City Bank is Flavor of Louisiana Magnolia sponsor

City Bank and Trust is a Magnolia Sponsor of Flavor of Louisiana, Northwestern State University’s spring celebration of Louisiana cuisine. From left are Josh Pierson, Jared Boydstun, Jill Bankston, Kim Howell, Shanna Baker and Cristy Bernard. Flavor of Louisiana will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, April 8 in Prather Coliseum and will include food booths offering samplings of seafood delicacies, desserts and options for non-seafood eaters, craft beers and cocktails, raffles and entertainment. Tickets are $75 per person and $125 per couple. 

Memorial Illumination Honoring Enslaved People Rescheduled

Cane River Creole National Historical Park will host a memorial illumination event to remember and honor the people who were enslaved on Oakland Plantation on March 5. This event has been rescheduled due to weather.

The Oakland Main House is open for self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Magnolia Main House is privately owned and is not open to the public. For more information, please call the park at 318-352-0383, ext. 316.


Reynolds named head of the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies

Reynolds named head of the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies

Dr. Thomas Reynolds has been named head of the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies at Northwestern State University. His appointment has been approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.


The department includes a vital part of the university’s core curriculum with courses taken by every NSU student. Within the department are a bachelor’s and master’s program in English, minors in English, professional French, creative writing, Spanish and two certificate programs.


Reynolds said he plans to focus on student and employer needs as department head.


“Now more than ever, soft skills like communication, critical thinking, and creativity are in high demand, and that is what we have always focused on in the Department,” said Reynolds. “To that end, we are actively growing programs in languages, creative and professional writing and literary and cultural studies, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, to prepare our students for graduate and professional schools and the increasingly global economy. The other side of this plan is to articulate more clearly the value of the programs we offer through broader outreach to the community, our alumni and potential students.”


An associate professor of English, Reynolds is also coordinator of the Graduate Certificate Program in Writing for Business, Industry, and Technology. He has worked as a professional writer and editor, an online course designer, and a high school instructor. Reynolds has taught courses in linguistics, literature, rhetoric and writing at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He received his bachelor’s degrees in English and history from Virginia Tech, his master’s in English from NSU, and his Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His research interests include the multiple intersections between writing, writers, teachers and technology.


Reynolds joined the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies as a graduate assistant and was later an instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, director of First Year Writing and Writing Program Administrator.


Since 2020, Reynolds has been interim director of the Louisiana Scholars’ College. In that role, he facilitated the development of new curricula and curricular changes, working on five potential accelerated joint academic programs. Reynolds improved the College’s reach through social media which played a role in a 67 percent increase in the size of the incoming class. Retention of first-year students was nearly 90 percent. Reynolds played a major role in raising more than $10,000 for scholarships and unit activities.


Reynolds served as president of the Faculty Senate from 2017-2020 and has been a member of several university committees, He was part of the first cohort of the ULS Management & Leadership Institute, co-creator of the NSULeAds Intensive Leadership Program at NSU, and serve as co-leader of the university’s IGNiTE (Improve, Grow, and Nurture Your Talents) Leadership Program.


BATON ROUGE- Due to recent dry conditions statewide being sufficiently alleviated following several rain events, State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, along with Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, is rescinding the statewide cease and desist order for all private burning issued on February 15, 2022.

This rescind notice is effective as of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.

“I want to thank the public for its cooperation with this recent burn ban and for understanding the sensitive situation many communities and their first responders were recently facing with some very dry conditions,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, “It never ceases to amaze me how supportive Louisianans can be to each other in times of emergency and I’m proud of how the majority of our state responded this past week.”

Residents should be aware that local and parish governments may continue their own burn bans at their will.

Where the burn ban is being lifted, the State Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind residents that the only legal items you can burn in Louisiana are vegetation and ordinary yard waste items like leaves, tree branches, grass clippings, etc.

