St. John Parish School Board recognizes high achievers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 5, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

RESERVE – During its regular meeting on Thursday, the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board honored 24 students who made a perfect score on varying sections of the LEAP, iLEAP and End-of-Course exams.
Each student received a handshake from Superintendent of Schools Kevin George and a plaque to commemorate the achievement. The third-grade honorees were: Jada Brown of John L. Ory Magnet School; and Victoria Scott of Lake Pontchartrain Elementary.
The fourth-grade honorees were: Brandon Couste and Jay Morgan of Lake Pontchartrain Elementary; Hayden Elder, Jacquez Jenkins and Abigail Johnson of LaPlace Elementary; Sebastian Gil and Christopher Hammet of John L. Ory Magnet; Antwan Johnson of East St. John Elementary; and Eric Zar of Emily C. Watkins Elementary.
A single fifth-grade student was honored: Kyra Thomas of Fifth Ward Elementary.
The sixth-grade honorees were: Cameron Cage, Ethan Millet and Ethan Wiliamson of John L. Ory Magnet; and Anthony Cases of East St. John Elementary. Seventh-grade honorees were: Carlin Bartholomew of John L. Ory Magnet; Jhajuan Countee of LaPlace Elementary; and Wesley Patterson of Garyville/Mt. Airy Magnet School. Eigth-grade honorees were: James Perilloux of John L. Ory Magnet; and Charles Putman of LaPlace Elementary.
Three high schoolers were honored for their perfect scores: Ninth grader Corin Ellis of West St. John High School; and 10th-grader Aubrey Stewart and 11th-grader Briana Bartholomew, both of East St. John High School.
Chasm and Fusion Architecture also provided an update on the status of Lake Pontchartrain Elementary’s temporary campus. Architect Brad Guerin said the company would need 15 modular buildings to create approximately 30 educational spaces, including bathrooms. The campus would also get new covered walkways, a 40-car parking lot, new playground equipment and an additional serving line in the existing cafeteria to accommodate the influx of students.
Guerin said the company will also pave the school road to Airline Highway, change the stairs and ramps to aluminum material, constuct canopy columns from metal and add a two-year maintenance agreement if funding allowed. The total project cost with the additions came to $2,622,168.25.
Guerin also revealed a slightly accelerated project timeline — the architecture firm had already released a bid package for the manufacture of the modular buildings the Wednesday after their selection. The modulars are expected to be delivered by Dec. 4, an eight-day jump from the company’s original timeline.
“When we were selected for this project two weeks ago, we were questioned about how we were going to meet this schedule. Since that meeting, we started the very next morning. Because of the hustle of your superintendent, his staff and staff from the school, we were actually able to accelerate that schedule even more,” said Guerin.
Guerin also addressed the on-site construction of the modulars:”We’ve even accelerated that schedule somewhat too. We’re going to be putting out a bid package this upcoming Wednesday so we can get contractors moving on it. What we want to do with the package we’re putting out is give the contractor ample time to meet the deadline on Dec. 30. We’re still on schedule to have this campus completed and ready by the end of the year, when students return after the first.”
George said he and his staff have already begun discussing the logistics of the move-in process and would meet with the staff of both schools in the future to work out the move transition. Board member Lowell Bacas proposed that teachers who had to move their things during the holidays should receive some sort of compensation.
Though supportive, board member Keith Jones also raised a point concerning the fairness of Bacas’ idea, saying it could create an issue since district didn’t compensate East St. John High teachers while moving. The idea of utilizing inmate labor was also tossed around.
In other news, board member Russ Wise announced that the district had received the support of Jefferson Parish School District in its a lawsuit to recover an annual growth adjustment of 2.75 percent in state funding, in accordance with House Conconcurrent Resolution 130 of the 2011 Regular session of Louisiana Legislature. The board resolved to move forward with the suit in June, but lost in court. Wise said it looked like other school districts in the state would join them this time around, making success more likely.