Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Category: Saint Viator News (Page 2 of 34)

Inaugural Pat Mahoney Golf Classic a Hole in One

IMG_1198Saint Viator’s inaugural Pat Mahoney Golf Classic welcomed alumni, friends and Mahoney fans from his nearly 50-year history with the school. 7o guests came out to Old Orchard Country Club to support “the man, the myth, the legend” and raise funds for the Alumni Scholarship Endowment for legacy students, which provides critical tuition assistance for second and third generation Lions.

“Pat Mahoney was an integral part of our school for a long time and is still a mentor to many of us today. Thus, we can’t think of a better way to honor him than with this outing,” said Tom Ramsden, Vice President of Development.

IMG_1188Before the group teed off, Mahoney thanked everyone for being there and encouraged them to continue supporting Saint Viator. He stressed that the school has not changed over the years. It remains the same loving, caring community he joined in 1967 and he’s forever proud to be a part of it.IMG_1209

While on the course, golfers participated in hole-in-one, longest drive, and closest to the pin contests. There was also a ball launcher on hand that propelled balls toward the pin.

After the 18 holes, guests enjoyed a happy hour and then ended the day with awards.

Thank you to the Saint Viator and Sacred Heart of Mary Alumni Association, including chair, Rhonda Starr ’87, Jim Bristol ’73, our alumni chaplain, Fr. Charlie Bolser, Jason Kuffel ’99, our athletic director, and Bill Senchuk, parent of three alumni, for all their help and support in promoting the event. Finally, to all who joined us, thank you for coming and supporting Saint Viator High School!




History Comes Alive for Querbes Scholars on Untouchables Tour

IMG_0488All four levels of Querbes Scholars traveled last week into Chicago for an unforgettable enrichment trip. Literally, when they started their tour at Holy Name Cathedral and learned about a hit on a Northside mobster, that took place on its front steps, they knew this was not just any other tour.

Sure enough, students and their moderators traveled back in time to Prohibition-era Chicago, during the 1920s and ’30s to learn about rival gangsters, think Al Capone, Bugs Moran, and John Dillinger, to name a few, and see some of their hangouts.

Saint Viator students filled up two buses to take the Untouchables Tour, one of Chicago’s Original Gangster Tours, for a firsthand view of the city’s mob era history.

IMG_0492“I liked learning about the criminal history in Chicago, which isn’t what you typically learn,” said Kate Hannon ’21.

Her classmate, Ryan Jusinski ’21, agreed, adding: “To learn about such famous parts of Chicago history that textbooks don’t teach us, was really neat.”

The gangster tour was the first trip of the year for these Querbes Scholars. As part of the academic and enrichment program, scholars leave Saint Viator at least one time each semester for extended learning outside the classroom walls.

These trips, combined with invited speakers and challenging coursework fulfill the program’s mission, which is to foster personal growth, intellectual independence, and faith enrichment.

IMG_0486Matt Rapala ’19 said he was fascinated to learn just how these different mob bosses rose to power: “It was interesting to learn how Chicago was split into factions under the different crime bosses, the Irish, Italian and Sicilian.”

Finally, Allison Bosshart ’19 said that going on the Untouchables Tour opened up a whole new chapter of Chicago history that she was eager to learn more about.

“From listening to our tour guide’s authentic Chicago accent to seeing famous sites, like the Biograph Theater where Jon Dillinger was killed; or the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” Allison said, “the Untouchables Tour revealed an interesting side of Chicago’s history.”

Volleyball Teams Hold 10th Annual Volley For a Cure

DSC_0011Bright pink camouflage T-shirts dominated the Cahill gym on Wednesday. Literally, players of every level of girls’ volleyball donned the shirts, as well as their opponents, the Wheeling Wildcats, their coaches, the referees, officials at the scorer’s table and even fans in the stands.

Add in all the decorations around the gym—from balloons, ribbons and the pink electronic sign, to a banner that people could sign—it was a total pink-out!

For the 10th year, Saint Viator’s girls’ volleyball team partnered with the IHSA in a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, whose mission is to end breast cancer, forever.

“Working for a cause like this makes us stronger as a team,” said Kate Nottoli ’19, co-captain, “but working with another school shows us all that we can make a difference.”

