SFHS Students Cheer on Classmates at Spartan Olympics
Join Us On The St. Francis Path
"Lord, help me to live this day, quietly, easily.
To lean upon Thy great strength, trustfully, restfully."
Saint Francis of Assisi
To See a High School through College Eyes, Read the School Profile"
If you want to understand the big picture of what a high school offers, try using the same tool colleges use-the School Profile. Residing quietly under a few layers of clicks (follow the trail of academics, counseling, college counseling on a school's website), the School Profile lists dry statistics about student body, classes offered, and graduation rates. What can this document-void of pictures and hype-reveal? Plenty, if you know what to look for.
College admissions officers use the School Profile to put an applicant into perspective and make fair comparisons. Parents, however, can read it to understand a school's structure and how your child fits into the mix. Here's what to look for:
- Percentage of graduates that go to college: To college admissions officers, this stat reveals the strength of curriculum. More college-bound students means a school's graduates are prepared for college-level work.
- Graduation requirements and classes offered: These listings help admissions officers understand where students fall within their student body. Colleges will note competitive courses offered vs. how many a student takes, then compare this to other students within the same school. Parents should note what classes the school offers and whether there are restrictions on taking higher-level classes.
- Standardized test scores: Admissions officers use test scores on an individual basis, to give insight into a student's track record of GPA/class schedule as compared to personal test scores.
These are the basics, but parents should read with an eye for transparency. What do schools emphasize? St. Francis, for example, lists its excellent college acceptance rate as well as its focus on community, pastoral ministry, and co-curricular activities. Call me if you have any questions about the SFHS School Profile. We can discuss your child's situation, tour while school is in session, and schedule a shadow date. I'm available for coffee and an admissions meeting any time (630) 668-5800 x1120.
Maureen Isphording, Director of Admissions
"I Am St. Francis"
The 30+ Years Faculty Perspective: Five Questions for Five Faculty/Staff Who Have Dedicated 30+ Years to SFHS: Peg Kopec (45 years), Mike Harper (39 years), Tia Holinger (36 years), Raeann Huhn (33 years), and Scott Nelson (31 years)
1. During your tenure at St. Francis, what have you taught, moderated, coached?
Mr. Harper: (Teaching) AP U.S. History, AP Government, U.S. History 1, 2, 3; Political Science, Landmark Supreme Court Rulings, World History. (Moderating) Drug and Alcohol Awareness; (Coaching) Boys Tennis, Girls Tennis, Varsity Boys Basketball, Varsity Baseball, Girls Volleyball, as well as Athletic Director.
Mrs. Holinger: For the first 20 years I taught Art and French and was head of the Performing and Visual Arts Department. Now I teach Art 1, 2, 3, 4, and AP Art. I coached Girls' Tennis, moderated Freshman Class Student Government and Culinary Club.
I began my career teaching in the Business Department, everything from Basic Programming to Typing. I currently teach Microsoft Office. In addition, I coached Girls' and Boys' Tennis and Cheerleading. Over the years, I've served as Business Department Chair, Assistant Athletic Director, Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, and (now) Principal.
Ms. Kopec: (Teaching) Physical Education, Health. (Coaching) Volleyball, Badminton, Softball, Cheerleading, Swimming. (Moderating) National Honor Society, Gymnastics Group.
Mr. Nelson: I have taught Physical Education and been head coach of Cross-Country (Boys' and Girls') and Track and Field (Boys') for all 31 years. I've coached Girls' Track and Field since 1999. I have assisted on several committees.
2. Why have you chosen St. Francis for the majority of your career?
Mr. Harper: I chose St. Francis because I am a firm believer in Catholic education. At St. Francis, a teacher can help to guide the whole person, not just parts
Mrs. Holinger: The students are extremely kind and appreciative. There are so many funny moments in my class, which makes it delightful to be a teacher.
When I began teaching at St. Francis, my plan was to stay for one year, but God had another plan for me, and I am blessed!
Ms. Kopec: As Mike Harper said years ago, coming to work is leaving one family and going to another.
Mr. Nelson: St. Francis is a great place to work because of the entire package. By this I mean the teachers, staff, and students all want to be the best we can be and work very hard to attain excellence in all areas of life.
3. In what way(s) have your students surprised you most?
Mr. Harper: Students surprise you every day. That's the joy of teaching. The best surprise for me is where these kids go from the time I first have them as sophomores to when I get them again as seniors. Such growth, such maturity academically, socially, and personally. But it's not really a surprise. St. Francis is built to get them there.
Mrs. Holinger: The level of creativity inside each young person never fails to amaze me each and every day!
Ms. Huhn: Our students surprise me every day with their humor, compassion, and willingness to learn. I see this in our alumni as well. Once a Spartan, always a Spartan!
Ms. Kopec: Our students are caring, generous, mature adults. It continues to amaze me. They are truly SPECIAL.
Mr. Nelson: The students have always been open to becoming better people. They learn the lessons the faculty and staff teach them and then go out into the world and apply them to real life. The students are so thankful for the St. Francis community.
4. In your opinion, what makes SFHS special/unique?
Mr. Harper: At one time St. Francis used the phrase,"Futures Founded on Family." That's still what makes St. Francis special.
Mrs. Holinger: Several of our students have returned to teach here. That means we have a special place in their hearts. I am eternally grateful that Kate Doane, one of my former students, agreed to come back and teach with me.
It's so hard to explain how special our community is. There is a comfortable feeling in the building, which I attribute to the special bonds among faculty, staff, and students as well as the bonds among students themselves.
Ms. Kopec: It is the community, family, and caring nature of our school. This also transitions to alumni.
Mr. Nelson: We are able to utilize the skills we have as teachers and staff to make a true difference in the lives of our students. It is ok for them to pray, read the bible, follow the right path not the popular path, question societal ideas and norms, etc. There is a true sense of "
camaraderie" and "companionship" between the students and the faculty/staff.
5. If you had to give advice to a new student and/or teacher to SFHS, what would you say?
Mr. Harper: To teachers--Never stop getting up in front of your students to teach.
Mrs. Holinger: To students--Don't make your life a competition with others. Ask yourself if you are having a good day, why is it good? If it isn't good and happy, come talk to one of your teachers. We know there can be tough moments. Don't be afraid to reach out. We are definitely here for you now, at this very moment, and even when you leave St. Francis.
Keep your eyes open and watch for opportunities to JOIN IN OUR FAMILY. Don't be afraid. Reach out and take that leap of faith. You will never be sorry you tried. Family is something you can't buy. It is a culture we have honed and developed. We actually support one another. Yes, we want to succeed, but not at the expense of others.
Ms. Huhn: To new students I say-communicate with your teachers, be an active learner, get involved in your school community. These four years will go fast-create special memories. To new teachers I say-communicate with your students and get to know them. When you work hard and enjoy what you are doing, your students will respond!
Make sure you follow your heart because God does not make mistakes. If you truly love Jesus and follow the heart he gave you, then you cannot go wrong. Secondly, be yourself not the idea of what you should be. Students can see right through fake beliefs, actions, words, etc. Make sure the students you work with know you care and want the best for them and it will make the journey much, much more fun; after all teaching is a calling, not a career.
Left to Right; Raeann Huhn, Peg Kopec, Scott Nelson, Mike Harper, Tia Holinger
Only at St. Francis High School
Wrestlers Compete at State Finals and Put SFHS on the Mat
Congratulations Danny Skold, '19, and Michael D'Orazio, '21, for taking St. Francis to the 2019 IHSA State Wrestling Tournament Championship Finals, February 14-16 at University of Illinois' State Farm Center in Champaign. We are proud of your achievements!
Club Spotlight for Parents - COD Professor Makes Lava Cakes with Culinary Club
Culinary Club Open to: All students as personal schedules permit
Meets: Monthly during Activity Period
(Activity Period is 2:35-3:10 p.m.; practices/rehearsals begin at 3:15 p.m.)
Moderators: Ms. Susan Fairhead, Mrs. Tia Holinger
Culinary Club hosted Tim Meyers, Professor of Culinary Arts at College of DuPage, who made lava cakes with members last month. Thank you, Professor Meyers, for visiting. "Mr. Meyers had a great rapport with our students. He did his work so quickly and expertly," explains Moderator Tia Holinger. "It was incredible. It was a nice opportunity for the Culinary Club students."
