May 26


2021 Commencement Awards

By Leah Folk

May 26, 2021

Each year at graduation, Ursuline presents awards to three outstanding members of the graduating class, who have each contributed to the mission and spirit of the school in a special way. The recipients of these awards, the CLC Award, the Spirit of St. Ursula Award, and the SHARPE Award have been nominated by Ursuline faculty and staff members, and are recognized during the commencement ceremony.

This year for the class of 2021, the following students were recognized:


Maggie Naeger

CLC Award: Maggie Naeger

In 1960, Ursuline Principal, Sr. Elizabeth Ann Kearney, instituted the CLC Award to recognize a member of the graduating class who exemplifies the Ursuline values of Courtesy, Loyalty and Courage. This tradition is carried on at many Ursuline schools throughout North America.

The faculty and staff are given the opportunity to vote on the selection of the student who will be honored. Like other outstanding young women who have received this award, this year’s recipient is known for her courteous treatment of other people; her loyalty to Ursuline, family, and friends; and her courage to accept God’s direction in her life.

This year’s honoree, Maggie Naeger, is an outstanding student, athlete, and leader. She was a participant and later a group leader at Ursuline’s Summer Leadership Camp and served as a KAIROS leader during her senior year. She helped found Ursuline’s House Program, serving as a founding House Captain and spent numerous hours this year planning the launch of this large undertaking. As an ambassador, she pioneered Virtual High School Nights this fall and has shepherded many young students into Ursuline. She excelled in our rigorous Global Scholars Program and was honored by the Archdiocese of St. Louis for her commitment to social justice with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Model of Justice Award. With her dry whit and her consistent smile she brightened the hallways of Ursuline Academy every day.


Shelby Mead

SHARPE Award: Shelby Mead

The SHARPE Award was first presented in 1982 to honor three long-time Ursuline teachers, Mrs. Marie Sherman, Mrs. Thelma Hartnett, and Mrs. Jan Peterson. In honor of these three outstanding teachers, the SHARPE Award was created to recognize a student for her independent thinking, creativity, and initiative in scholarship. The faculty and staff vote for the student who best exemplifies these qualities.

This year’s honoree, Shelby Mead, is an outstanding student who has achieved an A+ cumulative grade point average over her four years at Ursuline and has done so while taking the most challenging courses available. A member of the National Honor Society as well as language and mathematics honor societies, she is a rigorous academic.  She will tell you, however, that the creativity inherent in dance has enriched her education immensely, as she has been a 4-year member of our dance team and has even taught dance to young dancers. On top of all of that, she learned last night that she is the valedictorian of the class of 2021, quite an accomplishment for an already accomplished young woman.


Clare Kisner

Spirit of St. Ursula Award: Clare Kisner

St. Ursula had such an undeviating confidence in God’s plan for her that, even amidst adversity and challenge, she demonstrated courage, perseverance, and a zeal for life. It was these characteristics that inspired St. Angela to name her Company of Women after St. Ursula. With this Spirit of St. Ursula Award, we honor a young woman who embodies these same inspirational qualities.

This year’s honoree, Clare Kisner, is a strong student and a leader among her peers. She is an athlete who has been part of our field hockey, soccer and swimming programs and has been a member of our Environmental Club, Spirit Club and Dance Club. To say she has been involved at Ursuline is an understatement. Moreover, outside of Ursuline, she has been devoted to community service. She has taken on many volunteer roles at her parish, been a Vacation Bible School leader for many summers and has tutored young children at Midtown Catholic Charities. Her commitment to those around her and her devotion to serving others define her generous personality.

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