Class of 2021

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Marist High School held its 55th annual commencement exercises on Friday, May 21, 2021, sending off an accomplished class of 376 young men and women.

The class valedictorian was National Merit Finalist Colin Dillon who addressed the class.  The salutatorian was Caitlin McGrath, who offered the opening prayer. Learn more about the two graduates here.  Thomas Kavanaugh was also a National Merit Finalist and IHSA All Academic Team member while Jack Vulich was a National Merit Commended student. Marist boasted 50 Illinois State Scholars, representing the top 10% of seniors in the state.  Numerous students were named ACT scholars, Advanced Placement Scholars, and received prestigious awards and scholarships. 

The graduates continued to build Marist’s strong academic reputation. They sent out 2,393 college applications to 354 colleges and universities across the country. Graduates will be on the campuses of Princeton University, University of Notre Dame, Marquette University, Loyola University, and the University of Illinois at Champaign, The Ohio State University, University of Iowa, University of California, and University of Kansas to name a few.

The Faculty Award, which is voted on by Marist teachers, honors students who embody the ideals of a Marist graduate in faith, service, and academics, and was given to Kaylen Baker, Jack Harmon, and Sarah Hughes.

Sarah Hughes, Cesar Gaona, Daniel Gillerlain, Josiah Harris, and Ryan Rosenberg were awarded the Chick Evans Scholarship. Class members garnered more than $51 million in college scholarships. 

Class members Nick Vallie and Ed Carroll will enlist in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines, respectively. 

At the heart of their Marist experience was spiritual growth. While some programs were curtailed due to the pandemic, the class participated in grade level retreats throughout their four years, service projects, and liturgical celebrations and Sacraments. 

Athletically, individuals and teams were strong performers. Teams garnered conference, regional, sectional, and state titles. Forty-three 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. Marist seniors were leaders on the math team, which finished seventh in state overall. Members of the school newspaper advanced and placed in the IHSA journalism finals, with PJ Cunningham being named Marist's first state champion journalist. 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, even when they had to go virtual. The band performed and chorus continued to perform despite the challenges and produced their latest spring concert.  

Check out photos from graduation. 

