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Alumni News

Submit your SJS Alumni News to Cara Smalley 


SJS Alum from JPII Class of 2015 to Continue Athletic Careers in College

Class of 2010

The title of Saint Cecilia Girl is the highest honor Saint Cecilia Academy confers on a student. By vote of the juniors and seniors, with faculty approval, a senior is chosen who best exemplifies the ideals of Saint Cecilia Academy. The 2014 St. Cecilia Girl is Miss Sara Lyons SJS Class of 2010. Lyons demonstrates on a daily basis the four pillars of Dominican education—strong witness of faith, commitment to academic excellence, leadership in her school community, and a dedication to service. She is known to be a role model not only for the seniors but for the whole school. She is an excellent student who juggles a challenging work load. If teachers are looking for a girl to pitch in for an event or stay around and clean up after it’s over, Lyons is one of the first to lend a hand, always with a smile and a willing spirit. The girls in her class would say it is her service-oriented faith that particularly recommends her for this award. Lyons will be attending Denison University in Ohio next fall, where she is the recipient of the prestigious Mary Carr Scholarship. This summer, she has been selected to participate in the national Bank of America Student Leaders program, which includes a paid internship and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. She has also been honored by the Nashville CABLE Foundation with one of their ATHENA scholarships and received the Senior Superlative for “best smile.” CONGRATULATIONS!

Class of 2003


Golden Road Home

Angela Scruggs
-Angela is from the SJS Class of 2004, Pope John Paul II high school Class of 2008, and Grad Student and teaching assistant at the University of Tennessee. She is in the College of Business Admin, Statistics, Operations & Management Science. She is a 2014 Candidate for an MS in Business Analytics.  During her years at UT, Angela has volunteered for 'Give Haiti Hope' and recently visited Haiti for the first time. She will be working in Winston Salem, NC this summer as an intern in the Business Analytics Department of Hanes Inc.

Andrew Scruggs
-Andrew graduated from SJS in 2008, Pope John Paul II high school in 2012 and is a Sophomore at the University of Notre Dame.  Andrew is a Kellog Scholar & incoming President of the International Development & Research Council. He has been awarded a grant by the University of Notre Dame to travel to Guadeloupe this summer to research Haitian immigration and in January of 2015 will study at the Catholic University of the West in Algiers France. He is Majoring in International Economics and English.


JPII Honor Roll
Congratulations to the following SJS Alumni who made the JPII Fall Semester Honor Roll:
Headmaster’s List (A’s in all 8 classes): Luke Pulliza, Maggie Mann, Thomas O’Berry, Zarina Tan, Angelina Hare, Brennan Smith.

Faculty List (A’s in 7 of 8 classes): Josh McConnell, Dylan Lanas, Noah Merlin.


Father Ryan Honor Roll/Academic Dean’s List
Listed below are the Father Ryan students from St. Joseph School who were on the Honor Roll or Academic Dean’s List for the First Quarter of the 2013-2014 Academic Year. The Honor Roll is based on a quarter average of 90.0 or higher. The Academic Dean’s List is based on a quarter average of 95.0 or higher. Chase Draper-Honor Roll, Haley Durocher-Honor Roll, Carlie Jamison-Honor Roll, Kayla Crafton-Academic Deans
List. Congratulations!


SJS Alumni Earn Advanced Placement Honors
SJS Alumni at Pope John Paul II High School and St. Celilia Academy earned honors based on their scores on Advanced Placement tests. By taking an AP course, students are letting colleges and universities know that they have what it takes to succeed in an undergraduate environment. AP courses signal to admissions officers that they have undertaken the most rigorous classes high school has to offer. By making it through an AP course and scoring successfully on the related AP Exam, students can save on college expenses. Currently more than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the country offer college credit for qualifying AP Exam scores.