According to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, items NOT allowed to be burned include:

• Plastic and other synthetic materials
• Tires and other rubber products
• Paints, household and agricultural chemicals
• Asphalt shingles, heavy oils, wire
• Newspaper, cardboard and other paper products
• Buildings and mobile homes

Notice of Death – February 23, 2022

Christopher Michael Payne
November 25, 1971 – February 18, 2022
Visitation: Saturday, February 26 from 9-10:30 am with the rosary at 10:30 am at St. Anthony Padua Roman Catholic Church, located at 911 5th Street in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, February 26 at 11 am at St. Anthony Padua Roman Catholic Church

Herbert John Bayoune
April 22, 1939 – February 20, 2022
Service: Friday, February 25 at 10 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church

Theddie Ray Miller of Florien, Louisiana
April 10, 1936 – February 20, 2022
Service: Saturday, February 26 at 1 pm at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church

Freddie Gail Berry
February 28, 1951 – February 20, 2022
Service: Thursday, February 24 at 11 am at Bethel Congregational United Methodist Cemetery in Pleasant Hill

Donald Leroy Tarver
June 12, 1930 – February 12, 2022
Service: Monday, February 28 at 12 pm

Phillip Matthew Allen
September 06, 1958 – February 21, 2022
Service: Saturday, February 26 at 1pm at Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield

Susan D. Hemphill
January 31, 1952 – February 19, 2022
Service: Friday, February 25 at 12 pm at Southern Funeral Home

Buford “Sonny” Elmo Lashley
January 12, 1933 – February 20, 2022
Service: Wednesday, February 23 at 2 pm at Atlanta Baptist Church

Donald Roy Dupree
December 10, 1943 – February 20, 2022
Service: Wednesday, February 23 at 2 pm at First Baptist Church

The MVPs of Mardi Gras

How we made it through Mardi Gras parades without them, only our excretory systems know for sure.

Those were archaic and tawdry times.

Today, we are more civilized out there on the parade highways and byways, all thanks to the upright and rectangular 3-D miracles of translucent roofs and vents, and the miraculous pairing of high-density aluminum and polyethylene.

They are no question the MVPs of the Mardi Gras parade season.

Most Valuable Potties.

Look at them, will you? Admire them. Lay flowers and rolls of toilet paper at their feet, which is probably a worn spot in the grass where quick-stepping, over-served revelers hurried to take advantage of their favors.

They are the figurative port in the storm. Or the literal Port-O-Let in the storm.

A mere few feet off the parade route, they stand there as silent sentries, loyal soldiers, dutiful and dependable, ready if called upon, available but not obvious.

On the streets and in our ’hood they go by names like “Honey Bucket” or “Porta-Loo” or “Johnny-on-the-Spot.” The business community that makes a living renting, servicing, and supplying these crucial devices to the Great Unwashed call them portable toilets or chemical toilets.

But the way most of us first came to appreciate them was when we heard the phrase “Port-o-Let” or “Port-a-Jon” or “Porta Potty.” It should come as no surprise that each starts with a “P.”

Poetic justice is served.

Hemingway said once that Paris is “a moveable feast.” Had the outhouse of his day been mobile, he’d have said the same thing of the Port-o-Let.

The street where I live is perpendicular to the four-lane that marks the end of the route of Shreveport-Bossier’s two largest parades. By largest, I mean a quarter-million of our closest friends turn out to enjoy what krewes have worked (and played) all year to assemble. There are smaller parades in town and in the area, but these two pulled in the most bladders.

Thus, the Potty Patrol is needed. Down that otherwise unassuming street that marks the parades’ end, these portable must-haves stand stately for a quarter mile, maybe a bit more. They are rented by people who have reserved “spots” along the route, and the envied contraptions will be picked up next week. But right now, they are assurance and insurance for the renters, who can sleep well, knowing that on The Big Day, help will be just one opening of a plastic door away.

