St. Martin honored as 1999 distinguished graduate

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 15, 1999

L’Observateur / February 15, 1999

RESERVE – St. Peter School has announced that the National CatholicEducational Association (NCEA) has named S.J. Martin M.D., the 1999 NCEACatholic Elementary School Distinguished Graduate.

He graduated in 1946 and is a retired family practice physician residing in LaPlace. He also graduated from Leon Godchaux High School in Reserve,Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge,and Louisiana State School of Medicine in New Orleans.

Sponsored by the NCEA’s Department of Elementary Schools in cooperation with St. Peter School, the award goes to Dr. St. Martin for outstandingpersonal and professional achievements. Throughout his life, Dr. Billy St.Martin consistently has pursued the highest possible professional and personal standard. He is an example of how Catholic schools educatepeople to take leadership roles in their community and beyond.

“It is with great pleasure that we recognize distinguished graduates from our Catholic elementary schools,” said Dr. Robert Kealey, executivedirector of NCEA’s Department of Elementary Schools, the award’s sponsor. “The education they received in the elementary years hasprovided a firm basis for growth and achievement in their adult lives.”NCEA established the Distinguished Graduates Award out of a recognition that the significant accomplishments of Catholic elementary school alumni are a hallmark of Catholic education. The awards highlight “peoplewho as adults put into practice the values and ideals they learned in their Catholic elementary schools,” added Dr. Kealey.The first Distinguished Graduate Awards were made in 1991. As an awardwinner, Dr. Billy St. Martin joins a stellar group of hundreds of Catholicschool alumni across the country. They include an FBI director, a governor,a missionary, a circuit court judge, a TV news producer, an Air Force combat training division chief, a senator, a mayor, a corporate president and a state representative.

Dr. St. Martin credits St. Peter School for preparing him in a unique way tomeet the responsibilities of adult life. He said, “My Catholic Education hasbeen a cornerstone in the development of my total self. A strongfoundation of a Catholic faith along with God’s love and justice were exemplified in the teachings of the Dominican sisters.”Some of Dr. St. Martin’s accomplishments include recognizing his life-longdream of bringing a hospital to St. John Parish, which now serves theRiver Region area bringing with It excellent physicians and many other services. He is also a recipient of the St. Louis Medallion, an honorbestowed upon him by the Archbishop. For many years Dr. St. Martin ran amission in Mexico providing it with financial and medical assistance. He isa Eucharistic Minister at St. Joan of Arc in LaPlace and was the firstprincipal of the CCD Program there, where he is currently a parishioner.

The National Catholic Educational Association is the largest private, professional education association in the world. Founded in 1904, theassociation’s membership represents more than 200,000 educators serving 7.6 million students in Catholic education at all levels, includingpreschools, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities, seminaries and religious education programs.

Dr. St. Martin was recognized on Jan. 31 at St. Peter’s Mass honoringMonsignor Jean Eyraud.

In 1930, the late Monsignor Jean M. Eyraud’s dream of quality Catholiceducation for the families of St. John Parish became a reality. Since thattime, St. Peter School has been serving the spiritual, intellectual, social,emotional, physical and cultural needs of the children in the community.

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