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St. Bernard School Board Brings Back Annual School Community Recognition Celebration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Alexis Pritchard

Date: 04/22/2022

Phone: (504) 301-2000

Email: alexis.pritchard@sbpsb.org 

St. Bernard School Board Brings Back Annual School Community Recognition Celebration

After a two-year hiatus, the St. Bernard Parish School Board hosted its annual Celebrating Our School Community Banquet, an event honoring outstanding achievement and commitment in public education. More than 400 people attended the celebration held at Chalmette High School.

After the national anthem, the presentation of colors, and a welcome from superintendent Doris Voitier, School Board president Cliff Englande addressed those in attendance.

"Tonight, we gather to celebrate those individuals whose tireless efforts truly bring unity to our community. The work you do is not easy, but over the last two years, it is more important than ever,” said Englande. “Your efforts change children’s lives and shape our future. On behalf of the Board, we thank you for your contributions and your dedication."

School Board members then recognized each of the 11 students of the year. Those outstanding youngsters included seven elementary students, three middle school students, and one high school honoree. Those recognized were

  • Lily Bell Lozes, Arabi Elementary School
  • Natalia Hendrickson, Arlene Meraux Elementary School
  • Dustin Petit, Chalmette Elementary School
  • Kinleigh Gioia, Joseph Davies Elementary School
  • Payten Perez, J. F. Gauthier Elementary School
  • Ramy Dali, district-wide winner and regional winner, Lacoste Elementary School
  • Terrionne Brazil, W. Smith, Jr. Elementary School
  • Kiany Montes Hernandez, Andrew Jackson Middle School
  • Jackson Nunez, district-wide winner, N. P. Trist Middle School
  • Madelynn Roussell, St. Bernard Middle School
  • Avani Miller, district-wide winner, Chalmette High School

Voitier congratulated these students and honored their parents. 

“For their parents who are here this evening, thank you for your guidance, unconditional love, and support."

Each of the schools and the central office honored a volunteer, as well as an outstanding support employee for their selfless contributions and support of the school system. Volunteers honored were

  • Rashelle & Corey Hume, Arabi Elementary School 
  • Olivia Dornan, Arlene Meraux Elementary School
  • Sunny Nagle, Chalmette Elementary School 
  • Janell Porter, Joseph Davies Elementary School
  • Sarah Smith, J. F. Gauthier Elementary School
  • Kayla Tortorich, Lacoste Elementary School
  • Eric Campbell, W. Smith, Jr. Elementary School
  • Jamie Loustalot, Andrew Jackson Middle School
  • Brandi Wuertz, N. P. Trist Middle School
  • Russell Kelly, St. Bernard Middle School
  • Henry Coston, C. F. Rowley Alternative School
  • Keith Black, Chalmette High School 

The outstanding school support employees represent various departments like transportation, maintenance, custodial and secretarial. Those recognized for their contributions were

  • Terri Guate, Arabi Elementary School and district-wide winner 
  • Phyllis Martinez, Arlene Meraux Elementary School 
  • Clarence Rose, Chalmette Elementary School
  • Anna Berthelotte, Joseph Davies Elementary School
  • Sherry Campo, J. F. Gauthier Elementary School
  • Bridget Wattigney, Lacoste Elementary School
  • Dominesha Clay, W. Smith, Jr. Elementary School
  • Pamela Barbay, Andrew Jackson Middle School and district-wide winner
  • Jeffery Joseph, N. P. Trist Middle School
  • Kristine Schultz, St. Bernard Middle School
  • LaDonya Robinson, C. F. Rowley Alternative School 
  • Kim Young, Chalmette High School and district-wide winner
  • Yvette Caillouet, Central Office
  • Barbara Rodrigue, Maintenance/Transportation

A touching tribute — a video honoring the district's retirees — followed. Voitier thanked the 34 individuals who were showcased for their years of dedicated service.

“For these individuals joining us tonight – loyalty, perseverance, and allegiance are not just words, they are values. We thank them for their service and wish them the best of luck in the new chapters of their lives.”

