Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: October 2016


New Decal Cropping Up on Faculty Web Pages: Apple Teacher

dsc_0067Saint Viator High School already has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School, but its technology-driven curriculum continues to change the way students learn—now through faculty members certified as Apple Teachers.

Apple began offering new training resources for teachers in September, and since then nearly 50 Saint Viator teachers have taken the online classes and completed the curriculum to earn their new designation. But that number changes every day, says Ms. Maggie Miskowicz, instructional technology coordinator.

She gives a shout-out to every new Apple teacher on Twitter, and her tweets have drawn recognition from the likes of iTunesU, an official Apple account, and the Office of Catholic Schools within the Archdiocese of Chicago.

In order to become an Apple Teacher, faculty members must complete badges in eight subject areas, including iPad, Pages for iPad, Keynotes for iPad, Numbers for iPad, iMovie for iPad, GarageBand for iPad, Productivity with iPad and Creativity with iPad. Teachers then have the option of going on to complete the Mac curriculum, as well.

dsc_0092“The training resources serve as an excellent tool to build and refine iPad skills,” Ms. Miskowicz says. “It is amazing that so many of our teachers dove right into the lessons and completed the curriculum. This just goes to show how committed they are to technology use in the classroom.”

This growing number of Apple teachers at Saint Viator only furthers the school’s innovative curriculum redesign—and leverages technology with academics.

“The use of the iPad in education challenges students to learn by doing,” says Principal Eileen Manno. “It engages them in the learning process in multi-dimensional, dynamic and creative ways.”


Saint Viator Students Stage Timeless Comedy, “You Can’t Take it With You”

sv-yctiwy-2The outcome of a presidential election, an economy coming out of recession and the burden of family expectations to work on Wall Street.

Sound familiar? In fact, these themes date back 80 years and drive the twists and turns in the Pulitzer Prize winning comedy, “You Can’t Take it With You.”

Saint Viator High Schools students tackle the zany characters in the show, which was written in 1936 by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart and has gone on to inspire everything from the Addams Family, to Meet the Parents and Arrested Development.

The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27, and continues with shows at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 and 29, and at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 30. All tickets are $5 and are available at the door.

“There are so many parallels to what’s going on today,” says Mrs. Kate Costello, director. “The play won the Pulitzer Prize because it was funny—and it had a lot to say.”

The plot revolves around Grandpa Vanderhof—played by seniors Zac Jones and Bryan Rapala—who stopped working 35 years ago and decided to enjoy life.

His extended family provides all kinds of madcap antics in their eccentric household, but potentially might be too much for his granddaughter’s suitor and his straitlaced family.

Seniors Matthew Fecko and Olivia Dominguez share the stage in "You Can't Take it With You."

Seniors Matthew Fecko and Olivia Dominguez share the stage in “You Can’t Take it With You.”

“The audience is immersed in a world of eccentric characters who are out of step with those around them,” Costello adds. “Most high school students can identify with that.”

Cast members—a total of 45, divided between two casts—say they embraced their individual characters but worked diligently on the timing and delivery of their jokes.

“It’s comedy, so it lives or dies on the timing,” says Zac, who has appeared in multiple plays and musicals during his four years at Saint Viator. “All of the dynamism of the show depends on the characters. The dialogue has to be sharp, moments have to chase each other—or they fall flat.”

Seniors Matthew Frank and Matthew Fecko share the role of Tony Kirby, a junior Wall Street executive and love interest of Alice Sycamore, played by seniors Aria Bernardi and Olivia Dominguez.

“I have to play it pretty straightforward,” Matthew Frank says. “I come into this family that’s not concerned with appearances; they just let it all go. That’s the main conflict.”

Another senior, Miriam Varvara shares the role of Penny, Alice’s mother, with senior Stephanie Bremner.

“She’s lighthearted and optimistic,” says Miriam, of her character, “but at the same time she doesn’t have a filter, which makes it very uncomfortable for people. I love that.”


Homecoming 2016 Goes Back to the Middle Ages

Medieval knights, jousting and even an enchanted forest. Oh, my!

Homecoming week featured all of these and more as students enjoyed “A Medieval Time” theme that played out in colorful and imaginative ways each day. Credit members of Saint Viator’s Student Council, who decorated the school and devised clever ways to keep classmates immersed in the Middle Ages.

When students arrived at the beginning of the week, they found their school converted into a medieval castle, complete with a throne room and royal jewels, a hall of knights and individual coat of arms for each homeroom, as well as a medieval village, with a jousting ring of knights, a stockade and an enchanted forest with a dragon.

