SMA Commencement 2017
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.