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Saint Patrick Celebrates Top 20 of 2020

While 2020 had its challenges, Saint Patrick ended the year celebrating its Top 20 of 2020 and the school’s many accomplishments!

#20 The 52nd Annual Green + Gold Gala was a huge success thanks to alumni and friends. The event, the largest fundraiser of the year for Saint Patrick, once again raised over $400,000 for the young men who attend the institution. Senior Joey Thome was the student speaker and a video entitled Opportunity featuring other Class of 2020 Shamrocks in attendance was shown. Board Vice Chairman Greg Josefowicz ’70 received the Saint Patrick Legacy Award for his generosity and lifelong commitment to the school (Read press release).

#19 Sean Conway ‘22 became the first wrestler in St. Pat’s history to medal as both a freshman and sophomore, finishing in 6th place at the IHSA State Wrestling Tournament. Conway was joined by fellow Shamrock state-qualifiers Ronald Krewer ’20 and Alex Goworowski ’22.

#18 The Saint Patrick Board of Trustees approved an additional $500,000 in tuition assistance to assist current and incoming families, including those impacted by COVID-19 (Read press release). Saint Patrick was featured in the Chicago Catholic article “Catholic high schools offering financial help to families affected by COVID-19,” and President Dr. Joseph Schmidt, AFSC and Board Chairman Mick O’Rourke ’86 were interviewed on the Catholic Schools Today Radio Show about St. Pat’s efforts to assist families with the cost of a Catholic school education and the Class of 2025 Placement Exam.

#17 The Saint Patrick Theatre Department produced The Kaleidoscope Project, a virtual performance including a series of short performances from students that reflect a variety of genres and topics. The Theatre Department also began streaming past performances of shows including  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and the award-winning production of We All Rise on the St. Pat’s Theatre YouTube Channel.

#16 The Swim Team and Lasallian Youth participated in the Polar Plunge and raised over $5,400 for Special Olympics Chicago.

#15 Six Class of 2020 seniors received full tuition and housing scholarships to attend six top universities (Read story). Saint Patrick continues to lead the nation in Evans Scholars and added two more from the Class of 2021 (Read story).

#14 Shamrocks participated in Catholic Schools Week, hosting Haerther Scholars from five high schools for a service project to benefit homeless veterans (Read press release). The entire student body also made 1,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to be distributed to the homeless through Night Ministry. Saint Patrick was featured in the Chicago Catholic article “Students from different schools join together to serve” and Archdiocese of Chicago video “Catholic School Students Helping Their Communities.”

#13 Saint Patrick became one of the first schools to pivot to Virtual Celebrations starting with the NHS Induction Ceremony in mid-April followed by an Academic Awards Ceremony, Founders Day Celebration and more!

#12 Shamrock Hoops held two food drives in May and June to collect donations for Catholic Charities. In the months ahead, Student Council led a collection for the Open Arms Ministry Men’s Shelter while Shamrock Football, Lasallian Youth and other students volunteered at the Louie G. Food Pantry. Additionally, Lasallian Youth held their annual Thanksgiving Food Drive for St. Celestine Church’s Alvernia Food Pantry and Christmas Toy Drive for Advocate Children’s Hospital.

#11 From the beginning of the stay-at-home order through the end of the first semester, students and faculty/staff led the Shamrock community in Daily Prayers each school day. Whether posted on social media or included in the Daily Shamrock News, the Shamrock community was guided by prayer through these challenging times. Once students returned to school in the fall, Friday Morning Masses in the Chapel were resumed and All-School Liturgies, including Mass of the Holy Spirit, Mass of Thanksgiving and Mass of the Immaculate Conception were livestreamed for all to join.

#10 Cross Country and Golf had their seasons and did not disappoint! After all seven runners ran a PR at Regionals, Cross Country finished 5th as a team to advance to Sectionals. Sophomore Liam MacLellan was named All-Conference and advanced to the ShaZam Cross Country Championship Meet.

In Coach McIntee’s first season as Head Golf Coach, three Shamrocks (Emilio Bedon ‘22, Brendan Borner ‘21 and Colin Flynn ‘21) represented Saint Patrick at Sectionals after the team played well enough to finish 3rd at Regionals which in a non-pandemic year would have qualified them to advance!

#9 Saint Patrick honored the members of its community serving on the frontlines of the pandemic. We are eternally grateful to the health care professionals, first responders and essential workers who continue to put themselves in harm’s way to protect us during these challenging times.

Nominees for the Shamrocks Care Wall of Honor received a note of appreciation and challenge coin. In addition, Saint Patrick faculty & staff received a coin and will be added to the banner for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to continue providing a quality education to our students!

#8 In September, our beloved President Dr. Joseph G. Schmidt, AFSC announced his decision to transition out of his current role at the end of the 2020-21 school year. After serving the school for 54 years as a teacher, coach, dean, principal and its first lay president, Dr. Joe will continue to serve Saint Patrick in an ambassador role and working with families and deserving caddies who qualify for a Chick Evans Scholarship as a Director for the Western Golf Association.

In a beautifully written letter to the Saint Patrick family, Dr. Joe shared,  “Saint Patrick is a community where the values of our Catholic faith are alive and well, and we continue to deliver the promise of a Lasallian education as we live our mission every day. I remain confident in our ability to face the challenges of the current school year and committed to standing with you to continue building the future of Saint Patrick High School.”

#7 Saint Patrick Hoops won their second consecutive Regional Championship and 23rd in school history! St. Pat’s was recently included in the Chicago Sun-Times Top 50 winningest high school basketball programs of the decade as Head Coach Bailey, now in his 27th year at St. Pat’s, has led the team to five Regional titles in the last seven seasons while averaging 19 wins a year over the last six years.

#6 Twenty-six Shamrocks committed to furthering their academic and athletic careers in 2020 at Division I, II, III and NAIA schools in six sports: Football (6), Baseball (10), Soccer (5), Basketball (3), Cross Country/Track (2) and Water Polo (1). One student-athlete (AJ Fitzpatrick ‘20) committed to play two sports (Baseball & Football). A virtual College Signing Day was held in the spring while five football players committed to further their academic and athletic careers in the early part of the year in addition to Kwame Achampong ‘20 who committed to play football at Division I Georgetown University. Signing Days for two student-athletes were held at the start of the fall semester and Aaron Moreno ‘20 recently committed to Div. I Chicago State for soccer!

#5 is the most liked and commented on social media post of the year. When longtime Dean of Students and Football Coach Russ Lucas ’81 retired at the end of the 2019-20 school year, generations of Shamrocks shared stories of what Coach Lucas meant to them and the important role he played in their lives. Saint Patrick also congratulated Brian Glorioso (Athletic Director), Cathy Cermak (Assistant to the Athletic Director), Karl Sullivan (Technical Director and Theatre Manager) and Dan Eberle (Religion Teacher/Department Chair and Baseball Coach) on their retirements in 2020.

#4 Shamrock Bowling took 4th place at the IHSA State Finals in O’Fallon, IL AND Jacob Perry ’22 tied for 5th place as an individual with a 223 average while Josh Baumstark ’20 averaged 215 to finish 20th. For the third consecutive season, the Shamrocks qualified for the IHSA State Finals and for the first time since the 2013-14 season, the team advanced to the second day of competition. Saint Patrick went into the final three games in 7th place before finishing 4th! The entire student body celebrated the team’s tremendous season at a pep rally in the gym.

Although technically in 2019, the Soccer Shamrocks also finished 4th in the state in the 2019-20 school year for the second time in three years.

#3 On the day the Class of 2020 was supposed to graduate, Saint Patrick administration, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and students surprised seniors with a car parade by their homes for a Senior Celebration. ABC 7 was on hand and featured St. Pat’s on the evening news: “Class of 2020: St. Patrick High School celebrates graduates with car parade.”

#2 Saint Patrick became one of the first schools to hold an in-person ceremony for its graduates. From the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Joe felt it was important to not only bring our graduates and their families together one last time, but, if at all possible, do it in a Church setting. On July 14 & 15, and abiding by all social distancing guidelines, Saint Patrick safely welcomed the Class of 2020 and their families to the beautiful Saint Ferdinand Church for the 159th Baccalaureate Liturgy with Commencement Exercises and what a thrill it was!

#1 Shamrocks returned to school (See End of Semester Video)! In August, Saint Patrick began its 160th school year by welcoming the Class of 2024 and the rest of the student body back to school. After months of planning, St. Pat’s released a comprehensive Return to School Plan outlining safety measures and precautions the school had taken with an option to attend school in-person on a hybrid schedule or continue with full-time remote learning. Earlier this month, St. Pat’s welcomed the newest class of Shamrocks to the family for the Class of 2025 Placement Exam!

As we begin 2021, we look back on 2020 with gratitude for all who made it possible for us to remain together whether in-person or virtually this year. Our strength is our community and together we are #ShamrockStrong!

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