Knoxville Catholic High School hosted a Class of 2021 Academic Signing Day event May 10 in the KCHS gym.
The event honored those students who have been offered academic scholarships, covering all tuition and fees, at the college they plan to attend this fall.
Signing with their colleges were:
- Peter Ayo—the University of Alabama
- Molly Deinhart—the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK)
- Jayden Fortich—the University of Kentucky
- Allison Freitag—UTK
- Ben Kozemko—Hofstra University
- Emily Latham—UTK
- George McCarty—Alabama
- Sam McLean—UTK
- Nick St. Germain—UTK
- Riley Smith—Florida State University
- Jack Swartwood—Alabama.
Jane Walker, KCHS academic dean, emceed the signing ceremony.
“Wow! A full ride… to learn!” she said. “Not only to learn all that academia has to offer, but to learn all that God has to offer in this next part of the journey! What an incredible opportunity for not only these deserving students, but also for the world they will affect, shape, and steer as they move forward in their lives. We are so proud of you. Today we take time to honor you as you represent what can be achieved in the realm of scholarship here at Knoxville Catholic High School.”
The 11 students combined to earn $287,575 in scholarships, Mrs. Walker said.
“That is almost $300,000 from these honorees alone. Amazing!” she said.
“On behalf of these students, I would like to extend hearty thanks to each person in this room who has made this day possible,” Mrs. Walker said. “Parents, families, and friends, thank you for the guidance you have offered in helping them decide which paths to pursue; for your patience as you listened to their trials and tribulations, especially in this last one and half years of upheaval; for knowing when to push them a little harder than maybe they thought they needed to be pushed, and for knowing when not to push them; for knowing when to offer a word of encouragement at the precise time when they needed it, or not saying things to them no matter how much you wanted to; for all the times you have stayed up through the wee hours helping them get that last minute project done or paper printed from a stubborn home printer; and for providing a good meal that they dash in and eat before they set off again to their busy lives.”
Mrs. Walker also thanked teachers, counselors, and coaches “for always encouraging these students by modeling for them your passion for learning; for finding ways to motivate them to fulfill their potential in each subject; for making them feel loved and cared for—not like just another head in the room; for sometimes being the ‘bad guy’ even though you didn’t want to, because you knew it was what they needed at the time; and counselors, especially to you for guiding them to their college selection and through the scholarship process. You have helped them be savvy consumers in this process. You have helped them understand where the best fits are in terms of finances, academics, and personality.”
Lastly, Mrs. Walker thanked the students “for having the will to develop the gifts God has bestowed upon you; for making KCHS a better place by serving as examples to those around you; for your unswerving focus on your academics—reading all those books, writing those papers, completing those labs, and crunching those numbers.
“Thank you for the countless sacrifices you have made to get to this point, for never giving up when times were tough, for spending all those hours late at night and on the weekends putting in the extra time to stay at the top of your game, and for slaying an insane study schedule while others might have been finding fun in other places.”