Sister of the Holy Family
Youth Group Director
St. Mary’s Academy President
Sister Clare of Assisi Pierre, S.S.F. (nee Joanne Theresa Pierre) met her Lord face to face on the feast of St. Clare of Assisi, on August 11, 2021. She was born January 8, 1938, in St. James, Louisiana, to her parents, Rosa Villavaso Pierre and Percy Pierre, who preceded her in death. Her family moved to New Orleans not long after her birth.
Sister Clare attended St. Joan of Arc Elementary School; graduated from St. Mary’s Academy and Loyola University. She entered the Sisters of the Holy Family on September 8, 1956 and served the people of God in various educational ministries in Los Angeles, California, Lafayette, Louisiana, Opelousas, Louisiana, Houston, Texas; Dangriga, Belize, Shreveport, Louisiana and New Orleans, Louisiana. Sr. Clare served as Vicar General of the Sisters of the Holy Family from 2006 to 2010 and began rebuilding St. Mary’s Academy after Hurricane Katrina destroyed its campus. In 2011 she became President of St. Mary’s Academy. In 2017, Sr. Clare was honored as an esteemed cornerstone during the 150thAnniversary Celebration. Sister retired in 2020, due to declining health. Sr. Clare touched many lives during her 65 years as a Sister of the Holy Family. She will be truly missed as we carry her in our hearts and memories. May she rest in peace.
“May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your arrival and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels receive you and with Lazarus, once poor, may you have eternal rest.”Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, August 20, 2021 at 10:00 AM at The Sisters of the Holy Family Motherhouse. Visitation will begin at 8:00 AM, Rosary at 9:15. Seating is limited and only available to individuals with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID PCR testing within 72 hours. MASKS ARE REQUIRED.
Growing up in New Orleans, Natalia Veronica developed an appreciation for art and culture at an early age. The daughter of a seamstress and an architect, she spent countless hours at either a sewing machine or drafting table learning how to sketch and fashion garments. Recognizing their daughter’s tremendous gifts, Natalia’s parents encouraged her artistic development.
In 1994, Natalia enrolled as a freshmen at St. Mary’s Academy where she participated in the Journalism Club and created artwork for class events and competitions. Following her graduation in 1997, she moved to Dallas to study fashion design at The Art Institute of Dallas. Upon earning a degree in fashion design, Natalia continued to create artwork and designs and worked for luxury based companies including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Prada.
After a lifetime of sketching and painting, she decided to start exhibiting her artwork in various art shows. “As I began showing my paintings in galleries, I realized I wanted more people to be able to appreciate and attain my work,” said Natalia who also started creating limited edition prints of her original works. “I also wanted to find a way to incorporate my love of fashion design, that is when Natalia Veronica was established.”
All of Natalia’s merchandise is named for a personally significant street or moment. She even designed a hand painted handbag called the “Maryite” as a nod to her alma mater. The collection has been featured in many publications and selected for the Kimbell Museum of Art in Fort Worth, Texas.
A true trendsetter, Natalia designs products for both women and men. She is especially proud to say that her customers come in a mix of ages and genders. “Whether it’s a customer shopping for original art or well-designed merchandise, the customer is drawn to my items because they stand out from other mainstream products,” said Natalia. “I design with the idea that each piece is unique, and all customers can appreciate that concept.”
As the artist and owner of NV, Natalia is her own designer and patternmaker. She chooses fabrics, hand paints select items and cuts all fabrics for construction. Additionally she finishes products once they are constructed by local female contractors, and prints her own limited edition prints. In this way, she can be efficient while maintaining full control over the company.
So far, some favorite pieces she’s made include the Elysian Convertible Bag and the Delery Minibag, both of which are uniquely crated and multi-functional. And she never sells products she wouldn’t want to use herself — like the Maryite Crossbody Bag that she never leaves home without.
Regarding her education at St. Mary’s Academy, Natalia says “SMA gives young women the gift of being able to focus on their own path. I never had to compromise being creative while learning the necessary fundamentals which I also appreciated.”
Customers can expect to see a full assortment of her art-infused merchandise, including handbags, accessories, home décor and stationery goods, at her pop-up shop in the Shops at Willow Bend in Plano, Texas.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana recently announced the selection of Dana Marie Douglas as Magistrate Judge for the District, . A 1993 graduate of St. Mary’s Academy, Ms. Douglas has litigated cases in Louisiana state and federal court for almost twenty years, primarily in the areas of commercial, energy, and intellectual property law. While at Loyola Law School, she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Loyola University Public Interest Law Journal. After graduating law school, Ms. Douglas clerked for the Honorable Ivan L.R. Lemelle, United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Ms. Douglas comes from the Liskow & Lewis firm, where she has worked for 17 years, first as an associate and then as a shareholder. She currently serves as the President of the New Orleans Bar Association and is also Past President of the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Society and a Board Member of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts Institute. She additionally served as a Vice-Chair and Commissioner of the New Orleans Civil Service Commission 2000-2013.
Ms. Douglas was the recipient of the distinguished Louisiana State Bar Association President’s Award in 2008 and was twice selected as one of the top 50 “Leaders in Law” in New Orleans. She was also most recently named to New Orleans CityBusiness’ ‘Women of the Year’ 2017.
St. Mary’s Academy will begin its first full day of classes on Monday, August 13 but students can catch the Maryite spirit even before starting class. The Weeks of Welcome “WOW,” 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 Tuesday, August 7 with a Family Bash. The picnic-style event will take place from 5:00-8:00pm on the grounds of the school’s campus located at 6905 Chef Menteur Blvd.
Three gourmet food trucks will participate including Cocoa and Cream Mobile Foods and Catering, Kenny’s Cajun & Creole Food Truck and Valerie’s Snow-Balls and Ice Cream. Additionally, the event will feature kiddie train rides, music, parent/student look-alike contest, manicures, pedicures, facials and other goodies by Spoil Me Rott’n Day Spa.
Admission to the event is free and is open to all SMA students and their families, faculty, staff and alumnae of the school. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, tables and blankets. Food truck items will be sold with costs ranging from $2 to $15. Menu items include chicken and waffles, fish, shrimp, crawfish and oyster po’boys; jerk shrimp tacos, gourmet pretzel burgers, hot sausage po-boys, ya-ka-mein, authentic lamb/beef gyro, hot dogs, ice cream, and snowballs. No outside food and drink will be allowed on campus.
SMA will also host its Welcome Convocation at 8:00AM on Thursday, August 9 in Austin Gymnasium. Signaling the formal beginning of the student academic experience, the Convocation will include messages from the school’s president and principal, keynote address by survivor, evangelist and alumna Anthonise McMorris Davenport and a performance by noted author, educator and alumna Arianne Craig Jolla.
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 Pinning Ceremony for the freshman class, officially signaling their arrival into the high school division.
On Friday, August 10, 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.
Additional highlights of WOW include a Project LEAD workshop for all students who plan on assuming a leadership role at SMA.
“WOW” is a collaborative, introductory effort to welcome, educate and transition our students to life at St. Mary’s Academy,” 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. “Our ultimate goal is to equip all of our students with the necessary resources to navigate the school year with ease and academic success.”
To say that Jasmin Bindom is an amazing young woman is an understatement. Defying what seemed to be insurmountable odds, this dynamic dynamo continues to inspire and astound people every day.
Bindom was a high school junior at St. Mary’s Academy in 2011 when she suddenly became ill. She spent weeks in a burn unit at a local hospital before being diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS). The debilitating disease is caused by a severe reaction to both over the counter and prescription medication, and can be fatal if not properly and promptly diagnosed and treated.
Following many surgeries and painstaking recovery, Bindom is a survivor in every sense of the word. Presently a senior at Dillard University in New Orleans majoring in public health, she also works tirelessly to promote awareness and raise money for Stevens-Johnson syndrome through her Team Jasmin SJS Awareness Walk. Additionally, she also supports St. Mary’s Academy each year by generously giving a $2000 scholarship to a deserving senior.
“I graduated from SMA and wanted to be able to give back to my alma mater,” said Bindom adding that senior year can be especially trying in terms of financial obligations. “A little extra money can go a long way when buying books and other needed materials for college.”
For Deja Crayton, the scholarship was awarded following her submission of a moving essay on SJS to Bindom. “This scholarship afforded me a wonderful opportunity to not only further my education but learn more about Stevens-Johnson syndrome,” said Crayton who will study nursing in the fall at Southern University in Baton Rouge.
“I am so grateful to Ms. Bindom for this most generous award.”
St. Mary’s Academy alumna Dr. Lakia Montegut believes in paying it forward when it comes to helping SMA students succeed. To that end the Class of 2005 graduate recently established the Dr. Lakia Montegut Valedictorian Scholarship and the Dr. Lakia Montegut Future Pharmacist Scholarship benefiting graduates of the school. Both gifts valued at $2000 each, were presented during the Academy’s Awards Ceremony.
