Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: June 2016

Randall Thompson, Connie Antoniou, JoAnn and Dan Murphy.

21st Annual Million Dollar Classic Celebrates Historic Year of Athletics

Cole Kmet '18.

Cole Kmet ’17.

Each year, golfers at Saint Viator’s Million Dollar Classic take aim at enhancing the school’s athletic programs and empowering its student-athletes. This year, they had a lot to celebrate, with the baseball team playing in the state semi-final, the lacrosse team reaching the final four, and a state champion in girls’ track and a state finalist in boys’ track.

And that only covers some of the spring sports.

Yes, it was a historic year for Saint Viator athletics, and guests at the 21st annual Million Dollar enthusiastically mingled with the student-athletes on hand at the acclaimed Jack Nicklaus-designed course at Wynstone Golf Club in North Barrington.


Matt Kelsch, Tracy Goepel, Barry Carlson and Scott Beck with their caddie.

The one athlete chosen to address the crowd only underscored the outing’s success.

Senior Cole Kmet ’17 spoke to golfers, just 10 days after helping advance Saint Viator’s baseball team to fourth place in the state, and two days after attending Notre Dame’s Irish Invasion Camp, held for top high school football recruits.

Kmet described working with Saint Viator’s strength and conditioning coach, Rich McLoughlin ’10  in the Murphy Wellness Center — both of which have benefitted from Million Dollar Classic proceeds — and how it helped him become the athlete he is today.

Randall Thompson, Connie Antoniou, JoAnn and Dan Murphy.

Randall Thompson, Connie Antoniou, JoAnn and Dan Murphy.

“When I was a freshman, I was able to deadlift 225 pounds. Now I can deadlift 500 pounds,” Kmet told an astonished crowd. “I’ve become bigger, faster and stronger, and I credit that to all the strength and conditioning work I’ve done in the Wellness Center. I’m down there every morning.”

Varsity baseball coach and assistant athletic director, Mike Manno ’94, also spoke to the crowd about his team’s historic season and how it was made possible by the support from the Saint Viator community and, specifically, funds raised from the event.

“This year, the baseball program was a great example of Saint Viator athletics,” he said. “This team represents each of our other 27 programs, and like each program, this team would not be successful without the Million Dollar Classic.”

Boler, Carlson

Tim Carlson ’87, Jill Carlson, Jamie Boler, Mike Boler ’82.

Funds raised from this year’s event will continue to support the conditioning initiative, adding more strength and fitness machines at the Murphy Wellness Center, and will be used to purchase a new van to transport players and coaches to off-campus practices and away matches.

“I can tell you, and I’m sure all the other coaches can tell you this, when we get to travel with our kids in the van, it’s not just about traveling to the games. We get to know our athletes and I’m sure they can share a lot of different funny stories with you as well,” Manno said. “We use the word family. We get time to talk about things that are important, not just athletics.”

As the event wrapped up, the event’s hosts and longtime supporters of Saint Viator athletics, Dan and JoAnn Murphy, presented awards to the winning foursomes:


Casey Lynde ’06, Jim Georgalas ’06 and Jared Funk ’06.

3rd Place – Dan and JoAnn Murphy and Connie Antoniou and Randall Thompson
2nd Place – Mike and Jamie Boler, and Tim and Jill Carlson
1st Place – Scott Beck, Barry Carlson, Tracy Goepel and Matt Kelsch

A special thank you to the following…

Wynstone Golf Club Sponsor
Dan and JoAnn Murphy

Hole-in-One Club
Dan, JoAnn, Dan ’04 and Jim ’08 Murphy

Eagle Club
Complete Cleaning Company, Inc.
Weber-Stephen Product- Tom Koos
Motor Werks

Hole Sponsors
Arlington Heights Ford
The Bricton Group Eagle Ridge & Spa, Marriot Lincolnshire
ECI Executive Construction, Inc.
Fidelitone/Josh Johnson
Dennis & Vanessa Kerrigan
Peggy Kinnane’s Irish Restaurant & Pub
Rainbow Hospice & Palliative Care
Dr. Scott G. Smoron ’90 Orthodontist
Caroline Starr/C. Starr Properties
Jim Vandenbergh ’67, John Vandenbergh ’70, Mark Vandenbergh ’97, Erik Vandenbergh ’99

2016 Committee Members
Sean Connolly ’92
Julie Crawford
Jim Frugo ’87
Jennifer Pretto
Bill and Geri Senchuk
Jim ’67 and Sue Vandenbergh

Thank you to the following individuals for their generosity and support
Jim Bristol ’73
Steve Burks
Susie McNamara
Our fabulous event volunteers



Remembering Andrew Johnstone and His Legacy of Leadership

IMG_6870It has been 25 years since a tragic auto accident took the life of Andrew Johnstone, the president-elect of the Class of 1992, but his legacy has not been forgotten.