Seven St. Joseph School Alumni qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average score of 3.5 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. They were: Spencer Frost, Nick Massa, Bryan Melcher, Evan Summers, Clare Zanger, Brady Diaz-Barriga and Lane Vaughn.

Eight St. Joseph School Alumni qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. They were:  Bobby Faust, Chelsea Gettelfinger, Holly Gibbens, Brian Griffin, Joseph Lascara, Josh McConnell, Lucas Pulliza, Daniel Weber.

Ten St. Joseph School Alumni qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP Exams with scores of 3 or higher. They were:  Natalie Cannella, Margaret Duzane, Logan Frost, Ben Geist, Dylan Pederson, Helen Shaw, Krystal Tran, Caroline Vaughn, Daniel Ward and Sarah Lyons.

Many of this year’s recipients were juniors in May and will have the opportunity to add to their honors during the 2013-14 school year. To learn more about Advanced Placement Exams go to  


SJS students from the class of 2009 will be attending the following colleges in the fall:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, University of Alabama, Bellarmine University, University of Loyola, New Orleans, University of Dayton, University of Mississippi, Auburn University, University of Evansville, Volunteer State Community College, University of Louisville, Spring Hill College, MTSU, Western Kentucky University, Saint Louis University, Berea College, Cumberland University, United States Armed Forces, Tennessee Technological University, Purdue University, College of Wooster. Congratulations! 

The following St. Joseph School alumni made the 2013 Spring Semester Honor Roll at Pope John Paul II High School. Congratulations!
Headmaster's List ( A's in all 8 classes)

Spencer Frost, Nick Massa, Josh McConnell, Lucas Pulliza, Margaret Mann, Zarina Tan

Faculty List (A's in 7 of 8 classes)
Jessi Cox, Brad Jarreau, Gaby Aguilar, Thomas O'Berry, Alyssa Wyman, Dylan Lanas, Kevin Ngyuen 

Ashley Littrell , SJS Class of 2009, is the Valedictorian of the 2013 graduating class of White House High School.  Congratulations Ashley!   


Congratulations to SJS Alumni and JPII freshman Grace Lascara for being one of 20 players who have been selected to play on the Women’s National Lacrosse Tournament Team for Southeast Tennessee. The tournament will be held from May 25-26 at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Congratulations Grace! 


Congratulations to SJS Alumni and JPII freshman Grace Lascara for being one of 20 players who have been selected to play on the Women’s National Lacrosse Tournament Team for Southeast Tennessee.


The tournament will be held from May 25-26 at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Congratulations Grace!

alum m johnson

St. Cecilia Academy recently honored the 175th Anniversary of the Diocese of Nashville in a celebration Mass and Presentation. On behalf of SCA, SJS alum Melissa Johnson was chosen to create a commemorative piece for the 175th Anniversary to present to Bishop Choby.


She created a "spiritual bouquet" of prayers offered from the students and historical moments linking SCA to the history of our Diocese for 152 years. In the background of the crucified Christ is the school song "Who are you, St. Cecilia?" and a picture of Bishop Choby at the head of the Cross. The painting quotes the St. Cecilia school motto "To give truth is the greatest charity."

Lane Vaughn

SJS Alum Qualifies As National Merit Student
Lane Vaughn, SJS class of 2009, is one of 5 St. Cecilia Academy seniors that qualified as National Merit Commended Students.


These students received letters of commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the qualifying test used for program entry.

brandon birkhead

Brandon Birckhead, 2007 graduate of Pope John Paul II High School has been accepted to the Mayo Medical School.

This is quite an honor as only 1% of 5,000 applicants are accepted. Brandon graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee in December of 2011.


Brandon's major was Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology. He was valedictorian of the College of Sciences for the graduating class of December 2011. Prior to high school Brandon attended St. Joseph School and Westminster School of Nashville, now known as Currey Ingram Academy.


Brandon will be participating in a medical mission to Panama sponsored by Mayo Clinic prior to beginning Mayo Medical School on July 16.