Camp Abbey Retreat Center in Covington provided the perfect setting for the Junior Class Retreat 2017 held September 12-13. Led by campus minister Remy Jones and the senior retreat team , the spirit-filled event centered on developing leadership and sisterhood. Also highlighting the event was the installation of new junior retreat team leaders. Newly installed leaders are Kaylor Hughes and Arletta Colar who joined current members Dominique Finch, Penny Ajala and Kaci Penn.
SMA students are provided with many opportunities for spiritual contemplation and development. Recently, the Class of 2018 took a brief respite from their academic studies to participate in the annual senior retreat. Held at the Lumen Christi Retreat Center in Schriever, LA., the thought-provoking event afforded students the opportunity to examine their lives and strengthen their bonds with each other.
“In spite of the fact that God wants the best for each of us, many people find that there is something that is holding them back from experiencing a fulfilling life,” said campus minister Remy Jones who organized the retreat. “Letting go of those obstacles while deepening our spiritual connection was the focus of this retreat.
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)
Thirty-nine eighth graders from St. Mary’s Academy received promotional certificates from Sister of the Holy Family Clare of Assisi Pierre, president, St. Mary’s Academy, and Pamela Rogers, assistant principal on May 22, 2017 at Austin Gymnasium.
Rev. Charles Andrus, SSJ, 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. Mary’s Academy, she has maintained both President’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 Regan Arceneaux, Laniya Bell, Diamond Blake, Alyssa Brown, Trinity Bullock, Mackenzie Carter, Kyreionna Clark, Quiana Clivens, Cach’e Collins, Salina Easterling, Dylan Ferguson, Tamia Goins, Casey Griggs, Jayla Hale, Aiyant’a Haley, Sidney Haynes, Kerrione Hunter, Ilyana Jackson, Nia Jackson, Trinity Jackson, Kinidy Johns, Nya LaCabe, Jailan Magee, Selena Mason, Kaiya’ 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, Shawndra’ Young, and Demi Youngblood.
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.
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, 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.
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.
St. Mary’s Academy presented its 15th annual Social Savvy Day on Friday, December 2, 2016 at Morton’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 were 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, 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.
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 to 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, I 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’s name on the 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. “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.”
Hello SMA Parents, Students, and Faculty,
St. Mary’s Academy has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (now AdvancED) since 1947. The school undergoes accreditation review every five years, with our next review scheduled for March 13-15, 2017.
In order to ensure continuous school improvement we must undergo careful, honest self-assessment. Your feedback will assist us with providing the best educational experience for our students.
- For SMA Parents: please click on the links below to complete the Surveys:
Parents Survey #1 link: https://eprovesurveys.advanc-ed.org/surveys/#/action/9490/13801
Parents Survey #2 link: https://eprovesurveys.advanc-ed.org/surveys/#/action/11665/13801
- For SMA Elementary School Students: please click on the links below to complete the Survey:
Elementary Students Survey link: https://eprovesurveys.advanc-ed.org/surveys/#/action/9421/13801
- For SMA Middle&High School Students: please click on the links below to complete the Surveys:
MS/HS Students Survey #1 link: https://eprovesurveys.advanc-ed.org/surveys/#/action/9413/13801
MS/HS Students Survey #2 link: https://eprovesurveys.advanc-ed.org/surveys/#/action/11665/13801
- For SMA Faculty : please click on the link below to complete the Surveys:
Faculty Survey #1 Link : https://eprovesurveys.advanc-ed.org/surveys/#/action/9258/13801
Faculty Survey #2 Link: https://eprovesurveys.advanc-ed.org/surveys/#/action/11665/13801
The survey session will close on Friday November 18, 2016.
Ms. Cheryl Ross Brown
AdvancED CoordinatorRead More
For as long as he can remember, Remy Jones has possessed a keen interest in the development of youth spirituality. Volunteering in various diocesan youth ministry programs, he has also served in several capacities including that of religion teacher and workshop presenter.
That spiritual journey has led Jones to embark on yet another chapter in his life, becoming the new campus minister at St. Mary’s Academy. With an emphasis on nurturing the faith life of the school, Jones hopes to bring a new energy and vision to the department.
