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Author: Saint Viator High School (Page 1 of 4)

Fr. Perham, Nina Byskosh

Fr. Arnold Perham Named a Hearts of Gold Winner by Village of Arlington Heights

Fr. Perham, Nina Byskosh

Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV, has taught mathematics to Saint Viator High School students for more than 45 years, and even after retiring in 2001, he continues to meet with young mathematicians every morning, helping them with everything from homework to preparing for the state contest.

He enjoys working behind the scenes, but recently his tutoring drew prominent attention.

Fr. Perham was named a Heart of Gold winner by officials with the Village of Arlington Heights. Specifically, he was named the 2015 Mentor of the Year, for his work with math students at Saint Viator. He will be among 10 Hearts of Gold winners honored at a formal dinner on Feb. 21, hosted by members of the village’s Special Events Commission.

“I’m totally surprised,” Fr. Perham said, who last year celebrated 65 years of religious life as a Viatorian. “I had no idea this was coming.”

He was nominated by Saint Viator Principal Eileen Manno, who credited Fr. Perham with helping students in the Math Club, on the Math Team, in the Querbes Scholars program and in the school’s math lab.

“Fr. Perham has mentored every teacher in the department through the years,” Mrs. Manno said. “His enthusiasm for mathematics and his dedication to all students continues to make him one of the finest educators ever in our building.

“At 85 years old, his very presence in the building challenges all of us to be better educators and learners.”

President Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V. added his praise as well, recognizing Fr. Perham not only as a mentor to students, but to himself as well, as a Viatorian.

“I can’t think of anyone who deserves this recognition more,” Fr. Corey said. “You won’t find a kinder, wiser, more intelligent person in this building. He shines God’s bright light, daily.”


Viator Voice Editors Spend Day at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism

Members of the editorial board of the Viator Voice spent a day last month at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism for its annual High School Journalism Day.

They were among teen editors from a dozen city and suburban high schools who attended journalism workshops — ranging from web design to op/ed writing and video documentaries — all taught by Medill professors.


Viator Voice editors attended High School Journalism Day at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism last month.

“It was exciting to be there,” said senior Bri Pulver, one of two opinion editors for the Voice. “Just to be taught by the professors there, was amazing.”

She and opinion co-editor, senior Mia Mastandrea, both gained lots of good ideas during the workshop on web designing, which included information about managing a WordPress site.

“We found new ideas for layout design and how to grab the reader,” Mia said. “They just used a lot of graphics and eye-popping art.”

Former Sun Times editorial board member and adjunct journalism professor at Medill, Deborah Douglas, served as keynote speaker for the event. She described her career in journalism, including her multiple positions with the Chicago Sun Times as well as her contributions to the Huffington Post and blogging for

Junior Liam Warner, one of two world editors for the Voice, found Douglas’ presentation to be the highlight of the day, as well as the student panel, made up of editors and reporters for the Daily Northwestern.

“There was no sense of Armageddon or head-banging over the future of newspapers,” Liam said. “Which was refreshing.

“The main take away I got from it was that journalism now calls for more well-rounded people,” Liam added. “You have to be grounded in multiple disciplines — both digital and print — because the more you’re able to do, the better journalist you’ll be.”

Editorial members reflected on their experience during one of the recent layout days, when they worked to design this month’s 22-page newspaper.

Mr. Chris Paolelli, who advises the newspaper staff and is a Northwestern graduate, said he continues to bring students back to Medill each year for a number of reasons.

“It exposes them to college-level instruction from the best journalism school in the country,” Mr. Paolelli said. “And it also gives them a chance to take a break from the day-to-day rush of creating the paper and ask big questions about how they do their jobs, and how to do them better.”

Here We Go a Caroling!

Saint Viator choral ensembles are gearing for another busy holiday season as they prepare for a series of gigs at private parties, schools, an outdoor shopping center and even a fancy candlelight dinner at a country club.

“It’s a busy performance season for our choral students,” Mrs. Kristina Sandrock, choral director, said. “But they love it.”

Choral students will spend the next few weeks spreading holiday cheer at events throughout the northwest suburbs.

Choral students will spend the next few weeks spreading holiday cheer at events throughout the northwest suburbs.

They open Saturday, Dec. 6, when the Chamber Singers perform at a holiday party thrown by the Mount Prospect Lions Club for local seniors.

