News Post

SJA Honors Class of 2023

St. Joseph’s Academy honored the class of 2023 at the 57th annual Honors Convocation, held May 19 in the Academy Student Center. The evening event was sponsored by the faculty and alumnae of SJA.

President Jan Rhorer Breen welcomed the soon-to-be graduates and their parents, saying the 242 members of the class embraced their four years at SJA with sanctity, joy and action. “They have cared for their dear neighbor, cheered for each other, forgiven one another, prayed for each other, explored new frontiers and challenged themselves and others to achieve, to dream, to serve,” she said. 

Faculty member Emily Peavy introduced the graduating class as they were escorted across the stage. Senior Maria Hargrave offered the opening prayer. 

Ashley Thibodeaux, a 2015 SJA graduate and a member of the Alumnae Association board, inducted the members of the class of 2023 into the Alumnae Association and said the red roses they received from the association symbolized their union with 11,057 women who graduated before them. 

Dean of Women Christina Myles announced the senior class favorites: Simone Castelluccio, most athletic; Margaret Moe, most likely to succeed; Alexandra Funes, most school spirit; Izzy Gruner, most talented; Ashlyn Rainey, best personality; Charlotte Fuselier, most witty; Susana Cuadra, most friendly; Maria Hargrave, most studious; and Shobe Manuel, best all around. 

Principal Stacia Andricain called forth the 70 seniors who went above and beyond the required number of service hours during each of their four years at SJA. They were Emma Brooke Abadie, Emily Bailey, Juliana Barfield, Caroline Beck, Claire Beyer, Andie Blouin, Belle Bonner, Ella Boone, Caroline Boudreaux, Olivia Brocato, Avery Bruce, Catherine Burkhalter, Olivia Butler, Olivia Cedotal, Anna Cooper, Susana Cuadra, Mary Jo Dardis, Olivia DeKeyzer, Mary Ella DeMoss, Corinne Claire Ellis, Auldyn Faulk, Ella Fife, Alexandra Funes, Mary Elizabeth Gauthier, Izzy Gruner, Jenna Guidry, Avery Guillot, Catherine Hardouin, Maria Hargrave, Ann Claire Harris, McKenzie Howard, Alexandra Hulse, Emma Hulse, Catherine Hultberg, Olivia Jefcoat, Olivia Judice, Elena Kelly, Ann Malloy Kimble, Anna Grace Kurtz, Isabella Lalonde, Emma Lanclos, Tam Le, Marie Lorio, Claudia Magee, Shobe Manuel, Meredith Martin, Eliska McMillen, Mackenzie Millet, Margaret Moe, Bonnie Claire Nelson, Ava Kathryn Nesbit, Emma Neyland, Jennifer Nguyen, Avery Oubre, Khushi Patel, Evie Pickering, Gracie Reynolds, Neely Rispone, Margaret Ritter, Josie Robinson, Gillian Sawyer, Susanna Shields, Shelby Soileau, Cecile Taylor, Vivian Toups, Jenna Tramonte, Claire Waggenspack, Amanda Weaver, Lila Weston and Avery Yeargain. 

Also recognized were the students chosen by their classmates and faculty to crown Mary at the annual May Crowning ceremony earlier this spring: Avery Bruce, Catherine Burkhalter, Susana Cuadra, Alexandra Funes, Izzy Gruner, Maria Hargrave, Elena Kelly, Shobe Manuel, Ava Kathryn Nesbit and Claire Waggenspack.

Andricain announced the winners of SJA’s four major athletic awards. Corinne Claire Ellis received the SJA Scholar-Athlete Award for academic excellence and athletic success. Lyndsey Darensbourg received the Sister Ursula Harelson Award, given to an outstanding student and dedicated athlete who is hard-working, selfless, competitive yet humble. Riley Wilson was named the recipient of the Sherri Troxclair Award for courage, determination and perseverance in overcoming obstacles while excelling in sports and making major contributions to the school community. Simone Castelluccio was named the SJA Outstanding Athlete for excellence in sports and for being both a strong leader and role model for her peers. 

