Monthly Archives: April 2019

Fifth Biennial Mercy & Me Luncheon Celebrates Mercy – Past, Present and Future

Nearly 600 Mount St. Mary Academy alumnae, faculty, staff, students, parents and friends gathered in the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock on Tuesday, April 16, for the fifth biennial Mercy & Me Luncheon. The signature event celebrates Mercy-inspired leadership – modeled by Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy – and honors its impact in the Central Arkansas community and beyond.

 

Sister Mary Sullivan, highly regarded author and educator with “unparalleled knowledge” of Catherine McAuley, provided the keynote address at the luncheon. She shared stories of the influential Sisters of Mercy founder and spoke of Catherine’s extraordinary courage, generosity and service with hopes of inspiring guests to demonstrate the same sort of merciful love in their own lives. Sister Lisa Griffith, executive director of the Mercy Education System of the Americas and former assistant principal at Mount St. Mary, provided special remarks after Sister Mary’s address that further celebrated Mercy and its impact – particularly within the 56 Mercy-sponsored schools across the Americas.

 

Near the end of the special event, Laura Landreaux was honored with the Mount St. Mary Academy Women’s Leadership Award. A new addition to the Mercy & Me Luncheon, the award was established to recognize exceptional women with ties to Arkansas who have demonstrated outstanding leadership within their community. Laura is the first female president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas, the state’s largest electric utility, and a member of the Mount St. Mary Class of 1991. In her acceptance speech, Laura shared touching words from her late father, encouraging those in attendance to “take a risk, stick your neck out, speak your mind, challenge the status quo, don’t just accept responsibility – chase it down.”

 

Prior to the luncheon, Sister Mary and Sister Lisa addressed the Mount St. Mary student body in the McAuley Center. The Mercy & Me student program gives all students the opportunity to hear from the Mercy & Me keynote speakers in a more informal setting prior to the luncheon and has become an important tradition and accompaniment to the larger event.

 

View photos from the day’s events: https://flic.kr/s/aHskTRDU57

 

Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.

Theatre Arts Students Inducted Into International Honor Society

Eleven Mount St. Mary theatre arts students were inducted into the International Thespian Society on Monday, April 15. During the special ceremony held on campus and led by current Thespian members, the inductees pledged to pursue excellence as students of theatre, to perform their best, to accept praise and criticism with grace, to cooperate with fellow thespians and work for the good of the troupe, and to share their love of theatre.

 

“Membership in this international organization is not only a reward for the fine work you have done, but further evidence of your desire to continue to work in this specialized field,” junior Avery Appleton, president of MSM Troupe #8462, said during the ceremony. “As a troupe, your work will contribute to the growth of better theatre in this community, our country and throughout the world.”

 

Benefits of Thespian induction include membership in the only international honor society for high school theatre arts students; leadership opportunities at the troupe, chapter and national levels; and eligibility for scholarships, grants, and awards through the Educational Theatre Association and its festivals.

 

The 11 MSM students recently inducted into the International Thespian Society include: Isabella Boyd ’20, Grace Dunaway ’20, Lily Eagan ’20, Fran Edwards ’21, Josephine Fitz ’21, Sophie Mammarelli ’20, Malingo Matute ’22, Lilly Newton ’20, Alexandra Powell ’22, Claire Ryscavage ’19 and Natalie Vailes ’22.

 

Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.

Senior Soccer Player Commits to Nearby CBC

Family, teammates, friends and coaches filled the McAuley Center gym stage once again on Friday, April 12, to celebrate another member of the Soccer Belles for committing to play at the collegiate level. Mallory Howard ’19 made official her intent to join the Lady Mustangs at Central Baptist College (CBC) in Conway this fall.

 

Mallory began playing soccer when she was just 4 years old. She has competed at the club level since then – most recently with Arkansas United, formerly Little Rock Futbol Club (LRFC) – and played high school soccer for the Belles during all four years at Mount.  She earned All Conference honors her junior year and was also the recipient of the Passionate Athlete Award for her dedication to the sport and her teammates.

 

“I have loved playing at Mount,” Mallory, whose favorite memory is winning the first game in the state tournament last year, said. “It has allowed me to come together with all the different girls I’ve played with and against throughout the years. Mount sports have definitely provided me with life-long friends and family.”

