Opportunity: NPSB has Three Positions

POSITION: Department of Exceptional Student Services
Program Coordinator

QUALIFICATIONS:  Master’s Degree or higher. Candidates expecting to complete
degree requirements within one calendar year may be
considered.
• Valid Louisiana Teaching Certificate.
• Generic or categorical certification in special education preferred.
• Five years successful teaching experience in the public school system.
• Special education experience preferred.

SALARY: According to Natchitoches Parish Salary Schedule

TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT: 12 months

WHERE TO APPLY: Linda G. Page, Director of Personnel
Natchitoches Parish School Board
310 Royal St., P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358

DEADLINE: Tuesday, June 1, 2021
4:00 p.m.

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a letter of application, resume’, transcript from institutions awarding degrees, a copy of Louisiana Teacher’s Certification, and references from immediate supervisor, another supervisor and Co-worker/other.


JOB VACANCIES: Middle School Math Teacher

SITE LOCATION(S): Natchitoches Magnet School

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Louisiana Teaching Certificate
2. Masters’ Degree Preferred
3. Minimum – Five years of successful teaching
experience

SALARY: Starting salary: According to parish school salary
schedule.

DEADLINE: Tuesday, June 1, 2021
4:00 p.m.

WHERE TO APPLY: Linda G. Page, Personnel Director
Natchitoches Parish School Board
P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358


JOB VACANCIES: First Grade Teacher

SITE LOCATION(S): Natchitoches Magnet School

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Louisiana Teaching Certificate
2. Masters’ Degree Preferred
3. Minimum – Five years of successful teaching
experience

SALARY: Starting salary: According to parish school salary
schedule.

DEADLINE: Tuesday, June 1, 2021
4:00 p.m.

WHERE TO APPLY: Linda G. Page, Personnel Director
Natchitoches Parish School Board
P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358


The Dearest and the Best…

By  Kevin Shannahan

“… the haunting tightrope so many American families walk every day: We teach our children
that there is honor in serving our country, yet we live in dread of the price they may be called
upon to pay….”

– Senator, Secretary of the Navy, Vietnam Veteran and father of a U.S. Marine, James
Webb, in “The Price of Duty”

“Thy will be done”

– The inscription on the tombstone of RAF Leading Aircraftman Raymond A. Berry, killed February 7 th , 1942 in a training accident at the age of 19. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Terrell, Texas.

Memorial Day occupies an ambivalent place in the national consciousness, and that is not an entirely bad thing. There was no need to remind people that Memorial Day was more than the start of the summer season in 1918 or 1945. I would not wish a return to the scale of those wars that saw virtually every family in the country with friends and relatives in harm’s way. The price is simply too high to pay.

I do not begrudge my fellow citizens a day at the beach or a cookout. I am not offended by Memorial Day sales. I plan on spending some time at the grill myself today. I have a higher opinion of my fellow Americans than to think that indifference or a shallow callousness underlies the ambivalence surrounding Memorial Day.

Quite simply, the majority of our fellow Americans have no personal connection to their country’s military. There has not been a draft in decades. Fewer and fewer Americans have served in uniform. Fewer and fewer families have a son or daughter serving. A smaller and smaller percentage of the population performs the hard, dangerous, and necessary work that makes diplomacy possible. The military deals with complex operations, weapons and situations that are inherently dangerous by design. Even in peacetime, there is a toll.

President Biden will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as his predecessors have done since after WWI. Aside from that, there are few, if any, national observances. Memorial Day may be a national holiday, but its observances are local. That is as it should be. At cookouts and gatherings of friends and family across America those present will at some point raise a glass or otherwise remember a loved one who did not make it home. In cemeteries across the nation,families and friends will pause by a gravestone and remember. In these small remembrances, some formal, most not, lies the meaning of Memorial Day.

The title of this article is taken from a verse of “I Vow to Thee my Country” an English hymn put to music after the First World War. It commemorates the dead of WWI and is commonly sung at Remembrance Day services and state funerals. I thought of the hymn when I read the inscription on Leading Aircraftman Berry’s grave. His parents’ choice of that epitaph for their son made me think of the verse, here in full:

“… The love that stands the testThat lays upon the altarThe dearest and the best…”“Thy will be done” brought tears to my eyes when I read it.

