Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Category: Faculty Accomplishments (Page 1 of 3)

Saint Viator Mourns the Loss of Rev. James E. Michaletz, CSV

rev-james-michaletz-csv-arlington-heights-il-obituaryFr. James E. Michaletz, CSV, 87, a Viatorian for 67 years, was born August 9, 1931 in Chicago to Ernest and Philomena (nee Schafer) Michaletz and passed away April 10, 2019. Fr. Michaletz is survived by his sisters Geraldine (August) Roller of Mt. Prospect (Gerry was a longtime registrar at Saint Viator) and Roberta Michaletz of Chicago, along with many nieces and nephews.

He graduated in 1949 from St. Mel Catholic High School in Chicago and attended Northwestern University before pronouncing his first vows as a Viatorian on Sept. 8, 1952 in Arlington Heights. He entered the Viatorian Seminary in 1956, in Evanston and was ordained a priest in 1960. Fr. Michaletz earned a B.A. degree in chemistry from St. Ambrose College, along with an M.S. degree in organic chemistry and a Ph.D. degree in education, administration and supervision curriculum from Loyola University in Chicago.

Fr. Michaletz was one of the founding faculty members of Saint Viator High School, serving as a chemistry teacher (1961-64), assistant principal (1964-68) and principal (1968-72). From 1972 to 1975, he was superintendent of Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Rolling Meadows, before serving as Assistant Superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago (1973-75). He served as Co-Director of the Office of School Planning (1975-76) and Director of Planning (1976-77) for the Archdiocesan school system. Fr Michaletz served as Director of Education and Director of Formation for the Viatorians before being named Director of Education for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois (1985-91). He also served as an Assistant Professor of Education at Dominican University in River Forest from 1991 until 1998 before being named Associate Pastor at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais. He retired to the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights in 2011.

Visitation for Fr. Michaletz will be held on Friday, April 12 from 4-8 PM at the Viatorian Province Center, 1212 E. Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights.

A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, April 13 at 10:30 AM. at the Viatorian Province Center. Interment will be in Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.

Faculty Members Complete Service for the Marginalized

IMG_0542A quiet tradition played out earlier this month when faculty members gathered in Querbes Hall to pack sack lunches for the homeless, served by Catholic Charities.

Faculty and staff are committed to regularly completing some kind of hands-on service. Each month, they alternate between volunteering for Catholic Charities in Des Plaines and serving a hot meal to those served by Journeys from PADS to Hope in Arlington Heights.

As Catholic educators at Saint Viator, they are carrying out part of the Viatorian charism, which is to embrace “those accounted of little importance.”

IMG_0543“We are walking in the footsteps of Fr. Querbes,” says Mrs. Rita King, who coordinates the adult faith formation program with Mrs. Ann Perez, a fellow religion teacher and Viatorian associate.

For this month’s project, faculty members signed up in advance to contribute sandwiches, fruit, beverages, individually wrapped snacks or desserts. They then worked in assembly-line fashion to pack the lunches after school.

The lunches are meant to compliment Catholic Charities’ evening suppers, which feed an average of 100 every Tuesday and Thursday night. Since the center does not provide them with a dinner every day, they receive a sack lunch on their way out, so they have food the next day.

IMG_0540While faculty members are not required to participate, more than 40 percent do, Mrs. King reports. The monthly service projects are an extension of the wider faith formation program, which also offers regular prayer services, quarterly family Masses, more service opportunities and even a Lenten book club.

These experiences are provided in order to offer faculty members, as well as parents and alumni, ways to foster personal and spiritual growth as part of a wider faith community.

“As a Catholic Christian community,” Mrs. King adds, “Saint Viator is committed to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ through our words and our actions.”

Cluster of Longtime Saint Viator Teachers to Retire

Youwill be missed!Collectively, they have brought more than 90 years of teaching and involvement to Saint Viator, literally having helped to shape the school in academics and extracurricular activities.

But, at the end of this month they will be retiring, opening the door for newcomers to fill their shoes, but it won’t be easy.

This year’s retirees include:

  • Jim Williams, a combined 13 years teaching math and computer science
  • Vicki Giusti, 14 years teaching science
  • JoAnne Francis, 18 years as student activities director and in recruiting
  • Ruth Stonecipher, 22 years as an aid in Scanlan Center and helped staff Dean’s Office
  • Mary Lee DeBelina, 24 years in administration and as math teacher and department head

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” says Mrs. Francis, simply.

In her role as Director of Student Activities, Mrs. Francis has had a hand in nearly every aspect of the school that engages students. From the LINK Crew in the beginning of the school year to working with the Student Council to plan the homecoming dance, the Halloween fun fair and Easter Egg Hunt; to planning the pep rallies and activities presentations; she’s done it all.

Mr. Williams taught at Saint Viator from 1984-1989 and then returned again in 2010 to teach math and early computer science classes. His most recent load had him teaching students how to construct mobile apps as well as learn accounting, personal business computing, and AP computer science. For many students, it has been their first experience in business classes.

Mrs. Giusti has taught all levels of science students and even this year has taught environmental science and accelerated honors biology as well as AP biology. Her field trips to the Volo bog and testing the sustainability of the Chicago River will be missed!

Mrs. Ruth Stonecipher has provided a warm, comforting presence to students, whether they’re called down to the Dean’s Office or working to master skills in the Scanlan Center. Her commitment to Saint Viator students has been evident in all of the concerts, plays, and musicals she attended over the years.

Mrs. Mary Lee DeBelina has worn many hats during her 24 years at the school: She taught high levels of math and eventually chaired the department, which has earned a strong reputation for its competitive math team. At the same time, she was a parent, watching as her three children attended the school. For the last three years, Mrs. DeBelina has served as assistant principal, extending her strong teaching skills and curriculum building onto the faculty. Her steady hand and open door will be missed by fellow administration members, faculty, and students.

Faculty Service Awards:
Principal Service – Cathy Abrahamian
Greatest Gift – JoAnne Francis
Fr. Louis Querbes – Vicki Giusti

10 Years of Service
Stephanie Collins
Kelly Dutmers
Jennifer Kottra
Mary Lanus
Patrick Neville
Chris Paolelli
Kathy Gallagher
Stephanie Spiewak

20 Years of Service
Dan Edminster
Kristen Jordan

35 Years of Service
Joe Majowski

Saint Viator Students Stand Out at Relay for Life

IMG_2725The American Cancer Society describes its signature Relay for Life events as the “ultimate fundraiser that brings communities together to fight cancer.”

That was the case on May 5, when as many as 67 students from Saint Viator joined with faculty and staff to celebrate life, lift up those fighting cancer and work toward a world without this devastating disease.

The 12-hour event took place outdoors at Prospect High School and merged the Arlington Heights chapter with those from Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Park Ridge and Wheeling.

IMG_2644Accompany Saint Viator students were Mrs. Cathy Abrahamian, who has helped moderate the event every year since 2005, and her husband, Don, as well as Mrs. Barbara D’Urso, who originally started Saint Viator’s involvement back in 2000, Mrs. Rita Scully and Coach Jim McGuire ’89.

Special guests included Mr. Brian Liedlich, president, and his wife, Maria, who is a cancer survivor, as well as faculty survivors: Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, Fr. Arnie Perham, CSV, Mrs. Vicki Giusti and Mr. John Paulik. Principal Karen Love was a featured speaker representing Saint Viator.

IMG_2884Even at this larger version of the event, Saint Viator students stood out. They won the team spirit award, and for the third consecutive year, students were awarded the American Cancer Society team excellence award.

In terms of money, Saint Viator’s team raised more than $8,000, putting the group in third place out of the 29 teams that took part. Since its involvement, Saint Viator students and their families have raised more than $150,000 for cancer-fighting programs.