If you didn’t rent one and you need to “go,” well, you’ll find out who your friends are come parade time. You think you’re No. 1 and might just find out that you’re No. 2.

Sad, but such is the human condition. There will come a time when relief is demanded for the laboring kidney, the anxious bladder, the suspect colon. Those who fail to prepare are prepared to fail, and this is the kind of failure that does not go quietly into that dark night.

When Mardi Gras in our area was new, in pre-Port-o-Let days of yore, the make-believe portable potty was a shrub, a shadowed tree, the side of an unassuming garage.

That was rural fare. Tacky. We’ve since come a long way.

Who could have known then that instead of going to the bathroom, the bathroom would one day come to us. And usually, not a second too soon.

Contact Teddy at

Community Health Fair – Today!

As part of Black History Month celebrations, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center is offering a health fair on Wednesday, February 23rd from 12 noon to 3 pm at the Martin Luther King Center in Natchitoches.

Everyone is invited to attend this free event which includes screenings such as blood pressure checks and blood sugar screenings. There will also be booths set up to provide information on diseases that are prevalent in African Americans and how they are diagnosed and treated.

Additional booths will provide tips on eating right, exercising, blood pressure education, preventing STDs, smoking and vaping cessation, and much more. Information on COVID and the vaccines will also be available.

About Natchitoches Regional Medical Center

Natchitoches Regional Medical Center began as a community hospital in 1955 and has grown into a 216-bed healthcare system with 750 Associates and more than 100 active and consulting physicians on its medical staff. The system is comprised of the 96-bed acute care facility, a skilled nursing home, assisted living complex, and an extensive network of clinics throughout the parish.

CONTACT: Cathy Jacobs, Director of Physician/Community Relations 318.214.4513

State Bond Commission Agenda Item: Natchitoches Parish School Board 1% Sales Tax

One agenda item that came before the State Bond Commission at its Feb. 22 meeting was a 1% sales tax, to be levied in perpetuity, beginning Aug. 2, 2023, (1) net proceeds to be dedicated and budgeted annually to avoid a deficit general fund budget and (2) operation, maintenance and upgrading of public schools.

This 1% sales tax is expected to yield approximately $8,229,000 annually.

The proposed proposition was last presented to the voters at the November 6, 2012 election for which it passed.

The proposition is considered a renewal tax.

The Notice of Election reflects the estimated cost of the election is $64,000.

Pursuant to R.S. 47:338.54 Parishes and School Boards are authorized to levy 5% within the jurisdiction. The combined rate levied within the Parish, excluding the Law Enforcement District is currently 6% which does include the proposed tax. Pursuant to R.S. 47:338.139, any such renewal or continuation of a sales tax is authorized to exceed the limitation set forth in Article VI, Section 29(A) and shall be in addition to any limit set forth in any other statue.

Total sales tax within this jurisdiction is:
Law Enforcement District: 0.50%

School Board: 2.50% (Includes Proposed)
Natchitoches EDD A (Includes City of Natchitoches 2.5% and 1.0% EDD): 3.50%
Total: 6.50%

NSU’s Darr named Southland Pitcher of the Week

Following another dominant start and pair of stellar relief appearances this past weekend, Northwestern State’s Maggie Darr was named Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced on Tuesday. It is the first weekly honor of her career.

Darr was nearly untouchable for the Lady Demons in her lone start of the week against Purdue Fort Wayne. She struck out 14 batters, the most in a single game in more than 10 years by an NSU pitcher, in a 3-0 win. It was the fourth shutout of the season for the Lady Demon pitching staff and the second this year for Darr.

She allowed just two hits and got stronger as the game progressed. Between the third and sixth innings of the game, eight of the nine total outs were marked with the letter “K” by the Missouri City, Texas, native.

In her two relief appearances in the Chattanooga Challenge, she pitched four scoreless innings against Tennessee Tech to give the Lady Demons the chance at a comeback, striking out eight along the way, and threw the final two innings against Indiana State giving up just one hit.

In her three appearance across 14 1-3 innings she struck out 23 batters, walked just one and allowed just one run on five total hits for a 0.49 ERA with opponents hitting just .106 against her.

Through the first two weeks of the regular season, Darr leads the conference with a 0.58 ERA, .123 opponent’s batting average and a 0.46 WHIP. She is tied for second in total strikeouts with 32 behind teammate Sage Hoover who has 36.

Darr currently leads an NSU pitching staff, along with Hoover and Kenzie Seely, that hold the top three spots in the conference in ERA, opposing batting average and fewest runs and earned runs allowed.

The Lady Demons travel to Youngsville, La., for the annual Mardi Gras Mambo weekend hosted by Southeastern that begins on Friday with games against Lipscomb (2 p.m.) and Eastern Illinois (4 p.m.).

Graphic: by Brad Welborn

Village of Goldonna Unveils Police Truck

Mayor Smith and the Aldermen are very honored to announce that after many months of ironing out the fine details the Village of Goldonna is almost ready to roll out the new police truck that will be patrolling the roads and helping keep the citizens safe. There is a small amount of equipment that needs to be installed prior to full time use of the truck.

Goldonna Town Hall has hired a new attorney, Mr. Darrell Avery. He currently represents other municipalities and will be a great asset to the community.

March 1st water bills will include the information for the new water leak protection coverage. Please be on the lookout for this valuable information that could save households hundreds of dollars in the event of an unforeseen leak.

Sales tax dollars are still coming in and being used to repair roads in Goldonna. Save Road, Gates Road and Maines Loop should be receiving attention soon.

Christmas in the Park will be having their first fundraiser for the 2022 Event. There will be a Community Fish Fry on April 10th and an Easter Egg Hunt for the children. The committee will be asking local churches and volunteers for meal items and eggs for the children.

The Spring Fish Fry will have photo ops with none other than the Easter Bunny himself. There will also be a scavenger hunt for the older children. Dinners are $9 each and include fish, fries, coleslaw, hushpuppies, dessert and a drink. Orders of 8 or more can be delivered. Please contact the Mayor or Alldermen for tickets for this family friendly event.

The Goldonna Baptist Church Youth Group is selling Grilled chicken dinners that include a leg quarter, baked beans, potato salad, dessert and a drink The cost is $8.00 and they can deliver if arrangements are made. They can deliver to Natchitoches businesses as well. All proceeds will help with youth group with their missions and socials. The dinner will be held Friday March 4th at noon at the church. Please call Marty Walker at 318-228-5827 or Victoria Walker at 318-200-4495 to place your order. You can also text your order to the same numbers.

Goldonna Assembly of God will have their Men’s Prayer Breakfast Saturday February 26th at 8:30am. The guest speaker will be Trip Davidson. Please contact Daniel Kirkham at 318-228-7698 for more information.

If you have news to share please email Reba Phelps at


The Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival has announced that the iconic R&B/Funk artists, Grammy winning group The Commodores, will be headlining the 25th “Silver Anniversary” Festival which will be held on the downtown Natchitoches riverbank on May 21. Festival Chairman Rodney Harrington says that the festival Board of Directors was determined to make the 25th event the biggest and best ever which he feels The Commodores will help do.

“We believe that The Commodores are the biggest, most popular group to ever perform on the Natchitoches riverbank, and that’s saying a mouthful,” said Harrington. Their appearance was made possible by the generous sponsorships of the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and the Cane River Waterway Commission, both of which stepped up in a big way to assist us in booking this major act.”

The Commodores were discovered by Berry Gordy, the head of Motown Records, and went on to sell over 75 million albums sold worldwide, seven #1 singles, five #1 albums, twenty Top Ten singles, and 15 Top Ten albums including “Brick House,” “Sail On,” “Nightshift,” and many more.

