Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: November 2015

Saint Viator parent, Will Beiersdorf, co-founder of Salute, Inc., was named one of Chicago Magazine's 2015 Chicagoans of the Year.

Chicago Magazine Names Saint Viator Parent: ‘Healer of Wounded Vets’

A Saint Viator parent was named one of Chicago Magazine’s 2015 Chicagoans of the Year in its latest edition, but those in the Saint Viator High School community already know of his good works.

Saint Viator parent, Will Beiersdorf, co-founder of Salute, Inc., was named one of Chicago Magazine's 2015 Chicagoans of the Year.

Saint Viator parent, Will Beiersdorf, co-founder of Salute, Inc., was named one of Chicago Magazine’s 2015 Chicagoans of the Year.

Will Beiersdorf appears in the December edition, in a profile titled, “The Good Soldier.” In it, the story details his journey from Naval reservist called up after 9/11 to serve at Guantanamo Bay, to advocate for military families and injured vets.

He and his wife, Mary Beth, a member of Saint Viator’s Board of Trustees, formed Salute, Inc., in 2003 and over the last 12 years have helped support the needs of more than 2,000 returning soldiers.

Now, Will Beiersdorf has taken their mission further and is heading up The Road Home project at Rush University Medical Center, which treats military veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress syndrome and other brain-related injuries.

The hospital has embraced his project so much, that officials are doubling the space for his offices next year for the caseload that doubled in one year.

What readers of the magazine article may not know is Beiersdorf’s involvement with Saint Viator’s students.Charity Block Party 1

This year, as part of the many workshops offered on St. Viator Day, Mary Beth and Angela Brey, a Saint Viator parent and three-year volunteer case manager at Salute, coordinated with Mrs. Barb D’Urso in the religion department to form a letter writing campaign to active duty soldiers in Afghanistan (students are now receiving letters back from soldiers).

Also, since 2009, he and his wife have enabled members of the boys’ cross country team to support runners in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Specifically, they cheered on members of Team Salute, which raises money for the nonprofit’s emergency assistance fund for military families. They partnered with Marine cadets from the ROTC program at University of Illinois at Chicago, to cheer on the more than 100 Team Salute runners — including Fr. Dan Hall, CSV — and support the Beiersdorfs’ original mission of helping to meet the financial, physical and emotional needs of returning military.


A Message from Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V.

Dear Friends,

Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V.

I’m writing with some important news. First, let me share some background.

For several years the Viatorians have been active in ministry to immigrants in the Chicago area. As you know, many of our students have volunteered in that ministry throughout the years. In addition, last spring I joined a group of our students on a trip to the Mexico/Arizona border for a Catholic service weekend focused on the immigration problems facing our nation.

The weekend exposed us to the suffering of migrants who come to this country seeking opportunity they cannot find elsewhere. It also challenged us to consider how we, as Catholics, can show God’s compassion to those migrants. On one morning we hiked through migrant trails in the Arizona desert and I found myself wondering whether I should be doing more to serve immigrants as a priest and a lawyer.

After a lot of prayer throughout the summer and fall, I’ve decided that God is calling me to do more. So I have decided against taking a second term as president of Saint Viator High School. Instead, I have asked for and received permission from the Viatorians to help begin a new Viatorian ministry to immigrants and refugees when my term as president ends June 30. I will leave Saint Viator at that time.

As part of my new ministry, I will be working with Viatorians already serving immigrants in the Chicago area. We will be expanding our outreach to them, beginning new efforts to serve them and developing programs to educate others about their struggles. In particular, I plan to activate my law license to represent immigrant children seeking asylum in our nation.

I love Saint Viator. In many ways it would be more comfortable for me to stay here. But as a religious I feel I have the obligation to pick up and leave my comfort zone when God calls. Viatorians make the commitment when they take vows to be mobile and willing to uproot themselves when necessary to address suffering others can’t or won’t address.

Please be assured that Saint Viator will be in good hands when I leave. Our school is academically one of the best in the nation. There is no Catholic school in the area more sound financially. Our faith formation programs are unrivaled. Our students shine as academic, artistic, athletic and faithful role models for others. The administrative team that will remain after me is composed of people with enormous experience, expertise and commitment toward serving young people.

During the next two months, I will be working with Viatorian Provincial Fr. Tom von Behren, a former Saint Viator president, on a transition plan to turn leadership over to the next president. That president will be chosen by a search committee established by Fr. von Behren. We are confident that the committee will surface a new president early in 2016 with whom I and our administration can work as I serve out my term.

In closing, I thank you for your support these last nine years as I have served as a religion teacher and administrator. Words can’t express how honored I have felt on a daily basis to serve the parents, alums and students in this community. Know that I look forward to these last six months of service to you, as well, and am here if you need me.

Finally, please keep me in your prayers. You are in mine.





Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V


Saint Viator junior Elizabeth Drab advances to IHSA state diving championships on Friday.

Junior Diver Hopes to Make a Splash at State Meet

Things keep looking up for Saint Viator diver Elizabeth Drab, who heads to the IHSA state championships in diving on Friday at New Trier High School.

Saint Viator junior Elizabeth Drab advances to IHSA state diving championships on Friday.

Saint Viator junior Elizabeth Drab advances to IHSA state diving championships on Friday.

She is a one-person team and yet it seems nothing is impossible for this junior, who won the Metro Catholic Aquatics Conference title and the Barrington sectional title—by earning a score of 406.95—to set a school record and eclipse the next highest diver by 18.4 points.

“Elizabeth’s an incredibly talented athlete, who’s exceeding even her own expectations,” says Marty Jennings, Saint Viator Athletic Director. “She’s breaking ground for us in so many ways.”

Jennings says Saint Viator has fielded divers before in both girls’ and boys’ swimming and diving, but, to the best of his knowledge, the school has never had a diver medal at conference or sectionals, let alone advance to state.

Elizabeth’s success is no fluke. She trains privately with Glenbrook Aquatics in Glenview during the off season, and privately with its head coach, Tony Santucci during the season. For the past two summers she has attended the dive camp at the University of Indiana, training under Drew Johansen, the Hoosiers’ head coach and 2012 U.S. Olympic head coach.

Her training includes hours in the gymnastics gym refining dives while wearing a harness, as well as hours in the weight room and practicing gymnastics. During practices in the pool, she runs through each of her required dives as many as three times in a row before moving on.

At state, if Elizabeth advances through the first two rounds to the state finals, she would have completed 11 dives, and all with varying degrees of difficulty. Her most difficult, a front 1 ½ tuck, won her the sectional title and the school record. But she also counts a back 1 ½ twister and inward 1 ½ among her signature dives.

Elizabeth comes by her athleticism rightly. Her mother, Margaret, played Division I volleyball, while her father, Richard, played Division I soccer, both at Loyola University, where they met. Her older brother, Matthew, a 2014 Saint Viator graduate, plays volleyball at St. Ambrose University.

Still, diving isn’t the only sport Elizabeth competes in. She trained in gymnastics as a child and then took up track and soccer in high school, where not surprisingly she found success. Last spring, Elizabeth qualified for the state track meet in both the 400-meter dash and the long jump.

She started diving in middle school with her siblings and friends, on a team run by the Arlington Heights Park District. As a freshman, she was the only diver on the Saint Viator swimming and diving team, and as a sophomore, she had one classmate that dove with her.

It was during her sophomore year that she decided to dedicate herself to more training and she hasn’t looked back. As for competing at the state meet, Elizabeth says she is prepared.

“If I just focus on one dive at a time, it doesn’t seem so intimidating,” she says. “I just have to keep my concentration on myself, and not on the other divers or the judges. If I do that and put all my best dives out there, I have a chance to do well.”


Faculty and Staff Working Together to Feed the Hungry

Students at Saint Viator aren’t the only ones completing service hours. Faculty and staff members have committed to providing food for the homeless, once a month.IMG_4046

What started with a faculty-wide trip to Feed My Starving Children in September in Libertyville, has grown to a once a month, hands-on meal project.

Just this week, teachers and staff met in Querbes Hall after school to prepare 70 brown lunches for clients of Catholic Charities in Des Plaines.

They worked in assembly line fashion to pack the lunches, with items provided by volunteers, including sandwiches, drinks, fresh fruit, individually wrapped dessert treats as well as bags of chips and pretzels.

“We also placed an inspirational scripture verse of encouragement in each bag, to offer hope and to let the client know that someone is thinking about him or her,” said Mrs. Rita King, who is coordinating these service opportunities for the faculty and staff with Fr. Dan Lydon, CSV.

Last month, volunteer faculty members prepared hot food at home as well as salads, bread and dessert, and brought them into school where they were delivered to JOURNEYS/The Road Home, a resource center for the homeless in Palatine.

They plan to continue these efforts, alternating agencies each month, for the duration of the school year.

Turns out that faculty and staff are committed to living out what it means to be a Lion. They are part of the overall school community of believers, who together, are inspired to serve.


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Saint Viator Technology Team Share Their Success During Relevant Radio Interview

Good news travels fast, and that’s been the case since Saint Viator High School was named an Apple Distinguished School late last month.

ads interview2The latest news outlet to inquire about the distinction was Relevant Radio and its Catholic Schools Today program, which highlights the successes of Archdiocesan schools.

Earlier this week, Saint Viator’s technology team, Mrs. Eileen Manno, principal, Mrs. Mary Lee DeBelina, assistant principal and Ms. Maggie Miskowicz, coordinator of instructional technology, were interviewed by co-host Graziano Marcheschi during a live broadcast.

At the outset of the interview, they described the 1:1 iPad program, implemented three years ago, and its effect on the school.

“(The iPad) is more than a Kindle,” Mrs. Manno said. “It’s really a tool that has allowed us to extend learning.”ads interview

Marcheschi asked the team about the “flipped classroom” concept and just how they helped to advance “student-centered classrooms.”

“It has allowed our teachers to be more of leaders or facilitators,” Mrs. Manno said, “with students helping one another. They’re collaborating, which is one of the state’s core teaching standards.”

The discussion led to Saint Viator earning its second consecutive Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education, which prompted Marcheschi to ask what makes a Saint Viator education so successful.

