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WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 28, 2024) – Cardinal Newman High School (CNHS) hosted the 9th Annual Crusader Legacy Awards & Crusader Fund Appreciation Reception on May 23 at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in West Palm Beach. The reception honored alumni and benefactors of the school who have demonstrated outstanding achievements and contributions to CNHS and the community. Interim President John Clarke presented the 2024 awards to deserving recipients in five distinctive categories. 

“This year’s Legacy Award winners embody the spirit of service and dedication that defines our community,” said John Clarke, CNHS Interim President. “Their contributions have profoundly impacted both our school and the broader community.”

The Legacy Crusader Service Award was presented to Father Michael Cairnes ’04 for his service to CNHS and the community. Cairnes has served in various parishes and is now the Parochial Vicar at St. Ignatius of Loyola Cathedral. He remains active on the CNHS campus, frequently presiding over Masses.

The Legacy Community Leadership Award was given to Allison Kleisley ’91 for her leadership at CNHS and the community. Kleisley served as a teacher, cheerleading coach, senior class moderator, and director of admissions at CNHS. She co-created the school mascot, Big Blue, led Cross Catholic Outreach Food Packing Events at CNHS and serves as Congressional Award Advisor for students in our community.

The Legacy Alumni Recognition Award went to Paula White ’91 for her professional achievements and volunteer contributions, which positively promoted CNHS to the community. White earned her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University School of Law and has practiced law in Palm Beach County while being deeply involved in volunteer work at CNHS and other schools.

The Legacy Honorary Alumni Award was presented to Karen Lower, Peggy Skantar, and Rev. Ducasse Francois. This award is given to friends of CNHS who are not alumni but whose contributions through activities demonstrate leadership and continued support. Lower has dedicated over 45 years to youth ministry and Catholic education, including various roles at CNHS. Skantar has contributed significantly to CNHS’s religious education program as a religion teacher for twenty-seven years and in various other roles. Fr. Francois has served in several parishes for over twenty years and is currently the Dean of the diocesan Central Deanery, supporting the school’s mission.

The Legacy Business Person of the Year Award was given to Tim Hulett ’71. Hulett grew his father’s pest control business into Hulett Environmental Services, employing over 200 people. He supports several community initiatives, including CNHS’s football program and the Shaping the Future Campaign.

For more information about Cardinal Newman High School, visit

About Cardinal Newman High School:

Founded in 1961, Cardinal Newman is a premier Catholic college preparatory high school in West Palm Beach. It has a rich tradition of attracting gifted scholars, athletes, and artists who will become women and men of character, faith, and intellect. Newman’s coeducational environment allows students to grow and develop in a safe and communal setting. Every classroom promotes collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, and each student receives the support required to achieve his/her personal best. The vision is to build life’s champions through faith, scholarship, servant leadership, and a strong family atmosphere. The 12,000 graduates have been war heroes, police chiefs, physicians, musicians, authors, researchers, politicians, lawyers, professional athletes, teachers, entrepreneurs, priests, and community leaders. Each Newman graduate is empowered to rise to every challenge and overcome every obstacle.

Distinguished highlights: 

  • Student/Teacher ratio of 12:1
  • Average class size of 20
  • 100% college matriculation
  • Outstanding Fine Arts Program & extracurricular activities
  • 22 teams in 14 sports
  • 45+ acre campus for exploratory activities
  • Students provide over 44,000 hours of community service annually
  • Most affordable tuition among comparable private schools in the area


Media Contact: 

Laura Zele,, 561-307-3330

Click here to view photos from the event.