IMG_2641Emotions were running high right from the start, when Saint Viator faculty and staff who are cancer survivors, led the team during the opening survivors’ lap ceremony. They built toward one of the highlights of the night, a candlelight prayer service hosted by Saint Viator students.

“Our students really enjoy having faculty and staff come out to support the cause,” Mrs. Abrahamian adds. “It is a moving event, especially with the luminaria memorial service and our own evening prayer service led by our students.”

Faculty Members Share Apps that Work at Tech Showcase

IMG_9323On the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, students in accelerated Spanish classes felt as if they traveled from the site of the apparition, at Tepeyac Hill, to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Using Google Maps, they went right to street level and traced the exact directions for their fellow classmates.

Mr. Kurt Paprocki described the enhanced features of Google Maps to his colleagues, encouraging them to extend learning beyond Saint Viator and down to the street level—and even inside certain locations—expanding the classroom walls.

The presentation was just one of the segments in a Tech Showcase on Tuesday that featured all sorts of programs and applications that teachers are using to enhance learning.

IMG_9331“It’s good for teachers to share best practices,” said Maggie Miskowicz, instructional technology coordinator. “So often, our teachers talk only to their colleagues in their own department. This was a great way to hear what other teachers are using, that works.”

Mr. Cory Jensen shared how Social Studies students are using Esri Story Maps to create works of historical fiction that draw from the program’s collection of maps and geography to tell their story visually. One of his assignments was for students to tell a migration story.

“It allows the student to visualize their journey,” Mr. Jensen said, “in a more dynamic way than say, PowerPoint, which just uses photos and text. These stories can include maps, graphs and video as well as text and photos. As long as it includes locations, you can tell a story.”

Science department teachers shared how to use Google Forms for completing and grading homework assignments as well as ACT prep questions, while English teachers demonstrated how to use TurnItIn to give formative feedback on students’ essays and check for originality.

“I could see using that in my Leaders’ Prep course,” commented Mr. Dan Edminster, physical education teacher.

IMG_9326Speaking of P.E., health instructor, Ms. Lisa Wilson, demonstrated how to use the Fooducate app to read and evaluate food labels, while math teacher, Mrs. Julie Reedy, described how advanced math students are making iMovies to present topics to their classmates. They range from Pascal’s triangle, to graphing transformations and synthetic division.

“The kids are always amazed at how well they have to know what they’re doing in order to make one of these movies,” Mrs. Reedy says. “I think of them as creating tutorials.”

IMG_9316A stop in the art studio proved fascinating as faculty members watched objects being created by the 3-D printers in the art department. Right before their very eyes they watched a three-dimensional red lion come to life.

However, gone are the days when it took 24 hours for a 3-D printer to produce. The department’s two new printers are much faster, says Mr. Bill Faltinoski, fine arts department chairman.

“We can make a red lion in under an hour,” he said.

Two more stops during the showcase featured a demonstration in the religion department of EDPuzzle, the innovative video app, which allows teachers to take any video and adapt it at different stop points with notes and questions for students to answer. Teachers also were intrigued with a brief video on entrepreneurship in the business department.

The Tech Showcase was part of the weekly professional development sessions for faculty members, but Ms. Miskowicz suspects it won’t be the last.

“There are just so many apps to share,” she says. “But for our first time, it was a success.”

#TeacherTuesday: All the World is a Physics Lab for Teacher Cate Majka

Majka_CatherineThis year, physics teacher Cate Majka puts on her lab coat to begin her 28th year of teaching at Saint Viator High School, and it promises to be fun.

Think labs and hands-on learning, both inside and outside of the physics lab.

Over the years, Mrs. Majka has seen many changes in the school and taught different courses, including integrated science as well as the variety of honors and AP physics classes. But this much she knows: She comes back each year because her students are excited to learn.

Cate Majka with students after the WYSE competition last year.

Cate Majka with students after the WYSE competition last year.

“We have wonderful kids who are kind, considerate, generous and eager to do well,” Majka says. “They keep me young.”

