St. Rita Earns Top-Ranked Catholic School Finish In STEM Competition

On Thursday, October 3rd, St. Rita sent six teams (comprised of four students each) to compete in the inaugural IBEW-NECA STEM competition, hosted by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - Local 134 and co-sponsored by Northwestern University. St. Rita students performed exceptionally well, and St. Rita took home 3rd Place overall honors and was the top-ranked Catholic school in the competition.

Overall, 40 teams competed from 10 high schools in the Chicagoland area. The competing schools were:  St. Rita, Downers Grove North, Maine East, Stagg, Lockport, Downers Grove South, Andrew, Chicago Agriculture of Science, Brother Rice and St. Laurence. St. Rita’s top-ranked team scored 292.5 points which was just five points away from first place. The top-ranked St. Rita team consisted of seniors Nick Adent (Mt. Greenwood), Justin Darwin (St. Christina), Ryan Fidler (St. Barnabas) and junior Eric Seo (Lakeview Junior High). They went by the name of “Team Ric”.

St. Rita’s other teams placed very well, too.  Team members include:

  • Team Pangrazio: (named after Department Chair, Mrs. Maureen Pangrazio): Junior Brian Deenihan, Junior Noah O’Grady, Junior Mike Gaughan, Junior DJ Luckett

  • Team Mustangs: Junior Quincy Sanders, Junior Jesus Flores, Junior Saul Garcia, Junior Nick O’Neill

  • Team “Todd Father”: (named after Science Teacher, Mr. Todd Kuska ’90): Senior Pat Cranley, Senior Jake Kuska, Senior Chris Cherullo, Senior Connor Earley

  • Team #StangGang: Senior Tito Reyes-Binfa, Senior Justin Rosenau, Senior Peter Viz, Junior Evan Schoenberger

  • Team Two-Star Athletes: Senior Jimmy Larkin, Senior Brendan Breslin, Senior Luke Manning, Senior Evan Wojcicki

 The competition consisted of three phases for all teams to complete, and these were timed events that tested not only getting the work done, but also stressed time management. 

Phase One was Residential Load Analysis, where competitors had to collect energy consumption data from appliance and equipment specification sheets. As the teams began Phase One, Phase Two was announced: Solar Photovoltaic Equipment Selection. This phase required teams to evaluate the power-producing system equipment and examine solar PV modules, record data and perform calculations. 

Phase Three, the final test of the competition, was Practical Application of PV System Design. There, teams had to assess the physical area where the PV systems would be mounted and finalize their choices of solar PV equipment by applying their calculations of available space to their equipment options.

After all was said and done, St. Rita’s “Team Ric” was in 3rd place overall among the 40 teams there with their 292.5 points. St. Rita also had another team score 279 points, which was also more than any other Catholic school.

Senior Ryan Fidler, St. Rita Student Government President and member of the St. Rita Band said that the competition “was nothing like I thought it would be, but we absolutely loved it.  The entire day was cool…we felt we learned a lot.”

Of the 24 Ritamen who participated, they represented a total of 10 sports, and over 20 different clubs and student activities groups, which showcased the overall balance of our St. Rita students.

All participants received a ticket to a Northwestern Wildcats football game, and St. Rita’s 3rd Place overall team received tape measurers as their take-home prize. 

This competition was the latest example of St. Rita’s new partnership with the Local 134 Electrical Union, based out of Alsip.  Earlier in the school year, St. Rita students visited Local 134 for a full day of activities, hands-on learning and demonstrations by the staff and workers of Local 134.  St. Rita also plans to launch partnerships with other trades in the coming year and continues to seek options for our students in our College Prep-Plus curriculum.

The competition was certainly one to remember for our students and was another great event in what’s been an amazing start to our 115th year of educating some of the finest young men on the south side of Chicago.



St. Rita To Get Fitness Center After Receiving $2.5 Million Gift

St. Rita High School plans to break ground on a new fitness center Friday, thanks to a $2.5 million gift.

The pledged donation came from Bernard DelGiorno, first vice president of investments for UBS Financial Services. In the past, DelGiorno has made big donations to the University of Chicago.

In recognition of his gift, the all-boys Catholic high school at 7740 S. Western Ave. will officially be now located on the Bernard J. DelGiorno Campus. The school's name, however, will remain St. Rita.