Each year, his name is announced at graduation, in the presentation of the Andrew Johnstone Award, one of two prestigious honors bestowed on outstanding seniors. And each of the last 25 years, Frank and Charlene Johnstone, Andrew’s parents, have attended to present the award.

On Sunday, June 12, Andrew’s memory was celebrated again, at a special Mass held in Saint Viator’s Alumni Memorial Chapel. Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, presided.

In attendance, were family and friends as well as many of the Andrew Johnstone Award winners, including the first one, Andrew Callaci, from the Class of 1992, and the most recent one, Liam Warner, class of 2016.

It was June 25, 1991, when Andrew—an all-state swimmer, who had set five school records and was captain of the swim team—was driving home from early morning swim practice and suffered fatal injuries in a single car crash.

Fr. Charles Bolser served as president of the school at the time, and he recalls that the entire school mourned his loss.

IMG_6873“He was the kind of leader who knew everyone in the class—not just the jocks and the popular kids,” Fr. Bolser says. “It didn’t matter who you were; if you needed something he was there.”

In consultation with his parents, and the Inter-Class Council, school administrators created a memorial award the next year, to be given to a graduate who showed outstanding leadership and spirit.

Over the years, the award has not only kept alive the memory of Andrew, but it has become one of the most prestigious honors bestowed to a member of the graduating class, and each recipient reflects the kind of leadership among the student body that Andrew demonstrated.

“His leadership was about inclusiveness,” Fr. Bolser adds, “and consensus building.”

Andrew Johnstone Award Recipients:
Andrew Callaci ’92
Jeremy Keenan ’93
Ryan Wilke ’94
Anthony Pollizze ’95
Mark DeMonte ’96
Angela Chaput ’97
Margaret Galassi ’98
Daniel Klimas ’99
Soran Leahy ’00
Jaclyn Galvez ’01
Michael Irmen Jr. ’02
Ann Kinasz ’03
Lauren Griebel 04
John Leahy ’05
Jack Fleming ’06
Joseph Paolelli ’07
Ryan Voyda ’08
Kevin Fernandez ’09
Richard Hutyra ’10
Francis Avino ’11
William Cavanagh ’12
Kevin Schreiber ’13
Alicia Leja ’14
Krystal Harris ’15
Liam Warner ’16


Junior High Students Kick Off Summer At New Ukulele Camp


Sarah Schultz paints her ukulele on the second day of camp.

A unique class offering filled up last week at Saint Viator: a ukulele camp.

Led by Mr. Vince Genualdi, director of bands, the camp drew junior high teens as well as current students, all drawn to the pint-sized instrument which is sometimes called a Hawaiian guitar.

They began the week by building their own ukulele, using pieces in a do-it-yourself kit, before painting and personalizing it, and ultimately stringing the instrument. The last two days were devoted to learning its easy chord progressions and strumming out some familiar tunes.

“I play guitar, but it’s cool to see what the ukulele can do,” said Sarah Schultz of Palatine, who just graduated from St. James School. “You get to make your own instrument—while making music.”

That sentiment of making music—together—turns out to be just the point.

Mr. Genualdi earned his degree in Music Education at the University of Illinois, where he was a tuba player and ultimately drum major for the Marching Illini. He also participated in a unique group started in 2002 by Assistant Music Education Prof. Matt Thibeault, called the Homebrewed Ukulele Union.

Its mission is to promote the ukulele, which is small and accessible enough for children, while offering a participatory music experience, where the line between listening and performing is blurred.

“It’s a very versatile instrument,” Mr. Genualdi says, “it allows for students of any age to engage in a participatory performance experience.”


Campers learning how to string the ukulele.

Eighth grader Izabella Majsterek of Wheeling said the size of the instrument was just right for her.

“I always wanted to play guitar, but it’s too big,” she said. “This seems like it’s just right.”

Junior Jacob Turaka of Arlington Heights plays percussion in the Saint Viator symphonic band, but he likes to play the ukulele, so he volunteered to be a counselor for the camp.

