Page 1

FOREVERMORE

THE MAGAZINE FOR ST. THOMAS MORE CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL | SUMMER 2017

Keys to a Successful 1:1 Initiative PAGE 6

On Building Champions PAGE 23

Here’s to 35 More! PAGE 38


INSIDE 2 Gearing up for a Chit Chat

5 Q&A with Principal Kelley Leger

6 The Keys to a Successful 1:1 Initative

8 What’s New on Campus

5 8

10 I Faced Fear...I Found Myself

12 From a Mother’s Heart

14 Smile Because it Happened

16 Class of 2017 Awards

19 An Opportunity to Serve

23 Cover story: On Building Champions

28 Alumni Status...What Now?

30 Going Back to Haiti 34 My Journey through STM

16

36 Wouldn’t You Like to be a Cougar Too 38 Here’s to 35 More! 450 E. Farrel Road Lafayette, LA 70508 Telephone: (337) 988-3700 www.stmcougars.net

19


23 Chancellor Reverend Michael J. Russo President Richard Lavergne Principal Kelley Leger Assistant Principal Denise Breaux Dean of Students Richard Lane Director of Advancement Anne Pitre Athletic Director Kim Broussard

28

30

Religion Administrator Jeffery Cormier Communications Michelle Curtis Admissions Robyn Alfonso Alumni Danny Broussard

36

Photo Credits Jay Faugot Nouveau Photeau Michelle Curtis STM Students Copy Editing Belinda Edwards Layout & Design Michelle Curtis

OUR MISSION St. Thomas More Catholic High School educates students to be seekers of truth, individuals of character and “God’s servant first.” St. Thomas More Catholic High School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin.

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

1


Gearing up for a CHIT CHAT

Starting an important ongoing discussion with parents. By Rev. Michael J. Russo, STM Chancellor

I

t’s now been three years since

grades at STM. The school retreats (both

beautiful it can be. By it we teach

my appointment as Chancellor

in-house and out) led by our campus

our students that the Sacred Liturgy

of St. Thomas More Catholic

ministry teams have a more solid

is the most important thing we do

High School. In my own examination

catechetical format. Teachers are also

as a student body each week, where

of conscience, I’ve often asked myself

now being theologically/spiritually fed

the Lord comes to STM directly from

if I am making a difference. In some

as part of their on-going professional

Heaven—to meet us, to speak to us, to

ways, however small, I would like to

development. And, we’ve reworked

love us. That’s why we now “dress up”

believe that I have. But I also know

the curriculum a bit to include more

for it!

full well that, with my shortcomings, I

intensively a practical subject - family

Apart from the theological and

have to keep trying.

life and marriage, into which most of

liturgical areas, I felt the importance

our students will eventually enter.

of tackling the drug and alcohol issues

In

addition

to

the

numerous

has

early on. The new drug policy is “no-

School Chancellor—the meetings, the

become more visibly aesthetic with

nonsense,” but very loving and pastoral,

diocesan protocols, the resolutions

new vestments, altar linens, statues,

and does all that it can to hold onto a

and signatures—some things are more

and

donated.

student who struggles, accompanying

visibly noted. These past three years

The recent inclusion of an STM band

him/her along the way. Pastoral letters

we’ve made an effort to strengthen

ensemble to accompany the wonderful

about alcohol use and other parenting

campus ministry with focused goals,

liturgical choir has all helped to make

issues have also been sent from the

particularly regarding the younger

the STM weekly liturgy the most

Office of the Chancellor.

“behind the scenes” roles of a Catholic

2

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

The

weekly

polished

STM

Mass

vessels—all


Now, as I soon begin my fourth year at STM, I believe with all my heart that

If I will be remembered for anything, it is my hope that I will be remembered as the Chancellor who was not afraid to start a discussion about important teen issues – to help you, to support you, and to encourage you.”

the time is ripe for me to take the next step—to have an open and sincere “chit chat” with parents in what will be an established mandatory parent meeting for incoming students. Starting with the Class of 2022, the plan is over the

course of a student’s time at STM, these

~ Rev. Michael J. Russo

mandatory meetings with parents will be held twice - during freshmen

to form not only the mind, but also

about important teen issues - to help

and junior year. I’ve already started

the human soul. In the complexities of

you, to support you, and to encourage

preliminary

some

our time, such conversations can no

you. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t bother.

wonderful people who will help make

longer be options. There’s too much at

Thanks for your presence at and

the first meeting the very best it can

stake, including a life time of heartache

support of St. Thomas More Catholic

be. The meeting will be a presentation

and brokenness.

High School. Being Chancellor is a

planning

with

of love and transparency. The Church

For now, as you await more

tremendous honor and graced privilege

can never neglect its mission from the

detailed information about how these

that has enriched my priesthood. I’ve

Lord to proclaim. STM is an extension

parent meetings will play out, I ask for

come to know a great faculty and staff

of the ministry of the Catholic Church.

your trust. I want you, ten years from

who love your children, and I love

As such, it has been given this same

now, to be happy because you see your

them too.

mission by the Lord. But we can only

children happy. We pay now or we

effectively fulfill this mission as a

end up paying later. Be open to my “chit

school if parents and school personnel

chat” with you, and know of my desire

work together to help one-another. The

to also listen as I attempt to reach

first step is being able to sit down and

out in love and support in my role as

talk about the issues - issues that are

Chancellor. Your child is worth it!

crucial to a student’s success and future

If I will be remembered for

happiness. Problems surface when we

anything, it is my hope that I will be

are not faithful to our mission or to our

remembered as the Chancellor who

identity as a Catholic school, charged

was not afraid to start a discussion

Mandatory Parent Education Starting with the Class of 2022 parent education meetings are a registration requirement. Please mark your calendar now for the following dates:

Thursday, January 18 6 p.m. | STM Mall

Thursday, February 22 6 p.m. | STM Mall

Tuesday, March 6 6 p.m. | STM Mall

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

3


REMEMBERING OUR MISSION AND OUR IDENTITY What makes St. Thomas More “Catholic”? Is it that the school is owned by twelve local church parishes, and ultimately the Diocese of Lafayette? Well... yes! Is it that each student must have four years of religion classes? Well... yes! Is it that there is the celebration of weekly Mass and numerous faith- filled activities organized by a fantastic campus ministry team? Well...yes! But behind each “yes” is a person – Jesus Christ! He must be the reason for this school, the unseen ever present teacher in its classes, the model of its faculty and the inspiration of its students. This is what sets St. Thomas More apart. This is what makes St. Thomas More different. We can say the name of Jesus out loud, and we can say it over and over again. Rev. Michael Russo Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church

Rev. Chester Arceneaux Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

Rev. Howard Blessing Holy Cross Catholic Church

Rev. Gilbert Dutel St. Edmond’s Catholic Church

Rev. Thomas James St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

Rev. Steve LeBlanc St. Pius X Catholic Church

Rev. Jason Mouton St. Anne’s Catholic Church

Rev. William Schambough St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

Rev. Bryce Sibley Our Lady of Wisdom Catholic Church

Rev. Harold Trahan St. Mary Mother of the Church

Rev. O. Joseph Breaux Chaplain St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More is served by 12 owner pastors and our chaplain. Not pictured: Rev. Michael Delcambre, Sacred Heart of Jesus and Rev. Daniel Edwards, St. Jules Catholic Church

Whenyou youhave havethe theright rightfinancial financial When advisor,life lifecan canbebebrilliant. brilliant. advisor, What matters most to in you in life? life? It’s big question. question. Butjust it’s just just one one ofmany the many many questions I’ll ask ask to better better matters to you in big But it’s of the questions I’ll to WhatWhat matters mostmost to you life? It’s aIt’s bigaaquestion. But it’s one of the questions I’ll ask to better understand you, your your goals and your your dreams. All to help help youconfidently live confidently confidently both today and well well into intofuture. the future. future. understand dreams. to you live –– both the understand you, you, your goalsgoals and and your dreams. All toAll help you live – both todaytoday and and well into the Brett Broussard, CRPC® J.J. Broussard, CRPC® BrettBrett J. Broussard, CRPC® Private Wealth Advisor Private Wealth Advisor Private Wealth Advisor

Curtis Hunter Roy II, MBA MBA Curtis Hunter II, Curtis Hunter Roy Roy II, MBA Financial Advisor Financial Advisor Financial Advisor

brett.j.broussard@ampf.com brett.j.broussard@ampf.com brett.j.broussard@ampf.com ameripriseadvisors.com/ ameripriseadvisors.com/ ameripriseadvisors.com/ brett.j.broussard brett.j.broussard brett.j.broussard AR license license 224517 AR 224517 AR license 224517

curtis.h.roy@ampf.com curtis.h.roy@ampf.com curtis.h.roy@ampf.com ameripriseadvisors.com/ ameripriseadvisors.com/ ameripriseadvisors.com/ curtis.h.roy curtis.h.roy curtis.h.roy

Broussard & Associates Associates Broussard & Broussard & Associates

private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. AA private wealth advisory practice of Financial Services, A private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Inc.