St. Rita High School's Mrozek Family Fitness Center

St. Rita High School's Mrozek Family Fitness Center

Aside from a new fitness center, the money will be used for resurfacing the gym floor and improving the baseball complex. A portion of the gift — $800,000 — also will be used to boost the school's endowment, St. Rita's President Michael Zunica said.

"We really feel good about our facility here. But we always thought we had a phenomenal house with a bad basement in terms of the weight room," Zunica said Wednesday.

Construction of the 6,000-square-foot fitness center is expected to be complete when students return from summer break Aug. 17, Zunica said. The fitness center will be named for Ernie Mrozek, a 1971 St. Rita graduate and who served as the school's president for five years until Zunica was named to the post in 2016.

St. Rita Earns High Ranking from Niche

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Chicago is a world-class city. City residents and suburbanites enjoy first-rate amenities. Not only does Chicago have unrivaled architecture, museums and diversity, it also has some of the best Catholic High Schools in the nation. The opportunity of a lifetime awaits eighth graders on Saturday, December 2--high school entrance exam day in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

It seems this new date, earlier than in past years, has left many eighth grade students still undecided on what high school is the best fit for them. Luckily, with all the quality Catholic High School choices available to students on the South Side of Chicago, it's hard to go wrong.

Many parents reported that Niche and its rankings helped them weigh their high school options.

This past year, Niche* released a new list of Top-Ranked Chicago Southland High Schools.

On that list, St. Rita of Cascia High School is the top-ranked all-boys Catholic school in the Chicago Southland. St. Rita also captures the the #2-ranked spot on the Chicago Southland best-overall Catholic school list. 

St. Rita comes in at #8 overall when compared to all 67 Catholic high schools in the entire State of Illinois.

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St. Rita earned an "A+" overall Niche** grade. The Mustangs also earned an "A+" in Academics and Clubs & Activities, an "A" in the College Preparation, and an "A-" in the Teacher category.

St. Rita also received a very respectable grade of "B+" in Sports and a "B" in Diversity. When reviewing St. Rita's profile, you'll see it continues to set the high-water mark among it's peers.

To learn more about St. Rita, please contact our admissions team at (773) 925-RITA. We invite you to take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime and test at St. Rita on Saturday, December 2 at 8:00 a.m. 

* According to its website, Niche rigorously analyzes dozens of public data sets and millions of reviews to produce comprehensive rankings, report cards, and profiles for every K-12 school, college, and neighborhood in the U.S. Further, Niche states it has the most comprehensive data available on U.S. schools and neighborhoods. Further, according to, the best Catholic high school rankings are based on statistics, student and parent reviews, and expert insights. Ranking factors include SAT/ACT scores, the quality of colleges that students consider, student-teacher ratio, student and parent reviews, and more.

St. Rita Welcomes WCIU, The U's Morning Show in anticipation of tonight's Game of the Week

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St. Rita High School was featured today on WCIU, The U’s morning show, The Jam.  The show’s man about town, Jon Hansen spent the morning with the St. Rita Marching Band and St. Rita cheerleaders in anticipation of tonight’s WCIU, The U Game of the Week – the much anticipated St. Rita vs. Mount Carmel matchup.

Check out the footage on the Jam's Facebook Page.

If you can’t make it to the game, you can watch it on the U-Too!  The varsity game will air on the U-Too at 7:30 pm. Viewers can find The U Too on WCIU-TV 26.2, XFINITY 230/360, RCN 35, Dish 48, AT&T U-verse 24 and WOW 107.

Or, come out to the game, stay for the party and then watch the replay this weekend! All St. Rita fans, adults, and friends are encouraged and invited to attend the Oktoberfest event after the game ends. There will be great food, refreshments, and music for all!  

Encore broadcasts of the game can be seen Saturday at 6 PM and Sunday at 9 AM over on WMEU 48.2, Comcast 359, RCN 32 and WOW 184!

Go Rita Go!

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Russell Excited For Opportunity As St. Rita A.D.

Just seven years removed from graduating from St. Rita, Roshawn Russell '08 returned to his alma mater in 2015 as the school’s assistant admissions director.

He admits it was a little weird, but pretty cool, to see the school from the faculty’s perspective.

Now, Russell is seeing St. Rita from another point of view.

A 2008 graduate, Russell is in his first year as St. Rita athletic director.

“It’s been cool being on the other side of the fence. It’s weird at the same time being back at my high school,” Russell said with a laugh. “I definitely feel prepared with the years I spent in college. It prepared me for this moment. I’m really humbled. This is that dream job I never saw coming.”