April 2015

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Voters Asked to Renew 7 Mills Dedicated to School Maintenance on May 2

The Livingston Parish School Board is asking voters to renew a 10-year, 7.0-mill property tax on May 2 that is dedicated to funding maintenance projects for every school building in the school district.  The ballot proposition is NOT a new tax.  It is a renewal that will NOT increase the amount of taxes currently paid by taxpayers.

Voters in Livingston Parish first created the dedicated maintenance tax in the 1950s and have supported its continuous renewal for more than 60 years.  The 7.0-mill assessment currently generates about $3.2 million each year for school repairs, maintenance and improvements.  These funds are distributed parish-wide.


Two Livingston Parish Students Named Finalists for Louisiana’s Student of the Year Awards

finalsit2Live Oak High School Senior Victor Rushing and North Corbin Junior High School 8th Grader Emily Seighman have been named regional finalists in the state’s annual Student of the Year competition.

The Louisiana Department of Education released the names of the state’s 18 finalists last month, including one 5th, 8th and 12th grader from each of the state’s six regions, representing public and non-public elementary, middle and high schools across Louisiana.  The top winner for each grade level will be announced on April 22.

Rushing is the son of Dana and Jodi Rushing of Watson.  He is president of his senior class and is a member of several school clubs and teams, including BETA, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, FBLA, Boy’s State, and the LOHS baseball and football teams.  Rushing is also a studio pianist, having participated in the Louisiana Music Teachers Association District Rally for 12 consecutive years, earning a Superior rating each of those years. Rushing serves on the school’s student council and is an Eagle Ambassador.  He attends Live Oak Methodist Church where he is a special music performer and serves as the audio-visual technician for the church’s 10 a.m. off-site service.

Seighman is the daughter of Jeff and Tallie Seighman of Walker.  She participates in 4H, Beta, Library, Yearbook, Photography, and the Book Club.  She is a percussionist in the school band, and has represented NCJH in both Parish and District Honor Bands for the past two years.  She also is a three-year starter for the NCJH Lady Bears basketball team and has participated in Cross Country and Track.  She also is very involved in her church, where she participates in the youth group and volunteers in kid’s church.  Seighman also has been on a mission trip to serve the people of Swaziland and Mozambique, Africa.

Livingston Parish Schools will recognize all its Student of the Year nominees from each of the schools across the parish at a special ceremony on May 7.


School Board’s Refinancing Efforts Saving Millions for Taxpayers

Save_Money2Over the last three years, the Livingston Parish School Board has been prudent to refinance outstanding bonds across the district, resulting in a projected savings of nearly $2 million over the life of the bonds. The board refinanced construction bonds in the Denham Springs School Tax District this month, decreasing the interest on payments by nearly 2 percent overall, to create a projected savings of $740,000.

Last year, the board refinanced bonds in the Walker School Tax District, taking advantage of a much lower interest rate as well, creating an anticipated savings of $562,000.  These cost savings are added to the projected $698,000 saved when the board refinanced bonds in the Live Oak School Tax District in 2012.

“I want to applaud our board members for being good stewards of the taxpayers’ monies.  There are very diligent to seek ways to take advantage of cost savings at every level,” Superintendent John Watson said.


Denham Springs Junior High Earns “No Place for Hate” Designation

Students at Denham Springs Junior High have successfully completed activities that promote respect and an anti-bias atmosphere on campus to earn the designation of “No Place for Hate” for their campus for the 2014-2015 year.  The “No Place for Hate” program is sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League and has been launched in hundreds of schools nationwide.  The initiative provides schools and communities with an organizing framework for combating bias, bullying and hatred, leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive climate.  “No Place for Hate” schools receive their designation by:

  • Building inclusive and safe communities in which respect is the goal, and all students can thrive
  • Empowering students, faculty, administration and family members to take a stand against hate and bullying by incorporating new and existing programs under one powerful message
  • Engaging schools and communities in at least three anti-bias activities per year, which the Anti-Defamation League helps  to develop
  • Sending a clear, unified message that all students have a place to belong

DSJH Counselor Laura Green said the school completed at least four anti-bullying/random acts of kindness activities throughout the year, and the whole school signed an anti-bullying pledge.  The school will be awarded a banner to proudly hang at the school’s entrance, she said.


Southeastern Offers Career Program This Summer

2613935277_82fa242cafJunior high and high school students can experience a variety of career fields at Southeastern Louisiana University this summer through “Zoom into Careers” workshops.  “Zoom into Careers” programs include computer science, environmental sciences, animation, automotive technology, industrial and engineering technology, photography, television, and theater.

“Zoom into Careers” is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for June 15-18.  Registration will be limited in each workshop to small groups, some as low as six participants.  Registration will continue through June 4 and will soon be available online at www.southeastern.edu/zoom. The workshops are $280 prior to May 7, and $295 until June 4.