Well Schooled!

Saddle Up!

For its Country Day’s City Nights, the Metairie school opted for a West fest. “Country Nights” billed the fun rounded up by the Parents Association and held on three locations. Patrons hied to the home of Pam and Todd Masson, where a cowgirl greeted them as they entered through a floral arch and The Tanglers purveyed the beat of bluegrass. Then folks moseyed on over to the school for the “country chic/rustic elegant” ambiance created by strand lighting, burlap table cloths, wildflowers arranged by Susan Bright (Timothy’s her husband) in Mason jars, wooden lanterns and an antler chandelier. Chefs Aaron Burgau and Crescent City BBQ and Mark Uddo gave a “wow!” to the chow, while Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue did the same for the music. Highlights included a lassoing cowboy, knife juggler and line dancers to get a move on the dance-floor groove. For the third shoulder-rubbing, an after-party unfolded in the Coleman Family Dining Room with a cowboy roller skater leading the way. More boot-scooting occurred by the rhinestone cowboy-hatted crowd, thanks to the tunes of DJ Otto.

The many headliners were AP president Amy Fernandez and president-elect Dollie Gill with hubbies Jeffrey Fernandez and Ralph Katz; event co-chairs Lynn Isacks and Kristin Shannon with Leonard and Mike; vice chairs Skye Fantaci and Sarah Gennusa, whose spouses answer to Mike and Kevin; the patron party’s duo of Olivia Ventola with Chad and hostess Pam Masson with Todd; and auction cohorts Tara Luparello, Amy Udhrain and Pallie Thompson with Don, Ashish and Patrick. Add to that fine lot, head of school Rob Hereford and wife Amanda Whalen, board pres Jennifer Heebe with Fred, Kara Van de Carr and spouse Daryl Byrd, and the seven categories of patrons (such as Rhinestone Cowboy and Wrangler, etc.) who rocked the “Rodeo” revelry.

Oh Say Can You “Sea!”

A nautical theme, with decorations by Kathleen Mancheski was bannered by the Newman Parents Association and Dads Club for the annual N’Spiration. The “Sea” set milled about the Krohn Foyer, the Reynolds Ryan Art Gallery and Valmont Courtyard of the Isidore Newman School. A step-and-repeat with balloon frames (by Powdered Wig Balloons and school parent Tanya Race), a wooden helm of a boat, green-and-white life preservers, the marquee-lighted “NEWMAN,” lanterns, and the illuminated oak tree made the theme gleam.

School artist-in-residence James Michalopoulos promoted his new book in the art gallery, with Kathryn Scurlock as the coordinator. More creativity came from logo-designer Hallie Lanier Boh.

Further features were the 130-items auction, Lee Michael Hat Pull, Windsor Court patron party hors d’oeuvres, and fine drink and food from 10 purveyors. Recognized and thanked for such were school parents Vanessa and Chad Berg, Walton and alumnus Jeff Goldring, Chris Puckett, and Dani and Mike Batten.

Noteworthy “nauticals” — several alumni — included respective Parents Association and Dads Club presidents Kelly Haber and Jonathan Friedman with Lawrence and Holly; association president-elect Mimi Macdiarmid Gorman with Alan; event co-chairs Amanda Berger and Ashley Randle Nesser with Ryan and J.T.; auction co-chairs Betsy Laborde and Lauren Greenberg Wakeman with Devin; board chair Ken Beer and Margaret; and Matt Mancheski with Kathleen.

Also, head of school Dale M. Smith and Dara, associate head of school Deena Carey, Katy Stafford Finger and Rick, Eboni Walker, Jackie Weill and about 300 others, who made land-loving motion to the Where Y’acht band, the “greatest yacht rock band in the world.” The boogieing brigade attested to that superlative salute.

Tuscany Reverie

With Martin Insurance Company and Steve and Sandy Walton as the presenters, the 44th annual Gryphon Gala traveled socially with “Dreams of Tuscany.” Hailed, too, was the half-century of Lutheran High School, the benefactor. Students made the booth titles and gala sponsorship signs that were placed around the Faith Lutheran Gymnasium in Harahan, where black linens topped the tables, along with wine bottles filled with fairy lights. The Roux LaLa ladies welcomed attendees and entertained after dinner. Additional attractions were the LHS band’s performance led by Adrian Scribner; the silent auction; the 50/50 Drawing; the Wine Pull; and the student-served dinner of caprese salad, gumbo, spaghetti and meatballs, and bread pudding.

Pam Casamento Flucke, class of ’87, the honorary alumna, was joined by alum/husband Craig and daughter Lindsey, parents Tommy and Jeanne Casamento, and sister and brother-in-law Shelly and Rob Saak, both alumni. Craig and Pam were voted the cutest couple of their 1987 graduating class and sported their senior rings at the gala.

More within the Tuscan throng — also, some alumni — were gala chairs Gemelle Martin Linzy and daughter Gigi Saak, emcee Bruce Growden, LHS principal Nancy Hernandez and Jerry, and the Rev. David Loftus, pastor. Also, Mitzi Loughmiller, Hope Lagarde, Derrick Martin, the Rev. Limkatso Nare, Enrique Aritz, Dane Brackvitch, Grecian Medina, Steve and Kathy Koester, Chris Bopp Gros, Doug Kiber, Ray Zoska, siblings Matt Saacks and Rachel Saacks Morse and mom Bonnie Saacks, Leonard Lewis, Penny Strenge, Jan Knecht, Linda Krauss, Rachel Linzy, Kristi Taglauer Nodrift, Nicole Blackwell Alleman, Jerry Bernard, Mark and Emilie Russo Schenck, Brad and Marie Morgan Growden, Tim Paulin, Lisa Taglauer, Julie Taglauer and Heidi Taglauer Bowlsby. Among others, who teamed for the Tuscan tout.

Past, Present and Future fun

The International High School of New Orleans presented “timely” levity at The Building, where the band Street LYFE headlined the “Past, Present & Future” fundraiser. Guests rallied around the smorgasbord of international foods prepared by World Market Deli, the silent auction full of domestic and global travel packages, and a showcase of the students’ artwork.

Dr. Shontell Thomas and Percy Manson chaired the bash to benefit the college preparatory charter school and its Global Languages Department. “Foreign language learning is at the heart of our teaching mission,” stated IHSNO CEO and head of school Dr. Adierah Berger, who was joined by husband August Washington. Others from the school were principal Jenny Carreno and assistant principal James Davis, board president Jennifer Lampton, Grace Clark, Darren Francois, Kenneth J. Ducote, Cerrita Jones, Karen Dwyer, Tonya Winfield, Sarah Olivier, Fanny McKenna and Michael, Cody Bourque, and Walter O. Alvarez Zamora and Ruby Alvarez.

The school is beaming with pride these days. Senior Dennis “Maliq” Barnes, who is 16, will attend Cornell University in the fall. He was offered more than $10 million by 149 American colleges and universities, and “his total dollars in scholarship offers is more than any other college-bound senior in U.S. history.” Congratulations all around. And in multiple languages!