Class of 2019

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Marist High School held its 53rd annual commencement exercises on Thursday, May 23, 2019, sending off an accomplished class of 388 young men and women.

The class valedictorian was National Merit Finalist Ed Stifter (Oak Lawn).  Read his class address here. The salutatorian was Jill Borza (Palos Heights), who offered the opening prayer. Both will attend the University of Notre Dame. Nick Brown (Lansing) was a National Merit Semifinalist, while Jack Brannigan (Orland Park), Rosemary Enright (Morgan Park), Sean Geary (Evergreen Park), Caitlin Ryan (Evergreen Park), Daniel Scarnavack (Palos Heights), and Ryan Vulich (Oak Lawn) were National Merit Commended students. Marist boasted 77 Illinois State Scholars. Marist seniors were leaders on the math team, which finished eighth in state overall. The language department excelled in national exam results and awarded the esteemed Seal of Biliteracy to qualified students. Additionally, the departments offered exchange programs with international Marist schools, allowing students to host students from and travel to Argentina, Italy, and France. Numerous students were named ACT scholars, Advanced Placement Scholars, and received prestigious awards and scholarships. Stifter also scored an impressive 36 on the ACT.

The graduates continued to build Marist’s strong academic reputation. They sent out 2,374 college applications, and were accepted to 323 colleges and universities across the country. Graduates will be on the campuses of Northwestern University, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Notre Dame, The Citadel, West Point, Marquette University, Loyola University, and the University of Illinois at Champaign to name a few.

Seniors received 1,153 scholarships, earning $50,731,766 in scholarship money.  There were four Chick Evans Scholarship recipients—Dan Brennan (Oak Lawn), Sergio Gaona (Archer Heights), Tom Loch (Oak Lawn), and Colleen O’Finn (Orland Park). Josh Peralta (Alsip) will attend the University of Michigan on the prestigious Posse Scholarship, while Jalon Jones (Wrightwood) received the Powers-Knapp Scholarship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Brooke Yurisich (Mt. Greenwood) and Marty Jepsen (Beverly) were selected as the Faculty Award recipients. Voted on by the faculty each year, the award recognizes academic excellence, leadership, and dedication to Marist.

At the heart of their Marist experience was spiritual growth. Members of the class participated in retreats and liturgy planning. Students participated in mission trips to Texas and Florida. Students also planned and executed countless service projects and fundraisers, including spearheading the Relay for Life which raised $43,000 for the American Cancer Society in 2019 alone, and running countless service projects and drives for those in need. More than 100 members of the class were enrolled in the senior service program, providing daily community service to more than 18 area organizations, including Little Company of Mary Hospital, Elim Christian Services, and several nearby Catholic grammar schools.

Athletically, individuals and teams were strong performers. Girls' volleyball repeated as state champion, while boys’ volleyball captured the state title for the first time since 2010. Softball advanced to the state tournament as of print time. Baseball won the sectional title for the first time since 2012. Cheerleading placed second in state for the second straight year. Football advanced to the state semifinal. Wrestling, boys’ track, boys’ golf, girls’ tennis, and girls’ track advanced individuals to state. Teams racked up regional, conference, and sectional titles. Rugby broke into the top 50 teams nationally. Baseball was invited to play at Wrigley Field, while players Jason Hodges (Park Forest) and Kendal Ewell (Calumet City) were drafted by the Cincinnati Reds and the Colorado Rockies, respectively.  Forty-two students will continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level. 

After the bell rang each day, these seniors participated in clubs and activities, sharing their leadership and expertise with the school community. The speech team advanced to the National Catholic Forensic League Grand Tournament in Milwaukee. Members of the school newspaper advanced and placed in the IHSA journalism finals and received national recognition. Student council members planned a variety of events and activities throughout the year. The theater guild produced a fall drama and spring musical to the delight of audiences. The band performed at home and throughout Montreal. Thirteen graduating band members will continue their music careers in college. The broadcasting program grew with bi-weekly news segments and a talk show. 

