2014

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06-20-2014

Fall Registration Schedule For 2014-2015 School Session Announced

Registration for all students entering the St. Tammany Parish Public School System for the first time during the 2014-2015 session will be held at the school the student will attend. To view the registration schedule for specific schools and the required documentation needed to register students, click 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 St. Tammany Parish 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 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.




06/19/2014

Chamber Expo Held At Lakeshore High

Hundreds of area residents and business people visited the 2014 Expo held by the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce Thursday afternoon, the event’s third year at Lakeshore High School. Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III and Chamber President and CEO Lacey Toledano cut the ribbon to open the four-hour community business showcase.

More than 90 exhibitors lined the main hallway of Lakeshore High for the extensive display of St. Tammany Parish professionals, products and services.

“It continues to grow,” said Superintendent Folse. “I’ve seen a lot of familiar faces here today, but a lot of new visitors also. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase one of our schools and make that important community connection. “ He thanked the chamber for working together with the School System towards the success of St. Tammany Parish, with the Expo being one of the year’s premiere events.

Ms. Toledano said the chamber realized that the School System was one of the main reasons this area continued to grow and give business owners more opportunities to sell products and provide services. “We are thrilled to be here at Lakeshore High,” she said, crediting one of her staff members Melissa Bordelon with coming up with the idea three years ago of using Lakeshore as the new location for the Chamber Expo.

The Chamber Expo has been giving area business people a chance to meet customers and display their goods and services for around 20 years. “I think our economy is in a boom right now,” Ms. Toledano stated, noting that the Expo is a symbol of that economic activity. “We are very thankful for our School Board and the staff here at Lakeshore High,” she said.

Superintendent Folse and Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie greeted visitors to the school located north of Mandeville, and School Board President Elizabeth Heintz, Lakeshore High Principal Dr. Jeanne Wagner and Assistant Principal Stephen Soileau were also in attendance.

Display booths offered information from chamber members in a wide range of business services, from banking and insurance to health care and utilities.




06/13/2014

School System Hosts English and Math Conference

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System held a three-day English and Math Conference June 9 through 12, offering a variety of strategies for teaching Math, training in the use of instructional technology, and techniques for engaging students with English. More than 100 teachers took part in the workshops.

Held at the Treen Instructional Technology Center and various schools in the Mandeville area, the event was provided in three phases entitled, “M-Cubed: Making Math Meaningful,” “E-Cubed: Everyone In English,” and technology tools training, which included interactive assessments, online resources and tools.

Presenters for the Math portion included K-4 Math Curriculum Specialist Jan DeMeyere and 8-12 Math Curriculum Specialist Stacey Magee. Technology Tools training was presented by Rachael Gill, Jan Latino, Inky Landry, Sandy Schwartz, and Stacey Alexius. The English component presenters were K-2 ELA Curriculum Specialist Emily Mull, 3-5 ELA Curriculum Specialist Missy Moore, and 6-12 ELA Curriculum Specialist Katie Whitlock.

Participants came away from the experience with a greater understanding of the recognized standards, Guaranteed Curriculum and organization needed to optimize instruction.

Teaching writing was a key focus in the English portion, with educators learning that repeated daily writing practice, a recognized purpose for writing assignments, and putting together ideas effectively before writing were important for students.

Math teachers gained a greater understanding for teaching math strategies and the importance of making math more engaging and collaborating with different grade levels to order to progressively meet the needs of students.

 



06/13/2014

Video Awards Won By Channel 13 Interns

Several Channel 13 interns were commended by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and the St. Tammany Parish School Board June 12 for their recent honors in local and regional video competitions.

Two awards were won in the Satellite Center Video and Animation Festival in St. Charles Parish. Jake Ricca won first place in the sports and news category for his video segment on the Sixth Ward Elementary School Math and Science Night, and John Hood won first place in documentary category for his video on Black History Month.

Students also won honors at the recent St. Tammany Parish Commission on Cultural Affairs Film Festival. Ricca won first place for Best News Feature, again for his Math and Science Night project, and Rick O’Connell and Ricca won in the Music Video contest for an entry named “Signs on the Field,” which explains the hand signs made by officials on football fields, all set to music.

Ricca, O’Connell, Myah Catanzaro, Robert Smith, and Victoria Eberhardt won for best documentary called “The David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center,” which included a history of the building, from its use by Mandeville High through current uses as a regional technology training center.

 



06/12/2014

Slidell Chamber Recognizes Outstanding Educator, Awards Three Scholarships

The East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce named its 2014 Educator of Distinction and also presented scholarships to three recent graduates from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System at its June 11 annual Educator Recognition Luncheon held at the Trinity Banquet Hall in Slidell.

Suzanne Wagstaff, a Pre-School Early Intervention teacher at Cypress Cove Elementary School in Slidell, was honored with the 2014 “Outstanding Educator of the Year Award” by the chamber. The annual Educator of the Year award recognizes teachers who have made outstanding contributions in the lives and education of youth as well as to the community.

The featured speaker for the luncheon was Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. He presented an overview of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, its local, regional, and statewide accomplishments, ongoing educational opportunities, and partnerships with the St. Tammany business community.

Steve Kernahan, chairman of the chamber's Education Committee, said that for the past ten years, Mrs. Wagstaff has served Cypress Cove, and before that she was a para-educator in special education classrooms and an aide in regular education pre-school classes. Her community volunteer work has included the Junior Auxiliary, Slidell Mothers of Twins Club, Keep Slidell Beautiful, and STARC. “Mrs. Wagstaff is dedicated to helping students with disabilities leave the School System with the tools they need to have social connections, to understand the manners needed for success, as well as reaching their highest potential for academic success,” said Kernahan. Mrs. Wagstaff was unable to attend the luncheon to receive the award in person.

Chamber officials then presented three outstanding high school students with $1000 scholarships to assist them with their college expenses. They went to Matalyn Elizabeth Stark of Pearl River High School, Amanda Dingman of Slidell High School, and Victoria Tran of Salmen High School.

Miss Stark plans on attending Cornell University where she will major in Agricultural Leadership. She was selected as a finalist for the Alexander Hamilton Citizenship Achievement National Award and she was chosen to serve as the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Ambassador and in addition to winning the Southeastern Louisiana University Freshman Scholastic Achievement Award. Also, she was the Grand Prize Winner of the Region VIII Social Studies Fair. “Matelyn is also a talented singer and actress and is a valuable part of the schools talented theatre program,” said Joe DiGiovanni, the chamber’s Chairman of the Board. “She serves as President of the FFA Chapter and volunteers at the public library as well as with Juniors in Service.”

Miss Dingman plans to attend New York University towards a Master's Degree in Journalism and Film. She is a member of the BETA Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Mu Alpha Theta, Foreign Language Club, Interact, Student Council and national Honor Society. “Amanda was Miss Slidell High School for 2014, and she is also involved in Toys for Tots, Habitat for Humanity and Slidell Little Theatre,” said DiGiovanni. “In addition, Amanda is a four year letterman in soccer, two year letterman in track and a two year letterman in cross country.”

Miss Tran plans to attend Duke University where she will focus on the biological sciences and Pre-Med. She plans to become a physician and is considering emergency medicine, and she would like to minor in music. She was Student Council President, Treasurer of Interact Club, President of BETA Club, Vice-President of the Spanish Club and first chair cello in Orchestra. “She is also a member of the Kick-Off mentor Organization, National Honor Society, Robotics Club and Mu Alpha Theta,” DiGiovanni noted, adding that she participates twice a year in the Keep Slidell Beautiful Event and is a volunteer for the Olde Towne Pumpkin Festival.

The scholarship awards were presented by Dawn Sharpe-Brackett, CEO for the chamber, and representatives from the event’s two sponsors, Jamie Seals with the St. Tammany Federal Credit Union and Vic Hess with Executone Systems, LLC.

In his talk, Superintendent Folse updated the chamber on the student enrollment demographics, recent academic achievements such as two state High School Students of the Year in a row, and a wide variety of community involvements.

Several School Board members were in attendance, including Board President Elizabeth Heintz, Vice President Robert R. “Bob” Womack, Peggy Seeley, Michael Dirmann, Stephen J. “Jack” Loup, III, John C. Lamarque, Ray A. Alfred, and Mary K. Bellisario. Assistant Superintendents Cheryl Arabie and Pete Jabbia were also present for the annual event.

 



06/11/2014

Schools Celebrate Career Day Events

Each year many of the schools in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System celebrate a variety of occupational opportunities for young people by holding a “Career Day,” an event which presents speakers in a number of vocations, community volunteers who spend hours talking to students about who they work for and what they do. Often they bring their tools of the trade and give lively demonstrations for the students.

Career Day was originally aimed a junior high and high school campuses, but many middle schools and elementary schools are getting involved, calling upon their community for speakers, many of them the parents of the children attending the school.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III said, “Career Day programs at our schools each year rely on hundreds of professionals from throughout the community who volunteer their time and expertise to visit with our students, giving them the insights into what specific jobs involve. Parents and teachers appreciate the opportunity to showcase the many career fields, and students are always eager to learn more about their future career choices. Career Day is a great example of everyone working together for success.”

Fontainebleau High School held its annual “Career Day” in March, with 105 speakers on hand to speak with students about their career opportunities. The guest speakers discussed the educational requirements, certification requirements and salary range for each career. Students could select up to three speakers to visit with on their Career Day schedule.

Speakers at Fontainebleau included engineers, artists, law enforcement officers, military service representatives, and even Congressmen, with U.S. Representative Steve Scalise telling students of his work in the House. Principal Johnny Vitrano said this year’s Career Day went great, and was their largest one so far. “Each year it grows,” he stated. “The whole student body participated, we used almost every classroom, and there was a great turnout from the business community. It gives the students an opportunity to ask questions about the fields they are interested in, and the feedback I am getting is the speakers are excited about doing it, and they want to come back.”

At Mayfield Elementary, the event was held in May, with twenty five speakers taking part this year. Some of the careers represented were restaurant owner, helicopter mechanic, physical oceanographer, wood carver, carpet cleaner, fire/ambulance/police, web page designer, chemical specialist, contact lens manager, race car driver, commercial fisherman, and others.

At Brock Elementary’s Career Day, Principal Rose Smith said, “We want our students to see that one day that they can become someone that works in the media, someone that works for the bank. It’s not that far away that one day they could have a professional job.” Brock students were addressed by law enforcement officers, educators, broadcasters, and a chef.

The activity highlights the value of staying in school and learning what is necessary to become anything the students want to be.

At Pearl River High School, the Career Fest was held in February, just prior to class scheduling in an effort to showcase elective offerings at the school and their connections to various career fields. This year “Students Teaching and Reaching” (STAR) spoke with Pearl River students about careers in education.

At Bayou Lacombe Middle School WWL Chief Meteorologist Carl Arredondo visits the fourth graders at Bayou Lacombe Middle School annually to speak with them about not only the weather, but the multitude of careers in Meteorology as well.

As part of the requirement for Career Education in sixth grade, Bonne Ecole Elementary students participated in a Career Day event this year which was coordinated by teacher Ms. Melissa Panks. She brought in several community guests to share about their career and what it entails, and students were inspired to work towards positions in a variety of fields that were of interest to them, while again learning about how important their current school work is to being successful in the future.

Bonne Ecole Career Day guests included a pharmacist, a nurse, Slidell Police Department SWAT Team members, the manager of a Copeland’s restaurant, a wedding planner, and representatives from the Naval Special Warfare.

Madisonville Jr. High held its annual Career Day in April. Professionals from around the area addressed the students and shared background information, education, professional experience, job description, as well as examples of a typical day in the profession. Several School System administrators and Central Office personnel joined the community speakers at the school to give students a look at the educational careers available to them.

In September of last year, students from several schools, including sixty from Covington High, visited the College and Career Fair held at Southeastern Louisiana University. They found dozens of exhibits and representatives at the annual event very informative. Special thanks were given to Counselor Annette O'Regan, Dr. Regina Sanders, and Denise Parker for helping make the annual event a great success.

Also in September, Little Oak Middle School's 4th and 5th grade students had the opportunity to hear from published author/ illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. His talk, sponsored by the Slidell branch of the St. Tammany Parish Public Library, involved how he wrote his books, the development of his career and the struggles that led him to his success.

In February, Lake Harbor Middle School sixth graders enjoyed presentations from a number of outside speakers for Career Day, including Annette Ebert, an accountant. In May local author Erica Spindler visited with Lake Harbor sixth grade students to explain to the students about writing and publishing books, activities which they have been studying in their classrooms this past year. She also shared with them what skills she used in writing her New York Times “best-selling” novels and how her books have been printed internationally.

However, the Fontainebleau High Career Day was one of the largest held. School Board Members Stephen J. “Jack” Loup, III, visited the Fontainebleau career event and said, “This morning I have seen many different opportunities for these kids to visit with companies and corporations. The students listened very attentively and obviously were very interested in how it could impact their future careers.” High school is the time when students begin focusing on what specific careers they are interested in, he went on to say, and programs like Career Day are very helpful. “Every year, the speakers we have enjoy it so much they ask to come back the next year,” he said. “It gives the business participants a chance to meet with the students and find out what is of interest to young people today.”

Among the guests were WDSU Television reporter Heath Allen who gave Fontainebleau students an idea of what his work day was like, and several oil and gas industry speakers told of the opportunities in those fields, especially in south Louisiana.

Bryant Landry, an instrumentation control systems supervisor with LOOP Inc., said the Fontainebleau students asked some very good questions, showing not only that they were paying attention, but that they were respectful and had done their homework researching the topic of his line of work. “None of them asked about salary ranges, which was a surprise,” he said. “I was impressed with the high caliber of the questions being asked.” He had never done Career Day speaking before, but he thought it was a great idea. “It gets the kids thinking about what’s out there and how they can be prepared for it all,” he stated.

Careers highlighted at the Fontainebleau High Career Day included animal science, drafting/design, Art/Illustration, Athletic Training/Coaching, automotive technology, aviation, broadcast journalism, business management, conservation, construction, cosmetology, court reporter, culinary arts, dance, playwrighting, education, emergency communications, and emergency health.

Speakers also represented the fields of chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, film/videography, finance, and firefighting. There was a Wildlife and Fisheries Game Warden, government workers and politicians, Graphic Artist/Designer, Healthcare Occupations and Administrator, and representatives from the Hospitality and Tourism industry, as well as experts in the areas of Industrial Manufacturing/Operations, Investigations, Laboratory work, Medical Technology, Law, Law Enforcement (both local and federal), forensics, Marine Operations (Boat Captain), and Marketing and Sales. The founder of Pan American Pharmaceutical Labs and a Medical Sales representative from Zimmer Dental discussed the opportunities in the field of Marketing /Sales, while visitors also spoke about nursing, offshore careers, pharmacy work, photography, physical therapy, medical doctors, Psychology/Counseling, Radiology, agricultural research, geology, oceanography, Industrial Technology, speech therapy, surgery technicians and nursing, computer science, information systems, instruments and controls, web design, veterinary medicine and welding careers.

 




06/11/2014

School System Joins Discussion on Special Needs Children


The St. Tammany Commission on Families discussed community services for children with special needs at its June 9 meeting in Covington, featuring representatives from five public and private agencies. The event took place at the First Baptist Church of Covington.

Agencies included the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, with Supervisor of Special Education Sharon Hosch taking part on the discussion panel. Other groups were represented by Janna Rode’ with Regina Coeli; Sherry Larson with Early Steps; Wanda Stroud with Early Steps; and Diane Baham with STARC (Services, Training, Advocacy, Resources, and Community Connections). They discussed various service programs available to help families who have children with special needs.

St. Tammany Commission on Families is a coalition of members from throughout the community working to empower families. Opportunities are provided for networking, collaboration, training and information exchange, in addition to identifying service gaps, developing strategies for the mobilization and utilization of volunteers within organizations, and involving 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.

Gene Bellisario serves as the commission’s president, with a board of directors made up of representatives from family-oriented groups such as the St. Tammany Parish Hospital Parenting Center, Slidell Memorial Hospital, the Youth Service Bureau, Regina Coeli, and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) St. Tammany. The group’s website is located at www.stcof.org.


 

06/10/2014

Florida Ave. Elementary Wins Top Honors In Regional Robotics Challenge

The “Tiger Techs” from Florida Avenue Elementary in Slidell won the title of Grand Champion in the recent Robotics Challenge held by the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. They won first place in the Robot Performance competition, and Mandeville Junior High’s “Purple Phyre” robotics team won first place tin the Projects competition.

The event attracted 33 middle school student teams from across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas, including the team from Lake Harbor Middle School who were accompanied by their robot mascot.

Held in the Museum’s US Freedom Pavilion in the Boeing Center in May, the second annual Robotics Challenge awarded the efforts of robotics teams who had been working together over a period of four months, designing, building, and programming autonomous robots using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics platform.

The mission was to develop a system of safer troop transport they could have used for D-Day. Teams scored points on the WWII-themed playing field by completing assignments like deciphering an encrypted message, avoiding beach obstacles, unloading soldiers from a Higgins boat and delivering airborne troops to the drop zone. In addition to building a robot, each team completed a research project in which they designed a device to improve the safety of troops landing on Omaha and Utah beaches. Teams built a model of their device, wrote a government proposal and filmed a promotional video.

The Grand Champion Award was presented to the team who embodied the spirit of innovation and teamwork by excelling in all areas of the Challenge including robot design, robot performance, and the project.

Robot Performance Awards were presented to the teams scoring the most points during the robot missions. Teams competed in two matches and their highest score was considered. Project Awards were presented to teams who designed an innovative and effective device, communicated clearly through a cohesive presentation.


06/03/2014

Food Service Banquet Recognizes Child Nutrition Programs, Employees

The 2013-2014 School Food Service Appreciation Banquet was held May 23 at Mayfield Elementary School. Hundreds of employees from the school cafeterias across the St. Tammany Parish Public School System attended, together with Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III, Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie, and several School Board members.

Pat Farris, Supervisor of School Food Services, welcomed those in attendance on behalf of the St. Tammany Parish School Nutrition Association. "This is our opportunity to say thank you to all the people who help make our school lunch and breakfast program the success it is today," Ms. Farris said. "Tonight is about showing appreciation for the technicians, assistant managers, managers and Central Office staff who work hard every day to provide award-winning service to the students and faculty of St. Tammany Parish."

She thanked Superintendent Folse and the entire School Board for their efforts to continue the excellence in child nutrition and food service programs that have been recognized nationally.

Outstanding Food Service Program Awards for 2013-2014 went to Whispering Forest Elementary, Abita Springs Elementary, Carolyn Park Middle School, Clearwood Junior High, and Lakeshore High. This award is given for excellent program reviews, timely reports, daily student participation, an active Nutrition Advisory Council among students, community service projects, and program efficiency. The manager and their staffs were congratulated for an excellent year. Managers included Bridget Fulton of Whispering Forest, Janet Lenel of Abita Springs Elementary, JoAnn Hamilton of Carolyn Park Middle, Pam Penton of Clearwood Junior High, and Katherine James of Lakeshore High.

Lunchroom Technician Donna Naquin of St. Tammany Junior High won the "Heart of the Program" designation this year for her dedication and interest, including decorating the cafeteria, her listening skills, and her organizational abilities including fund-raisers and blood drives for the community. "She is also a member of the Relay for Life and Coastal Cruisers who raise money for various charities working on cancer research," Ms. Farris said.

Kelly Eugene, assistant manager at Boyet Junior High, won the Extra Mile Award, a recognition given for outstanding performance in her job as well as her volunteer efforts. Not only does she keep things running smoothly on a daily basis, said her Manager Claire Berner, but she helps everyone every day no matter what they need. "She is loved by the students, staff and co-workers," Ms. Berner stated.

National School Lunch Week first place awards went to Mayfield Elementary in the elementary division, Clearwood Junior High in the junior high division, and Pearl River High in the high school division. Second place honors went to Lakeshore High, St. Tammany Junior High, and Bayou Woods Middle School, and a third place award went to Carolyn Park Middle School.

Louisiana School Lunch Week first place awards were given to Little Pearl Elementary School and Clearwood Junior High, while second place awards went to Lancaster Elementary and Boyet Junior High. A third place award in Louisiana School Lunch Week efforts went to Madisonville Elementary.

St. Tammany Junior High won first place in the National School Breakfast Week competition. In a new category this year, a video competition, Folsom Junior High won first place in the National School Breakfast Week video contest. Abita Springs Elementary won first place in the National School Lunch Week video competition.

Several awards were given to sponors and members of the Student Nutrition Advisory Councils (NACs) throughout the School System. "Thanks to the input from our Nutrition Advisory Councils, we know first-hand what the students want," Ms. Farris explained. "In addition to talking with their peers about food preferences and nutrition, our NACS participate in a variety of community activities."

The Outstanding Elementary NAC awards went to Abney Elementary and Madisonville Elementary. The Outstanding Middle School NAC award went to Little Oak Middle School, and the Outstanding Junior High NAC Award was presented to St. Tammany Junior High. Pearl River High won the Outstanding High School NAC recognition.

The outgoing members of the board for the School Nutrition Association were thanked for their many accomplishments over the past year, from fund-raising events to employee recognition efforts. Board members were Liz Johnson, President; Shannon Landry, President-Elect; Conny Yevincez, Manager Representative; Terry Windom, Secretary; and Cherie Sharp, Treasurer.

New officers installed for the coming year included President Shannon Landry, President-elect Conny Yevincez, Manager Representative Kelly Renaud, Assistant Manager Representative Melissa Singletary, Technician Representative Anna Ponthier, Secretary Beverly Fleming and Treasurer Cherie Sharp.

Training completion certificates were given to Technicians Lisa Cook, Dorothy Couvillion, Stacie Prats, Janet Reiling, Desiree Richard, Nicole Sheridan, and Heidie Vickers.

The banquet also honored employees who were recently retired. They included Denise Coulon of Slidell Jr. High, Carla Hyde of Alton Elementary, Linder McMooain of Alton Elementary, Deborah Miller of Mandeville Middle, Paula Guzman of Folsom Junior high, Patricia Zeringue of Brock Elementary, Jimmie Lee of Northshore High, Barbara Gales of Slidell High, Helen Galloway of Folsom Junior High, and Theresa Schneider of the Central Office. Those honored represented 218 years of service overall.



05/23/2014

School Board Offices Closed For Memorial Day May 26

St. Tammany Parish Public School System offices will be closed on Monday, May 26, 2014, in observance of Memorial Day. Support offices will re-open on Tuesday, May 27.


05/22/2014

State Student of the Year Honored By School Board

Patrick Flanigan, a recent Mandeville High School graduate and the St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s High School Student of the Year was honored by the St. Tammany School Board at its May 15 meeting for being selected Louisiana State Student of the Year in the High School Division. Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III congratulated him and presented him with a certificate of recognition for his achievement.

“Out of 700,000 students in Louisiana, Patrick was one of three chosen to represent the state as the Louisiana High School Student of the Year,” said Superintendent Folse. “It was a great experience to hear the announcement of this year’s Student of the Year in Baton Rouge. To have the High School Student of the Year again this year, after Jon Mitchell of Pearl River High won the honor last year, was a great surprise."

"We want to thank Patrick for all the attention and all the good things he has brought our School System. He is a great representative of all the amazing students in our School System,” Folse stated.

Flanigan thanked his parents for their support and his principal Bruce Bundy. He also thanked all those who came with him to Baton Rouge to receive the honor, including Superintendent Folse, Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie, and Director of Communications Meredith Mendez. He voiced special appreciation to his high school guidance counselor Coach Sean Esker for helping him prepare for the competition.

