Press Releases


Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School is pleased to announce that Mighty Mac swimmer and water polo player, Elizabeth McNicholas ’21, of Mount Greenwood, has been named to the 2021 IHSA All-State Academic Team. McNicholas is one of only 26 members statewide, including 13 women, to earn this distinction. The team was announced in a video message by IHSA Assistant Executive Director, Stacey Lambert.

“I’m really humbled to have been named to the team,” says McNicholas. “It allows me to realize what I have accomplished and what I still want to do in regards to sports and academics, and motivates me to keep working hard to achieve these goals.”

“It’s inspiring to see Elizabeth rewarded for her drive and determination, both in the classroom and in the pool,” says Mrs. Laurie Jakubczak, Mother McAuley athletic director. “She is a great representative of our outstanding athletic program and McAuley’s legacy of producing award-winning student-athletes.”

At McAuley, Elizabeth earned the Sister Agatha O’Brien scholarship, which is awarded to students who test in the top five percent on the High School Placement Test.  She is a member of the National Honors Society and the Catherine McAuley Honors Scholars, McAuley’s program to recognize superior academic achievement.

Every IHSA member school was invited to nominate one female student and one male student to be a part of this prestigious team. Nominees must possess a minimum 3.50 Grade Point Average on a 4.0 scale after their seventh semester, have participated in at least two IHSA sponsored activities during each of the last two years of high school and demonstrated outstanding citizenship. Given the changes to the high school sports and activities schedule caused by the pandemic, students remained eligible for All-State Academic Team if they had planned to participate in their sport or activity.

"Presenting this amazing group of students is always one of the highlights of the school year,” said Lambert. "However, it takes on an even more special meaning given the challenges these young people have faced over the past year. They embody the IHSA’s mission, excelling in the classroom, in addition to the multiple sports and activities that they participate in. It really is an accomplishment just to be nominated for this award, so we commend them for their resiliency in sticking with both their studies and extracurriculars as best as possible during the unprecedented events of the last year.”

The nominations were evaluated by a committee made up of IHSA principals, athletic directors and activities directors. One male winner and one female winner from each of the seven IHSA Board of Directors Divisions were selected initially, while the final 12 spots on the team were then rounded out with at-large candidates from anywhere in the state.

Honorees are traditionally celebrated at a banquet in Bloomington, however, a virtual program is currently in the works for this spring.