The Summer Spotlight contains the information you will need to prepare for the start of school in August. Summer assignments for grades 1-8, as well as textbook, uniform and grade-specific news are included. Click here for Summer Spotlight
Relax this summer and get ready for a year of productivity and success here at SAA. Don’t forget to do your summer math and your summer reading for English class to get this year started off on the right foot. Click here for Summer ePacket
St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School is pleased to announce that Jenny Howell will be joining the staff as Director of Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Howell will oversee the Johnny Davis Early Childhood Center, providing leadership and vision for the school’s 2 through 4-year-old program. Mrs. Howell has extensive experience developing and leading early childhood programs, as well as experience as a classroom teacher.
“We look forward to the energy and enthusiasm Jenny Howell will bring to our Early Childhood Center,” said Tom Hood, President, St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School. “In this position, Mrs. Howell will focus on the academic and spiritual needs of our youngest students. She will collaborate with our team of dedicated, caring educators as they nurture each student's development in a joyful and loving environment.”
Mrs. Howell joins St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School with over 15 years of experience as an educator and director. Most recently she was a kindergarten teacher at Tara Oaks Elementary School where she was a State of Tennessee Read to Be Ready classroom instructor. She implemented STEM-based learning projects in the classroom and coached the robotics team to state competition.
Previously she was the Executive Director of Educational Ministries at Farmington Presbyterian Church and Day School where she led a staff of 40. She successfully implemented a new academic program and religious curriculum leading to growth for the preschool, after school, summer camp and Vacation Bible School programs. She also has experience teaching in the Shelby County Schools and served as a lead teacher and Camp Director at Faith Lutheran Preschool and Church.
“I was attracted to St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School because the school has a rich history of academic excellence along with a strong Catholic foundation. I am looking forward to becoming part of the St. Agnes-St. Dominic family!” said Mrs. Howell.
Mrs. Howell has a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A & M University. She is an active member of the Texas A&M Association of Former Students and has served as the group’s vice president. She volunteers with Girl Scouts Heart of the South as a troop leader and Camporee Director.
Congratulations to the St. Agnes Academy Class of 2017. This Class has earned $9 Million in scholarships for academic, athletic, art, leadership and service achievements. They have been accepted to 90 colleges and universities in 27 states from Hawaii to Massachusetts and New York to Texas. They have volunteered almost 9,500 hours of service to the community throughout high school. The Class of 2017 includes talented artists and actresses, scientists, mathematicians, writers and athletes. They have excelled academically and been leaders on our campus.
We wish our newest alumnae much success and happiness as they begin their college career firmly grounded in the Dominican pillars of Study, Prayer, Community and Service.
Valedictorian- Abby Heck
St. Agnes Academy Class of 2017 Valedictorian, Abby Heck, distinguished herself as an outstanding scholar and athlete during her 13 years as a student at St. Agnes Academy. In the fall, she will attend the University of Notre Dame where she will play Division 1 golf on a full scholarship. She plans to study Pre-Med.
Abby earned recognition as a National Merit Commended Student and earned AP Scholar honors. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, and Rho Kappa National Honor Society. She is a four-year member of the Beta Club and served as President. She is a member of the STEM Club, Spanish Club and served as captain of the golf team. She has volunteered as a math tutor.
An exceptional golfer, Abby began playing golf when she was only six years old. She competed as a member of the SAA Stars varsity golf team for five years and helped lead the STARS to state championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Abby won individual back-to-back state titles in 2014 and 2015. She was named a Commercial Appeal Best of the Preps Finalist for four years and named Golfer of the Year for two years. Abby is also a decorated American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) player. Since 2014, she has four top-five finishes in AJGA events as well as six additional top-10 showings. Abby competed in the 2016 U.S. Girls Junior Championship, advancing to the Round of 64. She was named to the American Junior Golf Association 2015 Junior All-Star Team, and was the 2015 Bubba Conlee National Junior Champion.
