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Aquinas signing day

Front Row left to right: Breanna Stouffer, Northeast Community College-Basketball; Vanessa Bohuslavsky, Morningside College-Softball; Lindsey Nickolite, Concordia College-Dance; Natalie Semin, Morningside College-Volleyball; Allie Frasher, University of Nebraska at Kearney-Cross Country/Track & Field; Dulcie Archuleta, Nebraska Wesleyan University-Track & Field

Back Row left to right:  Larissa Sellers, Nebraska Wesleyan University-Track & Field; Micaiah Vrbka, Chadron State College-Volleyball; Kate Slama, Nebraska Wesleyan University-Cross Country; Kloe Ruth, Bellevue University-Volleyball; Andy Lyons, Concordia University-Track and Field; Joseph Reimers, University of Nebraska at Kearney-Wrestling; and Tad Naiberk, Nebraska Wesleyan University-Football.

Father Sean Timmerman doesn’t shy from his belief that there are many components needed for Aquinas Catholic School graduates be the best version of themselves.

This is why students are strongly encouraged to participate in some sort of extracurricular activity.

“Part of our mission is forming well-rounded individuals,” said Timmerman, who serves as chief administrative officer for Aquinas/St. Mary’s Catholic Schools. “And that not only includes academic formation, but also spiritual, physical and emotional foundations. And you can incorporate all of those not only in the classroom but for other activities, as well.”

Recently, 13 soon-to-be graduates were recognized during the school’s first-ever signing day ceremony. Throughout the year, students were able to host individual signing events where college coaches, parents and friends could attend for the big moment when pen touched paper. This, though, was Aquinas’ formal recognition of all signees’ accomplishments.

Those recognized for signing to play a college sport at the next level were: Breanna Stouffer, basketball at Northeast Community College; Vanessa Bohuslavsky, softball at Morningside College; Lindsey Nickolite dance at Concordia College, Natalie Semin, volleyball at Morningside College; Allie Frasher, cross country/track and field at the University of Nebraska at Kearney; Dulcie Archuleta, track and field at Nebraska Wesleyan University; Larissa Sellers, track and field at Nebraska Wesleyan University; Micaiah Vrbka, volleyball at Chadron State College; Kate Slama, cross country at Nebraska Wesleyan University; Kloe Ruth, volleyball at Bellevue University; Andy Lyons, track and field at Concordia University; Joseph Reimers, wrestling at the University of Nebraska at Kearney; and Tad Naiberk, football at Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Timmerman noted that Aquinas students have traditionally been more than just classroom standouts. Of the 53 graduating seniors prepared to walk across the stage this May to receive their diplomas, an infinitesimally small number don’t participate in extracurricular activities.

“I’d say 95 to 97 percent,” Timmerman said of the number he estimates participate in sports, fine arts and other non-class-related activities. “We have very, very few kids who aren’t involved in something – I could probably count them on one hand.”

Timmerman said that several high schools are moving toward having one, formal signing day event. It’s just a fun way to recognize their accomplishments while snapping a photo of graduates sporting their college or university’s apparel.

“I think they were very excited, they worked very hard for four years at Aquinas,” he said of students’ reaction to the signing event. “We also have a lot of Aquinas coaches and moderators who have put in a lot of hard work for the benefit of these kids, as well.

“So, naturally, everyone is very excited and proud, rightfully so.”

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net

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