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Senior Awards were presented to the following students on Friday, May 10:

Honor Name Detail Grammar School Church
Valedictorian Ed Stifter   St. Linus St. Linus
Salutatorian Jillian Borza   St. Alexander St. Alexander
National Merit Finalist Ed Stifter   St. Linus St. Linus
National Merit Semifinalist Nick Brown   Memorial Jr High  St. Ann
National Merit Commended Jack Brannigan   Century Jr High  St. Francis of Assisi
National Merit Commended Rosemary Enright   St. Walter St. Walter
National Merit Commended Sean Geary   Most Holy Redeemer Most Holy Redeemer
National Merit Commended Caitlyn Ryan   Central Jr High  Most Holy Redeemer
National Merit Commended Dan Scarnavack   Independence Our Lady of the Woods
National Merit Commended Ryan Vulich   St. Linus St. Linus
Chick Evans Scholars Daniel Brennan   St. Catherine St. Catherine
Chick Evans Scholars Sergio Gaona   St. Bruno St. Bruno
Chick Evans Scholars Tom Loch   St. Linus St. Linus
Chick Evans Scholars Colleen O'Finn   St. Michael St. Michael
ESCC Scholar Athlete Collin Bartolotta Football/Wrestling St. Michael St. Michael
ESCC Scholar Athlete Jillian Borza Cross Country/Track St. Alexander St. Alexander
ESCC Scholar Athlete Jack Brannigan Baseball Century Jr High  St. Francis of Assisi
ESCC Scholar Athlete Kathleen Canavan Volleyball St. John Fisher St. John Fisher
ESCC Scholar Athlete Maria DiCristina Cross Country  Palos South Our Lady of the Woods
ESCC Scholar Athlete Ayden Domico Football St. Michael St. Michael
ESCC Scholar Athlete Rosemary Enright Tennis St. Walter St. Walter
ESCC Scholar Athlete George Fanelli Football Most Holy Redeemer Most Holy Redeemer
ESCC Scholar Athlete Allison Graff Bowling Queen of Martyrs Queen of Martyrs
ESCC Scholar Athlete Edward Hall  Football/Lacrosse St. Barnabas St. Barnabas
ESCC Scholar Athlete Megan Kelly Cross Country Central Jr High  Most Holy Redeemer
ESCC Scholar Athlete Nora McKeough Swimming/Lacrosse Clissold St. Barnabas
ESCC Scholar Athlete Colleen Murphy Cross Country Cardinal Joseph Bernadin St. Elizabeth Seton
ESCC Scholar Athlete Michael O'Brien Rugby Independence Our Lady of the Woods
ESCC Scholar Athlete Declan Ryan Football St. Michael St. Michael
ESCC Scholar Athlete Dan Scarnavack Wrestling Independence Our Lady of the Woods
ESCC Scholar Athlete Andreina Treto Soccer St. Genevieve St. Linus
ESCC Scholar Athlete Ryan Vulich Golf/Basketball St. Linus St. Linus
ESCC Scholar Athlete Clark Burch-Woodard Soccer St. Walter St. Walter
ESCC Scholar Athlete Angela Zedak Softball St. Daniel the Prophet St. Daniel the Prophet
Perfect Attendance Delaney Dorsch   St. Cajetan St. Cajetan
Perfect Attendance Elizabeth Esparza   Veterans Memorial  St. Benedict
Perfect Attendance Jalon Jones   St. Barnabas St. Bruno
Perfect Attendance Brendan Levins   St. Catherine St. Catherine
Perfect Attendance Denton Martinez   Mt. Greenwood St. Christina
Perfect Attendance Carlos Nevarez   Veterans Memorial  St. Benedict
Perfect Attendance Nicholas Quinn   St. Christina St. Christina
Perfect Attendance Declan Ryan   St. Michael St. Michael
Perfect Attendance Andreina Treto   St. Genevieve St. Linus
Brother Patrick Magee Service Award Delaney Dorsch   St. Cajetan St. Cajetan
Brother Patrick Magee Service Award Sean Rein   St. Michael St. Michael
Institutional Advancement Award Jack Luzzo   St. George St. George
Br. Vito Aresto Achievement Award Dorian Pendleton   Carroll-Rosenwald St. Benedict
Br. Vito Aresto Achievement Award Sawyer Cranston   St. Germaine St. Germaine
Jack Callahan Spirit Award Marty Jepsen   Christ the King Christ the King
Paul Simmons Team Spirit Award Ricardo Vazquez Munoz   Palos South Parkview
Armed Forces Will Shanahan U.S. Military Academy at West Point Century Jr High  St. Francis of Assisi
Armed Forces Kaylee Hughes U.S. Army ROTC Dore  St. Rene
         
