Kansans Can Star Recognition program recently announced the Catholic Diocese of Wichita (including St. Mary Catholic School in Newton) received four awards of distinction for benchmarks it has set in recent years.

One of the top awards the diocese received is the Commissioner's Award (highest distinction)— which it earned by being two standard deviations above its predicted post-secondary effectiveness rate (80 percent versus a predicted 68 percent).

The diocese also earned gold awards for post-secondary effectiveness, graduation rate and academic preparation for post-secondary success. Most notably, the diocese has a 99 percent graduation rate — with the gold standard set at 95 percent.