Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, and every day, Americans need approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells. A single donation of blood makes a big impact. One donation can save up to three lives.
This year, DHS Seniors and faculty donated 44 pints of blood to Ochsner Blood Bank on Nov. 9, according to Ms. Charlene Ford, the senior faculty coordinator. “I’m very proud of how many seniors signed up and donated. We filled up most of the time slots and had students donating all day, including at lunch,” said Ms. Ford.
The fact that one donation can save multiple lives made an impact on senior Morgan Harlton. “I decided to give blood because I want to save three lives,” said Harlton. “Initially, I was nervous, but I put my worries aside because I wanted to be a part of something greater than myself.”
High school students make up about 20% of all the blood that gets donated. Blood donations can help car accident and trauma victims, cancer patients and transplant patients. Donated blood can be used for any patient regardless of age, gender and race, according to the Ochsner Blood Bank.
According to the American Red Cross, donating blood is critical because blood is something that cannot be manufactured, and less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood. Every year,nearly 21 million blood components are transfused.
Senior Elizabeth Messonnier was one of the many students who donated. “Giving blood gave me a new perspective on helping others,”said Messonnier. She said she was nervous at first, but the small pain she felt was well worth helping those in need. “After it was all over, I felt accomplished that I participated in the blood drive,” said Messonnier.
To show appreciation to the seniors who give hope by giving blood, Ochsner will present a scholarship to one of the students who donated. All of the donors’ names will be entered into a raffle for the scholarship, which can help the recipient with college expenses. Due to the number of students who donated blood and the feedback received, another blood drive is being planned for the spring, according to Ms. Ford.First time donor, Senior Peyton Walker, is now in the scholarship raffle. “Before I donated, I was a bit nervous,” said Walker. “Once the whole process started, I was fine and actually relieved. I felt happy after because I knew I had done something that would make an impact or maybe even save someone’s life one day.”
- Macie LaFonta
Lights, curtain, action!
Dominican’s Drama Club celebrated 20 years of Instant Theatre this fall. In early November, members of the Drama Club performed the annual Instant Theatre in Alumnae Hall for students, parents and faculty. The Drama Club members showed off their talents in a variety show which included a multitude of performances such as dances, songs, skits, poems and monologues.
“Instant Theatre gives students of the Drama Club a chance to perform and show off their talents in front of an audience,” said Mrs. Rosalie Abadie, Drama Club moderator.
Some acts of the night included songs from shows such as Hairspray, Annie Get Your Gun and Kinky Boots. “My favorite part about Instant Theatre is right before the show starts when we hold hands in a big circle and say a prayer together as a cast,” said junior Bryce Leonhard, who performed a song from Annie Get Your Gun. “At that initial moment, we are just awkward high schoolers, but when we get on stage, we transform into performers with the help of God and each other.”
“It’s a group effort to get this done,” said senior Maddy Lewis, Drama Club president. “The performers themselves make it happen.”
The Instant Theatre showcased 35 talent-filled performances that ranged from songs to skits to dancing. Crowd favorites included ballads by Adele, a Quirrelmort Harry Potter parody, and a tap dance to Outcast’s “Hey Ya!”
Instant Theatre also acts as a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital Toy Drive. Admission to the event was one unwrapped toy.
In 1998, the first Instant Theatre featured what the drama students had been working on. English teacher Ms. Casey Lefante (’01) was lucky enough to be a part of this tradition when it first started. “I love that Instant Theatre began when I was a student, and Dominican still does it,” said Ms. Lefante. “The community loves it, too.”
Instant Theatre is still a success 20 years later and is a great kick start to the fall season.
“Everyone in Drama Club is passionate about expanding her boundaries, and Instant Theatre lets us do that,” said Lewis.
The Drama Club provides the experience. Instant Theatre provides the stage.
- Kathryn Valldejuli
Leaves falling, family and friends gathering together, and the sweet aroma of roasted turkey and desserts escaping the kitchen. For most Dominican students, a Thanksgiving Day without these things is unimaginable.
However, for many of the residents of Dominican’s surrounding community, this holiday experience is hard to come by.
While these families often go without, this Thanksgiving season, Dominican, along with other neighborhood partners, provided families with a fall feast.
Throughout the month of November, Dominican students donated items through their clubs and homerooms, generating over 97 Thanksgiving baskets for the local community.
Along with Christian Leadership Council, students crafted baskets including Thanksgiving essentials such as potatoes, stuffing and rice, providing all the necessities for a successful Thanksgiving meal.
“Giving Thanksgiving baskets is a way of reaching out to the community around us and living out the Dominican Pillars,” said Ms. Claire Gallagher (’04), campus minister “They help us recognize that we have these gifts and are called to share them with others.”
