Operation Upgrade Wraps Up 2016 Session

Posted July 1, 2016 / Last updated December 26, 2016

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Jason Giaccone leads a group of Upgraders from his classroom to the buses for a field trip.

Jason Giaccone leads a group of Upgraders from his classroom to the buses for a field trip. At the end of each session, it is a tradition to reward the students for all of their hard work. This year, Upgraders enjoyed a movie at the Prytania Theater.

Fifty-nine students from area middle schools received certificates of completion during the closing ceremony for Operation Upgrade, held Friday, July 1 in the auditorium.

James Michalik, a religion teacher and the program’s director, also singled out students and staff for special distinction. Upgrader of the Year awards went to Coby Mejia and Shane Tassin-Green. Jesuit rising seniors Jandon Briscoe and Reed Meric were honored as student teachers of the year.

Every simmer since 1971, Operation Upgrade has brought together disadvantaged but academically talented middle school students from all over the city for an intensive, five-week academic program (Operation Upgrade was the subject of the cover story in the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of Jaynotes, the magazine of Jesuit High School).

In addition to Briscoe and Meric, 24 other rising seniors served as teachers and mentors. They were: Kyle Bardel, Mitch Barras, Shane Begg, Taylor Bonnet, Christopher Chimento, Jaime Colon, William Fine, Matthew Granier, Philip Hourguettes, Jamal Jordan, John Kling, Ethan Legrand, William Lopez, John Redfearn, Ben Roberts, Nick Rodriguez-Ema, Dominic Salomone, Andrew Souther, Andrew Stapp, Trace Theriot, Alex Tisdale, Hunter Tracey, Monty Truett, Connor Ward,

Additionally, four underclassmen (rising sophomores William Bostick and Josef Ernst, along with rising freshmen Marcus Banks and Caden Swain) volunteered their time. Recent graduate and Upgrade veteran Baasel Syed ’16 also offered his assistance, as did and Dominic Michalik, a student at Slidell High School.

Jesuit teachers who supervised Upgrade’s six classrooms were Jay Combe ’83, Daniel Fitzpatrick ’09, Jason Giaccone, Rudy Horvath ’86, Ryan Migliore ’11, and Sylvia Schild.