Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: May 2019 (Page 1 of 2)

Varsity Softball Hits Back at Cancer

D7s85rvW4AIKZbNThe girls’ softball team had an extra incentive to score runs this year: With every run they scored, the Lady Lions raised more money for a Roselle-based cancer support organization called Phil’s Friends.

At their end of the year banquet, its founder and two-time cancer survivor, Phil Zielke, was on hand to accept their check for $2,254 and share his inspirational story with players and their families.

“For most of us this was the best part of the service project,” says Cecilia Kaiser ’19, co-captain, “because we could see how our hard work would affect others.”

Before the season even opened, Cece and her co-captain, Maggie VanValkenberg ’19, met with Coach Scotillo to discuss weaving in a service project during the season.

D7s85rxW4AAWpvM“Phil’s Friends’ mission hit especially close to home,” Cece says. “I’ve known people who have beaten cancer, and I know how much strength they possess. I also know how difficult it is when they try to go through it alone. Phil’s Friends ensures that no one battles cancer alone.”

Zielke was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2004 and it returned in 2005. He endured many rounds of chemotherapy and radiation as well as a stem cell transplant before finally beating it. In looking back on his journey, Zielke points to the care packages, encouraging cards, and the outpouring of prayers that helped him make it.

He started the organization to bring hope to other cancer patients, through those same types of tangible efforts. In 2009, Zielke left his teaching career to devote himself full time to the organization. Within months, he opened Phil’s Friends Hope Center in Roselle.

The Lady Lions drew pledges for every run they scored, with the hopes of enabling more cancer patients to received care packages, cards, and prayers.

“On days where we played a tough team and didn’t score any runs, supporting Phil’s Friends was a driving force for us to work harder,” Cece says. “On the day we scored 12 runs, Coach Scotillo said that Phil’s Friends would be happy about our successful day.”

At the end of the season, the players realized they had come together more as a team while working for the charity.

D7s85ryX4AAKiSR“Coach Scotillo has always believed that coaching is about more than just the sport,” Cece added. “Phil’s Friends’ message of hope and overcoming obstacles was a perfect lesson for our team.”

Class of 2019: “Already Making a Difference in the World”

sps_0208_0110411Every day, members of the Class of 2019 walked by a mural, taken from Philippians: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

During freshman orientation, they took ownership of the verse, adding their signatures to it. On Sunday, they walked past the Bible quote for the last time, before processing into graduation.

“The members of the Class of 2019 are well suited to ask God who they are being invited to be,” says Br. John Eustice, CSV, Vice President of Viatorian Identity and Mission. “They already are making a difference in the world around them, even as they continue to discover what the world around them needs.

sps_0016_0109877“I have no doubt the people they meet,” he added, “will encounter the gospel in action — through them.”

In all, 241 seniors graduated, including 33 international students, representing China, South Korea, India and Russia. Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, Provincial, celebrated the baccalaureate Mass and was on hand for commencement.

At last count, they combined to draw nearly $320 million in scholarship offers and compiled more than 35,000 hours of service to the community over the last four years.

sps_0085_0110121They now head to 95 different colleges and universities, spread across the country. They range from the University of Notre Dame and Boston College to Auburn, Baylor and Clemson, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, UCLA and the University of California at Berkeley, to name just a few.

Maura Hogaboom was named valedictorian. She is a National Merit Scholar, who was recognized for her outstanding achievement in mathematics and computer technology, as well as in AP Spanish and science. Maura served as co-president of the Inter-Class Council with Daniel Thompson and completed more than 200 hours of service during high school or more than twice the mandatory amount. She also was named an East Suburban Catholic Conference scholar-athlete in cross country and soccer.

Maura was among three seniors in the class who earned perfect ACT scores. Her classmates include Thomas Constertina and Caroline Lavender, who also were among 11 National Merit Commended Students.

Patricia Miller was named salutatorian and she addressed her classmates at the baccalaureate Mass. Patti was recognized for outstanding achievement in social studies and theology, and she was named an East Suburban Catholic Conference scholar in lacrosse.

sps_0245_0110456The school’s most prestigious awards were announced during graduation. Blaise Russo was named the winner of the Andrew Johnstone Award, which was started in 1992 in memory of Andrew Johnstone ’92.