The group is world renowned for their high energy show and will be bringing their “Greatest Hits Tour – Live!” to the downtown riverbank stage. Joining The Commodores onstage on May 21st will be Resurrection – A Journey Tribute Band, out of Nashville, Tennessee.

Resurrection has been widely hailed as “The most pitch-perfect recreation of Journey’s music that you will ever hear.” They will be performing all of the 80’s super group Journey’s hits prior to The Commodores taking the stage.

Of course, popular local group Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs will be appearing as they have for all of the festival’s twenty-five years. They are the only group to have appeared at all 25 of the festivals.

As usual, the Moondogs will be joined onstage by multiple guest performers, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist and former Elvis Presley bandleader, James Burton. Burton, a perennial favorite at the festival, has performed there several times.

Burton and the Moondogs will be joined onstage by Country artist, Marty Haggard, who will be performing a tribute to his late father the legendary Merle Haggard. “It’s going to be a thrill to perform some of my Dad’s songs with James Burton who played on some of those recordings, including Mama Tried and Working Man’s Blues. Also, it’s a privilege to perform onstage with a band like the Moondogs.”

Also making a guest appearance is local favorite DeShawn Washington, a former performer on The Voice television show who recently appeared and performed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. DeShawn was invited by the New Orleans Saints to sing the national anthem before one of the Saints home games in the Superdome this past season.

DeShawn has become a viral sensation on social media with his a cappella performances on Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms garnering millions of views. DeShawn is scheduled to embark upon a nation-wide tour in June.

According to Entertainment Committee Chairman, Daniel Page, the full lineup and schedule will be released very shortly but he says that there will be an extremely eclectic mix of music.

“We always say that if you can’t find some music you like at this festival, then you just don’t like music! We are going to have around 17 bands on three different stages featuring (of course) Jazz, R&B, Rock, Zydeco, Country, Soul, and much more. There will be music practically for every taste.”

Acute Sinusitis or Chronic Sinusitis or Allergies?

While many people experience acute sinus infections at some point in their lives, most sinus issues come and go without the need for medical care. However, chronic sinusitis that lasts for several weeks requires a trip to the doctor.

What happens for people with chronic sinusitis is that mucous does not drain the way it should resulting in a myriad of symptoms. There are four sinus cavities: one below each eye in the cheek area near the nose, in between the eyes, in the middle of the head, and one above each eyebrow. When these cavities become inflamed, swollen, or infected, patients can experience the following:

·       Stuffy nose
·       Pain or swelling in the cheeks, eyes, forehead, jaws, or across the nose
·       Thick mucus discharge that tends to be gray or yellowish in color
·       Sore throats and coughing caused from the mucous running down the back of the throat
·       Bad breath
·       Ear pain
·       Headaches
·       Tooth pain
·       Jaw pain

“There can be many causes of chronic sinusitis including a persistent infection, nasal polyps, and other structural issues, so it is important to be seen” explained Dr. Lauren Anderson, Board Certified Otolaryngologist with NRMC Ear, Nose & Throat Associates. “After examining patients and listening to their history with sinus issues, and if needed getting CT of the sinuses or other tests, we can offer treatment options for chronic sinusitis and help people get well.

Some patients are candidates for Balloon Sinuplasty which is a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of sinusitis. Using endoscopy, Dr. Anderson places a small catheter into the blocked sinuses and then inflates it which helps reposition the structures in the sinus cavities. Once opened, the sinus drains and functions properly. The entire procedure is done through the nostrils, often eliminating the need for bone or tissue removal or surgery.

“Most patients see results in a very short period of time,” Dr. Anderson noted. “Being able to breathe through their noses is a great outcome. What matters most is that we want to get the sinuses healthy again. My goal is to correct the drainage issues which contribute to chronic infections and inflammation.”

