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12/18/2013

Students Join Medical Explorers Scout Post For Health Care Experience

Two public high school students from St. Tammany Parish are taking part in a Medical Explorers program conducted by the North Oaks Health System in Hammond.

They joined students from schools in Livingston and Tangipahoa Parish as well as Southeastern Louisiana University for a kick-off event for the 2013-2014 school year on December 2 at the E. Brent Dufreche Conference Center.

North Oaks Health System and the Boy Scouts of America welcomed the 35 Medical Explorers to Post 940 which provides high school and college students, ages 14-20, opportunities to observe medical care practices in North Oaks facilities during winter, Mardi Gras and spring school breaks. Explorers also will attend a career fair where medical professionals will talk about what their work is really like.

Medical Explorers from St. Tammany Parish include McKae Moore of Fountainebleau High School and Brookelynn Seghers of Mandeville High School.




12/14/2013

School Calendar For 2014-2015 Adopted

The St. Tammany Parish School Board has released its School Calendar for the 2014-2015 School Year.

The official dates for next school year will include a starting date for students on Thursday, August 7, 2014, and an ending date for the School Year on Friday, May 22, 2015.

Supervisor of Human Resources Brandon Clanton reported to the School Board Thursday night that the calendar is adopted following a vote by employees choosing between two proposed calendars. This year the voting was done via email, with the chosen calendar getting 64 percent of the votes cast.

Traditionally the vote has been taken in March of each year, but two years ago it was moved to November as a result of requests by parents who wanted to schedule vacations and other activities a year in advance.




12/14/2013

Winter Holidays Start December 20 at Noon, Classes Resume January 6

Students will report to school for one-half day only on Friday morning, December 20, as the second grading period of the 2013-2013 School Year draws to a close. Teachers will use Friday afternoon for record-keeping purposes.

The Winter Holidays/Christmas break for St. Tammany Parish Public Schools will begin on Monday, December 23. Classes resume and the third grading period begins on Monday, January 6, 2014.

School board support offices will be closed Monday, December 23, through Thursday, December 26. Offices will be open on Friday, December 27.

Offices will be open half a day Monday, December 30 until noon, but will be closed for New Year’s Eve on December 31, as well as Wednesday and Thursday, January 1 and 2. Offices will be open on Friday, January 3.




12/13/2013

Parents, Students and Staff Donate Angel Tree Gifts

Fifth Ward Jr. High students, parents and teachers donated more than 108 presents for its Angel Tree program this year, the sixth year for the holiday season project which has become a favorite school tradition.

Jennifer Jenkins, a paraeducator at Fifth Ward, said the gifts will be distributed to seventy-five children in the community through the Office of Community Services (OCS) . The gifts were collected at the end of the school day on Thursday, December 12 , as dozens of wrapped Christmas presents, including a bicycle, were dropped off at school gymnasium by parents and teachers.

Last year sixty eight children were on the list to receive the gifts through the program, and this year that number was increased to 75. Participants received a child’s name and their “wish list” for suggested presents.

Many parents encouraged their children to take part, teaching them that Christmas is the season for giving. “It is a great opportunity to teach our children understanding and empathy of others and most of all to be grateful for what we have,” Ms. Jenkins said. The gifts are individually wrapped with the recipient’s name on them.

The tradition has been very rewarding and is one of the things Principal Chris Oufnac is most proud of at his school. “It is something most of our Falcon family take part in,” he said. “It is a school-wide project and community-wide project.”




12/11/2013

Pearl River High Student Kelsey Parker Sings At House of Blues

Pearl River High School junior Kelsey Parker recently took part in the December 3 International House of Blues Foundation “Bringing Down The House” talent showcase for high school students in New Orleans. She was also in the spotlight there last year as lead singer for the “Crossfire” band made up of other Pearl River High students.

Miss Parker, 16, was one of six high school acts from throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area featured at this year’s event. She performed an original song named “Serenity” and two other songs, placing fourth in the competition.

The band performed two original songs "Sweet Content" and "Falling" at the beginning of the school Prom last March.

This year Kelsey decided to enter the House of Blues contest by herself after teaching herself how to play the guitar and writing another original song. She was also tapped to sing the National Anthem at Pearl River High football games this past fall.




12/06/2013

Thousands Of Christmas Cards Soon To Be On Their Way To Troops Overseas

Students from Slidell High sent more than 3400 Christmas cards to servicemen overseas as part of a holiday season community service project that has taken on a life of its own.

They mailed eight boxes to bases in Afghanistan, Kuwait, S. Korea, and Parris Island.

The project began as a hundred or so cards for the history class of second-year Teacher Barry Marton, but once the word got out, the entire school ( and the local business community) wanted to join in. The cards were distributed around campus this past week so students could sign them and personalize them with special messages before they were mailed out December 10 and 11.

Marton organized the project, and he said the number of volunteers wanting to participate in the project has been amazing. “The kids and teachers were begging to get involved,” he said. A number of Slidell area businesses have also come on board, donating Christmas cards and money for postage.

The project has brought together thousands of students, their teachers, administration, and business people to make sure every student at Slidell High has the opportunity to send a card. Marton had contacted a number of businesses around the school to participate in the project, and many them agreed to help. Now they are contacting him again wanting to help even more.

It’s a great example of the “community connections” that Slidell High has fostered over the years, Marton said, proving again that the school has a great reputation and great students.

Marton said the messages being written in the cards by the students were sometimes quite meaningful. “Many of them are not only wishing the servicemen and women Merry Christmas, but they are including personal messages that sometimes fill every possible space on the card.” He thanked all those who had taken part in the massive undertaking, a project that has to be completed by Wednesday in order to meet a Post Office deadline for getting the cards overseas before Christmas.

“The Slidell High community is amazing,” he said. Postage is being paid for with donations from several campus service clubs and Slidell businesses. He was interviewed by a local television station about the project Friday morning and is expecting an even greater response after the news feature is broadcast Friday night.

Businesses wanting to take part included Office Depot, Rouses’, Wal-Mart and Walgreens.

“These young people are the best,” he said after reading some of their messages. “They understand what this is all about and wanted to get involved. It started out small, but the more people heard about it, the more they wanted to take part.”
Marton was teaching his students last week about how Americans supported the troops during World War II, how the “homefront” was always showing concern and encouragement for the men and women in the military. “The young people today really don’t know a time when the United States hasn’t been at war,” he went on to say,” so their question to me was: why aren’t we doing the same thing today on the homefront?”

“After talking to some friends who had served overseas in the Armed Services, we realized that cards from home really brighten their holiday season, so a Christmas card project would be the thing to do,” Marton explained. “From there, it really took off.”

The business community involvement was especially encouraging. “We were talking with business managers who had sons overseas, people who had students on the Slidell High football team, people with connections with Slidell High in all kinds of ways, and they wanted to get involved,” Marton commented.

He thinks that if interest continues to climb, he predicted about 4000 cards being sent out next week from Slidell High.

“Some of the messages I am reading from these young people are making me cry,” he admitted. “They understand what these servicemen and women are going through. The things they are saying in these cards are amazing. Based on what I am reading on some of these cards, I think as adults we may be underestimating this generation. Nobody told them what to write or what was expected, but the messages show they understand.”

The fact that some of these students may have older brothers and sisters overseas may contribute to that understanding, Marton said. “I have already had some students asking me for cards they can send to their brothers and sisters in the service overseas.”

Marton and a group of friends will be reading all the cards over the weekend. He has already done the research for all the things that have to be done to make sure the military requirements are met for incoming mail.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse said the project was a phenomenal community connection and he was proud of the Slidell High family conducting the drive.



12/06/2013

Covington Community Excited About SemiFinals Game

As the Covington High Lions went into Friday night’s semifinals football contest with Parkway, the entire community was behind them. Signs were put up throughout the city, a community pep rally was held Wednesday night, and football players, cheerleaders, band members, mascot and other students visited Pitcher Junior High, Covington Elementary and Folsom Elementary Friday.

The feeder schools hosted “Blue and Gold Day” to show their support for the Lions as they vie for the 2013 Class 5A title. Local businesses painted good luck messages on their windows throughout the downtown area, and residents put signs in their yards.

Newspaper articles were plentiful about the match, especially with Lions Coach Greg Salter, the grandson of legendary coach Jack Salter, carrying on a family tradition to get the team into the playoffs.

Covington High had a lot of momentum coming into the game, with an entire year of celebrating the school’s Centennial , dedicating the new Bell Tower and memorial plaza bringing back memories for thousands of alumni in Covington and around the nation.

“Football is a deep-rooted tradition in the Covington community,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse. “The playoff games have been a great way for the whole community to come together to support the team and school.”




12/05/2013

Mandeville Elementary Raises Funds For Cancer Society

Mandeville Elementary recently raised $1,188.59 with its very own Relay Recess event, the proceeds to be donated to the American Cancer Society. Students donated twenty-five cents each for links to add to a classroom chain, a dollar for luminaria bags, and a dollar to wear a cap for the actual day of the event to promote sun safety awareness.

Organized by Teacher Monique McNab, the event is expected to become an annual fund-raiser at the school. “The whole school community really got behind the cause,” said Chantelle Smith, Principal. “In keeping with our theme of We Have the Power!, we were excited to hold our first Relay Recess to show our students they have the power to make healthy choices while making a positive difference in their community.”

“It was amazing to watch Ms. McNab and the MES community come together to make this event possible,” she went on to say. “Our students learned about living of a healthy lifestyle, honoring cancer survivors, and participating in service activities throughout the week. We are already looking forward to continuing this event for many years to come.”

Ms. McNab participated in a Relay for Life community fund-raising event last year and loved being a part of it. “Cancer is a disease that affects so many people. I lost a grandmother and uncle to cancer, and I watched them fight the disease and hope that one day there may be a cure,” she said.

She read about other elementary schools holding an event called “Relay Recess” and after some research knew this was something in which Mandeville Elementary School should be involved. With the help of Principal Smith and other teachers, she organized the Relay for Life project at the school, especially proud of the message it brings to students about healthy living.

“It is so important for their future to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, be tobacco free, and know the facts about sun safety. I think this event brings awareness to the children and allows the school community to be a part of a very worthwhile event,” Ms. McNab said.




12/03/2013

School Hosts Thanksgiving Feast for Friends and Neighbors

Carolyn Park Middle School’s annual “Feast for Friends” brought together more than 600 people from neighborhoods around the Slidell school to enjoy dinner on November 25, a volunteer project of dozens of school workers and community helpers.

The seventh annual “Feast for Friends” event was the continuation of a Thanksgiving week tradition that has developed deep community connections. “This is one of the most special events during the School Year for the community,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “And it is a perfect community connection, because it reaches the ones who need it the most.”

A dinner of turkey and dressing, ham, cranberry sauce, mashed sweet potatoes, string bean casserole, homemade buns, tea, and desserts were offered to the many visitors to the school cafeteria.

Principal Tony Esposito, who came up with the idea seven years ago, said it has become a popular event the neighbors look forward to all year. The idea came from his family's efforts to deliver holiday meals to shut-ins in the area. “We would pick up the meals and then go door to door, with my little girls delivering them to the people,” he explained. “When I came to this school, I thought it was something we could start doing here. During the holidays, we really need to reach out to those who don’t have what they need,” said Esposito.

Terry O'Malley, who coordinates the project for the school, said the effort of twenty plus school cafeteria workers, teachers, and others started on Saturday and continued all day Monday, preparing and cooking many of the menu items from scratch. “My wife and I have been doing this for seven years, and we look forward to it all year. Many of the helpers come from area Knights of Columbus councils.

“The first couple of years, people would come, get the dinner in take out boxes and head back home,” O’Malley stated. “Now they sit and enjoy the food and taking time to visit with their friends and neighbors.”



11/18/2013

Six District Teachers Honored By State PTA As Educators of Distinction


Six St. Tammany Parish Public School System teachers were congratulated at the St. Tammany Parish School Board meeting Thursday night for winning top honors in this year’s State PTA Educators of Distinction program. The awards were announced by the Louisiana Parents Teachers Association at its recent state convention.

Each November, PTA’s at each school select one teacher as an “Educator of Distinction” and each school winner submits a packet to the state PTA for consideration as one of the ten state Educators of Distinction.

Supervisor Margaret Sharpe reported that six St. Tammany teachers won state-level designation as PTA Educators of Distinction after winning at the school and District levels. They were Tina Neal, a physical education teacher at Covington Elementary; Rebekah Ellis, a gifted science teacher at Bayou Lacombe Middle School; Patricia Picone, a Technology Resource Teacher at Mandeville Junior High; Kelly Whitehead, a fourth grade teacher at Riverside Elementary; Kathryn Branch of Abita Springs Middle School; and Michele Margavio of Tchefuncte Middle School.

Sharpe said the St. Tammany Parish Public School System is successful for many reasons, not the least of which is the strong and active PTA chapters at every one of the public schools.

Mrs. Sharpe told the School Board that strong parental support contributes much to the success of each school and the School System as a whole. “Every one of our schools has a PTA or PTSA organization,” she said. The District PTA President is Kerry Landreth and State PTA President Giselle Allen is also a resident of St. Tammany Parish, she noted.


11/18/2013

Schools To Close for Thanksgiving Holidays November 25 through November 29


St. Tammany Parish Public Schools will close for the Thanksgiving Holidays on Monday, November 25, through Friday, November 29. Classes will resume on Monday, December 2.

Also in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, School Board support offices will close at noon on Wednesday, November 27, and all day Thursday and Friday, November 28 and 29. Offices will re-open on Monday, December 2.


11/15/2013

Black and Gold Day in School System Helps Fund Childrens Museum


Students and employees across the St. Tammany Parish Public School System celebrated Friday, November 15, as “Black and Gold Day.” The fund-raising event collected donations for the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany, an educational resource being planned by the Junior League of Greater Covington and other community organizations.

They showed their support for the New Orleans Saints Football Team and the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany by wearing their “Black and Gold” for a donation of $1.00 or more. Over the past three years, the School System has participated in the annual fund-raising projects for the museum, donating more than $64,000 through contributions by students, faculty and administrators to support the worthwhile community project.

The Children’s Museum will be a 20,000 square foot, hands-on learning environment that serves the developmental needs and cognitive interests of children, provides entertainment to families, and expands upon the curriculum of schools. There will be exhibits and educational programs designed to encourage children to make discoveries and explore the wonders of the local environment and planet, as well as exhibits that stimulate creativity and expression.

For more information on the museum, visit www.cmstkids.org

11/15/2013

School System Donates $24,851.88 For Breast Cancer Awareness


A check for $24,851.88 was presented Thursday night by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, to representatives of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at St. Tammany Parish Hospital. The donation came from the proceeds from an October 3 fund-raising event held throughout the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

The check presentation took place at the November School Board meeting held at the Brooks Educational Complex in Slidell.

“This represents the largest amount ever collected by our School System in one of these types of endeavors,” said Superintendent Folse. “I think it shows how many people have been touched one way or another by cancer and breast cancer specifically. It shows once again that our motto of community connections is working. We realize our responsibility as a public School System to give back to others, and we are certainly proud of that.”

Thousands of students and employees took part in the fund-raising project, each paying a dollar to wear pink as a symbol of unity in the effort to promote awareness of breast cancer.

“The Geaux Pink project was one of several School System efforts to directly connect to the needs of our community, said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “First it helped raise awareness of cancer and its effects; second it raised funds through student and staff donations to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, and third it helped our students realize the importance of being community-minded and working together for success, while at the same time having fun.”

Students, teachers and administrators, including cheerleaders, football players, and custodians, across St. Tammany Parish wore pink in observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The event was called “Geaux Pink,” a project of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington.

Students and staff were asked to donate $1.00 or more so they could wear jeans and pink on the special day. Donations will support cancer awareness efforts in the community, early detection and screening programs.

Special guests at the check presentation were Charlie Strickland, executive director of the St. Tammany Parish Hospital Foundation; Rob Leonhard, administrator at the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; Chryl Corizzo, director of infusion services; and Leslie Landry, director of development at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.

Creative ways to celebrate pink included pink cookies. Click here for photos from Geaux Pink Day.

“Geaux Pink is a fun and meaningful way to raise awareness about a disease that affects so many while raising money to help fight it,” said Ms. Landry. “The fun and creative ideas our Geaux Pink supporters create are endless. No matter how small or large the event, when combined with others, it can truly make a difference."

Geaux Pink is one of four district-wide fundraisers that are done as part of the School System's Community Connections outreach each year.



11/14/2013

More Schools Take On Robotics Competitions


More elementary and middle schools in St. Tammany Parish are becoming involved in the fast-growing sport of robotics competitions. The high schools have been leading the way for years, blending a variety of academic skills with hands-on experience to see whose robot can best perform pre-assigned tasks.

The nine-member Riverside Elementary Robotics Team participated in a robotics competition at Northshore High School last Saturday and placed first in the daily competition and qualified to participate in the Regional Tournament to be held on Saturday, December 6, at Holy Cross in New Orleans.

This is Riverside's second year to have a robotics team, and all members are in the fifth grade. The theme for this year's competition is "Nature's Fury."

Lake Harbor Middle School will be participating in the FIRST LEGO tournament Saturday at Fontainebleau High. This is their first year involved with robotics. They have two teams with a total of 20 students, a combination of five and sixth graders. Their team names are Titanium Owls and CoolCrafters.

The Lake Harbor teams have been meeting once a week for almost two hours since the first week of August, and for the last few weeks, they have met twice a week. Both teams are diligently working on programming their robots for the all-day competition this Saturday at FHS.

Florida Avenue Elementary's Robotics team recently made it through the qualifier rounds tournament and will now be taking part in the state robotics tournament.

The Mayfield Elementary Cy-"bear" League participated in the 2013 Mandeville Regional Qualifier on Saturday, November 16, "First Lego League: 2013 Nature's Fury Challenge." This is Mayfield's first year to have a robotics team and to participate in the Lego League event. The Mayfield team has been invited to the Louisiana Regional Championship on Saturday, December 7.

 


11/12/2013

School System Spotlights FFA Accomplishments


The St. Tammany Parish School Board spotlighted the recent accomplishments of the parish’s FFA Chapters during its November meeting in Covington, honoring individual members and listing the large number of local, state and national recognitions garnered by the group.

Senior Curriculum Supervisor Denise Parker told the Board that FFA is an important part of the School System with students, parents and teachers working tirelessly and passionately to make a difference in their local communities. “We applaud the hard work, diligence, and honors that these students have obtained,” she said.

This year at the National FFA Convention, two parish public schools won the highest National Award given. Creekside Junior High and Fifth Ward Junior High were both recognized as Three Star National FFA Chapters.

Honors received at the National FFA Convention last year were a Silver Emblem in the National Livestock Evaluation Team that went to Fifth Ward Junior High, a first place in the National Novice Procedure Career Development Event going to Fifth Ward Junior High, and Jonathan Peters of Covington High School being awarded an American FFA Degree. The American FFA Degree is the highest award a student can earn in FFA, Ms. Parker said, and very few students ever receive this commendation.

Creekside Junior High School and Fifth Ward Junior High School were in the Top Five Middle School FFA Chapters in the nation last year. “This is an incredible accomplishment that we had not just one but two schools obtain this distinction,” Ms. Parker stated.

The success of the FFA in St. Tammany Parish is a result of hard work by all the stakeholders, the community, School Board, administrators, teachers, parent and especially the students, she went on to say. Those who value the opportunities that FFA and the Ag program provides give of their time, talent, and other resources to leave their mark on the community and world, Ms. Parker explained, giving particular credit to the parents of the FFA members.

There are six junior high school FFA Programs: Fontainebleau Junior High, Fifth Ward Junior High, Creekside Junior High, Folsom Junior High, Monteleone Junior High, and Lee Road Junior High; and five high school programs: Fontainebleau High, Covington High, Pearl River High, Lakeshore High, and Northshore High. Overall, some 1000 students take part in the high school chapters.

Dr. Peter Cannizzaro gave the Board an overview of the Northshore High School FFA Chapter and its activities. They include a new poultry project this year in which students raised over 100 chickens and 850 quail. The poultry project has become an integral part of the department, and it is 100 percent student driven.

FFA conducts training and competitions in several areas, among them Public Speaking, Parliamentary Procedure, Forestry, Livestock, Horticulture, and special Community Projects. One such special project was Fifth Ward FFA Chapter’s PEC (Providing Eggs and Chickens) Service Learning Project made possible with a grant from the Joe and Dorothy Brown Foundation and the National FFA “Living to Serve” Grant. Fifth Ward students were provided with hands on learning while providing eggs and chickens to low income families in the Sun and Bush Area.

FFA students from St. Tammany have received over 100 awards in poultry, beef, sheep, and swine in the past year, not only for exhibiting livestock, but in judging livestock as well. Some of the students attained top honors in Public Speaking and Parliamentary Procedure, said Ms. Parker, and a wide variety of national FFA Scholarships, State Literary Rally, and Science Fair Project awards have also been received due to their hard work, dedication and achievements.

Jacie Williams of Fifth Ward placed first in the Plant System at the State Ag Science Fair and then placed in the Top 15 at the National Ag Science Fair, Ms. Parker stated. “Collin Jackson, a former Pearl River High student, was awarded the American FFA Degree at the National Convention last week. Of the 9,000 Louisiana FFA members, only nine people received this award,” she remarked. Jackson currently attends Vanderbilt University.

A State Chapter award in Floriculture went to Fontainebleau Junior High, and Fifth Ward Junior High received State Chapter Awards in Forestry Evaluation, Parliamentary Procedure, and Meat Evaluation, also winning a Gold Emblem in Livestock Exhibition, winning a first place in State Equine Exhibition, and named the Overall Top FFA Chapter in the State.

Creekside Junior High FFA won a State Chapter Award in Nursery/Landscaping and was named a Gold Emblem Chapter. The chapter with the largest increase in number of FFA members was Pearl River High.

Appearing before Board members to thank them for their support of FFA were students Colt Dutruch and Joy Nettles. They shared their experiences with FFA and the national awards that have been presented to St. Tammany Parish Public Schools due to the hard work of their classmates and teachers. The development of character and leadership qualities are stressed, they said, with emphasis on parliamentary procedure and public speaking. They told about the popular “Farm Safety Day,” which includes instruction on the use of power tools, animal management, and explores careers in agriculture.

Fifth Ward Junior High offers FFA students hands-on experience in the area of woodworking, welding, and meat processing, Dutruch explained, also telling about the annual FFA Banquet, a forum for parents, teachers and students to look back over the past year.

“Thank you for supporting the FFA so we can continue to reach our full potential,” Miss Nettles told the School Board.

School Board President Elizabeth Heintz said the School System was proud of the achievements of its FFA chapters. “We know that participating in FFA is a strong commitment on the student’s part, the teacher’s part and the parent’s part,” she said, congratulating them on their poise and presentation skills. “These are definitely career skills and life skills,” she said.

11/08/2013

Superintendent Proclaims “Black and Gold” Day For Children’s Museum


A proclamation naming Friday, November 15, as “Black and Gold Day” in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System was announced Thursday night by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. The day will host a fund-raising event for the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany, an educational resource being planned by the Junior League of Greater Covington and other community organizations.

Superintendent Folse and School Board President Elizabeth Heintz met with members of the Children’s Museum Board of Trustees Antonio LeMon, Rebecca Dougherty, Leslie Martin, Ann Habisreitinger Barre, and Gretchen Ockman of the Black and Gold Committee to announce the proclamation.

Over the past three years, the School System has participated in the annual fund-raising projects for the museum, donating more than $64,000 through contributions by students, faculty and administrators to support the worthwhile community project.

The proclamation declares November 15 as “Black and Gold Day” in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System to give students and staff an opportunity to show their support for the New Orleans Saints Football Team and the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany by wearing their “Black and Gold” for a donation of $1.00 or more.

“The Children’s Museum of St. Tammany will provide the children of St. Tammany Parish with a place to be entertained and educated, expanding upon the curriculum of our 55 schools which provide for life-long learning,” said Superintendent Folse.

The Children’s Museum will be a 20,000 square foot, hands-on learning environment that serves the developmental needs and cognitive interests of children, provides entertainment to families, and expands upon the curriculum of schools. There will be exhibits and educational programs designed to encourage children to make discoveries and explore the wonders of the local environment and planet, as well as exhibits that stimulate creativity and expression.

For more information on the museum, visit www.cmstkids.org


11/08/2013

School System Honors Veterans


Schools throughout the St. Tammany Parish Public School System held patriotic Veterans Day programs this week to salute those members of the community who have served their country in military service. Veterans are special guests at the events, which include music, singing, and special presentations.

A special program was held before the School Board meeting November 7 in the atrium of the C. J. Schoen Administrative Center, in Covington. The annual Veterans Day Program specifically recognizes those St. Tammany Parish Public School System employees who are veterans of the United States Armed Forces, as well as veterans from the local community.

Assistant Superintendent Pete Jabbia hosted the event, which has become an annual tradition to salute those who have served in defense of their country as well as serve as educators and support personnel for the School System.

This year, with the School System’s theme being “Working Together for Success,” invitations were also issued to members of various community groups include local American Legion posts, members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Veterans and Military Affairs Advisory Council, Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, Sons of Confederate Veteran’s representatives, and members of the Military Officer’s Association of America.

Assistant Superintendent Jabbia said, "Clearly, an important element of our School System's mission is to promote citizenship. We wanted to mark this occasion by recognizing our employees who have served in the military because we believe that you stand as the most significant example we can provide to our students of fulfilling the duties of Citizenship through military service."

"As veterans who also serve the children of our School System, you are especially due recognition by our community. The service you have provided to our country in safeguarding all of us as well as the roles you play in helping to provide educational opportunities to our students make you extraordinarily worthy of our respect and esteem," he went on to say.

The Lakeshore High School JROTC-Army Color Guard presented the colors for the program. Its members are Brandon Sheperd, Michael McGee, Kourri Clay, and Steve Cangelosi.

De'Jeune' Richardson, a Folsom Junior High School student, led the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the National Anthem. Lieutenant Colonel Terry Douglas of the Fontainebleau High School JROTC-Army delivered a patriotic message for the occasion, and the Fontainebleau Junior High Band, under the direction of Band Director Michael Sambola, played a musical tribute to the several branches of the Armed Forces.

Talented Theater Program students from Pearl River High, under the direction of Laurie Jo Koster, performed a skit about the Preamble to the Constitution. They included Grant Chighizola, Alexis Johnson, Laura Pazos, Sarah Pazos, Nikki Spiehler, and Traven Handley.

School Board Member Ron Bettencourtt read the Veterans Day Resolution considered by the School Board for adoption later that night. It stated that November 11 is a day to honor veterans and encourage awareness of their sacrifices and those of their families.

“We honor them for their courage, valor and willingness to serve in order to preserve our freedom,” the resolution stated, adding that “we are inspired by their heroism, self sacrifice and devotion to preserving our freedom and way of life, and we are especially grateful to and honor those St. Tammany Parish Public School System employees who have served our country in the military.”

To close the Veterans Day program, Covington High School student Audrey Hotard played taps to close the program. A 10th grade student member of the Covington High Marching Lions Band, she is also a member of the parish and district honor bands as well as a semi-finalist in the National Trumpet Competition held in Washington, D.C.

The group of veterans attending the special program included Bruce Wilson, Priscilla Cyprian, Harry Pastuszek, Cheri Handley, Jim Handley, Lester Hilby, Ed Larson, Paul Vorenkamp, Terry Douglas, John Combs, Jimmy Jones, Dale Robeson, Karl Van Leeuwen, Jim Pearson, Douglas Johnson, Brent Theobald, and Oscar McCain.

The JROC Instructors from all eight public high schools were in attendance and were especially thanked for working with the fine young men and women of St. Tammany Parish in the JROTC.


11/07/2013

Students Learn About Careers in Education at STAR Academy Conference


A one day conference for high school students interested in teaching careers was held at the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville on November 7. More than 80 students enrolled in the STAR Academy programs at high schools across St. Tammany Parish participated.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III welcomed the students to the STAR Academy Conference, with Assistant Superintendents Cheryl Arabie and Pete Jabbia also on hand to greet the attendees. Arlana LeBlanc, principal of Mayfield Elementary School, was guest speaker for the event.

STAR stands for “Students Teaching and Reaching,” and the STAR Academy program provides high school juniors and/or seniors an opportunity to learn about teaching as a career through courses offered at their high school.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Get Fired Up About Teaching” and the event began with each high school presenting a special cheer on stage. These were followed by several break-out sessions and workshops exploring topics such as classroom management, differentiation, digital citizenship and how to engage students.

Workshop presenters included Tamarah Myers, Amy Willis, Rachael Blanchard, and Julie Rotolo. The workshops gave students a glimpse into the teaching profession, and key topics such as self-assessment, learning about others, and diversity in the classroom. Students also learn about the history and foundations of education and are given information sources on pursuing a career in education.

The conference was coordinated by Human Resources Supervisor Dorable Dangerfield and Charnetta Robinson, and one of the goals of the conference is to help students establish an awareness of the opportunities provided by the School System’s human resources department.


11/06/2013

Abney Elementary Harvests Its Own Garden Lettuce For Cafeteria Salads


Students at Abney Elementary School in Slidell will be enjoying fresh lettuce salads out of their own gardens this week, after planting, tending, and harvesting the vegetables themselves. The Teaching Garden project helps children learn about where food actually comes from, and teachers across the campus are using the activity to tie in their own lesson plans.

Members of the school’s Student Nutrition Advisory Council joined with students from Special Education Teacher Geremy Jackson’s gardening project to harvest enough greens on Wednesday, November 6, for most of the school’s students to get a taste of the home-grown salads. Students helped wash, rinse, and dish up salads to serve to the group.

The Teaching Gardens project is an initiative from the American Heart Association, with a grant from Chevron helping to get the garden underway, paying for raised beds last year. Students planted and nurtured hundreds of plants in the several raised beds located in the green spaces between classroom wings.

Principal Mike Alford said the winter garden has been the most successful garden. “It takes care to make a great garden, and the kids are learning how the planting and working results in great things to eat,” he said. “We’ve had three plantings overall in the past year and a half, and when the food service people saw how much produce had come in this year, they wanted to get some of the harvest and serve it in the cafeteria.”

In the past couple of years, the garden has grown potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, herbs, broccoli, lettuce, oregano and more. It is pesticide-free and organic, Principal Alford said. “It’s a wonderful teaching model for students who don’t get an opportunity to follow the gardening process from the initial planting to the final consumption.” Parents have been very supportive of the project, he said.

Jackson said the school has been having gardens for three years, with the last year and a half becoming more organized and productive. He credited his father for getting him interested into serious gardening and showing him how it was done. “He’s our outside consultant,” he said. “He really knows what he is doing.”

“This is the year when we are going to really start explaining the details and science behind gardening,” Jackson stated. “Up to now, it’s been just the procedure and sequence of things that have to be done to plant and take care of the garden so you can get a good harvest.”

In previous years, a limited number of students from one grade level took part, but now almost every class participates on a rotating basis. All grades are now taking part on a weekly schedule, with more than 100 kids involved.

Last year’s students took the excitement of the gardening message home to their parents, and the response from parents was great, Jackson said. This year the produce is beginning to look so “inviting,” that some of the parents want to know when they can start sharing in the vegetables harvested, Jackson went on to say. “I think it’s important for students to know what healthy food is and where it comes from.”

“The teaching garden helps bring an awareness of vegetables and their benefits, with students more likely to eat them if they grow them. I see this project only getting bigger from here,” he said, specifically mentioning efforts to expand the composting aspects of the project.

Debra Davis, cafeteria manager, worked with the students to teach them how to prepare them for serving in the school’s kitchen.

“These plants came up beautifully, and they are going to make great salads,” she said. “We get fresh produce every week, but these salads will be fresh out of the ground and served the same day.” She feels the freshness of the vegetables will help children understand how good vegetables taste when they are fresh out of the garden.

10/31/2013

Daylight Savings Time Ends Sunday, November 3; Move Clocks Back An Hour


Daylight Savings Times for 2013 will end this Sunday, November 3, at 2 a.m. Clocks should be set to “fall backward” one hour.


10/31/2013

Schools Celebrate Red Ribbon Week With Projects, Programs, and Proclamations


Schools throughout St. Tammany Parish and the nation celebrated Red Ribbon Week this week, stressing the importance of a drug-free lifestyle. Special school programs were held with visits by law enforcement officers and community-based drug abuse prevention organizations, along with door decorating contests and crazy sock competitions to “Sock it to Drugs!”

This year’s Red Ribbon Week theme is “A Healthy Me is Drug Free.”

Schools displayed posters saying “Hugs, Not Drugs,” and children were treated to visits by drug enforcement teams explaining how they use dogs, helicopters, and other tools in their fight against drug abuse.

At its October meeting, the School Board passed a resolution declaring October 28-November 1, 2013, as “Red Ribbon Week,” a nationally-recognized event presenting a unified and visible commitment towards creating a Drug Free America.

Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie commended the community group PRIDE for providing leadership, family life skills education, and prevention campaigns designed to reduce the illegal use of alcohol and drugs.

The School Board resolution was read by Board Member Peggy Seeley, acknowledging the contributions made by members of PRIDE Youth and Community Resources. The Board expressed its gratitude for the group’s long standing support of students and schools. “The School Board agrees that well-informed parents and caregivers are an integral part of a child’s education,” the resolution noted.

A group of PRIDE members visited the School Board meeting with Vicki Traina-Dorge, president of the Board of Directors, who explained the importance of a community-wide effort to discourage use of illegal drugs. She said the group was pleased with the School Board’s participation in Red Ribbon Week, which helps raise young people’s awareness of the need to take a stand against drug abuse.

In the schools, numerous programs were held in observance of Red Ribbon Week. Covington Elementary School students took part in their Just Say No Walk and Rally to Pitcher Jr. High football stadium where Lyon Elementary, Pine View Middle School, and William Pitcher Jr. High joined in to hear talks and view exhibits by representatives from the Louisiana State Police, the St Tammany Sheriff's Office, and the Covington City Police.

The agencies brought drug dogs, all terrain vehicles and other tactical units that are used in the fight against drugs in St. Tammany Parish. Speakers included Captain Jack West, Trooper Nick Manale, and Deputy Eddie Vauthier. Students from each school performed songs, cheers, and dance routines.

Folsom Jr. High celebrated Red Ribbon Week with daily activities sponsored by the Student Council. Students kicked off the week with a speaker from the Sheriff's Office and participated in a variety of activities every day during lunch.

Slidell Junior High school students showed their awareness of drugs and their pledge to be drug free by participating in the weeks activities. Folsom Elementary held a "Be Drug Free Pep Rally" and made posters which students paraded around the gym.

10/30/2013

Students Show Spirit in Middle School Special Olympics


Approximately 120 students from elementary and middle schools throughout the St. Tammany Parish Public School System took part in the third annual Middle School Special Olympics Track and Field Event for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students at Lakeshore High School Football Stadium on Wednesday morning, October 30.

The program opened with the traditional parade of athletes and the passing of the torch from one school’s representative to another, ending with the National Anthem sung by Claire Putnam.

Renae Wallace, Adaptive Physical Education Coordinator, “It’s going to be a perfect day, and quite a few family members have shown up. We are thrilled to have them here.” Students from eleven schools marched onto the field and participated in three different events: 25 and 50 meter track, long jump, and softball tossing.

Schools with representatives were Abita Springs Middle School, Bonne Ecole Elementary School, Carolyn Park Middle School, Fifth Ward Junior High School, Florida Avenue Elementary School, Lake Harbor Middle School, Lancaster Elementary School, Little Oak Middle School, Mandeville Middle School, Pine View Middle School, and Tchefuncte Middle School.

More than 50 student volunteers and staff members of the adaptive physical education program assisted in conducting the field events, including cheerleaders, football players, track athletes, special education nurses and emergency medical technicians from the Mandeville area fire department. Some 17 Adaptive Physical Education staff members were on hand for the event.

“They all do an awesome job,” she said.

The Lakeshore High School JROTC Color Guard opened the ceremonies by bringing in the flags, and the Lakeshore High Choir sang the National Anthem. Alexander D’Arcourt from Lancaster Elementary School led the Pledge of Allegiance and Zachary Morrow of Florida Avenue Elementary School led the Special Olympics Oath. The torch carriers included Elijah Chauhan of Abita Springs Middle School, Quortez Victor of Bonne Ecole Elementary, Owen and Robert Payne of Carolyn Park Middle School, Thomas Bonura of Fifth Ward Junior High, Brennan Diaz of Florida Avenue Elementary, Kyle Valladares of Lake Harbor Middle School, Patrick Spencer of Lancaster Elementary, Larissa Eaton of Little Oak Middle, Zyasia McBurrow of Mandeville Middle School, Cameron McDowell of Pine View Middle School, and Cameron Juno of Tchefuncte Middle School.

Lakeshore High has hosted the event for the past three years.


10/24/2013

St. Tammany Public Schools Continue To Earn a Grade 'A'


The St. Tammany Parish Public School System remains an “A” School System in the latest District Performance Scores released by the Louisiana Department of Education today.

The School System continues to see growth as a district and among individual schools. In large school districts, which have 25,000 or more students, the St. Tammany Parish Public School System remains Number 1 in the state.

“I am very proud of these results. Our teachers, school employees and school administrators are to be commended for their hard work and dedication. I would also like to congratulate our students and parents for this accomplishment,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III.

“Our School System theme for this year is Working Together for Success. I believe we put that theme into action with the leadership of our School Board and Central Office staff. These scores are a true team effort,” he said.

School Board President Elizabeth Heintz said, “We are very proud of the accomplishments of everyone involved in achieving this success. Remaining an “A” School District is a testament to countless hours of work and the determination of our teachers, staff, administrators, students and parents.”

The District Performance Score for St. Tammany Parish Public Schools is 104.6 based on the new formula of 150 possible points. This score is impressive given that the School System continues to see substantial growth in enrollment across the parish.

At the school level, there are also many success stories. The number of “A” schools has increased from 15 to 21. In all, 43 St. Tammany Parish Public Schools saw positive growth.

“I don’t believe our School System is defined by a letter grade, but I do believe this is yet another indicator that we are meeting the needs of educating Every Child, Every Day,” added Superintendent Folse.


10/23/2013

Men Who Cook Event Raises Funds for Hope House

A fund-raising event benefitting the Children’s Advocacy Center was held on Saturday, October 26, on the top level of the Covington Justice Center parking garage, offering good food cooked by outstanding area restaurant chefs assisted by well-known community leaders throughout the Florida Parishes.

In the chef and celebrity chef competition, Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III and Chef Pat Gallagher of Gallagher's Grill in Covington won First Place.

The Children's Advocacy Center (Hope House) project featured 15 celebrity cooks offering a taste of their favorite recipes. The event was originally scheduled for October 5, but the threat of Tropical Storm Karen prompted organizers to postpone it until October 26.

The festivities offered live music, a photo booth, and desserts served by ProStart Culinary Arts students from Fontainebleau High and Salmen High Schools.

“It was great to take part in this worthwhile fund-raising project and win. Thanks goes to Pat Gallagher and his staff, and our employees and those from the community who turned out to support the project,” said Superintendent Folse. “Our ProStart Culinary Arts students from Fontainebleau and Salmen were a big hit with their desserts. “

Hope House provides critical services to support the children of St Tammany and Washington Parish. In June the School System presented Hope House with a check for $16,800 representing donations made by students, faculty and staff across the parish to the community agency.



10/18/2013

Covington High Dedicates New Bell Tower and Centennial Plaza


The new Covington High School Bell Tower and Centennial Plaza was dedicated Thursday afternoon following the school’s annual Homecoming Parade through downtown Covington. It was the official opening of the landmark bell tower that will house the bell rescued from the fire that destroyed the school building on Jefferson Avenue in 1974.

Hundreds of people gathered around the Bell Tower and plaza for a program featuring students from Covington High and all the feeder schools that send students to Covington High. The event was coordinated by the CHS Student Council, and student representative Brett Sapia welcomed those in attendance.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III told the gathering “what you see here tonight is a great example of a community coming together to create a legacy for Covington High that will last years and years.”

“As Superintendent, I am extremely proud of everything that has been done here, and I thank all of those who came together and made it a reality. We look forward to ringing the bell for years to come,” he said. “Go Lions!”

Representatives from the architecture firm and construction contractors were also on hand for the event, with Keith Barre' of Fauntleroy Latham Weldon Barre' Architects, speaking about the meaning of the new community landmark. To read his remarks, click here.

His firm designed the structure based on a drawing made by Molly Smith, a member of the Class of 2009, who won a contest to design the Bell Tower.