Her labs are definitely for the young at heart. Some of her more memorable ones take students out onto the football field for orienteering, using walking vectors, as well as for projectile labs.

One of her favorite trips is taking physics students to Physics Day at Six Flags Great America, where its carnival rides transform into an outdoor learning lab to study the difference between velocity and acceleration.

Cate Majka with Class of 2017 alumni and former honors physics students, Aria Bernardi, Luke Koehler, Charlie Trunk and Charlotte Aichele.

Cate Majka with Class of 2017 alumni and former honors physics students, Aria Bernardi, Luke Koehler, Charlie Trunk and Charlotte Aichele.

Hands-on learning drives her classes, consequently, Majka is as comfortable demonstrating electrical circuits as she is around airplanes, teaching students about riveting and their role in aircraft design.

In July, she returned from taking junior and senior Querbes Scholars on a trip to Oshkosh to its world famous air show. Once again, it was more than a sightseeing trip. Students rolled up their sleeves and helped in the KidVenture area, which offers hands-on activities and learning opportunities to young, aspiring pilots.

Which is exactly the type of learning that Majka delivers in her classroom each year, hands-on labs and learning opportunities.

“To me everything is physics,” Majka says, “so I try to give real world applications and practical labs.”


Varsity Baseball Coach Mike Manno Surprised with State Recognition


From left to right: Principal Eileen Manno, Mike’s wife, Stefanie Monaco Manno ’99, Mike ’94, Paul Manno, State Rep. David Harris ’66, and President Brian Liedlich.

Saint Viator students in fifth period lunch on Thursday experienced a rare special presentation: State Rep. David Harris arrived to honor Varsity Head Baseball Coach Mike Manno ’94 with a state proclamation issued from the Illinois House of Representatives.

The official proclamation was signed by House Speaker Mike Madigan and Timothy D. Mapes, House Clerk.

The honor came as a surprise to Coach Manno, who immediately was surrounded by his assistant coaches, players, and family members.

This weekend, Coach Manno will formally be named Coach of the Year of the Northern District of Illinois from the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association at their state coaches’ convention in Lombard.

“It’s great to be able to recognize you as the Coach of the Year for the Northern District of Illinois,” Harris told Manno, “but it’s just as great a thrill to be able to do so at my alma mater.”

Harris graduated from Saint Viator in 1966, ironically one year after its baseball team finished second in the state. Up until last spring’s historic run, when Coach Manno’s varsity advanced to the state semi-finals, they were the school’s only baseball team to advance downstate.


Mike with the 2016 Varsity Baseball team, State Rep. David Harris ’66, and President Brian Liedlich.

“I am truly honored. This is totally unexpected,” Coach Manno said. “But you don’t get awards like this without a great staff and great kids to work with, who work hard every day. I’m lucky that the administration and staff have allowed me to pursue my passion for baseball.”

Coach Manno has led the Lions as head baseball coach for 10 seasons. He is a 1994 Saint Viator graduate, who returned to begin coaching in 1998-99 as an assistant coach for soccer, basketball, and baseball.

Since the 2013-14 season, Coach Manno also has been the head coach for the sophomore boys’ basketball team, and he serves as assistant athletic director.

“Mike has been a terrific representative of Saint Viator and has built a well-respected and successful baseball program,” Athletic Director Marty Jennings said. “This additional honor is a welcome highlight for his great work.”


It’s Official: Saint Viator Teachers Meet Apple Teacher Challenge


Mrs. Kirsty Anzalone’s American Lit & Comp class takes a secure exam on their iPad.

Looking to become more creative on your iPad? Perhaps, make a movie and learn to weave in illustration, music, and photography? Ask a Saint Viator teacher.

As of this month, nearly 90 percent of faculty and staff have met the Apple Teacher Challenge, completing requirements to become certified as Apple Teachers, and that includes mastering creativity with the iPad, among other areas.