Homerooms competed in making the best helmet or crowns, as well as a crossword puzzle contest and an inflatable jousting game. Games Day featured even more wacky competitions.

With all the knights in shining armor, the coronation that took place during Friday’s pep rally, seemed like the most fitting way to end the week.

svhs-hc-coronation-253This year’s homecoming court included: freshmen Bryce McDonnell and Kathryn Bullock; sophomores Michael Purk and Carrie Leazer; juniors Sean Carey and Rebecca Wolf; and Pat Doherty and Preetha Raj as senior homecoming court members.

This year’s homecoming queen was Emily Jarosz while the homecoming king was Darreontae Jackson.

Court winners were announced by freshman Jack Aiello. Fresh off his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, he entertained the student body with his impressions of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as he announced the court winners.

Members of the competitive dance and cheerleading teams also performed for the crowd. Even members of the varsity football team danced to a choreographed number. Not to be outdone, the Cahill Crazies led the school community in cheers and the school song.

School spirit soared throughout the week, despite the varsity football loss to conference rival, Nazareth Academy. By Saturday night, when students arrived for “A Night in Shining Armor,” all 780 of them entered through a huge castle entry, complete with gargoyles and torches and even a knight riding in horseback.

It was, indeed, a night to remember.


Cross Country Teams Support Marathon Runners Raising Money for Injured Military


Boys and girls cross country team members with the University of Chicago ROTC Marine cadets.

For the sixth time, members of the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams turned out to support runners in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon—and along the way, they learned some Marine Corps chants.

Once again, the Lions partnered with Marine cadets from the ROTC program at University of Illinois at Chicago. Together, they cheered on the 127 marathoners—including Br. John Eustice, C.S.V.—who ran to support Team Salute and its mission to help meet the financial, physical and emotional needs of returning military.

They stood along the marathon’s Charity Cheer Block—strategically located just past the halfway mark, near mile 14. In the end, Salute runners combined to raise more than $190,000 in support of Salute’s emergency financial assistance program.


Br. John Eustice, C.S.V. crossing the Chicago Marathon finish line.

“They arrived as early as 5:30 a.m. and stayed until the last of the runners went by says,” Mrs. Mary Beth Beiersdorf, co-founder of Salute and current parent.

Salute is an official charity of the Chicago Marathon, and this year, the Chicago Blackhawks sponsored the team, resulting in their largest fundraising effort to date.

In Br. John’s case, this was his first marathon and he was motivated. One hundred percent of his donations went to a young woman, Chasity, to pay for her extended rehabilitation from a spinal cord injury at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Boys’ Head Coach Wayne Edelman worked to facilitate the cross country runners working the marathon. He said it comes at a good time for his boys’ team, who will run in the East Suburban Catholic Conference championships this weekend.

“Working the marathon gives the kids a chance to see all kinds of runners—from the Kenyans to the recreational runners and those in costume,” Coach Edelman said. “They really see the perseverance it takes and the dedication.

“The kids get service hours for doing it, but they enjoy it,” he added. “We all work together and it really forms lasting bonds on the team.”


Justice League Members Tackle Gun Violence One Step at a Time

strides-for-peace-twoStudents in Saint Viator’s Justice League have a lofty goal: to curb gun violence in Chicago. So what can one teenage group do to help? Run in honor of individual victims and raise money for a nonprofit organization—Strides for Peace—that works to advance change.

On Friday, Oct. 7—one day after a major fundraising run took place at Soldier Field—members of the Justice League came to school early, to hold their own 5K run.

They ran in support of the organization and its mission to raise money for local organizations that have achieved success in reducing gun violence through community-based health and wellness initiatives, or youth-oriented programs.

Before setting out, each student learned the name and story of someone their age or younger who had been a victim of gun violence and shared it with the group. Students also brought in donations to go towards reducing gun violence.

“I love how our students are willing to wake up early on a Friday morning to be in solidarity with kids their age facing a much different reality than their own,” said Ms. Emily Egan, Justice League moderator.

Justice League members are committed to the Viatorian charism of caring for the marginalized. The group incorporates educational experiences, service and reflection to provide students opportunities to create positive social change.

More than 100 AP Scholars Recognized by College Board

The numbers are in—and they are impressive.

Saint Viator High School lived up to its college prep identity with the latest announcement about its numbers of AP Scholars. In all, Saint Viator had 127 total scholars recognized after the 2015-2016 school year, whose combined average score was a 3.90 or nearly 4.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for these students and their families,” said Mrs. Eileen Manno, principal. “Being recognized as an AP Scholar reflects their dedication and openness to learning, as well as the school’s dedication to academic excellence. They have demonstrated exemplary college-level achievement on the AP exams.”