Flanigan was one of the two Louisiana delegates who participated in the recent U.S. Senate Youth Program this past school year and serves as the Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council President. He was the Senior Class President and Captain of the tennis team at Mandeville High and has also been active in the Youth and Government Club and Theater. He plans to study political science at Princeton University.



05/21/2014

School Session Ends Friday, May 23

The 2013-2014 School Year ends on Friday, May 23, with students reporting to school for half a day in the morning. The remainder of the day will be used for record-keeping tasks by teachers.

Teachers will attend Teacher’s Day at their individual schools on May 27.
The next school session begins on August 7, 2014.

For information on summer school, visit the Summer School Information Page.

For information on summer camp opportunities, visit the Summer Camps Webpage.


05/20/2014

Two District Principal and Teacher of the Year Winners Named Finalists In State Recognition Programs

Principal Patrick Mackin of Slidell Junior High and Robin Day, a teacher at Little Oak Middle School in Slidell, have both been named as state finalists in their respective recognition programs conducted by the Louisiana State Department of Education for 2015.

Mackin is one of ten finalists in the Louisiana State 2015 Principal of the Year program, and Ms. Day, a fourth grade teacher of English Language Arts and Social Studies, is a finalist in the state’s Teacher of the Year program. The State Department of Education will name the winners on July 12, 2014, at a special reception in Baton Rouge.

Earlier this year Mackin was selected District Principal of the Year for St. Tammany Parish in the middle school/junior high school division, and Ms. Day was chosen District Teacher of the Year for St. Tammany in the middle school/junior high division.

“We congratulate these outstanding educators for being selected state finalists and are proud to have them represent St. Tammany Parish Public Schools in the state competition in July. They are great examples of the difference teachers and school leaders can make in their schools and community,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III.

The Louisiana Department of Education’s Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year programs evaluate nominees from each School System across the state to select semi-finalists. After conducting visits to the semi-finalists schools, judges select ten finalists.

The Finalists will be interviewed in Baton Rouge before final selection of the state winner. The awards and recognition banquet at which the state winners will be named is the annual Cecil J Picard Educator Excellence Symposium at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center.

The other two St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s District Teachers of the Year are Valarie Cyprian of Madisonville Elementary (elementary division winner) and Cheryl Williams of Mandeville High School (high school division winner). This year’s other two Principal of the Year District winners are Gary Marlbrough of Chahta-Ima Elementary (elementary division winner) and Johnny Vitrano of Fontainebleau High (high school division winner.)

“Our district teachers and principals of the year are role models in their schools and demonstrate the dedication and hard work it takes for our students and schools to be successful,” said Superintendent Folse.

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, 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.

Mr. Mackin was recognized for his instructional leadership, goal-setting, collaboration, curriculum adjustment, and assessment of student performance. He graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond with a Master’s of Education Degree in 1995 and has served as Slidell Jr. High’s principal since 2009. Prior to that, he was Assistant Principal at Carolyn Park Middle School in Slidell.

Ms. Day graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education in 1982. She has taught fourth grade at Little Oak Middle School since 1983. She is involved in several professional and community organizations including the Northshore Reading Council, Southeastern Louisiana University Alumni Association and Ozone Camellia Club. She also serves as Northshore High Cheerleader Sponsor and sponsor of the Northshore High student internship program.

A St. Tammany teacher since 2006, Ms. Cyprian earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Southeastern Louisiana University. She currently teaches second grade at Madisonville Elementary School, having previously served at Abita Springs Elementary as a para-educator. She is actively involved with the Madisonville Elementary School Sunshine Committee and Abita Springs Middle School Summer Camp.

Ms. Williams has been a teacher for 17 years. For the past ten years she has taught biology at Mandeville High. Before she became a teacher, she worked as a scientist for the Department of the Navy at Stennis Space Center. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biological Science from the University of New Orleans. She also coaches Dixie Youth Softball and Special Olympics athletes.

Mr. Marlbrough graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership in 2011. Principal of Chahta-Ima Elementary School since 2012, he has also served as a teacher and Assistant Principal at Magnolia Trace Elementary School and teacher at Woodlake Elementary School.

Formerly Principal at Boyet Junior High, Mr. Vitrano has served as Principal at Fontainebleau High School since 2002. He has also served as a teacher and coach at Mandeville High, Brother Martin High and Holy Cross High. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Master’s of Education Degree in Educational Administration in 1993.

 



05/19/2014

Capital One Bank Awards Two Scholarships

Two recent graduates of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System were presented $5000 “Investing for Good” scholarships by Capital One Bank Thursday, May 15, at the School Board meeting in Covington.

Denis Schexnaydre, Northshore District Manager for the bank, presented the scholarship checks to Nicholas Williams from Salmen High School and Margaret Robinson from Lakeshore High.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III commended Williams for his involvement with several clubs at Salmen High, including the Beta Club, National Honor Society, and Interact Club. In his senior year, he collected cans for the food drive, participated in Toys for Tots, and worked after school at the 21st Century program tutoring students from Brock Elementary. He graduated with a 4.1818 GPA.

Miss Robinson from Lakeshore High School was ranked in the top three percent of her graduating class. She had a 4.58 GPA and a 27 on the ACT. “She has challenged herself academically through AP, Honors, and Dual Enrollment classes,” said Superintendent Folse, noting that her list of clubs, organizations, and honors are extensive. She is First Responder and First Aid certified, the senior president of the National Honor Society, Student Council member, Mu Alpha Theta Charter member and Student Government member. She received a Varsity letter in both Dance and Golf, and she is a Lifegroup leader, Elementary K-Kids Club Volunteer, and a National League of Junior Cotillions assistant.

Schnexnaydre praised both young people, thanking them both for their contributions to the community and their fellow students, saying, “Not only have you excelled but you helped others, and that will lead to your future success. Thank you for being such great representatives of St. Tammany Parish.”

Superintendent Folse said that Capital One provides opportunities for children and youth to access and excel in education and enrichment activities that prepare them for successful futures. “Areas of investment include advancing teacher effectiveness, increasing family engagement, and supporting students’ academic and basic needs,” the Superintendent said. “We would like to thank Capital One Bank for investing in the students of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System as we work together for success,” he concluded.

 



05/19/2014

Winner and Finalist Named for 2014 Superintendent’s Award

A special education teacher at Folsom Elementary School, John Wondergem, won The Superintendent's Award for Outstanding Character and Citizenship this year, and the Principal’s Goldfish Club at Abney Elementary in Slidell was named Finalist for the honor. The winners were announced at the May 15 School Board meeting in Covington by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III.

The Superintendent's Award was created in 2003 to honor people and programs within the School System for showing outstanding character and citizenship at their individual schools or support sites.
Wondergem was praised for his “above and beyond” attitude. A video produced by Channel 13 showcased his work with his students. In the video, his principal Lesa Bodnar commended him for his commitment and passion in his work every day. “His character epitomizes what a principal looks for in a teacher,” she said. Click here to view the video.

“You truly live out our motto of ‘Every child, every day,” Superintendent Folse told Wondergem. He received a $750 check from Capital One Bank and plans to use the money to buy supplies for his classroom.

He was nominated for the award for his encouragement and dedication which instills hope and a desire to succeed in his students. He has been a foster parent for more than ten years and had worked to raise over $15,000 annually to conduct a summer camp for children in foster care. As a testament to his compassion, Wondergem even donated a kidney to a child who attends his church and is not related to him, Ms. Bodnar stated.

After receiving the award, Wondergem said he appreciated the recognition and the check, and he said it was a privilege to have the opportunity to serve kids.

Named Finalist for this year’s Superintendent’s Award for Outstanding Character and Citizenship was the Abney Elementary Principal’s Goldfish Club, a group whose goal is to reach out to the community through activities including visits to retirement home, collection of items for those in need, a continual food drive, and even a shoe collection drive. The group started in 2009. A Channel 13 video was shown which outlined the many community service activities of the group. Click here to view the video.

Principal Mike Alford and Club Sponsor Debbie Davis, cafeteria manager at the school, were joined at the podium by several members of the club. “The kids understand what community means, and they come away with a view that looks at things differently,” Ms Davis stated.

“For all your hard work, I would like to present you with this award for being our finalist for this year’s Superintendent’s Award,” Folse stated, presenting them with a plaque and a check from Capital One Bank for $250.

One student member of the Goldfish Club told the Board, “The Goldfish Club is a group of really nice students, and I’m glad I’m a part of it.”

Superintendent Folse said that Capital One Bank had been working with the School System for several years, sponsoring the Superintendent’s Outstanding Character and Citizenship Award program since it began. “Our theme this year is ‘Working Together For Success,’ and we thank them for their continuing contributions. We also thank the parents here tonight for being a big part of making many of these projects a success,” he said.

Denis Schexnaydre, Northshore District Manager for the bank, thanked the award recipients and said they were an inspiration to the community.

The Superintendent’s Award for Outstanding Character and Citizenship was established to give the School System an opportunity to spotlight the many outstanding acts of character and/or citizenship by individuals and groups. The program aims to encourage and recognize the value of teaching and modeling good character and citizenship among the educators, staff, students, and groups within the System. Winners are chosen based on criteria such as respect, responsibility, caring, trustworthiness, fairness, citizenship, and decision-making.



05/19/2014

School Session Ends Friday, May 23


The 2013-2014 School Year ends on Friday, May 23, with students reporting to school for half a day in the morning. The remainder of the day will be used for record-keeping tasks by teachers.

Teachers will attend Teacher’s Day at their individual schools on May 27.
The next school session begins on August 7, 2014.

For information on summer school, visit the Summer School Information Page.

For information on summer camp opportunities, visit the Summer Camps Webpage.

 



05/18/2014

Amanda Warren Congratulated For Presidential Award

Amanda Warren, a fourth grade teacher at Lake Harbor Middle School, was recognized by the St. Tammany Parish School Board at its May meeting, with Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III announcing that she was the latest School System recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching.

He presented her with a certificate honoring her for the achievement, saying, “The St. Tammany Parish School Board and St. Tammany Parish Public School System commend you for this prestigious honor and thank you for your dedication to the students of St. Tammany Parish. You serve as a model for your colleagues and are an inspiration to our community.”

Her award is the highest honor bestowed on science teachers by the United States government, that of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The award comes with a $10,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. A Channel 13 video presentation about Ms. Warren was shown.

She went to Washington, D. C., the first week of March for a special awards ceremony and attended celebratory receptions, professional development programs, and discussions with policy-makers on how to improve mathematics and science education.

Her principal Susan Patin said she was an awesome teacher who brings excitement and enthusiasm to her classroom, incorporating math and science into her lessons. “The students are happy to be in her classroom every day,” Ms. Patin said.

In 2013, she won the title of Louisiana State Teacher of the Year in the Middle School Division. She is the 14th teacher from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System to win the Presidential Award, a program which began in 1983.

Her mother, Kim Wood, was the Louisiana winner of the Presidential Award for science education in 1995. Other Presidential Award winners from St. Tammany were Suzanne Buras, also from Lake Harbor Middle; Gina Allain, Whispering Forest Elementary; Priscilla Ray, Tchefuncte Middle; Maryanne Smith, Mandeville Middle; Fan Disher, Mandeville High; Carol Meyer, Tchefuncte Middle; Janiece Mistich, Tchefuncte Middle; Anne Lehman, Mandeville Middle; Ellen Marino, Mandeville Middle; Dr. John Swang, Mandeville Middle, Laura Norsworthy, Mandeville Middle; and Stephen Blume, Slidell Curriculum Center.

Ms. Warren was born and raised in the Mandeville area, attending Mandeville Elementary, Mandeville Middle, Mandeville Junior High, and graduating from Mandeville High in 1999. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from LSU in May 2003, and received a Master's Degree in Educational Technology Leadership in 2009 from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. A resident of Madisonville, she has been teaching ten years.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. Since 1983, more than 4,200 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

 



05/16/2014

Graduation Videos Available Online


Graduating high school seniors across St. Tammany Parish received their diplomas at several year-end ceremonies held by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System May 5 through May 12. Click here for a list of graduation video links to choose from.

Adult Education GED Graduation Ceremonies will take place on Thursday, May 22, starting at 7 p.m. at the Church of the King north in Mandeville.

Each graduation is recorded by the School System TV Station Channel 13 and is available for viewing on demand on the Channel 13 website and on the School System YouTube Channel. The graduations are also airing on Charter Cable Channel 13, AT&T U-Verse Channel 99. For a daily schedule of the graduation ceremony programs, click here.

Video copies of the graduation ceremonies are available on DVD either from Channel 13 or from the school holding the graduation. To order a copy, parents may send the following information to Channel 13, Treen Instructional Technology Center, 2024 Livingston Street, Mandeville, LA 70448. Include your return mailing address, the name of the school graduation you are requesting on DVD, and a check for $15 made payable to the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. For more information, call Channel 13 at 985 674-3529.



05/15/2014

Checks Presented to PRIDE and Jeremy Hebert Defibrillator Fund


The St. Tammany Parish Public School System once again showcased its community fundraising spirit by presenting checks of $6,958 each to two community non-profit organizations at the St. Tammany Parish School Board meeting Thursday night, the proceeds of a special fundraising day held on April 17 across the School System.

Representatives from the Parent’s Resource Institute for Drug Education (PRIDE) and the Jeremy Hebert Defibrillator Fund received checks totaling close to $14,000, made possible by students and employees donating a dollar or more to wear their favorite sports jerseys or shirt on that day. Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III made the check presentations.

For many years, the PRIDE organization has promoted a healthy drug-free lifestyle for students through leadership activities, family life-skills education and prevention programs designed to reduce the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. “Many PRIDE Members are students from our junior high and high schools,” said Curriculum and Instruction Supervisor Margaret Sharpe. Several members of the PRIDE youth group were recognized in the audience. PRIDE representatives attending the meeting included Brenda Geir, Patty Beal and Jeff Polito.

PRIDE Youth Program Coordinator Polito thanked the School Board for its support of his group. “PRIDE has been serving St. Tammany Parish for 30 years now,” he said, “and many School System employees have had children involved with our program.” The donation will help fund the PRIDE Troupe program and summer workshops, he said.

The Jeremy Hebert Defibrillator Fund has raised money to purchase at least one life-saving Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) for every school in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. An AED is a medical device that helps restore a normal heartbeat when someone is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. There are currently 131 AED’s available in schools, support sites and athletic facilities throughout the School System.

Anne and Marius Hebert started the Jeremy Hebert Defibrillator Fund in memory of their son who was a student at Pine View Middle School. “The beat goes on,” Mrs. Hebert said after receiving her check.

Both organizations have been aided in the past by fund-raising efforts by the School System.

Mrs. Sharpe thanked all students, staff and faculty members who took part in the funding raising effort. “Due to their extreme generosity, all our fund-raising projects have been very successful, and it gives a strong message to our students about community service to those who need a helping hand,” she said.



05/14/2014

Well-known Author Visits Lake Harbor Middle School Class

Local author Erica Spindler visited Adaline Rutherford’s sixth grade class at Lake Harbor Middle School recently to explain to the students about writing and publishing books, activities which they have been studying in their classrooms this past year. She also shared with them how she became a New York Times “best-selling” author.

Ms. Spindler has written more than 30 novels, some of which have been published internationally, and she brought some of the foreign-language editions with her to show the students. A former resident of New Orleans who now lives in Mandeville, she was excited about her latest book, “Justice for Sara,” which takes place in St. Tammany Parish and showcases many local settings familiar to the students. It takes place in a fictional town called “Liberty” which resembles Madisonville, she said, “but has a town square.”

A number of parents were invited to take part in the gathering, known as the “Author’s Tea,” an annual event in which students unveil the books they have written about themselves, their past and future interests. The assignment calls upon them to use imagery, figurative language, and other writing skills they have been studying all year long, Ms. Rutherford explained.

“The students write dedications, add illustrations, edit and revise, and then they take it home at the end of the year,” she said. Each student’s book features a “time capsule” in the back and a letter from the teacher. “It’s a wonderful keepsake that will last for many years,” Ms. Rutherford said.

Every student at Lake Harbor produces a book each year, but individual teachers decide what the topic will be for the books in their class.

Ms. Spindler enjoyed visiting with the students and their parents, signing their books, and sharing with them how she writes her books.

Her writing career started years ago when she got a cold, went to the local K&B Drug Store for some medicine, and the clerk put a free romance novel in her bag when she checked out. “I had always loved to read, but never thought of being a writer,” she said. She read the book, “got hooked,” went on a romance novel reading frenzy, and that led to a decision to try to write one herself.

“I had trained to be an artist, but as soon as I started writing, I knew that writing was what I wanted to do,” Ms. Spindler said. “It’s my favorite way to use my creativity.”



05/13/2014

Lee Road Hosts Junior Achievement Day

Students in the third through eighth grades at Lee Road Junior High took part in their annual Junior Achievement Day on Tuesday, May 13, hearing 18 speakers tell about financial literacy, entrepreneurship and household expense management. Mayor Mike Cooper of Covington kicked off the day’s events by reading a proclamation during a morning assembly.

"It is essential to teach our youth about effective money management,” the Mayor stated, “not only so they can avoid the financial pitfalls into which so many adults have fallen, but because they will someday run our businesses, our government, and our financial institutions.”

The Junior Achievement Program is a national effort to enhance financial literacy skills in schools by providing speakers and printed materials for classrooms that explain the free enterprise system and how it works. The speakers visiting Lee Road Junior High from local banks, investment firms, and other companies donated their time to help students understand the principles of financial responsibility.

Every student at Lee Road is involved in the JA program, said Principal Anna Bowie. Kindergarten through second grade students held their JA Education Day in October of last year.

Through the Junior Achievement program, “Lee Road Junior High continues to show its commitment to providing students with a solid foundation for making a lifetime of financial decisions,” the Mayor said. “Parents accept the responsibility to raise money-smart children who can grow to become productive members of our community and workforce.”

Mayor Cooper proclaimed May 13 as “LCPA-JA Financial Literacy Education Day” in Covington. The Society of Louisiana CPAs (LCPA) is partnering with Junior Achievement (JA) to educate and inspire students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

On hand for the special occasion was Jack Brancewicz, president of Junior Achievement of the Greater New Orleans Area. “St. Tammany has the third highest JA student involvement out of our 12 parish area,” he said.

Valerie Hulse, the Northshore JA Education Program manager, coordinates northshore area programs with the business community and the School System. She said that St. Tammany Parish currently has 6500 students involved in JA.

Each grade level receives an age appropriate presentation about classroom topics ranging from basic money management to what students can expect when they move out and live on their own, including how much rent might be, should they get a roommate to share expenses, and other financial situations they may encounter.

The Lee Road Junior High band played the Star Spangled Banner to open the assembly, and Student Council President Stevie Rachal introduced Mayor Cooper for his presentation. Principal Bowie thanked Mayor Cooper as well as the many volunteers taking part in the program.

Volunteer speakers included Vicky Talley, Misty Spell, Patty Battard, Joey Donaldson, Ronda Vitrano, John Curran, Lori Daigre, Iris Coxwell, Tiffany Landrum, Michael Meyers, Andrea Cosse, Pamela Giarrusso, Joan Cox, Jill Strain, and Collette Brewster.

For more information about the Junior Achievement Program in the New Orleans area, visit http://www.jagno.org/




05/12/2014

Two CHS Students To Be Honored by La. Legislative Women's Caucus

The Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus (LLWC) Foundation has named a Covington High student as the winner in its 2014 Women of Excellence Awards and Scholarships Program. Wendy "Alex" Varisco was selected as the “High School Woman of Excellence” and will receive a LLWC Foundation Scholarship at a special event in Baton Rouge on May 27.

Principal Roslyn Hanson said Wendy was well deserving of this tremendous honor. “She is truly a remarkable person,” said Hanson.

The Women of Excellence Awards and Scholarships Ceremony and Reception will be held at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center. Miss Varisco will be one of four women to receive top honors at the event. As winner of the High School Woman of Excellence Award, she will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Also to be recognized at the event will be Lindsey Potter of Covington High, who will receive a 2014 Educational Advancement Opportunity (EAO) Scholarship for $500.

Approximately 250 persons are expected to attend the event, and the students will have the opportunity to meet and talk with a number of women state legislators.

The Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus is comprised of the women in the Louisiana Legislature, whose mission is to prepare the next generation of women leaders and serve as the premiere voice and leading monitor of issues, legislation and policies, which impact women. There are presently 18 women who serve in both the Louisiana Senate and the Louisiana House of Representatives combined.

 



05/09/2014

Monteleone Technology Award Goes To Monteleone Jr. High Teacher

Patricia DeSanti, a teacher from Monteleone Junior High in Mandeville, won the 2013-2014 Monteleone Technology Award this year. She was presented to the School Board at its May meeting, with Technology Supervisor Julie Matte telling of her classroom accomplishments and use of technology.

Ms. DeSanti won the honor for her project entitled “Monteleone Magic Movie Makers,” (The 4M Club) which will launch next year. It will rely on story boards, photos, film clips, and other materials from different classrooms to create a professional-grade documentary of the many activities at Monteleone Junior High. The finished product will feature voice overs, sound effects, and music, said Mrs. Matte.

The completed films will be delivered electronically to the school’s Broadcast Team and included in the school’s weekly broadcasts.

Throughout the year, the 4M Club will collect photographs and video clips, each capturing special moments at the school. These media will be used to create a longer movie presentation called “Monteleone Magic – The Year in Photos.” The movie will be burned to DVDs and made available for sale at the end of the year, making the project self-sustaining from the funds raised.

Principal Donna Addison was on hand to congratulate Ms. DeSanti for her win. She will receive $1000 in materials as a result of her selection.

The Monteleone Technology Award was established in 2003 in memory of the late Leonard P. Monteleone, superintendent of the School System between 1995 and 2003. It spotlights innovative teachers who use technology in new and inventive ways in the classroom.

 



05/08/2014

Jazz Ensemble Wins Another State Grand Champion Title

The Fontainebleau High School Jazz Ensemble One was named the State Grand Champion for the sixth time in seven years at the 2014 Louisiana Association for Jazz Education’s eighth annual State Championship Saturday, May 3, at McNeese University in Lake Charles.

The jazz ensemble won the most outstanding award for every section- Outstanding Saxophone Section, Outstanding Trombone Section, Outstanding Trumpet Section, and Outstanding Rhythm Section. As a result of its accomplishment, the band was asked to play at a major concert Saturday night with Joey DeFrancesco, the top jazz organ player in the world. Following their performance, the crowd gave them a five minute standing ovation.

“Trophies and prizes don't really matter to me as long as our kids are having a great time and perform well,” said Band Director Lee Hicks. “I think the performance with Joey DeFrancesco was the most special part of the event. He joined us to play ‘Superstition’ by Stevie Wonder and when he started playing the kids took it up another notch, and we were all thrilled to be in that moment, it was a special feeling I don't think any of us can put into words.”

Hicks is proud of his band’s many accomplishments over the past several years and appreciative of the opportunity to direct the outstanding students in the band program, but introducing his students to the legacy of jazz is also an objective.

To save money, the Fontainebleau band shared a bus with the Mandeville High School Jazz Band and the band members hung out and enjoyed most of the day together, Hicks said, and that was another aspect of the trip that made the event special. Mandeville's jazz band, known as the “Man Overboard Big Band” (MOBB), was the second runner up at the competition. Their director is David Gambino.

“He did his student teaching with me, and I am proud to see the great work he is doing for that program,” said Hicks. “It was a great thing to hear other outstanding jazz programs from throughout the state, and kids learning to play this kind of music. As someone who grew up around jazz, it has a special place in my heart and seeing kids this age loving it and working on jazz music is an awesome feeling.”

The students were impressed with the championship competition as well. Junior Blake Gonzales, bass trombone, said, "I really enjoyed the workshop with Joey Defrancesco. it was great to hear him speak and play for us."

Duncan Perez, a sophomore trumpet player, said, "After working really hard throughout the school year, it felt really good to be recognized, and it proved to me that the hard work really pays off in the long run."

 



05/06/2014

Team St. Tammany Takes Honors at State Fitness Meet

The Louisiana State Elementary Fitness Championship took place Saturday, May 3, at Woodlawn High School 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 they won three first places, and three third places. The parish came in sixth overall with a score of 2,377 points.

Ivy Mendheim of Folsom Elementary, who was at the state meet for her third year, won first place in the sit and reach competition, first place in pull ups, third place in curl ups, and third place in the 600 yard run. Miss Mendheim came in 5th overall with a score of 671 points.

She was the overall girl winner in the St. Tammany Parish Elementary Fitness Meet held in March.

Meagan Bubeck of Tchefuncte Middle won third place in the sit and reach competition at the state level, and Roman Davis of Lake Harbor Middle School won first place in pull ups. Miss Bubeck had won second place in the girls division at the district’s fitness meet, and Davis had won second place in the boys division at the local meet.

“We appreciate the hard work and effort of all our young athletes and their teachers in the training for this event, training that begins the very first week of school,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “Congratulations to our state championship participants for their dedication and accomplishments. This showcases how important physical education is for our students, and they will continue to benefit from these lifelong capabilities.”

The St. Tammany Parish School Board honored the local meet winners at its meeting last week. They were Miss Mendheim, Miss Bubeck and Miss Arianna Echar from Pine View Middle School in the girls division, and Landon Ibieta of Mandeville Middle, Davis, and Raedan Stephens of Tchefuncte Middle School.

The group was accompanied to the state championship by Coach Desi Ardis of Tchefuncte Middle School, Coach Ann Brown from Folsom Elementary, Supervisor Margaret Sharpe and Kay Hursey, coordinator of Physical Education and Health for the School System.

Overall 100 children participated in the state event, 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. Third place winners served as alternates.

The Louisiana Schools Elementary Fitness Championship, one of the largest of its kind in the United States, 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 four years from the 30 parishes that participate in the Fitness Meet program.

More than 200,000 students across the state began training for the state event at the beginning of the school year.

Students perform the identical fitness tests acquired from the President's Challenge. Tests consisted 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.

 



05/05/2014

Fontainebleau High Takes Part in Shoe Design Contest; Online Voting Underway

A shoe design contest may net a $50,000 prize for the Fontainebleau High Art Department if online voting is successful. Students at the school have come up with several fanciful designs for shoes to take part in “Custom Culture,” a national high school shoe customization contest where schools from all over the United States compete for a chance to win money for their art programs.

Fontainebleau has been named a semi-finalist in the Vans Custom Culture Contest. Out of 2000 schools, 50 semi-finalists were chosen. One school from each region will win a trip to New York City and a one in five chance for the $50,000.

The school received four pairs of blank Vans sneakers to be customized in four different themes: Art, Music, Action Sports and Local Flavor. Winning designs will be chosen in a southeast region competition decided by online voting. Supporters are encouraged to vote by phone or on a computer. The voting website address is http://sites.vans.com/customculture/




05/05/2014

Support Employees of the Year Honored

The four employees chosen as “Support Employees of the Year for 2014” were introduced at the April School Board meeting in Slidell.

Selected in four different categories, they were congratulated by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III who commended them for their dedication and expertise in supporting the operations of the schools and School System.

Honored at a special reception held at the Robert C. Brooks, Jr. Educational Complex, they were Sonya Tracey, a paraeducator at Lake Harbor Middle School; Gina Williams, a secretary at Lyon Elementary School; Kay Wells, a secretary at Pearl River High School, and Brian Orgeron, a computer technician at the Treen Instructional Technology Center.

Ms. Williams won the Elementary Division title, Ms. Tracey won in the Middle School/Junior High Division, Ms. Wells won in the High School Division, and Mr. Orgeron won in the Support Site Division.

The annual program recognizes outstanding employees who support and provide leadership in the operation of non-instructional and instructional activities within the School System. “Our School Support Employees pay a huge role in the success of the School System, and we appreciate their hard work and dedication toward our students," said Superintendent Folse.

 



05/04/2014

Student Wins State Finalist Honors In Google Doodle Contest; Online Vote Today

Artwork by Lake Harbor Middle School fifth grade student Skye Howard has made her the Louisiana state finalist in this year’s “Doodle 4 Google” contest. Thousands of entries were submitted in the annual competition that asks K-12 students to re-design the Google logo for a day. Two hundred and fifty entries were selected to represent the 50 states in five grade ranges.

Her artwork was the focal point of a special presentation at the school Tuesday morning as representatives from Google, the internet search website, congratulated her for being one of the 50 state finalists in the 2014 Doodle4Google contest. A five foot by eight foot banner featuring the artwork submitted by Miss Howard was unveiled on the auditorium stage during the special ceremony hosted by Jaime Forman-Lau and Robin Norvell.

Doodle 4 Google is a competition where K-12 students use their artistic talents to redesign Google’s homepage logo for millions to see. A Google spokesman said, “We believe that dreaming about future possibilities leads to tomorrow’s leaders and inventors, so this year we invited U.S. kids to exercise their creative imaginations around the theme, "If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place..."

After the finalists were announced by Google, online voting began for the overall winner, who is determined by which drawing gets the largest number of votes. The voting will continue through May 9 at the following link: www.google.com/doodle4google.

Final awards will be given on May 21 at Google’s Headquarters in Mountain View, CA, at an event to which all 50 state winners will be invited.

Howard’s drawing has a message behind it. It shows a robot called “Eco-bot” which can collect trash and turn it into usable things, even seeds, illustrating the life cycle of the earth. Seeds are the earth’s greatest treasures, according to Skye, so Eco-bot has an important mission. The drawing took about four and a half hours to draw, she said.

The overall winning artwork will be placed on the Google website on June 9. The overall winner will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for their school. “The winning student's school will get a whole computer lab, the teacher gets an award, and it’s all very exciting,” Principal Susan Patin said. She encouraged everyone to go online and vote for Skye’s drawing to be the winner.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, stated, “We are certainly proud of our Louisiana state finalist in this year’s Doodle4Google contest, Skye Howard from Lake Harbor Middle School. She has put together an impressive and meaningful piece of art, combining her love of the environment and drawing. I’m going online to give her my vote.”

During the Tuesday morning program, the Google representatives presented students and teachers with an entertaining overview of how Google could be used in the classroom, from travelling around the world with Google maps, to visiting virtual art galleries, and searching for items using voice inquiries. They were impressed with Lake Harbor’s student questions about Google, mostly about the projected dates of commercial availability of Google’s driverless car and Google glass.

Barbara Dooley, Skye’s Talented Art Teacher, has had four students win honors in the Doodle4Google contest over the past several years. “Doodling is important,” she said, in regards to the contest theme. “Research has shown that people who doodle at conventions and in classes are actually listening more,” she noted. Dooley is retiring this year as an art teacher, but she has always had all of her students submit entries into each year’s Doodle4Google contest.

Shannon Howard, Skye’s mother, was excited for her daughter. “I am beyond excited,” she said. “She has always been interested in art, doodling on her papers since before third grade,” her mother explained.

Miss Howard was notified by telephone that she had been named a Doodle4Google state finalist. “She was speechless,” her mother said. “She usually has a lot to say, but when she got that call, she just stood there and couldn’t say anything for a few moments.” Skye has already won an Android tablet, a T-Shirt with her drawing on it, and she will be going to California for the award-winning ceremony.

Google even brought enough of the T-Shirts to distribute to the entire fifth grade. The students wore them to the ceremony and cheered her on.

Her father, Mark Howard, said the event was fantastic. “Skye has a lot of talent and to see her work honored this way is great,” he said. “My dad was an artist, and we have paintings of his throughout the house. She seems to have inherited that talent. Winning this is really going to look great on her resume’.”

Her grandfather, Leonard Howard, was well known in local art circles with showings in area city halls and in New Orleans. Her grandfather on her mother’s side also was talented in painting, according to Brenda LeJeune, her grandmother. “Skye is a very talented girl,” she said of her granddaughter. “She also helps me put on skits for children’s church, so she’s very dramatic, too,” she added.

The 50 state winners will have their artwork displayed in an online gallery on the Doodle4Google website. Doodles are judged on artistic merit, creativity, and how well they communicate the theme.

Principal Patin said Lake Harbor had another state winner in the Doodle4Google contest four years ago. Last year, Abita Springs Middle School had a local winner in the contest.

Doodles on the Google homepage began in 1998 to mark special occasions and events. Now millions of Google users look forward to them and collect them. Doodles are the “decorative changes” to the Google logo that focus attention on certain holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists and scientists.

 



05/02/2014

Pearl River High and Slidell High Among Best High Schools Chosen by U.S. News

Pearl River High and Slidell High have been recognized nationally in a U. S. News and World Report ranking based on 2011-2012 statistics drawn from state proficiency test benchmarks. The schools were spotlighted for serving all students, not just those who were college bound.

Both schools achieved a “bronze level” designation in the rankings. The “Best High Schools” project showcases the country’s top performing public high schools, by showing how well they serve students of all capabilities.

Principal Mike Winkler of Pearl River High said of the honor, “Our teachers and staff work hard every day to help our students succeed. It is rewarding to receive recognition from a national organization acknowledging our efforts.“

Slidell High Principal Billy Percy said his school and staff are also honored by this recognition. “This award represents the high expectations and dedication of our teachers who strive every day to help every student reach his or her full potential. Slidell High School is proud of its tradition of excellence,” he said.

To develop the 2014 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News used one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world, American Institutes for Research. They utilized their own comprehensive rankings methodology to arrive at the results.

While 31,242 public high schools in all 50 states were evaluated, only 19,411 had sufficient enrollment and data available from the 2011-2012 school year to be eligible for the rankings. A total of 4700 schools in the country were given Gold, Silver or Bronze designations.

The methodology required that students had to perform better than the statistical average in the state in both reading and math. Then the percentage of economically disadvantaged students was factored in to insure the school was performing better than “statistical expectations.” Schools were also judged on college-readiness performance using either Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test data as the measures of success.




05/02/2014

District Elementary Fitness Meet Winners Honored

The winners of the 2014 St. Tammany Parish Public Schools Elementary Fitness Meet were honored by the School Board at its May 2 meeting, with trophies presented by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III.

Recognized for their wins were Ivy Mendheim of Folsom Elementary School, who won first place in the girls division; Raedan Stephens of Tchefuncte Middle School, in third place in the boys division; Meagan Bubeck, second place in the girls division; Roman Davis of Lake Harbor Middle School,second place in the boys division; Landon Ibieta of Mandeville Middle School who won first place in the boys division, and Arianna Echar of Pine View Middle School, third place in the girls division.

Those students on “Team St. Tammany” will represent St. Tammany Parish at the state fitness meet which will be held in Baton Rouge on Saturday, May 3. Superintendent Folse presented each student with a “Team St. Tammany” T-shirt to wear during the state event.

The fourth annual St. Tammany fitness meet in March featured seven events, with more than 80 students from 21 schools on hand to compete. The schools with the most cumulative scores from all their participants were Tchefuncte Middle School in first place, Lake Harbor Middle School in second place, and Abney Elementary in third place.

 



05/01/2014

Meeting Scheduled for Pupil Progression Plan Public Input

A public meeting to receive input and discuss proposed changes to the School System's Pupil Progression Plan has been scheduled for May 13. Each year such meetings give members of the community an opportunity to give input on any proposed changes for the coming School Year. The meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., at Fontainebleau High School in Mandeville.

The Pupil Progression Plan establishes placement, promotion, retention, and grading policies for students within the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. According to an annual standard procedure, a committee of school administrators, teachers, and parents meets to review the plan and submit recommendations to the School Board for consideration.

The Advisory Committee met on April 29 to discuss any changes proposed by the administrators. Following the Public Input meeting on May 13, 2014, the proposed Plan will be presented to the St. Tammany Parish School Board for its consideration at the June 5, 2014, Committee As A Whole meeting and again at the June 12, 2014, School Board meeting at the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex.




05/01/2014

School Volunteers Honored at Special Reception

The annual Volunteer Reception was held by the St. Tammany Parish School Board just prior to its May 1 meeting, with more than a hundred visitors on hand to enjoy the event.

The reception was held to thank the many parents and other community volunteers who help their schools in a multitude of different ways throughout the year. It took place in the atrium of the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex in Covington.

Principals accompanied their key volunteers to be honored at the event. Supervisor Margaret Sharpe said volunteers help make schools the best they can be, donating thousands of hours across the School System.

“You are here tonight because your principal chose you as someone who makes a difference at your school,” Mrs. Sharpe stated.

A special video produced by Channel 13 was shown featuring photos of the volunteers.

Entertainment was provided by Covington High sophomore Farah Daws, who sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and other selections. Her teacher Mel Rogers accompanied her on the piano.




04/30/2014

Exchange Club of West St. Tammany Honors Top High School Students

The Exchange Club of West St. Tammany honored the top “Students of the Year” from all nine high schools in the area at its annual student recognition breakfast Wednesday morning at Tchefuncta Country Club.

Miss Lindsey Potter of Covington High School, Miss Meaghan Boucher of Fontainebleau High School, Rex Shepard of Lakeshore High School, and Aaron Reed of Mandeville High were introduced by their principals, who listed their accomplishments, their community involvements, and their plans for the future. The students were given a special certificate and a monetary award by the Exchange Club. Top students from area private and parochial schools were also recognized.

Each student shared their appreciation for their schools, the community and the Exchange Club, telling of their college decisions, field of study, and career hopes.

The Exchange Club of West St. Tammany was established in 1986 and began its Student of the Year recognition program in 1987.They are recognized at the annual "Student of the Year" Award Breakfast.

Oliver Whitney, chairman of the Student of the Year committee, said the schools pick their own Students of the Year and the club has recognized more than 200 outstanding students over the past 27 years. “They are all awesome young people,” Whitney stated.

The graduating seniors were congratulated for their accomplishments in a multitude of academic endeavors, athletic competitions, and service to the community. Their parents were also congratulated and given applause.

Among those in attendance were Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III; Principals Roslyn Hanson of Covington High, Johnny Vitrano of Fontainebleau High, Dr. Jeanne Wagner of Lakeshore High, Bruce Bundy of Mandeville High, Father Charles Latour of Archbishop Hannan High, John Morvant of Christ Episcopal School, Monty Fontenot of Northlake Christian School, Brother Ray Bulliard of St. Paul’s School, and Mrs. Mary Kathryn Villere of St. Scholastica Academy.

 



04/28/2014

Spring Registration Dates Set for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade

Spring registration for the 2014-2015 School Year will begin on Tuesday, April 29, for students entering kindergarten and first grade for the first time in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. Registration for pre-kindergarten classes will begin on May 28.

Any child born before October 1, 2008, will be eligible for the first grade, and any child born before October 1, 2009, 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 2013-2014 school year will not be required to register again for the first grade.

Kindergarten and First Grade Registration Schedule

Each school will have a specific registration date as indicated in the following list. Hours of registration will be 9 a.m. until noon at the following locations on the dates given.

Abita Springs Elementary, April 30; Abney Early Childhood Center, April 29; Abney Elementary, April 29; Alton Elementary, May 2; Bayou Woods Elementary, April 30; Bonne Ecole Elementary, April 29; Brock Elementary, May 2; and Chahta-Ima Elementary, April 29.

Covington Elementary, April 29; Cypress Cove Elementary, May 1; Fifth Ward Junior High, April 30; Florida Ave. Elementary, April 30; Folsom Elementary, May 1; Lee Road Junior High, May 2; Little Pearl Elementary, May 1; Lyon Elementary, April 29; Madisonville Elementary, May 1; Mandeville Elementary, April 30; Marigny Elementary, May 1; and Mayfield Elementary, April 30.

Pontchartrain Elementary, April 29; Riverside Elementary, April 29; Sixth Ward Elementary, April 29; Whispering Forest, April 29; and Woodlake Elementary, May 1.

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; and (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 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.

Pre-Kindergarten Registration

Pre-kindergarten classes are being offered at 23 school sites during the 2014-2015 school year for four-year-old children who meet program criteria. Registration for classes will be held at 4 centralized registration sites. Hours of registration will be 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on the dates indicated on the following list. The list of schools registering students at each site and the dates of registration are as follows:

Pre-K Registration Schedule

Parents wishing to register their children for Pre-Kindergarten at either Alton Elementary, Cypress Cove Elementary, Little Pearl Elementary, Sixth Ward Elementary, or Whispering Forest Elementary may do so on Wednesday, May 28, at the registration site at Whispering Forest Elementary, 300 Spiehler Road, Slidell, LA.

Parents wishing to register their children to attend Pre-kindergarten at either Abney Early Childhood Center, Bayou Woods Elementary, Bonne Ecole Elementary, Brock Elementary, Florida Avenue Elementary or Mayfield Elementary may do so by visiting the registration site at Bayou Woods Elementary, 35614 Liberty Drive, Slidell, on Thursday, May 29.

Parents wishing to register their children to attend Pre-kindergarten at Chahta-Ima Elementary, Mandeville Elementary, Marigny Elementary, Abita Springs Elementary, Pontchartrain Elementary, or Woodlake Elementary may do so on Friday, May 30, at the registration site at Treen Instructional Technology Center, 2024 Livingston Street, Mandeville, LA.

Parents wishing to register their children for Pre-kindergarten at Covington Elementary, Fifth Ward Jr. High, Folsom Elementary, Lee Rd. Jr. High, Lyon Elementary, or Madisonville Elementary may do so on Monday, June 2, at the registration site at Harrison Curriculum Center, 706 West 28th Avenue, Covington, LA.

To qualify for any regular education Pre-kindergarten class, a child must meet the following criteria: (1) Has reached four years of age (48 months) before September 30, 2014; (2) Resides within the attendance area served by the school site; and (3) Eligible for Free and/or Reduced Lunch.

In addition to the other documents required for registration, Pre-kindergarten applicants must provide income verification using at least one of following documents: Food Stamp Card, TANF eligibility, McKinney Vinto eligibility, most current W-2 form, or two 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) 898-3306.




04/28/2014

Early Childhood Care and Education Community Network Launched

The Early Childhood Care and Education Community Network was created as a result of Act 3 of the 2012 Regular Legislative Session. This act unifies the state’s fragmented system of early childhood education.

The framework for implementing Act 3, approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) in December 2012, proposes an expansion of access to high quality, publicly funded early childhood programs to families across Louisiana. The Act set up a unified Early Childhood System of Local Networks, which will be fully implemented in the 2015-2016 School Year.

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System was one of 17 districts awarded the grant to implement this special pilot program designed to increase the number of children entering kindergarten ready to learn.

The Community Network Pilot program involves school districts, child care providers, Head Start programs and other stakeholders within the community working together to provide high-quality early childhood services. This work will allow policymakers to learn from the stakeholders’ efforts and results prior to full implementation of policies in fall 2015.

The goal of the St. Tammany Early Childhood Community Network is to provide what each child needs, beginning at birth, so an increased number of children will enter Kindergarten with the persistence and curiosity to develop the necessary language and communication skills, motor skills, social-emotional skills, and early literacy and numeracy readiness skills.

The strategies targeted by the framework feature initiatives to unify expectations, support teachers and providers, measure and recognize progress, fund high quality providers, and provide clear information and high quality choices. “Learning begins at birth,” said Elizabeth Laine, elementary supervisor for the School System. “The network collaborates to invest in our young children by increasing the quality of care and education provided.”

According to Johnnie Alford, the Community Network Project Leader, “Each provider, Public School, Head Start, and Child Care Center is committed to training staff to provide a high-quality learning environment for young children.” The network provides the opportunity for communities to work together and ensure an increased number of children have access to high-quality care and education.

All providers use common assessment systems to ensure everyone in the network is working to meet goals that support early learning development. Using the Teaching Strategies Gold educators and families will work hand in hand to support children’s development and learning from age 6 weeks to 5 years.

Early childhood professionals participate in professional learning to increase the effectiveness of the early childhood settings provided to young children in the area.

Research conducted by Hamre and Pianta suggests that “Interactions between students and adults are the primary mechanism to support child development and learning. Classroom organization, positive climate, and instructional support comprise a high quality classroom.” It is when children learn in a high-quality environment Kindergarten readiness is greatly impacted.

Dr. Linda M. Espinosa, an early child care and evaluation expert, said, “Researchers consistently show that 3 and 4 year olds who attend a high quality preschool are more successful in kindergarten and beyond – both academically and socially.”

In order to support families living in St. Tammany Parish as they choose the best program for their children, the Network will provide information and access to programs that support young children on the journey of becoming “kindergarten ready”.

St. Tammany Parish Community Network partners are as follows: Appletree Academy, (985) 893-2112; Children’s College, (985) 649-7618; Covington Early Head Start, (985) 893-0053; Covington Head Start, (985) 892-8638; Fundamentals (985) 778-0690; Lacombe Mandeville Head Start (985) 882-5610; Little Academy (985) 649-5757; Little Red Schoolhouse, (985) 892-8784; Pearl River Head Start (985) 863-3660; Rainbow Child Care, (985) 646-0718; St. Tammany Parish Public School Pre-K, (985) 898-3306; Slidell Head Start and Early Head Start, (985) 605-5070; Tender Years, (985) 626-9493; and Wee Wisdom, (985) 641-2710.

For more information,contact one of the members above or the St. Tammany Parish Community Network Pilot Lead Agency at 985-898-3306.




04/17/2014

Mandeville High Student Named State Student of the Year

Patrick Flanigan, a senior at Mandeville High School, was named Louisiana State Student of the Year in the High School Division Thursday night at the annual Louisiana Department of Education "Student of the Year" event held in the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge.

Upon the announcement that he had won, he was congratulated by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and other School System officials who had attended the banquet.

Flanigan was selected as the Regional Student of the Year earlier this month.

Superintendent Folse said all of St. Tammany Parish was proud of his achievement, especially in light of the "back to back" Students of the Year won by St. Tammany in the High School Division. “Patrick is a great representative of all the amazing students in our School System,” Folse stated. “We were hoping to continue our tradition with St. Tammany Parish providing a state Student of the Year,” he said, referring to the many local Students of the Year who have been recognized statewide. Last year, Jon Mitchell of Pearl River High School won the state’s top Student of the Year honor in the High School Division, so this is the second consecutive year for a St. Tammany Parish Public School System senior to take the title.

Flanigan was commended for his many accomplishments and civic involvements. He was one of the two Louisiana delegates who participated in the recent U.S. Senate Youth Program and serves as the Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council President. He is the Senior Class President and Captain of the tennis team at Mandeville High and is also active in the Youth and Government Club and Theater. He plans to study political science in college and become a lawyer.

Last week, Principal Bruce Bundy of Mandeville High received the St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s Student of the Year award on Patrick’s behalf, as he was out of state on a college visitation trip.

Principal Bundy said, "I am so proud of Patrick and am thrilled he was recognized as the State Student of the Year. Patrick is a wonderful young man. He has so many gifts, and he uses these gifts to make the world a better place. He has a very bright future ahead of him."



04/17/2014

School System Announces 10 National Merit Finalists

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System is home to 10 National Merit Finalists for the 2013-14 school year. The students designated Finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Program include five from Mandeville High and five from Northshore High School in Slidell.

The Mandeville High National Merit Finalists are Michael Denham, Aaron Reed, Morgan Lee Kleis, Greta Shallenberger and Julia Stricklin. All five finalists plan are pursuing careers in the sciences.

