Our scholarship program is designed to honor students who demonstrate the qualities of a Lancer student; strength in academics, faith and leadership. Kennedy Catholic offers merit-based scholarships that do not require any demonstrated financial need. Students are notified of scholarship awards in their acceptance letters.

New Students

Presidential Scholarships

All prospective freshmen are automatically considered for Presidential Scholarships provided the application for admissions is submitted prior to the deadline. To be eligible for this award, students must receive one of top composite scores on the High School Placement Test.

Leading Lancer Scholarships

All prospective freshman are automatically considered for Leading Lancer Scholarships provided the application for admissions is submitted prior to the deadline. During the scholarship review process the following will be considered:

  • Admission application student essay
  • Teacher recommendation forms and transcripts
  • High School Placement Test scores
  • Leadership in school and community activities

Goodwin Scholars Program


In 1972, John M. Goodwin was named the third principal of John F. Kennedy Memorial High School. Principal Goodwin previously dedicated 20 years as an educator, administrator and coach at Seattle Prep and served five years as an assistant football coach at the University of Washington. His integrity, leadership skills, and deep dedication to Catholic education made him the perfect choice to be the new principal of the school. Graduates of the era remember Mr. Goodwin as sincerely interested in the success and well-being of each and every student both in the classroom and in life. More broadly, he was esteemed as a champion of the underdog with a passion for Catholic education and dedication to maintaining its affordability.

In partnership with the Goodwin family and other Kennedy supporters, Kennedy Catholic High School established the Goodwin Scholars program during our 50th anniversary celebration year. A Goodwin Scholar exemplifies its namesake: passionate about Catholic education, a leader by example in the classroom and community, living their faith through care, support and empathy for others. The Goodwin Scholar is well-rounded, and seeks opportunities for growth through service, academics, faith, sports and the arts. Through their diversity of backgrounds, interests and life experiences, Goodwin Scholars enrich the Kennedy Catholic experience.

This scholarship covers a portion of tuition ($3500) for study at Kennedy Catholic and will be awarded to one incoming freshman annually. The scholarship is renewable. Mr. Goodwin was a pioneering leader in his time and through this scholarship program his legacy will continue to shape the future of Kennedy Catholic.


Financial Need: Applicants should demonstrate financial need.

Character & Service: Applicants must be individuals of excellent character, demonstrating traits such as integrity, resiliency, initiative, gratitude, respectfulness, compassion, inclusivity (etc.). Applicants should demonstrate care for the well-being of others through day-to-day interactions and service activities in their community and school.

Leadership: Applicants should demonstrate leadership (in any of its many forms) through school activities, family life, church or faith group activities, sports, arts, community service, or other community activities. Regular admissions materials will be used to evaluate an applicant’s breadth of activities and interests including academic, service and leadership experiences.

Academic Excellence: Applicants should show a history of noteworthy academic achievement and a broad interest in learning and personal growth through academics. During their Kennedy Catholic Career, Scholars will be expected to pursue honors or other appropriately rigorous academic coursework. Applicants should possess and demonstrate strong written and oral communication skills. Applicants will be academically qualified by the School based on regular admissions materials, including prominently teacher recommendations.


The Goodwin Scholar Program is designed to cultivate leaders in and out of the classroom. Goodwin Scholars are expected to:

  • Maintain at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA (consideration will be given to strength of schedule and other factors impacting GPA).
  • Serve as a role model to other students by demonstrating respect and care for peers, teachers and the broader community.
  • Cultivate personal leadership skills and seek out diverse opportunities for leadership and service
  • Participate in a service project or regular volunteer activity annually.
  • Actively participate in school co-curricular programs.
  • Assist with Goodwin Scholar Award events.
  • Be in good standing (no probation of any kind) at all times
  • Participate in an annual interview prior to renewal


The Goodwin Scholar Award application consists of two components, in addition to regular admissions materials:

Essay—must be submitted using our online application (limit two pages)

Read the biography for Principal Goodwin and in your essay:

  • Reflect on qualities he demonstrated that you particularly admire, or that you possess or hope to develop during your time at Kennedy Catholic.
  • Describe a specific time, an experience or an activity you have been involved in that showcases similar (or different) values that are important to you.
  • Describe how being a Goodwin Scholar, and having the opportunity to learn and develop leadership skills at a Catholic school, will help you pursue your educational and life goals.
  • Reflect on any personal attributes, perspectives, life experiences or skills you possess that would enrich the Kennedy Catholic community through your presence.

Letter of Recommendation—must be submitted using our online application

  • Submit one letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, coach, pastor or other individual familiar with you, your achievements and your future aspirations. The letter of recommendation should address these questions central to being a Goodwin Scholar:
  • What is your assessment of the applicant’s potential to be an effective leader and ambassador for Catholic education and Kennedy Catholic High School, particularly considering their prior life experiences and future goals and aspirations?
  • What qualities does the applicant demonstrate (be specific) to support your conclusion?
  • In what ways does the applicant evidence a commitment to service and/or understanding of others?


John Goodwin Biography

John Michael Goodwin was born in Portland, Oregon in 1922, one of four second generation brothers in an Irish immigrant family. Typical of Irish who immigrated to the United States following the Great Irish Famine, John’s ancestors followed laboring opportunities in farming, mining and railroads westward during the expansion of the United States in the late 19th Century, eventually settling in Spokane, Washington. John’s upbringing there was heavily influenced by his Catholic faith and his Irish heritage. His family did not have many resources, and times were difficult for people broadly following the economic collapse of 1929, the ensuing Great Depression and the fallout of the Dust Bowl era that brought many poor and migrant families westward from the American Plains. In these early experience he came to know, and often repeated that, “God will provide.”

In Spokane, John attended St. Aloysius grade school and, later, Gonzaga Prep and Gonzaga University. Fortunately for John, the system of Catholic schools was staffed by dedicated religious including priests and nuns, and supported generously by parishes and Catholic laypeople. These factors kept Catholic education within the reach of even poor and immigrant families who made up the bulk of the Catholic faithful. The Jesuit priests who staffed these schools, in particular, took John under their care and made his education possible. He frequently remarked that he was “raised by the Jesuits” who instilled in him a love of learning and taught him that we are called to be “men and women for others.” John felt so blessed by his own education that keeping Catholic education affordable became a life-long calling.

John excelled in the classroom and in extra-curricular activities. He was a multi-sport athlete and enjoyed football, basketball, and while also participating in a broad range of other activities including theater. Through these activities he forged a life-long belief that sports and other extra-curricular activities are central to a well-rounded education and, in particular, provide the framework for learning teamwork, self-sacrifice, self-improvement and deep bonds of friendship. John was fortunate to have deeply inspirational mentors in the classroom and on the ball fields during this period of his life including legendary Gonzaga Coach Bill Frazier. These role models helped John understand how he might one day make a difference in the lives of young people.

Like many of his generation, John served his country in World War II. He enlisted and served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps, stationed in Hawaii during the later years of that conflict. He always felt strongly about America’s role in preserving democracy and in coming to the aid of others in need. Following the war, John was able to return to the Spokane to complete his education at Gonzaga with help from the GI Bill.

In 1947, John married Marguerite Leonard. Marguerite was not raised Catholic but, as was traditional at that time, she converted to Catholicism so they could be married in the Catholic Church. Their Catholic faith continued shaping family, personal and professional decisions for the rest of their lives. John and Marguerite had nine children; 5 sons and 4 daughters. With much sacrifice they were able to provide a Catholic education through grade school and high school for all nine children. Four Goodwin children were able to attend Kennedy Catholic.

In 1948, the newlyweds moved to Seattle where John joined the faculty at Seattle Prep and began a 20-year career at the school teaching math, serving in administrative roles and coaching football, basketball and baseball. His coaching career was legendary, eventually landing him in the Washington State Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1982. John’s Seattle Prep football teams won back‐to-back state championships in 1965-66 and he was named Seattle Post Intelligencer “Sports Man of the Year” in 1965. For John, however, coaching was simply another form of teaching, and it was teaching in the classroom where he truly excelled and felt his calling. One of his students at this time recalls, “Mr. Goodwin was a math instructor supreme, assuring that he was connecting with each student in the classroom and that his chalk board displays were imprinting on our young minds. His disciplined approach to teaching was spiced with humor and wit.”

In 1967, Coach Goodwin’s career took a detour away from Catholic education when he took a high profile job as assistant football coach at the University of Washington. These were exciting and stressful times as John continued to mentor and teach young athletes but in a new environment that sometimes prized winning over other life lessons. The Goodwin family became huge Husky fans, weathering early rocky years and celebrating later successes as the Huskies competed to win a Pacific 8 title.

The business of coaching college football proved too far removed from John’s true calling, and in 1972 he accepted the appointment to serve as the third principal of John F. Kennedy Memorial High School (today “Kennedy Catholic”). The school was new and struggling financially due to a local economic slowdown. John saw the potential of Kennedy Catholic and was excited to tackle these challenges. His leadership skills, charisma and deep dedication to Catholic education proved a perfect fit. Kennedy Catholic soon reached all‐time enrollment highs and achieved successes in the classroom, on the athletic fields and in the community that endure to this day. Among his important legacies was the creation of the Kennedy Endowment Fund, an invaluable resource for making a Kennedy Catholic education possible for families with financial need. The Goodwin Scholars Program is part of this endowment.

Freed from classroom and coaching responsibilities, John was truly at home in the hallways of Kennedy Catholic where he could connect with students, faculty, and administrators. His favorite times of the day were during class change-overs when he would lean against the wall in the “A” wing of the school and engage passing students about their lives, school, sports and family. He rarely missed an opportunity to support students by attending a school play, choir concert or sporting event. John always had a soft spot in his heart for those who were struggling and needed guidance and many former students identify him as the most influential person in their lives apart from their own parents. A former student recalls, “he had a way of making all of us want to be better, to do more.”

John understood deeply that his life had been blessed--by loving family, meaningful work, his Catholic faith and church, and his extended group of friends and colleagues. “From those to whom much has been given, much is expected,” he would say, and he personally lived-out this belief for his entire life. John served as principal until his death in 1981 at the age of 59. He was, and remains, an original Lancer for Life.

Information about scholarships for current students can be found here.