St. Agnes Academy senior Caroline Melancon has been named a National Merit Finalist. Caroline has been accepted for admission to the University of Notre Dame and Loyola University Chicago.
An outstanding student, Caroline has earned numerous academic honors. She was the recipient of the Rita T. Ross Math Scholarship and is a member of 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. She was awarded the schools Presidential Volunteer Service Award for completing over 100 hours of service within a year. Caroline plans to study astronomy in college and pursue a career with NASA.
St. Agnes artists were honored for their talents in the annual Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards. St. Agnes Academy Upper School received 26 awards this year including Gold and Silver Keys. The Scholastic Art Awards is an annual juried student art exhibition presented by the Brooks Museum League and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. It is an affiliate of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. Our local exhibition recognizes outstanding achievements of students in grades 7 through 12. All artwork earning Gold Key recognition at the local level will be entered in the National Scholastic Competition in New York.
SA12: Amelia Hancock -2 Gold Keys, 3 Silver Keys, 1 Honorable Mention; Jordan Cardell - 2 Silver Keys, 4 Honorable Mentions; Riley Bartlett - 1 Honorable Mention; Brenna Clark - 1 Silver Key; Ellen Lemm - 1 Honorable Mention; Haylie Mills - 1 Honorable Mention; Mary Elizabeth Whitmire - 3 Honorable Mentions;
SA11: Grace Becker - 1 Honorable Mention; Lucy Brennan - 1 Honorable Mention; Lauren Capocaccia - 1 Silver Key; Caroline Cianciola - 1 Honorable Mention; Gabi Nunnelee - 1 Honorable Mention.;
SA10: Haley Andre - 1 Silver and Rachel Heck - 1 Silver.
Pictured are the newest members of the SAA Alumnae Hall of Fame: Donna Hild Russell '62, Therese Brennan Hebert '78, Kelly Lynch Mungle '97, Kathy Menkel, Maria Kastner Smith '82, Lisa Krupicka '79 and Lauren Pierotti Mitchell '99.
St. Agnes Academy honored six outstanding women during the School's recent 18th annual Alumnae Hall of Fame ceremony. The 2018 inductees are Donna Hild Russell ’62, Therese Brennan Hebert ’78, Lisa Krupicka ’79, Maria Kastner Smith ’82, Kelly Lynch Mungle ’97, Lauren Pierotti Mitchell ‘99, and Kathy Menkel. These women have made remarkable contributions to their community and churches, distinguished themselves in their careers, and supported the St. Agnes Academy mission.
The St. Agnes Academy Hall of Fame was established in 2001 on the School's 150th anniversary. The Hall of Fame honors those exceptional individuals who command respect within their careers and civic or charitable endeavors and are devoted to the mission of St. Agnes Academy, contribute to the community, and exemplify the standards instilled at St. Agnes Academy.
2018 Hall of Fame Honorees:
Donna Hild Russell ’62: Donna Russell is truly devoted to the mission of St. Agnes and has carried her education and training throughout her life. Donna attended college at the University of Mississippi where she was Captain of the Rebelettes, an officer in her sorority, a member of the Marching Band and Concert Band, and a member of the University Dancers. She was named Miss University of Mississippi and Top Ten Miss Mississippi. Donna was crowned Mrs. America in 1985, and she was named 3rd alternate to Mrs. World and voted Mrs. Congeniality. She continues to be actively involved at Ole Miss as a Lifetime Alumni Association Member and Vice President of the Rebelette Alumni Association. She volunteers as an SAA Class Agent. She has served as president of the Town Club of Mississippi, president of the Symphony League of Mississippi, and as a representative for the Mississippi State Republican Women Second Congressional District. She also served as a member of the Board of the Goodwill of Mississippi Society and Chair of the Mississippi State Republican Women Convention. Donna has excelled as a pharmaceutical sales specialist. She was named Rookie of the Year for Whitehall Labs, the “Reach the Peak” Winner for Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Most Impactful SPC Rep in the region for Schering Plough. Donna and her husband have been married for 41 years and have two children, Heather and Jason, and six grandchildren.
Therese Brennan Hebert ’78 †: (Therese passed away on February 1, 2018, just a few weeks after the Hall of Fame ceremony. Please keep her family in your prayers.)
