Rally Day is a long-held tradition at Dominican. Many faculty and staff members are DHS alumnae who have fond memories of their Rally moments as students. Here are a few:
Rally Day is a long-held tradition at Dominican. Many faculty and staff members are DHS alumnae who have fond memories of their Rally moments as students. Here are a few:
Beep Beep – the Robotics team is gearing up to compete!
On January 21, Dominican’s varsity robotics teams, Dream Machine and Digibots, competed at Academy of Our Lady’s gymnasium during the FIRST Tech Challenge’s Kickoff competition.
Dominican’s Dream Machine team took home first place for the Motivate Award, emphasizing school spirit and cohesive teamwork.
Not to be out maneuvered the Digibots took home first place for the Think Award, which focused on the team’s planned layout and participation in their Engineering Notebook and third place for the Motivate award.
“The purpose of Robotics is to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math courses in a fun activity,” said club moderator Mrs. Giacona, science teacher. “I am so proud of the girls and all they accomplished!”
In order to participate in the FIRST Tech Challenge, the DHS Robotics Team constructed a strategy. They earned a $5,000 grant from DOW Chemical Company to construct a robot with certain height and materials required for the competition.
The FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, Tech Challenge inspires students to practice engineering principles, such as keeping an engineering notebook, and realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas.
During the competition, the teams had thirty seconds to direct their robots to score as many points as possible by maneuvering particles into baskets.
Over the past several months, the teams have prepared for this competition. They have been constructing robots and practicing two to three times a week. The Robotics team used tools such as Dremels, band saws and drills to construct their robots. The rectangular robots designed were fewer than eighteen inches cubed and had the abilities to defend, roll on ramps and catapult objects.
“I was surprised at how complicated each teams’ robots were,” said freshman Catherine Bickerton. “And everyone was so kind to each other. It made the competition more fun!”
Robotics is an opportunity for students to experience what it is like to be in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math career. According to Mrs. Giacona, the team members learn important communication skills such as speaking with other teams and collaborating within their own teams.
Because of the winning performances in the FIRST Tech Challenge, both teams are eligible to compete in the Regional competition, scheduled for March 4 at the University of New Orleans.
You don’t think you use math in the real world? Well, the Algebra I Honors students will prove you wrong.
These students have taken graphing and writing equations to new levels by showing that math is used on a daily basis, especially when determining such things as safety regulations, construction and population growth. Math teacher and department chair Mrs. Ashley Reso’s students completed a project in early February that required modern technology to solve equations and graph lines.
In order to complete the project, the Algebra I Honors students first downloaded a picture from the computer onto their calculators and then wrote equations for several lines in the picture. By writing linear equations for real-life objects, they gained a deeper understanding of how steep a roof or a slide should be and what kind of slopes would be acceptable to meet safety regulations, according to Mrs. Reso.
Next, the students adjusted the slope and y-intercept to make the lines fit perfectly with the picture. This exercise required that the students understand the roles the slope and the y-intercept each in play in a linear equation and how adjusting each one can change the look of the graph.
This project was part of a chapter on graphing lines using slope and y-intercept. In addition to the project, the students discussed other real-life applications of slope and y-intercept. In everyday life, the y-intercept can show the start of a population, while the slope will show how it grows.
Finally, the Algebra I Honors students placed the equations and pictures in a Word document. The graphing in the picture gave them a visual representation of how much the slope had changed. For example, they saw how steep a ramp would actually be.
Since Dominican has incorporated modern technology into the curriculum via the STREAM TM initiative, teachers and students now have a new outlook on their classes and assignments. “Using more technology in class helped the students have a better understanding on writing and graphing equations of lines,” said Mrs. Reso. “I am very pleased with the outcome of their projects.”
With this Algebra I Honors project, students learned a lot about how math is used in the real world while working with others. “It was fun to work with my partner Abby Morris,” said fellow eighth grader Isabelle Fitzmorris. “I really enjoyed the project because this was the first time I used technology to solve math problems.”
– Morgan Forshag
On Jan.30, DHS’s Science Club hosted the Wind in My Feathers event for students to get a close look at a few of Louisiana’s native birds. Raptor rehabilitator and educator Ms. Sally Farrell gave the forty-five-minute presentation in the D.A. Ms. Farrell visits schools across the state to educate students about native birds and the importance of protecting them.