“Since it’s so small, it seems to be a much simpler instrument,” Jacob says, “I feel that I learned a lot after completing few sessions.”

Incoming Saint Viator freshman, Olivia Augustine of Arlington Heights, personalized her ukulele with the logo from the band, 21 Pilots, who feature the ukulele in their fusion of pop and lyrical hits.

“I don’t know, the ukulele seems to turn up in happy songs,” Olivia says.

One of the taller students in the class was Br. John Eustice, CSV, a campus minister at Saint Viator. While he plays guitar, he was eager to build his own ukulele and master its unique sound.

“I think it’s great that these kids want to put together their own instrument and then learn to play it,” Br. John said. “What a great way to start the summer—creatively.”


Donna Benedict, who received the Principal's Award,

Faculty and Staff Recognized During End-of-the-Year Luncheon

Donna Benedict, who received the Principal's Award,

Fr. Corey Brost and the recipient of the Principal’s Service Award, Donna Benedict, hands Cathy Abrahamian the President’s Service Award at the Faculty and Staff Luncheon.

One of his last decisions as president of Saint Viator High School turned out to be an easy one. At the closing faculty luncheon, Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, awarded the President’s Service Award to his administrative assistant, Mrs. Cathy Abrahamian.

The announcement drew a standing ovation from her colleagues in attendance and tears from the winner.

“You tricked me,” Mrs. Abrahamian quipped. “You told me there wasn’t going to be one this year.”

Fr. Corey conceded that pulling off the surprise was difficult since it is Mrs. Abrahamian who orders all of the engraved plaques, among the myriad of tasks she oversees.

“She works behind the scenes and quite often goes unnoticed,” Fr. Corey said, “but she is the mortar in this building. She is the one who holds it together. She not only makes sure everything gets done, but she mentors young people every day.”

Rita King hugs Fr. Corey Brost after receiving the

Rita King hugs Fr. Corey Brost after receiving the Greatest Gift Award.

Principal Eileen Manno awarded the Principal’s Service Award to staff member, Donna Benedict, payroll and benefits coordinator, who has worn many hats during her 15 years, from alumni parent to valued staff member.

“She’s like family,” Mrs. Manno said.

Former parent, John Conerty, returned to present the Greatest Gift Award. Designed to honor a faculty member who consistently models an example of God’s presence in students’ lives, the seniors voted to recognize a pair of religion teacher with this year’s award, Ms. Emily Egan and Mrs. Rita King.

In all, seniors nominated 40 different faculty members for the award, going from their instructions to submit someone who is “joy-filled, transformational and authentic.”

The luncheon concluded with the presentation of the Fr. Louis Querbes Award — which is given annually to a faculty or staff member who best represents the spirit and mission of Saint Viator High School — to Mr. John Paulik, who just completed his 10th year in the religion department.

“The leadership and pastoral mission of the school is clearly reflected in John,” Fr. Corey said. “He is always looking to things for the school, while ministering to young people and showing them the grace of God.”

Awards were also presented to long-standing faculty and staff members who are celebrating important milestones in their career at Saint Viator.

Faculty Milestone Awards:

35 Years of Service
Mr. Steve Burks, building and grounds director

20 Years of Service
Mrs. Eileen Cairo, science department chair
Ruth Stonecipher, Scanlan Center

15 Years of Service
Mrs. Donna Benedict, payroll and benefits coordinator
Mrs. Nancy Jensen, mathematics
Mrs. Judy Salinas, accounts payable

10 Years of Service
Paul Bjerkness, mathematics
Ashley Braun, social studies
Carolyn Gerbatsch, staff
Paula Nicolau, science
John Paulik, religion
Rita Scully, staff
Monika Stevens, science

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Students Impact Local Families Through Loaves & Fishes Collections

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Students volunteering at Catholic Charities in May.

They go about it quietly, but over the course of the school year, Saint Viator students have helped several struggling families and individuals in the northwest suburbs.

Through their weekly Loaves & Fishes collection—which is a free will offering taken up each week during homeroom—students raised nearly $11,000, says Mr. Bart Hisgen, Christian service and outreach coordinator.

“It’s been a great year of generous giving by the students and their families,” Mr. Hisgen said.

He pointed to homeroom teachers Paul Bjerkness, Corey Jensen and Kaitlyn Jeanneret, respectively; whose students led all classrooms in donations.

Their donations made their way to families through case workers working with organizations such as Faith Community Homes in Arlington Heights, Journeys The Road Home in Palatine, Catholic Charities Northwest in Des Plaines and Interfaith Coalition for Detained Immigrants, based in Chicago.

