By Anne Marie Amacher
During the past two weeks, 249 students graduated from Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Davenport. Lee Morrison, superintendent of Catholic schools for the diocese, thanks the parents for choosing to send their children to Catholic schools.
“It is impressive to see the number of individuals going on to post-secondary education — almost 100 percent,” he said. “And there is an extraordinary amount of scholarship money given to our seniors.” He noted that students at Assumption High School in Davenport, for example, received nearly $5 million in scholarships.
Burlington, Notre Dame
On May 20, 29 students graduated from Notre Dame High School.
Valedictorian is Hannah Grace Deery, the daughter of Brad and Jeanne Deery of Burlington. They are members of Ss. John & Paul Parish in Burlington. Hannah plans to attend the University of Iowa and study dentistry.
Salutatorian is Ryan Brueck, the son of Stephen and Nancy Brueck of Burlington. They are members of Ss. John & Paul. Ryan plans to attend St. Ambrose University in Davenport and major in exercise science. He would like to become a certified physical therapist. He plans to serve the Church by keeping up with his Catholic faith. He believes that by attending a Catholic university he will be able to accomplish that goal easily.
Clinton, Prince of Peace
On May 20, 22 students graduated from Prince of Peace Catholic School.
Valedictorian is Destinee Irish, the daughter of David and Debra Irish of Clinton. They are members of Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton. Destinee plans to attend Iowa State University and major in pre-medical studies. She hopes to earn her Ph.D. and work in a children’s hospital. Currently she is an altar server, greeter, eucharistic minister and teaches religious education. She plans to continue those ministries and hopes to add new ones. “I plan to continue to teach and volunteer my time, talent and treasure at my new church, and to serve others as Jesus would.”
Two students tied for salutatorian: Allyson Naeve and Emily Gardner.
Allyson is the daughter of Dan and Marla Naeve of Clinton. They belong to Prince of Peace Parish. Allyson plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa and major in speech and hearing science and to obtain a minor in American Sign Language. She hopes to earn a master’s degree in speech pathology. As for serving the Church, she plans to “always follow God throughout my lifetime.” She plans to practice stewardship at her church by serving as a eucharistic minister and member of the adult choir. She plans to volunteer and take part in church activities. “I ultimately plan to serve the Church in as many ways as I can to the best of my ability. Faith will always play a huge part in my life as I go off to college and start a new chapter in my life.”
Emily Gardner is the daughter of Scott and Laura Gardner of Albany, Ill. She is a member of Gateway Faith Fellowship in Fulton, Ill. She plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa and double major in biology and biochemistry. She hopes to attend graduate school and do research. Emily plans to remain an active member of her church and donate her time and talents to make it better.
On May 20, 105 students graduated from Assumption High School.
The two valedictorians are Emily Milke and Caitlin Poster.
Emily is the daughter of Chris and Barb Milke of Davenport. They belong to Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport. Emily will attend the University of Minnesota. “Leaving Our Lady of Victory after 13 years and heading to Minneapolis, I will become a part of a new church community where I will continue to grow in my faith.” She plans to remain active through service work.
Caitlin is the daughter of Mike and Kelly Poster of Eldridge. They are members of Our Lady of Victory Parish. She plans to attend St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., where she will major in nursing. In college, Caitlin plans on becoming a lector and eucharistic minister while at St. Mary’s. She also hopes to take advantage of service projects and trips. “I plan on being an active member of the Church no matter where my life takes me.”
Fort Madison, Holy Trinity
On May 27, 27 students graduated from Holy Trinity Catholic School.
Valedictorian is Travis Saathoff, the son of Mark and Eunice Saathoff of Fort Madison. They are members of Holy Family Parish in Fort Madison. Travis plans to attend Iowa State University and major in engineering. While at ISU, he plans to do whatever he can to assist the local parish and charities. If time permits, he would like to volunteer. Upon completing his degree, Travis hopes to obtain a job in engineering. He also hopes to spend more of his time, talent and treasure supporting the Church and various subsidiary services. “Eventually I would like to get married and start a family. My ultimate goal is that my children can attend Catholic school and receive an education similar to my own.”
Salutatorian is Danielle Watznauer, the daughter of Tim and Renee Watznauer of West Point. They are members of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in West Point. Danielle plans to attend Drake University in Des Moines and study pharmacy. She plans to lector and serve as a eucharistic minister in the future. “I hope to give to the church by participating in fall sales and giving my time to various causes. I will spread God’s word through my words and actions by encouraging others to listen to God’s word and by showing others how to be a good steward and Christian. I will treat others as I would like to be treated as I strive to do what Jesus would.”
Iowa City, Regina
On May 27, 69 students graduated from Regina High School.
Valedictorian is David Rudolph, the son of Jan and Jeff Rudolph of Iowa City. They are members of St. Mary Parish in Iowa City. David plans to attend the University of Oklahoma and study biochemistry. He would like to perform on stage or become a doctor. David plans to provide music to his future parish. “I love music and I feel that my biggest contribution to the church would be to either sing as a cantor or in a choir, or to play trumpet.”
Salutatorian is Emily Duncan, the daughter of Judy and Leonard Duncan of North Liberty. They are members of St. Thomas More Parish in Coralville. Emily plans to attend the University of Iowa to study flute performance and English. She would like to earn a doctorate in flute performance and perform in an East Coast symphony orchestra. She plans to continue to play the flute and sing at Mass. “I would love to stay involved in many of the church activities that I participated in while in high school, such as Vacation Bible School animating and religious education teaching.”