Sr. Bea Tiboldi, O.P., vocation outreach minister for the Dominican Sisters of Peace, talks to Mrs. Aline Delgado’s senior Vocations class about discerning whether or not to enter the sisterhood.
In January, Sr. Bea spoke with the students
about discernment and her road to becoming a member of the Dominican Sisters of
Peace. Discernment, the ability to judge
the thoughts and intentions of one’s heart, is an important factor in choosing
a vocation. “Discernment is a process,” said Sr Bea, “and God wants you to be
the best of what He’s given you.”
Sr. Bea’s journey to sisterhood began
when she was fifteen, though she did not enter an order until she was an adult.
As a teen, Sr. Bea was overcome with emotions during Mass one day, knowing how
much God loved her. However, the time for her to enter the sisterhood occurred
much later. She entered an order later in her adult years after being a teacher
and helping underprivileged students.
She looked at 32 congregations and felt her calling after coming across the
Dominican Sisters of Peace.
“Responding to the needs in my community was a big priority,” said Sister Bea, “and choosing the Dominican Sisters of Peace was the best way to start.”
Explaining the challenges with discernment, Sr. Bea discussed what students can do to work through the discernment process. “Practice to serve humbly and learn how to be there for others,” said Sr. Bea. “Work with your feelings and be attentive to your emotions.”
Carefully executing a dissection in
Biology II, seniors Kennedy Payne and Abigail Pratt dig deep to get the dirt on
In January, Mrs. Madelyn Maldonado’s Biology II class got familiar with the inner workings of an earthworm. The students put their goggles on and got their gloves dirty to see the annelid’s organs and learn about the functions of the earthworm’s system.
According to Mrs. Maldonado, labs are beneficial because “they are something other than just listening to a description.” When dissecting, “the students get to take action just like a real biologist would,” said Mrs. Maldonado.
Students were excited to see what they learned on paper come alive – in a dead worm. Junior Jenna Essa found that the most interesting part of the lab was how “an animal can seem so simple, but actually have such complex insides once you get up close and personal.”
On Nov. 19, the DHS Cross Country
team took fifth place at the LHSAA State Meet in Natchitoches, LA. Additionally,
DHS sophomore Kelsey Major earned the state runner up medal with a time of
The team sent seven runners to compete in the state meet: eighth graders Bryce Couvillon and Morgan Trauth; freshman Roma McAlear, sophomores Major and Madison Trauth; junior Izzy Dischner; and senior Erin Sequiera.
“The girls ran extremely well, and everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do. We had raced well prior to state. I’m proud of them.” said Ms. Ashlyn Ciolino (’07), cross country coach. The Dominican runners beat the sixth-place team by 85 points.
Major was focused on the team’s success as well as her own success, especially after recovering from last year’s ACL injury. Speeding past two runners in the last 800 meters of her race, Major ended her season with her second-place time.
“She ran a smart race,” said Ms.
Ciolino. “In the beginning, she let them pass her. However, in the last 800
meters, she passed the last two girls and secured a great time.”
In addition to Major’s accomplishment,
senior Tessa Paul was recognized for making the LHSAA All Academic Composite
In order to earn a spot on that team, Paul earned the required 4.0 to be honored at the LHSAA state event. Paul has been on the cross-country team all five years of her Dominican career, and she knows what it takes to work hard. “Putting effort in everything I did was not easy, but it helped,” said Paul.
Paul realizes how close she has
become to her team over the years. “It definitely feels like being in a family.
The support from coaches and teammates has made it all worthwhile,” said Paul.
With the team’s seniors graduating in the spring, Ms. Ciolino has many hopes for the young team. Their signature hard work will continue this summer in order to prepare for next season.
“Next season, I’ll be to working even harder,” said Major. “I’m extremely proud of myself and my team. So, I’m even more motivated.”
Cold water surrounded the swimmers as they dove into the pool to begin their races at the LHSAA State Meet in Sulphur, LA. Excitement filled their faces as they exited the pool, claiming fifth place in state.
Senior Rileigh Centanni placed second overall in the 100-yard breast stroke with a time of 1:09.49. Centanni also exceled in the 100-yard fly by placing in the top 16. “I’m so proud of myself and the team in how we did. It was a great way to end the season!” said Centanni.
Thirteen girls, ranging from eighth grade to senior year, qualified for state: eighth graders Kaylee Caro and Brianna Leatham; freshmen Riley Crespo, Brooke DiMaggio and Allyson Johnson; sophomores Olivia Cassreino, Catherine Kernion, Cecilia Hanemann and Emma Sullivan; junior Audrey Wild; and seniors Reese Centanni, Rileigh Centanni and Morgan Gunnels.
The swim team’s record of success didn’t start with state. At the District Meet in mid-October at the UNO Aquatic Center, the girls dominated the pool and earned second place. Additionally, the team placed fifth at the Metro Meet which also took place at UNO later that month.
Many team members had travelled to the state meet before, but for eighth graders Kaylee Caro and Brianna Leatham, it was a first-time experience like no other. “I was excited to go because everyone is supportive, and the seniors are so welcoming,” said Leatham.
Teammates cheering on teammates brings joy to Ms. Erin Baker’s eyes. “The girls learn it’s not just an individual sport. They also have to cheer on their teammates,” said Ms. Baker (’95), swim team moderator.
With morning practices twice a week and meets once a week since the start of school, the swim team puts so much effort into everything they do. “[This season] I’ve learned how much you put in is how much you get out,” said Kernion. “If you work hard enough you’ll achieve your goals!”
As longtime members of the team since eighth grade, Gunnels and the Centanni twins, Rileigh and Reese, have made their last splash into the water wearing the DHS uniform. “It’s sad because it’s something I’ve doing for so long,” said Gunnels. “This team made me a better person.
“Everyone on the team has shown me how to be the best person I can be and to never give up.”
In November, the Dominican Debs celebrated their fiftieth anniversary of sisterhood, dance and tradition.
“The Debs are so much more than just an
extracurricular or a dance team. The Debs represent hard work, dedication and
faithfulness,” said Mrs. Carolyn Favre (’70), principal of St. Mary’s Dominican
The tradition that started fifty years
ago by Dominican P.E. teacher Mrs. Carmen Gaudet continues today under the
leadership of Mrs. Fran Gandolfi Moran (’87). “Mrs. Gaudet was a pioneer in the
dance team world. Everyone had so much respect for her,” said Mrs. Moran. A Deb
alumna herself, Mrs. Moran has coached the Debs for the past seven years.
As part of their fiftieth anniversary
celebration, the Deb alumnae performed with the current Debs at the Brother
Martin High School football game on Nov. 1 in Tad Gormley Stadium. The women
traveled back to their time on the team by dancing in the stands with shakers
and pom poms.
Through the years, hundreds of women
have been part of the sisterhood that is the Debs. On the day of the celebration,
Dominican hosted more than 50 women – alums from the class of 1970 to the class
“Saints’ and sages’ names enrolled” – After adding their names to those in the Veritas Tower, Deb alums gather for a group selfie.Capturing the joy of the Debs 50th anniversary are Mrs. Lorraine Melito Hess (’86), Mrs. Becky Gandolfi Gottsegen (’86), Mrs. Fran Gandolfi Moran (’87), Mrs. Jaimie Gandolfi Majoria (’83), and Mrs. Laura Gandolfi Berrigan (’79).
Celebrating with other Deb alumnae
brought back great memories for Mrs. Jill Curry Cabes (’87), vice president,
Dominican Catholic Identity. “Being on the team gave me the opportunity to become
friends with so many more people than just the girls in my grade. The best part?
We are still friends today,” said Mrs. Cabes.
Mrs. Amy Elmer Calongne (‘08) agrees
with Mrs. Cabes. “Being a Deb allowed me to bond with other girls through dancing,
competing and representing my school,” said Mrs. Calongne.
The Deb alumnae had such a great time at the celebration that they want to do it again. According to Mrs. Moran and Deb Moderator Mrs. Sina Raymond Baldwin (’84), there will be a special game dedicated to Deb alumnae every football season.
Dominican recognizes the time and
talent of Deb alums. With their legacy, Mrs. Moran has high expectations for
the incoming classes. She said talent coming in is very strong.
“The Debs are a highlight of Dominican High School,” said Mrs. Favre “Without them, Dominican would have a void.”
The Dominican volleyball team fought their way
into the Pontchartrain Center for the LHSAA Volleyball State finals in
November. They bested the competition through the quarter and semi-finals,
ending a successful season as Division I State Runner-Up.
