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Mr. Arscott Named Air Force Association Teacher of the Year!


Congratulations to Fenwick Math Teacher Robert Arscott, who has been awarded the 2017 STEM Teacher of the Year award from both the local and Illinois state chapters of the Air Force Association ( Headquartered in Arlington, VA, AFA is comprised primarily of U.S. military veterans who “believe that science, technology, engineering and math [STEM] and aerospace education are vitally important to our country’s existence,” explains Fenwick alumnus Jim Hester ’66, Vice President of Chicagoland/O’Hare Chapter 142, “especially when it comes to defending the United States.” Hester’s local chapter has some 1,200 members and extends from Central Illinois (Champaign County) north to the Wisconsin border.

Tom O’Shea, Illinois State AFA President from Huntley, IL, was present at the Mothers’ Club end-of-year Faculty Luncheon on May 25 to personally thank Mr. Arscott for his long-time contributions in Fenwick’s mathematical classrooms. “We at the AFA wanted to officially and formally recognize Bob’s prowess in math,” Hester added as he handed Mr. Arscott a check in the amount of $750, which represents a small token of the association members’ appreciation.

Combatting Cybercrime

The recent “ransomware” attacks in Asia and Europe prove that cybercrime indeed is a global problem. In one of the largest cybersecurity attacks to date last month, British medical doctors were forced to cancel scheduled surgeries and Chinese students were blocked from accessing their graduation theses. In Germany, train passengers were greeted by hacked arrival and departure screens in stations.

Back in the U.S., CyberPatriot is a national youth cyber-education program launched by AFA in 2009 ( “The worldwide loss to cybercrimes is more than $600 billion annually,” reports Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot’s National Commissioner. “The goal of our initiative over the past eight years has been to create a cadre of cyber-defenders.”

Mr. Hester is a Fenwick father: His two daughters also are Friars -- Mina (Minerva) is from the Class of ’97, and Mary ’18 will be a senior in August. The Bloomingdale, IL resident is a volunteer in the Civil Air Patrol (, which is a congressionally chartered, federally supported non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.

Fenwick STEM Highlights in 2016-17:

  • Fenwick’s 2016-17 TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science) team placed first in the state of Illinois and, for its division, first in the nation!
  • Its WYSE (Worldwide Youth in Science & Engineering) team placed second in the state of Illinois this spring.
  • The Math Team took first place in the State Math Contest Regional and advanced to the state finals in Champaign, IL, where it finished ninth in its division – marking the 18th straight year for a Top 10 ranking. Ian Crowell, a 2017 Fenwick graduate headed to Boston University, won a Top 10 award in Pre-Calculus.

In related news, Class of ’17 Fenwick graduates Will Flaherty and Kyle Gruszka have been accepted by the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Additionally, Garrett Mulcahy, who was elected by his classmates to be Fenwick’s student commencement speaker, is a Purdue University-bound math and science whiz. Mulcahy is one of eight national recipients of Purdue’s prestigious, all-inclusive Beering Scholarship.​p

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