St. Charles Parish names top students

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 5, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / February 5, 2000

LULING – Three St. Charles Parish girls will advance in Student of the Yearcompetition after their selection Wednesday as parishwide honor students.

They will compete later for regional and state honors.

Oreal Marie Vu, daughter of Nhan and Lana Vu of Des Allemands, earned the fifth-grade title, representing R.J. Vial Elementary School.Vu has a 4.0 grade point average maintained through grades three to fiveand has been active in band, writers camp, 4-H Club, Bible camp and dance.

Raeanna Lee Poplus, daughter of Ray and Elise Poplus of Destrehan, earned the eighth-grade title, representing Harry Hurst Middle School.

Poplus earned a 3.95 grade point average during grades six to eight and98.76 out of 100 points.She serves on the Student Council, assists as a piano instructor in Community Education, emceed the school’s Talent Show and Winter Piano Recital and is a trainee instructor in Tae Kwon Do.

Poplus is active in Beta Club, enjoys cheerleading, participated in Science Quiz Bowl and volunteers with Head Start.

She has also won numerous awards from the Louisiana Science Fair, the Sierra Club, the Louisiana Young Authors Contest and earned a $200 scholarship based on her ACT scores.

Jodi Brett Friedman, daughter of Jeffrey and Debbie Friedman of Destrehan, earned the 12th-grade title, representing Destrehan High School.

Friedman earned a 3.96 grade point average, based on a 4.0-point scale, or98.98 percent, based on a 100-point scale, through her high school years.She is a four-year member of the Student Council, serving as freshman class vice-president, sophomore class president, junior class president and currently as student body president. She is also president of the Beta Cluband was a candidate last year for president of Louisiana State Beta Club.

Her other activities include coordinating DHS’s first mock trial for Students Against Dangerous Decisions, assisting in organizing the school’s first team in the American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” and working the Gates of Prayer Synagogue Youth Group in assisting the NO/AIDS walk for two years.

Friedman is also a member of National Honor Society and was a delegate last summer to Louisiana Girls State. She has acted in the Eddie May MurderMysteries since February 1999 and was an extra in the movie “Lolita.” Shealso has been active in dance groups for 10 years.

Other elementary school winners were Rachel Trusty, daughter of Michael Trusty and Martha Abebe.T of St. Rose, from Cammon Middle School; JessicaBrown, daughter of Richard and Teresa Brown of Luling, from Carver Elementary; Andrew Miller, son of James and Teresa Miller of Luling, from Lakewood Elementary; Paul Caliste, son of Gertrude Smothers of Destrehan, from Norco 4-6 Elementary; and Laura Julich, daughter of Thomas and Mary Julich of Destrehan, from Schoeffner Elementary School.

Other middle school winners were Darryl Richard, son of Darryl and Tanda Richard of St. Rose, from Cammon Middle School; Mariana Sheppard,daughter of Samuel and Lidia Sheppard of Luling, from Landry Middle School; and Jeri Gomez, daughter of Jerry Jr. and Rebecca Gomez of Luling, from J.B.Martin Middle School.

The other high school winner was Lauren Campo, daughter of Keith and Sonia Campo of Luling, from Hahnville High School.

The program, similar to the Teacher of the Year awards program, is sponsored by the state Department of Education and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

To enter the competition, a student must earn a cumulative 3.5 grade pointaverage, compile a portfolio including a biographical essay and student achievement scores on tests and pass an interview with the student achievement committee.

This year’s committee included the 1999 Teachers of the Year (Cherie Mitchell, Lisa Perrin, Florence Tapley and Kelley Kass), business and industry representatives (Debbie Kinler of Timeless Images, Jeanne Dazet of J&K Office Supply and Printing and Lily Galland of Shell Chemical) and Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent Dr. Juanita Haydel.

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