grove of mostly oak and hickory trees—for which the village of Long Grove was named—and borders Indian Creek.

It is a popular spot for nature walks, with its abundant wildflowers, wooded paths and more than 100 types of birds spotted in the preserve.

However, the prairie area is always in need of restoration and in talking with its staff and Long Grove Park District officials, the preserve seemed like a good spot for a butterfly garden.

Together with the staff and volunteers, Erin and her crew worked to clear the area of non-native and invasive species to make room for donated plants. The area was recently certified as a Monarch Way station and will provide host plants and nectar for monarchs for years to come.

Her butterfly garden and seating area will be recognized during a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m., Saturday, August 15, at the Reed Turner Woodland and Nature Center, located at 3849 Old McHenry Road, in Long Grove.

Sophomore Advances to Final Round of Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent

Saint Viator sophomore Laura Kuper continues to turn heads this summer in the Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent contest. Last weekend, she made it to the top 10 finalists, and will battle it out on stage during the finals, starting at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Taste of Arlington.

The judges will announce the winner, at approximately 5 p.m. at the event, which takes place at Harmony Park in downtown Arlington Heights.

Vote for sophomore Laura Kuper (second from right) in the Suburban Chicago's Got Talent contest.

Vote for sophomore Laura Kuper (second from right) in the Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent contest.

Laura advanced to the finals after making it through the top 20 performance, and the top 15 contest, both held at the Prairie Center for the Arts in Schaumburg. Just to have a chance to compete, she had to make it out of the initial pool of 70 hopefuls, who were whittled down during closed auditions.

At the most recent competition, Laura played piano while singing, Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” to the delight of the judges.

“We’re looking for someone who could go professional and sell records and tickets,” said Ron Onesti said. “I can see it. You’re a rock star. Dream on, girl.”

Onesti is one of four judges, and serves as president and CEO of Onesti Entertainment Corp., which operates the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.

Last winter, Laura debuted on the JoAnn Calzaretta stage at Saint Viator, when she appeared as one of four narrators on stage—and the only freshman—in the musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

“I’m just feeding off of their energy and trying as a narrator to get the audience involved with the story,” Laura said at the time.

Online voting began today continues for the Fan Favorite prize. Click here to vote:

A video of Laura’s performance from Sunday’s show can be found at:

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