Dean of Curriculum and Instruction Aimee Urdiales announced the recipients of the Distinguished Quality Awards for 2022-2023. Shobe Manuel received the Medaille Outstanding Classmate Award as the outstanding member of the class of 2023. Shelby Soileau received the Downtown Kiwanis Courtesy Award, voted on by the senior class and given to the senior who is considerate and respectful of others’ thoughts and feelings. The award was presented by Robert Schmidt, president of the Downtown Kiwanis group. Alexandra Funes was given the American Legion Award, voted by her classmates on the principles of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service to God and the community. The award was presented by James Dunn, first vice commander.

Maria Hargrave was awarded the Knights of Columbus Patriotic Award, given to a senior who exemplifies the qualities of hard work in academics, love of God and country and patriotic actions in her daily life. The award was presented by Dave Goldsmith, past navigator. Catherine Burkhalter received the Breaking Barriers Grant, established by Laureen Callo ’83 and given to a senior planning to attend an out-of-state school and pursue a major that has not been traditional for women. The award is given to a senior with a demonstrated record of academic and co-curricular achievement and a commitment to service.

Recipients of SJA’s special memorial awards were announced. Avery Guillot was named the winner of the Kirstin Elizabeth “Libby” Honoré Memorial Award, given to a graduating senior demonstrating the qualities and spirit of Libby: compassionate, fun loving, hardworking and scholarly. The award was presented by Libby’s parents, Byron and Nicole Honoré.
Rebecca Smarada received the Allison Grace Honeycutt Memorial Award, given to a senior known for her gentle, caring manner and free-spirited approach to life and who loves working with young children. The award was presented by Allison’s parents, Blayne and Valerie (Plaisance ’79) Honeycutt. 

Susana Cuadra was the recipient of the Courtney Myshrall Memorial Award, given to a senior who is kindhearted, nonjudgmental and whose outgoing nature and joy for life touch those around her. The award was established by Courtney’s parents, Steve and Sharon (Schexnayder ’69) Myshrall. Sharon, along with grandchildren Camille and Keller Piner, presented the award.

Elena Kelly received the Jeannette Svendson Memorial Award, given to a senior who exemplifies love and kindness, who is always positive and who is filled with appreciation for life. The recipient also lifts the spirits of those around her. 

Margaret Moe received the Frank and Maria Bologna Award, given to the senior selected by the faculty as the hardest-working student. The award is given each year by Re Bologna DiVincenti, class of 1971, and her husband, David, daughter and son-in-law of Frank and Cookie Bologna. Re presented the award.

Shobe Manuel received the Greco Family Service Award in recognition of her generous service to the school, her classmates, community and the faculty. The award is given in memory of Cyrus A. and Len R. Greco, class of 1930, and Carmela Greco Collins, class of 1969. Mary Catherine “Toots” Greco Villere ’68 presented the award. 

Myles recognized the 87 seniors who will be awarded the Seal of Biliteracy. These students successfully completed a level four foreign language course and earned qualifying scores on the English and reading sections of the ACT. In French, they were Emma Grace Abadie, Ava Riley Achberger, Brooklynn Baker, Bella Broussard, Emma Clare Coniglio, Anna Cooper, McKenna Croft, Emma Dalton, Blair Duggan, Corinne Claire Ellis, Ellie Foco, Charlotte Fuselier, Emma Graves, Avery Guillot, Catherine Hardouin, Maria Hargrave, Grace Jackson, Ella Jacobsen, Olivia Judice, Tam Le, Ashleigh LeBlanc, Shobe Manuel, Meredith Martin, Melanie McCormick, Ava Kathryn Nesbit, Quynh-Mai Nguyen, Isabella Palmintier, Ainsley Roberts, Josie Robinson, Jeny Russo, Susanna Shields, Anna Bella Simoneaux, Parker Drue Sims, Vivian Toups, Abbie Turner, Sarah Walton, Caroline Weise and Julia Williams. In Latin, Ellen Adcox, Payton Arbour, 
Sarah Jane Davis, Sophia Duhon, Sophia Edwards, Auldyn Faulk, Jenna Guidry, Alexandra Hulse, Emma Hulse, Camille Kleinpeter, Alexandra Parsons, Shelby Soileau, Emily Teague and Katherine Winchester. In Spanish, Emma Alexander, Claire Beyer, Andie Blouin, Claire Bonius, Belle Bonner, Avery Bruce, Catherine Burkhalter, Simone Castelluccio, Emma Coghlan, Susana Cuadra, Camille Doiron, Molly Doiron, Avery Fautheree, Izzy Gruner, Sloan Hannegan, Emma Claire Hendry, Erin Hollis, Ann Malloy Kimble, Isabella Lalonde, Ashlyn Lee, Allison Linton, Claudia Magee, Claire Morin, Emma Neyland, Jennifer Nguyen, Avery Oubre, Evie Pickering, Ashlyn Rainey, Giselle Deliarely Rauda, Margaret Ritter, Gillian Sawyer, Rebecca Stanford, Cecile Taylor, Vincenza Vendetto and Grace Zambrano.