Dominican, St. Rita Catholic School and Mary Queen of Peace School partnered with Xavier Community Outreach Center to distribute Thanksgiving baskets to Gert Town families.
By giving to the surrounding community, students live out the Dominican pillars of Service and Community.
“It’s really powerful to see on an individual basis the numbers and the magnitude of how our entire school coming together can make a difference,” said Ms. Gallagher.
While students participated in crafting the baskets, Christian Leadership Council officers experienced the effects of giving by distributing the baskets first hand.
“Working with Xavier to deliver the baskets and seeing the people who receive them was definitely an eye-opening experience,” said senior Hannah Cao, CLC president. “Meeting people who don’t always have the basic necessities, like food, put things into perspective and made me thankful for everything that I do have.”
This year, Dominican set a new school record for number of Thanksgiving baskets. The donations delivered meals to families in need. The donations also delivered the joy and love of the fall season to the Dominican community.
For Dominican students, the donations also kicked off the holidays and enlivened the spirit of giving as Christmas approaches. For sophomore Isabelle Fitzmorris, the Thanksgiving baskets made her reflect on the upcoming holiday months.
“I think giving back is really important at Christmas time and throughout the year as well,” said Fitzmorris. “By donating, Dominican gives families all the gifts of the season.”
- Vivian Palmer
Click the link and take the quiz! Build your Thanksgiving menu to find out which Dominican Faculty member you are most like.
- original artwork by senior Rebecca Triche, member of the National Art Honor Society
- quiz designed by Jade Nguyen
Ten years of cheering, ten years of pink face paint and ten years of raising money for breast cancer awareness. Dominican volleyball celebrates a decade of hosting the annual Pink Game.
Flooding the gym with pink, the student body, parents, faculty and alumnae gathered on Oct. 16 in the Siena Center in support of the fight against breast cancer. Three competitive games, juicy burgers, delicious hot dogs, and auction items for sale raised school spirit while fundraising for breast cancer patients.
The eighth grade, JV and varsity teams played tough matches against Archbishop Chapelle during the Pink Game series. JV was victorious, while eighth grade and varsity fought close matches but ultimately fell to the Chipmunks after five games. Though the games were not all in the “W” category, the fundraising effort was a real winner. This year, Dominican raised $13,503 that will be sent to the Tulane Cancer Center for breast cancer patients.
“It’s so exciting to be able to use a sport I love to change people’s lives,” said Mrs. Jessica Chatellier, head volleyball coach.
The fundraising effort is a vital piece of the Pink Game tradition. To raise money to fight breast cancer and raise awareness, DHS stages auctions and raffles. Tables lined the Siena Center atrium with baskets full of prizes which were raffled off during the game. Businesses such as Kendra Scott, Lululemon and Starbucks contributed to the cause.
Raising over $70,000 in the last decade, Dominican has been the top donor among the 7 schools participating in the Pink Game Fundraiser.
“My favorite part about this event is knowing I’m part of community full of women who are raising awareness for women,” said Mrs. Chatellier. “Everyone in that gym is connected to breast cancer in some way.”
However, the Pink Game wasn’t the only news-worthy happening this season. Mrs. Chatellier celebrated her 300th win in her coaching career on Sept. 6 in a match against Academy of the Sacred Heart.
Alongside Mrs. Chatellier throughout her victories has been Mrs. Ashlee Juhas (’04), assistant coach. In Mrs. Chatellier’s first Dominican win in 2003 – also against Sacred Heart – Mrs. Juhas was a senior on the team coached.
Dominican also celebrated senior Elise Cresson being named to the LHSAA All Academic Composite Team. Students receiving this honor must have at least 4.0 GPA for 6 semesters and have been an athlete for at least 3 years. She was honored at the Division I state final match on Nov. 10 at the Pontchartrain Center.
“I’m very honored to be named to the team,” said Cresson. “I’m very humbled that my coaches thought so highly of me that they nominated me.”
Cresson also appreciates the importance of breast cancer awareness. “The Pink Game is about so much more than volleyball,” said Cresson. “It’s about our entire school community coming together to give hope to those who are bravely fighting breast cancer.”
- Kathryn Valldejuli
Splash! The swimmers dive into the clean, blue water, and the smell of chlorine fills the air. Their adrenaline kicking in, they swim faster and faster. They hear the excitement and rumble from the crowd and their teammates cheering them on. This is the moment they have been preparing for since the first week of school.
With this solid yet slippery preparation, Dominican’s Swim Team took fourth place in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Metro Meet Oct. 26-27 at UNO’s Aquatic Center.