Throughout the season, the team paved their own path to finals. On Friday, Nov. 15, the team dominated the semi-final game against Mandeville High with a 3-1 win. This match was especially representative of the team’s growth, according to Mrs. Jessica Chatellier, the team’s head coach, who was honored with the title of Division I Coach of the year.
“Friday’s game was a culmination of everything they
had done this season,” said Mrs. Chatellier. “They really have made leaps and
bounds to play like this.” She said the game reflected the dedication the girls
had put forth since day one.
The tournament was a return visit to the Pontchartrain
Center for Mrs. Ashlee Juhas (’04), the team’s assistant coach, who went to the
state tournament in 2003 under Mrs. Chatellier’s coaching. “It was really
exciting to have the experience of state from two different levels, both as
player and as coach, especially with her [Mrs. Chatellier],” Mrs. Juhas said.
The team, consisting of four upperclassmen and
eight underclassmen, is affectionately known as the Fuzzy Dozen. The captains –
sophomore Kate Baker, setter, and senior Ally Firmin, defensive specialist – led
with a calm authority, according to the team. “We were really focused on bringing
energy and confidence to our fellow teammates,” said Baker.
The team boasted multiple standout players. Senior
Olivia Peyton, middle blocker, was named All-District MVP with a total of 400
kills and 40 blocks this season. Other players who made All-District are Baker
and sophomore Brooke Couret, first team; junior Elizabeth Hardouin, second
team; and honorable mentions, freshmen O’Neil Haddad and Zoe Smith.
Additionally, Peyton, Baker, and Hardouin were selected to the Louisiana Volleyball Coaches Association’s All-State team. The three players were picked for the All-Metro team as well with Couret selected as an honorable mention. Baker and Peyton were also chosen to the 2019 Clarion Herald Elite Team.
Part of the team’s recipe for success was the
energy provided by students and fans at games. “We wouldn’t have made it [to
the finals] without our amazing seniors on the team and the student body. Our
fans are a huge part of our success,” said Hardouin, a defensive specialist for
Senior Kennedy Payne was one of those dedicated
DominiFans. “Going to volleyball games just fills you up with passion for your
school,” said Payne. “It’s amazing to see everyone have so much pride in
“Although we didn’t take the state championship, I wouldn’t have had it any other way,” Mrs. Chatellier said. “These girls have been so incredible, and I think we’ll be in a great place for next season.”
With patriotic flair, Dominican’s Drama Club members entered the dining hall center stage in November, donned in patriotic colors, to perform its annual Instant Theatre review. Hundreds of fans were in attendance for the annual event that showcased singing, dancing and acting. The annual showcase left the crowd saluting the students in this year’s theme, “Instant Theatre Wants You!”
much-anticipated Instant Theatre also premiered the announcement of the 2020 Spring
Musical, Newsies, which will debut in April.
For twenty-one years, Mrs. Rosalie Abadie, Drama Club moderator, has staged Instant Theatre. Mrs. Abadie sees this ensemble performance as an all-inclusive show that exposes drama members to the stage. “Instant Theatre gives students the opportunity to perform and choose the type of act which best shows off their particular talent,” said Mrs. Abadie.
Instant Theatre boasted a range of acts, from a scene from the movie Mean
Girls presented by junior Olivia Olson to a song from the Broadway musical Waitress
performed by junior Camille Vincent. The show also presented original
pieces such as a contemporary dance by junior Emily Dominique and senior Kennedi
Melancon, as well as skits written and performed by Drama Club members.
“We have an
amazing community of talented girls who can put on a great show,” said
senior Olivia Boudreaux, who participated in multiple acts, including a cover of
Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.”
“And the best part about Instant Theatre
is the love and support each performer gets,” added Boudreaux.
In 1998, Instant
Theatre started as a one-night performance in the Dramatics Assembly room (familiarly
known as the D.A.) in St. Mary’s Hall. Instant Theatre grew to be such a hit
that it had to become a two-night showcase and was moved into the Dining Hall.
Director Mrs. Jessica Sita Couch (’05) participated in some of the first productions
of Instant Theatre. Ms. Couch and her friends became known for doing “coffee
talks” inspired by Saturday Night Live.
