Diocese of Peoria’s graduating class of 2024

Jerry Sanderson, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Diocese of Peoria

Graduation ceremonies for the Diocese of Peoria’s graduating Class of 2024 are complete. Congratulations to our Catholic high school graduates.

Following are brief profiles and photos of the valedictorians and salutatorians for seven of the eight Catholic high schools and academies in the Diocese of Peoria:

Central Catholic High School, Bloomington; The High School of Saint Thomas More, Champaign; Schlarman Academy, Danville; Marquette Academy, Ottawa; Peoria Notre Dame High School, Peoria; St. Bede Academy, Peru; and Alleman High School, Rock Island.

The eighth school, Chesterton Academy of the Sacred Heart in Peoria, does not use a class rank system and therefore does not have an official valedictorian or salutatorian.

I would like to express my gratitude for the way all graduates have lived out your faith in Jesus Christ through your active participation in the sacramental life of the Church, your service to the community, and your dedication to learning.

I am excited to see the positive impact you will make on our Church and society in the years to come.



Central Catholic High School / Bloomington

Jose Joseph: Valedictorian

Parents: Tony and Maneesha Joseph

City: Bloomington

Parish: Epiphany, Normal

College choice: University of Notre Dame

Anticipated Major: Political science


Madelyn Hopper: Salutatorian

Parents: Wayne and Dee Hopper

City: Normal

Parish: Epiphany, Normal

College choice: Bradley University

Anticipated Major: Accounting


The High School of Saint Thomas More / Champaign

Blake Bermingham: Valedictorian

Parents: Steven and June Bermingham

City: Champaign

Parish: St. Malachy, Rantoul

College choice: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Anticipated major: Bioengineering


Brenden Damore: Salutatorian

Parents: Steve and Shelly Damore

City: Champaign

Parish: St. Matthew, Champaign

College choice: University of Notre Dame

Anticipated major: Pre-professional, College of Science


Schlarman Academy / Danville

Cheyenne Lutz: Valedictorian

Parents: Bret and Barbara Lutz

City: Oakwood

Parish: St. Paul, Danville

College choice: Illinois State University

Anticipated major: Actuarial Science


Maya Jenny: Salutatorian

Parents: Claudio Jenny and Karmini Persaud 

City: Oakwood

Parish: St. Paul, Danville

College choice: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Anticipated major: Business


Marquette Academy / Ottawa

Jenna Gamons: Valedictorian

Parents: Jeff and Donna Gamons

City: Ottawa

Parish: St. Columba, Ottawa

College choice: University of Notre Dame

Anticipated major: Mathematics


Mary Lechtenberg: Salutatorian

Parents: Greg and Julie Lechtenberg

City: Ottawa

Parish: St. Patrick, Ottawa

College choice: Benedictine College

Anticipated major: Elementary Education and Theology


Peoria Notre Dame High School / Peoria

Andrew Elward: Valedictorian

Parents: Clay and Kelley Elward

City: Morton

Parish: Sacred Heart, Peoria

College choice: U.S. Naval Academy

Anticipated major: Electrical engineering


Brady Petersen: Salutatorian

Parents: Tyler and Laura Peterson

City: Peoria Heights

Parish: Redeemer Lutheran, Peoria

College choice: University of Notre Dame 

Anticipated major: Finance


St. Bede Academy / Peru

Isabella Hagenbuch: Valedictorian

Parents: Johnathan and Kati Hagenbuch

City: Utica

Parish: Holy Cross, Mendota

College choice: Marquette University

Anticipated major: Exercise physiology


Ella Englehaupt: Salutatorian

Parents: Phillip Englehaupt and Heather McCutcheon 

City: Ladd

Parish: St. Joseph, Peru

College choice: University of Dubuque

Anticipated major: Computer Information Systems


Alleman High School / Rock Island

Catherine Mehochko: Valedictorian

Parents: John Mehochko and Maureen Riggs

City: Rock Island

Parish: St. Piux X, Rock Island

College choice: University of Notre Dame

Anticipated major: Finance


Daniel Healy: Salutatorian

Parents: Jason and Sarah Healy 

City: Port Byron

Parish: St. Mary, Hampton

College choice: University of Alabama

Anticipated major: Computer Engineering

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