Benoit will keep school system employees, parents informed

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 13, 1998

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / July 13, 1998

LULING – The characteristic of any successful school system is parental involvement. At the same time, the parents as well as employees of thatschool system must also be informed about what is going on and have the opportunity for input.

Keeping parents and employees of the St. Charles Parish Public SchoolSystem informed is the goal of Regina Benoit, the district’s newly hired Public Information Director for Internal Communication.

Receiving the position in the school system was a homecoming for Benoit, a graduate of Hahnville High School. Benoit said she has always been apeople person and that she came to realize public relations was the way she wanted to go.

Benoit graduated from Nicholls State University in December 1997 at the top of her class with a major in Mass Communications with a specialty in public relations and a minor in government. While at Nicholls State, Benoitreceived three internships that would have an impact on her career. Thefirst was at an advertising agency in Thibodaux, Always in Mind.

From there, Benoit was one of a select few students to receive an internship from the Louisiana Center of Women in Government, located on the Nicholls State campus. Benoit worked at the state capitol, helping theLouisiana Republican Legislative delegation with research and giving her valuable learning about the workings of government.

“That was what sparked by interest in government,” Benoit said.

Her third internship came right here in the River Parishes at the Union Carbide plant. There, she helped put together newsletters recognizingemployee highlights as well as helping other departments with clip art and design projects.

Upon graduation, Benoit interviewed for seven positions but felt none were quite right. That’s when the position in the St. Charles Parish SchoolSystem opened up, allowing Benoit to work in the same system that she grew up in.

“I got to work with all the mentors and teachers I looked up to coming up through the system,” Benoit said. “I got to work with my teachers, gettingto know them in a different way. It’s great; I love it.”Benoit said one advantage of coming home is that she did not have to get used to a new community, already having contacts here.

“I have been here all my life,” Benoit said. “I know what is going on in thebackground.”As the Public Information Officer for Internal Communications, Benoit’s job is to update employee and parent newsletters, keeping them informed about what is going on in the system. She is also redoing the districtcalendar, dividing it into five mini-calendars to correspond with the issuance of report cards.

Another project Benoit is involved with is the implementation of the district’s Homework Helpline, an interactive project that can be seen on Channel 8. Benoit said the Helpline will begin in October, starting withmath for students in grades 4-8. The district is looking at having highschool students discuss the problems on the programs with students being able to either call in their problems or e-mail them.

The system is also looking to place a news coordinator in each school with the principals selecting a person responsible for getting the word out about their schools. Benoit is setting up a workshop to give advice to thecoordinators. At the high school level, Benoit is thinking about formingschool news clubs, groups of students responsible for getting news out about their schools while getting a feel for journalism.

As for her views on journalism, Benoit said she sees a definite need for it in the world today.

“The media may not always tell us what to think, but it does tell us what to think about,” Benoit said. “We either agree or disagree about it but weare thinking about it. There is definitely a need and a public demand forit.”Being informed about what is happening is especially important when it comes to the education of today’s students.

“People need to be informed about what is going on,” Benoit said. “Theyshould have a voice in the system. It is our responsibility to make surethey receive the message, and also for the schools to hear their message.”

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