 Dr. Anderson also helps patients with allergy issues which can contribute to bouts of acute sinusitis and other respiratory issues. The most common symptoms include ongoing sneezing, coughs, earaches, and watery eyes. “We treat a lot of people for allergic rhinitis.  Commonly called hay fever, this issue is common especially in the fall and spring months. Grasses, pollens, trees and even flowers can trigger an allergic response, so we help patients understand their allergies and try to help them get some relief,” Dr. Anderson explained.

 For more information, call 318.214.5770

The Prospector’s Pen

Sam was born in Missouri in 1835, the sixth of seven children.  His father, John, was an attorney and judge in Hannibal during Sam’s childhood.  In 1847, when Sam was 11-years-old, his father died “after a protracted and painful illness,” which was later revealed as pneumonia.  In the following year, Sam quit school and went to work for the Hannibal Journal, a newspaper owned by his older brother Orion.

Beginning in 1859, newspapers reported the discovery of the Comstock Lode, a rich gold and silver ore deposit located in the Virginia mountain range in Virginia city, Nevada.  The Comstock Lode was the first major discovery of silver ore in the United States.  News of the find quickly spread across America and beyond.  It created an excitement reminiscence of the California Gold Rush ten years earlier.  Droves of prospectors flocked to Virginia City to make their fortune.  The population quickly rose from a few hundred and peaked at around 25,000 residents.  Businesses in Virginia City flourished and new businesses opened seemingly overnight with much success. 

In March of 1861, during a two-hour Executive session, the Senate confirmed numerous nominations for office including Orion’s nomination as the Secretary of the Nevada Territory.  Orion’s appointment required him to move to Nevada.  Rather than going alone, Orion and Sam decided to move to Nevada together.  As Secretary, Orion would work under Nevada’s governor, James W. Nye, and Sam planned to make his fortune as a prospector in the gold and silver mines.  It would be an adventure. 

Sam and Orion gathered their belongings and began the journey to Nevada.  For more than two weeks, Orion and Sam rode in a dusty, bumpy, and swaying Concord stagecoach.  Rather than a hard iron suspension, the Concord stagecoach had an improved suspension system which employed leather straps to produce a swinging motion when the coach was in motion.  Sam later described the ride on the Concord stagecoach as being like “a cradle on wheels.”  Another Concord stagecoach traveler described a “ride [which] will always live in my memory – but not for its beauty spots.”  He and the other passengers were “jammed like sardines on the hard seats.”  When traveling over rough terrain which required the stagecoach to creep along at a snail’s pace, the passengers would get out of the coach and “foot it” for relaxation.   The coachman made frequent stops to exchange horses with fresh ones and the closer they got to Nevada, the more stories they heard about minors becoming wealthy.  They trekked over 1700 miles from the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains, through Salt Lake City, and eventually arrived at the boomtown of Virginia City. 

Almost immediately, Sam began working to unearth his fortune.  He toiled for months at the backbreaking labor but never found his fortune.  Unlike a lot of prospectors who continued searching in almost a maniacal fashion, Sam was smart enough to know that prospecting was not for him.  He needed a job.  His experience working for the newspaper owned by his brother enabled him to find employment at Virginia City’s Territorial Enterprise newspaper.  Two years later, in 1865, Sam had his first significant success as a writer when he published “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”  He wrote a book called “Roughing It” based on his experiences in the American West.  Sam is most well known for two books based on his own childhood entitled “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”  However, we know Sam under a different name.  It was in 1863, in Virginia City’s Territorial Enterprise, the job Sam took when his prospecting career failed, where Samuel Clemens first used his pen name, …Mark Twain.

1.  Palmyra Weekly Whig (Palmyra, Missouri), April 1, 1847, p.3.
2.  The Daily Exchange (Baltimore, Maryland), March 29, 1861, p.3.
3.  Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), March 30, 1876, p.3.
4.  Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania), January 18, 1884, p.2.

OPPORTUNITY: Food Service Personnel

Natchitoches Regional Medical Center is looking for Food Service Personnel for The Café.
Food Service Worker

·       Responsible for routine food service tasks in the kitchen, cafeteria, dining room, dish room and special function areas.

