St. Cecilia Academy News
St. Cecilia Academy's two National Merit finalists from the Class of 2019, Catherine Johnson (left) and Jule Voss (right), recently have been awarded full-tuition scholarships to the University of Virginia and Texas A&M University for their outstanding high school achievement.
Jule Voss is the recipient of the prestigious Jefferson Scholars Award at the University of Virginia. The Jefferson Scholars Foundation award is aimed at nurturing future leaders of extraordinary intellectual range and depth who possess the highest qualities of leadership, scholarship, and citizenship. The scholarship covers the full cost of a student's undergraduate and graduate education and is valued at $280,000. As the only nominee from Middle Tennessee, Jule distinguished herself among 2,000 candidates nationwide through a rigorous application and interview process. Jule attended Abintra Montessori before SCA and is currently taking 4 AP classes. She is President of National Honor Society, a team lead on the LadyBots robotics team, and participates in Model UN, Youth in Government, Mock Trial. Involvement in these activities, as well as her Saturdays spent feeding child refugees in the Nashville area with Rise – Annka Pamoja, has prompted Jule towards pursuing a major in Global Studies while attending the University of Virginia. When asked about the teacher she most admired at SCA, Jule said, "Miss George, who is my AP Physics teacher. She helped me to see where I was going and where I could eventually take my skills."
Catherine Johnson received the Brockman Scholarship, Texas A&M University's most all-inclusive full scholarship that is awarded to 50 students of exceptional promise in the STEM fields. Brockman Scholars graduate in five years with an undergraduate STEM degree as well as a Master of Science in Business, and Catherine's hope is to double major in Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics. Catherine is an alumna and parishioner of St. Matthew School and Church. This year she is taking 4 AP courses and is a lead member of Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society and the Robotics team. Integrating faith with academics is an important priority for Catherine, and she has attended the Franciscan University of Steubenville's summer youth conference for several years, as well as serving on the student planning committee for the St. Cecilia March for Life trip to Washington. When asked about her time at St. Cecilia Academy, Catherine spoke highly of her SCA experience and the influence of her teachers, especially the Dominican Sisters. "Sister Nicholas Marie has been there through my faith journey," she said. "We would have weekly lunches together and talk about faith, morality, and she really became a mentor for me."
"We are so proud of Jule and Catherine, who received these great scholarships around the same time that they learned they had been named National Merit Finalists," said principal Sister Anna Laura, O.P. "At St. Cecilia these students have gained a strong intellectual foundation in the liberal arts that has encouraged them to love knowledge for its own sake and to find joy in the pursuit of wisdom. They are very diligent students who have learned that the virtue of study is about more than having top grades. Jule and Catherine can think well, ask insightful questions, and express themselves with confidence and incisiveness. We are delighted that the University of Virginia and Texas A&M have discovered in these young women what we have been witnessing for the last four years."
The National Merit Scholarship Program announced that 15,000 top-scoring students nationwide advanced from the semi-finalist to the finalist level. This group of students is then eligible for National Merit scholarships on "the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies."