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Freshmen, Seniors Enjoy Candlelight Ceremony

St. Joseph’s Academy seniors, freshmen and their families gathered in the Activity Center on September 20 to celebrate the traditional Candlelight Ceremony. Part of SJA’s Big Sis/Little Sis program, the evening ceremony symbolizes the passing of Academy traditions from senior big sisters to their freshmen little sisters.
 


Principal Stacia Andricain welcomed the large gathering, calling the ceremony one of the Academy’s most treasured traditions. “The Candlelight Ceremony enables us to celebrate the relationship between the freshman and senior classes,” Andricain said. “As freshmen little sisters become new members of the SJA community, senior big sisters are given the responsibility of serving as leaders and mentors. This ceremony marks the beginning of new-found relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Senior Lily Abadie said the ceremony serves to remind members of the Academy community of their loyalty to the values of sanctity, joy and action. “As the Academy celebrates the 150th anniversary of our founding in 1868 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, we know we are part of a rich and storied history,” she said. “We have found mention of the Big Sis/Lil Sis program dating back to 1910. We are humbled and excited to be part of a tradition that stretches back more than a century.”

SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen said the ceremony enables the senior class to join the SJA tradition of passing “the light” to the Academy freshman class. She commended the freshmen for quickly embracing SJA’s traditions and reminded the seniors of their important responsibility to help their little sisters grow in the mission of SJA: faith development, academic excellence and personal growth. “We celebrate the ideals which all Academy students and alumnae are called to uphold, and we are mindful of the traditions we all hold so dear,” she said. 

Ella Barhorst, senior class president, gave the keynote address. She reflected on the importance of the classes coming together to pass on the traditions and spirit of SJA. “We have been blessed with the opportunity to grow in our faith and our knowledge at a four-time National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence,” she said. “Through God’s love and guidance, we have felt the sanctity of hope and power of prayer. We have shared in moments of joy, both great and small. Let us not take for granted the simple pleasures in our lives. These are the moments that get us through a school day or simply put a smile on our faces.”

Senior Aliya Trapp led the gathering in prayer. Senior Sydney Clebert reflected on sanctity and the integral role it plays in the lives of Academy students.

Senior Nikki Manuel read from the book of Matthew, and senior Leanne Livingston read from the gospel according to John. Seniors Tori Collier and Lacy Wendell led the prayers of the faithful, and senior Corrine Hutchinson offered the closing prayer. 

Seniors Catherine Contini and Kate Michel explained the symbolism of the lighting of the candles and the passing of the flame. Senior Addison Bruce led her classmates in the senior pledge then directed them to share their light with their freshmen little sisters. Freshman Claire Pizzalato led the freshman pledge. 

The evening ended with the singing of the Alma Mater, led by senior Alexandra Thibodeaux. 

Aimee Cronan directed the sophomore and junior members of the SJA Liturgy Choir. Martha O’Hara served as pianist.

Coordinating the evening’s activities were Erika Angarita, Aimee Cronan, Mary Beth Elfert, Kate Hutcheson, Angelle Terrell and Jackie Zeller.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

SJA Supports St. Jude Walk/Run

The St. Joseph’s Academy community came together in support of the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer. One of the largest groups in this year’s event, the SJA team raised $13,159 to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The walk/run was held September 15 at A.Z. Young Park in downtown Baton Rouge.
 

Families never receive a bill from St. Jude, which operates strictly on donations. Since Danny Thomas founded the hospital in 1962, its efforts have helped increase the overall survival rate for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent to 80 percent. 

Two hundred seventy-one Team SJA members registered to walk/run, made a donation or purchased a special t-shirt or St. Jude pin. Team efforts were dedicated to former and current students who have been treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, including sophomores Kennan Mashon and Katherine Scully.

SJA Principal Stacia Andricain visited the hospital during a summer trip to Memphis. She was so impressed that when approached about forming a team for this year’s walk/run, she jumped at the chance. “I knew that the sisterhood of SJA would stand with St. Jude and our current students, Kennan and Katherine, to help in the fight against this terrible disease,” she said. “I am so appreciative of the students, parents and faculty members who came together in support of this amazing organization. Once again, I am in awe of our community and the sisterhood that holds it together.”  

Mashon and Scully participated in a passing-of-the-torch ritual during the walk/run. Last year, Mashon was passed the torch by St. Jude patient Anna James, who was seven years cancer free at the time. Mashon had recently learned she was officially in remission. This year, Mashon chose to pass the torch to Scully, who was nearing the end of her chemotherapy treatments. “We called the torch the Victory Torch to celebrate not my and Katherine’s victory over cancer,” Mashon said. “Next year, Katherine will get the chance to pass the torch to another St. Jude patient.”

Mashon said her experience at St. Jude was unparalleled. “Without St. Jude, I have no idea how I would’ve handled my leukemia treatment,” she said. “My favorite quote of all time is by Danny Thomas, the founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He said, ‘No child should die in the dawn of life.’ You can tell that this statement is held in high importance by every staff member at St. Jude.” 

Scully said the support of the SJA community at the walk/run was overwhelming. “I had never experienced anything like it, seeing that many people coming out to support me and this amazing place,” she said. “I had no idea that everything at St. Jude is free because I never thought about things like that before. St. Jude does a really good job of making sure you and your family are comfortable. There are so many amazing people at St. Jude, and everyone’s story is different. My doctors were so supportive.”

Mashon said the support of her SJA family was heartwarming. “St. Jude is such an important charity and place to me,” she said. “St. Jude saved my life, and although I know I will never fully be able to repay them for all they’ve done for me, fundraising events such as the race are just one way I can give back to St. Jude to thank them. The amount of support SJA gave to St. Jude at the race was truly overwhelming, and I am extremely thankful for everyone who attended and/or donated.”
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of SJA team members and friends
 

Swim Team Finishes Second in Mobile

The St. Joseph’s Academy swim team finished second in the 8th Annual Gulf Coast Classic, held September 14 and 15 in Mobile, Alabama. The prestigious meet featured 18 of the top teams from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The swimmers scored 323 points. 
 

“I’m really happy with how the meet went,” coach Rebecca Gilbert said. “It was a long weekend of swimming against some very tough competition. I think we accomplished what we came here to do: bond as a team, have fun and swim some fast races.”

Scoring points towards the team’s total were the following: 

200-Yard Medley Relay: Kirby Black, Isabel Webre, Amanda Andrews and Claire Bass, 4th place

200-Yard Freestyle: CeCe Werth, 6th place; Kirby Black, 7th place; Julia Brinson, 10th place; Victoria Godso, 16th place 

200-Yard Individual Medley: Anna Webre, 7th place; Isabel Webre, 8th place; Gabrielle Joffrion, 10th place; Camden Hull, 13th place

50-Yard Freestyle: Claire Bass, 5th place

100-Yard Butterfly: Amanda Andrews, 9th place; Isabel Webre, 13th place; Anna Webre, 14th place; Cameron Accardo, 16th place

100-Yard Freestyle: Claire Bass, 4th place; Amanda Andrews, 5th place

500-Yard Freestyle: CeCe Werth, 3rd place; Julia Brinson, 9th place

200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Julia Brinson, Victoria Godso, Cameron Accardo and Anna Webre, 4th place

100-Yard Backstroke: Kirby Black, 7th place; Cameron Accardo, 16th place

100-Yard Breaststroke: Gabrielle Joffrion, 10th place

400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Julia Brinson, CeCe Werth, Anna Webre and Amanda Andrews, 3rd place 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Cross Country Wins Third Meet

The St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team won for the third time in as many starts, capturing the Christian Brothers Invitational on September 15. The meet, hosted by St. Paul’s School at Money Hill Plantation, featured 20 complete teams and 177 finishers.

SJA scored 21 points followed by Mandeville (76) and Dominican (139). 
 
 

SJA’s top seven varsity finishers were senior Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 19:07; junior Isabelle Brown, 2nd place, 19:12; sophomore Sophie Martin, 4th place, 19:16; freshman Maddie Kate Gardiner, 6th place, 19:29 (personal record); sophomore Anna Camille Eagleton, 10th place, 19:41; junior Virginia Dirks, 11th place, 19:46; and sophomore Kate Ritchie, 14th place, 20:11.

In the three-mile JV race, the Redstickers finished first out of six complete teams and 84 finishers. SJA scored 15 points followed by Mt. Carmel (103) and St. Michael (104). Top JV finishers were freshman Elise Jones, 1st place, 20:36 (personal record); freshman Lilly Leonard, 2nd place, 20:50; senior Angelle Martin, 3rd place, 20:58 (season best); sophomore Lydia Poche, 4th place, 21:14; junior Mary Claire Saia, 6th place, 21:43; senior Olivia Devall, 7th place, 22:05; and freshman Ava Lemoine, 8th place, 22:14. 

“This was a truly dominating performance by our team,” said head coach Mark LaHaye. “In the varsity race, we finished 1-2-4-6-10-11-14, and in the JV race, we finished 1-2-3-4-6-7-8, plus we had the 9 through 14 finishers. If you add them up, in the varsity race, we had seven of the top 15 finishers, and in the JV race, we had 13 of the top 15 finishers. That’s strong.”

Hendry, who finished first in last weekend’s Episcopal Round Table Run, said the temperatures made the race a challenge. “But I think we all performed well anyway,” she said. “This was a different course and was a little bit slower than usual, but we placed well in both races. We all ran smart races and were well prepared.”

Gardiner said the team worked together to secure victories. “I thought we did a better job of staying together as a pack and really pushing each other,” she said. “It was a great run for both varsity and JV.” 

Next up for the runners is a trip to Pensacola on September 22 for the Gulf Coast Cross Country Stampede hosted by West Florida High School. The meet will be held at the Escambia Equestrian Center.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
Photos courtesy of Tina LaHaye

Swimmers Win First Meet

The seven-time defending state champion St. Joseph’s Academy swim team won the first Capital City Swim League meet of the 2018 season, scoring 474.5 points against a field that included 10 teams. The meet was held September 8 at Crawfish Aquatics. 
 
 
 

Rounding out the top five were Baton Rouge Magnet High (369.5), Episcopal High (245), Zachary High (194) and Parkview Baptist (145).

Scoring points towards the team’s total were the following: 

200 Medley Relay: Anna Webre, Gabby Joffrion, Isabel Webre and Amanda Andrews, 2nd place, 2:01.97

200-Yard Freestyle: Julia Brinson, 3rd place, 2:12.88; Victoria Godso, 5th place, 2:19.60

200-Yard IM: Gabrielle Joffrion, 4th place, 2:26.87; Kate Russell, 6th place, 2:33.80

50-Yard Freestyle: Anna Webre, 2nd place, 27.70; Lily Martin, 5th place, 28.87; Mary Stuckey, 7th place, 29.62; Emily Gautreau, 11th place, 30.08

100-Yard Butterfly: Amanda Andrews, 1st place, 1:03.00; Isabel Webre, 2nd place, 1:04.83; Anna Webre, 3rd place, 1:05.40; Camden Hull, 5th place, 1:06.61

100-Yard Freestyle: Amanda Andrews, 1st place, 59.27; Julia Brinson, 2nd place, 59.90; Lily Martin, 7th place, 1:04.96; Emily Gautreau, 9th place, 1:06.50

500-Yard Freestyle: CeCe Werth, 1st place, 5:34.57; Victoria Godso, 4th place, 6:10.65 

200 Freestyle Relay: Julia Brinson, Anna Webre, CeCe Werth and Victoria Godso, 1st place, 1:49.66

100-Yard Backstroke: CeCe Werth, 4th place, 1:08.78; Camden Hull, 9th place, 1:11.91; Madeline Joffrion, 10th place, 1:14.57; Ashleigh Gillem, 11th place, 1:15.35

100-Yard Breaststroke: Gabrielle Joffrion, 2nd place, 1:17.06; Isabel Webre, 3rd place, 1:18.25; Kate Russell, 4th place, 1:18.82; Mary Stuckey, 9th place, 1:25.76

400 Freestyle Relay: Julia Brinson, CeCe Werth, Isabel Webre and Amanda Andrews, 1st place, 3:59.47
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Ashley Roussel

SJA Welcomes Sister Helen Prejean

St. Joseph’s Academy continued the celebration of its 150th anniversary with the first in its year-long speaker series. Sister Helen Prejean, a 1957 graduate of SJA, spoke to students, faculty and staff on September 11 in the new Student Activity Center.
 


Sister Helen is a best-selling author and leading advocate for the abolition of the death penalty. She began her prison ministry in 1981 and became pen pals with Patrick Sonnier, sentenced to die in the electric chair at Louisiana’s Angola State Prison for the murder of two teenagers. She visited him as his spiritual advisor, and those visits “set her soul on fire.” Sister Helen described her experiences in Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty, which was number one on the New York Times Best Seller List for 31 weeks. It was also developed into a major motion picture starring Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen. 

Her second book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, was published in 2004. She recently finished her memoir, River of Fire, which will be published later this year. 

Sister Helen is the founder of Survive, a victim’s advocacy group in New Orleans, and she continues to counsel not only inmates on death row, but the families of murder victims, as well.

Read more about Sister Helen’s talk in the September 12 edition of The Advocate. See photos by Advocate staff photographer Travis Spradling here. Her talk was also live streamed on the Academy’s Facebook page. 
 
 
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Seniors Honored by National Merit Scholarship Corporation

Seven St. Joseph’s Academy seniors have been recognized as semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Another four seniors have been named commended students by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. 

Semifinalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program are Abby Blaize, Anna Borne, Rachael Coates, Amelia Dittmar, Anna Claire LeJeune, Maryn Matthews and Grace Richardson. They have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2019. Approximately 90 percent of semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. 

SJA’s commended students for 2019 are Ella Barhorst, Sydney Clebert, Raeann Didier and Anna Myers. 

Blaize is the daughter of Marci and Charles Blaize; she attended St. Aloysius. Borne is the daughter of Janine and Manville Borne; she attended St. Thomas More. Coates is the daughter of 
Jamie and Kevin Coates; she attended St. Alphonsus. Dittmar is the daughter of Millicent and Edward Dittmar; she attended St. Aloysius. LeJeune is the daughter of Whitney and Rick LeJeune; she attended St. Thomas More. Matthews is the daughter of Alison Matthews and Michael Matthews; she attended St. Thomas More. Richardson is the daughter of Jill Ratcliff and John Richardson; she attended University Laboratory School. 

Barhorst is the daughter of Tracey and Brad Barhorst; she attended St. Aloysius. Clebert is the daughter of Kelli and David Corkern and Austin Fontenot; she attended St. Aloysius. Didier is the daughter of Stacie and Keith Didier; she attended Most Blessed Sacrament. Myers is the daughter of Temple Beeson and Lou Fey and Kevin Myers; she attended St. Aloysius.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Kleinpeter Photography

Cross Country Team Wins Round Table Run

The St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team won the second meet of the season, capturing the 40th annual Episcopal Round Table Run on September 8 at Highland Road Park. In a field of 25 complete teams and 233 finishers, SJA scored 33 points in the three-mile varsity race. Rounding out the top three were Menard (93) and Academy of the Sacred Heart of New Orleans (124). 
 
 


SJA’s top seven varsity finishers were senior Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 18:18; sophomore Sophie Martin, 4th place, 18:57; junior Isabelle Brown, 9th place, 19:29; sophomore Anna Camille Eagleton, 10th place, 19:36; freshman Maddie Kate Gardiner, 12th place, 19:41; sophomore Kate Ritchie, 20th place, 20:16; and sophomore Lydia Poche, 23rd place, 20:34.

Setting early season personal records were freshman Elise Jones, 20:37; freshman Ava Lemoine, 20:48; sophomore Brynn Duggan, 22:10; and freshman Alexis Napoli, 22:38.

“What a tremendous display of toughness by our girls,” said head coach Mark LaHaye. “With all of the rain that the park received on Friday before the meet, the course was an absolutely sloppy, muddy mess. It was quite evident in the performances of all the competitors. But I think the difference for us is that we didn’t let it get to us. With all of the rain we’ve received over the past two weeks, we’ve been practicing in these conditions on a daily basis. Our girls just ignored the poor conditions and powered through it to another dominating win.”

Hendry said practicing in muddy conditions paid off. “We performed well and used the conditions to our advantage,” she said. “We knew what to expect and were ready. Our team is very strong, and I see a very successful season in our future. I am so excited.”

Brown, who finished first in the season’s opening meet last Saturday, said winning the Round Table Run was rewarding. “We had quite a few girls out taking the ACT, so I am very proud of my team members for stepping up to fill their places,” she said. “The course was really muddy, which definitely made it difficult to run a fast race, so I’m thrilled by the number of people who ran great times. I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish next.”

Next up for the Redstickers is the Christian Brothers Invitational at Money Hill Plantation in Abita Springs. The meet will be held September 15, with the varsity race starting at 8:30 a.m. 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Tina LaHaye

125 Graduates, Current Students Earn AP Scholar Awards

One hundred twenty-five St. Joseph’s Academy graduates and current seniors and juniors have earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on college-level Advanced Placement Program (AP) exams. These outstanding scholars earned credit at Louisiana colleges and universities as well as most four-year schools in the United States. 

In 2018, 385 Academy students took AP courses, with 82.1 percent scoring a 3 or higher on their AP exams to earn college credit.

SJA had two National AP Scholars. They earned an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. They are 2018 graduates Alexandra Hinkle and Jade Woods. 

SJA had 30 AP Scholar with Distinction award recipients. They earned an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. They are 2018 graduates Annaclaire Acosta, Clare Barfield, Kennedy Benjamin, Jolie Boudreaux, Amy Brouillette, Vivian Brown, Emrey Broyles, Lauren Campbell, Claire Doucet, Mary Elizabeth Gordon, Alexandra Hinkle, Jane Jeha, Sydney Keller, Anna Koonce, Mary Catherine Lorio, Hannah Miletello, Meagan Newton, Ann Nguyen, Lara Nicholson, Madeline Ortego, Anna Peever, Katherine Sclafani, Molly Shepherd, Paige Smith, Adair Talbot and Jade Woods and current seniors Abby Blaize, Sydney Clebert, Drue Gautreau and Adeline Roemer.

Seventeen graduates and 18 current seniors qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor award by earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. They are 2018 graduates Lauren Chauvin, Caroline Cotten, Sophie DeOliveira, Julia Goodson, Mia Goodson, Isabel Grandy, Sydney Hamilton, Macy Heroman, Sarazen Knight, Caroline Anne LeBlanc, Audrey Lejeune, Madeline Lemoine, Jessica Munson, Allie Peever, Adele Poche, Anna Shortess and Madeline Thomas and current seniors Margaret Blouin, Madison Boudreaux, Emily DeSoto, Olivia Devall, Raeann Didier, Amelia Dittmar, Anna Hampshire, Julia Henderson, Anna Lejeune, Skylar Mancuso, Emily Martin, Andrea Matus, Maurie Morris, Elise Saloom, Kate Stanford, Camille Taylor, Malorey Uzee and Taylor Winters. 

Thirty-one 2018 graduates, 27 current seniors and two current juniors are AP Scholar award recipients. They received scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. They are 2018 graduates Juliet Alise, Emma Allemond, Anna Ball, Hannah Blum, Grace Brierre, Marigny Broussard, Livie Broussard, Lena Cates, Madeleine Chenevert, Hope Coleman, Megan Crawford, Eloise Day, Carley Dugas, Camille Fruge, Marie Gosserand, Madelyn Graves, Sarah Hill, Raquel Hodgeson, Addison Jones, Abigail Lafleur, Camille Lanata, Claire Lynch, Natalie Marionneaux, Cathryn Morris, Emily Shore, Madeleine Simpson, Summer Smith, Marli Snaith, Gabrielle Taylor, An Vu and Caroline Walters, current seniors Lauren Arceneaux, Ella Barhorst, Ashlan Belanger, Anna Borne, Rachael Coates, Anna Reese Couhig, Danielle DePierri, Alexandra Fields, Madelyn Fuselier, Catherine Green, Chloe Hoang, Gracie Hufft, Breann Keowen, Emily Kukura, Catherine Marchand, Angelle Martin, Maryn Matthews, Sydney Melder, Grace O’Neill, Isabella Rovere, Lauren Saunders, Taylor Silvey, Ashlynn Sorrells, Alexandra Thibodeaux, Aliya Trapp, Parker Wilson and Grace Wisdom and current juniors Eloise Nelson and Sophia Stuart.
 
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Kleinpeter Photography

Cross Country Team Wins First Meet of Season

The St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team kicked off the 2018 season with a dominating win in the 20th annual St. Michael Bayou Boogie Classic. The meet was held September 1 at BREC’s Highland Road Park.

The Redstickers scored 19 points in the varsity three-mile race. There were 11 complete teams and 112 finishers in the field. Rounding out the top four were Menard (58), St. Michael (93) and Episcopal School of Acadiana (131). 
 

SJA’s top seven varsity finishers were junior Isabelle Brown, 1st place, 18:15; sophomore Sophie Martin, 3rd place, 18:56 (personal record); senior Lauren Hendry, 4th place, 19:17; junior Virginia Dirks, 5th place, 19:20; sophomore Anna Camille Eagleton, 6th place, 19:29; freshman Maddie Kate Gardiner, 7th place, 19:40 (personal record); and sophomore Kate Ritchie, 10th place, 19:56. Other early season personal records were set by freshman Lilly Leonard, 20:17; senior Olivia Devall, 20:37; freshman Olivia Hotstream, 21:52; freshman Reese Favaloro, 22:18; sophomore Kate Langley, 22:44; and freshman Alexis Napoli, 22:56.

“This was a phenomenal first meet for us,” said head coach Mark LaHaye. “Our girls crushed the course and the competition. In the varsity race, we had seven of the top 10 and 13 of the top 25 finishers. Plus, in the unscored JV race, we easily had the first five finishers to cross the line. I did a quick post-race comparison of this year’s results to last year’s results, and on average, our returning runners improved their first-race performance by 70 seconds. That’s really impressive.”

Brown said the Bayou Boogie set up the team for another great season. “Going in, I expected our team to do phenomenal, but coming out with a nearly perfect score of 19 this early in the year is crazy,” she said. “I am so proud to see that all of our summer training paid off and can’t wait to see what we will do in the weeks to come. I went into this race with a lot of excitement and with a plan to run even splits, which worked well for me. I look forward to meeting our team goals.”  

Martin said a great deal of anticipation surrounded the race. “The whole team was excited because the weather was cool, and we were all ready to start off the season,” she said. “The team was super positive and encouraging. Everyone did amazing, and a lot of people ran faster than they were hoping. This race was a big improvement from our scrimmage last week for me. I felt really good and am super proud of my time and placement.” 

Ritchie said the outcome of the season opener was an indication of how hard the team has worked over the summer. “We had a near perfect score of 19, and everyone ran so well,” she said. “I am so proud to see our team start the season off strong and cannot wait to see what else we are able to do. This weekend also had great running conditions, seeing that it was not too hot and the course was dried off. I cannot wait for this weekend to see what we’ll do next.” 

Dirks said the team is happy with the results. “It was a great way to start the season, and we are all very excited for our upcoming meets,” she said.
 
Eagleton said the runners worked together and pushed one another with great success. “I am so proud of what the team accomplished Saturday,” she said. “We have been working hard all throughout the summer and in the last month of practice, and it has definitely paid off.”

Next up for the Redstickers is the Round Table Run, hosted by Episcopal High. The meet will be held September 8 at Highland Road Park, with the varsity race starting at 8:20 a.m. 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Tina LaHaye

SJA Hosts Academic Honors, Induction Ceremony

St. Joseph’s Academy recognized students who have achieved academic distinction and inducted National Honor Society members and Student Council leadership during an assembly on August 24. 
 


Senior class counselor Kathie Hayden, junior class counselor Mary Beth Elfert and sophomore class counselor Niki Banta called forth the 205 seniors, juniors and sophomores who were awarded academic letters for meeting the high standard prescribed for their grade level during 2017-2018. Hayden and Elfert also honored the 157 seniors and 133 juniors who had already been awarded an academic letter and maintained the required GPA to receive an academic bar. 

Co-moderators Alexandra Arceneaux and Kaki Lowe honored the 77 juniors and seniors who are the newest members of the National Honor Society. Membership is granted on the basis of demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership and character. 

Yvette Aillet and Katie Jeter Valenciano, Student Council co-moderators, led the induction of the executive board, class presidents and representatives for 2018-2019. Sworn into office were Anna Reese Couhig, student body president; Trystan Tate, vice president; Victoria Funes, secretary-treasurer; and Allie Canova, communications coordinator.

Representing the senior class for 2018-2019 will be President Ella Barhorst and class representatives Lily Abadie, Addison Bruce, Catherine Cangelosi, Sydney Clebert, Tori Collier, Catherine Contini, Catherine Couvillion, Julianna Hill, Corrine Hutchinson, Natalie Lazaroe, Leanne Livingston, Nikki Manuel, Katie McCullen, Kate Michel, Claire Surek, Aliya Trapp, Katie Trussell, Lacy Wendell and Parker Wilson. 

Serving the junior class will be President Claire Marie Tate and representatives Isabelle Brown, Cecilia Campesi, Lilly Chastain, MC Daniels, Jacquelyn Dawson, Flora DeMoss, Emma Durnin, Aldyn Gremillion, Mel Hasenkampf, Sophie Kronenberg, Jordan Mathis, Angelle McCormick, Bella Moushleb, Simone Muir, McKenna Ramsey, Emily Reynaud and Paris Vercher.

Representing the sophomore class will be President Tiffany Tran and representatives Abby Arledge, Riana Bickham, Sarah Branstetter, Camille Cronan, Sophia DeAngelo, Anna Delafield, Clare Dillman, Anna Camille Eagleton, Henri Kate Gifford, Sarah Harris, Maisie Jones, Jane Laville, Claire Lazaroe, Juliette Lemoine, Bentley Plauche, Anna Pousson and Katie Belle Rothkamm.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Legacy Families Enjoy Mass, Reception

The St. Joseph’s Academy Alumnae Office hosted the sixth annual Legacy Mass and Reception on August 19. Generations of Academy graduates, along with their daughters, granddaughters and nieces who are current students, gathered in the Chapel at SJA for the Eucharistic celebration.
 


SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen welcomed the families whose legacies are woven throughout the Academy’s history. She recognized one family in attendance whose members have been a part of SJA for four generations. Theresa Gros Landry, class of 1965, has two granddaughters at SJA, Kelsi Landry ’19 and Lindsey Landry ’22. Theresa’s daughter, Toni Landry Ransome, graduated in 1997. Theresa’s sister, Marie Favrot, graduated in 1967. Her daughter, Jill Hurst Mabile, graduated in 1991, and Marie’s granddaughter, Madison Mabile, is a member of the class of 2021. Another of Marie’s daughters, Kim Hurst Martinez, graduated in 1988. Theresa and Marie’s mother, Anelia Rabalais Gros, was an alumna from the class of 1940; and her sister, Katherine Rabalais, graduated in 1942. Katherine later joined the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph and given the name Sister Maria. 

Father Joel LaBauve was the celebrant for the Legacy Mass. 

Bella Perrault ’22 read from the first Book of Kings, and Wanda Aizpurua Perrault ’87 read from St. Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians. Wanda Deimel Aizpurua ’61 (SJA New Orleans) led the prayers of the faithful. 

Emma Durnin ’20 and Hallie Legendre ’19 served as cantors. Rhonda Weyhrich was the pianist. 

Following mass, those in attendance heard from Suzie Toups Adler ’85, president of the SJA board of directors. She talked about the many events planned for the year-long celebration of the Academy’s 150th anniversary, of which she is the chair. The multi-generational families posed for group photographs, then gathered in the Commons of Mother Alice Hall for a reception catered by SAGE Dining Services. 

Helping make the event a success were Alumnae Association board members Mary Dardenne Michel ’67, Jamie Purpera ’95, Grace Guntner Anderson ’69 and Lurline Hamilton ’64.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine and Erin Albarado

SJA Celebrates Feast of the Assumption of Mary

St. Joseph’s Academy gathered as a school community on August 15 to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Father Bob Stine was the presider.
 

Senior Kate Stanford welcomed the large gathering. “On this day, we honor Mary’s assumption into heaven, both body and soul, as a reward for her ‘yes’ to God and to God’s plans for her life,” she said. 

Junior Isabelle Brown read from the Book of Revelation. Senior Danielle Jones read from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. Juniors Faith Woods and Emma Britton offered the prayers of the faithful.

Aimee Cronan directed the Liturgy Choir. Senior Kate Stanford was the cantor. Featured vocalists were juniors Anna Leyrer and Emma Durnin. Musical accompanists were Martha O’Hara, piano; Stephen Barrios, percussion; and Hugo Andricain, guitar.

Following mass, SJA’s new campus minister, Alise Alexander, spoke about her call to service that developed during her time at SJA and evolved during her college days. Alexander is a 2012 graduate of SJA. “I just had to come back to SJA,” she said. “My journey of learning to love and serve others and, through that experience, drawing closer to God and drawing others closer to God is really what SJA is about. I still have so much to learn and so much room to grow in this walk of faith, but I am so excited to be back home at SJA walking it with all of you.”

Principal Stacia Andricain said that as part of the Academy’s continued commitment to spreading the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph, several students traveled this summer to Kalamazoo, Michigan, for the Community Builders for Peace conference. The annual trip brings together students from CSJ schools to create service projects they take back to their schools. Seniors Danielle Jones and Mary Cloutier and juniors Emily Reynaud and Kendall Willard described their projects for the year, including a recycling initiative and self-esteem building. 

Andricain said that SJA came together last year to support now-sophomore Kennan Mashon as she was treated for leukemia at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Andricain introduced sophomore Katherine Scully, who is also a St. Jude patient. She talked about her diagnosis, her experiences at St. Jude and the resources the hospital provides to patients and their families. 

Andricain invited the SJA community to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer on September 15. “I want us to make a great showing and to be one SJA team coming together for our sisters, for our community, for our fellow man and for the dear neighbor,” she said. “… Let’s be a team and show Kennon and Katherine our support.”    
 
Senior Maggie Blouin led the singing of the alma mater. 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Cortana Kiwanis Donates AED to SJA

The Cortana Kiwanis Club donated an automated external defibrillator (AED) to St. Joseph’s Academy. The unit has been installed in the Academy Student Center, the newest addition to SJA’s campus. 
 

AEDs are used to treat cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and pulseless ventricular tachycardia through defibrillation, the application of electricity which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.

Cortana Kiwanis Club has provided 10 AEDs to schools in the Baton Rouge area, according to 
Pam Morgan, District Kiwanis AED coordinator and member of the Cortana Kiwanis Club. “We are very proud to say that at this time, six lives have been saved by the use of AEDs provided by Kiwanis Clubs in our district,” Morgan said.

Morgan, as well as Cortana Kiwanis President Heather Folks-Givens and Kiwanis member Debbie (Manda) Salvant, SJA class of 1971, visited SJA’s campus on August 2 to present the AED to several SJA representatives, including Principal Stacia Andricain, Athletic Director Dorinda Beaumont, Athletic Trainer Mackenzie Bowman Brown and Health & Physical Education Chair Lauren Morris. 
 
“Safety is one of the most important things to consider on any school campus,” Andricain said. “The lives of our students and anyone who visits our campus must be a priority. Additionally, we want our students to have training and be prepared if they are ever in a situation where they could step in and save the life of another.”  

A dozen members of SJA’s faculty and staff are trained in the use of AEDs. Brown is one of them. “Whether it is a student participating in class or an athletic event or a fan in the stands, safety is our top concern,” she said. “If someone goes into cardiac arrest, having an AED close gives us a better chance to save a life.” 

Morris is also trained in AED use. “Given that sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in young athletes, the AED gives coaches peace of mind,” she said. 

Other buildings equipped with AEDs include the Activity Center, St. Joseph Hall and Mother Alice Hall.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo by Erin Albarado

Senior Scores Perfect 36 on ACT

St. Joseph’s Academy senior Anna LeJeune earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. On average, approximately one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. 

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each of which are scored on a scale of 1 to 36. A student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores. The score for ACT’s optional writing test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.

In a letter to LeJeune recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda wrote, “Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare. While test scores are just one of multiple criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals.”

The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures what students have learned in school. 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo by Jennifer M. Fontaine

School Year Begins with Celebration

St. Joseph’s Academy began the 2018-2019 academic year with a special assembly in the new Academy Student Center. Students, faculty and staff, Sisters of St. Joseph, alumnae, board of directors members and invited guests gathered to mark the first day of school, dedicate the new building and kick off the year-long celebration of SJA’s 150th anniversary.
 


Principal Stacia Andricain welcomed the large crowd and introduced a video chronicling the history of St. Joseph’s Academy from its founding in 1868 by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Academy representatives and special guests then cut the ceremonial ribbon signifying that the new building is part of the SJA campus. They were Bishop Robert Robert Muench, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, SJA President Jan Breen, Board of Directors Chair Suzie Toups Adler, Student Body President Anna Rees Couhig, architect David Hebert, Steve Carville, representing Womack Contractors, and Mission Advancement Associate Director and former Principal Sister Joan Laplace.

Students representing each of the activities that will take part in the new building paraded to the stage area, and Bishop Muench blessed the facility. Andricain presented Bishop Muench, who will retire later this month, with a Redsticker spirit shirt and a lifetime pass to all home volleyball and basketball games. 

Mayor Broome presented the alumnae and students of SJA with a key to the city. Alumnae Association President Wendy Williams Lutgring, class of 1984, and Student Body President Anna Rees Couhig accepted the gift. 

Readers were seniors Natalie Lazaroe, Derquisia Spears and Eden Landry. Leading their classmates in prayer were senior class President Ella Barhorst, junior class President Claire Marie Tate, sophomore class President Tiffany Tran freshman Vivian Dille.

Members of the leadership team offered their prayer, and Sarah McCann led the faculty and staff in prayer.

Breen provided an update on the renovations that occurred on campus during the summer months, and Adler detailed some of the many activities which will take place during the year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary. 

Andricain welcome the 312 members of the freshman class and new members of the sophomore, junior and senior classes as well as new faculty and staff members. She also recognized faculty and staff members celebrating milestone anniversary years of service to SJA. Celebrating five years are Yvette Aillet, Carlie Boone, Mackenzie Bowman Brown, Ellen Frazier, Tommy Bullard, Sheri Klemm, Alan LeCoq, Kayla Moscona and Pat O’Hara. Marking 10 years are Lauren Garrett, Barbara Harris, T. LaCour, Kevin Landry, Sharon Ogra and Sister Chris Pologa. With 15 years of service are Catherine Durnin, Francisco Nieto and Clarinda Palmer. Celebrating 25 years are Jill Abadie, Brenda LeBlanc and Jackie Zeller, and marking 35 years of service are Kathie Hayden and Nan Murtagh. 
Senior Kate Stanford closed the assembly by leading the singing of the alma mater.

Cantors were senior Hallie Legendre and junior Annie Blanchard. Lending their musical talents to the celebration were Martha O’Hara, piano; Stephen Barrios, percussion; Hugo Andricain, guitar; and freshman Annavictoria Proano, bass.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Cross Country Team Enjoys Pre-Season Camp

The two-time defending state champion St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team participated in the annual four-day preseason running clinic at Lake Rosemond north of St. Francisville.
 
The team spent four days and three nights at the end of July completing a variety of run sessions in the hills of Tunica, playing competitive team games, performing team-building exercises and setting team goals for the 2018 season.
 

Each day began with a 6 a.m. wake-up call to get ready for the morning run. Runs ranged from a 5.5- to 7.2-mile trail run on day one to the 7.5- to 10-mile road run on day four. Days were filled with competitively scored team games that were tested in a round-robin format. Each evening, the runners participated in team discussions and team-building exercises. 

Elected as team council members for the 2018 season were senior Lauren Hendry, senior Leanne Livingston, junior Isabelle Brown, sophomore Kate Ritchie and freshman Maddie Kate Gardiner. At the end of each day, camp moms selected the outstanding teammate of the day. They were freshman Olivia Hotstream, senior Leanne Livingston, junior Mary Claire Saia and sophomore Anna Camille Eagleton.

“Our girls had an outstanding camp,” said head coach Mark LaHaye. “The games at this camp were the most competitive I’ve ever seen. On the final day of camp, we always drive down Irondale Road to the old Weyanoke Post Office off of Highway 66, which is roughly 10 miles from the inn, for our final long run. This season, we had 19 runners – the most ever – complete the full 10-mile run.”

“Our summer running camp is always such an awesome way to end our summer training and start our season,” said senior and defending individual state champion Lauren Hendry. “As a team, we are able to bond and spend a weekend together. I feel that we are so much closer as a team after we get home from camp. It is also a time for us to gather as a team and set goals for our upcoming season.”

Junior Isabelle Brown said this year’s camp was a great experience. “I look forward to cross country camp every summer,” she said. “It is such an amazing time to bond with both new and old teammates. We have done a fantastic job of balancing fun with hard work this summer and know it will pay off. We are more driven than ever to accomplish our goals, and there is no doubt in my mind that we will exceed them. I am so proud of how much work we put in this summer, and I’m eager to get back to racing and step it up for this year’s competition.”

Senior Taylor Winters said the camp was a great opportunity for the runners to bond. “The camp allowed a team of 29 girls to unite as one on a mission to pursue excellence in running,” she said. “The overall team bond between all grade levels grew stronger throughout the camp during the physically challenging games and long runs. The camp set the tone for the upcoming season and gave the team the opportunity to grow closer together. I cannot wait to see what the season has in store for us.” 

Freshman Madeline Gardiner said she enjoyed getting to know her teammates and setting goals for the upcoming season. “My thoughts going into this season are really pushing myself and seeing how fast I can really go,” she said. “I’m looking forward to this season a lot, and I think we can achieve our goals as a team and individually.”

Sophomore Mary Claire Saia said the camp is one of her favorite team activities. “It’s the first time all summer we really get to know one another, and I feel like this team has clicked extremely quickly,” she said. “We all worked together to get to know each other and push ourselves past our limits. I’m so excited to show all 18 underclasswomen what this team is all about. We’ve set some high goals for ourselves this season, but there’s no doubt in my mind we’re going to work harder than ever to achieve them.”

Sophomore Kathryn Ritchie said this year’s camp was a “hard, fund, competitive and bonding four days. I am so excited for this upcoming season, not just because we are expected to do well, but because of our team. Camp definitely brought us closer together, and I feel like we all work so well together. We will have no trouble pushing each other to succeed and, with that, we will have a better chance to meet our team and personal goals.” 

Senior Leanne Livingston said coming back from an injury last spring allowed her to gain a unique perspective on the team. “As I have been getting back into shape this summer, I have been watching the team from the back burner,” she said. “It has been really neat for me to see the team in this light. So much hard work and dedication goes into our training, and I can’t wait to see it all pay off in just a few short weeks. Go, Stickers!”

Camp chef and photographer was Tina LaHaye. Camp moms were Angelle Brown, Angelle Saia, Brittney Hendry, Jennifer Ritchie and Karen Saunders.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Faculty/Staff Begin Year with Orientation

St. Joseph’s Academy faculty members returned to campus August 2 and 3 for two days of professional development and planning for the 2018-2019 academic year. New faculty members gathered on August 1 for a day of orientation.
 


Principal Stacia Andricain led the two-day faculty/staff orientation, which began with mass at St. Agnes Church. Back at SJA, Andricain presented her vision for the upcoming school year, during which SJA will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1868. She also discussed this year’s charism theme of Leadership: Weave One Heart

During the two days, faculty and staff heard from President Jan Rhorer Breen, STEP/Emergenetics coordinator Hugo Andricain, Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald, Admissions Director Meredith Smith and Assistant Director Kristian Vukojevic, Alumnae Director Katie Jeter Valenciano, Finance Director Laurel Herrington and Co-Director of Technology John Richardson. Round-robin discussions included information and updates from the nurse’s office, college advising, the Innovation & Design Lab and administrative team members Aubrey DeJohn, dean of academics; Erika Angarita, dean of women; and Dr. Jason Hanks, dean of curriculum and instruction.

Faculty and staff members celebrating milestone anniversaries this year were introduced. Marking five years are Yvette Aillet, Carlie Boone, Mackenzie Bowman, Ellen Frazier, Sheri Klemm, Alan LeCoq, Kayla Moscona and Patrick O’Hara. Celebrating 10 years are Lauren Garrett, Barbara Harris, T LaCour, Kevin Landry, Sharon Ogra, Sister Chris Pologa. Marking 15 years of service are Catherine Durnin, Francisco Nieto and Clarinda Palmer. Celebrating 25 years are Jill Abadie, Brenda LeBlanc and Jackie Zeller, and celebrating 35 years are Kathie Hayden and Nan Murtagh. 

New faculty and staff members joining SJA this year were introduced. They are Alise Alexander ’12, campus minister; Cody Arceneaux, science; Melinda Bailey, foreign language; Rhonda Baird ’87, science; Katie Cahalan, math; Jonathan Durocher, science; Rachel Eddlestone, English; Laura Flandez ’12, foreign language; Terri Hammatt, foreign language; Timothy LaBauve, theology; Kaki O’Connor Lowe ’04, math; Melanie Marcin, social studies; Angelle Saia, English; Meredith Smith, admissions director; and Kristian Kinamore Vukojevic ’09, assistant admissions director. Joining the faculty and staff at mid-term last year were Trey Gaudin, special projects support; Jennifer Knight, assistant mission advancement director; Alexis Stein, science; and Linda Thompson, director of operations. 

Lunch on day one was provided by the SJA Mothers’ Club. Chair of the Welcome-Back Luncheon Committee was Caroline Lemann; co-chair was Alyce Blackstone. Faculty and staff enjoyed a Mexican-themed meal catered by Ingle Eats and served by daughters of Mothers’ Club members. 

Freshmen and half of the sophomore class will be on campus for student orientation on August 6. The remaining sophomores and all juniors and seniors will have their orientation on August 7. Classes begin August 8.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Senior Enjoys Pre-College Program at Emory

St. Joseph’s Academy senior Derquisia Spears spent two weeks in Atlanta, participating in one of Emory University’s pre-college programs. 

Spears enrolled in the Neuroscience of Brain Enhancement course led by Dr. Michael Crutcher. “I chose this course because I am really interested in developmental aspects of the brain,” she said. “I also wanted to learn more about how greatly the brain and personality are influenced at a young age.”
 
The course covered recent scientific developments as well as predictions for the future. Topics discussed included technologies for enhanced intelligence, cloning, brain stimulation and human droids. “I was struck by so much that has been developed already,” Spears said. “One aspect of the course that I really appreciated was the professor’s openness to hearing our opinions on these scientific technology breakthroughs. Many times, we discussed the moral and ethical concerns of these developments.”

Spears said while she’s drawn to a college major in biological sciences rather than neuroscience, brain development holds a special interest for her. “I also wanted to explore a new topic and challenge myself,” she said.

Emory University was especially appealing, Spears said, citing the school’s lively spirit. “I learned a lot about fun traditions that the school continues, which resonated with me because of the many traditions I treasure at St. Joseph’s,” she said. “I felt at home when I was on campus.”

Outside of the classroom, Spears and her family enjoyed an Atlanta Braves baseball game and visits to Lenox Square Mall, the Georgia Aquarium, the Human and Civil Rights Museum and historic parts of the city. “My favorite area was definitely the historic district on Auburn Street,” she said. “The entire square is now a national landmark, which encompasses Dr. Martin Luther King’s childhood home, his church, his legacy center and the headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. I was amazed by many events in his life that are not as often publicized.”

Spears said her experience at Emory was a blessing. “I met so many amazing people who were also passionate about their future studies,” she said. “I am hopeful that we may meet again in the near future.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

SJA Team Finishes First at AICS Camp

A team of five St. Joseph’s Academy students competed in this summer’s Analysis & Investigation through Cyber-based Scenarios (AICS) Camp and finished first in the seven-team field. The annual week-long competition is held at Louisiana Tech University and supported by the Cyber Innovation Center and a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant. 
 


Team members were rising juniors Brennan Cascio, Noelle DeFee, Allee Rogers, Madison Roy and Faith Woods.  

AICS immerses participants in the cyber world, challenging them to hone their analysis and investigative skills through a variety of activities. Teams wrote four essays during the week focused on how individuals think and how they analyze both people and situations. Teams also participated in a cryptography treasure hunt. Instead of being given clues, students looked for and manipulated features in the source code of websites and used the python coding language to crack passwords.  

Much of the camp focused on determining the who, what, how and why behind various scenarios. Students were placed into the role of a Department of Homeland Security analyst, receiving an abundance of information to wade through in order to piece together what happened, who caused the problem, why they did it, how they did it and what the U.S. government’s response should be. They then put together a briefing presentation to give to a panel of “DHS agents” responsible for “briefing the President” on the situation.

Roy said the experience exceeded all expectations. “I learned so much, from critical thinking to programming, and I am already applying these new skills to my daily life,” she said. “The analysis skills I learned at AICS really impacted my world view and the way I look at problems. Throughout the week, we analyzed scenarios, wrote papers and examined source code to find hidden content and learn more about web development and security. I enjoyed all of these aspects, but my personal favorite part was the online treasure hunt through source code. The process of learning a little more each day to help solve the puzzle was fascinating, and I’m so glad that I got to see it all come together.” 

Faculty member and AICS chaperone Aimee Cronan expressed her pride in the team’s winning efforts. “We definitely had a powerhouse team again this year,” she said. “I’m so proud of their performance in camp. We are grateful to the Louisiana Tech professors who put on this camp. The amount of information prepared for just one scenario was amazing. On top of that, they were there helping the kids every step of the way, from when we started at 8:30 in the morning until we finished at 9 each night. I’ve never seen college professors relate to high school kids as well as they did.” 

