Athletes receive plenty of attention on signing days throughout the school year, but on May 5 Knoxville Catholic High School turned the spotlight on more than a dozen academic standouts by giving them their own signing day.
Thirteen KCHS students who received full-ride scholarships were recognized in a ceremony in the school gym led by Principal Dickie Sompayrac and Jane Walker, academic dean.
Students honored were Nick Armendarez, University of Kentucky; Christian Atwater, University of Alabama; Matthew Balo, East Tennessee State University; Michael Boehm, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Brian Curtin, U.S. Military Academy at West Point; Christopher Dunn, Lincoln Memorial University; Mike Fitzgerald, University of Tennessee at Knoxville; Parker Gensheimer, UTK; MacKenzie Jackson, Lindsey Wilson College; Emily Pabst, University of Alabama; Nicole Reinhold-Larsson, Ohio State University; Donovan Ricche, University of Kentucky; and Sarah Rouse, UTK.
Ms. Walker spoke at the ceremony on what God has planted in each of the students recognized.
“They each came in, I kind of remember some of these students as freshmen — absolutely young, scared freshmen,” she said, “who didn’t know what they wanted to do, didn’t necessarily stand out, but they were willing to look within themselves and at what their strengths were, and that’s what the counselors have always told them.
“The counselors said, ‘Look at your strengths and play upon your strengths,’ so I think that’s what each one of these students has done. They have found out who they are. Each one of these kids really knows who he is, and then they’ve built upon that and capitalized on it as evidenced by today’s ceremony.”
The students in the ceremony have “insane class schedules,” Ms. Walker said.
“It’s not uncommon for these kids to not have a night off from studying, and they’ll study every single night,” she said. “A lot of them have AP physics. Two of them today came from an AP calculus exam, so they spent the entire morning on a grueling exam and came in to do this, this afternoon. They just take some of the hardest schedules in the school.”