Special guests included School Board President Elizabeth Heintz, and Board Members Stephen "Jack" Loup, III, Mike Dirmann, Charles Harrell and Mary K. Bellisario and Covington Mayor Mike Cooper. Principal Roslyn Hanson introduced former principals Deborah McCollum, Loup, Catherine Boesch, and Patricia Massoth. Also in attendance were former Coach Jack Salter, a number of Covington High faculty, members of the football team and cheerleader squad.

Alumni from the school's past 100 years attended, including Evelyn Talley of the Class of 1940, who helped "ring the bell" at the close of the ceremonies.

Dozens of people took the opportunity to 'ring the bell," with grandparents holding their grandchildren while they pulled on the rope.

Board Member Mike Dirmann commended all those who worked hard over the past couple of years, raising the funds and reaching out to the community. “The location of the Bell Tower on the Covington High campus is perfect,” he said.

The Bell Tower and Centennial Plaza was a project of the Covington High School Ambassador Council and a wide range of community supporters and alumni. Bricks with engraved names are being sold to help raise funds for the project. Numerous bricks were sold prior to the opening of the structure to commemorate those who attended Covington High over the years. Many bricks were engraved memorials to loved ones, and many were purchased by Covington area businesses and organizations.

 



10/17/2013

Ten Salad Bars Donated To School System


The students of Whispering Forest Elementary were visited by several special guests Wednesday morning, October 16, among them Gumbo, the New Orleans Saints Mascot.

The special occasion was the donation of ten new salad bars to the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, with two of them placed at Whispering Forest in Slidell. The salad bars were donated by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) in an effort to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and boost health among children. To view a photo album of pictures from the event, click here.

The other eight salad bars went to Creekside Junior High, Covington High, Fontainebleau High, Pearl River High, Fontainebleau Junior HIgh, and Abita Middle School.

Guests at the Whispering Forest Elementary event included Bryan Silbermann, President & CEO of PMA, and Jan M. DeLyser, Board President for PMA. Supervisor of Food Service Pat Farris and Principal Eric Sacks met with them while lunch was served to the students using the new salad bars. The guests were taken on a tour of the school by several student guides, with Gumbo stopping in on several classrooms to engage in a few “high fives” and entertain the students.

A special song was performed during the lunch period to demonstrate to students that vegetables are not only good for you, but also taste good. The cafeteria was decorated in conjunction with National School Lunch Week, and all the cafeteria workers were in costume. Representatives from Sysco Food Services, Rouses Supermarket, and Capitol City Produce were also on hand for the event.

PMA is part of the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance which supports Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools and the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative, which focuses on providing students access to healthy foods. The Produce Marketing Association is a trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. The group is holding its annual convention in New Orleans this week, drawing 19,000 attendees from more than 60 countries worldwide.

Over the past few years, the School System has received 30 new salad bars from several organizations and programs.


10/17/2013

Schools Celebrate National School Lunch Week With Special Programs, Music


Schools across the St. Tammany Parish Public School System are celebrating National School Lunch Week October 14 through October 18, complete with cafeteria decorations, special programs, and, on some days, special costumes.

The national theme for the week is “Lunch, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” as school lunch is spotlighted across the United States.

In a resolution adopted last week by the School Board, the Board noted that the National School Lunch Program is dedicated to the health and well-being of the nation’s children and for more than 60 years has promoted advanced food service practices and nutrition education. “Our cafeteria staff across the St. Tammany Parish Public School System serve approximately 10,400 breakfasts and 25,300 lunches each day,” stated the resolution introduced by Board Member Mary K. Bellisario.

Many parents, grandparents, School Board members, and state and local officials visit the schools during this special week. There are numerous musical performances by school bands and choruses.

The Board thanked the dozens of Student Nutrition Advisory Councils; Mrs. Pat Farris, Supervisor of School Food Services, and her staff; and the School Food Service managers and technicians at each school for doing their part in providing the excellent Food Service Program all School Year and especially during National School Lunch Week.

10/15/2013

Keep Mandeville Beautiful Program Commends Area Students


Mandeville Mayor Don Villere and officials with the Keep Mandeville Beautiful (KMB) program appeared before the St. Tammany Parish School Board recently to commend student participation in this year’s anti-litter campaign, an effort that won the local group the “Most Innovative Program” award from the Keep Louisiana Beautiful organization.

The state award was presented to Keep Mandeville Beautiful at the Keep Louisiana Beautiful luncheon in Baton Rouge on September 20 in recognition of the group's successful environmental program that was found to be “particularly creative or innovative.” Area high school students were credited for conducting a highly effective anti-litter awareness program that hinged on several engaging school-wide projects.

Mayor Villere, a former School Board member, recognized the achievements of the students at Mandeville High School, Fontainebleau High School, and Lakeshore High School for their part in winning the state award.

Susan Russell, coordinator of the Keep Mandeville Beautiful program, told Board Members that her group believes that educating young people as early as they can about dangers and cost of litter is the key to a better, cleaner community. KMB is active throughout the school year in all grade levels, she said, but this year they especially targeted young teens who were beginning to drive. A $10,000 grant from the state organization helped implement the award-winning six-month program in the three high schools.

Although the organization had a good idea of how to approach the young people with the anti-litter message, it was the students themselves who came up with new and truly unique ways to get the word out, Ms. Russell said. “It was an exciting program, with 100 percent participation from the young people and their teachers,” she explained. “We turned it over to the students to develop the most effective ways for peers to be talking to their peers about why they shouldn’t be littering.”

The result was an approach designed by teens for teens, the theme of which was “Litter: There’s a Bag for That.” The week long campaign involved daily broadcasts that pointed out that litter is costly, illegal, harmful and preventable. Over 5000 students became involved in the anti-litter “Call To Action.”

A plastic litter bag with car air fresheners was delivered to each student driver, new trash cans were placed in the student parking lots, and hundreds of promotional items were given out at informational tables at the schools. Officials said that while many of the students turned out to be great leaders during the anti-litter campaign, many more students turned out to be great workers behind the scenes, accomplishing much without guidance and recognition.

Lee Harris from Keep Louisiana Beautiful said that since the program was a partnership between KMB and the three high schools, she came to the Board meeting to present certificates to representatives from each of the three high schools for their outstanding participation in the project.

Last year Keep Mandeville Beautiful won the “Outstanding Keep Louisiana Beautiful Affiliate” award from Keep Louisiana Beautiful. It was commended as an affiliate that has shown exceptional creativity and diversity of programming as well as community engagement and leadership qualities. “Keep Mandeville Beautiful has created a reputation for building a successful grassroots campaign, bringing together multiple community groups. In 2010, KMB opened the only recycling drop off site in St. Tammany Parish and began recycling programs in 12 Mandeville schools. They also created a traveling environmental education themed puppet show, “Puppets with Purpose,” the organization said.



10/11/2013

Principals and Teachers of the Year Recognized By School Board


The St. Tammany Parish School Board honored the School District’s three Principals of the Year and Teachers of the Year for 2013-2014 at its October 10, 2013, meeting in Covington.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III introduced each of them and told of their accomplishments, then presented them with a special award. A video produced by Channel 13 was shown featuring interviews with each award winner and their co-workers. The videos are available for viewing by clicking here.

Superintendent Folse said the honorees were special, but they represented all the dedicated and committed teachers and principals across the parish.

The Teachers of the Year are Kristi Tanguis of Mandeville Elementary, winner of the Elementary Division; Laura Gerald of St. Tammany Junior High, winner of the Middle/Junior High Division; and Diane Shay of Pearl River High, winner of the High School Division.

Principals of the Year are Leslie Martin, principal of Marigny Elementary, winner in the Elementary Division; Amy DiCarlo, principal of Little Oak Middle, winner in the Middle/Junior High Division; and Bruce Bundy, principal of Mandeville High, winner in the High School Division.

Principal Martin of Marigny Elementary School in Mandeville was also selected as a Regional Winner and State Finalist in the 2013-2014 Principal of the Year recognition program held by the Louisiana State Department of Education. She has served as Marigny’s principal since the school opened in 2009. Prior to that, she was a teacher and Resource Helping Teacher at Woodlake Elementary School in Mandeville. She is involved in several community organizations, including the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany, the Junior Service League of Greater Covington, and the PTA.

Mrs. Martin stated she goes to work each day at one of the happiest places on earth, and she loves what she does. “I am really proud of what we accomplish every day,” she said, thanking her faculty and staff for their support.

Mrs. DiCarlo graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Masters in Education degree in 1995. Principal of Little Oak Middle School since 2005, she has also served as a Resource Helping Teacher at Florida Avenue Elementary School and a teacher at Honey Island Elementary School.

She told the Board it is an honor to be principal at a school where she is surrounded by educators whose “norm” is to always go above and beyond what is expected every day, to be surrounded by parents who encourage and support the school, and to be surrounded by students who consistently do their best every day.

Mr. Bundy was commended for his many contributions to the community, among them serving on the executive committee of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. He said he never dreamed he would be a high school principal for as long as he has been. “I love my job, and I got into public education to make a difference in kids’ lives,” he said. “We have such a supportive district and that allows us do our jobs.”

He has served as Principal at Mandeville High School since 2002, having previously been assigned as an Assistant Principal at Fontainebleau High School, following other duties as Administrative Assistant, Athletic Director, teacher and coach.

Teacher of the Year Ms. Tanguis has taught the third grade ELA and Math gifted curriculum for the past two years at Mandeville Elementary. Prior to that assignment, she was a Gifted Program Teacher at Abney Elementary. Ms. Tanguis told the Board she was honored to work for such an amazing School System of dedicated educators. “The education that I received here in St. Tammany really laid the foundation for my future schooling and career,” she said.

Ms. Gerald is an eighth grade Reading and English teacher at St. Tammany Junior High School. She has taught for four years since graduating from Utah State University.

Ms. Shay has taught for thirty-seven years, teaching mathematics in St. Tammany Parish since 2003. Mrs. Shay said she appreciated the recognition and opportunity to work with the School System. “The wonderful people I work with have been extremely supportive of me,” she said, who also gave some of the credit for her success to a truly amazing group of high school freshmen.



10/08/2013

Schools Raise Funds for Breast Cancer Awareness


On Thursday, October 3, students, teachers and administrators across the St. Tammany Parish Public School System wore pink in observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The event was called “Geaux Pink,” a community project of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington.

“The Geaux Pink project is one of several School System efforts this year to directly connect to the needs of our community," said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “First, it raised awareness among students and parents of cancer and its effects; second it raised funds through student and staff donations to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, and third it helped our students realize the importance of being community-minded and working together for success, while at the same time having fun.”

“Geaux Pink is a fun and meaningful way to raise awareness about a disease that affects so many while raising money to help fight it,” said Leslie Landry, development director for the Cancer Center. “The fun and creative ideas our Geaux Pink supporters create are endless. No matter how small or large the event, when combined with others, it can truly make a difference."

Students and staff were asked to donate $1.00 or more so they could wear jeans and pink on the special day. All monies raised from the fund raiser will go to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center to directly support cancer awareness, early detection and screening programs in the local community. It is one of four district-wide fundraisers this School Year that are planned as part of the School System's Community Connections outreach.


10/07/2013

Schools Close Friday, Oct. 11, for Record Keeping/Professional Development


Public schools in St. Tammany Parish will be closed Friday, October 11, 2013, for one-half day of professional development sessions and one-half day of record keeping, following the end of the first grading period on October 10.

No students will report to school that day, but School Board offices will be open Friday. Classes will resume on Monday, October 14, 2013.


10/04/2013

Fair Spotlights Educational Exhibits; Superintendent Is Grand Marshal


Students in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System took off Friday, October 4, in order to enjoy this year’s Parish Fair. The fair designates Friday as “School Day” to give students and their parents an opportunity to participate in the annual parade, the opening ceremonies, and a variety of agricultural exhibits and livestock competitions.

This year, the 104th St. Tammany Parish Fair asked Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III to serve as Grand Marshal for the event, and he took part in a number of activities, riding in the parade and participating in opening ceremonies.

“It certainly is an honor to be Grand Marshal for this outstanding St. Tammany Parish tradition,” Superintendent Folse stated. “I've seen the list of previous Grand Marshals, and it is an honor to be among those on the list. The fair has always had an important partnership with our School System. We have had a long history of cooperation and support,” he said.

Superintendent Folse said the fair is an important community connection because of its educational nature and extensive reach throughout the parish. He gave special thanks to the three marching bands who participated in the Fair parade from Covington High School, Slidell High School, and Lakeshore High School. "All three of these bands had a football game last night, and they got up early this morning and came here today. I am really grateful for these three great schools and the contributions they make to the community."

School Board President Elizabeth Heintz thanked the many teachers and students who put together educational exhibits for the school display booths at the fair. School Board members at the opening ceremonies this year included Jack Loup, Michael Dirmann, and Charles Harrell.

Mayor Mike Cooper congratulated Superintendent Folse for serving as Grand Marshal, and noted that the Fair this year was dedicated to retired LSU Cooperative Extension agent Rusty Batty.

Fair attractions include community arts and crafts, home economics, and pageants. The display booths in the educational building feature exhibits put together by schools from throughout the parish with student work in grade levels kindergarten through 12th grade. The theme for the fair this year is “Exploring Nature in St. Tammany.”

Fair Association President Dennis Glass said the St. Tammany Parish Public School System and Superintendent Folse have been great supporters of the annual fair this year, and he also commended the participation of the 55 schools in putting together educational booths.

The School System has partnered with the parish fair association for more than 100 years to give students a school holiday so they could participate in many key fair activities such as providing marching bands in the fair parade, and representing their school’s 4-H Club and FFA Chapters with livestock projects.

The fair spotlights student participation in many ways, not only in school-based activities, but also in various community organizations throughout the parish. Thousands of visitors converge on the fairgrounds each year to see the talents and work of hundreds of area residents, from young people all the way up to senior citizens.

Glass said that fair association volunteers work really hard to make the annual four-day fair a special event, and he also appreciated the hard work of the schools and students to help make the fair a success.

Educational Booths

Each year the fair offers 55 school exhibit booths in the educational building showcasing a full range of student work. Each booth is judged for its content, creativity and presentation, and the fair association awards cash prizes to the first, second, third place winners as well as honorable mentions. This year, the fair gave out a little over $4500 in premium prizes to exhibit participants.

In the Elementary Grade Category, Abney Elementary won the Grand Prize, while first place honors went to Abney Elementary, Bayou Woods Elementary, Bonne Ecole Elementary, Chahta-Ima Elementary, Mandeville Elementary, Marigny Elementary, Pontchartrain Elementary and Woodlake Elementary.

In the Middle Grades Category, Lancaster Elementary won the Grand Prize, and first place wins went to Bayou Lacombe Middle, Lake Harbor Middle, Little Oak Middle, Mandeville Middle, Pine View Middle and Lancaster Elementary.

In the Junior High Grades Category, grand prize was given to Folsom Junior High, with first place wins going to Madisonville Junior High, Folsom Junior High and Monteleone Junior High.

In the High School Grades Category, the grand prize winner was Covington High, and first place winners were Lakeshore High, Mandeville High, Pearl River High, and Covington High.

Parish President Pat Brister served as Grand Marshal last year, and she said that the fair represented “all what we love about St. Tammany.” She thanked the School Board for its encouragement of school participation, adding that it was wonderful to see all the kids out on the fairgrounds enjoying the day.



10/03/2013

School Officials Monitor Storm Development


School System officials are monitoring Tropical Storm Karen and working closely with St. Tammany Parish officials and the National Weather Service in advance of this potential storm. We will post critical information on this webpage, Channel 13, Facebook and Twitter. Please continue to monitor these communication avenues as well as the local news media for any additional information about the storm.

10/02/2013

Lyon Elementary Launches Teaching Garden Project


Celebrating “Planting Day” on Wednesday, October 2, Lyon Elementary in Covington showcased its new “teaching garden” program, with teachers, students, and Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III and Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie taking part in a special ceremony and several educational activities.

At the ceremony, Principal Jeanine Barnes introduced Brittany Gay, regional director for the American Heart Association, the organization that offers the teaching garden program.

More than a dozen employees from Chevron, which sponsored the project, were present to help in the educational work stations, displays, and the special activities that explained the cross-curriculum standards-based gardening program. Superintendent Folse toured the school’s gardening project and viewed the educational displays.

The program blends classroom study and outdoor garden work, and some of the harvest will be used in the school cafeteria after spring harvest.

Principal Barnes recognized the contributions of several of the school’s teachers who have taken part in the gardening effort, as well as several parents who have volunteered to help coordinate the program. Special recognition went to Ms. Erin Redmond, a Teaching Gardens champion, and Technology Resource Teacher Mrs. Amanda Pritchard.

“The purpose of the teaching garden is to encourage healthy diets in young children and to help combat childhood obesity by providing a gardening experience which is integrated into the curriculum. Our students will build, maintain, and own the Teaching Gardens with the help of our teachers, parents, and the community,” Principal Barnes stated.

The boys and girls at Lyon Elementary have long embraced the school’s gardens, the principal went on to say, noting that they are members of the Keep Covington Beautiful organization. “But the teaching garden takes learning about nutrition to a whole new level,” Ms. Barnes said. “Not only will our children be able to learn about nutrition in conjunction with our wonderfully healthy and tasty cafeteria lunches, but we will integrate this hands-on opportunity into science, math, and social living.”

Educational exhibits were set up spotlighting science, nutrition, math, art and library resources in gardening. The American Heart Association encourages schools to participate in its teaching garden programs to help raise awareness of ways to avoid childhood obesity, showing children how to plant, grow, and enjoy eating good wholesome food.

It features a “hands-on” way to study the science of gardening by providing something the kids can feel, touch and taste.

In a special presentation, the American Heart Association presented Lyon Elementary and Chevron with two commemorative souvenir shovels and engraved plaques of appreciation.

The raised planting beds arrived at the school in the form of a kit, and they were fitted together, bolted into place, filled with soil, and planted with a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Several schools in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System already have teaching gardens, some sponsored by Chevron and some sponsored by other groups. In addition to the teaching gardens, Chevron also sponsors health-promoting programs in local schools such as Play 60, Jump Rope for Heart, and Hoops for Hearts.

There are two AHA teaching gardens in Slidell, the first garden in Louisiana being installed at Abney Elementary a couple of years ago and another at Florida Avenue Elementary. Other teaching gardens are active at Folsom Elementary and Bayou Lacombe Middle School.


10/01/2013

Community Connections Award Presented to St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain


Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III honored St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain Tuesday morning with this month's Community Connections award for his many contributions to the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. Superintendent Folse said the relationship between the School System and the Sheriff's Office has become a model across the entire state due to the cooperation between the two groups.

The award was presented at the monthly Principals Meeting October 1 at the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville.

“My deputies and I have a strong appreciation for what this School System and the principals do each day,” Sheriff Strain said. “We understand what a challenge it is each day for you principals and your staffs.” He said it was a pleasure to work with Superintendent Folse and other top administrators and pledged the continued full support of the Sheriff’s Office for the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

“It is a great honor to receive this award,” he went on to say. “We work with the School System every day, and we know that the relationship we have potentially saves lives and gives our parents peace of mind.”

Sheriff Strain, who at one point was a bus driver for the school system, now talks with bus drivers at regular transportation workshops about the safety of transporting students to and from school. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office works closely with the School System in numerous ways, from crossing guards and emergency preparation to bus driver education and resource officers in the schools

The Community Connections award recognizes the work and commitment of elected officials and community members who work closely with the School System year around on a variety of issues.

"To have this kind of relationship with law enforcement is extremely important," said Superintendent Folse. He noted that in meeting with other Superintendents around the state about implementing new state laws regarding school safety and security, St. Tammany Parish Public Schools has already put in place many of those programs and procedures, all with the help of Sheriff Strain, years ahead of the state laws requiring them.

09/30/2013

Minority Teachers Reception Held By School System


The annual reception for new minority educators was held by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System on Saturday, September 28, at the Brooks Education Complex in Slidell with Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III giving a presentation, and Assistant Superintendents Cheryl Arabie and Pete Jabbia also in attendance. Eighty people took part in the event.

Superintendent Folse talked with the new educators about the School System theme of “Working Together for Success.” He presented an overview of the School System and discussed ways to motivate and support students and their fellow educators.

The program also featured a Channel 13 video presentation showing new minority teachers at work in their classrooms. Mayfield Elementary School Principal Arlana LeBlanc offered a talk called “Words of Wisdom,” and Human Resource Supervisor Dorable Dangerfield introduced the teachers new to the School System this year.

School Board President Beth Heintz welcomed the group to the meeting. Also attending were School Board members Mary K. Bellisario, Willie Jeter and Ray Alfred, who gave the closing remarks. Elsie Burkhalter, president of the St. Tammany Federation of Teachers and School Employees, was present as were Central Office staff members Charnetta Robinson, Ron Randolph, and Byron Williams. Other special guests included Morgan Douglas, Miss SUNO for 2012-2013, a Northshore High graduate; Rev. Donald Burris, Rev. Norman Farve, Mary Reneau, Denean Trigs-Keys, and Joyce Davis.

James Marshall, a Northshore High School student, played a violin solo for entertainment.

Ms. Dangerfield said the annual meeting is an opportunity for all the new minority educators to meet each other as well as members from throughout the community. “It lets the new teachers see the community support they have as members of our school system,” she said.


09/24/2013

College Career Fair Held September 26 at SLU


The 2013 Northshore College and Career Fair was held on Thursday, September 26, at the Pennington Center on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

Information on a wide variety of universities, colleges, armed forces, technical and college financial aid programs was distributed to hundreds of ninth through twelfth grade students and their parents.

The College and Career Fair provided students an opportunity to visit with representatives from eighty two colleges and universities and other agencies, as well as pick up information on other programs of interest to graduating high school seniors, from apprenticeship programs and technical colleges to branches of the military and financial aid sources.

Dozens of students arrived by buses from Salmen High School and Covington High School. For photos from the event, click here.



 

09/18/2013

Art Show To Spotlight Cypress Cove Elementary Pelican


The City of Slidell Department of Cultural and Public Affairs is featuring the work of St. Tammany Parish art teacher Mary Christopher at a special city art gallery exhibit running October 5 through November 2 at the Slidell Cultural Center, 2055 Second Street, Slidell.

The exhibit is named “Inspiration: The Works of Mary Christopher,” and it focuses on the award-winning artwork of the Kindergarten through third grade art teacher who takes her artistic inspiration from nature. “Mrs. Christopher is an inspiration to her students, who recently helped her make the Cypress Cove Pelican work of art,” said the city’s announcement of the art exhibit.

The Cypress Cove Elementary Pelican, one of the many artistically-designed Pelicans now decorating Slidell sidewalks, will be a part of the art show at City Hall. “I hope the students and their parents are able to come celebrate their artistic creation,” Mrs. Christopher said. “I think the students will really enjoy seeing their own pelican in a real art gallery.”

The opening reception will be held Saturday, October 5, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the regular Gallery Hours are Wednesday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday, November 2, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Admission is free.

The Pelicans on Parade campaign is a Slidell public art program which started as a Leadership Northshore 2013 team project to benefit the Children’s Wish Endowment. Over 160, four foot, Plexiglas pelicans have been sponsored by local businesses and individuals, painted by artists, clear coated by Paint and Body Experts and placed throughout Slidell. Artist Rachael Noto, a student at LSU, designed the mold from which all the Pelicans on Parade were cast. Miss Noto graduated from Mandeville High School in 2012.

“We were especially excited to paint our own CCE pelican,” said Mrs. Christopher. “Every student and staff member put their fingerprint on our bird. The CCE pelican will probably steal the show. After it appears in the art show, it will be placed out in front of the school. ”

“Our citizens love the Pelicans on Parade,” said Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan. “There isn’t a day that goes by where you don’t see people stopping to take pictures with the pelicans all over Slidell. It’s a great project for our city.”

The project has raised approximately $70,000 for Children’s Wish Endowment, a local nonprofit organization whose goal is to fulfill wishes of St. Tammany Parish children with severe medical issues.

 



09/18/2013

Northshore High Teacher and Counselor Win Yale Educator Award


Catherine Tanguis, a teacher at Northshore High School, and Pauline Calderone, a guidance counselor at the school, have received 2013 Yale Educator Awards from the Yale University Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

The Yale Educator Recognition Program names outstanding educators from around the world who support and inspire their students to perform at high levels and to achieve excellence. The students themselves nominate their high school teachers, and of the 210 nominees received this year by the Yale admissions office, only 52 teachers and 38 counselors were selected to receive the award.

Nominations were sent in from 36 states and 13 countries. Students were asked to nominate outstanding educators who have deeply impacted their lives. “As our committee reviewed nominations, we were constantly reminded of the unique and critical role that exceptional educators play in shaping their students’ futures by encouraging them to pursue their goals,” said Mark Dunn, Senior Assistant Director for the Yale Undergraduate Admissions Office.

“The Yale Admissions Office attributes the exceptional quality of the Yale student body to educators like these who shape their students long before they attend Yale,” the award notification said. “We would like to thank these and all educators for their ongoing efforts in motivating and supporting their students.”

Ms. Tanguis and Ms. Calderone were nominated by Aretha Guo and Maxine Dillon. “They are both outstanding young women,” said Ms. Tanguis. “I wrote both of their recommendations. They were both students of mine and were officers in the Creative Writing Club.”

In February Ms. Tanguis was one of 160 educators to visit Washington, D.C. to participate in the Global Education Symposium, part of the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (TGC). She was the only teacher representing Louisiana at the gathering.

The Teachers for Global Classrooms Program is an exchange and professional development opportunity for secondary school teachers sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the non-profit organization IREX.

Through the program, teachers from across the United States learn how to advance their schools’ global education practices, internationalizing teaching and learning in their classrooms. She and the other teachers will reconvene next month in Washington, DC, to share their experiences and to discuss best practices.

 



09/17/2013

Constitution Week Proclamation Signed By Superintendent


A proclamation declaring the week of September 17 through September 23 as “Constitution Week” in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System was signed by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III on September 17, the day marking the 226th anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States by the Constitutional Convention.

Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie and several members of the Pierre De Mandeville Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) were on hand to take part in the document signing. They were Marie Porche, Second Vice Regent for the DAR chapter; Angelena Colson, chapter member; Sandra Bono, Regent of the chapter; and Charlotte Tassin, chapter member.

The proclamation notes that the designation of Constitution Week is a time to commemorate and officially recognize the founding document and the anniversary of its creation. Public law 915 calls for the issuance of annual proclamations each year by the President of the United States designating a Constitution week following the September 17 anniversary.

The Daughters of the American Revolution chapters work with the School System in several ways throughout the year, from presenting books of historical interest to school libraries to giving out Citizenship Awards at end-of-year school ceremonies.

 



09/13/2013

School Board Honors Student Participants In Boys State, Girls State


Students from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System who this summer attended the American Legion citizen participation programs “Boys State” and “Girls State” were recognized by the St. Tammany Parish School Board at its September 12 meeting. They were introduced by Supervisor Margaret Sharpe and congratulated by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III for their selection and participation in the long-running civic information program for young people.

The School Board passed a resolution acknowledging the honor given to the students by the local, state and national American Legion, saying that the Boys State and Girls State program is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U. S. high school students. “Through this participatory program, students learn how government works while developing leadership skills and an appreciation for our rights as U. S. Citizens,” said School Board Member Ron Bettencourtt in reading the resolution.

Two of the Louisiana program participants from St. Tammany Parish, Thomas Marlbrough from Lakeshore High and Alexandra Cloutet from Mandeville High, were also chosen to attend the national Boys Nation and Girls Nation event in Washington, D.C., where they learned about the structure and function of the federal government. They said they were able to meet with their Louisiana senators and shook hands with President Obama as part of the program’s activities. Both agreed it was a great experience, and they were also able visit museums and other Washington landmarks while they were there.

Marlbrough and Miss Cloutet were two of only four students from Louisiana sent to the national event. Only 98 students from across the country were sent to attend the Washington program.

The students participating in the state program were as follows: from Covington High, William T. Becker, Zachary D. Guillot, Jeremy Bruhl, Jathan Cutrer and Keaton McCrory attended Boys State, and Sarah M. Lucia and Donna L. Montgomery attended Girls State. From Fontainebleau High, Daniel Crain, Reagan Martin, and Mitch Rabalis attended Boys State, and Brooke Cawthon attended Girls State.

From Lakeshore High, Marlborough and Johnny Papa attended Boys State, and Claire Putnam attended Girls State. From Mandeville High, Chris Abadie and Drew Perry attended Boys State, and Miss Cloutet attended Girls State. From Northshore High, Michael McKinney and Nick Petras attended Boys State and Terrie Jackson attended Girls State.

From Pearl River High, Hunter West attended Boys State, and Matalyn Stark and Alicia Graham attended Girls State. From Salmen High, Evan Hodges and Tyler Legrand attended Boys State, and Lindsey Nguyen and Kayla Yao attended Girls State. From Slidell High Christopher Hill and Allister Wright attended Boys State, while Kori Lackey attended Girls State.

The 2013 Louisiana Boys State and Girls State sessions were held at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and included 19 male students and 11 female students from St. Tammany Parish high schools. They were chosen by the American Legion and Legion Auxiliary Committees based on their leadership qualities, spirit of service, character and patriotism.

American Legion District Six Boys State Chairman Mike Peats told the School Board that the St. Tammany Parish has always played a large part in sending young people to the state program. “It’s a great program, and this area has always been a big supporter of Boys State,” he said. “We are looking forward to continuing the program with the participation of the public School System.”

Peats is a past Commander of American Legion Post 16 in Covington. Also present at the meeting were Mandeville American Legion Post 415 Commander Quinn Ordone, Vice Commander Richard Mecom, Chaplain Bobby Kaizer, Past Chaplain Rudy Sutis, Boys State Chairman Perry Otillio, and Members Ron Bettencourtt, Wayne Guirovich and Pat Phillips.

Other American Legion Posts sending students to Boys State were Slidell Post 185 and Slidell Post 375.



09/12/2013

School System Launches United Way Campaign for 2013


The St. Tammany Parish Public School System kicked off its 2013-2014 United Way Campaign on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, with a special program at the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville. Seventy-seven school and support site United Way campaign co-ordinators attended the event, learning how to distribute information on the agency's community service activities and fill out donation forms.

William "Bill" Brady welcomed the group, having returned from his retirement as Assistant Superintendent earlier this year to be the School System coordinator on a voluntary basis. Before he retired, he had led the United Way campaigns each year to greater and greater success.

Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III spoke to the group, thanking them for taking on the task of coordinating the local campaigns and encouraging them to bring a new level of passion to the effort. "The significance of this day being 9-11 makes us think about sacrifice, and the time and energy we give to others. It made me think back to Katrina and how all of us lived through it with the help of our friends and neighbors. It showed us that not only do we have a responsibility to give to others, but there are times in our own lives when we need help," Folse stated. "So it's good to give back when we can."

“As an educator, we know that whenever you teach a child, your heart has to be in it," Folse went on to say. "And it's the same thing with the United Way. Your heart has to be in it, and that's why you were chosen to be a coordinator at your school and site. I know your leadership and passion will make a difference."

"It's going to be a great year, and we are going to do a lot of good things this year working with and supporting United Way," he concluded. He thanked Brady for returning to heading up the campaign for another year.

Shirleen Carter, the Executive Director of United Way of St. Tammany, spoke to the group about the overall goals of the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, and showed the coordinators how to use the United Way website to view materials, download videos, and explain the United Way mission and purpose. The campaign will take place over the next several weeks.

 



09/11/2013

Superintendent Elected to Chamber Board


Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III has been named by the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce as one of the six new board members for the 2014-2016 term which starts in January.

Last year, he was appointed to a one-year term on the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board by the group’s Chairman Amy Edwards. John Donahue of DonahueFavret Contractors, Inc. will be the group’s new chairman for 2014.

Superintendent Folse said he was honored to have been elected to serve on the West Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for a three year term. “As we continue to make these Community Connections, I am excited about the opportunity to serve and work together with others in the community for success,” he stated. “We have developed a truly effective working relationship with the chamber over the past few years and look forward to mutual projects in the future.”

The chamber represents a cross-section of businesses in the community and has partnered with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System on several projects over the past several years, including the Chamber Expos held at Lakeshore High School and the “Cultural Economy Luncheon” featuring ProStart students from three area high schools.

John Donahue, the incoming Chairman of the Board, said, “Trey was one of my nominations for the board, so I am very excited about having someone with his background and expertise join the Board. He does a great job for the School System here in St. Tammany Parish, and he genuinely cares about other people.”

Folse has worked closely with the chamber in the past, and he understands the needs of the community, Donahue stated. “It’s a good partnership.”

Donahue was pleased with the success of the last two Chamber Expos held at St. Tammany’s newest high school. “It’s been an excellent event, and we hope to have the opportunity to continue to do that,” he said. The Expo gives hundreds of area businesses and services an opportunity to showcase themselves in a trade-show atmosphere.

The chamber’s annual officer installation and awards banquet is held in January.

Regarding Superintendent Folse’s election to the board of directors, Lacey Toledano, President and CEO of the chamber, said, “Trey brings his history and knowledge of public education as well as his experience as the leader of our parish’s largest employer, as well as his own volunteer leadership experience with several other community organizations.”

“We are fortunate to have many business leaders willing to serve on our board of directors. Our nominating committee strives to find a balance to fully represent our membership from the smallest to the largest employers,” Ms. Toledano said. “Expectations of our Chamber are high, and one of primary goals is partnering to build a strong workforce for the future. Another is to build collaborations, to create more avenues of communication and build more unity among organizations and governmental entities. We are thrilled to further build our partnership with the St. Tammany Parish School Board system and work toward these goals through Trey’s commitment to serve as a board member.”

She added that with the “Community Connections” effort underway by the school board, the Superintendent’s election to the chamber board creates a win-win for all.

School System personnel will be among those attending the upcoming Cultural Economy luncheon on Friday, September 20, where the unique cultural arts of the local community will be celebrated, with a look at its positive effect on the local economy. This year's luncheon will spotlight the film and television industry in the St. Tammany area. The event will take place at the Clarion Inn and Suites Conference Center.

The luncheon will feature music, art and a dance performance, as well as a specialty dessert created by Fontainebleau High School ProStart students.

 



09/11/2013

Fourteen National Merit Semifinalists Named In St. Tammany Public Schools


The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced its selection Wednesday of semifinalists in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Fourteen students from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System were among the 16,000 semifinalists named nationally.

Those academically talented high school seniors will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth about $35 million that will be offered next spring.

Semifinalists from St. Tammany Parish included Muldrow Doskey Etheredge of Covington High School; Kevin J. Reiners of Lakeshore High School, and Mandeville High students John S. Croxton, Michael W. Denham, Morgan L. Kleis, Aaron Z. Reed, Julia R. Stricklin and Greta Shallenberger. Northshore High School has six semifinalists, Andrew P. Campbell, Nicholas M. Hallal, Scott W. Kent, Dooyeol Kim, Yuanxia Lee, and Leah F. Weaver.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III congratulated each of the semi-finalists and their parents. “These students have been nationally recognized for their many accomplishments, not only their grade point averages, but also what they have done in their extracurricular activities and how they serve their communities. It is exciting to think about what the future holds for them.”

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s
scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

 



09/03/2013

Community Connections Award Presented to Parish President Pat Brister


Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III honored St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister with the first ever Community Connections Award recently for her partnership with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. The award was presented at the monthly Principals Meeting in September and was created as a way to honor community members who work closely with the School System.

"Our theme last year was Community Connections and this award was created to honor those people and those agencies who we have created partnerships with through the years. It's important for us to have these connections and for us to be able to work together for the benefit of the children in St. Tammany Parish," said Superintendent Folse. St. Tammany Parish School Board President Elizabeth Heintz attended the presentation which highlighted this year's School System theme of Working Together for Success.

The St. Tammany Parish Government works closely with the School System in numerous ways. During emergencies, the parish uses schools as shelters and leaders from both agencies work closely during hurricane season. This past year, parish leaders have honored the School System for it's "A" district letter grade and recognized State Middle School Teacher of the Year Amanda Warren from Lake Harbor Middle School. The Community Connections Award is a new tradition for the School System. Superintendent Folse plans to honor a community member at each of the monthly Principals Meetings this year.

 



09/03/2013

School System Collects Donations for Food Bank


After hearing about a shortage of food on the shelves at the Covington Food Bank, Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III put out a plea to the 55 St. Tammany Parish Public School System principals to help with the situation. The Superintendent asked each principal to bring food items for donation to the monthly Principals Meeting at the Treen Technology Center recently.

Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket donated paper grocery bags to help organize the collection of food. Principals arrived with bags and boxes full of food for the Covington Food Bank. Approximately 684 pounds of food were loaded up by maintenance workers and delivered to the Covington Food Bank.

For each item of food donated, principals were given a raffle ticket with a limit of 10 tickets per person. Superintendent Folse said, "The winner of the raffle is being given $100 to donate to the charity of their choice. This is a great way for us to support the community around us. It is also a perfect example of our School System theme of Working Together for Success."

At the conclusion of the food drive, St. Tammany Parish School Board President Elizabeth Heintz pulled a winning ticket out of the raffle basket. Pearl River High School Principal Mike Winkler had the winning ticket and decided to donate the money to the United Way.

"I know the Covington Food Bank struggles on a regular basis to keep up with needs of the community. This is just another way our principals can give back to the community outside of the schools. I was happy to hear Mr. Winkler make his donation to the United Way. This is another organization the School System works closely with and I know they will appreciate the extra money," said Heintz.

The food drive led several principals to create food drives at their own schools. There are also collection boxes at the School System Central Office and support sites for employees to continue making donations over the next few weeks.

 




08/30/2013

Schools Closed For Labor Day Holiday On September 2


In observance of Labor Day, public schools in St. Tammany Parish will close on Monday, September 2. Support offices will also be closed for the holiday. Classes will resume and support offices will reopen Tuesday, September 3.

 



08/29/2013

Journalist, Author Speaks to Students


An award-winning newspaper editor and journalist who has also written five books visited Boyet Junior High School on August 29 to tell a gathering of seventh grade students about her book entitled “A Mighty Long Way,” published in 2009, which tells the story of Carlotta Walls LaNier, one of the “Little Rock Nine.”

Author Lisa Frazier Page, who lives in Slidell, helped Ms. LaNier, a resident of Colorado, now in her late sixties, write down her memories of the turbulent times when she and several other Black students tried to enroll in an all-white Little Rock high school in 1957. They were turned back and told to go home, and it took federal troops to finally get them past the front door of the school.

Ms. Page worked with Ms. LaNier for two years on the book. “She had quite a story to tell, and because she was so traumatized by the events, for thirty years she didn’t even tell her own children that she was part of the Little Rock Nine," said Ms. Page. "Those were difficult times, especially for a 14 year old girl, to endure what she endured, but she was determined to have the education that she was entitled to, and she made history doing so. “

Ms. Page spoke at Boyet this month because of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington . The program was part of a unit of classroom study topic on “We the People” which covers the Martin Luther King speech and other historic American events. Ms. Page donated two copies of her book to the Boyet Jr. High library.

 



08/28/2013

Artwork by Two Mandeville Students Shown in Governor’s Exhibit


Two Mandeville public school students have had their flag design artwork posted on the Louisiana Governor's official Web site. A PDF File version is located at this link. The monthly youth art exhibit showcases student talent from around the entire state.

Ethan Thibodeaux, a fourth grade student at Tchefuncte Middle School, used pencil colors to draw a flag depicting the States Capitol building with an alligator and a pelican. Anna Grace Branch, a second grade student at Pontchartrain Elementary School, used crayons to draw an alligator stirring a pot of crawfish as her flag entry.

They were the students of TAP Visual Art teacher Gay Gladney.

The Youth Art Month program is part of Louisiana's First Lady Supriya Jindal's initiative to feature young artists. She said that the winning art pieces were from the Louisiana Art Education Association's (LAEA) 2012 Youth Art Month Flag design contest as well as from the Governor's Office of Disabilities Affairs Inclusive Art Show contest. They are all on display in the Louisiana Governor's Mansion for the month of August.

The Louisiana Art Education Association promotes youth participation in art, and encourages students to bring life to things learned in the classroom via creative expression.

 



08/28/2013

College Career Fair Scheduled For September 26 at SLU


The 2013 College and Career Fair will be held on Thursday, September 26, at the Pennington Center on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. Information on a wide variety of universities, colleges, technical and college financial aid programs will be available to ninth through twelfth grade students and their parents.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. and close at 8 p.m. Students throughout the Florida Parishes are expected to take advantage of the opportunity to meet with and get information from a number of sources about colleges and careers available for post secondary planning.

The College and Career Fair will provide students an opportunity to visit with representatives from a number of colleges and universities, as well as pick up information on other programs of interest to graduating high school seniors, from apprenticeship programs and technical colleges to branches of the military and financial aid sources.

Hundreds of two and four year colleges and universities have been contacted and invited to send a representative to the two hour event. The Pennington Center is located in the northwest corner of the Southeastern campus at 1350 N. General Pershing Street, Hammond.

 



08/22/2013

School System Educators Receive $35,980 in Classroom Project Grants

Twelve teachers with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System were awarded grants totaling $35,980 from the Deborah Rochelle Teacher Grant Program Wednesday afternoon, August 21, in connection with the Kelly Gene Cook Charitable Foundation, Inc.

The grants were distributed at a special program at the Central Office, with representatives on hand from the foundation. Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and Assistant Superintendents Cheryl Arabie and Pete Jabbia were present to congratulate the teachers for their selection. Twenty six grant applications had been submitted.

Deborah Rochelle gave out the grant checks to the educators, after sharing some of the background of how the Kelly Gene Cook Foundation was established and the work it has helped fund over the years.

The first of the 2013-2014 grants went to Keri McAllister, a teacher in the Gifted Program at Bonne Ecole Elementary, for her grant proposal entitled “Kindle a Fire for Nonfiction.” She received $3472. Her project will encourage students to read more non-fiction by providing Kindle e-book readers to access a large number of online articles, e-books and other materials available. Kindles also have built-in aids such as word dictionaries, she said.

Angela S. McGee, a third grade teacher at Honey Island Elementary, received a $3339 grant for her project entitled “Kindling a Fire for Research.” Her project will focus on using Kindles for research purposes by special education children. “The kids are excited,” she said. “This technology is so amazing.”

Rochelle Pedersen, a third grade teacher at Lancaster Elementary, was awarded a $2799 grant for her project called “the Actively Expressive Classroom.” She loves to use technology in teaching classes, including Active Expression voters, and her grant will enable her to provide her students with the technology all day long. “I am very excited about expanding the use of this technology throughout the day,” she said.

Corrine Aertker, who teaches first grade at Pontchartrain Elementary, received a grant for $3297 to fund her project entitled “Reading Fluency with iPad Minis.” Her students really love the idea, she said, and it will help her first graders to learn more about words and sentence structure quickly and then create I-books using their new knowledge.

Kelly McCoy, a Special Education teacher at Riverside Elementary in Pearl River, was given a grant worth $3494 for a proposal called “Touch Math for Success.” She talked about the difficult concept of grasping numerical concepts, and she is encouraged that the Touch Math project will help her students recognize and use numbers.

A $2878 grant was awarded for a project entitled “The Biome Project, A Digital Scrapbook,” as proposed by Cynthia Benefiel, a fifth grade teacher at Lake Harbor Middle School. The six Ipads purchased with the grant money will be used to teach language arts and science and create a digital scrapbook focusing on how human actions affect ecosystems.

Also from Lake Harbor Middle, Catherine Salzer, also a fifth grade teacher, received a $3010 grant for a project entitled “Launching into Scientific Inquiry.” Her funds will also be used to purchase six Ipads and a printer so students can use existing apps to better see experiments being done in a science lab.

Aimee Cowell, a teacher at Fifth Ward Junior High in Bush, received a $2400 grant for her proposal for a project dealing with “Getting Ready to Read with the Nabi Jr.” She was quite impressed with the handheld children’s computer Nobi Jr. when her daughter got one for Christmas, and she felt her students would benefit greatly from the technology. The units come pre-loaded with learning games that automatically adjust to the child’s level as they master different number and lettering skills.

Jennifer Nuccio, who teaches band at Fifth Ward Junior High, was awarded a $2123 grant for a project called “Pitch Perfect.” Her project will purchase two computers and special software that helps students assess their musical performances and improve note by note.

Two science teachers at Folsom Junior High received Deborah Rochelle Teacher Grants. They were Laura Ragas, who received a $2668 grant for her proposal called “Science in Action,” and Phyllis Beatty, who received a $3500 grant for a project entitled “Powering Up Science.” The first project will enable abstract science concepts to become more real to the students, and the second one will purchase seven Ipads for the science lab, enabling students to understand more complex science text through apps and online articles.

A grant for $3000 was awarded to JAG Specialist Eric DuBuisson at Salmen High to fund his project called “Jobs for America’s Graduates.” He thanked Ms. Rochelle and the Kelly Cook Foundation for its support of the School System and the JAG program. “We take students and prepare them for college and career. It’s a very successful national program, and we have two programs in St. Tammany Parish.” His funds will purchase a smart board for use in the program.

St. Tammany teachers have been benefitting from the grants program for the past 12 years, using them to fund classroom-based programs to enhance learning opportunities and expand technology resources. The Kelly Gene Cook Sr. Charitable Foundation was created in 1986 and funds a variety of scholarship and grants programs. Deborah Rochelle established the Deborah Rochelle Teacher Grant program in 1991 to focus grant opportunities specifically for classroom teachers.



08/16/2013

Culinary Arts Students Receive La. Restaurant Assn. Scholarships


Four graduates from St. Tammany Parish Public High Schools were awarded scholarships earlier this month by the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF) to further their culinary and hospitality-related studies at a post-secondary institution.

They were Sabrina Bodenheimer from Lakeshore High School, Laura Hodgson from Salmen High School, and Nicolas Locicero and Melissa McGuire, both from Mandeville High School. They were active in the ProStart culinary arts programs at their high schools.

In total, the LRAEF, through its Scholarship Fund, awarded $51,000 in scholarships to 24 students. The students were presented with their awards at the 2013 LRAEF Five Star Futures Gala August 3, 2013 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

Miss Bodenheimer will attend the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University; Miss Hodgson will attend the Louisiana Culinary Institute, Mr. Locicero will attend the Culinary Institute of America, and Miss McGuire will attend the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University.

“We are so pleased to recognize these students, and thrilled to assist them financially as they pursue a career in a truly outstanding and rewarding industry,” said LRAEF Chair Fabian Castillo. “Post-secondary education makes a real difference in a future career. We are all very proud of the recipients and know that their commitment to the foodservice industry will make it that much stronger in the coming years.

The LRAEF Scholarship Fund was created in 2009 to support the continuing education of ProStart® students, industry educators and other students with an interest in culinary and hospitality studies. This financial support allows the recipients to pursue post-secondary education in the culinary or hospitality fields, with the goal of having them select Louisiana’s restaurant/hospitality industry as a career choice. Since its inception, the Scholarship Fund has awarded $140,000 to deserving students.

The LRAEF/NRAEF ProStart Scholarship is a co-branded scholarship given to students who have, or will receive the ProStart Certificate of Achievement.

ProStart is a two-year, culinary management program for high school juniors and seniors with a curriculum designed to teach students culinary techniques as well as restaurant management skills. ProStart is in 47 high schools statewide and nearly 1,500 students participate in the program.

As the philanthropic foundation of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, the LRA Education Foundation exists to enhance the community through expanded educational and career opportunities, the formation of strategic partnerships and the elevation of the industry’s professional standards and practices.

Miss Bodenheimer and Miss McGuire received ProStart scholarships last year, also.



08/13/2013

Superintendent Takes Part in Commission on Families School Safety Talk


Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III recently took part in a presentation on school safety at the August meeting of the St. Tammany Commission on Families.

He was joined by St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Brian Trainor and Deputy Chief Joe Jarrell in presenting information about the plans in place to ensure the safety of local students. The event took place at the First Baptist Church in Covington.

The three speakers said that in St. Tammany Parish, law enforcement agencies and the School System work closely together to ensure the safety of all school children. “Sheriff Jack Strain is a strong supporter of our School System and for that I am very thankful,” Folse said. He added that he is proud of the cooperative effort and community partnership that helps keep school children safe.

Chief Deputy Trainor said, “School safety is not unique to St. Tammany Parish. It is a national issue.” He pointed out that when it comes to preparation and prevention, St. Tammany Parish is light years ahead of other areas in nation.

Superintendent Folse said that with more than 38,0000 students enrolled in the 55 public schools in St. Tammany, the School System’s job is to not only educate those children but to also keep them safe while they are in the school’s care.

Monthly meetings are held between St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office representatives and principals to identify issues and prevent them from becoming problems. The school system has also worked with law enforcement to develop an emergency response plan for each school in the parish.

Through the School System’s “Rapid Responder” computer software program, law enforcement and other first responders are provided access to campus layouts and floor plans, complete with entrance and exit points in the case of an emergency.

School resource officers (SRO’s) are also on hand all day, every day at every public high school in the parish and in some junior highs. They are law enforcement officers who work with school officials and students to keep the lines of communications open. Jarrell said this not only deters violence but also gives area children positive role models.

As an additional security measure, all schools have perimeter fences and campus monitoring cameras. Law enforcement presence is increased in school zones during the times of drop off and pick up of students, and deputies often go to area schools during lunch periods to visit with students and faculty.

“Law enforcement and the school administration have worked hand-in-hand in St.Tammany Parish to develop a plan for school safety that is modeled elsewhere in the nation,” Trainor said.

The St. Tammany Commission on Families is a coalition working together to increase opportunities for networking, collaboration, training and information exchange. The group’s purpose is to identify service gaps, develop strategies for the mobilization and utilization of volunteers within organizations and involve the private sector in supporting services for families and children. Since 1996 the commission has worked with people, groups and organizations that provide critical support and services to children and families.

 




08/09/2013

Students Return to Classes on First Day of New School Year


Students returned to classes Friday as the 2013-2014 School Year got underway. Teachers returned earlier in the week to take part in professional development and to continue preparing their classrooms for the first day of classes.

School officials expect enrollment to edge over 38,000 students this year. An official count for this year’s session will be taken in early October.

Opening day went smoothly as students across St. Tammany Parish came back to campuses, meeting their new teachers and at six schools, new principals. Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III said, “Administrators, faculty and staff at all of our schools are always excited to get back to campus and get off to a good start. I'm looking forward to a good year.”

He and Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie visited Pine View Middle School in Covington, Lake Harbor Middle School and Marigny Elementary in Mandeville, meeting the teachers and students as they familiarized themselves with the new School Year. School Board President Elizabeth Heintz joined them on the first day tour of schools. Bulletin boards and hallways were decorated with banners, ribbons, and pictures, all welcoming the students back from summer vacation.

Superintendent Folse visited with students in several classrooms, asking them about their summer vacations and encouraging them to work to do their best this year and, above all, be respectful and nice to each other. He told them the School System theme this year was “Working Together for Success,” and one of the best ways to do that is to treat other people like they would like to be treated. “I hope you all have a great year,” he told the students.

One Marigny class sang the Buckaroo song in keeping with school's theme of "Saddle Up For Success."

One hundred and sixty two new teachers took part in a new teacher induction program a few weeks ago to help orient them to the policies and procedures of their new School System. Two weeks ago principals and assistant principals attended the annual administrators conference to prepare for new instructional initiatives and evaluation techniques. Both meetings took place in the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville.

 



08/07/2013

Superintendent Interviewed On WWL-TV


An interview with Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III was featured on the WWL-TV Morning Show Wednesday morning, with host Sally Ann Roberts introducing the segment with this year’s School System theme of “Working Together for Success.”

Superintendent Folse said he was excited about the prospects for the year, especially with a possible enrollment of more than 38,000 students. He was asked about the new construction and facility renovations going on across the parish, and he gave an overview of what improvements were being made in technology and security.

“Our community totally supports public education, and because of that we are able to do these things,” Superintendent Folse stated.

 




08/06/2013

Bus Transportation Phone Hot Line Available Through August 13


To help parents get information about school bus routes for the 2013-2014 school year, a “Transportation Hot Line” is again being offered by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System before the start of school.

The Hot Line phone information service went into service on Monday, August 5, through Friday, August 9, and will also be offered Monday, August 12, and Tuesday, August 13. The hours are from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. The telephone number for the Hot Line is 985.898.3373.

Parents can call the Hot Line to get the name and contact information for their children’s bus drivers, which will allow them to call drivers to find out bus stop locations and pick-up and drop-off times.

“The Hot Line is a great tool for parents. It allows them quick access to bus information and provides details they will need for the first day of school,” said Superintendent W.L. “Trey” Folse, III.

Parents can click on the Bus Transportation link on the School System's web site home page to find bus routes, bus driver contact information and pick-up points.

Folse added, “We implemented the Hot Line and web link several years ago and both have proved to be very helpful. We believe by providing this information, it will make the start of school as smooth as possible for our students who use bus transportation.”

 




08/05/2013

Classes Begin August 9 for 2013-2014 School Year


Summer vacation ends and St. Tammany Parish Public School students will return to classes on Friday, August 9.

Information on how to register students attending St. Tammany Parish schools for the first time is available by clicking this link.

Supply lists for each elementary through junior high school are available by clicking on the “Supply List” link next to the school name on the School Directory Page. Clicking on the name of the school in the directory will bring up the school’s home webpage, where information on school policies and activities are available.

To view maps showing the attendance district boundaries for each school, visit this webpage. Clicking on the low resolution link brings up an overall map of the attendance area, and clicking on the high resolution link brings up street level boundary information.

For information regarding school bus transportation, parents may visit the transportation department webpage and the Bus Route Database where entering a street address will bring up nearby bus stops and bus driver assignments.


08/05/2013 New Online Student Learning Program Launched no file Edit | Delete
A new online student learning program will be launched this year by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. It will offer a variety of web-based courses for students in grades six, seven and eight. Registration is now open for students wanting to take part in the program.

The purpose of the Online Student Learning Program is to meet the educational needs of students by offering the flexibility of online "virtual" classroom instruction. The Online Student Learning program will accommodate 200 students in its first pilot year. The application process will be on a first come, first served basis.

 



 

08/05/2013

Channel 13 Productions Viewed Around The World

Dr. Melody Swang, Director of Broadcasting for the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, appeared before the School Board August 1 to deliver her annual report on the Channel 13 educational broadcasting channel and to recognize awards earned by two former Channel 13 interns.

“On air since November 5th, 2001, Channel 13’s goal has been to tell the educational story and share the good news of our School System, our schools and students,” said Dr. Swang. “We are a staff of broadcast professionals and educators who combine to produce high quality award winning shows to share with the local community, and now with our presence on the Internet, the world.”

Channel 13 is aired on Charter Communications throughout St. Tammany Parish, and is also available for viewing on ATT Uverse, the School System’s website and on YouTube. “We began a presence on YouTube one year ago and currently have over 34, 000 views from around the world, as far away as New Zealand, Thailand, and South Korea,” she noted. Forty percent of the people watching Channel 13 videos are doing so on mobile devices, Dr. Swang went on to say.

The Summer Video Institute is one of Channel 13’s most popular events. “We are mindful that as important as it is to tell the educational story, it is also extremely important to be educators—to teach aspiring broadcasters how to shoot, edit, produce high quality video. To that end, we began the Summer Video Institute (SVI.) Students work together during the week to produce videos of local interest. The videos are then placed on the SVI webpage,” Dr. Swang explained.

One of the videos produced this year was shown at the School Board meeting, a segment on the fund-raising Pelican artworks being placed around the City of Slidell. “We uploaded the video Friday at 3 p.m. and by Monday morning at 8:30 a.m., it had received well over 1000 views,” she said. The SVI videos are used by teachers of Louisiana History classes because of their subject matter and also used as good examples of good quality videos in any classes that want to produce a video.

Channel 13’s internship program allows students to work with broadcast professionals in a real television environment, on location and in the studio. Staff Member John Harrison has a professional broadcasting background and an industry-based teaching certification to teach broadcasting, so he serves as the internship teacher. Under a new program started last year, Channel 13 offers students college credit through Southeastern Louisiana University for the work they do as interns.

A former intern and SVI alummi Amy Boraks, a recent graduate of Fontainebleau High School, recently won two videography awards. Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, presented her with the first place award she won at the Satellite Center Video & Animation Festival in St. Charles Parish for her video featuring Fontainebleau High ProStart Educator Angie Drago. She also won another first place award at the St. Tammany Parish Commission on Cultural Arts Student Film Competition for her work on a video spotlighting the Fontainebleau High Bulldog Buddies program.

Miss Boraks told the School Board she felt fortunate to take part in the “amazing opportunity” to work at Channel 13. The chance to learn first-hand about her future career was a great start for her career in broadcasting, she said. “Because of the dedication of the staff and the state-of-the-art equipment to learn from, I looked forward to each day as an intern,” she said. “I will always attribute my career success to the staff at Channel 13.”

Former intern and Summer Video Institute alumni Andrew Franzella also spoke to the School Board about his experiences at Channel 13. A junior at LSU majoring in mass communications, he continues to help with the production of the PrepZone program segments on Friday nights. He was just selected as a recipient of a Press Club of New Orleans $2500 scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement.

“Channel 13 has been like a family to me these past couple of years,” he told the Board. “It’s been an incredible avenue of experience for me, and the fact that I can say that I have already worked with the Channel 13 professionals has helped me take part in several small crew ESPN productions this past year.” He appreciated the opportunity to continue to work with Channel 13 even though he is a student at LSU now.

“Chronicling the role of the school system day in and day out is such a great opportunity,” Dr. Swang concluded. “And supporting students as they pursue their dreams in the world of mass communications is perhaps the most rewarding part of our job.”

 




08/02/2013

New Online Student Learning Program Launched

A new online student learning program will be launched this year by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. It will offer a variety of web-based courses for students in grades six, seven and eight. Registration is now open for students wanting to take part in the program.

The purpose of the Online Student Learning Program is to meet the educational needs of students by offering the flexibility of online "virtual" classroom instruction. The Online Student Learning program will accommodate 200 students in its first pilot year. The application process will be on a first come, first served basis.

For more information on how to register their children for this new service, parents may visit the Online Student Learning webpage by clicking here.

 



08/01/2013

Preparations Underway for Opening of School View

The registration of new students coming into St. Tammany Parish Public Schools for the first time this fall is now underway across the parish at the schools which the students will attend.

In preparation for the opening of schools on August 9, principals, assistant principals, supervisors and other top School System officials met for a three day conference at the Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville last week.

The 152 participants went over new policies and procedures, networked with their Learning Community colleagues, and met newly-appointed administrators.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III welcomed the newest administrators to the conference, and presented his plan for the coming year. The theme of the conference was “Working Together for Success.” Programs included presentations by Assistant Superintendents Pete Jabbia and Cheryl Arabie, and updates on transportation, security, curriculum and communications.

Sessions included detailed presentations on technology, the Compass evaluation program, and student performance data analysis.

Numerous School Board members took part in a team exercise on Wednesday afternoon. They included Stephen J. “Jack” Loup, III, Robert “Bob” Womack, Mary K. Bellisario, Willie B. Jeter, Peggy H. Seeley, Robin P. Mullett, Charles Harrell, Michael J. Dirmann and Roanne Tipton.



07/23/2013

Bus Transportation Hot Line To Begin August 5

To help parents get information about school bus routes for the 2013-2014 school year, a “Transportation Hot Line” will again be offered by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System before the start of school.

The Hot Line will be open Monday, August 5, through Friday, August 9, and the following week Monday, August 12, and Tuesday, August 13. The hours will be from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. The telephone number for the Hot Line is 985.898.3373.

Parents can call the Hot Line to get the name and contact information for their children’s bus drivers, which will allow them to call drivers to find out bus stop locations and pick-up and drop-off times.

“The Hot Line is a great tool for parents. It allows them quick access to bus information and provides details they will need for the first day of school,” said Superintendent W.L. “Trey” Folse, III.

Parents can click on the Bus Transportation link on the School System's web site home page to find bus routes, bus driver contact information and pick-up points.

Folse added, “We implemented the Hot Line and web link several years ago and both have proved to be very helpful. We believe by providing this information, it will make the start of school as smooth as possible for our students who use bus transportation.”

 




07/22/2013

Classes Begin August 9 for 2013-2014 School Year

Summer vacation ends and St. Tammany Parish Public School students will return to classes on Friday, August 9.

Information on how to register students attending St. Tammany Parish schools for the first time is available by clicking this link.

Supply lists for each elementary through junior high school are available by clicking on the “Supply List” link next to the school name on the School Directory Page. Clicking on the name of the school in the directory will bring up the school’s home webpage, where information on school policies and activities are available.

To view maps showing the attendance district boundaries for each school, visit this webpage. Clicking on the low resolution link brings up an overall map of the attendance area, and clicking on the high resolution link brings up street level boundary information.

For information regarding school bus transportation, parents may visit the transportation department webpage and the Bus Route Database where entering a street address will bring up nearby bus stops and bus driver assignments.

 



07/21/2013

School System Wins Awards At New Orleans Press Club

For the sixth year in a row, the St. Tammany Parish Public School System has won recognition from the New Orleans Area Press Club for outstanding media projects created during the past 12 months. Both the Department of Communications and Channel 13, the School’s System educational television channel, won honors at the 55th annual Press Club Awards Banquet on July 20 in downtown New Orleans.

Angela Daviston, a Communications Specialist with the School System’s Department of Communications, won a first place award in the category of Public Relations Infographics for her work on community presentations for the 2012 bond issue elections.

John Harrison with Channel 13 won first place in General News Videography for his “Letters of Hope” segment about school children who had experienced Hurricane Katrina writing letters to victims of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast. The judges felt the entry was cleverly shot and edited, telling the story of young hurricane victims reaching out at Christmastime to other young victims.

Harrison also won a second place award in the category of Documentary Videography for his work describing the career of the late Dr. John Swang. The segment, entitled “Imagine – Dr. John Swang,” was commended by the judges for being a fittingly crafted tribute to a special man and his legacy.

In the category of Sports Action Videography, a first place award went to Rhett Sharpe and David Williams with Channel 13 Educational Television for their coverage of the Volleyball State Championship.

In the category of Public Relations E-Newsletter, second place went to Ms. Mendez and Ms. Daviston for the weekly “Trey’s Team Talk” email communication. They also won second place in the category of Public Relations Social Media, with the judges commenting on the School System’s sharp, clean-looking Facebook design.

In the category of Infographics – TV, Rhett Sharpe won second place for his work on a video depicting the Black History Programs of St. Tammany Parish public schools, and he won a third place award in the same category for his video report on the Mathletes Program. Trevor Cassidy, a former intern at Channel 13, won first place in that category with his “Eye on the Tigers” video for WWL-TV.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, said, “We appreciate the New Orleans Press Club’s recognition of our community media efforts. Through print, internet, and video media, our outstanding communications and broadcasting staff members are helping us to keep the public well-informed about our School System. Having the New Orleans Press Club honor our media productions in this way helps us know we are meeting the challenge of communicating our mission in the most effective and professional manner.”




07/19/2013

Five Scholarships Awarded by Chris Duhon’s Stand Tall Foundation

Scholarships worth $5,000 each were awarded to five public high school graduates by the Chris Duhon Stand Tall Foundation recently. Four of the five recipients were introduced by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III to the School Board at its July 18 meeting. The fifth is already attending college.

Each year Salmen High graduate and NBA basketball star Chris Duhon selects five high school students to be recipients of scholarships from his Stand Tall Foundation to the four-year college of their choice. The students are chosen for their outstanding commitment to community service and for having maintained a 3.0 or higher grade point average.

Folse congratulated the students for winning the scholarships and recognized their parents in the audience. The School Board then adopted a resolution honoring the contributions made by Duhon and his Stand Tall Foundation to the community.

Recipients of the Chris Duhon Stand Tall Foundation Scholarships for 2013 are Leslie Malcolm “Mac” Blades of Lakeshore High School, Gisell Callahan of Covington High, Jacob Daniel McKay from Mandeville High, Christopher Michael Millagan of Slidell High, and Desiree Nicole Williams of Covington High.

Blades is attending Louisiana Tech, majoring in engineering. He has volunteered with the World Changers organization and helps homebound and elderly citizens. Miss Callahan will also attend Louisiana Tech to major in chemical engineering and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Toys for Tots. McKay will attend Brigham Young University where he will play rugby and study business. An Eagle Scout, his community service activities have included serving with Helping Hands and he has been active with play production at Mandeville High. Millagan will attend Marymount Manhatten where he will study musical theater . He has been active in theater, choir and church service programs and plans to become an actor, dancer and producer. Miss Williams will major in biology at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, and has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, Toys for Tots and Leaders of Tomorrow.

“As you can see by the accomplishments of these students, the Stand Tall Foundation places an emphasis on academics but also a very strong emphasis on community service,” Superintendent Folse said. “Chris has had a great career with the NBA, but the most important thing I have admired about Chris is he has never forgotten where he came from. He always has time for young people, whether at Salmen or across the country. I want to thank Chris for everything he has done and the commitment he has made to the students of St. Tammany Parish. He has made us very proud of the way he has represented this School System.”

Duhon said the scholarship program is something that he and his wife love to do each year. “This is home,” he said. “I would not be in the position I am in today without the School System people who helped me achieve my goals. We just want to be sure to give the young people of this generation the same opportunities to achieve their goals as well.”

This is the fourth year the scholarships have been awarded.

The School Board’s resolution noted that the purpose of the Chris Duhon Stand Tall Foundation Scholarship Award is to supplement the costs associated with full-time enrollment at any four-year college or university for graduating high school seniors in the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools. "The generosity of Mr. Duhon and the Stand Tall Foundation serves as an inspiration to our community and will directly benefit children and youth proving that the importance of education and hard work can lead to a successful and rewarding future," the resolution stated.

After graduating from Salmen High, Duhon attended Duke University where he earned top baskeball honors. He has played for the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks, and the Orlando Magic.

After Hurricane Katrina devastated Slidell and his alma mater Salmen High in 2005, he brought in large amounts of relief supplies and began working to rebuild the community. The new scholarship program is just one of several projects Duhon has initiated over the past several years, including a basketball camp, a Feed the Children program, and a fund-raiser golf tournament.

The Stand Tall Foundation was formed in 1998, and Duhon’s Hurricane Relief Fund became a chapter of the foundation to support his efforts in providing aid to Slidell. He then formed the Chris Duhon Stand Tall Foundation in 2007. Among other things, the organization has worked towards refurbishing the public basketball courts and playgrounds in Slidell and New Orleans East.

More information about the foundation is available at www.chrisduhonstandtall.org.

A dinner will be held in the Slidell area soon to recognize the scholarship winners.


 

07/17/2013

New Teacher Induction Welcomes Educators to School System

One hundred and sixty-two new educators attended a New Teacher Induction program at the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center on July 16, learning about the opportunities and procedures to get their St. Tammany Parish Public School System career off to a good start.

Assistant Superintendent Pete Jabbia spoke to the group about the School System leadership team, introducing Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie.

Throughout the program speakers provided the new teachers with information specific to managing classroom procedures, using technology effectively, and understanding the curriculum resources available to them in their first year with the School System. Participants learned how to use the Blackboard informational website, the importance of the Positive Behavior Intervention Support program and its popular “Fish Philosophy,” and policies regarding website use, social networking, and electronic communications with students.

Dorable Dangerfield, Human Resources Supervisor, opened the program with introductory remarks in the auditorium, followed by a District Showcase Overview by Supervisor Dr. Regina Sanford.

 



07/16/2013

Young Leaders Learn of Opportunities In St. Tammany

The St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce recently conducted its “Leaders of Tomorrow” Program for 2013, with the graduation of the twenty-three student participants held in the atrium of the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie visited with the students, as well as a number of parents attending the event.

The week-long program familiarizes high school students from throughout the parish with a variety of community services and introduces them to successful business leaders in a wide range of fields.

Kyle Beerbohm, chairman of the Chamber’s Northshore Rising Professionals committee, said the program, now in its third year, helps young people connect to knowledgeable and seasoned professionals in the community so they can make better decisions about their own careers. The students were addressed by speakers representing commercial businesses, non-profit organizations and government.

One of the participants was Grace Valentine of Fontainebleau High School. "I learned a lot about networking and how important it is to make connections in the community," she said. She appreciated the chance to learn more about the existing opportunities in her future career choice.

The workshop focused on local career opportunities for the young leaders and showed how career decisions can be re-inforced or revised after meeting with knowledgeable people in the business community. The program also encouraged the use of internships and "shadowing" programs that give students a better sense of what a particular career is like.

The program placed emphasis on the large number of opportunities to be found in St. Tammany Parish and how young people can succeed by returning to St. Tammany after graduating from college. "We learned that we will want to bring our talents and skills back to the area and help keep St. Tammany Parish moving forward and building," Miss Valentine said. "We know it's a family-friendly and great place to live."

 



07/15/2013

Channel 13 Conducts 11th Annual Summer Video Institute

The eleventh annual Summer Video Institute was hosted by Channel 13 the week of July 8, with 17 students from public high schools across St. Tammany Parish taking part in the comprehensive overview of video production skills, both in the field and in the editing room.

The Institute serves high school broadcasting students who want to sharpen their skills during the summer by working with the professional media specialists on the School System’s educational television staff at the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville.

The students fine-tuned their video production and collaboration capabilities from shooting raw footage and standup storytelling in the field to final editing procedures in the Channel 13 studio. The institute includes instruction on how to best employ camera work, lighting, writing, and music and photo overlays. Four student produced videos were created, exploring the following subjects: the Pelicans on Parade artwork in the City of Slidell, Zoe’s Bakery in Covington, Metairie Cemetery, and the Aquarium of the Americas.

St. Tammany Parish Public School System Director of Broadcasting Dr. Melody Swang said there was a lot of demand from students wishing to take part in the Summer Video Institute this year, but enrollment was limited to 17. They will be returning to their high school media production classes with a much broader base of knowledge and skills, said Dr. Swang. “And their media teachers are always glad to hear when one of their students are able to take part in the summer Institute,” she added. The participants are able to share their newly-acquired knowledge with their classmates as well.

Amanda Vicari of Covington High took part in the event because she wanted to be better prepared for the multi-media classes she will be taking next year in school. She said the Zoe’s Bakery segment was not only interesting when they talked to the owner about his experiences cooking around the world, but they also got to take home tasty bakery samples afterwards. While she hasn’t decided how she is going to use her new video skills after high school, she does feel better prepared in making a career decision as a result of taking the course.

Shuntez Jackson of Fontainebleau High was already familiar with using the Avid video editing system from his high school media classes, but he wanted to learn more details about the entire video process, a more studied approach to production. The institute gives him and the others a chance to get out in the community and talk to people and learn things that they normally wouldn’t come in contact with, he said. “The whole experience has been fascinating,” he noted. Currently undecided whether he is going into the print media field or broadcasting, he hopes the institute will help him make the best career decision.

Victoria Eberhardt of Mandeville High was looking forward to using the AVID software in the Channel 13 editing room, something she was not too familiar with in her high school media course. While video-taping news reports is not something she is interested in for her future career, she does hope to use her new production skills in the film industry.

Two special guest speakers addressed the students on July 12, Curt Sprang, a news anchor at WGNO, Channel 26, in New Orleans and Rick Settoon, general manager of the Southeastern Channel at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

All four videos plus a special "Highlights of the Week" segment were shown at the annual “SVI Video Festival” at the Treen Instructional Technology Center Friday afternoon with dozens of parents and Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie attending. The videos are now posted for viewing on the Channel 13 website.

 



07/12/2013

Mandeville High Hosts Robotics Camp

Seventeen students in grades fourth through eighth converged on Mandeville High School the week of July 8 through July 12 for the school’s second annual Engineering Summer Camp, an exercise in robot-design and building. On Friday a “showcase” of the robots was held, including a mini-tournament competition that puts the robots through their paces.

The event used the First Lego League (FLL) game as a model, teaching participants comprehensive problem-solving and programming skills as they work in five teams to build robots that can perform assigned tasks. The goal this year is to develop a robot model that could assist senior citizens in their day-to-day activities.

“The FLL Senior Solutions game gives them the challenges they have to attempt to meet,” said Mandeville High Chemistry and Physics Teacher Jaclyn Duhe’ who oversaw camp activities. “We have more than doubled in size from last year’s camp.”

Participants used Lego Mindstorm mini-computers and motors and various Lego parts to build their robots. Each robot had to interact with a variety of obstacles on a large mat, from following a pre-programmed path to moving blocks back and forth.

“Students who are interested in robotics, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are our typical participants,” Ms. Duhe’ said. Some of this year’s students came from the Mandeville Junior High Gateway to Technology class. “They will be going back to take part in their own school’s LEGO robotics competitions later in the school year,” she explained.

To add to the team spirit for the week, each team adopted a name and designed their own logo, with T-shirts to be printed later in the week for each team. “It’s all about cooperation combined with competition, what we call co-operatition,” Ms. Duhe’ said. “They have to cooperate with each other, while they are also in competition. They are learning really good team skills while at the same time leaving room for individual innovation.”

Participants came from as far away as Baton Rouge to take part in the camp.

Mandeville High School’s robotics Team 2992 hosted the camp, with the assistance of a non-profit organization called FIRST, which stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology." That national group annually hosts multiple robotics competitions that build engineering and programming skills through a series of local, regional and national events.

The goal of FIRST is to generate an interest in science and engineering among today’s youth by designing accessible, innovative programs that help them pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

The organization developed technologically-inspiring competitions for students from high-school down to pre-school. The FIRST Lego League (FLL) was introduced in 1999 as a partnership with the Lego Group to get younger kids interested in engineering and developing solutions to real-world problems.

These programs also build a partnership between schools, businesses, and universities, and provide an exchange of resources and talent, with local engineers, scientists and technology business leaders often joining the teams as advisors to provide technical guidance and support.

Ms. Duhe’ is also the Project LEAD the Way teacher for the School. “Project Lead the Way” classrooms engage students in projects, hands-on activities, and problem-based learning that employs math and science concepts they have learned. Lead the Way students design, collaborate, build, discover and solve assigned problems as individuals and teams.




 

07/09/2013

Fall Student Registration Begins July 31

Registration for all students entering the St. Tammany Parish Public School System for the first time during the 2013-2014 School Year will be held at the school the student will attend. Registration will be held at schools according to the schedule linked here.

Students changing schools within St. Tammany Parish (other than students going to another school because of grade promotion), students who are entering the School System from home schooling, and parents or court-appointed guardians who do not have the required proof of residency must complete an “Assignment/Transfer Request Form” at one of the Child Welfare and Attendance Offices in Covington or Slidell. They must obtain an Assignment Letter from one of these offices before registering at the school they will attend. This does not apply to students already in the Public School System going to a different school because of advancement to the next highest grade level.

Every child, as a prerequisite to enrollment in any first grade of a public school, shall meet one of the following criteria: have attended a full-day public or private kindergarten for a full academic year or have satisfactorily passed academic readiness screening administered by the School System. Students who have completed kindergarten at an accredited private school must furnish proof of attendance.

Any child born before October 1, 2007, will be eligible for first grade, and any child born before October 1, 2008, will be eligible for kindergarten.

Click here for more information about the Registration Schedule, the documents required for registration and Pre-Kindergarten Registration Procedures.



06/26/2013

School System Media Productions Nominated For Press Club Awards

Four media specialists with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s communications and broadcasting departments have been nominated for awards to be given at the Press Club of New Orleans 55th annual “Excellence in Journalism Awards” event next month.

Director of Communications Meredith Mendez and Communications Specialist Angela Daviston with the School System’s Communications Office were nominated for the Public Relations Social Media Award for their use of Facebook, Twitter, and other internet channels to disseminate timely information about the School System. Ms. Daviston was also nominated in the category of Public Relations Infographics for her work on Community Presentations this year.

In the category of Sports Action Photography, nominees include Rhett Sharpe and David Williams, both of Channel 13 Educational Television, for their video segment on the “Volleyball State Championship.” Sharpe also earned two additional nominations in the category of Infographics-TV, one for his video segment on “Black History Programs” and another for his video program on the “Mathletes” program, an academic rewards project of the New Orleans Hornets and Chevron.

Channel 13’s John Harrison, also a video media specialist, was nominated in the General News Videography category for his segment on “Letters of Hope,” telling the story of school children writing encouraging letters to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The New Orleans Press Club winners will be announced at the annual awards ceremony, scheduled for Saturday July 20th at Harrah's. The annual awards banquet encourages and rewards excellence in the print and broadcast media, as well as public relations.

Last week Kevin Mumphrey, a video media producer with Channel 13 Educational Television, was elected president of the trade organization for the upcoming year. He has served on the board of the group for the past year.

St. Tammany Parish School System graduate Trevor Cassidy serves as Committee Chairman for the New Orleans Press Club’s well-known Gridiron Show, the group’s major social event and fundraiser of the year. Cassidy worked at Channel 13 two years ago and at that time won a Press Club first place award for his video on the “Teen Focus on Safe Driving” program and a second place award for his work on the video on the naming of the Instructional Technology Center in honor of former governor David C. Treen.

Last year, the School System’s Department of Communications took home two awards when Ms. Daviston won first place in Public Relations Photography for her “School System Showcase” series of pictures, and she won another first place in Public Relations Infographics for her Powerpoint presentations.

In 2012, Mumphrey won first place in the category of Sports Action Videography for his work on the Elementary Fitness Meet video. In the category of Infographics – TV last year, Sharpe won first place for his work on a video project called “Did You Know?” In the same category, he also won third place for his video on “Energy Management.”

Also last year Williams won third place in the category of Documentary Photography for his program “Following in the Footsteps of These Girls.” He also won a Telly Award for the same documentary.

Two years ago, in the category of Feature - TV, Harrison won first place for his video program entitled “Ashley Stokes: The Walk.” He also won third place in the General News Videography category for this program on “21st Century Summer Camp.”

In 2011 Ms. Daviston won a first place award in photography from the Press Club for her pictures of the newly-constructed Salmen High School. In 2010, Ms. Daviston won first place in the Press Club’s brochure design competition for her work on the STAR Employee-Business Program brochure.

That same year, Mumphrey won first place in the Documentary category for his video on Preservation Plaza, and Cassidy earned a first place award for his graphics on the Preservation Plaza video. Also in 2010, In the feature category, Director of Broadcasting Dr. Melody Swang and John Harrison won an Honorable Mention for “Becoming Ashlee Again,” a video produced for that year’s “Teen Focus on Safe Driving” presentation.

In addition to the annual awards recognition, The Press Club also provides professional development seminars on such topics as ethics and libel and awards scholarships to promising students interested in journalism and communication careers.



06/21/2013

Principals of the Year and Teachers of the Year Announced By School System For 2013-2014

Principal Leslie Martin of Marigny Elementary School in Mandeville has been selected as a Regional Winner and State Finalist in the 2013-2014 Principal of the Year recognition program held by the Louisiana State Department of Education. She was named District Principal of the Year in the Elementary Division earlier this year by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

She will be among the finalists to be honored at the annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium scheduled in Baton Rouge on July 12 at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center. The announcement of the state winner will be made at an awards and recognition banquet that evening.

“We congratulate Leslie for winning the Regional Principal of the Year program honor and wish her well in next month’s selection of the Louisiana State Principal of the Year. Everyone knows what a tremendous asset she is to her school, the entire School System, and the St. Tammany community,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III.

While Ms. Martin represents the St. Tammany Parish Public School System as the District’s Elementary Division winner in the annual Principal of the Year program, the other two District winners are Amy DiCarlo of Little Oak Middle School in Slidell in the Middle School/Junior High division, and Bruce Bundy of Mandeville High School in the High School Division.

Principals of the Year and Teachers of the Year are selected on three criteria, (1) significant positive impact on student growth, (2) rigorous instructional practices and support, aligned to Common Core instructional shifts, and (3) the ability to communicate clear, compelling, student- focused messages. The decision is based, in part, on submitted videos, observations, and an essay, as well as student performance data.

Ms. Martin was recognized for her instructional leadership, goal-setting, collaboration, curriculum adjustment to the Common Core standards, and assessment of student performance. She graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond with a Masters of Education degree in 1995 and has served as Marigny’s principal since the school opened in 2009. Prior to that, she was a teacher at Woodlake Elementary School in Mandeville. She is involved in several community organizations, including the Children’s Museum, the Junior Service League of Covington, and the PTA.

Ms. DiCarlo graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Masters in Education degree in 1995. Principal of Little Oak Middle School since 2005, she has also served as a teacher at Florida Avenue Elementary School and Honey Island Elementary School.

Bundy has served as Principal at Mandeville High School since 2002, having previously been assigned as an Assistant Principal at Fontainebleau High School, following other duties as Administrative Assistant, Athletic Director, teacher and coach. He graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Master of Science Degree in Educational Administration in 1995 and earned a Special Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1998.

Teachers of the Year for the coming School Year are Kristi Tanguis of Mandeville Elementary School, Laura Gerald of St. Tammany Junior High School, and Diane Shay of Pearl River High School.

Ms. Shay has taught mathematics in St. Tammany Parish since 2003, having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Loyola University in 1976 and a Masters of Education degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of New Orleans in 1984.

Ms. Tanguis graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 2007 and earn her Masters of Education degree in Gifted Education in 2009. She has taught the third grade ELA and Math gifted curriculum for the past two years at Mandeville Elementary. Prior to that assignment, she was a Gifted Program Teacher at Abney Elementary.

