Three outstanding students from St. Bernard Parish were recently named as this year’s districtwide Students of the Year.

Robyn Hays, of Arabi Elementary, who represented the elementary division, has been telling her teachers, family and friends that she has wanted to win the honor since kindergarten.

Robyn received all A's during her five years at Arabi, and she is active in drama club, art enrichment, Academic Games, music lessons, chorus, Arabi Angels, Bell Choir and 4-H.

Avani Miller, of Trist Middle School, was named the Middle School Student of the Year. An excellent student and star on the basketball court, Avani is described as a leader by both peers and teachers. She is a member of the Pirate Pride News Crew, captain of the girls’ basketball team and manager of the volleyball team.

At the high school level, senior Kelsey Billiot, of Chalmette High School, will represent the district at the regional competition. Kelsey, who attended Gauthier Elementary and St. Bernard Middle School, scored a 33 (out of 36) on the ACT and is enrolled in Advanced Placement courses.

An active member of both Academic Games and the Chalmette High School Voices, Kelsey also is the senior class president and was named first maid at this year’s homecoming. Kelsey hopes to attend Tulane or Loyola universities this fall with plans to major in business.

Recently elected School Board President Clifford Englande said these three outstanding students represent all that is good in the school district.

“Academically, athletically and artistically gifted, these three women represent all that our school district has to offer,” Englande said.

All three students will be competing at the regional level this February.

St. Bernard Port installs officers

The St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District’s Board of Commissioners recently installed its officers for the 2018 term. They are: Harold Anderson, president; the Rev. Henry Ballard, vice president; Elton LeBlanc, secretary; and Cheri Chestnut Quigley, treasurer.

Port Executive Director Drew Heaphy said board members are unpaid, volunteer commissioners who serve a one-year term and play a vital role in the port’s operations, which include Arabi, Chalmette and Violet Terminals/Industrial Parks, as well as Chalmette and Meraux midstream mooring facilities.

Anderson, who has worked as an independent consultant in the oil and gas industry for more than 40 years, has served on the board for the past eight years, holding various positions, including vice president, secretary and treasurer.

Ashes to go

Gethsemane Lutheran Church at 2825 Paris Road, Chalmette, will offer “ashes to go,” giving out ashes and communion as a drive through or walk up from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14.

The Rev. Sandra Barnes, Gethsemane’s pastor, said the church will offer ashes on the street corner because that reminder of need, humility and healing shouldn’t be confined to a church building.

All are welcome. For information, call (504) 271-4254 or email

St. Bernard scholarships 

The St. Bernard Chapter of the Louisiana Volunteers for Family and Community, an organization under the auspices of the LSU Agriculture Center, will continue its scholarship program and award four $1,000 scholarships for the 2018 school year. Since the organization seeks to promote volunteering to improve the lives of community members, the scholarship criteria emphasize the student’s volunteer activities.

A graduating senior attending any New Orleans area high school, who is a resident of St. Bernard Parish, is eligible. Contact your high school counselor for an application or contact Scholarship Chairwoman Lucy Ruffino at, or the LSU AgCenter at (504) 278-4234. The application deadline is March 31.

St. Bernard Swim Club competes

The St. Bernard Swim Club Bluefins recently participated in the GPAC Winter Invitational in Pensacola. The Bluefins finished ninth of 14 teams from around the Southeast, and set 29 new team records.

Some of the top swims included:

• Johnny Caserta, 13-14 50 free, seventh place and 13-14 200 IM, eighth place

• Brennen Crowe, 25 breast, seventh place

• Kamry DuRapau, 9-10 100 breast, 10th place

• Mackenzie Gaye, 8 and under 100 free, sixth place

• Alex Gautier, 8 and under 100 free, 5th place and 25 free, seventh place

• Mia Kennedy, 8 and under 100 free, 2nd place and 25 breast, fourth place

• Kailyn Krieger, 9-10 100 breast, sixth place and 50 breast, eighth place

• Emily O'Neil, Girls 200 breast, ninth place

• Mehling Shipley, 11-12 500 free, 11th place

• Zoey Wolfe, Girls 13-14 50 back, seventh place

• Justus Woodward, 11-12 100 breast, ninth place

• Esmee Yanez, 25 breast, ninth place

In the girls age 8 and under medley relay, the team of Kennadie DuRapau, Esmee Yanez, Mia Kennedy and Mackenzie Gaye finished in second place.

In the boys age 11-12 free relay, the team of Xander Davis, Jack Battaglia, Justin Tanner and Justus Woodward won third place.

In the girls 200 medley relay, the team of Audrey Cox, Emily O'Neil, Chloe Jorns and Zoey Wolfe won sixth place. In the boys 200 medley relay, the team of Shawn O'Neil, Owen Pecararo, Johnny Caserta and Alex Cox won sixth place.

The Bluefins swimmers of the meet were Alexis Muscarello, who cut over one minute of time in her events, and Alex Cox, who cut time in all 11 of his events. The Bluefins continue their year-round schedule with the state championship meets in February and March. For information on the team, call Shawn O'Neil at 504-723-2580.