The Christopher Cup Award — named in memory of Christopher Erdmann ’68 — was given to both Maura Hogaboom and Kevin Wilhite. Their names will be engraved on the cup, just as students have been honored for the last 50 years.


Saint Viator Mourns the Loss of Vicky Giusti

unnamedSaint Viator is sad to report the passing of our beloved teacher, co-worker and friend, Vicky Guisti. Vicky was welcomed home by God on Tuesday, May 14.

Vicky is survived by her devoted husband Joe, two daughters, Elisa (Jeffery Morales) and Stefania (Russell) Svejnoha, and two blessed grandchildren. She dedicated 14 years of her life to Saint Viator teaching science and making everyone laugh along the way.

She truly leaves behind a legacy, in a world where so few people have the power to do so, by just being who they are. She touched so many lives, making people better humans through her example. She was a constant reminder of how beautiful life can be with appreciation and love at the root of all things. She will be beyond missed.

Visitation for Vincenza was Saturday at St. Vincent Ferrer Church, River Forest.

Let us pray together and let perpetual light shine upon her.

Mrs. Giusti in 2004.

Mrs. Giusti in 2004.

A consistent Pep Rally favorite.

A consistent Pep Rally favorite.

Mrs. Giusti with former science teacher, Mrs. Patty Bruce.

Mrs. Giusti with former science teacher, Mrs. Patty Bruce.

Mrs. Giusti with Instructional Technology Coordinator, Maggie Miskowicz, and science teacher and department chair, Mrs. Eileen Cairo in 2018.

Mrs. Giusti with Instructional Technology Coordinator, Maggie Miskowicz, and science teacher and department chair, Mrs. Eileen Cairo in 2018.

Entrepreneurship Students Take on Final Pitch Night

The big night arrived this week for students in our first year of the entrepreneurship class,, to make their final pitches to a panel of investors. The four teams of students presented their prospective start-ups Wednesday evening under the guidance of Mr. David Lyons.






Pitch Night 2019 - 150d

Patrons of the Fine Arts Scholarship Winners Announced

Fine Arts Scholarship 2019Congrats to the Patrons of the Fine Arts Scholarship Winners:

Andrew Bremner ’20
Claire Capra ’22
Sophia Limberakis ’21
Michelle Nagle ’22
Jonathan Ngoy ’21
Yingtong (Ruby) Ren ’21

Saint Viator Innovators Headed into the Shark Tank

incubator4Pitch night is here!

At the end of its first year, students in INCubator.Edu, the year-long entrepreneurship class which helped them take an idea for a product or service, through development and its business plan, are ready to make a pitch to investors, in a Shark Tank-style event.

It takes place Wednesday night, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Jeuck Auditorium.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

Their prospective start-ups include an interactive app that provides in-store coupons, a charging device pad that will charge different platforms of phones or iPads, a sports bag that organizes equipment and valuables, as well as a therapeutic sleeve that provides a quicker recovery of sore muscles using electronic pulsations.

incubator2Mr. David Lyons says his students have exceeded all of his expectations, and that through the valuable contributions of mentors and coaches from the wider Saint Viator community, they have gone far beyond the traditional entrepreneurship class.

“Many students had no real business experience before this year,” Mr. Lyons said, “and now on the cusp of creating something that could possibly be their life’s work.”

While most schools now have some sort of entrepreneurship class that teaches the basics of how to write up a business plan, he doubts few go into as much detail as what the INCubator.Edu has given students, through its analysis of marketing, financial budgeting and future funding.

“These students will have a leg up when they enter into college business schools,” Mr. Lyons adds, “because this program has laid the foundation for them.”

Mr. Lyons formerly taught entrepreneurship at York High School in Elmhurst. He worked all year with John Aiello ’86, who reached out to the alumni base to serve as coaches and mentors.

incubator3Aiello is the former founder, CEO and chairman of SAVO, a cloud-based software company, who after selling his company now teaches entrepreneurship at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

“The best innovation ideas do not come from a desire to make money,” Aiello said at the outset, “but from a desire to solve a problem.”

Mr. Lyons adds that interest in the incubator is growing.

“As of right now,” he says, “we have a 75 percent increase in enrollment for next year. Our students and our mentors are definitely helping to grow the program in the future.”

Saint Viator Math Team Places in Top 10 at State Competition

IMG_1892Saint Viator High School continues to move up the ranks of the math world. For the fifth straight year, the entire math team qualified for the state championship, hosted by the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and they brought home some heavy metal.

