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SILS Revamped

Saint Ignatius Leadership Seminar Gets a Makeover

July+SILS+group+standing+together%0A%0AFrom+top+to+bottom%2C+left+to+right%3A+Colin+O%E2%80%99Neill+%E2%80%9909%2C+Brendan+Lynch+%E2%80%9918%2C+Mr.+Cahill%2C+Jake+Gillis+%E2%80%9918%2C+Jack+Boyd+%E2%80%9917%2C+Josh+Blake+%E2%80%9917%2C+Monserrat+Vasquez-Posada+%E2%80%9918%2C+Tom+Waun+%E2%80%9917%2C+Parker+Bell+%E2%80%9918%2C+Ned+Sutoris+%E2%80%9917%2C+Ugomma+Ugwu-Uche+%E2%80%9918%2C+Rob+Capizzi+%E2%80%9917%2C+Mr.+Phil+McGovern%2C+Uche+Ugwu-Uche+%E2%80%9917%2C+Lily+Larmon+%E2%80%9918%2C+Caroline+Hughes+%E2%80%9918%2C+Analise+Doorhy+%E2%80%9918%2C+Danae+Vassiliadis+%E2%80%9917%2C+Brigid+McNally+%E2%80%9917%2C+Emma+Dolan+%E2%80%9917%2C+Jane+Mahon+%E2%80%9917%2C+Grace+Sutoris+%E2%80%9918%2C+Ellie+McCarthy+%E2%80%9918%2C+Camille+Broderick+%E2%80%9918%2C+Alysa+Ross+%E2%80%9918%2C+Genny+Fisher+%E2%80%9917%2C+Siobhan+Collins+%E2%80%9917%2C+Sofiya+Vilchynska+%E2%80%9918%2C+Lottie+Tkachuk+%E2%80%9918%2C+Sam+Ritter+%E2%80%9918%2C+Molly+Wong+%E2%80%9917%2C+Emily+Tam+%E2%80%9917%2C+and+Beth+Mallon+%E2%80%9917%0A%0A
July SILS group standing together

From top to bottom, left to right: Colin O’Neill ’09, Brendan Lynch ’18, Mr. Cahill, Jake Gillis ’18, Jack Boyd ’17, Josh Blake ’17, Monserrat Vasquez-Posada ’18, Tom Waun ’17, Parker Bell ’18, Ned Sutoris ’17, Ugomma Ugwu-Uche ’18, Rob Capizzi ’17, Mr. Phil McGovern, Uche Ugwu-Uche ’17, Lily Larmon ’18, Caroline Hughes ’18, Analise Doorhy ’18, Danae Vassiliadis ’17, Brigid McNally ’17, Emma Dolan ’17, Jane Mahon ’17, Grace Sutoris ’18, Ellie McCarthy ’18, Camille Broderick ’18, Alysa Ross ’18, Genny Fisher ’17, Siobhan Collins ’17, Sofiya Vilchynska ’18, Lottie Tkachuk ’18, Sam Ritter ’18, Molly Wong ’17, Emily Tam ’17, and Beth Mallon ’17

July SILS group standing together From top to bottom, left to right: Colin O’Neill ’09, Brendan Lynch ’18, Mr. Cahill, Jake Gillis ’18, Jack Boyd ’17, Josh Blake ’17, Monserrat Vasquez-Posada ’18, Tom Waun ’17, Parker Bell ’18, Ned Sutoris ’17, Ugomma Ugwu-Uche ’18, Rob Capizzi ’17, Mr. Phil McGovern, Uche Ugwu-Uche ’17, Lily Larmon ’18, Caroline Hughes ’18, Analise Doorhy ’18, Danae Vassiliadis ’17, Brigid McNally ’17, Emma Dolan ’17, Jane Mahon ’17, Grace Sutoris ’18, Ellie McCarthy ’18, Camille Broderick ’18, Alysa Ross ’18, Genny Fisher ’17, Siobhan Collins ’17, Sofiya Vilchynska ’18, Lottie Tkachuk ’18, Sam Ritter ’18, Molly Wong ’17, Emily Tam ’17, and Beth Mallon ’17

