Dominican Confers 166 Diplomas During 2017 Commencement

One-hundred sixty-six students received diplomas from St. Mary’s Dominican High School during the May 20 graduation ceremony held on campus. Sr. Therese Leckert, O.P., Corporation Member of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, delivered the invocation and greeting. Mrs. Wendy Grubb, Chair of the Guidance Department, presented graduates. President Dr. Cynthia A. Thomas and Vice President, Principal Mrs. Carolyn Favre awarded the diplomas.

St. Mary’s Dominican High School Class of 2017 received numerous honors and awards. In the class, 88 students merited the distinction of honor graduate, earning GPAs of 3.5 or higher. One of the highest academic honors a high school student can receive is National Merit recognition for outstanding academic ability as determined by the student’s scores on the PSAT administered in October of her junior year.  The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recognized seven students this year. The National Merit Scholarship Program named two of these graduates, Cecila K. Bourg and Margret A. Conrad, Commended Students. Five graduates – Catherine M. Cerise, Elizabeth A. Champagne, Celeste E. Maffei, Hannah R. Meyer, and Madison G. Miller, were recognized as 2017 National Merit Finalists.

As of May 14, graduates earned admission into 112 different colleges and universities throughout the country. One-hundred and nine received 339 scholarships and awards totaling more than $16.4 million dollars. Sixty-six seniors qualified for advanced placement college credit through spring testing and AP exams, earning 430 semester hours of credit. Six students earned math credit through dual enrollment with LSU. Additional college credits will be awarded in July based on the results of AP exams taken each May by students. The Class of 2017 completed 31,276 hours of community service.

Valedictorians were Catherine Margaret Cerise, Gabrielle Lee Nguyen, Elizabeth Anne Champagne, Madison Grace Miller, Abigail Kaitlyn Morici, and Emily Suzanne Doyle. They received the Valedictory Award, presented to the honor graduates who have achieved the highest cumulative grade point average in their program of studies.


Cerise, the daughter of Irene Gonzalez Cerise and John P. Cerise, will attend Yale University. Recognized as a 2017 National Merit Scholarship Corporation Finalist, she was a member of Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, and Tri-M Music Honor Society.

Champagne, daughter of Ellie Champagne and Mike Champagne, will attend University of Arizona. A National Merit Scholarship Corporation Finalist, she was a member of Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, and Tri-M Music Honor Society.

Doyle, daughter of Melissa Faye Doyle and Brian James Doyle, will attend University of Notre Dame. She is recipient of Louisiana Post of the Society of American Military Engineers Award and was a member of Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society.

Miller, daughter of Suzy Loeb Miller and Dr. Matthew K. Miller, will attend Rice University. A National Merit Scholarship Corporation Finalist, she was a member of Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society.

Morici, daughter of Maureen Makofsky Morici and Dr. Mark Vincent Morici, will attend Rhodes College, which awarded her a Cambridge Scholarship. She is a member of Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society.

Nguyen, daughter of Christy Lee and Truman Nguyen, received the Dominican Sisters, Congregation of St. Mary, and St. Mary’s Dominican College Scholarship to a Catholic college of her choice. She will attend University of Notre Dame. At Dominican, she was a member of Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society.

Salutatorian Celeste Marie Mire received the Salutatory Award for achieving the second highest cumulative grade point average in her program of studies.


Mire, daughter of Dr. Margaret Nuttli Mire and Joseph Mire, will attend Tulane University, which awarded her a Premier Scholar Award. She was a member of Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society.

The Mother Mary Magdalen O’Farrell, O.P. Service Award was presented to Madeline L. Puente and Margaret M. Duplantier. The award recognizes a student’s outstanding, dedicated service to St. Mary’s Dominican High School. Dominican life and growth are mirrored in her reflection of the school’s philosophy by belief in God and respect for the dignity of all human beings.


The Sr. Mary Ambrose Reggio, O.P. Alumnae Award was presented to Margaret M. Duplantier, Madeline L. Puente and Adelia O. Obioha, selected by their classmates for representing Dominican Spirit. Dominican’s motto, “To Praise, to Bless, to Preach” is an integral part of the honorees’ lives, as is their commit to truth, Veritas.


The American Legion Award, sponsored by the Henry Thomas Ross Post No. 137, was awarded to Jennifer E. Baker and Adelia O. Obioha, who was selected by administration, faculty, staff and students for reflecting the qualities of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship, and service.


Four graduates, Katherine R. Alexander, Jennifer E. Baker, Margaret M. Duplantier, and Adelia O. Obioha were selected by leadership, administration and faculty to receive the Veritas Award, the most prestigious award presented to a St. Mary’s Dominican High School graduating senior.  The recipient of this award demonstrates exemplary understanding of the Dominican Charism, Laudare, Benedicere, Praedicare, to Praise, to Bless, to Preach.  Following the example of St. Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Dominican Order, the Veritas Award recipient faithfully strives to seek Veritas, Truth through prayer, study, community and service.  She preaches the Truth of the Gospel through the example of her life and calls forth the best in others.


