First Discipleship Certificates

    Under the patronage of Mary as the “First Disciple” of Jesus Christ, the First Disciple Leadership Program aims to form leaders who are disciples and disciples who lead. The curriculum focuses on the human, intellectual, spiritual, and apostolic formation of the person and seeks to inspire Christian servant leadership in its participants to aid the mission and vision of the Community System and beyond.  The following seniors have completed the program with active participation all four years.    

    Olivia Bertoch, Ayden Brady, Olivia Bertoch, Ella Copley, Mia Eskina, Addison Fogarty, Grace Hornback, Lacey Hunter, Grace Klemp, Lauren Kmetz, Jayden Kubec, Emily Lamfers, Ridley Leiker, Katherine McKinzie, Jillian Muehlberger, Leah Phelps, Grace Puchalla, Lucia Punswick, Norah Rosa, Addison Tauscher, Amaya Walters, Ben Wheeler

      Senior Academic Awards

      For demonstrating excellence academically, being a consistently positive contributor to class, and showing interest in the content outside of class time over the course of their four years, the Senior award recipients in the following subjects are:

      Art (Band) – Vanessa Kamau

      Art (Jazz) – Santiago De La Fuente

      Art (Orchestra) – Sophia Hance, Sierra Shotkoski

      Art (Visual Sewing) – Georgia Lawson, Cecilia Nguyen, Daisy Toepfer

      Art (Visual) – Sienna Cox, Gemma Klassen

      Art (Vocal) – Emily Free, Mara Hug

      Business – Jacob Shields, Grant Worthington

      Computer Science – Ryan Khemraj, Katelyn Kuckelman

      Technology – Emma Bray, Robert Ruben

      Yearbook – Katelyn Kuckelman, Kate McKinzie, Lucia Punswick

      English – Gemma Klassen, Katelyn Kuckelman, Evelyn Overlease

      Math – Lily Davis, Katelyn Kuckelman, Cecilia Nguyen

      Physical Education – Ava Reyes, Jacob Shields

      Weights – Addison Tauscher, Robert Thomas

      Science – Abigail Crum, Ryan Khemraj

      Social Studies – Mason Henderson, Evelyn Overlease

      Theology – George Bright, Spencer Dohm

      World Languages (American Sign Language) – Michaela McCormick, Grace Puchalla, Kailey Wilson

      World Languages (Latin) – Katelyn Kuckelman, Leah Phelps

      World Languages (Spanish) – Spencer Dohm, Jayden Kubec


        Charism Awards

        One Award

        The One Award is given to a student who represents the spirit of the community.  We are called to live as One Body of Christ.  Additionally and essentially, they support and encourage others to share their gifts and they embody the hospitality that Christ himself witnessed to the world.

        Peyton Cheever, Diego Olsen, Lydia Burns, Gavin Puchalla, Isabelle Connealy, Will Book

        Holy Award

        The Holy Award is given to a student who is seeking holiness through personal prayer, stewardship, virtue and integrity.  This award is given to a student who is in tune with the voice of God in their daily life.  Living and celebrating faith in word and deed are hallmarks of the Holy Award winners.

        Gianna Connealy, Nathaniel Bright, Finley Tauscher, Andrew Rickert, Emmie Holton, Erik Brim

        Catholic Award

        The Catholic Award is given to a student who is continually seeking to understand faith.  The  student who is selected as the Catholic award winner is an overall strong student, who is active in their community and well rounded.  Additionally, they are a person who strives for excellence in all aspects of life, always demonstrating hard work and effort.

        Kathryn Carmody, Kristjana Thors, Luke Niesen, Clara Kueny, Luke Toepfer, Dylan Corser, Annie Wilken

        Apostolic Award

        The Apostolic Award is given to a student who lives their faith by serving others.  The winner of the Apostolic award is a student who is seen as a servant who spreads the Good News of Jesus Christ both in our school and in the broader community.  This award winner embodies an understanding of Jesus’ commission to go and spread the good news of the gospel.

