Alexis Cooks, a senior at St. Mary’s Academy, was selected to represent SMA in the Eighth Annual Swirly Scholarship Contest. Chosen for her high energy, passion and respectful nature, Alexis has created new flavor combination to be sold at Pinkberry stores over the next few weeks.
She calls it Cougar Crunch and it consists of original flavor, cheesecake bites, strawberries and waffle cookie. Points are accumulated through purchases. The student with the most points wins a $1,250 scholarship and free Pinkberry for the entire school. The contest runs through the middle of January.
Try out the Cougar Crunch at Pinkberry between now and February 1 to help Alexis and SMA win!Read More
Class of 2019
Early Acceptances – As of January 1, 2019
Alabama A & M University
Alcorn State University
Bethune Cookman University
Clark Atlanta University
Cedar Crest College
Centenary College of Louisiana
Full Sail University
Grambling State University
Jackson State University
Mississippi State University
Mary Baldwin University
Philander Smith College
Prairie View University
Spring Hill College
Southern University A & M
Southeastern Louisiana University
The University of Alabama Huntsville
The University of Southern Mississippi
University of Louisiana Lafayette
University of Holy Cross
University of Memphis
University of Kansas
On Saturday, October 6, St. Mary’s Academy hosted Beautiful by Nature at the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center. Open to girls ages 12-18, the event featured a planetarium screening of Flight of the Butterflies, mindfulness and mediation and a floral crown workshop. Attendees also had a three-course luncheon, musical performance by recording artist Yahjah and an inspirational message by event sponsor Jesseca Dupart of Kaleidoscope Hair Products.
It’s been two years since Adrianne (Ajax) Jackson opened the doors to Magnolia Yoga Studio on Basin Street. Driven by the desire “to support growth, healing, and empowerment through the art of yoga and community,” she is the first African-American to open a yoga studio in New Orleans.
Now this dynamic young woman is making history once again by offering students at St. Mary’s Academy the opportunity to benefit from this ancient practice. This year, she is leading classes twice a week at the school, thanks to a partnership between the Magnolia Yoga Studio and funding from SMA alumna Jasmin Bindom.
For 50 minutes, twice a week, Ajax puts students through a series of breathing exercises, stretching and flexibility routines, creative visualization, and movements to improve balance and focus. According to Ajax, there are tremendous benefits that students can derive from yoga
“Yoga can help us tremendously take our health and power back,” said Ajax adding that the practice can also reduce, reverse and completely eliminate a wide range of issues including asthma, stress, insomnia, depression and anxiety. ““I learned that yoga not only treats many of those things but it also prevents them as well.”
For senior Daria Ball, the class came at the most opportune time. “I was very excited to learn that the school would be offering yoga as a class and I signed up right away,” said Ball adding that participation in the class has been both advantageous and rewarding. ”As a senior, there is additional stress to do well in my classes and yoga has helped me focus and find balance.”
Likewise freshmen Savana Frazier also extols the benefits of yoga and looks forward to her classes each week. “I feel great and more positive now that I have started practicing yoga,” said Frazier. “The course is helping me to achieve more internal peace.”
Research suggests that school-based yoga cultivates competencies in mind-body awareness, self-regulation, and physical fitness. Improvements have also been noted in students’ behavior, mental state, health, and performance.
“In a yoga class, one gets this golden opportunity to reflect, reorganize and remember what is really important, who we really are and what we really aspire for ourselves as a collective and as individuals,” said Ajax who is intent on getting yoga to more people. “The ultimate goal is to educate the community on the benefits of yoga and to provide accessibility.”
On Friday, October 6, 2017, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy FamilyA� continued their 175th anniversary celebration with a Youth Mass, 10:00AM at
St. Mary’s Academy.A� New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond served as celebrant of the Mass with concelebrants Father Daniel Green and Father Howard Byrd and homilist Father Tony Ricard.
More than 500 students representing schools throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans were in attendance as well as a host of priests, deacons, Sisters of the Holy Family and invited guests. Schools present at the Mass included St. Mary’s Academy, St. Augustine High School, Katharine Drexel Prep, St. Peter Claver, Jesuit, Holy Cross, Archbishop Rummel, De la Salle High School, St. Leo the Great, St. Joan of Arc, Archbishop Chapelle, St. Rita and St. Michael School.