Ms. Gerald is an eighth grade Reading and English teacher at St. Tammany Junior High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in English Education from Utah State University in 2002 and completed the LECE alternate education certification program for English in 2009.

 



06/20/2013

Chamber Expo Held At Lakeshore High

Hundreds of area residents and business people visited the 2013 Expo held by the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce Thursday afternoon, the event’s second year at Lakeshore High School.

More than 100 exhibitors lined the main hallway of Lakeshore High for the extensive showcase of St. Tammany Parish businesses and services. The new location worked well for the chamber and St. Tammany Parish Public School System last year under a new partnership between the two organizations.

Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III, and Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie were present to greet visitors to the school located north of Mandeville, and several School Board members stopped in to take part in the event, including School Board President Elizabeth Heintz and Board Members Peggy Seeley and Charles Harrell.

Display booths offered information from chamber members in a wide range of business services, from banking and insurance to health care and utilities. Exhibitors included the St. Tammany Parish Library, the Volunteers of America, the Blood Center of Southeast Louisiana, and area news publications. The chamber has been hosting annual marketplace shows for area businesses for more than 18 years.

 




06/19/2013

Lake Harbor Middle School YAP Club Wins $1000 Grant

Lake Harbor Middle School in Mandeville came in first place in the recent America Adopts “Second Chance Public Service Announcement (PSA)” contest with the Northshore Animal League. The school will receive a $1000 grant as a result of winning the contest. The contest ran from June 3 to June 17 and is a part of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum program that encourages animal stewardship and humane society adoptions.

The students who participated belong to the Youth and Pets (YAP) group at the school and together they made a promise to Vicky Nichols Kreeger, the director of St. Tammany Humane Society, to use the proceeds from the grant to bring about awareness for the homeless pets of St. Tammany Parish.

The grant will be used by the YAP group to purchase equipment to create more video PSAs to showcase adoptable pets at the shelter south of Covington.
“We thank all the schools who submitted videos and appreciate everyone’s support,” said a Mutt-i-grees Curriculum representative.

The 2013 Mutt-i-grees “America Adopts” Second Chance PSA Contest received entries from all across the United States. The top three winners were determined by the most votes cast over the internet, with the video that got the most votes winning a $1,000 grant for the school that produced it. Second and third-place prizes were $750 and $500, respectively. In the final vote totals First Place went to Lake Harbor Middle School with 1,615 votes. The second place school got 1,571 votes and the third place school received 474 votes.

The America Adopts PSA Contest is a nationwide initiative to raise awareness of the availability and desirability of shelter pets, called “Mutt-i-grees.” Established in 2008, the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum builds on children’s affinity for animals and highlights the unique characteristics and desirability of animal shelter pets.

 



06/18/2013

Principals of the Year Honored By Parish Council

The St. Tammany Parish Council honored the three 2012-2013 Principals of the Year from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System at its Thursday, June 6, 2013, meeting on Koop Drive.

Council member Gene Bellisario recognized Principal Mary Jane Smith of Honey Island Elementary, congratulating her for winning District Principal of the Year in the elementary division as well as being a Regional Winner and State Finalist for the Louisiana Principal of the Year title. “I’ve known her for quite a few years, and we have worked on some parish issues together,” he said.

Ms. Smith said it was very rewarding to go to work at Honey Island Elementary every day. “We have a great time at the school, and I invite you to stop by and visit whenever you have the chance,” she told the council. “I’m proud to be a part of such an awesome public school system.”

Susan Patin, Principal of Lake Harbor Middle School in Mandeville, received a plaque from Parish Council Member Marty Gould, who said he knows from having sons attend the school that she runs a tight ship. “I can’t tell you how good an operation it is,” he said. “I know first hand how good a job this lady does, and I really appreciate it.” She won the District Principal of the Year title in the Middle School/Junior High Division.

Ms. Patin said she was proud to represent the school administrators of St. Tammany Parish and the wonderful School System. “Thank you for bringing us here and recognizing us in this way,” she said.

Dr. Michael Peterson, Principal of Northshore High in Slidell, was recognized by Council Member Richard Artigue. Dr. Peterson said he appreciated the opportunity to work in such a wonderful parish that is run so well by the parish government. “Our School System has been excellent in running our educational system, and I am so proud to be an administrator in a community such as ours,” he said.

“So whatever you are doing to value that sense of community, please keep doing it because it makes all the difference in the world,” Dr. Peterson said. He won the District Principal of the Year honor in the High School Division.

Artigue concluded the presentation by saying, “We want to thank everyone in the School System for doing such a wonderful job.”

 



06/17/2013

St. Tammany Students Win Essay Contest Given by League of Women Voters

Two St. Tammany Parish Public School System students were honored at the June School Board meeting by the St. Tammany League of Women Voters after they had submitted winning entries in this year’s Daryl Pettit Memorial Essay Contest.

Mrs. Donna Howland announced that Anna Campbell and Rachel Triay had been named the two top winners.

Miss Campbell’s essay was entitled “The Glorious Life of a Small Town,” and it told how local government in Abita Springs sought to preserve the historical character as well as keep traffic flowing with the new traffic circle. She received the first place award check for $500. “Reading the essay makes you want to live in Abita Springs,” Mrs. Howland said.

Miss Triay’s essay was entitled “Prisoners Can Save A Life,” which proposed a project to save the lives of dogs at animal shelters by having prisoners train them to help visually-impaired or hearing-impaired individuals. “That way three lives would be benefitted in positive ways,” Mrs. Howland said. “The essay was extremely well written, and she backed up the proposal with solid data.” Miss Triay received the second place award check for $250.

Mrs. Howland thanked the Board and the principals she had contacted about the essay contest for their outstanding cooperation. “We had a very good response from students, particularly from Fontainebleau High School,” she noted.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III said the School System looks forward to working with the League for next year’s essay contest and other projects throughout the year.

The two students received the actual checks at their school’s awards ceremonies last month.

Daryl Pettit was a board member with the League of Women Voters several years ago who served as a liaison and observer of school related matters for the League. “Education was one of his passions,” said Mrs. Howland. “He loved children and making sure they received a good quality education.”

He died suddenly a couple of years ago, and the League chose to honor him with a scholarship fund. It was decided to award the funds to parish students who had written the best essays focusing on the role of local government and how that plays out in individual lives. “That is what really impacts us on a day to day basis,” Mrs. Howland explained.

 




06/14/2013

Fifth Ward Jr. High FFA Chapter Named Tops in State

The Fifth Ward Junior High School FFA Chapter from the community of Bush received top honors at the State FFA Convention in Alexandria last month by being named the best overall FFA Chapter in the state for 2012-2013.

Fifth Ward is the only middle school chapter to have ever won the overall Top FFA Chapter Award, which is usually given to high school chapters. The National FFA Organization is an organization for students enrolled in Agriscience Education, and its main goal is to develop leadership skills, personal growth and career success.

Tommy Peters, the chapter advisor, and student members were congratulated on their outstanding state accomplishment. “We won overall in the state based on student development, chapter development, and community development,” he said. They had earlier won best middle school chapter in the state, and he attributed the outstanding overall recognition to a lot of hard work on the part of the student members.

In preparation for the state convention, each chapter completes a 21 page application which consists of photos, goals, a Plan of Action and evaluation for each of several different activities. A review committee then ranks chapters as “Gold, Silver, and Bronze.” The Gold Chapters are interviewed by a selection committee that consists of Ag Business leaders, Department of Agriculture representatives and others.

Some of Fifth Ward FFA’s major activities include an Agricultural Leadership and Parent Night, an Exploring Careers in Agriculture event, the Character and Anti- Bullying Program, the FFA Awards and Appreciation Banquet, a Winter Gala, chapter fundraisers, a PEC Service Learning Project, the Fifth Ward Farm Safety Day, and Petting Farms at the parish fair and other events.

Now that it has been chosen at the top overall Louisiana chapter, Fifth Ward’s application will be forwarded to National FFA Association. The group will head to the National FFA Convention in late October. It was in the top five in the nation last year.

The Fifth Ward Junior High FFA chapter has been named the top middle school chapter in the state numerous times over the past several years.

Students who take part in the many FFA programs and projects are busy with many activities throughout the school year. They study forestry and parliamentary procedure, purchase hogs for livestock competitions, work on welding and woodworking projects and they help set-up and stock the Mini Farm at the St. Tammany Parish Fair.

For the first two months of the year, FFA members participate in livestock competitions at parish, district and state levels. Students also engage in competitions in everything from floraculture and landscaping to dairy production and livestock judging. In addition, they learn hunter and boating safety.

There are currently about 180 FFA Chapters in Louisiana.




06/13/2013

Students and Teacher Win Honors At East St. Tammany Chamber Event

The East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce held its annual luncheon spotlighting education on June 12, with a number of St. Tammany Parish Public School System students and administrators on hand for the occasion.

Chamber scholarships worth $1,000 each were presented to Salmen High students Christina Grommon and Julie Huynh and one Slidell High student Courtney Collette Bozant. Jon Mitchell, a recent graduate of Pearl River High School and Louisiana’s High School Student of the Year for 2013, received the chamber’s “Student of the Year Award.” The Outstanding Educator of the Year Award was presented to Christy Wiebelt of Slidell High School.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III spoke to the group of business leaders about ongoing public education issues. “The East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce is a great supporter of public education in our parish,” he said. “These awards and scholarships mean a great deal to our students and educators. We are pleased to have such a strong ‘community connection’ with the Chamber and look forward to continuing our solid partnership with their members.”

Student of the Year Award recipient Jon Mitchell, the son of Mack and Salome Mitchell of Pearl River, was congratulated for his 4.66 high school grade point average, his accomplishments in poetry writing and stage production, and for receiving a U.S. Senate Youth Scholarship for Louisiana. His achievements in school and during the summer as an intern at Stennis Space Center have convinced him to study computer science at LSU Honors College with an eye towards conducting computer research for military applications.

Mitchell, upon receiving the award, said, “I’ve lived in St. Tammany Parish my whole life, and I feel the whole community is so supportive and loving, and that’s why I have been able to accomplish so much.” He thanked the chamber for its recognition of his accomplishments.

Christina Grommon of Salmen High School received the first chamber scholarship. She was recognized for her many volunteer efforts in school and community service groups and plans to attend LSU to study anthropology. She is the daughter of Andrew and Gail Grommon. She was an active club member and student council representative at Salmen, also taking part in a number of sports activities including the swim team, cross country and soccer. Her community service efforts include Literacy Day at area elementary schools, city beautification projects, Toys for Tots fundraising, and tutoring.

Julie Huynh, also of Salmen High School, received a chamber scholarship in recognition of her many outstanding school achievements and her community volunteerism. The daughter of Alan Haynh and Lisa Tran, she plans to attend LSU to major in veterinary medicine with the goal of one day opening a local veterinary clinic. Miss Huynh was the February recipient of the HERO Award from Sophisticated Woman magazine for her school accomplishments, including efforts to increase awareness and understanding of the Asian culture by starting the Asian-American Club at Salmen. That group’s primary focus was to integrate different cultures as well as dispel stereotypes, and conduct community service projects to raise funds for cancer research.

The third scholarship went to Courtney Collette Bozant of Slidell High School, who plans to attend the University of Louisiana in Lafayette to major in nursing with a minor in biology. Her goal is to earn a master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner in the pediatrics field. The daughter of Kurt and Colette Bozant, she was commended for her many involvements in school activities, from the dance team to the National Honor Society, as well as her community volunteer work in the hospital and tutoring.

The “Outstanding Educator of the Year” Award presented by the chamber’s Education Committee went to Christy Wiebelt, the School To Work Coordinator at Slidell High School. That award is given to honor the outstanding contributions educators make in the lives and education of area young people. Ms. Wiebelt was described as a caring, dedicated teacher as well as an outstanding professional and community activist.

“She truly believes that all of her students can and will reach their highest potential,” said Steve Kernahan, Chairman of the Education Committee. “She instills in them hope to believe that only through education will they be able to succeed.” She truly cares for her students and for Slidell High School, and she has the respect of her administration, the faculty, and her students, Kernahan stated.

Ms. Wiebelt taught English and Broadcasting for seventeen years but now serves as the School To Work Coordinator where she handles the on-site business internships for students as well as dual enrollments. “I love it. I get to work with the kids and help them decide upon their careers,” Ms. Wiebelt stated.

She has worked with the chamber’s education committee over the past year in connection with the 50 Slidell area businesses that host her nearly 150 student interns.

This past year, Slidell High students earned 400 industry certifications, from Microsoft computer science and nursing to first responder and business, she said. Slidell High offers seven career-oriented academies: allied health, teaching, business, hospitality, criminal justice, engineering, and communications, and the goal of those programs is to help students figure out what they want to do in their careers.

“The kids love it, and they get to see what it’s like to work in their chosen field. It helps them decide what careers they may be interested in and what courses they may want to take in college,” Ms. Wiebelt said. Getting hands-on experience in a particular field may help them set a career path early on and that can be a valuable insight, she said.

 




06/12/2013

Northshore High Graduate Ryan Eades Chosen By Minnesota Twins

Baseball standout Ryan Eades, a 2009 graduate of Northshore High School and now a junior at LSU, was picked by the Minnesota Twins in the second round of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft held Thursday, June 6.

Right-hander Eades, 21, was selected by the Twins with the 43rd overall pick in the draft. He is a native of Slidell and is seventh in the Southeastern Conference statistics in wins, 10th in innings pitched and 12th in strikeouts. While at Northshore High, he played on the Panthers baseball squad and earned considerable recognition on the high school level.

In 2010, Eades was chosen in the 19th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies while still a high school senior, but he decided to enroll at LSU. In his baseball career with the Tigers, he is 17-5 over the past three years.

While at Northshore High, he suffered from a torn labrum that prevented him from pitching at all as a senior in 2009. During his sophomore and junior years, however, Eades was regarded as the best pitcher in the state.

The LSU Tigers will face UCLA this Sunday at 7 p.m. in Omaha’s TD Ameritrade Park for the fourth game in the 2013 College World Series. On May 26, the Tigers defeated Vanderbilt 5 to 4 in 11 innings to win the championship in the 2013 SEC Baseball Tournament in Hoover, AL.

Ryan's mother Marian Eades is a teacher at Northshore High School. In February of 2005, the baseball field at Northshore High was named "Ned Eades Field" in honor of his father, the late Ned Eades, the baseball coach at the school who passed away in 2004.

 



06/11/2013

Hope House Receives School System Donation of $16,782

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System presented Hope House with a check for $16,782.54 Thursday, June 6, at the May School Board meeting. The amount was collected during the most recent district-wide fundraising effort by students, teachers and administrators. Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III presented a check to the Executive Director of the Childrens’ Advocacy Center, the agency that operates Hope House.

In giving a report on the fundraising event, Supervisor Margaret Sharpe said, “Our schools have done a great job of helping deserving organizations in our community while teaching our students the intrinsic benefit of public service. The designated recipient of our latest fund-raising event is Hope House, an extension of the Childrens’ Advocacy Center (CAC) that provides critical services to the community. Hope House was a great choice for our April 26 fundraiser, when students and staff contributed $1 or more to wear jeans for that one day, knowing that their donation would be going towards continuing the remarkable work of Hope House,” said Ms. Sharpe.

Hope House representatives on hand for the check presentation included CAC Board Members Leigh Anne Wall, Dr. Barbara Hebert, and Lindy Stonecypher, Development Director Liz Taurman, Counselor Earniesha Lott, and Executive Director Brigid DeLoach.

Ms. DeLoach thanked the School Board for providing the funds. “Child abuse thrives in an environment of fear and denial,” she said, “It is uncomfortable to talk about sometimes, and we thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk about the problem and what we do to serve our community.”

A video produced by Channel 13 explained the mission of Hope House and how it provides a safe, comfortable environment for children who are victims of abuse or witnesses to acts of violence, and gives them counseling and support while providing law enforcement agencies the information they need to investigate the crimes. “It’s a place where children can share their experiences with trained counseling professionals,” said Dr. Melody Swang during the video.

Hope House was established in 1995 as a project of the St. Tammany Exchange Club, in response to a national movement to reduce the trauma of children involved in crimes. The building that houses the agency is a welcoming home environment with a white picket fence that looks like “grandmas” house. A special room filled with stuffed animals and toys is where “forensic interviews” are held with the children, while law enforcement investigators in a nearby room watch the interview on closed circuit television. The video-taped interviews reduce trauma to the child since multiple interviews by a variety of strangers are no longer needed.

Hope House provides counseling services to victims and their families as well. The children can begin to recover from their ordeal while at the same time justice is being sought against their abusers, said Dr. Swang.

Superintendent Folse reported that the School System held two other fund-raising events throughout the last School Year, one benefitting the Childrens’ Museum and the other for Caps for Kids. “Next year we will be doing four different projects, one every nine weeks grading period. We held a committee meeting where worthy community service agencies came and presented to us, and we made a decision from that on who to designate as recipients,” he explained.

“It is amazing how generous our students and their parents are to each of these organizations,” he stated. “It is an important community connection to make with all these groups that do so much.”

 




06/10/2013

Bayou Bug Conference Teaches Latest Blackboard Offerings

A one day mini-conference June 8 at the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville brought together 140 teachers and administrators from across Louisiana to spotlight the latest offerings from the Blackboard curriculum delivery media system. Blackboard is a computer-based online portal used by teachers, administrators, students and parents for a variety of purposes, including the taking of online virtual classes.

The third annual workshop event called "Bayou Bug" was sponsored by Blackboard and this year hosted by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. It is held in different locations across the state year to year. The “bug” stands for Blackboard users group, and workshop topics targeted specific features of Blackboard, both new and old, for educator use, both newcomers to the system, as well as longtime users.

Other conference sponsors included the St. Tammany Parish Technology Department, the Calcasieu Parish Technology Department, the K-12 Blackboard Users Group and the Louisiana Blackboard Users Group. The Treen Technology Center offers a wide range of professional development activities to not only St. Tammany educators, but also to neighboring school systems in southeastern Louisiana.

Kim Leblanc, the conference co-ordinator, said the conference had something to offer everyone, from novice e-Learners to experienced Blackboard gurus. “We were able to provide 25 concurrent sessions and hands-on workshops to participants from throughout Louisiana,” she said.

Session topics ranged from assistive technology for disabled students to specific overall improvements to the system and from a new lesson presentation tool called Prezi to the best practices information on teaching specific academic subject areas . One session featured two local students sharing their experiences with Blackboard and how it helped them in their school studies, particularly while taking online courses.

The conference featured two presenters from Blackboard, including Mike Peterson, the head solution engineer for Blackboard K-12. Rachael Blanchard, one of the local coordinators, said the Blackboard users group helps members keep abreast of innovations in Blackboard throughout the year, sharing resources and showcasing new ways to use it.

A number of local teachers and administrators use Blackboard extensively in their day-to-day activities, Blanchard said. “There are continually new features available that teachers need to know about,” she noted.

Susannah Welch, Lancaster Elementary Principal, said, “It was great to meet with teachers and administrators from other parishes to see how their schools are using Blackboard with faculty, parents, and students. I see Blackboard as a great tool that will help us make students more independent and more responsible for their own learning. It can also be a great tool to involve parents more in students' learning and for keeping up with school activities.”

Andrea Himel, assistant principal at Lancaster, stated, "I thought the Bayou Bug Conference was innovative and extremely helpful in demonstrating all of the new features in Blackboard. With the district investing so many resources in keeping us up to date with technology, this conference really showed us what Blackboard is capable of allowing us to do. The fact that we are networking and learning from other districts is also a wonderful resource. The conference was well organized and informative."

Owen Clanton, an assistant principal from Calcasieu Parish, said he was excited to attend the conference and had learned a number of things already. “I love the incorporation of Prezi into Blackboard and how it helps keep students engaged with the material I am presenting,” he said. “In our district, students can complete assignments and parents can go online to check assignments. It’s very convenient.”

At the end of the conference participants received a continuing education certificate as well as a T-shirt to take home.



06/07/2013

Chevron Recognized For Its Outstanding Contributions To School System


The St. Tammany Parish School Board recognized the many contributions of the Chevron Oil Company to public education over the past few years during its Thursday night meeting in Covington. Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III presented Chevron Public Affairs Representative Karen Rawls with a special “Education Impact” award honoring her company for its continued support of science and math education.
“We thank Chevron and their employees for all they do for the students of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, and I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of this award,” Superintendent Folse stated. “They are the perfect community connection.”

Ms. Rawls thanked the School Board and the Superintendent for the recognition and the opportunities to share their philosophy and commitment to education. “At Chevron we work with local communities and government as strategic partners to increase learning opportunities for students and support the socio-economic vitality. Over the past three years Chevron has donated close to $100 million to public education nationwide.” Their efforts focus upon developing effective science and math education to foster bright young talent for the future work force, she explained.

Then in a surprise presentation to the School Board, on behalf of the 3500 employees and contractors in Chevron’s Gulf Operations area, she presented a check to Superintendent Folse for $50,000 for the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. “Chevron is proud of our partnership,” Ms. Rawls said, “and we look forward to continuing it with the St. Tammany Parish School Board.”

Superintendent Folse said the School System was excited to partner with Chevron in so many different ways. “I think what is special about Chevron is not just the money that they give, but the people from the company who volunteer in our schools, and the belief in our School System they have. The money is important, but seeing these professional people in our schools are a source of encouragement to our students and our teachers and administrators. We thank you and look forward to working with you,” he said.

Board Member Mary K. Bellisario commended Chevron for its continuing support. “I can’t think of a better example of the community working together. We can’t do it alone,” she said.

In a report on Chevron’s many efforts for public education over the past several years, Dr. Regina Sanford, a supervisor of curriculum and instruction, said, “As soon as Chevron moved its offices to the Northshore, they reached out to us to become a part of this community. Over the course of the past few years, Chevron has generously donated over $1.7 million to St. Tammany Parish public schools, allowing us to upgrade technology with these funds, provide professional development to our teachers, and implement STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiatives in many of our schools.”

Chevron has partnered with the New Orleans Hornets to conduct a parishwide “Mathletes” program to encourage good grades in Math, it furnished a $10,000 grant to Fontainebleau High School for its own STEM research and activity lab, and it also provides professional mentors to the students, in collaboration with teachers, she said. Company employees volunteer in the schools in a variety of ways, she noted, benefitting both students and teachers.

Chevron has also been active in establishing “Project Lead the Way” classrooms which engage students in projects, hands-on activities, and problem-based learning. While employing the math and science concepts that they have learned, Lead the Way students design, collaborate, build, discover and solve assigned problems. “Next year we will have six “Project Lead The Way” schools in St. Tammany Parish,” Dr. Sanford announced. Four of those classrooms will be at the junior high level: Boyet Jr. High, Mandeville Jr. High, Clearwood Jr. High and Fontainebleau Jr. High. Two high schools will also be involved, Northshore High and Mandeville High. “We are making tremendous progress,” she stated.

During the recent Zurich Classic golf tournament, a commercial featuring the Mandeville Jr. High “Project Lead the Way” classroom was aired nationally on the Golf Channel, she reported.

“We would like to thank Chevron for including St. Tammany parish public schools in this joint venture. Chevron wants to inspire students in the lower grades, sparking their interest in STEM subject areas and getting them engaged in problem-solving exercises, Dr. Sanford stated. Many grants were given to teachers throughout the school system to buy materials for exploration and discovery. Some of those grants dealt with the planting of “teaching gardens” at Florida Avenue Elementary and Abney Elementary Schools.

Also, the Fuel Your School program aided students at Covington Elementary School by providing a variety of materials and science accessories to help them explore using hands-on learning. That project was conducted in conjunction with DonorsChoose.org.

The main focus, Dr. Sanford said, is to educate students, but the teachers and administrators also take pride in nurturing a sense of civic responsibility and participation in community endeavors. Chevron has done much to help instill in students an awareness of those community service activities and how they can be a part of it.


 

06/05/2013

Local NAACP Branch Awards Plaque To School System

The Greater Covington Branch of the NAACP presented a plaque Saturday to Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III commending the School System, its administrators and members of the School Board for their innovative programs in support of the children and citizens of St. Tammany Parish.

The group held a Freedom Fund Banquet on June 1, 2013, to present plaques to several community leaders in recognition of their contributions to the area. Superintendent Folse was thanked for his efforts over the past year in working with the group as well as his strong commitment to public education. More than 150 people attended the event, which is held every other year.

“I am honored to receive this recognition on behalf of the School System,” said Superintendent Folse. “This is an important community connection for us.”

NAACP Branch President James A. Davis said the plaque presented to Superintendent Folse recognized the School System’s effort to preserve and renovate the historic Covington Rosenwald School building, now known as the Harrison Curriculum Center, located on Tyler Street in Covington.

In re-dedication ceremonies held in April, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to commemorate the legacy of Dr. James A. Harrison, who served as principal of the Rosenwald School for many years. The building underwent extensive renovations last year, including a gymnasium which is made available for community sports programs.

“We wanted to show our appreciation for what the School Board has done to preserve and develop the Covington Rosenwald School site,” Davis stated. He said the School System worked together with his group to find the old classmates and former teachers at the school so they could attend the re-dedication event.

“We are proud of our relationship with the School System and how well we have worked together on several projects,” he went on to say.

At the Freedom Fund Banquet, Dr. Eva Semien Baham, Ph.D., gave the keynote address and reminded those in attendance of the importance of education.

“Education is a big part of everyone’s life,” said President Davis. “And working together trying to help our young people to get an education is something we are very proud of.”




05/24/2013

St. Tammany Students Honored by State Legislature

Louisiana State High School Student of the Year Jon Mitchell and the Salmen High Girls Basketball Team were all honored by the Louisiana State Legislature recently, with resolutions passed recognizing their outstanding accomplishments.

Mitchell was accompanied by his parents Mack and Salome Mitchell and Pearl River High School Principal Michael Winkler as they met with Senator A. G. Crowe, author of the resolution commending his success in high school and many other areas. They visited the Senate chamber at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge on May 14.

The resolution noted his 4.5 grade point average, his outstanding ACT score, and his involvement with several school organizations, from the National Beta Club and Writers’ Club to the Media Club. The resolution stated that Mitchell had developed a graphic user interface for submarine navigation while a summer intern at the Naval Research Lab at Stennis Space Center, and he plans to study computer science with the goal of researching military and national security applications. He will attend LSU Honors College in the fall under a U.S. Senate Youth scholarship.

The Salmen High School Girls Basketball Team was commended by Legislative Resolution for winning the Class 4-A state basketball championship earlier this year, defeating St. Thomas More High School of Lafayette by 40 to 39. Their resolution mentioned that the team was undefeated during the regular season and had been ranked nationally by Maxpreps.com. The resolution congratulated them for their hard work, perseverance, commitment and determination to win the state tournament, as well as representing themselves, their school and their parish in an outstanding and positive manner.

The resolution specifically recognized Coach Kevin Anderson and Principal Terri Wortmann for their encouragement of the team’s sportsmanship, poise and dignity during the regular season and tournament competition. “An accomplishment of which all the team members and coaches may be justly proud,” the resolution concluded.



05/23/2013

Mandeville High Soccer Player Named Gatorade Player of the Year

Mandeville High’s Delaney Sheehan has been selected as the Gatorade Louisiana Girls Soccer Player of the Year for two years in a row.

Last year, Miss Sheehan was a junior midfielder/forward for Mandeville High when she was selected as ESPN’s Gatorade Girls Soccer State Player of the Year for the first time. This year she was honored once again as one of the nation’s best high school athletes following her outstanding senior season. The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.

She was commended for scoring 56 goals this past season, leading the Lady Skippers to the Division I state quarterfinals. Miss Sheehan was an All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, and she has been a First Team All-State honoree each of the last four seasons as well as chosen the Division I Player of the Year by the Louisiana High School Soccer Coaches Association.

Miss Sheehan has maintained a 4.59 GPA in the classroom. A member of her school’s Key Club, she has served in student government and has volunteered locally on behalf of Habitat for Humanity. She recently signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Furman University this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.

The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which call upon top sports experts and a media advisory board of prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

 




05/22/2013

Bonne Ecole Elementary Students Stock Up For Summer Reading

The “Twelve Books” Summer Reading program, now in its second year at Bonne Ecole Elementary School in Slidell, distributed 12 books each to 245 students Friday morning, May 17, giving them a head start on their summer reading efforts. A total of 2940 books were given out, and during the ceremony the children took a pledge to keep reading over the summer.

Special guests at the event included a number of the school’s Celebrity Readers, community volunteers who read books to the children in their classrooms during the year. Miriam Boots, a representative of the Slidell Public Library, also told the students about the library’s summer reading program.

Through donations from local residents, community organizations, and a publisher of children’s books, the Twelve Books program gives children a chance to select 11 books from a list of 40 books. Then the twelfth book, a “Super Star” book, was donated by St. Martin's Press, one title for the second grade students and another for the first graders. The books are given out a few days before the end of school so the students can take them home during the summer to keep their reading skills sharp.

The goal of the Twelve Books program is to address the students’ annual “summer reading loss,” a concern among educators. It also promotes a “love of reading,” something that helps insure success later in school and life. The PTA has been very active in promoting the project, as well as several community volunteers.

Last year’s program only involved first grade students at the kindergarten through sixth grade school. Some 1560 books were given to 130 students that first time, and when they returned to school in the fall, testing proved that they maintained their reading scores over the summer break.

This year the second grade was added to the distribution.

“Research shows that continued participation in a project like Twelve Books will result in an increase in reading and learning skills for children,” said Jenny Helber, a parent who introduced the program to Bonne Ecole Elementary. “By selecting the books themselves, the students are really motivated to read the books.”

The books offer a variety of fiction, non-fiction, and something to appeal to every student, said Dr. April Owens, principal. “The kids were excited about reading their books last summer, and our data showed they were able to maintain their reading levels over the two month break. That’s what the program is all about, maintaining or even increasing their reading skills.”

“We gave the list of available books to our teachers, and they selected the best books to match our curriculum,” she said. The school appreciates the continued funding from sponsors in the community and the PTA to make the program possible, she added.

Kevin Davis, one of the supporters of the project, said, “It’s a great program. Last year my son received his books and read all during the summer. He’s excited, and we’re excited. You can see it in all the kids, they are all excited to get their books and take them home and read them. And they get to keep them.”

The Twelve Books program began as a result of a study made by the University of Tennessee that showed that by pairing up children with self-selected books for summer reading, their reading scores actually improved over those three months instead of slightly declining. Giving free books to kids also means a lot to those children who may not get many books of their own, Ms. Helber noted.

The bags full of books were given out with the help of the school’s upper grade level Shine Club members. New to the school this year, the Shine Club is a group of 83 students who help out in various community service projects, said Teacher Suzanne Pichon. Shine Club members pair up with student buddies in the lower grades to help them and encourage them. Other club projects have involved sending cards to military personnel, making banners for the teachers, and learning how to honor and respect others. The name “Shine” stands for serve, honor, inspire, nurture, and encourage. “It’s amazing what these students have accomplished,” Ms. Pichon said. “The kids meet on Wednesdays after school, and they love to help others.”

 




05/21/2013

Sidewalk To Serve Pine View Middle School, Will Encourage Walking and Biking

A sidewalk from Columbia Street in Covington to Pine View Middle School has been funded by a grant totaling $297,397.56 from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, according to Mayor Mike Cooper.

The concrete sidewalk will begin near the main entrance of school on W. 27th Avenue, run alongside W. 28th Avenue for one block, turn and continue up N. Filmore St. for another six blocks to Columbia St. The funds are being made available through “Safe Routes to School,” a federally-funded program administered through the LADOTD.

The purpose of the project is to encourage more students to walk or ride bicycles to school, the mayor said. “The City is pleased to be a recipient of the 2013 Safe Routes to School Award,” said Mayor Cooper. “By partnering with Pine View Middle School, we hope to enhance the lives of Pine View students and their families by providing a safe and convenient place for them to walk or ride bicycles to school.”

Of the school’s 641 students, currently approximately four percent walk to school and only half a percent ride their bicycles to school on a daily basis, even though approximately ten percent of students live within a one-mile radius of campus. Approximately $50,000 of the grant will be dedicated for educational and promotional activities to increase these percentages. Students will be treated to a variety of educational and promotional programs throughout the year designed to encourage bicycling and walking as a fun and healthy pastime.

Activities will range from walking and bicycling safety courses and parent-led groups of students known as “walking school buses,” to a bicycle rodeo and bicycle/pedestrian parade in celebration of International Bike/Walk to School Day. Classroom competitions, raffle prizes and other fun-filled activities will aim to generate enthusiasm for the program among students throughout the school year.

Educational programming will also target parents and the community-at-large to prepare them for greater pedestrian activity in the area. In addition, some faculty members will receive training to incorporate lessons on bicycle and pedestrian safety into the school’s physical education curriculum.

“Pine View Middle is honored to partner with the City of Covington to improve the sidewalks and pedestrian routes for our students and the community,” said Principal Charlotte Tillman. “As a result, we are certain the Safe Routes to School Program will have a positive impact on the school and community.”

Project Manager for the sidewalk construction project is City Engineer Daniel Hill, P.E. City of Covington Grants Writer Kelli Moore prepared and submitted the grant application.

 




05/20/2013

Two Salmen High Students Receive $5000 Capital One Bank Scholarships

Two $5,000 “Investing for Good” Scholarships were awarded to students who recently graduated from Salmen High School by Capital One Bank at the Thursday, May 16, 2013, meeting of the St. Tammany Parish School Board.

Christina Grommon and Joseph La were presented the scholarship checks by Denis Schexnaydre, Vice President and Northshore District Manager for Capital One Bank, and David Blasini, Senior Vice President, Government Banking, for the Capital One Commercial Banking Group.

Miss Grommon, an avid athlete, has lettered in swimming, cross country, soccer and track. She is active in many extracurricular volunteer efforts at the school. In the fall, she plans to attend LSU to study anthropology.

Joseph La was number one in his graduating class this year, with a 4.43 GPA and score of 31 on the ACT test. He has been involved with the robotics team, the cross country team, the tennis team, and 12 other clubs. He was selected as Salmen’s Student of the Year, and he is also very active with his community, recently giving over 650 hours to community service programs. This fall, he plans to attend the University of New Orleans to major in chemistry and minor in biology. His ultimate a goal is to become a physician.

“Capital One’s Investing for Good program provides opportunities to children and youth to access and excel in educational enrichment activities that prepare them for future successes,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III.

Schexnaydre, in presenting the checks, told Superintendent Folse and the School Board, “The students coming from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System are not only excelling academically, but they are also true leaders in our community because of your efforts and those of all of your administrators and faculty.”


 

05/21/2013

Six Schools Win Educational Alliance Awards

Six St. Tammany Parish Public Schools have won Educational Alliance Awards for 2012.

The grants, sponsored by Exxon Mobil and Circle K Stores, are $500 each for the purchase of supplemental learning tools for science and math classrooms. At a recent School Board meeting, several representatives from Exxon Mobil and Circle K Stores presented the checks to the schools.

The schools receiving the grants were Bayou Woods Elementary, Boyet Junior High, Brock Elementary, Honey Island Elementary, Lyon Elementary, and Slidell Junior High.

Denise Parker, senior supervisor of curriculum and instruction, explained the program and introduced the guests. “With grants like these, we can encourage the next generation of students to pursue studies and careers in fields involving math and science,” Ms. Parker said.

The money can be spent on such things as science lab supplies, graphing calculators, math manipulatives, and field trips. Dayna Lamonte with Exxon Mobil, presented a check for $3,000 to Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. Folse thanked the companies for their contribution, saying it was a great example of the business community creating connections with the School System.

 



05/20/2013

Two Salmen High Students Receive $5000 Capital One Bank Scholarships

Two $5,000 “Investing for Good” Scholarships were awarded to students who recently graduated from Salmen High School by Capital One Bank at the Thursday, May 16, 2013, meeting of the St. Tammany Parish School Board.

Christina Grommon and Joseph La were presented the scholarship checks by Denis Schexnaydre, Vice President and Northshore District Manager for Capital One Bank, and David Blasini, Senior Vice President, Government Banking, for the Capital One Commercial Banking Group.

Miss Grommon, an avid athlete, has lettered in swimming, cross country, soccer and track. She is active in many extracurricular volunteer efforts at the school. In the fall, she plans to attend LSU to study anthropology.

Joseph La was number one in his graduating class this year, with a 4.43 GPA and score of 31 on the ACT test. He has been involved with the robotics team, the cross country team, the tennis team, and 12 other clubs. He was selected as Salmen’s Student of the Year, and he is also very active with his community, recently giving over 650 hours to community service programs. This fall, he plans to attend the University of New Orleans to major in chemistry and minor in biology. His ultimate a goal is to become a physician.

“Capital One’s Investing for Good program provides opportunities to children and youth to access and excel in educational enrichment activities that prepare them for future successes,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III.

Schexnaydre, in presenting the checks, told Superintendent Folse and the School Board, “The students coming from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System are not only excelling academically, but they are also true leaders in our community because of your efforts and those of all of your administrators and faculty.”

 



05/17/2013

Superintendent’s Award for Character, Citizenship Announced for 2013

A group of Covington High School science students and teachers won the Superintendent’s Award for Outstanding Character and Citizenship for 2013, with the announcement made by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III at the May 16 School Board meeting in Covington.

Their “Hand-In-Hand” project is a service learning event which teaches basic scientific concepts to visiting second grade students from several area elementary schools. The project originated seven years ago.

This year on “Science Awareness Day,” April 16, more than 700 second grade students were brought by bus from Covington Elementary, Lyon Elementary, Folsom Elementary, Lancaster Elementary, Fifth Ward Junior High and Lee Road Junior High. They were greeted by forty-five groups of high school students with displays featuring hands-on experiments or demonstrations of a wide range of scientific concepts.

“This is a great yearly project that encourages science education among our younger students,” Superintendent Folse stated. The project not only benefits the second grade students, but also allows the high school students to develop leadership skills, serve the community, and deepen their own knowledge of science.
The winning of the award came with a $750 grant from Capital One Bank. Denis Schexnaydre, Vice President, and David P. Blasini, Senior Vice President, presented the check to the students and teachers with the project to help cover expenses of next year’s event. Principal Deborah McCollum was on hand for the presentation, as was science teacher Mary Martin, sponsor of the project, and several student representatives.

Ms. Martin thanked her administrators and other science teachers for supporting the project. She also recognized the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation for providing a grant for the past several years that helps pay for the equipment used and the transportation costs of bringing the younger students to the CHS campus.

The finalist in this year’s Superintendent’s Award program is a Lancaster Elementary student group named “Little Citizens – Big Change.” Three students representing the group, Jence Simms, Lauren Hebert, and Julia Marcas, and Principal Susannah Welch were congratulated by Superintendent Folse. He explained that it all started when seven-year-old second grade student Jence Simms decided to sell lemonade and use the profits to help “make a difference” in the world. With the help of a friend in the fifth grade, the lemonade stand raised $130, and they decided to donate the profits to the Humane Society of Louisiana to help neglected horses.

When Jeff Dorson, the executive director of the Humane Society, received the donation and the explanation of how it came about, he thought it was a great idea to pursue throughout the state. That original effort blossomed into a new annual fund-raising program by the Humane Society called “LemonAID Ambassador for Animals.” As a result, more than 100 children across the state participated this past year.

Since then the local students’ group has grown in membership and helped raised funds for Hurricane Isaac victims, held an Earth Day yard sale, and delivered Christmas dinners with the Covington Rotary Club. Many more projects are planned. For more information, one can visit http://www.little-citizens.org.

A check for $250 was given to the finalist group by Capital One Bank.

“The Superintendent’s Award was created to honor people and programs that showcase outstanding character and citizenship,” Superintendent Folse explained. “Capital One Bank has sponsored the award for many years, and they have been a great partner with the School System.”

“I think we all can see that, starting with elementary and working all the way through high school, it is important for all our students to be well-rounded and aware of the rewards of community service,” he said.

 



05/16/2013

New Assistant Principals Appointed

Eight new assistant principals for schools across St. Tammany Parish were announced by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, at the School Board’s May 16 meeting.

Sarah Simmons was appointed Assistant Principal at Fifth Ward Junior High School, Amie Guttuso was named Assistant Principal at Little Oak Middle School, and Kathryn W. Marton will serve as Assistant Principal at Slidell High School. At Mandeville High School, John Priola Jr. will serve as Assistant Principal, Kimberly Blanks-Gardner will be Assistant Principal at Abney Elementary School, and Juliana Sciortino was named as Assistant Principal at Folsom Elementary School.