Throughout the event, Ms. Farrell presented live raptors, along with preserved feathers, castings, skulls and feet. She discussed the role of raptors in the food chain and the importance of protecting them and their habitats. Many species of raptors are endangered and in need of protection. Ms. Farrell discussed how students can work toward protecting the overall environment for all species.
“It was a great opportunity to learn from expert who is dedicated to rehabilitating and protecting these animals,” said Mrs. Karen Plauche, moderator of the Science Club. “These birds have a specific role in nature, and it’s important that we learn about this role to appreciate them.”
– Lauren Nguyen
In January and February, Alumnae Hall flourished with artistic talent. The National Art Honor Society (NAHS) and Tri-M Music Honor Society (Modern Music Masters) recently welcomed thirty-seven new inductees to these prestigious societies.
Tri-M inducted five new members. As part of the Jan. ceremony, inductees performed musical pieces, with performances ranging from playing the ukulele to singing an Italian aria.
“Tri-M helps keep music alive,” said moderator Ms. Castillo, band and choir director. “We strive for music and the arts to continue to be appreciated.”
Becoming inducted into an honor society is a real accomplishment. Tri-M requires students have a 3.2 GPA in music as well as obtain twenty service hours throughout the year.
“I’m so proud of the new inductees,” said Tri-M president Kathryn Fasold. “Their performances were spectacular, and I can tell they worked hard!”
Captivating artwork, such as portraits, landscapes and watercolor adorned Alumnae Hall on February 1 in honor of NAHS induction. The National Art Honor Society welcomed thirty-two new members who ranged from sophomores to seniors.
During the NAHS induction, Dominican alumna Shelly Raynal (’81), graphic designer for Peter B. Mayer Advertising firm, shared her experiences as a graphic designer and inspired students to pursue a career in art.
To become a member of NAHS, students must maintain an ‘A’ in each quarter of an art class, as well as construct an artistic portfolio reviewed by an evaluation committee.
Modeling the Dominican pillar of service, both of these societies participate service projects throughout the year. NAHS visits St. Michael Special School and helps paint wooden figurines while adults carve on local wood. Tri-M hosts an elementary band fair to help students discover a passion for musical instruments.
“Our St. Michael trip allows our club members to interact with students at St. Michael’s,” said club moderator, Mrs. Jennifer Frosch. “Everyone has a joyful experience while painting, celebrating Mass, and sharing lunch.”
Members of these societies will use their artistic talent for the upcoming spring musical, 42nd Street, by showcasing their work during the Fine Arts Festival, March 31 – April 8.
For the 2017-2018 school year, DHS has added four exciting courses to the curriculum. Art III AP, Engineering (Honors), Computer Science and a redesigned Advanced Math II will be on the list of courses that DHS has to offer.
With the addition of Art III AP, DHS students will be able to explore their artistic talents more than ever before. Art III AP is a college-level course available to seniors and provides an opportunity for students to earn college credits. According to Ms. Angelle Caffery, art teacher, this course is great for students who want to major in interior design, architecture or visual arts. At the end of each quarter, students will submit portfolios of the art they have created in the class.
“Art III AP is focused on thinking outside the box and working on a student’s personal voice,” said Ms. Caffery. “The course allows a student to develop her own artistic style.”
Next year, Engineering (Honors) will be an introduction for seniors to the basic engineering theory of electrical and mechanical circuits as it exposes students to the same information taught in a college classroom. To enroll in Engineering (Honors), students must have taken Advanced Math (Honors).
“I’m hoping the course will continue to expand and grow over the years,” said Mr. Kenneth Lannes, math teacher.
Sophomores, juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to enroll in the new Computer Science class. Programming, application development and problem solving will be the focus of the course. According to English teacher Ms. Charlene Ford (’01), Computer Science is very important in today’s world because many jobs need employees with computer skills, such as creating websites and phone apps.
By the end of the school year, Computer Science students will be prepared take the Microsoft exam and earn certification directly from Microsoft. This certification is a common requirement for attaining a job in the technology field.
“Computer Science truly prepares students for life after DHS,” said Ms. Ford.
Advanced Math II, already available for seniors, has undergone a redesign for the ’17-‘18 school year. The course will now kick off with college level Algebra in the first semester, followed by contemporary math, which includes graph theory and financial math, in the second semester. Although the course is offered through LSU, DHS students can earn all six hours of the required college math credits for the majority of universities in the state and begin to establish their college GPA.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the students accomplish many of their academic goals and having them thoroughly prepared for college,” said math teacher Mrs. Amy Calongne (’08).
Students with questions concerning the new courses should arrange to meet with their guidance counselors.
– Morgan Forshag
The DHS soccer team has been kicking and screaming – screaming “Victory,” that is! After their most recent 2-1 win against Benjamin Franklin High School on Monday Jan. 30, DHS has brought their record to 20-3-4.
The soccer team celebrated senior night in style, with goals from senior Marcelle Kepper, attacking midfielder, and sophomore Lizzie Algero, defensive midfielder.
With only three losses and four ties, the soccer team’s state ranking has jumped to 6th. Their successful record shows the team is playing well with the potential to make it to the state round.
Because of their top 8 finish in the regular season, DHS has earned a bye for the first round of the playoffs. They will meet Dutchtown High School in the second round.
On Saturday, Jan 28, DHS tied number 3 ranked MCA 0-0 in a back and forth game, bringing their district record to 4-0-1 and naming them district runner-up for the 2016-2017 season.
Chasing redemption from last season and a state title, the team is powering through the competition.
This recent victory followed district wins over John Ehret High School, Chalmette High School, Archbishop Chapelle High School and Grace King School among several others, including Bonnabel High School, Academy of the Sacred Heart, St. Joseph’s Academy and Metairie Park Country Day.
The team’s success is a product of not only hard work but team work. By sticking to the four ingredients of the season – family, dedication, respect, and redemption – the team is smashing its goals according to Mr. Al Silvas, head coach.
“It’s really fortunate that we’re so close as a team,” said senior Olivia Finger. “At the end of the day, we are playing for one another, and we just want success for one another.”
And success is what they’re getting. Their 20 wins and number 6 ranking puts them in good shape for the upcoming matches. Their work is not over, however.
Mr. Silvas is confident in the team’s ability to be successful in the playoffs. As long as the team continues to stay connected, dedicated and respectful to their soccer family while still maintaining their focus on playing as well as they have, the team has a good shot in the playoff rounds.
Follow DHS as they take on the competition in the 2017 Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Girls’ Soccer State Championship playoffs in their first match on Feb. 7.
– Jailyn Heisser
The Dominican Basketball Team has been driving toward the goal all season, including their Jan. 30 game against Archbishop Chapelle High School. DHS celebrated with a 28-26 victory over the Chipmunks.
This season, the team’s record is 22-8 as of Feb. 2, with Dominican winning the majority of its home games.
Previously, DHS fought a close game against Mount Carmel Academy on Jan. 26, which ended a 39-41 loss. On Jan. 23, the team gave it their all in the first district game of the season against John Curtis Christian School but fell to the Patriots.
“Even though the team knew this was going to be a tough game, we did well defensively and executed on offense,” said Mr. Ryan Reuter, basketball coach. “The team and I are always hopeful for the next game.”
In a nail-biting game against Riverside Academy on Jan. 18, DHS took home a 38-31 win. Previously, the team dominated in their home games against St. James High School and Metairie Park Country Day School, winning both games by ten points.
DHS competed in the semi-finals in their past two tournaments. At the 7th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic Tournament on Jan. 5-7, sophomore small forward Ahjah Yunusah was named to the Allstate Sugar Bowl All-Tournament Team because of her outstanding performance as one of the top scorers in the tournament.
“I am grateful and honored to be given this award,” said Yunusah.
“Our team is doing extremely well, considering we have a young team,” said senior Adelia Obioha, power forward. Obioha has been the leading scorer all season, with an average of 11.3 points per game. Following closely behind, Yunusah averages 8.3 points per game. Both these high scorers are varsity starters. Rounding out the varsity roster are eighth grader Grace Hamblin, freshmen Alyssa Helwig and Kylie Barre’, sophomore Laynie Tierney, junior Mackie Smith, and seniors Caitlin Sullivan and Kayla Gibson.
The teamwork displayed in the games has helped the team to have a winning season. Mr. Reuter believes that the mix of under and upperclassmen on this year’s team is beneficial overall because it has pushed the girls to work harder.
