Chicago, IL – St. Rita High School Principal Brendan Conroy is pleased to announce that 19 St. Rita High School students from the graduating class of 2015 have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), the state agency committed to helping to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois families, bestows this prestigious recognition to top Illinois high school students annually. This year, over 18,800 elite honorees join the other top state students honored for their academic achievements since the designation was first introduced in 1958.
Illinois State Scholars represent approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors, hailing from 671 different high schools across the state. Selection is based on SAT, ACT or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of the junior year. High school guidance counselors work with ISAC to determine the winners.
The following St. Rita High School students were named 2015 Illinois State Scholars:
- Nicholas Argy (St. Gabriel)
- Martin Bechina (St. John Fisher)
- John Coughlan (Christ the King)
- Matthew Felmon (St. Catherine of Alexandria)
- Andrew Gardner (Palos South Middle School/Our Lady of the Woods Parish)
- Jeremy Glowacki (Our Lady of the Ridge)
- Martin Goldrick (Clissold School/St. Cajetan Parish)
- Connor Healy (St. Cajetan)
- Jackson Heise (Our Lady of the Ridge)
- Dylan Helstern (Oak Lawn/Hometown Middle School
- Sean Hughes (St. Albert the Great)
- Timothy McCarthy (St. John Fisher)
- Darren O’Hanlon (Summit Hill Junior High/St. Anthony Parish)
- Joseph O’Sullivan (St. Catherine of Alexandria)
- Jose Palomo (St. Gerald)
- John Regnier (St. John Fisher)
- Thomas Schofield (Mount Greenwood School/Queen of Martyrs)
- Daniel Smith (St. Christina)
- Austin Tiernan (St. Catherine of Alexandria)
“It is with great pride that we announce this year’s group of Illinois State Scholars,” said Eric Zarnikow, ISAC Executive Director. “In addition to congratulating our State Scholars for their commitment and hard work, we also want to commend their parents, teachers, coaches and mentors for helping these students achieve their goals. It really does take a village.”
Zarnikow continued, “ISAC wishes all of the scholars at St. Rita High School the best as they pursue their future education and careers.”
While this distinguished recognition does not include a monetary prize, recipients are encouraged to cite the honor on applications for college admission and scholarships. In addition, students are urged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1st. The FAFSA determines eligibility for federal and state aid, including Illinois’ need-based Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant, as well as for many forms of aid offered through colleges.
A calendar of free financial aid and college access events, including FAFSA completion workshops to assist students and families with the form, is available on ISAC’s website, www.ISAC.org. Students can visit the agency’s website for a wealth of additional financial aid and college planning information and tools, as well as applications for grants and scholarships administered by ISAC. In addition, students can find out how to access free one-on-one assistance and mentoring in the college-going process.