Salutatorian- Allison Raney
St. Agnes Academy Salutatorian Allison Raney will attend the University of Alabama in Huntsville where she was awarded a University of Alabama Huntsville Charger Excellence Scholarship and a University of Alabama Huntsville Charger Excellence Housing Scholarship. Allison is a National Merit Commended Student and earned AP Scholar with Distinction recognition. She served as the captain of the St. Agnes Mathletes team and as Vice President of the STEM Club. During the summer of 2016 Allison was one of only 40 students accepted to the prestigious Tennessee Governor's School for Computational Physics at Austin Peay State University where she studied college level topics combining physics, calculus and computer science.
Allison is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and Rho Kappa National Honor Society. She served as the President of Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, as well as Treasurer & Secretary of the National Latin Honors Society. An accomplished violinist, Allison has been a member of the Memphis Youth String Orchestra and the St. Agnes Ensemble. She is a four-year member of the SAA Trap Team. She has been a member of Girl Scout Troop 10068 at Lindenwood throughout high school, and is active in the Senior High Youth Group at St. Louis Church.
In addition to the University of Alabama, Huntsville, Allison was also accepted to the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Notre Dame. She was offered admission to Christian Brothers University where she received a Presidential Scholarship, a Catholic High School Grant, and a Christian Brothers University Alumni Scholarship. She earned an Austin Peay State University Presidential Scholarship, a General Assembly Merit Scholarship and the Tennessee Hope Educational Scholarship.
Third Honors - Alexis Seward
Alexis Seward earned Third Honors in the St. Agnes Class of 2017. Alexis will enroll at the University of Georgia where she was awarded a University of Georgia Classic Scholarship. Alexis attended St. Agnes Academy for 15 years. An outstanding leader, she served as president of her class for four years. She founded and served as president of the St. Agnes Debate Club, was president of the National Latin Honor Society, and was a founding member of the Barbara H. Daush Leadership Institute. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Rho Kappa National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society. She earned AP Scholar recognition for her performance on AP exams, and she was selected to participate in the St. Jude Scholars of Tomorrow Program.
A four-year member of the St. Agnes varsity soccer team, Alexis was named as a State Finalist for the Wendy’s Heisman Award which program recognizes the nation's most esteemed high school seniors for excellence in academics, athletics, and community involvement. As a senior she was named offensive player of the year and earned all region honors. Strongly committed to community service, she is the founding member of Brian's Touch, a nonprofit organization that she started in memory of her uncle. She serves as a Special Needs Buddy, volunteers in the ECC at St. Agnes-St. Dominic, and tutors students at St. Michael's School.
Alexis was named a University of South Carolina Capstone Scholar and a McKissick Scholar and received a University of South Carolina Non-Resident Tuition Scholarship. She earned a Rhodes College Cambridge Scholarship, a University of Tennessee Volunteer Scholarship, a Clemson University Out-of-State Academic Scholarship, and an Auburn University Academic Heritage Scholarship. She was also awarded a Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship, a General Assembly Merit Scholarship and a Tennessee Hope Educational Scholarship.
The following Departmental Academic Awards were presented during the Baccalaureate:
Visual Arts Medal
Abby Heck & Allison Raney
The Mertie Buckman Medal
The Mr. Bill Cate Excellence in Social Sciences Medal
Maegan Moore & Elisabeth Stockley
The Saint Agnes Medal
The Dr. Joy Maness Excellence in French Medal
The Mr. Frank R. Martinez Excellence in Spanish Medal
Abby Heck & Elisabeth Stockley
The members of the Class of 2017 were offered admission to the following colleges and universities:
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Arkansas State University, Jonesboro
Auburn University, Auburn, Al
Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN
Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA
Baylor University, Waco, TX
Belmont University, Nashville
Bethel University, McKenzie, TN.
