For the first time in the history of the REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCE, a student at Woodlawn High School was awarded Best in Show, the competition’s top recognition. Junior Naya Smith was selected as Best in Show for her piece titled My Past Life. In addition to a $500 cash prize, Naya and Woodlawn High School received a trophy to display at Woodlawn High School.
“I just decided to do this piece because I wanted to do something that represented me,” said Naya about her award-winning work.
Every April, Baton Rouge Gallery opens its doors for its annual REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCE Juried High School Exhibition. This year’s exhibition shines a light on over 70 works of original art produced by students from East Baton Rouge public and private high school students. This year’s works were selected from a pool of over 150 works by students from across EBR.
The exhibition is made possible by the support of Cordell & Ava Haymon. The goal of the exhibition is to share the talents of area students with the Baton Rouge community while encouraging the students to continue pursuing their artistic talents outside the classroom.
The exhibition also draws attention to the importance of arts education, celebrating both its positive effects on the youth of our community and the efforts of the educators that challenge their students on a daily basis.
Baton Rouge Gallery started the REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCE Juried High School Exhibition in the early 1990s. The idea was to give students a “real life” experience so that they knew what it was like to be a professional artist outside of the school. Each year, the works that are chosen are juried by three professional artists.
The following students from Woodlawn High School had artwork included in this year’s exhibit.
Angel Caine, (2 pieces), Xiangjun Cui, Brianna Cutforth (2 pieces), Christopher Delcid, Rachel Ezell (2 pieces), Isaiah John, Destiny Leger, Joann Mayeux (3 pieces), Thomas Sauce, Naya Smith (3 pieces), and Kerrin Whitley (2 pieces).
Some information for this article was taken from the Baton Rouge Gallery website, which can be viewed by clicking here.
Woodlawn High School’s Theater 3 Class will present a virtual production of the play Help Desk. Help Desk was written by Don Zolidis. The hilarious comedy details the problems that arise when you call the help desk. Although you’re looking for a solution when you call the help desk, your problems may just be beginning!
Katelynn Johnson performs her part in Help Desk.
Tickets to the play can be purchased beginning Monday, May 3rd for $8 through the Woodlawn High website. Those who purchase the production online will receive a link to the play via email and will be able to watch the play from the comfort of their own home. While students and parents are encouraged to use their credit or debit cards and purchase the link online, students may stop by the theater to pay in cash if they would like. Students paying with cash must provide an email address when purchasing so that they can receive the link.
The Theater students have worked very hard over the last two months. The production features a collaboration between virtual and in person students in the class and was filmed using Zoom.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work that the students have put in to make this production happen during such a challenging year,” said Ms. Leonard-Brubaker. “Performing with someone who isn’t in the same room with you is difficult for even the most seasoned performer, and these kids really pushed themselves to overcome that challenge and produce a really funny show.”
The cast of Help Desk features Jasmine Gray, Joshua Robins, Braeden Hodges, Yezeed Manna, Jason Delcid, Jianna Ross, Alyric Alexander, and Katlynn Johnson.
Kaitlyn Arceneaux is in her second year of the Woodlawn High School JROTC program. During her first year in the program, as Private First Class, Kaitlyn found that she truly enjoyed the JROTC program. She stood out in her LET group, and was promoted at the beginning of her sophomore year to Cadet Sergeant.
Later during her sophomore year, Cadet Sergeant Kaitlyn was chosen to represent the Woodlawn High School JROTC Department for the East Baton Rouge Parish District LET II competition.
“I was very excited when I found out that JROTC staff selected me as the LET II representative for Woodlawn High,” said Arceneaux. “There were several other qualified cadets that they could have selected, so I was surprised and honored to be selected.”
On February 11, 2021, Cadet Sergeant Kaitlyn Arceneaux competed with other cadets in the Baton Rouge District. She did an outstanding job and placed second in the competition.
“Kaitlyn represented Woodlawn High School very well and the JROTC staff is extremely proud of her,” commented Sergeant First Class (R) Jill Pearl. Kaitlyn has worked very hard and been a dedicated cadet in our program for the past two years. The staff looks forward to watching her grow as a leader and see what she accomplishes in the next two years.”
Outside of the JROTC program, Arceneaux has maintained a 4.5 GPA at Woodlawn High School. She is a two-year varsity letterman for the Lady Panther soccer team, and has recently joined the Lady Panther softball team. She plans to attend LSU after her time as a Panther, and hopes to one day become a veterinarian.
It has been almost a year since the singing arts have been shut down due to Covid-19. Recently, Lost N’ Sound, Woodlawn High School’s pop a cappella group, had the opportunity to participate virtually in the DeBose Foundation High School Competition. Excited at the opportunity to participate in the competition, the group chose a Christmas piece that they felt could give everyone a little hope and encouragment during the pandemic.
For this year’s competition, members of Lost N’ Sound submitted their song, Silent Night, which was recorded in December 2020. The group’s submission placed first in the High School category. The performance of Silent Night, along with other performances, will be streamed live via DeBose social media outlets during the month of February.
As an ancillary resource, the DeBose Fine Arts Series – Competition is characterized by partnerships and multidiscipline collaboration designed to salute and showcase teacher and student achievement based on curriculum and studio criterion in literary, visual, and performing arts. This annual program is motivated by advocacy, supporting existing Louisiana education standards and national education initiatives. Community outreach, as a signature component of the DeBose program, encompasses qualitative enrichment to fine arts education areas. Fulfillment of school needs and curriculum objectives, coupled with the opportunity to uphold and service corporate initiatives, will afford stellar programs serving to promote the integrity and developmental needs of youth. Addressing these educational challenges fosters new and renewed aspiration benefiting under-served and under-developed talent, implemented through “hands-on/participant oriented” project initiatives.
Members of Lost N’ Sound are Jada Braxton, Eleanore Carter, Adrienne East, Jennifer Fuenmayor-Reyes, Sarah Kring, Isabella Schamber, and Devin Trim. The group is led by Ms. Klein.
There is a new club available to students seeking to mix athletics with leadership opportunities.
The Community Sports Leadership Club is a new school club that provides opportunities for Woodlawn High School, Woodlawn Middle School, and Woodlawn Elementary School students to collaborate in community and sports leadership activities and career exploration.
The club plans to host special guest speakers who can share positive information from their athletic, educational, career, and community leadership experiences.
Members of the club will be invited to participate in Coed Intramural Sports and Community Outreach Events. These events will be an opportunity to engage students in fun, collaborative activities while touching on important teen related issues, information, and resources.
The Community Sports Leadership Club held its first even on Sunday, January 31st. Members of the club were able to participate in the Coed Basketball Battle. Shannon Clavelle, who played with the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI, was the special guest speaker.
Club members also have the opportunity to be awarded a $200 scholarship through the Mitchell Basketball Lab. Members can find information on the scholarship on the Club Google Classroom.
For more information on the Community Sports Leadership Club, students are encouraged to contact Ms. Mitchell at [email protected].