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1991 • 1996 • 2002 • 2016

2016 National Blue Ribbon School


Fall 2016


Sunday, December 4, 2016 Presented by Online registration is now open Races begin on SJA’s Campus


From the President.....................................................................4 SJA Community...........................................................................6 Alumnae News...........................................................................13 Alums Today...............................................................................15 Annual Fund...............................................................................22 Planned Giving...........................................................................23 On Campus................................................................................24 Tribute Donations.....................................................................32 Transitions...................................................................................33 Elusive Alumnae........................................................................35

On the Cover: St. Joseph’s Academy has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2016. This is the fourth time SJA has achieved Blue Ribbon status, having been previously honored in 1991, 1996 and 2002. SJA is one of only nine schools in the country to be named a National Blue Ribbon School four times. Celebrating this year’s announcement are, from left, Christina Mack ‘19, Anne Marie Gahagan ‘19, Ashlynn Sorrells ‘19 and Landry West ‘17.

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 Communications Director Jennifer Menville Fontaine Assistant Communications Director Erin Barrilleaux Albarado Media Coordinator Holly Sonnier Graphic Designer Meg Gerald Mission Advancement Director Sister Joan Laplace, CSJ Mission Advancement Associate Director Katie Jeter Mission Advancement Assistant Director-Alumnae and Constituent Relations Donna Blanc Mission Advancement Assistant Shannon Landry Mission Advancement Support Megan St. Germain Mission Advancement Assistant

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From the President

A LIFE OF GRATITUDE devastation, we also saw the spirit of God’s goodness and how our actions speak to the Gospel of compassion and mercy. As St. Francis of Assisi shared, “The deeds you do may be the only sermon people will hear today.” And what people heard after the storm is that there is faith in times of doubt; there is hope when in despair; there is light in times of darkness; and there will be joy when there is sadness. Acts of kindness surrounded us, and people reached out to help the dear neighbor by feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing those in need, taking care of the sick and providing resources to help others rebuild their lives. Each step of gratitude and compassion was a step forward in experiencing God’s graces and His love for us.

Jan Rhorer Breen ’69

“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us, and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to the praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” Thomas Merton

When we understand gratitude, we realize it respects the past, brings compassion and peace to the present and gives hope for tomorrow. The storm of August 2016 brought devastation to our area and to many of our families, including faculty and staff. In that

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SJA immediately went to work to help our families and faculty and staff who lost everything. We sent a call out to gather clothes and toiletries for those who needed help. I watched as the lines of cars stretched to Parker Street as drivers waited to drop off items. Many were our own families; many were strangers who wanted to help in any way. I saw our gym transformed into a facility overflowing with clothes, school uniforms, toiletries and baby items. It was a place filled with compassion and love, with gratitude and hope for tomorrow. With area schools closed, I witnessed our students, faculty, parents and alumnae work countless hours to remove debris from homes, provide food to families wondering how they would survive and provide shelter for those who lost it all. To all who helped, we at SJA thank you for your generosity. You are living by your actions, the corporal works of mercy. People heard your actions and felt your compassion.


From the President

As generous donations were sent to SJA from around the country (including many gifts sent in response to theology teacher Sister Chris Pologa’s outreach to communities throughout the United States), we were able to help families find shelter, provide money for living expenses and purchase food, clothing and other household necessities. The long process to rebuild lives has begun, and we are grateful to you. Additionally, there were drives by our alumnae, including Hope for Homecoming that provided homecoming dresses to high school girls affected by the flood. We saw joy and gratitude from those who received these dresses. SJA’s charism theme this year captured the outreach of gratitude in our community: We Are All One: Gifted and Transformed by God’s Spirit. We saw the transformation and action of God’s love every day.

A Grateful Heart I would also like to take a moment to express my gratitude to all who have made it possible for SJA to be recognized four times by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School. The Blue Ribbon award speaks to the culture of a school, and our culture of excellence began 148 years ago when the Sisters of St. Joseph founded St. Joseph’s Academy. The school’s culture is rich in its mission built on faith development, academic excellence and personal growth. SJA has continued to thrive and grow, and we thank the Sisters of St. Joseph for our strong foundation. Our mission is embodied by each generation of leaders and faculty and staff as they continue to prepare young women for the global world. As a result, each alumna values serving the dear neighbor, experiencing God’s presence in her life, achieving individual success and growing in leadership and community involvement. To our leadership and faculty and staff who all played a role in building a school of excellence, we are grateful for your vision and leadership. To former Principal Sister Judith Brun and the faculty and staff who achieved three Blue Ribbons (1991, 1996 and 2002), we say thank you. To former Principal Linda Harvison, former President Sister Adele Lambert and the administration, faculty and staff, we say thank you for laying the foundation for the fourth ribbon we received in 2016. And to Principal Dr. Michele Lambert and our current administration, faculty and staff, we say thank you for your implementation of a 21st century education for our students. It has been 148 years since four Sisters established St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge. The excitement of the past is alive and well today as we prepare young women for a world of opportunities.

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SJA Community


Custodial Supervisor Lena McGee, flanked by Principal Dr. Michele Lambert and Associate Principal Jaqueline Labat, leads a second line parade into the Activity Center prior to the surprise announcement of SJA’s fourth National Blue Ribbon School award to the student body. St. Joseph’s Academy has been named a National Blue Ribbon

School for the fourth time in school history. The announcement

of SJA’s 2016 award was made September 28 by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King.

SJA is one of only nine schools in the country to achieve National

Blue Ribbon School status four times. The Academy was previously named a Blue Ribbon school in 1991, 1996 and 2002.

A P U B L I C AT I O N F O R A L U M N A E , PA “I am so proud of our students, faculty and staff,” said SJA

Principal Dr. Michele Lambert. “Being named a National Blue Ribbon School for the fourth time recognizes SJA’s legacy of

academic excellence on the highest level. I know that our alumnae, families and friends join our current students in celebrating this achievement.”

Fall 2016

Students gathered in the Activity Center following the official

announcement at noon to hear the exciting news. A New Orleansstyle second line parade, complete with a jazz band of SJA

students, encircled the gymnasium with faculty and staff toting

blue umbrellas and tossing blue pompoms and handkerchiefs to

the cheering yet unsuspecting students. The gymnasium erupted in cheers as Dr. Lambert shared the reason for the assembly.

“Here at St. Joseph’s Academy, we know that we are an elite high school that has been a symbol of educational excellence for 148 years,” Dr. Lambert said. “Now, the entire country knows it, as well.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools in one of two

performance categories: Exemplary High Performing Schools

and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools. Recognized as

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an exemplary high performing school, SJA is among Louisiana’s

highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

SJA Community


2016 National Blue Ribbon School

“National Blue Ribbon Schools are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers,” Secretary King said in a

video message to honorees. “Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices – professional learning

communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems – making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation.”

SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen said the recognition celebrates SJA as a great American school whose students achieve at the highest levels. “I am humbled by the dedication to excellence from each

and every member of our Academy community,” she said. “Being

named a National School of Excellence speaks to the dedication and commitment of our students, faculty, staff and administration.”

SJA will join this year’s recipients, including 279 public schools and

ARENTS AND FRIENDS 49 other private schools, at an awards ceremony on November 7 and 8 in Washington, D.C.

n o b b i r lue our b 6happy h Alumnae in the Washington, D.C., area are invited to celebrate SJA’s fourth National Blue Ribbon School Award





5:30 p.m. to

At the home of Vita Levantino Pagnani ’93


5118 Lowell Lane NW, Washington, D.C. 20016


RSVP to Alumnae Director Katie Jeter at or (225) 388-2244

Students react to the news that the U.S. Department of Education has named SJA a National Blue Ribbon School for 2016.

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SJA Community

SJA RESPONDS TO DEVASTATING FLOODS Two days into the start of the 2016-2017 academic year, St. Joseph’s Academy closed school, and much of south Louisiana held its collective breath as more than 20 inches of rain fell across the region. The prolonged rainfall would result in unprecedented flooding, as eight rivers reached record flood levels. An estimated 146,000 homes and thousands of businesses were damaged, with some families losing everything. At SJA, school officials quickly convened and asked for community members not affected by the disaster to bring donations of school uniforms, clothing, toiletries, household items and baby supplies to the Activity Center. Faculty and staff members gathered in the gymnasium to sort through the donated items and prepare them for pick up by those in need. Other faculty and staff members compiled lists of families known to have been impacted and worked to come to their immediate assistance. The SJA Disaster Relief Fund was set up, and monetary donations began pouring in. To date, more than $110,000 in cash and another $15,000 in gift cards have been collected and dispersed. Sister Chris Pologa, CSJ, spearheaded additional collection efforts across the country, reaching out to church parishes and schools where she has ministered during her career. Sister school Saint Joseph Academy in Cleveland, Ohio, sent an oversized card with messages of support and also provided a monetary donation, as did other Congregation of St. Joseph-sponsored schools: Nazareth Academy (La Grange Park, Illinois), St. Joseph’s Academy-St. Louis and Mount St. Joseph Academy (Flourtown, Pennsylvania).

The SJA Activity Center was turned into a collection site as faculty and staff members helped sort donations of school uniforms, clothing, toiletries and baby supplies. Countless SJA families rushed to the aid of family, friends and neighbors. Whether helping to rip out sheetrock and wet carpeting, salvaging precious keepsakes, cooking meals or providing housing for those suddenly homeless, members of the SJA community served the dear neighbor without distinction. “In the aftermath of such widespread devastation, we are humbled by the response of all members of our Academy family to offer much-needed help in the rebuilding of lives,” said SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen. “Through acts of kindness, both known and untold, our community came together and embraced the Academy ideals of sanctity, joy and action.”

Save the Date: Saint Joseph Academy in Cleveland pledged their love and support in an oversized greeting card sent after the flood. Holding the card are, left to right, Student Council representatives Isabella McLaughlin ’20, Kate Michel ’19, Student Body President Cora Barhorst ’17, Vice President Madison Hasenkampf ’17, Leanne Livingston ’19 and Carolynn Waller ’20.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017 ACADEMY ARTS CENTER AND BATCHELOR TERRACE Call (225) 388-2270 for more information

SJA Community


The Roberta Fick CYO Memorial Scholarship has been established at St. Joseph’s Academy. Funds for the scholarship come from the estate of Ms. Roberta Fick, who wished to provide monies “to help children go to Catholic school.” The funds were originally held by the Baton Rouge Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). When the CYO was disbanded in Baton Rouge in July 2016, its leadership distributed monies from Ms. Fick’s estate to Boys Hope Girls Hope, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to benefit the Baton Rouge Police Department and to St. Joseph’s Academy and Catholic High School. Both schools received $20,000. As a child, Ms. Fick lived near St. Joseph’s Church (now Cathedral) and attended St. Joseph’s Parochial School during her grammar school years. She spent one session at St. Joseph’s Academy before transferring to Baton Rouge High School for economic reasons. She graduated in 1927, then attended and graduated from Baton Rouge Business College in 1928, trained as a secretary and stenographer.

Ms. Fick was a devout Roman Catholic and member of the Catholic Daughters of America, Court Marie Louise #60 and chairwoman for the Christmas parties conducted for the residents of the East Louisiana State Hospital at Jackson. She was an active volunteer with the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge. Ms. Fick died on April 23, 1999. She was a retired legal secretary, having served as the personal assistant to attorneys B.B. Taylor, George Mathews and Dan Atkinson Sr. She worked for the law firm of Hynes, Mathews & Lane from 1949 until 1975, when she retired to give full-time care to her mother. Friends and associates described Ms. Fick as being a good person completely dedicated to the needs of her mother and grandmother “even to the point of forsaking her personal wants.” Her life was spent taking care of others by giving of herself in a simple and direct manner. The scholarship in her memory will continue her legacy of serving others by enabling young women to receive the gift of a Catholic education.

Save the Date


Tennis Classic March 10-12, 2017 Denny Braud, center, and D.R. Atkinson, right, sign documents establishing the Roberta Fick CYO Memorial Scholarship at St. Joseph’s Academy. Looking on are, from left, SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen, Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald and Sister Joan Laplace, CSJ.

Bocage Racquet Club

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SJA Community


We also know that girls learn better collaboratively. Because corporations require this sort of collaboration in the workplace, we are preparing our girls for life beyond SJA.”

Congressman Garrett Graves poses with students in the Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74 STEM Lab.

St. Joseph’s Academy welcomed members of the community to campus on two separate Fridays in September to showcase how students are being prepared for the workplace of tomorrow. Representatives from area colleges, as well as elected officials, Catholic and public elementary school administrators and faculty, leaders in local business and industry and members of the SJA board of directors, enjoyed demonstrations by students in SJA’s new Innovation and Design Lab and the Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74 STEM Lab. Guests were able to ask questions of SJA students and learn about the projects they are undertaking using the six-step design process: identify, interpret, ideate, invent, implement and improve. Following the tours and demonstrations, guests enjoyed lunch catered by SAGE Dining Services. SJA Principal Dr. Michele Lambert described the projectbased learning opportunities afforded to students in the Innovation and Design and STEM labs, stressing the emphasis on 21st century skills, including collaboration, communication and creativity. “We welcome our students with a methodology for innovation that combines creative and analytical approaches and requires collaboration across disciplines,” Dr. Lambert explained to the guests. “This process, which has been called design thinking, draws on methods from engineering and design and combines them with ideas from the arts, tools from the social sciences and insights from the business world.” Dr. Lambert said the design-thinking process is especially significant in helping young women think outside of the box. “Failure is embedded into the process,” she said. “Young women are often afraid to try something new because they are afraid to fail. With the design-thinking process, they learn how to regroup and fix problems, which is a significant part of learning and creating.

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Brianna Sommers, director of the Innovation and Design Lab, said students are excited to work in the highly collaborative space. Since the lab opened in August, 23 projects have been launched. “SJA’s Innovation and Design lab provides our students with a 21st century collaborative space to work through challenging, real-world problems,” Mrs. Sommers said. “The design process that we use in the lab is also used by universities and large corporations worldwide, so the girls will be ahead of the game when they graduate from the Academy. Our goal is to partner with other schools, businesses and people in the community so that our students can gain experience and showcase their collaboration and critical-thinking skills.” Claire Luikart, director of the Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74 STEM Lab, said it was a pleasure to showcase students’ work with members of the larger community. “It provided us a fantastic chance to thank all of those who have helped us get to where we are and reach out to new individuals and groups that might be able to help us or enable us to help them,” she said. “As always, we continue to look for new ways and means that we can spread the spirit and work of the Sisters of St. Joseph with technology as the tool.”

