OLQH students gather for long-standing tradition

Published 10:01 am Thursday, August 18, 2022

At the Our Queen of Heaven School First Day Rally first through eighth grade students, parents, teachers, and faculty gathered to celebrate the first day of school, as well as a return to routine.

The First Day Rally is a long-standing tradition at Our Lady Queen of Heaven. However, due to COVID-19 safety regulations, the last rally occurred in 2019. This event is important to the school, as it allows the community to all join together to set off for the upcoming school year.

Megan O’Quin, Director of Advancement of Our Lady Queen of Heaven School, expressed gratitude for the return of the rally. “We’re excited to start the year off with some normalcy.”

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After giving students, parents, and teachers a chance to reconnect, the rally was kicked off with song and prayer led by Monsignor Daniel A. Torres, Our Lady Queen of Heaven Pastor. With a little help from Our Lady Queen of Heaven’s 8th grade class, Torres led attendees with an energetic rendition of “This Little Light of Mine” to help establish the tone of the new school year. This was followed by prayer.

Our Lady Queen of Heaven Principal Trevor Donnelly then addressed both the students and parents. Donnelly stated he was “so happy that we have everyone coming back that is healthy and had a very safe summer.”

In celebration of perseverance, he announced that the theme of the school year is “Learning and Living the Good News.”

“It’s a return to the roots of our school as we focus on the history, the traditions and all of the great things that are associated with Our Lady Queen of Heaven,” he stated. “We believe that all of our students are going to have tremendous opportunities to share their talents and their gifts with their schoolmates and teachers.”

Donnelly and his staff “look forward to prospering that success throughout the school year.”

He stated that he is looking to the eighth grade class to be student leaders in this mission. “My challenge to each of you, particularly to my eighth grade class, is to be a model for one another.” “To model God’s love, to model the call that he has for us, to live the way that he did.”

Donnelly also took time to recognize the investment that parent’s make to send their children to Our Lady Queen of Heaven, and asked they enrich the education that their children receive by supporting teachers.

He also asked them to teach their children how to prioritize religion in tandem with education.

“Education is extremely important, but even more important than the education that they will receive in this building, is then working that inner as the community of brothers and sisters in Christ that love one another,” he said. “I ask that you help your child understand that there is a priority. Your relationship with God is first and foremost.”

Chief Deputy Gary Stitch Miller brought the energy of “happy days and happy times,” as well as words of wisdom regarding the importance of education.

Miller expressed to the students that staying committed and invested in their education can help them to make better choices through anecdotes of citizens that he has met in his career.

“I come to you this morning encouraging you to go to class, work hard, and try to be the best student and classmate that you can be,” he said. “More importantly, show respect to your teachers, your principal, and your school.”

“This is your school. Be proud of your school and do whatever you can to make your school the best school in Calcasieu Parish.”

To top the rally off, Miller led the student’s in a spirited cheer to bring excitement to the students.

Our Lady Queen of Heaven currently has approximately 650 students in attendance and is currently in their 65th year of operation.