“With our athletic programs, fine arts program, as well as our educational and spiritual development,” Mrs. Manno said, “we’re producing graduates we think are going to be leaders in the church and in society.”

Case in point: Ms. Nikki Raftery, principal of Saint Mary School in Buffalo Grove, who was interviewed in the show’s first segment, is a Saint Viator High School graduate.

Listen to the Catholic School Today interview. Skip to 21:52 for Saint Viator’s segment. 

Ellie Meyer, Kevin Murphy, Jack Coney, Kevin Murphy, Mike Ragauskis and Andrea Renner, signed letters of intent to play college sports Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Six Saint Viator Athletes Sign Early Letters of Intent

The early signing period for the NCAA sports opened Wednesday, and a total of six student athletes from Saint Viator High School took their turns signing letters of intent to play in college.

Ellie Meyer, Kevin Murphy, Jack Coney, Kevin Murphy, Mike Ragauskis and Andrea Renner, signed letters of intent to play college sports Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Ellie Meyer, Kevin Murphy, Jack Coney, Patrick Murphy, Mike Ragauskis and Andrea Renner, signed letters of intent to play college sports.

They include Ellie Meyer, the senior libero and captain of the Lions’ girls’ volleyball team, who signed a letter of intent to play at University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. Meyer is a two-time all ESCC conference player and a member of the Daily Herald All-Area team for the last three years. In addition, she holds the single game record at Saint Viator for the most digs in a match (41) and season record with 650 digs this season, says her coach, Charlie Curtin.

“Ellie is an amazing defensive player, who has the ability to read the attack perfectly,” Curtin says. “She has been a staple in our program for the last three years and a huge reason for our success.”

Andrea Renner committed to playing hockey at Northeastern University in Boston. Renner competed in club hockey and during the last four years has been named to the all-state team by the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois and was a member of her club’s national championship team last year. As a Huskie, Renner will play in the East Hockey conference and for a team that has produced several Olympians.

The Lions also had two baseball players sign letters of intent for Division 1 programs. Senior outfielder Mike Ragauskis signed to play at the University of Oklahoma, while infielder Jack Coney will play at Purdue University.

Both players helped lead the Lions to their fourth straight Class 4A regional finals, and now will take their games to the next level.

“Mike is one of the fastest kids in the country,” says Coach Mike Manno, “which will help any program be successful.”

Coney was injured much of last season, but Coach Manno points to his intangibles and steady play in the infield.

“Jack has a tireless work ethic that is matched by few athletes,” Coach Manno says. “He has dedicated many hours to becoming the player he is.”

Saint Viator’s lacrosse team also announced two of its players had committed to playing at Division III schools. Brothers Kevin and Patrick Murphy are the first two products to come out of the Junior Lions Lacrosse program before they attended Saint Viator, and now are advancing to the college level.

Kevin Murphy will play at Salisbury University in Maryland, which is a perennial Division III powerhouse, having won 10 national championships, while Patrick Murphy will play at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, which is one of the Midwest’s best Division III lacrosse programs and a highly selective academic school.

While at Saint Viator, they have made their mark, with Kevin being named to the second team all-state last year and named the ESCC player of the year, while Patrick was the Lions’ leading scorer last season and named to the ESCC conference team.

During the late afternoon ceremony, Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president, and Saint Viator Athletic Director Marty Jennings congratulated the athletes, their coaches and parents.

“This is a tremendous achievement of choosing to play college athletics,” Jennings said. “It is a select few, who can navigate the rigors of being a student-athlete and have the will to continue into the next level of sport. We are proud of your accomplishments.”

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Saint Viator Band Members: Experiencing Collegiate Level Music at U of I

Members of the Saint Viator band program picked up where they left off with the Marching Illini when they traveled last weekend to Champaign for a two-day immersion into the university’s fine arts clinic_crop

Their trip opened with a clinic with Dr. Stephen Peterson, Illinois’ newly appointed director of bands, who formerly taught at Ithaca and Northwestern universities.class questions_crop

Later that day, Saint Viator students toured the Illinois campus before having lunch with music admissions officers and members of the brass faculty. Their day included hearing a presentation on careers in the arts and touring the university’s famous Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. A concert by the University of Illinois Wind Symphony proved inspirational.visiting Sousa archives

On Saturday, Saint Viator band students sat in on master classes with members of Illinois’ Sousa notesgraduate brass quintet and graduate saxophone quartet, before visiting the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, located in the Harding Band Building. There, students were able to see the original sheet music — with notations by John Philip Sousa, himself — of the “Liberty Bell March,” which they had played in their fall concert and rehearsed with Dr. Peterson.marching band demo

Before leaving, they headed over to Memorial Stadium, to watch portions of the Illinois Marching Band Championships — and see the Marching Illini in exhibition.

“This was an opportunity to have collegiate instruction — both in an ensemble and individual setting,” says Mr. Vince Genualdi, Saint Viator director of bands and a former drum major with the Marching Illini. “I know their interactions with these accomplished musicians and professors will directly impact their own musicianship and work ethic. It’s a trip we’ll all remember.”


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