Bishop O’Neill Scholars Announced
January 14, 2021
Each year, the award winners of the Bishop O’Neill Scholarship Awards are announced and usually presented to winners on or near the Dec. 14 birthday of the seventh Bishop of Rockford Arthur J. O’Neill.
This year, COVID prevented the annual, in-person gathering, but awards have been announced just the same. The families of the following students received $650 toward Catholic school tuition. One winner is chosen from each deanery.
This year’s winners are:
Aurora Deanery: Irelynn (4th grade) and McKayla (5th grade) Edwards from Holy Angels School, Aurora;
DeKalb Deanery: Nathan Diedrich (8th grade) from St. Mary School, DeKalb;
Elgin Deanery: Valerie (8th grade), Natalie (first grade) and Annalie (pre-K) Cortes of St. Edward Preparatory, Elgin;
Freeport Deanery: Brianna Boettner (5th grade), Aquin Elementary School, Freeport;
McHenry Deanery: Noah (3rd grade) and Mia (5th grade) Lawver, SS. Peter and Paul School, Cary;
Rockford Deanery: Alexander (5th grade) and Samuel (4th grade) Vera, Holy Family School, Rockford;
Sterling Deanery: Makenzie Duhon (8th grade) of St. Mary School, Sterling.
When Bishop O’Neill retired in 1994, he established the awards because, according to Michael Kagan, Catholic Education Office interim superintendent, Catholic schools “were near and dear” to Bishop O’Neill’s heart.
Bishop O’Neill attended the awards up to the year before his death in 2013.
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