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Summer 2017


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Save the date and dust off your dancing shoes for

SJA’s Soiree Rocking through the Decades. Saturday, March 10, 2018 Join the SJA community for a night of silent and live auctions, raffles, great food and drinks and live music by AFTER 8. If you are interested in serving on the Soiree Planning Committee, please contact Megan St. Germain at or (225) 388-2270.




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in this issue

4 6 14

From the President SJA Community Alumnae News

18 24 27

Alums Today Annual Fund

32 34

Tribute Donations Transitions

On Campus

On the Cover: The Academy Student Center is on schedule for completion in late spring of 2018. Read more on page 6.

Connections is published four times per year by the St. Joseph’s Academy Communications and Mission Advancement offices. It is distributed free of charge to alumnae, parents and friends of the Academy. Alumnae news, story ideas, photographs and address changes should be sent to Connections, 3015 Broussard Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70808-1198 or Call (225) 388-2258. Because of space limitations, we reserve the right to edit submitted news.

Mindy Brodhead Averitt Jennifer Menville Fontaine Erin Barrilleaux Albarado Holly Sonnier Meg Gerald Sister Joan Laplace, CSJ Katie Jeter

Communications Director Assistant Communications Director Media Coordinator Graphic Designer Mission Advancement Director Mission Advancement Associate Director Mission Advancement Assistant Director-Alumnae and Constituent Relations Donna Blanc Mission Advancement Database Manager Wendy Coniglio Mission Advancement Database Assistant Megan St. Germain Mission Advancement Assistant

4 S J A C O N N E C T I O N S | From the President

From the PRESIDENT EMBRACING ALL THAT IS POSSIBLE Editor’s note: The following is Jan Rhorer Breen’s sending forth message delivered on May 21 at the conclusion of the SJA class of 2017’s commencement exercises.

Jan Rhorer Breen ’69

Words are powerful tools: They call us to action, they offer us hope, they help us understand, they articulate how we are feeling.

One child didn’t respond, so the teacher turned to the student and asked, “Mary, what would you like to be?” She responded, “Possible.” The teacher asked, “Why possible?” Mary replied, “Because Mom and Dad are always telling me I am impossible, so I thought I would grow up to be possible.” When I think of all that is possible and the women who can create possibilities, I think of the class of 2017. Trappist Monk Thomas Merton said, “You do not need to know precisely what is happening or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”

Words also communicate a message, and my message tonight begins with the one word: possible.

To the women of the class of 2017, how can you embrace all that is possible?

There is a story I like to share about a teacher who asked her students what they wanted to be when they grew up. The children shared they wanted to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers and accountants, to name a few.

l. Listen to your inner voice. God is always speaking to you. Eliminate the noise in your life that drowns out God’s voice. You have a great challenge today with all the noise of social media, technology and the continuous “plugged in” world in which we live. I urge you to take time to lower

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2. Live in a state of gratitude. Gratitude is the heart of life, the gateway to grace. With a grateful heart, we recognize God in everything He has given us. Take a few moments each day to stop and thank God for at least one thing that happened that day. Even when the day is filled with challenges, there is always something to be grateful for. 3. Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with yourself, be gentle with others and never stop striving to be all that God created you to be. We have faults, failings and weaknesses. Forgive yourself. Accept God’s forgiveness. As St. Francis de Sales said, “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.” Embrace that every day is a new beginning. 4. Understand the meaning of success. True success is peace with God and becoming the person God intended you to be. It has been said that what is meant for you will never miss you and what misses you was never meant for you. In the charism of the

Sisters of St. Joseph, along with your family and the faculty of SJA, you have the tools to change the world. It is your time to be that change. And I believe the class of 2017 will lead the way and redefine what true success means today. An SJA woman is defined by a rare combination of personal characteristics, intellectual commitment, a purposeful vision that comes from God’s presence in her life and a desire to make meaningful contributions to the world. She embodies sanctity, joy and action. You are SJA women. Today is an end and today is a beginning, and you leave as women for others. What is possible? Creating a life of purpose and meaning. To the women of the class of 2017, you leave holding all that is possible.


the volume of noise so you can listen to God and hear Him helping you along your journey. As Pope Francis said, “There is a spark of divine light in each of us. Listen and that light will lead your way.”

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BEAM HOISTED IN ACADEMY STUDENT CENTER TOPPING OUT CEREMONY St. Joseph’s Academy hosted a topping out ceremony on July 19 to commemorate the hoisting of a ceremonial beam near the top of the Academy Student Center. Guests gathered on the plaza of the Academy Arts Center to watch the raising of the truss. The Academy Student Center is on schedule for completion in late spring of 2018.   SJA President Jan Breen welcomed those in attendance, including Sisters of St. Joseph, SJA board members, administrators, faculty and staff, donors and representatives of Grace Hebert Architects, contractor Milton J. Womack Inc. and Investar Bank.   “We are excited to have reached this milestone in the construction of the newest addition to our campus,” Breen said. “The Academy Student Center will enable us to enhance our health and wellness curriculum; expand our intramural athletic program; and continue to provide facilities for our outstanding interscholastic athletic program. In this building, we will further the well-being of each student through exercise, conditioning and learning opportunities focused on healthy lifestyles. We will also have much-needed space to celebrate masses and other school events with extended families, grandparents and friends.”   Mission Advancement Associate Director Sister Joan Laplace, CSJ, offered a prayer, and rising senior Barbara Flandez led the gathering in the singing of the alma mater.   Those in attendance then watched the beam lifted into place. Earlier in the week, the beam was made available for members of the Academy community to sign and write messages. It was hoisted into place affixed with an SJA flag and a living tree signifying growth, prosperity and safety.   There are several naming opportunities still available. For a complete list, please visit For more information or to schedule an appointment to discuss your gift, please contact Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald at (225) 388-2254 or

Former SJA President Sister Adele Lambert, CSJ signed the beam prior to it being lifted into place near the top of the Academy Student Center.

SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen welcomed guests to the Topping Out Ceremony on July 19.

Workmen raised the steel beam, affixed with an SJA flag, as guests looked on.

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PLANS TAKING SHAPE FOR SJA’S 150TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION From the beginning of the 2018-2019 academic year in August of 2018 and continuing through April of 2019, St. Joseph’s Academy will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1868. A year’s worth of activities are planned to commemorate SJA’s rich and storied history as well as its ongoing commitment to excellence.

The year will kick off with the dedication and opening of the new Academy Student Center. Plans also include a speakers’ series, the commissioning of a commemorative piece of art and the publication of a coffee table history book. The celebration will culminate on April 27, 2019, with a black tie gala at Raising Cane’s River Center.

Suzie Toups Adler, a 1985 Academy graduate, is chairing the planning committee. Work is already underway to create a memorable series of events to celebrate Baton Rouge’s oldest high school and one of the largest all-girls’ schools in the country.

The anniversary will also be front and center during all school activities, including masses, prayer services and assemblies, the Sticker Scramble golf tournament, the SJA Tennis Classic, the Sticker Stampede 5K and Fun Runs, alumnae reunions and The Soirée, among others.

“The most exciting part of this year will be the opportunity to offer a heartfelt thank you to all those who have made SJA what it is,” Suzie said. “The year will be dedicated to expressing our gratitude to the Sisters, the Baton Rouge community, our supporters, alumnae, students, parents and faculty/staff.”

“There is no ‘ask’ other than to join us for the year’s celebration and come back home to SJA and participate in the events,” Suzie said. “It will be a time for our entire community to come together and celebrate our unique and beautiful traditions.”

St. Joseph’s Academy

Yofears Excellence

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TWO NEW SCHOLARSHIPS ESTABLISHED AT SJA Two scholarships were recently established in the St. Joseph’s Academy Foundation to provide tuition assistance to deserving young women and their families.

THE CATHERINE TARBETT AND SERVANDO MENDEZ SCHOLARSHIP was established and endowed in 2017 through a bequest from their estate. Catherine and Servando were lifelong supporters of the Sisters of St. Joseph and their ministries. Catherine, who died in 2014, was a 1959 graduate of St. Joseph Academy in New Orleans and former president of Travel Agents of Greater New Orleans and of Mid-South Women in Tourism. Servando, originally from Miami, died in 2016. He spent many years as a high school teacher in Jesuit high schools, serving as a tutor in his later years. He was an excellent tour guide and helped develop the Tour Guides Association of Greater New Orleans. He was an accomplished vocalist and member of the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans and the New Orleans Vocal Arts Chorale.