Also, Kerri S. Soo was announced as Assistant Principal at Mayfield Elementary, and Michael J. Astugue was named as Assistant Principal at Fontainebleau High School.

Astugue has served as Administrative Assistant at Fontainebleau High School since 2010. Before that he was a teacher, Assistant Football and Track Coach. Ms. Soo has been interim assistant principal at Mayfield Elementary since January, and previously taught at Bayou Woods Elementary from 1993 to 2006. Priola has been the Administrative Assistant at Mandeville High since 2005, and prior to that was Athletic Director as well as summer school administrator.

Ms. Simmons has 19 years of experience as an educator, most recently with schools in Hammond. Ms. Guttuso has been serving as Assistant Principal at Little Oak since 2012, and was a Resource Helping Teacher before that. Ms. Marton has taught English at Slidell High School since 1982, as well as serving on the adjunct English faculty at Nunez Community College.

Ms. Blanks-Gardner has served as Administrative Assistant at Woodlake Elementary School since 2012, and prior to that was chairman of the Special Education Department and a Behavior Specialist at the school. Ms. Sciortino has 14 years of experience in education, for the past seven years as a teacher at Folsom Elementary School.

Each new appointee thanked the Superintendent and Board for their new responsibilities, saying they looked forward to working in their new assignments.

 




05/16/2013

School Session Ends May 22

The 2012-2013 School Year ends on Wednesday, May 22, with students reporting to school for only half a day in the morning.

Teachers will attend Teacher’s Day at their individual schools on May 23 and, if necessary, the Teachers Professional Make Up Day on May 24 for in-service workshops.

The next school session begins on Friday, August 9, 2013.




05/14/2013

Energy Star Leader Award Presented to School System

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System was honored by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently with an award recognizing the district’s continued excellence in conserving energy and promoting educational awareness of energy management practices.

Assistant Superintendent William Brady reported to the School Board on May 2 that the School System’s in-house energy savings program continues to earn national recognition. He presented the latest award to Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III on behalf of all employees and students who have taken part in those efforts over the past several years.

Through the “Energy Star Leader Award” the EPA recognizes the School Board for its leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by achieving “Top Overall Energy Performance” throughout the schools and support facilities. It was the third time the District has received the award.

“One of the most successful programs we have in our School System is our Energy Management Program, which is a self-generated and self-organized program to promote energy saving and monitor energy usage,” Brady said. “I am glad to report that our program has continued to produce tremendous amounts of cost-avoidance, reducing our payments to our electric power suppliers.”

“Because of the hard work of our employees and our students, we received the Energy Star Leader Award again this year, a very significant achievement. This program was a wonderful part of Dr. John Swang’s life and what he contributed to the School System,” Brady noted.

Each year the School System consistently achieves a 20 percent cost avoidance through energy monitoring and consumption reduction efforts by thousands of employees and students, automated energy control systems, energy audits, and energy conservation lessons.

Michael Dirmann, School Board member, said the achievement was very impressive. “In the difficult budgetary and financial times we are facing, saving 20 percent on our energy costs is a huge budget accomplishment. We certainly appreciate these continuing efforts.”

Brady commended the Energy program’s leaders, Cathy Serpas, Susan Schwaner, and Amiee Woessner, for their efforts in the campaign.

“We are very proud to have received this award,” said Ms. Serpas. “We are an Energy Star partner, and we have received the Top Performance award three times in the past. It represents a rating of 75 percent or above across the School System, resulting in what the EPA calls “continuous improvement organization-wide,” a sign of superior management and environmental leadership,” she explained.

“We are the only School District, K through 12, in the state to receive this Top Performer award,” she went on to say.

In 2011, the award-winning energy conservation and management program managed by Dr. Swang was explained in detail during a special 90-minute presentation to the National School Board Association’s annual conference in San Francisco

The energy management program was launched in 2005 when the St. Tammany School Board decided to keep energy-saving efforts “in-house,” using local school-based efforts and existing educational leaders with a keen interest in the field of energy conservation. That gave the School System a chance to keep all the money saved instead of paying some of it to an outside consulting firm for its services.

The School Board established the comprehensive energy management program with the goal of reducing energy usage 10 percent district-wide. After launching an awareness campaign, partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency to identify areas of further progress and creating a departmental energy management team, District schools were able to reduce energy usage by 20 percent. The energy costs avoided have resulted in more funds being available for instructional purposes in the School System.


 

05/13/2013

Student Artists Spotlighted in Habitat For Humanity Gallery

Fifteen third grade students from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System exhibited artworks in the recent “Gallery Night” held in conjunction with the Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West Building Through Art program.

This is the fifth year for St. Tammany students to take part in the event. Building through Art is an educational art program that introduces local third-grade students to the work of Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West in their community.

Chosen pieces were framed, displayed and sold at a Gallery Night held May 9th at the Habitat ReStore. Proceeds will be divided between Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West and the student artists' school to support art in the classroom.

This years winners were Abby Byron, Delaney Byron, Logan Chanson, Nathan Chanson, Collin Doyle, Chance Evans, Alexis Guidry, Adrianna Harley, Ava Hoffeld, Kylla James, Brian Le, Janey Ma, Paige Pratt, Brooke Spalitta, and Mary Payton.

The Building Through Art project includes Habitat representatives visiting third-grade classrooms located in St. Tammany West schools and discussing such topics as the meaning of volunteerism and the importance of the volunteer to the community. Students are informed about Habitat for Humanity’s home-building program and how vital volunteers are to its mission. After learning about Habitat's home building program, students draw a picture and write about what makes their home special.

 



05/10/2013

Mayfield Elementary Holds Second Annual Career Day

Dozens of community visitors visited the Mayfield Elementary campus on Friday, May 3, and spoke to students about their vocations for the school’s second annual Career Day. As part of the popular Community Connections event, each speaker spent 30 minutes in a classroom telling students about their job responsibilities and the occupational opportunities in their field.

Guests included firefighters, Marines, Louisiana National Guardsmen, a state fire marshal's office inspector, website designers, carpet cleaners, martial artists, Aquarium workers, space scientists, duck decoy carvers, and more. A wide variety of workforce representatives explained their work, demonstrated what they did, and gave tips to the children on how to recognize and develop their own career interests.

Speakers visited classrooms, bringing a variety of items to illustrate their points as well as powerpoint presentations, then answered questions about their work days and own career accomplishments. Exhibits ranged from amusement rides and turtle shells to field artillery howitzers.

Kenneth Kincade, Custom Wood Duck Decoy Carver, brought a number of samples of his work, from early block forms to finished and painted lifelike duck decoys.

Three members of the 141st Field Artillery, a historic American military unit that is currently part of the Louisiana Army National Guard headquartered in New Orleans, explained to the students the workings of a M119 Alpha 2 Towed Howitzer that they had brought to school with a Humvee vehicle.

Larry and Simon Roberson gave a carpet cleaning demonstration, after asking students to help them stain carpet samples. Website designer Brett Thomas gave the students a tour of his internet webpages, explaining to them the way websites are set up and created. Firefighter Danny Herod presented a slide show with photos of fires and rescues that he had taken part in, giving the details of how firefighters prepare for each incident and the special equipment each situation calls for.

Derrick Brownlee and Trey Bolmon, both with the United States Marine Corps, spoke about their careers and the places they had been, and Aaron Dregory, Quality Control Inspector, told about his critically-important work in the space program. Nick Culotta, paramedic, told the children about the work of first responders and how infection control is a major part of their efforts.

Marine Biologist Richard Toth with the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas demonstrated how to carry a shark from one tank to another, using a special hammock. A student even volunteered to play the part of the shark inside the hammock.

Lawrence Patrick, Martial Arts Instructor, took centerstage in the cafetorium to demonstrate a variety of martial arts, and Omar Stanton, Chief Administrative Office with the Biloxi VA Hospital, spoke to the students about his work in hospital administration. Hurricane Hunter Jim LaChute entertained the children by explaining how he trains using a flight simulator and what a Hurricane Hunter does. Scott Hutchinson with Crescent City Amusements, Byron Wade with the State Fire Marshal's Office, and Joseph Johnson with Crescent City Amusements brought an actual amusement ride to show students how the fire marshal’s office inspects amusement rides.

Presenters scheduled included RN Instructor Tracy Stokes-Ducre, Errol Williams with the U.S. Army, Mathematician David Sutton, Nurses Kelly Laigast and Stephanie Fuller, Restaurant Owner Olu Ariwajoye, Occupational Therapist Mandy Pizzuto, Michael Wheeler with Lowe's, Alligator Tour Guide Claude Spears, Oceanographer Jeff Brook, Realtor Kasey Fiorella, Entertainer Kristen Cady, Engineer Shelly Clark, Software Engineer Wayne Crowell, Director of ITT Recruitment Marva Kemp, and Radiologic Technologist Bridget Le-Thompson.




05/09/2013

Bayou Lacombe Middle School Reaps Harvest from Organic Garden

Students at Bayou Lacombe Middle School reaped the rewards of their efforts planting and tending this year’s organic garden project with a Garden-to-Table Cooking event on Wednesday, May 8. They met in the school’s cafeteria and enjoyed cleaning and preparing the vegetables in a special lunchtime meal.

Last year, the middle school students transplanted the entire garden in their science classes, learning the organic gardening method of companion planting. The Junior Master Gardeners and garden club students then tended the garden all winter and spring. The school’s Student Nutrition Advisory Council has been helping all the students learn the importance of composting in order to enrich the soil, suppress disease, and increase crop yield.

“Their hard work is evident in the overwhelming bounty in the organic garden,” said Teacher Rebekah Ellis.

On Monday the fifth grade, working with the Junior Master Gardeners, harvested all the cabbage, green onions, and carrots, cleaned them, and made garden coleslaw.

On Wednesday morning, the cafeteria was filled with students as they worked with their harvest to make organic Asian Chicken Wraps. The sixth grade students harvested and prepared the cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, and snow peas for the stir-fry. The fourth grade harvested and prepared Swiss chard, various lettuces, spinach, herbs, and microgreens for the wraps.

Over the past two years, more students have become involved with project, and the organic garden has received several community grants to help purchase the tools and equipment needed for various phases of the work.

The garden was originally designed and built when the school’s gifted students partnered with the employees from the local Home Depot and the Louisiana Master Gardener Program. The students also decided to take part in the Louisiana Junior Master Gardener Program and joined the LSU AgCenter’s School Gardens Project to electronically track their seeds from germination to harvest.

The Garden to Table experience provides students with hands-on food education while learning to build and maintain a garden according to organic principles. The garden and kitchen together provide a real-life context for learning, interweaving the theories and practices behind growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh, seasonal foods.

Overall, the organic garden project functions as an “outdoor classroom” challenging the students in all aspects of the curriculum and developing higher order thinking and problem solving skills, Ms. Ellis said. In designing the organic garden, students learned analytical thinking and reasoning skills, using mathematics in diagramming the garden blueprints, calculating the supplies needed for the garden and appropriate transplanting measurements.

The students also gained scientific knowledge by learning about the complex interrelationships between plants, insects, soil and people. Language skills are expanded when the students write the grant proposals, and visual art skills are advanced as they design and create the advertising fliers when they schedule a sale of the produce at the local Farmer’s Market.

In addition, the participants build positive community relationships by providing local soup kitchens with any surplus produce, and they also donate all of the proceeds from the sale of their produce at Farmer’s Markets to the local soup kitchens.

The entire experience encourages the students to develop and refine their horticultural and environmental skills, expand their knowledge of health and family consumer sciences and study environmental stewardship and sustainable living. “All this while they grow fresh produce and create meals with their own vegetable and herb garden harvest,” Ms. Ellis stated.




05/08/2013

Mandeville High Girls Tennis Team Takes State Championship

The Mandeville High School Girls Tennis Team wrapped up its outstanding season this year with a state championship win Friday night in Division I (Class 5A).

Coach Sean Esker reported the 2013 achievement was the team’s second team title in the past three years. Catherine Ragon won the girls state singles championship for the second time in her career, the first time being in 2011, and the doubles team of Brenna Keller and Jasmine Simon won the girls state doubles title.

“My boys doubles team of Silvio Cocito-Monoc and Cody Orgeron won the state boys doubles title this year,” Esker said, “and the boys team finished third in state.”

05/07/2013

Jobs for America’s Graduates Program Wins Accolades

The JAG Program in two St. Tammany Parish Public High Schools is helping high school students at risk of not graduating to accomplish what needs to be done to get their high school diplomas while at the same time learning the skills needed to successfully seek employment.

The multi-year “Jobs for America’s Graduates” program gives students at Fontainebleau High and Salmen High a chance to network with peers, conduct community service activities, and attend events where they meet with actual employers in the business community to develop job interview skills.

At the recent state JAG leadership conference, a Fontainebleau High JAG student was named Miss JAG of Louisiana, the top JAG female student in the state. Several other St. Tammany JAG participants won outstanding honors at the state conference for their work in media production, logo design, artwork, speech competitions, and regional chapter exhibits.

Senior Supervisor Denise Parker explained to the School Board at its May 2 meeting that the JAG Program is a national non-profit organization that works with the state to help provide dropout prevention with school-to-work transition counseling for at-risk youth.

“This year’s slogan is ‘Success At All Odds,” Ms. Parker said. “and our JAG students this year are definitely succeeding.” Guest speakers visit schools to meet with JAG students in their classrooms to help them get ready for the transition between what they are learning in the classroom to the world beyond the classroom. More than 20 guest speakers visited campuses this year to take part in the program.

The program’s curriculum is based on gaining competency in several key areas. Even after the students graduate, the program offers a one-year follow-up by JAG specialists who continue to mentor them.

The JAG program also partners with several local service groups, giving the students the opportunity to “give back to the community” through the community connections that are made. Those efforts at Salmen High include taking part in anti-litter campaigns, collecting used eyeglasses for the Slidell Lions service project, and working to help the Hospice Foundation of the South organize more than 1000 memorial angels for placement in the lobby of Slidell Memorial Hospital. At Fontainebleau High, the group built an outdoor deck for students, painted banners and helped set up for the annual Special Olympics event, and raised funds for students injured in traffic accidents.

Both schools put in several hundred hours of volunteer service to the community over each of the past three years, an average of over 15 hours of community work per student per year. “Our students have been extremely diligent in their studies, in their JAG projects, and in their community, and it has paid off for them,” Ms. Parker said.

She then introduced one of the JAG students at Fontainebleau High, Noel Morris, who spoke to the Board, telling them how excited she was to be chosen Miss JAG student for the state. “It was really bad with friends, home, everything combined, and I didn’t think I was going to graduate. I was falling into a dark hole, and I didn’t have a way to get out,” she said.

But then she and a friend dared each other to join JAG, “I decided to give it a shot after they explained to me it was a full credit course and would help me in my academic studies. I’m really glad I joined.”

She met other students like her who were also having problems, so they all worked together to help build each other’s self-confidence, make new friends, and become proud of achieving what they had thought was impossible. “I felt that I was lost, almost decided not to try anymore, and then I got into JAG. I realized that we were all in the same place but if we kept at it, we could all get out together.” Her grades have improved “tremendously” as a result of being in JAG, and now she is looking forward to graduating with several of her JAG friends.

Her initial goal of working hard to get a G.E.D. turned into a goal of going ahead getting her high school diploma. As a member of JAG, she was able to work through a variety of problems she didn’t even know how to face. “That’s what was dragging me down. I wasn’t born to be a leader, but JAG was training me to become one. JAG has helped me realize what the world is really like, what I am actually up against,” Miss Morris said. She now knows that she is moving up on the ladder to success in life.

“There are a lot of people out there with their hands out,” she said. “But mine is out as well, to reach out and lend a hand to others to get out of the situations they are in.”

“I was shocked to win the state JAG award,” she said. “I didn’t know everyone was watching me, but they were, and all the time I was just trying to do these simple things to better myself. The JAG program had saved me. It is a really great program.”

 




05/06/2013

Elementary Teacher Writes Childrens Book About Three Little Shrimp

A St. Tammany Parish Public School System elementary teacher has written a childrens picture book entitled “Three Little Shrimp.”

To coincide with “National Shrimp Day,” the book’s launch will be on Friday, May 10, 2013, at 10 a.m. at Honey Island Elementary in Slidell. The event will include an informative presentation on shrimp and the predators that threaten them.

For more information, visit the author's website at http://jstevenspires.com/

The book launch and presentation are open to the public. Spires is a 25-year veteran elementary teacher and has always loved writing. He had his first published story when he was 13 years old. He and his wife, Eve, reside in Slidell, Louisiana with their five children.

 




05/03/2013

Lake Harbor PTA Unit Win Top State Awards

St. Tammany Parish PTA Chapters won a variety of awards at the state PTA Convention in Baton Rouge last month, with Lake Harbor Middle School receiving awards for the state’s most outstanding website, outstanding newsletter, and being named as the Outstanding Middle School Unit in the state.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III was a special guest speaker for the event, and he shared with the audience the formula for having such a great working relationship between the School System and the PTA. His talk touched upon how fortunate St. Tammany Parish was to have such so many enthusiastic and dedicated parents who support the District’s 55 schools.

At the May 2 School Board meeting Supervisor Margaret Sharpe and Superintendent Folse presented a banner to Lake Harbor Middle School PTA President Becky Bohm and Principal Susan Patin signifying their recognition.

Mrs. Sharpe said that the District PTA is extremely active in local and state activities, and they do a tremendous job in training and mentoring the local school chapters. Superintendent Folse and all three Assistant Superintendents attend the monthly District PTA meetings, she said.

Visitors to the School Board meeting included District PTA President Kerrie Landreth, Vice President Dianira Young, and the current Louisiana State PTA President Sharon Pender, who is also from St. Tammany Parish.

Committee Chairman Robin Mullett congratulated the Lake Harbor winners, saying, “We are very proud of our PTA members and everyone who works so hard for the organization.”

 



05/03/2013

Community Connections Reception Honors Volunteers in Schools

Volunteers and school administrators from across St. Tammany Parish Public Schools came together the evening of Thursday, May 2, for a “Community Connections Reception” at the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex in Covington.

The event was held to thank the many parents and other community volunteers who help their schools in a multitude of different ways throughout the year.

Superintendent W.L. "Trey" Folse, III thanked the group for serving as important community connections and spreading the good news of the School System. “You are our best representatives in the community,” he said. “Wherever you go, we want you to share with everyone the great things going on in our School System.”

Lakeshore High students Paige and Claire Putnam sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" as a tribute to the extraordinary efforts of school volunteers.

Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction Roxanne Lagarde welcomed the volunteers and thanked them for their service and vital role they play in the School System's success. She said, “It’s appropriate and fitting that we honor and celebrate our volunteers because you are an integral part in our District’s success and our community connections effort.”

One of the District’s greatest strengths is represented in the volunteers’ dedication, their time, and their talents, she went on to say. Volunteer efforts in the schools range from parents and grandparents serving as tutors and field trip chaperons, helping in the classroom and at the athletic games, to assisting with office duties. “They are a diverse group,” Mrs. Lagarde stated.

She also mentioned the service provided by the many Career Day speakers who go to the schools to share their workplace community connections.

“Everyone involved makes a difference to the School System, because collectively that is what makes us grow,” she said.

 




05/01/2013

Abita Springs Middle Student Wins Google Doodle Contest for Louisiana

Artwork submitted by sixth grade student Megan Barr at Abita Springs Middle School won this year’s “Doodle 4 GOOGLE Contest” for Louisiana. She was honored at a special assembly program for the whole school on Wednesday afternoon, May 1. As a result of her selection, she and her family will travel to New York on May 22 where she will be in the running for a $30,000 scholarship if she wins the national prize.

The Doodle4Google contest is a competition where K-12 students use their artistic talents to redesign Google’s homepage logo for millions to see. A total of 130,000 entries are submitted nationwide, and one design is chosen from each state.

The theme of this year’s illustrations was “My Best Day Ever." Megan’s entry shows her grandfather’s camp on the bayou near Cocodrie where she has many great memories of family gatherings. “It’s very beautiful there,” she said. “It’s like being in your own world with the fireflies and other critters, fishing and catching crabs.” She used oil pastels and colored pencils to produce the artwork.

Google representatives Carolyn Witte and Mia Amoils flew in from San Francisco to unveil her winning doodle at the school assembly. “It is quite an honor for Megan to win over every entry in our state,” said Principal Donna Forrest. Megan’s mother is a fifth grade teacher at Abita Middle.

The national winner will be decided by votes sent in by the public who visit the website Google.Com/Doodle4google and vote for the various individual pieces of artwork displayed.

Megan’s art instructor Barbara Dooley was also the art teacher of Reagan Young of Lake Harbor Middle School, who, in 2011, was among the top 40 entries in the Doodle 4 Google Contest.

Ms. Dooley said she was very excited about Megan having the chance to go to New York, where she will visit a number of art museums. “ She will be taking part in a lot of art-related programs while in New York,” she said.

The national winner not only gets the scholarship, but a variety of other prizes as well. The school of the national winner gets a $50,000 technology grant.

Part of the program at Abita Springs Middle School was an overview of the various Google services, from website searches and translation, to Google maps and “street view” visits of art museums.

 



04/30/2013

Team St. Tammany Wins Individual Gold at State Elementary Fitness Meet

The Louisiana State Elementary Fitness Meet took place Saturday, April 27, in Baton Rouge, bringing together contestants from parishes around the state. The St. Tammany Parish Public School System sent six students, "Team St. Tammany," to the event and placed sixth in the competition.

Overall 100 children participated, representing the top two boys and girls from each parish who had won the right to take part in the championship by earning first and second place wins in the District fitness meets held in March.

In Baton Rouge, Sierra Ballard of Lake Harbor Middle School won a gold medal in pull-ups and Ivy Mendheim from Folsom Elementary won a gold medal in sit and reach. Other members of the St. Tammany delegation were Micaiah Guillory of Pine View Middle School, Landon Ibieta of Mandeville Middle, Herbert Keys of Abney Elementary, and Bryan Gowland of Lancaster Elementary.

They were accompanied by Coach Brian Donnelly, a physical education teacher from Abney Elementary, who said, “The event brought out the best in our St. Tammany athletes. I was extremely impressed with the sportsmanship and heart shown by our team. They fought through heat, humidty, and a grueling schedule of seven events and not only did they nearly lose their voices cheering for Team St. Tammany members, they cheered equally loud for athletes on other teams. It made me extremely proud to be a part of this parish and our elementary PE program.”

The Louisiana Schools Elementary Fitness Championship, one of the largest of its kind in the United States, took place in the Bernie Moore Track Stadium on the LSU campus. It is a project of The Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which reported that the program has seen a significant increase in the physical fitness levels of elementary school children in the last three years from the 30 parishes that participate in the Fitness Meet program.

More than 200,000 students trained for the event at the beginning of the school year. Students performed activities consisting of the 50-yard Dash, Sit and Reach, Pull-ups, the Shuttle Run, Curl-ups (sit-ups), Standing Long Jump, and the 600-Yard Run.

St. Tammany’s third annual District Elementary Fitness Meet was held at Lakeshore High School in March. Overall school winners were Florida Avenue Elementary in first place, Lake Harbor Middle School in second place and Mandeville Middle School in third place. More than 40 students participated in the local event.

Ivy Mendheim won first place in the girls division at the district competition, Sierra Ballard won second place, and Micaiah Guillory won third place. In the Boys Division, Herbert Keys won first place, Landon Ibieta won second place, and Brandyn Adam and Bryan Gowland tied for third place. The third place winners served as alternates at the state fitness meet.




04/29/2013

Spring Application Dates Are Set for the 2013-2014 Prekindergarten Program

Application dates have been announced for parents wishing to apply for the St. Tammany Parish Public School System Pre-Kindergarten program for the 2013-2014 School Year.

Several schools have been designated to provide information and assistance to parents for a number of schools in their area. Parents should first check which school is handling the registration for the school their child would attend and make arrangements to visit that location on the appropriate date.

On Friday, May 24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Little Pearl Elementary School in Pearl River will be providing pre-kindergarten application information for the following schools: Alton Elementary, Cypress Cove Elementary, Little Pearl Elementary, Sixth Ward Elementary, and Whispering Forest Elementary.

On Tuesday, May 28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Bayou Woods Elementary School west of Slidell will provide pre-kindergarten information for the following schools: Abney Early Childhood Center, Bayou Woods Elementary, Bonne Ecole Elementary, Brock Elementary, Florida Avenue Elementary, and Mayfield Elementary.

On Wednesday, May 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Lyon Elementary in Covington will be the site providing Pre-K information for the following schools: Covington Elementary, Fifth Ward Junior High, Folsom Elementary, Lee Road Junior High, Lyon Elementary, and Madisonville Elementary.

On Thursday, May 30, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pre-kindergarten information will be available to parents at Treen Technology Center in Mandeville for the following schools: Abita Springs Elementary, Chahta-Ima Elementary, Mandeville Elementary, Marigny Elementary, Pontchartrain Elementary, and Woodlake Elementary.

Pre-Kindergarten Registration Requirements
To qualify for any regular education Pre-Kindergarten class, a child must meet the following criteria: (1) Has reached four (4) years of age (48 months) before October 1, 2013, (2) Resides within the attendance area served by the school site and (3) Has a family who agrees to participate in activities associated with the program and who will sign a contract stating that agreement.

In addition to the other documents required for registration, Pre-Kindergarten applicants must provide income verification- using at least one of the following documents: Food Stamp Card, TANF eligibility, McKinney-Vento eligibility, most current W-2 form or two (2) most recent pay stubs.

Other criteria must be met for some Pre-Kindergarten programs. For specific information about student eligibility, placement or the screening process call the St. Tammany Parish Pre-Kindergarten office at 985-863-1434, 985-863-2948 or 985-898-3262. Families who do not meet income eligibility may be charged $500 tuition per month to attend a Pre-Kindergarten class if space is available.

The following items are required for student registration: (1) State Certified Birth Certificate, (2) Social Security Card, (3) Health Record of Required Immunization, (4) Proof of Residency, (5) Report Card/Records from last School/LEAP results (for in-state transfer), (6) Assignment Letter (if applicable) and (7) Custody Papers (if applicable).

State Certified Birth Certificate- For those who do not have a birth certificate, you may contact the St. Tammany Parish School Board Annex in your area for information on how to obtain one. Contact the Covington Annex at 985-898-3370 or the Slidell Annex at 985-646-4917.

Social Security Card - The Social Security number serves as the student’s identification number on all records. The Social Security number written on a piece of paper cannot be accepted.

Health Record - State Law requires that all children attending school in the State of Louisiana have the following immunizations. This requirement includes students in the Title 1 four-year-old program and in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Included are students who are coming into the St. Tammany Parish Public School System from another parish, state or nonpublic school.

(1) DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis or Whooping Cough) – A minimum of four (4) doses is required. The last DTP or a booster is to be given after the fourth birthday.
(2) Polio – A minimum of three (3) doses is required. The last polio or booster is to be given after the fourth birthday.
(3) MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) - One (1) dose is required at twelve to fifteen months of age. A second MMR is required before entry to school.
(4) Hepatitis B – Three (3) doses are required for first time enrollees into Louisiana public schools.
(5) HIB – Four (4) doses or proof of at least one dose after fifteen (15) months of age are required for pre-kindergarten and noncategorical students to enter school.
(6) Varicella (Chickenpox) – Two (2) doses or a history of the disease is required for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades.
(7) MCV4 (Meningococcal Conjugate) – Required for all students eleven (11) years old. These students must also have proof of booster doses of Tdap and Chickenpox.

Dates of the above required immunizations must be recorded on an official immunization form and presented to the school at the time of registration. Contact the Covington Community Wellness Center at 985-871-6030 or the Greater New Orleans (GNO) Immunization Network Mobile Unit at 504-733-3268 for immunization information.

The immunization policy of the St. Tammany Parish School Board dictates that no child be allowed to enter school without proof of immunizations.

Proof of Residency - Proof of residency must be established using at least three of the documents listed below. All documents must be the most current and dated within 30 days. Documents that are suspect or inconclusive may be disallowed and additional documentation may be required.

Documentation may consist of a current utility bill (butane, electric, gas, water, cable or satellite), the current year W-2 form, the most recent federal or state income tax return, a vehicle insurance print-out from the parent’s or legal guardian’s insurance company, a signed residential building contract, a signed real estate lease agreement or signed mortgage loan documentation.

All documents must show the name of the parent or legal guardian, the street or road address of residence or the utility service address (if using utility bills).
Lease agreements must show street or road location and must be from a real estate office, apartment complex or mobile home property, not from an individual.

U. S. Post Office box numbers, printed checks or drivers’ licenses are NOT considered proof of residency.

Custody Papers - Parents or guardians granted custodial rights of a student must present at registration the custody papers granted through a court system.

 




04/28/2013

Ken Looper Scores 11 Under in First PGA Tournament

Ken Looper, a graduate of Fontainebleau High School, finished his first PGA Tournament, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, this past weekend with a score of 11 under par.

A former golfer on the Louisiana State University team, Looper, 24, got into the tournament by winning a qualifier at the La Tour Golf Club in Mathews earlier in the week. He teed off Thursday in a field of 156 and by Sunday morning, he was tied in seventh place.

A native of Mandeville, Looper was a 2007 All-Metro selection in his senior year at Fontainebleau High. He was a member of the golf team at UNO for three years, completed his senior collegiate season at LSU in 2011 and went on to win the NGA Tour in 2012, with six top ten finishes during that tour.

His father played golf at Mississippi State University, and his mother Sallie Looper, a teacher at Woodlake Elementary School in Mandeville, is a standout tennis athlete.

 



04/26/2013

Roslyn Hanson Appointed Principal of Covington High

Ms. Roslyn Hanson, principal of William Pitcher Junior High in Covington for the past five years, was appointed Principal of Covington High School by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III this week. She will follow current principal Deborah McCollum who is retiring at the end of this school year.

The announcement was made at the School Board meeting Thursday night, and a number of CHS teachers were on hand to congratulate her, as were several of her Pitcher Junior High staff members.

Board member Michael Dirmann, whose district includes the Covington High lcoation, welcomed her to the new position, and other Board Members whose districts include the CHS student attendance district joined him at the podium to congratulate her. The CHS attendance district covers the City of Covington, but also stretches northward to Folsom and across the top of the parish to Bush and Sun, making it one of the largest attendance areas in the parish.

Also attending the Board meeting to celebrate the announcement were a number of principals from the Covington High feeder schools, elementary through junior high.

Ms. Hanson has a Masters of Education degree in Administration from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. She has also served as Principal for the LEAP Summer Remediation between 2008 to 2011, as well as a parishwide Assistant Principal for the 2007-2008 School Year. She was Professional Development Coordinator at Covington High from 2003 to 2006 and served as a teacher at Covington High from 1994 to 2003.

Currently she serves as the chairperson for the Bicentennial Committee for the City of Covington Bicentennial Chairperson.

 


04/25/2013

High School Graduations Begin Saturday, May 4


Class of 2013 seniors at public high schools all across St. Tammany Parish will be graduating next month, according to the following schedule of graduation ceremonies for public high schools.

Covington High School will hold its graduation program on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. in the University Arena at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

Fontainebleau High School’s graduation will take place on Saturday, May 11, 2013, at 3:00 p.m., also at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

Lakeshore High School will conduct its graduation ceremonies on Monday, May 6, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. in the Southeastern Louisiana University Arena.

Mandeville High School has scheduled its graduation program for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond.

Northshore High School will graduate its Class of 2013 on Saturday, May 4, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. in the University Arena, Southeastern Louisiana University.

Pearl River High School will hold its graduation program at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2013, at the Northshore Harbor Center south of Slidell.

Salmen High School’s Graduation Ceremonies will take place on Monday, May 13, 2013, at 7:30 p.m., also at the Northshore Harbor Center.

Slidell High School will conduct its graduation ceremonies on Thursday, May 9, 2013, at 8:00 p.m. in the Slidell High School football stadium.

(Click here for a chronological listing of all graduations scheduled)



04/25/2013

Superintendent Speaks At Northshore Greeks Education Summit


Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III was guest speaker at the 2013 “St. Tammany Parish Education Summit” held by the Northshore Greeks on Saturday, April 20, 2013, at the Hartzell Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Slidell.

He spoke about issues facing public education today, giving an overview of the School System, reviewing its many successes and its future challenges. Approximately 100 people were in the audience, representing Greek community service organizations active throughout St. Tammany.

A 45 minute question and answer session followed the Superintendent’s presentation.

Ron Randolph, Director of Accounting Services with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, introduced Superintendent Folse.

After the closing remarks, participants were encouraged to view informational tables with materials on high school graduation, workforce training, college preparation, and military options for graduates.

The Education Summit aims to provide information about the state of education in St. Tammany Parish and is one of several events throughout the year held by the Northshore Greeks to keep its member groups informed.

The Northshore Greeks are made up of members from several organizations, including Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

 



04/24/2013

Futuristic City Designs Created By High School Students


Students in drafting classes at Fontainebleau High and Lakeshore High recently presented their designs for a futuristic city complete with shopping malls, hospitals, office buildings and stadium, all part of the annual “Avalon Project.”

Each student of Teacher Clifford Hinkle decided what part of the city they wanted to design, researched possible solutions, and used high-end computers and drafting design software to create photo-realistic posters illustrating their ideas.

The main focus of Avalon, however, was to create a city with renewable energy systems, minimal environmental impacts, stable energy costs, and energy efficient housing and transportation.

The green community concept was taken a step further this year, however, with the addition of a “space port” to Avalon, featuring space telescopes and interplanetary spacecraft. Many components centered around community activities, however, from go cart race tracks and miniature golf courses to hydroponic greenhouses and energy-generating windmills and tidal turbines.

“Avalon is much larger this year, with more students submitting more designs for the renewable energy community,” said Hinkle. “No one else is doing this kind of thing with students in drafting classes. We are the only ones who have this kind of project. I am proud of our students and what they have accomplished.”

The virtual city is home to about 330,000 people, he explained. A new feature this year is the addition of “plantation homes,” designs tapping into past architecture themes with modern energy-saving updates. While the entire city may be futuristic in design, it could actually be built today, Hinkle stated.

The Avalon Project lasts all year long, with students spending many hours on the “project based learning” exercise. “Project based learning calls upon the student to dream up a concept, then learn the skills necessary to bring it to the final design,” he said. While the students use high-powered computers and photo-quality printers to produce their designs, they first learn manual drafting skills using pencils, triangles and T-squares. “Only after they learn manual drafting techniques do we let them get on the computers,” Hinkle commented.

The designs created by the students were showcased in a special presentation on April 19 in the Fontainebleau High library, with a number of volunteers from the professional community looking over the designs. The jurors offered comments and feedback on each design. Among the jurors were Shell Oil professionals, educators, and the head of a local blueprint service company.

Each student presented their design in front of the group, and answered questions from onlookers.

Hinkle came up with the “Avalon Project” idea a few years ago while seeking a long-range project that would capture the imagination of his students, offer a multitude of design options, be modern and relevant, increase the student’s technical skills and teach them how to work collaboratively. “The process demands continuous improvement, and each group develops common goals and objectives,” he explained.

The city of Avalon has its own planning and zoning maps, and data from CLECO helped design the capabilities of wind power and solar energy panels. Students researched the latest innovations in green communities and then applied real engineering data to meet the needs of the city and its inhabitants.

Software used during the work includes industry-standard Autodesk products and Solid Works, but Google Sketch-Up has also proved useful.

Hinkle, who worked for Shell Oil for many years, names several of his drafting students who have gone to college with advanced skills that are helping them in their own engineering efforts. “Some of them get apprentice draftsman jobs with local companies, coming in with a full set of drafting capabilities,” he said.

“They learn how to visualize projects in their mind, utilizing high-level thinking and come out with pretty interesting visions. This is really about dreams, the opportunity to think big with no limits. And then by putting it on paper they have some sense of reality,” he said.

“The School Board has been very supportive of us,” Hinkle noted.

The Avalon Project archives from past years show across-the-board creativity, presenting ideas ranging from skyscraper conference centers to amusement park rides such as a Ferris Wheel that is half underwater so riders in watertight compartments can see fish and sealife on the bottom part of the rotation and birds and long-range views on the top half.



04/23/2013

CHS Ambassador Council Holds Bell Tower Groundbreaking


A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Bell Tower Plaza at Covington High School was held Friday, April 19, with dozens of guests on hand to witness the event. It was preceded by a special reception in the school library hosted by Principal Deborah McCollum to celebrate “the return of the bell.”

Special guest speakers included Assistant Superintendent William “Bill” Brady, former Coach Jack Salter and Ralph Menetre. Teacher Kenneth Byrd told of how the bell was saved from the 1974 fire at the school by Principal Louis Wagner and later returned by his daughter Denise Wagner. The bell has been held in storage since its return, making appearances at a variety of special events.

The final scene of a play written by Teacher Gary Mendoza was enacted for the audience at the reception by several Talented Theater students. The play was named “What Fire Can Never Burn” and outlined the history of Covington High School with special appreciation of the teachers throughout the years. The play was presented earlier this year at the start of the school’s Centennial Celebration.

A group of talented music students provided the music for the reception, the chorus sang “Who Am I,” the NJROTC presented the colors, and the national anthem was sung by Cedric Bridges.

Recognized at the library reception were School Board President Elizabeth Heintz, School Board Members Michael Dirmann, and Stephen “Jack” Loup, III, Mayor Mike Cooper of Covington, and Parish Assessor Louis Fitzmorris.

Many people have come together to help make the Bell Tower a reality, Ms. McCollum stated. She thanked her faculty and staff for helping guide the process as well. “This is an event which will truly connect our school to the community,” said Ms. McCollum.

She thanked the architects who designed the Bell Tower, the grounds preparation service and the contractor who was going to build it for donating all or part of their services for the project. The design was done by Fauntleroy, Latham, Weldon, Barre’ Architects, and Kent Construction is overseeing the construction.

The 150-member CHS Marching Lions Band played music during the groundbreaking, with the cheerleaders, dance team, and pep squad also taking part.

The Ambassadors Council for CHS is financing the project through the sale of bricks engraved with the names of former students, teachers, and administrators. Persons wishing to purchase a brick may contact the school or members of the council.

 



04/23/2013

Honey Island Elementary School Holds Relay for Life Event


The students, staff, and parents of Honey Island Elementary School in Slidell recently took part in the Relay Recess event to raise funds for the American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” program. It was one of several such programs throughout the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

The Friday, April 19, event at Honey Island Elementary began with a Survivors Breakfast for the school’s invited Community Members, followed by an Opening Ceremony on the school’s broadcast channel.

Special invited guests included Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith, Mayor Freddie Drennan, and Fire Chief Larry Hess.

Taking the first lap of the walking track were cancer survivors, followed by groups of students. The students also visited special informational booths set up on campus.

Sponsors of the event included Walgreens, Home Depot, and Devereux & Nguyen Orthodontics, with a number of PTA volunteers on hand to coordinate the activities. Educational booths offering information on everything from nutrition to wellness were manned by the Cross Gates Fitness Center, CAGNO, Slidell Memorial Hospital, Just Dance, Ochsner, and the Honey Island PTA.

All this week, a fund-raising project called “Coins for Cancer” will collect donations from students for the Relay for Life program.

 



04/22/2013

Parents Help Build Playground at Mayfield Elementary


Several parent and grandparent volunteers recently helped complete a custom-designed play structure on the front playground at Mayfield Elementary School between Slidell and Lacombe.

The project was funded by a $15,000 “Let’s Play” community construction grant from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and coordinated by KaBoom!, a national non-profit organization that has a goal of building a playground within walking distance of every child in America.

PTA members helped coordinate the event when volunteers came in to help finish the project that had been started by a playground contractor. Construction began on Wednesday, April 17, and wrapped up on Friday. A ribbon cutting is planned for Wednesday, April 24, at 12:30 p.m.

The playground features three slides, a climbing rock wall, ladders, bridges, tunnels, bongo drums, and a large bear figure that ties in with the school’s mascot, the Black Bear.

Ms. Phyllis Noveh, a pre-kindergarten teacher, wrote the application for the Kaboom community build grant, and the three pre-school teachers at Mayfield Elementary came up with the design of the playground. They made certain that it met the needs of all the children, with adaptations made for special needs children in PEI classes.

“All children learn best through play, and it will help to have a playground for them near their classrooms,” Ms. Noveh said.

The volunteers have been a great help, she stated, and the school appreciates all the help from the local community, including donations of yard tools from Home Depot.

 



04/19/2013

Pearl River High Student Named State Student of the Year


A Pearl River High School senior, Jon Mitchell, was named Louisiana State Student of the Year in the High School Division April 16 at the annual Louisiana Department of Education event in the State Museum in Baton Rouge.

There were 18 regional finalists in this year's Student of the Year recognition program, and Mitchell was one of the six in the high school division. Mitchell represented the St. Tammany Parish Public School System's Student of the Year in the High School category, while Chase LeMaire of Fontainebleau Junior High was the District Student of the Year selection in the eighth grade Middle / Junior High Division and Anthony Dumas of Bayou Lacombe Junior High was selected District Student of the Year for the fifth grade Elementary Division.

LeMaire was also chosen as a Regional finalist in the state Student of the Year eighth grade program and among those honored at the Tuesday night event in Baton Rouge.

“We all are very excited about Jon’s selection as Louisiana State High School Student of the Year, a very deserving recognition for this outstanding student,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “He certainly represents the best and brightest of St. Tammany Parish Public School System students, and is an excellent example of what you can achieve with hard work and dedication.”

Mitchell is the son of Mack and Salome Mitchell of Pearl River. Active with the Talented Theater Program at Pearl River High, he has also interned at the Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center where he worked on submarine navigation software programs. A Project Manager in the Naval Research Science & Engineering Apprentice Program, Mitchell developed a graphical user interface for Naval Research Lab which is used on submarines. He hopes to continue working in research to aid the U.S. Armed Forces and will attend Louisiana State University Honors College to study computer science.

Last month he was one of two Louisiana students to take part in the U. S. Senate Youth Program. As part of that program, he not only received a $5,000 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, but he and other Senate Youth Program participants had a chance to meet with Senators, military officials, and President Obama.

Mitchell's weighted grade point average at Pearl River High is 4.66, earned while also participating in four theatrical productions and writing poetry for the student writers' club. He scored 30 on his ACT and is very active in school activities, including the National Beta Club, Writers Club, and the Media Club. He has served as a library volunteer and math tutor, and is also interested in videography and has won awards for his poetry.

Mitchell, LeMaire and Dumas were honored with a special reception at last week's School Board meeting in Slidell. At that meeting, Superintendent Folse told of their accomplishments and ambitions and congratulated each of them on their selection The outstanding students were chosen from the fifth, eighth, and twelfth grades based on criteria including writing ability, leadership skills, character, community service involvement, academic success, and interview skills.

 



04/18/2013

Science Awareness Day At Covington High Teaches Younger Students


Seven hundred second grade students visited Covington High the morning of April 16 to take part in a fun-filled science adventure under the bleachers of Jack Salter Stadium. The event was the sixth annual Science Awareness Day offering dozens of demonstrations and exhibits related to chemistry, physics, ecology, and biology.

The elementary grade students were bused in to view the hands-on exhibits with lively presentations by the high school students. A misting rain at the beginning moved the whole program from the grassy field behind the stadium to under the stadium, but the fun and learning continued.

“The event has grown quite a bit over the years,” said Principal Deborah McCollum.

The kids were greeted by a guide dressed in a wizard costume with a bullhorn, leading the group to tables displaying everything from the laws of reflection and refraction to the chemistry of candy. Scientific principals were illustrated using ice cream, and the physics of marshmallows in motion was explored. There were hands-on demonstrations of gyroscopic action, the three stages of matter, and one booth even boasted “We make it rain.” There were 41 learning stations manned by approximately 200 high school students.

Funded by a grant from the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation, the event was held for second grade students brought by bus from Covington Elementary, Lyon Elementary, Folsom Elementary, Lancaster Elementary, Fifth Ward Junior High and Lee Road Junior High School.

CHS Science Teacher Mary Martin organized the collaborative learning event, giving high school students a chance to mentor their younger counterparts, give them a new perspective on science, and show them the Covington High campus which they may be attending one day. The high school students also learn a lot from the younger students, who give them immediate genuine feedback on the different exhibits.

“It’s a way to get high school students participating in a community service project,” Mrs. Martin said. “Doing this is a way to give back to the community, share their talents with others, and if it provokes an interest in becoming a teacher in the future, that’s a plus. I think it was a real success again this year.”

The high school students themselves picked a subject for each of their learning stations, researched the topic and put together the fun way to teach it to second graders through demonstrations and exhibits.

The Science Awareness Day has accomplished much in the way of making education meaningful for young people, both at the elementary and high school levels. Deborah McCollum, principal of Covington High, was enthusiastic about the event. “One of our main goals is to offer engaging work for our students,” she said. “The high school students, in designing and teaching scientific concepts to the second graders, gain a much more valuable understanding of the concepts themselves,” Ms. McCollum stated.

The program also forges a deeper connection between Covington High and its “feeder schools” as well. “These children will be coming here someday, and we are excited about making those learning community connections,” Ms. McCollum went on to say.

 



04/17/2013

Covington Community Honors Legacy of Dr. James A. Harrison


More than 100 Covington area residents attended a special ceremony Thursday morning to rededicate the James A. Harrison Curriculum Center, the historic former Covington Rosenwald School.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III welcomed those in attendance, saying the turnout for the special occasion was a great example of what public education is all about. “Public education is alive and well in St. Tammany Parish,” he said. After recounting how Professor Harrison’s dedication had many significant positive impacts on the community, he said, “When people come into this building, they will learn about Dr. Harrison and the contributions he made for every child in St. Tammany Parish.”

Sharon Hosch, Senior Supervisor of Special Education, explained that everyone who works at Harrison Curriculum Center realizes its community legacy and rich history as the former Covington Rosenwald School. “Someone on my staff came into my office and told me that my office was her first grade classroom when she went to Rosenwald. This is a very important building for the community, and we are excited about it,” she said.

Dr. Harrison was first appointed principal of the school in 1924 and stayed as principal until 1957. In his 33 years, he touched the lives of many children and teachers, she said, and talking to former students and teachers, she realized that many Rosenwald school graduates went on to college and became educators themselves who returned to the community to teach.

“He was strict, but caring, and he saw the potential in every student,” Ms. Hosch said. “He would talk a lot about life lessons, not just reading, writing and arithmetic.”

It is fitting that this building is named after someone who dedicated his life to making a difference for every child, every day, she went on to say. “I know that Professor Harrison would be proud of this renovated facility today and how it carries his vision forward. His mark in education will continue in the support, care and encouragement that are provided here for the students and educators of St. Tammany Parish.”

Former students and teachers from the Covington Rosenwald School were recognized in the audience, and a number of students from several area schools participated in the event, singing the National Anthem, reciting poetry, and providing music.

In attendance at the rededication ceremonies were School Board President Elizabeth Heintz, Vice-President Robert R. “Bob” Womack, Board members Michael Dirmann, Stephen J. “Jack” Loup III, Charles T. Harrell, Roanne V. Tipton, Peggy H. Seeley, Robin P. Mullett, and Ray A. Alfred. Among those attending were also Mayor Mike Cooper of Covington, NAACP President James A. Davis, Ida Thomas James, Nathan Johnson, Leola Brumfield, Lois Cyprian and City Councilmen Jerry Coner and John Callahan.

Today the building is used for a wide variety of special education services, professional development, and for community meetings and sports activities. Following the ceremony, tours were given of the facility, and a ribbon cutting was held at the main entrance.


04/16/2013

New Online Employment Application Process Begins May 7


The St. Tammany Parish Public School System is pleased to introduce a new online application system for all future employment opportunities. This system will replace the paper application process and streamline certificated and non-certificated applications. The online application system will go live on May 7, 2013. As a result, starting May 2, 2013, the Human Resources Department will no longer accept paper applications.

The School System will hold informational sessions for the public on April 22nd at the Jefferson East Building located at 227 North Jefferson Street in Covington beginning at 5 p.m. and on April 25th at the Brooks Educational Complex located at 2544 Sgt. Alfred Drive in Slidell beginning at 5 p.m.

On these nights, Human Resources employees will explain the new system, provide information on how to apply and answer questions about the new process. The following month, the School System will offer two Open Lab Training Sessions for the public where applicants will be given hands-on training on how to use the new system and will be able to use computers to complete applications.

The Open Lab Training Sessions will be held at the Treen Technology Center located at 2024 Livingston in Mandeville on May 8th from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. and May 14th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

All non-certificated applications currently on file with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System Human Resources Department will be returned to applicants the week of April 29th with instructions for re-applying online.

Certificated applicants who have received an invitation to Job Fair will receive instructions by mail about the new online process.

If anyone has questions about the new online system, they should call the St. Tammany Parish Public School System Human Resources Department at (985) 898-3254.

 



04/12/2013

School System Honors Students and Employees at Spring Reception


The St. Tammany Parish School Board held its annual Spring Recognition Reception Thursday night, April 11, at the Brooks Educational Complex in Slidell, honoring three recently-selected Students of the Year, four Support Employees of the Year, and the Substitute of the Year.

After calling each of the three Students of the Year to the podium, Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III told of their accomplishments and ambitions and congratulated them. The 2013 Students of the Year are Elementary Division winner Anthony Dumas of Bayou Lacombe Middle School; Middle School/Junior High Division winner Chase LeMaire of Fontainebleau Junior High; and High School Division winner Jon Mitchell of Pearl River High.

At the annual reception honoring them prior to the School Board meeting, Meredith Mendez, Director of Communications, introduced each Student of the Year, sharing with the audience some of their individual achievements and community involvements. The outstanding students were chosen from the fifth, eighth, and twelfth grades based on criteria including writing ability, leadership skills, character, community service involvement, academic success, and interview skills.

Anthony Dumas, 11, is the son of Anthony and Stephanie Dumas of Lacombe. He is active with the Bayou Lacombe Middle School organic garden project, community football and baseball programs, and has received several academic awards. He tutors elementary students in the 21st Century After School Care and helped his dad coach a girl’s softball team. He plans to attend the University of Oregon to study architecture.

Chase LeMaire, 13, is the son of Charles and Julie LeMaire of Mandeville. He is active in sports, from tennis and basketball to swimming and gymnastics. He also plays music and does a variety of community volunteer work. While he leans towards a career in the medical field, he plans to make his decision on what college to attend until after getting input from his family, teachers and coaches. He’s been active in Student Council, served as emcee for the Veterans Day program, and has won many academic recognitions.

Jon Mitchell is the son of Mack and Salome Mitchell of Pearl River. Active with the Talented Theater Program at Pearl River High, he has also interned at the Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center. He hopes to continue working in research to aid the U.S. Armed Forces. He will attend Louisiana State University Honors College to study computer science. Last month he was one of two Louisiana students to take part in the U. S. Senate Youth Program. He received a $5,000 scholarship, an all-expense paid trip to Washington, and a chance to meet with Senators, military officials, and President Obama.

LeMarie and Mitchell are among the 18 regional Student of the Year finalists who will compete for the state title next week. The finalists and state winners in each of three grades, fifth, eighth and twelfth, will be honored on April 16 during a ceremony at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge.

Prior to selecting the three state winners, the state selection committee will conduct interviews and review a writing sample from each of the regional finalists.

Support Employees of the Year
Employees announced as Support Employees of the Year were Cindy Baylor of Cypress Cove Elementary in the Elementary Division, Pamela Penton of Clearwood Junior High in the Middle/Junior High Division, Shannon Landry of Pearl River High in the High School Division, and Melissa Erwin with Slidell Pupil Appraisal in the Support Site Division. They were introduced by Supervisor of Administration Mike Cosse’ who outlined their duties and accomplishments, congratulating them for having been chosen for the honor.

Ms. Baylor is a secretary at Cypress Cove, Ms. Erwin is a CAAB Team Paraprofessional with Slidell Pupil Appraisal, and Ms. Penton and Ms. Landry are cafeteria managers at their respective schools,

Each year a support employee is chosen for recognition from each school, and from these the School District chooses one for each of three grade ranges, and one for a Non-School (Support Site) Division. These individuals are honored for their outstanding performance in helping provide essential services in the day-to-day operation of the School System. They are honored for their professional contributions, capabilities, and dedication that they bring to their assigned positions.

Substitute of the Year
Hugh Warren of Fontainebleau High was named Substitute of the Year. He was brought to the podium by Dorable Dangerfield, Supervisor of Human Resources, who explained how each school designates an outstanding substitute employee every year for recognition at the school and from those, one is chosen as Substitute of the Year for the entire School System.

In naming the Substitute Employee of the Year, the School System recognizes the professionalism, flexibility, and commitment that substitute employees bring to the job whenever called upon. Warren was praised for his work as a substitute teacher, and while he prefers Social Studies classes, he is capable in many subject areas. Warren came to the School System after a long career in sales.

 



04/11/2013

School System Hosts NBC’s “Education Nation” Segment


St. Tammany Parish Public Schools were the focus of the NBC’s “Education Nation” television project during live televised segments on Friday, April 12. WDSU Reporter Blake Hanson visited the campus of Fontainebleau High School to showcase the many programs and educational opportunities in St. Tammany Parish Public Schools.

Education Nation is a long term series on NBC which examines the needs of education and spotlights what is being done across the nation.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III said, “This is a great way to showcase the great things going on across the St. Tammany Parish Public School System,” he said. He was interviewed on camera during one of the segments.

The special reports were aired on WDSU's 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. morning news show and told about some of the innovative programs at Fontainebleau High, including the Bulldog Buddies, career and technical programs, the Pro-Start Culinary Arts program, the STEM Lab sponsored by Chevron and the Hornets, with a special appearance by a student-built robot from the school’s RoboDawgs team.

The student organization Bulldog Buddies at Fontainebleau High is a highly-regarded and well-publicized group that pairs regular students with special education students for a variety of activities throughout the year. That group won the Superintendent’s Award for Outstanding Character and Citizenship in 2010 and has led to similar groups being formed at other schools both inside the School System and outside the parish.

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics) Lab was opened in September, offering students a wide range of career exploratory capabilities in math and the sciences. Fontainebleau High has had great success in partnering with the community to help advance student learning experiences.

The Pro-Start students made omelets to show one example of how students at all St. Tammany Parish Public Schools have technical education options. The segments also featured the award-winning Fontainebleau High School Band and the school’s varsity cheerleading squad.

 



04/10/2013

Student Ambassadors at Northshore High Serve Community


The Student Ambassadors of Northshore High School spent their Spring Break taking part in a community service project called “Charity for Children,” collecting toys and donations from students at Northshore High to give to the young patients at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. The total collections came to approximately $2000 worth of toys, books, games, and gift cards.

Student Ambassador board members, the group’s sponsor Teacher Catherine Tanguis, and Assistant Principal Steve Alfonso visited Children’s Hospital on March 22 to distribute the donated toys to the kids there. Ambassadors talked to the children, and presented them with the gifts from the Northshore community.

“Each child lit up with excitement when the Ambassadors entered the room bringing in the gifts,” said Ambassador Phoebe Castro. Junior Ambassador Adora Anadi said, “This experience made me appreciate the many things I have been blessed with, especially my health.”

Last fall, the group’s service project was “Students for Soldiers.” They sent 55 boxes of items to soldiers in Kuwait, also collecting enough money to ship the items and send $400 worth of iTune cards to the soldiers. In addition to these service projects, the Student Ambassadors mentor freshmen students and help with other activities around the school, such as Freshmen scheduling and orientation.

The Northshore High School Student Ambassador program was first suggested by Principal Dr. Michael Peterson, who envisioned an organization of students who would promote leadership and serve as guides to the other students.

As members of the Student Ambassador Program, these students are provided with opportunities to further develop leadership and character as they represent Northshore High School to their fellow students peers and to the community.




04/09/2013

School Board Recognizes 14 National Merit Finalists


The National Merit Scholarship Program announced recently that the St. Tammany Parish Public School System is home to 14 National Merit Finalist recipients for the 2012-13 school year. The students designated National Merit Finalists included four from Fontainebleau High, one from Mandeville High, and nine from Northshore High School in Slidell.

Five of the 14 National Merit Finalists from the west side of the parish were honored at the School Board’s April 4 Committee as a Whole meeting in Covington, and nine from the east side will be recognized at the April 11 meeting in Slidell.

The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)–a test which serves as an initial screen of more than 1.5 million entrants each year.

The National Merit Finalists are Kathryn James of Mandeville High; Fontainebleau High students Robert Boese, John Deeble, Justin Magrath, and Caitlin Moroney; and Northshore High School students Alexis Abell, Emily Campbell, Michael Capritto, Juan Carrasquilla, Zachary Collins, Daniella Gentile, Aretha Guo, Samuel Holladay, and Joshua Xu.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III said he was honored to introduce each of the students from the west side of the parish at the April 4 School Board meeting, telling a little of their accomplishments, career interests, community service activities, and college expectations. “Only one half of one percent of the students who take this test are awarded the recognition as a finalist,” he said. “And we have 14 of them in St. Tammany Parish this year.”

“I stand in awe of their many accomplishments,” Superintendent Folse went on to say. “When you see not only their grade point averages but also read what they have done in their extracurricular activities and how they serve their communities, it is exciting to realize all they’ve done so far at their age. It is really exciting to think about what the future holds for them.”

“In a few weeks when they put on their caps and gowns, and we give them their pins saying they are a graduate of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, we know they will move mountains to represent us well not only in this country but around the world. I am proud of them and congratulations to all of you and your parents. We are excited about your future,” Superintendent Folse said.

Superintendent Folse then asked that the parents of the students also stand and be recognized, with the Board and audience applauding them for their student’s achievements.

From one and a half million entrants across the nation, some 50,000 students with the highest scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit® Scholarship Program. Approximately 16,000 of the highest scoring students are later notified that they have qualified as Semifinalists, and then approximately 8000 semifinalists receive notification of being a finalist and receive a Merit Scholarship® award which is valued at $2500.

 



04/09/2013

Covington High Powerlifting Team Sets National Records


The Covington High Powerlifting Team recently finished in third place at the USA Powerlifting (USAPL) High School National Championships in Denver, Colorado, according to Cody Walters, Assistant Football Coach and Head Powerlifting Coach at the school. They broke several national records, had two national champions, and received high honors in several categories of competition.

The Covington High effort was led by sophomore Josh Bickham and Freshman Tyran Garrett. Bickham earned gold in the 198 lb weight class with an 800 kilo (1,763.7 lbs) total, which was also the highest total of the entire competition, lifting more than even the super heavyweights, Coach Walters said. “Josh's total was a national record for his weight class, and he also set national records with a 292.5 kilo (644.8 lbs) squat and a 315 kilo (694.5 lbs) deadlift,” he explained.

Bickham’s deadlift was also the highest deadlift of the entire meet regardless of weight class. In addition to his gold medal and national records, he was also given the Best Lifter award, which goes to the strongest “pound for pound” lifter at the meet.

Bickham's highest total of the 2013 USAPL High School Nationals marks the second consecutive year that CHS had the strongest lifter in the country, since 2012 senior Daniel LaRocca had the highest total at last year's High School Nationals in Wisconsin, Coach Walters stated.

Freshman Tyran Garrett was a national champion in the 181 lb weight class, posting a 695 kilo total (1,532.2 lbs) with a 277.5 kilo (677.8 lbs) squat, a 160 kilo (352.7 lbs) bench press, and a 257.5 kilo (567.7 lbs) deadlift. He finished third in the “Best Lifter” rankings, giving Covington High the first and third places “pound for pound” strongest lifters in the country, “which is an even more impressive feat considering Josh is only a sophomore and Tyran a freshman,” Coach Walters noted.

Junior Jathan Cutrer finished second in the 242 lb weight class with a 305 kilo (672.4 lbs) squat, a 170 kilo (374.8 lbs) bench press, and a 255 kilo (562. 2 lbs) deadlift for a total of 730 kilos (1,609.4 lbs).

Junior Scott Reviere earned bronze in the 148 lb weight class with a total of 515 kilos (1,135.4 lbs) consisting of a squat of 202.5 kilos (446.4 lbs), a 115 kilo (253.3 lbs) bench press, and a deadlift of 197.5 kilos (435.4 lbs).

“The wins help recognize the exceptional efforts of our powerlifting team at Covington High,” Coach Walters said. “The team got to show off their hard work this year among teams from all over the country,” he stated. The new weight room at Covington High, dedicated two years ago, was a huge help, Coach Walters said. “That’s a big advantage for us.”

 



04/09/2013

District PTA Honors Top Principal and Outstanding Student


The St. Tammany District PTA held its General Membership and Awards meeting Monday, April 8, 2013, at the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex, honoring the administrator chosen as the District’s Principal of the Year for 2013 and the student chosen as this year’s Outstanding Student Award.

District Board Member Pat Holden presented Marigny Elementary Principal Leslie Martin with its PTA Principal of the Year Award. Following the announcement, a group of enthusiastic supporters from Marigny Elementary crowded into the room to cheer her accomplishment and present her with a bouquet of flowers.

The District PTA presented its 2013 Outstanding Student Award to Alexis Nastasi, a junior at Covington High. She was commended for her volunteer efforts helping during many PTA activities and programs.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III administered the oath of office during the officer installation program to President Kerrie Landreth, First Vice President Terrie DeSandro, and Secretary Joe Seeley.

“Thank you for everything you do,” he told the group. “It’s been a great year so far, and it’s hard to believe the school year is almost three-quarters over.”

Several PTA honors were given to School System leaders, including Superintendent Folse, Assistant Superintendents William “Bill” Brady, Pete Jabbia, and Cheryl Arabie, and Supervisors Margaret Sharpe and Roxanne Lagarde.

The group also presented a number of service awards to PTA leaders in schools across the parish.

 



04/08/2013

Schools Participate in Relay for Life Cancer Society Events


Public schools across St. Tammany Parish are taking part in a variety of this month’s cancer awareness and fund-raising activities. The annual event supports those currently fighting cancer, celebrates those who have survived, and remembers those who have been lost to the disease.

The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life will be held at Covington High School on April 20, Honey Island Elementary on April 19, and at Fontainebleau High in Mandeville on May 4. Marigny Elementary held a “Fun Run” on April 5 with hundreds of students involved.

As part of their emphasis on Community Connections this year, many schools are working with various organizations and businesses from throughout the area in the fund-raising effort.




04/04/2013

Kindergarten, First Grade Registration Dates Announced


Spring registration for the 2013-2014 School Year will begin on Monday, April 22, 2013, for students entering kindergarten and first grade for the first time in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

Specific registration dates and times for each school are listed below. Any child born before October 1, 2007, will be eligible for the first grade, and any child born before October 1, 2008, will be eligible for kindergarten.

Every child, as a prerequisite to enrollment in any first grade of a public school, shall meet one of the following criteria: have attended a full-day public or private kindergarten for a full academic year; or have satisfactorily passed academic readiness screening at the time of enrollment for first grade. Students who have completed kindergarten at an accredited private school must furnish proof of attendance.

Registration for kindergarten and first grade students entering the St. Tammany Parish public schools for the first time will be held at the school the student will attend. Students who attended and completed a public school kindergarten during the 2012-2013 school year will not be required to register again for the first grade.

Each school will have a specific registration date and time as indicated in the following list. Hours of registration will be 9:00 a.m. until noon at the following locations.

REGISTRATION SCHEDULE

Monday, April 22, 2013
Bonne Ecole Elementary
Fifth Ward Junior High
Mandeville Elementary
Marigny Elementary
Woodlake Elementary

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Brock Elementary
Chahta-Ima Elementary
Covington Elementary
Florida Avenue Elementary
Lee Road Junior High
Lyon Elementary
Madisonville Elementary
Mayfield Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Whispering Forest Elementary

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Abita Springs Elementary
Abney Early Childhood Center
Abney Elementary
Alton Elementary
Bayou Woods Elementary
Cypress Cove Elementary
Folsom Elementary
Little Pearl Elementary
Pontchartrain Elementary
Sixth Ward Elementary

REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION

The following items are required for student registration:
1. State Certified Birth Certificate;
2. Health Record of Required Immunization;
3. Proof of Residency;
4. Social Security Card;
5. Custody Papers (if applicable).

State Certified Birth Certificate: Those who do not have a birth certificate may contact a St. Tammany Parish School Board Annex in their area for information on how to obtain one. Contact the Covington Annex at 985-898-3370 or the Slidell Annex at 985-646-4917.

Health Record: State Law requires that all children attending school in the State of Louisiana have the following immunizations. This requirement includes students in the Title 1 four-year-old program and in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Included are students who are coming into the St. Tammany Parish Public School System from another parish, state or nonpublic school.

1. DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis or Whooping Cough): A minimum of four (4) doses is required. The last DTP or a booster is to be given after the fourth birthday.

2. Polio: A minimum of three (3) doses is required. The last polio or booster is to be given after the fourth birthday.

3. MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella): One (1) dose is required at twelve to fifteen months of age. A second MMR is required before entry to school.

4. Hepatitis B: Three (3) doses are required for first time enrollees into Louisiana public schools.

5. HIB: Four (4) doses or proof of at least one dose after fifteen (15) months of age are required for pre-kindergarten and noncategorical students to enter school.

6. Varicella (Chickenpox): Two (2) doses or a history of the disease is required for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

7. MCV4 (Meningococcal Conjugate): Required for all students entering grade 6 or eleven (11) years old in any other grade. These students must also have proof of booster doses of Tdap, MMR, and Chickenpox.

Dates of the above required immunizations must be recorded on an official immunization form and presented to the school at the time of registration. Contact the Slidell Health Unit at (985) 646-6445, the Covington Community Wellness Center at (985) 871-6030 or the Greater New Orleans (GNO) Immunization Network Mobile Unit at (504) 733-3268 for immunization information.

The immunization policy of the St. Tammany Parish School Board dictates that no child be allowed to enter school without proof of immunizations.

Proof of residency: Proof of residency must be established using at least three of the documents listed below. All documents must be the most current available and dated within the past 30 days. Documents that are suspect or inconclusive may be disallowed and additional documentation may be required.

Documentation may consist of a current utility bill (butane, electric, gas, water, cable or satellite), the current year W-2 form, the most recent federal or state income tax return, a vehicle insurance print-out from the parent’s or legal guardian’s insurance company, a signed residential building contract, a signed real estate lease agreement or signed mortgage loan documentation.
All documents must show the name of the parent or legal guardian, the street or road address of residence or the utility service address (if using utility bills). Lease agreements must show street or road location and must be from a real estate office, apartment complex or mobile home property, not from an individual.

U. S. Post Office box numbers, printed checks or drivers’ licenses are NOT considered proof of residency.

Social Security Card: The Social Security number serves as the student’s identification number on all records. The Social Security number written on a piece of paper cannot be accepted.

Custody Papers: Parents or guardians granted custodial rights of a student must present at registration the custody papers granted through a court system.

Registration for the 2013-2014 pre-kindergarten classes will be held in late May.

 



04/04/2013

Several Parish Students Win Honors at State Science Fair


Several students from St. Tammany Parish public schools brought back honors from the recent Louisiana State Science and Engineering Fair held in Baton Rouge. Approximately 500 middle, junior high and high school students from throughout the state competed at the event.

Nicholas Foster of Boyet Junior High School in Slidell placed second overall in the Junior Division (Grades 6 – 8) for his project, “What’s In Your Wallet? It Could Be Drugs!” His project had won first place in the Chemistry division.

Mandeville Junior High School had five students place in the top four spots of several categories of competition in the Junior Division.

Winning first place in the Energy and Transportation division was Jonathon T. Fritz of Mandeville Junior High with his project “What’s Your Octane?” Winning first place in the Plant Sciences category was Alaa N. Malik of Mandeville Junior High with a project entitled, “The Biggest Loser.”

Lindsey C. Licciardi of Mandeville Junior High School won fourth place in Behaviorial and Social Sciences with her project “Swimming to the Beat,” while Amin Izadpanah also of Mandeville Junior High won third place in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a project entitled, “Stem Cells and Cancer: Friends or Foes?”

Another Mandeville Junior High School student, Margaret E. Larsen, won third place in Medicine and Health Sciences with her project entitled “Discover the Best Way to Recover.”

Winning third place in the Computer Science division was Jackson Nieto of Fontainebleau Junior High School with a project called “Programming Python.”
In Physics and Astronomy, the team of William Fitterer and Alex Alexander of Fontainebleau Junior High won fourth place honors with their project called, “Putting on the Pressure.”

Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III, said, “Once again our students have excelled at regional science fairs and the state science fair, showcasing not only what they have learned, but how they can apply what they have learned. My congratulations to Boyet Junior High, Mandeville Junior High, and Fontainebleau Junior High for bringing out the best in science education.”

The fair was held in the LSU Student Union Royal Cotillion Ballroom, where projects were judged by LSU faculty members and experts from throughout the community. Judging was conducted in 16 categories for each division, plus a team category.

 



03/26/2013

Major General Visits Cypress Cove Elementary


In Cypress Cove Elementary’s continuing quest to sign up outstanding guest readers for its Celebrity Readers program, Mrs. Rosalind Scott, PTA President, signed up a United States Army Major General from Virginia to read to the students on Friday, March 22.

Principal Lisa Dial and Mrs. Scott welcomed Major General Peter Lennon, Commander of the 377th Theater Sustainment Command, as the latest in a series of visiting readers which have included Television Personality Sally Ann Roberts, Parish President Pat Brister, and Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III.

“I was asked to come by and read to the children by one of the teachers here, who is the wife of one of my soldiers,” Major General Lennon said. “I think it’s a great way to reach out to the community and share with the students how important reading is. This is a great stepping stone for the rest of their lives.”

As he walked into the library reading room, all the students stood up and gave him a welcoming salute. The two books he chose to read were, first, his favorite, “The Tortoise and the Hare,” and then the children’s favorite, “Aliens Love Underpants.” He shared with the students the important message of the fable where the tortoise beat the hare in a race, teaching the moral that a “slow and steady pace wins the race.”

“This is a story that was told thousands of years ago by a man named Aesop,” he said. “And he was famous for telling stories with a lesson at the end.” Major General held the children spellbound as he dramatized the story and shared the illustrations by passing the book around.

The students asked questions about the Major General’s uniform decorations, and he explained that he was a two-star general, and that explained why he had two stars on each shoulder.

The students all gave a group “thank you” for his visit to the school, and he thanked them for sharing their smiles with him. “Give a smile to someone else whenever you can because they may not be having as great a day as you are,” he said.

He also visited a PEI class to read “How the Camel Got His Hump.”

Major General Lennon assumed command of the 377th Theater Sustainment Command in 2012 and previously commanded the 1st Brigade, 75th Mission Command Training Division in Houston, Texas.

His Aide de Camp, Lieutenant Christopher Thornhill, who works with the 377 TSC at the Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse, also read a book to a class. He said the kids were smart and attentive. “They asked really good questions,” he commented.

He read “The Lion and the Mouse” and “The Pigs in the Blanket,” making sure the kids understood the lessons of each story, the first about morale and the second about keeping time. “We talked about what each story meant while I read the book,” he said.

 



03/25/2013

United Way Thanks Top Contributors


The St. Tammany Parish Public School System, in conjunction with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, St. Tammany Regional Office, met with its top contributors for the 2012-2013 campaign and presented certificates of appreciation at a meeting March 20.

Assistant Superintendent William “Bill” Brady coordinates the systemwide fund-raising effort, and he emceed the event, summarizing the success of this year’s fund-raising campaign in the School System.

The money given to United Way returns to St. Tammany to benefit many different public service agencies, he said. “Since Hurricane Katrina, the public school system, its employees and students, have raised more than one million dollars for United Way. That’s an impressive and outstanding amount of money,” he said.

Mr. Brady gave credit to Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III for his outstanding support of the annual fund-raising effort and helping make it a success. He also recognized the efforts of his two assistants, Debbie Guerrara and Corinne Blanchard, who help coordinate the extensive United Way campaign drives in each of the schools and office sites throughout the parish.

Brady became involved with United Way in 1974 when he was at Bayou Lacombe Middle School, and he has been helping coordinate the parishwide campaign since 1995. “I’ve been working with United Way for a very long time,” he commented. “And the teachers and the students in this parish have done a great job.”

Shirleen Carter, executive director for St. Tammany’s United Way since 2004, commended Brady for his excellent training and organization of fund-raiser volunteers. “Just watching what he does for United Way, I don’t know if I have ever known anybody who is so dedicated to United Way, the people, and the students of this parish,” she said. “We’ve come a long way in the past ten years.” She was hoping he would continue to assist in the annual campaign after he retires from the School System later this year.

Mr. Brady was given a standing ovation for his many years of service as school district fund-raising coordinator. He was named the first “Hidden Hero” by the United Way when the award started several years ago.

During the program he recognized the several schools who led in this year’s campaign effort by raising more than 100 percent of their goal, among them Abita Springs Elementary, Abney Early Childhood Center, Bayou Lacombe Middle, Boyet Junior High, Brock Elementary, Chahta-Ima Elementary, Creekside Junior High, Folsom Junior High, Honey Island Elementary, Little Oak Middle, Magnolia Trace Elementary, Mandeville Junior High, Pearl River High, Pitcher Junior High, St. Tammany Junior High, Salmen High, Slidell High, Woodlake Elementary, Covington Annex, Covington Maintenance and the Treen Technology Center.

Chairman of the United Way Leadership Council Matt Faust spoke to the group briefly about the progress United Way has made over the years. “The School System has been our greatest partner,” he said. “At a time when it is becoming more and more difficult to support our charities, and at a time when there are more and more issues in our parish that need our support we could not do this without you. Your support is a tremendous asset.”

This year the School System gave $156,000 to the United Way campaign, he said, and some $35,000 of that came from students. “We thank you, and all the agencies that benefit as a result of your efforts thank you,” he concluded.




03/23/2013

Spring Break Begins Monday, March 25 ; Classes Resume April 2


Schools will be closed beginning Monday, March 25, for the Spring/Easter break that continues through Monday, April 1. Classes resume on Tuesday, April 2.

The Central Office and support offices for the St. Tammany Parish Public School System will be closed for the Easter Holiday Weekend on Friday, March 29, and on Monday, April 1. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, April 2.

 



03/22/2013

Creekside Junior High Choir Earns Trip To State Event


The student choir at Creekside Junior High School in Pearl River has learned that dedication pays off after earning honors at the Large Ensemble Assessment at Fontainebleau High School in Mandeville and being spotlighted at a recent Hornets game in New Orleans.

The choir performed the National Anthem at the Hornets vs. Orlando Magic game on March 4, 2013 and a photograph of the group was featured on the front page of the Slidell Picayune Sunday paper. Ms. Angela Permenter, the choir director, said, “The students and I are so excited!”

Ms. Permenter said they recently took two choir groups to the Large Ensemble Festival and both received a Superior rating on stage and an Excellent rating in sight reading. “The 6th grade choir sang ‘Bella Musica,’ ‘ Bist du bei mir,’ and ‘The Ghost Ship.’ The 7th/8th grade choir sang ‘With the Earth I am One,’ ‘Celebration Song,’ and ‘The Captain's Mate’,” she said.

“These ratings qualified us for going to the state assessment in Lake Charles at the end of April to be assessed at the state level,” she explained.

Ms. Permenter said her students have been working hard this entire year during and after school to get ready for the Spring assessments. The choir consists of 55 students.



03/22/2013

Schools Receive Mathletes Rewards


Salmen High School and Mandeville High School received two prizes Wednesday night for their second-year Mathletes programs, with special recognition during a Hornets Game in New Orleans. The check presentations were made mid-court during the half time show.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, was on hand for the presentation where Salmen High was given $2750 for winning first place in the Mathletes program, and the Mandeville High robotics club received $1250 for being runner up. Salmen will use its money to purchase math materials.

“Salmen and Mandeville High Schools were both recognized tonight at the Hornets game for their outstanding Mathletes participation. Both schools did a great job this year,” said Superintendent Folse.

The Mathletes event was a result of the Chevron/Hornets partnership which endorses STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education in the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools. This is the second year of School System participation with the Mathletes program.

Ninth through 12th grade students in St. Tammany Parish participated in the program. Chevron Public Affairs Rep. Karen Rawls said in the St. Tammany Parish program qualifying students have to increase their average GPA one letter grade or more or have an A average in math. “It’s really to reward the right behavior,” she said. “Over 2200 students have taken part in the Mathletes program.”

Each student received a special jersey, a customized bag, a ticket to a special Mathletes Night at the Hornets game and recognition in the Arena. “I know the students get really excited about the program,” she said.

The Chevron and Hornets partnership is just one way the two corporate sponsors focus on education, said Rawls. The New Orleans Hornets Mathmobile, presented by Chevron, is an oversized interactive motor coach bus that travels the state of Louisiana distributing free math and science books to students of all ages at schools and community events. The Mathmobile features iPads with built-in applications that focus on targeted math skills to help promote math literacy and education through a fun, interactive learning environment. “The Hornets Mathmobile is a perfect example of Chevron continuing to fuel our community through literacy and math education in the communities in which they live and work,” she said.

 



03/20/2013

Junior High Special Olympics Held at Mandeville High


More than 50 special education students from junior high schools across St. Tammany Parish converged on Sidney Theriot Stadium at Mandeville High School March 20 for the first Special Olympics event of their own.

The group was greeted by Mandeville High cheerleaders and members of the Skippers football team as they arrived for the games, the first junior high only Special Olympics and the first hosted by Mandeville High.

The opening ceremonies featured a parade of athletes from Boyet Junior High, Creekside Junior High, Fontainebleau Junior High, Mandeville Junior High, Madisonville Junior High, Monteleone Junior High, Pitcher Junior High, Slidell Junior High, and St. Tammany Junior High.

The Mandeville High JROTC presented the colors to get things started, and Clarence Mitchell Jr. of St. Tammany Junior High led the Pledge of Allegiance. The Special Olympics oath was recited by Kevin Fickle of Creekside Junior High, and a welcome was presented by Kelley Brondum, assistant principal of Mandeville High, and Jeanne Bower, Assistant Supervisor of Special Education. Ms. Bower thanked the Adaptive Physical Education Department, Dr. Renae Wallace and her staff for putting the project together.

“The purpose of Special Olympics is to instill in our students the joy of sport, and that is what we want to accomplish today. Let the games begin,” she called out, getting the competitions underway.

Ms. Brondum said Mandeville High was thrilled to be hosting the junior high Special Olympics for the first time and having all the junior high students on their campus. “We have many of our own students helping in the event, the football players, the cheerleaders, the dance team, the JROTC, and the Best Buddies club. We would love to continue to host the event each year or help in some way,” she said. Each bus was greeted by cheers and encouragement as the students came off the bus and headed for the stadium.

Sharon Hosch, Supervisor of Special Education, said, “Today is our junior high special Olympics, something the students have been working towards and looking forward to all year. They will be participating in a variety of track and field events. We’ve been doing this over 20 years, and this is the first year we are doing our junior highs separate from the high schools.”

Several students took part in the carrying and lighting of the Olympic torch. They included Kristen Salaun of Boyet Junior High, Ashley Cook of Creekside Junior High, Aaron Rhode of Fontainebleau Junior High, Preston Cross of Mandeville Junior High, Amelia Bennett of Madisonville Junior High, Braeden Meisner of Monteleone Junior High, Lane Moore of Pitcher Junior High, D’Andre Cooper of Slidell Junior High, and Christopher Martin of St. Tammany Junior High.

Events included ball tossing and the long jump. Unfortunately, light rain forced organizers to cancel some of the track events.

 



03/19/2013

St. Tammany Public Schools Celebrate March as “Youth Arts Month”


A variety of performances by students from throughout the St. Tammany Parish Public School System was presented to the School Board Thursday, March 14, in observance of March as “Celebration of the Arts Month.”

The presentation was held on the stage in the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex Atrium, featuring excerpts from an upcoming Pearl River High theatrical production, singing by a sixth grade student at Tchefuncte Middle School, poetry readings from three “Poetry Out Loud” student contestants, and excerpts from Northshore High’s performance of “Guys and Dolls” and Mandeville High’s presentation of “Into the Woods.” They were introduced by Debbie Lefort, Director of the Talented Arts Program.

“Exciting arts events are happening in our schools all the time,” said Fine Arts Supervisor Margaret Sharpe, reporting on the depth and variety of Fine Arts Instruction in the School System. “We emphasize the teaching of Fine Arts every day throughout the year in St. Tammany,” she said.

The mission of the arts program in visual arts, dance, music and theater is to enhance the lives of all students through authentic and comprehensive fine arts instruction by certified teachers. She named several benefits to students in fine arts programs which carry over into other areas of academic instruction.

Students involved in the special performances included Jacob Turner and Laura Pazos in a scene from the Pearl River High production of the play “Honk, Jr.” Natalie Wong of Tchefuncte Middle School sang “Sayonara” and did a monologue from “Fifth of July,” and Poetry Out Loud contestants Patrick Flanagan from Mandeville High and Cameron Welch of Covington High recited portions of well-known poems. They were among the top six finalists in this year’s state Poetry Out Loud competition.

Olivia Metz of Covington High recited Sonnet 115 from Shakespeare, which won her second place at the recent Tulane University Shakespeare competition.

