SJA

SJA

LEARNERS TODAY, LEADERS TOMORROW

Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom

Bench Dedicated...
Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom
Bench Dedicated...
Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom
Bench Dedicated...
Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom

Bench Dedicated...
Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom
Bench Dedicated...
Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom
Bench Dedicated...
Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom Bench Dedicated in Memory of Druci Balkom

 

The Mission Advancement team at St. Joseph’s Academy hosted a special ceremony on the morning of July 28 to dedicate a bench in memory of Drusilla “Druci” Braswell Balkom, a longtime member of the Academy’s faculty. Druci spent 45 years at SJA, teaching English, speech, oral interpretation, theology and debate; moderating the Drama Club and yearbook; and coordinating senior activities and trips, among other duties.

Family, Sisters of St. Joseph, former colleagues and students, friends and current staff members gathered in the orchard for the dedication ceremony. Among the family members in attendance were Druci’s daughters: Kendal Scheidt and her husband, Michael; Kirsten Balkom; Paige Bacile; and Ashley Alberty and her husband, Craig; Druci’s son, Eric, and his wife, Dawn; and grandchildren: Jessica, Cadence, Cameron and Cole.

Several members of the SJA class of 1969 were at the dedication, including SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen, who explained that Druci taught English to many of her classmates three of their four years at SJA. “Druci is the reason I decided to major in English,” Breen said. “She was a teacher, a mentor and an inspiration.”

Sister Joan Laplace, Mission Advancement associate director, said she joined the SJA faculty a year before Druci arrived in 1965. “We both taught English, but she reveled in it and became the master teacher,” Sister Joan said. “As I came to know her, one of the qualities that always endeared Druci to me was her honesty about herself. She, as they say, told it like it was and respected those who were honest with her, even if she did not agree with what they were saying.”

Sister Joan said that the lives Druci touched and the relationships she formed can’t be calculated.
“I can see Druci sitting on this bench, maybe enjoying nature, correcting papers, reading poetry or just taking time out to ponder how to handle some decision she was facing,” Sister Joan said. “In her last years here, when Druci’s lungs were wearing out, Druci, ever the teacher and by her very presence, was teaching all of us every day what it means to live life gratefully and to anticipate the fullness of life to come.”

Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald led the gathering in a prayer of blessing, while Sister Joan sprinkled the bench’s plaque with holy water. Gerald thanked Druci’s family for making it possible to honor her in such a special and lasting way.

The visitors then enjoyed refreshments on the Commons of Mother Alice Hall.

 

Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

 

Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine

 

Date posted: July 28, 2017

Image Map

St. Joseph's Academy ~3015 Broussard Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808 ~225.383.7207

COPYRIGHT @ 2011 ST. JOSEPH'S ACADEMY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.