Unscripted video, "The SFHS Difference: Teacher Edition."
Click to view students talking about their teachers
in the newest edition of "The Spartan Project."
Join Us On The St. Francis Path
"Let us always and everywhere cling to our faith,
and believe humbly and firmly all that it teaches.
Saint Francis of Assisi
Destination College: How to Spot Excellent Prep for
Best College Placement"
Stanford, Notre Dame, Tufts, TCU, University of Illinois, IU Kelley School of Business, Fordham, Miami of Ohio, Butler, Marquette. It's early, but these acceptances are beginning to roll in for St. Francis seniors. "Getting in" is serious business, and before you blindly trust a school with your child's goals, learn and discern for yourself. Here's what parents need to know about today's admissions practices:
1. Excellent college placement begins with the schedule. How many AP and honors classes does your child have? How many are offered? College admissions officers compare each student's schedule to courses offered within the student's high school; they do not compare students between schools. To earn admission, students must keep pace with high school classmates by taking a competitive number of AP/honors classes and doing well.
SFHS Advantage: Guidance meets with juniors and seniors to plan schedules that total the right number of advanced classes, a prerequisite for colleges these days. The flexible SFHS curriculum offers quality course options for students in a range of subjects without tracking. Students take higher-level courses in areas of academic strength, then show an upward trend in difficulty and performance, which colleges like to see.
2. Outstanding student leadership essential to college apps. All students should present a wide range of experiences. Colleges want to see involvement in clubs, activities, and service. They seek evidence of leading and achieving outside of grades and sports.
SFHS Advantage: Activity Period and Required Service Hours help all students submit college applications with more than enough activities, showing a diverse four-year track record.
3. Exceptional guidance recommendations a necessity. Guidance counselors must document achievements and help students shine through detailed letters of recommendation.
SFHS Advantage: Looping with one guidance counselor both junior and senior year allows students to stay on track and counselors to write recommendations that resonate.
An investment in high school, an investment in life, a community like no other, forever. This is St. Francis High School. Do you find yourself still thinking about St. Francis? Call me to schedule a conversation about your child and the joyful Franciscan tradition of our exceptional high school.
Maureen Isphording, Director of Admissions
"I Am St. Francis"
The Alumni Perspective: Five Questions for Alumni Amy Cleveland '89 Verbeke and Mark Sawko '75
What groups were you involved in as a student at SFHS and now as an active alum?
Amy: I was involved in Basketball and Softball as a student. As an involved alum, I'm on the Alumni Board and head the Distinguished Alumni Committee. I am on the Board of Directors and co-chair the Education Committee with Sue Harsa. While my daughters were here, I volunteered for the Ensuring our Future Annual Auction and "Swim Team Mom" for Girls' Swim.
Mark: As a student, I played four years of Basketball and Tennis and participated in Yearbook and Swing Singers. Currently, I coach JV Girls' and JV Boys' Tennis. This is my third year. I've also helped as a Basketball Assistant Coach for eight years at freshman and sophomore levels.
2. How did St. Francis prepare you for your university studies, career, and life?
Amy: St. Francis prepared me academically for college and also provided me with the right time management and study skills I needed to survive college life. It also instilled a need to continue to give back. I still use the writing and grammar skills I learned at St. Francis in my career today. Also, after traveling to France with Madame Harsa, I caught the "international bug" and have been fortunate to travel to other places in the world including China, Singapore, and Brazil. She gave me the confidence to travel without fear, knowing I can navigate the challenges of international travel.
Mark: SFHS was my first step in growing up. I made an effort to know as many people as I could as I felt having relationships and interacting with classmates would help me down the road of life. I learned so much but was especially fond of my Religion and English teachers. Both are still in my life and great mentors and friends.
3. What is your favorite memory during your time at SFHS?
Amy: Going to France with Madame Harsa for two weeks. This was the first time I traveled away from my family, and it opened my eyes to the world. It was after this trip that I decided I could survive at college not living at home. Years later, both my daughters had the privilege of going on that same trip with Madame Harsa at St. Francis.
Mark: My favorite memory at SFHS is Basketball. I loved to play. I loved my teammates, a couple who are still my friends today, and I loved the competition. We had so much fun in those days. Another memory is having one of the leads in the school musical. I was encouraged to try out, so I sang "Happy Birthday" and got the 2nd lead. It gave me confidence in front of people.
4. Why are you proud to be an SFHS alum?
Amy: I'm proud of how the school has grown, not only in the physical footprint and student body, but in the excellent academic reputation and extra-curricular opportunities. The school continues to evolve. When my oldest daughter decided to come here, after seeing how much had changed over the years, I told her I wanted to go back to high school again just so I could experience what St. Francis offers today.
Mark: I love SFHS. I love being involved. I love donating my time, energy, and money. I love all the people associated with SFHS including staff, alums, parents, and coaches. I hope to make a difference. It is a treat for me to go into the school and be recognized by many of the students, teachers, and staff, and it was very humbling to be named a "Distinguished Alumni" this past year.
5. What is one word you would use to describe your feeling toward St. Francis?
Only at St. Francis High School
Guidance and Counseling Preps Freshmen for Finals
Counselors hosted "Final Exam Boot-Camp" during the first week of December to help freshmen get ready for their first set of high school exams. In addition to classroom prep, Guidance instructed students on tips and schedules to get started. The 45-minute session introduced freshmen to study approaches, test-taking strategies, and measures to manage anxiety.
