Knoxville Catholic High School’s Class of 2022 is graduating starting at 8 p.m., Friday, May 13, from the school’s Blaine Stadium.
It’s two top students, who were honored with the school’s top award, are Samaha Duffy and Spencer Stovall.
“The Sedes Sapientiae Award is the highest honor that Knoxville Catholic High School confers on its graduating seniors,” said Pam Rhoades, KCHS director of marketing. “This award, voted on by the faculty and the administration, is presented to two seniors who best epitomize loyalty, service, scholarship and authentic Christian leadership.”
The award is named for Jesus’ mother, Mary, “who made a fitting throne for the Lord, and thus she is the Sedes Sapientiae, the Seat of Wisdom,” Rhoades said.
“In naming our highest award for Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Knoxville Catholic seeks both to honor the Mother of God and to encourage our students to take her as a model of Christian life,” she added. “The recipients of this award are students who, in the eyes of the faculty, best demonstrate the supernatural faith, hope and charity that marked Our Lady’s life on Earth and that denote true wisdom.”
Duffy, the daughter of Margie and Kevin Duffy, said her goal throughout high school “has been doing the best I can to make myself and others proud.”
Duffy said she is leader of Irish Ambassadors, which she describes as “the best group on campus,” and has been a member of the softball and cheerleading teams.
“Also, I am a member of Irish Disciples and the Irish Fighting for Life club,” she added.
Duffy plans to attend Clemson University as a part of its Honors College to study biochemistry, and later go to medical school to pursue a career in pediatric ophthalmology.
Stovall, the son of Joy Radice and James Stovall, said, “It has always been one of my goals, as both of my parents and my older sister graduated in the top of their class.
“I have always wanted to surround myself with the smartest kids at school so that they would rub off on me,” he added.
“My favorite subjects have been pretty spread out. I really enjoyed calculus and physics, but also my history and government classes.”
As for focus, “I don’t think I have really specialized in any one subject. The guidance counselors encourage students to specialize, but I have always tried to be well-rounded,” Stovall said. “I have many favorite teachers, including Mr. Williams, Mrs. Chady and Mr. Petree.”
Stovall said he has led the Interact Club, a high school equivalent of Rotary Club, “which provides service opportunities for the student body. I am part of the Irish Disciples, who do activities together, trying to bring people closer to Christ. I have volunteered with the Humane Society and Horse Haven. I am a member of the Mock Trial team which won the region and went to state this year. I also run track, cross country and swim.”
Stovall has accepted an appointment to The United States Military Academy at West Point, and said he is “excited to serve as an officer in the Army. I want to major in electrical engineering or physics.
“After my time in the Army, I would love to become a lawyer or politician,” he added.
As for his time at KCHS, Stovall said, “... It is a unique place in that I feel like I know everyone at school. It has always been great to have my religious life so strongly supported with a chapel in our school and a priest always available.
“The most important thing for my success these past four years has been a great group of friends who keep me on the right path,” he added.