St. Francis Borgia Regional High School will hold its 35th annual commencement this Thursday, May 18, at 7 p.m. in the Ray DeGreeff Memorial Gymnasium.

Diplomas will be presented to 123 graduates.

“The Class of 2017 will not only be remembered for their academic ability, but also for their character and faith,” said Rob Struckhoff, interim principal.

“They were a delight to have at Borgia for the last four years,” he said. “They will be missed, but we know they will always be a part of the Borgia family.”

The 2017 valedictorian is Alison Beardslee. Lydia Helfrich is the salutatorian. Both will speak at graduation.

Judy Kandlbinder, alumna and former SFBRHS faculty member, will be the commencement speaker.

The SFBRHS band will provide the music at commencement.

The master of ceremonies will be Moira Vossbrink, director of marketing and admissions.

Amanda Wunderlich, campus minister, will give the invocation. The benediction will be given by Mr. and Mrs. John Lochirco, parents of Emily Lochirco.

School President Father Kevin Schmittgens and Struckhoff will present Student of Distinction awards to Audrey Arand, Samantha Brinker, Margaret King and Alexis Oetterer.

Diplomas will be presented by Father Kevin, Struckhoff and Nicole Addison, senior class coordinator.

Struckhoff also will announce scholarship awards.

Dr. Cathy Johns, St. Louis Archdiocese Catholic school representative, also will speak.


Alison Beardslee, the daughter of Debbie Beardslee and the late Dr. Michael Beardslee of Washington, has earned a cumulative 4.0 GPA.

Beardslee, who attended Our Lady of Lourdes Grade School, has been a member of the National Honor Society, scholar bowl and Spanish club.

She has also ran cross country, earning All-District honors and qualified for state her sophomore and junior years. She was the conference champion in 2014, and placed third in 2015.

In track and field, Beardslee was an all-conference runner, the 1,600-meter conference champion in 2016, and 4 by 800 relay conference champion in 2015.

She also was named Academic All-State in both track and cross country.

Beardslee volunteers at the Franklin County Humane Society, the St. Louis World Pediatric Project and the St. Francis Borgia Food Pantry.

She plans to attend Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Beardslee is eligible for Missouri Bright Flight and was offered scholarships to various universities.

She will graduate summa cum laude and has taken 49 hours of college credit classes. She has also completed 130 Christian Service hours to the community.


Lydia Helfrich is the daughter of Jim Helfrich and Mary Helfrich, Washington. She also has earned a cumulative 4.0 GPA.

Helfrich, who attended St. Francis Borgia Grade School, has been a member of National Honor Society, Healthy Lifestyles, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Soul Singers.

She also participated in track and field, soccer, basketball and softball. She was named the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Scholar Athlete for 2017.

Helfrich will graduate summa cum laude and plans to attend Truman State University, Kirksville. She has received the Presidential Leadership Scholarship, Presidential Honorary Scholarship and the True Merit Scholarship.

Helfrich has earned 37 hours of college credit classes, and has performed 202 Christian Service hours.