337.216.9330 337.216.9330 337.216.9330 3909 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy Lafayette, LA 70503 70503 3909 II Ambassador Caffery Lafayette, LA 3909 I Ambassador Caffery PkwyPkwy Lafayette, LA 70503 4

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member Member FINRA and SIPC. SIPC. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. and Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRAFINRA and SIPC. 2017 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights rights reserved. (4/17) ©©2017 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All reserved. (4/17) © 2017 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. (4/17)


STM Prinicpal Q& with AMrs. Kelley Leger How does a Northern Louisiana gal like

in their communities in both business

Enhance our curriculum to ensure that

yourself end up in the heart of Aca-

and faith formation.

it meets the learning needs of all of our

diana as the woman in charge at St. Thomas More?

students and continue to add courses What part of your job as principal

to our curriculum which allows stu-

brings the most joy to your heart?

dents to develop a more personalized

My husband was transferred to Lafay-

educational experience catered to their

ette at the end of August, 1994. We had

The feeling of family that our school

exactly one weekend (Labor Day week-

works so hard to cultivate. We have a

end) to find a place to live and arrange

truly special school that loves and sup-

Now most students/alum who have

for the move. I started out in the Aca-

ports one another academically, with

seen Mrs. Leger grace their sporting/

diana area as a middle school math and

extra-curriculars and most important-

academic/club events know that Mr.

science teacher. Mr. Ray Simon hired

ly, through our faith. There are not

Leger isn’t too far from reach in sup-

me to teach Honors Physical Science

many places where you can start your

porting the students. What is Mr.

and CP Physics in 1996, and the rest, as

school and/or work day in prayer as a

Leger’s favorite events to attend with

they say, is history!

faith community.

you here at St. Thomas More?

Since some of our readers know you as

What classes and clubs have been add-

Mr. Leger enjoys attending any and

Mrs. Leger, the teacher- what are some

ed to the curriculum/school over the

all sporting events, any event that in-

of your fondest memories in the class-

last few years and how are they help-

volves food (especially if Mrs. Gladys is

room at St. Thomas More?

ing to shape our students.

cooking), and his new favorite…fishing

My 7th hour Physics class giving me a

Over the last few years we have added

baby shower my first year at STM, my

several courses to our curriculum

6th hour Honors Physics prank war

including dual enrollment courses in

with Mrs. Kristen Brown’s 6th hour

Math, Social Studies, and English, AP

Honors Chemistry class; but most im-

US Government, Engineering 1 and

portantly, having my students come

2, Media Arts, and have brought back

back and visit after graduating to let

AP Chemistry

me know how well they were doing in

and Biology on a

their college courses due to the solid

rotating basis.

future career interests.

club events!

foundation that they were given while at STM.

Over

the

last

several years our What about your new position is the

focus has been

most exciting/rewarding part of being

technology in the

the principal of the school we all love?

classroom, where do you see the

Hearing success stories from our grad-

focus to be in the

uates and seeing them become leaders

coming years?

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

5


The Keys to a

Successful 1 : 1 Initiative By: Sandra LaGrange, Technology Integration Specialist

M

any

of

to providing the very best device

encouraged to grow. STM teachers are

refer

to

for teachers and students. We issue

provided

as

institutions

learning

professional

development

1:1

a convertible tablet PC with pen

on the best use of technology in the

schools. It is important to distinguish

and touch capabilities. We believe

classroom.

one

themselves

Throughout

the

year,

and

that teachers’ lessons and students’

teachers meet to learn about new

understand why STM’s 1:1 initiative

creativity should never be limited by

digital tools and discuss integration

is recognized nationwide as one of the

the functionality of the hardware or

strategies. They are committed to

most successful.

software. It is impossible to challenge

learning,

program

from

another

growing,

creating,

and

Success is not measured by how

students to produce their best work

understanding the whys and hows of

many devices are placed in the hands

with devices that provide limited

enhancing the learning experience

of users. True 1:1 success is measured

functionality. The school also provides

and driving student learning through

by the way the devices are used in

instructional software in all disciplines

technology. In addition to topics related

the classroom and how that usage

to guarantee that students are receiving

to technology integration, teachers

improves the learning outcome for

the best possible education supported

also receive professional development

students. Significant change can only

by the latest tools and programs.

related to teaching strategies and methodology.

be achieved if certain elements are

A learned educator once stated,

present - a device that can support

“We cannot expect students to change

The success of our program has

instructional change and a faculty

what they do if we are content for

not gone unnoticed. Our teachers,

adequately trained and motivated to

teachers to continue doing what they

librarians and students have presented

teach a new generation of learners in

have always done.” A 1:1 program will

at numerous conferences spotlighting

a new way.

only flourish if the teachers that drive

the good works we have accomplished

the curriculum are supported and

through our 1:1 initiative.

First, STM is fully committed

6

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


Success is not measured by how many devices are placed in the hands of users. True 1:1 success is measured by the way the devices are used in the classroom and how that usage improves the learning outcome for students.” ~Sandra LaGrange

As Technology Integration Specialist,

with our program’s inception in 2011

Why is our 1:1 initiative successful?

I have presented at conferences and

and continue to offer it today. Another

It could be due to the 10,000+ of in-

educator events across the country

factor is commitment—commitment by

house professional development hours

(and even internationally) on how

both our teachers and administrators

experienced by faculty and staff. It

our

development

to our program’s success. Our teachers

could be because of the training that

program is designed and how it has

are open to attend sessions and learn

every new student receives before

positively affected our 1:1 initiative. I

new and innovative ways of reaching

they step into their first academic

am contacted often by other schools

their students. Our administration

course at STM. It could also be because

wanting to learn more about our

recognizes

of

of the commitment we have made to

program and eager to model it. One

professional

and

providing the best possible hardware,

element

encourages teachers to keep growing

software and infrastructure to sustain

and learning.

our initiative. Our success is due to all

professional

that

contributes

to

our

program’s success is sustainability. We started offering consistent, timely PD

the

importance

development

these elements.

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

7


What’s New ON CAMPUS

S.T.E.M. Club By Christopher Paulson ‘18 One of the new clubs on campus is the S.T.E.M club. We started the club this year for underclassmen to learn more about technology on our campus from upperclassmen who work in the Help Desk or are enrolled in Computer Architecture or engineering classes. This year the club hosted the technology showcase at Open House and presented at two technology conferences. During these events we had the opportunity to talk about what we do as a club and school, including our 1:1 laptop program, our student run HelpDesk, and engineering courses. Besides conferences, we worked with circuits, Minecraft real time construction, virtual reality, and 3D printing. It was a successful first year, and we can’t wait to expand next year.

Cougar Cast By Carlin Sekhani-Matthews ‘20 Another new STM venture this year is Cougar Cast. Cougar Cast is a student led broadcast televised weekly. Cougar Cast broadcasts campus related stories, including sports highlights, upcoming important academic dates and events, and other school related information. Students are responsible for writing stories, and producing and anchoring the show weekly. Additionally, students work on special video projects associated with athletics, academics, and advancement. This year, members of Cougar Cast attended three technology conferences, where they presented on the topic of producing a school based television broadcast. Cougar Cast had a successful inaugural year and has big plans for the future.

Fishing Club By Peyton Wilson ‘19 One of the newest and fastest growing clubs that STM has to offer is the Fishing Club, which was created this year to give students the opportunity to become better anglers and to learn what the sport of fishing has to offer. Fishing can last a lifetime, unlike other sports and activities that become difficult to take part in at an older age. This year, many teams from STM competed in the Louisiana Bass High School Fishing tournament series and the Southwest LA High School Bass Fishing Association. Our teams placed very well including one team winning the District Championship! The STM Fishing Club is always open to new members who share a passion for the sport of fishing.

