August 2021


LPPS Superintendent Joe Murphy

Livingston Parish School Board members recently reviewed the job performance of Superintendent Joe Murphy, and their evaluations resulted in a “highly effective” rating for the superintendent for a second year in a row.

“As part of our duties as board members, we must evaluate the job performance of our superintendent and his top administrators to determine the quality of work that we are receiving and to identify any areas where performances could be improved,” Livingston Parish School Board President David “Bo” Graham said.

“I am pleased to announce that Superintendent Murphy continues to prove himself to be a highly effective leader during one of this district’s most challenging times,” Graham added.

Graham noted that board members submitted score sheets, ranking the superintendent’s performance on a scale of 1 to 4 in a variety of job performance categories.  On several score sheets, he received a perfect 4.0 rating across the board.  His total average of all score sheets earned him a 3.75 rating, which earned him a rating in the highest tier of leadership performance.



Twelve Livingston Parish elementary teachers and LSU STEM Pathways Program consultants gathered for a two-week workshop this summer to develop learning modules to integrate STEM concepts into the “Tier 1” curriculum fields of English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies at all elementary grade levels.  Pictured, left to right, are (back row) Kristina Dunlap, Seventh Ward Elementary; Courtney Mury, Seventh Ward Elementary; Danyelle Wax, Eastside Elementary; Jordan Guidry, Juban Parc Elementary; Jessica Edwards, Southside Elementary; (front row) LSU STEM Pathways Consultant Nicole Foster; LSU STEM Pathways Consultant Sheree Wilder; Madalyne Rabalais, Southside Elementary; Julianne Sadler, Gray’s Creek Elementary; Karleigh Severio, Lewis Vincent Elementary; Helena Olson, Gray’s Creek Elementary; Whittany Starns, Northside Elementary; Alysha Leonard, Denham Springs Elementary; Shannon Seal, Freshwater Elementary; and LSU STEM Pathways Consultant Jessica Vicknair.

Livingston Parish Schools is partnering with the LSU Gordon A. Cain Center’s STEM Pathways Program this school year to integrate STEM learning at the middle school and elementary levels through a pilot program in the Denham Springs High School feeder system.

The pilot program will target 12 schools in the parish – nine elementary schools, grades Pre-K to 5, and three middle schools, grades 6-8.  District school leaders are exploring the possibility of expanding the program to additional LPPS schools following the initial pilot during the 2021-2022 school year.

“We’re focusing our efforts on expanding STEM learning in the Denham Springs district because of the existing partnership with LSU at the Denham Springs High School STEM and Robotics Center, which serves students in Grades 9-12. Since all the participating schools feed into the Denham Springs High School STEM and Robotics Center, it is our goal to provide our students with a vertically aligned STEM curriculum that better prepares them for courses offered at the high school level,” Superintendent Joe Murphy said

Instructional Supervisor Kelly LaBauve said two elective courses will be offered at the middle school level – an “Introduction to STEM Pathways and Careers” course will be of to seventh graders at Denham Springs Junior High, Juban Parc Junior High and Southside Junior High.  The eighth graders at those schools will be offered a “Survey of Computer Science” elective option. Both STEM courses will be counted toward high school class credit.

LaBauve said STEM learning will be imbedded within the “Tier 1” or primary subject fields of learning at the elementary school grade levels, including English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Those elementary schools participating in the pilot STEM learning program are Denham Springs Elementary, Eastside Elementary, Freshwater Elementary, Gray’s Creek Elementary, Juban Parc Elementary, Lewis Vincent Elementary, Northside Elementary, Seventh Ward Elementary and Southside Elementary.



Several Livingston Parish principals recently honored their colleague, Albany Middle School Principal John Hill, for being named a finalist for the Louisiana Principal of the Year. Pictured from left to right are Denham Springs Junior High Principal Justin Wax, North Corbin Junior High Principal Carolyn Vosburg, Seventh Ward Elementary Principal Laura Dunlap, Gray’s Creek Elementary Principal Michelle Denton, Live Oak Elementary Principal Michelle Crochet, Hill, Walker Elementary Principal Kerma Luzier, Lewis Vincent Elementary Principal Lynette Wheat, Albany Lower Elementary Principal Robin Stewart; Denham Springs High School Principal Wes Howard.

Livingston Parish school leaders hosted a “Watch Night Celebration” for Albany Middle School Principal John Hill in July to honor him for being named a finalist for Louisiana Principal of the Year. The in-person celebration was held in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Education’s virtual ceremony, which honored all finalists and announced the state’s top winners.

“We wanted to do something special to celebrate John’s accomplishments and the recognition he is receiving from state education leaders.  To be a finalist for the state’s Principal of the Year award is a tremendous honor,” Superintendent Joe Murphy said.  “John’s hard work, dedication and leadership skills are exemplary, and they serve as model qualities for all our campus leaders.”

Murphy said Livingston Parish has had three finalists for the state’s top principal award for the past three years, noting that Juban Parc Junior High Principal Greg Hayden was a state finalist in 2020, and Denham Springs Junior High Principal Bryan Wax was a state finalist in 2021.

“We are very proud of all our school principals. They have tough jobs, and we expect much from them,” Murphy said.  “There’s no doubt that their excellent leadership skills and passion for student learning are key ingredients in our district’s success of being among the top school districts in the state.”