“At the daily practices, the team works hard with certain drills to prepare for upcoming games,” said Sullivan, center. In the past three months, Sullivan has had nearly forty blocks.
“The team has had a good look at how far we can go, and we believe that we can make it to the state playoffs,” said Barre’, guard, who has had over seventy assists this season. The state playoffs will begin on Thursday, Feb. 23, followed by the Girls Top 28 State Tournament on March 2-4.
DHS will honor its senior players in the game against Mount Carmel on Feb. 6. On Feb. 9, the Basketball Team’s last district game is a rematch against Chapelle.
– Madeline Puente
This Thanksgiving, 23 students from DHS performance groups traveled to the island of Oahu, Hawaii to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In a historic moment for DHS, the group traveled to Hawaii to participate in the National Festival of States as the only representative of Louisiana. The members of the band presented music from the time period of World War II accompanied by drama students junior Annalyse Nelson and senior Maggie Duplantier and alumna Brooke Duplantier (’15) and Kathleen Fasold (’13).
The group presented a Bob Hope-style USO Show in front of the U.S.S. Missouri. The musical selection included songs such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and songs from the WWII musical South Pacific.
While honoring the memory and moments of WWII and sharing in the Hawaiian culture, DHS gave the festival attendees a little taste of New Orleans. In addition to the WWII themed music selection, the group performed some New Orleans classics like “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
The band delivered an entertaining show that encouraged participation from the audience. “We wanted people to get involved,” said Ms. Brenda Castillo, band director.
With the help of Mrs. Rosalie Abadie, drama director, the group did just that. Mrs. Abadie choreographed their performance to make the show come alive. Throughout the performance, the group also thanked the veterans for their service.
“At one point a veteran actually stopped and sang along to ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ with us,” said senior Kathryn Fasold. “We worked really hard to show our appreciation, so it was really satisfying to see them enjoy the show.”
After having the honor of performing at the National Festival of States, the group had the privilege of spending their Thanksgiving on the island. “We went to a luau and we got to share in the Hawaiian culture on top of celebrating our own traditions,” said Nelson. “It was so fun to merge our traditions with theirs.”
Not only was the trip a huge honor and accomplishment for DHS students, but it was “a huge step forward for the arts department,” said Ms. Castillo, “and yet another way that Dominican produces well-rounded young women ready to take the world by storm.”
– Jailyn Heisser
Wrapped presents or pecan pie do not make the holidays memorable. Instead, the gift of service towards others makes the season magical.
This magic found its way into Alumnae Hall on Dec. 9. Brightly wrapped presents under the tree are not from Santa but from the students and faculty participating in the annual Adopt-a-Family program. This program encourages students and faculty to bring in gifts for struggling families during the holiday season.
Senior Madeline Puente, Christian Leadership Council vice-president, treasures working with the Adopt-a-Family program. “Giving to these families brings out the true meaning of giving to others during Christmas,” she said.
This year, the Dominican community donated Christmas gifts to four charities: Metropolitan Women’s Shelter, Bridges to Self- Sufficiency, Rapid Rehousing and St. Augustine Catholic Church in Treme. A majority of these families consist of women and children searching for permanence [JD1] in their lives. According to Mrs. Almon, these are families that have been in transition this past year, and are seeking an alternative solution.
With the generous gifts, Dominican students and faculty helped to bring Christmas to 51 families – a total of 179 people.
“The purpose of the annual Adopt a Family is to build a sense of community,” said Campus Minister Mrs. Katie Almon. “Dominican strives to follow the pillar of service to care for the needs of others,”
Dominican participates in the Adopt-a-Family program each year. Within their religion classes, students brought in toys, clothes and toiletries for families. Students shopped from the wish lists of the recipient families.
“My favorite part about Adopt a Family is knowing that I am giving to families in need,” said freshman Sara Britsch. “I cannot wait for next year and am glad I was able to help this year!”
In addition to the Adopt a Family program, Dominican also participated in the Thanksgiving Drive. In November, students filled eighty baskets to the brim with non-perishable food items to complete Thanksgiving meals. The food donated consisted of the perfect ingredients to make savory casseroles, macaroni and cheese, and homemade pies. In total, Dominican donated enough food to feed a total of about 800 people during the Thanksgiving holidays.
– Brogan Hausknecht