St Bernard Magazine Spring 2021

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Senior Emma Nunez Represents All the Good Chalmette High Offers pg. 8

Bee Rescuers Help St. Bernard pg. 30

Sold on St. Bernard pg. 24

Tommy & Wayne Warner: Commitment to Community pg. 16 1

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Spring Issue 2021

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Book your next event in Historic St. Bernard Parish. Venues include the Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center, the Historic St. Bernard Parish Courthouse, Val Riess Sports Hall of Fame Complex, and the Aycock Barn. Call Maurine Liuzza at 504-278-1506 or email at to book your event today.

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What’s Inside


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Publisher’s Pen: Check Out The Best “A Special Place”

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Spring Issue 2021


CHS Senior Emma Nunez: Unparalleled Success in a Challenging Year


Retiring Coach Cheered


Teachers of the Year:


Sold on St. Bernard:


Gulf Coast Mortgage


Bee Rescuers Help

Telling Their Stories

Boosts Bartolo Drive

Booming in Pandemic

By Winning Colleagues


A Common Bond:


The Warner Brothers:


Faces of Next Generation:

St. Bernard, Naturally

Sports Hall of Fame


A Big Hit in Education

Uplift Community Voices


Ask the Doctor: Are Your Feet Hurting? Captain Corey Shares Recipe: Grilled Shrimp & Blue Crab

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Spring Issue 2021



Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Charles D. Jackson, President JPR (Jackson Public Relations) Enterprises, LLC Office - Chalmette, LA Mail - P.O. Box 57801, New Orleans, LA 70157 Email - Website - Phone - (504) 609-7509

Assistant Editor Michelle A. Nicholson

Art Director Tony Lawton

Cover Photo Farrah Ross Appleman

Contributing Writers


Karen Boudrie Captain Corey Gradwohl Charles D. Jackson Barry Lemoine Dr. Karen Lo Michelle A. Nicholson Hoang Nguyen

Farrah Ross Appleman Ron Brocato Eddie Cortez Anjanae Crump Joshua Goins Captain Corey Gradwohl Charles D. Jackson McKenzie Liazzie Tara Sanchez Captain Charlie Thomason Ro Wright

Consulting Readers Katie Tommaseo William Hyland Herbie Fisher

Designers Sharon Hueschen Tony Lawton

Contact Us Email comments and suggestions to: or call 504-609-7509

© 2021 JPR Enterprises, LLC, New Orleans, LA. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA. The information contained in St. Bernard Magazine is intended for educational purposes only. JPR Enterprises, LLC, publisher of St. Bernard Magazine, does not endorse or promote any of the products or services described in the pages of St. Bernard Magazine, and the publisher does not verify the accuracy of any claims made in advertisements contained.

Publisher's Pen by Charles D. Jackson

Check out the Best The Spring 2021 issue of St. Bernard Magazine profiles some of the Best of the Best. You’ll read about: The Best All-Around Scholar/Athlete — Chalmette High Homecoming Queen Emma Nunez, Page 08 The Best High School Volleyball Coach — Chalmette High Kelli Plaiscia, Page 12 The Best Childhood Friends — Organizers of the St. Bernard Sports Hall of Fame, Page 14 The Best Brother Duo in Education — Former Nunez Chancellor Dr. Tommy Warner and Chalmette High Principal Wayne Warner, Page 16 The Best Young Artists — Teacher/Poet Anjanae Crump and Songwriter/ Producer Joshua “Tymes” Goins, Page 19 The Best Classroom Leaders — 2021 Teachers of the Year, Page 22 And finally, someone who you won’t see profiled — but you will certainly observe his handiwork: The Best Magazine Art Director — Tony Lawton, Our NMewest Team Member

Tony Lawton was a bit of a nomad of sorts before settling in New Orleans six years ago. Originally from the Pittsburgh area, he got his degree in Fine Arts and Design from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and used what he learned to take on design challenges on both a national and international level. Although he has a deep background in web and branding agency work, Tony has always had a soft spot for tradional print, so much so that on his time off, he has taken up the hobby of traditional bookbinding for many years. Thanks Advertisers Many thanks to the businesses that advertise in St. Bernard Magazine. Readers, please thank them for supporting the magazine. We appreciate their patronage — help us spread the word! What Do You Think? Join the St. Bernard Magazine focus group or send your comments and story suggestions to We look forward to hearing from you!

The magazine highlights the rich history, people, progress, traditions, culture, resilience, diversity, civic, small business, schools, organizers, and the extraordinarily welcoming community atmosphere of St. Bernard Parish. This mixture makes ‘Da Parish “The Most Unique County in the Country.”


A Special Pla Senior Emma Nunez Represents All The Good Chalmette High Offers By Barry Lemoine — Photos by Farrah Ross Appleman

I think it’s important to remember who you are representing, whenever you go somewhere. It’s not just Mr. Warner, our principal, or the 2,000 people that go to Chalmette High. I think it’s representing the reputation of everyone who attended Chalmette High and the entire community. — Emma Nunez


Spring Issue 2021






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Wishing everyone a Happy & Safe Easter


nprecedented is a word that has been used a lot during the pandemic, but for Chalmette High School’s Emma Nunez, this word also applies to the unparalleled success she has in academics, athletic accomplishments, and school achievements. During a very challenging senior year, Emma was elected by her peers to serve as both the school’s Senior Class President and Homecoming Queen. A true student-athlete, Emma was named to the LHSAA Volleyball All-State Team and to Louisiana’s All-Academic volleyball and basketball teams. She was also voted the 2021 St. Bernard Parish’s High School Student of the Year — her third such honor, having won in 5th and 8th grades as well. Superintendent Doris Voiter said Emma “personifies what it means to be a scholar-athlete.”

Congratulations Mrs. Lena on

from the staff of Rocky & Carlo’s 613 W. St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette, LA



Spring Issue 2021

“Emma has maintained a 4.1 GPA throughout her high school career, but she is so much more than a great student. She is truly a great ambassador to her school and community,” Voitier said. Emma thinks she represents the good things that Chalmette High offers. “I’m involved in several sports, but that’s not really just my main focus,” she said. “I take my school work very seriously, and I’m involved in a number of clubs in leadership positions. I think that my

to form good people in our parish. I am eternally grateful that I got to spend four years with her.” Emma also cited the work in the school’s English department as a major influence. “The English teachers at Chalmette High have really molded me,” she said. “I’ve always loved writing, and reading is one of my biggest hobbies, but I think my awesome English teachers and the great curriculum we have has allowed me to really find my niche.” well-roundedness is a prime example of what our school offers and what we stand for.” The daughter of Randy and Kristy Nunez, Emma said she takes pride in representing her school and parish. “I think it’s important to remember who you are representing, whenever you go somewhere,” Emma explained. “It’s not just Mr. Warner, our principal, or the two thousand people that go to Chalmette High. I think it’s representing the reputation of everyone who attended Chalmette High and the entire community.” Emma is grateful for the opportunities afforded both in and out of the classroom. “For me, it’s a lot more than just going to school. It’s about being a part of the culture of the school. I feel a sense of pride for the level of performances and opportunities we offer here. There’s always something really special going on,” Emma said. Special is also a word Emma uses to describe her aunt, CHS Volleyball Coach Kelli Plaiscia. “I think there’s something really special about what she does — the way she forms us not just to be good volleyball players or good athletes. She forms us to just be good people - good, strong women. I think that’s something that is very unique. That her focus isn’t so much on winning, but in striving

Emma has received several scholarship offers already in both academics and athletics and said she plans to pursue a degree in English and journalism, with a focus on global studies. And while she is not committed to a university yet, she knows that wherever she winds up, she will focus on remaining “true to [her] authentic self.” She’s also sure about one other thing — that she will continue to represent her parish pride. “I think it’s a really special place, and I want to bring that sense of pride that has been instilled in me since I was younger to wherever I go,” she said. “And then I want to take what I learned in college and bring it back to my parish to try to make it a better place. I really truly believe in giving back to the place that has given me so much.”


Modeling What A Coach Should Be Chalmette Volleyball Coach Kelli Plaiscia Retires With 719 Wins, Legacy of Excellence By Barry Lemoine Photo by Farrah Ross Appleman


n three decades leading the Chalmette High School Volleyball program, Kelli Plaiscia amassed 719 career wins. But it’s her influence on the game that speaks greater volumes.

volleyball, between her coaching and mentoring,” Hegadone said, “and she definitely did something right because she has several pupils out there following in her footsteps.”

Several former volleyball players (who now coach powerhouse programs) talk about Plaiscia’s impact on them and the sport they love:

Archbishop Hannan volleyball coach Rebekka Boudreaux Bonnaffee is another successful offshoot of the Plaisica coaching tree. Bonnaffee, who has 23 years of head coaching experience and state championships with two different programs, credits Plaiscia for her career path. “I am a coach because I wanted to do for my players what Kelli did for me,” Bonnaffee said. “Kelli taught me that every day is a chance to be better. When you work hard, you and the team get better.” Thibodaux High School volleyball coach Carley Martin also played at Chalmette High and considers Plaiscia a lifetime role model. “I can honestly say, I would not be the person, player, or coach that I am if it wasn’t for her. She taught me the sacrifices that coaches give and the family atmosphere they create,” Martin said. Fontainebleau High’s Coach Kacie Mulé, who has nearly 300 wins as head coach, said Plaiscia inspired her career path.

(Photo by Ron Brocato/Clarion Herald) Coach April Hagadone

April Barrios Hagadone, the athletic director and head volleyball coach at Mount Carmel Academy, has collected seven state championships and 10 district titles. She played for Plaiscia at CHS for three years and calls her an inspiration. “Kelli has contributed so much to Louisiana


Spring Issue 2021

“Her love and passion for the game really pushed me to be a better player and a coach.” And though not a player, Peter Bertucci Jr, the volleyball coach at St. Scholastica Academy, did his student teaching with Plaisica. “She modeled what a coach should be,” Bertucci said. “She always takes what she has and gets the most out of her kids. She is one of the most

All of their sacrifice, dedication, and commitment has allowed this success to happen. This recognition is as much for them as for me. respected coaches in the state and deserves every bit of it. She has lots of disciples of her coaching.” Plaiscia, a member of the Louisiana Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame (2011) and the St.Bernard Sports Hall of Fame (2016), retired this year — her 34th year of coaching in St. Bernard. She said she is grateful for the time and experiences she shared with her players: “It has been a privilege to have been a part of the lives of the incredible women I have coached.” Plaiscia said her 719 career wins are a testament to her family, assistant coaches, and players. “All of their sacrifice, dedication, and commitment has allowed this success to happen. This recognition is as much for them as for me.”

Asked about her retirement plans, Plaiscia jokes, “I don’t have that figured out just yet. It’s going to take me at least a month to clean out my office.” But even after her office is cleaned, her legacy will remain.


A Common Bond

Tribute to Longtime Baseball Coach Sparks Idea for Sports Hall of Fame

St. Bernard Parish Sports Hall of Fame board at Par 3 Restaurant, where the organization’s first meeting was held in May 1992. Pictured from left to right are Rene Hyer, Roy Cortes, Ronnie Kornick, Scott Gaillot, Ronnie Evans, Raymond Doran, and Sam Catalanotto.

By Charles D. Jackson

Photo by Farrah Ross Appleman


n celebrating its 25th ceremony, the St. Bernard Parish Sports Hall of Fame is hitting another milestone — inducting, for the first time, a professional fisherman: Captain Charlie Thomason, the owner of a fishing charter and lodging business. Since St. Bernard is synonymous with seafood, you’d think a professional fisherman would already be enshrined in the local Hall of Fame. Capt. Thomason says he is “honored” to be the first. He does, indeed, have a long list of accomplishments to honor, including wins during an ESPN All-Star Event in Alabama. Each year, the Sports Hall of Fame continues to advance its mission of recognizing outstanding athletes and coaches from the parish. It all started in May 1992, when a group of childhood friends met at Par 3 Restaurant Capt. Charlie Thomason for an organizational meeting. The original members were Roy Cortes, Earl Laigast, Dr. Bryan Frichter, and Ronnie S. Kornick Sr. The loss of their childhood baseball coach,


Spring Issue 2021

Samuel “Sammy” Frichter Sr., sparked the idea. After Kornick wrote a tribute in the St. Bernard Picayune, Cortes saw the article and asked Kornick if he’d like to start a Sports Hall of Fame. “All St. Bernard people have a common bond,” Kornick said. “In St. Bernard, everybody feels a part of others’ success. Everybody from St. Bernard is in this organization. We look at people’s resumes, accomplishments, and coaching success. We try to honor as many professional athletes, coaches who lived or had success here, and amateur and local high school athletes. “With the birth and expenses of a new venture, we needed a corporate sponsor,” Kornick said. “Nick Trist, president of People’s Bank of St. Bernard, said, ‘Where do I sign and how much do you need?’” “The recognition from Nick Trist in putting the People’s Bank stamp on our organization was priceless,” Kornick said. “The people of St. Bernard realized that we were not going to be just a Johnny-come-lately club.”

In 1995, the first Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was conducted at the St. Bernard Cultural Center, attracting more than 450 people. The first two inductees, Norris Weese and Jerry Pellegrini, set the bar high and gave the organization instant recognition, organizers said. “To be an inductee is a very proud, exclusive deal,” Dr. Bryan Fritcher said.

First Inductees: 1995 Professional Athletes Norris Weese: Ole Miss two-sport letterman and NFL quarterback who led the Denver Broncos to their only touchdown in the 1978 Super Bowl Jerry Pellegrini: “The Boxing Barber” from St. Bernard, once ranked as high as No. 3 in the world in the welterweight division.

Amateur Athletes Erika Schneider: two-sport performer in softball and track at St. Bernard High, ranked in the top 10 nationally in the javelin Eddie Nelson: two-sport athlete at Chalmette High, MVP in District 10 Track, and All-State football player.

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People’s Bank Humanitarian Award: Sammy Frichter: assisted in forming the St. Bernard Parish Recreation Department and was a major influence on children’s introductions to sports.

St. Bernard Parish Sports Hall of Fame 25th Induction Ceremony Tentatively Scheduled for May 8, 2021 at 7 p.m. St. Bernard Parish Sports Hall of Fame Center Val Riess Park, 1101 Magistrate St., Chalmette, LA 70043

Serving rd St. Berna Residents ors and Visit


.......................................................................... 60th Inductee Capt. Charlie Thomason is the first professional fisherma n to be honored for being a standout sports ambassador for St. Bernard Parish during his 30-year career. One of the most seasoned inshore charter captains, he has also hosted many programs on channels such as ESPN and National Geographic. In 2015, he produced and hosted his own television show, “Coastal Fishing Concepts,” filmed in St. Bernard Parish.




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Parish Pride by Barry Lemoine

Tommy & Wayne Warner: Unwavering Commitment to Community


Spring Issue 2021

Photo by Farrah Ross Appleman

When most people think of the Warner Brothers, they think of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but here in St. Bernard, the WB moniker represents something more than movie magic.

Here, it represents the unwavering commitment to the community demonstrated by Tommy and Wayne Warner and the countless lives impacted by their educational leadership. Between the two, the Warner brothers have devoted over 100 years of service to the people of St. Bernard Parish.

vision, he was a driving force for the opening and renovation of three three state-of-the-art multi-purpose buildings on campus.

Dr. Tommy Warner

“His lifelong commitment to education, to public service, and to people is unmatched,” Sullivan said. “His professional and personal mentorship has helped to develop a generation of communitycollege leaders.”

In his 60-year career, Dr. Warner, who is affectionately known as “Coach,” served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, assistant school superintendent, dean, and Louisiana State Legislator. During the last 17 years of his career, he served as chancellor of Nunez Community College. He retired from the college in 2017, but his impact and influence resonate. Dr. Tina Tinney, who worked for Dr. Warner as a teacher and succeeded him as Chancellor, said she is indebted to his educational legacy. “I learned very quickly that Dr. Warner wasn’t only the Chancellor that served before me, but also the Chancellor who laid the foundation of what lay ahead of me,” Tinney said. “His passion and commitment to employees, students, and our community set a high bar for all of those who will follow in his footsteps.” Ron Chapman, a history teacher and longtime colleague of Dr. Warner, refers to him as “a wonderful, warm individual who truly cares about people.” Chapman said this compassion carried over into all aspects of Warner’s career. “Everyone mattered to him—students, faculty, and staff. He always put people first.” In a press release issued by the state, Gov. John Bel Edwards referred to Dr. Warner as a “consummate public servant” and credited Warner for his tireless efforts at the college, post-Katrina. “It [Nunez Community College] was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, but he was determined to bring it back for the students and the community,” Edwards said. “He worked hard along with the great people of Chalmette to make that happen, and today it is thriving.” Dr. Warner’s educational philosophy focused on providing students with lifetime learning and acquiring career and job skills. In pursuit of that

Monty Sullivan, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, said Warner left a permanent impression on people throughout Louisiana.

Dr. Warner’s educational philosophy focused on helping students grow. “I feel good that I’ve been in a position to help students to acquire lifelong learning skills to help them succeed in life,” he said. When reflecting on his career, Dr. Warner said he feels grateful for the people and the programs that he was part of over the years. “I’ve been blessed to be a teacher, a coach, a chancellor,” he said. “I love everything I’ve done since I came to Chalmette.” Wayne Warner said his big brother was a stand out collegiate athlete who had many options after graduating from Tulane. “Tommy could have gone on to become a professional athlete, but he didn’t,” Wayne said. “He stayed. He worked with kids and made them better people. He built character. I think that’s his legacy.”

Principal Wayne Warner Beginning in 1973, Wayne Warner has carved out his own educational legacy at Chalmette High School. The longest-serving principal in the nation (50 years), Warner was recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principal for his incredible commitment to CHS. His tenure is long and impressive. Mr. Warner was an administrator when the school desegregated in the 1970s and when the public high schools became co-ed in the 1980s. He was the principal during Hurricane Katrina and an everyday hero not only during the storm but also throughout the district’s recovery. This year, Mr. Warner faced another great challenge—leading his nearly 2,000 students and staff through a global pandemic.


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And while the world has changed dramatically in the 50 years of Wayne Warner’s tenure, the one thing that has not changed is his steadfast commitment to the people of the parish. Warner is the epitome of service leadership. He acts with compassion, resolve, and grace, doing what is best for the students in his care and for the community that he serves. His advice? “Lead by the way you live.” CHS’ longtime Assistant Principal Carole Mundt said Warner is a daily inspiration. “Mr. Warner reminds students each morning that the choices you make today shape your world tomorrow. His choices have touched the hearts of over 15,000 students, and we as a community and a school will be forever thankful for his leadership and service.”

201 Bayou Road St. Bernard, LA 70085








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Superintendent Doris Voitier is grateful, too, for Warner’s countless contributions during the past five decades. “When Wayne began as principal, Chalmette High School was home to over 1,700 boys,” Voitier said. “Today, Chalmette High School is one of the top high schools in the state and recognized by the Louisiana State Department of Education as an ‘A’ school.” Voitier calls Warner her greatest influence on her career. “As a young teacher, I learned from him true compassion for students. He has influenced the dreams and guided the lives of thousands of our St. Bernard Parish students and community members. He is the finest child-centered educator I have ever had the privilege of knowing.” Wayne’s humble response to such a compliment– “That’s just what school people do.” School Board member Sean Warner knows firsthand the influence that his dad, Tommy, and his Uncle Wayne have had over the years. He said he is grateful for their ongoing positive modeling of how to lead and love a community.

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“Learning and teaching have been a big part of the Warner family. I am honored to share that name with my dad and uncle. They are truly some firstclass men, and I am proud to know them.”


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Barry Lemoine is an award-winning writer and educator. His commitment to and passion for the Parish and its performing arts have earned him the moniker of “The Bard of St. Bernard.”


Anjanae Crump

Art for Joy

by Michelle A. Nicholson

Joshua “Tymes” Goins: Faces of Our Next Generation Dedicated to Uplifting Community Voices

A couple of recently-engaged Chalmette High School graduates — spoken-word artist, poet, and teacher Anjanae Crump and songwriter, organizer, marketer, and producer Joshua “Tymes” Goins — are serving the Parish as young professionals in their respective fields with a shared passion for promoting the arts and other artists.

Photo by Joshua Goins



oins, a St. Bernard native, always thought he would be a scientist, even though he started running a studio, in his bedroom, in middle school (and charging in high school). At CHS, he became more interested in art, and he’s still proud to have designed the mural for Owl Week for the very first class of the Freshman Academy. It was when he started studying at Loyola, with its acclaimed music program, that Goins changed his degree major and his plans. During this period, he organized and performed at house parties, which evolved to include visual artists. “People really liked other stuff being at the parties,” he recalls, “so then I got this idea to do this art crawl kind of thing. I would get all my visual artist friends to come out and display their work. I continued that when I started doing my big shows.

all kinds of people grab that mic. It was more like a freestyle-karaoke.” Crump, who entered the scene at Chalmette High as a junior, also says it was an open mic that inspired her to pursue her work as a spoken word artist and poet. She remembers writing fairy tales for her aunts and poems that her elementary school picked to “get everyone hyped about the LEAP test,” but it was in high school that she got serious about her craft. “I was a quiet teenager. I was a quiet kid,” she says. “I didn’t really talk much, but I wrote a lot. Then I had my first spoken word performance the year I graduated, in 2014, at Juju Bag Café. That was when I was like, ‘yea, really, I can do this.’ I could really reach people with my words. They could relate to them. I could put into words a lot of the things that people already feel.”

Crump, whose poet-name is Sade Cru, has self-published Tinted Windows and Photo by McKenzie Liazzie Love on Fire, and her reach went national when she was invited to recite “Dear Girls” on The Golden Mic (broadcasted on the Congo TV Even if you’re writing an academic app). Her first two books essay, you can put your own voice grapple with tough topics: social issues she saw in there, your own style in there. in the world and love — Open mics were a big part Make it your own. the good, the bad, the of Goins’ college ugly, the funny. Of her -era house parties because current work, she says, open mic events “Now, it’s more social stuff — because, sadly, not inspired him. much has changed — and also getting more back “I got into freestyling because I would go to all to the personal.” the open mics, and I would see the poets,” he Both Crump and Goins take their mutual calling explains. “It really gave me a love for words. That’s to support and build communities of artists perwhat those shows were really about — how can sonally and professionally. Goins currently managI make the people around me enjoy something as es about 1.5 million followers on Instagram for his much as I enjoy it. People who never had experiartists, but he is most excited about ghostwriting ences with music or never tried poetry — I had “I was trying to bridge communities,” says Goins, adding that he values being able to support other musicians and artists. “I can give them that opportunity to be there and share their artwork with people around them and make money,” rather than continuing to live as “starving artists.”

20 Spring Issue 2021

songs and promoting the next generation of artists, including CHS student KiddOK.


“He’s really a kid, but he’s really good,” Goins says of KiddOK. “He’s had a lot of people notice him. We’ve grown his Instagram page (it’s @_kiddokiddo) to 12,000 followers in 6 months.”

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Crump, who started teaching English at CHS this 2020-2021 school year, also dedicates herself to fostering young creatives in the Parish. As a teacher, she aims to help her students gain confidence in their voices. “I try to get them to think of what they’re doing as important—that this is their story,” she explains. “Even if you’re writing an academic essay, you can put your own voice in there, your own style in there. Make it your own.” “Don’t just think of everything as ‘oh, it’s just this assignment.’ You could find something deeper in any piece of literature, even if you’re writing it yourself, even if you’re reading it — try to find the art in things.”

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For more Information: @sadecru,, @tymeisendless

A native of St. Bernard Parish, Michelle A. Nicholson is a writer, editor, teacher, and proud alumna of Andrew Jackson Magnet High, Loyola University, and the University of New Orleans.

2201 Paris Road Ste E&F Chalmette, LA 70043 (504) 516-2706 Fax: (504) 603-2966 21

The Dynamic Dozen

By Barry Lemoine

St. Bernard Parish Schools’ 12 Teachers of the Year These outstanding educators were selected by their peers for demonstrating excellence in classroom practices and school leadership. They represent the exceptional work happening in classrooms across the Parish each day and all that is good in public education. What they say:

“I love working with the students, administration, and teachers at SBM! I learn so much from each and every one of them.” Amber Manino, 7th Grade English, St. Bernard Middle

“My sweet babies need me just as much as I need them, and it has been an absolute pleasure watching them grow.” Alaa Alkurd, 1st Grade, Arabi Elementary

“Being here has allowed me to grow as both an educator and professional while building relationships with my students, families, colleagues, and district leaders.” Chelsea Hayes, 3rd Grade, J.F. Gauthier Elementary

“You do not realize how many other districts do not have the resources that are available to us and all of the friendships and camaraderie that we have here in St. Bernard.” Dina Martinez, 5th Grade, Lacoste Elementary

“It’s not just about academics. It’s about creating and making this tiny, little human into a better human being.” Gabrielle Arceneaux, 3rd Grade, Chalmette Elementary

“I definitely love all of the kids that I teach — that’s why I keep coming back.” John Trevino, 8th Grade Math, C.F. Rowley Alternative

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“I’m proud to say I’m a product of our wonderful St. Bernard Parish school system, and I am honored to teach in the parish that I call home.” Kayla Serigne, M.Ed., 5th Grade, Joe Davies Elementary

“I love teaching at Chalmette High School. I had such a wonderful experience here as a student, and I am so thankful to get to share that with the next generation.” Annelise Cassar Tedesco, Vocal Music, Chalmette High School

“As a teacher, I am most proud of my students. I love watching them grow and blossom throughout the year.” Katie Green, 2nd Grade, Arlene Meraux Elementary

“My favorite thing about teaching is seeing the kids’ faces when they learn something new — especially the ones who did not think they could do it.” Sabrina Cunningham, 6th Grade Science, N.P. Trist Middle

“You start off with the potential, and then you see it just flourish. I don’t think there is any greater reward.” Greg Patterson, Music, W. Smith Elementary

“My goal is to show my students what is out there and what is available to them, so that they can take the next step.’’ Bridget Derbyshire, 8th Grade Quest for Success, Andrew Jackson Middle


Building Up Bartolo Family Finds Dream Home in Neighborhood That’s “Good Place for Kids” By Karen Boudrie Photos by Charles D. Jackson Armstrong Construction, LLC has been awarded 18 properties to develop on Bartolo Drive in Meraux


hen Manuel and Yeseina Espinoza decided to look for a new home, Meraux wasn’t at the top of their list. In fact, it really wasn’t on their list at all. But once they took a closer look, they were sold! “I never thought of going to Meraux, but it seems like it’s coming up,” says Manuel, a utility company subcontractor. As 2020 thankfully came to an end for many, it ended on an up note for the Espinozas as Manuel, his wife, Yeseina, and their five children found their dream home. They had been living in Chalmette, but were looking for an elusive four-bedroom home with a garage, space, and affordability. While it seemed like a tall order, they found just what they were looking for on Bartolo Drive in Meraux. Their new home was built by Armstrong Construction, a Sold on St. Bernard Builder revitalizing Bartolo, from Judge Perez to the 40 Arpent, with a number of modern yet affordable single family homes. “We didn’t know the area, but we have relatives who live in Meraux,” Yeseina says. “They told us the environment was different, calm and a good place for kids.” Their new open-concept home has four bedrooms, a garage, and the space they craved. Just as important was the price: under $260,000, a value the Espinozas couldn’t pass up. The demand for new construction homes in the area is evident. When construction finished on the first two homes on Bartolo, one was under contract in a day; another, in five days.