I am pleased to be a part of the SMA family and look forward to building a faith community that responds to the spiritual needs of everyone, said Jones, adding that student-led initiatives will be a major priority. Students are being trained to accept leadership positions of service including that of Eucharistic ministers, retreat team facilitators and peer ministers.
The SMA Campus Ministry office offers a variety of prayer experiences, provides opportunities for students and faculty to celebrate the Sacraments, coordinates liturgical celebrations, organizes retreats and empowers work for justice and service.
Jones is a graduate of St. Augustine High School and Dillard University where he earned a B.S. in Accounting. He is presently pursuing a Masters in Pastoral Studies at Loyola University in New Orleans, LA.
The choice of a college or university can be a daunting task and is arguably one of the most important decisions a student will make regarding their future. Recognizing this fact, the counseling department of St. Mary’s Academy endeavors to give students a competitive edge by taking them on college tours.
Beginning in the freshmen year, students tour locally, including Dillard University and Xavier University while sophomores visit Tuskegee University, Huntingdon College and Alabama State University.
The junior experience is even more extensive with visits that include Spelman College, Clark-Atlanta, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, Fisk University, Bethune-Cookman University and the University of Central Florida.
By the time the senior year arrives, students have visited a myriad of colleges and universities however, the experience is enhanced with visits to Jackson State University, University of Southern Mississippi, Southern University
A& M, Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana Lafayette and Southeastern Louisiana University.
“There are several ways to evaluate a college, from brochures to videos however, nothing beats seeing a college campus for yourself,” said SMA assistant principal and senior academic advisor Pamela Rogers who coordinates the tours each year. “Our students have firsthand exposure to each campus setting, the college’s curriculum and overall advantages so they can make informed decisions.”
U.S. News and Princeton Review have noted that college tours and campus visits are “an absolute necessity” for college bound students adding it is very important that students visit a variety of college campuses in order to determine which type of higher education institution is better fitted (large or small, private or public, urban or rural, etc.) for them.
SMA academic advisor Tamiko Massey-Haynes concurs with that assessment and works tirelessly to encourage students to take full advantage of the program. “Our students have the opportunity to visit HBCU’s, Ivy League, public and private universities so they can determine what setting is right for them,” said Massey-Haynes who says that learning the admission requirements of the colleges is critical to student success. “Once students understand the requirements they are able to set academic and personal goals early in high school, which in turn increases their chances of being accepted to the institution of their choice.”
Senior Raiyon Hunter has been exploring her options and appreciates the opportunity to visit so many colleges. “Visiting the campuses has really opened my eyes and given me a chance to see where I will spend the next four years of my life,’ said Hunter. “I am truly grateful to SMA for giving us the chance to tour so many colleges and universities.”
Bethune-Cookman Concert Chorale students and the Office of Admissions recently visited SMA as part of their annual fall tour to Alabama and Louisiana. The purpose of the fall tour, according to organizers, is to bring the complete Bethune-Cookman University experience to high schools and churches. While at SMA, the chorale performed for the senior class and the members of the SMA chorus. Additionally, they presented scholarships to three SMA seniors to the university.
Raiyon Hunter, received a full tuition scholarship and Airelle Harris and Shania Tyler received partial scholarship offers.
B-CU has over 3,500 students, boasting 40 undergraduate and graduate programs. The institution is known for its important place in U.S. history because of its founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.
St. Mary’s Academy offers many opportunities for students to grow in their faith, including daily prayer, religion classes, monthly Masses, Sacrament of Reconciliation and retreats.
Recently, the sixty-one members of the Class of 2017 had their very own retreat in Bay St. Louis, MS at the Society of the Divine Word Retreat Center. Coordinated by SMA campus minister Mr. Remy Jones, the retreat afforded students an opportunity for renewal, reflection and reaffirmation of their faith.
St. Mary’s Academy Elementary and Male Academy students showed their appreciation to the New Orleans Police Department recently as part of Geaux Blue Day at SMA. Officers from the Seventh District visited the school, spoke with students and enjoyed a luncheon in their honor.