Montini Catholic proudly awarded seniors Nicolas Fisch and Ben Snukst with their annual James Kavanaugh Male Scholar/Athlete Award. Heather Sledzinski and Nora Sypkens each earned the Kathy Filipiak Scholar/Athlete Award. The senior athletes accepted their awards during the Lasallian high school's annual Founders Day ceremonies on May 21st.
The James Kavanaugh Scholar/Award, named after Montini's first Head Football Coach, is presented to male students who have exhibited excellence in scholarship and athletic participation throughout their high school career. Nick is a two sport achiever (Cross Country and Track & Field) - earning Academic All Star honors throughout his high school career including All Conference junior and senior year. Ben earned Academic All Conference accolades in three sports throughout his high school (Soccer, Volleyball and Golf). Ben made Bronco headlines in the fall of 2020 when he advanced to IHSA sectionals in golf after just taking up the sport for the first time (due to Soccer season postponement due to Covid).
Academically, both Nick and Ben were honored earlier in May for being 'Academic All-Stars.' Both were members of Montini's National Honor Society. Nicolas is an Advanced Placement Scholar and Ben was named Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor. Both earned the IHSA Scholastic Recognition Award (5th and 7th Semester) their junior and senior years.
Nick will be attending Illinois Wesleyan University this fall (majoring in Biology), and Ben will be a student at Boston College (majoring in Biology/Pre-Med).
Recipients of the Kathy Filipiak Scholar/Athlete Award are chosen by the Lasallian school's Athletic Department in honor of former Assistant Principal, Kathleen Filipiak. Kathleen Filipiak began her career at Montini Catholic in 1975 and retired in 2015 after 40 years of service. In addition to teaching PE and Science at Montini, Ms. Filipiak spearheaded an extensive girls' athletic program, beginning with volleyball. Filipiak was also Montini's first girls' sports coordinator. The Filipiak Award was presented to Nora Sypkens and Heather Sledzinski for exhibiting excellence in academic and athletic participation throughout their four year high school career.
Heather is a two sport achiever (Cross Country and Track & Field) - earning Academic All Star honors throughout her high school career. Nora earned Academic All Conference accolades in Volleyball. Both athletes earned the IHSA Scholastic Recognition Award during their junior and senior years (5th and 7th Semesters).
Like Ben and Nick, both Nora and Heather were also honored earlier in May for being 'Academic All-Stars.' Both were members of Montini's National Honor Society and both were named National Merit Commended Scholars. Heather was named Illinois State Scholars for the Class of 2021. Nora is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor and Heather an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. Nora was named Valedictorian of the senior class, while Heather earned Salutatorian honors.
Heather will be pursuing a career in Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. Nora will be majoring in Chemistry at the University of Kentucky.