The members of the United States’ Armed Forces are our sons and daughters, each and every one of them. They represent the best this nation has to offer. It is incumbent upon those of us Veterans who have been blessed with the opportunity to become old men and women to join all of our fellow citizens in what President Lincoln referred to as “the unfinished work” in the Gettysburg Address. We owe a debt. Be a good citizen.  Be a good husband, wife, father and mother. Be better men and women. Build a better America one family and one community at a time. Be worthy of the men and women who cannot be with us. Make their sacrifice count!


NSU E-Lab 4-H holds Memorial Day Program

The NSU Elementary Lab School 4-H club held a patriotic Memorial Day program on Friday, May 28th. The program took place at the school’s new outdoor educational pavilion in order to remember and honor all the brave heroes who have served in our country’s military.

Fourth and fifth grade 4-H members conducted a procession of the American flag and led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. The National Anthem was sung by music teacher, Whitney Cummins, who asked attendees to join in. E-lab student, Darvy Allison, sang America the Beautiful accompanied by her gifted instructor, Dr. Sam Stokes.

During the program, a symbolic ribbon cutting took place in order to recognize the addition of the new pavilion as an outdoor classroom for the school’s garden area. Sponsors for the pavilion were announced for their generosity in making the project such a success.

A hero flagpole was added to E-lab’s outdoor garden area and dedicated during the program in appreciation of all veterans who have sacrificed for our country. The Memorial Day program was organized by the school’s librarian and 2021 Louisiana Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Lisa Wiggins.


FOREVER YOUNG

Memorial Day 2021 marks 50 years since the holiday first became federally recognized on the last Monday of May 1971. Before 1971, Memorial Day was officially celebrated by all states and territories on May 30 regardless of the day of the week May 30 fell upon. Previously called Decorations Day, Memorial Day is the youngest of our two Federal military holidays. Veterans Day, the other Federal military holiday, was previously called Armistice Day in 1938 to honor only World War I veterans. After World War II and the Korean War, the name Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day to honor all veterans of all American wars. The name change was approved by Congress authorizing the striking of the name “Armistice” from the original 1938 Armistice Day legislation and inserting the word “Veterans.” Both Federal military holidays have storied pasts, but aside from Memorial Day being the youngest, it is also the most solemnized of the two.

During and after the American Civil War, days were set aside to honor that war’s dead whose number exceeded 600,000. Though there were no set day, month, nor season, the overall objective remained-to honor, commemorate, memorialize, and mourn the war’s dead. It wasn’t until 1886 that Union Major General John A. Logan decreed a set day of May 30 as Decoration Day to honor all Civil War deaths. On that day (May 30), he suggested Americans lay flowers and decorate the graves of the then recent Civil War’s fallen. In his decree, he lamented the war’s dead as those “whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church in the land.”

General Logan’s arbitrary selection of May 30 as Decoration Day caused historians to question his motives. Some suggested he may have chosen this date because it appeared somewhat apolitical. No symbolic events were commemorated on his selected date in southern or Northern states. Neither did it appear to be the beginning or ending of any major Civil War campaign. Still others feel certain Logan’s selected May 30 date was an undebatable seasonal choice. By May 30 being considered the “unofficial beginning of summer,” flowers would have been readied and available to lay upon the graves of the fallen. General Logan’s wife is said to have believed he may have gotten the “once a year commemoration” idea of the fallen from the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia. The Association resolved to commemorate the fallen Confederate soldiers yearly in 1886. Logan’s idea of a set day for Decoration Day took hold in America immediately. By 1900, all states and territories were celebrating Decoration Day on May 30 as an official holiday. As popular as the holiday was, it would not become federal until 1971 to conform with the Monday uniform holiday act.

