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The Penguin Post Academy of Our Lady Parent Newsletter

AU GU S T 2019, VOL. 10 | I SSUE 1

A Message from Sr. Michelle Dear Family, Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! It was terrific to see so many of you last week at back to school night. I hope you enjoyed meeting your daughters’ teachers and hearing first-hand about the curriculum. It is helpful for the teachers to meet the parents in case there is a need to reach out. The best education happens when the parents and the school are partners. Thank you for taking the time to attend. A special welcome goes out to all our new families. You have now become an integral part of our Salesian family here at Academy of Our Lady. St. John Bosco, the founder of the Salesian family, always said that anyone who enters a Salesian school is under the special protection of Mary, the Help of Christians. I pray that during this school year, each of you feels Mary’s motherly love and protection. May she lead us closer to her son, Jesus. Last week was club fair. I hope your daughters applied for at least one club. It is good for them to be involved. Soon the sports season will begin. Being part of a group or attending games is a wonderful opportunity to enrich her high school experience. St. John Bosco stressed the importance of a Salesian School being more than just an educational institution that prepares for life, it needs to be a home that welcomes, a parish that evangelizes and a playground where friends meet. Involvement in clubs, activities and sports makes for a wellrounded young adult. Thank you for the sacrifices you make to give your daughters a quality Catholic Salesian education.

God bless,

Sr. Michelle Geiger Principal

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Book Day By senior Amally Abdeljabar, Academy of Our Lady After a fun and relaxing summer Academy of Our Lady students were ready to start this school year on August 7 with Book Day which marked the first day of school. “I am very excited for this school year, I received my schedule and I’m ready to start,” said junior Asra Abdeljabar. Teachers welcomed the students with warm smiles and much joy. Students were able to purchase spirit wear, get their schedules, pick up their iPads, and take their yearbook pictures. Returning penguins were also able to pick up their yearbooks.

Pre-freshman Kaylen Marbry posed for her first yearbook photo as an Academy of Our Lady students.

Freshman Courtney Comeaux, junior Jessica Comeaux, junior Abigail Melling and sophomore Madeline Melling were thrilled to return to campus for the 2019-20 school year.

Pre-freshmen Sanaa Nedd and Shawn Nedd carefully secured their iPads in their cases after receiving them from the Technology Department.

Freshman Giselle Lozano-Gonzales happily picked the 2018-19 edition of the Academy of Our Lady yearbook.

Seniors were thrilled to take their first step into their final year of high school. “I was very excited to see all the new teachers, and to get my new schedule,” said senior Lainey Watson. “I was also very excited to get my senior pictures.” The contagious smiles and laughter from my fellow penguins gave me confidence that this is going to be a great year.

Orientation Orientation was held for pre-freshmen on August 8 while freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors attended orientation on August 9. Students heard from administration and had the opportunity to meet their teachers who reviewed course syllabi and outlined expectations for the school year. Pre-freshmen also participated in icebreakers coordinated by Student Council to allow them to better know their new classmates.

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Family Day By senior Lindsey Nguyen, Academy of Our Lady How are new students welcomed at the Academy of Our Lady? On Saturday, August 10, AOL hosted Family Day for incoming students and their families to get to know the school while having fun. Big Sisters came prepared to meet their Little Sisters for the first time. The cafeteria tables were decorated with gifts for Little Sisters from their Big Sisters. As Little Sisters arrived, they were greeted by their Big Sisters. In the cafeteria, the smell of jambalaya filled the air. Faculty and students served jambalaya, hot dogs, hamburgers, and barbecue chicken to families. Once everyone finished enjoying the delicious food, Student Council served sundaes at the sundae table. There was an assortment of ice cream that included fan favorites, vanilla and neapolitan. Everyone was able to enjoy the choice of whip cream and other toppings like M&M’s and sprinkles. Throughout the day, Big Sisters and Little Sisters sled down a huge water slide set up in the cafeteria courtyard. Junior Lacey Johnson, who worked at the sundae table whipping up dessert exclaimed “Family Day was so fun! It was really exciting meeting new students while making ice cream.” After her experience, she is looking forward to hopefully becoming a Big Sister next school year. “I had a very fun time interacting and meeting my Little Sisters,” senior Gillian Decossas said, “I think my Little Sisters and other sisters also had a fun time getting used to the campus.”

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Mass By senior Lorynn Coulon, Academy of Our Lady Academy of Our Lady students attended the first mass of the school year on Thursday, August 15, 2019, to witness the induction of the Eucharistic Ministers and to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Just three days after the first day of school, Academy of Our Lady held a mass which was organized by the Peer Ministry team. The celebrant of the mass was a face new to the Academy of Our Lady campus, Father Colm Cahill. In his homily he reflected on the fact that Mary is always near to the students, and the students of Academy of Our Lady belong to her and honor her name.

Father Colm Cahill delivered a meaningful homily that resonated with the student body.

Senior Lorynn Coulon administered the sacrament of communion for the first time as a Eucharistic Minister.

Father Colm’s energy appealed to the students of AOL. Lindsey Ferguson, a senior, said, “The priest was really cool and his homily was very good for younger students to relate to.” The Peer Ministry team also put tremendous amounts of effort into the mass, working to assure that beauty of the celebration. Mrs. Doris Bridges, religion department head, agreed with the success of the mass, adding that, “It went wonderful for our first mass. The young people knew their responsibility and everything flowed very well.” Prior to communion, the Eucharistic Ministers were inducted. They were given pins blessed with holy water and were even able to administer communion to the student body for the first time. The Peer Ministers were also acknowledged at the end of the mass and were given pins to represent their leadership position in the student body. Their hard work and dedication to religious services was very evident in this mass.

2019-20 Eucharistic Ministers Back Row (left to right): Seniors Madison Hill, Leigha Cox, Lorynn Coulon and Mallory Hines. Front Row (left to right): Seniors Emily Mailhos, Rebecca Dobson, Julia Mai and Bella Pscenicka.

Big Sister Letters Big Sisters wrote letters to their Little Sisters welcoming them to the Academy of Our Lady family. The letters also contained helpful tips for a successful school year to help ease nerves as the Little Sisters begin their high school journey at Academy of Our Lady.

Senior Gillian Decossas takes time to carefully pen a note to her Little Sister.

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Big/Lil Sister Social By senior Taylor Hamback, Academy of Our Lady On Friday, August 16 the new Little Sisters at Academy of Our Lady met with their Big Sisters in the gym to enjoy a game while getting to know each other. First, all Big Sisters were given balloons by Mrs. Babcock and Mr. Murray for the game they were going to play with their Little Sisters. When all Big and Little sisters were grouped together, seniors Cambre Vegas and Claire Clayton began asking everyone a variety of questions. The gym was constantly filled with laughter, giggles, and lots of smiles. When the questions were finished, it was time to play the game. We asked senior and Big Sister Lorynn Coulon what she was expecting from the event she said, “I am excited to see my Little Sisters again, and I think the game will be fun for all of us.” For the game, the Big Sisters stood in front of their Little Sisters in a single file line. When in line, the Little Sisters were asked to place the balloons in-between them, and then walk back and forth across the gym floor without touching them or letting them fall. This was done a few times, and in the end, senior Mallory Hines and her Little Sisters won the competition. The Big Sisters and Little Sisters enjoyed themselves during the event, and were able to get closer not only as friends, but as Salesian sisters. After the event, pre-freshman Laila Marcotte said, “It was really fun and I was excited to get to learn a little bit more about my big sister and her other little sisters. I hope they do another event like this one.”

Theater Masks The Theater class created Greek masks as they learned the importance the masks played in the history of theatre.

Students work on their masks during class.

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Back to School Parent Night By senior Natalie Bui, Academy of Our Lady Parents of both new and returning students visited the campus to attend this year’s Back to School Parent Night. On August 20, 2019, Academy of Our Lady welcomed parents of students in 8th-12th grade to meet their daughters’ teachers and learn about the new school year. The evening started with a general meeting in the cafeteria with presentations given by the administration, guidance department and institutional advancement. Parents were informed about the governance structure, academics, programs, policies, events and other information pertaining to the new school year during the presentation portion of the evening.

