Cecilia High School
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|Cecilia High School|
|2397 Cecilia Sr. High School Highway
Cecilia, Louisiana, St. Martin (Parish) 70521
|School type||Public high school|
|School district||St. Martin Parish School District|
|Principal||Mr. Daniel LeBoeuf|
|Color(s)||Green & Gold|
|Athletics conference||Louisiana High School Athletic Association|
|Rivals||Breaux Bridge High School|
|Accreditation||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.|
|Location:||~15 miles northeast of Lafayette, Louisiana|
Founded in 1922, Cecilia High School is one of three public high schools administered by the Saint Martin Parish School District.
Cecilia High School primarily serves students of northern upper Saint Martin Parish including the communities of Arnaudville, Cecilia, and Henderson. A percentage of the student body, though, live within the jurisdiction of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, fueling Cecilia's long-standing rivalry with neighboring Breaux Bridge High School; once voted by readers of The Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, Louisiana) as "the largest high school rivalry in Louisiana."
The unincorporated community of Cecilia was originally known by early Spanish settlers as "La Punta", describing the deep bend in the Bayou Teche; eventually this was translated over time by the French into "La Grande Pointe." Pierre Guidry, a native of Acadia, Nova Scotia and the first settler of Cecilia, acquired three tracts of land from Mrs. Joseph Alexander Declouet in 1791. Following suit, other families settled on lands that was acquired by Declouet through a Spanish land grant dated May 16, 1772, which included some 2,600 acres (11 km2) of land. The community began as a small service center of sorts for the many landowners in outlying areas surrounding the Bayou Teche. As families settled within the area, educational needs of the children was evident yet insufficient. Before the establishment of a public high school in Cecilia, several private schools operated within the community with only a fortunate few enrolled; primarily children of local affluence. As trade and commerce grew within the small steamboat stop along the Bayou Teche, the need for a public school was clearly evident. Headmistress of the first public, free tuition school in the community was under the supervision of Mrs. A. P. Lastrapes (the former Marie De La Croix) in the St. Joseph Chapel around 1893. Lastrapes also served as postmistress for the town - originally named LaPlace - but due to confusion with another town of the same name in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, the community was renamed. Due to the predominantly Roman Catholic population of the area in addition to Lastrapes' love of music, the naming of the community was in honor of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music. Continued growth in student enrollment spurred the construction of a two story, four room wooden structure on land purchased by Mr. Joel Dupuis on the eastern bank of the Bayou Teche in preparation for the 1905-1906 session.
Completed in 1922 on the original plot of land donated by Dupuis, the original Cecilia High School building was designed by the architectural firm of Nolan and Torre of New Orleans, Louisiana. The first graduating class of Cecilia High School in 1923 was composed of only five students, all male.
On October 25, 1980, the original three story structure was destroyed by fire, sparing the adjacent gymnasium and auditorium. Though the official cause of the fire was linked to an antiquated boiler system used to heat the school, members of the community continue to speculate about the possibility of arson in the demise of the school. A new Cecilia Junior High School, completed in 1999, was constructed at the former high school site, integrating a renovated gymnasium and auditorium into the design. Due to its distinctive architectural importance, all documentation regarding the original Cecilia High School are maintained by the Southeast Architectural Archives at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Due to increased enrollment on the main campus, several new facilities such as a Multi-Purpose complex, Girl's Gymnasium, Band Hall, and improvements to student parking are currently under construction as of the 2012-2013 school year.
A college preparatory curriculum is offered as the school stresses a personal approach to the education of the whole student through diverse academic, athletic, and co-curricular programs. The mission of Cecilia High School is "Building a Legacy of Excellence One Student at a Time. In addition to the traditional curriculum offered, several "career centered" courses offer students hand-on and specialized training in specific ares, most notably the school's Cisco Systems Networking Academy, aimed towards student careers in telecommunications and internet networks, the National Restaurant Association ProStart Program which prepares students for careers in hospitality and the culinary arts, the Early Childhood Program that certifies students to work in childcare facilities, the First Responder course which certifies student as First Responders in emergency situations, and the Small Engine Repair program. Students also participate in career & technical courses offered through the Louisiana Technical College system. Dual-enrollment credit is also currently offered in several courses across the curriculum. Teachers are actually hired as adjunt instructors through either the Louisiana Technical College system, or through the Southwest Louisiana Community College system. Recently, a new program in Barbering and Hairstyling is being offered at a satellite campus within the Cecilia community,in a partnership between the St. Martin Parish School Board and St. Martin Parish Government.