Described by her friends as generous, kind, knowledgeable, honest, and emotionally perceptive, Therese Hebert embodied the characteristics central to the vision and mission of St. Agnes Academy. She took the lead in making the world a better place for her classmates, sisters, friends, family and strangers in need. Therese had a long and distinguished career in the health insurance business starting out at Heffernan, Ballanger, Pounds, and Yarborough. She became Mr. Ballanger’s right hand person and worked there for over 20 years in Corporate Insurance. Most recently she was an Account Manager III at Regions Financial. Therese generously assisted friends, families, and strangers as they navigated the difficult and confusing terms in their healthcare coverage. She spent hours unraveling the maze of issues related to the coverage for classmates undergoing treatment for catastrophic illnesses. Being Christ-like is what is important, and Therese demonstrated this throughout her life, quietly and without drawing attention to herself. Therese had two children, Joel and Jordan Hebert.
Lisa Krupicka ’79: After graduating from St. Agnes as valedictorian of the Class of ’79, Lisa Krupicka enrolled at Rhodes College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She then attended law school at Duke University graduating with high honors. Lisa joined the law firm of Burch, Porter and Johnson, PLLC in 1987. Her practice is focused primarily on representing employers on a variety of employment- related matters, including employee handbooks, training, wage and hour issues, labor relations, and employee discipline and termination. She has won numerous awards in her field and is highly respected among lawyers throughout the community. Lisa currently sits on the Board of Directors for the National Civil Rights Museum. She served on the Board of Directors for The Work Place, Inc. and was a Commissioner for the Memphis Landmark Commission. Lisa serves as legal counsel for St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School. Lisa’s daughter, Samantha, graduated from SAA in 2013. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she was also the valedictorian of her class.
Maria Kastner Smith ’82: In her role as a Counselor in the Upper School at St. Agnes, Maria Smith has been guiding and mentoring the Dominican Charism to every freshman for 22 years. Maria has made a tremendous impact at SAA through her dedication and leadership. She established the very successful Freshman Student Orientation program, which is coordinated annually by the seniors to welcome all new freshmen. Maria serves as the sponsor of the Upper School Beta Club. Maria has played a key role in establishing the Costa Rica cultural exchange program, and every June she travels to Costa Rica with SAA students for three weeks. She organized the Peer Mentor program and worked with the peer mentors to establish and endow the Leadership Scholarship. Maria was instrumental in organizing Anna’s Closet, a fundraiser created in the memory of Anna Menkel. Maria attended the University of Memphis, earning a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and a Master Degree in Counseling and Personnel Services. She and her husband Michael have one daughter, Caroline Clare, SAA Class of 2014.
Kelly Lynch Mungle ’97: After graduating from the Academy, Kelly earned her Bachelor Degree in Science from the University of Mississippi and Master Degree in Education from the University of Memphis. She returned to her alma mater where she has taught Kindergarten for the past 15 years. She is the lead teacher for St. Dominic School Kindergarten and serves as a member of the Faith Formation Team. A dedicated and compassionate teacher and colleague, Kelly is a mentor to new teachers. She creates a welcoming, nurturing environment in her classroom and makes learning fun. She always has a “can do” attitude that instills self-confidence in her students. The Diocese of Memphis honored Kelly for her excellence as a teacher when they presented her the St. John Bosco Award for the Total Christian Formation of Students. Recently Kelly worked with former classmates to organize the dedication of the new Learning Garden in memory of their classmate, Mary Gattas Parker. Kelly and her husband Jay have two daughters, Emma (SA5) and Mary Caroline (SA3).
Lauren Pierotti Mitchell ’99: Lauren Mitchell attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Pathology. She then earned her Master of Science in Education, Counseling and Personnel Services Degree at the University of Memphis. Lauren started her career as a guidance counselor at St. John Catholic School. She continued her work as a school counselor for the Shelby County Schools. Her job included coordinating a mentoring program for students in grades K-5, providing individual and small group counseling, teaching study skills, conflict prevention, and character development. After working in public education for 10 years, Lauren returned to work in a Catholic school as the guidance counselor at St. Louis School. You can see the Dominican Pillars of Community, Study, Prayer, and Service woven into her work with the students at St. Louis. She teaches students to be their personal best by actively engaging them in lessons on “filling each other’s buckets” and spreading kindness. Lauren is married to John Mitchell.
