St. Rita of Cascia High School Announces Illinois State Scholars

St. Rita High School is proud to announce 17 Illinois State Scholars from the class of 2016. These 17 state scholars make up a diverse group of students from the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs hailing from 16 different grammar schools.

They are:

Eric Chibe                St. Symphorosa

  • Tim Carroll (St. Christina)
  • Eric Chibe (St. Symphorosa)
  • Dan Gleaves (Oak Prairie/Lockport)
  • Eddie Hennessy (Christ the King)
  • Jeff Juracka (St. Germaine)
  • Ian Kirby (St. Walter)
  • Leo Manning (Queen of Martyrs)
  • Noel Mascorro (St. Germaine)
  • James Melody (Grissom Middle School/Tinley Park)
  • Meshach Obafemi (Sutherland)
  • Johnathon O'Grady (Oak Lawn - Hometown Middle School)
  • Dominic Sarro (Komarek/North Riverside)
  • Malik Scales (St. Paul Lutheran/Oak Lawn)
  • Justin Schmit (Most Holy Redeemer)
  • Anthony Scialabba (St. Lucia)
  • Mike Tiernan (St. Catherine of Alexandria)
  • Brandon Williams (Kenwood Academy)


(L to R): Leo Manning, Mike Tiernan, Dan Gleaves, Ian Kirby, Tim Carroll, Brandon Williams, Noel Mascorro, Malik Scales, Justin Schmit, Jeff Juracka, Eddie Hennessy, Dominic Sarro, James Melody, Johnathon O'Grady, Meshach Obafemi, Anthony Scialabba, (not pictured: Eric Chibe)

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), the state agency committed to helping to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois families, bestows this prestigious recognition to top Illinois high school students annually. This year, nearly 19,000 elite honorees join the other top state students honored for their academic achievements since the designation was first introduced in 1958.  

“It is always an honor to announce another extraordinary group of State Scholars,” said Eric Zarnikow, ISAC executive director. “At a time when postsecondary education could not be more important to future job and career success, these students have demonstrated the kind of effort and dedication that will help them advance not only their futures, but the future of the state as well. We wish each of them the best as they pursue their chosen educational path.”

While this distinguished recognition does not include a monetary prize, recipients are encouraged to cite the honor on applications for college admission and scholarships. In addition, students are urged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1, 2016. The FAFSA determines eligibility for federal and state aid.

To be considered an Illinois State Scholar, students must possess strong academic potential. They are chosen based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT test scores and sixth semester class rank. State Scholars rank in approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors, representing 652 high schools across the state. Meeting the requirements allows for a student to be considered, but does not guarantee them to be awarded a scholar.

St. Rita Principal Brendan Conroy added, "To have this many Ritamen achieve Illinois State Scholar recognition is a testament to our students and our faculty. St. Rita is a well-rounded academic institution that strives for excellence. These young men are further proof that we achieve our goals."


About St. Rita High School

St. Rita High School is a college-preparatory, Augustinian Catholic high school for young men rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the tradition of St. Augustine, following the Augustinian philosophy of education. Located on a 37-acre campus at 7740 S. Western Avenue on Chicago’s south side, St. Rita has a 110-year tradition and legacy, is over 24,000 alumni strong and offers 16 athletic teams and 30 clubs and activities.

St. Rita aims to form each student as a whole person: spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially, and to provide its young men with the necessary skills to succeed in college and in life, leading to life-long learning and personal awareness.

Through the Augustinian core values of Veritas (Truth), Unitas (Unity), and Caritas (Love), St.

Rita strives to develop a bond between the members of the entire family: Augustinians, faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni.

In the spirit of our Father, St. Augustine, we will be of one mind and one heart on our way to God.