Joliet Catholic Academy’s Hall of Fame was established in 2009 to honor men and women who have given at least ten years of service to St. Francis Academy, De La Salle High School, Joliet Catholic High School, and/or Joliet Catholic Academy; live and/or continues to live the mission of JCA; and value and support Catholic education.
Joliet Catholic Academy is extremely proud of its heritage and tradition. In 1869, the Joliet Franciscans opened St. Francis Academy to young women in the Joliet area. Nearly 50 years later, De La Salle High School was founded by the Christian Brothers to educate young men. In 1933, the Carmelites assumed leadership of De La Salle, changing the name to Joliet Catholic High School. These three schools are the foundations for Joliet Catholic Academy, established as such on July 1, 1990.
As Hall of Fame inductees were introduced, Angels and Hilltoppers filled the Student Activity Center with much applause, admiration, respect, and love.
The names of the honorees are kept confidential until the presentation although family members are notified so they can attend. As the inductees were introduced, family members entered the Student Activity Center. This year’s Class of 2016 included Sue Georgantas Gulas, Christine Scheibe, Scott Allgood, and Joe Burke.
Sue Georgantas Gulas ’81 has shown a great passion, dedication and love for JCA through her involvement with the school. She has been a past president and six-year Alumni Board member, as well as a past president and four-year member of the Parent Board. She has given countless hours to the school while her children, Jenny (JCA ’11) and Nick (JCA ’14) attended. Sue has taken the lead within her own graduating class by informing them of news that relates to the accomplishments and sometimes the heartache of fellow classmates. JCA Director of Alumni Relations and presenter Sue Bebar praised Gulas as a mentor, who has left no stone unturned over the years as she’s sacrificed countless hours of time and energy on ensuring the several successful events she’s spearheaded went off without a hitch. Sue’s parents, Judith (Boban, SFA ‘56) and Richard (JCHS ’54) also embodied the volunteer spirit and were chairs for Jubilation, JCA’s annual fundraiser, during Sue’s time at St. Francis. Sue shares her commitment to JCA with her husband of nearly 30 years Jim.
Mrs. Christine Scheibe is most well-known for leading the JCA girls volleyball program to unprecedented heights during her 16 years as head coach. The Angels have captured three state championships, three state runner-ups, a third place and a fourth place finish. JCA’s record under Scheibe in that span is 490-137-9, as they have become a regular at the state finals at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. As significant as her contribution has been on the sidelines, it has been equally as impressive in the classroom and hallways of JCA. Scheibe teaches in the English department, serves as the moderator for National Honor Society, is an active participant in community service with Feed My Starving Children, runs the scorer’s table at girls basketball games, and along with her husband Bill has created the “We Believe in Angels” endowed scholarship fund. Both Christine and Bill are constant visible, vocal, and active members of the community; serving as walking testaments to the Catholic values and principles espoused by JCA. On hand from her family were brothers John and Mike, sister Mary, brother-in-law Russ and niece Melissa. Dave Parker, a longtime family friend and Angel volleyball supporter, also attended. Scheibe spoke glowingly of her students, and choked back tears as she thanked her Angels, the girls she has coached who have become her “daughters”.
Mr. Scott Allgood ‘91 heads the English department at JCA, as well as the boys tennis program, where for two consecutive seasons he’s been named the East Suburban Catholic Conference Coach of the Year. Throughout his twenty year teaching career Allgood has pushed students inside the classroom, instilling his dogged work ethic in his students. An active member in the community at St. Paul’s parish where he served as his daughters’ basketball coach, Allgood is also an IHSA basketball official and a member of the Knights of Columbus. Former colleague and presenter Ms. Sheila Fry noted the hours Allgood spent as a young teacher cultivating his craft, preparing lesson plans to perfection, and ultimately assuming a leadership position among the faculty at JCA, mentoring younger teachers beginning their careers. Allgood deflected praise, instead focusing on the award being a reflection of his students’ successes over the years. He was joined in celebration by his wife and childhood sweetheart Donna, and their children Claire (a current JCA junior), Mary (a current JCA freshman), and son Alexander.
Mr. Joe Burke, the head of JCA’s Theology Department has become a central figure in the lives of students during his fifteen years as a teacher at Joliet Catholic Academy. The St. Laurence High School graduate and JCA Key Club moderator has proven to be a role model to both students and the entire JCA community on the virtues of Christian service. Vice-principal and presenter Bill Pender read aloud a letter from Archbishop Blasé Cupich commending Burke for his Hall of Fame nomination, as well as his efforts in founding the JCA Food Wagon, which delivers meals to the homeless in Chicago on weekends throughout the year. Burke, who has endeared himself to JCA’s student body during his tenure, received a standing ovation to end the ceremony in front of the 800 students, faculty, staff, family members, and distinguished Hall of Fame members in attendance.
Joliet Catholic Academy is grateful for the gifts their inductees have shared and continue to share.
For more information on JCA’s Hall of Fame, contact Bill Pender, Vice Principal, at 815-741-0500.