Kevin Dowling Scholarship Julia Hetzel   St. Damian  St. Damian
         
BLOCK M AWARDS        
Academic Team Ed Stifter   St. Linus St. Linus
Art Club Solimar Santoyo   Nathan Hale Incarnation
Art National Honor Society Jesse Canchola   St. Symphorosa St. Symphorosa
Band Andreina Treto   St. Genevieve St. Linus
Baseball Brian Ward   Palos South Our Lady of the Woods
Boys' Basketbll Dylan Hill   St. Lawrence O'Toole St. Lawrence O'Toole
Girls' Basketball Abigail Callahan   Most Holy Redeemer Most Holy Redeemer
Bass Fishing Kyle Franks   Byrne St. Symphorosa
Billiards Michael Anderzunas   St. Alexander St. Alexander
1Book 1Marist Terrain Walker   Central Park New Philadephia
Boys' Bowling Team Jerome Quebbeman   OLHMS St. Germaine
Girls' Bowling Team Alyssa Lang   Independence Our Lady of the Woods
Boxing George Madaras   St. Alexander St. Alexander
Cheerleading Anna Frieling   Independence Parkview 
Chorus Anna Simmons   Parker Jr. High Infant Jesus of Prague
Boys' Cross Country Colin Tracy   St. Christina St. Christina
Girls' Cross Country Jillian Borza   St. Alexander St. Alexander
EVOLVE Club Brendan Jordan   Veterans Memorial True House of Refuge
Explore Program Sean Giltmier   St. Christina St. Christina
Fencing Liam Law   St. Alexander St. Alexander
Fine Arts Georgia Lattas   Koraes SS. Constantine & Helen
Football Billy Skalitzky   Most Holy Redeemer Most Holy Redeemer
French Club Emma Brown   St. Barnabas St. Barnabas
French National Honor Society Elizabeth Lopez   St. Nicholas of Tolentine St. Nicholas of Tolentine
Boys' Golf Team Matthew Delisi   St. Linus St. Linus
Girls' Golf Team Madeline Thompson   St. John Fisher St. John Fisher
Hockey Michael Bober   St. Christina St. Christina
Boys' Lacrosse Nicholas Rubino   St. Cajetan St. Cajetan
Girls' Lacrosse Cecelia Schickel   St. Cajetan St. Cajetan
Marist Youth Brooke Yurisich   St. Christina St. Christina
Math Team Courteney Schulz   Independence St. Alexander
Mock Trial Miles Griffin   St. Barnabas Oakdale Covenant
Model UN  Ryan Dunphy   St. Michael St. Michael
National Honor Society Kristen Kolp   St. Barnabas St. Barnabas
Orchesis Margaret O'Gorman   Cardinal Joseph Bernardin St. Francis of Assisi
Poms  Cassie O'Brien   Central Jr High  Most Holy Redeemer
Pro-Life Club Reagan Rayl   Queen of Martyrs Queen of Martyrs
Rugby Michael O'Brien   Independence Our Lady of the Woods
SADD Sean Giltmier   St. Christina St. Christina
Science Cassandra Lindmark   George Washington St. Louise de Marillac
Sentinel Georgia Lattas   Koraes SS. Constantine & Helen
Boys' Soccer Patrick Clancy   Independence Our Lady of the Woods
Girls' Soccer Annie Callaghan   Century Jr High St. Francis of Assisi
Softball Angela Zedak   St. Daniel the Prophet St. Daniel the Prophet
Spanish National Honor Society Andreina Treto   St. Genevieve St. Linus
Speech & Acting Team Kristen Kolp   St. Barnabas St. Barnabas
Stage Crew Caitlyn Ryan   Central Jr High  Most Holy Redeemer
Student Ambassadors Alexander Giblin   Jerling Jr High St. Francis of Assisi
Student Council Rocky Mayer   St. Michael St. Michael
Swimming Molly Sullivan   Queen of Martyrs Queen of Martyrs
Technology James Kavanaugh   St. Catherine St. Catherine
Boys' Tennis Jeremiah Joyce   St. Barnabas St. Barnabas
Girls' Tennis Karina Joyce   St. Barnabas St. Barnabas
Theater Guild  Faith Fisler   Sutherland St. Barnabas
Boys' Track & Field Kendric Nowling   Murray Language Academy Salem
Girls' Track & Field Whitney Melancon   Central Jr High  New Life
Ultimate Frisbee Steven Komperda   Simmons Middle School Our Lady of the Ridge
Boys' Volleyball Brendan Chausse   St. Christina St. Christina
Girls' Volleyball Mattie McCabe   St. Catherine St. Catherine
Wrestling Michael Leveille   Mt. Greenwood St. Christina
Yearbook Kaylee Hughes   Dore St. Rene