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Reflections on the 2014/2015 School Year
Posted: 6/10/2015 12:13:50 PM

Dear Holy Cross Family,
Each May as I reflect on the achievements of the year in review, there are so many success stories that I find it difficult to highlight just a few. The 2014-15 academic year has been an exceptionally successful one for students and faculty alike, and I am particularly proud of the accomplishments of our graduating seniors.

The Class of 2015 has distinguished itself in part due to their academic rigor, but also through the assistance of our college counselor, Mrs. Raynette Lumas. This class of 132 seniors received in excess of $8 million in scholarships, many from out-of-state colleges and universities. While many of our students traditionally choose Louisiana schools, this year's class received scholarship awards from 35 colleges and universities including Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, University of Alabama, and Penn State to name a few. Mrs. Lumas has been dedicated to assisting junior and senior year students with every aspect of selecting the best college for each individual student. She arranged college campus visits, and brought in admissions counselors from schools throughout the United States to visit our campus. This has proven to be a tremendously positive experience for our young men.

Our Debate Team enjoyed another successful year. While the team captured a number of overall titles including the City Championship for the second consecutive year, it was also a year of individual success and recognition. Isaiah Hough '15 and Sean Doody '17 won state championships in their respective events while Daniel Williams '15 won four major national tournaments and is currently ranked number one in Dramatic Interpretation in the United States. Coach Byron Arthur '83 was awarded the 2014 National Speech and Debate Association Director's Commendation, the 2014 National Speech and Debate Association Diamond Coaching Recognition Award, the 2015 New York City Invitational Coaching Award, and the 2015 Judy Hadley Award for Excellence in Coaching. Dr. Joseph H. Murry, Jr. was named the National Speech and Debate Association Principal of the Year.

Coach Dale Turner's Robotics Team had an outstanding year. In the BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) competition in New Orleans, the team won the 1st Place Robot Award, and the 3rd Place BEST Award at the regional competition at Auburn University. At the VEX Robotics high school local competition our team won the LSU and ULL Championship. At the state competition in Lafayette, LA the "A Team" won the 1st Place Robot and Robot Skills Programming Awards, and the "B Team" won the 1st Place Robot and Excellence Awards; and at the Worlds competition in Louisville, KY the "A Team" placed 64th and the "B Team" placed 50th.

At the VEXIQ Robotics middle school state competition in Lafayette, LA the team won 1st Place Robot Skills Programming and 1st Place Robot Driver Skills. The team placed 77th at the Worlds competition in Louisville. The high school team won 1st Place at the Mini-Urban Challenge in Lafayette and placed in the Top 12 at the nationals in Tampa, FL.

Many noteworthy faculty accolades include:
• The Holy Cross Drama Department, under the direction of Ms. Maria Baisier, has been invited for a second consecutive year to participate in the American High School Theatre Festival.
• Dr. Warren Bernard has been chosen as an awardee for the 2015 Teacher Awards program by the American Petroleum Institute.
• Mrs. Kelly Clark earned a Master of Arts degree in Teaching Secondary English.
• Ms. Megan Dwyer and Mr. Mike Urbaszewski were awarded certificates for having exceptional bands by the District 6 Band Directors Association.
• Dr. Tim Kettenring '77, Ms. Sue Ellen Lyons, and Dr. Katherine Schilling were invited by Notre Dame University South Bend to participate in the Church Institute Science and Religion Seminar.
• Dr. Kettenring also was invited to participate in the Eileen Ludwig Greenland National Bearing Witness™ Summer Institute, in Washington, DC for the study of the Holocaust.
• Ms. Sue Ellen Lyons is co-author of the "Earth Hazards" chapter of the Teacher-Friendly Guide to the South Central United States, a book recently published by the Paleontological Research Institute of the Museum of the Earth.
• Dr. Katherine Schilling was named a Cox4 Teacher of the Week. She also was accepted to the 2014 and 2015 Ochsner BESTScience! Program at LSU Health Sciences Center.
• Mr. Andrew Watley has earned a double masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Behavioral Counseling.
Congratulations to these dedicated women and men who have worked tirelessly to accomplish success within and outside the Holy Class classrooms.

In the spring we went through the rigorous process of re-accreditation. This year for the first time, the middle school and high school were assessed independently. The results for overall score, teaching and learning impact, leadership capacity, and resource utilization concluded both high school and middle school scores were considerably higher than the network average. Both teams found Holy Cross faith, tradition, and mission clear and evident in the classrooms and among all Holy Cross constituency. The external review teams recommend to the AdvancED accreditation commission that Holy Cross School earn the distinction of accreditation for a five-year term. I am extremely grateful to the entire Holy Cross community for the time and teamwork involved in this effort.

Guided by the mission of our beloved founder, Blessed Basile Moreau, C.S.C., I remain inspired by our faculty who not only instruct our students in academics, but more importantly, instill in them the need to be people of value. We have been greatly blessed with another year in Holy Cross history.

Charles J. DiGange '64

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