Five Alumni to be Honored at 60th Anniversary Celebration

St. Francis High School was founded in 1956 by a group of people from seven local parishes who were looking for a co-institutional Catholic high school for young men and women.  In 1957, the first classes were held for 390 students with the Institute of the De La Salle Christian Brothers teaching the young men and the Religious of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters teaching the young women.  The first co-educational classes began in 1969 and St. Francis High School became a model in employing lay men and women to share in the commitment of teaching a quality Catholic education.  Today, the school provides a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum and offers various co-curricular and athletic opportunities for nearly 750 students.
On April 29, 2017, the St. Francis High School community will host a dinner celebrating 60 years of educating and promoting spiritual, academic, physical and social development in students.  Five alumni will be awarded for their outstanding service.

St. Francis High School Is a
Microsoft Showcase School
On Thursday, April 13, 2017, Denton Green, a Microsoft representative from Oakbrook, Ill., announced to an assembly of faculty and staff, that St. Francis High School has been awarded the distinction of "Microsoft Showcase School" for fully integrating the Microsoft Surface Pro technology and the Office 365 Suite of tools and software into the classroom.
St. Francis High School joins a select number of other Showcase Schools worldwide that Microsoft has recognized as schools "engaged in digital transformation to improve teaching and learning," as well as those that "create immersive and inclusive experiences that inspire lifelong learning, stimulating development of essential life skills so students are empowered to achieve more ( ." (more)

In the Footsteps of St. Francis
To culminate this year's 60th anniversary celebrations, a group of alumni, parents of alumni, teachers and current students, will join Sue Harsa, former teacher and current member of the Board of Directors, and Diane Mercadante, Director of Pastoral Ministry, as they lead them on a trip though Italy, in the footsteps of St. Francis.

On May 31, the group of 24 will depart for Rome, where they will learn of the secrets of the Eternal City.  Then, they will travel to Assisi, the home of our patron, St. Francis. They will have the opportunity to tour the town and attend Mass in the Basillica of St. Francis. In Tuscany, the group will see Michaelangelo's David and the magnificent Duomo, in addition to taking a Tuscan cooking class.  The trip will end in the magical city of Venice, where they will visit San Marco's square, view the Majestic Cathedral, travel to the island of Murano to see the famous glass blowing, and take gondola rides through the canals. 

In preparation for this trip, Sue Harsa and Diane Mercadante have been teaching the travelers basic Italian, as well as some of the history, art and background of the cities they will visit.

Scot '82 and Giovanna LeDonne '83 Farmer are excited to be traveling with Sue Harsa as they met in Sue's class as students, and are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this year.  Sue said that Scot recently reminded her that one day in class he told her he had a crush on Giovanna and wanted Sue to move his seat closer to hers.  Sue said, "I DID!"  And, not only did Sue attend their wedding, she has since taught their two children and even chaperoned their trips to France.   Now Scot and Giovanna can say they, too, have traveled with Madame!

Sue is also excited there will be three generations from one family on this trip - Melissa Mitchell '90 Johnson is bringing her mom, June, and daughter Ella Johnson '19.

"I have a special love for St. Francis, and am very much looking forward to visiting Assisi," said Meg Baratta '05.

Portraits of Kindness
Recently, our students from the Art III Pre-portfolio class participated in The Memory Project's (TMP) "portraits of kindness".  TMP is an organization working to provide portraits to children throughout the world who have "faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, violence, and extreme poverty," according to the TMP organization fact sheet.  Volunteer art teachers and students receive photos from which they can recreate portraits and donate them back to the children.  As of April 2017, TMP stated that "more than 100,000 portraits have been created for children in 43 countries."

In a letter sent to Mrs. Kate Kolasinski '95 Doane, teacher of the Art III Pre-portfolio class, Ryan Egan from TMP wrote, " I'm so pleased to let you know that the portraits you created were successfully delivered to the children and teens in Ukraine, and it was a wonderful celebration.  The children were so excited to receive your artwork, and very touched by your efforts to create such special gifts for them."
Please click the link below to play the video created by TMP and sent to our students.


Senior Institute Day
Timmy Pisarski '16 & Lauren Duncan '11   
On April 27, 2017, the senior class celebrated their last Mass as students at St. Francis High School.  Following tradition, they enjoyed a breakfast sponsored by the Alumni Association, during which alumni Lauren Duncan '11 and Timmy Pisarski '16 returned to speak about their experiences and to encourage students to stay connected.

Bill Johnson, Community Outreach and Campus Minister at Marmion Academy, addressed the entire class encouraging them to stand tall and to find Jesus in others.

Then, the seniors attended various workshops intended to prepare them for life after college.  Workshop topics included safety, staying healthy, making responsible choices, financial planning, and keeping their faith.

The day concluded with the seniors receiving their caps and gowns for graduation.

Blessing of the Seniors

Spirit & Pride Golf Outing
Save the date for the St. Francis High School Spirit & Pride Golf Outing on Monday, June 19.

Gather your friends, relatives and co-workers and plan now to attend and enjoy a day at White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville. Golf begins with a shotgun start at 12:00pm. Your golf package includes a buffet lunch and dinner, on-course beverages and hole events.

Watch your mail and email for further details on how to SPONSOR, REGISTER and VOLUNTEER. For more information please contact Larry Rutkowski at or Dan Donati at


Quick Links
(click on anything underlined for more information)

Submit updated email & home addresses, and phone numbers at

Submit an alumni update to share in Focus at
Please find the link to Condolences on our website under the Alumni and Parents sections

Upcoming Events
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April 29
60th Anniversary Dinner

April 30
Spring Choral Concert
3:00 p.m. (Kuhn CAC)

May 12
Music Ensemble
7:00 p.m.

May 15-17
Senior Exams

May 21

May 22-25
Final Exams

May 29
Memorial Day
School Closed

June 19
Spirit & Pride
Golf Outing

Summer Camps
(click on the graphic for more information)
April 6

70th Birthday Party
October 7, 2017
50th Reunion
25th Reunion


St. Francis High School, 2130 West Roosevelt Road, Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone (630)668-5800 | Fax (630) 668-5893 |