Alumna Emily Oncale, AOL ’15, was thrilled to attend her first Parent Night as an Academy of Our Lady Faculty member and to meet the parents of her students.

Faculty members Deborah Vachetta, Sr. Lillian Foxx, Marisa Browne, Grace Hicks and Lesley Babcock were ready to welcome parents to their classrooms on the second floor of the classroom building.

Sophomore Marlyce Perry attended Parent Night with her mother Melissa Perry.

Math department members Sean Murray and Kellie Muller greeted parents as they made their way throughout campus.

Representatives from, the dad’s club, Papa Penguins and the Parent Club explained their role throughout the school year and promoted upcoming events. Following the presentations, parents were given the opportunity to run through their daughters’ schedule to meet teachers. Each session lasted for about 10 minutes. Teachers spoke about class structure and student expectations. “We had a fairly great turnout,” Director of Institutional Advancement and Admissions Mallory Matute said. When asked how well parent night went this year, Assistant Principal Donna Blanchard explained, “We had good attendance. The parents liked being able to meet the teachers and see what their daughters are going learn in their classes.”

Robotics By junior Patricia Lubag, Academy of Our Lady The robotics team, The Power Struck Girls, did many service projects over the summer. On June 18, The Power Struck Girls hosted a STEM Day at Academy of Our Lady’s Summer Camp. Children ages 3-12 participated in activities such as making oobleck, bottle tornadoes, science trivia, and making paper animal ears. On August 2, The Power Struck Girls hosted a STEM activity at a church based summer camp in Metairie. The campers participated in making mini robots out of toothbrushes called BristleBots. Campers also drove the team’s robot, Portia. The Power Struck Girls also competed in an off-season competition, Red Stick Rumble, in Denham Springs on August 24. The team went to quarterfinals and had a lot of fun seeing other teams compete.

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New Faculty By senior Hailee Griffin, Academy of Our Lady Academy of Our Lady is a school that is dedicated to the education of young girls. This would not be possible without the help of the school’s educators. This year, Academy of Our Lady welcomes four new faces and a returning member to the staff. These new teachers include Marissa Browne, Melinda Harlow, Karen Matherne and Emily Oncale. Academy of Our Lady welcomes them into our family and wishes them a happy and bright school year. Returning teacher Sr. Jen taught at the Academy a few years ago and returned to teach senior Religion and Computer Tech. “ I get my inspiration from St. Bernard Clairvaux,” she said, “his quote “While Mary holds your hand you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear.” Alumna Ms. Oncale, AOL ’15, has felt part of this family since she was a student and knew she would one day return. “I always felt that the Academy was family,” Ms. Oncale remarked, “something about returning felt like I was coming home.” Let her words be the inspiration that everyone is welcomed back home to Academy of Our Lady. Emily Oncale, AOL ‘15 Teaching: Pre-freshmen Religion Education: Theology Major, University of Holy Cross Experience: First year in education Why Academy of Our Lady: “I graduated in 2015 and haven’t really left since. Academy of Our Lady has always been my second home and it feels great to be back.” Most looking forward to this year: “I remember my time at Academy of Our Lady was filled with such a strong sense of sisterhood. I look forward to seeing my students grow closer to one another and to God as well.” In your free time: “In my free time I teach dancing, I am reading or doing homework.” Unique Quality/Hobby: Dancing for 21 years Favorite New Orleans Event: Mardi Gras. “I love to see the culture of the city come to life.”

Karen Matherne Teaching: Law Studies Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, minor in English, University of New Orleans; Juris Doctorate in Law, Loyola Law School Experience: First year teaching, practicing law for 23 years Why Academy of Our Lady: “The opportunity to teach Law Studies.” Most looking forward to this year: “I am looking forward to getting to know the girls in my class and hopefully, instilling a love for the law in them.” In your free time: “When I am not teaching, I am still practicing law so I don’t have much free time.” Unique Quality/Hobby: “I love to take pictures and make scrapbooks.” Fun Facts: “I have two children. My son, Austin O’Brien, graduated from Archbishop Shaw High School in May and is attending Southeastern University in Hammond. My daughter, Megan O’Brien, is a junior at Academy of Our Lady.”