This comes a little more than one year after Saint Viator High School was recognized as an Apple Distinguished School. With its teachers now certified as Apple Teachers, its technology-driven curriculum will continue to change the way students learn.

“It’s another great recognition for our school,” says Ms. Maggie Miskowicz, instructional technology coordinator. “It shows that our faculty members are dedicated to their professional development, which in turn inspires them to create new and exciting lessons.”


Ms. Wilson using the Polar GoFit app in PE 3/4 where students monitor their heart rate throughout the workout.

In order to become an Apple Teacher, faculty members had to master 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 had the option of going on to complete the Mac curriculum, as well as its Swift curriculum, which teaches them Apple’s programming language.

This growing number of Apple teachers only furthers Saint Viator’s innovative curriculum, which leverages technology with academics and advances a key initiative of Principal, Mrs. Eileen Manno’s, as she steers the school into the future.

“I am very proud of our faculty who continue to pursue excellence through their own personal development,” Mrs. Manno says, “and thus model desired behavior for our students.”



Coach Mike Manno Named Area Coach of the Year


Mike Manno, varsity baseball coach, with Bill Pirman, former and longtime Saint Viator baseball coach.

A little more than five months after Saint Viator High School’s baseball team recorded one of its best seasons ever—finishing fourth in the state in Class 3A—the hits just keep on coming.

Earlier this month, Coach Mike Manno learned he was named Coach of the Year for the northern area of the state by the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association. He will accept his award in January at the state coaches’ clinic.

The award affirms Coach Manno’s leadership during the team’s historic run, advancing to the state semifinals while winning 25 games, which is the most in the school’s 55-year history. Along the way, Coach Manno reached his 200th victory as a head coach.

“This award recognizes coaches who led their teams admirably while achieving excellence during the past season,” says Brian Wujcik, vice president of the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association.

Coach Manno has led the Lions as head baseball coach for 10 seasons. He is a 1994 Saint Viator graduate, who returned to his alma mater to begin coaching in 1998-99 as an assistant coach for soccer, basketball, and baseball.

Manno, far right, with the 2016 varsity baseball team.

Manno, far right, with the 2016 varsity baseball team.

Since the 2013-14 season, Coach Manno also has been the head coach for the sophomore boys’ basketball team, and he serves as assistant athletic director.

“Mike leads a great staff and does a terrific job with our kids,” says Athletic Director Martin Jennings.

The team graduated 11 seniors, including four who play at the college level—Mike Ragauskis at the University of Oklahoma, Jack Coney at Purdue University, Kevin Napoleon at Butler University and Shaun Falbo at the University of St. Thomas—but Coach Manno expects to have a solid core returning.


Faculty and Staff Working Together to Feed the Hungry

img_1786 Students at Saint Viator aren’t the only ones completing service hours. Faculty and staff members have committed to providing food for the homeless, once a month.

What started last year with a commitment to feed the hungry in the northwest suburbs, has grown to a once a month, hands-on meal project.

Just last week, teachers and staff met in Querbes Hall after school to prepare 70 brown lunches for clients of Catholic Charities in Des Plaines.

They worked in assembly line fashion to pack the lunches, which include sandwiches, drinks, fresh fruit, individually wrapped dessert treats as well as bags of chips and pretzels. Faculty and staff members also generously cook, bake and purchase any needed food products to complete the lunches.

img_1783“We also placed an inspirational scripture verse of encouragement in each bag, to offer hope and to let the client know that someone is thinking about him or her,” said Mrs. Rita King, who is coordinating these service opportunities for the faculty and staff with Fr. Dan Lydon, C.S.V.

Last month, volunteer faculty members prepared hot food at home as well as salads, bread, and dessert, and brought them into school where they were delivered to JOURNEYS/The Road Home, a resource center for the homeless in Palatine.

They plan to continue these efforts—alternating agencies each month—for the duration of the school year.

“I am always impressed,” Mrs. King says, “by the generosity and giving spirit of our community members.”


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