Rotary Teacher of the Month - April
Mrs. Audrey Mayer
Our Lady Academy
Seventh, Tenth, and Eleventh Grade Religion
Educational Background: Mount Carmel Academy, New Orleans (All Girls’ Catholic High School) and Loyola University, New Orleans, Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications, Minor in History, and Diocese of Biloxi New Wine Catechist Certification (Three-Year program to certify as Parish/School Religious Coordination and Teacher)
organization mission is to fund 501c3 charities; Queen of Carnival Association in 2014, Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary for St. Thomas Parish, Volunteer Youth Minister with the program, commitment to the cause of pro-life and participant in March for Life.
Mrs. Audrey Mayer is an exceptional teacher. She is a delight to observe as she instructs her ladies in the classroom. In my mind, Audrey embodies the characteristics of what Our Lady Academy is working to instill in our ladies as “Dynamic, Christian Women.” Mrs. Mayer is the Campus Religion Department Chairwomen — she fulfills her many organizational duties with zeal and love for our school mission of “Fitting Young Women for Earth without Unfitting Them for Heaven.” She is the sponsor of our campus ministry team, which has the
responsibility of delivering a number of retreats to fellow underclass ladies throughout the school year. Her work ethic is admirable and an inspiration to other campus teachers. Her students rise to her expectations and follow her example of volunteerism. OLA is privileged to have her as a member of our faculty.
U.S. News and World Report analyzed more than 31,000 public high schools across the country to determine its rankings. Bronze medal winners are noted as “high-performing schools,” with only 17.8% of high schools nationwide given that honor. Only four schools in the state received the higher honor of silver or gold status.
“To me, this continued success is a direct correlation to the excellence expected and displayed by every person walking the halls of Bay High School,” said Principal Dr. Amy Coyne.
“The credit goes to the amazing individuals in the classrooms who give their all to the fabulous group of students that we are blessed to work with,” she continued. “Every member of the Bay High faculty takes a part in molding, encouraging, and educating every student in some way. I am forever grateful to the work ethic and positive attitudes of the family here at Bay High. It is always a great day to be a Tiger, and this recognition simply aids in validating this.”
U.S. News and World Report teamed up with the American Institutes for Research using a three-step process to determine its list of best high schools including: 1) looking at reading and math scores on high schools’ proficiency tests to see if students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state; 2) looking at whether schools’ least-advantaged students were performing better than the average for similar students in the state; 3) looking at college-readiness performance using Advanced Placement test data.
"It is a prestigious honor for our school community, and community as a whole, and is certainly a testament to the commitment to education in the Bay St. Louis-Waveland School District,” said Superintendent Dr. Rebecca Ladner. “We are proud of the recognition, but even more proud of the fact that our faculty and students continue to push for high academic achievement.”
This year their honoree is Hancock Medical Center. The First Impressions Birthing Center at Hancock Medical has an amazing labor and delivery team that successfully helps new parents begin the journey of a lifetime. The hospital delivers more than 200 babies each year, offers free classes to expecting parents, and includes information for each newborn to be signed up for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (sponsored by Bay Waveland Rotary and United Way), which provides a free book a month for the first five years of the child’s life.
In addition to the Champion of The Young Child award, Hancock County Excel By 5 started a new tradition last year to honor an individual as “Super Hero of The Young Child.” This year’s honoree is Mary Perkins. She has supported the Hancock County Excel By 5 efforts from the very first meeting. She serves as a conduit to tie Excel By 5 efforts to the rest of the community. She truly believes in the young people — the future of Hancock County.
Hancock County Excel By 5 (EB5) is a volunteer organization. Excel By 5 is an innovative process that is designed to encourage and assist communities in Mississippi to become actively involved in supporting their young children. The first of its kind, this certification process emphasizes the important roles parents and primary caregivers play in educating children during their most formative years, birth to age 5 and provides certification requirements against which communities are measured.
Mitchell, son of Mary Kay and Wesley Walk of Diamondhead, MS, earned a top composite score of 36 on the ACT test his junior year. Nationally, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn the top score of 36.
Mitchell has achieved either Alpha or President’s Honor Roll every quarter since the seventh grade. He is a member of the Brother Peter Basso Chapter of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Student Ministry Team, and is Vice-President of the Saint Stanislaus Student Council. As a three-sport varsity athlete, Mitchell has earned varsity letters in football, basketball and tennis, and currently serves as the tennis representative for the Saint Stanislaus chapter for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In football, he was named to the 2015 MAC All-State First Team, the All-Division 8-4A Team, and the Sea Coast Echo Defensive Player of the Year. Mitchell was also named to the Division 8-4A All-Division Basketball Team. Mitchell was also named the Mr. Rock-A-Chaw Award recipient for both football and basketball this year. He was also a Mississippi finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman.
The school invited parents and family to join the students as they gathered in the school’s gym. The ceremony began with Hancock Middle School principal, Dr. Jessica Taylor, thanking the parents and students and wishing them well. Eighth grade students shared information about the importance of staying in school.
Student leaders from Hancock High School’s junior class came to reinforce the message of the importance of education. These students will be seniors for this group of eighth graders’ freshmen year next year, and officially welcomed them to Hancock High.
Each eighth grade student was escorted by a caring adult to the ceremony table to sign the pledge, which is an acronym for I Promise to Learn Each Day and Graduate Empowered. As students signed the P.L.E.D.G.E. they were presented with a hawk pin that they were encouraged to save to wear on their graduation stoles in 2020 when they graduate from high school. Community members attended as well.
The ceremony, which is one of many programs in Hancock County School District that focuses on keeping students in school, was a huge success and will continue to be an annual event.