 

The 5-foot-3-inch midfielder also credits her involvement in the sport with giving her the perseverance to overcome challenges both on and off the field. “Soccer has taught me to push through whatever life throws at me,” Mallory said. “Being told I’m ‘too small’ for sports really motivated me to work as hard as I can in every aspect of the game as well as in my life. Throughout many injuries, I have worked hard to come back stronger than before, which I’ve learned to do any time life throws me a curveball.”

 

Those around her are quick to recognize Mallory’s determination, as well. “Mallory is a huge asset to our team. She’s feisty, extremely talented and always gives 110%,” MSM Soccer Coach Stephanie Boccarossa said. “What makes her unique is that she has as much heart as she does talent. She will fight as hard as she can, even if it’s against a girl twice her size.”

 

Chris Murphy, director of soccer operations and head women’s soccer coach at CBC, agreed. “When I coached Mallory as a youth player, I noticed immediately that she possessed a grit and tenacity that far exceeded most her peers, and a maturity as well as a thoughtful nature that I always felt far exceed her years,” he said. “When I took over as the women’s head coach at CBC, hers was one of the first names that came to mind because of those qualities, which I could tell were still very much intact after scouting some of her games. We can’t wait to see what Mallory will do as a Mustang!”

 

Mallory, who also played basketball for the Belles and was selected by her peers as Basketball Homecoming Queen earlier this year, is looking forward to attending school nearby at CBC. She feels academically prepared for college thanks to her time at Mount and is considering majoring in biology or kinesiology in order to pursue a career in physical therapy.

 

“I’m super excited about getting to be a part of the CBC family,” Mallory said. “Academically, CBC is a great school that will provide me with what I need for the future. As far as soccer goes, I can’t wait for the next four years. Coach Murphy was my first coach at LRFC when I was 11, and he has always been one of my favorite coaches.”

 

Mallory is the MSM soccer program’s second senior to sign this year. Team Captain Anya Ranaraja ’19 committed with Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, in February.

 

Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.

MSM Students Recognized for Artistic Excellence

Sixty Mount St. Mary Academy art students competed at the 2019 Arkansas Young Artist Association (AYAA) Spring Competition and Convention in downtown Little Rock on Wednesday, April 10, where they took home 20 awards for excellence in the visual arts.

 

MSM also students received two of the 10 AYAA scholarships awarded at the event. Seniors Aimsley McDaniel and Abby Yanosick each received a $500 scholarship. Additionally, senior Addie Farquharson was offered a $1,000 scholarship by the Kansas City Art Institute.

 

“The girls did a phenomenal job, and Ms. Holder and I are so proud of the work they put in,” Marianne Nolley, MSM art teacher, said.

 

The students spent months preparing for the annual competition, for which they created approximately 100 works of art in a wide range of mediums, styles and subjects. These works will be on display at Mount St. Mary Academy’s Art Night on Thursday, May 2, at 6 p.m.

 

Congratulations to the following MSM students:

 

– Kendal Betton ’21 – honorable mention in markers

– Bella Boyd ’20 – 1st in abstract oil pastel and 3rd in expressive fiber arts

– Audrey Caruthers ’20 – 3rd in abstract pen and ink

– Charlie Colburn ’21 – 4th in relief printmaking

– Kara Foster ’19 – 2nd in markers

– Caroline Gunderman ’21 – 1st in realistic chalk pastel, 2nd in abstract watercolor and 4th in realism graphite

– Cecelia Ilg ’20 – 1st in intaglio printmaking

– Aimsley McDaniel ’19 – 1st in abstract colored pencil and 4th in color photography

– Mary Helen Owen ’21 – 3rd in abstract oil pastel

– Abigail Pahls ’21 – 4th in expressive watercolor

– Yesica Reyes Vasquez ’19 – 2nd in first year charcoal

– Stephanie Selakovich ’20 – honorable mention in abstract mixed media

– Taylor Sims ’20 – 4th in crafts

– Maria Thomas ’20 – honorable mention in relief printmaking

– Abby Yanosick ’19 – 1st in expressive portraits

– Beatrice Zargari ’20 – 3rd in realistic scratchboard

 

AYAA is a state-wide organization whose mission is to encourage participation in the visual arts by Arkansas students through professional speakers, competitions and exhibition. There are currently over 50 chapter schools and more than 1300 student members in AYAA.

 

Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.

Forensics Team Earns Finalist, Semi-Finalist Recognition at State Championship

Fourteen members of the Forensics Breaking Belles represented Mount St. Mary Academy very well at this year’s Arkansas Forensics & Debate State Championship held April 5-6 at North Little Rock High School. Team members placed among the top in a handful of their events, and the group earned semi-finalist recognition in several others.