Earlier in October, Dominican placed second in the Stand Up to Cancer meet held at UNO to support breast cancer awareness. Hitting the wall first in the Girls 100 Yard Breaststroke was junior Rileigh Centanni with a time of 1:14.66.
Rileigh shares pool time not only with her teammates but with her twin sister, Reese. This duo has been on the Dominican Swim Team since they were in eighth grade. “I like having my sister on the team,” said Reese. “It motivates me and makes for great competition.”
Previously in September competitions, Dominican dominated the pool at another meet where the team faced Archbishop Chapelle High School and Ursuline Academy. Dominican took first place in all events but one. Freshman Emma Sullivan took first in the Girls 50 Yard Freestyle. Senior Gabrielle Duhe finished first in the Girls 200 Yard Freestyle. In the Girls 500 Yard Freestyle, three girls made the top three under the metro qualifying time of 6:27.00: freshman Catherine Kernion, eighth grader Allyson Johnson and freshman Olivia Cassreino.
“It’s really cool when I finish with my teammates,” said Kernion, “because even though I swim individually, I love my team and want everyone to do well!”
September continued to be successful for Dominican because many team members have already qualified to reach for the wall at the state meet in November. Those who have already qualified for state include seniors Emma MacMahon, Hannah Morris, Gabrielle Duhe; juniors Morgan Gunnels, Reese Centanni, Rileigh Centanni; and freshmen Kernionualifi Cassreino and Sullivan.
Those who have qualified to compete in the state meet have also qualified to swim for DHS in the Metro Meet on Saturday, October 27. They will race along with their teammates who have also qualified for metro: eighth graders Johnson and Brooke DiMaggio; and sophomore Audrey Wild.
“Qualifying is what the season is all about,” said swim moderator Ms. Erin Baker. “We swim with the intent of qualifying.”
Duhe, who shares the role of captain along with Morris and McMahon, is proud to be a part of the Dominican Swim Team. “They keep me happy,” said Duhe. “At practice and at the meets, being with the team motivates me and makes me a better swimmer.”
DHS swimmers will compete in the State Meet on Nov. 17 in Sulfur, LA.
- Jennifer Yrle
Sore calves and sweaty shirts. Overwhelming feelings of exhaustion along with the desire to drink twenty Gatorades at once. These are all side effects of running several miles. These are all too familiar to the runners on Dominican’s Cross Country team.
Dominican’s Cross Country runners have been hard at work preparing for their season by training since early this summer.
Their strenuous preparations paid off at the Christian Brothers Invitational in Abita Springs on Sep. 15 when Dominican placed third overall. Freshman Kelsey Major placed third in the girls’ varsity race with a time of 19:14.44.
“It was only our second race this season,” said coach Ms. Ashlyn Ciolino (’07). “The girls ran well. We had a few personal records, but it’s still early in the season and there’s room to improve.”
Later on in September, at the St. Joseph’s Academy Invitational in Baton Rouge, Dominican’s top seven varsity runners placed fifth with Molly Alexander and Sophie Dauterive beating their personal records of 21:02 and 21:04, respectively.
To prepare for the season, the team began practicing in early June. Rising at 6 AM during summer vacation, they trained at the Lakefront to improve upon their speed and stamina.
“During practices, we run shorter distances in less time to work on increasing our speed,” said senior Lizzy Bourg, co-captain of the varsity team.
Runners also have individual workouts tailored to each of their needs in athletic PE class. This regimen helps them improve upon their own personal weaknesses and help heal any injuries they may have.
“The difficult practices and workouts are worth it in the long run because they help our performance at meets,” said junior Erin Sequeira.
The training is not the only thing that has helped the runners improve this season. “The team chemistry is very strong among our girls,” said coach Mrs. Nicky Wood. “They’ve all helped each other mature and appreciate that the hard work they put in helps them succeed.”
The varsity team is motivated to achieve their personal and team goals of placing high in the state meet. “The team is strong this year,” said Bourg. “Our goal is to get on the infield at state, and with the way our team has been working together, we are hopeful to bring a win home for Dominican this season.”
- Natalie Rodriguez-Ema
After four years, members of the class of 2019 passed the torch, or rather, the candle, to their little sisters, the class of 2023.
Seniors inducted the eighth grade into Dominican High School on Sept. 20 in the Sister Ambrose Reggio Gym. At the New Student Induction, eighth graders became part of the Dominican legacy through a traditional candle ceremony with their senior big sisters. Inductees also received a Veritas shield pin and a Dominican pennant to reflect their newly-inducted status.
