Forty-seven seniors from St. Mary’s Academy received diplomas from St. Mary’s Academy assistant principal Cheryl Ross Brown, in ceremonies marking the 134th graduation of St. Mary’s Academy on May 16 at Austin Gymnasium. Father Daniel H. Green, pastor of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church was the principal celebrant and homilist of the Baccalaureate Mass that preceded the graduation ceremonies.
St. Mary’s Academy alumna Dr. Rayanne L. House, a general Pediatrician at Daughters of Charity Health Centers and a newborn nursery attending physician at Touro Infirmary served as the commencement speaker.
The members of the Class of 2019 have been accepted to more than 62 colleges and universities around the country and earned more than $6.1 million in scholarships and awards.
Armani Travis, daughter of Nedra Bell and Eric Travis 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. Travis, a TOPS Scholar, earned the highest-average awards in science, English, social studies and physical education. She was a member of several extracurricular activities, including the National Honor Society, SMA Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, cheerleaders, Resurrection Singers, chorus, Mu Alpha Theta, SMA World Language Club, Science Club, SMA Ambassadors, Retreat Team, Pre-Alumnae, softball, archery and SMA Garden Club. She plans to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette majoring in mechanical engineering.
Salutatorians of the class were Dominique Hagans and DaJah Lawson.
Dominique Hagans is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Hagans of New Orleans. Hagans, a TOPS scholar, earned the highest average awards in physical education and art. She consistently maintained Principal’s Honor Roll and Renaissance Star status throughout her years at SMA. Additionally, Hagans was an active member of both the National and SMA Honor Societies, Mu Alpha Theta, video club, Resurrection Singers, chorus, SMA World Language Club, Science Club, Key Club, SMA Ambassadors, archery and SMA Garden Club. She will attend Fisk University majoring in Chemistry/Pre-Med.
DaJah Lawson is the daughter of Shawanda Jones of New Orleans. Throughout her years at St. Mary’s Academy she maintained both President’s Honor Roll and Renaissance Star status. Lawson, a TOPS Scholar, earned the highest average award in French. An Extraordinary Minister, she was actively involved in several extracurricular activities, including the National Honor Society, SMA Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, video club, Resurrection Singers, chorus, SMA World Language Club, Science Club, SMA Ambassadors, archery and SMA Garden Club. Lawson will attend Fisk University in Nashville, TN majoring in psychology/pre-med.
Earning the distinction of honor students were Daria Ball, Bria Sylvester, Arletta Colar, Harmony Bienemy, Kirsten Jones, Penni Ajala, Kaylor Hughes, Taylor Hughes, Serenity Jackson, Makayla Thibodeaux, Chidinma Emukah, Demi Bowens, Jemajha Wilson, Domonique Brown, Dominique Finch, DeShanaya Nelson, Jalana Butler and Alexis Cook.
Other graduates were Diamond Bartholomew, Keyell Bentley, Armour Brutus, Victoria Carrie, Ronaisha Cavalier, Tajanaya Charles, Raesia Deal, Danielle DeGree, Ronnesha Ewing, Kaylia Henry, Kayla Higgins, Tori Knight, Keirslynn Lawless, Rodnae Lee, Donya Marioneaux, Kaci Penn, Camryn Pittman, MeToki Randle, Jari Sherman, Dymen Slaughter, Layla Sterling, A’Lia Thomas, Calviana Thomas and Tionne Warren.Read More
St. Mary’s Academy will host its annual Spring Family Fair Friday March 29, through Sunday, March 31. The event will feature midway rides, games, concessions, food trucks and entertainment throughout the three-day event. Fair hours are Friday: 10:00 AM-2:00PM and 4:00PM-8:00PM; Saturday: 11:00AM-3:00PM and 4:00PM-8:00PM; and Sunday: 1:00PM-6:00PM. Armbands good for one session may be purchased onsite for $20.Read More
St. Mary’s Academy will commemorate Black History Month by recognizing the successes and accomplishments of twelve notable African American females. The Women of Distinction Awards will take place on Thursday, February 28, 1:15pm in the school’s gymnasium located at 6905 Chef Menteur Blvd.
“Women are often not given the true recognition they deserve as current day pioneers and trailblazers in our community,” said director of Student Affairs Lisa Ross who is coordinating the event. This tribute, held during Black History Month, pays homage to women for their unrelenting and inspirational persistence. We should always be reminded of their strengths, talents, and their determination to see others uplifted and enriched.”