Aside from General Logan’s military career spanning from the Mexican American War to the American Civil War, he also had a long and distinguished political career. In 1884, he was the Republican Party’s unsuccessful Vice Presidential candidate. During his early political career, Logan was known as a staunch racist, but after the Civil War, he became an advocate for African American Civil rights and Women’s suffrage. Despite his many accomplishments, historians generally agree his lasting legacy is that of tireless advocate for all Civil War veterans’ causes. After death the casketed remains of this “unofficial founder of Memorial Day” lay-in-state in the U. S. Capitol’s Rotunda, an honor only extended to seven others at that time. On this Memorial Day, it’s noteworthy that the casketed remains of the unknown soldiers of the Vietnam War, the Korean War, World War I, and World War II have also been laid–in-state in the U. S. Capitol’s Rotunda.

On Memorial Day, we honor all American service persons who died while serving our country. As a grateful nation, we honor our war dead by offering speeches, parades, songs, and by displaying the American flag. We also honor our fallen by decorating their graves, by lowering and raising the American flag to half staff, and by observing a solemn national moment of silence for one minute (3 pm local time).

A general profile of the remains we honor on Memorial Day is that of the young. While some service persons who died in American wars were over 40 years of age, most were in their twenties and teens. At one period during the Vietnam War, teenage soldiers in combat were fairly common. I was reminded of the typical age of casualties and deaths of that war while doing research for this article in the Natchitoches Parish Library. In a conversation with library employees, the name Sam Cole Jr. was mentioned. I goggled Sam’s name and found Sam was killed in action (KIA) during the Vietnam war on May 9,1968. Sam and I served with the Marines in Vietnam but in different years.

A notable example of a teenager killed in action in Vietnam received national attention when his story was aired during an episode of the Sally Jessy Raphael talk show. The teenager, Pfc. Dan Bullock was 15-years-old, 5 months and 17 days, when his unit was attacked by units of the North Vietnamese regular Army (NVA) on June 6 1969. During the attack, Dan and three other members of his unit were killed instantly by enemy small arms fire. When interviewed by the New York Times, Dan’s father is quoted as saying, “My son had no business in that damn war.” Dan’s gravesite remained without a headstone for 31 years. Researchers have concluded Dan was the youngest KIA during the Vietnam War and possibly the youngest KIA since World War I. Dan and I also served with the Marines in Vietnam but in different years.

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t freely admit a personal connection to the 50th anniversary of Memorial Day becoming a federal holiday. Also in May 1971, the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines departed what was then called Da Nang South Vietnam to return to Camp Pendleton, California. This Marine Corps Regiment was the last to conduct ground combat operations in Vietnam. As an 18 year old Lance Corporal (E-3), I was assigned to Foxtrot Company of this Battalion. For the Marine Corps, our departure was the end of an era. For me, May 1971 was the beginning of a military career that would last for another 21 years.

Most of my fellow “quonset hut” Marines have remained tight-lipped about Vietnam. However, an old buddy has opened up and written a paperback about our unit’s final days in Vietnam. The book is titled “Vietnam, The Last Combat Marines,” which is authored by David Gerhardt. After reading his book, I phoned David to confirm he was the same “SGT Gerhardt” I remembered. A couple of the incidents described in David’s book were as vivid as if they happened yesterday. I’m 68-years-old. I recommend this book to readers interested in the last days “TWO ONE” spent in a combat zone.

I ask readers to remember not only war deaths of the Vietnam War, but the deaths of all American Wars on this Memorial Day.

SEMPER FI

Willie M Calhoun
MSG,USAR,ret


Lane Closure on Grand Ecore Bridge will occur June 3 for inspection

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, (DOTD), advises the public that on Thursday, June 3, 2021, from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, weather permitting, Bridge# 034-06-0402-1 on LA 6 over Red River will be reduced to one lane for routine bridge inspections. The bridge is on LA 6 and is located 2.3 miles north of the LA 6/LA 3175 intersection near Natchitoches.

Permit/Detour section
No detour will be needed as one lane will be open at all times

Safety Reminder
DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution around the construction sites and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Additional Information
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). 


St. Mary’s offering softball, baseball camps for youth June 7-9

St. Mary’s baseball and softball coaches are offering camp opportunities for kids in elementary and junior high grades in 2021, from June 7-9.