Just one day later, all of the choral ensembles will be featured during the Winter Arts Festival, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7 in the Jeuck Auditorium at Saint Viator.

Then, it’s back on the road for these performers. On Tuesday, Dec. 9, the freshmen and sophomore girls in the Treble Choir head to St. Joseph’s Home in Palatine to sing for residents and bring holiday cheer.

That same week, a combined ensemble made up of Concert Choir members and the Chamber Singers will sing for junior high students at some of our feeder schools, including St. Philip’s in Addison and St. James School in Arlington Heights.

The Chamber Singers return to Deer Park Town Center on Saturday, Dec. 13, where they will be featured near the rotunda of the outdoor shopping center, and perform for the bustling shoppers from 1-2 p.m.

Their season winds up Wednesday, Dec. 17, when both the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers have been invited for a return engagement at Rolling Green Country Club to provide songs of the season at the club’s elegant candlelight dinner.

Saint Viator Offers New Joys for Christmas


Like last year, Saint Viator’s Chamber Singers will sing Christmas carols from all over the world at Sunday’s Winter Arts Festival.


The festival is not all song and dance. Guests may also take in the unique art offerings designed by students in various visual arts classes, including both traditional and digital sections.

Looking for a dose of holiday cheer?

Saint Viator High School has just the ticket: “New Joys,” its Winter Arts Festival, which offers a modern celebration of Christmas traditions, filled with art, dance and music.

Their annual fine arts festival opens at 2 p.m. Sunday, with an afternoon filled with seasonal carols, modern interpretations of songs by Josh Grobin and the Beatles, as well as international selections, including the Catalan Christmas carol, “Fum, Fum, Fum.”

“Our theme this year, New Joys, is really accurate since we are looking at some traditional Christmas elements — in new ways,” William Faltinoski, fine arts department chairman, said.

The festival includes performances by Orchesis dancers who will perform lyrical dances to “Let it Be,” as recorded by the cast of “Glee,” as well as another lyrical number set to the modern classic, “O, Holy Night,” by Josh Grobin.

The combined concert and symphonic bands are directed by Vince Genualdi and will perform traditional English carols. They include “The Sussex Mummers Christmas Carol” and “The Night Before Christmas,” while the Saint Viator Jazz Band will present its own jazz rendition of the season, with tunes like “Work Song,” “Doxy,” and “The Chicken.”

Kristina Sandrock directs Saint Viator’s multiple choral ensembles, including the Trebel, Concert and Symphonic choirs, as well as the Chamber Singers.

Freshmen and sophomore girls make up the new Treble Choir. They will perform “Breath of Heaven,” while the Concert Choir will present the old English classic, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and the combined choirs will preform the traditional favorite, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Saint Viator’s Chamber Singers will offer up a dose of international flavor, with the historic Spanish carol, “Fum, Fum, Fum.”

During intermission, guests may peruse the unique art offerings designed by students in a variety of visual arts classes, including both traditional and digital sections.

“This year every student enrolled in an art class is represented in our display,” Faltinoski added. “Part of creating art is having others see it and appreciate it.”

For starters, students in the Introduction to Adobe Photoshop class created ornaments for the pyramid trees on display, while those students in Introduction to Visual Art created window ornaments.

Students in iPad Media Arts created a cut paper, stop motion, animation of the classic “The Night Before Christmas” poem, while those in 3-D Art & Design created eye-popping ornaments.

Finally, upperclassmen members of the National Art Honor Society created the tree toppers for the pyramid trees.

A Tradition Continues: Building Bridges with Inner City Teens from Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep

For the ninth straight year, students from Saint Viator High School and Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep attended the Bridges Retreat this fall.

For the ninth straight year, students from Saint Viator High School and Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep attended the Bridges Retreat this fall.

A retreat that was adapted more than 20 years ago by Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, to ease racial tensions at a Springfield parish still finds relevance with today’s suburban teens.

The Bridges Retreat brought students together from Saint Viator High School and Waukegan’s Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep for the ninth straight year. They returned for the second year to Villa Desiderata, a retreat center in Woodstock run by Br. Pat Drohan, CSV.

“It was a great opportunity to bring together young people from two different communities to discuss issues that cause division in our world — prejudice, discrimination and other types of injustice,” Jim Dippold, campus minister at St. Martin’s, said.

