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Getting to Know ... Carolina Kane, Art Teacher

September 20, 2023
By Lake Catholic

This is the first in a series introducing new members of the Lake Catholic community.


Carolina Kane has always wanted to be an art teacher, just like her mom, except for those rebellious teenage years, when no teenager wants anything to do with his/her parents.

“I rebelled when I was a teenager, but other than that, this is what I’ve always wanted to do,” said Lake Catholic’s first-year art teacher.

Although this is Ms. Kane’s first year in a full-time high school classroom setting, she’s been around the art world for almost her entire life.

“I’ve been going to the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition and the Lake/Geauga Art Show since I was five years old,” she said. “I would go with my mom all over to different shows. So I’ve been around the art world for a long time.”

Her mom, Mrs. Michelle Kane, has been teaching art classes at Mentor High School for more than 30 years and has numerous awards, most recently the 2023 Cleveland Institute of Art Excellence in Teaching Award.

Lake Catholic’s Ms. Kane has her own impressive resume.

She’s been a photographer for Cleveland Magazine since the summer of 2017 and John Carroll University since the summer of 2018. She also started her own photography business – Carolina Kane Photography - in 2017.

Once she got her degree from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2019, Ms. Kane was hired for a full-time marketing position at John Carroll in the Center for Service-Learning and Social Action

In November of 2020, she left John Carroll to work as an assistant director at District Gallery, an art gallery in Shaker Heights. Soon after, the director left to pursue her own art career, and Ms. Kane stepped into the director role, where she learned the business side of the art world.

“I had to learn Quickbooks pretty quickly,” she said. “I knew almost nothing about that side of things, but I’ve learned a lot since then.”

While serving as the director of the gallery, she doubled the square footage and wall space of it.

But still she wanted more.

“I’ve lived off my artwork. I’ve been the gallery director of a studio. But the passion to share with others is what I was really missing,” she said.

So in February of this year, Ms. Kane took her Art content exam and began Ohio's Intensive Pedagogical Training Institute (IPTI) through Ohio State University – an intense 16-week program that’s essentially an expediated path for working and experienced professionals to become a certified teacher. She did her field work from mid-March through May in the Mentor Schools.

“I love the challenge high school art education and students present” she said. “I want to connect with them through their artwork – whether it’s incorporating food, shoes, sports. Whatever works. I want them to play to their passions. I want them to be vulnerable and eventually make them passionate about art.”

In her first year at Lake Catholic, Ms. Kane is teaching Art Foundations, Drawing, and Digital Photography and Design.

“I’ve learned in a really short time that the students really do care about what they’re doing,” she said. “They’re coming in whenever they have study hall or even lunch and working on their projects. In just a few short weeks, I’ve noticed a lot of kids evolving already.”

It’s not even been a month since the school year started, and since Ms. Kane’s high school teaching career began, but she’s ready to challenge her classes and move them quickly forward.

"Mrs. Wolf and I make a great team as Lake Catholic's art department,” she said. “I know that I can't do everything yet in my first year, as I have much to learn about Lake Catholic and our students still. But these students, this department, and this school has a ton of potential for incredible collabs, projects, and greatness. I am so excited for what lies ahead."

Quick Hits

Family: Mom, Dad and brother, Camden. Mom is an art teacher. Dad is an accountant. Camden is a senior at Hiram majoring in business and accounting.
Pets: Two cats – Ronald and Mouse
Hobbies: Softball – plays in Mentor Coed Rec League. “I played in six games over Labor Day weekend!”

Music – “I love all types of music.” She likes Taylor Swift, The Bleachers, Lord Huron, just to name a few. “I like what (German philosopher Arthur) Schopenhauer said about music … ‘Music is different from all other artforms because it alone is an expression of itself rather than something else. Notes and melodies, unlike phrases and colors, do not try to represent anything but can instead be appreciated simply for what they are.’”

Movies – “Movies are another form of art I really appreciate. I love to examine set design and pick-a-part complex storylines in movies, but the last movie I saw was Barbie at the drive-in. Ha ha.”

