Posted on December 21, 2021 · Posted in Academic News, General, News, Press Release

BURBANK, IL – St. Laurence High School announced that 22 seniors from the Class of 2022 have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Robert Aquino (Charles J. Sahs Elementary School, Central Stickney), Julia Bagley (St. Mary, Mokena), Gabrielle Belanski (St. Symphorosa, Chicago), Nicole Canny (St. Linus, Burbank), Jessie Cardiel (Horizon Science Academy, Chicago), Eve Carr (Robert J. Richardson Middle School, Chicago), Aidan Edwards (St. Bede the Venerable, Chicago), Ian Elliott (Mount Greenwood School, Chicago), Joshua Gana (St. Daniel the Prophet, Chicago), Gianna Grillo (St. Daniel the Prophet, Chicago), Rylie Galvin (St. Catherine of Alexandria, Chicago), Vincent Knizka (St. Patricia, Burbank), Isabella Marrero (Liberty Junior High, Burbank), Ashley Perez (Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Orland Park), Hugo Raftery (St. Gerald, Oak Lawn), Megan Roche (St. John Fisher, Chicago), Andrew Rybicki (St. Jane de Chantal, Chicago), Josel Solis (George T. Wilkins Junior High, Palos Hills), Patrick Stock (Incarnation, Crestwood), Afton Vanek (St. Linus, Oak Lawn), Mallory Wagner (Peckwas Preparatory Academy, Chicago) and Michael Zedak (Michael M. Michael Byrne, Chicago) all received the prestigious recognition.

Illinois State Scholars represent approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors from over 700 high schools across the state. Students given this recognition possess strong academic potential and are chosen based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT test scores and sixth semester class rank.

This year’s class of Illinois State Scholars represent 20 different local grade schools, an example of the wide reach of St. Laurence’s student population. The number of State Scholars at St. Laurence has grown significantly in the past five years, with 108 St. Laurence students earning the honor.

“We are so proud to have another great group of young men and women represent St. Laurence as Illinois State Scholars,” said St. Laurence Principal Kristy Kane. “These students have worked incredibly hard and navigated a very unique learning environment over the last two years, however they were adaptable, creative and resilient throughout. They are representative of the incredible academic success we have experienced in recent years, which is a testament to our outstanding students, faculty and families.”

St. Laurence implemented a project-based STEM curriculum nine years ago which has reaped many benefits for students, resulting in admission into top colleges, higher standardized test scores and increased college scholarship dollars earned. On top of the dynamic curriculum, St. Laurence students enjoy other academic resources such as Career Explorer Programs in high paying, in demand industries, ACT test prep for all juniors, the southside’s only Catholic International Baccalaureate program and more. As a result of the academic improvements, over 400 students have applied for admission as part of St. Laurence’s class of 2026, the most in over 30 years.