Both Nottoli and her co-captain, Carrie Leazer ’19, led the 65 girls in the Saint Viator program in all aspects of the event, from designing and selling more than 300 T-shirts, to obtaining prizes for the raffle baskets, decorating the gym and even spray painting their hair pink.

“This is one of the highlights of the season for us,” Leazer said. “It’s just he best environment, with everyone feeling so passionately about this cause.”

DSC_0026Coach Charlie Curtin is in his 17th year as head varsity coach, and his teams have participated every year since the IHSA began the event. In his case, the cause is personal, since his mother died of the disease when he was 12 years old.

“As I’ve gone on in coaching, I realize it’s more than what happens on the court,” Coach Curtin said. “It’s the life lessons, about helping others and realizing the impact of what they’re doing on the court that can have such a positive effect on someone else.”

This was the first year the Lions partnered with Wheeling High School on the event and Wildcat Coach Jason Kopkowski said his team was thrilled to participate. Each girl raised money for the cause and the volleyball program matched their proceeds.

DSC_0003In the end, he expected the Wildcats to donate $1,000 toward the joint contribution from Wheeling and Saint Viator to the Susan B. Komen Foundation.

“I love the fact that my players are involved in something larger than themselves,” Coach Kopkowski said. “As female athletes, they should be involved in this cause that celebrates and honors those fighting breast cancer.”

Alumni Update: Katie Barrett Ford ’89

katie fordAlumni Profile: Katie Barrett Ford ’89

Favorite high school memory: Powder Puff of senior year

Faculty member who influenced you the most: Madame Rowley, French teacher

College: University of Dayton, BA Marketing and French

Current workplace & position: Chief Client Officer at Amobee, a global marketing technology company that provides innovative data-driven cross-channel digital advertising solutions for the world’s leading agencies and brands

What you like most about what you are doing now: Learning the adtech side of advertising business. I spent 23 years of my career on the media agency side of business with Publicis media and I now get to work with amazing engineers to create what is next in the digital advertising space.

Biggest lesson learned in your career to date: Dream big and never doubt yourself and the courage you have to overcome challenges. Always be your authentic self and never make trade-offs from your core values.

How does what you are doing now compare to what you thought you would be doing when you graduated high school? I wanted to be in the advertising business so I am in the industry that I thought but didn’t have any idea about how digital would transform the industry and our lives, and never imagined that I would be crafting the future of digital advertising. We didn’t even have cell phones until post-college so it has been a significant transformation in past 20 years.

Family: Living in Arlington Heights with my husband and three wonderful children ages 12, 10 and 5. I am truly blessed.

New Show Choir Strikes All the Right Chords

DSC_0027Auditions just wrapped up for Saint Viator’s newest choral ensemble: The Revelations, a co-curricular show choir, and the excitement is contagious.

More than 50 students tried out for this high-energy, vocal performance ensemble, which includes choreography as well as dynamic singing on a grand scale. In all, more than 40 students will participate during this inaugural year.

Saint Viator’s new choral director, Mrs. Joleen Kragt, brought the idea to the school. She has been involved with show choirs at Fenton and Johnsburg high schools, as well as volunteered at Hersey High School’s Chicagoland Showcase and show choir camps at Millikin University in Decatur, IL.

DSC_0004“When I looked at the talent we have here, I realized we have super dynamic kids, who wanted to create something even more musical and they’re so happy doing it,” Mrs. Kragt says.

That excitement was palpable at their first rehearsal Tuesday night, when they learned of the music they will perform this semester. They range from Broadway, pop and swing selections to their finale from “The Greatest Showman.”

“I like to sing and I like to dance, so this is good combination,” said Ava Zawilenski ’21.

DSC_0007Freshman Julia Domagala is one of the few members who has performed in a show choir before auditioning. While in middle school, she performed with Center Stage, based in Arlington Heights.

“It’s exhilarating to perform on stage with such a large group,” Julia said. “There’s just so much energy that you can’t get from just dancing or singing alone. When you put them all together, it’s pretty exciting.”

Principal Karen Love welcomed this new fine arts opportunity for Saint Viator students, but already she has been surprised at how much excitement it has generated.

“Show Choir has created a buzz at Saint Viator,” Mrs. Love says, “and we’re excited to share the journey with this talented group of students.”

DSC_0018Mrs. Kragt stresses that while they build the program in this first year, The Revelations will not compete. Instead, look for the group to perform at school events and out in the community.

“They’re just learning the ropes,” she says. “And it’s not just the choreography. Show choir is a vocal style that is much more dynamic and broader than traditional choral music. Everything is amped up.”

Mrs. Kragt stresses that this new vocal ensemble offers more than a new performance venue for students.

“Students not only blossom in their musical abilities, but they gain a huge amount of confidence,” she says. “We call it, the show choir swagger.”

Interfaith Dinner for Peace Fills Querbes Hall

IMG_0211One week before the 17th anniversary of 9/11, a potluck dinner took place at Saint Viator High School that was designed for students and adults alike to learn about other cultures and faith traditions, while building bridges toward peace.

Called a “Potluck for Peace,” the dinner was hosted by members of the Children of Abraham Coalition, which includes Saint Viator students, as well as those from Jewish and Muslim communities. Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, started the movement in 2011.

IMG_0198“We can’t stop all the religious-based hate in the world, but we can do our part,” Fr. Brost says. “We can be people of peace in our corner of the world, especially on Sept.11, a day that showed how deadly religious hate can be.”

Attendance at the dinner has grown each year. One Tuesday, more than 200 people filled Querbes Hall, bringing with them food items from their respective cultures. But more than a smorgasbord buffet, this dinner party came with instructions: Sit at a table that includes someone from a different religion than yours, and introduce yourself.

IMG_0169From there, the conversation and stories flowed naturally.

“What impacted me the first time I came is that you’re able to sit with a complete stranger and you connect with them,” said Sarah McDermott ’19, who now serves on the board of the coalition. “People can be so different, but you don’t have to focus on that. You share a meal together and find out just how much you have in common.”

IMG_0181Another teen, Barrington High School senior, Haider Ali, found himself to be one of the only Muslims sitting at his table. When asked to describe what he does on the Children of Abraham Coalition board, Haider described working to host the first Peace Camp that brought children of different faith backgrounds together to advance interfaith understanding.

He also conceded that his mother made him join the coalition, but now he enjoys working together with other teens from different backgrounds.

IMG_0165“We really working to spread the interfaith message,” Haider said. “It’s interesting to see how other people react. I’m enjoying it.”

Saint Viator Celebrates Launch of New Incubator Program

DSC_0007A standing-room only crowd filled a classroom in the Boler Center Tuesday night. Parents, alumni, students and administration members all attended the launch of Saint Viator High School’s newest initiative: its incubator program.

Called INCubator.Edu, the year-long entrepreneurship class will help students conceptualize an idea for a product or service, and take it through development and its business plan, through marketing, financial budgeting and ultimately making a pitch to investors.

“It’s an exciting opportunity and new addition to our curriculum,” said Brian Liedlich, president. “This new class can help students develop critical thinking as well as important, marketable and valuable skills.”

Both he and Principal Karen Love described the new course as one that embodies the school’s vision statement, “Where innovation and tradition meet.” In fact, a mural with that tagline etched across the school’s logo graces the back wall of the classroom.

DSC_0003Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, former president of the high school who now serves as chaplain, was on hand to bless the incubator. He professed to love the new venture, describing the class and its students as “our future.”

“Seize the day,” he said. “Dreams are our hope, our inspiration, our life.”

David Lyons, a first-year teacher who formerly taught entrepreneurship at York High School in Elmhurst, will be working with John Aiello ’86, who has reached out to the alumni base to serve as coaches and mentors.

Aiello 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.

DSC_0018He and the coaches and mentors he has recruited, are eager to share their unique stories and experience with young students.

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

Students are brainstorming ideas right now and will begin streamlining the process next week. Soon after, they will divide into groups of four or five and be assigned a mentor, who will meet with them regularly to help advance their business concepts, while coaches will come into class regularly to teach their area of expertise.

Among the students on hand was Anna Haas, who came directly from her volleyball practice.

“I want to major in management in college,” Anna said. “This is a great opportunity to get some business experience before I get to college and just understand how things work.”

DSC_0019Her classmate, Jimmy Hamilton, agreed, adding: “I always wanted to learn about start-ups, and what it takes to develop new ideas to solve problems.”

This is the first year of what administrators hope will be a successful collaboration between young entrepreneurs and their mentors and coaches.

“We’re definitely looking to grow the program,” Mr. Liedlich adds, “and would welcome any additional funding to help us accomplish this.”

