The New Focus Newsletter

Welcome to the first digital issue of the St. Francis High School Focus newsletter.  As promised, you will receive this newsletter monthly in order to provide you with more current news and updates, as well as timely information about upcoming events and opportunities.
Please make sure you become familiar with the links in the column to the right which include social media and web links, as well as favorites such as Alumni News and Student Awards. Event links will redirect you to our website where you will be able to get more information, buy tickets, or register for events.
If you have family or friends who want to receive this newsletter but are not on our current email list, please direct them to to subscribe.

Two Spartan Olympians Return Home

On Wednesday, August 31, alumni and Olympians John Vande Velde '67 (two-time Olympian (1968 & 1972), bronze medalist in the Pan American Games and US Bicycling Hall of Fame Inductee) and Kelsey Robinson '10 (2016 bronze medalist in Rio with the US Women's Volleyball Team) returned home to St. Francis to visit with students and staff.

John and Kelsey had the opportunity to meet and share their stories with each other during lunch.  Then they were available to local media for photos and an interview.  The afternoon concluded with an all-school assembly in the Spyglass where John and Kelsey spoke about their experiences, answered student questions and signed autographs.

60th Anniversary Celebration

W hat do the opening of St. Francis High School, the premier of the movie The Ten Commandments and Elvis Presley's first hit song all have in common?  All these events happened 60 years ago!

The 2016-2017 school year marks St. Francis High School's 60th Anniversary.  We are planning various celebrations and honors throughout the year and will kick them off with the Feast of St. Francis Liturgy on October 4.  Please refer to our website and this newsletter for more information about upcoming events and opportunities.

If you would like to help with planning any of the events, please contact Beth Erazmus '89 Wiborg at or 630-668-5800 x 1140.

New Coordinator of Alumni Events,
Becky Feltes '97 Fischesser

I am excited for my new role as the Coordinator of Alumni Events.  I graduated from St. Francis High School in 1997, received my BA from Saint Louis University, and currently live in Wheaton with my husband Dave and our three kids Charlie, Janie and Harry.  I am happy to be back at SFHS where the Spartan community has significantly impacted my life. 

Alumni involvement is an integral part of St. Francis High School. The Alumni Association meets every 2nd Wednesday of alternating months.  All alumni are welcome and encouraged to attend and serve on various committees. Alumni help to plan fundraising events that support the Alumni Association Scholarships.

The Alumni Golf Outing is our main fundraiser and is scheduled for October 7 at Prairie Landing in West Chicago.  Save the date for our All-School Reunion-Oktoberfest which will be held here at SFHS on October 15.  Please follow the "Alumni Events" link to the right for more information and to register for these events.

I would love to hear from alumni of all ages.  The Alumni Association is open to new ideas to help St. Francis High School continue to prosper.  Please contact me at to get involved, with any questions, to share your ideas, or just to say hi!

-Becky Feltes '97 Fischesser

New Director of Admissions,
Maureen Isphording

"I am thrilled to fulfill the role as the Director of Admissions at SFHS.  In the short time I have been a Spartan, I am overwhelmed with the sense of community and support that St. Francis offers.  It is truly a great place to be," said Maureen Isphording, Director of Admissions.  The St. Francis High School Community is happy to welcome her to our family!
Maureen has been busy visiting grade schools, scheduling Future Spartan Shadow Days, and planning events and information nights for prospective familes.  If you know of any students or families interested in St. Francis High School, please refer them to Maureen at and our website for more information.

International Student Program

St. Francis High School warmly welcomed this year's International Students!  The 13 students come to us from five different countries:  China, Italy, Korea, Spain and Vietnam.  Seven of our students have returned to continue their St. Francis High School education, while six are new and arrived ready to and willing to experience everything SFHS has to offer.

For more information about our International Student Program or hosting a student, please contact Beth Erazmus '89 Wiborg at or at 630-668-5800 x 1140.