“I’m so glad that Instant Theatre has gone so far since then,” said Mrs. Couch,
“and that I have gotten to see the growth of the event and of the Drama Club.”
Theatre’s popularity is evident. The seats were filled for both nights, with a
total , attendance of about 350 people.
Club members had to adjust to performing for such a sizable audience. “Stepping
on stage and seeing the great crowd we brought in was overwhelming at first
glance,” said sophomore Maddie Ascani, who sang “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now”
from the Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin’. “But as soon as I started
to sing, I was confident in myself.”
Senior Iyian Paige,
Drama Club president, holds Instant Theatre very close to her heart. “Instant
Theatre can show you who you really are. I’ve heard club members say that they
surprised themselves when they walk off stage after their first or final
performance,” said Paige. “When you take the stage, it’s truly yours. Everyone
is looking up at you and they’re full of nothing but support for you.”
Theatre is not Broadway, it creates a connection between the students on stage
and the great supporters of the Dominican community.
“Instant Theatre is not just a talent show,” said Paige. “It is a special showcase made by Dominican, for Dominican.”
With a stroke of her brush and a dab of her finger, Ms. Maggie McGovern (’14) transformed sophomore Megan Eisert from a DHS student to a spooky Halloween skeleton.
In October, Dominican alum McGovern visited the Drama Club to speak about her career and show students all the fun tricks she had up her sleeve. The busy makeup artist/elementary school teacher took some time out of her schedule to prove to students that working in the entertainment industry doesn’t stop with performing.
Since leaving Dominican, McGovern has not parted ways with the dramatic arts as she has worked with both New Orleans Opera and Loyola University Opera, ensuring that the opera’s wish was her command.
McGovern has also worked for the well-known company Too Faced Cosmetics along with doing makeup for film. In addition to working on filmes, McGovern has also worked with vocal performers. Her most exciting client yet? “I did make-up for soul singer Kyle Dion, the opening act for (popular R&B singer) Ella Mai,” she said.
The Pro-Life Club adopted babies! Well, sort of.
Members spiritually adopted babies that could possibly be aborted. Everyone prayed for these unborn babies, then each club member received a pin representing the feet of a baby in utero. The club members named their babies as a reminder to keep praying for them.
Club Moderator Mrs. Theresa Maquar (‘70) continues to get the baby feet pins year after year because they serve as a witness to club members and to other people out in the world. “The Dominican Order prays so we, as Dominicans, should live by prayer, too,” said Mrs. Maquar.
Throughout the school year, the club officers will give updates about the stages of development the babies would be progressing.
Students for Human Dignity and Diversity in Action
October was National Hispanic Heritage Month, so Ms. Bianca San Martin (’08) joined the Students for Human Dignity and Diversity in Action and taught them how to dance the salsa, bachata and mernegue.
Ms. San Martin is passionate about dance, and her focus is Latin dance. “I started Latin dancing when I was a sophomore in high school,” Ms. San Martin said. She said loves coming back to Dominican to Hispanic culture and heritage ls over Hispanic culture and heritage through music and dance.
Ms. Bianca San Martin said that she was proud to have been able to represent the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and her own dance instruction business, NOLA Fleaux Productions, LLC.
On Oct. 19, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome became an engineer’s dream for the Dominican Robotics Teams.
Participating in the Saints and Pelicans Stem Fest, both the Valkyrie and Ultraviolet teams shared information about their robots and FTC competitions with the visitors who flocked to their display table.
“It was really cool to interact with people who are interested in the same things we are!” said junior Sydney Raymond, communications officer for the Robotics Team. “I loved telling people about what we are doing at Dominican with robotics.”
While breaking down codes and unraveling the science of DNA, the Biotechnology Club dives deep into the world of genetics.
Club moderator Mrs. Janine Koenig has been formulating a plan for genetic coding in the lab. Members of Biotech did a genetic coding lab to test which of seven “patients” were positive or negative for a disease. They mixed the genetic sample with an antigen, or foreign substance, to see if there were any immune responses. If the sample in the vial turned blue, the sample was positive for the disease.
Senior and President of Biotechnology Club Catherine Zimmerman led her club members in the experiment. Zimmerman said biology class and Mrs. Koenig inspired her to participate in the Biotechnology Club during her freshman year. She specifically enjoys being able to do hands on experiments in the lab, but outside of the actual classroom.