Kathy Menkel: Kathy Menkel searched for the best high school for her two daughters, Anna and Wesley ’03, and she chose Saint Agnes Academy. In 2005, during her junior year of high school, Anna was killed in a tragic car accident. Kathy has proudly honored Anna’s memory with positive acts demonstrating to students and adults alike, how a tragic event can help others. In 2007 Kathy and her husband Dale started Anna’s Closet, a second hand dress sale to honor their daughter and her generous spirit. Since its founding, Anna’s Closet has raised over $27,000, and SAA students have collected over 5,000 dresses. The proceeds benefitted the Anna Caroline Menkel Scholarship and the Emmanuel Center, and any unsold dresses have been donated to the Emmanuel Center for high school girls to wear to their prom. As the funds from Anna’s Closet grew, Kathy and Dale established a second scholarship, Anna’s Angel Fund, to provide financial assistance to an SAA family experiencing a crisis.
The tradition continues!
Members of the St. Agnes Academy Class of 2019 received their class rings during a Mass and ceremony at St. Louis Church. Mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts and cousins who are SAA alumnae were on hand to join in the presentation of the rings.
The design of the St. Agnes class ring is filled with tradition and symbolism:
- The black onyx triangle represents the three persons of the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- The round gold setting on which the triangle is mounted stands for our unity as a class, with God in the center as our guide.
- The nine white pearls symbolize purity.
- The black triangle together with the white pearls symbolizes the traditional habit of the Dominican Sisters, who founded St. Agnes in 1851.
- The ring is worn with the base of the triangle pointing toward you until graduation, because we are still learning about ourselves. After graduation, it is worn with the base pointing out to the world.
Delaware Bay separates the state of Delaware from which state to the northeast?
Jackson Lake, located in Grand Teton National Park, is in what state?
Yokohama and Kobe are two of the busiest ports in which Asian country?
St. Agnes and St. Dominic students impressed the judges with their mastery of geography as they successfully navigated these and other difficult questions during the school’s recent geography bee. Congratulations to our St. Agnes champ, Lizzie Sander SA8, and our St. Dominic champ, Houston McIngvale SD7. Runners-up were Sophia Van Horn SA7, and DR Nunn SD8. Our champions will now take a placement test online to qualify to advance to the State Geography Bee.
Students were selected to participate in the Geography Bee through a preliminary test that they took in social studies. The test was provided by National Geographic Geography Bee. Thank you to all who competed in the bee: Mary France Berry SA4, Olivia Weems SA4, Mary Anna Kalb SA5, Ashlee Peden SA5, Lizzie Kobler SA6, Veronica Soldan SA6, Alex Clark SA7, Corinne Emanuel SA8, Wes McIngvale SD4, Will Plummer SD4, Michael Enright SD5, Jack Lamanna SD5, Hudson Shoaf SD6, Hogin Barker SD6, Jacob Clark SD7 and Tim Bula SD8.
St. Agnes Academy students traveled to Washington, D.C. this weekend to participate in the March for Life. Twenty-nine sophomores, juniors and seniors along with St. Agnes-St. Dominic president, Tom Hood, and several faculty members, made the annual trip to our nation's capital. They attended the Mass for Life prior to the March.
"Our trip to the March for Life provides our students a place to pray for, stand up for, and witness to several of the foundational principles of Catholic Social teaching: the dignity of the human person, rights and responsibilities, and solidarity," said Dorissa Filopoulos, Upper School Theology Teacher.
The St. Agnes Upper School has a pro-life club, Stars for Life. Their mission statement is to protect and defend the most fundamental right of humankind, the right to life of every innocent human being from the beginning of life to natural death. "This trip offers a hands on way to accomplish our mission on a national scale," Ms. Filopoulos said.
St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School has been selected as the WINNER in the “Education - School” category for The SPARK Awards 2017! The SPARK Awards is the Mid-South’s annual televised award show on WKNO focused on honoring individuals and organizations making a difference in our community. The SPARK Awards celebrates and recognizes the efforts of individuals, nonprofits, corporations, and schools in 13 different categories who are igniting change and making a positive impact in the Greater Memphis community.
