Benet Academy Welcomes the Class of 2026

On February 6th, Benet Academy welcomed its incoming freshman class at Welcome to Benet. Although many have attended previous Benet events like individual tours, Benet Step-Up Days, and the lengthy entrance exam, they were full of excitement as they were finally able to call themselves Redwings. To kick-off Welcome to Benet, the Class of 2026 began in St. Ronald’s Gymnasium with a presentation by Director of Admissions Matt Grigas. Once the presentation was over, they soon moved to the Activity Fair, question and answer sessions, and the Department Fair. There were also Benet Ambassadors, or student representatives, who helped guide lost families around the school. 

First, the Activity Fair took place in St. Ronald’s Gymnasium and the Alumni Gym, where the sports and clubs had stands. Across the school, all the arts-related activities had setups in St. Mary’s Hall. All setups included at least one representative who was an avid member who ran or monitored the activity. One of the many clubs at the Activity Fair was the Debate Club, whose setup was in St. Ronald’s Gymnasium. Here, Mr. Hesla, the monitor for this club, talked to many different families about opportunities for club members to be on the Debate Team and represent Benet at different competitions around the area. Across the hall, in the Alumni Gym, boys and girls tennis had a setup. At the girl’s tennis table, Senior Claire Converse represented Benet Academy at IHSA State this year. Although she is not playing on the team next year, she expressed to the freshman how excited she was to see all the new faces on the team after her. In St. Mary’s Hall, only a short walk away, Senior Mike Evans enthusiastically talked to freshmen about the color guard team and what they had to offer. Overall, the activity fair offered freshmen more insight into the many opportunities that Benet has.

Also, in St. Mary’s Hall, there were two more optional presentations for incoming freshmen and their families. The first was in St. Daniel’s Hall Auditorium, where various members from the community led a question and answer presentation. Some members of this presentation included Mrs. Bedore, the Director of Campus Ministry, Mr. Cabay, a dean, and Benet Ambassadors. They helped freshmen and their families receive a better insight into Benet Academy due to their wide range of representation. Another optional presentation was with the counselors in St. Mary’s Hall. There, incoming freshmen and their families heard about what the counselors do for students and what they offer throughout their four years. Some of the college counselors, like Mrs. Wright, were there to answer questions about the college process, which is now fast approaching.

Finally, in the cafeteria, the Department Fair featured faculty members who represented Benet’s academics for each department. These faculty representatives answered questions for families and students about their department’s curriculum, which can sometimes be confusing. One of the many departments at Benet Academy is the history department where Mr. Direnzo, a history teacher, was a representative. He said that he loved the incoming freshman’s energy and that the most common question he had to answer was what his favorite part of history he liked to learn about. Mr. Direnzo teaches Advanced Placement European History and Advanced Placement United States History and answered questions about Benet Academy’s Advanced Placement program. Another department that Benet Academy has is the Fine Arts Department, where department chair Mr. Wand was its lone representative. Mr. Wand answered questions about choir and musicals, where he is the director. He said that he is excited to see all the incoming students and the talent that they will bring to the Fine Arts Department. Although not at the Fine Arts setup, Senor Marth is another teacher who helps with Fine Arts, specifically the musical. Apart from teaching Spanish, he also helps with set construction for the plays and the musical. He remarked how interesting it was to see students he taught over twenty years ago bring their children back to Benet to receive the same education they did. 

In all, the incoming freshmen and their families enjoyed Welcome to Benet and all it had to offer. They learned more about Benet Academy through the question and answer sessions and the opportunities Benet Academy offers at the Activity and Department Fair.