Students receive awards

Published 7:05 am Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Washington Parish School Board met for a lengthy meeting Thursday that was kicked off by honoring the district’s top musical and academic talent.

The meeting was held at the Franklinton Primary School’s auditorium in order to accommodate the dozens of students and parents in attendance.

Kyle Jones, the junior and senior high choir director, introduced the parish representatives in the honor choir. Jones pointed out that Washington Parish’s honor choir district includes St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes — which are more populous than Washington Parish. Even so, Washington Parish students made up “more than a quarter of the students” chosen for honor choir.

After those students were recognized, high school band director Loyman Prestenbach presented the honor band, and after that, the top academic high school students were presented with the “Superintendent’s Award for Rigor.”

Sandy Morgan, the director of curriculum at the high school, presented the new award.

“It has long been a passion of (our superintendent) that we increase rigor in schools so our students are prepared for their post-secondary education and careers,” Morgan said.

She pointed out that the award was given to students who picked honors courses and who enrolled in college-credit courses, because those choices showed an aptitude for accepting challenges.

“You have to choose those rigorous courses to be prepared for your post-secondary work,” she said. “We want to reward you for choosing to take the rigorous courses that prepare you for college.”

Following the presentation of the students, the parents and students left the auditorium, and the board returned to its usual business.

First up, the board approved moving Katie Miller into the assistant principal of instruction slot at Mt. Hermon.

“She was a reading coach,” said Superintendent Darrell Fairburn. “She’s done a great job and she’s been helping out all along and she’s going to step in as the new assistant principal of instruction.”

The board adopted the budget for students with disabilities, and then adopted the bids for bakery services and milk services. The board voted unanimously to reject the updated student dress and conduct code without comment, although board member Matthew Tate asked the board members who had a problem with the policy to make recommendations to the administration as soon as possible.

The board then approved using the Era-Leader newspaper as its official organ, and approved the annual school budget formula per pupil.

The board also approved setting a date to advertise for school supply bids.

At the end of the meeting, the superintendent gave his report and Fairburn reminded everyone graduation is next week. Pine graduates May 12, Franklinton High and Varnado High on May 13, Mt. Hermon on May 14 and adult education students on May 15.

Wayne Kuhn, the board’s attorney, said the district by state law has to hire a financial advisor to oversee a bond in 2017. The board then voted to approve the hire of Raymond James and Associates.

Editor’s Note: Photos of the students honored at Thursday’s meeting will be published in a future edition.