The Ritaman then took a walking tour of the neighborhood and saw many murals, ate lunch at "Los Comales", and ended at churro factory for hot churros. It was a cultural and educational field trip all in one!
St. Rita French 4 Honors and Spanish 4 Honors classes were assigned a Famous Person project or "Persona Famosa/Célébrité". Students needed to present in target language (French or Spanish) about the lives of a Spanish or French famous person. Some of these famous people are artists, designers, athletes, writers, politicians, historical figures. Colleen Earley stated, “It was an opportunity to ‘co-teach’ in two different foreign languages. It also gave our students the opportunity to teach one other in a different foreign language.”
By: Ed Leiser '04
Four years ago, Nick LoMaglio ’04 had a simple idea - how can we give our students the tools they need to be successful in college and beyond?
Known simply as the “ABC’s Program" (Professional ABCs: Advice Beyond the Classroom), it has become an important staple of the St. Rita experience for many students.
The mission of the Advice Beyond the Classroom program (a nonprofit organization focused on professional development education) is simple: To “manufacture luck.” Nick and his team instruct Ritamen that luck occurs when preparation meets opportunity; this program is designed to help students establish the foundation of their future professional success.
The program, established in 2014, is now a networking giant featuring over 75 alumni, 50+ mentors and advisors and 25 current students in the sophomore, junior and senior classes. Nick LoMaglio, a St. Rita board member and father of four, has assembled an All-Star team of St. Rita faculty, board of directors members, and various outside parties in the business, financial and marketing sectors.
The program is competitive, both in gaining entry and in sustaining success. To obtain a position in the ABC’s program, a student completes a rigorous application and must receive recommendations from St. Rita teachers and staff. If awarded a position, the members of the program are ranked throughout the year and meet on Monday mornings at 6:45 a.m. (even though the school day officially begins at 8:30 a.m.).
Students are offered a core curriculum of professional skills such as the art of small talk, time management, teaming, etc. Students are ranked and scored on team and individual activities and treat the ABC’s program like any other at St. Rita.
For the hardest-working and most dedicated students, there are significant rewards and advantages that can be achieved. Some of these opportunities include college scholarships, networking opportunities, off-site trips to local investment firms, marketing agencies, and manufacturing firms. In years past, groups have visited the Chicago White Sox, Baker-Tilly Accounting Firm and JB Industries, to name a few.
On May 9, Mr. LoMaglio and the ABC’s board of directors held their annual awards dinner with a crowd of 150 in attendance in St. Rita’s Dining Hall. Current college students (and St. Rita/ABC’s alumni) were on-hand to speak to the audience, as well as the current students in the program. The current students spoke on what they learned this year, including how to network, the importance of staying persistent, relationship building, teamwork and efficient communication.
Several students received recognition, including sophomore Connor Earley (Christ the King), who gained automatic entry into next year’s ABC’s class.
Junior Michael Henze (Everest Academy, Lemont) was named Managing Partner for the 2018-19 school year and will work with Nick one-on-one to develop course curriculum and layout and topics for the class to address.
Senior Liam Connolly (St. Barnabas) was the top winner for the year, earning a $2,000 scholarship along the way, which he’ll take to Kansas University next year.
As mentioned above, members of the ABC program also work together as teams and are scored based on performance of team-based activities and competitions. The top scoring team this year was Team Amazon and was awarded a week-long externship this summer with Mr. LoMaglio. Team members consisted of seniors Steve Viz and Jake Zylman, juniors Chris Bruglio, Stedmon Ihejirika and Kyle Somrek, and sophomores Earley and Josh Joiner.
The week-long externship experience consists of a rotational program that will give them exposure to some of the top Chicago area businesses.
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 teacher Dave Conrath (Hon.) Additional support comes from many sources, including Mrs. Ann Berzin, Mr. Bernie DelGiornio (Hon.), Mr. Brendan Duffy ’12, and Mr. Teddy McDermott ’16.