Airplane Restoration - Wait. What? Airplane restoration? Yep. In her free time, Ms. Kane is part of the team at Vintage Wings Inc. (out of Franklin, PA) that restores World War II aircrafts.

Christ Child Society of the Western Reserve Honors Scholarship Wnners

September 07, 2023
By Lake Catholic

Eighteen Lake Catholic students were honored and awarded scholarships last night by the Christ Child Society of the Western Reserve. 

The award ceremony was held at St. John Vianney and then Fr. Tom Johns held a mass for the students, their families and the Christ Child Society.

The chapter of the Christ Christ Child Society of the Western Reserve is an organization primarily dedicated to child welfare. Its motive and spirit shall be a love of Christ expressing itself in personal service for children and youth regardless of race or creed to honor the childhood of Christ.

The 40-year-old chapter serves "one child at a time" through many different programs, including scholarships. Scholarships are offered to students currently enrolled at Lake Catholic and Ursuline College for their current tuition.

Those receiving the scholarships for the 2023-24 school year are: Victor Arenas (Sr.), Carley Dondorfer (Sr.), Joey Lonchar (Sr.), Katie Morgan (Sr.), Alyssa Naro (Sr.), Mia Schaefer (Sr.), Katie Sowko (Sr.), Kyle Boyd (Jr.), Caden Boyes (Jr.), Carson Gilbert (Jr.), Megan Joy (Jr.), Luke Joy (Jr.), Jimmy Meden (Jr.), Angelina Capra (So.), Kaelyn Nemeth (So.), Kiera Nemeth (So.), Brayden Mann (So.) and Robert Vidmar (Fr.).

New Lake Catholic President named by Diocese of Cleveland

June 01, 2023
By Lake Catholic

Earlier today, the Diocese of Cleveland named John Morabeto as the next President of Lake Catholic High School.

An accomplished leader and strong proponent of Catholic education, John has extensive experience in institutional advancement, having served as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland for 11 years, securing more than $150 million for endowment growth, facility improvements, and faculty

A product of the Diocese of Steubenville’s Catholic Central High School, John holds a master's degree in higher education administration from the University of Akron and a bachelor's degree in management and marketing from Kent State University.

John expressed his excitement about the opportunity to serve as the President of Lake Catholic stating, “Education rooted in our Catholic faith has been a lifelong commitment for me as a student, a professional, and as a parent. Its mission and outreach are critical as we look to form the young men and women of the next generation in this challenging world. I have experienced the grace Catholic education has provided my family and I am impassioned to help others experience it as well. I look forward to joining the Lake Catholic community and advancing this important work in Lake County and across the entire greater Cleveland area.”

Associate Superintendent for Secondary Schools, Michael Zelenka, shares in the excitement surrounding Mr. Morabeto’s appointment, “The Diocese of Cleveland’s Office for Catholic Education believes that John’s strong Catholic faith, proven track record in advancement efforts, commitment to Catholic education, and leadership acumen signals an incredibly bright future for Lake Catholic.”

Lake Catholic Principal Tom McKrill added: "I am very excited to work with John Morabeto as we look to maximize the opportunities for Lake Catholic. Mark Crowley has done great things for our school. I look forward to continuing his work, and the mission of Lake Catholic, into a bright future with John."

Morabeto replaces Mark Crowley, who announced his retirement early in 2023. Crowley's last day with Lake Catholic will be June 30.

“Mark has provided steadfast leadership to Lake Catholic through an important time in its history by focusing on mission and the unique charisms of the Lake Catholic experience. “Today the school enjoys steady enrollment and growing community support to ensure financial stability and position Lake Catholic for future growth,” Frank O'Linn, Ed.D., Superintendent of Catholic schools said back in January. ”Mark as also assembled a talented team to lead and sustain Lake Catholic for the future."

Now, Morabeto will take over the reins of that team and lead Lake Catholic into a promising future.