New Student Induction is a celebration of new students and the beginning of their journey through DHS. Welcoming 204 new eighth graders, 17 new freshmen, and 2 transfer students into the Dominican community, this year’s ceremony did not disappoint.
Senior big sisters led their Dominican little sisters through their first school ceremony, and for some Dominicanites, the experience was a family affair.
During the induction ceremony, seven members of the senior class passed the candle to their Dominican little sisters as well as their biological sisters. Senior Savannah Bay shared this year’s induction with not just one, but two sisters, twins Emma and Isabella Bay. For Savannah, induction was an emotional experience.
“After living with them my whole life and watching them grow up, it’s kind of surreal to watch them enter Dominican,” said Bay. “Seeing them every day and getting to help them through the same things I’ve gone through over the years has bonded us in a completely different way.”
Passing their flames, seniors shared a unique induction experience with their sisters. For senior Kayla and eighth grader Emma Cook, induction united them in the Dominican heritage.
“I really liked passing the candle and that I got to do it with my real sister,” said Emma.
The family legacy associated with induction is clear, and for DHS, it means welcoming the next generation of “believing thinkers and thinking believers” into the Dominican family. Induction also allowed alumnae to share the tradition with the next generation of their daughters or granddaughters.
“Induction is this formal process of bringing a new student into the Dominican community, so for families that are multi-generational, new members being inducted into the community seals the bond in a sense,” said Mrs. Jill Cabes (’87), Vice-President, Dominican Catholic Identity.
As always, New Student Induction highlighted the traditions and legacy of the Dominican sisterhood. For all those becoming part of the legacy, induction welcomes them into the Dominican sisterhood. For biological sisters, the passing of the candles roots them in Veritas, providing them with a Dominican bond that surpasses family ties.
- Vivian Palmer
The bus packed with 23 girls made its way down the interstate. The girls sat with their friends and talked about how excited they were to finally go to a college campus. During the ride, they dreamed of university life and what it would be like. They would soon find out when they heard the words they had been waiting to hear: “Okay guys we’re almost there.”
In June, students from St. Mary’s Dominican High School traveled on the week-long Summer College Tour. The students, accompanied by guidance counselor Mrs. Dawn Frick and Dean of Student Services Mrs. Katey Alexander (’91) took a bus trip across the country to visit the University of Memphis, Rhodes College, St. Louis University, Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, Washington University, University of Tulsa, Southern Methodist University and Rice University.
Dominican hosts the Summer College Tour to give sophomores, juniors and seniors a chance to visit colleges outside of Louisiana. College counselor Mrs. Wendy Grubb looks at the schools that Dominican girls are applying to and then chooses the destinations, according to Mrs. Frick.
The students were glad they signed up. According to junior Joy Richardson, the tour gave her a better idea of the type of school and environment she is looking for. Richardson said the tour opened her up to new experiences and a chance to meet new friends. Additionally, she said that she grew closer to the friends she already had. “I never had a perspective on college before. I never wanted to talk about it,” said Richardson. “Now all I want to talk about is college.”
The same thing goes for junior Pelarr Edwards. “It gave me a more realistic view of college and taught me what I like and what I dislike in a college,” said Edwards. “I would recommend going on this trip because it’s a chance to see colleges outside of Louisiana and see what college fits you.”
Sophomores Kaylee Gele’ and Madison Gauthier agree that the tour taught them the importance of community and environment when looking into colleges. Gauthier said it taught her what to look for and how to investigate internships that the college can offer related to different majors. Gele’ recommends the tour to other students because “if you’re worried, it’ll help you envision what college actually is and help decide what college is right for you.”
Even the moderators learned something new about college from this tour. Mrs. Alexander went into this trip thinking every college would be the same but soon changed her mind once the trip was over. “I realized that even though every college essentially offers the same thing, each one has something that makes it unique,” said Mrs. Alexander.
Universities that the group loved included Rhodes College in Memphis and Loyola University in Chicago. Rhodes was a group favorite with everyone saying that they loved the community feel and that it reminded them of Dominican. Loyola University in Chicago was another favorite because of the campus on the lake, the curriculum offered and the community. “That’s a school I can see Dominicans girls going to. That’s a college our girls would be comfortable attending,” said Mrs. Frick.
In between college visits, the group also toured different areas along the route. Favorite activities ranged from the visit to Six Flags in St. Louis to touring the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial in Memphis.
Before they knew it, the college tour was over, and it was time to go home. The bus packed with 23 girls made its way down the interstate, this time on the way back to Louisiana. The girls sat with their friends and talked about how excited they were for college. On the journey home, they dreamed of going to college and reminisced about their memories on the universities’ campuses. The end of their college trip meant the beginning of their college journey.
- Grace DiFranco