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2018-2019 Students, Support Employees and Substitute of the Year Honored

Some of our most outstanding students and employees were honored with a special reception and recognized at the March Board Meeting in Covington.

Students of the Year (Olivia Adams, Isabella Rosi, Austin Thombs), Support Employees of the Year (Donna Esperance, Julie Thames, Byron Faciane, Janice Day), and the Substitute of the Year (Ethel Henley) were each recognized for their outstanding achievements and their contributions to STPPS.

We are #STPPSProud of each of these individuals who serve as examples of outstanding leadership in our School System.

2018-2019 STPPS Students of the Year
Olivia Adams, Lee Road Junior High
Isabella Rosi, Monteleone Junior High
Austin Thombs, Northshore High

2018-2019 STPPS Support Employees of the Year
Donna Esperance, Cypress Cove Elementary
Julie Thames, Mandeville Middle
Byron Faciane, Mandeville High
Janice Day, Central Office

2018-2019 STPPS Substitute of the Year
Ethel Henley, Sixth Ward Elementary


Donna Esperance, Cypress Cove Elementary
Donna Esperance goes above and beyond as the Cafeteria Manager at Cypress Cove Elementary. She strives to teach CCE students healthy eating habits in a festive manner. She wears hats and costumes and plans fun games and activities to engage our students during their lunch times. Every year, she hosts a First Responder's Thanksgiving luncheon. In addition, she participates in all school events. Even with her busy schedule, she takes the time to mentor students by being an Eagle Buddy at CCE. Her dedication to providing a quality food service program extends beyond her efforts at school. She has served as president of the St. Tammany School Nutrition Association and is currently the organization’s conference co-chair and event chairperson for the Louisiana School Nutrition Association. In addition to providing healthy meals to CCE students, Donna spends time teaching our children healthy eating habits. She plans lessons to help children make good choices when it comes to the food they eat. Donna also hosts kick-off events, Christmas parties, and meetings for the Louisiana School Nutrition Association. She is also active in her community and was a girls’ volleyball coach through SYBBA in Slidell. One of her greatest commitments, however, has been raising 10 adopted children – eight boys and two girls. Her children are successful in the workforce, job corps, college, high school, and junior high. She is also a grandmother of three.

Julie Thames, Mandeville Middle
Julie Thames is not just the front desk secretary at Mandeville Middle School, she is a beloved presence known to the entire community as part of a family deeply invested in Mandeville for many years. Alongside her husband, Julie has given countless hours and incredible effort in support of Lakeshore High School from the moment the school opened. In particular, she and her husband were key in the founding of the LHS Athletic Boosters. As front desk receptionist/secretary for Mandeville Middle, Julie is the welcoming voice, warm smile and engaging presence who greets all and handles every situation with professionalism, diplomacy, efficiency, and grace. Working seamlessly as part of a team of three office staff members, Julie leads the way in handling the constant beehive of activity with skills worthy of a career diplomat and affable juggler rolled into one. Organizing, scheduling, and training all office volunteers, Julie demonstrates her thorough knowledge of the daily needs and activities throughout the school. What is amazing to everyone who knows Julie is the manner in which she approaches life and her work despite the fact that her beloved husband Kevin was diagnosed five years ago with ALS. Those who meet her for the first time have no idea she is dealing with this, and even many who interact with her regularly know little of the constant challenges and demands upon Julie as she and their family deal with Kevin's care and daily needs. In spite of it all, Julie walks through the door each morning with a warm smile, a positive attitude, or even a humorous vignette to share, often involving a moment or incident involving Kevin. The upbeat can-do manner in which Julie, Kevin, and their three adult children face and handle the ongoing and evolving needs of Kevin's ALS are an incredible inspiration to all who know Julie Thames and her family.

Byron Faciane, Mandeville High
Byron Faciane is the head custodian at Mandeville High and has been a valuable member of the staff for 20+ years. He has a vested interest in MHS because his son is currently as a student there. Byron takes great pride in making sure the many functions that he and his staff assist with are completed to the highest quality. Over the years, Byron has been an active volunteer with various booster clubs and organizations on campus. As head custodian, he is responsible for coordinating MHS custodial staff with the upkeep, cleanliness, and readiness or the entire campus each and every day. Byron works extremely well with the various clubs to ensure they have supplies, tables, chairs, etc. that they need to make their function run smoothly. On a daily basis, he shows great rapport with students, staff, and co-workers. He has the respect of the people he supervises as well as the faculty on campus. He is a problem solver. If there is an issue that he can't correct, he will find the next best person to handle the job. Byron is a member of the Krewe of Chahta Mardi Gras Club and Knights of Columbus in Lacombe. He also volunteers his time at the “Back to School” rally and Toys for Tots.

Janice Day, Central Office
Janice Day is a Clerical Support employee in the Human Resources Department at Central Office. She is responsible for reviewing and approving every non-certificated application submitted to our school system: Paraprofessionals, School Food Service, Clerical, Maintenance, Custodial, and Transportation. She’s an employee who knows more than just the procedural requirements of her job. Janice understands the reasons 'why' processes and regulations are in place. That knowledge allows her to anticipate needs, work smartly and efficiently, and approach her job with innovation. She recognizes the need for superb organization which allows her to look ahead and anticipate potential problems and address the situations before conflicts arise. She is truly an asset to the team needed to confidently clear applicants who wish to seek employment with our school system and candidates newly recommended for positions. Her daily responsibilities are coupled with other duties such as job fairs, and community outreach efforts. Janice is an active member of her church participating in a group called the Sewing Servants who take donated fabric and make shorts for boys and dresses for girls that are distributed on foreign mission trips in third world countries. She leads Bible study, participates in charitable causes such as adopting a family for Christmas, and participates in the “Yes, We Can!” Special Needs Family Festival and Expo.


Ethel Henley, Sixth Ward Elementary
Ethel Henley is not your typical substitute teacher because she substitutes not only for teachers but custodians, paraprofessionals, and cafeteria staff too. Moreover, even when she is not substituting, she volunteers her time to beautify the school and assists where needed. Even though she has no students enrolled any longer at Sixth Ward, Ethel is the school’s PTA president because she loves SWE and wants what is best for every student. She helps by volunteering time after school to various clubs and activities including SWE’s Title I parent/family engagement activities and other events. She leads the set-up, decorating, and clean-up efforts for SWE’s Christmas Under the Oaks which draws hundreds of people from the Sixth Ward community. For this event, she decorated the entire gymnasium and strung lights around the entire perimeter of the campus in addition to the oak trees. She also planned and served ice cream at Grandparents Night, and hosted several other successful events at SWE including snack sales, school-wide fundraisers, Jump Rope for Heart, Field Day, the fifth-grade car wash, and Fall Fest. She volunteers her time outside of subbing to ensure that she is available for our students and staff. Above all, she believes her greatest contribution as a substitute is consistency. She has come to know the expectations of every SWE teacher and she is familiar with the way they run their classroom.

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St. Tammany Parish Public School System
321 N. Theard Street, Covington, LA 70433
985-892-2276 (Telephone) • 985-898-3267 (Fax)
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STPPS adheres to the equal opportunity provisions of federal and civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability.

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