Ascension Parish community photo gallery for March 5, 2015 _lowres

Photo provided by KRISTEN ACOSTA -- Francis Katherine ‘Kate’ Olivier Warthen is named the 2015 National Catholic Education Association’s Catholic Elementary School Distinguished Graduate for St. John Primary and St. Theresa Middle on Jan. 28. Warthen, center, is with St. John Primary Principal Kim Naquin, left, and the Rev. Jerry Martin, priest at St. John the Evangelist Church.

St. John Primary and St. Theresa Middle schools named Francis Katherine “Kate” Warthen their choice for the 2015 National Catholic Education Association’s Catholic Elementary School Distinguished Graduate Award.

Warthen’s parents are Marianne and David Olivier. Warthen is a graduate of the class of 1994. She is married to Travis Warthen, and they have twin boys, Alex and Bryce, in kindergarten at St. John Primary.

Sponsored by National Catholic Education Association’s Department of Elementary Schools in cooperation with St. John Primary and St. Theresa Middle, the award was presented to Warthen for outstanding personal and professional achievements, a news release from the schools said. Throughout her life, Warthen has been an example of how Catholic schools educate people to take leadership roles in their community, the release said.

Warthen has returned to her alma mater to help as a volunteer coach, substitute and as a bus driver, the release states.

“Catholic education has instilled in me a foundation of core values that have helped me live a fulfilling life of joy and happiness,” Warthen said.

She was honored at the Diocesan Distinguished Graduate of the Year Dinner on Jan. 26 at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge and at the Catholic Schools Week Mass at St. John Primary on Jan. 28.

The National Catholic Education Association established the Distinguished Graduate Award to recognize that significant accomplishments of Catholic elementary alumni are a hallmark of Catholic education, the release said.