        Nora Todd, Matthew Wurtenberger, Elizabeth Wurtenberger, Cooper Ryne, Beatrice Schreiner, Evan Ediger, Hank Schreiner

          Undergraduate Scholarship Awards

          Amici Fideles “Faithful Friends” Scholarship

          This award is anonymously sponsored by an SJA family whose child received caring support from friends at St. James at a critical time.  These friends surrounded the student with faithful friendship by showing compassion, love, attentiveness, determination, commitment and forgiveness when it was needed.  The parents were so touched, they created the scholarship fund, “Amici Fideles”, or “Faithful Friends”.  The $500 award is designed to recognize two Sophomore students (rising Juniors for the 2022-23 school year) who pursue academic excellence, set a good moral example, and have shown extraordinary faithfulness to a friend in need.  This year we had 27 students nominated for this scholarship, by faculty, staff and coaches.  This year’s recipients are:

          Maggie Orth and Gavin Puchalla


          Samantha Branson “Joy and Happiness” Memorial Scholarship:

          Samantha Branson was a disciple, teacher and mother at St. James Academy who brought happiness and a loving heart to everyone who knew her.  She was known by all, for her love of Jesus and her students, her passion for literature and writing, and for the “Wall of Happiness” that adorned her classroom walls each year, allowing students to share with each other those things, big and little, that brought them happiness.  A scholarship was established in her honor, so that her memory and example can live on within our SJA community.  The $500 award is designed to recognize a rising Junior or Senior student who emulates joy and happiness, loves literature, and creates community in the classroom.  This year’s recipient is:

          Lucas Frias

          Lauren Dopp Memorial Scholarship

          This scholarship was established by the family of Lauren Dopp ‘09 as a memorial to honor her special qualities of purity, honesty, faith, and complete determination.  Lauren’s friends speak of her as a  woman of radical faith and say that she possessed an unbelievable desire to love.  She spoke her mind and abandoned social boundaries as she befriended all who would let her. She had a heart for service, and she lived for others.  Her devotion to honesty and truth made her a loyal friend and  teammate.  She admitted her flaws and committed to her struggles.  She faced life head-on and made the most of every opportunity she was given.  Her ownership of her flaws made her a hero to those around her. Lauren continues to be an example of faith and purity in our St. James community with the tradition of saying “Be, Know, Do” at the closing of our prayer circles.  This $500 award recognizes a veteran St. James Academy Spirit Team member (either cheer or dance) who best represents the ideals set forth by former member, Lauren Dopp ‘09.  This year’s recipient is:

          Jessi Lassman


          Zach Graas “Dream Big” Memorial  Scholarship

          The Zach Graas “Dream Big” Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the memory and continue the legacy of Zach Graas, class of 2011. While Zach was not a straight-A student nor a star athlete, he possessed two key attributes – ability to dream big, and the grit to achieve those dreams.  Zach pursued his goals with relentless determination.  What set Zach apart from others his age was his ability to get out of his comfort zone and engage with the people around him, whether he knew them or not.  A brain cancer diagnosis at the beginning of his college career didn’t slow him down in the pursuit of his greatness, nor did his 6-year battle against brain cancer.  Zach achieved more in those 6 years than many people achieve in a lifetime. Established in 2029, in memory of Zach, this $1000 scholarship is designed to recognize a Junior student who is determined, has a positive outlook and shows friendship to all.  It is someone who embraces challenges and lives life to its fullest.  This year’s recipient is:

          Leala McKeag


          David B. Jones Memorial Scholarship

          This scholarship was established to honor the memory of David B. Jones, father of five graduates of St. James Academy.  Though cancer claimed his body, it could never conquer his spirit nor erase his legacy.  David instilled a spirit of competition, excellence, and achievement in all his children, and strove to support them in all their endeavors.  Armed with his stopwatch and heat sheets, he was a constant presence on the sidelines and at the finish line.  So it is fitting that this scholarship supports student-athletes in their own pursuit of excellence and achievement.  This $1000 scholarship recognizes a rising Sophomore, currently involved in  either swimming or track and field. This year’s recipient is:

          Matthew Wurtenberger


          SJA for SJA Memorial Scholarship

          The SJA for SJA scholarship was created in memory of Stefanie Jo Adams, wife of football coach Jeff Adams, and mother of alumni Jase Adams ‘19 and Olivia Clary, nee Adams ‘15. Stefanie was a music educator for over 30 years.  While Stefanie had a profound love of music and education, she also valued supporting others.  Everything she did was filled with enthusiasm and purpose.  She loved supporting her family in their various activities and found joy in doing so.  She and Olivia shared a common passion for music and spent many hours playing instruments and traveling to Olivia’s harp lessons over the years.  Even though she was not a star athlete (or even athletic in the slightest), she could be heard cheering loudly in the stands for every SJA football game Jase played and Jeff coached.  Stefanie packed her vigor for life into every moment and inspired many others to do the same.  Established in memory of Stefanie Jo Adams, this $750 scholarship is designed to recognize two rising Sophomores, Juniors or Seniors who are currently involved in band, orchestra, or football. This year’s recipients are:

