Monthly News from Fenwick High School
Monthly News from Fenwick High School
October 2020
A Message from Fenwick Admissions
Dear Future Friar Families:
It is with great joy that I have this opportunity to write to you and share some much needed good news:

Fenwick is Open.
Fenwick is Safe.
Fenwick is ready to Grow.

This simple message has been our pledge to each other as Friars. The last six months have been a challenge for the world but we find comfort in the resolve of our school community to make sure the Fenwick Friars continue to lead, achieve and serve now and into the future. 

To make sure our pledge of excellence is met year after year, we must continue to look forward and seek students who are ready to become the leaders of tomorrow’s society.  Your sons and daughters are very important to us.  We are very interested in their education, their extracurricular pursuits, and their hopes and aspirations as individuals. Our measure of success at Fenwick not only asks that our children be intelligent human beings, but also compassionate human beings who will transform the world in a positive way.

Please take this opportunity to read up on all the great things going on in FRIAR NATION.

Warmest Regards,
Mr. Ori

Joseph Ori

Admissions Director
(708) 386-0127, ext. 302
Open house sessions will be held at Fenwick High School (505 Washington Blvd., Oak Park, IL 60302) at 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 25. Each session is limited to 50 people. Due to social-distancing guidelines and our attempt to accommodate as many families as possible, we ask that each family register no more than three visitors. 
To be considered for enrollment and admission into Fenwick High School,
all 8th graders must take the Entrance Exam at Fenwick
on Saturday morning, December 5, 2020.
5 Friars Are National Merit
Scholarship Semi-Finalists!
Fenwick ‘quintet’ is competing for 7,600 scholarships valued at more than $30 million!
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has announced those students who have qualified as semi-finalists in this year’s Merit competition. Fenwick High School is pleased to report that it has five seniors who have qualified for this honor. More than 1.5 million students sat for last year’s PSAT/ NMSQT examination, and these students placed in approximately the top 1%. Of the 16,000 semi-finalists, about half will be awarded scholarships under the auspices of the National Merit program, earning the “Merit Scholar” title.

“These seniors now move on to the next phase of the contest,” explains Emily Anderson, one of Fenwick’s College Counselors. Fellow College Counselor Igho Oraka ’03 adds, “Congratulations to them -- and best wishes in the continuing competition!” The five semifinalists, with cities of residence and grade schools, are:

Donna Carinato – Western Springs, McClure Middle School
Anna Dray – Elmhurst, Immaculate Conception
Ronan Kristufek – Western Springs, McClure Middle School
Daniel Majcher – Chicago, Keystone Montessori
Daniel Westerman – River Forest, St. Luke’s

These academically talented seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $30 million, to be announced between April and July 2021. A semi-finalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
Fenwick Virtual Nights
Join Fenwick's award-winning faculty to learn more about the Fenwick Way.  Our virtual nights are designed to give an in-depth look at each academic field of study.  The Virtual Nights are a 45-minute presentations designed to give prospective families an opportunity to learn more about Fenwick:
Fenwick Humanities
(English, Theology, Social Sciences)
Tuesday, October 13, 6 p.m.
Fenwick Math and Science
(Lab Sciences, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics)
Tuesday, October 20,  6 p.m.
Fenwick Expressive Arts
(Instrumental and Choral Music, Performing and Studio Arts)
Tuesday, October 27, 6 p.m.

Haunted Halloween Tales Competition
Hosted by The Wick, Fenwick’s award-winning student newspaper, all students in grades 6-8 are invited to compete in a Halloween Writing CompetitionSend us your original spooky story in 300-500 words. We are excited to read your creepy cliffhangers, ghastly ghost adventures and terrifying twists! Winning submissions will be featured in an upcoming edition of The Wick. Deadline for submissions is October 30, 2020.
Email your finished haunted tale to Make sure to include your full name, grade and school.
Christmas Card Contest for 4th-6th Graders
Attention all 4th, 5th and 6th grade students: Fenwick High School is hosting a Christmas Card Contest, and we hope your children will participate. This is a great way to showcase our young artists! This year’s theme is Family, Community, and Tradition.

