Class of 2023 Recognized, Awards Announced at Graduation Mass and Ceremony

May 27, 2023

Family, friends, and school community members gathered to recognize and celebrate the St. Ignatius Chesterton Academy class of 2023 at a baccalaureate Mass and graduation ceremony on May 25 at St. Katharine Drexel—St. Mary’s Site, Kaukauna. (View more photos here.)

St. Ignatius Chesterton Academy class of 2023 graduates are Therese Biese, Emily Hansen, Margaret Krautkramer, Mary Lefeber, Elise McMorrow, Sophia Moore, David Timm, Evan Unruh, Genevieve Weber, and Catherine Zepp.

Fr. Don Everts presided over the baccalaureate Mass, with Fr. Adam Bradley co-celebrating and Deacon Steve Vande Hey serving as deacon.

The Mass was followed by the graduation ceremony. Fr. Adam Bradley provided the opening prayer. Senior Catherine Zepp gave the remembrance address, and Senior Elise McMorrow offered the farewell address. Board of Trustees Trustee Amy Asenbrener gave the official proclamation from the Board, and Mr. Paul Anderson gave the faculty address. Head of School Mr. Tony Biese and System President Mr. Nathan Vande Hey presented the diplomas to the seniors. Additionally, Associate Head of School Ms. Krystyn Schmerbeck provided a reflection and presented five awards—two scholarship awards and three faculty/school awards.

Scholarships awarded included the Kevin J. Buskager Memorial Scholarship and Clear Approach Optometry Health Care Scholarship.

The Kevin J. Buskager Memorial Scholarship, named for school alumnus Kevin J. Buskager who unexpectedly passed away in 2022, is an annual scholarship given to a graduating senior who exemplified the same generous and compassionate spirit as Kevin. The 2023 recipient was Sophia Moore.

The Clear Approach Optometry Health Care Scholarship, supported by school alumnus and local business owner Dr. David Vanderloop, is an annual scholarship given to a graduating senior who intends to pursue a career in health care and demonstrated significant commitment to volunteer service in the community. The 2023 recipient was Emily Hansen.

The three faculty awards given were the St. Ignatius Award, the Bl. Carlo Acutis Award and the G.K. Chesterton Award. A committee of faculty selected graduating senior award recipients for each.

The St. Ignatius Award recipient for 2023 was Sophia Moore. This award recognizes the graduating senior who has demonstrated exceptional intellectual virtue including curiosity, creativity, resilience and relentless striving for excellence in his or her search for wisdom.

The Bl. Carlo Acutis Award recipient for 2023 was Mary Lefeber. This award recognizes the graduating senior who demonstrated a consistent witness to his or her faith. This student’s actions were a constant reminder of Christ’s love for each person.

The G.K. Chesterton Award recipient for 2023 was Emily Hansen. This award recognized the graduating senior who has demonstrated strong leadership abilities and the great virtues of charity and joy so evident in our illustrious intellectual patron, G.K. Chesterton.

Immediate plans for the graduating class include Therese Biese, University of Notre Dame; Emily Hansen, Lakeland University; Margaret Krautkramer, University of Mary; Mary Lefeber, Fox Valley Technical College; Elise McMorrow, Fox Valley Technical College; Sophia Moore, University of Mary or Franciscan University of Steubenville; David Timm, workforce/apprentice trades program; Evan Unruh, University of Mary; Genevieve Weber, workforce; and Catherine Zepp, Franciscan University of Steubenville.

St. Ignatius Chesterton Academy, which serves more than 40 students grade 9 through grade 12, opened in fall 2021 in Kaukauna and graduated its first class last school year. As the only Catholic classical high school in the Fox Valley and a member of the international Chesterton Schools Network, St. Ignatius Chesterton Academy offers a rigorous classical curriculum taught through the lens of the Catholic faith. The high school was an expansion to the existing St. Ignatius Catholic School–the Fox Valley’s only Catholic classical school–which serves students 3K through grade 8 in Kaukauna.