The championship took place this past weekend, in historic Altgeld Hall, home of the mathematics department, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Champaign.

For starters, the team placed 8th overall in its division of 52 high school teams.

“It is a credit to all the hard work that we all put into preparing our students in math,” said Mrs. Cheryl Nowak, who moderated the math team with Mrs. Bridgette Brankin.

Some noteworthy accomplishments include:

Oral Team – 4th Place
Calculator Team – 4th Place
Algebra 2 Team – 5th Place
Precalculus Team – 5th Place
Junior/Senior 2 Person – 8th Place
Algebra 1 Team – 10th Place


Eric Ryu – 3rd Place in Algebra 2 ( of 140 competitors)
Marcus Lannie – 4th Place in Precalculus (of 126 competitors)
Camille Martinez – 21st Place in Algebra 1 (of 138 competitors)
Daniel Fecko – 25th Place in Algebra 2 (of 140 competitors)

College-Bound Student-Athletes Make Their Commitments

SlwrQGpKQ7uQZwJMNPFknA_thumb_837Saint Viator High School held a rare third national student-athlete signing day Friday, to accommodate the growing number of students who are committing to play their sport at the college level.

Teammates, coaches, parents and classmates made for a standing room only crowd in the Academic Commons for the ceremony. Student-athletes seated at the head table include those pursuing football, lacrosse, soccer, synchronized skating, tennis, volleyball, women’s hockey and Division 1 acrobatics and tumbling, at wide-ranging colleges and universities across the country.

This brings to nearly 30 the number of students who formally signed national collegiate letters of intent this year.

“The breadth and reach of the schools our students are going to continues to expand,” said Mr. Brian Liedlich, president. “Our students are high achieving and rise to the occasion. I know they will make a profound impact on all of the communities they are going to.”

College-bound student-athletes included:

  • Bella Pierce – Quinnipiac University (Acrobatics & Tumbling)
  • Hunter Loprino – Belmont Abbey (Lacrosse)
  • Niko Weder – Augustana College (Football)
  • Kevin Murphy – Illinois Wesleyan University (Football)
  • Kaylee Liberty – Endicott College (Women’s Hockey)
  • Payton McDonnell – Loras College (Soccer)
  • Pearl Mueller – Loras College (Lacrosse)
  • Emma Zajac – Ohio Wesleyan University (Tennis)
  • Carrie Leazer – Seton Hall University (Volleyball)
  • Jessica Johnson – Adrian College (Synchronized Skating)
  • Will Hartman – DePauw University (Soccer)

Carrie Leazer was the starting libero for the volleyball team’s first state appearance in 2017, in which they ultimately placed fourth, and she moved to outside hitter this year. Leazer now takes her game to the Seton Hill University Greensburg, PA.

Hunter Loprino will bring his game as an attacker to Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC, where its Crusaders were 14-3 overall last year.

“Hunter is the epitome of not only a leader but a Lions’ Lacrosse member,” says Coach Pat Gaeger ’08. “I have never seen a young man capture the attention of his peers like Hunter does.”

Jessica Johnson holds the distinction of being the first Saint Viator athlete to sign a letter of intent to compete in synchronized skating in college. Jessica skates with the Chicago Jazz Synchronized Skating Team, based in Rolling Meadows, and has competed multiple times at international competitions.

She now heads to Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan, whose squad medaled in every competition it entered this year, including earning the pewter medal at the 2019 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.

“Adrian’s program is very competitive,” Jessica said. “It’s a good fit.”

Payton McDonnell brings her soccer skills to Loras College in Dubuque, where her older brother, Miles, also plays soccer.

“With him there, it felt like home when I visited,” Payton said. “They’ve got a very competitive program. They won their conference last year and did well in the NCAA tournament. I hope I can help them make a deeper run next year.”

Her classmate, Pearl Mueller, will be heading to Loras as well, to play lacrosse for the Duhawks.

“I liked the community at Loras,” Pearl said. “Everyone there was very welcoming.”

Athletic Director Jason Kuffel thanked all of the parents, coaches and teammates for their support over the years. He went on to commend the student-athletes for all of their hard work and bringing their passion to the game,

“We will watch for you and root for you as you take your game to the college level,” Kuffel said. “It truly is a great day to be a Lion.”