A main goal of the ABC Program—and of Nick’s personally—is to help young Ritamen find their career path and discover success. ABC’s professional development curriculum will give our students a leg-up on many of their competitors in college and the professional world. The real-life experience and skills being taught truly do go “beyond the classroom” at St. Rita.
A sincere “Thank you” to all involved!
For more information on the Advice Beyond the Classroom program, please visit their web site at: www.advicebeyondtheclassroom.org
By: John Nee '93
In 1975, St. Rita had an all-male faculty made up of several priests and brothers along with lay teachers and coaches, but that year it all changed as Ms. Sue Whooley was hired as the first female teacher in St. Rita of Cascia High School history. As difficult as it may have been at the time being the only female in an all-male community, her courage and determination paved the way for many other women to follow in her path in making St. Rita what it has become today.
At the conclusion of the 2017-2018 academic year, Mrs. Sue Krystof will officially retire from her position in the science department at St. Rita, ending a tenure that has lasted off and on for over 40 years.
In 1986, Krystof, with the blessing of St. Rita Principal Fr. Flach, decided to leave St. Rita to have children, of which she would eventually have three. After a short stint at Moraine Valley from 1989-1993, she returned to St. Rita in 1993 until now.
St. Rita has been a family affair for the Krystofs with Sue’s husband Don completing two stints in the science department at St. Rita (1981-1988, 2008-2012). She also lists as her greatest privilege the opportunity to teach both of her sons, St. Rita grads Leo ’04 and Don ’06. While her daughter Emily (Queen of Peace Class of ’05) was not able to attend St. Rita for obvious reasons, she did share in the family Augustinian experience by graduating from Villanova University in 2009.
Mrs. Krystof is very grateful for everything St. Rita has done for her and her family through the years. She is grateful to all of her family and friends, including her parents Tom and Anne Whooley, who supported her going all the way back to the beginning of her career. She is thankful to all the past and present St. Rita teachers that she has been able to share great experiences with for all these years like seeing so many St. Rita grads become positive influences in the community. She shares in the successes of her former students who have become doctors, chemistry majors, engineering majors, policemen, and firemen, among other things. She also lists the fact that she has taught so many father-son combinations of St. Rita grads through the years as something for which she is exceptionally proud. St. Rita recognized Krystof in 2015 as she was inducted into the St. Rita Hall of Fame for her many years of exceptional service and for her courage in becoming the first female faculty member at the school.
To those of us who know her best -- her friends, colleagues, and former students --we will miss her out-going personality, her genuine smile, and even her stories that at times seem to go on and on and on. St. Rita will be losing a great woman at the end of this school year. Someone who will not be easily replaced, but as they say, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!
Thank you Mrs. Sue Krystof for everything YOU have done for St. Rita, and for the countless number of lives you have touched over the past 40 years!
By: Mike Swanson
A trebuchet is a type of catapult that uses a swinging arm to throw a projectile. At 7740 S. Western Ave, those projectiles are simply tennis balls, instead of the more dangerous projectiles you might see on the battlefield in centuries long ago. St. Rita High School’s senior engineering class could tell you much more about trebuchets, as they recently built their own from scratch in preparation of the annual trebuchet competition.
The spring weather could not have been more perfect on the afternoon of Thursday, May 10 for the competition on St. Rita’s expansive North Lawn, tucked along stretch of tidy Queen Anne-Style and Georgian houses. Eight teams formed from Matt Petrich’s engineering class gathered for the competition. Several faculty and staff members were also on hand to watch the competition and cheer on the student engineers.
Teams were given one practice shot. After the practice shot they were able to place a small target on the ground anywhere from 30-60 feet from the catapult. Once the target was in place teams tried to hit the target. They were given two more shots. The team coming closest to the small target on one of their tries was to be the winner.
All the students successfully completed their trebuchet projects and competition, and certainly had fun during the process. They even named their trebuchets. In second place was the “TrebuBeast” team formed by Mike Mitchell, Tyler Cichy and Dave Gleaves. The first place team was “iMacBeth” built by Ozzie Gutierrez, Tyler Franco, and Ryan Caufield.
The Class of 2019 is already looking forward to next year's competition!