by Rebekah Maricelli
The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) senior class was presented with their class rings during a ceremony held at Treen Auditorium in September. The Ring Ceremony is traditionally held for juniors, but due to the pandemic, seniors’ rings were shipped to their homes during the 2020-21 asynchronous school year. Family members and friends who watched the ceremony via livestream were welcomed by Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton and Senior Class President Ella Abney of Slidell, La.
Abney reflected on her class leaving LSMSA in March of 2020 for what they thought would be two weeks of sleep and watching movies, without realizing how the world and their high school career would change.
“Whether returner or new student, we are one big family, all living together under the same roof. Together, we have been through more than most would imagine,” Abney shared, encouraging her classmates to think about what their rings mean to them. “Remember the little things that made you want this day when it got hard. Think of the amazing people you got to meet, and the lives that were changed because they got to meet you. Treasure this moment and this ring as a reminder of all that has happened here and all that is to come.”
LSMSA Chief of Staff, Director of Administration, and LSMSA alumnus John Allen (’98) shared the history and tradition of the LSMSA ring. A dream of LSMSA’s first Executive Director Dr. Robert Alost, the LSMSA ring was designed to be as symbolic as those worn by graduates of the military academies. LSMSA’s traditional ring bears the school crest with the student’s graduation year on one side, and an image of the High School Building with the Roman numeral representing the graduation year on the other. The school’s first Ring Ceremony was held on May 19, 1984, as a senior ring ceremony, and the tradition students experience today stems from that morning nearly four decades ago.
“The LSMSA Class of 2022 is the 38th graduating class to participate in the ring ceremony,” said Allen. “Ours is a rich tradition and we are so glad that you have chosen to be a part of it.”
Senior Class Vice President Jordan Hoffman of Lake Charles, La. spoke to her classmates about ring etiquette, including the proper and symbolic way to wear class rings before and after graduation.
“This ring is not just a general memento from our time at Louisiana School; it’s the story we’ve written for ourselves,” said Hoffman. “These rings represent the growth and change we’ve all experienced these past few years.”
Each student was introduced by Director of Enrollment and Student Services Emily Shumate or Abney before walking through the school’s ceremonial ring arch on stage and offered a Covid-19-compliant elbow bump, congratulations, and an LSMSA lapel pin by Horton before crossing the stage and moving one step closer to graduation.
LSMSA educates highly motivated, high-achieving incoming sophomores, juniors and seniors from throughout the state. Inquiring parents and students may visit www.lsmsa.edu to learn more, complete online applications, and submit transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and current teachers’ recommendations.
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