Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: December 2015

Frank Laterza '12

Class of 2012 Grad Recognized as Top Small College Athlete

Frank Laterza '12

Frank Laterza ’12

When Frank Laterza ’12 played football at Saint Viator, he did it all: he was a receiver on offense and played safety on defense, as well as returning kicks and punts. He even played quarterback, coming into replace the injured starter, Cameron Korab ’12.

Is it any wonder that he grew even better in college? As a standout defensive back at St. Norbert College, he led the Green Knights this season with six interceptions, with 121 return yards and 23 tackles, in a season when St. Norbert’s defense allowed just 155.5 yards passing per game and the unit finished with 21 interceptions, its most since 2006.

Officials at St. Norbert’s announced this week that Laterza is one of 63 small-college defensive players who are a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award. This award is presented to the nation’s top small college defensive player, representing more than 5,000 defensive players from almost 500 NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA colleges and universities.

Latzera was named Midwest Conference Defensive Skill Player of the Year following a year where he led the Green Knights to a 10-1 overall record and an unbeaten 10-win regular season. St. Norbert captured the Midwest Conference championship, its 16th since 1985, with a 16-7 win over Monmouth College in the league’s title game on Nov. 14.

The award is sponsored by the Little Rock Touchdown Club and the top vote getter from each division will also be announced. Members of the selection committee included former college and pro-football greats.

Cliff Harris himself went from being an overlooked high school player from tiny Des Arc, AR, who played football at the NAIA-level Ouachita Baptist University, to appearing in five Super Bowls and six Pro Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys

The winner of the award will be announced on Dec. 24.

Christmas celebration - Lou Malnati's

Buddy the Elf Helps Introduce Saint Viator International Students to the Joy of Christmas

In an effort to help international students at Saint Viator experience some of the cultural aspects of the holiday season, a team of administrators led the group on an outing to the Lincolnshire Marriott to see the Broadway musical, “Elf,” considered to be a modern day Christmas classic.Christmas celebration - Lou Malnati's

They were accompanied by Principal Eileen Manno, Registrar Rose Ruffatto, Instructional Technology Coordinator Maggie Miskowicz, Chinese teacher Amy Zhang and staff member Karen Buchek.

“Many of our international students live in countries where Christmas is not celebrated or at the very least, it is celebrated at a minimal level,” Mrs. Manno said. “This field trip provided an opportunity to experience the secular world of Christmas.”

The show includes a jubilant score, vibrant costumes and dance scenes, as well as hilarious comedy, as Buddy the Elf comes from the North Pole to New York City in search of his true identity.

Along the way, Buddy’s indomitable cheer transforms the lives of everyone he encounters and opens his father’s eyes to the magic of Christmas.

Their holiday excursion came after last year’s trip to Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest, where among other novelties, they tried ice skating for the first time.

This year’s trip concluded with a meal at another Chicago classic: Lou Malnatti’s, for authentic, deep dish pizza.

Collectively, the students come from around the world, including Korea, China, Italy, Indonesia, Colombia, Taiwan, Thailand, Russia and Brazil. They are part of the Fr. Mark Francis International Program, which was established in 2012, the last year Fr. Francis served as superior general of the Viatorians.

The program reflects his years of international study and focuses on a student’s needs, enabling them to develop the cultural understanding and performance skills necessary to succeed in academic and social situations.


Saint Viator Art Students Find Inspiration in the Christmas Season

Nowhere is the Christmas season more alive than in the visual arts classes at Saint Viator High School.

nativityStudents in Mr. Bill Faltinoski’s first hour 3-D Art class began working in October on creating a nativity set, which ultimately was auctioned off at the Craft Beer Fest, hosted by the Saint Viator Parents’ Club.

Individual pieces were crafted from terra cotta clay and then glazed with opalescent glazes, all before being fired in a new kiln donated by the Parents’ Club.

“This is an introductory class that works in various three-dimensional materials,” Mr. Faltinoski says, “so for most of these students, it’s the first time they are in an art class.”

At about the same time, students in Introduction to Visual Arts, 2-D Art and Advanced 2-D Art began creating images for an 8-foot tall Advent calendar, currently on display in the main entrance.

Each day, another window opens, revealing individual images of an angel created by art students using just crayons.

“The crayons were used in a layering technique, that had students create gradations of colors by blending the crayons and over-layering with white,” says Mr. Faltinoski, art department chairman.

Drawings then were placed behind what originally looked like a large, black block, that gradually, as more windows opened, revealed itself to be a stained glass window.

“The project originally was part of our 2015 Winter Arts Festival,” Mr. Faltinoski explains. “It’s the first year we’ve done something like this.”