Back in August, the public was invited to submit nominations as an opportunity to recognize and help publicly thank the organizations and individuals who are leading by example and making a difference in the Mid-South. Once the nomination phase ended, all nominations were provided to the Midtown Memphis Rotary Club, who served as the independent judges for the awards show. The criteria for judging was based on taking a leadership role in initiatives or efforts that better the Greater Memphis community, volunteerism, and impact.
“We are so honored by this award. For us as a school it is about instilling in our students that desire to make the world a better place. We want to empower our students to know that they can make a difference. We strive to create in them the awareness and then guide them to make connections and show them how to serve,” said Tom Hood, President, St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School.
St. Agnes senior Caroline Pietrangelo was recognized as the Scholar Athlete of the Week by Local 24 News. Caroline plays three sports, soccer, basketball and soccer, all while maintaining a 4.0 G.P.A.
Watch this video highlighting Caroline and her accomplishments.
Pictured from l. to r.: Sophia Carrol (SA7), Joseph Tidwell (SD5), Summer Edwards (SA10), Andrew Mayo (SD3), Henry Miller (SD8), Avery Weems (SA2), Kennedy Hall (SA12) and Mary Wilhite (SA4).
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 the Epiphany. 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 twice a year.
Below are excerpts from the nominations, which were submitted by classmates and teachers.
Avery Weems, SA2: “Avery is kind and makes a difference. She helps keep our school clean by staying after school to wipe the desks and sweep our classroom. Avery is also brave. She helps when we don’t understand something and is honest, brilliant and proud.”
Andrew Mayo SD3: “Andrew Mayo shares a positive and loving spirit at St Dominic School each day. He comes to school with a smile on his face and his selflessness is evident as he will stop whatever he is doing to help a classmate or teacher.”
Mary Wilhite SA4: “Mary is a positive person. She is always looking for a back door when the front door gets closed. This award suits Mary because she is a true St. Agnes girl.”
Joseph Tidwell SD5: “Jospeh stands up for people and includes everyone. He exhibits community and represents caring. He has a strong sense of justice and fairness. He is all about environmental awareness and participates in service and prayer."
Sophia Carroll SA7: Sophia helps everyone, in school or out. She is very kind and cares deeply about everyone. Her positive attitude and friendly nature put people at ease."
Henry Miler SD3: “Henry is the nicest and most genuine person I know. He never fails to put a smile on everyone’s face. He is a hard working student who loves Christ and helps everyone by being so friendly and positive. If more people were like Henry, the world would be a better place.”
Summer Edwards SA10: Summer knows almost every student in the Upper School by name. She always makes me want to come to school everyday as she perfectly exhibits all four pillars of St. Agnes Academy and the Dominican life.”
Kennedy Hall SA12: “Kennedy always goes the extra mile to help others. She exemplifies the service pillar of St. Agnes Academy beyond the required. Kennedy participated in the Dominican Preaching Conference this summer. She is a member of Key Club and has been a retreat leader for two years.”
St. Dominic 3rd and 4th graders visited St. Patrick School last week, spreading Christmas year. The boys led small reading groups for the St. Patrick students in PK-1st grade. They read Tacky's Christmas, The Snowy Day, and The Berenstein Bears, and the Christmas Angel and then helped the students with a Christmas craft activity related to the book.
Over 350 new books were delivered to the students and teachers at St. Patrick for their classroom libraries. Each student also received a book and everyone enjoyed cupcakes as part of the Christmas celebration!
“We wanted this event to be more about our boys and the children of St. Patrick School with minimal adult involvement. The boys were amazing during the whole event and were well prepared by our talented 3rd and 4th grade teachers, Mrs. Butler and Mr. Lawlor,” said St. Dominic Dean Chris Burke.
This is the 13th year St. Dominic School students have celebrated Christmas with the students at St. Patrick School.
Visit our Vimeo page to watch the school Christmas programs. They will continue to be updated throughout the day today and tomorrow...so If you don't see your child's program, check back! 17 Videos were uploaded today so be sure to scroll down to see them all!
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.