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Promethean Titanium Board For Chemistry Classes

A new Promethean Titanium board was purchased and installed for the lecture hall connected to the Gerald F. DeLuca Chemistry Lab in 2020. The DeLuca Group raised and donated about $6,000 to make the purchase possible. The Promethean Titanium Board is the latest in computerized high tech teaching aids that enables chemistry instructor Ben Russo to access, use and display about 800 instructional applications on the board’s 86-inch high-resolution computer screen. The board is a 21st Century substitute for traditional blackboards and whiteboards that is also equipped with a Chromebox computer that permits interaction by the students from their laptops in class or remotely.


After a one-year postponement of its annual Christmas luncheon due to COVID-19, the DeLuca Group reinstituted the luncheon at Tony Mandina’s restaurant in Gretna on December 3, 2021. The luncheon was attended by about 40 alumni from graduating classes in the 1970s and 80s. Special guests included Fr. Steve Ryan, Shaw’s Salesian Head of School; Dennis Coulon, a 2022 inductee into the Shaw Hall of Fame; previously inducted Shaw Hall of Famer Coach Joe Zimmerman; retiring Shaw Finance chief John Corb; Fr. Frank Carabello, and Shaw Advancement/Development Director Brandon Surrency ’09. Attendees Mark Savoie ’73 and Gus Crammond ’73 made generous donations to the DeLuca Scholarship Fund. Through the leadership of Rene Faucheux ‘73, the group also continued its Christmas tradition by donating $2,000 to purchase and deliver “boxes of joy” to needy children through its “Brother Dave’s Den” effort. The “boxes of joy” are provided through Catholic Outreach Ministries. They are gift boxes containing personal hygiene supplies, small toys and basic educational materials as Christmas gifts to needy children who might otherwise have received no gifts for Christmas. The annual donations are made in memory of the late Shaw icon and original Shaw Hall of Famer Brother Dave Verret S.D.B.

                Alumni interested in attending next year’s luncheon are encouraged to contact event organizer Tony Baez ’73 at anthonybaez@gmx.com

Chemistry Teacher Ben Russo Lectures
With DeLuca Group Promethean Board

The “state-of-the-art” DeLuca Chemistry Lab and its Forensic Chemistry Course were featured in a newspaper article by Beth Donze in the New Orleans Clarion Herald on August 22, 2019. The article notes that “in 2018, alumni who stayed close to their former teacher . . . raised $30,000 to enhance Shaw’s chemistry lab.” It can be read online if you Google New Abp. Shaw elective to probe forensic science - Clarion Herald.

Ethan Dixon of St. Cletus School receives his DeLuca Scholarship award from Brandon Surrency ’09, Admissions Director Nicole Giambelluca, Jay Wilkinson ’73 and Fr. Chris on May 26, 2022.

ABOUT US: The DeLuca Group honors and remembers the late Dr. Gerald F. DeLuca (1938-
2018) through fellowship and giving. A native of McDonoughville, Dr. DeLuca was a Westbank
educational icon and academic prodigy who excelled in all things scholastic, including chemistry,
physics, mathematics, English, Spanish, writing and school administration. He was a beloved
member of Shaw’s 1962 founding faculty, who became Shaw’s Assistant Principal for Academic
Affairs, Co-Principal in 1973-74 and later Provost of Our Lady of Holy Cross College in Algiers and
a 2019 inductee into the Shaw Hall of Fame. He was a mentor, counselor, friend and role model who
paid individualized attention to his students’ lives and contributed to their development into men.

The DeLuca Group strives to maintain Dr. DeLuca’s memory and legacy of love and
academic excellence at Archbishop Shaw High School through activities and donations, either
directly to the school in his name or through the Dr. Gerald F. DeLuca Academic Advancement
Fund, a separate component of the Archbishop Shaw High School Alumni Association, Inc.
501(c)(3). The account will receive and direct donations to Archbishop Shaw High School to fund:

–The Gerald F. DeLuca Academic Scholarships, awarded annually to one or more current Shaw students and incoming eighth-graders based on financial need,  grades and standardized
tests scores show his potential for academic excellence in math and science; the infrastructure and
equipment needs of Shaw’s Gerald F. DeLuca Chemistry Lab, including the Forensic Chemistry
Program; and an endowment to generate future proceeds to sustain and increase the DeLuca
scholarship and chemistry lab, its equipment and instructional programs.

The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation has awarded a $30,000 grant to the Alumni Association’s DeLuca Group to support the Gerald F. DeLuca Academic Scholarships program at Shaw. The grant will be donated in three annual $10,000 installments during 2023-25, the first of which was received in June 2023. The total award will be deposited into the DeLuca Scholarships component of the Saint John Bosco Salesian Endowment at the Catholic Community Foundation to sustain the DeLuca scholarships into the future.

The Patrick F. Taylor grant is in addition to $37,000 raised by the DeLuca Group in 2022-23. That $37,000 has already been donated to fund seven (7) scholarships for Shaw students in the 2023-24 school year and a deposit boosting the DeLuca endowment.

            In May 2023, the DeLuca Group awarded five (5) scholarships to incoming Shaw eighth-graders and two (2) scholarships to current Shaw students for the 2023-24 school year. The scholarship awards totaling $27,000 were based on demonstrated academic performance, standardized test scores in math and science, potential for academic success, character and financial need. The scholarships vary in amount from $3,000 to $5,000 apiece.

            The incoming eighth-grade DeLuca Scholarship winners are Noah d’Avonzo of St. Cletus School in Gretna and Patrick L. Gomez, Manuel Davis-DeLaCruz, Isaiah D. Jeffers and Hayden Tran of Immaculate Conception School in Marrero. The current Shaw students receiving scholarships were rising junior Carson Jeansonne of Terrytown and rising freshman Stephen Nguyen of Gretna. 

            The remaining $10,000 in 2022-23 donations was deposited into the DeLuca Scholarships component of the Saint John Bosco Salesian Endowment. The principal amount on deposit in the DeLuca endowment now stands at $30,000. The DeLuca Group hopes to make annual additional annual deposits to this endowment fund to add to the Taylor grant so that the ultimate total of this endowment will be at least $150,000. In time, interest on that amount should fund a DeLuca Academic Scholarship in the amount of $5,000 per year into the future.         

            Since its inception in 2018, the DeLuca Group has raised and donated to Shaw more than $130,000 to fund scholarships, equipment and supplies for the Gerald F. DeLuca Chemistry Lab and sponsorships in Dr. DeLuca’s memory at school events. Friends and alumni who want to make contributions or join the DeLuca Group in its activities should contact Jackie Berthelot ’72 at jberthelot1028@aol.com or Jay Wilkinson ’73 at jayw4918@icloud.com.


JOIN US through your direct donations or by participating in any of our activities.

Braden Cortez ’24, Carson Jeansonne ’25, Patrick Strahan ‘25, Stephen Houin ’25;

Joshua Russell ’26; Jayce LaCava ’23; Ethan Dixon ’27, Corey Strong ’27, Jacob Schultz ’27, Tyler Louque ‘27

Attendees at 2019 Christmas Luncheon