Jamie Schmidt and Logan Keen, both Northshore High students, performed the song “Sue Me” from “Guys and Dolls,” accompanied by Nathan Sumrall. Jessica Bird and Jacob McKay presented the song “It Takes Two” from the Mandeville High production of “Into the Woods,” and Juliet Liuzza from Mandeville High gave her rendition of the poem “Children Will Listen.”

At the School Board meeting, Ms. Sharpe introduced Principal Michael Winkler of Pearl River High and Band Director Stephen Abadie, saying that the band had received several honors for its participation at the Allstate Liberty Bowl on December 28 in Memphis. They earned two large trophies and three large plaques, placing second in the Class A Field Show Competition and placing third in the Class A Parade Competition. The school’s Drum Line won the title of “Outstanding Percussion Section,” and student Victoria Johnson was awarded the “Most Outstanding Drum Major” in the competition.

Ms. Sharpe also introduced Elizabeth Carrone, an eighth grade student at Fontainebleau Junior High School, and her art instructor Ms. Adair Watkins. Miss Carrone recently won first place in the Louisiana School Board Association’s 2013 Artwork Contest for fifth through eighth grades. Earlier this year, she won first place in the juried art contest Salad Days art show in Slidell, and her artwork entitled “Streetcar Dream” is the cover art for this year’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The artwork will hang on the walls of the Association’s offices in Baton Rouge for a year.



3/18/2013

Spring Break Begins Monday, March 25 ; Classes Resume April 2


Schools will be closed beginning Monday, March 25, for the Spring/Easter break that continues through Monday, April 1. Classes resume on Tuesday, April 2.

The Central Office and support offices for the St. Tammany Parish Public School System will be closed for the Easter Holiday Weekend on Friday, March 29, and on Monday, April 1. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, April 2.



03/15/2013

College/Career Talks Given at Salmen High


A chance for students and parents to gather information and talk to representatives of colleges, vocational technical institutes, and military representatives was offered at Salmen High School Wednesday, March 13, with approximately 50 people in attendance.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, welcomed those present and mentioned that Salmen was a very special place for him since he started his teaching career there 28 years ago. “I am proud to tell everyone that my first job in the School System was at Salmen High School, and this school exemplifies what families are all about, taking care of each other.”

“I hope the parents here tonight will learn more about some of the opportunities your children have before them – whether college, the military, or job career. There’s a lot to learn and understand, and it seems like it’s changing every day.” he said.

The event was entitled “What To Do After Graduating From High School.”

Dorable Dangerfield, a supervisor in the Human Resources department, explained what was available at the event, including four break-out sessions that addressed college preparation, vocational-technical college opportunities, and military career choices, as well as tips from the Louisiana Workforce Commission on training for and getting jobs. “It is our hope that the students here will learn what they need to make informed decisions about their career choices,” she said. Freshmen to seniors and their parents were invited.

Staff members from the college counseling office of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System were also on hand. Evaluation forms were handed out to participants afterwards to request any follow-up information they may wish to obtain.

“Our theme this year is community connections,” Superintendent Folse commented, “and that means partnering with people in the community in making a strong public school system. I want to recognize the two groups which are helping us make that community connection: the Ministerial Alliance of Greater St. Tammany and the Northshore Greeks.”

Those two organization helped sponsor the event. “We provided the resources and the location for the program, but most of the advertising was done by our community partners,” Ms. Dangerfield said.



03/14/2013

Students Get Day Off Friday, March 15, For Teacher Workday


Students will not have to attend school on Friday, March 15, as teachers will be taking part in professional development workshops and fulfilling record-keeping duties.

The third grading period of the 2012-2013 School Year ends today, March 14, and teachers will spend tomorrow, Friday, attending professional development sessions in the morning and completing end of grading period record-keeping in the afternoon.

Classes for students resume Monday, March 18.




03/13/2013

Winners Named in Elementary Fitness Meet


The third annual St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s District Elementary Fitness Meet was held Saturday morning at Lakeshore High School. Overall school winners were Florida Avenue Elementary in first place, Lake Harbor Middle School in second place and Mandeville Middle School in third place. More than 40 students participated in the event.

In the Girls Division, first place went to Ivy Mendheim of Folsom Elementary, second place went to Sierra Ballard of Lake Harbor Middle School, and third place went to Micaiah Guillory of Pine View Middle School.

In the Boys Division, first place went to Herbert Keys of Abney Elementary School, second place went to Landon Ibieta of Mandeville Middle, and third place was a tie between Brandyn Adam of Florida Avenue Elementary, and Bryan Gowland of Lancaster Elementary.

Miss Mendheim and Miss Ballard were also winners in last year’s competition.

The first and second place boys and girls will be going to State Meet in Baton Rouge to compete in the State Elementary Fitness Meet on April 27. One third place boy and girl will serve as alternates.

Assistant Superintendent William “Bill” Brady welcomed the crowd and also awarded the medals and trophies to the winners. “It’s a great day, and with so many kids, parents, administrators and coaches turning out, this has become a wonderful event for our School System,” Brady stated. “The itinerant Physical Education staff members that teach most of these students help make our School System the class act it is.”

“We are certainly very proud of the hard work of our staff and volunteers that make all of this possible,” Brady said. “Kay Hursey and her staff are very dedicated to the young people of this parish and they make it all come together,” he said. He also recognized the many parents who turned out to watch the event from the stands.

Participants took part in seven track events, from the 50 yard dash, curl-ups, pull-ups, and shuttle runs to standing long jumps, V-sits, and a 600 yard run.

School Board Member Ron Bettencourtt was in attendance to cheer on the competitors. Coach Larry Favre was the announcer for the day, and Supervisor Amiee Woessner was official scorekeeper. Paige and Claire Putnam, students at Lakeshore High, sang the National Anthem to get the program underway.

The Lakeshore High School JROTC Color Guard led the parade of athletes as each school’s four representatives passed by the grandstand. Kay Hursey, coordinator of Physical Education and Health for the School System, said that some junior high and high school coaches had come out to help coordinate the event.

Preparations for the event started as far back as August as teachers tested students interested in various aspects of the competition. The kids practiced the different events and were re-tested in January. Then two boys and two girls were selected from each participating school to attend the meet.

The top three boys and top three girls in the scoring in each event received a medal, and the boys and girls in first, second, and third places each received a trophy. The overall school winner received a trophy as well.

Principals attending in support of their contestants were Amy DiCarlo, Arlana Leblanc, Rose Smith, Charlotte Tillman, Susannah Welch, Susan Patin, and Patrick Woods. Two school nurses also volunteered their time for the event.
Mr. Brady thanked Principal Brennan McCurley and Coach Andy Thiel of Lakeshore High for hosting the event.

The state’s Elementary Fitness Meet brings together around 20 parishes from around the state each year to compete in Baton Rouge. At the event, the top two boys and girls from each parish take part in the championship events. The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports has reported finding a significant increase in the physical fitness levels of elementary school children in the last six years from the parishes that participate in the Fitness Meet program.

 



03/13/2013

Salmen High Wins Girls Basketball Championship


Salmen High School’s Girls Basketball team defeated St. Thomas More 40 to 39 in Monroe Friday night, claiming the Class 4A state championship title after a season of 29 wins and three losses. It was a last minute free throw that clinched the title and ended a week of ups and downs for the squad.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, congratulated the team and the school, saying, ““We are proud of our Salmen girls and their great accomplishments this season, especially during these last few weeks and the state championship game. Nothing shows better how persistence and determination pays off for a team and individual members than what they achieved this year.”

Principal Terri Wortmann said, “The Salmen girls’ basketball team members have represented themselves with great poise and dignity this year. It is important for student athletes to understand the value of hard work and sportsmanship. This season has certainly reinforced those lessons and many more. I am so very proud of the girls and coaches for their positive attitude and for the great character that they displayed, especially in those final weeks and during the state championship tournament.”

Salmen Coach Kevin Anderson said that Salmen’s Kalani Brown was named the Class 4A championship game’s Most Outstanding Player. “It’s so exciting when your team finally wins that ring,” Coach Anderson said. “All the girls, they worked so hard, they really deserved it.”

Coach Jerry Leonard said, “We all had a good time, and it was an exciting game. It was a game that was everything you hoped it could be.”

Afterwards, they were all pretty glad it was over, he said, with all the drama leading up to it regarding Vanderbilt’s ineligibility question. Salmen lost to Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals, but was placed back into the tournament action after a court ruling. “It was a crazy time, but we felt good about the situation,” Leonard said.

The team only has two or three seniors, Leonard said, “so most of them will be returning next year, and that’s good news.” The entire school welcomed them back on Monday with cheering. “They were excited for them,” Coach Leonard said. “We were really proud of them the way they handled all that adversity leading up to the final game.”

This is the third time the Salmen girls have won the state basketball championship, the first time in 1996 and the second time in 1997. Last year they were runners up to the title.

 


 


03/13/2013

Schools Win State Honors In Lunch Week Scrapbook Contest


Several St. Tammany public schools won top honors in the state scrapbook competition held by the School Nutrition Association of Louisiana in connection with National School Lunch Week (NSLW) last October 15-19, 2012. The theme was “School Lunch: What’s Cooking?”

In the elementary level, first place went to Abita Springs Elementary, and second place went to Bayou Woods Elementary. In the junior high or middle school level, first place was won by Clearwood Junior High, and second place went to Folsom Junior High. At the high school level, Lakeshore High School won first place, and Pearl River High School won third place.

During National School Lunch Week, a number of special programs, skits, exhibits, and presentations were conducted by Student Nutritional Advisory Councils and school cafeteria staffs across the parish. School Board members, parents, grandparents and other special guests visited schools to join students and faculty for lunch.

At the October School Board meeting William “Bill” Brady, Assistant Superintendent of Administration, reported that the School System’s award-winning nationally-recognized School Food Service always takes an active part in a variety of School Lunch week activities. In the past, schools have won national and state honors in lunch week themed competitions.




03/13/2013

Salmen High Holds Blood Drive To Help New Orleans Police Officer


Students at Salmen High School held a blood drive March 8 as part of a community-wide benefit for New Orleans Police Officer John Passaro, 41, who was severely injured while responding to a burglary in New Orleans in late February.

The Spartans held a blood drive to show their gratitude for his courage and service, with dozens of students, faculty, custodial workers and bus drivers taking part in the event. It was organized by the Interact club, under the direction of Cecelia Anderson. Passaro is a graduate of Salmen High.

Suzy Potter, Community Development Manager for the Blood Center, thanked the Salmen High community for its 44 donations of blood. “Thank you on behalf of the Blood Center and the many patients who will be the recipients of the gift of live. You are their Silent Heroes,” she said.

The Interact Club assisted in the recruitment of students to sign up for the Blood Drive. Among those helping in the effort were Julie Huynh, Christina Grommon, Roshauna Thompson, Meisha Vine, Ryan Ritterbush, Reese Simoneaux, Joseph La, Olivia Colton, Sarah Mehr, Christian Monson, Kayla Roig, Taylor Manning, Savadra Johnson and Kristen Maus.

Passaro is a three-year veteran of the NOPD and a resident of Slidell.

 




03/12/2013

Six Teachers Named Educators of Distinction by State PTA


Six out of the ten teachers selected statewide as “Educators of Distinction” for 2013 by the Louisiana State Parents Teacher Association (PTA) are from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. The awards were announced last week.

The teachers recognized were Kelly Whitehead of Riverside Elementary, Katherine Branch of Abita Springs Elementary, Michelle Margavio of Tchefuncte Middle, Rebekah Ellis of Bayou Lacombe Middle, Tina Neal of Chata-Ima Elementary, and Trish Picone of Mandeville Junior High.

Each year every school nominates a PTA Educator of Distinction, and statewide there are only ten Educators of Distinction designated, according to Supervisor Margaret Sharpe. The major criterion is that this person should have made a distinguished contribution to schools and children through daily contact or instruction, and the contribution should be worthy of statewide attention.

“St. Tammany Parish public schools have a tradition of exceptionally strong PTA chapters,” said Ms. Sharpe. “Our school leaders recognize the importance of having parents involved in our schools as a sure sign of success, and the parents of St. Tammany Parish have historically supported the efforts of our schools as we work together to educate their children.”

The Educators of Distinction will be honored at the Louisiana PTA Convention Banquet next month in Baton Rouge.

Last year, six of the ten statewide Educators of Distinction were also from St. Tammany Parish public schools.

 



03/12/2013

Lancaster Students Take Part in International School Meals Project


Lancaster Elementary School was one of 28 schools across the United States to take part Friday in an international effort for students to share ideas about school lunch. The project gave schools in the United States an opportunity to connect with schools in the United Kingdom and many other countries around the world to participate in the first ever International School Meals Day (ISMD).

The students of Fifth Grade teacher Retta Fenerty at Lancaster interacted with students at a school in Aberdeen, Scotland, via a Skype connection, asking them questions about their school meals and answering questions about menus, snacks, and food sources. “My kids are very excited about it,” she said. The students created a Powerpoint presentation about their lunchroom and menus and sent it to the class in Scotland, which in turn sent a Powerpoint presentation to Madisonville with their school lunch information. “We watched it yesterday and learned a lot,” Ms Fenerty said.

The video session was scheduled to begin early at 8:15 a.m. Lancaster time in order to visit with the class in Scotland at the end of their school day, due to the time difference. Principal Susannah Welch and Cafeteria Manager Beverly Fleming were on hand during the session to answer any technical food service questions.

The Scottish children wanted to know if fizzy drinks were allowed in school, and if food items were purchased “fair trade.”

When one of the Scottish children asked a Lancaster student what was their favorite snack , she answered, “Goldfish,” which brought puzzled looks and laughter from the Scotland class, until Ms. Fenerty explained that the goldfish in question were actually cheese crackers. The Lancaster students were also asked if they get to eat beefburgers (hamburgers) everyday for lunch, and which do they think is better: Burger King or McDonalds?

The event was a way to connect U.S. classrooms with students across the Atlantic to discuss topics like healthy eating habits and nutrition education. Lancaster Elementary School was selected as one of the schools because it is a HealthierUS School Challenge Award winner and is leading by example when it comes to promoting nutrition, physical activity, and nutrition education, the program director stated.

“We are very excited to be chosen to participate in International School Meals Day,” said Principal Welch. "This was a wonderful opportunity for some of our fifth grade students to chat with students in Scotland, compare notes on lunch menus, and share ideas on favorite snacks and such. Both classes really enjoyed this experience and hopefully learned a little more about cafeteria lunches in schools around the world."

“This event helps underscore the importance of the HealthierUS School Challenge and some of the ways that children and communities can become involved with promoting nutrition,” said Janey Thornton, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. “USDA believes that schools can take a leadership role in combating childhood obesity by incorporating healthier menus and introducing more physical activities during the school day.”

“The day’s activities are an opportunity to share the success of the school meals program and raise awareness about the importance of the nutritional meals served in schools around the globe,” said Ms. Thornton.

For more information, visit www.internationalschoolmealsday.com

The inaugural International School Meals Day was scheduled during School Breakfast Week in the United States. USDA’s annual School Breakfast is an opportunity to remind everyone how important it is that every child starts the day with a nutritious breakfast.

 



03/07/2013

Cafeterias Celebrate National Breakfast Week and Louisiana School Lunch Week


Cafeteria staffs across the St. Tammany Parish Public School System celebrated National School Breakfast Week and Louisiana School Lunch Week together this week, decorating the lunchrooms, having special programs and dressing up for fun.

Louisiana School Lunch week emphasizes regional dishes from gumbo and jambalaya to catfish. Mealtime activities included games, activities, and contests.

Cafeteria staffs and students with the Student Nutritional Advisory Councils decorated school cafeterias with artwork representing nutrition and unique regional foods. Bulletin boards and walls were covered with artwork representing foods such as red beans and rice, boiled seafood, and beignets. On the last day of the week, several special guests come to the schools to join in the fun.

Lancaster Elementary stressed the importance of school breakfasts, complete with a visit by the Body Walk traveling educational exhibit. It features a 55 minute tour about the benefits of eating right and exercising regularly. The “Body Walk” exhibit gave young visitors an overview of the different parts of the body, how they worked together, and the importance of lifestyle habits that build strong healthy bodies and develop active minds.

The exhibit is part of the Louisiana “Smart Bodies” interactive education program designed to help prevent childhood obesity. It began in 2005 as a joint effort between the Louisiana State University Ag Center and the Blue Cross / Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana.

The theme for National School Breakfast Week was “Be a Star With School Breakfast,” and decorations at Lancaster included versions of a spotlight stage background, guitars, boomboxes, 45 rpm records and even star studded red carpets. All week long, parents and grandparents were invited to visit with their children for breakfast, and prizes were given away. Students were encouraged to come to school Friday dressed as their favorite star.

The cafeteria staff at Lancaster even made life-sized cardboard cutouts of themselves, attached them to the wall and decorated them to represent well-known female music celebrities. “My staff really enjoys taking part in this,” said Beverly Fleming, cafeteria manager.

In a separate activity on Friday, the school will be one of 28 schools nationwide to take part in a new International School Meals Celebration, which includes a Skype video conference session with a school in Scotland.

At the Bonne Ecole Elementary cafeteria, several special guests are scheduled to show up on Friday, among them the Cat in the Hat and other favorite childhood characters.

Mandeville Elementary celebrated Louisiana Lunch Week with a creative contest. Students were invited to create a “mascot” using as many fruits and vegetables as they could. Some of the ideas turned in were a “banana man” made of a banana, cherry tomatoes, and a head of broccoli, an owl made of apples, spiders made of apples, oranges and lettuce, a caterpillar made of oranges, an apple and a black olives, and a crab made of apples and grapes. Students created their entries at home and shared them at lunch with classmates.

At Magnolia Trace Elementary, the cafeteria was transformed into a Cajun scene with swamp paintings, trees and paper mache alligators. Melissa Singletary of the cafeteria staff was credited with doing most of the artwork on the walls of school’s cafeteria. Displays included student-created food characters, a Cajun cabin scene complete with hound dog, pirogue, alligators, and frogs, and an exhibit of Louisiana food products. During lunch periods, the children heard Cajun folk tales read to them.

Also this week, the St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s Food Service Department recognized a Magnolia Trace Elementary cafeteria worker with the annual “Heart of the Program” award. Linda Wiggins, the school’s main baker, was presented the award by Pat Farris, Food Service Supervisor.

The award is designed to recognize the valuable program contribution of a school nutrition employee who makes a difference at her school and in her community. She was commended for her willingness to help other workers, taking part in nutrition education, and the school’s annual food drive. She was congratulated by her Cafeteria Manager Michelle Penton and co-workers.

 


 


03/06/2013

Special Olympics Track and Field Meet Held at Fontainebleau High


The annual Special Olympics Area Track and Field Meet for Senior High Schools was held under sunny skies at Fontainebleau High School on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, with more than 100 high school athletes with special needs from throughout St. Tammany Parish taking part in a variety of activities.

Participants were from Covington High, Fontainebleau High, Lakeshore High, Mandeville High, Northshore High, Pearl River High, Salmen High and Slidell High. Student athletes competed in the 50 and 100 meter walk/run, 25 meter wheel chair race, shot put, softball throw, standing long jump, and a variety of developmental games.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, welcomed parents, student volunteers, and School System adaptive physical education staff members to the event, saying everyone had a huge smile on their face, and he had already heard students bragging about how their school was going to be the best.

“It’s a great day, and I’ve been looking forward to it all year,” Superintendent Folse stated. “It doesn’t matter what your exceptionality is or what your ability is, everybody is here to compete and have fun. The community support makes it a special day for everyone.”

Folse thanked Fontainebleau High for hosting the event, and noted that it had fostered so many great community connections with area organizations and businesses in supporting the special needs athletes. “They all come out and compete and cheer each other on,” he said. “We are so very proud of these athletes, and I wish you the very best of luck. Have a good time, and let the games begin!”

The meet began with a parade of athletes grouped according to each school marching by the home-side stadium bleachers, followed by the passing of a torch from one school representative to the next. Students taking part in the passing of the torch were David Kephart of Covington High School, Stephen Mount of Fontainebleau High School, Adam Trust of Lakeshore High School, Ali Evans of Mandeville High School, Christopher McDonald of Northshore High School, Brianna Vinson of Pearl River High School, Steven Thornton of Salmen High School, and Ericka Pelas of Slidell High School.

The Fontainebleau High School JROTC presented the colors for the opening ceremony, Christopher Leach of Mandeville High led the Pledge of Allegiance, Monica Gonzales of Fontainebleau High sang the National Anthem, and Paula Semel of Fontainebleau led the Special Olympics Oath.

The Fontainebleau High Bulldog Buddies student organization once again helped coordinate the wide range of activities, and each group of athletes was accompanied by peer helpers from their own high school. The award-winning Bulldog Buddies student group brings regular students and special needs students together for mutual activities and special assistance throughout the year.

Sharon Hosch, Supervisor of Special Education, said, “All eight high schools are participating today, and on March 20 the junior high school students will have their own Special Olympics at Mandeville High School. That’s a change from last year. We look forward to this event all year, and students have been in training for it in their Adaptive Physical Education classes.”

Renae Wallace, Coordinator of Adaptive Physical Education with the School System, is director of the Special Olympics track meet. She said the Special Olympics have been held locally for the past twenty years. Prior to 1994 they took students to Hammond where the program was held.

“We got so big, we decided to branch out on our own,” she noted. “And the community support has been amazing. We are so thankful for the cooperation and support that have enabled us to do this for our students. The community has come together, and it’s a great opportunity for the students, parents, and the teachers to show the results of their work,” she said. Her department had 18 Adaptive Physical Education coaches from throughout the parish on the field at the event.

Johnny Vitrano, principal of the host school Fontainebleau High, said the event got off to a great start. “We have a lot of help, especially with the Bulldog Buddies making it so much easier. There are a lot of great students involved with these special needs students, and Ms. Monique Hebert does a great job organizing it all.” He thanked Superintendent Folse for his support of the project, saying it ties in with the School System theme of “Every Child, Every Day.” Fontainebleau has hosted the event for six years.

“These kids need to be recognized for their accomplishments, and our regular students also get a lot out of it,” Vitrano commented. “They see the response and enjoyment they get from their effort.” He also appreciated the many community sponsors. “When we reach out to the community, businesses are eager to help with this event. It is a wonderful school and community connection. There are also many parents who volunteer their time and talents for these Special Olympics.”

In his opening remarks, Vitrano said, “Our teachers know how great these students are, and the parents, friends and family know how truly wonderful these young people are. It is a privilege for all of us to work with them. These young athletes stretch their limits and give their all not just in the pursuit of excellence, but in pursuit of achieving new heights and bringing honor to their schools.”

School Board member Roanne Tipton was on the field taking photographs of the students and their achievements. “I like going to the school sports events and taking whatever pictures I can,” she said. “They appreciate the photos, and it really helps them remember the day.”

Charles “Tiger” Edwards of Channel 13 emceed the program, announcing the winners of each competition as the event ended.

Later this month, on March 20, a Special Olympics Track and Field Meet will be held for junior high school athletes. That event will take place at the Sidney Theriot Stadium at Mandeville High School, beginning at 9:45 a.m. More than 100 junior high participants will be competing in several activities, including shot put, softball throw, standing long jump, and a wheelchair race.

 




03/05/2013

Daylight Savings Time Begins Sunday, March 10; Move Clocks Ahead One Hour


Daylight Savings Time for 2013 begins this Sunday, March 10. Clocks should be set to “spring forward” one hour.

 



03/04/2013

Special Olympics Track and Field Meets To Be Held


The annual Special Olympics Area Track and Field Meet will be held at Fontainebleau High School on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Senior high school athletes with special needs from throughout St. Tammany Parish will be taking part in a number of activities.

Beginning at 9:45 a.m., more than one hundred athletes will compete in the 50 and 100 meter walk/run, 25 meter wheel chair race, shot put, softball throw, standing long jump, and a variety of developmental games. The event is coordinated by the St. Tammany Parish Adapted Physical Education Department.

The meet starts with a parade of athletes and a lighting of the torch. Fontainebleau High School’s Bulldog Buddy Club is providing volunteers for the event. Parents, community members and track enthusiasts are invited to attend and cheer for our athletes.

Later this month, on March 20, a Special Olympics Track and Field Meet will be held for junior high athletes. That event will take place at the Sidney Theriot Stadium at Mandeville High School, beginning at 9:45 a.m.

More than 100 junior high participants will be competing in several activities, including shot put, softball throw, standing long jump, and a wheelchair race.



03/01/2013

Abney Elementary Celebrates Read Across America


Dozens of community guests converged on Abney Elementary School March 1 to take part in the Read Across America program which celebrates the birthday of famed children’s author Dr. Seuss. Schools throughout St. Tammany joined in by holding special “Reader Days” bringing in special guests from the community to read their favorite children’s books to elementary classes.

The “Read Across America” program is promoted by the National Education Association.

At Abney Elementary, guest readers included Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan, Police Chief Randy Smith, several police officers, Central Office Supervisors, local business leaders from Wal-mart, Sams Club, and Winn Dixie, visitors from the St. Tammany Parish Library, other school principals, parents, numerous students from Salmen High School, and Miss St. Tammany Heritage Olivia Ruby.

Principal Mike Alford greeted parents in car line in the morning dressed in his Dr. Seuss “Cat in the Hat” costume, with a large portion of the faculty also dressed as Dr. Seuss characters. Guest readers were able to choose what book they wanted to read from a large stack, and many chose their favorite books from their own childhood.

“Today is our Literacy Day,” said Serena Bush, the literacy interventionist at Abney. “We are celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday and getting kids excited about reading. This morning we had the Great Book Giveaway where the students were given free books, and we also had parent workshops where they were informed about our Accelerated Reader program."

The principal issued a proclamation that said, “Whereas the citizens of Abney Elementary School stand firmly committed to promoting reading as the catalyst for our students’ future academic success, their preparation for America’s jobs of the future, and their ability to compete in a global economy, we call upon the citizens of St. Tammany Parish to assure that every child is in a safe place reading together on March 1, 2013.”

Now in its fourteenth year, the “Read Across America” program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources. The national reading celebration takes place each year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books.

 




02/22/2013

School Board Receives Financial Reporting Awards


For the 24th year in a row, the St. Tammany Parish School Board has been awarded the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBOIntl) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Award as well as a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). The annual recognitions are given for excellence in the preparation and publication of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the Fiscal Year ending in 2011.

The honors come following an extensive review by experts from the two professional organizations.

The GFOA award was presented at the February School Board meeting by Ms. Gayle Fransen with the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office, and the ASBOIntl award was presented by Bryan Huval and Mickey Simon, both with the Audit and Assurance Services office of LaPorte, CPAs and Business Advisors.

Director of Business Affairs Terri Fortenberry and her staff were commended for their annual Financial Report and work in financial reporting for the School System. “Participation in the Certificate of Excellence Program is a rewarding experience,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “Attaining these awards for the past 24 years validates our financial reporting expertise not only to the District but to the community as a whole.”

ASBOIntl established the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Program in 1972 to enable school business officials to achieve a high standard of financial reporting and recognize excellence in school system comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFR). The award is the highest recognition given to school district financial operations by the ASBO and is conferred to School Systems that have met or exceeded the standards of the certificate program.

The GFOA certificate recognition program is more than 50 years old, and organizations which are singled out for recognition have to meet very stringent criteria. Since 1945, the program has become widely known as the premier indicator of excellence in governmental accounting.

The purpose of the annual financial statements is to report on and provide an overview of the financial position and operations of the school system (including its component units). The CAFR enables school business officials to educate the school board and the public about the status of a school system's finances as well as strengthens presentations for bond issuance statements. It also provides professional recognition for the integrity and technical competence of the business staff.



02/22/2013

Board Recognizes New National Board Certified Educators


Each year the St. Tammany Parish School Board holds a special program to recognize those teachers and other education professionals who have undergone the significant effort to achieve National Board certification. At the February Board meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resource Pete Jabbia introduced five of the latest National Board Certified employees of the School System.

Those recognized were Brittney Byers, Tiffany Hewson, Richard “Vance” Lynch, Heather Riviere, and Melinda Hobgood.

Ms. Byers is now in her sixth year of teaching at Mandeville Elementary. A graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University in Elementary Education, she earned her Master’s Degree from LSU in Gifted Education. Her National Board Certification is in the area of Early Childhood Generalist.

Ms. Hewson has taught in St. Tammany Parish since 2001 and is currently teaching sixth grade at Tchefuncte Middle School. She earned dual certification from the University of New Orleans in Elementary Education and Mild Moderate Grades 1 through 12. Her area of national certification is Middle Childhood Generalist.

Mr. Lynch teaches computer technology classes at Covington High, where he has also taught physical science, biology, and Algebra in the past. At West Virginia University, he earned degrees in Biology, Psychology, and Liberal Arts. He completed his Master’s Degree at the University of Virginia in Secondary Science Education in 2002. Mr. Lynch has been recognized several times by the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators as well as receiving other awards and honors.

He was named St. Tammany Parish High School Teacher of the Year in 2011 and was selected as a Regional Finalist in the state Teacher of the Year program. He has also been named Chevron/Saints Teacher of the Year. His area of national board certification is Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood/Career and Technical Education. Mr. Jabbia also noted that Lynch had perfect attendance at this job for five of the past six years.

Ms. Riviere has been teaching for 11 years, currently at Covington Elementary School. A graduate in Early Childhood Education from Our Lady of Holy Cross College, her area of national board certification is Early Childhood Generalist.

Ms. Hobgood is the newest National Board Certified Guidance Counselor in the School System. She earned her B.A. Degree in Elementary Education from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond and later completed her Master’s Degree in Counselor Education. A member of the Louisiana Counseling Association and the American School Counseling Association, she is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a National Certified Counselor, and a National Certified School Counselor. Joining the St. Tammany Public School System six years ago, she has been assigned to Madisonville Elementary, Madisonville Junior High, Clearwood Junior High, Bayou Woods Elementary, and, for the past two years, Lancaster Elementary.

School Board President Elizabeth Heintz congratulated them all for their accomplishment. “It is a rigorous process they go through to earn National Board Certification,” she said.

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Pete Jabbia introduced each of them at the School Board meeting held later that night. “Achieving National Board Certification is no easy task,” he said. “It is a testament to personal and professional dedication, intense self-reflection and a drive for self-improvement. It also shows the high level of care and concern that they have for their students.”

The School System has 272 National Board certified employees: teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, speech therapists, and psychologists.

 




02/22/2013

Schools Observe Black History Month With Special Programs


Schools across St. Tammany Parish are observing Black History Month this February with a variety of programs and assemblies. Many had guest speakers from the community, presented songs, gave Powerpoint slide shows, held essay contests and put up educational displays throughout the campus. Programs are continuing over the next week.

Students took part in a variety of research projects and video productions, interviewing students, faculty, and members of the Black community. Some schools viewed films about Black Americans and had discussions afterwards. School libraries also took part in the event by showcasing books about Black Americans and their accomplishments. One school incorporated Black History Month into its design for its Mardi Gras floats.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III said, “Black History Month has become an important part of our School Year, with students focusing on the accomplishments and talents of Black leaders and individuals throughout our history. Teachers, students, and administrators have done much to enrich our knowledge about the contributions made by Black Americans in science, politics, and the arts.”

Abney Elementary held its Black History Month program on February 1, and every day has featured a reading during its morning announcements. Their topic for this month’s “Writing for Excellence” assignment is “Who is your favorite Black American and Why?” The school also presented a stage production with dozens of children involved.

Principal Susan Patin of Lake Harbor Middle School said, “We started with a special broadcast to the entire school to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in January. This month, our broadcast team presented information researched by our Social Studies classes, and this week we will host a Young Audiences presentation on Celebrating Black Americans in History.”

Many schools used the occasion to spotlight the arts, showcasing the works of Black artists in music and dance. Some student projects examined the history of the Black communities within their attendance areas, discovering the rich culture that has developed over the years through the influence of African Americans.

Efforts commemorating the month included emphasizing the importance of diversity throughout society.

Mandeville Elementary students learned a song about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “We held discussions on how we can make a difference in the world when we do what is right even when it is difficult,” said Principal Chantelle Smith. Students there also learned about African American artists and their art.

Principal Roslyn Hanson at Pitcher Junior High School stated that her students took part in a program that gave an overview of the critical points in African American history through poetry and literature. “At the end of the month, we will give the students an opportunity to reflect on what they have learned,” she said.

Fontainebleau Junior High included Black History Month in its classroom lessons, focusing on the contributions of Black Americans, and daily presentations and documentaries were also shown on the school’s in-house broadcasts. Lee Road Junior High School’s eighth grade class held a teleconference with students in Ghana, West Africa, to ask and answer questions and share insights into each other’s cultures.

Pontchartrain Elementary in Mandeville also reviewed the significance of the month and celebrated the many contributions made by famous Black Americans over the years. Printed biographies were placed on display in the school hallways.

Salmen High School brought in an African Drum and Dance troupe for a special performance for the students, many of whom participated with instrumental, vocal, and dramatic performances of their own. Chahta-Ima Elementary will hold a music program on Monday with songs, poetry, and dance themed in line with Black History Month.

Magnolia Trace Elementary had been planning for the celebration for many months, having appointed a committee to come up with ideas for lesson plans, daily announcements, and even a scavenger hunt throughout the school with clues taped to the walls.

Northshore High School decorated bulletin boards and also had special programs observing Black History Month.

 


 


02/20/2013

Leadership Class Learns About Public School System


The 2012-2013 Leadership St. Tammany Class attended a special briefing February 20 at the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex to learn first hand about the mission and achievements of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

Top school officials, including Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and Assistant Superintendents William Brady, Pete Jabbia and Cheryl Arabie addressed the group telling about the work of the 55 schools, advancements in the curriculum, and academic goals. Special attention was given to the use and teaching of technology. After the meeting, the group split up and toured five schools across the parish.

Superintendent Folse outlined improvements in security, increases in enrollment, and the awards given to the School System for its financial reporting, food service capabilities, and academic achievements. This year he acknowledged a growing number of “community connections” between the School System and area businesses, civic and social groups.

He also reviewed the numerous ways in which the School System keeps students and parents up-to-date through websites, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and emergency phone notification systems.

Attendees were given a hands-on opportunity to try various classroom technologies spotlighting popular software and hardware, from Promethean Boards and individual student handheld response devices to blogging and news reporting.

Leadership St. Tammany provides participants with a year-long planned program that touches upon the many different government, business, community, and cultural aspects of St. Tammany Parish. Meetings are held with top parish leaders and community organizations for an extensive view of outstanding area successes and future challenges.



 

02/19/2013

Bayou Lacombe Organic Garden Wins Grant


Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation recently awarded a $5,000 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant® to Bayou Lacombe Middle School’s organic garden. The grant will fund a whole-school composting program and a greenhouse to help maintain the sustainability of the organic garden outdoor classroom.

On Tuesday, February 19, four Slidell Lowe’s employees met with Gifted Program Teacher Rebekah Ellis, the gifted students, and Principal Patrick Woods to present the award and help put together a donated 8 foot by 10 foot greenhouse and 7 foot by 7 foot supply shed. The Lowe’s employees in attendance were Richard Jancas, Megan Meyers, Ricki Hannah, and Zachary Lovas.

The “outdoor classroom” organic garden and composting project provides a setting for students to learn environmental stewardship, sustainable living, entrepreneurial skills, and nutritional health in addition to challenging the students in every aspect of the curriculum and developing higher order thinking and problem solving skills.

The gifted students established the organic garden two years ago, but now the project is broadening to incorporate the entire school and make the organic garden self-sustainable through large-scale composting. This phase of the project is scheduled to be fully functioning by May 2013.

“Lowe’s is committed to recognizing and supporting efforts that enrich the lives of our neighbors and customers,” said Marshall Croom, chairman of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “By supporting schools like Bayou Lacombe Middle, we know we are contributing to a cause that’s important to our customers and employees and helping build stronger communities.”

Since its inception in 2006, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education has provided more than $34 million in grants to 7,500 schools, benefiting more than 4 million schoolchildren. Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects.

The Town and Country Garden Club of West St. Tammany awarded the Bayou Lacombe Middle School Organic Garden project with a check for $500 in early December to begin the composting part of the effort.

The garden was originally designed and built when the school’s gifted students partnered with the employees from the local Home Depot and the Louisiana Master Gardener Program. The students also decided to take part in the Louisiana Junior Master Gardener Program and joined the LSU AgCenter’s School Gardens Project to electronically track their seeds from germination to harvest.

The Garden to Table experience provides students with hands-on food education while learning to build and maintain a garden according to organic principles, as well as grow and harvest a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs. In that phase of the project, the students will prepare various delicious dishes from the produce they have grown. Thus the garden and kitchen together provide a real-life context for learning, interweaving the theories and practices behind growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh, seasonal foods.

Overall, the organic garden project functions as an “outdoor classroom” challenging the students in all aspects of the curriculum and developing higher order thinking and problem solving skills, Ms. Ellis said. In designing the organic garden, students learned analytical thinking and reasoning skills, using mathematics in diagramming the garden blueprints, calculating the supplies needed for the garden and appropriate transplanting measurements.

The students are also gaining scientific knowledge by learning about the complex interrelationships between plants, insects, soil and people. Language skills are expanded when the students write grant proposals, and visual art skills are advanced as they design and create the Farmer’s Market advertising fliers. In addition, the participants build positive community relationships working with the Farmer’s Market and local soup kitchens.

The entire experience encourages the students to develop and refine their horticultural and environmental skills, expand their knowledge of health and family consumer sciences and study environmental stewardship and sustainable living. “All this while they grow fresh produce and create meals with their own vegetable and herb garden harvest,” Ms. Ellis stated.

As an extended community outreach, the students decided to donate all of the proceeds from the sale of their produce at Farmer’s Markets (and any remaining produce not sold) to local soup kitchens.

 




02/18/2013

Local Educator Participates in Global Education Symposium


Northshore High School teacher Catherine Tanguis visited Washington, D.C. February 14 -16, 2013, to participate in the Global Education Symposium, part of the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (TGC). She was the only teacher representing Louisiana at the gathering.

The event, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), selected 160 teachers, school principals and district administrators from across the country to participate in the symposium.

“In Washington, I had the opportunity to meet many members of our Department of State as well as teachers and administrators from around the country.” Ms. Tanguis said. “It is an exciting program. I am the only teacher representing Louisiana this year.” Last year, St. Tammany Parish teacher Teri Kliebert participated.

The Teachers for Global Classrooms Program is an exchange and professional development opportunity for secondary school teachers sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the non-profit organization IREX.

Through the program, teachers from across the United States learn how to advance their schools’ global education practices, internationalizing teaching and learning in their classrooms.

During the symposium, the teachers, principals and district administrators participated in sessions such as The Need for Global Education, Principles for Globalizing Schools, Bringing Global Education to Your Zip Code, and Working Effectively Across Cultures.

The Global Education Symposium follows the teachers’ completion of an online course and prepares the teachers for their upcoming field experience. This spring and summer the U.S. teachers will learn with, and from, their colleagues in other countries developing and sharing international knowledge and skills.

The U.S. teachers will participate in a three week professional experience in Brazil, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, or Ukraine. Mrs. Tanguis will travel to Brazil. “I will be spending three weeks during June in Brazil, touring the country, basically serving as an educational ambassador, sharing our country’s educational practices and philosophies and learning about theirs,” she said.

The teachers will reconvene in October in Washington, DC, to share their experiences and to discuss best practices.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, private-sector, professional and sports exchange programs. These international exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes and emerging leaders in many fields in the United States and in more than 160 countries.

Alumni of these exchanges comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 350 current or former heads of state and government.

Ms. Tanguis encourages other St. Tammany Parish educators to apply for the upcoming 2013-14 TGC Program.




02/07/2013

Public Schools Close Five Days for Mardi Gras Holidays


St. Tammany Parish Public Schools are closed Monday, February 11, through Friday, February 15, for the 2013 Mardi Gras Holidays. Classes resume on Monday, February 18.

St. Tammany Parish School Board support offices were closed Monday and Tuesday, February 11 and 12, and reopened on Wednesday, February 13.




02/05/2013

LEAP Testing Dates Announced for Nonpublic and Home-Schooled Students


The St. Tammany Parish Public School System will administer the LEAP (Louisiana Educational Assessment Program) test to students in grades 4 and 8 in two phases. Students must attend both phases. Phase 1 testing will be on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, and Phase 2 testing will be held Monday, April 8 and Tuesday April 9, 2013.

If a student DOES NOT participate in Phase 1, then he/she must wait until summer to take the LEAP assessment allowing only one opportunity for the student to pass.

Students whose parents currently reside in Louisiana and who wish to enroll in St. Tammany Parish public schools in the fifth or ninth grades for the 2013-2014 school year must have passed the fourth and/or eighth grade LEAP test.