8

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


Jay Faugot Photography www.jayfaugot.com

(337) 233-4333 FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

9


I Faced Fear... I Found Myself By Walter Miller ‘17

L

et me start off by saying that I

dramatic acting abilities. I remember

anthem at the state championship

did not escape the difficulties

my freshman year, at only my second

football game. The proudest moment of

faced by most teens as

tournament, I placed first in my event

my high school career was hearing the

they transition into high school. I was

and felt as though I had just won

crowd’s roar of approval as I finished

coming from a middle school where

the Oscar! Over the next four years,

those final notes on what was one

I was known as “that guy who did

speech would allow me to travel

of my best performances. It was an

musicals” and entering a new setting

across the country as I made my way

indescribable feeling of triumph, an

with over a thousand kids. Nothing to

to Boston and Sacramento to compete

opportunity STM gave me for which I

be nervous about here. Having grown

in tournaments. I even had the honor

remain forever grateful.

up watching movies like Mean Girls,

of placing sixth in the entire country

Easy A, and even High School Musical,

in the event of duo interpretation

annual musical and the Academic

I expected high school to be somewhat

at Harvard. Competitive speech also

Pep Rally. During the musical, we

of a nightmarish place. I assumed I’d

allowed me to meet students from

work together as a team to showcase

have to compete maliciously against

schools all over the state, many whom

the fine arts program here. Through

others to get anything or go through

I now consider my friends.

our

Additionally,

STM

performances,

we

stages

can

an

show

Carrie-like

Another outlet STM has offered

prospective students that there are

incident before I was given the chance

to channel my creativity is STM’s Got

opportunities in the arts availablwe

to show the student body the talent I

Talent. This competition has played a

for them too. The Academic Pep Rally,

possessed. All I can say is thank God

crucial role in helping me to improve as

while honoring those students who

reality isn’t a Stephen King novel. Not

a performer. While it is incredibly fun,

have achieved academic success in

only did STM have numerous clubs and

and having a good time is important, I

the previous year, also allows students

organizations that dealt with creative

also developed the discipline and work

to use their creative skills as well.

arts, but the teacher moderators made

ethic that it takes to win. I learned

Students who enjoy acting, singing,

my success a priority.

some

traumatizing,

this lesson after having not placed

and writing get to sharpen their skills

During freshman year, my parents

my freshman and sophomore years,

working on this annual event.

encouraged me to join the speech and

but coming back my junior year to

While all these outlets had their

debate team. After attending the first

finish first. My winning performance

own positive features, my favorite

meeting, I decided to compete in speech

also opened another door. I was asked

common quality is the people that

events which required humorous and

shortly after if I would sing the national

participate in them. Many of these

10

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


people became some of my closest

STM provided opportunities to

friends in high school. My peers and

best utilize my talents and to

I are at an age where it is very easy

make me a better performer

to befriend the wrong crowd and get

while contributing to the school.

caught up in a group of people who

I also had the chance to meet

will lead you down the wrong path. I

people I now consider close

thank God that I connected with the

friends. I can’t think of a better

right group of people my freshman

way to have spent my time in

year and that I spent the past four

high school.

years in an environment filled with encouragement, love, and support.

Through our performances, we can show prospective students that there are opportunities in the arts available for them too.� ~ Walter Miller

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

11


From a Mother’s Heart By Stephanie Stevenson ‘83

T

wenty years ago, my

pace; he will fill your life with many

the Options program. This program

third

Matthew

blessings, and remember God will be

has touched hearts and changed

was born with Down

there with you every step of the way.”

lives. I am so grateful Matthew has

syndrome.

son

first

That day I surrendered Matthew

been given the opportunity to grow

couple of months of his life were filled

to God, and I felt a big sense of relief

socially, academically and spiritually

with uncertainty—appointment after

come over me. I can truly say that we

at St. Thomas More. The kindness the

appointment with doctors, therapists,

have had many wonderful moments

faculty and students show the Options

case workers. It was scary. However,

with Matthew. Every milestone that

students daily is amazing. Twenty

many

therapists,

he met was a celebration…. things that

years ago, I would not have imagined

and teachers had a connection to

we took for granted with our other

Matthew attending St. Thomas More,

me through STM. God had placed

children

incredible

much less being on the basketball

these wonderful people in my life

moments of joy for our whole family.

team and playing in a game, running

to lead me through this journey

In Romans: 8, we read, “God causes

down the ramp in Cougar Stadium

with Matthew. One day when I was

all things to work together for good.”

in a football uniform, participating

overwhelmed, I remember talking

In these celebrations, my family saw

in a Kairos Retreat, attending high

to an STM parent who put it all into

God’s hand working for the good in

school dances. Much less, Matthew

perspective for me. She told me, “Just

Matthew.

being selected as prom king just

of

the

doctors,

The

have

become

love and support Matthew. Don’t treat

As a mother, you always want

weeks before walking across the stage

him any different than your other

your child to grow up in a loving

for his graduation. The compassion,

children. He will do things at his own

supportive environment, but when

selflessness and acceptance this school

you have a child with special needs,

has shown my son and his friends

that

more

are beyond words. This program has

important. For the last ten years, I have

touched the hearts of the entire STM

witnessed God’s love spread through

community, teaching integration and

the halls of STM with the addition of

inclusion on a daily basis. The bonds

dream

becomes

even

that develop between these students and their mentors are such beautiful tribute to the impact this program provides. STM is truly a special place and has forever left its mark on my heart. I am reminded that my son’s name means “gift of God.” Truly, Matthew, STM, and our Options program are life’s greatest gifts, and our family mantra remains: “With God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26 Happy 10th Anniversary Options! And a big thank you to all who have made this program what it is today! With the 10th anniversary of the Options Program, the St. Thomas More Catholic High School Foundation has established the Options Endowed Fund to ensure the future viability of the program. 12

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


Options Program Celebrates 10 Years!

F

or the last 10 years, the STM Options program has provided modified academic inclusion designed to meet the needs of developmentally disabled students. The primary goal is to prepare students for the

transition from high school to a life of independent living while maintaining a level of academic achievement. The curriculum offered to our special needs students is one of the finest available in the country. However, the cost to run this type of program exceeds current STM tuition. The aim of administration is that no parent should incur tuition increases based on the needs of their child. With this intention in mind, the STM Foundation has created the Options Endowed Fund to provide long-term financial support for the program. The Foundation’s Annual Appeal is currently underway; please consider making a gift at stmcougars.net/optionsfund. Once funded, the interest earned from this endowment is returned to St. Thomas More to defray costs associated with the Options program.

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

13


SMILE

Because it Happened By Joshua Ardoin ‘17

A

s our final days at STM

As we move on to the next chapter

Though STM tested our abilities

come to a close, our class

of our lives, we look at everything

on more than one occasion, these tests

looks to the daunting

our class has accomplished. From

have prepared us for the time we now

unknown. We are transitioning from

volleyball winning state every year

find ourselves in after high school. Our

having to raise our hand to go to the

we’ve been here to soccer winning

education here at STM was extremely

bathroom to being asked to figure out

back to back state championships

important, but STM has also taught

what we want to do with the rest of

to football winning the first state

us how to strive for what we want in

our lives in one short summer. Before

championship in STM’s history, we

life, how to go beyond our goals. And

now, we have always been told what

have certainly overachieved. However,

so, as we begin our adult lives, we take

to do, how to do it, and when to do it,

athletics, whether you are playing in

with us everything STM has given us.

but as we leave STM, this responsibility

college or not, will not last forever.

We all created pleasant memories that

becomes our own. For many of us,

What matters the most is how STM

we will miss—dressing up at football

including me, it feels as if leaving STM

has taught us to be leaders, strive

games, reflecting at Kairos, yelling

doesn’t even seem real. Just four short

academically, overcome adversity, and

at basketball games, having fun at

years ago we were immature freshmen

become the virtuous Catholics we are

Morestock, watching or playing in the

worried about making new friends

called to be. With STM’s large array

senior/junior basketball game against

or how we looked in front of people,

of athletics and clubs, we were all able

the faculty, and getting to see friends

but now, none of this matters. What

to stamp our names somewhere and

and classmates every day. Though

matters is what we do with our lives,

find what suits us. Along with these

these times are now behind us we

what paths we take, and how we will

extracurricular activities, we have

must do as Dr. Seuss said, “and not cry

tackle life’s challenges. Because of the

built strong relationships that have

because it’s over, but smile because it

strong foundation STM has given us,

grown over four years, and we enter

happened.”

we are well equipped to take on the

the adult world with these friends by

frightening yet exciting future. We

our side. Though we may eventually

must now begin to walk alone without

go our separate ways in our professions

a hand to guide, but because of STM’s

and hobbies, we will always be able to

encouragement and direction, this

go back to each other and have an STM

intimidating task is bearable.

connection.

