Top St. John students honored by board

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 21, 2005


Managing Editor

RESERVE – Students of the year for St. John the Baptist Parish Schools were publicly recognized for their achievements, and three will continue to regional and possibly state competitions.

Lauren Cantrell, of John L. Ory Magnet School, won the parish-wide recognition for fifth-graders. Jordan Brown, of Ory, won the parish-wide recognition for eighth-graders. Meghan Borne, of West St. John High, won the 12th-grader recognition.

Each of these three will continue to regional competition.

Other school winners were as follows:

Fifth Grade – Dashera Gros at West St. John Elementary; Bradley Jouty at LaPlace Elementary, Ambria Sylvain at Garyville/Mt. Airy Magnet, Sylvia Emmanuel at East St. John Elementary and Deryn

(See Students, Page 5A)

(From Page 1A)

Ann Weems at Glade.

Eighth Grade – Nakesha Nelson at East St. John Elementary, Sherizan Landry at Garyville/Mt. Airy, Courtni Becnel at West St. John High, LyChell Zeno at Glade, Corionne Eugene at LaPlace Elementary and Kenneth Brown at Fifth Ward Elementary.

Twelfth Grade – Gaynelle Brown at East St. John High.

The School Board also heard a presentation from Phyllis Clark, principal for the Leon Godchaux Accelerated Program. Clark pointed out that of 46 sixth-graders in the program, 78 percent of them are now advanced to seventh grade. Additionally, of 53 seventh-graders, 65 percent of them are now advanced to eighth grade.

The program reclaims at-risk students and brings them back into the academic mainstream. Attendance, through constant attention, is up to 90 percent, Clark said, and discipline is stressed through zero-tolerance, social skills and anger management. Academics are stressed, aimed at allowing the children to regain their place among their peers through achievement in the classroom.

“There is a place in the world for them, but they have to work for it,” Clark said.

One mother, whose child is a student in the program, told the board, “It’s the best thing to ever hit St. John Parish. We needed this program severely.”

A father added that his son’s academic performance and attitude “improved 100 percent.”

Counselor Stanley Alexis commented, “They have hope now,” and added, “I like this school and I like what we’re doing.”

In other activity, the board denied member Russ Wise’s request to seek an state Attorney General opinion on whether a “temporary salary adjustment” is legal.

It was pointed out that such adjustments, carried out in every other parish as well as in St. John, have had three supporting opinions already rendered. Wise argued that the Attorney General only advised that the school boards are empowered to make salary adjustments, but that a “temporary salary increase” has not been properly addressed.

Only Wise and member Patrick Sanders voted in favor. Elexia Henderson was absent. the remainder of the board voted against Wise.