The Northshore High National Merit Finalists are Andrew Paul Campbell, Scott William Terrence Kent, Dooyeol Kim, Yuanxia Lee, and Leah Frances Weaver. Campbell plans to study Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, Kent plans to major in aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Kim will study biological science at Emory University, Lee will study industrial engineering at Columbia University, and Weaver will major in biochemistry at LSU.

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.

From the 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. Students are chosen based on their SAT score, GPA, an essay, and their extracurricular activities.

 



04/15/2014

Reach Out and Read Expands Pediatrician Office Outreach

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s Striving Readers Literacy Grant program recently added more pediatrician offices to its outreach with a special “kick-off” program held at Slidell Memorial Hospital’s Family Medicine Center. The event ended with officials handing out colorful and entertaining books to children who had been eagerly awaiting for them.

School System and parish government officials, along with several doctors and Slidell Memorial Hospital officials met for the event to welcome the Family Medicine Center to the Reach Out and Read initiative connecting healthcare to literacy for children through partnerships with pediatricians.

Elementary Supervisor Elizabeth Laine emceed the event, welcoming Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie, Parish President Pat Brister, Slidell Memorial Hospital CEO Bill Davis, School Board Member Robin Mullett, and Principal Mike Alford of Abney Elementary School. Dozens of parents and their children also took part.

Reach Out and Read places children’s books and volunteer readers in the waiting rooms of pediatrician’s offices to promote reading while the children await their well-check appointments.

“We all know the importance of reading, and we all know how important it is to begin children on the road to reading at a very early age,” said Superintendent Folse. “By putting books in their hands when they visit their pediatrician’s office, it gives the professionals something new to work with them and with their parents.”

The effort co-ordinates well with the School System’s emphasis on working with community Early Childhood programs, Superintendent Folse went on to say. “This is an outreach that gives parents more resources for their children. I don’t know a single child who doesn’t like a good book,” he said. Helping young children gain reading skills and an appreciation for books at an early age is a very important goal, he stated.

“What we are doing here today is a great example of our theme this year, working together for success,” he noted, pointing out the representation from the hospital and parish government, as well as the dozens of parents and children who turned out for the occasion.

Pat Brister, parish president, said the program had been a joy to work with. “Thank you for what you are doing with this program,” she said to School System and hospital officials.

Bill Davis, CEO of Slidell Memorial Hospital, said, “There are plenty of studies demonstrating that literacy skills are directly tied to success in life. Reach Out and Read enables us to positively influence the quality of life for the people in our community. We are proud to be a part of this effort.” It is multi-generational, he added. “It helps the kids, and it helps the parents, too.”

Participating doctors have responded favorably to the Reach Out and Read initiative, since it not only gives the children a fun thing to do while in the doctor’s waiting rooms, it also gives the doctors a way to measure certain developmental capabilities in the young child.

Doctors taking part in the event included Dr. Donna Pitter, Dr. Alice LeBreton, Dr. Bryan Miller, and Dr. Sanjay Raina. “It really helps kids who are stressed out when they come to the doctor’s office for us to place a beautiful brand new book in their hands that they can take home with them,” Dr. Lebreton stated.

Mrs. Laine, the School System supervisor handing the program, said it was an opportunity to reach the children early on, since infants and young children visit their doctor’s office several times during the first few years. “The program aims to help young children succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. “We’ve been able to give out 1000 books in the past two years,” Mrs. Laine stated.

Many books have been donated to the effort, and Dr. Helen Stevenson was the first doctor in the Slidell area to come on board. She recently reported to Mrs. Laine that children now use her waiting room as a “comfortable library,” oftentimes with volunteer readers coming in to read aloud to children.

“The need to place high-quality books in the hands of children has been shown to be beneficial in many ways,” Mrs. Laine said. “It’s a great indicator of success for children entering kindergarten when they already have the ability to read and a sizable vocabulary right from the start.”

Nationwide, more than 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 actually 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, which funds programs to promote literacy from birth to twelfth grade.

 



04/14/2014

Avalon Project Showcases Drafting Students Innovative Solutions

Drafting students from Fontainebleau High School and Lakeshore High School unveiled their new design efforts Friday morning for the 2014 Avalon Project, a year-long design extravaganza that envisions a futuristic community that embodies sustainability, energy efficiency, and minimal environmental impacts. More than 100 students and visitors gathered in the Fontainebleau High Library to take part in the showcase of student work.

Brooke Cawhon introduced the presentation of the projects in the library at Fontainebleau High School, with several other students describing the project criteria and displaying results in a number of assigned subject areas, from transportation and residential to energy saving features and space exploration. A new field being addressed this year was bio-medical designs, which included mechanical heart designs and robotic-like hand replacements.

A panel of professional engineers, technical experts and consultants were called in from throughout south Louisiana to help judge the projects. The group included teachers, physicists, engineers, and logistics specialists, as well as experts in aviation and hydroponics. The jury members met with students for 45 minutes to discuss their projects and offer feedback on the designs.

The Avalon Project is a exercise that students used in their drafting courses to guide design practices along specific assignments. Students engage in individual and team efforts to bring their imagination to the drawing board and beyond.

“Every year these projects get better and better, and the presentations are more impressive,” said Fontainebleau High Principal Johnny Vitrano. He especially thanked the members of the panel who shared their knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas.

Avalon comes complete with shopping malls, hospitals, office buildings, an amusement park, and a stadium, all part of the annual project challenge that builds teamwork, fires the imagination, and comes up with practical solutions to society’s most pressing issues. An amusement park and adjoining resort hotel was one major addition this year.

Teacher Clifford Hinkle decides what part of the city the students should design, and then they research possible solutions, and use high-end computers and drafting design software to create photo-realistic posters illustrating their ideas. This year, a Cubex Duo 3-D Printer added to the excitement as students were able to learn how to create real parts and three-dimensional models from their design drawings.

The virtual city is home to about 330,000 people, Hinkel explained. 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.

Hinkle came up with the “Avalon Project” idea several 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.

Students researched the latest innovations in green communities and then applied real engineering and community 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.



04/14/2014

Spring Break Begins Friday, April 18; Classes Resume April 28

Public schools closed beginning Friday, April 18, for the Spring/Easter break that continues through Friday, April 25. Classes resume on Monday, April 28.



04/12/2014

Students of the Year Recognized At April School Board Meeting

At a special program on April 10, Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III and the St. Tammany Parish School Board commended this year's three Students of the Year.

Speaking at the Board Meeting held at the Robert C. Brooks, Jr. Educational Complex in Slidell, Superintendent Folse stated, “I have the privilege of introducing to you the 2014 District Students of the Year, and what a great and amazing group of young people they are. These students are exceptional representatives of our 38,000 students.”

The honorees were 5th grader Vani Pandian of Tchefuncte Middle School, 8th grader Anna Landry of Mandeville Junior High School and 12th grader Patrick Flanigan of Mandeville High School. Channel 13 videos featuring interviews with the students, their teachers and adminstrators were shown. (To see the videos, click on one of the following names: Vani Pandian, Anna Landry, Patrick Flanigan). Superintendent Folse presented them with a special award signifying their accomplishment.

Miss Pandian was praised as a great “all-around student.” She received the Carol Mayer Award for Science and won an Outstanding Science Achievement Award at the Regional Science Fair, and volunteers her time performing piano recitals for the elderly and singing at school and community events. In the video she was shown drawing artwork and interacting with fellow students. “I want to become an inventor, a scientist and a teacher,” she said. “Teachers pass along knowledge to other people and help them achieve great things in life.”

Anna Landry was commended for her many community involvements to help people. She is a talented artist and has won numerous awards for her work. She enjoys music, visual art, dance, cooking and photography. She is an active community volunteer lending her time to New Orleans races, an annual Cystic Fibrosis Walk and local art festivals. Her teachers said that she is an example to other students in her classes, helping motivate them to do their best.

Patrick Flanigan was unable to attend the Board meeting, being out of state on a college visitation trip. Principal Bruce Bundy of Mandeville High received the award on Patrick’s behalf.

Flanigan was recently announced as the Regional Student of the Year and is a Louisiana State Student of the Year Finalist. Next week, the state will hold a special program in Baton Rouge where the state Student of the Year in the High School Division will be announced. “We are hoping to continue our tradition with St. Tammany Parish providing a state Student of the Year,” said Superintendent Folse, referring to the many local Students of the Year who have been recognized statewide.

Flanigan was one of the two Louisiana delegates who participated in the recent U.S. Senate Youth Program and serves as the Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council President. He is the Senior Class President and Captain of the tennis team at Mandeville High and is also active in the Youth and Government Club and Theater. He plans to study political science in college, become a lawyer, and perhaps run for political office.



04/11/2014

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Festival Spotlights Global Youth Service Day 2014

Students from Chahta-Ima Elementary, Bayou Lacombe Middle, Monteleone Junior, Mayfield Elementary, and Lakeshore High schools took part in the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Festival” held on Saturday, April 12, commemorating Global Youth Service Day with students from throughout the world. Activities were held at Bayou Lacombe Middle School.

The event was a youth-led initiative designed to encourage community sustainability, healthy living, and volunteerism while teaching youth important leadership skills. Students partnered with Keep Lacombe Beautiful, Concerned Citizens of Lacombe, Lacombe Nursing Centre, Coastal Waste Management, and Junior Corps to put the event on.

There was an organic garden farmers market where fresh herbs, herbal soaps, and teas were sold, along with hand-painted bird houses, garden kits, and organic products such as pesto, salsa, pepper jelly, pickled okra, and spring/summer veggie mixes. Walking tours featured the organic garden led by the Garden Club students.

Elementary students held a bake sale to raise money in order to provide farm animals for African villages through Heifer International.

A compost booth displayed how to use egg shells, coffee grinds, fruit and vegetable scraps, and oak leaves in the garden. The Student Nutrition Advisory Council from Bayou Lacombe Middle School provided informational pamphlets and training in the methods and benefits of composting.

Food drives were held to benefit Goodwill and the Mount Olive AME Food Ministry. At the "Recycle and Trash to Treasure Booth," visitors learned how to turn recycled trash into art or a new usable item. Mayfield Elementary students manned a booth raising funds for the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter.

 



04/11/2014

Vincent Molina Named Substitute of the Year

Vincent “Mark” Molina, a substitute teacher at Abita Springs Middle School, has been selected as the St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s “Substitute of the Year” for 2014.

He was introduced to the School Board at its April meeting in Slidell by Brandon Clanton, Human Resources Supervisor, who congratulated him for receiving the honor. Clanton explained that the annual award provides an opportunity to honor an outstanding substitute employee who demonstrates a positive attitude, professional service, and a cooperative team approach in the day-to-day operations of the School System.

Molina was nominated by all the teachers at the school, who called him an outstanding educator who is most deserving of this recognition. “We are proud to nominate him for parish-wide recognition,” they said in their nomination.

He was labeled as the epitome of professionalism. A retired teacher and administrator from a large public school system in Florida, he never dreamed he would be back in the classroom, much less as a substitute. But he has found himself fulfilling a need to work with students and contribute to public education by being a part of the Abita Middle School family.

Molina was commended for being very effective in presenting lessons. “He is so knowledgeable in so many areas, and he brings his unique and interesting life experiences to our students. He is truly passionate about teaching and learning,” his nominating committee stated.

He supports and enforces the school’s routines, expectations, and positive behavior system. Teachers and administrators know that whenever Mr. Molina is filling in for a teacher, the classroom under his care will most certainly be run smoothly, and the students are sure to learn something from him.

“Our students, teachers, and administrators respect and appreciate this hard-working and dedicated individual,” said Principal Donna Forrest.

Molina retired in 2007 but found himself drawn back into the field, compelled to serve again. “The pleasant environment and high standards in St. Tammany Parish Schools made it easy for me to begin doing so,” he said. He called Abita Springs Middle School a dynamic gem of excellence nestled in a comfortable small-town atmosphere.

“My years of experience in education have occasioned my foremost contribution to St. Tammany Parish Schools: professionalism. Teacher absences are unavoidable. When I am asked to fill in, my goal is for students to notice little or no difference in their education. When a student of mine arrives home and reports to a parent that school went normally, I have been successful,” he explained.

He feels rewarded when teachers at Abita Springs Middle School report that student performance and behavior during his day meet their expectations. “At the end of each assignment, I feel I have nurtured and sustained the St. Tammany Parish learning community,” he said. Providing young people with the feeling of continuity in the absence of their regular classroom teacher is crucial to their everyday lives, he said.

 



04/11/2014

Two St. Tammany Students Ace ACT Test

Two students in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System achieved perfect scores in the ACT college readiness test this past year. Jaelin Anderson from Northshore High School and Aaron Reed from Mandeville High School were commended by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III at the School Board Thursday night. He said they were in that one-tenth of one percent of ACT test takers who scored a perfect 36 composite score.

Anderson was unable to attend the meeting, but Reed was congratulated by Superintendent Folse and given a certificate for his accomplishment.

Superintendent Folse explained that the ACT was founded in 1959 by two University of Iowa professors and is both curriculum and standards based. It is comprised of four different subsections: English, reading, math, and science, with each scored on a scale of 1 to 36. Scores are then averaged for an overall ACT composite. This year, there were only 1,262 students nationwide who scored a perfect 36 ACT composite.

Channel 13 videos were shown featuring interviews with the students and their reactions when they found out they had received perfect scores on the ACT test.

Jaelin Anderson, the son of Alyssa and Jude Anderson, has excelled in the Talented Arts program, completed a Veterinary Tech Internship last year, and was a member of the JROTC for three years, earning a Cadet of the Month title in 2011. During the summer of 2012, he attended the Xavier University BioStar program and the Xavier University ChemStar program last summer. He has also attended the BP STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Institute. Jaelin is still finalizing his college plans and his major area of study veterinary medicine.

Anderson said he went online to check his ACT score, and when he saw a 36, he said, “Well, I did better than I thought I did.”

Aaron Reed, the son of Susan and Brent Reed, is a member of the MHS marching band, jazz band, and concert band and has participated in honor band and All-State Symphonic Band all while studying jazz piano at NOCCA. He initiated the Latin Club at MHS because of his love of Linguistics. For college and career, he plans to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering as a stepping stone toward a PhD in genetics or bioinformatics.

Aaron said that he hopes to one day make a difference for humanity by using new application of genetics research to treat and give hope to persons suffering from diseases with limited treatment options. “I’m looking forward to living that scientist’s life and helping people,” he said.

Upon seeing his score of 36 in a letter from ACT, he said he just started celebrating.

In the latest ACT aggregate data for the Class of 2013, Louisiana had 45,305 graduates taking the test, earning a state ACT composite of 19.5. The national ACT composite was 20.9, and the St. Tammany Parish Public School System ACT composite was 21.1.

 



04/11/2014

Board Congratulates Salmen High Girls Basketball Team For Winning State Title Again

The St. Tammany Parish School Board congratulated the Salmen High School Girls Basketball Team Thursday night for winning the 2014 Louisiana Class 4A State Girls Basketball championship earlier this year, defending the title they won last year, their second consecutive state championship.

Administrative Supervisor Byron Williams, a former principal at Salmen High, said it was the fourth overall state championship for the Salmen High Girls Basketball team and their third consecutive year playing in the state title game. They were 8-0 in District play this year and were ranked No. 7 in most national polls, Williams commented. He recognized the contributions made by the coaches, the assistant coaches, the players, the players’ parents and Salmen High School Principal Terri Wortmann.

The Lady Spartans and their coaches were featured in a Channel 13 video showcasing highlights from the 56 to 48 game that captured the state championship.

A resolution was passed by the School Board commending Coach Kevin Anderson for his leadership during the season, which ended with a 33-1 win-loss record and a 27 game winning streak. “The members of the Salmen High Girls basketball team have demonstrated teamwork, sportsmanship and character which have brought pride to their team, their families, Salmen High School, and the St. Tammany Parish Public School System,” the resolution stated.

Anderson is in his ninth year as Girls Basketball Coach at Salmen, having won five District Championships during that time and his squad has been in the playoffs eight of the past nine years. He introduced his assistant coaches Dee Brown and Wendy Stampley, his senior team members Hayley Pichon and Megan Brown and MVP Player Kalani Brown . He noted how many hours the girls put in practicing and playing to achieve their outstanding accomplishment.

This is the fourth time the Salmen girls have won the state basketball championship, the first time in 1996, the second time in 1997, the third time last year and in 2012, they were runners up to the title.


 

04/10/2014

Board Updated On Foreign Student Exchange Program

Students from other countries enrolled with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System through the Foreign Student Exchange Program were introduced to the School Board at its April Committee meeting, with Dr. Regina Sanford, supervisor, explaining how the program works and its impact on the teachers and schools taking part.

This School Year there are 13 foreign exchange students in the public school system, while in previous years, the number has ranged between nine to seventeen students. The number of exchange students in the System at any given time depends on the availability of host families in the area, she explained.

“The foreign exchange program has been around for some time,” she told the Board, “and in St. Tammany we work with 13 different certified organizations regarding placement of students.”

Covington High School exchange students recognized at the meeting were Martina Gangi from Italy, Anja Seegmuller from Germany, and Carolijn Van Rooij of The Netherlands. Jialong Wang from China, attends Fontainebleau High School.

Kevin Van Schoorl from The Netherlands, attends Lakeshore High, and Duc Le from Vietnam attends Mandeville High School, as does Valentina Temelova from the Czech Republic and Pia WinterKjaer from Norway. Northshore High foreign exchange students are David Badajkov from Belgium, Olga Vitushchenko from Russia and Feriel Bennacer from Tunisia. Michael Rau from Germany attends Slidell High School, as does Jiayi “Brian” Yu from China.

The process begins when a student fills out an application in their home country, citing a preferred geographical area of the United States. The agency then screens the student and sees if a host family is available in the desired area. The agency then contacts the School System, and the student is screened by Dr. Sanford to see if he or she meets the local District criteria. Dr. Sanford also coordinates with the high school which will serve the student.

Several of the exchange students attended the Board meeting and were introduced by Dr. Sanford and greeted by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III at the podium.

Dr. Sanford read a comment by a Mandeville High teacher, saying, “We benefit greatly from foreign exchange students, because our students have an opportunity to learn much from our guests. I hope our visitors receive as much from us as well.”

The host families in the audience were also recognized.

 



04/09/2014

School Board Receives Magna Award At Conference

At the National School Boards Association convention in New Orleans this past weekend, the St. Tammany Parish School Board received a first place honor in the national 2014 Magna Awards given by the American School Board Journal (ASBJ). The event took place on Saturday, April 5, at the "Best Practices for School Leaders Luncheon", which was part of NSBA’s 74th Annual Conference.

The award recognizes the School System’s St. Tammany Advantage Rewards (STAR) employee discount program launched four years ago.

Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III, School Board President Elizabeth Heintz and several School Board members were on hand for the award presentation.

The Magna Awards program recognizes school boards across the country for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools. The St. Tammany Parish Public School System has won two other Magna Awards in the past few years.

“The STAR program is a win-win for our employees and our community," said Superintendent Folse. "It rewards our employees for their hard work and dedication to the children of our parish while helping to grow local businesses and to keep tax dollars in our parish. We are grateful for the leadership of our School Board and our community partners who make this program a success.”

Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director of the National School Boards Association, said, "The STAR program is a national model for school district innovation and the school board's support of the program has been instrumental in its success."

For winning the honor, the St. Tammany School Board will be highlighted in a special section in the April issue of American School Board Journal.

In March of 2010, the American School Board Journal selected the School System’s highly successful Energy Management Program System as the grand prize winner in the Journal’s Magna Awards program. In April of 2012 The Journal awarded the School System an Honorable Mention for the creation of a student wellness project and enhanced school cafeteria nutrition initiative.

 



04/08/2014

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Festival Spotlights Global Youth Service Day 2014

Hundreds of students from Chahta-Ima Elementary, Bayou Lacombe Middle, Monteleone Junior, Mayfield Elementary, and Lakeshore High schools will take part in the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Festival” being held on Saturday, April 12, commemorating Global Youth Service Day with students from throughout the world. Activities begin at noon and go until 4 p.m. at Bayou Lacombe Middle School.

This event is a youth-led initiative designed to encourage community sustainability, healthy living, and volunteerism while teaching youth important leadership skills. Students have partnered with Keep Lacombe Beautiful, Concerned Citizens of Lacombe, Lacombe Nursing Centre, Coastal Waste Management, and Junior Corps to put the event together.

There will be an organic garden farmers market where fresh herbs, herbal soaps, and teas will be sold, along with hand-painted bird houses, garden kits, and organic products such as pesto, salsa, pepper jelly, pickled okra, and spring/summer veggie mixes. Walking tours will be led through the garden by the Garden Club students.

Elementary students will hold a bake sale to raise money order to provide farm animals for African villages through Heifer International.

A compost booth will be on display, showing everyone how to use egg shells, coffee grinds, fruit and vegetable scraps, and oak leaves in the garden. The Student Nutrition Advisory Council from Bayou Lacombe Middle School will provide informational pamphlets and training in the methods and benefits of composting.

Food drives will also be held to benefit Goodwill and the Mount Olive AME Food Ministry. Many of the above activities have been conducted at Bayou Lacombe Middle School in the past.

At the "Recycle and Trash to Treasure Booth," visitors will bring in recycled items and be shown how to turn recycled trash into art or a new usable item.

Mayfield Elementary will be manning a booth raising funds for the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter.

 



04/07/2014

Spring Registration Dates Set for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade

Spring registration for the 2014-2015 School Year will begin on Tuesday, April 29, for students entering kindergarten and first grade for the first time in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. Registration for pre-kindergarten classes will begin on May 28.

Any child born before October 1, 2008, will be eligible for the first grade, and any child born before October 1, 2009, 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 2013-2014 school year will not be required to register again for the first grade.

Kindergarten and First Grade Registration Schedule

Each school will have a specific registration date as indicated in the following list. Hours of registration will be 9 a.m. until noon at the following locations on the dates given.

Abita Springs Elementary, April 30; Abney Early Childhood Center, April 29; Abney Elementary, April 29; Alton Elementary, May 2; Bayou Woods Elementary, April 30; Bonne Ecole Elementary, April 29; Brock Elementary, May 2; and Chahta-Ima Elementary, April 29.

Covington Elementary, April 29; Cypress Cove Elementary, May 1; Fifth Ward Junior High, April 30; Florida Ave. Elementary, April 30; Folsom Elementary, May 1; Lee Road Junior High, May 2; Little Pearl Elementary, May 1; Lyon Elementary, April 29; Madisonville Elementary, May 1; Mandeville Elementary, April 30; Marigny Elementary, May 1; and Mayfield Elementary, April 30.

Pontchartrain Elementary, April 29; Riverside Elementary, April 29; Sixth Ward Elementary, April 29; Whispering Forest, April 29; and Woodlake Elementary, May 1.

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; and (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 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.

Pre-Kindergarten Registration

Pre-kindergarten classes are being offered at 23 school sites during the 2014-2015 school year for four-year-old children who meet program criteria. Registration for classes will be held at 4 centralized registration sites. Hours of registration will be 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on the dates indicated on the following list. The list of schools registering students at each site and the dates of registration are as follows:

Pre-K Registration Schedule

Parents wishing to register their children for Pre-Kindergarten at either Alton Elementary, Cypress Cove Elementary, Little Pearl Elementary, Sixth Ward Elementary, or Whispering Forest Elementary may do so on Wednesday, May 28, at the registration site at Whispering Forest Elementary, 300 Spiehler Road, Slidell, LA.

Parents wishing to register their children to attend Pre-kindergarten at either Abney Early Childhood Center, Bayou Woods Elementary, Bonne Ecole Elementary, Brock Elementary, Florida Avenue Elementary or Mayfield Elementary may do so by visiting the registration site at Bayou Woods Elementary, 35614 Liberty Drive, Slidell, on Thursday, May 29.

Parents wishing to register their children to attend Pre-kindergarten at Chahta-Ima Elementary, Mandeville Elementary, Marigny Elementary, Abita Springs Elementary, Pontchartrain Elementary, or Woodlake Elementary may do so on Friday, May 30, at the registration site at Treen Instructional Technology Center, 2024 Livingston Street, Mandeville, LA.

Parents wishing to register their children for Pre-kindergarten at Covington Elementary, Fifth Ward Jr. High, Folsom Elementary, Lee Rd. Jr. High, Lyon Elementary, or Madisonville Elementary may do so on Monday, June 2, at the registration site at Harrison Curriculum Center, 706 West 28th Avenue, Covington, LA.

To qualify for any regular education Pre-kindergarten class, a child must meet the following criteria: (1) Has reached four years of age (48 months) before September 30, 2014; (2) Resides within the attendance area served by the school site; and (3) Eligible for Free and/or Reduced Lunch.

In addition to the other documents required for registration, Pre-kindergarten applicants must provide income verification using at least one of following documents: Food Stamp Card, TANF eligibility, McKinney Vinto eligibility, most current W-2 form, or two 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) 898-3306.

 



04/04/2014

Youth Artists Honored by School Board

In commemorating March as “Fine Arts Month,” the St. Tammany Parish School Board recently honored two young student artists for recent accomplishments in the fields of vocal and visual arts. At the Board’s March meeting Supervisor Margaret Sharpe introduced Anne Lebranche, a junior at Fontainebleau High School, and Reese Chafin, an eighth grader at Fontainebleau Junior High, and told of the recognitions each recently received from state and national groups.

Miss Lebranche recently auditioned and was accepted to the Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Camp in northern Michigan on scholarship. The acclaimed center will help her develop her solo-singing skills, preparing her for further vocal training. She is a music student in the Talented Arts Program, a member of her church choir, and performs at Playmakers Theater in Covington. In addition, she sings opera at Macaroni Grill in Mandeville.

“Reese Chafin is another phenomenal student who has benefitted from arts education is beginning to make a name for herself in the visual arts world,” Ms. Sharpe went on. “Reese gets up close and personal with a lot of wildlife while out hunting, and she recently won first place in the “Wild Things” art contest, and also won first place in the statewide Youth Art Month Louisiana Flag Design Contest. One of her drawings has been accepted into the Salad Days Art Show, and another was published in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report put out by the School System. In addition, she recently won honorable mention in this year’s Louisiana School Board Association (LSBA) Art Contest. A ribbon and special certificate from the LSBA was presented to her for her illustration of a white tail deer.

“The opportunities afforded these two young artists as a result of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s arts education programs are representative of the thousands of other students engaged in art, music, dance and theater,” Ms. Sharpe stated.

"In St. Tammany Parish, we celebrate fine arts every day of the year, and through our certified art, music, theater, and dance teachers, we enhance the lives of all students through authentic arts instruction.” Comprehensive arts programs profoundly benefit the students, she said, due in large part to the continued support of fine arts in the schools by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III and members of the School Board, she stated. “Research consistently indicates that students with backgrounds in arts education score higher on standardized tests, have higher attendance rates, higher graduation rates, and have significantly above-average reading and math skills, as well as improved teamwork skills, creativity, and self-discipline,” she noted.

School Board President Elizabeth Heintz congratulated both students, saying, “We appreciate all of our students and the fine art work they produce all throughout the year.”




04/01/2014

School System Spotlights Chambers Community Connections

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III recently presented leaders of the two Chambers of Commerce in St. Tammany Parish with Community Connections Awards honoring their working together with the St. Tammany Parish School System for the betterment of the area, its youth, and its businesses. The awards were presented at a Principals Meeting held at the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville.

St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Lacey Toledano and East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce CEO Dawn Sharpe-Brackett represented the two groups in receiving the awards.

Ms. Toledano said that since one of the Chamber initiatives is work force development, working together with the School System is an important coalition. “Our number one mission is developing business support, and one of the ways we do that is reaching out and developing relationships throughout the community, not just with our members, but with every group that contributes to the quality of life,” Ms. Toledano stated. She thanked the School System for letting the chamber use Lakeshore High School for its annual business EXPO during the summer, an event which showcases the School System’s newest high school.

Accompanying Ms. Toledano were Chamber Board Members Amy Edwards and Reid Falconer.

Ms. Sharpe-Brackett commented that since the School System represents the youth who are the future of the community, merging the chamber’s and School System’s interests is a worthwhile effort. She said it was truly a honor to receive the Community Connections award. “Our Education committee is one of our strongest committees,” she said, adding, “They are kicking off a new program called “YEA,” which stands for Young Entrepreneurs Academy, to help young people start their own businesses. We also have our annual Educational committee meeting in June where we give out our scholarships and recognize our Educator of the Year.”

Accompanying Ms. Sharpe-Brackett was Joe DiGiovanni, Chairman of her Chamber Board of Directors.

The School System has worked with both chambers in several projects over the past several years, and Superintendent Folse was installed as a member of the West St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce earlier this year after serving on its advisory committee.

Superintendent Folse said in his first week as Superintendent, one of the first things he did was visit the chamber of commerce leaders and commit to them that the School System would work with them in helping the community. “We knew that if the School System was strong and prosperous, the business community was going to be strong and prosperous, and conversely if the business community is strong and prosperous, it will affect our School System in a positive way,” he said. “It’s a perfect example of the School System and the chambers working together for success of our community.”

Later in the Principals Meeting, a video showed highlights from the recent Senior High School Special Olympics event at Fontainebleau High School. Images from that event prompted Superintendent Folse to say that seeing high school student volunteers, cheerleaders, and dance team members working together and celebrating with participants in the Special Olympics was a wonderful and inspiring experience. “Since our theme this year is Working Together for Success, this event says it all, each of us recognizing what we need to do and how to do it. It makes us appreciate how fortunate we are and appreciate how everyone came together on this special occasion to help the athletes celebrate their successes,” Superintendent Folse stated.

 



03/31/2014

Lakeshore High ProStart Students Win State Seafood Invitational Contest

Students from the ProStart culinary arts program at Lakeshore High School recently won top honors in the Louisiana Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Louisiana Seafood ProStart Student Invitational Contest held at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. In addition, Slidell High, Mandeville High, and Fontainebleau High won special awards new to this year’s event.

The winner of the Culinary Competition, the Lakeshore High students were led by instructor Judy Achary. Students included Matthew Bertucci, Yenifer Fuentes, Alma Hagans, Tatiana Joseph and Hunter Trahan. During the Culinary Competition, teams demonstrated their knife skills, poultry fabrication and creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course meal in 60 minutes, consisting of a soup, salad or appetizer; an entrée with a protein, vegetable and starch; and a dessert. All teams' menus had to feature at least one type of the six Louisiana seafood species.

Ms. Achary said, "We are thrilled and honored to be the First Place Culinary winners of the 2014 Louisiana Seafood Student Invitational. Our team impressed the judges with their cooking, safety and sanitation, knife skills, and team work. I've never seen a more devoted group! The students spent many hours practicing and are mentored by Chef Erick Loos, IV of LaProvence Restaurant." The students look forward to representing the State of Louisiana at Nationals in Minneapolis and have already started working toward that goal, she went on to say. ProStart courses have been taught at Lakeshore for the past four years.

The LRAEF hosted the 13th Annual Louisiana Seafood ProStart® Student Invitational this past week, showcasing the culinary and academic talents of students from 20 high schools across Louisiana. The event featured both a Culinary Competition and a Management Competition.

This competition was the second of a multi-year relationship with the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board, the competition's title sponsor, and was represented by Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, who addressed the students, teachers and parents during the awards ceremony.

Lakeshore's winning menu included the following: Appetizer- crab-stuffed avocado served over a bed of arugula, topped with tangy vinaigrette; Entrée - seared shrimp and Andouille sausage in a Cajun sauce with creamy grits; and Dessert – “Black and Gold” parfait: creamy peanut butter mousse, layered with rich chocolate pudding and banana sauté, topped with peanuts and a brûléed banana fan.

As a result of the win, Lakeshore High School will be one of two schools to represent Louisiana in the National ProStart Invitational in Minneapolis, MN, May 3 through May 5, 2014.

Additional awards new this year recognized schools for their individual achievements in various categories within the two competitions. In the Culinary division, Slidell High School instructor Stephen Aucoin won the Safety and Sanitation Award; and the Salmen High School team won the Judges' Pick Award for Entrée after preparing seared Louisiana Gulf trout, with sautéed green beans and a root vegetable hash, topped with a classic Meunière sauce. The ProStart instructor at Salmen is Allison Armand. Mandeville High School’s ProStart team won the Judge’s Pick award in the Dessert category for preparing New Orleans bread pudding, layered with vanilla-poached Louisiana strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, finished with freshly whipped cream. The MHS instructor is Carolyn Senac.

The courses chosen by the judges this past week will be interpreted and served to the guests at the LRAEF's annual Five Star Futures Gala Saturday, August 2, 2014, at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

In the Management Division, the Judges' Award for Critical Thinking went to Slidell High School, instructor Stephen Aucoin; and the Judges' Award for Verbal Presentation went to Fontainebleau High School, instructor Stacey Russell.

ProStart is a two-year comprehensive culinary management course for juniors and seniors in high school with two primary outcomes: to prepare students for higher education and to train students to go directly to work in Louisiana’s foodservice industry. The LRAEF pairs ProStart students and LRA members together in a mutually-beneficial relationship.

Students are required to complete a 400-hour work internship, thus providing hands-on training. Many of LRA members serve as mentors to ProStart students.

 



03/31/2014

Covington High Powerlifters Take State, National Championship Titles

Fresh from winning the State Powerlifting Championship in Monroe last week, the Covington High School Power Lifting team went on to win the USAPL Powerlifting High School Nationals championship in Killeen, TX, this past weekend.

Coach John Burford’s team won 62 overall points, bettering a team from Wisconsin that had won the past five national titles. Junior Joshua Bickham toppled the national squat and deadlift records and won a second consecutive individual national championship.

He was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Lifter with a 650-pound squat, 413 bench press and 700 deadlift.

At the state championship competition earlier in the week, Bickham was named the meet's outstanding lifter, breaking four state records in the 198 pound weight class and posting a dead lift of 725 pounds, the highest ever in any weight class in Louisiana history. Sophomore Tyran Garrett bested two state records to win the 181 pound division.

In April of last year, the team finished in third place at the USA Powerlifting (USAPL) High School National Championships in Denver, Colorado. They broke several national records, had two national champions, and received high honors in several categories of competition.

 




03/27/2014

Students of the Year To Be Honored at April 10 School Board Meeting

Students of the Year for the 2013-2014 school year have been selected and will be honored at the April 10, 2014, Board Meeting in Slidell. The students chosen for the District Awards are 5th grader Vani Pandian of Tchefuncte Middle School, 8th grader Anna Landry of Mandeville Junior High School and 12th grader Patrick Flanigan of Mandeville High School.

Patrick Flanigan was recently announced as the Regional Student of the Year and is a Louisiana State Student of the Year Finalist. He is a Louisiana delegate participating in the U.S.Senate Youth Program and serves as the Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council President. Mr. Flanigan is the Senior Class President and Captain of the tennis team at Mandeville High. He is also active in the Youth and Government Club and Theater.

Anna Landry is a talented artist and has won numerous awards for her work. She enjoys music, visual art, dance, cooking and photography. Ms. Landry is the founder and leader of the Page by Page Club at Mandeville Junior High, which supports writing contests to benefit the school. She is an active community volunteer lending her time to New Orleans races, an annual Cystic Fibrosis Walk and local art festivals.

Vani Pandian received the Carol Mayer Award for Science and won an Outstanding Science Achievement Award at the Regional Science Fair. She volunteers her time performing piano recitals for the elderly and singing at school and community events. Ms. Pandian participated in Locks of Love and earned the First Mate Award at Tchefuncte Middle School.

"We are proud of the efforts of these students. They serve as excellent representatives of the more than 38,000 students in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System," said Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III.

 



03/26/2014

Students From Four Schools Display Robotics Talents In Special Showcase

A special Robotics Showcase was held by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System just prior to the March School Board meeting in Covington with two elementary schools and two junior high schools displaying the capabilities of their robots.

The teams included the “Gearheads” from the award-winning Boyet Junior High robotics team, the “Lego Rock Star Heroes” from Honey Island Elementary, the “Cool Crafters” and “Titanium Owls” from Lake Harbor Middle School, and the “M-Squared” team and the “Cubed” teams from Mandeville Junior High. Several more schools in St. Tammany Parish have fielded competitive robotics teams that take part in local and regional competitions.

Dr. Regina Sanford emceed the event, with audience members rotating from one school exhibit to another every few minutes as students explained the design, building and successful runs of their handiwork. The robotics competitions require different grade levels to complete different tasks with their robots, everything from avoiding obstacles to accomplishing specified tasks.

“The reason for the Robotics Showcase tonight is to point out that teaching the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) is a critical need not only in St. Tammany Parish and Louisiana, but across the nation,” said Dr. Sanford. “It is our hope that our visitors will be entertained and enlightened by these demonstrations by some of our sharpest students.”

While the students talked to visitors, School System personnel, and School Board members about their robotics efforts, “Cool the Robot,” a Lake Harbor student in a robot costume, danced around the atrium greeting attendees.

The Boyet Team will be heading to the FIRST Lego League (FLL) National Championships in San Diego, CA, next May after winning trophies in many local and regional competitions. Its Faculty Sponsor is Pat Coy, with parent coaches and mentors Clark Rowley and Kevin Stokes. Team members include Matthew Busby, Joey Hyde, Carter Stokes, Peter Fabre, Claire Picou, Anna Yue, Jon Yu, Brendan Lederer, and Corrin Grant.

The Lake Harbor Middle School team is comprised of Alexa Smith, Graham Rafferty, Allen Torres, Carter Duet, Jake Mizell, Alex Ragas, Anna DeSadier, Trey Temples, Cory Koenig, Jacob Kruppa, Jonathan Baudouin, Olivia Stewart, Daniel Andrews, Emmy Miller, Zachary Myer and Dominic Howell, with teacher sponsors Kalinka Thurber and Nicolle Peterson.

The Mandeville Junior High team was represented by Kyle Currie, Julian Thompson and Casey Anderson, and team sponsor teacher Tracey Martinez.

The Honey Island Elementary team is made up of Rachael Marsh, Zachary Marsh, Brady Rollins, and Ethan Speed, with teacher Crystal Elliers and Paula Conway, and Coordinator Melanie Locker.

A special guest at the event was Ms. Leah Brown of Chevron, a key STEM sponsor and community sponsor of the School System.

 



03/21/2014

School System Students and Staff Donates $19,240 to STARC

Students and staff of the more than 50 schools in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System donated $19,240.22 during a STARC Donation Day held in the schools on February 28. At the March School Board meeting Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, presented a check for that amount to Dianne Baham, Executive Director of the STARC non-profit organization.

STARC stands for Services Training Advocacy Resources and Community. It offers a wide variety of services through its training programs for disabled adults and social development programs for young people.

Public School System students and staff each donated a dollar or more to wear jeans on STARC day, with the proceeds to benefit the 42-year-old non-profit organization. “The goal of STARC is to help people with developmental disabilities, young and old, by offering a variety of programs,” Folse stated. “Our parents, students and staff are all so very generous in taking part in these special donation days during the year, but the amount raised for STARC tells you how many people across the parish have been touched by STARC’s helping hand over the years.”

He commended Dianne Baham, the group’s Executive Director, for her continuing efforts to help the developmentally disabled people in St. Tammany.

A video was shown explaining STARC’s many programs and facilities in the community, how it got started and how it has expanded its services over the past four decades. It offers early intervention programs for children as well as a range of adult services, helping each to reach their full potential. “STARC is dedicated to find the ability behind the disability,” Ms. Baham stated, “helping them to gain independence.”

The organization runs a child development center, and its adult program helps people 18 years and older receive the training they need to become contributing members of society, Ms. Baham went on to say. Their commercial linen services provides work skills training for their clients, as well as competitive employment opportunities.

Now an integral part of the community, STARC began in 1972 with one child who contracted encephalitis after being bit by a mosquito. Her parents founded STARC for her and quickly began taking in other children with disabilities. That one young woman has touched the lives of thousands of people through the years as STARC became one of the most effective service providers for the disabled in St. Tammany Parish, Ms. Baham explained.

The School System has worked in the past with STARC in several ways, providing training for staff members, as well as using the group’s dust mop service. For more information, visit www.starcla.org

 



03/21/2014

Tchefuncte Middle and Marigny Elementary Win Special National PTA Award


The National PTA recently awarded 51 schools across the country with grants worth $1000 each in recognition for the school’s dedication to the family engagement concept. Tchefuncte Middle School and Marigny Elementary School were the only two schools in the State of Louisiana to win the award that spotlights the importance of family/school partnerships while enhancing parental involvement efforts.

The National PTA was founded on Feburary 17, 1897, and to commemorate the historic date, the National PTA’s “Take Your Family To School Week” was held the week of February 17 through February 27. PTAs throughout America and Europe hosted family-focused events with an emphases on addressing risks associated with high school drop-out, bullying prevention, multi-culturalism, improving literacy and math skills, and increasing arts participation.

Principal Mitch Stubbs of Tchefuncte Middle School said that on February 18, his school hosted an “Extra-Curricular Extravaganza,” an opportunity for both incoming and current students to learn how to get involved, meet new people, and enhance their school experience through the many clubs and activities.

In addition, he said, on February 27, Tchefuncte Middle School held its first ever Multicultural Night with a “Family Heritage Celebration.” The school and its PTA hosted a celebration for families by families to showcase the rich diversity of cultures and nationalities in the community.

“With the support of our PTA, both events were very successful,” Dr. Stubbs stated.

Principal Leslie Martin of Marigny Elementary explained that the school partnered with its PTA to host to two major events during the “take your family to school week.” One was called “Muffins with Mom” where 250 moms and special friends came to breakfast, and the other was “Marigny Starfish Showcase,” where over 200 families came for a Bar-B-Que dinner.

“Our family literacy and math night coupled with the opening of our junior STEM lab and an art show was a great week,” said Mrs. Martin. We were so pleased to have all those families on campus.”

School Board President Elizabeth Heintz congratulated both schools and their PTA’s for the national recognition given their parent involvement programs.

Fine Arts Supervisor Margaret Sharpe told the Board, “These two schools are indicative of the type of support our schools enjoy from the parents, grandparents, friends and community business partners from all over St. Tammany Parish.”

Every public school in St. Tammany Parish has an active PTA organization, with local members making up almost 65 percent of the total PTA membership in the state. Mrs. Sharpe thanked the many PTA members in all the schools for their parent engagement initiatives.


 

03/20/2014

Schools Close Friday, March 21, for Record Keeping and Professional Development

Public schools in St. Tammany Parish will be closed Friday, March 21, 2014, for one-half day of professional development sessions for teachers and one-half day of record keeping, following the end of the third grading period on March 20.

No students will report to school that day, but School Board offices will be open Friday. Classes will resume on Monday, March 24, 2014.

 



03/20/2014

Community Based Vocational Education Community Appreciation Luncheon Held

More than 150 people turned out for the first ever Community Based Vocational Education (CBVE) Appreciation Luncheon held at the Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville recently.

Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie congratulated the 22 students who have finished their vocational training, and welcomed their parents and community business partners to the event, noting what an integral part it was playing for every child, every day. She thanked Supervisor of Special Education Sharon Hosch and her team for their continuing efforts in this area and many other special education programs. This event was another example of the School System theme for this year of “Working Together for Success.”

Ms. Hosch spoke of the importance of helping students make the transition from the high school environment and schedule to the workplace environment and schedule, saying “These programs and partnerships with our community businesses assist with adding that richness to each student’s resume and portfolio. Each experience adds to a student’s preparation for employment success.” She thanked the business partners for opening their doors and allowing students the “real life” application and experience of work skills in the place of business.

Special Education Coordinator Susie Hughes noted that CBVE is a collaborative effort between parents, schools, the business community, and the non-profit organizations that support those efforts. It provides a variety of supported job training experiences in the classroom, on the school campus, and in the community business setting as well. A key factor is the identification of an individual student’s area of interests, with a focus on learning independence, positive behavior and work ethics.

Sherri Hansen of Culinary Kids was a guest business partner speaker, and she told of the benefits and inspiration she has enjoyed in her relationship with the program and the worker she hired. “Look around here today and you will see that it’s really not that hard to find good, hard-working employees,” she said, “They are all around you today.”

She was proud of the program, her employee, and the beautiful response she has had from her customers and her other employees. “As a small business owner, taking part in this program changed everything for me,” she explained. “It enhanced the morale of my own staff, it expanded my typical staff’s skill set to encompass expanded communication skills, the entire vibe of my entire business changed almost overnight.”

Earlier in the day students undertook “practice job interviews” with business people to help them transition between high school graduation and the workplace. Several School Board members were also in attendance, Robert “Bob” Womack, Stephen J. “Jack” Loup, III, Charles Harrell, and Peggy Seeley.

Certificates of Appreciation were handed out to the business partners in attendance. Overall there are 49 companies taking part in the program, and currently there are 121 students participating in CBVE in both on-campus and off-campus career skill experiences. Businesses in the program include Lakeshore Regional Medical Center, St. Tammany Parish Hospital, Slidell Memorial Hospital, STARC, Services Training Academy, Beau Chene, Franco’s Health Club, Heritage Manor, City of Slidell, and Greenbrier.

The Lakeshore High School JROTC Honor Guard presented the colors, and Northshore High School student Rachel Dement led the Pledge of Allegiance. Four talented music students from Fontainebleau High School performed on stage prior to the event. Under the direction of Brina Faciane, their Talented Music teacher, the musical performers were Stephanie Lee, Michael Seither, Emily England, and Riley Wiemelt.

 



03/20/2014

Magnolia Trace Elementary Students Dig For Dinosaur Fossils

In a special science presentation at Magnolia Trace Elementary this week, students took part in a simulated archaeological dig, finding and identifying dinosaur fossils. Students met at the gazebo south of the school, and after an introductory presentation on the types of dinosaur bones they would be finding, the students proceeded to “Maggie’s Boneyard” to push back sand and gravel to find the fossils.

They then had to identify the parts and name the dinosaurs belonging to those parts. The dinosaurs involved were tyrannosaurus Rex, stegosaurus, allosaurus, triceratops, and velociraptor. Posters showing the skeletons of each one were on display to help students identify what they were finding.

The kids also learned what a fossil is and how it came to be shaped like a dinosaur bone.

Principal Melanie Edwards said the results of the project have been fabulous. “The kids are learning a lot, and are having a lot of fun. So are the volunteer parents who are burying all 21 artifacts after each lesson,” she said.

Ms. Kia Koenig, scientist in residence, guided the lesson, giving each team detailed descriptions on how to identify the dinosaurs from the fossils that were found during the dig, ranging from teeth to skulls and back plates.

The project involved a large elevated dig area, shaped like bone, that the “junior paleontologists” dug through with the help of their teachers and volunteers. The students were assigned to teams of three to four students each, and given a specific area to dig in. While the excitement ran high when a fossil was uncovered, it had to be picked up and handled carefully because fossils can be broken easily, Ms. Koenig explained.



03/19/2014

School System Wins National Magna Award for The STAR Program

For the third time over the past four years, the St. Tammany Parish School Board has won top recognition in the national Magna Awards given by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and its American School Board Journal (ASBJ).

The latest award gives first place honors for the School System’s St. Tammany Advantage Rewards (STAR) employee discount program launched four years ago.

