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.    

    Lauren Coffey, Reagan Davis, Mena DiGiorgio, Christopher Dodson, Elizabeth Laville, John Jacobson, Izabella Jurado, Elizabeth McCann, Patrick Rodriguez, Kendal Radke, Helena Stafford

      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) – Alex Brady

      Art (Jazz) – Andrew Saville

      Art (Orchestra) – Betsy Laville

      Art (Visual Sewing) – Sydney Sheerin, Jenna Wilken

      Art (Visual) – Matthew Free, Helen Smock

      Art (Vocal) – Gia Kelker, Elizabeth McCann

      Business – Christopher Dodson, Maximillian Nearmyer

      Computer Science – Matthew Free, Emma Mestemacher

      Technology – Jackson Bichelmeyer, Megan Mathews

      Yearbook – Ava Requet, Maximillian Nearmyer, Abby Wurtenberger

      English – Gabriella Nguyen

      Math – Marie Kerschen, Jacob Oberrieder, Lexi Sher

      Physical Education – Blake Boydston, Reagan Salsbury

      Science – Leah Johnson, Marie Kerschen

      Social Studies – Tiegan Blaine, Adrianna Brady

      Theology – Andrew Hartegan, Kate Maurer

      Weights – Cole Riley

      World Languages (American Sign Language) – Gabriella Nguyen, Brianna Simms

      World Languages (Latin) – Adrianna Brady, Taylor McCoy

      World Languages (Spanish) – Grace Hecke, Bella Jurado

      National Merit Scholarship Competition

      The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High School students enter the National Merit Program by taking the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) which serves as an initial screen for approximately 1.6 million entrants each year.  The top 3% of students are identified as Commended Scholars based on their test scores.  The top 1% of students move on to the Semifinalist standing and continue in the National Merit competition, potentially earning the standing of a finalist.

      National Merit Finalst

      These students finished in the top 1% of the students tested, and they have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships.

      Elizabeth McCann

      Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Program

      Commended students comprise the next 34,000 highest scorers on last spring’s PSAT, putting them in the top 3% of all testers nationwide.

      Grace Hecke, Helena Stafford


      Kansas Designated State Scholars

      State Scholars are derived from the KS Scholars Curriculum Completers. The Scholars Curriculum Completers are those that have completed:  4 years English, 4 years Math, 3 years Science (including Biology, Chemistry and Physics), 3 Social Studies, and 2 Foreign Language. State Scholars designation is based on an index which mathematically combines the ACT Composite score and the student’s 7 semester GPA.

      Jackson Bichelmeyer
      Liam Bockwinkel
      Blake Boydston
      Grace Burns
      Lauren Cahill
      Zachary Clark
      John Conley
      Lydia Crist
      Ella Culliss
      Matthew Free
      Andrew Hartegan
      Grace Hecke
      Emma Holton
      Henry Hubbell
      Chloe Husbands
      John Jacobson
      Leah Johnson
      Eli Kalny
      Blake Mathy
      Elizabeth McCann
      Katherine McKnight
      Kolbe McLenon
      Nathan Melchior
      Chloe Merideth
      Emma Mestemacher
      Jack Mies
      Amelia Miller
      Mai Nguyen
      Jacob Oberrieder
      Robert Ochs
      Tucker Peterson
      Taelyn Quillin
      Mia Reuter
      Brendan Rickert
      Abraham Rome
      Ty Roshau
      Aidan Rund
      Reagan Salsbury
      Grant Scaletty
      Brianna Simms
      Owen Stafford
      Lauren Steinlage
      Gabriel Sydzyik
      Alyson VanNieuwenhuyse
      Shawn Wornall
      Abigail Wurtenberger

      Kansas Governor’s Scholars

      The Governor’s Scholars program honors the top academic Kansas High School Seniors. This program is coordinated by the Governor by the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force.

      Adrianna Brady
      Alex Brady
      Grace Hecke

      Thunder 30

      The Thunder 30 is an award presented to those that acquire a 30 or above on their ACT.

