Awards Ceremony Honors Outstanding Students

April 25, 2024

Top Ten Graduates

The Awards Ceremony was held on Wednesday April 24 and recognized students for excellence in academics, leadership, co-curriculars, and more. Below are the awards that were presented and the students who received each award.

ExCEL Awards

ExCEL Award - Excellence in Community, Education, and Leadership Award recognizes 2 junior students who are leaders in their schools, active in school activities, and who demonstrate a strong commitment to community service.

Jimmy Dodig '25, recipient of this award, is a junior captain on our Boys hockey team and is a student leader at our school. This leadership was no more evident than when our team lost Cormick Scanlan to Moya Moya disease last winter. He was instrumental in leading the school memorial service for his friend and teammate, and has organized many team functions to make sure Mick lives on in our memories. He is mature beyond his years and does everything with his friends and teammates at his core. He has dealt with many hardships, the most recent being his dad’s diagnosis with cancer, and he does so with a positive attitude rooted in his faith. He is a tremendous example of what it means to be a humble leader that leads by example.

Elena Kronschnabel '25, recipient of this award, has an extremely positive attitude. She is a 3-sport athlete that takes pride in being a key contributor to whatever sport she is a part of. She leads by example and takes it upon herself to make sure all her teammates feel connected to the team. She is universally loved by her teammates and much of this stems for her relentless work ethic and dedication to the season that she is participating in. She also finds a way to support the other teams at CDH and is the first to volunteer for any team building events. In a time of specialization in sports, she is unique to playing 3 sports and maximizing her ability in all three. She is a leader in all senses of the word.

Triple “A” Award

Triple “A” Award honors 2 senior students for their achievements in academics, the arts, and athletics.

Lauren Bengtson '24, recipient of this award, has been a 3 sport athlete (Basketball, Soccer and Golf) at CDH as well as participating in band while holding a 3.9 GPA. She is a two-time all-conference in Basketball and was a captain her senior year. She is a driven young lady that has excelled in all 3 sports as well as the classroom. Her drive and success will continue going forward as she will pursue medical school post graduation.

Finn Dougherty '24, recipient of this award, is a leader in everything he is involved in at CDH. When he is not leading the swimming & diving team, he is also a member of the Boys Soccer team, and captain of the Ultimate Frisbee Team. He is actively engaged with the younger members of the team and helps them stay focused when they would get nervous or off task. Outside of the pool, Finn is a member of the JROTC program where he earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel serving as Brigade S3 (Operations). He is a task master and is very organized.

St. Paul Athena Award

Athena Award is given to one senior female athlete who has distinguished herself in superior achievements in one or more sports, while also excelling academically and contributing to their community.

Annie Mulcahy '24, recipient of this award, has that positive “can do” attitude, matched with great skill and soccer knowledge. She is a very humble and team orientated player and leader. Our coaching staff often speaks about the ideal representative of CDH Girls Soccer. If there were a checklist for that - this player would check every single box. She is the type of player that I ask our younger athletes to view as the standard we should all strive for. A 4 year varsity starter, a two year all state nominee, a two year varsity captain, a 30+ career goal scorer, a 20+ career assist midfielder, and a future division 1 player at the University of St. Thomas. A true leader that has CDH purple running through her veins. 

Winfield Award

Winfield Awards were designed to recognize and encourage young men and women of color in St. Paul who show excellence in the classroom, athletics, and in the community into their plans for life.

Suraya Hodges '24, recipient of this award, was a captain for our Girls Basketball team this year and is a leader on and off the court. She brings a tremendous work ethic to the court and plays with grit and determination to lead her team night in and night out. She is an emotional leader who plays with tremendous determination and will to succeed. 

Anthony Knight '24, recipient of this award, was a senior captain on our Boys Basketball team that won the conference championship, the section title, and finished 4th place in State. He was one of our key leaders for a very young team and led by example every day on and off the court. He plays with heart and passion and he takes pride in the areas of the game that are often overlooked. 

