Diocesan graduates impress

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

In the past month 349 students graduated from four Diocesan schools leaving for the next phase in their lives, armed with a Catholic Education and are leaving behind a legacy that will not be soon forgotten.

Names like Katrina Winkler, Jack Koscho, Isabella McDivitt, Daniel Martin, Channel Wooley, Emma Milbert, Clare Williams, Claire Guernsey, Joseph Dauphinais, are just some of a many that excelled in areas of academics, athletics and service. The combined college scholarship offers for all graduates at Diocesan Catholic High Schools was $26.8 million.

Included here are few of the top academic, athletic and service oriented graduates from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, Sarasota; St. John Neumann Catholic High School, Naples; Bishop Verot Catholic High School, Fort Myers; Rhodora J. Donahue Academy, Ave Maria.

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School

Katrina Winkler

Valedictorian: Katrina Winkler

University of Florida

President of the Mooney Medical Club and National Honor Society; leader of the senior class; Photography Club; Year Book Club; senior captain soccer; volunteered to coach a recreational under eight-year-old soccer team as a sophomore in high school and with Miracle League Club of Manasota.


Douglas Polk.

Salutatorian: Douglas Polk

University of Notre Dame

AP Scholar with Distinction; National Merit Scholarship Letter of Commendation for his high achieving score; Mooney Medical Club, football co-captain; vice president student government organization; volunteer of the Miracle League Club of Manasota serving as a buddy assisting mentally and physically challenged children and adults allowing them the opportunity to play competitive baseball.

Jack Koscko.

Top Athlete: Jack Koscho

Carnegie Mellon University

AP Scholar with the honors award; University of Notre Dame Book award recipient; maintained a 4.0 throughout high school; senior football quarterback; treasurer of NHS; volunteer as after-school peer tutor mentor and assisted teaching young children with autism how to surf.

Kaitlynn Backmann.

Top Athlete: Kaitlynn Beckmann

Emmerson College

Basketball, senior captain; track and field; volunteer for the St. Martha Catholic School Girls basketball summer camp program as a counselor to organize and oversee drills, games, and exercises; volunteer for the Manasota Miracle League.

Isabella McDivitt.

Service: Isabella McDevitt

Marquette University

Varsity soccer, junior and senior captain; Mooney Medical Club; St. Vincent De Paul Community Service club; Earned more than 1,000 hours of community service credit, primarily in developing Sarasota Chapter of Pivotal Directions to bring her peers at Cardinal Mooney High School to help people in Riverton, Jamaica where the community exists in the middle of a landfill surrounded by garbage and debris. Related service included awareness, fundraising, trip planning and other related work.

Lucas Richter.

Service: Lucas Richter

University of North Florida Honors College

Intern for U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan; several community service-based boards including the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota and the Sarasota Human Services Advisory Council; political debate club president; and co-editor of yearbook.

St. John Neumann Catholic High School

Daniel Martin.

Valedictorian: Daniel Martin

Georgia Tech

National Honors Society; Student Council; Preserving and Researching Ocean Wildlife (PROW); Key Club; Mu Alpa Theta; FGCU Math competitions; Moody Mega Math Competition; 18 AP and 10 honors courses; AP National Scholar; AP Scholar with Distinction; track & field; cross country; tennis, swimming, National Hispanic Recognition Program.

Andrew Myers.

Salutatorian: Andrew Myers

University of Michigan

National Honors Society; Student Council; Salesian Leadership Retreat, Mu Alpha Theta; Scholar Bowl; Peer Ministry; YACHT Club; 12 AP and 10 honors courses; AP Scholar with Distinction; golf captain; soccer; tennis captain.

Chris ‘Tank’ Kimble.

Top Athlete: Chris “Tank” Kimble

Monmouth College

Football offensive linemen; first team All-District, First Team All Naples Daily News, 2nd Team All-State; Track & Field captain, 5th in state for Shot Put and Discus; Honors Band; Beta Club.

Chanel Wooley.

Top Athlete: Chanel Whooley

Jacksonville University

Track & Field captain, high jump, 100m and relays, 1st Team All-Area Track, District Champion high jump, 5th place in state for high jump; volleyball; soccer; basketball; Beta Club; YACHT Club; Band/Honors Band; Jazz Band; Honors Choir; Peer Ministry; 10 honors and 2 AP classes.