Bill Sanford Announced as Saint Viator High School’s First Director of Major Gifts and Strategic Partnerships

Sanford_BillBill Sanford, who has served in several key roles at Saint Viator High School over the past 14 years, has been appointed as the school’s first Director of Major Gifts and Strategic Partnerships.

In making the announcement, President Brian Liedlich emphasized the importance of this role for building a strong future for Saint Viator.

“This new role within our Saint Viator High School Development Team will allow us to improve our fundraising efforts, strengthen our engagement with alumni and parents, as well as provide better opportunities for our student-athletes,” said Liedlich.

Bill Sanford brings a range of experience and strong relationships within the Saint Viator community to this position. He has served as a theology instructor (2005-06), Director of Student Recruitment (2006-11), and most recently (2011-present) as our Dean of Students, working in partnership with Dr. Deb Scerbicke.

Sanford’s primary responsibilities will include nurturing donor relationships, revitalizing the Alumni Business Forum, building strategic relationships within the Saint Viator Community, serving on the Membership Committee of our Board of Trustees, and working closely with Athletic Director Jason Kuffel in creating a program that enhances the student-athlete experience.

“Everything I’ve encountered at Saint Viator High School drives me to always do what’s best for our students,” said Sanford. “I’m elated for the opportunity to make long-term contributions to this community and develop the relationships that initially drew me to Saint Viator in 2005. My goal is to strengthen this great school through innovative and meaningful partnerships, affirming how Saint Viator offers an educational experience like no other.”

For the remainder of the academic year, Sanford will continue in his role as Dean of Students. His new position will start in the 2019-2020 school year. A search process will begin immediately to find his replacement, open to candidates both within and outside of the Saint Viator High School community.


Discus Thrower Nearing School Record

Huelskamp_Athan MAt the beginning of the indoor track season, Athan Huelskamp ’20 set three ambitious goals for himself: make state, break the school records in shot put and discus, and get noticed by college coaches.

Turns out, he’s on track to meet all three.

Already this season, Athan broke a 29-year old record in the shot put, set in 1990 by John Bailitz, and he is less than three feet away from breaking Saint Viator’s discus record of 173 feet. Ironically, it was set in 2005 by Paul Costello, who now has returned to his alma mater to coach the discus and shot put throwers.

“I was happy to have the opportunity to coach someone who was clearly taking throwing seriously,” says Costello, who is a CPA and works with his brother, Robert ’02 in running Costello Financial Planning. Their mother, Mrs. Kate Costello, teaches theater at Saint Viator.

trackCostello points out that Athan has added more than 14 feet to his shot-put and more than 20 feet to his discus throws this season.

“Those numbers are impressive, but his shotput increase for one season is insane,” Costello says. “I’ve never seen such a jump, and yet his best throws in discus have yet to be seen at a meet.”

Athan transferred to Saint Viator before his sophomore year, after his family moved here from Kansas. He went out for the football team, where he quickly made friends and caught the coaches’ eyes for his size and footwork, before signing up for track.

He first picked up the discus in sixth grade and by eighth grade he was winning meets. However, his small high school in Hutchinson, KS did not have a coach, consequently he was pleased he says to see a strong track program at Saint Viator led by 16-year head coach, Rodero Warren.

After one season as a sophomore, Athan qualified for state in the discus and ultimately placed 13th. This year, he has his sights set higher and he works every day at practice improving his agility, strength and quickness.

“I do a lot of reps, I probably do 30 practice throws a day, lift weights and run sprints for quickness,” Athan says. “Adding quickness helps me with the explosiveness you need coming out of the circle.”

He also is working on his flexibility, as well as his core muscles to give him good balance as he spins at the start of each throw.

“You really have to reach your arm way, way back to build torque,” Athan says of his flexibility.

Paul Costello in 2005.

Paul Costello in 2005.

Athan credits his improvement to Costello, who began working with him this season.

“He breaks things down and is very technical,” Athan says. “I like that. It makes it easier to translate that into my throws.”

Athan and the team will compete at the ESCC championships on May 8 at Marist High School, before they begin their quest for state, starting with sectionals on May 15 at Richmond Burton High School. The IHSA state championships open May 23 at Eastern Illinois University.

Oh, and as for his last goal, of getting noticed by college coaches, he’s able to check that box too. Athan hopes to continue throwing the shot put and discus in college.

“That’s the plan,” he says with a smile.

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén