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Alumni Spotlight

The CMHS Alumni Spotlight showcases and recognizes outstanding Cardinal Mooney Alumni for their academic and professional achievements, service to their community, and their continuation of Cardinal Mooney’s tradition of “Sanctity, Scholarship, and Discipline”.  With the Alumni Spotlight, we will explore and regularly share the diverse accomplishments of our graduates.

Murphy Cousins Class of 2019

Dedication to faith and family, virtues the Murphy cousins learned early and continue to guide their young lives.    

When John and Joanne Murphy started their family in 1959, they planned to send their children to Catholic schools. Joanne and John graduated from St. Dom’s and St. Pat’s, respectively. They understood the value of that experience.

Like so many with large families, the Murphy’s made sacrifices to provide a Catholic education for their seven children. John, an educator himself, and Joanne, a mostly stay-at-home mom in the children’s’ younger years, somehow managed. All seven attended St. Dom’s and Cardinal Mooney.

How did they do it?

They valued the foundation of a faith-based education and viewed it just as important as food and shelter.

The Murphy family stayed devoted to Catholic education at Cardinal Mooney through the next generation. Ten of John and Joanne’s grandchildren have walked or currently walk the halls of CMHS. Each of them respects the tradition and are grateful for the experience.

Three of John & Joanne’s grandchildren, Mark Phillips, Carolyn Kay, and John Murphy have an incredibly unique connection: The cousins were born within five months of each other in 2001 — Mark in February, Carolyn in March, and John in June.

Their parents, Liz Murphy Phillips (‘88), Mollie Murphy Kay (‘86), and John Murphy (’83), knew their kids would be close — just how close is an extreme blessing. The special journey was strengthened in their 15 years — and counting — of schooling from St Charles to Cardinal Mooney, class of 2019, and now at YSU. They all hope to make a difference in others’ lives, two as educators and one as a healthcare provider.

The Murphy cousins are family, but also fantastic friends, appreciative of the time they have had growing up together on the same street in Boardman.

When asked their perspective on their relationship, all three shared the same sentiment of a family blessing. Carolyn summed it up,

“Going through school from kindergarten through senior year of high school with my two cousins, Mark and John helped me tremendously,” Carolyn said. “The Mooney Family is so strong to begin with but taking that term to a literal aspect makes it ten times more special. We support each other through everything.”


All three cousins were Mooney student athletes, and stood as examples of hard work, discipline, and striking a balance.

Carolyn lettered in soccer and basketball all four years and played lacrosse for one year. She earned first-team all-county honors in soccer her freshman year. She was second team all-district her sophomore year, and first team all-district her junior and senior years. She also had the privilege of playing in soccer and basketball all-star games after her senior seasons.

A member of the National Honor Society her junior and senior years,  Carolyn earned the Academic Excellence award, an honor cord as one of the top 10% of females, and an honors medal as one of the top 25% of her graduating class.

“The faculty and staff at Mooney were amazing; I owe everything to my teachers for helping me get to where I am today,” Carolyn said. “They prepared me so much for college and always focused on keeping our faith and relationship with God intact. I would not change my four-year experience at Mooney at all. It truly is a family.” 

Mark appreciates the discipline instilled in him as a student athlete.

While at Mooney, I played basketball for four years.  I lettered as a junior and senior and had a great experience,” he said.  “It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it.”   

Mark, also an academic letter recipient, was ready for the rigors of college academics: “Both St. Charles and Mooney prepared me for college.  The curriculum and the block scheduling made the transition to YSU easy.”

John was a three-year varsity letterman and captain of the football team his senior year. He was a recipient of the Buster McCloud and Ron Stoops awards and was all NEO his senior year. In basketball, he was a two-year varsity letterman and captain his senior year when he also received an academic letter.

“I do not think people understand how special it is to be a part of the Mooney Family. You truly are a part of a family that will always support you,” he said. “During my time at Mooney, I have made special bonds with my friends and teammates that will last forever. I have been extremely fortunate to make so many close friends and be a part of something so special.”

Carolyn’s older brother Pat graduated from CMHS in 2017 and younger brother Matt is a freshman. Mark’s older brother Michael also graduated in 2017 and his younger brother Jack is a junior.


Currently, Carolyn is in the Honors College at YSU, studying biochemistry with the goal of becoming an optometrist. She continues her love and involvement with soccer at YSU.

Mark is majoring in secondary education.  He has always enjoyed social studies and government classes and reading about politics on the local, national, and international fronts. He has made the Dean’s List both semesters of his first year.  He would like to teach social studies and possibly coach basketball in the future.

John is also majoring in education at YSU. His love of football has brought him back to Mooney where he coaches the varsity, junior varsity, and freshmen team. He is thrilled to be paying it forward at a place that is so special to him.

Thank you, to the Murphy family and all our families, within the Mooney family who truly value a faith-based education and continue to be committed to providing their children with this exceptional experience!