          Jackson Cantu and Lillian Theis


          Isabelle Ford “Grace Iz Forever” Legacy Scholarship

          This scholarship is designed to recognize one Freshman (rising Sophomore for the 2023-24 school year) and one Sophomore (rising Junior for the 2023-24 school year), who in their short time here have shown a heart for service, extraordinary faithfulness to friends, pursues academic excellence, and lives life to its fullest in honor of Isabelle Ford (Class of ’23).

          Parker Nguyen and Brenda Scaduto


          Gabriel Puchalla ‘22 Legacy Scholarship

          This $500 scholarship is designed to recognize a current Sophomore or Junior student (rising Junior or Senior for the 2024-25 school year) who has a desire to help others while being humble, lives as an example of servitude and leadership, and shows perseverance when facing challenges.

          Cristian Valldeperas

            Underclassmen Academic Awards

            For demonstrating excellence academically, being a consistently positive contributor to class, and showing interest in the content outside of class time over the course of their four years, the Senior award recipients in the following subjects are:


            • Paige Schmidt, Andrew Cook, Caroline Cure


            • Brett Bomhoff, Jonpaul Donegan, Jonathan Brazil, Violet L’Esperance,


            • Gabriel Lara, Andrew Nguyen, Lillian Theis, Quinn Hays


            • Gilbert Smock, Alton Porter, Nicholas May


            • Coryn Jespersen, Elizabeth Johnson, Anna Wood


            • Taryn Castro, Alaina Haake, Grace Kissell, Sophie Susanto, Audrery Hartline, Rose Willis


            • Brock Wondra, Mary Elizabeth O’Leary, Elijah Jones, Evan Kennedy, Mary Rosa, Emmie Holton

            Computer Science

            • Alexander Hanks, Caleb Ochs, Adam Urich


            • Eli Orrison, Reece Childress, Max Albright, William Burns, Jessi Lassman


            • Blake Wilken, Delillah Muchangi, Isabelle Connealy, Emma Martin, Andrew Rickert, Jonathan May, Hayden Messer, Luke Toepfer, Beatrice Wiley


            • Brett Bomhoff, Clara Kueny, Caleb Ochs, Andrew Nguyen, Andrew Rickert, Katelyn Menghni, Genevieve Ludvicek, Parker Nguyen, Leah Cordova

            Physical Education

            • Grace Coatney, Lucia Bunker, Brooks Elstun, John Hornback, Francis Menghini, Meredith Peterson

            Rhetoric & Media Arts

            • Jack McCullagh, Luke Toepfer, John Paul Argenziano, Molly Killeen, Landon Simoes, Luke Neff, Kristjana Thors, Cooper Ryne, Anna Wood


            • Brett Bomhoff, Abigail Schaffhausen, Nicholas May, Diego Olsen, Jasmine Luck-Smith, Katelyn Williams, Abigail May, Marie Melero, Amelie King

            Social Studies

            • Madeline Etler, Delillah Muchangi, Tobias O’Leary, James Ewing, Andrew Rickert, Owen Brady, Allison Meyer


            • Matthew Wurtenberger, Luke Toepfer, Beatrice Wiley, Brooke Novotny, Alina Dunn, Addison Ney, Paige Schmidt, Molly Eckels, John Paul Argenziano

            World Language-American Sign Language

            • Thor McCormick, Nila Meyer, Erin Chuma, Lane Larson, Kayla Padley, Addison Ney, Dylan Corser

            World Language-Latin

            • Brock Wondra, Lily Meredith, Avery O’Hara, Diego Olsen, Elizabeth Wurtenberger, Cambrie Larsen


            • Connor Skahan, Mattingly Harris

            World Language-Spanish

            • Max Reynolds, William Burns, Caroline Cure, Ryker Niehues, Clara Kueny, Jonathan May