      Natalie Astoquilca-May
      Liam Bockwinkel
      Alex Brady
      Adrianna Brady
      Lauren Cahill
      John Conley
      Ella Culliss
      Matthew Free
      Anna Gomez
      Andrew Hartegan
      Grace Hecke
      Henry Hubbell
      John Jacobson
      Leah Johnson
      Marie Kerschen
      Elizabeth Laville
      Elizabeth McCann
      Taylor McCoy
      Kolbe McLenon
      Emma Mestemacher
      John Niesen
      Jacob Oberrieder
      Robert Ochs
      Brendan Rickert
      Abraham Rome
      Ty Roshau
      Aidan Rund
      Andrew Saville
      Sophy Saykally
      Helen Smock
      Helena Stafford
      Lauren Stanley
      Gabriel Sydzyik
      Eleanor Wiley
      Abigail Wurtenberger

      Recognition of Students Who Have Enlisted for Military Service

      Lauren Steinlage – United States Air Force Academy

      Zachary Clark – United States Military Academy

      Msgr. Burger Vocational Scholarship Award

      Awarded to graduating senior  who is entering the seminary:

      Jackson Poznich


        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.

        Caroline Kmetz, Peter Nguyen, Beatrice Wiley, Hank Schreiner, Norah Rosa, Ben Wheeler

        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.

        Mary Rosa, Andrew Rickert, Emmie Holton, Erik Brim, Bernadette Wallace, Zach Jaworski

        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.

        Lydia Burns, Gavin Puchalla, Isabelle Connealy, Michael Bianco, Malori Ard, Elliott Coulson

        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.

        Elizabeth Wurtenberger, Cooper Ryne, Madison Steinlage, William Book, Sophiua Zacharias, Patrick Donnelly

          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:

          Isabelle Connealy and Mary-Clare Wilson


          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:

          Katelyn Kuckelman

          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:

          Maddi Barney


          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:

          Corey Haggerty


          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:

          Luke Toepfer


          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:

          Nicholas May and Connor Skahan


          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).

          Emmie Holton and Gavin Puchalla

            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:


            • Clara Kueny, Lucas Frias, Paden Phar, Andrew Cook, Amelie King, Joshua Dodson, Leo Bertels, Bella Gabriel, Jayden Leyva


            • Alex Hawk, Sydney Nguyen


            • Lilly Theis, Quinn Hays, Sophia Hance, Sierra Shotkoski


            • Alton Porter, Nick May, Vanessa Kamau


            • Sierra Shotkoski


            • Audrey Hartline, Grace Kissel, Leah Phelps, Trent Helmer, Ella Zysk, Adalee Hewes


            • Graham Werner, Will Book, Nathan Brune, Mia Simone, Sydney Conrad, Emily Free

            Computer Science

            • Alexander Rueger, Cate Cahill, Addison Henige


            • Joseeph Naumann, Ian Mulloy, Paige Adams, Astrid King, Quintan Smith


            • Cooper Ryne, Isabelle Connealy, Lincoln McIntire, Kennedie Wenger, Nick May, Gemma Klassen, Luke Toepfer, Brighton Broeckelman


            • Clara Kueny, Leah Cordova, Katelyn Kuckelman, Leah Haeusser, Alexander Rueger, Malori Ard, Luke Toepfer, Katelyn Menghini, Lincoln McIntire

            Physical Education

            • Jameson Fitzgerald, Jack Bevitt, Charlie Hinkel, Regan Becker, Meredith Peterson, Ava Spachek


            • Andrew Rickert, Amelie King, Malori Ard, Brighton Broeckelman, Nick May, Cecilia Nguyen, Gavin Puchalla, Avery O’Hara, Nicole Surface

            Social Studies

            • Audrey Hartline, Brinkley Colquitt, Katelyn Kuckelman, Teigan Blaine, Genevieve Ludvicek, Beatrice Wiley, Landon Simoes, Addison Ney


            • Atley Werth, Leah Cordova, Nathan Brune, Gavin Puchalla, Allie Morfeld, Sophia Zacharias, Gianna Dennihan, Marshall Ley, Katie Price

            World Language-American Sign Language

            • Luke Toepfer, Erin Chuma, Andrew Bomhoff, Lydia Burns, Sydney Conrad, Sydney Lanham

            World Language-Latin

            • Ellie Wurtenberger, Caleb Ochs, Katelyn Kuckelman, Abby Schaffhausen, Avery O’Hara, Leah Phelps

            World Language-Spanish

            • Parker Nguyen, Keely Niehues, Kate McKenzie, Andrew Rickert, Amelia Schaefer, Lauren Rottinghaus