There were plenty of awards and recognition to be had at the January Webster Parish School Board meeting, with them giving out the 100th Employee of the Month Award, an organization coming to share how well Webster has been increasing third-grade ELA comprehension and graduation rates, and lastly, a show of appreciation from elementary school students who got funding approved for their Chromebooks.
The recipient of the School Board’s 100th Employee of the Month Award went to Mr. Kevin Washington, Assistant Superintendent/Student Services.
Rodney Taylor of Taylor & Sons was the one to present the award, and he had this to say, “Mr. Washington wears two official hats as Assistant Superintendent and Supervisor of Student Services. However, he is involved in almost every operation of the Webster Parish School System. He works tirelessly from the moment he arrives until he leaves, and then after-hours answering phone calls and solving more problems.
“A lot of his business is dealing with unpleasantness. He works with the children and sees no difference in male females, rich, poor, black, or white. Everyone is constantly seeking his advice because he thinks problems through and does not make hasty decisions. Please consider Mr. Washington for employee of the month, or better yet, employee of the year,” said Taylor.
Next up was Laura Alderman, Executive Director of Step Forward. Step forward is a non-profit organization that services four parishes in the metro area, those being Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, and Webster.
“Our mission is to ensure success for every child in that area, from cradle to career. To accomplish something that ambitious requires a huge team effort, and that’s what we are as a partnership,” said Alderman.
They do so by measuring 6 different metrics in order to track the progress of key areas of education as a child grows to become a contributing member of society. Those six categories are kindergarten readiness, third-grade reading, middle school math, high school graduation, post-secondary enrollment, and post-secondary completion.
Alderman had some fantastic news to share with the board, stating that North Webster Upper Elementary saw an increase of 28% in third-grade ELA growth.
“That percentage change is 28%, we don’t see that kind of growth accidentally, that means there was something really strategic, and a whole lot of hard work and effort that was done,” said Alderman.
That wasn’t all the good news she had to share. She also went on to describe Webster as “dominating” in the area of High School gradation growth, with four of Webster’s schools being in the top ten. North Webster High School saw a 4.5% increase, Lakeside Jr/Sr. High School saw a 4.8% increase, Minden High School saw a 6.1% increase, and Doyline High School saw staggering growth with a 28% increase.
“What a testament to the work of our principals, our teachers, our counselors, and most importantly, our students,” said Johnny Rowland.
Later during the meeting, Community Liaison Ursula Hullaby drew the board’s attention to a booklet that contained art and thank yous from the first-grade students at J.A. Phillips. The students were thanking the board due to them approving funding for Chromebooks, and this was their way of showing that appreciation.
The Webster Parish School Board Meeting takes place on the first Monday of each month starting at 6 p.m. the meetings are open to the public.