The School Advisory Board is holding their annual election for three new board members. Parishioners are asked to electronically affirm the candidates who will serve three year terms.
My wife and I live in the La Grange Highlands area and we are proud parents of two young children. My educational background includes a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School and B.B.A. from the University of Iowa. I currently am sole proprietor of The Law Offices of Michael M. Chvatal. I have been an active member of local communities, whether it be the President of the West Suburban Bar Association; previous board of director of St. Joseph High School; or coaching and officiating local sporting events in the community. I pride myself in my values and Catholic upbringing, and instill that foundation to my family. Throughout my childhood, I was fortunate enough to have two parents that allowed me an opportunity for 14 years of Catholic education. This education provided me key Catholic fundamentals, which established the foundation of who I am today. It is my belief that Catholic education provides a solid ground work of molding for our youth to guide them in their journey of becoming young men and women. If selected I look forward to providing my children and the students of St. John of the Cross with continued faith-based learning, challenging academic programming, a disciplined environment, and a commitment to civic responsibility.
I was born into Catholicism and made my First Communion and Confirmation at local south side Catholic churches. I was married in a northside Catholic church (Mary Seat of Wisdom) and all of my children were also baptized there. I briefly attended Catholic high school when I relocated to southern California my freshman through sophomore years. My exposure to Catholic education in my youth was brief, but I really enjoyed the time I spent at Mater Dei and how different it was than the public schools I was used to – more sense of community and compassion than what I otherwise knew. As an adult, I ‘stumbled’ upon Catholic education for my own children when, new to the area, my husband Paul and I, sought after a preschool for our 3-year old twins in 2010. St. John of the Cross had openings for both. From the moment I stepped foot into the school, I knew I could never leave. We stayed and added our daughter 3 years later. All three are active students at SJC and my boy’s play nearly every sport there they can. And my daughter cannot wait to start. Admittedly, we had no intention of sending our children to private school, but once we were there, I knew we had to stay. At first, it was the teachers and staff that drew us in and the overall ability to be religious during the school day when the public schools were veering away from that so much each day. Over time, the sense of community kept me here. Although intimidating at first when you know no one, I really started to appreciate the closeness and camaraderie for the SJC community when I started getting more involved. Despite that I worked full time in a ‘heavy duty job’ for many years, I still tried to keep a pulse on the SJC community and do what I could to stay active. I believe you get what you put into it – anywhere in life. And that is no exception here. Personally, I want to continue to emphasize that to all of our families and show them that we are privileged enough to send our children here and have to put in the time and effort to continue to make it a great school.
My interest in joining the SJC School Advisory Board can be traced all the way back to my own grade school education. I can still remember sitting in class with Sister Mary teaching us about service to our family and to others. It is even more incredible that I internalized these values because at the time, I was not always focused on the lesson at hand. Knowledge can be gained, presented on a test, and is important, but for the most part is quickly forgotten. However, the true value of an education is the wisdom gained from your teachers. Together with family and the church, this wisdom forms the foundation of the person we are to become. Religious education provides this deeply rooted wisdom through our beliefs in a way public school cannot. That is why my wife and I send our children to SJC. I believe that my experience and skills can help to continue the mission of the SJC School in a wide variety of ways and I would welcome the chance to serve the Parish School through the Advisory Board. Thank you for your consideration.