A student may not be promoted to the 5th or 9th grade until he/she has scored at or above the Basic achievement level on either the English Language Arts or Mathematics component on the 4th or 8th grade of LEAP and at the Approaching Basic achievement level on the other; officially referred to as the Basic/Approaching Basic combination. The LEAP High Stakes Testing Policy can be found on the Louisiana Department of Education website at www.louisianaschools.net.

The deadline to submit the application is March 8, 2013. All testing will take place at a parish school site, and administration of these tests will follow the same instructions and conditions as provided to public school students. As provided by state regulations, a fee of $35 will be charged for the test and must accompany the returned application. This fee is refundable when the student begins attendance in St. Tammany Parish Public Schools.

For further details call 898-6481 or email Karen.kety@stpsb.org. The application for the spring tests can be found by clicking here.

 



02/05/2013

Legislators Visit School Cafeterias


Several Louisiana state legislators are visiting schools in St. Tammany Parish this week, with an emphasis on learning how the food service programs and school cafeterias play an integral part in the health and education of students.

On Monday, February 4, Representative Kevin Pearson visited Slidell High and Representative John Schroder visited Folsom Junior High. On Tuesday Representative Scott Simon visited Abita Springs Elementary School, and on Wednesday, February 6, Rep. Schroder visited Pine View Middle School in Covington, Senator A. G. Crowe visited Slidell High, and Senator Ben Nevers visited Fifth Ward Junior High in Bush.

On Friday, Representative Harold Ritchie will stop by to meet with cafeteria staff at Fifth Ward Junior High in Bush. Representative Paul Hollis will visit Bayou Lacombe the week of March 4.

“We wanted to show our legislators the importance of the relationship between school meals and the health and education of our students,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “I know our students would be excited to have the opportunity to share a meal with a state legislator and discuss all that they have learned about health and nutrition.”

During the legislator visits, the principal and students met them at the door, walked them to the cafeteria, and introduced the cafeteria staff. The school’s food service manager then explained the food service and child nutrition program. The highlight of the event was the legislator putting on a chef’s hat and apron and having them help serve the students lunch.

State Representative Scott Simon visited the cafeteria at Abita Springs Elementary School on Tuesday, February 5, to meet with Principal Rebecca Stogner and Supervisor of Food Service Pat Farris. He discussed the child nutrition program with them, noted that St. Tammany had won many awards, and mentioned how other School Systems across the state are meeting the challenge of recent USDA regulations. He also helped take up lunch tickets during a lunch period.


 


02/04/2013

CHS Gym Dedicated To Legendary Coach Hubie Gallagher


The Covington High School gymnasium was dedicated to former Coach Hubert "Hubie" Gallagher Saturday afternoon, paying tribute to the legendary coach and civic leader who for 32 years led CHS sports to great accomplishments, especially the basketball team.

Dozens of former players from the 1940's, 50's and 60's attended a special reception in the CHS library prior to the dedication ceremonies, recalling Gallagher's impact in their lives. Principal Deborah McCollum welcomed those in attendance, and Athletic Director Darryl Graham was master of ceremonies for the program. Speakers included Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III, Ralph Menetre, former Coaches Jack Salter and Allie Smith, Richard Laird, Stanley Jacobs, Hank Ferrer, and Hubie Gallagher's children, Pat Gallagher and Sissy Gallagher Fortier.

Special guests included School Board President Elizabeth B. Heintz, Board Members Stephen J. "Jack" Loup, III, Charles T. Harrell and Michael J. Dirmann, Mayor Mike Cooper of Covington, and Assistant Superintendents Cheryl Arabie, William “Bill” Brady, and Pete Jabbia.

Superintendent Folse applauded those involved in the effort to put the program together, including Principal McCollum, Coach Graham, and the School Board members who voted to name the gym in honor of Gallagher. He thanked the Gallagher family for helping with the ceremony as well.

“Our theme this year is Community Connections,” Superintendent Folse stated. “And what we are doing here today is an excellent example of that, bringing in the old and the new, everybody coming together to recognize someone who many years ago made such a difference in our School System. Today we are honoring that person and what he stood for.”

During the dedication ceremony, Principal McCollum read the long list of achievements from Coach Gallagher's career, not only at CHS but also in the community, as a city councilman, Mayor Pro Tem, and leader of the city's recreational program. For his many career accomplishments, he was inducted into the Louisiana High School Athletics Association Hall of Fame in 1983.

An engraved plaque was presented to Pat Gallagher and his sister, and large signs had already been installed on the gymnasium walls with Coach Gallagher's name.

Among the players, co-workers and family friends attending the reception were Fred Seal, Bill Ferrer, Jack Bossier, Bobby Cooper, Elton Willie, Pizzie Romano, Ronnie Pogue, Gary and Jeff Schoen.

The reception included a display of photographs from Coach Gallagher’s career, two scrapbooks filled with newspaper articles, letters, and photos, and the large bound book used to list the roster of athletes in each sport at Covington High over the years. Attendees at the reception studied the lists to see their own name placed there at the time of their participation.

Graham said the turnout for the event was fabulous. “It’s a great tribute to a man who is so deserving of this honor. He had some great accomplishments at this school during his career at this school. It’s truly amazing what he did.”

From 1939 to 1971, Coach Gallagher not only coached all sports, but taught Civics, Social Studies, Drivers Education and Physical Education. He also served as Physical Education Supervisor for the entire School System. Originally from Pennsylvania, Coach Gallagher first came to Covington in 1937, joining the Covington High staff in 1939.

Music for the reception was provided by CHS music students under the direction of Mel Rogers. Refreshments were provided by the ProStart culinary arts students, and the National Junior ROTC took part in the ceremonies in the gymnasium, presenting the flag. The Covington High Ambassadors were also credited for helping make the event a success.

The event was part of Covington High’s Centennial Celebration observing the 100th year anniversary for the school.




02/01/2013

St. Tammany Schools Score Wins in NFL Contests


Saints Football Players Jimmy Graham and Akiem Hicks and former Saints Player Michael Lewis visited Fifth Ward Junior High School in Bush in January morning to conduct a special fitness activity and help celebrate the school winning Grand Prize in the National Football League's (NFL) “Play 60 Super Bowl Challenge” project for 2012-2013.

Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie were on hand to help Principal Chris Oufnac welcome the special guests, as well as receive a $2500 NFL Play 60 grant which will be used for the purchase of health and physical fitness equipment. The school was also awarded an XBox 360 exercise console. The competition and awards program were held in conjunction with the American Heart Association.

Students and faculty alike turned out to give the event an enthusiasm that impressed the visitors. There were welcoming signs along the highway, banners posted on the fence around the school, and doors and hallways were decorated with Saints logos and pictures. Almost everyone was wearing a Saints jersey.

Principal Oufnac said it was a huge day for Fifth Ward and the entire Bush community. “We decorated for two days. We are thrilled that the NFL is coming to Bush. Receiving the grant money will help us update some of our P.E. equipment and athletic equipment.”

Fifth Ward was named the “Grand Prize Winner” in this year’s program for its “exceptional participation and the keeping of records for all eligible students at the school.” The school also received an invitation to take part in the “NFL Kids Day Experience” at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans on January 30.

The special event at Fifth Ward Jr. High featured a talk by Graham on the importance of exercise and healthy eating, particularly drinking enough water during any activity. After the assembly, the Falcon cheerleaders performed a number of cheers for the group, followed by a 45 minute physical education class with groups of five students each moving from one exercise station to another, throwing footballs and jumping rope to playing competitive video games on the Xbox with Kinect.

More than 150 fourth, fifth and sixth graders took part in the physical fitness part of the program, after the entire student body greeted the special visitors when they arrived. Throughout the metropolitan New Orleans area, more than sixteen thousand students took part in the Play 60 Super Bowl Challenge. To be eligible, the school had to be located within a 90 mile radius of the Superdome.

Riverside Elementary in Pearl River and Clearwood Junior High in Slidell also won NFL Play 60 grants worth $2500 each.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III said, “We congratulate those schools that have been recognized as winners in the NFL’s Play 60 Super Bowl Challenge, and we know the students involved will benefit for years to come from the active lifestyle habits they are learning today.”

Cheerleaders from Salmen High School and Northshore High School participated in the Super Bowl Cheer Clinic on Friday, February 1. Salmen High won second place in the high school division. A Spirit Clinic was also held for grades six through twelve, with Salmen, St. Tammany Junior High, and Pitcher Junior High cheerleaders taking part in that event.

Seven St. Tammany schools were designated as “Super Active Participant Winners.” They were Abita Springs Middle, Carolyn Park Middle, Lancaster Elementary, Brock Elementary, Mayfield Elementary, Pine View Middle, and Fifth Ward Junior High. Students at those schools were also recognized for exercising 60 minutes a day for four weeks, and they took part in the NFL Kids Day Experience in New Orleans.

In addition, the NFL sent Kinect for XBOX 360 bundles to all of the schools who participated in the Play 60 Super Bowl Challenge and weren’t selected to attend Kids Day.

Schools receiving the Xbox bundles were Folsom Elementary, Little Oak Middle School, St. Tammany Jr. High, Alton Elementary, Mandeville Middle School, Folsom Jr. High, Lee Road Jr. High, Bonne Ecole Elementary, Sixth Ward Elementary, Tchefuncte Middle School, Abney Elementary, and Madisonville Jr. High.

Supervisor Margaret Sharpe said the NFL had shared a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the schools. “I know our students enjoyed the NFL Experience, the pep rally, the up-close-and-personal opportunities with the athletes, and XBOX 360 games, as well as the $2500 grants. But the additional benefit is the awareness that daily physical activity has on their future," she said.

On Thursday, more than 60 students from Lake Harbor Middle School visited the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans to attend a special showing of the NFL Cartoon Program "Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians." They were the first group in the world to see the Nicktoons episode that will play tonight and again on Sunday before the Super Bowl game. Following the premiere, they spent two hours touring the NFL Experience games and exhibits.

In October, 2007, the NFL launched NFL PLAY 60, a national youth health and fitness campaign focused on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.

 




01/29/2013

Salmen High Student Named HERO Award Winner


Julie T. Huynh, a senior at Salmen High School, is the Sophisticated Woman magazine’s HERO Award recipient for February.

The HERO Award stands for “Helping Eagerly and Reaching Out," and recognizes young leaders in St. Tammany Parish high schools for their outstanding accomplishments and community service efforts. The monthly recognition is presented by Sophisticated Woman Magazine and Charter Business.

Sarah Cottrell, associate publisher for the magazine, presented Miss Huynh with the award in January. An article about her will be published in the February issue of the magazine.

Miss Huynh was nominated for the recognition by Salmen High Counselor Cecelia Anderson, who cited her as an exceptional student with ambition who stands out among her peers. Ms. Anderson stated, “Seeing the need for increased awareness and understanding of the Asian culture, Julie took the initiative and created the Asian-American Club, the primary focus being to integrate different cultures as well as dispel stereotypes.”

The club engages in a variety of campus activities, from raising money for leukemia patients to hosting a dress drive for cancer patients attending the prom. Its membership consists of more than 30 members of all races and backgrounds, Ms. Anderson said.

Miss Huynh explained that she started the club because it was a chance to inform people about the Asian culture while raising money for good causes such as cancer research. She said, “The group meets weekly when possible to discuss fund-raising projects. We get a lot of people involved.”

Miss Huynh was also commended for her 3.9 grade point average, her commitment to academic excellence and many community service involvements from Toys for Tots and Thanksgiving basket assembly to being a tutor for Boys and Girls Club programs.

After graduating from Salmen, she plans to major in biology at LSU based on her life-long interest in the veterinary sciences. “It’s hard to pick a direction right now, but I know that once I get into college, I will be better able to decide what connects with me the most and what to specialize in,” she said.

 



01/28/2013

Northshore High Literacy Magazine Wins Another Top Award


The Northshore High School student literary and art magazine, the PRISM, recently won national recognition from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The publication received a “Superior” ranking , one of only two school literary magazines in Louisiana so designated.

The organization recognizes students, teachers, and schools for producing outstanding literary magazines through its “Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines (PRESLM).” The program evaluates student literary publications from throughout the United States, Canada, Virgin Islands, and American schools abroad.

PRISM is the annual anthology published by the Inksplash, Northshore High’s creative writing club. It is a collection of poetry, short stories, prose, and creative art portraits by students at Northshore.

“What is most impressive,” according to the magazine’s sponsor Northshore Teacher Catherine Tanguis,” is that, unlike the majority of student publications, the award winning Prism was produced entirely as a club activity. This is a testament to the incredible talent of the Northshore High School students.”

The editors work before school, after school and during lunches to put together the magazine, she said. “It was a team effort, with all members of the creative writing club helping to collect writing and artwork, and engaging in fundraising activities to support Prism’s publication,” she explained.

The writing club’s co-sponsor Theresa Veazey notes that in addition to publishing the magazine, the club sponsors the school wide spelling bee and a monthly open mic in the school library. The club meets weekly and engages in a variety of creative writing activities that spawns poetry and prose for the magazine.

Numerous Northshore High School students and Inksplash members have also been recipients of Gold and Silver Keys from the Scholastic Writing Awards.

It is the second national award for the publication this school year, the first being from Columbia University Press in August of last year. In that honor, the magazine won a Columbia University Press Scholastic Association Gold Medal and three Gold Circles, being the only public high school on the list.

“We are very proud of all the young writers and artists of Northshore High who contributed to the 2011- 2012 edition of Prism,” Ms. Tanguis said. “These are very prestigious honors.”

Inksplash President, Lauren Burgess, stated, “Our club members are extremely talented, our sponsors very dedicated, and I couldn’t be more proud of Inksplash.”

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association noted that 10,444 entries from newspapers and magazines produced by students at colleges, universities and secondary schools throughout the United States were submitted to its 29th Gold Circle Awards program.



01/28/2013

Teachers Win $500 WSTEC Grants


Teachers Angie McGee of Honey Island Elementary School, Sheri Turnage of Abita Springs Elementary and Laura Ragas of Folsom Junior High each won a $500 grant from the Washington-St. Tammany Electric Cooperative this week.

They received their checks and certificates at a reception at the Varnado Museum in Franklinton January 29, where they were presented with the checks, three of nine Washington-St. Tammany Electric's annual mini-grants for classroom projects for educators in St. Tammany, Washington, and Tangipahoa Parishes.

The Electric Cooperative’s mini-grant program is another way area businesses are working with the School System to further expand community connections with education.

Manager of Co-operative Affairs, Coylean Schloegel, stated "WST Electric is committed to improving our community through educational opportunities for our children and these mini-grants are just one of the many programs sponsored by the Cooperative. We are proud of all of our teachers and believe that these mini-grants will help our teachers and their respective schools enhance the educational opportunities for our children."

Mini-grant projects are to feature student investigation and should meet the needs and curiosity of students. The project is limited only by the imagination of students and the resources the classroom teacher has available. Last year WSTEC mini-grants were presented to teachers from Abita Springs Elementary, Folsom Elementary, and Cypress Cove Elementary.

The electric co-op also now has a college scholarship program available to the students in the area it serves. Applications are available. Area students from 16 to 18 years of age living in the WST service areas are also eligible to take part in a special essay contest, with the two winners from Washington-St. Tammany to join 28 other students from Louisiana and more than 1300 from across the nation for a week long trip to Washington, D.C. in June.

The Washington trip will include a week of sightseeing and a firsthand look at how the federal government functions. The students will tour the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, Washington Monument, Vietnam and Korean War Memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, the Holocaust Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, Ford’s Theatre, the White House and will also take a boat cruise down the Potomac River. One day will be spent on Capitol Hill touring the U.S. Capitol and visiting the offices of the Louisiana Congressional Delegation.

They will also attend the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) ‘Government-In Action’ Youth Tour Conference in Baton Rouge in March.

The contest is open to children of Washington-St. Tammany Electric Co-op members. Students interested in applying will need to complete an application form and prepare a type written essay of 800 words or less on a specific topic to be submitted by February 8, 2013. An independent board, selected by the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives, will judge the essays. For more information, visit WST’s website at www.wste.coop.


01/25/2013

Career Day Speakers Inform Students at Lake Harbor Middle School


Several individuals from throughout the community spoke to students at Lake Harbor Middle School this past week, telling classes about their field of work, its challenges and rewards.

Mandeville Mayor Don Villere, a former School Board member, met with several classes, giving them an overview of the wide variety of things a mayor does each day, from maintaining infrastructure to helping plant trees on Arbor Day. He was also interviewed by students from the school’s Broadcasting Class.

Other speakers included Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie; Frank Smith, an engineer; Beau Perschall, a cartoonist and artist; Doug Miller, who is with the Saints Human Resource Dept.; Roberto Bryan with the DEA; Dr. Becky Bohm, a veterinarian, and Scott Dubroc, a box maker.

Career Day programs were encouraged by state legislation called “Career Options” to increase student awareness of the opportunities that lie before them in Louisiana.

 



01/24/2013

Covington High CyberPatriot Team A National Finalist


The Covington High School NJROTC CyberPatriot team was recently notified that it will advance to the finals of the National CyberPatriot competition, which means an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. on March 13 through March 17.

CyberPatriot is a national high school cyber defense competition created by the Air Force Association to inspire high school students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to the nation’s future. The CHS team will be one of twelve groups across the nation to compete as a national finalist after winning over 600 teams competing nationwide.

Team members are Robert Crawford (team captain), J. T. Peters, Owen Langston, Ethan Vansant and Zack Guillot. Their coach is Douglas Johnson.

“We are very proud of them for this accomplishment,” said Principal Deborah McCollum.

CyberPatriot participation is open to all high schools, Civil Air Patrol Units, JROTC Units, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps Units and accredited home school programs around the country. Over the past five years, the CyberPatriot program has grown from a local event to an international competition, motivating and educating thousands of students in computer network security as well as other fields.

It was established to help young people understand the need for and the career opportunities available in protecting national computer networks from cyberattacks.

 



01/24/2013

Caps for Kids Day Being Held January 25


The St. Tammany Parish Public School System is holding a special day on Friday, January 25, when students and faculty are wearing their favorite caps in return for a donation of a dollar or more to the “Caps for Kids” program.

The School System has held fund-raising events for the Caps for Kids organization several times in past years, collecting more than $60,000 in donations that enable the group to send out thousands of caps out to young patients across the country. The caps provide them with a source of support and encouragement during their battle against life-threatening illnesses.

Caps for Kids is a national non-profit organization based in New Orleans that provides celebrity-autographed caps for kids with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer. The children designate which celebrity they would like to have autograph their caps, and it helps them get through the challenges they face during treatment.

Kathleen McCulla, Executive Director for Caps for Kids, said the organization started in 1993 and will be turning 20 years old this year. “We have been having Cap Days as fund-raisers for six or seven years, and the St. Tammany Parish Public School System has been a part of those since the beginning. You have set the bar high, and as we visit other school districts around the country, we brag about your outstanding participation,” she said.

They will be setting up a table in the Media Center at the Superbowl to distribute information about the Caps distribtution program. “Since more than 50 percent of our caps are signed by athletes, we are thrilled to be a part of that event,” she said. She noted that St. Tammany Parish has had a number of patients, doctors and nurses, a few celebrities, actors and actresses involved with the effort over the past 20 years.

“Today we send out about three thousand caps a year,” said Ms. McCulla, “with something like 50,000 sent out over the past two decades. We have 15,000 caps in storage ready to go. Overall, we have touched every state, and Cap For Kids Day has reached hundreds of thousands of students.”

For more information, visit CapsForKids.Org.



     01/18/2013

Schools To Close January 21 for Martin Luther King Holiday


Public schools in St. Tammany Parish will be closed on Monday, January 21, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 22.

School System support offices will also be closed on Monday, January 21, and will re-open on January 22.



01/17/2013

Schools Win Prizes in Play 60 Exercise Program


The National Football League's (NFL) “Play 60 Superbowl Challenge” project for 2012-2013 has recognized several St. Tammany Parish Public Schools for outstanding exercise programs, awarding $7500 in grants as a result.

St. Tammany has seven of the total of 19 schools within a 150 mile radius of the Superdome to be labeled as a “Super Active Participant” in the Play 60 program.

Fifth Ward Junior High was named the “Grand Prize Winner” in this year’s program, for its “exceptional participation and the keeping of records for all eligible students at the school.” Not only will the school receive a $2500 grant check, but it will also receive a special NFL assembly later this month, as well as physical education equipment and an invitation to take part in the “NFL Kids Day Experience” at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans on January 30.

“Our schools continue to excel in physical education and athletics as well as academics,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “We congratulate those schools that have been recognized as winners in the NFL’s Play 60 Challenge, and we know the students involved will benefit for years to come from the active lifestyle habits they are learning today.”

The special event at Fifth Ward Jr. High will feature a talk on the importance of exercise, a question and answer session with the students, and the presentation of the grant check to the principal. After the assembly, there will be a 45 minute physical education class with groups of five students each moving from one exercise station to another, from throwing footballs and jumping rope to playing a competitive video game.

Principal Christopher Oufnac said, “This is such an amazing opportunity for our students and community – the NFL is coming to Bush, Louisiana. When we received the phone call from the NFL, it was like winning the lottery. We knew our students worked hard and really bought into the Play60 program, but to actually hear someone on the phone say I am calling from the NFL, it was really exciting for our PE teacher. The community and the school are buzzing. The special event cannot get here fast enough.”

He plans to use the grant money towards the purchase of new physical education and athletics equipment. The P.E. equipment the NFL will be donating to the school will include 15 footballs, 30 cones, 20 jump ropes, and 20 three pound weights.

Two “First Place” winners in the NFL Play 60 Kids Day Challenge were also announced. They were Clearwood Junior High School in Slidell and Riverside Elementary School in Pearl River. They will each get grant checks of $2500. They were commended for recording 60 minutes of exercise for their students each day for four weeks straight.

Seven St. Tammany schools were designated as “Super Active Participant Winners.” They were Abita Springs Middle, Carolyn Park Middle, Lancaster Elementary, Brock Elementary, Mayfield Elementary, Pine View Middle, and Fifth Ward Junior High. Students at those schools were also recognized for exercising 60 minutes a day for four weeks, and they will be invited to participate in the NFL Kids Day Experience in New Orleans.

In October, 2007, the NFL launched NFL PLAY 60, a national youth health and fitness campaign focused on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.



01/17/2013

New Literacy Project Focuses on Pediatrician Offices


The St. Tammany Parish Public School System launched a new early childhood literacy development initiative Thursday morning with a kickoff for its “Reach Out and Read” project, a part of the Striving Readers Literacy Grant program.

School System officials and Slidell Memorial Hospital officials met at the Wellness Pavilion’s Parenting Center in Slidell to announce the new project which will place children’s books and volunteer readers in the waiting rooms of pediatrician’s offices to promote reading while the children await their check up appointments. A number of community volunteer agencies planning to take part were also represented at the start up event.

Beth Laine, the School System supervisor handing the program, said it was an opportunity to reach the children early, since infants and young children visit their doctor’s office several times during the first few years.

Many books have already been donated to the effort, and Dr. Helen Stevenson was the first doctor in the Slidell area to come on board. “This program capitalizes on the fact that 96 percent of children under six are seen by their pediatricians at least once annually,” Ms. Laine explained. “Partnering with medical providers can help ensure their success in school.”

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III welcomed the new project, telling those attending the kickoff meeting how important it was to introduce the children to the joys of reading as early as possible. “Our theme for the School System this year is Community Connections,” Folse told the group, “and I really can’t think of a better way to make those connections than start with the volunteer agencies represented here today.”

“At the end of the day, we want to make sure we were able to reach out and make a difference in every child’s life, and we are excited about this program being a part of that,” he said.

After the meeting, he sat down with about 20 kids at the Parenting Center to read to them. The distribution of free books to the children and their parents took place after the event.

Bill Davis, Chief Executive Officer with Slidell Memorial Hospital, said his Parenting Center is playing a key part in the initiative. “It’s an honor to partner with the School System to help improve the quality of life of the people in the Slidell area,” he said. “We take the opportunity to seriously address and support literacy, because It has been proven that literacy is directly linked to positive health outcomes in a person’s life.”

Ms. Laine introduced Ms. Taffy Morrison, the hospital’s Community Outreach Manager and Dr. Helen Stevenson, who both reinforced the positive impact of the exciting new program. “We are glad to help the School System in any way we can to help support the families of our area,” Ms. Morrison stated.

Dr. Stevenson said the project will be fun. “We have volunteers already lined up to read to children in my office, and we will be looking for more,” she said.

Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie commented, “I think this has been an excellent kick off for the program and is definitely making a connection with our community by serving those kids from a very early age. I know it will provide those kids a good start in reading that when they reach the doors of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, they are ready to go.”

Among the officials present were School Board President Elizabeth Heintz and School Board member Peggy Seeley, Parish President Pat Brister and Parish Council Member Gene Bellisario, Director John Tobin of the Parish Department of Health and Human Services (Community Action Agency), and Principal Mike Alford of Abney Elementary School , where the effects of the program will be measured when they children begin attending school.

Nationwide, some 5,000 pediatricians are serving more than four million children and their families annually with the “Reach Out And Read” program, distributing more than six million books to youngsters. They have found that the language-building program helps in keeping track of health and other developmental issues as well.

The program was started by two pediatricians in Boston in 1989 who saw the time in their waiting rooms as a great opportunity to have volunteers read aloud to the children.

For more information, visit the Reach Out And Read website at http://reachoutandread.org.

The School System received the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) grant in April, 2012, and it funds programs to promote literacy from birth to twelfth grade. Many strategies are being used to accomplish the goals.

 




01/17/2013

Harlem Ambassadors To Challenge Local Team in Basketball Game


The nationally-known “Harlem Ambassadors” basketball team will be going up against a team of local business leaders called “The Eradicators” at Covington High School on January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. The fun family-friendly event will help raise funds for the Covington Rotary Foundation.

The Covington Rotary Club will host the game. The Eradicators name came from the Rotary Club’s international effort several decades ago to eradicate polio so that no child anywhere in the world would ever suffer from the disease. After a successful campaign, by 1991 the entire western hemisphere was declared polio free.

Players on the Covington Rotary team will include State Representative John Schroder, Assistant District Attorney Scott Gardner, Covington City Councilman Rick Smith, radio personality JJ Richardson, and others. Each of the players is sponsored by a local company through a donation to the Covington Rotary Foundation. The club promises a unique evening of high quality entertainment for a great cause.

The Covington Rotary Foundation gives more than $5000 annually in local scholarships, promotes leadership development and literacy in partnership with local initiatives, and funds the Covington Rotary Christmas program, Feeding the Needy.

It also supports the efforts of the Covington Food Bank, Safe Harbor, Habitat for Humanity and similar community organizations.

Tickets for the game are $5 in advance; $7 at the door. Children under 4 are free with paid adult. Tickets can be purchased on-line at covrotary.org or at the Bank of New Orleans on Tyler Street, Covington or the Lion’s Den Salon for Men in downtown Covington.

For more information about the Covington Rotary Club, visit www.covrotary.org, and for more information about the Harlem Ambassadors, visit their website at www.harlemambassadors.com.



01/15/2013

Carolyn Park Principal Receives Patriot Award From ESGR


Carolyn Park Middle School Principal Anthony Esposito received the “Patriot Award” from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Organization on Tuesday, January 15, in recognition of his support of his employees serving with the Guard.
The school managed to keep the award secret from Esposito, letting him think his Teacher Kim Alexius, a member of the National Guard, was getting the award. But as he was introducing her to the audience of visitors, faculty and the sixth grade, she told him the award was actually for him.

After recovering from the surprise, he was presented with the framed certificate by Alexius herself as everyone in the cafeteria applauded, including guests Assistant Superintendent William “Bill” Brady; Edward “Ed” Hooks, Member of the ESGR Louisiana Committee, and Ryan R. Nelson, Employer Outreach Coordinator with the ESGR in Louisiana. Esposito asked who knew about the surprise ahead of time, and everyone in the cafeteria raised their hand, including the entire sixth grade.

The Patriot Award recognizes supervisors and employers nominated by a Guardsman or Reservist employee for adjusting work schedules to assist the Guard member in his service to the country. It reflects a wide range of efforts from flexible schedules and time off prior to and after deployment to caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.

Alexius got emotional during the award presentation, thanking Principal Esposito for his continued efforts to accommodate her military service and all the missions she has gone on over the past four years. “Being there for me when I left and when I returned,” she said. “You showed great care for me and my family’s and my students’ well-being. You always asked what is it you could do to help during those times.”

“I know it wasn’t easy sometimes,” she went on to say. “On behalf of my unit, which is currently in Afghanistan, this award is from us to you, for your support of the National Guard and its mission.” The certificate also thanked Esposito for his contribution to national security and protection, liberty and freedom.

Esposito said getting the award was quite an honor and a shock. “I was wondering why both my daughter and my wife were here,” he said. Ms. Alexius nominated Esposito for the award, one of the top awards the ESGR gives.

“This is a great honor for Tony and our School System, showing our support to our Guardsmen and Reservists,” said Donna Smith, Assistant Principal at the school.

Hooks said employer support for the military reservists is an important part of the military mission, everything from accommodating their need for time to fulfill their service obligations to looking in on their families while they are on active duty. “This award is an opportunity for the service person to recognize their employers,” he said.

The ESGR is a Department of Defense agency, established in 1972, that promotes cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment.




01/14/2013

State Treasurer Substitutes at Madisonville Jr. High


Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy visited Madisonville Junior High Friday, January 11, to serve as a substitute teacher in one of the school’s English Language Arts classes, a sixth grade English and Reading class. He substitute teaches from time to time to remain aware of the day-to-day challenges faced by classroom teachers, he said.

“I have been substituting a couple of times a year for the past nine years,” Kennedy explained. “And the reason I do it is because so many of the people in Baton Rouge who make policy for elementary and secondary education have no idea what it’s like to be a teacher today, and they have no idea of what our schools are like.” They remember what schools were like 20 or 30 years ago, he went on to say, “But things have changed.”

Principal Dwayne J. Kern said Kennedy called the school about being a substitute teacher and spent the entire day with them. He also joined school teachers and administrators for lunch. “We are honored to have him volunteering his time with us,” said Kern. The broadcasting class at the school interviewed Kennedy at length during his planning period, asking him questions about his position with the state and the matters he deals with each day.

His students in the classroom also had a chance to ask him questions. “They asked about the state budget and how we spend tax money and what kind of taxes we have. It was a lot of fun. They asked some good questions,” he explained.

“I learn something new every time I substitute teach,” Kennedy stated, “But the two lessons that are re-inforced every time are, one – it is much harder today to be a teacher today than it was when I was in school, and two – it is much harder to be a student today than it was when I was in school.”

He said the students today in sixth grade are learning things that he didn’t even see until he was in college. “And teachers today are expected not only to teach, but also to be mommy and daddy, and counselors and social workers and disciplinarians and nurses,” Kennedy commented. “It is a hard job.”

“Anybody who makes policy, whether the State Treasurer’s office, the Governor’s office or the Department of Education, for our teachers and schools, needs to substitute teach,” he concluded. “Or they don’t know what they are talking about.” Serving as a substitute teacher will help anyone understand public education today in America, Kennedy stated.

He began the school day at 7:30 a.m. and went all the way to 2:30 p.m., Principal Kern said.

Kennedy taught the class of Teacher Susan Wright, who said the material to be covered included Greek mythology, complete with a comprehension worksheet, a detailed look at a chart describing a number of Greek heroes, a review of adjectives, and a spelling test. She prepared a lesson plan for him to follow to keep the class in line with curriculum objectives, something he appreciated. “He’s been quite busy today,” she said.

Kennedy has previously served as a substitute teacher in the Baton Rouge area. Currently serving his fourth term as Treasurer for the state, Kennedy was elected to the position in 1999 and is a resident of Madisonville.

 



01/11/2013

CHS Gym To Be Dedicated To Coach Gallagher View File Edit | Delete

The St. Tammany Parish School Board voted on a resolution Thursday night to name the gymnasium at Covington High School in honor of the legendary Basketball Coach Hubert S. “Hubie” Gallagher.

Dozens of Gallagher supporters filled the Board room as speaker after speaker told of Gallagher’s outstanding record as coach, educator, and civic leader. The official dedication ceremony will be held on Saturday, February 2, at 1 p.m. during the Covington High basketball game.

For almost thirty two years, 1939 to 1971, Coach Gallagher was a well-known coach and teacher at Covington High. He not only coached all sports, but taught Civics, Social Studies, Drivers Education and Physical Education. For his many career accomplishments, he was inducted into the Louisiana High School Athletics Association Hall of Fame in 1983.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Coach Gallagher first came to Covington in 1937, joining the Covington High staff in 1939.

At the Board meeting Thursday night, former students, friends and co-workers encouraged the School Board to name the gym in his honor, following up on a request by the Covington High School Ambassador Council, a group of community volunteers helping to celebrate the school’s 100th anniversary this year.

Speakers included Gene Sykes, Stanley Jacobs, Jeff Schoen, and Ralph Menetre. Coach Gallagher was praised for being a wonderful coach, a great friend, and a really fine gentleman. His coaching style was effective, he had a great sense of humor, and was a wonderful role model for his students, they said.

Pat Gallagher, Coach Gallagher’s son, thanked the Board for its action and efforts to recognize the many contributions made by his father to the community.

Former CHS Football Coaches Jack Salter and Allie Smith also attended the meeting as supporters of the resolution.

During his career, Gallagher served as the CHS Athletic Director as well as Head Football Coach and Head Basketball Coach. As the latter, his win-loss record at 626 wins and 291 losses, with two state championships, five regional titles and ten district championships.

From 1970 to 1974, he served as Supervisor of Physical Education for the School System. In addition, he was a Covington City Councilman for 16 years, serving as Mayor Pro Tem for eight years; was the first Director of the Covington Community Center; and was Director of the Covington Municipal Swimming Pool for six years.

His other accomplishments included the establishment of Little League Baseball in the Covington area, starting the Covington Biddy Basketball League, and coordinating a prep basketball tournament called the Lyon/CHS Invitational Tournament, a showcase of early season play in Louisiana, fielding 24 teams at one time. Speakers told how important the tournament was in promoting basketball in the area and how successful it was in raising awareness and generating excitement for the sport.

A special reception will be held by the CHS Centennial Anniversary committee on February 2 prior to the dedication ceremony. It will be held at 1 p.m. the Covington High library for Coach Gallagher’s family, friends, former players, and co-workers.

The City of Covington named a neighborhood recreational park on 15th Avenue after Gallagher several years ago.

 




01/11/2013

School System Donates $155,844 To United Way

Assistant Superintendent of Administration William “Bill” Brady gave his annual United Way campaign report to the School Board Thursday night, January 10, announcing that the School System had raised a grand total of $155,844.30 for the United Way this year.

He also presented awards of recognition to those schools and support sites that had contributed the most, both in dollar amounts from students and employees and percentages of participation.

“Since Hurricane Katrina, we have raised over $1 million for United Way, which I think is an outstanding effort on the part of all our employees and students,” Brady stated.

The “100 percent awards” are the hardest to win, Brady noted, since it means every person in the school or support site has taken part in the United Way campaign. This year those awards went to Alton Elementary, Bayou Lacombe Middle, Brock Elementary, Chahta-Ima Elementary, Fifth Ward Junior High, Honey Island Elementary, Mandeville Elementary, Mandeville Middle, Marigny Elementary, Operation Jumpstart East, Pitcher Junior High, Woodlake Elementary, Covington Annex, the Curriculum Center at Madisonville Elementary, the Education Center/Graphic Arts, Jefferson East, the Slidell Annex, Treen Technology Center/Energy Management, and the Transportation Office.

The award presented to the school with the most student dollars raised went to Woodlake Elementary with a total raised of $3,768.61, and the award presented to the school with the most employee dollars raised was given to Salmen High for a total of $3,915.35.

The support site with the most employee dollars raised, $8,504.65, was the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex. “I am very proud of our central office for this accomplishment,” Brady said.

Additional awards were presented to Outstanding Schools/Sites. They included Treen Technology Center/Energy Management in the Support Site Category, Salmen High in the High School Division, Bayou Lacombe Middle in the Middle School/Junior High Division, and Woodlake Elementary in the Elementary School Division.

Brady was thanked by Board President Elizabeth Heintz for his efforts to coordinate the United Way campaign each year, working with Principals and school campaign coordinators across the parish.

 




01/10/2013

School Officials Monitor Weather Situation

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System is working with parish emergency officials to constantly monitor the weather situation.

Based on current weather reports, we do expect some roads in areas that normally flood during heavy rains to become impassable. Due to this situation, there may be some school bus delays.

Schools are making individual determinations about postponing or cancelling after school activities. Parents should contact their child’s school or check their school website for any possible changes.

Parents should continue to check the School System website, Twitter and Channel 13 for any updates.

 



01/10/2013

Pearl River High Student To Represent State at World War II Museum Event

A student from Pearl River High School, Gerard Cook-Moulin, recently gained national recognition through a National History Day essay contest, and he will be among 51 students from across the nation representing their states this weekend during special ceremonies to dedicate a new wing at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

His essay is featured on the “Salute to Freedom” website presented by the Museum, and he was interviewed for his achievement by National Public Radio this past week. His teacher Melissa Simpher encouraged him to get involved in the essay project, writing about Higgins Industries and its importance to the effort to win World War II. The essay was posted on the SaluteToFreedom.org website along with the essays written by the other 50 students being honored.

To celebrate the opening of the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, The National WWII Museum partnered with National History Day to bring the middle and high school students to New Orleans to represent all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Grand opening ceremonies for the Freedom Pavilion will be held at the Museum from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, January 12, and the new wing will be open to the public on Sunday, January 13.

For their essays, each student selected a way in which their state influenced or was influenced by World War II, especially how their state contributed to the American war effort. During their research, students contacted museums, archives and libraries for information and to find images that represented their states.

Molin’s essay was entitled “Andrew Jackson Higgins and His Louisiana Team: Contributions that Won World War II and Changed the World.”

“Andrew Jackson Higgins (1886-1952) was born in an era in which America may not have been able to envision rising to the challenge of world war,” Moulin wrote. The design of Higgins’ LCVP (Landing Craft Vehicle, Personnel) was a modification of Higgins’ Eureka boat, a shallow-draft craft, designed to maneuver through the shallow, marshy coastline of his adopted home of Louisiana for the timber and petroleum industries as well as the U.S. Coast Guard, Moulin’s essay reported.

"My students competed last year in the regional National History Day competition at the National World War II Museum, and Gerard won for his project on Pearl Harbor," said Ms. Simpher. "The format he used was a website. Gerard went on to win state and was able to take part in the national competition this summer in Washington, D.C."

National History Day strives to make history come alive for America's youth by engaging them in the discovery of the historic, cultural and social experiences of the past. Through hands-on experiences and presentations, NHD inspires young people through contests and projects and has become a highly regarded academic program for elementary and secondary school students.
Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the NHD contest.

The US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center uses exhibits and interactive experiences to paint the picture of a nation mobilized for war — those who answered the call of service and those who supported our fighting forces by producing planes, ships, tanks and other vital machinery in unprecedented numbers. "The World War II years were a time when the freedom of the world hung in the balance," the Museum website states. "Americans answered the call to protect that freedom with 16 million men and women serving in uniform and an untold number of citizens of all ages doing their part on the Home Front. It is their contributions we honor in the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center."



01/09/2013

LEAP Testing Dates Announced for Nonpublic and Home-Schooled Students


The St. Tammany Parish Public School System will administer the LEAP (Louisiana Educational Assessment Program) test to students in grades 4 and 8 in two phases. Students must attend both phases. Phase 1 testing will be on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, and Phase 2 testing will be held Monday, April 8 and Tuesday April 9, 2013.

If a student DOES NOT participate in Phase 1, then he/she must wait until summer to take the LEAP assessment allowing only one opportunity for the student to pass.

Students whose parents currently reside in Louisiana and who wish to enroll in St. Tammany Parish public schools in the fifth or ninth grades for the 2013-2014 school year must have passed the fourth and/or eighth grade LEAP test.

A student may not be promoted to the 5th or 9th grade until he/she has scored at or above the Basic achievement level on either the English Language Arts or Mathematics component on the 4th or 8th grade of LEAP and at the Approaching Basic achievement level on the other; officially referred to as the Basic/Approaching Basic combination. The LEAP High Stakes Testing Policy can be found on the Louisiana Department of Education website at www.louisianaschools.net.

The deadline to submit the application is March 8, 2013. All testing will take place at a parish school site, and administration of these tests will follow the same instructions and conditions as provided to public school students. As provided by state regulations, a fee of $35 will be charged for the test and must accompany the returned application. This fee is refundable when the student begins attendance in St. Tammany Parish Public Schools.

For further details call 898-6481 or email Karen.kety@stpsb.org.