Alexandra Hedrick Arceneaux, faculty member and trip chaperone, said she especially enjoyed seeing the students make connections between STEM and humanities disciplines. “The girls learned so much, and I felt I was learning along with them,” she said. “It was an amazing opportunity for our girls, and I can’t wait to join a new crew next year. Our girls also really connected with the professors, which made this is a great networking opportunity for them going into college. It also opened the girls’ eyes to future career opportunities and to see what our country needs in terms of workforce and technology.” 
 
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

SJA Finishes Third at Cyber Discovery Camp

St. Joseph’s Academy finished third in this summer’s Cyber Discovery Camp, a weeklong experience for high school students. A team of six SJA students spent the last week of May at Louisiana Tech University, learning applicable life skills through instruction, self-creativity and teamwork.
 

During the week, participating students earned points through various activities, including writing assignments, puzzles, mini games and more. Points were used to buy robot enhancements for the various robotics challenges, including golf, soccer and a free-for-all marble collection game in which students piloted their robots with a collection device to move marbles into forts. The forts were designed using Sketchup, then laser cut and assembled. 

SJA finished first in the cryptology treasure hunt competition, solving a variety of code challenges and uncovering clues. Participants also wrote critical essays and papers analyzing readings and lectures on artificial intelligence, acting as a spam email scammer, how to be a strong cyber citizen, the appropriate use of technology and more. 
Faculty members Claire Luikart and Aimee Cronan served as chaperones. “The primary goal of the camp is to help students understand how technology and the world of cyberspace are present in their daily lives and how to best interact with them,” Luikart said. “It’s heavy on cross-curricular and interdisciplinary activities. It’s an awesome.” 
Rising sophomore Sarah Weinstein said the camp was a formative experience. “It was a fun and fast-paced camp in which we not only learned about cyber security, robotics and cryptology, but were also allowed to step into more creative subjects such as architecture, drama and creative writing,” she said. “It was a blast, and I loved everything about it. I had so much fun and wish it could have lasted longer.”

Rising sophomore Emma Vu said the camp provided wonderful learning experiences. “I hadn’t even known about cryptography’s existence before I came to this camp, but I am so grateful for having been introduced to the topic,” she said. “I learned about the countless possible career options that involve both cryptography and cyber discovery. I loved this experience so much, and I will never forget that week.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Claire Luikart

Seniors Named to All-Academic Teams

Senior members of St. Joseph’s Academy’s winter and spring sports teams have been recognized for academic excellence and named to the 2018 LHSAA All-Academic All-State teams for their respective sports. The recognition is sponsored by ISC. 

The program honors senior student-athletes who have achieved a three-year cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better. Student-athletes with an unweighted, six-semester 4.0 GPA are named to their sport’s Composite All-Academic All-State team.

Emily Johnson was named to the Class 5A All-Academic All-State Bowling Team.

Rebecca Hanly was named to the Class 5A All-Academic All-State Gymnastics Team.

Named to the Division I All-Academic All-State Soccer Team were Renee Cancienne, Annie Heitman, Meghan Johnson, Courtney Moggio and Caroline Walters.

Anna Shortess was named to the Composite All-Academic Tennis Team. Macy Heroman was named to the Division I All-Academic All-State Tennis Team.

Named to the Composite All-Academic Track and Field Team were Clare Barfield and Jane Jeha. Named to the Class 5A All-Academic All-State Track and Field Team were Kennedy Benjamin, Jennifer Bennett, Haley Blouin, Carley Dugas and Rebecca Schwartzenburg.
 
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Students Participate in International Science Fair

Four St. Joseph’s Academy students participated in the 2018 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), held May 13-19 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Nearly 1,800 young scientists from 81 countries, regions and territories participated in this year’s event, the world’s largest pre-college science competition. 
 

Participants represented the best of more than 7 million high school students who participated in science fairs around the world during the past year and won top honors at local, regional and national competitions. 

Recent graduate Anna Koonce finished third with her project, Ecological Restoration Zones Within the Monkey River Area (Belize) Using Community Grown Nurseries to Produce Plants for Riparian Strips. “Science Fair has been a defining extracurricular of my high school experience,” she said. “I have loved not only learning about the most current global problems but also being enabled to act to make a difference in solving those issues. Out of all the science fairs I have attended, Intel ISEF has been by far my favorite. It is both empowering and humbling to see high school students from around to world unite in the name of science and share their passion for positive change. I am so very grateful to Linda Messina and St. Joseph’s Academy for giving me the opportunity to participate.” 

Recent graduate Mary Catherine Lorio finished fourth with her project entitled A Novel Method for Simulating Hermite-Gaussian Modes of Light. “This was my second year competing in Intel ISEF,” she said. “I really enjoyed meeting people from different countries and talking to them about their homes. I especially enjoyed sharing my research project with the judges. I truly poured my heart and energy into my presentation, so when I found out that I placed in the competition, I was incredibly thrilled! I felt like all of my hard work had finally paid off.” 

Junior Corrine Hutchinson presented her project, Contributing Factors of Louisiana Teenage Driver Injury Levels in Motor Vehicle Crashes. She said her experience at ISEF was life changing. “By looking at projects from different countries and meeting the minds behind them, I learned how much people my age can accomplish and how their research can impact the world,” she said. “I enjoyed seeing what problems people saw in the world and in what ways they are trying to solve them. When I was able to meet and get to know the finalists at the fair, they inspired me to continue finding problems and coming up with solutions to make this world a better place. This trip has truly motivated me to continue researching, allowed me to connect with people who share my passion in science and build relationships with people from all over the world. I also got to see how my research could help inspire others; talking to the judges and other finalists gave me more confidence and encouraged me to continue tackling issues I see in my life to benefit everyone.”

Junior Rachael Coates presented her research, Quantification of the Effects of Fluid Shear Stress in Circulating Tumor Cells. “I presented to 15 judges, and every time I presented, I gained insight on how I would further my research,” she said. “The best thing about ISEF is that everyone there was like me: They love to learn, and they are on the forefront of research. Because of this, I could easily relate with so many of the finalists and made many friends that I hope I can connect with again.”

Science Fair Coordinator Linda Messina said ISEF was a wonderful experience. “The International Fair this year continued the tradition of excellent high school research,” she said. “I have been to 23 international science fairs, and I still get as excited as I did for the first fair. To see students from around the world sharing their knowledge and interacting with one another is simply amazing. Our four students did a magnificent job of presenting their respective projects to experts in their fields. I am so proud of their continued efforts in the STEM field. Mary Catherine has worked on her projects for three years, and Anna has worked on hers for four years. Corrine and Rachael plan to do research projects again next year. This shows such motivation and dedication.”  

Co-moderator Jacqueline Savoia said her first ISEF exceeded all expectations. “It was incredible to see such a wide variety of projects from all around the globe,” she said. “These students are the future of science. I can’t describe how incredibly proud I am of our SJA girls for being able to participate. It was truly a memorable experience for all involved. I can’t wait to be a part of it in the years to come.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Edy Koonce

Class of 2018 Graduates

St. Joseph’s Academy hosted the Celebration of the Eucharist for Pentecost Sunday and 141st Commencement Exercises on May 20 at Raising Cane’s River Center. The 258 members of the class of 2018 met all standards for graduation as prescribed by the Academy and were awarded a diploma. Seventy-two percent of the class earned $24.1 million in scholarships. (This figure does not include TOPS awards, which have yet to be determined.) 

Emrey Broyles, salutatorian, welcomed the large crowd and noted SJA’s strong foundation of friends and alumnae around the world. Commentator Kennedy Walker acknowledged Bishop Robert W. Muench, who celebrated the mass, and other priests and deacons in the Diocese of Baton Rouge who joined the graduates for the celebration.

Mallory Casseri read from the Acts of the Apostles, and Madeline Lemoine read from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. 

In his homily, Bishop Muench reflected on the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph and their founding of St. Joseph’s Academy in 1868. He asked the Sisters in attendance to stand and be recognized for all they have done to educate young women in Baton Rouge for nearly 150 years. 

He told the graduating class that their diploma awards their diligence and persistence. “We have faith and confidence you will forever makes us proud of you in your future endeavors and in our shared call to eternal life,” he said.

Camille Lanata and Carley Dugas led the prayers of the faithful. 

Following mass, English faculty member Jill Abadie called forth the graduates of 2018. Diplomas were awarded by Principal Stacia Andricain assisted by SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen, Dean of Women Aubrey DeJohn and Dean of Academics Dr. Jason Hanks. 

Following the conferring of diplomas, valedictorian Lauren Chauvin talked about the future ahead of each of her classmates. “Perhaps instead of focusing solely on what career we’re going to pursue, maybe we should think about what kind of character we’re going to cultivate,” she said. “Let’s not forget that, as important as greatness is, it is our goodness that will be the most rewarding. Through God and faith and through the genuine understanding of others, we can touch people in a way that makes just as worthy an impact on the world around us as the success of landing your dream job or getting a raise.” 

Breen reflected on the possibilities which await the class of 2018. She offered four pieces of advice: Remember you are an SJA woman; listen to your inner voice; understand the meaning of success; and carefully consider each choice you make.

“Today is an end, and today is a beginning,” she said. “You leave as women for others who walk together in hope, who celebrate the gifts of each other, who live serving the dear neighbor, who know the importance of forgiving, who welcome differences and who strive to bring peace and hope to the world.” 

Colleen Lovretich served as cantor. Lending their vocal talents to the ceremony was the SJA Women’s Choir. They were under the direction of Stephen Galliano and Mark Primeaux-Redmond. Accompanists were Louis Wendt, keyboard, and Craig Heinzen, trumpet. 
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine, Erin Albarado and Sara Rounds

SJA Honors Class of 2018

St. Joseph’s Academy honored the class of 2018 at the 52nd annual Honors Convocation, held May 18 in the new Academy Student Center. The evening event was sponsored by the faculty and alumnae of SJA.
 

President Jan Rhorer Breen welcomed the large gathering of family, friends, faculty and staff members, and theology faculty member Kayla Moscona introduced the 258 members of the graduating class, many of whom were escorted by their father. Senior Jade Woods offered the opening prayer. 

Katie Jeter Valenciano, a 2004 graduate of SJA and the director of alumnae relations, inducted the members of the class of 2018 – the Academy’s 141st graduating class – into the Alumnae Association and said the red roses they received from the association symbolized their union with 9,719 women who graduated before them. 

Dean of Women Aubrey DeJohn announced the senior class favorites: Meghan Johnson, most athletic; Vivian Brown, most talented; Mary Catherine Lorio, most likely to succeed; Emmalie Callegan, most school spirit; Megan Gremillion, most friendly; Alexandra Hinkle, most studious; Aidan Asmus, most witty; Jessica Munson, most attractive; Anna Koonce, best personality; and Jade Woods, best all around. 

DeJohn called forth the 96 seniors who gave at least 50 hours of service during each of their four years at SJA. Also recognized were the students chosen by their classmates to crown Mary at the annual May Crowning ceremony earlier this spring: Juliet Alise, Clare Barfield, Kennedy Benjamin, Vivian Brown, Caroline Cotten, Barbara Flandez, Megan Gremillion, Alexa Gutowski, Emily ashore, Kennedy Walker and Jade Woods. 

SJA’s four major athletic awards were given. Clare Barfield received the SJA Scholar-Athlete Award for academic excellence and athletic success. Meghan Johnson received the Sister Ursula Harelson Award, given to an outstanding student and dedicated athlete who is hard-working, selfless, competitive yet humble. Fran Okpalobi was named the recipient of the Sherri Troxclair Award for courage, determination and perseverance in overcoming obstacles while excelling in sports and making major contributions to the school community. Elise Caruso was named the SJA Outstanding Athlete for excellence in sports and for being both a strong leader and role model for her peers. 

Principal Stacia Andricain announced the recipients of the Distinguished Quality Awards for 2017-2018. Megan Gremillion received the Medaille Outstanding Classmate Award as the outstanding member of the class of 2018. She also received the Downtown Kiwanis Courtesy Award, voted on by the senior class and given to the senior who is considerate and respectful of others’ thoughts and feelings. The award was presented by Kiwanis member Dorothy Kemp. Kennedy Walker was given the American Legion Award, voted by her classmates on the principles of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service to God and the community. The award was bestowed by Ray Guitreau.

Vivian Brown was awarded the Knights of Columbus Patriotic Award, given to a senior who exemplifies the qualities of hard work in academics, love of God and country and patriotic actions in her daily life. It was presented by David Goldsmith. Claire Doucet received the Breaking Barriers Grant, established by Laureen Callo ’83 and given to a senior planning to attend an out-of-state school and pursue a major that has not been traditional for women. The award is given to a senior with a demonstrated record of academic and co-curricular achievement and a commitment to service.

Dean of Academics Dr. Jason Hanks announced the recipients of SJA’s special memorial awards. Ann Nguyen received the Allison Grace Honeycutt Memorial Award, given to a senior known for her gentle, caring manner and free-spirited approach to life and who loves working with young children. The award was given by Allison’s parents, Blayne and Valerie (Plaisance, SJA class of 1979) Honeycutt. Juliet Alise was the recipient of the Courtney Myshrall Memorial Award, given to a senior who is kindhearted, nonjudgmental and whose outgoing nature and joy for life touch those around her. The award was established by Courtney’s parents, Steve and Sharon Myshrall. Sharon, class of 1969, and three of her grandchildren, Eli Breedlove, Camille Piner and Keller Piner, presented the award. 

Rebecca Schwartzenburg received the Jeannette Svendson Memorial Award, given to a senior who exemplifies love and kindness, who is always positive and who is filled with appreciation for life. Jeffery and Martin Svendson presented the award in memory of their sister. Annaclaire Acosta received the Frank and Maria Bologna Award, given to the senior selected by the faculty as the hardest-working student. The award was given by Re Bologna DiVincenti, class of 1971, and her husband, David, daughter and son-in-law of Frank and Cookie Bologna. Jade Woods received the Cyrus A. Greco Service Award in recognition of her service to the school, her classmates, community and the faculty. 

DeJohn recognized the 84 recipients of the Seal of Bi-literacy, given to seniors who successfully completed a level four foreign language course and earned qualifying scores on the English and reading sections of the ACT. Andricain also recognized outstanding students in each subject area. They were Alexandra Hinkle, art achievement, Latin and mathematics; Ann Nguyen, art service; Helen Alford, band; Caroline Anne LeBlanc, chorus achievement; Barbara Flandez, chorus service; Kailynn Guidry, dance achievement; Alyssa D’Agostino, dance service; Jade Woods, English; Lorrel Brown, family and consumer science; Jane Jeha, French; Emrey Broyles, Spanish; Abby Genre, health and physical education; Meghan Johnson, health and physical education Accelerate; Aidan Asmus, health and physical education FIT; Claire Doucet, science; Lauren Campbell, social studies; Raquel Hodgeson, technology achievement; Julia Rogers, technology service; Vivian Brown, theater achievement; Madeline Territo, theater service; and Clare Barfield, theology. 

Andricain also recognized the 41 students who earned second academics for maintaining a 3.0-3.499 cumulative grade point average throughout their SJA years and the 87 students who earned first academics for maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 during their high school years. 

The Principal’s Award was given to 14 students who earned all As for semester grades in every class taken over four years. Recipients were Clare Barfield, Amy Brouillette, Emrey Broyles, Lauren Chauvin, Allison Contois, Jeanne Contois, Megan David, Alexandra Hinkle, Raquel Hodgeson, Jane Jeha, Adele Poché, Abby Shortess, Summer Smith and Jade Woods.

Ninety-seven were awarded an honors diplomas for maintaining a minimum 3.8 cumulative GPA while taking at least nine honors or advanced placement courses during the past four years. Also announced were the honor diploma students with the highest averages: salutatorian Emrey Broyles and valedictorian Lauren Chauvin.

Andricain congratulated the soon-to-be graduates and honored them as women who inspire the future with their talent, dignity and potential to make a difference in the world. 

Juliet Alise offered the closing prayer, and Caroline Anne LeBlanc ended the evening with the singing of the Alma Mater. 

Each year, alumna Liz Batchelor McKowen donates the red roses presented to the graduates by the Alumnae Association. The roses are donated in memory of Liz’s father, the late Alymer Price Batchelor.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

SJA Announces Changes to Administrative Team

St. Joseph’s Academy has restructured its administrative team. Principal Stacia Andricain announced that Aubrey DeJohn will become the school’s dean of academics, Dr. Jason Hanks will be the dean of curriculum and instruction and Erika Angarita has been named the dean of women.
 


“Collaboration within an administrative team is so important,” Andricain said. “Though the deans will all be learning new roles next year, we are excited about the dynamic and working with the faculty and staff to continue the tradition of excellence in our school.”

Changes become effective August 1. 

DeJohn became SJA’s dean of women in September, replacing Andricain, who was named principal when Dr. Michele Lambert left to pursue other interests. Moving into the role of dean of academics will enable DeJohn to oversee the school’s faculty and to implement academic policies. “I am looking forward to transitioning into working more in the area of academics,” she said. “I am excited to take on more of a role with teachers, as well. As a classroom teacher at SJA for more than a decade, I feel I have the necessary qualities to work with other teachers to enhance the classroom experience. Of course, my favorite part of the day will continue to be working with the students. They are my passion and the reason we all do what we do every day.” 

Dr. Hanks has served as dean of academics since June of 2015. The role of dean of curriculum and instruction is a new one at SJA. Job responsibilities include the ongoing planning, implementation, development and evaluation of the school’s curriculum. 

“I am looking forward to having more time for classroom observations as well as time to work with the faculty to begin to horizontally and vertically align the curriculum,” Dr. Hanks said. “My dissertation was on using data to inform decision making. I have used this information and skill set to improve test scores and college readiness at several other schools. I look forward to having the time to use data to help SJA improve academically and continuing to work with all stakeholders to move our exceptional program to even higher levels.” 

Angarita is new to the administrative team. She has taught Spanish at SJA for five years and has 11 years of experience as a classroom teacher. She holds a bachelor of arts from Western Michigan University in Spanish literature and a master’s from New York University in foreign language education. As dean of women, Angarita will be responsible for discipline and co-curricular activities. 

“I am looking forward to working with faculty and staff in a new position,” Angarita said. “The position of dean of women will give me the opportunity to pursue my passion. While I love being a teacher and a Student Council co-moderator, I believe that moving to administration is the next step in my journey here at SJA. I will work with a group of similarly minded teachers who put a lot of effort into their teaching and genuinely care about their students. I am excited to work with professionals I can learn from, and I know they will push me to take on new and challenging opportunities.”
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo by Erin Albarado

Track Team Finishes 3rd in State Meet

With qualifiers in 10 of 18 events, the St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team scored 61 points to finish third in the Class 5A Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, held May 5 at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track & Field Complex. The Redstickers’ point total was the highest in school history at the state meet. 
 

Zachary scored 73 points to capture the crown. Lafayette (67) was state runner-up. 

Junior Lauren Hendry won the 1,600 meter and 3,200 meter runs to be named the Outstanding Girls Performer. “This weekend was definitely an exciting one,” she said. “I was very pleased with my individual performances and could not be more proud of my teammates. Although we were a few points away from second place, we cannot be upset with our third-place finish, since it is the most points we have ever scored in a state meet.”

This year marks the fifth time in the past 11 years in which SJA has finished in the top five at the state meet. 

“I was fortunate enough to be a part of one state runner-up and three state championship teams in track and field at Sacred Heart of Grand Coteau,” said head coach Charlie Daigle. “The state meet on Saturday is as or more memorable to me than those. It was a phenomenal performance by a special team.”

Sophomore Isabelle Brown finished second in the 1,600 meter run and fifth in the 800 meter run. “I am incredibly proud of my team’s performance in this meet,” she said. “Everyone has trained very hard and competed to their best abilities all season long. I felt very energized and excited while racing. Lauren and I have been training and talking about our 1-2 finish in state all season, so I am beyond ecstatic to have made it happen. I could not be happier, and I am very hopeful for the upcoming years.” 

Scoring points towards the team’s total were the following:

1600m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 5:07.42 (personal record); Isabelle Brown, 2nd place, 5:13.78 (personal record) 

100m Hurdles: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 3rd place, 15.25 (personal record) 

800m Run: Isabelle Brown, 5th place, 2:23.38; Taylor Winters, 6th place, 2:24.32

300m Hurdles: Sophie Kronenberger, 3rd place, 46.42

3200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 11:07.30 (school record, personal record); Sophie Martin, 5th place, 11:44.30

High Jump: Catherine Couvillion, 3rd place, 5-02.00

Long Jump: Claire Holder, 4th place, 17-08.50 (personal record)

Javelin: Sarah Summerville, 3rd place, 134-03.00 (school record, personal record)
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Whitney Williston

SJA Elects Class Presidents, Representatives

The St. Joseph’s Academy student body has elected class presidents for the 2018-2019 academic year. 

Elected senior class president for next year is Ella Barhorst. Claire Marie Tate will serve as president of the junior class, and Tiffany Tran will be president of the sophomore class.

They join class representatives who were elected on April 30. Representing the class of 2019 are Claire Surek, Lily Abadie, Corrine Hutchinson, Addison Bruce, Katie Trussell, Catherine Couvillion, Sydney Clebert, Juliana Hill, Lacy Wendell, Natalie Lazaroe, Nikki Manuel, Katie McCullen, Catherine Contini, Leanne Livingston, Catherine Cangelosi, Parker Wilson, Aliyah Trapp, Kate Michel and Tori Collier.

Class of 2020 representatives are Angelle McCormick, Sophia Polozola, Mary Catherine Daniels, Emma Durnin, Emily Reynaud, Jordan Mathis, Simone Muir, Lilly Chastain, Cecilia Campesi, Isabelle Brown, Sophie Kronenberg, Aldyn Gremillion, Mel Hasenkampf, Paris Vercher, Bella Moushleb, McKenna Ramsey and Jacqueline Dawson.
 
Representing the class of 2021 are Anna Camille Eagleton, Riana Bickham, Sarah Branstetter, Bentley Plauche, Camille Cronan, Anna Pousson, Sophia DeAngelo, Masie Jones, Sarah Harris, Abby Arledge, Juliette Lemoine, Jane Laville, Claire Lazaroe, Clare Dillman, Kathryn Rothkamm, Anna Delafield and Henrietta Gifford.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

SJA Hosts Ring Ceremony

St. Joseph’s Academy juniors received their school rings during the 2018 Ring Ceremony, held May 4 in the Activity Center. SJA administrators, faculty and staff, along with family and friends of the class of 2019, gathered for the event, which commemorates the juniors’ three years at SJA and marks the point at which they make the transition to their senior year.
 

Principal Stacia Andricain welcomed the large crowd and introduced guest alumna speaker Ashton Piland Bevinetto, a 2008 Academy graduate who is a licensed CPA and a certified financial planner with Merrill Lynch. 

Bevinetto reflected on the preparedness she felt entering college as an SJA graduate. “Every single graduate of this school has been developing the necessary skills to succeed beyond high school, whether you realize it or not,” she said. “Your grades may give you access to certain schools or to secure certain internships, but what makes you successful in this world are the ‘soft skills’ – your character, who are you when no one is watching, your ability to show respect to others and to yourself, taking responsibility for your work and your actions, your loyalty, willingness to admit mistakes and your perseverance. The expectations placed on you by your teachers, the administration, your family and your peers are helping to cultivate all of these qualities on a daily basis.” 

She advised the juniors to hold tight to their values and spirituality. “Lean on your family, your support system, your strengths and talents and the Lord,” she said. “With independence comes a lot of freedom, a freedom that you have never had until you are in college. But with freedom comes the responsibility to make wise choices; choices that not only affect your life but the lives of those around you. SJA has given you such a head start by providing the skill set necessary to make those wise decisions. The work ethic instilled in you by this school, the opportunities to become leaders, the chance to really hone your work ethic and learn to balance a demanding academic load with the availability of endless clubs and extracurriculars teaches you to prioritize and sets you up to be extremely successful in college and beyond.”   

Catherine Couvillion read from St. Paul’s first letter to Timothy. Catherine Contini read a message entitled Journey Through Life. Lily Abadie, Julianna Hill, Katherine McCullen, Kate Michel, Katie Trussell and Parker Wilson led the prayers of the faithful. 

President Jan Rhorer Breen challenged the rising seniors to embrace their leadership role for 2018-2019, when the charism theme will be Leadership: Weave One Heart

Trystan Tate, junior class president, presented the class accomplishments, reflecting on the class’ challenges and successes to date. “When we accept our rings tonight, let us think of the transformation we’ve had from freshman year, and let us embrace the year ahead of us,” she said. “Let’s build on the foundation we’ve created so far. Let’s cherish these moments, live day by day and truly enjoy every minute we have left at this home away from home. Create memories, get to know all of your classmates and take advantage of all the great opportunities here at SJA. Senior year is full of opportunity to be servant leaders to the whole SJA community. I pray that we each embrace our friendships and use the gifts that God has blessed us with to create a positive impact.” 

Addison Bruce explained the rich symbolism of the school ring, which is offered in two designs: the traditional black onyx and the red barrel stone. Sister Joan Laplace, CSJ, associate director of the SJA Mission Advancement Office, blessed the juniors’ rings, and Andricain and Breen distributed them.

Catherine Cangelosi led the closing prayer. Anna Reese Couhig invited the juniors to participate in the traditional turning of the rings. Hallie Legendre led the singing of the Alma Mater. 

Aimee Cronan directed the SJA Liturgy Choir, and Michael McDowell played the piano. 

Kevin Landry was the coordinator of the Ring Ceremony. He was assisted by Sarah McCann, Yvette Aillet, Joanne Campbell, Kathie Hayden, Nicole Lane, Cord McKeithen, Lauren Morris, Shelly O’Dowd, Emily Peavy, Jennifer Prather and Stacy Rennhoff.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

SJA Celebrates Senior Mass, Hosts Reception

St. Joseph’s Academy gathered as a community on May 4 for the traditional Senior Mass, celebrated by Father Joseph Vu, parochial vicar at St. Anne, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Philomena parishes. 

Senior Jane Avery Price welcomed the large gathering of students, parents, faculty/staff, administrators and Sisters of St. Joseph to the Eucharistic celebration in the Activity Center. Senior Molly Shepherd read from the Acts of the Apostles. Seniors Claire Colomb and Marigny Broussard led the prayers of the faithful. 

In his homily, Father Joseph implored the seniors to aim high in everything they do. “When you do, you will succeed,” he said, adding that success also comes through hard work, dedication, commitment and the support of family and friends. 

At the conclusion of mass, Megan Gremillion, senior class president, spoke about her classmates’ growth over the past four years and the ways in which they reflect their class mascot, the turtle. “Just like turtles, we have shells to keep us safe,” she said. “However, unlike turtles, our shells are comprised of the bonds we have with one another. We are always there for our fellow classmates which, in my opinion, is what makes our school so special. Here we are, saying goodbye to the protective shell that is SJA. Our shell has allowed us to pursue knowledge, discover our passions and grow into women for others through servant leadership.”  
  
She thanked the faculty and staff for their daily encouragement and support. “You have molded us into the women we are today, and for that, we will eternally thank you,” she said. “This is a special place because of your dedication, hard work and embodiment of the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph.”   
  
Gremillion announced that the senior class gift is a commemorative garden that will celebrate the 150th anniversary of SJA’s founding in 1868. The area for rest and reflection will feature the original gate from SJA’s location on the corner of Fourth and Florida streets in downtown Baton Rouge, a landscaped garden, benches and a plaque. In addition, the class will give the school a statue of St. Joseph to use in assemblies.  

Principal Stacia Andricain said the seniors have graced SJA with their presence and have become young women for others. “I look out into the audience, and I see so many dreams to be fulfilled,” she said. “Dreams of being counselors, physicists, accountants, wives, mothers, engineers, writers, President and even future teachers at SJA. I thank you for allowing us, the administration, faculty and staff, along with your parents, to lay the foundation for your future. It has been an honor.”   
 
Senior Madeline Territo led the singing of the alma mater.

Aimee Cronan directed the Liturgy Choir. Seniors Hannah Miletello and Meredith Giles were the cantors. Musical accompanists were Michael McDowell and senior Gabbie Taylor, piano; Hugo Andricain, guitar; Alan LeCoq, bass; and Stephen Barrios, percussion.

Hugo Andricain is SJA’s liturgy coordinator.

Following mass, seniors and their parents gathered on the Batchelor Terrace and in the SJA orchard to enjoy the annual Senior Reception, hosted by the SJA Mothers’ Club. 

Jean Couvillion served as chairperson of the Senior Reception Committee. Co-chair was Lisa Guarisco. Monte Brown is Mothers’ Club president.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

SJA Celebrates May Crowning

St. Joseph’s Academy held its traditional May Crowning ceremony on May 1 on the Batchelor Terrace and orchard. Senior Jade Woods was chosen by her classmates, the faculty and staff to crown Mary. She was assisted by seniors Megan Gremillion, Alexa Gutowski, Kennedy Benjamin, Emily Shore, Kennedy Walker, Clare Barfield, Vivian Brown, Caroline Cotten, Juliet Alise and Barbara Flandez.
 


SJA Principal Stacia Andricain welcomed the large gathering and explained that the 11 seniors participating in the ceremony were chosen because they demonstrate honesty, integrity, a strong moral character, a genuine responsiveness to the needs of the dear neighbor and a commitment to their Catholic faith. 

Gremillion explained that the month of May has traditionally been dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom she described as a young Jewish woman who responded so completely to God. “In many ways, Mary was like you and me, but what made her exceptional was her openness to God and to His Spirit leading her life,” she said. “Perhaps it was for this reason she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus.”

Gutowski led the gathering in prayer, while Benjamin, Shore and Walker reflected on Mary as she is portrayed in the Gospels. Barfield offered a prayer, and Brown and Cotten read from the Reed of God by Caryll Houselander. Alise offered a prayer, then Wood crowned Mary. Flandez closed the ceremony with a reading from Sister Elizabeth Johnson’s book, Truly Our Sister: A Theology of Mary in the Communion of Saints.

Senior Macy Heroman led the singing of the alma mater.

Members of the Liturgy Choir, under the direction of Amie Cronan, lent their musical gifts to the ceremony. Senior Gabbie Taylor was the pianist.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Gymnasts Finish Third in State Meet

The St. Joseph’s Academy gymnastics team finished third in the LHSAA/Sugar Bowl Girls’ State Gymnastics Meet on April 28. The gymnasts tallied 215.350 points. Caddo Magnet (222.550) won its fifth consecutive state championship, while Baton Rouge High (220.150) captured state runner-up honors. The meet was held at Baton Rouge High.

“It was a group effort,” said faculty moderator Brenda LeBlanc. “We had several girls with personal best scores. The team definitely peaked at the right time. It was a pleasure to work with such a hardworking group of girls. The improvement from the start of the season to the end was absolutely incredible.”

Eliza Hufft finished second in level 4 in floor exercise, and Zoe Crawford finished 5th in level 4 on uneven bars. The level 4 group finished 3rd as a team in their level competition.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Heather LeBlanc and Ashley Johnson

SJA Honors Students for Service

St. Joseph’s Academy recognized students in each grade level for exceeding the requirement for service during the 2017-2018 academic year. The recognition ceremony was held April 30 in the Activity Center.

More than 600 students went above and beyond the call to serve, topping the requirement of 50 or more hours. 
 

“Service is the free gift of one’s time, talent and treasure to help another, expecting nothing in return,” said Sister Chris Pologa, CSJ, the Academy’s pastoral care minister and service coordinator. “Our role models are our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, along with the Sisters of St. Joseph, who founded St. Joseph’s Academy in 1868. Our charism theme, Relationships: Sacred Threads that Connect, has guided our service endeavors this year to the dear neighbor. Relationships are essential to community building. For it is in relationships that we learn to value and respect each person’s unique dignity. These personal encounters call us to stand in solidarity with one another as we encircle our global community with love.”

Senior class President Megan Gremillion and senior theology teacher Sister Joan Manuel, assisted by senior theology teachers, called forth the 129 seniors with more than 50 hours of service this year.

Seniors who dedicated 50 or more hours to service during each of their four years at SJA will be recognized at the 2018 Honors Convocation on May 18.

Junior class President Trystan Tate and junior theology teacher Kayla Moscona, with assistance from junior theology teachers, introduced the 146 juniors with more than 50 service hours this academic year. 

Sophomore class President Angelle McCormick and sophomore theology teacher Sheri Klemm, along with sophomore class theology teachers, recognized the 143 sophomores with more than 50 hours of service this year. 

Freshman class President Rhianna Bickham and freshman theology teacher Dana Murray, assisted by freshman theology teachers, called forth the 151 freshmen with more than 50 service hours this year. 

Student Ambassador co-moderators Stacy Rennhoff, Catherine Durnin and Mandy Hoffman, along with Ambassador President Megan David and Vice President Mallory Casseri, thanked the Ambassadors for their dedication and service to SJA. During 2017-2018, Ambassadors worked more than 300 hours at events during the school year and the summer. 

Jill Abadie, Stacia Andricain and Lisa Knotts recognized the senior peer consultants who work in SJA’s Writing Center for their work in helping students improve and develop as writers.

Krysia Duplessis honored the student technicians who work in SJA’s Help Desk. These students work on SJA’s tablet computers after school and during holidays, and they donate their time to mission trips and service initiatives. 

Members of the class of 2018 ended the program by performing the annual Senior Farewell. The comical presentation touched on the highlights of the seniors’ four years at SJA. Readers were Megan Gremillion, Emily Shore, Emily Boudreaux and Hannah Miletello. Other participants were Adelisca LeBlanc, Gabrielle Taylor, Abigail Cazes, Sarah Hill, Infiniti Rogers, Emma Callegan, Kennedy Benjamin, Camille Fruge and Sophia Marchiafava.

Senior Alyssa D’Agostino closed the assembly with the singing of the Alma Mater. 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Students Participate in Louisiana Earth Day

Members of the St. Joseph’s Academy Science Club and students in Honors Biology participated in the 27th annual celebration of Louisiana Earth Day, one of the nation’s largest environmental festivals. This year’s event was held April 29 in LSU’s Parker Coliseum. 

The festival featured hands-on educational activities for all ages and live entertainment throughout the afternoon. Earth Day fosters both individual and corporate environmental awareness and action through creative exhibits and activities and serves as a reminder to enjoy and celebrate Louisiana’s unique culture and beauty. 

Accompanied by science teachers Alexis Stein and Linda Messina, the students manned the water cycle booth, helping young visitors learn about the water cycle by making bracelets. 

“Earth Day is always so exciting and informative as different groups and organizations share information about Earth, its resources and energy and coastal land loss,” Messina said. “This year, we had a great group of girls who spent Sunday educating young people about our renewable resource, water. It was wonderful seeing these young ladies interact with and teach so many young children.”

Stein said she thoroughly enjoyed her first SJA Earth Day. “Mrs. Messina, the girls and all of the kiddos and even some parents made for a great time teaching about the water cycle in a way that was interactive and exciting to all involved,” she said. 

Sophomore Kendall Willard said young visitors to the SJA booth enjoyed learning about the water cycle. “We taught them in a fun, innovative way,” she said. “On the bracelets, each bead represented a different part of the water cycle. I really enjoyed being able to teach children while also having fun and helping them have fun. It was great to educate children about our earth in an exciting way.” 

Sophomore Emma Routier agreed. “I really enjoyed teaching the kids about the water cycle and hearing from some of them how interesting they thought it was,” she said. 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Linda Messina

Black Box Company Presents ‘Addams Family’

The St. Joseph’s Academy/Catholic High School Black Box Company presented The Addams Family April 25-29 in the Academy Arts Center Black Box Theater. The musical comedy was presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide. 

The Addams Family featured 31 talented students. 
 

In this original story, the macabre Addams family is put to the test when outsiders come to dinner, hurling Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester, Grandma and Lurch headlong into a night that will change the family forever.

Lily McGill, SJA’s drama teacher and Black Box Company moderator, said the show was a huge success. “This was an ambitious project for us, and I’m so proud that we pulled it off,” she said. “The students worked so hard for the last three months, several hours a day, five days a week. This hard work was evident in their performances. My favorite part of it all is the bond that the students form. Our club is like a huge family; the tears really flowed Sunday as we closed our show and said goodbye to our seniors. I could not be prouder of what we achieved as an organization this year, and we are looking forward to getting started next year.”

Junior Brooke Bell portrayed Pugsley Addams. She said the experience was memorable. “The cast and crew along with our instructors actually became a real family through our journey,” she said. “Performing with such talented friends and learning new things was amazing. I am extremely thankful for this opportunity. It is insane to see girls I don’t know well congratulating me around campus or girls who do not participate in theater have a newfound interest in it. Only truly positive things have come from The Addams Family for me.”

Sophomore Ashley Stevens played the role of Wednesday Addams. “This was my first big production at the SJA/CHS Black Box, and it was so wonderful, thanks to Ms. McGill,” she said. “She really whipped the Drama Club into great shape. The production quality has skyrocketed. I’m so thankful to have worked with her on this beautifully strange show.”  

Freshman Jules Culotta was the understudy for the role of Grandma Addams and a member of the ancestors’ ensemble. “The show was so much fun,” she said. “Getting to know and work with such fun and amazing people in such an upbeat, uplifting and hilarious show is definitely the highlight of my freshman year. They really made me feel at home here, and I’m ecstatic to see what theatrical adventures await us in the future.” 

Junior Ainsley Schulte was the understudy for Morticia Addams and a member of the ensemble. She said the production was first rate. “From the set to the choreography, all the way to the people, the entire show was outstanding,” she said. “I enjoyed growing close to the cast because everyone in the show was unbelievably enthusiastic and excited, and now I feel as if we truly are our own little Addams Family. One of the lines in the show was, ‘It’s family first and family last and family by and by,’ and I feel as if this show has brought me closer to my family as we all ‘moved toward our darkness.’ A big thanks to Ms. McGill for being a wonderful director and helping us to reach new levels of potential as actors, singers and people. I could not be more proud of the magic we’ve made these past few months.”

Sophomore Annie Blanchard was the understudy for the role of Alice Beineke and a member of the ancestors’ ensemble. “I had such a blast with this show,” she said. “I loved having the opportunity to be both an ancestor and Alice understudy. The ensemble in The Addams Family is really unique because each person has their own character. There was a ballerina, a sailor, an astronaut and many more, and all of them were dead. All of us did makeup to look the part and made our skin paler and added purple under-eye bags every night. Getting to play Alice in the matinee was an amazing opportunity; she’s such a crazy and fun character to explore. I am so grateful that SJA has so many ways for students to explore the arts.”
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Trinity Laudun, Edy Koonce and Tracy Ducote

SJA Hosts Academic Awards Program

St. Joseph’s Academy recognized students who have excelled in academic studies throughout the school year at the 2018 Academic Awards program. The Disney-themed ceremony was held April 27 in the Activity Center. The event was also live streamed on SJABR-TV. 

Faculty members bestowed subject-area awards upon students with outstanding grades and who have demonstrated cooperative attitudes, willingness to work and participation in class. Awards were given in The Arts, English, Foreign Language, Health & Physical Education, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology and Theology.
 

A number of outstanding achievement and St. Joseph’s Academy awards were announced, as well. They included the following:

Catherine Rollins received the Mrs. Adalie Brent Memorial Award, given to the most promising Art I student. 

Catherine Cangelosi was the recipient of the Hendrix Odyssey Book Award, granted to an outstanding junior for distinguished scholarship and engaged learning experiences as a member of the school and community. 

The Association Louisianaise des clubs Français des Écoles Secondaires (ALCFES) awarded Vivian Brown a scholarship to study in La Rochelle, France, this year. 

ALCFES awarded the presidential scholarship to Andrea Matus to attend the St. Anne’s French Immersion Camp this summer in Nova Scotia, Canada. 

The American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) bestowed the Excellence in French Award upon Juliet Alise, Livie Broussard, Vivian Brown, Barbara Flandez, Isabella Galindo, Tess Hiller, Jane Jeha, McKenzie Knight and Caroline Anne LeBlanc.

Students who earned medals on the National Latin Exam were honored. Receiving the silver medal for Latin I were Caroline Davis, Melanie Dietrich, Isabel Duplantis and Lauren Harmon. Receiving the silver medal for Latin II were Jillian Eskew, Anna Leyrer, Eleana Miller, Anna Montanio, Kendall Ourso, Emma Routier and Faith Woods. Receiving the gold medal for Latin II were Mary Catherine Daniels, Lily Martin, Shreya Reshamwala and Jolan Taylor. 

Ann Nguyen was the recipient of the Nancy Howell Convention Award, which defrays the cost of attending the National Junior Classical League convention for both the student and her teacher, Leigh Grace Rouyer. 

Chrismry Gboloo was the winner of the Randolph-Macon Woman’s College Book Award, which recognizes a high school junior who is academically strong and possesses leadership potential. 

Recognized for placing in their subject area at the District Rally and qualifying for the Louisiana State Rally were Shreya Reshamwala, Caroline Dazzio, Audrey LeJeune, Isabelle Broussard, Mary Catherine Daniels, Madelyn Helm, Anna LeJeune, Addison Bruce, Jade Woods, Natalie Marioneaux, Skylar Mancuso, Celia Dooley, Moran LoCascio, Ella Barhorst, Emily Boudreaux, Lily Abadie, Elise Marchand, Lark Smith, Raeann Didier, Hannah Grace Vautrot, Holly Honore and Eleana Miller. Three students received scholastic achievement awards for placing first in their category: Mary Catherine Daniels, Morgan LoCascio and Skylar Mancuso. 

Rachael Coates was the winner of the Bausch & Lomb Science Award, which recognizes a chemistry student with consistently high achievement and rigor in science classes and high PSAT and math scores. She goes on to compete for a University of Rochester scholarship. 

Anna Myers was the recipient of the 2018 Woodmen of the World award, given to the American History student who exhibits the qualities of scholarship, leadership and enthusiasm for history. 

Madi Ogra won the 2018 Tulane University Book Award, which recognizes a junior who has demonstrated excellence in academic achievement, leadership and community service.

Recognized as a National Merit finalist for this year was Alexandra Hingle. Named commended students for 2018 were Kennedy Benjamin, Emrey Broyles, Lauren Chauvin, Mary Catherine Lorio, Ann Nguyen, Allie Peever and Jade Woods.

Woods was also honored for being named the Diocesan Student of the Year. 

Derquisia Spears received the 2018 Greater Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation Award, given to an outstanding junior who has volunteered her time for in-school and outside-school activities.

The SJA Beta Club Marjorie Claire McAnelly Award went to Annie Blanchard, Claire Marie Tate and Jolan Taylor. The award recognizes the student who exhibits exceptional qualities of service, leadership and academic excellence.

Madison Scroggins received the Adeline McManus Award, given to an outstanding freshman who is known for her unselfish dedication to classmates and the school community. 

Angelle McCormick was the recipient of the 2018 Mae Stokes Award, established by the Sisters of St. Joseph in memory of Mae Stokes, who gave her life in dedication and loyal service to SJA. 

Madison Boudreaux was the winner of the Serra Club Award, given to an outstanding junior and based on Christian leadership and all-around character and performance.

Three students received the Good Works Award, established in 2014 to honor a freshman, sophomore and junior for unselfish commitment in daily life to the good of others. This year’s winners are rising sophomore Anna Camille Eagleton, rising junior Mary Catherine Daniels and rising senior Lacy Wendell. 

The Barefoot Pedals Foundation, established to honor the life of Jeff Nola, gave two awards. Jeff’s Father, Mike Nola, and Barefoot Pedals Foundation President Andrew Brown presented the awards. The 2018 Jeff Nola Band recipient, chosen because she embodies quiet leadership, spirituality, commitment to academic success and craft in playing a musical instrument, was Eden Landry. The 2018 Jeff Nola Liturgy recipient, chosen because she embodies quiet leadership, spirituality and commitment to academic success, was Derquisia Spears.

Principal Stacia Andricain offered the closing prayer. Rebecca Hanly concluded the assembly by leading the singing of the Alma Mater.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

FACS Hosts Style Show

The St. Joseph’s Academy Family and Consumer Science Department presented the annual SJA Style Show on April 24 for parents and friends and again on April 25 for the student body. The theme for the high-energy production was SJA Crowns & Gowns Beauty Pageant.
 
 

Students in Clothing Construction made and modeled laser-cut skirts. Students in Family and Consumer Science made and modeled pajama bottoms, and students in Clothing Construction made and modeled dresses. The final scene of the show featured seniors in Advanced Clothing Construction modeling the formal dresses they made. 

“The style show is a fun event at SJA,” said FACS faculty member Amy Neck. “It entails a lot of work but has a lot of rewards for my students and the student body. This year’s Beauty Pageant theme show did not disappoint. With collectivity 210 students participating, you were entertained for one full hour. The show was packed with excitement.”

FACS faculty member Yvette Aillet said this year’s show was unique. “The live music was amazing and added the little something extra we have been looking for,” she said. “This show was a true team effort, incorporating the band, vocalists, dancers and FACS students. Everyone involved worked so hard to make the show a success.” 

Senior Caroline Cotten said the process of creating her formal dress was highly enjoyable. “I loved going to my seventh-hour clothing class every day and starting on a new part of my dress,” she said. “I definitely could not have done it without Mrs. Neck and Mrs. [Linda] Weimer. They are the best. Style show is an event I have looked forward to every year, and finally getting to wear my dress in it was the perfect way to end my experience.”
Senior Hannah Grace Babin created a black, one-shoulder gown featuring multi-colored lace. “My dress was difficult because we made a lot of alterations to the original pattern,” she said. “All the teachers and girls made this dress possible and also made me enjoy making it. I loved getting to model it because it was satisfying to be able to show off all my hard work to the school. I personally love the spotlight, so a stage is my favorite thing, which is another reason I loved modeling. I am very happy that I made my dress, with the help of Mrs. Neck and Mrs. Weimer, of course.”

Adding their talents to the production were vocalists Hugo Andricain, Barbara Flandez, Angelle McCormick, Mark Primeaux, Mary Scott Pourciau and Ashley Stevens. Instrumentalists were Hugo Andricain, Stephen Barrios, Michael McDowell and Mark Primeaux. Senior dancers were Juliet Alise, Livie Broussard, Skylar Culmone, Kailynn Guidry, Meredith Landry, Blaise Putnam, Madeline Ortego and Kennedy Walker. 

A surprise performance was delivered by five faculty members calling themselves The Misfits: Cindy Downs, Mary Kay Alford, Lauren Morris, Shelly O’Dowd and deLynn Stelly. The final scene closed with a cameo appearance by SJA Custodial Supervisor Lena Magee as Queen Sewpreme. 

Catholic High students performed and served as escorts for the models. They were Brandon Andrews, Ryan Aultman, Nathan Bell, Ben D’Armond, William Delaune, Jacques Gaspard, Easton Hollis and Wil Landry. 
 
Also working to make the show a success were Holly Sonnier, Lorrel Brown and Emily Johnson, program; Peyton Williams, T-shirt design; Chad Aultman, Daryl Williams and CHS escorts, set up; Caroline Cotten and Madeline Ortego, opening scene video; Hugo Andricain and Alan LeCoq, lighting and sound; and Lily McGill and the SJA/CHS Drama Club, props.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Track Team Finishes 2nd at Regional Meet

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team was the runner-up to Zachary High by a slim, four-point margin in the LHSAA Class 5A Region II track and field championship, held April 26 at Catholic High School. The top three finishers in each event qualified for the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Class 5A Outdoor Championships, set for May 5 at LSU. 
 

The Redstickers scored 118 points, while Zachary needed a win in the 4x400 relay to top SJA with 122 points. Rounding out the 15-team field were Walker (56), Baton Rouge High (55), Dutchtown (34), Scotlandville (31), Mandeville (28), Slidell and Ponchatoula (tie, 26), Fontainebleau (23), St. Amant (18), Central (12), Denham Springs (4), Like Oak (3) and Broadmoor (2).

SJA qualified in 10 of 18 events for the state meet. 

Scoring points towards the team total were the following:

4x200m Relay: Alexis Barbay, Rebecca Schwartzenburg, Ava Moreau and Kelly Stephens, 5th place, 1:48.09

1600m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 5:18.92; Isabelle Brown, 2nd place, 5:24.08

100m Hurdles: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 2nd place, 15.88; Claire Holder, 5th place, 16.62

100m Dash: Sydney LaFleur, 6th place, 13.18

800m Run: Isabelle Brown, 1st place, 2:22.06 (personal record); Taylor Winters, 2nd place, 2:23.62 (personal record) 

4x100m Relay: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, Rebecca Schwartzenburg, Alexis Barbay and Sydney LaFleur, 3rd place, 49.65 (season best)

300m Hurdles: Sophie Kronenberger, 3rd place, 47.53 (personal record)

3200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 11:15.05 (personal record); Sophie Martin, 2nd place, 11:33.78 (personal record)

4x400m Relay: Taylor Winters (season best split), Kelly Stephens, Ashley Ward and Alessandra Purnell, 2nd place, 4:06.02 (season best) 

High Jump: Catherine Couvillion, 2nd place, 5-02.00; Hannah Grace Babin, 4th place, 4-10.00

Pole Vault: Peyton Williams, 2nd place, 9-00.00

Long Jump: Claire Holder, 3rd place, 17-05.50 (personal record)

Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 5th place, 35-06.50

Discus: Peyton Smith, 6th place, 102-07.00 (personal record) 

Javelin: Sarah Summerville, 2nd place, 132-00.00
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of 

SJA Board Hosts 1868 Dinner

The St. Joseph’s Academy Board of Directors hosted The 1868 Dinner on April 26 to celebrate the successes of the 2017-2018 academic year. Held at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, the event honored Donor Society members, families and individuals establishing scholarships in the past year, those who served in volunteer leadership capacities and SJA’s Outstanding Alumnae for 2018: Kristy Roubique, class of 1976, and Dr. Liz Dauzat Seiter, class of 1979.
 

SJA Board Chair Sam Territo welcomed the guests and thanked them for the important role they play as partners in the Academy’s mission. He introduced emcee Brenda LeBlanc, a member of the SJA health and physical education department for 24 years. She introduced the Sisters of St. Joseph in attendance, SJA’s administration and members of the Board of Directors. 

A group of SJA vocalists, under the direction of Steve Galliano, sang the blessing and performed prior to dinner. 

SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen reminded guests that in 2018-2019, SJA will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding in 1868 by the Sisters of St. Joseph. She provided an update on the construction of the new Academy Student Center and shared some of the highlights of the 2017-2018 academic year. 

LeBlanc announced that three new scholarships and one new fund were established during the past year: the Jacqueline Billeaudeau Labat ’64 Scholarship, the Flavia Ourso’47 and Marvin V. Ourso Memorial Scholarship, the Lois Ourso Taylor ’46 and Kelly Sword Hurtado ’81 Scholarship and the Dorren Schmitt Endowed Fund for STEM.

LeBlanc introduced the volunteer leadership of each of the four components of the SJA Annual Fund: Kim Wong Kwan ’79, Alumnae Annual Fund chair; Patti and Mike Hiller, Parents Annual Fund chair couple; Peggy and Pete Prosser, Friends Annual Fund chair couple; and Nan Murtagh and Pat O’Hara, Faculty/Staff Annual Fund chairs.

Also recognized were the new members of the Mother Alice, 1868, Shield, Heritage and Father Jean-Pierre Médaille Donor Societies. Members of the Legacy Society were also thanked. 

Recognized for their commitment to the Academy community were Mothers’ Club President Monte Brown; Dads’ Club President Warren Davis; Soirée chair Linda Thompson; SJA Alumnae Association President Lurline Hamilton ’64; Sticker Stampede co-chairs Karen Edward Styron ’01 and Emily Shedlof Richard ’01; Sticker Scramble co-chairs Randall Heine and Warren Davis; and SJA Tennis Classic chair Wendy Williams Lutgring ’84.
 
SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen recognized former recipients of the Distinguished Graduate and Outstanding Alumnae awards in attendance and introduced tribute videos to this year’s honorees: Kristy Roubique ’76 and Dr. Liz Dauzat Seiter ’79. The videos were produced by Erin Barrilleaux Albarado ’07 and Mindy Brodhead Averitt. 

Sister Mary Anne Hebert led the closing prayer.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado and Jennifer Fontaine

Tennis Team Wins State Championship

The St. Joseph’s Academy tennis team is the 2018 Division I state champion, finishing first in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Tennis Tournament. The Redstickers scored 14 points to finish ahead of Mount Carmel (8), Parkway (6.5), Mandeville (6) and Denham Springs (5.5).

The Division I championship was held April 23 and 24 at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. 

The tennis team also won the state championship in 2017.

“From the beginning of the season, the team’s primary goal was to be state champions again,” said Coach Cindy Downs. “I’m so proud of them for working so hard each and every week, each and every tournament, each and every match, to accomplish our goal.” 

SJA put two doubles teams into the championship match, with Mikala Noonan and Madison Cefalu beating Nikki Manuel and Madison Henderson to lead the title charge. 

“Winning the state championship is a fantastic feeling,” Noonan said. “I got to the finals last year with the same doubles partner but unfortunately lost. So, it felt really good to redeem ourselves. It is such an honor to be able to contribute to the tennis team winning a state title for the second year in a row. Standing on the court surrounded by my beloved teammates and coaches while we received the trophy was truly a memorable experience.”

Cefalu said the state title was the perfect ending to the season. “All our hard work as a team paid off as we took home the state championship,” she said. “Mikala and I have been playing doubles together for two years. Last year, we just missed being doubles champions. We worked harder this season, and our dream was fulfilled.” 
 
Manuel said repeating as state champs is a wonderful accomplishment. “It feels amazing,” she said. “Our team goal since the start of the season has been to win state, and through everyone’s hard work and enthusiasm, we made it happen. We are so happy, and we are pumped to make a 3-peat state title happen next year.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Linda Messina

Track Team Wins 11th Straight District Title

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team won its 11th consecutive District 5-5A track and field championship on April 19 at Catholic High School. The team scored 207 points, the third highest total in school history. Rounding out the field were Baton Rouge High (159), Dutchtown (91), St. Amant (54), East Ascension (31) and Broadmoor (8).
 

The top four finishers in each event move on to the Region II-5A championship, set for April 26 at Catholic High. The top three performers in each regional event will qualify for the LHSAA Class 5A State Championship on May 5 at LSU. 

SJA captured eight district championships: five individual events and all three relays. This year marks the first time all three relay teams won district titles. Additionally, SJA will compete in all 18 events in the regional championship. 

Scoring points towards the team’s total were the following: 

4x200m Relay: Alexis Barbay, Rebecca Schwartzenburg, Ava Moreau and Kelly Stephens, 1st place, 1:47.00 

1600m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 5:34.00; Isabelle Brown, 2nd place, 5:34.23

100m Hurdles: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 2nd place, 16.27; Claire Holder, 4th place, 16.52

100m Dash: Sydney LaFleur, 3rd place, 13.14; Kennedy Benjamin, 6th place, 13.46 

800m Run: Isabelle Brown, 1st place, 2:25.10; Taylor Winters, 3rd place, 2:26.65 

4x100m Relay: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, Rebecca Schwartzenburg, Alexis Barbay and Sydney LaFleur, 1st place, 50.45 

400m Dash: Alessandra Purnell, 3rd place, 1:02.66; Bradlee Betz, 4th place, 1:02.75 

300m Hurdles: Sophie Kronenberger, 2nd place, 48.16; McKenna Ramsey, 6th place, 50.16 

200m Dash: Alexis Barbay, 2nd place, 27.60; Rebecca Schwartzenburg, 5th place, 28.12 

3200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 11:35.38; Sophie Martin, 2nd place, 11:51.47 

4x400m Relay: Taylor Winters, Kelly Stephens, Bradlee Betz and Alessandra Purnell, 1st place, 4:10.47 

High Jump: Catherine Couvillion, 1st place, 5-02.00; Hannah Grace Babin, 2nd place, 4-10.00 

Pole Vault: Peyton Williams, 2nd place, 10-00.00; Anna Koonce, 3rd place, 8-06.00 

Long Jump: Claire Holder, 2nd place, 17-00.50; Haley Blouin, 6th place, 15-08.00

Triple Jump: Haley Blouin, 4th place, 32-07.00; Claire Holder, 5th place, 32-06.25 

Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 2nd place 37-05.00 

Discus: Peyton Smith, 3rd place, 101-04.00; Kayleigh Mims, 4th place, 94-09.00

Javelin: Sarah Summerville, 1st place, 121-11.00; Carley Dugas, 5th place, 77-08.00
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Charlie Daigle

SJA Hosts 60th Annual Student Art Exhibit

St. Joseph’s Academy hosted the 60th annual Student Art Exhibit on the evening of April 24. The show was held in the Academy Arts Center and featured the work of students in Nicole Lane’s art classes. 
 

“This year’s art show was spectacular,” Lane said. “It included painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture from this year’s studio art classes. We made the effort to include at least two pieces from every girl. Their creativity, craftsmanship and design quality are evident on each piece. The art show is a wonderful way for our girls to display their art to friends and family. We are extremely proud of our students for their hard work and determination in making this year’s art show successful.” 

Senior Sophia Marchiafava said she had mixed emotions attending her final art exhibit. “Going to my last art show was bittersweet,” she said. “Only being in art my last two years, I have created so many memories and bonded with the best people. Seeing all my talented peers showing off their hard work was so rewarding.” 

Sophomore Emily Reynaud said she loved the opportunity to see the many unique works of art. “The hard work and creativity of the girls in the arts programs have truly inspired me to continue to improve on my art skills and appreciate the dedication that each student has for her artwork,” she said.

Sophomore Kate Cochran said she and her family enjoyed visiting the exhibit. “We loved how spread out it was and how it continued throughout the building,” she said. “I personally loved the displays in the very middle that showed series of works placed together to create one complete piece of art.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Seniors Participate in Research Program

Two St. Joseph’s Academy seniors were among the undergraduate and high school students who conducted research with LSU faculty this year through the President’s Future Leaders in Research, or PFLR, and the Year Zero Pilot programs. A breakfast event was held on April 16 at the LSU Student Union to recognize the accomplishments of the student researchers. 

Mary Catherine Lorio and Julia Rogers were among the six local high school students who participated in the PFLR Year Zero Pilot program, designed to provide an early start for students to obtain research experience during their senior year. This enables these specially nominated high school students to initiate a premium research experience with co-mentors from their high schools, enhancing their potential to obtain high quality results and professional development during their career at LSU and beyond.

Lorio conducted research with Jonathan Dowling of the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy, while Rogers conducted research with Golden Richard of the LSU Division of Computer Science & Engineering and the Center for Computation & Technology.

For 2018-2019, five SJA students have been selected to participate in the Year Zero program. Participants receive a $1,550 stipend for each year they participate in the program. They will spend several hours each week throughout their senior year working in their mentors’ labs with other undergraduate and graduate students. SJA’s participants for next year are juniors Abby Blaize, economics/engineering; Madi Boudreaux, psychology; Sydney Clebert, biological engineering; Maurie Morris, biology; and Adeline Roemer, veterinary medicine. 

 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Senior Honored as LPB Young Hero

Senior Megan Gremillion was among the eight students honored as a Young Hero for 2018. Now in its 23rd year, the LPB Louisiana Young Hero Awards, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, honors students in grades 7-12 who excel in the classroom, serve their local communities and sometimes demonstrate great personal courage in overcoming adversity. 

Louisiana Young Heroes Day was celebrated on April 16.
 

Gremillion and her fellow honorees were treated to a day full of activities, including breakfast at LPB’s studios, lunch at the Old Governor’s Mansion and a visit to Tiger Stadium, where they talked with Coach Ed Orgeron. The day culminated with a banquet at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge. 

“I feel incredibly humbled to have received this award,” Gremillion said. “It is one of the best experiences and greatest honors of my life with memories that I will cherish forever.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Megan Gremillion

SJA Wins Challenge Day 2018

St. Joseph’s Academy is the winner of the 2018 Challenge Day competition, beating Catholic High School 10-9. The event, hosted by the Student Councils of both schools, took place this year on April 20 in the CHS gym. 
 

The Redstickers captured the Memory, Ping Pong Transfer, PVC Pass and Spirit events, while the Bears won Cup Stacking, Uniform Swap, Basketball Shootout and Egg Toss. Both schools won two points in the Challenge Day Food Drive competition for surpassing their goal of 35 pounds of nonperishable food items collected per student. 

The food drive, which benefits the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, resulted in more than 67,000 pounds of food being collected. 

Senior Barbara Flandez was a coach for the Ping Pong Transfer team. “Challenge Day was hands-down the best and most rewarding event of my senior year,” she said. “The amount of joy and anxiety I felt throughout the event itself is indescribable. I will never forget how every single one of my Sticker sisters came together in order to achieve something we all wanted. This was the perfect reward we needed to boost the morale throughout our school community, and I am more than thankful that I was able to be a part of this celebration.” 

Senior Gabbie Taylor was a member of the Ping Pong Transfer team. She said Challenge Day was an exhilarating experience she will never forget. “Student Council and the athletes worked so hard to prepare for this event, and the outcome truly showed how much it meant to us,” she said. “This win was an indescribable feeling that you just had to be in that huge huddle around the trophy with your Sticker sisters to feel. Go Stickers!”

Senior Isabel Oatley was part of the Cup Stacking team. “After I competed in cup stacking, I was a little upset about losing the event, but I knew I needed to keep a spirited attitude for the rest of the athletes who still had to compete,” she said. “Once the winner of spirit was announced, I hugged my friends, and some girls I had never even met before, so tight, jumped for joy and cried happy tears. I’ll never forget when I touched the trophy for the very first time. Challenge Day was one of the most exciting and fun days of my entire life. I’m so happy to have made memories I’ll never forget.”

Alumnae, parents and friends enjoyed the action at the Challenge Day live-feed viewing party at Bogie’s. Others watched from their computers, smart phones and TVs. The video streaming was the work of Media Coordinator Erin Albarado, faculty member Sara Rounds and their student-run SJABR TV organization. 

Prior to the start of the competition, the SJA Activity Center was electric, as the SJA cheerleaders and moderator Lauren Morris planned and hosted a pep rally. Mayor Sharon Weston Broome made a surprise visit to present the SJA Cheerleaders with a proclamation of congratulations for winning the 2018 National High School Cheerleading Championship in the Super Varsity Division in February.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Annaclaire Acosta, Caroline Dazzio, Madeline Ortego, Emily Shore, Alyssa Romero and Tiffany Tran

Physics Honors Project Addresses SPD

Students in Jacqueline Savoia’s Physics Honors classes recently completed a project in the St. Joseph’s Academy Innovation and Design Lab. The project, which began in November, challenged the juniors and seniors to design a sensory-friendly play space for children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).
 

Following the Innovation and Design methodology, the students first identified a need in the local community. They then researched SPD, discovering that it is typically not recognized as a medical condition without an associated diagnosis of autism and that most insurance companies don’t cover the cost of treatment. The students also discovered that these children do not receive special accommodations at school unless their parents pay for them.

After interviewing two local mothers whose sons have SPD, the students pitched prototypes of their projects which addressed the specific sensory needs of the disorder. 

Ethan Tshirky and Jack Meyer, accompanied by their moms, visited campus recently to see the sensory-friendly play spaces designed especially for them. 

Ethan’s play space had a “Louisiana Bayou” theme, while Jack’s space featured a “Starry Night” theme. Both were equipped with sensory-friendly materials, personalized sensory boards, a weighted sensory blanket, an essential oil diffuser, a Bluetooth speaker and other features. Ethan’s play space will go to the mother’s day out program at Jefferson Baptist, while Jack will enjoy his space at his house. 
 
“It is rewarding to see these projects implemented and to know that we have been able to give something back to the community,” said Brianna Sommers, director of the Innovation and Design Lab.

Jennifer Meyer, Jack’s mother, said the students’ engagement in the project was truly remarkable. “They were genuinely concerned with researching and coming up with unique ideas that could make a real difference in the lives of children with Sensory Processing Disorder,” she said. “This disorder has greatly impacted our life, and it is something that does not get a lot of attention.”

Jennifer said that Jack loved his new play space. “The girls had prepared the space for him to be calm when he entered the room by dimming the lights and turning on his favorite music,” she said. “He was delighted with all the special touches that they included. He was perfectly calm and regulated while in the space, which means it served its purpose well. It was such a pleasure to meet these students, and I am so glad that I was able to be a part of this project. The students’ interest and thoughtfulness truly touched my heart.”
 
Senior Lisa Taylor said in her research, she discovered that children with PSD can exhibit seeking or avoiding preferences in regards to sensations. “Our little boy was a seeker,” she said. “What this meant for us in building our play space was that we needed to add as much as we possibly could. We added different textures on the outside and inside, and we added bubbles, lights and brushes they could play with. This project was so unique, and being able to make a difference in these boys’ lives was so meaningful. Just seeing the look on their faces when they saw our creation made me tear up because it shows that all of our hard work paid off.” 

Senior Sarah Hill said the process of planning, creating and bringing a prototype to fruition was a highly rewarding experience. “On the big reveal day, I was so excited and so nervous to see how Jack would respond,” she said. “There was such a great amount of work from everyone involved to ensure that our dome would be a success, yet ultimately, the success of our project depended on the response from one little boy. As I walked into the room, I truly had a pit in my stomach, but that all faded away as I saw Jack in his dome smiling ear to ear. It is hard to explain, but watching a little boy who has struggled immensely with SPD truly enjoy something you worked tirelessly to make perfect engenders such an overwhelming feeling of gratification. It was such a heartwarming experience.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Brianna Sommers and Erin Albarado

Basketball Team Celebrates Season

Members of the St. Joseph’s Academy basketball team were honored during a special recognition party held April 15 at the home of team member Lindsey Lutgring.

Head coach deLynn Stelly, along with assistant coaches Erin Aguilar and Catherine Hodson and statistician Devin Arceneaux, handed out certificates of participation, varsity letters and special recognition awards. 

“It was a great gathering to celebrate our seniors and the 2017-2018 season,” Stelly said. “We recognize players for their achievements and leadership throughout the season. We will miss our seniors and look forward to next season.” 

Senior Emma Callegan and sophomore Madison Henderson were recognized for being named to the All-District Honorable Mention team. 
 

Special awards were handed out as follows: 

JV Most Valuable Player: Naomi Cates
JV Most Improved Player: Kailee Ash
JV Coaches’ Award: Maddie LeDoux

Varsity Outstanding Defensive Player: Tori Collier
Varsity Outstanding Offensive Player: Emma Callegan
Varsity MVP: Madison Henderson
Varsity Coaches’ Award: Elise Caruso and Emma Callegan
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Lorin Caruso

Gymnasts Team Finishes First

The St. Joseph’s Academy gymnastics team finished first in a meet on April 14. The team scored 207.25 points to finish ahead of Caddo Magnet (200) and Baton Rouge High (190). The meet was held at Baton Rouge High. 
 

Notable performances were as follows:
 
Level III
Vault: Katelyn Duhe, 1st place 
Floor: Madeline Broyles, 3rd place

Level IV
Vault: Morgan LoCascio, 3rd place
Floor: Morgan LoCascio, 1st place
Bars: Zoe Crawford, 1st place; Isabelle Schmitt, 2nd place
Beam: Eliza Huft, 3rd place
Floor: Eliza Huft, 3rd place
All-Around: Eliza Huft, 3rd place

Level VIII
Vault: Charly Hull, 2nd place
Bars: Charly Hull, 3rd place
All-Around: Charly Hull, 3rd place

The team competes at the state meet on Saturday, April 28.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo courtesy of 

SJA Cheerleaders Chosen for 2018-2019

The St. Joseph’s Academy cheerleading squad for 2018-2019 has been announced. A two-day tryout clinic was held April 9 and 10, followed by tryouts on April 11. 

Coach Chelsea Milazzo expressed her excitement about next year’s squad. “I cannot wait to see what this new team will accomplish,” she said. “Tryouts are never easy, and this was one of the most competitive groups I’ve ever seen. I have a good feeling we will bringing home another national title in 2019.” The 2017-2018 squad captured the 2018 National High School Cheerleading Championship in the Super Varsity Division.

Cheer moderator Lauren Morris said this year’s tryouts were extremely competitive. “We’re so excited about the new team,” she said. “This is a very talented group of girls, and we can’t wait to see what next year has in store for them.”
 

 
SJA cheerleaders for next year are rising seniors Anne Barton, Marie Claire Dalmau, Anne Marie Gahagan, LeeAnn LeMaire, Anna Claire Rabalais, Ashlynn Sorrells and Logan West; rising juniors Kaylyn Ainsworth, Flora DeMoss, Emma Hidalgo, Peyton Locklar and Lucy Maxwell; rising sophomores Ashley Hanks, Katherine Mestayer, Josie Moore, Parker Owenby, Grace Pizzolato, Kristen Pulliam, Emma Rotenberg and Emma Grace Shannon; and incoming freshmen Emma Rose Bordelon, Ella Boudreaux, Allie Brooks, Kate Dauzat, Bailey Day, Kyla Hebert, Sophie Huffine, Sadie McManus, Grace Rowley and McCall Terrell.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Track Team Wins 2018 Grizzly Invitational

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team amassed 201 points on its way to victory in the 2018 Grizzly Invitational. The final regular-season meet of the year was held April 12 at Catholic High School.

SJA finished ahead of Baton Rouge High (136), St. Michael (90), Parkview Baptist (47), Episcopal (45), Broadmoor (20), McKinley (3) and Southern Lab (2). 

Junior Lauren Hendry set the meet record in the 3,200 meters, and senior Sarah Summerville set the meet record in the javelin.
 

Scoring points towards the team total were the following: 

4x200m Relay: Alexis Barbay, Rebecca Schwartzenburg, Ava Moreau and Kelly Stephens, 1st place, 1:47.44

1600m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 5:21.99; Isabelle Brown, 2nd place, 5:29.43

100m Hurdles: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 1st place, 15.49; Claire Holder, 4th place, 16.07

100m Dash: Sydney LaFleur, 1st place, 12.72; Kennedy Benjamin, 3rd place, 13.15 

800m Run: Isabelle Brown, 4th place, 2:28.68; Jennifer Bennett, 5th place, 2:28.92

4x100m Relay: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, Rebecca Schwartzenburg, Alexis Barbay and Sydney LaFleur, 1st place, 50.42

300m Hurdles: McKenna Ramsey, 3rd place, 48.00; Sophie Kronenberger, 4th place, 48.05

200m Dash: Alexis Barbay, 1st place, 26.34; Rebecca Schwartzenburg, 3rd place, 26.76

3200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 11:25.93 (meet record); Sophie Martin, 2nd place, 11:40.05 

4x400m Relay: Taylor Winters, Kelly Stephens, Ashleigh Ward and Bradlee Betz, 3rd place, 4:08.34

High Jump: Hannah Grace Babin, 2nd place, 4-10.00

Pole Vault: Peyton Williams, 2nd place, 9-06.00; Anna Koonce, 4th place, 8-00.00

Long Jump: Claire Holder, 1st place, 17-01.25; Haley Blouin, 5th place, 15-06.00

Triple Jump: Haley Blouin, 2nd place, 32-07.25; Clair Holder, 3rd place, 31-08.00

Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 2nd place, 36-05.00

Discus: Peyton Smith, 2nd place, 101-04.00; Kayleigh Mims, 4th place, 94-05.00

Javelin: Sarah Summerville, 1st place, 133-08.00 (meet record); Carley Dugas, 6th place, 77-08.00

In addition, the 17 senior members of the track and field team were honored after the meet. They are Hannah Grace Babin, Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, Clare Barfield, Kennedy Benjamin, Jennifer Bennett, Bradlee Betz, Haley Blouin, Paige Cooper, Eloise Day, Carley Dugas, Jane Jeha, Anna Koonce, Infiniti Rogers, Rebecca Schwartzenburg, Kelly Stephens, Sarah Summerville and Peyton Williams.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Edy Koonce and Aimee Walker

Students’ Artwork Chosen for Juried Art Show

The artwork of six St. Joseph’s Academy students was chosen by members of the Baton Rouge Gallery to be included in the Real-Life Experience Juried High School Exhibition. Seniors Blaise Putnam, Alex Hinkle and Audrey Lejeune; juniors Emmie Sonnier and Grace Wisdom; and sophomore Catherine Hebert were among the talented students whose pieces were selected for the show. 
 

More than 240 pieces were submitted from 15 different Baton Rouge public and private schools, with 68 chosen for the exhibit. The Real-Life Experience exhibition runs through April 26. 

An opening reception was held on April 10. SJA’s art teacher, Nicole Lane, joined the students at the event. “It’s a real honor to have a piece hanging in the gallery for the community to see,” Lane said. “I am extremely proud of our students and their hard work throughout this school year.”

LeJeune received third place in the contest for her piece, entitled Just a Taste. Sonnier received honorable mention recognition for her piece, Queen of Spirits

LeJeune was unable to attend the opening reception. The gallery’s executive director, Jason Andreasen, came to campus on April 11 to surprise her with the award. “It was amazing to be selected for the show again, and it was especially fantastic to place,” LeJeune said. “I definitely wasn’t expecting it, but I’m incredibly honored and grateful that it was chosen for third place. It’s a great experience as an aspiring artist to be able to have your work showcased in an actual gallery, and I think it’s a great event to offer to high school students.” 

Wisdom said it was an honor for her artwork to be chosen for the exhibition. “It was really interesting to see how different artists can bring different perspectives to the table,” she said. “I loved seeing my friends in the show, and I’m really proud to represent SJA with all of our awesome art.”

Hebert’s piece, entitled Flux, is a mixture of spray paint, acrylic and pen to create a fantasy scene with colorful jellyfish. “When I heard I was selected, I had a profound feeling of excitement and pride in my artwork that I have never felt before,” she said. “It was really a joy for my family and me to see my artwork displayed in the gallery.” 

Sonnier’s piece features Marie Laveau and a collage inspired by New Orleans. “After working for months on my piece, I was very proud and honored by have been accepted into the Baton Rouge Gallery,” she said. 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Nicole Lane and Erin Albarado

Track Team Members Compete at Mobile Challenge

Five members of the St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team were invited to compete in the prestigious Mobile (Alabama) Challenge of Champions on April 7. This year marked the 26th anniversary of the meet which features the top track and field athletes from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and New York.

Meet results are as follows:

Javelin: Sarah Summerville, 4th place, 111-00.00

4x800m relay: Lauren Hendry, Lydia Poche, Isabelle Brown and Taylor Winters, 5th place, 9:54.75 (6th fastest time in SJA history)

2-mile run: Lauren Hendry, 5th place, 11:11.91 (new school record)
 
 
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of 

SJA Elects Student Council Executive Board

The St. Joseph’s Academy student body elected the members of its 2018-2019 Student Council executive board on April 10. 

Junior Anna Rees Couhig has been elected president of the student body. Junior Trystan Tate is the new vice president. Sophomore Victoria Funes has been elected secretary/treasurer, and freshman Alexandra Canova will serve as communications coordinator. 
 

“I wanted to run for office because I genuinely love SJA and wanted to make SJA the best place it can be,” Couhig said. “Since being elected to Council freshman year, I have loved serving my school and being a part of everything that SJA and Student Council stands for, and I wanted to step up and run for a leadership role. I am really looking forward to every aspect of next year, but in particular I am looking forward to being more involved in Student Council and running the meetings, working in conjunction with every committee and grade on Student Council and practicing for Challenge Day in our new gym. I am ecstatic and thrilled I am for next year.”

Tate said she looks forward to serving her school community next year. “SJA is a place where I truly feel at home,” she said. “I was elected onto Student Council my freshman year, and ever since then, I have felt called to play a larger role on council for my senior year. I am really looking forward to developing a strong bond with my fellow exec members, helping with everything Student Council does, Challenge Day and making SJA’s 150th year the best one yet.”

Funes said she is passionate about serving on Student Council. “It is what I love to do and where I put all my time and commitment,” she said. “I was welcomed into this group with open arms, and the older girls guided me through my freshman year. They inspired me to work hard to help our school, which made me want to take on a bigger leadership role. We are blessed to attend such an amazing school, and I am excited that I get to work alongside some of the most dedicated girls who love our school as much as I do.”

Canova said she wants to serve SJA and her classmates through her leadership role on Student Council. “I love being a leader for others, and I have so much love for SJA,” she said. “I am always excited to see what the future holds. I cannot wait to see what new heights SJA reaches. I am especially excited to work with my fellow exec team. This next school year will definitely be one for the books.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Track Team Wins 2018 Josten’s Invitational

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team won the Josten’s Invitational, held April 6 at Episcopal High School. 
 
 
The Redstickers scored 183 points to finish ahead of Zachary (146.75) and E.D. White (62.75). 
 
Scoring points towards the team total were the following: 

4x200m Relay: Alexis Barbay, Kelly Stephens, Ava Moreau and Rebecca Schwartzenburg, 3rd place, 1:49.67

1,600m Run: Virginia Dirks, 2nd place, 5:43.49; Kate Ritchie, 3rd place, 5:50.87

100m Hurdles: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 2nd place, 16.43; Claire Holder, 4th place, 16.72

100m Dash: Sydney LaFleur, 3rd place, 13.32; McKenna Ramsey, 5th place, 13.71

800m Run: Jennifer Bennett, 1st place, 2:30.53; Ava Falcon, 5th place, 2:35.83

4x100m Relay: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, Sydney LaFleur, Alexis Barbay and Rebecca Schwartzenburg, 2nd place, 51.05

400m Dash: Alessandra Purnell, 5th place, 1:01.37

300m Hurdles: Sophie Kronenberger, 1st place, 48.99; Jennifer Bennett, 2nd place, 50.93

3,200m Run: Sophie Martin, 1st place, 11:58.29; Anna Eagleton, 4th place, 11:58.29

4x400m Relay: Ashleigh Ward, Kelly Stephens, Ava Moreau and Alessandra Purnell, 3rd place, 4:14.64

High Jump: Catherine Couvillion, 2nd place, 4-11.00; Hannah Grace Babin, 3rd place, 4-09.00

Pole Vault: Peyton Williams, 1st place, 9-06.00; Taylor Walker, 3rd place, 8-00.00

Long Jump: Claire Holder, 2nd place, 17-01.00; Haley Blouin, 5th place, 16-00.50

Triple Jump: Haley Blouin, 2nd place, 32-10.25; Claire Holder, 4th place, 30-04.75

Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 2nd place, 34-09.00; Rachel Blouin, 6th place, 25-07.00

Discus: Peyton Smith, 2nd place, 102-03.00; Kayleigh Mims, 3rd place, 92-08.00

Javelin: Sarah Summerville, 1st place, 128-09.00
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Aimee Walker

Robotics Team Competes in FRC Bayou Regional

The St. Joseph’s Academy robotics team participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Bayou Regional, held March 23-24 at the Pontchartrain Center. Billed as “the varsity sport for the mind,” FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, challenging teams of 25 or more students to compete head to head in building and programming robots to perform prescribed tasks. 

This year is the fourth in which SJA’s robotics team has competed in the Bayou Regional. SJA technology team member Claire Luikart has led the team each year. “For the first time, our robot included active mechanisms,” she said. “In the past, the devices we have built have been passive. This year, the team built a tunnel device that was able to shoot the power cube game pieces into the low goal and had an intake device on the front that was able to deliver power cubes to the human players to place in the vault.”

Junior Madeline Ballew served as captain of this year’s team. She said the group had six weeks to design, build, program and test the robot for competition. “The team did an amazing job this year,” she said. “Having only six weeks to work with materials and tools we’ve never used before was quite the challenge. This was also the first season we had an active robot, so we made a lot of big leaps in advancing our abilities and skills. I got to drive the robot this year, and that’s always an absolute blast. Aside from that, I mainly focused on the mechanical and electrical side of things. Everyone really wanted to learn and experience all that competition had to offer, which made it all the more fun.”

Junior Rebecca Herin is a three-year veteran of the robotics team. “Every year, I discover a new, enjoyable aspect,” she said. “My main area is programming, but this year, I was able to branch out and try PR. I had an amazing time chatting and strategizing with teams from across the nation and world. We made friends with other all-girls teams, new teams to the competition and even a team from Mexico. FIRST Robotics really does have the ability to bring everyone together in such a unique way.” 
 

 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Hannah Grace Vautrot and Dawn Saucier

Track Team Wins Dutchtown Invitational

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team won the Dutchtown Invitational, held March 29 in Geismar. The Redstickers scored 143 points to finish ahead of Zachary (136.20) and Dutchtown (52). Fifteen teams competed in this year’s event.
 

Scoring points towards the team’s total were the following: 

4x200m Relay: Alexis Barbay, Rebecca Schwartzenburg, Ava Moreau and Sydney LaFleur, 3rd place, 1:47.88 (season best)

1,600m Run: Isabelle Brown, 2nd place, 5:25.80; Jennifer Bennett, 4th place, 5:39.39

100m Hurdles: Clare Holder, 4th place, 16.06; Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 5th place, 16.28

800m Run: Taylor Winters, 1st place, 2:27.31; Isabelle Brown, 3rd place, 2:29.29

4x100m Relay: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, Sydney LaFleur, Alexis Barbay and Rebecca Schwartzenburg, 3rd place, 50.28 (season best)

400m Dash: Olivia Cook, 5th place, 1:04.42 (personal record)

300m Hurdles: McKenna Ramsey, 3rd place, 47.92 (personal record); Sophie Kronenberger, 4th place, 49.04 (personal record)

3,200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 11:16.85 (school record); Sophie Margin, 2nd place, 11:51.76 (personal record)

4x400m Relay: Ava Moreau, Ashleigh Ward, McKenna Ramsey and Taylor Winters, 2nd place, 4:17.36

High Jump: Catherine Couvillion, 2nd place, 5-00.00; Hannah Grace Babin, 4th place, 4-10.00

Pole Vault: Peyton Smith, 2nd place, 9-06.00

Long Jump: Claire Holder, 2nd place, 17-04.00 (personal record)

Triple Jump: Claire Holder, 4th place, 32-10.50; Lia Chiasson, 5th place, 31-11.00 (personal record)

Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 3rd place, 35-01.00

Discus: Kayleigh Mims, 3rd place, 100-03.00 (personal record); Peyton Smith, 4th place, 95-02.00

Javelin: Sarah Summerville, 1st place, 122-02.00
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Charlie Daigle and Aimee Walker

Students Advance to State Literary Rally

Fourteen St. Joseph’s Academy students qualified for the Louisiana State Literary Rally as a result of their strong showing at the 2018 Southeast Louisiana District Literary Rally, held February 24 at Southeastern Louisiana University. 

The following students qualified for the state rally, to be held April 21 at LSU. 

Shreya Reshamwala, Advanced Math I
Isabelle Broussard, Civics
Mary Catherine Daniels, English II, Freshman Scholastic Achievement Award winner for placing first in category
Anna Lejeune, English III
Jade Woods, English IV
Natalie Marionneaux, Environmental Science
Skylar Mancuso, Family & Consumer Science, Freshman Scholastic Achievement Award winner for placing first in category 
Celia Dooley, Geometry
Morgan LoCascio, Health, Freshman Scholastic Achievement Award winner for placing first in category 
Emily Boudreaux, Journalism I
Lily Abadie, Nutrition
Lark Smith, Spanish II
Raeann Didier, Spanish III
Eleana Miller, World Geography

Additionally, Caroline Dazzio and Audrey Lejeune placed in the Art Exhibit division.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo by Jennifer M. Fontaine

SJA Commemorates Holy Thursday with Prayer Service

St. Joseph’s Academy gathered as a community on March 29 for the Holy Thursday Prayer Service. The solemn, poignant service was held in the Activity Center.
 

Through word, song and movement, the large gathering reflected on the final events of Jesus’ life, including Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday’s feet washing, the Last Supper and Agony in the Garden, ending with the crucifixion on Good Friday. 

Theology member Hugo Andricain wrote the service. Senior Jade Woods portrayed Jesus, and sophomore Faith Woods portrayed Mary. Narrators were seniors Ann Nguyen and Alexa Gutowski and juniors Adeline Roemer, Parker Wilson, Mary Morgan Sutton and Addison Bruce. 

Actresses were seniors Juliet Alise, Infiniti Rogers, Eden Landry and Emily Shore; juniors Kate Michel, Skylar Mancuso, Maddie Toler, Catherine Contini, Lacy Wendell, Olivia Clark and Derquisia Spears; sophomores Claire Toups and Claire Cooper; and freshman Christin Ransome, 

Lending their musical gifts to the service were senior Meredith Giles and sophomores Anna Camille Eagleton and Angelle McCormick, vocals; senior Gabbi Taylor, piano; freshman Annabelle Chenevert, cello; and Hugo Andricain, vocals and guitar. 

Stage hands were juniors Priya Singleton and Anne-Marie Dizor.  
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Track Team Finishes 7th in Sugar Bowl Classic

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team finished seventh out of 35 schools in the 2018 Sugar Bowl Track and Field Classic, held March 23 and 24 at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans. 
 


Scoring points towards the team total were the following: 

1600m Run: Isabelle Brown, 4th place, 5:30.07

100m Hurdles: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 5th place, 15.83

800m Run: Taylor Winters, 5th place, 2:29.52

3200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 4th place, 12:03.29

4x400m Relay: Taylor Winters, Ava Moreau, Lydia Poche and Alessandra Purnell, 6th place, 4:19.46

Discus: Peyton Smith, 5th place, 100-06.00

Javelin: Sarah Summerville, 5th place, 112-11.00

4x200m Relay: Taylor Winters, Isabelle Brown, Lydia Poche and Lauren Hendry, 2nd place, 10:10.99
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of  Charlie Daigle, Edy Koonce and Lisa Summerville

Senior Wins Rodrigue Art Contest

St. Joseph’s Academy senior Alex Hinkle is the winner of the 2018 George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) art contest. She earned $6,000 in college scholarship money. More than 650 students from across the state entered this year’s competition. The theme of this year’s contest was Monsters, Myths and Legends

Hinkle placed first in last year’s competition in the junior category, earning $1,250 in scholarship money. She is the first student in the eight-year history of the contest to win both divisions. 
 

Hinkle was among the finalists honored on March 24 at the Scholarship Awards Luncheon at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. In addition to the $6,000 scholarship, Hinkle received $250 in art supplies, a signed copy of Wendy and George Rodrigue’s book and a print of an iconic Blue Dog piece entitled Cat Tie. 

“I was shaking as they called out the names of the seniors,” Hinkle said of the announcement of the winners. “Just like last year, they called the top three to the stage to make it more dramatic. My heart felt like it was about to pop just before they called out second and third places. Once they announced second place, I knew I had won. They announced I was the first person to win first in both their junior and senior years. Wendy Rodrigue came up to me to hug and congratulate me before I even made it back to my seat.”

Hinkle’s winning piece is entitled Le Fete de Nuit and features a number of Louisiana monsters, myths and legends. “Marie Laveau stands as the focus of the work with her fabled snake, Zombi, coiled around her,” Hinkle said. “Next to her are a vampire, a voodoo doll and Lula Shell’s fantastical four-eared cat, Daisy. In the middle ground, there are a swamp monster, the rake ghoul and the Fifalei guarding its treasure. On the top of the drawing, an owl, as the symbol of death, a Rougarou and a made-up anthropomorphic frog loom over, backed by the glowing moon. In the gaps, I included bats, ghastly shadows and other small mementos of Louisiana mythology and culture. If you look closely, you can also find George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog hiding in the background.”

Nicole Lane is SJA’s art teacher. She said the GRFA art contest is a wonderful opportunity for high school artists to gain recognition and earn scholarship money. She expressed pride in Hinkle’s accomplishments. “Alex’s artistic talent and relentless work ethic combine to produce amazing works of art,” Lane said. “I am extremely happy for Alex, and I have loved being a part of her artistic journey. She is a shining example of a St. Joseph’s Academy art student, and I can’t wait to see what other lovely works she will create next.”

Patrice Aiken accompanied Hinkle to New Orleans, as Lane was in Seattle at the National Art Education Association Conference. “I have observed Alex at work on her art, and I am constantly amazed at her concentration and patience,” Aiken said. “She is meticulous with the details and creates intricately beautiful works.”

The artwork of all 16 finalists will travel on public view for one year as an exhibition at museums and cultural venues across the state.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Ann Nguyen

Latin Club Wins Sweepstakes Award

For the fourth year in a row, the St. Joseph’s Academy Latin Club is the top finisher in the Louisiana Junior Classical League (LJCL) Convention, bringing home the coveted Torch Award. The 65th annual convention was held March 9-11 at the Holiday Inn South in Baton Rouge and featured 16 schools from across Louisiana. 
 


“It was an honor to watch the girls win it all for the fourth year in a row,” said Latin Club sponsor Leigh Grace Rouyer. “This year’s seniors have helped SJA bring home the Torch each year they’ve been at SJA. I’m delighted that taking Latin and participating in this club have opened so many doors for them to show off their knowledge and talents in so many areas. They have worked hard and seen it pay off yet again. I could not be more proud.”

SJA finished first in a number of events, including Publicity, Creative Drama, Local Publication, Tug-o-War, Girls Relay, Students Placing in Tests and, for the first time, Upper Certamen (quiz bowl). 

The club finished second in Lower Certamen, Chariot, Classical Drama, Catapult, Local Website and T-shirt design.

Individually, freshman Jilly Eskew finished fifth in the Olympika sweepstakes, and junior Maryn Matthews finished fourth. In Creative sweepstakes, senior Jade Woods and sophomore Jolan Taylor tied for fifth place overall, senior Ann Nguyen finished seventh, and sophomore Shreya Reshamwala finished eighth.

In overall Academics, Woods placed first, senior Alex Hinkle finished second, Reshamwala placed fourth and Matthews finished fifth. In overall Graphic Arts, Hinkle finished second, Nguyen placed third, Woods finished fourth, Matthews placed fifth and senior Lillie Napoli and sophomore Brennan Cascio tied for seventh. 

In the Individual Overall Sweepstakes prize, SJA students took six of the top 10 spots. Woods placed first and won a trip to the National Junior Classical League (NJCL) convention this summer in Ohio. Hinkle placed second, Matthews finished third, Nguyen finished fifth, Reshamwala placed sixth, and junior Anna LeJeune placed eighth. 

In the Talent Show, freshman Emma Reine finished second, solving three different types of Rubicks cubes in record time.

Nguyen served as president of the LJCL this year, and fellow senior Claire Doucet served as secretary. Woods represented the NJCL as editor and will continue in her role through the end of the national convention this summer. Matthews was elected LJCL second vice president, and sophomore Faith Woods was elected LJCL parliamentarian for the 2018-2019 school year. SJA Latin Club co-sponsor Krysia Sherburne Duplessis ’12 was elected LJCL state chair and will serve a two-year term.

“Latin Convention is always my absolute favorite weekend, and this year will forever hold a special place in my heart,” Nguyen said. “As state president, and amidst all the work I was putting into running convention behind the scenes, one goal constantly loomed in my mind: Win the Torch. This is my final year in JCL, and it’s so fitting that this year’s theme is, ‘I urge you, as much as I am able, to place friendship above all human issues,’ because though it can be difficult to explain every little thing I love about JCL, one truth is plain and simple to express: I have encountered so many amazing people from across Louisiana and across the nation through this organization, through this passion for the classics, and I have been so fortunate to grow closer to my Stickers through Latin Club. A room of 300 people can attest to the crying I did in my farewell speech as president. Because of JCL, I haven’t just formed forever friendships; I have found a forever family. That is what makes Latin Convention so special every time, and I cannot thank everyone involved enough for allowing me to experience such a wonderful four years.”
 
Jade Woods said the LJCL Convention remains her favorite event of the year. The usual excitement was magnified by the hard work that club members dedicated to the convention’s success. “As a national officer, I did not have too many duties at the state level, so I enjoyed helping the rest of the officers in any capacity I could,” she said. “The convention was such an amazing time. I am so proud that SJA won Overall Club Sweepstakes, and the beautiful Torch, for the fourth consecutive year, a feat no other school has accomplished. More enjoyable than the award, though, was seeing all of my friends at convention again. All year long, Latin students endure quite a lot of gentle teasing about the language we study and love, so I truly enjoyed being in an atmosphere where everyone was as excited about the classics as I was.” 