·       Duties of this position include preparing, serving, and distributing food and may require working in various areas of the department.

·       The ideal candidate must possess strong interpersonal and customer skills. Prior food service experience is preferred.


·       Responsible for performing food preparation and production tasks efficiently and accurately while following safe food handling policies, procedures, and recipes.

·       Duties of this position include, ensuring portion control, temperature, and appearance of food items is per standard.

·       The ideal candidate will have prior cooking experience preferably in an institutional setting with an emphasis on scratch and high quantity cooking.

·       The ability to read, write and understand directions and to work both independently and as part of a team is also required.


•       Position requires standing, walking, and bending throughout the entire workday

·       Ability to lift, stack and maneuver objects that may weigh 30 to 50 pounds. 

·       Perform all other related duties as assigned by management.

To view and apply to these openings, please visit:

OPPORTUNITY: Office Manager








Registration open for ADVANCE 2022

Northwestern State University’s ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars (ADVANCE), now celebrating its 34th year, will host its traditional residential program for academically motivated students July 10 – 30.

Students currently in grades 7 – 11 enroll in and complete one course during the three-week program. They attend 108.5 hours of class and cover an entire year’s worth of high school material or a semester of college level material. Course offerings include the humanities, mathematics, natural sciences with laboratory components and computer programming.

All applicants must provide a copy of their most recent report card and state standardized test scores to determine their eligibility. If scores have been misplaced, many schools provide that information on school transcripts, and transcripts may be submitted to ADVANCE. If applicants have taken an ACT or SAT, those scores may be submitted with their applications.

While the academic program at ADVANCE is top-notch, the residential program sets ADVANCE apart from other similar summer programs. The residential staff offers a wide variety of social and recreational activities to assist students in forming lasting friendships, strengthen the ADVANCE community and help all students have a great time when not in class. Dr. Chris Hynes, director of ADVANCE, states that “ADVANCE combines the need to improve academically with the desire to spend summer break in the traditional way – having fun!”

A $250 discount will be granted to families with two or more students attending the program or to applicants who are dependents of NSU employees or students.

Applications are now being accepted. For more information call (318) 357-4500.

Leone joins NSU Development staff

Sharon Leone has joined the staff at Northwestern State University and will serve as development coordinator for the Office of University Advancement. Leone will assist with donor relations, facilitating key tasks and procedures for the entire office of Development and will help with announcements and events in the department.

“The current goals I have for working in Development are to increase professional knowledge of my position, have new and challenging experiences and focus on how I can help make a difference in our department,” Leone said.

Leone earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics with an emphasis in fashion merchandising and a minor in business administration at NSU in 1989. She returned to NSU in 1994 to earn teacher certification through the alternate certification program and is certified to teach PreK 3 through fourth grade.

Leone’s work experience began in various food service and retail jobs in high school and college when she was assistant manager at Shoe Town and owned and operated Merle Norman Cosmetics from 1989-94. After earning teaching certification, her career in education spanned over 27 years. She taught kindergarten at Colfax Elementary, Verda Elementary and Weaver Elementary before joining the faculty at St. Mary’s. There, she taught 6-8th grade reading and English before returning to the kindergarten classroom and PreK 3-4.

“I loved my students, dear teaching friends, and teaching career, but felt it was time to take on a new challenge as development coordinator at NSU,” Leone said. “I feel as if I have come full circle returning to Northwestern.”

Leone has been a Natchitoches resident for 32 years. She has been married to Kirk Leone for over 31 years. Their children are Leslie, Kirk Jr. and Micheal and wife Lainy. She is a member of the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with family.

“I am so excited for the opportunity to work at Northwestern State University and grow professionally,” she said. “Beginning a new career can be stressful and scary, but my new coworkers are amazing and made me feel right at home, a home that I loved during my college years and was happy to return to. Home is defined as a place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family. I have returned to my NSU family.”