23 Seniors Recently Named Illinois State Scholars



Illinois applauds success of 23 St. Rita of Cascia High School students

St. Rita of Cascia Principal, Mr. Brendan Conroy, is pleased to announce that twenty-three St. Rita students have been recognized as 2012-13 Illinois State Scholars.

The prestigious award, given annually by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), recognized 17,515 high school students from across the state as this year’s State Scholars.

Illinois State Scholar winners rank in the top ten percent of high school seniors from 773 different high schools across the state. Selection is based on SAT, ACT and/or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of the junior year. High school guidance counselors work in conjunction with ISAC to determine the winners.

St. Rita students include:  Cody J. Akel (Evergreen Park, Central JHS), Christopher J. Ciciora (Chicago-Mt. Greenwood, St. Christina) David W. Ciciora (Chicago-Mt. Greenwood, St. Christina), Joseph P. Dorken (Chicago-Ashburn, St. Germaine), Anthony G. Gleason (Oak Lawn, St. Gerald), Jacob R. Golding (Palos Park, Palos South Middle School), Devereux Hall (Chicago-Marquette Park, St. Walter), William T. Henry (Orland Park, Jerling JHS), Connor B. Hughes (Burbank, St. Albert the Great), Martin J. Kelly (Chicago-Mt. Greenwood, St. Christina), Max Kurucar (Oak Lawn, Oak Lawn Hometown Middle School), Matthew R. Marciano (Chicago-Morgan Park, St. Walter), Mark T. Murphy (Burbank, St. Albert the Great), Michael J. Murphy (Evergreen Park, Central JHS), Michael R. Prado (Chicago-Westlawn, St. Mary Star of the Sea), Kevin L. Regnier (Chicago-Beverly, St. John Fisher), John E. Reynolds (Chicago-Beverly, Cajetan), Craig T. Sabath (Chicago-Brighton Park, Bridgeport Catholic Academy), Peter M. Vanek (Oak Lawn, St. Gerald), Theodore J. Verdun (Homer Glen, Homer JHS), Zachary B. Wagner (Chicago-Mt. Greenwood, St. Christina), Kevin J. Zawaski (Oak Lawn, St. Germaine), and Michael L. Zunica (Palos Park, St. Alexander.)

“Illinois State Scholars represent the best in educational excellence in Illinois,” said John Sinsheimer, ISAC Interim Executive Director. “The Commission applauds their success and salutes their families and the teachers at St. Rita of Cascia on this achievement.”

While the prestigious recognition does not include a monetary award, recipients are encouraged to cite the honor on applications for college admission and scholarships in addition to completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1 to determine eligibility for federal and state aid, including Illinois’ $420 million need-based Monetary Award Program (MAP).

“Each of twenty-three St. Rita students should take pride in their accomplishment and what it says about their commitment to academic attainment,” Sinsheimer concluded.

St. Rita Principal, Mr. Brendan Conroy added, “As a school, we are incredibly proud of these senior students.  They demonstrate day in and day out what it means to be a Ritaman--a man of Truth.  Their diligence in school and dedication to their studies shows a great maturity and foresight on their part.  Because of their hard work, doors for college opportunities will be open to them.  I thank them for their academic leadership at St. Rita of Cascia.”

Originally formed as the Illinois State Scholarship Commission in 1957, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission provides students of all ages and backgrounds with the resources and support to obtain financial aid for higher education. A state agency, ISAC has paved the path to postsecondary education with innovative programs for over 50 years. In academic year 2010, the commission helped make college accessible and affordable for Illinois students by administering over 199,000 grants and scholarships totaling over $429 million. More than a half million Illinois State Scholars have been recognized by ISAC since the program’s inception.

The Commission provides educational funding via numerous programs such as the Monetary Award Program (MAP), the Illinois Veteran Grant Program and various other grant, scholarship, loan repayment and prepaid tuition programs. Students and families have free access to a wealth of financial aid and college planning information at ISAC’s family of websites available at www.collegeillinois.org.