Faith Woods said her second Latin Convention exceeded all expectations. “As SJA’s parliamentarian, I helped lead the delegation in Nominations Committee, the Constitutional Amendments Committee, voting, leading spirit with my fellow officers and a few other tasks,” she said. “It was so rewarding to see all the hard work put in come to fruition as SJA won the Torch for the fourth year in a row. Hearing SJA being called for the number one spot in the state can never get old, and I am truly excited for next year, when I can continue to help SJA keep the Torch for the fifth year in a row.”

Joining Rouyer as convention chaperones were faculty member Lauren Morris and Randy Rouyer.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Ann Nguyen and Krysia Sherburne 

SJA Finishes First in State Science Fair

St. Joseph’s Academy was the top school at the 2018 Louisiana State Science and Engineering Fair, held March 21 in the LSU Union.
 

Qualifying for the International Science and Engineering Fair, slated for May 13-19 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, were Rachael Coates, Corrine Hutchinson, Mary Catherine Lorio and Anna Koonce. 

Linda Messina, SJA Science Fair coordinator, said SJA captured first place in 10 of 22 categories. “The 2018 State Science Fair was the most competitive fair we have participated in,” she said. “It was a wonderful display of STEM research. The students committed a year to work on their projects and were very dedicated and set high goals for themselves. They practiced their presentations very hard and kept striving to do better. It has truly been my honor and privilege to have been able to work with these young ladies. They are all outstanding.” 

State fair results are as follows. 

Animal Science 
Faith Woods, 1st place, The Effects of Varying Levels of Salinity on the Metamorphosis of Triploid Oysters

Behavioral Science 
Lara Nicholson, 1st place, Using Prior Data to Create Performance Predictions before the First Trial
Madi Boudreaux, 2nd place, Stress Levels of High School Students vs. Stress Levels of Working Adults

Biochemistry
Malorey Uzee, 4th place, The Effect of Carbohydrates, Lipids, Sugars and Sodium on Nutritional Value

Biomedical and Health Science
Camille Taylor, 3rd place, Stratifying Cardiovascular Risk in Insulin-Resistant Women

Biomedical Engineering
Alex Thibodeaux, 3rd place, Formation of Size-Tunable Organoids by Hydrogel Arrays

Chemistry

Ashlynn Sorrells, 1st place, The Effect of Copper Ionization on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms – first

Earth and Environmental
Sydney Melder, 2nd place, Salt Tolerance of Grass Plants Harvested for Industrial Salt Brine Fields

Embedded Systems

Sydney Clebert, 3rd place, Numerical Modeling of Edge-On Spiral Galaxies Using Python

Energy Chemical
Sophia Stuart, 2nd place, The Effect of Different Levels of Currencies during MCDI on the Concentration of NaCl in the Water of 250 ppms

Energy Physical
Amelia Dittmar, 3rd place, Variation in Concussive Force Absorbed by Therapeutic Saddle Pads

Engineering Mechanics
Anna LeJeune and Maryn Matthews, 1st place, The Effects of Pitch on Propeller Thrust: A Second Year Study

Environmental Engineering
Anne Marie Gahagan, 1st place, The Leeching of an Industrial Waste Product in Order to Obtain a Viable Horticultural Substance
Addison Bruce, 3rd place, Beneficial Microorganisms Used to Enhance Decontamination of Polluted Soil

Materials Science 

Rachael Coates, 1st place, Quantification of the Effects of Fluid Shear Stress in Circulating Tumor Cells
Parker Wilson, 2nd place, Comparison of Long-Term Storage Mediums for Forensic DNA Evidence 

Physics and Astronomy
Mary Catherine Lorio, 1st place, A Novel Method for Simulating Hermite-Gaussian Modes of Light

Plant Science

Anna Koonce, 1st place, Ecological Restoration Zones Within the Monkey River Area (Belize) Using Community Grown Nurseries to Produce Plants for Riparian Strips

Robotics and Intelligent Machines
Kaelyn Smith, 1st place, Creating a Navigation Device for the Blind Using Lidar and Sonar Technology

Systems Software
Corrine Hutchinson, 1st place, Contributing Factors of Louisiana Teenage Driver Injury Levels in Motor Vehicle Crashes

Translational Medical Science
Elise Saloom, 3rd place, Effects on Intraocular Pressure Following Voluntary Apnea

SJA students received a number of special awards. They are as follows: 

Louisiana Horticulture Society: Anna Koonce, 1st place; Anne Marie Gahagan, 2nd place
American Psychological Association: Madison Boudreaux, Lara Nicholson
American Society of Civil Engineers: Anna LeJeune and Maryn Matthews, 1st place; Corrine Hutchinson, 2nd place
American Society of Materials Foundation: Madison Boudreaux
Association of Women Geologists: Addison Bruce
Intel Excellence in Computer Science: Corrine Hutchinson
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Sydney Melder
Naval Science Award: Racheal Coates, Corrine Hutchinson
Society in the Public Regeneron: Madison Boudreaux
U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Award: Anne Marie Gahagan, Anna Koonce, Ashlynn Sorrells, Sophia Stuart
Yale Science and Engineering Award: Ashlynn Sorrells
Messina paid a special thanks to Jacqueline Savoia, Linda Thompson, Claire Luikart, Blair Purgerson, Michael McCaughey and the mentors and parents for their help and support. “This would not be possible without them,” she said. 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Edy Koonce and Linda Messina

Junior Wins Inaugural One-Page Story Contest

St. Joseph’s Academy junior Amber Ledoux is the winner of the inaugural One-Page Story Contest sponsored by the SJA Writing Center. Ledoux’s submission was entitled Falling Slowly

Serving as judges for the contest were Carrie Causey, a published poet and SJA graduate, and Mindy Piontek, who holds a doctoral degree in English literature. As the winner, Ledoux received a $25 Amazon gift card and a certificate. 

Ledoux said she hesitated to enter the contest because “I thought it was impossible to write a decent short story in one page, 12-point font, double-spaced,” she said. But after helping her sister cut a six-page story to three for an English II class assignment, Ledoux decided to give it a try. 

“I found a short story I wrote in eighth grade, trimmed it down a lot, fixed it up a lot and submitted it,” she said. “This story is about freedom. A person wishes to fly and feel that adrenaline rush of soaring, and does. I don’t give a name to the character because the reader is meant to really put themselves in their shoes. I think it makes the reader imagine the character as themselves.” 

Writing Center Director Lisa Knotts said she plans to make the contest an annual event. For Ledoux, the competition has deeper meaning. “Talking with Mrs. Lisa Knotts about a future in creative writing has given me a newfound drive to pursue what I want to do,” she said.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Moms, Daughters Enjoy Annual Style Show

More than 1,000 students and mothers enjoyed the 2018 Mother-Daughter Brunch & Style Show hosted by the St. Joseph’s Academy Mothers’ Club on March 18. The theme for this year’s event, held at Raising Cane’s River Center, was You Are My Sunshine
 

SJA seniors, accompanied by their moms, modeled the latest spring fashions. Participating boutiques were Love, Eros, Head Over Heels, NK Boutique, Blue Spero, Aria, Edit, Chatta Box, hklye, Vertage Clothing, Hemline Towne Center and Hemline Highland. 

Following the buffet brunch, Mothers’ Club President Monte Brown welcomed the large crowd. Junior Danielle Jones and sophomore Sydney LaFleur offered the prayer. Committee chair Jennifer Jones and co-chair Vanessa LaFleur thanked those who made this year’s event a success. Senior Kennedy Walker, Student Council president, and her mother, Jonie Walker, introduced the year-in-review slide shows. Mothers’ Club Moderator Katie Jeter Valenciano drew for door prizes. 

Guest performers and ushers were Catholic High School students Sethan Hollier, Cade Cooper, Preston Stafford, Christian Ieyoub, Jack Ducote, Alex Labar, Blake Davis, Gary Gudiel, Brennen Lambert, Trevor Honore, Josh Campesi, Nick Ashy, Michael Crick, Brooks Burgess and Michael Bourgeois II.

Door prizes were provided by Kendra Scott, The Royal Standard, Soho Salon & Boutique, Zoës Kitchen, Dorm Décor, European Wax Center, Avant Tous and LaRonda Daigle-Mary Kay Consultant. In-kind sponsors were Raising Cane’s River Center, Premier Sound Services, The Original Heroman’s and Sherwood TV & Appliances - Rhonda Hebert Ruffino ’85 and Olivia Ruffino ’12.

Joining Jones and LaFleur on the planning committee were Marsha Bruce, Allison Sceroler, Angele Cooley, Jennifer Poe, Lisa West, Laurene Hutchinson, Tricia Hurdle, Monte Brown, Aimee Walker and Wendy LeBlanc.

SJA students attending the brunch received special cross charms, courtesy of Tina LaHaye, to commemorate the event.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Bake Sale Benefits DAV

The St. Joseph’s Academy Youth & Government Club hosted a bake sale in early March to benefit the local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans organization. The club raised more than $700, which was given to DAV state adjutant Paul Hermann, PDC. Hermann visited campus on March 15 to speak with members of the club. 

SJA senior Christiana Bennett spearheaded the fundraising effort. She researched local veterans’ organizations to determine how any donated funds would be allocated. “I gave a call to the Disabled American Veterans and was made aware that all of SJA’s donations would go toward the transportation budget,” Bennett said. “The DAV has a program that drives disabled veterans to their medical appointments free of charge.”

According to the DAV website, the organization provides nearly 615,000 rides for veterans attending medical appointments and assists veterans with more than 250,000 benefit claims annually. With nearly 1,300 chapters and more than 1 million members across the country, DAV empowers our nation’s heroes and their families by helping to provide the resources they need and ensuring our nation keeps the promises made to them.

Hermann said it was an honor to be chosen as the beneficiary of the Youth & Government Club’s fundraising efforts. “To think that they would consider veterans makes me especially proud of them,” he said. “We in the Disabled American Veterans organization are all very proud to have served or to be serving our country. The dedication, spirit and patriotism of the SJA girls help to continue our transportation network program around the state of Louisiana. Christiana planted the seed to accomplish this mission, and it took the whole community to make this fundraiser a great success.”

Bennett said she was thrilled with the success of the bake sale and has high hopes for future fundraising efforts. “Proud does not begin to describe what I feel toward the girls who kicked it into high gear to make this bake sale possible,” she said. “The amount of money we raise pushes the Y&G Club to want to improve the bake sale. If we made over $700 in less than two hours, imagine how much we could make with a two- or three-day bake sale. This can be the Y&G Club’s legacy to SJA.
 
“It was surreal to see all of our club’s labor come to fruition in so little time,” Bennett added. “I was swelling with pride for my club, but I was also overcome with emotion being part of such a commendable and paramount cause.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo by Erin Albarado

SJA Celebrates Feast of St. Joseph

St. Joseph’s Academy came together as a community on March 20 to celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph Mass. Father Joseph Vu, parochial vicar at St. Anne, Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Philomena, was the presider. The Eucharistic celebration was held in the Activity Center. 
 
 
Senior An Vu, younger sister of Father Joseph, welcomed the large gathering. “We come together today to remember and to celebrate our patron, St. Joseph,” she said. “We also reflect upon our call of service to God and to one another. ... Service is an integral part of what it means to be a member of the SJA family and, even more, a model of what it means to be a Christian. We offer our gifts and talents to our God as we reflect upon the life of St. Joseph and live out his promise to serve those around him.”

Junior Adeline Roemer read from the prophet Samuel. Sophomore Emily Reynaud read from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans. Reynaud and sophomore Sophie Kronenberger led the prayers of the faithful. 

Following mass, theology teacher and Liturgy Committee member Hugo Andricain honored the Sisters of St. Joseph for their mission of identifying the needs of their communities, then working to meet them. He introduced local Sisters Anna Schellhaas, Mildred Guillot, Carolyn Brady, Carol Gonsoulin, Evelyn Mee, Adele Lambert, Sandra Blanchard, Annie Ramagos, Dianne Fanguy, Cynthia Sabathier, Lucy Silvio, Adelaide Williamson, Johanne Pedersen, Joan Laplace, Mary Anne Hebert, Chris Pologa and Joan Manuel. Members of the SJA Liturgy Club presented those in attendance with a flower as a token of appreciation. 

Also introduced were current faculty and staff members who serve as Associates of the Sisters, women and men who commit themselves to continuing the charism of the Congregation. They are Stacia Andricain, Hugo Andricain, Dana Murray and David James.  

Former faculty and staff members in attendance, as well as faculty, staff and parents who have worked with students on mission trips, were thanked. 

Aimee Cronan directed the Liturgy Choir. Seniors Camille Lanata and Caroline Anne LeBlanc served as cantors. Also lending their talents to the celebration were senior Gabrielle Taylor, piano; Hugo Andricain, guitar; and Stephen Barrios, percussion. Senior Sarah Talbot led the singing of the alma mater.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Track Team Wins CHS Alumni Invitational

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team turned in another dominating performance to win the 2018 CHS Alumni Invitational on March 17. The Redstickers tallied 255 points to finish ahead of University High (63), Brusly (60), Church Academy (54), Broadmoor (45.5), St. Amant (45), Central (25.5), Southern Lab (0) and McKinley (0).The meet was held at Catholic High.
 


Scoring points towards the team total were the following: 

4x200m Relay: Ava Moreau, Alexis Barbay, Katherine McCullen and Rebecca Schwartzenburg, 2nd place, 1:48.01

1600m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 5:17.88; Isabelle Brown, 2nd place, 5:18.28; Jennifer Bennett, 3rd place, 5:37.69

100m Hurdles: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 1st place, 15.69; Claire Holder, 4th place, 16.33

100m Dash: Sydney LaFleur, 4th place, 12.82

800m Run: Taylor Winters, 1st place, 2:28.92; Isabelle Brown, 2nd place, 2:30.74; Lydia Poche, 3rd place, 2:33.59

4x100m Relay: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, Claire Holder, Kennedy Benjamin and Sydney LaFleur, 2nd place, 50.59

400m Dash: Alessandra Purnell, 1st place, 1:02.42; Ashleigh Ward, 3rd place, 1:04.07; Julia Crawford, 4th place, 1:05.60

300m Hurdles: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 4th place, 50.10

200m Dash: Rebecca Schwartzenburg, 4th place, 26.38; Sydney LaFleur, 5th place, 26.40

3200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 11:55.21; Caroline Ritchie, 2nd place, 12:28.70; Anna Eagleton, 3rd place, 12:48.44

4x400m Relay: Taylor Winters, Ashleigh Ward, Lydia Poche and Alessandra Purnell, 1st place, 4:14.25

High Jump: Catherine Couvillion, 1st place, 5-02.00; Alessandra Purnell, 2nd place, 4-08.00; Hannah Grace Babin, 3rd place, 4-06.00

Pole Vault: Peyton Williams, 1st place, 10-00.00; Anna Koonce, 3rd place, 9-00.00; Taylor Walker, 5th place, 7-06.00

Long Jump: Claire Holder, 2nd place, 16-05.75; McKenna Ramsey, 3rd place, 16-01.25

Triple Jump: Claire Holder, 1st place, 33-07.00; Haley Blouin, 3rd place, 32-06.50; Lia Chiasson, 6th place, 30-00.25

Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 1st place, 34-10.50

Discus: Michelle Lorio, 2nd place, 81-08.00; Kayleigh Mims, 3rd place, 81-01.00

Javelin: Sarah Summerville, 1st place, 114-09.00; Carley Dugas, 3rd place, 78-03.00; Emily Kukura, 6th place, 63-07.00
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Edy Koonce

Juniors, Seniors Enjoy Job Shadowing Day

St. Joseph’s Academy juniors and seniors spent March 14 off campus, shadowing professionals in career fields in which they have an interest. Job Shadowing Day is an annual event sponsored by the SJA Counseling Center.

Students shadowed mentors in a wide range of professions, including healthcare, engineering, architecture, broadcasting, theater, law, nutrition and more. 
 


Senior Grace Dirks shadowed surgeon Dr. Frederick Boop. She enjoyed the opportunity to watch an ependymoma resection procedure on a brain cancer patient. She also sat in on several patient visits. “I learned about the different jobs people have in an OR and about some of the new equipment,” she said. “There was a person monitoring nerves in the brain as well as a portable MRI machine and a TV screen that enables viewers to watch the survey in 3D. This was an amazing experience, and being a surgeon is definitely a career I would like to pursue in the future.”

Junior Rebecca Herin shadowed Eli Abad, a prosecutor with the Attorney General’s Office. She experienced a day in the life of a prosecuting attorney. “I’ve always had a passion for law, and this shadowing reaffirmed it,” she said. “In addition to discussing cases, Mr. Eli explained to me what a good course of action for college may be, depending on what kind of law I was interested in. By watching Mr. Eli and his coworkers in action in court, I was able to learn interesting law facts and jargon; example, the difference between a status and a motion and that the Attorney General’s Office handles everything from tickets to murders. My decision to enter law has only been strengthened.”  

Junior Catherine Marchand shadowed Dr. Frank M. Andrews, a veterinarian at LSU’s vet school. She said she especially enjoyed experiencing the variety of work that veterinarians do. “I got to work with some of the animals, and we were able to watch surgeries performed,” she said. “I think it helped me realize the gravity of being a vet because sometimes, people see it as less serious because it is the treatment of animals instead of humans. It helped me realize that the amount of schooling and experience it takes to become a vet is very serious and that this is not an easy field. This experience only made me want to become a vet even more because of how much I enjoyed watching the procedures, and being able to listen and watch the doctors was so interesting. I can definitely see myself as a vet in the future.”

Senior Bradlee Betz spent the day shadowing the professionals at GraceHebert Architects. GraceHebert is the firm building the Academy Student Center at SJA. “They had me following different people throughout the day so I could get a feel for all of the different jobs that go into creating one building,” she said. “It was also amazing to see the minds behind our new gym at SJA.”

Junior Madi Boudreaux shadowed Dr. Faith Hansbrough, a pediatric surgeon at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. She visited patients in the clinic and hospital, observed a surgical procedure and visited NICU babies at Woman’s Hospital. “Throughout the day, I learned so much about pediatric surgery and the medical field as a whole,” she said. “Dr. Hansbrough described everything that we were doing or seeing in detail for me to understand, and she gave me tips and advice for pursuing a career in medicine. This influenced my thoughts on pediatric surgery greatly by making me become more open to the job. Mainly, going into the OR allowed me to see up close what I would be doing in this career.”

Seniors Sydney Hamilton and Jolie Boudreaux shadowed Ed Ball at WBRZ. “We toured the facility, learned different aspects of broadcasting and sat in on newscasts,” Hamilton said. “We even filmed a commercial which will air through Saturday morning promoting the ‘Wearin’ of the Green Parade.’ This experience affirmed my desire to work in film and showed me the possibility of working in broadcasting.”

Senior Raquel Hodgeson spent the day with Cody Louviere, founder of King Crow Studios, a game development company at the Louisiana Technology Park. “I learned so much about the community of game developers and what their environment is like,” she said. “I had started to wander away from the idea of becoming a video game developer, but this really helped reignite that spark within me. I also made really good contacts and was invited to meetings to help introduce me into the community early on. It was an amazing experience, and I’m very glad I chose King Crow Studios. Hopefully I’ll get to work with them someday.”

Junior Anne-Marie Dizor shadowed Shari Smith, an electrical engineer with a concentration in power. She was able to sit in on a variety of meetings and learn about her mentor’s ongoing projects. “She mostly helps with keeping everything within budget on each project and helping with the designs,” she said. “I learned a lot about the placement of wires and turbines at Dow and other projects they are doing. Although it is interesting, I do not think it would be the right concentration for me. Next year, I’d like to find an electrical engineer who specializes in computer engineering.”

Junior Brooke Bell spent the day with Heather Feierabend, a teacher of theater arts. She was able to help teach theater classes. “We read Macbeth with the class, helped paint a set, filled out paperwork, planned for an upcoming event and ran errands around the school,” she said. “This encouraged me in becoming a theater teacher. I had a fun time meeting all the students and sharing our love of theater with them. We were always busy, which I enjoyed.” 

Senior Meredith Giles shadowed Lauren Marucci, a sports dietitian at LSU. She helped prepare sandwiches and snacks for the men’s basketball team and went to the pre-game meal in advance of the Tigers’ first-round NIT Tournament game against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “We also attended a women’s basketball meeting to catch up on how the girls had been doing over the past week or so,” she said. “We also went to all the fuel stations around campus for student-athletes and made sure everything was going well. Job shadowing really confirmed what I want to do as a career. Through the experience, I learned that sports nutrition has a lot that goes into it. You have to remember that each athlete is different and be sensitive to their needs. I definitely hope to become a sports dietician one day.”

Senior Ana Block began her job-shadowing day at a news conference promoting Louisiana Lemonade Day, an organization that teaches children about entrepreneurship through the simple lemonade stand. The organization was co-founded in Louisiana by Todd Graves, founder of Raising Cane’s. “After the conference, I had the opportunity to spend my day with the men and women who make Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers the expansive and successful company that it is today,” Block said. “I learned that owning a restaurant is more than serving the best quality food; it is timeless hours of dedication and desire and using your profits to benefit the community. After working alongside Mrs. Julie Perrault and Mr. Graves, I furthered my ‘One Love’ for public relations and hope to one day be as impactful to the Baton Rouge and surrounding community as they have been. I am very grateful to have experienced such a welcoming work atmosphere. Because of my experience, I plan to pursue public relations at Louisiana State University this fall and hope to use my knowledge and experience to benefit others.”
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of members of the class of 2018 and 2019

SJA’s Soirée 2018 a Success

The Soirée, St. Joseph’s Academy’s premier fundraising event, was held the evening of March 10 in the Activity Center. The theme of this year’s gala was Rocking through the Decades.

Guests enjoyed a night of live and silent auctions, raffles, great food and drinks by area restaurants and live music by After 8. The evening raised more than $100,000 to be used to provide campus-wide enhancements to benefit the young women of SJA.
 


Through Qtego Auction Technology, guests were able to bid on auction items before The Soirée began. During the event, they used their smartphones to track action on the silent and live auctions and raffles. Guests also enjoyed the SJA Student Ambassadors who were on hand to assist throughout the evening. 

The 2018 planning committee was chaired by Linda Thompson. She was joined by Committee Co-Chair and Live Auction Chair Michelle Mitchell, Silent Auction Co-Chair Courtney Newbill, Silent Auction Co-Chair Kathryn Rothkamm ’87, Restaurant Chair Melanie Callicott, Raffle Co-Chair Katie Cheatham, Raffle Co-Chair Missy Brown ’94, Decorations Chair Christy Castille Haik ’82, Pull-a-Fork and Entertainment Chair Joanne Harvey, Sponsorship Chair Adele Netterville, Bar Chair Jean Couvillion and committee members Kelly Lewis, Misty Plauche, Tammy Brice, Tracy Gaspard and Ursula Laville. 

Serving as committee advisors were Meg Gerald, Sister Joan Laplace, Katie Jeter Valenciano and Jennifer Knight. 

The Soirée committee owes a debt of gratitude to the individuals and organizations who sponsored The Soirée. Sanctity-level sponsors were Celebrity Theatres; Franklin Data Empowered Direct Marketing; Charles and Joanne Harvey; and Linda Thompson. Joy-level sponsors were Dr. James Rhorer; and Suzanne and Joseph Quinlan. Action-level sponsors were Investar Bank; John G. Turner and Jerry Fischer; and Kendra Scott Jewelry. 

Red-level sponsors were A&J Designs; Blair and Jim Purgerson; Elizabeth ’72 and Tom McKowen; Michael Fruge and Tony Clayton; Sissy ’80 and Ralph Stephens; Qtego Auction Technology; Fran ’76 and Leroy Harvey; and Air Effects/Sky Tracker LLC. White-level sponsors were Cajun Industries LLC; Gail and Bill Pryor; Hiller Orthodontics; Linda and Ian Hipwell; Linda and Larry Messina; Louis Mechanical Contractors Inc.; Christine and Milton Dureau; Raymond James and Associates Inc.; Dr. Ann Lafranca and Robert A. Handy; Ryson Roofing; Cajun Ready-Mix; School Time Uniforms; and Anne and Tom J. Meek.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Lily LaGrange Photography

Track Team Competes in Dual Meets

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team competed in two different meets on the second Saturday of the outdoor season, March 10. The Redstickers scored 183 points to finish first in the Skipper Invitational at Mandeville High School and scored 114 points to finish third in the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Invitational at Catholic High School. 
 


Scoring points towards the team total at Mandeville were the following:

Long Jump: Claire Holder, 1st place, 16-08.50

Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 1st place, 34-08.00

High Jump: Catherine Couvillion, 3rd place, 4-10.00; Alessandra Purnell, 4th place, 4-10.00

Discus: Peyton Smith, 2nd place, 91-07.00; Kayleigh Mims, 3rd place, 83-09.00

Javelin: Sarah Summerville, 1st place, 124.05.00

Triple Jump: Claire Holder, 2nd place, 33-02.50; Haley Blouin, 4th place, 32-01.00

4,000m Distance Medley Relay: Jennifer Bennett, Ashleigh Ward, Anna Eagleton and Kate Ritchie, 2nd, 13:36.86

100m Hurdles: Sophie Kronenberger, 2nd place, 16.99; McKenna Ramsey, 3rd place, 17.05

800m Sprint Medley Relay: Sydney LaFleur, Kennedy Benjamin, Katherine McCullen and Bradlee Betz, 2nd place, 1:55.66

1600m Sprint Medley Relay: Rebecca Schwartzenburg, Alexis Barbay, Alessandra Purnell and Ava Falcon, 2nd place, 4:33.82

4x200m Relay: Ava Moreau, Kelly Stephens, Alexis Barbay and Rebecca Schwartzenburg, 2nd place, 1:48.31

1600m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 5:20.86; Isabelle Brown, 2nd place, 5:40.41

100m Dash: Sydney LaFleur, 2nd place, 13.33; Kennedy Benjamin, 6th place, 13.66

4x800m Relay: Taylor Winters, Isabelle Brown, Lydia Porche and Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 10:10.06

4x100m Relay: Rebecca Schwartzenburg, Kelly Stephens, Ava Moreau and Sydney LaFleur, 1st place, 52.19

300m Hurdles: McKenna Ramsey, 1st place, 49.46; Sophie Kronenberger, 3rd place, 51.21

4x400m Relay: Taylor Winters, Kelly Stephens, Ava Moreau and Alessandra Purnell, 2nd place, 4:12.09

Scoring points towards the team total at Catholic High were the following: 

4x200m Relay: Callie Braud, Juliette Gautreaux, Jane Jeha and Tiffany Tran, 3rd place, 1:54.96

1600m Run: Virginia Dirks, 3rd place, 5:52.28; Macy Howard, 5th place, 6:00.21

100m Hurdles: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 1st place, 16.24; Catherine Rollins, 5th place, 17.66

800m Run: Catherine Saunders, 4th place, 2:41.95

4x100m Relay: Callie Braud, Juliette Gautreaux, Mary Usher and Tiffany Tran, 3rd place, 54.26

400m Dash: Julia Crawford, 2nd place, 1:06.15

300m Hurdles: Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 3rd place, 48.88; Catherine Rollins, 6th place, 52.82

3200m Run: Sophie Martin, 1st place, 12:31.85; Angelle Martin, 3rd place, 12:52.32; Jane Laville, 6th place, 13:15.91

4x400m Relay: Bella Moushleb, Jane Jeha, Olivia Cook and Julia Crawford, 1st place, 4:24.78

High jump: Catherine Couvillion, 2nd place, 4-11.00; Hannah Grace Babin, 6th place, 4-09.00

Pole Vault: Peyton Williams, 1st place, 9-00.00; Anna Koonce, 2nd place, 8-06.00

Long Jump: Amelia Bryan, 3rd place, 14-10.25; Peyton Williams, 6th place, 13-10.25

Triple Jump: Mary Usher, 5th place, 29-08.75; Peyton Williams, 6th place, 29-04.25

Shot Put: Rachel Blouin, 6th place, 25-01.00
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Edy Koonce and Charlie Daigle

State French Convention Enjoyed by French Club

The St. Joseph’s Academy French Club attended the 38th annual Association Louisianaise des Clubs Français des Ecoles Secondaires (ALCFES), or State French Club Convention, held March 2-4 in Baton Rouge. This year’s convention theme was Célébrons Notre Trésor, paying tribute to the people who speak French in Louisiana, the state’s French heritage and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL). 
 


Junior Andrea Matus, state treasurer, and junior Claire Surek, a regional representative, were part of the organization’s leadership team which planned this year’s convention.

The three-day event featured a variety of activities to encourage students to practice their French-language skills. Among the highlights were cultural presentations by native speakers from France, Belgium, the Republic of Chad, the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique and French Louisiana. SJA graduate Connie Boudreaux Silva ’05 addressed the convention as a representative of the state’s Office of Tourism. 

Students also visited the Old State Capitol Museum and saw CODOFIL’s 50th anniversary exhibit and the Merci train, a gift from France to the United States after World War II. They also attended a musical show in the old Senate chambers featuring the Cajun music of Yvette Landry and les Ferrailles.

Senior Vivian Brown was awarded a scholarship to study in La Rochelle, France. She took a written test and was interviewed by a panel of six judges from France, Belgium, Canada and Louisiana.

“I was so proud of all our girls at the convention,” said French teacher Glynis Davis. “They participated with great enthusiasm. It is so rewarding to see our students learning and having fun with the language.”

SJA students won several competitions and awards:

Advanced Play Competition, 1st place (actors: seniors Barbara Flandez, Tess Hiller, Juliet Alise and Vivian Brown and junior Kelsi Landry)
Banner Competition Theme, 1st place (chairperson: sophomore Savannah McGlothlin)
Spelling Bee, sophomore Sophia Polozola, 3rd place
Culture Bee, senior McKenzie Knight, 3rd place

Additionally, junior Andrea Matus was elected to serve as the state president for 2018-2019, and 
junior Kelsi Landry will be a regional representative for the Baton Rouge area.

Surek said serving as an ALCFES representative this year was an experience she will never forget. “To witness and be a part of all of the hard work that goes into putting on this convention is inspiring,” she said. “Everybody works so hard to fulfill the purpose of ALCFES, which is to preserve the fantastic French culture we are lucky to have in Louisiana. ALCFES provides a way to be immersed in the fun and captivating French language and culture. I plan to stay a part of this as long as I can.”

Hiller said the convention is a great opportunity to immerse herself in the French language “and celebrate how the language continues to grow throughout the state of Louisiana. My favorite part of ALCFES has to be the play because it has two of my favorite things: French and humor.”

Alise said her third French Convention exceeded all expectations. “Each year, I get more excited to go back,” she said. “French Convention always inspires me to dive deeper into the French culture and go beyond the classroom to learn about French. I loved every second of the weekend and will certainly miss it next year.” 

Flandez said her fourth French Convention was memorable. “This year’s convention was an extremely fun opportunity to be able to use my French skills with not only SJA students, but also with students from all over Louisiana,” she said. “My favorite part was simply being able to celebrate with my friends and build stronger relationships. I can happily say that I left this convention admiring the French language just a little bit more, if that’s even possible.”

In addition to Madame Davis, French teacher Dominique Calderon accompanied the SJA students.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Glynis Davis
 

SJA Wins Louisiana Tech Challenge

St. Joseph’s Academy is the winner of the 12th annual Louisiana High School Online Technology Challenge. This year’s event, held March 7, featured teams from high schools across the state. 
 

The annual technology event, hosted by the University of Louisiana at Monroe, recognizes students interested in demonstrating their creative use of technology and teamwork skills. Every high school in Louisiana is invited to enter a team of 15 students who work under the guidance of a designated coach. Since 2007, approximately 6,150 high school students have participated in the annual online competition. SJA has competed in the event since its inception. This year marks the first time an Academy team finished first. 

The top five finishers were as follows: 

1st place: St. Joseph’s Academy
2nd place: St. Thomas More Catholic High School
3rd place: Catholic High School
4th place: Northwest High School
5th place: Zachary High School

SJA Technology Director John Richardson has been the team’s coach since the competition began in 2007. “With much success over the years in this competition, it was highly rewarding for this year’s team to finish first,” he said. “It’s always a tight, close competition in which one mistake can knock you out of the top five. Each student played a very important role in this year’s successful outcome. There were no egos or feelings that got in the way of submitting their best work. We look forward to competing in next year’s challenge.

“A big thanks to Krysia Sherburne Duplessis for her organization, planning and enthusiasm prior to the competition,” Richardson added. 

Duplessis, a 2012 graduate of SJA and its Help Desk technology coordinator, expressed her pride in the team’s performance. “The girls truly embodied the concept of teamwork and allowed each other’s strengths to shine so that they could achieve the best possible result,” she said. “Leading up to the competition, these young women exhibited an impressive work ethic, a robust attention to detail and tremendous creativity. Achieving first place in this competition is not only a wonderful milestone for SJA but also a testament to the exceptional skills and talents of our students.” 

Senior Julia Rogers said it was so exciting to win the Tech Challenge in her last year of competition. “I loved working with the other girls figuring out the problems we faced,” she said. “The race against time was the most challenging part, and the final minutes were filled with nervous tension until everything was submitted successfully.”

Sophomore Faith Woods said her second Tech Challenge was especially meaningful. “The overall experience is so enjoyable because of the dedication of your teammates and the challenge of the competition,” she said. “I am a lover of research, fun facts and technology, so this challenge suits my interests incredibly well. While it may seem silly to search through pages of articles to find how many U.S. dollars it takes to get a permit to climb Mt. Everest in Nepal, I believe that this combination of fun facts and research is both educational and enlightening. Now I know it costs $11,000 to gain a permit to climb Mt. Everest in case I ever want to try it! In addition, you are joined by fellow students who share the same love and dedication to academic competition. This challenge requires teamwork and cooperation, so knowing you can rely on the person sitting next to you is both vital to the competition and extremely gratifying.”

Senior Raquel Hodgeson said it was highly rewarding to be a part of the winning effort. “This really helps me feel confident that I’m leaving some sort of lasting impact in a way,” she said. “It was so much fun to compete in the Tech Challenge.”

Sophomore Madison Roy said she had a wonderful time being part of the winning Tech Challenge team. “The experience was super-rewarding, and winning only increased that,” she said. “I love making presentations, and I’m happy that I was able to help make one that contributed to our team’s success. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to participate.”

Junior Rachael Coates was in charge of the question category of the challenge, making sure guidelines were followed and materials were turned in on time. “The most challenging part of the question portion was how we worded each answer because if one word suggested something else, we could get marked off,” she said. “I liked the pressure of getting everything done and turned in on time. It was also cool to try to look at something from every perspective to make sure all bases were covered. I think it’s a huge honor to be on the team that got first place, and I’m happy that I was able to be a part of it.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Krysia Sherburne Duplessis

Juniors Win DEMCO Essay Contest

St. Joseph’s Academy juniors Rachael Coates and Anna Reese Couhig were chosen as two of the four winners of the 2018 DEMCO Rural Electric Youth Tour Essay Contest. They joined 10 other finalists on March 6 at White Oak Plantation, where they were tested on rural electrification facts and judged on the oral presentation of their essays.
 


Coates’ essay was about bipartisan cooperation, and Couhig’s essay discussed net neutrality. As winners, they will each enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to a weeklong leadership conference this summer in Washington, D.C. 

“I enjoyed the evening,” Coates said. “I was a little nervous, but I was really passionate, and I felt really good about my presentation afterward. I’m looking forward to going to Washington, D.C., and meeting new people. I’m really looking forward to possibly initiating change within our country.”

Couhig said she enjoyed listening to the other students’ presentations. While she said she battled nerves during her delivery, she was pleased with the results. “I am really looking forward to seeing all of the different sites in D.C. and am very excited to have this opportunity,” she said.

Former SJA English teacher Blair Purgerson worked with the finalists in advance of the evening to hone their presentation skills. 

The girls were accompanied by their parents, their English teacher, Jill Abadie, and Dean of Academics Dr. Jason Hanks. Last year’s winner from SJA, senior Lisa Taylor, also attended.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Jill Abadie

Dads, Daughters Enjoy Special Day

St. Joseph’s Academy students and their dads gathered on campus March 4 for Father-Daughter Day 2018. The event is hosted each year by the SJA Dads’ Club. This year’s theme was It May be Cheesy, But My Dad is Grate.

The day began with mass in the Activity Center. Father Ryan Hallford, parochial vicar of Holy Family, was the celebrant. 

Following mass, guests enjoyed a jambalaya lunch. Fathers and daughters then teamed up for fun and games, including beanbag toss, bocce ball, croquet and ladder toss. 
 


Senior Mary Scott Pourciau said she and her dad had a great time at their fourth and final Father-Daughter Day. “We had the privilege of cantoring at the mass, and I am so glad we got to share our gifts of voice with our school,” she said. “I think this is an important tradition that all SJA girls should attend because this is a great time to truly appreciate the father figure in their lives.” 

Freshman Kylie Brister said the day was special. “I never really get to spend time with my dad, but at the event, I got to eat lunch with him and we played a few of the games,” she said. “Although it was only a few hours, it meant the world to me.”
Sophomore Flora DeMoss said she thoroughly enjoyed the time with her dad. “It was a great time to just spend together,” she said. “With life happening all around us, it is hard to find time for just the two of us, so this was great.” 

Father-Daughter Day 2018 was chaired by Dan Boudreaux. He was joined on the planning committee by Warren Davis, Bassam Harb, Mark LeBlanc and Ron McDaniel. Faculty member Hugo Andricain planned the mass. 

Awards and door prizes were donated by Benny’s Car Wash, Celebrity Theatres, Cox Communications, Qdoba, Varsity Sports and SJA’s Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74 STEM Lab. 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Madeline Ortego and Katie Jeter Valenciano
 

Track Team Wins Tip-Off Classic

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team started the 2018 outdoor season with a dominating performance in the 2018 Tip-Off Invitational, held March 3 at Catholic High School. The Redstickers scored 316.5 points to finish ahead of Denham Springs (112.50), Episcopal (92), St. Michael’s (9) and Southern Lab (0). 
 

Scoring points towards the team total were the following:

4x200m Relay: Ava Moreau, Kelly Stephens, Alexis Barbay and Rebecca Schwartzenburg, 1st, place, 1:48.37

1,600m Run: Isabelle Brown, 1st place, 5:25.27; Jennifer Bennett, 2nd place, 5:40.27; Virginia Dirks, 3rd place, 6:00.00

100m Hurdles: Claire Holder, 1st place, 15.89; McKenna Ramsey, 2nd place, 16.44; Sophie Kronenberger, 3rd place, 16.50

100m Dash: Sydney LaFleur, 1st place, 12.68; Olivia Cook, 4th place, 13.37

800m Run: Taylor Winters, 2nd place, 2:26.47; Lauren Hendry, 3rd place, 2:29.01; Isabelle Brown, 5th place, 2:31.59

4x100m Relay: Sydney LaFleur, Rebecca Schwartzenburg, Ava Moreau and Kelly Stephens, 1st place, 50.28

400m Dash: Alessandra Purnell, 1st place, 1:01.83; Ashleigh Ward, 3rd place, 1:04.75; Bradlee Betz, 4th place, 1:05.36

300m Hurdles: McKenna Ramsey, 2nd place, 50.40; Sophie Kronenberger, 3rd place, 50.88; Haley Blouin, 4th place, 52.50

200m Dash: Sydney LaFleur, 1st place, 26.80; Olivia Cook, 2nd place, 27.46; Juliette Gautreaux, 4th place, 28.65

3,200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 11:34.13; Jennifer Bennett, 3rd place, 12:26.81; Angelle Martin, 4th place, 12:51.56

4x400m Relay: Taylor Winters, Kelly Stephens, Ava Moreau and Alessandra Purnell, 1st place, 4:14.73

High Jump: Catherine Couvillion, 1st place, 5-00.00; Alessandra Purnell, 2nd place, 4-10.00; Hannah Grace Babin, 4th, 4-10.00

Pole Vault: Anna Koonce, 1st place, 9-00.00; Peyton Williams, 2nd place, 9-00.00; Taylor Walker, 5th place, 7-00.00

Long Jump: Haley Blouin, 3rd place, 15-03.50; Claire Holder, 4th place, 15-01.50; Rebecca Schwartzenburg, 5th place, 14-11.25

Triple Jump: Haley Blouin, 1st place, 32-02.00; Claire Holder, 2nd place, 31-08.50; Lia Chiasson, 3rd place, 31-07.25

Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 1st place, 32-05.00; Rachel Blouin, 5th place, 25-02.50; Kaelie Bernard, 6th place, 19-10.00

Discus: Peyton Smith, 1st place, 96-03.00, Kayleigh Mims, 2nd place, 82-03.00; Michelle Lorio, 3rd place, 82-01.00

Javelin: Sarah Summerville, 1st place, 108-50.00; Carley Dugas, 4th place, 71-07.00; Emily Kukura, 6th place, 64.07.00
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Charlie Daigle

Senior Receives President’s Volunteer Service Award

St. Joseph’s Academy senior Megan Gremillion has been honored for her exemplary community service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award. The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant time to service in their communities, was granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Service Awards program.

“Service is my passion, and I intend to pursue it throughout my life,” Gremillion said. 
 


The Prudential Spirit of Community Service Awards is presented in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), which recognizes students across America for outstanding volunteer service, said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “Demonstrating civic responsibility through volunteerism is an important part of life,” she said. “These honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate.”

Gremillion is a member of the youth board of directors for the Ghana Educational Collaborative (GEC), a non-profit organization dedicated to changing the lives of Ghanaian students through education. She also volunteers regularly with SJA’s THRIVE Club, a mentorship program for underserved youth in the Baton Rouge community. “We meet after school, and I teach them how to sew,” Gremillion said. “While sewing is an important life skill, the most important thing we do is form a positive relationship of mentorship with the students.”

Gremillion is also a four-year member of the SJA Science Club’s Coastal Roots program, growing and planting trees to prevent coastal erosion in Louisiana. Additionally, she has completed more than 50 hours of volunteer service during each of her four years at SJA.

John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, praised the commitment of this year’s award winners. “The recipients of these awards demonstrate that young people across America are making remarkable contributions to the health and vitality of their communities,” he said.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo by Jennifer M. Fontaine

SJA Inducts 2018 Hall of Fame Class

The St. Joseph’s Academy Athletic Hall of Fame inducted its 2018 class during a special evening celebration on February 24 in the Activity Center. 

Nan Murtagh (swim coach), Lori Nero ’98 (basketball) and Mike Lamana (distinguished volunteer) were honored, as were members of state finalist teams from 2006 and 2007. 

Athletic Director Dorinda Beaumont welcomed the large crowd, and theology faculty member Sister Chris Pologa offered the blessing. Brenda LeBlanc, SJA health and physical education faculty member and 2017 Hall of Fame inductee, served as the evening’s mistress of ceremonies. 

SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen said that athletics have long been an integral part of the total educational experience at SJA. She outlined the history of Redsticker athletics and shared the successes of the current academic year. 

The three inductees was introduced by tribute videos produced by SJA Media Coordinator Erin Albarado and Communications Director Mindy Brodhead Averitt. Breen and Principal Stacia Andricain presented the honorees with a replica of the SJA Hall of Fame logo carved from wood used on the original SJA gymnasium floor. 

Sister Joan Laplace, Mission Advancement associate director, offered the closing prayer. 

The Hall of Fame planning committee was co-chaired by Averitt and Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald. Joining them on the committee were Beaumont, Murtagh and Alumnae Director Katie Jeter ’04.

Sponsors for the evening were Baker Printing, Baton Rouge Coca-Cola and “The Original” Heroman’s Florist.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado and Jennifer M. Fontaine 

National Merit Announces Finalists

St. Joseph’s Academy’s senior Alexandra Hinkle has met the requirements to advance to Finalist standing in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program competition. 

National Merit Finalists will be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2018.
 
To become finalists, semifinalists maintained an outstanding academic record throughout high school, were endorsed and recommended by their high school principal and earned SAT scores that confirmed their earlier performance on the qualifying test. Merit Scholars are selected on the basis of their accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Scholarship awards will be made beginning in March.

Hinkle is the daughter of Jeannemarie and Rob Hinkle; she attended St. Luke’s Episcopal.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo by Erin Albarado

SJA Celebrates Unity Mass

St. Joseph’s Academy gathered as a community on February 21 to celebrate the annual Unity Mass. Father Trey Nelson, pastor of St. Jude Parish, was the presider.
 


Senior Emily Shore welcomed the large gathering in the Activity Center. “The central theme of the Congregation of St. Joseph is ‘That All May Be One,’” she said. “This charism does not express a desire to make everyone the same; rather, it is about celebrating the many gifts we have in our diversity and bringing all of those gifts together in serving the dear neighbor. Our common bond is that we are all children of God, equally loved by our Creator and deserving of equal love from one another.”

Sophomore Anna Barreneche read from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians.

Prayers of the faithful were offered in languages representative of the SJA community. Participating students and the languages spoken were junior Derquisia Spears, English; senior An Vu, Vietnamese; junior Andrea Matus, Spanish; senior Caroline Ann LeBlanc and senior Livie Broussard, French; senior Macy Heroman, Latin; sophomore Bronley Wittmann, German; junior Olivia Clark, Italian; senior Jane Jeha, Arabic; and sophomore Sophia Stuart, Chinese.

Aimee Cronan directed the Liturgy Choir. Senior Colleen Lovretich served as cantor. She also had a solo during communion, as did seniors Mary Scott Pourciau and Hannah Miletello. Instrumentalists were senior Gabrielle Taylor, piano; Hugo Andricain, guitar; and Stephen Barrios, percussion. 

