Fenwick Unveils Trophy Case for Johnny Lattner’s Heisman

Sixteen members of “Papa John’s” clan returned to campus to see his trophy’s new place of honor, prominently situated in the football star’s beloved high school alma mater.

By Mark Vruno

Few people have loved Fenwick High School more than the late John “Johnny” Lattner, Class of 1950, the student-athlete who went on to national stardom on the football field for the University of Notre Dame. In 1953, Lattner won the coveted Heisman Trophy while playing running back for the Fighting Irish. To date, he is the only Illinois high school player to have gone on to win the Heisman.

When Mr. Lattner passed away in early 2016 at the age of 83, his wake was held in the Lawless Gym at Fenwick. At Johnny’s request, his family bequeathed his Heisman Trophy to the school. On Wednesday, May 24, Irish eyes were smiling as three generations of Lattners gathered to see the emotional unveiling of a beautiful case built especially for the only Heisman Trophy that resides in an Illinois high school. “I can hear him,” said Peggy, his widow, as she listened to a recording of her husband’s voice on a pre-ceremony video. (View the Washington Post’s four-minute, “Traveling Heisman” video.)

The event was filled with emotion and pride. “Our Dad grew up on the West Side in a tough neighborhood,” reflected Jack Lattner, one of Johnny’s sons and also a Fenwick alumnus from the Class of ’80. “People discouraged him from going to Notre Dame because they said he wouldn’t play there. He wanted to prove them wrong…. If seeing this trophy in school inspires just one kid that he can do anything, it will have served its purpose here.”

VIEW VIDEO OF THE CEREMONY.

Continue reading “Fenwick Unveils Trophy Case for Johnny Lattner’s Heisman”

Alumni Spotlight: Sheena Quinn ’00

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Sheena Quinn ’00 is in her third season as Director of Public Relations for the Chicago White Sox.  She oversees the organization’s public-relations efforts, annual SoxFest fan convention and multicultural community outreach.

“I started in journalism at Marquette University and then jumped to PR my sophomore year after learning more about the industry,” she says of her career path. Quinn is married to Peter Purvis, a musician who tours in the chart-topping Celtic pop band Gaelic Storm. “We live near my family in Edison Park [Chicago] — including my brother and sisters who all graduated from Fenwick — with our rescue dog, Dottie.”

Quinn helped to connect White Sox All-Star pitching ace José Quintana with NBC’s Jimmy Fallon of “The Tonight Show” for a short segment this past April. In the skit, Quintana thanks Fallon for helping him learn English through his show and offers to teach Fallon a little Spanish. The appearance resulted in a wave of positive buzz on social media, reaching a national audience of more than 2.6 million and generating $471,000 in publicity value.

Fenwick was a one of the most pivotal experiences in my development,” Quinn explains. “I met some of my best friends, developed critical learning, problem-solving and teamwork skills through my classroom skills, but also my experience playing for the girls’ basketball team there with Coach Power. Fenwick challenged me to pursue big dreams and gave me the foundation of knowledge to help achieve them.”

Prior to joining the White Sox, Quinn spent nearly 11 years at Public Communication Inc., a national integrated communications agency, where she spearheaded media and special-event campaigns for a variety of entertainment, museum and sports programs, including Shedd Aquarium, the Arena Football League and KeyLime Cove. Quinn contributed to several campaigns, including the opening of Six Flags Great America’s Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee, IL, a campaign that broke the park’s pre-season and season ticket sales record; the Chicago Rush’s Arena Bowl Championship celebration efforts; and the multiple PRSA Silver Anvil Award-winning program to save the nonprofit community health center, Howard Brown Health Center.

Quinn graduated cum laude from Marquette University in Milwaukee with a bachelor’s degree in communications and public relations. She is involved with the Publicity Club of Chicago, the Marquette Ethnic Alumni Association and participated in the Filipino American History Month celebration in October 2016 at the White House, discussing issues of interest to the Filipino-American community with members of the Asian American Pacific Islanders Initiative. 

Go Friars, and go White Sox!  

2017 Honors Convocation

Congratulations to Fenwick’s Class of ’17!