Looking out over scenic Pistakee Bay, students spent two days together in prayer, small group sessions and worship services, and even helped with outdoor maintenance around the center.

“We had the chance to reflect and pray about our own shortcomings,” Mr. Dippold added, “as well as to think about how we can commit ourselves more deeply to building up the world that God desires for us, and think about how we are called to neighbor to one another.”

Since designing the retreat, Fr. Brost has brought it to Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, as well as St. Martin’s and Saint Viator, where he now serves as president.

Many other Viatorians have helped moderate the retreat over the years, including: Brothers Dan Lydon, Dan Tripamer, John Eustice, Pat Drohan and Michael Gosch, as well as Pre-Novice Peter Lamick.

Br. Gosch, a former English teacher at Saint Viator and social worker at Cristo Rey St. Martin’s, said the retreat goes a long way in breaking down barriers and furthering relationships.

“During the closing prayer service, a number of students from both schools speak about the importance of not judging others,” he said. “They also speak about how important it is to spend time getting to know someone regardless of a person’s background — as a way of breaking down stereotypes and building bridges.”

Lend Me a Tenor! Sophomore Choral Student Advances to IMEA District VII District Festival

Matthew Fecko is only a sophomore, but at the prestigious Illinois Music Educators Association District Festival, held at New Trier High School Saturday, Nov. 8, he represented Saint Viator High School’s choral program.

After a rigorous audition process in October, Matthew learned he had been chosen as an all-district selection to sing at the festival, which takes in students from more than 30 high schools in Northwestern Cook, Southern Lake and part of Kane and McHenry counties.

“(Matthew) shows great promise as a musician,” said Saint Viator Choral Director Kristina Sandrock. “I know he will carry this experience forward with him into the rest of his years in the Saint Viator choirs.”

Participating in the daylong festival was no walk in the park. The choir rehearsed under guest conductor, David Holdhusen, who is the director of choral activities and a distinguished professor of choral music at the University of South Dakota.

“We sing not to impress, but to inspire,” he told the students during their rehearsal.

Their selections were serious, befitting of an elite concert choir.

They opened with Mendelssohn’s, “There Shall A Star Come Out of Jacob,” before singing the lyrical, “I Am Not Yours,” by Randall Stroope, as well as the Kenyan folk song, “Wana Baraka,” arranged by Shawn Kirchner. They closed with the powerful anthem, “Battle of Jericho,” arranged by Moses Hogan.

Audience members appreciated their musicianship and versatility. At the end of the concert, they gave them an enthusiastic standing ovation.

Singing comes naturally to Matthew. His mother, Lucy, sings in the choir at St. James Church and he also follows in the footsteps of his sister, Sara ’13, who was an all-district selection her senior year.

She also starred in the musicals and participated in virtually every choir at Saint Viator, including serving as a guest soloist with the jazz band. She now is pursuing a double major in music and biology at Loyola University Chicago.

As for Matthew, beyond singing in Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, he was just cast as one of the brothers in this year’s musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Look for him to have a featured solo.

Color Crest

Saint Viator Announces 2015 Distinguished Alumni Honorees

Saint Viator announced the individuals to be recognized as its 2015 Distinguished Alumni. Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V., has accepted the recommendation of the Distinguished Alumni Selection Committee by approving the nominations of Rev. Scott Donahue, C.S.V. ’72, President of the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in Chicago, and attorney Kerry Lavelle ’77, founding partner of Lavelle Law, Ltd.

In announcing the honorees, Fr. Brost acknowledged the extraordinary achievements of both alumni not only in their professional lives, but in their overwhelming commitment to service to others.

“What Fr. Scott and Kerry have accomplished in their careers is very impressive and the committee members and I feel that their success demonstrates that our curriculum is not designed just for what it accomplishes in four years but for what begins after four years,” said Fr. Brost. “Well beyond that professional success, these two individuals set a bold and uncompromising goal of using their positions to serve the world around them. They have shown that service in any career can be ingrained and it is not an either/or choice. They serve as an inspiration to current and future students.”

Rev. Donahue has built an incredible legacy in providing hope to young men and women in
underprivileged communities through the development of the Mercy Home. Joe Farwell, an Arlington Heights Village Trustee and new member of the selection committee spoke earnestly about Rev. Donahue’s commitment.

