On Friday, September 27th, The Joan Barber Pavilion was dedicated and blessed in a ceremony lead by Fr. Chris Bazyouros and Principal, Mary Rose Batungbacal. Green Tie 1953 classmates and friends of Joan's, students, faculty, staff, CSJs, and Board members gathered in St. Mary's Academy's former "quad area" for the dedication and blessing. The newly refurbished and refreshed Pavilion was made possible from a generous gift Joan left the school upon her passing in August, 2017. Once retired from teaching high school and college business classes, Joan dedicated her time to her many humanitarian interests including animal recues and fundraising for her high school Alma mater. She was an active committee member for the school's fundraiser "Day At The Races" and a consistent financial supporter of the students' high school education. Joan's significant gift will fund additional school facility improvement projects and students' scholarships. The school community is so grateful for the careful planning, kindness, and thoughtfulness of Joan, and we pray for her eternal peace.
Joan Irene Barber started her early education, in 1941, at St. Mary's Academy, on Slauson and Crenshaw when the school had elementary grades. When St. Mary's closed the elementary school in 1947, to make space for more high school students, Joan finished her grade school education at St. John Evangelist in Hyde Park. In the fall of 1949, Joan returned to St. Mary's Academy as a freshman and member of the Green Tie class of 1953. In addition to being an excellent academic student, Joan was a member of the Cecilians, a school club dedicated to music and the piano. She also enjoyed time outdoors, particularly having lunch next to the school's pool. Upon her high school graduation, Joan continued her studies at USC, in the field of Business and had a long and productive career as a high school business teacher. Joan retired from teaching in the late 1990's and dedicated her time to her many humanitarian interests including animal recues and fundraising for her high school alma mater. Joan also enjoyed social activities, and was an active St. Mary's Academy "Day at the Races" committee member for a dozen years. As a committee member of the event planning team, Joan recruited friends and former classmates to participate in this worthwhile fundraising event. It was during this time that Joan made a commitment to name St. Mary's Academy as a beneficiary in her trust. Joan's thoughtfulness and generosity will provide today's and tomorrow's SMA Belles, a more beautiful campus and financial resources to receive an excellent high school education, much like Joan received 70 years ago.