Would you like to share the accomplishments of your Class of 2023 student? The Senior Spotlight is just the place to do it! Submit your senior's story to Mrs. Gibson (email@example.com).
- One submission per senior student
- 250 words maximum
- 1-2 photos
- Published in the Falconer weekly and posted to the Senior Spotlight webpage.
- The school has the right to edit stories for content.
- If more that 2 photos are submitted, the school will choose a maximum of 2
Mrs. Gibson will collect and edit the stories for publishing.
When Joe Trahan speaks of Kendall Washington’s many accomplishments while introducing her as Scholar Athlete of the Week on WFAA, he does not list them all. He does not have airtime to.
At Bishop Dunne Catholic School, she’s the President and Founder of Empowerment 101, President of the African American Awareness, President of Medical Society. a Lead Student Ambassador, Vice-President of National Honor Society, co-captain of the varsity cheer team, on Student Council, and a member of National Art Honor Society and American Sign Language Club among others. Outside of school she volunteers for her community and is a Girl Scout and Vice-President of the Youth NACCP Dallas Chapter,to name a few. She’s also an intern at the Texas Metro News.
Aside from receiving scholar athlete of the week she has received her Girl Scout Gold Award, 1st Place in the Desoto Essay Contest, and was a Catholic Foundation Recipient in 2021 along with many other accomplishments.
Dr. Christal-Joy “CJ” Turner, a former student of Kendall’s mother that kept close contact after college and whom Washington regards as a mentor, nominated her for Scholar Athlete of the Week.
“I saw an ad for it and immediately thought of Kendall,” Turner said. “She’s a very well rounded individual mentally, academically and spiritually so she has a lot of stuff going on. So when I saw it, I immediately thought about her because she performs and excels academically as well as in sports.”
For her academic performance, she’s maintained high grades while also putting full effort and dedication to her extracurricular activities. She is ranked and is in Bishop’s Honor Roll, the highest honor roll at Bishop Dunne. Entering her senior year of high school, she already has two associate degrees.
“Kendall was my student during [the start] of COVID so she was an online student,” Dr. Diana Torres Rivera said. “She was very studious and was always up to date with her homework and classwork. She was also ready to participate. Sometimes the students at home, I would fear that they would feel disconnected but she was always participating in the class as if she had been in the room.”
Torres Rivera was Washington’s Spanish teacher during her sophomore and junior years of high school, and was in charge of the National Spanish Honor Society and the Latinos Unidos club, which Washington joined and helped form a partnership with them and the African American Awareness society.
“In all of the student organizations and clubs she joins, she’s extremely driven,” Torres Rivera said. “She modeled what an inquisitive student should be. I’m a very rigorous teacher and she would always go above and beyond even my expectations, which are high.”
For most people, being involved in the many activities Washington is in while maintaining good grades and having time to relax seems difficult, however Washington manages it.
“I’m so busy but I have so much time,” Washington said. “How do I do it? I really don’t know. I feel like I need to add more to my plate.”
And she does not slack off on her priorities.
“She manages her time so well,” said assistant cheer coach Dalila Macias, who has known Kendall since she was in Kindergarten. “We were up for this grant and I said ‘Hey, I need this write up. It has to come from a student. I can't do it. Is there any way that you have time to do this?’ This was right before finals and she had AP tests going on. She said ‘No problem. What do I need to do?’ and I’m like “Here’s the information. If I could have it in the next 48 hours that would be fantastic.’ She sent it to me that night. We were granted that fund.”
Kendall has many role models, including but not limited to Robin Roberts, Tashara Parker, Gabrielle Union, and Oprah Winfrey. At the top of her long list of role models is her mother.
“The most important role model is my mother. I would not do anything in this lifetime if it wasn’t for her,” Washington said. “Growing up, I was a busybody. I did gymnastics, dance, piano, Girl Scouts, everything. Everything was because of her. I love my mom. She's my best friend. She empowers me to be the best at what I can do. She makes me realize how what I'm doing is so amazing at how it's gonna have an impact on people and that I have the potential to be such an amazing person. She just inspires me. I want to be like my mom when I grow up more than anything.”
Graduating from Bishop Dunne on May 27 ranking at the top of her class, Washington will forever be a Falcon, but she is opening a new chapter where she will become a Longhorn. She is going off to the University of Texas at Austin to major in journalism and radio television & film.
Washington wants to go into journalism because she loves public speaking, writing, and aspires to have her own media and production company one day reaching closer to her goals of becoming an actress. She hopes to help her community and be successful in what she does
-written by Iniya Nathan
LUCIJA PATIENCE WELD COXE
Lucija is a senior at Bishop Dunne and has been at the school since the sixth grade. Her teachers describe her as “friendly, helpful, kind and thoughtful.” She is outgoing and confident, but that wasn’t always the case. She worked throughout her Bishop Dunne to build her confidence and become a mentor for younger students.