Myles called forth the six students who are track to receive an AP Capstone diploma, awarded to students who, over two yearlong AP courses, tackle the type of in-depth, long-term research assignments done in college. They were Catherine Burkhalter, Charlotte Fuselier, Avery Guillot, Madeline Krzystowczyk, Anna Bella Simoneaux and Ella Uffman.

Also recognized were the outstanding students in each subject area. They were Susana Cuadra, art achievement and Spanish; Grace Greenup, art service; Emily Teague, band achievement; Emilee Selmon, band service, Izzy Gruner, chorus achievement; Mary Jo Dardis, chorus service; Ella Dupre, dance achievement; Ava Riley Achberger, dance service; Gracie Reynolds, English; Mary Elizabeth Gauthier, family and consumer science achievement; Olivia Cedotal, family and consumer science service; Corinne Claire Ellis, French; Alexandra Hulse, Latin; Havyn Henley, health and physical education; Alexandra Funes, mathematics; Emma Brooke Abadie, media arts achievement; Jordan Territo, media arts service; Shelby Soileau, science; Meredith Martin, social studies; Katherine Winchester, technology achievement; Anna Bella Simoneaux, technology service; Anna Kathryn Nodier, theater achievement; CC Moreau, theater service; and Claire Waggenspack, theology.

Also recognized were the 30 students who earned second academics for maintaining a 3.3-3.599 cumulative grade point average throughout their SJA years. They were Mary Dawson Altazan, Holly Bernard, Claire Bonius, Belle Bonner, Stevie Campagna, Dani Danielson, Olivia DeKeyzer, Ella Dupre, Amelia Hawthorne, Emma Claire Hendry, Ellis Hosch, Anna James, Olivia Jefcoat, Tam Le, Melanie McCormick, Alex Miller, Mackenzie Millet, Caroline Munson, Avery Oubre, Gracyn Pope, Giselle Deliarely Rauda, Neely Rispone, Aubrey Romero, Emilee Selmon, Susanna Shields, Katie Tarver, Eliza Douglass Tharp, Amanda Weaver, Caroline Weise and Sarah Werling.

Urdiales called forth the 71 students who earned first academics for earning a 3.6 to 5.0 grade point average during their high school years. They were Ellen Adcox, Emma Alexander, Valerie Ard, Alexis Baham, Caroline Beck, Ella Benjamin, Preston Berthelot, Caroline Boudreaux, Olivia Brocato, Simone Castelluccio, Olivia Cedotal, Raegan Chambers, Emma Coghlan, Anna Cooper, Sarah Jane Davis, Grace Dube, Blair Duggan, Sophia Edwards, Ella Fife, Ellie Foco, Mary Elizabeth Gauthier, Sarah Golda, Marley Graves, Ali Guerin, Cameron Guillory, Avery Guillot, Margot Guthrie, Claire Hambrice, Catherine Hardouin, Ann Claire Harris, Jillian Henderson, Madison Hitzman, Hayden Kathryn Hoffman, Catherine Hultberg, Ella Jacobsen, Mary Clayton Jumonville, Rachel Kerr, Ann Malloy Kimble, Margaret Koch, Mignon LaBorde, Emma Lanclos, Lena Laroussi, Linley LeBoeuf, Eliska McMillen, CC Moreau, Ella Newton, Evie Pickering, Caroline Pousson, Maggie Prejean, Katherine Rabalais, Ashlyn Rainey, Rylie Richard, Caitlyn Rogers, Hannah Sanchez, Gillian Sawyer, Anna Bella Simoneaux, Parker Drue Sims, Taylor Stockwell, Cecile Taylor, Lilly Thomas, Jenna Tramonte, Hannah Tranchina, Abbie Turner, Ella Uffman, Vincenza Vendetto, Claire Waggenspack, Caroline Wallace, Sarah Walton, Emily Williams, Avery Yeargain and Grace Zambrano.

