Distinguished Alumna Award

Established in 2009, the St. Teresa’s Academy Distinguished Alumna Award formally recognizes an alumna who has positively and substantially influenced her profession(s), her community(s) or issues affecting society at large. For more information, contact Paula Holmquist, alumnae director, at 816.501.0022 or pholmquist@stteresasacademy.org.

Click here for the Distinguished Alumna Award Nomination Form.

Dana Cutler, Class of 1982
2018 Recipient

Dana Tippin Cutler has dedicated her life to the practice of law, advocacy for diversity and inclusion in her profession, and raising her cherished family. Dana works as a partner in her family’s law practice, James. W. Tippin & Associates, with a focus in education law (charter and hybrid schools in Missouri), and defense litigation.

Dana expresses that she values the faith-based education she received at St. Teresa's Academy, as it established a great foundation for her and helped her understand the importance of service to others. Dana’s passion for philanthropy is evident throughout her involvement with numerous professional, community, and civic organizations. From 2016 to 2017, she served as president of The Missouri Bar, the first African-American woman elected to that role. The Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City named Dana the “Woman of the Year” in 2016, the same year that Dana was awarded the Sly James Diversity and Inclusion Award by the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.

In addition to serving on many law boards and committees, Dana is a member of the Board of Curators of Lincoln University, and the Board of Directors for Swope Community Enterprises and Swope Parkway Health Center. She is an active member of Concord Fortress of Hope and is the co-judge of Couples Court with the Cutlers (a nationally syndicated Emmy-nominated court television show) with her partner in life, in practice, and in marriage, Keith Cutler, Sr. Dana is the proud mother of three adult sons, Keith, Jr.; Dean; and Austin Cutler.

Previous Winners:


Susie Haake
Class of 1967
Peggy Gramlich Baker
Class of 1957
Teresa Orpin Hamilton
Class of 1978
Marylyn Geraghty DeFeo
Class of 1954
Kelly Crawford Friendly
Class of 1988
Martha Leahy Staker
Class of 1962
Rosemary O’Leary
Class of 1973
Patrice (Jo Ann) Coolick, CSJ
Class of 1958
Martha Meagher Downey
Class of 1961