Scoring on AP tests is done through a weighted combination of scores on the multiple-choice section and on the free-response section. The final score is reported on a 5-point scale, ranging from a 1, which means no recommendation, and a 2 which means possibly qualified; to a 3 which means qualified, a 4 is well qualified and a 5 is extremely well qualified.

Most colleges accept a minimum score of 3 to offer college credit for courses, while more selective schools require a score of 4 and above. Either way, Saint Viator students look to be well qualified for college rigor.

Of the total number of scholars, 47 were named AP Scholars, for having received scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. Another 34 scholars were named AP Scholars with Honor for having achieved scores of 3.25 on three or more AP exams, and for having earned scores of 3 or more on at least four of these exams.

Another 46 Saint Viator students were named AP Scholars with Distinction, for receiving an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and earning scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

Seven Saint Viator students earned the rare distinction of being named National AP Scholars. These scholars achieved an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. They included: Justin Cruz, Xiangi Mo, Drew Morton, Mark Perkowski, Nicholas Spanier, Liam Warner and Mitchell Warren.

All of these 127 Saint Viator students were recognized by the AP Board for their outstanding college-level achievement through AP courses.

AP Scholars (scored 3 or higher):

Charlotte Aichele
Therese Banca
Michael Boler
Jacob Bonanotte
Stephanie Bremner
Samuel Brey
Isabelle Brown
Louise Deardorff
Delia Douglas
Anne Farwell
Brighdin Finnegan
Matthew Fitzgerald
Patton Fitzpatrick
Matthew Gryzlo
Catherine Hafner
Jordan Hora
Nathaniel Jones
Grace Kaiser
Luke Koehler
Lauren Kohn
Trevor Koos
Margaret Leazer
Anthony Loffredo
Ian Malek
Caroline McAndrews
Sean McAteer
Julia Melone
Olivia Michalik
Eric Mitalo
Caroline Mroz
Albert Napoleon
Nathaniel Natindim
Sean O’Grady
Alexander Prazuch
Elena Presta
Sarina Remiasz
Claudia Russo
Claire Scully
Micayla Shevlin
Brittany Steineke
Kevin Teraji
Hugh Tully
James Valentino
Claire Williams
Wentao Yang
Kevin Zhang
Jiajun Zhuang

AP Scholars with Honor:
Genevieve Breslin
Michael Carens
Mary Ann Cortese
Melissa Cortese
Theresa Donohue
Ludovica Garro
Sara Gasey
Anthony Graffia
Erin Hogaboom
Zachary Jones
Dominic Lamick
Dana Lenard
Carolina Matuk
Ryan McMahon
Daniel Morton
Amanda Murphy
Kevin Napoleon
Sarah Niesman
Maya Nudo
Bryan Rapala
Alexandra Recht
Shannon Roney
Sarah Schade
Lucy Schiller
Tobias Schwartz
Hannah Sheriff
Nathaniel Smith
Gabriela Sniadowski
Rachel Varvara
Rebecca Vibbert
Holly Westerkamp
Colleen Williams
Samuel Wolf
Gi-Shun Yeung

AP Scholars with Distinction:

Michael Baker
Charles Broadbent
Orest Byskosh
Justin Cruz
Olivia Dominguez
Stephen Hannon
Patrick Harris
Emily Hayes
Stephen Hegarty
Patrick Hickey
Alex Horne
John Jagmin
Ethan Johnson
Patrick Kerrigan
Danielle Laterza
Reinaldo Limantara
Jiayi Lu
Miles McDonnell
Jonathan Meehan
Eleanor Meyer
Xiangxi Mo
Drew Morton
Grace Nessen-Gilligan
Audrey Nuelle
Mary O’Connell
Michael O’Neill
Paige Patano
Max Paulus
Mark Perkowski
Paulina Piwowarczyk
Michael Ragauskis
Alexandria Scheidecker
Paige Smith
Kaitlyn Solarz
Nicholas Spanier
Austin Stengel
Scott Stonge
Ryan Suhanek
Thomas Swiderski
Matthew Trimberger
Daniel Walsh
Liam Warner
Mitchell Warren
Si Wu
Alec Zajac

National AP Scholars:

Justin Cruz
Xiangxi Mo
Drew Morton
Mark Perkowski
Nicholas Spanier
Liam Warner
Mitchell Warren


Two Juniors Chosen for Highly Competitive District Music Festival


Cailyn Currie ’18.

