Congratulations to Christian Stipho and John Riordan, who were named Commended Students in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.
More than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Students score in the top 3-4% of the 1.5 million students that took the test.
Principal Okuniewski commented, “Christian and John are exceptional students who truly embody the Pillars of RICE, and are great examples of what can be achieved through focused diligence, determination, and hard work. I look forward to seeing what they achieve in their pursuit of academic excellence throughout their collegiate years.”
Commended Students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments and the key role their schools play in their academic development is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We are super proud of these high-achieving Warriors!
Christian Stipho is the Class of 2022 Co-Valedictorian and has graduated with a GPA of 4.39. He will attend the University of Michigan this fall, where he plans to take pre-med courses and continue into a neurosurgical program. A natural leader, Christian has been the President of the Brother Rice Medical Club, President of the Spanish Honor Society, and a Band of Brothers Captain.
He is also a member of the National Honor Society, a Student Ambassador, and a member of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions). Christian has a strong moral code along with a sense of responsibility in giving back, citing Luke 12:48, “To whom much is given, much will be required.” Christian is active in several outreach programs, including volunteering with Hope Clinic, and he also participated in the Brother Rice Medical Mission trip to Costa Rica prior to the pandemic.
Voted “Distinguished Senior” by his peers, Christian has been a model student, striving for excellence in a wide range of endeavors and making the most of his years at Brother Rice. In reflecting upon his high school experience, he had the following advice to offer incoming first-year students, “The biggest piece of advice I would give to the incoming Class of 2026 would be to capitalize on every single opportunity that comes their way. Whether that involves academics, athletics, extracurricular, and more, I strongly advise that all of the freshmen make it a mission for themselves to get involved in as much as they possibly can because once that opportunity passes, regret will hurt a lot more than failure because you can always learn from failure, but never go back to fix that regret.”
John Riordan is one of our “Top Scholars of the Class of 2022,” graduating with a 4.281 GPA and finishing in the top ten of his class. John will major in civil engineering at Marquette University this fall. Ever an accomplished and well-rounded student, he plans to also minor in studio art at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and hopes to continue to play the cello in a campus ensemble and participate in collegiate sailing.
John is a member of the National Honor Society and Latin Honor Society and possesses strong leadership skills developed through experience as a Kairos student-leader and Captain of the Brother Rice/Marian Competitive Sailing Club. In addition, he excels in a multitude of diverse interests, most notably as a talented Cellist who has performed with the Detroit Metropolitan Youth Symphony since 2014. Mindful of making an impact in serving others, John has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, is a member of the Order of the Arrow Brotherhood, has been a senior member of the Blessed Edmund Service Corps, and has received the Timothy Award for Christian Service from the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2021 and 2019. Rounding out his extracurricular experiences is his passion for the sport of sailing. John is also U.S. Sailing-certified small-boat sailing instructor.
Speaking of his time as a student, John shares, “My favorite thing about Brother Rice is the willingness of the faculty to help students as much as needed to succeed. Even if it is just an insignificant question from one student, they are always willing to assist you with whatever you may require assistance with.”
Brother Rice High School is a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School and ranked the #1 Catholic High School in Michigan. A proud private educational institution located in Bloomfield Hills.