St. James athletes commended by school board

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, April 15, 2014

By David Vitrano

LUTCHER – The St. James Parish School Board honored two of its schools’ athletic teams at its most recent meeting.

First up was the Lutcher High School girls powerlifting team, which just earned its eighth consecutive state title.

“We broke some state records this year,” said coach Kelly Magendie, who added that some of the team members will be competing nationally this year.

“We keep setting our sights higher,” she said.

Lutcher High School Athletic Director Tim Detillier noted that while many schools have a “win at all costs” attitude, “We do it with homegrown people.”

The other team receiving accolades was the St. James High boys basketball team, which made it to the Top 28 for the first time since 2001. While the team has not won a championship since 2000, those currently in charge see this year’s results as a sign of resurgence.

“We just want to continue doing what we do,” said head coach James Smith.

Also at the meeting, several board members had positive things to say about the recent National School Board Association conference. For the first time, the St. James Parish school system made a presentation on the national stage. They said the event helped them to better perform their duties by providing inspiration in the form of guest speakers such as Magic Johnson and Erin Gruwell, the teacher upon whom the movie “Freedom Writers” is based.

“Many people have the same problems as us,” said board member Richard Reulet.

“Every board member here attended. I don’t know if you know what that means,” said Superintendent Alonzo Luce. “It’s unique to have a stable board with a stable administration moving things forward.”

In other action, the School Board approved the Building Committee’s recommendation to go out for bids for the roof replacement project at Lutcher Elementary School. The scope of the project includes a full roof replacement for the school’s main building, gym and cafeteria as well as the demolition of the kindergarten classrooms.

The board also gave its OK to items related to the purchase of a new Ford F-150 pickup truck at a price of $18, 936 and the sale of two surplus vehicles, a 17-year-old pickup truck and a recently replaced box van used for the delivery of food service commodities.

“They’ve more than paid for themselves,” said Administrative Director of Business Services Jim Mitchell.