St. John public school teachers feted wsith food, pats on back

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 19, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / January 19, 2000

LAPLACE – Public school teachers of St. John the Baptist Parish got a lotof congratulations and pats on the back for doing a great job last Thursday.

At the second annual St. John the Baptist Parish Teacher’s Banquet, over200 teachers, principals and teaching assistants were treated to dinner, speeches and praise, thanks to the New Wine Christian Fellowship Church and Shell/Motiva, one of the St. John School System’s community partners.Neil Bernard, pastor of New Wine, and his congregation cooked and served the dinner to a packed room at the Fellowship’s headquarters on West Airline Highway.

While the teachers savored a dinner of jambalaya, chicken, salad, and vegetables they were honored and feted by several parish dignitaries.

School Superintendent Chris Donaldson welcomed the teachers and thanked them for the long hours and hard work. Because of the teachers, he said,St. John test scores have improved. State Rep. Bobby Faucheux read a letter to the teachers from Gov. MikeFoster. The letter congratulated the teachers for their hard work ineducating the youth of St. John Parish. Faucheux told the educators that when he returned from the next legislative session in Baton Rouge he would have money for a teacher pay raise. This elicited a huge round of applause and cheering from theaudience.

Also in attendance were the members of the St. John School Board,including President Richard DeLong, who was looking healthy and fit after battling a case of pneumonia for the past three weeks.

St. John Parish Council members Melissa Faucheux and Ranney Wilson andParish President Nickie Monica were also at the festivities representing St. John Parish government.The diners were entertained with gospel music provided by the New Wine Fellowship singers and musicians.

Visiting motivational speaker the Rev. Fairest Hill of Youth On the MoveUSA Inc., treated the audience of teachers to one of his speeches. Hill hasbeen touring St. John Parish, giving motivational speeches at severalpublic schools in the parish.

In closing, Bernard reminded everyone of how important teachers were to the future of the parish, state and nation.

“Education is the key,” said Bernard. “Without it, nothing can beaccomplished.”

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