Emma Milbert.

Service: Emma Milbert

University of South Florida

Student Council; National Youth Leadership Conference; Salesian Leadership Retreat; Beta Club; Ladies of the Mother Frances DeSales Auxiliary to the Homeless; Art Club; volleyball; cheerleading, soccer captain; tennis, Service included: Vacation Bible School; Altar Serving; St. Elizabeth Seton Parish Knights of Columbus functions; Von Liebig Art Center Camp Counselor; Habitat for Humanity; and Neumann Immokalee Service Trip.

Bishop Verot Catholic High School

Isabella Rodriguez.

Summa Cum Laude: Isabella Rodriguez

University of Notre Dame

13 AP and 16 honors classes; Activities: NHS; Life Hacks Club; Academic Quiz Team; Model UN; National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Student; National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar; Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholarship; SWFL Community Foundation Thomson Memorial Scholarship.

Essan Azizi.

Summa Cum Laude: Esaan Azizi

University of Florida

13 AP and 17 honors classes; French Club; Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society; Life Hacks Club, NHS; Catholics in Action; Academic Quiz Team; WHO (We Help Others) Club, National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar, Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholarship, Regis College Presidential Catholic Scholarship, Resident Grant & Sisters of St. Joseph Merit Scholarship, University of Florida Presidential Scholarship.

Tayli Filla.

Top Athlete: Tayli Filla

University of South Florida

Softball, co -captain, shortstop, part of 2016 4A State Championship Team, 1st Team All-Area Fort Myers News-Press. Career .394 batting average, .485 on base percentage, 119 hits, 72 RBI’s, 107 runs.

Joseph Mera.

Top Athlete: Joseph Mera

Samford University

Football, defensive end, co-captain, 4A Defensive Player of the Year, All-Area Honorable Mention & Rotary South All-Star; basketball forward; weightlifting; and Track & Field. Career 141 tackles, 17.6 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Mallory Volz.

Service: Mallory Volz

University of Miami

Summa Cum Laude and with an Honors Diploma as a member of Scholars Academy; Catholic Athletes for Christ; Spanish NHS; Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, Pre-Med Club, NHS, Student Ambassador, Softball. Service work: with the Scholars Academy and National Honors Society assisted or directed numerous activities in support of the Salvation: volunteer at HealthPark Medical Center; Camp Leader  Softball Summer Camp; City of Palms Basketball Tournament Concession; Freshman Retreat; Activities Assistant Volunteer, Gulf Coast Retirement Village.

David Thompson.

Service: David Thompson

University of Notre Dame

Summa Cum Laude and with an Honors Diploma as a member of our Scholars Academy; NHS; Student Ambassador; Chess Club; Cross Country; Track & Field. Volunteer Service:
Feed The Homeless, assistant; AFCAAM of Catholic Charities, tutoring; City of Palms Basketball Tournament Volunteer; Special Olympics Volunteer, Assistant Athlete – personally led two athletes to a total of three gold medals and one silver medal over the course of two years in Special Olympics.

Rhodora J. Donahue Academy

Valedictorian: Clare Williams

University of Notre Dame

Graduate of distinction for academic performance, a number of clubs and sports and co-captain of varsity basketball; National Merit Scholarship Finalist; National Honor Society; completed 23-page thesis on the economic implications and ethics of planned obsolescence and the consumer mindset.

Salutatorian: Claire Guernsey

Christendom College

Graduates of distinction with broad academic achievement, service, and involvement in various types of activities; acting in Shakespeare; volunteering in Immokalee; coaching middle school basketball.

Top Athlete: Kaila Joyce

John Carrol University

Summa cum laude graduate; basketball, volleyball, and softball; Shakespeare productions.

Top Athlete: Kenneth Longley

Ave Maria University

Graduate of distinction for outstanding athletics. football captain, basketball and baseball; men’s acapella group, and lead role of Shakespeare production.

Service: Joseph Dauphinais

Benedictine College

An exemplary model of service during his tenure: mission trip in 2016 to Nicaragua interacting with Nicaraguan youth and give them joy; volunteered in Naples coaching a little league baseball team; played in multiple varsity sports and received multiple awards throughout his years in high school.