Robotics Club Bolts into Second Place at AWT Robobot Competition

April 30, 2023
By Lake Catholic

For the second year in a row, one of the Lake Catholic Robotics Club teams finished as runners-up at the AWT RoboBots Competition on Saturday, April 29 at Lakeland Community College. 

Team Thunderstruck, with its bot Bolt, came out of the loser's bracket of the tournament and beat undefeated Ashtabula, and its bot War Machine, but then ultimately was beat in the winner-take-all final. Team Thunderstruck was comprised of Lauren Olenik, Jackson Aliff, Christopher Kelley, Jeremy Jones and Nick Hancock and Marty Johnson from Lakeshore Compact.

Thunderstruck and the other Lake Catholic team, Clean Sweep, both won their first round matches, but then had to face off against each other in the second round. Thunderstruck pulled off the victory, sending Clean Sweep, and its bot Mr. Clean, to the loser's bracket. 

Thunderstruck lost it's next match in the winner's break semifinals to Madison's Athena. It fought back in the loser's bracket winning against Madison's second bot, Cataclysm, Auburn's Titanium Titan and then getting revenge and beating Madison's Athena to set the stage for the finals against Ashtabula.

Clean Sweep, with Jarred Smith, Nicholas Olenik, Tyler Duricky, Andrew Zalar and Ryan Dressler and Mason Sampson from Lakeshore Compact, put together a nice run after losing to its schoolmates in the second round. It beat Maplewood's Hope and Lakeside's Point Break before finally exiting the tournament with a loss to Auburn's Titanium Titan. Clean Sweep finished in fifth place.

RoboBots is a high school combat robotics competition that allows high schools to partner with industry mentors to build a 15lb combat robot.

The industry partner provides financial assistance and mentorship to the high school students through the six-seven month robotic build process.

This educational and workforce initiative was started by the AWT Foundation. The AWT Foundation promotes rewarding manufacturing careers for the long-term sustainability of manufacturing.


Scholars Recognized at Honors Assembly, National Honor Society Induction

April 27, 2023
By Lake Catholic

Earlier today, Lake Catholic honored a number of academic scholars at a combined ceremony for the annual honors banquet and this year's National Honor Society inductions. 

The ceremony was opened with a welcome from Principal Mr. Tom McKrill ('07) and was emceed by Dean of Academics Mrs. Maghen Frindt.

New National Honor Society advisor Mrs. Melissa Grai introduced the newest members of the Lake Catholic chapter. In all, 30 members (11 juniors and 19 sophomores) were inducted. After each was recognized, they, along with all current members who were in attendance recited the NHS pledge.

I pledge to maintain the standards of by which I was selected. To uphold this promise, I will: Pursue academic excellence with diligence and integrity. Lead by positive example; Volunteer my time and energy for the betterment of my community and world; and Employ traits of high character in my words, actions and deeds 

Students were then recognized for academic excellence in the classroom throughout the 2022-2023 school year. The Academic Patch or Pin was awarded to students who had achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher for the first three quarters including the semester exam grade. Patches are given the first time a 3.75 is achieved, and a pin is awarded for every year after.

In total 52 freshmen, 25 sophomores, 54 juniors and 65 seniors received his/her academic patch or pin - that's 45% of the current student body who has earned a 3.75 or higher throughout the first three quarters of the school year.

The winners of the Certificates of Outstanding Achievement (the top student in each course) and the Medal of Outstanding Department Achievement (the top student in each department) were also announced.

The ceremony was capped off with eight Guidance Awards for excellent performance in academic activities in the community outside of Lake Catholic High School.

Congratulations to all of our scholars!



New National Honor Society members

Juniors - Juliana Conforte-Polson, Tyler Duricky, Katie Morgan, Gianna Nappi, Dominic Orlando, Cooper Pikor, Joseph Powaski, Taylor Scharf, Josh Styles, Olivia Switalski and Charlie Trinetti; Sophomores - Hannah Aliff, Ava Budrys-Rini, George Csepegi, Brecklin Harrold, Sophia Iannini, Megan Joy, Isabella Leffel, Nicholas Olenik, Julia Oster, Annie Owens, Ace Peterlin, Patrick Radigan, Emily Schoen, Trey Siepka, Caleb Stien, Isabella Trem, Frankie Trinetti, Alexa Udovicic and Sean Walsh.