Twenty years before the Civil War of the United States, and before it was legal for such a congregation to exist, the Sisters of the Holy Family were founded in New Orleans by Venerable Henriette Delille, a free woman of color and co-founders Juliette Gaudin and Josephine Charles. The congregation dedicated their lives to teaching the slaves, caring for the elderly and the most abject of society.
Since their founding in 1842, the Sisters have been the faces of love, mercy and compassion to people all over the world including the United States, Belize, Central America, and Africa. Additionally, they have faithfully ministered in schools, parishes, nursing homes, prisons and housing for the elderly.
a�?The Sisters of the Holy Family have a rich legacy of caring and sharing with and for the people of God,a�? said SMA president and alumna Sr. Clare of Assisi Pierre, SSF who served for 13 years in Belize. a�?This Mass, dedicated to our youth, is a great way to acknowledge and celebrate the commitment that the Sisters made 175 years ago.a�?
Those sentiments were echoed by St. Marya��s Academy principal Sr. Jennie Jones, SSF, a 1970 alumna of the Academy.
a�?As one of the oldest private Catholic schools in the nation, we are exceedingly grateful to the Sisters of the Holy Family and foundress Venerable Henriette Delille for their foresight, perseverance and continued guidance,a�? said Sr. Jennie Jones, SSF. a�?This celebration is an opportunity for our youth in the city to come together and reflect on the blessings of our past, recognize the many opportunities of our present and work toward an even brighter future.a�?
You may download a copy of the Youth Mass Program by clicking the link below;
The SMA Honor Society and the MLK Chapter of the National Honor Society has partnered with The Divine Foundation to collect the following items for the Hurricane Harvey families in Texas:
- Toiletries (Deodorant, Lotion, Soap)
- Underclothes (New and in Plastic) underwear, bras, undershirts, camisoles, socks
- Cleaning Supplies
Jasmin Bindom, a 2012 graduate of St. Mary’s Academy, was the victim of Stephen Johnson Syndrome, where her body attacked her outer layer of skin during her senior year. Now, this beautiful young women is a survivor and hosting her very own SJS Awareness Walk on Saturday, October 3, 2017 with a scholarship benefiting an SMA student.Read More
St. Marya��s Academy will begin its first full day of classes on Monday, August 14 but students can catch the Maryite spirit even before starting class. The Weeks of Welcome, affectionately known as a�?WOW,a�? is a series of events and informative seminars geared specifically to getting new and returning students involved and excited about SMA from day one.
The WOW festivities will kick off on Monday, August 7A�with a Family Bash from 6:00PM-8:00PM at Fulton Alley, New Orleansa�� premiere luxury bowling facility. Open to all SMA middle/high school students, parents, faculty and staff, the Family Bash is designed to bring the Maryite family together for fun, bowling and entertainment.
SMA will also host its Welcome Convocation at 8:00AM on Thursday, August 10 in Austin Gymnasium. The official welcome for all new and returning students, the Convocation will include messages from the schoola��s president and principal, a keynote speaker, and student performances.
Following the Convocation, students will be treated to a Sister to Sister Dialogue, offering alumnae perspectives on the SMA experience. Rounding out the day will be a Pining Ceremony for the freshman class, officially signaling their arrival into the high school division.
On Friday, August 11, all students will take part in the Academic B.A.S.H. (Be a Success Here,) featuring seminars on topics such as time management, stress management, testing skills, improving concentration and reading effectively for academic success. A Mass for Unification of the school, community and world will follow. The day will end with a Welcome LuauA�for middle/high studentsA�hosted by the SMA Alumnae Association.
Additional highlights of WOW include a Project LEAD workshop for all students who plan on assuming a leadership role at SMA. WOW festivities will conclude on Friday, September 1 with an event called Dinner at Sunset featuring food trucks, music and entertainment for the entire family.A�
A�a�?WOWa�? is a collaborative, introductory effort to welcome, educate and transition our students to life at St. Marya��s Academy,a�? says director of Student Affairs Lisa Ross, adding that the events also serve as a vehicle to emphasize expectations, resources and traditions of the school. a�?Our ultimate goal is to equip all of our students with the necessary resources to navigate the school year with ease and academic success.a�?Read More
Thirty-nine eighth graders from St. Marya��s Academy received promotional certificates from Sister of the Holy Family Clare of Assisi Pierre, president, St. Marya��s Academy, and Pamela Rogers, assistant principal on May 22, 2017 at Austin Gymnasium.
Rev. Charles Andrus, SSJ,A�A� celebrated the Mass that preceded the ceremonies with special awards being presented by middle school coordinator Pamela Greenwood and admissions director Sr. Cynthia Marie Jackson, SSF.
Camryn Vance, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Vance of New Orleans, led the class with the highest average. Throughout her years at St. Marya��s Academy, she has maintained both Presidenta��s Honor Roll and Renaissance Star status and was awarded a four-year scholarship.
Earning the highest average awards in the respective subject areas were: Foreign Language-Kamryn Vance; Pre-Algebra-Zariya Toomer; Computer Science-Regan Arceneaux; Algebra1-Kamryn Vance; English Language Arts-Kerrione Hunter; Reading-Regan Arceneaux; Spelling-Regan Arceneaux; LA History-Trinity Jackson, Jailan Magee and Selena Mason; English I-Kamryn Vance; Science-Makenzie Carter; and Physical Education-Jailan Magee.
Promoted to ninth grade were A�Regan Arceneaux, Laniya Bell, Diamond Blake, Alyssa Brown, Trinity Bullock, Mackenzie Carter, Kyreionna Clark, Quiana Clivens, Cacha��e Collins, Salina Easterling, Dylan Ferguson, Tamia Goins, Casey Griggs, Jayla Hale, Aiyanta��a Haley, Sidney Haynes, Kerrione Hunter, Ilyana Jackson, Nia Jackson, Trinity Jackson, Kinidy Johns, Nya LaCabe, Jailan Magee, Selena Mason, Kaiyaa�� Mitchell, Tasia Morris, Korey Robinson, Tharen Robinson, Jamara Smith, Haraji Spadoni, Krysten Taylor, Tomyree Thompson, Zariya Toomer, Kamryn Vance, Larriontae Vaughn, Amaya Weatherspoon, Jaia Yates, Shawndraa�� Young, and Demi Youngblood.
Sixty seniors from St. Marya��s Academy received diplomas from Sister of the Holy Family Clare of Assisi Pierre, president, St. Marya��s Academy, and Sister Jennie Jones, principal, in ceremonies marking the 132nd graduation of St. Marya��s Academy May 18 at Dillard Universitya��s Lawless Chapel.
Rev. Charles Andrus, SSJ,A�A� celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass that preceded the graduation ceremonies. Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson, served as the commencement speaker.
The members of the Class of 2017 have been accepted at more than 64 colleges and universities and have garnered more than $8.3 million dollars in scholarship awards.
Diara Jackson, daughter of Mr. Felix Jackson and Mrs. Shanel Morgan- Jackson of New Orleans, was valedictorian. Throughout her years at St. Marya��s Academy, she has maintained both Presidenta��s Honor Roll and Renaissance Star status.
Jackson, a TOPS Scholar, earned the highest-average awards in religion and science. She was a member of several extracurricular activities, including the cheerleading squad, SMA Ambassadors, science club, National Honor Society and SMA Honor Society.
Jackson was awarded more than $1 million in scholarship offers. She received numerous college acceptances including Baylor University, Bethune Cookman University, Butler University, Clark Atlanta University, Drexel University, Florida Memorial University, Grambling State University, Howard University, Louisiana State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Paul Quinn College, Nicholls College, Southeastern Louisiana University, Southwestern University, Southern University, St. Edwards University, Spring Hill College, Talladega College, Wiley College, Xavier University of Louisiana and Jackson State College. In the fall, she will attend Jackson State University majoring in Forensic Science.
The salutatorian was Hallea�� McKey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sean McKey, Sr. of New Orleans. McKey, A TOPS scholar, consistently maintained Principala��s Honor Roll and Renaissance Star status throughout her years at SMA. She was an active member of the National and SMA Honor Societies, chorus, Resurrection Singers and Key Club.
McKey was awarded more than $84,000 in scholarship offers. She received acceptance notifications from Florida Memorial University, Spelman College, Spring Hill College, The University of Central Florida and Xavier University of Louisiana. She will attend Xavier University in the fall majoring in pre-med.
Earning the distinction of honor students were Miquel James, Destiny Martin, Audry Loredo, Alysea Colar, Kaeryel Dowl, Barriane Franks, Kali Lewis, Mya Davis, Naya McGill, Lacie Holmes, Caitlin Barnes, Raiyon Hunter, Shania Tyler, Naomi Boyd and Deanna Daggs.
Other graduates included A�Gabrielle Allen, Destini Alston, Alexy Bateman, Carolyn Bedou, Geraldneka Biagas, Kira Bickham, Maci Broaden, Bailey Brumfield, Jade Clark (posthumous), Colby Cordier, Kion Dangerfield, Evelyn Deal, Mia Felton, Kimani Hamilton, Airelle Harris-Cooper, Lania Harris, Diamond Haynes, Khloe’ Hill, Tai’Lyn Holmes, Kayla Hunter, Ortizia Jackson, Aaiyanna Johnson, Kelsey Jones, Natalie Jones, Jernia London, Seantrell Marrero, Gabriael McCain, Farah McLaughlin, Naya Murray, Jonae Patterson, Eryn Randall, Christy Reine, Danielle Riley, Renae Roberts, Dejon Smith, Raina Smith, Ashlynn Stovall, Diamond Tucker, Taylor Vigee, Ariell Wallace, Jessica Wilson, Ambrosia Woodrich, Tre’Breha Youngblood and Taylar Zeno.
Congratulations to SMA sophomore Penny Ajala who was named Most Valuable Player in the St. Mary’s Academy Marching Band. Terry Davis of Cumulus Radio presented Penny with an Iphone and the marching unit with a trophy. Kudos to band director Ray Johnson and Assistant band director Kurt Brunus on a great season! (pictured below from left to right are Ray Johnson, Penny Ajala and Terry Davis.)Read More
In celebration of the achievements of African Americans this month, St.Mary’s Academy will host an art exhibit of one of its most promising students. Barriane Franks, a senior, A�has loved art for as long as she can remember. Upon enrolling at NewA�Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), A�sheA�was ecstatic to receive professional art instruction and decided to utilize theA�opportunityA�to hone her skills visually and conceptually. A�During her first years at NOCCA and SMA, she was inspired to develop a body of work that illustrated modern social injustice issues while paralleling past historical events. Her pieces a�?Inner Strength through Tribulationsa�? and a�?Genocide of Peaceful Innocentsa�? are both members of this series. Barriane A�intends to continue adding pieces to make a massive series of work dedicated to this subject.
The exhibition can be viewed on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 in the Austin Gymnasium foyer from 10:00AM-3:00PM. Barriane will be on hand to offer insight into her collection as well as encouragement for others interested in becoming an artist.
“Throughout my career as an artist, I want to inspire my viewers, convey to them my emotions, and give them a new outlook on life,” says Barriane.
Christal Keller was born and raised in the 7th ward of New Orleans, Louisiana, a product of the Archdiocesan elementary school system. A graduate of the St. Marya��s Academy class of 1993, she finished in the top 10 of her class.
Following graduation from SMA, and after several major of study changes, Christal went on to earn a Bachelora��s of Science Degree from the University of New Orleans in General Studies a�� Health Sciences in 2002. While earning her degree from the University of New Orleans, she began working for Walmart Pharmacy in June of 1998 as a stock associate.A� The Pharmacy Manager recognized her potential and work ethic and encouraged her to train for a Pharmacy Technician position.A� After studying and passing the test, Christal became a Licensed Certified Pharmacy Technician in January of 1999, remaining in that position for the next ten years.
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city, forcing Christal to evacuate to Baton Rouge.A� Fortunately, she was able to continue working as a Pharmacy Technician at one of the Baton Rouge Walmart stores.A� In 2006, knowing that she was not content to remain a Technician for the rest her career,A� Christal re-applied to Xavier University’s College of Pharmacy.A� Because she was deficient in some required science related courses, she was initially denied entrance and hence advised to return once these courses were completed.A� While still working as a Pharmacy Tech, Christal completed the appropriate study, reapplied for entrance into Xavier Universitya��s College of Pharmacy program and was accepted in 2009.
After three years of rigorous coursework and one year of clinical rotation, this dynamic young woman graduated from Xavier Universitya��s College of Pharmacy with a Doctorate of Pharmacy Degree in May 2013.A�A� She sat for her licensure in July 2013 and was triple-state certified (Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) by August of that same year.A� Christal began working as a Walmart rotational Pharmacist, traveling to different stores in the New Orleans area.A� In January 2014, she accepted a position as a Staff Pharmacist for Walmart in Kenner.A� In November 2014, she moved to Slidell and was instrumental in opening a Walmart Neighborhood Pharmacy and promoted to Pharmacy Manager in October 2015.
a�?Carrying through on one of the most important life lessons learned while at St. Mary’s, I strongly agree that perseverance is the key, said Christal who credits the support from family and friends for her ultimate success. a�?Due to my Catholic education, the interaction with numerous mentors at Epiphany Elementary School and St. Mary’s Academy and the support of my family that I know the value of never giving up.a�?
On December 2, 1867, St. Marya��s Academy opened its doors on Chartres Street in New Orleans, LA under the leadership of Mother Josephine Charles. In June 1878, Victoria Jourdan became the first graduate.
In 2017, 150 years later, St. Marya��s Academy is celebrating its sesquicentennial by hosting a number of events that commemorate the schoola��s rich legacy. We invite you to join us for the celebration of our school and foundress Venerable Henriette Delille.
150th Anniversary Calendar
January 19, 2017
Maryite Banner Campaign (Kickoff)
150 Maryite Challenge (Kickoff)
February 19, 2017
Sisters of the Holy Family Ride in Femme Fatale
March 11, 2017
St. Marya��s Academy 150th Anniversary Mass
Mother House 1:00 PM
March 11, 2017
St. Marya��s Academy Anniversary Reception
March 18, 2017
SMA Alumnae Association Crawfish Boil and Scholarship Fundraiser
Maria Hall 4:00 PM a�� 7:00 PM
March 24-26, 2017
St. Marya��s Academy Fair – a�?A Family Affaira�?
April 28, 2017
St. Marya��s Academy Debutante Ball
Pontchartrain Center 8:00 PM
May 2, 2017
Give NOLA Day Scholarship Fundraiser
May 17, 2017
St. Marya��s Academy Baccalaureate Mass
Austin Gymnasium 5:00 PM
May 18, 2017
St. Marya��s Academy Commencement and Legacy Walk
Dillard University – Lawless Memorial Chapel a�� 4:00 PM
May 28, 2017
Gospel Concert and Scholarship Fundraiser
St. Raymond & St. Leo The Great Catholic Church a�� 4:00 PM
September 2017 (TBA)
Women and Girls Who Empower – Speaker Series
October 24, 2017
St. Marya��s Academy Open House 7:00 PM
November 2-5, 2017
St. Marya��s Academy Homecoming & Reunion Week
November 2, 2017
Day of Service
November 3, 2017
St. Marya��s Academy Homecoming Parade 10:00 AM
November 3, 2017
Blue and Gold Day Celebration 1:00 PM
November 3, 2017
Alumnae Paint Na�� Toast 7:00 PM
November 4, 2017
Alumnae Blue & Gold Queena��s Party 8:00 PM
November 4, 2017
St. Marya��s Academy Homecoming Dance
8:00 PM – Place TBA
November 5, 2017
Alumnae Homecoming Mass 10:00 AM
St. Raymond & St. Leo The Great Church
November 5, 2017
Alumnae Homecoming a�?Big Hat Bruncha�?
LACE the Grand Ball Room 12:00 Noon
November 20th a�� 22nd
Sr. Mary Demetria Williams Basketball Tournament
December 2, 2017
150th Anniversary Closing Mass
St. Louis Cathedral
150th Anniversary Gala – Exhibition and Poster Unveiling
Messinaa��s at the Terminal
6:00 PM Patron Party,
7:00 PM Gala
Teaching students to be global citizens and agents of change is always at the forefront of Alandrus Davida��s classes. A social studies/speech educator at St. Marya��s Academy and 2006 alum, David endeavors to be a catalyst to help youth change the world for the better.
So it came as no surprise that her fifth graders came up with a project to help women this holiday season. Understanding the health needs of homeless women, they initiated a drive to collect feminine hygiene products that would be donated to the New Orleans Women and Childrena��s Shelter.
a�?People tend to forget that feminine hygiene products are expensive and there are many women who cannot afford them,a�? said David adding that places such as homeless shelters and food pantries often run low on these.a�? a�?My students are hoping to change that this Christmas season.a�?
