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Thursday, June 7,  2018 *  Volume 15  *  Issue 43

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On Friday, our remaining students grades 1-7 & 11 will participate in our first ever Dignity Walk as we conclude our Dignity Revolution activities. We've been focusing on the important teaching that we are all made in the image of God and each person is a valued member of our community; each person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. For our dignity walk, we will be visiting our community partners whose role/service it is to provide and treat others with dignity. Our students will walk by grade level to our various partners, have a short presentation and then offer a "flower of dignity" to give them. Before leaving our preschool and kindergarten students also did their own Dignity Walk. Our kindergartners visited Gigi's Playhouse to thank them for all their work and support for people with Down's Syndrome. See the picture at the left. 

Then we will come together for the end of year mass at 10:30 AM in Church. We hope you can join us. On Friday, June 8th, our students will have an 11:30AM dismissal. There will be no PM extended care this day. And there is no lunch served. 

I'd like to thank all our faculty and staff who have served our parish school community this year. We accomplish a lot because we think of ourselves as a team. We do have a few people leaving us at the end of this year. May God bless your new ministry and endeavors: Elizabeth Kraig (inclusion), Andrea Montgomery (2nd), Jessica Lyons (ES Spanish), Matt Martino (secondary science), Adriana Kolev (French), Mary Jo Kent, (Secondary Art), Phil Siegel (Innovation Coach), Dr. Erika Mickelburgh, (Head of High School). 

Finally, before report cards and transcripts are issued, all monies owed to the school need to be paid in full. Please check your FACTS and RenWeb billing accounts to make sure you are current. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Ben Mazzone in the tuition office at 

This will more than likely be the last BUZZ for a few weeks during summer while we take some time to close one year, reflect and plan for the coming school year. We will have a summer mailing sometime in July just to remind everyone of all the things that need to happen before school starts up again. Hopefully we'll see you all at BenFest if not sometime before. 

Let's have a great SUMMER!

Peace - Ms. Rachel Gemo, Head of Parish School


Here are Upcoming Dates to Keep in Mind

  • Friday, June 8th – Dignity Walk, End of Year Mass and Last Day of School (11:30AM Dismissal)
  • Monday, June 11th Summer at St. Ben's Summer Camp Begins - 3Point Athletic Camps Begins
  • Friday, June 15th – Choose Your Own Amazing Adventure (Formerly Known as the Amazing Race @ St. Benedict)
  • Monday, June 18th - Preschool-Grade 1 Theme-based summer camps begin (see more info below) 
  • Monday, June 18th - Summer Office Hours Begins M-Thursday 8AM to Noon, Closed Fridays
  • Friday, June 29th - Last Day to Sign Tuition Agreement 
  • Wednesday, July 4th - No School - Parish Campus Closed for Independence Day 
  • Friday, July 20th - 22nd - BENFEST


Elementary and Secondary School Office SUMMER Hours

Monday, June 18th - Summer Office Hours Begins M-Thursday 8AM to Noon. We will be closed on Fridays. 

Preschool/Early Childhood Hours 7:30AM to 5PM Monday through Friday 

Graduation Pictures for 8th Grade and 12th Grade - Update

Parents/Guardians of our recent 8th and 12th Grade Graduates will receive an email with a link to a cloud based file with available pictures. Families will be able to download them for free. We expect to have the pictures ready in a couple weeks. 

333 Trees to Be Planted in SBPS"S

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Congratulations St. Benedict Preparatory School- elementary and middle school - on being a TreeRing Green Yearbook School! Since we've sold 333 yearbooks, we'll be working with our partner, Trees for the Future, to plant that many trees in our school's name.  

Summer Work for Students to Keep Brains Sharp and In Shape - and FREE! 

The students will still have access to some of our online programs this summer.

We encourage families to use these:

  • iXL - some grades have math; some have both Language Arts and Math
  • If you need your password, please email your homeroom teacher. (Your child should know their logins). This is important practice since we will be mostly "one-to-one" with laptops next year. 
  • Razz Kids - For grades K-2 (online reading resources).
  • Use the Read Around the Block Game board and activities (see below) - this incorporates reading, writing, communication and creative innovation 
  • Don't forget to attend church. Our brains need to remain sharp, but we can't forget to work on our faith either! 

The Catholic School Difference - Every body who loves Catholic education is talking about this study!

A new study shows the benefit of demanding student self-discipline.  Click here to read more. 

PARENTS Please complete these two surveys

The 2017-18 school year is quickly coming to a close. Soon all the celebrations and ceremonies will have ended, and the students will be gone for summer vacation.

The leadership team at St. Benedict Prep uses this "quiet" time to reflect on the previous school year's successes and challenges, in order to plan for school improvements and enhancements. Your feedback will inform our reflective practice.