24 Spring Issue 2021

Without the Sold on St. Bernard Builder Bundle program, we would not be progressing as fast as we are. It’s exciting to see all the young families coming in; it’s what makes a community. And it’s happening across the parish. — District D Council Member Wanda Alcon

Anticipating this demand, St. Bernard Parish, through its Sold on St. Bernard program, awarded Builder Bundle properties for the first time last April outside of the Arabi Resilience District. That means the explosion of affordable homes and revitalization is now happening in Meraux and neighborhoods like Chalmette Vista. “Without the Sold on St. Bernard Builder Bundle program, we would not be progressing as fast as we are,” says District D Council member Wanda Alcon. “It’s exciting to see all the young families coming in; it’s what makes a community. And it’s happening across the parish.”




4:19 PM

The Espinoza family enjoying board games in the comfort of their spacious home on Bartolo Drive.

5442 E. Judge Perez Drive • Violet, LA 70092 Saturday & S riday Monday-F6 p.m. 7 a.m. - 1 p.munday ..m . 7a


Daily Specials •



Red or White BeaGnsre,ens Liver and Onions, Meatballs & Spaghetti, Hot or Smoked, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie $8.50 & Corn $8.50 Veggie $8.50 Bread •THURSDAY•

Fried or Baked Chicken


Al -U-Can Eat uffet Boiled Seafod B (Sides Vary) $9.95 FULL MENU AVAILABLE

Celebrating 29 Years Thanks for your support

Another plus for the area is a new state-of-the art public library slated for the corner of Judge Perez and Judy Drive in Meraux. To meet the demands of the digital age, the proposed $11.4 million facility will feature a “Stop and Stay” environment for residents with high tech equipment. For young families like the Espinozas, it’s just one more reason to be Sold on St. Bernard.


★ Driver’s License Renewal ★ ★ No Insurance Reinstatements ★ ★ Title Transfers and License Plates ★ ★ Auto Insurance ★


318 W. Judge Perez Dr. • Chalmette 25




11:07 AM


St. Bernard Growth Home Prices Jump — Second-Highest In Region


By Karen Boudrie

504-676-3697 3201 E. Judge Perez Dr. Meraux, LA

obust activity in the St. Bernard Parish housing market has pushed up home prices. From 2016 to 2020, home prices rose 33.3% -- the region’s second-largest increase, behind Jefferson Parish at 36%. During the same period, New Orleans rose 16.3%, St. Charles 20.9%, and St. Tammany 17.9% , according to the Gulf South Real Estate Information Network via NOMAR. Fueling the drive is new home construction in the Parish’s fastest-growing zip codes: Arabi (70032), Chalmette (70043), and Meraux (70075).

(504) 271-3621

1st BMG Realty Your One Stop Real Estate Brokerage Selling or Buying a Property? Are you interested in a Career in Real Estate? Need help qualifying for a home loan? Ask us about zero down payment. We specialize in past and active members of the military.

(504) 271-3621 | | Careers:

©2021 1st BMG Realty, LLC 1st BMG REALTY® and the 1st BMG REALTY Logo are registered service marks owned by 1st BMG Realty, LLC

26 Spring Issue 2021


Your Local St. Bernard Home Loans Lender Purchase, refinance, renovation & construction Pat Callaghan

Pam McLaurin Lee

Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS# 129310

Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS# 624456

O: 504.544.6302 1801 E. Judge Perez Dr Chalmette, LA 70043

O: 504.561.1307 8216 W. Judge Perez Dr Chalmette, LA 70043



Contact a lender today to discuss your options: Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, FHA 203K, Bond Programs, First Time Homebuyer, Jumbo, Investment Property, One-Time Close Construction, & Renovation. Normal credit qualifications and other terms & conditions apply. See lender for complete details.

833.578. (HOME) • GULFBANK.COM/HOMELOANS • Co. NMLS# 450086

Spring intoSt. B ernard! Now Even MORE AFFORDABLE Homes!

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Race to the Finish Line Bustling Pandemic Housing Market Keeps Mortgage Loan Originator Busy By Hoang Nguyen — Gulf Coast Bank Photo by Farrah Ross Appleman


magine the joy and satisfaction you feel as a Saints fan after a game-winning touchdown in the Superdome. That’s how Pat Callaghan, who has worked in the mortgage industry for more than 30 years, feels every time he hears the phrase “clear to close” for his clients. “The mortgage business is like a race to get to the finish line,” he explains. “You’re playing four quarters in a football game, and you finally get to the end.” Winning means a successful closing, happy clients, and home-purchase dreams spinning into reality. Pat, who has worked as mortgage loan originator for six years with Gulf Coast Bank – and originating mortgages for much longer – has seen a lot in his three decades of helping people buy and refinance homes all over Greater New Orleans. In 2005, he weathered the downturn of the postKatrina housing market preceding the rebuilding and new construction boom. He survived the Great Recession of 2007 and 2008 and subsequent tightening of mortgage restrictions. Now, the (surprisingly) bustling pandemic housing market keeps his phone ringing and inbox overflowing – and a steady flow of loan applicants sit before him daily, looking to lock-in historically low rates.

A Heart for Helping Others It was the spirit of altruism instilled in him by his parents that first attracted Pat to the idea that he could build a career out of helping people. “My parents were very open, giving, and heartwarming people – and they gave everything they could,” Pat says. “I learned from them, and that’s how I live my life.” Pat earned his college degree in Business Administration from the University of New Orleans and took a job in finance right out of college.

28 Spring Issue 2021

Of after 12 years helping clients finance everything from furniture to real estate, he teamed up with a good friend who helped Pat realize what an impact he could make in his community by joining a mortgage team.

The Spirit of Partnership: A Community Bank to Call Home The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Great Recession recovery found Pat looking for a new opportunity with the right lender, a smaller and more family-oriented community bank where people, not numbers, are first. He joined Gulf Coast Bank Home Loans. “I try to approach every type of loan with the idea that this is an opportunity to help somebody,” Pat says. “Some of my customers have never bought a home before, and they don’t know the process. They don’t know if they qualify; they don’t know where to start. Others are ready to go.” In the course of working with clients, Pat became a trusted partner and a guide of sorts, leading clients through the hurdles of a successful loan prequalification, application, underwriting, approval, and closing, ultimately, to becoming homeowners. “Mortgages are a puzzle, with so much documentation, pieces, and parts needed,” Pat says. “I have a team of dedicated people – processors, underwriters, assistants, and more – who help me.” It’s more like a series of collaborative efforts all working together with the same end in mind: getting the client to the finish line which is called “closing!” “It’s a steady race to the finish line,” he says. “Hearing the ‘all-clear’ is one of the more satisfying parts of the job.” Reach Pat at: (504) 544-6302 or




3:27 PM

y p p a H g n i r p S

Real Estate Title Transfers Diana Dysart

Locally Owned & Operated

#3 Courthouse Square Chalmette, LA 70043


printing & copy center


“Celebrating our 31st year in the Parish” “Locally Owned & Operated since 1989” Our Roots are Here . . . Not Just Our Branches!


g n i t a r b e l Ce 13 Years!

908 W. Judge Perez at Fazzio • Chalmette • 504-271-5006 • Fax 504-271-0240 •

Ditto’s has continued to serve the Parish since 1989. Once located on Paris Road next to Cafe Roma. Now located in our building on West Judge Perez corner Fazzio Street. Full Service Printing & Design, Engineering Prints, Copies, Email, Faxing, Laminating, Banners & Signs Owner Sam Catalanotto has over 45 years experience in the printing industry. Manager Laurie Evans has been with Ditto’s since the beginning and daughter Elizabeth has been serving our customers since she was old enough to see over the counter. We live, work and shop in the parish. We like to say... “Our Roots are here, Not Just Our Branches”.

PRINTED PRODUCTS Business Cards Envelopes & Letterheads Flyers & Brochures Postcards & Invitations Raffle & Event Tickets Door Hangers & Labels Carbonless Forms & Invoices

SIGNAGE & BANNERS Vinyl Banners Campaign Yard Signs Pull-Up Banner Displays Cloth Table Throws


Engineering Prints & Oversize Copies Full Color & High Speed Copies Numbering • Cutting • Folding Faxing & Laminating Computer Services for Email & Storage Direct Mail Advertising Binding and more.....


Spend your money locally and support the businesses that support you. Do the online businesses or the office supply superstore buy any sandwiches or lunch from the local markets? Do they purchase tickets to the local plays and cinemas? Do they support the local ball teams schools and churches? We do! We can’t always match the online prices, but we guarantee our service and our quality will match or beat theirs, and you don’t have to drive to the other side of town or compromise your identity on the internet. We appreciate your business!


Local Bee Rescuers Help St. Bernard, Naturally By Michelle A. Nicholson


pringtime is bee season, and local bee rescuers Dr. Tara Sanchez, a teacher at Chalmette High, and Eddie Cortez, a local farmer, are ready to spring into action at the first sign of a swarm or hive. Often, hives don’t get noticed until people start getting stung, but there are lots of reasons to be on the lookout for bees and to have them removed and cared for by professional beekeepers. Other critters love honey as much as we do, so honeycombs attract pests to our homes. They also make our walls more welcoming to termites. Don’t wait for them to become an obvious nuisance—or worse. Watch for bee activity around your house, particularly around your eaves. Sanchez says bees will look for a tiny entryway into a cavity, like a tree (or an attic). Capturing a swarm in a tree, before it settles in someone’s building, is easiest and ideal. However, when a hive is in a house, Cortez—armed with a thermal camera and decades of experience as a carpenter—is able to precisely locate and access the colony. Sanchez then removes the brood, or the cells that contain baby bees, and attaches it to panels that slide into the wooden bee box that will be their new home. The queen often runs and hides. Sanchez has spent hours chasing queens. Once the queen is captured, Sanchez vacuums the remaining bees into a holding cell. Usually, once at their new location, the bees are knocked out of this cage, into the boxes containing the brood. Because this process is traumatic for the

30 Spring Issue 2021

bees, the team created an alternative vacuum that places the bees directly into their new box. With this method, they’ve seen a 100 percent increase in the success of the hives they relocate to their farm. “One out of every three bites of food we eat was pollinated by a bee. We want every bee to live,” says Sanchez. Hives may be problematic for homeowners, but bees are also important and in danger, so the team offers bee-rescue services on a donation-basis. “We just want to help the people of St. Bernard,” Cortez adds, “and do it naturally.” For Z Farm & Orchard Bee Rescue Services, call (504) 717-8790 during regular business hours and (504) 579-4127 after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

Do Your Feet Hurt? If you’re experiencing foot pain that seems to never go away, there are many different conditions that could be the source of your pain. High blood sugar is responsible for blood flow complications, but nerve decompression surgery can be used effectively to treat peripheral neuropathy by decreasing the symptoms of pain, numbness, and tingling, and it may prevent amputation. By reducing or eliminating pain and improving quality of life, this surgery is life-changing for patients. From athletes to people who simply do a lot of standing, many people experience plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the long band of tissue on the bottom of the foot. It is caused by putting repetitive stress on the foot. Symptoms are pain on the bottom of the heel and/or arch of the foot. The pain is usually worse in the morning but may go away after walking. If left untreated, the pain will increase. If you’ve experienced these symptoms, see a foot and ankle Urgent.pdf 2/20/21 2:26 PM specialist to get a1 proper diagnosis.