Diana Kelly and Dr. Luria Young from Southern University visit with students in the Innovation and Design Lab.

Junior Mary Catherine Lorio demonstrates a project in the Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74 STEM Lab to Donna Edwards, first lady of Louisiana, and Bonnie Johnson, assistant to the first lady.

SJA Community


St. Joseph’s Academy has launched a complete walking tour of the school’s historic, scenic campus, giving prospective students, as well as alumnae, parents, grandparents and other interested parties, unlimited access to school grounds.

Virtual visitors can now explore SJA’s campus at their convenience via the Academy’s website, on Facebook and via mobile platforms (Android, iPhone and iPad). To take your virtual tour today, visit and click the “Start Virtual Experience” icon.

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SJA Community

GRANDPARENTS ENJOY CAMPUS VISITS St. Joseph’s Academy celebrated the special bonds between grandparents and their granddaughters with two gettogethers: Senior Grandparents Week (September 19-23) and Freshman Grandparents Day (October 17). In both instances, grandparents were invited to campus to enjoy lunch with their granddaughters and then tour SJA’s beautiful campus.

Freshman Sarah Gordon enjoyed spending time with her grandparents, Dr. Alvin and Elizabeth Rouchell.

Senior Madeleine Bourgeois enjoyed lunch and campus tours with her grandparents, John Bourgeois and Kathy and Wade Daigle.

Mary Usher welcomed her grandmothers, Brenda Usher and Priscilla Robert, to campus.

Seniors Sidney Jackson, far left, and Olivia Gales, far right, welcomed their grandmothers to campus. They are, from left, Betty Rudison and Glenda Honore. Chrisann Gboloo celebrated Grandparents Day with Leticia and Alfred Sarkodee.

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Alumnae News

WHERE WE ARE, WHAT WE’RE DOING... ’62 Julie Nesbit is retiring as president/CEO of Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network after 24 years of service. LATAN is a statewide nonprofit organization that connects individuals with disabilities and older persons to the assistive technology that enables independence in employment, school and community living.

’72 Rose Marie DeJohn Fife has been named a 2016 winner of the Baton Rouge Volunteer Activist Award. She is among nine honorees who will be recognized on November 4 at the Emerge Center’s 45th annual benefit luncheon. Volunteer Activist award winners give of their time and talent to organizations across the community. Rose is an active volunteer at Woman’s Hospital.

’79 Lisa Delaville Traina was honored in August by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants women’s initiatives executive committee and the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants women’s initiatives committee. Lisa, the founder and owner of Traina and Associates in Baton Rouge, was named the 2016 Women to Watch Experienced Leader.

’87 Catherine Anne Zaweski Gruener was named Top Clinical Professional Counselor of the Year for 2016-2017 by the International Association of Top Professionals. Honorees are selected based on professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, longevity in the field, other affiliations and contributions to their communities. Catherine has more than 20 years of professional experience in the mental healthcare field. In private practice in South Elmhurst, North Oak Brook, Illinois, her specialties include being a certified Cogmed Coach for working memory issues. She provides parenting education and consultations, positive discipline classes and seminars and workshops on the social and emotional issues of gifted children. Catherine earned her master of arts in counseling from the Adler School of Professional Psychology and a master of arts in neuropsychology from the University of Northern Colorado.

’90 Patti Lefeaux-Vaccaro, quality assurance coordinator at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, passed the test to become a certified Joint Commission professional, one of only four in the state and the first in the 20-parish region of Baton Rouge. These credentials enable Patti to inspect other hospitals or serve in a consultant’s role.

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Alumnae News

’00 Kristen LeBleu Losavio, MD has joined the Dermatology Clinic in Baton Rouge. She becomes part of a team of dermatologists that includes 10 medical doctors and three estheticians who work to diagnose and treat a wide range of skin conditions and specialize in skin rejuvenation therapy. Kristen graduated from SJA with honors and went on to Louisiana State University, where she earned a bachelor of science in biological sciences with a minor in psychology. At graduation, she was awarded the esteemed University Medal, given to students who graduate with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. ’04 Theresa Brignac, M.D. has joined Louisiana Women’s Healthcare Associates in Baton Rouge. She graduated from Louisiana State University and completed medical school at LSU Health Sciences in New Orleans.

’07 Marion Bienvenu was named Outstanding Actress in a Musical when Theatre Baton Rouge’s Board of Governors celebrated 70 seasons at its Through the Looking Glass-themed Beaux Arts Ball on July 30. Marion portrayed Diana Goodman in the theater’s production of Next to Normal.

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’11 Madison Ney DeFranceschi graduated cum laude in May from Southeastern Louisiana University with a bachelor of science in nursing. She is a registered nurse in the operating room at Baton Rouge General Hospital.

’14 Lindsay Hagmann, a junior at Trinity University, has been named a Division III Preseason All-American. Last season, she earned All-America accolades at the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships. She was a key contributor as the Tigers captured their 13th consecutive SCAC championship. The eventual SCAC swimmer of the meet, Lindsay won the 100-yard freestyle with a conference-record time of 50.86 seconds and captured the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:06.97. She was also part of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team. Lindsay also excels in the classroom. This summer, she was named a Scholar All-American by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America.

’14 Mary Katherine Miller, a junior at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, spent three weeks this summer in Botswana in southern Africa on a study-abroad trip. In addition to taking an engineering class, she helped install solar panels in a local village, which now provide a constant source of electricity for local families. She also enjoyed a three-day safari in South Africa.

Alums Today

DRESS DRIVE HELPS GIRLS AFFECTED BY FLOOD St. Joseph’s Academy was the site of the highly successful Hope for Homecoming, a community-sponsored dress drive and giveaway to benefit high school girls affected by the flood in August. More than 120 girls from 25 Baton Rougearea high schools received a free new or gently used dress for homecoming. Hope for Homecoming was founded and organized by the St. Joseph’s Academy class of 2004 shortly after the catastrophic flooding. In less than one month, with the help of organizing sponsor Soirée Boutique of Baton Rouge, the organization collected more than 1,000 formal and semi-formal gowns. Local boutique sponsors serving as drop-off locations included Bella Bella, Bustle, Currie, Head Over Heels, Hey Penelope, Swap Boutique and Soirée in Baton Rouge; Mingle in Port Allen; and H Kyle Boutique in Gonzales. Sarah Jeansonne Wampler ’04, owner of Soirée, said the community’s support of the event was tremendous. “We were completely blown away by the response we received locally and from members of the fashion community across the country,” she said. “Our original goal was to collect 200 dresses in three weeks. We stopped counting at 1,000 donations.”

On the morning of September 18, visitors began lining up outside of the Academy Arts Center, and community volunteers and members of the SJA Student Council put the finishing touches on what organizer Katy Ryan Michaud ’04 called “the largest social occasion pop-up boutique in Louisiana.” Sponsors Town Interiors and Event Rental Baton Rouge provided décor and ambiance styling to ensure a memorable morning.

Young ladies enjoyed a private shopping experience with their own personal attendant. If the perfect dress needed a bit of tailoring, local costume designer Kazli Sullivan offered onsite alteration services free of charge. On the way out, participants received gifts from local vendors including Nolabel Creative Jewelry, Verde Beauty, Marie Stagg Beauty Consultant and Dry Bar. “This was such a fun way to help our community, bring people together and enjoy a little pampering, all free of charge,” Mrs. Michaud said. “We know a lot of families’ focus right now is on getting their homes in order, and that’s why we came up with this idea. We were able to give these young ladies and their families one less thing to worry about. Hopefully, everyone who came had some fun in the process. I know we did!” Unclaimed dresses have been donated to the No Glass Slippers Prom Dress Giveaway, which hosts an annual event in the spring.

More than 100 high school girls impacted by August’s historic flooding were able to “shop” for a homecoming dress at St. Joseph’s Academy, thanks to the efforts of the class of 2004.

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Alums Today

GRADUATE SPENDS SUMMER STUDYING ECONOMICS IN LONDON Marianne Konikoff, a member of the St. Joseph’s Academy class of 2014 and a junior math major at Yale University, spent six weeks this summer in London, where she took two courses at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Alongside university students from around the world, Marianne learned the basics of micro- and macroeconomics while immersing herself in the culture of London city life. In two introductory economics courses, Marianne explored economic models as they pertain to single industries and individual interactions followed by the study of economics on a global scale. She also experienced a significant, real-life example of the material being taught in the classroom: the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union. “My professors used ‘Brexit’ as a way to practically teach us about the basic ideas of economics, looking at the exchange rate in real time and analyzing supply and demand of both goods and labor under EU and non-EU regulations,” Marianne said. “It really put the study of economics into perspective and helped me understand how to apply what I learned in class to the real world.” Marianne is working toward a graduate program in business and said her six-week experience at LSE was central to achieving her long-term academic and career goals. It also proved equally invaluable outside of the classroom. “I learned how to live on my own in a new place and quickly became very comfortable exploring London by myself and with my classmates,” she said. In 2014, Marianne was the first recipient of the Breaking Barriers Grant, established at SJA by alumna Laureen Callo ’83 and given to a graduating senior planning to attend an out-of-state college or university and pursuing a major that is non-traditional for women, especially in business or economics. Ms. Callo is an executive director with J.P. Morgan in New York. She is a graduate of Smith College in economics and holds an MBA from New York University. Marianne similarly looks forward to a career in business. “Studying abroad in London was an amazing experience that helped me develop both life skills and economic intuition,” Marianne said. “It will help me in my professional and academic life as well as my own personal wellbeing.”

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Marianne Konikoff, a 2014 Academy graduate, poses in front of the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she studied this summer.

Outstanding Alumnae LAST CALL FOR NOMINATIONS 2017 Outstanding Alumnae exemplify integrity, moral character, love of God and service to humanity. If you would like to nominate an Outstanding Alumna, please visit and complete the nomination form located under Alumnae tab. Questions can be directed to Alumnae Director Katie Jeter at (225) 388-2244 or


Alums Today

ALUM NAMED TO DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS SQUAD Tess Guidry started dancing at the tender age of 3. Twenty years later, the 2011 graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy has parlayed her love of performing into a spot on the world’s most famous cheerleading squad: the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Tess’ early dance training spanned the spectrum of disciplines, including ballet, jazz, tap, pointe, hiphop, musical theater and contemporary. She danced competitively and was a three-year member of the Catholic High School Bruinettes, which she credits with “sparking my love for dancing on the sideline.”

and sports, really prepared me for the audition and equipped me with what I needed to make it through the process and onto a professional team.” Several games into her rookie year as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, Tess is thoroughly enjoying the experience and the whirlwind schedule. Like most members of the squad, she has a job (Tess is a dance instructor), and the girls practice every night beginning at 7 p.m. On game day, the cheerleaders provide pregame entertainment both inside and outside the stadium.

At LSU, where she would earn a bachelor of arts in mass communication: public relations with a minor in business administration, Tess was a three-year member of the Golden Girls dance team. In 2013, when the LSU Tigers played Texas Christian University at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, the Golden Girls were able to visit the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders locker room and speak to several current members, including Monroe native Jacie Scott, a former Tiger Girl. “Being in the stadium and speaking one on one with the girls really inspired me,” Tess said. “I knew I did not want to stop dancing after college, and I decided I wanted to move onto the professional level after I graduated from LSU.”

During the game, the cheerleaders perform on the sidelines, and they dance on the field for each quarter change. They also perform four full-production halftime shows: an October performance for Breast Cancer Awareness month; a Halloween halftime show; a Thanksgiving halftime show with celebrity guests; and a Christmas show.

The rigorous audition process began in the spring with an online application followed by a weekend of preliminaries and semifinals. An estimated 600 young women performed a minute-long freestyle dance in groups of five for a panel of 15 judges. At the end of day one, the group of hopefuls was cut to 100. Day two included learning choreography, more performing in groups of five and another 50 girls eliminated from the process. The 50 remaining cheerleaders had their dances recorded and posted online for a public vote, with the top vote getter receiving an automatic invitation to training camp.

“There’s nothing I love more than football and dance,” Tess said. “The best part is being a part of a team where each member is as enthusiastic and passionate as I am. Everyone takes tremendous pride in representing Dallas everywhere we go and puts her heart and soul into each performance.”

Being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader doesn’t end with the conclusion of football season. The cheerleaders hold camps for younger dancers, make numerous appearances, attend charity events and perform at USO centers around the world. They also participate in a swimsuit calendar shoot in Mexico each spring.

Finals were held the following weekend at AT&T Stadium, with the hopefuls joined by the 23 veteran members of the squad, who must try out each year. All took a 100-question written test and were interviewed to test their knowledge and poise. On the final day, returning and hopeful cheerleaders performed a prepared solo for the judges, then danced on the field. “After this night, 47 girls were chosen to move onto training camp for the summer,” Tess said. “We had about a week to make living arrangements and move to Dallas. Training camp lasts from June to early August, and a girl can be cut from camp at any point in the summer. When they finally announced the final squad, 10 girls had been cut, bringing the team to 37.” Tess said the summer was extremely challenging, but the joy she felt with the announcement of the 2016 team made the hard work worth it. “It was a mixture of relief, unbelievable excitement and incredible pride,” she said. “It took a lot of determination and bravery to go through this audition. I feel like my past experiences on dance teams, both competitive

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Alums Today


Celebrating the fourth annual St. Joseph’s Academy Legacy Mass and Reception were SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen ’69 and a family whose members have been a part SJA for more than four generations: Kelsi Landry ’19, Theresa Gros Landry ’65, Toni Landry Ransom ’97, Sister Maria Rabalais, CSJ ’42, Jill Hurst Mabile ’91 and Marie Gros Favrot ’67. Also pictured is SJA Alumnae Director Katie Jeter ’04.

The St. Joseph’s Academy Alumnae Office hosted the fourth annual Legacy Mass and Reception on September 18. Generations of Academy graduates gathered in the Chapel at SJA for the Eucharistic celebration. Father John Carville was the celebrant. SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen ’69 welcomed the families whose legacies are woven throughout the Academy’s history. She said that five generations of women share the sacred threads of tradition dating to the 1870s. She recognized one family whose members have been a part of SJA for more than four generations: siblings Theresa Gros Landry ’65 and Marie Gros Favrot ’67, whose mother, Anelia Rabalais Gros, graduated in 1940; Anelia’s sister, Catherine Rabalais, who graduated in 1942 and later joined the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Maria; Theresa’s daughter, Toni Landry Ransome ’97; Theresa’s nieces, Kim Hurst Martinez ’88 and Jill Hurst Mabile ’91; and Theresa’s granddaughter, Kelsi Landry ’19. Following mass, families posed for group photographs then gathered in the Commons of Mother Alice Hall for a reception catered by SAGE Dining Services.

18 SJA Connections


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. Name (First, Maiden/Middle, Last): Address: City, State, Zip: Class Of: Occupation/Title: Employer: Husband’s First Name: Phone: Email: News to Share:

Alums Today

INAUGURAL SJA/CHS BAND, BRUINETTE AND CHEER REUNION ENJOYS SUCCESS More than 150 former members of the SJA/CHS Band, Bruinettes and CHS Cheerleaders enjoyed the inaugural Band, Bruinette and Cheer Reunion, held September 15 and 16. Graduates gathered at CHS on Thursday evening for rehearsals prior to performing at the CHS-Sam Houston game on Friday evening at Memorial Stadium. The Bears won the non-district contest 35-20. After Thursday’s rehearsal, the graduates enjoyed a social in the CHS Union catered by the Santa Fe Cattle Co. of Hammond with beverages provided by Zippy’s of Baton Rouge. Prior to the game, graduates tailgated at Memorial Stadium, then joined current band members, Bruinettes and cheerleaders performing in the stands and on the field.

Alumnae joined current CHS cheerleaders in leading the crowd during the September 16 CHS-Sam Houston football game.

Seventy years after graduating from SJA, Donna Gautreau Calabrese ’46 reprised her role as a Catholic High cheerleader during the Band, Bruinette and Cheer Reunion.

Former band members and Bruinettes in white T-shirts joined current members for the halftime performance..

Fall 2016 2016 19 19 Fall

Alums Today


lafayette Graduates living in the Lafayette area gathered at The French Press in downtown Lafayette on September 7. Nineteen alumnae with graduation years ranging from 1943 to 2015 enjoyed the evening and visiting with SJA representatives President Jan Rhorer Breen ’69, Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald, former volleyball coach and current PE department chair Brenda LeBlanc and Alumnae Director Katie Jeter ’04. Erin Spencer Shedloff ’04, who works as the event planner at The French Press, served as hostess.

20 SJA Connections


Alums Today

Houston-area alumnae enjoyed an SJA reunion at the home of Susan Gerald Hawfield ’79 on September 8. Thirty graduates visited with SJA representatives President Jan Rhorer Breen ’69, Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald and Alumnae Director Katie Jeter ’04.


Alumnae Trip March 29 - April 2, 2017 San Francisco Limited spots available with early-bird pricing of $1,450.

The graduation years of SJA’s Houston reunion participants ranged 1934 (Jennie Crifasi Fonte) to 2014 (Victoria Padial).

To register, visit advancement/2017-alumnae-trip For more information, contact Alumnae Director Katie Jeter at or (225) 388-2244.

Fall 2016 21

Annual Fund

THE ANNUAL FUND: A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE St. Joseph’s Academy is steeped in traditions: academic excellence, Candlelight Ceremony, Big Sis/Little Sis, monthly mass, service to the dear neighbor, Challenge Day and Senior Walk, to name a few. The most remarkable tradition is the annual support offered by you, our SJA alumnae, parents and friends. The SJA Annual Fund, which gives you an opportunity to partner with SJA in support of its mission to educate young women as responsible and unifying members of the world community, is comprised of four primary components: Parents, Alumnae, Friends and Faculty/Staff. Our goal this year is to raise 4.1 percent of the operating budget or $525,000. The Annual Fund has had a delayed start this year because of the historic flood in August, but it continues to play a vital role in upholding the many traditions of SJA. The commitment forms have been mailed, and we need your help in reaching this year’s goal.

Participation is the key to the success of SJA Annual Fund. Our faculty/staff set the bar high by reaching 100 percent giving for the fifth year in a row. Whether an alumna, parent or friend, please know that your gift matters. Gifts to the Annual Fund range from $5 to $10,000. All gifts to the Annual Fund, no matter the size, have an enormous impact on SJA’s ability to enhance its standards of excellence in teaching, student development and facilities. Annual gifts fuel the success of this school and touch every aspect of our students’ experience. Specifically, a gift to the Annual Fund will continue the traditions of: •

recruiting and retaining the highest caliber of teachers who serve as role models for our students;

contributing to the cutting-edge technology, lab equipment and other state-of-the-art learning tools used in the classroom;

If you have any questions, please contact Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald (225) 388-2254 or 22 at SJA Connections

instilling in students a deep awareness of God’s presence in their lives through a dynamic spiritual development program;

offering students the opportunity to uncover hidden talents through our fine arts offerings;

ensuring that SJA continues its winning athletic tradition; and

giving students an extraordinary and enriching experience – The SJA Experience – that they will treasure for a lifetime. We invite you to partner with us by investing in the traditions and future of St. Joseph’s Academy. Gifts to the 2016-2017 Annual Fund will be accepted through June 30, 2017. Gifts can be made online at Click on the “Give Online” button at the top of the screen. Or mail a check to SJA Foundation, 3015 Broussard Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.

Planned Giving


As an alumna, parent or friend of St. Joseph’s Academy, you can leave a lasting legacy to protect and continue the Academy’s strong tradition of excellence. A planned gift made to SJA ensures that a diverse and challenging college preparatory education rooted in Catholic traditions will remain for future generations. Anyone, regardless of income level, can make a tremendous investment in the future of SJA by initiating a planned gift. Planning your gift may also help minimize taxes for yourself and your beneficiaries. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Academy Legacy Society, we invite you to contact Sister Joan Laplace at (225) 388-2220 or

Leaving a Legacy at St. Joseph’s Academy

I am/we are pleased to inform you that I/we (check all that apply): Have already included SJA in my/our estate plans. Am/are considering a planned gift to St. Joseph’s Academy. Would like a personal call or visit to discuss a planned gift. Would like to receive information about how to include St. Joseph’s Academy in a will. Name(s): Address:




State: ______ Zip: __________

Fall 2016 23

On Campus


Gloria Alvarado

Elizabeth Amedee

Alyssa Anders

Caroline Babin

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Joaquina Segura and Victor Alvarado Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2017 National Merit Commended Daughter of Karen and Tim Amedee Attended St. Jude

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Rose and Bob Anders Attends University of New Orleans

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Paige and Kevin Babin Attends Louisiana State University

Cora Barhorst

Julia Baronet

Lauryn Bass

Meghan Bowie

Class of 2017 AP Scholar Daughter of Tracey and Dennis Barhorst Attended St. Aloysius

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Shannon and Jim Baronet Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Cherami and Aaron Bass Attends Spring Hill College

Class of 2017 AP Scholar Daughter of Gwen Bowie and Kevin Bowie Attended Dubmarton Middle School (Baltimore, Maryland)

Natalie Bush

Delaney Campagna

Nicole Catalano

Chloe Cates

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Lisa and Ed Bush Attends Baylor University

Class of 2017 AP Scholar Daughter of Deborah Doucet and Dave Campagna Attended St. Aloysius

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Renette and Phil Catalano Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Regina and Tremayne Cates Attends Louisiana State University

Kelly Chau

Caroline Cochran

Caroline Cox

Catherine Cox

Class of 2016

Class of 2017 AP Scholar Daughter of Abby and Doug Cochran Attended Episcopal Middle

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Elizabeth and Gary Cox Attends University of Notre Dame

Class of 2017 AP Scholar Daughter of Elizabeth and Gary Cox Attended St. Aloysius

Scholar with Honor 24 AP SJA Connections Daughter of Thuy Anh and Khoa Chau Attends Tulane University

