News

List of 20 news stories.

  • Summer Letter from President Phil Kerr

    Happy summer to our entire school community!

    The 2024-25 school year is upon us in four short weeks.
     
    As we just recently completed our fiscal year on June 30, I would like to reflect on one of the most incredible years in St. Francis High School history.
     
    From academics to co-curriculars and athletics to performing and visual arts, as well as campus safety and security to school leadership, SFHS reached amazing and critical new heights as a premier high school in the United States.

    The year started out with a bang as the school received the highest academic award of achievement issued by the United States Department of Education in September, the National Blue Ribbon School Award. Only the top 1% of high schools in the U.S. have an active Blue Ribbon award, and SFHS was the only Catholic or private high school in the State of Illinois awarded this year. This happened at nearly the same time the school received its 7th straight year of designation as a Microsoft Showcase School, one of only 37 schools nationwide.

    Our class of 2024 graduated 48 Illinois State Scholars out of 164 students (29%), that's nearly one out of every three seniors. We had two perfect ACT scores, two National Merit Scholar Finalists, and four National Merit Recommended Scholars. 100% of our graduates were accepted into college, earning an average of $160,000 in scholarships.

    Before the fall was over, Girls Volleyball earned its 2nd straight State Championship and 14th overall. Football was a state semifinalist for the 2nd straight time. Boys Golf placed 5th in state as a team and sophomore Beckett Jones earned 3rd place individually in the state tournament. Girls Golf was led by Emmy Hollarbush who finished 13th in the state.

    A very young Girls Cross Country team finished 6th in state while featuring three freshmen and one sophomore. Boys Cross Country qualified one runner for state, Charlie Coyle. Girls Tennis won its sectional tournament for the second time in school history and five girls qualified for state - the most in school history. Girls Swimming qualified freshman Lilly Janoviak for the state swim meet in two events, the first instance since 1980.
     
    Winter was exciting for athletics as well with sophomore wrestler Jaylen Torres placing 2nd in state, Cheer placing 10th in state, and Dance placing 13th in state. Girls Basketball was crowned Conference Champions.


    Along the way, Math Team placed 9th in state and reached the Top 10 in state for the 26th time in 29 years!
     
    Our Choir achieved a fifth consecutive State Championship and our Music Department overall (band, choir, and orchestra combined) also placed first.
     
    Additionally, Band placed second and Orchestra placed third individually.

    Moving along to spring, Boys Volleyball made it to the State Quarterfinals for the first time and Girls Track captured 9th in state, not to mention the State Champion 4 x 800-meter relay team of Elena Mamminga, Margaret Andrzejewski, Allie Sheldon, and Erin Hinsdale. Erin Hinsdale also placed 2nd in the 800 meter and Abbie Sheldon placed 6th in discus.


    In Boys Track, Gavin Mueller finished 8th in state in Shot Put. In Boys Tennis, Umar Bajwa received All State first team status after finishing 6th in state in singles. Girls Soccer and Softball each won a Regional Championship and Girls Lacrosse won their first playoff game ever.

    As a result of the astonishing accomplishments in athletics, The Daily Herald announced SFHS as the winner of its first annual Herald Cup, an award honoring athletic excellence. We are thrilled our post-season performances qualified us as the #1 Overall Athletic Program amongst smaller-sized schools in the Daily Herald coverage area for the 2023-24 school year.
     
    The celebrations continue...
     
    From a leadership standpoint:
    • Our faculty was rated the 6th Best Teachers of Catholic High Schools in the state by the Niche Illinois High School Rankings.
    • In February, our Principal Raeann Huhn won the National Catholic Educational Association's Lead.Learn.Proclaim Award. She was one of only 11 Catholic leaders in education in the United States awarded. According to NCEA President Lincoln Snyder, those awarded are “honorees that carry out the mission of faith formation, deeply invested in the students, the schools and their ministry."
    • Father Bob Barko was added as our first full-time priest since the 1970s.
    • Three of our athletic coaches, Bob McMillen (football), Jim Winslow (soccer) and Tom Castronovo (tennis), were each named Conference Coach of the Year for their respective sports.
    In terms of campus safety and security, the first phases of our Capital Campaign are being completed as we speak and will be ready for the start of school in August. While we don't publicly publish all of the enhancements (for security reasons), a few of the improvements include shatterproof windows and additional security doors and alarms.
     
    After a 27-year wait, a four-way traffic safety signal was approved by the Illinois Department of Transportation and the City of Wheaton for construction at the east exit of the school property and is estimated for completion in 2026. Approximately 50% of the necessary funds are raised to complete this improvement, which will provide a critically necessary safety measure to protect our students and visitors crossing Roosevelt Road.
     
