The 8th Grade Tribute for the Class of 2018 marks the10th anniversary of this treasured St. Agnes-St. Dominic tradition. As our SAA and SDS graduating classes and their parents approach the crossroads between elementary and high school, the tribute affords families the opportunity to reflect on the many joys that brought them to this place.
“Because our school recognizes the deep love and devotion that forms the bond between a parent and a child, we believe that it is important to honor this gift from God by gathering annually for this event,” said Kathy Boccia, Dean St. Agnes Academy Lower School.
Each tribute includes prayers of gratitude, a video of six-word memoirs written by the students that capture a memory of their childhood, a performance by each class, remarks by each Dean, a special gift for the students, and a remembrance video composed and narrated by the children. The 8th graders present their parents with sunflowers during the program. The sunflower is chosen for this occasion because it stretches towards the sun, following it adoringly as it crosses the sky, just as the parents’ love follows their child throughout life. As a fitting conclusion to this special program that calls our families into community, the tribute is followed by a delicious breakfast reception sponsored by the 7th Grade PALS Room Parents.
St. Agnes Academy students earned high honors at the recent Tennessee All West Orchestra auditions. St. Agnes 7th grader Grace Rushing placed 7th Chair Cello in the Tennessee All West Middle School Orchestra, and 12th grader Lauren Bean made the Tennessee All West 11th and 12th Grade Orchestra. Lauren made 7th Chair First Violin and will audition for the State Orchestra in April. In February both young ladies will attend the Tennessee All West Clinic and Concerts where they will participate in all rehearsals with guest conductors along with the Tennessee All West Concerts Bands and Jazz Bands
Micah Cross, SAA8, represented St. Agnes Academy in the prestigious All-Southwest Junior Honor Choir. The Jr. Choir is made up of 7th-9th grade students. We are proud of the hard work, determination, and passion for their art exhibited by all three young ladies.
The competition was intense as St. Dominic and St. Agnes Lower School held their annual spelling bees. Both spelling bees lasted for more than 20 rounds. For the fourth year in a row, the St. Dominic Spelling Bee champion is Walker Henderson, SD7. The St. Dominic runner-up is Ben Wright, SD6. The 2017 SAA Spelling Bee champ is Emma Coady, SA8, and the runner-up is Julia Plummer, SA8. Both champions will advance to the Shelby County Spelling Bee. Congratulations to all the participants!
Pictured: St. Agnes Dean Kathy Boccia, Julia Plummer and Emma Coady.
Pictured: Walker Henderson and Ben Wright.
Pictured from l. to r.: Tom Hood, President, St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School, Lance Forsdick, Jr. Mark Luttmann, John Barzizza, Paul Lucchesi and Chris Burke, Dean, St. Dominic School.
St. Dominic School Hall of Fame Celebrates New Inductees
On Thursday, November 2, the St. Dominic School Hall of Fame gained three new inductees. Betty Luttmann, John Barzizza, SDS ’63 and Lance Forsdick, Jr., SDS ’76 were celebrated among family, friends, and St. Agnes-St. Dominic faculty and staff, both past and present.
Each honoree is a wonderful representation of the Dominican pillars: Mrs. Luttmann, who taught thousands of students during a 50 year career; John Barzizza, who has exemplified a life of service to the Memphis community; and Lance Forsdick, Jr. who has remained a steadfast part of the St. Dominic community through his time as a student, a parent, and a member of the Board of Trustees and the SDS Alumni Board.
Betty Luttmann: Over the course of 50 years as an educator, Betty Luttmann taught thousands of students in Memphis Catholic schools. Mrs. Luttmann was a part of our SAA-SDS school family for 30 years. She taught Latin in the Junior High and Upper School from 1985 until the time of her death in 2015. Truly, Betty was one of the icons of this school and the Memphis community. No one epitomized the call to teach better than she.
Betty passed away on January 25, 2015, at the age of 81. She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, William James Luttmann, and survived by her three sons, Stephen, Mark and Billy. Betty’s granddaughter, Melissa, is continuing her legacy as an Upper School Latin teacher at St. Agnes Academy. In 2016, a scholarship was named in Betty’s honor to benefit a 7th-12th-grade student who has demonstrated financial need, evidences good citizenship, and is currently studying Latin or a World Language
John Barzizza: John Barzizza graduated from St. Dominic School in 1962. He joined his father Alex in business full time at Southwestern Distributing Co. in 1970 and became President and General Manager in 1977. He started Southwestern Beverages in 1993 alongside brother Gene, and retired after the sale of both companies in 2012.
John Barzizza’s lifetime of work within the Memphis community exemplifies the Dominican pillar of “Service.” One of John’s greatest contributions to the Memphis community has been through his work with Shelby Residential and Vocational Services (SRVS). He has volunteered countless hours of service, worked tirelessly to raise millions of dollars, and dedicated years serving on the Board of Directors for SRVS. John has volunteered over thirty years of service to Christian Brothers High School as President of the Alumni Association and as a member of the Board of Directors. He was honored as the 2016 CBHS Distinguished Alumnus. Additionally, John joined the Carnival Memphis Association in 1977, has been a member of the Liberty Bowl Association since 1984, and was elected as Alderman for the City of Germantown in 2012. John is married to Wanda Barzizza and has four children – Christy, Jeany, John and Justin, and three grandchildren, Christopher, Michael and Miller, St. Dominic Class of 2026.
H. Lance Forsdick, Jr.: Lance Forsdick, Jr., graduated from St. Dominic School in 1976. Lance has spent 37 years in the construction business, first working full time for his father’s development and construction business, Realty & Financial Services, Inc. and in 1994 buying the company and renaming it Grace Construction Company, Inc. Current and past clients of Grace Construction include the Catholic Dioceses of West Tennessee, MALCO Theaters, Christian Brothers University, Christian Brothers High School and St. Agnes Academy – St. Dominic School. Lance devoted countless hours to St. Agnes-St. Dominic, overseeing construction of Siena Hall, the Veritas Research Center, and the Davis Early Childhood Center. His leadership, dedication and guidance throughout the construction process was invaluable.
Lance has remained a steadfast supporter of St. Dominic School since his graduation over 40 years ago. Lance has continued to make a huge mark on this campus, and his love for St. Dominic is evident He has served on the Board of Trustees and is a current member of the St. Dominic Alumni Board. Lance and his wife Mary have three children, Andrew SD ‘01, John Taylor, and Grace, and two grandchildren.
The St. Agnes Model United Nations delegation participated in the 37th Annual Tennessee YMCA Model United Nations Conference in Murfreesboro. Seventeen St. Agnes students, serving in a wide array of positions, represented SAA with great distinction. Awards were presented to Bridget Weldon and Rachael Baioni, who won Outstanding Delegate recognition, and our delegation from Italy ( Rachael Baioni, Valerie Williams, Karis Pepke, and Olivia Rouse) won an Outstanding Resolution award.
“This conference is so important because it provides opportunities for our students to develop advanced skills in leadership, communication, public speaking, and factual argumentation,” said Mark McDonald. Upper School Social Sciences teacher. “It also exposes students to our world in a way that is difficult in a traditional school setting, confronting them with broader humanitarian, political, and economic issues facing world leaders today and giving them an opportunity to discuss solutions with their peers.”
The St. Agnes-St. Dominic annual Thanksgiving food drive was a success. Students in grades 2K-8 collected food for Project Outreach, which serves the families of Fayette County. A team of St. Agnes and St. Dominic eighth graders headed to Moscow, Tennessee to the Sister Elaine Wicks Center Saturday morning to deliver and help distribute the food to the needy in the community. Over 175 families received boxes of food that included turkeys, canned goods, vegetables, sugar, flour and much more. This is the 10th year SAA-SDS has collected food at Thanksgiving benefitting Project Outreach.
The St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School annual Turkey Shoot tips off on Thursday, November 9. It will be a busy week on the court as area 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade teams compete for the Turkey Shoot title. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students and grandparents. Games are held in the Davis Gym and the St. Agnes Gym on the SAA-SDS campus located at 4830 Walnut Grove Road.
For information on game time, location and results click here.
The St. Agnes Academy Cross Country team won the Division II Class AA Regional Championship at Shelby Farms on October 25. Four SAA runners finished in the top 10: Rebecca Calderoni (2nd), Abby Williams (3rd), Brittan Ross (8th) and Mary Olivia Henderson (10th). Congratulations to the team on an outstanding season!
The Stars will head to Nashville November 4 to compete in the state championships at the Percy Warner Park Steeplechase Cross Country Course. Go Stars!
The 2017 issue of Calliope, the St. Agnes Academy Upper School literary-art magazine, has received 10 Gold Circle Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Calliope is one of only 50 high school publications to be nominiated by Columbia University for a Gold Crown Award, the highest award given to a student publication by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Winners of that award will be announced in March in New York.
Click to view the award winning issue of Calliope.
Students at St. Agnes Academy began publishing Calliope in 1985. The student-generated magazine combines creative literature, skilled artwork and defining photography. Calliope is dedicated to preserving and encouraging the arts. The publication is a means of expression for the students of St. Agnes Academy, allowing them to reveal their passions and talents and to have their works published and read by a wide audience.
The 2017 Calliope editor was Nicole Simon ’17, and Assistant Editor was Leesa Gavin ‘17. Staff members included Brenna Pepke ‘17, Catherine Broughton ‘17, Meagan McConnell ‘17, Corinn Davis ‘17, Lauren Valdes ‘17, Jordan Cardell ‘18, Kendall Stallings ‘18, Geneva Savage ‘18, Mary Elizabeth Whitmire ‘18, Lauren Bean ‘18, Natacha White ‘18, Ellen Lemm ‘18, Kayla Cochran ‘19, Rebeca Wills ‘19 and Talia Shadroui ‘19. Janis McCarty is the teacher sponsor.