We invite all school families to complete the following two surveys.

Survey I allows parents to rate and comment on all aspects of Catholic school excellence as defined by the National Catholic Education Association.


Survey II allows parents to provide feedback on student support services.


We ask you to take time to complete these surveys by Monday, June 18th. Thank you for your time and input.

Missed our Strings, Band and Children's Choir Concert? Check out the video recording posted on our Facebook Page! 

Our student musicians and singers did amazing work!  Congrats to Ms. Stapleton, Ms. Stamper, Ms. Piotrowski, Mr. Hansen and Mr. Kiolbassa! 

Here's the link:

Current Staff Interested In Providing Summer Tutoring 

Please see the list of current teachers who are available to provide tutoring during the summer. Parents may work out the terms and days/times privately. 

Emily McGuinn

Math/ Reading
Third grade review
Preparation for third grade
Only available Mondays and Fridays

Kelly O'Hara

Prep for 3rd-5th grade
Available Tuesday-Thursday
Willing to work at SBPS or other location

Peter White

\ALL subjects - email for specifics/availability 

Congratulations to our Bengal Artists Who Will Be Showcased this Summer At Crawford Supply on Lincoln Ave

Thanks for you help making the Crawford Supply Art Showcase Event such a huge success. We had over 100 guests come see and celebrate our students' hard work. Here is just a sample below. You can come visit throughout the summer through August. Tell them you are a "Friend of St. Ben's" to get a discount on your purchase. 


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End of School Year School Advisory Board Update and New Members 

We welcome and congratulate our new executive board and our new board members (new board members names are noted in maroon)

2018-19 St. Benedict Preparatory School Advisory Board

Chair: Becky Hauman

Strategic Planning: Megan Biggam (Committee Chair, Vice Chair), Therese Grohman

Finance: Elizabeth Zakaras (Committee Chair, Secretary), Beka Kohmescher

Development: Bill Yankowski (Committee Chair), Brian Stearns

Academic Excellence / Catholic Identity: Carrie Tracy (Committee Chair), Pat Patras, Annie Beach

Marketing: Julie Rothweiler, Erich Parker (Committee Co-Chairs), Dean Evans,Jenny Roock

Technology: Ron Wojcik (Committee Chair), Alan Johnson

Thank you to the following board members who served a 3 year term and are rolling off in June. We thank you for your time and your commitment to St. Ben's!

Tim Urquhart - Chair & 2 years on Finance

Karla Stearns - Secretary & Co-Chair Marketing & Communications

Gina Hortatsos - Catholic Identity

Jose Ronchetta - Facilities

The 2018-19 Advisory Board will continue to work on the Strategic Plan, "Reaching New Heights". Some key items for next year include:

1. What's in a Mission? - A lot! As you all know we announced and celebrated our new school mission at Gala 2018! Our writing committee of school board and faculty members are still hard at work completing the remaining 3 foundational documents for our school. The philosophy statement, the profile of the graduates at graduation and the vision statement should be completed by the end of the school year.

2. Telling our Story - Marketing the new mission of our school, a school dedicated serving those in early childhood through grade 8 and focused on 21st century learning, with a cohesive marketing and advertising plan.  

3. Branding Our School - Hire a Director of Marketing. The school has posted a Director of Marketing position to oversee the marketing and brand of SBPS. This person will oversee marketing the school along with driving enrollment for all levels of schooling. The goal is to tell our story to those we currently serve and those we want to serve.  

4.  The Annual School Fund - 100% of the money raised will go to the school and continue to support our Reaching New Heights Strategic Plan goals.

5. Technology - It's hard to believe that just last fall we launched the 1:1 device program. This Fall almost the entire block will be participating in the 1:1 device program. Laptops will be distributed to K, 3, 5, & 6 grades this year. With our 2nd year of distribution grades K, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 will have 1:1 devices.  2nd graders will have 2:1 devices with laptops shared in classrooms. (8th graders bring their own devices).

6. Office 365 - Administrators and faculty are migrating to Office 365! With a lot of research done by our technology committee we have found that office 365 is the system that will best meet our schools needs.  

7. Service Learning - The academic excellence and catholic identity committees will begin work on service learning programs for all levels of schooling.  

8. Teacher Retention - We love our teachers and we know they love SBPS! The finance committee in partnership with the School Improvement Leadership Team is continuing efforts on teacher retention ideas.

9. New Windows- The facilities committee has been working in-conjunction with the parish facilities committee on delivering the second phase of the Forward in Our Faith capital campaign. Look for tuck pointing and new windows along Leavitt in the coming months! 

10. By-laws - The advisory board is proposing minor changes to the advisory board by-laws. Please click here to view the proposed amendments. Should you have any questions or concerns please email Becky Hauman: The board will vote on the amendments to the by-laws at our June 20th board meeting.  

