St. Mary’s Academy will host its annual Spring Family Fair Friday March 23, through Sunday, March 25. The event will feature midway rides, games, concessions, food 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. The entrance fee is $5.00 with no admittance to the fairgrounds after dark. Armbands good for one session may be purchased onsite for $20.Read More
Some of the school’s brightest luminaries were honored during the annual Red Carpet Awards. Held on Tuesday, March 21 in Austin Gymnasium, the awards ceremony featured the entrance of SMA’s Renaissance Stars via a red carpet and the presentation of numerous trophies and gift cards.
Students at St. Mary’s Academy will see Marvel’s first predominately black superhero film thanks to the generosity of actor, singer and songwriter Jussie Smollett. The star of the American drama series Empire offered to provide a free screening of the movie for 425 SMA students including bus transportation.
The screening of the movie featuring actors Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, and Danai Gurira will take place on Friday, March 16th at AMC Elmwood Theaters.
“The generosity that Mr. Smollett has shown speaks volumes about who he is as a person,” said St. Mary’s Academy president Sr. Clare of Assisi Pierre. “We are exceedingly grateful for his kindness and his name will be forever etched in the annuals of our school.”
A wide range of science concepts may be learned through cooking, but the logistics can make it difficult to cook in a classroom. Not a problem for kindergarten teacher Theresa Barnhizer who recently taught her preschoolers how to make ice cream using milk, sugar, ice and zip lock bags.
According to experts, making ice cream with preschoolers teaches about how properties of matter can change without having to deal with the potential dangers associated with cooking with a group of children. While an ice cream maker can be an effective tool, making individual portions in a bag is both fun and educational.
Photos courtesy of NOLA.com and the Advocate.com
For the first time since 2001, St. Mary’s Academy is headed to the Final Four. The Cougars cinched a seat in the Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Girls Marsh Madness with a stunning victory over reigning Division III state championship Northlake Christian. Now they are just two wins away from hanging another state championship banner in the gym beside the coveted championship won in 1998.
St. Mary’s Academy plays Riverside in Wednesday’s semifinal in Alexandria. A win there and they would advance to the championship game to play either St. Thomas Aquinas or rival St. Katharine Drexel Prep in what would most certainly be an “all-New Orleans showdown.”
Profiles in Black
Every morning during announcements, a student will profile a significant event or icon in
Black History Month Quiz Bowl
Thursday, February 22, 2018
In honor of Black History Month we will be hosting a Black History Quiz Bowl. Each grade level is asked to form a team of four people to represent them. Study guides for all students and teachers are available on RenWeb. The quiz bowl will take place in the gym on Thursday, February 22 at 1:30PM. The following teams will face off against each other:
5th grade and 6th
7th and 8th
9th and 10th
11th and 12th
Homeroom Decorating Contest
Judging on Thursday, February 22, 2018
Every middle and high school homeroom is asked to decorate their classroom by depicting the theme, “Remembering Our Heritage While Shaping Our Future.” Classroom judging will take place on Thursday, February 22nd at 3:30PM. Winning classes will be notified on Friday, February 23rd during the Black History Talent Showcase.
Prizes: Classes placing first, second and third will receive a trophy. The first place winners will also receive a pizza party and the homeroom teacher will receive a $50 gift card.
- Do Not use any supplies/materials that will damage school property. Examples include, but are not limited to super glue, hot glue, duct tape, electrical tape, and markings directly on the doors or walls.
- Students should arrange a time with the teacher as to the best times to decorate the classroom
- All decorations must be completed by 3:00PM on February 22nd.
Classes will be judged on Originality, Neatness, Creativity and Theme Adherence.
My Black is Beautiful Day
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
On Tuesday, February 20 is proclaimed My Black is Beautiful Day. On this day students may wear the school’s My Black is Beautiful Shirt that is available for $10. Every homeroom teacher will receive an envelope and order form for their class. All orders must be placed no later than Friday morning, February 9, 2018.
Black History Talent Showcase
Friday, February 23, 2018
Friday, February 23 is African American Heritage Celebration. Students who pay $1 may dress in African inspired outfits and we will have an extended lunch 11:30-1:15 PM. We will have face painting, vendors and food trucks. At 1:30PM there will be a Talent Showcase in the gymnasium.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
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.
Beautiful Lawson, the New Orleans City Queen for the National All-American Miss Teen Pageant recently represented the Big Easy in Anaheim, Calif. by competing in the Teen division of the nationwide pageant.
Lawson is a 17-year-old graduating senior at St. Mary’s Academy. Her first pageant, the National American Miss Louisiana, which took place in June, qualified her to advance to the National All-American Miss Teen pageant where she was the voice and face of New Orleans.
While Lawson did not clinch a national title in the pageant, she represented her city well and is appreciative for the opportunity. “Being able to represent the city where my actual heart is, was pretty cool,” Lawson said adding that her participation was a great stepping stone to her future endeavor of becoming an actress.
Inspired by former Disney Channel star, China Anne McClain and Golden Globe award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson, Lawson said she hopes to be as influential as those two strong Black women.Read More
SMA seniors recently participated in a full day of etiquette and protocol workshops on Friday, December 8th at Morton’s the Steakhouse located at 365 Canal St Suite 220, New Orleans, LA. Aptly called, Social Savvy Day, the workshops were facilitated by LaKesha Mosley, founder/director of the Etiquette Training Center of Louisiana (ETC).
Seminars offered included “Dressing for Success,” “Business Communication,” “Fine Dining” and Poise and Presentation.” Participants also enjoyed a continental breakfast and four-course luncheon at the restaurant.
Recognized for her elegance, style, and classy confidence, LaKesha “Elle” 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 local affiliate stations KTAL NBC-Studio6 and FOX 33-Morning Showcase. She is a native of Shreveport, LA
The Department of Defense has partnered with St. Mary’s Academy to offer a dynamic program aimed at cultivating the next generation of engineers and scientists.
STARBASE 2.0 is a three year creative immersion into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts through hands-on science and engineering activities and projects. The 2.0 curriculum is a continuation of the original STARBASE program, which provides fifth grade students with an exciting 25-hour hands-on, STEM course.
Twenty-five Male Academy students in grades six and seven are currently taking part in the program this semester. The curriculum covers bridge building, Bristol Bot robots and robotics.
According to Lisa Calabresi, director of the local STARBASE academy, STARBASE 2.0 combines STEM activities with a relationship-rich, school-based environment that provides the missing link for youth making the transition from elementary to middle school.
“These type of hands-on activities really excite and challenge students,” Calabresi said. “It really opens doors for students who don’t believe it is possible for them to make achievements in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math.”
STARBASE Jackson Barracks 2.0 Program has been operating since 2015. This is the first year that they have partnered with St. Mary Academy. In January, the program will be extended to St. Mary’s Academy middle school girls.
Raising awareness in the sciences was the focus of a recent workshop hosted by Xavier University’s Physics Department. SMA students who have taken physics within the last three years spent a full-day on Xavier’s campus learning the science behind everyday items such as cellular devices and computers. They also toured the department, had lunch and built their own roller coasters from items that were present in the classroom.
According to Sr. Judith Therese Barial who heads the Science department at St. Mary’s Academy, the workshop demonstrated to the students the relevancy of Math to their daily lives, the world around them and their future careers. “Math and Science teachers strive to provide a real-world context for the skills that they teach as well as the rationale behind the concept they are teaching,” said Sr. Judith. “This workshop took them out of the realm of the classroom and gave them practical, real-world applications of the sciences.”
On Friday, October 6, 2017, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family continued their 175th anniversary celebration with a Youth Mass, 10:00AM at
St. Mary’s Academy. 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.
“The Sisters of the Holy Family have a rich legacy of caring and sharing with and for the people of God,” said SMA president and alumna Sr. Clare of Assisi Pierre, SSF who served for 13 years in Belize. “This Mass, dedicated to our youth, is a great way to acknowledge and celebrate the commitment that the Sisters made 175 years ago.”
Those sentiments were echoed by St. Mary’s Academy principal Sr. Jennie Jones, SSF, a 1970 alumna of the Academy.
“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,” said Sr. Jennie Jones, SSF. “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.”
You may download a copy of the Youth Mass Program by clicking the link below;
St. Mary’s Academy will host its annual Debutante Ball on Friday,
April 27, 2018, 8PM at the Pontchartrain Center. At that time, the 39 members of the senior class will be formally presented to society.
Highlighting the ball will be the presentation of the queen and her Royal Court. In order to secure a place in the court, there are guidelines that must be met. Contestants must raise a minimum of $1000 to secure a place in the court. The contestant raising the most money will be crowned queen. If a contestant plans to sell food items on campus, they must first sign a permission form and place a non-refundable deposit of $300. To obtain a copy of the permission form, please click the link below:
Seven SMA students have been selected to participate in the Teen Ambassadors Against Crime program sponsored by Crimestoppers of New Orleans. They are Demi Bowens, Caitlyn Banks, Tori Knight, Donya Marioneaux, Rodnae’ Lee, Kaci Penn and Dymen Slaughter.
The TAAC program teaches youth how to examine violence and law-related issues in the context of their schools and communities and how to apply what they learn to real-life circumstances. Students learn about the different types of crime, the costs and consequences of crime, conflict management strategies, how crime affects communities, and what community prevention programs and services are available to them. The program also increases social responsibility in teens, educates them about the law, reduces their potential for victimization, and engages them in making their homes, schools, and communities safer.
Teen Ambassadors selected for 2017-2018 will have the opportunity to participate in:
• ROPES Leadership Course
• Youth Peace Congress featuring professional speakers and community leaders.
• Engaging with Community Resources: Listen to and interact with guest speakers who are prominent members of the local crime prevention and criminal justice community
• Mock Trial
• Tour of Orleans Parish Prison and conversation with rehabilitated parolees.
• Networking for student internships and the opportunity to compete for a possible scholarship.
• Service learning projects where teens will apply what they have learned to help inform and inspire their peers to be involved in crime prevention
Congratulations to the following middle school students who have earned the title of Student of the Month for September. These outstanding students exemplify great moral character, good citizenship and are hard workers academically.
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!”
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.
St. Mary’s Academy Elementary joined the City of New Orleans in celebrating Geaux Blue Day. September 13th was declared Geaux Blue Day by the NO City Council to demonstrate our appreciation for the New Orleans Police officers and their families.
At SMA, elementary students wore blue and gave officers words of support. They also supplied lunch for all Seventh District Officers.
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