14

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


What matters more importantly is how STM has taught us to be leaders, strive academically, overcome adversity, and become the virtuous Catholics we are called to be.� ~ Joshua Ardoin

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

15


Class of 2017

GRADUATION AWARDS

St. Thomas More Award Andrew Joseph Ferguson

Chancellor’s Award Anne-Elyse Pitre

Cougars of the Year Award Avery Michelle Breaux Joshua Kane Ardoin

St. Thomas More Foundation Award Elise Anne Arceneaux Alex Marcos Zappi

Alumni Association Award Abby Kathryn Bourque Joshua Kane Ardoin

Margo Comeaux Memorial Award Avery Michelle Breaux

Rusty Randol Memorial Award Matthew Albert Gautreaux

Carolyn Michot Memorial Award Caroline Frances Werther

Jay Faugot Studio Fine Arts Award Walter Hunt Miller

16

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


Principal’s Award Katherine Anne Blackwell, Grace Elizabeth Barrilleaux, Hunter Martin Lane Clay, Nicholas Paul Duhon, Adam John Gilmore, Isabella Corinne LaBruzzo, Gabriel Blake LeBeouf, Grace Ann Parker. Emilia Rose Ranzino and Walter Hunt Miller

Student Of The Year Andrew Ferguson By Kristen Brown, Senior Counselor

T

hroughout his years here at STM, Andrew has excelled in all of his courses, including AP Calculus, AP English and numerous math, history, language, and science honors, with superior academic

marks. Andrew was also instrumental, and quite persistent, in helping to ensure that an Engineering II course would be offered his senior year. He managed all that he undertook with a positive attitude, a sense of humor, and a drive that was evident in his appreciation for learning and new challenges. In addition to other noteworthy awards, Andrew was chosen as a “Top Cat” which is the highest honor awarded to students by the St. Thomas More faculty. The award recognizes students who best exemplify STM’s ideals of students as “seekers of truth, individuals of character, and God’s servant first.” He also served the school community through his involvement in the Options mentor program, music ministry, STEM club, STM ambassadors, and the SALT team (Senior Action Leadership Team). Outside of the classroom, Andrew has been a pivotal player for the STM track team, as well as the Cougar basketball team. Andrew has also taken the opportunity during the summers to partake in various programs, such as the Notre Dame IED Engineering Program and the National Young Leaders State Conference. Andrew is self-disciplined, industrious, resolute and embodies an affable personality. He is not only interested in his classes and motivated to learn, he is also involved with the school community and puts great effort into experiencing all that St. Thomas More has to offer both socially and spiritually.

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

17


18

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


An Opportunity

to Serve

is an Opportunity

forLove By Anne-Elyse Pitre ‘17

S

t. Thomas More has a vast

that service is an opportunity that

the STM community and to aid in the

offering

opportunities

all can seize. Students and teachers

success of someone else’s education.

for students of all interests;

collectively embrace a personal goal -

Around Christmas, the social studies

of

maybe most cans, tallest structure, or

department takes great pride in their

no

best depiction of a theme - and then

partnership with the Marines - Toys

group or talent, rather calling each

create a structure made of canned

for Tots - reinforcing the true reason

student to live out what Catholic

food to positively affect those in the

for the season. More opportunities for

education

community who may not know where

traveling missionary work in Puerto

their next meal is coming from.

Rico and in Washington for the March

however,

opportunity

the

most

ironically

embraces

important favors

at

its

core.

Throughout the years of high school, service draws students to commit

for Life become available. Christ

without knowing the fulfilling

remains at the core of the service

benefits their ministry can bring.

as unique bonds form among

Whether class competitions or

individuals who accept the call.

charity festivals, the importance

Junior year seems for most

of service is evident to both the

to be the pinnacle of service

school and Lafayette community.

work, based deeply in the roots

STM constantly calls students to

of Hopefest. This music charity

the beautiful ministry of service,

festival held in the spring takes

integrating it into celebrations

months for juniors to organize;

and devastations alike, so that

they volunteer for entertainment,

when the waters get high the

food,

love of service finds its way to the

medias, and other committees. All

forefront.

proceeds from the music festival,

donations,

promotional

Freshman year of high school,

associated 5K run, and silent

life seems to navigate between

auction are donated to the STM

confusion and fear, leaving little

Options Program and a local non-

time to step outside of one’s comfort

profit chosen by the junior class. Hopefest is a beautiful testament

zone. However, an opportunity emerges for homerooms to embrace

Although now a veteran to service

the spirit of creativity and competition

projects like Canstruction, sophomore

in an effort to serve our neighbors at

year continues to emerge as a year

St. Joseph Diner. This school-wide

for participants to see the depths that service can reach. By

senior

no

one

would

filled with new opportunities in the

assume

service project, Canstruction, is neither

ministry built on love. Tutoring the

service could regain that same level

overwhelming nor terrifying; rather it

students at Holy Family School gives

of

students the means of reaching outside

previous years of experience proved

initiates the idea for most freshmen

that

year,

accomplishment;

opportunity however,

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

of the

19


to be God’s preparation for this year’s seniors (and underclassmen following their lead) to answer a call for service close to home. The excitement of new classes came to an abrupt stop on August 12, 2016, when the waters began to rise in areas that so many called home. Without manuals or examples to imitate, it was the instilled years of service practiced by all STM students that the senior leaders relied on. Over four hundred students, parents,

and

faculty

members

answered the call of service to fellow classmates, friends and families in need. Whether working tirelessly at houses or gathering and preparing meals for families and workers, the STM

community

enthusiastically

embraced the chance to serve the Acadiana area. Principal

Kelley

Leger

praised

students saying, “Our students were the face, hands and feet of Christ. They put the needs of others before themselves and gave selflessly of their time while asking nothing in return. They became a united front in the face of adversity and embodied the school mission of being "individuals of character and God's servant first." Service lives in the hearts of those who walk the hallways of STM. From being immersed in campus ministry to participating in a sport’s service project, all are expected to give of themselves in some way. In return, students will form lasting bonds with not only fellow students but also with those they serve. Because St. Thomas More presents service in a unique way, students are willing and ready to answer the schools mission and prepare the way to be “God’s servant first”.

20

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


Daniel R. Bourque, M.D. Jennifer B. Pugliese, M.D. Nicole P. Harper, M.D.

Obstetrics & Gynecology

435 Heymann Blvd. www.doctorbourque.com

337-234-3344 (p) 337-234-3352 (f)

Our exclusive Pandora charm!!!

Proud Supporters of STM

337-981-8160

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

21


On Building

Champions By Marty Cannon ‘93

22

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


B

ack in 1993, I was asked

but other athletic and club programs

in STM’s first year as a BASS High

by a classmate on the

were also doing their best to represent

School

yearbook staff to write a

the school at the highest levels. A

Matthew

brief story about my experiences in

pile of state championship trophies

Duplechin earned the school’s first

football at St. Thomas More. It started

has been earned over the past few

district championship and junior

with something like, “As the clock

decades. In the 2016-2017 school year,

Jonathan Fisher finished the year

ticked down in the final game of my

boys’ soccer and volleyball added

ranked 10th in the state. And in the

career…” and was filled with good

state title trophies to the already

realm of academics, the school still

memories and odes to my teammates.

crowded trophy rack. Senior Matthew

has some of the finest teachers that

My high school playing career ended

Gautreaux

I have ever met and the curriculum

with a loss, and I was sad about

state champion in the shot put at

that because I knew how close my

the 4A state finals at LSU. Lindsay

This past season the football team

teammates and I were and how hard

Barrilleaux, Grace Bares, Camille

finally claimed the LHSAA Division

we worked. My story, though, did

Hensarling and Anna Johnston set

II state football championship. The

not diminish the impact the football

new school records in the 4x100M

elation on the sideline shared by the

program and school had on me. My

and 4x200M relays. Senior Anna

coaches was long overdue. The boys

time as a student-athlete at STM was

Johnston also broke the 400M dash

celebrated their great achievement,

wonderful.

was

the

individual

Fishing

club,

Courville

sophomores and

Drake

stands second to none.

record in 2017 and in doing so left

and the true feeling of joy in the locker

I

STM with her name on four total

room after the game was something

thought about what could have been

women’s track and field records for

that I will never forget. No football

and would might be for STM football

STM. In swimming, Ella Balhoff,

team in St. Thomas More history ever

one day. Would STM ever reach

Grace Horton, Ashley Richard and

ended their season with a win until

the state finals and win the coveted

Elizabeth Skinner hold the school

this group came along. Our plan is to

state championship? I knew that the

and district record for the girls 200

make that our new tradition.

program should win one because we

yard freestyle relay and the school,

There are no secrets or tricks

always worked harder than anyone

district and regional records for girls

to pull off a championship run. My

else. We were also led by men of

200 medley relay. Grace Horton,

return to STM reconfirmed what I

character who built us up from boys

Ashley Richard, Hannah Richard and

learned as a student-athlete here. The

to young men. Life is sometimes

Elizabeth Skinner broke the school,

fire for greatness is as widespread

cruel, though, and in my absence

district, regionals and state records

today as it was then. You can see it

after graduation, I watched Coach

in girls 400 yard freestyle relay. LSU

in the classrooms and in the labs.

Hightower’s teams get close but never

signee Grace Horton left her mark by

You see it on the playing fields and

make it to the state finals.

breaking the school, district, regionals

around the track. You see it in the

and state in the 100 backstroke and

dance moves and cheers and strokes

school and state in 100 freestyle.

of rackets and golf clubs. You see it

While

writing

that

story,

Fast forward a few decades and by a stroke of luck and God’s blessings, I made it back to St. Thomas More

Cougar Lacrosse is a perennial in

the

state.

in the school performances and you

as a teacher-coach. Not long after

powerhouse

The

see it in every cast. You see it in our

that my own son enrolled, joined the

Sparklers, Cougar Dance, and cheer

weekly celebrations of the Eucharist.

freshman football team and started

squads not only brought fans to their

St. Thomas More is a sacred place with

his own path as an STM student-

feet this year but competed at the

a tradition of excellence. It is truly

athlete. All the facets of the past

highest levels of their fields as well.

humbling to be back and see all the

that made STM great were still there

Through 4-H, STM added a trap and

great traditions and new adventures

and as an alumni, coach and parent,

skeet team. Competitive high school

that make St. Thomas More a very

I was proud to see great traditions of

fishing entered the growing list of

special place.

excellence continue.

opportunities for STM students as

Not only was the football program

well. Currently, high school fishing

still the cream of the crop in the state,

programs are rapidly growing and

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

23


Encouraging MULTISPORT ATHLETES

D

uring the 2016-17 school

student/athletes in the Acadiana area,

all teams they wish to be a part of. As

year, a total of 554 stu-

STM was fortunate to have a total of

the athlete achieves success with one

dents participated in one

five recipients, the most by any school.

team, likewise one competes to repeat

of the seventeen sports offered at

Of the five, two maintained multi-sport

the same successes with another group

STM. Of the 554 athletes, 167 played

status during their careers.

of teammates. The mutual benefits of

two sports and 23 played three sports.

All STM coaches understand the

multi-sport athletes are not only for

Thats nearly 35% of athletes who are

advantages that multi-sport athletes

the individual, rather for the many

able to participate in multiple sports

have to offer. In order for our athletic

coaches, teammates, and fellow ath-

while maintaining academic success

program as a whole to be successful

letes who witness the accomplishment

in the classroom. At the spring Best

it is important that we allow for the

of a multi-sport athlete.

of Preps Banquet recognizing the top

possibility for every athlete to excel in

Allison Howard Connor Latiolais

Avery Breaux

Nate Cox Alex Hannie 24

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


554 students participated in one of the 17 sports offered at STM

Of the 554 athletes, 167 played two sports and 23 played three sports

35% are multi-sport athletes

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

25


We asked our coaches,

“What was the best part of this year?” “The best part of this year was working with our football players and other students helping people who had been flooded by the rains in August and seeing our kids in action helping the community and of course seeing those same football players win the first state championship of football for our school.” Terry Tidwell

“Winning the state championship in football for all the alum that have come before this year’s team.” David LeBlanc “Being inspired by the unselfish service to others by our Cougars in the aftermath of this falls flooding in Acadiana…. Being able to share our Superdome experience with players and parents from teams dating back to the first year of STM football.” Jim Hightower

and our players got it.” Shane Savoie

“The best part of this year was watching so many student-athletes give of themselves without any question or complaint to help residents of this community during the August 2016 floods.” Marty Cannon “The best part of this year was witnessing the tremendous response and help from coaches, players and parents to all the flood victims needs.” Kim Broussard

26

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

“Being able to witness our football team after the state championship come to the understanding that it never was about the trophy. As players made their way from teammate to teammate they began to realize that our relationships will never be defined by a simple piece of wood. Love became real on and off the football field at St. Thomas More,

“The best part of the season was watching the swimmers deal with adversity in the real world, helping flood victims.” Chris Landreneau

“The sense of community and love we experienced in the championship season.” Lance Strother

“This year was definitely rewarding as Cougar Nation came together to aid the flood victims in the Lafayette area. I felt our baseball program grew from this experience which helped give our players a better understanding of the word TEAM. Our senior class did a great job leading our team to another district championship and another trip to the state tournament.” Gary Perkins


“Despite losing 4 starters we were able to come together and qualify for the Final Four for the 12th time in school history.” Danny Broussard

“I had an “ah hah” moment when I worked alongside our student athletes during the flood relief efforts. They took everything they knew about hard work and selflessness from the field and court and were truly impressive in their efforts to help people in our community. That’s what it’s all about, it all transfers over as they are forming who they are.” Jessica Burke

“With the opening of our new Cougar Courts tennis facility, consisting of six brand new courts, our team was able to grow and advance our training and practice program in a way we never have before.” Jenn Sibille

“The best part of the year was seeing the joyous smiles and hugs shared amongst teammates as we knocked out the 4-time defending state champions Ben Franklin 5-0 in the state semifinals.” Daniel Underwood “Seeing the Lady Cougar basketball team over achieve with a final 4 finish, seeing our roster numbers climb to the highest they’ve been in 5 years, placing 5 seniors on the academic all state team, having a team GPA of 3.75, and sporting a roster where all but 2 players participated in at least 2 sports.” Stephen Strojny

“Watching our students, faculty, staff, and community come together and generously give of themselves to help, encourage, support, and love those affected by the flood of 2016. Although the flood itself left heavy marks on my heart, it also reminded me why this community is so special and my family and I are forever grateful!” Andria Waguespack “Seeing all of our Options students in uniform playing J.V. and Varsity Sports!” Danielle Price

“The best part is the additions to the facility. The softball field, parking lot, tennis courts, weight room and 12 classrooms are just a start of better things to come. As a faculty member and coach it is great to see progress. It adds excitement and beautification to our campus for students, families, and staff. But most important of all it shows that the entire faculty’s hard work paying off.” Casey Friend “The best part of this year was fielding a separate girls bowling team for the first time in 5 years.” John Dupuis

“The girls’ PE skit at the Academic Pep Rally.” Brooke Womack

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

27


Alumni Status...

What Now? By: Hailey Hanks Stevenson ‘10

A

s a graduate of St. Thomas More one can expect

are still in their prime, events like the Fishing Rodeo and

to have walked the same hallways, been taught

Alumni Softball Tournament allow young and old to gather

by the same teachers, even played under the

together to enjoy fellowship, food, and fun. Reunions on the

same coaches as those fellow graduates of preceding years.

Road gather those cougars who have made New Orleans,

However, it is not these things that make up the Alumni

Houston, Dallas, Austin, and even Shreveport their home.

Association, rather it is the classmates, the teammates, and

Professional events, such as Cougar Connections and Career

maybe soulmates that gather back together as “cougars” that

Day, offer opportunities for those job-seeking individuals or

the STM Alumni Association hopes graduates become a part

business owners to reach out within the alumni community

of. Whether leaving the familiarity of a high school campus,

and make connections that St. Thomas More graduates offer.

adventuring into your professional life, or even relocating to

It is all these events and more that begin to create the tradi-

new cities, the association is there to help all who wore the

tion for all 6600 St. Thomas More alumni. Whether you are

maroon and navy achieve success. For those sportsmen who

a part of the first graduating class or the 35th, come enjoy all

enjoy fishing or those athletes that are in denial that they

that the alumni association has to offer you!

Upcoming Events July 14 & 15 August 18 & 19 October 7 October 19 October 20

28

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

Fishing Rodeo Softball Tournament Lip Sync Battle on the Bayou Football Reunion Homecoming


CAMPAIGN

STM ALUMNI

Donate Association now at Scholarship

www.stmcougars.net/1982

The STM Alumni Association Scholarship was established through the generosity of alumni contributions to Campaign 1982. Alumni are asked to give a least $19.82 per year with the purpose of providing a partial scholarship to the child of an STM alum. STM junior, Ryan Killeen was selected to receive the 2nd annual Alumni Scholarship at Spring Awards this year. He is the son of Dan and Lisa Smith Killeen both from the Class of 1983. Please help us to increase this scholarship fund by contributing a gift of at least $19.82 so we can award other students, like Ryan at next year’s Spring Awards. Thank you to the following alumni who contributed in 2016 - 2017:

Desiree Elizabeth Comeaux ‘03 Lisa Comeaux ‘83 Richard Conner ‘05 John ‘99 and Ashley Corbello Kimberly R. Abercrombie ‘93 David and Elisabeth ‘96 Cortez Mark Alexander, Jr. ‘97 Lori Debaillon Crain ‘96 Melissa Bienvenu Andrade ‘03 Julie Creedon ‘91 Aimee Blayne Andrepont ‘08 Russell and Charlotte ‘89 Cryer Michelle Dugas Arceneaux ‘03 Gretchen N. Daniel, Jr. ‘97 Susan Azar ‘92 Laurent Fabrice De Prins ‘13 Jerry ‘02 and Marielle ‘02 Babb James ‘03 and Ailene ‘04 April Bailey ‘96 Debaillon Bree McNamee Bailey ‘06 Laura Broussard Delaney ‘94 Lisa A. Benefield ‘95 Betsy Deshotels ‘91 Jeremy Benoit ‘94 Christopher Domingue ‘91 Emily Cefalu Bergeron ‘08 Jon ‘92 and Vanessa Duffy Joey Bernard ‘87 Eric David Dugas ‘03 William ‘01 and Ashley Berniard Mary Quinlan Duhon ‘04 Benjamin’94 and Ashley Kelly Jorden Eldridge ‘03 Berthelot Cade ‘02 and Brittany ‘03 Heather Knight Billeaud ‘03 Eskridge Stuart ‘99 and Keisha Billeaud David Shayne Fontenot ‘16 Ross Blackstone ‘95 Michael Frederic ‘89 Ridge ‘07 and Kathleen Paige D. Gary ‘84 Blanchard Gregory’90 and Elaine Geoffroy Raymond Blanco, Jr. ‘91 James Godchaux ‘90 Bobby Champagne ‘95 Christopher Patrick Gossen ‘10 Emily R. Bolian ‘01 Bryan ‘83 and Evelyn Greenwood Ashleigh Brower Bonner ‘03 Gina Gremillion ‘92 Brandon ‘03 and Shellie Bradley Steven ‘97 and Shawn Guilbeau Trent ‘09 & Lauren ‘09 Brasseaux Felix Gunawan ‘03 Charles Robert Briley ‘04 Laura Habetz ‘96 Brett ‘92 and Bethany Broussard Stuart and Aimee ‘83 Hamilton Natalie Molbert Broussard ‘02 Patrick Hardesty ‘88 Kelly ‘96 and Kelly ‘01 Cahill Allyson T. Hebert ‘86 Jason Caldwell ‘91 E. Paul Hebert ‘86 Troy ‘92 and Jeanne Cloutier Christopher Henry ‘99 Elise P. Colomb ‘92 Fawn V. Hernandez ‘03

Adrienne G. Herrmann ‘90 Michael Hindelang III ‘88 Sheryl Hoerner ‘84 James Holmes IV ‘92 Melanie Pearce Hooper ‘02 Charles Phillip Hunter ‘03 Thomas ‘87 and Karen Juneau William ‘98 and Michelle ‘05 Kaufman Lauren Johnson King ‘03 Peyton Elizabeth King ‘14 David A. Koke III ‘15 Elizabeth Koke ‘13 Pamela LaFleur ‘98 Cory Zaunbrecher Landry ‘03 Elise Elizabeth Landry ‘04 Stephanie D. LeBlanc ‘03 Marcus William Ledet ‘06 Paige Elise Logan ‘13 Chris ‘89 and Candace Mahoney Andrew Joseph Mahtook ‘12 Robert Antoine Mahtook ‘10 Hailey Angelle Manning ‘02 Robert Mark Martina ‘11 Brittany Russo McGinnis ‘03 Malise McKenzie-Garcia ‘87 Pablo Mejia III ‘92 Matthew Miller ‘92 Mike ‘85 and Cathy ‘91 Moncla Thad ‘00 and Alexis Montgomery Angie Moreau ‘83 Mary-Frances Neuner ‘06 Lauren R. Nordquist ‘91 Christopher ‘98 and Ashley ‘98 Noto Kimberly M. O’Brien ‘95 Jennifer O’Neal ‘98 Cynthia Sonnier Orlando ‘01

Chad Gates Ortte ‘00 Natalie Domino Person ‘03 Michelle P. Peuler ‘00 Caroline Piccione ‘15 Margaret Archila Plymale ‘89 Kay S. Richard ‘83 Lee ‘87 and Jodi ‘88 Richard Mathew ‘96 and Jennifer Romero William Ward Rucks ‘03 Brooke Cranfield Schexnaildre ‘03 Sharon Schmitz ‘87 Kayla Ortego Shipley ‘05 Garrett Rosson Sibley ‘13– Kathryn Clark Sintz ‘95 Paige S. Soileau ‘91 Benjamin ‘85 and Allison Sonnier Scott A. Sonnier ‘87 Alexander Ross Spikes ‘06 Melanie Stokes ‘87 Stephen ‘93 and Alison Strojny Darren ‘92 and Nicole ‘92 Strother Evan Shelby Tatford ‘11 Willie Edwin Regan Tatford ‘01 Gina N. Tharp ‘91 D.J. Verret ‘93 Kenny Vincent ‘83 Emilie Taylor Welty ‘98 Bridget A. Wendell ‘90 Max ‘90 and Yvonne ‘92 Winchell Andrea Hurlburt Wrenn ‘03 Matthew Leo Wyatt ‘14

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

29


Going Back

to Haiti

THE HAITI PROJECT:

Walk in our shoes

By Rebecca Artall ‘16

S

TM HelpDesk is headed back to Haiti! This summer 11 STM

By: Madame Cosima Hasenstein

T

HelpDesk alumni will return to Gressier, Haiti to continue our

his school-wide Lenten

partnership with Respire Christian School, started by Lafayette

service

native Megan Boudreaux. On our first trip, we donated 40 computers to Respire Haiti and spent a week teaching the faculty, staff, and students how to utilize the laptops in the classroom. Over the past year, we have continued to build our relationship with the amazing people at Respire and were inspired to return this summer. During the past year, fiber internet was installed, and we designed a computer lab which was built in preparation for our second trip. This year we are bringing 30 more laptops generously donated by Fujitsu to install in the new computer lab for the school. The lab will also have a projector to allow teachers to better incorporate the laptops into their lessons. Beyond the technology aspect of the trip, we were blessed with tremendous support from the STM community this year. As a school-wide Lenten service project, 474 pairs of desperately-needed shoes were donated to Respire Haiti from St. Thomas More families. As most current students know, we also opened Cougar Coffee House in the canteen every morning before school during the spring semester. All proceeds from the coffee and baked goods sold in the mornings went to purchasing supplies necessary for the trip. We apologize to all the homeroom teachers whose students were a little hyped on sugar—it was for a good cause! Our second trip to Haiti would not have been possible without the support of St. Thomas More. Thank you to everyone who helped make this trip happen, from the students who needed cookies to get through first hour, to the families who generously donated shoes and to everyone who prayed for a successful trip.

project

was

conceived by the STM

Help Desk in cooperation with the French Club. It all started when Megan

Boudreaux,

a

Lafayette

native, visited STM last year and talked to several classes about her mission in Haiti to establish a school for

orphaned

and

impoverished

children with the goal to provide a safe environment and a Christian education. Since Haiti is a francophone country where French and Creole are

spoken,

Madame

Cosima

Hasenstein, STM French teacher, and French Club members wanted to get involved by helping the children to have a good pair of shoes for their walk to school. Therefore, the service project’s goal was to collect shoes for boys and girls. Students and faculty “adopted” a child and purchased the required pair of shoes. Once they were turned in, French Club members verified for correctness and packed the shoes in boxes. French

Club

member

Olivia

Hebert said, “Giving shoes to Haiti really opened my eyes to the children there that need our help. By having the children’s names and ages, we were able to make the project personal.” Sophomore Grace Miholic added, “I can’t wait to see pictures of all the happy children when they get their shoes!”

30

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


Family. Friends. Community. We’re all in this together. State Farm® has a long tradition of being there. That’s one reason why we’re proud to support St. Thomas More. Get to a better State®.