Following mass, Principal Stacia Andricain reflected on what unity means to her. Referencing the regional culinary favorite, gumbo, Andricain said that it’s the combination of ingredients which make a great dish. “The sausage, the chicken, the rice, the roux, the spices, the whole thing is much better because of what each of the ingredients adds,” she said. “The sausage doesn’t quit being a sausage when it gets thrown in the pot. On the contrary, it keeps being a sausage but gives its unique flavor to the dish. The rice doesn’t stop being rice, but it absorbs much of the flavor of the spices in the broth and becomes much more than just plain, boring rice. My point is that unity isn’t the same as homogeny. It doesn’t mean giving up who we are, where we come from or what makes us special. Celebrating what makes each of us unique is important. A spirit of unity recognizes that we, as a society, are so much stronger and better when we are willing to share who we are with others and when we learn to welcome what other people and cultures can add to our lives.”

Andricain also spoke of the tragic shootings in Parkland, Florida, and said we continue to pray for the victims and their families. “We also pray for all those who feel they do not have a place in society, and we pray for the grace to be a unifying presence in this world,” she said, adding her hope that those in attendance would make a point of reaching out to someone of another culture, faith or grade level. “Make a difference in someone’s life today,” she said.

Jane Jeha closed the gathering by leading the singing of the alma mater.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado

Track Team Finishes Fourth in Indoor State Meet

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team finished fourth in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Indoor Track Meet. The championship meet, held February 17 and 18 in the Carl Maddox Field House at LSU, featured 38 teams in Division I.
 


Junior Lauren Hendry won the state championship in the 3,200 meter run. 

The top five finishers in this year’s competition were Zachary (66 points), Lafayette High (56), John Curtis (35), SJA (27) and Edna Karr (24).

“We had a great meet,” said head coach Charlie Daigle. “It was one of the better indoor state championships we’ve ever had.”

Meet results are as follows:

1,600m Run: Jennifer Bennett, 7th place, 5:38.50; Isabelle Brown, 8th place, 5:40.44

60m Hurdles: Claire Holder, 5th place, 9.91 (personal record); Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 6th place, 10.03 (personal record)

4x800m Relay: Taylor Winters, Ava Falcon, Isabelle Brown (personal record 800 split) and Lauren Hendry (personal record 800 split), 2nd place, 10:18.22

3,200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 11:35.93 (personal record); Sophie Martin, 4th place, 12:11.13

4x400m Relay: Taylor Winters, Kelly Stephens, Ava Moreau (personal record 400 split) and Alessandra Purnell (personal record 400 split), 5th place, 4:17.39

Pole Vault: Anna Koonce, 9th place, 8-04.25

High Jump: Alessandra Purnell, 10th place, 5-00.00; Catherine Couvillion, 11th place, 4-10.00

Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 10th place, 32-05.00
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Tina LaHaye

Seniors Advance in CYLA Program

Six St. Joseph’s Academy seniors are council-level winners in the 2018 Catholic Youth Leadership Award (CYLA) scholarship program, sponsored by the Louisiana State Council of the Knights of Columbus. They are Isabel Grandy (St. Aloysius Council 3743), Sydney Hamilton (Mother of Mercy Council 4030), Ann Nguyen (St. Thomas More Council 5530), Marigny Broussard (Father James Clement Council 6389), Molly Shepherd (St. Jude the Apostle Council 9692), Emily Matthews (Most Blessed Sacrament Council 10455) and Barbara Flandez (St. Joseph Cathedral Council 13632).
 

The six council-level winners now advance to the Baton Rouge Diocesan level competition, which will be concluded in March. The winner will move on to the state competition in April.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Cheerleaders Named National Champions

The St. Joseph’s Academy cheerleaders won the 2018 National High School Cheerleading Championship (NHSCC) in the Super Varsity Division II. The competition was held February 10 and 11 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando.

NHSCC is billed as the most prestigious cheerleading championship in the country and is televised on ESPN and ESPN2 to more than 100 million homes and 32 countries each year.
 
 
The SJA squad began the competition as one of 24 teams in the preliminary round. SJA placed second in the Group A preliminaries, advancing to the semifinal round. With a near perfect routine, the cheerleaders moved onto the final round in first place. On Sunday, eight teams competed for the title, with SJA bringing home top honors. 

Coach Chelsea Milazzo said the team overcame obstacles throughout the year and surpassed all expectations by being named Super Varsity National Champions. “The night before finals, after reviewing their scores, I told them, ‘If you want to win, you can,’” Milazzo said. “Watching them perform their routine for the final time was literally electrifying. It felt like the entire building was screaming the cheer with them, and I just immediately teared up as they yelled ST. JOSEPH’S and finished their routine with a hit. They seemed so confident, so strong and so proud of the team they had become. I am so humbled, honored and proud to coach this amazing group of talent. This is just the beginning for us, and it will only get better from here.”

Cheer moderator Lauren Morris said the competition was an amazing experience and a dream come true for the entire squad. “They pushed themselves beyond what they ever thought they were capable of,” Morris said. “Their last performance in finals was incredible to watch. They were so confident and proved to everyone just how good they are, and they just had so much fun out there. It was the best I had ever seen them perform, the loudest they have ever been, and I instantly started crying as we were running into the back to watch the playback of their routine. I just knew we were going to win. I don’t think I can describe how immensely proud I am of this team. The moment SJA was announced as Super Varsity Division II National Champions is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life, and I know the girls will cherish this forever.”

Senior Kamryn Fouts is captain of the squad. She said winning the national championship will be among her fondest memories, as the team’s hard work paid off in a big way. “Before competing in finals, we were all really nervous because we wanted to end our season with a hit,” she said. “Once we finished performing, we got to watch our routine. We were all crying and hugging because of how proud we were of each other. I am so proud of how far our team has come and so happy we get to end the year as national champions. We couldn’t have done any of this without the support of our coach and moderator. We are so grateful for their dedication.”

Senior Abi Mock, co-captain, said the team battled nerves going into the final round but pulled together for a great performance. “Hearing our name being called as national champions was the proudest moment of my cheer career,” she said. “The team had worked so hard for this moment, and all our hard work paid off. I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”

Co-captain Maddie McCrary, a senior, said the team hit all of its stunts with zero deductions to capture the top prize. “We took the mat and did exactly what we had to do,” she said. “Walking off the mat was the best feeling ever because I knew we had just performed a winning routine. This was my last time competing, and I wanted to win so badly. When they announced second place and it wasn’t us, I just fell on the floor. It was the best feeling in the entire world, and I will never forget it. It was the best day ever, and I’m very sad my cheerleading career at SJA is over, but I couldn’t have ended it in a better way.”

Junior Ashlynn Sorrells said she still can’t believe the squad is national champions. “I am so proud of my team for this accomplishment,” she said. “We competed three times, and somehow our routine seemed to get better each time. When we walked off the mat after finals, I had such a good feeling, and I was convinced we would get first place since we did so well. I will never forget the feeling when the announcers called our name for first place. It was such an exciting moment. I couldn’t ask for a better team to share this experience.”

Freshman Emma Grace Shannon said her first national competition was truly memorable. “Over the year and with what we have been through together, we pulled through and won,” she said. “When we heard that we were in the final two, the feeling was indescribable. Then, the announcer said that in second place was the team from Alabama, and our whole team started to break down. When they announced that St. Joseph’s Academy was first in the Super Varsity Division, the feeling was surreal. It is a moment in time that I will never forget. I love this team so much.”

Sophomore Kaylyn Ainsworth has been a cheerleader for 11 years. She said winning the national championship is the best experience of her career. “I am still in shock being able to say that we won a national title,” she said. “No matter how many times I watch the video, I still get the chills and tear up a little when the announcers call St. Joseph’s Academy as first place. It is a feeling that will never be forgotten.”
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Shelly Moore and Lauren Morris
 

Soccer Players Sign National Letters of Intent

Two St. Joseph’s Academy seniors signed national letters of intent on February 9 and will compete at the collegiate level next year. The signing ceremony was held in the school library. 

Meghan Johnson will join the LSU soccer team, and Courtney Moggio will play soccer at Heidelberg University. 
 

Johnson, co-captain of this year’s soccer team, will be a four-year varsity letter winner and was named to the All-District First Team in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2017, she was the district’s offensive MVP. She was named to the All-Metro First Team in 2016 and 2017, the All-State Freshman Team in 2015 and the All-State Second Team in 2016 and 2017. She is a 2018 Louisiana All-Star East Team honoree. Johnson has been a member of the Baton Rouge Soccer Club since 2010. 

Johnson was joined at the signing ceremony by her parents, Angie and Gordon Johnson; grandparents JoAnn and Sebastian Corbino and Lucille Johnson; and brother Jacob Johnson. 

“To sign my letter of intent surrounded by friends, family and teammates meant a lot to me because I would not be where I am today without them,” she said. “The amount of support they have given me, and still give me, is unbelievable. They push me to be the very best I can be. 

“I am looking forward to playing at the collegiate level because I will get to experience and play at a higher level,” Johnson added. “I am also excited to be able to meet new people and to challenge myself on and off the field.”

Moggio, 2017-2018 soccer team co-captain, will be a three-year varsity letter winner. She was named to the 2017 All-District Second Team. She has been a member of Baton Rouge Soccer Club since 2009. 

Moggio was joined at the signing ceremony by her mom and stepdad, Brigette and Vidar Ersrud; dad John Moggio; grandparents Nancy and Charlie Seemann; and sister Peyton Moggio. 

“It felt amazing,” Moggio said of signing her national letter of intent surrounded by friends, family and coaches. “It’s great to have so much support. It was a crazy feeling signing to go play in college. I feel like I was in middle school a few months ago. I’m excited but also nervous to be moving so far away from home. I’m looking forward to making new friends and having new experiences. I look forward to playing the sport I love so much at the next level and contributing to a college’s athletic program.” 

WAFB and WVLA/Fox 44 covered the signing ceremony. The student-athletes were also supported by a large gathering of administrators, teammates, coaches, friends and faculty/staff members. Adding their support were SJA soccer coaches Stephanie Broussard, Alex Delgado, Kyle Carmouche and Lauren Garrett and Baton Rouge Soccer Club coaches Roger Charcap and Melin Portillo. 
 
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado

Senior Basketball Players Honored

The St. Joseph’s Academy basketball team honored its two seniors prior to the February 8 game against Broadmoor High. Elise Caruso and Emma Callegan were recognized for their dedication and contributions to the SJA basketball program. The Redstickers won the game, 67-20.

The seniors were introduced, along with their parents, and received flowers and autographed basketballs. 
 


Head coach deLynn Stelly expressed pride in her seniors. “It was so great to see Emma and Elise have great games,” she said. “Both of them have grown, not only as basketball players, but also as young women these last four years. We have had a tough year this year, and we wouldn’t be the team we are today without their positive attitude. I am very grateful for both of them, and we are going to miss them so much next year.” 

Caruso is the daughter of Lorin and Todd James. She will be a three-year varsity letter winner in basketball and a four-year letterwoman in softball. She was named to the All-District and All-Metro softball teams and received the Most Inspiring Player and Coach’s Award for softball. In basketball, she was named last year’s Best Defensive Player. She also was the SJA winner for the Wendy’s Heisman academic scholarship. “I loved the whole night,” she said. “I felt so special, and I enjoyed the whole presentation process because it made me feel accomplished as I am leaving SJA. I’ll always remember my team and the memories we hold together.” 

Callegan is the daughter of Allison and Jon Traxler and the late Chris Callegan. She will be a three-year varsity letter winner in basketball. She received the team’s Varsity Offensive MVP Award and was named All-District Honorable Mention her junior year. “Senior Night was a very enjoyable and fun end to my SJA basketball career,” Callegan said. “Being with all my teammates, coaches and friends was really bittersweet. I loved every minute of this special night, but it truly came so fast, and I never thought this stage of my life would end. I have loved every minute of playing basketball here, I have loved my teammates each year. I wouldn’t be the person I am without this sport. Also, Stelly and our other coaches have shaped me and the whole team into who we are today, and I am so grateful for our coaches and the team.”
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Mackenzie Bowman
 

SJA Wins 2018 Regional Science Fair

St. Joseph’s Academy was the top school in the 2018 Region VII Louisiana Science and Engineering Fair, held February 7 in the LSU Union. Participants who placed first and second in their categories advance to the Louisiana State Science and Engineering Fair.
 

Anne Gahagan will participate in the Genius Olympiad, set for June 11 in Oswego, New York. 

Science Fair coordinator Linda Messina expressed her pride in the effort put forth by the students over the past year. “They have truly been dedicated to learning and exploring science and technology,” she said. “Their hard work was very evident in their presentations.” 

Following are the results from this year’s regional science fair.

Animal Science
 
Faith Woods, 1st place, The Effects of Varying Levels of Salinity on the Metamorphosis of Triploid Oysters
Breann Keowen, 3rd place, The Effect of Holding Caprine Oocytes at Room Temperature before In-vitro Maturation

Behavioral Science

Lara Nicholson, 1st place, Using Prior Data to Create Performance Predictions before the First Trial
Madi Boudreaux, 2nd place, Stress Levels of High School Students vs. Stress Levels of Working Adults
Annie Blanchard, Honorable Mention, The Effect of the Golden Ratio on the Perception of the Human Face

Biochemistry 
Malorey Uzee, 1st place, The Effect of Carbohydrates, Lipids, Sugars and Sodium on Nutritional Value
Ann Nguyen, 3rd place, Chlamydomonas Rheinhardtii Exhibits Heterogenous Alkaline Phosphatase Activity Under Higher Exongenous Phosphorus Levels

Biomedical and Health Sciences 
Camille Taylor, 2nd place, Stratifying Cardiovascular Risk in Insulin-Resistant Women
Maurie Morris, 3rd place, The Effect of Tea Tree Oils in Combination with Vancomycin and Colistin on Staphylococcus Aureus
Grace Morrison, 4th place, The Effect of Neuromuscular Re-Education Through Dry Needling and Electrical Stimulation

Biomedical Engineering 
Alex Thibodeaux, 1st place, Formation of Size-Tunable Organoids by Hydrogel Arrays

Cellular and Molecular Biology 
Rachael Coates, 2nd place, Quantification of the Effects of Fluid Shear Stress in Circulating Tumor Cells

Chemistry
Ashlynn Sorrells, 1st place, The Effect of Copper Ionization on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms
Kirby Black, 3rd place, Potting Soil Optimization for the Production of Brassica Plants using Boron Supplements

Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Madison Pittman, Honorable Mention, Identification of Microbiome Contained in Environmental Samples Using 165 Ribosomal RNA Sequencing Technology 

Earth and Environmental
Sydney Melder, 2nd place, Salt Tolerance of Grass Plants Harvested for Industrial Salt Brine Fields
Kate Michel, 3rd place, The Effect of Different Filter Media and Arrangements on the Effluent Turbidity Removal in Water Treatment

Embedded Systems 
Kayleigh Mims, 1st place, Powering a Distress Signal with Gravity
Sydney Clebert, 2nd place, Numerical Modeling of Edge-On Spiral Galaxies Using Python

Energy Chemical
Sophia Stewart, 2nd place, The Effect of Different Levels of Currencies during MCDI on the Concentration of NaCl in the Water of 250 ppms

Energy Physical
Amelia Dittmar, 1st place, Variation in Concussive Force Absorbed by Therapeutic Saddle Pads
Katie McCullen, 4th place, The Thermal Stratification and Destratification of a Building

Engineering Mechanics
Anna LeJeune and Maryn Matthews, 1st place, The Effects of Pitch on Propeller Thrust: A Second Year Study 
Allee Rogers, 2nd place, The Effect of Nose Cones and an Air Duct on a Small Wind Turbine

Environmental Engineering 
Anne Gahagan, 1st place, The Leeching of an Industrial Waste Product in order to Obtain a Viable Horticultural Substance
Addison Bruce, 2nd place, Beneficial Microorganisms Used to Enhance Decontamination of Polluted Soil  

Materials Science
Parker Wilson, 1st place, Comparison of Long-term Storage Mediums for Forensic DNA Evidence
Lauren Saunders, 3rd place, The Measured Strength of Wood Following Different Flooding Durations

Microbiology
Emily DeSoto, 2nd place, The Effect of Different Gene Variations Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Rylie Brown, 4th place, The Effect of Over-the-Counter Antifungals on the Growth of Trichophyton rubrum

Physics and Astronomy
Mary Catherine Lorio, 2nd place, A Novel Method for Simulating Hermite-Gaussian Modes of Light
Skylar Mancuso, 3rd place, The Correlation between Coronal Mass Ejections and Power System Disturbances

Plant Science
Anna Koonce, 1st place, Ecological Restoration Zones Within the Monkey River Area (Belize) Using Community Grown Nurseries to Produce Plants for Riparian Strips
Claire, Trystan and Alayna Tate, 3rd place, The Effect of Different Hydroponic Methods on the Overall Growth and Health of Boston Butter Lettuce

Robotics and Intelligent Machines
Kaelyn Smith, 1st place, Creating a Navigation Device for the Blind Using Lidar and Sonar Technology

Systems Software
Corrine Hutchinson, 2nd place, Contributing Factors of Louisiana Teenage Driver Injury Levels in Motor Vehicle Crashes
Hannah Grace Vautrot, 3rd place, Travel in Virtual Reality 

Translational Medical Science
Elise Saloom, 2nd place, Effects on Intraocular Pressure Following Voluntary Apnea
Olivia Carroll, 3rd place, The Interaction of Lysozyme with Eco-friendly Lignin Nanoparticles

Linda Thompson and Jacqueline Savoia assist with Science Fair. 
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Edy Koonce and Linda Messina

Juniors Spend Day in Class Retreat

St. Joseph’s Academy juniors experienced their class retreat on February 5. The theme of the day-long event, held on campus, was Who Am I Called to Be?
 
 

The day was organized by Campus Minister Mandy Tumminello. “I had a wonderful time with the girls on junior retreat,” she said. “Through witness talks, activities and small-group discussions, they were able to look at their unique gifts and the inspirations in their lives. They walked away with an understanding that we are all on a journey to find who God is calling us to be.”  

Junior Faith Nettles said she enjoyed the day. “Getting to hear from two personal experiences on their own callings really helped me look at my future in a different perspective,” she said. “I learned to focus on the more important things in life that are right in front of me, and with time, my calling will come.”

Faculty and staff members helping with the day were Jill Abadie, Yvette Aillet, Erika Angarita, Fran Barbera, Jenny Betbeze, Allison Bruton, Brad Buras, Dawn Burton, Katie Comeaux, Aimee Cronan, Karen Douet, Ellen Frazier, Brooke Haigler, Kathie Hayden, Kate Hutcheson, Lisa Knotts, Kevin Landry, Nicole Lane, Ghedy Matus, Sarah McCann, Megan McGinty, Sivi Miller, Kayla Moscona, Amy Neck, Pat O’Hara, Emily Peavy, Sister Chris Pologa, Jennifer Prather, Jade Prejean, Sara Rounds, Jacqueline Savoia, Brianna Sommers, Angelle Terrell and Linda Weimer. The SJA Dads’ Club provided a hamburger lunch.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado

Spanish Club Members Enjoy Convention

Members of the St. Joseph’s Academy Spanish Club attended the 2018 Louisiana Association of High School Spanish Clubs (LAHSSC) State Convention, held February 2-4 at the Holiday Inn South in Baton Rouge. The convention was hosted by the Louisiana Association of High School Spanish Clubs. 
 


Participating students competed against 10 schools from across Louisiana in a variety of contests. They also took part in elections for statewide delegates.

The club captured first place in the piñata and scrapbook competitions and second place in Quiz Bowl, T-shirt design and advanced skit categories. Senior Madeline Thomas finished third in the narrative competition, and junior Elise Marchand finished third in level testing Spanish III. Marchand and junior Andrea Matus were elected delegates for the 2019 Spanish Convention. 

Spanish teachers and Spanish Club co-moderators Erika Angarita and Ghedy Matus accompanied the girls. “They worked so hard all weekend, and it clearly paid off,” Angarita said. “They had fun all weekend and practiced Spanish as much as they could. The passion they have for the language clearly shows. They make me proud.” 

Matus said it was such a pleasure to see the students perform at such high levels. “They were all aboard, todas a bordo, with their display of Spanish culture and language usage,” she said. “They demonstrated amazing creativity unifying the theme and cultural aspects. Their smiles and attitude were contagious. It was truly knowledge at play in an international-mindedness exchange of three days.”
 
Senior Barbara Flandez said she especially enjoyed the Quiz Bowl competition. “I had so much fun practicing with my friends,” she said. “I actually learned a lot about different Hispanic cultures in a fun way. The dinner followed by the dance on Saturday was also super entertaining. I was able to make new friends from different schools and form stronger relationships with other SJA students. It was an exciting convention, and I’m glad I got to finish my last Spanish convention feeling so joyful.” 

Senior Lisa Taylor, who is vice president of the Spanish Club, competed in Quiz Bowl and helped create the winning piñata and banner. “What I enjoyed most about convention was getting to meet so many people and sharing our love for the Spanish language and culture,” she said. “One thing I am definitely proud of is all the hard work that went into making this weekend memorable. We spent so much time making the piñata and the scrapbook and studying for Quiz Bowl, and I couldn’t be more proud of our club for coming together and dedicating the time to make the weekend a success. I am going to remember my first convention all of my life.”
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Commuications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Erika Angarita
 

Track Team Gears up for Indoor State

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team participated in the 2018 LSU Last Chance Qualifier on February 3. The meet was held in the Carol Maddox Field House. The Indoor State Championship Meet with will be held on February 17 at LSU. 
 

Finishing in the top 20 of their respective events were the following:

4x200m Relay: Sydney LeFleur, Kelly Stephens, Ava Moreau and Rebecca Schwartzenburg, 13th place, 1:53.09

1600m Run: Isabelle Brown, 4th place, 5:29.93; Jennifer Bennett, 12th place, 5:54.83

800m Run: Taylor Winters, 9th place, 2:35.40; Leanne Livingston, 14th place, 2:37.30

60m Hurdles: Claire Holder, 10th place, 10.15; Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise, 19th place, 10.42

4x800m Relay: Taylor Winters, Lauren Hendry, Isabelle Brown and Leanne Livingston, 2nd place, 10:16.82
 
3200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 11:34.81; Sophie Martin, 3rd place, 12:04.84 
 
4x400m Relay: Taylor Winters, Kelly Stephens, Ava Moreau and Alessandra Purnell, 7th place, 4:21.70

Pole Vault: Peyton Williams, 14th place, 8-11.75; Anna Koonce, 15th place, 7-11.50

High Jump: Alessandra Purnell, 11th place, 4-10.00; Catherine Couvillion, 14th place, 4-10.00

Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 12th place, 32-11.50
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Charlie Daigle
 

Mu Alpha Theta Hosts Math Tournament

Approximately 350 students from 11 area schools participated in Mu Alpha Theta’s 15th annual Middle School Math Tournament, held February 2 on St. Joseph’s Academy’s campus. Participants enjoyed an evening of competition and fun hosted by members of SJA’s math club. 

St. Jude the Apostle won the sweepstakes trophy as the top school. Other participating schools were Holy Family, Most Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady of Mercy, Sacred Heart, St. Aloysius, St. Alphonsus, St. George, St. Jean Vianney, St. Theresa and St. Thomas More. 
 

The evening’s activities included free-response and multiple-choice tests, estimation contests and a relay race featuring balloons stuffed with math problems. Club members began preparing for the tournament months ago, writing tests and planning for the logistics of having hundreds of youngsters on campus.

As an officer in the math club, senior Alexa Gutowski helped plan this year’s tournament. She said that the evening was an enormous success. “All of the officers are such hard workers, so we wanted to be sure that the tournament was the best it could be,” she said. “We began doing a little bit of preparation for the tournament a few months ago, but we started doing most of the heavy prepping at the beginning of January. I loved planning and working the tournament because there is such a huge payoff. It is great to see all of the kids so excited about math. It is so awesome that they get to see results when they exercise their genius little brains.”

Senior Bella Canova said she especially enjoyed the enthusiasm displayed by the young participants. “I think it’s important to show kids that math can be fun,” she said. “If you expose kids to a huge group of other kids who are interested in the same things they are, they might be more inclined to further their learning in math or other subjects, for that matter.”

Senior Lauren Campbell said she loved the determination of the young students in their attempts to answer the math questions. “They never give up,” she said. “It’s the best feeling in the world when you tell a fourth grader she got an answer right, and she jumps up and down in celebration. It’s important to encourage enthusiasm for math because students need to know they’re doing something worthwhile. If we want to harbor the next Hawking or Descartes, we need to foster an environment that encourages curiosity, ingenuity and critical thinking.”

Jamal Tajdaran is moderator of Mu Alpha Theta.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Lily Abadie and Tiffany Tran
 

Volleyball Team Celebrates Successes of 2017

Members of the St. Joseph’s Academy volleyball team were honored during a special recognition party at Bergeron’s in Port Allen on January 24. 

Head coach Sivi Miller, along with assistant coaches Molli Nannie and Keenan Ruff, recapped the season and awarded certificates of participation, varsity letters and special awards to the freshman, JV and varsity teams. 
 

Recognized for receiving post-season honors were the following: 
All-District Team: Fran Okpalobi (Outstanding Offensive Player/Co-MVP), Amber Haynes, Caroline Starns, Tess Hiller and Julia Welsh
All District Honorable Mention: Abigail Haynes
All-Metro Team: Fran Okpalobi (MVP), Amber Haynes and Caroline Starns
All Metro Honorable Mention: Tess Hiller
Division I All-Academic All-State Team: Erin Landry, Tess Hiller and Elizabeth McCormick
All-State (LVCA): Fran Okpalobi and Amber Haynes
LHSCA All-Star Team: Fran Okpalobi

Varsity team awards were bestowed as follows: 
Coaches Award: Tess Hiller
Most Valuable Player: Fran Okpalobi
Angel Award: Liz McCormick
Impact Player: Abigail Haynes
Offensive Player Award: Amber Haynes
Defensive Player Award: Tess Hiller
Most Improved Varsity Player: Olivia Reames
Sticker Strong Award: Liz McCormick
Sportsmanship/Journey/Achievement (SJA) Award (given to seniors who exemplify dedication to SJA volleyball over four years): Erin Landry, Tess Hiller, Leila Purnell, Elizabeth McCormick, Fran Okpalobi, Abigail Haynes and Madison Carmena
Captains Awards: Tess Hiller and Abigail Haynes

Junior varsity team awards were given as follows: 
Coaches Award: Haley Priest
Outstanding JV Player: Mary Marchand
Most Improved JV Player: Erin Beene

Freshman team awards were bestowed as follows: 
Coaches Award: Simone Moreau
Outstanding Freshmen Player: Olivia Reames 
Most Improved Freshman: Julia Dwelle
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Sivi Miller

SJA Mourns Loss of Jacqueline Labat

Jacqueline Labat, a member of the St. Joseph’s Academy faculty for 47 years, passed away peacefully on February 6, 2018. She died at home surrounded by her family. 

Labat earned her bachelor of science in French education in 1967 and a masters of education in 1968 from Louisiana State University. A 1964 graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy, she began her career at SJA in 1970, teaching all levels of French. In 1982, she was named to the position of assistant principal while continuing to teach. She was named associate principal in 2004. She also served as chairperson of the SJA foreign language department for 25 years and was the long-time moderator of French Club.  

Throughout her career, Labat was highly active in the American Association of Teachers of French, American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language, Friends of French Studies at Louisiana State University, Louisiana Foreign Language Teachers Association, France-Louisiane, Council for the Development of French in Louisiana and the Association Louisianaise des Clubs Français des Écoles Secondaires (ALCFES).  

Labat was recently named Officier des Palmes Académiques for distinguished contributions to French national education and culture. She previously attained the rank of Chevalier des Palmes Académiques. The honors are bestowed by the Ministry of National Education of the French Republic.  

“If I had it all to do again, with every profession in the world laid out before me, I would still choose teaching,” Labat recently said of her ministry as an educator. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful job.” 

SJA President Jan Breen said Labat embodied the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph, which is the foundational grace rooted in the mission of the Church: that all may be one. “Each day, she reached out to help the dear neighbor – our students, parents, faculty/staff, alumnae and the wider community, including Canada and France,” Breen said. “Jackie loved her ministry here, and in each role, her actions always reflected her kindness, compassion and love for those she served. She was truly a blessing to SJA.”    

Principal Stacia Andricain met Labat in the summer of 1996, when Andricain interviewed for an administrative assistant’s position at SJA. Over the years, Labat served as a mentor and trusted advisor, helping shape Andricain’s career path as she moved into an administrative role and then was named principal in September. “Jackie was one of the greatest mentors of my life, always pushing me to the front and always giving others credit,” Andricain said. “She was the heart of the administrative team for many years. She was what makes SJA a family. She cared for the person first and walked side by side through whatever journey came along. She was my dear friend and taught me so many wonderful lessons. I will continue to strive to make her proud of me and the place she so dearly loved.” 

Former SJA President Sister Adele Lambert, CSJ, a 1954 Academy graduate, called Labat “a woman with the heart of Jesus.” She said Labat brought passion to everything she did. “Jackie loved SJA, and she loved the girls,” Sister Adele said. “She loved the French language and Louisiana French culture, and she immersed her students into leadership roles in a number of French organizations. She also loved the charism and mission of the Sisters and wanted the faculty and students to know what it means to love and serve our dear neighbors. Jackie was a faithful servant to the Sisters.” 
 

Former SJA Principal Linda Fryoux Harvison, a 1966 graduate of SJA, has known Labat for more than 50 years. “From the day I met her in high school, I knew she was someone special,” Harvison said. “Being her peer as a teacher and administrator at SJA, there was no doubt that her heart led her in all decisions along with her belief in excellence.” 

Kathy Daigre Meares, a classmate of Labat’s and a former registrar and faculty member at SJA, said Labat touched thousands of students over her teaching career. She said Labat was known for her contagious laugh, spirited nature and love of her students. “Jackie always fought for the underdog or the struggling student,” Meares said. “She was a true example of what an SJA woman should be, caring for the dear neighbor and giving her all in everything she encountered. Jackie embraced and lived the mission of St. Joseph’s Academy. She was a dear friend and a great mentor. I learned so many things from her, but the most important was how to love gently, see the whole situation and how to laugh and have fun in anything you do. SJA was so lucky for 47 years to have such a great leader and a true and passionate teacher. Jackie was an ambassador and never even realized her greatness.” 

Stephanie Cronan graduated from SJA in 2010. She said Labat’s love of the French language and culture inspired her to apply for a Teaching Assistant Program in French position, through which she was able to teach English in Lyon, France. Because of Labat’s influence, Cronan has also been involved with ALCFES, from serving as state president of the association as a high school student to now marking 12 years as a coordinator of the annual convention. “To say Madame Labat affected my life would be an understatement,” Cronan said. “In my experience, she didn’t only teach about language and culture; she imparted lessons about leadership, as well. I have so many memories, but every year, whether at ALCFES or in France, we took a silly photo together to commemorate the occasion. Now, as I mourn her loss, I have a whole photo album full of beautiful and fun memories with my mentor and ‘French mom.’ I will miss her more than words can express.” 

Glynis Davis, current chair of the SJA foreign language department and a French teacher at SJA for 37 years, said Labat was more than a long-time colleague. “We referred to each other as les soeurs françaises, or French sisters,” Davis said. “We shared our love for all things French and a passion for teaching. We became a team that took students to 37 French conventions and 22 trips and/or exchanges abroad. Besides being my French sister, Jackie was my role model. Her passing creates a void that I am not sure can be filled. I regret that future students will not have the ‘Madame Labat experience’ in the classroom. I will have to continue as half a team, but I will only get through it because of my admiration for her as an educator, a leader of French in the state and an amazing woman. To paraphrase from her favorite book, Le Petit Prince, ‘tu es unique au monde,’ which means ‘you are unique in the world.’ Jackie certainly was that.” 

Kayla Telhiard said Labat was one of the kindest people she knows. A 2015 graduate of SJA, Telhiard said Labat had a gentle and loving spirit. “She just seemed to have this light that shone and attracted everyone to her,” she said. “I met Madame Labat as a freshman in 2011-2012, and I knew she would be one of my favorite people in the entire world. I’ve now traveled to more than 10 countries, and she remains on that list. She honestly had a heart of pure gold and was the strongest woman I have ever met. She was selfless and so passionate about what she did and what she taught. I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful person to have had as my role model.”  

Nicole Brandt Rayner, a 1984 Academy graduate, followed in her mentor’s footsteps, becoming a French teacher. “She brought to the classroom qualities that couldn’t be taught, in my opinion, in a professional development workshop: The humor, empathy, enthusiasm and compassion as a teacher were her own gifts,” Raymer said. “Madame Labat was always the real deal, and it was truly a delight to continue our friendship during the 34 years since my SJA graduation. In my mid-life career change as a teacher at a CSJ-sponsored school in San Diego, I’ve looked to Madame’s ways and have sought to channel her in the classroom and school community as a whole. My ‘girls’ know all about my mentor. I can only hope that they will remember me similarly to the manner in which I – and countless women she inspired – will remember Madame Labat.” 

SJA will celebrate Labat and her 47-year career in several ways this spring, including renaming the foreign language classrooms The Jacqueline Billeaudeau Labat Foreign Language Area. The Academy will also host a reception when Labat is honored posthumously by the French Consulate with the rank of Officier des Palmes Académiques

Labat is survived by her husband of 48 years, Wade Labat; daughters Michèle Labat Wilks ’95 (Matthew) and Christine Labat ’01; grandchildren Ryan and Camille Wilks and Libbie Labat; and sister Lee Billeaudeau Davis ’54; sister-in-law Wendy Labat Payment (Tommy); brothers-in-law Cyrus Labat (Karen) and Errol Labat (Kathy); father-in-law Edmund Labat; and numerous nieces, nephews, Godchildren, friends and her SJA family.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Senior Cheerleaders Honored

The senior members of St. Joseph’s Academy’s cheerleading squad were honored during halftime of the February 1 basketball game against East Ascension. Kamryn Fouts, Abi Mock and Maddie McCrary were recognized for their dedication to SJA cheer. 
 

“Kamryn, Abi and Maddie have brought so much leadership and motivation to the team this year,” said squad moderator Lauren Morris. “We’re competing in a harder, more competitive division in Nationals next week, and these seniors have kept the team confident and working hard. They have all been on the squad for all four years of high school, so we’re really hoping we can bring home a National title as the icing on the cake of a great senior year.”

Fouts is the daughter of Tammy and David Fouts. She is captain of this year’s squad. “I will always remember the friends that I made being an SJA cheerleader,” she said. “I will also remember all the fun memories we have, from hitting at competitions as well as the feeling of winning. The friends and memories I have made as an SJA cheerleader will be cherished forever. I am so glad that I was given the chance to represent SJA in the way that I have, and I can’t wait to take that into Nationals. I am really sad to say that my high school cheer career is coming to a close, but I am so excited to see what college cheer has in store for me.”

Mock is the daughter of Cheri and Chuck Mock. She is co-captain of the cheerleaders this year. “I will always remember the time we placed third at Nationals,” she said. “It was such a proud moment being third in the nation. I will also remember all the fun practices and games we had throughout the years.” 

McCrary is the daughter of Claesi and Marty McCrary. She is co-captain of the squad. 
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado

Senior Soccer Players Honored

The St. Joseph’s Academy soccer team honored its senior members in a special ceremony prior to the start of the January 25 game against Walker. The Redstickers won the game 6-0.

Recognized for their contributions to the soccer program were Hannah Grace Babin, Renee Cancienne, Annie Heitman, Meghan Johnson, Courtney Moggio, Sydney Trainor and Caroline Walters. They were presented with soccer balls signed by their teammates, flowers, a blanket monogrammed with their number and a poster.
 
 

Head coach Stephanie Broussard said this year’s seniors brought great leadership to the team. “This season, we experienced some ups and downs in our play, but through the leadership of our seniors, we managed to win the district title for the fifth consecutive year,” she said. “They have all been a part of the soccer program since their freshman year, and I appreciate their dedication to their team and teammates. Evey year around playoff time, I get really nervous not wanting my time with my senior group to end. These girls become family, and I am very proud of the work they have put in this year.”

Babin said the senior night celebration was special. “Knowing my SJA soccer career is ending is bittersweet because it was a giant accomplishment that I was able to play four years of high school soccer,” she said. “I was also extremely sad that my time as an SJA Redsticker soccer player is coming to a close. These past four years have been full of ups and downs and wins and losses, but through the entire time, my teammates were always there alongside me. The team has become my other family, and I will miss the sense of closeness and friendship that has formed with my teammates. My coaches have guided me these past four years, and I can never pay them back for that. SJA soccer is one of the best things about high school, and I am excited for the rest of season. Go Stickers, and let’s win state.”

Johnson said the realization that her SJA soccer career is coming to an end was emotional. “It makes me very sad, not just about the soccer but about the amazing girls I got to spend time with almost every day during the season,” she said. “Those girls have made me who I am today, and I truly would not be the same without them. They make me a better player but also a better person. One of things I will always remember about SJA soccer is the overwhelming amount of support I got from my teammates and coaches. I sometimes get frustrated in games, and if it weren’t for my teammates, I would have lost my confidence years ago. SJA soccer has been a huge part of my high school experience, and I have loved every minute of it.”

Caroline Walters was equally emotional. “Knowing that my SJA soccer career is coming to an end terrifies me,” she said. “SJA soccer has become such a big part of my life and high school experience. I will always remember the love and support my soccer sisters and staff gave me on and off of the field.” 
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Annie Heitman

Track Team Finishes Second at McNeese

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team finished second at the 2018 McNeese State High School Qualifier. The meet, which featured 55 teams, was held January 27 in the university’s Ward Coliseum. 
 

The team tallied 46 points to finish behind Lafayette High, with 56 points. Contributing to the team’s final score were the following: 

High Jump: Catherine Couvillion, 3rd place, 4-10; Alessandra Purnell, 5th place, 4-08

Triple Jump: Kayleigh Mims, 4th place, 32-08.00

1600m Run: Isabelle Brown, 4th place, 5:37.43; Jennifer Bennett, 8th place, 5:49.42

4x800m Relay: Lucy Laville, Taylor Winters, Lydia Poche, Lauren Hendry, 4th place, 10:44.91

800m Run: Leanne Livingston, 4th place, 2:31.37

3200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 11:35.45; Sophie Martin, 3rd place, 12:03.14

4x400m Relay: Taylor Winters, Bradlee Betz, Alessandra Purnell, Leanne Livingston, 20th place, 4:27.05

On January 20, the Redstickers competed in the 2018 LSU High School Qualifier, held at the Carl Maddox Field House. Finishing in the top 20 in their respective events were the following:

4x200m Relay: Ava Moreau, Alexis Barbay, Bradlee Betz, Kelly Stephens, 17th place, 1:54.44

1600m Run: Lauren Hendry, 2nd, 5:32.58; Isabelle Brown, 6th place, 5:40.15

4x800m Relay: Isabelle Brown, Leanne Livingston, Lauren Hendry, Taylor Winters, 1st place, 10:14.88

3200m Run: Sophie Martin, 4th place, 12:23.49; Jennifer Bennett, 6th place, 12:45.39

4x400m Relay: Taylor Winters, Kelly Stephens, Bradlee Betz, Leanne Livingston, 5th place, 4:23.57

Long Jump: Claire Holder, 14th place, 15-04.50

Pole Vault: Peyton Williams, 11th place, 8-11.75; Anna Koonce, 16th place, 6-11.75

High Jump: Alessandra Purnell, 10th place, 4-08.00; Catherine Couvillion, 11th place, 4-08.00

Triple Jump: Clare Barfield, 14th place, 31-02.50; Mary Usher, 20th place, 28-11.00

Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 10th place, 31-00.00
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Marc Couvillion, Charlie Daigle and Brittney Hendry
 

Science Club Plants Trees for Coastal Roots

Members of the St. Joseph’s Academy Science Club planted trees in Fontainebleau State Park in Abita Springs on January 15. The planting was part of LSU’s Coastal Roots program. 
 

SJA students grew the seedlings in the school’s nursery, then transported them to the park for planting. SJA science teacher Kristie Acosta accompanied the group. “The Science Club members worked so hard caring for the plants since April of last year,” she said. “It was so rewarding to be a part of the process of watching the plants grow from acorns and then replanted to help the Coastal Roots restoration program. I am very proud to be a part of this project and the SJA Science Club.”    

SJA was the pilot program for Coastal Roots, which began in 2000. There are now more than 50 schools in 21 Louisiana parishes and an additional four schools in Chile and Belize participating in the program. 

Senior Isabel Grandy is president of SJA’s Science Club. “This was my fourth year going to Coastal Roots, and it was just as exciting as the first,” she said. “I love being able to see our year-long cultivation of the trees end in the planting of them in coastal areas which are rapidly degrading. We were lucky enough to return to Fontainebleau State Park, where there is a great amount of land erosion from Lake Pontchartrain and tropical storms that hit the area. Pairing up with the LSU Coastal Roots program has enabled us to help replant trees that have fallen due to storms or are currently dying in the area.” 

Junior Priya Singleton said the planting was a rewarding experience. “I personally enjoyed planting the trees and knowing that one day, they will transform into beautiful, grand oak trees,” she said. “It’s important that SJA continues our partnership with Coastal Roots because we are contributing to the fight against coastal erosion. By participating in this program, we are part of a larger community working to restore the natural beauty of our state.”
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Kristie Acosta

Athletic Hall of Fame to Host Induction Ceremony

The St. Joseph’s Academy Athletic Hall of Fame will induct its 2018 class during a special celebration on Saturday, February 24, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Activity Center. Nan Murtagh, Lori Nero ’98 and Mike Lamana will be honored, as will the members of state finalist teams from 2006 and 2007. 
 
 

In 25 years as head swim coach at SJA, Murtagh led her teams to 14 city championships and five state titles. She was also the driving force behind the program’s remarkable growth in popularity. Much of her teams’ successes can be attributed to the family atmosphere which surrounded the program. Murtagh received numerous awards during her career, including being named the National Federation of High School Coaches Association South Sectional Coach of the Year, the Capital Area Swim League Coach of the Year, ESPN.com Coach of the Week and the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year. The city of Baton Rouge declared November 19, 2006, as Nan Murtagh Day. 

Nero was named to the Class 5A All-State girls’ basketball team three consecutive years. She averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds per game, shooting 70 percent from the field over her four-year career. She was SJA’s Athlete of the Year as a senior and finished her high school career with 2,478 points. Nero played three years at Auburn University, earning third-team All-SEC honors as a junior. She transferred to the University of Louisville for her senior year and averaged 17.4 points per game, grabbed 9.3 rebounds per game and led the Cardinals in blocked shots. In 2003, Nero was drafted in the second round by the WNBA’s Houston Comets. She played seven seasons in Europe before retiring in 2010.

Lamana is one of the founders of the SJA Athletic Department’s annual Seafood Supper. Each year for the past 28 years, he can be found in the SJA kitchen on a spring evening in Lent, heading up a loyal team of volunteers. This event provides critical funding each year for major purchases outside of the Athletic Department’s budget. Lamana and his crew, many of whom have been involved since the very first Seafood Supper, have spearheaded the tremendous growth of the fundraiser, which has benefited Academy student-athletes in countless ways. Lamana is a tireless volunteer for many local organizations, including Catholic High, St. Aloysius School and Church and the Knights of Columbus. He is a retired pharmacist with 48 years of service. 

Tickets to the event are $35 and can be purchased online at www.sjahalloffame.org or by sending a check, payable to the St. Joseph’s Academy Athletic Hall of Fame, to 3015 Broussard Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70808. Reservation deadline is Friday, February 9.

For additional information, please contact Wendy Coniglio at conigliow@sjabr.org or (225) 388-2336. 
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 

Math Club Finishes Second in CHS Tournament

Members of Mu Alpha Theta at St. Joseph’s Academy participated in the Catholic High School Math Tournament on January 20.

Results are as follows:

Pre-Calculus Individual Test Division 2: Shreya Reshamwala, 1st place; Kaleigh Mims, 3rd place; Anna Leyrer, Honorable Mention; Menglan Wu, Honorable Mention

Calculus A Individual Test Division 2: Clare Barfield, Honorable Mention

Potpourri Team Test Division 2: Shreya Reshamwala, Anna Leyrer and Kayleigh Mims, 1st place

Calculus A Team Test Division 2: Clare Barfield, Emrey Broyles, Isabella Canova and Alexa Gutowski, 1st place

Upperschool Interschool Test: SJA Girls, 3rd place

 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Clare Barfield

Cheerleaders Win WSA Championship

The St. Joseph’s Academy cheerleaders finished first in the Super Varsity division of the Louisiana State School Championship, hosted by the Worldwide Spirit Association. The competition was held in Lafayette on January 21.
 

Competing in the Advanced Skill Level bracket, the squad swept the Best Tumbling, Best Building and Most Creative categories. With the highest score across all levels of competition, the SJA cheerleaders were named Grand Champions.

Moderator Lauren Morris expressed pride in the team’s showing, especially after missing a week of practice because school was closed by the winter weather. “The girls brought a completely different energy to this competition and hit their routine,” she said. “We walked away winning every award possible. But I think the most important thing we gained from this win was a huge confidence boost.”

Senior Kamryn Fouts is captain of this year’s squad. “The WSA competition was really tough because we hadn’t been able to practice all week, but we were able to come together as a team and put out a great routine,” she said. “I’m really proud of what we put out there Sunday night, and I can’t wait to see what Nationals has in store for us.”

The team will travel to the 2018 National High School Cheerleading Championship, set for February 10 and 11 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. “It’s just a few short weeks away, and I can’t wait to watch this team bring that same energy and confidence to Disney and hopefully bring home a national title,” Morris said.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Lauren Morris

Students Win Literary Excellence Contest

St. Joseph’s Academy senior Ann Nguyen brought home second-place honors and junior Skylar Mancuso took third place in the high school writing contest of the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Both students were honored at the 11th annual awards ceremony, held January 18 at the Manship Theatre at the Shaw Center for the Arts.  
 