ROTC Scholarships & Service Academy Appointments

Every year, several CDH students volunteer to serve their country by joining the military. Some enlist to serve on Active-Duty, in the National Guard, or the Reserves. Some seek full tuition ROTC scholarships at colleges - both locally and across the country. And some students go the route of obtaining a Congressional nomination and appointment to one of our Nation’s service academies. These include the Army at West Point, Navy at Annapolis, Air Force in Colorado Springs, or the Coast Guard in New London.

Students who have accepted an ROTC scholarship:

  • Finn Dougherty '24 accepted a 3-year Army ROTC scholarship and will be attending the University of Colorado - Boulder this fall.
  • Kat Nelson '24 has accepted a 4-year Army ROTC scholarship and is still deciding where she will attend this fall. 
  • Katie O’Donnell '24 has accepted a 4-year Army ROTC scholarship and will be attending Boston College this fall.

There are currently 5 CDH graduates at one of our Nation’s Service Academies. Here, students are obtaining a first rate education while training to protect and defend the United States of America. This year we are proud to announce that one Class of 2024 CDH student, Chuck Owens '24, has achieved this accomplishment and will attend the United States Air Force Academy. Additionally, we would like to honor a CDH student from the Class of 2023, Sam Koopmeiners '23, who will also be attending the United States Air Force Academy this fall. 

National Merit Scholarship Program

Commended scholars

  • Bridget Commers '24
  • Kelly Hannon '24
  • Theodore Johnson '24
  • Calla Massari '24

National Merit Finalist

  • Michael Loeffler

Robert Stupka III Science Scholarships

The Robert Stupka III Science Scholarships was established in memory of Robbie Stupka III, CDH Class of 2002. This scholarship is awarded to two juniors who demonstrate the same love for science and the scientific process as Robbie did.

Ever since childhood, Mary Strommen '25, recipient of this award, has been immersed in the sciences. Her love of science has been mentored by her father, who has helped her to never stop being curious. While serving in rural Africa, she became passionate about medical care for the underserved, especially in the field of pediatrics. 

When asked about what he wanted to be when he grew up, Garrett Poynter '25, recipient of this award, would answer: “I want to make something the world has never seen before.” Since then, he has immersed himself in the field of science by attending STEM camps, taking challenging courses, and taking to heart the commission to address the challenges of the world. Along the way, he, like Rob, has formed many impactful relationships with his teachers, peers, and coaches.

Kopp Family Foundation Scholarships

The Kopp Family Foundation Scholarship recognizes two seniors graduating from Cretin-Derham Hall each year. These scholarships are given to students who consistently work up to their academic ability, are of high character, are consistently positive in their dealings with others, are involved in service activities at CDH and their community. They are leaders by example and have a positive impact on those around them.

This year’s Kopp Foundation Scholarship Award winners, Amanda Sargent '24 and Olivia Reeder '24, were both members of the CDH Student Council. One spearheaded the fall blood drive and was an integral part of the service committee and the other was instrumental in planning homecoming and prom as a member of the events committee. Both winners are excellent students taking numerous AP courses and holding GPAs around 4.2. They care deeply about the CDH community and are involved in a number of outside community service projects.

Greg Marzolf, Jr. Scholarship Award

The Greg Marzolf, Jr. Scholarship was established in 2000 in memory of Greg Marzolf, Jr., CDH class of 1998. Greg died in the spring of his sophomore year at the University of St. Thomas after a long battle with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. He lived positively, with determination and faith, empowering others to do the same.

This award is given annually to a Cretin-Derham Hall junior who embodies similar traits to Greg. This scholarship acknowledges a student who has shown academic achievement and co-curricular participation while dealing with adversity and has shown perseverance and a positive spirit.

