LSMSA welcomes new students with 37th Annual Matriculation Ceremony

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) recognized 150 new students, representing 70 percent of the state's parishes, during its annual Matriculation Ceremony held Friday, Aug. 30 in the Natchitoches Events Center.

The matriculants were invited onstage individually and officially welcomed as LSMSA students. The incoming class has an average GPA of 3.9 and ACT score of 25.

Six students joined the class of 2020, 57 joined the class of 2021, and 86 inaugurated the class of 2022. They walked across the stage and signed the official roster of LSMSA, cementing their place in the school's ever-growing history.

"I hope that you sense already what it can mean for you to soar with the eagles," said Executive Director Steve Horton, imploring the new students to look to the future. "No ceremony of any academic stature is complete without words from someone who appreciates the accomplishments of our youth who will grow to be our country's leaders."

Damian Duke Domingue ('87), who has spent 20 years at the Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina and currently owns a successful auctioneering business named Duke Says Sold, delivered the keynote address. Domingue spoke about his passion for learning new things.

"The passion and love transforms whatever we're doing into art, and everything is art," he said.

During his speech, he spoke about his life in theater and how after having grown complacent, he went to auctioneer's college. Domingue described his time at LSMSA and mentioned all of the wonderful things he learned while enrolled. He ended his speech with a final note to the class of 2022, telling them, "the antidote of boredom is curiosity, and curiosity . . . well, there's no cure for that."

"Remember that in this place you are not alone, that you have so many people available that want to help you," said Siobahn Stanley, a senior, warning students of potential hardships and encouraging them to try their best to work through them.

The processional was performed by the LSMSA Instrumental Ensemble conducted by Dr. Al Benner with the Pledge of Allegiance being led by Brayden Kimbrough ('20), of Ponchatoula.

Madi Kavanaugh ('21), of Bossier City, sang the National Anthem. Lastly, Allison Johnson, a junior from Lake Charles, led the crowd in singing the Alma Mater.

Following the ceremony, students were free to return home for the first Extended Weekend of the academic year.

LSMSA application for admission for 2021 enrollment is free and online at

Contributed by LSMSA