The honorees are: Latoya Cantrell-Mayor of New Orleans; nationally acclaimed restaurateur, and author Leah Chase; Magistrate Judge Dana Douglas; OperaCréole founders Givonna Joseph & Aria Mason; biochemist Dr. Trivia Frazier; Tekrema Center for Art and Culture founder and director Greer Mendy; UNCF vice-president, Development Therese Badon; CPA, author Kemberley Washington; Louisiana Weekly publisher Renette Dejoie Hall; New Orleans Fashion Week founder Tracee Dundas; and high school fashion designer Amaya Johne`Cannon.
The program will also include student performances, honoree remarks and a fashion show segment featuring the designs of honoree Amaya Johne` Cannon.
A proud graduate of class of 2005, Davenport completed her studies at Southern University of Baton Rouge where she received her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Family and Consumer Science, with a specialty in Child Development.
Currently an Enrollment Service Specialist for Baton Rouge Community College, Davenport is also currently in school working on a Masters of Art in Organizational Leadership.
According to Davenport, she knew at a young age that she had a calling on her life. “I was saved at the age of 8 and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the age 15,” said Davenport. “God put the desire in my heart to help heal people both physically and spiritually.”
Highly regarded as a spiritual guide, Davenport also mentors young ladies in the greater Baton Rouge area. She serves on several youth organizational boards, helping to implement new ideas and programmatic functions in the southern region. Additionally, Davenport is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
In 2014, Davenport was diagnosed with a chronic illness, Lupus, and stage 3 Marginal Zone Lymphoma (MZL) cancer. She has since endured years of chemotherapy. The MZL cancer went into remission only for a year before it came back again in February 2016. With all of God’s grace, she fought against stage 3 cancer …. not once but twice!
A fighter in every sense of the word, Davenport lives by the saying “Never look like what you’re going through! In spite of it all, God is yet good and able!”
She is married to Conrad Davenport and they are the proud parents of baby girl, Carsyn Dear Davenport.Read More
St. Mary’s Academy will host its annual Career Day on Friday, January 26, 2018. The day will be an exciting opportunity for students to gain insight and perspectives into a variety of careers while discovering the pathways to success.
Included in the day will be a keynote address, interactive breakout sessions and workshops. Additionally, representatives will be on hand to disseminate information on summer programs and internships.
“The objective of Career Day is to help our students explore numerous career opportunities and give them the tools to make informed choices about their future,” said SMA academic advisor Tamiko Massey-Haynes who believes that the event also connects the academic program with the essential skills required for various professions. “Getting the knowledge first-hand is like getting a study guide before the test. Nothing beats proper preparation.”Read More
Michelle Ellis is the Founder & President of The YOU Awards International, co-owner of Ellis Modeling & Talent Agency and a Multimedia Account Executive for the NBC Affiliate in Atlanta, GA. She has had a very successful career in the media industry working for the ABC Affiliate in New Orleans, LA, the CBS Affiliate in New Orleans, LA and Cox Communications in New Orleans, LA.
Over the years Michelle has received several awards in sales & marketing for her hard work and continues to strive to be the best in everything she does. More recently Michelle has found success with the non-profit organization she started called The YOU Awards International by recognizing the outstanding achievements of young people in the community. Although she recognizes young people for their accomplishments she has also garnered recognition for the outstanding job she has done as a leader of this amazing organization. In addition to this, Michelle has been a long standing volunteer with The Trumpet Awards Foundation which is an international awards show known around the world. Even though Michelle has had a lot of success in her career, she acknowledges that her biggest success comes in the form of family as a wife and mother of her two daughters.
If there is one thing to remember about Michelle, it’s that she lives by the saying that she heard a while back from Pastor T.D. Jakes which is “Live your life without limits and let history explain how you did it.” She is one lady to follow in the future!Read More
SMA congratulates our Million Dollar Scholars Raiyon Hunter and Diara Jackson. Both of these dynamic young women earned over $1million each in scholarship offers to over 23 different colleges and universities. Raiyon has chosen to attend Spelman College and Diara will attend Jackson State University.
Raiyon Hunter Diara Jackson
Sharing their passion for STEM, employees of the local Nielsen company recently visited St. Mary’s Academy Elementary classes. In honor of National Education Week, the Nielsen employees led an educational outreach program at SMA to heighten awareness for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
“No matter what your educational path is, STEM applications will be utilized,” said Nielsen field representative Brad Bradford, who helped to coordinate the grassroots initiative at SMA. “What better way to encourage student participation than by exposing them at an early age to real-life situations from employers who have a passion and experience within STEM fields?
According to Bradford, Nielsen is a global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen employees plan to form collaborations with the school to engage students and help them see connections between their
St. Mary’s Academy elementary opened its doors to parents, grandparents and other family members for a holiday lunch in advance of Thanksgiving. A time to gather and fellowship together, the luncheon included a feast of turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans and mandarin oranges.
According to SMA elementary coordinator Sr. Angela Smith, SSF, the much-anticipated luncheon was well attended and appreciated by the parents, students and teachers. “Our Thanksgiving luncheon is a great community builder and the children love to have their family join them on campus,” said Sr. Angela.
Special thanks were extended to Deidra and Linda Hence, mother and grandmother of 2nd grader Deleah Mathis for volunteering to decorate the cafeteria tables and chairs.
The SMA Alumnae Association will host its annual Alumnae Homecoming festivities November 4-6. Featured events include Alumnae Day at SMA, a Toast N’ Paint Party, Blue and Gold Ball, Homecoming Mass and Big Hat Brunch. Tickets for events can be purchased via the Alumnae Office at SMA or online.
Homecoming 2016 honors the classes of 1936, 1941, 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011.
Below is the schedule of events:
Friday, November 4, 2016 ‘ Alumnae Day at SMA 10am: Come out to SMA on this day to meet, mix and mingle. There will be tours of the campus, get a chance to purchase some SMA Paraphernalia, and chat with the students.
Friday, November 4, 2016 ‘ Toast N’ Paint 7pm-9pm: Find the inner artist in you while toasting to a good weekend with your Maryite Sisters. Event will be held in Maria Hall. Tickets must be purchased in advance, before October 21, 2016.
Saturday, November 5, 2016 ‘ Blue & Gold Ball 8pm-1am: Enjoy an evening of elegance and royalty as we crown our Homecoming Blue & Gold Ball Queen. After 5 or Evening Attire / Black Tie Optional
Sunday, November 6, 2016 ‘ Alumnae Homecoming Mass 9am: Join us for a Gospel Mass of praise and thanksgiving at St. Peter Claver Church. All Alumnae, Family and Friends are invited to attend.
Sunday, November 6, 2016 ‘ Big Hat Brunch 12 Noon: Meet and Greet our Blue & Gold Ball Queen and the new Honor Recipient of the Prestigious Henriette Delille Medal.Read More
Congratulations to St. Mary’s Academy mental health counselor Cathy Green-Miner on her recent nomination for the Athena Award. Nominees for the 2016 Athena Leadership Award were recognized during a reception hosted Aug. 19 by former recipients of the leadership award. Athena nominees were nominated for demonstrating excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession; providing valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community; and actively assisting women in achieving their full leadership potential.
Miner and the other nominees will be recognized on October 12 at the East St. Tammany luncheon at the Northshore Harbor Center. The winner of the award will be announced at that time.
Additional nominees for the 2016 award are Stephanie Berault, executive director of the Louisiana chapter of the HeartGift Foundation; marketer Kim Bergeron; Brenda Bertus, CEO of the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation; educator Ellen Ellinwood Lamarque; and banker Kelly Rodriguez.
As the final days of summer vacation came to a close, students, parents, teachers and alumnae gathered at Fulton Alley for SMA’s 1st annual Family Bash. Part of a series of events to engage and excite new and returning students, the Family Bash was a lucky strike that included unlimited bowling, games and lots of food, and entertainment for everyone.
“Our Family Bash exceeded our expectations and was the perfect vehicle to officially kick off our Weeks of Welcome festivities,” said director of Student Affairs Lisa Ross, adding that it was great to see so many families, teachers and students having fun together. “Events such as this solidify our bond and increase the spirit of collaboration and community at our school.”
At the recent Louisiana Counseling Association (LCA) Conference in Baton Rouge, La, members of the SMA Counseling Department won the coveted LCA Executive Board’s “Best of Show” award for their presentation: “I’m so Fancy: Counseling African American Girls”.
Congratulations to Rashunda Miller-Reed, LPC, LMFT, Cathy Green-Miner, LPC-S, NCC, Maya Galathe, and Ciera Trufant, PLPC for a job well done!
Mrs. Miller- Reed – Middle School Mental Health Provider
Mrs. Green-Miner – High School Mental Health Provider
Maya Galathe – UNO Graduate Student and SMA Counseling Intern and Maryite 2008
Ciera Trufant, PLPC – Former SMA Counseling Intern
St. Mary’s Academy students shared their love and appreciation for the New Orleans Police Department by showering 7th district officers with a bevy of sweet treats including fresh cakes, cookies, candy and confectionery. The event was coordinated by Nancy Lytle of the Lakeview Civic Improvement Association and Gulf Coast Bank after Hurricane Katrina in appreciation for their 3rd district officers during the holiday season. It expanded in 2011 to all of the Districts as a special gift of love and appreciation from students across the New Orleans area.