Bishop’s Catholic Scholar Society Awards: Celebrating Academic Achievement and Catholic Values

Berks Catholic High School, Reading hosted the Bishop’s Catholic Scholar Society Awards ceremony April 27. Sponsored by the Because We Are Catholic Appeal, this ceremony celebrated the academic excellence of 110 eighth-grade scholars from the five counties of the Diocese who will be attending Catholic high schools in the 2024-25 academic year.

Master of ceremonies was Sam Malone, CAT Country 96. John Petruzzelli, Principal of Berks Catholic, extended a warm welcome to all attendees. Monsignor Thomas Orsulak, pastor of St. Peter the Apostle, Reading, delivered the opening prayer, setting a solemn tone for the event. The National Anthem was performed by Emily Schearer, a sophomore from Berks Catholic.

“On behalf of Bishop Schlert, the Diocese of Allentown and my colleagues from the Office of Education, as well as the Office of Stewardship and Development, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Bishop’s Catholic Scholar Society Awards ceremony. This morning, we will be presenting over $110,000 in scholarship awards,” said Dr. Michael St. Pierre, superintendent of Catholic education, making introductory remarks.

St. Pierre also announced that three Special Learning Center students would receive scholarships to continue their Catholic education in one of the Special Learning Centers operated by the Diocese of Allentown. “These wonderful students are examples of our young people who live their faith every day and truly share the Gospel message,” said the superintendent.

Twelve outstanding students were recognized as the 2024 Bishop’s Catholic Scholars. “We rejoice with you and with your families, whose encouragement and support has made Catholic education possible for you,” said St. Pierre.

Bishop Alfred Schlert also delivered remarks and led the closing prayer. In addition to their scholarship, each honored student was presented with a medallion bearing Bishop Schlert’s Coat of Arms.

Bishop’s Catholic Scholars

Scholarships of $500 for higher education were awarded to 12 deserving seniors – two outstanding students from each of the six diocesan high schools. These recipients were selected for their embodiment of the core values of Catholic education and for modeling the longstanding tradition of academic excellence within our Catholic school community.

Allentown Central Catholic High School – Jackie McDonald, Ian Abbadessa.

Berks Catholic High School, Reading – Emmalee Mirabella, Xavier Gonzalez.

Bethlehem Catholic High School – Sarah Pilovsky, Jeremy Fyrer.

Marian Catholic High School, Tamaqua – Megan Reaman, Brady Bobrowski.

Nativity BVM High School, Pottsville – Rylee Denion, Ethan Grabowski.

Notre Dame High School, Easton – Katherine Koons, Alec Miner.

Special Learning Center Scholarships

Scholarships of $1,000 were presented to a student from each of the three Special Learning Centers to assist them as they continue their Catholic education in one of the Special Learning Centers operated by the Diocese of Allentown.

John Paul II Center for Special Learning, Shillington – Alexandra Castillo.

Mercy School for Special Learning, Allentown – Isadora Tharouniatis.

St. Joseph Center for Special Learning, Schuylkill Haven – Mason Blikley.

Catholic High School Scholarships

“Bishop Schlert, I now present to you the eighth grade students who have been selected to receive a diocesan scholarship for their Catholic high school education,” said Malone.

“The selection committee reviewed each student’s application, which included: academic achievement; leadership; integrity; ability to work with others: activities and service to their school, parish and community; and recommendations by their teachers, principal and pastor.”

Allentown Central Catholic High School – Pierce Ebert, Averie Eddinger, Emerson Flannery, William Ford, Willow Gall, Ashlyn Griech, Anna Grubb, Francesca Hernandez, Charlotte Hood, Scott Issermoyer, Aubrey Kazmierczak, Joseph Kelly, Simone Morton, Lucas Salcedo, Ryley Shoemaker, Jack Shultz, Finley Tripaldi, Abigail Walsh, Milah Wininger, Makenzie Yeager.

Berks Catholic High School – Aiden Arboleda, Catherine Basehoar, Sydney Bray, Skylar Cava, Ryder Crozier, Jenelsie Espinal, Erika Espinal, Emily Hirneisen, Mariana Jeronimo, Julia Kramer, Britney Martinez, Giavanna Musallam, Adrianna Napoli, Ella Reimois, Tiffanny Rodriguez, Milagros Solis, Meredith Swavely, Josander Tavarez, Viet Vu, Esperanza Zudie, Jasmine Vargas.

Bethlehem Catholic High School – Madelyn Araniego, Julia Barbier, Ryan John Brophy, Lalya Buno-Resto, Jeannelis Colon, Andreia Dias, Christian Diaz Jr., Alec Falcone, Dusabe Grace, Mia Hollond, Neesa Howard, Skylar Husser, James Rosado, Antonio Salomoni, Alexander Searfoss, Benjamin Searfoss, Gianna Soares, Christian Timar, Carson Velgus, Brooke Zemanick.

Marian Catholic High School – Jakob Buzinski, Camden Gilbert, Anna Keer, Joseph Lashock, Robert Lashock, Victoria Lashock, John LeClair, Natalie Moses, Nicholas Polakovic, Gregor Poleschuk, Zoey Quintinsky, Andrew Reaman, Cara Rehnert, Sean Stoves, Lewis Wetterau.

Nativity BVM High School – Lola Cescon, Lauren Clark, Weylin Cleary, Peyten Evans, Cooper Felty, Jacob Fletcher, Avery Leshko, Vyn McDonald, Addison Messner, Stella Mongrain, Maria Neifert, Joshua O’Toole, Aralis Ramirez, Gavin Strausser, Sara Tovar.

Notre Dame High School – Marco Azzolina, Julia Bartoszek, Brianna Beani, Nina Ciccarelli, Emily Dalton, Makenna Deemer, Adam Delaney, Violet Dewalt, Brady Mansfield, Charlotte Morrissey, Matthew Murillo, Riley Palank, Naomi Rhinehart, Emmett Rieland, Jeremiah Robertson, Frances Rowley, Anna Schwartz, Matthew Shields, Mia Suppa.

“Your hard work, determination, involvement in activities and your Catholic faith have brought you here today. May you continue on this road as you move on to your next level of education,” said St. Pierre, congratulating the students.

To the families he said, “As this is a proud day for the Diocese of Allentown, it is equally a proud day for each of you. You should be commended on your choice in providing a Catholic education for your child. Behind each student is a family – mothers, fathers, grandparents, and siblings. We honor each of you today who have worked behind the scenes to make Catholic education a reality.”

Article and photos by Waldo Alvarado, principal of St. Margaret School, Reading.


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