Medal of Outstanding Department Achievement

English - Chloe Stossel; Health and Physical Education - Tristan Negrelli; Mathematics - Michael Skalicki; Performing Arts - Anna Sanford; Science - Blair Banker; Social Studies - Blair Banker; Techonolgy & Innovation - Anna Sanford; Theology - Camryn Byrne; Visual Arts - Susan Toth; World Languages - Maria Martincic

Guidance Awards

The Yale University Book Award - Zoe Pesek; Cleveland Technical Societies Counsel-Outstanding Junior in Science and Mathematics Award - Johnathan Bokausek; Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Seminar Ambassador (HOBY) - Samantha Martin; Leadership Lake County - Michael Skalicki and Peter Skalicki; St. Michael's College Book Award - Kyan Harrold and Theresa Lazanich; University of Notre Dame Club of Cleveland Book Award - Isabelle Langer; St. Vincent DePaul Medal - Tessa Koenig; The Princeton Book Award - Garrett Knisely

Senior Awarded Full Tuition from Ohio State Scholarship Program

February 01, 2023
By Lake Catholic

A white envelope sitting on the kitchen counter. 

When you’ve had a bad day, and you’re tired after a long day of school and work, you never know what might turn that day around – no matter how late in the day it is.

For Lake Catholic senior Tristan Sanders, it was that white envelope sitting on the kitchen counter. 

It wasn’t the envelope so much, but it was the letter inside it. The letter that notified her she was one of winners of the Excellence Scholarship through Ohio State University’s Morrill Scholarship Program, which equals full in-state tuition for eight semesters (four years). 

The Morrill Scholarship Program (MSP) is Ohio State's premiere diversity/merit scholarship program, rewarding academically talented students who are actively engaged in diversity-based leadership, service and social justice activities, according to the program’s website.

“I was having a bad day, and when I got home from work, my mom handed me the envelope and told me I should I open it,” Sanders said. “I didn’t really feel like it, but I took it to my room and laid on my bed. I opened it and started reading it and saw the “Congratulations” and I just started freaking out.”

Every year, Ohio State will have roughly 75,000 total applications to the Columbus campus. Of those, approximately 8,000 students will be enrolled. Out of those 8,000, anywhere between 5,000-7,000 apply for the Morrill Scholarship Program. The program only admits 350-400 students (each earning one of three scholarships), and only 50-60 of those are from Northeast Ohio. 

So, the fact that Sanders freaked out is justifiable.

“Full tuition for four years. I still can’t believe it,” she said. “It makes things so much easier for my mom.”

The process for applying for the program was fairly simple. Click the button on the undergraduate application that you want to apply, and then answer the essay question. Answering the question, on the other hand, was the difficult part, as there was a 350-500 word count limit and trying to get her message across while being brief was challenging.

But when it came to answering the prompt – “How have your life experiences and/or endeavors prepared you to be a Morrill Scholar? Please answer fully, and when possible, provide specific examples.” – Sanders said she had more than enough to write about.

“I wrote about my experiences of diversity and inclusion from being bi-racial and not fitting in, the isolation, and racist things I’ve experienced,” she said. “Everything I’ve experienced has motivated me to work hard and be successful – turning tragedies into triumphs.”

The Morrill Scholarship is awarded on a competitive basis to students admitted to the Columbus campus for the autumn semester following high school graduation. The program seeks academically exceptional high school seniors who will serve as student ambassadors and champions of scholarship and diversity, according to the program’s website. 

As one of the top seniors, academically, in Lake Catholic’s Class of 2023, Sanders said whether she was getting the scholarship or not, she planned on being heavily involved once she arrived on campus in Columbus in the fall. 

“I’m planning on majoring in Health Science, because I want to be a dentist,” she said. “So, the program is pretty rigorous, and being involved around campus is important to me too. I was going to be able to meet the requirements for the scholarship once I’m there whether I got it or not, so I’m not worried about that.”

