Tom Skalitzky’s dedication to Catholic education started as a child watching his parents, Tom and Judy, sacrifice to send their eight children to Catholic grade school, high school, and college. “That same sacrifice provides the foundation from which my wife, Patti, and I have raised our family,” Tom explained. “We have six children (Tom ’08, Owen ’09, Michael ‘11, Brendan ’16, Billy ’19, and Sarah) who all attended Most Holy Redeemer Grammar School and have or will attend Marist High School.”
From a young age his parents instilled in him the value of Catholic faith. “Our Catholic upbringing has helped us navigate through life and has helped us through the challenges life has thrown our way,” Tom explained. “To be able to get this [faith formation] not only in the home but to have it reinforced in the school setting is invaluable.”
Tom credits the Marist Brothers, teachers, and counselors in playing an important role in shaping who he am today. “I have so many tremendous memories from Marist it’s hard to pinpoint just one,” he said. “I truly believe that Marist has shaped me into the person I have become. And now as a parent, I have watched how Marist has shaped my boys into the young men they have become. I look forward to having my only daughter at Marist next year and am anxious to witness the experience through the eyes of a girl. I am so grateful to Marist for what they have given our family and am beyond happy to help support Marist in any way I can so that other families can experience all that Marist has to offer.”
A four year football player and two season wrestler, Tom also participated in Marist’s Canadian Boundary Waters (Quetico) canoe trips during the summer. “I still have my wooden canoe oar, notched for every lunker fish I caught,” Tom said. “It was participating in these activities where I cemented life-long friendships with not only teammates and classmates, but also with Marist coaches, faculty, and staff.”
His involvement with Marist did not end with graduation. Tom served on the Marist school board from 2004 to 2010. He also chaired the school’s first phone-a-thon committee for several years. Tom is also very involved in activities at Most Holy Redeemer (MHR) parish and school, serving as a board member of the school’s Athletic Association for more than 14 years, including as treasurer and secretary. He also currently serves as president of the MHR Men’s Club. In 2014, Tom was awarded the MHR Martin B. Duffy outstanding achievement award for the many years of service to the young men of the school’s football program.
Tom and Patti feel blessed to have their children attend Marist. “We have been overwhelmed by the sense of family and community that exists at Marist High School,” he said. Tom notes the friendships and dedicated teachers in and out of the classroom. “Our kids have celebrated some of the highest times in their lives as well as have faced the greatest of life’s sorrows in their years at Marist, and they have been embraced by the Marist community through all of it. As a parent we could never be more thankful for what Marist has been and has given to our children. So much of their success and future successes is due to their years at Marist.”
Much of the reason Tom has given time to Marist and MHR is to ensure Catholic education is accessible and has long term stability. “As the world around us continues to change and to challenge our children, they need a foundation of faith and values to lean on,” he said. “There is no better place to get that foundation than through Catholic education.” Tom explained that providing children with a strong community and a place where they feel that they belong and are encouraged to grow in knowledge and service and faith will allow them to become successful adults who hopefully will in turn do the same for the next generation. “The rewards certainly make the financial sacrifice worthwhile.”
After graduating from Marist, Tom attended Marquette University with his bachelor’s degree in Accounting. In 2000, he earned an MBA in Finance from Loyola University - Chicago. His career has brought him through a variety of financial related positions, starting with Waste Management. In 1999, he joined the law firm of Grippo & Elden, which combined operations with Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP in 2015. Tom is the Senior Director of Accounting Operations.
In his free time, Tom and his family enjoy time in Sister Lakes, Mich., or Twin Lakes, Wis. He is also dedicated to recording his kids’ games, and they enjoy reviewing the highlights as a family.
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