Photo by and with permission from Mr. Michael Cashman

Photo by and with permission from Mr. Michael Cashman

July SILS group standing together From top to bottom, left to right: Colin O’Neill ’09, Brendan Lynch ’18, Mr. Cahill, Jake Gillis ’18, Jack Boyd ’17, Josh Blake ’17, Monserrat Vasquez-Posada ’18, Tom Waun ’17, Parker Bell ’18, Ned Sutoris ’17, Ugomma Ugwu-Uche ’18, Rob Capizzi ’17, Mr. Phil McGovern, Uche Ugwu-Uche ’17, Lily Larmon ’18, Caroline Hughes ’18, Analise Doorhy ’18, Danae Vassiliadis ’17, Brigid McNally ’17, Emma Dolan ’17, Jane Mahon ’17, Grace Sutoris ’18, Ellie McCarthy ’18, Camille Broderick ’18, Alysa Ross ’18, Genny Fisher ’17, Siobhan Collins ’17, Sofiya Vilchynska ’18, Lottie Tkachuk ’18, Sam Ritter ’18, Molly Wong ’17, Emily Tam ’17, and Beth Mallon ’17

Catherine Tadin, Senior Writer

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The Saint Ignatius Leadership Seminars (SILS)  are being revised for the upcoming sessions; revisions will include lower cost, a shorter trip and a potential fall session.

SILS is a student leadership seminar held in Woodstock, Illinois. For the upcoming sessions in June and late July, the program has undergone some modifications to upgrade the seminar.

“SILS is a leadership seminar that we offer to sophomores, juniors, and rising seniors,” Ms. Valencia said.

According to Mr. Michael Cashman, head coach of the girl’s water polo team, and Ms. Emily Valencia, head of Student Activities, some of the revisions include more activities for students, fewer talks during the program, and a high ropes course.

You can do it! A group of girls participate in a team building exercise at SILS. (Photo by Ms. Amy Zabojnik)

Rob Capizzi ’17, who participated in SILS this past July, said, “These revisions sound fantastic, especially the high ropes course. Who wouldn’t want to do that?” Capizzi also said if he had the opportunity to go again he would, with or without the revisions.

Katherine Beavis ’17, who attended SILS in the summer of 2015, said, “If I were comparing two very similar, but slightly different trips, I would pick the one that is now, the revised one.” In the past, SILS was a two-night, three-day seminar costing $350. For the upcoming SILS, the program has been shortened to one night and two days.

According to Ms. Valencia, the directors of SILS are looking to make the talks more relevant to this culture since the school culture of Ignatius has changed because of iPads and social media.

“We really want to build up more the talks on social media responsibility, diversity, being an upstander versus a bystander — those are things that I think are becoming more and more relevant in your generation, and because you guys are the ‘social media generation’ you are on iPads constantly. We don’t even address technology right now on SILS. We don’t really address social media,” Ms. Valencia said.

Mr. Cashman said, “We realized that the format wasn’t fitting within our school, the fabric of our school community, so we took a step back and, maybe it was a moment of being open to growth. We thought how was this going to work because we know that the students are already overextended, and we’re asking the students who are involved with other things spend a weekend away on a retreat.”

When asked why revisions are being made this year, Ms. Valencia said, “The numbers were slowly dropping. Five years ago, SILS was a really robust program, and the number of kids who are doing SILS decreases every year.”

When asked his opinion about the changes, Jake Gillis, a 2016 SILS attendee, said, “I think these revisions are appealing because they would allow greater inclusion from people with different backgrounds and experiences, which would enhance the retreat for all attending.”

According to Mr. Cashman, adults from our community give talks on leadership skills, communication skills and teambuilding skills to the students.

“It’s for kids that are already involved in things in the school community, and we try to provide these skills so that they can do the best job they can and reach their potential as leaders,” Mr. Cashman said.

Students about to embark on June 2016 SILS
(Photo by Ms. Amy Zabojnik)

When asked why she went on SILS, Beavis said, “I knew I was going to be an exec-board member of both Classics Club…and of VOW…I knew that as consul, as president, I would need to have more formal training and how to be a Christian leader, a servant leader.”

Gillis remarked that he went on SILS because he believed it was important for him to develop the marks of a good leader as he began taking a more active role in the school community.

Capizzi said, “I wanted to become a better leader in everything I do whether it’s sports or in friend groups.”

Beavis said she still uses the skills she learned from SILS and the talks given by the adult leaders.

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