Interested supporters should contact Tom Ramsden, director of institutional advancement, at



Photos: Campus Ministry Core Team Explores New Heights on Retreat

The Campus Ministry Core Team stepped out of their comfort zone and into the trees at Bemis Woods Forest Preserve’s Treetop Adventure. Check out photos from the retreat below.









Alumnus Demonstrating Commitment to Service

DSC_0001Saint Viator’s 2014 valedictorian, Tyler Harris, earned a prestigious scholarship to Notre Dame, which enabled him to work with the university’s chief investment officer and ultimately opened the doors to internships from California to South Africa.

Tyler’s global experiences landed him a job as a business analyst with one of the leading management consulting firms, McKinsey & Company in Chicago, where he will start next month.

Yet, before he starts, Tyler wanted to spend his time giving back, in service to others. For the last two months, he has been helping the young men at Viator House of Hospitality, a safe home started by the Viatorians for young men seeking asylum in the United States.

Tyler is the fourth Saint Viator graduate to serve as a summer intern at the home, run by Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and Br. Michael Gosch, CSV. He followed Jason Wilhite, Annie Slusher and Steven Bonica.

DSC_0004“I am just so impressed,” Fr. Corey says. “It shows the effect of a Viatorian education, of wanting to integrate into their lives the need to stand with people on the margins.”

Summer interns spend anywhere from six to 15 hours a week at the house, located in Des Plaines, which currently has 21 young men living there. They do a variety of tasks, from tutoring and driving them to school and jobs, to organizing activities and volunteer opportunities.

“It’s a chance to learn about immigration and help young men around their age seeking asylum,” Fr. Corey adds.

Just this week, Tyler and some of its residents worked in the Viatorian Community Garden, that grows fresh produce for families served by area food pantries. In fact, the young men of Viator House have their own bed of plants, and Tyler led them in harvesting some of their tomatoes, which they then brought to Catholic Charities in Des Plaines.

DSC_0002It’s a far cry from the work he’ll be doing with McKinsey, which will immerse him in data analytics and problem-solving situations, while working collaboratively with corporate clients to find solutions.

However, Tyler says his Saint Viator education opened his eyes to the importance of direct service, as well as preparing him to do well in his finance and economics majors at Notre Dame.

“Saint Viator has challenged me not only to pursue a rigorous academic education, but to balance it, spiritually, socially and through service,” Tyler said before he graduated. “That’s what has separated a Viator education.”

Third Saint Viator Senior Earns Perfect ACT Score

Lavender_CarolineCaroline Lavender ’19 joined an elite group this summer when she earned a perfect score on her ACT. Nationally, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earns the top score.


Yet at Saint Viator, Caroline is the fifth student over the last two years—and the third in this year’s senior class—to achieve this rare feat.


She succeeds Katie Solarz of Arlington Heights, who starts her sophomore year at the University of Notre Dame; Thomas Stanila of Algonquin, valedictorian of the class of 2018 and a freshman at Loyola University; and her classmates, Thomas Constertina and Maura Hogaboom, both of Arlington Heights.


“We certainly think that these students are products of our rigorous academics and high expectations,” says Principal Karen Love. “But they have come to us with God-given talent and a tremendous work ethic. We just hope that we have nurtured that.”


While at Saint Viator, Caroline has played on the girls’ golf team, performed in the school musical and participated in music ministry. She also returned as a leader to this summer’s Service & Song camp and attended the Viatorian Youth Congress for the second time.


She is currently enrolled in four AP classes as well as multi-variable calculus, the highest math class Saint Viator offers, and she points to this type of challenging classwork that helped her achieve this perfect score.


“All of my classes helped me, but my junior year was particularly challenging,” Caroline says. “They taught me a determination and diligence that I hadn’t had before.”


A common thread through many of her activities is her love of playing the piano, which she does by ear. Caroline can be found accompanying the choir at school liturgies or playing the piano for residents at an Arlington Heights memory care facility, where she regularly volunteers.


Caroline is the oldest of two children of Timothy Lavender and Dr. Nancy Sonego, and she attended Our Lady of the Wayside School in Arlington Heights. Her brother, David, is a sophomore at Saint Viator.


“All of my teachers over the years helped me achieve this,” Caroline says. “They gave me a diverse set of skills—and the confidence—needed to do well on standardized tests.”

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