Sarah R., '22: "I went because I'm nervous for finals. And the workshop helped me put together a study schedule. Because I am more organized now, it helped me calm down a bit."
Jack Z., '22
: "The workshops helped me make a schedule of when to study based on my study guides. I'm not as nervous as I was. I think I have a handle on it now and know what I need to focus on."
More Dogs, Less Stress: Exam Week Begins with Therapy Dogs
Students began finals week Monday by petting away test anxiety with therapy dogs and their handlers. Thank you, Naperville Area Humane Society, for bringing Paws for Tales to campus and teaching us first-hand about positive interactions with therapy dogs.
Classroom Spotlight for Parents - Introducing Physical Education III with Ms. Peg Kopec
Physical Education III
Eligible Grade Level: 11
Prerequisite: Physical Education II
Junior-year P.E. with legendary coach and teacher, Ms. Peg Kopec, focuses on lessons of "advanced fitness and conditioning, individual and team sports, healthy lifestyles, and rhythm activities" (a.k.a. dancing). During class, Ms. Kopec's colorful instruction entertains and teaches. Out of class, students quote her hilarious advice. This unit finds students exploring dance skills in a tight family-style atmosphere. Smooth big band music swells as Ms. Kopec teaches and eager couples volunteer to demonstrate. Welcome to the sweet spot of high school gym class.
Teacher Peg Kopec:
"I call this unit 'The Wedding Package,' and we have been doing it for about 20 years. You can see - the kids are having fun and learning a skill they can do their entire lives while incorporating fitness. Dances learned include the Cha-Cha, Polka, Swing, slow dance ballad, Fox Trot, and line dances. Students will perform a sample of these dances at Prom and Homecoming, oftentimes leaving their date to dance with their P.E. partner! Students learn a lot in this three-week unit, and they do great!"
"I've enjoyed being able to learn different dances. It's a lot of fun. I will definitely use in the future, especially at school dances and weddings." Kaitlyn B., '20
"I'm having a lot of fun and learning a lot too. My favorite type of dance has been the Conga." Ben R., '20
Club Spotlight for Parents - Introducing Student Ministry Team
Mrs. Diane Mercadante, Ms. Kristen Ras, Mr. Michael Page
Why do incoming freshman adjust so quickly to the SFHS community? One reason: Student Ministry Team (SMT). SMT members share their knowledge and a kind spirit of leadership all year, helping freshmen adjust in the most Franciscan of ways-with faithful actions and quiet visibility. SMT members act as role models, focusing on leadership, patience, compassion, and understanding. The students also meet at 6:30 a.m. every Friday in the chapel and attend an annual retreat in Wisconsin each August. Members strive to be humble, spiritual leaders present each day in our Franciscan community.
Moderator Kristen Ras: "
The primary responsibilities of SMT are to help coordinate and lead the community in areas of prayer, service, and retreats. SMT lead the Freshman Service Retreat and the Sophomore Retreat, both in October. They helped to coordinate Advent activities: offering prayer services and contributing to the daily reflections that are posted on Instagram. We will also be involved in activities during Catholic Schools Week. Now that our retreat responsibilities are over, we will concentrate on more prayer and service opportunities in the second semester. This semester, students prayed for our community by going around the building to the various departments they were 'assigned' and praying for those areas of the building.
On Fridays, SMT gathers at 6:30 a.m. in the Chapel. We begin with prayer, which is called lectio divina, or a way of praying with Scripture. Then, we either work towards the next task or activity at hand (for instance, planning retreats) or we break out into small groups for a faith sharing activity. We conclude each meeting with group prayer."
Student Ian P., '19:
"Every Friday we gather and it is so nice to be in a different setting outside of classes. We do a reading and reflect together as a group. I always learn something new and always walk away saying how much I love this group. It's so worth it."
Student Anna C., '19:
"One of my favorite activities we did this semester was praying for the school. We went to rooms, like the Main Office, and prayed for those who worked there. SMT is amazing because when we meet on Fridays most of us are stressed from the week, but we take time to talk out the stress and we work with each other. It's totally worth the 6:30 a.m. start time."
Student Ministry Team Retreat at Timber-lee Christian Center, Wisconsin
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.
The Critical Voice, To Whom Are You Listening: January 30, 5:30 p.m.
This workshop will help participants turn around negative personal dialogue and integrate faith to find a balanced voice. By Dr. Ann Letourneau and Dr. Elissa McGovern, Central DuPage Pastoral Counseling Center
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
December 24-January 4
No School, Christmas Break
Girls' Basketball Middle School Night, 7:00 p.m., Spyglass Athletic Center, free admission for students
Click here to register
Junior High Math Contest, 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Pep Band Middle School Night, 5:30 p.m., Middle school students play with exceptional SFHS Pep Band during the Boys' Basketball game, Spyglass Athletic Center
Boys' Basketball Middle School Night, 7:00 p.m. Spyglass Athletic Center,
free admission for students
Class of 2023 Liturgy & Registration, 10:00 a.m. to noon, Slantdome
Art Showcase Middle School Night, 6:00 p.m., Students may submit art in the Middle School category of SFHS's Juried Showcase, Atrium and LRC
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