Parish district names its top teachers

Published 6:41 am Saturday, August 13, 2016

Washington Parish educators were honored Thursday at the parish school district’s board meeting. Fourteen teachers from each school were given teacher of the year awards and then three teachers were given overall teacher of the year awards.

The teachers of the year were Hollie Graham at Enon Elementary, Crystal Jenkins at Franklinton Primary, Amanda Fowler at Franklinton Elementary, Dewanna Hughes at Mount Hermon High School, E’Laine Robinson at Wesley Ray Elementary, Lynn Pigott at Thomas Elementary, McKenzie Skluzacek at Franklinton Junior High, Rhonda Waskom at Mount Hermon Junior High, Danielle Givens at Pine School, Gayla Strickland at Varnado, Leslie McGhee at Franklinton High School, Elise Knight at Mount Hermon High School, Jake McCormick at Pine High School and Patricia Noto at Varnado High.

“It’s always a pleasure to see the teachers of the year,” Superintendent Darrell Fairburn said, before joking, “Jake, I’m glad to see we have a man.”

Fairburn then awarded the three overall district winners. They were Fowler, Skluzacek and McCormick.

“These are representative of all the good teachers we have in Washington Parish,” Fairburn said.

Board member Matthew Tate thanked all the teachers and wished them well.

“We’re looking forward to another great year,” he said.

Following the awards, the board took care of its regular business. They passed a revised pupil progression plan for the new school year without comment and then they passed a cooperative agreement between the district and the Louisiana Extension 4-H club. The board agreed to donate $10,000 to the program, the same as last year.

The board also agreed to assign a mineral lease at Angie and then they passed a motion enter into a cooperative agreement with the Pine Junior Athletic Football Association. Under the agreement, the association will be able to use school facilities provided they provide their own insurance and maintain the facilities. In turn, should the district decide to sell the facilities, the association would get the right of first refusal.

Wayne Kuhn, the district’s attorney, praised the agreement.

“The cooperative endeavor agreements show great cooperation between the community and the schools,” he said. “We’re providing a great benefit to them because if they’d had to buy the land and buy the facilities it would have been very, very expensive.”

Kuhn also pointed out that the district gets free maintenance for the facilities.

After that, the district amended its code of conduct policy to include smart watches. The board then bought insurance and passed a couple of motions to sell a bus and a Grand Prix. The board then heard a personnel report and then got an update from Fairburn.

The superintendent said enrollment is steady compared with last year, but the district should have a clearer picture after Labor Day.

“That’s when it becomes more stable,” he said.

Overall, a week into the new year, things are going well, he said.

“We had a really good opening of school,” he said, adding, “The spirit is really good and appreciative and that means everyone’s pulling together.”

The superintendent said the district is still looking for a few more teachers, however.

“We’re looking for people with degrees to get them certified and make them teachers,” he said.