Jenny Moses and Heather Olvey ’94 have been named recipients of the 2023 Stephens Award by The City Education Trust. They are two of only five teachers in Little Rock selected to receive a $5,000 cash award recognizing their outstanding and inspirational teaching. This marks the fourth straight year a Mount St. Mary Academy faculty member has been honored by The City Education Trust, and the fourth time since 2016 that multiple MSM faculty members have been chosen for its prestigious award in a single year.
Ms. Moses, who also received the Stephens Award in 2016, has served in the classroom for a total of 24 years, including 11 years at MSM. She currently teaches theatre and forensics classes and chairs the school’s Arts Department. Ms. Moses also directs and produces the school’s theatre productions, and she coaches its competitive Forensics Team and the MSM International Thespian Troupe, which she worked to charter in 2017 along with a chapter of the National Speech and Debate Association.
“Receiving the Stephens Award is humbling, exciting, and appreciated as it acknowledges all of our hard work and love for what we do, which is to help our students become the best versions of themselves,” Ms. Moses said.
Mrs. Olvey is in her second year of teaching at MSM, having previously taught at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Catholic School from 2016-2021 and Joe T. Robinson High School from 2015-2016. She teaches senior English courses, including AP Literature and Composition, and a senior theology class at MSM. She also helped organize a Poetry Club on campus and currently serves as the club’s sponsor.
“I am grateful to the City Education Trust for choosing me for the Stephens Award,” Mrs. Olvey said. “While my students and colleagues make me feel appreciated and make my job enjoyable, it is both thrilling and humbling to be acknowledged outside of my school.”
Congratulations to Ms. Moses and Mrs. Olvey on their well-deserved recognition!
This year’s MSM Odyssey of the Mind team placed 1st in their division at the State Tournament held at Hendrix College in Conway on Saturday, April 1. The achievement earns the group a spot in the 2023 World Finals May 24-27 at Michigan State University in East Lansing where it will compete against champions from all over the country and world.
In solving this year’s problem, Classics…The Walls of Troy, the OM team had put their spin on the concept of the “Trojan Horse” by creating one of their own and featuring it in a performance that also included a character from The Iliad, an original Greek Chorus, and an unusual statue.
“Our team created a world of insect characters vying for Bug Olympic gold who must learn to appreciate each other’s strengths and work together to overcome an obstacle that threatens the games: a giant wall of trash, wherein the queen bee is trapped and fighting for her life,” described Monica Madey ’06, MSM English teacher and one of the team’s long-time coaches. “The team chose insects with unique adaptations that made them easy to anthropomorphize as Olympic athletes. The resulting costumes are bright, sculptural, macroscopic works of art.”
Mount St. Mary Academy has participated in the international creative problem-solving program promoting teamwork, STEM and the arts 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 12th straight year the school’s OM team has advanced to the World Finals. Last year’s team finished 2nd overall in the final competition, which is the program’s greatest achievement to date.
We wish these talented girls the best as they represent MSM and Arkansas on the international level next month: Bri Boggs ’24, Caroline Cash ’25, Savannah Eanes ’24, Maya Johnson ’25, Annabelle Owen ’25, Anna Polk ’23 and Clara Principe ’24, as well as manager Eve Jara ’26. The team is coached by Ms. Madey and Dr. Deborah Baldwin, MSM Academy board member.