Advice Beyond the Classroom Holds Awards Banquet


What started some three years ago as a simple idea now has blossomed into a legitimate networking giant, known fondly at St. Rita as the ABC’s Program, or “Advice Beyond the Classroom.”  The program, started by visionary alumnus and Board of Directors member, Nick LoMaglio ’04, is comprised of St. Rita students, alumni, board members, faculty members and others.  On May 16th, the ABC’s program held their Awards Banquet and Dinner Reception, with nearly 90 in attendance. 

The ABC’s program offers college scholarship opportunities, internship experience at UBS Financial, and great networking programs as well, through various off-site trips (including visits to the Chicago White Sox, Baker-Tilly, JB Industries, and various banks and investment firms).  It is a class that meets at 6:45 am on Mondays at St. Rita, before the official start of the school day at 8:00 am.  In the class, there are grading protocols and actual assignments, along with group and individual work.  To gain entry into the program, sophomores, juniors and seniors must apply and complete a rigorous application.  The program is selective and kept to within 20-30 students.

During the Awards Banquet, Mr. LoMaglio, gave Ritamen and others advice on various topics, including networking, persistence, relationship-building, teamwork and communication.  After a great dinner was finished, several awards and special recognitions took place. 

First, the top Sophomore of the class was named.  Michael Henze (Everest Academy, Lemont) will gain automatic entry into next year’s ABC’s program as his prize for the year.  The top Junior, Payton Condon (St. Catherine of Alexandria, Oak Lawn), will be named Managing Partner/Teacher’s Aide for the 2017-18 school year and work one-on-one with Mr. LoMaglio on course layout.  The top Senior, Joey Henze (Everest Academy, Lemont) was awarded a college scholarship for next year, when he enrolls at Clemson University.  Two other seniors, Theo Phipps (Heritage M.S., Lansing) and Andy Prado (St. Joseph, Summit), also were awarded college scholarships for next fall.

Additionally, to recognize the top group projects throughout the year, Mr. LoMaglio awarded a week-long externship during the summer to five students: seniors Jack Owens (St. Christina), Colan Fitzgerald (St. John of the Cross), Theo Phipps, Joey Henze and sophomore Kyle Somrek (St. Barnabas).  This group of five was named the top team of the year having won various team-based competitions.  Their week-long experience will consist of a five day rotational program that will give them exposure to some of the top Chicago area businesses.  Something many college students and young adults can only dream of—but they will experience it as high school students.

Several students weighed-in on the course, including senior Connor Kelly (St. Barnabas), who said, “The ABC program has taught me some of the most important aspects of the business world.  From handshakes to job interview skills, this program has given me the tools to succeed at the collegiate and professional levels.”

Fellow senior, Sean Coghlan (St. Cajetan) shared his thoughts, saying, “This program gave me the opportunity to learn about real business career paths, build my network with influential connections, and to take advantage of the off-site excursions at multiple businesses and companies.  None of which would have been possible without the ABC Program.”  Both Kelly and Coghlan are headed for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign next fall.

The St. Rita Family is grateful for the efforts of Nick LoMaglio, as well as fellow board members Jim Brasher ’71, Paul Dachota ’84, Sal Valela ’94, and Dave Conrath, as well as recent graduates and alumni of the ABC’s program, Connor Healy ’15 (Villanova), Eddie Hennessy ’16(Indiana) and Teddy McDemott ’16 (Kansas). Healy is currently interviewing with a mid market investment banking firm that typically only hires from Ivy League schools.

The goal of the ABC Program—and of Nick’s personally—is simply to help young Ritamen find their career path.  Through networking events and key business principles being taught, our students will certainly have a leg-up on many of their competitors in the college and professional world.  The real-life experience and skills being taught truly do go “beyond the classroom” at St. Rita.

Mr. Brendan Conroy, Principal at St. Rita, summed up the program well in saying , “Under Nick’s genius, the ABC program brings out the best in our Ritamen:  teamwork, orientation toward success, leadership—all wrapped up in the Augustinian values we hold dear.”

St. Rita Grads and American Grizzly Band Headed To Nashville for Debut Album

BEVERLY — American Grizzly is proof that Brother RiceMaristSt. Rita and even Evergreen Park high school grads can coexist.

The five-man rock band is headed to Nashville to record its debut album after a successful Kickstarter campaign. American Grizzly met its $7,000 goal at noon on Wednesday - six days ahead of schedule.

The group's demo tracks were all produced courtesy of Matt Ladd, 27, of Beverly. Ladd, the lead vocalist, attended St. Rita in Ashburn and later University of St. Francis in Joliet. He relied on the university's recording studio to get the ball rolling.

The Class of 2017 - A Look Back

As the Class of 2017 prepare for graduation on Saturday, May 20, let's take a look back to the 2013 Augustinian Experience video, when these young men showed up on campus as new Ritamen.

We can't wait to celebrate all the great accomplishments of the St. Rita Class of 2017 very soon.

Congratulations Ritamen!



Please note that Portraits Plus will have 11x15 copies of the graduation photo available for $15 on graduation day.

St. Rita Awards Diploma to John Kinsloe, Class of 1949

This week, the St. Rita family had the pleasure of welcoming John Kinsloe and his family to the all-school Mass. 

John was a student at St. Rita in 1949 when times were financially tough for many families.  John was very involved at St. Rita, playing football and boxing.  However, just shy of graduation, he left St. Rita to go to work fulltime.  John went on to live a successful and fulfilling life, marrying his high school sweetheart and raising seven children in the St. Catherine of Alexandria parish.  John was very involved in the lives of his children, including coaching them in football, basketball and baseball and serving on the athletic board at St. Catherine’s. 

Recently, John’s son, Bob, decided to create a video biography of John’s life.  As Bob tells the story, “In the course of interviewing him, I asked him, ‘Where did you graduate from high school?’ He told me he did not want to talk about it.  The next day I asked him why he did not want to talk about his high school graduation.  He reluctantly disclosed that he had quit school just before he graduated in 1949 to go to work.  This is something he has kept from his seven kids until now.  I know that he withheld this information all these years out of embarrassment, disappointment, and not wanting to be a bad example to his kids.  However, he is anything but a bad example.”

Bob added, “He’s a true family man who put his family and others first.  He has lived a seemingly ordinary life to an outsider but it’s really been an extraordinary life to the people who have had the good fortune of knowing him.”  As part of his biography summary, Bob asked his dad what was his biggest disappointment in life.  John responded that it was not graduating from St. Rita.

Bob then contacted St. Rita asking if the school would consider a request to award John a diploma based on his post-high school education – a four year apprenticeship to become a pipefitter and welder (Local 597) – and his life’s work.  He added that his dad more than lived up to St. Rita’s core values of truth, unity and love.

So, on Wednesday, May 11, 2017, in front of the St. Rita community and John’s family - including all seven of his children - Head of School, Fr. Paul Galetto, O.S.A. and President, Mr. Mike Zunica, presented John Kinsloe with his official St. Rita of Cascia High School diploma. The presentation was met with a thunderous standing ovation by the St. Rita student body.  Mike Zunica summed it by saying, “These are the moments that make St. Rita the special place that it is.  The faculty, staff and student body were moved by today’s presentation and what it means to be a graduate of St. Rita!”