Those retiring include 

  • From the Maintenance Department 
    • Janis Alfonso
    • Carolyn Calato
    • Olga Campo 
    • William Harrison 
    • Cynthia Hernandez
    • Barbara Rodrigue
    • Linda Roper
    • Shirley Vogt
  • From Arabi Elementary School
    • Bonnie Hebert
    • Nancy Mills
    • Alice Williams 
  • From Arlene Meraux Elementary 
    • Joyce Bayhi
    • Shelley Lacoste 
    • Phyllis Martinez
  • From Chalmette Elementary School
    • Marcelle Montgomery
    • Charlene Strain
    • Elizabeth Winslow
  • From Joseph Davies Elementary School 
    • Denise Sanchez 
  • From Lacoste Elementary School 
    • Marion Gaudet 
  • From Smith Elementary School 
    • Cherlyn Luna
    • Pamela Stone-Rinkus
    • ​​Janice Tambrella
  • From Andrew Jackson Middle School
    • JoAnn Cargo 
  • From N. P. Trist Middle School 
    • Ann Costanza 
    • Charmaine Raimondo
    • Charmaine Sciortino
  • From C. F. Rowley Alternative School
    • Clara Caserta
    • Deborah Merritt
  • From Chalmette High School 
    • Monica Manale 
    • Dirk Tillman
  • From Central Office 
    • ​​Joni Blum 
    • Marylou Hay 
    • Dr. Charles Raviotta
    • Paul Granberry 

During dinner, guests also enjoyed music provided by the CHS Jazz Band and the CHS Voices. Then, the awards continued with assistant superintendent Mary Lumetta at the podium.

“Each year, I am humbled and inspired by the amazing people who work and volunteer in our schools,” said Lumetta. “Our people are the heart of our district – and we are truly blessed.”

She then focused on the district's teachers of the year.

"Their passion and commitment are meaningful and impactful,” said Lumetta. “Each of these dynamic dozen has a gift – one of love, commitment, dedication, and above all, passion and compassion.” 

The teachers honored were

  • Hena Jaber, Arabi Elementary School
  • Magen Arabie, Arlene Meraux Elementary School
  • Alecia Desselle, district-wide winner, Chalmette Elementary School
  • Meghan McMullin, Joseph Davies Elementary School
  • Sarah Morales. J. F. Gauthier Elementary School
  • Kelli Burgard, Lacoste Elementary School
  • Telya Lopez, W. Smith, Jr. Elementary School
  • Daniel Munch, Andrew Jackson Middle School
  • Brooke Royce, N. P. Trist Middle School
  • Heidi Scharfenstein, district-wide winner, St. Bernard Middle School
  • Robert Borrello, C. F. Rowley Alternative School
  • Justin Templet, district-wide winner and current state semi-finalist, Chalmette High School 

This year, the St. Bernard Parish School Board unveiled a new award, honoring those very special individuals who have dedicated their lives to the world of education — educators who have served for over five decades. To commemorate that commitment to service, a tree will be planted to honor each recipient. 

“We will plant a tree in front of the Cultural Arts Center for each of our employees who reach this monumental milestone and a personalized marker will be displayed on each,” said Lumetta. “May these trees serve as hope for future generations of school employees and those who are called to shape the young people of our community.”

Those honored for fifty years of service included

  • Wayne Warner
  • Carole Mundt
  • Thomas Dugger
  • Marylou Hay
  • Tommie Powell
  • Lee Anne Harlton
  • Doris Voitier
  • Paul Granberry

As it does each year, the banquet ended on a high note with one student from each school honoring a Parent of the Year. Students read their winning essays on camera, paying tribute to the love and support received from parents, grandparents, and other relatives who helped raise them through some difficult situations. 

Parents and guardians honored included

  • Nikia Riculfy and dad DJ Riculfy, Arabi Elementary School
  • Kevin Do and Linh Phuong, Arlene Meraux Elementary School
  • Tiffinie Johnson, Chalmette Elementary School
  • Amy and Tessie White-Stein, Joseph Davies Elementary School
  • Tara Mankin, J. F. Gauthier Elementary School
  • Tiffany and Anthony Bryan, Lacoste Elementary School
  • Alba Portales and Melissa Lopez, W. Smith, Jr. Elementary School
  • John Clark, Andrew Jackson Elementary School
  • Rebbie Miller, N. P. Trist Middle School
  • Ashley Scott, St. Bernard Middle School
  • Donald Mckinnies, Jr., Chalmette High School

Voitier used her closing remarks to congratulate the winners and to encourage everyone to focus on the importance of public education.

"We have spent this evening celebrating the people who make our programs and partnerships possible. We recognize that we develop minds but also the hearts of our children,” said Voitier. “So as we come to the end of this school year and look forward to a new one, I am happy to share our new theme. We will continue to stress our unity, while focusing on the power of GRATITUDE. With gratitude comes grace, and with grace anything is possible."

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