Dean of Academics Aubrey DeJohn announced the 25 students receiving the Principal’s Award for earning all As for semester grades in every class taken over four years. Recipients were Ava Riley Achberger, Juliana Barfield, Claire Beyer, Corinne Blanchard, Susana Cuadra, Mary Jo Dardis, Corinne Claire Ellis, Alexandra Funes, Sarah Golda, Izzy Gruner, Maria Hargrave, Alexandra Hulse, Camille Kleinpeter, Shobe Manuel, Meredith Martin, CC Moreau, Claire Morin, Ava Kathryn Nesbit, Emma Neyland, Quynh-Mai Nguyen, Gracie Reynolds, Shelby Soileau, Rebecca Stanford, Vivian Toups and Claire Waggenspack.

Sixty-two students were awarded an honors diplomas for maintaining a minimum 3.8 cumulative GPA while taking at least 11 weighted courses during the past four years. They were Ava Riley Achberger, Payton Arbour, Ryleigh Averett, Emily Bailey, Juliana Barfield, Claire Beyer, Corinne Blanchard, Andie Blouin, Ella Boone, Virginia Bowen, Bella Broussard, Avery Bruce, Catherine Burkhalter, Isabella Clardy, Emma Clare Coniglio, Susana Cuadra, Emma Dalton, Mary Jo Dardis, Camille Doiron, Sophia Duhon, Corinne Claire Ellis, Emma Evans, Auldyn Faulk, Avery Fautheree, Alexandra Funes, Charlotte Fuselier, Emma Graves, Izzy Gruner, Jenna Guidry, Maria Hargrave, Alexandra Hulse, Emma Hulse, Gabriela Journée, Olivia Judice, Elena Kelly, Alyssa Keowen, Camille Kleinpeter, Madeline Krzystowczyk, Isabella Lalonde, Ashlyn Lee, Claudia Magee, Shobe Manuel, Meredith Martin, Margaret Moe, Claire Morin, Ava Kathryn Nesbit, Emma Neyland, Jennifer Nguyen, Quynh-Mai Nguyen, Isabella Palmintier, Alexandra Parsons, Gracie Reynolds, Margaret Ritter, Ainsley Roberts, Josie Robinson, Shelby Soileau, Rebecca Stanford, Emily Teague, Jordan Territo, Vivian Toups, Julia Williams and Katherine Winchester.

Also announced were the inaugural recipients of the President’s Scholar award, which recognizes the top academic students in class based on grades, cumulative GPA, courses completed and work ethic. They were Claire Beyer, Catherine Burkhalter, Susana Cuadra, Corinne Claire Ellis, Maria Hargrave, Claire Morin, Ava Kathryn Nesbit, Quynh-Mai Nguyen and Shelby Soileau. 

Also announced were the honors diploma students who were the highest academic achievers based on the criteria set forth in the SJA handbook. There was a tie for valedictorian, so no salutatorian was named. Recognized as the co-valedictorians for the class of 2023 were Claire Beyer and Shelby Soileau. 

Andricain congratulated the graduating seniors for being leaders who inspire the future with their talent, creative spirit and love of the dear neighbor. “We have watched you grow in the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph to become women for others,” she said. “Cherish the life-long relationships you have formed at SJA, but always remember that God lives in the center of your lives and continue to nurture your relationship with Him.”

Bonnie Claire Ellis offered the closing prayer, and Allison Linton ended the evening with the singing of the Alma Mater. 

The red roses presented to the graduates by the Alumnae Association each year are donated by Liz Batchelor McKowen, class of 1972, in memory of her parents, Alymer Price Batchelor and Audrey Batchelor.

Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine