St. Mary’s Commencement Ceremony Celebrates the Class of 2022

Thirty students representing the Class of 2022 recently graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic School during the one hundred and thirty third Commencement ceremony for the school.  Bishop Robert Marshall and Superintendent Tommy Roque were in attendance representing the Catholic Diocese of Alexandria.  Father Blake Deshautelle, Chancellor, Principal Jason Lachica, along with the faculty and staff of St. Mary’s, were also present for the evening.

Class Valedictorians reflected on lessons learned, values taught and class bonds during their years at St. Mary’s.  Valedictorians maintaining a 4.0 grade point average, while taking honors and dual enrollment courses, were Camille Ball, Emma Broadway, John Henry Ingrish, Anna Kate Jackson, William Mayeux, Abigail Ramian and Cal Sukurek. 

In addition, the following awards were presented during the ceremony: 

The American Legion Patriotism Award was given to Graeme Fidelak by the Gordon Peters Post of Natchitoches. This award is given to one male student who has set an example of patriotism, loyalty, and leadership. 

The American Legion Auxiliary Award was presented to Emma Stewart.  This award is given to a graduating senior girl who has demonstrated outstanding characteristics in Americanism, leadership and citizenship, all of which have been utilized in serving her school, community and church. The recipient also must have participated in Louisiana Girls State.

The Susan Satriano Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Sheridan Pesnell and Will deVargas.  This scholarship was set up for high school seniors that have had to deal with the hardships, emotional scars, and devastation of seeing a parent battling and unfortunately succumbing to cancer.  The recipients have stayed faithful to the importance of education during the roughest of times. 

The St. Mary’s recipient of the Lion’s Club Scholarship was presented to Cameron Bienvenu.  The Natchitoches Chapter of the Lions Club awards scholarships to seniors who have excelled academically, who serve others, who are respected by their peers and who exemplify good moral character.  The scholarship is awarded to a student who plans to attend Northwestern State University.

The Louisiana Sheriff’s Honorary Membership Program recognized Emma Broadway as an alternate for their scholarship. The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office is an affiliate of the Honorary Membership Program. 

The Larry Wayne Cole Memorial Scholarship was presented to Chloe Nash.  The scholarship recipient for this award is selected on the basis of moral and ethical character, service to others, demonstrated academic and extra-curricular achievement and the promise of continued academic achievement at an accredited institution of higher learning. 

The Mayor’s Award was presented to Anna Kate Jackson.  This award is given to a senior who demonstrates outstanding leadership and community service to St. Mary’s, the City of Natchitoches, and the State of Louisiana.

The Superintendent’s Award was presented to Sarah Thibodaux.  In 2012, Mr. Thomas Roque established the Superintendent’s Award which is given each year to a graduating senior who has exhibited resilience and perseverance. 

The Kelli Sampson Agency and Shelter Insurance Foundation scholarship was presented to Lily Anna Sklar.  The recipients of this award are selected based upon scholastic achievement as well as reputation for good citizenship and good moral character.

The John and Jason McCain Memorial Scholarship was presented to Aiden Evans.  This award is given annually to a senior boy or girl who most exemplifies the characteristics of both John and Jason McCain and the spirit of St. Mary’s. This scholarship is awarded to a student who plans to attend Northwestern State University.

The Maggio Family Scholarship was presented to Cameron Bienvenu.  Sister Ann Carmel Maggio and the Maggio family established a scholarship in honor of their parents, Sam and Carmelite Maggio, whose eleven children attended St. Mary’s. The student who receives this award every year has his or her name added to a plaque that is hung in the hallway at the school.

The Michael Andrews Memorial Scholarship was presented to Cameron Bienvenu.  This award is given by the Andrews family in memory of their son who graduated from St. Mary’s. The recipient of this scholarship should possess similar characteristics of Michael:  perseverance, drive, and dedication to the all around educational experience obtained at St. Mary’s. 

The Mr. and Miss SMS award was presented to Graeme Fidelak and Emma Grace Haecker.  This award is given to the male and female students selected by the faculty and administration to represent the best of the St. Mary’s student body.  The selected students are thoroughly involved and represent St. Mary’s Catholic School by their virtues of integrity, courage, compassion, service, and humility, both inside and outside of the school.

The Bishop Martin Award was presented to Lily Anna Sklar.  This award is given to students that have led by example, attempted to maintain and exhibit Catholic Christian values, and have taken advantage of the religious foundation offered at St. Mary’s to reach their full potential spiritually, academically, and physically.

This group of students had a class average ACT composite score of 23, and were given the  opportunity to earn twenty four hours of college credit through dual enrollment courses.  The class as a whole was offered and accepted over $1.3 million in scholarships, including TOPS, over a total of 4 years.

St. Mary’s is a Catholic, co-educational college preparatory school that educates students from preschool through twelfth grade.  It is a ministry of the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Church.

 St. Mary’s Catholic School graduates pictured with Father Blake Deshautelle are (Front row, l-r): Lily Anna Sklar, Sophia Brossett, Kadence Creamer, Anna Kate Jackson, Abigail Ramian, Camille Ball, Chloe Nash and Emma Broadway.  Second row:  Sheridan Pesnell, Emma Grace Haecker, Emma Stewart, Abby Guillet and Sarah Thibodaux.  Third row:  Matthew Johnson, William Mayeux, Kelsee Bienvenu, Cameron Bienvenu, Gracie Chasteen and Hunter Willis.  Fourth row:  John Henry Ingrish, Will deVargas, Cole Fisher, Gavin LaGrange and Graeme Fidelak.  Fifth row:  Jaydyn Jackson, Cal Sukurek, Parker Byles, Daniel Johnson and Aiden Evans.  Not pictured:  Kylie Bennett.