The theme for this year’s contest entrees was Heroes.  

Nguyen’s essay focused on her grandmother. “She always makes sacrifices for her loved ones and always knows just what to say,” Nguyen said. “I fully believe that comic book superheroes pale in comparison to her. It was amazing finding out that I had won second place, but it was even better when I called my grandma to tell her I had written about her. Just picture the most adorable reaction you could possibly imagine.” 

Mancuso wrote about her mother. “She shows me how to love others and be selfless,” Mancuso said. “I wrote about the many sacrifices she has made as well as the lessons she has taught me. It felt great to know that the essay I wrote about my mother was as great as she is. It felt like all the love for my mother was seen through the eyes of everyone.”  

The students were accompanied by their families and English III AP teacher Jill Abadie.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Swim Team Celebrates Season

Members of the St. Joseph’s Academy swim team celebrated the 2017 season, in which they brought home their seventh consecutive Division I state championship and 18th straight Capital City Swim League title. The awards ceremony took place on January 14 at Most Blessed Sacrament.
 

Coach Becca Gilbert awarded varsity letters, including four-year letters to seniors Abigail Cazes, Gabbi Taylor and Madeline Lemoine. 

Several special awards were also given, as follows. 

Most Valuable Swimmer: Amanda Andrews
Coach’s Award: Amy Brouillette
Most Improved Swimmer: Cameron Accardo
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Becca Barber, Jeanne Boudreaux and Nan Murtagh
 

Cross Country Team Celebrates Season

The St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team celebrated its state championship season with an awards banquet on January 15. The team gathering was hosted by Angelle Brown and Spencer Dilworth, parents of sophomore Isabelle Brown. 

Head coach Mark LaHaye, along with assistant coaches Kate Cook and Charlie Daigle, introduced team members, recapped the season, handed out participation and letterman certificates, including four-year letters to seniors Jennifer Bennett and Summer Smith, and presented this year’s major awards.
 

The runners finished the 2017 season with 12 first-place finishes, marking the first time since 2010 that the SJA cross country team went undefeated. The average team score of 35.3 points was the lowest in team history, and the low score of 35 points at the state championship meet is a new school record.

“You girls are an incredible group,” LaHaye told the team. “You made this team what it is today, and you defined what it must be moving forward. You are the best team that I have ever been a part of, not for what you accomplished as a team but for what you have become as a team. It’s motivating. It’s inspiring. Now, you’re just going to have to keep doing it.”

Awards were presented as follows: 

Captains Award: Jennifer Bennett, Virginia Dirks, Lauren Hendry, Leanne Livingston and Kate Ritchie
All-State All-Academic: Jennifer Bennett and Summer Smith
All-Metro: First-team selections Jennifer Bennett, Isabelle Brown, Virginia Dirks, Anna Camille Eagleton, Lauren Hendry, Jane Laville, Kate Ritchie and Sophie Martin; and Honorable Mention selections Ava Falcon, Lucy Laville, Leanne Livingston, Lydia Poche, Lark Smith and Taylor Winters
All-State: Isabelle Brown, Lauren Hendry and Sophie Martin
Marathon Award: Jennifer Bennett, Ava Falcon, Kate Ritchie, Catherine Saunders, Lark Smith, Summer Smith and Taylor Winters
Outstanding Runners: Jennifer Bennett, Isabelle Brown, Anna Camille Eagleton, Lauren Hendry, Jane Laville, Lucy Laville, Kate Ritchie and Sophie Martin

The following major awards were presented: 

Most Promising Newcomer: Sophie Martin
Most Valuable Runner: Lauren Hendry
Coach’s Award: Jennifer Bennett
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Mark LaHaye
 

Students Participate in Science Symposium

Nineteen St. Joseph’s Academy students participated in the 2018 Louisiana Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS), held January 12 and 13 at the Cook Hotel at LSU. 

Senior Anna Koonce placed fourth in the Competitive Powerpoint Presentation category and will attend the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Baltimore, Maryland, in May. Junior Madi Ogra placed first and junior Skylar Mancuso placed second in the Competitive Poster Session. SJA Science Fair coordinator Linda Messina received the Teacher/Mentor Outstanding Service Award.
 

The JSHS competition, sponsored by the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, promotes original research and experimentation in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the high school level. JSHS regional and national symposia are held during the academic year and reach more than 8,000 high school students and teachers throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Department of Defense Schools of Europe and the Pacific Rim.
 
"Louisiana Junior Science and Humanities Symposium is one of the most competitive competitions in science," Messina said. "The young ladies who participated have worked for a minimum of one-and-a-half years on their respective research projects. These are all amazing examples of STEM research. The students set very high goals for themselves and worked constantly to achieve them. Many of the girls who took part are sophomores, which really speaks to their efforts. I am so proud of all of these young ladies." 

Koonce’s project is entitled Ecological Restoration Zones within the Monkey River Area (Belize) Using Community-Grown Nurseries to Produce Plants for Riparian Strips. Also participating in the Competitive Powerpoint Presentation category were the following:  

Faith Woods: The Effects of Varying Levels of Salinity on the Metamorphosis of Triploid Oysters
Camille Taylor: Stratifying Cardiovascular Risk in Insulin-Resistant Women 
Maurie Morris: The Effect of Tea Tree Oils in Combination with Vancomycin and Colistin on Staphylococcus Aureus  
Rachael Coates: Quantification of the Effects of Fluid Shear Stress in Circulating Tumor Cells
Sydney Melder: Salt Tolerance of Grass Plants Harvested for Industrial Salt Brine Fields
Sydney Clebert: Numerical Modeling of Edge-On Spiral Galaxies Using Python
Sophia Stewart: The Effect of Different Levels of Currencies during MCDI on the Concentration of NaCl in the Water of 250 ppms
Anna LeJeune: The Effects of Pitch on Propeller Thrust
Anne Gahagan: The Leeching of an Industrial Waste Product in Order to Obtain a Viable Horticultural Substance
Claire, Trystan and Alayna Tate: The Effect of Different Hydroponic Methods on the Overall Growth and Health of Boston Butter Lettuce
Kaelyn Smith: Creating a Navigation Device for the Blind Using Lidar and Sonar Technology
Breann Keowan: The Effect of Holding Caprine Oocytes at Room Temperature before In vitro Maturation

Ogra’s project is entitled The Effect of Plant Growth Regulators on St. Augustine and Bermuda Grass, and Mancuso’s project is The Correlation Between Coronal Mass Ejections and Power System Disturbance. Also participating in the Competitive Poster Session were the following:

Annie Blanchard: The Effect of the Golden Ratio on the Perception of the Human Face
Ashlynn Sorrells: The Effect of Copper Ionization on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms
 
In addition to Messina, the participants were accompanied by Linda Thompson and Jacqueline Savoia.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Linda Messina
 

Senior’s Artwork Honored in International Contest

St. Joseph’s Academy senior Alex Hinkle has been honored by Bow Seat Awareness Programs Inc. for her drawing entitled Mors Sordida. She entered the piece in the organization’s Ocean Awareness Student Contest, open to students ages 11-18 from across the world.

Hinkle was named an honorable mention winner in the international contest and will receive a $250 cash prize. 

Hinkle said the piece portrays a half-alive, half-dead fish. She scavenged the shore for trash, collecting items as an accurate reference of what is polluting the seas. “I then superimposed the drawing of the garbage with a drawing of a fish, half-alive in clear water, half-dead from the trash and oil,” she said. “I wanted to juxtapose the two: clean and graceful marine life with a dead and rotting corpse from the waste. The contrast is meant to be jarring so that it can illustrate just how devastating human trash is to the ocean and all of the creatures that live there.” 

Launched in 2011, the Ocean Awareness Student Contest is an interdisciplinary competition that encourages students to think creatively about how humans’ actions impact the health of our oceans and coastal environments. The contest accepts visual art, poetry, prose, film and music submissions. This year’s theme was Our Oceans in a Changing Climate. More than 3,000 students submitted artwork. 
Hinkle said she was extremely surprised to learn that she was among the winners. “I actually didn’t know that this was an international contest when I entered,” she said. “I only realized it once I saw where all of the other winners were from. After I noticed that it wasn’t just national, but international, I didn’t expect to see my name on the list, so I was only even more shocked to see that I was there.”

Hinkle studies with SJA art teacher Nicole Lane.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 

Students Participate in Hour of Code

St. Joseph’s Academy participated in the worldwide Hour of Code initiative on January 11. According to event organizers, this international learning event is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries. 

All SJA students spent their 8th hour class engaged in coding activities. This enabled many students to try coding for the first time, while more experienced students experimented with more advanced options.
 
 
Hour of Code was launched in 2013 as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science. The goal of the initiative is to show participants that computer science is fun and creative and accessible at all ages. The campaign is supported by more than 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.

Facilitators for this year’s event were faculty members Dawn Burton and Claire Luikart and staff member Linda Thompson. Members of the SJA technology department were available to assist teachers and students.

“The majority of computer science students and professional are male,” Burton said. “As part of our expanding STEM program at SJA, we wanted to show our girls how fun and easy it is to get involved in coding and computer programming and that it’s not just for guys or ‘technology nerds.’ We provided a range of coding activities to allow teachers to find coding options for their disciplines. Our aim was to expose students to coding, to encourage them to take the Hour of Code further and perhaps be inspired to learn more advanced programming languages.”

Thompson said the purpose of the hour-long initiative was to create a fun and engaging learning experience that combined problem solving, logic and creativity. “What I hope that it accomplished for SJA students was providing the opportunity to learn something new that may have previously intimidated them,” she said. “We are always striving to open new doors for learning.”

Hour of Code is presented by the nonprofit Code.org and numerous partners, including Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the College Board.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado

Students Take Trip to N.O. Museum of Art

More than 100 St. Joseph’s Academy students studying AP Art History, AP Studio Art, Fine Arts Survey II, World History AP and AP European History enjoyed a field trip to the New Orleans Museum of Art on January 9. NOMA is New Orleans’ oldest fine arts institution, hosting a permanent collection of nearly 40,000 objects. 
 
 
Students enjoyed viewing the cultural art of Africa, Japan, China, Indigenous Americas of Mexico, the upper regions of South America and the Pacific Islands. Other areas of interest included the museum’s exhibitions from Europe, Ancient Greece and Egypt. The group also spent time in the sculpture garden, viewing works ranging from Rodin to more modern works from Claus Oldenburg and Georges Rodrigues. 
 
“I was super excited to once again watch my students attribute works they saw to ones required for their AP exam in May,” said AP Art History teacher Stacy Rennhoff. “It was also exciting to watch them make connections to content learned in their AP World and European History courses.” 
 
World History AP teacher Stephen Barrios said the experience was highly educational. “My students loved seeing artifacts from civilizations we had discussed in class such as Ancient Egypt, Classical Greece and India and the Maya,” he said.  

AP Studio Art teacher Nicole Lane said her students enjoyed the invaluable experience of seeing different styles of art and the techniques used to create them. “They had the opportunity to also see how these professional artists use the elements and principles of design that we talk about in class,” she said. “My students had a drawing exercise in which they had to incorporate different elements and subject matter found throughout the museum into original compositions of their own. In doing so, they can now use these sketches to add to their AP portfolios. My AP art girls were able to reflect on their own quality of work and get inspired to push themselves in creativity and craftsmanship on future works.”   

Sophomore Catherine Hebert said she thoroughly enjoyed the outing. “This trip was an amazing experience for everyone who went,” she said. “Most of the people that I was with had never been to NOMA, and we all agreed that we will return to see the beautiful exhibits. We learned a lot, and we played a lot. This was certainly a field trip to remember.” 

Senior Audrey Lejeune said the trip helped her add to her AP portfolio. “It was so much fun to be able to do studies of the paintings and sculptures the museum had on display,” she said. “I only wish we could have stayed longer.” 

“My favorite part of the trip was looking at the artwork that came from different cultures,” said sophomore Emma Durnin. “They told stories about the unique lives of the people who created them.”   

Senior Sophia Polozola said observing the museum’s collection filled her with a sense of wonder and inspiration. “I was astonished by every painting in the museum,” she said. “I wanted to stay forever. The trip revealed to me the truth that every single art student has the potential to improve and share her art with the world.” 
 
Senior Hannah Blum said the field trip was a highlight of the year. “I’ve always wanted to visit NOMA,” she said. “I was able to walk around with one of my friends from another class, which was fun because we had different assignments and could give each other new ideas. The sculpture garden was really cool. My favorite rooms were the ones with the modern art. I was also really excited to see real-life Monet and Picasso paintings. It was a great experience.” 

The group was accompanied by faculty members Stacy Rennhoff, Stephen Barrios and his wife, Jo Barrios, Brad Buras, Mary Kay Alford, Rebecca Stagg, Nicole Lane and Patrice Aiken, as well as a number of parents.  
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Stacy Rennhoff

Track Team Kicks Off Indoor Season

The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team opened the 2018 indoor season at the LSU High School Classic, held January 6 in the Carl Maddox Field House. 
 
 
Athletes from across the southeastern United States participated in the event, which head coach Charlie Daigle called highly competitive. “It was a great start to the season,” Daigle said. “Many of the events had more than 90 participants. It was a good, early test.” 

Finishing in the top 30 in their respective events were the following:  

1600m Run: Jennifer Bennett, 12th place, 5:58.99; Kate Ritchie, 15th place, 6:04.50 

800m Run: Isabelle Brown, 13th place, 2:41.48; Lydia Poche, 23rd place, 2:47.40 

60m Hurdles: Claire Holder, 29th place, 10.96 

4x800m Relay: Taylor Winters, Lucy Laville, Ava Falcon, Leanne Livingston, 4th place, 10:38.42 

3200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 11:54.00; Sophie Martin, 2nd place, 12:20.51 

4x400m Relay: Taylor Winters, Bradlee Betz, Alessandra Purnell, Leanne Livingston, 20th place, 4:27.05 

Long Jump: Claire Holder, 25th place, 14-02.00 

Pole Vault: Peyton Williams, 15th place, 8-11.75; Anna Koonce, 20th place, 6-11.75 

High Jump: Alessandra Purnell, 8th place, 4-10.00; Catherine Couvillion, 10th place, 4-08.00 

Triple Jump: Clare Barfield, 20th place, 30-11.00 

Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 12th place, 30-11.50 

Also competing in the first meet of the indoor season were: 

4x200m Relay: Ava Moreau, Kelly Stephens, Alexis Barbay, Rebecca Schwartzenburg, 1:55.47  

60m Hurdles: Haley Blouin, 11.17 

60m Dash: Ashleigh Ward, 9.10 

400m Dash: Bradlee Betz, 1:08.43; Julianna Hill, 1:11.34 

 Long Jump: Clare Barfield, 12-08.50
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Charlie Daigle

Students Participate in SJA Science Fair

St. Joseph’s Academy held its annual school science fair on January 4. Student projects were judged by experts from a variety of disciplines. The event was held at the Catholic Life Center.
 

SJA’s science fair coordinators are Linda Messina, Aimee Cronan, Jacqueline Savoia and Linda Thompson. “The students this year surpassed all of my expectations,” Messina said. “Each and every one dedicated one year to their research and reached amazing goals. Each project is a great example of a STEM research project.” 

Results are as follows: 

Animal Sciences

Faith Woods, 1st place, The Effects of Varying Levels of Salinity on the Metamorphosis of Triploid Oysters
Breann Keowan, 2nd place, The Effect of Holding Caprine Oocytes at Room Temperature before In-vitro Maturation

Behavioral Sciences
Madi Boudreaux, 1st place, Stress Levels of High School Students vs. Stress Levels of Working Adults
Lara Nicholson, 1st place, Using Prior Data to Create Performance Predictions before the First Trial
Nikki Manuel, 2nd place, Comparing the Graduating Classes of 1987 and 2017: How Does the High School Application and Selection Process Affect the Overall Stress and Well-Being (Happiness) of a Person?
Anna Bowden, 3rd place, The Difference in the Levels of Pronation when Standing and when in Mid-Stance
Anna Myers, 4th place, The Effect of Exercise and Nutrition on the Lean Muscle Mass Gain of Athletes
Braeden Moore, Honorable Mention, Adverse Childhood Experiences: Predicting Public Health

Biochemistry
Anne Nguyen, 1st place, Chlamydomonas Rheinhardtii Exhibits Heterogeneous Alkaline Phosphatase Activity under Higher Exogenous Phosphorus Levels
Mallory Uzee, 2nd place, The Effect of Carbohydrates, Lipids, Sugars and Sodium on Nutritional Value
Lark Smith, 2nd place, The Effect of Blending on the Taste Preference toward Honey
Hannah Roppolo, 3rd place, The Effect of Fluoride on the Density of Teeth Soaked in Sugary Drinks
Anna Claire Rabalais, 4th place, Different Food and Blood Glucose
Eleana Miller, 4th place, Comparison of Amino Acid Profiles in 5 Dog Food Diets to Determine if Dog Food Marketing is Reliable
Taylor Silvey, Honorable Mention, The Effect of Heated Water on the Internal Temperature of a Refrigerator

Biomedical and Health Science
Camille Taylor, 1st place, Stratifying Cardiovascular Risk in Insulin-Resistant Women
Maurie Morris, 2nd place, The Effect of Tea Tree Oils in Combination with Vancomycin and Colistin on Staphylococcus Auerus.
Grace Morrison, 3rd place, The Effect of Neuromuscular Re-Education through Dry Needling and Electrical Stimulation
Erin Johnson, 4th place, Dry Needling
Anna Hampshire, 4th place, The Effectiveness of the Viscosupplementation Injection on the Knee
Catherine King, Honorable Mention, The Effect of Compression Pumps, Surgical Intervention and Oral Medication on the Symptoms of May-Thurner Syndrome
Ashlan Belanger, Honorable Mention, Data Analysis of the Renal Function of a Kidney Donor Post-Nephrectomy

Biomedical Engineering
Alex Thibodeaux, 1st place, Formation of Size – Tunable Organoids by Hydrogel Arrays
Julia Rogers, 2nd place, Eye Spy Alzheimer’s Disease

Cellular and Molecular Biology

Rachael Coates, 1st place, Quantification of the Effects of Fluid Shear Stress in Circulating Tumor Cells
Annie Broussard, 2nd place, Localization of the Golgi complex with a 58K Golgi Protein Antibody

Chemistry

Ashlynn Sorrells, 1st place, The Effect of Copper Ionization on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms
Kirby Black, 2nd place, Potting Soil Optimization for the Production of Brassica Plants using Boron Supplements
Anna Reese Couhig, 3rd place, Chlorophyll Content in Different Olive Oils and the Correlation to Quality as Related to Price

Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Madison Pittman, 1st place, Identification of Microbiome Contained in Environmental Samples Using 16S Ribosomal RNA Sequencing Technology

Earth and Environmental Sciences
Madelyn Fuselier, 1st place, Determining the Most Effective Aquatic Plant in the Phytoremediation of Pb 
Kate Michel, 2nd place, The Effect of Different Filter Media and Arrangement of the Effluent Turbidity Removal in Water Treatment
Kaitlyn Williams, 3rd place, The Effect of Acetaminophen on Allium fistulosum Plants
Grace Sceroler, 4th place, The Effect of Drilling Mud on the Growth of Zea Mays, Gossypium and Glycine Max Plants

Embedded Systems 
Sydney Clebert, 1st place, Numerical Modeling of Edge-On Spiral Galaxies Using Python
Kayleigh Mims, 2nd place, Powering a Distress Signal with Gravity

Energy, Chemical
Sophia Stewart, 1st place, The Effect of Different Levels of Currencies during MCDI on the Concentration of NaCI in the Water of 250 ppm

Energy, Physical
Katie McCullen, 1st place, The Thermal Stratification and DE Stratification of a Building
Amelia Dittmar, 2nd place, Variation in Concussive Force Absorbed by Therapeutic Saddle Pads
Susan Tran, 3rd place, The Effects of Coffee Joulies on the Temperature of Different Liquids

Engineering Mechanics
Anna LeJeune and Maryn Matthews, 1st place, The Effects of Pitch on Propeller Thrust: A Second-Year Study
Allee Rogers, 2nd place, The Effect of Nose Cones and an Air Duct on a Small Wind Turbine
Mary Morgan Sutton and Emily Kukura, 3rd place, Analysis and Implications of Collee Football Impact Data

Environmental Engineering
Anne Gahagan, 1st place, The Leeching of an Industrial Waste Product in Order to Obtain a Viable Horticultural Substance
Addison Bruce, 2nd place, Beneficial Microorganisms Used to Enhance Decontamination of Polluted Soil
Tori Collier, 3rd place, The Most Effective Way to Save Private and Public Property During a Flash Flood

Math
Madison Roy, 1st place, Developing a Hashing Algorithm with Diffie Hellman-Generated Key Input
Annie Blanchard, 2nd place, The Effect of the Golden Ration on the Perception of the Human Face

Materials Science
Parker Wilson, 1st place, Comparison of Long-Term Storage Mediums for Forensic DNA Evidence
Lauren Saunders, 1st place, The Measured Strength of Wood Following Different Flooding Durations
Peyton Smith, 2nd place, Does Plastic or Metal Provide a Better Support for a Brace to Allow Your Knee to Stay Aligned with Your Ankle?
Angelle Martin, 3rd place, The Efficiency of Different Piston Areas in Model Hydraulic Lifts

Microbiology
Emily DeSoto, 1st place, The Effect of Different Gene Variations Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Rylie Brown, 2nd place, The Effect of Over-the-Counter Antifungals on the Growth of Trichophyton Rubrum
Lauren Hendry, 2nd place, The Effect of Oral Hygiene Products on the Growth of Oral Bacteria
Emily Martin, 3rd place, The Effect of Bleach, Concrobium, Tea Tree Oil and Vinegar on Aspergillus niger Mold

Physics and Astronomy
Mary Catherine Lorio, 1st place, A Novel Method for Simulating Hermite-Gaussian Modes of Light 
Skylar Mancuso, 2nd place, The Correlation between Coronal Mass Ejections and Power System Disturbances
Julia Welsh, 3rd place, The Effects of an Acoustic Guitar’s Body Style on Sound Projection 
Shreya Reshamwala, Honorable Mention, The Effect of Light Pollution upon the Observation of Variable Stars

Plant Sciences
Anna Koonce, 1st place, Ecological Restoration Zones within the Monkey River Area (Belize) Using Community Grown Nurseries to Produce Plants for Riparian Strips
Sydney Melder, 1st place, Salt Tolerance of Grass Plants Harvested for Industrial Salt Brine Fields
Claire, Trystan and Alayna Tate, 2nd place, The Effect of Different Hydroponic Methods on the Overall Growth and Health of Boston Butter Lettuce
Madi Ogra, 2nd place, The Effect of Plant Growth Regulators on St. Augustine and Bermuda Grass
Margaret Turner, 3rd place, The Effects of Adding Concentrated Levels of the Phytohormone, Ethylene on the Postharvest Ripening of Produce
Maddie Toler, 3rd place , The Effect of Granular Fertilizer and Liquid Fertilizer on the Average Growth and Yield of Blueberry Bushes

Robotics and Intelligent Machines

Kaelyn Smith, 1st place, Creating a Navigation Device for the Blind Using Lidar and Sonar Technology

Systems Software
Hannah Grace Vautrot, 1st place, Travel in Virtual Reality
Corrine Hutchinson, 1st place, Contributing Factors of Louisiana Teenage Driver Injury Levels in Motor Vehicle Crashes

Translational Medical Science
Elise Saloom, 1st place, Effects on Intraocular Pressure Following Voluntary Apnea
Olivia Carroll, 1st place, The Interaction of Lysozyme with Eco-Friendly Lignin Nanoparticles
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Linda Messina

Swimmers Named to All-Metro Team

Several members of the St. Joseph’s Academy swim team were named to the 2017 All-Metro Girls Swim Team. Coach Becca Gilbert was named Coach of the Year.

The swim team brought home its seventh consecutive Division I state championship and 18th straight Capital City Swim League title this year. 
 
 
Named to the All-Metro Team were freshman Amanda Andrews, junior Kirby Black, senior Madeline Lemoine and junior Isabel Webre. 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Record Number of Runners Named to All-Metro Team

A record number of St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team members were named to the 2017 All-Metro Girls Cross Country Team. Eight runners were named First Team All-Metro, and another six were named Honorable Mention. Coach Mark LaHaye was named Coach of the Year. 

The Redstickers capped an undefeated 2017 season with their second consecutive Class 5A state championship.
 

Junior Lauren Hendry was named Outstanding Runner for 2017. She was joined on the first team by senior Jennifer Bennett, sophomore Isabelle Brown, sophomore Virginia Dirks, freshman Anna Camille Eagleton, freshman Jane Laville, freshman Sophie Martin and freshman Kate Ritchie.

Honorable mention team members were junior Ava Falcon, sophomore Lucy Laville, junior Leanne Livingston, freshman Lydia Poche, sophomore Lark Smith and junior Taylor Winters.   
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director 

Volleyball Players Named to All-Metro Team

Several members of the St. Joseph’s Academy volleyball team were named to the Divisions I and II All-Metro Volleyball Team. 

The Redstickers were this year’s state runner-up and finished the year with a 30-14 mark. 
 

Senior Fran Okpalobi was named Outstanding Player for 2017. She was joined on the first team by sophomore Amber Haynes and junior Caroline Starns. Senior Tess Hiller was named to the honorable mention team.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Community Builders for Peace Holds Retreat

St. Joseph’s Academy students who are members of the Congregation of St. Joseph’s Community Builders for Peace program participated in a mid-year retreat on Sunday, December 10. The SJA students gathered in Mother Alice Hall to video-conference with their counterparts from sister school Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, Illinois, and students from Academia Maria Reina in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Since meeting in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for a week in June, the students have been busy working on service projects in their respective communities. The retreat was designed to enable participants to reflect on the program and to provide updates on their service work. 

The retreat was led by program creator Sister Pat Bergen in LaGrange Park and Sister Ily Fernandez in Baton Rouge. 


SJA participants’ service project involves the TraffickCam app, 
created by researchers from Washington University in St. Louis in collaboration with Exchange Initiatives and with a grant from the Congregation of St. Joseph CSJ Ministries. The app addresses human trafficking in high-incident areas. Senior Holly Honore said hotel visitors can take pictures of their rooms and upload them to the TraffickCam app, enabling investigators to cross-reference the photos with those from suspected human trafficking sites. “This is a simple way to aid investigators in identifying hotels where human trafficking may occur,” Honore said. “Baton Rouge is a hot spot for human trafficking because we have both I-10 and I-12 in our city. We chose to undertake a project which would educate the students of SJA and further inform the community with hopes of making a systemic change.”

Senior Claire Doucet said her group will present their project to the faculty following the Christmas break and plans to distribute informational pamphlets to the student body. “The retreat rekindled our passion for this service project and reminded us of the urgency to eradicate human trafficking,” she said. “By dedicating ourselves to this project, we hope to make a true change within the Baton Rouge community.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Sister Ily Fernandez and Holly Honore

Students, Faculty Present at LACUE

A group of St. Joseph’s Academy faculty members and students were among the presenters at the 33rd annual Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators (LACUE) Conference. This year’s gathering of educators and technology professionals was held November 28-30 at the Hyatt New Orleans. 

Faculty members John Richardson, Dawn Burton, Brianna Sommers, Krysia Sherburne Duplessis, Colette Burke, Claire Luikart, Nicole Lane, Amy Neck and Linda Weimer, along with students Grace Richardson, Julia Rogers and Madison Roy represented SJA. 
 
 

Duplessis, SJA’s Help Desk technology coordinator, said she was highly impressed with the students’ role in the presentation entitled Bringing Students into the Tech Shop: A 1:1 Laptop Program Supported by Students. “The eloquence and poise of our students never cease to impress me, and it’s clear that the educators and other professionals who attended our sessions felt the same way,” she said. “Each student was able to speak about not only the day-to-day aspects of working in the Help Desk and participating in service trips, but also the myriad ways those experiences have proven beneficial throughout their time at SJA. While it can be jarring for some to see high school students serving an active role in a school’s technology program, the expertise of our students proves that having a student-run help desk is a smart, sustainable move that provides innumerable benefits for students and faculty, as well as the local community and beyond. I am immensely proud to be part of an environment that empowers our students to engage with technology and take their skills to new heights.”

Roy, a sophomore, said she thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to present at the conference. “SJA’s technology program is truly remarkable, and being able to share my enthusiasm regarding it was extremely rewarding,” she said. “Through participating in SJA’s technology program, I have gained numerous skills that will lead to unique opportunities in the future. Presenting at this conference showed me how valuable a program like ours is.”

Neck said she enjoyed presenting information regarding the ways in which SJA incorporates STEM applications into its arts curriculum. “To talk about what you do and show final projects of my students’ work was rewarding,” she said. “What was even more rewarding was to hear my student Grace Richardson talk about what she does in my class. I realized that what we do is so much more than ‘just sewing.’ Grace talked about the conceptual thought process that goes into making the laser-cut skirt. She shared about the fabric choice which needs to be considered with the pattern along with the design you create.”  

Richardson said her second year to present at LACUE was a rewarding experience. “Presenting about something I am interested in and knowledgeable about to adults who want to learn from me and my experiences is surreal,” she said. “I hope to continue to be able to present at conferences like this in the future.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of John Richardson

Black Box Company Presents ‘Mousetrap’

The St. Joseph’s Academy/Catholic High School Black Box Company presented its fall production, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, November 29-December 3. The Mousetrap has run continuously on London’s West End for the last 65 years, making it the longest running play in the world. 
 

The story begins with newlyweds Giles and Mollie Ralston preparing to receive guests at their recently converted guest house. Throughout this harsh winter night, the radio reports news of a recent murder in London. Soon, a detective arrives at Monkswell Manor to reveal that the killer may be heading to the guest house. Now trapped in the house because of the heavy snowfall, the guests must determine who the killer is before he can find his next victim. 

The production featured two casts to provide performance opportunities to more students.

Lily McGill, drama club moderator and director of the production, expressed her pride in the actors’ performances. “We have been working on The Mousetrap since the beginning of October, and it was so gratifying to see the finished product,” she said. “I’m especially proud that we had two different casts perform. Both casts supported one another and pulled off fantastic performances. This was a wonderful first step for the Black Box Company this year, and I can’t wait to see how the students keep growing in the spring.”

Sophomore Annie Blanchard starred in the role of Mollie Ralston. “I really enjoyed getting to do a murder mystery because we got to all act like we could be the murderer,” she said. “It was so fun seeing the audience react when the actual murderer was revealed. You could hear the gasps. What made the show really special was getting to do it with a group of such good friends. We put in a lot of rehearsal time, and seeing it all come together and hearing applause and laughter from the audience was so rewarding.”

Senior Lara Nicholson portrayed Miss Casewell. She said she loved every moment of the production. “I found that my character was quite different from my normal self, so I found it fun to channel a character that was not much like me,” she said. “While this is my third drama production to participate in, I felt as though this one was unique in that the smaller cast size allowed for me to form close bonds with everyone in the cast. The most memorable moments for me were when the whole cast would sit together on the set, sprawled out on the couch, lying down on the carpets, everywhere, and talking and laughing together.”

Sophomore Nicole Mann portrayed Mrs. Boyle. She said the experience of performing was phenomenal. “When I saw my name listed on the cast list, I was so thrilled to spend every day with these new people and to perform in a drama club production,” she said. “As the rehearsal process went on, we all became one big family and always gave constant encouragement. Our director, Ms. McGill, was amazing with her direction and calming/fun presence. The special part for me was being so excited to see everyone after school and get to act in a ridiculous way because of my hilarious character. Honestly, it’s all about having fun, and I can say there probably wasn’t one day when I didn’t have fun with acting, spending time with friends and watching others perform.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Tracy Ducote

Student-Athletes Named to All-Academic Teams

Senior members of St. Joseph’s Academy’s fall sports teams have been recognized for academic excellence and named to the 2017 LHSAA All-Academic All-State teams for their respective sports. The award program is sponsored by ISC. 

The program honors senior student-athletes who have achieved a three-year cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better. Student-athletes who scored the highest grade point averages from all classes/divisions in a sport are named to the composite All-Academic All-State Team. 
 

Named to the 2017 All-Academic Composite Team for Cross Country is Summer Smith. Jennifer Bennett was named to the All-Academic Class 5A Team for Cross Country.

Amy Brouillette was named to the 2017 All-Academic Composite Team for Swimming. Named to the All-Academic Division I Team for Swimming were Madeline Lemoine and Gabrielle Taylor. 

Named to the 2017 All-Academic Division I Team for Volleyball were Tess Hiller, Erin Landry and Elizabeth McCormick.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 

Dancers Present Fall Show

The St. Joseph’s Academy dance department presented its annual fall dance performance on November 28 in the Manship Theatre. This is Us explored the stories of four young women as they faced the daily struggles and joys of teenage life. The evening performance featured Jade Prejean’s students’ performances in contemporary, jazz and lyrical dance. 
 
 
“The performance was moving, powerful and amazing,” Prejean said. “The dancers worked very hard all semester, and their hard work truly paid off. Our four leads, Rebecca Wannamaker, Meghan Drago, Olivia Cooley and Arianna DeLatte, represented perfection, relationships, friendships and loneliness. These young women cross paths and encourage each other through life. Each lead performed with a class, and they all were outstanding. I could not be more proud of all of these dancers.”

Sophomore Angelle McCormick sung Hallelujah, while sophomore Lilly Chastain performed a dance solo. 

Cooley said the performance was memorable. “I enjoyed dancing with all of the seniors one last time on stage,” she said. “There is nothing better than doing what you love with amazing people.” 

Senior Molly Shepherd said she especially enjoyed Prejean’s storyline choreography. “I really enjoyed being able to tell a story through dance,” she said. “Dancing is something I love, especially with a fun and caring teacher like Ms. Jade.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
 Photos courtesy of Erin Albarado
 

Juniors Enjoy Washington, D.C.

Members of the junior classes from St. Joseph’s Academy and Catholic High School spent Thanksgiving week in Washington, D.C. This year marked the 35th anniversary of the two schools’ annual trip to the nation’s capital.
 

Among the highlights of the week were an illuminated night tour of the Lincoln Monument, Vietnam Wall, Korean War Memorial and Jefferson Monument and tours of the White House, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King and World War II memorials. Travelers also enjoyed touring the Newseum, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Pentagon Memorial and Washington Monument. 

Also visited were the Library of Congress, Supreme Court, Union Station, Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, United States Botanic Garden, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial and the Capitol. 

On Thanksgiving Day, the juniors visited the Smithsonian Museums and enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at the hotel followed by a performance of Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center. The week came to a close on Friday with a visit to Arlington National Cemetery and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Anne Barton was chosen to lay flowers at the grave of CHS graduate Scott Lamana, who was killed in the September 11 attack on the Pentagon.

Madi Boudreaux said the trip was one of the best she’s ever taken. “I loved everything that we saw, but some of my favorite sites were the Newseum, the Lincoln Memorial and the Library of Congress,” she said. “Spending time with my friends over the break in the beautiful city of Washington, D.C., and experiencing the nice fall weather were things that I will forever treasure. I am very thankful for my time spent on the trip and would not trade it for anything.”

Anne Gahagan said she not only enjoyed the beautiful fall weather, but she especially enjoyed the historical significance of the places she visited. “I really enjoyed hearing the creativity and symbolism behind every memorial and monument,” she said. “It seemed like every building or sculpture that we saw had a long history or was created with a unique symbolism behind it. It was amazing to be able to visit our nation’s capital. It’s crazy to think that people are in the House or Senate trying to pass or create bills, and we got to be a part of that by visiting the city and the Capitol building.” 

Accompanying the juniors on the trip were SJA chaperones Aimee Cronan, Nan Murtagh, Kristen Belanger, Erin McLean, Zachary Thriffley and former Principal Linda Harvison and CHS chaperones Tracey Ducote, Drew Losavio, Scott and Alyse Manning, Chad Dupuy and Vickie Melancon.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Aimee Cronan

Volleyball Players Named to All-District Team

Six members of the St. Joseph’s Academy volleyball team have been named to the District 3-5A All-District Team. Sivi Miller was named Coach of the Year.

The Redstickers were this year’s state runner-up and finished the year with a 30-14 mark. 
 

Senior Fran Okpalobi was named Outstanding Offensive Player. She was joined on the All-District team by senior Tess Hiller, juniors Caroline Starns and Julia Welsh and sophomore Amber Haynes. All-District honorable mention recognition went to senior Abigail Haynes. 

“I’m proud of this group of players for being selected to the All-District Team,” Miller said. “They trained in the off-season, as well as throughout the season, and are now being recognized for their hard work. The team knows that volleyball is such a team sport, and it definitely takes a team working together to be as successful as we were this season. I’m proud of the entire team for their dedication to the SJA volleyball program.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

SJA Hires New Golf Coach

St. Joseph’s Academy has named Melissa Morrison Gaffney as its new golf coach. Gaffney, a 2006 graduate of SJA and a four-year member of the school’s golf team, replaces Brad Buras, who stepped aside following the 2017 season in which his team finished as the runner-up in the Division I State Golf Tournament.

Gaffney brings a wealth of experience to her new position. She taught golf to youngsters through BREC’s The First Tee program and founded BREC’s competitive girls’ league. She also served as co-director of the LPGA girls’ golf program in Baton Rouge. She moved to the junior division of the Gulf States PGA, hosting tournaments across the state, then was named assistant pro at The Island in Plaquemine. 

Buras said he’s confident the program in good hands. “Stepping down as SJA’s golf coach was a really difficult decision, but knowing the program is going to be led by such a capable professional makes the transition easier for me and the girls,” he said. “I’m confident that the team will not miss a beat and will be a factor at the state tournament in the upcoming season and many to come.” 

Gaffney said that starting a family led to her decision to make a career change. “Working 10 hours a day, six days a week, with a two-hour commute was not conducive to having a family,” she said. 

She joined her family’s business, Scallan Hearing Aid & Audiology Center, which was started by her grandfather, Leo Scallan, in 1976 and is now run by her mother, Laurie Scallan Morrison, a 1975 graduate of SJA. While Gaffney said she loves helping the hearing-impaired community, “a part of me always missed the course.” 

When the SJA golf team won the 2017 Metro Tournament, Gaffney was compelled to reach out to Buras and offer her help as an assistant. “With all of my teaching experience, I felt I could be an asset to the team,” she said. “When Coach Buras told that he would not be able to coach the team next season due to other obligations, it seemed like fate. I contacted [SJA Athletic Director Dorinda Beaumont] Coach B and told her I would be interested in having the opportunity to pass along my knowledge. I have a young son and daughter, and I want them to see me as a mother who pursues her goals.”

Beaumont said she is excited to welcome Gaffney to the coaching staff. “As an alum and former SJA golfer, Melissa understands the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the philosophy of our athletic program,” Beaumont said. “She will continue to pass this on to our young ladies. Her enthusiasm and experience with golf, personally and in the private sector, will be excellent for our program.” 

Gaffney said she is excited to follow in the footsteps of her high school coach, Holly Randow. “Playing for Coach Randow was definitely one of the highlights of my high school years,” she said. “We were always a team. My main goal for this season is to do for the team what Coach Randow did for us. Golf is an individual scoring sport but is best supported as a team. My philosophy is to create a family/team environment that celebrates everyone’s achievements.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo by Erin Albarado

Runners Finish Top 10 in Nike Cross Nationals

Hot off its state championship meet victory on November 14, the St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team finished ninth in the prestigious Nike Cross South Regional Championship at Bear Branch Park in The Woodlands, Texas. The meet, held November 18, is one of eight regional qualifiers sponsored by Nike Cross across the country. SJA competed against top teams from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. 
 
 
The top three teams, all from Texas, were Southlake Carroll (68 points), Keller (82 points) and Lewisville Hebron (98 points). The top two finishers in each regional move on to the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon. 

SJA’s top finishers in the girls seeded race were junior Lauren Hendry, 56th place, 19:36.3; sophomore Isabelle Brown, 81st place, 20:03.9; senior Jennifer Bennett, 99th place, 20:20.2; freshman Sophie Martin, 103rd place, 20:21.5; freshman Anna Camille Eagleton, 139th place, 20:55.7; freshman Kate Ritchie, 146th place, 21:05.9; and freshman Jane Laville, 156th place, 21:10.8.

“This was our third time competing in this meet, and it was a great experience for our team,” said head coach Mark LaHaye. “According to the race director, this year’s meet included a 25 percent increase in participation, which meant even tougher competition for us. We actually did not find out until the Wednesday before the meet that we were even seeded in the girls’ championship race. Considering the number of quality teams in Texas, that alone was a huge accomplishment.”

In SJA’s first appearance in the Nike Cross South Regional in 2015, the team finished 26th. Last year, the runners improved to 17th. With a pre-season goal of a top-10 finish, the Redstickers finished just four points out of eighth place. “Seven of the eight teams that beat us were top ranked teams in Texas’ Class 6A, and three of these teams are nationally ranked,” LaHaye said. “We did beat other highly ranked teams from Texas, plus the #1-ranked 7A state champion team from Arkansas and a highly ranked 6A state runner-up team from Oklahoma. We are definitely climbing the ladder each year.”

“The Nike Cross meet was a great experience to compete with other teams we never get the opportunity to see,” Hendry said. “I️t opened my eyes to all of the great competition. We achieved one of our team goals set at the beginning of the season. I️t was a great way to end the season.”

Brown said lining up against the best teams in the south was a great experience. “Finishing in the top 10 is a great accomplishment for us,” she said. “I am so happy that we ended our season on this note, and I can’t wait to see what we will do next year.” 

Martin said she enjoyed competing in the Nike Cross. “It was exciting for all of us since we ran on a new course and placed ninth, which was one of our goals for the season,” she said. “Knowing that we were running against the best teams pushed us a little more to try our hardest. The team did better than what we were hoping for, and we are very proud of each other.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Tina LaHaye

Swim Team Wins Seventh Straight State Title

The St. Joseph’s Academy swim team captured its seventh consecutive Division I-Class 5A state championship, scoring 320 points to finish ahead of Mt. Carmel (281), Mandeville (239), Northshore (182) and Baton Rouge Magnet (164) in the 20-team field. The Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA state swim meet was held November 17 and 18 at the SPAR Aquatic Center in Sulphur.

The Redstickers captured the Division I crown in spite of not winning an individual event. The team relied on balance and depth, according to head coach Becca Gilbert. “Heart and determination are what come to mind when thinking about this swim team,” she said. “There were doubts throughout the season that we would be able to take state this year. There was fierce competition, and the girls knew what they had to do in order to win. They did just that and more.
 

“It took the entire team to pull off this win, and I could not be more proud to say that I am an SJA angel,” Gilbert added. 

Freshman Amanda Andrews led the team with a second-place finish in the 100 butterfly and a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle. She was also a member of the state champion 400 freestyle relay team and the third-place 200 medley relay team. “This win was a total team effort,” she said. “The positive setting around us helped the most because we had some doubts entering the meet. But we knew we could pull out the win. Everyone did their part. All of my individual events were very nerve racking considering I knew I could not mess up anything because it could have cost us the meet. Honestly, it feels amazing to be the fastest team in Louisiana because we put so much effort and work into this meet. To see such great results is really rewarding as a swimmer.”

Junior Isabel Webre finished third in the 200-yard individual medley, sixth in the 100-yard butterfly and was a member of the 200 medley relay team. “This weekend was very exciting, and we had so much fun,” she said. “I feel like a huge part of our win came from the seniors believing in everyone swimming in the meet. They pushed us to do our best. That’s what lead us to our win.” 

SJA swimmers scoring points towards the team’s total are as follows.

200 medley relay: Kirby Black, Isabel Webre, Amanda Andrews and Claire Bass, 3rd place, 1:54.41

200 yard freestyle: Amanda Andrews, 3rd place, 1:58.26; Annie Smith, 7th place, 2:05.81; Gabbie Taylor, 13th place, 2:07.92

200 yard IM: Isabel Webre, 3rd place, 2:16.66; Cameron Accardo, 11th place, 2:23.38

50 yard freestyle: Claire Bass, 7th place, 26.32; Abigail Cazes, 13th place, 26.62; Jenay Hansen, 15th place, 26.67

100 yard butterfly: Amanda Andrews, 2nd place, 57.94; Madeline Lemoine, 5th place, 1:00.87; Isabel Webre, 6th place, 1:01.28; Madi Ogra, 14th place, 1:06.91

100 yard freestyle: Claire Bass, 7th place, 57.77; Abigail Cazes, 9th place, 57.18; Gabbie Taylor, 13th place, 59.31; Jenay Hansen, 15th place, 1:00.04

500 yard freestyle: Kirby Black, 5th place, 5:24.61; Madeline Lemoine, 6th place, 5:25.92; Annie Smith, 12th place, 5:39.85

200 free relay: Claire Bass, Abigail Cazes, Cameron Accardo and Madeline Lemoine, 3rd place, 1:44.75

100 yard backstroke: Kirby Black, 2nd place, 1:00.70; Cameron Accardo, 9th place, 1:05.31; Victoria Godso, 11th place, 1:06.42

100 yard breaststroke: Kate Russell, 11th place, 1:15.43

400 free relay: Amanda Andrews, Abigail Cazes, Kirby Black and Madeline Lemoine, 1st place, 3:43.13
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Cherie Taylor
 

SJA Celebrates Thanksgiving with Prayer Service

Through song, dance, art and service, the St. Joseph’s Academy community praised God and celebrated the blessings of Thanksgiving in a morning prayer service on November 16. The celebration was held in the Activity Center.  

As a symbolic Thanksgiving table was set, each element was described as a representation of the gifts given by God. The round table symbolized that each human has equal dignity with unique gifts. The tablecloth represented the sacred threads of the relationships and connectedness within the Academy community. 
 