Birmingham-Southern College, Birmingham, AL
Christian Brothers University, Memphis
Clemson University, Clemson, SC
College of Charleston, Charleston, SC
Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO
DePaul University, Chicago
Drury University, Springfield, MO
Fordham University, Bronx, NY
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ
Hawai'i Pacific University, Honolulu, HI
Hendrix College, Conway, AR
Indiana University, Bloomington
Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN
Lipscomb University, Nashville
Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Loyola University of Chicago
Manhattan College, New York City
Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Maryville College, Maryville, TN
McKendree University, Lebanon, IL
Memphis College of Art
Miami University, Oxford, OH
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro
Mississippi State University, Starkville
Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
New York University Tandon School of Engineering, New York City
Niagara University, Niagara, NY
Ohio University, Athens, OH
Pace University, Pleasantville, NY
Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN
Pepperdine University, Seaver College, Malibu, CA
Rhodes College, Memphis
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
Saint Louis University. St. Louis, MO
Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN
Samford University, Birmingham, AL
San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA
Sewanee, the University of the South, Sewanee, TN
Southwest Community College, Memphis
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL
St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, NY
St. Joseph's College, Brooklyn, NY
Tennessee State University, Nashville
Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN
Tennessee Wesleyan University, Athens, TN
Texas A & M University, College Station, TX
Texas Christian University, Fort Worth
Tulane University, New Orleans
University of Alabama, Huntsville
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
University of Arizona, Tucson
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
University of California, San Diego
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Central Missouri
University of Central Oklahoma, Warrensburg, MO
University of Dallas
University of Georgia, Athens
University of Kentucky, Lexington
University of Memphis
University of Mississippi, Oxford
University of North Alabama, Florence, AL
University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN
University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
University of South Carolina, Columbia
University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
University of the Cumberlands, Williamsburg, KY
Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
Villanova University, Philadelphia, PA
Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
Westminster College, Fulton, MO
William Woods University, Fulton, MO
Julia Schuster, the 2017 recipient of the Albertus Magnus Award which recognizes excellence as an educator, is pictured with her daughter Mary Kate and her husband Peter.
St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School Jr. High theology teacher, Julia Schuster, is the 2017 recipient of the Albertus Magnus Award. The award, presented annually by the St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School Board of Trustees, recognizes an outstanding educator who demonstrates the four pillars of the Dominican charism - Study, Prayer, Community and Service.
“Mrs. Schuster’s creativity, natural curiosity, and passion draw her students into the joy of learning about their relationship with God,” said Kathy Boccia, Dean, St. Agnes Academy Lower School. “Mrs. Schuster gives her students permission to think, to talk through their ideas, and to be risk takers. They know that she respects them and that she is willing to listen as they grapple with issues that confront them each day. Stepping into her classroom, one can sense that special things are happening that will transform the lives of her students,” said Mrs. Boccia.
Known as the “global teacher” for many of the initiatives she has started, Mrs. Schuster has made quite an impact on her students since she began teaching at SAA-SDS in 2007. Every year she organizes the 7th grade trip to the Heifer International Global Challenge experience. She is the liaison between St. Agnes-St. Dominic and the Saruwe Junior School in Zimbabwe. She coordinates the Emily Fund collection, which raises money to help feed the students at the Saruwe each day and funds projects including building a water well for the school.
Mrs. Schuster was presented the Elizabeth Anne Seton Award for Teaching Excellence from the Diocese. She is a member of the Dominican Associates and volunteers regularly with Manna House. She is an active parishioner at St. Louis Catholic Church where she is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and a Sacristan. A talented writer she has published two books, Flowers for Elvis, a novel set in Memphis, and The Ingredients of Gumbo, a short story and poetry collection. She is also a writer for diocesan West Tennessee Faith Magazine. She and her husband Peter have a daughter, Mary Kate, who is a graduate of St. Agnes Academy.
