NATCHITOCHES – The Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts welcomed 138 new students during the school’s annual matriculation ceremony held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium located on the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.
The ceremony recognized students’ accomplishments, reinforced their commitment to LSMSA and encouraged them to apply the necessary diligence to persevere until reaching commencement.
“In this ceremony, we celebrate the accomplishments that have brought you to this place,” said Dr. Pat Widhalm, executive director of LSMSA. “We are here to formally recognize you and to underscore the commitment of the faculty, staff and administration to help you achieve your potential and ultimately graduate from LSMSA.”
Recognized guests at the ceremony included Sen. Gerald Long and Rick Nowlin, president of the Natchitoches Parish government.
“The Louisiana School has been the heart of the Natchitoches community for many years,” said Long. “Our roots go back very deep to the Louisiana School. Years ago my brother, who was serving as state representative at the time, authored and created legislation that created the Louisiana School, so we have a very vested interested in the future of the Louisiana School.”
The guest speaker for the event was Kristy Nichols, commissioner of the state of Louisiana.
“Congratulations to you students,” Nichols said. “We are here to celebrate you, honor you and welcome you into this next phase of your life. I encourage you to recognize that this is a moment of impact, today is a moment that will always be with you for the rest of your life.”
The new students represent 34 of the 64 parishes in Louisiana. The average grade point average of incoming students is 3.8 and the average ACT score is 25.
“The Louisiana School provides us with an education that is truly like no other,” said Cheyenne Ortiz, senior class president from Laplace. “The rigorous and diverse courses challenge our minds and push our thinking in ways we would have never imagined.”
Students recognized from Bossier Parish were Dale Campo of Haughton; Kenneth Driggers, Noah Gleason and Helena Palmisano, all of Bossier City; and Felecia Foy and Austin Smith, both of Benton.