Dreaming Great Things

Posted January 5, 2016 / Last updated September 13, 2021

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January 5, 2015

“Do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you!
Do not be afraid to dream of great things!”
– Pope Francis

Peter Kernion_New JHS Principal_030213_HiResThis quote from Pope Francis was part of his message to young people at the 2013 World Youth Day event. When I reflect upon our Holy Father’s words, it is easy to correlate them with the many examples of Blue Jays using their God-given talents to the best of their abilities during the fall semester of the 2014-15 school year.

The start of the fall semester coincided with the recognition of Jesuit’s National Academic Scholars, a group of seniors consisting of 34 National Merit Semifinalists, three Hispanic Scholars, and one National Achievement Semifinalist). Among our scholars are three seniors — Garth Cook, Matthew Sentilles, and Matthew Stuckey — who achieved a perfect score on their ACT. It is a rare accomplishment given that fewer than one-tenth of one percent of the 1.85 million students who take this test annually achieve a perfect score.

Jesuit’s traditional Thanksgiving Drive brought together students, faculty, and a group of stalwart and dedicated alumni, all of whom worked together to prepare and deliver baskets of food that brightened the holiday for 460 families in the New Orleans region.

While our sophomores worked towards completing their various service projects throughout the year, cadets in Jesuit’s Marine Corps JROTC program participated in the Toys for Tots drive. As Christmas approached, the efforts of our cadets resulted in the collection and distribution of toys to numerous children of local soldiers serving in the armed forces.

Additionally, Jesuit’s varsity basketball team took time out from their busy schedule to help paint the New Orleans Police Department’s First District Station.
The retreat program at Jesuit continues to grow and play a key role in the spiritual development of our students. Both eighth and ninth graders participated in retreats during their first full month of the fall semester. Upperclassmen have embraced a leadership role that has made the grade-level retreats exceptional and more meaningful.

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The cross country and swimming teams achieved, respectively, state championship and state runner-up honors. The Blue Jay football team succeeded in winning its first state championship since 1960. Current students led a “white out” in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome by wearing white Jesuit t-shirts for the Friday night championship game, which also brought together hundreds of Blue Jay alumni for a reunion of sorts. It was, indeed, a special evening that will be remembered for years to come.

The Philelectic Society staged two outstanding productions, the National Honor Society inducted 140 new members, and our school was visited by students from Germany and France.

These events cover only a fraction of the many fall semester activities at Carrollton and Banks.

When I look back at the first half of this school year, I am happy to report that our students “dream of great things.” More importantly, they are using their God-given talents to achieve great things.


Peter S. Kernion, M.Ed., ’90