The Tiger Baseball Camp is for boys entering grades 1-7 and will be staged from 9 a.m.-noon at Cracker Brown Field. Cost is $75 and includes a camp T-shirt and instruction in offensive and defensive elements. A wiffle ball tournament will be held.

Tiger coaches and varsity players will be the instructors. For information, email coach Brooks McMinn at bmcminn@smstigers.org.

The Tiger Softball Camp will serve girls entering grades 1-8 this fall. It also runs from 9-noon on June 7-9, and will be held at the St. Mary’s Softball Field in the Dixie Youth Complex behind St. Mary’s School in the East Natchitoches Recreation Complex.

The $75 fee includes a camp T-shirt, offensive and defensive instruction, individualized teaching, and a pizza lunch at the end of the Wednesday session. St. Mary’s coaches and varsity players will be the instructors.

For more information, email coach Stephen Wren at swren@smstigers.org or smstigerssoftball@gmail.com.


Notice of Death – May 30, 2021

NATCHITOCHES:
Thomas Alton Manry
January 29, 1937 – May 21, 2021
Service: Saturday, June 5 at 2 pm at Oasis of love Fellowship, located at 7681 Hwy 1 By-Pass in Natchitoches

Rosa Jones
May 28, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Henry Keith
May 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Carl Smith
June 21, 1955 – May 21, 2021
Arrangements TBA

L. J. Smith
May 23, 2021
Service: Wednesday, June 2 at 11 am at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Winnfield

Margaret Carter Cooper
November 2, 1961 – May 10, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Obbie Gillie, Jr.
March 23, 1943 – May 30, 2021
Arrangements TBA

SABINE:
Rufus Gene Meshell
July 6, 1945 – May 28, 2021
Service: Tuesday, June 1 at 1 pm at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Zwolle

WINN:
Margie L. Lee
October 08, 1925 – May 28, 2021
Service: Monday, May 31 at 11 am at Woodland Cemetery


Unrestrained Driver Killed in Natchitoches Parish Crash

Natchitoches Parish – On May 29, 2021, shortly after 10:30 p.m., Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a fatal crash on U.S. Highway 71 north of Campti. This crash killed 41-year-old Karmelita Higgins of McKinney, TX.

The initial investigation revealed a 2018 Mitsubishi, driven by Higgins, was traveling southbound on U.S. 71. For reasons still under investigation, Higgins’ vehicle traveled off the highway and struck a tree. As a result, Higgins was ejected from the vehicle.

Higgins, who was unrestrained, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead. Impairment is a suspected factor of this crash. A toxicology sample was obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

Buckling up is the most effective way to protect yourself during a vehicle crash. Failure to take a few seconds to buckle up can have devastating consequences. Louisiana law requires every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, to be properly restrained day or night.

Louisiana State Police would like to remind all motorists that if you feel differently, you drive differently. Alcohol, prescription drugs, and other drugs have many effects on the body that negatively affect driving skills. These drugs can impair visual ability, alter the sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and decrease reaction times. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. Not doing so can have deadly consequences.


Family honors Coach Brian Dodson with memorial scholarship

A scholarship honoring the life of Coach Matthew Brian Dodson has been established through the Northwestern State University Foundation. Preference for the one-year scholarship will be given to students from southwest Louisiana, particularly those from Grand Lake High School, where Dodson spent most of his career. Preference will also be given to a senior member of the baseball team playing without an athletic scholarship and to a student battling cancer or who is a cancer survivor or the son or daughter of someone who has battled cancer. Preference will also be given to students majoring in education, those who are NSU cheerleaders and graduate students obtaining degrees in education leadership.

Dodson, 58, passed away April 25, 2020, at Ochsner LSU Health Center in Shreveport, after a long and extraordinary life.

Dodson graduated in 1980 from Leesville High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from McNeese State University in 1986. He graduated from The University of Phoenix in 2012 with a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision, and obtained an additional plus 30 hours for coursework completed at McNeese.

