Belk, Mattina named STAR Students
BILOXI, Miss.- St. Patrick Catholic High School is proud to announce that Grace Belk ’22 and Anthony Mattina ’22 have been named STAR Students for 2022. STAR Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence. Both American College Test scores and scholastic averages are compared to determine the school’s STAR Student.
“Grace and Anthony are most deserving for this year’s STAR Student award,” Principal Dr. Matt Buckley said. “Their dedication to their academic success and their willingness and ability to lead and encourage others is inspiring. On behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of St. Patrick Catholic High School, I extend a special congratulations to Grace and Anthony on this honor!”
Belk has a 35 ACT Score and a 4.2 weighted GPA. She has taken numbers AP and Dual Enrollment courses during her time at St. Patrick and is a member of the National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, National English Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. She was also named a Commended Student in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.
“I am so honored to be named as a STAR Student this year,” Belk said. “This designation reflects the tremendous educational opportunities that I have received at St. Patrick and my dedication to pursue those opportunities. I am so pleased that I may share this honor with Mrs. Debbie Worrel as she has been a major part of my success.”
Mattina also has a 35 ACT score and a 4.1 weighted GPA. He has taken numbers AP and Dual Enrollment courses during his time at St. Patrick and is a member of the National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and National Spanish Honor Society. Along with Belk, Mattina was also named a Commended Student in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.
“I am very grateful to have my own accomplishments recognized, but I cannot help but feel the most deserving person of this award is Coach Gaunce,” Mattina said. “He is a wonderful role model, coach, teacher, and man. I could not be more proud to have the opportunity to share this honor with him.”
Belk has named Mrs. Debbie Worrel as her Star Teacher. Mrs. Worrel has been a teacher for 44 years; 26 of those years were at Mercy Cross Catholic High School and the last 14 have been at St. Patrick Catholic High School. She teaches an array of science classes including Chemistry I, Advanced Placement Chemistry, Physics, and Biomedical Research and Engineering.
Mattina has named Mr. Dave Gaunce as his Star Teacher. Coach Gaunce has been teaching and coaching for nearly four decades. He started his career in 1984. In 2016, after 32 years in public schools, he started teaching and coaching at St. Patrick Catholic High School. He presently coaches girls basketball and football. Last month he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his alma mater in Kentucky where he was a standout athlete in baseball, football, and basketball.
“Mrs. Worrel and Coach Gaunce are two of the best teachers with whom I’ve had the privilege of serving alongside,” Dr. Buckley said. “Their devotion to our students and their dedication to advancing the mission of our great school is most impressive, and I am extremely proud to have Mrs. Worrel and Coach Gaunce among our faculty at St. Patrick.”
More than 600 STAR Students and STAR Teachers will be recognized for their exceptional achievement by MEC’s M.B. Swayze Foundation with medallions, certificates and lapel pins. The top 20 STAR Students -The ALL-STAR Scholars- will receive scholarships and their teachers will receive awards provided by the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation. The highlight of STAR is the naming of the Mississippi ALL-STAR Scholar for the 2021-2022 school year and winner of the coveted $24,000 Cook Foundation Scholarship.