As a professor in the Culinary Arts department, Meyers values passing on skills to the COD students he teachers. "Teaching has to be one of the most rewarding careers that a person can choose." Meyers said. "What I truly love about teaching is giving the knowledge/skills to a person who knows little or nothing about a subject and watching them grow to become successful."
Summer Camp Preview
Parents Choose Camps to Build Confidence, Friendships, and Skills
Middle school parents, check out this preview to see which SFHS camps can help your child explore arts, sports, and academic interests. Click here for more details.
English/Education Camps-Great for incoming freshmen and/or current students:
- Fun with Grammar
- Punctuation Power
- Writing the College Application Essay
- Yearbook Theme Development
- Bambino Academy
Tech Camps -So much fun to learn even more:
Sports Camps -New friends, improved skills:
- Bass Fishing
- Strength & Conditioning
- Swim Technique
Performing & Visual Arts-Perfect to explore talents
- Art - Drawing Skills, Art Exploration
- Choral - Swing Choir, IMEA Choral, Vocal Arts
- Instrumental - Beginning Guitar/Ukulele, Intro to Jazz Band, Jazz Band, Band, Music Ensemble, Drumline
- Theatre - Young Spartan Showcase (grades 3-6), Summer Musical Stage Crew (grades 7-12), Summer Musical (grades 7-12)
International Week Celebrates Cultures and World Languages National Honor Societies
SFHS joined the World Languages Department celebrating International Week with colorful desserts, multilingual contests, lunchtime themes and music, and scholarship awards. "I participated in the baking contest this year and made chocolate macaroons," said Caelynn K., '21. "It's fun to have something the whole school participates in. I enjoyed trying foods from around the world."
"We are a community with people from different backgrounds, cultures and traditions," says Beth Brand, Department Chair. "It's important to celebrate learning languages as a way to communicate and build community as well as celebrate cultures."
Congratulations to all students studying Chinese, French, and Spanish who were inducted into the World Languages National Honor Societies during last week's celebrations.
St. Francis Speaker Series Invites Prospective Parents
Each year, Guidance and Counseling offers powerful speakers on relevant topics and welcomes prospective parents to attend the events. Scan the list and see what topics may make an impact with your family.
Resilience: March 12, 9:00 a.m.
Utilizing the book "Mindset" by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck, the workshop will discuss the benefits of cultivating a growth mindset and shares strategies for encouraging children to pursue challenges and view mistakes as opportunities for development. By Nicole Burmingham, Nurturing Wisdom
Exploring Ways to Restore, Replenish, and Refocus our Hearts and Minds: April 30, 8:00 a.m.
Our world is relentless and restless. What is the antidote when we feel uneasy, unquiet, and agitated? Explore ways to allow God to restore, replenish, and refocus our hearts and minds. By Diane Mercadante, Pastoral Minister at St. Francis High School
Call (630) 668-5800 for reservations
8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Class of 2023 Scholarship Applications due
New Families Invited!
Spring Musical Middle School Night
Class of 2023 Spartan Family Welcome Night
Information Session for Prospective Parents
Art Showcase Middle School Night, 6:00 p.m., Students may submit art in the Middle School category of SFHS's Juried Showcase
Email Mrs. Doane for details
Feast of St. Francis
We hope you enjoy our talented choir singing the prayer of St. Francis
Thanks for reading
St. Francis High School Fast Facts
CLASS OF 2018-
100% of graduates were accepted to colleges or universities
Earned $33 million in college scholarships
72% of faculty have advanced degrees
Class of 2018 average ACT score = 27
117 Full year and semester course offerings
20 Honors courses
14 Advanced Placement (A.P.) courses
CO-CURRICULAR: ACTIVITIES & ATHLETICS
98% student participation in at least one activity
24 sports programs
10th Place Division 2A State Math Team
65% of students participate in the performing arts
66% of students participate in athletic programs
Provides opportunity for prayer and worship, retreats, justice and service, ministry leadership formation, pastoral care, and community building
SFHS Bus Service
St. Francis High School offers bus transportation. The school provides two-way bus service in the northern, western and southern suburbs, with students arriving to St. Francis High School by 7:25 a.m. and departing school after the Activity Period at 3:15 p.m.
For more information, fees, route schedules or questions, please contact Bob Gorski at (630) 668-5800 x1138 or at