Mr. Faltinoski tweets out each day’s angel image, crediting the artist who drew it, so that members of the Saint Viator community can participate in the Advent calendar, virtually. But for all the students, faculty and visitors who enter the school each day, the image beautifully depicts the anticipation of the birth of the Christ child.


Singing and Spreading Christmas Cheer – The Feeling is Contagious

Here we come a-caroling.caroling

Saint Viator choir members, including the Concert and Treble choirs, and the Chamber Singers, have taken their show on the road this month, spreading Christmas cheer wherever they go.

And the feeling is contagious, spreading out beyond the fine arts department.

Just last week, students active in Campus Ministry joined faculty members in caroling around the neighborhoods surrounding Saint Viator.

“The neighbors were delighted,” said Mrs. Nancy Devroy. “One neighbor, with tears in her eyes, remarked how touched she was that Saint Viator was continuing a tradition she used to do as a little child.”

Saint Viator choral students have been out in the community all month. Led by Mr. Joe Giovannetti, their holiday schedule began when the Chamber Singers caroled for the Mount Prospect Lions Club Christmas party, before returning that weekend to perform multiple sets for the Winter Arts Festival.

A highlight of the afternoon show was a combined, large-scale performance of the “Christmas Story,” narrated by Mrs. JoAnne Francis and accompanied by the concert and symphonic bands.

During that next week, Concert Choir members traveled to a pair of feeder schools in Park Ridge, St. Paul of the Cross and Mary Seat of Wisdom, to lead a sing-a-long with students.

That next weekend, members of the Chamber Singers gathered in front of the big Christmas Tree at Deer Park Town Center, and caroled for busy holiday shoppers. That night, they returned to Rolling Green Country Club, where they have performed the last few years for their annual candlelight dinner.

“The students love to sing together because of the bonds of friendship it creates — and they love to sing for others because of the joy that it brings,” Mr. Giovannetti says. “They are truly ambassadors of Saint Viator because of the way they live out their faith through service.”


2015 Querbes symphony

Bravo! Freshmen Querbes Scholars Applaud CSO

Freshmen in the Fr. Louis Querbes Scholars Program took their first enrichment trip on Dec. 4 and it was a memorable one.

As a group, they traveled to Chicago’s Symphony Center to see Maestro Riccardo Muti conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, during its historic 125th season. The chance to hear one of the finest orchestras in the world, drew several other Querbes Scholars to join them.

The program featured the works of a pair of Russian composers, Alexander Scriapin and one of his protégés, Sergei Prokofiev, as well as the more familiar Beethoven’s 8th Symphony.

“I appreciated the opportunity to listen to such world renowned music — and see the architecture of Chicago’s Symphony Center,” said freshman Allison Bosshart.

Her classmate, Tom Consertina, agreed, adding: “It was beautiful. It was the best music I’ve ever experienced in person.”
The seniors who accompanied them realized the rare opportunity to see Maestro Muti conduct, in this his sixth season as music director of the CSO.

“We were fortunate to be able to see such a popular performance conducted by CSO’s famous Riccardo Muti, said senior Mark Perkowski. “We had fantastic seats and the pieces that were played were very enjoyable.”

Justin Cruz, a senior percussionist with the Saint Viator band, said he was particularly interested in Scriabin’s Prometheus, which was performed on piano by Kirill Gernstein and accompanied by the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

“The Prometheus had the coolest combination of voice and instrument, so the song selection was both interesting and relevant,” Justin said afterwards.

Querbes Scholars are students of exceptional academic promise, who are invited to enrich their years at Saint Viator through activities that foster personal growth, intellectual independence and faith enrichment.

Mrs. Cate Majka, freshman Querbes Scholars homeroom teacher, accompanied the group and even she came away moved by the performance.

“It is always awesome to be able to experience a performance by the CSO,” Mrs. Majka said, “and even better to see the students’ excitement end enjoyment.”

Payton toy drive

Sweetness: Generosity Continues Toward Walter Payton Toy Drive

Payton toy drive

Cathy Abrahamian and student co-leaders, Tony Valentino ’17 and Emma Abrahamian ’19, with student shoppers and the school’s final toy drive donation.

For 10 years, students at Saint Viator High School and their families have donated generously to the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation Toy Drive. And this year was no different.

Led by Mrs. Cathy Abrahamian and student co-leaders, Tony Valentino ’17 and Emma Abrahamian ’19, students filled 19 large boxes of toys, as well as seven bags of stuffed animals, a pair of basketball sets and five bikes.

The Walter and Connie Payton Foundation assists about 5,000 children throughout the year and works directly with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to provide for their holiday giving.

“I want to thank the Saint Viator High School community,” Mrs. Abrahamian said, “for their love and generosity.”