This year’s winner of the Greg Marzolf, Jr. Scholarship is Maggie Kane '25. Maggie is an outstanding student who is involved in a number of activities at CDH. Maggie overcame personal struggles and took part in the fall musical and winter show, as well as participating in the CDH choir and the mock trial team. She has also managed to maintain a 4.1 GPA while taking a number of AP and honors classes. As one of Maggie’s teachers said, “Through it all, Maggie has kept a positive attitude and continues to excel in her challenging academic load here at school. She is resilient, determined, and works REALLY hard to do her very best.” Maggie is most proud of being able to keep good grades and being able to participate in all of the activities that she loves.

Christopher A. Dell ‘07 Merit Scholarship 

This family of Chris Dell established this scholarship award to honor his life as a proud member of the CDH Class of 2007. Chris was an outstanding student and athlete at CDH, and he was a member of the 2007 State Championship Baseball team. This award honors a junior student in high academic standing and a member of the CDH baseball team.

Blake Bullis '25, recipient of this award, is a high achiever in the classroom and on the baseball diamond. He is a current member of the Varsity baseball team and a member of the Student Ambassador club. He is a hard worker, a young man of integrity, a role model, and always willing to lend a helping hand. 

Sister Mary Aloysius Sherin, CSJ Scholarship

The Sister Mary Aloysius Scholarship was established in honor of this beloved math teacher to honor a female junior student who has demonstrated significant achievement in math.

Jacki Lauer '25, recipient of this award, is an exceptional problem solver and meticulous worker, dedicated to thoroughly understanding mathematical concepts. She will put in the time required to insure her success in class, coming in early and/or during flex for extra help. Her enthusiasm for math is contagious, and this showed in her work as an invaluable part of the CDH math team this past season.

Derham Hall Carondelet Awards

The Derham Hall Carondelet Student Leadership Endowment was created by Derham Hall alumnae to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of Derham Hall High School. Two young women from the junior class are selected and, with this recognition, receive a tuition discount of 45% for their senior year.

For her joyful presence and energy, we recognize Grace McSherry '25 for the Derham Hall Carondelet Leadership Award. She embraces a curiosity that drives her love of learning and her commitment to service. In the classroom her questions and insights go well beyond “studying for the test.” Outside the classroom she leads as part of the JROTC program, Student Council, and Empty Bowls. 

For her hopeful presence and generosity, we recognize Karla Rivera '25 for the Derham Hall Carondelet Leadership Award. She embodies leadership, kindness, academic rigor, and a strong commitment to service. Her exemplary qualities and dedication to her studies and community make her a standout student and an asset to any classroom, team or organization. Whether she is volunteering at her parish, Saint Stephen’s, or working the register at Target, she demonstrates her commitment to make a positive impact in our society. 

Len Horyza Memorial Scholarships

The Len Horyza Memorial Scholarship honors this namesake who was a teacher; coach and mentor at Cretin High School and Cretin-Derham Hall for 35 years. Mr. Horyza emulated leadership, perseverance and commitment.

Ben Coyle '25, recipient of this award, is a hard-working student athlete and enjoys balancing school, athletics, and family. He has earned great grades in Analysis-H all year. He is a great teammate and deeply cares about others. After every practice and game Ben would thank the coaching staff for having the opportunity to be a part of the CDH basketball program. Always looking to get better, Ben has been a tireless worker on the court and in the classroom. He is the type of student-athlete that Coach Horyza would be proud to coach on the floor and teach in the classroom. Ben is a true leader in every sense of the word.

Yessica Gomez '25, recipient of this award, wants to be successful. She is courteous and kind. She collaborates well with her peers, and has a positive attitude when working. She comes in to get help from teachers and she also seeks out assistance from her classmates. Her commitment to learning will help her do well through the rest of her time at CDH and beyond.

Lepsche Family Award

The Lepsche Family Award recognizes one junior male student in honor of Ray Lepsche, Jr., Class of 1966. This scholarship recognizes a student who is kind and loves being a member of the Cretin-Derham Hall community.

Bauer Hogue '25, recipient of this award, is very friendly and outgoing to all. He is involved in many activities including Student Council, Link Crew, and he is a visible presence at CDH’s all-school Masses & prayer services. He is always willing to serve where help is needed.

James R McQuillan Award

The family of Jim McQuillan established this scholarship to honor his memory as a proud 1950 graduate of Cretin High School. He was an outstanding athlete and was inducted into the CDH Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. This award honors 2 Junior student-athletes or students involved in extracurricular activities and are recognized by the faculty and classmates as positive role models and influencers.

Emily Boss '25 and Davon Castro '25 are this year's James R McQuillan Award winners.

Harvey Buron Spirit Award

The Harvey Buron Spirit Award recognizes the male athlete that best exemplifies dedication, hard work, and positive attitude.

Matt Baumberger '24, recipient of this award, has been the leader of our swim team for the last two years. He has led by example since he was in the 9th grade. He is extremely persistent in the pursuit of the team’s goals and he has never complained about anything that he has been asked to swim. He is constantly pushing himself and willing to put his teammates on his back if they are having a tough time. He is an excellent student with a GPA of 4.18 earning MSHSCA Senior Academic Excellence Award & Academic All-American. He is a 4 year Varsity Letter winner, 4 year SEC All-Conference, 4 year State Qualifier, 3 Time True Team Section Champion, 2 year All-State Swimmer, and a 2 year Team Captain.

McDonough Spirit Award

The McDonough Spirit Award recognizes the female athlete who best exemplifies hard work and a positive attitude.

Lilly Hahs '24, recipient of this award, has been a 3 sport athlete at CDH for the past 4 years (Basketball, Soccer and Track). Unfortunately she sustained a significant ankle injury over the summer and another season ending foot injury at the start of the basketball season. She is the ultimate competitor that makes everyone else better around her with her drive and determination. She also has continued to go above and beyond after injuries to keep motivating and encouraging her teammates.

Raider Awards

The Raider Awards are presented to one female and one male who exemplify the ideals of the positive spirit of sport and the core mission of athletics at Cretin-Derham Hall.

Gray Hummel '24, recipient of this award, is a member of our Boys Lacrosse team, but is better known at CDH as the leader of our Super Fans. His energy is contagious and he made it a point to get to a lot of events at CDH. He always has time for a Raider Raider, his spirit is contagious, and his positive energy is second to none. He is the epitome of a Super Fan and supporter of every single one of his fellow Raiders.

Cece Plasch '24, recipient of this award, is a 3-year varsity volleyball player at CDH. Although a more quiet teammate, she leads by example. She never misses workouts, plays through sickness, and even switched positions her senior year to benefit the team rather than herself. She is always positive and encouraging, and out-working everyone on the court. Ask anyone who has had the opportunity to train or coach her and you will hear the same thing. 

Padden Award

The Padden Award is presented in honor of James Padden, a 1948 graduate of Cretin High School who died in the Korean War. The recipient of the Padden Award is a male student who demonstrates excellence in athletics, attitude, and academics.

Miles Bollinger '24, recipient of this award, has earned 10 varsity letters at CDH and has captained three sports (basketball, football, golf). He has earned several All-Conference, All-State, and All-District awards and has been a key component of state tournament teams in basketball and golf. In the classroom, he has a weighted GPA of 4.08, he’s had 1 grade (B+) that wasn’t an A or A-. He is respected by his teammates and is widely regarded as a leader in the hallways at CDH. He has also been an outstanding mentor to our young student-athletes and is always willing to pay it forward. 

Hugh Derham Award

The Hugh Derham Award is presented in honor of Hugh Derham - the first benefactor of Derham Hall High School. It is presented annually to the female who demonstrates excellence in all three areas of athletics, attitude, and academics.

Annie Mulcahy '24, recipient of this award, is a 3-year letter winner in Soccer at CDH. She was a two all-state player at CDH, 3 time all conference, 2-year captain, and Ms. Soccer Finalist as a senior. Off the field, she excels in the classroom as well, with a 3.753 Cumulative GPA. She is respected as a teammate and leads the way at all games, workouts, and practices. Three of her best qualities are her work ethic, her selfless personality, and her ability to lead with empathy. She is committed to play soccer at the University of St. Thomas. 