Dodson, also known as “Coach,” was a retired teacher and coach who spent 22 years teaching special education in Cameron Parish and 11 years teaching and coaching in Natchitoches Parish. He worked as a real estate agent for Cane Heritage Realty and was a university site supervisor for Northwestern State University. Dodson was a member of Word of Grace Ministries in Pineville. He was an honorary member of Theta Chi at Northwestern State and known as a local Natchitoches local handy man.

Dodson was a two-time cancer survivor that never wavered in his faith in Jesus Christ. After being diagnosed with cancer for a third time, his response to his two children that he adored was, “I’m not going out without a fight,” and as always, he did just that.

Friends are invited to contribute to the Coach Dodson Memorial Scholarship by visiting http://www.northwesternstatealumni.com/coach-dodson-memorial-scholarship/


NSU Robotics Camp June 14-18

Northwestern State University’s Department of Engineering Technology will host ASTRO STEM Robotics Camp this summer. The Virtual Astro Camp will take place June 14-18 and will be conducted remotely with synchronous and asynchronous activities and for children ages 8-14.

If needed, in-person interaction and live training will be conducted at the Natchitoches Public Library.

Registration is free and will be held June 1-June 4 at noon. To register and to get more information, visit the department website at https://engrtech.nsula.edu. Due to space limitations, only the first 25 applicants will be accepted.

The mission of the camp is the generate interest among youngsters in STEM-related fields and prepare them for the workforce of the future, according to Dr. Jafar F. Al-Sharab, head of NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology. This program is sponsored by the A+ Coalition, the Engineering Technology Department and STEM Pioneers Organization.

To learn more, contact Al-Sharab at (318) 357-6751.


GOODNESS GRACIOUS

By Tommy Rush

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time watching a house renovation. Not one of the house renovations on television, but a renovation of the house that will soon be my family’s home. When we first purchased the property, we thought the house needed to be bulldozed down. It looked pretty rough and we couldn’t see much hope in it. So my wife and I turned to a couple of contractor friends for advice and both of them believed something good could be done with it. They convinced us that the house had potential, so we took the advice and went to work.

My family, along with some very special friends and neighbors have torn out walls, ripped up floors, pulled down ceilings and made more than a few trips to the Natchitoches Parish landfill. My granddaughter told a friend recently that she had pulled out over a “billion” nails with her hammer. Some days are exciting and other days I wonder if I’ve lost my mind. There was not much left after all the demolition. But things have really changed since the “builders” started rebuilding!

This week I watched the builders frame our roof. I’ve seen a lot of construction take place in my life. I’ve even seen prefabricated trusses placed on a house. But these men actually built the roof the old fashioned way, one board at a time. I was told the process is called, “stick framing.” It was fascinating to see these men, who definitely knew what they were doing, “build” this week. It’s probably an understatement to say that I was impressed with the carpenters and their work.

There’s another carpenter that I’ve been fascinated by for many years. Of course I’m talking about Jesus, the Master Carpenter. He’s been redeeming and restoring lives for over 2000 years. Some carpenters are great at rebuilding houses, but Jesus is the master at rebuilding the lives of people. There is no life, family, future or heart too broke or messed up that is hopeless in His eyes. You will never hear Jesus use the word “bulldozer” as an option. He’s the Master Rebuilder!

You may have experienced His rebuilding grace and goodness in your life. If so, share your story and be a blessing to someone who needs to hear it. Maybe you’re someone who feels like your life is about to cave in or you have lost all hope of every changing. The Bulldozer is not a good option. It’s far better to place your life in the hands of the Master Carpenter and trust Him to rebuild your life into a testimony of grace. I promise He has a plan and He is ready to begin rebuilding if you will trust Him.


Summer Reading Kick-off and Celebration

Summer in the Northern hemisphere officially begins on the summer solstice (June 20 this year), when the Earth’s Northern pole has its maximum tilt towards the Sun. From our perspective, this is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and the day has the longest period of daylight. Within the Arctic circle, there is continuous daylight on this date. But there is another marker that we use for the passing of the season, as spring comes to an end, and it is a little closer… The Natchitoches Parish Library’s (NPL) Summer Reading Program (SRP)!