Ask a Doctor

by Dr. Karen Lo

Bunions are a common deformity that can cause foot pain. Bunions are not just a bump on the side of the big toe. They are a visible sign of what’s going on inside the foot: The big toe leans toward the second toe instead of pointing straight out. This throws the bones out of alignment, forming the characteristic bump. Surgery is appropriate if nonsurgical treatments fail to provide adequate relief. Dr. Karen Lo received her medical degree from Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Independence, OH, and completed her residency at the Cleveland Foot Clinic of the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland. Dr. Lo is board-certified by American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. To schedule an appointment, visit or call (504) 493-2200.



Grilled Shrimp and Blue Crab with Captain Corey Gradwohl


f you like eating or fishing in New Orleans and the swamps and bayous of South Louisiana, you’re going to want to learn more about how to fix and enjoy grilled shrimp and blue crab. You want to enjoy your catch with the best recipes and ingredients for a mouth-watering experience.

32 Spring Issue 2021


Start out by making a marinade with Cajun seasoning and lime juice to add some kick. Honey is also delicious because it combines sweet and spicy. You don’t have to marinade your shrimp too long to get the flavor soaked in. Just let it set while you get the grill going and start other meal prep work. Don’t forget to add the Cajun seasoning to the peppers and onions or other vegetables you plan to grill. Make shrimp skewers and cook each one for just a few minutes per side. The veggies will take a little longer to cook, so put them on the grill first. Serve with potatoes, rice, or other sides for a complete meal that only takes a few minutes to prepare.

Grill Your Blue Crabs There’s nothing quite like cooking over a grill, and that smoky flavor will make you the hit of any dinner party. While you might automatically think about hot dogs, brats, or even steaks when it comes to grilling, you should consider blue crabs as well. Seafood doesn’t take long on the grill. In about 20 minutes, you’ll have a delicious meal that will have everyone raving.


2:40 PM

Delicious Fried Fish

Try Some Cajun Grilled Shrimp If you are anxious for a true taste of South Louisiana, Cajun is the way to go. Make this spicy shrimp on the grill while hanging out with some friends. Throw on a few peppers and onions for a delicious entrée or add your grilled shrimp to a salad.



Dine In or Drive Through

Party Platters Available


3124 E. Judge Perez Dr. Meraux

Just like with the shrimp, you’ll want to include Cajun seasoning in your recipe. To make the crabs even more tasty, pour a can or glass of your favorite lager over them. Let the crabs cook for about ten minutes per side. Once you remove them from the grill, they will be easy to crack open. Start with the cleaned side of the crab facing down. Once you turn them, they create a small bowl, which is where you put the seasoning and beer. The beer will begin to boil, which means it is steaming the crab. Serve it with melted butter for dipping and add vegetables and some rice for a meal or a steak to create a surf-n-turf dinner. Whether catching it, cooking it, or eating it, seafood is a way of life in South Louisiana. From freshwater fish to shrimp and clams, you’ll find something on the menu in nearly every restaurant. Try one of these ideas at home and make your own seafood dinner just as spectacular as what the chefs do in the finest New Orleans eateries.

Stay Safe with

Spring & Summer Supplies 33

Resource Directory CindiMeyer_Resource.pdf

✸ All Beauty Services including Tanning Salon • Massage Therapy



You combine. You save.




Hair Salon


721 W St Bernard Hwy • Chalmette La 70043 Walk ins welcome • Appts available

7:53 PM

found your

Real Estate Agent?

I'd like to help you." AprilRose

(504) 699-0617


American Income Tax Service 318 W. Judge Perez Drive Chalmette, LA 70043

2/26/21 1 2/11/21

11:13 AM ParishBeautyBar.pdf

Parish Beauty Bar 504-205-3331

321 W. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette LA 70043 Walk-ins & Appointments Available


In-House Financing Available, Interest Free

Hair Gallery Call for an Appointment 504-277-8607

115 W. Morales St. Chalmette, LA 70043

Holiday Gift Cards Available

34 Spring Issue 2021



(504) 676-3055 Tara


1002 W. Judge Perez Drive Chalmette, LA 70043 (504) 252-9800

Shop: 504.234.2012 Cell: 504.267.3921 Any Service Like a good neighbor, 2909 Paris Rd. Cindi Meyer, Agent State Farm is there. Chalmette, LA 70043 Exp. 3/1/21 WITH COUPON AmericanIncomeTax_Resource.pdf Dorene's_2.25x2.75_3.pdf 1 10/18/20 12:56 PM



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7:16 PM

CALL 504-609-7509 TO ADVERTISE

7:17 PM

Diagnostic services close to home

St. Bernard Parish Hospital meets your diagnostic needs at one convenient location. Our highly trained staff guarantees a smooth transition between detection, diagnosis and treatment. We send your test results directly to your doctor to make sure you get the care you need without delay. We gladly accept orders from any provider. Services now available with extended hours: ✔ X-ray: 8am – 12pm, Saturday and Sunday ✔ CT Scan: 8am – 12pm, Saturday and Sunday ✔ MRI: 8am – 12pm, Sunday ✔ Lab: 7am - 12pm, Saturday and Sunday

To schedule an appointment, call 504-493-2200 or visit

St. Bernard Parish Hospital 8050 West Judge Perez Drive Chalmette, LA 70043

From the Barracks to the Bayou. St. Bernard is our home. Let’s make it yours too!



Jacques Alfonso Amanda Campo 504-228-3803 504-228-1860