In addition to scholarships awarded by numerous colleges and universities, Cecilia High School has an established educational trust: The Mona Halphen Dupuis Memorial Scholarship Fund. Graduating seniors who have displayed exemplary academic and extracurricular achievement throughout their high school career are awarded several tiers of scholarships based on individual achievements and performance throughout high school. Eligible students must apply for the scholarships and students are chosen through a selective process by the board of directors upon recommendation from school faculty and administration.
Cecilia High School varsity and junior varsity baseball, basketball (men and women), volleyball, fast-pitch softball, indoor and outdoor track and field, and football teams are well known throughout the State of Louisiana and the Acadiana and Gulf Coast region. In addition to a wide offering of athletic activities, Cecilia High School offers numerous co-curricular and extracurricular activities encouraging student participation. Numerous student organizations represent the best of Cecilia High School; among them the speech and debate teams, cheerleading, marching and concert bands, colorguard, winterguard, and dance teams, competing at regional, state, and national levels.
Cecilia High athletic teams compete within the governance of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. The Bulldogs are perennial contenders for state championship honors in a wide range sports. Cecilia High's speech and debate program have won numerous state championships and national championships in the representing the State of Louisiana. In Spring 2015, the Cecilia High Speech Team was nationally recognized with the Leading Chapter Award by the National Speech and Debate Association. Cecilia High Cheerleaders have continuously placed superior in several regional and national competitions, garnering an invitation to perform during the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida. Cecilia High Cheerleaders with UCA All-star recognition were invited to attend and perform in the New Year's Day Parade in London, England. The Cecilia High School Dance Team have built a solid reputation, earning numerous superior titles in addition to several invites to UDA Nationals held in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World. The Cecilia High School Bands have also built a legacy receiving "Superior" ratings and garnering Sweepstakes awards in the annual Louisiana Music Educators Association District III competition, its members also representing the parish in District and State Honor Band performances.
The Cecilia High Concert Band recently garnered an invitation to the 2015 Spring Band Competition to be held at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio, Texas.
- W. J. Smith; 1922
- A. J. Cormier; 1926-1927
- C. J. Dugas; 1927-1937
- W. R. Angelle; 1937-1949
- Homer J. LeBlanc; 1949-1977
- Malcolm Calais; 1977-1978
- Allen Stelly; 1978-1987
- Eric Castille; 1987-1994
- Malcolm Calais; 1994-2004
- Anthony Polotzola; 2004-2013
- Daniel LeBoeuf; 2013-Present
The mascot of Cecilia High School is the Bulldog (by appearance), though known as the "Mighty Bulldogs" or "Barky the Bulldog".
- We gather here in unity
- Remembering days of old
- And hardships fought with bravery
- Which made us strong and bold
- And days of joy and friendliness
- Which fill our hearts with happiness
- We hail our dear old alma mater
- Hail, Cecilia High!
- Fight for our colors, green and gold
- Fight for our honour, heart and soul
- Lift up her glory, lift up her name
- Shake down the thunder with her fame
- Win or lose, we'll never be blue
- We stand together, loyal and true
- We're from Cecilia, this is our song
- Cecilia, right or wrong, Hey!
- Robert Joseph "Bob" Angelle, Louisiana state representative. Angelle Hall, home of the School of Music at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is named in his honor.
- Al Berard, Grammy Award nominated recording artist and composer (class of 1978).
- Anthony Clement, National Football League (NFL) player for the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets (class of 1994).
- Ramsey Dardar, former NFL player for St. Louis Cardinals.
- Paul Jude Hardy, Louisiana state senator, secretary of state, and first Republican to have been elected lieutenant governor (class of 1960).
- Ali Landry, Miss USA 1996, Miss Universe top six finalist 1996, model and actress (class of 1991).
- Joel Stelly, NFL player for the Chicago Bears and for NFL Europe (class of 2002).
- "Ramsey Dardar NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 5, 2013.