St. Monica Academy Recognizes Eight of its Special Honors Student Recipients

L-R: Therese Boles, Sophia Decker, Clement Decker
L-R: English Teacher Margaret Bruer, Sarah Decker, Headmaster Marguerite Grimm

St. Monica Academy is pleased to recognize eight of its students who have received special honors recently. Senior Sophia Decker was named a National Merit Finalist and has won a $2,500 scholarship. An exceptionally high score of 238 out of 240 also earned her a full scholarship to the University of Kentucky, her first-choice college, which also includes room, board and a stipend for four years. This is based purely on her National Merit Finalist standing.

Therese Boles has been named a Carson Scholar. Dr. Ben Carson, famous for being the first neurosurgeon to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head, founded the program to honor students who are academic and

L-R: Kayla Grimm, Jacob Lessard, Joseph Kulda

inspirational role models in their schools. Carson Scholars are awarded with a $1,000 college scholarship and a recognition package. 526 of the best and brightest students from around the country have been named Carson Scholars. These students were nominated by their school based on their high academic achievement and commitment to their communities.

Freshman Clement Decker is the first St. Monica student ever to advance from the L.A. County Science Fair to the California State Science Fair, which will be held May 18-19. Only 104 out of 1007 competitors in the Mar. 26-27 County Fair advanced to State, including Clement. His project attempted to determine whether the quantum or classical model of light is better for explaining interference patterns. Clement also represented St. Monica Academy in the English Speaking Union Los Angeles Shakespeare Competition on February 6. Out of 25 students, Clement placed in the top 6 and advanced to the second round of competition.

In addition, the following students have received special awards and recognitions:

Seventh grader Sarah Decker represented St. Monica Academy at the Los Angeles County Scripps Spelling Bee on February 8. Out of 23,000 participants at the school level, and 115 school champions at the regional level, Sarah placed 6th.

In the Daughters of the American Revolution American history essay contest, fifth grader James Christian was both the Martin Severance Chapter of Pasadena winner as well as the District X winner for his essay on the topic, “A Child’s Journey through Ellis Island.” In the high school contest, Junior Kayla Grimm was the Chapter winner and the District X winner for her essay on Christopher Columbus. District X includes seven DAR Chapters in and around the San Gabriel Valley. James’ and Kayla’s essays will be submitted to the state level competition. Sarah di Cicco, the DAR representative from
the local chapter, said of our competitors: “The St. Monica Academy essayists are extremely competitive. Your fifth grade teacher Miss Miranda inspires her students to internalize research and speak with a personal voice. Tremendous!”

Twelve high school students participated in the Southern California Debate League’s
novice tournament on February 21. The team participated in the Congressional Extemporaneous competition. Jacob Lessard received a ribbon of excellence from the Southern California Debate League, and Joseph Kulda was named team MVP.

St. Monica Academy, 301 N. Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena, (626) 229-0351 or visit



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