    At the start of the next school year, the following projects will be complete:
    • A new boiler system for the North and South Hallway classrooms
    • Three new rooftop units for the Spyglass Athletic Center and Kuhn Cultural Arts Center
    • A new mock classroom in the South Hallway. This classroom is the model for the 18 classrooms we hope to complete next summer (2025) pending the funding we receive by August 31, 2024.
    • A new coffee and smoothie bar in the Student Union
     
    The next phase includes the final classroom safety enhancements and other improvements, and construction of the Student Services Counseling Expansion.

    We need your help to raise the next $4 million to achieve the same results next summer as we did this summer. The permitting and design work timelines require us to raise the funds by August 31, 2024, to not interrupt the momentum of advancement of St. Francis High School and the Progress Can’t Wait - Secure our Future Today safety and building capital campaign.
     
    We want to make the school as safe as we can, as quickly as we can! Please schedule an appointment today and see how you can help by calling Phil Kerr at (630) 668-5800 ext. 1102 or Todd Shaw at (630) 668-5800 ext. 1143.
     
    None of this could have been accomplished without our incredibly talented faculty and staff, students, athletes and coaches, committed parents, donors, and alumni. I sincerely thank all of you.
     
    We look forward to another outstanding year of achievements for the 2024-25 school year! Go Spartans!
    Phil Kerr, President of St. Francis High School
  • Justine Izewski ’13

    Alumni Feature: Justine Izewski '13

    Justine Izewski ’13 is more than a triple-threat: she’s a singer, actor, model – and a teacher.
  • Maureen Isphording (left) and Patrick Jacobsen (right)

    Welcome Patrick and Congratulations Maureen!

    St. Francis High School is thrilled to share the following administrative staffing updates, effective July 1, 2024.
     
    Maureen Isphording, who has served as our Director of Admissions for the past 8 years, will now serve SFHS as Assistant Principal of Student Life. In partnership with the principal, this role focuses on the management of the school’s co-curricular programs and the overall student experience outside of the classroom. We are deeply grateful for Maureen’s gifts and look forward to seeing her continue to excel at SFHS!
     
    Joining the SFHS family as our new Director of Admissions is Patrick Jacobsen. Patrick is a motivational leader who enjoys cultivating long-lasting relationships with students and staff. He comes to us from Fenwick High School in Oak Park where he was Director of Admissions (since June 2021) and school counselor (since July 2017). He previously served in admissions and was a baseball coach at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Saint Mary's is also where he earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and master’s degree in educational leadership. Welcome to SFHS, Patrick!
  • Spartan Athletics Named #1 in Daily Herald Cup

    The Daily Herald devised a points system based on team state finishes to measure which of the 85 high schools from the Daily Herald circulation area had the best athletic year in 2023-24. St. Francis High School was named number one in the small school division!
  • Spring 2024 - Athletics Recap

    The SFHS Spartans are yearly contenders for Conference and State titles. Our legendary coaches, gifted athletes, and loyal fans create a winning team. Our inclusive program consists of both cut and non-cut teams providing many opportunities to compete. Our coaches are committed to ensuring athletes rise to their potential.
     
    Congratulations to our teams on their outstanding athletic accomplishments during the spring season!
  • Catie Modugno '20 throughout stages of her dance and cheer career.

    Cheering for Catie Modugno '20

    Catie Modugno ’20 has been dancing since she was 8 years old. She started with competitive dance through the Lisa School of Dance in Bartlett and then joined the St. Francis High School dance team once she became a Spartan in 2016. By her senior year, she was captain of the team. She continued her dance career at Indiana University through 2024 and was recently accepted as a cheerleader for the Indianapolis Colts!
  • Photo: Sr. Sheila's 2007-08 Yearbook Picture

    Remembering Sister Sheila Megley, SFHS President 2004-08

    Sister Sheila Megley, who served as president of St. Francis High School from 2004-2008 and was an integral part of shaping the vision of the school during that time, has passed away.
     
  • Cameron R. ’25 Advances to National HOSA Competition

    Congratulations to Cameron R. ’25 for placing 2nd at the HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) Conference!
  • Class of 2024 Graduation

    It's graduation time - and we are so proud of our senior class!  You can watch the livestream of our Graduation Liturgy & Commencement Exercises (beginning at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, May 19) here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9OXsVN9Yp4 
     
    This is an impressive class of 164 students with two National Merit Semifinalists, one student with a perfect ACT score, one student with a perfect ACT superscore, and 48 Illinois State Scholars (29% of the class).
     
    At least two students have accepted a full tuition scholarship, and the class as a whole earned more than $23 million in scholarships. Congratulations to the Class of 2024!
     
  • Congratulations to the seniors who were honored during the Class of 2024 Honors Night!

    Seniors Celebrated at Honors Night

    Congratulations to the seniors who were honored during the Class of 2024 Honors Night!
  • Dom B. ’24 – who earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT

    Dom B. '24 Earns Perfect ACT Score

    Congratulations to Dom B. ’24 – who earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT this year.  Dom said his goal was just to do his best and allow his score to reflect his effort.
     
    Earning a perfect ACT score is rare: Nearly 1.35 million test-takers took the ACT in 2022, and of those, only 3,376 received a 36 (0.2%).
  • 11 senior student-athletes sign their letters of intent to play at the collegiate level.

    11 Student-Athletes Participate in Spring Signing Day

    On Wednesday, April 17, 11 senior student-athletes signed their letters of intent to play at the collegiate level. Congratulations, Spartans!
    Ellie B. - Tusculum University, Soccer
    Aaron C. - Rose-Hulman Institute of
    Technology, Basketball
    Cole D. - Carthage, Baseball
    Jake G. - Carthage, Baseball
    Kelton McE. - University of Wisconsin-
    Whitewater, Basketball
    Madison M. - Ball State University, Cheerleading
    Molly Q. - Franciscan University of
    Steubenville, Volleyball
    Sophia R. - St. Ambrose, Soccer
    Dolly S. - Augustana, Basketball
    Dylan S. - Carthage, Baseball
    Cooper W. - Aurora University, Football
  • Students at the NHS Induction Ceremony on Sunday, April 14.

    Students Inducted into National Honor Society

    Students were inducted into the National Honor Society during a ceremony at the school on Sunday, April 14. Congratulations to all! Click here to view the program and the list of students inducted.
  • Students inducted in the World Language Honor Society and those who earned the Illinois Seal of Biliteracy on Wednesday, April 10.

    World Language Honor Society & Illinois Seal of Biliteracy

    Congratulations to the students inducted in the World Language Honor Society and those who earned the Illinois Seal of Biliteracy. The students were recognized in a ceremony on Wednesday, April 10. Click here to view the program and list of students recognized.
  • The SFHS Math Team at the 2023-24 State Competition.

    Math Team Makes Top 10 at State

    Congratulations SFHS Mathletes! Our Math Team placed 9th at the ICTM State Math Contest on Saturday, April 6, at ISU. Our team has placed in the Top Ten 26 times out of the last 29 State Math Contests!
  • Dr. Chris Nemeth '67 presents to Dr. Juliano's Engineering Class in March.

    Dr. Chris Nemeth '67 Visits Engineering Class

    Dr. Chris Nemeth '67 presented in Dr. Juliano's Engineering class in March and shared about his career while providing several examples of projects he's worked on in many different disciplines of engineering.
     
    After graduating from Marquette University with a bachelor's degree in Political Science and History he worked in broadcast journalism, product design, and then human factors engineering. He served as a Commissioned Officer of the U.S. Navy from 1971-2001 and worked at the Illinois Institute of Technology (adjunct faculty); Northwestern University (adjunct Associate Professor); and the University of Chicago (Assistant Professor), among many other professional roles. He is currently the Principal Scientist and Group Leader at Applied Research Associates, Inc.
     
    Other fun facts: Chris has run about 55 marathons and has served as an expert witness in a court case. Thank you for sharing with our students!
  • Congratulations to our teams on their outstanding athletic accomplishments during the winter 2023-2024 season!

    Athletics Recap: Winter 2023-2024

     
     
    The SFHS Spartans are yearly contenders for Conference and State titles. Our legendary coaches, gifted athletes, and loyal fans create a winning team. Our inclusive program consists of both cut and non-cut teams providing many opportunities to compete. Our coaches are committed to ensuring athletes rise to their potential. Congratulations to our teams on their outstanding athletic accomplishments during the winter 2023-2024 season!
     
  • The SFHS Music Department placed first overall at the IHSA Solo and Ensemble State Competition (Class A) on Saturday, March 2! In their respective competitions and divisions, the SFHS Choir placed 1st for the fifth year in a row, band placed 2nd, and orchestra placed 3rd.

    SFHS Music Department Takes Top Honors at State

    For the first time, the SFHS Music Department (choir, band, and orchestra combined) placed first overall at the IHSA Solo and Ensemble State Competition (Class A) on Saturday, March 2! In their respective competitions and divisions, the SFHS Choir placed 1st for the fifth year in a row, band placed 2nd, and orchestra placed 3rd.  
     
  • Principal Raeann Huhn received the 2024 National Catholic Educational Association

    Principal Huhn Receives National Catholic Educational Association Leadership Award

    11 leaders in Catholic education were selected for nationwide honor
  •  Jaylen T. '26 at the IHSA State Wrestling Championship.

    Wrestler Jaylen T. '26 Takes 2nd at State

    Congratulations to Jaylen T. '26 for taking second at the Class 1A IHSA State Wrestling Championship in the 285-pound weight division on Saturday, February 17. Jaylen is also a two-time sectional champion in his sophomore year. Congratulations on all of your hard work to Jaylen and the entire Spartan wrestling team!
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