On Campus

Alison Dazzio

Camille Delaune

Renee Desporte

Wellesley Dittmar

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Alison and Warren Dazzio Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Susan and Warner Delaune Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2017 AP Scholar Daughter of Marie Smith and Tom Desporte Attended Glasgow Middle

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Millicent and Edward Dittmar Attends Mississippi State University

Taylor Dottley

Cole Catherine Dunnam

Savannah Esteve

Madeline Ford

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Melissa and Tim Dottley Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Conchetta and Ronald Foshee Heidi and Jonny Dunnam Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Sheila and Stephen Tibbetts Kristen and Darren Esteve Attends Louisiana Tech University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Lisa and Milam Ford Attends BirminghamSouthern College

Caroline Fourroux

Cecilia Fuller

Kelly Garrett

Riana Gaudet

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Michelle and Sonny Fourroux Attends University of Alabama

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Christine and Patrick Fuller Attends Tulane University

Class of 2017 AP Scholar Daughter of Stacy and Ken Garrett Attended Our Lady of Mercy

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Christina and Drew Gaudet Attends Tulane University

Ashley Gremillion

Madison Hasenkampf

Elizabeth Helm

Lauren Hingle

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Aimee and Craig Gremillion Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2017 National Merit Commended Daughter of Stephanie and Jeff Hasenkampf Attended Most Blessed Sacrament

Class of 2017 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Dorothy and Mitch Ewen Attended St. Thomas More

Class of 2017 National Merit Semifinalist Daughter of Anna and Stewart Hingle Attended Our Lady of Mercy

Fall 20162525 Fall 2016

On Campus

Olivia Johnson

Hannah Honore

Kayleigh Hoppe

Mary Michael Ibert

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Lisa and Tyrone HonorĂŠ Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Michelle and Michael Hoppe Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Lisa and Michael Ibert Attends Louisiana State University

Eleanor Koonce

Caroline Kurzweg

Sophie Landry

Lillian LaPlace

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Edy and Jeff Koonce Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Stephanie and Charlie Kurzweg Attends Tulane University

Class of 2017 AP Scholar Daughter of Shannon and Kevin Landry Attended St. Aloysius

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Angie Rogers and Michael LaPlace Attends Louisiana State University

Julie Louque

Tamra Manfredo

Caroline Matthews

Roques Mayhall

Class of 2017 National Merit Commended Daughter of Joan and Kent Louque Attended Holy Family

Class of 2017 National Merit Commended Daughter of Carol and Robert Manfredo Attended Our Lady of Mercy

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Anne and Fred Matthews Attends Southern Methodist University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Nannette Mayhall Attends Louisiana State University

Maria Mengis

Amy Miller

Aniko Nowakowski

Delanna Poiencot

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Stacey and Joe Mengis Attends Spring Hill College

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Carla and Eric Miller Attends Texas A&M University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Halina and Bogdan Nowakowski Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Daphne Broussard and Kelly Poiencot Attends Louisiana State University

26 SJA Connections

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Janelle and Gary Johnson Attends Fordham University-Lincoln Center

Campus OnOn Campus

Sydne Rigby

Natalie Roppolo

Ashley Roy

Sarah Ruiz

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Kriste and Ragan Rigby Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Monica and Michael Roppolo Attends Louisiana Tech University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Jan and Sanford Roy Attends University of Oklahoma

Class of 2017 National Merit Commended Daughter of Beth and James Ruiz Attended St. Aloysius

Emily Rumfola

Abigail Saia

Whitney Say

Caroline Schroeder

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Cheryl Cardelli and Frank Rumfola Attends Louisiana Tech University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Amy and Chuck Saia Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Suzette and George Say Attends Auburn University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Denise and Eric Schroeder Attends Louisiana State University

Elizabeth Sicard

Molly Sides

Ysabella St. Amant

Caroline Taylor

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Barbara and Paul Sicard Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar Daughter of Andrea and Allen Sides Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Gabriella and Marshall St. Amant Attends University of Mississippi

Class of 2017 AP Scholar Daughter of Yolunda and Jonathan Taylor Attended St. Luke’s Episcopal

Stormi Verret

Katie Vukovics

Eleanor Whitfield

Claire Wigley

Emma Woodruff

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Travis Verret and Sunni Wright Attends Louisiana Tech University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Distinction Daughter of Marie and John Vukovics Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Daughter of Mary and Marc Whitfield Attends Louisiana State University

Class of 2017 AP Scholar Daughter of Kim Wigley and Brian Wigley Attended St. George

Class of 2017 National Merit Semifinalist Daughter of Donna and Digger Woodruff Attended St. Aloysius

Fall 20162727 27 . SJA Fall Connections 2016

On Campus

Linda Messina Receives Presidential Award

Linda Messina is a 2016 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She received the award at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., in early September. She is pictured here with Dr. John P. Holdren, assistant to the President for science and technology, and Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, director of education and human resources at the National Science Foundation. President Barack Obama has named St. Joseph’s Academy science teacher Linda Messina as a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Messina is one of 213 mathematics and science teachers from across the country recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on September 8. The PAEMST is awarded to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process at the state level. Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. “The recipients of this award are integral to ensuring our students are equipped with critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that are vital to our nation’s success,” President Obama said. “As the United States continues to lead the way in the innovation that is shaping our future, these excellent teachers are

28 . SJA Connections

preparing students from all corners of the country with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills that help keep us on the cutting edge.” Mrs. Messina has taught at St. Joseph’s Academy for 22 years and has taught chemistry, biology, honors biology, advanced placement biology and environmental science. She is also the school’s Science Fair Coordinator. She uses inquiry-based activities, statistics, math modeling, technology and writing skills to enhance student learning. This year, she will personally oversee 187 original research projects. She is also co-moderator of the SJA Science Club. “I am so very humbled by this recognition,” Messina said. “I could never have achieved this without the support of the SJA administration and faculty, my mentors, the Baton Rouge community and my wonderful students. It has been my great privilege to work with students and encourage them to work outside of their comfort zone and reach beyond what they thought they were capable of achieving. To play a small part in helping young women excel in the STEM fields of science, engineering, technology and math is rewarding beyond words.”

On Campus

SJA Establishes Josephine Bahlinger Award

Josephine Bahlinger is SJA’s first graduate, earning her diploma in 1877. The new Josephine Bahlinger Award is named in her honor.

St. Joseph’s Academy has announced the creation of the Josephine Bahlinger Award in honor of its first graduate. Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, five incoming freshmen will be awarded $4,000 toward their ninth grade tuition. While financial need-based assistance has long been part of the legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph, meritbased awards are new. “It is fitting that the Academy’s first merit-based scholarship award is named after our first graduate,” said SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen. “The creation of the award is part of SJA’s strategic plan to offer scholarships to academically gifted students as an incentive to choose SJA.” Admissions Director Sheri Gillio is pleased to launch the new award this year. Award criteria include outstanding academic performance, a history of standardized test scores in the 90th percentile, service to school and/or community, an exemplary conduct record and active participation in co-curricular activities. “The Josephine Bahlinger Award provides us with an opportunity to recognize academically gifted students in an increasingly competitive school climate,” she said. “It not only enables us to recognize their academic achievements but also provides tuition dollars to help the students’ families receive a Blue Ribbon Catholic high school experience for their daughters.” The application process opened at 6 p.m. on October 20, the date of SJA’s Open House. Applications, along with an essay, must be submitted by November 18. Interviews will be conducted in conjunction with applicant/family interviews in January. All finalists for the award will receive their freshman year registration fee and will be honored at a ceremony on SJA’s campus during the spring. Five award winners will be selected from the pool of finalists.

