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Prestigious era comes to an end as Xavier Prep graduates final class

10th June 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Kelly Parker
Contributing Writer

Every graduation ceremony is deemed memorable, but the young ladies from Xavier Prep who received diplomas on May 17 hold an extraordinary place in history.

The event marked the end of a momentous era in the city, as the 97th Xavier University Preparatory School Baccalaureate Mass and Graduation will be the last. Before the new beginning of St. Katherine Drexel Preparatory is dawned, the end of “The Prep” era was celebrated.

Principal Cheryllyn Branche and President, Joseph E. Peychaud, Jr., presented diplomas to 45 students at the Xavier University Convocation Center.

The much-publicized uncertainty of their school’s future didn’t seem to deter the students’ focus;as nearly 98 percent of the class earned academic scholarships and received college acceptance letters to college and universities here at home and across the country. The class garnered almost $2.2 million in academic scholarships.

The President of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Sr. Patricia Suchalski, SBS, also addressed the graduating class, parents, alumni, faculty and staff offering words of encouragement while extending a good will message to all in attendance. The members of XUP Board of Directors and graduates from the class of 1953 and 1963 were also on hand.

The valedictorian was Dasia Lashaé Payton, daughter of LaTonya Bell and Derrick Payton, Sr. Payton, a Presidential Honor Student, was involved in numerous groups while at Xavier Prep, including National Honor Society, the XUP marching unit, the XUP Voices of Praise and LEAP Club. She received academic scholarships from TOPS, Xavier University, Dillard University, Loyola University, Nicholls State University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and Tuskegee University.

She plans to attend Xavier University on a full academic scholarship in the fall and plans to major in Biology/Pre Med.

Salutatorian Brittany Peters is the daughter of Theresa Peters Fisher and Eric Fisher. Peters received the President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Achievement, the Presidential Honor Roll Award, National Honor Society Award, the National Society of High School Scholars and the Hart Scholars Achievement Award. She’s also the recipient of the U. S. Congressional Award.

Peters was a member of the XUP Student Council, Future Business Leaders of America, Diversity Club, Theatre Arts, and was a member of the XUP marching unit.

She received academic scholarships from TOPS, Xavier University, Loyola University, Spring Hill University and Tuskegee University. She also plans to attend Xavier University and will major in Philosophy.

Other honor graduates included Tiera Alexis Bridges, Mallory Alexandria Butler, LeAnte’ Marie Craft, Jonquail Lewis, Amir Safiyah Muhammad, Candace Alicia Stewart, Ashley Elizabeth Sutton, Irielle Nicole Washington, Niara Octavia Woods.

Rounding out the last graduating class of Xavier University Preparatory were Janae’ Rachelle Adams, Azia Brielle Ash, Olivia Clare Aubry, Keila Monique Boles, Bianca Dennell Brown, Irian Maria Chaisson, Kailie Monet Chambers, Kassidy Joanna Christmas, Diamond Antonia Crawford, Julianne Alexis Crockett, Trina Michelle Juanita Delpit, Macie Elizabeth Desmond, Bria Michan Douse, Rae’lyn Denise Fazande, Janessa Jaenell Hunter, Alani Monet Huntley, Alexis Cornwell Jackson, Rachael Elizabeth Jacques, Victoria Lin Jenkins, Nadja Arielle Lanaux, Diamond Kay Lane, Jade Ellise Lewis, Torionne Chante Lewis, Alexis Maria Lyons, Kori Brianne McClinton, Macy Lashawn McNeil, Diamond Kiera Newton, Frankette Sabrina O’Conner, Kei’yaira Mildred Cevon Patterson, Jaci Chane Price, Michelle Marie Robinson, Jazmine Marie Rose, Amaya Clara Teresa Sorrell, Amani Tyriane Straughter

St. Katherine Drexel Preparatory High School welcomes it first student body in the fall of 2013.

This article originally published in the June 10, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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