The SRP Kick-Off party will be Saturday, May 28, from 9:30AM to 4:30 PM on the NPL’s front lawn. The library will be hosting The Party Wagon Petting Zoo, all day long, with magic shows at 11 AM and 2 PM from Nathan Roberts. There will also be free hand-painting, snow cones, cotton candy, and popcorn. A registration booth will be available all day and everyone who signs up gets a chance to win a prize.

“Growing up, I always looked forward to the fun of the Summer Reading Program at the library,” says Alan Niette, NPL Community Outreach Coordinator. “Now, on the other side of things, everyone at the NPL looks forward to offering this service to our community.”

The SRP works to promote reading to adults, teens, and children. And, while everyone gets the mental health benefits from lifelong reading and learning, it is especially important for kids on break from school. There is often a regression in academic proficiency that hinders progress in the following school year, with a recent study by the Northwest Evaluation Association showing, on average, a 20% loss from school-year gains. This “summer slide” puts younger children at most risk as they are at a crucial stage in their development. The SRP engages kids and their interests’ so that their letter knowledge, decoding, and word reading skills continue to develop, rather than stagnate or decline. Each week, the NPL’s Main Branch and Northeast Branch in Campti will offer performances for children.

For a full schedule, visit natlib.org or follow the NPL on social media. Weekly programs for teens and adults will be offered as well. The theme this year, “Tails and Tales” and participants can read to earn six prizes and extra entries for grand prize drawings.


This Great Old Earth Ain’t What it Used to Be — And it Never Was

By Joe Darby

If you took a trip across the Atlantic Ocean the year I was born, 1941, and took the same trip today, you’d have to travel about almost seven feet farther before you touched land.

What kind of nonsense is Joe getting up to now, you may well ask. Well, the above statement is absolutely true. The Atlantic Ocean, you see, is spreading wider every year, at a rate of about one inch annually. It’s been doing this for about 170 million years. And it’s all due to the phenomenon known as plate tectonics. You may have heard of this geological wonder, which was only proven and accepted by science around the 1960s.

The earth consists of a series of gigantic plates, like a big round jigsaw puzzle, which ever so slowly move, bump into each other, rub each other and otherwise change the look of our planet over millions of years.

Yes, folks this week’s column is, as you may have guessed by now, pretty much of a geology lesson, a subject that I have become fascinated with in the last year or two. I’ve always been an avid reader and I would suppose that more than 90 percent of my books have been about history, in almost all of its forms.

But I saw a couple of TV shows about the amazing geology of the earth and I’ve been reading about what makes our earth tick ever since. I’d like to share some of my findings with you, because I think they’re just so doggoned interesting. It this topic leaves you cold, that’s fine and I hope next week’s offering will be more to your liking.

So, for those of you nice folks who have stuck with me, let’s talk about the history of this wonderful old world of ours. (But first, for those who insist the world was created in seven days, as the Bible says, you will be put off by what I have to say. However, most churches these days accept Genesis as an allegory and believe that God caused the miraculous processes that led to the formation and development of earth.)

I’m not going to go into great detail, both because of space considerations and because some of the story would get pretty tedious. But, long story short and in an oversimplification, the earth was formed, along with the rest of the solar system, about 4.6 billion years ago. It consists of a core, the planet’s center which has temperatures and pressures of incredible heat and power. Above that is the mantle, on top of that is the lithosphere then the crust. Which is where we live. Most geologists believe that giant areas of heat convection in the mantle, like water moving about in a pot of boiling water, cause the various plates on the crust to move about.

Over the more than 4 billion years of the existence of our planet, its appearance has undergone drastic changes. For hundreds of millions of years after it formed, it was a glowing, red hot mass. Then, as the planet began to cool, the plates formed and have been changing the appearance of earth ever since. There are two types of plates, continental crusts and oceanic crusts.

About 540 million years ago, almost all of the continental crust plates clumped together into one gigantic land mass, stretching from pole to pole. It later broke up and the plates have been moving about ever since.

