One Year in COVID-19: The Growth of STA

March 13 marks the anniversary of when St. Teresa’s Academy went on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since, leaders within the student body and faculty have found ways to shift, adapt, and change their programs for the better.

by Claire Smith, Editor-in-Chief

Friday, March 13, 2020, was the last day that students would step foot on campus for the rest of the semester. It was announced then that school would be on hold for the next few weeks while administration created a plan to manage COVID-19 safely. Effects from the pandemic lasted longer than people expected —  original theories revolved around normalcy being the summer, then the fall, and so on. 

March 13, 2021, marks a year since the first shut-down of St. Teresa’s Academy due to COVID-19, and the virus remains ever present with glimmers of hope in vaccine distribution. Over the course of the past year, there have been immense adaptations and learning how to attain the full St. Teresa’s experience alongside the precautions with COVID-19. From students to faculty and staff, leaders within the community have found ways to shift their programs, some potentially for the better. 

See the following videos for how they overcome those obstacles and watched their staffers grow in the process.



Izzy Bryars and Maeve Burns were told last March they would be the co-Editors-in-Chief of the yearbook staff — the Teresian. They were awarded the news of their leadership positions last year: the day before spring break began. The duo had plans to bring in bonding and connectedness into their new staff to support recurring, fast paced cycles.



Last May, Jeanne Eckles was elected as the senior class president for the class of 2021. She ran her campaign on the notion of acting as a pipeline from the senior class to administration and strove to uphold that promise in the 2020-2021 academic year. However, being senior class president has brought challenges of finding new ways of maintaining the magic of senior year.



Andrea Arredondo is the director of campus ministry and service, and Denise Simeone works with Arredondo in facilitating spirituality on campus. The connection to faith is a large part of the student experience at St. Teresa’s, and the two have made many shifts in regard to daily prayer, school-wide mass and retreats over the course of the year due to COVID-19. Some of these shifts have been blessings in disguise, such as the new format for daily prayer, which they will plan to maintain in years to come. 



Kelly McKee is the director of recruitment and enrollment of future STA stars. This is McKee’s first year serving in the admissions department, where she was given the challenge of maintaining STA’s strong admissions program during COVID-19. After working for St. Teresa’s for over 10 years, she had prior expectations for the process of admissions, but that was almost completely reimagined this year. 




Ty Abney is the athletic director, and at this time last year he was in the process of completely shutting down his program. There was a nervousness in how the program would continue into this year, and while some sports traditions have been shifted, overall the program has grown — over 200 students tried out for spring sports this year, the most in the athletic program’s history.



Dr. Siabhan May-Washington is the current president of St. Teresa’s Academy. Many of the logistics of having in-person learning have fallen into her hands, but being together physically was always the plan — it was just a matter of “how.” STA as a whole looks completely different, from plexiglass barriers in classrooms to disinfecting procedures, but some shifts — such as technological ones — will hopefully be maintained and advanced in years to come.