A total of 221 students graduated in May from the five Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Davenport. Valedictorians and salutatorians from each shared with The Catholic Messenger their future plans and involvement in the Church.
Burlington, Notre Dame High School
Andrew Schilling, valedictorian, is the son of Michael and Julie Schilling of Burlington. They are members of Ss. John & Paul Parish in Burlington. This fall Andrew plans to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and major in government and minor in theology. “I hope to become a lawyer in the future,” he said. As for serving the Church in the future, he hopes to tutor students at Catholic schools in the Washington, D.C., area. “With my law degree that I hope to obtain, I want to provide free services to Catholic schools and churches as well as join a Catholic high school’s board of directors.”
Anna Kottenstette, salutatorian, is the daughter of Peter and Carol Kottenstette of Burlington. They are members of Ss. Mary & Patrick Parish in West Burlington. Anna plans to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and major in biological sciences and anthropology. “With these degrees, I will go on to medical school and specialize in pediatric oncology.”
She said that “though the next several years of my life will be filled with studying and working, I plan to remain involved and completely immerse myself into the student groups at Northwestern University. I will accomplish these goals in the same way that I have approached those of my high school career — with ambition, confidence, faith and focus.”
Clinton, Prince of Peace College Preparatory
Megan Lehmkuhl, valedictorian, is the daughter of David and Margie Lehmkuhl of Clinton. They are members of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton. This fall Megan plans to attend Clarke College in Dubuque and study biology or premed. Megan says, “I plan to serve the Church in various ways. I would like to participate in the Mass by being a lector or eucharistic minister. I will be attending a Catholic college and plan to attend church-related activities on campus, such as campus ministry and service trips.” She plans to continue attending Mass, serving the Church in college and later in life and volunteer at church functions.
Nicholas Jensen, salutatorian, is the son of Mark and Denise Jensen of Clinton. They are members of Prince of Peace Parish. This fall Nicholas plans to attend St. Ambrose University in Davenport and study political science. He said he was raised in a great Catholic family that instilled him with a great love for the Church from a young age. “I am already a eucharistic minister for school Masses and I hope to be trained to serve the (college) community in such a way soon.” He hopes that through his service he can help the Church to grow. “Whether this service is through money, time, resources or simply prayer, I will always serve the Church. I hope that someday, when I become a successful lawyer, I can be a major sponsor of my Church.”
Davenport, Assumption High School
Assumption has three valedictorians.
Trevor Fennelly is the son of Mike and Ann Fennelly of Davenport. They are members of Holy Family Parish in Davenport. This fall Trevor plans to attend Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill.; he is undecided as to a major. He plans to play baseball for Augustana and would like to study abroad. Trevor plans to continue serving the Church as a eucharistic minister and to become involved in youth ministries during college. After college, “I plan to be an active member in my local Catholic church. Through all of this I will demonstrate the values of the Church and God through my daily actions.” He would like to reach out to those in need and to be a kind and generous person who makes a positive impact on society and the lives of others.
Elizabeth Hines is the daughter of Mike and Nancy Hines of Davenport. They are members of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport. In the fall Elizabeth plans to attend Creighton University in Omaha and double major in biology and English. She is thinking of working in an area focusing on conservation, but hopes to use her writing skills somehow because she loves to write.
Serving the Church in the future, Elizabeth hopes to explore and extend her faith in religious classes at the Catholic, Jesuit university. “I plan to become involved in campus ministry and possibly be a part of the mission trips that are highly recommended there. I believe this is a great way to serve the Church.”
Sam Gervase is the son of Steve and Sheila Gervase of Davenport. They are members of St. Paul the Apostle Parish. Sam plans to attend Boston College in the fall. He also plans to continue to participate in Church activities and take on more of a leadership role with greater responsibilities. “In addition to being active, I will continue to represent and exemplify Catholic values in my daily life.”
Fort Madison, Holy Trinity Catholic High School
Roy Tinguely, valedictorian, is the son of Roy and Debra Tinguely of Fort Madison. They are members of Holy Family Parish in Fort Madison. This fall Roy plans to attend Iowa State University and would like to major in the areas of math and science — maybe physics. He would like to enter a graduate program or possibly medical school after that. Serving the Church, Roy has been an altar server and cantor. “I’d still love to cantor in the future. Moreover, I hope to support my Church in any way that it needs me.” He plans to be married in the Catholic Church and raise his future children in the Church.
James Kokjohn, salutatorian, is the son of David and Victoria Kokjohn of West Point. They are members of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in West Point. This fall James plans to attend Iowa State University and major in political science. While at ISU, James will be enrolled in the Marine Corps ROTC. Following college, he will serve as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“I have spent most of my life working for the Church. I am an altar server and eucharistic minister and am involved in numerous other service activities for the Church.” He plans to continue to be active in the Church after college. “Of course I will donate my time, talent and treasure to the Church throughout my life as a parishioner and Catholic. I plan on being a eucharistic minister and serving on the parish council at my new church. No matter where life takes me, I will serve the Catholic Church.”
Iowa City, Regina High School
Natalie Stenger, valedictorian, is the daughter of Don and Karen Stenger of Iowa City. They are members of St. Mary Parish in Iowa City. This fall Natalie plans to attend the University of Notre Dame. She is undecided about a major, but would like to pursue a career in health care. She has served as a eucharistic minister and plans to continue to do that in the future. “By attending a Catholic university, I will be able to continue to have opportunities to serve others.”
Allison Davis, salutatorian, is the daughter of James and Rebecca Davis of North Liberty. They are members of St. Thomas More Parish in Coralville. In the fall Allison plans to attend St. Louis University in St. Louis. She has not decided on a major.
In the Church she plans to continue to be of service as “much as I can in college. I’d like to participate in the liturgy as a pianist, choir member or lector. Once I get to SLU, a Jesuit university, I am sure I’ll run into more service opportunities than I can handle.” Allison said one of her mottos is “If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.” “I trust if I keep making good decisions, I’ll find my place as an adult in the Church.”