 

Organized by the Arkansas Communication and Theatre Arts Association, the state championship represents the culmination of the forensics and debate season where hundreds of competitors enter weekend tournaments to compete in the art of oral presentation. Described by some as “competitive acting,” forensics competitions, in particular, include events such as storytelling, poetry, informative speaking or humorous interpretation and improvisation.

 

Top Qualifiers at the 2019 Arkansas Forensics & Debate State Championship:

 

Finalists:

– Karina Singh ’19 and Victoria Volpi ’20, 4th place in duet improv

– Anna Palmer ’20, 4th place in informative speaking

– Anna Farmer ’19 and Karina Singh, 6th place in duo interpretation

– Anna Farmer, 6th place in prose

 

Semifinalists:

– Alexandra Powell ’22, in humorous

– Lily Eagan ’20 and Anna Farmer, in duet improv

– Rachel Klinck ’22, Sophia Lehman ’22, Bri Moseley ’19 and Karina Singh, in prose

 

Other students who qualified to compete in events at the state championship include: America Alejandri ’20, Avery Appleton ’20, Mia Aquino ’22, Malingo Matute ’22 and Amalie Shollmier ’19.

 

We congratulate our Forensics Team on a very successful season!

 

Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.

Latin and Spanish Students Participate in State Language Competition

Nineteen Mount St. Mary Academy Latin and Spanish students traveled to Conway on Saturday, March 30, to participate in the 2019 Arkansas Foreign Language Teachers Association State Language Competition held at Hendrix College. The Latin students’ proficiency in the classical language earned them multiple awards at the competition.

 

Poetry Recitation:

Level 1:  Macy Ramiro ’22, 1st place; Abbie Thompson ’22, 2nd place; Conner Hale ’22, 3rd place

Level 2:  Ginger Cyr ’21, 1st place; Sarah Alvarez ’21, 3rd place

Level 3:  Robin Stover ’20, 2nd place; Anne-Marie Elser ’20, 3rd place

 

Culture Bowl:  Robin Stover, 1st place; Anne-Marie Elser, 2nd place; Blythe Bozeman ’21, 3rd place

 

Extemporaneous Reading:

Level 1:  Macy Ramiro, 1st place; Abbie Thompson, 2nd place; Conner Hale, 3rd place

Level 2:  Ginger Cyr ’21, 1st place; Sarah Alvarez, 3rd place

Level 3:  Allison Toomer ’20, 2nd place; Anne-Marie Elser, 3rd place

 

Vocabulary Bee:

Level 1:  Olivia Coppens ’22, 1st place; Conner Hale, 2nd place; Macy Ramiro, 3rd place

Level 2:  Grace Barnett ’21, 3rd place

Level 3:  Kaitlin Tarini ’20, 3rd place

 

Other students attending the competition include:  Emmalee Bills ’21, Eleanor Blakely ’22, Fran Edwards ’21, Carmen Gomez de Avila ’22, Chloe Gourde ’21, Zelenka Herts ’22 and Vanessa Torres ’22.

 

Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.

Odyssey of the Mind Team Headed to World Finals

Congratulations to the MSM Odyssey of the Mind (OM) team, who placed first at the state competition in North Little Rock on Saturday, March 30. With its first-place win, the team will advance to the OM World Finals held at Michigan State University May 22-25 where it will compete with teams from countries around the world.

 

This year’s team chose to solve the problem “Leonardo’s Workshop”, which challenged the students to develop and present a performance that tells an original story about Leonardo da Vinci that takes place within the famous Italian painter’s workshop and features pieces of his work. The team’s extraordinary creativity and problem-solving skills earned them top scores for their performance and in the Style and Spontaneous portions of the competition. For the second consecutive year, the team also won a coveted Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award, which is presented to a team or individual for demonstrating outstanding creativity. Only three were awarded at this year’s state competition.

 

Mount St. Mary Academy has participated in the international creative problem-solving program for more than 20 years. Since 1999, the MSM team has regularly been awarded first or second place in regional and state competitions. This marks the eighth straight year the school’s OM team has advanced to the World Finals.

 

We wish these talented girls the best as they represent MSM and Arkansas on the international level next month: Emily Delfos ’19, Abby Yanosick ’19, Isabella Boyd ’20, Audrey Caruthers ’20, Anna Palmer ’20, Josie Fitz ’21, Emily VanEcko ’21 and Mary Owen ’21 (manager).

Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.