Have a wonderful and safe summer and we'll see you all in the fall!

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Have your Child Spend His/Her Summer with Us!  Summer Camp Registration is NOW OPEN 

  • Themed - based creative and exploratory camps for Grades Preschool - Grade 2 
  • Athletic Camps for grades 1-8 
  • Summer Vacation Bible School - SHIPWRECKED 
  • Jump into Kindergarten with Ms. Tarris 


Thanks to the Home and School Association for a Great Field Day!  What a Glorious Day! 

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Are You Planning to Volunteer for St. Benedict Parish and School this Summer or Next School Year? Did you know you need to attend a Protecting God's Children Training in order to volunteer?

Here's how to sign up for the training hosted at St. Benedict Parish and Preparatory School. 

Protecting God's Children Trainings st St. Benedict Parish

 Tuesday, June 12th 6:30pm-8:30pm

-Tuesday, July 17th 6:30pm-8:30pm

In the Ackerman Center (Corner of Irving Park Road and Bell) 

Beaven Hall (lower level)  2217 W. Irving Park Road 

Please enter on Irving Park Road

This training is mandatory for all parish and school volunteers. Spaces fill up fast so register early. If you have already completed this training, there is no need to do it again.

Attendees  MUST REGISTER (CLICK HERE) for the training - Click on the link labeled "registration." Please note that CHILDREN are not able to attend the training and must be left at home.  Late arrivals will NOT be permitted entry to training so please give yourself a little extra time to get here safely. Please feel free to bring a snack or a beverage if needed. If you have any questions or difficulty registering, please contact Geoff Pautsch at

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Father Michael Pfleger has invited our parishioners to join his parish community of St. Sabina in their annual peace march.  
Friday, June 15th at 7PM
We will be taking the 14 passenger bus to the rally at 1210 W. 78th Pl.  
First come first served as we have limited seating on the bus.  
Please email Mr. Accardi if interested to
Help take a stand for peace and justice in our city and join us on June 15th.

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Monks and Wrenches is Back!! 
Parish Stewardship Cleanup day - Saturday, June 16th

During the morning of Saturday June 16th, we are scheduling a Parish Stewardship Day to do some clean up both in the parish and the school.  In the past, this day was called Monks and Wrenches and we would like to bring back this tradition!  The plan is to attend daily Mass at 8:30 am, gather in Beaven for coffee and refreshments and then spend a couple of hours doing some worthwhile campus projects.  Lunch will then be provided for all that participate. If you are able to help, you can sign up using this link or contact Elaine Lindia, Pastoral Associate at (773) 509-3806 or at  

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Holy Name Society's Annual BBQ
Monday - June 25, 2018

Hot Dogs, Brats and Burgers with all the fixin's
Beer Soda and Water
Starting at 6:30  in Beaven Hall
No cost but please RSVP to Jim Strzalka at by June 20



We need you!

Hosting 5,000 people for a 3-day festival takes a huge team of volunteers....over 400 to be exact!  We are looking for parishioners, parents and students to volunteer a few hours of their time.  We need help to manage booths, tents and kids activities all weekend long, but we are especially short on man power for our set-up on Friday, July 20.  All students that volunteer will earn service hours for their time.  Grab a friend, bring some sunscreen and sign up for a shift or 2 at BenFest!  Sign up at:

Get all your BenFest purchases out of the way and crossed it off your check list before school is over!

Make all of your BenFest purchases online using our advance purchasing option! Purchase your BenFest Friend (BFF) sponsorship, beer tasting tickets, BenFest Buddy tickets and weekend activity wristbands all before you get to the gates!  New this year get your game truck punch card!  5 30 minute sessions for $45!  

NEW FOR 2018: BenFest will feature a School of Rock Showcase on Saturday on the main stage!

House bands from Oak Park, Geneva and Arlington Heights will fill the stage and we're looking for some kids from the Block to play too!  Do you know a St. Ben's current or former student that participates in a School of Rock band?  We Want YOU to Play on Saturday at BenFest!  Email Jenni Petrillo for more information at

Get all your BenFest purchases out of the way and crossed it off your check list before school is over!  Make all of your BenFest purchases online using our advance purchasing option! Purchase your BenFest Friend (BFF) sponsorship, beer tasting tickets, BenFest Buddy tickets and weekend activity wristbands all before you get to the gates!  New this year get your game truck punch card!  5 30 minute sessions for $45!  Click here for advance purchasing.

NEW FOR 2018:

BenFest will feature a School of Rock Showcase on Saturday on the main stage! House bands from Oak Park, Geneva and Arlington Heights will fill the stage and we're looking for some kids from the Block to play too!  Do you know a St. Ben's current or former student that participates in a School of Rock band?  We Want YOU to Play on Saturday at BenFest!  Email Jenni Petrillo for more information!