Juniors Adam Domagala and Cailyn Currie joined an elite group over the weekend when they learned they had been selected to represent Saint Viator High School at the Illinois Music Education Association District 7 Music Festival.

The district festival takes place Nov. 12 at Crystal Lake Central High School and will feature the best band and choral students from the north and northwest suburbs. Being selected is something like making it to sectionals in a sporting event since students who make it to the all-state festival will be chosen from the district festival.

“The caliber of musicianship is extremely high,” says Mr. Vince Genualdi, director of bands, of the district festival. “At times it’s hard to believe that you are listening to high school students performing.”

Cailyn helps to anchor many of Saint Viator’s choral ensembles, with her strong alto voice. All told, she performs in the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Music Ministry.

“She is a great leader in Saint Viator’s choral program through her focus and musicianship,” says first-year choral director, Mr. Daniel Walls. “All of her hard work and dedication she put into preparing for the audition paid off.”

Cailyn will take her place in the District Chorus, conducted by Martin Sirvatka, fine arts program chair at Glenbrook South High School and professional arranger of choral music.


Adam Domagala ’18.

Their selections will include: “Wade In The Water,” “O My Love’s Like A Red, Red Rose,” and “Music, Most Wonderous, Lovely Art.”

Adam, who plays first trumpet in Saint Viator’s jazz and symphonic bands, spent months preparing for his audition and now will take his seat with high school musicians from across northern Illinois.

They will perform under the direction of the festival conductor, Dr. Joseph Manfredo, who is the coordinator of undergraduate music education at Illinois State University. Their repertoire includes “Paris Sketches,” by Martin Ellerby, as well as “Symphonic Dance No. 3 (Fiesta),” by Clifton Williams; and “Fanfare for Spartacus,” by James Curnow.

Mr. Genualdi points to Adam’s work ethic in band, and his passion for music and excellence, describing it as contagious to his fellow band members.

“His strong musicality and leadership,” Mr. Genualdi says, “play a huge role in our band program.”



Saint Viator Senior Receives All-American Jersey at Ceremony on Wednesday


Saint Viator senior tight end and University of Notre Dame recruit, Cole Kmet of Arlington Heights, formally received his jersey for the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, during a 20-minute ceremony Wednesday at the school’s Cahill Gymnasium.

Kmet is one of 90 top high school players from across the country—and one of only two from Illinois—selected to play in the prestigious high school showdown, which takes place Jan. 7 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX.

“It takes a special person to be a soldier, just as it takes a special athlete to be selected as a U.S. Army All-American,” said Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Geber, who presented Kmet with his jersey and helmet for the game. “Only the most capable can wear the colors of the U.S. Army.”

img_8123In accepting his bowl gear, Kmet thanked the Army brass on hand, “for supporting high school football,” as well as his teammates, coaches, and family.

“It is an honor to represent my school and my teammates in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl,” Kmet said.

The ceremony drew all levels of Saint Viator’s football program to attend, as well as its coaches, faculty and administration members, and Kmet’s parents, Frank and Kandace. His father was a defensive tackle at Hersey High School, before being recruited to play at Purdue University and eventually playing for the Chicago Bears.

Vice President Rev. Dan Hall, C.S.V., has been an assistant football coach for many of his 15 years at the school and has seen players advance to the college ranks, but not to an All-American high school bowl game.

“This is fantastic,” Fr. Hall said, “getting this kind of national recognition.”

Geber added that Kmet’s selection reflects the hard work and determination of the entire Lions’ team.

img_8127“It takes a great team to make a great leader,” Geber said, “both on the field and in the Army. In order to become better tomorrow, you must surround yourself with the best today.”

Kmet is the second Saint Viator player to be selected for the U.S. Army All-American game. Former Saint Viator quarterback Brett Basanez ’01 played in the inaugural game in 2001. Basanez went on to star at Northwestern and eventually play for the Carolina Panthers and the Chicago Bears in the NFL. Since its inception in 2001, more than 300 of its selections have been drafted into the NFL, including 77 first-rounders and one overall pick, Andrew Luck. Two former high school standouts who played in this bowl game have been Heisman Trophy winners, Tim Tebow in 2007 and Derrick Henry in 2015.

“Cole is a person of great character,” said Saint Viator’s head football coach, Dave Archibald, “and he has all the qualities to represent our school, the East Suburban Catholic Conference and the state of Illinois at the U.S. Army All-American game in January.”

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