Lakeview Principal delivers School Spotlight to School Board members

Lakeview Principal William Hymes and several of his faculty and staff members updated Natchitoches Parish School Board members at their committee meeting on April 12 with rapid fire reports to cover some of the things going on at Lakeview. Lakeview is a B high school that is working toward earning an A rating.

Improvements at the school include new energy efficient lighting that comes on and off when a person enters and leaves a room, providing energy savings for the district. The gymnasium floors were resurfaced and refinished, security cameras were installed (now 64 covering various areas of campus), and the HVAC system was upgraded to stabilize classroom temperatures. A new girl’s softball clubhouse facility and a boy’s baseball clubhouse facility were constructed. A new running track was also built, which serves as a walking track for the community. The football field was regraded and is soon to be re-turfed. A school marquee was added to the campus. Restrooms were remodeled, fixing costly water leaks and drainage issues.

Powerlifting: John Tabarlet, who came to Lakeview 4 years ago, said the school has qualified kids to go to the state meet every year since he’s been there. The goal is to take the student athletes national and international.

“We’re trying to give these kids something they can be proud of,” he said.

WorkKeys: Ashley Norman told board members that WorkKeys is up to a 70% passage rate and is working to increase to a 98% by the time the April 29 deadline arrives. For the first time, the school has also qualified three CLEP cohorts at the state level for the 2024 school year. They’re currently working on qualifying nine more. CLEP is for kids who are taking college based exams (ENGLISH 1010 or 1020 at Northwestern State University) to get credits for courses, advancing them in their careers in college.

Culinary Arts: Sherry Helms said the culinary kitchen at Lakeview will allow students to graduate with a certification, which will allow them to enter food service at the management level. All students get ServSafe food handler certified. The program received a Rachel Ray Foundation grant and has lots of awesome supporters (Alliance and Weyerheuser).

Katelyn Wallsworth, a Sophomore at Lakeview, was homeschooled until she was in the 8th grade. She chose to go to Lakeview because of the culinary program. Katelynn is the manager of a student run coffee shop, “Gator Grounds,” which the program recently opened up at the school. Katelynn is working on her ServSafe Manager certification.

Girls Basketball: The girl’s basketball team has been to the quarterfinals the last two years. Among numerous other individual awards, the team’s two top freshmen just got voted to the LHSAA All State Team.

They’ve also grown the girl’s track team tremendously, taking over 20 athletes to the state track meet last year.

Boys Basketball: The boy’s basketball team went to state this year and they were one of the last two teams standing.

Livestock and Horticulture: Ag teacher Sarah Mallete is a Lakeview graduate, who was enrolled in agriculture classes as a student. Ag students at Lakeview received first place in the Geaux Teach Ag Contest, first and second in Floriculture (went on to take second in state), first place in state for SAE’s in Nursery Operations, and first place in state in Ag Communications.

“We’re really proud of what we do,” she said.

JROTC: Major Williams and Chief Thomas explained to board members that the mission of JROTC is to build citizens of character dedicated to serving the community and the country. The program holds community service events including passing out over 66,000 pounds of food to families in the Campti. This translates to over 1,032 hours of community service so far, about 36 hours per cadet. They’re also proud of their academics.

The marksmanship program consists of 14 cadets. Students have won trophies at competitions. They now have a permanent space in the old weight room for a shooting range so students can practice. The goal is to develop 5-6 cadets that are shooting at the expert level for competitions.

National Honor Society: Math Teacher Chanda Goff is the school’s NHS Sponsor. NHS students are active in the community. They donated blankets to the local Cancer Center and began a program with Fairview Alpha Elementary to send NHS students over for reading and math tutoring. They will also be volunteering with the City of Campti to organize an easter egg hunt for area students. NHS President Zoe Britt recently received a $32,000 scholarship to the college she plans on attending when she graduates.

Golf: Football Coach Brandon Helms talked about the newly formed golf team (started 2 years ago). His son Holtz was recently named the Central LA High School Golfer of the Year. He’s hoping to grow the team to more than one person, and said they’re adding sports every year to give kids more opportunities.

Dance Line: This was added to the school just last year. Dance Instructor Jasmine Washington said she’s hosted five dance camps so far with 20-40 girls at each camp. The dancers also get to participate in parades.