Calliope earned the following honors:
1st Place: Brianna Williams, “The Neighborhood that Raised Me”
Table of contents page: 2nd place - Leesa Gavin and Nicole Simon
Use of typography on one page or spread: 2nd place, Nicole Simon, “Sometimes;”
Certificate of Merit: Nicole Simon, “Dark Ties and Stained Tissue;”
Certificate of Merit: Nicole Simon, “Mind”
Use of a designed or art headline: 2nd place, Leesa Gavin and Nicole Simon, “Dark Ties and Stained Tissues”
Photography — Single Artistic photograph: 3rd Place - Riley Scull, “Elise Mae”
Design of a single spread:Certificate of Merit, Leesa Gavin and Nicole Simon, “Mind”
Design Multi-page presentation: 1st place -Leesa Gavin and Nicole Simon, “The Neighborhood that Raised Me;”
2nd place - Leesa Gavin and Nicole Simon, “Night Sky.”
St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School will dedicate and plant our new Kitchen Community Learning Garden this Friday, October 13. Students in Kindergarten through 6th grade will all have special roles to play in the planting and development of the garden.
SAA-SDS family members are invited to join us for the Learning Garden dedication & planting. Coffee & donuts will be served from 8:30-8:45 a.m., and the Dedication Ceremony begins at 8:45 a.m. Parents are also invited to join us throughout the day as students in grades K-6 begin planting.
St. Agnes-St. Dominic is one of the first independent schools in the nation to install a Kitchen Community Learning Garden. The garden will serve as a dynamic outdoor classroom for hands-on learning, as well as a productive edible garden for students. The garden was a gift from the St. Agnes Academy Class of 1997 in memory of their classmate, Mary Gattas Parker.
The St. Agnes Academy varsity golf team won the Division II AA state golf title for the 4th consecutive year. SAA came from behind in inclement weather to dominate over Ensworth and Baylor at the state tournament in Manchester, Tennessee.
Sophomore Rachel Heck was medalist, repeating as the individual state champion. After an even-par opener, she birdied five of her final nine holes to finish at 66 and win by 11 strokes. SAA sophomore, Ellie Navarre, broke 80 for the first time in a major tournament, finishing at 77.
A group of St. Dominic students recently spent some time climbing in the treetops, zipping through the hills, and sliding into the cool lake, all part of an overnight team-building experience.
The 6th-grade boys spent the night of Tuesday, September 19th at St. Columba Retreat Center. That night the boys swam in the lake, rode a Monster water slide, made s’mores, and played board games before lights out at 10:30. The next morning the 6th graders were joined by the St. Dominic 5th grade class. The students participated in the high ropes course, zip lines, climbing wall, tree hugger, and other teambuilding activities.
“The purpose of this trip was for the boys to bond even stronger as a class and continue to understand the importance of a positive class culture. We wanted to encourage our boys to step outside of their comfort zone into their stretch zone and introduce them to a new challenge that they may not be entirely comfortable doing,” said Dean Chris Burke. Activities included climbing a 30-foot vertical wall.
That climbing wall offers a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and what you can achieve. We feel our boys will have the energy and engagement to tackle the challenges of school and be willing to take healthy risks in and out of the classroom,” Dean Burke added.
St. Agnes Academy junior, Isabella Fraire, was recognized on WMC as a Mid South hero. This summer Isabella started a free week-long soccer camp for dozens of underprivileged children in the Mid-South giving them the opportunity to learn about the sport. Watch this video for her wonderful story on giving back!
The St. Agnes Academy Varsity Golf team won its 13th consecutive Division 2-AA Regional Title at Windyke Country Club. Congratulations to team members Rachel Heck, Ellie Navarre and Mary Kate Thomas on their outstanding performance. Sophomore Rachel Heck was the overall medalist in the competition shooting a 9 under par 63, and Ellie Navarre placed fourth with a steady round of 81.
The team will head to Manchester, Tennessee to compete in the TSSAA State Tournament October 9th and 10th. Go STARS!
St. Agnes Academy senior Caroline Melancon has been named a National Merit Semifinalist.
An outstanding student, Caroline has earned numerous academic honors and was the recipient of the Rita T. Ross Math Scholarship. Next month she will be inducted into the Aquinas Chapter of the National Honor Society.
Caroline is a four-year member of the National Beta Club and Key Club, as well as a member of Mathletes and the Forever Friends Club. She volunteers her time as a tutor in the Math Lab at SAA and serves as a group leader on the retreat team that plans and coordinates retreats for the Upper School. Active in the school’s theatre program, Caroline is a production assistant, working lights and sound for the various school plays and musicals.