Graduates in the Class of 2021: 253
Co-Valedictorians: Grace Hartzer and Lauren Kelley
Co-Salutatorians: Kyle Heinz and Michaela Miller
Commencement Address: Faculty Member Father Christian Shiu (selected by seniors)
Executive/Senior Class Board: Sean Bolger; Jack Buschman; Ryan Cawley; Maura Green; Grace Hartzer; Chris Hellen; Owen Hodges; Brigid Hull; Bruce Pan; Ashley Phoenix; John Tobin; and Viola Zhao.
• Lauren Kelley, William DeKeyser, Kyle Heinz, and Matthew Wolf earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36.
• National Merit Semifinalists: William De Keyser and Lauren Kelley
• National Merit Commended Status: Daniel Dickmann, Henry Dziechciarz, Kyle Heinz, Ava Kolar, Sullivan Kuhfahl, Michaela Miller and Katarina Rivera.
• Eric Acevedo '21 was named a 2021 Coca-Cola Scholar and will receive a $20,000 scholarship award for study at an accredited U.S. college or university of his choice. Approximately 150 scholars are selected from about 99,403 applications each year.
• Sullivan Kuhfahl placed 4th in Computer Science at the state Academic Challenge in Engineering and Science competition held in April.
• Will DeKeyser placed 2nd in Engineering Graphics at the state Academic Challenge in Engineering and Science (ACES) competition held in April.
• The varsity ACES team, comprised of seniors and underclassmen, placed 6th at the state competition.
• A student-led Power of Praise event was held in October. It was envisioned and planned by Bella Jansen, Nia Daniels, Hannah Arends, Izzy Dassow, and Maura Green. It included witness talks and praise and worship music and culminated in Adoration and Benediction led by the school chaplain.
• As of April 19, 14 student-athletes signed letters of intent to play a sport at the collegiate level: Emma Berg, basketball, Augustana College (IL); Cobe Brame, basketball, Dominican University (IL); Ryan Cummings, baseball, Knox College; Aidan Day, cross country, Loyola Maryland; Derek Galdoni, baseball, University of Indianapolis; Kyle Heinz, football, MIT; Josh LaBarbera, basketball, Edgewood College; Maria Stephens, golf, Southeastern University; Annie Bart, volleyball, Binghamton University; Reagan Danner, lacrosse, Rockhurst University; Hailie Swiatkowski, softball, Austin College; Jalen Burton, football, Bowling Green State; Hannah Lennon, lacrosse, Concordia University (MN); Riley Clark, volleyball, North Central College.
• Girls Tennis Wins Sectionals: The Carmel Catholic girls varsity tennis team won the 2020 Sectional Championship at Vernon Hills High School in October. Justine Baladad '21 and Reilly McGinn '21 were also first doubles Sectional Champ
• Boys Golf Competes at Sectionals: At the sectional tournament in October at Park Hills Golf Course, Clint Bailes '21 shot an 81 for 13th place, Alex Streit '21 had an 83.
• Street Scenes Student Variety Show
• Spring Musical "Godspell"
• Fall play "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Senior Class gift: A contribution was made to the renovation of the school's Blessed Titus Brandsma Chapel, specifically the student gathering spaces.
What traditional events were adapted for the pandemic and how?
From Fine Arts performances, athletic events, and all-school Masses to parent-teacher conferences, Graduation, and admissions events for prospective students, nearly every event at Carmel Catholic was impacted by the pandemic. Carmel Catholic was among a handful of Chicago area high schools to begin in-person learning last August. The school made news once again when it welcomed back nearly its entire student body on March 8. As Carmel Catholic carefully planned to allow increased in-person extracurricular activities, the school launched a COVID-19 testing program (rapid antigen testing) in March, supplementing current students to screen for the virus and prevent its spread.
What were the most significant challenges faced by the Class of 2021 and how did they overcome them?
The graduating class of 2021 finished their senior year under historic circumstances. As juniors when the pandemic took hold in March 2020, this group experienced uncertainty about what their final year of high school would hold. This uncertainty caused much anxiety but was met with resolve, faith, and hope. Although the class of 2021 missed out on many typical activities that would define their year, they were also shaped in ways that will make them young men and women of strong character and resilience. We cannot be more proud of our graduating class for relying on each other and for our faculty and staff that were there to help all along the way.
Principal's reflections on the Class of 2021:
The graduating class of 2021 has grit. The pandemic that has gripped our world for the past year has impacted every aspect of society. In education, everything changed overnight. For many students, coming to school each day provided structure and normalcy that served as a foundation for their lives.
That foundation was quickly disrupted and our senior class rolled with changes, becoming resilient and empathetic. These young men and women experienced something truly extraordinary. Although there was much tragedy and chaos throughout this school year, our students will have a stronger character as a result.
-- Principal Jason Huther