The student news site of St. Teresa's Academy


From Academy Woman to Zahner Lounge: The STA Dictionary

In STA's 150 years of educating young women, notorious people, places and things have become identifying elements of the school. But where did they come from?

by Mary Hilliard, Editor in Chief

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Academy Woman- Each year, the Academy recognizes a senior who exemplifies “the best of the best,” the  finest personal qualities and characteristics of an STA student, including religious and moral character, leadership, loyalty, responsibility, and service. The very first award recipient was Martha Becker Head from the Class of 1949.

       To an STA student “Someone who shows the sisterhood, carries out the sisterhood, nice to everyone, easy to talk to” – junior Grace Schloegel

Mother Evelyn O’Neill- Named Mother Superior of St. Teresa’s in 1908, Mother Evelyn O’Neill is responsible for STA’s relocation from 12th and Washington street to its current Windmoor location. In 2000, a service award was named after her and is now presented to a student each year in the spring.

       To an STA student “A person who dedicates her free time to service” junior Macy Trujillo

Windmoor- In 1909, after STA moved from downtown, the nuns dubbed the new campus “Windmoor” due to the constant wind blowing across the open prairie. It is now the name of the newest building on campus, which includes the Chapel of St. Joseph and four classrooms.

       To an STA student “Uncomfortable classrooms”- Sophomore Mamie Murphy

Bistro- STA’s lunch service; local company that prides itself on providing healthy and nutritious lunches with farm fresh ingredients from the surrounding area.

       To an STA student “, cookies are always hot and fresh out the kitchen” – senior Mary Grace Campbell

Donnelly- Named after Father Donnelly, Donnelly Hall was added to the Windmoor Campus in 1941.  It housed the city’s first and only college for women.

       To an STA student “The less fun, less creative, more rigid of the buildings, more left brained”- senior Delaney Meyer

Music and Arts Building- Built in 1909, M&A is on the national Register of Historic Places. The nuns who used to teach at STA lived on the fourth floor. Currently, English, theology, world language, and music classes are taught there.

       To an STA student “the circle building with all the guy teachers” senior Annie Tuttle

Goppert Center- STA’s athletic building was constructed in 1982, named after the Goppert family, whose foundation funded its construction.

       To an STA student “The gym” sophomore Riley McNett

Advisories-  STA’s version of homerooms; students from all grade levels form four-year relationships with their faculty advisors and classmates within their advisories. Students are required to check in and out at the beginning and end of each day.

To an STA student “Second family” – freshmen Victoria Parsons and Kira Sanford

Twinks- Student Council Organization surprised students in 1991 with a Christmas gift, the school’s new mascot, Twinks, a large yellow star. The gender of the school mascot is highly debated.  

       To an STA student “A glamorous icon”- senior Maddie Summers

The Tunnel- A subterranean crawl space off-limits to students. Seniors traditionally sign the tunnel on the last day of school. Rumors about its existence include that it was originally a bomb shelter or that it connects M&A and Donnelly.

       To an STA student “A big secret” junior Payton Drummond

Teresian- Dance held every October; The name of STA’s yearbook

       To an STA student “A not super intense dance… getting ready is more fun, the actual dance is more of a rendezvous point” junior Bailey Briscoe

Junior Ring- Juniors receive a ring bearing the STA crest and motto at a ceremony in the spring. In the 1900s, students received medallions instead of rings. The current design has been in place since 1963.

       To an STA student “An excuse to post a picture that looks like you’re flipping off the camera”- junior Rose Madden

Star Cookies- Iconic sugar cookies in the shape of stars with yellow icing. The original star cookies are from the Hyvee  on Noland Road.

       To an STA student “Heaven for your tastebuds” senior Lily Cosgrove

Stairs- A set of steps leading from one floor of a building to another, typically inside the building.

       To an STA student “borderline torture” sophomore Anna Louise Sih

Sister Joan Tolle- An STA institution, Sister Joan is a sister of St. Joseph who worked at STA since 1984 before retiring in 2013. She is easily recognized by her small stature and parka that likely weighs as much as her.

       To an STA student “A magical goddess” senior Darby Pedersen

Quad- Formally known as “The Quad of the Little Flower”, the Quad is a central area surrounded by STA’s four buildings. Home to some of STA’s best traditions, including Frosh Fest, yard days and Student Appreciation Day.

       To an STA student “A sacred place, where I want to die” junior Meg Rohr

The Seal- At the center of the Quad is a seal with the STA crest; can be a safety hazard on a rainy day.

       To an STA student “…Broken…there’s an unspoken rule to walk around it and respect the seal… an STA icon”- sophomore Devin John

Passing of the Legacy- Ceremony that takes place on the first day of every school year. Members of the senior class give medals (made by the senior class officers) to the newest members of the STA community, the freshman class, metaphorically passing on the legacy of St. Teresa’s.

       To an STA student “Symbolic of moving on and change, passing down the sisterhood”- senior Sophie Burke

Class Day- Held a few days before graduation, the senior class returns to say goodbye to STA. It features performances by seniors, a video montage of pictures throughout their time at STA and a speech by the Academy Woman.

       To an STA student “The day you will cry your eyes out- even if you don’t know the people graduating”- Katherine Green, or “Emotional, but in a good way, nostalgic”- sophomore Siobhan Bradley

Class Mass- Each grade has mass once a month in the Chapel. Specifically, not a late start. Classes begin at 8:30.

       To an STA student “No late start”- sophomore Maeve Madden

Late Start- A rare and blessed occasion that only occurs twice a year. Classes begin at 9:50.

       To an STA student “Food before school” junior Raegan Coppinger

Sweatshirt- a loose, heavy shirt, typically made of cotton, worn when exercising or as leisurewear

To an STA student “Beware of Bertalott”

SBR- A “student behavior report” more often than not given out for improper uniform rather than actual behavior problems.

       To an STA student “Does that mean detention?” junior Claire Fiorella

Service Week- One week in the month of February where juniors and seniors volunteer at service agencies throughout the Kansas City area.

       To an STA student “The literal best week of my life” senior Siena Hutchinson

Netbook- Laptops provided to all students to be replaced with Surface Pro tablets next year.

       To an STA student “Books of terror”- sophomore Lizzy Zirkel

Tartan Plaid- The key component of the STA uniform, the skirt, featuring red, black and green.

       To an STA student “A reusable napkin” junior Isabella Patterson

Free Period- An unstructured time in a student’s schedule designed to teach time management skills.

       To an STA student“Productive procrastination”- theology teacher Jenny Greene

Zahner Lounge: “A meeting space in Donnelly named after alumna Lorene A. Soden Zahner, class of 1926. The conference room has many uses, including a welcome space for shadows and office space.”

       To an STA student  “An old looking room that’s used for hosting other people at our school” freshman Molly Cowan



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From Academy Woman to Zahner Lounge: The STA Dictionary