Taylor Christine Thompson and Nicholas Ronald Higgins, two members of the Senior Class of 2016, will each receive the St. Sebastian Medal at the 22nd annual Bishop’s Dinner for Catholic Schools April 17, at the Morgantown Event Center in Morgantown, W.Va. Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, will present the Bishop’s Cross to six lay people, the Aquinas Medal, the highest honor a student can receive from the diocese, to 28 students, and the St. Sebastian Medal to 16 high-achieving student athletes.
The St. Sebastian Medal is named for St. Sebastian, patron saint of Athletes because he was always depicted in fine physical shape. In order to play sports well, one requires health and the working of mind, body and spirit together. St. Sebastian was dedicated to God, even in the face of certain death. Legend has it that St. Sebastian was tied to a tree and shot by archers. Though pierced, he survived with the help of St. Irene, who nursed him back to health. Following his recovery he denounced the emperor for his cruelty to Christians. For speaking out, he was martyred. His feast day is January 20.
Taylor and Nicholas are being recognized for being high-achieving student athletes and exhibiting the qualities of sportsmanship, teamwork, academics, and a high respect for school, classmates, teammates, opponents, parish and the community.
Taylor Thompson is the daughter of Kimberly Cionni and Virgil Thompson. She is very active in the school, being the vice president of the senior class and vice president of the National Honor Society and is involved in many clubs. Taylor is a four year lettermen in both softball and volleyball. She has received OVAC All Conference first team in both softball and volleyball, and was awarded All-state Honorable mention in softball. Taylor is a two year member of the National Honor Society. She has maintained a GPA of 4.0 or higher throughout high school and will graduate with distinguished honors. Taylor plans on attending the Honors College at West Virginia University to pursue a career in the medical field.
Nick Higgins is the son of Ron and Sharon Higgins and younger brother to Andrew. He is a four year member of the boys’ basketball team, lettering twice and named Captain his Senior year. He is a four year member of the golf team, lettering twice and part of two OVAC championship teams and two State-Runner-Up teams. Nick is Senior Class President and has been class president for the last two years. He is a member of SADD, Interact, Prayer, and Pep Clubs. He is a two year member of the National Honor Society. Nick was selected and attended WV Boys State and has been selected as the Weirton Elks Teen of the Month. Nick is an active member of St. Paul Parish in Weirton. Nick maintains a 4.21 GPA. He has been accepted to West Virginia University in the fall and will major in Management Information Systems and then pursue a Masters in Cyber Security.