The Magna Awards program recognizes school boards across the country for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools.

The STAR Program is a community partnership in which business partners offer exclusive discounts on goods and services to the School System’s over 5,000 employees and retirees. Since it began in 2010, the program has grown to more than 300 business partners and is part of the School System’s ongoing efforts to create valuable community connections between the school system and local business community.

“This collaboration has been a win-win program for our employees and our community. It rewards our employees for their hard work and dedication to the children of our parish while helping to grow local businesses and to keep tax dollars in our parish,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “We are grateful for the leadership of our school board and our community partners who make this program a success.”

The Magna Awards recognize school boards from across the country for taking bold and innovative steps to improve their educational programs. An independent panel of school board members, administrators and other educators selected the winners from nearly 300 submissions.

“I am honored for the School Board to receive national recognition for the outstanding work our district is doing to encourage community involvement with our schools. This award highlights the board’s dedication and efforts to meet the needs of the St. Tammany Parish community,” said Board President Elizabeth Heintz.

"The Magna Awards, supported by Sodexo, showcase outstanding models for local school board leadership and school district success to advance student achievement," said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director of the National School Boards Association. "The STAR program is a national model for school district innovation and the school board's support of the program has been instrumental in its success."

The St. Tammany School Board will be highlighted in a special section in the April issue of ASBJ and will be formally recognized on Saturday, April 5, at the Best Practices for School Leaders Luncheon, which is part of NSBA’s 74th Annual Conference in New Orleans.

In March of 2010, the American School Board Journal selected the School System’s highly successful Energy Management Program System as the grand prize winner in the Journal’s Magna Awards program. In April of 2012 The Journal awarded the School System an Honorable Mention for the creation of a student wellness project and enhanced school cafeteria nutrition initiative.

 



03/19/2014

Project Lead the Way Advances STEM Curriculum

The St. Tammany Parish School Board recently received a comprehensive update on the progress being made by “Project Lead the Way” in several schools, a program which offers students advanced knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Three students of Educator Jacqlyn Duhe of Mandeville High spoke to the Board about the many great opportunities Project Lead the Way has presented to them, everything from building robots, using sophisticated Autocad software to design inventions, and even printing solid objects using a 3D printer.

Dr. Regina Sanford noted that the demand for workers in the STEM fields in the United States is increasing each year. Project Lead the Way gives students a tremendous head start in gaining the expertise needed to get college scholarships to further their skills or go directly into the workplace after graduation with a high-level of understanding and training already in place. “Project Lead the Way is the leading national provider of STEM programs,” she explained. “What sets apart is Project Lead the Way is that it is a continuous program from elementary through high school.”

The program has its own professional development component for the teachers, and it is endorsed by corporations and leading organizations as well as universities and colleges. In St. Tammany, the program uses Autodesk Inventor, a professional-grade 3-D modeling software, a program that one parent visiting the school’s Open House said was the same software he used at his engineering job.

“This is project-based learning,” Dr. Sanford explained. “Students are given a topic, which they then have to thoroughly investigate, design an object in the software, and then build the object.”

One class created Mardi Gras float models this year after researching the designs, taking into consideration the widths of streets and heights of traffic lights, and working with the software to draw the 3D models.

Starting next year, the St. Tammany Parish Public School System will have programs in three grade ranges offered by the project. “At the middle school level, we have the new program called ‘Launch.’ It will be in operation at Lake Harbor Middle School and Little Oak Middle School. Those teachers will attend training this summer in the various modules that feature kits to build robots or other activities,” said Dr. Sanford. “There will also be classroom sets of iPads.”

In the junior high schools, the program is called Gateway to Technology (GTT). “Three years ago Boyet and Mandeville Junior High Schools joined the GTT program, both receiving grants of $41,000 each. Clearwood Junior High and Fontainebleau Junior High came on this year, also receiving $41,000 each. Next year, Monteleone Junior High will be added after their teacher goes to training this summer,” she said.

At the high school level participating schools are Mandeville High School and Northshore High School. Each of those schools received a $50,000 grant, plus professional development, 18 laptop computers, a printer, software, kits, and classroom materials. Fontainebleau High and Lakeshore High are scheduled to offer the program next year.

Project Lead the Way teacher Jaclyn Duhe of Mandeville High told the School Board she is very passionate about STEM education and the project. She has led the popular FIRST robotics program at Mandeville High over the past three years. “I have a wide variety of students this year, freshmen through seniors, and watching these students take these ideas in their heads and work them out in the computer software and then build them using the Vex Kits is very inspiring.” Students sometimes have to reverse-engineer something, sometimes they have to create something entirely new. They even create puzzles for other students to solve.

In addition to learning how to use CAD software and carrying through on assigned tasks, they also have to make presentations to their classmates as if they were pitching to a client. As a result, they learn how to communicate their projects to other people, something they can and will use in the future, Ms. Duhe said.

Student Michael Adams told the Board how he learned to use the software, advancing from crude projects to more elaborate designs. The drafting skills he learned from Autodesk Inventor came in handy when he started his drafting classes at Mandeville High, and especially with the robotics team he has joined.

Student Rebecca Oppenheim said Project Lead the Way has been enlightening. “I hope to study aerospace engineering when I go to college,” she told the Board, “and this class has helped me understand the various engineering careers and where I can fit in.” She has also taken part in the robotics program at the school. She said she has learned the programming and design skills which will give her a definite head start when she gets to college.

Student Marlene McGraw, now in her second year with Project Lead the Way, said the program has helped her pinpoint what she wants to do with her life. “Before I began, I had no idea of what I wanted to do, but Project Lead the Way really opened up for me all the possibilities,” she said. It involves problem-solving, being creative, and helping other people, she explained. She described the Project Lead the Way classroom as focused, where students come in ready to work through problems and get to the solutions as a team.

Dr. Sanford said the program fits seamlessly with the emphasis on STEM instruction nationwide, as well as the two new Louisiana diploma pathways being proposed. Regional higher education facilities are also well aware of the opportunities students are being given at the high school level. “The program gives students many great opportunities, from dual enrollment programs to interaction with colleges and universities giving preferential admission to Project Lead the Way graduates,” she concluded.

Currently Project Lead the Way has programs in 5200 schools nationwide, with 56 schools in Louisiana using the program, and in St. Tammany Parish, there are six schools engaged with the work. The program is sponsored in large part by donations from community partners such as Chevron. Numerous other organizations support the Project Lead the Way national effort, including 3M, Generac, John Deere, and General Motors.

 



03/17/2014

Schools Close Friday, March 21, for Record Keeping and Professional Development

Public schools in St. Tammany Parish will be closed Friday, March 21, 2014, for one-half day of professional development sessions for teachers and one-half day of record keeping, following the end of the third grading period on March 20.

No students will report to school that day, but School Board offices will be open Friday. Classes will resume on Monday, March 24, 2014.

 



03/17/2014

Winners Named in 2014 Elementary Fitness Meet

The fourth annual St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s District Elementary and Middle School Fitness Meet was held Saturday morning at the Lakeshore High School football stadium. More than 80 students from 21 schools participated in the event. The overall school winner was Tchefuncte Middle School, with Lake Harbor Middle School in second place, and Abney Elementary in third place.

In the Girls Division, first place went to Ivy Mendheim of Folsom Elementary, second place went to Meagan Bubeck of Tchefuncte Middle School, and third place went to Arianna Echar of Pine View Middle School.

In the Boys Division, first place went to Landon Ibieta of Mandeville Middle School, second place went to Roman Davis of Lake Harbor Middle School, and third place went to Raedan Stephens of Tchefuncte Middle School.

Awards and trophies were given out at the end of 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.

Miss Mendheim and Mr. Ibieta were also winners in last year’s competition, with Miss Mendheim being the first place winner in the girls division each year over the past three years.

The first and second place boys and girls will be going to Baton Rouge to compete in the State Elementary Fitness Meet in April. One third place boy and girl will serve as alternates. Participants in the competitions are from the third and fourth grades.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III welcomed the crowd of parents and volunteers, saying when he saw the students doing their warm ups as he arrived at the stadium, he was proud to have such a great group of students and volunteers to turn out at 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning to take part in the competition. “It’s going to be a fun day, and everybody’s going to be a winner,” he said. He then proclaimed the traditional Olympic opening of “Lets the games begin.”

In commenting about the popularity of the event, Folse said, “We started the meet four years ago, and it’s grown. Each year the enthusiasm grows among the students and their parents. Supervisor Margaret Sharpe has done a great job.”

Folse stated, “We always want to represent St. Tammany well, and we know the students chosen today will do their best at the state level.” The District Fitness Meet not only teaches students to do their best individually, but also to work together as a team, he said, adding “the teachers always do a good job of stressing the importance of that to the students.”

The event also shows the students that fitness is important in itself no matter where you are in life, Folse stated.

Mrs. Sharpe, supervisor of physical education, explained that the meet is made possible by a large number of volunteers, many of them itinerant physical education teachers that serve the elementary and middle schools throughout St. Tammany Parish. “This being our fourth annual meet, they all knew exactly what needed to be done today, getting everybody ready and in the right place and warmed up to compete.”

The preparations for the meet begin in the fall, just after the start of school. “After learning sit ups and pull ups and other key skills for the meet in their regular P.E. classes, the top four students are then selected to take part in this event,” Mrs. Sharpe noted.

Coach Andy Thiel, the track coach at Lakeshore High School, and Principal Jeanne Wagner assisted in providing facilities and volunteers for the event, and a number of elementary school principals were on hand to cheer on their participants.

The Lakeshore High JROTC provided the Color Guard, and Lakeshore student Claire Putnam sang the National Anthem to open the ceremonies. Coach Larry Farve, head football coach at Slidell High, served as emcee for the event, coordinating the running of the various competitions, which included the 50 yard dash, broad jump, shuttle run, pull-ups, curl-ups, and sit and stretch, ending with a 600 yard run.

Kay Hursey, coordinator of Physical Education and Health for the School System, said, about 30 volunteers assist in the running of the meet, everything from nurses and timers to scorers. Supervisor Amiee Woessner was official scorekeeper.

The state’s Elementary Fitness Meet brings together 20 parishes from around the state each year to compete in Baton Rouge. At that event, the top two boys and girls from each parish take part in the championship competitions. 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 seven years from the parishes that participate in the Fitness Meet program.

 



03/12/2014

Superintendent Speaks on Social Media To St. Tammany Commission on Families

The potential of social media for both positive and negative impacts in young people’s lives was discussed at a recent meeting of the St. Tammany Commission on Families in Covington. Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III told of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s efforts this year to bring parents’ attention to the usage of social media and its impact on the school day.

Superintendent Folse showed the group a Channel 13 video, now available on You Tube, that reveals the dangers of using social media to harm or offend others. A letter outlining those dangers was sent home to parents a few weeks ago, and phone calls were made to each home to insure that each parent got the letter, Folse explained. The video detailed the anonymous nature of social media, how a “digital footprint” cannot be erased once the “send” button is clicked, and how arguments between two people on social media now have an audience of millions around the world.

Other guest speakers at the workshop included Judge Dawn Amacker of the 22nd Judicial District Court, Brian Trainor with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Abe Haley with the First Baptist Church of Covington. Each speaker presented the case for and against social media from their unique viewpoint, based on their experience and first-hand knowledge of the issues involved.

The meeting was held in the ROC Youth building at the First Baptist Church in Covington. Attendees were welcomed to the meeting by the group’s President, Gene Bellisario. For more information on the St. Tammany Commission on Families, visit www.stcof.org.

 



03/06/2014

Senior High 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 cloudy skies at Fontainebleau High School on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. One hundred and forty three high school athletes with special needs from throughout St. Tammany Parish took part in a variety of activities, including the 50 and 100 meter walk/run, 25 meter wheelchair race, shot put, softball throw and standing long jump.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III gave the welcoming address, thanking all those who worked together to make the event possible, especially Supervisor of Special Education Sharon Hosch and her Adapted Physical Education staff. “They give so much of their time and effort for this event,” he said. “Our motto this year is Working Together for Success, and I cannot think of a better way to show all of us working together for the success of each and every student in our School System. Days like today make me very proud of our School System, our students and our parents. To the athletes, best of luck and have a great time.”

The event began with the carrying of the Olympic torch from one high school student representative to the next. Students taking part in the passing of the torch were David Kephart of Covington High School, Earl Delaune of Fontainebleau High School, Adam Trust of Lakeshore High School, Simon Roussel of Mandeville High School, Kaitlyn Robertson of Northshore High School, Deborah Crowe of Pearl River High School, Rachel Kaufmann of Salmen High School, and Tyler Russo of Slidell High School. The Fontainebleau High JROTC presented the opening ceremony flags, Lean Hines of Mandeville High School led the Pledge of Allegiance, Rachel Sykes of Fontainebleau High sang the National Anthem, and Cody Tournillon of Northshore High School recited the Special Olympics Oath.

Participants were from Covington High, Fontainebleau High, Lakeshore High, Mandeville High, Northshore High, Pearl River High, Salmen High and Slidell High. Student and adult volunteers from Fontainebleau High School assisted the competitors as they arrived by bus, joined in the traditional parade of champions and then took to the field and track.

Folse said that the Special Olympics is truly a special occasion for the students and parents, and he thanked Fontainebleau High for hosting the event for the past eight years. “This speaks to what we say all year long, that is Every Child, Every Day,” Superintendent Folse stated. He said it was great to see everyone working together, coordinating the teams, and yet competing individually. “And we are all having fun at the same time,” he said.
Channel 13’s Charles “Tiger” Edward announced the opening ceremonies and winners from each competition. More than 100 parents watched the festivities from the home-side stadium bleachers.

The Fontainebleau High Bulldog Buddies student organization once again helped coordinate the wide range of activities, and each group of athletes was accompanied by their peer helpers from their own high school

Sharon Hosch, Supervisor of Special Education, said, “We look forward to this event all year, and students have been in training for it through their Adapted Physical Education classes.”

Renae Wallace, Coordinator of Adaptive Physical Education with the School System, is director of the Special Olympics track meet. The Special Olympics have been held locally for the past twenty-one years. Prior to 1994 they took students to Hammond where the program was held.

To view photos from the event, click here.


 

03/06/2014

Senior High Special Olympics Track and Field Meet March 12 at Fontainebleau High

High School athletes with special needs from throughout the St. Tammany Parish Public School System will be competing in the annual Senior High School Special Olympics Area Track and Field Meet Wednesday, March 12, an event hosted by the St. Tammany Parish Adapted Physical Education Department and Fontainebleau High School.

The meet begins in Bulldog Stadium at 9:45 a.m. and continues until noon. Peer buddies from each school will be on hand to encourage, support, and cheer the athletes on throughout the event.

More than 100 area students will compete in the 50- and 100-meter walk/run, 25-meter wheelchair race, shot put, softball throw, standing long jump, and a variety of developmental games.

The community is welcome to attend the meet that will begin with the parade of athletes and lighting of the torch, followed by track and field events.

 



03/05/2014

Daylight Savings Time Begins March 9

Daylight Savings Time begins March 9, the day before classes resume following the Mardi Gras break.

Central Standard Time will “spring forward” an hour next Sunday morning at 2:00 a.m., resulting in clocks needing to be set ahead an hour on the first day back to school.

 



03/05/2014

Third Annual Schlechty Center Conference Presented

More than 100 teachers and administrators from throughout the Florida Parishes met at the Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville Thursday, February 27, and Friday, February 28, for the third annual regional conference put on by the Schlechty Center entitled “Designing for Engagement.”

The two-day seminar was hosted by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. Originally scheduled for late January, it had been postponed when freezing weather closed schools and cancelled many other events.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, presented the keynote remarks at the event, welcoming visitors to the parish and giving them an overall perspective on St. Tammany public schools and how they have benefitted from the Schlechty Center’s presentations over the years.

Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie opened the program on Friday talking to the group about the specific ways in which the Schlechty framework has assisted the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

Led by Schletchy presenters Roland Chevalier, Vickie Phelps and Ron Wright, the workshop drew attendees came from several School Systems: Jefferson Davis Parish, Livingston Parish, the Louisiana Special School District, St. Charles Parish, St. Helena Parish, St. John the Baptist Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Terrebonne Parish, as well as St. Tammany Parish.

The seminar offered opportunities for teachers and administrators to collaborate and explore new learning and insights as presented in Phillip Schlechty’s book, Engaging Students. Participants learned about the engagement-centered classroom experience, the characteristics of teachers as leaders, and the concept of engagement and how it relates to learning.

A panel discussion featuring several St. Tammany students spotlighted what they felt would be helpful in keeping them interested and engaged. The “Power of the Student Voice” panel discussion was comprised of Alex Varisco of Covington High, Rex Shepherd of Lakeshore High, Myah Catanzaro of Fontainebleau High, Nick Petras of Northshore High, and Megan Brown of Salmen High.

Teachers learned not only the “nuts and bolts” of how to design engaging work, but also how technology helps in that effort, and how student feedback can give teachers day to day guidance.

Based in Louisville, KY, the Schlechty Center is a private, nonprofit organization committed to partnering with school leaders across the country to transform their classrooms, schools, and school districts from places focused on compliance to those focused on engagement. It started in the 1980’s and provides conferences on a national basis.

The parish became involved in the Schlechty Center network several years ago by undertaking the group’s Standards Bearer program focusing on goals that help ensure all students are well-educated. Since then, several programs have been presented to St. Tammany teachers and administrators by the organization.

 



02/28/2014

Public Schools Close March 3 through March 7 for Mardi Gras Holidays

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools are closed Monday, March 3, through Friday, March 7, for the 2014 Mardi Gras Holidays. Classes resume on Monday, March 10.

St. Tammany Parish School Board support offices were closed Monday and Tuesday, March 3 and 4, and will reopen on Wednesday, March 5.

 




02/28/2014

Schools Celebrate Carnival Season with Special Programs and Parades

Thousands of parents and grandparents turned out for dozens of Mardi Gras parades this week in St. Tammany Parish, parades put on by the students and faculties of elementary through junior high schools.

Parents and visitors enjoyed the music, colorful costumes, and energy of the parades, as the students got into the swing of the Carnival season.

High school and junior high bands led the way at numerous parades on campuses and beyond, as students tossed beads to their family and friends, and in many cases, their classmates in the younger grades who were unable to march, but lined the parade route shouting for their chance at the beads. When there was a delay in the parade, the students on either side of the parade route would throw beads back and forth to each other.

Teachers use Carnival season to teach their students about area customs, build and decorate floats of various sizes (from shoebox-sized on up), parade-themed classroom handicraft projects, and even electing Kings and Queens.To view photos from some of the schools, click here.

 




02/28/2014

Salmen High Offers Workshop on After Graduation Opportunities

Parents, students, and representatives from several colleges, military branches, and career technical training agencies met at Salmen High School Thursday night, February 27, for the second annual “ What To Do After Graduating High School Workshop.”

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III welcomed the crowd saying, “Our motto this year is Working Together for Success, and this is what this event tonight is all about: getting parents and students together with these community representatives and learning about what opportunities you have before you move forward in life.”

He thanked all those who had worked to put the program together, recalling that he had started his teaching career at Salmen High 29 years ago as a computer literacy teacher. “Salmen High is a special place, and there are a lot of good things going on here,” Superintendent Folse stated. “I’m glad you are here to take advantage of the information available here, and I hope you enjoy your night.”

Informational tables with displays and handouts were visited by those in attendance, and several break-out sessions offered details about college admissions, Delgado Community College, Financial Aid and TOPS, the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and the Northshore Technical Community College.

Students were given lists of pertinent questions to ask when talking to a college representative to help them make a decision on what college they were most interested in attending, questions regarding programs available, size of the student body, percentage of students who graduate, and extracurricular activities.

The program was emceed by Dorable Dangerfield, a Human Resources supervisor with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, and sponsored in part by community organizations, the Northshore Greeks, the Dr. Shovie Ducre Education Foundation and the Ministerial Alliance of Greater St. Tammany. “This was a joint effort of several groups, and we thank them for their support,” Ms. Dangerfield said. “We appreciate all of our presenters who are here with us tonight, sharing their knowledge with us so our students can better make the choice of what they plan to do after graduation,” she said.

Information was also presented about the teaching positions offered by the School System itself and the qualifications needed to become a teacher, with more information available at the local teacher recruiting website http://www.stpsb.org/teach . The services provided by the School System’s College Counseling Center were also explained, with its website available at http://college.stpsb.org.

 



02/27/2014

Special Olympics Track and Field Meet Held for Junior High Schools

The annual track and field meet for junior high school special education students in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System was held Thursday, February 27, at Sidney Theriot Stadium, Mandeville High School, beginning with the carrying of the Olympic torch.

Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse III welcomed the athletes, their parents, and all the volunteers who helped make the event possible.

The St. Tammany Parish Adapted Physical Education Department and Mandeville High School hosted the Junior High School Special Olympics event for more than one hundred student athletes from throughout the parish. They 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.

The meet kicked off with the “parade of athletes” and the carrying of the official torch. Mandeville High School’s club members and athletes volunteered to help make the day a fun and successful one for the Olympic Athletes.



02/26/2014

Schools Observe Black History Month with Special Events

Schools throughout St. Tammany Parish held many special events in observance of Black History Month this February, with guest speakers from the community, songs, dance, music and educational displays.

At Boyet Junior High School, hundreds of students and guests attended the first Black History Program in the gymnasium on Friday, February 21. There were several student presentations, an interpretive dance, singing by the chorus, musical selections by the band, and two special guest speakers, Principal Johnny Vitrano of Fontainebleau High School, and SFC Haywood Harrison with the U.S. Army.

The motto for the event was "Unity through Forgiveness and Perseverance." The story of Black History Month was told, and biographical profiles were given by students for Jackie Robinson, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, John F. Kennedy, Madame C. J. Walker, Langston Hughes, A. P. Tureaud, Louis Armstrong, and Homer Plessy.

The poem "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes, was recited, and the band played “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Vitrano, a former principal of Boyet Junior High, told about a historic baseball game he took part in between two high schools, one White and one Black, which had never played each other before.

SFC Harrison, a former student at Boyet, told about the importance of getting along with each other. He commended his favorite teacher Ms. Roseanne Landers, who taught 25 years at Boyet Jr. High and 35 years overall, whom he had called and asked to attend the ceremonies so he could spotlight her contributions personally.

Throughout the School System, informative presentations about Black History leaders were on display and Black History Month programs continued this week at a number of schools. At Chahta-Ima Elementary, awards were given to community leaders who have contributed much to the Lacombe area history, and at Folsom Elementary, drum playing was in the spotlight. At Abney Elementary, two guest speakers were honored, and students read essays they had written for the special occasion.

 




02/26/2014

Abney and Brock Elementary Students To Attend Pelican Literacy Rally

Students from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System will be taking part in the second “New Orleans Pelicans Literacy Rally” Thursday, February 27.

Shell Oil has partnered with the New Orleans Pelicans to host another session of its popular literacy program, this one to include more than 200 students from St. Tammany Parish Public Schools on Thursday, February 27. The Pelicans Reading Rally presented by Shell pairs literacy-focused activities and the game of basketball to ignite the students’ interest in reading.

Abney Elementary’s entire first grade of 180 students and Brock’s first and second grades, totaling 110 students, will be participating. The event takes place at the Saints Indoor Practice Facility in Metairie where students will take part in a variety of interactive games and choose a book to put in their home libraries before leaving the event.

The program aims to encourage reading among students by showing them how important reading will be to their future.



02/25/2014

Pontchartrain Elementary Spotlights Cultural Arts

Pontchartrain Elementary in Mandeville focused on art, crafts, and area heritage Friday with its annual Cultural Arts Day.

