St. John Vianney High School

Two seniors honored for academics

Seniors Chapman, Wuennenberg receive academic accolades

PJ Wuennenberg and Andrew Chapman both had other options when it came time to choose a high school, but both had connections to Vianney that would help lead to them becoming Griffins.

Wuennenberg’s father, Paul, graduated from Vianney in 1981 and strongly encouraged his son to follow in his footsteps. Chapman visited Vianney and St. Louis University High, but felt like Vianney was the place for him.

“My dad, uncle, and a couple of cousins were alumni of Vianney,” said Chapman, whose father John graduated in 1984. “So, when I started looking at high schools, I went to the open house. On the open house day in my 7th grade year, I went to Vianney in the morning and SLUH in the afternoon. After my first visit to campus on that open house day, I knew that I belonged at Vianney. I couldn’t have really explained why I felt this way, but I just had that gut feeling that this was where I could do my best and leave my mark on the school. It just made sense that I would choose Vianney.”

Chapman and Wuennenberg have both made their mark at Vianney through their academic success as well as their involvement in several extracurricular activities.

Wuennenberg is involved with RPG club, Government and Politics Club, Scholar Bowl, World Quest, National Honor Society, Tri-M, Thespian Honor Society, Griffin LIFE, Griffin Theatre, Pep Band, Link Crew, Student Council, Ambassadors and Student Foundation.

Chapman has been involved with the swimming team, National Honor Society, Investment Club, Government and Politics Club, Aviation Club, Robotics Club, Pro Life Club, Pro Life March, Scholar Bowl, Blood Drives, Mu Alpha Theta, Link Crew, Ambassador, High School Night Speaker, Student Foundation, World Quest, Letterman’s Club, Special Olympics, Griffin Guide, Auction volunteer, Student Council and racquetball team.

Recently, the two seniors were honored for another academic accolade when Vianney received noticed that both had been named commended scholars by the National Merit Program, an accomplishment achieved by 50,000 of the top scorers out of the more than 1.6 million students who took the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test last spring.

“I am greatly honored to be considered a National Merit Commended Scholar because I commit to maintaining high grades and earning as high of a grade as possible on standardized tests,” Wuennenberg said. “It feels good, then, to have the sacrifices I make be recognized.” 

“This recent honor helps prove myself to Vianney,” Chapman said. “It is something that I can accomplish that can be linked back to Vianney. This honor is an important part of what I hope to be able to contribute to Vianney. While accomplishments are important, I feel that the core and most important part of Vianney is our character and community that is unmatched. Anything more that I can do to draw more attention and new kids to this community, just adds to how I have left my mark on Vianney. The commendation signifies a work ethic instilled in me throughout my time at Vianney.”

Both seniors are still undecided on where they will attend college. Wuennenberg said he is considering Saint Louis University, Westminster, Truman State, Dominican, Loyola and Dayton. Chapman, who is considering majoring in accounting, said his top five schools are Notre Dame, Washington University, Indiana University, Truman State University and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

Both will take with them the lessons learned during four years at Vianney.

“What I love about Vianney is the sense of community, both between students but also among students and teachers,” Wuennenberg said. “I feel very comfortable around my teachers and find that I can express myself during class.” 

“Vianney has been like a family to me,” Chapman said. “From the faculty to the students, everyone is there for each other. Vianney is special because of the character of our students. The character of Vianney is what attracted me to attend, and it is something that I pride myself being a part of. Vianney is special because we make it so. It is a challenge, but one that is taken head on by our student body.”