“I have always believed to whom much is given, much is required,” said Montegut adding that she owes a huge debt of gratitude to her alma mater. “St. Mary’s Academy taught me professionalism, how to articulate my thoughts through public speaking and how to be a strong woman of faith.”
Now a doctor of pharmacy and an entrepreneur, Montegut herself was the recipient of scholarships to both St. Mary’s Academy and Xavier University. “Those scholarships literally changed my life,” she said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if someone didn’t decide to give back.”
For Kelsie Williams, valedictorian of the SMA Class of 2018, the scholarship award was a much needed and welcome surprise. “Receiving this scholarship shows that all my hard work has been recognized,” said Williams who plans to attend Xavier University in the fall majoring in biology/pre-med. “My ultimate goal is to finish college debt-free and this most generous award moves me one step closer to that goal. I am exceedingly grateful to Dr. Montegut for this gift.”
Likewise Cierra Frazier, a graduate of the Class of 2015 is very appreciative for the scholarship. “I feel truly blessed to be held in such high regard to receive such an honor,” said Frazier, a second year pharmacy student at Xavier University of Louisiana. “I can only imagine my future and will work hard so that I too can be of service to others.”
It’s been 71 years since Elaine Romain Vallot graduated from St. Mary’s Academy but time never diminished her desire to give back to her alma mater. That dream recently became a reality, when the 1946 graduate presented the school with a check for $25,000.
Designated to fund multiple merit and need-based scholarships for the students of St. Mary’s Academy, the generous donation was made in memory of former SMA principal Mother Mary Francis Borgia, SSF, who was instrumental in Vallot’s life while a student at St. Mary’s Academy.
“Mother Borgia saw to it that I got my diploma and she didn’t ask for a penny,” said Vallot adding that her family had been experiencing tremendous financial hardship. “When someone extends a hand to help you its important to give back.”
Born in New Orleans in 1930 to John and Leda LeVasseur Romain, Vallot grew up with her five siblings in the 7th ward. She attended elementary school at Valena C. Jones, and then went on to attend St. Mary’s Academy, where she graduated in 1946 at the age of 16. With the help of Mother Mary Francis Borgia, Vallot became a teacher for a small community school near Port Sulfur, LA. There she became acquainted with a couple who later introduced her to William Vallot, a sugar cane farmer from Vermilion Parish. She and William wed in 1952 and settled in a farming community called Grosse Isle, outside of Abbeville, LA, where they have spent the past 64 years. They were blessed with six children, three sons and three daughters. She lost a son to cancer in 1993, and most recently, William was laid to rest. Elaine devoted her life to raising her children and being a strong support to William, as he and the family grew what has become a substantial sugar cane operation. Her sons currently cultivate over 3000 acres of sugar cane annually.
Throughout the years, Vallot regaled her children with stories of her early life, including those of her years as a student at St. Mary’s Academy. Her fondest memory is of Mother Mary Francis Borgia, who helped her by forgiving the tuition debt her family couldn’t pay, thus allowing her to graduate. Elaine always vowed that she would someday return the kindness shown to her by Mother Borgia. That promise was fulfilled on December 2, 2017 at the 150th Anniversary Gala, when Vallot and her family presented a gift of $25,000 to SMA president Sr. Clare of Assisi Pierre, SSF.
Since she was a young girl growing up in New Orleans, LA, Lakiesha Claude Williams dreamed of becoming a physician. She always had an aptitude for science and loved caring for others in need.
Yet her plans to work as a medical doctor changed during her senior year of high school at St. Mary’s Academy, when a teacher introduced her to the world of mathematics.
Fast-forward to present day, Dr. Lakiesha N. Williams is an associate professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Mississippi State University. She was the first African-American to get a graduate degree in biological engineering from Louisiana State University , the first African-American to earn a doctorate in biomedical engineering from Mississippi State University, and the first female faculty member in her current department.
Williams also contributes to several outreach programs geared to female engineers in the Mississippi State area and is one of the co-advisors to the Society of Women Engineers at MSU.
Her research focuses on the biomechanics of traumatic brain and leg injuries and how tissues and organs are damaged while developing measures to protect tissues and organs. She and her team then use that data to create safety gear for soldiers and athletes to help them prevent those types of injuries in the future.
Williams credits the preparation that she received at St. Mary’s Academy as a contributing factor to her success as an engineer.
The faculty at SMA preached excellence to us in a loving way and many of them would not accept anything less than our best, said Williams adding that she spent countless late nights awake triple checking her Calculus homework. I believe our teachers were showing us that in real life we will not always get do-overs or partial credit. SMA taught me to never slack on my achievements and when I commit to anything to dive in and go for the gold!
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
DUE TO BAD WEATHER, DINNER AT SUNSET HAS BEEN POSTPONED. YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED ONCE A NEW DATE IS CONFIRMED
St. Mary’s Academy will host its Dinner at Sunset, in conjunction with the school’s Weeks of Welcome, on Friday, September 1, 2017 from 6:00 to 9:00pm. The picnic-style event will take place on the grounds of the school’s campus located at 6905 Chef Menteur Blvd and will feature culinary delights sure to satisfy any foodie’s palate. Three gourmet food trucks will be participating including: Grilling Shilling, Diva Dawg and Kenny’s Cajun & Creole Food Truck . Additionally, the event will feature train and carousel rides, music and a free movie showing.
Admission to the event is free and is open to all SMA students and their families, faculty, staff and alumnae of the school. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, tables and blankets. Food truck menu items will be sold with costs ranging from $2 to $18. Menu items include fish, shrimp and oyster platters/po’boy; wing basket, gourmet burgers, chicken burgers, salmon burgers, chicken on a stick, crawfish etouffee fries, Crown apple pie bread pudding, grilled BBQ ribs, pulled pork, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, corn on a cob, collard greens and gourmet hot dogs,(No outside food and drink will be allowed on campus)
St. Mary’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 WOW, 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 7 with a Family Bash from 6:00PM-8:00PM at Fulton Alley, New Orleans’ 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 school’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 Luau for middle/high students 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.
WOW is a collaborative, introductory effort to welcome, educate and transition our students to life at St. Mary’s Academy, 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. Our ultimate goal is to equip all of our students with the necessary resources to navigate the school year with ease and academic success.Read More
Sixty seniors from St. Mary’s Academy received diplomas from Sister of the Holy Family Clare of Assisi Pierre, president, St. Mary’s Academy, and Sister Jennie Jones, principal, in ceremonies marking the 132nd graduation of St. Mary’s Academy May 18 at Dillard University’s Lawless Chapel.
Rev. Charles Andrus, SSJ, 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. Mary’s Academy, she has maintained both President’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 Halle’ McKey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sean McKey, Sr. of New Orleans. McKey, A TOPS scholar, consistently maintained Principal’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 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.
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, has loved art for as long as she can remember. Upon enrolling at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), she was ecstatic to receive professional art instruction and decided to utilize the opportunity to hone her skills visually and conceptually. 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 Inner Strength through Tribulations and Genocide of Peaceful Innocents are both members of this series. Barriane 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. Mary’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 Bachelor’s of Science Degree from the University of New Orleans in General Studies ‘ 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. The Pharmacy Manager recognized her potential and work ethic and encouraged her to train for a Pharmacy Technician position. 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. Fortunately, she was able to continue working as a Pharmacy Technician at one of the Baton Rouge Walmart stores. In 2006, knowing that she was not content to remain a Technician for the rest her career, Christal re-applied to Xavier University’s College of Pharmacy. 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. While still working as a Pharmacy Tech, Christal completed the appropriate study, reapplied for entrance into Xavier University’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 University’s College of Pharmacy with a Doctorate of Pharmacy Degree in May 2013. She sat for her licensure in July 2013 and was triple-state certified (Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) by August of that same year. Christal began working as a Walmart rotational Pharmacist, traveling to different stores in the New Orleans area. In January 2014, she accepted a position as a Staff Pharmacist for Walmart in Kenner. In November 2014, she moved to Slidell and was instrumental in opening a Walmart Neighborhood Pharmacy and promoted to Pharmacy Manager in October 2015.
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. 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.
