Earlier this month, Principal Jon Baffico announced the valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2023. Henry Jochaniewicz was named valedictorian and Colton Schwabe was named salutatorian.
“While separated and distinguished by name, Colton and Henry together represent the very best of the Saint Viator community,” Principal Jon Baffico says. “They are exceptional young men who are well-rounded, faith-filled and ultimately will make a difference in the world, no matter what they decide to do in the future. We are blessed and honored to recognize their outstanding achievements.”
The two friends have similar resumes and academic interests in math, science and engineering. They are members of the Querbes Scholars Program, Saint Viator’s STEM program, the math team, Scholastic Bowl and National Honors Society, to name just a few. They also have participated in sports and in the musical.
Henry played golf all four years, while Colton played soccer in the fall and tennis in the spring.
“My favorite activity, though, is praying the rosary on Fridays with students and faculty,” says Henry, who formed the Rosary Club last year and is a graduate of Our Lady of the Wayside School. “It was something I started with a friend at the beginning of my junior year, and it helped me to reflectively end the week with God.”
At the same time, Colton stayed active with his home parish, Saint Mary Church in Buffalo Grove. He is involved in peer ministry and helping to prepare eighth graders for confirmation.
“I play piano and guitar outside of school,” Colton adds, “and that has made me consider minoring in music.”
Both seniors say they pushed each other along the way, to excel academically and experience all that they could in their high school years.
“I wasn’t that surprised when I heard because Henry and I have had a friendly academic rivalry, refusing to tell each other our GPA’s -- but we knew that they were very similar,” Colton says. “However, I’m glad that my hard work paid off and that I can perhaps worry a little bit less about my grades.”
Likewise, Henry, says he was thrilled when Mr. Baffico informed him of the news.
“I was excited and humbled to receive the honor of being named valedictorian,” Henry says. “I have worked hard on my grades all four years at Viator, and my high expectations were set by myself, for myself. By my senior year, being valedictorian was something I hoped to achieve. I am glad to have done so, and I have God, my friends, my family and Viator to thank for how I got here.”
As far as college plans, Henry says he most likely will be attending the University of Notre Dame, to study computer science. However, he’s still considering a major in math or physics, while Colton has committed to attending Duke University, where he plans to double major in electrical engineering and mathematics.