Fall 2016 29

On Campus

SJA Welcomes Visitors to Open House Approximately 1,300 visitors converged on St. Joseph’s Academy’s campus on October 20 for Open House 2016. The event, open to girls in grades 6-8 and their parents, enabled visitors to get a first-hand look at all that SJA has to offer. In addition to enjoying tours of campus, Open House attendees visited with current students, administrators, faculty and staff. Student Ambassadors led the campus tours. Visitors were able to see displays and performances by art, drama, choir and dance classes; practice sessions by the SJA volleyball and basketball teams; demonstrations by sports medicine students; displays and presentations by media arts students; cross-curricular projects and 3D printing in the Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74 STEM Lab; student technicians at work in one of the country’s first student-run help desks; demonstrations and class-project work by science, math, English, social studies, theology and family and consumer science students; collaborative, real-world learning in the Innovation and Design Lab; the Counseling Center, where they met SJA’s gradelevel counselors and two full-time college advisors; performances by the SJA/Catholic High Marching Band and Bruinettes dance line; and dramatic performances by foreign-language students in their language of study. Following their tours, visitors enjoyed refreshments and posing for pictures in the Dining Hall.

30 30 SJA SJAConnections Connections

On Campus

Fall 20163131 Fall 2016

Tribute Donations The following tribute donations were made between July 1 and September 30, 2016. 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 donate 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 Memory of Mr. Charles Alford Re and David DiVincenti In Memory of Mrs. Drusilla B. Balkom Mr. and Mrs. Eric Balkom In Memory of Sister Agatha Chauvin, CSJ Ms. Nancy Eskew In Memory of Ms. Allison Clement ’81 Mr. and Mrs. John A. Clement In Memory of Mrs. Lettie L. Counce Mrs. Holly H. Perry Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Stephens In Memory of Mr. Louis D. Curet Re and David DiVincenti In Memory of Mr. Christopher Dimattia Dr. and Mrs. William J. Dimattia In Memory of Mrs. Martha Bahlinger Haase ’48 Mrs. Janet Rhorer Mr. and Mrs. Roland N. Selig Sr. In Memory of Ms. Frances P. Holliday ’55 Dr. George Bryan In Memory of Ms. Allison Honeycutt ’12 Mr. and Mrs. William P. Honeycutt Sr. In Memory of Mr. Otis S. James Re and David DiVincenti In Honor of Mrs. Mary Bennett Lindsey ’66 Mr. and Mrs. Joe Macaluso

32 SJA Connections

In Honor of Ms. Catherine E. Martinez ’20 Mrs. Ann Garrett

Brick Fund The following donors purchased an engraved brick as part of SJA’s “Pave the Way” brick program. The following donations were made between July 1 and September 30, 2016.

In Memory of Ms. Catherine Brown Morrish ’68 Mrs. Ruth Brown In Memory of Ms. Penny L. Nichols ’64 Mrs. Eleanor Favrot Stevens In Memory of Ms. Rosemary Pannell Ms. Judy Lavergne In Honor of Ms. Mary Morgan Sutton ’19 Mr. David C. Sutton In Honor of Ms. J. Claire Vermaelen ’98 Ms. Nancy Herin In Memory of Mrs. Patrina Vince Peachie and Phil Ragusa In Memory of Mr. Daryl Whitty Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence M. Kleinpeter Mercedes Benz of Baton Rouge Mrs. Kathryn Ann Salzer

Mr. and Mrs. James N. Altazan Mr. and Mrs. Marc A. Baronet (Lauren Westmoreland ’83) Mr. and Mrs. Bobbie L. Beebe (Jeanne Boudreaux ’54) Ms. Denise Brewerton ’80 Mr. and Mrs. William Brown (Melissa Heck ’94) Mr. and Mrs. David A. Caillet Mr. and Mrs. Rick Capdevielle III (Margaret Heroman ’76) Mr. and Mrs. Clay Countryman Ms. Cymberly L. Dickerson ’11 Mr. and Mrs. Enrique E. Hurtado (Kelly Sword ’81) Mr. and Mrs. Buddy Ragland Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Billy T. Reed (Pat Fleniken ’67) Mr. and Mrs. Keith Smith

Buy a Brick this Holiday Season and Leave a Lasting Legacy Your personalized brick can be a part of SJA’s history. All proceeds benefit the future of the Academy. Create and purchase your brick online at or call Megan St. Germain at (225) 388-2270. Bricks are $100



In Memoriam

’04 Marcelle Navarre to Joshua Downer 4/18/2016

We make a sincere effort to publish any close alumnae family connections with the names of the deceased. With more than 9,000 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 October 6, 2016.

’08 Kayla Denise Langlois to Anthony Joshua Zumo 4/29/2016 ’09 Catherine Louise (Catie) Ragusa to Kris Goff 8/6/2016 ’10 Lauren Nicole Hurst to Ryan Blake Fontenot 4/2/2016

Births ’92 Odette Rousseau Ieyoub: daughter, Farrah Rousseau, born 8/16/2016 ’94 Brandi Polito Aertker: daughter, Mary Frances, born 5/17/2016 ’99 Alicia Gonzalez Engle: son, Everett Joseph, born 7/21/2016 ’01 Laurie Lynch Moran: son, James Patrick, born 10/01/2015

Bruce L. Baer, MD Father of Jeanne Baer McGlathery ’74, Patricia Baer Hobaugh ’76, Kathleen Baer McDowell ’78 and Bettye Ann Baer Browning ’82 Grandfather of Melissa McDowell Ledet ’10 and Sarah McDowell ’17 Peter Fabacher Bahlinger Sr. Husband of Mary Claire Bonnet Bahlinger ’42 (dec.) Father of Bonnie Bahlinger Hyfield ’66, Margaret “Peggy” Bahlinger Whatley ’75 and Christine Bahlinger Currier ’81 Grandfather of Katherine Currier ’11 and Melissa Currier ’15 Brother of Charlotte Bahlinger Walters ’58 William F. “Bill” Borne

’01 Kathryn Johnson Sanches: son, Father of Courtney Borne Scaff ’06, Hanna Borne Green ’08 and Jaci Borne ’17 John Thomas, born 6/23/2016 ’04 Danielle Clary Alch: daughter, Claire Louise, born 1/28/2016 ’04 Alexandra Fraioli Bonnecaze: son, William Thomas, born 7/27/2016 ’06 Noelle Riviere Kinberger: son, Levi Peter, born on 7/25/2016

Harry Kirkland “Kirk” Brown Husband of Sandra Casemore Brown ’62 Grandfather of Braelyn Brown ’20 Patricia Simoneaux Campbell ’69 Daughter of Beverly Landry Simoneaux ’48 (dec.) Sister of Dottie Simoneaux Monistere ’80 Susan Schexnayder Contine Sister of Paula Schexnayder Rains ’72