BenFest Friends 2018 - Become a BFF! 

In order for all families to receive the proper recognition, the deadline for becoming a BFF is July 1.

Hosting 5,000 people during a 3-day street festival is a significant undertaking of time and money. As part of the parish’s new stewardship model, raffles and forms of gambling as means of fundraising will no longer be conducted at parish and school events. It costs $80,000 to run BenFest, and we don’t make a profit until we clear that amount. Please join your fellow parishioners in supporting BenFest as a BenFest Friend (BFF)


Visit for a complete list of exciting things going on at BenFest 2018!

Thank you to our BFFs!

Stage Friends
Jerry Buldak
The Hortatsos Family
The Kern Family
James & Jeanette Murphy
The Petrillo Family
The Polutnik Family
The Stern Family
Tansor Blake Family
Brian & Carrie Tracy
The Urquhart Family
Dan & Katie Walsh

Courtyard Friends
The Barrett Family
The Buchar Family
Karen Cholipski
The Colpoys Glenn Family
The Evans Family
The Fiske Family
The Fleming Family
Jen Greco
Julie Hege
The Knuckey Family
Pat & Elaine Lindia
The Mazur Family
The Milanowski Family
James Murphy
The Novicki Family
The Pautsch Family
The Pienton Family
The Ronchetta Family
Isabelle & Tom Ryan
John & Angela Sears
The Sessa Family
Christian & Melanie Schlachter
The Shure Family
The Stark Family
The Stearns Family
The Vacek Family
The Van Fossen Wojak Family
The Weinacht Family
The Weiske Family
The Wolf Family

Gate Friends
Siobhan Rice -Connolly

Janet Gallagher
Matt & Jen Hallgren
Cheryl and Larry Menke
The Misetic Family
Christine Morrissey
The Popowich Family
Ellen Reynolds
The Sessa Family
The Straley Family
The VanDegrift Family


Thank you to our Sponsors!

3Point Athletics
Baird Warner
Tom and Laura Burns
Julie D. Chesne, JDC Realty, Inc.
Karen Cholipski
Conlon/Christie’s International
Davis Friedman - Heather M. Hurst,    Partner
Foley & Mansfield
Goldfish Swim School
JDC Realty
Kennedy Mann Architects
Lakeshore Beverage
Leigh Marcus Realty Team
Hortatsos Family
MadeGood Foods
Mangan Builders
Michael and Tammy Morris
Max Nutkowitz, J.P. Morgan Securities
Red Kite Recruiting
Anne Connolly Rief
Dr. Nava Segall MD Pediatrics
Simmons Hanly Conroy
St. Benedict Home and School Association
Swedish Covenant Hospital



Youth Ministry is Seeking Youth Leaders for Vacation Bible School this Summer. Can You Help with SHIPWRECKED?
July 23-27.

All 6th through High School aged people are invited.
We will meet from 6:30pm-8:30pm each day during the July 15-19 week and prepare for the Young Kids who will attend VBS the next week.

Then, July 23-27 during the day, you will be helping the adults lead small groups of kids through the program.  The daily program would run from 8:30-2:30.  This time commitment would be applicable to the Confirmation Service Hour Commitment (40 hours total for the two weeks)

Sign up here if you are interested or if you’d like more information:


Click here to sign up for Vacation Bible School - Shipwrecked

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Choir Pilgrimage to Ireland - October 8-16

There is still time to join our Adult Choir on their pilgrimage to Ireland this October!

A pilgrimage to Ireland will give you a special glimpse of a unique part of the world. Ireland is an ancient land, a marvelous blend of historic and contemporary beauty. The Emerald Isle is eager to show you its natural wonders as well as its vibrant city streets. You won’t want to miss the charming towns and villages, nor the warmth and spirited hospitality of Ireland. Join us, as we embark on this pilgrimage to religious ecclesiastical centers, illuminated manuscripts, ancient ruins, stunning panoramic views, legendary castles surrounded by moats, and the romantic and rugged regions of lakes and bogs. This country, filled with traditional music and magnetic people, will make you feel right at home. We are pleased to extend this personal invitation to you and I hope that you will join us in Ireland on this very special pilgrimage of fellowship and music.

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We pray that everyone has a safe, joyous and healthy summer! 

Prayer for Healing  - Ethan Li, 6th Grader

Please keep in your prayers one of our 6th grade students, Ethan Li, who is battling aplastic anemia. He and his family needs your prayers for healing, courage and strength! 

A CaringBridge Site was created for Ethan. It‘s a caring social network to help people stay connected with family and friends during a health event. Visit Ethan‘s site often to stay updated and share messages of encouragement and compassion.

Visit online
Site Link:
Site Name: ethanli