Every parent dreams of their child’s ideal learning environment, and many develop a wish list that includes a strong academic curriculum, leadership opportunities, and the ability to acquire life skills in a setting that encourages a responsible, respectful, God-centered life. For the Cabiness family, choosing Mount de Sales Academy for their daughter, Madisyn, was an easy decision. “In my heart, I knew we were always going to give her a Catholic education,” Audra said.
Attending MDS is a family tradition. Audra Howard Cabiness (’87) and her brother, Reggie Howard (’85), are both alums who flourished under the tutelage and love of former faculty Sister Fidelis (d.), Robert Slocum (’74), Ron McLachlan, Rosa Shaheen (who still sent Audra’s family Christmas cards and beautiful handwritten notes until her death this year), and many other devoted teachers at both St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Mount de Sales. It is these individuals, former school chaplain Monsignor John Cuddy (d.), close-knit classmates, and the wonderful memories that make Audra excited to experience it all again through the eyes of her child.
Audra says, “Our hope for Madisyn is that she will continue to grow and flourish, find her niche, have fun, and come away feeling good about her educational foundation like we did! From Tulane to Emory and back home to Mercer—I never felt unprepared thanks to SJS and MDS, and the seamless education of the two schools. My brother had a great experience too—and when you hear him speak, he always talks about his background and his appreciation and love for Mount de Sales.”
Audra credits SJS and MDS for the firm foundation she received, not just academically, but also in shaping her character as well. She believes the strong MDS curriculum of today, together with the faculty support that allows students to be creative, try new things, grow into themselves, and set big goals, will help create a path to a successful future.
Audra also feels that MDS helps create a foundation of faith, beyond going to church. Compassion and service, spiritual growth, integrity, and ethics are incorporated into the natural part of the day and curriculum.
Audra says, “There are many wonderful schools in our city, but we believe that the faith-based education, coupled with the academic and extracurricular opportunities, place MDS above the rest. It is wonderful to have a child who truly loves school, and as a parent making a decision about where to send your child to school, that is all you can hope for: that you are able to find a school where your child can get a great education, establish cherished friendships, feel safe and cared for, and learn to be of service to others. For us, that has been SJS and MDS.”
Mount de Sales Academy is a private Catholic school located in Macon, GA, and serves students in Bibb, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach and other surrounding counties. MDS is sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1876, MDS has served a diverse college-preparatory community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.