Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

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Million Dollar Classic: Golf, Friends, and Saint Viator Athletics

Each year, golfers at Saint Viator’s Million Dollar Classic take aim at enhancing the school’s athletic programs and empowering its student athletes. This year, they had a lot to celebrate, with the junior varsity hockey team winning a state championship, the varsity hockey team making an appearance in the final four, the girls’ basketball team winning their first-ever sectional championship, and the boys’ track team accumulating a few IHSA state championship qualifiers.

And that only covers some of the many sports we have to offer here at Saint Viator.

Yes, it was a historic year for Saint Viator athletics, and guests at the 24th annual Million Dollar Classic, taking on the unpredictable weather we had, enthusiastically mingled with the student athletes at the acclaimed Jack Nicklaus-designed course at The Club at Wynstone in North Barrington.

“As a result of your past generous support, we have raised more than $2.5 million dollars to support our athletic programs over the past 23 years. With those donations, we have seen many upgrades within our athletic department such as full-time trainers, world-class strength and conditioning programs, and the addition of indoor scoreboards for the Boler Center. You and hundreds of other donors have made this possible and for that, I can not thank you enough” said Saint Viator President Brian Liedlich. 

The athletes chosen to address the crowd only underscored the outing’s success.

Senior Athan Huelskamp spoke to golfers, just weeks after breaking a 14-year school record in the discus on his second-to-last throw at state. 

Huelskamp described working with Saint Viator’s strength and conditioning coach, Alex Nadolna, in the Murphy Wellness Center — which has benefitted from Million Dollar Classic proceeds — and how they helped him become the athlete he is today.

In addition to a current student athlete speaker, there was also a young alumna speaking at this year’s Million Dollar Classic. Abby Dickey, a graduate from the class of 2010, spoke about her story and how athletics has guided her through life. 

Dickey said, “I played both golf and softball at Saint Viator. I had an awesome experience on both teams, and I learned a lot about myself throughout my time here. Even in high school, being highly involved in sports taught me time management, how to work with different personalities, and how to identify and lean on mentors.” 

Funds raised from this year’s event will continue to support the conditioning initiative and athletic training program. 

As the event wrapped up, awards were presented to the two winning foursomes:

First Place:
Carlson foursome

Papanicholas foursome

The annual Million Dollar Classic raffle winners were also announced:

Third prize: The Howarth Family

Second prize: The Maye Family

Grand Prize Winner: The Toczylowski Family

Many thanks go out to all who made this year’s Million Dollar Classic a great success!

24th Annual Million Dollar Classic to Celebrate Saint Viator Athletics

1Join us at The Club at Wynstone on Monday, June 24, in North Barrington for Saint Viator High School’s annual Million Dollar Classic. This event raises funds to support Saint Viator athletics and celebrates what it means to be a student-athlete. More than $2.5 million has been raised to benefit the school’s athletic program through the years.

All skill levels are welcomed and encouraged to play on a course known to be “one of the best in Illinois,” according to Golf Digest. In addition to 18 holes of golf, the day-long event includes lunch, dinner, prizes and a raffle for all participants. New this year is a ticket option for a Social Day at the Club, for non-golfers to join in on the festivities.

“The Million Dollar Classic allows the young men and women participating in sports to be champions athletically, academically and spiritually,” said Tom Ramsden, Vice-President of Development at Saint Viator High School. “This is a day when the Saint Viator community can connect over a game of golf with one common goal in mind, to assist the student-athletes within our athletic programs.”

Over 80 percent of Saint Viator students participate in at least one of the 27 sports offered each year. The Million Dollar Classic benefits all athletics programs and, in recent years, has provided funding for a new camera system and digital scoreboards for Mahoney Court. This event allows for further innovation and growth within the walls of Saint Viator High School.

As long-time Saint Viator advocates, the Murphy family has generously gone above and beyond to ensure the event is successful. Dan, JoAnn, Dan ‘04 and Jim ‘08 are the presenting sponsors of this year’s Million Dollar Classic.

Tickets for Million Dollar Classic can be purchased online at

Guests also have the option of purchasing tickets for the dinner only. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the event.

Athletic Director Jason Kuffel, and Director of Development, Kristen Daniels, talk Million Dollar Classic on an episode of the school’s podcast series. Listen here:

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.”


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