Bradley Beck Bus: 337-406-2510 bradley.beck.tfsc@statefarm.com 1509 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy Lafayette, LA 70506

Cordell P Dartez Bus: 337-898-1616 cordell.dartez.ceuz@statefarm.com 8911 Maurice Avenue Maurice, LA 70555

Chris Kidder Ins Agcy Inc Chris B Kidder Lafayette, LA 70508 Bus: 337-233-2432 920 Kaliste Saloom Road

Brad M Markerson Bus: 337-269-1600 brad.markerson.mmh7@statefarm.com 2934 Johnston Street Lafayette, LA 70503

Bruce L Montesano Bus: 337-332-1139 bruce.montesano.b3c8@statefarm.com 445 E Mills Ave Breaux Bridge, LA 70517

Katie Sanford Bus: 337-989-9330 katie.sanford.d3v2@statefarm.com 2100 Verot School Road Suite 4 Lafayette, LA 70508

Terry Romero Wofford Ins Agcy Terry Wofford Lafayette, LA 70506 Bus: 337-232-4451 2200 W Congress Street

1211008

Chase Desormeaux Tommy Desormeaux Bus: 337-232-7359 Bus: 337-233-2453 chase.desormeaux.tfr3@statefarm.com tommy.desormeaux.b3cw@statefarm.com 109 Energy Pkwy Ste B 3144 W Pinhook Road Lafayette, LA 70508 Lafayette, LA 70508

State Farm, Bloomington, IL

John Bubba Montesano Ins Agcy John “Bubba” Montesano Broussard, LA 70518 Bus: 337-837-3374 6703 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

31


Cougar Births Katherine Ann Debaillon born on January 6, 2016 to James ‘03 and Ailene LeRouge ‘04 Debaillon Wyatt James Endsley born on February 10, 2016 to Blake ‘04 and Rachel Benoit ‘05 Endsley Adley Claire Zuschlag born on February 22, 2016 to Joseph Blaise ‘02 and Monica Moody Zuschlag William Prescott Worsley, Jr. born on April 21, 2016 to William Prescott and Sarah Sadler ‘05 Worsley Owen Scott McCormick born on May 30, 2016 to Damien and Randi Bernard ‘07 McCormick Maeve McKenzie Broussard born on June 1, 2016 to Guy ‘03 and Marla Melancon ‘09 Broussard IV Finn Thomas Hernandez born on June 28, 2016 to David and Lauren Shea ‘02 Hernandez Charlie Claire Boudreaux born on June 29, 2016 to Kyle ‘05 and Abigail Glod ‘08 Boudreaux Sophia Louise Alexander born on June 29, 2016 to Mark ‘97 and Ashley Ally Alexander Adleigh Mae Viator born on July 4, 2016 to Zachary ‘05 and Summer Hemsell ‘05 Viator Louis Robert Dartez born on July 4, 2016 to Jeremy and Jennifer Cloutier ‘98 Dartez Braeden James Wrenn born on July 11, 2016 to Michael and Andrea Hurlburt ‘03 Wrenn Pierson Joseph Stelly and Noah Oliver Stelly born on July 24, 2016 to Michael and Robin Melancon ‘03 Stelly Emily Kathryn Head born on August 2, 2016 to Jason and Kathryn Bergeron ‘04 Head Allie Renee Vincent born on August 2, 2016 to Cory and Nicole Bergeron ‘07 Vincent Elliott Avery Simmons born on August 5, 2016 to John and Catherine Wise ‘99 Simmons Samuel Francis Becnel born on August 5, 2016 to Chad ‘10 and Leslie Simoneaux ‘10 Becnel Claire Evans LeMaster born on August 7, 2016 to Taylor Scott and Ashley LeBlanc ‘00 LeMaster Patrick Randolph McAlister, Jr. born on August 15, 2016 to Randy and Mollie Alexander ‘04 McAlister William Boustany Mims born on August 16, 2016 to Andrew ‘04 and Christy Boustany ‘ 04 Mims Wilkes Bruno Kidder born on August 17, 2016 to Barry Bruno ‘01 and Sarah Wilkinson Kidder Miller Paul Hicks born on August 26, 2016 to Matt and Tori Toce ‘05 Hicks Robert Arthur Roy, III born on August 29, 2016 to Robert and Rebecca Blanda ‘01 Roy Paloma Alexandria Wise born on August 29, 2016 to John ‘96 and Amanda M. Wise Bowen Dean Barkerding born on August 29, 2016 to Bruce and Amy Landry ‘01 Barkerding Audrey Rose Guidry born on September 30, 2016 to Jacob and Renee Hollier ‘05 Guidry Greer Johnny Rowell born on October 3, 2016 to Brian and Brittany Escott ‘99 Rowell Blake Elizabeth Kastner born on October 10, 2016 to Levi and Lindsey Banquer ‘00 Kastner Harrison Michael Arceneaux born on October 14, 2016 to Grant and Michelle Dugas ‘03 Arceneaux James Michael Aucoin born on October 19, 2016 to Adrian Paul ‘99 and Lindsey Aucoin Jacques Gilbert Terrebonne born on October 21, 2016 to Jakob and Ainsley Pellerin ‘06 Terrebonne William Scott Harmon born on October 27, 2016 to Gregory and Kelly Creel ‘05 Harmon Benjamin Thomas George born on November 1, 2016 to Matthew and Caitlin Caldwell ‘07 George Natalie Grace Regan born on November 8, 2016 to Jonathan and Stephanie Boos ‘98 Regan Dominic Joseph Fontenot born on December 1, 2016 to Joseph and Hailey Reaux ‘06 Fontenot Shepherd David DesOrmeaux born on December 3, 2016 to David and Brittany Broussard ‘08 DesOrmeaux Zerben Charles Bienvenu born on December 5, 2016 to John W.’07 and Leslie Parker ‘06 Bienvenu Elizabeth Claire Laborde born on December 7, 2016 to Gibson ‘03 and Lauren Ashy ‘01 Laborde Rowan Luke Knight born on December 19, 2016 to Nicholas ‘06 and Brennan Diehl ‘07 Knight Maxwell “Max” Waleed Jurisich born on December 22, 2016 to Joel ‘08 and Caroline Jurisich Vivian Mae Hensgens born on December 27, 2016 to Michael and Olivia Joseph ‘08 Hensgens Charles “Charlie” Dennis Doise born on January 20, 2017 to Michael ‘03 and Anne Elise Robertson ‘04 Doise Catherine Elizabeth Domino born on January 22, 2017 to Frank ‘05 and Julia Palmintier ‘05 Domino Meredyth Anne Broussard born on January 25, 2017 to Adam and Anne Sims ‘01 Broussard Maeve Rose Kelly born on January 27, 2017 to Liam Denis and Chea Matherne ‘03 Kelly Wyatt Thomas Whittington born on January 29, 2017 to Andy ‘98 and Katie Ducrest ‘01 Whittington Weston Paul LeBlanc born on January 30, 2017 to Ryan ‘04 and Ashley Laville ‘06 LeBlanc Shepard James Rabeaux born on February 2, 2017 to Scott and Natalie Gauthier ‘04 Rabeaux Shepherd Benjamin Abshire born on February 6, 2017 to Justin and Faith Freeman ‘04 Abshire Madeline Elizabeth Peltier born on February 6, 2017 to Jason and Katherine Gordon ‘04 Peltier Hoyt Edwards Menard born on March 6, 2017 to Daniel ‘08 and Jessica Hoyt Menard Grace Kathryn Bamber born on March 10, 2017 to James and Katie Cranford ‘05 Bamber Jonah Thomas Brewer born on April 4, 2017 to Justin and Lauren Voelkel ‘04 Brewer Leighton Elizabeth Guidry born on April 4, 2017 to Josh and Jamie “Blue” ‘04 Guidry Adelheid (Heidi) Elisabeth French born on April 10, 2017 to Doug and Alicia Ringuet ‘04 French Liam Patrick McElligott born on April 21, 2017 to Patrick ‘02 and Lauren Mestayer ‘02 McElligott 32 FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017 Kenneth Kristopher Cox born on April 24, 2017 to Brandon and Taylor Fisher ‘06 Cox


Cougar wWeddings

Catherine Marie Richard ’04 to Preston Myles Hussman, April 16, 2016 Erin Elizabeth Fontenot ’07 to Caleb Robert Heine, April 30, 2016 Amelie Malanta Larroque to Nicholas Paul Abshire ’02, April 22, 2016 Kristin Michelle Melancon ’06 to David Nicholas Mayeux, May 21, 2016 Erin McClure Despot ’01 to John Joseph McMenemon III, May 21, 2016 Shelby Rene Hernandez to Drew Michael Schambough ’07, June 17, 2016 Paige Elizabeth Hensgens ’05 to Thomas (Trey) Hightower ’01, June 17, 2016 Sarah Caroline Cormier to Benjamin Charles Johnson ’06, June 18, 2016 Kelly Ann Wilt ’03 to Andrew John Steimel, July 2, 2016 Lindsey Catherine Simon ’05 to Benjamin Perry Simms, July 29, 2016 Jessica Bright to Andreau Philip Trepagnier ’08, July 30, 2016 Mary Helen Escott ’08 to Alexander “Bart” Robinson ’03, July 30, 2016 Haley Elizabeth Block ‘11 to Jacob Corey Ballew, September 16, 2016 Anne Elizabeth Peyton ’10 to Taylor Paul Thibodeaux ’09, October 22, 2016 Hillary Claire Vincent ’10 to Jacob Demary Sellers, October 28, 2016 Noelle Jeanne McBride ’05 to Luis Augusto Otero Diaz, October 29, 2016 Ellen Kathryn Hopper ’07 to Fletcher Clements, November 12, 2016 Leslie Ann Buttross ’08 to Sutton Parker Lewis, November 12, 2016 Kathleen Hughes Hyder to Richard (Trey) Zepernick ’09, November 12, 2016 Ali Marie Angers ’06 to John Max Edwards, November 18, 2016 Caitlin Blair Favaloro ’06 to Michael Joseph Busada, November 26, 2016 Katherine Elaine Ortego ’05 to Joshua Mark Broussard, December 30, 2016 Ellen Claire Manuel ’09 to Edward Michael Bienvenu, January 14, 2017 Allison Renee Abshire ’06 to Drew Christopher Daigle, February 10, 2017 Katherine Reed Fremin ’10 to David Taylor Carver, February 11, 2017 Lauren Michelle Sibley ’09 to Trent Matthew Brasseaux ‘09, April 1, 2017 Chelsie Domingue Guillory ’06 to Kennon Wilson, April 1, 2017 Rebecca Christine Cernich ’09 to Joshua FOREVER Paul Blanchard, April 22, 2017 MORE | SUMMER 2017

33


My Journey THROUGH STM By Ruby Boudreaux ‘18

N

umerous factors shaped me into the person I am today and will continue to mold my personality in the future.