This project is close to the heart of the Saint Viator Community. Jarrett Payton, son of the legendary Chicago Bears’ running back, Walter Payton, graduated in 1999 from Saint Viator and he continues to remain involved with the school.


Jarret Payton ’99 at Saint Viator Day 2014.

Most recently, he returned to serve as the keynote speaker for Saint Viator Day 2014.

For five consecutive years — and seven of the last nine — Saint Viator has placed first in a friendly competition between area high schools, by collecting the most boxes of toys. While this year’s tally is not complete, Saint Viator families increased their giving, collecting even more toys than last year.

“We’re hoping for our sixth consecutive win,” Mrs. Abrahamian adds.

Color Crest

60 Seniors Recognized as Illinois State Scholars

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission announced its 2016-17 Illinois State Scholars this week, and Saint Viator officials learned 60 of its seniors, more than 25 percent of the class, had won the prestigious award.

Illinois State Scholars rank in the top ten percent of high school seniors. Traditionally, their selection is based on ACT and SAT scores, as well as rank at the end of junior year. However, since Saint Viator does not use a class rank system in evaluating students’ performance, their grade point averages and strength of schedule figured into the decision.

Eileen Manno, Saint Viator principal, said the number of Illinois State Scholars further confirms the school’s mission to provide students with a rigorous academic education in preparation for their college pursuits.

“We’re thrilled,” Manno said. “Illinois State recognition reflects all the hard work by our faculty and students, as well as the school’s commitment to academic excellence.”

The following seniors received Illinois State Scholar recognition:

Michael Baker
Alexander Boler
Jacob Bonanotte
Charles Broadbent
Michael Brown
Michael Carens
Thomas Cleary
Justin Cruz
Anne Farwell
Brighdin Finnegan
Matthew Fitzgerald
Grant Gaylord
Matthew Gryzlo IV
Emily Hayes
Stephen Hegarty
Erin Hogaboom
John Jagmin
Ethan Johnson
Patrick Kerrigan
Lauren Kohn
Trevor Koos
Dominic Lamick
Danielle Laterza
Dana Lenard
Danielle Leveille
Reinaldo Limantara
Lu Jiayi
John Marty
Caroline McAndrews
Jeanne McCormick
Miles McDonnell
Ryan McMahon
Jonathan Meehan
Eleanor Meyer
Olivia Michalik
Eric Mitalo
Xiangxi Mo
Drew Morton
Kevin Napoleon
Audrey Nuelle
Mary O’Connell
Paige Patano
Max Paulus
Mark Perkowski
Michael Ragauskis
Sarina Remiasz
Alexandria Scheidecker
Hannah Sheriff
Paige Smith
Nicholas Spanier
Scott St Onge
Margarita Stahl
Thomas Swiderski
Matthew Trimberger
Daniel Walsh
Liam Warner
Mitchell Warren
Samuel Wolf
Alec Zajac


Activity Period Well Spent: Sophomores Learn Coding

IMG_5079 - Version 2One week before a global event planned to immerse students in computer coding, Saint Viator High School held its own “Hour of Code.”

During an activity period Thursday, the entire sophomore class took out their iPads and learned to code, using a Star Wars galaxy developed by the nonprofit organization,, as their platform.

“We believe coding is the way of the future,” said Principal Eileen Manno to the class, assembled at tables in Querbes Hall. “All of you, in one way or another in your future careers, will be involved in developing some type of coding.”

Students worked through a series of 15 puzzles, dragging and dropping their droids— and using JavaScript — to write their code.IMG_5072

“It’s kind of cool,” said sophomore Ava Pretto. “It took a while to get it, but I’m getting it now. It makes you think differently.”

Her classmate, Olivia Pollina, agreed and listened intently as school officials described the importance of learning to code.

“For any field you go into, it can be incorporated,” Olivia said.

Mr. Jim Williams, computer science teacher at Saint Viator, already teaches Mobile Apps programming I and II classes, as well as Introduction to Computer Science, that uses C ++. In fact, Saint Viator is the only high school in the Chicago Archdiocese to teach coding and building apps.

“Students who know coding will be in great demand in the future,” Mr. Williams told the sophomores.

IMG_5094Gabe Newell, a former Microsoft employee who co-founded the video game developer, Valve, was one of several entrepreneurs and tech giants to promote coding in an opening video.

“Programmers of today are the wizards of tomorrow,” Newell said. “You’re going to look like you have super powers.”

Already, Saint Viator High School was one of the first in the area to institute a 1:1 iPad program three years ago, and last month was recognized as an Apple School of Distinction for its innovation and exemplary learning environment.

“This is a really good opportunity to learn about coding,” said sophomore Josh Mahalek. “With increased technology around, you need to learn how to control it and make sure it does what we want it to do. It’s truly the way of the future.”

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