During an early-season snow storm, St. Rita High School prepared for one of the most important days of the year--the Andrew Smialek '08 Award presentation and Mass.
On Sunday, November 22, 2015, 45 eighth graders and their families packed a warm and welcoming St. Rita Shrine Chapel. Fr. Steve Curry, O.S.A. celebrated the Mass. President Mr. Ernie Mrozek '71, Principal Mr. Brendan Conroy, Faculty Members Ms. Martha Dion and Mr. Josh Blaszak and St. Rita's National Honor Society students all were on hand to help present the awards to the students.
The Andrew Smialek award recognizes young men of exceptional caliber with great potential for the future.
Andy was a St. Rita student who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma before his freshman year at St. Rita; but he persevered through his illness and medical treatments with love and support his family at home and his St. Rita family. He has been described as the "epitome of a Ritaman" by those who knew him well. He studied hard, played football and was a true gentleman.
Andrew Smialek '08 Award winners are outstanding, both academically and in extracurriculars. They show strong involvement in school activities and give evidence of having strength of character, creativity and initiative. They have the ability to influence others, and a sense of responsibility and self-discipline. Smialek Award winners are people who will help enrich the religious fabric of the high school they choose to attend, especially by helping to create a robust sense of community.
St. Rita of Cascia High School honors the young men who are presented this Award because their lives reflect the core values of the Augustinians - caritas (love), unitas (unity) and veritas (truth). We recognize the young men for their pursuit of excellence in academics, athletics, and activities and for their commitment to spirituality. This is what St. Augustine challenged students to do.
Young men applied for the Award from grammar schools from the south side of Chicago and surrounding suburbs. The quality of all the applicants was exceptional. The selection process was difficult, and in the end 45 of these young men were named winners of the Smialek Award for 2015.
To this year's Smialek Award recipients, we wish you success as you begin your high school education. You have proven to be young men of outstanding leadership and achievement. We at St. Rita salute you.