BOARD APPROVES PAY RAISES FOR EMPLOYEES
The Livingston Parish School Board has approved a $1,000 increase in annual pay to all full-time certified employees and a $500 increase in annual pay to all full-time classified employees. At the same time, all full-time employees will receive a one-time cash award of $750. Part-time employees will receive a pay increase and a one-time stipend based proportionately on their job status.
Superintendent Joe Murphy said the pay increase for the current fiscal year will be disbursed for the current fiscal year in a single lump sum payment on Oct. 7.
“Our people have endured hardships over the past few weeks that may certainly merit the need for these additional funds at this time,” he said. “Our plan is to pay this year’s monies – the annual increase and the one-time stipend – in a single lump sum payment on Oct 7. Then, those annual increases, the $1,000 and $500 allocations, respectively, that are to reoccur each year will be built into the district’s salary schedule beginning next fiscal year.”
The pay increases accounts for a $7.3 million addition to the district’s 2021-2022 budget, according to Livingston Parish School Finance Director Kim Stewart. She said the additional monies for the pay raises are available because of increased sales tax revenues.
REOPENING PROCESS AFTER HURRICANE IDA A “DAY-BY-DAY EFFORT”
Livingston Parish Public Schools announced school closures for Monday, Aug. 30, in advance of Hurricane Ida’s scheduled landfall on Sunday, Aug. 29. That closure proved necessary as much of the parish received Category 1 force winds that toppled trees and power lines and ripped into thousands of homes and structures. The powerful winds also damaged drinking water systems and communications infrastructure.
“Our recovery process from this storm has been a day-by-day effort,” Murphy said. “As progress has been made, we have reinstituted those activities that we can. It’s been important to respond in a safe, deliberate way to ensure our campuses have basic services, and that our transportation routes are safe and accessible to the students we serve.”
Murphy noted that most schools, 36 of 49 sites, reopened on Sept. 10, limiting their closure time to eight days. Another five schools across the district opened on Sept. 13, with students at those schools missing nine days. Schools in Albany and Springfield were greatly impacted by damage in their communities, causing those schools to not fully reopen until Sept. 16, and Maurepas School, the last to reopen, saw students return to campus on Sept. 21.
LIVINGSTON PARISH STUDENTS NAMED NATIONAL MERIT SEMI-FINALISTS
Two Livingston Parish students have been named National Merit semifinalists for the Class of 2022. They are Sydney G. Junot of Denham Springs High School and Matthew J. Larpenter of Springfield High School.
Junot and Larpenter are among 234 high school seniors in Louisiana who were selected for the prestigious academic honor.
Junot is the daughter of Dustin and Stacey Junot of Denham Springs. She plans to pursue a pre-med degree in biochemistry or microbiology at either LSU or Auburn University. Junot scored a 35 on the ACT exam, and she is set to graduate with a 4.65 GPA.
Larpenter is the son of Rodney and Kelly Larpenter of Springfield. He plans to attend LSU to pursue a degree in chemical engineering. He also plans to continue his hobbies of drawing and character design. Larpenter scored a 35 on the ACT exam, and he will graduate with a 4.17 GPA. His older brother, Andrew Larpenter, who also attended Springfield High School, is currently a student at LSU.