PITTSBURG — The Catholic Diocese of Wichita, including St. Mary’s Colgan, was recently recognized by the Kansas State Department of Education through the Kansans Can Star Recognition Program. According to a release from St. Mary’s Colgan, the Kansans Can Star Recognition Program recognizes district achievement in the areas of social-emotional growth, kindergarten readiness, individual plans of study, high school graduation preparedness, high school graduation, civic engagement and postsecondary success. Kansans Can Star Recognition Program recognized the diocese with four awards on Dec. 5. The first award is the Commissioner’s Award Highest Distinction. According to the release, the Catholic Diocese of Wichita predicted postsecondary effectiveness rate is 68. “Our actual rate is 80,” the release said. “We qualified for the highest honor by being more than two standard deviations above our predicted rate.” The school was also awarded based on post-secondary effectiveness. According to the release, this recognition is defined by the percent of ninth graders who graduate in four years and meet one of the four following outcomes within two years of high school graduation: earned an industry certificate while in high school, earned a postsecondary certificate, earned a postsecondary degree or is currently enrolled in postsecondary school. The Catholic Diocese of Wichita rate is at 80 percent and the Gold category range is 70 percent and above. The diocese’s graduation rate is 99 percent, which placed the school in the Gold category of 95 percent and above. For this, they were also awarded. Lastly, the diocese was awarded based on its percentage of students that are academically prepared for postsecondary success. According to the release, this number is based on the percent of students achieving levels 3 or 4 on the Kansas state assessment in math, ELA, and Science. The Catholic Diocese of Wichita’s rate is 62 percent, which places them in the Silver category. “On behalf of our teachers, administrators, pastors, Catholic School Office, students, and parents we are thrilled to be the recipient of this honor,” said Janet Eaton, Superintendent of Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. “Catholic education in the Diocese of Wichita has a long standing tradition of excellence; whereby our schools are Catholic first, followed by outstanding academics from PreK-12th grade. “Receiving this honor affirms our mission and celebrates the work of the thirty-eight Catholic schools in south central and south east Kansas.”