Saint Viator students also were able to provide short-term financial assistance to five separate families in crisis, after several students made recommendations to the Loaves & Fishes Collection team.

Raising money for area families in need is over and above the 25 hours of Christian service that each Saint Viator student is required to complete during the school year, as part of their graduation requirement.

The Christian service program is designed to help Saint Viator students develop into people of compassion and knowledge, committed to justice, and called by God to serve others.

The holistic program seeks to put Gospel values—rooted in Catholic social teaching—into action, reflecting the mission of the Viatorian Community, which founded the school more than 50 years ago.

Class of 2016 valedictorian, Liam Warner.

Saint Viator Senior Admitted to Harvard

Class of 2016 valedictorian, Liam Warner.

Harvard University-bound and Class of 2016 valedictorian, Liam Warner.

Just days after Liam Warner drew a standing ovation after addressing his classmates as valedictorian, he learned more good news: He was admitted to Harvard University.

Liam is the second Saint Viator graduate in recent years to gain entry into the prestigious Ivy League School. Paul Lewis ’14 will be a junior at Harvard next year.

He is a National Merit Finalist and a product of the Querbes Scholars program, which was designed to enable highly motivated students to excel in academics and personal enrichment.

Liam described Harvard as his dream school, and after learning of his acceptance, he jumped at the chance to go. He plans to major in economics, he says, with the hopes of learning more about the “physics of people,” and study major socio-economic trends in the world.

It has been a year of accomplishments for this high achieving Lion.

In the fall, Liam led the boys’ golf team to be named champions of the East Suburban Catholic Conference and of their region, for the second consecutive year.

At the same time, he launched the first of what would be six editions of the Viator Voice, serving as co-editor with Justin Cruz ’16. Under their leadership, the student newspaper earned awards for excellence overall, as well as in layout and website design from the Scholastic Press Association.

Liam was also a member of the varsity Scholastic Bowl team, enthusiastically sharing the academic competition with up-and-coming players, during Saint Viator’s Junior High Scholastic Bowl Competition in March.

He also originated—and moderated—a first ever Academic Symposium with other senior members of the Querbes Scholars program in January, where they debated timely issues of the day, having to articulate their positions before a crowd of classmates, parents and faculty.

At the time, Mrs.Eileen Manno, principal, described Liam and his senior classmates as the “intellectual leaders of the school.”

Most recently, Liam led a team of students to compete for the first time in the Worldwide Youth in Science & Engineering Academic Challenge, sponsored by the University of Illinois’ Engineering Department. The first time out, they won their regional and earned a berth at sectionals to the state competition in Champaign. Liam was one of two students to medal at state, taking fourth overall in English.



Saint Viator’s Million Dollar Classic: Building Champions for Life

IMG_1161 Saint Viator’s Million Dollar Classic is more than just a golf outing. It’s an investment—that keeps on giving.

Over its first 20 years, the outing has raised more than $2.5 million for Saint Viator’s athletic facilities and programs.

Now in its 21st year, Saint Viator’s Million Dollar Classic will carry on that tradition, when it offers golfers the chance to play the acclaimed Jack Nicklaus-designed course at Wynstone Golf Club in North Barrington.

The event takes place on Monday, June 20, kicking off with breakfast before the 9:00 a.m. shotgun start. After 18 holes, foursomes are invited to stay for cocktails, a fabulous late lunch prepared by Wynstone’s renowned chef, and participate in an auction, paddle raise and raffle drawing to raise needed funds to support Saint Viator’s outstanding athletes and coaching staff.

IMG_4171Consider just a few of this event’s accomplishments: contributing to a new synthetic turf field and stadium lights at the Robert Morris Stadium—where Saint Viator plays its home football games, as well as a few of its soccer and lacrosse games—establishing a strength and conditioning coaching position, and enhancing the equipment in the Murphy Wellness Center, used by nearly all Saint Viator students.

Funds raised from this year’s paddle raise will go toward adding more strength and fitness machines in the Murphy Wellness Center, as well as purchasing a new van to transport players and coaches to off-campus practices and away matches.

Mr. Bill Sanford, dean of students and head boys’ lacrosse coach, says Saint Viator’s first rate athletic facilities are reflected in its student-athletes, who are going on to become champions on and off the field.

“We are forming people of faith,” Coach Sanford says, “and they are reaching out to make the world a better place.”

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