St. Helena Schools superintendent offers thanks to St. John

Published 12:03 am Saturday, October 1, 2016

(Kelli Joseph, superintendent of schools for St. Helena Parish School District, spoke in front of the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board last week. The St. John resident and former St. John School District employee expressed her thanks for support her school family has received in the wake of disastrous flooding. The following is an edited version of her speech to School Board members.)

We all wanted to come here to say how much we appreciated all the support you have provided for St. Helena Parish.

While we are, as far as land size, larger than St. John Parish, our population is much smaller. It is a small, rural area and a small school district.

During that horrific flood, we suffered lots of damage. Our students and our families all suffered greatly. We had to use our gym as the site for all of the evacuees.

We did suffer some damage to our schools, not as much as the schools in Livingston Parish and East Baton Rouge Parish. While our schools were somewhat OK, all of the roads and bridges leading to the schools were damaged.

We had an uphill battle to climb. We wanted to make sure our students got back to school to feel a sense of normalcy. That was very important to us.

We had parishes like St. John and superintendent Kevin George step up to the plate and provide us with tons of assistance.

We had a lot of people in St. John that provided that support. All of the schools provided that support.

Superintendent George, on behalf of our School Board, our students, our community, we want to say thank you so much for spearheading that awesome, awesome donation that you provided for us.

To the Board, we want to say thank you very much for all that support.

We are still struggling. We still have some students that are in shelters. Our students do need more assistance.

With the funds that you provided us, more than $4,600 that is so awesome, we were able to purchase some supplies. We were able to get school uniforms. We were able to take care of some of the facility work that we needed to get done. Thank you.

— Kelli Joseph, superintendent

St. Helena Parish School District