Melinda Harlow Teaching: Health Occupations Intern I and Health Occupations Intern II Dual Enrollment Education: Bachelor of Science in Nursing Experience: First year teaching. Mrs. Harlow is a hospice and home health nurse. Why Academy of Our Lady: “A new opportunity to share the love I have for nursing and spend more quality time with my daughters.” Most looking forward to this year: “Providing motivation and guidance for those interested in a medical career.” In your free time: “I like to spend time with my family boating and fishing.”

Sr. Jennifer Kane, FMA Teaching: Religion IV and Computer Technology/ Literacy Education: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, minor in Mathematics, Clarkson University; Masters of Education Childhood Education; Certificate of Theology, Assumption College for Sisters Experience: Six years in education. Why Academy of Our Lady: “God’s Grace and obedience.” Most looking forward to this year: “Seeing everybody in the extracurricular activities.” In your free time: “I like to play guitar.” Unique Quality/Hobby: “I was a few jumps short of getting my A license for skydiving.” Favorite New Orleans event: “I look forward to seeing the Saints in the Super Bowl!!!” Fun Facts: “Please keep me in your prayers. I am preparing to make my perpetual vows, my ‘yes’ to Jesus for life.”

Marissa Browne Teaching: Spanish I, II, II honors Education: Theology Major, supplementary major in Spanish, minor in Catholic Social Tradition, University of Notre Dame; currently working toward Master of Education through Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education Why Academy of Our Lady: “I was first introduced to Academy of Our Lady when the ACE program offered me the opportunity to teach Spanish here. The more I learned about the school, the more I wanted to come teach here. As a graduate of an all-girls, Catholic high school, I am passionate about the empowerment of young women through education. Most looking forward to this year: “I am looking forward to getting to know my students and seeing their progress in Spanish proficiency. The year is off to a great start!” In your free time: “In my free time I like to read, spend time outside, and have good conversations with friends over a cup of tea.” Unique Quality/Hobby: “I love to make ceramics/pottery.” Favorite New Orleans event: “I just moved to New Orleans before the school year started. I am looking forward to exploring the restaurants, coffee shops and parks in the city.” Fun Facts: “I am very excited to be part of the Academy of Our Lady family. Thank you for welcoming me!”

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Club Fair By senior Rachelle Sancho, Academy of Our Lady On Thursday, August 22, Academy of Our Lady held Club Fair for the 2019-2020 school year. Each year the students, faculty, and staff set up club booths in the cafeteria for each grade level to peruse while attending Club Fair. Every year students have the opportunity to join any club they choose. Dean of Students Mrs. Danos stated, “Clubs help students get involved, make new friends, learn something new and enjoy themselves.” “I joined a few clubs which have helped me to make new friends making my high school experience memorable,” senior Harley Johansen said. By joining a club, students can develop new friendships while being involved school. So join a club, get involved and enjoy your school year.

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Back to School Assembly By senior Paulina Mora, Academy of Our Lady What better way to start the new school year than with a pep rally? Prior to the pep rally on August 23, I asked a senior what she was most looking forward to at her first pep rally as an Academy of Our Lady senior. “I’m so excited to showcase my school spirit at the very first pep rally of the year and can’t wait to win that megaphone,” senior Victoria Varela said. It was also a big pep rally for pre-freshmen who attended their first pep rally of their high school career. “I didn’t quite know what to expect, especially since this was my first high school pep rally, it was fun though,” pre-freshman Joanna Perez explained. “I liked the games and the skits were funny,” pre-freshman Eden Becnel said. Congratulations to the seniors for winning the first megaphone of the year!!