About 170 million years ago, the Atlantic Ocean began to open up, as materials from deep within the earth began rising and spreading out, at what’s known as the mid-Atlantic ridge. Like a gigantic conveyor belt, they have been widening the ocean until it has reached its present size. In another couple of hundred million years, we will be a lot closer to Asia than we are to Europe.

Earthquakes, volcanoes and the pushing up of mountains occur where these plates come together and push against each other. The process is slow incredibly slow, we can not see the changes. But if you look at a map and notice the shape of South American and that of Africa, you can see where the two once perfectly fitted together, again like that jigsaw puzzle.

There’s lots more we could talk about here, but I’ve probably written enough. If you are interested, and it would be nice if you are, search for plate tectonics on the Internet. There’s lots of good sites that can go into more detail than I can here. And you’ll see, like my headline says, the earth ain’t what it used to be!


Thirty Northwestern Theatre and Dance students working professionally this summer

Thirty Northwestern State theatre students or recent alumni are performing across the country in professional theatre and dance jobs this summer. The students are working in for 14 different companies or facilities in nine states and Canada in a variety of performing, technical and business-related roles.

“The best thing for a performer and a technician in the performing arts is professional experience,” said Brett Garfinkel, chair of NSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance. “The Department of Theatre and Dance has been preparing its students for a professional career in the field since the moment they step on campus. These summer contracts help support these student’s future career in the field by giving them professional experience before graduating from NSU. This gives our students a huge advantage by having more credits on their resume making them more hirable for the future.”

Garfinkel said before the pandemic several professional companies annually came to Natchitoches to audition Northwestern State theatre and dance students. Many students are also normally able to audition during professional theatre conferences. During the past academic year, Garfinkel arranged a number of virtual auditions for students.

“For me, getting a summer stock contract is always a great opportunity because it allows me to gain professional experience and meet new people,” said Myjoycia Cezar of Shreveport who is working as a stage manager at Highland Playhouse in Highlands, North Carolina. “In the theatre industry, a lot of emphasis is put on who you know and get to learn from, so I’m always grateful to be able to go somewhere new and meet people while actually pursuing the career I’m training for before having to return to school. Along with this, another huge asset that comes from summer work is being able to add more professional experience credits, skills and references to my resume before graduating and going into the professional world on a long-term basis.”

Those working professionally this summer are Sarah Lord Holoubek of Shreveport, Mary Scott Pourciau and Kristi Contreary of Baton Rouge, Kaylon Willoughby of Ponchatoula, Abigail Miller of Slidell, Christian Osborne of Plaquemine, Ashlyn Pettiss of Prairieville, Dylan Fuselier of Chalmette, Sophie Stechman of Meraux, Joy Davis of Minden, Luther Brooks IV of Lafayette, Allyson Adams of Mansfield, Dawnie Krahan of Lafayette and Alphonse Engram Shine of DeRidder are working in various roles at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio.

Mary Fletcher of Shreveport will play Madison, an autistic cashier, in the movie “Amber the Acrobat” being filmed in Shreveport.

Erin Fallis of Pineville, Jesse McFarland of Whitehouse, Texas, and Robert McCandish of Monroe are working at “TEXAS! The Outdoor Musical.”

Ryland Mandel of New Orleans and Caitlin Foster of LaPlace are at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah. Kyle Munson of Prairieville is performing at Okoboji Summer Theatre in Okoboji, Iowa, and will then work on a nine-month contract at Stephen’s College in Missouri. Andrew Palmintier of Lafayette is at Tecumseh! Outdoor Drama in Chillicothe, Ohio. Nicole Lala of Kenner will work at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center in Metairie. Grace Cummings of Calhoun is at Canterbury Summer Theatre in Michigan City, Indiana. D’Sherrick Williams of Marshall, Texas, is at Camp B’Nai B’rith of Montreal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Chase Crane of Livingston is at Thin Air Theatre Company in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Dustin Huffman of Maybank, Texas, will work at Main Street Theatre in Houston. Trevor Brown of Metairie is with Thingamajig Productions in Pegosa Springs, Colorado. Maci Walgamotte of Slidell will work for the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan.

Cezar worked remotely with a New York City theatre company last summer and is glad to be able to work in person this year.

