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St. Luke’s Alumni Artistic Achievement Award Ceremony

S. Veneruso
“St. Luke’s has always been so special in my heart because of the opportunity that it provided me. My education and time at St. Luke’s carried me so far.” -Marcus Smalls '90 
“I think that sometimes people think everyone [at a prep school] is going to be the same and that’s not true. And the fact that two of us could be walking down those same hallways and have had a very different experience, have different personalities, but still come out just as successful in our own right is a testament to the processes that are in place at St. Luke’s and the people that they employ to help work on us and cultivate us as future leaders.” -Dominique Bandoo '09

St. Luke’s celebrated a Virtual Spring Homecoming during the weekend of April 23-24, 2021. Activities included: the Alumni Artistic Achievement Award Ceremony, the WSLX Live from the Hilltop Broadcast with WSLX Advisor Jeff Kress and Dan Mecca '81, live-streaming of athletic contests, the Class of 1995’s 25th Reunion, and a conversation with Emma Powless '16, Second Lieutenant in the US Army. 

This year’s Alumni Artist Achievement Award recipients are the innovative and accomplished Marcus Smalls '90 and Dominique Bandoo '09.  

An Artist in Residence/Teaching Artist for Brooklyn Academy of Music, Marcus Smalls '90 is a teaching artist and youth development professional with extensive training, group facilitation, and curriculum development experience. Over the past twenty years, Marcus has utilized his lifelong love of Hip Hop culture, and his artistic background as a writer, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist, to moderate creative environments which focus on themes of spirituality and identity. Marcus is a VONA/Voices Fiction alumnus and former Bronx Council on the Arts/Bronx Writers Corps Fellow. 

Dominique Bandoo '09 is an apparel technical designer. She received a BS in Fashion/Apparel Design from Philadelphia University. The role of the technical designer is to work in tandem with the creative designer to build a physical garment and ensure the garment can perform at the desired end use. Throughout her career, Dominique has worked on lifestyle garments, on-field garments, and recovery garments.

Marcus and Dominique were introduced by their former teachers, English Teacher Jim Carroll and Music Department Chair Dale Griffa, before addressing the audience. Marcus showed a video of himself reading a passage from his YA Novel The Divine Sinner Chronicles, and Dominique showcased several of the garments she has designed.

Marcus and Dominique each discussed their time at St. Luke’s, life paths, and careers before the audience had an opportunity to ask questions. Though almost 20 years separate them in age, they shared similar experiences while students at St. Luke’s. In particular, Marcus and Dominique both mentioned how teachers played an important role in their time at SLS, and they directly credited St. Luke’s teachers with setting them on their current career paths. Both Marcus and Dominique mentioned that Upper School Health and Wellness Coordinator Camille DeMarco-Havens, who attended the virtual ceremony, was a teacher they each remembered with particular fondness and gratitude.

We are proud to call Marcus and Dominique St. Luke’s Alumni and thrilled to celebrate them as this year’s Alumni Artistic Achievement Award recipients. They join an impressive cadre of past Alumni Artistic Achievement Award recipients including Jon Salamon '10, Kent Bloomer '53, Payton Cosell Turner '04, Peter Bush Swanberg '73, and John Henson '86.

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St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.