St. John Schools honors support worker

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 11, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

LAPLACE – The St. John the Baptist Parish public school district has named Patricia Rodrigue as the 2012-13 Outstanding School Support Employee of the Year.
Rodrigue, a paraeducator in St. John for 30 years, has worked at East St. John High School for the past five years.
“She is an asset to this school. Anything I ask of her she does,” East St. John High School Assistant Principal Jason Beber said. “If I had about 30 Mrs. Rodrigues I could get a lot done.”
Rodrigue’s duties include overseeing the school’s science labs, organizing blood drives, coordinating youth programs with the National Football League and the New Orleans Hornets and organizing fundraisers, such as those done through Raising Cane’s.
Since 1985, Rodrigue has also served as a 4-H sponsor. She strives to teach her 4-H students the importance of helping others through involvement with organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home and the St. John the Baptist Parish Animal Shelter.
“I try to get the kids involved as much as I can in the community to see what they can do to make their community a better place,” Rodrigue said.
Rodrigue, who said she also strives to make people more aware of the importance of agriculture, serves as a state representative for the Louisiana Ag in the Classroom program.
“I travel all over the country during the summer to see what ag programs are working in other states and bring them back to our district and state,” she said.
Rodrigue, who has worn numerous hats during her tenure as a paraeducator, said she was shocked to learn she had been selected as Outstanding School Support Employee of the Year because she sees her role as helping out wherever it is needed.
“You can’t look at a job description. You have to do what you have to do to get things done,” she said. “Being a paraeducator makes you flexible so you can do the jobs nobody else wants to do or has the time to do.”
Rodrigue will be honored along with the Principals of the Year and Teachers of the Year at the May 16 St. John the Baptist Parish School Board meeting.