October 2017 Mustangs of the Month

Each month St. Rita of Cascia High School honors one student from each class to be the Mustang of the Month.  In order for a student to be considered for the Mustang of the Month Award, he must excel or stand out in at least two of the following areas: academics, activities, athletics, spirituality or community service projects or programs.  Nominees for Mustang of the Month are those students who are vital elements to what St. Rita of Cascia High School is all about and whose efforts, accomplishments and contributions to our community sometimes go unnoticed.

Nominations are open to all faculty and staff and final selection is determined by members of Administration and Student Life & Ministry.

Freshman Mustang of the Month – Ryan Hixson


The member of the Class of 2021 chosen to be our October Freshman Mustang of the Month is Ryan Hixson.  Ryan comes to us from St. Daniel the Prophet School where he is also a member of the St. Daniel the Prophet Parish Community.

In addition, to being focused on a great academic start to his high school career, Ryan has been meeting many new friends and making positive impressions on his teachers.  Ryan has been a member of the Freshman Football Team and is also a part of the Spanish Club.  In the future he hopes to try out for the Volleyball Team and join the Stock Club.

One member of our St. Rita staff said of Ryan, “Ryan is a great kid; his friends think highly of him and he is a great example of a true Ritaman.”

When asked about his experience as a Ritaman, Ryan replied, “St. Rita has been a great time for me and I have met many new friends.  I am glad I chose St. Rita.”



Sophomore Mustang of the Month – Jack Nolan

Representing the Class of 2020 as our October Sophomore Mustang of the Month is Jack Nolan.  Jack is a graduate of St. Cajetan School and is also a member of St. Cajetan Parish.

Over the past year Jack has become a leader both in an out of the classroom.  Jack is a member of the Varsity Football Team and plays lacrosse in the Spring.  He is also a Sophomore Class Representative for Student Government and takes part in St. Rita’s Advice Beyond the Classroom program.  In the future Jack also hopes to start playing travel lacrosse.

The following was said of Jack, “Jack is always positive and eager to make St. Rita a great place.  He is hard working in the classroom and on the field.  He is truly an asset to St. Rita.”

When asked to speak about his experience as a Ritaman, Jack replied, “My time at St. Rita has been exactly what I dreamt it to be when I took my entrance exam.  I love it here, and I cannot wait to spend the next three years with all of my Rita brothers.”


Junior Mustang of the Month – Myles Montaque

Representing the Class of 2019 as our October Junior Mustang of the Month is Myles Montaque.  Myles attended Summit Hill School and is a member of Believers Church in Matteson, Illiniois.

Myles works hard in the classroom and has been honored as a Heeney Award Recipient for achieving straight As.  Outside of the classroom, Myles was a member of the Sophomore Basketball Team last year and hopes to make the Varsity Basketball Team this year.  He is also a Big Brother and working to become inducted to the National Honor Society in the Spring.

In his nomination the following was said of Myles, “Myles transferred into St. Rita last year and has been a leader of the class ever since.  He is a genuinely nice young man who gets involved while taking a very challenging course load.  He is what we look for in an ideal Ritaman.”

Myles spoke of his experience as a Ritaman by saying, “St. Rita has been a great experience so far and I am looking forward to the two years I have left here.”


Senior Mustang of the Month – Brylan Matthews

Leading the Class of 2018 as our October Senior Mustang of the Month is Brylan Matthews.  Brylan is a graduate of CICS Wrightwood School and is a member the Beautiful Zion MBC Community.

In additional to excelling in the classroom where he has consistently been on the Gold or Silver Honor Roll, Brylan has been a member of St. Rita’s Varsity Bowling Team.  Brylan recently completed his Caritas Project for which he collected baby items for teenage mothers.  He also volunteers his time working for a food pantry at his church.

One teacher said of Brylan, “Brylan is one of the most polite and respectful young men I have known at Rita....he lives our core values daily.”

Speaking about his experience as a Ritaman, Brylan said, “My time at St. Rita has been amazing.  I walked in not knowing anyone but I will walk out having friends I can call my brothers.  Coming here was truly one of the best decisions I have made and I cannot wait to finish my last year here will my Rita brothers.”

St. Rita Spanish Club Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

The St. Rita Spanish Club has enjoyed a very busy start to the school year with a current total of 62 students as members and Ms. Socorro Yanez and Mrs. Colleen Earley as the moderators. The student elected leadership board is: Connor Earley '20, Will March '18, Luke O'Grady '20, Emmett Ramos '20, Evan Wojicicki '20 and Liam Daly '19.