And now, because of the news in the white envelope that was sitting on her counter, she has even less to worry about.

Family makes major pledge to Lake Catholic for school’s project-based learning program

January 26, 2023
By Lake Catholic

(The image is just a sample illustration of what the space could look like.)



Lake Catholic High School is pleased to announce a major gift to benefit collaborative learning. The Skalicki family has made the generous pledge that will help fund the school’s innovative project-based learning program.

The Skalicki family has been a supporter of Lake Catholic for many years. This latest donation is a testament to their commitment to the school and its mission of educating students in a collaborative learning environment.

“Lake Catholic is blessed to have many multi-generational families with aunts, uncles and cousins sharing the Lake Catholic experience – The Skalicki Family is no exception with a dozen relatives from three families attending Lake Catholic,” said Lake Catholic President Mark Crowley. “They shine in academics, fine and performing arts, spiritual life, student government and really anything they put their mind to.

“They have also been generous in helping us transform the educational experience with this investment in our Media Center. We expect it to serve as a catalyst throughout the building.”

The project-based learning program at Lake Catholic encourages students to take an active role in their education. Through the use of technology and collaboration, students are able to work together to solve problems and complete projects. This type of learning encourages students to think critically and develop the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.

“This transformational gift will provide state-of-the-art educational facilities for our students and faculty,” said Lake Catholic Principal Tom McKrill. “The Skalicki family has been a strong supporter of Lake Catholic, and their vision aligns very well with the future of Lake Catholic.

“We are taking the time to rethink old norms by examining a broader more individualized perspective on what our students’ success is and how they achieve it. The Media Center project will come with faculty and student development to gain knowledge, acquire practical skills, and develop personally. We are excited for this opportunity the Skalicki family is providing us with, as we enter a new era at Lake Catholic High School. “

The donation will be used to purchase the necessary equipment and materials for the project-based learning program. This includes capital improvements to the space, furniture upgrades and improved technology.

McKrill said he plans on putting together a focus group comprised of faculty, staff, and students, to come up with the best working solutions for the entire media center space. The school will work with Ohio Desk, an office furniture dealership in Cleveland, to reimagine, plan and build the new space.

“Our family’s contributions over the years have always been geared towards strengthening the school’s technological capabilities and improving the opportunities available to both current and prospective students,” said John Skalicki (Lake Catholic Class of 1993), who made the donation along with his brother Robert (’89), sister Barb Schoen (’95) and their parents, Zeljko and Amalija. “We are excited to be considered a catalyst in Lake Catholic’s project-based learning movement and hope our financial commitment inspires others to help fund this initiative for years to come.”

The family’s donation is a major boost to the school’s efforts to provide a top-notch education for its students. By investing in the project-based learning program, Lake Catholic is ensuring that its students are prepared for the future.

“Our faculty are already teaching with Ben Franklin’s adage in mind, ‘TELL ME and I’ll forget; SHOW ME and I may remember; INVOLVE ME and I’ll LEARN’,” Crowley said. “Research has shown that the contemporary furniture we will be purchasing with the Skalicki Family donation engages the students and teachers even more, thereby increasing the student’s learning.

“We are so grateful for their support.”


If you, your family and/or your business are interested donating for future projects, please contact Carla Ronnebaum, our Director of Advancement, either by email or by phone (440.578.1020 ext. 234). 

Career Fair Leads to Shadow Day with FBI for One Senior

January 20, 2023
By Lake Catholic

The second annual Career Fair, which took place right before the Thanksgiving break, offered the entire Lake Catholic student body a chance to talk to many different professionals to get a glimpse of a few careers that might be options for them as they move on to the next steps of their lives.

For one senior, though, the Career Fair ended up being a springboard to a professional shadow day over the Christmas break, a set-up for his senior project and introductions to key contacts for a possible career after college.

David Mordini, who wants to have a career as a government analyst or investigator, turned a conversation at the Career Fair into a day at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland Field Office and said he hopes it turns into much more after graduation.