Award Graduate Detail Grade School
Valedictorian    Colin Dillon   St. Catherine of Alexandria
Salutatorian     Caitlyn McGrath   St. Germaine
Medal for Excellence in English Colin Dillon   St. Catherine of Alexandria
Next in Merit, English Maeve Prendergast   Sutherland 
Medal for Excellence in Fine Arts Mariel Benavidez   Annunciata
Next in Merit, Fine Arts Clare Dennehy   St. Cajetan
Medal for Excellence in Mathematics Caitlin McGrath   St. Germaine
Next in Merit, Mathematics Thomas Kavanaugh   St. Catherine of Alexandria
Medal for Excellence in Performing Arts Matthew Warakomski   St. Barnabas
Next in Merit, Performing Arts Sarah Rose Ramirez   St. John Fisher
Medal for Excellence in Religious Studies Ashley Helwig   Summit Hill Jr. High
Next in Merit, Religious Studies Luke Schuler   Mokena Jr. High 
Medal for Excellence in Science Caitlin McGrath   St. Germaine
Next in Merit, Science Mia Norris   St. John Fisher
Medal for Excellence in Social Studies Mckenzie Stack   St. Christina
Next in Merit, Social Studies Mia Norris   St. John Fisher
Medal for Excellence in Technology Basileios Oikonomou   Koraes
Next in Merit, Technology Tyler Hinkes   St. Michael
Medal for Excellence in World Language Julissa Avalos   St. Bede
Next in Merit, World Language Una Fortier   St. Barnabas
Faculty Award Kaylen Baker   Christ Our Savior
Faculty Award Sarah Hughes   Queen of Martyrs
Faculty Award Jack Harmon   Most Holy Redeemer
National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Students Jack Vulich   St. Linus
National Merit Scholarship Program Finalists  Colin Dillon   St. Catherine of Alexandria
National Merit Scholarship Program Finalists  Thomas Kavanaugh   St. Catherine of Alexandria
Chick Evans Scholarship    Cesar Gaona   St. Bruno
Chick Evans Scholarship    Daniel Gillerlain   St. John Fisher
Chick Evans Scholarship    Josiah Harris   St. Margaret of Scotland
Chick Evans Scholarship    Sarah Hughes   Queen of Martyrs
Chick Evans Scholarship    Ryan Rosenberg   Most Holy Redeemer
Brother Patrick Magee Service Award          James Luzzo   St. George
Brother Vito Aresto Achievement Award       Kayla Ivy   Morgan Park Academy
Brother Vito Aresto Achievement Award       Angel Ortiz, Jr.    Kolmar
Jack Callahan Spirit Award Jack Harmon   Most Holy Redeemer
Coach Jack Roche Managerial Scholarship Award Ethan Bednarczyk   St. Christopher
Military Enlistee Edward Carroll U.S. Marines Mt. Greenwood
Military Enlistee Nicholas Vallie U.S. Navy Yorkville Academy
IHSA All State Academic Team Thomas Kavanaugh   St. Catherine of Alexandria
ESCC Scholar Athlete Thomas Murrihy Basketball St. Alexander
ESCC Scholar Athlete Sydney Affolter Basketball St. Christina
ESCC Scholar Athlete Bridey Regan Cheerleading Most Holy Redeemer
ESCC Scholar Athlete Kevin Bugos Cross Country/Track Cardinal Bernardin
ESCC Scholar Athlete Thomas Kavanaugh Cross Country/Track St. Catherine of Alexandria
ESCC Scholar Athlete Benjamin Reidy Golf Independence Jr. High
ESCC Scholar Athlete John (Jack) O'Connell Football St. Francis Xavier
ESCC Scholar Athlete Nicholas Thompson Hockey St. John Fisher
ESCC Scholar Athlete Lily Dorsch Lacrosse St. Cajetan
ESCC Scholar Athlete Mia Norris  Poms St. John Fisher
ESCC Scholar Athlete Molly Patula Poms St. Michael
ESCC Scholar Athlete Maeve Prendergast Poms Sutherland 
ESCC Scholar Athlete Maximus Lacey Soccer Mt. Greenwood
ESCC Scholar Athlete James Valek Soccer St. Barnabas
ESCC Scholar Athlete Shannon Murphy Soccer St. Alexander
ESCC Scholar Athlete Margaret O'Brien Softball Independence Jr. High
ESCC Scholar Athlete Colin Dillon Tennis St. Catherine of Alexandria
ESCC Scholar Athlete Kaitlyn O'Brien Tennis Independence Jr. High
ESCC Scholar Athlete Cesar Gaona Track St. Bruno
ESCC Scholar Athlete Genevieve Boland Track St. Linus
ESCC Scholar Athlete Kaitlyn O'Brien Track Independence Jr. High
Block “M” Awards      
Academic Team Peter Cunningham   St. Barnabas
Art Club John Koss   St. Germaine
Art National Honor Society Clare Dennehy   St. Cajetan
Band Madelyn Jaworek   Oak Lawn Hometown
Billiards Club Brandon Claahsen   Mt. Greenwood
1 Book 1 Marist Club Sarah Cintron   St. Nicholas of Tolentine
Boxing Club Aidan Fisher   St. Alexander
Broadcasting Club Sarah Skalitzky   Most Holy Redeemer
Chess Club Michael Skoda   St. Gerald
Chorus Molly Patula   St. Michael
Evolve Club Kaylen Baker   Christ Our Savior
Explore Program Luke Schuler   Mokena Jr. High 
Fencing Club Adrien Santiago   Queen of Martyrs
Fine Arts & Literary Club Katherine Danaher   Jack Hille Middle School
French National Honor Society  Una Fortier   St. Barnabas
Improvisation Club Thomas McMeel   Mt. Greenwood
Marist Youth Kiley McCabe   St. Catherine of Alexandria
Math Team Thomas Kavanaugh   St. Catherine of Alexandria
Mock Trial Club Isabella Camarena   Prairie Jr. High 
Model United Nations  Malia Pellegrini   Independence Jr. High 
National Honor Society Mia Norris   St. John Fisher
Orchesis Club Maeve Prendergast   Sutherland
Pro-Life Club Nicholas Vallie   Yorkville Academy
SADD Club Isabella Camarena   Prairie Jr. High 
Sentinel Newspaper Peter Cunningham   St. Barnabas
Spanish National Honor Society  Julissa Avalos   St. Bede
Speech and Acting Team Una Fortier   St. Barnabas
Stage Crew Isabel Piper   Palos South 
Student Ambassadors Katelyn Clifford   Most Holy Redeemer
Student Council Jack Harmon   Most Holy Redeemer
Technology Club Nicholas Vallie   Yorkville Academy
Theater Guild Angelina Corcoran   St. John Fisher
Yearbook  Sarah Cintron   St. Nicholas of Tolentine
Baseball  Nicholas Beltran   Cassell
Basketball - Boys Alexander Knight   Sutherland
Basketball - Girls Sydney Affolter   St. Christina
Bowling - Boys Daniel Gillerlain   St. John Fisher
Bowling - Girls McKenna Dunaway   Oak Lawn Hometown
Cheerleading  Delaney Ryan   St. Michael
Cross Country - Boys Thomas Kavanaugh   St. Catherine of Alexandria
Cross Country - Girls Lilly Roche   St. Catherine of Alexandria
Football  Patrick Coogan   St. Alexander
Golf – Boys  Jack Doubek   Palos South 
Golf - Girls Margaux Burns   Palos South 
Hockey Nicholas Thompson   St. John Fisher
Lacrosse - Boys Seamus Kelly   St. Cajetan
Lacrosse - Girls Clare Dennehy   St. Cajetan
Poms & Dance  Morgan Laundrie   St. Michael
Rugby  John McKenna   Queen of Martyrs
Soccer - Boys James Valek   St. Barnabas
Soccer - Girls Cecilia Light   Independence Jr. High 
Softball  Easton Lotus   Liberty Jr. High 
Swimming - Girls Emma Ortega   Zizumbo
Tennis - Boys Basileios Oikonomou   Koraes
Tennis - Girls Sonya Dremak   Mt. Greenwood
Track and Field - Boys Carter Auer   St. Barnabas
Track and Field - Girls Ashlin Palzkill   Mt. Greenwood
Volleyball - Boys Neil Riggio   St. John Fisher
Volleyball - Girls Ewelina Gacek   St. Jane de Chantal
Wrestling  Ethan Bednarczyk   St. Christopher