A large variety of skilled craftsmen set up demonstrations, hands-on exhibits, and presentations for the children, including a vintage car and motorcycle display.

To view photographs from the event, click here.

The Victory Belles, a singing trio from the National World War II museum in New Orleans, gave several performances, featuring songs from the Andrew Sisters and others. Audience participation delighted the students as they asked questions of the group and even took part in the singing.

Terry “Two Trails” Winbush, a Cherokee Native American, told students gathered in the library about his life and the heritage of his people, with a large display of Native American artifacts.

The “Artist Showcase” in the gym featured dozens of artisans and craftspeople, ranging from woodworking and quilting to weaving and metal working. There was even a display of the different types of hot dogs people across the country like to eat. There were military displays and equipment on view, information about camping and National Parks, instructions on how to tie various knots, and a special tour of American music. Students heard about the Tall Tales and Legends of American history, and many took part in painting an American flag picture that will hang in the school cafeteria.




02/20/2014

Two Elementary Schools Launch Backpack Program

Several CLECO representatives recently visited Lyon Elementary School in Covington to talk with school personnel about the benefits of their new “Backpack Club,” a new hunger-fighting and learning-boosting project. The visitors were very impressed with the results of the effort, which they are helping to fund through grants to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans.

While the Lyon Elementary program began in mid-January, Brock Elementary will begin offering its own “Backpack Club” on Friday, February 21. Each backpack provides children with healthy snacks over the weekend to help improve their school performance on Monday, and the results have been positive. The backpacks contain two meals, snacks and juice, sometimes fruit and a protein snack, enough for a nutritional boost over the weekend.

CLECO recently made a $60,000 contribution to food banks throughout the state, including Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans to help fund the Backpack Program.

The Coordinator of the Helping One Student To Succeed (HOSTS) group at Lyon Elementary is Cynthia Lester. She said the backpacks are assigned to each child on a Friday, then the students return them the following week in order to be refilled again the following Friday. “We are currently servicing the same 20 students each week,” said Ms. Lester.

Principal Rose Smith at Brock Elementary said 25 students will be involved at her school, and the parents are excited about the program. She said, “The snacks are really nice, and I think it’s a wonderful, absolutely wonderful program. We are very thankful we were chosen to be in it this year.”

The two meals that are contained in the packaging are purchased with the funds from CLECO and are shipped directly from Second Harvest Food Bank to Lyon and Brock once a month. Selected Tangipahoa and Washington Parish schools are also participating in the program.

Backpack programs have been offered in schools in New Orleans since 2011, and numerous backpack programs are active throughout the nation in conjunction with Second Harvest Food banks.

 



02/17/2014

Students Recognized in Region 8 Social Studies Fair Wins

Matalyn Stark of Pearl River High School was the grand prize winner in the Division III individual category in the 2014 Region 8 Social Studies Fair held at Southeastern Louisiana University February 5. Her winning history project was "The Trail Where They Cried." She will advance to the state Social Studies Fair to be held at Louisiana State University later this spring.

Grand prize individual winner in Division II (grades 6-8) was Matthew Larsen of Tchefuncte Middle School for his sociology project "Communication: Too Much of a Good Thing?"

School by school, the Social Studies Fair winners were listed as follows:

Tchefuncte Middle School students Yusuf Malik, Division I, was named grand prize runner up in sociology; Mitchell Domangue, Division I, placed first in history; Jackson Baynham, Division I, placed first in political science; John Paul LeBlanc, Division I, won first place in anthropology; Erica Li, Division II, won first place in anthropology; Vani Pandian, Division I, won second place in geography; William Bules, Division I, won second place in history; Aarushi Gupta, Division I, won second place in sociology; Branden Benefield and Christian Faler, Division II, won second place in history; Christina Braun, Division II, won second place in political science: Abigail Rase, Division I, won third place in anthropology; Rex Kilpatrick, Division I, won third place in economics; Raedan Stephens, Div. I, won third place in geography; Jack Cantrell, Division I, won third place in sociology; Jordan Williams, Division II, won third place in sociology; Isabella Mejia, Division I, won fourth place in geography; Emily Pinson, Division II, won fourth place in history; and Cameron Doyle, Division II, placed fourth in sociology.

Bayou Lacombe Middle School students Morgan Faciane, Division II, won second place in Louisiana history; Hunter Bryant, Division I, won third place in political science; Adia Moody, Division II, won third place in Louisiana history; Keithan Ducre, Division I, won fourth place in sociology; and Alana Batisre, Division II, placed fourth in Louisiana history.

Lake Harbor Middle School students Joey Keller and Lauren Pierce, Division II, won first place in sociology; Alex Maassen, Division II, won second place in history; and Nick Kaushal, Division II, won fourth place in anthropology.

Lee Road Junior High students Tyler Lane, Division II, won second place in economics; and Alex Champagne, Division II, won fourth place in geography.

Mandeville Middle School students Olivia Jones, Division II, was the grand prize runner up in geography; Sam Dehmer, Division I, won first place in geography; C.J. Owens, Division I, won first place in political science; Shaw Corcoran, Division II, won first place in Louisiana history; Carter Ledbetter, Division II, won first place in political science; Sarah Hossain, Division I, won second place in economics; Ben Montgomery, Division II, won second place in geography; Carson Cooper, Division I, won fourth place in anthropology; and Dylan Lingo, Division I, placed fourth in history.

 



02/16/2014

Spring LEAP Testing Dates Announced For Non-public and Home Schooled Students

Spring LEAP testing for nonpublic and home-schooled students will be administered by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System to students in grades 4 and 8 in two phases beginning in March. Students must attend both phases

Parents must fill out a LEAP Testing application in order for their children to take part. The application can be downloaded by clicking here. The deadline to submit application is March 7, 2014.

Phase One of the LEAP (Louisiana Educational Assessment Program) test will be offered to nonpublic and home-schooled students on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, and Phase 2 testing will be on two days, Monday, April 7, and Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

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 2014-2015 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.louisianabelieves.net.

Spring LEAP Testing for nonpublic and home-schooled students will take place at a parish school site. 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 public schools.

For further details call 898-6481 or email Karen.Kety@stpsb.org.

 



02/16/2014

Students Receive Mathletes Rewards

High school students throughout St. Tammany Parish were awarded special prizes this month from the Chevron and New Orleans Pelicans “Mathletes” Program. Now in its third year, the educational initiative gives prizes to students as an incentive to do well in their math classes and improve their grades over the course of the year for bigger prizes.

While the scheduled prize distributions were disrupted in late January by the freezing weather, schools went ahead with giving their eligible students special caps emblazoned with the Pelicans Mathletes logo and Chevron logo. Dozens of students could be seen across campuses wearing their Pelicans Mathletes caps. Other prizes will be awarded as the program progresses.

Those prizes can include a ticket to a New Orleans Pelicans basketball game, transportation to and from the game, and a Mathletes T-shirt.

The Mathletes project is a result of the Chevron/Pelicans partnership which endorses STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education in the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools. Ninth through 12th grade students in St. Tammany Parish participate in the program. Qualifying students have to increase their average GPA one letter grade or more or have an A average in math.

 



02/16/2014

Salmen Cheerleaders Place 7th in National Competition

The Salmen High School Cheerleaders placed seventh in the nation in the small varsity non-tumbling competition at the National High School Cheerleading Competition in Orlando, FL, at Disney World February 8th and 9th.

Team members included Melonie Lymuel-Hartley, Mariah Bagneris, Krysta Underwood, Alyesha Stewart, Deja Brooks, Jaden Jacobs, Dominique Williams, Kierra Otis, Erin McQueen, Jazlynn Taylor, Monique Young, Denise Troullier, Charles Williamson, Shelby Lipham, Emily Bruskoteer, Sierra Scott, and Angelle Thomas.

The National High School Cheerleading Championship (NHSCC) is the top cheerleading championship in the country. It is held annually at the Walt Disney World Resort and nationally televised on ESPN and ESPN2 to over 100 million homes and 32 countries nationwide each year.

 



02/14/2014

School Board Honors New National Board Certified Employees

The St. Tammany Parish School Board holds a special program each year to recognize those teachers and other education professionals who have undergone the significant effort to achieve National Board certification.

Several newly National Board Certified employees were honored at the Board’s February meeting in Covington. Human Resources Supervisor Brandon Clanton introduced each new teacher and school counselor to receive National Board Certification this year, and Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III and School Board President Elizabeth Heintz congratulated them on their accomplishment.

Toni Bourg teaches at Mandeville Elementary, and her National Certification is in the area of Early Childhood Generalist. She attended both LSU and Nicholls State University, earning a B.A. Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education, as well as a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education. She has 13 years of experience in education, and this is her first year of teaching with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

Susan Ragusa Bowers teaches science at Monteleone Junior High School in Mandeville. She has a B. A. Degree and a Masters in Business Administration from UNO. She is now in her tenth year of teaching, currently in her first year in St. Tammany Parish Public Schools. Her area of National Board Certification is Middle School Generalist.

The National Board Certified School Guidance Counselors were Amanda Freeman Alonzo, Shannon Klapatch-Francis, Toni Matherne, April S. Montalbano, and Libby Schayot.

Ms. Alonzo earned her B. A. Degree in Psychology from UNO and her Masters Degree in School Counseling from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. Now in her eighth year as a professional counselor, she has worked in St. Tammany Parish Public Schools as a counselor for four years. She has served at Salmen High, Cypress Cove Elementary, Fontainebleau Junior High, Mayfield Elementary, and Creekside Junior High.

Ms. Klapatch-Francis attended LSU and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation Services and her Masters Degree in Counseling. She is a licensed professional counselor with close to ten years of school counseling experience. She is currently the junior class counselor at Slidell High, and also served as counselor at Folsom Elementary for two years.

Ms. Matherne, now in her 26th year with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, earned her Masters Degree in Secondary School Counseling from SLU. During the past 22 years, she has served as a counselor at Mandeville High, Slidell High, Northshore High and Fontainebleau High.

Ms. Montalbano has 11 years of experience in education, teaching English at Covington High for six years and for the past five years serving as the School Counselor for Operation Jumpstart, both east and west. She earned a B.A. Degree in Education at SLU in 2001, and in 2009 obtained her Masters Degree in counseling.

Ms. Schayot earned a Masters Degree in School Counseling from the University of Southern Mississippi and then her Ph.D. in School Counseling at UNO. She is a licensed professional counselor and supervisor, having over 30 years of counseling experience, ten of those with the public school system. She is currently the counselor at Fontainebleau High School.

The purpose of the certification process is to establish high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do and to reward excellence in teaching. The national certification process is voluntary and involves a rigorous performance-based assessment that takes from one to three years to complete.

As part of the process, teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes, and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching.

The five core propositions adopted by the National Board are (1) teachers are committed to students and their learning, (2) teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach these subjects to students, (3) teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning, (4) teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience, and (5) teachers are members of learning communities.

 



02/14/2014

School Board Supports LSBA Legislative Framework Program

The St. Tammany Parish School Board adopted a resolution Thursday night in support of the 2014 Legislative Framework document recently released by the Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA).

The resolution says that the Legislative Framework was developed with careful thought with input from officials representing local school boards, parish superintendents, consultants and legislators from across the state. The Framework lists key factors the LSBA encourages legislators to consider when drafting legislation on a number of issues pertinent to public education.

 




02/13/2014

Superintendent Presents Community Connections Awards to Northshore Business Council

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III gave four members of the Northshore Business Council (NBC) “Community Connections Awards” Tuesday morning at the Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville, commending them for their efforts over the past four years to promote educational excellence in St. Tammany Parish.

With more than 100 School System administrators looking on, Superintendent Folse gave plaques to Bruce Wainer, Howard Daigle, Susan Bonnett and Larry Rase, executive director of the group. The “Community Connections Awards” recognized their business community partnership with the School System in many areas, addressing mutual concerns and opportunities.

“I am sure the School System is a better School System because of these four individuals,” Folse said.

The Northshore Business Council is made up of approximately 60 successful business leaders who have joined together to promote business in St. Tammany. School officials have learned from the group, and they have learned from School System administrators, Folse stated.

He credited their endorsement, followed by the endorsements of several other key community organizations, for the success of a recent tax millage.

Public education is a key interest of the Northshore Business Council, and it knows its importance to economic development, Daigle said. They all work together to attract new business and new industry to St. Tammany Parish, and a skilled and well-educated workforce helps in those efforts. Principals at the meeting were encouraged to find local business people in their area and work with them to help build awareness and trust, and develop mutual community interests.

Principals were able to meet with the NBC members one-on-one and thank them for their contributions and discuss possible collaborations within their school areas.

School Board President Elizabeth Heintz was on hand to take part in the award presentations.

 



02/13/2014

Region 8 Science Fair Recognizes Student Projects

The 2014 Region 8 Science Fair was held at Southeastern Louisiana University recently, with several St. Tammany Parish Public School System students honored for their projects.

The overall winner in the junior division was Kyle Currie of Mandeville Junior High with his project entitled “The Magnetic Masterpiece.” It placed first in the physics and astronomy category.

Boyet Junior High students won first and second place honors, Emma Christoffer winning first place in medicine and health sciences, and Austin Thombs winning second place in energy and transportation.

Fifth Ward Junior High students Corbin Ross won second place in biochemistry, Lillian Jenkins won third place in medicine and health sciences, and Jacie Williams won honorable mention in plant sciences.

Little Oak Middle School students Chris Barron won first place in engineering, and Jocelyn Rivarde won an honorable mention in engineering.

Mandeville Junior High School students Kyle Currie won first place in physics and astronomy, Adam Moeller won first place in energy and transportation, Catherine Rockwell won second place in plant sciences, Michael Pedersen won second place in animal science, and Rachel Butz won third place in microbiology.

St. Tammany Junior High students Andrew Clatterbuck won first place in behavioral and social science, Gabrielle DeBarbieris won first place in computer science, Blaize Davis won second place in engineering, Greg Fontenot won honorable mention in biochemistry, and Bernel Davis and Gabriel Brito won honorable mention in environmental sciences.

Creekside Junior High student Brennan Murray won honorable mention in energy and transportation.

Cleco, Shell, and Valero St. Charles Refinery were sponsors of this year’s Region 8 Science Fair.

 



02/13/2014

Special Olympics Track and Field Meet Scheduled for Junior High Schools

The annual track and field meet for junior high school special education students in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System will be held Thursday, February 27, at Sidney Theriot Stadium, Mandeville High School, beginning at 9:45 a.m.

The St. Tammany Parish Adapted Physical Education Department and Mandeville High School will host the Junior High School Special Olympics event for more than one hundred student athletes from throughout the parish. They 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 meet will kick off with the “parade of athletes” and lighting of the official torch, followed by a day of track and field events. Mandeville High School’s club members and athletes will be volunteering to help make the day a fun and successful one for the Olympic Athletes. The event is scheduled to end around noon.

Parents, interested community members, and track enthusiasts are all invited to attend and cheer for the athletes.

 



02/12/2014

School System Leaders Update Leadership Class on Educational Advances

The 2014 class for the "Leadership St. Tammany" program visited with St. Tammany Parish Public School System officials February 12 to learn more about education in the parish. The event took place in the atrium of the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex in Covington.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III and Assistant Superintendents Pete Jabbia and Cheryl Arabie presented detailed information on the programs and opportunities for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade, with an emphasis on technology advances in classroom instruction. Director of Information Technology Louis Boullion also spoke to the group.

Participants were given a “hands-on” demonstration of two of the technology tools used by educators throughout the parish, and then they visited selected school campuses for special tours and lunch.

Now in its twentieth year, the nine-month long Leadership St. Tammany program closely follows the school year, commencing with a weekend retreat every August. The first meeting features leadership training experts guiding participants through exercises dealing with conflict, influence, decision-making, team building and communication skills development.

Each month workshops give each participant an increased knowledge of a specific aspect of life in St. Tammany Parish, enhanced by group discussions and on-site visits. Topics include Arts, History, Culture, Tourism, Education, Social Services/Health Care, Political Activism/Media, Values-Based Leadership, Local Government, Economic Development/Planning and Growth, and the Judicial System/Law Enforcement.

 



02/11/2014

Rep. John Schroder Visits Mandeville Junior High

State Representative John M. Schroder visited the campus of Mandeville Junior High on February 6, explaining to 100 students in the 7th and 8th grade gifted social studies classes what his job requires and what his role is in the state government.

After his presentation, students had the opportunity to ask him questions. One question involved a little known law concerning bicycles and another was related to coastal erosion.

His visit was arranged by a student’s parent who works for his office. Principal Mary Ann Cucchiara said that he stayed for two class periods, worked well with the students and did an excellent job explaining his responsibilities and answering their questions.

Mandeville Junior High often has guest speakers visit classrooms to share their knowledge and experiences with the students. On February 7, the Talented Art classes had a guest speaker, Dena Groshart, Director of the Samaritan Center. She spoke about the importance of community outreach. Last month, FBI Special Agent Corey Harris spoke to Honor Roll students about internet safety.

 



02/04/2014

Legislators Visit School Cafeterias

Local area Louisiana state legislators were recently invited to visit schools in St. Tammany Parish to learn how the food service programs and school cafeterias play an integral part in the health and education of students. On Monday, February 3, Representative Timothy Burns visited Pontchartrain Elementary and Tchefuncte Middle School in Mandeville and Senator A. G. Crowe visited Pearl River High.

Legislators met with cafeteria managers and principals and were brought up to date about new menu requirements and choices. They were given “chef’s hats” to wear while working in the cafeteria.were given “chef’s hats” to wear while working in the cafeteria.

“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 food service managers explained the 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.

Legislators were informed that school lunch and breakfast are vital parts of the school system, and the number one goal of the School Food Service are well balanced, nutritious and safe meals. Special diets are provided for specific student medical needs, and other responsibilities include pricing accountability, computerized inventory, free/reduced lunch offerings and menu worksheets.

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools “Student Nutrition Advisory Councils” were also spotlighted, as were efforts by cafeteria personnel to provide nutrition education activities in the classroom. New USDA guidelines for increased fruits and vegetables, and limits on total calories and fat were also discussed.

The School System served 10,400 breakfasts and 25,523 lunches daily in 2012-13, which totalled more than 6.1 million meals. “We also participate in the After-School Snack program at some of our schools,” said Pat Farris, School Food Service Supervisor.




02/03/2014

Sixth Ward Elementary Wins Third Place in Dairy Contest

The winners of the 2013 “Fuel Up Like A PRO Breakfast Contest” included Sixth Ward Elementary School, which finished in third place. Students there increased their milk consumption by nine percent over the course of the contest, winning a $1000 cash prize and a piece of Saints merchandise.

The Fuel Up Like A PRO Breakfast Contest was open to all accredited, public, private or parochial schools within the Gulf South NFL market area for the New Orleans Saints that serves breakfast in the student cafeteria and participates in the National School Lunch Program in Louisiana. It started in October and ended in late December.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is a program founded by the National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with USDA, that empowers students to take charge in making small, everyday changes at school. Students can win prizes for choosing good-for-you foods and getting active for at least 60 minutes every day.

 



02/03/2014

Pine View Middle Showcases Club Activities

Students attending Pine View Middle School in Covington celebrated their second monthly “Club Day” on January 31, taking part in a special event that gives every one of the students in the school a chance to see what clubs are available and what they involve.

The twenty eight clubs spotlighted by the school cover a wide variety of interests, from cooking and math to art and 4-H. Club Day allows all students the opportunity to participate in a club experience at school by setting aside the last hour of the last Friday in a month for students to attend the club of their choosing, said Principal Diane Combs.

The goals of Club Day include building positive relationships between students and school faculty and staff; nurturing student interests by exposing them to a variety of experiences; promoting the development of social skills; and expanding the program to include community members. All teachers and para-educators facilitate the clubs, which are located in every available space across the campus.

Clubs include the Cooking Club, Cake Decorating, Poetry Club, Math Club, Line Dancing, the Pop Culture Club, Scrapbooking, Board Game Club, Vintage Games Club, Lego Club, Crochet Club and the Rainbow Loom/Cra-z-loom Club.

Also, there is the Nutrition Advisory Club, Yearbook, Basketball Club, Baseball (Cabbage Ball), Running Club, Yoga Club, Jump Rope/Double Dutch Club, Art Club, 4-H Club, Student Council, Gardening Club, Chess Club, and Book Club.

Other groups include the Green Team Recycling Team, Etiquette Club, Computer Club, and the Sign Language Club. To view photos from the recent Club Day at Pine View, click on link below.

 



01/31/2014

School Board Receives Financial Reporting Awards

For the 25th year in a row, the St. Tammany Parish School Board has been awarded the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) 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 2012.

The GFOA award was presented at the January School Board meeting by Ms. Gayle Fransen with the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office, and the ASBO award was presented by Mickey Simon with the Audit and Assurance Services office of LaPorte, CPAs and Business Advisors.

“We can’t stress how important it is to the public to have good financial reports,” Ms. Fransen said. “It’s a service that everyone can appreciate.”

The honors come following an extensive review by experts from the two professional organizations. Mr. Simon reported that only 22 School Boards in the state of Louisiana received the awards this year, and only seven School Boards have received the awards for the past 25 years. “A quarter century of these awards is unambiguous testimony to the highest standards in school financial reporting."

"This can only be accomplished by the many hours of hard work and the highest dedication by School System business affairs staff,” said Mr. Simon.

Both School Board President Elizabeth Heintz and Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III commended Director of Business Affairs Terri Prevost CPA and her employees for doing an excellent job in the financial affairs for the School System. “We are proud to receive these awards and appreciate the hard work put in by Ms. Prevost and her staff,” Mrs. Heintz stated.

Superintendent Folse said, “As we know, it is a total team effort, and Terri and her people do a great job. We also recognize and thank Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie for her leadership in that department. Congratulations to all of you.”

ASBO 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.


 

01/30/2014

St. Tammany Public Schools To Reopen Friday

All St. Tammany Parish Public Schools and support offices will reopen on Friday, January 31. All schools and offices will open at normally scheduled times. All of our Principals have checked on their campuses, and our 55 schools are ready to reopen. We appreciate the cooperation of parents as we dealt with this unusual winter weather situation.


 

01/29/2014

High School Based Anti-Litter Program Wins National Recogniton


The innovative anti-litter campaign designed and implemented by three Mandeville area high schools last year has won a national award for the Keep Mandeville Beautiful program.

The high school project entitled “Litter: There’s A Bag For That,” had won the Most Innovative Program award for Mandeville’s group from the Keep Louisiana Beautiful organization last year.

The national Keep America Beautiful organization will bestow upon the Keep Mandeville Beautiful group the title of “Most Innovative Affiliate” at its national convention in early February in Charlotte, NC. The “most innovative” recognition spotlights those programs that help “further the mission” of the national Keep America Beautiful initiative.

In October of last year, Mandeville Mayor Don Villere and officials with the Keep Mandeville Beautiful (KMB) program appeared before the St. Tammany Parish School Board to commend student participation in this year’s anti-litter campaign

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, said 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.



01/29/2014

St. Tammany Public Schools To Close Thursday Due To Road Conditions


In coordination with St. Tammany Parish officials, the decision has been made to close all St. Tammany Parish Public Schools on Thursday, January 30th, due to hazardous road conditions expected in the morning hours. Emergency Management officials have told us that due to the hard freeze expected Wednesday night, road conditions could be dangerous in some areas of St. Tammany Parish on Thursday morning. It is expected that temperatures will rise on Thursday to a level that will melt the ice, making it safe for schools to reopen Friday, January 31st. All 12-month employees should report to work at noon on Thursday to make certain schools are ready for students to return on Friday. The safety of our students is our top priority. We appreciate the cooperation of parents as we deal with this unusual situation.