Martha Bahlinger Haase Mother of Catherine Haase Kowitz ’75 Grandmother of Alicia KowitzMcLaughlin ’03 Sister of Charlotte Bahlinger Walter ’58 Sara Alise Harris ’43 Karl Eikel Harvey (member of first SJA Lay Advisory Board) Father of Lynn Harvey Ramos ’77, Sarah Harvey Ogden ’79 and Beth Harvey Watkins ’80 Leo Joseph Heuvel Father of Gretchen Heuvel Macaluso ’76 Grandfather of Emily Macaluso ’09 Barbara Knohr Hurtado Grandmother of Alexandra Hurtado McCall ’05 and Daniela Hurtado ’13 Katherine Elizabeth Kleinpeter ’51 Grandmother of Virginia Kleinpeter Grant ’03, Katherine Kleinpeter ’09, Rebecca Kleinpeter ’13, Alyssa Kleinpeter ’14 and Kalyn Kleinpeter ’17 Inez Loup Cooper Landry Sister of Sister Felix Loup, CSJ (dec.; former SJA faculty) Msgr. Gerald Maurice Lefebvre Uncle of Katherine Bankston Walsh ’79 and Elizabeth Bankston Upshaw ’85 Bernard Joseph “Benny” McArdle Grandfather of Katherine McArdle ’07 Eugene “Gene” McCann, Ph.D. Father of Kimberly McCann Gallego ’84 Grandfather of Amanda McCann Holland ’04 Marion Corso McDonald Great-grandmother of Erin Contini Garbarino ’09, Madeleine Contini ’15 and Catherine Contini ’19

Fall 2016 33

Transitions Thomas A. Miller Jr. Father of Sonya Claire Miller ’71 and Linda Miller Hsu ’76 Grandfather of Carolyn Wong Garcia ’04 Joseph S. “Joe” Modicut Brother of Mary Ann Modicut Brown ’61 Martin Daniel “Dan” Moran Sr. Father of Juliana (Julie) Moran Miller ’79 Grandfather of Allison Moran Durham ’06, Olivia Miller ’12 and Mary Moran ’15 Falcon A. “Bon Paw” Morgan Husband of Nancy Braud Morgan ’52 Kathleen Anne “Kellie” Murname ’87 Sister of Beth Murname ’73 and Jean Murname ’76 (dec.)

34 . SJA Connections

Paul Edward O’Neill Grandfather of Lisa Melancon Ganucheau ’85 and Nicole Melancon Fairess ’87 Rosemary Dittman Pannell Mother of Vicki Pannell LaPlace (SJA faculty member) Grandmother of Kathryn LaPlace ’09 Adrienne McHardy Percy Mother of Sallie Kay Percy Janes ’65 Grandmother of Erin Percy Tadie ’03 and Allison Percy Merrick ’05 Frank Joseph Petkovsek Father of Gail Marie Petkovsek Mosby ’70 (dec.) Rogelio A. Pineiro Father of Dora Pineiro Telleria ’81 and Irene Pineiro Gomez ’81 Lona Trahan Smith (former SJA staff member) Mother of Ellen Smith Khoudari ’78

William Alsey “Bill” Taylor Sr. Husband of Lois Ourso Taylor ’46 Stepfather of Kelly Sword Hurtado ’81 Grandfather of Alexandra Hurtado McCall ’05 and Daniela Hurtado ’13 Captain James E. “Jim” Toups Father of Lacy Toups Dienes ’87 Patrina “Lil Ro” Disclafani Vince Mother of Anna Vince Forshag ’56 Grandmother of Kristin Forshag Shortess ’82

Elusive Alumnae


If you have current information for any of the following graduates, please contact Alumnae Director Katie Jeter at (225) 388-2244 or Linda Hidalgo Sugg ’66 Ann Levert Byrd ’71 Elizabeth Rageur Davis ’71 Cecelia Fox ’71 Vivian Freyre ’71 Jeanie Whitaker Granberry ’71 Ann LeBlanc ’71 Paula McGrew ’71 Andrea M. Stephens ’71 Kay Warren Thayer ’71 Elaine Garon Hopkins ’76 Shawn Robertson ’76 Rachel Stephens ’76 Therese Tilley ’76 Sarah Robinson Barek ’81 Celeste Benede Benedetto ’81 Erin Derbes Brown ’81 DeJeanne Pesson Keller ’81 Elizabeth McClanahan ’81 Julie Ducote Bogdan ’86 Melinda Champagne ’86 Casey Corwin ’86 Sherry Hargooa ’86 Maria Cuartas Johnson ’86 Kristin Lawton ’86 Renee Lieux-Brechbiel ’86 Amy Niebylski ’86 Lisa Anselmo Sepulveda ’86 Thais Shanks ’86 Joel Parker Smith ’86 Janell Falcon Walsh ’86 Julie Winston Waters ’86 Tiffani Worsham ’86 Mikki Bader ’91 Sally E. Calongne ’91 Sandra Blakemore Chedraui ’91 Keri Landers M. Conley ’91 Nicole Dahlhauser ’91

Stacy LeBlanc Dodd ’91 Jody McCall Emonet ’91 Kathryn Glasco Ensminger ’91 Elizabeth Fugler ’91 Marcie Saucier Graf ’91 Erika Hirschey Gragg ’91 Lucie Branton LeDoux ’91 Rebecca Luttrell Luttrell ’91 Minh Ngoc Nguyen ’91 Anne Pizzolato ’91 Kami Roccaforte ’91 Margaret Schempf ’91 Melanie Smith ’91 Lisa Sullivan ’91 Jessica Abernathy ’96 Amy Allen ’96 Molly Andrews ’96 Charlene Boudreaux Borne ’96 Marci Burdette ’96 Adrienne Cook Clement ’96 Penelope Fairchild ’96 Dona Fontenot ’96 Christy Gaudet ’96 Brandi Bailey Harris ’96 Nicole Lemoine ’96 Lisa Levatino ’96 Jamie Lewis ’96 Mandy Miller ’96 Olivier Marie Odom ’96 Katie Osborne ’96 Margaret Frederick Schleeter ’96 Kristen Matassa Stanley ’96 Julie Tessier ’96 Melissa Turgeon ’96 Katelin Graves Walker ’96 Ashley Colley Willis ’96 Rachel Troyer Arnold ’01 Brandi Bielkiewicz ’01

Jessica Bodin ’01 Jessica Colby ’01 Mandi Cook ’01 Mary Daniel ’01 Rebecca Dodson ’01 Katie Gonsoulin ’01 Candice Snedigar Hernandez ’01 Kate Stratmann Herty ’01 Katie Mancuso ’01 Meghan Merritt ’01 Margot Moore ’01 Stephanie Nunez ’01 Carlye D’Albor Roussel ’01 Candice E. Bates ’06 Katherine Bryant Denemark ’06 Katelyn Ann Fusilier ’06 Blair Elaine Gray ’06 Lindsey Ann Guercio ’06 Nicole Marie Hanney ’06 Emily Catherine Hoover ’06 Elizabeth Claire Jurey ’06 Elissa Fertitta Logsdon ’06 Anna Christine Martinez ’06 Jordan Pope Menard ’06 Brittney Orr ’06 Stephanie Dellocono Osorno ’06 Alyce Lauren Thibodeaux ’06 Erin Laine Volentine ’06 Amy Jo Watkins ’06 Summer Sadé Johnson ’11 Rachel Layne Lindsly ’11 Mary-Katherine Montes De Oca ’11

Fall 2016 35

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Baton Rouge, LA Permit No. 50

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Parents, if your daughter no longer lives at home, please send us her address. If you would like to continue to receive Connections, please call Katie Jeter at (225) 388-2244 or email her at

1991 • 1996 • 2002 • 2016

SJA Connections (Fall 2016)  
SJA Connections (Fall 2016)