The club hosted a series of trivia questions and prizes in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The Spanish Club also included a guess game as to how many pieces of candy fit into a piñata and Ian Reidy '22 came in with the closest guess of 201 with the correct answer at 204. The money raised from this game will be donated by the club at the end of the school year to a charity of choice.  

In addition, the Spanish Club expanded the annual Day of the Dead altar in front of St. Rita's Van Leuven Family Research Center. This is a community altar remembering deceased loved ones of students, faculty and staff. The Spanish Club put in many hours to ensure the altar once again was a beautiful tribute to those family members. Currently, the Spanish Club is sponsoring a Latin Music bracket competition. Some members will be traveled to St. Nicolas of Tolentine on October 28 to assist with their 5K Day of the Dead fundraiser. Finally, they look forward to the Day of the Dead fiesta in early November!

St. Rita Hosts President’s Reception


This week, the St. Rita Family hosted the annual President’s Reception Dinner at Beverly Country Club in Chicago.  All President’s Club members – benefactors who have given gifts of $1,000 or more to St. Rita of Cascia High School - are invited to the annual dinner held in their honor.

Last night’s event attracted more than 100 generous benefactors who had the opportunity to learn about the many programs and new initiatives taking place at St. Rita.  The highlight of the night was the keynote speech given by senior Connor Cahill from St. John Fisher Parish.  Connor captivated the audience with his story, his obvious love for St. Rita, and the impact the school has had on him and his entire family which includes his brother, St. Rita sophomore, Patrick.

Connor is a member of the St. Rita Student Government and co-captain and starting center on the varsity football team.  He’s also a member of the varsity baseball team.  He earned second team all-conference honors in the CCL Blue this football season, and he’ll lead the Mustangs this Friday night against Simeon in the first round of the IHSA Class 7A state playoffs.

While most of the typical President’s Dinner crowd is made up of alumni going back to the 1940’s, including Gene Brauweiler ’42, celebrating his 75th graduation anniversary, younger alumni were also represented.  From the St. Rita Class of 2001 former football standout Chris Burhans and Kevin Giltmier were in attendance as well as former baseball and basketball standout Matt Eastman and Matt Zawaski from the Class of 2002.  “These young alums represent the future of St. Rita of Cascia High School, and to see them at an event like this only helps to strengthen the already strong foundation the 24,000-plus St. Rita alumni have laid for the future of the school,” said St. Rita President, Mike Zunica.

St. Rita Attends Irish Fellowship Club Reception

By: Hon. John Griffin '69

While the Irish Fellowship Club has been around since 1901, its charitable arm, the Irish Fellowship Club Educational and Cultural Foundation, is celebrating its 40th anniversary of providing grants to Chicagoland parochial high schools. The Foundation held a reception at St. Ignatius High School on October 23, 2017, to recognize this milestone. Since 1972, the Foundation has donated over $2,300,000 to high school scholars.

Presently there are 36 schools receiving grants. Approximately 30 schools were represented at the reception. Irish Fellowship Club president, Chris Kozicki spoke of the challenges facing the Irish when they came to America and the importance of faith and education to them. “Catholic Education was very important to help catholic immigrant’s children become successful in society. Many past and current leaders and members of the IFC have attended many of these great high schools that are here today. Forty years ago, under the direction of President Art Dunne and Don Ryan, the club made a commitment to fund scholarships for children of Irish decent at our local Catholic high schools. Through the years there have been demographic shifts and some schools no longer have children of Irish decent but the IFC is proud to honor our commitment to these schools.” Foundation President, Jack Hartman echoed Kozicki’s theme and emphasized the Irish Fellowship’s commitment to Catholic education and the effect it has had on its graduates.

Mr. Larson, John Griffin '69, Rosemarie Boldt, Mrs. Larson and Ryan Larson '19 recently represented St. Rita by attending the Irish Fellowship Club Reception in honor of the IFC's strong commitment to Catholic education.

Maura Gribble of Mother McAuley, Dan O’Leary of St. Ignatius and Tim Sullivan, a graduate of Marist High School, expressed their gratitude and the impact their grant and Catholic education has had on their lives. The keynote speaker was Mary Dempsey, president of DePaul College Preparatory. Ms. Dempsey pointed out that 79,000 students attend 229 schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The graduation rate is 98% and over one billion dollars of taxpayer money is saved by Catholic education. She joined in thanking the Irish Fellowship Club for its support.