01/29/2014

Hospital Group Auctioning Off Student Super Bowl Artwork

Students at Lyon Elementary School in Covington recently created and painted colorful clay bowls as part of the “Little Rembrandts” project to raise money for the Healing Arts program at St. Tammany Parish Hospital. Students in T-1 through third grade even wrote notes to go with each bowl, telling the new owner how it was intended to be used, what inspired them to make their bowl and the healing wishes that come with each one.

The auction of the bowls will be held online through February 7.

The Healing Arts program, part of the national Arts in Healthcare initiative, integrates the arts - including literary, performing, musical and visual arts and design - into a variety of healthcare and community settings for therapeutic, educational and expressive purposes.

Auctioning off the bowls start at $15 with “Buy It Now” options beginning at $100. The online auction is available at http://www.biddingforgood.com/superbowls.

The Little Rembrandts “Super Bowl” auction is chaired by Mary Lee, chairman of the STHF Healing Arts committee, and Meghan Garcia, art teacher at Lyon Elementary. For more information, contact Nicole Suhre at 985-898-4171 or nsuhre@stph.org.


 

01/27/2014

St. Tammany Schools To Close Tuesday and Wednesday for Winter Weather

In coordination with St. Tammany Parish officials, the decision has been made to close all St. Tammany Parish Public Schools and Offices on Tuesday, January 28, and Wednesday, January 29, due to winter weather conditions.

All Tuesday and Wednesday night athletic events and extracurricular events are also cancelled and will be rescheduled. As soon as new schedules are available, they will be posted on this website and on our School System Facebook page.

Weather officials are predicting a hard freeze and almost 24 hours of precipitation starting Tuesday morning and continuing into Wednesday. This could impact road conditions and possibly cause power outages. The safety of our students is our top priority. We appreciate the cooperation of parents as we deal with this situation.

 



01/26/2014

School System Officials Monitoring Weather

St. Tammany Parish Public School System officials are closely monitoring the weather forecast for the upcoming week. We are continuing to meet with local Emergency Operations Officials and following the situation as it unfolds. The weather is unpredictable and is changing from one forecast to the next. School System officials will make decisions regarding the closure of schools as soon as possible.

If a decision is made to close schools, parents will receive automated phone calls to the phone numbers they have listed with their child's school. The information will also be posted on this website, the School System Facebook page and Twitter feed. Parents can also monitor the School System's Channel 13 TV station, local TV news and radio stations. The safety of our students is our main priority and we appreciate the cooperation of parents as we make decisions regarding this situation.

 



01/26/2014

Spring LEAP Testing Dates Announced For Non-public and Home Schooled Students

Spring LEAP testing for nonpublic and home-schooled students will be administered by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System to students in grades 4 and 8 in two phases beginning in March. Students must attend both phases

Parents must fill out a LEAP Testing application in order for their children to take part. The application can be downloaded by clicking here. The deadline to submit application is March 7, 2014.

Phase One of the LEAP (Louisiana Educational Assessment Program) test will be offered to nonpublic and home-schooled students on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, and Phase 2 testing will be on two days, Monday, April 7, and Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

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 2014-2015 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.louisianabelieves.net.

Spring LEAP Testing for nonpublic and home-schooled students will take place at a parish school site. 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 public schools.

For further details call 898-6481 or email Karen.Kety@stpsb.org.


 

01/24/2014

Games Rescheduled After Weather-Related Cancellations

All athletic events and other extracurricular activities cancelled for last Friday, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, are being rescheduled. Listed below are the events that have been rescheduled:

Basketball
SHS vs NHS @ NHS, to be played tonight, Monday, January 27, at 6:00 Pm
FHS vs St. Paul @ SPS to be played Thursday, January 30, at 6:30 PM
FHS (GBB) vs Country Day has been postponed until next week ( TBA)
MHS vs CHS @ MHS to be played Thursday, January 30, at 6:00 PM
PRHS vs SSA @ PRHS to be played Monday, February 3, at 6:00 PM
Salmen V Franklinton @ SHS to be played Friday, January 31, at 6:00 PM
LHS vs Mentorship Academy to be played Thursday, January 30, at 6:00 PM

Soccer
SHS vs NHS @ SHS to be played Monday, January 27, at 6:00 PM
FHS vs SSA @ FHS to be played Thursday, January 30, at 5:30 PM
FHS vs SPS @ FHS to be played Monday, February 3, at 7:00 PM
MHS vs CHS @ CHS to be played Thursday, January 30, 6:00 PM
PRHS, LHS, Salmen does not play soccer on Tuesday or Wednesday

Wrestling
PR vs FHS @ PRHS reset for Thursday, February 12, at 6:30 PM

CHS basketball--at CHS vs. Hammond-Monday - Girls game at 6 pm-boys game following.

LHS girls basketball at LHS vs. SSA-Monday -5 and 6 pm



01/23/2014

Fontainebleau High To Host Historic International Jazz Concert

On Thursday, January 23, Fontainebleau High School will host an “historic” battle of big bands being billed as “The Kremlin Meets the Crescent City.” The two groups taking part will be legendary pianist/educator “Ellis Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra” and the internationally renowned Igor Butman Jazz Orchestra (IBJO) from Moscow, Russia.

The concert will be held Thursday, January 23, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Fontainebleau High School auditorium in Mandeville. “This is a great opportunity for our community to hear world class musicians right here at Fontainebleau High,” said Lee Hicks, band director, whose local student jazz musicians have won numerous regional, state and national awards. “This is a live concert that is sure to be an epic event, an International Jazz Music Throwdown.”

Tickets to the special event are $10, and all ticket proceeds will go to the musicians. “These guys are just looking to play a great concert and have a lot of fun with a packed house,” Hicks stated.

Hicks said that Marsalis will provide the unique wisdom and musical touch of a true Jazz Master, accompanied by the energetic and New Orleans flavored Uptown Jazz Orchestra. The Igor Butman Jazz Orchestra from Russia features Moscow’s finest jazz players. “It is a force to be reckoned with, led by Russia’s Number 1 jazz personality, saxophone virtuoso Igor Butman,” Hicks went on to say.

Butman trained at the prestigious Berklee College of Music and loves spreading the news of jazz around the world. He has shared the stage with jazz greats including Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, Pat Metheny and Gary Burton. IBJO will feature the sensational vocalist Fantine, known for her passionately soulful and dynamic style.

His 50th birthday concert took place at the 6000‐seat Kremlin Palace and featured Wynton Marsalis and Natalie Cole. At a state dinner hosted by Vladimir Putin, American President Bill Clinton stated that Igor Butman may be the greatest living jazz saxophone player, who happens to be Russian.

The Uptown Jazz Orchestra (UJO) began in 2008, receiving standing ovations each year at the Jazz & Heritage Festival, on road excursions and regularly at Snug Harbor. Under the direction of Ellis Marsalis, UJO will display extreme versatility, playing everything from traditional New Orleans music, swing and bebop to modern‐day brass band funk.

“Marsalis, who has kept the torch of modern jazz alive in New Orleans since the 1950s is known for his ability to swing with effortless mastery at all tempos,” said Director Hicks. Named an NEA Jazz Master in 2011, Ellis Marsalis, at age 79, is a special American treasure.

As the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans has influenced musicians around the world for over a century. This one‐of‐a‐kind show will highlight the great jazz legacy as interpreted by two entirely different cultures with the same objective, Hicks said, and it is an opportunity that Fontainebleau High School is proud to present.

 



01/23/2014

Lake Harbor Teacher Wins Presidential Award in Teaching Science

Mande Warren, a fourth grade teacher at Lake Harbor Middle School in Mandeville, has been awarded the highest honor bestowed on science teachers by the United States government, that of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. She will represent the state of Louisiana at ceremonies to be held in Washington later this year.

In addition, she will win a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. She will travel to Washington, D. C. to receive a certificate signed by the President Obama at a special awards ceremony, as well as attend celebratory receptions, professional development programs, and discussions with policy-makers on how to improve mathematics and science (including computer science) education.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, said of her achievement, “There’s always a sense of pride when one of our most deserving teachers is recognized for her outstanding work in the classroom. Mande Warren has shown herself to be an excellent educator, one of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s finest, and we congratulate her on this latest accomplishment, especially when the honor is for teaching science, one of the key educational initiatives being encouraged throughout the nation.”

Ms. Warren said that winning the award is an incredible honor. “I am beyond thrilled. I truly love teaching, so to be recognized for doing something I love is wonderful,” she said. “There are so many dedicated, passionate educators here in St. Tammany Parish and throughout the state of Louisiana, and it will be a privilege to represent them in Washington.”

She is grateful to her Lake Harbor Middle School family for their encouragement and support, the administration, faculty, students, and parents. “They are absolutely amazing, and my experiences with each of them have made me the teacher I am today. I would never have won this award without them,” she said.

The award has special meaning for her. “As educators, it is our responsibility to be the best teachers we can be, every day for every student. We inspire, encourage, and challenge each student. We teach them knowledge, and at the same time, teach them to be a good person,” she explained. “Being nominated for the Presidential Award validates the belief I have in teaching and acknowledges the dedication I have to my students, colleagues, and community. This award is both humbling and honorable, and one that will always inspire me to grow as an educator.”

Her students are especially excited about her accomplishment. “They told me they feel like I am a teacher celebrity. However, they are not too thrilled with the possibility of me missing several days of school for my trip to Washington,” she said.

Her mother, Kim Wood, a retired educator who also taught in Mandeville, was the Louisiana winner of the Presidential Award for science education in 1995.

Lake Harbor Middle School Principal Susan Patin said of Ms. Warren, “I am extremely proud to have a teacher like Mande teach at Lake Harbor. She is awesome every day! The students in Mande's class are engaged all day, and her creativity and excitement for teaching extend above and beyond any teacher I have ever known.” Ms. Patin went on to say, “Everyone is excited about Mrs. Warren's Presidential Award, and this just extends the celebration we had last year when Mande was the State Middle School teacher of the year. Mande always reaches out and shares her expertise with other teachers.”

Ms. Patin will accompany Ms. Warren to Washington, D. C.

Ms. Warren was born and raised in the Mandeville area, attending Mandeville Elementary, Mandeville Middle, Mandeville Junior High, and graduating from Mandeville High in 1999. She earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from LSU in May 2003, and received a Master's Degree in Educational Technology Leadership in 2009 from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. A resident of Madisonville, she has been teaching ten years.

Two years ago, Ms. Warren was named the 2013 Louisiana Middle School Teacher of the Year by the Louisiana Department of Education.

The application procedures for the Presidential award called upon Warren to create a science curriculum, and document it using video-taped lessons as she presented it to her students. She was named a state finalist for the honor in June of 2012 and was notified in late December of her selection for the national recognition.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. Since 1983, more than 4,200 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.


 

01/23/2014

Fontainebleau High Hosts Jazz Legends Concert

On Thursday, January 23, Fontainebleau High School hosted an “historic” battle of big bands being billed as “The Kremlin Meets the Crescent City.” Two internationally-acclaimed groups took part, legendary pianist/educator “Ellis Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra” and the Igor Butman Jazz Orchestra (IBJO) from Moscow, Russia.

The concert was held in the Fontainebleau High School auditorium in Mandeville with hundreds of students, parents and School System officials in the audience.To view photographs from the event,click here.

As the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans has influenced musicians around the world for over a century. This one‐of‐a‐kind show highlighted the great jazz legacy as interpreted by two entirely different cultures with the same objective, Band Director Hicks said, and it was an opportunity that Fontainebleau High School was proud to present.

 



01/22/2014

LACUE Honors Three Educators For Classroom Technology Innovation

Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Arabie announced at the January School Board meeting that three St. Tammany Parish Public School System educators have received high honors this year from the Louisiana Association for Computer Using Educators (LACUE).

She introduced Dr. Pat Edmiston, a teacher at Covington High, who received the Educator of the Year Award for Region 2, which is the highest regional award; Instructional Technology Coordinator Lucille “Inkie” Landry of the Treen Instructional Technology Center, who won the “Making It Happen” Award this year; and Dr. April Owens, principal of Bonne Ecole Elementary, who was named the Region 2 Leader Educator winner as well as the Louisiana State Leader Educator winner.

Ms. Arabie explained that the “Making It Happen Award” was presented by International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) group, of which LACUE is an affiliate. That award is given to leaders and educators around the world for outstanding innovative efforts in technology in education. The “Making It Happen” Award is not given out yearly, and only three LACUE members have won the recognition in the past 28 years, Ms. Arabie stated.

Ms. Landry is the “go to” person for educational technology innovations, Ms. Arabie said, and she congratulated each of the LACUE award winners, thanking them for their contributions to the children of the parish.

LACUE has been actively involved in promoting technology use in Louisiana schools for more than 28 years. Each year the group recognizes educators who have effectively integrated the use of computers and other technology into innovative classroom instruction.

Last year, a St. Tammany Parish Public School System educator Richard “Vance” Lynch IV, the CISCO/Web/Multimedia Teacher at Covington High School, won the regional LACUE (Louisiana Association for Computer Using Educators) “High School Teacher of the Year” Award, and Pearl River High School and Channel 13 both won awards in the group’s 2012 Student Video Contest.

Many St. Tammany educators have been recognized by the organization in the past.

In 2010 Stacey Hoover, Lee Road Junior High School’s computer lab and technology teacher, was named Louisiana State Middle School Teacher of the Year at the Louisiana Computer Using Educators (LACUE) convention in Baton Rouge. The three St. Tammany Parish educators who received Region II honors that year were Lisa Cuevas of the Information Technology Department as “Special Person of the Year”; Shelly Bogran of Carolyn Park Middle School as “Educator of the Year”; and School System Technology Supervisor Julie Matte as “Leader of the Year.”

Winners in previous years have included Stephanie Purser of Bonne Ecole Elementary as Educator of the Year in the Elementary Division; Kristin Hernandez, a sixth grade teacher at Carolyn Park Elementary, and Janet Westover, a volunteer computer Para technician at Mandeville High. In 2005, the principal of Bonne Ecole Elementary School, Ginger Roper, was named the LACUE Principal of the Year. Also that year Inkie Landry and Instructional Technology Facilitator Sandy Swartz were given a LACUE Educator of the Year Award and Outstanding Service Award.

 



01/21/2014

4-H and FFA Students Take Part in Junior Livestock Show

The annual 4-H and FFA St. Tammany Parish Junior Livestock Show and Sale was held January 17 and 18 at the Parish Fairgrounds in Covington. Hundreds of students, parents, and community leaders took part. The Farm Bureau Awards Dinner was held Saturday night, followed by the sale of the animals. A number of business owners and civic leaders showed their support of the event by bidding for the livestock.

Students with livestock raising projects in 4-H Clubs and FFA Chapters throughout the St. Tammany Parish Public School System participate in livestock showing each January, starting with the junior livestock show. Winning animals then advance to the District livestock show, also held in Covington, and then the state livestock show. The 79th annual Southeast District Junior Livestock Show will be held Wednesday, January 28, through noon on January 31.

The annual Junior Livestock Show dinner is a popular event, where show winners are recognized and receive trophies for their winning animals. The dinner was held in the C. J. Schoen Educational Building on the parish fairgrounds, and numerous photographs of previous livestock shows from the past several decades were on display.

Among those attending the event were Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse III of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, School Board Member Stephen J. "Jack" Loup, III, Mayor Mike Cooper of Covington, St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister, Dennis Glass with the Fair Association, Parish Councilmen Dennis Sharp and Richard Tanner, Farm Bureau President Fred Bass, Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, and Lawrence "Cotton" Jourdan.

Helping to serve dinners at the event were a number of FFA chapter members from schools around the parish.



01/18/2014

Schools and School Board Offices Close January 20 For M. L. King, Jr. Holiday

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools and School Board offices will be closed on Monday, January 20, 2014, in observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Classes resume and offices reopen on January 21.


01/17/2014

School System Donates $18,084.22 To Children's Museum

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III presented a check for $18,084.22 to representatives of the St. Tammany Children's Museum at the St. Tammany Parish School Board meeting January 16, the results of a “Black and Gold” fund-raising event held in November.

Folse said, “We have been partnering with this very worthwhile effort for the past four years, a great project that will create a fun and interactive learning environment for our children and our families across the region for many years to come. I can’t think of anyone who will benefit from the museum more than our school children.”

The November 15 “Black and Gold Day” last year gave 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.

At the School Board meeting, a Channel 13 video was shown detailing the Black and Gold pep rally at Marigny Elementary School as students and faculty took part in the exciting campaign to help build the Children's Museum.

Ann Barre’, the Children's Museum’s Black and Gold Chair, told the School Board that the group really appreciated “Black and Gold” Day, an event that started in the schools but has now spread out into the business community. “It gives the kids an opportunity to say ‘I helped build the museum,” she said. “Community involvement has increased tremendously over the past year, and we are very excited.”

Over the past four years, the School System’s “Black and Gold” day fund-raisers have collected more than $85,000 for the Children's Museum, she said, and “that will go a long way to helping us build the 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

 



01/17/2014

School System Gives Awards For Outstanding United Way Contributions

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System recognized several schools and support offices for outstanding participation in this year’s School System United Way campaign, with retired Assistant Superintendent William “Bill” Brady coming back to help give out the awards at the January School Board meeting. He coordinated this year’s project on a volunteer basis since he had retired from his Assistant Superintendent position last summer

Last fall students and staff in schools and support sites throughout the School System raised a total of $153,152.83, Brady said. “There are over 35,000 individuals in St. Tammany Parish who benefit from United Way funded services this year,” he stated, commending participants for taking part in the important community event.

Brady then presented plaques to those schools and sites that made outstanding contributions during the fund drive. For photographs from the presentations, click here.

“Perhaps the hardest recognition to receive is for 100 percent participation at a school or site, where everyone at the location makes a donation to the drive,” Brady explained. Those earning the 100 percent participation title were Bayou Lacombe Middle School, Chahta Ima Elementary School, Mandeville Elementary, Marigny Elementary, Pitcher Junior High, Pontchartrain Elementary, Woodlake Elementary, Covington Annex, Slidell Annex, the Transportation Office and the Treen Technology Center and Energy Management Office.

Woodlake Elementary School also won recognition, for the second year in a row, as the school with the most student dollars raised, which came to $4,126.18. Principal Leila Parker and United Way Coordinator Amy Gagnon were on hand to receive the award.

Fontainebleau High School was identified as the school with the most employee dollars raised, $3,701, and the St. Tammany Parish School Board Central Office was honored as the site with the most employee dollars raised, for the second year in a row, with $7,689.47 donated.

Superintendent Awards were also presented to several other outstanding schools and sites, with that recognition based on goals set, per capital contributions, and percent of participation. Those included the Covington Annex, Fontainebleau High, Madisonville Junior High, and Alton Elementary.

Assistant Superintendent Pete Jabbia thanked all those who contributed to this year’s United Way campaign. He also recognized Brady’s efforts in conducting the System-wide fund-raising drive even after his retirement last summer. “This is a project near and dear to his heart,” he said. “Thank you Mr. Brady, we appreciate your efforts.”

Brady thanked staff members Corinne Blanchard and Debbie Guerrera for their continuing coordination of the United Way fund-raising campaign, and Supervisors Kevin Darouse and Margaret “Peggy” Sharpe who also assisted in the project.



01/16/2014

Superintendent Joins Chamber Board of Directors

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III became a member of the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce 2014 Board of Directors on Thursday, January 16, taking the oath of office at the group’s annual installation of officers at Tchefuncta Country Club.

He is one of the six new board members for the 2014-2016 term which starts this month. Last year, he was appointed to a one-year term on the St. Tammany West Chamber Advisory Board.

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.

John Donahue, Chairman of the Board for the chamber nominated Folse for the position on the Board. “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.”

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.”

The chamber installation luncheon was emceed by Michael Hecht, and sponsored by Chevron, which has also contributed much to the School System over the past several years both through classroom grants and volunteer personnel. St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister was awarded the Community Leadership Award by the chamber for 2014.


01/14/2014

Mandeville High Student Chosen for United States Senate Youth Program

Mandeville High student Patrick Flanigan has been selected as one of only two students to represent Louisiana as a delegate to the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) this year.

In early March, he and 103 other students from across the nation will travel to Washington, D.C. to take part in the fifty-second annual “Washington Week” March 8 through March 15. He will also receive a $5,000 college scholarship to be used in accordance with United States Senate Youth Program guidelines which encourage undergraduate studies in history and political science.

The student leaders from each state will spend a week in Washington experiencing their national government in action. Student delegates will hear major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses will be provided by The Hearst Foundations.

Washington Week is an intensive week of educational activities in the nation’s capital designed to deepen the student delegates’ understanding of the federal government and give them direct access to those who lead it. The agenda for Washington Week reflects the substantive issues of the day, and at each event the question and answer session is all-encompassing. A highlight of the week is the USSYP Annual Senate Reception where all student delegates have an opportunity to meet their U.S. Senators.

The USSYP was founded in 1962 through Senate Resolution and each year two of the highest-achieving students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education system overseas are selected through a competitive merit-based selection process held at the state departments of education nationwide.

Patrick received a congratulatory letter recently outlining his itinerary for the week in Washington, and Principal Bruce Bundy was thanked for working with the United States Senate Youth Program and The Hearst Foundations.

“We encourage you to continue to nominate your most outstanding students for our program each year; those selected will certainly thank you for the experience of a lifetime,” said Rayne Guilford, Program Director. “This in-depth exposure to national and international leaders who generously give their time is precisely what fuels and sustains the student delegates commitments to making a difference in their schools, their communities and their country.”

For more information, visit http://www.hearstfdn.org/ussyp/

 



01/13/2014

Online Job Application System Now Available

The online job application process is now available. Persons wishing to apply for employment positions may visit the Employment Opportunities webpage at http://stpsb.org/Jobs/index.htm and follow the How To Apply instructions.




01/12/2014

St. Tammany Students Take Part In Area NFL Punt, Pass and Kick

Several St. Tammany public school students participated in the NFL “Punt, Pass and Kick” Team Competition held in December in New Orleans. The event took place at the Superdome during the halftime activities at the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers.

Jaylin James of Lancaster Elementary School, took third place in the girls 11 to 12 age group, and Justice Groom, also from Lancaster Elementary, took third place in the boys 11 to 12 age group. Two Fifth Ward Junior High students also took part, with Jacie Williams taking fourth place in the 12 to 13 age group for girls, and Logan Talley, taking third place in the 14 to 15 age group for boys.

The students had won top honors in their local school’s Punt, Pass and Kick Competition, as well as the sectional PP&K competition.

A retired Fifth Ward Junior High coach and teacher, Paul Bowman, officiated at the NFL Team Competition. Bowman has been hosting a local PPK contest for 17 years. All former sectional contests used to be held across the lake, but nine years ago, he was given a Sectional for the seven Northshore local events. “My youngest son, now 29 years old, competed in the PPK and advanced to the Dome 3 out of 8 possible years,” he said. “Our Northshore athletes always score well, if they qualify for the Team Competition at the Superdome. I have always had a good school representation from Fifth Ward students, and the parent volunteers there help the PPK competition run smoothly.“

During the competition, each participant is allowed one punt, one pass and one placekick, and scores are based on both distance and accuracy. A participant's final score is his or her cumulative total for the three individual events.

 



01/09/2014

Schools and School Board Offices Close January 20 For M. L. King, Jr. Holiday

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools and School Board offices will be closed on Monday, January 20, 2014, in observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Classes resume and offices reopen on January 21.



01/06/2014

Schools To Remain Open Tuesday

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools will be open Tuesday following normal schedules. The School System is implementing its inclement weather plan to accommodate the colder than average temperatures.



01/04/2014

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.


 
Hurricane Katrina News Archives: 2005 - Page 2