St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School honored students with the presentation of the Dominican Torch Award during the School's celebration of the Feast of St. Catherine. The Torch Awards recognize those students who exhibit, by their example, the four pillars of the Dominican charism: Prayer, Study, Community and Service. Students are nominated for this honor by their classmates and teachers, and the awards are presented quarterly.
Pictured from l. to r. (Row 1): Maddie Kyle, Anna Catherine Deeney, and Jake Kustoff; (Row 2): Stella Billups, Olivia Henderson, Annie Wray, Holden Robinson and Harper Poppenheimer.
Go to Orientation ePacket
St. Agnes Academy seniors Caroline Conrad and Maddie Gray signed letters of intent to continue their athletic careers next year at the collegiate level. Both young ladies are outstanding bowlers who helped lead the St. Agnes Stars to consecutive state titles in bowling in 2016 and 2017.
Caroline Conrad is headed to Drury University to bowl for the Panthers. Caroline has competed as a member of the STARS bowling team for three years. She won the individual state bowling championship in 2016 and was named the TSSAA Miss Bowling Finalist. In 2017 she was the 5th place Medalist in the individual state tournament and was named TSSAA Miss Bowler for 2017. Caroline was named a Pepsi Best of the Preps Finalist in bowling in 2015 and the Pepsi Best of the Preps Bowler of the Year in 2016. In addition to competing for the Stars she has participated in the Memphis Area United States Bowling Conference youth city tournament for two years placing first in All-Events-Division A both years. Caroline is also a four-year member of the Stars tennis team. An outstanding student she has been inducted into the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, and she is a member of the National Beta Club.
Maddie Gray signed a letter of intent to bowl at Bethel University. She has competed as a member of the St. Agnes Stars bowling team for four years helping lead the Stars to two state titles and two regional championships. An outstanding bowler Maddie participated in the Memphis area USBC youth city bowling tournament in 2016 where she placed first in Division B play and first in Division B girls scratch play. Maddie has a strong commitment to service and has earned the St. Agnes Presidential Service Award for three years. She volunteers at the VA hospital assisting in the VA recreational therapy program and coaches a little league volleyball team. She is a member of the National Spanish Honor Society, Girl Up Club, SADD, Library Ambassadors and Beta Club.
The St. Agnes bowling team is coached by Bill Oyler, Vicki Houlihan and Matt Burkhead.
Pictured are the 2017 recipients of the Justice, Respect and Peace Award, Jeanie Torchio and Terry Lynch, with 7th graders Addie Heehs and Hardy Lamberson.
Junior High students at St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School presented the school's second annual Justice, Respect and Peace Awards, which recognize those individuals in our community who make our world a better place and serve as shining examples of Christ’s love. The 2017 JRP awards were presented to SAA Alumna Jeanie Costa Torchio for her work with ALSAC and to Terry Lynch for his many philanthropic activities supporting the Memphis community.
Jeanie Torchio, who graduated from St. Agnes Academy in 1991, travels throughout the United States to increase awareness of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In her role as Sr. Liaison, Dinners/Galas/Golf with ALSAC, Mrs. Torchio is personally responsible for raising over $3 million dollars annually through a variety of fundraising events. She plays a pivotal role in the organization of numerous dinners, galas and golf tournaments hosted around the country, all to raise funds for St. Jude. She also supports other regions throughout the country serving as an advisor to local teams as they manage events that raise over $27 million annually.
“She touches so many people and families both in Memphis and the entire United States with her work,” said St. Agnes 7th grader Addie Heehs, who nominated Mrs. Torchio for the JRP Award. “She makes Memphis a great community and continues to give back to her passion. Jeanie is an amazing woman and should be recognized for her service.”
Terry Lynch, Managing Partner for Southland Development Partners, is a leader in numerous civic and service organizations and initiatives in the Memphis community. For the past eight years he has served on the Board of the Riverfront Development Corporation and is the Immediate Past Chair of the RDC. Mr. Lynch also serves on the Board of Leadership Memphis where his efforts are centered on long term planning, and he is a board member for the Levitt Shell where he chairs the strategic planning committee.
