Category Archives: Schools

Ryan Smith Award at LCP

Loyola College Prep teacher Laura Woolbert became the third recipient of the Ryan William Smith Award presented last month at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans.

The Flyer volleyball coach humbly accepted the award that honors the late Ryan William Smith, a 2004 Loyola alumnus who joined the Lord in heaven at age 29 after battling cancer. His parents, Gethyn and Robin Smith, were present and loved continuing their son’s honor at one of his favorite places.

Smith considered himself blessed to have many great teachers during his 14 years of Catholic education. Because of this, the designation appropriately rewards employee excellence.

“I was a little shocked when I heard my name,” Woolbert said. “It was not something I was expecting, and after a second or two I thought, ‘Well you better get up and walk to the front.’ Receiving an award like this is such an honor.”

In her 30th year of Flyer education, Woolbert recalled the memorable passion Smith had for science in her chemistry class.

“I remember him being super excited about labs. Though labs are usually every student’s favorite part of class, Ryan took a particular interest in how things worked, what the equipment was and why we used it.”

Smith’s love for the laboratory later evolved into a Bachelor of Science in petroleum engineering from Louisiana State University. He always hoped to return to Loyola and teach an introductory engineering class where he said he’d do it for free.

“Teachers touch the lives of so many students over the years, and we sometimes forget the impact we have,” Woolbert said.

Catholic Schools Annual Report


by Sr. Carol Shively, OSU

This 2017 – 2018 Annual Report is organized around the four major themes of the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Schools—Mission and Catholic Identity, Governance and Leadership, Academic Excellence and Operational Vitality. “Catholic schools are an outstanding apostolate of hope…addressing the material, intellectual and spiritual needs of millions of children.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Address to Catholic Educators, April 17, 2008, Washington DC, par. 5)

“The environment in our Catholic schools express the signs of Catholic culture, physically and visibly (The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School)

Mission and Catholic Identity

Each of our Catholic schools provide the students with faith-filled experiences. They participate in daily prayer, prayer services, holy day celebrations, weekly liturgy and service in the community. Our mission is to be Christ’s hands and feet to our neighbors.

Governance and Leadership

Successful Catholic schools require strong leaders. Seasoned, knowledgeable and collaborative principals, pastors and boards/councils can together help to guarantee that every student has access to a high quality, faith-filled education. Our schools are led and guided by faith-filled educators which is a hallmark of our schools. They work in full partnership with our pastors and school volunteers who guide us in reaching the needs of our families in the community.

Academic Excellence

For over 32 years, the Diocese of Shreveport has been known for providing high quality education, and that reputation continues to grow day after day. As an example of ongoing academic strength and growth, our Catholic schools have rapidly adopted STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and mathematics) and related programs into their curricular and co-curricular instruction and activities. Our excellence is demonstrated in our ACT Aspire / ACT test scores and in our loyal and dedicated teachers. Our teachers are life-long learners and attend summer workshops and on-going development in our local colleges.

We want our families to feel a sense of confidence in their decision to invest in Catholic education.

Operational Vitality

Parents facing the many challenges of today’s economic challenges desire their children’s education to be strong and their schools to be stable. The long-term viability of our Catholic schools require us to focus on the school’s operations, such as its finances, human resources, facilities and advancement/development. Our attention to being good stewards of their investment enables them to feel confident about their decision to invest in Catholic education. During the year, our principals in Monroe developed ways to operate as a collaborative team of experts. Many successful events occurred to draw the schools closer together. The events included a unified message of excellence in recruiting students and in providing professional development for the faculties. The collaboration was very meaningful for the teachers. One teacher shared that it’s so easy to simply teach in a “silo mentality.” It is better when we think that there are two to three classes of grades in the Catholic elementary schools so I feel that I don’t work alone!”

Our commitment to our families is to return their child to them with a servant’s heart.

Click to download the Annual Report.

How I Practice My Faith as a Student

by Celeste Lirette Loyola College Prep, Senior

Ever since I was introduced to my eighth-grade confirmation class at St. Joseph School, the journey to find my place as a Catholic in a world full of classrooms, backpacks and social media has been long and truly worthwhile. That eighth grade year when my friends and I made the transition from children to teenagers, we were constantly presented with the “impending doom” of high school that was ahead of us. It was only a matter of time until we were enclosed by the arms of secularism and sin forever. We were told that in the near futures we would face many challenges to our faith and new temptations to sin. While all of these promises were true, we felt almost as if our fate were set in stone—that we would not have the means to choose the life of goodness and of love that we were taught to choose. This, of course, certainly was not true.

Throughout the years, the choice of faithfulness or of apathy evolved into a daily confrontation with the reality that the world we live in is contrary to the faith we consider so dear. However, this reality forces me as a student to discover the tools that both my Catholic school and church offers me to stay strong in my faith. The most important thing I have learned so far in my journey is that without the grace of God, nothing is possible. God will allow us to know Him more deeply and grow in virtue only insomuch as we are open and prepared to receive His grace. This state is achieved through prayer and a regular reception of the Sacraments, which are the tools by which I arm myself to face a secular world.

This is the way that I express myself as a Catholic student—with the beads of the Rosary always in my hand and the grace of the Sacraments of God always in my heart, the fear of the world diminishes, and my courage to defend my faith effectively grows.

St. Frederick Students Attended Summer Programs

by Olga Trejo

While most students were busy relaxing in the sun this summer, several St. Frederick Warriors were busy attending college classes and forums. Rosemary Manning (pictured above), a 9th grade student, attended the Ambassador Leadership Summit at Harvard University Law School. The program, Leadership in Action, was sponsored by the Ambassador Leaders Program based in Spokane, WA.

Hosted on the campus of Harvard Law School, the program brought together more than 200 middle and high school students from around the world. During the eight day program, students attended seminars by well-known motivational speaker, Dr. Sunjay Nath; attended interactive workshops and worked to create a community action plan for the Leed2Feed project.

In addition, students received college advice from Harvard students and earned 20 service-learning hours while working to make a difference through local United Way projects.

“I loved meeting so many people from all over the world with different cultures, backgrounds and beliefs,” said Rosemary Manning. “I now have friends in Hong Kong and South Africa! I definitely gained from this experience. It’s really amazing what great friends you can make in just a week!”

Additionally, Alyssa Dismuke, a 10th-grade student, attended a medical and healthcare summit at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Gabriela Trejo, a senior, attended the National Youth Leadership Forum Medicine at the University of Houston. Zackery Chamberlain, also a senior, attended four weeks of Summer College at Duke University in North Carolina. He studied Political Philosophy and returned with the understanding of the history and live politics of Law.

Back to School at Our Lady of Fatima!

Our Lady of Fatima School is back in session and students are eager to learn!

Safety a Priority at St. John Berchmans

Steps have been taken to provide further safety measures, both throughout the school as well as with faculty and staff development at St. John Berchmans School. In June, principal Jennifer Deason attended training through Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office of Homeland Security focusing on campus emergencies prevention, response and recovery. In August faculty received safety training from Tony LeBlanc, Field Operations Manager for CPSO’s Homeland Security and Eric Tyler, fireman and paramedic with Shreveport Fire Department.  •

Blessing of JGS School

Fr. Keith Garvin and principal, Lisa Patrick carried out the annual blessing of the school. This is a tradition at Jesus the Good Shepherd School, where each room, student and teacher is blessed with a sprinkling of holy water on the first day of school. Fr. Keith greeted parents in the carpool drop-off line, made coffee for all the teachers and faculty, and even had a sing-a-long in the school gymnasium before morning assembly.

St. Joseph School Implements Virtues Program

During this year’s teacher inservice at St. Joseph School, faculty and staff learned about a program designed to teach students how to be disciples of Christ through virtues. The program, “Disciples of Christ: Education in Virtue,” utilizes scripture, the lives of saints and the gifts of the Holy Spirit as it challenges students to identify virtues they already exhibit, as well as the ones they may need help cultivating.

St. Frederick High School El Día de los Niños

by Emily Brodtman

On April 29, the St. Frederick High School Spanish Club and National Honor Society joined St. Paschal’s Youth Group, SPY, to celebrate “El Día de los Niños” at St. Paschal’s Parish. El Día de los Niños is a day dedicated to children in Mexico and many Latin American countries. In preparation, the St. Frederick students baked sweets for a cake walk, bought candy, filled a piñata and brought games. Club members attended Spanish Mass and then helped set up and work the games. Once the games were set up we split into pairs to take the children to all the activities.

While working we were also learning about the Spanish culture. Our Vice President, Gabby Trejo, said, “It came as a surprise to see the look of confusion on some of the kids’ faces when we would speak to them in English, quickly realizing we needed to repeat ourselves in Spanish.”

This experience was great because we were able to immerse ourselves into the Spanish-speaking community and use our education to communicate with the children. Our Spanish Club enjoyed the opportunity to work with the SPY group. They had amazing decorations and many games which made the event possible. We are very grateful to be included with them to celebrate El Día de los Niños, and we hope to work with them again in the future.

St. Joseph Catholic School Students Enjoy Year of Religious Retreats

As part of an effort to continually strengthen the school’s Catholic identity, St. Joseph School’s Religion Department held age-appropriate retreats throughout the 2017-18 school year. Retreats ranged in length from 30 minutes to five hours, and each focused on a particular aspect of the faith.

First graders focused on the Holy Trinity, creating a clover representing the Trinity and learning a Blessed Trinity song. Second graders made unleavened bread during their retreat to represent the hosts used at Holy Communion, and created a Last Supper project. Students in third grade created a poster representing one of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, giving each fruit a name and good qualities for a religious life. Fourth graders performed a skit that represented the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Middle School students enjoyed an off-campus retreat, held on All Saints Day 2017, that began with the school’s All Saints Mass, then continued to St. Joseph Cemetery, where they learned about Catholic cemeteries and some of the stories of those who are buried there. They sang hymns and prayed the Prayer for the Faithful Departed before continuing on to Greenwood Cemetery.

Here the students also enjoyed a cultural celebration they learned about in Spanish class: La Dia de los Muertos. Students and chaperones enjoyed homemade Mexican hot chocolate, rice, beans and tamales, then offered the Prayer for the Faithful Departed and went on a scavenger hunt to learn about the many historical figures of the City of Shreveport who have gone before us.

SJS is already planning retreats for next year, to help the students grow in their knowledge and love of the Catholic faith, and to teach them how to withdraw from their busy schedules occasionally, to take time to be with Jesus in prayer.  •