Academic Achievements

  • ACT Composite 27.3 (highest in school history)
  • 25 students recognized in the National Merit Program
    • 7 Finalists
    • 18 Commended
  • 3 National Hispanic Recognition Finalists
  • 98 Illinois State Scholars (35% of class)
  • 175 Presidential Scholars (63% of class)
  • 7 Evans Scholars
  • 2 appointments to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs​
  • 179 members of the Class of 2017 have been awarded 590 scholarships from 139 universities and foundations. Thus, 64 % of the class has received academic recognition in the monetary amount of over $33,400,000 

Extracurricular Achievements (2016-2016)

  • TEAMS (formerly JETS) – 1st in state among division schools and 1st in the nation
  • WYSE  – 2nd in state STEM competition

Chicago’s West Side Story

How Dominicans shaped Fenwick and the surrounding areas.

By Fr. Richard Peddicord, O.P.

Saint Dominic de Guzman (1170-1221) and his contemporary, St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), were 13th century religious innovators. As founders, respectively, of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders, their vision was to bring the good news of the gospel to the urban centers of Europe. The members of their religious communities, known as friars, would be present to the people of God — living and ministering in the same milieu as the people of God.

This move was revolutionary for the religious life of the time. Up to that time, the overarching model had been monastic life. The great monasteries of Europe were in the countryside. The monks worked the land and supported themselves through agriculture. They took a vow of stability — promising to remain physically attached — to their monastery. This ethos has been succinctly referred to as fuga mundi, “fleeing from the world.” The monks, who had, by entrance into the monastery, fled the world, would not go out to the people; the people would go the monks for prayer and education.

In contrast, Saint Dominic and Saint Francis began what we might call a “ministry of presence.” They and their friars would not be remote and removed from their brothers and sisters.  Instead, they would live in their midst, take part in their lives, and minister to them on their own turf.  They would, so to speak, embrace the world and be leaven in the world to transform the world.  At the same time, they would not expend their energy in agriculture; they would live by the charity of others — recognizing that because of their ministry, the worker is worthy of his wage (cf. Luke 10:7).

Continuing the Tradition

The Dominican friars at Fenwick High School continue that ministry of presence first envisioned by St. Dominic. The friars of Fenwick are present to the Fenwick community in all aspects of the “Fenwick experience.”  (And, the visible sign of their religious commitment, “the habit,” does indeed help us to stand out in a crowd!)  Through our teaching, celebrating the sacraments, coaching, supervising, counseling, and cheering teams on to victory, the Dominican friars bring the good news of the gospel to the Fenwick community.

During the 2016-2017 school year, eight friars have been assigned to Fenwick by the Dominican provincial, Fr. James Marchionda, O.P. This commitment of manpower (under the general conditions of a clergy shortage) is a powerful sign of the significance of Fenwick High School in the Order’s ministerial priorities. They are:

  • Richard Peddicord, O.P.—president
  • Richard LaPata, O.P.—president emeritus, member of the Institutional Advancement department
  • Dennis Woerter, O.P.—director of campus ministry, teacher, assistant soccer coach for boys’ and girls’ teams
  • Michael Winkels, O.P.—teacher, assistant technology director, assistant hockey coach
  • Douglas Greer, O.P.—teacher
  • Paul Byrd, O.P.—teacher
  • Nicholas Monco, O.P.—teacher, chess team coach
  • Joseph Trout, O.P.—teacher, assistant cross country coach

    Historical Brotherhood

Continue reading “Chicago’s West Side Story”

CCL Hall of Fame to Induct 4 Former Friars

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A cardiothoracic surgeon in California, Dominic Tedesco ’74 was an two-way, “ironman” football player at Fenwick who went on to play (and study) at the University of Michigan.

 

Congratulations to former Fenwick football standout Dominic Tedesco ’74, who on May 4 will be inducted into the Chicago Catholic League Hall of Fame. Tedesco was a two-way starter at Fenwick, playing tight end on offense and strong safety/ linebacker on defense. His fourth-quarter and overtime heroics — a touchdown tying catch at the end of regulation and game-ending interception in overtime — culminated in a Friars’ victory over the Weber Red Horde. His senior season (1973) saw Fenwick defeat two different teams that each ranked #1 in the state. Dominic was named to the Catholic League All-Conference Team on offense and the All-State Team on defense. He received the Outstanding Student-Athlete Award from the Holy Cross Club of Chicago and was named to the New World All-America Team.

