Home » Webster Parish School Board commends employees and students, approves field trips, and adopts resolution

Webster Parish School Board commends employees and students, approves field trips, and adopts resolution

by Amber McDown

The Webster Parish School Board convened for its regular meeting on April 1 at the school board office located at 1442 Sheppard Street. All board members were present except Margaret Edens of District 1, and all items on the agenda were passed unanimously.

The meeting commenced with commendations, starting with April Ingle, secretary at North Webster Jr High School, being honored as the Employee of the Month by Taylor and Sons. Mrs. Ingle was not present to accept her award. Her commendation letter will be featured in an upcoming article of the Minden Press-Herald.

Following this, Personnel Director Robin Tucker presented awards for the Students, Teachers, Support Staff, and Principals of the Year. The winners, along with their photographs, will also be highlighted in an upcoming issue of the Minden Press-Herald. Among the winners were Ada Murphy of Central Elementary School for 5th grade, Prudence Watson of Lakeside Jr High School for 8th grade, and Karlee Lange of Minden High School for 12th grade for Students of the Year. Teachers of the Year were Johnnie Ware, Ja’Tavion Jackson, and Madalyn Wynn, representing elementary, junior high, and high school categories. Donnie Coleman, SRO at North Webster High School, was named the overall Support Person of the Year, while Principals of the Year were Cortney McCall, Nathaniel Richardson, and Denny Finley, from Brown Upper Elementary School, Webster Jr High School, and Lakeside High School, respectively.

Additionally, commendations were extended to five North Webster High School pre-educator students and their teacher/sponsor, Mrs. Amy Phillips, for their achievements at the 2024 Louisiana Educators Rising State Competition and Conference. These students, Abrianna Gardner, Allison Lorenz, Cailey Nail, Callie Lewis, and Gabrielle Cooper, are part of a new course at North Webster High School, which offers a dual enrollment course taught through ULM. As a result of their success, these students have been approved to attend the Educators Rising 2024 National Conference and Competition in Washington, DC, along with their chaperones.

Superintendent Johnny Rowland with (L to R) Gabrielle Cooper, Callie Lewis, Cailey Nail, Allison Lorenz, Amy Phillips, and Abrianna Gardner

Furthermore, the board approved field trips for North Webster Lower Elementary School 2nd grade students to Logoly State Park in Magnolia, Arkansas, and for Webster Jr High School honor students to visit the Dallas World Aquarium and view the total eclipse in Dallas, Texas. Both trips will be funded using Title I funds.

The board also adopted an LSBA Resolution opposing Education Savings Accounts, including House Bill 745, which creates the LA GATOR Scholarship Program. The resolution urges the Webster Parish legislative delegation to vote NO on any bill proposing an Education Savings Account, citing concerns that diverting public dollars to private schools disadvantages public education. “Educational savings accounts, as the term is being thrown about, is not true or indicative of what’s going on,” said Jonathan Guthrie, board member for District 4. “These things that are being called educational savings accounts are nothing but super-charged vouchers. I believe it will create more problems than it solves.”

Additionally, the board approved several expenditures for maintenance and upgrades using maintenance funds.

Personnel Director Robin Tucker announced plans to attend the Greater Minden Chamber Job Fair & Career Expo on April 3 to recruit for positions such as custodians, food service workers, and bus drivers.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 2, at 6 PM at the school board office, and the public is welcome to attend.

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