 
Flowers placed in the center of the table symbolized the beauty of our individual journeys and our care for each other and all of God’s creation. Candles recalled the inner light of baptism, shining forth to illuminate the call to serve the dear neighbor. 

Utensils symbolized the many practical skills God has given us to be of service to everyone we encounter. Napkins represented the gifts of forgiveness and compassion. Plates represented those who anticipate the good things that will be served, while a cracked or broken plate reminded us of God’s gift of healing. 
 
Water symbolized words and communication and reminded us to speak to one another in ways that pour life and unity into the world. Bread represented the time we share with Jesus, family, friends and neighbors. Spices symbolized the joy friends and family bring into our lives.

Throughout the service, students, faculty and staff brought forth food and donations to benefit the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and serve the dear neighbor in need at Thanksgiving. 

At the conclusion of the prayer service, an original piece of art created by Nicole Lane’s eighth hour art class was revealed. Seniors Megan Gremillion and Blaise Putnam explained that the employees of SAGE Dining Service do more than serve food; they serve unifying love. The painting, entitled “Serving You a Community,” will be displayed in the Dining Hall to serve as a reminder that every act of service to a dear neighbor is an act of service to the world. 

The art students began work on the piece in August. They created the collaborative painting using the Innovation and Design process, including brainstorming, small-group collaboration and working in an artist/client setting.
 
Readers for the service were Julianna Hill, Peyton Smith and Lucy Laville. Lending their musical gifts were vocalists Meredith Giles, Caroline Anne LeBlanc, Angelle McCormick, Madi Boudreaux and Jordan Mathis.

Musicians for the service were seniors Gabbie Taylor and Addie LeBlanc, piano; Stephen Barrios, drums; and Hugo Andricain and Alan LeCoq, guitar. 

Participating dancers, who study with Jade Prejean, were Charly Hull, Trinitee Sterling, Cameron Mincin, Elizabeth Lemann, Delaney Tabony, Morgan Gallegos, Jhayce Smith, Claire Cooper, Arianna Delatte, Kelly Kimbrell, Meghan Drago, Olivia Cooley, Rebecca Wannamaker, Isabelle English, Lindsay Lanehart, Lilly Chastin and Aldyn Gremillion.

Anne-Marie Dizor ran the lights. 

Liturgy Club members who helped with set up, food collection and planning were Emily Shore, Parker Wilson, Eloise Day, Claire Toups, Monique Manuel, Sophie Kronenberger, Alex Thibodeaux, Juliet Alise, Olivia Clark, Emily Reynaud and Derquisia Spears.
 
Presenting the painting were Emily Sonnier, Evelyn Clawson, Summer Smith and Alex Hinkle. 

Hugo Andricain wrote and coordinated the prayer service.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado
 

Seniors Win National Scholarship Contest

Two St. Joseph’s Academy seniors won the two grand prizes awarded by Popular Science in its first annual Innovators of Tomorrow scholarship contest. Ann Nguyen and Jade Woods were chosen from contest entrants across the United States. 
 

The seniors study AP physics with Sarah Davis, who had her students enter the contest by submitting 30-second videos explaining an idea for a startup business that will help make the world a better place. As grand prize winners, Nguyen and Woods won an all-expenses-paid trip to the University of California, Davis for an awards ceremony on November 9. At the event, they toured campus, participated in a panel discussion moderated by Popular Science editor Rachel Feltman and presented their winning innovations to an audience of UC Davis faculty and members of the science and technology community.

They also won up to $10,000 in scholarship money from Toyota and UC Davis.  

“It was so exciting to see SJA students receive the two grand prizes in this nationwide contest,” Davis said. “I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to teach physics to such bright, creative and enthusiastic young women. I am thrilled that the judges saw in Ann and Jade what I see every day: innovative and thoughtful approaches to any given problem. They help to enrich our classroom experience on a daily basis and surely dazzled the contest sponsors during their presentations at UC Davis.”

Woods’ video introduced her startup idea of employing eye-tracking technology in glasses to evaluate athletes for concussions. “One common symptom of concussions is wandering eye or irregular eye movement, but often the development of concussion symptoms can be delayed,” she said. “Prescribing that any athlete who has sustained a blow to the head must wear these eye-tracking glasses would detect concussions more quickly.” 

Woods said she had a wonderful time at UC Davis. “The teams from the university, Popular Science and Toyota made the experience so enjoyable,” she said. “We spent the morning of our first full day touring the school’s research labs and meeting people who are conducting amazing research. Everyone was incredibly kind and excited to show us their work and listen to our ideas, as well.”

Nguyen’s video described ways to address coastal erosion by using nanograss to resist ocean current and potentially harden the shore to make it more resistant. “Nanobot technology could be employed to create a dynamic root system that further strengthens the structures while making them more flexible and adaptable to the environment,” she said. 

Nguyen said the time spent at UC Davis was truly memorable. “It was fascinating to see the variety of amazing projects underway at the university, and it was wonderful to be encouraged throughout the day to continue in the spirit of innovation as we progress through the rest of our senior year and college,” she said. 

Nguyen added that she enjoyed interacting with leaders in the technology field and with venture capitalist Ross Fubrini and UC Davis Chancellor Gary May. “Aside from the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity itself, what made the events most memorable was that I was able to experience them in California with one of my best friends,” Nguyen said. “It’s absolutely insane how we were both chosen for the scholarship, and as Mr. [Popular Science editor-in-chief Joe] Brown commented before our presentations, it’s all a testament to what dedicated educators like Mrs. Davis can do.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Ann Nguyen and Jade Woods

Cross Country Team Repeats as State Champs

The St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team is the Class 5A state champions for the second year in a row and for the third time in four years. The Redstickers scored 35 points in the 2017 Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA state cross country meet to finish well ahead of runner-up Mandeville with 85 points. Dominican finished third with 95 points. There were 28 complete teams and 156 finishers in the November 14 meet at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.
 
 
Junior Lauren Hendry won the individual state championship in a time of 18:19.8, an SJA school record for the state meet. All seven of SJA’s runners, including four freshmen, finished in the top 16. Order of finish and times are as follows: freshman Sophie Martin, 5th place, 19:09.9; sophomore Isabelle Brown, 6th place, 19:11.7; senior Jennifer Bennett, 11th place, 19:48.8; freshman Anna Camille Eagleton, 12th place, 19:50.0; freshman Kate Ritchie, 14th place, 19:56.7; and freshman Jane Laville, 16th place, 19:57.8.

The state championship was the icing on the cake of an undefeated season. The young team finished 12-0 on the year. “What a day,” said head coach Mark LaHaye. “We absolutely dominated this race from start to finish. Lauren led the way for the team leading at every mile marker. Sophie and Isabelle ran as a tandem with the lead pack, and our foursome of Jennifer, Anna Camille, Kate and Jane followed closely behind. This was without a doubt our best performance ever at the state meet. Not only did we finish with our entire team in the top 16, our top seven actually finished ahead of the third runner from second-place Mandeville and ahead of the second runner from third-place Dominican. We crushed the competition today.”
  
Hendry is SJA’s first individual state champion since Wren Eversberg Eagleton finished first in 1988. “I am very proud of my individual race,” Hendry said. “I have been aiming to become state champion since we began training in June. It was a tough race, but it was so exciting to come out as a state champion. I am proud to call myself an SJA Redsticker.

“Today we got to see all of our hard work for the past five months pay off,” Hendry said of the team’s effort. “I could not be any more proud of these girls and all they have accomplished. This is truly the best team I have ever been on, and I wouldn’t want to share this experience with anyone else.”

Martin said the team was motivated by the enormity of the moment. “The rush and adrenaline of running was so exciting to all of us,” she said. “All along the way, the rest of the team cheered us on, and that really pushed me through the whole race. I knew that this was the most important race all year long and what all of our hard work has led up to. The team did amazing working together the whole race and pushing each other to do our very best. To be the best cross country team in the state is a dream we have all been waiting for to become a reality. Every practice led up to the best moment of the season. I am incredibly proud of everyone on the team and cannot wait to run again next season.”  

Brown said the state meet was one of the best moments of her life. “It was such a good feeling to know that all of our hard work paid off with this huge victory,” she said. “Our team has been preparing for this meet since the summer. We have put in countless hours to be where we are today. We love what we do and are honored to be the best team in Louisiana.”

Ritchie said her first state championship experience was tremendous. “State was one of the best races of my life because of all the positive energy surrounding our team,” she said. “Hearing St. Joseph’s Academy being called out for winning was one of the best moments I have ever experienced, and I hope that there will be more state titles we can add to our winning streak. I really could not have asked for a better team, coaches and season, and I am so thankful to say that I am part of this wonderful family.” 

Eagleton, the daughter of 1988 state champion Wren Eversberg Eagleton, said that while the state meet was nerve racking, it was a lot of fun. “We have been working really hard for this, and I felt like we were completely ready to go out there on that course and win,” she said. “Our team put so much hard work and dedication into training for state, and we have such an incredible team. All I can say is we went out there and we dominated that meet, just like we planned.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Tina LaHaye

Mothers’ Club Hosts Fall Luncheon

The St. Joseph’s Academy Mothers’ Club hosted its annual fall luncheon on November 2. This year’s event was held at the home of Katherine and Cale Smith. 
 

Monte Brown, Mothers’ Club president, welcomed the large group of SJA moms and thanked them for their support of the Mothers’ Club and St. Joseph’s Academy. She introduced the luncheon’s co-chairs, Angie Broyles and Stacy Hebert, and thanked Katherine Smith for opening her home for this year’s gathering.  

Principal Stacia Andricain offered a prayer. 

The beautiful weather enabled guests to enjoy lunch outdoors. Catered by Ingle Eats, the luncheon featured vegetarian lasagna, salad and bread. Desserts were provided by Bridget Leblanc.

Door prizes were provided by the SJA Sticker Shop and So-ho Salon.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado
 

SJA Hosts Second Hygiene for Hope Drive

In 2015, three seniors at St. Joseph’s Academy organized the first Hygiene for Hope service project. Then-seniors Nicole Jones, Caroline Matthews and Aniko Nowakowski asked the SJA community to donate personal hygiene products for women at the Bishop Ott Sweet Dreams Shelter. This fall, three current seniors picked up the mantle and spearheaded a second drive for homeless women who are often faced with sacrificing their comfort and dignity.

Emily Matthews, Emily Shore and Juliet Alise managed this year’s donation drive, which addresses the problem faced by many financially disadvantaged women. They are often unable to afford feminine products, and the government doesn’t pay for them.

This year’s donation drive was held November 7-10.
 
Shore said it was an honor to carry on the project initiated by three former students she holds in high esteem. “The three of us look up to Aniko, Caroline and Nicole tremendously, and when they shared this idea with SJA two years ago, it really struck a chord that this is something important,” Shore said. “Women who are in need should not be focused on attaining these products. If we can help alleviate the smallest bit of frustration through the collected donations, then that is something we should keep doing. It was really awesome to see SJA, once again, jump into action and pull through. We were able to collect a large number of items through our girls’ generosity, and I hope this is a drive that continues for a long, long time.” 

Matthews is the sister of one of the project’s original founders. “I wanted to continue a project that she and her friends at SJA established in order to help the women in 
our community,” Matthews said. “I was very excited to see how many girls participated in Hygiene for Hope, and I hope that this drive continues to be a part of the SJA community.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado

Seniors Sign National Letters of Intent

Two St. Joseph’s Academy seniors signed their national letters of intent on November 13 and will compete at the collegiate level next year. Elise Caruso will join the softball team at Spring Hill College, and Alexis Toney will play beach volleyball at Louisiana State University. The student-athletes signed their papers in a special ceremony in the school library. 
 

Caruso has three varsity letters to date in softball and two in basketball. She has been named to the All-District softball team three times and the All-Metro team twice. She was joined at the ceremony by her parents, Todd and Lorin Caruso, and family members Kristian Caruso, Trevor Caruso, Samuel Joseph Caruso Jr., Jason Caruso, Shannon Lee, Sharlet Wax and Douglas Wax. Also joining her were coaches Amanda Henley, Billy Stears, Jessica Simon and deLynn Stelly and family friends Sophie Spring, Megan Smith and Sally Stears.

“Signing my letter of intent was an amazing feeling of relief and excitement,” Caruso said. “It makes me very happy knowing that all my hard work has finally paid off. I am looking forward to the new friendships I will be creating as I join a new softball family. I hope to contribute to the betterment of the team and help them succeed.”

Toney has three varsity letters in volleyball. She was named to the All-District volleyball team twice and the All-Metro team once. She was joined at the signing by her parents, Patrick Toney and Michelle Carriere, and grandparents Lloyd and Beverly Laudermill and Mona Toney. 

“Signing my letter made realize I’m about to start a new chapter in my life with college, and I’m really excited,” Toney said. “I’m looking forward being on the team with so many great girls and representing my school.”

The student-athletes were supported by a large gathering of administrators, teammates, friends and faculty/staff members.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado

Volleyball Team Finishes Second in State

For the fourth time in the last five years, #2 St. Joseph’s Academy and #1 Mount Carmel Academy went toe to toe in the final match of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA state volleyball tournament. MCA won the championship 25-14, 25-12, 21-25, 25-13. The tournament was played in the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner. 

The Redstickers ended the season with a 30-14 record.
 

These two teams have won 13 of the past 15 Division I state championships. Head coach Sivi Miller, who has four state championships at SJA (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013), expressed pride in her team, which lost nine girls to graduation from the 2016 squad. 

“I’m so proud of this team and what they accomplished this season,” Miller said. “At the beginning of the season, I told them that if they work hard, they will accomplish great things as a team but that we needed everyone to work hard. From week to week, this team had learning curves and gained experience by playing a touch schedule. The dedication and desire from each and every player is why we were in the state finals playing against a talented Mt. Carmel team.”

Senior Tess Hiller contributed 14 digs on the night. “During the season, a lot of people doubted us and thought we did not have a good chance of making it to the state finals,” she said. “So it says a lot about our team and our work ethic that we made it to the state finals and took a set off of MCA. Even though we fell short of our goal, words cannot describe how proud I am to be a part of this team and play alongside some of my best friends.” 

Junior Caroline Starns said she was pleased with the season as a whole. “Although we had a rocky start, we formed amazing bonds as players and friends, on and off the court,” she said. “It helped us to get to the Pontchartrain Center and to the finals. We didn’t play as well as we wanted to, but I’m happy with the season we had.”

Miller said that even though the team fell just short of achieving its goal of a state championship, she was pleased with the season-long effort. She also commended the team’s seniors. “We will miss them dearly,” she said. “Every one of them dedicated four years of training and sacrificing to be on this team, and I could not be more proud of them. They each will forever have a special place in my heart.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Jay Landry

SJA Hosts Sophomore Retreat

St. Joseph’s Academy sophomores spent November 6 in their class retreat, held on campus. The day-long retreat was coordinated by Campus Minister Mandy Tumminello and senior Student Ministers. 

The theme of this year’s retreat was Whose Am I? The sophomores rotated through prayer rooms and reflected on friendships with themselves, others and Jesus. They spent time in small- and large-group activities and reflection and enjoyed witness talks. 
 
 

 
“We had a wonderful time at Sophomore Retreat,” Tumminello said. “It was a great opportunity for the girls to take a break from their busy schedules. They enjoyed class bonding, self-reflection and an afternoon of quiet prayer time.”

Jolan Taylor said she enjoyed the stress-free atmosphere of her class retreat. “Last year, as the freshman class, we explored the theme Who Am I?” she said. “This year, we explored Whose Am I? We learned that in order to understand who we are as children of God, we have to know that we are all different but the same. We are all loved by Him and each other. The relationships that we make as an SJA community help us to get to know ourselves and each other. In these relationships, we learn that we have more in common than one may think.” 

Flora DeMoss said the Sophomore Retreat was a meaningful experience. “I feel that the retreat was great,” she said. “It was a time to grow together as a class.”

Helping facilitate the retreat were faculty members Mackenzie Bowman, Catherine Durnin, Mary Beth Elfert, Lauren Garrett and Jamal Tajdaran.

Participating Student Ministers were Annaclaire Acosta, Juliet Alise, Kate Baudoin, Ana Block, Michele Calvit, Renee Cancienne, Lauren Craig, Gracie Dencausse, Blair Fontenot, Madelyn Graves, Mary Gusky, Madeline Hamilton, Adeline Holyfield, Camille Lanata, Madeline Lemoine, Sophia Marchiafava, Madeline McCrary, Jessica Munson, Isabel Oatley, Infiniti Rogers, Molly Shepherd, Kelsey Shingleton, Emily Shore, Kelly Stephens, Sarah Talbot, Analisa Taylor, Sydney Trainor and An Vu. 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado

 

Marching Band Excels at Showcase

The Catholic High School/St. Joseph’s Academy Marching Band placed 10th overall in the 2017 Louisiana Showcase of Marching Bands State Championship. The 28th annual competition was held November 4 at the University of Louisiana Lafayette’s Cajun Field. 

Thirty-five bands from across Louisiana competed this year. The Showcase is the largest marching band competition in the state. 

In addition to its 10th place overall finish, the Band received the Sweepstakes Award for superior ratings in all four captions: Drum Major, Percussion, Auxiliary and Band.

“While this is the youngest band I’ve ever had, they showed so much maturity over the last few weeks of the season and had some really great rehearsals,” said Director of Bands Mark Messina. “Their hard work and attention to detail was apparent, and they deserve a spot in the prestigious top 10. I am very proud of each one of them.”
 

This year marks the fifth time in six years that the CHS/SJA Marching Band has advanced to the top 10 final round competition.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo courtesy of Scott Manning
 

Volleyball Team Advances to State

The St. Joseph’s Academy volleyball team defeated Hahnville 25-11, 25-15, 25-13 on November 4 in a Division I regional playoff game. The #2 seed Redstickers hosted the match in the Activity Center. 
 

With the win, SJA improved to 28-13 on the year and advanced to the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Volleyball State Tournament beginning November 9 in the Pontchartrain Center. The Redstickers meet #7 seed Acadiana on Thursday at 8 p.m. in quarterfinal action. 

“The team played well,” head coach Sivi Miller said. “We have been working hard on making some changes to improve our game, and it was evident in our performance Saturday. I’m proud of the entire team for looking strong and united in the victory.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Jay Landry

Runners Win Regional Championship

The St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team won the 2017 Class 5A, Region 2 Cross Country Championship, held November 4 at Highland Road Park. The varsity team scored 22 points to win the three-mile race, which featured 14 complete teams and 95 finishers. Rounding out the top three were Mandeville (42 points) and Live Oak (132). 

SJA’s top seven varsity finishers were junior Lauren Hendry, 1st, 18:26; sophomore Isabelle Brown, 2nd, 18:29; freshman Sophie Martin, 4th, 18:57 (personal record); senior Jennifer Bennett, 7th, 19:26; freshman Anna Camille Eagleton, 8th, 19:27 (personal record); freshman Kate Ritchie, 11th, 19:42; and sophomore Lucy Laville, 16th, 20:02.
 

“Our top seven lined up knowing full well the target was on our backs,” said head coach Mark LaHaye. “Mandeville raced out to an early lead, but by mile one, Lauren and Isabelle were running one-two with Sophie just behind in fourth. Our four-seven pack of Jennifer, Anna Camille, Kate and Lucy stayed ahead of their four-five runners the entire race and gained enough ground to finish just seconds behind their number three runner. Finishing 1-2-4-7-8 was a pretty strong statement.”

Hendry said the regional qualifier was a great set-up for the state championship meet. “Winning regionals boosted our confidence going into state,” she said. “Our top seven all ran very well and performed exactly the way they needed to in order to win. We had a low score of 22 and beat our competition by 20 points. I feel very confident in this team and believe that we can win state.”

Brown said that the team was highly confident going into Saturday’s race. “We are undefeated and had no intention of ending our winning streak,” she said. “We did our best, and our best brought home another win. We have continued to work hard in practice to prepare for our final meets. I am extremely proud of all my teammates for the hard work each one of us has put in to get us to where we are right now. I believe we are all ready for the state meet.” 

Martin said the team overcame the hot and humid conditions to come out on top. “I feel that regionals was one of our most prepared races by far,” she said. “We came out on top in two races that day, which was an accomplishment for us all. It was a bit hot with a lot of humidity, but the weather did not stop us from achieving what we had trained for. The support that we had on Saturday helped us push through the whole race and break records.” 

Laville said the race was exciting. “I was glad to be back on our home course and excited to be running in my first regionals competition,” she said. “The team ran really well, with our top seven all in the top 20 to take the win.”

“This weekend was an amazing accomplishment for our team,” Ritchie added. “The odds for the races had us winning each, but we had to still work hard and run smart. Everyone was so ready and so pumped because we wanted to show everyone exactly what we can do and what kind of a team we are. It was a humid day, and we had hoped for better weather, but it did not affect the outcome of the race. We are all so excited for state and hope to bring home another trophy.”

Later in the morning, SJA’s second top-seven runners competed in the St. Michael Warrior Run, also at Highland Road Park. The varsity team scored 47 points to finish first out of 13 complete teams and 138 finishers. Finishing second was St. Michael with 51 points followed by Episcopal with 133. 

SJA’s top seven varsity finishers were freshman Jane Laville, 4th, 19:39; junior Angelle Martin, 8th, 20:13 (personal record); junior Ava Falcon, 11th, 20:21 (personal record); freshman Lydia Poche, 12th, 20:24; junior Leanne Livingston, 16th, 20:43; junior Taylor Winters, 18th, 20:56; and sophomore Mary Claire Saia, 19th, 21:00.

“St. Michael took the early lead, but our girls patiently gained ground on them,” LaHaye said. “Jane was key by splitting their one-two runners, then our pack of Angelle, Ava and Lydia split their three-four runners with Leanne finishing just behind their number four runner. It was truly a gutsy team effort by our girls to beat a quality St. Michael team by four points. That speaks volumes to the depth of this team.”

Laville expressed her excitement with the outcome. “The race was great,” she said. “I am so proud of our team, we all worked so hard and truly did our best.”

Poche said having two winning performances on the same day speaks volumes about the quality of the cross country program. “Winning both really showed the depth and ability of our team,” she said. “We knew that the Warrior Run was not going to be an easy win, so I’m so grateful for how hard my teammates worked for it.” 

Next up for the Redstickers is the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Cross Country State Meet on November 14 at Northwestern State University.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Tina LaHaye
 

SJA Celebrates All Saints Day Mass

St. Joseph’s Academy gathered as a community on November 1 to celebrate All Saints Day Mass. The Eucharistic celebration was held in the Activity Center. Father Bob Stine was the presider.

Junior Derquisia Spears welcomed the large crowd. “Today, we honor all the saints and our brothers and sisters who have gone before us to share in eternal life with God’s presence forever,” she said. 

Junior Danielle Jones read from the book of Revelation, and sophomore Emily Reynaud read from the first letter of John. Seniors Juliet Alise and Kaylyn Petikas led the prayers of the faithful. 

Aimee Cronan directed the Liturgy Choir. Junior Kate Stanford served as cantor, and senior Colleen Lovretich was the featured vocalist. Senior Gabbie Taylor was the pianist. Senior Kennedy Benjamin led the singing of the Alma Mater.

Following mass, Dean of Women Aubrey DeJohn thanked those who planned the celebration, including the Liturgy Team led by faculty member Hugo Andricain. 

DeJohn explained that the memory board located at the base of the stage included the names of loved ones who have been lost and were remembered in today’s mass. She invited students to add names to the board throughout the month of November. She also announced that with the approach of the Liturgical season of Advent, there will be opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration on campus. 

DeJohn introduced seniors Emily Matthews, Juliet Alise and Emily Shore, who announced that SJA will hold its second Hygiene for Hope donation drive. In 2015, SJA held the inaugural Hygiene for Hope, collecting feminine products for financially disadvantaged women in the Baton Rouge community. In three days, the SJA community donated more than 37,000 feminine products for women who are often faced with sacrificing their comfort and dignity. 

This year’s donation drive will be held November 7-10.
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado

Cross Country Team Wins Pre-State Meet

The St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team won the NSU Pre-State Meet, held October 28 on the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. The varsity team scored 32 points to finish first in the field of 18 complete teams and 218 finishers. 

Rounding out the top three in the three-mile race were St. Michael with 85 points and Menard with 94 points. 
 


SJA’s top seven varsity finishers were junior Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 18:20; sophomore Isabelle Brown, 4th place, 18:45; freshman Sophie Martin, 6th place, 19:05; senior Jennifer Bennett, 9th place, 19:28; freshman Anna Camille Eagleton, 12th place, 19:47; sophomore Lucy Laville, 13th place, 19:49; and junior Taylor Winters, 14th place, 19:50. Other top 20 finishers were junior Leanne Livingston, 17th, 19:57 (season best); freshman Kate Ritchie, 18th place, 19:58; and freshman Jane Laville, 20th place, 20:00.

“This was an outstanding meet for our team,” said head coach Mark LaHaye. “Our one through four runners have solidified themselves with all four once again placing in the top 10. Our five through 10 runners, a fluid mix of two experienced juniors and four rookies, competed really well with all six placing in the top 20. Our team has set itself up nicely going into the regional qualifier this Saturday.”

Hendry said she enjoyed getting an advance look at the course. “It is always exciting going to Natchitoches for the pre-state meet and getting a preview of the course for state,” she said. “The course is in the best condition it has ever been in. The ground is very hard, and it is in perfect condition to run fast. I ran a personal best on that course this weekend by a lot. Our team finished very well this weekend, and I think everyone ran a lot faster on the course than we expected. I feel very prepared going into state, and I think the rest of the team is, too.”

Martin said she enjoyed her first pre-state experience. “It was very new and interesting,” she said. “I was excited to run on a completely different course yet nervous at the same time. Reviewing the course ahead of time helped me to prepare for what is to come. I used the weather as an advantage to push me through the whole race. I am nervous and excited for the upcoming state meet. I feel very prepared, and I am ready to overcome any struggle that comes my way.”

Eagleton said the cooler temperatures presented an early challenge, but the team overcame the conditions. “It was in the low 40s,” she said. “Running in such cold weather was worrying me, but after I finished the first mile, I was thinking, ‘Hey, this isn’t so bad.’ I just thought about what Coach Mark told us before the race: If you don’t let the cold weather get in your head, you can use it to your advantage and have a great race.’ The race was a success. I’m stoked for state!”

Brown agreed. “We went into the race with uncertainty because of the cold weather,” she said. “I was nervous because I had never raced in those conditions before. We all did very well, and I feel that this meet shows how our team is ready for anything that may come our way. I feel confident that we are prepared and ready to bring home the trophy.” 

The team will compete in the 2-5A Regional Meet on November 4, set for 9 a.m. at Highland Road Park. The LHSAA State Cross Country Championship will take place on November 14 at NSU at 12:30 p.m.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Tina LaHaye

Swim Team Wins 18th Straight City Championship

The St. Joseph’s Academy swim team captured its 18th consecutive Capital City Swim League Championship on October 28-29. The two-day meet, featuring 20 girls’ teams, was held at the Crawfish Aquatics pool.

The Redstickers scored 443 points without an individual first-place finisher. Rounding out the top five were Baton Rouge Magnet High School (276), U-High (259), Lutcher High School (191) and Parkview Baptist School (172). 

“This victory was made possible by every single person on our team contributing,” said head coach Becca Barber Gilbert. “We have a smaller team and younger team than we have had in the past, so it was crucial for everyone to step up. I am so proud of this team and how far they have come. Next stop: state.” 
 

The following swimmers scored points towards the team’s total. Times listed are from the final round on Sunday. 

200 yard medley relay: Kirby Black, Isabel Webre, Amanda Andrews and Abigail Cazes, 2nd, 1:54.33

200 yard freestyle: Amanda Andrews, 2nd, 2:00.52; Annie Smith, 5th, 2:07.20; Gabbie Taylor, 6th, 2:08.32; Victoria Godso, 9th, 2:10.32

200 yard IM: Isabel Webre, 3rd, 2:16.66; Kate Russell, 10th, 2:31.40; Gabrielle Joffrion, 12th, 2:33.87

50 yard freestyle: Abigail Cazes, 4th, 26.24; Claire Bass, 5th, 26.36; Jenay Hansen, 6th, 26.74; Amy Brouillette, 13th, 28.21

100 yard butterfly: Madeline Lemoine, 2nd, 1:01.31; Isabel Webre, 3rd, 1:01.44; Madi Ogra, 8th, 1:07.19

100 yard freestyle: Claire Bass, 4th, 57.77; Abigail Cazes, 5th, 58.10; Gabbie Taylor, 6th, 58.80; Jenay Hansen, 8th, 59.64

500 yard freestyle: Kirby Black, 3rd, 5:23.16; Madeline Lemoine, 4th, 5:29.24; Annie Smith, 7th, 5:44.58; Alyssa D’Agostino, 13th, 6:34.19

200 yard freestyle relay: Jenay Hansen, Madeline Lemoine, Victoria Godso and Claire Bass, 1st, 1:46.08

100 yard backstroke: Kirby Black, 2nd, 1:00.92; Madi Ogra, 7th, 1:08.51; Victoria Godso, 12th, 1:10.77; Gabrielle Joffrion, 14th, 1:11.99

100 yard breaststroke: Kate Russell, 7th, 1:19.20; Mary Stuckey, 11th, 1:21.47

400 yard freestyle relay: Amanda Andrews, Abigail Cazes, Madeline Lemoine and Kirby Black, 1st, 3:44.78

The Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Swimming State Meet will be held November 17-18 at the SPAR Aquatic Center in Sulphur.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Charlotte Andrews, Sidney Joffrion, Cherie Taylor and Emma Welch
 

Students Present at Maker Faire

St. Joseph’s Academy students were among the presenters at the Baton Rouge Mini Maker Faire, held October 21 at the Independence Park Library. This year’s maker faire, the library’s third, showcased the creativity of “makers” in both high- and low-tech undertakings, ranging from programming and robotics to painting, music and handcrafts. 

According to the library’s website, “Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these makers to show hobbies, experiments and projects.” 

Participating SJA students exhibited work done in the Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74 STEM Lab, including laser-cut skirts, 3D printing, a 3D printed violin, student-created video games, a laser-cut chess set, illuminated garment projects from Family and Consumer Science classes, last year’s FIRST robot, English class board games and more. 


Junior Madeline Ballew, captain of SJA’s Robotics Team, enjoyed talking about constructing the robot and competing against otherhigh schools. “It was really cool seeing the different reactions from the different age groups,” she said. “People who were older or even just out of college were talking to me about how lucky I was and how they didn’t have anything like that in high school. It makes me realize how fortunate I really am. Younger kids would be absolutely amazed and tell me how they want to build robots or how they do things like it in school, and it’s just the best seeing little kids getting excited about technology. I did talk about a few other things in the lab because I’m familiar with just about all of it, and it’s really amazing seeing all of the different things students can do in there.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Claire Luikart

Science Club Participates in Ocean Commotion

Eighty members of the St. Joseph’s Academy Science Club participated in Ocean Commotion 2017, held October 24 in the LSU Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The event is sponsored each year by the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program and draws approximately 2,500 area students, teachers and chaperones to LSU to learn about the coast and sea from 70 exhibitors.

Students in grades K-8 enjoy opportunities to learn about and touch the products of the sea and coast upon which Louisiana is so dependent.

Science Club members manned 20 booths, four of which were created by SJA students, teaching elementary school students about the water cycle, water quality, the effects of gravity on seed germination and the effects of salt on plants. Participating SJA students also assisted with booths created by LUMCON, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, BREC and Sea Grant, among others. 

Senior Isabel Grandy is president of the SJA Science Club. “Ocean Commotion is my favorite part of the year,” she said. “I love getting to spend time with kids and talking about the environment in which we live and the coast that’s so close to us. Getting to talk to kids about our environment is so important because some of these kids would not experience it otherwise. It’s always fun to see what they know and help them to learn even more. This year, I got to work a booth that compared different skulls of animals and got the kids to guess what they are. I think about half said they were dinosaurs. It was adorable.”

Junior Olivia Clark said she thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the young visitors. “All the kids look at you with such interest and a yearning for knowledge,” she said. “They ask the most intellectual questions for middle and elementary school students. I truly believe that this subject is so important to teach the younger generations because we are the future, and our environment is depending on us.”

Junior Adeline Roemer was a member of the Ocean Commotion Planning Committee. “It was a privilege to participate and assist in the organization of Ocean Commotion on behalf of SJA,” she said. “The SJA Science Club gave more than 2,500 students the opportunity to learn about and develop interest in Louisiana’s coast and marine life that is so unique to our area. The way that Ocean Commotion is set up truly gets the children excited and enthusiastic about learning through games, experiments, presentations, crafts and much more. It is such an important task to preserve the coastline and the wildlife that lives there, which is why we need our future scientists to be excited about developing new technologies and ways to go about doing that.”

Faculty members Aimee Cronan, Kristie Acosta and Sarah Davis spearheaded SJA’s participation. 
 
 

 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Isabel Grandy and Linda Messina

Cross Country Team Wins Metro Championship

The St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team won the 2017 East Baton Rouge Metro Cross Country Championship, held October 21 at Highland Road Park. The varsity team scored 24 points to win the three-mile race, which featured 13 complete teams and 135 finishers. 

With 10 runners in the top 15 finishers, SJA rolled to its 10th consecutive Metro Meet victory. Sophomore Isabelle Brown finished first overall in a personal-record time of 18:08.

Rounding out the top three teams were St. Michael (51 points) and Episcopal (95 points). 

In addition to Brown, SJA’s top varsity finishers were junior Lauren Hendry, 3rd place, 18:44; freshman Sophie Martin, 5th place, 19:02 (personal record); senior Jennifer Bennett, 7th place, 19:27; sophomore Lark Smith, 8th place, 19:28 (personal record); freshman Anna Camille Eagleton, 10th place, 19:29 (personal record); and freshman Kate Ritchie, 11th place, 19:35. Other top-15 finishers were freshman Jane Laville, 12th place, 19:39 (personal record); junior Taylor Winters, 13th place, 19:50 (personal record); and sophomore Lucy Laville, 15th place, 20:01.

“What a great day for our team,” head coach Mark LaHaye said. “We ran unbelievably well. What do you say when you have 10 runners place in the top 15? Our girls absolutely dominated this race.”

Brown said the meet held a lot of meaning as well as excitement. “Metro is the very first meet of our ‘championship season,’ which put an added amount of both pressure and excitement on our race,” she said. “I ran my fastest time of the season along with many of my teammates. There are traditionally a ton of personal records and season bests at this meet, and we did not disappoint. I am very excited to see what we can do at pre-state.”

Hendry, who battled an upper respiratory tract infection and had limited practice time during the week, said she was proud of the team’s effort. “Many girls ran personal bests, and I was so proud of all of them,” she said. “We are constantly getting better every week, and everyone is stepping up and doing what they need to in order for our team to come out on top at the end of the season.”

Martin said the race was the best of the season. “It was energizing, with crowds of people standing on the side of the course yelling,” she said. “I achieved a new personal record and placed fifth. We are all proud of each other and the effort we put into running.” 

Ritchie agreed. “I felt that everyone on the team realized that we all needed to step up and push even harder for a win,” she said. “It was overall a great meet for everyone.” 

Smith said the team’s preparation throughout the course of the season paid off. “It was such a good day, and we all knew what we were there to do,” she said. “We have trained so hard this year, and every meet is an opportunity to show just how hard we have worked. I think we showcased the talent and depth we have as a team. Ten runners in the top 15 is definitely something to be proud of.” 

The 2-5A Regional Cross Country Championship will take place on November 3 at Highland Road Park beginning at 9 a.m. 

 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Tina LaHaye

Students Display Art at Kiwanis Festival

The original artwork of six St. Joseph’s Academy students was displayed in the art show of the 68th annual Kiwanis Club of Baton Rouge’s Pancake Festival, held October 21 at LSU. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to assisting the children and needy of local communities. 
 

Representing SJA were Alex Hinkle, Mary Catherine Lorio, Hannah Blum, Allie Peever, Grace Wisdom and Sophia Mouk. Hinkle, Lorio, Peever and Wisdom brought home honorable mention ribbons. 

SJA art teacher Nicole Lane said the art show promotes art education in Baton Rouge-area schools; gives student artists the opportunity to showcase their work before a large audience; and recognizes the value of artistic talent in local schools. 

Wisdom’s piece is entitled Wrapped up in Myself. “I was so shocked to receive an invitation to be entered into the competition,” she said. “It was really unexpected because I didn’t know anything about it beforehand, but I was so honored to be asked. I was just happy to be able to be entered, and to be displayed with so many other great artists was amazing. I didn’t even expect to win anything, but getting the honorable mention was a truly exciting moment for me.” 

Peever named her piece The Edge. “I loved getting to see my art presented to a large audience,” she said. “When I was working on the piece, I wasn’t expecting for people to see it, so it was a great reward to have my art shown off.”
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Nicole Lane

Senior Crowned CHS Homecoming Queen

St. Joseph’s Academy senior Anna Koonce is Catholic High School’s 2017 homecoming queen. She was crowned at halftime of the Bears’ October 20 football game against East Ascension at Olympia Stadium. EA won the defensive battle 9-3. 

Also named to this year’s homecoming court were seniors Kennedy Benjamin, Mallory Casseri, Caroline Cotten and Kaylyn Petikas. 
 

Koonce is the daughter of Edy and Jeff Koonce and is a graduate of St. Aloysius. “Friday night was a time I’ll remember for several reasons: The privilege of standing next to the kind and amazing girls I was on court with, the feeling I got looking at that massive cheering student section while I walked down the field with my dad and the support and love from my friends and family after being crowned was overwhelming,” she said. “Also, I have always looked up to homecoming queens from past years, so it is such a huge honor to be chosen to stand where they have stood.”

Benjamin is the daughter of Kim and Chris Benjamin and is a graduate of St. Jude. “Walking down the field with my dad was unforgettable,” she said. “I was really nervous, but it was exciting. Having my friends and family at the game to share the experience with me was very special.”

Casseri is the daughter of Katie and Chris Casseri and is a graduate of St. Aloysius. “I enjoyed dressing up and getting to meet the other wonderful people who were on the court,” she said. “I will always remember how excited I was when I first found out I made court and then actually walking out on the field and seeing everyone cheering for me. Something that I will always remember is how excited my dad was to be my escort. Sharing that experience with my dad was something truly special that I will never forget.”

Cotten is the daughter of Kerin and Jeff Cotten and is a graduate of St. George. “What I enjoyed most was how all of our families and friends came to be there for us,” she said. “I will always remember sitting on the sidelines with the other girls and checking the clock frequently while getting excited for halftime.”

Petikas is the daughter of Roxanne Petikas and Michael Petikas and is a graduate of St. George. “It was a huge honor to represent CHS on court and especially to do so with four other amazing girls who are all so deserving,” she said. “It was such an exciting night, and the support from family and friends made it a night I will never forget. I am so proud of Anna, and I couldn’t think of anyone better to be selected as queen. She is truly a friend to all and has a heart of gold.”
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Edy Koonce

SJA Hosts Open House 2017

Nearly 1,300 visitors converged on St. Joseph’s Academy’s campus on October 19 for Open House 2017. The event, open to girls in grades 6-8 and their parents, enabled visitors to get a first-hand look at all that SJA has to offer. 
 

In addition to enjoying tours of campus, Open House attendees visited with current students, administrators, faculty, staff and parents. Guests began their visit in the Chapel at SJA, where they were greeted by President Jan Rhorer Breen and Principal Stacia B. Andricain. They were then assigned a Student Ambassador, who led them on their campus tour. 

Visitors enjoyed student performances and demonstrations showcasing the arts, academics, sports medicine, the STEM and Innovation & Design labs and the SJA/CHS Marching Band and Bruinettes. 

Guests also saw the basketball team practicing and watched student technicians at work in the student-run Help Desk. Tours ended in the popular Dining Hall, where guests enjoyed refreshments and posing for pictures. 

The SJA Mothers’ Club was in charge of decorations for the evening, while the SJA Dads’ Club provided security. 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Fontaine, Edy Koonce, Jasmine Shiloh, Mikyla Thomas and Whitney Williston

Juniors Enjoy Medical Congress

St. Joseph’s Academy juniors Lauren Saunders and Derquisia Spears represented the state of Louisiana at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, held in Boston in June. Both students received the Award of Excellence certifying their successful completion of the Congress, hosted each summer by the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. 
 
 

High-achieving high school students who aspire to careers in medicine are invited to participate in the annual three-day event. Participants watch live surgery and submit questions for the surgeon to answer in real time during the procedure. They learn about state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and talk with researchers, futurists and technologists.

The theme of the Congress is Greatness Awaits, and delegates enjoy the opportunity to hear talks by Nobel Prize Laureates, top medical school deans, leaders in medical research and cutting-edge technology and leaders from private industry.

Spears said the Congress was a life-changing experience. “I was surrounded by my generation of future medical leaders, perhaps even future colleagues,” she said. “The underlying theme of every presentation was that our motive to become physicians should be intrinsic and not dependent on extrinsic rewards such as money and stability. Pediatric medicine has been a steadfast interest of mine. Attending this Congress affirmed that medicine is, indeed, the career of my dreams. I am someone who loves to help other people. This is an essential trait of every great physician that I met.”

Spears said she especially enjoyed meeting Shree Bose, a Harvard graduate who won the 2011 Google Science Fair. “She began research at a young age by simply educating herself more about subjects she was interested in,” she said. “This inspired me to create the same habit. I took thorough notes from every presentation. I did not want to forget a moment of what I was experiencing.”

Saunders said she’s wanted to be a doctor since she was in fifth grade. “This experience made me even more excited to pursue a career in the medical field,” she said. “It has motivated me to want to do as much research as possible in college and maybe even discover something that I can use as a doctor and teach to others in the field of medicine. The Congress solidified my desire to go to medical school and eventually save lives and heal those in need.” 

Saunders said she especially enjoyed meeting young people who are already accomplished in the medical field. “A few of the scientists who spoke to us were young people who have won international science fairs because of their research,” she said. “These people were in high school, like me, when they made life-changing scientific discoveries. They encouraged me to be curious, ask questions and wonder how I can make a positive difference in the world like they did.”
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Lauren Saunders and Derquisia Spears

SJA Representatives Present to STEM Council

A team of faculty, staff and students from St. Joseph’s Academy was asked to present at the second meeting of the Louisiana STEM (LaSTEM) Advisory Council on October 18. The 29-member council, which operates under the auspices of the Board of Regents, has been charged by the Louisiana Legislature with elevating science, technology, engineering and math education, especially for women, to increase student interest and achievement in the STEM fields. 

Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, sponsored the legislation which aims to ensure the alignment of education, economic development, industry and workforce needs and to increase the number of women who graduate from a postsecondary institution with STEM degrees.

SJA Technology Director John Richardson, Andrea Clesi McMakin STEM Lab Director Claire Luikart, Special Projects Coordinator Linda Thompson and students Rebecca Herin, Madeline Ballew, Allee Rogers and Rachel Edwards discussed SJA’s technology program, STEM curriculum and FIRST Robotics Team. 
 

SJA has been a STEM school since 1997, when it became one of the first high schools in the country to implement a 1:1 learning environment. In the two decades since, SJA has continued to integrate technology across the curriculum. Technology enhances the instructional process and raises the level of student performance, producing engaged learners who undertake complex and meaningful tasks. 

The crown jewel of the technology program is the student-run Help Desk, thought to be the only all-girls help desk in the country. All tablet computer maintenance is done onsite by paid student technicians. 

SJA technology faculty and students embark each summer on global STEM mission trips, helping to bring access to technology to underserved students in Mexico, Nicaragua, Trinidad, South Africa and Puerto Rico. Traveling tech teams establish computer labs and teach the skills needed to use and maintain these vital tools. 

Ballew, captain of the SJA Robotics Team, discussed how her experiences have empowered her with skills and knowledge that have enhanced her high school experience and will open doors to the future. 

Luikart and Thompson have been invited to sit on a council subcommittee to help develop goals and processes for Louisiana high schools. 

The next meeting of the LaSTEM Advisory Council is scheduled for November 28. 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Linda Thompson

Volleyball Team Honored Before Geaux Pink Match

The St. Joseph’s Academy volleyball team swept district foe Zachary High School 25-11, 25-13, 25-17 to win the ninth annual Geaux Pink match. The competition was held October 17 in the Activity Center.
 

Geaux Pink benefits Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. Nearly $5,000 was raised in support of breast cancer research and to increase awareness of the disease. During the week leading up to the match, funds were raised through the sale of pink t-shirts, baked goods and raffle items.

With the win, SJA improved to 22-9 on the season (7-0 in district play). 

“SJA and Zachary High School have united in friendly competition the past few years to support a worthy cause that has touched many lives,” Athletic Director Dorinda Beaumont said. “A great thanks to the coaches, players, student bodies, faculties and communities of both schools for their loud, energetic support of the event. The Geaux Pink volleyball match is an ongoing successful athletic experience that sends a powerful message to all about awareness of this disease and the need to support the research to find a cure.”

Prior to the match, the varsity squad was honored as the Division I winner of the Capital City Board of Volleyball Officials (CCBVO) Sportsmanship Award. The award was created by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association in 2014 to recognize those who go “beyond the game” to empower others through exemplary sportsmanship both on and off the court.

The team was honored for playing by the rules, respecting the rules of the game and being courteous to teammates, officials and opponents. The award also honors the exemplary attitude of the team’s coaches, managers, cheerleaders, parents and fans, as well as the school’s administrators and faculty/staff, at all home and away matches during the season.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the CCBVO as the Division I winner of the Sportsmanship Award,” head coach Sivi Miller said. “I am so proud of our players and everyone involved with the volleyball program for displaying sportsmanship in everything that we do.”

Senior Tess Hiller agreed. “It means a lot knowing our team loves playing the game and playing together as a team whether we win or lose,” she said.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Jay Landry
 

Seniors Enjoy Retreat Experience

The members of the St. Joseph’s Academy class of 2018 spent October 12 and 13 at the Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center in Forest Hill for their senior retreat. The theme of the two-day gathering was Called Me Higher.