Committed to improving Memphis, he and his wife, Cathy lead the effort for public funding for the Hospitality Hub in downtown Memphis. The “HUB” serves the homeless of our city in many ways. Mr. Lynch is also a founding member of the South End Alliance, which directs strategic planning and actions within the South Main area. He is a co-founder of Monogram Foods where he is actively involved with their Monogram Loves Kids Foundation, which supports numerous children’s causes throughout the country where Monogram has operations.
During the presentation the students read the following combined quote, attributed to both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis I. The students believe this quote sums up Jesus’ call to all of us, a call that Mrs. Torchio and Mr. Lynch answer every day.
"We need saints without cassocks, without veils. We need saints that wear jeans and tennis shoes, saints that go to the movies, listen to music, and hang out with their friends. We need saints that place God in first place ahead of succeeding in any career.
We need saints that look for time to pray every day. We need saints for the 21st century with spirituality appropriate for our new time. We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to making the needed social changes to improve our world.
We need saints to live in this world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it. We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, eat hot dogs, surf the Internet, and talk on their iPhones. We need saints that love the Eucharist, who are not afraid or embarrassed to pray before eating a pizza with friends. We need saints who love dance, sports and theatre. We need saints who aren’t afraid to go out there and change the world."
Congratulations to the SAA-SDS Wordsmith winners who competed in three writing events with the top writers from private, public and parochial schools from across the city and county.
Leesa is the President of the Student Government Association and the Assistant Editor of Calliope, the school's award-winning literary magazine. She is captain of both the track team and the cross-country team. Leesa has competed in Mock Trial and as a member of the school's Mathletes team. She is a member of the National Beta Club, STEM Club, Pep Club and Habitat for Humanity Club, and she has been inducted into the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society.
Congratulations to Leesa and all the members of the 2017 Miss St. Agnes Court. Caroline Conrad was first alternate, Karen Sanchez was second alternate and Ladies-in-Waiting were Julie McGlaughlin, Halle Novarese, Alexis Seward and Brianna Williams. Class Representatives were Madeline Forsdick SA9, Abby Williams SA10, Savannah Stovall SAA11and Abigail Schubert, SA12.
The 2017 Miss St. Agnes Court pictured from l. to r. Alexis Seward, Julie McGlaughlin, Halle Novarese, Miss St. Agnes 2017-Leesa Gavin, Caroline Conrad, Karen Sanchez. Not pictured: Brianna Williams.
Congratulations to the St. Agnes Academy Bowling team who captured the 2017 Division 2-AA state title at the tournament in Murfreesboro defeating Friendship Christian School with a score of 17-10. SAA senior Caroline Conrad was named 2017 Ms. Tennessee Bowler of the Year, and sophomore Grace Becker was the individual state runner-up.
Fourteen St. Agnes Academy students have traveled to Washington, DC, where they are witnessing history. The students, all juniors and seniors, are joining the crowds gathered on the National Mall to watch as Donald Trump takes the presidential oath of office.
In addition to attending the inauguration events, the students will also visit many historic sites in Washington including the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Pentagon, the Iwo Jima Memorial, the 9/11 Memorial and the WWII Memorial. They also plan to visit Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean-Vietnam Memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, Changing of the Guard, and the Kennedy Gravesite.
The students are accompanied by Upper School Social Science teacher Mark McDonald.
"To witness firsthand the peaceful transition of power, the hallmark of American democracy since 1796, is a tremendous opportunity for the girls at St Agnes - one we hope will light the spark of political engagement as informed, moral, and compassionate citizens," said Mr. McDonald. "Too often today Americans shirk their responsibility to safeguard our democracy through the polls and other means, and it is our hope that our girls learn and embrace what it means to be active citizens of this great nation."