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Back to School Dance By senior Aliyah Slack, Academy of Our Lady Who doesn’t love a good party? Academy of our Lady truly embodies what it means to not only be a part of a sisterhood, but also a family. Helping students build bonds with each other is something that AOL does extremely well. On Friday, August 23 the school hosted a successful Back to School Dance to kick off the 2019-2020 school year Students gathered in the cafeteria for fun with their classmates and friends before the everyday student duties go into full effect. When senior Briana Connor was asked what she most looked forward to at her last Back to School Dance she replied, “I really just want to make memories with my friends and remember this night forever.” After attending her first back to school dance, pre-freshman Morgan Nolan said, “I can’t wait to attend next year’s dance. I had way more fun than I expected.”

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Mark your calendars as the Penguins take on Greece! The trip is open to current students, parents, and alumni. You don’t want to miss out on this incredible opportunity! Contact Ms. Bird at mbird@theacademyofourlady.org for more information and to reserve your spot.

Friday, September 13, 2019 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. Arrival and Dismissal in the Gymnasium $5 Registration Fee

Academy of Our Lady’s Math, Science and Health Science departments are excited to host an evening filled with all things STEM for girls in 4th -7th grade. Activities include a space race scavenger hunt, polymer alien worms, stomp rockets and so much more!

Registration is required by Wednesday, September 11. Space is limited. Registration taken on a first come, first served basis.

To register and for more information, visit www.theacademyofourlady.org/fantastic-fridays

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2019

Oct. 4 & 5 fun run

*Saturday @ 4:30pm

friday 6 - 10pm saturday 3 - 10pm

pumpkin patch

*Friday ONly

friday: aaron foret Band

saturday: Joey thomas / Clark Knighten / Ryan foret

FREE ADMISSION For more information visit our website, www.theacademyofourlady.com

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13

29

22

15

8

1

FEeHG

11

16

23

SWE

NSHS Mtg 2:30

CDdAB

30

Speech & Debate

FEeHG

HCC

StuCo Mtg 2:30

No AM/PM Bus

ABbCD

Penguin Preview

17

S4L

Swim @ UNO

SpHS Mtg 2:30

SAB Mtg 12pm

DCcBA

24

Penguin Preview Sr. Salesian Lunch Key Club Mtg 2:30 VB @ C Lafourche 4pm LAP

EFfGH

Photography

Book Club

40 Days of Life Begin Penguin Preview YRA Mtg 2:30 Club Bowling 3:15 VB @ Country Day 4:30

25

Culture

Faculty Mtg

8:55am Arrival

26

SADD ABbCD

TLW HGgFE

MAO Mtg 2:30

19

Club Bowling 3:15

GHhEF

DCcBA 12 Joint Mass w/ Shaw StuCo Induction NAHS Mtg 2:30 New Faculty Mtg 2:40 VB v TJ 4pm MC

Thalian

Penguin Preview

18

5

VB @ Chalmette 5pm

Voter Registration

EFfGH

Thursday

NHS Mtg 2:30

CDdAB

SUDIA

10

Ambassadors

ABC

BAaDC

Culinary

VB v Ursuline 5:30

Club Bowling 3:15

4

VB v Newman 5:30

ABbCD Dept. Head Mtg 2:30

3

Raffle Tickets Due

HGgFE

Wednesday

Voter Registration

9

2

Tuesday

Progress Reports Penguin Preview NEHS Mtg 2:30 Club Bowling 3:15

GHhEF

No School Labor Day

Monday

20

Mission

Pep Rally

EFGgH

27

VB New York Trip

Pre-Freshmen Retreat

BAaDC

RTL

6

13 Fantastic Friday

HGgFE

Club Bowling

Voter Registration

Penguin Preview

CDdAB

Friday

21

14

7

Key Club Mtg

Swim @ Cypress

28

Swim @ Newman

Sat. Detention 8-10am

Saturday

Academy of Our Lady lives the Salesian family spirit of reason, religion, and loving kindness and instills in young women the values to live as Catholic Christians, the drive for life-long learning, and the skills to succeed as responsible citizens in society.

Sunday

September 2019

Academy of Our Lady

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The Penguin Post - August 2019  

The Penguin Post - August 2019  

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