In addition to the valedictorian and salutatorians, those graduating summa cum laude (4.0 and above) were Reice C. Acosta, Katherine R. Alexander, Olivia R. Bernstein, Cecilia K. Bourg, Monet C.  Brignac, Mary C. Carr, Brigette J. Chevalier, Margaret A. Conrad, Samantha L. Conway, Alyssa M. DeLattre, Mary C. DeMatteo, Eva D. Doi, Elizabeth N.  Duncan, Margaret M. Duplantier, Olivia F. Edwards, Elizabeth H. Evans, Kathryn M. Fasold, Jailyn J. Heisser, Sofia A.  Hill, Kamryn E. Jones, Marcelle T. Kepper, Lan Q. Le, Olivia M.  LeBlanc, Celeste E.  Maffei, Erin M. Malone, Stephanie L. Mayer, Ashley G. McGregor, Anna A. Mermilliod, Hannah R. Meyer, Madison C. Meyer, Laurel A. Mire, Maggie M. Neupert, Grace H. Nguyen, Abigail A. Nix, Adelia O. Obioha, Chizoba C. Ogbuefi, Kayla C. Perez, Marie C. Plunkett, Madeline L.  Puente, Sofia E. Rodriguez, Jillian L. Sandoz, Taylor E. Stansberry, Gabrielle H. Terranova, Elizabeth M. Thomson, Maria I. Walter, and Allison A. Webb.

Graduating magna cum laude (3.75-3.99) were Andrea K. Altobelli, Jennifer E. Baker, Drew A.  Duncan, Chloe L. Dusang, Andrea Garcés, Victoria K. Gillam, Anna L. Hinyub, Yasmeen Khan, Kristina M. Krizan, Anya M. Montgomery, Lauren Q. Nguyen, Bianca E. Ochoa, McKay K. Resor, Emma M. Steeg, Audrey E. Stewart, Gillian G. Sudderth, Caitlin M. Sullivan, Kirsten R. Turner, and Mary E. Zelden.

Graduating cum laude (3.50-3.74) were Madeline E. Abadie, Bailyn E. Bender, Melanie K. Caillouet, Jacqueline K. DeLaCerda, Sarah L. Dominique, Carlin M. Dougherty, Giulianna I. Escobar, Isabella M. Esparza, Emma J. Hurley, Jeanne A. Lassere, Samantha A. Messonnier, Lindsay K. Moreau, Camille F. Nelson, Yarina V. Novick, Katie L. Sciortino, and Kaylan A. Smith.

Also graduating were Scarlett A. Abrams, Avery C. Armand, Brooke A. Bailey, Maria F. Bonet Pineda, Emily K. Bradbury, Hannah M. Brooks, Taylor C. Brown, Tayla R. Carrigan, Ashlyn E. Cobb, Mary M. Coll, Julianne K. Collins, Jordyn A. Cosey, Genevieve L. Cottrell, Camille E. Cusco’, Lexi M. Dema, Gabriella M. DeMatteo, Kelly M. Downey, Olivia L. Finger, Hailey A. Folse, Morgan E. Forshag, Addison M. Franklin, Raquel E. Garcia, Julia A. Giacona, Kayla A. Gibson, Teresa J. Giorlando, Mya O. Green, Brogan C. Hausknecht, Sarah E. Helmstetter, Caroline L. Hudlow, Megan L. Hunter, Anabelle F. Johnson, Whitney N. Johnson, Carlie G. Kempf, Sheyna K. Khaled, Julie E. Lartigue, Emily E. Licata, Emma F. Loetzerich, Elizabeth A. Lorenzo, Shelby L. Majeau, Abigail E. Marziale, Haley E. Messina, Emma I. Miller, Taylor R. Mire, Emily A. Nash, Hannah T. Nguyen, Nanami S. Okawauchi, Kenechi E. Okeke, Emily E. Orgeron, Sylvia M. Owen, Daniela S. Padilla, Casside Y. Parfait, Hope E. Quigley, Caroline A. Redfearn, Kimberly A. Rohr, Camille M. Rozas, Claudia E. Rozas, Grace J. Ryan, Julianna S. Santamaria, Tierni A. Savoie, Kacie M. Shepeard, Samantha M. Siliezar, Hannah R. Smith, Veronica R. Stevens, Sierra F. Sylve, Tia B. Theodore, Lauren A. Thompson, Katherine G. Triche, Emely N. Trochez Sagastume, Jenna E. Verges, Claire D. Wade, Madelyn G. Wadkins, Emma J. Walsh, Briana T. White, Hailey M. Williams, L’Oreal A. Williams, Emily R. Wilson, Sarah E. Wolff, and Sophia T. Zaeringer.