Throughout her high school career, Lucija has been involved in cheerleading, track, and soccer. She was also involved in Middle School Student Council, National Junior Honor Society, NAHS, Student Council, Student Ambassadors, Spirit Squad and Yearbook.
Lucija’s favorite subjects are Art and English. She has loved her English classes ever since she was little. And in the seventh and eighth grade, she had her mother as her teacher. It was a little rocky at first, but looking back, she wouldn’t change anything - having her mom as her teacher was such a unique experience. Her favorite teachers would have to be Mr. Clifford and Ms. Bluett. Mr. Clifford has been an influential teacher throughout her high school life. He can always crack a joke, and students feel comfortable around him, his classroom is like a family environment. Ms. Bluett is a new teacher who came this year. She teaches Yearbook and many other classes and Lucija fell in love with her yearbook class. With her friends, she would take photos at every football game, and the group got to be on the sidelines, with the players and coaches. Every game was an amazing experience, being on the field and so close to action.
One of her favorite Bishop Dunne memories is in her 8th grade year when the football team won the State Championship. It was a cold and snowy night and full of cheer and anticipation, the Falcons won a great, close game! Families and school staff came together as one family; helping carry our amazing team to victory! We did it together
After high school, Lucija plans to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson to study marketing and communications. There were some tough choices deciding between University of Arizona, University of Mississippi or CU Boulder. She ended up choosing the University of Arizona because it felt best suited for her, and she knows Tucson and loves Arizona and the desert.
Lucija’s parents are enormously proud of her hard work and accomplishments and are so excited for her to start a new chapter of life! They also thank all her Bishop Dunne teachers, coaches, staff and administration for all their care, teaching and attention. You all are the best! There is nothing you can’t do, Lucija!
Gary Cook has been at Bishop Dunne for two years. Before he transferred to Dunne, Gary attended Life School Oak Cliff. Gary came to Dunne because he wanted to play football and wanted better opportunities.
Gary says the two subjects that are his strong suits are math and science: “I love numbers. Anything with numbers I'm good at.” Gary is also good at sports. He plays football, wrestles, and runs track. He also loves to play chess because, he says, “I believe it strengthens the mind and teaches me about life.”
Gary’s other interests include watching anime, especially One piece, Naruto, and Hunter X Hunter, and taking photographs. Some of his photographs are featured in the spring edition of Dunne’s literary arts magazine, Rugged. He has also taken a lot of photographs for this the 2023 yearbook.
Gary will attend Benedictine College in the fall and plans to study finance and marketing. He will also take a photography class because he loves to capture moments.
Gary reports: “My favorite memory at Bishop Dunne is probably spending time with friends. I enjoy every day I spend time with my friends. When we were on a retreat and two of my friends were playing basketball, and everyone was cheering for the one they assumed would win. Finally, the one everyone doubted would win shot the game-winning three-pointer and won the game by one point. It was overall a good time.”
Ty Wolff has been at Bishop Dunne since 6th grade. He left his freshman year for one semester but came back because he felt more at home at Bishop Dunne. He went to elementary school at Merrywood Private School in Duncanville.
Ty plans on studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of North Texas in Denton to pursue my interests in engineering. He is very hands-on and interested in the way things are put together. He loves being self-sufficient and believes this degree plan will help him do that.
Ty works part-time hours during the school year with Texas Misting Solutions. During the summer he works five days a week for a minimum of 50 hours a week. They do residential and commercial installations of misting systems all over Dallas-Fort Worth. They also have national clients such as Kona Grills all over North America. He works with the installation team, but he also works in sales. Ty says this has taught him great people skills and how to navigate the real world. He has been surrounded by intelligent individuals as well as professionals in all sorts of fields. Ty believes he has an amazing work ethic because of these experiences. They have also taught him how to manage money and live simply.
Ty loves to hunt and fish, as these relieve stress. Being in touch with nature allows him to disconnect from social media and just be happy waking up each morning. He also loves riding his dirt-bike and street-bike around Dallas.
Ty’s favorite memories of Bishop Dunne have been this year: “Seeing my classmates become adults, and watching everyone become successful in our own fields has brought a lot of light into my life. To see us go from 6th graders to 18-year-old adults going off to college and our futures truly is amazing. I would not trade it for anything because I love everyone in my graduating class.”
Jayden came to Bishop Dunne as a junior. He previously attended Kimball High School. Since coming to Dunne, he has become very involved in campus activities, both on the field and in the classroom. He plays football and basketball at Dunne, and he runs track.
Jayden’s teachers speak of his positive attitude and willingness to help other students. Calculus teacher Ms. Lynn Wyman said, “Jayden is a natural leader in the classroom, in the school, and on the field. He takes his classwork seriously, and he helps to motivate his fellow students. He encourages his teammates to keep up with their math classes. Jayden isn’t afraid to ask questions, and he has maintained his work ethic throughout his senior year. He comes to class with a positive attitude and just gets to work.”
