Our 2024 Outstanding Graduates

Our 2024 Outstanding Graduates
Posted on 05/07/2024

MAY 7, 2024 - BARRIE, ON: A lawyer, educator, television personality, health care heroes, podcasters, professional soccer player, para-triathlete, and mayor are among this year’s recipients of the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board’s Outstanding Graduates program. This program, which is now in its twelfth year, takes a peek into the lives of some extraordinary people. One graduate from each of the nine Catholic high schools in the board is recognized during Catholic Education Week. This year’s recipients are: 

Andrea Almeida-Pasko - St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School (Barrie, ON)

Andrea’s varied and impressive post-secondary degrees have focussed on how criminal justice impacts marginalized communities. Her path has led her to Barrie’s Crown Attorney’s Office, where she hopes to specialize in the prosecution of sexual and intimate partner violence.

Kelsey Araujo - Holy Trinity Catholic High School (Bradford West Gwillimbury, ON)
Kelsey is a professional soccer player for Le Havre Division 1 Feminine in France and a call-up for Portugal's national women’s team. She attributes her success to her lifelong passion for the sport and her years as a Holy "Trinity Tiger."

Katie Begley - St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School (Tottenham, ON)
Katie is committed to combating child poverty through education, community service, and advocacy. As a University of Guelph-Humber instructor in Early Childhood Studies, she uses her role to drive social change in the area of food insecurity.

Dylan Benoit - St. Joseph’s Catholic High School (Barrie, ON)
Dylan's passion for cooking began at home with his mom and eventually led him to become the host of the Food Network’s Fire Masters. He believes in the power of the culinary arts to connect cultures and nourish people — mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Chantal Blakely & Katelynn Nangle - St. Dominic Catholic Secondary School (Bracebridge, ON)

Friends since Grade 2 and sharing a passion for the arts and a love of reading, Chantal and Katelynn transitioned from graphic design careers to successfully hosting a popular podcast called Book Club Babes. 

Dr. Danielle D’Amico - Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School (Orillia, ON)
Danielle was inspired to focus her post-secondary studies on dementia and other factors affecting brain health. Her passion in this area led her to the completion of a PhD and the recipient of the Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal.

Matthew Krmpotich - St. Theresa’s Catholic High School (Midland, ON)
A passionate nurse and volunteer, Matthew has dedicated his career to healthcare and community service. Recently, he participated in two missions to Ukraine, where he provided care to patients with traumatic injuries. 

Alex Nuttall - St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School (Barrie, ON)
From serving on the Barrie city council at the young age of 21 to becoming its 47th mayor, Alex’s political journey is highlighted by inclusivity and service. He supports charitable programs like PIE Education (supplying backpacks of school supplies) and the Boots and Hearts Barn Burner, an annual charity hockey game.

Leanne Taylor - Our Lady of the Bay Catholic High School (Collingwood, ON)
After a life-altering cycling accident led to paralysis, Leanne worked hard to become a top para-triathlete on the global stage. She also excels as a Compliance Officer in the pharmaceutical industry and has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Women in Biotechnology.

"It is always exciting to recognize the accomplishments of some of our most notable graduates through this program,” said Frances Bagley, Director of Education. "Over the past 12 years, we have shared so many inspirational stories and this year is no exception. Our graduates remind us that God has plans for everyone - with faith, determination, and hard work, anything is possible.”

To learn more about this year's Outstanding Graduates or to nominate a graduate for next year, please visit www.outstandinggrads.ca.


Media Contact: Pauline Stevenson, Communications Manager 705.722.3555 ext., 229 [email protected]