From my family and friends, to my faith, to past teachers—all played a part in finding my true identity. One major influence on my character was my shift from public to private school. I have met so many kind-hearted, influential people within three short years who have truly had an impact on my outlook on life. In many ways, the embracing and supportive school community that I now call home has delivered numerous spiritual blessings into my life. I attended Milton Elementary Middle School. It was a great experience and it remains, to this day, one of the best public schools in the area. I struggled with saying goodbye to the school that I called home, the teachers I considered family, and the classmates that remained by my side for as long as I could remember. I never wanted to leave; I felt comfortable there. I fully intended on accompanying the majority of my friends to Comeaux High School; that is, until my mom dragged me to the St. Thomas More Open House. Walking into St. Thomas More, mind turning, I didn’t know that I would soon fall in love with my new home for the next four years. My mom, excited for the opportunity, yearned for me to explore my options to choose the best school for me. I, reluctant yet curious, was uncertain of my ability to become comfortable

in

the

unfamiliar

surroundings.

As I walked through the hallways of STM and heard about all of the extra-curricular activities, abundance of educational opportunities, and greatest of all, the strong religious background, I immediately realized that this was the place for me.

34

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


Regarding friendships, I didn’t know that my best friends

Attending STM has blessed me with meeting so many

in middle school, in reality, weren’t the best of friends to me. I

exceptional people who made a tremendous impact on

believed they were genuine and that I wouldn’t be able to live

who I have become. My friends taught me how to love

without them at STM, but little did I know, I had yet to meet

unconditionally, while Mrs. Manuel taught me to be

my God-chosen best friends. I have made so many friends at

confident and individualistic. Mr. Thompson, energetic and

STM within three short years, and I am continuing to make

spirited, encourages me to remain positive even through my

more; however, there is one core friend group that feeds my

lowest days, while the seniors lead by example in their faith.

inner happiness. These friends support me in everything I

Through all of these influential people and experiences, I

do, care for me, and have my best interests at heart. I can

have immensely grown and continue to grow in learning

always count on them to lead me to be the best version of

who I am and what is important in life. And to think, it all

myself and to encourage me to reach new heights.

began with a simple decision to go to the St. Thomas More

I have learned to make the most of my high school

Open House that one fall night.

years by staying involved in school through clubs and organizations. The most meaningful organization I joined in my time at STM is Campus Ministry. Being born into a Catholic family that went to church most Sundays, I rarely missed. However, since coming to STM, I have not missed one Sunday mass and enjoy going to daily masses when I can. I have been encouraged and pushed to go deeper into my faith and really learn what it means to be connected with God. In addition, my understanding of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has grown immensely. Through retreats and mission trips put on by St. Thomas More Campus Ministry, I have deepened my relationship with Christ and try my best to live as He would want me to live. My most religiously developing experience through STM was definitely the Puerto Rico Mission Trip. I felt a sense of community between myself and my peers that I had never felt before and could not have experienced elsewhere. It was the special feeling of connecting with God and my classmates simultaneously that gave me the extra push I needed to learn to turn to God in my times of need and worry. The mission trip showed me that no matter how many mistakes someone may make, everyone’s good at heart. Everyone has a story. Throughout the year, I attended multiple Kairos retreats and have been taken aback by the heart rendering amount of love and sense of family between all of the students, faculty, and young adult leaders. I learned more about myself during these three-day retreats than I could have in any other school community in four years. At Kairos, I felt a pure and innocent type of love from God, like a mother to her newborn child. There, everyone exhibits characteristics of loving and caring souls and sticks together to carry that love back to Lafayette. Most importantly, I discovered the true meaning of “don’t judge a book by its cover.” These retreats demonstrated the amazing blessings I encountered by stumbling upon St. Thomas More Catholic High School.

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

35


Wouldn’t you like

to be a Cougar too ?

A

cougar, also known as a mountain lion, puma, panther, or catamount, comes to find its name by those who encounter the cat in its natural environment. Much like the mascot, each student walking the halls of St. Thomas More

finds their identity within the elements that make their journey unique. So aren’t you curious to see what being a STM cougar is all about? Much like in nature, it is in observation of one’s habitat, or school campus, that so much can be learned. Throughout the year St. Thomas More offers a way for prospective students to experience the many opportunities, paths, and interests available at our school. St. Thomas More invites you to attend school masses, Open House, schedule a private tour and apply for Cougar for the Day. Are you ready to share the pride of being a cougar too? For more information, visit www.stmcougars.net/admission.

OPEN HOUSE FEEDER SCHOOL VISITS

PRIVATE TOUR COUGAR FOR THE DAY 36

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017


Admissions Process October 12, 2017 Open House

January 2018 Counselors visit feeder schools

January 10, 2018 New Parent Meeting for curriculum and scheduling

January 12 - 19, 2018 2018 - 2019 Application available online

January 17 - 19, 2018 Accepting Required Documents

January 19, 2018 Priority Status Deadline

February 9, 2018 Letters of Acceptance mailed

March 5 - 7, 2018 Registration

Mandatory Parent Education* Thursday, January 18 Thursday, February 22 Tuesday, March 6 *Starting with the Class of 2022 parent education meetings will be a registration requirement. Please mark your calendar now.

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017

37


Here’s to 35 MORE

O

n August 15, 1982, St.

classroom wing will be completed in

introduced to our master site plan

Thomas

the Fall.

and hear our vision. We will gather

More

Catholic

High School was dedicated

On August 15, 2017, we will

input and feedback on the master plan

as the premiere high school in Southwest

celebrate the 35th Anniversary of St.

and capital campaign. The listening

Louisiana and was praised as the finest,

Thomas More Catholic High School.

sessions will be held at STM on the

most modern school in the south. (Albert

Our

following dates:

Comeaux ’83 as found in locker #1 --

mass at 8:15 a.m., a blessing of the

STM Time Capsule)

new classrooms, and closing with an

Tuesday, August 15 | 10 a.m.

opportunity to discover and provide

Tuesday, August 15 | 6 p.m.

input through the Feasibility Study

Wednesday, August 16 | 12:15 p.m.

listening sessions.

Wednesday, August 16 | 6 p.m.

In 2015, the STM advisory council, along

with

the

leadership

team

approved a five-year strategic plan. In creating this plan, the committee

celebration

STM

is

will

excited

begin

to

with

announce

Thursday, August 17 | 8 a.m.

and focus groups were guided by the

the partnership with Development

school’s mission to educate students

Innovations

to be seekers of truth, individuals of

Feasibility Study.

Throughout the

Community, whether an alum, current,

character, and “God’s servant first.” The

study, Development Innovations 360

or past parent, you’re invited to attend

idea was to create an environment that

will work with the school leadership,

these sessions. Over the past 35 years

provides more effective movement on

while engaging stakeholders to ensure

we have been blessed with abundant

campus. This Strategic Plan identified

the study takes into consideration

gifts from you sharing your time,

immediate and future facility needs for

the needs of the school as well as

talent and treasure with St. Thomas

academics, athletics, extra-curricular

the variety of groups who utilize the

More. Here’s to 35 More blessed years!

and spiritual formation. (see page 40)

facility.

360

to

conduct

this

our

Members of the St. Thomas More

and

community, including past, current,

advisory council, the girls’ softball field

and future parents, will be invited to

and the tennis courts were relocated

one of five listening sessions. During

to the athletic complex, and a new 12

these

Through chancellor,

the owner

support

of

pastors,

sessions,

attendees

will

As

a

member

of

the

STM

be

Save the Date! October 7, 2017

38

FOREVER MORE | SUMMER 2017




Class of ‘87


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 665 New Orleans, LA

OPEN HOUSE

Thursday, October 12

continuous tours from 5 - 7 p.m.


Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.