Directions for those who may be interested:

Students should create their artwork on an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper.  (Construction paper is highly encouraged).

Markers, Crayons, Paints are all acceptable. 

Name of student, grade level, school and email should be included on the back of all entries. 

All artwork should be mailed to:
Fenwick High School
℅ The Admissions Office
505 Washington Boulevard
Oak Park, IL  60302

All entries should be received by Friday, November 6, 2020.  Winners will be notified by email on Friday, November 13, 2020. 

*Digital versions can be emailed to

Our judges will pick a First, Second and Third place winner. All winners will have their artwork made into a Christmas card that may be sent to their family and friends.  

First Place winner - $50.00 gift card and 25 Christmas cards of their artwork.

Second Place winner - $25.00 gift card and 15 Christmas cards of their artwork.

Third Place winner - $10.00 gift card and 10 Christmas cards of their artwork.

We hope your students are able to take part in this fun contest, and we look forward to seeing their artwork!
Fenwick Poster Contest for ALL Ages
Attention all artists: Help Fenwick High School design our next poster!

All entries must include the Fenwick Shield logo and at least one of the following phrases:

Fenwick Friars
Friar Nation
Home of the Friars
Fenwick High School 
Friar Up
Friar Pride

Some directions for those who may be interested:

·         Students should create their artwork on an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper.  (Construction paper is highly encouraged).
·         Markers, Crayons, Paints are all acceptable.
·         Name of student, grade level, school and email should be included on the back of all original entries.

Please submit all art work to: 
Fenwick High School
℅ The Admissions Office
505 Washington Blvd.
Oak Park, IL 60302

If available, please send a digital version to

All entries should be received by Friday, November 6, 2020. Winners will be notified by email on Friday, November 20, 2020.

Fenwick  judges will pick a First, Second and Third place winner.  All winners will receive a prize for their poster design.  The top choice will be printed and used by Fenwick High School to show off Friar Nation!

First Place winner - $50 credit to the Fenwick Friar Shop

Second Place winner - $25 credit to the Fenwick Friar Shop 

Third Place winner - $20 credit to the Fenwick Friar Shop
Science Dept. Chair Mr. Marcus McKinley
What is your educational background?

MM: I received my B.A. from Carleton College, majoring in chemistry. I received an M.S. in chemistry from NEIU. I have taken post-graduate classes in several disciplines at DePaul, Loyola, Drake and others.

What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at Fenwick?

MM: Other than a summer of teaching at Gordon Tech [now DePaul Prep] after graduating from Carleton, Fenwick was my first full-time teaching position.

What are you currently reading for enjoyment?

MM: I just finished City of Thieves by David Benioff. I highly recommend this World War II historical novel set around St. Petersburg during the Nazi invasion. The story of two distinctly different young men becoming close friends during extreme deprivation and societal breakdown was a page-turner. It read like a classic Russian novel and so it touched on the ‘big questions.’

I just started The River by Peter Heller, who wrote The Dog Stars. The Dog Stars was a great post-apocalyptic read. The pandemic seems to be drawing me to dystopian novels, for some reason.

Tierney Vrdolyak, Class of 2014 (ND '18)

In "Teaching to be a Champion," young alumna Tierney Vrdolyak '14 (second from left) blogs about her Catholic education vocational choice and one of her role models at Fenwick: Tennis Coach Tom Draski.

Fall Youth Sports Camps & Clinics
More Fenwick Youth Sports Clinics this fall for baseball, basketball, volleyball and more! Further develop your child's skills, learn new drills from Friars' coaches & current players and improve her or his overall approach to the game(s):
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Fenwick High School is owned and sponsored by the Dominican Friars
of the Province of St. Albert the Great headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
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