Four Catholic school students named Governor’s Scholars; two alternates

The Catholic Schools Office for the Diocese of Owensboro is pleased to announce that four students from the three Catholic high schools have been chosen to participate in the 2018 Governor’s Scholars Program this summer. Both Owensboro Catholic and Trinity have an alternate in case someone is unable to participate.

From Owensboro Catholic High School, Lyndsey Hobelmann and Jonathan Hauke were selected, with Jade Flaherty as an alternate; from Saint Mary High School in Paducah, Abbigayle Vannatter was selected; and from Trinity High School in Whitesville, Lydia Lambert was selected with Mary Hardesty as alternate.

Owensboro Catholic High School principal, Gates Settle, said this year’s selections were deserving of this honor. “These students’ academic accomplishments, along with their volunteerism and participation, have been at very high levels while students at OCHS.” He went on to say, “They have now been rightfully recognized by this program.”

St. Mary High School principal, Jennifer Smith, said she wasn’t surprised Abbigayle was selected. “Abbi is not only very intelligent, but she has traveled extensively bringing a global perspective to her knowledge base.” She went on to say, “Most importantly, Abbi’s dedication to her studies and her work ethic make her a stand out student and young lady.”

Emily Hernandez, Trinity High School’s principal, said neither of their selections were a surprise to them. “The Trinity High School student body along with myself and the rest of the faculty and staff are very proud to have a student accepted into this selective program and to have another student recognized as an alternate.” She continued, saying, “Both are highly deserving candidates! We are proud! We are Trinity!”

​According to the Governor’s Scholars Program website, this program is a “summer residential program for outstanding high school students in Kentucky who are rising seniors.” This program was established in 1983 due to the number of young adults leaving Kentucky to obtain their education and pursue their career paths elsewhere.  

In order to participate in this highly competitive program, “students are first nominated by their high schools and then compete on a state-wide level,” the Governor’s Scholars website states. “The Program’s mission is to enhance Kentucky’s next generation of civic and economic leaders.”

Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Owensboro, Ann Flaherty, could not be more proud of the accomplishment of these students.

“The all-encompassing strength of the Catholic school juniors who earned one of the highest academic honors possible in the state of Kentucky is a testament to the excellent educational experience they have received at each of the Diocese of Owensboro Catholic high schools they attend,” said Flaherty. “I am deeply grateful to the stellar Catholic high school faculty and staff that contributed to each of these students’ education.”

There are three host campuses where the students will be housed and taught, plus a stringent curriculum for the summer session. These students will have no financial obligations to participate in this program.

Learn more about the Governor’s Scholars Program by visiting