Excellence in Fine Arts

This award was established to honor seniors who have done extensive and excellent work across several Fine Arts disciplines. This year, two students will be honored for their deserving contributions and excellence in Fine Arts.

Calla Massari '24 is deserving of this award because of the excellence she displays through her involvement in choir, band, and theater. Her voice and strong musical instincts make her a great section leader in choir rehearsals and a valued member of our Music Ministry and a cappella clubs. She has taken her vocal talents to new heights through her involvement in the National ACDA Choir, the MN All-State Choir, Solo-Ensemble competitions, and All-Conference Honors Choir. She plays percussion, sings for the Jazz Band and Concert Band, and shines onstage in her various roles in CDH Theater productions. Throw in acting classes and two drawing classes, she has shined in everything Fine Arts. 

Sara Brost '24, recipient of this award, has been a Swiss Army Knife in relation to Fine Arts in her 4 years at CDH. It is a testament to her dedication and passion for the Arts for being involved in such a wide range of classes and productions. From Acting, Musical theater, Honor Choir, Ceramics, Drawing, Jewelry, and in the publication of the Yearbook; she showcases not only her talents in these mediums, but her commitment to exploring different facets of artistic expression, and excelling in them. She is well-rounded, but really shines in the Theater. If you have seen a show in the past few years, she has had a hand in it from behind the scenes to starring in front of the crowds. 

Top Ten Graduates

Valedictorian: Michael Loeffler

Salutatorian: Lucy Cornett

In alphabetical order:

  • Ariana Awiszus 
  • Bridget Commers
  • Luke Fowler
  • Rebecca Gutzmann
  • Regina Lopiano
  • Calla Massari
  • Vincent Pham
  • Olivia Reeder
  • Reid Smith

Mother Seraphine Ireland Award

Ellen Ireland was the oldest daughter in the Ireland family. She immigrated with her family, including her brother, John, to the United States and settled in Saint Paul in 1852.

Blessed with a combination of intelligence, warmth, humility, wit and common sense, Ellen joined the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet and was given the name, Sister Seraphine. By age 30, Sister Seraphine was appointed Superior (“Mother”) and served the province for 39 years. Believing that education leads to social transformation, she established 30 parochial schools, five hospitals, and forty-eight (48) learning institutions, including Saint Catherine’s University and Derham Hall.

Honoring the contributions of Mother Seraphine, Cretin-Derham Hall recognizes one senior young woman for her faith (zeal), leadership, integrity, commitment to service and social justice. She receives this distinction having been chosen by her peers.

Bella Brondum '24, recipient of this award, is a servant leader of character and a role model in the school and throughout the community. Her commitment knows no bounds. She has pride in herself and her work. She is kind, passionate, empathetic and her arms are open to everyone. She truly embodies the meaning of her name: beautiful and grace-filled.

Archbishop John Ireland Award

With his sister, Ellen, John Ireland experienced the expansion of the Minnesota Territory during his childhood. Ordained a priest in 1861, he became the chaplain for the 5 th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War in 1862.

Returning to Saint Paul, he became Rector of the Cathedral of Saint Paul and was appointed the first archbishop in 1888. Archbishop Ireland’s ideas for social reform and the relationship between church and society left profound outcomes. Specifically he established Saint Thomas Academy, the Saint Paul Seminary, and the University of Saint Thomas.

Honoring the contributions of Archbishop Ireland, Cretin-Derham Hall recognizes one outstanding young senior for his faith (zeal), leadership, integrity and commitment to service and social justice. He receives this distinction having been chosen by his peers.

Isaac Garcia '24, recipient of this award, was chosen by his peers for this award because he is generous. He shares his snacks, helps others with work, and even gives cash to a classmate on their birthday. He is present and cares about others. He started a non-profit to help the dear neighbor in the Dayton’s Bluff area and his classmates truly respect him for this initiative. His compassion and sense of responsibility stand out as he marches to the beat of his own drum. 


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