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Ave Maria Students, from Donahue and Homeschooled, Win Honors in Academic Competitions

Scholars from the Donahue Academy of Ave Maria continue to make their mark at the Collier County Scholar Bowl. The varsity scholar bowl team placed fourth recently in the county-wide competition.

scholars-350The Donahue team regularly placesamong the leadersin the competition that is designed to recognize academically talented students in the county. This year, Donahue finished behind teams from Barron Collier High School (1st), Gulf Coast High School (2nd) and Community School of Naples (3rd).

The 2015-16 Donahue Varsity Team included 12th graders Thomas Dauphinais and CJ Smith who have been scholar bowl teammates since 6th grade starting with the middle school program. Other team members were 11th grader Reed Lawe and 10th graders Joseph Pakaluk and Caroline Sikuta. They were coached by Michael Dauphinais and Gretel Smith. (Pictured, left to right, Gretel Smith, CJ Smith, Joespeh Pakaluk, Caroline Sikuta, Reed Lawe, Thomas Dauphinais, Micheal Dauphinais)

hsldasistersIn a different type of academic competition, sisters Leila Joy and Sofia Isabel Castillo (right) were selected as finalists in their age categories in a national essay competition sponsored by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Leila's essay, titled "Home Education: a Gift, a Decision and a Choice," was one of 191 entries in the 11-14 year old category. Sofia's essay on "The Inspiring Life of My Godfather," was one of 131 entries in the 7-10 year old category. Both are listed on the HSLDA website, where the winning entries are posted for reading.

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