Catherine Tarbett Mendez

Although they had no children of their own, Catherine and Servando had a strong belief in quality Catholic education and its mission to develop the God-given potential of each student, particularly those in need of financial assistance. That belief inspired the establishment of this scholarship. To remember St. Joseph’s Academy through a planned gift, please contact Mission Advancement Associate Director Sister Joan Laplace at (225) 388-2220 or

Servando Mendez


7TH ANNUAL STICKER STAMPEDE Sunday, October 1, 2017

Presented by

VARSITY SPORTS 7 a.m. MASS 8 a.m. ½ MILE 8:10 a.m. 1 MILE 8:30 5K

7th Annual




Registration opens August 7

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Lois Ourso Taylor ’46 and Kelly Sword Hurtado ’81 sign papers establishing a scholarship in their name. They are pictured with President Jan Rhorer Breen ’69, Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald and Mission Advancement Associate Director Sister Joan Laplace, CSJ.

THE LOIS OURSO TAYLOR ’46 AND KELLY SWORD HURTADO ’81 SCHOLARSHIP was established in the SJA Foundation in July. Kelly said that creating a scholarship at the school she and her mother both attended was something she had long wanted to do. “But I found myself putting off doing the research and talking to the Mission Advancement Office because this was something I was going to get around to ‘later in life,’ ” she said. When her mother’s husband passed away last summer after a decade of struggling with the effects of Alzheimer’s, Kelly decided the time was right to talk with her mom about a scholarship in their name. Additionally, after attending The 1868 Dinner, at which the SJA Board of Directors thanks its donors and those establishing scholarships, Kelly said she was determined to make her dreams come to fruition. “I looked at the endowed scholarship booklet at the dinner and saw the names of families that my mom and I have known for years,” Kelly said. “I knew we wanted to join those families who understand that there is nothing more important than helping to provide an SJA education for young women whose families may not be

able to afford it. My mother initially did not want any recognition, but when I explained to her that it inspires and motivates others to give, she agreed it was the right thing to do.” Lois was one of six children. She and her siblings grew up in the SJA neighborhood, and all attended Sacred Heart and then either St. Joseph’s Academy or Catholic High School. “Mom always had the sense that they probably received a break in the cost of tuition because it would have been difficult for the family to afford a Catholic education for all of their children,” Kelly said. “This heightened her desire to help other families.” Kelly said that after the scholarship is endowed in a few years, she plans to establish another scholarship in the names of her two daughters: Alexandra, a 2005 SJA graduate, and Daniela, who graduated in 2013. “You don’t have to have unlimited resources to establish a scholarship,” Kelly said. “It can be fully endowed over time. The net results are priceless.” If you are interested in establishing a scholarship, or if you would like more information, please contact Mission Advancement Associate Director Sister Joan Laplace at (225) 388-2220 or

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SJA BOARD OF DIRECTORS HOSTS THE 1868 DINNER The St. Joseph’s Academy Board of Directors hosted The 1868 Dinner on April 25 to celebrate the successes of the 2016-2017 academic year. Held at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, the event honored Donor Society members; families and individuals establishing scholarships in the past year; those who served in volunteer leadership capacities during 2016-2017; and SJA’s Outstanding Alumnae for 2017: Kay Jolly Hoffpauir, class of 1969, and Suzie Toups Adler, class of 1985.

Former and current recipients of SJA’s Outstanding Alumnae award gathered for a group photograph prior to dinner. They are (seated from left) Sister Dianne Fanguy, CSJ, Barbara McManus, Sister Carolyn Brady, CSJ, Jacqueline Billeaudeau Labat, Gay May Town, Pat May Dalton, Jeanne Curet James, Karen Thomas Darnall, Kathy Daigre Meares, (standing) Grace Guttner Anderson, Debbie Kleinpeter Gelpi, Sister Lucy Silvio, CSJ, Sister Adele Lambert, CSJ, Kay Jolly Hoffpauir, Suzie Toups Adler, Jan Rhorer Breen, Ann Felice Fourrier and Dotty Bowers McCaughey.

SJA honored the newest members of the Father Jean-Pierre Médaille Society in attendance. This society recognizes individuals who have given $100,000 or more to the Academy over their lifetimes. Honorees received a sterling silver medal, a replica of the SJA medal given to students in 1894 for academic excellence. Recognized as new society members were the late Louis D. Curet, represented by his daughter, Jeanne Curet James ’75, and her husband, David James, and the Congregation of St. Joseph, represented by Sister Adele Lambert ’54.

Outstanding Alumnae honorees Suzie Toups Adler ’85 and Kay Jolly Hoffpauir ’69 (third and fourth from left) are pictured with Mission Advancement Associate Director Sister Joan Laplace, CSJ, Principal Dr. Michele Lambert, Board of Directors Chair Sam Territo and President Jan Rhorer Breen ’69.

Liz Batchelor McKowen ’72 and husband Tom McKowen are members of the Father Jean-Pierre Médaille Society.

Holly Randow and Nan Murtagh, second and third from left, served as this year’s Faculty/Staff Annual Fund chairs. Their efforts resulted in 100 percent faculty/staff participation in the giving campaign for the fifth year in a row. They are pictured with President Jan Rhorer Breen ’69 and Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald.

Former SJA Principal Sister Judith Brun, CSJ, and former art teacher Sister Adelaide Williamson ’59, CSJ, enjoyed the evening’s festivities.

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Mandy Hoffman has been named admissions director at St. Joseph’s Academy. Mandy replaces Sheri Gillio, who served as SJA’s assistant principal of academics for 10 years before being named the school’s first full-time admissions director in 2015. Sheri recently accepted the position of assistant principal at St. Aloysius School in Baton Rouge. Mandy spent 12 years as the associate director for Enrollment Management at Louisiana State University. Her job responsibilities evolved from overseeing scholarship administration for undergraduate students into admissions and recruiting. She directed all communications and marketing for undergraduate admissions and recruitment and oversaw campus visits and recruiting events. She also served as the functional technology lead and administrator for two CRM implementations. “Many administrative functions at the college level are similar to those at the high school level,” Mandy said. “The primary experiences I had at the college level that apply to high school focus on the needs and expectations of your constituencies. Research tells us that students of this generation are very service and outcome driven. Students and families entering SJA want to know that the opportunities afforded to them here will provide a platform for success when it comes time to begin the college search. As admissions director, as in my role at LSU, I plan to focus on providing guidance to families on how SJA can help build success for their daughters.” Mandy said she is especially looking forward to working with SJA students and their families. “For the last seven years at LSU, I was in an administrator role,” she said. “While I appreciated this opportunity, it took away the daily interaction with students and their families. I truly enjoy counseling and guiding students and their families through the process of the college search and admissions. In my new role at SJA, I get to once again focus on an area for which I have a real passion.” Mandy said she will focus on retention, which she called the most important element of enrollment management. She will also work to build and maintain a solid retention plan that provides support and resources to students, and she will maintain communication with families as they journey through the admissions process. A 2003 graduate of LSU with a degree in family, child and consumer sciences, Mandy is married to Scott Hoffman. They have three children: Greta, age 11, Ava, 9, and Henry, 6. They attend Our Lady of Mercy, where they are parishioners. The Hoffmans especially enjoy outdoor activities, including fishing. “And like many, Scott and I are huge LSU football fans, so the fall is our favorite time of the year,” she said.

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GRADUATES CELEBRATE COMMENCEMENT WITH MOTHERS, GRANDMOTHERS Several members of the graduating class of 2017 celebrated commencement on May 21 with their mothers and grandmothers who are also alumnae. Families with three generations of Redstickers who were in attendance at the Raising Cane’s River Center are pictured below.

Anna Heine ’17 and her mother, Ann Lightfoot Heine ’89. Anna’s grandmother, the late Genevieve Hanks Heine, was a member of the class of 1944.

Anna Herrera ’17 and her mother, Tara Nelson Herrera ’82. Anna’s grandmother, Yvonne Heine Nelson, is a 1955 graduate.

Amelia Marchand ’17, center, her mother, Susan Miciotto Marchand ’84, and her grandmother, Linda Kron Marchand ’60.

Katherine Surek ’17, center, her grandmother, Elizabeth Klein Bahlinger ’42, and her mother, Katherine Bahlinger Surek ’81.

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Several graduates of St. Joseph’s Academy recently donated school-related items to the Archives Department. As we prepare to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of SJA in Baton Rouge by the Sisters of St. Joseph, we welcome the donation of items that will help us tell our story. Please contact Archivist Gretchen Fairbanks at (225) 383-7207, extension 415, or

Grace Guttner Anderson ’69 donated the 1927 junior class pin which belonged to her mother, Lucie Greaud Guttner, class of 1928. Three of Lucie’s sisters were Academy graduates: Agnes Greaud (Sister Virginia, CSJ), class of 1932; Martha Greaud Lockwood, class of 1931; and Dorothy Greaud Ourso, class of 1938. Four of Lucie’s granddaughters are alumnae, as well. They are Rebecca Anderson ’95, Candace Guttner ’97, Meredith Anderson ’98 and Emilie Guttner ’00.

Lisa Westmoreland Collier ’81 donated a number of items, including programs from choir concerts, drama productions, art exhibits, style shows, Ring Ceremony, Honors Convocation and Senior Mass. Also donated were prom souvenirs and party invitations. Lisa was a member of the SJA basketball and track and field teams and made several donations of athletic items, including her letter sweater, T-shirts, practice uniforms, game clippings, basketball tournament programs and a letter from Coach Father Jerome Dugas, dated July 23, 1980, announcing the start of basketball practice on August 4.

Mary T Heffron DeBrueys ’72 donated several pieces of jewelry to Archives, including a black-and-gold Beta Club pin, 1971 and 1972 Student Council pins, a 1972 Student Council tie pin, a general Student Council pin and two Girls State charms.

SJA’s Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald donated a number of items which belonged to her mother-in-law, Mary Delle Bogan Gerald ’47. Among the donations were a history of The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Bourg, published in 1955; an invitation to and a dance card from the 1947 SJA prom; several issues of Student Prints from the late 1940s; and Mary Delle’s diploma.

Dede LeBlanc ’69 donated her class ring. Dede’s ring features the red barrelshaped stone that was first offered in 1968 to mark the 100th anniversary of SJA’s founding. The red stone replaced the traditional black onyx that had been worn by SJA seniors for many years. Today, both designs are options for the official SJA school ring. Dede stipulated that her ring be available for use during the annual Junior Ring Ceremony by an Academy student who had not ordered a ring of her own.

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’60 Mary Ruth Gilbert McKeough retired in May after 30 years of teaching college English, the last 15 years at Baton Rouge Community College. Her teaching career was spent at colleges in Maine, Wisconsin, Texas and Baton Rouge. She earned her undergraduate degree from Southeastern Louisiana College, her master’s from Boston College and her teacher certification from Southwest Texas State University. Mary Ruth and Paul, her husband of 47 years, returned to Baton Rouge in 2002 and live in her original home in Old Goodwood. She is looking forward to traveling to Montana this summer, volunteering at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church and working with several genealogy and family history societies and a military organization.

’66 Linda Fryoux Harvison, former principal at St. Joseph’s Academy, will serve as president of the Dunham Grandparents organization for 2017-2018. Linda helped establish the organization and served as its president last year.

’92 Paula Duell Northern, general manager of sourcing for General Electric’s Oil and Gas’ Subsea Systems and Drilling, received the GE Chairman’s Award in the OperationsProductivity category for executing in a challenging environment. Paula was honored in January during the GE Global Leadership Meeting in Boca Raton, Florida. Jeff Immelt (shown here) said, “In a brutal segment, in a place that had to do a ton of restructuring, both of our footprint and working with our suppliers, Paula represented clear thinking, staying lean to go fast … and did a great job with a ton of ambiguity in the oil and gas business.”

’95 Jamie Jackson Paddie has been promoted to commercial portfolio manager with Amegy Bank of Texas in Rosenberg. Her job responsibilities include managing private and commercial bank portfolios, small business banking, quality control of underwriting and data integrity. She has been with the bank for eight years.

’96 Trisha Comeaux Rawlinson and ’96 Veronica DeLaGarza Craven are recipients of the Mother Seton Award for 2017. The Diocesan Home and School Association in Baton Rouge established the award to honor those individuals who share their gifts through exemplary service. Trisha received the award for her volunteer service to Sacred Heart of Jesus School, and Veronica was honored for her service to St. Alphonsus School.

’05 Jessica Weimer O’Connor is the recipient of the Nita Sims Breazeale League Service Award from the Junior League of Baton Rouge. The award, named in honor of a founder and the first president of the Junior League, recognizes an active member who continues the tradition of making the league a better organization through outstanding service. Jessica was recognized for selecting projects with the greatest impact. In addition to her service with the Junior League, Jessica is a recruitment advisor for Delta Gamma sorority, president of the Webb Park Civic Association and a member of the Baton Rouge Blues Festival Committee.

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’06 Ellen Broering graduated in May from the University of Georgia with a doctorate in bioinorganic chemistry. She earned her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and Hispanic studies from Spring Hill College. She has been hired as a non-tenured lecturer by Auburn University, where she will teach two sections of general chemistry with approximately 200 freshmen in each section.

’06 Claire Thomas graduated from the University of California in Berkley with a doctor of philosophy degree in the field of atomic, molecular and optical physics. She has accepted a position with Rigetti Computing and will work to design and build the world’s first cloud quantum computing platform for artificial intelligence and computational chemistry. She was recently featured in Scientific American as one of the top 30 “up and coming” young physicists attending this year’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany.

’08 Ashley Messina graduated in May from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. She interned with the East Baton Rouge Office of the Public Defender for several years before being hired as an investigator. She hopes to work as an attorney with the public defender’s office pending passing the bar. She wore cords at graduation from the Public Interest Law Society, recognizing the 50 hours of pro bono work she logged during her time in law school.

’09 Kat O’Hara graduated from the LSU Health Science Center with a doctor of dental surgery degree. She was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honor Society and the C. Edmund Kells Honor Dental Society and was awarded the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry Certificate of Merit as the outstanding pediatric dentistry student. Kat has been accepted into the Baylor College of Dentistry’s pediatric residency program in Dallas, where she will pursue board certification in pediatric dentistry. She plans to practice in Baton Rouge.

’10 Emily Harb, ’10 Alexandra St. Angelo and ’10 Brooke Fenn (left to right) recently earned their masters in physician assistant studies from Our Lady of the Lake College. Emily and Alexandra will work in the Our Lady of the Lake emergency room, and Brooke will work at Baton Rouge Orthopaedic Clinic.

’12 Linda Hall graduated in May from the University of New Orleans with a degree in psychology. She will spend a second summer interning at the KelseySeybold Business Development Offices in Houston. She will take a year off, then enter graduate school to pursue a degree in public health.

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’13 Rainey Gerald graduated summa cum laude in May from the University of Alabama with a degree in food and nutrition. She has accepted a job with the university’s Athletics Performance Nutrition Department. Rainey will complete work for her master’s in human nutrition in August of 2018.

’13 Abigail Grant received the Buck Weirus Spirit Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to student life at Texas A&M University. She also received the Robert Troy Swetnam Memorial Scholarship for showing initiative, potential for success in a marine science profession and good character. Abby will graduate from Texas A&M in December with a degree in marine biology along with minors in history and scuba diving.

’13 Sydney Hodgeson graduated in May from Louisiana State University with a degree in biochemistry and a minor in business administration. She will begin medical school at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans with hopes of pursuing orthopedic surgery.

’13 Peyton Klemm was awarded the LSU Distinguished Communicator Award from the Manship School of Mass Communication during commencement exercises in May. Recipients earn the honor by meeting standards set by faculty in various colleges and by the LSU Communication Across the Curriculum program. Peyton earned her degree in mass communication with minors in business and visual communications. She has accepted a position with Weber Shandwick, a public relations firm in Dallas. The firm was named the 2017 Global Agency of the Year by PRWeek for the third consecutive year.

’13 Amanda Ourso was awarded the University Medal for the highest academic achievement and grade point average at LSU’s 2017 spring commencement. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in communication disorders and a minor in psychology. She was also one of 46 LSU students recognized as a member of the Class of 2017 for Leadership LSU, a program that connects students’ leadership experiences with their future careers in order to develop a leadership network and to deepen an understanding of leadership within a larger context. Amanda will attend the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans this fall to pursue her doctorate of audiology.

’15 Sarah Christian has been elected president of the Louisiana Senior Classical League (SCL), a collegiatelevel organization that celebrates the languages and cultures of Greece and Rome. SCL plays an integral role in running the annual Louisiana Junior Classical League (JCL) convention as well as other events throughout the year. Sarah has been a member of JCL and SCL for the past eight years, serving on the local, state and national levels for both organizations. A student at Louisiana State University, Sarah is a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, Delta Kappa chapter and the LSU Psychology Club. She is also an active member and student leader at the Christ the King Catholic Student Center.

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’15 Jessica Varner was named Golfer of the Year by head coaches in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). Jessica will be a junior at Centenary College. She finished the 2017 season 30th in the nation with a round average of 78.38 while ranking 29th in Division III with 31 birdies and 24th in par-5 scoring (5.10). She also won medalist honors at both the Al Jones Memorial and SCAC Championships and earned First Team All-SCAC honors. Jessica is the first Centenary conference golf medalist since Hal Sutton in 1979 and 1980. For the season, she finished in the top 10 in six of seven tournaments played, including four top-four finishes.

Outstanding Alumnae CALL FOR NOMINATIONS 2018

Outstanding Alumnae exemplify integrity, moral character, love of God and service to humanity. Honorees embody the ideals of sanctity, joy and action. Nomination forms are located on the SJA website: under the Alumnae drop down. Or contact Alumnae Director Katie Jeter at 225.388.2244



OCTOBER 2, 2017 ’16 Amy Miller was part of the Texas A&M women’s swim team that finished third in the nation at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in March. At the team’s end-of-theyear awards banquet, Amy was voted Most Improved Swimmer by her teammates. Her freshman year ended with her being named a College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American. Amy was also named to the All-SEC Second Team after the conference swimming and diving meet, which Texas A&M won for the second year in a row.


Shotgun Start: 1 p.m. RSVP to men’s and Women’s Teams Welcome!

Join us! Sponsors needed!

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Rene Richard Waldrop ’89

In 2010, Rene Richard Waldrop and her husband participated in a service project, helping a single mother and her four young sons living in Ridgecrest, a public housing community in Auburn, Alabama. During the project, Rene, a 1989 graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy, met many of the neighborhood children, each of whom captured her heart. As Rene prepared to leave, she was surrounded by the youngsters, who hugged her and asked if she’d come back. And she did. Over the course of several years, Rene and her husband spent many hours building special relationships with their new friends.    But Rene, an attorney and a professor of law at Auburn University, wanted more: a place where she could gather with the children in a Christian home setting on a regular basis. In April of 2014, after a year of prayerful discernment, Rene and her husband, along with several friends, bought a corner lot in Ridgecrest, the future location of Our House.

“The home is owned by a non-profit corporation named By Our Love, which comes from John 13:35: ‘By this they will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,’ ” Rene said. “We want our friends and neighbors to experience the love of Jesus and to know that each one of them is a child of God.”   Our House is open each afternoon after school, welcoming school-age children (K-12) to enjoy a healthy snack while they do homework, read and play. While the youngsters flourish in the loving environment, Rene said she reaps even greater rewards. “I get to build relationships, love and encourage the kids and watch them gain confidence in themselves,” she said. “We all need love and affirmation. What a joy to be able to share the abundant love of the Lord with these young people, many of whom live in very difficult circumstances.   “I always wanted a big family,” Rene added. “Although I do not have any biological children of my own, I am sure that God has put me in the

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position to be a mother figure to the 60-plus children who come to Our House on a regular basis. I often say, ‘I always thought that I would have a large family, and now I know that this is what God had in mind.’ I know that I am right in the center of God’s will and often marvel at how good He is to me.” In addition to after-school activities, Our House offers weekly Bible studies and hosts Girl Scout troop meetings and special events. During the holidays, neighborhood families are invited to large, festive gatherings.   Our House is fully funded by private donations, and volunteers from Auburn University and the local community play a critical role in day-to-day operations. University students studying social work, education and human development complete practicums and internships, and various groups on campus help with special projects and events. Twice a week, Campus Kitchens delivers food that would otherwise have been discarded. Our House board members and other community residents volunteer their time and donate snacks, paper products and other supplies.   “Auburn is full of generous people who love the Lord and want to be involved in sharing Christ in our community,” Rene said. “I stand in awe of the generosity of those who give consistently and those who are able to give large sums. We borrowed more than $100,000 to purchase the house, and the loan was paid off in less than a year. In recent months, we have raised $125,000 to build a second house.”

Rene says she relies on God for energy and perseverance as she juggles her law practice and her commitment to Our House. “Most days, I simply fall into bed at night, exhausted but excited about what God is accomplishing through my efforts,” she said. “I like to tell people that I practice law part time and do ministry full time. The ministry is truly my passion, and I honestly feel as though I am blessed to enjoy my profession, which helps fund my ministry.” Rene says she is motivated to make a difference in the lives of the children and families she serves. She says the success of Our House can be measured in the community it is building. “Our ministry seeks to provide experiences and encouragement over the course of their lives, similar to that which my parents, neighbors and parishioners provided to me and my siblings and friends,” she said. “Our House was intended to be a place where love abounds and where all feel as though they belong. We truly feel like a family. Our volunteers attend ball games, talent shows and activities at school in support of our kids. We are helping guide them through life, just as my parents did for me, working through struggles, celebrating achievements and dreaming of their futures. And, most importantly, equipping them to become adults who know the Lord and their purpose in life.”   For more information, visit www.ourhouseauburn. org or on Facebook: Our House Auburn.

Our House is the recipient of the 2017 J.F. Drake Middle School Distinguished Humanitarian Award. The award is presented to community members or organizations that promote a more just and compassionate society. Pictured with Rene Richard Waldrop, second from left, are Principal Dr. Duriel Barlow, Our House Director of Operations Melissa Taylor and board members Ellyn Hix and Calvin Patrick.

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GRADUATE’S BOOK HELPS READERS FIND PEACE THROUGH PRAYER Becky Uffman Eldredge, a 1998 graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy, has written a book entitled Busy Lives & Restless Souls. Released on Ash Wednesday by Loyola Press, the book details her transforming experience with prayer and encourages others to create space for prayer in their daily lives. An Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator and writer, Becky uses the principles of Ignatian spirituality to equip people with prayer tools that are accessible and practical within the busy realities of our daily routines. Her book teaches readers how to bring their relationship with God to life by becoming what St. Ignatius called “contemplatives in action.”   “As I met with women and men for spiritual direction, I would often turn to my bookshelf looking for a book to hand them as a resource on prayer and often felt frustrated that there was not a book to hand them that mirrored the day-to-day life we were living,” Becky said. “I finally decided to write a book about how the principles of Ignatian spirituality can guide and ground our lives, drawing on my own experience of living these principles as a married lay woman and mother.”    Becky said she felt a nudge towards ministry as early as her years at SJA. Indeed, her book begins with an accounting of her first silent prayer experience during her senior retreat. She also writes about her junior year religion teacher telling her that she’d “missed the boat” in defending her faith beliefs, sending her on a journey to understand why she believed as she did. “These two key moments, along with the culture of SJA, provided me a solid faith foundation that was nurtured through mass, annual retreats, the witness of the faith of my teachers and the opportunities for prayer,” she said. “My senior year, I was a peer minister, and we would go out into the schools to offer retreats for junior high students. This began my love of retreat ministry which continues 20 years later. SJA, along with my parents and family, taught me how to be a servant leader and to encounter and accompany others no matter where they are.”    While earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education at Louisiana State University, Becky began the Diocesan Youth Retreat Team, a group of college students who offered retreats for junior high and high school students. After a brief stint teaching middle school math, Becky took a job with the Diocese of Baton Rouge’s Christian Formation Office. “When I began working

professionally in adult faith formation, I felt I found my home professionally,” she said.   At the diocese, Becky began Young Adult Ministry. Among the programs offered was Ignatian-based Charis Retreats for those in their 20s and 30s. When she and her husband moved to Athens in 2008 for Chris to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Georgia, Becky worked for Charis Ministries, writing retreats and growing its partner program. She and Chris also led Charis Retreats with the Catholic Center at UGA.   “Out of retreat ministry grew my call to become a spiritual director,” Becky said. “When our pastor in Georgia began sending people twice my age to talk with me about growing in their relationship with God, I decided it was time to seek tools to become a spiritual director. I earned my certificate of spiritual direction through Spring Hill’s extension program at Ignatius House in Atlanta in June of 2012.”   While in Athens, Becky began a blog, writing about finding God in daily life. Loyola Press invited her to become a regular writer for its dotMagis blog, which led to several additional projects, including publishing her book.   When Becky and Chris moved to Dallas in 2012, she began monthly spiritual direction meetings. Parishes, dioceses, schools and other ministry organizations invited her to offer days of reflection and retreats for adults. She took the Ignatian-preached retreat practicum offered by Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House to further develop her skills and offer the wisdom of Ignatian spirituality in a retreat format.   Moving back home to Baton Rouge in 2015, Becky continued her work with spiritual direction, retreats, days of reflection and writing weekly reflections about cultivating space for God on her website,    “When I look back over my career, I see a path that I never dreamed of walking but one where God continued to prepare and ready me for the next phase of my journey,” she said.      Becky and Chris, a 1998 graduate of Catholic High School, have three children: Brady (10), Abby (8) and Mary (3). They love LSU sports, traveling, spending time outdoors and enjoying simple family time at home. “I hope to keep settling into life in Baton Rouge and making it home for our children,” Becky said. “I hope to continue to do the ministry I love and am passionate about. There is a good chance there will be a second book in the future, as there is an idea brewing as we speak. And one day in the near future, we hope that our two daughters will walk the halls of SJA.”

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GRADUATE ELECTED JUDGE FOR 18TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, DIVISION D Elizabeth Engolio, a 1997 graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy, was sworn in on March 31, 2016, as judge for the 18th Judicial District Court, Division D, which serves the Louisiana parishes of Iberville, West Baton Rouge and Pointe Coupee. She was elected with 63 percent of the vote in a special election to complete the term in 2020. Prior to her election, Elizabeth was an assistant district attorney in the 18th Judicial District, handling felony jury trials and appeals. She also practiced civil law in Plaquemine. She graduated cum laude from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2001 and Southern University Law Center in 2004. Elizabeth follows in the footsteps of her grandfather, Judge Edward N. Engolio, who served as district judge in the same court for 23 years. “I grew up in a family of public servants,” Elizabeth said. “In addition to my grandfather’s service, my daddy was a detective with the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office prior to becoming a probation officer for the 18th Judicial District Court. My mom was a secretary for the District Attorney’s Office in Iberville Parish and recently retired after 35 years there. They exemplified a selflessness in devoting their talents to public service. When planning my legal career, I always felt drawn to becoming a prosecutor and hoped to one day become a judge. I am so blessed to have been set on this path and to have had wonderful role models to guide me and teach me the value of serving the public every day.” While a profession in the field of law is often fraught with challenges, Elizabeth said she can’t imagine doing anything else. As a judge, she often sees people during the most trying times in their lives, but these difficulties can present opportunities for progress and change, particularly in criminal, juvenile or family cases. She especially enjoys being part of the resolution for the parties who come before her. “Even in the most difficult cases, we have the opportunity to fully hear their needs and hopefully close that chapter in their lives so they can move on from the controversy,” she said. “Although I encounter folks during struggles in their lives, I am often reminded that people are really good at heart and deserve dignity, understanding and sometimes second chances. I also love being able to help people who are in need of guidance and support when possible. At a time when there is diminishing faith in the justice system, I endeavor to be a positive and trustworthy servant that the public can count on.” Elizabeth credits her parents as the greatest influences in her life. Both were raised in faith-filled homes and passed those values to their daughter. “They were very hard workers who always expected me to do my best, which has served me well in reaching my goals in education and career,” she said. “My grandfather, who practiced law for more than 60 years, taught me so much about being a lawyer and the importance of integrity in this profession. This is even more critical for me today, as the public I serve needs to be able to trust in the judicial system and elected officials.”

The Honorable Elizabeth Engolio ’97 Elizabeth said her parents were both blessed with Catholic educations. Indeed, her mother, Beverly Labbé Corbello, is a 1969 graduate of SJA. As part of her own Catholic education, Elizabeth said she gained a solid foundation for service during her time at St. Joseph’s Academy. “SJA was immeasurably important to a successful career as a public servant,” she said. “Looking back, the essential lessons I learned were likely less from the curriculum, which was exceptional, and more because of the dedicated faculty and administration who demonstrated sanctity, joy and action to us. I grew up in the small town of Plaquemine, but going to school at St. Joseph’s really opened my eyes to the world around me. St. Joseph’s impressed upon us the importance of making and keeping genuine friendships. It helped me to understand the value of giving back, how to show gratitude and truly helped me to appreciate my local community at home. These values have helped me to navigate the demands of politics and public service.” Elizabeth relies on her Catholic faith in her daily work. “I ask the Lord to be with me every day in every moment of my new position as judge,” she said. “I know that the administration of justice is much greater than anything I can do on my own. My Catholic faith allows me to rest in the peace that my prayer is to have God work through me to be fair. Being a good public servant is what God expects me to be; it is also what it means to be Catholic: We are doers of good works. I am mindful of that duty every day that I am on the bench.” When she’s away from work, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She credits them with the love, strength and support she needs to carry on as a public servant. “My loved ones nurture my sense of humor and are a terrific outlet for the pressure that comes with this position,” she said. She is also active in her local community, volunteering with the Plaquemine Service League. She is a board member of Strong Hearts, a nonprofit organization that offers opportunities for local youth, and belongs to Rotary, the Iberville Museum, the Capital District Law Enforcement Planning Council and Friends of St. Paul Church in Bayou Goula. She also enjoys being a member of the Mardi Gras krewes of Comogo and Okeanos in Plaquemine.


CLASSES OF 1938 AND 1942


SJA’s 75- and 80-year graduates enjoyed lunch at their alma mater on July 14.

Members of the class of 1947 enjoyed lunch at SJA on July 14 and celebrated the 70 years since their graduation.



Members of the class of 1977 celebrated their 40-year reunion with a girls’ night out at the home of Kathleen Alley Lovretich.

Academy graduates from 1987 enjoyed their 30-year reunion with a girls’ night out at Lava Cantina – Downtown on July 14. The weekend continued July 15 at Trademark Concepts with Catholic High graduates from the same year.



Members of the class of 2007 celebrated their 10-year reunion with a girls’ night out on July 14 at Driftwood Cask & Barrel. On July 15, the fun continued at Tin Roof Brewery with Catholic High graduates from the same year.

All graduates celebrating milestone reunions were invited to campus on July 15 for lunch, campus tours and activities for their children and grandchildren.

NEW ORLEANS A large group of St. Joseph’s Academy graduates living in the New Orleans area gathered at the home of Kim Gant Shackleton ’72 on May 17.

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CLASS OF 1957 Members of the class of 1957 celebrated their 60-year reunion with a July 14 luncheon in the SJA Dining Hall.



Graduates from 1997 celebrated their 20-year reunion with a July 14 girls’ night out at The Pelican House followed by a July 15 gathering at The Varsity Theatre with Catholic High graduates from 1997.

A large gathering of 1967 graduates celebrated their 50-year reunion with a special mass in The Chapel at SJA. A reception and campus tours followed.



A LU M NA E GAT H E R F O R R E U N I O N S CLASS OF 1964 Members of the class of 1964 met for lunch at Phil’s Oyster Bar in Baton Rouge on June 8. The classmates get together every three months for a casual meal and conversation. Pictured from left are Anne Wintz Roberts, Colette Pierce, Mary May, Tricia Ourso, Jacqueline Billeaudeau Labat, Kathy Daigre Meares and Lurline Hamilton.


| Annual Fund

A LOOK AT THE 2016-2017 ANNUAL FUND Thank you for your gifts to the St. Joseph’s Academy Annual Fund during the 2016-2017 academic year. The combined gifts of more than 1,600 alumnae, parents, grandparents, alumnae parents, faculty, staff and friends enabled us to raise $485,197 by June 30, 2017.

and staff members, supplied resources for updating classrooms, allowed for much-need renovations of SJA’s oldest bathrooms and provided a new laser printer for the Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74 STEM lab. As you can see, the entire campus benefited from your gifts.

With your contribution, you provided funding for academic, athletic and co-curricular programs as well as opportunities for faith development. You promoted professional development for faculty

So again, “Thank you.” Your gift to the Annual Fund is indeed making a difference in the lives of our young women and in our future.


INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS supported the SJA Annual Fund this year

826 ALUMNAE donors


Members of the class of 2017 supporting the STICKA FIYA SENIOR GIFT PROGRAM Foundations $10,000 Matching Gifts Faculty/Staff $7,350 $25,470

Parents of Alumnae $71,505

Parents $224,685

Alumnae $132,007 Friends $128,505

NEW DONORS to the SJA Annual Fund in 2016-2017



FATHER JEAN PIERRE MÉDAILLE SOCIETY Members $100,000 in lifetime giving




$485,197 5 RAISED by the 2016-2017 SJA Annual Fund

Grandparents $57,000




MOST POPULAR GIFT to the SJA Annual Fund

$10,000 BIGGEST GIFT to the SJA Annual Fund

years in a row



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The Hiller family: Matt, Patti, Tess ’18, Mike, Brydie ’09 and Emma ’13

Peggy and Pete Prosser

The 2017-2018 Annual Fund Campaign at St. Joseph’s Academy will kick off in August when the Parents Annual Fund component gets under way. The Alumnae and Friends Annual Fund components will begin in September. The theme for this year’s campaign is Threads that Connect. Appropriately, our guiding message is based on this school year’s charism theme of Relationships: Sacred Threads that Connect. What an incredible statement. If you think about the young women who have passed through the halls of St. Joseph’s Academy over the last 149 years, you will find a tapestry that has grown and become even more beautiful with those threads that bind all of us together: students, faculty, parents, alumnae, friends and community leaders. This is why it is imperative that as a community, we continue to support and grow the tapestry so it touches every aspect of our community, our country and even the world. This year’s Parents Annual Fund chair couple is Patti and Mike Hiller. As the parents of two graduates – Brydie ’09 and Emma ’13 – and a current student, Tess ’18, the Hillers have lived the Academy Experience through each of their daughters. They firmly believe in the three pillars of the SJA mission statement: faith development, academic excellence and personal growth. That trust is certainly well-deserved, as evidenced by SJA’s 149-year history and the 6,000-plus living alumnae around the world. “Mike and I are thrilled to chair the Parents Annual Fund,” Patti said. “We have witnessed, firsthand, the value of a St. Joseph’s Academy education for our three daughters. We look forward to working with all Academy parents to constantly improve our school and community.”

Kim Wong Kwan ’79

Like the Hillers, Peggy and Pete Prosser are no strangers to SJA. This year’s Friends Annual Fund chair couple, the Prossers have a long history with SJA. During their daughters’ years as students, they served on numerous committees, including the Pennington Science Center campaign and Annual Fund committees. After their daughters graduated, Peggy and Pete continued their support by lending their time and talents to the Always the Academy Capital Campaign to build the Academy Arts Center. “We are the parents of two daughters who graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy,” Peggy said. “Pete was a Boy of SJA for three years and is the brother of six sisters who attended for a total of 55 years. I am the sister of two SJA-New Orleans graduates, and my eight siblings and I were taught by Sisters of St. Joseph at Holy Rosary Elementary in New Orleans for 57 years. We have a very deep and strong feeling for the school, the Sisters and the unequalled combination of academics, faith and personal growth the Academy provides. If you think of daughters, granddaughters, other relatives, friends and acquaintances of your own who are SJA graduates, we are sure you know what we mean. “As chairs of the Friends Annual Fund, we know you all have many worthy causes to invest in, but we hope that providing for wonderful enhancements for all SJA students will be given the high priority it deserves.” Our Alumnae Annual Fund chair is Kim Wong Kwan ’79. A constant presence at SJA, Kim is a tireless volunteer, supporting the school through her gifts and willingness to volunteer wherever and whenever needed. Previously, she served on the Alumnae Board and the SJA Tennis Classic Continued

and Grand Reunion committees, to name just a few. Kim has continued the legacy of an SJA education and volunteer service through her daughter, Kimberly ’10. The mother-daughter duo is often seen volunteering together at SJA events. “A gift to the Alumnae Annual Fund directly impacts each young woman at St. Joseph’s Academy,” Kim said. “The 149year history of SJA’s success is built on the generosity of so many. My daughter and I have benefited, as have all SJA alumnae, from others’ gifts. I am proud to represent the Alumnae Annual Fund this year because I know the value of the Academy Experience. Because of the gifts to the Annual Fund, Academy students are able to carry on the legacy of sanctity, joy and action.” Gifts to the Annual Fund help support the Academy in fulfilling the three pillars of its mission statement: faith development, academic excellence and personal growth. All gifts to the Annual Fund, no matter the size, go to work immediately and have a lasting impact on our efforts to provide a top-quality educational experience at this four-time National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. For more information, visit the SJA website or contact Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald at or (225) 388-2254.


2 6 S J A C O N N E C T I O N S | Annual Fund

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SJA CONTINUES EMPHASIS ON STEM, INNOVATION & DESIGN St. Joseph’s Academy will begin the 2017-2018 academic year with a continued emphasis on providing young women with the tools they need to succeed on the college level and beyond. To address the traditional underrepresentation of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, SJA will offer even more cross-curricular, hands-on learning opportunities in the Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74 STEM Lab. Since opening in June of 2015, the lab has provided students with access to 20 3D printers, laser cutters, arduinos and a variety of electronic devices. The lab is filled every hour with engineering students as well as those from other disciplines wanting to utilize the state-of-the-art tools. SJA was among the first schools in the country to have 3D printers; having 20 is unprecedented on the high school level. The printers and other tools enable students to design and build projects they can use in class. As a result, students are learning concepts, then putting those concepts into practice in the lab. To further integrate the success of the STEM Lab across the curriculum, SJA opened the 2016-2017 school year with a state-of-the-art Innovation and Design Lab. A year later, the lab will continue to offer cutting-edge, project-based learning to equip young women with 21st-century skills, including critical thinking, collaboration, creating and problem solving. The Innovation and Design Lab serves as the link between the STEM Lab and the global community, teaching students the six-step engineering and design methodology – Identify, Interpret, Ideate, Invent, Implement and Improve – to help them creatively design solutions to real-world problems. Students gather and focus information, imagine the possibilities, design a prototype, then build and deliver it. They identify a problem, develop empathy, brainstorm ideas for solutions and design an activity or object to help solve the problem. The Innovation and Design model emphasizes the

process and problem solving. Failure and the resulting rethinking are crucial components of the model, resulting in curiosity, empathy, creativity and collaboration. Evidence of the impact of the STEM and Innovation and Design labs can be found in the success enjoyed by SJA students in a variety of science fair competitions. The Academy was the top school in the 2017 Region VII Louisiana Science and Engineering Fair and finished first in the 2017 Louisiana State Science and Engineering Fair. As the result of their strong original research projects, many students were invited to participate in national and international science competitions. Indeed, more SJA students secured invitations in 2016-2017 than in any previous years. Participants finished first, second and fifth at this year’s Louisiana Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Three students advanced to participate in the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, and an unprecedented seven students were invited to participate in the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. At the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering and Environment Project Olympiad in Houston, all four participants brought home awards, including a silver medal, two bronze medals and an honorable mention. Both participants in the recent GENIUS Olympiad won silver medals. “The STEM Lab, Innovation and Design Lab and Science Fair provide our girls with invaluable learning experiences at the high school level,” said Linda Messina, SJA’s Science Fair coordinator. “They are able to create and design in the Innovation and Design Lab, and then develop statistical skills, analysis and critical-thinking skills through STEM. This invariably leads to success in college and in their careers.” Mrs. Messina said that as the result of their exposure to STEM-centric learning opportunities, a vastly increased number of SJA students are pursuing engineering degrees and careers. “The students design their own experimental procedures, sometimes with the help of college professors who serve as mentors, and they are very innovative and on the cutting edge of current technology with real-world applications,” she said.

2 8 S J A C O N N E C T I O N S | On Campus

SENIORS TO PARTICIPATE IN PRESIDENT’S FUTURE LEADERS IN RESEARCH PROGRAM St. Joseph’s Academy seniors Mary Catherine Lorio and Julia Rogers have been selected to participate in the new President’s Future Leaders in Research Year Zero program at Louisiana State University. For more than 15 years, the original President’s Future Leaders in Research (PFLR) program has provided select LSU students with faculty-led, authentic research experiences in laboratories or in the field. Participants typically remain with their LSU faculty mentor for the duration of their undergraduate studies and receive a stipend of $1,550 per year for four years. The new Year Zero pilot program is designed to provide an early start for high school seniors to gain research experience. In collaboration with mentors in LSU’s Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, Engineering and Science, the program enables participants to begin the mentored research process a year early, giving them the experience and credentials to be more effective academically and more competitive for prestigious awards and scholarships. Students will receive $1,550 in their Year Zero and are expected to receive the same stipend during their four years at LSU. Participating high school students will be matched with an LSU faculty mentor, who will work closely with

Mary Catherine Lorio

them and their high school mentor throughout their senior year. Upon completion of the Year Zero program, successful students will automatically enter the PFLR program when they enroll at LSU, where they will continue their research pursuits under the guidance of their faculty member. “I am extremely excited to participate in the Future Leaders in Research program,” Mary Catherine said. “I spent last summer conducting research under the Army Education Outreach Program with the Quantum Sciences and Technology group at LSU. This experience not only led me to competing in multiple regional, state, national and international research competitions but also increased my passion for research, STEM, public speaking and meeting other people in the STEM field. I have already gotten a head start this summer in my research. I love researching different areas of physics, and I am currently working in the Quantum Optics Lab at LSU, which is in collaboration with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory.” Julia said she looks forward to pursuing her research into Alzheimer’s disease. “So far, I have been introduced to the programs and languages we are using,” she said. “My project uses an eye tracker and computer to predict early onset Alzheimer’s disease. I have always been interested in computers, and this project gives me an opportunity to help people with my passion for technology.”

Julia Rogers

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SPRING SPORTS TEAMS ENJOY SUCCESS The SJA tennis team captured the 2017 Division I Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Tennis Championship. The Redstickers scored 14 points to finish ahead of Dominican (11.5) and Mt. Carmel (9.5) in the 15-team field. This is the tennis team’s first state championship since 2007.


Senior Anna Heine captured the Division I state title, leading the SJA golf team to a runner-up finish in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Division I State Golf Tournament. Anna carded a 144 (73-71) for the two-day championship, while the team shot 327. Sulphur topped the field with a team total of 298. Eight teams competed for the state crown. Junior Claire Harrington shot 97-86 for the tournament, while freshman Michelle Lorio shot 103-100 in her first state tournament.

Camille Fremaux finished as the singles runner-up, and Carly Vincent advanced to the semifinal round. The doubles team of Madison Cefalu and Mikala Noonan were the doubles runner-up, while the doubles teams of Katie Stuart/Nikki Manuel and Kelly Pecot/Madison Henderson both advanced to the second round.


Anna Heine, Claire Harrington and Michelle Lorio pose with the state runner-up trophy along with Coach Brad Buras.

3 0 S J A C O N N E C T I O N S | On Campus With qualifiers in 10 events, the track and field team scored 53 points to finish fourth in the Class 5A Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. C.E. Byrd scored 74 points to capture the crown. Just two points separated the Redstickers from state runner-up Zachary (55).


Senior Gabbi Chauvin, a University of Louisiana Lafayette signee, won both the 800 meter and 1,600 meter runs. She set a school record in the 800. Sophomore Lauren Hendry is the state champion in the 3200 meter run.

Gabbi Chauvin and Lauren Hendry, both individual state champions in their events, pose with coaches Mark LaHaye and Charlie Daigle.


The SJA softball team wrapped the 2017 season with an appearance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Softball State Tournament. The #4 seed Redstickers fell to #5 seed 6-5 in a back-and-forth, quarterfinalround battle. The team finished the season with a record of 18-10.

Three student-athletes were among this year’s Star of Stars as selected by the Advocate. Outstanding male and female athletes who excelled in 15 high school sports during 2016-2017 were honored at the 32nd annual Star of Stars/Athlete of the Year banquet. Melanie Miller was the Star of Stars in volleyball. She was named the Division I-II All-Metro MVP following her senior season. She will play volleyball next year for Southern Miss.


Audrey Viso was the Star of Stars in soccer. She closed out her high school career being named the Division I-II All-Metro MVP and the Division I, District 3 All-District MVP. She will play soccer next year at Clemson University. Anna Heine was the Star of Stars in golf. She capped her senior season by winning the Division I individual state championship. She carded a 73-71 two-day total to help the Redstickers finish as state runner-up.

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STUDENTS ENJOY SUMMER LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES Because their thirst for learning doesn’t end with the conclusion of the academic year, SJA students are encouraged to pursue educational opportunities offered by colleges and universities around the country. Counselors and faculty members help students discover programs which appeal to their interests as well as complete the application process. Among the opportunities enjoyed by students during the summer of 2017 were the following: Lincoln Laboratory Radar Introduction for Student Engineers at MIT Student Introduction to Engineering Summer Program at the University of Alabama Terry Business Academy at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business Harvard University Pre-College Program Penn Medicine Summer Program for High School Students at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania University of Notre Dame Summer Scholars Program Army Educational Outreach Program Summer in the City at Barnard College

Cordially invites our legacy mothers and grandmothers and their SJA students to THE ACADEMY

Legacy Mass and Reception Sunday, August 13, 2017 Mass at 9 a.m. in the Chapel at St. Joseph’s Academy Brunch immediately following in Mother Alice Hall RSVP by August 7 to or (225) 388-2244

Senior Christiana Bennett, fourth from left, spent a month this summer at Barnard College in New York City, participating in the school’s Summer in the City program. She joined students from around the world exploring areas of academic interest and exploring the city.

Please join us for an official

KENDRA GIVES BACK PARTY enjoy sips, sweets and jewels THURSDAY, AUGUST 31ST | 6 PM-8 PM KENDRA SCOTT AT PERKINS ROWE 10156 Perkins Rowe, Suite 150, Baton Rouge, LA 70810 20% of the proceeds benefit St. Joseph’s Academy

3 2 S J A C O N N E C T I O N S | Tribute Donations

T RIBU TE D O NATIO NS The following tribute donations were made between March 16 and June 30, 2017. Please remember those being honored, as well as those who honored them, in your prayers. If you wish to make a special gift in honor or memory of a family member or friend, you may do so online at Click the “Giving” tab at the top of the homepage, then “Other Ways to Give.” If you have questions, please call the Mission Advancement Office at (225) 388-2219. In Honor of Sister Jane Aucoin, CSJ ’44 Mr. and Mrs. Zach Wilson

In Memory of Sister Kathleen Brogdon, CSJ ’42 Sister Frances Landry, CSJ

In Memory of Ms. Josephine Bahlinger (SJA’s first graduate in 1877) Mrs. Eloise Selig

In Honor of Ms. Camryn Brouillette ’17 Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Brouillette

In Honor of Ms. Claire Bellanger ’17 Dr. and Mrs. Drake Bellanger In Honor of Ms. Lucia Bellanger ’13 Dr. and Mrs. Drake Bellanger In Memory of Mrs. Donna Hudson Bologna ’54 Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence M. Kleinpeter In Memory of Miss Ava Branstetter Mrs. Emily C. Branstetter In Memory of Mr. Lance Brignac Mrs. Jan Breen Mr. Charles Brignac Ms. Celia Cangelosi Mr. and Mrs. Albert A. Demarest Jr. Sister Joan Hartlaub, CSJ Sister Mary Anne Hebert, CSJ Mrs. Janet Hume Mr. and Mrs. William Humphreys Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence M. Kleinpeter Mrs. Aimee Kleinpeter Klimczak Sister Adele E. Lambert, CSJ Ms. Judy Lavergne Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Legrand Mr. Gus Levy Mrs. Rose Marie Lorio Mr. and Mrs. James V. Mittica Mrs. Carla Morel Mrs. Susan Olivier Ms. Barbara Quirk Mrs. Janet Rhorer St. Joseph’s Academy Alumnae Association Board Mrs. Angelle Terry Mr. and Mrs. Ralph G. Werling Mrs. Alicia Whidden

In Memory of Mr. Duane Brunet Mr. Chris Feduccia In Memory of Mrs. Carmela Greco Calandro Mr. and Mrs. Stan Skrobialowski In Memory of Mr. John Capdevielle Mrs. Dyra Culotta Hughes In Memory of Mrs. Dolly Clesi Mr. and Mrs. Victor C. Howell In Honor of Ms. Caroline Cochran ’17 Mr. and Mrs. Doug Cochran In Memory of Mr. James David Peachie and Phil Ragusa In Honor of Ms. Margaret Donahue ’17 Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Donahue III In Memory of Dr. Daniel J. Fourrier Reverend and Mrs. Ralph F. Howe Jr. In Honor of Mrs. Lorraine D. Fourrier Reverend and Mrs. Ralph F. Howe Jr. In Memory of Sr. Ursula Harelson CSJ ’45 Mr. Edward B. Picou Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Andre Villere Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Ralph G. Werling In Honor of Sister Joan Hartlaub Mr. and Mrs. Max Richards In Memory of Ms. Margaret Coerver Jolly ’42 Mr. and Mrs. Jay Jolly

Summer 2017 | S J A C O N N E C T I O N S 3 3

In Memory of Mrs. Katherine Sanchez Kleinpeter ’51 Mr. and Mrs. Karl Kleinpeter

In Memory of Mr. Gerald Kurtz Mr. and Mrs. Kirby Guidry In Honor of Sister Joan Laplace, CSJ Reverend and Mrs. Ralph F. Howe Jr. Mrs. Ginger Quinn Sister Irene Regan, CSJ The Vision 21 Foundation In Honor of Mrs. Anna Mae Cascio LaPorte ’43 Mr. and Ms. Thomas A. LaPorte Jr. In Honor of Ms. Catherine Marchand ’19 Mrs. Randall Harrison In Memory of Ms. Marjorie Claire McAnelly ’95 Mr. and Mrs. Robert McAnelly In Memory of Ms. Tammy Messenger Dr. Linda C. Robinson In Memory of Ms. Margaret T. Miller Mr. and Mrs. Jules Noel

In Memory of Ms. Monie Sabagh Mr. Thomas Bell Mr. Lee Berg Mr. and Mrs. George Carmouche Dr. L.D. and Mrs. Kay Culpepper Mrs. Lisa Ganucheau Alice Dugas Greer Mrs. Margo Osborne Ms. Lynda Trout Mr. and Mrs. David Waguespack In Memory of Mr. Roland Selig Dr. Julie Parks In Memory of Mrs. Freida Mansur Sutton ’64 Mr. David C. Sutton In Honor of Ms. Mary Morgan Sutton ’19 Mr. David C. Sutton In Memory of Mrs. Margaret Todd Mr. and Mrs. Victor C. Howell In Memory of Ms. Ellen D. Uter Mrs. Linda Pittman House

In Memory of Mrs. Mae Montecino Mollere ’37 Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie D. Powell In Memory of Ms. Courtney Myshrall ’95 Lieutenant James and Mrs. Lentha J. Piner In Honor of Ms. Kayla Quinlan ’14 Mr. and Mrs. Joseph F. Quinlan III In Honor of Mrs. Janet Rhorer Mrs. Rachel Breen Everaard In Memory of Mr. Don Richey Peachie and Phil Ragusa In Honor of Ms. Katherine Roberts ’04 Mr. and Mrs. Cooper Roberts In Honor of Ms. Margaret Roberts ’09 Mr. and Mrs. Cooper Roberts In Honor of Mrs. Ellen Chagnard Robinson ’93 Ethan, Emily, Savannah and Abby


Baton R ouge -area

R e d s t ic ke r S o c i al at SJA Tuesday, October 10, 2017 5:30-8:00 p.m.

Come meet and mingle with your fellow Baton Rouge-area alums. Enjoy tours of campus and a cocktail reception.

3 4 S J A C O N N E C T I O N S | Transitions

M ARRI A GES , B IRTHS , PA S S I N GS MARRIAGES ’03 Blair Chaney Allain to Zachary Warren Kenney 1/14/2017 ’04 Stefania Elena Himpler to Garrett Gibbens 5/12/2017 ’04 Katherine Marie Pyburn to Zack Dureau 6/10/2017 ’05 Ellen Carmichael to Walter Florian Gugenberger 4/22/2017 ’05 Juliana Alane Rome to Stephen Keith Meyers 4/29/2017 ’07 Emily Anne Miller to Andrew Dale Bartel 11/12/2016 ’07 Rachel Ann Mills to Justin Chenevert 5/6/2017 ’08 Anastasia Michelle Garner to Trenton James Daigle 5/5/2017 ’08 Reagan Elizabeth Rispone to Bruce Waguespack 5/26/2017 ’09 Leah Nicole Neupert to William LeSueur Bullock 3/24/2017 ’09 Kathleen O’Hara to Zach Corbin 6/17/2017 ’09 Caroline Claire Sotile to Dr. Eric Paul White 5/12/2017 ’12 Victoria Jane Taravella to Seth Allen Bernhard 11/12/2016 BIRTHS ’98 Lauren Valenciano Grundy: son, Edwin Miles, born 6/20/2017 ’98 Lyndi LeBlanc Richardson: daughter, Olivia Rose, born 12/28/2016 ’01 Julie Bullock Brocato: daughter, Celie Claire, born 3/23/2017 ’03 Megan Honoré Barcelo: son, Halston Honoré, born 6/24/2017 ’03 Mattie Pourciau Garza: daughter, Mary Collins, born 3/3/2017 ’04 Claire Murphy Blanchard: son, Beau Gordon, born 2/3/2017 ’04 Tia Lockett Whittington: son, Barry III, born 6/17/2017

’06 Adrienne Fournet Cotaya: son, John Atlas, and daughter, Lola Pearl, born 11/8/2016 ’06 Brianna Pettijohn Sommers: son, Max Patrick, born 12/21/2016 ’07 Jaime Guillaume Barker: sons, Christian Michael and James Pennington, born 1/11/2017 IN MEMORIAM We make a sincere effort to publish any close alumnae family connections with the names of the deceased. With nearly 10,000 alumnae, please note that our database does not include all possible SJA relationships. We appreciate receiving this information from the family whenever possible. Notices which appear in this issue were received by June 30, 2017. Aaron Paul Belanger Son of Kristen Belanger (SJA Registrar) Brother of Alyse Belanger ’15 and Alexandra Belanger ’19 Grandson of Isabel Champagne Delaune ’33 Carolyn Patrick Boyet ’57 Joan Menville Briney ’62 Sister of Jane Menville ’60 Leon Paul Braud Sr. Husband of Eloise Eiswirth Braud ’44 (dec.) Father of Corey Braud Toups ’86 Grandfather of Ashley Braud Briggs ’09, Molly Toups ’14 and Claire Toups ’20 Lance Ramon Brignac Husband of Julie Counce Brignac ’78 Son of Patricia Lambert Brignac ’51 Brother of Patricia Brignac Talbot ’84 John James Capdevielle Father of Jan Capdevielle Gravolet ’63 and Judy Capdevielle Girod ’66 Grandfather of Alyce Capdevielle Blackstone ’95 Carolyn Myshrall Carter-Springer ’67 Ronald De La Garza Father of Veronica De La Garza Craven ’96 and Sarah De La Garza Moran ’99 John Baptiste “JB” DeLatin Grandfather of Laura DeLatin ’09

Mary Roppolo DeLaune Sister of Carol Roppolo Thibodeaux ’60 Bill Aron Duncan Father of Sadie Marie Duncan ’20 Robert “Bobby” Ferachi Son of Beth Pallud Ferachi ’60 Charles James “Jimmy” Fox Jr. Father of Ashley Fox Hunt ’83 and Adrienne Fox Callender ’84 Rita Harelson Garon Mother of Marilyn Miller ’66, Linda Davis ’72 and Elaine Hopkins ’76  Grandmother of Karen Fairess ’87, Robyn Brungardt ’88, Allyson Dooley ’96 and Jennifer Lambert ’97 Sister of Hazel Kleinpeter ’35 and Sister Ursula Harelson ’45 (dec.) Edna Tabor Gaudin ’36 Mother of Nelwyn Gaudin Chenevert ’59 Grandmother of Emily Gaudin Magee ’03 Launnie H. Ginn Grandfather of Blair Ginn ’14 Joseph Alcuin Gyan Father of Mary Gyan Coco ’71 James Carl “J.C.” Hebert Grandfather of Michelle Hebert Marcantel ’93 and Julie Marie Louque ’17 Captain William Stanley Lahners Jr. Husband of Donna Hidalgo Lahners ’69 Virgie Graffeo LeBlanc Mother of Maureen LeBlanc Morel ’65 and Janis LeBlanc Tassin ’70 Jacob John Mayer Grandfather of Amy Cyrex Sins ’94 Billie Anne Roccaforte McGraw ’55 Bernadine Swindler Miller Mother of Sonya Claire Miller ’71 and Linda Miller Hsu ’76 Grandmother of Carolyn Wong Garcia ’04 Margaret Therese Miller Daughter of Judith Armshaw Miller ’61 Rose Mary Landry Millet ’38 Great-grandmother of Mackenzie Marie Morgan ’17

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Maureen LeBlanc Morel ’65 Herrise S. Morrison Mother of Hillary Burt ’85 Grandmother of Amanda Brumfield ’98 and Emily Neck ’16 Marietta Padial Mother of Marietta Padial Murphy ’80 Grandmother of Clara Padial ’04 and Victoria Padial ’14 Troy Stephen Pourciau Son of Jewell Blouin Pourciau ’59 Uncle of Mattie Pourciau Garza ’03, Alison Claire Pourciau ’06 and Camille Catherine Pourciau ’15 Nephew of JoAnn Blouin O’Neal ’57, DiAnne James Blouin ’59 and Francis Landreneau Blouin ’57 Cousin of Danielle Blouin Panepinto ’80, Gay Blouin Courson ’83, Dana Blouin Meadors ’85 and Debi Blouin Smith ’87 Elster Ray Reech Husband of Monaca Barcelona Reech ’52 Grandfather of Morgan Frances Reech ’09 Mona “Monie” Khoury Sabagh Mother of Dede Sabagh Ferrara ’87 Grandmother of Francesca Ferrara ’14 and Gabrielle Ferrara ’15 Robert Joseph Shortess Sr. Stepfather of Dana East Matens ’81 and Erin East Conti ’83 Scott Porter Staggers Son of Beverly “Boots” Bowers Oliphant ’61

Send to: SJA Connections, 3015 Broussard Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 or email your news to Send us your news. We would love your photo, too! We would also like to keep your record up to date. Please let us know if you have a change in address, phone number, email address or occupation.











Kevin P. Segura Son of Sammye D’Amico Segura ’86 Brother of Karen DiBennedetto ’82 and Kim Landry ’86 Roberta Trick Grandmother of Kathryn Trick Mount ’98 and Amy Trick Smith ’02 Ellen Driscoll Uter ’73 Sister of Candace Uter deRussy ’60, Nancy Uter Giordano-Echegoyen ’62 and Susan Uter Shaughnessy ’69


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SJA Connections (Summer 2017)  
SJA Connections (Summer 2017)