Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: April 2016 (Page 2 of 2)

Mia Szela '17

Saint Viator Junior Assists Surgical Patients in Ghana

Mia Szela '17

Mia Szela ’17

Mia Szela ’17 already knows she wants to pursue medicine in college and she has credible experience to bring to her classroom work. Over spring break, she made her third trip to the African nation of Ghana to assist her father, Dr. Erwin Szela, an obstetrician and gynecologist from the Northwest suburbs.

“It was eye opening to have this kind of experience,” Mia says, “and to be in their community and immersed in their culture.”

Mia and her father returned to Barnor Hospital, located in the Accra district of Ghana. They partnered with team members from Medical Ministry International Canada, in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada, whose mission is to serve the poorest of the poor.

Accra is located on the southern edge of Ghana, on the Atlantic coast. The area is one of the most densely populated regions of Ghana, with most residents living in two-room, mud huts.

While Dr. Szela has delivered babies on prior trips, he returns each year mainly to perform surgery, including myomectomies—which removes cancerous tumors from the uterus—and hysterectomies, removing the entire uterus.

“Women come from all over Ghana for these surgeries,” Mia says. “In some cases, they wait all year for him to come. They are always so thankful.”

Each time Mia has accompanied her father, she has taken on more responsibility. On this latest trip, she maintained patient charts and prepared equipment for the operating room, but she also helped with patients, both pre-op and post-op, and was able to observe some of the surgeries.

During their week, they also visited a local orphanage and helped deliver needed supplies provided by Medical Ministry International Canada. Mia said most of their days were spent working in the hospital, but during their few visits to the market, they met more local residents.

“The whole experience has made me learn to appreciate everything so much more, and want to give more,” Mia says. “I just consider it a privilege to go there.”

 

IMG_2592

Latest Stop for Querbes Scholars: Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

IMG_2592Freshmen and sophomores in the Querbes Scholars Program hit the road again, this time traveling to Navy Pier for a 75-minute abridged version of Shakespeare’s comedy, Twelfth Night at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

They joined with nearly 500 other high school students from the city and suburbs for the performance, which is part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago, a yearlong initiative celebrating the vibrancy and relevance of Shakespeare some 400 years after his death in 1616.

“The play was geared for high school students and our group really enjoyed it,” said Mrs. Cate Majka, who attended the show as moderator of the sophomore Querbes Scholars class.

Officials with the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre believe that Shakespeare speaks to everyone, but a major part of their focus is to partner with schools to help readers connect with Shakespeare in the classroom—and bring his text to life on the stage.

IMG_2605Saint Viator students said they enjoyed the intimacy of the theater as well as the accessibility of the actors.

Before the performance, one of the actors met with the Querbes Scholars and briefly described the play for the group, before the entire cast took questions from the audience after the show.

“It enriched my understanding of Shakespearean literature,” sophomore Marcus Lannie said.

His classmate, Maura Hogaboom, agreed: “I really loved the unique spin the actors put on such a classic piece of literature.”

Going to see Shakespeare carried out a key component of the Querbes Scholars Program, which is to take a trip every semester as part of enrichment opportunities designed to foster personal growth, intellectual independence and faith enrichment.

 

St. Raymond students: Nicolas Guerra, Michael Nuelle, Matt Meyer, Kevin Cantieri.

Junior High Scholastic Bowl Tournament Draws a Crowd

St. Raymond students: Nicolas Guerra, Michael Nuelle, Matt Meyer, Kevin Cantieri.

St. Raymond students: Nicolas Guerra, Michael Nuelle, Matt Meyer, Kevin Cantieri.

The Cahill Gymnasium was buzzing with excitement Thursday, when more than 75 Scholastic Bowl players—all sixth and seventh graders from feeder schools—descended on Saint Viator for the junior high Scholastic Bowl tournament.

Teams came from Our Lady of the Wayside in Arlington Heights, St. Anne’s in Barrington, St. James in Arlington Heights, St. Raymond’s in Mount Prospect, St. Theresa’s in Palatine, St. Thomas of Villanova in Palatine and Sunset Ridge Junior High School in Northfield.

“It’s a chance to meet with their peers from other schools competing in Scholastic Bowl and get a sense of the competition,” said Mrs. Jan Grana, moderator of Saint Viator’s team.

The tournament ran just like the high school version, which is sanctioned by the IHSA, with students clasping buzzers, and Saint Viator Scholastic Bowl members serving as readers and scorekeepers.

“The competition makes it a fun way to learn,” said St. Anne seventh grader, Joseph Laterza.

His teammate, Ozy McEvoy, agreed: “You learn a lot more than being in school. You just remember things better when it’s in a competition.”

St. James students: Christi Hansen, Nicholette Bentz, Sara Michelini, Zach Perkins.

St. James students: Christi Hansen, Nicholette Bentz, Sara Michelini, Zach Perkins.

Experienced coaches said the benefits go a long way with middle school students—beyond all the studying and preparing for competition.

“It’s all about building their confidence,” said Kristin Wolf, who is bringing back the Scholastic Bowl team at St. Thomas of Villanova.

Kathy Ferrante, coach at Our Lady of the Wayside, concurred, adding that she encourages her younger players to speak up and answer the questions, even if they get one wrong.

“It builds their listening skills,” she says. “At practices, I tell them that I am not repeating the questions, because they don’t repeat them at tournaments. They have to pay attention—and listen to the questions, all the way through.”

The tournament was somewhat bittersweet for Liam Warner ’16, who remembers competing at the Saint Viator tournament when he was a junior high student at St. Anne’s. At Thursday’s tournament, he returned, as a reader—and mentor for younger students.

“This tournament is a good way to introduce them to the activity,” Liam said. “It’s low pressure; they’re not under the gun to score points. Hopefully, in the process they get a sense of the school and of the students here.”

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