“Two days after Career Day, Mrs. (Brandi) Mandzak (Lake Catholic theology teacher) called me and told me I was going to be able to get into the FBI headquarters,” Mordini said. “I freaked out.”

Mrs. Mandzak’s husband, Thomas Mandzak, who is the Captain in the Cleveland Division of Police, was the key contact for Mordini. He spoke with him at the Career Fair because of his interest in criminology and criminal justice.

“I want to be an analyst or an investigator,” Mordini said. “So, I was talking to Mr. Mandzak about possibly doing my senior project with the Cleveland Police.”

It was from that conversation that turned into his five-hour day at the Cleveland Field Office of the FBI. Mordini was with one of the FBI’s analysts, as she gave him a tour of the entire facility and introduced him to many members of the office – surveillance teams, cybersecurity, bilingual agents and international security.

“Even though each group has different roles and responsibilities, most all of them work in a big bullpen area,” Mordini said. “Everyone works together. They are all part of the same team.”

He also was given a look at the office’s clinic, drone room, media/conference room, gym, and cafeteria. He met a few of the lawyers, and the supervisor of specialized agents.

“The supervisor of specialized agents oversees all the agents,” he said. “We got to talk for a little bit. She gave me her card and even told me to reach out to her once I’m ready to take the FBI entrance exam.”

For now, Mordini will focus on finishing his senior year, including completing his senior project with the police and/or FBI, but then hopes to study criminology and criminal justice, probably at Kent State University, he said. 

It’s a career path that might have been accelerated because of one simple conversation.

“Career day was initially started as a means to extend the senior project,” said Mrs. Mary Ridler, Technology and Innovation Department Chair and Career Fair coordinator. “It allows students an opportunity to connect with different careers prior to graduation. The hope is to make the connections with the career day speakers in the field of their choice and to allow an opportunity for our seniors to engage in those careers for even just a week (senior project) for a 'real life ' introduction to that professional world.”


English Classes Bring Shakespeare to Life

November 16, 2022
By Lake Catholic

For the second consecutive semester, Ms. Tabitha Halcomb’s English classes were engaged in a week-long Shakespearean experience.

Two actors, as part of the Great Lakes Theater Company’s School Residency Program, were in school last week to work with students on Julius Caesar with the sophomore classes, Macbeth with the senior classes and A Midsummer Night's Dream with the senior honors class.

Teaching the classes were Tim Keo, who has been with the company since 2004, and Noelle Elise Crites, who is only in her second year with the residency program.

The full-participation classes brought Shakespeare to life in the Media Center, where the classes not only discussed the text and language, but also the movements and interaction of the characters. 

Each day involved three components: acting, discussion, theater exercises. Earlier in the week the actors performed for the students, followed by actors and students rehearsing and performing side-by-side with each other, finishing the week off with students doing the acting while the actor-teachers serve as the directors. By the end of the week, the students reading Julius Caesar and Macbeth were acting out full-on fight scenes.

“This is a great chance for the students to get out of the classroom and bring Shakespeare to life,” Halcomb said. “It’s much easier to learn and understand a play, especially Shakespeare, when you can act it out and see what’s going on.”

Creative Writing Class Helps Humane Society

November 01, 2022
By Lake Catholic

One of the biggest functions of the Lake County Humane Society and Adoption Center is the pet adoption. It does promote all the animals on the website, but more publicity is always welcomed.

According to the Humane Society's website “Each year, over 1,200 pets enter our care. Once we nurse them back to health and prepare them for adoption, our team works to match our pets with the home and family that best suits their needs. We want all of the abused, abandoned, neglected, and unwanted pets in our community to find the loving forever home they deserve.”

Last week Ms. Laura Tyler's Creative Writing class went to the Humane Society in Mentor to meet and interact with the animals, but then write an advertisement from the point of view of the animal. The class wrote mostly about the dogs who are available, but there were some ads for a couple of cats and even a ferret.

Once turned in, the advertisements were sent off to the Humane Society to use. 

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