LIVINGSTON PARISH TEACHER-LIBRARIAN NAMED 2021 NATIONAL SCHOOL LIBRARIAN OF THE YEAR
Amanda Jones, a teacher-librarian at Live Oak Middle School, has been named one of the 2021 School Librarians of the Year by School Library Journal, the premier publication for librarians and information specialists who work with children and teens, and Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company.
The award recognizes K–12 library professionals for outstanding achievement and the exemplary use of technology and services to engage children and teens toward fostering multiple literacies. The recognition proved especially important over the past year as librarians nationwide stepped up to support students, families, and educators who have had to manage distance learning during the COVID pandemic.
Jones is featured in the April issue of the School Library Journal. The article highlighting Jones’ accomplishments is titled “Journeying with Jones.” It tells how Jones created the “Journey with Jones” program in March 2020 to connect with her students who had stopped coming to school in-person because of the COVID pandemic. Other special literacy initiatives Jones has created for her students include a Battle of the Books competition that has grown to 10 schools district-wide; the 40 Book Challenge; and the MESH Society (media literacy, ethics, sociology, and history), in which students read titles across these categories.
As a 2021 School Librarian of the Year Award winner, Jones will receive a suite of awards from Scholastic, including a $2,500 cash award and $2,500 in-kind digital and/or print products for her library, in addition to a visit from John Schumacher, the Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs, who will gift one book to every student at Live Oak Middle School, and a Scholastic Book Fairs “Mr. Schu’s Picks” collection of books for the school library.
ALBANY MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL NAMED SEMI-FINALIST FOR STATE PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR
Albany Middle School Principal John Hill, who was named Livingston Parish’s Middle School Principal of the Year, has advanced to be a state semi-finalist for Louisiana’s Principal of the Year.
The winners of the state’s 2022 Teacher and Principal of the Year Award Programs will be announced live at the 2021 Teacher Leader Summit on May 25 in New Orleans. All the semi-finalists will be honored at the Annual Excellent Educators Awards Gala, sponsored by Dream Teachers, the Louisiana Association of Principals, and the Louisiana Department of Education, on July 16.
“Congratulations to Mr. Hill for being rightly recognized for his outstanding performance as an educator,” Superintendent Joe Murphy said. “He is an exceptional principal who exemplifies the best of our education profession.”
VOTERS ASKED TO APPROVE $13 MILLION INVESTMENT IN DSHS ATHLETIC FACILITIES ON APRIL 24 BALLOT
The Livingston Parish School Board is asking voters to extend an existing 8.64 mills dedicated to capital improvements in the Denham Springs School District to fund much-needed athletic facility improvements at the high school with no increase in taxes paid each year.
The bond election proposition will appear on the April 24 ballot for voters in the Denham Springs School Taxing District. School Board Member Cecil Harris said the district’s strong AA bond rating and current record-low interest rates make this the best time for school leaders to obtain additional funds, since that can be done with no increased annual cost to taxpayers.
School leaders propose investing $13 million in new facilities, upgrades, and expansions. Those proposed improvements include: the realignment of DSHS Yellow Jacket Stadium, creating better security designs for parking and entry; a new turf surface for soccer and football competition; a new track in the stadium and a dedicated field events area; a new field house with accommodations for male and female student-athletes; expanded weight rooms for all sports; the addition of a baseball field facility and softball field facility on the campus; and a new dedicated practice area for the marching band.
The proposed improvements will be the first major improvements to Denham Springs High School’s overall athletic program and facilities in more than 65 years.
DISTRICT CELEBRATES READING WITH DR. SEUSS