St. Joseph’s Academy began the 2018-2019 academic year with a special assembly in the new Academy Student Center. Students, faculty and staff, Sisters of St. Joseph, alumnae, board of directors members and invited guests gathered to mark the first day of school, dedicate the new building and kick off the year-long celebration of SJA’s 150th anniversary.
Principal Stacia Andricain welcomed the large crowd and introduced a video chronicling the history of St. Joseph’s Academy from its founding in 1868 by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Academy representatives and special guests then cut the ceremonial ribbon signifying that the new building is part of the SJA campus. They were Bishop Robert Robert Muench, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, SJA President Jan Breen, Board of Directors Chair Suzie Toups Adler, Student Body President Anna Rees Couhig, architect David Hebert, Steve Carville, representing Womack Contractors, and Mission Advancement Associate Director and former Principal Sister Joan Laplace.
Students representing each of the activities that will take part in the new building paraded to the stage area, and Bishop Muench blessed the facility. Andricain presented Bishop Muench, who will retire later this month, with a Redsticker spirit shirt and a lifetime pass to all home volleyball and basketball games.
Mayor Broome presented the alumnae and students of SJA with a key to the city. Alumnae Association President Wendy Williams Lutgring, class of 1984, and Student Body President Anna Rees Couhig accepted the gift.
Readers were seniors Natalie Lazaroe, Derquisia Spears and Eden Landry. Leading their classmates in prayer were senior class President Ella Barhorst, junior class President Claire Marie Tate, sophomore class President Tiffany Tran freshman Vivian Dille.
Members of the leadership team offered their prayer, and Sarah McCann led the faculty and staff in prayer.
Breen provided an update on the renovations that occurred on campus during the summer months, and Adler detailed some of the many activities which will take place during the year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary.
Andricain welcome the 312 members of the freshman class and new members of the sophomore, junior and senior classes as well as new faculty and staff members. She also recognized faculty and staff members celebrating milestone anniversary years of service to SJA. Celebrating five years are Yvette Aillet, Carlie Boone, Mackenzie Bowman Brown, Ellen Frazier, Tommy Bullard, Sheri Klemm, Alan LeCoq, Kayla Moscona and Pat O’Hara. Marking 10 years are Lauren Garrett, Barbara Harris, T. LaCour, Kevin Landry, Sharon Ogra and Sister Chris Pologa. With 15 years of service are Catherine Durnin, Francisco Nieto and Clarinda Palmer. Celebrating 25 years are Jill Abadie, Brenda LeBlanc and Jackie Zeller, and marking 35 years of service are Kathie Hayden and Nan Murtagh.
Senior Kate Stanford closed the assembly by leading the singing of the alma mater.
Cantors were senior Hallie Legendre and junior Annie Blanchard. Lending their musical talents to the celebration were Martha O’Hara, piano; Stephen Barrios, percussion; Hugo Andricain, guitar; and freshman Annavictoria Proano, bass.
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine