Eighth-grade graduate Sarah Felty is leading by example as she leaves St. Joseph Catholic School to explore bigger and better things.

Felty, who was recently named Outstanding Eighth-Grade Student, was selected to receive a merit scholarship to Bishop Dunne High School in the amount of $4,000 to go toward tuition for the 2007-2008 academic year.

The merit scholarship is presented to a student who has excellent grades, is active in extracurricular activities and scores high on the Dunne entrance exam.

“She did exceptionally well on the entrance exam at Bishop Dunne and that most definitely played a part in the selection,” said Mary Kay Volker, St. Joseph’s principal. “Her acceptance says a lot about our school and I’m thrilled she’s going because Bishop Dunne is an outstanding school.

“I have to also say something about her parents because they’ve always been behind us (the school),” Volker said. “They’ve been very helpful and I can’t thank them enough.”

Felty will be the 12th St. Joseph graduate to attend Dunne since the school added the seventh and eighth grades in 2002.

“Since 2002, we’ve had 12 graduates from St. Joseph School to enroll at Bishop Dunne, but not all were awarded scholarships,” said Maribeth May, St. Joseph’s development director. “I believe this is the fourth scholarship recipient we’ve had here. Ever since Mrs. Volker has been here, we’ve had quite a few to advance to Bishop Dunne and I think that says a whole lot about her.”

Felty said she’s definitely looking forward to the challenges at Dunne.

“I’m really excited about attending and I am looking forward to receiving good grades,” she said. “There are a few programs there that I find interesting so I’m really looking forward to that and learning new things.”

Felty’s parents said they are extremely proud of her and her accomplishments.

“We’re very proud of her because she is such a hard worker,” said Mary Beth Felty, Sarah’s mother. “I don’t know what she’s going to do there but I know she’s going to do well.”

“She’s just a good kid,” said Kelly Felty, Sarah’s father. “Her mother said it all - she’s very hardworking and we are very proud of her.”

Sarah made an unforgettable impression on the St. Joseph staff, which has worked closely with her.

“She’s always outgoing and eager to help others and I think that’s an outstanding quality she has,” Volker said. “She never has to say it, it’s just there. She’s also very service-oriented and enjoys giving to families in need.”

Some of Sarah’s community involvements include the seventh- and eighth-grade Meals-on-Wheels program, Relay for Life events, Hope Clinic and the Angel Tree, Catholic Relief Services, raising money for Daniel’s Den and participating in several charities.

Sarah joins her older brother, J.T. Felty, who will be a junior this fall at Dunne, while her younger brother Michael will enter the seventh grade at St. Joseph’s.

Dunne is an Intel-Scholastic 21st Century School of Destination and Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Lighthouse School.

E-mail Chicarra at chicarra.dense@waxahachiedailylight.com