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Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
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The purpose of the St. Francis High School Distinguished Alumni Award is to recognize outstanding alumni of St. Francis High School who have maintained a high standard of excellence and made a significant contribution in their fields of endeavor.

These individuals' must best exemplify the ideals and spirit of St. Francis High School, and should serve as role models for current and future St. Francis High School students.

Please click here for the nomination form to nominate someone for the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Print the form, fill it in and mail it to:
St. Francis High School
Attn: Becky Feltes '97 Fischesser
2130 West Roosevelt Road
Wheaton, IL 60187

You may submit a nomination for more than one person. We look forward to receiving your nominations!

Congratulations to the Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients 2015.
Kitty Finnegan ‘62 Schiltz, Kathleen Kenehan ‘89 Henson & Maribeth Treis ’77 Kerr

Kitty Finnegan ‘62 Schiltz attended Dominican College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and later obtained a degree in Library Science.

Through opportunities while a student at St. Francis High School, which included visits to predominantly African American schools in Chicago, as well as an assembly where speakers described their work in establishing clinics and providing medical assistance in Laos, Kitty became interested in other cultures.

Kitty and her husband Roger, traveled the world after college and discovered how differently others lived. For one year through a Maryknoll Mission, they stayed with the aboriginal people in the mountains of Taiwan teaching English.

After working as a librarian in the Washington State public school district, and raising their children, Kitty and her husband found themselves in Tanzania through the Maryknoll Lay Missioners. While there, they learned to speak Swahili and immersed themselves into the local culture. They return to Tanzania for three months each year to teach orphans Math and English, to promote literacy and to help improve the environment by planting trees. Kitty also helped to start a school library.

Kitty and her husband Roger reside in Lacy, Washington. Together, they have raised two children, Jake and Laura.

Kathleen Kenehan ‘89 Henson, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Purdue University in 1992. After graduation, she pursued opportunities in the Communications and Public Relations fields managing large corporate accounts.

In 2001, Kathleen started Henson Consulting, a public relations firm which offers various marketing and communications support to clients worldwide. The firm has grown to employ more than 40 personnel and they represent many blue-chip clients. Recently, Henson Consulting was named “National Small Agency of the Year” in both 2012 and 2014, and A Best Place to Work in 2014 by PR News.

In addition to her agency’s accomplishments, Kathleen has achieved personal success. She was awarded the “2014 PR Professional of the Year” by the Public Relations Society of America and was named as one of the Top Women in PR by PR News in 2015. In July 2015, Kathleen was featured on NBC’s “Today Show” giving advice on how to live a happy life.

Kathleen volunteers her time to a number of local charities. She is the co-chair for the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago Women’s Leadership Council and is on the Board of Directors of Breakthrough Urban Ministries. She is also actively involved in the Women’s Board for the Joffrey Ballet.

Kathleen and her husband Mike Henson live in Wheaton with their 5 children, Emily, John Henry, Haley, Brady, and Finley.

Maribeth Treis ’77 Kerr earned a degree in Music Therapy in 1981 from Illinois State University.

While raising her children, Maribeth dedicated many hours to volunteering at their grade school. She was co-chair for “Live” at St. Michael’s annual auction, she ran the teacher appreciation luncheon for several years, and she coached her daughter’s volleyball team.

Maribeth has devoted endless hours to St. Francis High School, both as a parent and as an alum. She volunteered for the annual fashion show, and co-chaired the senior celebration for the Class of 2007. She co-chaired the School Board’s Finance Committee and helped to lead efforts to fund and build the Spyglass and Kuhn Cultural Arts Center. Maribeth also served on the Steering Committee for the “Completing the Dream” campaign, which resulted in the Robinson Family Learning Center and the Mary J. Feltes Science Suites.

Maribeth has served on the St. Francis High School Alumni Association Board since it was reestablished in 2005. She was the President from 2009-2013 and she chaired the Golf Outing from 2008-2014 which cumulatively raised more than $100,000 in scholarships for children and grandchildren of alumni.

Since 2011, Maribeth has shared her philanthropic and leadership experience with non-profit organizations by providing consulting services for auctions and charity events. She also serves as a Eucharistic Minister in her parish.

Maribeth and her husband Phil reside in Lisle. When she isn’t out golfing, Maribeth enjoys spending time with her four children, Katie Kerr ’02 Sabino, Ryan Kerr, Meghan Kerr ’07 Isom, and Kelsey Kerr ’11, and her grandchildren, Francesca and Benjamin.

Previous Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2014-2015:

Lynn Mirabella '80
Mary Beth Stanicek ‘72 Theiss
Greg Webb '67

Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2013-2014:
Dr. Robert Bowles '64
Nancy Wolfe '69

Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2012-2013:
Pat Bonnamy '62 Wautlet

Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2011-2012:
Rev. James Newhouse '62
Mary Wirsching '62 Newhouse
Richard Haase '61
Dr. Robert Krzyzewski '71

Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2010-2011:
Maureen Carroll '62 Boyle
Valerie Serwach '81 Bruggeman

Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2009-2010:
Dennis Beck '74
Kim Novicki ’75 White

Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2008-2009:
Terry Kral '61
Rita Dorney '61 Emmett
John Buchholz '77

Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2006-2007:
David Donovan '61
Andy Kammes '68
Rita Lowery '74 Gitchell

Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2005-2006:
Steven "Steve” Armbrust, MD '78

Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2004-2005:
Sr. Barbara Nelson, IBVM '62
Timothy "Tim” Theriault '78

Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2003-2004:
William "Bill” Cashin '65
Michael J. Dooley '62
Robert "Bob” Hoppenstedt '63
Brigadier General Stephen Kelley '62
Teri Franklin '67 Kuhn
Ronald J."Ron” Kuhn '65
William "Bill” Melka '78
Carol Ann Lee Virtue '69
Patrick M. "Pat” Virtue '69

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