The retreat was organized by Campus Minister Mandy Tumminello and included prayer; icebreaker activities; journaling; reflection; small group conversations and sharing; scripture readings; and special talks by faculty and staff. Over the course of two days, the seniors explored the topics of Who Am I?, Whose Am I? and Who Am I Called To Be?
 
 


“Senior Retreat was an amazing experience,” Tumminello said. “The senior class was able to take time away from their busy schedules for spiritual rejuvenation and class bonding. They walked away with a greater appreciation for their Sticker sisters.” 

Megan Rollins said the retreat’s theme spoke to her. “It reminded us that we are in high school, and this isn’t our last stop,” she said. “We are being called higher to college and then to a job. I learned that I am not alone and that teachers do go through tough experiences and they are understanding. I learned that my classmates are very open and forgiving, and they accept everyone. Just step out of your comfort zone and talk to new people, and you will experience a new St. Joseph’s Academy. This trip was by far my most favorite thing I have ever done. A tip to the grades to come: Don’t take a single day in high school for granted. These years fly by.”

Madeline Ortego said her class retreat was a meaningful experience. “My favorite activity was Thursday night when we went around and gave out paper hearts to different friends and classmates,” she said. “It was really touching to see everyone going around hugging their friends and showing love to their classmates.” 

Faculty, staff and friends who helped facilitate the retreat were Mary Kay Alford, Hugo Andricain, Stacia Andricain, Jo Barrios, Stephen Barrios, Kristine Davis, Sarah Davis, Aubrey Dejohn, Ashley Dow, Michelle Dow, Cindy Downs, Liz Fontenot, Linda Harvison, Alexandra Hedrick, Pat Hoffman, Amy House, Anne Jeanmard, Sheri Klemm, Brenda LeBlanc, Alan Lecoq, Shannon Lemoine, Sister Joan Manuel, Dana Murray, Lily McGill, Cord McKeithen, Julie Merrick, Lauren Morris, Shelly O’Dowd, Stacy Rennhoff, John Richardson, Jade Spears, Rebecca Stagg, deLynn Stelly, MJ Supan, Patricia Talbot and Zach Thriffiley.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Kristine Davis, Meredith Giles, Alexa Gutowski, Madeline Ortego and Emily Sagnibene

Seniors Celebrate Service Day

Prior to embarking on their class retreat, St. Joseph’s Academy seniors participated in Senior Service Day on October 11. Each year, the senior class comes together in conjunction with their retreat to “serve the dear neighbor” as a class. 
 
 


Among the community organizations benefiting from the seniors’ efforts were the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, The Boys and Girls Club of Baton Rouge, Cancer Services, St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room, St. Agnes Soup Kitchen, Capital Area Recycling Center, Volunteers in Public Schools, Cristo Rey High School, Connections for Life Thrift Store, Ollie Steele Burden Senior Citizens Center, St. James Place, Catholic Charities, Sunrise Nursing Home and Williamsburg Senior Residence.

New this year was Concert and Cookies with the Sisters of St. Joseph at their Hundred Oaks retirement residence. Choral students baked cookies and performed secular and religious songs, then stayed after the concert to visit at the residence.

Infiniti Rogers spent her service day at Cristo Rey. “Being there made me humble myself a lot,” she said. “I saw how people who have less than I do are happy with the things that they have. I saw how each grade level was valued and looked out for one other as a family. Volunteering at Cristo Rey opened my eyes and showed me that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Their school flooded a year ago during the Great Flood, but even that didn’t stop them from coming to school and enjoying being with each other and their teachers, as well as the love for learning that was obvious.” 

Megan Rollins spent the day at Sunrise Nursing Home. “We made marble coasters out of clay,” she said. “It was quite messy, but it was so much fun. I enjoyed spending time with the girls I go to school with and the people who joined us for the activity. In the middle of us baking the clay, we set off the fire alarm, which everyone there thought was funny. I think it is very important to serve the dear neighbor because you get involved in your community and have a great time getting involved. You also feel joy in being involved.” 

Raquel Hodgeson visited St. James Place, an assisted living center. “I sat with a woman named Mrs. Donna, and we painted together for about an hour and a half,” she said. “She told me about how she used to teach dance lessons and how she met her husband, who was in the military. I learned about how she and her husband lived in a small, shabby apartment in Iceland for a little while and how she ended up in Baton Rouge. Mrs. Donna also told me about how her health challenges, and it was obvious that she was a walking miracle. Mrs. Donna’s birthday had been the day before, and she told me how she danced all night. 

“Volunteering at St. James Place helped me realize how much I love connecting with other people and helping to bring a smile to their face,” Hodgeson added. “It’s lovely to know that just spending an hour or two with someone could have such an impact on their outlook, and I learned that volunteering at places like St. James Place might be something I’d like to continue to do. I hope I made a difference in Mrs. Donna’s life because she definitely made a difference in mine.”

Madeline Ortego spent the day at the Williamsburg Senior Residence. “My favorite part of the day was meeting a woman named Mrs. Jackie,” she said. “She and I went outside and fed the birds and the squirrels. She does this every day, and it was nice to see how happy she was from just being able to go outside to do something as simple as feeding the birds. I think it is important to serve the dear neighbor in the Baton Rouge community because it means so much to people when we take the time to just be with them. The elderly people at Williamsburg were so thankful that we came to be with them for a few hours, and such a simple task made their days so much better.”
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Sarah Audiffred, Audrey Barton, Meredith Giles, Emily Nelson, Ann Nguyen, Madeline Ortego, Allie Peever, Emily Sagnibene, Emily Shore and Raven Stagg

SJA Welcomes Grandparents to Campus

St. Joseph’s Academy welcomed grandparents of freshmen to campus on October 13 for the school’s annual celebration of Grandparents Day. Grandparents met their granddaughters in the Activity Center for lunch and family photographs, then toured campus.
 
 
 
Faculty member Nan Murtagh served as emcee and welcomed the visitors to all three lunch hours. “The Academy class of 2021 is 284 members strong, and we look forward to watching them grow in the mission and charism of SJA and the Sisters of St. Joseph as they become young women for others,” Murtagh said. 

SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen ’69 led the large crowds in prayer and thanked the grandparents for entrusting their granddaughters to SJA. “This year marks the 149th anniversary of our founding in 1868 by the Sisters of St. Joseph,” she said. “Our charism theme for the 2017-2018 academic year is Relationships: Sacred Threads that Connect. We are excited your granddaughters are enjoying the opportunity to become part of the beautiful tapestry that is St. Joseph’s Academy.”

Gracie Jones enjoyed welcoming her grandparents, Peter and Carole (Termini) Mansur, to campus. Carole is a 1964 Academy graduate. “I enjoyed being able to catch up with them at lunch,” Jones said. “They enjoyed catching up with me and seeing me at school. I think Grandparents Day is an important tradition because we get to show our grandparents what we do all day and where we do it.”

Sydnee McDaniel was joined by her grandmother, Anita Ragusa Hebert, SJA class of 1957. “I enjoyed getting to eat and hang out with my grandma and showing her the new technology,” McDaniel said. “She loves it. She really liked the Academy Arts Center. She sung while at SJA, so she felt at home again. Grandparents Day is special because we get to show our grandparents the amazing school that we are so blessed to have.”  

Emma Madere enjoyed spending time with her grandmother, Cindy Madere. “I enjoyed letting my grandma see my school and where I go every day, and she got to meet some of my new friends,” Madere said. “My grandma enjoyed getting to see my school, and it was special to me to show her what I do every day.”

Grandparents Day is sponsored by the SJA Mission Advancement Office and coordinated by Alumnae Director Katie Jeter ’04. 

The SJA Dads’ Club prepared lunch. Mothers’ and Dads’ Club members assisted with the meal. The mothers also provided desserts.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Erin Albarado
 

Volleyball Team Wins Match, Honors Seniors

The St. Joseph’s Academy volleyball team defeated Baton Rouge High 25-19, 25-10, 25-15 on October 10 to improve to 18-8 on the year, including 5-0 in district play. 

Prior to the start of the home match, the team’s seven seniors were introduced along with their parents. They were presented with gifts from their teammates and flowers from the coaching staff. This year’s seniors are Abigail Haynes, Erin Landry, Fran Okpalobi, Leila Purnell, Liz McCormick, Madison Carmena and Tess Hiller. 
 


“Watching my senior players walk across the gym on their senior night made me such a proud coach,” Sivi Miller said. “It has been a true honor to coach each one of them. The commitment and dedication they have given to their team, coaches and school are tremendous. It saddens me knowing that their four years of volleyball are coming to an end, but our season is far from over. These seniors, along with their teammates, want to accomplish so much more this season.” 

Haynes is the daughter of Renee and Greg Haynes. She is a three-year letter winner. Landry is the daughter of Monique and Jay Landry and is a three-year letter winner. 

Okpalobi is the daughter of Tonia and Chuka Okpalobi and a three-year letter winner. She was named to the 2015 All-District Team and 2015 All-Metro honorable mention. Purnell is the daughter of Jennifer and Lance Purnell. 

McCormick is the daughter of Lorraine and Scott McCormick and a two-year letter winner. Carmena is the daughter of Brenda Lefebure and Ronnie Rantz. She has one varsity letter. Hiller is the daughter of Patti and Michael Hiller and a three-year letter winner.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Jay Landry

Swim Team Wins Meet

The St. Joseph’s Academy swim team competed in the third and final Capital City Swim League meet of the 2017 season, rolling up 570.5 points on its way to a first-place finish. The meet was held October 7 at Crawfish Aquatics. 
 
 


Rounding out the field were Lutcher High School (437.5), Zachary High School (329) and Woodlawn (11). 

“It was a great last regular season meet,” coach Rebecca Gilbert said. “However, the season is far from being over. This is the part of the season where it’s easy to give up. True toughness and strength need to come into play, and I have no doubt that this team will give nothing less. Next stop on our journey is the City Meet Championship on October 28 and 29.”
 


Scoring points towards the team’s total were the following: 

50-yard freestyle: Amanda Andrews, 1st place, 26.56; Abigail Cazes, 2nd place (tie), 27.41; Claire Bass, 4th place, 27.78; Kirby Black, 5th place, 27.92

100-yard freestyle: Amanda Andrews, 1st place, 57.33; Claire Bass, 2nd place, 59.90; Annie Smith, 3rd place, 1:01.28; Jenay Hansen, 5th place, 1:04.04

200-yard freestyle: Annie Smith, 2nd place, 2:11.18; Victoria Godso, 3rd place, 2:14.16; Gabbie Taylor, 4th place, 2:16.62; Addie LeDoux, 10th place, 2:42.94

500-yard freestyle: Madeline Lemoine, 1st place, 5:39.87; Alyssa D’Agostino, 2nd place, 6:49.25; 

100-yard backstroke: Kirby Black, 1st place, 1:01.40; Victoria Godso, 2nd place, 1:09.04; Cameron Accardo, 3rd place, 1:09.52; Gabrielle Joffrion, 4th place, 1:11.10

100-yard breaststroke: Kate Russell, 4th place, 1:21.36; Ava Grace Moreau, 8th place, 1:27.43

100-yard butterfly: Madeline Lemoine, 1st place, 1:03.34; Isabel Webre, 2nd place, 1:03.76; Abigail Cazes, 4th place, 1:07.32; Madi Ogra, 5th place, 1:09.51

200-yard IM: Isabel Webre, 1st place, 2:25.33; Cameron Accardo, 2nd place, 2:31.49; Gabrielle Joffrion, 4th place, 2:35.18; Kate Russell, 5th place, 2:37.19

200-yard freestyle relay: Madeline Lemoine, Victoria Godso, Jenay Hansen and Claire Bass, 1st place, 1:50.96

400-yard freestyle relay: Amanda Andrews, Abigail Cazes, Madeline Lemoine and Kirby Black, 1st place, 3:58.14

200-yard medley relay: Kirby Black, Isabel Webre, Amanda Andrews and Abigail Cazes, 1st place, 1:59.42
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Jeanne Boudreaux and Anna Enright Stuckey

Cross Country Team Wins CHS Invitational

The St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team won the 42nd annual Catholic High School Cross Country Invitational, overcoming the field as well as challenges presented by a lightning delay and wet course, all thanks to the approach of Hurricane Nate. SJA scored 41 points to finish first out of 23 teams and 177 total finishers. The meet was held October 7 at Highland Road Park. 
 

Rounding out the top three were Mandeville (62 points) and St. Michael (126 points). 

SJA’s top seven varsity finishers were junior Lauren Hendry, 2nd, 18:30; sophomore Virginia Dirks, 5th, 18:43 (personal record); sophomore Isabelle Brown, 7th, 18:55; freshman Sophie Martin, 15th, 19:22 (personal record); senior Jennifer Bennett, 18th, 19:30; freshman Kate Ritchie, 19th, 19:33 (personal record); and freshman Jane Laville, 22nd, 19:44 (personal record).

Hendry said this race was different than any the team had run this season. “Running in the rain has different effects on everyone,” she said. “Our team was able to come out with a win under adverse conditions, which shows how strong we are. I am so excited to see where we are in a month preparing for state, and I expect that we will continue winning and carry on these habits for the rest of the season.”

Brown was excited by the team’s effort. “Saturday was another amazing win for us,” she said. “We competed to the best of our abilities, and it paid off. The whole team is working extremely hard to keep winning and improving. I am so proud of everyone and excited for the meets to come.” 

Dirks said the team’s mental toughness was on display as the runners stayed focused despite the weather. “It was rainy and gloomy, but that didn’t stop us from having an awesome race,” she said. “We got delayed a few times, but we stayed positive and hopeful. The drizzle of rain throughout the race kept us cool and encouraged personal records and season bests. The whole team did really well, and we continued to dominate the race with another win. With state a little more than a month away, we are continuing to train hard and prepare for anything that comes our way.”

The team has an open date this weekend, then heads to the Baton Rouge Metro Championship on October 21 at Highland Road Park. The varsity race begins at 8:20 a.m.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo courtesy of Mark LaHaye

Seniors Present Community Garden Research

A group of St. Joseph’s Academy seniors in Sister Joan Manuel’s Theology and Film class worked in the Innovation and Design Lab to devise a creative solution to the real-world problem of hunger. 

After watching the documentary A Place at the Table, the seniors researched the correlation between poverty and food insecurity. They learned that to stretch their food budgets, families often rely on starchy or processed foods like potatoes, pasta and bread. Fresh fruits and vegetables are costly and spoil quickly.

The group explored creating and funding community gardens to be maintained by families in low-income neighborhoods. The students researched food stamp allowances for various family sizes and considered suitable mentors for school children and their families who want to build, plant, maintain and harvest the garden. They also researched adding educational components to the project, including nutrition and cooking classes.
 

The seniors planted a garden in a wagon, then presented their research to their classmates as if they were addressing middle school students. “By conducting this project through Innovation and Design, the students prepared a hands-on, interactive, educational and instructive presentation as opposed to a strictly informative presentation using a prezi or other media format,” Sister Joan said. 

Senior Kennedy Walker said her group was alarmed by the number of people who struggle to afford food every week. “Sister Joan asked us what we could do in communities where hunger is common to make a change,” she said. “We learned that when people are shopping just to feed their families, they’re looking for more quantity than quality. Our red wagon garden gave the class a physical representation of the blueprint we created. I love the fact that no matter where we would be implementing our gardens, they would be helping communities at little to no cost.” 
 


Senior Emmalie Callegan said that a community garden would be fun as well as educational to middle school students. “I really enjoyed this project because it not only would be helping the students learn to eat better and how to garden, but it would also have a huge impact on their health,” she said. “Our whole class loved the red wagon garden and were extremely involved when planting their own tiny gardens. It was amazing to see how much joy it brought 17 and 18 year olds, so I can only imagine how much little kids would enjoy this project.”

Senior Rebecca Wannamaker said empowering young students to plant community gardens would have far-reaching implications. “Although kids love junk food, kids who cannot get many fruits and vegetables love them, too,” she said. “I enjoyed watching how happy the garden made our own students when they each got to take a plant to take care of. Working with my group members and really doing this for a real-world issue made it meaningful.” 

Senior Natalie Marionneaux the key to the garden’s success is its low-cost and renewable startup. “With virtually no cost, we believe this garden could actually be put in place to provide people living in poverty with fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables every season,” she said. “This project was very enjoyable for all of us, especially learning about and discussing the variety of ways we, as high schoolers, could make a difference in our community. We see poverty every day, but it was meaningful to finally consider a way to combat it.” 

Senior Madeline Thomas said the project provided her group with valuable, real-world lessons. “We learned that food stamps don’t offer enough money for families to eat satisfactorily and that poverty and obesity are directly correlated because junk food is less expensive,” she said. “A community garden would directly address the issue of poverty by making healthy food available in an efficient and fun way. To me, this project is meaningful because it’s something that’s actually feasible. It wouldn’t be too hard to set up gardens near schools and poor communities. In addition, it was very fun to create the garden; I believe that children and volunteers would have a lot of fun setting up their own gardens.” 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Sister Joan Manuel

SJA Appoints Interim Dean of Women

Aubrey Cucullu DeJohn, a member of the St. Joseph’s Academy faculty for 12 years, will serve as the school’s interim dean of women for the remainder of the 2017-2018 academic year. DeJohn replaces Stacia Andricain, who was named the school’s principal on September 25.

A member of the administrative team, the dean of women is responsible for discipline and activities. She administers the school’s discipline system in a fair and caring manner; is in charge of the co-curricular activities program of the school; and is responsible for the organization, vitality and management of student activities to provide opportunities for personal growth, peer interaction and acceptance.

Andricain called DeJohn the consummate professional who truly understands the mission of SJA and the vision of the Sisters of St. Joseph. “As a long-time member of the Academy faculty, Aubrey embodies our ideals of sanctity, joy and action,” Andricain said. “I look forward to having her as a member of our leadership team as we move into a new chapter at SJA.” 

DeJohn is currently the chair of the Academy’s math department and teaches calculus. She has served as the senior class moderator for the past nine years, overseeing the Big Sis/Little Sis program and helping to coordinate Honors Convocation and Graduation. She is the director of the Computer Orientation sessions in which incoming freshmen participate prior to the start of the school year. She also works with the school’s registrar. 

She is SJA’s District Rally coordinator and has served as a mentor to new faculty members. She interned with the school’s administrative team for a number of years.

“During my time at SJA, I have developed a great love for the Academy and for the young women we educate,” DeJohn said. “I look forward to working with the faculty, students and parents in fulfilling the mission of the school and sharing the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph.” 

DeJohn earned a bachelor of science in mathematics and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Louisiana State University. She said she looks forward to her new responsibilities as a member of SJA’s administration. 

“I am excited to serve our students in a different capacity,” DeJohn said. “I’m looking forward to building on the foundation I developed in the classroom and through the co-curricular activities I have been part of during my career. I am also looking forward to working with Stacia Andricain. She has been a wonderful mentor to me, and I know that she will be an invaluable resource as I embrace my new role.”
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Swimmers Win Meet

The six-time defending state champion St. Joseph’s Academy swim team competed in the second Capital City Swim League meet of the 2017 season, rolling up 562 points against a field that included eight teams. The meet was held September 30 at Crawfish Aquatics. 
 
 


Rounding out the top five were Baton Rouge Magnet High (441), Lee Magnet High (146), Brusly High (111) and Denham Springs High (66).

“I am very proud of how the girls performed,” said head coach Becca Barber Gilbert. “We had many girls drop time in their events. They have been working extremely hard, and it’s nice to see it paying off. There is still much more training to do, but I know this team is ready to work.” 

Scoring points towards the team’s total were the following: 

50-yard freestyle: Abigail Cazes, 1st place, 27.18; Claire Bass, 2nd place, 27.65; Jenay Hansen, 5th place, 28.39; Alyssa D’Agostino, 6th place, 28.61

100-yard freestyle: Abigail Cazes, 3rd place, 1:00.54; Claire Bass, 5th place, 1:00.72; Jenay Hansen, 9th place, 1:05.31; Amy Brouillette, 10th place, 1:05.81

200-yard freestyle: Amanda Andrews, 1st place, 2:03.77; Madeline Lemoine, 2nd place, 2:07.72; Annie Smith, 3rd place, 2:13.03; Victoria Godso, 4th place, 2:13.24

500-yard freestyle: Kirby Black, 1st place, 5:36.79; Madeline Lemoine, 2nd place, 5:41.96; Victoria Godso, 3rd place, 6:00.73

100-yard backstroke: Kirby Black, 1st place, 1:04.50; Cameron Accardo, 3rd place, 1:09.28; Gabbie Taylor, 6th place, 1:13.07; Madi Ogra, 7th place, 1:13.11

100-yard breaststroke: Isabel Webre, 2nd place, 1:18.62; Kate Russell, 3rd place, 1:20.88; Ava Grace Moreau, 4th place, 1:28.85; Madison Moreau, 8th place, 1:35.12

100-yard butterfly: Amanda Andrews, 1st place, 1:01.82; Isabel Webre, 2nd place, 1:04.08; Cecilia Castro, 5th place, 1:28.60

200-yard IM: Cameron Accardo, 3rd place, 2:30.92; Kate Russell, 6th place, 2:35.23; Madi Ogra, 8th place, 2:41.15

200-yard freestyle relay: Claire Bass, Jenay Hansen, Victoria Godso and Annie Smith, 1st place, 1:51.21

400-yard freestyle relay: Amanda Andrews, Madeline Lemoine, Abigail Cazes and Kirby Black, 1st place, 3:57.86

200-yard medley relay: Kirby Black, Isabel Webre, Madeline Lemoine and Abigail Cazes, 1st place, 1:59.95
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Jeanne Boudreaux, Sidney Joffrion, Myra Russell, Gabrielle Taylor and Emma Welch

Sticker Stampede Enjoys Great Success

The seventh annual Sticker Stampede 5K and Fun Runs, hosted by the St. Joseph’s Academy Alumnae Association on October 1, was a great success. Some 400 runners participated in the race, presented by Varsity Sports. 
 


SJA Alumnae Director Katie Jeter said this year’s Sticker Stampede enjoyed tremendous support. “The race drew right at 400 runners ranging in age 3 to 83,” she said. “In addition, we couldn’t have asked for better weather.” 

In six years, the event has raised more than $50,000 to benefit the SJA Alumnae Scholarship. This year, the race supports the construction of the Academy Student Center, set to open in late spring 2018. 

The morning began with mass in the Chapel at SJA. Father Paul Gros was the celebrant. Runners and visitors enjoyed a Marketplace throughout the morning, featuring more than two dozen local vendors. Marketplace presenting sponsor was the Baton Rouge General. There was also a special kids’ area with crafts and game. 

To see race results, click here.

Timing sponsor for this year’s run was MAPP. 

Gold-level sponsors were Baton Rouge Digital Products; The Celtic Group; Ryson Roofing; and Baton Rouge General Physicians - Bella Family Medical.

Red-level sponsors were State Farm – Reiter Marshall; Cajun Industries; Provost, Salter, Harper & Alford, LLC; and Wardlaw & Lasseigne, LLC. 

White-level sponsors were Dr. Stephen Sanches – Baton Rouge Clinic Pediatrics; Mary Sue Stages, CPA; PAX, LLC; KB Cook Weddings; McCormick & McCormick; Kleinpeter Photography; Soiree; Assurance Financial – Jana Waguespack Didia, Class of 2007; and Juice Plus+ – Rebecca Stewart Arceneaux, Class of 1983. 

Dr. Steven H. Brooksher, DDS, also contributed. 

Race co-chairs were Karen Edward Styron ’01 and Emily Shedloff Richard ’01. They were joined on the planning committee by Hannah Shedlof ’09, Jessica Henchy ’95, Kate Butler Cook ’01, Chip Magee, Kathryn Johnson Sanches ’01, Lurline Hamilton ’64, Megan Balhoff ’01, Melissa Silva ’99, Monica Valenciano Rogers ’01, Nan Murtagh and Patricia Duvic ’99.

Also helping to make the day a success were the SJA Mothers’ Club, SJA Alumnae Association, current SJA students and volunteers from the SJA community. 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Cross Country Team Wins SJA Meet

The St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team continued its winning ways, capturing the 35th annual SJA Cross Country Invitational, held September 30 at Highland Road Park. The meet featured 24 complete teams and 202 finishers. 
 


SJA’s varsity team, undefeated on the 2017 season, scored 61 points to finish ahead of Mandeville and Menard, which tied with 90 points.

Junior Lauren Hendry won her fifth consecutive race and set a school record (17:54) en route to victory. 

“I was super excited and proud of my individual performance,” Hendry said. “My goal for this meet was to break 18:00 and break the school record, and I did both. There was tougher competition in this race compared to others, but I definitely feel that the competition pushed me to run much faster than I would have.”

SJA’s remaining top varsity finishers were sophomore Isabelle Brown, 8th place, 18:47; senior Jennifer Bennett, 13th place, 19:10 (season best); sophomore Virginia Dirks, 16th place, 19:21; freshman Sophie Martin, 23rd place, 19:37 (personal record); sophomore Lucy Laville, 37th place, 20:15; and junior Taylor Winters, 45th place, 20:25.

“Today was a great day,” said head coach Mark LaHaye. “The girls ran a very smart, tough race. As is typical for us, we were behind both Mandeville and Menard in mile one. But instead of waiting until mile three, our girls really picked it up in mile two to take the lead. The individual battle between Lauren and the runner from Lafayette was awesome to watch. It was back and forth in mile three, but with a little over 200 to go, Lauren took the lead for good and ran a school record sub-18 for the win.”

SJA’s top JV finishers, all of whom ran personal-record or season-best races, were freshman Kate Ritchie, 19:49 (personal record); freshman Jane Laville, 20:03 (personal record); freshman Anna Camille Eagleton, 20:12 (personal record); sophomore Lark Smith, 20:14 (season best); and junior Leanne Livingston, 20:30 (season best).

Brown said the victory was special for the entire team. “It was the St. Joseph’s meet, and we got the chance to show everyone what SJA cross country is about,” she said. “There was a lot of competition from other schools, which pushed me to pass people and work hard. I am very proud of everyone’s placement and times, and I have faith that we will keep our team undefeated.” 

LaHaye thanked the many volunteers who helped make the SJA Invitational a success again this year. “They were incredible,” he said. “All of our SJA parents, plus Coach Charlie Daigle, Coach Liz Fontenot, Coach Mackenzie Bowman and Coach Dorinda Beaumont, did a tremendous job working the meet. The SJA Dads’ Club was outstanding in assisting the hundreds of families from all over the state who showed up. We had well over 1,500 runners with their parents and coaches from 70-plus high schools and 40-plus middle schools that we hosted.” 

Next up for the Redstickers is the CHS Invitational on October 7 at Highland Road Park. The varsity division starts at 9:30 a.m., followed by the JV race at 10:30 a.m.
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Tina LaHaye

SJA Celebrates Charism Mass

St. Joseph’s Academy gathered as a community on September 29 to celebrate mass. The Eucharistic celebration focused on this year’s charism theme, Relationships: Sacred Threads that Connect. Father Jason Palermo, pastor of St. Joseph Church in French Settlement and St. Stephen the Martyr Church in Maurepas, was the presider.
 


Senior Emily Shore welcomed the large crowd, including nearly two dozen Sisters of St. Joseph, to the Assembly Center. “We gather to remember that each one of us is an important part of the body of Christ,” she said. “Together we are stronger, more capable, more creative and more inspiring than we can ever be on our own.” 

Senior McKenzie Knight read from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians. Sophomores Faith Woods and Tiffany Tran offered the prayers of the faithful.

In his homily, Father Jason reflected on the importance of relationships in our lives. He said that one of the greatest ways to be in community with one another is to share a meal. “When we look at our relationships, we should ask ourselves when was the last time we were 100 percent present to another person over a shared meal,” he said.

Father Jason said one of the greatest ways to show our love to another person is to prepare a meal for them. “You’ve seen your mother or your grandmother cook a meal for you,” he said. “She is the last one to sit and the last one to eat. She wants to be sure everyone else is fed first. That is a sacrifice of her time and shows her love for you.”

Aimee Cronan directed the Liturgy Choir. Junior Allie Thibodeaux served as cantor. Musical accompanists were senior Gabbie Taylor, piano; Stephen Barrios, percussion; and sophomore Danielle McLin, guitar.

Following mass, Principal Stacia Andricain thanked those who planned the liturgy and especially welcomed the Sisters of St. Joseph in attendance. She also introduced past winners of the SJA Charism Award, given each year by the SJA administration to a faculty or staff member who rolls up his or her shirtsleeves and responds to the needs of the dear neighbor. Past winners are Stacy Rennhoff, Sister Adele Lambert, Lena McGee, John Richardson, Mary Pat Broussard, Erin McLean, Liz Fontenot, Aimee Cronan, Dede LeBlanc, Ileana Alonzo, Glynis Davis and Stephanie Potter.
 
Andricain, finishing her first week as SJA’s new principal, also thanked her personal mentors, former Principal Linda Fryoux Harvison, Associate Principal Jacqueline Labat, former Registrar Kathy Meares and former President Sister Adele Lambert.

Students who have participated in the last two Community Builders for Peace conferences spoke about their experiences. Participants in the conference, which is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph, develop an original service project to be carried out in their communities. 

Senior Claire Doucet and junior Maggie Blouin spoke about this year’s project, inspired by Sister Pat Bergen, one of the leaders of Community Builders for Peace. The project centers around the TraffickCam app, designed to help law enforcement investigators identify hotels where human trafficking may occur.

Senior Varland Owens closed the assembly with the singing of the Alma Mater.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine
 

SJA Celebrates Senior Grandparents Week

St. Joseph’s Academy hosted Senior Grandparents Week September 18-22. Grandparents of seniors joined their granddaughters on a designated day for lunch in the Mother Alice Hall Community Room, then enjoyed tours of campus.

Senior Grandparents Week is sponsored each year by the SJA Mission Advancement Office. Grandparents Day for freshmen will be celebrated on October 13.

“This year’s Senior Grandparents Week was a huge success,” said Assistant Mission Advancement Director Katie Jeter. “So many grandparents traveled from near and far to spend the lunch hour with their granddaughters. For many, this is the last time to enjoy an event such as this before the girls head off to college. It is so special to watch.”

Helping to make the week special were members of the SJA Mothers’ Club, Alumnae Association and the Mission Advancement Team, including Temple Besson, Lisa Daigle, Monte Brown, Susie Heroman ’61, Mary Anne Hynes Frenzel ’61, Lurline Hamilton ’64, Wendy LeBlanc, Wendy Lutgring ’84, Gina Contini, Edy Koonce, Nancy Barber Falgout ’83, T-Lou DuVernay Babin ’96, Debbie Thomas, Sarah Jeannsone Wampler ’04, Meg Gerald, Megan St. Germain ’11, Sister Joan LaPlace, Wendy Coniglio, Donna Blanc and Nan Murtagh.

For the full gallery of photographs from Senior Grandparents Week, we invite you to visit the SJA Smugmug account here
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine and Erin Albarado

Cross Country Team Wins Two Meets

The St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team competed in two meets on September 23, winning both races. 
 

Nine upperclasswomen traveled to Plain Dealing to compete in the Airline Viking Cross Country Festival at the Oakland Plantation Golf Course. The meet was hosted by Airline High School of Shreveport.

The balance of the team, primarily freshmen, competed in the Abbeville On The Prowl Meet at the QSA Sports Complex in Erath. The meet was hosted by Abbeville High School.

In Plain Dealing, the Redstickers scored 17 points in the five-kilometer race which featured 11 complete teams and 90 finishers. Rounding out the top three were Byrd High School (99) and Ruston High School (102). 

For the fourth time in four starts, junior Lauren Hendry finished first. This week’s time was 20:13. Other finishers were sophomore Virginia Dirks, 2nd, 20:51; sophomore Isabelle Brown, 3rd, 20:55; senior Jennifer Bennett, 5th, 21:15; junior Leanne Livingston, 6th, 21:55; junior Taylor Winters, 7th, 22:14; and sophomore Lucy Laville, 8th, 22:25.

“This was a great day for SJA cross country,” said head coach Mark LaHaye. “We traveled to the backwoods of north Louisiana to compete in a smaller size meet on an unknown course against unknown competition. We may have been unknown to the competition before the race started, but at the end of the race, everyone knew who we were. I guess finishing 1-2-3-5-6-7-8-9-13 kind of makes a statement.”

Hendry said she enjoyed the course, even though it was a challenge. “It was fun getting to do something different and running a 5k,” she said. “Everyone at the meet who didn’t know who we were was shocked at how well we did. It was awesome to win by so much on a new course in a new place and really make ourselves known. The team performed well, and we all placed very high.”

Livingston said she was proud of the runners’ efforts. “I think that everyone did a great job and did their very best,” she said. “It was such a great feeling to see SJA finish so well as a team. Our season has been very successful so far, thanks to all of the hard work that everyone has been putting in. I am excited to see what is in store for our team in the future.”

In Erath, the runners finished first out of four complete teams and 50 finishers. The team scored 23 points in the three-mile race, followed by Catholic High of New Iberia (56) and St. Thomas More High School (61). 

The top varsity finishers were freshman Kate Ritchie, 2nd, 20:16 (personal record); freshman Jane Laville, 4th, 20:21; freshman Anna Camille Eagleton, 6th, 20:49; junior Angelle Martin, 7th, 20:54; freshman Macy Howard, 10th, 21:04; and junior Ava Falcon, 11th, 21:20.

“Our team was outstanding,” Ritchie said. “Everyone on the team ran very smart races, worked together and pushed each other to a win. I am so happy to be a part of an amazing team, and I am so excited to see what the rest of this season brings us.” 

Assistant Coach Charlie Daigle said the meet was a success. “Our girls competed very hard and thus ran really well,” he said. “We pretty much dominated the varsity and JV races. What a great Saturday for SJA cross country, as we were spread out as about as far as you can be in the state, all the way from Shreveport in the northwest corner to Erath on coast of Vermilion Bay.” 

Assistant Coach Kate Cook agreed. “We had a blast at the Abbeville On The Prowl Meet,” she said. “It was great to run on a different course and against teams that we don’t often compete against. The hosts were so kind, and the course was fun. The girls ran smart races and represented SJA well in both the varsity and JV races.”

Eagleton said the course proved to be challenging. “It was a bit difficult to keep our footing at some spots; however, we still secured the win,” she said. “We also went out a bit fast in our first mile, which made the next two miles tough, but we just held on and did our best to keep up the fast pace. Overall I feel like the meet was a total success. My favorite part of the course was jumping over a hay bale in the first mile. I’d never jumped a hay bale in a race before, so it was very exciting.”
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Tina LaHaye and Kate Cook

Mu Alpha Theta Competes in St. Paul Tournament

The St. Joseph’s Academy Mu Alpha Theta Club competed in the St. Paul Math Tournament on September 16. The tournament was held in Covington. 
 


Results are as follows:

Division II Algebra I Individual Test: Isabella Gautreaux, Honorable Mention
Division II Algebra II Individual Test: Shreya Reshamwala, 1st place; Annabella Broussard, honorable mention; Parker Wilson, honorable mention; Kayleigh Mims, honorable mention
Division II Advanced Math Individual Test: Emrey Broyles, 2nd place; Bella Canova, honorable mention
Division II Trigonometry Individual Test: Rachel Coates, 3rd place
Division II Comp 2 Algebra II and Geometry: Shreya Reshamwala, Anna Leyrer and Kayleigh Mims, 1st place 
Division II Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry Ciphering: Clare Barfield, Emrey Broyles, Rachel Coates and Lauren Chauvin, 1st place 
Division II Interschool Test: SJA, 3rd place
Mu Alpha Theta President Clare Barfield expressed her pride in the competitors’ efforts. “We took an intelligent group of girls and placed very well,” she said. “Since we were tested on last year’s material, the tournament was more difficult than usual. The tournament was good practice for future tournaments and convention, and it created new friendships among SJA students and even with others from different schools. The tournament was a success and an exciting, hopeful way to start off the year.”
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos courtesy of Madeline Ortego

SJA Hosts Candlelight Ceremony

St. Joseph’s Academy seniors, freshmen and their families gathered in the orchard and on the Batchelor Terrace on September 25 to celebrate the traditional Candlelight Ceremony. Part of SJA’s Big Sis/Little Sis program, the evening ceremony symbolizes the passing of Academy traditions from senior big sisters to their freshmen little sisters.
 


Principal Stacia Andricain welcomed the large gathering, calling the ceremony one of the Academy’s most treasured traditions. “The Candlelight Ceremony enables us to celebrate the relationship between the freshman and senior classes,” Andricain said. “As freshmen little sisters become new members of the SJA community, senior big sisters are given the responsibility of serving as leaders and mentors. This ceremony marks the beginning of new-found relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Senior Camille Fruge said the ceremony serves to remind members of the Academy community of their loyalty to the values of sanctity, joy and action. “As the Academy celebrates 149 years of excellence this year, we know we are part of a rich and storied history,” she said. “We have found mention of the Big Sis/Lil Sis program dating back to 1910. We are humbled and excited to be part of a tradition that stretches back more than a century.”

SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen said the ceremony enables the senior class to join the SJA tradition of passing “the light” to the Academy freshman class. She commended the freshmen for quickly embracing SJA’s traditions and reminded the seniors of their important responsibility to help their little sisters grow in the mission of SJA: faith development, academic excellence and personal growth. “We celebrate the ideals which all Academy students and alumnae are called to uphold, and we are mindful of the traditions we all hold so dear,” she said. 

Megan Gremillion, senior class president, gave the keynote address. She reflected on the importance of the classes coming together to pass on the traditions and spirit of SJA. “We have been blessed with the opportunity to grow in our faith and our knowledge at a four-time National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence,” she said. “Through God’s love and guidance, we have felt the sanctity of hope and power of prayer. We have shared in moments of joy, both great and small. Let us not take for granted the simple pleasures in our lives. These are the moments that get us through a school day or simply put a smile on our faces.”

Senior Isabella Canova led the gathering in prayer. Senior Clare Barfield reflected on sanctity and the integral role it plays in the lives of Academy students.

Senior Anna Koonce read from the book of Matthew, and senior Alexa Gutowski read from the gospel according to John. Seniors Caroline Cotten and Emrey Broyles led the prayers of the faithful, and senior Kaylyn Petikas offered the closing prayer. 

Seniors Addison Jones and Barbara Flandez explained the symbolism of the lighting of the candles and the passing of the flame. Senior Madelyn Graves led her classmates in the senior pledge then directed them to share their light with their freshmen little sisters. Freshman Gabriela Vince led the freshman pledge. 

The evening ended with the singing of the Alma Mater, led by senior Chelsea-Rose Bagnerise. 

Aimee Cronan directed the sophomore and junior members of the SJA Liturgy Choir. Martha O’Hara served as pianist.

Coordinating the evening’s activities were Aubrey DeJohn, Mary Beth Elfert, Angelle Terrell, Joanne Campbell, Zachary Thriffiley and Jackie Zeller.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine
 

St. Joseph’s Academy Announces Leadership Change

 
Stacia Andricain has been named principal of St. Joseph’s Academy. She replaces Dr. Michele Lambert, who has been in the position since June 1, 2015.

“We thank Dr. Lambert for her service to the Academy,” said SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen. “She brought a passion for 21st century learning for women, and we look forward to building on that foundation as we move into our next chapter.”

“It has been a privilege for me to be the principal of SJA for the past two-and-a-half years,” Dr. Lambert said. “This premier Catholic secondary school is a pillar in the Baton Rouge community. I look forward to using my background in identifying learning styles and creating tools to bridge learning gaps to benefit other schools.”

Andricain, who will assume her new position on September 25, began her career at St. Joseph’s Academy in 1996 and became a member of the school’s administration in 2002. Her first position at SJA was administrative assistant to the disciplinarian and activities coordinator. After earning her master’s degree, she was promoted to the administrative position of activities coordinator, then assumed the role of disciplinarian. She most recently served as SJA’s dean of women.

Andricain became an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in 2013. Associates are laypeople who work in sponsored ministries of the Congregation of St. Joseph to help further the mission and charism of the Sisters.

“I am both humbled and excited to be called upon to further the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the mission of SJA,” Andricain said. “I look forward to continuing to work with the outstanding faculty, staff and administrative team as we educate the young women of the Baton Rouge community and ready them for the endless opportunities they will enjoy.”

Sister Mary Anne Hebert, secretary of the SJA Board of Directors and a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph, said that Andricain is committed to nurturing the bonds of community with students and faculty. “For more than 20 years, Stacia Andricain has been immersed in the SJA culture of service to the ‘dear neighbor,’” Sister Mary Anne said. “As an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Stacia is deeply engaged in living our Congregation’s mission of unity and inclusive love. Our prayerful support is with her as she begins this next step of leadership and service to our young women at SJA.”

“We are confident that Stacia Andricain will provide a strong and collaborative style of leadership to enhance the continued development and growth of St. Joseph’s Academy,” Breen said. “We are in good and capable hands as we move into the future and look forward to celebrating the 150th anniversary of our founding beginning in August of 2018.”

Andricain is a 1996 graduate of Louisiana State University with a bachelor of science in human ecology and a minor in sociology. She earned her master’s in human resource education and workforce development from LSU in 2002.
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 
Photo by Jennifer M. Fontaine

Cross Country Wins Christian Brothers Meet

The St. Joseph’s Academy cross country team won for the third time in as many starts, capturing the Christian Brothers Invitational on September 16. The meet, hosted by St. Paul’s School at Money Hill Plantation, featured 18 complete teams and 161 finishers.
 


SJA scored 29 points followed by Mandeville (50) and Dominican (115).

Also for the third time in three races, junior Lauren Hendry finished first. She covered the three-mile course in a time of 18:59.

Joining Hendry as SJA’s top varsity finishers were sophomore Isabelle Brown, 2nd place, 19:06; sophomore Virginia Dirks, 5th place, 19:39; freshman Sophie Martin, 10th place, 20:15; senior Jennifer Bennett, 12th place, 20:15; junior Taylor Winters, 23rd place, 20:38; and sophomore Lark Smith, 24th place, 20:46.

In the three-mile junior varsity race, SJA captured top prize with a perfect score in the field of six complete teams and 75 finishers. SJA scored 15 points followed by Mount Carmel (59) and Dominican (74). The top seven JV finishers were freshman Jane Laville, 1st place, 20:49; freshman Kate Ritchie, 2nd place, 21:05; junior Angelle Martin, 3rd place, 21:54; junior Ava Falcon, 4th place, 22:03; senior Summer Smith, 5th place, 22:08; freshman Lydia Poche, 6th place, 22:18; and freshman Macy Howard, 7th place, 22:42.

“This was a great showing for us,” said head coach Mark LaHaye. “Two first-place team finishes plus two first-place individual finishes and a sweep in the JV race: Wow! We purposely split the team to allow some of our younger runners the opportunity to compete in the smaller JV race so they could get a feel for leading a race. That’s exactly how it played out.

“In the varsity race, it was actually a bit closer than the scores indicate,” LaHaye added. “Once again, it was a tight battle with Mandeville, but our 1-2-3 punch of Lauren, Isabelle and Virginia, followed by our 4-5 punch of Sophie and Jenn made the difference. However, in the final race of the day, the JV race, there was never any doubt. Our twosome of Jane and Kate led from start to finish. A little past the mile mark, as they exited the woods, it was a sea of red. From that point on, we held the top nine positions. A perfect score in any race is impressive.”

Hendry said the warm and humid weather conditions resulted in slower times, but she was pleased with the outcome. “I think it is such a huge accomplishment to win both the varsity and JV races because there are not many teams that can do that,” she said. “The team’s performance was great, and we were able to score very low in order to win both races. I am so proud of this team and all we have accomplished so far this season, and I hope we can keep up the habit of winning.”

Brown said she was excited by the runners’ effort. “We really got to show everyone what we are made of,” she said. “The JV team had a perfect score, which is a huge accomplishment for any team. JV races are typically not scored, so our competitors usually don’t see how talented every member of our team truly is. Winning is becoming a habit for us because we are stepping it up each time we compete. I am so proud of everyone, and I can’t wait to see what we bring to the next meet.”

Laville called the race an "awesome" experience. "We dominated," she said. "I ran in my first JV race and won. Kate Ritchie and I ran together the whole race, but I was able to slowly pull away once we hit the 2.5-mile mark. It was a run race. The course was really beautiful, and we had a great time."

Martin said the slow course and humid weather made for slow times, "but we will came out on top. The conditions weren't what we were hoping for, but varsity and JV teams will won."

Ritchie said the team responded to Coach LaHaye's challenge to win both races. "I am so glad to say that this goal was achieved," she said. "I am so excited to see what the rest of the season brings because our hard work is paying off, and we seem to be improving each week." 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Photos courtesy of Tina LaHaye
 

Students Honored by National Merit Scholarship Corporation

St. Joseph’s Academy senior Alexandra Hinkle has been recognized as a semifinalist in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Another seven seniors have been named commended students by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,400 National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2018. Approximately 90 percent of semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

SJA’s commended students for 2018 are Kennedy Benjamin, Emrey Broyles, Lauren Chauvin, Mary Catherine Lorio, Ann Nguyen, Allie Peever and Jade Woods.

Hinkle is the daughter of Jeannemarie and Rob Hinkle; she attended St. Luke’s Episcopal.

Benjamin is the daughter of Kim and Louis Christopher Benjamin III, M.D.; she attended St. Jude. Broyles is the daughter of Angela and Joseph Broyles; she attended St. Aloysius. Chauvin is the daughter of Kathy and Michael Chauvin; she attended St. Jude. Lorio is the daughter of Dawn and Keith Lorio; she attended St. Aloysius. Nguyen is the daughter of Lan and Joe Nguyen; she attended St. Thomas More. Peever is the daughter of Cathy and Lloyd Peever; she attended University Lab School. Woods is the daughter of Jewel and Victor Woods; she attended Sacred Heart.
 
 
 
 
 
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director
 

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