Tedesco went on to play at the University of Michigan while studying pre-med. He played on three Big Ten Championship teams, an Orange Bowl and Rose Bowls his junior and senior years. He was recognized by Sports Illustrated as one of the stars of the 1977 Rose Bowl game. He received All-Big Ten Academic Team honors in 1976 and 1977 and was named to the All-Big Ten Team in 1977. He was the first recipient of the Ernest T. Siglar Award presented annually to the outstanding University of Michigan scholar athlete.

Dominic attended Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and later did his general and cardiothoracic surgery residencies at Rush Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center. He has been practicing cardiothoracic surgery in Southern California for 27 years and has performed more than 5,000 heart surgeries. Tedesco was invested as a Knight in the Order of Malta and serves on the medical team for the Order’s annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, France.

“I thank my mother, Delores, for being my biggest fan and supporter,” says the soon-to-be Hall of Famer, who lives in Southern California with his wife, Carolyn, “who gave me my three greatest treasures in life: Nicholas, Quentin and Carina.”

Joining Tedesco in the CCL HOF are three other 2017 inductees with Fenwick connections:

  • Don Sebestyen, dean of students and head varsity football coach from 1981-86.
  • Will Rey, Friars’ head varsity basketball coach from 1982-85, who also coached at Gordon Tech (now DePaul Prep) and is still coaching at the collegiate level.
  • Ed Formanski, who served as a counselor for years at Fenwick before moving to Hinsdale Central High School.

Dominican Collaboration Spanning the Decades

For 88 years now, nearly 200 friars have rolled up their sleeves to help make Fenwick a beacon of light and hope.

By Father Jim Marchionda, O.P.

Dominican friar Father James Dominic Kavanaugh “worked all day long with the housecleaning brigade, putting his hand to any task that presented itself with a good will and cheerfulness that were an inspiration in themselves.” – from the Rosary Convent Annals of October 5, 1922

Saint Dominic meets Saint Francis: Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.)

Years before Fenwick High School first opened its doors nearly 88 years ago, Dominican friars flourished in a multitude of ways throughout the developing western suburbs of Chicago. Dominicans have made major contributions and significant differences in the lives of countless high school and college students, parents of students, members of their own Dominican Family, and thousands upon thousands of parishioners in the villages of Oak Park, River Forest and beyond, for close to 100 years.

The opening quote above, referring to the dirty, dusty and dramatic opening days of Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest, Illinois, established by our beloved Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, demonstrates the meaning, joy and power of collaboration that has existed between Dominican women and men for centuries. Fr. Kavanaugh, then chaplain at the Sinsinawa Mound (located near Dubuque, Iowa), came to Chicago with the sisters, rolled up his sleeves, got down on his hands and knees and did whatever work was necessary in preparation for the opening of Rosary College in 1922. For eight full days, he helped wherever and however he could. All those many years ago, Fr. Kavanaugh already resembled the brave, bold words that our own Pope Francis has used to describe and define anew how priests, bishops and all ecclesial leaders can best serve the church of today. “Roll up your sleeves and get to work!” (Pope Francis interview: “A Big Heart Open to God”)

Advancing the spirit of Dominican collaboration on the West side of Chicago, friars served as chaplains at both Rosary College and Trinity High School for many years. Residing at the Dominican House of Studies on the corner of Harlem Avenue and Division Street in River Forest, friars provided great spiritual formation to both men and women. It was in the early 1920s that Cardinal Mundelein gave the Dominican Friars permission to build the House of Studies on the condition that they also found a high school in the archdiocese. We are well-aware of the great grandeur that followed. On September 9, 1929, 11 Dominican priests opened wide Fenwick’s doors to 200 students, leading to the first graduating class of 1932. By 1936, a mere seven years later, Fenwick won its First Catholic League football championship. It did not take long for the Fenwick Friars to flex their cumulative muscles, demonstrating their great aptitude for sports, while at the same time raising the bar for the decades that followed!

Build and Rebuild

Even before Fenwick’s doors opened, other dynamic Dominicans such as Fr. Kavanaugh were making their own marks on the West side. Continue reading “Dominican Collaboration Spanning the Decades”

Garrett Mulcahy ’17 receives Beering Scholarship

The Fenwick senior is one of eight students nationally to earn Purdue’s prestigious scholarship, which is valued at more than $200,000!

Fenwick High School senior student Garrett Mulcahy is the proud recipient of a Beering Scholarship from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. The 18-year-old, who resides in Elmhurst and attended Bryan Middle School, plans to study mathematics in the fall of 2017. Garrett’s father, Patrick, is head of the Theology Department at Fenwick.

The generous Beering Scholarship will pay for all of Mulcahy’s educational expenses, including undergraduate tuition, room and board, and extends beyond his bachelor’s degree to cover graduate-school expenses: either a master’s degree or MBA as well as one doctoral degree or medical school degree (the latter through Indiana University). Is this opportunity too good to be true? No, but it is highly selective: Each year, only eight students from around the country are chosen to receive the honor, based on their high school credentials and leadership skills, explains Catharine Patrone, student services director in Purdue’s Honors College. Even young-but-savvy Mulcahy admits, “When I first received the email encouraging me to apply [for the scholarship], I thought it was a scam.”

Continue reading “Garrett Mulcahy ’17 receives Beering Scholarship”

Faculty Focus: April 2017

Meet Fenwick English Teacher Mary Marcotte.

What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at Fenwick?

MM: This is my 43rd year of teaching and my 22nd year at Fenwick. My past teaching experience before Fenwick was both public and private. People often ask me to explain the difference between the catholic and public school environments. In a word, the answer is “atmosphere.” But to explain atmosphere, I would point to the Dominican philosophy. The aura surrounding a Friar is one of developing leadership, seeking discourse in scholarship all the while united in Prayer. As a teacher here at Fenwick, I am constantly in awe of our students’ potential and am privileged to help them realize that potential.

What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?

MM: I am an avid gardener, and my garden was featured on a garden walk in 2002. When I am not outside, I love growing orchids, particularly miniature varieties. Also, I love and frequently attend Shakespeare plays at Navy Pier and at the Stratford Festival in Canada.

Which clubs/Sports/Activities do you run at Fenwick?

MM: My past sponsorships/advisories have included: Speech and Debate, Touchstone Magazine, Yearbook (8 Gallery of excellence awards) and Write Place Advisor. I was also English Department Chair for seven years. Currently, I am Director for Student Publications.
Continue reading “Faculty Focus: April 2017”

Faculty Focus: Mary Logas

What is your educational background?

Educational background: I graduated from public schools in Oak Park, Including OPRF, then got my bachelor’s degree from U of I in Champaign in 3 years (which I did not think was all that great, but my parents did when they saved a year of tuition), and then attended University of Chicago in graduate school in political science for 4 years. I took college courses for fun at times before getting my certification and MA in Teaching from Dominican, and once figured out that I have about 200 hours of college credit.

Continue reading “Faculty Focus: Mary Logas”

Faculty Focus: February 2017

 

Meet Fenwick Science Teacher David Kleinhans.

Educational background:
BS Computer Science Engineering
JD Intellectual Property Law

What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at Fenwick?
DK: I love work. Prior to university, I was an ice cream scooper, bus boy, and owned a window washing business. After university, I worked in the software industry for 20 years. Ultimately, I founded a company with a close friend and we grew that business until we were acquired by Cognos, IBM’s software divisions. I worked at Cognos for 5 years post acquisition running an international business unit focused on financial performance and analytic software.

What are you currently reading for enjoyment?
DK: I just joined a men’s book club with some friends that are also in my fantasy football league. We are reading The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis. Interesting already!

What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?
DK: I like anything outside and that involves new travel. I love to run, bike, hike, ski, and board in new and old locales. I am also a bit of a greenie and a handyman. This past summer I installed a new deck and solar panels. Fun!

To what teams and/or clubs did you belong as a student?
DK: When I was young, I was on the soccer, wrestling and math teams. Our math team was 12 people. Quite a difference from the numbers Fenwick sees on the math team and on the WYSE and JETS teams. I love how engaged our students are in STEM. Continue reading “Faculty Focus: February 2017”