Academic kudos

NATCHEZ – Four Cathedral High School students – Arden McMillin, Deanna Hayden, Jay Vaughan, and Caroline Downer – recently received recognition in state-wide essay-writing competitions.

McMillin, a junior at Cathedral, took top honors in this year’s Mississippi Letters About Literature writing contest for her letter to Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, in the Level III competition for grades nine through 12.

“The people in Brave New World,” wrote the 17-year-old, “are so terrible, awful, strange, backwards-smack! My mental list of insults stopped when I realized that having my nose in this book was more like having my nose rammed into a crystal clear mirror.
The unbelievable lifestyles and practices of the World State were not just familiar; they were utterly recognizable. [. . .] Brave New World changed my view of the world I live in by opening my eyes to the present-day dangers of conformity, self-indulgence, conditioning, and utopian-turned-totalitarian governments.”

Cathedral junior Jay Vaughan was named a Finalist in this competition for his letter to Aldous Huxley regarding Brave New World, and senior Caroline Downer received Honorable Mention for her letter to The Fault in Our Stars’ author John Green. Approximately 50,000 students across the country participated in this year’s Letters About Literature competition, a reading promotion program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. In Mississippi, 542 students competed across all three competition levels-grades four through six, seven through eight, and nine through 12.
To enter, students wrote a personal letter to an author explaining how his or her work changed their views of the world or of themselves.

Also receiving first-place honors in a state-wide competition was Cathedral junior Deanna Hayden for her entry in the Garden Clubs of Mississippi High School Essay Contest. Open to students in grades 9 through 12, this contest is a branch of the National Garden Club Scholarship competition and is sponsored locally by the Natchez Garden Club.  The theme for the 2013-2014 contest was “Today’s Choices Affect Tomorrow’s World.”

GREENVILLE –Twenty-five St. Joseph students were named Mississippi Scholars in early April. The students are selected for the exemplary academic standing and their strong personal character.

In addition to being a Mississippi Scholar, senior Caroline Mansour was named a Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) student by the Mississippi Economic Council’s M. B. Swayze Educational Foundation. She selected English teacher Michele Sabatier as her STAR teacher.