“Last summer working remotely was a great opportunity because I was able to work with a company in New York that I otherwise would not have been able to because of how far away it is and the expenses,” said Cezar. “I’m very excited since this will be my first professional stage management experience It’ll be nice to meet people in person, explore a new city, get the full experience of working a summer stock and just enjoy things getting closer to normal.”


Lakeview Jr./Sr. High School Holds Annual Transition Day

Lakeview Jr./Sr. High School held its annual Transition Day on May 27. This event is held for incoming 7th grade students from Fairview Alpha and incoming high school students from both Goldonna Elementary and Lakeview Jr. High School to introduce them to all of the opportunities available to them when they transition to the next level of their education.

Organization and club sponsors as well as coaches from 10 different sports were on hand with information about their co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Lakeview students have a variety of options to choose from to enhance their junior high and high school careers. Air Force JROTC, Youth Volunteer Corps, BETA, National Honor Society, FFA, 4-H, Yearbook, Culinary Arts, Band and a host of sports including basketball, baseball, football, softball, track, power lifting, cheer, and golf are just some of the opportunities afforded to Lakeview students.

The event began with our Color Guard posting the colors, followed by the event coordinator, Mrs. Wynn, setting expectations. Principal William Hymes welcomed everyone and spoke about the benefits of seizing every opportunity and cherishing every moment because in the blink of an eye high school is over. He then introduced Senior Emma Hatten to give a student’s perspective of high school life. Students were divided into small groups to tour the school with peer leaders. When they returned to the gym, the students enjoyed some snacks and visited the booths set up in the gym to learn more about Lakeview life.

Thank you to Mrs. Wynn, JROTC, the band, the cheer team, Fairview, Goldonna Elementary, and all of the student leaders for making our Transition Day a tremendous success. We are always better when we work together! #GoGators


NSU pool will open June 1

The pool at the Northwestern State University Recreation Complex will open June 1. Hours of operation will be 2-7 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Daily rates are $8 for adults (16 years and up) and $5 for children (15 years and below). All children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

NSU will not offer group swim lessons this summer due to a shortage of experienced teaching staff.

Anyone interested in water aerobics classes should contact Melanie Bedgood at bedgoodm@nsula.edu.

For information on the pool, contact Cindy Davis, aquatics director, at cindyd@nsula.edu or (318) 357-6301.


OPPORTUNITY: Three NPSB Positions Available

POSITION AVAILABLE

POSITION: PRINCIPAL

SITE LOCATION: NATCHITOCHES CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL

SALARY: Starting salary: According to parish school salary schedule.

QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must be certified or eligible at the time of the application according to Louisiana State Department of Education requirements and must have 5 years of teaching experience.

WHERE TO APPLY:
Linda G. Page, Director of Personnel
Natchitoches Parish School Board
310 Royal St., P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358

DEADLINE: Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a letter of application, resume’, official transcripts from institutions awarding degrees, a copy of Louisiana Teacher’s Certificate with principal/education leadership endorsement, three (3) letters of reference, (one being from your immediate supervisor).


POSITION AVAILABLE

JOB VACANCIES: Department of Exceptional Student Services Secretary

LOCATION: Central Office

QUALIFICATIONS: High School Diploma or equivalent, Associate or Bachelor’s Degree preferred, excellent communication skills, and proficiency in computer skills.

SALARY: According to Parish Salary Schedule

TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT: 12 months

WHERE TO APPLY:
Linda Page, Personnel Director
Natchitoches Parish School Board
P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358

DEADLINE: Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a letter of application, resume’, official transcript, and two
letters of reference.


POSITION AVAILABLE

JOB VACANCIES: Department of Exceptional Student Services Clerk

LOCATION: Central Office

QUALIFICATIONS: High School Diploma or equivalent, excellent communication skills, and proficiency in computer skills.

SALARY: According to Parish Salary Schedule

TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT: 12 months

WHERE TO APPLY:
Linda Page, Personnel Director
Natchitoches Parish School Board
P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358

DEADLINE: Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a letter of application, resume’, official transcript, and two
letters of reference.