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CC Students Shine at Academic Awards Ceremony

On Thursday, April 18, 2024, 457 Catholic Central High School students were honored at the school’s annual Academic Awards ceremony.

Students were recognized for up to eight achievements, including:

  • Academic Achievement Department Award

  • Shamrock Yearbook Award

  • Spectrum Newspaper Award

  • Gabriel Richard Club (1st Semester 2023/2024)

  • National Merit Award

  • Class Officer

  • Student Council Officer

Additionally, several students were recognized with some special awards.

The DECA Emerging Leader honor is awarded to provide recognition of graduating DECA members studying marketing, finance, hospitality, or management, and for being an academically-prepared, community-oriented, professionally responsible, experienced leader through participation in DECA.

Fewer than 50 students in the state of Michigan were recognized with this award, and five of them are Catholic Central Shamrocks.

Recipients included:

  • Jordan Diegel ‘24

  • David Kibbey ‘24

  • Thomas Ongena ‘24

  • Joseph Sievert ‘24

  • Chase Ziegler ‘24

Other students who received special awards included:

Jacob Barta ’25: The Prize Book of the Harvard Alumni Association 

The Prize Book is awarded to an outstanding student in the next-to-graduating class who displays excellence in scholarship and high character, combined with achievement in other fields.

“The recipient of this award, through his intelligence and variety of achievement, exemplifies Harvard’s commitment to excellence,” presenter Mr. Patrick O’Brien said of Barta.

Jarod Dufield ’25: Rensselaer Medal Award

The Rensselaer Medal Award is awarded to promising juniors who have distinguished themselves in both mathematics and science.

The medal was first presented in 1916 with two purposes: to recognize the superlative academic achievement of young men and women, and to motivate students toward careers in science, engineering, and technology.

The merit scholarship, totaling a minimum value of $160,000 over four years, is guaranteed for each medalist who is accepted and enrolls at Rensselaer. The official medal will be presented to enrolling medalists in the fall of their first year at Rensselaer.

Oliver Kammeraad ’24: Edward Siwik Memorial Award

The Edward Siwik residential scholarships are in remembrance of Edward Siwik, Catholic Central class of 1980, and a student at the University of Michigan. A pre-med student at U of M in April 1981, Edward jumped in to assist his fellow dorm members when he became the victim of a fatal shooting. There have been two scholarships created in his name and to recognize his heroic efforts.

Annually, the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor awards the Siwik Memorial Scholarship to a graduate of Detroit Catholic Central based on academic merit.

John Harvey ’24: Siwik Residential Scholarship

The recipient of the Edward Siwik residential scholarship must also be accepted to and plan to attend the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan. Applicants are required to submit an essay answering the question, “What does the Edward Siwik Residential Scholarship mean to me?”

Javier Farfan-Morales ’24: Thomas Taylor, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Tom Taylor was a 1986 graduate of Catholic Central. He attended Michigan State University and began pursuing his love of music. He was an incredible musician, composer, and songwriter.

Tom formed several bands throughout his life, and, before his passing in April 2021, he released a solo album. A $1,000 scholarship has been created in his honor. The Tom Taylor Music Foundation was created to assist graduating seniors who want to pursue their passions in his honor.

Patricio Ezdebski ’24: Reginald Tucker Scholarship

The Reginald l. Tucker Scholarship is awarded annually in memory of Reginald l. Tucker, a Catholic Central graduate of 1973. The scholarship is awarded to a senior entering college who best demonstrates Reggie’s qualities of scholarship, leadership, and spirit.

After graduating from Catholic Central, Reggie earned his B.A. degree at Yale University in 1977 and his J.D. degree at the University of Michigan in 1980. At the time of his death in 1984, Reggie was practicing law in Chicago. He distinguished himself as a student and a lawyer and touched many lives with his vibrant personality.

“The recipient of the Reginald l. Tucker scholarship was chosen by a committee consisting of founders and trustees of the scholarship fund, based on submitted applications,” explained O’Brien.

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