First Lady Donna Edwards to serve as Commencement Speaker at LSMSA Graduation

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) will honor the 35th graduating class during its annual Commencement Ceremony, held on May 18 at 2 p.m. in Northwestern State University’s Prather Coliseum.

First Lady Donna Edwards is set to be the guest speaker at the event.

“We’re always happy to have First Lady Edwards on campus,” said LSMSA Executive Director Dr. Steven G. Horton. “She has been a great advocate for the school.”

Edwards has celebrated an illustrious career in education. Having originally received a business administration degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, her passion for helping children in both an educational and emotional capacity led to an eight-year career as a teacher in music education.

“What makes her selection as speaker for Commencement even more special is that she taught one of our seniors, Jada Bezue, when she was in elementary school,” said Horton. “Jada was actually the one who asked First Lady Edwards to be the Commencement speaker on our behalf.”

Since becoming First Lady, Edwards has developed the Louisiana First Foundation, which serves as a platform for a number of her initiatives that focus on improving the lives of Louisiana’s children and families. Some of those programs include: Teach MAM (Music, Art and Movement) which is designed to help more public schools incorporate those disciplines into the regular school day in an effort to help educate the “whole child”; Louisiana Fosters which brings together faith-based, community, business and government organizations to provide a supportive network to help foster children and parents and advocating to prevent human trafficking and help survivors. She and Gov. John Bel Edwards, her husband, helped launch the No Kid Hungry Louisiana Campaign and the Breakfast Challenge to combat childhood hunger in the state. In addition, they created the Bandit’s Book Challenge, a K-12 program which encourages students across the state to read 10 books at their reading level over the course of a semester. Students who complete the challenge receive special recognition from the governor.

LSMSA officials are honored to have her as the guest speaker for the event.

“The Edwards family has been such a support for us,” said Horton. “We are glad that First Lady Edwards was able to put it on her schedule and share this very important day with us.”