“There are many people who help raise funds, there are many who spend time with at risk kids, there are many who help train and educate children,” said Farwell. “But this man does it all, and has for many years and simply refuses to back away or be intimidated by the odds against him. He exemplifies the belief that Saint Viator prepares our students to serve and improve the world around them.”

Saint Viator Shines at Blue Ribbon Award Ceremony in Washington


President Fr. Corey Brost C.S.V. and Principal Eileen Manno stand with Aba S. Kumi, the director of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Office of Communication and Outreach, at the November awards ceremony.

The Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence medallions went up — both inside and outside the school — earlier this month, and the flag hangs prominently near the front entrance.

But the formal acknowledgment came earlier this month, when Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and Mrs. Eileen Manno, traveled to Washington DC to accept the award at the recognition ceremony hosted by the U.S. Department of Education.

“I am humbled beyond words to be here,” said Fr. Brost, moments before he and Mrs. Manno went up on stage to accept the award.

Out of 326 schools — including 270 public, 50 private and six private high schools — Saint Viator High School was the only high school in Chicago Archdiocese to receive the Blue Ribbon Award for Academic Excellence — their second successive one.

Specifically, Saint Viator was recognized for its integration of technology into the curriculum, the Rev. Mark R. Francis, CSV, International Program, as well as its Campus Ministry, Christian Service and Querbes Scholars programs.

Also highlighted were the Class of 2014’s composite ACT scores (26.3) and the drug and alcohol testing program.

“This Blue Ribbon award recognizes Saint Viator High School’s on-going commitment to the academic, spiritual and emotional growth of our students,” Fr. Brost said, “by providing the curriculum, technology and facilities that students need to succeed in an ever-changing world.”

Saint Viator Graduates Named Illinois Student Laureates by Prestigious Lincoln Academy

Two Saint Viator graduates were among an elite group of statewide scholars earlier this month, when they were honored by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.


David Lewis and Allyson Joyce, both of the Class of 2011 were recognized by the Academy for being at the top of their class during the annual Student Laureate Convocation, held Nov. 1 at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield.

David is currently a senior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in both political science and international studies, while Allyson is a senior nursing major at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“I want to commend these students for their hard work, both in the classroom and in their communities,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “Their achievement and dedication attests to the value of higher education in Illinois, and the high quality students our schools produce.”

The Lincoln Academy’s Student Laureate Awards are presented for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from each of the state’s four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities, and one student from among the community colleges in Illinois.

At the Student Laureate Convocation, each student received a Student Laureate Medallion, along with a $1,000 educational grant and a certificate of achievement. This was the 40th year that the Lincoln Academy has showcased students’ excellence in Illinois.

The Lincoln Academy is unique among the 50 states, was established more than 50 years ago to honor distinguished citizens with the state’s highest award, the Order of Lincoln.

Saint Viator Euphonium Player Advances to IMEA District VII District Festival

For band members, it’s the equivalent of going to sectionals and advancing to the state championship series, yet few outside the music world understand its value.

Tim Schade '15

Tim Schade ’15

After a rigorous audition process, senior Tim Schade auditioned — and made — the Illinois Music Educators’ Association District VII District Band. He was one of seven euphonium players selected from high schools in northwest suburban Cook and southern Lake counties.

As a result, Tim has been in rehearsal and will perform Saturday, Nov. 8 at New Trier High School, under a guest conductor with the rest of the senior band members selected from throughout the district.

Just to audition, Tim had to prepare all the major and minor scales, as well as two etudes selected specifically for his instrument, and play from a sight reading selection.

During the audition process, all students go through a blind audition where they play for three different judges. Their scores are compiled and the student is then notified whether they have been accepted to participate in the ILMEA district VII honor band.

“We are in a very selective and difficult district,” says Band Director Vince Genualdi. “This is a great accomplishment.”

Saint Viator has advanced other band students — and choral students — in district competition, but Tim is believed to be the first euphonium player.

At last week’s Fall Fine Arts Concert and joint concert with Our Lady of the Wayside, Tim was a featured soloist during both pieces performed by the combined bands, the Second Suite in F from Fantasia on the Dargason, as well as during The Tempest by Robert Smith.

He hopes to stand out at Saturday’s concert as well, with the hopes of being chosen for the IMEA All-State conference. Candidates who are selected then will play with the all-state ensemble, at the Illinois Music Education Conference in January at the Peoria Civic Center. Results will be announced later this month.

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