Help Us to Continue Igniting Dreams

There is so much energy and enthusiasm among our students.  What an exciting and dynamic environment in which to learn!  Theatre, art, music, athletics,technology, science, history...they all open doors for our students; in turn, those doors lead to their futures!  St. Francis High School "plants" the dream of a bright future , giving our students the opportunity to reach for those dreams and encouraging them to pursue all they can.

You probably have received some literature from us in the last week asking for your help.  Unfortunately, the actual cost of educating a student exceeds the tuition charged.  In fact, tuition only covers about 82% of a student's education.  A gift from you can help make up the difference and allow our students to thrive.  We've ignited the dream in our students, but we need your help to make it grow!

Please consider a donation to the St. Francis Fund and continue to ignite the spark for our current students and generations to come.

In the Footsteps of 
St. Francis of Assisi
Celebrate St. Francis High School's 60th Anniversary

We are hosting a trip to ITALY
May 31- June 9, 2017

3 nights in Rome, 1 night in Assisi, 2 nights in Florence, 2 nights in Venice
  • Rome tour with guide
  • Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
  • Spanish Steps
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Saint Peter's Basilica
  • Colosseum & Forum with Guide
  • Mass in the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi
  • Private tour from a Franciscan expert
  • Tour of Florence
  • Tuscan cooking class
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • The Accademia with Michelangelo's David
  • Hidden Venice Tour
  • Gondola ride
  • Venice Murano glass blowing
Informational Meeting
October 12, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Rosmonowski Room
Enter Door #1
Sue Harsa - 815-577-9965 or 815-954-0549 or   
Diane Mercadante - 630-668-5800 x 1148 or

Illinois Boys and Girls State
Sponsored by the American Legion Post 556 at Cantigny, St. Francis High School students Tyler Hodgett '17 (West Chicago) and Madeline Derango '17 (Bartlett) each attended the respective Illinois Boys and Illinois Girls State programs held at Eastern Illinois University in June. They were nominated by faculty, Mr. Mike Harper and Ms. Katie Rodriguez, for their leadership and academic achievements.
According to the Illinois Boys State program website, Boys State began in Illinois in 1934 and is a "program of citizenship training...which may be regarded as a mythical fifty-first state with a constitution, a body of law and practices peculiar to it alone." Participants learn through their involvement in the activities and training designed to encourage their leadership in this state which models the government in Illinois.
Hodgett said, "I did a lot of marching, cheering, games, seminars and much more. They keep you occupied. The experience meant a lot to me and I've grown a lot from it."
Illinois Girls State, according to their website, held its first session in 1940 and is "the largest women's patriotic organization in the world." Similar to Boys State, they "provide a week of citizenship training...for young women in city, county and state government." Participants attended elections, assemblies and flag raisings.
Derango said many of the speakers were women and "as a young girl listening to women who have accomplished so much, that's beyond inspiring." Through the program, she ran for and was elected State's Attorney, learned a new respect for our nation, and discovered "that working together in politics makes a huge difference." Derango also admitted that she was nervous about attending Illinois Girls State, but feels it was a life-changing experience through which she found confidence.
Tom Kotlarczyk, from the American Legion Post 556, said this was the second year that they included St. Francis students in the program and they are excited to hear about Hodgett's and Derango's experiences.

Retiring Faculty and Staff
Thank you to the following faculty and staff who retired last spring:  Donna Hoscheit, Nurse; Sue Kolasinski, Math; Mark Kolodziej, English; Roxy Thornton, Math; and Pete Ventrelli, Social Studies.  We appreciate the gifts and talents you shared with all of us and wish you much happiness in your retirements.  We will miss all of you! Visit our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram sites and use #Hoscheit, #Kolasinski, #Kolodziej, #Thornton, or #Ventrelli, to send them a congratulatory message.


Quick Links


Upcoming Events

October 4
Feast of St. Francis
8:00 a.m. Liturgy

October 7

October 8
3:00 p.m.

October 15
5:00 p.m.

October 23
Open House
11:00 a.m.

November 1
All Saints Day
8:00 a.m. Liturgy

November 6
Alumni Memorial Mass 10:00 a.m.
November 16
Open House
6:00 p.m.


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