Archdiocese Names Lillian Cerise 12th Grader of the Year Nominee

St. Mary’s Dominican High School senior Lillian Cerise is the Archdiocese of New Orleans 12th Grader of the Year Nominee for Louisiana Students of the Year Awards Program. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Cerise of Metairie.

The Students of the Year Awards Program recognizes outstanding elementary (Grade 5), middle/junior high (Grade 8), and high school students (Grade 12) enrolled in public, private, or charter schools throughout Louisiana who have demonstrated excellent academic achievement, leadership ability, and citizenship. It is sponsored by the Louisiana State Superintendent through the State Department of Education and the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Students are selected by their school and submitted to the local education agency/diocese level, and nominees are recommended to a Regional Selection Committee. The resulting eighteen finalists compete at the state level. The State Selection Committee will announce winners of the three grade levels on April 11, 2018.

During her years at Dominican, Cerise has held numerous offices, including, president (2017-2018) and historian (2016-2017) of Mu Alpha Theta; president, Junior Engineering Technical Society (2017-2018); vice president, National Honor Society (2017-2018), Tri-M Music Honor Society (2016-2017); drum captain (2014-2018) and First Chair snare drum for Dominican’s Band (2014-2017); librarian, choir (2015-2016).

Among the accolades she has received: National Merit Semifinalist; Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction; University of Rochester Douglass and Anthony Leaders Award for commitment to social justice and civic action; Gold Medal on four consecutive ascending National Latin Exams; Gold Summa Cum Laude on National Latin Exam; National Latin Honor Society Classical Association of the Middle West and South Award for Outstanding Classical Studies; NOLA Chamber Fest, first place in high school competition with Prokofiev Quintet; superior rating in Louisiana Music Educators Association (LMEA) in solo and small ensemble; District Honor Choir, first place (2014, 2015), second (2017), third (2016) Alto I; and first place in State Rally, US History.

Her community service includes Second Harvest Food Bank; tutor at Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy, Head Start programs and Good Shepherd; Electric Girls Saturday (taught soldering, electronics and programming to girls ages 5-14); helping organize a music competition for elementary students (Tri-M Music Honor Society) and a quiz bowl tournament for elementary students (National Honor Society).

She was principal violist for Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra (2017-2018) and Louisiana Music Educators Association All-State Honor Orchestra (2015, 2017); and participated in the Young Artists Orchestra sponsored by Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, MA (2016). From 2010-2018 she was in the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra that toured the East Coast in the summer of 2015 to perform at Carnegie Hall. She also performed for children groups at the Latter Library and played classical chamber music at the French Quarter Festival. She and her sister Catherine formed a folk trio, One Lan Band that performed at the House of Blues as part of an eight-act showcase after auditioning for the Bringing Down the House Young Artists Program in 2017.