Ms. Kat Bluett, art and yearbook teacher, said, “Jayden is a student who makes everyone smile. He cares deeply about those around him and always goes out of his way to help. Jayden organized Yearbook Club photographs, met with the necessary people, and scheduled the dates to get it done. He works hard and is dedicated to the things he enjoys doing!”
Jayden will attend Oberlin College where he plans to continue playing football. He hasn’t decided what he wants to study yet, but he hopes to become a pediatrician or a business owner. Jayden’s favorite memory of high school: “Building the bond with the people I met in my years of being here.”
Lauren James Dunn
Lauren’s life is a roller coaster she navigates with professionalism. She gives her time and energy to helping others succeed. Classroom, studio, or pitch, Lauren’s creativity truly allows her to shine.
Lauren is excited to graduate with Honors. She is a Seven Year Advantage student. She is grateful she has learned so many life lessons and has contributed to the success of the school. She and her teammates won middle school basketball and soccer city championships. Lauren has developed confidence that she can achieve anything. She has earned Varsity letters and all District recognition in Cross Country, Soccer, and Golf, and she has been named MVP and Coaches’ Player of the Year.
Lauren has taken advantage of all that Bishop Dunne offered and more, creating and co-founding a new club, The Spirit Squad. This student organization promotes the achievements of all organizations. Lauren has also held leadership roles on the High School Student Council every year, serving as President, Vice-President, and Public Relations. She handles Public Relations for the Empowerment Club and shares her creative talents as the Head Photo Editor for the Media Club. She does all of this and maintains her academic success, ranking in the top students of her graduating class.
Lauren had difficulty deciding where to continue her academic career. She has been accepted to Baylor University, Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, and The University of Texas Austin School of Architecture Design. She has worked very hard, but her dream came true. Lauren’s father, Jeff Dunn, reported she screeched with excitement about University of Texas, “I did it! I can't believe I did it!!!!”
Lauren’s parents said, “We are all very proud of the person you have become and the wonderful future ahead!! Hook 'em!!”
ZOE LEJAI ANDREWS
Zoe’s first senior year achievement was being accepted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Omega Omega Chapter through Dallas College. Zoe is on track to receive her Associate of Science degree in May 2023. Time really does fly when you’re having fun, and “Oh my, the places she’ll go!”
Zoe is president of the school’s American Sign Language Club. In January, she began teaching ASL to the “littles” at Children’s Genesis, the daycare located on campus. The four- and five-year-olds use the signs they have learned daily. A priceless opportunity for Zoe.
Writing has always been an outlet for Zoe, and with guidance from her teachers, she took advantage of every occasion and was rewarded with being published in Bishop Dunne’s literary arts magazine, Rugged. Zoe’s poem, “What I would tell my younger self,” will be published in a book coming out in April 2023.
Zoe is First Lieutenant of the award-winning Falconettes, Bishop Dunne’s dance team. She’s a member of the National Honor Society (Public Relations Director); African American Awareness Club (Secretary); National Art Honor Society; and Student Council. She has numerous community service hours with various organizations and is a member of the Cachet youth group.
Zoe will continue her studies next year at either Clark Atlanta University or Prairie View A&M University. She will major in psychology with an emphasis in criminology and forensics. She aspires to work for the FBI.
Zoe’s mother, Loria Andrews included this message to her daughter, “Zoe, you have a unique and special gift, and you have continued to soar. This gift is from GOD and is spiritual and full of Joy. Zoe, your family is beyond proud of you forever and always.”
Brooklyn Jones had a busy and productive summer. In addition to taking two classes at Dallas College, something she has done every summer during her high school years, Brooklyn completed the training and passed the State of Texas written and clinical examinations to become a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA). She also took the training for CPR for adults, CPR for children, and Code Blue, receiving her Basic Life Support certification from the American Heart Association. These licenses and certifications allow her to work as a CNA when she is ready.
The CNA course took three weeks, and students learned 30 basic skills. They also received practical experience in a hospital setting through Faith Forward Academy. Brooklyn was the youngest student in the class. She took the written and the practical portions of the state exam, which required her to demonstrate five of the 30 skills (randomly chosen) in front of her peers and a proctor. She received an “A” in the course and passed the practical exam, becoming the first one in her class to be certified.
Brooklyn said she is motivated by her desire to become a CRNA (a nurse anesthetist). She sees these certifications as a stepping-stone towards that goal. To become a CRNA, she will complete an undergraduate degree, followed by a four-year internship. She has always been interested in the healthcare profession and remembers watching television shows about the E.R. constantly when she was younger. That’s when she became hooked on the idea of being a nurse. She is eager to move forward towards that end.
Brooklyn is well on her way: This summer she received an invitation to apply to two universities, Mary Hardin Baylor University and Hardin Simmons University. She applied and was accepted to both within three days. She visited Mary Hardin Baylor, and while she says she liked it, her dream school is the University of Miami. She will be applying there this fall.
Brooklyn said her other motivation is making her parents proud, which helps her stay committed to her goals. We are all proud of her accomplishments! Congratulations, Brooklyn!