St. Mary’s Academy proudly announces the kickoff of its “150th Anniversary Walk of Fame Campaign.” All alumnae of St. Mary’s Academy are invited to show their school spirit and acknowledge their achievements by sponsoring a pole banner. The banners will be prominently and proudly displayed along the drive/walkway leading to St. Mary’s Academy starting April 15, 2017. The cost for a single-sided banner is $500 and includes a high resolution photo of the alum, her occupation or company name and year of graduation from St. Mary’s Academy. There are a limited number of poles available and are on a first come basis. All orders and monies must be received no later than February 28, 2017. To download and order form, click the link: sma-pole-banner-orderform*Note St. Mary’s Academy reserves the right to refuse payment, pictures and/or sponsorship from any individual that does not support the mission and philosophy of the Academy.Read More
On December 2, 1867, St. Mary’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. Mary’s Academy is celebrating its sesquicentennial by hosting a number of events that commemorate the school’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. Mary’s Academy 150th Anniversary Mass
Mother House 1:00 PM
March 11, 2017
St. Mary’s Academy Anniversary Reception
March 18, 2017
SMA Alumnae Association Crawfish Boil and Scholarship Fundraiser
Maria Hall 4:00 PM ‘ 7:00 PM
March 24-26, 2017
St. Mary’s Academy Fair – A Family Affair
April 28, 2017
St. Mary’s Academy Debutante Ball
Pontchartrain Center 8:00 PM
May 2, 2017
Give NOLA Day Scholarship Fundraiser
May 17, 2017
St. Mary’s Academy Baccalaureate Mass
Austin Gymnasium 5:00 PM
May 18, 2017
St. Mary’s Academy Commencement and Legacy Walk
Dillard University – Lawless Memorial Chapel ‘ 4:00 PM
May 28, 2017
Gospel Concert and Scholarship Fundraiser
St. Raymond & St. Leo The Great Catholic Church ‘ 4:00 PM
September 2017 (TBA)
Women and Girls Who Empower – Speaker Series
October 24, 2017
St. Mary’s Academy Open House 7:00 PM
November 2-5, 2017
St. Mary’s Academy Homecoming & Reunion Week
November 2, 2017
Day of Service
November 3, 2017
St. Mary’s Academy Homecoming Parade 10:00 AM
November 3, 2017
Blue and Gold Day Celebration 1:00 PM
November 3, 2017
Alumnae Paint N’ Toast 7:00 PM
November 4, 2017
Alumnae Blue & Gold Queen’s Party 8:00 PM
November 4, 2017
St. Mary’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 Big Hat Brunch
LACE the Grand Ball Room 12:00 Noon
November 20th ‘ 22nd
Sr. Mary Demetria Williams Basketball Tournament
December 2, 2017
150th Anniversary Closing Mass
St. Louis Cathedral
150th Anniversary Gala – Exhibition and Poster Unveiling
Messina’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 David’s classes. A social studies/speech educator at St. Mary’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 Children’s Shelter.
People tend to forget that feminine hygiene products are expensive and there are many women who cannot afford them, said David adding that places such as homeless shelters and food pantries often run low on these. My students are hoping to change that this Christmas season.
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, David’s fifth graders’ 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. Mary’s Academy in 1999. After high school, she enrolled at Louisiana State University and was very active on campus and served as a leader in several organizations including 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 in 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 program that helps students learn to be enterprising and resourceful in a business and technology. She currently resides in Mountain View, CA.
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 class of 1983 and a Mental 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.
Making the transition from middle to high school can be a little intimidating for some, but not for the 47 members of the SMA Class of 2020 who recently took part in Freshmen Initiation. Held on Friday, September 30th in Austin Gymnasium , the event featured the pairing of the each freshman with a senior big sister(s).
According to SMA Student Affairs director, Lisa Ross, Freshmen Initiation is a time-honored tradition of the academy that fosters friendship, support and sisterhood. “Freshmen Initiation continues to be one of the most anticipated events of the school year as it has been for decades,” said Ross. “It is our hope that the bonds that are formed between our students will be empowering and last a lifetime.”
This year’s theme was “Meant to Bee Sisters,” with the seniors leading the way as the “Queen Bees,” and the freshmen being the “Honey-Queen to Bees.” The day included games, dancing, crafts and dining provided by the Class of 2017.
The senior moderator is Ms. Dana Atkins and the freshmen moderator is Mrs. Latoyia Cains Evans.
On Saturday April 18th, St. Mary’s Academy will host its annual Mother and Daughter Tea for the members of the senior class and their moms. A time-honored tradition at the Academy, the tea is the prelude to the annual debutante Ball that will take place the following Friday April 24th at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.
This year’s tea will be held at the Windsor Court Hotel, renowned for its excellent service and attention to detail. Featured highlights of the event include the presentation of the Royal Court, Debutantes and their lovely moms. Former Debutante queens are asked to call Ms. Lisa Ross at 504-810-6546 for additional information.Read More