Class of 2017

OLA grads set new scholarship, ACT records

Valedictorian Abigail Koons, Bishop Louis Kihneman,III, and Salutatorian Sarah Sandoz
Valedictorian Abigail Koons, Bishop Louis Kihneman,III, and Salutatorian Sarah Sandoz Special to the Sun Herald

Our Lady Academy’s 2017 graduates set new records in scholarship earnings and ACT average. The 38 new grads earned an average of $125,417 per student, and recorded an average score of 25.65 on the ACT test.

“They are very special,” Principal Darnell Cuevas said. “They were unified. Everything they did, they did as a group.

“They were focused. Two years ago, they set goals. And I was very excited about their goals. They set high standards for themselves, and they achieved them.”

Valedictorian Abigail Koons and salutatorian Sarah Sandoz both talked about their paths from seventh grade to graduation, and reflected on the confidence they’ve developed along the way.

Koons quoted Confucius: “Those who say they can and those who say they can’t are both right.”

“If you believe in yourself, that will be half the battle,” she said.

Sandoz quoted cartoon character Winnie-the-Pooh: “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Koons was also the recipient of the Principal’s Cup Award. Sandoz received the Chamber of Commerce Award. Laura Grace Ritten received the American Citizenship Award. Dallas Blaker received the Achievement Award. Lauryn Kidd received the American Legion Award. The Spirit of Mercy Award was presented to Emily Hollingsworth, and the Mary Patricia Schmidt Character Cup was presented to Laura Taylor.

Bishop Louis Kihneman III, encouraged the graduates “to pray daily to remain in Jesus’ love.”

Our Lady Academy

Valedictorian: Abigail Elizabeth Koons, daughter of George Allen and JoAnn Marie Koons of Pass Christian

Salutatorian: Sarah Elizabeth Sandoz, daughter of Rodney and Mena Sandoz of Long Beach

Class size: 38

Principal: Darnell Cuevas

Quote: “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” — Sarah Sandoz, salutatorian, quoting Winnie-the-Pooh

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