Following the flood that devastated parts of Baton Rouge in August, David looked for a way to help women in need. She created a drive to collect feminine hygiene products for flood victims. Receiving donations both locally and nationally, she assembled Fem Care packages that were ultimately delivered to women in Baton Rouge.
Likewise, Davida��s fifth gradersa�� drive was very successful following a plea for donations from students, parents, teachers and the community at large. The collection netted more than 2000 items for donation.
St. Mary’s Academy recently received a gift of $6000 to fund scholarships for its students courtesy of 1999 alumna Brittany Eason. Since 2012, Eason has provided the school with $6000-$8000 in scholarships per year.
A native New Orleanian, Eason graduated from St. Marya��s Academy in 1999. A�After high school, she enrolled at Louisiana State University and was very active on campus and served as a leader in several A�organizations includingA�Advocates for Better Body Image, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, and Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity. She graduated with a B.S. in Management Information Systems from LSU and a Master’s inA�Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard University.
Harris joined Accenture in 2004. She designed innovative IT systems and solutions for Fortune 100 companies in the Oil and Gas, Chemicals, Aerospace and Defense, and Government industries. While at Accenture, Britt also started a web design and database company that served small businesses and non-profits. She has continued to work at several companies in the technology industry.
Civic-minded, Eason is a social entrepreneur actively promotes social and economic initiatives. After hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, she started Cultivate Our Minds, a programA�that helps students learn to be enterprising and resourceful in a business and technology. She currently resides in Mountain View, CA.
St. Marya��s Academy presented its 15th annual Social Savvy Day on Friday, December 2, 2016 at Mortona��s the Steakhouse on Canal Street. Smartly attired in business suits, the 61 members of the senior class participated in a host of etiquette and protocol workshops that included fine dining, effective communication, poise and presentation and business etiquette. Additionally, participants wereA�treated to a continental breakfast and fine dining experience at the restaurant.
“In our ever-evolving society, it is vitally important that our youth are equipped with the skills to present themselves both professionally and socially,a�? said SMA Student Affairs director Lisa Ross, who designed the program to give participants a competitive edge. Events such as this ensure that our students possess the skills to enter any arena with confidence, grace and business acumen.”
LaKesha Mosley of the Etiquette Training Center of Louisiana, an Etiquette and Protocol Agency based in Shreveport, facilitated the workshops. Ms. Mosley is known and respected as a leader in the etiquette and protocol industry and regularly appears on television as a TV Personality and entertainment show host for stations KTAL NBC-Studio6 and FOX 33-Morning Showcase.
A sea of blue and gold filled Chef Menteur Blvd as St. Mary’s Academy held its annual Homecoming parade. Highlighting the festivities was the royal court which included:
Queen Raina Smith
King: Damico Davis
|12||Seantrell Marrero, Colby Cordier||Raymond Williams, Breland Sebatier|
|11||Edwenia Foster, Kelsie Watson||Donniel Ward-MaGee, Ryan Frazier|
|10||Dominique Finch, Jemajha Wilson||Roderick Howard, Armando Williams|
|9th||Marissa Aguillard, DejaNae Tolbert||Kamden Buggage, Damon McFarland, Jr.|
St. Mary’s Academy Alumnae Association held its annual Blue and Gold Ball on Saturday, November 5, 2016 in Austin Gymnasium. Reigning as this year’s queen was Cathy Green Miner, a graduate of the A�class of 1983 and a Mental A�Health Counselor at St. Mary’s Academy. Cathy was crowned by Sunni Fitch who reigned as the first queen of the Blue and Gold Ball last year.
As adults headed to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, SMA’s elementary students stood in line to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice. Organized by 2nd grade teacher Melanie Giardina, the mock election afforded the young students the opportunity toA�select whom they felt should serve as the 45th President of the United States.
“We wanted our students to know the importance of being active participants in the election process,” said Giardina adding that the idea to hold a mock election grew out of a social studies lesson on civic involvement. “As the election grew nearer, IA�wanted to make the voting process come alive for them and be as realistic as possible.”
Each elementary student cast their vote by checking off their candidate’sA�name on the A�ballot. Pre-K students were paired with 2nd graders who helped them understand the process.
Giardina hopes that students better understand that the right to vote is a privilege that every citizen should take seriously.A�”It is important for them to know that their vote does matter despite the outcome of the election, ” said Giardina. “”This is what our country is all about. Today should not be the last time that they cast their vote.”