By Ricky LaCour
Good educators are the backbone of the education system. There are those who excel at what they set out to accomplish for their students, their school, and their district. The Natchitoches Parish School Board honored principals, teachers and support staff of the year at its board meeting on May 13.
Principal of the Year for the district was awarded to Ben Lagrone.
The list of teachers awarded Teacher of the Year include:
For elementary: Sharonnica Garrison, Catherine Johnson, Claudine Madison, Joy Rowell, Brenda Roberts, Codie Goings, Lawanda Smith, Debra Wamber, Eboni Roberson and Mellissa Kaufman.
For middle school: Shanita Grayson, Shelli Adams, Robert Carnline, Britani Fields and Alexandria Crowell.
For high school: Glenn Sawyer, Kathy Canerday and Michael Selby.
For the district, Teacher of the Year recipients are Catherine Johnson for elementary, Shelli Adams for middle school and Kathy Canerday for high school.
Support Persons of the Year was awarded to Henry Butler (East), Leigh Lofton (Fairview), Linda Spikes (NPTCC), Michelle Canerday (Goldonna), Michelle Winslow (Lakeview), Jodi Kilgore (Marthaville), Nathaniel Helaire (Magnet), Shelia Helaire (NJH), Tonia Young (Provencal), Jeremiah Johnson (LPV), Jerry Sheppard (LPV), Charmaine Williams (Weaver), Katinka White, and Rufus Sowell (Safety Support).
“To those honored here. . . . .This is an achievement that no one can ever take away from you the rest of your life,” said Ben Lagrone. “And we shouldn’t lose perspective about that. Congratulations!”
Also covered in the meeting was the consideration of approval of Alliance Compressor tax exemption request. This would exclude the company for paying approximately $58,000 per year over the next 10 years.
“This will give us the opportunity to expand our business and keep jobs here in Natchitoches in the community,” a representative from the company mentioned.
After extended explanations and comments from members of the board, Alliance representatives and attendees, the motion to approve the request was passed with a vote of five yes, one no and one abstain.
Another major discussion point of the meeting was the consideration of transferring Cloutierville BRE funds to Provencal for the building of four new classrooms to accommodate the growing population of students since the closure of Cloutierville Elementary/Jr. High School.
Board member Emile Metoyer advocated that the funds should be used toward the update/reconstruction of the Cloutierville school, which would take an estimated $2.7 million.
“There is approximately $650,000 in that BRE that could go towards updating Cloutierville for it to be reopened,” said Metoyer. “I don’t see the point in giving all that money to Provencal, and we don’t even know what the construction is really gonna cost.”
“It’s a shame that some schools have to close, but this money is still being spent in a way that benefits the students that came from Cloutierville,” said Broadway.
In an attempt to come to an understanding, Palmer spoke to Metoyer saying, “We want to work with you to reopen the school, but right now, this is where the money is needed more.”
Once put to a vote, the motion was passed to transfer $450,000 for the new classrooms at Provencal Elementary Jr. High School.